Episode 2 is our first guest episode and we started off with a bang. Russ Henneberry has done content marketing for some pretty big names like Neil Patel and Ryan Deiss. He is a huge wealth of knowledge about creating content that drives sales - both directly and indirectly. The entire broadcast went just short of an hour, but there's no shortage of great tips - oh and ignore his heavy breathing!
The three different types of content (TOFU, MOFU and BOFU!)
How to make your blog more than just a 'top of funnel' tool
How customer success stories can make you more money
Why you don't have a traffic problem
How to figure your cost per acquisition on any online offer you make
Why you shouldn't worry about lifetime value of a customer
Will: I’m Will Hanke here from Red Canoe Media, thanks for joining us today. I want to jump right in and talk to my guest today, his name is Russ Henneberry. Russ and I have been friends for quite some time now and pretty excited to have him on here today. Russ is the editorial director, digital marketer and he’s worked on digital marketing projects for companies like Crazy Egg, Sales Force and Network Solutions; Russ, good to have you.
Russ: Good to be here, man. Thanks for having me.
Will: Yeah I appreciate you coming. We’ve been friends for many years now for those that don’t know. Russ just call me one day and said, ‘Hey, let’s go do lunch.’ We went and had lunch, and been friends for quite a while. So, Russ does a lot with content marketing—he knows a ton bout content marketing—and so Russ, tell me about your time at Crazy Egg first.
Russ: Well Crazy Egg, is a company that you can’t really call a start up at this point; it’s a pretty mature company now. They are a heat mapping Software Company so they create software, essentially, it’s all that script on your page and it shows you where people are clicking and scrolling around. So, they came to me with a project to start a blog. Neil Patel is the owner of this company. It’s actually him and his brother-in-law; his name is Hiten Shah, so it’s kind of a family run operation and they brought me into the family, so to speak, to take this blog and take it from zero and see what I could do with it. It was a fantastic experience. If you don’t know who Neil Patel is, he’s a very smart marketer in general but particularly smart content marketer. He’s always pushing the envelope with new content ideas and new things to do to drive traffic with content and especially SEO and so it was a fantastic experience working for those guys.
Will: I think there are a lot of people that don’t realize—talking about business owners—that don’t realize how awesome a heat map can be for your business and it’s a really cool tool that not a lot of people know about. So, after Crazy Egg you went over to Sales Force, I know that you took their blog and really built it up in a short amount of time. What were some of the major things that you had to overcome there? I know that’s a pretty big company.
Russ: Well, the major thing we had to overcome over at Sales Force as a content team, it wasn’t just me there was a whole team of people working on this project but, the biggest thing was that Sales Force was a big company that’s about selling. They are about real in the trenches, in the conference rooms, out at the bar, smoozing customers, selling. Content marketing was something that didn’t do very well at the top of the funnel so when we talk about content, we talk about three different types of content. We talk about top of funnel content, we call it TOFU. There’s middle of content, we call it MOFU.
Russ: And then there’s bottom of funnel content, which is BOFU. Now, Sales Force does MOFU and BOFU better than anybody on the earth that I have ever seen. In other words, think about the funnel in terms of how people progress through the decision to buy something or sign up for something and that is: awareness, interest, evaluation, purchase. So they start out at awareness, so they become aware of something, they get interested, they evaluate and then they buy. Then there are things that go on after that of course but the content that we had at our disposal at Sales Force in the middle of the funnel, in other words, in the evaluation stage in the close stage was unbelievable. That’s because they’re so focused on selling which is important. In fact my time at Sales Force convinced me of the power of MOFU and BOFU content.
Let me give you some examples of what we had at our disposal at Sales Force. In the middle of the funnel we had things like customer success stories, vast amounts of testimonials, case studies things like that; things that help somebody decide during the evaluation stage whether or not they’re going to move on and buy. So that middle of funnel content—in fact if you are new to content marketing, you might think of content marketing as running a blog for example, but most of the time that blog is a TOFU type content. You’re looking to drive awareness and interest in what you do and your products and services. At the top of the funnel it was a blog but actually, if you don’t have any middle of funnel or bottom of funnel content, I would start there because it’s actually easier to put together. You can take a customer that you have and write up a quick case study.
Now, just to give you an idea, at Sales Force we had a success story for every vertical, we had slide decks that were built for every vertical and every situation, so what is the problem? For example Sales Force does a lot of things not just sales CRM, they also do things like customer service so they have desk.com, they so email marketing now that they own exact targets. This is a mammoth company so, no matter what the customers’ problem was and who the competitors were that we were up against we had case studies and slide decks. When I say slide decks, these are the presentation decks that our sales guys would walk into a room and say, ‘Okay, I’m up against Oracle and the problem here is that they are having trouble with productivity from their sales team.’ So there would be a deck that would be built to defeat Oracle on that issue, because Oracle is better than Sales Force for something and it’s not as good as Sales Force for other things.
Russ: This is true in no matter what you’re doing; you have competitors that you’re up against. Look for your strengths, create case studies, create customer success stories and put those into PDF form and makes those available for customers that are in that evaluation stage. There’s a blog that we were running over blogs.salesforce.com, it was getting at least 100,000 uniques a month, which sounds like a lot and it is a lot. But one of the craziest days of my life was opening up the analytics, because they hired me also doing analytics on the site, was getting access to salesforce.com analytics.
Russ: Oh my God, it was just incredible how much traffic the site is getting; millions of visits a day.
Will: That’s probably pretty overwhelming, I would assume.
Russ:> Yeah it took me a while to sort through all those analytics but blog was just getting collateral visits just because it was in the navigation, so many people visiting that site of 100,000. All we did was we started creating better content and I can tell you what we did there but I think one of the biggest lessons I learned from salesforce.com was MOFU/BOFU. Start there actually or at least make sure you’ve filled that gap, make sure you have things and that’s kind of a lot of what you do with your meet up Will, where you meet up with people in person and do presentations.
Michael Port wrote a book called Book Yourself Solid and one of the things I remember so much from that book was that he said, “… you should always have someplace to invite people to…” You should always have somewhere to invite people to see you speak and to see you demonstrate your expertise. That’s one of the things that your meet up does for you and it helps at that BOFU/MOFU stage. I’m sure you do it a lot of times because you like to speak and you like to see everybody and teach and help people and that’s certainly comes through when you talk but Will, have you ever had a possible client and then invited them to the meet up and then closed that client because they saw your expertise? I know that happened to me a lot when I used to run a meet up.
Will: Oh, yeah. It’s a great selling tool, without selling I guess.
Russ: Exactly, you stand up there and you display your expertise. They see you in action; they see you talking to other people, you demonstrating social proof. You walk in the door and everybody’s like, ‘Hey, Will, can’t wait to hear you talk!’ You’re possible client is sitting there looking around them going, ‘Well look at all these smart business people who know who Will is, come listen to Will speak.’ Tremendous social proof there and that’s a type of middle and bottom of funnel content even though you’re talking about things that are more in the awareness-interest stage. You know that there are a couple people, out there in the crowd, who are in the evaluation stage. They’re evaluating Red Canoe Media; evaluating your services and things like that. So, anyways a long answer to your question.
Will: It’s alright. So now you’re over at Digital Marketer and you told me a while back, something that’s always stuck with me ever since you told me and that was that you don’t have a traffic problem. This is something we started saying after you started working at Digital Marketer. So tell us a little bit about that. I’m assuming that means TOFU, top of the funnel not to pay so much attention as you’ve been saying, but that middle content area that most business owners don’t pay attention to. Just explain to me what that means.
Russ: Actually, the concept of it started at Sales Force where I realize how Sales Force does things, they don’t worry about generating website traffic; they just go out and buy it. They don’t worry about getting eyeballs on an offer; they just go out and force eyeballs on an offer by cutting a check.
Will: Which is something a big company can get away with.
Russ: Of course but then, when I got to Digital Marketer it drove the nail in even further to me that there is no such thing as a website traffic problem. There is plenty of traffic out there, there’s ridiculous amounts of traffic. Just to name the obvious there’s Google, who would love to send you traffic through Ad words, there is Facebook that would love to send you traffic through Facebook ads, there’s Linked in ads, Twitter ads, there’s very, very good SEO people like yourself that want to send people more traffic. But it costs money, like
[12:45], you’re either going to spend your time doing it or you’re going to pay a guy like Will to do it for you.
Russ: The thing is that free traffic sucks. If you sit around and think about, how am I going to get some more free traffic today? That’s the wrong answer or the wrong question. The right question is, how am I going to create an offer that makes it so it makes sense for me to just buy the traffic and get it in front of people so that I can make some money? So what we do all day long over at Digital Marketer, what they did at Sales Force, what Neil is doing over at [13:24] is we create great stuff whether it’s an offer or whether it’s a piece of TOFU content or MOFU content or whatever and we put it in front of the right people and we force it there, by paying for it and that drives quick results. You could take $50 right now and put up a page that has an offer on it. Let’s just say it’s a $100 consultation, you take $50, go into Facebook and then 30 minutes from now, you could have traffic on that page. You could go on to your real time analytics in Google, and watch traffic start coming in to that page and we can talk more about this if you want but, Facebook traffic right now, since they’ve gone public, has really handed the reigns over to marketers.
If you use Facebook we know everything that you’re doing unless you’ve opted out, of course and this is not a discussion about whether or not that’s right or wrong or the security. Forget about that. What I’m telling you is that as a marketer you can go in and target people at a ridiculously laser focused level these days.
Will: So they once partnered up with a couple of dinosauruses that let you target some pretty specific things beyond the demographics of male or female and income [15:00].
Russ: Oh my God! It is ridiculously crazy and then there are other things like creating custom audiences out of email lists and creating custom audiences out of people that have visited your website. And we can talk more tactically about things, if you want or we can stay a little bit more philosophical or a little bit more eye level, it doesn’t matter to me but my point when I say we don’t have a traffic problem is that you can put traffic on that offer, you can put traffic on a page; hire an SEO guy, pay for ads, get out there and get the traffic by paying for it because what you need to be doing is creating offers and selling things. What Digital Marketer is, is it’s a testing company; I don’t think Ryan Deiss would like that characterization maybe, but that’s the way I think about it, is that we do a lot of lab testing and we roll it out to the various divisions of our company which is every and all kinds of different spaces selling all kinds of different things. It all hinges on creating offers that allow you to make enough money that you can buy the traffic that you need.
Will: So since we’re focusing on small business owners and you mentioned talking $50 and doing some ads but obviously there’s a little work in getting those ads set up correctly so that you’re showing it to the right demographics. But they can watch that traffic come in live and once somebody is on the landing page. Let’s talk a little bit about some of the testing that Digital Marketer does. I know you don’t just put up a page, throw a bunch of money at driving traffic to it and just say, ‘well, that didn’t work.’ What do you do beyond that?
Russ: Let’s think of an example company so, if there’s anything that you want me to talk specifically about because it’s always better to talk specifics.
Will: So let’s talk about a business that sells a product, we’ll just call them Blue Widgets but everybody that’s watching can kind of plug their product in.
Russ: Well I’ve been learning some pretty crazy stuff about Amazon lately, from a guy named Ezra Firestone who did a course with us, that I can get into too but, let’s talk about what you would do with that $50. Depending on what you’re doing; you’re selling Blue Widgets, you’re selling services, you’re selling information, no matter what you’re doing. What I don’t recommend you do—like earlier I talked about let’s say you have a $99 consultation—I would not drive cold traffic to a $99 offer. What I mean by that is, if you’ve got a $99 offer or $100 offer or $300 offer or $500 offer, it’s fine take that out to your list if you’ve got people that already know who you are, no matter what the size it is if it’s 100 people, it’s 50 people, it’s 300, it’s 3000, take that kind of an offer to your list. But when you’re trying to generate—when you’re using cold traffic, in other words, these people don’t know who you are, they don’t know you from Adam, the best thing to do is to drive them into something called a lead magnet.
A lead magnet is simply a specific, and I’m going to stress the word specific, chunk of value that you trade with someone in exchange for their contact information. You’ve seen them all over the place; they’re the free reports and the free mind maps and the free videos and audios, free courses, sometimes people create interactive quizzes to drive leads. But one place to start is, you start with $50 and a lead magnet, you’ll be in pretty good shape; you spend your $50 and you can say, ‘Okay, I spent $50 on Facebook ads and I was driving clicks for $.50 a piece and I got 20 new leads.’ Well you can pretty easily throw that on a spreadsheet and figure out what your cost per acquisition is, which is how much is a lead costing me and your cost per acquisition is going to go down based on two things. One would be, how good is your offer and two is, how targeted was your traffic. If you can learn to master those two things, how do I create something that somebody wants and give it away to them for free in exchange for their contact information?
Now let’s go back to this idea of specificity because specificity is so important. What we see in our testing, across all verticals and everywhere is a couple things. One is you want the lead magnet to basically solve one big problem and be consumable within 5-10 minutes. What we’ve tried is here, let me drive cold traffic onto a page and say, ‘get your free 14 day course on SEO.’ Or let’s just say that you’re selling widgets and that widget is playground equipment, you use a piece of information—you use something very specific not like, read this eBook and create a safe environment for your kids to play that’s 80 pages long. That’s not going to convert very well because although you might get a lot of takers the first thing they’re going to do is, ‘okay, now I’ve got to read this big, old book.’ Most people are not going to consume that. My hard drive is littered with eBooks I’ve never read, especially when they’re free. So instead, you want to look at the one big problem that you can solve and pull just that piece out and that is enough to get a lead. So in this situation it might be, what’s the one—sorry my screen went a little bit wonky on me there, did you lose me?
Will: Oh I can see you.
Russ: What’s the one big thing that I could tell somebody about playground equipment or about SEO or about productivity if I’m a productivity coach, or whatever it is, what’s the on big thing I can pull out of there? Where we saw this first was, there was a guy named Eben Pagan, he put out a course called, “Double Your Dating.”
Russ: And Double Your Dating hit millions of dollars of sales. It’s a course on how to meet women, basically and Eben put out this lead magnet called, The Kiss Test. The Kiss Test, all it is is, it’s two paragraphs and it’s two paragraphs that tell you how to know when a girl is ready to be kissed, when a woman wants to be kissed and when she doesn’t, which may be more important to some people.
Russ: And this thing converted like Gang Busters and the thing is, it was the one thing. He could have put out and in fact tested putting out an entire module of the course as a free give away. We see this all the time, people give away free chapters to their book or they give away a 30 day course that’s going to be delivered over 30 days or whatever it is and the thing is they don’t want all of that. It’s can you tell them, specifically, one thing that’s going to get them closer to what they want—to whatever problem it is that they’re trying to solve.
Russ: If you could do that, it’ll convert much better than trying to convince them that you’re going to get all of this stuff for free, let me give you all of this stuff for free, no, just tell me the one thing. So the playground equipment, here is the one most dangerous thing hiding in your playground that can harm your children. Maybe it’s something with the swing or I don’t know because I’m not in that space but you get what I’m saying. What is the one thing? So specifics are really important and when we test big deliverables versus various small, specific, consumable deliverables, they do much better.
Will: So the reason that you’re doing something around this one small thing is to get an email address or some sort of contact information but typically an email address.
Russ: A Webinar sign up maybe.
Will: Yeah, so now you have somebody who has raised their hand and said, ‘I’m somewhat interested in what you’re talking about, or whatever it is that you’re selling or promoting.’ So once you have them in that, I guess you would call it a funnel, once you have them in there then you can start delivering content and start selling in maybe a nonthreatening kind of way. Is that how Digital Marketer handles things?
Russ: Well I mean certainly. Once someone even visits your page today you can begin marketing to them, even if they do not give you their contact information. Another thing a lot of people are not taking advantage of is things like re – targeting and re – marketing. Right now what we are doing in every market is why drive traffic out of Facebook or LinkedIn or Twitter or through email by buying into people’s email lists and things like that. You get the traffic onto the page and we drop a cookie on there on their machine on the browser. Once that cookie is there they are going to start seeing advertisements and they are going to start getting re – marketed. If they take the lead magnet and opt in then we have their email address as well and yes we start the content marketing process, a lot of ‘tofu’ content, sprinkled in with some middle of funnel and bottom of funnel (27:03) stuff as well.
If we start to see people that we can segment up and are moving deeper into the sell cycle. A lot of times this ‘mofu’ ‘bofu’ content is just something that you would literally email to someone you met at a conference. And they are like “You know what? I am pretty interested in that”. It is like, “Well let me get your card. I will send you a case study or a customer success story or something like that”. I mean, once you harvest your email address they are going to start receiving follow up from whatever the offers about; content that is around that and in the awareness and interest stage there is going to be stuff that we will also have for the evaluation purchase stages.
Will: Most of that content that you create, or that you deliver in those stages is one hundred percent helpful and not ‘salesy’ I guess is the easy way to say it. It is more just kind of establishing you guys as the expert and whatever that industry is.
Russ: A lot of it is but we also mix in a lot of direct offers. It is like “Boom! Here is something we want you to buy. Go buy this”. Or it is “Click on this, the link, and go over to the sales page and read the argument that we make that you should buy this”. If you are not mixing in content, that I would call top of funnel, you are going to burn those people out immediately. That is why it pays to have whoever is in charge of creating content, handling organic social media, things like that, being someone who generally cares about the community and takes care of that community so that it does not just turn into a big ‘pitch fest’. “Oh I got (29:06), now I am just going to keep pounding you with offers until you unsubscribe or die”. What it needs to be is this person came in and that is why content is so important at the top of the funnel to create interesting, entertaining, valuables information that someone is going to receive because you do need to be mixing in offers. You are in business to make offers, we cannot pretend we are not.
Will Hanke: So you guys deliver content, like you said. You guys do multiple versions of content, so not everything is “Here is a blog that we need you to go read”. I know that Ryan sometimes does videos. For a small business owner it is important to understand that you have to deliver content in the way that people want to consume it. That is something that I think a lot of business owners miss. Let me ask you this though, what is one thing, and you may have just answered this question, that you guys see that business owners are doing wrong?
Russ: I mean, a lot of them are not making offers. The thing is that, five years ago I was in the same boat. I have worked as a marketer that is afraid to ask for an order for a long time and you cannot be that way, you have to make offers. What you need to start with is your product. Do you have a good solid product? I was talking to a guy the other day and he was just miserable, a friend of mine from high school. I asked “So how is your job going”? He responded “I hate it”. So I asked why. He responds “Cause I am selling something that sucks”.
Will Hanke: Oh no!
Russ: You know, we have all probably been at various forms of that where it is like what I am trying to get you to buy is not that good. So start there. If you are able to “I have got a good product at a good price, this is a good value”. The why are you hesitating to offer that thing and hesitating to build a machine that would be as powerful and potent as it could be to get that product or service and those many people that need it in their hands?
Will Hanke: Right! >
Russ: So you there is still and probably always will be this icky feeling that people get when they hear the word selling. As long as it is done honestly, and it is done in a way to sell products that you are proud of. It took me a long time to realize Zig Ziglar’s famous saying ‘You can get wherever you want to be in your life if you help enough people get where they want to be’. For a long time I thought that was just about being, I did not think about it I guess. But I read it one other time and I started thinking, you know what he really means by that is that selling really is about getting people where they want to be. When you sell someone SCL services or you them a widget or you sell them whatever, it is because as the salesperson you need to be working them towards getting where they want to be. What problem do they want to solve? How do they want their life to improve or change? What Zig meant by that, I think, is selling is about getting people where they want to be.
To get into the more tactical side of selling, especially through words and online, as far back as like 1880 or whenever the Robert Cayer Letterbook was written. One of the main points in his Letterbook is that you cannot convince people to buy stuff, you need to figure out what they want and then enter that conversation in their mind while they are having it. It is much easier to sell somebody something when they already know that they want it. They might not know what the solution is, but they are already having the conversation in their mind about whatever it is and what you want to do, as a marketer, is find those people and then enter that conversation that is going on already. Then as Zig says ‘Get them where they want to be’. For example, I have got this thing that is going to make you feel healthier, you need to find people that do not feel healthy. Let us say they are having a skin rash issue and it is all over their face, the conversations in their mind could include them being embarrassed, they feel like it hurts their chances of maybe getting work, they do not feel attractive anymore. You need to enter that conversation with your seller and you need to have a product that can help them. Then as Zig said, ‘Get them where they want to be’.
Will Hanke: Yea. With the advent of the internet, injecting yourself into that conversation is pretty easy nowadays. I mean, people are going to Google or Yahoo and typing in ‘here is a symptom’ or ‘here is a situation’ or ‘here is a problem’, and they are looking for those results. And even on Facebook, you mentioned Facebook, people are putting their problems out there and you can market to those people and even in that kind of way.
Russ Henneberry: I want to put an advertisement on anybody that has ever clicked the ‘like button’ on a Neutrogena page or a Proactive page. And I want to market it to women and I want them to be between the ages of 25 and 34 because I want to talk to them about this particular XYZ issue, maybe it is finding a husband. So one of the conversations that might be going on in a young lady’s mind that has got skin issues on her face or whatever is she is having trouble meeting men and she is feeling like she needs to get married, of course, she is getting to that age. Have that conversation about that and you use your advertisements and your landing pages to make that argument and then run it to that specific person and watch what happens, it will work. The reason it works is because you are talking about something they are already talking about and now you are giving the solution. This is an easy example and it is true everywhere, if I am going to target a specific type of company for SCO, the weirdest things I remember from doing this in the past is that people would get so mad when their competitors would out rank them for stuff. That is a conversation going on in people’s minds. Are you furious because the jackass down the street has got a better ranking than you on your keyword? The biggest mistake I see businesses making is that they do not make offers because they feel like it is easier to do it. One of the funniest things I hear people say all the time is “We get all of our business from word of mouth market”. That is a really organic way to grow your business, and certainly a great way (nothing better than referrals), but I think a lot of people say that because they are like “We do not sell anything”. Do not be afraid to sell stuff.
Will Hanke: I get a lot of business cards from people who hand me the card and their eyes are down and they hope you do not ask them any questions. It is rather interesting.
Russ Henneberry: I mean do you want to talk about some things that are a little more tactical?
Will Hanke: Yea let us jump into a couple tactical things and not spend a terrible amount of time on it. Business owners are already blogging, so let us assume that XYZ business is already putting some blogs out there, what are some other things that they can do that are not going to blow the budget but some more specific things that they can do to drive a lot of people towards the bottom of the funnel or an actual sale
Russ Henneberry: If we want to talk completely organically, first of all create a lead magnet. Create something specific that you are like “Here take this and give me your email address”. Put it everywhere, in your side bar, put it at the end of the post, put it in the middle of the post if you want, put it on your ‘about us page’, which a surprising amount of people will opt in from.
Will Hanke: Totally agree with that one.
Russ Henneberry: Think about things like ‘hello bar’, putting it up there. I call this part of the process preparing your house for guests. So if you have got a site that is not optimized to drive leads, and you want leads, get your house in order. Call up someone who knows how to manipulate Word Press. Step 1, if you are not on Word Press, get on Word Press, or HubSpot or CMS that can handle this kind of marketing that you will be doing. Then call someone up and say “I need to get opted in here and here and here and here and here. And here is my login information for a webber or mail chimp or whatever your CRM or mail system is”, and prepare your home for traffic. Then go out there and master one form of traffic generation, one form no matter what it is. It could be SCO, it could be pay per click adverting on addwords, it could be Facebook advertisements, it could be LinkedIn advertisements.
If you are selling really high end products and services be to be you can afford to advertise on LinkedIn. LinkedIn is very expensive to advertise on, cheap to advertise on Facebook or YouTube. You could start throwing $5 a day at your content. You write a blog post, you post it on Facebook and then you hit this button that says ‘boost post’, and the button forces the content in front of more people and you are going to get more traffic to the site and then you want to start selling (42:43), like how many more opt ins I am getting? The last step is to create email follow up, build a simple little auto responder sequence like if you are using AWEBBER you can say ‘Day 0 I got someone to sign up for my email list, Day 1 I want to send them this welcome mail that tells them who I am and what I am all about. Then Day 2 I want to send them this next step thing. So here is the next step. It is like ‘Here is my best content, here is a link to a free resource on this. Then Day 3, send them an offer! What we do, and what we see working, and teach at Digital Marketer is send them a low dollar offer that is incredibly difficult to resist.
Normally when you make it incredibly difficult to resist you sell it at costs. If it is a product and it cost you $10 to acquire that product, sell it for $10. If it is a service, like let us say it is an audit of your carpet, your carpet cleaner, your grass, you gutters (landscaping company), your roof (roofing company, your website (website designer), your email program (productivity person). Before you audit, go out there and find out what audits like that cost and market it down so low that when your competitor looks at it he is like “There is no way he could be making money from that. He cannot be making money selling that for $10 or $5 or $20”. What you have to realize is, companies that succeed do this all the time. They sell things on the front end at costs or even at a loss in order to acquire customers because there is nothing more powerful than a buyer’s list. If you have two email lists, one is a buyer’s list and the other is a list of opt ins, people that took your free stuff, there is not even a close how much more that buyer’s list is worth than the lead list.
Your goal with that front end offer is to convert as many leads into customers as possible. We call it a trip wire offer, and we generally make that offer right after they opt in for a lead magnet. Let us give an example, in the survival and preparedness space we have a site called ‘survival life’ and here we drive traffic either into a lead magnet or straight into a trip wire. The trip wire is a physical product, in this case a little survival flashlight, and this LED flashlight costs us $3.95 to acquire and we sell it for $3.95 an people are like “You cannot sell it for $3.95. You have to sell it for $12.95”. I am like “No we are going to sell it for $3.95 and we are going to get tonnes of conversions because anyone that knows this is the same flashlight you go to Amazon and buy for $12.95, we are going to sell it to you for $3.95, we are actually going to take a loss, we are going a ‘buck’ on this or two. If they order two, we actually do not lose as much money. If they order one, we actually lose like a buck or two on it.
The reason that we do it is because we want to acquire as many buyers as possible because those buyers are worth something. Once they have bought, we know the lifetime value, or even the immediate value of that new customer is worth losing the buck because we are going to make them more offers later on down the line. We are going to send them content and they are going to become part of our community. That is another reason why your lead magnet needs to be consumable. I download a lead magnet that is a forty – five page book and then you ask me to buy a $3.95 flashlight, and it is like “Wait a minute here man, I am reading a book. Let me read this book first”. You want the lead magnet to be the least amount of a speed bump. You give them something very specific that they want for their email address or their phone number and whatever else you want ask for as little as possible. If you do not need the phone number do not ask for it because you are going to kill your conversion rate when you ask for it. But if you need it, ask for it and give them something very specific and very valuable in exchange for their contact information. Then make them a low dollar offer and try to convert as many of those new leads into sales as possible.
Will Hanke: Very good. Well I appreciate you hanging out with us today. Tell me real quick about Digital Marketer and I know you guys do a lot of tutorials, and behind the scenes explaining all that stuff in a lot of detail, so tell me about that.
Russ Henneberry: Digital Marketer is actually a part of a larger company called Idea Incubator that has holdings in a lot of different verticals and spaces and we over at Digital Marketer are doing a lot of testing on different strategies and then we sell that information. We also sell courses. There is also a tonne of stuff on the Digital Marketer blog. Go to digitalmarketer.com and there are three big buttons at the top, one says ‘drive more traffic’, the other says ‘boost conversions’ and the last one says ‘increase engagement’. If you click on those you will see our best content under those circles in those spaces. For example, you click ‘boost conversion’ you are going to see our best information on conversions. All of the content under those circles is evergreen meaning it does not get old very fast. There is a lot of timely information that is not under those tabs that is just on the regular old blog.
Will Hanke: I am looking at the boost conversions and one of the things I see is nine lead magnet examples and one that generated 28,000 subscribers in forty – five days. There really good stuff there and I am always hanging out there.
Russ Henneberry: We have this lead magnet that did 28,000 leads in a month and a half. That lead magnet is in that article.
Will Hanke: That is awesome!
Russ Henneberry: Yea. We wrote it up on (51:17). That is because we spent thousands and thousands and thousands of dollars on traffic cause we know that on the back end of that we make it all back and then some profit. The big thing is really understanding that once you have something in place then would you not be crazy to run as much qualified and targeted traffic to that offer as possible because you know it works.
Will Hanke: If you have a machine that every time you put $1 in, $1.50 comes out, ramp it up right?
Russ Henneberry: It starts with the lead magnet and the trip wire where you are saying “Let me just give you this, give me your contact information and then let me basically just give you this. But I do want you to put some money”. Take a look at what Amazon is doing with the Kindle. You think ‘why is that thing so cheap’? It is cheap because it is a trip wire. They are going to sell you a lot of stuff on the back end once you have their equipment (acquiring a customer). Why would AT&T give me a phone for $1? That is crazy, this phone sells for $200. They do it because now they have you in a continuity program for the rest of your life. I was watching television the other day and TMobile was like “We will you out of your contract”. And you think ‘why would they buy me out of my contract”? Because they know that it works on the back end, to lose that money works. As they work it through the system, a lifetime value works. One more thing, lifetime value is also a mistake. Unless you get a big pot of cash that you can just light on fire and hope that the money comes back in the next twelve years. That is what investor back businesses do, they will go and get ten million in funding and burn burn burn burn and go negative and go negative and go negative and then hopefully the idea is that they are going to come out of it on the front end. The investors are going to make their money back, the owners make their money back, and everyone that has equities is going to make their money back.
If you are not an investor for that business or you are not bank rolling some out of your own, you need to be looking at the immediate value of your customer. So lifetime value has got its place but you need to be looking ‘Okay so if I get this customer they will probably they will probably buy from me. Let us say Real Estate agent, and you are selling mattresses. How often is someone going to buy a mattress? Every six to eight years maybe. You need to know that your funnel works right now, the immediate value of the customer. Even on things that are relatively fast to repurchase you want to know that your funnel works and that you are not waiting years and years to get your money back. The good news is that the immediate customer value is easier to calculate than lifetime customer value. Especially for small business owner is it as if you do not even know what lifetime customer value means but you know what immediate customer value is. If you out it on a spreadsheet and start running things this way you know what it means when someone opts in and you get a lead magnet. You know what it means to your business when someone buys a trip wire because you know what they do on the back end.
Will Hanke: Well man I appreciate you coming to hanging out today and I am going to put a bunch of all this stuff in the show notes after we are done here and I really appreciate your time here today, Russ.
Will Hanke owns Saint Louis' top independent Internet Marketing firm, Red Canoe Media. In addition to helping some of St Louis' most recognizable brands with their online marketing strategy, Will also is an Amazon bestselling author, speaker and teacher.