We didn’t develop the most effective marketing approach on the planet overnight.
As they say, with age comes experience, and for Solutions 8 that means more than a decade spent developing a proven formula for building, launching, and managing wildly successful paid ad campaigns for our clients.
So what’s our secret?
Well, we have a few of them. (And some are the if-we-told-you-we’d-have-to-kill-you kind.) But one thing we learned early on is that a strong onboarding process is an absolute must.
What exactly is onboarding?
The term is often used when talking about new employees (i.e., the process of helping individuals get acclimated to a company and its unique policies and procedures).
For Solutions 8 clients, it works a little bit differently.
Yes, onboarding helps new clients understand our business and our methods, but mostly it helps us learn more about you and your goals.
We take the time to learn about your company and what you hope to achieve with your paid ad campaign. From there, we go over how things work on our end, laying out each step of the process so you understand what to expect as our partnership evolves.
That way, we know we’re all on the same page, and you know exactly what you’re getting for your marketing dollars
When onboarding is done right, all the other pieces of the puzzle will fall into place—which is why a good onboarding process requires a commitment from both parties.
Here’s what onboarding is not: Speed dating.
We need more than a few minutes of your time if we’re really going to make this relationship work. But we can promise you that the more work you put into it, the more you’ll get out of it.
For starters, we’re going to want to know everything there is to know about your business and why you came to us for help. That means we’re going to ask a lot of questions.
Once we’ve got the answers, we can begin formulating a plan. But before we get to work, we’ll also go over everything we do—and don’t do—so there are no surprises along the way.
How does the Solutions 8 onboarding process work?
Over time and with every new client, Solutions 8 has perfected a sequence that ensures our onboarding process works like the proverbial well-oiled machine.
The first step is reading through and signing our Management Agreement, which describes in detail the services to be provided, the terms of service, payment and pricing, and other important specifications of the Solutions 8/client relationship.
Your Management Agreement will vary based on the type of campaign you want to run. There are two types of PPC campaigns: Lead Generation Campaigns, which are built to generate customer inquiries, and eCommerce Campaigns, which are built to drive purchase traffic to an eCommerce-enabled website.
Once the Management Agreement is signed and payment received, the next thing we do is send each new client a link to our onboarding form.
Full disclosure: The form can seem a bit lengthy at first, but rest assured we have a reason for that.
Every single question on our onboarding form comes from 13 years of listening to our clients, fine-tuning our approach to resolve any issues, and perfecting our process so we can create, launch, and optimize the heck out of every ad campaign.
In other words, our thoroughness is what makes us the best in the industry. It’s why you chose us.
Think about it.
If you were hiring a new member of your sales team, wouldn’t you want to make sure they knew all the ins and outs of your business so they could knock their sales goals out of the park every month?
It’s just like that—only we’re your new sales team member.
We may also ask for access to your ad accounts and digital properties.
This includes your Google properties (Google Ads, Google Analytics, Google Tag Manager); your Bing account (if we’re also managing your Bing ads); your Facebook Business Manager and Facebook Ads account (if we’ve agreed to run Facebook ads); and your website backend access (primarily for eCommerce clients).
If you don’t currently have any of these properties and need us to set them up (with the exception of building a website), we will ask you for the best email address to be invited to the account.
Unlike other agencies that sometimes create accounts for you and then provide limited access, Solutions 8 always invites our clients with full administrator access—meaning you can do everything we can do, from publishing to your account to adding and removing users.
After all, the accounts we create are yours, and we believe you should have full access to them.
Now, about that onboarding form…
The Solutions 8 onboarding form is separated into several sections, each focusing on a different facet of your business and designed to help us discern the best course of action.
Below is a breakdown of those sections and a sample of some of the questions you might see on the form, depending on what you hired us to do.
Your Avatar (Ideal Customer)
Your Sales Funnel
Your Online Presence
Ad Copy Creation
Paid Ad Campaigns
The form is complete! What happens next?
After we receive your completed form, Solutions 8 will schedule an onboarding call. These calls vary by client but typically last anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour.
During the call, we may ask for additional details about some of your answers from the form. Then, we’ll spend a little time talking about your company, its history, and your ideal customer, as well as what results you’re hoping to see.
This is also a great time to ask us any questions you might have or let us know if you were unclear about any part of the form. Remember, we’re here for you! So don’t hesitate to bombard us with questions. We can take it.
After that, the real magic starts. We begin building your customized paid ad campaign.
What is the launch timeline for new accounts? How soon can I expect to see things in motion?
Our launch timeline for new accounts is broken down into 6 phases:
Phase 1 is the Information Gathering phase. Like the name implies, this is where we compile all of the information from your onboarding and access request forms and use it to get a detailed picture of your unique needs and goals so that we can create your customized campaign.
Phase 2 is the Campaign Build phase. At this point, our technical team gets to work setting up tracking and establishing your campaigns.
Phase 3 is the Campaign Review Call. Howdy! During this call, you will meet with your Solutions 8 ad strategist to review your campaigns prior to launch and make any last-minute edits.
Phase 4 is the Learning Period. This phase is critical for helping us narrow in on what’s working and what’s not. We’ll spend time experimenting, tweaking, comparing, and improving your campaigns to ensure we’re on the right track.
Phase 5 is the Campaign Optimization phase. Our team will continue to update and enhance your campaigns, making adjustments when necessary to ensure success.
Phase 6 is the Scale and Ascension phase. Now that we’ve helped your business grow, Solutions 8 will help you scale by consistently optimizing your campaigns while taking into account your competition, new platform updates, seasonality, and promotions.
Keep in mind there may be a little radio silence from us during each phase while our digital marketing experts put their big brains to work to make you the best darn ad campaign ever.
But not to worry, we promise you’ll be hearing from us soon enough—and we’re just a quick phone call away if you have any questions.
One final note: Onboarding is not an exact science.
Which means as incredibly thorough as our onboarding forms and phone calls may be, we sometimes need a little more information as we start to dig in. Because, as we like to say, we don’t yet know what we don’t know.
That said, don’t be surprised if we reach out during the build process to ask questions or request additional information.
As Bogart said in Casablanca, “I think this is the beginning of a beautiful friendship.”