Using Facebook Ads to Grow Your Email List, with Claire Pelletreau

#44: Claire Pelletreau is a Facebook and Instagram ads expert and host of the Get Paid Podcast.

In this episode we cover how to run paid ads to grow your email list, what is and isn’t working in facebook ads today, and the three biggest mistakes rookies make when running their first ads.

If you’re the type of person wants to get more customer with Facebook ads without wasting a ton of time and money, you’ll definitely want to listen to this episode.

Podcast Episode Summary

In this episode, you’ll learn:

  • How she used the sense of urgency to transition her business to focus more on sales;
  • How to have the money talk with her podcast guests;
  • Her advice for anyone starting with paid ad campaigns;
  • The most common ad that she recommends;
  • The 3 rookie mistakes that people make; and
  • What the ad objective triangle is (don’t you dare click on the ‘Boost Your Post’ button!).


[Youtube] Video has that power. (05:41)

My motto in my business is about being ridiculously useful. (05:54)

The best conversations are always the people who come in. Sometimes I know them and sometimes I don’t, but they sent in a really good pitch and they are so forthcoming. And I can just ask a follow-up question, after follow-up question and we get detailed. (19:16)

If you are not selling, if you are not closing clients, Facebook ads are not the silver bullet that’s going to make that happen. (21:11)

Spend your money on the big audiences, on pulling people into your world who are interested in the solutions that you have. And then you’ve got them both on Facebook and an audience. And then also on your email list. You’re not beholden to Facebook to say, well, this is how much we’re going to charge you to get in front of this audience again, you can email them, as well. (22:38)

No matter when you’re listening to this and in what year you’re listening to this, definitely make sure that you are running those list-building ads, those audience building ads earlier in the year compared to Q3, Q4. (37:27)

Connect with Claire Pelletreau


Podcast: The Get Paid Podcast

Ep. 44: Using Facebook Ads to Grow Your Email List, with Claire Pelletreau

Claire (00:00):

I think of Facebook and Instagram ads as being like viagra for your business, they will give you a lift, but they will not make you good in bed. If you're not selling, if you're not closing clients, Facebook ads are not the silver bullet that's going to make that happen.

Josiah (00:17):

Welcome to Content Heroes everyone. We're back with another great conversation to help you build a profitable business on your own terms by creating content online. Our guest today is a Facebook and Instagram ads expert and host of the Get Paid podcast. We're going to cover how to run paid ads to grow your email list. What is, and isn't working in Facebook ads today, and the three biggest mistakes rookies make when running their first ads. If you're the type of person who wants to get more customers with Facebook ads without wasting a ton of time and money, you'll definitely want to stick around for the rest of this episode. So let's jump in.

Announcer (00:51):

You're listening to the Content Heroes podcast, where entrepreneurs, marketers, and creatives share how they build profitable businesses on their own terms by creating content online. And now your host, Josiah Goff.

Josiah (01:06):

I'm here with Claire Pelletreau, who is a Facebook and Instagram ads expert, and the host of the Get Paid Podcast. And I'm very excited about this conversation, Claire, thanks so much for being on the show today.

Claire (01:17):

Thanks for having me. I'm really excited to chit chat, see where all of this goodness takes us. 'Cause you know, I love to nerd out about ads, but there's also so much behind the scenes stuff in terms of building a business that I could go on for hours. Don't let me. okay?

Josiah (01:34):

I'll do my best, but I can nerd out on all of this stuff too. So we'll have to put some hard constraints on us just to be safe.

Claire (01:41):

Sounds good.

Josiah (01:42):

Awesome. So before we dive into all of that, why don't we start with your origin story and how you got started and grew your business?

Claire (01:50):

Sure. So I officially started my business in January 2014. I was working for a company at the time, like an info product company that sold trainings around social media marketing, and I was running their ads and I had done ad work before landing that job, but I never really thought that I would want to work for myself. But as I started learning from my boss, essentially about how online businesses work and how you don't have to be a developer to like run your own company, 'cause I came from the startup world. So that's what I thought that you needed investment and you needed developers. It just kind of, a seed was planted in my mind, let's say about what I could be doing on my own. And I started working freelance on the side with her permission. You know, my boss was in the know about it, running ads for other clients. And so what did I do? I said, okay, well, you know, one day I'll probably launch my own course. I should start growing my list. I felt like I got a master's degree in online business working for that business. So I didn't make a ton of the early mistakes of not being consistent or not growing your list. Unfortunately, that business really shifted its business model and there was no longer room for me on the team. So not long after I started my business, I was actually let go. And it was a total surprise. And I had a wedding coming up that I had to pay for. I really didn't know what to do. I looked for a new job for about five minutes, but I had been blogging. I had been creating YouTube videos about Facebook ads already. So I'd sort of gotten burned out, trying to do the full-time job and the side hustle at the same time. So I really let it go a little bit, especially the consistent content creation, but I just ramped that up big time. And I was like, all right, I have to start finding clients. And at the same time, while I was doing that, I was creating my course because I knew that this content that I was putting out there was essentially going to be a part of a Facebook ads course. In 2014, there were a couple people talking about Facebook ads already, but many, many business owners were not using them. They were still trying to recover from what I call the organic reach massacre of 2013, when Facebook killed everyone's organic reach and people were like, where's my traffic? So the interest in ads was really starting to go up and I was kind of primed to launch a course at that time. So I did that in September 2014 and I have been selling that same course since then. It's called Absolute FB ads. I have definitely created other things since then. Higher priced, lower priced, had some product launches that completely flopped because nobody actually asked me for those courses. I was like, I thought this will be a good idea, but really now basically a hundred percent of my business is all about selling that one course. And it's significantly gone up in price over the years because when I initially launched it, I was like, who's going to buy from me. No one's ever heard of me. So I priced it at $99. And now it's $1500. That's really been from the very beginning, the one thread of consistency that I would say has been through my business is that one course.

Josiah (05:05):

That's awesome. I'm really curious to dig into, we were talking a little bit before we hit record, you'd said that content for you has played a big role in your business, but it's looked a lot different at different times. Can we talk about that journey?

Claire (05:21):

Definitely. What I started doing in January 2014 was recording YouTube videos and embedding them in blog posts. So most posts that I put out also had some YouTube video component. And it was from YouTube that I started getting client inquiries, not even the blog posts, people were finding me on YouTube and then reaching out, you know, video has that power. It's actually happening again now that I have revamped my YouTube channel. But people see you, you automatically build that relationship because you established yourself as an expert. My motto in my business is about being ridiculously useful. So if I make those videos and people are like, wow, this is great, but I don't want to do it myself. So they come and they talk to me about working together. That was at the very beginning and I blogged, the YouTube thing actually died off pretty quickly, I'll be honest. Because once I started getting clients to work with, I no longer felt like that was as important, but I kept the blogging up because my course was actually and still is, mostly written. You know, I am not somebody who loves taking video courses. So I created a course that was something I would really like to take. And so I was blogging and basically writing modules of my course, putting them on the blog, etc, etc. So I got some really nice SEO juice early on. And that continued actually through about 2017 when I just had this like crazy drop in traffic. I still don't really know what happened because I wasn't paying attention at the time. One of my biggest regrets is not tracking that data consistently because I would have seen that drop-off. I would've seen it and I would have been like, what? And gone back and maybe reworked things. But I have really missed out in a sense on like staying on the first page of Google for a lot of topics over the years. I still get most of my traffic from Google, which is cool. And I still do blog occasionally, but it is not like the once a week stuff that I did for all of 2014, most of 2015, and some of 2016. What happened in the middle of 2015 as I launched my podcast, I had this idea to do a podcast where I asked people the questions that I had at the beginning of my business, which is okay, I have no more income because I've lost my job. I need clients. What am I supposed to do specifically? Like I was Googling and finding these articles that they just weren't really helpful. They were more general. And I'm like, no, no, no, no, but what should I say? How much should I charge? What should my package be? Blah-blah-blah So about a year later, I finally launched this podcast and I started asking my friends primarily, and then reaching out to other entrepreneurs. How do you make money? You are a six-figure business, but what does that look like? What are your offerings? How much are you pricing them? How are you selling them? How does that all fit together to equal a $100,000 in revenue? But then also how much do you have to spend to make that much? Because I think 2015 was really like the height of all the Facebook ads that talked about getting to six figures in your business. And I was getting a little tired of that because I was noticing that I was spending almost as much as I was making in my business or at least as much as I was paying myself. So at this point, you know, I'm podcasting, I'm doing everything by myself, no editor, nothing. I'm writing the show notes posting on social media. This took up so much time that I stopped blogging. And at the same time I was pregnant for the first time and I kind of had this deadline like. All right, I need to make as much as I can to give myself my maternity leave. So I prioritized selling over content creation and let the podcast keep going. And I think that was a really good decision to actually prioritize selling because for a long time, I just hid behind the content creation. And I was like, well, I'm doing what I'm quote unquote supposed to do, but I'm not making offers. I'm not actually making money. And that obviously is going to be a problem if you want a maternity leave nest egg, if you will. You know?

Josiah (09:32):

Yeah. So I'm curious what that actually looked like that transition. I mean, obviously there's a mental shift there that has to happen. So we could talk about that a little bit, but how did you really start to shift what you're putting out there in order to focus more on sales?

Claire (09:47):

So before, I guess it was Q3 of 2015 before then I was mostly launching my own courses. I would do Facebook ad training for people like one-on-one at the time it was $500. It was pretty time intensive for me, but that was selling consistently. At one point I put the price up only, to I think, $800 and it stopped selling. And I was not actually doing a lot of one-on-one implementation for people because for a long time in my business, I didn't really know how to put boundaries in place as a service provider so that I didn't end up like feeling taken advantage of or just feeling ultimately responsible for the results of the ads. Running ads for people doing any service for business owners, you know, it comes with stress. Of course, some clients can be nightmares are super demanding or texting you all the time. I mean, don't give your phone number to your clients. That's absolutely ridiculous. Of course I've done it, but you know, I would go back and forth and be like, I don't want to do this work. I do want to do this work. Because when you're spending someone else's money and they can receive the results very clearly, it's this even more heightened sense of pressure. So basically when I got pregnant, I was like, I'm not going to be able to make very much money from these launches because it would have like a good month and then two terrible months, you know, that typical launch feast or famine thing. So I said, okay, I need to come up with some kind of offer that sells really well and sells consistently. And actually another Facebook ads person who was more better known than I was and had much better connections with me. She's like, listen, I've just stopped selling this service, which was one-on-one coaching about ads. I've just stopped. Here's what I was charging. You could just do the same thing. And I was so grateful for that recommendation. So I put together these packages and I emailed my list about them. And I just started making sales. I mean, I was growing my list over time. It's just, I wasn't telling people how they could work with me because I kept saying, Oh no, you know, like, this is the only little service I'm doing. It's this training. But a lot of people just wanted my eyes on their ads and to kind of have more flexibility, which is what the coaching packages turned into. So I like filled up my schedule with that up until the month before my daughter was due. And then that's how I made my money. But just by telling people that they could pay me and that I could help them, which is what I wasn't really doing outside of a launch.

Josiah (12:24):

Yeah. That's amazing. I've struggled with that at different times, too. It's so funny the stories we put in our head about why we can't be so quote unquote, you know, salesy, but you touched on something that I loved, which is like, people wanted to work with you. They wanted your direct consultation on their stuff, but maybe they didn't know that that was something that you offered or maybe they just ended the offer put in front of them before they realized that this is something that I absolutely want, but they're never going to do that unless you are upfront about it. And so I love that just that shift completely changed your business.

Claire (13:02):

Yeah. And maternity leave. I'm seeing it now as well, because I'm also about to head into a maternity leave. It creates this just automatic urgency. That's not false at all. Like, Hey, y'all, I don't know how long I'm going to be taking off with this kid. I'm very fortunate to have the flexibility. So if you want to work with me, now's the time my friend. And it's probably going to be a different price when I come back. So get it while it's good. And they did. When you don't have a maternity leave coming up, you know, you have to create your own urgency. And I think it's also fine to say like, listen, these are the spots I have. I'm filling up spots for June. And let's say it's April. That's real because you only have a certain number of people that you can work with. So say it. Say how many spots you have left and maybe, you know, some of the spots have been taken and maybe they haven't, but people don't need to know all the details. Just let them know. This is limited.

Josiah (13:55):

Yeah. So after you went on maternity leave and when you came back, how did that change happen?

Claire (14:02):

Well, I had batched a bunch of episodes of my podcast. So my daughter was born end of March and my podcast went through July. And I just let it pod fade as they say. I don't know if I said something about what's going to happen next. They don't really know, but I knew coming back from my maternity leave and like having a baby just knocked me out. It was not easy. It never is, but it was especially difficult. We also had an international move in that time. I mean, it was just fun. So I had no real plans to bring back the podcast. I didn't see a clear correlation between revenue and that podcast. I also was doing a podcast where I was asking everybody about their business and literally never talking about my own. So most people didn't even know what I did. They just listened because they loved the questions that I asked. So for a long time I had no podcasts. I had no blogging. I was just once again, focusing on selling, which was totally fine, got to make the money. And there were people who wanted to pay me, but there was no content going up. And my audience wasn't really growing. So in the beginning of 2018, I kind of had this difficult conversation with some people that it made me realize that I had been hiding. Right? So I came back from maternity leave. Facebook ads were different. There was like video ads. I'd never run one of those before. So I was really playing small. And what somebody said is like, Hey, listen, before you went on maternity leave, the most powerful thing about your brand was that podcast. And I was like, yeah, but it's so much work. And it wasn't directly related to revenue and they pointed out, well, you're never talking about your own business. So it took me a full year. This is again, you know, me launching, selling, putting some things on evergreen, yada yada. But in the beginning of 2019, I brought the podcast back. And it kind of took off. People still had it obviously on their phones, just based on the download numbers that I had on my very first week. And then other people were like, wait, who is this person? And the download started to go down a little bit, but I just kept on interviewing people who I really wanted to talk to and have the conversations that I wanted to have, which right before I went on maternity leave, I was mostly like, Oh, let me try to get these big names on my podcast, but then not ask them the really nosy questions. So I was like, all right, F that, I'm just going to talk to the people I want to about what I want to. And then some of those episodes, like I had one with Brooke Castillo who made $17 million in her business. And she told me exactly how, and anyway, it was a conversation that kind of put me on the map a little bit. So podcast is still going on. Now we have taken a couple hiatuses just because, you know, it's tough. You know, this, like having the conversations, scheduling it, finding the guests, yada yada. But it is something that, you know, people, they find me, they listen to it, they buy my stuff because I had ads in the podcast for my stuff, something which I did not have before. And then early this year, I just started doing YouTube again right now that I have significantly less time because my kid is no longer in school. I'm not sure when this is going to air, but I think everybody knows about the quarantine. I've actually put that on hold the YouTube videos again, because you have to like shower and record. But I did actually have a couple of those batched two. So some of them are still going out, but I wanted to bring back YouTube just to see if it would be a good lead generator for me. The jury is still out on that one. If it ends up being a better lead generator than just straight blog post and focusing on SEO.

Josiah (17:40):

Wow, that's quite a journey. One thing I wanted to touch on real quick was I'm really curious about the podcast and how you get people on to talk about things. Normally it's a bit taboo and they don't like getting into that level of detail. Like have you had instances where you've met that kind of resistance of like, I don't want to share my numbers or is it something that you're so upfront about that like people know what they're getting into? Like, how do you go about having those conversations?

Claire (18:07):

That's a great question. It kind of depends. So I've had a number of guests on my show who have been coaches of mine or friends of mine, who I know that the money talk is a deal breaker. I have them on anyway, because they're brilliant. And I just want to have an on air conversation with them. And I make them talk about why they won't talk about money. There's been one person who I've let that go completely. And it's because I know the backstory and I'm just not going to put that on blast. But yeah, in the beginning, like it was funny. These people who I knew to be better known, I found they didn't say I'm not willing to talk about it. But I found that I was more hesitant to ask them because I was afraid of them. Like, you know, being mad at me, even though like, this is what the show is about. So there have been times definitely. And even with people who have not said, I won't talk about money or they'll say like, I just don't want to talk about profit. And as a result, I tend to stay away from the money talk when I probably shouldn't have, I still struggle with that because it is taboo. And I do get uncomfortable asking those questions if I don't have a preexisting relationship with someone, but the best conversations are always the people who come in. Sometimes I know them and sometimes I don't, but they sent in a really good pitch and they are so forthcoming. And I can just ask, follow up question after follow up question and we get detailed. I mean, there's this one episode with Jereshia Hawk. I mean, I still remember it as like one of my favorite episodes to record because of how open she was and how we could just go back and forth. Kendall SummerHawk is another one. I could have talked to her for like a full day because of everything she had to share. So, you know, not every episode is as powerful as that. Sometimes it's because of the money stuff. And sometimes it just, you know, not everyone is as open or whatever. It's still a struggle for me, for sure.

Josiah (19:58):

I love that you're doing that because I'm all about, you know, as much as possible transparency and actually talking about real things, not just staying at the surface because that's what really matters, right? So I love that you are a voice out there who's doing that and getting people to open up and actually sharing and being so transparent. So thank you for that. And I, at this point, I would love to get into the Facebook ad side of things. Like I mentioned earlier, I can nerd out on that kind of stuff. I'm one of those people who I would say I'd more than dabbled, right? So I've run ad campaigns for clients and I've run ad campaigns for my own businesses and things like that. It's not the primary focus of what I do. And so I'm always really eager to learn what is working and what isn't. Let's start with, you know, for the people out there listening who are new to ads, or maybe they've tried running ads for their business and it was just a disaster. What advice would you give for starting paid ad campaigns?

Claire (20:57):

All right. Well, I think the most important thing to understand is I think of Facebook and Instagram ads as being like viagra for your business. They will give you a lift, but they will not make you good in bed. If you are not selling, if you are not closing clients, Facebook ads are not the silver bullet that's going to make that happen. I used to be of the opinion that you should only really be spending money on ads. When you've already validated your product market fit, you are selling, you're successful and you just, you want to boost. But it came to my attention that a lot of people were joining my course without an existing business almost. And they were using ads to quickly test things, to take the temperature of people in a specific niche, to find out what do they need, what do they want? What can my students sell them? So I am all about that. If somebody has the money to spend and to potentially throw away just on running tests, that is awesome. But it's the people who come into my world into my course who say, all right, I need to make this money back in 30 days, but I've never really had a successful offering before. Ooh, those people are in trouble. So I think the most common ad that I recommend that like service providers, coaches, course creators, that they run are list-building ads, right? And that's just getting people on your email list. You can run ads for your free content, but getting those people to re-engage with you, it used to be really cheap and easy on Facebook and it no longer is. Facebook likes larger audiences. So that's why I say, spend your money on the big audiences, on pulling people into your world who are interested in the solutions that you have. And then you've got them both on Facebook and an audience. And then also on your email list. You're not beholden to Facebook to say, well, this is how much we're going to charge you to get in front of this audience again, you can email them as well. So that's why I recommend people do list-building ads.

Josiah (23:05):

I have a couple of questions about that. So I'm really curious. I want to clarify, this is a common strategy that, you know, I've heard from a lot of people, and it sounds like you're saying it's changed where people would run ads to free content and then re-target the people who've viewed that content to try to put like a lead magnet in front of them to get them onto their list. You're saying that that's not as effective as it used to be. Is that correct?

Claire (23:27):

I'm saying that it's not something to depend on as a strategy that's going to work. I have seen it work and I have seen it flop. So it's certainly something to test, but let's say you want to run ads to a video that's on Facebook, right? They're not sending them anywhere else. And then you want to retarget those video viewers with some kind of like here's an evergreen webinar or something like that, right? When you see how much it costs for you to get each one of those people to sign up for the webinar, what a lot of people are not doing is actually factoring in the cost of the video as well. So what I tell my students to do is run it straight to the evergreen webinar first. Find out your baseline cost per lead. Then try the video plus retargeting campaign and see if you can beat your baseline. Sometimes the cold direct to the webinar, you might get a cheaper cost per lead, but quality-wise, it's not as good. So we're actually assessing a couple things - we're assessing cost per lead. We're also assessing ROI. You might pay more for leads with the video and retargeting strategy, but get a better ROI, but you might not. That's why it's important in my case to just start with a cold, the direct to the optin and figure out your baseline cost per lead.

Josiah (24:47):

That's great. I love that. When you're talking about running list-building campaigns, I'm really curious. Do you recommend sending people to a landing page off Facebook where they put in their email address or because I know Facebook has a built-in kind of lead capture mechanism so that they never leave Facebook and I've had mixed results with that. So granted it's been a while since I've tried it, but I'm curious how you usually recommend people go about capturing leads.

Claire (25:14):

It has also been a really long time since I have used Facebook's lead capture thing, because I was seeing something that a number of my students have seen over the years, but not all of them. That when you just use Facebook's little popup thing, you know, you show them an ad. They click on the button of the link and it pops up right there on their phone. It's auto-populated with information, that is a much more passive sign up. Whereas if they have to go to a landing page, put in their name, put in an actual email address, and then you tell them, okay, go check your email. They have already basically made these micro conversions. They've committed to you just a little bit more than with Facebook's lead capture form. Now, I also know that some businesses do perfectly well with the lead capture form. You have to set up some additional steps on the back end to make sure those leads that Facebook is capturing for you get into your CRM or your email provider. And a lot of times those leads are cheaper, but in terms of quality, you have to pay attention to your open rates. Especially from that segment.

Josiah (26:22):

I love that. I think people miss that so much - the quality of the leads and paying attention to open rates from those leads, too, is really great advice because that's not something I really thought about before as a way to gauge the quality of the leads in a more quantitative way, because you can, if you set it up correctly, at least what I understand what you're saying is, if you set it up correctly, then you can segment those people inside of your CRM and you can actually measure them against open rates for other people from different types of campaigns. Is that what you're saying?

Claire (26:54):

Yeah. It's not easy, but here's what I do. I will duplicate most of my landing pages. If I'm running ads to them. I'll duplicate one and make it Facebook ad only. I'll change the tags on the form on that page. So they're tagged with Facebook ad. And this pretty much only works if you have some kind of evergreen sequence that people are going into. And I know at least in my email provider Convertkit, I can look at open rates across an entire sequence instead of an individual broadcast email, which is great. So I consistently look to see how is my Facebook ad traffic, my subscribers coming from Facebook ads, how are they interacting with my sequence compared to people who come in organically. And maybe one email will be a 25% open rate compared to 32%. And that's fine for me. But if the open rate were 8% compared to 32%, then I'm like, Oh, okay. I might be getting cheap leads, but these are not good quality people. I mean, that always sounds really bad, but you know, just, they're not actually seeing the stuff I'm putting in front of them. So why am I paying for them?

Josiah (28:03):

Yeah. So Claire, I'd love to know, you know, when you are teaching people to use Facebook ads and coaching people, what are some of the biggest rookie mistakes that you see people?

Claire (28:13):

Actually, I was just talking about three very specific mistakes I see people make. The first one is to get caught up with vanity metrics. And that can be things like cost per lead. Like, Oh my gosh, my leads are so cheap, but then are they engaging with your stuff? Are they buying? Are they contacting you about getting on a call and talking about your work? And a lot of times those metrics can come as a result of boosting posts, right? So this is sort of like the biggest mistake that people make. And I completely understand why they make it, which is to keep using the boost post button. And the reason why the boost post button is extremely problematic is because of the segment of the audience that Facebook is showing your boosted posts to. So let me ask you, how do you interact with ads yourself? Do you buy stuff from them or sign up for free stuff or just like click on Nnew Yorker articles like me all day long and you know, go and let the page load and read, what do you do?

Josiah (29:20):

Me as a consumer is a little different than me as someone who's trying to dissect a Facebook ad.

Claire (29:27):

It actually doesn't matter because you're doing it all from your same account. So my question to you is what kind of user does Facebook think you are?

Josiah (29:35):

Probably thinks that I am someone who's really interested in how to build funnels for agency owners or something like that.

Claire (29:44):

Okay. So that means you're clicking on ads. Are you mostly just signing up for free trainings or are you clicking on ads and buying trainings?

Josiah (29:52):

I'm mostly just analyzing like sales pages and stuff like that. I usually don't sign up unless I'm really curious about the backend of how they've got their funnels set up.

Claire (30:02):

Okay. Got it. So then you are probably not somebody that they see as someone who converts.

Josiah (30:09):

No, probably not.

Claire (30:09):

Here's the thing, I called this the ad objective triangle. And that means that inside every audience, and let's just say women in Philadelphia, which is me. Inside the women in Philadelphia audience, there's this kind of hierarchy. At the very top is the people like me, who click on Instagram ads at the middle of the night and buy things to help you fall back asleep. Ad to a cold audience, I'd never heard of that brand before clicked, bought, boom. I converted and I paid for it. Then there are the people who click on ads for free stuff and sign up with their email address. And so they convert, but it's a free conversion. Then there are people like you who click on stuff and analyze sales pages. So you're letting the page load, but you're not actually taking action beyond that. Finally, there are the people who really never leave Facebook. They might like, or comment or even share posts, but they're not trying to leave the platform. So these are all different segments of one audience. When you boost a post, Facebook by default shows your boosted posts to the people who are likely to never leave Facebook. And I know that when I'm spending money, I want people over on my site signing up for stuff, buying stuff at the very least reading a blog post that I took a long time to write and hopefully builds that know like and trust factor, right? I don't want to put money behind anything that keeps people on the Facebook platform. That's dumb in my mind, not a good use of my money. But that's the default setting for the boost post button. And it's one that is very difficult to actually change. It is not difficult, however, to go into the ads manager, choose the correct objective, and then just pull your existing post in and say, this is my ad. I don't want to do anything to it, but here's the post. And that's the objective. So show this post to people who are likely to click and sign up, click and buy, click and let the page load, but not just like my post. So when you boost a post, the numbers that Facebook shows you are like, you've had this many page post engagements for 3 cents each. You've had like 300 and each of them cost you 3 cents. So you feel really good about that. That's a vanity metric that doesn't matter. So we can't pay attention to those and we should not use the boost post button ever again.

Josiah (32:32):

Thank you so much for explaining all of that because I've talked to so many people like, I'm sure you have who use that. I'll talk to them about, Oh, you know, you need retargeting pixels on your website and things like that. If you're running ads and stuff, and they're like, Oh, well, yeah, I, you know, boost post all the time. And I've heard people say, you shouldn't do it. And I've always just kind of like instinctively stayed away from it 'cause anytime fit, the Facebook ads platform is trying to get me to do something. I just sort of instinctively guessed that it's not going to be beneficial to me as much as it is to them. They're trying to get me to spend money in a less efficient way. But thank you for breaking that down and explaining it the way that you did, because it really gives insight into why it's not a good idea, especially if you don't understand what's actually going on. And I think that that's what most people are in that boat, including myself. I didn't realize that that's how it was formulated. So that's great.

Claire (33:25):

So another really common mistake is setting up your conversion tracking incorrectly. So like, let's say you have set up an ad and you want people to sign up for a free PDF guide or something to podcasting or whatever. And you tell Facebook, I want conversions. Okay. This was like, all right, sure, no problem. But the problem is that if you set up your conversion tracking wrong and you tell Facebook, okay, the page that marks a conversion is my signup page. But you and I both know that somebody who lands on that page is not a signup. That's just somebody checking it out. So you need to make sure that when you set up your custom conversions, you're using the Thank You page. That's what I call the page that people see after they sign up for something it's like, Hey, thanks for signing up. Go check your email. That's the page that should tell Facebook somebody signed up, this is a conversion. But if you've got it wrong, then you're basically telling Facebook, I really just want people to check out my opt in page, but not really do anything there. So that's another super, super common mistake.

Josiah (34:29):

Oh yeah. And it can throw your numbers way off.

Claire (34:33):

And it can be hard to figure out that that's what's happening. So, you know, I always make a big deal over that in my trainings. And I think the third mistake that I see people make, and some people are going to disagree with me on this, but that's fine, is actually putting too much emphasis on the creative and not enough emphasis on testing audiences. I get a lot of questions about finding the right audience. And I'm like, Hey, stop worrying about getting it right the first time. You probably won't. What I want you to do is focus on getting in front of different people in different ways. So if everyone and their mother targets Marie Forleo's audience, that's going to be super expensive. You might think that that's the best way to get after your people because her audience is the perfect fit for your audience. But there are other ways that I would recommend trying to get after those people like targeting people who are interested in entrepreneurship and then filtering that down by social media or something like that. Or maybe people who use the tool Hootsuite or something. So it's not that those audiences are all different. There's tons of overlap. It's just that when you are targeting the more common interests or the more common people and their audiences, you're competing with so many more people. So I have actually, I mean, I still test all the time. These what I call them, precise interests like Marie Forleo, Amy Porterfield, Social Media Examiner versus general interests like social media marketing is just an interest in there. So I make sure that I'm always testing these things. And I recommend that you test out your image and copy against five different audiences before you decide, all right, this messaging here or something about this creative is just not working 'cause it didn't work with any of these audiences.

Josiah (36:25):

That's great advice. So Claire, I'm really curious to hear what you're seeing right now. I know that we're recording on April 23rd, 2020. And so it's a completely different world than it was a couple months ago. And who knows what it's going to look like once this episode actually airs, but I've heard that a lot of people have been saying that now's a great time to run Facebook ads because the costs which had been steadily climbing for the last few years are now at historic lows. I'm curious what you're seeing.

Claire (36:57):

Yeah, absolutely. So what has happened since 2013, when I started running ads for this particular industry that I'm in now is that every year costs would go up and that costs going up basically means Facebook is charging you more and more to get in front of the same audience. And that is mostly due to like there being more players on the playing field. More people want to get in front of those audiences. More people start to use ads and always what happens is their lowest at the beginning of the year. And then by Q4, they're like astronomically high. So no matter when you're listening to this and in what year you're listening to this, definitely make sure that you are running those list-building ads, those audience building ads earlier in the year compared to Q3, Q4. I mean, once we get to Thanksgiving is kind of over and that's because of black Friday, cyber Monday, and then the holidays, etc. But what happened as soon as everyone had to start staying at home, was those CPMs, cost per meal or how much Facebook is charging me to get in front of my audience, they dropped by up to 300% in some cases. I have never seen cost per leads this low since early 2014, for my own business. Targeting people who are interested in Facebook ads is an expensive niche. So my leads always cost more than my students do pretty much. But it seems to be a result of a number of things. One, some players are leaving the field, the companies that are hurting the most, or they just kind of don't have the excess revenue anymore. They have stopped running ads. Also more and more people are on their phones. That's basically it. More and more people are on Facebook and Instagram. So there are just more people to show our ads to more frequently. And that's great. And I think the other thing I've only seen a small uptick in this number, but people are clicking at a higher rate. And I think that has to do with simply being on our phones, constantly hoping to get some kind of update, not getting it or only seeing bad news. And then we look for something to distract us, to entertain us, to teach us or all three. And so people are clicking at a higher rate. A lot of my clients are selling at a tremendously high rate right now. Not all of them. I mean, certainly a friend of mine, her target audiences, photographers, and they are not booking work. So her business has been impacted by that. But a lot of other people they're seeing an uptick in people wanting to learn, wanting to educate themselves, wanting to start their businesses, wanting to increase their own personal development practices. So I saw in my business for about three weeks, like all my sales dried up and I think it was the uncertainty and the fear of like, well, what's going to happen if I spend money on ads and I don't see a return, but then the customers came swooping back in when basically we started to understand what our lives were going to look like for some time. So if there's still a lot of stay at home orders, or if things are still like very up in the air, definitely gets them as running and see what kind of costs you get because they likely will not be this low again.

Josiah (40:05):

That's awesome. That's great advice, Claire. This has been fantastic so much great value in there. Before we hop off here, can you share with everybody where they can connect with you online?

Claire (40:16):

Yeah, definitely come over to That's C L A I R E P E L L That's where you're going to find just like a ton of free resources, blog posts, links to videos. That's my hub, my content hub. That's where you can find podcast episodes, but that would be the other thing I think is to just, you know, open up your podcast app right now, search for Get Paid Claire. And you're going to find me and my red hair and a lot of episodes where I asked people extremely nosy questions. And I also do a lot of episodes where I talk in depth about the behind the scenes of my own business, complete with the same numbers I asked my guests about.

Josiah (40:57):

Awesome. We'll make sure that all that is linked up in the show notes. So everyone listening, definitely go out, check out Claire's podcast, visit our website and check out some of her resources on running Facebook ads. Claire, once again, this has been fantastic. Thanks so much for being on the show and to everybody out there listening, go be a hero.

Josiah (41:15):

Hey everyone, thank you for listening to the Content Heroes podcast. I just wanted to take a second and let you know that we have some amazing guests planned for the coming weeks. So if you haven't already, go ahead and hit subscribe so you can make sure to catch every episode. And if you enjoyed today's episode, go ahead and leave a five-star review to help make it easier for other content creators to find and enjoy the show. Lastly, I'd like to invite you to join our Content Heroes Facebook community where you can connect with other online content creators to share, learn, grow, and have fun. To join the group, just visit Once again, that is

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