When should you see a return on your ads? I don’t think there is a more asked question 😅
When we make investments, we’re often anxious to start seeing that return come back.
When is pulling out too early? Or when are we just wasting our money?
That’s what I’m breaking down this week on the podcast. Listen in to know what to expect when getting a return on ads and what that timeframe might look like for you!
Here’s a closer look at what I discuss in this episode:
- When you will get a return on ads (spoiler: there is NO specific timeframe!)
- Timeframes I HAVE seen from past clients, and their process
- Tips and tricks to get you there faster
- Different variables that will help (or hurt) you
You are listening to the Scaling of Freedom podcast. And if you are an online coach or course creator, you are in the right place. I’m your host Christina Bernhard. I’m an ads agency owner that gets an inside look every day on what’s working and what doesn’t. In the online coaching space, I’m here to share with you what we see works in our agency as well as what we see happening and changing in the industry. Stay tuned to up-level your coaching business to have the freedom you want. Let’s get started.
Welcome to episode 165. Today we are talking about when will you get a return on your ads. So this is such a common question for obvious reasons, right? So whenever we are putting, um, money into something and we’re making an investment, we are always curious of, you know, what kind of timeframe should we be expecting to get a return on our investment? So I get this question all the time, um, to, uh, not to burst your bubble, but knowing this would be predicting the future. So we can guess, but there is no way to know for sure. So before I get into this episode, um, I just want to state that that there is no like specific timeframe, but there is a common timeframe that I’ll share in this episode. Um, and I’m also going to share ways that you can get there faster. And then also what are the different variables that will affect how much sooner or later you will get your return on your ads.
Um, if you do so, let’s go ahead and start with, you know, those variables. Um, so what it depends on, cuz it depends on a few different things. So the first thing is how proven your offer is. So I never recommend, um, running ads until your offer is proven. Uh, you can use ads to, you know, test things out. Just know that that’s a very expensive route to go. You really want to start ads whenever your offer is proven because the role of ads is to amplify what is already working. And if you have something that’s not working and you are putting it in front of just more people, um, it doesn’t mean that it’s now going to work. Now with volume you might get more sales, but it doesn’t necessarily mean you’re gonna get a return because now you are paying for more people to look at it.
So you want to make sure that your offer is proven. Um, the second thing is that your, um, is your funnel or sales, uh, conversion rates. So whatever your sales process is, if you have calls or um, if people can just purchase directly, um, whatever that looks like. Um, if you have a funnel that has like a, a freebie or um, an evergreen webinar, then you know, having the conversion rate of that is going to really affect when you’re gonna get a return. So if you have a really high conversion rate, you have a really high converting funnel, you’re likely to get that return a much faster, right? Um, but if it’s a decent conversion rate and you’re still kind of, you know, working on that to increase it, then you know that’s going to affect your timeline of course. Um, the third thing is how warm your ads account is.
So if you’ve never ran ads before, that means your account is very cold. Um, it doesn’t have a lot of data in it. Maybe you’ve ran ads a long time ago or whatever the case is. If you have not ran ads on a consistent basis recently, you don’t have as much data as you will in the future once you run some more ads. And that’s going to also be a variable that will affect whenever you have a return. Um, the fourth thing is how involved you or your team is in optimization. So once you start pushing this volume into your funnel, you want to make sure that you are on top of optimizing that sales process or funnel. That’s going to be huge because you don’t want to just send ads to it and then kind of take a backseat and not do anything with that data.
Because once you have that volume going through it, you’re gonna be collecting a lot more data because you have people going through, you can actually draw some conclusions depending on what kind of volume we’re talking about, uh, based on their behavior going through the funnel. And you can actually do a lot of different things to optimize it and increase that conversion rate and that’s going to get your return faster. The last thing that, um, I’ll go over as far as a variable is also your price point. So if you have a higher price point, um, this might be obvious, but if you have a higher price point, then you are going to likely get an return much faster. It is a lot easier to get a return whenever you are pushing a higher ticket offer. Now if you are using ads for your lower price offer and people tend to graduate or you know, move on to a higher ticket item, you do have to put that into consideration for your ads.
It depends on what kind of role your ads are playing and which part of your entire sales process, um, your ads are, um, tick part in. So, um, you know, if you do have something that you sell people that is higher ticket, even if you have some lower ticket things along the way, uh, that’s going to help you get a return so much faster you can get a return on lower ticket items. We don’t have a lot of clients that only have lower ticket offers, but we do have a few and it is possible, I will say it takes an enormous amount of volume, probably more volume than you think. I feel like a lot of times we underestimate how much volume it actually does take to make good money, especially with the lower ticket items. But, um, it is possible. So those are the main variables.
Um, I will also, um, add another one that’s actually very important, um, which is your purchase cycle. Um, the timeframe. So what I’m referring to is whenever someone gets into your, your world or gets into your funnel, um, you know, how long are they there before they actually purchase from you or make an investment with you. So that’s going to really determine it as well. If your purchase cycle is six months long, um, then you know, I like, theoretically whenever you put in your ads money and you get that person into your world, then you would get a return on that person on average six months later. So that’s something to also take into consideration because I often see this get really overlooked, um, and not something that people are thinking about. But if you have, you know, if people go into your funnel and they don’t purchase right away or that day, especially if you have a higher ticket offer, it doesn’t actually make sense that you would get a return right away, right?
Because you already are aware that that’s not how your sales process works. So, um, it, you know, once you start ads, it doesn’t magically make that faster. So your purchase cycle, it just is your purchase cycle, right? So those are the variables that will affect your timeline. Some of them, I mean there, there really are endless variables, but those are the main like biggest ones. So how proven your offer is, uh, your funnel or sales process, whatever that conversion rate is, uh, if, if it’s high converting or low converting, that’s going to affect that timeline. Um, how warm your ads account is, how on top of optimization you are and the offer price point and purchase cycle. So the second thing that I want you to do is to know your conversion rates. Cuz this is going to be huge if you want to know when you’re going to get a return, we need to know what your conversion rates are because we need to know this to even create any kind of rough prediction.
We literally cannot even create a rough prediction without this metric. So it’s really important to know what your conversion rates are. So it’s a really good place to start because we can actually create projections based on this number and we can guess on, you know, what those top of funnel like cost per leads would look like, um, based on your industry and like the other variables that I discussed. So if your funnel or sales process isn’t converting, there’s no way to get a return on your ads. Um, if, if people are not buying to begin with, like whenever you’re putting warm organic people through it and people aren’t buying, then putting cold traffic to it is not going to make it convert. So ads are only on the front end. Their job is to just get traffic to your sales funnel, not necessarily make the sale.
So there are ways that you can use ads to support your sales funnel, um, like with retargeting ads and different kind of, um, campaigns that you can put together, but the ads will not fix a sales problem. So it’s super important to understand that. And I’ve heard of people say that their offer isn’t selling, so they want to try ads and this is a terrible, terrible idea. Um, ads should be amplifying what is working. This is typically the situation that I see whenever someone says that ads do not work. Um, because that is usually where someone is, they misidentified the role of ads. So they probably put the ads, uh, you know, they put, um, they used the ads for something that was not selling and because it wasn’t selling, they say that ads don’t work. Um, so if the role is to a role of ads is to get traffic to a funnel, um, they absolutely work and they can absolutely get a return, um, if the funnel is actually converting and the offer is selling.
So, um, if your offer is selling and your funnel converts, I’m going to go ahead and give you some averages of the typical timeframe that you can expect to see a return. So, um, again, this is if the offer is selling in the funnel is converting well, um, so typically within three to six months. So that’s why we require a three month commitment so that we can get things going, um, especially for a cold account. Um, and that also gives us some time to optimize the ads but also gives you time to optimize the backend. Now, three months is not where like you’re finished and you’re just like rolling in money. That’s not typically what happens. Um, it does take time, but three to six months is usually a, you’re in a really good place at that point. Um, so this is a really good timeframe to do, you know, a decent amount of testing, um, and just getting really, really intentional with the ads in the funnel.
Um, and also optimizing that funnel for colder traffic as well. Cuz sometimes we do need to make some changes on the backend. If this funnel has only been in front of a warm organic audience, sometimes you might have to lengthen it. Um, you might have just different, uh, perspectives coming in, uh, and things like that. So there are ways that you can gather data. I’m going to be doing an entire episode on market research and how we can find those answers, what the best way to do that, uh, is because it’s huge. Um, so typically within three to six months if you, if you’re just like, give me a timeframe, that’s your timeframe. But again, that is only if things are selling and the funnel is converting. So in order to get a return, I wanna talk about that. Um, cuz I also wanna talk about some common costs per leads and things like that because there are lots of different metrics that you do have to put together.
Um, so I’m gonna just like briefly go over that and then I’m gonna have give you a, um, a tool to help you that I’ve created. So, um, the first thing is you need to know what numbers you need to get a return. So the webinar conversion rate or overall conver uh, funnel conversion rate, we went over that. So you need to know that, um, the cost of your offer, um, which you know these things, but I’m just giving you a list of the things that you need to know, um, the cost of your offer. Um, and then what you can do, do is, and then also you need to know a cost per lead, but you can kind of guess on that one and I can give you some, um, common ones for the coaching industry that I usually see based on what you’re sending ads to.
And then, um, once you have those numbers, I do have a freebie output in the show notes. Um, or you can go to christina bernhard.com. RO is freebie, so ROAS is R O A S freebie and um, if you go there, you can download it for free. It’s a calculator. And what you would do is you would put in these specific metrics and in there I also put in some resources to help you like walk through, um, creating this ca calculator and where to get these numbers and um, maybe some numbers to go off of if you’re not completely sure, if you don’t completely, if you don’t have these numbers, especially that cost per lead, um, that way you can get an idea of if you’re ready for ads, um, if you’re actually going to get a return or how far you are away from getting that return because you can play with this calculator and see, okay, if my funnel conversion rate, if I raised it by 3%, what would that look like?
Um, if I had an offer at this certain price point, what would that look like? Um, so these are really, really good tools to use to figure that out. That way you’re not jumping into ads and just thinking, this is gonna fix my sales problem because it will not. Um, and you do not want to have one of those nightmare experiences. That’s why I created this calculator and that’s why o on this podcast and if I’m on any other podcast or anything like that, um, I’m always constantly talking about this because I hear it all the time of like, ads don’t work or you know, all of these things and it’s usually because the backend is not converting. So super important to know your number, your numbers. A lot of people do not know their numbers, so if you don’t know your numbers, like don’t feel bad about it because I see this all the time, I’ve seen people make so much money and not know what their funnel conversion rate is.
It blows my mind, but it does happen. And um, especially if you’re just not someone who is like a numbers spreadsheet kind of person, um, that’s okay. So we can keep it really, really simple. Go ahead and download the ROEs freebie, um, christina bernhard.com/ro freebie. Um, and you can put in your numbers there. I also, again, I put um, things in there to help you guide you to finding these numbers or guessing on those numbers. So, um, out of those numbers I will go over the cost per lead. So, because that’s usually the one that people don’t know because if you’ve never ran ads before, you don’t know what your cost per lead is, so you should know your, um, funnel conversion rate. If you don’t, you should have access to that information, but with cost related, you are gonna have to kind of guess.
So I’m going to give you just some averages that I see in the coaching. So this is specifically for coaches or and course graders. Um, so these are just averages, they vary a lot. And I do want to point out, and you’ll see this if you downloaded the calculator and see how it all works out when you put in all of the numbers that the cost per lead is not the only metric. There’s a lot of focus on this metric. Um, but you have to understand that it it, what matters is all of the other numbers along with the cost per lead. Um, so if your costs for lead is $50 but the leads are really high quality and they convert to your $5,000 program, it, it might really be worth it. Once you put the numbers in the calculator, you might be getting a huge return.
You know, um, I would pay a a couple hundred dollars to get to make $5,000 for sure. So low cost per leads can actually mean low quality. So I mean there are ways that, you know, if someone really just wanted a low cost per lead, I, I wouldn’t suggest this and would never do it, but like I know how to like rig Facebook ads to give you a low cost per lead and give you some crappy leads because there are certain like regions of the world or there are certain like broader audiences or things that you can do to get some like low quality leads, right? Um, but we need good quality leads. So we need, um, in order to get a a low quality or a low cost per lead, we just need a high clickthrough rate with low CPMs. So there’s ways to do this, but like I said, we want quality.
So you don’t necessarily want the lowest cost per lead you possibly can. We want to have a balance, right? We wanna balance it with being intentional about finding quality leads, but also still finding, you know, really good um, CPMs with that higher click-through rate, figuring out would creatives create that. And so, um, higher ticket programs often require higher income individuals that might relate to higher CPMs. Um, you might also be in a competitive industry where it’s just simply going to cost you more. Um, there’s just lots of variables there. So don’t like focus only on the cost per lead and don’t worry about that. Um, what we want to know is the cost per lead with, along with all of the other numbers like the conversion numbers, your offer, price point, your purchase cycle, things like that. So, um, common cost per leads. So if you could like, just give me some ideas so that you can put it into the calculator to give you a place to start, um, I can go ahead and do that.
So I’m mostly referring to, um, America leads. So in America there are going to be specific kind of like trends of CPMs. Um, again, this varies a lot. I’m just giving you numbers cause I know that’s what you want. Um, but you do also have like, uh, Europe and Australia are typically a bit cheaper, a little bit cheaper. Um, again, it depends. I have a, a client actually that is Australian and her work does so much better in America for whatever reason. And um, her messaging is just really, it’s, it’s more, um, a hotter topic right now in America. I think America’s a little behind on it. Um, and it’s just been a good like hot topic in Australia for a long time and now like we’re putting the ads to America and it’s so much cheaper. Um, but that’s because of the response. Um, so for the numbers for America, um, freebie downloads can be anywhere between like $2 and $10.
So when I say freebie, I’m talking about some sort of resource, um, free resource, um, any variety of that. Um, and then webinar, if you’re doing a webinar or a live event, some sort of hype event, um, boot camps, uh, live challenges, things like that. Um, they’re typically around five to $15. Now they might be, especially if you’re in something really, really niche, they might be much higher than this, um, or they might actually be lower than this. So it depends on your industry, um, and also your work and how proven it is and how dialed in your messaging is and all of that. But those are some averages that you can start with. Um, I do wanna point out that this is post iOS 14. So if you’re looking at past results, um, verify with whoever’s showing you the results, ask them if they are pre or post iOS 14 because things have changed, um, and things are getting a little bit more pricey.
Um, so I sadly had to uh, toss my pre iOS 14 like case studies because I just didn’t feel good about sharing them anymore. It kind of feels like you’re tricking people without very important context that this is like before a lot of things change. Um, they are legit like results still, but you know, again, things are different. Um, and we have been able to match those results post iOS 14, so we don’t really need them anymore. But, um, it is really, really important to know that things have changed. It is a little bit more pricey. So if you do see some, um, old results or like some old content about cost per leads and things like that, take that into consideration that you want to find the most recent information that you can. Um, so I’m recording this at the beginning of 2023, so that’s what I’m seeing right now in the agency.
So that is, um, your cost release, like the averages. So what you need to do from here, um, to figure out like potentially when you would get a return, um, is to download the freebie, download the um, row as freebie, that is the calculator, put in your different numbers and you can go from there and just see like how far out you would be from having a return. So if you put in a funnel conversion rate of let’s say like 3%, and when you put in all the numbers, um, the return is really, really low and then you put, uh, maybe like, you know, 8% or something like that, you can just see how far away you are from, you know, having the return that you want and you can, that can kind of help you, um, figure out your timeline. But again, if things are converting really well and selling typically three to six months, you’re usually in a good spot. So, um, that is what I have for you this week. Um, I hope y’all have a beautiful week and I will see you guys next time. Thank you for listening to the Scaling to Freedom podcast. If you are a seven figure coach looking for ads management with an agency that partners with you to get your work out into the, the world and amplify your impact, see if we are a good fit by applying for a spot in our firstname.lastname@example.org/apply. Find the link in our show notes.