Grab your notebooks – because this week’s post is a detailed guide to using ads for your next product launch.  This week – we’re joined by a dear friend Claire Pelletreau…I’m practically salivating about the amount of info in this post…be brave, dive in!

In the weeks and months leading up to your launch, you should be doing 2 things: growing your list and stretching your exposure. You want more people to find out about you and your business, and start putting them through the Know-Like-Trust process. You do that by reaching them on social media and via email.

So what are your options for increasing your reach and growing your list?

Anne will be the first to tell you that guest posting is absolutely key to driving more people back to your site. Once they’re there, hopefully, they’re getting nice and friendly with your opt-in forms.

Maybe you’re thinking . . .

“So then why so much hype about Facebook Ads? What’s the big deal?”

There’s just one problem with the guest posting tactic for list building: it takes up a ton of your time. It takes energy. Not only do you have to find blogs with your exact audience and pitch to them, but you also have to write a killer post!

Interviews have similar roadblocks.

Getting interviewed may save you some manpower since you don’t have to sit down and write something, but you still have to carve out time for the actual interview. And what happens if the next slot for a guest post or an interview lands right after your launch ends? You’re out of luck there.

Those are two things I love about Facebook ads for pre-launch list building: they run on autopilot, and you control the timeline. Yes, you need to take a little time to set up the initial campaigns. Once the ads are running, though, you barely have to think about them. Set it and forget it, baby!

“You want me to use paid advertising for something other than pushing my product?”

Yes, and here’s why. It’s a lot harder (and more expensive) to get people to click on an ad, visit your site, and whip out a credit card to buy from you. But if they’re taken to a gorgeous landing page with an offer of some extremely useful content, it’s a different story completely. Giving you their email address is nothing compared to their money.

Plus you have to think about the return on investment (ROI) of these ads. What if you spend $100 to get around 100 new people on your list just before your launch. If a handful of those people buy from you, how much revenue will you make off them? It depends on the product, but in most cases, it comes down to pure (dollars and) sense. Spending a chunk of money on ads will most likely mean more revenue at the end of your launch.

In Case You Aren’t Completely Sold…

The ad that I’m about to show you how to create has a bonus effect: in almost all cases, you end up with a wider reach and more likes on your Facebook Page. It literally happens naturally – after all, the ads you’re going to make will look just like organic posts to your target audience.

“OK, I’m convinced – when do I need to start running my ads?”

This depends on your budget and plans, but I have a couple of guidelines I typically follow when creating campaigns for clients. Start running your ads no more than 6 weeks before you open the sales cart, and stop them about a week before. You want to give people enough time to get to know you and your offering – they can’t do that if they get on your list on Monday and you open the cart on a Wednesday.

If you have a series of autoresponders people receive after getting on your list, keep that schedule in mind. If I get the last email in the series two weeks after opting in, make sure you stop your ads two or more weeks before Launch Day.

Your Step-by-Step Guide

Here’s what you need:

  • a top-notch landing page with knock-out copy (no pressure!)

  • a great piece of opt-in content (like Anne’s Launch Planner)

  • at least one image and a short call-to-action enticing the viewer to grab that killer content of yours

To make this as easy on you as possible, I put together a short how-to video. You’re going to learn exactly how to put together ads that, to be frank, kick butt at list building.

(Tip: watch this video when you’re literally ready to put together your ads. Until then, skip over it and keep reading about setting your budget below.)

**In the video I mention the importance of setting up Conversion Tracking. Check out this quick guide to putting Conversion Tracking in place in 10 minutes or less.

“Daily budget? I’m just starting out so I’ll keep it low for now.”

A (very opinionated) word about setting your campaign’s budget: MORE. Yup, that’s the word I want you to keep in mind when putting this all together. More as in spend more than you think you’re comfortable with. Just a little more, but the right way.

Basically Facebook will reward you with less expensive clicks if it sees that your ads are doing well. That means as you get more and more conversions a.k.a. opt-ins (which you BETTER have set up to track), you get charged less for each one.

So it makes sense to spend more, faster. Spend $30 on the first day of your ad, and reassess at the end of the day. Those $30 will get you more clicks and more opportunities for conversions than only $10 will. And those clicks and conversions translate into more evidence for Facebook that your ads are kicking butt. That way they’re more likely to lower the price for you.

Still with me? To sum that up, spend more for a day or two, and then think about bringing down your daily budget so you don’t overspend. (Or don’t bring it down. Keep enjoying the thrill of watching your list grow and your cost-per-conversion drop!)

“So what should I expect to spend on each new person on my list?”

The honest answer is that it’s hard to tell – cost per conversion on list building ads really varies a lot. You might spend as little as $.50 an email address up to $4.00. It depends on lots of factors: your ad copy and image, landing page, and offer, for example. The more optimized (translation: amazing) those elements are, the better your cost per conversion will be. It also depends on how well you’ve targeted your audience.

And that’s it. I promise! That’s everything you need to know in order to set up and run some seriously successful Facebook ads. Ready to grow your list? Check. How about some more Facebook fans? Bonus check!

Honesty time:  I’m actually dying to hear about you.

What have your experiences with Facebook Ads been? Is this your first time hanging out with the Power Editor? If so, what do you think?

Let me know in the comments below. I’d love to learn more about you, your Facebook ads, and your upcoming launch!

(Feel free to pull some of your peeps into the discussion by sharing this post on the social network of your choosing.)

Claire Pelletreau is the resident analytics nerd for LKR Social Media and the founder of Let Them Eat Content. She teaches entrepreneurs how to drive ridiculously targeted traffic to their websites and then convert those visits like crazy. She goes weak in the knees for data analysis, Google Analytics, and French Revolution metaphors.

Want to dive into more detail on how to get the most bang for your advertising bucks? Click here to grab Claire’s free step-by-step guide to list building with Facebook ads!