Ever felt like this…
You’re running a campaign. You’re losing money. Traffic is rolling in and you don’t know what to do next. You panic, pause the campaign and walk away from the computer. Another failure.
Yesterday I was working on a campaign. It was on a traffic source I haven’t used in a long time. As I watched the traffic roll in I felt an anxiety come over my entire body.
It was stress.
Because I didn’t know what my next move should be. This is a feeling I used to feel all the time. But these days – I know what to do about it.
- I took a deep breath
- Opened up a document
- Started typing out a system
I documented all of the steps I’d been through so far and went all the way through the process until the campaign was in a profitable, low maintenance phase.
Now, let’s be clear about something. The system wasn’t perfect. I just made it up.
Some parts of campaigns, like research, design and launch are the same every time. But things like CPA, conversion rate and CTR goals, launch times, as formats and bidding strategies change almost every time. So other than the initial launch phase, I created a system from of scratch.
Somehow, just having that document there to reference put my mind at ease. It made the campaign flow smoothly and my anxiety slipped away.
This is what a system is for me.
A system is a documented set of rules, or a path that I can follow that eliminates the stress of not knowing what to do next.
The system can be based on previous experience or it can be made up out of thin air using my best guess. Either way it works.
- It doesn’t need to be perfect
- It just needs to be there
This is a skill I’m getting better at, documenting and following systems, and I am far from perfect. But that’s the key… it doesn’t have to be perfect to work.
I have found that just having something written down with steps to follow eliminates my anxiety because I know exactly what I’m going to do next.
If my next documented next step works, great. If it fails, I simply mark down that it failed and come up with a new next step and keep going. Doing this makes the system work better each time I use it.
There is no perfect system.
You’ve probably seen a lot of systems for sale online. They’re pitched as ‘Magic Bullets’. But if you’ve ever bought one, you now know that they don’t work.
Because, I believe there is no single perfect system that is going to work for every person on every traffic source and solve every problem, every time. Each campaign is different. Even if it’s the exact same campaign, things will be different for you than for someone else.
Thing that change:
- Traffic Sources
- Ad Creatives
- Time of the Year
- Backend Deals
- The Temperature Outside
All of these elements are different for everyone and they make your campaign a one-time experience that has never happened before and may never happen again.
So how can you create a system for a problem that is always changing?
This is why I think it is important to create your own system, for every traffic source and if necessary, adapt it for each campaign.
Creating Your System
I keep the process very simple. I map out the variables. I put them into a list. Then I glide through the system all the way to the end.
If it works perfectly, that’s great. If it breaks, I change it. I update the system and continue the smooth ride. What I end up with is a living, fluid system that is always improving over time.
Here are some of the common variables that I use:
– Asset Creation
– Campaign Budgets / Goals
– CPA Goals
– CTR Goals
– Conversion Rate Goals
– Offer Optimization
– Landing Page Optimization
– Ad rotation
– If after X days ROI = XX% raise budget XX%
– If after X days ROI = -XX% lower budget XX5
– If after 24 hours ad CTR = X% raise budget XX%
– If after 24 hours ad CTR = X% pause
– If LP CTR = X% and CVR = X% pause other LPs
As the campaign happens, I just follow my steps. Any time I feel anxious or confused as to what to do next I have a guide I can reference to show me the way.
The third section, covering the decisions I make may be the most important part of the whole thing.
We tend to get emotionally attached to ads, landing pages and designs. We want to keep them, even when they don’t work. Making decisions based on a pre-designed set of rules allows us to make fast, ruthless changes that are better for the bottom line.
In other words, We make more money.
Having a system in place means you’re no longer making decisions – you’re just following the rules.
Not knowing what to do next can be the most stressful part of a new campaign. Having a system eliminates that. And there is no perfect, pre-built system out there for sale that will solve all your problems. (they are for sale, but they don’t work)
Break out a word document today and create a system for what you’re doing now or what you plan to do next. Then. Just follow the rules.
Doing this will eliminate anxiety and the stress of trying to decide what to do next.
And the next time you find yourself looking for the Perfect System for your life, your campaign or whatever you’re trying to do – remember…
The Perfect System for your problem, is the one you create yourself. (tweet this)