What to do When Someone Copies Your Entire Funnel

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Dealing with people copying your ads and funnels is beyond frustrating, it’s like having someone constantly looking over your shoulder, grabbing your ideas, and using them to their advantage. 

It totally feels like a violation, right? 

The visibility that brings customers to your sales funnel also makes it susceptible to scrutiny by competitors.

It’s a double-edged sword: while it’s beneficial to be easily discoverable by potential clients, this same visibility makes it incredibly easy for competitors to copy or “rip off” your strategies.

You poured your energy and creativity into creating something unique for your business, and now others are just ripping it off without a second thought. 

Understanding this vulnerability is the first step in fortifying your funnel against competitive threats. 

It’s not just the annoyance; this kind of theft can actually hurt your business.

First up, think about the time you’re wasting dealing with these copycats. 

Every minute you spend tracking these guys down, sending out cease and desist letters, or chatting with your lawyer is time you’re not putting into growing your own business. It pulls your focus away from where it really needs to be.

Then, there’s the whole mess of your brand getting diluted. 

If customers start seeing similar ads or funnels, they might get confused about who’s who. That means they might end up going to one of these copycats thinking it’s you, which directly hits your sales and messes with your market position.

The outcomes are downright dismal. 

You could be losing money directly from lost sales, or indirectly from the time and resources spent fighting these issues. 

And, honestly, it just feels wrong to see your hard work being paraded around by someone else.

But you’re asking the right questions and thinking about how you can tackle your funnel being stolen head-on.

First off, it’s crucial to discuss this situation with your lawyer to get specific legal advice tailored to your case.

But based on what you’re experiencing, and from what I’ve seen, here’s a straightforward rundown.

Can you sue someone for copying your funnel?

Generally, it’s tough to seek legal action when someone steals your funnel.

Proving that your copied content qualifies as unique intellectual property can be a high hurdle. 

One of the tools at your disposal is filing a DMCA request with platforms like Google or Facebook.

What’s a DMCA Request?

The DMCA (Digital Millennium Copyright Act) helps protect content creators from copyright infringement.

If someone copies your unique web content, ad copy, or any other original work you’ve created, you can file a DMCA complaint.

The platform (like Google or Facebook) then reviews your claim, and if they find it valid, they can remove the infringing content.

How to Use DMCA in Your Strategy

Keep an eye on competitors’ ads and landing pages. If you spot something that’s clearly lifted from your work, that’s your cue.

You can submit a DMCA takedown notice directly on platforms like Facebook or through search engines like Google if the content appears there.

After you file, the platform reviews your complaint. This can take some time, and the outcome isn’t guaranteed, but many businesses have successfully used this route to protect their content.

Does It Always Work?

It’s hit or miss.

These platforms get tons of DMCA requests, and not all are approved.

The clearer your proof of ownership and evidence of copying, the better your chances. But even if it doesn’t pan out, just knowing you have this option can be reassuring.

While it’s great to have legal tools like DMCA requests at your disposal, remember, the goal isn’t just to go on a suing spree.

Use these tools judiciously and always try to resolve issues amicably if possible.

Sometimes, a simple conversation with a competitor can resolve things without needing to pull in the big guns.

Even if you do take legal action, these copycats might just tweak what they’ve taken slightly to skirt around the lawsuit, especially if they’re based in different jurisdictions.

The cold hard truth

If your content and strategies can be easily replicated, it kind of suggests that maybe your business doesn’t stand out as much as it should. 

This viewpoint isn’t meant to criticize, but rather to prompt a deeper examination of how your business can create a more unique and compelling value proposition.

Think about it this way: if your whole thing can be copied, where’s the hook? 

What makes your business the one customers should choose over others? 

If copying your surface elements like ad copy or page design is enough to throw you off your game, it might mean you need to dig deeper to find what truly makes your offer special.

How to make unhackable funnels

Here are a couple of strategic moves you can make:

1. Cover your tracks with micro-campaigns

One practical tactic to protect your sales funnel and obscure your advertising strategy from competitors is the use of micro campaigns. 

This method involves deploying numerous small-scale ads with minimal daily budgets, such as $2 or $5.

How Micro Campaigns Work

  1. Crowding the Ads Library: By running many low-budget ads, you essentially flood the Facebook Ads Library with your campaigns. Because the library will display a vast array of your ads, this dilutes the visibility of any one successful campaign.
  2. Creating Confusion Among Competitors: With such a plethora of ads populating the library, competitors looking to copy successful strategies will find it difficult to pinpoint which ads are effective and which are decoys. This tactic creates a layer of protection around your more successful, higher-budget campaigns.
  3. Low Risk and Spread Out Investment: Since each micro campaign runs on a very low budget, the financial risk is minimal. This strategy allows for testing different creative ideas without significant investment, further confusing competitors about your core advertising strategy.

By implementing micro campaigns, you not only safeguard your main advertising efforts but also experiment with different ad variations at a low cost, making it challenging for competitors to identify and replicate your most profitable strategies. 

This approach adds a layer of security and complexity, ensuring that your successful ads remain hidden among less impactful ones.

2. Easily differentiate Ads Traffic from Ads Lib traffic…

When you’re managing a sales funnel, it’s crucial to understand where your traffic is coming from. 

Knowing the difference between traffic from your original ads and traffic that originates from the Facebook Ads Library can help you identify competitor snooping and optimize your marketing strategies.

Understanding Traffic Origins

The main distinction arises from how the URLs are structured depending on where the traffic comes from. 

When someone clicks on your actual ad, the URL that directs them to your landing page includes specific parameters that are usually absent when the same URL is accessed via the Facebook Ads Library.

Here’s a quick way to identify the difference:

The URL from the ad might include UTM parameters and other unique identifiers set by the advertiser. 

In contrast, the URL from the Ads Library typically skips these parameters, especially those unique to specific ad campaigns.

Why This Matters

Understanding these differences is crucial:

  • Real Customer vs. Competitor: Real customers generally come through ads, evidenced by URLs with tracking parameters. Traffic from the Ads Library, lacking these parameters, often indicates competitors researching your funnel.
  • Optimizing Your Funnel: By distinguishing between these traffic sources, you can tailor your strategies to focus more on genuine leads and less on misleading data from competitors.

By paying close attention to these URL structures, you can more effectively manage your sales funnel, ensuring that you cater to actual customers and optimize your ad spend accordingly.

When using platforms like LeadsHook, there’s an effective strategy to distinguish between genuine customer traffic and competitor traffic using conditional logic.

Setting Up Conditional Logic in LeadsHook

Conditional logic allows you to make real-time decisions based on specific criteria detected in your traffic sources. 

Here’s how you can set it up:

  1. Locate the Conditional Logic Option: In LeadsHook, look for the conditional logic feature, typically indicated by a yellow icon.
  2. Configure the Condition: At the top of your funnel settings, you can set a condition based on URL parameters. For example, you might specify a condition where the UTM parameter is blank.
  3. Direct Traffic Based on Conditions: If the condition (e.g., blank UTM parameter, which might indicate a non-genuine visitor such as a competitor) is met, you can automatically reroute this traffic down a different path in your funnel.

This setup helps to:

  • Filter Out Competitive Traffic: By identifying and rerouting visitors who land on your page through less typical routes (like those missing specific UTM parameters), you effectively reduce noise and focus on genuine leads.
  • Enhance Campaign Effectiveness: Steering competitors away from your main funnel can prevent them from gaining insights into your funnel’s effectiveness and strategic nuances.

3. Dynamic landing pages

Implement URL parameters that allow content on landing pages to dynamically change. 

This approach involves creating landing pages that adapt their content based on specific parameters passed through URLs, typically UTM parameters.

The URL for this example ad could have a UTM for the heading “Cheap Car Insurance” so that it gets replaced.

How Dynamic Pages Work

  1. Setting Up UTM Parameters: You begin by setting UTM parameters in your ad URLs. For instance, you might use UTM_content=affordable or UTM_content=cheap. These parameters are used to tailor the messaging on the landing pages to match the ad copy, enhancing the relevance and effectiveness of the page.
  2. Creating Responsive Landing Pages: The landing page URL would look something like site.com/?UTM_content=affordable. When a visitor arrives at this URL, the content on the page dynamically adjusts based on the UTM parameter. If the UTM content says “affordable,” the landing page headline might automatically change to echo this term, thereby maintaining a consistent message from ad to landing page.

The key here is that the landed content changes based on the UTM parameter.

For example, if the ad marked with “affordable” directs to the page, the headline or key text elements on the page reflect this wording.

Similarly, if another ad uses “cheap,” the landing page adapts to incorporate “cheap” into the headline or relevant text.

    Advantages of Dynamic Pages

    • Enhanced User Experience: By matching the landing page content with the ad copy, you create a seamless and personalized user journey that can lead to higher conversion rates.
    • Difficult to Reverse Engineer by Competitors: Competitors viewing your landing page won’t necessarily understand that the page content is dynamic. If they see only one version of the page, they might not realize that other versions exist, depending on different UTM parameters. This makes it challenging for them to replicate your strategies effectively.
    • Scalability: This method allows for extensive scalability. If you run 50 ads with different headlines, you can theoretically create 50 uniquely personalized landing pages without needing to manually build each one. Each page dynamically adjusts based on the ad that drove the visitor, making your campaign highly adaptable and difficult for competitors to dissect.

    4. Complex decision pathways for hyper-personalized conversations

    Personalize the user journey on your digital platforms by introducing conditional logic and multiple pathways. 

    This complexity means that even if someone copies a version of your funnel, they’re only getting a fraction of the possible configurations.

    How Complex Pathways Work

    Complex pathways in a funnel begin with basic questions that branch out based on the responses. For instance:

    • Gender-Specific Pathways: You might start by asking if the visitor is male or female. Depending on the answer, the subsequent questions become more tailored.

      Women might be asked about topics specifically relevant to them, while men might receive questions tailored to their interests or needs.
    • Age-Dependent Questions: After determining gender, you could ask about age, which further refines the pathway.

      Someone under 30 might skip questions about anti-aging products, while those over 40 might receive them.
    • Sequential Questioning Based on Previous Answers: The pathway adjusts not just based on demographic answers but also based on the sequence of interactions.

      For example, a younger person might receive questions about family planning, which would be irrelevant to someone older.
    • Further Segmentation: You can deepen the personalization by incorporating more specific segments.

      As users progress through the funnel, you might ask about age, whether they have children, or other relevant factors.

      Each layer of detail helps to refine the conversation further:
      • “As a man in your 40s, what challenges do you face?”
      • “As a woman with kids, what are your priorities?”

    The complexity of these pathways does two crucial things:

    1. Enhances User Engagement: By providing questions and content that are directly relevant to the user’s demographic and previous responses, the conversation remains engaging and pertinent. 

      This relevancy increases the likelihood of conversion because the user feels understood and well-serviced.
    2. Obfuscates the Funnel Structure from Competitors: Competitors trying to analyze your funnel will find it difficult to grasp the entire structure due to its complexity. 

    They might see only one pathway based on a specific set of answers and miss others that are equally important. 

    This makes it challenging for them to replicate your successful strategies.

    The primary goal of using complex pathways is to ensure that every interaction within the funnel is meaningful and relevant to each user. 

    Different groups receive content that is specifically designed to resonate with them, whether it’s about lifestyle choices, health concerns, or future plans.

    While the main benefit is enhanced user interaction and conversion, a significant side benefit is the protection against competitors. 

    The detailed and tailored approach of complex pathways makes it much harder for competitors to understand and mimic your funnel effectively.

    5. Optimized tracking

    Make sure your tracking – both client-side and server-side – is dialed in perfectly. 

    This ensures that you always have better data and consequently, better engagement than your competitors.

    Components of Optimized Tracking

    1. Client-Side Tracking: This involves tracking user interactions directly from the user’s device. It includes, but is not limited to, clicks, page views, and form submissions.

      Client-side tracking provides real-time data that is crucial for understanding user behavior as it happens.
    2. Server-Side Tracking: This type of tracking captures interactions at the server level. It’s crucial for collecting data that client-side tracking might miss, such as API calls or backend processes.

      Server-side tracking provides a more comprehensive view of user activities and helps in validating the data captured by client-side methods.
    3. Deduplication Processes: One of the significant challenges in tracking is the duplication of data entries.

      Implementing deduplication ensures that every piece of data is unique, which helps in maintaining the accuracy of data analysis.

      This process is crucial for businesses that rely heavily on data-driven decision-making.

    6. In Decision-Tree Segmentation

    Market segmentation using decision trees is a powerful strategy that enhances the targeting and personalization of your marketing efforts. 

    This approach allows you to categorize users into specific segments based on their responses and direct them toward the most relevant offers or actions. 

    Here’s how it works in practice:

    1. Gathering User Information: As users interact with your decision tree, you collect specific information that can influence the offers or solutions you present. For example, you might ask about their gender, age, health conditions (like diabetes), and other relevant details.
    2. Creating Segments: Based on the collected information, users are segmented into groups that share common characteristics. For instance:
      • Men over 40 with diabetes
      • Women in their 40s without diabetes
      • Individuals struggling with weight loss due to an injury
    3. Tailoring Offers: Each segment receives tailored recommendations or offers that are suited to their particular needs. This ensures that the solutions are relevant and are more likely to resonate with each user. For example:
      • Men over 40 with diabetes might be directed to products or services that help manage their condition.
      • Women in their 40s without diabetes might see offers related to general wellness and prevention.
      • Individuals with weight loss challenges due to an injury might be offered solutions that address their specific barriers.

    By segmenting the market using decision trees, you can significantly increase the relevance of your offers. 

    This targeted approach helps in delivering the right message to the right group, enhancing the likelihood of engagement and conversion.

    It’s all about mixing it up

    Think of each marketing strategy as a piece of armor. 

    On its own, something like dynamic pages or complex pathways might just cover one part of your operations. 

    But when you stack them up—dynamic pages, decision trees, personalized queries, and all—suddenly, you’ve got a full suit of armor. 

    This makes your marketing efforts not just stronger but way trickier for your competitors to figure out and copy.

    Sure, competitors can see what you’re putting out there—your ads, your promotions—but understanding the how and why behind them? 

    That’s another story. 

    They won’t easily grasp the nuances of how you’re targeting users or adapting content based on user behavior.

    Using these combined strategies also means you can keep your campaigns fresh and effective for a longer time. 

    It’s like having a secret fishing spot that no one else knows about—you can keep catching fish at your leisure because there’s no competition.

    Sometimes, you don’t need to anything

    Now imagine a scenario where an ad for an insurance campaign just knocked it out of the park—seriously, it was generating loads of leads at super low costs. 

    But then, the inevitable happened: tons of other agents saw how successful it was and decided to copy it. It got replicated by hundreds of them.

    Now, you might think that would kill the original ad’s performance, right? 

    But surprisingly, that didn’t happen. 

    This just goes to show that sometimes, even if someone copies what you’re doing, it doesn’t necessarily mean you need to jump into action or change up your game. 

    The original still held its ground because there was something unique about it that the copies just couldn’t capture.

    Maybe it’s the way it was set up, the specific audience targeting, or just the timing—it had its own magic.

    It’s a reminder that while it’s important to keep innovating and staying ahead, not every act of imitation requires a counteraction. 

    Sometimes, focusing on continuing to optimize and improve your original work is all you need to do.

    Article By

    Nik Thakorlal

    Nik Thakorlal is the founder of LeadsHook – a marketing personalisation and lead generation SaaS.

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