Lots of Ads is one of the more popular ad-spying tools on the market.
If you are the kind of inquisitive scumbag who likes to know exactly what his competitors are up to, you better buckle up for Christmas. You’re in for a treat.
This tool gives you access to exactly what it says on the tin. Lots, and lots, and lots of ads swiped directly from the world’s largest traffic source.
Facebook advertisers: Yes, there’s a good chance you’ll prosper from the ‘competitive analysis’ in Lots of Ads.
Facebook advertisers: Yes, there’s also a good chance you’ll turn red with rage upon finding your beautifully crafted ads sitting like lambs to the slaughter, just waiting to be jacked.
I have a love/hate relationship with spy tools.
The hate in me says:
1. I only really care about affiliate ads. I could not not give a rat’s left bollock what Betfair, William Hill or Sky are promoting. Ads promoted by companies that don’t follow my direct response principles are redundant. They are never going to match my ROI requirements.
2. They encourage lazy affiliate marketing. It’s so easy to take a peek at what other affiliate marketers are doing and attempt to steal the profit from under their door mats. But as most of us who have ever tried it can testify, it rarely ever works. Copying campaigns word-for-word, image-for-image, targeting-for-targeting is just not good cricket.
That said, if you were ever looking for a tool that would make campaign replication an absolute breeze, Lots of Ads would be your man.
It has a couple of newly released features that give it a huge advantage for sifting through the crap, removing the brand ads, and sneakily delving in to the day-to-day operations of other affiliates.
The first feature is the Redirect URL search.
If you want to search Facebook for every single ad that includes a redirect to your favourite network’s tracking link, you can. If you want to search Facebook for every single ad that references your favourite dating offer, you can. If you want to access translations to similar ads in 25 different countries, you can.
Lots of Ads allows you to search by demographic (gender, marital status, age) for ads in any of the following countries:
Argentina, Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Columbia, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, India, Ireland, Italy, Mexico, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, the United Kingdom, and the United States.
When you find an ad that looks tasty, you can click for a detailed breakdown of the URLs that it redirects through.
This information has three benefits:
- Find the networks that are running the best offers.
- See the landing pages that have been most effective.
- Use the scraped data to dig even further by searching for other ads that are associated with the tracked URLs.
You can sort ads by Last Active (eh, irrelevant), Days Running (useful for determining the burn-out factor), Avg Position or Frequency (a high frequency means you’ve landed yourself a hot potato).
For all the countries where the ads are written in languages that are total gobbledegook to your native tongue, fear not. There is a built-in translation feature that may or may not massacre the intended message. It depends on how ambitious the ad creator has been with his vocabulary.
Tip for creating foreign ads: Keep it simple, for god’s sake. Local slang is incredibly powerful, but plucking pretentious wordy adverbs out of your arse and hoping they translate well in to Chinese is not. It will be a bloodbath.
Modelling and Reverse Engineering Campaigns
As much as I admire the affiliate-friendly features that have been caressed and noodled (Hello, my confused Chinese friends) in to Lots of Ads, it goes without saying that you can only go so far by browsing the work of others.
The advertisers who will benefit most from Lots of Ads are those take the examples – and particularly the most successful images – to model similar but innovative campaigns of their own. Study intensively what is working for others, and isolate the determining factors.
A lot of the time, from my experience, you will find that the intangible ‘success‘ variable is a willingness to cloak. I found many examples of ads that have clearly been manipulated post-approval to make money from the platform. Lots of it, I’d imagine.
That’s fair enough, but I don’t like to cloak.
By looking deeper and burrowing further through the rabbit hole of data at my disposal, I’ve managed to find several awesome images as well as headlines that I would never have thought of in a million years. Probably because they’re written in Spanish.
What price does a great marketer pay for a few great images and a winning headline? They are priceless if you use them correctly. But the paradox of this software is that you will need to have your marketing brain tuned in to get maximum value out of the data.
That’s a good thing. If striking it lucky was as simple as signing up and automating the process, I would never dare to post this review. It wouldn’t be worth it.
Look at what other marketers are doing well and compare it to what you know you can do better. Somewhere in the middle, profitability collides.
The software is relatively expensive, priced at $399/month for the All Countries package. I can only recommend the investment if you have a budget to play with and a decent track record of getting profitable on the platform. That may sound counter productive. Surely it’s the newbies without a prior taste of success that would benefit most?
Well, probably not.
I always recommend that spending money on data is better than spending money on tools when you’re just getting started.
If you have $399 burning a hole in your pocket and want to explore affiliate marketing, I recommend plugging in your imagination over any tool that is currently on the market. Invest in data. You will learn from the experience of testing – even if you fail to break even.
However, for Facebook advertisers who work on the platform daily and seek a comprehensive ‘competitor analysis’ solution – Lots of Ads ticks all the right boxes. You can use this bad boy to model the success (and many mistakes) of your peers.
The multitude of countries and demographics, as well as the option to sniff out tracking links by Redirect URLs, make this a very powerful and timely tool for the affiliate marketer who wants to know everything about his competition.
Landing pages, ad copies, images, networks, warts and all. Every last gory detail of the Facebook Advertiser’s conversion funnel is here for you to use, peruse and abuse.
The only thing missing is the bottom line.
Edit: I’ve just remembered – I have a discount code! Use coupon FINCH12 for 10% off any package (lifetime deal).
Recommended This Week
Be sure to check out Adsimilis, the official sponsor of Premium Posts Volume 5 & 6. Adsimilis is one of the most effective networks in the world for a CPA marketer to sink his teeth in to. They are particularly dominant in the dating vertical, with industry leading payouts. If you are a dating affiliate, you need to be on Adsimilis. Simples.