The client had an online training program that helped expectant mothers who wanted to have a water birth at home.
They already had the entire course content laid out, from those expectant mothers in the consideration phase, right through to finding the right midwife and aftercare. They also had several students take some of the classes and give feedback on what to improve and what to remove.
The one thing that was missing was a customer acquisition strategy that worked. They had tried several times to generate sales for the program with little to no success.
Our first step was to determine how to approach the market. We wanted to use Facebook as our initial point of entry and needed to be careful because of their Terms of Services. Also, advertising on social networks is a double-edged sword, portraying a subject like home water birth the wrong way, can result in significant negative feedback and kill the campaign (and ad account) before we have any real data to determine if the training course is a viable product.
From our research, we found that the best approach was to target women who were already health or environmentally conscious and use educational videos to segment those who were open to the idea of a home water birth, this would limit exposure to the critics and skeptics and reduce the number of negative comments and feedback.
We also created a survey that enabled us to build an audience of people to exclude as we scaled. The idea was to limit the trolls or similar people from even seeing the ads and therefore negatively affecting the campaign’s performance.
At the top of the funnel, we use video view campaigns. These were educational content videos around natural childbirth to women who we had identified via Facebook interest targeting to be interested in “natural health” or to be “environmentally conscious.”
The videos were shot benignly and inclusively and would only be of interest to our target audience; this was the goal; to isolate those people we wanted to offer the training course to and remove anyone who was not a fit.
We then re-marketed only those people who had watched at least 50% of the video with a conversion campaign, optimized for step 2 of the funnel, which was the webinar landing page. The average initial videos were around 2 minutes long, only run on the Facebook news feed, so if someone watches at least a minute of it, there was a good chance they were the right target for us.
The webinar was about 45 minutes long and was purely educational, not a sales pitch in disguise. The attendees left with valuable information and those who wanted to learn more had the option of purchasing the training program.
Real value based webinars still work very well especially for prospects that are still in the consideration phase. As long as there is a robust follow-up process behind that webinar, this type of funnel usually becomes profitable.
The problem comes when the webinar is an hour-long sales pitch with little-to-no value for the attendee.
We used Active Campaign for our email marketing automation, but you can get the same results with any tag based email automation tool like Infusionsoft or Drip.
There were three main follow up campaigns.
Attendance Follow Up Sequence
The webinar attendance follow-up sequence comprised of 4 emails because our automated webinar was scheduled every three days (more on why later). We wanted to make sure those who signed up attended the “live training.” The training was actually “semi-live.”
The first email went out when the prospect signed up, and then a second email was sent 24-hours before the training and a third email an hour before. Finally, 15 minutes before the webinar, the final reminder email went out.
We also tested collecting cell phone numbers and sending SMS reminders, but that decreased our opt-in rate, increased our acquisition costs and didn’t significantly improve the webinar show up rate.
Each attendee had a unique attendance URL, and we would automatically tag those people who had attended the webinar and remove them from the follow-up sequence offering the replay.
Those who could not attend the “live event” where sent a series of 3 emails over 72 hours with a replay link. Although the webinar replay link didn’t expire, we used the 72 hours time limit to create a sense of urgency so that those prospects who were interested took the time to watch the webinar.
Lastly, we have an email sequence for all the people who had attended the webinar, watched some of it but didn’t purchase. The offer was discounted for all the attendees and had a time limit on it as well.
We sent a series of 5 emails over six days to get those attendees to purchase. The destination page was the order form.
The webinar was not live but what I call semi-live. The presentation was a recording, but we had virtual assistants overseas online during each webinar presentation to answer questions and respond to those who attended in real time.
After running several live webinars, we discovered that the questions were almost always the same so they could be scripted and passed off to a team of virtual assistants leaving the program creators time to focus on other things.
It’s always a good idea to have several live webinars first before automating the presentation. Also having virtual assistance online during each of the semi-live webinars increased conversions.
We had a standard Facebook remarketing stack to push prospects down the funnel, but we also decided to run a small display remarketing campaign via Google Ads. We wanted to be able to reach the customer outside of the Facebook ecosystem.
Remarketing off Facebook helped the client reach people on other platforms like news sites, blogs, etc. and push them back into the funnel to complete their purchase.
We also kept a remarketing campaign for those who didn’t convert immediately at a low budget, to stay “top-of-mind” and sent those to a separate landing page outside the first funnel after 45 days of no conversion.
For the first 60 days of this launch, we spent $49,064.54 in Facebook ads and generated $318,166.94 in revenue for a return on ad spend of 648.98% and also managed to build an email list of over 7,800 people at various consideration stages.
Also since a large portion of the prospects in the email list were still in the initial consideration phase, we built an educational email series to push them down the funnel further so that when they were ready to take the next step, our client’s product would be the natural first choice.
Please note: That this project was handled mostly on a performance basis, meaning our compensation was based on a percentage of the revenue we helped generate. To learn more about how our performance-based campaign management works for online programs & courses, please click this link.