The Power of Online Challenges

Wed, Mar 20, 2024

The single greatest way I’ve ever seen to launch anything (any product, service, business, membership, subscription, idea, etc.) is to host an online challenge. 

I had the pleasure of learning from a world authority in online challenges, Pedro Adao

Here are my key takeaways: 

We ran all of Pedro’s traffic for a little under a year. He would spend millions of dollars in traffic in insanely short sprints (sometimes just a few days). 

All professional media buyers know the algorithms need more time than that to optimize. 

Pedro ignored this “golden rule” to his benefit.

Instead, Pedro relied heavily on good targeting and a good offer. He didn’t need algorithmic optimization or machine learning because he had done his homework in terms of who he was marketing to, and he had invested the time into making sure his offer was massively compelling. 

Rule #1 of running an online challenge: Niche down HARD. 

You want to get as specific as you possibly can. You want people to feel like you’re speaking to them directly. The only way to do that is to get specific. 

The broader your demographic, the more diluted your challenge will be. 

The challenge model is super basic: You host an online event where people can show up and learn one very specific thing. You make a tangible promise with a distinct timeline so they know exactly what they’re getting, for example: Lose 2 pounds in 7 days without changing your diet! 

Again, the more specific you are, the better your challenge will be. How you construct the challenge is critical because that ends up being the hook and title (which are the most important part of the ads). Pedro would obsess over hooks and titles more than anything else. 

Here’s the general formula for writing a challenge hook: [Specific niche] will achieve [specific outcome] in [specific time period] while [overcome objections]. For example, Stay at home moms: Launch your at-home bookkeeping business in 14 days without any cash out of pocket. 

Once you have a model, the key is getting people to the challenge. 

This can be more difficult than it sounds. In fact, getting people to sign up for a good challenge is relatively easy. Getting them to show up is a whole other story. That’s why Pedro would always run short ad campaigns.

Recency is super important when it comes to a challenge. If you start running your ads too far out, people forget or lose interest. The absolute earliest is 30 days out and even that experiences significant atrophy. 

You really want the majority of your subscribers within 7 days. 

The biggest mistake I’ve seen people make is thinking marketing is over once someone registers. Wrong! 

That’s when the marketing actually starts. 

You need to nurture that person to ensure they actually come to the live challenge. Anything higher than a 50% show rate is good.

If you’re interested in working with a consultant to help you with your online challenges, I recommend my buddy Mark Todd (@markizmarketing on IG). 

He’s the best in the business and who I consult with personally. 

What do you think? Have you used online challenges to launch something? What went well and what do you wish you did differently? 

Share your experience so others can benefit from it!