Any Success with Investor Carrot and PPC Marketing?

9 Replies

Hi, I was wondering, since many prospects are now using the Internet, how others are doing with Investor Carrot websites and Google Adwords PPC marketing to bring in seller leads.

It's highly competitive, but if your targeting is focused you can get some really good deals @Larry N. . I use a template through leadpropeller and have someone assist with managing the PPC campaigns. 

Do you have a monthly budget in mind? It can get costly. 

@Larry N. I'm currently running an A/B test between my client's site and an investor carrot site. Over the last 14 days, we're spending a >$400 cost-per-lead with Investor Carrot, which is significantly more expensive than our current website generates (all other things equal). This test is not conclusive yet, but I'll be happy to share once it is. Short answer is yes, it will 'work' to generate leads. 

It would be a lot quicker for me to run this test, but I noticed that Investor Carrot installs their own Analytics tracking code on all of their member sites (if you add your Analytics tracking code, that is the second one installed). This means that they have access to all of the keywords I'm advertising on, which is why I'm not A/B testing my entire account, as I don't want to hand over the exact keywords we're targeting and how they are performing. That's a huge value I don't feel comfortable handing over in its entirety. So, I chose a very small sliver of my account, and that's going to take a bit to reach statistical significance. 

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@Trevor Actually, all things are equal except the landing page. Same keywords, same ads, same time of day. I did say it was inconclusive based on the sample size so far, but it's a proper A/B test in structure. 

Originally posted by @Trevor Mauch :

@Sean Dolan Hope all is well man! 
Glad to see you're diving in to test things out. Just wanted to mention a few things that are definitely a bit misleading to the average passerby reading this thread I wanted to throw a different perspective in on... it would be a disservice for people to read that and take it at face value w/o seeing the whole picture. 
  • The PPC Results So Far Are MisLeading A Tad: Like you mentioned, you're not doing a true A/B test and it sounds like (I may be wrong) it may not be actually testing the exact same ads, same keywords, same market at the same time... correct?

    If not, as you know... there are so many variables that can and will throw off the results that the data really isn't a fair and accurate test.  

    If it's the same keywords, same ads, same markets, similar ad positioning on average over time, same time period (conversion rates are higher in the summer months than fall / winter, our data shows it at a statistical level)... then it would be worth talking about as a valid test. 

    Most of our clients doing PPC w/ a dialed in Carrot site and a dialed in PPC campaign are getting leads not even in the same ballpark as $400/lead. In fact we run PPC campaigns in-house on a lot of client sites and we'd be happy as heck to take screenshots or videos in all of them from different markets and show the cost per leads. Just let me know and I'll pop those in here. Most are sub $50 per lead... in crazy markets it'll push $100/lead.

It sounds like you're saying that your product out of the box is not a fair representation of your product. In order for the product to be fairly represented, the user has to make major changes to the design and the content? My out of the box version looks nothing like the version you showcase below as what you consider to be a fair representation.

If I'm required to redesign the entire site in order for it to be a fair representation - I'm not sure how I could ever run a true A/B test, as my unique changes will always be a unique variable in one version of any A/B test. If the credibility and design makes the difference between a performing site and a nonperforming site, what am I paying for? I get the argument that you built the framework for customers to build from, but Wordpress itself is also a framework that customers can build from, you've just built on top of Wordpress to make it more 'investor friendly' which is of some value - I guess I'm trying to determine the value-proposition of the framework compared to someone who pays a designer a one-time fee to build them a similar end-product of a fully built-out IC site. Not asking you to defend that, because you've done so on this forum elsewhere, just explaining my motivations here. 

And I must have missed some of the customization options in the back-end, I'll take a look at those. And sorry if I'm coming across critically, if I end up as a convert I'll be your biggest fan. :)

Originally posted by @Trevor Mauch :

Hey @Larry N.

  • Credibility On The Website: I hopped in and checked out the Carrot site that I'm guessing you're driving the traffic to... and noticed that you haven't done any customizations to the site that we recommend in our training. Just a custom logo was all... but no other credibility built in (testimonials, local photos, bio about yourselves, etc.). It's using our basic design vs. one of the others that are performing insanely well too (like 

    A quick screenshot of the basic edits you made:

    ... vs. the sites that are crushing it where they invested a bit more into personalization into our framework (like this)

    We've found in our testing those small credibility elements stacked over the site make a massive impact (a solid About page, credibility elements like BBB etc., brand match, localized images, testimonials, etc.).

    So the website is basically doing all of the heavy lifting on the performance (which out of the box converting like that w/ no time invested into customizations is solid)... but my guess is the site that you're testing against (which I could be wrong) has more credibility elements built into it.

    Anyhow, I'd be game to dive in w/ you guys and make it a fair test and build out credibility on the site and hone the personalization a bit and the results you'll see will change quite a bit. 

  • We give clients a stellar foundation without having to have the expert on SEO or conversion optimization or building websites... then the training and help to personalize the site to make it your own and really take that foundation and make it hum. 

    So we're here for ya man if you want to make it an equitable test. And if your site performs better after that, AWESOME! We're always learning and improving at a fast rate which is why we do so much testing and I'd love to learn from what y'all are doing. 

    But lets make it a fair test before numbers are thrown out that look a bit deceiving to the average person. 

    Last, I appreciate your expertise on this topic man and your willingness to share w/ people here on BP. You rock and seem to know what you're doing, few of us. Let's just make sure to post fair and equitable facts on comparisons and I'm an open book and here for anyone who wants to see and learn anything we're doing here at Carrot. We're just here to help elevate the industry and glad you're a part of it man. 

Fair point about requiring Adwords to be connected to the Analytics account to import all keywords, that didn't occur to me. So, it's not as easy as I thought, but there's other ways to go about it. You could still pull the querystring with jquery for utm_term, easily from the homepage - even plug that into a hidden field in the homepage gravity form to attach it to the lead and know which keyword are driving conversions. 

Like this competitor of ours:

I'm not suggesting you guys do this, just pointing out that it's possible.

Originally posted by @Trevor Mauch :

  • Google Analytics, We Can't Track Your PPC Keywords: Man, honestly... when I read your comment about us tracking your PPC keywords I was like, "Man! I need to ask my tech team about this... if this is true that's some GREAT data we can learn from!". I was a bit excited haha. But I didn't think we can track down to the keyword, especially for PPC traffic, for our clients. Yes, we have a blanket Google Adwords code on all sites which is used to track aggregate data and to populate clients dashboard w/ their websites stats w/o them having to even know how to use Google Analytics (saving them tons of time and getting them the data they need w/o the hassle)... but in order to get data down to the keyword (especially for PPC) we have to have each site connected to the Google Webmaster tools account that is verified for that domain and the adwords account for it. Otherwise on our end it just shows up showing if it game from PPC on Google or Bing... when the leads came in... etc. I soooo wish we had access to that stuff as research to help improve the overall performance of investors on our platform... but we don't. 

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Hi, Thanks for all the great information regarding Investor Carrot websites and using PPC.  I was advised that Investor Carrot along with PPC was a good marketing strategy to get leads. I use Investor Carrot as my website and PPC, but I haven't had any success in getting leads yet. I also tried online marketing on Craigslist and using the website to get leads, but no success with Craigslist and other online marketing. I'm on a tight marketing budget with no knowledge of websites.  After reading the discussion here, it appears that one needs a strong marketing budget and knowledge of websites and technology to make this a successful marketing campaign. So I'm thinking that maybe direct mail may be a more suitable marketing channel for me to get leads.

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