I was scrolling through Facebook the other day, killing some time when… I ran face-first into an ad that stopped me in my tracks!
Why did this ad stand out head and shoulders above all the other pleas for attention in my newsfeed?
Well, for starters, It called me out for the very behavior I was engaging in - PROCRASTINATION.
But, it wasn’t just the on-point behavioral targeting that made this ad stand out.
There was so much more to it.
There was a subtle and interesting mechanism at play that aroused my curiosity.
There were multiple emotional triggers that struck one of my guilt-ridden struggles.
And behind all that (when I clicked through on the ad) I discovered a brilliantly constructed quiz funnel…
So in this week’s edition of Full Funnel Nudity… we’re NOT going to sit on our hands and wait around.
We’re NOT going to wander off and find something else to do.
No, instead we are going to dive right in and dissect Virtue Map’s stellar Anti-Procrastination advertising funnel!
But first (lol)... if you’ve never read Full Funnel Nudity before, here’s a little background on…
How the Full Funnel Nudity Works:
Every month, I break down a live advertising funnel. Sometimes these are ad funnels that have proven their effectiveness by standing the test of time. Other times, these are the latest ads that have caught my eye.
During these breakdowns, I delve into the copywriting and direct-response marketing intricacies that make the ad work. And I also go inside the advertiser's funnel to show their landing pages, email sequences, etc.
By following along with these detailed breakdowns, you’ll learn the latest advertising strategies and tactics that are winning over customers. Also, by simply reviewing my breakdowns, you’ll be able to gain unique, REAL-WORLD advertising knowledge you won't find anywhere else.
You can think of the Full Funnel Nudity as your ready-made swipe file… complete with crib notes.
BTW: if you happen to see an ad you love, but you don’t have time to dissect it, send it my way. You’ll help indulge my curiosity, feed my addiction, and benefit from my obsessive desire to understand how great ads convert.
Subscribe to Full Funnel Nudity
Get the ONLY advertising breakdown that provides you with deep full-funnel marketing intel delivered right to your inbox.
Are you spying on me?
It's possible Virtue Map has a hidden camera in my office. They know that instead of working on the email sequence I was supposed to write… I’ve been binge-watching Peaky Blinders.
But it’s more likely they are advertising the perfect product in the perfect place.
I mean, is there anyone scrolling Facebook who isn't procrastinating? Not likely.
Which makes Facebook just about the best place to run an ad targeted at people who struggle with procrastination.
But, also, if your ad could potentially target every procrastinator (A.K.A. EVERYONE) on Facebook, it’s going to have to be darn good to stand out.
And this ad is darn good. So let’s do what we do and see what makes it so good.
Packed full of “motivating” triggers and mechanisms
As I alluded to in the opening, the copy in this ad is superb.
But what’s truly interesting is the hidden techniques that make the copy so effective.
Here’s what I am talking about.
Between the body copy, the copy in the ad image, the headline, and the subhead…
… I count five persuasive copywriting techniques at work in this one short ad.
Whaddya say we examine each of these techniques and see how they work so you can use them in your own marketing? Excellent!
Persuasion Technique #1 - Hero Story
The hero story is the focal point of this ad. And it’s presented in two different ways, with deep and compelling emotional emphasis.
Using Hero Story to bond with your audience
Virtue map is advertising to an audience of people who feel guilty about their behavior.
So the last thing they want to do is go on the attack. If they used an angle like “How to stop procrastinating,” that might be interesting.
But it could also put the audience on the defensive. After all, no one wants to be singled out as a “procrastinator.”
On the other hand, by sharing a story of how someone else overcame procrastination, you’re bonding with your audience.
You’re saying, “Hey, it’s okay to struggle with this problem. It’s hard. But you’re not alone. Here’s how someone with the same kind of struggles found hope and transformed their life.”
So the hero story helps to remove guilt and form an immediate bond while inviting your audience in to learn more.
The other great thing about hero stories… they are natural attention grabbers.
They are packed full of everything human brains love to consume.
Underdogs who become reluctant champions.
Good vs. Evil.
Most important of all, raw and relatable emotion.
And Virtue Map does an amazing job of tapping into that emotion in their copy.
In fact, the copy is so sharp, it’s worth taking a moment to dissect it. Because there are quite a few well-worded phrases you can learn from and use to punch up your own copy.
Can you feel the pain?
The copy in this ad isn’t just strong. It’s efficient. Take, for example, the opening sentence: “A life-long procrastinator finally achieves her life goals and restores her self esteem.”
Hot Damn! That is one hard-working sentence. Every word is packed full of emotional stimulation and empathy.
If we break down this artfully crafted opener, we can identify a few key phrases that deliver some extra punch.
Let’s call 'em’ out so you can store them in your copy swipe file.
The first phrase that catches my attention is “life-long.” You see how that detail pulls you into the story. Without it the sentence would be flat. But with it you get the context that foreshadows the hero story.
The next little power word that stands out is “finally.” It helps strengthen the sentence by conveying a sense of struggle. And if you want to form a bond with your audience, there’s no better way than revealing a common struggle.
Now that we’ve highlighted the power words, read this sentence again.
Look at how those words immediately pull you into the story, build emotional curiosity, and communicate empathy.
There’s a second hero story in the copy on the ad image.
Once again it’s the descriptive phrases combined with highly emotional words that give this copy power and draw your eyeballs. “Bounced Back,” “Overcoming,” “Life-Long.”
All right. Now we have covered how a hero story can help you win your audience's heart quickly. And we examined how fine-tuned copy can make your hero story stand out.
Let’s check out the next persuasion technique in this ad.
Persuasion Technique #2 Guilt Reversal
The headline reads - “procrastination is NOT laziness.”
As a master procrastinator, I can tell you… that’s one emotionally supercharged statement.
Every time I’ve stalled on taking out the trash, or the five years I spent putting off staining the deck, I felt like a lazy bum.
In four words this headline says “Kyle, it’s not your fault.”
It’s one thing to get your audience's attention and bond with them. But take away their guilt, and you have a friend for life!
Let’s move on to what I think is the single MOST powerful persuasion technique in this ad.
Persuasion Technique #3 - Mechanism
How can you make something that your audience has seen time and time before feel brand new?
The answer is…. give your product a “mechanism.”
In advertising, a mechanism is a specific attribute you highlight to make your product feel new or unique.
The use of a mechanism can also help make your ad more believable or fascinating.
For example, in his famous ad, expert copywriter Clayton Makepeace uses the mechanism “The 23¢ Life Saver…” as his mechanism. What is the 23 cent lifesaver? It’s a Chelation pill.
If the advertiser had said, “Life-saving Chelation Pills” the ad would lose all its mystery… its story… its positioning… its intrigue. And the product itself would be seen as a bottle of supplements as opposed to an invaluable cure.
So, mechanism is a powerful technique that you can use to create curiosity. And it can also help you position your product as different from anything else your prospect has ever seen before.
In fact, when you come up with a really good mechanism, this technique is so powerful it can turn your product into a market leader.
The subtle use of “mechanism” is what sucked me into Virtue Map’s ad.
Let me show you where the mechanism is in this ad and why it works so well.
The mechanism in this ad is “procrastination type.”
I had never heard of “procrastination type” before. So when I saw this line in the ad, it immediately triggered my brain into curiosity mode.
It made me think, “Wow. Maybe if I knew what type of procrastinator I was, I could solve my problem.”
That’s the power of mechanism. It not only differentiates your product, but it also makes your ad’s claim more plausible and therefore believable.
If you’re advertising to a market that has been saturated with the same claim over and over again… try to find a mechanism that will make your ad feel new and different.
Persuasion Technique #4 - Social Proof
No one likes to get bamboozled. So before we try something new, we want to know that others have tried it. And that it works!
The social proof in this ad ties back to the hero story.
Although we don’t know who “Lucy” is, she’s offering herself up as proof that this ad is credible.
Also, she’s putting her personal experience out there for everyone to see.
And that kind of vulnerability makes her testimonial seem authentic.
Which leads me to the fifth and final persuasion technique in this ad.
Persuasion Technique #5 - Authenticity
One of the biggest reasons ads fail.. especially on Facebook… is they don’t seem legit.
If an ad comes off as overproduced or scammy, there’s a natural tendency to ignore it.
So Virtue Map goes the distance to keep this ad authentic.
The last line of text in the ad is a personal introduction from the storyteller.
There’s even a little typo in this introduction… which you could argue adds even more authenticity.
OK - there it is. Five powerful persuasion techniques packed into one short ad.
Pretty impressive, right?
And a lot to digest.
So should we wrap this up here?
Not a chance! We gotta go the full monty. Otherwise, this blog won’t maintain its NC17 status.
(BTW: Do movies still get NC17 ratings? Or has internet porn killed that rating category? IDK? Leave a comment below if you know the answer.)
Let’s dive into Virtue Map’s landing page and have a look, shall we?
The importance of seamless transition
What I love about this landing page is it does exactly what it should.
It dives right into the story promised in the ad.
So there’s no interruption in the prospect’s train of thought.
This seamless transition is something that a lot of advertisers fail to pull off.
And It’s something I’ve mentioned in almost every previous breakdown. Because even great ads can fail when their landing page doesn't work hand-in-hand with the ad.
So three things to note about this landing page are:
All right, so that’s the landing page.
How about the next step… the quiz portion of the funnel. Let’s take a peek at that.
Subscribe to Full Funnel Nudity
Get the ONLY advertising breakdown that provides you with deep full-funnel marketing intel delivered right to your inbox.
A Reassuring Quiz
I’ll admit, I am no expert on quiz funnels. (If you’re looking for quiz funnel expertise, talk to Allison Carpio. She’s the best in the quiz.)
In fact, I gotta say it. I know quiz funnels work, but I despise them.
They are hard to build. They add another layer of complexity to your advertising. And if they are not well designed… they become a deterrent rather than a useful tool that helps you qualify your prospects.
Also, I just don’t like taking them. I don’t care what 1980s sitcom character I have the most in common with. Or which breed I would be If I was a cat.
But, this quiz had a different feel to it.
It was more like part of a journey as opposed to part of the funnel.
There were two things in particular that motivated me to continue on my journey and take the quiz.
First, is the mechanism I mentioned earlier. I was dying to know what my “Procrastination Type” was.
Second, this quiz didn’t just ask me questions.
It also offered me reassurance and proof that I was on the right track.
(Maybe if my High School Teachers had built some positive reassurance into their quizzes, I wouldn’t have failed all of them).
And these reassuring messages were tactically deployed.
At every point where my inner procrastinator wanted to hit the brakes and wander off…
... there was a positive message reminding me why I started down this path, and that I was almost within reach of a solution.
Those little motivators didn’t just inspire me to finish the quiz… they also made me desire the solution I was seeking even more.
That’s some solid marketing when you can motivate and sell at the same time.
So did I finish the quiz and learn my “procrastination type?”
I did finish the quiz.
And I did get some information on my procrastination type - all of which seems accurate!
But if I have one criticism about this funnel, here’s where it lies.
The quiz ends with an offer for a 3-month personalized plan that will help me overcome my procrastination.
All good there, that offer was expected. And I was excited to see it.
But the information I really wanted…
… the details about MY procrastination problems and what I need to do to fix them were buried halfway down the page.
The above-the-fold assessment simply offered a score and said my procrastination level was “High.” (No shit!).
So if I was going to offer some insight here…. And, well because this is my blog and my funnel breakdown, and the whole frigin’ point is for me to have a take…
… here’s what I would change.
Don’t bury the lead!
Put the personalized details about what a tormented soul I am above the fold.
Then hit me with the offer.
After all, it was the brilliant “procrastination type” mechanism that sucked me into this funnel.
If you want to close the sale, pay off that curiosity first. Then I am all yours!
The lesson here is this.
Don’t make your prospects search for the punchline.
If you’re going to lure them in with an intriguing mechanism, you have to reward that curiosity if you want to retain their trust.
That said, I still thought this funnel was A-level. One tiny change and it’s A+.
NEVER procrastinate when it comes to your welcome email
One of the great things about a quiz funnel is it allows you to learn a ton about your prospects.
And you can use all the detailed information you gather to build one hell of an email welcome sequence.
For example, take the funnel we’ve been studying.
In this case, Virtue Map could segment their new email subscribers by “procrastination type.”
Then they could write a variation of their welcome email that’s personalized for each type of “procrastinator.”
You could make the argument that high-level procrastinators like myself would never get around to reading the email…
… BUT - you'd be wrong.
Because if you could show you had a plan tailored to my needs right from the subject line…
… well, that would be the type of welcome email that’s too good to ignore.
So, keep that in mind if you ever construct a quiz funnel. You have a golden opportunity to roll out that personalized welcome mat for your new subscribers. Take advantage of it.
Returning to our review of the funnel at hand…
… Virtue Map did send me a series of follow-up emails about their anti-procrastination plan.
Yet, no welcome email.
I want to reiterate that I think this funnel is stellar… This is a missed opportunity.
Your welcome message is your best opportunity to strengthen your bond with your new subscriber
Nail your welcome email, and you’ll become a mainstay in your subscriber's inbox for many months, if not years, to come.
Even if you want to follow up with your offer email right away, don’t wait to send your welcome email.
All right. That wraps up another monster Full Funnel Breakdown.
As we always do, let’s quickly review the most important takeaways.
So what did you think of this breakdown?
Did you like it?
Did you hate it?
Are you gonna “wait until later on” to read it? Leave a comment below and let me know what you think.