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3 Dumbest Mistakes People Make With Their Online Ads

The Jason Hornung Agency, Inc. manages over $100,000 in monthly online advertising spend and generates tens of millions of ad impressions every month…

Here’s proof:

Screen Shot 2015-03-09 at 2.23.07 PM

In the last 12 months alone, these ads have brought in more than $3.5 million in sales.

Through detailed testing and tracking of results, here’s the three dumbest mistakes we’ve seen people make with their online ads:

DUMB MISTAKE #1 – Failure To Have A Deep Understanding Of Your Ideal Customer

After talking with thousands of different business owners across the globe since 2003…

…it’s become apparent to us that very few really understand the people who buy from them and why.

This is literally why the majority end up failing at paid advertising.

Alexander Graham Bell who invented the telephone said “Before anything else, preparation is the key to success.”

This statement totally applies to online advertising (and all advertising).

If you don’t put in the time to study your prospect, you’ll never be able to create a compelling offer or a profitable ad.

We’ve put together a research team that spends 12 hours developing 3 detailed reports that dive into the psychology of each client’s prospects.


This information is used to develop an “ideal customer avatar”…

Which is really just a fancy way to describe the profile of the person who will buy from you.

It goes way beyond just demographic info.

We want to know everything about your ideal buyer and what makes them tick.

What books do they read?

What TV shows do they watch?

What industry leaders do they follow?

What are their biggest problems, frustrations and issues they want solved?

What are their goals, dreams, hopes & desires?

These are just a few of the questions we answer during the development of the ideal customer avatar.

In addition to diving into the psychology of your ideal client, we also “reverse engineer” your top 3 competitors.

We use advanced tools to spy on their ads.

We also visit their websites and look at the top articles and blog posts.

And we scour their social media profiles to see what people are saying to them.

Here’s some of the questions we look to answer:

What are the headlines/hooks/ideas that are attracting the most attention?

How are they positioning the solutions they are selling?

What are people saying about the solutions they provide?

What are your strengths, weaknesses, threats and opportunities in the market?

Using all of this information, we’re able to develop a winning strategy that produces sales.

Ultimately, we believe this is the BIGGEST PROBLEM business owners face when doing paid advertising in any medium.

They fail to put in the preparation work that leads to success.

This preparation phase takes away all of the overwhelm and uncertainty about what to offer and how to offer it to attract your ideal customers.

DUMB MISTAKE #2 – Failure To Match The Message To The Market Properly

Marketing legend Dan Kennedy is attributed with coining this phrase.

He actually uses an image he calls the marketing results triangle that you can see below…

marketing-results-triangleThe third side of this triangle is media.

We’re going to put that aside for right now…

Here’s why:

When Dan made this image, all the marketing options were offline.

So getting the media right for your marketing was paramount.

We’re going to share with you an online medium later that is GUARANTEED to be the right media for about 99% of all markets in existence

Which means you only need to get the message to market match down to be successful with online advertising 🙂

Here’s the thing:

Unless you go through the preparation phase we just talked about…

Your chances of getting the message to market match right are REALLY slim.

This is about describing your ideal customers problems and showing them your solution EXACTLY how they are talking about it themselves.

Here’s an example:

Let’s say you’re selling a weight loss supplement.

You didn’t bother to do any research prior to creating ads…

So you decided to write a headline like this:

How To Lose Fat Quickly & Easily

You run some traffic using that headline and you lose money.

Then you go through the research process I described above.

And you look at one of the top weight loss blogs.

In the comments, you see a majority of people saying they really want to burn belly fat off before the summer so they look good on the beach.

Then you change your headline to something like this:

New! How To Burn Your Belly Fat Off Before Summer – So You Look Incredible On The Beach!

You run some traffic using that headline…

And lo & behold you make money 🙂

In EVERY test we’ve ever run, ALL of the profitable ads hit the nail on the head with message to market match.

Many of the business owners we talk to get hung up trying to guess how to position their products and services to sell to the market.

They spend a LOT of time racking their brains on it…

Then they try something, it doesn’t work and they give up thinking that advertising don’t work.

This again is why the research process is so important…

It literally takes all the guess work out of the equation.

DUMB MISTAKE #3 – Failure To Track Results & Optimize Properly

Whenever we take on a new client, there’s a series of questions we ask to qualify them.

The two most important ones are these:

What is your average order value (AOV)?

What is your cost per acquisition (CPA)?

Only about 20% of people can answer these questions…

In case you are unfamiliar with these two terms, let’s talk about them quickly as they are the only two metrics you really have to master to make money with online advertising…

Average order value is simply the average amount each customer spends with you on the initial purchase.

Cost per acquisition is simply how much does it cost you to acquire a customer.

When doing paid advertising all you need to win is get this formula right:


The problem is very few businesses put the tracking systems in place in order to calculate these two metrics.

Tracking can get a bit convoluted and difficult to grasp because it involves extremely technical stuff to get accurate data.

We take care of setting up accurate tracking for all of our clients so they know how we are performing on their behalf.

Aside from AOV & CPA, there are numerous other metrics that need to be tracked when doing online advertising.

Click thru rate (CTR)

Cost per click (CPC)

Cost per lead (CPL)

Conversion rate

Just to name a few…

This data is used to optimize your ads as well as your marketing funnel.

That’s how you can widen the gap between your Average Order Value & your Cost Per Acquisition.

We’ve been able to achieve as high as a 1600% ROI for a client by using this process.

Yes, that’s right – for every $1 they spent on ads, they got $16 back!

Ok, so know that you know these 3 dumb mistakes, you can avoid them…

Earlier, we mentioned an advertising medium that is GUARANTEED to be the right media for about 99% of all markets in existence…

Let’s talk about that now.

At the Jason Hornung Agency, our specialty is running online ads via Facebook.

Facebook is hands down the best media to run ads on right now…

Here’s why:

Facebook has been gathering thousands of data points on every user on their system.

Which is literally over 1 billion now 🙂

Think about it…

They know what movies you like.

What books you like.

What fan pages of industry leaders you like.

The list goes on and on…

If you do the research, you can target your ideal customer with Facebook ads and make a killing (as long as you get your message right 🙂 )…

As you can see, we’re extremely thorough in tracking and testing the advertising that we do for ourselves and our clients.

That’s why we’ve been able to generate over $3.5 million in sales in the last 12 months exclusively using Facebook ads…

All on about $1.5 million in ad spend 🙂

(who else tells you how much they spent to make a certain amount of money LOL)

If you’re not getting at least a 100% ROI from your Facebook advertising, something is wrong…

But don’t worry!

We have a solution for you…

We’ve put together a free 11 point cheat sheet that reveals the steps you need to go through in order to make Facebook ads profitable.

These 11 simple and tested steps work in every market we’ve tested them (it’s been 17 and counting)…

If you’d like to grab a copy of this cheat sheet, just click the link below and enter your info on the next page: