First Campaign Failure - What Went Wrong?

13 replies
  • CRO
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Dear Warriors,

I am a professional web developer specializing in WordPress. In 2010 my partners and I setup a small web hosting business to gain some passive income from our clients. Although profitable, growth has been very slow, and this week we experimented with CPM advertising to attract new clients. Most of our referral sign-ups are internet marketers creating small WordPress sites for SEO and lead generation, so we targeted several marketing forums with banner ads similar to the one attached (or viewable here). They linked to this landing page:

Over three days we had ~19700 ad impressions but only 9 clicks; a miserable CTR of 0.045% and zero conversions.

I've come to realize that we are developers, not marketers or copywriters, and have much to learn in this area. Any major mistakes we have missed? Any advice on how to improve the click-through rate and conversion rate?

#campaign #cpm #fail #failure #hosting #wrong
  • Profile picture of the author AdscendMichael
    Hey TechNik - I unfortunately can't open up the attachment as I don't have permission, and wanted to share others might have the same issue. I can just barely see it as a thumbnail image though. Can you share a general description / including the wording you have on the banner? I think another major factor is where the banner was placed exactly, and on what forums / how many active users are on those forums (or # of active users on the page your banner was placed).

    Michael Thompson
    Adscend Media
    Skype - Michael.Adscend

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    • Profile picture of the author TechNik
      Thanks Michael, I'm not sure how the attachments work but here is a link to one of the banner images (other sizes were similar in design and wording):

      The banner was placed primarily in the header on forums such as Digital Point and some of its affiliates with a total of ~1200+ users online at any one time, though I don't know the exact number on any specific page or forum thread.
      Easiest Web Hosting
      • WordPress hosting from $0.84/month. Perfect for small projects and aspiring bloggers.
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      • Profile picture of the author AdscendMichael
        Thank you for the link! Hm yeah I personally like a good amount of white space in ads like that. I think it helps center the user's attention on the content of the ad which is great. I think the general appearance of the ad looks OK..but in terms of the message it's sending to viewers - I'm not in the market personally for web hosting and just thinking maybe there are other great selling points of your service you can include and test out. Also I was thinking maybe getting very specific to your target market - ie: mentioning something like 'Do you operate a wordpress site?' - or similar. Since it's a B2B message in a way, I think including something that will really speak personally (and more specifically) to your optimal target audience would help CTR and ultimately CR. The low cost/month you have of course I think is great to include also.

        Michael Thompson
        Adscend Media
        Skype - Michael.Adscend

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  • Profile picture of the author ShoppingSignals
    The ad is too generic. Great price, but this is Web hosting... a commodity that I can get anywhere for cheap. What about your ad tells me that your hosting is both different from the norm, and more importantly, the right choice for me?

    You need to niche down, get specific about who your target is, and exactly what your service does for them.

    Same goes for your landing page, but right now that's not the problem. Gotta get people to it first.
    Get a FREE Conversion Optimization Consultation. No B.S. No upsell. Beta service needs testimonials!.

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  • Profile picture of the author Raydal
    Web hosting is a competitive market so you have to really show
    how you are DIFFERENT from the rest. Also the banner should
    say the price per YEAR because the .84 could easily be misread.

    The format of the sale page also needs attention. You have grey
    small text that is very hard to read. And you want your USP to
    stand out above the normal technical specs that every other web
    hosting companies have.

    -Ray Edwards
    The most powerful and concentrated copywriting training online today bar none! Autoresponder Writing Email SECRETS
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    • Profile picture of the author TechNik
      Thanks for the great advice everyone. Will definitely work on more specific targeting, mentioning advantages other than low price, and implement a few changes to the page over the next few weeks.
      Easiest Web Hosting
      • WordPress hosting from $0.84/month. Perfect for small projects and aspiring bloggers.
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  • Profile picture of the author stormyse7en
    I think you should put the best advantage of your solution on your landing page and your ad. It's should be something impressive. Should conduct a small survey before run the ad to optimize your ad and your landing page..
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  • Profile picture of the author enjamulahsan
    I saw your hosting plans, these are really good and cheap in price. I will buy hosting soon from you
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    • Profile picture of the author TechNik
      Originally Posted by enjamulahsan View Post

      I saw your hosting plans, these are really good and cheap in price. I will buy hosting soon from you
      Glad to hear it! Feel free to send me a message if there's anything I can do for you!

      And many thanks again to everyone for the helpful comments
      Easiest Web Hosting
      • WordPress hosting from $0.84/month. Perfect for small projects and aspiring bloggers.
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  • Profile picture of the author Jason Kanigan
    Start with Traffic.

    How did you pre-qualify your ad traffic?

    Who you really wanted to see that ad as it was were people who had already decided they were in the market to buy hosting.

    If the ad was displayed to 19,000 people who WEREN'T ready to buy hosting services, then it's no mystery why your numbers were so bad.

    So back there and take a look.

    On the Conversion side, getting a sale from 9 clicks, I think we can all agree, would be luck.

    So I wouldn't even concern myself with that side of the sales equation yet.

    Go back to Traffic. Look at how you qualified your ad view traffic. I'll bet this wasn't done well, and that's 99% of your trouble.

    Try it again with better targeting. This is what marketing's all about.
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  • Profile picture of the author expmrb
    You are targeting newbie bloggers so don't think that you are doing B2B Marketing it will be more like B2C Marketing.
    Your landing page may be not fancy enough but it works and to me its okay. But your banner needs some serious workout. First of all nobody wants to read a complete sentence to understand the meaning of it in a banner. So, first make it short. So, anyone can understand it at a glance. Such as 'Web Hosting @ $0.85/month' or 'Hosting only for $0.85/month'. You must understand that its a very competitive market and there are many big boys so your banner must also look very professional. I think you should work on your graphics give it a professional touch now it is looking more like that you have created the banner from any free banner making site or software.
    SEO Motionz Forum & Blog- Digital Marketing Forum & Blog,
    Forum Management & Promotion, SEO Tips, Money Making tips etc.
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    • Profile picture of the author Egyfitness
      What do people need from hosting ? Secure , fast ,reliable server and top notch support. Right ? That what you should include in the ad. And you should include that in a way that makes you stand out of competition.
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  • Profile picture of the author irweazel
    It doesn't depends on that how much ad you post.
    It depends how you post. I mean you have to post like that the people became attracted by your site and visit it automatically.
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