The Direct Advertising Secrets of a $28 Million Dollar Supplement Business

Onnit is a health and supplement company estimated to be worth over $28 Million.

So, in this article, I am going to break down their direct marketing secrets.

From their Facebook ads to their landing pages.

I reveal the secrets of their marketing machine.

Let's dive in.

The Onnit 3 Level Deep Strategy

Onnit has an impressive 3 level deep sales strategy that consists of the following.

  • Facebook Ads
  • Advertorial sales letter/ blog article style content
  • Final sales page

And it flows like this:

I counted at least 55 Ads with several variations of each ad that promote 2 products.

These lead to 2 advertorial pages/ sales letters (one per product)

And these finally end with 2 Landing pages (1 per product)

This formula is interesting because it goes against the way that most people do ads.

The average e-commerce store simply sends people to a product page and then uses a retargeting to boost conversions.

Onnit has a different strategy which is dedicated to education.

The ads gain click thru's to the advertorials (which are very similar to old fashioned direct advertising sales letters) and then once educated, the prospect goes to yet another information-packed landing page where they can buy.

This approach might seem complicated, but it is refreshing to see just how much effort Onnit goes to when it comes to educating their customers.

Educated customers make the best buyers because they understand the product or service better; they know what work has gone into creating the product and what benefits it will have for them.

But let's break down each section of their process.

The Low Copy Facebook Ad Formula

Because Facebook now allows you to see the ads a company is using, I took a look at Onnit's ad collection.

I counted 55 active ads, so it is clear they are spending some cash to generate sales. 

However, the ads are interesting in themselves.

Many feature videos, but I'll break down an image ad they are using.

This is what I refer to as a Low Copy Ad on Facebook.

Some ads feature a lot of text, almost focused on getting the sale there and then.

And other ads are almost entirely focused on getting the click.

I am not going to say which works better as I have not run a test and each product and business is different.

But they did get my click.

Anyway, let's break it down.

Start With A Big Claim That Gives Social Proof

Their Ad starts off with a substantial and unverified social proof claim.

"𝗧𝗼𝗽 𝗮𝘁𝗵𝗹𝗲𝘁𝗲𝘀 & 𝗲𝗻𝘁𝗿𝗲𝗽𝗿𝗲𝗻𝗲𝘂𝗿𝘀 are using Alpha Brain to gain their edge & increase their mental performance!"

A full list of celebs and athletes endorse Onnit products, but at this stage, you don't need to know who.

The fact they have a big name like Joe Rogan in the ad supports what they say (I believe he is an investor too).

Which bring us onto the next point.

Social Proof

Onnit has Joe Rogan behind the brand because he is the perfect fit, a global name who is in great shape has excellent martial arts skills and athletes and fighters across the planet follow him.

Using influencers is nothing new, but it does help to get those clicks.

Curiosity Based Benefit Builder

The Ad uses "It does seem to fire your brain up at a higher RPM level".

This line is a quote about the product by Joe Rogan and does a few things.

It provides a testimonial and endorsement but uses the words 'seems", so it does skirt around the issue of providing scientific proof.

And the comment triggers curiosity. 

The Offer

The ad then goes on to give people a reason to click, a money off offer and a few stars to show social proof.

This ad is wholly focused on getting the click.

Why? Because they are going to try and sell the product to you on their next page, and this is where things get interesting.

The Blog Article That Sells Goods

Once you click on the ad, you are directed to a blog article/ advertorial on their site, and this is where things get a little weird.

The article is very clearly marked 'Advertorial', so they are making it clear that this is a sales page.

However, that aside let's break down the landing page.

The article is set out like an old school sales letter but one that is hiding under the disguise of a blog article.

In fact, if you were to remove the word advertorial, it would look just like any blog article online.

The Above The Fold Conversion Elements

The above the fold area has 2 clear conversion elements visible immediately.

These take the form of not one but 2 offer buttons, here's one.

They then use a classic headline:

The 'Finally' headline isn't going to win any awards, but at least, you know exactly what this page is all about...a productivity pill.

This goes some way to closing the curiosity loop that was established in the ad, especially if you weren't sure what this 'pill' was all about.

Social Proof

Onnit is quick to establish social proof by showing their social media followings and where they are featured.

This is a wise move, especially in the supplement industry where people are worried about what they are putting into their bodies.

Rory Sutherland (the vice-chairman of Ogilvy) calls this technique 'costly signalling'.

They show these giant social media accounts because it sends a signal that says "these are the real deal, they have invested in their reputation and aren't likely to risk it by selling rubbish'".

The Sales Letter With A Difference

The page then moves onto become a standard sales letter (see a full copy of the sales letter at the base of the article).

However, they do something very different.

There are 4 in content banners with buttons that direct you to the next level.

These are as follows.

Button 1:

The 'If you aren't doing (insert activity) You aren't (insert what you are missing out on)'

This is a classic old fashioned headline formula.

Button 2:

The Offer Button

This call to action is all based on their 30% reduction offer.

Button 3:

The Further Education Button

This text is there for the unconvinced and adds another layer for education.

Button 4: The Repeated Offer

The final call to action is a button which repeats the prime offer.

But, the show doesn't just end there.

Once you click any of the buttons, you end up on yet another landing page.

The Final Landing Page

Once the reader clicks the buttons, they end up on another landing which is a traditional style website landing page.

In essence, this is what kind of page that most people tend to drive traffic to when using ads.

But this page also has some superb conversion elements.

Try Now Risk-Free

The page has a huge call to action button of try now risk-free.

When you click this button (and the others like it on the page), you are directed to their product package selection.

3 Packages To Choose From

There is nothing new with highlighting 3 packages on a product; we all know that this usually means people choose the middle one.

But the variations in discount and quantity are interesting to see.

Detailed Product Information

The rest of the page is dedicated to answering more detailed product questions and providing information.

Buttons on the page have jump links that take you back to the product selection (which is great for conversions)


So, there you have it. 

The direct advertising strategy of a health and supplement company worth over $28 Million.

This is an interesting strategy that uses sales techniques of the past and blends them with modern direct tools.

Each level of this funnel gives the prospect something different.

The add gets their attention.

The advertorial increases their interest and desire for the product.

And the final sales page encourages them to take action.

So, are you going to try this approach?

Let me know if you do, and if you found this article useful, please share it with someone else.


Andrew Holland

Oh and here is their advertorial in full.



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