TAS 434 (Troubleshooting Session) WHY List building isn’t performing Good and is Expensive

What do you do when you are trying to build an email list with a giveaway but you don’t get the numbers you’d expect? Should you just accept that situation or can you make changes to your approach to improve the numbers? On this episode of The Amazing Seller, you’ll hear from Chris and Scott as they go over an email from a TAS follower like you and explain what they would do to improve signups for their giveaway. The guys also cover the difference between running ads on Facebook and Instagram, how to adjust ads to connect with the target audience, why it’s important to be specific, and much more! You don’t want to miss this helpful episode!

Facebook Ads vs. Instagram Ads

When you are getting started with building an email list and you are considering running ads on Facebook, Instagram, and other social media sites, how do you decide which one will provide the best results? Do you have to suffer through trial and error or can you learn from others who have already been down this road? On this episode of The Amazing Seller, you’ll hear from Chris and Scott as they explain their experiences running ads on both Facebook and Instagram. While the guys don’t steer people away from running an ad on Instagram, they’ve found that running an ad on Facebook yields more consistent results. To hear more about running ads on social media sites and more, make sure to listen to this episode!

Why You Should be Specific

What is your strategy when crafting a compelling giveaway? Do you advertise an expensive and popular item that is trending in the marketplace at the time? Or do you offer an item that will appeal to your specific target audience? On this episode of The Amazing Seller, you’ll hear from Chris and Scott as they break down why sellers like you need to be specific in your giveaways and avoid the generic offers. While you might get a lot of interest if you give away an Xbox or an Amazon Fire Stick, it won’t get you very far if those items don’t connect to your specific category and the type of buyers you are trying to attract to your list. Consider using an item that is popular among your niche audience so you get people who will be genuinely interested in what your brand has to offer. Get more helpful tips like this one in this episode!

The Cause of Low Opt-In Numbers

Do you know the common reasons why an offer that you run might not perform very well? What steps can you take to identify and correct those issues that come up when running a giveaway? On this episode of The Amazing Seller, Chris and Scott go over a helpful rundown of what may cause your giveaway to bring in poor results. One area that the guys touch on is making sure your offer is attractive enough to your target audience. If you don’t put a decent monetary value on the item that you are giving away, why would people pause and consider following through on your giveaway? They wouldn’t! To hear additional reasons that lead to poor giveaway results and what you can do to avoid them, listen to this episode!


  • [0:03] Scott’s introduction to this episode of the podcast!
  • [1:30] Chris reads an email from a TAS follower.
  • [6:00] The difference between running ads on Facebook vs. Instagram.
  • [11:00] Chris and Scott talk about how they would tweak the ad.
  • [17:30] Be specific and avoid the generic.
  • [21:00] Why you might be having a low opt-in rate when running offers.
  • [23:00] Chris runs through a helpful checklist. 


Resources Banner2


TAS 434: (Troubleshooting Session) WHY List building isn't performing Good and is Expensive


[00:00:03] Scott: Well hey, hey what’s up everyone! Welcome back to another episode of The Amazing Seller Podcast. This is episode number 434 and today I've got…

[read more=”Read full transcript…” less=”Read less”]
Click Here to Download Transcript <<

…my good friend Chris Shaffer back on and it actually has to do with episode 432 a little bit because we talked a lot about list building and how to build that rock solid foundation to really crush your next product launch. So if you missed that one you probably want to go check that one out. That's episode 432, theamazingseller.com/432. But today I've got him back on because we received an email from someone that is running a giveaway to build that launch list and the numbers aren't really great in their eyes and they wanted our advice on what to do to fix it. So Chris are you ready to fix it?

[00:00:51] Chris: I am. Sorry I was clearing my throat. You caught me off guard. You got me.

[00:00:59] Scott: I actually made you not talk so…

[00:01:02] Chris: I'm flicking the unmute button and nothing's happening…

[00:01:04] Scott: Nothing's happening and you're panicking. I want you to read through the email and I want you to maybe start off with what you think needs to be thought about or reverse engineered to figure out how we can actually make this thing perform better.

[00:01:25] Chris: The email came from Bryce Robbins originally and Bryce let us know, he said, “We're preparing to launch our first product. We watched the list building training as well as all the training videos that came with giveaway boost. If you guys haven't checked that out list building training I guess Scott this would be a good time to let them know you can go to theamazingseller.com/buildlist and that documents the entire strategy and gives you a really good idea and a foundation for what we are going to be talking about today. But they watched all of those videos as well as the videos that come along with giveaway boost that show you how to set it up and all those kinds of things. “Wanted to give you a big thank you and Chris for putting together such a fantastic plugin and some sets of training.

We're looking forward to building this as an asset to help us launch our brand.” Now, they got the giveaway all set up and ready to do. They went to Instagram, they went to Facebook and they started to run some ads and unfortunately so far Brice is not impressed with his performance. He said, “We spent about $260 on Instagram with two different Instagram ads. One had a million followers, the other one had 230,000 followers. We spent $50 on Facebook ads. Not a ton but enough to get some clicks and some data. We split tested two audiences.” Then he let us know what those are. The quick break down here Scott is that basically on Instagram it's costing them about $4 an email and for Facebook it was costing them about $3 an email.

Now, their conversion rate from people hitting their site is 23% which is pretty good. On ours, the one we're actually running right now we're close to 45%, 50% actually. But 23% is not bad. It's one out of every four people who are coming to their site are giving them their email address. You need more people coming to the site at that rate. They're suspicious that it's because of what they are using as the front end offer. They are going to actually split test this giveaway with a different one, with a much more generic product that appeals to the same brand. So, Scott a few different things. One, I think we should probably dive into what makes a good offer and two, then what the advertising costs that you ‘re going to see might be and how to play with those.

Does that sound like a good way to go?

[00:03:34] Scott: Yeah, here's the first thing I want to say though. We have Instagram. We're using Instagram, they are. We've used it, they are using Instagram to actually get the attention. Then from there put the offer in front of that audience, that's the strategy. It works. Here's the thing though. They said they had a million followers on one page and 230,000 on another. That sounds amazing but rule number one and a way to make sure that that audience is engaged is to look at the Instagram account and see how the audience is engaging with their everyday content. Look at something that was posted a week ago and then look at something that was posted three hours ago and see if it's getting engagement.

Now, if you have a million followers you're probably going to get some pretty good engagement if it's a targeted list and not someone that just went out and just bought the followers or what not. So what we did when we were doing the case study that we shared publicly in the Sneaker Head niche is we went out, found a page and then I looked at the numbers after they would post something within an hour of six hours and I would see how many likes and how many shares and that type of stuff was happening on that. For example, we seen that someone would post something on that page and they would get like 3,000 likes in the matter of like an hour, hour and a half. It was just quick.

So I'm like, this is pretty engaged and yes, on a million that's not that great as far as percentages go but it's still 3,000 people that are seeing that thing instantly. I say to myself if I can get in front of those 3,000 people with an offer that's irresistible of something that they genuinely would want then I should probably be able to convert those people into an email subscriber. That's exactly the case of what we did. We did that with our sneaker giveaway and instantly we built that list, we built it over 7,000 but we did it off of Instagram on one of the posts and we got over 500 emails and we spent about 100 bucks.

[00:05:39] Scott: It was about $125. So to us it was engaged, we seen it and we gave it a test. I would be curious Chris to see what kind of engagement those pages had as far as their other every day posts. Then if it had good engagement and yours didn't have a good engagement there's a disconnect. That's kind of me reverse engineering what they have without even seeing what they have. Does that make sense Chris?

[00:06:04] Chris: It does. It makes sense indeed Scott. It's something that's interesting with Instagram. To me Instagram is extremely powerful but it's also a little bit more hit or miss. That's one of the reasons you and I have talked about it. It's really easy like anybody can go do an Instagram ad, all you have to do is look for these channels, reach out to them. If you can send them an email, you can run an ad on instagram. Facebook at least upfront feels more complex than that but unlike Instagram Facebook, once you get dialed in, is a lot more consistent. Now, you're not necessarily going to hit a homerun with Facebook but you and I have talked about for $20 we know we're going to get right around 100/200 leads a day.

So we're going to pay nine, ten cents a lead and we're going to be cool with that. If we want to raise the budget we're going to get 300 or 400 leads a day. So we can dial Facebook into a place where we know it's going to be consistent and reliable. Instagram is generally going to be like… It's a swing for the fences. If it performs well and you do the research and you find somebody, it's a gold mine. If you don't then it's a nice swing but it's usually a miss or a little dribble up the fast pace line. You're going to get a couple of email addresses out of it or you're going to get a whole bunch. To me like if you find somebody on Instagram it's worth reaching out and trying it.

But I wouldn't base my strategy for building my list around that. To me Facebook ads is something that's a lot more consistent and you and I have seen that in all three brands that we have done this. Now, where Facebook once you get past the initial hurdle of understanding who is your actual target and who's going to opt in that giveaway, you're going to get consistent results out of that.

Does that make sense Scott? Did I lose you?

[00:07:53] Scott: Chris, you're there?

[00:07:56] Chris: I've been talking the whole time.

[00:07:58] Scott: Yeah, I know you have and I had myself muted so yes, I am back. So, yes it makes perfect sense. What I was saying over here laughing here muted by the way is that it's kind of crazy now that every time you say ‘does that make sense' you're self conscious of saying ‘does that make sense'?

[00:08:18] Chris: I keep hearing myself saying it.

[00:08:19] Scott: You do. So, yes here is the deal though. I just want like people to understand that like you had just said and like I had said like you have to look at the numbers that you're going for. Instagram is a powerful channel but if it's not engaged it's not. The offer is really, really super, super important. If I haven't stressed that enough it really truly is. Chris, let me ask you this. So would you say from looking at their offer… Now, they didn't give us the Instagram page that they targeted though, right?

[00:08:54] Chris: No.

[00:08:54] Scott: That would be helpful but would you say that even with… Let's not even talk Facebook ads yet. Let's talk Instagram for a second. Don't you feel that if they got that like low of a conversion as far as emails don't you feel that that page is either not engaged or that the offer is not good for that audience.

[00:09:19] Chris: To be honest with you I don't know on the Instagram side of things I think that's probably the issue. Either the page is not engaged or it's a slightly off offer, if that makes sense. As far as the Facebook side of things, I think it's probably an okay offer. I'm actually in the process as we speak of pulling up their giveaway offer and I don't think it's bad. I'll send you the link here in a second. Now I don't know what the product they are trying to sell on the back end of this is but to me this would be something that would be pretty cool for their target audience assuming they have something that goes well with this.

To me it's probably less the offer and more who they are targeting currently and on the Instagram side of things it would be the engagement and why those people engage with that page.

[00:10:10] Scott: So let me ask you then Chris, I'm going to ask you because I don't know this, because I haven't seen all this stuff. But from you looking at it and for you kind of explain so it's helpful than anyone else that's maybe running Facebook ads or something, is there Facebook ads targeting? Where do you think it is good if their offer is getting, I mean if they are getting like $3 an email? Where do you think their issue is in the chain of events there of the different components? Where is that problem? If it's not the actual image, conveying the offer then what would you think that would be the first thing that you would do to start to tweak that?

[00:10:53] Chris: The first thing is it's a cool offer. I don't know because I'm not in the space. I don't know that it would necessarily be an amazing offer for the audience but the thing to keep in mind Scott and people hear the numbers and aggregate. So when we talk about on this giveaway we got 30 cent leads, on this giveaway we go 8 cent leads. That's the total number of leads divided by the cost of the product and the spend. On Facebook, like I'm looking right now, the giveaway that we're in, we're averaging 15 cent leads. But the first $40 or $50 of that was probably $2 leads. You're going to pay less over time as Facebook starts to understand who actually is opting into that giveaway and who is coming in.

That's one of the reasons I stress optimizing for conversions and not running a Facebook ad and if you guys don't know how to do this there's a little bit of training inside of the giveaway boost stuff, you guys have more specific questions let us know. But we always optimize for conversions because we went to Facebook only to show the ad to the people who are going to give us their email address. So, even if the target audience is right, it may just need more time or the ad itself may need to be tweaked and we don't have the ad copies so I can't really see it. But generally if you're saying that you're going to give them something and you're just showing a picture of what it is, it's kind of a perform okay.

I would say looking back at these numbers Scott, we are talking $52, they got 17 emails on 50 clicks and so they spent $3 an email. The ad as a whole reached 4,000 people which I would think there's going to be millions in their target audience for this. So it may just be a factor of needing a little bit more time for Facebook to pick up on who's actually going to do that.

[00:12:39] Scott: Let me ask you this.

[00:12:40] Chris: 17 people isn't really a valid statistic…

[00:12:43] Scott: 50 people clicked on the ad?

[00:12:46] Chris: Yep.

[00:12:46] Scott: And how many people opted in?

[00:12:49] Chris: 17.

[00:12:49] Scott: Okay. So to me there it's not terrible and again like you said it's low numbers but I would start to probably play with the landing page. In this case they are using giveaway boost which is a plug in that we had created. The one thing that I'm seeing, you just sent me over the link privately so I can see it, I don't see anything that says like free in the main title, in the subject. Honestly I see it look a little, there's a little bit more technical information given than the actual offer. So the first thing that I would probably do is I would probably put in the very beginning ‘Free' whatever, ‘8 foot bass fishing rod'.

I would put in the thing and then I might talk a little bit about the techy stuff.

[00:13:42] Chris: So in this case Scott and it's actually the name of the product I think. Would you just say it's a free fishing rod and not a free… And then in the description say enter to win a free bass tronic graphene blah, blah, blah. Because then it's immediately available what it is. The other thing Scott and I said it a little bit earlier, 23% is not a bad conversion rate overall. But if they are clicking on the ad, it's just like in Amazon PPC. They are clearly clicking on the ad. You're paying a dollar a click which is not bad, especially when you are talking about those first 50 clicks. That's going to come down over time if you are optimizing for conversions but the first 50 clicks at a dollar a click is not bad.

They are clearly interested in it. Something is stopping them from giving their email address. Either they are interested in the bass fishing rod, and they are not interested in this bass fishing rod like when they get to it and they see it or they are something that just doesn't make sense on the landing page. I think you just nailed it by looking at it and said, look it sounds like a whole bunch of technical mumbo jumbo even though it's the name of the product. So what it may need is just a little bit more explanation in the description. So ‘Enter to win the Bass-tronic graphite fishing rod, here's why it matters'.

Like here's why all these things are cool and why it matters for you the next time you go fishing.

[00:15:11] Scott: The other thing that I see is in the images that they used they are good but I don't see them relating it to the person using it. So just again to keep it in the fishing realm here, if I was in this and I wanted the fisherman that's reading this to imagine themselves using it, I would have a picture of them using it. It seems more focused on the piece of equipment here than it does the use and the benefit. So I would probably put one of those images in there as well and the same thing goes as maybe even on your ad in Facebook, that may need to be in there to let them know what it's going to be used for and how it's going to benefit them.

I know personally, this product the people that are looking at it they don't probably know this isn't like a major brand that they are going to be like oh, I've heard of that. It's just they're using it because it does something and they are going to need one. So that's basically what it is so you need to hit the people with what it is, what it does for them and by doing that in images, it will  show them it being used and then they are going to put themselves in that place of that person using it. I think those are two big things. The image needs to convey it better and I think… And that could be on the Facebook ad side as well. You could bump up those ad conversions and have even more clicks. Then I think the copy needs to say free of, and then exactly what it is and regular every day talking that like the tech note mumbo jumbo stuff.

Then I think that would help. Now, I know that they also said that they wanted to try to do more of a generic one that could get more leads, this is a trap that a lot of people fall into is like I'm going to give away a Kindle Fire stick because everyone wants that. But it's not really your target market. Don't fall into that trap just because your numbers aren't there. Yes, try to come up with a better offer maybe or a better bundle to give away like maybe that's not what people are going to be driven by to enter. Maybe it's not that big of a deal. Maybe it's another product in your market that will do that. Maybe it's a collection of products that will do that.

[00:17:28] Scott: Then eventually hopefully you can put one of your products alongside the thing that accompanies that product. So that's just some things to think about on the surface that I'm looking at here just from reverse engineering what you're saying.

[00:17:42] Chris: Yeah, I would agree with that. I would stay away from the generic offer. You always want it to be specific to your audience and not to a broader audience. We don't want to give away a boat, we want to giveaway a bass boat or something like that that's much more specific to our audience. Now, in this case they said we think one of the reasons that this might not be performing as well is because they might already have this. So my response to that would be well, then maybe you need to move up your targeting. So if it's people who already have a bass fishing rod, well what's the thing that people like before they like bass fishing or before they specifically buy a bass fishing rod?

Well, they are probably just interested in fishing in general. I can hear the screams right now Scott of people saying why would I make it more general? This comes up all the time in ad targeting. I'm in the camp that says let's keep it as general as possible without being too general and I know that sounds ridiculous but in the case of something like fishing I want to start off with  just fishing because it gives me a big chunk of audience. Rather than only being able to show it to 10,000 people who likely wiggly glow warm night bass fishing, something like that. I'm going to start with fishing and I'm going to let Facebook, just like in Amazon PPC, I'm going to start with a broad match.

I'm going to let Amazon show me the data. On Facebook ads I'm going to start with a broader audience so fishing and then let Facebook through the conversion optimization where they are saying, okay, this person looks like Scott who filled out the form. I'm going to show them the ad. Chris looks nothing like Scott. I'm not going to show him the ad. That's what they are doing. So I'm letting Facebook then widdle that audience down to the people who look like the people that I'm actually interested in. And that a lot of times is what's going to bring that lead cost way down. Now, obviously we know that if I could get all 10,000 people who like wiggly glow night warm fishing or whatever the heck I just said, if I can get all of them on my email list and I was selling a Wiggly night glow warmth  then that would be amazing.

[00:19:49] Chris: But if I'm selling something that people who already like bass fishing might have bought, then I might have to take that one level up. I'm also willing to do a little bit of work on the backend by moving people to the product that I'm going to sell. Even though they might not be into bass fishing right now, I can send them a few emails and get them warmed up to the idea. “Hey, do you really like fishing for trout? Bass tastes better.”

It's very easy to walk them down that line even if they are a little bit more generic in terms of a lead. Those are the people who if you help them make that decision, are going to be a lot more brand loyal. So they are going to be willing to buy from you in the future even more so than the people who already into bass fishing who are just getting the newest thing for bass fishing.

Does that make sense?

[00:20:34] Scott: It totally does Chris.

[00:20:37] Chris: Now you are self conscious about me saying it.

[00:20:38] Scott: I am. I feel for you. There's a lot of things I say too and everyone's like, “You say that a lot.” I'm like, “Yeah. I know I kind of do,” and now kind of self conscious. I don't want to talk any more. But we're going to keep talking. I do want to wrap this up, I didn't want this to go too, too long. I wanted to really just kind of address some of these issues and if anyone else is running a giveaway or building a list there's really just a few things that you have to look at that you can start to go back and see what's working, what's not working and why it's not performing the way that you want it to. It goes through the same exercises that we just did.

We're looking at the different components that are made up of a giveaway or maybe a lead magnet that you are getting attention in your market whatever it is. But it generally starts with the offer where we get people to raise their hand. If for some reason you're not getting a good opt in rate for that then it's generally because the offer is either not good enough or there's a disconnect from the ad to where they land. We want to always make that congruent. We want to make that the same, almost the exact same imagery especially if you're going from Facebook because  we want to take them off of Facebook but then make them feel as though they are still where they were just were so they don't get nervous and then get out of there and your opt-ins go down.

An opt-in for anyone that's brand new we're just talking about gaining an email address so this way here we can follow up with them and let them know about future products or content. But really you have like your offer, and then from there we have our landing page and on our landing page that's where we're going to convey the message, we're going to talk about the benefits, we're going to talk about how excited we are. I would say one of the side note here is on that page on the landing page the other thing that you could do once you get a winner is put a picture of your most recent winner on that page and that could bump up your conversion on that too because there's a trust element there that this is a contest, this isn't bogus and you actually are giving away the prize. That's a little side note there to give a little social proof in there and that can bump up your conversions there as well.

[00:22:38] Scott: But Chris, that's pretty much all I wanted to do. I wanted to walk through this, give some tips, some advice, some kind of like think out loud here along with whoever is going through this, kind of like when you're going through this stuff. I know it feels kind of like you're alone, you kind of want to reverse engineer. These are the steps you need to take in order to get to the answer and really it's about asking the right questions. So, Chris is there anything you want to wrap up with before we officially wrap up?

[00:23:09] Chris: Yeah, I just want to recap what we talked about really fast Scott because I think just like with Amazon PPC where we are doing some troubleshooting, if we're talking about list building, we have to do the troubleshooting. You and I kind of break things down in a very similar way like with the Amazon PPC the first thing is, are we getting impressions? If yes, then are you getting clicks? If yes, then are you getting sales? Building a list is very much the same way. Are people seeing my giveaway? Are they landing on the page? If not, then we probably need to change the offer or change the target audience on the front end. In this case I think that maybe playing a role.

It's something we would have to test with this audience. It's definitely something I would have to look at even if it's just making the tweaks that you talked about through the headline so it's less techno babble and more super obvious to the target audience what it is. The second step would then be I'm getting a metric boatload of people to my giveaway page but nobody is opting in. In that case it's either going to be either something wrong on the giveaway page or the offer is just not compelling once they get there. They see the ad they are like, “Oh, that would be cool,” and then they get there they're like, “meh, It looks like a cheap fishing rod.”

Something like that might be your second issue. Then from there, now I'm getting emails, now what do I do with them? We didn't get into that today but I'm sure we'll talk about that at some point but for me list building you have to troubleshoot where you are. So in this case we need to start either by looking at the target audience, by looking at the offer or just looking at our targeting in general. I think both of those things, the target audience and the offer can be tweaked slightly meaning not changing entirely but tweaked slightly here and that may make all the difference.

[00:24:55] Scott: Yeah, I know. Good advice. Good recap and yeah if you guys are interested in learning more about building your own list and all of the things that we do and have done in the past to actually accomplish this we have done a free workshop, we've talked about it before and I'm going to invite you to go check that out because it's totally free and I think it's valuable. head over to theamazingseller.com/buildlist and yes we do have a plugin that we created to run our own giveaways and that is talked about inside there as well but by all means it's not mandatory that you have to purchase this to get the value through that workshop. It's just a tool that allows us to set up these pages and it makes it a lot easier when running these giveaways and picking winners and all that fun stuff.

So definitely go check out theamazingseller.com/buildlist. Chris, I say we wrap this up, what do you say?

[00:25:47] Chris: Let's do it.

[00:25:47] Scott: All right. We're going to close it out with Chris Shaffer once again and Chris is getting good at this. He's getting a little better at timing. So let's go ahead and see if he can do again today with us guys. Remember as always, I am here for you, I believe in you and I am rooting for you but you have to, you have to… Come on. Say it with me, say it loud, say it proud… Chris you're ready?

[00:26:09] Chris: I'm ready.

[00:26:10] Scott: Count of three baby. One, two, three, “Take action.” Have an awesome, amazing day and I’ll see you right back here on the next episode.



Click Here to Download Transcript <<

[/read] [divider]




NEW To The Blog and Podcast?

I created a Page Just for You called…START HERE!

If you enjoyed this episode share the love with your friends…Click To Tweet the show.

Subscribe To Be The First To Receive Updates and NEW Podcast Episodes

Join the discussion

More from this show