Mike has done something quite incredible. He’s generated 3 million dollars in sales since December for his new webinar product, and in this episode he teaches us why his homepage converts so well (you’re guaranteed to learn something new from Mike).
Bronson: Welcome to another episode of Growth Hacker TV. I’m Bronson Taylor and today I have Mike feel safe with us. Mike, thanks for coming on the program.
Mike: My pleasure. Thank you very much for having me.
Bronson: Yeah, absolutely. Now, Mike, you are the founder of a lot of things, but most recently webinar jam dot com and it’s a new product that has generated some insane sales numbers. So let’s start there. Tell us a little about webinar jam. What is it?
Mike: Well, you know, it’s a webinar platform and up until now, there’s really been one player in the game and that’s been go to webinar. And let’s face it, they are a great company. They’ve got great technology and they’ve helped a lot of entrepreneurs reach an audience without having to travel the world, which is what you had to do just ten years ago to get in front of people in a visual way. And but I think the technology and because they’re built on older technology, it’s a little bit harder for them to scale. Like you see with Google Hangouts on air where you were, President Obama can get, you know, millions or hundreds of millions of people on and, you know, it’s Google servers so they can handle it. Well, the problem with Google Hangouts was it wasn’t meant for marketers. There was no front end to it. So everybody tried to duct tape it and load up to pages and landing pages. And then they realized that they couldn’t send out reminders, you know, automated and all that stuff. So what we decided to do, you know, as we say, is jam the two of them together, take the marketing features of go to webinar and the robust back end features of Google Hangouts and put them together. And basically we created a front end marketing machine for Google Hangouts. So it allows you to we host everything, so it creates the landing pages and we follow up emails and and all those different things. So you just show up and do your hangouts and we’re go to webinar had a thousand C capacity at 499 a month, we were to 79 a year was unlimited. So that was pretty much our position and we was where we focused on marketing was on, you know, the, the big £800 gorilla go to webinar.
Bronson: Yeah, that’s great. Now, the last I heard since launching in December, you all have generated over 3 million in sales with almost 10,000 customers. Is that accurate?
Mike: Yeah, we’re actually up to 13,500 plus customers and 3.5 million. And so just just in the last month, it just continues to grow. It’s and I’ve been I’ve been marketing online for about about 11 years now, and I’ve had a lot of successful products. This was the most successful product that we’ve ever done. I didn’t anticipate that it was going to be, but it just goes to show that, you know, you know, sometime I have a lot more complicated software as a service platforms that I’ve created over the years. This one just took off. So, you know, every now and then you get lucky.
Bronson: Yeah. As you look back at it now, knowing that it’s successful. Was there clues? Were people more excited early on when you floated the idea? Was there anything early on now where you’re like, you know, I should have known as soon to be bigger because this was happening?
Mike: No. You know, Andy and I and our partner, Hector, we do the software together. We we created this because we had an automated webinar system and we felt, hey, you know, now that there’s Google, let’s let’s create a quick front end. What happened was when we were promoting one of our products last year, we did what we call these bossa phones, where we basically do these live shows for about 6 hours a day and bring in different guests like we’re doing right now. And we promote it. We try to get a couple of thousand people on at a time, and we wanted to use Google Hangouts, but we couldn’t control the chat, we couldn’t push all the links. And, you know, at any time we wanted to put a URL, YouTube was killing it, you know, for spam. And so we were trying to figure out like, there’s got to be a better way where marketers could use us. And that’s where the light bulb just went off.
Bronson: Yeah. So it’s really kind of scratching your own itch and there’s a lot of people like you, so it’s a big hit.
Mike: Exactly. That’s exactly what it is. And a lot of our a lot of our products over the years came from, you know, basically scratching our own itch.
Bronson: That’s great. Well, here’s what I want to do. First, I want to talk about how you achieve those sales, because that’s what Rob wants to know. You tell them you got 3 million or three and a half million in sales. Well, that’s great for Mike, but let’s learn from it. Let’s, you know, dissect it a little bit. And then the second part, we’ll talk about how entrepreneurs can use your platform to do marketing, because that’s almost a separate kind of tangent there. So first, talk to me about your pricing in terms of growth, because you mentioned, you know, the competitor, you know, go to webinar, they charge a monthly fee. You guys are a one time fee or a yearly fee for unlimited. Why did you decide to price it the way you did? Was there something there that you think has led to your success?
Mike: You know, I’ve been I’ve been looking at pricing models over the years. And and basically what I’ve realized is, you know, nobody wants another bill. I don’t want to pay 39 bucks a month for something or $49 a month for something. I don’t have a problem necessarily paying to 97 and getting access for a year. So the first thing we did was. And we argue, but, you know, in good ways. We wanted to find out, you know, if this was the right way to go. And we felt that if you go out with a service of 29 or $39 a month, a couple of things are going to happen. Number one person is going to say, well, I’m not going to buy it now because I’m not going to need it for two months. I’ll just buy it in two months. So we wanted to create an opportunity to get in and give them a reason to buy today and that I’ll talk about that in a minute. And the other thing is, when you have a monthly payment, every time you get your bill, by the time the third or fourth, fourth month comes around, you’re looking at the bill and you’re like, you know, I’m paying, you know, 39 bucks a month for this. I haven’t used it for months. And then you’re feeling that is to cancel the re-up at a later date. So we felt that if we just go out and position ourselves against, go to webinars for 99 a month and just say for $297, you get a full year of access. That’s the way we went.
Bronson: Yeah. You know, I thought about repricing a lot and it seems like when somebody is at the emotional place to buy, it took work to get them there. It took their life kind of aligning with what your product is offering and they’re ready to pay way more than they would at other times in their life. But if you spread that payment out over the months to come, there may not be at the same emotional place in life, and you might end up with less money overall. Is that right?
Mike: Yeah, exactly. That’s that’s the case. You know, there’s terms that our industry called lifetime value of a customer. And when you get to 97 and you get that, you know, paid annual basically in one month, in one day. So it’s really in one year, you’re getting two payments in in the time span of one year. And when you look at most lifetime value of a customer for continuity based on information, it’s usually about three months, three and a half months. And for software, it can be anywhere from six months to forever, depending on what they call the pain of disconnect. That kind of disconnect is when you’re using something like MailChimp or a Weber or Infusionsoft, and suddenly you get, you know, you’re, you know, you’re on vacation and you get the email that says your credit card has expired. You have 24 hours to to update your credit card. All your data will be removed from our servers. And then, you know, you call them, no, please do not cancel my subscription. So you always want to try to create a service where the pain of disconnect is very, very high. So some of the things we do is we store all the data, the analytics and the replay links and all those different things that we encourage people to market evergreen in their funnels. But then if they cancel the service, those links are going to expire. So and obviously people understand that. So we try to create a pain of disconnect.
Bronson: Yeah, I think it’s a huge insight you have. There are kind of that spectrum with information on one end and really high pain point products on the other and then other stuff kind of in the middle. So the people watching think about where your product lays kind of in that continuum and then think about how to price it to maximize the lifetime value, because that’s that’s a big insight, even though it may not seem like it. Now, let me ask you about this. On your website, you talk about go to webinar openly. You’ve already mentioned him a couple times in this interview. It seems like you’re not afraid of them. You don’t care to talk about them, you’re not intimidated by them. What’s your reasoning on bringing up your only competitor all the time?
Mike: Oh, you know, I think so. This is about positioning. And what we when we were doing the webinar, again, what we decided not to do was not make a case to do webinars, fact the video, the second video on the page where Andy opens up, I think it starts out with and we love the expression. As you already know, webinars are the other most powerful way to convert a website visitor to the maximum visitor value. You know, nothing converts better than webinars online. And we didn’t want to have an entire Web page telling you why you should use do webinars in your business like webinars. And we’ll do that in this call, obviously. But we didn’t want we wanted to go after the people that were what we call it, self-evident. They’re either already using webinars or they think they will be. They don’t need to be educated on it. And basically our campaign was, you know, the the Pepsi challenge, it was we already know you’re drinking Coke. We want you to try Pepsi because we think it’s better. So we simply went after the go to webinar customer. We don’t know how many they have, maybe somewhere between 40 and 80,000. And we said we want the more you know, you know. And again, they’ve got a great service. They’ve got a couple of things right now that they do openly that, you know, Google doesn’t have yet. You know, like this there’s a 45/2 delay in a hangout. So when you ask four questions, you got to be prepared to wait for the stream to catch up. And hopefully Google can, you know, can can fix that. But we think we beat them on every other platform. But if people can forgive that, you know, and you know, very many people have, you know, we think by far it’s the best solution.
Bronson: Yeah. Well, even that, you know, when you give your competitor a hat tip for something, they going a little better. But. It’s not a dealbreaker. Even that’s a psychological trigger to put trust in you guys because you’re being so open about everything. So I think there’s a lot there that’s really working because of your openness. Now, let me ask you this. You guys have three and a half million or whatever in sales already, which means your webinar jammed page is converting insanely. Well, people are showing up and they’re buying. Walk me through kind of the the psychological triggers on that page. Walk me through the elements on that page that you would not remove for any reason. What is it you think on that page? It’s really getting people’s attention and just making them do something.
Mike: Well, you know, we start out with with a couple of things. Number one, we have like a little yellow bar right across the top that tries to let people know that something that’s happening today is an event. So very limited time special. And we feel that one of the most important things to get people to take action today is giving them a consequence. So, yes, you can buy this at any time. And if you don’t need it today, then why buy it today? That’s what’s that’s a little conversation going on in someone’s head. So we want to give somebody a consequence if they don’t buy today. And so what we did during the launch is we positioned against the current price, which just to 97 a year. So we did an internal launch first where we did about $800,000. And with the internal launch, we focused on, hey, it’s better help us test it. It’s going to be $297 a year, get it for 297 for life. And that did very, very well to our internal customers. We took those metrics. So that’s step one. Get your numbers, get your metrics so that when you go out to your G partners or your affiliates, if you have them, which I recommend, it’s always good to have a good partner program. You have exact metrics that you can tell your affiliates. And in our industry there’s something called APC, which is earnings per click. And that’s how I like to communicate with affiliates. I don’t like to use terms like you’re going to get 40% commission and we pay on the back end. I’d rather say for every click that you send, you’re going to make $6. So if you can send ten clicks and make 60, so 100, you’ll make 600 some 2006 thousand. And during this campaign, if you can figure out a way to drive us 10,000 clicks, we’ll send you a check for $60,000. People can relate to clicks to cash a lot easier than we pay 50% on the front end. And our back end has an upsell for 497 that pays 50%. And if they don’t buy it, there’s a down sell for 397 math.
Bronson: I’ve already zoned out.
Mike: Evenly and it’s a you know, it’s all intangibles. So we focus on the campaign value. This is what a click is worth to you. This is how soon we pay. Is it the prize is the contest. These are the days you want to promote. And this is when the contest ends. And so by creating an event around our launch with our affiliates, we were able to, you know, generate with that somewhere around $2.3 million. And then, like I said, after the post launch, which is what we’re in right now, another half a million dollars plus sales came in. And what we’re doing now is we’re simply making a logical statement. We reserve the right to raise our prices at any time. If we do, the likely go to $497 a year. And if you buy today, we can guarantee you buy the countdown timer on the page today, the 82 to 97, if you come back tomorrow, we can’t make that same guarantee. And because of that, we’re creating urgency again to get people that show up today, to not want to go to 497 a year when they have an opportunity to get to 97. Yeah, well.
Bronson: Anything else on the page? What else is triggering people to you know, you had the scarcity, the you know, you need to do something now. Is there anything else?
Mike: Yes. You know.
Mike: I think another one of the reasons why we’re converting very well is because we have a feature comparison chart on our page that says webinar jam, go to webinar and Google Hangouts and that paints a quick picture for people. You have all the green check boxes for us. You have all the green check boxes in terms of the marketing, but not scalability. For go to webinar and Google shows no marketing features but scalability of ours. You know, put some two together or we when we put that on because we were we went the first three days of the launch without that. Once we added that comparison chart, we saw a conversion rates increase by 30%. Hmm. And we do a very good job laying out every single one of the features on the page. What? Not so much copy. But, you know, as Andy likes to say, show, don’t tell. So we show the features and a little paragraph about the features and, you know, just like nice, simple one site layout and you know, all report about this throughout the page.
Bronson: No, that’s great. Now, you mentioned that, you know, you’re using you know, you know, JV partnerships, those kind of things. Is that the main source of you guys traffic after that initial air? Okay. From just customers. You already had.
Mike: Once the launch ended, we continued to make about 80% of our sales from our affiliates, but not in the traditional way. What we did is we we created a system that automatically signs the user up for our affiliate program when they create their account and our webinar software as a little powered by webinar jam, little tiny logo in the player in the conference room. And when they click on that, it opens a new window in the person that’s doing the conference, it opens in their affiliate. So what we’re seeing is.
Bronson: That’s also.
Mike: Our sales are slow. They’re dead on Saturday and Sunday. And we’re trying to figure out why are our sales so low on Saturday and Sunday?
Bronson: Webinars on Saturday and Sunday.
Mike: Exactly. So. So we kind of have that viral Hotmail effect. Yeah. So if you can find a way, you know, every single time somebody sends out an email with Infusionsoft or MailChimp or whatever, it’s advertising that service. So we’re using that same thing. We’re injecting our brand throughout other people who are influencers. Basically, if you get, you know, 600 people on a webinar, you’re an influencer. And the world we live in today, it’s a lot different than ten years ago. Everybody has an audience. You know, people that aren’t even marketing are saying, Oh, I have 700 followers on Twitter and 2000 friends on Facebook. So things are changing today. We could communicate with anybody about how to use an audience and just a little, little advertising banner at the bottom is getting our product in front of more and more people every day. Yeah.
Bronson: You know, the Hotmail leak, you know, it’s kind of the original growth hack. And I think people have assumed that it’s in the past now that there was that moment when you could just put your brand on something and people would send it out. But I think we’ve shied away from just putting our brand on things and letting people kind of use it. So I like that you’re doing that because an example of your audience hasn’t gone mad about it. Your users haven’t been upset that you branded it and they’re actually making money from it because of the way you set it up. So it’s sort of a win win. Everybody’s happy with it, right?
Mike: Yeah, absolutely. We’re you know, we’re even thinking of doing some things to give them some options that if they’re going to be doing a training session or some presentation where there’s no pitch, that they can even put that on the registration pages. So you mail to people and say, Hey, we’re having a webinar on Friday. The bottom of that registration page, we’ll have a banner that says this. This landing page is powered by webinar jam and we’ll have your affiliate link. So, you know, people people are making sales, just giving away free content.
Bronson: Yeah. No, that’s great. Any other important pieces of the puzzle? Like, if I knew everything about your business, what would I ask you to educate our viewers about how you guys have, you know, gotten a success? You’ve had anything else you can think of? We’ve covered some of the big stuff for sure.
Mike: Yeah. You know, I think personality driven marketing is is is really important these days. I think it’s you know, you keep saying the word transparent. I think transparency is, you know, is big. You look at guys like Gary Vaynerchuk. You just got to be real these days. I was I’m with this group of marketers called Maverick Business Adventures, where we do these crazy trips, you know, jump out of planes and stuff like that. And we were with this guy named Chip Colby and he wrote, I forget the name of the book that he wrote. If I remember, I’ll bring it up. But I remember he was talking exactly about that, about being himself in in everything he does through his marketing so that the customers can identify with him. You know, I think Steve Jobs was a big personality part of Apple. You know what? I think now they’re bringing like five or six people that you’re seeing rotate around. And I think if you can build your brand around yourself and not necessarily if you’re an info marketer or guru, but anything even software driven companies like or e-commerce companies like Zappos, you look at Tony Shea, you know, he’s a big part of the companies out. He’s out as the face of the company. And I think people people buy into people and not so much companies. And I think that’s that’s what Andy and I are trying to do with the marketing channels is really good point.
Bronson: And, you know, it seems obvious more so with informational things, but less so with products. But Zappos, you’re absolutely right. And I think about Buffer, you know, Joel and it’s like they have a blog and you read it and you know them and you see their photo everywhere. And then I think about other companies, I won’t name them, but I don’t know who they’re ran by and I actually don’t have that deep connection with them, even though I use their product because I have to. So it’s interesting that there really is something there for people to hone in on. Now, let’s talk about kind of how people can use your product, how they can use webinar jam, you know, for their own marketing efforts. You guys have some of the smartest marketers using webinars, using your webinar. What do they do that other people don’t? What makes the great webinar users great?
Mike: I think that when you do a webinar. You have to you have to train people. You can’t just get on there and do a presentation. Patrick can’t be all about me. Me, me. When people get on you first. First thing you have to do is prove your concept. And you have to be able to confidently say, at the end of a webinar, if you’re making a presentation, I’d like you to be a. Become a customer. But if all you did was come here today and learn on this presentation and can use what I taught you in your business, then I’m happy. And if you can’t make that statement at the end, if you can’t say it honestly to yourself that that you gave enough information away while proving your concept that people can take it and go apply to their business, then you failed. So I think the people that are doing good webinars today are people that are known as trainers, people that some of their attendees don’t even know that they were actually on for what we call an offer at the end. And if that transition is very good, where you could say, okay, know that that’s the end of the presentation. Now, if any of this made sense, let me talk to you about my accelerated learning program where you can get more information about this. I think you have the permission to do that. If you’ve trained well up.
Bronson: Until that point, yeah. Is there ever a fear of training too much of giving away too much of what the product is going to do? Or is that just not possible, that to get their trust, you have to bring the goods in, teach whatever you can. What’s your thoughts on that?
Mike: I think you can trade too much, but I don’t think you can over trade on one topic, on one particular subject. So if you’re going to give a tactic, give them give them what they need to know to fully understand it and comprehend it so that they can go away. And, you know, and don’t ever say anything like now, if you want to see the last part of this puzzle, you’re going to have to buy my quotes. You know, people you know, people don’t like that. It’s just it’s just not cool.
Bronson: Yeah. Now, what do you think about. I see a lot of people doing joint webinars, so company and company B kind of get together, share the email list, share the lead, share whatever. What’s your thoughts on that? Is that a good practice or or no?
Mike: Absolutely. Yeah. You know, it’s been a big part of our company for the last six or seven years as we’ve been doing webinars. Webinars are very, very good for higher priced products, not really for 97 and up. And of course, they work for 297 and 97. But you can make your case for $97 with a typical video sales letter. But most of us are very, very busy. So if you click on a link in an email, I can assure you when you’re in your email, you’re not in a good mood. You know, it’s probably the last thing that you do every day, you know, and then you’ve got 60 emails you’re trying to get to bed. You know, if you don’t do it today, it’s just going to compound tomorrow. So when people are doing their email, they’re not in a place where they can consume a 40 minute or an hour long message on video. So but you really need that to get 497 or $2,000. You have to be able to create a case for your product. So we found that marketing still was email or social media or advertising, but if you want to get that, send them to a place where they can make an appointment, block their schedule and say, okay, Thursday at 6 p.m., I’m going to set aside an hour. And they’re not going to be bothered by their email or trying to get to bed, and they’re going to give you all the attention that you need and deserve to make a case at that point.
Bronson: I like that. It’s kind of like, let’s get out of Gmail and get into Google calendar, because if you make that transition, you just leveled up.
Mike: That’s a great point. You should you should try that right now.
Bronson: Done, trademark. Let me ask you this. How long should a webinar be? Because you don’t want to fatigue people, but you want to get them to the point of really understanding the content and wanting more. Is there a best practice or is it totally dependent on industry?
Mike: I think there is definitely a time we’ve learned that you have about one hour where people they want to stay on but they’ve got to get going. They usually schedule something or there’s something where you’re going to lose about 20% of your audience at the one hour mark. So you want to start wrapping up your presentation at the 45 to 50 minute mark, and you must have your call to action before that hour mark reaches. Now from there, if you’re going to open it up for Q&A, let that go as long as possible. We found the longer the Q&A goes, the more sales you make. So see the Q&A with a couple of questions, like, is there a payment plan? Is there a guarantee? And for those of you that are, you know, just joining in again, yes, we do take PayPal. And then while you start to get those questions in, I also recommend having a moderator, somebody on your team going through the questions and putting them in a separate section for you because you don’t want to be like, let’s see, Chad is saying, I bought your product two years ago, the other product and I’m having a technical chat get on that. That’s really. So you want to be getting all the good questions fed to you? Yeah. So that you can, you can really overcome the objections and then turn it around to a sale right after that and say so Chad, you know. Now that you know that there’s a payment plan, I hope to see you inside the member’s area. You can go ahead and buy it now, you know? You know, soft little clauses like that. Yeah. A Q&A session can increase conversions by about 25%.
Bronson: That’s a great insight. Now, you mentioned you want to call to action before that hour, Mark. What exactly is the call to action? Is it a literal button on the video? Is it a link in the discussion? Does that link take them to a landing page or just to put in your credit card number information page with nothing else on it? What’s the best practice to really close it at the end there?
Mike: I like to use a button and many times because a lot of people sometimes dial it on phone or in their car and they want to be able to remember how to get there when they get, you know, get out. So I use domain names like one day cellcom, something that’s very easy for people to type in. But for the most part, we’ll usually push a button, send them to an order page, restate the offer, and have a check up on something like a.
Bronson: Super long page or just kind of restating the basic things they already got from the webinar.
Mike: Here’s what you got. Module one, module two Refund fun and.
Bronson: Introduce any new doubts you just want to get on the basic.
Mike: Yeah. And testimonials are very, very good on those pages as well.
Bronson: Yeah. Yeah. I’ve heard testimonials right next to the credit card input is the best place to put them because they want social proof right next to the payment.
Mike: And what we found is that if you can put testimonials that look like social media written on Facebook, people think that, you know, wow, he didn’t get that from somebody and use it for marketing purposes. This person elected to put it out on the page, it increases conversions. And what we’ve done in some of our launches is we’ve actually put real time Facebook comments on our order page during our launch because sales are coming in so fast. So you’re saying, hey, just bought or excited to get it’s like 6 minutes ago, 11 minutes ago, it’s like, wow, you know, that’s social proof really increases sales. It’s crazy.
Bronson: That’s great. What what are some of the biggest mistakes that rookies, newbies would do when they host a webinar? And it sounds like a good idea and it just isn’t going to work and we know it’s not going to work. Anything like that come to mind.
Mike: I think not being prepared is is the is one of the biggest mistakes and thinking that’s it’s all good to be entertaining. You know I want to watch I want to watch Jimmy Kimmel. Jimmy Fallon back in the day. Jay Leno. David Letterman is retiring, too, but I want to watch them. But I know that, believe it or not, you know, they’re prepared with their guests. They rehearsed the questions ahead of time. They know the topic. And if not, things are going to get they’re just going to go off the rails. So you want to be prepared when you get on a webinar and you want to stay away like you did here, get right into the facts, all the for clearing, you know, the, you know, the intro that’s a little bit you know, you know, this is one of the the best guys who’s ever ever seen that come from not being prepared. You’re just you don’t know what to say. You just start rambling. And the next thing you know, you’re 30 minutes in and you’re asking two different guests how to tell us a little bit about yourself. And that guy goes on for 30 minutes or 30 minutes. You really need to jump in, be prepared, have an agenda and try to stay on schedule.
Bronson: Yeah, well, Mike, this has been an awesome episode. People are going to get so much from this. And I want to end with the question that I always end with, which is what’s the best advice that you have for any startup is trying to grow? And it’s high level, it’s vague. You don’t know the specifics of their situation, but anything come to mind is just good, solid advice for startups trying to grow.
Mike: Yeah, yeah. Take your game plan and stick to it. I think the thing that I know, working with a lot of different people that do software is it’s they have this feature scope that just gets so big and they keep delaying launch and like, Oh, all right, I’ll add that. And you know, we realize when we do our software, especially things like webinar, our there are going to be a lot of things that people want. They’re going to want it multi languages, they’re going to want more landing pages, they’re going to want integration with lead pages and all these different things. You know, every time I open up my iPhone, there’s an update for software that I’ve had on there for two years, and they’re constantly adding things. So for for me, that’s my advice. Get it out there with your basic features and start improving with your customers. You look at a company like Leap Pages. I think they do a great a great job like that. They’re constantly telling you the new features that they’re adding. So don’t wait till you have the perfect product cause you’re never well.
Bronson: Yeah, that’s awesome advice to end on. Might again, thank you so much for coming on Growth TV.
Mike: Thanks. I appreciate it. Brunson And it’s been a pleasure and hopefully we can do it again next year.
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