What Do Ads And Pancakes Have In Common?

My kids love pancakes and so I find myself making pancakes… a lot.

Through this valuable hands on experience, I have learned that pretty much no matter what you do, that first pancake off the griddle always sucks. While even a bad pancake is still pretty good, it just doesnt have the same color or fluffiness as the rest of the batch. I have stopped fighting this fact, and instead just started donating the first pancake to the dog.

We’re seeing the same thing with Facebook campaigns. That first day of any campaign is almost always terrible. High CPA. High CPC. Low CTR. This is likely due to the staggered approval of creative and the “algorithm optimizing” but the explanation doesn’t make the loss of ad dollars any more palatable or easier to explain to clients. While strong campaigns will bounce back in the days that follows, it still kinda sucks to start the game down by a touchdown.

Is anyone else seeing this or have an idea for how to avoid this? Would love some suggestions on how to make campaigns stronger out of the gate? Answer quickly. My dog is getting very fat.


Ads Just Lead Horses To Water

Ads don’t drive revenue. Ads drive traffic.

This is an important distinction to understand for anyone looking to launch a digital media campaign. Your ad creative can be insanely creative, wildly compelling and perfectly targeted, but all it is doing, at the end of the day, is sending a warm lead to your website.

The onus is still on your website to convert that lead into a sale. If the website does not convey the right information or offer a clear path to purchase, the user will leave.

As we like to say around the office, “you can lead a horse to water, but if the water tastes like shit, you can’t expect him to drink.”


Curiosity Killed The Cat (And Your Campaign)

Curiosity is not the same thing as intent.

This is a particularly important distinction when it comes to evaluating ad creative. If you run a campaign with really cryptic, overpromising or intentionally vague ad creative, you might see a sky high click through and in turn, a fairly low cost per click, but this does not mean the campaign is successful.

In fact, you could be undermining your performance from a sales perspective by ensuring that’s peoples first impression is disappointment or using up your budget on people who just want to see what’s going on. These people will covert less and view your brand in a negative light moving forward. Seems like an awfully big price to pay for a strong CTR.

When it comes to ad creative, the key is balance. You want to excite and engage people, but remain honest and only make promises you can deliver upon. You should be willing to punt a few bucks on your CPC to make sure you’re talking to the right customers and creating genuine interest to purchase your product. While not as sexy as a campaign that teases people with the next best thing, this approach will lead to more sales and a more genuine connection with your customers.


Never Underestimate The Weekly Call

An agency’s greatest weapon is the weekly check-in call.

It keeps the lines of communication open in ways email can’t.

It lets your clients know what you’re working on and why.

It lets you know what your clients are working on and why.

It gives you a chance to highlight your successes and frame why things might not be performing as planned.

It reminds your clients that you are real people.

That last piece is especially important for client retention. It’s easy for anyone who hires a vendor to perceive them as some faceless entity trying to run through the motions just to collect a check every month.

The weekly call is your opportunity to undermine that. It lets you remind your clients that you’re on their team and that their goals and struggles are your goals and struggles. This allows the client to view you as an extension of their team and not a set of strangers who work in a different office.