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Here is an awesome recipe we have concocted to help you capture sales ready leads for less money. The recipe is one part Buyers Journey, one part HubSpot, and one part Facebook Advertising. Mix it all together and you get a lead generation cocktail. This particular recipe has lowered our client's lead acquisition costs by 60%.

Before I layout the recipe let me give you a brief overview of what we are creating here. We are building a system that drips your content offsite to your prospects at appropriate intervals while they are considering purchasing from you or one of your competitors. We do this without using email. 

Now let's get mixing.  

Starting with the Buyer's Journey.

When you Google “buyer's journey” you will see a similar theme. The journey is usually defined with three stages: awareness, consideration and the decision stage. Maybe you are familiar with what this looks like. Here is a Google search...

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We think the buyer's journey goes beyond these simple charts and funnels. No one seems to be talking about that.  Did you know that the buyer’s journey continues to take place off of your website? That’s right- OFF of your website. While your website can be designed to funnel buyers through these various stages with content and offers you may be missing out on what can happen when the buyer leaves your website. That’s where Facebook ads come in. But before we get to Facebook ads I want to show you a trick on how to define your buyer's journey.


Define your buyer's journey with HubSpot data:

  1. Using the list segmentation tool create a customer list
  2. Export that list and bring it into excel
    • When you export it include the follow fields: Time of first visit, first conversion date, first conversion
  3. Once exported add a column called Days Between. This column is a calculation of the time of first visit subtracting the first conversion date.
  4. Filter by conversion type
  5. Look for where the bulk of first conversions are happening
    • Find the mode! We want to find the # of days between that occurs most frequently.

Here is a real life example of how we applied this trick for one of our clients. Our client told us the buyer's journey starts with a quote request. So we filtered our conversion type by quote request in our excel document.  Out of 186 customers, 145 had requested a quote on their first visit; 17 had done it within 7 days, and 11 had done it greater than 7 days, but  still within 30 days. And then there were some remaining outliers that took 40, 50, 90 days. Since we were looking for the bulk of  what people are doing, we found  80% of visitors requested a quote on the first day. By looking at the data it was clear that the buyer's journey did indeed start with a quote request.

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This example is an of a B2C company. In B2B selling  a quote request most likely will not be the first conversion that takes place. Other events will take up the bulk of the actions like downloadable offers such as ebooks.   Following the same steps above look for where the bulk of first customer conversions lie. Then look for the next most common conversion up until they requested a quote/ filled out a contact form.

Taking the journey beyond quote request

After a quote request, leads will be having some conversations with your sales teams. There may be a few meetings before they actually become a customer. Look at your CRM data and see how soon after a quote request sales is having their first contact with the prospect.

The client we were referencing above took two weeks from their customer’s quote request to having the first sales meeting. We found the bulk of customers (that mode again) were closing within 17 days after that first meeting. From the data, we can clearly say that on day 32 the bulk of their customers closed.

This is the journey: quote request= day 1 , meeting= day 15, close= day 32

32 days is a long time! The prospect could have found another solution during this time. You have to use this new journey you defined to keep that from happening!

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Using Facebook ads to support the buyer's journey

It’s time to map out key content to this journey so we can support the buyer’s journey off of the website during the sales process. Let’s get your BEST content in front of them with Facebook ads.

How to find your best performing content with your customers:

  1. Go into landing pages tool inside HubSpot
  2. Click the analyze tab
  3. Select the customer's tab

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What you have in front of you now is the content that is most popular with your customers. This is the KEY content that will be promoted in Facebook ads to support the journey after the quote request.

Map out your key content social ads by days between and journey phase. 

The 5 pieces of key content are represented by Ad1- Ad5 on the fancy chart below.


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There are four segmented areas on the chart: Quote, Meeting, Close, Beyond (can’t forget those outliers).

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Since we have four segments but five key pieces of content for ads, we needed to break up our days in between segments into five.

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Sequencing your Facebook ads

This gets a little technical here, sorry. Because we are seeking to place a different piece of content in front of your prospects at each stage of their buyer's journey we have to build some complex audiences inside of Facebook to do this. 

We have two choices here. We can target only the people that filled out a quote request or we can target all visitors (including those that request a quote and those that did not) and hope to generate more quote requests that way.  For this client it made sense to target all visitors. 

So now we need to set that up in Facebook.  Inside of Facebook build out five "custom audiences".

Custom audience 1= website visits last 3 days

Custom audience 2= website visits last 7 days

Custom audience 3= website visits last 14 days

Custom audience 4= website visits last 31 days

Custom audience 5= website visits last 90 days

Now comes the tricky part

We can't use these custom audiences directly because everyone would see all the content at once. Instead, we now need to create something called "saved audiences".  We use the above custom audiences inside of these five new "saved audiences". 

Now we create the following five Facebook "saved audiences". One for each piece of content/stage:

  1. For content Asset #1 (includes custom audience #1)
  2. For content Asset #2 (includes custom audience #2 [excluding audience #1])
  3. For content Asset #3 (includes custom audience #3 [excluding audience #1 and #2])
  4. For content Asset #4 (includes custom audience #4 [excluding audience #1 and #2 and #3])
  5. For content Asset #5 (includes custom audience #5 [excluding audience #1 and #2 and #3 and #4])
(see example screenshot below of of #3)

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Now it's time to create your ads and ad sets for each piece of content. In this example we created five ad sets. One for each audience. Each ad set contained two ads targeting the same piece of content. You don't have to run two ads in each ad set. We did that for testing purposes.

That's it. Now apply your budgets and let your ads run.

Client Results

Using this technique our client's new lead conversion cost of $8.18 is a small fraction of what they were paying for leads prior to running this type of campaign. 

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Final Thoughts...

Facebook advertising, when paired with the buyer's journey can get you sales ready leads for less money. Look at the cost per conversion in the above chart. Only $8.18 per lead!  This is by far the lowest cost lead generation program for our client. Relevant content placed systematically in front of prospects as they go through the different stages of their buyer's journey is a very effective use of ad dollars. 

We recorded a webinar on this topic that you can watch right here. In it we cover what I talk about in this blog article but it has live visuals and dives into this strategy a little deeper. 

Comment below to get a discussion started- I'd love to hear what you think, what your strategies are and any questions you may have.

Click To Watch Our Webinar On This Topic

Topics: HubSpot Tips, Facebook Advertising, Buyer's Journey