Don’t Run Paid Ads Until Your Campaign Passes This 6-Step Flight Check!


Join Dean on this podcast episode as he shares his experience of almost making a massive mistake in his advertising campaign and provides a six-step flight check for anyone who wishes to run paid advertising, lead generation campaign, or demand generation campaign. The flight check ensures that everything needed for a successful campaign is in place, including working links, tracking, capturing leads, and having an email autoresponder. The podcast episode is geared towards helping listeners avoid making the same mistakes the host made.


In this episode, you will learn:

  1. Admitting to mistakes is important for growth and learning.
  2. Overcomplicating things can be counterproductive.
  3. It is important to take inventory of what resources are available before making decisions.
  4. Google ads may be a simpler option than Facebook ads.
  5. Before launching any advertising campaign, it is important to do a thorough flight check to ensure everything is in order.
  6. The bottom point of the marketing funnel needs to be identified and checked first.



[00:00:14] – Near-disastrous mistake avoided.

[00:02:55] – Targeted online remarketing campaign.

[00:04:53] – Targeted keyword advertising for customers.

[00:05:49] – “Six-step flight check for campaigns”

[00:06:41] – Track customer conversions for success.

[00:08:33] – “Evaluate calendar links, automate emails.”

[00:09:33] – “Build rapport, offer resources, close sale.”

[00:10:24] – “Renovating post-lead thank you page.”

[00:16:15] – Track leads with HubSpot CRM.

[00:16:52] – Rapid Iterative Testing & Learning

[00:17:25] – “Pre-launch campaign analysis and review.”

[00:20:18] – Quick ten-minute laser call to succeed.


Hey everyone. How are you going ? It’s Dean here and welcome to Open Source Growth and this is a classic. Um, of a podcast that I have for all of you today. Um, purely because of the Fact that I nearly made a massive mistake on my last advertising campaign.

Like we’re talking a colossal mistake, thankfully it was only for an internal agency campaign. So it was for my business, but I want to share with you. Some of the mistakes I made. Or nearly made. And. Ultimately a 6 Step flight check that you can run through. Every single time. You wish to run paid advertising. Now, if this is your first time listening to open source growth today, we are the quintessential destination for SaaS companies, online brands and beyond who are wanting to grow their business with paid advertising, direct response advertising, and the latest and greatest in growth hacking in demand generation.

Now. What’s exciting. About today’s podcast though. Is that I’m going to admit that I’m human and I’ve made many mistakes. I’m happy to admit that I probably have made more lead generation and direct response advertising mistakes than anybody. I know, thankfully you know, over my years of writing ads and running traffic and building funnels and implementing CRMs and all the cool stuff that I’ve had enough, I’ve made enough mistakes and I’ve had enough experiences to actually get good at things. And.

You know, that’s led to the formation of a multi-six figure agency. And we’re very proud of the work that we have done, um, at Owendenny Digital. Now I do want to say though. That I was about to launch. A campaign. Literally yesterday. So I was talking with a very close colleague of mine. I won’t name his name today because I want him to have him on a future podcast is probably the best copywriter in Geelong when it comes to property, um, copywriting, I would say is one of the best of the world. In fact, That’s a little bit unfair for me to say, so. But. I was going through a moment of creative doubt and unable to really get. You know, my, my juices flowing for. Our own personal awareness ads to drive traffic to our website.

And, you know, not highly targeted or highly qualified traffic, but we just want to traffic to hit particular landing pages. So we could then, um, remarket those people, which is the process of chasing people around the internet. If they land on your website. Uh, it’s like the pesky, um, the pesky pair of shoes. You’ve been looking at how it chasing around the net, same sort of thing. We want to be able to remarket them and then push them through the customer journey. Now.

I was struggling after getting a little bit confused around, um, this guy’s advice. With writing the ads. And then it just occurred to me. Hang on a second. I’m over cooking the goose. I am. Over-complicating everything. Because.

I took inventory of what I’ve got. Okay. Cool. I have a high converting website. Great check. I’ve got the right content to close people on our website. Okay. Check. And. I have. I have the chops to write the ads and I have the chops to drive things. So why, why over complicate things. Now the reason why it is complicated is.

That with this campaign, I was about to run. I was deciding to target. You know, SaaS founders, just like you or online brand founders or whatever. Um, Three interest targeting using Facebook ads. Driving to our website. And then. Pretty much. You know, based on the ads. That we’ve wrote. That’d be fairly targeted, willing to take action that hit the website. They get inspired to take action and book a call with us right to work before I’ve done it many times.

Um, But I realized that there wasn’t much simpler, easier way instead of having to use. Long form copy or some complex, you know, big idea. Um, you know, David Ogleby type campaign, we could just run Google ads, traffic now. If you’re not familiar with Google ads, Google ads is unique with respect to Facebook, because with Google ads, you can target users who are already in market.

Looking for your products and services. By firing off particular key words, which enables you to show. Your ad to your customer when they’re trying to look for services that you. Distinctly offer. So it’s pretty exciting. So. I thought, hang on a second. Why am I trying to run these crazy Facebook ads? Why am I thinking about writing and, you know, scripting and storyboarding?

Uh, Facebook ad video, let’s just run some Google ads. So we decided to run some Google ads, but then I was thinking, oh, hang on a second. I haven’t checked. Anything I haven’t done. Anything I was literally about to spend, you know, the best part of a hundred to $200 a day on Google ads for my own marketing agency.

And I hadn’t checked anything, so. In order for me. To be able to. Not only hold myself accountable to make sure that these are all fixed, but also help you not make the same mistake. I’ve created a six step flight check for anyone. Who’s about to roll out any form of advertising campaign, any form of lead generation campaign or demand generation campaign. Because look at the end of the day, if people do push through your customer journey, there’s nothing worse than having a fully fledged ad campaign.

Dry generating leads and the leads go nowhere. Or they’re not tracked. Or they are. Not even captured in the CRM. Um, or that the booking links don’t work or there’s no email auto responder. So when it comes to you and your next advertising campaign, I want to ensure that you’ve got everything you need at your fingertips to ensure that everything’s going to work out well for you.

Now, if there is, is there a strategy? Is there a best approach? In order to check how your paid ads are going to perform and, you know, Is have you got the infrastructure in place to. Ensure that customers not only convert, but they’re being tracked, converting from your ads. So you can confidently invest.

Moving right. Uh, long, um, that’s where this is really, really important. Now I’m going to develop a checklist. So please hold me accountable to this. I haven’t quite developed it at the time of this podcast, but if it is done, it will be in the show notes. But if there is there an approach? Yes, there is an approach that everyone can take. Everyone’s scenario is going to be slightly different.

But this six step flights. Um, flight check. We’ll be everything you need to ensure that your campaigns go off without a hitch. So when we start. The six step flight check. Step one is find the bottom point of your marketing funnel. Now for instance, in a marketing agency setting the bottom part of the marketing funnel.

Is the point where the prospect books a call from us.. Bottom the very bottom. Um, the point of the marketing funnel, where we want the user to take action. So just say you’re a SaaS company and you want someone to book a demo. That is your very bottom of the marketing funnel. You want to check and work all the way up to ensure that your marketing.

Funnel is going to work. So the first thing you need to check, especially if you’re using a schedule app like HubSpot or Calendly, or any of the other scheduling apps on the planet. Is that your marketing calendar link works, not your marketing calendar, your. Your sales calendar or your. Your, your calendar link works. So again, jump into your customer experience, jump into your funnel and evaluate whether your calendar links, when people click on the counter links that it works. Okay, great. Then work your way back.

Now if you’re generating leads and you’re any form of business, I don’t care if you’re brick or mortar, or if you’re a services business, or an agency or a SaaS product, you need to have an email auto responder. So again, Uh, fire off the automation when. People go about, you know, submitting their form on your website or in your lead form on Facebook and ensure that the lead.

The, um, the email automation fires off. See, here’s the crazy thing I was about to launch our marketing campaign. I was in such a frantic mess the other day for my own business, and I always find it funnier and more difficult to mark on my own business. I didn’t even have my email auto responders switched on.

So literally straightaway check the calendar links. That was great. Next thing we needed to check in. Step two is fix your or email auto responder. As soon as those leads hit your inbox, you need to send them an email. Confirming. Hey. We’ve got your email. We’re going to be addressing your inquiry. And in the meantime,

Here’s a resource or in the meantime, here’s a free gift. Build some rapport in email one. Email two. Give them some opportunities to get to know you and the work that you’ve done and some of the amazing products and projects that you have to offer your customers. And then email three. This is just a simple three-part email sequence.

You know, You know, get them to rise to a challenge. Show them a case study, show them some testimonials and then ask for them to jump onto a call with you. Okay, now you’ve set up your email auto responder. You write those out effectively, you ensure that they’re sequenced at the right intervals based on your customer journey.

Great Calendar links working step 2 your email auto automated, um, email auto responder is sorted. Perfect. Then it’s step three. And here’s something that people don’t do very well at all. Is your post lead submission. Thank you page. In fact. Our thank you. Page is a dog’s breakfast at the minute, and we are currently renovating it to ensure that it looks so magnificent when people go about submitting their form with us on our website, your thank you page should spell out exactly what’s going to happen next. You don’t want to give your customers and your prospects, any surprises here when it comes to the sales process.

So as soon as they fill out the form, tell them what’s going to happen next. Oh, okay. Cool. I’m going to receive a couple of emails. I’m going to get a free resource. I’m going to, um, hear from one of the sales agents. I’m going to be given the opportunity to book a demo, et cetera, et cetera. It doesn’t really matter, but just spell it out after they fill out that lead form.

That. They know exactly what’s going on. See, at the end of the day, when people investigate and they work with other businesses, just like you, they’re not paying for uncertainty. Unless they’re buying a lucky dip, but most of the time, like 99.95% of the time. They are wanting absolute certainty. You just do not.

Want to be giving people. Flimsy solutions because flimsy solutions never purchased. Now. Once you’ve got your calendar links firing in step one. Number two, your email auto responders are working based on a form submission. And you’ve polished up your thank you page to really position yourself as an expert in this field.

You then need to think about the technical side of your lead generation campaign. Okay, so this is step four and this is a massive one for us were staunch advocates around the Google tag manager product. And you need to ensure that you’ve used Google tag manager to effectively capture and track all the conversions, which make sense for your business. So when you’re using Facebook ads or Google ads or LinkedIn ads,

That you have got the correct conversion event tracking. So make sure with your Google tag manager that you’ve dry tested the conversions multiple times ensure that the tag fires. When that person has hit the thank you page or when that form has been submitted, like, there are many ways to go about doing a proper Google tag manager implementation, but it needs to be done right. And effectively and accurately.

So get that sorted, find their professional. If you need some support here. Google tag manager tracking could be the difference between you knowing what you’re getting on your marketing spend or having absolutely no idea. So again, get that sorted, ensure that your conversions attract. They’re imported into your media buying platforms. And most importantly, those conversions are also tracked and imported into your Google analytics instance, super crucial, super critical. Most people screw it up, so get it right. Get it done well, and I’m sure you’ll have some more success when it comes to being able to attribute.

Your Facebook advertising or your LinkedIn advertising. Google ads. Whatever. All right. And you’ve got your, you got your conversions tracked. You’ve got your post leads and missions done. Where your email auto responder fired up and you’ve got your calendar link sorted that’s for the six necessary steps.

Step number five is ensuring that you have remarketing tags as part of your Google tag manager instance. So you’ve done all the event tracking you’ve you’ve tracked the goals. You’ve been pulled them to Google analytics. They’re all congruent with the rest of your media buying platforms. You need to now make sure that you have a LinkedIn insights tag or a Google ads, remarketing tag, or a Facebook pixel.

And they have to be implemented correctly in this iOS 14.5 world that we live in right now, everybody we need to ensure. Sure that our remarketing tags are only firing, but they’re also sending the right information back to the necessary ad platforms. So you can make the most of the AI and machine learning algorithms, all the cool stuff that happens in the background too.

Practically give your media buying platforms a better chance of creating success for you. In the auctions. So. Again, You’ve set up your Google tag manager, you’ve done the conversion tracking. Don’t forget to install those remarketing tags. Otherwise you may never be able to remarket to people. And we all know.

As people hit the website and they get chased around them more and more likely to be buying from you. If they see you again and again and again, because you’re just submitting yourself as number one in your marketplace. So make that happen. So then once you’ve got your remarketing tags, your conversion tracking and your Google tag manager, all set up, you’ve done all the other stuff. There’s one last thing. And I.

Personally believe, and this is before we even talk about the. Um, ad campaign. And I don’t want to talk about it today. I just want to talk about the infrastructure on your website and your funnel. The last thing you definitely need, and this is an absolute must. Vital crucial. Like undisputable essential is having a very good CRM that possesses.

Functionality and capability to integrate effectively with your Google analytics and your ad platforms. So you can get true. Like contact tracking all the way through your. Your your, your marketing efforts, the reason why you want this is because of the fact that most people will fly blind by relying on Facebook’s data and Google ads’ data. If you do this going forward, you are more and more unlikely.

To FA you are more and more likely to fail because the tracking’s only getting worse. If you have a HubSpot CRM instance, like whether it be sales starter or the standard free CRM, you’re going to have. Uh, an infinitely better time. Knowing how many leads you’re actually generating because of the fact that the HubSpot CRM and the necessary HubSpot forms or the integrations with your existing forms in your WordPress website.

It all works like clockwork, and you’re able to actually see the leads coming into your business and you need to see those leads coming into your business. Being able to track them from the lead source to the. Um, to the platform, to the campaign, to the ad creative. So you can then do really effective.

Um, rapid iterative testing style advertising, where you’re able to then dissect what things work, what doesn’t work. This is what we’re going to be doing going forward. These are the learnings we’re carrying through into the next test. And. I’ve spoken a lot about rapid iterative testing in the podcast. If you want to learn more about that, feel free to hit me up.

Dean.denny@owendenny.com. Going to answer every single one of you who sent through an email or pose a question to this podcast. So that’s really the six step program. Or the six step project that we would undertake with every ad campaign that we do for our clients. Before we hit a button and send it live.

So in my case, right in the campaign we were about to launch. I literally. Had no email auto respondent. I had to lightening speed. Build an email autoresponder. I had to double-check and spruce up landing page. I was like, oh, goodness gracious me. This happens on, I then had to double-check our conversion tracking. In fact, our thank you page for some reason.

Had been removed when the last time we tweaked our Google tag manager. So then we’ve fixed our Google tag manager, conversion tracking, and it was all good. The remarketing tags were there, but I did have to go about double checking that and then finally, thank God. HubSpot was the rock in this.

And our CRM was perfectly fine. My Facebook account weeks ago was hacked that I had to go about reinstalling, um, all the plugins for HubSpot to ensure that it all was kosher. Um, with our HubSpot instance, because that then affects was effectively. Um, Connected to my Facebook account, which is connected to my HubSpot.

I’m just connected to all the ads, managers and lots of stuff that we were running. So again, we went through this, this flight check and from a technical media buying an asset infrastructure thing. We’re all good now. And this campaign is going to go live and we’re going to get some great results. So that’s really a technical perspective. Like you cannot run ads until you complete.

This six step checklist like that is the truth, the flight check, whatever we want to call it. Take these six steps applied them into your ad campaigns and your processes today. And I’m sure you’re going to have a lot less wasted money and you’re going to have much clearer and real, real clarity around like what your advertising is actually doing for yourself. Again, if you love this episode, please do like share and subscribe.

Um, this podcast and tell your friends about it. We love. Hearing. Nothing more than when I receive a text or a message or an email from people like you listening to today’s podcast and thinking, Hey. Dean really appreciated this absolute goal in this podcast. Please keep doing it. We love what you’re doing. And that really makes me.

Feel like I’m doing the right thing. For my community, which is you. Thank you so much for being part of it. Unofficially. And, um, like if you have any further questions, Um, just shoot me an email. dean.denny@owendenny.com. If you are looking to partner with a digital marketing agency, though.

There is in the show notes two links. If you’re not sure what you need, book a free 10 minute chat with us. Now it’s not just a chat where we talk smack. It’s a chat where we go about diagnosing your current growth focus areas and why they’re not working for you in your business. We will go about looking into your revenue vitals.

What’s happening with your customer acquisition costs, your. Marketing campaigns. And you know, it’s just a quick 10 minute laser call to really go about identifying whether or not we can help you. But if you know that you do need a digital agency, please feel free to fill out a growth diagnostic form.

I personally review every single growth diagnostic form that gets filled out on our website and what our growth diagnostic form does, is it pretty much provides us with a full picture of where you’re at in your business and what support you truly need. And then from that information, we can build you out a tailored growth marketing plan.

To ensure that we crush. Not only crushed, but absolutely succeed with you going forward. In your growth marketing journey. So guys, thank you so much for tuning in. I really appreciate you all for being here and listening again. Don’t run ads until your campaign passes, the six step checklist.

I’m your host Dean. I’ll see you later, I’ll speak to you when I speak to you. Talk soon




Connect with Dean Denny, host of Open Source Growth and Director at Owendenny Digital


Owendenny Digital, Australia’s #1 SaaS Marketing Agency



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