9 Cash-burning Mistakes You Make Without Knowing It Yourself

When browsing FB ads groups, everyone says to focus on making your ads great, and you’ll be a Millionaire!

They tell you to create the perfect ad, nail the creative and copy, dial in the targeting, and start hammering the offers.

Then you’ll Golden! 

Or are you…?

The truth is- you can have everything spot on and have your ads converting like hell on the front end. BUT, if your website is terrible… well… your whole marketing efforts are going to be wasted or at very least expensive, and you can spend small fortunes on mediocre or to no results.

Does your store have at least a 3-4% conversion rate? If you want to play in the world’s best, you can’t be happy with a mediocre average of 2%…

While I won’t be able to guide you through all the intricacies of CRO here, I’m going to give you a few pointers to guide you in the right direction.

Usually, in 90% of the case, the problem of poorly performing Ads are not in the Ads settings themselves, but lack in one of the followings: not optimized website/landing page/ checkout, backend( email marketing, retargeting).

Then you get all these things right, and some insane stuff can start to happen.

Having a solid plan to optimize your website ALONG with optimizing your Ads can help your profits grow like a fart in a smart car.     

Instead, people are focusing only on the ad and its statistics. They are looking only at the front end of the sales funnel and leaving the middle and backend completely unchecked.

“But my ads are on fire? ” you might say.

Sure, everybody can make money by asking the right people. Likewise, a great product can overcome a poor website experience simply because people want what you’re offering that badly!

But imagine your website didn’t suck… What if your website converted traffic 2x or 3x as much as it currently does?! ?

After auditing over 30 e-commerce sites and having an opportunity to take a peek into their backend, I can say with confidence that there are some similarities all those businesses have. Overall, there are nine elementary mistakes online shops are doing that they don’t even realize, and that’s eating their revenue faster than a kid candy bar.  

1. You are asking strangers to marry them!

You rush customers into buyers NOW.

It’s like going to a lot of dates with a girl before offering her to marry you, instead of just seeing a girl on the street and telling her to marry you immediately.

We’re all attracted to the idea of creating ads and generating sales quickly.

Somehow we think that by giving away a guide, showing them a couple of ads, getting people to fill in a form, getting them to read a couple of emails is going to generate lots of sales magically.

Oh boy, oh boy, oh boy, how wrong you are!

The truth is, everyone has their timeline, defined by their own set of circumstances.

They could be in a terrible mental state right now due to circumstances outside their control. They could have just entered a new phase of life and need time adjusting, or they could have been feeling comfortable for a long time that it’s going to take a bit of inception to get them to spring into action.

It’s more important to be consistent!

To monetize your customers, you must nurture them. Instead of only showing up and sending them emails every time you want to sell them something, show up consistently. Build that relationship.


Because most buying decisions are made of emotional reasons, and you want to be the one whom they are thinking when they are ready to buy. 

2. Size doesn’t matter; speed matters!

Unfortunately, website speed is the one and most overlooked bottlenecks.

Loss in website´s load speed means 7% less revenue= 11% less page views=16% less in customer satisfaction.

IN DOLLAR TERMS: when your website typically earns $1M in a month, this means you are potentially losing about $70 000 in revenue/month.

3. Your marketing messages suck. Sucks in big time.

The ability to write compelling ads is crucial to your campaign’s success; in fact – it can make the difference between a $40 CPA and a $5 CPA!

Marketing messages should be based on the customer purchasing intent, and based on where customers are on their journey, and how aware they are about the problem the products solve. There are a lot of variables, but only a tiny portion of people you are targeting are ready to buy NOW (on average, 3%).

Still, people are bombarding everybody with the same and boring “buy my shiny thing, here’s a 10% off “, etc. message. With this boring copy, they are missing the rest of the 97% of people and wondering why their costs acquiring a customer are so high.

Precise and nailed down copy= lower costs.

Your job as a business owner should be to entertain, educate, and arouse interest in your customers. Mastering those steps, you can move people further in your customer journey(from not interested to the buyer), and you can have more people to your funnel to retarget. 

4. Businesses don’t use the cheapest and the most undervalued “money printing machines” available out there correctly. Those are EMAIL, MESSENGER.

What usually happens is- businesses collect email from the customers, don’t segment those, and then start to bombard them with useless information. No wonder your open rates and conversions are so low.

Instead, you should take a strategic approach:


The first and most straightforward tool is the weekly newsletter. Once or few times a week, send your customers a newsletter, special offer, valuable content, and occasionally remind them about your brand.


This sequence triggers on pop-up signup of footer form signup. The goal of it is to introduce the person to the brand and make that first purchase.

The formula is simple: Brand Story + Value + Discounts Stacking until they buy.


What I’m seeing is, businesses give immediate discounts and limits sequences only with 1-2 emails…

A better option would be delaying discounts for 1-2 days (first of all, just reminding the customers about the cart) and then regularly following up with the customer at 8th day, 15th day, and 30th-day intervals can result in as much as 30-40% effectiveness increase in abandoned carts campaigns!


This sequence triggers after the first order inside the 30 days timeframe. The goal is to send a personal thank you letter, create shipping times expectations for the customer, show that you care, and to make an upsell after he/she receives the order.


Triggers on a certain amount of spend within 365 days. You can create different levels and show progress on when they reach that spending goal. The goal is to thank your top 20% of customers and to incentive them to buy more. If they are spending a lot, quite likely they will pay even more if you will make them feel special and give them a reason to spend more.


This triggers when a customer hasn’t opened an email from visited the store in 60 days. The goal is to either give them an irresistible offer to re-engage them with the brand or to unsubscribe them from your email list.

5. The retargeting done WRONG.

There are different sequences and ways you can set everything up, but what I like to do is as follows:

COLD AUDIENCE – here, we focus on a few best performing videos, creatives, and nail down the copy based on the customer.

WARM AUDIENCE – Here we set-up sequential retargeting funnels of the people who have engaged with the store, but have not bought, and retargeted them with at least 20 pieces of different content( if possible) within the next 30 days.

Possible options to use:

• Influencers Instagram Stories Reviews
• Customers Unboxing the Products
• Reviews Videos
• Testimonials
• Educational Blog Posts
• Branding Videos

The goal here is to create compelling brand recognition and a desire to buy.

HOT AUDIENCES – those are people who have added products to the cart but haven’t bought.

PREVIOUS BUYERS – about 1-2 days after the purchase, we send another discount, that lasts as long as the previous package is shipped( option to add to the previous shipment).

6. Your website isn’t optimized for mobile.

According to Shopify, mobile traffic now accounts for 50% of visits, and about 35% of purchases.

Optimize your store for mobile (or create a separate mobile experience)- not only what SEO tools are saying but instead, how websites look like in real life using different browsers, devices, etc.

The reason for this is because SEO tools may mention that your website is mobile-friendly, but experience using websites with mobile is just awful and weird.

Few stats about the importance of the excellent mobile experience:

a) During the 2018 holiday season, about a third of online purchases came from smartphone users. On Black Friday, with 6.2 billion in online revenue, 40% of sales came via a mobile device. During Cyber Monday (7.9 billion), 54% of visitors and 30% of purchases came from mobile devices.

b) According to BigCommerce, mobile e-commerce sales are expected to account for 54% of total e-commerce sales by 2021.

c) According to Google from 2018 data, if people have a negative experience on mobile, they’re 62% less likely to purchase from your store in the future. And based on 2017 data, a one-second delay in mobile load times can lower mobile conversions by up to 20%.

Still, think that not optimizing your store for mobile isn’t necessary?

7. Raise your hands, who would like to lower marketing costs?

First, probably you don’t have schema.org installed- this microdata helps Google and Facebook to communicate, which overall lowers your costs.

Even when you have microdata installed, a lot of people have done it wrong. Use a tool called Facebook Pixel Helper to check that.

8. You don’t have enough trust elements implemented.

a) Missing trust badges( Visa, Mastercard, Amex, Paypal)+ Secure shopping
– In the product page
– In checkout( address) page

b) Added physical address, contact phone number and email address are the top three credibility signals

c) Missing FAQ, Return and Shipping Policies

d) Missing product reviews on the product page

e) Missing testimonials

f) Missing USP-s( unique selling proposition) in the product page near the buy section

9. “Whoever can spend the most, wins.”

SITUATION 1 – Let’s say your product price is $50. With this price range estimated cost to acquire one customer is about $15-$20( ad spend)

Taking into account COGS, other overheads, refunds- you don’t have much( if any) profit to play at the end of the day. 

The most expensive part of marketing is the initial TOF( top of the funnel) actions. Real money is made in the backend and with retargeting.

SITUATION 2 – Let’s now imagine that your product price is again $50, but you know that they are going to order two times also in the future. This means your customer LTV ( lifetime value) is 3*$50= $150.

Ad spend stays the same, about $15-$20 because product price doesn’t change.

As mentioned previously, most ad spend goes to acquire the initial customer. Conclusion: you have paid $15-$20 to earn $150.

Did you see what happened?

Yeah, much much more profit to the bottom line.

The nature of Facebook is- the more you spend( scale), the higher the cost of acquiring a customer is- this is the reason you need as high as possible LTV and repeated customers.

Unfortunately, the sad part is, businesses are spending a lot of money on the ads, but after/during the purchase, they don’t have enough systems in place to increase AOV and LTV.

Possible options:

a) Up-selling in the cart

b) Up-sell after purchase

c) Up-sell after clicking “proceed to checkout.”

d) Cross-selling- offering complementary products in different stages when a customer visits your website

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