This is the first time we take a case study from the world of education. The sector today appeals to many new emerging entrepreneurs, especially online, but at the same time, everything is so peculiar that a single misstep can compromise the credibility of an entire project before it has even kicked off.
As quite a lot of trainers offer information products, such as courses and guides, the market is becoming even more skeptical and aloof. Additionally, competition sets the bar high: there is an increasing number of trainers and consultants who can create impactful advertisements, use persuasive copywriting, and structure winning funnels.
Within the following lines, we are sharing our experience with Sonny Zanfardino, creator of the 5 Step To ROI method.
Sonny Zanfardino is a web entrepreneur who knows the business world quite well, especially the one of SMEs. In small businesses, it is easy for the owner to replace all roles in the company, filling the gaps and running after the rhythm of his work.
However, this situation blocks business growth, because if the entrepreneur works in the business, he does not have much time to progress with its development. And Sonny managed to come up with a solution. In particular, his 5 Step To ROI method teaches entrepreneurs to automate customer acquisition through online marketing.
Here, we are talking about an extremely knowledgeable professional in the sphere of digital marketing. Sonny is not a person who delegates because he doesn’t know how to do it, but a person who wants everything to be done perfectly by a professional with specific expertise.
After talking thoroughly about 5 Step To ROI, we understood that this method offers a high added value for Italian entrepreneurs. Now we only have to make our customers see it too. From the beginning, however, we knew that it would not be easy to convince the audience:
- There are already trainers selling information on the same topic, often setting misleading expectations to their customers and making them skeptical;
- Many entrepreneurs have had negative experiences with online marketing because they picked the wrong agency or consultant;
- The period in which Sonny contacted us, coinciding with the lockdown, made even the most dedicated entrepreneurs extremely cautious about how money is spent and every penny mattered.
Sonny explained his funnel to us: from Facebook ads, users would discover an Info Product (an Ebook + a Webinar) that can be downloaded for free. After consuming the free Info product, they would have to buy the paid products and services, such as premium courses and consultancy.
It sounds like a proven funnel, made with meticulous care.
We analyzed all created material to promote the 5 Step To ROI. A lot of the content, like the main landing page, was great and didn’t need any improvement.
The critical part we identified was the Facebook Ads – they were carried out in a technically correct way, following all optimization best practices and bringing many leads. We are talking about a new lead for every 2-3 € of advertising budget, numbers that would be normally seen as encouraging.
So what’s wrong with the Facebook Ads?
For some reason, the generated leads were not converting as they should. Only a few people, who already consumed the free Info Product, were eventually convinced enough to end up going premium.
We could have blamed the crisis period, or we could have put it on how the free Info Product was structured. Rather than that, we followed our instincts and focused on the Facebook Ads, deciding in agreement with Sonny to fix them.
Until then, the 5 Step To ROI was primarily promoted as a model that helps businesses acquire customers online.
This not only made Sonny compete with many similar products but above all, it did not enhance the true soul of his own one.
For us, the winning positioning of Sonny’s Info Product was not to be focused on web marketing, but rather emphasize the automation of one of the most critical and expensive aspects in business management.
We wanted to be sure that this is the correct way to go, so we decided to conduct an online survey through a generic Facebook page. With that, we asked entrepreneurs to identify their current priorities, choosing from several options including online marketing and the need for more free time.
The result was quite clear: for most of the respondents, loosening their schedule was the most essential thing. By seeing what’s truly important, we decided to adjust the 5 Step To ROI’s positioning, putting time on a pedestal. From now on, it would no longer be sold as a method of making customers online, but as a tool that would enable entrepreneurs not to spend much time acquiring a few live customers.
The promised result is not necessarily an exponential increase in sales; the big commitment is to be able to automate the sales process so that business owners can focus on other aspects of the business, or leisure.
It might seem counterintuitive since, after all, time would have to be taken away from a particular business aspect to focus on expanding on the market. But that’s not what our target audience wanted to hear, so we listened to the customers’ voice and addressed their needs.
Putting Everything Into Practice
Since we were addressing an audience of entrepreneurs with little time in general, with even less time to be on social media, we couldn’t go into much detail. We had to get right to the point with every ad, so we organized ourselves and did just that.
Instead of opting for a video that brings customers closer to downloading the free Info Product, we focused on simple and direct images. Previously, entrepreneurs used to read ad messages such as “Give us your time and we will explain how to sell more thanks to the web”.
Our target audience would have been even happier to give us money than their time. It just could not be done that way. We had to change the message to “Invest a little time on our Info Product now to save a lot more later”.
Invest something small to receive it in abundant quantities. Yes, this is exactly the logic that would help us win our target. A few lines, simple photos, impactful sentences. Playing a bit with concepts such as free time with family, watching children grow up, being able to take holidays, we gave water to those who were dying of thirst.
The results have been outstanding. Entrepreneurs were no longer downloading the material and then forgetting about it. They were finally convinced that this information deserved to be on their agenda, so they found the time to consume the Info Product.
The potential results that can be obtained by just changing the positioning of a product or a service, are incredible. The cost per lead has risen because the audience has also shrunk. On the other hand, everyone may want to sell more thanks to the web, but only some entrepreneurs have companies big enough to require all their time.
Moreover, acquiring leads at prices that are too low is always an indication of the poor quality of the leads themselves. Paying € 7-8 per lead is perfectly consistent with the 5 Step To ROI target and brand. We knew the results were close.
Three days, just long enough for our leads to consume the free Info Product, got the sales flowing. It was a good place to be as the cost of acquiring a customer went from € 221.54 to € 79.75, dropping by a drastic 64%.
Considering that the products and services of 5 Step To ROI are all placed in the hundreds or thousands of euros, the ROI of the funnel at this moment is very high. We are talking about over 400% only on first purchases.
A great result was obtained by adjusting the positioning and Facebook Ads. We are happy that we managed to provide value to Sonny’s expertise and to have helped Italian entrepreneurs to be able to spend more time with their loved ones. Above all, we already know that this is only the first of many success stories along with the 5 Step To ROI.