The Donut Shop Online Marketing Podcast, Campaigns That Convert, Episode 1

Written by Dave Shrein

How to Create Campaigns that Convert

If you sell a proven product online, you’re passionate about your product, and you’re knowledgeable about it, The Donut Shop is created for you. We are taking you behind the scenes of our agency and the online marketing world. Interested in getting the details of how an online marketing agency creates marketing campaigns that convert? In this episode, we reveal 6 things you need to know to create a content marketing campaign that will convert content into cash and help you achieve the type of sales numbers you’ve needed to bring your business dreams into reality.

Creating a Campaign That Converts Takes Cyclical Marketing Strategy

You’ve probably heard the saying that “knowledge is power.” Well, that saying is especially true in the marketing and online e-commerce world. The more you know about how to create cyclical, converting marketing campaigns, the more successful your business will be.

You need to know six key marketing strategies that work together in tandem to create amazing campaigns that convert. A successful marketing campaign is constantly changing and evolving to keep up with the needs and wants of your customers.

It’s a never-ending cycle of testing, tweaking, and improving that will help you to reach your target audience and convert them into customers using your campaigns. It’s worth it to do it the right way, save yourself time and effort, and get the results you want — a clear, converting campaign — fast!

So, this is for you whether you’re a seasoned online business marketing pro or are just starting. Let’s get started!

Most Campaigns Fail Because They Fail to Cross the Finish Line

You’ve probably seen this analogy before in one form or another: if you think about running a marathon, there’s a lot that goes into it. There’s a lot of preparation and buildup, all focused on accomplishing a goal at a specific time, at a specific race, on a specific day. Lots of timelines must converge for the end goal of a completed marathon to be possible and then achieved.

There’s a lot of things you have to get in order to complete a marathon, such as your nutrition, stamina, ability to run long distances, pre-training, working out, mindset, and even the race route. There is a lot you need to know.

If you’re training for a race, and decide to focus on everything but nutrition, that would not help you in the long run. See what we did there?

Running a successful marketing campaign is very similar to running a marathon.

There’s a lot of content that you need to create. There’s a lot of strategy backing up that content. When we introduce our campaign marketing strategy to a potential new client and they say, “Oh, we’ve done this before…” we start to ask probing questions.

“Oh, that’s great! What did your sales email sequence look like?”

“Well, we started to do that. But you know, we, we didn’t quite get it all the way, so we didn’t run it…” 

And as we talk, one by one, every prerequisite to creating an amazing content marketing launch campaign is knocked down — and not in a good way. Instead of completing pieces of their marketing, business owners are leaving important steps unfinished, and it’s costing them real dollars.

If you don’t do all the necessary steps, you won’t have a campaign that crosses the finish line, and that means your campaign won’t convert well, if at all.

Complete the steps. 

Be thorough and complete.

Get it done. 

The value in a marketing campaign is producing a complete effort, so you’ll need to make sure you’re getting these campaign components crossed off and taken care of!

You Need a Dreamer and a Builder to Make It Work

You need a dreamer and a builder to make your marketing campaigns convert. Somebody who can see the end goal and somebody who can take action to make it happen. Dreamers plan everything out comprehensively and have an idea of where everything is supposed to go.

But the Achilles heel of a dreamer… is that they’re not a builder. If you’re a builder you can relate to having plenty of experiences where a project has been mapped out on paper; it looks great, but you lose energy a few weeks or months in. You lose the energy to create. Suddenly all the perfect planning turns into sparse execution, and you don’t get the results you planned for. All because you didn’t execute the plan you created.

Then there are the builders. They put everything together, ensuring that statuses inside your project management system get marked complete, tracked to that state, and the resources you need to cross the finish line are ready to be mobilized. Builders have one big problem — they need a clear route of where they’re supposed to go.

Builders, (roles like project managers, administrative professionals, and department managers) need to know what the overall plan is — and they need it to stay consistent. They need to know where the team is going to end up, what the end vision or dream is, and what we are trying to execute. Builders can put everything together but don’t have a route to run the race.

Dreamers can see the finish line but lack the patience and know-how to create the step-by-step route to arrive.

Builders can see the steps necessary to run a successful race but don’t know where the goal is.

Ideally, you would have somebody who can do both – somebody with the imagination to come up with amazing ideas and the discipline to follow through on them. 

These people are called unicorns! Because they are very rare.

If you aren’t a unicorn or don’t have a unicorn on your team, don’t fear — that’s normal. Be certain you have somebody who can at least visualize the end goal and keep you on track.

The Pathway is Clear

At The Blocks Agency, we created a pathway that we take each and every client through as a part of our onboarding process. Our entire team is trained on the pathway as well, which allows for synergy, shared language, and more connected conversations between departments and content areas.

The Blocks Agency’s unique onboarding process begins with asking some key questions:

1. What is your product?

2. What is your service?

3. What are you all about?

4. What’s your underlying story?

After those are clear, we build a website — a money-making machine on top of that. We create shareable content, compelling ads to generate leads, and create an infrastructure for creating campaigns that convert.

We take pride in our ability to help our clients achieve their desired outcomes using effective marketing campaigns. Because we have both dreamers and builders on staff, we’re able to set our clients up for success by casting a compelling vision, then executing that vision to cross the finish line. 

Campaigns Have a Targeted Audience

When you’re creating a marketing campaign, it’s important to make sure that you’re targeting the right audience. That means understanding your customer and what they want and crafting your message to appeal to them specifically.

We see this all the time with people who’ve done what we affectionately call the spaghetti test!

They try a bunch of tactics, different pieces of strategies from across the internet, hoping something works. It’s an attempt to “see what sticks.” Ultimately, we see a lot of campaigns that don’t have a targeted audience and that’s why they fail. So, this is really simple — and easy to mess up.

To successfully convert a campaign, you’ll need to know a few main points:

Who are you speaking to?

Who are the people that you’re actually talking to? If you are trying to sell diapers, you would not sell diapers to people who don’t have kids and aren’t around kids.

(Pro tip: name them. Literally, create a composite image of them and give that character a name. This is a key idea we use when we teach people how to write, which helps personify an audience. The same way we fall in love with literary characters and can imagine which decisions they’d make is the same way you should be familiar with your target audience.)

What does your target market need? 

It might be a PDF of 10 ways to fix their morning routine. It might be a simple video walkthrough of “how to create easy lunches for your kids.” Find out what your target audience is looking for. The clearer you get on who your audience is, the more effective your campaign will be.

HOW do you provide what they need? 

What are you going to do to bridge the gap? You have an audience of people who are looking for what you have, who have a need — how are you going to get the answer or solution to them?

Why should they work with you

Why are you different from everybody else? It’s not a secret that there are billions of people in marketing. We have people that come to The Blocks Agency all the time that say, “You know, I just, there’s something about you guys.” We hear things like, “There’s something about you. I trust you. I trust you with my brand…” You’re an entrepreneur. You know that your brand is your baby. So model that in your industry, to your audience, why these people should work with you. What makes you different?

It’s also important to know your limits. You can’t please everyone and trying to do so will only water down your message and confuse your customers. So be laser-focused on your target audience and create campaigns that speak directly to them. When you do, you’ll be surprised at how well they convert!

Try the Campaign Multiple Times

You’ve probably heard the saying “test, test, test.” Well, that’s especially true when it comes to marketing campaigns. The only way to know if something is going to work is to try it out and see what happens.

You can’t run once, then believe you can run a marathon. You have to do it more than once. So it is with campaigns. They take practice and repetition to gain steam, become more fluid, and require less energy if you try them multiple times.

If you run your first marathon and then decide to run another one, I’m not saying that it’s easy, but it becomes easier. It may still be just as challenging, but you’ve created momentum in your body, heart, and muscles to be prepared.

And if you quit after your first time running a specific marketing campaign, you will never realize the momentum and the authority that you built during the first run. Because here’s the thing — not everybody’s ready to buy right now. People have reasons for not purchasing right now.

When you run a marketing campaign multiple times, you give people who have said “no” in the past an opportunity to say, “Yes, this is the right time to do it.” And the thing is, you’re going to have people who saw the campaign the first time you ran it and they really wanted to participate the first time but weren’t in the right spot.

For example, offering a postpartum healing course to someone who is struggling to conceive isn’t a fit — but they will have a higher percentage of saying yes if they see your campaign again halfway through pregnancy, which would be the perfect time for them to say yes to your offer. The timing matters, and you’ll have better success with timing if you repeat your campaigns and try them multiple times.

Don’t be afraid to experiment with your campaigns! Try different things, change up your approach, and see what works best. And if something doesn’t work, don’t worry about it. Just learn from your mistakes and move on.

If you quit after that first time because you didn’t get the results you wanted or the results you thought you were going to get, what would happen? You’d rob your audience of the ability to say yes to your offer at the right time for them.

Let’s assume you pushed everything across the finish line, did everything correctly, had emails, ads, landing page, audience, copy, and offer… all of it humming but it didn’t produce the entrepreneur math that you thought it would. The timing was off. And the only remedy for that is to run the campaign additional times.

By only running your campaign once, you cheat your audience out of being able to say yes to you at a time that works for them.

If You Forget a Call to Action, You Leave Leads on the Table

Working with online entrepreneurs to help them create campaigns that convert in a lot of industries, we see so many businesses that send campaigns. There is one way to ensure your campaign does not convert — it’s to leave out a call to action, or CTA.

A CTA or call to action is a way for your audience to interact with you. It’s a link in an email to learn more information, a way to get in touch with you (like a contact page linked in a blog post), or a purchase button, which also counts as a CTA.

One issue we see is that businesses send emails or post social media posts consistently where there is no link, sign-up, or way to engage. It’s a huge problem because it leaves your leads on the table. And worse, it can upset them now that they want to learn more and work with you but can’t figure out how to bridge that gap.

Think about it. You get these people so excited to work with you. You cover who they are, what they need, how to get it to them, and what you do that helps solve their problem. You cover why you’re the best fit for them and leave them hanging. And that’s the worst.

Include a CTA. Give your audience a way to say YES to you. People are waiting to work with you specifically — make sure you give them a clear way to move forward with you as their choice.

It’s Okay to be Messy, The Money is in Getting it Done

It’s unreasonable to think that your first campaign would be flawless. 

Often as we experience our flaws, we can start to feel imposter syndrome. We wonder if anyone is going to buy from us, and it feels nauseating to ride the roller coaster of emotions through entrepreneurship, especially in marketing. 

As you continue to evolve the way that you run your campaigns, tightening them up, you will start to see where things are flawed. We look for a conversion rate of 4-5% as being really great overall. That also means 95% of people didn’t convert during your campaign. That statistic can be really disheartening if you’re only thinking about that one time you ran the one campaign! This is why we recommend you run it multiple times.

Running your campaign multiple times, you will be able to up-level your content and strategy a little bit each time. Don’t forget to put your call to action at the end!

You’re never going to get the benefit of what you did the first time around if you don’t give it a second (or third, fourth, tenth) try. People are waiting for you, and they are ready for the way you do things. If you don’t repeat campaigns, you are costing yourself, and you’re literally robbing your audience of the opportunity of working with you.

Campaigns that Convert are Authentic

When it comes to creating campaigns that convert, being authentic is key. People can see right through a fake or inauthentic campaign, and they’re far less likely to take the time to investigate what you’re selling. So, make sure that everything you put out there is true to your brand and your values.

I remember being recognized in a large bulk grocery store, coincidentally about an hour after I’d finished a livestream online as part of a campaign. The woman that recognized me had a really interesting conversation with me right there in the store. We talked about what I had covered that morning on the livestream, how it impacted her, and what she was doing because of it.

One of the things she said stood out to me. She said, “I have to tell you, the person that I see in front of me right now is the same person that I saw online.” What a huge compliment. It’s really an important thing to be yourself online. Be an authentic representation of yourself.

If you’re not yourself online or if you’re misrepresenting yourself in a campaign, it inflates who you are to your audience and your audience becomes attracted to that version of you, which is not who you actually are.

Your audience becomes attracted to the perfectly curated version of you, which is what they end up coming to expect. And those are the people that you will attract. They’ll expect the perfect version of you and because that’s not who you actually are, you run the risk of losing trust.

Keep your tone consistent, use the same visuals and branding elements, and be honest about what you’re offering. If people can tell that you’re genuine and trustworthy, they’ll be more likely to buy from you. Part of authenticity is also being genuine about your knowledge and drive to impact the industry you’re a part of. Make sure you’re representing yourself and your story genuinely and authentically, and you’ll translate clearer, converting more campaigns.

Compelling Offers Make Successful Campaign Conversions

When it comes to creating successful marketing campaigns, compelling offers are key. If people aren’t interested in what you’re selling, they’re not going to convert no matter how well your campaign is executed.

Here’s the catch: you’ve also got to be sold on your offer.

It can’t be just thrown together. If you’re throwing it together, you haven’t taken into consideration their persona. You haven’t taken into consideration what’s authentic for your industry right now as a whole. Or even what is authentic for you?

That’s why it’s so important to spend time crafting irresistible offers. Put strategy and thought behind the offer that you craft. When we talk about the offer, we mean what it is that you’re proposing. The offer is not just the stuff, it’s also the promise.

You actually must have an offer. You can’t just throw it out there and say, “Work with me.” It doesn’t work that way. You need to craft an actual experience. You need to deliver actual promised results.

Jeff Walker’s book, Launch, helps identify how to add stakes to an offer. Stakes are mental triggers that allow marketers to leverage something called time sensitivity. This is what you’re seeing when a landing page or sales page has a countdown, prompting people to buy things within a certain timeframe.

Think about what your target audience wants and needs, and then give it to them in an irresistible way. Use irresistible language, create benefits-focused headlines, and make it easy for people to take action with a CLEAR button or link! If you can do all those things, you’re well on your way to creating campaigns that convert like crazy!

Handling Objections Around Your Campaign’s Offer

The offer must be crafted around answering the objections of your audience, the person or people you’re selling to. What are their struggles? You’ve already done your diagram of their persona or avatar. You know how they are feeling, who they are, what they need, and what they’re going through. You know what their objections are going be, likely anticipating one being price — but not just price.

They could object by saying they don’t have the time. You could pivot your offer, extending it to 45 days instead of 30 because you know your audience is busy this time of year specifically. Suddenly they have more time to complete your course and you have more conversion on your campaign because you clarified an objection to the offer before your customer had a chance to say no.

And one by one, you satisfy the objections your audience has with items you add to your offer. It becomes irresistible.

Humanity is Crucial for Conversion in Your Campaign

When it comes to conversion, one of the most important things to remember is that HUMANITY is crucial. In other words, your campaigns need to be personal, relatable, and humanized to connect with your audience and encourage them to take the desired action.

Three things matter when a conversion happens.

Trust, authenticity, and humanity.

Number one, does the offer content and the offering itself sound like you? If it doesn’t sound like you, maybe you’re not the best writer, hire somebody that is a good, skilled copywriter to create your landing page or your sales page. If you can’t write, hire somebody who can.

Your copywriting can make the biggest difference to your sales.

There are a lot of ways to increase your trust, authenticity, and humanity in your marketing. Some basic tips include telling real stories, using customer testimonials, being transparent and authentic, and showcasing your human side through vulnerable sharing and connecting through your own experience, shared first-hand.

If you’re having a hard time showing humanity in your marketing, try visualizing this. What would the world look like in six months if a hundred people said yes to you right now? Think about that. What would the world look like in six months if just a hundred people said yes to you right now? How would the planet change? Would it be kinder? Would people make more money? Would people be able to start businesses?

As you write your copy and create your marketing campaign, be mindful of your humanity. Does it sound like you wrote it? Does it help the planet? Is it real and honest or did you embellish it?

Get yourself inspired to show off what could be possible when people give you an emphatic YES to working together.

If you can make your potential customers feel like they’re part of the family, they’re much more likely to convert into paying customers.


There’s a lot that goes into creating a campaign that converts. If you don’t show up, if you don’t cross your campaign over the finish line, the world you want and the business you’re creating will always be a dream. You don’t get the satisfaction of doing it and you don’t get to change the world for other people. And I think that’s a pretty big motivator.

In our episode of The Donut Shop Podcast called “Campaigns that Convert,” we break down these six key strategies that work in tandem to create amazing results. So, whether you’re looking to build authority in your industry, create the legacy you’ve always dreamed of, or simply profit well, these tips will help you do just that.

To learn more, tune into The Donut Shop Podcast today wherever you subscribe to podcasts!

Campaigns that Convert Chapter Markers

0:00 Introduction

2:01 What is The Donut Shop?

4:07 Failure to Cross the Finish is Why Campaigns Don’t Convert

6:57 Dreamers Map Out the Entire Plan Down to the Last Detail

7:42 Builders Make Sure the Plan is Completed

8:59 Our Pathway is a Proven Strategy

10:10 Target Your Audience: Who are You Speaking to?

10:50 The Target Audience for Selling Diapers are New Parents

11:35 Know What Your Audience Needs

11:57 Bridge the Gap to Your Prospective Buyers

12:14 Trust Makes You Stand Out From Billions of Marketers

12:43 Make Sure Your Clients Can Communicate With You

15:37 Run Your Campaign Multiple Times

16:29 Prospective Clients May Not be Ready to Buy Right Now

19:28 When You Run Your Campaign the First Time, It’s Okay to be Messy, No One is Perfect

22:01 Show Your Authentic Self to Your Audience

24:00 Don’t Mislead Your Potential Clients, Run an Authentic Campaign

26:13 Care About Your Product, Your Audience and Their Needs Because You Want to Help Them

28:41 To Create a Campaign that Converts, You Must Have a Compelling Offer

29:55 Be Very Intentional About Your Offer – It’s Also the Promise of What Lies Ahead

30:34 Your Ability to Create Mental Triggers in Your Audience Should Only Be Used for Good

31:39 Answer the Objections of Your Audience When Creating an Offer

33:58 The 3 Things That Matter in Order to Convert are Trust, Authenticity, and Humanness

39:05 Final Thoughts

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