As much as we want to believe that people are fundamentally honest (and most of us are), we can’t stop worrying that someone will steal our sales funnels.
Let me be honest with you: that’s gonna happen at some point.
It’ll definitely happen if you’re really good at what you do.
That said, you don’t have to make it easy for them. Today, I’m writing about 6 top tips to stop sneaky clients from ripping-off your funnels.
Oh – and let me quickly clarify something. Reverse-engineering is not the same as stealing. I’ve often written about reverse-engineering and how it can be an incredibly useful marketing strategy.
The key difference is, reverse-engineering is mainly for inspiration purposes. You’re checking out the competition in your niche, then aiming to do one better.
Stealing, on the other hand, is plagiarism. I’m talking about the same images, the same copy… right down to identical decision trees and quizzes.
Imitation may be the sincerest form of flattery… but it’s not flattery if it’s costing you money.
Tip #1: Make It Really Difficult For Them
Sometimes, a potential client will ask to see evidence of your sales funnels before they strike a deal with you.
You’ll send over some examples in good faith… and you’ll never hear from them again.
The next thing you know, your sales funnels are up all over the internet. Generating red-hot leads, exactly the way you intended.
The only problem? You’re not getting paid for it.
So, here’s my Top Tip #1: make stealing really, really hard for them.
FlexxDigital’s sales funnels go into a level of detail that may seem neurotic to some, but prove to be very profitable for us.
We make sure that all of our funnels have a super-fast load time of a second or less. Even better, this super-fast speed spans across all mobile and tablet devices.
We also have pixels firing on various parts of the funnel, gathering data and telling us where people have dropped off.
Details like this are essential for split-testing, and for creating ads that target warm traffic.
We also make sure to run ads on multiple platforms like Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Instagram and GDM.
With this much activity, clients will struggle to keep up. Stealing a handful of ads and a landing page design isn’t ideal, but at least it’s not your entire funnel.
Tip #2: Build Your Decision Trees/Quizzes Wisely
Since we’ve become au fait with decision tree software (like LeadsHook), our marketing quizzes have become a lot more sophisticated.
We used to ask the lead a few questions, then sent them to one of two pages: “We Can Help You” or “Sorry, We Can’t Help You”.
Simple enough, right? (And easy enough to steal!).
Now, we chiefly use marketing quizzes for lead segmentation.
Say we were generating leads for a debt consolidation service. One of our questions might look like this:
[NAME] Would you be ready to speak to one of our qualified debt experts tomorrow?
A – Count me in!
B- I’m not sure… Maybe in a few weeks?
C- No, I want to explore my options first.
That’s three different “branches” in one question! Now, smart marketers, like us, know that we can segment those options into three separate lead types:
- All those who answer with “A” can go to a client who wants leads ready to act now
- “B’s” can go to a client who will buy leads that are willing to act within 6 months. Or, the data for that lead can go into a nurture sequence.
- Those who selected “C” can go into a nurture sequence, or they can be retargeted in a few weeks/months.
Now, imagine a marketing quiz with 5-10 questions, all with multiple choice answers.
You can have tens (hundreds, if you wanted, though I advise against it) of different outcomes. What’s more, it’s near enough impossible to copy.
Only the most patient thief would sit there and run through every possible outcome in your lead gen quiz. By the time they’d done that, they could have made a quiz themselves.
And most clients don’t want to spend hours trying to figure out something alien to them. They prefer to get on with what they do best – making sales. The marketing side is “your job”.
So, if you want to protect yourself, overwhelm your client with your lead gen sophistication. The less honed your product, the easier it is to steal.
Which brings me to…
Tip 3: Overwhelm Them With Possibilities
If you think a client is up to no good, make it look like you’re giving them tonnes of information without giving them much at all.
Say, for example, a client asks to see your ads. Send them a selection of 50, from multiple platforms.
You know that out of those 50, only two are going to actually work. However, you give the client the pleasure of working out which two it is, without giving them any more information.
You can also “fudge” the truth slightly. Tell your client that you’ve seen some high activity on Twitter. In reality, most of your traffic is coming from YouTube.
Is it lying? Not exactly. Think of it more as “withholding the truth by omission”.
Tip #4: Give The Client Multiple Landing Pages and Funnels
This works the same as Tip #3, but on a larger scale.
FlexxDigital owns multiple lead generation websites, which have garnered a lot of “interest” from sneaky clients and competitors alike.
9 times out of 10, a client/competitor thinks that the website’s homepage does the heavy lifting.
In reality, our ads direct leads to multiple parts of our sales funnel:
- One ad may take a prospect to a video
- Another may take the visitor to a quiz
- Then another ad could take the potential lead straight to a landing page, or an advertorial
If a client asks to see specific parts of your sales funnel, oblige them. However, you don’t have to tell them which pieces fit where.
If it’s a competitor checking out your lead gen website, don’t fret. If you have multiple ads on various platforms, all of which are pointing to different parts of your funnel, it will take them decades (exaggeration) to work it all out.
Tip #5: Use Dummy Fan Pages To Your Advantage
I LOVE dummy fan pages.
Dummy fan pages are a super-sneaky ad hack I’ve been using for the last year or so.
I make a fan page on Facebook and give it a name like “John Smith” or “Anne West”. I’ll then upload a picture of a normal-looking person off the internet, one that I know will appeal to my target audience.
To avoid being traced with this stuff, I highly recommend This Person Does Not Exist.com. Using AI, the makers of this website can generate realistic images of humans that don’t actually exist.
To find someone that fits your spec, keep refreshing until you find someone you like.
Once I’ve found a decent portrait, I’ll fill out the details like the “About” section and a contact email.
Note: try to stick to the truth as much as possible with this. I often list my John Smiths and Anne Wests as writers for FlexxDigital.com. Then I’ll put in the company’s real address and support email.
Once I’ve set up my dummy page, I can start running ads.
When the ad appears on a user’s newsfeed, it will look like the product/service is being recommended by a bonafide member of the public.
This strategy works best for those who could become qualified leads, but they generally avoid making purchasing decisions on Facebook.
Dummy fan pages are also great for keeping your ads “private”. If a client or competitor wants to search your Ads Library, they’ll look for your brand page.
But ads run on a page called “Jake Blackman”? They haven’t got a hope in hell of finding them.
Tip #6: Retain Ownership of Your Assets
We build all of our pages on a drag-and-drop website builder called Unbounce. When finished, we’ll quickly attach said pages to a client’s site. This saves hours in comparison to integrating new sales pages into the client’s system.
Another huge plus is something I refer to as: “Dan Giveth and Dan Taketh Away”.
As the pages are attached, not integrated, I can easily take them back once the partnership ends. I’ve paid for the ad spend, I’ve paid for the labour, so the pages belong to me.
Some not-so-honest clients forget about this tiny detail. They take me on, then get me to build the funnels. Once they think they can take the reigns and generate leads for themselves, they drop the extra expense (me).
Then the client finds I’ve taken my sales pages away, and they tip into a panic. It’s pretty funny, plus it means I can give the pages to another client that’s worth my time.
So, there we go. 6 cheeky little hacks to keep your hand in and STOP clients from ripping-off your funnels.
On a kinder note, most guys will try and rip you off out of respect, not malice. They recognise the brilliant job you’ve done and want to emulate it. This has happened to me a couple of times before, and I’ve still got a relationship with those clients.
If someone does nick your stuff, don’t let it consume you. What worked today won’t work in a couple of months, so they’ll have the bother of finding someone else to steal from.
Plus, you’ve got other stuff on your mind – like trying to generate a crapload of red-hot leads.
If you think your agency is in trouble, or that something is holding you back from dominating your niche, schedule a strategy call with us today.
My expert team, Rob, Nat and Scott, can help a small group of agency owners fix their roadblocks and help them scale to $100k+ profit per month.
Just click on the link below and fill out a quick survey for us. We’ll get you over to one of my expert Pay Per Lead team to see if we can help you.
They’ll want to know:
- What you want to get out of your Pay Per Lead agency
- How close you THINK you are to hitting your targets
- What YOU think WE could do to help you
- Why you’re determined to make your agency go that extra mile.
Then they can help you with what I mentioned above:
- Advice on how you can progress to the next level
- How to generate and segment leads for multiple clients, around the clock
- How to find the perfect “evergreen” niche for your lead gen website
- Ways to boost your lead contact rate by up to 3x the amount
- How to use other ad platforms, like Twitter, YouTube and GDN in conjunction with your lead generation website
Then, if you wanna join us, I’ll wing over a formal invitation to become one of my PPL students.
If this interests you, don’t delay. Enquire about a strategy session now.