Every Tool & Ad Network I Use To Run Million Dollar Ad Campaigns
Do you think Hemingway was a great writer because of his typewriter?
Or maybe Walt Disney had a magical pencil?
The tools mentioned below are just tools. They will not make you a better media buyer. No tracking tool is going to all of a sudden make your pages convert better or your ads get clicked more.
Hopefully, by now in this course you have learned that the true power behind being a media buying master is in your brain.
What makes a great media buyer is…
- -Being able to get inside the customer’s mind (Module 1)
- -Knowing how to increase the relevance and value of an offer (Module 2)
- -Understanding the math required to acquire customers profitably (Module 3)
- -Knowing how to make an unprofitable campaign become profitable (Module 4)
The tools just help you speed things up or automate it.
I’ve bought and tested 12 different tracking tools, 7 landing page generators, 5 retargeting ad networks, 21 different CRM or email marketing platforms, as well as both AdBeat/WhatRunsWhere. I’ve tested just about everything that you might have considered buying over the last 10 years. Below is what I believe to be the current best stack of tools in 2016.
Never let the tool dictate your marketing. Let your marketing dictate the tool you use!
Market Map Spreadsheet – I use this before anything else. The moment I have an idea for a product or want to promote a product for a client, I have my assistant create a market map for me. Without this I would be guessing and guessing isn’t a smart ad strategy.
Empathy Map – I usually just draw this on my whiteboard or in my notebook. You can get fancy if you like and print out templates. The goal is to brainstorm what you’re target market is thinking, hearing, seeing, and feeling. NOTHING is more critical to the success of your ad campaigns. Getting inside your customer’s mind helps you create ad copy that they can’t resist.
Ad Planning Worksheet – Even though I’ve built over 5,000 ad campaigns, I still fill out this document every time. It helps me stay structured, on target, and not miss any critical pieces of the campaign.
SEMRush – There are a lot of PPC research tools, but none as robust and all purpose as SEMRush. I use it to research keywords, text ads, video ads, and even SEO stuff like digging up my competition’s backlinks.
SimilarWeb – This is a tool that I can’t believe actually exists. It’s like having access to your competitors Google Analytics account. I use it to see how much traffic sites have, where they get their traffic, and interests of their audience.
AdBeat – Essential for anyone doing large scale display campaigns (banner ads). However, anyone wanting to plan a native ad campaign or see what type of landing pages are working should also use this.
Ghostery – Designed for anti-marketing types, but is also a great research tool for media buyers. I use it to discover what my competitors are using for retargeting or what ad networks they are using.
Evernote – This is where I keep my swipe file. They have a chrome extension that makes it easy to save any advertorial, ad, or sales page. Then I can save it with any tags I want for easy retrieval later.
Veeroll – Essential tool for YouTube advertisers. I use it to find channels and videos to target my YouTube ads with.
Facebook 20% tool – I use it to make sure my images for FB ads don’t have too much text.
Pixlr Express – I use this to increase contrast of my images for FB. I also use it to add text to my FB images.
Pixlr Editor – I use it to create banner ads for retargeting and display ads.
PhotoDune – This is where I buy all my images for FB ads, native ads, and banner ads. Just as good as istockphoto but cheaper.
IconFinder – Also another great place for buying images for your ads. Really good for B2B ads.
Camtasia – I use this for editing my YouTube ads. Let’s me add overlays for my URL.
Sony G7x – It’s the camera I use to film my YouTube ads. Many pro vloggers love this camera because of its flip up LCD screen so you can see your shot. Great in low lighting and good audio too.
Tracking, Testing, & Analytics
Improve.ly – I use this for tracking conversions and split-testing for clients that don’t have good tracking already.
MixPanel – I use this for my own personal tracking and analytics. There is no better tool on the market in my opinion. It’s a bit technical to setup but their support is amazing. Makes it easy to track a whole funnel and track each ad network separately.
Google Analytics – I use this as another layer of analytics, but the main reason is for Google retargeting. You have to have Google Analytics installed in order to use Google retargeting.
Google Tag Manager – I use this to manage all the retargeting pixels and conversion codes on my pages. Instead of having to check each page manually I just install GTM on every page once and I can manage all my codes from 1 dashboard.
Tag Assistant – This is a chrome extension for Google Tag Manager. It helps you see what tags are firing on your pages and what information is being sent/received from those tags.
Facebook Pixel Helper – I use this to check if my FB pixels are firing on the right pages.
Google Spreadsheet – I use this to keep a weekly log of all my critical ad campaign data. It’s like a simple dashboard and it’s free. My assistant fills it out weekly for me.
Unbounce – I use this to build my landing pages. Because of the full control they give you over design it allows me to create much higher converting pages. Plus it has built in tracking, split testing, and you can customize your mobile page. Also it does dynamic keyword insertion which helps increase quality score and conversions for PPC ads. Here’s a quick video of why I choose Unbounce over other landing page builders
Jotform – I use this to create forms for lead gen pages or surveys or applications. Also allows me to create personalized funnels because it has conditional responses. Meaning if they answer one way I can send them to page 1 or another answer to page 2.
Zapier – I use this throughout our entire business. You can use it for something as simple as adding new customers to a google spreadsheet or to sync unbounce and jotform with ActiveCampaign so people are added to the right email list. Let’s just say, we use Zapier a LOT.
ActiveCampaign – This is the email marketing platform and CRM I use. I use it because of its powerful automations and tagging. My favorite part is being able to send an email based on someone visiting a certain page on my site or clicking play on a video.
ThriveThemes – The highest converting WordPress themes and plug-ins. For 1 yearly price you get massive value. Plus they have a very active support forum if you need help customizing anything.
SumoMe – I use this to capture leads from my advertorials or to increase my CTR to the sales page. Their apps help me optimize my advertorials for higher performance.
Gumroad – This is the shopping cart I use for my front end products. The ability to let people pay whatever they want makes for really high converting front end offers.
Thinkific Platform – A new tool for us, but it’s what we use to deliver our courses and manage our memberships. We can also manage affiliates, instructor payouts, coupons, and sync it with many of our other tools through Zapier. They even have awesome customer support. 🙂
GoToWebinar – I use this for my webinars. I know there are lots of other newer tools, but nothing is as reliable as GTW. And reliable = more sales.
Namecheap – I use this for my domain names.
WPXHosting – I use this for hosting. They optimize they’re hosting for WordPress sites and includes your SLL certificate with your hosting package.[Side note: I also use Hostgator for many of my other sites. I know many people hate them, but I’ve had nothing but awesome results and support from them for the last 8 years.]
Hemingway App – I use this for improving the readability of my emails and sales letters. Because better readability is better conversions.
Facebook Business Manager – I use this to access all my clients’ accounts and my accounts in one spot. It lets me give different levels of access to different members of my team.
Adwords MCC – I use this to access all my clients Adwords accounts as well as my own. Also allows me to assign different levels of access.
Jing – I use this to show clients the results I’m getting for them. Also to send short videos with tips to improve their funnel.
Facebook Ads – I use this to check on my campaigns on the go. Also, lets me pause things or increase my budget.
Adwords – I use this to check on my Adwords accounts on the go. Also, lets me make budget adjustments.
Android Screenrecorder – I use this to make videos on my phone. Great for sending quick suggestions to my clients or team.
Wireflow – I use this to create landing page mock ups.
Google Adwords – The best and biggest ad network by a large margin. They have the highest converting traffic, the best targeting options, and the most traffic. I have driven over 100,000 clicks in a single day with Google ads. Includes search ads, display ads, retargeting, and YouTube ads.
Bing Ads – 2nd best place to buy search traffic. Really good for any offers that target old white people.
Facebook Ads – 2nd best ad network in the world. Not as much traffic as Google but just as high conversions. Also, really good targeting options. The best mobile traffic in the world.
Twitter Ads – It’s just like Facebook ads. All the same options. Less traffic and a little more expensive. Love their ability to target #hashtags and keywords. Also love their ability to upload customer audiences and retarget my website visitors.
DedicatedEmails – The best email advertising company. They have access to monster sized email lists in a lot of categories. Mostly male oriented markets, though. Really good for anything financial like stock market training, investment advice, real estate etc. Also good for health pills.
JRWA – Also an email advertising company and arguably just as good as Dedicated. They’ve been around longer. They don’t have access to as many lists, but their prices are sometimes better than dedicated’s prices. Dedicated partners with the list owners, while JRWA just brokers.
Yahoo Gemini – This is the Facebook of native ads. They have the highest converting native ad traffic, but also the most compliance rules. Very good for mobile ads and female oriented markets. Lots of targeting options, very easy interface, and they have search traffic too. It’s Yahoo.
Rev-Content – This is the native ad network that has the least rules. Really great targeting options. You can target by placement, topic, or demographic. IMO this will soon be one of the most popular native ad networks.
Advertising.com – If you want to buy traffic on any of the AOL properties, this is where you go. They’ve been around a long time. It’s pretty much all display and text ads. This is not for amateurs, but if you have a working offer you can get a lot of really good traffic here.
Adknowledge – One of the best programmatic media buying platforms. This is also a network only for people who really have their offer dialed in as you need to start with $10k to $25k. However, it’s one of the most hands free high end traffic networks. Just tell them what kind of traffic you need and your sales goals, they’ll take care of the rest. GREAT mobile traffic.
Propel Media – Used to be TrafficVance which was the best CPV (Pop Up ads) ad network. All the same great traffic, same great prices, and good conversions. Their text ads are great as well. Good for amateurs and seasoned veterans.
MediaTaffic – Hands down the #1 CPV ad network. You’ll need at least a few grand to get started, but their prices are amazing. Not great for niche offers, but great for anything health, wealth, or relationship related. Skews a little more towards females, but male targetted offers work too.
AdReady – Another programmatic media buying network. They sell mostly display ads, but they also have ability to serve video ads. In case you don’t know what “programmatic” means, it means you can program the ad network to get you better and better results. You can set up automation rules, and optimize based on conversions, etc.
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