The Mirror Method: How to Become a Better Marketer Effortlessly

Author
Hanne   170

“Elephant, e-le-phant, c’mon say elephant.”

“Elefa --”

“Yes! Almost! Elephant.”

This went on for hours, me pointing out an animal in the book and my one-and-a-half-year old niece trying to repeat the names.

By the end of our afternoon together, she learned a few new words all while having fun.

And just as easily and effortlessly as children learn to speak by imitating the grownups, you learn new marketing skills this way too.

We call it “The Mirror Method”.

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The Mirror Method Revealed

The principle of the Mirror Method is simple: you find someone who’s doing a good job on marketing their product or service and you analyze every step of their funnel.

But time after time, when we gave this exercise to someone new on the marketing team, we noticed that it wasn’t that easy after all. That’s why I decided to walk you through an example of applying the Mirror Method on one of the funnels of a company I admire: MindValley

Let’s look at the different steps, tools and thinking process involved in the Mirror Method.

Who Should You Mirror?

The goal of the Mirror Method is to discover a new tactic, tool, method, system... that you can then apply to your own business.

But of course, you want to be sure you’re analyzing someone worth mirroring!

Which is why, I suggest you only mirror companies whom you know are making decent money. Those are the people who have their marketing funnel figured out.

Don’t mirror websites because you “like” what they are doing or how their site looks like unless you know they are making significantly more revenue than you are.

An easy Google search for company + revenue will probably give you some pointers.

Where Should You Start?

The homepage or a blog article is always a good start for the Mirror Method.

This means you’re looking at the content marketing of the company and start analyzing the funnel from there.

Another place to start can be social media and, more specifically, the ads you see on your social media profile.

Pro Tip: Did you know that Facebook now shows all the ads a certain company is running?

Pro Tip: Discover all running Facebook Ads 

Did you know that Facebook now shows all the ads a company is running? Yes, that's right! This information is freely available.


Step 1: Go to the page of the company

Step 2: Scroll down until you see "Page Transparency" on the left side of the page

Step 3: Click "See all"

Step 4: Scroll down and click "Go to Ad Library" 


The "Page Transparency" tab on a Facebook page leads to a page where you can see all the running ads (per location!)

Questions to Ask & Tools to Use When Going Down the Rabbit Hole

Now it’s time to go down the rabbit hole… You found a starting point of the funnel, so let’s jump in.

And remember, you’re trying to learn something new. Curiosity is your best friend. Don’t simply look at what’s happening but always ask yourself “Why would they be doing this? What’s at play here?”

1. What’s Up With That URL?

When you go through a funnel, pay attention to the URL of the pages you land on. These URLs can reveal more than you think.

Internal Organization

First of all, you can learn a lot about how a site organizes their content.

In the MindValley example in the video, you can discover that the landing page is a child page of another page.

https://www.mindvalley.com/hero-genius-legend/invite?utm_source=Smartbar_Bottom_Launch_blog2&utm_campaign=launch_hgl_march_2019

When you go to the parent page (www.mindvalley.com/hero-genius-legend), you can see the sales page of the program without the launch discount.

This teaches us several things:

  • At MindValley, they organize their lead generation landing pages as child pages of the sales page
  • The original sales page is still available even during a launch period
  • The “usual” price of the program is $1095

Data Organization

Not only can you discover the internal organization, you can also discover how the company goes about organizing and analyzing their data in Google Analytics.

As you can see, the URL has a “?” after the normal URL.

https://www.mindvalley.com/hero-genius-legend/invite?utm_source=Smartbar_Bottom_Launch_blog2&utm_campaign=launch_hgl_march_2019

These are called UTM parameters. With UTM parameters, you can tag your links to gauge the effectiveness of your campaigns.

When you have a landing page in your funnel, you’re most likely getting traffic from different sources. Some people might click on a link in your email newsletter, others might come from the blog, yet others from Facebook, etc.

Adding UTM parameters to links will allow you to see in Google Analytics where your traffic came from and analyze which type of traffic is converting best.

If you’ve never heard about UTM parameters or how to use them, here’s a really good guide that explains it in great detail.

In the MindValley URL, you can see:

  • utm_source=Smartbar_Bottom_Launch_blog2
  • utm_campaign=launch_hgl_march_2019

Why is this so interesting?

Because it indicates that they are probably testing and analyzing which placement on the blog works better. If you see that in 3 months time they don’t use the sidebar widget anymore but only a Smartbar, you can assume that ribbon won the test and converts better.

You can also see that this launch is part of a campaign for March 2019 which means that the funnel we’re analyzing should have some interesting scarcity elements in it.

A/B Testing

Another thing you can discover when looking at the URL is whether the website is A/B testing their traffic or not. If you ran any A/B tests yourself, you know that any A/B testing tool will add a string of characters to identify the test.

When you notice this, you can then go into an incognito browser and see if you can get the other version of the landing page.

Tools

Sometimes the URL can also reveal if a website is using a certain tool (some tools will host pages on their own platform such as Leadpages or ClickFunnels) and you’ll be able to discover this by looking at the URL.

2. The Inspect Tool

This tool is without a doubt my favorite hidden weapon. You can discover so much by taking a look under the hood of a site.

If you’re using a Chrome browser, use the right click and “inspect” to bring up the inspector.

The inspector will show you the code that’s running on the page you’re inspecting.

Now, it might look a bit daunting at first but once you get the hang out of it it’s actually really fun!

<head>

In the <head> tag you’ll discover what scripts are running on the page. This will give you a nice overview of the different tools that are running on the website.

Here's an example of what this will look like:

Don't let the code overwhelm you, look for words you understand.

So, you can see that, at the time this screenshot was taken, they used Kiss Metrics, Visual Website Optimizer, Hotjar, etc.

Just a quick note about header scripts, these are scripts that are running on the entire website (not only or not necessarily) on this page.

The Pointer

After looking at the <head>, click on the pointer icon and inspect the lead generation element on the page.

This will most likely allow you to discover some more information about the element.

At the time of this video, I was interested in discovering what tool they were using for their automated webinars.

With a quick inspect, I found out it was Blinkwebinars.

Use the pointer to quickly inspect specific elements on the page (such as the opt-in form)

Take a look at the video at 10.07 min to see some more things I discovered about this funnel when using the inspect tool.

4. The Inbox Sanity Trick

When you’re analyzing a funnel, you’ll want to subscribe to that funnel. But as you can imagine, the more you do the Mirror Method, the more newsletter and funnel subscriptions you’re accumulating.

Which is why I like to use a little trick to keep everything neat and organized…

If you’re using a Gmail account, you can simply add +[name of the funnel] behind your normal email address and this will then allow you to set up a filter for this address.

So, if you’re normal address is: [email protected]
You would subscribe with the address: [email protected]

This will still go to your normal Gmail inbox.

Now you can set up a filter in Gmail to make these emails skip your inbox and go into a separate folder.
All you have to do then, is wait a couple of days and the folder is the perfect swipe file for an email launch funnel!

Here's how to set it up:

Step 1: search for all the messages send to your "+" email address

search for to:[email protected]

Step 2: Create a Filter

Click on the drop-down arrow next to the search field and then on "create filter"

Step 3: Create a new label

Labels in Gmail act as folders, create a new label so you don't have to see these emails in your inbox.

Step 4: Skip Inbox, Apply Label, Also apply filter to matching conversations.

Use these settings to skip the inbox and group all emails in one folder.

4. Visually Represent the Funnel

Now that you found most of the funnel, you’ll want a nice and easy way to represent it.

For this, I suggest you use 2 tools:

Draw.io and AwesomeScreenshot.

AwesomeScreenshot is a Chrome extension that allows you to take full page screenshots in one click. This is the perfect way to capture landing pages and sales pages for later reference. Especially when you know that the funnel is not going to be around for very long.

Draw.io is also a free tool that you can add to your Google Drive which allows to make good looking flowcharts with a few clicks.

These flowcharts can really help you to map out the entire funnel and keep a nice overview over what’s going on.

It also allows you to start with mapping out a very simple funnel (Widget on blog post ⇒ webinar subscription landing page ⇒ sales page) 

Example of the 3 step funnel we saw in the video

And then, when you go deeper into the funnel, you can add more elements

Example of what happens when I'm having way too much fun with this...

Mirror Method Vs. Copycat

By now, I think you understand how passionate I am about the Mirror Method and I hope you can see the value in developing this skill for your own marketing knowledge…

But there is one thing I want to be very clear about.

The Mirror Method is not an excuse for becoming a copycat!

What you’re doing while applying the Mirror Method is analyzing and learning the methods and overall strategies that a company is using.

You’re NOT going to copy their landing page design, button colors etc.

First of all because that’s stealing.

But also because that’s not what matters!

Think about it; what we discovered here in the MindValley funnel is that:

  • They use several placements in their blog posts to send traffic to a landing page
  • Their landing page links are organized intentionally
  • The webinar is LONG
  • The call-to-action is only revealed after more than 30 min in the webinar
  • The list goes on…

The Mirror Method exposes you to several ways a business optimizes their marketing to boost their conversion rate. If, after studying a business, the only thing you decide to do is change the colors of your buttons on your landing pages...you've missed the whole point!

Ready to Mirror?

What did you think? Was this helpful for you? Will you start applying the Mirror Method to develop your own marketing skills?

by Hanne  July 18, 2022

170

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Leave a Comment

  • That’s excellent Hanne. Very clear and simple, yet detailed enough for anyone to funnel hack. Awesome work.

  • Very helpful! Only the golden nugget of using the ‘+’ when subscribing was worth watching this video. But also the drawing tool was something I did not know of. Besides that: great tutorial Hanne! (as always)

    • Hi Scott,
      Good catch. They probably use the same video over and over again in their launches (probably also means the video converts well 😉 )

      • Obviously, I meant “from March 2018, not 2019.” Ha! Keep up the great work!

  • Nice video Hanne! I didn’t know about the + trick on gmail addresses so I’ll make sure to do that from now on, thanks!

    I use the Video Speed Controller Chrome extension to speed up videos in general but it also works great for those pesky webinars that hide their controls like your example. 🙂

    • I hate “unspeedable” videos, I never watch them. Although this marketing strategy doesn’t work for me, other stuff I watched/saw from Mindvalley didn’t work either, they surely know something if they can create such a huge traffic with their tricks. Thanks for sharing this info, I did not know such a tool exists.

      • Hi,
        Yes it’s interesting to see how things that you believe wouldn’t work make a lot of money for certain companies 😉

      • Thanks Hanne! One tip to speed a webinar video is use your keyboard right left arrows, works on most sites videos.

  • Very nice Hanne and helpful. Also learned that ThriveThemes will probably be retargeting me on FB (used the retargeting pixel plugin).
    Had not thought to use the draw.io tool and to shoot the full page screen cap. Will do. You’re pretty stealth. Cheers

  • That was over the top information–things I would never have thought to do. Yes, I’ll try this… though I think it will take me a while to fully grasp all that is here.

    • Hi Lilian,
      This is after doing it for many many times 😀 In the beginning you probably won’t discover all the ninja tricks etc. but it’s still good practice to make this a habit.

    • Hi Hugh,

      Yes you can use as many different plusses as you want. Every single one will end up in your inbox where you can then filter.

      Eg. When I was analyzing Ramit’s email marketing strategy, I signed up to ALL the different leadmagnets I could find on his website and used the “+” trick to know which email was linked to which leadmagnet.

      Even today, I can still see when they do list segmentation based on interest.

      • Ooooh! Very tricky! I never thought of correlating LM to email sequence! I love it! 😀

  • Awesome! It’s like discovering the magic behind success. It will certainly be useful for me. Thanks a lot!

  • Hello Hanne, I find it very interesting everything you explain, I do not handle the English language well. With the Awesome Screenshot tool can I make videos?

  • Very good educational material that shows how to educate ourselves for free! Thank you Hanne “awesome smile” Vervaek

  • Thank you soooo much, Hanna! This was a great training, full of insights. I’ve been practicing this type of data gathering lately, but with your training, I realize that I knew very little on how to go about it.

    Cheers.

  • This is a really great video, Hanne! Thanks for it. It was really useful, and I’ve learned a lot from it… 🙂

      • Maybe the more technical aspects and the confidence – but there is that certain natural charm and smile that add tremendously to the package 😉

    • It’s nice to see someone do this. But it’s even more valuable to learn how to do it yourself 🙂 (something about giving a fish and learning how to fish 😉 )

  • Very valuable and useful information. A number of tricks I learned that will serve well in marketing research. For example, I knew how to get to the inspect view but never knew what to look for. Now, I do.

    Thank you for sharing your expertise. Opens some doors for me I didn’t even know were available.

  • Always helpful content.

    I love funnelytics.io since they break down funnels of the larger internet marketers for you in flow chart format already.

    • Hi Kenny,

      I heard about the tool. I think it’s nice to see a breakdown, but doing it yourself will teach you so much more!

      It’s different when you have to “discover” all the steps rather than just seeing them mapped out already.

  • Hi Hanne,
    This was very useful and motivating video. I feel like starting this kind of learning 🙂 Thank you for this!

  • Wow!…had never thought of going this deep to learn the ‘behind the scenes’ side of successful online marketing. Thanks for putting this together Hanne….great video and supporting blog. Definitely putting this into action. Thanks heaps!

  • Hello Hanne,

    I really enjoyed your video! It was extremely helpful. I’ve been trying to learn the best way to set up squeeze pages and funnels for the last 6 months and your video taught me almost as much in just 16 minutes. I really liked your trick for going straight to the YouTube link by using the Google Chrome Inspector. Now I can skip ahead through lengthy webinar posts. Thanks again Hanne. Cheers!

  • Brilliant Thanne! Honestly, you belong doing videos for Thrive Themes – to me, this is the highest of compliments as I have rarely found another company so generous with valuable information. You have made me a raving fan & evangelist!

  • Hi, Hanne!
    I’m really impressed with the amount of helpful information you shared with us.
    Thank you very much!