3 Steps to
high converting ads in 2024

By Luke Neely

Last Updated

April 24, 2024

Ecommerce brands can't find answers to their tanking performance.

Besides the ad outages, rising costs, and META spending daily budgets in an hour..

2024 has been...interesting.

Which of these apply to you?

  • High CAC
  • High CPM
  • High CPC
  • Low CTR
  • Low MER

And don’t be afraid to say “all of them” because other brands are in the same spot.

Everyone's wondering, "What the Zuck is happening?", but not even Mark knows.

Or maybe he does?

In this post, we're covering 3 simple steps to fix the rest of your 2024 ad performance.

First, take a wild guess at the most overlooked part of your profitable growth strategy:

  • Email & SMS?
  • Audience targeting?
  • Creating a branded mobile app?

Actually, none of these.

It’s your creative quality.

Filling your ad account with crappy creative wastes your time, and you don't have time as a brand operator.

But high quality ad creative makes your job 100 times easier:

  • More time to focus on other areas of your business
  • Profit to make new hires
  • Less creative costs

10/10 creative makes profitable scale easy, and you can get back to things you enjoy in your business.

This is a bookmark worthy guide so come back later if you can’t finish it all.

The 3 Stupid Simple Steps to HIGH Converting Ads in 2024

Success on META is way tougher than the good old days, and this is why brand operators have clawed at every distraction over the last 3 years.

  • Stop chasing perfect attribution (it doesn't exist).
  • Stop installing Shopify apps to 'increase profit' (that's not the answer).
  • Stop believing retention will save the day (don't get me started on that).

All distractions.

The most impactful thing you can do for your ad performance is focusing on:

  1. Relevant Concepts
  2. Creator Ability
  3. Expert Copywriting

Yes, that’s it.

And it sounds too simple, but you have to do all 3 well, and there’s a lot to unpack.

Doing all 3 well sells your product and compels action from the viewer.

Compels action = more clicks, more site visits, and more purchases.

Miss 1, and you get short term results. 

But execute all 3, and you grow profitably, predictably, and separate yourself from other brands.

Truly Relevant Concepts

Have you noticed every single brand and agency TESTS ads for 10 years?

Testing is 1 step to successful marketing, but most tests are a complete waste, and here’s why:

Irrelevant concepts don’t bring orders.

The relevancy of the concept is actually more important than the creative production itself because it’s the foundational idea you’re bringing to life.

Truly relevant ad concepts bring serious results:

  • Your Hook Rate goes up
  • Your Hold Rate goes up
  • Your CTR goes up
  • Your CPC goes down
  • Your CPA goes down

But the best result is capturing potent attention of your audience.

So how do you consistently produce attention worthy ads?

By doing these 2 things:

  1. Addressing core pain points.
  2. Speaking to demographics who are in the core psychographic.

Core Pain Points

Eugene Schwartz, who’s widely considered one of the greatest copywriters of all time discusses mass desire in his book, Breakthrough Advertising.

“Copy cannot create desire for a product. It can only take the hopes, dreams, fears and desires that already exist in the hearts of millions of people, and focus those already existing desires onto a particular product.”

The same goes for ads. 

You don’t create desire with your ads. You simply channel the existing desire in the market on your product.

For Eczema Honey, that would be their lotion.

Eczema Honey is one of our highest performing clients. Before Minesh & Karina started the company, topical steroid creams weren’t relieving their daughter’s eczema, so they got to work (like mad scientists at home) mixing up concoctions to help.

Honey, colloidal oatmeal, olive oil, almond oil, and other ingredients soothed their daughter’s skin, and Eczema Honey was born.

Keep Eczema Honey in mind, as we’ll refer to them as our example brand throughout this guide.

Let’s talk about the relevancy of their ad concepts to bring this point home.

Here are 3 most common reasons why people buy Eczema Honey:

  • Stops itching.
  • Prevents flare ups.
  • Gives confidence.

Notice anything about these?

They’re all mass desires for that audience.

We get results from these ad angles daily because they’re the most direct and obvious pain points their products solve.

But the real gold lies here:

Applying mass desire concepts to various demographics and buyer groups will uncover results that profitably scale your brand (even in hard times). 

When you fail to tap into mass desire you’re targeting secondary problems, and secondary problems don’t bring orders.

Primary problems do.

The Ad Test (We Almost Skipped) That Resulted in $800,000 of Profitable Growth

Our hypothesis:

“We’ll get more efficient results from a secondary audience who purchases the product for someone rather than people who purchase for themselves.”

After you’ve got a list of truly relevant ad concepts it’s time to choose the right person to communicate your message to.

So who did we target, and why?


Which audience in US households gives the most care to children?

Moms! Specifically, moms with children that suffer from eczema.

We tapped into the Mom’s view and compelled them to end their child’s suffering.

Here’s an example:

Collectively, Mom focused concepts have driven over $800,000 in profitable sales but most importantly, they helped thousands of parents with a real solution for their child.

You won’t see success from ads if the concept isn’t relevant, pain points aren’t poked, and the message isn’t clear.

And testing different sub-angles of core pain points is perfectly fine, but make it clear enough for the viewer to connect how your product helps them.

If it’s not clear and doesn’t tap into a mass desire you’re wasting your time.

Creator Ability

Take a relevant ad angle, use an unengaging creator, and what happens?


There are millions of creators, but only a small subset that know how to sell.

But here’s a simple starting point on finding sellers:

  • They speak well.
  • They create engaging content.

How to Source A+ Creators that SELL

Sourcing the best creators isn’t rocket science and no, you don’t need a $3,000 social media tool to find them.

The only platform you need for sourcing is TikTok. 

Instagram works too, but the search capabilities on TikTok are far superior. Plus, most TikTok creators have Instagram accounts too.

Go broad when you search for creators, because creators focus on offering services in a (somewhat) broad market.

Let’s use our client Eczema Honey as an example again.

If we’re creating a set of ads that focuses on the angle of itchy, eczema prone skin then let’s start with the highest level category we can search for.

In this case, any of these:

  • “Skincare”
  • “Skin”
  • “Makeup”
  • “Beauty”

Next, let’s combine those with common terms used to find creators:

  • “UGC”
  • “Creator”
  • “Collab”

Lastly, combine these and you have an expanded list. Each of these returns different results on TikTok:

  • Skincare UGC
  • Skin UGC
  • Makeup UGC
  • Beauty UGC
  • Skincare Creator
  • Skin Creator
  • Makeup Creator
  • Beauty Creator
  • Beauty Collab
  • Skincare Collab
  • Skin Collab
  • Makeup Collab
  • Beauty Collab

Let’s see what we get with “Skincare UGC”:

At the top, notice the 4 types of search tabs.

There’s 4 ways to search TikTok:

  • Top
  • Accounts
  • Videos
  • LIVE

You only need 2, Accounts and Top, in that order.

Click on accounts.

We spend most of our time searching for creators under the Accounts search tab.

Nearly 100% of the first 9 results are UGC related.

Focus on profiles that mention UGC, and their main intent to provide it is clear. Doing this will increase your response rate from creators.

Tab open individual profiles, like this:

Keep your search tab pinned to the left, and tab open profiles.

Next, we’ll comb through the profiles individually.

4 Checks For Creator Profiles

There’s 4 important details to look for when you’re scrubbing creator profiles.

  1. Do they have B Roll videos or face to camera videos?
  2. Is their bio clear?
  3. Do they speak well?
  4. Is there content worthy of your attention?

B Roll or Face To Camera

You’ll come across 2 main UGC profile types:

  1. UGC Creators with FTC (face to camera) style videos
  2. UGC Creators who specialize in B Roll

Many creators can do both, but you’ll typically find they lean one way.

For this guide, we’re leaning towards face to camera UGC creators.

Here’s an example of a creator who does FTC:

You can also see if the creator's location if you skim their bio too.

It’s obvious she has a good mix of direct face to camera videos, and text overlay thumbnails.

Side notes: 

Text overlay thumbnails are another positive thing to see. It means they understand not everyone browses social with audio on, and ads should have captions.
UGC Examples are another way to immediately tell the creator is ready for business, and it’s proof they’ve provided UGC for other brands.

And here’s an example of a creator who does mainly B Roll style UGC:

This isn’t a big sample size with only 4 videos, but this is still a relevant example. 

No humans are found in the thumbnails and they specialize (or appears) they provide mainly B Roll UGC.

Is The Creator's Bio Clear?

If someone doesn’t have a clear bio and they don’t have many videos, move on.

Here’s a good example.

Does The Creator Have Attention Worthy Content?

This is completely subjective, and it should be. If you don’t like their content examples at first glance then the viewers of your ads likely won’t either.

You can tell within the first 3 videos if someone has ‘creation chops’ or not, and if you’re on the fence… it means no.

If there’s doubt in your mind then there will be doubt in the viewer of the ad. 

If you find yourself doing these things when watching videos it means they’re good:

  • Smiling.
  • Laughing.
  • Nodding your head.
  • Saying things like “woah”.
  • Consuming multiple videos.
  • Watching for 10 seconds or more.
  • Holding your mouth open in amazement or shock.

Ads that scale are worthy of attention, which is why they scale…

Next up, let’s build your creator list for outreach.

Building Your A+ Creator Outreach List

When scrubbing profiles I recommend using TabCopy.

TabCopy is a great Chrome Browser Extension that allows you to copy all open tab URLs at once.

Right click on the extension after you’ve installed it, and check these options:

Let’s take the creator profile tabs I mentioned earlier, and pin your TikTok search tab to the left. 

Open TabCopy, select link at the bottom, and click Copy X tabs in window.

Simply paste them into a list:

Nice work!

You only need their email to start.

First name isn’t a requirement when reaching out to UGC creators ready for business, but if you plan to build a list over time you can add info like:

  • Profile
  • First name
  • Last name
  • Email
  • Rate
  • Gender
  • Age range
  • Notes

Gather more info after you get responses, but don’t waste time upfront.

Start reaching out.

Reaching Out to Creators

Don’t get fancy with it. They’re ready for business, which means they’re ready for inbound messages.

Here’s a great first outreach template:

“Hey ______, I like your content and wonder if you’d like to shoot content for Eczema Honey?  If you’re interested, can you send over your rates? I’m attaching a script example so you know the general scope.”

Send a script template, or previous round of work because scope is the first thing they’ll ask for if you don’t include it.

Negotiating Rates with Creators

Rates are subjective to where your brand is at, but most creators will do content anywhere from $100-$300 per video (in the US). 

That’s a rough range, and depends on the task. Be smart about the actual work going into your ask.

When we send a batch of scripts to a creator it contains 6 ad concepts with 4 hooks per concept. The hooks are minimal work (an extra ~5 seconds), so when creators try to charge us extra we simply say it’s not reasonable and to focus on only the scripts.

Try to hire the creator for multiple videos, and you’ll (typically) get a better deal per script.

Sending Product & Timelines

Send their product and most importantly, cut out the manual communication.

Start by submitting a $0 order in Shopify with their details so they get order update emails directly.

Some creators have a backlog of requests so keep this in mind when you outline when you need the content.

Receiving & Quality Checking Raw Content

Give the creator upload access to a G Drive folder (or other) so they can upload their work directly.

If not, creators will normally send via G Drive or We Transfer where you can download and put it into your own files.

Next, look at the content you receive under a microscope to make sure the creator adhered to your guidelines. 

We check for:

  • Digital Quality
  • Execution Quality

We’ve had creators send us videos in 480p and not understand what the problem was (lol). 

Make sure everything is clear and not shot on an iPhone 4.

Execution quality are things like:

  • looking at the camera
  • supplying all of the B Roll
  • pronouncing the brand correctly
  • delivering engaging content

If you see something off, let them know. Great creators are open to feedback and send over revisions quickly.

And the best ones don’t need revisions because they’re so thorough.

Payment & Contracts

We don’t pay for content before receiving it, ever. It’s a supply and demand thing. 

If they can’t agree to deliver simple videos before payment then move on to the next creator in your list.

The only exception to this is when you’re in a time crunch. If you need ads soon then make an exception if you’re confident they will deliver.

Ad Usage Rights

Everyone wants to get paid where it makes sense, but this ‘nickel and dining’ part of creator engagements can be petty. 

Usage rights not only increase friction to move forward with a creator, but it can increase your upfront cost to work them.

Some of them include 30 days of usage rights as a standard, but you never (fully) know which ads will scale and not. So why pay for the unknown?

My advice is to go for the shortest usage rights term possible, and if you end up scaling the ad then pay the creator what you agreed to.

Alternatively, there’s millions of creators who will shoot the content with no usage rights clause, and it’s a cut and dry flat rate to get content. Try and go for these, but understand not everyone will be easy to work with.

Now that you understand how to search for and find quality creators let’s move on to the last critical piece of making your ads 10X better.

Expert Copywriting

What is copywriting anyway?

Most people say:

  • It's creating content.
  • It's writing, but more concise.
  • It's writing to drive sales.

Copywriting is the act of writing to get the reader to take action, and actions can be:

  • Clicking on your ad
  • Leaving a comment
  • Signing up for an email list
  • Signing up for a webinar, or an event
  • Entering a giveaway or content

...and infinite possibilities more.

The end goal of copywriting is to bring sales, yes, but sales aren't always the action you're trying to get someone to take. 

Especially in ads, when a customer is learning about you for the first time.

Copywriting is everywhere - especially in high converting ads.

Even unscripted ads shot by creators that convert well still follow copywriting principles and frameworks that aim for getting results. 

Even when they don’t know it.

Action-driving copywriting is the foundation of successful ads because it’s 80% customer research and 20% writing. If you know your customer well enough, your writing speaks to them. 

And they feel it, trust you, and act.

When ads don't 'flow' the copywriting isn’t strong enough, or the creator isn’t good enough.

  • Great copywriting + great creator = insane results
  • Meh copywriting + great creator = good results
  • Great copywriting + average creator = no results

This is why creator ability is #2 in this list above copywriting.

Below are some actionable steps that you can take as a brand owner to get better copywriting, and higher performing ads.

Hire An Actual Copywriter & Stop Using AI Trash

Many ‘thought leaders’ on the AI train think AI copywriting can replace human copywriting, but that’s simply not true.

It’s not there yet.

AI has its place, and it will continue to get better. But as of writing this, AI is still heavily reliant on great human inputs to assemble great copywriting.

The worst writing, comments, ads, website experiences, direct messages, social media posts, newsletters, and email outreach is mostly AI without any oversight.

And crappy ads use AI without any oversight of inputs.

Until AI gets to a better place I recommend hiring a real human copywriter.

How do you find one? Easy. 

There are thousands always looking for work that you can contract on a freelance basis. One of the best ways to find them is through LinkedIn.

Here's my post saying we were looking to add a couple copywriters. I got a ton of comments, and ~50 DMs from copywriters ready to start:

Will all of them be good? No.

But there will be a subset that are excellent. We hired a few from this post alone.

We keep a ‘revolving door’ of copywriters because we support 10-15 clients and we don’t want copywriting to become a bottleneck in our process.

As a brand operator, you only need 1 or 2. Typically 1, but if you're working with freelancers you never know how backed up they are with other client work.

Ask for their portfolio of work, and speak to them over a video call about their experience.

Video calls aren’t required to vet a copywriter’s ability to write, but it helps when you’re qualifying their ability to work with other people.

Ask them what brands and industries they've written for, their approach, and what sort of feedback they take (and don't).

Speaking of feedback, copywriters normally fall into 2 camps.

  • They don't take feedback well. 
  • They welcome feedback, but they want the feedback to be rooted in reality. 

Copywriters who don’t take feedback well are typically “my way or the highway” and think their writing is gold on paper. 

They don’t really have regard for how you want to come across or sound.

The ones that take feedback well don’t mind it, but they want your feedback to have substance. 

Feedback isn’t just “how it sounds” so if you’re a ‘brand heavy’ operator you’ll struggle to find the right one unless you let go of how you sound in the market, and focus more on driving sales. 

That’s the end goal of copywriting anyways. Sales.

Your Growth Is Stagnant. Do Something About It!

That was a ton of info.

We covered:

  • Finding your relevant concepts
  • Focusing on concept & demographic alignment
  • Tapping into mass desire
  • Finding creators & things to check
  • Building a creator list
  • Reaching out & negotiating
  • Sourcing copywriters & vetting
  • …and more

Deep breath.

Remember, all of this is to produce high converting ads.

As a brand owner, you can start on these things right away.

But it takes time, tools, processes, systems, and headcount to be able to do them consistently, and efficiently.

Sound like something you want help with?

Book a call with us, and we’ll get started on profitably growing your brand as soon as next week.


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