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How a mere $10 increased lead conversions 80.3% in 19 days [Case Study]

The $10 investment that increased leads 80.3% in 19 days…

I can’t wait to share all of the details on this wild financial marketing case study with you! And one of the coolest facts is that many of you reading this blog today played a role in this case study and didn’t even know it. Moreover, for those of you financial professionals who are currently implementing digital marketing into your practice, you know just how incredible an 80% increase in converted leads can be…

However, if you have followed Luke and me for any amount of time you probably also know that any incredible breakthrough like this is also associated with a lesson learned the hard way, or some “Digital Dunce” move that I had to laugh at myself about after the fact.

And this informative real-life example that I recently experienced will be no different, as you will learn the following two things in this power-packed financial marketing case study:

  1. Why refusing to test something that is getting decent results could be holding you back more than you ever know
  2. How a simple $10 investment (that any financial professional with a website can implement) could yield magical results in a very short amount of time

The Case Study

For those of you that have been on any blog page on our website (including the one you are on right now reading this), you will notice a few “banner advertisement” boxes on the right hand side that move up and down as you scroll.  Of course, once you scroll down to a certain level all you see is the “floating banner ad” for the Digital Manifesto that stays present on every single blog page.

It looks something like this below.

financial marketing case study

When we first launched this site back on January 9th of this year (2014), we had the following four banner ads:

  • “7 Sneaky Email Marketing Tricks”
  • “3 Digital Marketing Secrets”
  • Subscribe to our monthly hard copy newsletter (now you can only get this as a “thank you” if you download our Marketing Manifesto)
  • “The Lazy Advisor’s Way to Online Leads without Spending Any Money”

Out of the four ads, the main two that I really wanted people to click on were the “7 Sneaky Email Secrets” and “The Lazy Advisor…” as they contained the best free content that I had ever given away.  And because I wanted those two banner ads to get the most clicks, I went out of my way to create an obnoxiously awesome video for each one, a proven landing page, and banner ads that really “popped” and stuck out.

In regards to this particular financial marketing case study, we will focus on just “The Lazy Advisor” ad throughout the rest of the blog…

The banner ad that both Luke and I agreed would get the lion’s share of the clicks was “The Lazy Advisor’s Way To Online Leads Without Spending Any Money“. Not only was the headline powerful, but the banner ad picture created some curiosity and really popped as I had a bright orange shirt on, and I was punching at the air which created even more curiosity (here is a screenshot of it below).

financial marketing case study

To see the actual landing page that this went to, click here (it will open up in a new window so you can come back to this page with no problems)

Long story short, this “Lazy Advisor” ad worked quite well…but not even as close as it could have.

Here are the results of this “Lazy Advisors Way To Online Leads…” banner ad and landing page after 112 days of being on Advisor Internet Marketing.

  • Total Clicks:  172
  • Total Leads: 70
  • Conversion Rate: 41%

Not bad numbers at all when you consider that most financial advisor websites convert less than 1% of their overall traffic and clicks. And 70 new leads in 112 days meant I was getting a new advisor lead at least every other day just from this banner ad alone (keep in mind that I had 4 of them going simultaneously). Not too shabby!

Because of this success, I had absolutely no intention of changing it up, or even really testing it for that matter. Normally, if I get more than a 20% conversion rate it means that something is working, and why fix what isn’t broken, right? Not to mention, the picture of me punching and the actual video on the landing page were hilarious (at least I thought so).

Well it turns out that I was wrong…

And what first triggered an alert with this “very successful” landing page was a phone call with a financial advisor who had recently been on our site…

The conversation went something like this:

Advisor: “Joe, that video of you punching and yelling “POW POW” while you threw jabs was hilarious.  I actually watched it twice”.

Me: “Thanks ______. I had some fun making that one. And what did you think of the actual PDF download with all of the incredible digital marketing tips in that Lazy Advisor report”?

Advisor: “Uhhhhh…I am a little embarrassed to say that I didn’t even put my information in to download it. I got such a kick out of the video, I kind of forgot about the PDF…”

Shame on me for being so darn creative and funny!

So I instantly started going through the analytics to compare this banner ad to the other three, and I found some interesting inconsistencies. It turns out that even my newsletter banner ad, which I thought for sure would be the worst performer out of the four banners as it asked for all of the advisor’s information (including mailing address), was keeping up with the “Lazy Advisor” banner ad that I thought would do so well.

Not to mention, the content in the PDF of the “Lazy Advisor” offer was over the top awesome. It is 35 pages of incredible digital marketing secrets, stories, and tips all proven to work. Yet, this incredible content was not being read because of a video in front of it that was actually a bit too entertaining.

The Solution to this Financial Marketing Case Study

Here is what I knew:

  1. The content behind the “Lazy Advisor” banner ad was some of the best free digital marketing content for financial advisors in the country, and I needed to do something drastic to have as many financial professionals as possible read it
  2. I also knew that the funny video of me punching and yelling “POW POW” had to go
  3. After going through the “Lazy Advisor” sequence myself that day, I realized that the entire process needed to be replaced.
  4. Now I just had to figure out the most painless and efficient way to get the conversions even higher than 41% while also increasing the total amount of clicks to this powerful content (not an easy task).

The great news was that I had an idea (that just might work) where I could completely re-skin the entire banner ad with only a couple quick steps and $10 of total outlay.

Here is what I did:

  1. I decided to take the focus off of myself and my humor by putting 100% of the focus on the great content in the “Lazy Advisor” PDF
  2. This decision led me to create a book cover where I could display (and focus) the PDF as a nice looking and professional book
  3. My next step was to where I found a graphic artist to create the entire e-book cover in 3D for $10 total
  4. Within 4 days he had the 3D e-book cover back to me looking perfect
  5. That afternoon I created an entire new landing page which took me a total of 15 minutes to do using LeadPages
  6. I traded out the picture of me punching on the AIM home page with a picture of the newly made “Digital Marketing Manifesto” and then waited to see the results…

Here is the 3D book cover that I had created at for $10

financial marketing case study


Click here to view the new landing page for the newly created Digital Marketing Manifesto (and download the awesome FREE PDF if you haven’t already).  I have attached a screenshot as well. And yes, this really was created by yours truly in 15 minutes.  

financial marketing case study

I made all of these changes on May 1st and the results will shock you…

Here are the updated click and conversion numbers as of May 19th (19 total days):

  • Total Clicks:  138
  • Total Leads: 102
  • Conversion Rate: 73.9%

If you forgot what the original numbers (with the Lazy Advisor picture but same content on the PDG) were after 112 days, here they were:

  • Total Clicks:  172
  • Total Leads: 70
  • Conversion Rate: 41%

This is an 80.3% increase in conversions all by changing one simple focus while using the EXACT SAME content as the “freebie” that I was using before.

It just goes to show that how you present your offer, your headline (aka book titles), and ensuring that you are focusing on the correct things can create huge shifts in a very short amount of time.

Keep in mind that this is an 80.3% increase in conversions. Who knows what the total increase will be in terms of total leads after this “new offer” runs for the same 112 days.

The Conclusion and “Learning Lessons” from this powerful financial marketing case study

So what did I learn here? Let’s sum up the main three lessons.

  1. The first thing that I learned is to listen to your clients and ask for their candid feedback any time that you can. Had I not spoken to that financial advisor who opened my eyes to a misjudgment that I had made, who knows how long I would have kept that old version up there. Not to mention, who knows how many leads I would have missed and how many financial advisors that I would have missed out on helping by them never downloading this powerful free content.
  2. The second thing that I learned was the power of “Repackaging“. As you heard, I didn’t change a SINGLE word in the 35 page PDF, yet with a simple repackage of a $10 e-book cover, I increased my conversions (and the amount of people that I get to help) by 80.3%! There have been similar stories with popular book like “Think and Grow Rich” and “The 4-Hour Workweek” that originally had different titles that never would have been as popular had the author not taken the advice of their peers and survey’s which told them to change the name.
  3. Finally, a lesson I continually learn the hard way is that of Testing. No matter how good you think something is working, always test it. Worst case is that you find out you were correct from the get go and you can feel great that you nailed something on your first try. But more often than not, you will find that testing will usually always bring out better ways for you to optimize your message and marketing.

Finally, the Digital Marketing Manifesto really is a spectacular piece of work and I highly encourage each of you to download it for free and read it. I haven’t met any financial advisor yet that didn’t get some benefit from it.


P.S. – You can download it here in seconds.

P.P.S. – This financial marketing case study was the best $10 that I ever spent…

P.P.P.S. – If you have any questions or comments about this case study, I always answer each and every comment so don’t be bashful.

financial marketing case study






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Fernando Godinez

Fernando Godinez is the CEO of Advisor Internet Marketing. He’s been the architect behind some of the top financial advisors online presence in the country and help them triple their practice through online lead generation. Over the past few years he has been responsible for generating over 500k leads through online marketing and lead generation campaigns for independent financial advisors.

  • Guest
    5:23 PM, 22 May 2014

    What caused the spike in traffic in 19 days, 138 clicks vs 172 clicks in 112 days ? Did you have another landing page leading to the Digital Manifesto or was it simply the new design? Looks like something else increased traffic to your website also in the 19 days, but perhaps not.

    • Joe Simonds
      7:57 PM, 22 May 2014

      Thanks for the comment Eric, and I am glad you brought this question up as it gives even more power to what transpired here. There was actually NO increase in traffic over the last 19 days. In fact, our biggest traffic month yet was in March (during March Hangout Madness) and we haven’t hit that peak again yet. So this increase in converted leads had nothing to do with traffic, and 100% to do with the call to action and newly designed ebook cover. Sometimes it is all about how things are presented.

      Thanks again for the great question as I am sure other people assumed this as well and I forgot to address the traffic piece in the blog.

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