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The Killer Combo Of Free Content With Paid Promotion

Jordan Gal

Co-Founder & CEO, CartHook

Family first, then business, then pleasure. Cofounder at https://carthook.com/ and cohost of http://bootstrappedweb.com/.

Portland, OR
Jordan Gal

Download the slides at carthook.com/microconf2018

Content Marketing + Paid Advertising

Here's CartHook's campaign from January to March of this year.

CartHook has been slow in adopting content marketing. Paid advertising, contrastingly, has a clear ROI.

So what'd they do? Content Marketing + Paid Advertising

They took free content, retargeted their audience, and then offered a free trial.

  1. Get attention: get some mindshare
  2. Establish credibility: talk about your insight into the market
  3. Your product: in the context of market trends, you've earned the ability to talk about your own product
  4. Build audience
  5. Make offer

In practice:

  1. Get Attention: CartHook wrote and facebook promoted a "$100-Million Dollars Lighting the Way (A Look Back at 2017)" blog post.
  2. Establish credibility: "eCommerce Sales Funnels: A New Trend for Big Growth"
  3. "Future Trends: What you Need to Know to Succeed in eCommerce in 2018 and Beyond"
  4. Product focus: "How (and Why) to Optimize your eCommerce Checkout Experience"
  5. Killer feature: "The Art of Upsells (Boost Your Order Value While Building Trust)"
  6. Repurpose to eBook: error rendering link


Each post was promoted for 7 days ($4k in ads). Got 127 retargeted free trials, which cost $32/signup.

These signups converted at 30%, which are paying $200/month.

$4k spent to get $136k ARR!

What's next? MOAR

360 registrations on a partner'd webinar showing a huge success story ($1M -> $2M/year in sales) translated into $212k in new ARR for $4k spent.

How can you do it for your company?

Write and promote: an attention post, a market trend post (what's your unique insight into the market?), write a product post (what does your product...), a killer feature post (what is your differentiating feature that people need in order to succeed?). Then repurpose the content and host a webinar showing real results from someone using your product (promoting and retargeting this too).

The Greatest Sales Pitch I've Seen All Year


How much time did you spend on this? How will you repurpose this campaign in the future - what's the 5-year strategy?

It caught us off guard how well it worked - we're not sure. Unless we really nail the next idea it probably won't work as well.

Is retargeting just within facebook?

Yes. We also tried retargeting within Google but it didn't work as well.

Why did you promote the pieces serially instead of in parallel?

To capture and build up maximum attention, though we might not do it like this in the future.

Are there other channels over email that are on your radar?

Partner webinars.

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