Chris was recently named the Infusionsoft Online Marketer of the Year, and in this episode he walks us through the exact tactics that got him this award. Hint: if you like marketing automation you’re going to love this episode.
→ The tactics that he got awarded as an Ultimate Marketer by Infusionsoft
→ What is Infusionsoft
→ Why is automation is important
→ His thoughts on TechCrunch and Dropbox
→ How he implemented things to imitate some of these companies
→ His thoughts in GoDaddy do with their shopping carts that he wants to imitate
→ His thoughts in Amazon do that he wants to imitate
→ And a whole lot more
Bronson: Welcome to another episode of Growth Hacker TV. I’m Bronson Taylor and today I have Chris Bousman with us. Chris, thanks for coming on the program.
Chris: Thanks, man. I appreciate that. You know, I’ve been I’ve been a fan from the sidelines seeing growth hacker TV and we were talking before. I think you’re always trying to get me to buy the dang thing, so.
Bronson: I am always trying to buy it.
Chris: You have all these strategies going, so my gosh, like they’re doing some really cool stuff. So I’m glad to. I’m glad to be a part of it.
Bronson: That’s awesome. That’s how you make money. You get people to buy stuff. I haven’t figured that out yet.
Chris: Yeah, it’s all about marketing. Then you got to figure anyhow. I mean, we can hop into it, so.
Bronson: Yeah, absolutely. You know a lot about marketing and we’ll get to that. You’re the CEO and co-founder of Optimize and Call Loop. And you know, speaking of marketing, you were recently named the ultimate marketer of the year by Infusionsoft, which is pretty awesome. And we’ll talk in a minute about why you got that title and what you actually did. But first, tell us a little bit about your company or a company’s automations and call loop and then we’ll dig in the more details after that.
Chris: Yeah, absolutely. You know, the Infusionsoft thing actually won for the online sales category, so I wish I won like the ultimate, ultimate marketer, but for strictly for online sales, I won the ultimate market, which.
Bronson: Well, that’s what we do. So that’s okay, right?
Chris: Yeah, we do online sales, right. So, so we figured that stuff out. But yeah, I mean, call loop is basically it’s like MailChimp for text messaging and voice messaging. So if you think of MailChimp does email, well, we do kind of the mobile side, right, text, voice and that type stuff. So yeah. And then Atomized is really kind of like a 37 signals approach and we want to kind of create this umbrella company for marketing automation software for small businesses. So we created Auto Tell a seminar which essentially automates like conference calls. So we look at things as like traffic and conversion. Mm hmm. And what are your conversion tools? Well, you have webinars, you have seminars, you have video, you have sales letters. You’ve all these different things. And, you know, I always look at it like, well, how can we automate that? So we don’t have to actually show up and do it, you know, just a system that can sell for you and that’s where you kind of optimize as a whole was born and call it this kind of like an optimization tool from a marketing standpoint, right? Using voice, text, email with a Weber or Infusionsoft. And you know, the goal I guess with creating all that is creating an automated multi-channel like marketing or communication system. So, you know, I think today people are everywhere and they’re distracted and they’re not checking their email or, you know, maybe you’re not doing any direct mail. And so the goal is to kind of have multiple touchpoints with people voice, text, email, direct mail, phone calls, postcards, I mean, you know, try and automate everything. So yeah.
Bronson: You’ve used the word automation probably five times already, so I know that has to be near and dear to you. Why is automation so important? Why is manual broken?
Chris: Yeah, you know, I think, you know, today there’s anyone can start a company and the hardest part is to find other people that you can hire or pay money for to do the work. And people aren’t cheap, you know, especially good people. And so as a solo business owner and I was a solo business owner, I mean, we have, you know, five people now, but, you know, starting out, you’re doing everything, you’re doing all these things, you’re trying to figure all this stuff out. And so you can only do so much. And the goal is to kind of create your prototype or create your product and then figure out like ways to optimize that or create systems. Whether you come up with a manual process, systemize that process, automate it, and then you can then optimize that and you know, kind of optimize, I guess, where that monster came from or it’s, you know, systemize, automate and then optimize and it’s just this process. And so essentially where I think automation comes from is you have to have automated tools that can replace you. And if you’re not automating things, then you’re not doing it. You’re not doing it well enough and things are dropping and falling and you’re not reaching people or communicating or, you know, it’s all about, you know, having that multi-touch and you can look like $1,000,000,000 company by automating stuff. Yeah. And so I think it’s, it’s such a huge thing to, to add into your business or, you know, professional, you know, if you’re a doctor or anything, it’s all about automating just certain systems in your business. So yeah, kind of broad.
Bronson: But no, that’s great. I mean, humans are really good at being humans, but they’re really bad at being machines. You know, it’s hard to keep all the plates in the air, all the balls roll and all the things going on, and something’s gonna slip through the cracks. You can’t keep up with every channel. You just can’t do it all. But systems, they work while you’re sleeping, their work while you’re distracted, they work while you’re on vacation. They just keep working because they’re not humans. And so hiring employees, it’s expensive systems is the way to go. And I totally agree with that. Now, you put together a slide deck that kind of walks through some of these systems, some of these automated procedures that you have in place. But first, let’s talk about Infusionsoft. Because that’s kind of the platform you use to do these things at a really high level. For the ones that don’t know. What is Infusionsoft?
Chris: Yeah. So Fusion is your all in one platform to run your business. So just to give you an example, before we, you know, we still use these companies, but we were using a Weber for email, we were using has offers for our affiliate program. We were using one shopping cart for payment processing. We were using, you know, all these just fragmented systems that did not talk to each other. And so it’s like, oh, you know, we use Braintree for transactions right there in there, but they don’t tell us anything who this customer is, what e-mails we send to them. And so it’s kind of like, wow, we’re running this business, but we know nothing about these people. And, you know, how do you tag an affiliate with this person? And that it’s just so it came to a point. We kind of prototype the call loop using all these fragmented systems just to get something going. And then we made the decision, I guess, two years ago to invest in putting it on one platform so we can manage the business effectively and scale it. Because this isn’t you just can’t scale and you know, you’re missing. So many people are falling through the cracks, cracks in so many different ways. And so in fusion is basically we run our entire business off of infusion. We do email marketing with them. We have automated funnels and automated campaigns from Fusion. We do our affiliate marketing through them. We automate our text messaging, our voice messaging, our direct mail, customer service, our payments, everything through Infusionsoft. So rather than teaching our team how to use how’s offers and then creating videos and teaching them how to use it and creating how to use a Weber and how to use this use that. It’s just here’s Infusionsoft, it’s one system and you can manage everything your entire business off of it.
Bronson: So is it fair to kind of compare it to like a HubSpot style company where HubSpot brings together all the inbound tools in a one place infusions, kind of bringing together a lot of other tools into one place that are super helpful for companies.
Chris: Yeah, I mean, HubSpot focuses on the beginning part of.
Bronson: Inbound, the top of the inbound, and.
Chris: That’s great. But what about transactions and payments and the back end of it, right? Where do they go? And so I think HubSpot does a great job on the inbound side, but where’s the back end?
Bronson: Yeah, and that’s why I wanted to see the difference and kind of how you see it, to make it clear to audience, like what these companies actually do and what their, you know, difference are now in the slide deck here. You say that you wanted to be like six different companies. You said you wanted to be like Amazon. You want to be like Apple. You want to be like Zappos, Zynga, Dropbox and GoDaddy. Yeah, me too. So let’s get to the details of how you actually implemented things to imitate some of these companies. The first one on the slide deck here is you say you want to be like Dropbox. What did Dropbox do and how did you imitate them?
Chris: Yes, I remember I read a lot of TechCrunch, you know, being in the marketing world or in the marketing world, you know, I think taking a different approach and looking at the successful companies and growth hackers, you know, how are they growing these businesses starting at 23 and competing with these giants? And so, you know, you have to to analyze and look at that. And so what really caught my eye was when Dropbox, like first launched and I was barely in the tech scene, but really learning about it. And I remember hearing Joe Houston or Sean Ellis. I think that’s the guy’s name. Yeah. And he talks about how Dropbox tried everything, right. They did pay per click, they did SEO, they tried, you know, everything. And they realized that their acquisition costs, the customer acquisition cost is like 400 bucks. Wow. And it was I don’t know the exact number, but it was expensive. When you’re charged at ten bucks a month, you don’t have a business.
Chris: Who’s going to go? Yeah, you can’t.
Bronson: Like a lot of time value is not that problem, right?
Chris: Exactly. And so, you know, they were hitting these brick walls and they couldn’t compete with the larger companies that had huge budgets for marketing, just that could spend $10 a click or five bucks a click. Yeah. So they were like, we don’t do something different. And so I remember reading on TechCrunch where Dropbox was growing like 25% month over month, which is huge. I mean, that’s that’s massive growth. And, you know, they can relate it to one thing and that’s their refer friend program. And so I was like, gosh, maybe two years ago, we tried to create a little system like that and we called it our Dropbox referral system and where we could turn each user into a viral channel, into a traffic channel. And so, you know, we had to develop that and spend money on development and we never actually got the code working. And so it was like, gosh, you know, I want to add that to call loop, how can we do it? And so again, we were using all these systems. We had to develop it and spend money and time and resources and person to build it out. And we just didn’t have it. So looking at Infusionsoft, it allowed us to literally within like hours create a campaign to where we can turn each user into a viral traffic driver. So everyone get. Their own unique link. Once they drive a sign up, we can then tag them once they activate their account and we can issue credits to them. And there’s little developed, you know, coding on the back end specific to our platform. But taking that same approach and we look at like hipster or hipster launched and they got 10,000 sign ups in like the second day. And I was like, Oh my God. Like, Yeah, that’s so easy. But people just don’t, don’t apply, especially in the marketing world. You know, some people don’t really see that or do that or apply it. And so, yeah, it was just a matter of like we wanted to duplicate that and duplicate the success because if they could do it that way.
Bronson: So yeah. So let me ask you about the success of it. How has it actually worked out? You know, how has it work? I mean, are people referring brands getting credits? Is it, you know, overall a net positive thing?
Chris: Yeah, you know, we’ve we’ve gone through some iterations of it. So initially when we kind of like launched it out there, if you will, it was a part of our signup process. So you’d sign up and then we’d ask, Hey, share with a friend. And so they’d get their own unique link and then share. But after testing that, we found that they didn’t want to share it because they don’t even know what the product looks like.
Bronson: They signed up.
Chris: Right? They just signed up. So we took it out of that process. And now we’ve kind of we’re testing kind of different iterations of it. We’ve been testing a lot of stuff. Mm hmm. And so we’ve been saying it all depends on, like, the warmness of the traffic. Right. And the influence of the user. And so we’ve been saying, I wish I had some hardcore numbers for you, but, you know, we’ve been seeing the majority of traffic come from Facebook, Twitter. Don’t get it. We don’t get a lot of clicks. We don’t get a lot of necessary traffic from it. But it’s a great source. LinkedIn, we’re just about to introduce that as another kind of channel to for people to easily post out. But, you know, it’s it’s been I wish I had like a hardcore number for you, but, you know, we’ve definitely seen an increase in in traffic and then conversions from it. So yeah, that’s good.
Bronson: That’s awesome. And then it only takes a little bit of time to implement it. Any increase, it’s an increase. Yeah. And so, you know, you keep doing these things and then they all add up together to something really meaningful. The second company you mentioned you want to be like was GoDaddy. What does GoDaddy do with their shopping carts that you really want to imitate there?
Chris: Yeah, like like elephant killing or anything like that.
Bronson: Yeah, exactly. Yeah. Don’t even take them in stride.
Chris: The Internet, you know, things like that. You don’t do that. But yeah. So GoDaddy, like we all know, they have like a wicked upsell process, right? And like Vistaprint, like I ordered labels the other day, like, yeah, they just drive you through this, like, funnel to, like, get upsells and one click things. Like, we got to figure that too without being annoying. So anyhow, you know, like, I’ve been a good data user forever. All my domain names are over there. And you know what’s interesting is I’ll come up with an idea. I need that domain name and I’ll put in the cart and I will buy it, but I’ll get an email from Godin. Hey, you know, add this to you already get 30% off. Now you have 24 hours to get it and I get coupons from them all the time I ever bought a domain name from them, you know, at full retail price unless they had to. Right. Unless they auto renewing it like. Hey. So anyhow, I got like a cart abandonment and they just did it so well. And I was like, gosh, you know, we need to do that. And I remember doing some research and I love the blog Excel Conversion. I think Conversion Excel. Yep. And he has a really good blog post on cart abandonment and stats and that type of stuff. And so I was like, Well, that’s a system we need to optimize for. But more importantly is we’re testing this as well as should we send them to a two step checkout or should we send them to a one step checkout? And there’s pros and cons to both. So on your pricing page, in fact, if you go to college now, you may get a split test. But on one example, we sent it to a one page checkout so you can sign up for your 12 to 1 page checkout. The problem with the one page checkout is we don’t collect your information. So you go to the page and you fill it out a little bit and then you bounce. Why can’t create a campaign that follows up with you to react? I can’t create a GoDaddy campaign. Maybe we can. You know, maybe if you don’t submit it, we can after it and do it like an office or something like that.
Bronson: Hitting next week or the next page date is not being stored in the database for you to follow up.
Chris: Exactly. Yeah. So and maybe we could create something like that. I’ve seen it done. But if you don’t buy, we don’t know who you are. Okay. And so but there’s pros to it. It’s easier, it’s faster, it’s more seamless, you know. And on the other side, a two step checkout, which is step one, which is we collect your first name, last name, email, and we basically call that create your account. Mm hmm. And so you can create your account. You put your your your password. Right. So you’ve kind of had a little mini success. Well, now what we do is you go right into Infusionsoft and we put you into a heart of. Campaign. So 20 minutes goes by if you have not followed on step two, which is basically billing information card, that type step, we create an opportunity which is basically we give it to our sales guy and he can then give you a call. Hey, I noticed you went through the card, but you didn’t follow through. Do you have any questions or how can I help you? And we also send him an email, which is a very personal email. Hey, it’s Chris. I know it’s coming through, but had some problems over. We sent my email and then if they don’t follow through with that, we just continue this campaign and we then give them a coupon. Hey, you know, 24 hours left, right, and your $10 off or whatever it is. Right. So it’s been we’ve been able to recoup those customers. And the last time I checked or on the on that sheet that you have, we are able to get 73% of people to follow through with the order right on a two step checkout. Plus, it gives us a greater opportunity to call them on the phone because now we have that contact data. And so what we’re finding, we’re doing the split test. Now the one step checkout is the two step works. It works better in some cases, you know, in other cases, if you just need to get the order. Now, it’s not what I’ve been to a two step, so it really comes down to split testing your process and that’s what we found. We’re call loop.
Bronson: Yeah. And you have this great slide about cart abandonment and your slide deck here and it says it’s 67% of shopping carts are abandoned right before the transaction is completed. That’s a scary number. And you actually call this slide the scary truth. I mean, 67%. So when you start alleviating that pain, that’s that’s a big deal. And then you have this thing, it’s called the seven Elements that impact the visitor during the checkout process. And I want to read through these because it’s really good. The seven things that impact on one is fears, uncertainty and doubts. So if they have fears, uncertainty and doubts, they’re going to be more likely to abandon incentives. Are you incentivizing them to keep going? What are the incentives in play? Trust indicators, you know, do you have the money back guarantee? Do you have the CEO goes, Yeah, do you do they trust you, period, because they know you, you know, social proof, who else is using you, that kind of stuff. Visitor persona, who are they? You know, and do they fit the personas, the buying stage there at depending on where they’re at, you know, depend on, you know, how much they abandon complexity of purchase. Obviously, if it’s a very complex purchase, might take a little longer, might, you know, return a few more times and then engagements the last one. So I just want to read those because it’s good to keep those in mind what’s going through people’s minds, maybe even at a subconscious level when they approach a cart. It’s not an easy decision. There’s a little bit of tension there, which is why 67% are abandoned. So if you can alleviate those tensions, get back in the loop, talk to him on the phone, email and whatever. That’s a really big deal. So yeah.
Chris: Yeah. And just real quick on that. I mean, you know, in our check out pages, we have our Geode Trust logo for SSL certificate. We have a better business bureau, which we paid 500 bucks or 40 bucks just to get that because, you know, people believe in early and they feel more, you know, they trust it. Right. So, you know, adding these certain logos in there and, you know, that type stuff, it really goes a long way. Even adding a phone number for people to kind of place order, we don’t do a clue, but I would see probably a bump in orders that that would happen.
Bronson: You can’t have too much social proof. That’s what I tell people. You don’t have too many. Hey, but look what other people are doing. Look who else? Trust us. Look how legit we are. Those things just put them everywhere.
Chris: Yeah, exactly.
Bronson: And the next company you said you want to be like was Amazon. So what does Amazon do that you want to imitate?
Chris: Yeah, it wasn’t one click up salesman, they’re one click orders, right? They actually have a patent on it. And I remember when I was doing research for that slide was I wonder how much that’s actually worth to them, right? So and it’s in the slide there, but it’s for the ends of dollars, right? Amazon, how much billions of dollars they generate. But chances are they just got five or 10% off one click purchases. That is billions of dollars to them. If they did not have it, they would be losing billions of dollars. And so, you know, when you make the process easier and you see it a lot more with apps these days, and I remember like going on Groupon, LivingSocial and they already have your card on file one click boom. And so we wanted to do that. You know, this is pre stripe and pre, you know, all these other other cards. And we wanted to do with Braintree, which we did, but again, it was in Braintree 16. So yeah, yeah, it was a silo. So with Infusionsoft we’re able to do that. And so when people put their card on file and they want to order a keyword, they can with one click make a purchase and that’s great, right? They can add another card, they can we want to make the process easy for them, but also easy for them to give us money. Right, to buy our products and services, you know, the less friction, the better. And so the other part of that is we have little bumps in the order. And one of the bumps we have is we sell keywords for ten bucks a month. Getting ten bucks a month is great, but I’d rather get $97 today. All right. So we have on the bump is hey, you know get the annual subscription or get the by the 12 month program for $8.08 a month, which breaks down to seven bucks. Right. Five, four, nine, $7. And what we find is we get 60% of people to take that. So rather than waiting for maybe nine or ten months for people to retain that keyword and knowing that the retention for five months, rather getting $40 over four months, let’s get 97, the $100 today rather than waiting nine months to get it or ten months to get it. So that has been huge for us and it’s just one little tick in. Anybody can either, you know, and it’s just finding these like points of opportunity, these like optimization points for increasing the value of a transaction.
Bronson: Right. Of the things we’ve talked about today, is this one of the bigger ones in terms of how it’s impacted your company?
Chris: Yeah, absolutely. I think, you know, there’s, you know, webinars. We’ll get to that in a minute. But, you know, it’s again, upsell is the easiest thing that anybody can do. And, you know, we’re like kind of in our optimization phase for figuring out like better ways to do call loop. And it’s not perfect. But, you know, like one part is, hey, after you buy keyword, well, boom, why not offer them a discount on purchasing credits? All right. They’ve already said yes to a keyword, but guess what? You need credits to buy it, to really use the keyword. And more importantly, hey, here’s a one time offer that you can purchase keywords at a ten or 20% discount. Right? So upsells is just it’s found money. And when you when you put people through a funnel, you know, it’s about optimizing space, but optimizing like the value. So on our one step checkout, we have that little bump, which is very easy. It’s just a value driven one. Hey, if you want to get the year, click here so we can take that order from let’s say they sign up for $29 a month if they get the year, boom. Now we got $300, right? And then we can then provide a one time offer on the next page. Right, without being annoying. Like, there’s a very elegant way to do this.
Bronson: Yeah. And then the slides, it doesn’t look annoying at all. It looks like it’s a part of a normal legit checkout flow.
Chris: Right? Right. You know, it’s not like your traditional, you know, multiple exit pops and all that annoying stuff. I mean, it can be a very beautiful, easy process and maybe on the next page and you can provide a one time offer which could be, you know, maybe a training or something like that. And, you know, it’s funny, I see your Patel do this with crazy egg. And and, you know, I remember meeting that at a blogging conference a couple of years ago and talking about like just, you know, different things that he was new to, like upsells and that type stuff. But anyhow, it’s interesting seeing just crazy do it, you know, because they’ve kind of optimized that with conversion rate optimization and all sorts of stuff. So I mean, it’s the easiest thing to do and I think anybody and everybody can do it, you know, bumps in upsells. Yeah it’s just it’s found money the free.
Bronson: Yeah. Found money. That’s what I say. That’s a phrase you use that really describes what’s going on. Do you think there’s a psychological hang up for startups and not ask for more money? Do they feel like, Oh, we already got them on the hook for something, let’s not bother them and ask for more. The startups not necessarily understand. That’s when you can ask for more because they’re in the buying mood.
Chris: I think developers, you know, startups is traditionally like a development mindset, like, you know, startup is somewhere and developers create software, not marketers. And so, you know, it takes a different approach to think about that. And, you know, I think a lot of developers hate marketing, they hate selling, and you got to make money. And more importantly, if you can, you know, help users get the value out of your product sooner, faster and better, there’s nothing wrong with that. Right. And so it’s just, again, you can do it in a very elegant way. And like I was on Zapier and Wade’s a friend of mine, and I was going through his process where a customer of his and was like, Wow, that was just like such an easy thing. And, you know, I find myself buying the yearly and it’s like, Oh, okay, you know, so it’s just, it’s, it’s it’s easy. You don’t need to be an annoying exit pop you know more powerful were upsell you know annoyance it but you need to you need to generate money and again I’d rather get $100 today and wait ten months.
Bronson: Yeah, because it’s a month, like you said, because of churn, you may not ever see that money. Exactly. So I think it was Jason Cohen. He has an episode a few episodes back and he says one of the ways to create a moneymaking machine is to have an annual pre-sale, you know, an annual plan, because that eliminates churn. Now you have over 12 months. If your average customer lifetime is eight months, you just made four months. You know, you made two months. If you gave two months off discount for it, I mean, however you cut it, it’s better usually get the money upfront and.
Chris: It’s cash flow, you know, you cashflow cash. Yeah.
Bronson: And this is especially important if you’re not, you know, a venture backed business because if you’re bootstrapped, cash flow is huge. So if you can get some, you know, yearly presales, now you have money to play with and it really helps you because. You have money in the bank to work with. You can serve your customers better. I’ve been a part of start ups where the money wasn’t there and it actually made the customer suffer because I didn’t charge them enough. It made the customers not really get the support they needed. The features they needed. Fill in the blank. When you make money, it actually makes the whole ecosystem just have more, you know, less friction. So it’s a good thing for the customers, even if developers don’t realize it.
Chris: Yeah, I think in every business, the biggest problem is cash.
Chris: You know, you.
Bronson: Go out of business. It’s the only reason.
Chris: Yeah. Yeah. You need money to pay people. Yeah. And yeah, you know, these are ways to install that cash. And we’ve been bootstrapped. You know, we raise a small amount of money, but we didn’t go and raise a million bucks and we didn’t go the traditional Silicon Valley route, because I’ve always built bootstrap businesses and, you know, I’ve been kind of hesitant to do it. But like now it’s like, okay, let’s fuel the fire. We’ve built the business, you know, we figured it out and now let’s let’s grow it. So, yeah.
Bronson: That’s a great mindset. The next company you said you want to be like again, like all of us is Apple. So yeah, there’s Apple. Do you really want to imitate?
Chris: Yeah. So Apple does in-app purchases. Very simple, as you know, there’s on that slide there. But they are the largest credit card holder in the world. They have the most amount of credit cards of any company in the entire world. More than anyone. More than Amazon. Yeah. I mean, they have I mean, because think about it, $0.99, $0.99. You know, when you go buy an app, they’re never asking you to put your credit card. I mean, how much friction would that be?
Bronson: You can’t even get a free download without a credit card on file, which is part of their genius.
Chris: Yep. Yep. So, and anything you do with an apple, they’ve got your credit card and anything is one click away. I mean, literally, everything is just one click away.
Bronson: It doesn’t feel like buying because it’s already on file, right?
Chris: Yeah, absolutely. And you can’t even change or choose what card you want. Right. So they’ve just made it very frictionless in that ecosystem. And so it’s like, gosh, you know, like, you know, I used to have an iPhone, but I buy Apple products. I’ve got all Apple products. And whenever you want to buy anything on the iPad, you just with one click. And so I was like, Gosh, and then I did the research and found, well, you know, obviously they’re a pretty successful company and you know, they have 200 billion or 200 million credit cards on file. Well, let’s do the same thing, you know, because once we get it, well, we don’t need to ask them again. We can just with one click. And so within the app, you know, we have new products that were launched and you can buy phone numbers and you can do all these sort of things. And so, you know, everything comes with the cost. And if we already have your card on file, oh, do you want a new phone number. Click that. Would you like to buy a keyword click. Oh would you like to buy 30. You know, oh you’re trying to send a message but you don’t have enough credits. Should we add 600 credits to your account. Yes, click right. And so now you make it so easy for people to do business with you. And more importantly, it’s they want that, right? They want it to be easy. And, you know, people complain when auto charge doesn’t work. It’s like, dude, I got every time I got to go in and buy credits, you know, I just want to set it up an automated it just makes their lives easier then. And is yours as well. Yeah. So.
Bronson: You know, as I hear you talk, it just seems like, you know, when you start a company, the funnel simple. You got people on top of the funnel coming in. You try to convert on, get your credit card, and then you try to keep them happy and keep them around. What you’ve done is it’s still that funnel, but you’ve really thought about it with more depth. It’s not just that simple. There’s multiple ways to buy things. There’s multiple ways into the funnel, there’s multiple ways to make them happy. There’s multiple ways to pull them back in if they abandon. Like, it’s just more nuanced. And I think that’s really just a mark of just maturity. You’ve gotten beyond just, okay, we have a base product that works that we can sell now we’re actually making money with it. So I just love hearing your philosophy. It’s giving me ideas like right now I have no in-app purchases. That’s probably a mistake. Like, I need to be thinking about that, you know? Yeah, I don’t have the credit card on Stripe. I can easily have them hit a button and we charge it and they.
Chris: Do it best. Yeah, yeah.
Bronson: I mean, yeah. Ideas are putting some of these into play as well. So I like this conversation. Yeah. The next thing you mentioned is being like Zappos. My guess is something to do with just wowing the customers with them since that’s what they do.
Chris: Yeah. I mean, you know, again, every one of these companies does something really well and so how can you model it for your business? And so like Zappos, they are pretty damn good at customer support. You know, we could be a lot better. But one thing I wanted to do was initially when you became a customer know, especially from an Internet company, who in the whoever sends you a letter or whoever writes a handwritten note card. And I remember there’s a book written by a guy named Joe Girard.
Bronson: Yeah. The greatest salesman in the world. Right.
Chris: So I.
Bronson: Read it. It’s a great book. It does. It is the basics right there. That’s right.
Chris: Yeah. And so Joe Gerard was the greatest salesman in the world. He was a car salesman of all the people. And I’m going to read an awesome article about it. You know what a used car salesman taught me about how to love your customers, right? So which they don’t often do. But essentially, he won the Guinness Book of World Records for selling 13,001. Cards. The most of anybody ever. A year. In a year, yeah. Was it any year? Oh.
Bronson: It wasn’t. At some period that was short.
Chris: He was selling about 250 cars a month. Okay. Which is insane. Yeah, right. You know, some people can it’s up to, you know, whatever, but it’s. How so? I remember reading his book and this is when I was first learning about marketing and I’m reading his book and, and he wrote in like the seventies or eighties. It’s old, but it’s, it’s good. And one of the best concepts out of that was every month, without fail, he would send a handwritten note to every single customer, not the new customers, but every single customer. And he built a relationship with these people. Christmas time came around, you know, you got a card from Joe Girardi, you know, Halloween around. You know, you got a card like every month without fail. It’s like it’s kind of like like a limited edition kind of thing. And so I was like, awesome. And then we flew, they did this, and I was like, I remember a couple of years ago hearing about that, like, these guys are awesome. So Kevin Hale or it like I remember seeing blog posts about how, oh my gosh, the lost art of written handwritten think, you know, they have blog posts and Facebooks and tweets and also talking about this like old basic, simple strategy. I’m like, all right, we got to do that. And so I started doing it myself and handwriting in the cards and not it’s not the best use of my time. So what I did was automate it and said, What you doing? That means outsource, write, automate is outsourcing. And so I found somebody else to do it, somebody local here in my town. I live in Boynton Beach, Delray Beach, Florida, and I put a Craigslist ad out there and said, Hey, I’m looking for somebody to handwrite thank you cards to customers. We send about 10 to 30 a week, blah, blah, blah, you know, when you need your help. And for $0.25, $0.30 a card, she handwrite them and addresses the envelope. Because if you do a printed outside, you know, there’s what Gary Halbert calls your AB a B pile. You know, you search your mail over the garbage can, junk mail goes over here, your personal mail goes over here. You throw it away.
Bronson: Right at home or too, haven’t you?
Chris: Come on, man. That’s so and so. It’s like, how do you get to the front door, right? Handwritten thank you cards. No one does this, especially an Internet company. And when they are, they’re praised. And and so I thought, well, I mean, that does it. We we give her everything. I give her the note cards, I give her the stamps, I give her the return labels, and I give her an Excel sheet once a week and a batch that she sends out. And what I do is I salt the list. And what that means is I want to make sure she’s sending them out. And so every batch, I’ll put it in a frenzy, a friend’s address. So I know if he gets the letter, chances are that everybody else will get the letter, too. So rather than, you know, I’m very trusting, but at the same time, I want to make sure that every card is going out. And so for right now, we’re sending out to new customers. But my idea and I’m we’re going to do this, I think it’s really cool. But think of creating limited edition, right? So one of 12. So I remember Gary Berntsen being a copyright on if you know who he is, but he talks about the Franklin Mint and how they create these coin collections. And so the way to sell subscriptions is they’ll sell you the box of the coins with all these sunken holes where the coins go empty. No one wants to hang an empty coin thing on the wall. They want to fill it all up like them all. Yeah. And so my ideas like, oh, cool. Let’s kind of create this, like, community, create this like cool relationship, but also create like limited edition. So starting in January, we’re going to be sending one of 12, right? And in order to collect them all, you got to be a customer.
Bronson: You can’t share them, right?
Chris: So but it’s kind of fun. It’s kind of cool and it’s just a way to kind of like, you know, get past like the Internet and bring like, engagement to your customers.
Bronson: So yeah, that’s awesome to hear. I love that. Yeah. And I love that you took something that was offline and you still automated it. You found a way to be efficient. You didn’t feel the need to write letters by yourself. You found a way to to just make it efficient. And if you get enough of these systems, none of these automated things that we talked about going again, they’re working for you when you’re not working. Yeah, that’s just a great mindset to have. And then the next company here is Zynga adding some game mechanics to what you do. So talk to me about Zynga a little bit.
Chris: God, I’ve got all these like horrible companies now on their cigaret.
Chris: Because all of a sudden.
Bronson: They had enough success that their failure is noticeable. They did something right at some point.
Chris: Hey, you know, that’s the thing is they’re known for something and you know, Zynga with online games is they are like mad scientist with figuring out gamification. Right. How do you gamify your app? How do you onboard people? And you know, I think who does it best in desktop, you know, when you sign up for desktop and say, hey, you know, here’s all these ten things you got to do and there’s actually a scientific model behind this. It’s called the Z garnet effect. And essentially it’s all about open loops and close loops. Right. And so, again, it’s just sunk in. Thing, things like, you know, Oh my God, I want to fill this whole box. So it’s complete. And so with desktop com, you sign up and you see these five things that you got to do. You just feel the urge to complete it. Right. All right. Let me get my Twitter account. Let me log in this. I mean, get my five points. And so you just walk people through and you’re kind of like you’re this like marketing sleuth or like this persuasive sleuth. Right? And you’re getting people to walk down the path of getting the value out of your product. And so what we do is we send people to an onboarding thing where it’s, hey, you know, tweet about us, get 25 free credit Facebook like us, get 25 free credits so we can automate all this on the back end of Infusionsoft. If we wanted to do before, you know, take some development, that type stuff and then hey, you know, posted on LinkedIn, get 25 messages. But the interesting thing is the first one is, hey, create a password. Good job. You did it like everybody creates it gets the momentum. Right. Get some momentum. And there’s this cigar bar here where a lot of a lot of marketers here hang out. And this guy, Joe, he ran the cigar bar and he gave you a little, like, stamp cards. And, you know, it’d be like like you would have an eclipse. And it’s like, oh, man, I don’t want just one. So what he would do is, you know, you buy the cigar and he’d be like, hey, you know what? It would be buy ten cigars, get one free. So he could click, click, give you five. Mm hmm. So, like, oh, shit, I got to buy five. Thanks. Like, this is awesome.
Bronson: Right direction.
Chris: Right. So. So rather than being like, starting at one, he kind of, like, hooks the up and creates that momentum. And so that’s the same thing with like, hey, create your password. Duh, you did it and you got free credits, right? Right. And so you kind of create this momentum of they’ve already been successful and they’ve already said yes to one thing. How can you get them to say yes to the next thing? So.
Bronson: You know, what I like about all these things we’ve talked about here is that sometimes we feel like we need to be 100% original, that if it’s not original, it doesn’t matter. But you were able to say, You know what, I see what Amazon’s doing. I see what Apple is doing. I see what Zappos and Zynga and Dropbox and GoDaddy. I see what they’re doing and it’s working. So I’m not going to get caught up with the it’s not Made Here syndrome. I’m going to take what they’ve already figured out with millions of research dollars, apply it to my little business and watch it grow. Yeah, and that’s the thing is so much of marketing just, you know, rip something off, it’s working and do it with all your heart and you’ll see dividends a lot of time, right?
Chris: Yeah. Well, you know, you mentioned it earlier, but like, it’s the way I view like a business and it’s going to get so much easier because of like these platforms. But everything is going to be module based, like campaigns like boom, like plug and play. All right, you want that boom, you want this boom. And so the playing field of like being good at everything, you know, the guy next year can easily start a business about have a way better system than you because technology’s caught up and now you can just plug in these modules.
Chris: And you know, that’s the future of businesses plugging in these modules, plugging these systems, you know, and then, you know, optimizing them to get the most amount of juice out of that system, you know?
Bronson: Well, don’t you actually have another product? They usually help people with campaigns. Killer campaign dot com. Tell me about that a little bit.
Chris: Well, since last year know the Infusionsoft award, you know, I’ve had a lot of these campaigns and one of them was a webinar campaign, right? We’re doing webinars, we’re doing them initially wrong, right? Like most people, you set them to the go to webinar page, they get stuck and go to webinars database. You got to export that list, clean it imported into your system, have a follow up over. And so, you know, on that webinar campaign, we really or I really kind of refined it like how do you optimize there’s three stages to a webinar you have the sign up are getting people to sign up getting the most out of people to sign up. Most people drop the ball with getting attendance. They just rely on go to have an email system to magically have people show up or we don’t do that. Like, okay, will you go to webinar emails? But also we want to write our own emails that drive the people that encourage them to show up with email, with text messages, right? With voice messages, using a multi-channel approach because people are busy and they just forget. And so we created created a campaign to do that automated, you know, drive attendance. And on the back end after they show up or don’t show up or stayed to the end, which is a hot lead or dropped off after 3 minutes or didn’t show up at all, you know, then send them a replay. And so it’s like, how do we create this just like super optimized funnel for webinar and automated with Infusionsoft we did that. So that was one of the campaigns of that. But within winning the award last year, I was like, Do these campaigns are awesome, I want them, right? So I was like, Great, you know, here comes another project. And so it was really just a lot of an outcry. People go, Well, how can I get that? You teach me, you know, how can I get this in? My business, and it’s kind of like rework. You know, he says sell your byproducts. Yeah. So it’s like, oh, that’s a byproduct. Let me turn this into, you know, teaching evolve step by step on video, how to actually create these campaigns in Infusionsoft. And so that’s exactly what it is. And it’s still kind of like a work in progress just cause my energy is not there. So we had a baby and Hollywood is the main thing and all the stuff going on. So it’s just that, I mean, it’s basically it came from everybody saying, I want it, can you teach me? And I was just like, All right, and I can create these videos. But creating a way to where it’s easily duplicated. All the cool thing with it is with Infusionsoft you can one click duplicate a campaign. So we do joint venture webinars and whenever we do a webinar with the joint venture partner, they want to be able to know that when you do a webinar that they put them into your funnel, that your funnel is optimized. It’s not just, hey, send an email, just not know to what happened. Five people showed up with 300 registered, and so we’re able to put them into a fine tuned system with one click, you know, pop, okay, you want to open our ops, it’s going through this badass funnel and we’re optimizing and driving as many people as possible to the webinar and post webinar. We’re driving as much sales as we can for you as an affiliate, as a joint venture partner, and we can do that with just one click. Yeah. And so it’s just, it’s, it’s been awesome for us to know that the systems that we create, we can automate them, we can optimize them, and we can simply duplicate them through our business and we create a wants and.
Bronson: It’s done now. Right now you’re the one click kind of mode initially when you want to transition into infusion. How hard was that? Are we talking a market solid work? Are we talking six months? Because people watching this are probably wondering the same thing if they’re considering doing something like that, what’s the what’s the initial investment there?
Chris: Yeah, I think, you know, when I first got started like this is pre what they call a campaign builder and the team builder is drag and drop create campaign and they have basically a push like button campaign builder like, you know, the campaigns we built soon you have the ability to literally one click ready build out like the whole webinar system. Yeah, which is awesome. Again, that’s a whole level, the playing field thing. And you know for those of you that are trying to figure it out, right, like you can just click have it. So what I believe is if you really want to create a kick butt business and have control of it and knowing how your business works, you have to invest the time. It’s just like marketing, right? You can’t just hire a marketing guy and expect to know everything about the business, how to sell it, you know, how to market it and you know you really need to understand it. Now, again, software maybe a little bit different. You need to focus on just scale and system with that. But you know, marketing in general or any growth hacks, right? Like that’s what this is all about.
Chris: That’s where, you know, marketing is superfluous. You don’t have to do a lot of marketing. But I think with Infusionsoft, I mean, I do mean I wanted to learn it because I didn’t want to leave my business up to somebody else to figure out they’re not going to be as passionate as I am to make it work. And so, you know, I invested time and learned it and studied it and tried campaigns and did certain things. Just understood how the system works now. I mean, I understand it like the back of my hand and, you know, people come to it. How do I tell? It’s easy. You can do that, right?
Bronson: So it take you to get there. I mean, give us some kind of idea. I mean, because I think you’re good at it now, but at some point you weren’t so well process.
Chris: You know, I think probably within about like three months, you can get very efficient with it. All right. Now, I mean, it’s not like learning like coding is hard. It’s not like that, you know, now they’ve made it so easy where you can drag, drop, build campaigns, but it takes a logical mind to think about. It’s really if then statements, you know, it’s all just like, do this. If they don’t do it, do this, right. So if you have a logical like development mind, it will come very easy to you rather than if you can’t think programmatically, you know, maybe a little bit of a hurdle, but you can get past that, right? So if you have a tech understanding, yeah, like it’s awesome.
Bronson: You know, I love the way you said that because it sums up so much of what I spend my time doing every morning. I color developers, they’re long distance, so we don’t work in the same office I call them. And we literally talk for 20 minutes about if in statements, if somebody does this, I want to do that. If they do this, I want this. If that, you know, that’s all we do for the first part of almost every day. And I think I never really thought about it, but that’s what I do. I direct if then statements to developers. That’s how I grow that.
Chris: Yeah. And they work and that’s marketing in general. Right. Like, you know, we were talking about, you know, when someone buys a $10 keyword or that means. They didn’t buy the year. So if they buy ten bucks, trigger for a postcard. Right. Which has an upsell. Right. So it’s really like it’s just a matter of thinking. What if they do this? Then do that. If they don’t do that, do this. We run. And I don’t know if you know Jermaine Griggs, but you got to have him on. All right. Growth Hacker TV is the one I learned a lot about, a lot of the stuff from Infusionsoft, but he does what we call RFM, score recency, frequency, monetary recency. You know, the people that purchase the most recent are the best customers. Then if they purchase even frequent, then they’re even a better customer. And then if they purchase more money, they’re the best customer. Right. So we can run automated campaigns based on a score that a user hats. So, hey, if you were, you know, what they call five, five, five, which is the best customer and you drop to what’s called a four, four, four, which means your recency went below 30 days. Trigger an automated sequence or trigger out to our sales guy. Hey, what’s up, man? I know you’re not on your typical schedule. You know what’s happened or what’s going on. And so there’s so much you can do with the ability, just having good data, and you can automate its offense. I mean, that’s that’s business today.
Bronson: Awesome. Here’s my challenge to everybody listening and watching this. Think about your business. Take one whole day and do nothing but get out a notepad on your computer and write 15 statements. And that will open up a whole new way of thinking. If you force yourself to think that way, then you’ll find some platform, whether it’s in fusion or in-house or piecing it together. But if you can come up with the if, then statements, find a way to make it happen in your business, all good things will happen.
Chris: Yeah, absolutely. You know, I mean, you know, when I think about optimizing funnels or juicing a campaign, it just comes down to that. You know, you didn’t buy ten bucks, boom, trigger, you know, trigger direct mail. Yeah. If you didn’t do that, then two weeks later, send your card. Right. So it’s it’s just these points of opportunity. And I would encourage software companies to do more offline, you know, send letters. You know, you can automate that, you know, get in direct mail house and you can automate your fulfillment. Yeah. You know, a Weber. I know when you sign up for a Weber, if you have a letter in the mail, you know, and that’s just that’s pretty cool. They don’t do, you know, very rarely do you ever get anything from them after that. But, you know, No. One.
Bronson: It’s another touchpoint that other software companies don’t have. Chris, this has been awesome. I have one last question for you. I asked this question to all our guests. You can take it any direction you want, but what’s the best advice you have for any startup that’s trying to grow?
Chris: You’ve got to have, you know, a lot of these things that we’re talking about is like post you figured it out, right? Or post you have a good product, right? So the first thing is, is, you know, creating your first initial prototype and selling it, you know, my buddy Clay Collins, a pages like Cash, I give him so much credit because, you know, he didn’t wait until it was perfect. He sold the hell out of that thing, you know, and they’re doing, I don’t know, 300,000 a month or probably more than that now. And they raised 5 million bucks. But Clay is just he’s a machine with just promoting and pushing. And, you know, I would follow Clay because he’s a great marketer when it comes to marketing software. I think what a lot of businesses do and we’re guilty of it is we don’t promote our features or a product or provide key studies enough. And, you know, you can provide great content on how your product can work better for the user and creating a constant, you know, momentum of new things being launched. Your customers and your users see that and they go, Wow, these guys are going somewhere. Like, I want to be behind that. You know, this thing is awesome. They listen, they’re iterating, they’re quick. New features are coming out like, this is awesome. You know, we’re very guilty of it. But, you know, 614 is a new year.
Bronson: That’s right. It’s going to be awesome. Chris, thank you so much for coming on Growth Hacker TV. This is awesome.
Chris: Cool. Thanks, man. Thanks, everyone tell.
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