How I wasted a juicy biz opportunity and what lessons I learned

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In 2013 I created an ebook offer in the relationships market, helping women overcome challenges in one specific niche.

After putting it on Clickbank, I tested this offer using Adwords.

At $27 the Conversion Rate from 1,000+ VSL visitors was 2.38%, making the offer break even. Cold traffic. Zero follow-up.

At that time I didn’t know having a front-offer break even is actually a great signal.

Instead of adding some upsells and increasing Average Order Value, I focused on decreasing traffic costs.

As Adwords got more expensive, I focused on finding alternative sources of traffic and doing all kinds of silly stuff (like creating quizzes, etc) thinking the solution is in having lower cost per click and cost per lead.

Couple of years later I eventually managed to make my FB lead ads consistently get me leads at .08 per lead, but the quality of this FB traffic was miles away from the initial Adwords traffic.

Cost per click and cost per lead were down, but VSL Conversion rate was also down. A lot.

I started optimizing everything – from the follow-up sequence, through VSL, to everything else. But the VSL Conversion Rate was still waay down.


I came up with two. Possibly more.

Reason 1: Adwords got me people based on their search intent. They were already looking for this type of information and were motivated to find a solution asap. Facebook got me a lot of curious leads (through my free report and quiz), some of which are not necessarily the best fit for my offer. Now or ever.

Reason 2: In the meantime, Youtube and Google became flooded with free information in this relationship niche.

Now the lessons.

1. Forget making the front-end offer profitable. Make the Average Order Value profitable by adding upsells/downsells asap!

2. Traffic quality matters. You want to have the traffic that is as close to having a buying intent as possible.

3. Traffic costs can get lower only as much. Focus more on AOV than on decreasing traffic costs.

4. After you have a good AOV, focus on the life-time customer value by following-up and making new offers.

5. Timing and momentum are important. CVR is highest when competition is low and/or when your offer has a unique twist. Information can become a commodity, so if something is working great now, start squeezing that lemon as there’s no tomorrow.

Thank you for your time and attention. 

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