I recently received an email with an enticing subject line.
“Stay connected with customers with $4,000 Google Ads credit”
Currently, I don’t do a ton of paid advertising. But with $4,000 in free money, that could change. I opened the email.
I’ve seen (and taken advantage of) similar offers before from Google. They offer me a credit reimbursement of whatever I spend in the first 30 days after activating some coupon. For example: on a $150 offer, you get reimbursed up to $150 in ads spent in the first 30 days after activation.
Thing is, the only amounts I’d ever been offered before were $150 and $300. Both times, I accepted: I ran some ads and spent the amount Google offered. It was legit: they credited me back the amount promised. So, I like these little gifts from Google.
I know these offers are real (I think that Google knows that I know, too). So, $4,000? That’s a lot to spend on ads (for me) — but they’re giving me a dollar-for-dollar credit. Shit, why the hell not?
This one required a bit more effort to get the deal, which seemed reasonable: I had to “schedule an appointment with a Google Ads specialist” to get my credit activated.
Fair enough. I scheduled the call.
Chad from Google was my appointed specialist. He started off feigning surprise that I’d received the $4,000 offer; everyone he knew was only getting $1-2K offers (yeah right). Chad asked me a bunch of questions about my business, what I was selling, and my experience with ads.
I offered him some challenges — that Facebook Ads offered more detailed targeting (arguable) and simpler interface (less arguable) for relative advertising novices.
Chad handled the questions well enough, though he didn’t stress enough the key difference between the platforms: with Google, you can actually get someone on the phone to help with any issues. Getting someone on the phone at Facebook? Good luck.
Anyhow, Chad went on explaining the benefits of the Google Ads platform, retargeting, putting controls on your daily spend and the rest. He asked me for the credit code I’d received, then for some reason couldn’t get the code activated on his end. We scheduled to reconvene the following Monday afternoon.
Chad sent me an email early Monday (“the campaign we discussed”) with an Ads Proposal detailing that I’d spend $6,000 per month in ads.
My reply: “Chad, I only want to activate the offer that was initially sent to me before discussing anything. What do we need to do to activate that offer? I was told that scheduling the call was the only requirement.”
He didn’t reply to that email, but Chad did call right at the scheduled time later that day.
He got straight to business, asking if I was at my computer. I was, and he sent me an email headed, “Approval Needed for Google Ads Campaign Improvements.”
The meat of the email contained the following that I’ve copy-pasted for you to read for yourself.
—- Begin Google Ads Email —-
Blanket Approval Template
On behalf of my company, Work on Your Game, I give Google my blanket approval to make all of the following types of modifications in Google Ads Account [xxxxxxxxx] without first notifying me:
1. Campaign Changes: [including pausing and resuming campaigns, changing targeting settings, adding or editing ad groups, editing campaign distribution while keeping with average daily spend of 200 USD across all accounts.
2. Placement Changes: [including adding and deleting placements, pausing and resuming targeted placements, adding or deleting negative sites and categories, and editing placement-level bids].
3. Creative Changes: [including rearranging text within an ad, adding or removing keywords, and changing URLs].
4. Remarketing/Conversion tracking: [including creating or editing remarketing or conversion tracking code and/or conversion settings, as well as creating or editing remarketing lists].
I understand that once Google receives this approval, Google might make some or all of the above modifications to my account(s), and might only notify me of these modifications after they have been made.
However, I understand that I retain the ability and authority to change or cancel any such adjustments made to my account(s) at any point in time.
—- End Google Ads Email —-
Would you approve such a setup?
I wouldn’t, and didn’t, for a few reasons.
1) I’m not allowing an ads company to control my ad spend. They’re not in the conversion business; they’re in the “get people to spend money on ads” business.
While one can argue that they support each other, I’m a CEO for a reason: I like control.
2) This agreement required me to accept Google running all types of different ad mechanisms that they offer. I don’t know all of Google’s ad systems at a high level, nor did I trust Chad — an Ads SALESPERSON — enough to let him tell me what was acceptable.
I don’t invest in what I don’t understand.
3) If I’m spending the money, all creative changes will be approved by ME. Google was asking for carte blanche on this. Umm no.
Chad told me that he needed me to reply to that email with an “I approve” in order for him to activate my $4,000 ad credit.
I told Chad that I was not approving that offer, and asked him what any of this had to do with my $4,000 credit offer anyway.
Chad: “I can’t approve your ad credit until you accept that offer.”
I told Chad that what he’d just told me was bullshit — this was a blatant bait and switch on behalf of Google Ads (or on behalf of Chad going rogue).
Chad: “Well, you would have to take that up with your lawyers; all I can say is that you have to approve that offer to activate your ads credit.”
I began to retort again, but Chad spoke over me. Chad wasn’t much of a salesperson; when you start interrupting your prospect, you’re setting your sale on fire.
I hung up on Chad.
What it confirmed to me is something I already know: there’s no such thing as a free lunch (at least over $300). Or, maybe Chad was just a slimy, rogue salesperson trying to beef up his commission check. I chalked it up as a learning experience and forgot about it until I wrote this article.
I just went back to the initial $4,000 offer email and signed up for another call, this time with a different Specialist. I’ll know what to say this time to find out if the deal is real, or just as scammy as my first experience, within 3 minutes of the start of the call.
Speaking of control, join me at Work On Your Game University where you’ll learn the exact, full Work On Your Game framework as it applies to Work and life TODAY — which means you’ll have the foundation for all the success you’re working towards.
See all the options at http://WorkOnYourGameUniversity.com