YPMS Episode 8: Facebook Ads expert Rory Stern shares how to stay compliant and within Facebook’s terms while scaling to thousands of dollars a day in ad spend!

Build a Perfect Marketing Strategy by subscribing to Your Perfect Marketing Strategy:


Follow Rory Stern

RFS Digital

Show Notes

Casey Stanton
You’re listening to your perfect marketing strategy, the only podcast to teach you what marketing tactics are working right now, how to know which tactics are right for your business and the immediate steps you can take to deploy those tactics to grow your business today. Hey, it’s your host Casey Stanton with CMOx, the Fractional Chief Marketing Officer company. And I’m here with Rory Stern of RFS Digital Media based in Tampa, Florida. He and his business partner, Charles Lee Collins, are at the bleeding edge of running profitable paid traffic that is compliant and doesn’t get shut down. And let me tell you what I mean by that. On Monday, August 31 2020, Rory and his team ran ads for a SaaS company. They did $1.7 million in sales in one day. You heard that right. $1.7 million, not year to date, but in one day, and to do something like that. Obviously, there’s a promotion behind it, but there’s a pretty kick ass promotion behind it. So we’re going to talk a bit about what Rory and his team does to drive paid traffic to offers what Facebook looks for what Google cares about, what’s working well, what’s going to get you shut down, what shutdowns look like and how you can protect yourself. And at the end, if you’re looking for someone to help you with your marketing spend, and be able to drive at least as good of results, or if not much better results. Roy’s got a small offer there. So without further ado, Rory. Welcome.

Rory Stern
Thanks, Casey. It’s great to be here. I love the intro, man.

Casey Stanton
Yeah, man. Well, I’m excited to chat with you. So one of the things that we just chatted about here was being compliant on Facebook. And, man, to me, it feels like a dangerous game to build your business as just a business owner, just getting all your traffic from Facebook. Because if one day Facebook has a bad day, or if you get caught in a bug, your ads go offline. And being compliant feels like the most important thing to do. But nobody’s talking about it. Would you agree?

Rory Stern
Yeah, nobody’s a bit extreme. But I mean, that’s probably because I live in this world. So I know the people that are but it’s like 99.9% of people are not talking about it.

Casey Stanton
So what happens if you’re not compliant? Like what’s, uh, what is it business owner experience? If their ads are not compliant?

Rory Stern
Um, you know, best case scenario, their ads go down, and they have to figure it out on their own. What do I do? What did I do wrong? And I say that as best case scenario, because to me, I’m already cringing. As my mind goes, most of these people are going into Facebook groups and asking what do I do what happened, and then they’re getting advice from, you know, 15,000 people who have no idea what they’re doing, but want to sound important. Worst case scenario, you lose your ad account, you lose your business manager, your personal profile gets restricted from running ads on Facebook, and you have no way of running ads yourself, nor can you access anything to do with the ad platform and solely have to rely on someone else. So it can, it can be a big deal.

Casey Stanton
And that would be devastating. And I’ve seen it happen. But one thing I’ve seen happen is that the issue that an account got in trouble for it ultimately, that person was unable to advertise any longer was something that was old, it was months or years old. And Facebook finally caught up that what you’re seeing, like, it’s just a mistake that happened or someone made some no gutsy move, and it turned out to screw them six months later.

Rory Stern
I don’t want to say that’s what we’re seeing. But that certainly does happen without a doubt. You know, Facebook, can you know, Facebook does go back and look through your ad account. And if you’ve made violations that they mean, either number one, you got away with it. And now they finally caught you they can take action on it, which you know, to a large degree, let’s be honest, that kind of sucks. And then what’s happened once before and a large wave. I imagine it probably still happens from time to time, but a large wave a couple years ago, Facebook updated their policies, and anybody that had used or that had done something that at one point was within policy that they deemed is no longer within policy. They did go back and slap the heck out of those accounts. Absolutely.

Casey Stanton
That reminds me of like the old days of Google when like easy articles and all the articles spinning stuff was big. Everyone’s growing their business. They were dominating the search engines. And then one day Google made an update and everyone got screwed.

Rory Stern
Yep.

Casey Stanton
So what kind of stuff is Facebook seen that breaks the terms of service that someone listening might be doing?

Rory Stern
It’s interesting. You say that there are a lot of things people are doing that they shouldn’t be doing. Largely because they don’t know it’s it’s a pretty incestuous relationship. Tip To be honest, because you see someone doing something and you’re like, oh, it must be compliant. If so and so’s getting away with it, then I can, or if so, and so is teaching it, well, then I can get away with it. So what are some common things? I mean, the bare minimum, I mean, the most obvious one is making claims. You know, if you say, you know, here’s how I made $50,000 last month, Get the f out of here like that. That’s not gonna fly. Oh, yeah. Yeah. There are people who will have you believe that you can say how john made $50,000 in 30 days? No, you can’t. It’s still a claim. The interesting thing with Facebook is there’s a couple core principles. People don’t understand. Number one, Facebook makes their decisions based on societal norm. So what do I mean by that? Is it fair KC, for me to say that normal society believes that the right thing to do for your career is to go to college? Get a degree and go and get a job? Is that fairly standard practice? I would say so. Okay. And on the fringe of digital marketing, would it be fair to say that there are many of us who have sort of cut our teeth with the school of hard knocks, who look at college now and go $20,000 a year $30,000 a year, and I’m not guaranteed a job? That sounds more like a scam than a $2,000? info product? Is that fair? Yeah, right. Yeah, there’s a face to face. Facebook doesn’t care about that Facebook cares about societal norms. So how does how does this translate the fact that you and I can go out and have a $10,000 day a $20,000, day a $50,000, day $100,000 month, our client that we’re you started the episode with, generated $1.7 million in 24 hours during a sale. That’s not normal. So that’s not acceptable for Facebook. It doesn’t matter that that’s normal to you. And I, Facebook is looking at what’s normal to the average user, and to the average user, the average user is not going to go out and make that happen.

Casey Stanton
Sure, that makes sense. So but how do they know the revenue that’s coming in?

Rory Stern
That doesn’t matter? But it really doesn’t matter. It’s what matters is what are the societal norms. So the societal norm is that most people make, I don’t even know, let’s just call it 1012 $15 an hour. Like that’s, that’s what people make $50,000 a year. That’s normal. So when you start saying, here’s how I made $50,000, in 30 days, it’s it’s a claim. And what I’ve just sort of shared with you is, well, how does Facebook determine it’s a claim? Is it something the average person can do? No, it doesn’t even matter that the average person could do it. If you and I taught them how to do it, the average person still won’t be able to do it. That’s for sure. That gets overlooked.

Casey Stanton
Okay, got it. So the first thing that people may be doing right now is they may be giving, they may have claims published on their ads or on their landing pages. And Facebook is finding that to be outside of their terms of service, because those claims aren’t what is generally accepted as possible. Yep. That’s why that’s the name. So how do you get around that claim? Because the claim is so useful, you know, it’s not like it’s a medical claim, you know, this is going to treat and cure cancer. But how do you get around that claim issue?

Rory Stern
So the interesting thing is Casey, we don’t get around it. I want to be very careful in the words that we use and not because I’m anal retentive. It’s it’s really how we we educate our customers and our clients, whether it’s consulting or whether we do the ads for them. We’re not looking to get around anything. We’re not looking to sidestep we’re not looking to make you know, we’re not looking to trick Facebook, we’re not looking for hacks. We’re looking for long term sustainable growth. So if I’m going to talk about how we’ve built a profitable business, well, I’m going to avoid any specific financial claims. I’m also going to steer clear of platitudes like six figure business seven figure business, they don’t want to hear it. I tend to talk about successful, profitable, scalable businesses, I think about who I’m having a conversation with. So for instance, you know, you go through the conversation and go, who really responds to, here’s how john made $50,000 in the last 30 days, newbies. Okay, so I can attract a newbie by showing a picture of me posing in front of a Lamborghini, which I don’t recommend people do that’s trash advertising, but like that will attract new people. So, in contrast, you want to think, how would you talk to the CEO of a seven figure company? How would I talk to let’s just throw it out there? What I how would I have a conversation with with Tony Robbins? Am I going to talk? I’m not going to walk up to Tony and be like, hey, Tony, I did $50,000 in sales in the last 30 days, you can be like, yeah, who gives a shit? I don’t care, right? You want to have an actual conversation with that person? in a way that’s going to speak to them and connect with them. So we talk about generalities. Again, you know, successful, scalable, profitable. You talk about lifestyle, if you will, in terms of, you know, luxury, so not lifestyle, like, oh, here’s how I make money online, sitting on the beach on my laptop. That’s again, Newby, Newby, garbage.

Casey Stanton
You talk about like freedom and flexibility?

Rory Stern
Yep, freedom, flexibility. And it’s, it’s the benefits the outcome, right more time, more freedom, more flexibility, the opportunity to, you know, work a few hours. So you paint the picture and let them sort of draw their own conclusion.

Casey Stanton
That makes sense. And by doing that, there’s a, there’s a logical kind of cognitive leap from what you just told me and to what that income must be. But you’ve never explicitly inferred the income or told it to me. Okay, that makes sense. So Facebook cares about that. I’m curious, how deep does Facebook go? When they go to approve an ad? They look at the ad copy, obviously, they look at the landing page, what do they want to see? Do they look deeper to the site? Do they go to the sitemap? Do they crawl the whole site?

Rory Stern
So if you go to the ad policies, that’s real simple. Anybody who’s listening, I wish I had a short URL, but just go to Google and type in Facebook ad policies, it’s the number one result, read it, print it out. If you’re doing any advertising, you owe it yourself to get familiar with it. One of the first things Facebook shares with you is that your ad and your landing page are what gets reviewed, and what are open for scrutiny as according to the ad policies. So in your ad, you know, when we first started it was ad copy and image. So now it’s ad image or video. So yes, it’s your copy. Yes, it’s your image. Yes, it’s your video. And it’s also the script of your video. So we had a client who did a, you know, iPhone recording, talking about a health offer. And in it, he mentioned the word he used the word suck. They eventually caught that shut it down.

Casey Stanton
Wow. Because it’s profanity.

Rory Stern
Yep.

Casey Stanton
Oh, interesting.

Rory Stern
Yep. Yep. So another another lesson that people will kind of sidebar for a second. But it’s, it’s it’s related, given what you just brought up. What most people don’t understand about Facebook. And this goes for every ad network, there’s a certain user experience that the network is looking for. Facebook happens to be a social media platform. Facebook is all about user experience and having a positive user experience. Now, I would venture to say that there’s strong opinions about Facebook right now, given what they allow what they don’t allow, take your personal feelings and set them aside and look at it as a business owner. Facebook makes its money by serving ads. Facebook makes money by people being on the platform who click the ads. If people have a bad experience, they’re not going to be on the platform, therefore, they’re not going to click on ads, so they’re not going to make money. So your ads, as you write your copy, as you talk to your your, your you know, the Facebook user, are you giving them a good experience or a bad experience? So the simplest way to do this is ads will get disapproved. If you say, Are you struggling? Are you fed up? Are you sick and tired of being sick and tired of you know, that’s negative or you’re painting it in a negative light? And that brings up another thing? There’s this controversy among, you know, Facebook advertisers, and and really, it’s about amateur, you know, a controversy amongst amateurs. The reality is you can use you anytime you want. But you have to frame it positively. So instead of saying, Are you struggling? Imagine if your life, imagine if you could vacation whenever you want. I mean, it’s all about that positive user experience. So that’s really what you want to deliver.

Casey Stanton
That’s really interesting right there because I’ve seen that before ads have been disapproved, and someone’s like, oh, the reason is because he used the word you in it and you’re talking to the person to directly you’re saying no, it just has to be in a positive light

Rory Stern
Needs to be positive. We use you and your every single day in our ads, and I get that pushback all the time from other advertisers from affiliates who are doing advertising promotions, and they get, you know, their ads disapproved and ours run and they’re like, Oh, well, it’s because there’s you and you’re on the landing page. Nonsense. It’s because you don’t know how to run ads. But because you attended a webinar last week and took your buddy’s info training, you think you know what you’re doing?

Casey Stanton
It’s really interesting to me that what you just said was, do the basic thing. Like, when I think about SEO, what’s the trick to SEO? Just give Google what they want? What’s the trick to Facebook ads, read the Facebook ad policy and follow it and know it really, really well.

Rory Stern
Yeah. But I mean, there is an asterisk to read the Facebook ad policy and know what they want. Because there’s a lot of stuff that’s open for interpretation. And a lot of it is, you know, getting getting your butt kicked for seven years. And, and and finding out what happened, you know, that that’s the other thing. And I want to come back to your question of how much does Facebook, you know, how deep do they go? I want to come back to that. But the only reason I know compliance, the way that I do is I’ve run ads for seven years, and I’ve gotten my butt kicked. And, you know, before there were reps and support, you just did a process of elimination. Well, if it’s not if you know, can I say this? Will that get the ad approved? You add in Facebook reps? And for the most part, most Facebook, most Facebook reps don’t know what they’re doing. They’re reading from a script.

Casey Stanton
Oh, that’s really interesting. Even if you’re spending top dollar.

Rory Stern
Well, let’s, let’s break this apart. So the average Facebook advertiser has email support, you can email in and say, hey, my ad was shut down. Those people are low level minimum wage employees reading from a script, they only have certain things they can say. And all they care about is keeping their job. They’re not interested in helping you get your ad approved. They’re interested in making sure that they keep their job and their paycheck, depending upon how much you spend, and a number of different factors and it changes from time to time. So I don’t even know where it is right now. Some advertisers can get chat support. They so now you can use messenger and messenger with Facebook reps. They too are low level employees who know nothing, you’re speaking to a robot, they care about their job. In fact, over the last six months, eight months, everything has become so scripted. Like, the welcome message is the same every time. Hi, this is so and so from Facebook.

Casey Stanton
I know. It’s like you’re at Olive Garden. Bongiorno.

Rory Stern
Exactly. I see that you’re writing in about problem X, Y and Z. I can see how that’s a big deal. And very important for you when you want to get this resolved. Here’s your case number in case we you know, in case we have to follow up on it, is that correct? And then you type Yes. And they literally can’t tell you anything other than you have to guide the conversation. So if I get a disapproved ad, and the first thing I do is inside ads manager I appeal it if it doesn’t get appealed, or if it doesn’t get reversed upon appeal. And I know that it should be I’ll go to chat support and say I’d like to escalate this for manual review. They’re not going to be the ones reviewing it. They’re literally typing up everything that you’re saying and sending it up to somebody else who’s a little bit higher level. And as sad as it is for me to say this, most of those higher level people aren’t even higher level. It’s it’s really frustrating. So who let’s, let’s stop there for a minute, take a deep breath, and back up. Let’s back up the train and go okay, how much does Facebook Digg, so your ad copy your video script? If you have one in your ad, your landing page. Now your landing page tends to have a little less scrutiny than your ad. In fact, it especially like any diet space, it’s it’s crystal clear in the ad policy. You cannot use before and after photos. None zero

Casey Stanton
On my landing page?

Rory Stern
Exactly. Well, no, it just it says in the policy of Remember, the ad policy says here’s what we review your ad and your landing page. Yeah. Then you keep going. And it says no before and after pictures. That applies to the ad and the landing page, because those are the things getting reviewed. Now, we’ve worked with clients who of course, come in and say, Hey, you know, here’s my landing page, and I’ll go You can’t use before and after pictures. While we’ve been getting away from getting away with it for two years. I’ll be like, that’s awesome. You’re getting away with it for two years. I can promise you it’s going to happen at some point. If you want me to run your ads. We’re going to come up with a smart approach, or I’m not running your ads,

Casey Stanton
Are you going to get in trouble? Because you’re managing their ad accounts?

Rory Stern
I can. But more likely the account owner is the one who’s going to get it first.

Casey Stanton
Sure, yeah, that makes sense.

Rory Stern
So that so there’s one example like you can, you know, you can get away with using before and after photos on your landing page, it’s against Terms of Service, you will get shut down at some point, you will get discovered it’s only a matter of time, whether it’s two years, three years, five years. The reason why we are so conservative, and so strict, if you will, in our willingness or unwillingness, if you will, to run ads to a page like that is, when it does happen. It pisses the client off, it adds stress to us as the agency, it creates stress and drama in the relationship. And there’s there’s enough of that in the world. I don’t need it for things that we can avoid. The same thing goes for taking screenshots of Facebook, comments. So let’s say you own a Facebook group.

Casey Stanton
Oh, interesting.

Rory Stern
Yeah, those are not allowed to be used on landing pages, but almost everybody does.

Casey Stanton
Totally they do. I’ve see. I see it all the time. Yeah, it is a form of social proof.

Rory Stern
Yep. Not allowed.

Casey Stanton
Oh, why? What would that classify as like utilizing Facebook’s like, trademark branding or something? What is it?

Rory Stern
I mean, I could dig in and get the exact policy. But yeah, I mean, that’s that’s really what it boils down to is, you’re you’re using Facebook in a way that it’s not meant to be used, like here. Here’s another one, I guarantee, you’ll see this at least three times a day. You cannot have an image or a video of Facebook, in your ad. So all the agencies running ads for look at my row and they’re showing pictures of their ads manager. They’re in violation.

Casey Stanton
Oh, Oh, interesting.

Rory Stern
Yeah, there is a pretty I’d say he’s a fairly well known guy in a particular community. Who in his videos, has, you know, like buttons and smiles and laughs and angry faces fluttering through his screen?

Casey Stanton
Because that’s, that’s misleading.

Rory Stern
And, and I want to be clear, like, I’m not here to play goody two shoes. I’m not here to play a nerd a brown noser. I’m not here to point the finger at what people are doing wrong. I’ve been running ads for seven years, there is enough chaos and volatility in running paid ads on a day to day basis that I just don’t have time to play roulette.

Casey Stanton
Yeah, that makes sense. Because, like, it’s hard enough. Facebook is I feel like going through changes all the time. Do you find that your ads that have been approved can get disapproved and you don’t know why. And, like, those things happen to you still,

Rory Stern
Far less than it used to. So if we go back now to sort of, you know, Facebook support, chat support wraps this that the other thing we’re on, I think our third year now of having a Partner Manager, Partner Manager is an agency level Rep. This is somebody that I have direct email access to a phone number, a calendar schedule calls with the ability to Get Genuine feedback. And it’s really a privilege and an honor. And I share that so that people know like, Yeah, they do exist, they are out there, you can get real information from Facebook. That being said, there are still instances where they don’t know what they’re talking about.

Casey Stanton
What’s that title called? Again? It’s not the Facebook

Rory Stern
Partner Manager.

Casey Stanton
So what does it take to get a Partner Manager? Is it a spend? Do you got to know somebody? Like you got to sign them. You got an email one day that says you have a partner manager? And you know, people that are spending similar amounts that your agency spends, they don’t have a Partner Manager?

Rory Stern
I know agencies and gurus in particular who spend or claim to spend a lot more than we do, and don’t have partner managers.

Casey Stanton
Interesting.

Rory Stern
Yeah, I’d say I’ll tell you it’s a sad story. Um, we, we’ve been doing some consulting for a client in the diet and health space for, I don’t know, six months. Because they hired two agencies, the agency couldn’t get out of their way. So they’re like, you know, Rory, would you do a consult did a one off that had another one off? And then they’re like, Can I just put you on retainer. And we ended up running their Google ads, while the other agencies ran their Facebook ads, and I just consulted. And one day, we get on a call with the client, and he’s read steam porn out of the years, lost another ad account. And I go, I go, what what happened was, I don’t know the agency, just, this happens all the time. It’s normal, we’re not going to get it back. Just set up a new ad account. I’m like, that’s the worst advice I’ve ever heard it with a new

Casey Stanton
Ad account. That’s a new pixel. It’s brand new, it’s like starting afresh business?

Rory Stern
Well, if you’re smart, and you set things up properly, you can share the pixel. But that takes a little bit of forethought. Yeah, to do that. So he’s like, yeah, and I’m like, that’s, that’s not how this goes, You don’t just burn ad accounts and get a new one. I mean, that that’s a viable option. Like, you can burn an ad account and get another one. But for somebody to say, Oh, this happens all the time, we’ll just get you a new one that no, that that’s not how it is, and well, that that’s what they’re that’s what he’s telling me. Their rep said. And I’m gonna be honest, I knew who this advertiser was. And I may have had a tiny little bit of an axe to grind with that advertiser through personal experience. And I said, Okay, I said, I’m going to go to our Rep. And I just used that term, instead of saying, Partner Manager, I’m going to go to our Rep. And I’m going to see if I get the ad account back and he goes, Rory, if you get the ad account back, Facebook is yours. And I’m like, cracking the knuckles. Alright, here we go. So I messaged our Rep. And two things. This was the the selfish, devious thing that I did. Hey, so and so our client that we’ve been consulting with for so many months, just lost their ad account, this is what their person told them, yada, yada, yada, can you possibly look into it for me and get me some feedback? And number two, I switched the order. This was the self serving thing. Just out of curiosity, can you look and see if this person from this agency has a rep assigned to them? They didn’t. There was no rep

Casey Stanton
Said they had a rep

Rory Stern
They were lying. They went to chat support like everybody else. And we’re, you know, did the dance. Now, the end of the story is we got the ad account back. Yeah, not only did we find out what was wrong, which was a false positive, we got the ad account back. So the moral of the story is you can get information from Facebook, to a large degree, you have to be blessed from high up above, to get a rap or Partner Manager in this case. And I should differentiate for the for the audience, Casey, personal advertisers, get account managers, agencies get partner managers, they’re equivalent. But an eight, an account manager is helping an advertiser with their business partner manager is helping an agency with their business. And that sort of that umbrella covers, reviewing accounts, looking at best practices, helping with compliance issues and whatnot.

Casey Stanton
That makes sense. Okay. So this is a whole world that most people listening, they just don’t have a Partner Manager, and they likely will never get one. And if they do, it’s because yeah, it’s good karma or something from a past life.

Rory Stern
I’ll be honest with you, I, I got mine passed on to me, when I bought an agency and the agents, I mean, the person was assigned to that agency. So when I bought it, I never expected it. And the agency owner eventually said to the Partner Manager at the time, can you just talk to Rory, can I give you permission to talk to him? So then they kind of were handed off to me. Ah, that was the first year we had one. The second year, Facebook set up a new program. Now, and I don’t know how old it is, but there are three different levels of agencies that you can get sort of qualified for and recognized as with Facebook. We’re a preferred agency. That’s the second tier. I forget what the first tier is called. And I forget what The third one’s called, but it’s based on spend performance best practices, all this stuff. I think once you get into that program, you have a better shot of getting a Partner Manager, I just don’t know that they’re guaranteed.

Casey Stanton
This is interesting. So a lot of marketing companies like to throw around certifications like we’re Google Ads certified, or we’re HubSpot certified, which means like you took a 37 question assessment that all the answers are online for and yeah, you’re certified. You’re saying that this Facebook partnership level really does matter when hiring an agency?

Rory Stern
I don’t know whether I whether it matters or not when hiring an agency. Um, because yeah, I mean, I know people I know people in the industry that that I don’t think they submitted their paperwork to get into this program. Let’s put it this way. Does it help? If you can say I’m a I’m a preferred agency partner with Facebook? Sure, it helps. But should you hire someone based on that alone? No. Should you avoid hiring somebody if they don’t have it? No.

Casey Stanton
Okay, that’s helpful. So what do you find is working well, right now ad wise, lead ads, click the websites, video views, what? conversion ads, conversion ads. So just letting Facebook optimize for conversion?

Rory Stern
Yeah.

Casey Stanton
So you’re putting the pixel on your site, and then you’re adding a an event for whatever the conversion event is? You do that with what Google tag manager or something?

Rory Stern
Yeah, I will tell you right now, I think it’s been two years now. Our second Partner Manager, flat out, told me like Facebook doesn’t want you using traffic? Oh, yeah, they don’t. It doesn’t rely on the pixel, you’re wasting your time. If you want to run a traffic objective campaign, you may as well do a conversion campaign and have the objective be I think it’s landing page views. It’s the same thing. Got it. Okay, at this time, you’re relying on a pixel?

Casey Stanton
And do you ever go with lead ads?

Rory Stern
Only when clients insist on it and need to be proven wrong?

Casey Stanton
Okay. It’s surprising to think that a lead ad so for anyone listening a lead ad is when you set the ad on Facebook to show a form when someone clicks, and they fill out the form where it’s actually prefilled out with their first name, their email address, maybe their phone number, if you choose that as a field, and then that can get submitted. That to me seems like the lowest friction to submit my contact information. Are you saying that you get good quantity but crappy quality? Or do you think you just get better conversions on a landing page?

Rory Stern
So here’s a great question, Casey. And I’m glad you asked it, because it’s it’s important for people to understand and it’s great for discussion. So I don’t necessarily believe in a bad lead. I do believe in bad follow up and impatient sales cycles. So lead ads are great in that. Yes, they are frictionless. And you will get somebody’s name and email and possibly their address and phone number. You know, higher conversion rate, my God, I’m tongue tied, you’ll have a greater chance of getting that information from them using a lead ad. So what are we talking about cheaper cost per lead? And a lot of people love that. Ooh, cheap leads. Okay. Here’s the issue with lead ads. Number one, you have to think about user intent. Hmm. They click on a lead ad, it’s very easy to just hit submit. And then they go about their day. So for them, it’s it’s minimal. I’m giving my name and email, like that’s throwaway at this point, right? I don’t have to go to your thank you page. I don’t have to see your sales funnel, whatever. So we’ve done it. We’ve done it for webinar registrations. The most recent test we did was in the finance space for day trading. And the client. You know, the reason I said to prove the client wrong, I mean, that’s that’s tongue in cheek, but they’re like, Hey, what do you think about lead ads? And I’m like, honestly, from our experience, they don’t convert very well. Well, we want to test it anyway. Okay, great. So we spent about three to $4,000 definitely got very, very cheap leads. They didn’t show up for the webinar. Mm hmm. They didn’t answer the phone. They didn’t buy. Yeah. So after $4,000, we got together with the CMO. And I think they’re in house media buyer. And we had a conversation like, should we keep going or should we not? I said, Well, listen, I said, you know, you’re telling me they’re greatly, you know, great number of leads. They’re very, very cheap. You can’t get them on the phone. They’re not buying. They’re worthless to you. Now, could you nurture them for six months to a year and eventually get them to buy Probably. But why would you do that when you can pay three times as much for a lead that gets on the webinar and buys? right then and there? I’d rather have that all day every day.

Casey Stanton
So a slow, fast nickel is better than a slow dime, right?

Rory Stern
Yeah. So that’s that’s really what it boils down to it. And I know plenty of people who swear by lead ads. So I don’t want to sit here and tell you Oh, they don’t work. They do. They can. It’s it’s about your follow up. It’s about your goals. It’s about your objectives. You know, we did it in the roofing industry, we did it in the We Buy Houses industry, and getting those people to answer the phone is a pain in the but they don’t remember filling it out. They don’t know who you are. So I started talking about intent. So think about that intention, a throwaway lead, I’ll give you my name and email, whatever, I don’t even know who you are, I forgot who you are go away, versus somebody who has to click on an ad, go to a website, review the copy, be interested in the message willingly fill out the form, that’s a higher level intent. Totally. Now, if we go even deeper down this rabbit hole, why does a lead magnet? You know, you know, the cost to get a lead for a lead magnet is somewhere between two to $5? Roughly? Why are webinar registrants you know, seven to $10 intention? Oh, I’m gonna get I’m gonna get a cheat sheet or a report that maybe I’ll download maybe I won’t write verses seven to $10 of Oh, I have to schedule a time I have to show up. Its intent, its commitment. And you have to start evaluating? Who do I really want? Do I want to do I want to low intent? Throw away lead? Or do I want somebody who’s going to jump through hoops and qualify themselves, and likely be more interested in what I’ve got? So for me, I’m going conversion all day long. I’m going for opt in or direct to sale.

Casey Stanton
Yeah, that makes makes a lot of sense. You want someone who’s coming to you and saying, Hey, I really do want this. Yes, I’m going to show up for this 15 Minute Webinar, and I have an understanding that you’ll probably sell me something instead of just capturing information. Yeah, that makes a lot of sense. And also, you know, when one trick that I like to pull is on webinars, when you mail your internal list to a one click opt in, you can follow up with every single person, right? Stop saying it’s marketing and treat it like sales call everybody. So lead magnet, excuse me, lead ads can work as long as you have a good sales follow up.

Rory Stern
Yeah, it’s all about your process.

Casey Stanton
Okay, one last question here. Before we wrap which is, talking about video what’s working with video right now? Are you Do you find that? images and good copy works? Do you want short copy long copy in the ad? Do you want video? Do you want vertical do on?

Rory Stern
Yeah, so the reality is test test test test test. I’ve had this discussion and debate with plenty of advertisers, plenty of clients who come on board, they’re like, well, so and so’s doing this. You’ve got to find a system and follow that system. For us at my agency, our images, hands down will outperform 90% of videos. It’s just the way it’s just the way we run ads

Casey Stanton
in the software. The trick about videos for video views being so inexpensive, but you’re saying that that’s not a predictor of conversion?

Rory Stern
We I don’t care about video views. I Yeah, that’d be nothing like you know, it’s it’s funny there there are people well known in our industry Casey, who talked about you know, oh, you know, set up some videos, do some Facebook Lives, build audiences retarget to them they’re going to be putting in your hands. No, they’re not.

Casey Stanton
Huh, why not?

Rory Stern
I that’s a great question. I don’t know the psychology behind it. All I know is that we’ve run multiple campaigns like that have, you know, Facebook Lives videos give great content, build audiences retarget to them. They’re just don’t convert the way that people say they do. Yeah, now on a work and, and again, rather than bash other people, because I don’t inherently believe that everybody is full of it. I do believe a lot of people are but the reality is, as I be and I’d be a fool if I didn’t acknowledge this. The reality is we’ve been running ads for seven years, we’ve been running ads the same exact way for seven years. I have a proven A, B, C, D E, like, and I don’t mean like a proven plan blueprint that you can mount like no, like, we just literally have, here’s step a step B. Here’s step C, here’s step D. If this doesn’t work, we do that if this doesn’t work, we try this. We just have a system that’s dialed in. So for me to sit here and say that my ads can you know outperform video ads. It’s just based on how we it’s based on how we run our own ads.

Casey Stanton
Totally. That makes sense. And what I’m not hearing you say here In all of this, it’s like, oh, yeah, we’ve got a trick for that. Right? You’re just like falling back to a good systematic process that works based on Facebook’s ad policy. And it sounds like you’ll be around in seven more years. If you choose to be right?

I will be yes. I don’t believe in tricks or hacks. I don’t go with the latest and greatest strategy and tactic. You know, one of the things that we try to really beat into our prospects and clients heads is, we are not interested in wham, bam, Thank you, ma’am. I am not interested in a 30 day run to make you as much money as humanly possible. And then have your offer die. Okay, me, businesses, I am interested in building and supporting long term, long term sustainable, scalable companies that have a robust back end, and know that the front end is not about where you get your steak. That’s where you, that’s where it’s paid traffic is customer acquisition. And if you can walk away at breakeven or better, and you have I mean, it depends on you have in the back end, you’re gonna eat and be very comfortable for a very long time.

Yeah, that’s great. So I’ve got some takeaways here. And then I want to give everyone a way to contact you if they’re qualified. So my big takeaways here, if your Facebook ad gets disapproved, you said just hit the appeal button. And if that doesn’t resolve it, then ask the agent to escalate it for manual review. But also know that the agent that you’re probably assigned can’t do a whole lot. So that’s just kind of where you are. The Facebook rep is the low end person that can support you until you have a Partner Manager and a Partner Manager only comes into play if you’re an agency.

Rory Stern
So there’s one thing I want to add to that Casey. Hitting appeal is not the default, you’re going to hit appeal, if you strongly believe that you are in the right great way. And that knowing whether you’re in the right or not comes down to Did you read the damn ad policies? Do you know them? Do you know what you’re talking about? Because I, I tell my team all the time, do not hit that appeal button. If you can’t make an ironclad argument with like, like thinking you’re a lawyer, and you have to go before a jury and say here’s my case, because that’s anytime I make a manual appeal. I present facts and evidence, facts, evidence, facts, evidence. And if it’s not, I don’t appeal.

Casey Stanton
Got it. Yeah, that makes a lot of sense. So the next thing here is read the Facebook ad policy.

Rory Stern
Yeah, like that’s, that’s a number one thing. I don’t know why people don’t get that. And I’ll share a nice share a nice story. I got an email from a publisher at one of the Gora companies, who was, you know, spouting some great wisdom about advertising? And he’s like, yeah, I told my copywriting students just, you know, put lots of claims and lots of hype into your your sales page. And they came back to me and said, Well, we got our ad account shut down. Well, why? Well, we found out it was because of this. Well, that’s ridiculous. Well, it might be ridiculous, but it’s in the ad policy. Right. So I didn’t read. I didn’t read that I was calling you direct response tactics.

Casey Stanton
The whole point here is collect the lead on Facebook, right? And then hit them with email and direct mail and then say whatever you want, right? That’s where you can use those overblown copywriter claims. Right. So the next thing that I learned from you is some of these ad policies which is like, you can’t show Facebook comments on landing pages or in your ad, you can’t have any Facebook stuff in your ads, you can’t fake it, that it’s some people are reacting to your ads. That’s I know, people who are breaking those rules like I know them personally. You also mentioned that it makes sense here, just nice to hear two to $5 leads for like lead magnets. But while those are cheaper, they’re not the same intent, which means they have a lower buying potential than someone who’s a seven to $10 webinar lead and it’s better to spend more money for someone who’s more intent who’s going to get onto some kind of presentation or strategy session or whatever with you. But at the end of the day, all these leads still needed to get followed up with I think this whole click Copy cash, you know, lifestyle doesn’t really exist. Maybe it existed for like a minute on Tick tock, but that’s all gone now.

Rory Stern
Casey, it I’ll be honest, it does exist. I know plenty of people personally, who we run ads for that do have this click cash lifestyle or however you set it. Um, it’s very, very few and far between. It’s largely affiliate driven. Yeah. And that takes a lot of time, effort and energy to build up an affiliate business like that there are, you know, I’m not an affiliate there, I’m sure there are affiliates left and right that come out of the Woodworks out of nowhere who get lucky. But in all the years, you know, 1514 years of doing this, 1% that happens to

Casey Stanton
And those people are people that worked for 10 years and made a million dollars on their 11th year. That’s not like, they just took a course and figured out how to do this thing. And now they’re running ads profitably and successfully.

Rory Stern
Yeah, and and let’s, let’s, let’s bring it back to that 1.7 million day that we had just to close the loop when you say, you know, they worked 10 years for that. We’ve been running ads for that company since February. Okay, six months had, you know, six figure months. But in that time, you know, we’ve spent a million dollars on ads to bring in leads to bring in customers to nurture them to retarget them to then get to a $1.7 million day. And it wasn’t, and I also want to be very clear, it wasn’t all our doing. We played a small part in it. I feel very blessed to work with that company and with that team, and to help them. One thing we didn’t have time to get to that is more important than $1.7 million more important than any role I played. The reason that day was successful, is because they had an irresistible offer. Huge.

Casey Stanton
Oh, man. I mean, there’s been books written about writing great offers, right? I mean, yeah, it’s just a book offer by Bob Bly. Like, this is a critical thing for marketers to understand and that’s its own conversation.

Rory Stern
And that that just real quick, like that comes off the heels of so what I’m hearing from you Rory is there’s no trick. There’s no tactic, there’s no gimmick, no, it all starts with an incredibly irresistible, stupid offer, where you stand out from the marketplace, you establish your value, that’s what we need. And that’s what allows a media buyer like myself to really shine is an unbelievable offer.

Casey Stanton
And this, this just goes back to slow to change principles, you’re successful, because it’s slow to change principles, you’re not successful, because you found some fly by night hack that allowed you to profit and then you’re gonna go bankrupt in a couple weeks, because it’s gonna dry up. These are just, this is available to everyone. There’s no barrier to entry here to like, follow the rules and just do a good job and follow the basics of marketing that we’ve learned from Hopkins all the way through, you know, Dan Kennedy, etc. So yeah, amen. Amen. All right. So if a business is currently spending $35,000, a month on ads, yep. And they have someone that’s in the current position, and they want to move that person up in the business to reach to generate, you know, higher ROI and some other activity, or if that person has reached a ceiling, and they can’t scale the business any further, or maybe they just suck, and they just need to get replaced. You guys might be able to help. But that’s a $35,000 a month or about $1,000 a day minimum is kind of where you guys start on Facebook ad spend. Is that right?

Rory Stern
Ballpark? Yeah, there’s there’s, there’s some wiggle room there, Casey. I mean, it could be 50,000. It could be 100,000. It could be 15,000. The point here is really just to establish we work with serious business owners and businesses that have money to spend that know it’s an investment. They know what’s possible. It’s not their last thousand dollars, it’s not their last $5,000. They’re not looking for a miracle worker, they don’t expect to get rich overnight. We’re looking for established businesses that know their numbers inside and out, have a proven track record and are ready to grow.

Casey Stanton
Cool. And those folks can reach out to you at https://rfsdigitalmedia.com. Is that after you did you name the business after yourself?

Rory Stern
Yes. Isn’t that clever?

Casey Stanton
Rory Frickin Stern. Alright, thank you so much for for this, I learned a lot. I definitely had some false beliefs in my head around Facebook. I think I was really surprised to hear that. Most businesses will never have a rep that can do anything to help them. And the best way that you can do it is you can just appeal ads once you have ironclad proof that you ought to be approved. And if you’re not in that position, you shouldn’t be running ads yet. You should just go back to that added policy. Thank you so much for joining me.

Rory Stern
My pleasure, man. This was fun.

Casey Stanton
All right. Take care.