Ever heard of a squeeze page? Well, our guest today invented those. Over the last 20 years Jonathan Mizel has pioneered much of today’s digital marketing landscape. Today he’ll share what one tactic he’s using with crazy high ROI at scale. That’s next in this episode.
Bronson: Welcome to another episode of Growth Hacker TV, Bronson Taylor. And today I have Jonathan Moselle with us. Jonathan, thanks for coming on the program.
Jonathan: Thanks for inviting me. Really honored to be here.
Bronson: Absolutely. I know we’re going to get a ton of great information just because of how much you know about marketing. So let me tell people a little bit about you. You’re the managing partner at Email Traffic Academy. And Andrew, the CEO of Cyber Wave Media, which helps businesses generate leads in sales, which, of course, everybody wants more of both of those things. But it’s a fun fact that people may not know you were one of the earliest people on the Internet to use a squeeze page, and you’re the one that actually named it a squeeze page. So from now on, when someone refers to a squeeze page as a squeeze page, they could be like, I know that guy. I saw him on Grow that on TV.
Jonathan: Right. Thank you. Yes, it’s it’s totally true. And I was just joking with my wife. She said, I don’t care if you invented the squeeze page, you still have to take the garbage out.
Bronson: So that’s awesome.
Jonathan: To help me at home. But you’re not marketing conferences is certainly, certainly a deal. And it’s also something that we believe in. And just, you know, we’ve been using that for so long, but we still use them to this very day. They still work. It’s still a process that’s super important to pretty much any business that’s trying to make more money online.
Bronson: Yeah, absolutely. So, you know, an insane amount about email. And so that’s what I want to really dig into today because it’s something that I know the startups watching this and listening to this can learn from and they may have an email strategy, but probably not the right one. And so we’re really going to get to the heart of the issue today. So tell me this first is an email list that important for a startup? What’s your $0.02 on that?
Jonathan: It’s probably the most important thing. And the reason is, is because it’s really one of the most effective ways that you’re going to be able to establish contact and build a tribe, build a relationship with a group of people who you can. I mean, I’ve got people on my list who are on my list for over 20 years. I started collecting and building my list 20 years ago. I still have people from the very earliest days of the Internet. And, you know, the one thing I really love about email traffic or building a list, the kind of internal email traffic that you get from mailing your or your your own people is that it doesn’t really cost you any money. I mean, if you’re going out and let’s back up, the most effective people to sell something to are the people who already know who you are. So when you have a new product launch or when you’ve upgraded your product, your version 2.0 or whatnot, you can go out, you can start buying clicks from Google or you can use social and Facebook and all that other stuff. But you’re never going to get the kind of response that you get from people who already are familiar with who you are. And so every time you collect a name and put that on your list, you’re you’re really kind of establishing that connection with that person and that connection. You never know where that connection could go. It could be a future partner. It could be a customer. It could be an employee. I mean, you know, think about that. So many people are looking for talent these days. And one of the best places to get your talent from is from your your superfans. And and that’s really what email is all about. It’s creating not just a tribe. But, you know, I like to say the world is divided up into haters and fanboys. And so, you know, and you can’t have one without the other. But those those fan boys and girls, those people who really love you, those are the people that are going to drive your business until you get that next round of funding or until you, you know, do that million dollar launch. And and those are the people that are going to they’re going to come in from from collecting email addresses early off the bat.
Bronson: Absolutely. So having a list is super important. I mean, like you mentioned, you know, we kind of de facto want to think about Google, but the AdWords platform is mature, like the price is set. It cost a lot. Email is really the best way to get in touch with your customer for the best return on investment. But the question that everyone’s going to have who’s watching this is be like, okay, great email is super important. We’ve heard before the money is the list. Everybody knows that. How do you build a list? Right. And that’s where there’s a huge gap in knowledge. We know we need one. We want one, but we don’t actually know the next step. So we just forget that it matters.
Jonathan: Right. And a lot of companies will build a list based on people who buy. Right. But let’s look at typical conversion rates, you know, and they range from half a percent to maybe four or 5%. If you’re if you’re rocking out, if you’re doing great, that means that 95 out of one. People are going to come to your website and leave without ever giving you any sort of information about themself. And you’re just not going to know really what what to do. You’re going to be. You’re going to be lost in terms of of, you know, how to get back to those people. So one of the strategies that we recommend for anybody out there and a lot of people are using Google and Facebook and that’s great and PPC and all sorts of of other types of advertising is to have a list collection strategy of some sort of way, whether it’s a squeeze page that gives away a free trial version of your product, whether it’s some sort of offer that that gives them a video, you got to give them some reason to opt in to your list, some reason to excite them enough so that they want to hear back from you again. And when someone pops into your list to download a PDF and you know, I’ve seen the boring big companies use white papers and things like that. You know, a company that’s a big, boring company that uses a white paper is still better than someone who’s not collecting any any list or any data at all. So hopefully you’ve got something more exciting than a white paper. You know, you’ve got a video or a trial. One of the things we do, we work with a lot of supplement companies and people in the health space, and I’m like, if you want, but it really helps people sleep. Then give away a ten day supply, you know, charge them free plus shipping, get some sort of connection with that customer or give them a report on ten ways. If you’re working with a sleep aid company right now, give them a free report on ten ways that they can get better sleep at night. And of course, one of those ways is to buy your product. But, you know, you’ve now established yourself as an expert in the field. And when you email them, assuming that sleep is really, really an important problem for the prospect, which probably is if they’re on your on your website, assuming that that’s something that you can solve for them, they’re going to they’re going to trust you and they’re going to come back when you when you have an offer, when you have a freebie or you have a coupon. Now you’re going back to those people who you have given the report to or the video to or or whatnot. And now now you’ve got a hot list of people who who you can actually test with. And there’s something else, too, when you’re going out and buying cold traffic and cold traffic as strangers who’ve never heard from you. So Google traffic or Facebook traffic, you know, we do a lot of split testing. We like to know which headline works best. And you and I both know and probably a lot of people on the call do as well. But when you have two different versions of a page, you might have one, you know, two, three or 400% better than the other. And so if you’re going to go out and start buying clicks from Google or Facebook, you might need to spend four or 5000 bucks in order to find out which page actually converts better. But when you have an email list, you not only don’t need nearly as much traffic because they’re more engaged, but you just hit send on the email system. And you know, when everybody else is out there trying to optimize their Google page or getting slapped more lightly, you already know which headline works best. Which offer works best? Yeah. Which background color works faster, which picture?
Bronson: Yeah, absolutely. One of the things you said really, I think is something this audience needs to hear. You know, they always think about a leaky bucket, they think about churn and they think of the top of the funnel, starting with the buyer. And then you got to keep the buyer right. But at the top of the funnel is traffic and you’re losing at least 95% of it because they’re not becoming a buyer and you’re not capturing an email. You have a massively leaky bucket before you even started your measurement tools, before you even started the way you think about your funnel. And so I think that’s really a great insight is that they’re losing a lot of potential before they’ve even thought the game started. You know what I mean?
Jonathan: That’s right. And anybody else who is out there in your space is going to eat your lunch. I mean, you’re you’re not you’re not going to be able to compete with them because, again, you’ll be going out there. And I mean, let’s be honest with Google Clicks are not cheap. You know, when you I mean and certain know I know you’re like in you know if you’re in the I was just at the conference in San Diego and Perry Belcher was talking about, you know, like high net worth individuals or retirement planning. These are like ten, $15 clicks. So, you know, it’s not like I’m going to pay $0.50 and he’s going to pay $0.40. I mean, you know, you’re looking at significant cost to get that traffic in. And so when you bring it in, the only way that you’re going to have a shot at making your business work. It is to collect the name and email address of every single person who could potentially be interested in buying your product or doing business with you down the line.
Bronson: Absolutely. So now you have the email address, right? So we know having a list matters. You have a list. What do you send them? Do you just keep sending them? You know, hey, by my priority, by my priority, you buy my product? Or is it more nuanced or are you educating and then eventually selling? What do you think is a good strategy for the typical startup, let’s say?
Jonathan: Well, for a startup, it’s really about the long game. And, you know, if you can if you can afford it. Right. There are a lot of I deal with a lot of affiliate marketers and people who are one shot marketers. And I’m like, well, you might as well just, you know, mail ten or 15 emails out trying to sell your thing, you know, over the course of a couple of weeks and, and, and see if they’ll buy because in two weeks you’ll be on to the next thing. But if you’re establishing real relationships with clients, then you want to send content. You want to send things that are that are of interest to them. You know, take the sleep example. If someone has trouble sleeping, there might be other other issues that they have in their life that can lead to other problems. And so there’s other content that you can deliver to that person. There’s other tips. And sometimes it’s simple stuff, like a listicle or or maybe it’s other people’s content. I mean, God, that’s like something that we’ve done too. We found great articles on other people’s websites. We don’t just rip those articles and put them on our site. I send people to those other people’s websites or those other businesses websites. I usually I frame it and then I’ll stick my banner up on top of the page. And so this is kind of a legitimate way to, we’ll say, model or or take someone else’s content without doing anything bad. What you’re doing is you’re you’re just you’re just sharing that content with other people. And what’s nice is that if someone’s on your list and, and again, they’ve got a legitimate problem that you can solve and you’re giving them some information. They they give you the credit for that. Even though somebody else wrote that article, and it’s on a completely different third party website. They give you the credit for introducing them to that information. Yeah. Introducing them to that solution.
Bronson: We need curation.
Jonathan: Yeah, that’s what I would say. Curation is as important as creation. Yeah. As as as content. And then some other things that I would recommend that a lot of startups and a lot of businesses don’t do because they don’t want to know the truth. And so, you know, I get it. And you’re like, you’ve got your focus. You’re selling, you know, software accounting software to architectural firms. And that’s your goal and nothing’s going to stop you. Well, here’s something that can at least set you off in the right direction is service. So as we start to build less, figure out who the people are on the list and figure out what they want. You know, take the architects, the accounting software for architects. Right. We deal with a lot of software people. Well, it might turn out that accounting is not the biggest problem that you can solve for the architects. So when you when you send a survey out and you ask questions like, you know, do you have problems with your accounting? You ask all that stuff because that’s your primary focus. Now you can also say, what other problems do you have? You know, well, there’s a great I think it’s a Dan Kennedy question. And he says if you had unlimited godlike powers, what problem would you solve in your business immediately? So when you start to find out what really holds people back, what problems they have now, you’ve got opportunities to either sell different products or to reposition your product to to sell it differently. So, you know, there’s content and then there’s also market research, which is basically surveying people. Yeah. And then there’s and then there’s products, which is if you have a beta version, you know, say that you’ve got a beta version. One of the things that we’ve done, we did this with one of our courses, we created the course, but I wasn’t sure if it was any good. I mean, I think it’s good. I think it’s great. You know, nobody in my company is going to say that’s not great, you know, because whatever they work with me and they they we’re friends. But let’s get the truth. So I took, I think, ten or 15 beta test testers from other. Products. Other customers who bought other products. And I’m like, What do you guys think about this and what? How would you change it? And, you know, we got amazing feedback. People are like, You should do this, and I hate your logo. I’m like, Oh, my God. Okay, enough. But wait, was this that that gave us enough data to at least get into the point to the place where we could launch it and know that we weren’t going to have these basic things done. Yeah. And as this founders, we always have this situation where we think we know what the market wants. And then we start working on the project. We start working on the solution, the app, the software, the product, the whatnot. And then as we move forward, we sometimes almost always lose touch with what the original problem was that we’re solving. Yeah. And, and so the survey and the market research stuff and the beta testing kind of brings us it brings it home to us and it says, are we on the right track here? Hmm. Well, if if startups did that, if if they would get real feedback from their customers and then listen to those customers, that I think that things would go very different for them. You know how many? I was watching some of the old Growth Hacker podcasts and and just looking at a bunch of stuff. Why do businesses fail? They fail because almost universally they run out of money and they run out of money. I mean, that’s why.
Bronson: I know.
Jonathan: I. It’s like if your burn rate is a million a month, but you got 20 million at the back. Well, you know, come back in 19 months and we’ll talk. Okay. But the fact is that if you have a hand, if you’ve got money coming in, if you know what the customers want, you’re going to be able to mitigate that burn rate by taking the other direction and getting the cash flowing in before it can go out. And that’s really the goal. You’ve got your cash, you’ve got your capital. Your goal, as is to bring the burn rate down and then bring the sales up to the point where the sales are at least a little bit higher than the burn rate so that it gives you sustainability.
Bronson: Yeah, absolutely. I mean, I love what we’re talking about because it comes down to product market fit. We have a product and we’re trying to get to overlap with a market that it can satisfy. And the email list helps us get there, which I think is a disconnect for a lot of people that you can actually get to product market fit through the email. And I’ve been thinking about profit a lot the last few weeks and it seems to me like a reflexive equilibrium. You have the product and then you go out and talk to the market and informs the product and then the product informs the market and the market informs the product until eventually you get them aligned so you can actually satisfy them with what you built. But just thinking about email as a tool to do that I think is awesome. So let me ask you this. You know, logically, if we’re able to build a list through our own squeeze pages, through our own free videos, free e-book, white paper, whatever, if we’re able to build a list and send them great content and build that long term relationship, it stands to reason that other companies have also done that. So that means there’s all these companies with all these email list and is there a way we can tap into that? I mean, is there a way we can get some of their people they’ve already acquired with their own list? I mean, is that possible?
Jonathan: Yeah, it’s not only possible. It’s what I’ve been doing almost my whole life. And it was shocking to me when I discovered that this this world existed. So let’s back up a little tiny bit. Whatever you’re doing in your business, where wherever you’re advertising, whether it’s Facebook or Google or some other channel or someone’s mailing for you, whatever you’re currently doing now take advantage of of putting an email collection device into your funnel, into your process. Make sure that there’s some way that people can opt into your list. I don’t just mean a like a little thing on the side that says subscribe to our newsletter. You know, make it make it real.
Bronson: During the.
Jonathan: Season. Make it as the, you know, go back to the sleep thing. You wouldn’t have an article on sleep and then sign up for our free sleep tips. Know that. I mean that’s cute. Go ahead. If if that’s that’s all you do, that’s better than nothing. But what I would do is I would take that little, little subscriber box and I would make that the page that’s want to squeeze pages. It’s turning the email collection device into the offer and then giving something away. And then once they opt in to the list, then you take them to your page where you’re selling the thing. Mm hmm. And that’s. That’s just always going to work a lot better. So assuming that that is in place. There are so many. There are there are so many people, so many list. And I think that a lot of folks don’t even consider their first thought is why would someone rent their west in. Because we our big pitch is how to get e-mail traffic without having your own list. And people are like, how do you do it? How do you do it? Oh, my God. I got to know. I got to figure it out. BRUNSON Come on, give me the secret. Well, here’s the secret. You give them some money. That’s how you do it. You give them some money, and then they give you their credibility and they pay off for you. And what in certain businesses, in certain niches, like in health, in in a lot of the entrepreneurial fields and self-help and financial stuff, there are very well established lists broke. First, there are people in the in the business who, whose job it is to rent less and to get lists for you. Or if you’re a consumer. Right. If you’re if you’re or if you’re a consumer marketer, if you’re selling to end users, consumer people, there are also companies like MySpace or Cool Savings is one that we use. Here’s one everybody’s heard of. Publishers Clearinghouse. Well, Publishers Clearinghouse, they collect names so they can rent them out to people. So you don’t have to beg, borrow and steal or promise to give someone a mailing. You just give them some money. And we’ve got one client spending $10,000 a week. They’re a New Age publisher. And they’re they’re spending 10,000 a week with Publishers Clearinghouse to to go out in their email newsletter and to get a bunch of those people. So in certain edges, it’s just not hard, right? You know, you can call companies like Flatiron Media or or CarMax and and you give them an ad and some money and they’ll go ahead and do the mailing for you. But a lot of people find themselves in in other niches or smaller niches or niches where there’s not quite such an established list or media feel. And by the way, this works for all alien, not just email. So when you find yourself in a situation like that, you want to start looking at what we call the players in the market. Because in any space, in any niche, in any group that you’re trying to market to any vertical, there’s going to be people who already control the traffic. They’re going to be there’s like five different groups. There’s gurus and and, you know, go back to the architecture office. Right. There are architecture gurus. Here’s one. There’s a human resource. We work with some human resources people. So there’s yeah, if you’re not a human resources person, you’ve never heard of this. You’ve never heard of of the human resources gurus. But you find the human resources conference. There’s a conference, there’s a show. There’s some sort of, you know, some at the human resources managers. And there’s there’s a guy or a woman who’s the keynote who’s like the badass human resources director of all time. That’s the person you want to connect with. They probably have a course. They probably do some training. They probably do some certification. That’s someone you want to connect with. Look at the publications. Publications in any particular field sometimes, and this is a great one. It doesn’t even cost any money. If you’re marketing to architects, you can go to the air and the American Institute of Architects and I’m sure that they have publication. There’s a newsletters and mailing lists and all kinds of stuff, and you can rent those mailing list. Or if you have a really great article like How to Crack the Nut on accounting for architectural firms, you can write an article for those publications or their blog and give it to them and they’ll run your ad for free next to it. So another one that’s been super powerful for us is associations. We used to do a lot of insurance marketing and we were working with the California State Bar and we were working with the California Nurses Association. And if you want to reach nurses, well, there are a lot of ways to do it, mostly in very expensive ways. But if you go to the California Nurses Association, their goal is to help you reach nurses and help nurses find solutions to their problems. So we found that associations, trade bureaus, anybody that has got a licensing thing. So if there’s a licensing bureau or a state licensing bureau, quite often you can get those lists. It’s not always email addresses, but, you know, maybe use a postcard mailing for or direct mail or something, something like that. And there’s one more in my list right here. Also, look at the top websites, you know, and the people, when you’re looking at the people controlling the traffic, look at the top sites. Look at the. Networks, the top people who are already controlling that traffic, selling stuff to that market. J. Abraham is one of my marketing gurus, and if you have not ever heard of him, I know you have, but maybe some people haven’t. But he’s got a really great philosophy that that that has driven how I found media and how I’ve done email for people. And that is, if you want to attack a market, you can either go into the trenches with your, you know, your guns and your copy and your whatnot, and you can slog it out. You can fight it out, hand-to-hand combat with those guys. Or you can find someone who already has that market and you can give them some money and you can shortcut the whole process. Now, there’s something to be said for getting out in the trenches and for for failing a lot with Google or spending a bunch of money on Facebook and finding out what doesn’t work. But for me, I’d much rather figure out who already has that relationship. You know, somebody has the relationship you want. You just give them the money or give them the content or. Or the best thing is make them an affiliate, if you can. You know, once you’ve been doing this for a while, people will come to you and say, hey, I want to I want to promote that accounting software. I’ve got a list of 32,000 architects in the United States. Do you pay a commission? And your answer should be, of course we do. You know how how much commission do you need? And we will give them sometimes we’ll give them the whole first year in order to acquire the customer or the first six months. Or we’ll give them we’ll give them a majority of the commission. A lot of the consumer stuff we does, we do pays more than 100% commission just to get the person into the database, because we know that person’s going to stick if they try the product and if they don’t try the product or if they try it and they don’t stick, that’s our fault. You know, we have a problem with a better fix our product so people are willing to share their customers. If you can solve their customers money or sorry, solve their customers problems, and if you pay that for the relationship.
Bronson: That’s awesome advice. I mean, I know people are listening to this and they have so many ideas right now, their minds going a mile a minute, they’re thinking about the places they can go to leverage other people’s audience. Loper Instead of going in the trenches and slogging it out themselves. And so thank you for just dropping all of that knowledge on us just now. All right. So here’s the last two questions I have. And these are the ones I end every interview with, other fun ones, just to kind of learn about you a little bit here. What are you working on right after this interview? And it could be whatever, whatever you’re really doing. Another thing that sounds cool, right?
Jonathan: Well, I was going to go to the beach, but it is actually cold and rainy in Hawaii. And by cold, I mean, you know, mid seventies, of course. And so I think what I’m going to do is I’m working on our our new course. I’m I’m rewriting some of the new course. So I’ll be I’ll be sitting in my office working the day and probably taking a walk when it starts raining.
Bronson: All right. There you go. And last question. What is the best advice you have for any company that’s trying to grow?
Jonathan: The best advice I can give you is capture as many email addresses from qualified prospects as you can and never screw them over.
Bronson: Hmm. I like that last part.
Jonathan: That. That’s it, you know? I mean, never violate the expectation that you set when you open that relationship and those people will stay with you forever. And, you know, start ups come and go, right? I’ve had people who had a failure in one particular field and but they’ve gone to a different, different company, but similar niche. They’ve taken the old list and now they’re there promoting the new people because it’s not about that, you know, company. It’s about what that person can do for them, about the relationship that you built.
Bronson: Yeah. Well, Jonathan, this has been an excellent interview. Thank you again for coming on Growth Hacker TV.
Jonathan: Honored to do it. Thank you very much, Bronson.
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