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| 5 min read

How to kill your online business.

Written by Tom Lambert

We were joking around the other day about how it would be fun to write a tongue-in-cheek guide to drastically reducing the profitability of your digital marketing through a few simple steps.

Luckily, we had our (imaginary) analyst, Data Bark, on hand to knock up a handy guide for those business owners out there who are tired of running a profitable online business and want to halve their revenue in a matter of days.

Read on for Data Bark’s simple 5 step guide on how to kill your online business…

The following views are *not* recommended or endorsed by BARK, so please don’t try this at home boys and girls.

1. OPTIMISE TOWARDS THE CHEAPEST CLICKS

Optimising your paid channels towards the cheapest clicks is a sure fire way to maximise the amount of users on site (which will keep your boss happy…) and simultaneously halve your conversion rate and double your bounce rate.

You also get the added bonus of diluting the quality of your retargeting pools, filling them up with 1000s more users who simply bounced off your website, meaning you get the opportunity to show more ads across Facebook and Display retargeting which are simply wasted impressions and wasted cash. Double whammy.

Facebook have even done a study to show the effectiveness of optimising for link clicks for reducing your return on ad spend:

How to kill your online business.

2. BE AS GRANULAR AS POSSIBLE WITH YOUR TARGETING ON FACEBOOK

Another great way to reduce the effectiveness of your ad spend is to maximise the number ad sets that are live in your ad account.

By increasing the number of ad sets that are live in your ad account, you split the learnings of the Facebook algorithm across multiple audiences, exponentially decreasing the learning power of your ad budget with every different audience you add.

The opportunities for this are endless, you can break down your audiences by platform, placement, device, gender, age location, interests, lookalikes, the list goes on! 

Just make sure that you don’t allocate enough budget to any of the ad sets to get 5 conversions per day, otherwise you will reduce the effectiveness of the strategy and may still get some purchases.

3. Report purely based on last click in Google Analytics

This is an absolute classic and if anything is where you should start.

By putting all of your decision making for performance marketing through the lens of last click attribution in Google Analytics, you can set yourself up to focus the majority of your budget on lower funnel marketing channels, which won’t build your brand and customer base for the long term.

Conveniently, Google Analytics doesn’t take into account cross-device conversion paths (as it’s purely browser cookie based tracking), so you can rest assured that your decision making will be based on data that doesn’t accurately reflect where a user first came from or heard about you. 

Long term, this means that the total reach of your advertising will gradually drop, making sure that your revenue will gradually drop with it month on month, year on year.

4. Spend all your budget on retargeting

This neatly follows on from the previous step. Now that you’re looking at the value of your channels in the right way (i.e. purely based on last click), you can proceed to focus 80%+ of your marketing budget onto those campaigns that drive the most value at the bottom of the funnel:

> Facebook retargeting

> Display retargeting

> Brand search

> High performing exact match terms

You can then simply turn off or reduce the budget on any upper funnel activity that isn’t driving immediate value, Facebook prospecting is a good place to start.

5. Use promo codes day in, day out

Another killer tip here for reducing the long term profitability of your brand, start relying heavily on discount codes in order to drive short term spikes in revenue in exchange for your equity as a brand and conversion rate during business as usual activity.

Once you’ve got your customers and prospects hooked on those discounts (a year or so of consistent promos every couple of weeks should do it), you can simply stop discounting forever and watch your conversion rate halve in no time at all.

Wrapping Up

Now you’ve implemented all these quick wins, you should start to see your revenue gradually decline as the total reach of your advertising drops and the number quality visitors starts to decrease.

Time to make a brew and put your feet up, your work here is done.

Has Data Bark missed any big wins? Let him know at data@bark.london (cc. tom@bark.london)

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