Max Bidna on Why Web Optimization is Vital for Ads, How to Bring Down CPL Cost and What it Means To Scale Campaigns the Right Way

Zach Johnson

Dylan Carpenter

Max Bidna


Max Bidna



Hell’s Creative
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Max Bidna is the Co-Founder of Hell’s Creative, a New York based Growth Marketing Agency designed for Series A start-ups and beyond. He played a direct role in the growth of over 200 companies and continues doing so daily through his advertising agency, angel investing, & advisory work.

Episode Summary


  • Winning Google campaigns with hyper relevant keywords and search terms
  • How Max was bale to reduce client's CPLs from $50 to $7
  • Making sure your site is CRO friendly to boost as many organic sales as possible




Max (00:01):

So we put very simple ads up. Anytime you Google, you know, Delta group travel, we would say we book on Delta group travel, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, increasing that, uh, that quality score. And it turns out that we were able to drive a cost per lead of about $4 and 50 cents doing this with about a $500,000 budget for dollar cost per lead, compared to before they were spending about 45 or $50 cost per lead, because they were bidding on really expensive keywords. So the, the rich ad, if you will, is conquesting can work really, really well. If you have a keyword with very low volume,

Intro (00:55):

[inaudible] listening

Zach (00:56):

To the rich and poor ed 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.

Dylan (01:24):

All right, everybody, we're back in business with another episode of the rich dad, poor dad podcast. I'm your host today, Mr. Dylan Carpenter. And I am pumped with our guest today. He is local in Austin. We're going to get some tacos next week and Margaret doesn't, I'm ecstatic about it, but we got the CEO of a health creative over here. These guys managed shoot 5 million a year plus, but we have the one and only max bid. Now what's good, man.

Max (01:47):

Well, it's good. Thanks for having me super happy to be here. Right.

Dylan (01:51):

It's kind of, it's kind of wild how it all kind of came full circle and then turns out you're in Austin. And then all of a sudden we're going to get, get Torchy's

Max (01:58):

And then next thing you know, we're figuring out which Torchy's is most convenient for us to meet up at. So, you know, we went from virtual Twitter, friends to podcast, friends, to margarita friends next week, as quickly as possible,

Dylan (02:10):

Hey, the industry moves fast, you know? Yeah. Thank

Max (02:13):

You internet. Right. We'll

Dylan (02:16):

Give everybody an idea of kind of who you are just so people have some context and kinda what you're getting into. Yeah. Yeah.

Max (02:21):

Long story short. I'm a finance guy turned marketer. Um, I don't know if it was you last week or someone said this to me last week and it may be a little arrogant, but I've been using it a lot and it's right. Brain left brain. I, that's a big reason why I love Facebook ads is because it's a little bit of creativity and it's a little bit of data. Um, and when you put the two together, you know, the, the magic really happens. So about four years ago, I co-founded, hell's creative, a digital advertising agency out of hell's kitchen, New York city. We operated out of New York until the pandemic shut us down. And then because the oldest person in our team is 27 and we're all millennials. We all just kind of moved out in New York for the time being. That's why I'm an Austin and we get to have tacos next week.

Max (03:00):

But in the last four years, our agency has managed about 120 clients to date, primarily Facebook and Google ads, uh, you know, spending across the board. And we like to think of ourselves as the best financial advisor for your investment into digital ads. We really want to figure out what the right strategy is. That's going to improve your return on ad, spend as high as possible. And we've developed our own strategy to do this. We call it growth advertising. We handle creative and strategy in house, which allows us to test the creative much, much, much, much faster. Excuse me. And as we all know, creative really is the difference with Facebook ads. Yes, you can decide whether you want to invest in a lookalike audience or an interest based audience, but at the end of the day, at the end of the day, if people aren't resonating with your ad, they're not going to purchase. So we have our own unique process. Like I said, called growth advertising. It's average to four X return on ad spend across the 120 clients to date. And we're always looking at ways of how we can improve that, increase that and work with more companies to help them grow their digital ad spend and ROI most like more, more importantly.

Dylan (04:07):

Hell yeah. So at the creative, the media buying side of things is your team in-house outsource. How do you kind of frame that?

Max (04:14):

Yeah, we're, we're all in-house. We don't use any contractors. Um, we have nine full-time people now after four years, we have a couple creatives and a couple strategists and everyone works together on every account for now. We might be breaking off into the pod structure soon as we continue to grow our client base. But yeah, we have a full-time video editor, a full-time graphic designer, full-time copywriter on staff, which I'm really proud of. I don't know if another agency, um, you know, under 25 or 30 people that has a full-time copywriter on staff and doesn't charge extra for it. Um, everything is included in our flat monthly fee from creative to strategy and reporting and everything else. So, um, everything's, in-house nine people and we'll see where 20, 21 to us. Heck

Dylan (04:55):

Yeah, man, that's sick. So in house copywriter, that's interesting. Do they write the ads or the copy for all the ads and then y'all just kind of mix and match them to where media buyers are strictly media buying and then

Max (05:07):

Yep. And you know, it's interesting before we hired the copywriter, we asked the graphic designers to take a stab at copy and there are different skillsets, nothing. Poo-pooing our graphic design team. Uh, they're great. And they wrote really, really, really good copy. But at the end of the day, this person actually went to school and has a degree in copywriting. We just lucked out, um, with, with her background and the way she fell into the job with us. So we're really happy. We're really happy to have her on our team. She wrote a burger king commercial, uh, for her time, or I guess with her time at Ogilvy, um, which is the ad agency she interned at before working with us. But yeah, media buyers are media buyers and creatives are creatives. And the cool thing is because they're all in house under one roof, we train the creative team to go the Facebook ads manager and the Google ads manager and identify what's working and what's not working so they can create the ads and, you know, new rounds of ads based on what's working and what's not working.

Max (06:08):

And I think that is a big, uh, you know, mishap or misstep where a lot of agencies fault, or even a lot of companies that maybe work with one team for the creative and another team for the media buying. If your creatives know how to look and analyze, click through rate cost per purchase, everything else, they and frequency score, even too, they can see what's working, what's not working top of the funnel bottom of the funnel and they can be much better educated to create the next round of ads. That's hopefully going to be iterating faster and getting them to that four X return on ad spend as quickly as possible.

Dylan (06:42):

Oh yeah. And I feel like it involves each person doing their specific tasks to be more proactive versus reactive there. So, I mean, I like that concept a lot there. I think it's pretty solid

Max (06:49):

There. Thank you. Yeah. It's, uh, it's different. That's for sure. We speak with a lot of companies all the time and they say, well, do we need to get rid of our branding agency or do we need to get rid of our creative team? And, uh, to some extent yes, but also to some extent, no,

Dylan (07:04):

Well, let's get to the nitty gritty stuff, man. So for that podcast, we love to talk about what's working. What's not working and some good financial tips. So what can you bring to the table on this rich ad segment here?

Max (07:17):

Yeah. So I've listened to a few of the podcasts before, um, and I actually wrote them down. So forgive me if I'm looking down, I wanted to make sure that I, I have some good answers for the rich ad, uh, and the poor Adam and the scaling as well. I'm taking notes, man. It's good to go. Um, so two things I think to mention on the rich out, if that's allowed, um, number one, I really do want to mention this amazing Google ads campaign we had for one of our very, very, very first clients, uh, and ended up leading to us winning best search campaign at the 2020 drum ad awards, uh, because we updated it at the beginning of, of uh, 2020, but we talk a lot about conquesting and Google ads, right? This idea that if I am Adidas, I can make it to that.

Max (08:06):

Anytime someone types in Nike and I'm going to come up first on Google, right? And I can say, you know, Nike socks or Nike soles are bad, or Nike shoes are uncomfortable. Try Adidas. Well, we had a group travel agency as a client and their job is to book groups of 20, 30, 40, 50 people on an airline or on an airplane going wherever they're going. Right? So if you're using, you can't just book 30 people on a plane. They have unique relationships with the airlines and the group departments at the airlines. Uh, as I understand it, they were struggling to get leads for a very, very, very long time. And they didn't have a big budget. So they were wasting their budget on four or five, $6 cost per click terms. Granted this is before the pandemic four or five, $6 cost click terms like best group travel agency, your group travel agency, or group travel fares.

Max (09:00):

But what we realized was there were about a hundred to 200 people every single month Googling the specific airlines and then group travel. So Delta group travel, American airlines group travel, spirit airlines, group travel, but no one was bidding on these terms. Absolutely no one. So we put very simple ads up. Anytime you Google, you know, Delta group travel, we would say, we book on Delta group travel, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, increasing that, um, that quality score. And it turns out that we were able to drive a cost per lead of about $4 and 50 cents doing this with about a 500 to a thousand dollars budget for dollar cost per lead, compared to before they were spending about 45 or $50 cost per lead, because they were bidding on really expensive keywords. So the, the rich ad, if you will, is conquesting can work really, really well.

Max (09:56):

If you have a keyword with very low volume, again, if you're Adidas and you bid on Nike, that could work for you, but it's still, you know, going to be fairly expensive. And there's going to be a bunch of people bidding find the competitors that are maybe small, that maybe only have a hundred people a month Googling them, but there's no one there. So your cost per clicks are going to be like 50 cents or a dollar, and you're not competing with anyone else. So your copy can be basic. Like we book on Delta, they land on our site. Of course you got to optimize the site. But, um, that is my rich ad. I don't know if, if that is, uh, is a good one, but decreasing cost per lead from about 45, 50 bucks down to $5 by utilizing maybe seven different keywords, exact match, really turn this business from, you know, half a million dollar, a year business into a multimillion dollar business. We generated over a million dollars in booked revenue from those six or seven keywords. That is totally a rich ad, man. Hell yeah. That's

Dylan (10:58):

Quite a change, man. You got that CPL down substantially.

Max (11:03):

Yeah, 90%, I guess. And again, we've worked with 120 companies. I think that's the best example of, of all of the hundred and 20 that we've worked with. And that's part of the rich ad and the poor ad side of things. But, uh, yeah, that, that number, I, every time people are like, what's the, what's the biggest success story. I think too many agencies, too many companies try to go for the basic keywords. They try to go for what Google suggests or they try to go for what their competitors are bidding on. So I always tell people go for the low volume hyper-relevant keywords, right? If it's a hundred, 200 people a month Googling, that's fine. Especially in B2B or when the, when it's a high ticket item, you don't need a lot, right? You don't need a lot. Like one of our clients is a sleep aid.

Max (11:50):

Like it's a thing you can buy for 30 or 40 bucks and helps you sleep. Right? All their competitors are bidding on best sleep aids, sleep tool, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, finally, low volume, hyper relevant, right from the hyper relevant one. And in this case for the group travel agency, you know, Delta group travels is perfect. Um, and for the, for the sleep aid, one, it's just long form. So best sleep aid for new moms, right? A lot less people bidding on that. You can use the exact match to lower your cost per click significantly. And those are the things you have to do when your client only has 500 to a thousand dollars a month in spend to start. And then once we started increasing spend, they said, we need to hire more salespeople. Like, let's just cut it off. We were good. You know,

Dylan (12:38):

Man, that's killer snap. Yeah. And I mean, especially when it comes to that kind of budget, that's, that's, that's a game changer for them. What tools do you use? Is it just normal native tools or is there any kind of third-party tools you use to essentially kind of find some of these really hyper-relevant terms?

Max (12:56):

Yeah. There's a Google ads manager, native where the biggest proponent of native Facebook and Google, we also use SEM rush. Right? The kind of go-to in the industry. Um, one that I think a lot of people don't understand how to use or at least I didn't understand how to use for the first few times I used it. Uh, I believe it's called, I have a bookmark. I believe it's called we, the people. Um, uh, maybe it's not where the people I can get you the name of it. Um, do do, here we go. I have it bookmarked.

Intro (13:34):

And uh,

Max (13:37):

Why isn't it coming up for me? It's essentially a tool where you type in like life insurance and it'll give you all of the phrases that people, um, ask and are, and want to know about life insurance. Why, uh, I use

Dylan (13:54):

One called words everywhere, if anything, but it's, it's like, it's a buy per each keyword. You buy them in bulk and stuff. It's interesting. But I think our Google guy likes it.

Max (14:05):

Yeah. Uh, for some reason I can't find it in the bookmarking tool, but I do have a report here that shows me exactly what the output is. I wish I could share my screen on a podcast, but, um, it's really cool because it gives you a chart, like a circle where it says, okay, life insurance, like when is it time to get life insurance, like long tail keywords, right. That people are searching for because they want to learn more about, and those are going to be most often the hyper-relevant low volume terms because they're not just life insurance or best life insurance, their best life insurance for someone with Alzheimer's in California. And that if you can create an ad where your headline is best life insurance, for someone with Alzheimer's in California, irrelevancy score, or your quality score is going to be nine or 10, and they're going to reward you.

Max (14:53):

I mean, and Google's going to reward you with a really low cost per click. Um, and it's just going to be a win-win win. So I don't know why I thought it was called either that people figure it out afterwards. But yeah, I have the, I have the report up here. Um, my, my Google, my head of Google strategy will definitely know what that is, but yeah, overall, and we stick to Google and we just really try to understand the client. We really try to understand the brand. We really want to get to know if I'm the customer, what am I typing in beyond best XYZ. That's going to lead me to that purchase.

Dylan (15:28):

Cause sometimes that's happened some weird and Amanda, they have an ad there. I'm like, ah, all right. I got to convert. Cause that was smart for them. But yeah. I mean people Google the weirdest stuff. So I think that's yeah. And

Max (15:38):

It's one of my favorite ways to get clients too, is like, if I'm looking for a product, for example, I will Google something. That's not like best water bottle or whatever it is that I'm looking for. And I'll see no ads, then I'll make a list of three or four companies that should be bidding on that. And I'll just email or LinkedIn message their CMO and say, Hey, you guys are missed. You know, you're missing an opportunity here.

Dylan (15:57):

What's your conversion rate for that?

Max (15:59):

Uh, probably two out of 10. Hey,

Dylan (16:02):

That's fricking that's not bad.

Max (16:04):

Four to five respond. I mean, it's the easiest way to get to get clients is to find a, uh, excuse me, find a keyword. That's not a hundred percent related to their product tickets, screenshot of it and say your agency or in-house team doesn't know how to use negative keywords properly. Um, you know, let's chat and that's probably a five out of 10 conversion rate, but you just have to discover those randomly or naturally in your own Google search. Oh yeah. Back when I used to do outreach,

Dylan (16:37):

I was just going a group on Suze, you know, doing some Groupon ads and everything. And I would just go after them so much cheaper on comparing to Facebook. It was a no brainer there.

Max (16:46):

Smart. So smart.

Dylan (16:49):

Well, we dove into the rich had that's I think that's super valuable. I got some good highlights out of that, but let's show everybody it's not all rainbows and butterflies. Let's go ahead and dive into this poor ad. Cause you know, we're all human. I feel like 80% of tests. I do fail. So I mean, what's, what's your poor ad in this world?

Max (17:09):

Yeah. This is a story from about two years ago. Um, we worked with a leather goods company. They made leather backpacks, leather, Fanny packs, purses, um, drop ship store, not drop shipping. This, this guy, I gotta give him credit. This guy's amazing. I met him at like a trade show. Um, he made it in his basement in like Queens and he had a website that he set up on Squarespace and he somehow got written up in GQ and Esquire. Just this one guy out of his basement. I went to his basement. He actually gave me a backpack, which was really cool. Um, and we, we set up the campaign. We tagged the website with the pixel and within three weeks we brought, I think we only spent like two grand, right at the time we're not spending a lot of money. And within the first three weeks we turned two grand into about $20,000 in add to cart value and he emailed us and guys it's been three weeks and I see my credit cards been charged.

Max (18:14):

Uh, how come there's been no sales. We were like, what do you mean? How come there's been no sales. So we did a lot of digging and it took us three days to figure out that he didn't check the box on the backend of Squarespace of what the delivery options were. So when people were trying to check out, they couldn't. So people, we had $20,000 of abandoned cart revenue left in the car, I guess. Um, and he had like four or five people emailing him saying, I'm trying to check out. I'm trying to check out. But because it was a brand new Squarespace site, he, I think that the email was wrong or something or for whatever reason, he didn't get any emails. So people were then DM-ing him saying, I emailed you, I'm trying to get this, this backpack. It's amazing. It's gorgeous. It's so cool.

Max (19:02):

Like what's wrong. So I'm not the biggest like loss, right? In terms of like spending two grand, I guess, of course it's still two grabbed it. And the grand scheme of things, you know, we're spending a lot of money and we were able to recoup that. Um, I think that's just like lesson number one, website basics are underrated. Like they're highly underrated and often overlooked. Um, and more importantly, like run a test purchase. Now, every time we start with a client after the pixel is set up, um, we asked them to give us a code or we just use our company card and we say, can you refund us or send us the product, whatever it is, 30 bucks, whatever. But, uh, for that it was like a $400 backpack. And yeah, we had $20,000 in cart revenue left. They're just sitting and people were trying to get the product.

Max (19:51):

And it's a perfect example of like, people want your product. It's not like other websites where it's, you've got to retarget them a bunch of times with ads. And this was like, I guess two years ago, the retargeting pixel wasn't as great as it is now and the data wasn't great. But, um, I just remember finally figuring out that it was a website issue, right? He didn't check the box on the back end of Squarespace for the two or three delivery options that he wanted to give. And he lost out on again, you know, not all 20 K is going to convert, but by 5k, uh, you know, plus ad spend, that's the point if we can. I mean, if 25% of that converted, right, normally I would say like 50% of cart should convert, but if 25% converted, we would have spent two grand and made five, it's a good start for the first two weeks of a brand new ad account with no pixel data or anything.

Max (20:40):

Uh, so that's, that's the poor ad. And then on that note, I think as an advertiser, having a lot of money on ads and done this for 120 companies, I can't stress this enough. It was actually what I wrote down here is like bad websites, never work regardless of how good the ads are. I think a lot of people, they want to hire an agency and they feel like, okay, we got the website and then they put the website on the shelf and now it's time to, you know, do run the ads. And I like to remind people that websites are living, breathing things. I tell all of my clients to schedule 15 minutes calendar blocked every week to review your Google analytics or review your crazy egg or Hotjar or whatever the heat mapping tool is. The recording tool is spend 15 minutes every week.

Max (21:22):

Looking at the data, you will be surprised how far people scroll down, what things people try to click on that are not clickable. Um, and this is another maybe example of four out if I'm allowed to give to. Um, and I don't know if this is really an advertising thing necessarily, but one of our clients was, uh, a workspace like a coworking space. And we installed a, um, a heat mapping tool on the website to see where people are clicking and where they're cursory scrolling. And we found out that a lot of people were trying to click on the private space icon. So on the website, when you scroll down just below the fold, it had, you know, the four different types of membership co-working lounge access, um, you know, shared desk, hot desk, and then private. And a lot of people, I would think like 10%, 15% of all the people who landed on the homepage were trying to click the private icon.

Max (22:17):

It was just like a little icon of someone like working like a non icon. And we recognize that 10% of the people that land on the homepage click on that icon. That's a lot of people who land on the homepage, right? So that told us that people clearly wanted more information about the private office space, right. But the private offering that they had granted they have a page dedicated to private office space. It was just hidden in the top right. Membership options. He had to scroll, put your cursor over, go down. So we literally made that icon clickable. We made it go to the same site and we just put a form fill at the bottom of that site or at the bottom of that page, excuse me. At the bottom of that page. I think our cost per conversion was cut in half.

Max (23:01):

I mean, it was like insane how quickly we started seeing the leads coming in from that page. But we had no idea for like the three or four months before we were working with that client, that people wanted more information about the private space option. It was hidden in the membership option at the, you know, the top menu bar. And so literally just by installing Hotjar and seeing that 10, 15% of the people who land on the homepage, we're clicking on that one icon we're then able to meet the customer where they want to be met. Right. It's like, it's like an old retail store, not old, I guess there still exists, but it's like a retail store, you know, do you, as a, as a salesperson or as a customer service person on the floor, walk to the front, say, Hey, you know, any questions, let me know. Are you looking for something in particular today? Or do you wait for them to come to the back to find what you know is going to be the best-selling thing? This is the most important thing I can stress, understand how people engage with your website, make sure that your funnels are tight. It's it's, it's every poor ad I've ever had. Every example of a poor ad. It always comes back to the website for me and for our agency always website struggles. So my biggest takeaway from this Max's

Dylan (24:16):

You didn't test the funnel before you started. No,

Max (24:19):

No, no. I agree

Dylan (24:22):

Though, man, website issues, sometimes it's the ads, but sometimes it's not. I mean, I think it's really good for, you know, the owners actually have some basic, you know, you know, knowledge of, you know, analytics, you know, each step of the funnel, just, I mean, you can hire someone to for it, but I mean, if they're gonna explain it to you and you're going to have no idea, what's the point, so where it'd be good, you know, either way to, you know, get some more under your belt, sharpen the blade a little bit. But yeah, the amount of times I've seen that happen, I haven't happening now to two clients, you know, it was just as a side issue. So I think that's killer they're in pretty bad.

Max (24:55):

Yeah. And it could be that you're a hundred percent, right. We didn't test the funnel. There's definitely something to be said for that. No, seriously. Like there's definitely something to be said. I see you smiling. I had to give you a hard time about it, man. It's, it's totally a real piece of feedback for us. And it's a lesson we've learned the hard way. One too many times. It's so interesting. As an ad agency in the early days, we were burned with scope creep. Like every client just scope creep, scope, creep, scope creep. And so we really try to be just an advertising agency. People ask us all the time, can you do my Instagram organic? You guys create great content, right? Your creative teams. Great. Can you also create some posts for Instagram or, you know, you guys really understand messaging and storytelling. Can you help us update the website?

Max (25:40):

And we really don't want to do that. We want to be an advertising agency, but like I said, all of our poor ad examples always come back to the website. So, um, you know, look out in 2021 for a website optimization service of some sore, LTS that out there, we're working on something, uh, for existing clients and for, and for non-clients that will help you get a much better understanding of your website, your funnel, how people are engaging with your site and make it really easy to, to optimize and change things quickly. But, um, beyond, you know, the ads themselves like ads are half the battle. I mean, if not less, you can get someone into a store, but if your product isn't good enough, if your price is too much, if the store smells bad, like if someone peed in the corner, like they're not going to purchase. And I mean, I've been on, I've been on three sales calls today with potential clients, time after time, they say, I tried three agencies and they didn't work well, have you thought about why it didn't work? Maybe it's your, what's your, [inaudible] the arts

Dylan (26:46):

And no purchases. There's something, there's something that, yeah.

Max (26:50):

Look your store's conversion rate. Oh, 0.3. Oh like I don't mean to be mean to these companies, but they think that they can start the next million dollar business by hiring a freelancer on Upwork or freelancer to create a thousand dollars Shopify site with some Shopify templates. And next thing you know, you know, their product is gold and it's going to be flying off the shelves. And it's just not the case. Now apple spends millions of dollars a year optimizing their website. And it's the world's most simplest website. That's the point like beautiful, it's gorgeous. And we can all learn from it and we can all mimic it. But all of these big companies are spending millions of dollars a year, optimizing it, testing, changing. I mean, it's just, it's just so underrated. So poor ad go take a look at your Google analytics, set up an automated report, schedule a time 15 minutes a week just to look at it. And, and you will increase your conversion rate and your revenue without doing anything on the ads immediately,

Dylan (27:47):

Sometimes so much easier. And Hey, you could go add a couple of lines on the product page or change your Facebook strategy. What's going to be easier, like go product page all day. But, but yeah, I mean, for everybody listening and the message from, you know, maximize CRO, fix your website and make sure it flows nicely.

Max (28:04):

Yep. And the final rule, I, man,

Dylan (28:06):

Let's dive into this bad boy. So of course you got the gist of the name of the podcast. So we'd love to kind of find the crossroads of marketing, the financial side of things. So based on your expertise, man, you know, what are some cool little financial tips or principles you can kind of share with the audience?

Max (28:25):

Yeah. I was struggling with this one a lot because what works for one company doesn't always work for another and you hear this a lot with Facebook ads. Some people say, you know, don't increase the budget more than 20% every day or 20 cents per day, as you scale it, 20% in scale and y'all um, yeah, 20% a day as you scale, I don't really have a real financial recommendation or financial rule that we live by. Um, but as it comes to scaling and a principle that I'd recommend people try out, I think dynamic creative inside of Facebook is underrated

Dylan (29:04):

On a budget. Was this for somebody who's, you know, spending a hundred bucks a day, 10 bucks a day, 500 bucks a

Max (29:09):

Day matter. It does not matter. I think the most important thing I hear like I'm going to kind of that for a second, Dylan, I hear really sophisticated Facebook ad gurus. Talk about letting the algorithm do the work, right? The algorithm is so smart. Facebook knows everything, run a 1% look alike, audience. You're good to go. You're good to go. But then they say dynamic creative limits, each picture or video or taglines impressions. And I think that's a little bit backwards. Like not to call anyone out no names, but like if you're going to trust the algorithm from a targeting perspective, why don't you trust the algorithm from a creative perspective? So what we like to do as a scaling principle is we will come up with three or four messaging themes. One could be goals for copy,

Dylan (30:00):

Kind of versus changing up an emoji or assumptions.

Max (30:03):

Exactly. So you hit the nail on the head. So one example might be like us versus them, right? Whether you call it, your competitors are not like all the other people suck. Here's why we're awesome. One could be meet the founder, right? Like here's our story, right? One could be like our biggest value proposition. One could be a sale, right? We put all of these different body copies, taglines, pictures, and videos for each one of the themes in a dynamic creative campaign or ad inside of an ad set inside of a campaign. We run those. And then after a week after two weeks, once we've gotten about 10,000 impressions in total, we'll be able to see which picture, which body copy, which tagline did the best from there. We'll pause that ad set because you're only allowed one dynamic creative ad inside of a ad set.

Max (30:50):

We'll duplicate it and delete all the other ones that didn't work, right? All the pictures or videos or taglines that didn't work. And we'll just run that towards the same audience, knowing that this picture at a 4% click through rate compared to the video that had a 2% click through rate. And if one picture or video or tagline doesn't get enough impressions, right. To really get a sense it's because the algorithm knows that it's not going to work. Like I, I truly believe that everyone talks about letting the algorithm do the work on the targeting side, let the algorithm do the work on the creative side. Once you come up with your different messaging themes, once you come up with your different messaging perspectives. So no specific rule of thumb, like don't increase budget more than 20%. Don't do this, don't do that. But I can't tell you enough how many accounts I see from prospective clients that we work with or just on companies that I advise.

Max (31:41):

Um, you know, as a side thing, how many companies run one or two ads inside of an ad set, you don't know what's going to work. You don't know what's going to resonate best with which target audience. So by using dynamic creative and mixing and matching the pictures and the videos and the taglines and everything else, you know, gone are the days of like the mad men where they hold up a poster, right? And they say, here's the one tagline we should run. This, let's invest a million dollars in this. That's the brilliance of Facebook ad. You get to test a bunch of different things. But Facebook literally built a tool inside of the ads manager called dynamic creative, where they will optimize it for you. Why isn't everyone using this tool? I can't stress that enough. It really frustrates me. Like I said, apologies for venting, but it frustrates me when I hear these like Facebook groups who are spending a lot more money than me and probably making a lot more money than us and, you know, kudos to them for all the successes they've had.

Max (32:34):

We tend to work with smaller clients, for sure. And you know, we definitely don't know anything as evidence of, you know, the funnel and needing to check the funnels before we launch campaigns. And I'm always down to learn, but it really frustrates me when I hear like big gurus, poopoo, dynamic, creative. We have clients in the last two weeks that are doing five X, six X return on investment. Simply because before black Friday, cyber Monday, we uploaded a bunch of messaging themes into dynamic creative. Right? Then when black Friday cyber Monday hit, we took the one messaging theme that worked best from before created three or four or five videos, pictures, body copies, taglines for that one creative theme and are now just optimizing within that creative theme towards that same target audience. So exactly like

Dylan (33:22):

When it comes to the copy variations and creative variations, like you were mentioning just as an example, Hey, meet the founder style. But what if you had another creative asset, we're just the product. Do you worry about that? Not matching the creative so much or not.

Max (33:35):

I, it doesn't matter. Like you never know what's going to get people to convert. Yeah. And again, like the, the Wayfair, the one caveat with dynamic creative is their reporting for dynamic creative could be better. Um, they can like, they, they like to show you generally, which single picture or video which single tagline did best the reporting on the combinations. I would love to see a little bit more so Facebook, if you're listening, definitely explore that avenue. But yeah, it doesn't matter. Like if, if the tech says meet the founder and the video is a video of unboxing the product, because the unboxing is really cool. That's cool. Maybe it's like meet the founder behind so-and-so and you know, here's the unboxing, right? It's definitely a little weird. And I think some brands might be uncomfortable with it. Um, they might want to be cohesive, but we found that sometimes inter changing those themes can really, uh, lead to much higher results, much better results.

Dylan (34:33):

I like that. Now with, from y'all's agency perspective, are y'all strictly dynamic creative, or do you kind of mix and match both? Or is it more dominant, dynamic, creative, or how do you work that? Cause I probably use it maybe in 60, 70% of accounts, but then I just feel like there are some where just, it doesn't work as good, but I like your structure of this dynamic creative,

Max (34:51):

I'd say 90, 95% of our clients are in dynamic creative. Um, the other ones that are not our lead gen clients that, you know, there's really like, yes, I guess you could get really creative with us versus them and meet the founder and everything else, but lead gen clients. And the way that the algorithm optimizes for leads versus an add to cart or purchase is, is different. So by, you know, having four or five ads inside of an ad set with a lead objective, um, sometimes we're able to find a little bit more success there, but I'd say nine 90, 95% of the time. It's, it's dynamic creative trusty algorithm I gave, if it didn't work for us, we wouldn't be doing it. But we've spent the last year pretty much only on optimizing for purchases for e-com and only on dynamic. And we've averaged a four X it's not higher.

Zach (35:43):

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Dylan (36:47):

Man. I love that. Yeah. Dynamic creative is super underrated and it's, it's fun, you know, it's, it's solid there. So I think that's fricking huge. Oh man. Now you kind of touched on it before we kind of dive in dove into this, I should say, but when it comes to scaling, when you'll have campaigns or ad sets doing a really good, I know for black Friday cyber Monday, I was doubling the budget four or five times in a day, which is worked good for me last year. It worked good for the holidays, but I haven't noticed it being so stabilized during the normal times of the year. Well, it's not been a normal year for one. I also see me doing a lot of 20%, 25% incremental increases daily. So I mean, what's been y'all's case where, Hey, this client, you know, we're sitting at a four X we're spending 20 K how do we double this? You know, how do we kind of not, of course nothing's going to be consistent, but how do you try and get that momentum while wrapping up the budget? Is it increments D'Evelyn, I'm kind of curious how you're operating on that side

Max (37:42):

Of things. Yeah. It's a really good question. It's something that frankly, we've struggled with a lot. How do we, and I think everyone struggles with it, right. But how do we double it? So if one month we spent 20 grand and drove 60 K in revenue, you know, how do we spend 40 grand and drive 120 grand in revenue? It's a real challenge. And I really believe that scaling quickly is how you die scaling quickly and double. And I'm sure you might have a different take on this. I'd love to hear how you, you know, what, what time you had, uh, you know, with doubling budgets multiple times in a day. Like that sounds kind of crazy to me, but, you know, until you get seven or 10 conversions after you make an edit to an ad set, the, the algorithm isn't optimized, it's not out of the phase.

Max (38:35):

So unless you're able to get seven conversions, 10 conversions in an hour or two hours, or even in a day, um, you know, I really believe that you should scale up proportionately and granted when you're spending 50 K a hundred K and all the people I was talking about before that I was kind of ripping on saying, they'd say, trust the algorithm for targeting, but not on dynamic creative. Those people are, you know, making, you know, hundreds of thousands of dollars a day sometimes, or $20,000 in a day, they're spending a hundred grand. It's just all of our clients run into inventory problems. They run into website problems. It just never scales as linear as you want. And so we would much rather, and I guess this is what I should probably should have started with instead of going off on a tangent. So apologies, but we would much rather if we find one ad set delivering a four or five X return on ad spend towards one target audience, we'd much rather that target audience and that ad set stay the exact same way, the exact same way.

Max (39:32):

It is all the way through to a two frequency score, then trying to double it and get to that frequency score as quickly as possible. So we're maybe we're a little bit too patient, and maybe that's a reason why some of our clients aren't spending two, three, 400 grand, but every time that we've gone in and doubled the budget in a month, that return on ad spend dips. So yeah. Or, or, or even if we just increase it by 30, 40%, and we're only spending five grand a month, the return on ad spend dips insanely. So like 50%, 60%. And I guess granted, if you're, if you're making a four X return on ad spend, you know, two X is still okay if you're spending more, but if you, if it's working right, what's that old saying, it's not broke, don't fix it. So like, if we're getting a four X return on ad spend, we're at a 1.2 frequency score lifetime for an ad set of an interest based targeting audience. And it's been a four X for a week, we're going to leave it on. And I know that's really contrary to what a lot of people might say, but, you know, it's worked for us and we believe in long-term growth and long-term scale and not, you know, quick, overnight successes, although I'm sure we'd all love that.

Dylan (40:44):

Oh yeah. And I mean, it's about the same as it was in the Facebook ecosystem three years ago. So I mean, Yan, I mean, when you're scaling up, you're always going to your CPA's and a creep up your ROAS are going to drop to where I'm so like, upfront about it. It's where we're, you know, if we're sitting at a Forex, you know, and we're looking at double the budget, I'm straight up like, Hey, this may go down at 2.5 X just heads up the CPA's is going to probably go up 20, 30% and just heads up, you know, but it's an inventory play can year back and hold that as the opportunity costs worth it, you're going to, you know, sell more higher, more. So there are a lot of variables involved, but yeah, going from kind of the scaling side, you know, for black Friday cyber Monday, I'd go in at 6:00 AM, 7:00 AM.

Dylan (41:23):

And I would just look in to see, you know, what's the ROAS sitting at what's our CPA, how many sales were whenever we're sitting in that six to seven range in that morning? I know it's typically going to be pretty hot, but course it depends on the price point as well. And how much is actually spent so far, but I'll double it at 6:00 AM. Same thing I noon. It's not like what their ultimate goal KPI is, but if our goal is a two X and I know, you know, by six, 7:00 AM, we're at a 0.7 0.8. I know it's gonna, you know, if I left everything is probably going to creep back up to X at some point, but there are different thresholds to look at, but I can't do that. Normally during the year, I used to be able to, it was like the old surfing strategy, but for holiday sales, I tried it and it worked pretty well. But for the normal stuff, I, to see those, you know, smaller increment changes work a little bit better because it gives us more time and a little bit more patients to kind of be proactive versus get ready. Cause you know, if we're doubling all, hell's gonna break loose, you know, most of the time it does.

Max (42:15):

Yeah. Like if I went back to my clients and said, look, we've been operating at a four X return on ad spend for the last month. It might go down to two or you'd be fired. Like it's, you know, we are, our whole thing is we want to drive the highest return on ad spend for you possible, not the highest, you know, revenue for you possible. So I would much rather, and I tell my clients this too, like we, we would much rather drive you a really profitable month than a high revenue month. And do you,

Dylan (42:45):

As an agency, don't take a percent of ad spend, do you, does it? It's just

Max (42:50):


Dylan (42:50):

Because I could see that going both ways for an agency who takes a percent of ad spend saying, we've got to scale, you know, we're going to make more money this way, but in y'all's case, it's very safe boats where you don't have that kind of pressure on you. So it's, it's almost nicer.

Max (43:02):

Yeah. That's a really good point. You know, the fact that we charge the same flat monthly fee to our clients who are spending 5k as the ones that are spending 50, it doesn't make us have to increase their spend just for us to make money. I never understood that model. If I put myself in a company shoes, why would I sign a contract? That's incentivized to get me to spend more regardless of performance. That just makes no sense. So I know it's kind of the classic way of structuring agency, retainers and agency monthly fees, but it just, it makes absolutely no sense to me. So I'd much rather, and we've run ads on this. Actually, one of our own agencies, as we do to promote our agency, to get new clients in literally is a story that the creative says, this is not an ad.

Max (43:48):

And then at the top, it's a long body copy. And it says, this is not an ad. It's a story about, and then it's like line by line. It's a story about an e-commerce company. That's spending $5,000 a month making $10,000 a month, but not realizing that at the end of the month, there's $0 left in the bank account. Why is this? Because your agency didn't ask what your profit margin is, your agency didn't ask what your average order value is. Your agency didn't set the target cost to acquire a customer that's most profitable for you. So yes, we want to grow revenue. Yes. We want to hire more people. Yes. We want to raise money and hit all of our metrics. But at the end of the day, what's putting food on the table. It's the profit left in the ad, left in the bank account at the end of the month, the end of the day, right?

Max (44:29):

If we're doubling our, just to get in front of more people to get more purchases, but our return on ad spend decreases. There's a lot less money left over at the bottom. That could be a whole podcast episode in and of itself. But that's why we really try to scale 10%, 20%, you know, unless it's like, oh, we just got a big investment and we can now start spending 50 K a month regularly or 20 K whatever the number is regularly. That's why we'd like to take our time because we're in it for profit. We're not in it for top line revenue. And I think that's what a good agency PR agency partnership

Speaker 5 (45:03):

Should be. I think

Dylan (45:05):

That is the best way to end an episode because I got some actionable steps from this Nana's is really cool, but give everybody an idea, man, how can we support you? Anything kind of cool coming up and, you know, what's the best way for people to kind of get in touch with you.

Max (45:18):

First of all, let me say, thank you again for having me. This was fun. I wish we could just record seven hours a day of this

Speaker 5 (45:26):

And I'm looking forward

Max (45:27):

To drinks and Margarita's and, uh, tacos next week. But yeah, I mean, you can follow me on Twitter at M M V I D N a. I'm trying to get more active there. Uh, I post pretty regularly on LinkedIn, so you can follow me max button on LinkedIn, and then we have this really, if you're in the e-commerce space, we have this really cool growing Facebook group called Shopify insider. So on Facebook, if you just type in Shopify insiders, it's a Shopify insiders by hell's creative, four X ROI paid social and PPC. Um, we're trying to grow that and just trying to help as many e-commerce brands as possible. So, like I mentioned before, look out for us in 2021, we're going to be having a couple of new services, a couple of new products to offer as well. And we're just in the business of helping other businesses make more money. So whether it's Twitter at [inaudible] LinkedIn, max bid now, or a Facebook group, reach out, let us know how we can help outside of our retainer. Even if it's just taking a look at your ad account and given you a second doctor's opinion for your charge, we're happy to help

Speaker 5 (46:26):

Max much appreciated, man. Thanks for jumping on. And you got it. Thanks for having me

Intro (46:31):

Happy holidays. [inaudible] thanks so

Zach (46:37):

Much for listening to another episode of the rich ad pour at podcast. If you're like me and listen to podcasts on the go, go ahead and subscribe on apple podcasts, Spotify, YouTube, and rich ed [inaudible] dot com slash podcast. And if you absolutely love 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 Show me you left a review. I'll give you a free copy of the rich add or add book. Learn more about the book. Go to rich ed for to leave a review that are rich ed or Thanks again.

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About The Podcast

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

Zach Johnson

Zach Johnson is Founder of FunnelDash, the Agency Growth and Finance Company, with their legendary Clients Like Clockwork solutions. Under Zach’s leadership, FunnelDash has grown to over 5,000+ agency customers managing over $1 Billion in ad spend across 41,000 ad accounts on. Zach’s private clients have included influencers such as Dr. Axe, Marie Forleo, Dan Kennedy, Dean Graziozi to name a few. Zach is also a noted keynote speaker and industry leader who’s now on a mission to partner with agencies to fund $1 Billion in ad spend over the next 5 years.

Dylan Carpenter

Dylan Carpenter

Dylan Carpenter will be diving into what he and his team are seeing in 200+ accounts on Google and Facebook when it comes to trends, new offerings, and new opportunities. With over $10 million in Facebook/Instagram ad spend, Dylan Carpenter had the pleasure to work with Fortune 500 companies, high investment start-ups, non-profits, and local businesses advertising everything from local services to physical and digital products. Having worked at Facebook as an Account Manager and now with 5+ years of additional Facebook Advertising under my belt, I’ve worked alongside 60+ agencies and over 500+ businesses. I work with a team of Facebook, Google, and LinkedIn experts to continue to help companies and small businesses leverage the power of digital marketing.

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