Sam Cook is the Co-Founder, CEO, Chief Product Architect, Strategist, and StoryTelling Marketer behind the creation of the SanityDesk Business Operating Network. The business was under development for over 4.5 year by the marketing agency, James Cook Media where he was Co-Founder and Creative Director. Cook also served as CEO of Prism Communications and owned Uncle Sam’s New York after serving as an officer in the U.S. Army. A graduate of the U.S. Military Academy at Westpoint where he earned a B.S. in European History, he also holds a M.A. in World History from New York University.
• The surprising answer to exactly how long a successful sales video should be. (It’s not anywhere close to what you think.)
• Why “selling the dream” to investors is impossible without doing this.
• What it took to fish a massively failed funnel out of the toilet.
• Why quiz technology is killing it on lead gen -- but only if it has this essential element.
• The absolute best move EVER a startup can make if you want to attract capital (and who DOESN’T?)
Speaker 1: (00:55)
So the rich and poor ad podcast, where we break down the financial principles that rich advertisers are deploying today to turn advertising into profit and get tons of traffic to their websites without killing their cash. These advertisers agencies, affiliates brands are responsible for managing over a billion dollars a year in ad spend. You'll hear about what's working for them today. They're rich ads and we'll roast their Epic failures and crappy ads on the internet with poor ads. Let's get into it. All right,
Speaker 2: (01:23)
Everybody, we are back welcome to another episode of the rich ad poor ad podcasts. We have your hosts, mr. Dylan Carpenter, and Zach Johnson. Zach, how's your day going over there, man,
Speaker 1: (01:34)
It's going good. It's going good, man. I, uh, I'm excited to have on our guests. And I think that's a pretty interesting story. He's got, um, particularly around, uh, in light of the events. Um, I hate to say this, but you know of it is, it is, uh, turn everybody's, um, ads into a tailspin and I'm excited to see how, uh, fam, um, kind of came out on, on top hindsight, 20, 20.
Speaker 2: (02:04)
Oh, most definitely. And just everybody knows. We have the co of Sanity desk, mr. Sam cook. They actually launched February this year. I've been working on this project for quite a while now, but yeah, they're approaching, you know, million ad spend across multiple ventures, but Sam or pumped to have you on, man. Thanks for jumping on.
Speaker 1: (02:21)
Great to be on Zach Dylan, uh, looking forward to it.
Speaker 2: (02:26)
Heck yeah. Well, before we kind of dive into the nitty gritty good stuff. How about you kind of give everybody a little background of Sanity desk and kind of what you're getting into over there.
Speaker 1: (02:34)
Yes. I've been running media agency for over 10 years now and James Cook media, and five years ago, I started building out a landing page software and integrating it with no sponsor clients, which were all authors and experts. And we just kind of got tired of integrating with HubSpot because it was expensive and became limiting. So we just built out all in one tech stack for our team, uh, and for all of our clients. And then about a year ago, we realized that we had something investors were interested in, uh, started raising money, uh, incorporated on Halloween 2019 and, uh, raised about $500,000 for the startup and started selling in February. And now we're about 10,000 MRR and growing quite quickly, um, in, uh, the startup world. So, uh, that's, that's the short story and the long story, uh, and go to the website.
Speaker 1: (03:42)
I love it. I actually wrote a history of the company. I love it. I love it. So let's dive into this, uh, this rich ad man. I really want to break this down. You know, it's easy for a lot of folks are really just, you know, talk about how they should be optimizing for LTV when it comes to their ads. And, uh, we like to kind of peel back the onion a little bit further than that, and, uh, don't accept such general statements and obvious, uh, strategies. But I think we have is a really interesting story here. Uh, so let's, let's talk about this route yet. Break it down for us. [inaudible]
Speaker 1: (04:23)
before the podcast started, Zach, we were talking about our challenges. Do you want to go to that before or after I talked about the rich app? Well, I want to hear it. I want to, I want to hear it all. Okay. Really the background. Well, um, we, we were running a $500,000 worth of ads in the last three plus years, my agency, and we had a very successful funnel where we had a, the low price offer for about 99 bucks. And we would upsell from there, uh, $5,000 coaching packages and, you know, six-figure done for you services and our agency, and, um, that worked really, really well. And then when COVID happened, um, we thought to ourselves, well, great. You know, all these advertisers stopped advertising, uh, cost for leisure down and CPMs are down. And that was true CPM Jordan. Now I think Dylan, we spoke about this and, um, but what we realized was the old funnel didn't work, uh, at all, uh, in the new environment.
Speaker 1: (05:27)
It just to give you an example, we had like a $99 version of the masterclass and the $299 version. And the $2
99 was just included one phone call with me, which meant when you got on that call, you were able to speak to me about the privilege of working with our team. We used to get about one in eight who bought our masterclass with buy the premium and post COVID. We drop their prices to 29 bucks and the premium to one 99. And the return on ad spend on the front end offer was worse, uh, from like 40 cents back in the dollar to 30. And the number of people buying that premium went from like, you know, one in eight to one in a hundred interesting. Um, the lifetime value and the value of the entire funnel is shot because people I don't want to pay for high end services or even coaching, um, at the level they used to when the economy was red, hot and macro, uh, events do matter in advertising.
Speaker 1: (06:36)
So we had to figure out how to completely reengineer what was a great lead generation tool. Our ads are video ads, but put in a funnel that met the moment. So we started as our agency is an investor in sanity desk and has a 50% commission has, you know, the, the lead investor and a reseller or affiliate. We just start moving towards making the software with free coaching, the main offer. So we created an offer where you pay $499 refundable the closet, uh, for seven yeah, coaching calls, plus the $299, um, enterprise level. Uh, you know, you can only buy the enterprise package now. Yeah. And that's every piece of software you need landing page builder, marketing automation, support desk, cell service place. And we started doing, and we made that the upsells from the low priced offer and everyone who got the low price offer got to speak to us for one free coaching call that became very easy to sell.
Speaker 1: (07:43)
And we realized is that everything? Yeah, the change. And we really were forced to create a much better funnel offer, um, to, to meet what people are looking for. Everyone. You know, everyone has a bunch of time on their hands because they're out of work or they're underemployed. They don't have any money to spend and they're willing to put in time, uh, on a good deal and pay for something they know they need to pay for. Anyway. So, um, so the, the rich ad that we're showing you is my sanity desk finally built its own funnel. And we decided to speak straight to the avatar or the, the, uh, the it's a nine minute 42nd video ad, which everyone would say is too long. But, and, uh, if you, if you play probably about the first minute, minute and a half, you'll see, I start off the ad and I simply say, look, Hey, you're a business owner.
Speaker 1: (08:40)
You're trying to launch a business online. And, uh, you know, before it was a nice to have, because you went to networking events, you did it, this, you did that, but now it's a Mustang and twenties when you haven't covered happen. And if you're not, you're going to be less than the dust. How do I know this? I tell people, so the ad really just talks to it's interview style. It's like nothing but me just sitting there talking a no B roll, even a little bit of music, that's kind of off the shelf. Um, but it's, it's literally me just talking straight to the ideal client at the end, we offer them a free website audit. In fact, that's the headline above the video free website audit. You take a six question test on the, of the software. And at the end of that test, you get your results, which is customized based on what you answer.
Speaker 1: (09:34)
And then when you watch your results video, we invite you to join us for a discussion on the free coaching calls, seven free coaching calls to set up your software and the say the system. And I close two out of three people. I speak to a new sales agent. I just hired closed his first lead ever. Uh, his first sales lead easiest offer we've ever had. And it really is. I think a great example of unifying your initial hook on your ad, that initial copy the headline, the title all the way through to speak to the exact person you want to work with for us, it's new authors and experts. We call them entrepreneurs. There's probably half the people in the world are working a day. Job would love to have their own business. And, uh, we're inspiring them to get started by taking action, which is getting coaching and then having the tools to actually implement it.
Speaker 1: (10:32)
Know don't dream. Exactly. Take action. So that's the ad and, uh, you know, that's why it's done really well. Is it, it speaks to that avatar that did the targeting is offers that, you know, we have a hundred thousand leads in our database from our last 44 years of ad spending. Um, we have authors lookalike audience who scored humanistic on their Myers-Briggs literally, uh, an AFS, um, who watched 95% of one of our videos. And they gave us our phone number. So we created a super targeted look, alike audience on the exact profile that the creative speaks to and clear headline above it. Uh, but the free website audit. And, uh,
Speaker 2: (11:21)
I got, I got a question for you. And now when it comes to this, making this, the rich dad D like what made it so well and kind of yells point of view as a, you know, being a nine minute video is a video length duration of watch the cost per lead. Are people converting really quick? I know you mentioned two out of three are converting on the call for this, but, you know, what's making his ad. So kind of rich here.
Speaker 1: (11:42)
Well, look, I'm testing this against five other videos. Uh, I do long form video content non-scripted interview style. And, um, we just go off on different risks and angles that we think are going to help. And I could post I'll give you all the video links for the show notes if you want, but this video took off and it's really early. Uh, we we've only spent $103 on this video, but we've already gotten $1,600 in revenue back. And the lifetime value of these two customers who bought is probably gonna be, um, you know, two to 3000 each. So a hundred dollars, you know, $5,000 of lifetime value. It's, it's pretty awesome. And the cost per lead is $7 and 96 cents. Um, the cost per phone lead is, um, uh, you know, is, uh, you know, 11 out of the 13 people who opted in and gave us their phone number, right after that, seven of those ended up, uh, going to our sales video and four of them applied for the program. We close two. So, um, 30 minute conversations with each of them, cold traffic, never heard of us, never seen it before. Um, you know, so it's a great early start. It's the best early start I've ever had and compared to what I was doing before, um, you know, it's just much more direct to the point and everything's kind of unified, so,
Speaker 2: (13:12)
Oh yeah. And I mean, I think it's super interesting. Cause I mean, having a video this long, you know, on the colder audiences, Gaucher show your targeting's killer, your offers killer. So I mean, to be able to 10 X, what you're putting in, that's quite a rich out. We have there and I mean, shoot, man, keep that testing going even, even fricking better, man, let's make it a hundred X next time we get you on here.
Speaker 1: (13:35)
Well, and here's the thing, you know, people say, how long should my video be? And I say long enough. And the reason I say that is if they're your ideal client and they're looking for what you're offering, um, as long as you're talking to them, you know, and, and I always start my videos off. Never talk about myself, never say who I am, because who I am is demonstrated by what I'm saying. If, if I'm just start talking about you saying, Hey, I know I know your problems. I understand it. I don't need to talk about my credentials. I never say who I am on the video that they just can figure it out.
Speaker 2: (14:15)
It's a lot of mystery in there, you know, leave him on a cliff hanger, like who is this guy? You know,
Speaker 1: (14:20)
I know at the end of the video, I look at the camera and I say, Hey, I'm Sam cook. I'm the cofounder Sandy desk. And we created the software because we're passionate about it. So I do at the end of the video, look, it's kinda like Kevin Spacey style on house of cards where, you know, you finally look over at the camera that it's like a here's who I am, what I'm passionate about. And then I invite them to take the quiz. But you know, the thing I love about quiz technology for Facebook ads. And I'm sure you see this on Instagram and Facebook is everyone's favorite is themselves, right? So once they take the quiz, the video that they see, which is dependent on their answers, actually there's six videos, which there's 6,000 combinations of the page that I created the software. Cause every, every video has four different versions of it and there's six videos. So if you multiply that four times, four times, four times, four times, four, six times you create 4,000 combinations of that page. So every video on the page is customized based on their answer, including the overall results. And they get, you know, personalized experience, Oh man,
Speaker 2: (15:32)
More relevant. The better. I imagine that conversion rates juicy
Speaker 1: (15:36)
Well, 75% of the people who had been first page lunch, all those videos, or at least the video at the top, they're converting to given the system number. So my sales rep, as we started calling those people yet, you know, which, which really the conversion rate up
Speaker 2: (15:51)
The flood Gates open and commence. Well, man, that was set at 50 X. That's pretty snazzy. I'm excited to see, you know, where these tests kind of conclude down the road too. Cause shoot, this'll be a fun one to kind of track with you.
Speaker 1: (16:04)
Speaker 2: (17:09)
You know, it's fun to be all serious and whatnot, but let's go ahead and line some moods and dive into some poor ads. Woo.
Speaker 1: (17:19)
Speaker 2: (17:21)
Everybody open up your Slack, your messenger, Sam. I just sent you this unreal ad, um, via messenger. I want to get your first reaction. Go ahead and open a messenger. And I don't know if you're into cats or not. Maybe you're into cats.
Speaker 1: (17:34)
No, no. Versus the shirt.
Speaker 2: (17:38)
This is an actual ad I received yesterday. I'm a dog person. I don't even know how this ad made it to Facebook. I don't know what the point is, but Sam, what are your first thoughts on this?
Speaker 1: (17:47)
Yes. You ever heard about drowning kittens? I mean, I've never been tempted to drink kittens. I do know some people are, but this just looks like a drowning kitten. You can't see the whole outline of the face and I'm just thinking like this cat's underwater.
Speaker 2: (18:11)
Oh my God. This took such a dark turn so quick.
Speaker 1: (18:16)
You said you're a dog person. So I thought I would just,
Speaker 2: (18:21)
Oh, Oh yeah. And I mean, I just don't even know what they're trying to do here is sell this. Is it a cast or is it a bunch of stuff of pillows with cats? I mean,
Speaker 1: (18:29)
I think me a better person make me a better person. It literally starts with the fray and their headline is click on the link. Cause you sent me an image and I'm like, where does this go? Red, red bubble.com.
Speaker 2: (18:43)
And so I couldn't get a page to load and actually, cause yeah, this is something that I caught yesterday and I waited about 15 seconds. So obviously their side's got some issues, but the ad was just so terrible. I was just so into it. You know,
Speaker 1: (18:57)
It's like a car wreck, you know, when you just send the store and look away, but designed for cat lovers only. I'm wondering if he works.
Speaker 2: (19:10)
I noticed some word sites, man. It's it's the algorithm knows me too well by now it just knows. I want these really shitty ads.
Speaker 1: (19:17)
Oh my gosh. Like, so maybe, you know, if you would've had a bunch of social press on there, I'd take maybe the car wrecks generating some revenue, but no, no it's definitely not.
Speaker 2: (19:29)
This, this ad is drowning and ad spend. So that that's, that's, that's all it's doing there.
Speaker 1: (19:34)
Speaker 2: (19:37)
Oh my gosh. That's what a poor and terrible ad. Um, Zack, we know you're, you're locked and loaded for this next segment. You know, Sam, you got, it's such an interesting, interesting story. So, I mean, let's go ahead and take a big left turn, take a page out of that. Rich dad, poor dad book and kind of dive into some sort of financial tips, you know, takeaways, you know, if somebody was kind of in his shoes to maybe launch a business or kind of a guest, some sort of funding, I mean, what kind of advice would you have for them on the kind of more financial tip side of things here?
Speaker 1: (20:07)
Well, I've raised $500,000 in angel investment for sanity desk. And um, none of it ironically before I launched my son. Um, and the hardest part about raising money is selling the dream and the vision. Um, and when I presented the numbers today on our advisory board meeting, um, you can see the investors, uh, eyes light up because they're like, Oh, this is, this is working. Meaning, um, yeah, I'd spend, uh, numbers make it way more investible now. Um, so you know, early stage startup, I would say if trying to build something and launch it and raise money, the best thing I ever did is I hired a coach. I hired a investment coach who is sharing my advisory board and he's coached 140, sorry, he's, he's made 140 angel investments. He's a lawyer angel investor, former tech CEO. And what he told me to do was set up an advisory board.
Speaker 1: (21:12)
Um, and I also set up the board of directors. And as a business owner, you kind of get into business cause you get tired of working for the man. I was in the army. I'd never wanted to have a boss again. Um, but a board of directors since I hired my board of directors, which consists of, you know, two investors and uh, one the future investor, um, if they're really good and qualified, um, they not only can invest in your company if you pick the right ones, which mine have, but they hold you accountable and they show you exactly how to create proper P and L's and reports and you know, uh, quarterly reports and all kinds of stuff that make you invest well. And I know, you know, this act because you're doing due diligence all day is, um, you know, when the, before the banks look at you, um, you have to produce a huge amount of evidence based on just your vision and your product roadmap and all that.
Speaker 1: (22:19)
Um, why you're going to be successful and getting people who've raised money before and invested before involved in your company at the advisor level, we give them shares, uh, you know, getting board of directors on where you give them shares, even if they haven't invested yet, uh, was the best move I ever made for raising money for an early stage tech startup. I would say anyone out there you want to raise money. You not bankable yet. You don't qualify for fun. My ads are the other programs out there. Um, find people out there who've invested in other companies who've raised money and hire them without asking for anything in return to the meeting with your equity to help them help you structure your company for success. And that right there has made all the difference in our fundraising. We have eight angel investors. I raised passive that during the COVID crisis.
Speaker 1: (23:16)
Um, you know, and uh, when no one was putting in money in March, I got a hundred thousand in that month because we had our stuff together. Um, and, and it, the more you get your paperwork, your house in order, your P and L straight, all that kind of stuff, the easier just makes people to invest. And Zach, I know cause you look at a lot of deals. Um, you know, there's a different level when it comes to being bankable and other stuff, but that's just the principles of investment, more on the build on an advisory board and, uh, and focus on those, uh, and start building alliances with folks that have actually gone through fundraising. I guess that's all kind of, if your goal is to kind of execute on a fundraising strategy there. Yeah. Cool. I love it. I love it, man. So what are you up to next?
Speaker 1: (24:19)
Well, um, we're starting now that we're, we have a converting offer and converting ad spend, we're working on alternate sources of capital, like, um, your program for applying for your program. We're also, uh, looking at lighter capital, which, um, funds SAS companies based on their MRR. Once you get 15,000 MRR for three months, so they'll give you revenue back financing. Um, and yeah, I mean, just testing the heck out of our ads, uh, hopefully with some advisors, like people like Dylan, I'm just trying to, you know, scale the ad spend and self-fund with revenue. I mean, that's the ultimate goal, a little bit of assist from some alternate funding sources that fund based on your success, your ads and revenues and our next step on the funding journey and where can people get in touch? Um, well, Sandy desk.com, if you go there, uh, you can, uh, you can check out our, you know, our story, uh, our product.
Speaker 1: (25:34)
Um, you can also go to San, a desk.com for slash, uh, opt in towards life C and that's actually the video that we talked about in this ad. So, um, that would allow you to, uh, see the rich ad and watch the video and see what a nine minute video looks like Facebook. That's awesome, man. Well, thanks so much for, uh, thanks for being on the podcast. Really appreciate it. Yeah. Thanks for having me on and, uh, look forward to connecting with any of your listeners who are interested in the software or trading Facebook ad ideas. Well, y'all heard of best Sandy desk.com. Check these rich ads out Sam much appreciated, man. You'll have a good one over there. Thanks so much for listening to another episode of the rich add or add podcast. If you're like me and listen to podcasts on the go, go ahead and subscribe on Apple podcasts, Spotify, YouTube, and rich dad, poor dad.com/podcast. And if you love
Speaker 3: (26:44)
The show, go ahead and leave a review and a comment share with a friend. If you do take a copy screenshot of it, email me Zach and funnel dash.com. Show me you left a review. I'll give you a free copy of the rich ad for ed book. Learn more about the book. Go to rich ed for a.com believer review that are rich, had four at.com/review. Thanks again.
“This was an absolute blast! Love what you guys are doing.”
“I was able to implement something that was mentioned on the podcast and it’s actually been a game changer for our ads.”
‘You guys are definitely on to something”
“This is definitely not the typical digital marketing podcast. So much value.”
“I couldn’t believe how much value was in a single episode alone.”
Jason Hornung is the founder and Creative Director at JH Media LLC, the world’s #1 direct response advertising agency focusing exclusively on the Facebook ads platform. Jason’s proprietary methods for ad creation, audience selection and scaling are responsible for producing $20 million + of profitable sales for his clients EVERY YEAR