The PPC Snobs Playbook
Lead Gen and eCommerce are two of the most common business models that you’ll find on the internet.
A website will either try to sell you services or sell you products. Anyone who’s bought something online doesn’t need to be lectured about eCommerce. My thought is that eventually more things will be purchased online than in person.
I personally enjoy Lead Gen because I think it’s driven by how people behave and make decisions.
Meanwhile, I find eCommerce success to be much more dependent on user experience, fulfillment capacity, reviews and customer service, product offering, and branding.
I usually work with businesses that sell services or software, so they’re looking for leads.
I don’t believe that Lead Gen is a common thought for many people, because if people really understood the many ways that a website will try to influence you to buy services, they’d see the internet as one big competition to sell services.
The usual website customer funnel:
Person clicks ad > person gives information in return for something valuable (quote, case study, guide, etc…) > person becomes a lead > lead becomes an opportunity (once a value has been assigned) > opportunity becomes a customer, which very much depends on an organization’s sales cycle.
There’s a deeper focus focus on lead-to-sale KPIs as they relate to revenue business outcomes: cost per lead (CPL), conversion and close rates (CVR), cost per acquisition (CPA), life time value (LTV) and return on investment (ROI).
Lead gen also requires a deep understanding of how to target and influence stages of the marketing funnel, as well as knowledge of how to create and capture demand through various marketing channels and creative assets.
And at least a basic technical understanding of the marketing software and tracking solutions that enable lead generation specific processes.
I also work with businesses that sell products (and sometimes virtual products, like NFTs).
The best PPC ads for ecommerce are shopping related, meaning that they feature the product image and price at the very least. Like lead gen,
PPC for ecommerce is also focused on cost per acquisition (CPA) and life time value (LTV), as well as average order/cart value (AOV), cost of goods sold (COGS) and return on ad spend (ROAS).
Ecommerce PPC requires a very different set of tactics and skills than lead gen. There needs to be a deeper understanding of the technical systems and processes that support eCommerce PPC, such as setting up merchant feeds and integrating shopping engines with the rest of your tech stack.
Ecommerce success is also heavily driven by positive reviews, user experience, shopping experience, payment friction, order fulfillment, and customer support.
Think of what it takes to run a brick and mortar store; things such as cash register, shelves, employees, and furniture.
Think about the last time you had a bad shopping experience, long wait, bad service, cash only, confusing layout, whatever.
Now imagine having to deal with the digital manifestation of that experience in an Ecommerce store (confusing checkout, limited payment methods, slow shipping, etc…).
Ecommerce should strive to simulate a great physical shopping experience.
Lastly, don’t underestimate the impact that great content and free shipping has on the Ecommerce experience.
The third (and most powerful) model is User Acquisition.
Think of subscription models like Netflix, Amazon Prime, Apple Music or YouTube Premium. Cloud software and apps, like Dropbox, Microsoft or Google Workspace. Content networks, such as social networks and news websites.
For user acquisition, there’s an additional focus on average revenue per user (ARPU) and churn. These are metric ‘acronyms’ that come up quite often in PPC advertising, so it’s worthwhile to start memorizing them now.
The more users that are repeatedly using these platforms, the more money these platforms can make, and usually in multiple ways.
Even creators, like musicians and actors, essentially fall under the scope of user (fan) acquisition.
The ability to generate a large following or influence a powerful niche following (for example, associations that cater to doctors, lawyers, or CEOs) is what drives brands to endorse or sponsor (buy advertising space) from an influencer.
The capacity to properly monetize that following is what separates a paid artist from a broke one.
Ultimately, all internet models demand the ability to translate data from various sources into actionable insights.
The PPC professional, no matter the model, needs to develop the skills to effectively target and convert high value customers for their business.
The PPC Snobs Playbook
Module 1: Startup
The building blocks of PPC advertising