Digital marketing tactics that attract more customers with Adam Lundquist

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When it comes to digital marketing tactics clarity will beat cleverness every time.

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Doug Morneau: Well, welcome back, listeners, to another episode of Real Marketing Real Fast. Today, we’re going to talk about all things lead and sales generation. So, our conversation is heavily focused on leads and conversions, and you’re going to hear our guest talk about how clarity beats being clever, and we’re going to talk about that in the realm of pay-per-click advertising on Google and Facebook and on LinkedIn. Our guest today in studio is Adam Lundquist. He is a Harvard-educated agency owner. He’s also a former radio jock from Santa Barbara Radio. 

When Adam published one of his interviews on a then newly formed called YouTube, it became one of the first viral videos sparking his interest in the power of the internet as well as internet marketing. Adam has been featured on traditional media like MTV, VH1, and The Best Damn Sports Show. He’s taken his knowledge of traditional media and translated it into a successful new media as a featured author in Search Engine Journal, PPC Hero and Wordstream, amongst others. 

His company, Nerds Do It Better, consistently delivers paid search campaigns, utilizing advanced statistical analysis, developed at Harvard. With this method, Adam and his team are able to remove inefficiencies in marketing and generate more customers on a constant basis in a cost-effective way. Now, I don’t want this description to scare you off. The conversation was very easy to understand. I think you’re going to enjoy this conversation, so join me in welcoming Adam Lundquist to the Real Marketing Real Fast podcast today. 

Hey, Adam. I’m super excited to have you in the Real Marketing Real Fast podcast today, so welcome to the show.

Adam Lundquist: Thanks for having me.

Doug Morneau: At the beginning, before we started recording, we had a brief discussion, and I like your attitude in terms of digital media. So, do you just want to share with our audience what you do?

Adam Lundquist: Sure. So, what we do is we try and get people real-world business results from the internet, and this might seem obvious, right? But a lot of times, I’ll have sales calls, and people will be like, “Can you beat a thousand clicks last month?” I’m like, “Yeah, with one sale.” It’s like rock, paper, scissors.

Doug Morneau: It’s sales trump clicks.

Adam Lundquist: Yeah, like a lot of the times, people come and say, “Oh, look at how many likes this person has or how many retweets,” and those are all things that… Yeah, they make you feel good, but this is salesy, but I always say, it’s like, “You can’t pay the rent in likes. You can’t pay your staff in likes. There has to be some sort of business to it, or it doesn’t even make sense to do.”

Doug Morneau: Yeah, absolutely. So, what are the big challenges that you see with people that come to you with that attitude? I mean, everybody’s got this microwave mentality, so, “Hey, I’m going to set up a Facebook ad campaign, or I’m going to hire an agency. I’m going to set up a PPC campaign.” By the end of the week, I’m going to be just flooded with leads. So, what challenges do you typically see when you first start talking to people?

Adam Lundquist: So, there’s two. The biggest one is the wrong offer at the wrong time. So, I always think of it like, “How would you behave in the real world?” Right? So, if someone came into your store, and you had a real store, would you go, “Hey, buy this right now”? No, probably not, because that would be insane, and no one would ever come back.

But at the same time, if someone comes to your site, and you just say, “Hey, buy this right now. Come to a consult.” It’s not the right thing and the right offer at the right time. You need to match them, and I’m not saying you can’t have a consult, and actually, on your home page, the page that they go to, I think that actually makes sense to have a consult on that. But when you’re talking about paid search, which is what I do, which is people coming from Facebook, AdWords. Actually, I’ve been recently running some LinkedIn campaigns which have been interesting, and you want to start with the right offer.

So, a lot of times, it’s a lower threat offer because while you may think that you’re giving tons of value in these sales calls, maybe you are, maybe you’re not. But the way people see it is, “Oh, I don’t want to jump on a sales call.” I’m like, “I’m sure you’ve been in the same situation,” right? Where you’re like-

Doug Morneau: Sure.

Adam Lundquist: … “I really don’t want to do this.” So, I like to start with something like an ebook is usually pretty good, or lately, I’ve been seeing interactive content perform a lot better. We do a lot of quizzes to start off. So, as an example, because I do try to make this real-world example is we have a bunch of hormonal therapy doctors as clients, and yes, maybe an ebook perhaps is interesting that’s like 10 Reasons Your Hormones Are Out of Balance.

But it’s much more interesting if you say, “Hey, take this quiz and find out what’s your risk of a hormonal imbalance.” Now, you got to be careful because when you’re talking about medical things, you can only say your risk is because you got to watch for a client’s liability, but it’s just so much more interesting. It’s not like I’m the person who figured this out. This Cosmo magazine figured this out, not that I read that, but figured this out years ago.

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When it comes to digital marketing tactics clarity will beat cleverness every time.

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Doug Morneau: Not that you’ve ever done the quiz before, no. I get that.

Adam Lundquist: No, but I mean, how would you want to interact is what you think of it. So, that’s the first big issue that I see people have, and the second one is a combination of thinking that the internet is magic and thinking that it’s horrible. So, they seem like two extremes, but I talk to people a lot, a lot actually, and they’ll either say, “Look, I tried Facebook. It didn’t,” or they’ll come to me, and they’ll be like, “Well, I want to spend about $3 a day, and I’d like to make 10,000.” Now, I think a lot of this has to do with-

Doug Morneau: You can do that. Well, thanks for speaking with us today. We’re going to… You know?

Adam Lundquist: Yeah. I think a lot has to do with how Google positions itself, and also a lot of this is residual. At some point, before I even started, I think clicks were really cheap. They might have been five or six cents a click, but I can tell you that they’re not now, and the clicks you do get for five or six cents… I mean, they’re not going to be good clicks. Like I said, you can’t pay the rent in clicks. 

The other option is, people, say, “Look, I tried Facebook,” but that’s like you’re saying, “Look, I’ve tried business.” It’s such a wide, wide swath like, “Did you track correctly? How was your tracking? Did you actually have a funnel?” There are so many different ways you can slice it and dice it like, “Was your audience correct?” So, a lot of times, I’ll-

Doug Morneau: No, no. I just boosted a post, and I didn’t get millions of sales. Why not?

Adam Lundquist: Right, or people think, “Can you make this go viral?” There are companies that can help with that. The example I have that I always use because I always think about this is I had a company that was like a Groupon for braces, and they had a video that explained it. They were like, “Can you make this go viral?” I was like, “There’s not a viral button I can press that’s going to make everyone share and like, ‘Whoa. Braces and a group discount.” It’s like the real world except you can scale much faster.

Doug Morneau: Right, yep. Yeah, I know it’s interesting watching… It’s changing. I mean, I think that’s what people forget as well. It’s like, “I tried Facebook.” Well, when did you try it? You’re watching everyone like you mentioned LinkedIn. You’re watching the big rush on LinkedIn saying that LinkedIn is the new Facebook for business because people follow this herd mentality and use Gary Vaynerchuk’s words. Marketers will go in there and screw it up as well-

Adam Lundquist: Oh, definitely. Well-

Doug Morneau: … and the costs will go up.

Adam Lundquist: I mean, LinkedIn’s another really good example. So, even if you just say you tried LinkedIn, right? Like, “Oh, I tried LinkedIn, and it didn’t work.” You can’t just go up to people and be like, “Hey, I want your business.” That’s just never going to work in a million years. I LinkedIn because… Well, the part of LinkedIn I like is called InMail, which means a sponsored mail to reach a really targeted audience. So, right now, I’m going after a couple more divorce lawyers. So, I can target lawyers who are divorce lawyers who are owners of a firm, which is a pretty small list, but I don’t need 1,000 clients.

Then with InMail, you don’t run into deliverability issues, and I know your audience is at least somewhat educated in this kind of stuff. You know if you send emails, you’re going to run into insane deliverability issues. You might end up in the spam column. There are all sorts of stuff where I’m not particularly an email marketer. I do it a little bit, but with this, I mean, you have 100% deliverability, and then you can track them for what they do on your site. LinkedIn actually has a really good pixel because they can… The data that they tell you is different than the data that analytics will tell you. 

They’ll tell you jobs and that kind of thing. It’s really amazing actually. It’s worth installing even if you don’t run ads on it.

Doug Morneau: Well, it’s interesting because LinkedIn has come a long way as an example of a platform that’s transformed. So, LinkedIn, a year ago, is so much different than it is today, and LinkedIn five years ago was a totally different beast than it is today. So, to your point, hey, I tried LinkedIn 10 years ago, and it didn’t work. Well, I think they might have improved since you were last on LinkedIn. Are there some more features? Is it more functionality? Is there a better way to reach your audience? The answer to all those is “yes.”

Adam Lundquist: And is there a better offer? I’m not sure when this episode is going to air, but very recently unless it airs in the next couple of years, I just wrote a post on this in Search Engine Journal. So, you don’t want to just come out with this insane offer. So, what you want to do is if you have a core offer, which is in my case, I do so much lead gen. There’s almost always a consult whether it’s for a lawyer or whatever. It starts small. It’s kind of the boiling frog idea. What was it? A frog doesn’t know it’s boiled. Oh, why you never boil a frog is beyond me, but you start with something small. 

So, I like to start with like, “Hey, if I could help you with whatever the biggest problem is, would you be interested in learning more about it?” Then say, “Look, here’s an ebook. We wrote about it.” Provide an ebook that actually has value and then a thank you page through the core offer, because they’re much more likely, because of something called compliance psychology, to take that core offer if they’ve taken the small offer. It’s just exactly like Trader Joe’s does.

I’m over here in London, so we don’t have Trader Joe’s, but here, it’d be like Trader Nigel’s, but they give you a little sample, and you’re much more likely to buy the product. It’s just, I would say, common sense except it’s not… It’s like you have to think about this a couple of layers. 

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When it comes to digital marketing tactics clarity will beat cleverness every time.

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Doug Morneau: So, do you want to explain to the audience what compliance thinking is?

Adam Lundquist: Yes, so there’s a book I really enjoy called… I almost forgot. It’s by Cialdini, Principles of Influence, and what they’re saying is if you do some small step, you’re much more likely to then take the next bigger step. Some people call it “yes laddering”, and it works in a lot of really interesting ways. So, Cialdini, he wrote the book because he’s a sap and had always fell for things. He’s a professor out of Arizona, and he started going around with people who basically sold things like encyclopedia salesmen. It was the ’80s.

He would go, and he found that if people put a sign in their yard that said, “We are concerned citizens,” or something like that or, “Keep this neighborhood beautiful.” They would be much more likely to willing to put up an entire billboard, which is crazy. But I follow habits a lot, and there’s an interesting researcher out of Stanford named BJ Fogg who talked about tiny habits where… If you think about it, this makes sense.

If you floss one tooth, you’re statistically much more likely to floss your whole mouth. It’s the first tooth that’s hard to floss. 

Doug Morneau: Sure, that’s funny.

Adam Lundquist: Yeah, I mean, I love that kind of stuff. The stuff that is human psychology and that’s going to last forever, like that stuff really interests me, probably because I fall for it at all times. I mean, I had Reebok Pump shoes growing up, and I don’t want to blow your mind, but I didn’t make the NBA. I fell for it all.

Doug Morneau: Well, I had heard about that study about the small sign, and they had given the example once before of just a small… even the small sticker on the window saying, “I support my community,” because their intention was to come back later and be able to put billboards up, and like you said, in those homes for… I can’t remember. It was rezoning or something to do. It was one small step, and it’s like a yes, and it was an easy yes because of course, I could support my communities. I’m willing to put that up.

So, in terms of marketing, how do we make that happen in our marketing? Can you break it down a little bit? Because I see exactly what you’re talking about. Often it’s like, “Hey, buy my stuff. Buy my stuff. Buy my stuff.” I’m thinking, “I don’t know. You don’t know what my problem is.” I got a connection on LinkedIn today. I’m not going to tell you who the person is, and they’ve reached out, and they said, “Hey, I connected with you because I’m happy to connect with other veterans.” 

So, while I support veterans, I’m not a veteran, and clearly, they missed the mark. People connect to me on LinkedIn. “Hey, I’m a marketing professional. I work with lawyers.” It’s like, “Do I look like a lawyer?” Clearly, people are not doing their research. They’re just bulk sending, which is a whole another topic. So, how do you start by getting people to make that one small commitment, so they’ll make the next commitment?

Adam Lundquist: Yeah, just on that note, it was my birthday recently. I got one that was like, “Hey, happy birthday. Would you like to do a consultation?” Get out of here.

Doug Morneau: That’s funny.

Adam Lundquist: So, I would say, “You want to start small… ” So, think of it like people raising their hand and saying they’re interested. First, you got to have a really good offer whether it’s an ebook or an interactive quiz or something that actually provides value. So, sometimes, people get hung up on this because when I do these shows, they do end up getting a whole bunch of emails. It’s not that the quiz itself is what does it. It’s not that you have a 10-page ebook versus a 12-page ebook. It’s that you’ve solved some sort of problem for them.

So, think of the stuff that you’ve downloaded or given your email to. I’m sure it’s all some sort of problem. Now, in Facebook or LinkedIn or what’s called the Google Display Network, you’re not actively researching these things. So, this is something to think about too is network by network. I think I said I have a bunch of divorce lawyers as clients. Nobody’s on Facebook like, “Thinking about getting a divorce next month.” That’s just never going to happen in a million years, and you couldn’t target them anyway. But people are-

Doug Morneau: Oh, I have seen people posting angry posts about their exes on Facebook.

Adam Lundquist: Yeah, that is true.

Doug Morneau: So, maybe the lawyer should be there looking for clients.

Adam Lundquist: I’ve had enough of these conversations with [inaudible 00:14:02] tell you that the volume isn’t there, but you can’t talk about what people have typed anyway. But you can in Google, so people will type in, “How to keep money from my wife?” I mean, there’s a lot of stuff, and I’m not going to say it.

Doug Morneau: Okay, I don’t want no [inaudible 00:14:16] free desk.

Adam Lundquist: Oh, man. You have no idea. I have a bunch of those at the hormonal therapy doctors. I had an erectile dysfunction doctor. People are… They have some crazy stuff on the internet. So, think about what your offer is. If it’s hot leads… I mean, let’s just stick with the lawyers. So, I have DUI lawyers. If someone types in, “How to beat a DUI,” they don’t want a wacky ebook about 10 funny ways to beat a DUI. They want to talk to a lawyer yesterday. 

But if somebody’s on Facebook, and let’s just say you offer… I’m trying to think of something you might offer. I had a bunch of roofing clients. You’re not just going to buy a roof online. That’s just not going to happen on Facebook especially when you’re not looking for it. But in the winter, in certain places, we offer an ebook that was basically how do weatherproof your roof, or it was something along those lines. People would download it, so which then puts in your email address into the company’s whatever the email service provider is. It doesn’t matter to me whatever it is.

But now they have that, and there are a couple of things you can do with that to move them along the funnel. The first is you can create audiences in other networks. You can upload email addresses, and you can create an audience, and AdWords is probably the biggest one, AdRoll’s the overarching one, and Twitter. Those ads will follow you around. That’s where they come from. Secondly, why would you not reach out for the email?

Actually, I guess something to think about too is, what do you want to say in the email? I can tell you a couple of examples I see of what not to say, and I’ll give you some to say. So, if you’re a really big company, and some of my clients are, it’s tough to personalize every email, but don’t make it about all about your company, like no one cares. It’s like Wacky Hawaiian Shirt Friday. Nobody cares. I can tell you that 100% nobody cares. This is an office space. They have a million emails coming in. Nobody cares. So, just know that immediately. 

But if you’re a smaller company, I don’t see any reason why not to reach out to them personally, and see how you can help them. So, the roofers, they were all local roofers, and most of my lawyers are local lawyers. Well, with lawyers, you got to be a little more careful with this stuff. But if you’re a company that’s not going to run some sort of weird compliance issues legally, you can reach out to people and say, “Hey, look. I noticed you downloaded our ebook. Is there anything we can help you with?” Or you can just continue to provide actual value.

So, instead of just sell, sell, sell, you want to provide value, and if you can make that personal connection, it’s going to go a really long way, especially if you do end up doing a sales call, because like I had talked about at the business value of it, getting a link isn’t the goal. Getting a click isn’t the goal. Even getting a lead isn’t necessarily a goal because I’ll tell you if you don’t set it up right, people aren’t going to come to your sales calls. That’s 100% true, and it’s something I learned the hard way years ago, and I was just blocking out huge chunks of time, and I was like, “Well, just Adam here.”

A good tip for that is to set your sales call calendar on basically a two or three-day alpha, so they can book three days out because I’ve found generally anything after three days, people are like, “Who are you again?”

Doug Morneau: Right, yeah. They forget.

Adam Lundquist: Yeah, they definitely forget. So, speed’s a huge thing, and I know I’m going off on a tangent here, but I want to provide as much value as possible here. You are the most important person to you. There’s no doubt about that. But you are not the most important person of all your prospects. So, if they download an ebook, one, they very likely won’t read it. That happens often if you do click tracking. Two, it’s not the end-all, be-all for them. I think of it like a half-life, like nuclear waste, I guess it is?

Doug Morneau: Yep.

Adam Lundquist: Or it degrades. So, the faster you can get to them, the better. Some good ways to do this are to encourage phone calls if you can take phone calls. On the AdWords Network, you can have direct links to phone calls on cellphones. On Facebook or anything on the web, I find chat to be really helpful. So, none of these companies are mentioning, “I don’t get a cut of [inaudible 00:18:11],” or anything I said. They’re good companies. 

I use Drift for that. They have a good little chatbot, and you can also use Drift for scheduling, which I’m going to be starting to experiment a bit with, but it’s just a lower bar. It’s just much easier to talk to someone online or chat because that’s how… I mean, I’m not a millennial. I’m 37. I just had my birthday there. These millennials grew up with chat. They’re always chatting with their friends. They’re always chatting. So, for them, it’s a thing.

Doug Morneau: Yeah, chat, and text for sure, yep.

Adam Lundquist: Yeah, which I think is… I actually prefer it myself. So, this prevents them from having to go and have a huge conversation. It also helps you as a business overcome objections and not deal with the wrong customers. So, you’ll find for sure, especially when you’re starting, that your lead quality isn’t going to be great. That’s just the nature of starting it and also the nature of people. I would say not the majority of people are awesome. You want to be talking to those people and asking the questions. 

You have to remember, your time is extremely valuable as a business person. It’s the one thing you can’t get back. So, anything you can do to… I hate to say it, but I can’t think of another way to say it. It’s like, “Weed out the bad leads,” because-

Doug Morneau: No, I mean, that’s what you’re doing. You’re qualifying, right?

Adam Lundquist: Yeah.

Doug Morneau: There’s nothing bad about that because if you think about it, if somebody’s not a good lead for you, then you’re probably not a good fit for them either. So, you’re saving them time.

Adam Lundquist: Yeah, and in most businesses, churn is the biggest pain. I hate churn myself. If you bring on someone, and they suck for your business, it’s going to be nothing but a headache. It is going to be nothing but a headache.

Doug Morneau: Yeah, absolutely. So, let me ask you a question. Have you ever bought an online course or training and not used it?

Adam Lundquist: No, but that’s because I’m crazy about education. So, whenever I buy an online course, I go through it completely, and actually what ends up usually happening is the teachers become my clients because they see the stats, and that’s not a bragging thing. That’s like a, “I take education so seriously,” because I’m running an agency. All I have is my knowledge. It’s not like in feudal times where I could be like, “Well, I’ve got a huge farm, and this will last for many, many generations.” I’d better stay on top of this.

Doug Morneau: Let’s say you get a small farm. As you buy a really big farm, you wait five years, and you have a small farm.

Adam Lundquist: Yeah, with my farm, it would be for sure. I generally go through it, and I almost always buy the… If they offer it, the upsells because, for me, it’s so valuable. I take about a course a quarter, and my schedule is I get in the office around 5:00 AM and do two hours of learning every morning.

Doug Morneau: I read a ton online. I read a book a month, and I probably subscribe to an online course a month, at least one a month. I have to admit. There are courses that I bought that I’ve never opened. So, my question really was, as you were talking about people not reading your ebook, I started thinking that as marketers, we think, “Hey, we have this great ebook, and we’re going to give it away for free,” and people are going to love it, and then you hear speakers say that people pay attention to what they pay for.

So, in my case, like you, I love to learn, so I probably buy more than I can handle, and I have more books on my desk that I bought than I can read in a month. So, if I’m paying for something, I’m not going to read it. How compelling must your offer and your free ebook be to convince me to read it?

Adam Lundquist: Well, that’s why quizzes are so good. It’s because you’re not sending them something where they’re going to open it in the mail later. They start clicking, and it’s, again, compliance psychology. Actually, just on the back end, almost the first questions almost never matter. They’re usually just to get you going. So, if it says like, “Are you a man or a woman?” They’re often not scored. I run some pretty big campaigns with that. As long as you provide value in the end, which really it is just down to two or three questions and solve something immediately, people will pay attention.

Actually, that’s Google’s whole business. When they were coming up, people were like, “Well, how are you going to make money?” The guys were like, “I’m not going to do their accent because I’m not good at accents,” but they were like, “We don’t know, but we know one thing for sure is that when those results come up, we have their undivided attention, and that’s why we’re going to be one of the biggest companies in the world.” That’s exactly it, so that’s why I am so focused on things like the thank you page because you know… I mean, you don’t know what happens when it goes in the inbox. 

It’s tough to track as it is. But you know what to say the end of a quiz that you have their undivided attention that they’re going to be looking at it. So, things that you can do, and the same with chat. You may not have their undivided attention and their time, but at the least, you have their attention.

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When it comes to digital marketing tactics clarity will beat cleverness every time.

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Doug Morneau: Yeah, no, that’s true. I mean, you have more of my attention for sure. I mean, lots of times, I’ll tune into a webinar, and I’ll treat it as a podcast. I don’t need to see the slides. I’m going to listen to it, but I’m going to work at the same time. But if I’m on chat, I’m pretty much paying attention because it’s a back and forth conversation.

Adam Lundquist: Yeah, and it’s much more human-oriented. I mean, I have a chatbot myself on my site, but most on the other side worked well for most of my clients. I’m in London, and most of my clients are… Pretty much all of them are in the U.S. right now because we don’t have to deal with GDPR nonsense, which is some protection law here. But anytime you can humanize something, it really does go a long way within the sales process. So, as an example, I found that… You guys didn’t know this would be a whole episode about sales. 

I found that if I do, say, a Zoom call where people can see me, they’re much more likely to purchase than a phone call. It’s just the nature of the medium.

Doug Morneau: Yeah, no different than us meeting face to face and sitting down having a beer or having a cup of coffee. I’m more likely to do business with you because we’ve got that deeper bond than just an email or text message.

Adam Lundquist: That’s exactly it. So, if you can mix and match those kinds of things, it blows people’s minds. I know one of my friends runs a really big agency, and it’s all online, but when… I forget if it’s a client. Hits a certain amount of revenue, or if they… whatever it is. But he has a company that sends them physical Starbucks gift cards, and it blows their mind. But it’s just about mixing it and matching it a little bit and just making the customer happy.

Doug Morneau: Well, it’s funny because I’ve met a couple of new clients that I’m working with now, working back in the direct mail space, and I said, “If you really want to blow people away when you meet someone at a business, a networking event, just handwrite them a note that doesn’t talk about you.” “Hey, Adam, it was great to meet you at the DMA in London. Great conversation. I really love what you’re doing. Let me know how I can refer clients to you and just put a stamp on it.” I get people a “phone me” as if I sent them a gift. All I’ve done was send them a handwritten note that took a couple minutes and put a stamp on it because it’s personal. It’s out of the ordinary, and you rise to the top of their attention.

Adam Lundquist: Yeah, I mean, it makes a huge difference. Even personalizing an email, like the little things like that, like how you said the spammers. They ruin everything, and they’re like, “Hey, you’re a veteran,” and you’re not. So, like, “Does this person know anything about me? What is the point of even sending me this message?” They think that through a volume, they’re going to get, basically like carpet bombing, they’re going to get something, and maybe they will, but I mean, it’s just such an inefficient use of your time and resources that I just can’t imagine that being a profitable venture, right? I guess-

Doug Morneau: Well, I was going to start a new campaign to help people that have bad PR people. So, I got a pitch today from a PR company in Agoura Hills, California. I’m not going to tell you the name of the company or their client, but they pitched me their client to be a podcast guest to talk about, “Can you learn to see sources of illness and pain?” So, I don’t know. You’re a pretty smart guy. It doesn’t sound like a good fit for my podcast.

Adam Lundquist: No, but why don’t you have them on and just screw with them?

Doug Morneau: I don’t want to waste… I want to send them a note saying, to their client, saying, “Your PR person is pitching marketing people to take you as a guest. So, if you’re not getting results, then that may be a reason.” 

Adam Lundquist: Yeah, I mean, so when your audience doesn’t notice, but on the other side of this, I was a… My old job, I was a radio show host in Santa Barbara, a morning show host like a shock jock for, I don’t know, I guess 10 years. But we get pitched the craziest things, and because people don’t know what they’re doing, we ended up getting some really big people. We got Hillary Clinton on and just a ton of people, but these PR agencies are what they call spray and pray too where it’s like, “send it to a lot of people,” probably good.

Doug Morneau: Right, and I’m not picking on them because I know we’ve done the same thing. So, it’s really about, like you said, getting intentional with your message who you want to connect with and then putting a relevant offer in front of them. So, maybe that’ll let us transition into one of your superpowers, and that’s how to write high-quality ads that are guaranteed clickable.

Adam Lundquist: Yeah, so the biggest thing when you’re writing. So, let’s say you’ve got your strategy set, and you then have your offer, which matches your audience. You really only have to do two things. You have to arouse curiosity, and you have to be clear, and they don’t both have to be there, but one of those two does. I’m sure we’ve all seen ads on Facebook where you’re like, “What the hell is this person talking about?” It’s like it’s full of jargon. It’s like, “Well, cost per click… ” It’s like, this person, this makes no sense at all, or you have something that’s just so bland that nobody cares at all.

So, a little bit of it is experimenting, and a lot of it is, again, matching the audience. So, just as an example, like with these divorce lawyers, we’re talking clarity here. We’re not like, “What is the one mysterious trick that’s going to save your marriage?” No. One, that would never get approved. But two, that’s ridiculous. So that makes a huge difference on the ads, and that also makes a huge difference on what’s called the landing page, which is the page they go after to.

Now, on a more granular level, if you want a very clickable ad in AdWords, which is when you search a keyword and an ad comes up, the most important thing for that is actually what’s called message match. I’m not going to get too deep in the weeds here, but your keywords that you tell Google that you want to show for are not actually what people type in. What people type in are called search queries. So, I might have a keyword that is DUI lawyer, and someone may type in “cool shows about lawyers.” Now, there different what are called match types to make it more restrictive or wider, I guess, is the work.

But the way Google has it set up, if you don’t do anything, is you’re going to have the widest net possible. So, often, your ads don’t match up with what people type in. So, I recommend always looking at what’s called the search query report. I actually have on my site,, blog, somewhere in this like, “Difference between search queries and keywords,” something along those lines. But you look at your search query report, and if there’s something that doesn’t match, you can add as what’s called a negative, and if it does, you create what’s called a single keyword ad group, which is just your one keyword, basically in broad match modifier, to an ad. 

The reason I bring all this up is that if you want to have a clickable ad is if it was say… I don’t know. What city are you out of?

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When it comes to digital marketing tactics clarity will beat cleverness every time.

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Doug Morneau: Vancouver.

Adam Lundquist: Ah, Vancouver. Cool. Say you have Vancouver DUI lawyer is your ad. You want that in the headline because it’ll bold it. You want Vancouver DUI lawyer in your copy, line one or two. You also want it in what’s called the display URL, which is the URL that the website that AdWord shows, but it’s not necessarily the one it goes to. So, that’s a mask, I guess I would say, but you can do that. In AdWords, that is the most important is message match. So, that’s why we try to make it as tight as possible. On Facebook, that’s more, like we said, raising curiosity as one option or being very clear.

If you raise curiosity, you better answer it. I mean, I’ve seen these things that are like, “What is the one magical trick to get whatever?” If you don’t answer that, Facebook’s going to have you as a spammer, and your ads are going to get banned. So, I would say don’t be too market-y with it, but if you have something that can raise curiosity… I’m trying to think of a good example. A good one that I’ve seen is how I did XYZ, and then you really show them. That’s interesting. For me, it’d be like, if someone’s like… I don’t know. Should I think of something I’m trying to do, like if I was like-

Doug Morneau: Yeah, how I built my business on pay-per-click ads.

Adam Lundquist: Right, yeah, or even if you get more specific. Things that are concrete really make a huge difference, but you have to back it up. So, you can’t say on Facebook, “Here’s how you make $3,000 in a day.” You absolutely cannot say that. You’re going to get banned. But you can say, “Here’s how I made $3,000 in a day.” So, concrete numbers really make a huge difference for that as well. I think I have an article around somewhere in PPC Hero about using concrete numbers and some really good examples because you see a lot of people say like, “Hey, we’re number one.” Well, that doesn’t mean anything.

But if you say something like, “Hey, we have a 98% customer satisfaction rating on… ” whatever it is. That does mean something. That does move the needle.

Doug Morneau: No, absolutely. So, in terms of setting that up… I mean, what sort of direction do you have your clients in terms of flow? Because I’ve seen people do some really bad jobs where the ad doesn’t necessarily match the landing page, and the landing page doesn’t go to a thank you page, and there is no follow-up email. So, those are things to not do. How do you walk people through the transition from, okay, get attention, like you said, to arouse curiosity and be clear, and hopefully, that generates to click, and then the next thing is the landing page, and what’s the next step on the landing page?

Adam Lundquist: I mean, it depends a bit on the funnel itself, but if we’re sticking with the AdWords example, this is where the power of the internet comes in. So, you can do something called dynamic keyword insertion in your ads, which means that whatever the search query is, that will appear in the ads. So, again, we’ll stick with Vancouver DUI lawyer. Someone types that in, that’s going to appear in both my headline and my display URL and in the copy whereas… I don’t even know if you guys have OUIs there. In California, they call them wet reckless.

But if you have a wet reckless lawyer, that will show in the ad too. Now, what I do is I have those push, the actual search query into a landing page, which is the next page it goes to. So, that’s always in the headline. Now, you have to be careful with negatives because… I mean, I’ll just give you an example. I have a lot of lawyers like I was saying. So, you can’t say anything as a lawyer that you can’t verify because you’ll get disbarred, and you’ll probably see this, but you really can’t do it. Like say, best DUI lawyer. You really-

Doug Morneau: Yeah, prove that.

Adam Lundquist: … have taken over enough accounts where I’m like, “This last company was going to get you disbarred.” No, I just [inaudible 00:32:35] my pay right there, but that’s how I push it through if it’s an AdWords thing. So, I want the search query to match everything it can. As far as emails, I don’t do the emails for clients, but again, that depends a little bit on what it is too. If it’s a quiz, I like to have the quiz results sent to the user. Again, that makes it more interesting. 

So, you’re at high risk for hormonal imbalance. Here are a couple of things you can do to help. We’d like a little more information. You can come to this consult, and then you really have to sell the consult as well because… I mean, a lot of these, at least for me, I have clients that are tough to get consults for, like no one wants to see a hormonal therapy doctor. No one wants to see a divorce lawyer. I have got a bunch of dental implants clients like these are not fun things people want to go to.

It really depends on what it is, but I would say the match is the most important part for the keywords, but the second part again is clarity. So, if someone can’t tell what your landing page is about within five seconds or what the benefit is, then it’s too convoluted. There are some exceptions where keywords and jargons, if you’re reaching a very technical audience, but generally, it’s not the case. So, clarity will beat cleverness every time.

Doug Morneau: I like that. I’m going to steal that because I look at all these ads. There are lots of ads on TV, and I’m thinking… So I said to my wife, “What was that ad about? That was a really cool ad, but what were they selling?” So, there’s no clarity, but it was cool.

Adam Lundquist: Yeah, I mean, I remember those ones. It’s like, “We don’t make the boats. We make the rudders that the boats run on. We don’t make the vests. We make the zippers.” I was like, “What was that? Well, what do you want me to do with that?” That was the craziest ad ever. When you study this stuff, and I study it all the time, the one they always talk about is the Domino’s Pizza ad, which is, “You’ll have a hot, fresh, ready pizza in 30 minutes or less, or it’s free,” and that’s unbeatable. That’s crystal clear, and it doesn’t call a risk reversal, which I’m a huge fan of, which is a guarantee or anything you could do to lower the risk, payment plan.

Those kinds of things make a difference, and I know you actually asked about courses. I do have a bunch of clients who sell courses, and we find risk reversals are really key to it. But you have to make sure that they’re good for you as a business as well. So, what I always recommend is that you say, “If you do everything, you will get this result,” and then they have to prove it, because if someone buys a course and it doesn’t work, and they don’t do anything, then you’re going to get slammed with these refund fees, and credit card processors will stop processing you.

Doug Morneau: That’s right, yep. That’s really cool. So, on the landing pages, I haven’t heard anyone talk about, not landing page, rather the thank you pages before. So, what’s your secret formula? We’re stealing all your good information today for people that have a thank you page. So instead of just saying, “Hey, thank you. Share this with your friends,” what are you typically finding works best for you?

Adam Lundquist: Sure. So, we’ll put this in the show notes perhaps. I have a Search Engine Journal article that gives it step-by-step, but as long as people are listening, I’ll tell you exactly what it is. So, let’s just say they’ve downloaded an ebook, right?

Doug Morneau: Yeah.

Adam Lundquist: First, you want to orient them. So, you want to say, “Hey, look, your ebook’s in the mail. It’ll be there in the mail. Your ebook, it will be in your inbox in five minutes. But in the meantime, watch this video too,” and it has to be something related to what it is. In this case, we’ll say it’s about roofing again. “Watch this video to find some new ways to help you keep your roof intact.” I don’t know. It’ll be better if it wasn’t 6:00 PM here. But then you put a nice video sales letter, and again, we’re talking about the medium. So, you want to really, and it’s most verticals, be out there. 

So, have you as a talking head but not super polished unless again, you’re in a vertical where it needs to be, but we’re talking about roofing. It doesn’t make any sense for it. Introduce yourself. Make a nice connection and then the button, which is under it, which is your call to action is going to be one of the most important parts. So, right now, you’ve told them where they are. You’ve told them why they want to watch this video. As a tiny hint, you always want to make sure your video is captioned because most people do watch videos with the sound off, just majority of it. Then your button. You don’t ever want your button to say “submit,” like that is… Oh, boy. That gets me grizzled.

You want to, “What is the main benefit of it?” Book a consultation is not really all that interesting either. So, maybe it’s learning how to keep snow off your roof. Whatever it is, you want to have that button, your call-to-action button, be what is the main benefit that. I mean, that’s really it. Then under that, I usually put a couple bullet points because people don’t really read as much as you would imagine they do. They skim, so you put bullet points. You put the benefits of what it is.

Doug Morneau: Well, that’s what I liked about your website. It was very easy when I pulled up your home page that says… talking about businesses. “We create marketing campaigns that generate business results.” So, just the way you’d laid out the weekly marketing plans and the big, bold business results. I look, and there’s six big buttons that I can see from a mile away: methodology, predictable results, fast, speed. So, as a type-A personality, I’m going to skim through this and scroll to the bottom and look for the PS. So, it was very easy to see, and for the analytical people, if they want, they can dig in and obviously read deeper.

Adam Lundquist: Everyone does skim it like I’m not that important. It’s like I’m important to me, but I know this. And a home page, which is what you’re talking about, that’s like someone’s seriously coming to you. That’s not an ad. Landing page, people are going to cave in less. You need to get to that point immediately. So, one really good thing that I always try to think about is you-versus-me messages. My case is not a perfect example because it… I found that the main issue people were having was business leads, but if it was just like, “Hey, we’ve been here for a lot of years,” that’s a real me message. 

But a message that reaches the person about what they can expect is your message. That makes a difference. Then the other one is… It’s called the inverted pyramid. My old radio boss loved that. I still remember this. It’s how newspapers write as well. So, your headline and your first sentence need to be the most interesting possible thing that you have, whatever the main benefit is, and it’s the same in any situation where… I’ve had this happen where clients were like, “Oh, you wait till we get to the end of this video.” I can tell you no one’s going to get to the end of the video. You need to have the most important, best part first, and people will stay with you.

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When it comes to digital marketing tactics clarity will beat cleverness every time.

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Doug Morneau: No, that makes sense. I mean, if you think about it from my side, from an email marketing campaign, if I’m sending it out, the subject line only has one goal, and that’s to get you to open the email. So, if it’s not interesting, I’m not going to open the email. If I said, like you said, “All the good stuff’s at the bottom of 500 pages,” I’m just not going to read it.

Adam Lundquist: Yeah, I mean, you’re not the Sixth Sense. People aren’t like, “They were dead the whole time ” No. They’re going to watch the first three seconds. Even if someone I know and really care about sends me a video, and it’s 20 minutes long, I’m like, “Well, never watching that video.” It needs to be interesting immediately. I actually read an interesting report about how this is affecting the music industry where if you listen to, say, a U2 song, like they used to have long intros, really long intros. But now songs get to the hook way quicker because you get paid on essentially listens of over 30 seconds, I think it is.

If you’re not catching people immediately, they’re gone, and that’s just the world we live in. I mean, we live in a Tinder world, and some people say it’s bad. Some people say it’s good. For me, it just is. If you don’t like the first bite of the sandwich, you’re not coming back to the place.

Doug Morneau: Yep, that’s so true. Well, that’s really cool. I really love this conversation, and I could spend just a really long time talking to you about what you’re doing, because I think it’s really brilliant, and you have a different approach than a lot of other people I’ve talked to in the PPC space or in the advertising space. So, lots of great points here. I like the idea of curiosity, be clear, and also taking advantage of people while you have their full attention with the thank you page. That’s a brilliant bit of insight.

Adam Lundquist: Yeah, well, no. It’s been really fun being a guest here. You’re easy to talk to.

Doug Morneau: Well, that’s helpful. Like you said at someone that you wouldn’t want to walk by or hide from in Starbucks, so that’s my goal is to be friendly and open and have a great conversation and to interview really smart people. I mean, that’s really the goal of the podcast is to introduce people like you to my audience and educate them. So, with that being said, I want to ask you two really tough questions, and the first one is, who’s one guest that I absolutely have to have in my podcast?

Adam Lundquist: I think a really good person is Sarah Noked. She’s out of Israel. She’s one of my clients, but actually, she was originally one of my teachers. She teaches about systems. I think she’s just amazing. She is a client, but it’s not like I get a cut if you guys go there. She teaches all about systems, and she actually helped me out a lot with systems. I was at a point where… One problem I don’t have as a marketer is getting clients. So, ran into a point where I had too many people coming in, and I was working. I mean, as I said, I get here 5:00 or 6:00 in the morning. I was working 5:00 to 9:00, and I was stressed. I came across her. I didn’t remember how I came across her. Awesome. She’d be an awesome guest too. So, I really recommend Sarah Noked.

Doug Morneau: Well, it’d be amazing if you could make an introduction for us.

Adam Lundquist: Yeah, happy to.

Doug Morneau: Then the most important question of the day is, so, Adam, where can people track you down and learn more about what you’re doing and see if you’re a fit and experience your really cool website and book a free consultation?

Adam Lundquist: Sure. So, you can always reach out to me on the site. I do answer all the emails, or you could hit me up on adamlundquisst on Twitter, and also, I’m going to be doing quite a bit of writing. Like I said, Sarah helped me with the system, so I can get back to publicity.

Doug Morneau: There you go.

Adam Lundquist: I have articles coming out in Drift, Search Engine Journal, PPC Hero. Oh, boy. A couple more who I do care about, but I just cannot remember at this exact moment. But yeah, I would say Twitter’s probably the best way to do it at adamlundquist or Nerds Do It Better. 

Doug Morneau: Okay, sounds good. Yeah, if you want to shoot me a link to the article that you wrote for whether… would you say it was Search Engine Journal or PPC Hero that walks through the steps, I’ll make sure we link that in the show notes.

Adam Lundquist: Absolutely.

Doug Morneau: Well, thanks again. I appreciate your time. Like you said, It’s late in the evening for you. It’s mid-morning for me, so it was great to connect, great to have a conversation.

Adam Lundquist: Yeah, absolutely. Anytime.

Doug Morneau: So, there you go, listeners. I hope you pulled some information. I’ve got a page of notes here of this. I think Adam’s shared some really cool stuff. Liked his insight. Liked his website. Have been through all social media sites. Lots of content. Lots of information. I would encourage you to when the show is out and published. Obviously, you’ll be able to go through the show notes and see all those links. So, I just want to thank Adam for sharing with us, and we’re so happy that you listened to us today, and I look forward to serving you on our next episode.

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When it comes to digital marketing tactics clarity will beat cleverness every time.

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