Online Payment Processing Demystified with Brad Weimert

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If you sell, or plan to sell information products online, there are some things about online payment processing that you need to be aware of.

For example, did you know that the credit card companies consider information products to be high risk? Did you know that a merchant account provider can keep your money for as long as 18 months? If you were to lose your merchant account during a product launch, do you have a back up plan?

In this episode of the Bright Ideas podcast, my guest is Brad Weimert, founder of Easy Pay Direct, an online payment processing company focused on helping information marketers to keep their payments flowing.

When you listen to this interview, you are going to learn:

  • some of the most common problems that information marketers face when it comes to receiving online payments, and how to prevent them
  • what you can do to avoid having your merchant account shut down
  • if your merchant provider puts a reserve on your funds, what steps you can take to get the money released as soon as possible
  • why free trials for information products are becoming nearly impossible
  • the difference between shopping cart software, a payment processor and a merchant account

..And so much more!

More About This Episode

The Bright Ideas podcast is the podcast for business owners and marketers who want to discover how to use online marketing and sales automation tactics to massively grow their business.

It’s designed to help marketing agencies and small business owners discover which online marketing strategies are working most effectively today – all from the mouths of expert entrepreneurs who are already making it big.

Listen Now

Enjoyed this Interview? Here’s How To Leave us a Positive Review on iTunes!

If you enjoyed this episode, click here for more information on How to Leave Us a Positive Review on iTunes! Your review will help to spread the word and get more entrepreneurs like you interested in our podcast. Thanks in advance - we appreciate you!

About Brad Weimert

DSC_0176Brad Weimert is founder of Easy Pay Direct, which he established in order to make easy to use, discounted merchant services available for retail and online merchants.

 

 

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To share your thoughts:

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Welcome to the Bright Ideas Community of Entrenpreneurs

 

How to Track (and Respond to) Video Engagement Using Infusionsoft

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When it comes to engaging your audience online, there is no substitute for video. With video, you can do more to convey what is unique to you and your brand than you can with virtually any other form of content.

bi-ultimate-marketing-automation-guideArmed with this high level of engagement, the question then becomes: what are you going to do with it?

With traditional video analytics, such as those provided by YouTube, all you get is the number of views, if anyone has favorited, liked, or disliked it, and if they’ve left any comments, which if you chose, you can manually reply to.

What is completely lacking is any sort of ability to automate a response to viewers based upon how much of the video they watched.

A Much More Efficient Solution

If you are an Infusionsoft user, there is a new application out called Plusthis which, among other things, gives you the power to fully automate how you would like to respond to subscribers that have watched some or all of one of your videos.

In the video below, I’m going to show how exactly how this can be done as well as give you several examples of the types of responses that you can very easily automate.



As you can see, this is an extremely efficient way to ensure that you are reaching out to your very best prospects for any topic or product that you are using video to promote.

There are literally endless ways that you could put this type of marketing automation into productive use. Below are just a few ideas to help you get the wheels turning.

  • Product launch
  • Blog post containing video
  • Affiliate promotion
  • Customer service

Note: If you are already a Bright Ideas subscriber and you clicked a link in an email to get to this post, just watch at least 3 minutes of the above video and then check your inbox. If you aren’t yet a subscriber, become one today and never miss out on another post like this one.

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An Interview with Laura Ries On How to Create a Visual Hammer

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In her father Al Ries’ legendary marketing book, Positioning, Al talked about the importance of owning a word in your prospect’s mind.

Trouble is, humans are visual, so most often we need some kind of image to help us get to the word.

For example, what do you think of when I say Geico, Afflack, or Twitter? I’ll bet you just thought of a gecko, a duck, and a little blue bird, didn’t you?

My guest on the show today is Laura Ries, author of several marketing books (the latest of which is Visual Hammer) and co-founder of the consulting firm Ries & Ries (along with her father, Al Ries). Laura has appeared on CNN, Fox News, CNBC, CNN Headline, to name just a few.

In this interview, you are going to hear Laura and I talk about:

  • her new book Visual Hammer
  • what a visual hammer is and why it’s important
  • how to create your own hammer
  • how writing books has played a huge role in the growth of their consulting firm
  • her process for writing a book
  • how to use PR to help build your brand
  • why PR has become a replacement for advertising

And so much more…

Links Mentioned

Positioning by Al Ries
The 22 Immutable Laws of Marketing by Al Ries and Jack Trout
Visual Hammer by Laura Ries
Ries Consulting
Zite

More About This Episode

The Bright Ideas podcast is the podcast for business owners and marketers who want to discover how to use online marketing and sales automation tactics to massively grow their business.

It’s designed to help marketing agencies and small business owners discover which online marketing strategies are working most effectively today – all from the mouths of expert entrepreneurs who are already making it big.

Listen Now

Enjoyed this Interview? Here’s How To Leave us a Positive Review on iTunes!

If you enjoyed this episode, click here for more information on How to Leave Us a Positive Review on iTunes! Your review will help to spread the word and get more entrepreneurs like you interested in our podcast. Thanks in advance - we appreciate you!

About Laura Ries

Laura 4 (9061)5x7Laura Ries is a leading branding strategist, bestselling author and television personality.

In 1994, Laura founded Ries & Ries with her father and partner Al Ries, the legendary Positioning-pioneer. Together they consult with companies around the world on brand strategy.

With Al, Laura is the co-author of five books on branding that have been worldwide bestsellers. Her first solo book, Visual Hammer was released in March 2012.

Laura is a frequent marketing analyst on major news programs from the O’Reilly Factor to Squawk Box to the Today Show. In addition, Laura writes her own popular blog RiesPieces.com and Twitter feed @lauraries.

Along with her husband and two sons, Laura is a resident of Atlanta, Georgia. Laura enjoys many outdoor activities such as horseback riding, swimming, triathlons, snow skiing.

 

Thanks for Listening!

To share your thoughts:

  • Leave a comment in the comment section below
  • Share this episode on Twitter or Facebook

To help out the show:

  • Leave a review on iTunes. It's your best way to say thank you to our team.
  • Subscribe on iTunes

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Welcome to the Bright Ideas Community of Entrenpreneurs

Measuring Customer Satisfaction with a Net Promoter Score and Infusionsoft

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According to Qualtrics, customer satisfaction is one of the most essential elements of customer retention, customer loyalty and product repurchase. The art and science of customer satisfaction involves strategically focusing on creating and reinforcing pleasurable experiences.

bi-ultimate-marketing-automation-guideEffective businesses focus on creating and reinforcing pleasurable experiences so that they might retain existing customers and add new ones.

Customer satisfaction matters. But where does a business get started?

How to Effectively Measure Customer Satisfaction

Measuring Customer Satisfaction is absolutely critical if you want to encourage the maximum number of referrals possible. Sadly, most small businesses don’t have a systematic way of tracking overall satisfaction.

Even worse is that fact that they have no way to receive instant notification of those who aren’t likely to spread the good word about their company, thereby leaving the unhappy customer to say whatever they like on their social networks!

When it comes to measuring customer satisfaction, one very popular method is called the Net Promoter Score.

The Net Promoter Score, or NPS®, is based on the fundamental perspective that every company’s customers can be divided into three categories: Promoters, Passives, and Detractors.

By asking one simple question — How likely is it that you would recommend [your company] to a friend or colleague? — you can track these groups and get a clear measure of your company’s performance through your customers’ eyes. Customers respond on a 0-to-10 point rating scale and are categorized as follows:

  • Promoters (score 9-10) are loyal enthusiasts who will keep buying and refer others, fueling growth.
  • Passives (score 7-8) are satisfied but unenthusiastic customers who are vulnerable to competitive offerings.
  • Detractors (score 0-6) are unhappy customers who can damage your brand and impede growth through negative word-of-mouth.

To calculate your company’s NPS, take the percentage of customers who are Promoters and subtract the percentage who are Detractors.

measuring-customer-satisfaction

Image Credit: NetPromoter.com

Automatically Measure Customer Satisfaction

In the video below, I’m going to take just over 4 minutes to show you exactly how you can use Infusionsoft (affiliate link) to automatically measure your company’s Net Promoter Score.

More importantly, I’m going to show you how to configure Infusionsoft to automatically notify you whenever someone submits a score that makes them a detractor – so that you can take immediate corrective action.

How to Improve Customer Satisfaction with Infusionsoft

Improving customer satisfaction begins with talking to the customers that aren’t happy with the product or service that they have purchased from you. In the video above, I’ve shown you an extremely easy way that you can find out who these people are so that you can reach out to them.

Below, I walk you through what a campaign for measuring customer satisfaction could look like.

nps-campaign

As you can see in the image above, customers will be routed down one of three paths (called sequences) depending on the answer they give on the web form shown below.

nps-webform

Once they make their selection and then complete the form, the magic of Infusionsoft takes over once again and routes them down the appropriate sequence (Promoter, Neutral, Detractor). The way this is done is via what is called a decision diamond.

decision-diamond

Configuring a decision diamond is very easy to do. All you do is create rules that tell the diamond which way to route the user, based upon what actions they have taken; which in this example is the rating from 1 to 10.

Below is a partial screen shot of the decision diamond configuration screen.

diamond-configuration-1

Based upon the logic shown above, the user is now routed down the appropriate sequence.

For example, if the user had chosen a 9 on the form, they would be classified as a promoter and routed down the sequence shown below.

Promoter-sequence

Had the user selected a 6 or lower, then they would have been routed down the detractor sequence, shown below.

detractor-sequence

Once you begin to track your Net Promoter Score, you are going to want to have easy access to it so that you can see at a glance the state of your overall customer satisfaction. This is easily accomplished by installing a widget onto your Infusionsoft dashboard. I’ve included a sample screenshot below.

nps-widget

As you can see, when you use the Net Promoter Score, combined with the automation power of Infusionsoft, you are going to have much more visibility into how your customers feel about your company’s level of service, and, perhaps more importantly, you are going to be able to instantly reach out to those that aren’t happy so that you can rectify whatever went awry before they start saying negative things about your firm on their social networks.

Additional Resources

Articles

Books

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How to Segment Your Email List with Infusionsoft

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When it comes to building a list of prospects for your product or service, by far the most important thing to do is to segment your list so that you can effectively communicate with each of your prospects as an individual, as opposed to just another subscriber.

bi-ultimate-marketing-automation-guideNot bothering to segment your list is, in my opinion, the equivalent of email marketing suicide because when you just send everything to everyone, your message relevance and open rates will suffer. As a result, the number of people that opt out of your list will also go through the roof.

How do I know? When I first started email marketing a few years ago, I was a total rookie and didn’t know anything about how to make it easy for my subscribers to segment themselves so they only receive the content and notifications that they actually want to receive. Like most rookies, I just sent everything to everyone.

Oops.

How to Segment Your List Automatically

They key with segmentation is to allow your subscribers to segment themselves. This can be done directly or indirectly. In other words, you can segment by asking direct questions, or you can segment based on the actions your subscribers take.

Segmenting with Direct Questions

Direction questions work very well for segmenting. All you need do is ask your subscribers direct questions and then ask them to click links that correspond to their answers. In the video below, I show you how to do this.



Another way to use direct questions to segment your list is to allow your subscribers to choose the categories for the types of content that they would like to receive. In my case, I have a form that looks like the image below. My subscribers can update this form anytime they wish, just by clicking a link in the emails they receive from me.

Manage Email Preferences

On the backend, Infusionsoft is applying or removing tags that correspond to the check boxes on this form. When the boxes are checked or unchecked, the decision diamond (enlarged in the image below) then looks at the logic and routes the subscribers down all the appropriate sequences. Each of the sequences then are set to either apply or remove the appropriate tag.

auto-segment

Below is a screenshot of a portion of the decision diamond that I enlarged in the image above. As you can see, configuring the logic is pretty simple. You just click each of the blue links and then Infusionsoft will give you a choice of your available options for each rule. No programming experience is needed whatsoever.

decisiondiamond

With this automation in place, we now have lists of people who have these tags that we can send broadcast emails to when we publish new content.

For example, if a subscriber was to place a check in the box for case studies (above), then whenever we publish a new case study, only the subscribers with that tag in Infusionsoft would receive that notification.

Indirect Segmentation

With indirect segmentation, instead of asking direct questions, you are going to segment based upon your subscriber’s behavior.

For example, if you published 5 pieces of content (over time) that all revolved around the topic of lead generation and you then emailed your list each time you published a post, whenever a subscriber clicked the link in an email notification you sent them, it would be a pretty safe bet to assume that this particular subscriber was pretty interested in lead generation.

In fact, if a subscribe were to click all 5 of the links in all five of the emails, the chances that they are interested in learning more about lead generation would be extremely high.

Fortunately with Infusionsoft it is extremely easy to identify these hot prospects with something called Lead Scoring – which I will cover in more detail in an upcoming post.

Until then, just know that you can easily apply a tag for every link click that occurs, and in aggregate, the tags give you the ability to segment your list in pretty much whatever way you would like. This is made possible via the very powerful contact search capabilities that Infusionsoft has built into the CRM portion of their application (shown below).

contact-search

Other Segmentation Criteria

Depending on your business, you may want also want to segment your list in a variety of other ways. This can be accomplished by adding additional questions to your lead capture forms. Just bear in mind that adding too many questions to your lead capture forms will result in diminishing returns as the more info you ask for, the lower your conversion rate will likely be.

Here are a few ideas on questions you might want answers to:

  • Industry
  • Organization Type
  • Job Function
  • Buying Frequency
  • Seniority Level
  • Education Level
  • Interest Level
  • Company Size
  • Geography

To see a more complete list, be sure and check out 27 Ways to Slice & Dice Your Email List for Better Segmentation from Hubspot.

Want to Learn More?

As important as list segmentation is, it is only one small part of an effective overall marketing strategy. The real key to running a success small business is to understand and embrace something called Lifecycle Marketing. If this is a concept that is unfamiliar to you, be sure to check out our Lifecycle Marketing Guide for Small Business as well as to register for our next webinar.

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Digital Marketing Strategy: Scott Griggs on How He Used Infusionsoft to Build a $5M Online Business Selling Model Trains

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Model-Trains

In this episode of the Bright Ideas podcast, my guest is Scott Griggs, founder of trainz.com; a leading online retailer model trains and accessories. After starting out as a model train collector as a child, Scott has grown his business into a thriving $5M a year enterprise and Infusionsoft is playing a huge role in his success. Approximately $4M of that revenue comes from selling used trains that he has acquired from estate sales, widows and a variety of other sources.

When it comes to the “buy side” of Scott’s business, there are a lot of moving parts. However, there is also a great deal of profit potential, so ensuring that his company is able to predictably acquire $4M worth of used inventory each year is incredibly important.

Listen to this interview and you will hear:

  • how Scott has used Infusionsoft to significantly streamline the “buy side” of his business
  • how he finds people with used train collections for sale
  • how he has automated the process so that he rarely loses out on a chance to buy valuable used inventory at wholesale prices
  • how he generates leads for the “sell side” of his business
  • how he uses Infusionsoft to segment these buyers into sub-groups and is able to automatically send them highly customized emails for only the things that each buyer is interested in, at a frequency that the buyer has selected
  • how to use contests to drive more referrals
  • how to use video to increase engagement

..And so much more!

Links Mentioned

More About This Episode

The Bright Ideas podcast is the podcast for business owners and marketers who want to discover how to use online marketing and sales automation tactics to massively grow their business.

It’s designed to help marketing agencies and small business owners discover which online marketing strategies are working most effectively today – all from the mouths of expert entrepreneurs who are already making it big.

Listen Now

Enjoyed this Interview? Here’s How To Leave us a Positive Review on iTunes!

If you enjoyed this episode, click here for more information on How to Leave Us a Positive Review on iTunes! Your review will help to spread the word and get more entrepreneurs like you interested in our podcast. Thanks in advance - we appreciate you!

Transcript

Trent: Hey there, bright idea hunters. Welcome to the Bright Ideas
Podcast. I’m your host Trent Dyrsmid, and this is the podcast
for marketing agencies and entrepreneurs who want to discover
how to use content marketing and marketing automation to
massively boost their business. My guest on the show today is
Scott Griggs, Founder of Trainz, with a Z, .com, a leading
online retailer of model trains and accessories. After starting
out as a model train collector as a child, Scott has grown his
business into a thriving $5 million a year organization that
employs 28 people.It didn’t start off so very well as you’re going to hear in this
episode, and Scott’s use of InfusionSoft has made a massive
difference in the success of his business. Before we get to that
I’ve got my technology tip as well as a special announcement.My tip for today is something called, and the URL is
express.mogreet.com. What I use this for is you’ll notice at
the end of this episode I’ll say, ‘If you want more, text Trent
to 585858.’ Mogreet is a software that powers that. Why is that
important? If you are wanting to capture leads when people are
on the fly, they have their mobile phone with them, but maybe
they’re not in front of their computer, Mogreet allows you to
get them to text you, whatever word you want, to that number and
you can, in my case I send back a welcome video, and I also send
back some copy, some marketing copy, some words and the link to
a mobile-friendly, opt-in page.Why I do this, of course, is because I want the people who are
listening to my podcast, as they’re driving down the road, to be
able to very easily opt-in to the list. Why would you want to
opt-in to my list? Well, one of the reasons why, as you’ll find
out about my second announcement, a webinar coming up on life
cycle marketing.If you don’t know about life cycle marketing, it’s a topic that you
need to understand if you really want to grow your business,
broken down into seven steps: attract traffic, capture leads,
nurture your leads to become customers, convert them with sales,
deliver your product or service and wow your customers, increase
with, revenue, rather, without sales and cross sales and then
generate more referrals. We’re going to cover all of that in
that webinar. Make sure that you go to BrightIdeas.co if you’re
in front of your computer and you can register yourself. Just
opt-in to the list, is all you need to do and you’ll get a
notification. With that said, let’s transition over to the
interview with Scott. Scott, welcome to the show.Scott: Thank you. Glad to be here.

Trent: Scott, for the folks who maybe aren’t familiar with you or your
company, I’ve given, of course, the little introduction at the
beginning of this but it’s always best for them to hear in your
own words who you are and what you do. Could you just very
briefly speak to that?

Scott: My name’s Scott Griggs. My company is Trainz.com, and that’s
Trainz with a Z. We buy and sell model train equipment,
primarily used collectible trains but we also do a fair amount
with new trains as well. We do pretty much all scales and gauges
and 99 plus percent of our business we do online.

Trent: You’ve been in the model train space for a very long time. You
started off, I think as, in your childhood, right?

Scott: Right. When I was 15 I opened my first train business in my
parent’s garage, fixing model trains and small appliances. Did
that all through college and really haven’t stopped since, doing
it one way or another.

Trent: No kidding. What we’re going to talk about in this interview,
because I’ve never interviewed anyone that’s in the train
business before, is that I learned of Scott at InfusionCon,
which is InfusionSoft’s annual event and he had a particularly
interesting story of how he transitioned his business from
several stores and not really making a whole lot of money, and
we’re going to talk a little bit more about that in a minute, to
a very successful online business. And InfusionSoft, from my
understanding, has played a pretty big role in that. Is that
correct?

Scott: Correct.

Trent: Let’s get a little bit of the back story. You went down the
traditional retailer route. You went from your parent’s garage
to, I think you peaked out at three retail locations?

Scott: Right. I went to work in corporate America for 13 years, well,
starting and during that but after about, well, after five years
or so, before I left, I was with General Electric. I had started
the train business in a bigger way, actually my wife started in
a rented flea market booth and then we put it out into a real
retail store.

Trent: Then there was a second one and a third one?

Scott: Then we bought a second, then I left corporate America and had
a 7,500 square foot retail store, then I bought another
competitor’s store, and then I figured the solution to make
things better was to open a third store. That didn’t go so well
and I ended up folding all those into one store and then,
actually went bankrupt in that process and sold the store and
then went back to work in corporate America.

Trent: That does not sound like the American dream.

Scott: That wasn’t too fun.

Trent: The bankruptcy, was that due to that $350,000 inventory
shortage?

Scott: That was the problem. Yes. At the time we were doing the retail
store, I was doing mail order, I was running all over the
country doing train shows, and had three stores and we looked at
every which way of just doing perhaps one store and mail order
or just one store and train shows, and we really just couldn’t
find any way out of the mess that we were in and the best way
was just to shut it down and be done with it. That’s what we
did.

Trent: Not a lot of fun.

Scott: No.

Trent: I want to make sure that the people who are listening to this
have a real compelling reason to keep listening. I always like
to give the conclusion first and then let’s, we’ll back up and
get through the details that got you to that conclusion. Your
business now is pretty successful. It’s all online and how much
revenue are you doing per year?

Scott: About five and a half million.

Trent: This is not just some little rinky dink little business
anymore. You’ve built yourself a really nice company that’s
doing substantial amount of revenue after having a pretty
horrible start to the whole thing. I really want people to
understand because some people listening to this might be near
that bankruptcy phase and that’s not a fun place to be.
Everybody, I’m sure, would like to be at the five and one half
million dollar phase, unless, of course, somebody’s listening to
this and they’re doing more than that.

Your dream kind of went kaplooey. You went back to work for a while
and then you went online. How did you get started? What was the
thinking that went into that and why did you even want to be in
the train business again?

Scott: That was 1997 and I learned of this small company out in
California called eBay. Back in ’97, I mean it wasn’t, that was
the Wild West of eBay big time because there were no automated
tools that, after being in the, in any business or any industry,
I guess, for a long time like I had been with model trains, I
pretty much developed an encyclopedia knowledge of trains and
their values, and I saw what things were selling for on eBay,
and it was just amazing. I knew that I could buy things for less
than that and resell on eBay. That’s what I did about six months
after the train store shut down, I started selling on eBay. I
just didn’t figure that out fast enough while I still had the
store.

Actually, funny story there. I had a guy tell me when I was
struggling with the stores at the very end about eBay. I
couldn’t figure it out and I actually had a price list on the
Internet at the time. It was, kind of, way before e-commerce or
at the very beginning of it because I wasn’t doing that. I
couldn’t figure eBay out by the website so I called them up on
the phone. Can you imagine calling eBay? It’s like, “What do you
guys do? I hear that might be something that I could take
advantage of.” That’s what I did. That’s pretty bad.

Trent: Well 1997, that’s like 9,436 years ago in Internet time.

Scott: Right.

Trent: What year did you start using InfusionSoft?

Scott: That was somewhere five, six years ago, something in that time
frame, I guess. [inaudible 00:10:00]

Trent: You’re an early adopter, man. InfusionSoft is only six and a
half years old.

Scott: That was pretty early in InfusionSoft time too, as far as
trying to figure out how to use their software and configure it,
make it work. At that time, I’ve got an engineering degree and
I’ve done some programming although I’m not really good at it
but at least I understand it. I had a hernia operation, so I was
kind of out of commission for a while and that was a good time
to sit in my recliner and figure out how to set up InfusionSoft.
So that’s what I did.

Trent: For the folks that are listening who listen to that and think,
‘Oh my god, I don’t want to do that.’ InfusionSoft is not like
that anymore. You don’t need to be a programmer or anything
fancy. The interface is all visual. If I can use it, because I
don’t know how to write a line of code to save my life, I think
that most anyone with enough desire can use it.

What was the problem that you were trying to solve when you decided
that, I need to get on board with this InfusionSoft thing?
Granted, back then it wasn’t nearly as capable as it is today
but you’re still using it today so there’s got to be good
reasons for that.

Scott: Right. Actually there were two things. One is the conventional
way to use it and the other is the unique way that we use it and
I’ll probably spend more time talking about that today unless
Trent takes me elsewhere, but two problems I had was, number
one, keeping up with all of the opportunities to buy trains.
Like I said, most of our business is selling collectible trains
and with probably three and a half, four million dollars-worth
of collectible trains that we sold last year, which means I have
to find that many trains.

It’s not like I can just put a purchase order in to some manufacturer
or wholesaler and everything just shows up, and I sell it. I’ve
got to find all this stuff in people’s basements or train stores
that go out of business or whatever. We do a fair amount of
advertising to educate people, ‘If you need to sell your trains,
that’s what we do.’ We didn’t have anywhere near a good process
of keeping up with all that, and since we’ve really got so many
lists coming in everyday, it was just a struggle to keep up with
figuring out what I wanted to offer for this and make the offer.
Then tomorrow, it’s another set of lists and forgot about the
one I did yesterday, or the one I did last month or six months
ago.

I wanted to test out InfusionSoft on that side of the business before
I went to the other side of the business, on the sales side, and
how can I use it like normal people do to get people to come buy
whatever it is on sale [sounds like], and to develop a pool of
prospects and ultimately turn them into customers and then turn
them into better customers as time goes on.

Trent: Very interesting. I do want to dive down that a little bit then
because there’s probably somebody listening to this who is
thinking, ‘I’d like to know a little bit more about that.’ How
you’re using it to find that inventory. Can you explain a little
bit more of how it has made that a more efficient process for
you?

Scott: Absolutely. It’s moving out of spreadsheet world into a real
database driven program to be able to keep track of that. What
we’ve done is we’ve got, the way the process starts and what
InfusionSoft or marketing people call lead magnets is the idea,
‘What do I do to get people interested in me?’ On that side of
the business actually it’s money because what I’m offering is a
pile of cash if you sell me your trains. I’ve got to convince
people that, first I’ve got to have people be able to find me
and then, of course, I’ve got to convince them that we’re the
people that are going to do the best job for you in buying your
trains.

Primarily, what we use is actually Google pay-per-click ads, so
if you search anywhere on the Internet for, ‘I’ve got a train
set to sell,’ I think it’s a pretty safe bet that whatever you
can imagine you can type into Google whether you’ve gone
bankrupt with a train store or you’re an attorney and you’ve got
a client and the lady’s husband’s died and she’s got all these
trains and how am I going to find somebody who’s going to come
in and buy all these, we’ve done the best job we could think of
to make sure we’ve hit all those terms with Google.

Then that takes you to a landing page, basically where we’ve got a
video with Cindy, which is one of the ladies that works here. It
explains how our process works as far as buying your train and
actually coming and picking them up and how all that works.

Then we also, on that page we also offer a free report so that if you
give us your email address and your name and what state you’re
in, we will send you a free report on all of the different ways
that you can explore to sell your model trains. It’s kind of
interesting. In writing that report I kind of figured out myself
that it all boils down to three different things. It’s how much
money do you want to get, how long do you want to wait to get
the money and how much work do you want to do?

Depending on which two of those three that you pick, then our report
says, ‘Well, if you want the most money, and you’re willing to
do all the work, then you got to go sell them on eBay yourself
because that’s probably how you’ll get the most money, if you
want to spend a lot of time doing it. But if you don’t have a
lot of time and need the money quickly, then you need to send us
a list, and we’ll buy them from you, and that’ll be fast and
easy.

It’s kind of interesting. I went through this probably, believe it or
not, ten different ways theoretically that you could go about
selling your collectible trains. We tell you what the pitfalls
and the benefit of each one of those are and three of those
where you just happen to be working with us.

InfusionSoft manages all that. The key there is once somebody fills
out that form and gives us their email address, what we’re doing
is we’re sending them a report on how to sell their trains but
what that tells us is, ‘If you need a report to sell your
trains, guess what? You’ve got trains to sell.’ Then we program
InfusionSoft to send out a series of emails that, ‘We saw you
downloaded our report. Is there anything else that we can help
you with?’ Carly [SP] is our buyer and all emails are signed by
Carly, like she’s sitting there typing them, but, ‘I see you
downloaded a report a week ago and I haven’t heard anything from
you. Is there something I can do to help you?

This goes on forever actually. Pretty much for six months, starting
out, it’s a week and then it’s another week and then it’s two
weeks, then it’s a month and then it’s two months and then they
finally get into a sequence that every month they’re getting
some email from us. The classic one, and this is part of what I
got when I signed up for InfusionSoft a long time ago is some
suggested sales letters on copy writing and I’m not a real
flamboyant, extravagant kind of person but the way that the copy
writing is done is not exactly my style but they say it works,
so I tried it.

The classic one is the one that goes out at six months from Carly and
it says, ‘Hi. It’s Carly again. I can’t believe it’s been six
months already, and I haven’t heard anything from you. I just
really want to help you, and I can’t help you. My boss is going
to be asking me why I haven’t been able to buy your trains and I
just really feel like I’m a failure. God I hate feeling like a
failure, so if there’s anything I can do to really get that list
and talk to you, I’d really appreciate it before I have to talk
to my boss.’

You would not believe how many people, after we’ve talked to them ten
times, when they get that one it’s like, ‘Oh my god, Carly. I’m
so sorry. I didn’t know it was that important to you. Here’s my
trains.’ That’s just not me, but it’s just hilarious how many
people will go for that.

Trent: That’s just basic human psychology. Most people want to help
somebody and Carly’s saying, ‘I need your help.’

Scott: My advice there is don’t be afraid to use what may seem like
extreme psychological tactics like that because it works in a
nice way without people feeling duped or tricked or mad at you
or anything. It’s just, it gets the job done.

Trent: In your case, you’re not trying to sell them anything. You’re
trying to give them money. Really, these people are, as was
pointed out, I just interviewed Dustin Burleson early this
morning. I’m sure you know him from Burleson Orthodontics and we
were talking about the follow-up sequence and he realized, he
said, it’s not that people are disinterested, it’s that they’re
busy.

He gave the example of this woman that walked up to him at a Costco
and she’d recognized him from all the videos and stuff that
she’d seen in his funnel of him. She said, ‘I’m coming in to see
you guys tomorrow and it was ironic that I saw you at Costco and
I wanted to say hi.’ She’d been in the funnel for 11 months of
nurturing and she has, I think he said four or five kids and on
any given weekend has like eight volleyball games to go to. This
is not a disinterested person, this is a busy person. That’s why
all of this repetitive follow-up works so incredibly well.

Scott: That’s what worked for me to sign up for InfusionSoft. I think
it took me ten or 11 or 12 months. I knew I wanted it. At the
time I really didn’t want to spend the money and I knew I needed
to do something different from what I was doing and they finally
got me into one of those sequences. ‘We’ve got this big sale.
We’re doing it for X percent off and you get this extra
coaching, this extra copy writing package,’ and all this stuff.
‘It ends at 6:00 Friday.’ It’s like, I’m a smart person, and I
know that it doesn’t really end 6:00 Friday but I was on the
phone at 6:00 Friday with one of their sales reps and finally
gave them my credit card and just said, ‘I’m doing it. I’m
finally going to get it done.’

It took me that long and getting all their information and actually,
kudos to Clay at InfusionSoft because he writes a lot of really
good articles on how to make your small business better. Really
doesn’t have anything to do with InfusionSoft, I mean it does,
but it doesn’t. He’s sending me all this great information on
how I can make my business better and certainly after I read all
that stuff for months and months, he is definitely done a great
job, in my mind. It’s like, ‘This guy really knows a lot about
small business.’ It’s like, ‘By the way, we’ve got this nice
software packaged that you can buy that’s going to help you be
an even better small business too.’ It’s like, ‘I believe you. I
just really believe you.’ I didn’t even look for anything else.
It’s like, ‘This is the place to go.’ It turned out that was a
really good decision, and it was correct, but it’s all about
marketing.

Trent: It is. And delivery. You can’t market and have a hollow
delivery because that won’t last for long.

Scott: It’s the real deal.

Trent: If you’re listening to this for the first time and you’re
thinking, ‘This is kind of cool,’ but you’re not sure what to do
yet, if you go to BrightIdeas.co, up on the navigation bar
you’re going to see a link called InfusionSoft Success Stories.
I use InfusionSoft. I interview all of the top people that use
InfusionSoft and you can hear interview after interview in a
variety of different markets and niches of people who have had
the most amazing success using InfusionSoft and I would
encourage that you go and check that out.

Where do we want to go next? One other question for you. On the
follow-up sequence, and I got this from Dustin in my interview
this morning. They do, in the first week they do four emails.
One on day one, day two, day three and day five, I think it was.
I don’t have the notes in front of me anymore. He’s a religious
tester. What he realized was email number two, after they
download the lead magnet is the highest converting email. I
thought that was really interesting. I’ll see if I can find my
notes, which of course, now I can’t find.

A lot of times when people download your stuff, they’re busy and they
don’t get to it and they don’t open and they don’t read it. Here
we go. The second email reminded them what they had requested
plus it provided them with and FAQ as well as to summarize the
main points of the free report they’d offered. Have you ever
tried anything like that?

Scott: We do it, I haven’t tested it and done anywhere near that
scientific about it, unfortunately, but actually we’re actually
going back down to Arizona in a couple of months to redesign and
do one of the makeovers on our InfusionSoft setup actually
because what I saw at InfusionCon last month and some of the
things that other people were doing that seem like a pretty big
step above some of the things we’ve got in place. It’s like,
time for us to do that, but we wait. We send the report and then
we wait three days because I want to give them a little bit of
time to think about it, and I don’t want to just start
bombarding them every day as soon as they do that.

I can’t tell you honestly, is it that one or the one that I send a
week later? The one that goes a week after that, but we’ve got a
whole sequence of, I think, 12 different emails that are all
asking the same question in a different way. ‘What can we do to
help you to send us a list?’

Trent: Dustin didn’t want to bombard them either, which is why he used
to not send four emails in the first week. It’s day one, day
three, day five and day seven and then he tested it and much
like you, tested copy that you wouldn’t necessarily write, with
Carly saying, ‘Help me out.’ It works like that. Moral of the
story is test, test, test.

Scott: I agree. I’m one of those busy people and haven’t done it as
well either.

Trent: Where do I want to go next? Let me look at my notes here.

Scott: I’ll tell you, I’ll keep going down that path if you don’t
mind.

Trent: Please do.

Scott: I’ll tell you how InfusionSoft really plays into that because
the first thing is the thing of getting an inventory list of
what people want to sell. We use InfusionSoft as a business
management system as much as anything. We’ve actually got three
people to work for us, two in the Philippines and one in India
that do all of our data entry work and a lot of pricing research
to basically get back to me, ultimately, the list of what these
people have to sell, what I think it’s worth and ultimately,
then I want to offer to buy their train collection.

We use InfusionSoft to manage the whole process so once we get a list
in, we update the contact record that we got the list, then we
update who we send it to to do the data entry work and actually,
those three people overseas, one of them does data entry, one of
them does pricing research and another one actually does
pricing.

Over the years, I’ve actually worked with them and trained them on
how to do this really specific work that you wouldn’t think
you’d be able to do unless you were a trained expert.
Ultimately, in InfusionSoft, they go into InfusionSoft when they
complete their piece of the work and they pass it on to the next
person and so I can see, in this business process, where all my
lists are and who’s working on them.

We set them up as if an A list, which is the top priority, or a B
list or C list and all these kinds of things. When it comes back
to me, then I ultimately set the price. I send it back to one of
the ladies and then she goes in and updates all the fields in
InfusionSoft and then based on how large my offer is, we will
either just send them an email with the offer and, of course,
and there’s a button right in the email, ‘I accept your offer.
Send me your call tags and pick up the trains and I’m ready to
send them in.’

That goes into a whole follow-up sequence. ‘We sent you an offer for
$500. We haven’t heard anything. Is everything okay? Is there
anything else we can do?’ That goes on, pretty much forever
until they tell us, ‘I sold my trains or I’ve changed my mind.’
If it’s a higher offer, then we do all those via phone and we’ve
actually got an interview template and keep all the answers to
that in InfusionSoft so that we can keep track of what we’ve
asked them and what they’ve told us.

Again, after we make that phone offer, on the bigger ones we put them
in a different sequence that’s similar, but different than the
smaller ones because it’s more of a high touch process
[inaudible 28:05]. Ultimately, when they tell us, ‘I accept your
offer. I want to sell you my trains,’ then we update that.

Then it’s a matter of some people are going to send their trains in
through FedEx or UPS. Other ones we have to schedule trips to
actually go, either drive or fly out and rent a truck to pick
them up. We keep track of that. We know which ones need to be
picked up, where in the country they’ll fall on our dashboard in
InfusionSoft, and then we update the status, that it’s scheduled
for pickup so we know when that truck comes in which collections
are on each truck and then if it’s a situation where we agreed
to pay so much up front and so much later, our accountant’s tied
into all that so she knows how much everybody needs to be paid
at what point. We use it for far more than just marketing.
There’s a whole business process around it.

Trent: I’m glad that you shared that because it made me think of the
question that I would never have asked in my interview prep. If
you didn’t have InfusionSoft, Scott, how many more employees do
you think you would have to have to manage the buy side of your
business?

Scott: That’s a good question. I think the bigger issue is it’s not
the payroll expense, it is just the, even if I had a full time
person or two, whatever, it is having the discipline to remember
to keep touching and checking on all these things. Even if you
use some kind of email that some person would send all these, I
mean, it’s just a nightmare. Right now I’ve got, I didn’t check
this number but it doesn’t matter, I would say we’ve got
somewhere in the neighborhood of 2,000 offers that are in
process right now, that are in all these different sequences
that they haven’t said yes or no yet.

Some of those you have are a couple of years old and they’re pretty
cold, and they’re pretty unlikely that something’s going to
happen, but every once in a while one does and I didn’t have to
do anything to get it. It was just I finally sent an email at
the right time, and the person was ready to sell, which is,
that’s a big part of the whole success and marketing of the biz
is presenting an offer when somebody’s ready to do something,
not necessarily when you’re ready to do something but when
they’re ready to do something.

It just, it makes us so much more efficient and organized because we
tried to do this with spreadsheets when we were a lot smaller,
and we did a terrible job at it. We’d get some great collection
that maybe we’d offer them $50,000, which is like, ‘Man, that’s
fantastic. We’ve got to win that one,’ but then in the whirlwind
of everything that’s going on, a month later it’s like I forgot
about that one. It’s like, ‘Oh my god. How could I have
forgotten about that?’ Then you call them back and it’s like,
‘I didn’t hear anything so I sold it to the other guy.’ Then you
just want to kill yourself ‘How did I do that?’

Trent: For those of you that are listening, if you are a marketing
consultant or a marketing agency and you’re thinking about how
the acquisition of used train inventory parallels the
acquisition of new customers, send me an email to
trent@brightideas.co. I have a completely pre-built marketing
funnel for your industry that I think will save you a truckload
of time if you decide you want to use InfusionSoft, and I will
give it to you for free. Send me an email to
trent@brightideas.co if that’s you.

Before we go off the buy side of your business, is there anything
else that you think, because I wouldn’t have thought to ask you
about this, is there anything else that you think that’s really
important that you want to talk about? Sounds like you’ve done a
pretty decent job.

Scott: No, I don’t think so on that side, but it just organizes
everything.

Trent: The one thing I would encourage the listeners is think about,
because this has kind of been fascinating for me because I would
have thought to myself, because I remember thinking this
actually when I was doing the research for this interview and I
realized, because I originally thought that you were just
selling trains, that you would send a PO to a manufacturer and
you could have as much inventory as you like. Then when I
realized you were buying used inventory I thought, ‘Oh my god.
How does he do that at that scale?’ Which we’ve just discovered
how you do.

How many people who are listening to this, they’re not in the train
business but they’re in the some kind of something business and
maybe they’re not even, they have never even thought about
buying used inventory from people. The margins on the used
stuff, I’d have to guess, are much better than it is on the
margins on the new stuff. Perhaps this is a way for you tap into
something that none of your competitors are even doing. A whole
source of profit that you didn’t even think was possible to
achieve. I hope that’s been helpful.

Let’s talk about, we use the conventional, like what most people
would use InfusionSoft for. Can you, you’ve got, on the
marketing and selling side starts off with you’ve got to track
leads so that you can sell this inventory to people. Can you
talk about how you’re using InfusionSoft to help you do that?
Not even how I’m using InfusionSoft, just, fitted in, of course
but just how you’re generating leads.

Scott: We sell, we’re a multi-channel ecommerce seller, so we sell on
eBay to a much lesser extent now. At one point, we were one of
eBay’s top 200 sellers on the whole platform when we were just
using eBay for everything. Since that point, we’ve put our own
website in place and I don’t know, five, six, seven years ago.
We’ve been doing that quite a while. We also sell new product on
Amazon. We sell a little bit on Buy.com.

Then earlier last year we also set up our own auction platform so
instead of sending everything to eBay auctions, it’s like we’ve
got a custom list that’s 100,000 deep. I think we can just set
up our own auction site and do it and not have to pay eBay. We
tested that and it worked and so now every week we run usually
about seven different auctions, one for each scale and they end
on different nights, so we try to make it easy for our customers
so that if you’re doing [Y&L] modern era trains, those auctions
always end on Saturday night from 9:00 to 11:00 or 8:00 to
10:00, or I can’t remember how we set it up so you don’t have to
look at our things all the time. We’ve made it pretty easy for
you.

We attract customers, they are certainly from all of the emails that
we’ve collected from our customer selling on eBay. We do some
magazine advertising in model train magazines. I’m a member of
three different train clubs so I advertise in their
publications. We actually even have a TV commercial that runs on
cable for the sponsors of a show called “I Love Toy Trains.”
That’s been a new thing we’ve been doing for a few months now.
It’s not huge, but hopefully something growing and we’re having
fun playing with it.

We develop, we get all those leads, get people to opt-in to wanting
to hear from us, and if you’re in this hobby you’re generally
pretty passionate about it and anything you get an opportunity
to hear more about cool stuff that we just bought that you’re
interested in, it’s pretty easy for people that really want to
do that. InfusionSoft powers all of our emails, actually we have
a process that, when we sign up we ask, or if you’ve been in our
database forever, we send out, we’ve got a whole sequence for
this, we want to know so that we can segment our list and target
people appropriately instead of spamming you with everything
about [inaudible 36:56] scale trains and you’re doing HR, you
don’t really care about that stuff.

We ask them what scale that they’re interested in, or scales which
are the different sizes of the different trains and then are you
interested in new trains or used trains? Then something we’ve
been thinking about, we haven’t implemented yet, was we really
want to go one other dimension in, ‘How do you prefer to buy
your trains? Do you prefer to buy on auction or do you only want
to buy on fixed price?’ So the people can say, ‘I don’t really
want to buy auction.’ It’s like, ‘We won’t send you emails about
our auction then,’ because if you’re going to opt-out, we really
don’t want you to opt-out just because you don’t like auctions.
We just want to kind of opt you out of those kind of emails
instead of other emails that you may be interested in.

Trent: You touched on, I want to jump in here because you touched on
some things that I really don’t want you to skim past, which are
really important. You talked about this segmentation. When you
get someone on your list by however you do it, if you have a
variety of products, you just don’t want to treat everybody the
same because people are at different points in the buying cycle,
from a psychological standpoint, they’re interested in different
products, different services and this is one of the areas where
I think InfusionSoft works really well. Can you talk about how
you allow your list to segment themselves?

Scott: Well by sending them a form that says, ‘Tell us about yourself.
Which [sales] are you interested in?’ Actually, something else
that we do is, to solve this problem of how often should we
email these people? That’s just always a burning thing and I
don’t want to email them too much but I want to email them as
much as I can because I know when I send out email blasts I get
orders. What we’ve done is, one of the questions we ask is, ‘How
often do you want to get emails from us? Every day? Every week?
Every month? Just before Christmas? Never. We get it.’

Then we also send out customized emails, really every day, to people
so those people that are really fanatics and they say, ‘I want
to hear about stuff every day,’ we send them an email but we
also use a recommendation engine software that it knows, ‘Here’s
all the products that this person has bought. Here are all the
products that we’ve got available. Then there’s some fancy
calculations, so that right in the email we feature five
products today that we think, or that the software thinks that
that person’s going to be interested in, unless, if they’re the
everyday people, tomorrow it recommends five more things.

We also put a link on there that at the bottom that there’s some kind
of text around it that says, ‘Would you like to change your
email frequency?’ You want to give it too much or too little so
they can click that and go reset it. If they thought they wanted
to get them every day but they decided that’s a bit over the top
and they can change it to weekly, or monthly or whatever they
want. I think an important thing is to give some thought to how
your customers may want to be treated and then give them the
opportunity to, like you said, go in and set that up themselves.
It’s a beautiful thing.

Trent: Absolutely. You mentioned Recommendation software. What
software is that?

Scott: Currently we’re using Certona.

Trent: How do you spell that?

Scott: Pardon.

Trent: I was going to say how do you spell that, but if you’re about
to switch to something else.

Scott: C-E-R-T-O-N-A. Part of that, we use it on our website also so
you’ll see it on our website, on our item page, on our category
pages and on our checkout page. Again, they get data feeds from
us and they’ve got code in our shopping carts so their systems
are keeping track of, to some extent, right now it’s limited to
just what we saw on our website which is pretty limiting.

Actually one of our IT guys has been working on that as kind of a
little side project. He’s getting really to roll out, we’re
going to do our own recommendations based on what we’ve seen
people buy and what people generally try together and what our
most popular products are. We’re going to test doing that
ourselves both on the website and in the emails because we’ve
got our own custom written software that we manage all this with
in-house and in that database we aggregate all the sales,
whether the person bought it on eBay or they bought it on Amazon
or our website or our auction site. Whereas [inaudible 42:04]
can only pick up information on what we sell on our website, so
it’s kind of operating with a crutch because it just doesn’t see
all the data.

But still, it doesn’t matter what product you use but I read about
that a long time ago this idea of mass customized email, that
every single email is different based on the person. It’s like,
that’s a really cool concept but how do you actually make it
work? We’ve done that. I think it’s worked pretty well but I
think it could work a lot better. We’re just constantly trying
to do things better and that’s one of them right now.

Trent: I also, on my opt-in page, have a checkbox for email frequency.
It says, ‘If you want to get only one email per week, put a
check here.’ When you, and then I tag them, as a result of that
checkbox. Have you figured out a way in your automated marketing
funnels to be able to only send them, to “slow down the funnel.”
Let’s say the funnel was originally designed to send an email
every three days, just for an arbitrary number. When they opt-in
they say, ‘Well, I only want one email a week.’ Have you figured
out a way to slow the funnel down? Did you create a separate
funnel or is this just affecting the broadcasts?

Scott: You just create a different schedule for a different sequence.
I’ve got the daily sequence and I’ve got people tagged that are
in that. I’ve got their weekly sequence and I got the people
that are tagged in that and the monthly one, the quarterly one,
the annual one and I just don’t email them at all.

Trent: You’re just creating separate funnels that probably have a lot
of the same content but distribute that content into the
different frequency.

Scott: Yes. [Exactly], just triggered differently.

Trent: Simple answer. Great. I want to make sure that we’ve really
covered this lead generation topic because it’s such a pain
point for so many people. Is there anything else in lead
generation that’s working really well for you or any tricks that
you’ve figured out on how to use InfusionSoft, which have really
boosted your results?

Scott: Other than just using it.

Trent: Nothing’s popping to mind.

Scott: Yeah, nothing is jumping into my brain on that one.

Trent: No problem. That means we’ve covered it adequately. Now you’ve
got leads in the funnel, they’re in the top of the funnel and
you need to nurture them, in other words, build a relationship
and you need to convert them to customers. We’ve talked a little
bit about that. You’ve talked about you’re going to send
information that’s relevant to the type of trains that they’re
interested in. You’re going to send that information on the
frequency that they have selected. Is there anything else, in
terms of content that you’re sending or the way that you’re
sending it that you think works particularly well to nurture
your, we’ll call them cold leads so they become much more likely
to become a warm customer?

Scott: Not as well as I would like. I think, I’ve got a pretty good
idea of what to do but unfortunately, we haven’t done a good job
of implementing that yet. That was part of the reason that when
I went to InfusionCon and just looking at what other people have
done and saying, ‘Man, we so need to do that and we so don’t
have the time to do that. We’ve got a million other things going
on,’ and that’s why we decided to actually take up the folks at
Sixth Division and sign up for one of their makeovers and it’s
like, ‘We’re just going to fly three of us down there for two
days and just knock it out.’

One of the things we used to do is we used to send out a monthly
newsletter but the people that we have writing all the
newsletter articles moved on and are doing other things and we
just haven’t, nobody here who has been trained has bubbled up
and wants to do that, so unfortunately it hasn’t been getting
done. The idea of, in addition to just sending emails, to
actually sending things out in the mail or sending gifts, like
when somebody spent $5,000 that, that triggered some fulfillment
service to send them some cool train related kind of gift with a
thank you. It’s like, ‘We so need to do that kind of stuff.’
Conceptually we’ve got a half-baked plan but certainly, yes,
we’re going to do that but unfortunately I don’t have a good
story on that because we just haven’t done it yet.

Trent: Well, I do have a good story. I’ve interviewed a lot of people
using InfusionSoft and the interview will be published before
this one is, is with Andy Michaels from Blue Chip Athletics. I
recorded it just the other day and Andy, they’ve done a
phenomenal job of what happens after somebody buys something for
the first time? Go ahead. Just make sure that you listen to that
interview and I think that you’ll get a lot of very good ideas.

Blue Chip was one of the ultimate marketer finalists at InfusionCon
this year. In InfusionSoft’s opinion, they were one of the top
three companies that was really crushing it using their
software, so I think that you’ll find that’s a really
interesting interview. Andy even goes so far as to give out his
contact information so he’s very approachable. I’ve, in my
subsequent emails with Andy, because I’m always looking to
improve my business as well, he’s given me some really killer
ideas and screenshots and I made a video for him of this thing
that I’m doing, so he’s a really good guy and I think you’ll
thoroughly enjoy the interview.

Scott: Great. I’ll check that out as well.

Trent: Let’s then transition to, are you, before I transition off
this, are you, in your ecommerce store, are you using
InfusionSoft shopping cart? I’m thinking maybe not because you
have too many SKUs.

Scott: No. We’re not.

Trent: Let’s transition into referrals, upsells and repeat business.
Is there something in particular, Scott, that you guys are doing
to encourage your existing customers to refer you more? Because
I’ve got to think that I’m into trains, I know lots of other
people who are into trains.

Scott: Right. Not really, I hate to tell you. Again, that’s on our
list of things that we know we should be doing it and it’s not
there. We offer a reward or a finder’s fee on the buy side. If
you refer somebody to us, the seller collects and we give you a
percentage of whatever we pay for it but we’re really doing not
a great job at this point and time on asking for referrals and
doing upsells, other than just bombard them with the upsells on,
‘Here’s some other stuff that we think that you’d be interested
in.’ I mean, we do that in a pretty big and a pretty automated
way and it works pretty well.

We’ve got some issues with our tracking on that so that’s one of the
other things that I want to see us get fixed is to get some much
better, clearer stats on exactly how well those things are
working and where they’re coming from [sounds like], so that we
can do a better job of doing more of the things that work and
the things that we thought were working but aren’t working as
good, figure out how to improve those. We’ve got some more work
to do on both of those areas.

Trent: Luckily, I have some more ideas for you there too. Earlier this
morning I interviewed Dustin Burleson from Burleson
Orthodontics, also one of the InfusionSoft Ultimate Marketer
Finalists, tripled his business in 18 months and he, prior to
using InfusionSoft and a contest strategy, 15 percent of revenue
came from referrals. Now 60 percent of revenue comes from
referrals and he’s using raffles, prizes and contests. I’ll just
say go check out the interview. Just do a search on
BrightIdeas.co for Dustin Burleson, B-U-R-L-E-S-O-N, and you’ll
be able to listen to that interview.

We talked about that at some length but essentially it boils down to
running contests and a past guest of mine by the name of Travis
Ketchum runs a company called Contest Domination, which I think
is probably one of the best contest platforms that are out
there, in the show notes for this episode, I’ll put a link to
that but you can run very easily run contests on his software
kind of automates the whole thing and picks the winner and
encourages social sharing and all this really cool stuff that’s
going to help you [inaudible 51:34].

Scott: I actually love that idea. A few years ago I came up with the
idea that wouldn’t it be cool if you come to the website, we
have a daily trivia contest because a lot of train people seem
to really get into that. Then at the end of the month, who’s the
top trivia player and you get some kind of prize. Also is to set
it up in such a way that you know, obviously they’ve got to sign
in to answer the question of the day, so you know who they are
and so my Recommendation software is going to put right on that
page, ‘Here’s six or eight things we think you’d like so long as
you’re here today for the contest.’ I’ll check that out as well
because I think those two things tie together just have to be
super powerful and would work really well.

Trent: It ties into InfusionSoft, which is all the better. We’re
getting close to wrapping up here. Let me ask you, because in
the beginning, if you really want to hear Scott’s story of how
bad it went, I think he puts a lot of it on the abode of his
site, but having those three stores and going bankrupt, that’s
no fun. Then probably, go ahead.

Scott: No. I’m sorry. What I did on my website, what you read was
Scott’s story and the reason that I put that out there is not
because I’m an egomaniac or anything, and I want to tell my
story, but it’s really to make people feel comfortable with who
I really am because selling your train collection or a wife
selling a husband’s train collection that they built together
for 40 years, for a lot of people that’s a pretty emotional
decision.

And so what I wanted to do was to convey to the best of my ability
that I get that. I understand that. I want to be compassionate
about it, and ultimately, I’m not going to screw you because
I’ve heard some horror stories for guys that have built
$100,000, $200,000 collections and somebody goes in and the wife
doesn’t know anything about it and sells it for 20 grand and
that is just so not right. I’m the guy that you don’t have to
worry that is what’s going to happen to you. I put my story out
there and I’m real. I get a lot of compliments on that, by the
way, too.

Trent: Deservedly so. Can I offer you two points of feedback on that
particular page?

Scott: Sure.

Trent: Number one, please make the font bigger, especially if your
target market is someone who’s a little older. It’s hard to
read. Number two, put a video. Just put you in front of a camera
saying, ‘This is me and I’ve been in this thing my whole life.’
Just mostly what you just said to me, just talk to a camera.
People love that. I know that, well, because it’s common sense
but also my own experience and guests.

I interviewed a lady who uses InfusionSoft who runs, her name’s
Yvonne Howling [SP]. She runs a bed and breakfast over in
Champagne, France and when you opt-in to her list, one of the
very first things you see is here sitting in her backyard with a
glass of champagne talking with the camera. She says that many
people who book with her take the upsells that she subsequently
offers them in her funnel before they ever even show up for
their first experience of the weekend that they booked at the
bed and breakfast. She asks them, ‘Why’d you do that?’ ‘We just,
after watching your video we felt like we knew you. We felt so
comfortable with you that we just knew our vacation was going to
be a great experience.’

For you, Scott, and for anyone listening, if there is not a video of
you somewhere in your funnel where you’re just you raw on
camera, it does not have to be polished. You’re not letting
people get to know you as good as they could.

Scott: Very good.

Trent: My last question, well, one of my last questions is, you got
online and you had eBay and spreadsheets and email and moving
parts and probably were working an insane number of hours. How
has InfusionSoft changed your life for the better?

Scott: I’m not one of those guys that’s going to tell you, ‘I go on
six weeks of exotic vacations every year,’ because that’s just
not me. What it’s done, obviously is allowed my business to be
much more successful but allows me to work on a lot of other
cool stuff that I want to work on instead of just doing mundane
things like keeping track of did I do everything or did somebody
do all the things that they should have done to make sure that
we maximize, especially acquiring all the inventory that we can
get our hands on.

It’s just allowed me to check that off my list for the most part. I
know that’s working right. There’s certainly some things I know
I need to work on that I mentioned but just knowing that that’s
working in an automated, predictable, it’s working fashion that
I can go spend my energy working on something else like spinning
up a cool contest. I love that.

Trent: For you, I’m guessing the predictable acquisition of used
inventory translates into predictable revenue. Is that correct?

Scott: Right. We’ve got, actually I think we’re up to 28 employees now
and that’s one of the, well there’s two huge challenges wrapped
around that. One is getting a steady stream of inventory in here
so I don’t have to send people home. Number two, it’s kind of
interesting, we went through, myself and my management team, a
couple of things we’ve done recently, we went through the Good
to Great book last year and one of the things in there is what
is your number one most important thing that you need to do?
This year our number one liable important goal is to get $4
million worth of collectible inventory in here this year. That’s
it because if we can’t find the inventory, we can’t hit the
sales numbers. There’s just no way around it. That’s a critical
piece of our business to make sure that we do that to the very
best of our ability.

Trent: I don’t know if this has any interest for you whatsoever, what
just popped into my mind, what if you created a training product
for other people who need to acquire used inventory in their
business to resell it? You’ve got a pretty compelling success
story of like, ‘Here’s how you find this obscure stuff.’ Anyway,
just a thought. Lightning round, last three questions before we
go. What are you most excited about for 2013?

Scott: Actually [inaudible 59:03] the course of the interview, but
it’s actually leadership development. One other issue that we’ve
had is our sales had plateaued like at this $5 million point and
I read a fair amount of business books and I know that there are
predictable plateaus in business. That’s one of the things you
guys at InfusionSoft talk about a fair amount as well. The
number one thing that always points to is the leader.

For the past year or so I’ve been working really hard leadership
development with both myself and my management team and we’re
making huge progress in that. We’re implementing a thing called
4DX or Four Disciplines of Execution which is a Franklin Covey
book and program. How do you execute things and get things done?
Actually this year that’s the thing that most excites me. I’m
also in Boy Scouts, and I just went to the first weekend of
their wood [batch] course which is six [dark to dark] days of
leadership training in the Boy Scouts. I’m all over it. I’m
really excited about it.

Trent: That’s awesome to hear. What is your favorite business book?

Scott: Right now?

Trent: Yes.

Scott: It’s the “Four Disciplines of Execution.” I don’t think it’s in
this book but certainly the phrase that execution eats strategy
for lunch. It’s like, man, I am all over that because I can
strategize until I’m blue in the face and then I get red in the
face because we can’t get anything done. It’s like, this is
really laying out for me an operating system or framework on how
to get things done. It’s exciting.

Trent: Definitely. If there’s anyone listening to this who wants to be
able to get in touch with you, Scott, what is the best way for
them to do that?

Scott: My email is sgriggs@trainz.com.

Trent: That’s Trainz with a Z.

Scott: Right.

Trent: Scott, thank you so much for taking an hour out of your day to
be with myself and the guests here on the Bright Ideas Podcast.
It has been an absolute pleasure to have you on the show. I
think you shared some very unique ideas that I’d never heard
anyone using InfusionSoft for and I think that’s really cool.

Scott: Great. Well thank you, Trent. I really appreciate the
opportunity.

Trent: No problem at all.

Scott: I wish you and all your listeners great success.

Trent: Thank you so much. Take care.

Scott: Thank you.

Trent: If you want to get the show notes for today’s episode, head
over to BrightIdeas.co/57. When you’re there, you’re going to
see all the links for all the software and books and anything
that we’ve talked about in the show today as well as some other
valuable information that you can use to ignite growth in your
business.

If you’re listening to this on your mobile phone, just text Trent to
585858 and I’ve got some very special stuff for you. You’re
going to get access to the massive traffic toolbox which is a
compilation of all of the very best traffic generation
strategies shared with my by my guests here on Bright Ideas, as
well, you’ll get access to a list of what I think are the best
of the best episodes here on Bright Ideas.

If you’re a marketing agency and you’re thinking about using
InfusionSoft, send me an email to trent@brightideas.co. As I
mentioned earlier in the episode or maybe mid-episode, I have
built a full marketing funnel because your marketing funnel and
my marketing funnel are basically the very same funnel. What I’m
using to attract customers for my products, and my customers are
marketing agencies, you can use to attract and use your clients
for your business. I will be able to save you a ton of content
creation and I’ll give it all to you for free so that you can
have your InfusionSoft rep plug the campaigns right into
InfusionSoft for you.

Finally, if you really enjoyed this episode, please head over to
BrightIdeas.co/love where you’ll find a link and you can leave
us a rating in the iTunes store. Really makes a huge difference.
Helps me to attract more traffic to the show. Thank you so much.
That’s it for this episode. I’m your host Trent Dyrsmid and I
look forward to seeing you in a future episode. Until then, take
care and have a wonderful day.

Recording: Thanks very much for listening to the Bright Ideas
Podcast. Check us out on the web at BrightIdeas.co.

About Scott Griggs

ScottGriggsScott is an innovator, business builder and an expert at applying ecommerce technologies. His passion is developing the vision and providing the leadership to build successful business operations, especially on-line.

Scott has over 25 years of corporate Fortune 100 and small business management experience. He led the team that built Trainz.com into one of the largest and most efficient hobby retailers over the past ten years. Trainz became a top 100 seller on eBay and made the Inc. 5000 list twice in 2007 and 2008.

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Welcome to the Bright Ideas Community of Entrenpreneurs

Digital Marketing Strategy: Andy Michaels on How Using Infusionsoft Triggered a 219% Revenue Increase

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In 2013, Infusionsoft’s Ultimate Marketer contest had 3 finalists and Blue Chip Athletic was one of them. Since deploying Infusionsoft roughly two years ago, the company has seen revenue increase by 219% – after roughly 10 years of just 5 to 10% growth per year.

Suffice to say, Blue Chip is getting results that have been a real game changer for the company.

In this episode of the Bright Ideas podcast, my guest is Andy Michaels – the marketing automation expert behind Blue Chip Athletic.

When you listen to this interview, you are going to discover:

  • The main features of Infusionsoft that led to the 219% increase in revenue
  • How Blue Chip has dramatically improved their follow up with existing customers using Infusionsoft’s campaign builder
  • How they have real time visibility into their sales and marketing funnels
  • How they used Infusionsoft to create a structured selling system that even average sales reps can excel with
  • How they create a WOW experience when their product is delivered and how that leads to more referrals
  • The two primary techniques they are using for lead generation
  • How they are using Fusedesk to turn customer support inquiries into additional sales
  • How they are automating routine tasks with custom forms

And so much more!

If you are really serious about growing your business with marketing automation, this is not an interview to be missed!

Links Mentioned

More About This Episode

The Bright Ideas podcast is the podcast for business owners and marketers who want to discover how to use online marketing and sales automation tactics to massively grow their business.

It’s designed to help marketing agencies and small business owners discover which online marketing strategies are working most effectively today – all from the mouths of expert entrepreneurs who are already making it big.

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If you enjoyed this episode, click here for more information on How to Leave Us a Positive Review on iTunes! Your review will help to spread the word and get more entrepreneurs like you interested in our podcast. Thanks in advance - we appreciate you!

Transcript

Trent: Hey there, bright idea hunters. Welcome to the Bright Ideas
podcast. I am your host, Trent Dyrsmid, and this is the podcast
for marketing agencies and other entrepreneurs who want to
discover how to use content marketing and marketing automation
to massively boost their business. My guest on the show today is
Andy Michaels; he is the marketing automation expert behind a
company called Blue Chip Athletic, and I learned about Blue Chip
because they were named as one of the finalists for
Infusionsoft’s Ultimate Marketer of the Year Award.When I heard Andy describe how they were using Infusionsoft, I was
kind of blown away, and I really wanted to get him onto the show
to share with me and share with you the marketing tactics that
he’s using to get such incredible results at Blue Chip. By
incredible, I mean 50% growth in each of the last two years
after ten years of just 5% growth per year. It’s a really big
shift.Before we get to that, I have another technology tip for you; it’s a
WordPress plug-in called Speak Pipe. If you go to Bright Ideas,
you’ll see that you can leave me a voicemail message from almost
any of the pages on the site. That is a fantastic way of getting
feedback from your audience and hearing what’s on their mind.
Speak Pipe is how I’m doing that.The other thing that I want to make you aware of is a new webinar
that I’ve got coming up. Maybe by the time you listen to this,
it’s a webinar that I might have done once already. Regardless,
if you go to brightideas.co, you’re going to be able to hear
about notifications for this and any webinar that I’m doing.
This particular one is on life cycle marketing.You really need to understand this whole concept of life cycle
marketing because it can have a massive impact on your business.
There are seven steps: attracting traffic, capturing leads,
nurturing your prospects, converting the prospects into
customers, delivering your product, and satisfying your
customers, increasing revenue with upsells, and then generating
more referrals. This is all part of this concept called life
cycle marketing, and I look forward to seeing you on that
webinar.

With all of that said, let’s transition over to my interview with
Andy. Andy, welcome to the show.

Andy: Thanks very much. It’s my pleasure to be here.

Trent: So, my friend, I am so stoked to have you on the show. I have a
million questions I want to ask about how you absolutely rocket
business. Before we get to that, let’s quickly do a little intro
on you for the people who are listening to this who don’t know
who you are or what you do. Maybe you could just answer that
question very briefly.

Andy: Sure thing. I’m the CIO for Blue Chip Athletic; we are screen
printing and custom apparel company. My role is split; I do the
technology infrastructure and I’m also responsible for all the
outbound marketing campaigns. Putting together campaigns for
both our retail and custom customers and delivering them across
a variety of channels, the majority of which is done through
Infusionsoft.

Trent: Okay. For those of you who are listening and are going to
wonder what this interview is all about, we are going to go
really deep into marketing automation and in particular how Blue
Chip is using Infusionsoft. If that is your kind of stuff, which
I sure hope it is because it should be, you’re really going to
love this interview.

Your company was one of the finalists for the Infusionsoft Ultimate
Marketer of the Year Award. Very clearly, you guys are
leveraging the heck out of Infusionsoft. For the folks who don’t
know your company and are thinking what kind of results are
these guys getting? Do I want to listen to this interview? Can
you jump to the conclusion and tell me the kind of impact
Infusionsoft has had on your business? And then we’ll walk
through how you got there.

Andy: Sure. Absolutely. The most dramatic change has been on our retail
sales side. It’s about a third of our total business. We sell
wrestling gear, primarily singlets which are our own private
label singlets. We sell those as well as other equipment and
apparel online. That was where we first turned on the juice for
Infusionsoft; in the year after we started using Infusionsoft,
our retail sales were up 50% from the prior year. That wasn’t a
flash in the pan. That business had been around for about ten
years and had very slow and steady growth.

The first year when we tuned everything in and got everything going
with Infusionsoft, retail sales jumped 50% and the following
year, we almost repeated it; sales were up an additional 46% the
next year. That’s really just a function of engagement. We had
about 8,000 customers in a variety of contact management
systems. When we turned on Infusionsoft, everybody was in
AWeber, and it was a very generic, very sporadic follow up so we
turned on a few simple things which we can talk about in a few
minutes. The majority of the results were from making a few
changes on the retail side and getting those things automated.

There’s a few other highlights. The size of our list has grown
because we focus on referrals a lot and ask customers to help us
spread the word. After not quite 10 years of business, we had
about 8,000 customers in our marketing arsenal. Now we’re well
over 40,000 so we’ve had a big increase there.
Customer satisfaction is another one. I don’t really know how to
compare it. We went from having no idea what our customers
thought of us to having a very tightly integrated system that
captures customer satisfaction both on the custom retail side
and since we started asking about 18 months ago, we’ve had
customers give us an average of four and a half out of five
stars. We also ask them if they plan on ordering again; will
they order from us and 99.5 percent of everybody that we’ve
asked has said that they will. Knowing that information is
pretty powerful; it tells us we’re doing some of the right
things in terms of customer service.

That’s one of the other benefits is not just the sales numbers, but
it’s the visibility and knowing what’s going on inside the
business in real time rather than having to wait months and
months to analyze things. We can see at any minute how our leads
are converting, how happy people are. We can see where sales are
going.

Trent: That is awesome. Again, I have so many questions I want to get
to. We’re going to be talking for a while here. The first one I
want to jump into based on what you said is this real time
visibility; are you using Infusionsoft dashboards for that or
are you using a third-party tool to extract that information
from in Infusionsoft?

Andy: A little bit of both. I’m a huge fan of widgets. If I showed you my
homepage in Infusionsoft, you’d probably be amazed at the number
of widgets I have on there. I actually talked to Rebecca, the
product manager at Infusionsoft, about getting a tab set up so
you can get your dashboard to load more quickly if you have too
many widgets on there. I use those extensively and I’ve got all
of our custom sales reps set up with widgets to track their
pursuits for the custom orders.

We also do some external reporting. I’m kind of an API nerd and I
bought an HTML theme from Theme Forest; there’s one called The
Brain. We spent fifteen bucks on it and it’s got a bunch of
JQuery plug-ins set up and it’s got a bunch of Google graphs so
it’s really straightforward to create reports in Infusionsoft
and pull those out.

One of the things we do that for is to show activities to grade our
sales reps not only on their conversion which is the most
important thing, but if they’re struggling with conversion, we
look at their activities. Through the API, we pull out the
number of activities they do in a given day in pursuit of all
their opportunities. It’s an easy red to flag to spot if you’ve
got a guy who’s not pulling his weight on the custom sales side
and you look and he’s not logging any calls and he’s not making
any notes in Infusionsoft, chances are, he’s just not that
engaged and he’s not reaching out to customers as much as he
should. That’s just another way we can keep our finger on the
pulse.

We also track, we have a lot of different offers that go out both on
the retail side and the custom side. There’s a variety of
systems of involved. We have an ecommerce shopping cart through
Able Commerce that does our retail sales. Then, our screen
printing and promotional products side of the business where we
customize apparel, that process has its own software. There’s
some software we use called Shop Works. Between all those
systems and all the different moving pieces, that was really our
best option to pull out the highlights.

We have dashboards for different departments; we have one for
marketing that shows the effectiveness of the recent campaigns,
how much coupon codes are getting used and for how much. We also
track the traction for custom offers that go out via direct mail
or email or pay-per-click. We have the sales reps trained to log
the source of the offer. Whenever a customer calls them, they
say either use an offer code or how did you hear about us? We
can track our return on investment on those things in real time
because we can see how many invoices the sales reps have sent
out that are tied to a particular promotion that we’ve been
running.

I’d be happy to send you the information on that theme. It’s great if
you don’t want to hand code a bunch of reports and you’re not an
HTML guy. All you have to do is feed it the data and it spits
out some pretty graphs.

Trent: Yeah. Please do and I’ll make sure that I include it in the
show notes at the end of this episode. I will give you the link
to the show notes. The reason I don’t give it now is I don’t
know what it is until the postproduction process is complete. So
I can’t rattle off show notes link yet because like I said, I
don’t know what it is yet. All right. Let’s go back and try to
focus most of our conversation on Infusionsoft if we can. What
are some of the main features of Infusionsoft that you’re using?

Andy: The primary thing and the thing we started with is probably the
simplest thing, so it’s the automated follow up. When we first
started using Infusionsoft, it was before the days of the
campaign builder so we just had a variety of follow-up sequences
for the main tiers of customers. One example is someone places a
retail order in our shopping cart. Another example is a custom
order is shipped from our warehouse and our system indicates
that that happened.

The thing that had absolutely the most dramatic impact was like I
said, just following up with those customers that we had ignored
for so long and a principle that I am a big believer in. I took
some training from a guy named Mahan Khalsa who said intent
counts a lot more than technique and I try to keep that in mind
whenever I’m designing something. You can do a lot of really
fancy things and you can have one-to-one communication with
these customers, but just asking them what they thought and
following up with them to say, “Hey, did your package arrive and
is there anything else we should be doing that we didn’t do?”
Those are the kinds of things-maybe it’s just for our audience-
but, we’ve really been able to connect with people through the
use of those follow up sequences.

Additionally, being able to segment that based on what we know about
customers. Back in the days of AWeber, we were sending out
broadcasts. We sell a lot of NCAA apparel; that’s a good
example. We were sending out broadcasts that said, “Here are
three new shirts we got in for the Iowa Hawkeyes.” 95% of our
customers don’t care at all because they didn’t go to Iowa and
they’re not fans of that. That repository of information.

Inside Infusionsoft, we aggregate all of that information about what
products people have bought both on the retail side and the
custom side. In addition to the automation and follow up, the
ability to get laser focused, and say I’m only going to send
this broadcast to people that have either bought or clicked on
an Iowa product in the past, and not only that, I’m going to
segment them by zip code and send it only to people who live
within 150 miles of the University of Iowa. Being able to get to
that level, it really does feel to customers-at least, my hope
is that it feels to customers like you’re having a one-on-one
conversation with them and as little as possible you’re sending
them offers that are irrelevant to them. 90% of the time, you’re
talking about something that they’ve directly expressed interest
in and you’ve sort of started a conversation.

The way I think of my job is just continuing those conversations. We
can start conversations but we really need some feedback from
the customers about what they’re interested in and what kinds of
things they want to see from us.

Another way we do that is just with an Infusionsoft form that’s set
up as a survey that’s a little bit deeper than our initial
follow up for retail customers. They place an order in our
retail shopping cart and then we have a few messages back and
forth with them that establish trust.

Then we simply ask them what do you want us to talk to you about? We
ask them a little bit about their profile. In our case, it’s are
you a wrestler? Are you a parent? Are you a coach? We have some
different information that gets sent to them based on that. We
ask them do you want to know about retail offers? Do you want to
know about custom apparel?

There’s a lot of people on our list. Wrestling moms is one of our
sweet spots; one of their primary interests is just in education-
how can I help Johnny be a better wrestler? For those people,
we’ve put together programs. These are all self-serve. They tell
us what they’re interested in and we have weeks of information
that gets queued up.

We work together with some wrestling coaches in the Kansas City area
to put together a training series that gets dripped out to these
parents and their wrestlers over the course of the season to
teach them about different topics and what these elite coaches
think about training for peak performance at different times of
the season or weight management or how to understand how the
match looks from the perspective of an official.

Trent: So the people who maybe aren’t superfamiliar with Infusionsoft
understand, this is not a lot of hardcore code writing; this
isn’t actually any code writing to build the vast majority of
what we’ve just been talking about over the last few minutes,
right?

Andy: That’s absolutely right. The good thing is there was a little bit of
custom code that we wrote and it was just a hand off to create
the customer data in Infusionsoft from our respective systems;
from our e-commerce shopping cart and from our custom order
system. That was really the bulk of the heavy lifting; 90% of it
was done through follow up sequences.

Over the past three or four months, I’ve really gotten into the
campaign builder, and I’ve been going through the process of
retiring a lot of things where I had a little API script that
was on a timer to go out and see if a customer order has
shipped. There are a lot of pretty slick ways that you can do
that in the campaign builder to create a campaign that runs in a
loop and is not satisfied until some external condition is met.

That’s something that’s been really exciting for me. Custom code is
great, but it’s hard to maintain and it’s prone to break. We’ve
been going through a process over the past couple of months of
retiring some of those things that were built out of necessity.
As the capabilities inside Infusionsoft continue to grow with
the campaign builder, it’s been great for us to simplify things.
Then it’s easier for different folks in our team to go in and do
some maintenance or do changes on things without having to call
me or without having to hire a developer to go in and spend a
couple of days working behind the curtain.

Trent: Let’s say for example that someone is listening to this
interview and they’re the leader of their organization, maybe
they’re a solo printer or maybe they’re just the one that thinks
up the strategy of what should happen to a customer after they
buy or what should happen to a lead once they give us their
email address. They get on the white board or however they map
out their thoughts of what they want to happen, to take that and
translate it into actually being deployed and live and in
Infusionsoft, it’s really not very hard, is it? Do you want to
just walk us through how that happens in the campaign builder?

Andy: Yeah. That’s actually what we do. We do most of our mock ups in
Balsamic and the only reason I use that is because I saw Brad
Martineau using it a couple of years ago at InfusionCon. It
looked like an easy way to do it, so that’s our white board.

I’m personally virtual; I work from home, 90-plus percent of the
time. I’m in the office a couple of times a month, so that’s
part of the reason for that. But we’ll mock up different ideas
in Balsamic; anything from how do we want to talk to these
retail customers after the sale to how do we solicit new coaches
to write content for our Coach’s Corner series?

We also have one in the works now for a club for wrestling moms.
Wrestling moms can get in here and join an exclusive club where
they get gifts and membership benefits and stuff like that.

We draw it out in Balsamic or on a white board if I’m there and the
tools in the campaign builder let you pretty much have a one to
one relationship between what you drew on the board and what you
see on your screen in the campaign builder. Then it’s a question
of dotting the Is and crossing the Ts; you create tags to
indicate when a goal is met and things like that, but I’ve been
really impressed in the past few months as I’ve gotten into the
campaign builder how quickly you can go from that concept to
implementation, which in the former version of Infusionsoft, you
could definitely do it, but it was a lot more heavy lifting so
you’d have to draw up your ideas and you’d have to hand it off
to some guy who works in a dark room to assemble everything and
there was no real way to visualize how it was set up.

One of the things, frankly, it’s simple, but I’ve been most impressed
with the ability to look at a campaign now and see how many
people are in each step. That gives you a sense especially if
you’ve got a bottleneck in a process. A lot of times, I’ll set
up sequences one after the other. The first sequence will run
for some period of time until the customer takes an action and
that’s one of the measures. If you see too many people queued up
in that initial stage, that means they haven’t taken the action.

To me, that’s a signal that we need to do some diagnostics. We need
to fine tune our messaging or we have to make a stronger offer
or have some more compelling reason for them to move through
that gate to get to the next stage which is getting the
increased order size and getting additional orders and things
like that. Just being able to look at that at a glance, I love
that. It’s fantastic.

Trent: Yeah. The fact that it’s visual makes it so much easier. All
right. So, the main feature-and again, for those of you who are
listening, Infusionsoft does have its own shopping cart system
that works with everything else. It’s part of the system. I’m
guessing, Andy, that you guys are using a non-Infusionsoft
shopping cart because you probably set that up before you got
onto Infusionsoft. Or is there a different reason?

Andy: It’s both. It’s primarily because we had our shopping cart set up for
a couple of years before we were introduced to Infusionsoft. The
other reason is just the number of SKUs. We have probably 5,000
different products that we sell on the retail side and
Infusionsoft is great if you’re selling a smaller number. If you
want to have order forms for informational products or for
services or things like that or if you have fewer than 50
products, you would be great to use the Infusionsoft shopping
cart.

There’s some huge benefits to doing that. For example, just the
automation you can set up for successful or failed payments. If
somebody’s on a continuity program and their card is charged
every 30 days, and for whatever reason the card expires and they
get a failure notice, you can immediately jump on that guns
blazing and send them an email right away while they’re still
thinking about it and assign a task to a rep to follow up with
them and make sure you get that card information updated so you
don’t lose people due to attrition. You do everything you can to
keep them in there and you have those canaries in the coal mine
to let you know about it right away.

There are some things like that that I wish we could take advantage
of more. The one-click upsells are really strong too. It’s just
that our catalog is a little bit too big and unwieldy to do that
effectively.

Trent: Okay. That makes perfect sense. Aside from the campaign builder
to automate the follow up and to ask customers what they think
about your customer service, are there other features within
Infusionsoft which are having a really big impact on your
business?

Andy: There are. This is another one. This is kind of a plain vanilla
feature; it’s nothing terribly sexy, but the opportunities
module has been perfect for us. We have a sales force of five
people, and there are varying levels of experience. The two
owners started off as being the sole sales force, and they
learned the trade by necessity. They had to be able to sell if
they wanted to be able to pay the bills. They got really sharp
at it.

One of the things that’s been critical for us, especially in the past
couple of years, as the growth has ramped up, we’ve had to be
able to be a little more nimble and bring people in as demand
increases. We can’t be terribly picky and hire the best of the
best sales force. The margins in our product are not that great.
If you’re talking about custom apparel, a lot of people think of
it as a commodity. We try to treat it a lot differently than
that. What I’m saying is you don’t have the Cadillac sales guy.
You don’t have the old silver fox out there.

In order to compensate for that, we use pipeline automation and
opportunities so we did that mind meld of Gonz [SP] and Jason,
the two owners of the company. We crafted out the ideal
lifecycle of a custom order and we automated most of it. We have
our stages set up and the opportunities, and as the reps move
from stage to stage, the communication is automated to tell the
customers the right things at the right time.

We also use a lot of follow-up tasks because especially we have a
fairly seasonal business. Most of our custom apparel is still
wrestling; so during wrestling season, the reps have a lot of
irons in the fire at any one time. In the past, before we used
Infusionsoft for this, everybody was managing their pursuit in
Outlook or, even worse, on paper. It was easy for an opportunity
to get lost. I was supposed to call this guy two weeks ago, and
now his order is late and he’s super pissed off at me.

Now, we have reminders set up that we’ve trained the reps to work
from their dashboard. It’s pretty hard to lose sight of an
opportunity. If you haven’t contacted somebody for ten days,
it’s right there staring you in the face. We’ve had a lot better
success at keeping fewer drops and fewer misses and keeping in
front of customers.

The other thing about it is it’s a better experience for the customer
because it’s a lot higher touch without having to overload the
reps with thinking of a million things to do every day. The
customers are still getting a lot of follow up during and
especially after the order. We have messages that go out to them
that say, first of all, your package should have arrived. Let me
know if the quality is okay, and if anything is missing or you
have any questions or concerns. That’s a big one right there
because you can spot a lot of problems right off the bat before
the customer has a chance to stew about it or tell other people.

Then, we like to do follow-ups after the goods are delivered on a
scheduled basis. It’s not like we’re going to sell to you once
and forget about you; we’re going to be in touch at 30 days out
and 60 days out and six months out and several points along the
way just to say hi. We’re looking for more business, but we’re
really just looking to make sure everything is okay with their
order, that they didn’t have any problems with the quality, or
anything like that.

Trent: I want to interrupt you there because what you’re explaining
sounds common sense and simple, but it’s so incredibly
important. Without Infusionsoft, all this follow-up you’d have
to remember to do up and that tends to be where it falls apart
for most people. What you guys have done with Infusionsoft is
created processes for this that just fire off automatically upon
the purchase of one of your products so no human being has to
remember to send an email at 30 days and 60 days and 6 months,
correct?

Andy: That’s exactly right. I’m a big believer in the good nature of man
and everybody has good intentions. Even those A sales people,
they’re not going to hit it 100% of the time. They’re going to
have bad days and they’re going to get behind.

What we’ve essentially done with that is raise everybody up to the
level of top performing sales rep. Not necessarily in terms of
ability to sell on the phone or sell in person or anything like
that, but in terms of the follow up, we’re going to blanket
these customers with the right information at the right point.
We know what the common objections are and we’re able to address
those presale objections without the rep having to get on the
phone and go through their laundry list. It’s done for them.

By the time the customer gets ready to buy, in most cases, we’ve
answered most of their questions, we’ve inundated them with
testimonials and things like that so they feel good about the
company and they feel good about what their friends think about
the product.

Our intent is to make that, we’re not trying to create a selling
experience for the customer; we’re just trying to create a
buying opportunity. That’s really what our model is more geared
towards. You can’t go out and sell somebody 48 t-shirts. If I
called you and said I’m not going to get off the phone until you
buy 48 t-shirts, most people don’t have that need right now.

What we can do is make sure we’re in front of that person and they’re
thinking about us and we’re top in line when that opportunity
does come up, and they say, “My son’s got a bachelor party or my
kid’s soccer team needs new uniforms,” or something like that.
We’re establishing relationships with these people.

Again, it sounds simple, but we do that for lost opportunities as
well. Whenever somebody gives us an opportunity to bid on a job
and we don’t win it, we have a very long tail follow up sequence
and we don’t give up on those folks. We say thanks for the
opportunity to bid. In some cases, we send them a card depending
on the size of the opportunity.

Again, at 30 days we check in and say we remember that they were
going with somebody else; we just wanted to see if you had any
feedback on their process or anything I could have done
differently. Then again, a couple months later, we’re checking
in to see if they have any other orders that we can bid on and
again, most of these are seasonal so at the 10 to 11 month mark
is where we ramp that up a little bit because most of these
people are coaches and they’re ordering for their upcoming
season. We put more pressure on at that point and say we’d love
to be able to sharpen our pencil and have another opportunity to
bid on your project.

Again, that’s completely taking the habits or the experience or the
skill of the sales rep out of the process. All they have to do
is answer the phone when that guy gets that note, and he’s in
the right mood and he says you’ve been emailing me for a year,
I’m going to give you another chance. All he has to do is answer
questions and smile and nod and give that customer good service
when he is ready to buy.

Trent: Your sales reps, are they predominantly answering? How much
outbound prospecting are they doing versus answering the phone
and taking the order because you’ve created a system that
communicates and nurtures and stays in touch and persuades to
make the customer call you and place the order?

Andy: If I said 15% outbound, that would probably be aggressive. The vast
majority of all their orders are they’re answering the phone or
answering an email when somebody calls in. We get a lot of that
from our outbound marketing and all the constant messages that
are going out.
We also get a lot from referrals. Customer service is huge for us;
I’m sure it’s important for a lot of businesses, but we put a
lot of effort into making sure that the entire experience is as
good as possible.

One of the ways we’ve really grown the business is we’ll establish a
relationship with a coach. A lot of these are primary and
secondary schools, so it’ll be a high school coach and we’ll
make sure we knock his socks off with great design and great
service and a great product. He’s going to be sitting in the
teacher’s lounge with three other coaches opening the box when
he gets his t-shirts or his shorts or his warm ups or whatever
it is.

That’s really been the bread and butter for us; that particular
soccer coach opens the box and the track coach is standing there
and the basketball coach is standing there and they’re saying,
“What the heck is going on? I deal with a local guy and he works
out of his truck and he’s always late. The t-shirts are printed
crooked and all that stuff.” That’s really been our Trojan
horse.

We’re rolling out some new systems where we’re formalizing that: a
little more instead of just relying on the product to speak for
itself, we’re creating advocates out of those people and giving
them some incentive to spread the word and tell the other
coaches and to tell the other parents about our service.

Trent: Very interesting. Let’s run up to the top of the sales funnel
with lead generation. You mentioned that your sales reps are
spending less than 15% of their activity outbound which means
you’re doing a lot of something to get people to come and
somehow get into your marketing funnel. Can you tell me what
you’re doing and what happens? Tell me about that.

Andy: Sure thing. The majority for the custom side is a lot of repeat
customers. We’re staying on top of those customers who have
already-to use a hackneyed phrase-they already know, like and
trust us. We’re staying after those people with the add-ons. If
we have a special on beanies or backpacks or something like that
to go along with their seasonal orders. That’s a big aspect of
it. We stay in front of those people a lot through email and
direct mail.

The custom apparel market is pretty tough to compete wide open. If
you looked at the cost per click on Google Ad words for a phrase
like “custom t-shirts,” it’s running into a chainsaw. It’s
impossible to compete.

The way we get around that is we do sports specific campaigns. It’s
all the same. It’s all the same t-shirts and the same shorts but
in order to compete better in that market-and we seem to do
better by design or not in the smaller tier sports. Basketball,
football and baseball, there is a lot of competition there from
some of the really big players, so we have better luck with
things like volley ball and lacrosse and cross country and
swimming and diving.
We’ll do campaigns on AdWords that are specific to those smaller
market sports. You have an ad that runs and drives to a landing
page that is tailored to that specific sport that shows we have
a design library with thousands of designs for custom apparel,
and we’ll hand pick the ones that are the best for that
particular sport.

To that person, it doesn’t feel like they’re buying “custom t-
shirts;” it feels like they’re buying custom track and field
uniforms or custom track and field apparel. That’s one of the
ways we’re able to slice that down into smaller segments and do
a better job of competing.

We do some direct mail. We really haven’t gone outside of our
customer list. We have a variety of different offers and some of
them are highly focused on repeat orders. If a customer ordered
from us last year, we’ll send them a special to reorder the
same, exact apparel with the same, exact design. We do a fair
amount of that.

To our broader list, we have a lot of attempts at conversion from
people who bought from us on the retail side, which is bigger in
terms of customer volume. We try to convert those people into
custom customers and that’s an exercise in generating awareness.

It makes perfect sense to me that we do both, but probably well over
half of the customers who shop with us on the retail side have
no idea that we do custom apparel. Throughout our customer
service exchanges and throughout our retail follow up sequences,
we’re constantly showing examples of the custom apparel we can
do and we’re planting seeds in the customers mind to let them
know this isn’t only for sports teams.

We do corporate apparel. We do event specific apparel; bachelor
parties and summer camps and church camps and family reunions
and stuff like that. That’s a decent part of our business. It’s
really an exercise of planting that seed in the customer’s mind
to let them know that we do offer that service. It’s one person
in a hundred that’s going to be ready to buy custom apparel, but
getting in front of those people and converting them, that’s
been a huge benefit for the custom side of our business-making
sure the retail funnel directs people that way.

Trent: How does Infusionsoft play a role in that? Is that the campaign
builder and just campaigns that you have mapped out as you
explained before?

Andy: It is, and it’s really being able to sit down and map out that ideal
conversation. Going back to my Gonz and Jason example, they knew
how to work a conversation and how to slowly warm somebody up to
that idea.

What we’ve been able to do is sit down over the course of two years
now since we’ve had this in place. We set it up and we
constantly go back and fine tune that to figure out how we can
sharpen the message here or improve the number of clicks on this
particular email, things like that.

That’s one of my big beliefs in the marketing role; I don’t really
know anything. I have some hypotheses that I test, but I
realized quite a while ago that if I sit down and think I know
the answer to unlocking the customer riddle of how they’re going
to behave in a certain situation, I’m wrong 100% of the time.

My model now is I set up a bunch of different hypotheses, and then I
test them. That’s what we’ve been able to do with these
sequences. We put something in place, and we see how it performs
and that becomes the control group. Then we try to beat it by
sending more offers or sending fewer offers or more information
or less information, more pictures or more text. Things like
that just to see what’s going to push customer buttons at
different stages.

I think that’s critical for anybody out there who is thinking about
marketing. That’s a fundamental shift in mindset at least for me
is going from thinking that I’ve got all the answers and I can
set up a campaign and jam it down somebody’s throat to all I can
do is put a bunch of different lines in the water and see which
ones get nibbles and focus more attention on those.

Trent: Help me to understand that. Let’s dive into an example of that.
Can you think of an example we can talk our way through?

Andy: Sure. One example that is non-Infusionsoft related-we do that a lot
with landing pages, just AB testing landing pages and offers. So
that would be which one is going to get more people into the
funnel? And secondarily, what we really care about is which one
is going to generate more orders. If one particular landing page
or one particular sequence of events gets a ton of people in the
funnel but they’re not purchasers, we don’t really care about
those. It’s really a resource strain for us, so we want to get
the most productive customers in the funnel.

The best example is with our FuseDesk customer support. I think we
have fifteen or twenty different templates in there that are
optimized for different customer questions. My shipment never
arrived; I lost it. We have a template, a three or four message
sequence that kind of works somebody through that. The people
that respond to the, “Did your package arrive?” It’s a pretty
huge volume. In those reply messages, I’m constantly trying to
embed different things related to custom apparel.

Asking people if you’re interested in custom apparel and you want a
rep to give you a call, then click here and go to this landing
page and fill out this form. I’ll put that in place and let it
run for a while, then I’ll change up the verbiage or move it to
the top or make it more pronounced or less pronounced or maybe
put it in a different message later in the sequence and then
compare to see which one makes more hay.
We’re always doing small changes like that. Not to say that we’re not
satisfied with our results, but we’re never convinced that we
can’t improve just by wordsmithing or changing the color of a
button or changing the subject line of an email and the
important thing there is just to measure which ones are more
productive and keep track of everything, so you know when we use
the ambiguous subject, we get more opens but fewer clicks versus
when we use a very direct subject that’s very transparent and
clear. We don’t get as many opens but the people who do open it
are more likely to actually respond and start a conversation
with a sales rep and fill out a form or something like that.

Trent: Let me make sure that I understand what you just explained. In
your customer support system which you’re using FuseDesk for,
people are submitting support questions or what have you and you
are embedding marketing messages into the replies that you’re
sending to their support queries? Is that correct or did I
misunderstand?

Andy: That’s absolutely right. A great example is the follow-up sequence
has an automated message that goes out that says did your
package arrive. I don’t know the exact statistic, but a lot of
people will reply to that and say, “Yes I did,” or “Thanks,” or
“No, I haven’t gotten it yet,” or whatever. Those all go to a
catch all email address, FuseDesk, and the reason we do that is
by design. I’ve seen a lot of people who will put a link in the
email that says click this link to tell me your package arrived.

At this point in the game, most of our customers since our growth
curve is still fairly steep; most of the customers are dealing
with us for the first time so as much as possible, we want them
to feel like they’re dealing with a real person. If I send Trent
an email and I say, “Trent, tell me if you’re feeling okay
today,” that’s a lot less personal than sending you an email
saying, “How are you doing? Hit reply and let me know how you’re
feeling today.”

We’re trying to establish rapport with customers. Once that comes
back into FuseDesk, that reply that says, “Yes, I got my
package,” that creates a support case. Then we have a template
that replies to that that says, “Thanks very much, I’m glad to
hear it. Your satisfaction means a lot to me; by the way, did
you know we also do custom apparel?” Or “By the way, we’re
running a special on custom apparel.”

Again, most of our customers on that sequence are going to be parents
and we’ll say things like, “We’re running a special this month
on wrestling cleaners. Do you think your son’s team would be
interested in getting this offer? If so, click here and give us
their name. Hit reply and give us their name.”

Those are Trojan horses; we’re embedding those things into the
natural course of the conversation where we want the customer to
feel like it’s an exchange of pleasantries of just making sure
your package arrived. But again, I’m planting little seeds in
there to make sure they know we do custom apparel or to make
sure they know of different special offers that we have going on
at any particular point.

Trent: When the reply goes to FuseDesk: you send an email asking if
they got their package. They type in yes, or yes I did or you
betcha or any number of ways of a positive response. How does
FuseDesk know that they got their package? Is it keyword based?

Andy: Yeah. That part is not automated. We have one customer service rep
who monitors that queue and there’s no natural language parsing
or anything like that. She looks at the responses and if they
yes or yep or you betcha or whatever, then she can quickly
within two clicks choose the template that says reply to the,
“Yes I got my package,” and her template already has all the
offers embedded in it. That way, we can change them out without
involving her or having to train her to do anything different.
She just chooses the same template.

You still do have to look at and read every message, but the fact
that you can reply within three or four seconds to each one.
During our busy season between November and January, we have one
customer service rep who is handling all of our support cases
that come in, so we use our support@; support@bluechipwrestling
and support@bluechipathletics. All of those create cases in
FuseDesk. We had one person working on those part time and she
was able to patch all the customer support cases during our
busiest time in addition to doing some other responsibilities.

That’s been extremely powerful both in terms of providing that high
touch experience and also providing a very consistent
experience. I don’t have to worry about them with grammar
mistakes or spelling mistakes or saying anything off color.

We encourage them to personalize messages. If somebody says thanks
for sending out my singlet, Johnny won his tournament, then
they’ll type in a quick one or two sentences at the top that
says, “Congratulations to Johnny. If you have a picture of him
in the singlet, please send it into us, and we’ll post it on
Facebook.”

For the most part, it’s boiler plate responses. 90% of the time, the
conversation goes exactly the same way, so we just anticipate
that. If we do have one of those that’s in the 7% that’s
completely off the map, then somebody just has to sit down and
type an email which is what most people are doing 100% of the
time. It’s been a dramatic time savings for us.

Trent: Absolutely. There are a lot of ticketing services available. I
looked at FuseDesk and it’s not the cheapest in the world; I
think it’s about a hundred dollars a month. But it integrates
into Infusionsoft. What is the benefit of that integration for
you at your organization?

Andy: The main thing is maintaining that complete view of the customer.
Whenever you have a conversation via FuseDesk, all of that is
appended to the customer record just as if you were sending an
email through Infusionsoft. If a customer calls in and has a
question, the CSR can quickly pull up their record and see at a
glance if this is somebody who has had chronic problems and we
screwed up their order 20 times in the last 20 days. You have a
slightly different approach and a higher level of service with
those people to make sure you can save the play there versus
somebody who is calling in for the first time.

The visibility is one, the fact that there is literally no
integration. The only thing you have to do to tie the systems
together is plug in your API key. Then you can pull over. We
have a category of templates that’s just called FuseDesk
templates and that’s what our customer service rep looks for.
That’s where we have the respond to the customer about the lost
shipment or respond to the customer that says thanks I got my
package or respond to the customer that wants to change an order
at the last minute. All those templates are stored in there.

Trent: In Infusionsoft?

Andy: Yeah. They’re written in Infusionsoft and they appear in FuseDesk.
FuseDesk is a web interface, you long in, and any template that
you set up in Infusionsoft is just pulled over via the API and
appears in a drop down within FuseDesk so somebody can grab it
and send it out that way. That’s one benefit.

The other thing is, what we did in the past was everybody had their
own mailbox. The girl who handled the support cases would get an
email and if she was out sick or if she was on vacation, unless
somebody went and logged into her email . . .

Trent: No one would know.

Andy: Chances are the connection would get lost. Now we can seamlessly
transfer those cases to somebody else and make sure that queue
is getting worked and that nothing’s getting dropped.

The reporting is also nice; you can see how quickly cases are being
closed, what your average close time is and things like that. It
lets us keep an eye on how we’re doing. As we get into the busy
season, if our close time is going down, or we have a bunch of
cases open, we can appoint somebody else and say, “Okay, go
start answering cases,” and you don’t have to worry about
stepping on one another’s toes.

You can assign a case to yourself and work it and any replies to that
case come back to you. It’s been great and the best thing about
it is that it maintains that comprehensive view so you don’t
have to worry about going out and looking in some other system
to see what kind of service we’re giving to this guy.

Trent: Could you have some kind of activity happen in FuseDesk which
would cause a tag to be applied which would then trigger a
campaign to be fired?

Andy: Yeah. Absolutely. They’ve done a lot in the past year. There are a
number of things you can do: you can run a note template, you
can run an action set, things like that from the FuseDesk
interface. We’ve done a few things like that.

One good example is we provide credit to our retail CSR if they get a
referral. A lot of times, they’re on the phone with the
customer, and they can in a very conversational way find out if
this guy is a coach, and if so, would he be interested in
talking to somebody? We’ve got some custom apparel offers. Can I
interest you in that? She is compensated based on the number of
leads she hands over the fence to the custom sales team and she
just runs a note template.

Inside FuseDesk, she’s answering the case, she runs a note template
that applies a tag to the customer that says it was a retail
referral, it creates an opportunity for the sales rep to call
that person, and it sends an email to the sales rep to get on
the phone and call this guy right away, he’s a hot lead.

It’s really think of anything that you can do; within Infusionsoft,
you can now integrate into your customer support experience.
That’s pretty powerful.

We use internal forms as well. There’s no internal forms in FuseDesk,
but it’s a pretty great shortcut to be able to kick off any kind
of a campaign. Again, it’s for those situations that come up
every day. You have 100 people in a day who say a particular
thing. If you want to start them in a different sequence, all
you have to do is pick an item from the drop down menu and hit
go. The person running it doesn’t have to have any knowledge of
Infusionsoft, they don’t have to know what’s going on behind the
scenes. All they have to know is I get a point for every time I
do this, and if I get 100 points this month, I get a gift
certificate to go have dinner somewhere. That’s all and
everything else happens on its own.

Trent: Something I always wondered with the internal forms: let’s say
you have a guy in your database. His name is Bob Williams and
his email address is bobwilliams@gmail.com. Let’s say Bob’s
already in the database and somebody on your team pulls up a
custom form for he’s going to order-I don’t know. Give me an
example of when you would use a custom form.

Andy: We do it for completing their profile. When the retail CSR is on the
phone with somebody, she quickly types in their first and last
name to find their record. The internal form says things like-
it’s actually got a script on it-it says things like did you
know we have a discount club that provides 10% off? The customer
either says yes or no and if they say no, then she says would
you be interested? Should I sign you up for the discount club?
It doesn’t cost anything and you’ll get a coupon and special
offers in the mail. They say sure, absolutely, so she checks a
check box that says sign up for the Take Down Club.
Another one that’s one there is Coach’s Corner; that educational
series. You don’t say these every time to every customer; she
just tries to work them into the conversation if it’s a natural
bit.

Then she’ll say would you be interested in getting this education
sequence written by elite wrestling coaches? And they’ll say
absolutely so she checks the box for that and the big one that
we try to get her to work in is the custom apparel. She says,
“I’d be happy to help you with this singlet; did you know you
can order custom team singlets for your son’s wrestling team?”
They’ll say I didn’t know that. “Would you like me to have a
sales rep get in touch with you?”

She checks a box and when she submits that form, there are three
different campaigns that are getting fired off. One is to sign
them up for the Coach’s Corner so they get their first message
within a couple hours. Secondly, they get their discount welcome
to the club email for the Take Down Club and then thirdly, we
create an opportunity for that custom sales rep to give this guy
a call.

That’s that retail referral where she gets credit for it and the
custom guy gets the lead and gets on the phone with the
customer. That’s the primary use.

The other thing is just rounding out their profile. If she can happen
to get their birthday, if she can happen to find out if they’re
a parent, we have different messaging. If we know someone is a
parent versus a coach, we speak to them slightly differently.
She’s just checking off boxes on the form as she goes and when
she hangs up the phone, she hits submit and all those things
that she queued up during their conversation get fired off.

Trent: Where I was going with my question: if Bob Williams already had
an instance in your database; there was already a record, using
this custom form and filling in his name and his email again
doesn’t create a duplicate entry. It just updates the current
one because the unique identifier is the email address. Is that
correct?

Andy: Right. Actually, one clarification: it’s something that I’m not crazy
about. You cannot use an internal form unless the person is
already in your system. If they’re not, you’d have to add
contact, create that person, and then once you hit save on that
secondary page where you’re looking at the profile for the
customer, about halfway down the page there’s an internal form.
The way it’s designed is that you’re only filling it out for
people who are already on your list and anything that’s on their
profile.

For instance, the top section has their name, email and phone and the
second section has their billing address and the third section
is the offers. If you were talking to a customer or if Ashley in
this case is talking to a customer who has been shopping with us
for five years, most of that stuff is already going to be
complete. When she pulls up that internal form, their name,
phone, their email is all going to be there, their address is
going to be there.
What we ask her to do is just confirm those things. “Are you still on
123 Wistia Lane or is the best phone number to reach you still
1234?” She’s confirming that more than filling it out. The heart
of it is she’s asking them about those different offers trying
to get them interested in custom apparel or trying to get their
birthday or another one we ask for is their shirt size.

Since we’re an apparel printer, a lot of the promotions we do
involves sending people a free custom t-shirt or a free custom
polo or something like that to plant the seed to get them
interested in custom apparel. If we know their shirt size, we
can set up tiers of customers. All the customers who have
shopped with us if they’ve placed more than three orders in the
past six months and their total spend is over $7,500, we’ll put
together that short list of customers and if we’ve already got
their shirt size, we can go ahead and send them a wow package or
a thank you package just to get that feel good vibe going.

Trent: I see what you’re talking about now. I just got my first golden
nugget here for myself. You pull up the record and it’s under
the tasks tab and then you scroll down a little and there are
internal forms submissions. You can pick a form and click the
fill out button. That’s what you were referring to, correct?

Andy: Yeah. It’s a bit of a specific application. When I first heard about
it, I was thinking about it the same way you were: she’s going
to get a phone call from a lead that’s not in our system and
she’s going to be typing all this stuff to add them. That’s not
really what we use it for.

Frankly, I wouldn’t want to slow down the conversation that much so
if somebody calls in, I wouldn’t want to force them to sit there
and wait as she typed out the form. Unless it’s of value to
them, we don’t want to collect information that’s just an
annoyance to the customer. It’s making sure that she can quickly
kick off those campaigns is what it comes down to. With one
check box, she can start off a whole sequence of events just
based on us finding out that they’re a parent or what other
sports they’re interested in or things like that.

Trent: Just so the folks who are listening to this-because I know this
is a rather technical discussion-it’ll probably mean more to
people who are already using Infusionsoft. But in the event that
you’re not and you’re still listening, I want to give you
context to understand this.

Think about in your business when you talk to a prospective customer
or an existing customer and they say they want fries and they
want ketchup and they want a burger and a shake or whatever it
is that they want and you hang up the phone and then you have to
go do all that stuff so you don’t forget to follow up and send
all those emails and do, do, do.

What we’re talking about here is a way that you can simply put a
checkmark in a check box that on submission will fire off a
campaign that was built by you in the campaign builder, which is
a drag and drop environment. For every person you put that check
box in, that campaign will fire in exactly the same way every
time so the sales rep that’s talking doesn’t have to remember
that when they hang up the phone because heir phone might ring
again and they get distracted that they have to do this and that
and the other thing so that nothing falls through the cracks.

Andy: Yeah. That’s exactly right. And the way I like to think about it: I
think it’s ideal. That approach is perfect for businesses when
you’re going to have multiple touches with the customer over a
period of time.

Sorry, I got some feedback there. I thought I lost you, Trent. If
you’re having multiple touches with a customer, you’re not going
for the kill on call one. You’re going to talk to this person
three or four times over the span of a couple months and it’s a
very slow, iterative process.

I read a book that was pretty profound for me. It was called “Hug
Your Customer.” It was about this apparel retailer in New Jersey
and they had this system in place where each customer had this
huge profile of information and the sales reps would get
familiar with what we know about this guy and what are his kids’
names and when’s his birthday? What’s his favorite bottle of
wine and all that stuff?

That’s the way I like to think of it. As you have multiple touches
over the course of time, and in addition to that, multiple
touches from people in the organization, we’re all plugging in.
We’ve decided what are the things that are most important for us
to know about this customer and we’re all working together to
round out that profile, so that over the course of a couple of
years-and that’s really the lifespan of our customer. We do much
better with somebody who has been with us for several years
versus somebody who is just going to come and place one order.
We’re trying to round out a profile and learn as much as we can
about them through all those different touches so we can turn
around and provide exactly the right service they need based on
what they told us about themselves.

Trent: How do you get the people who are on the phone with them to
remember to look at the internal forms that are available, to
pick one, and to click the fill-out button?

Andy: We incent them. That’s the main way. The primary incentive for the
retail CSR is they get credit for the number of custom leads
they pass over the fence. It’s not perfect. They’re not going to
do it every time, and I wouldn’t really want them to do it every
time. If they’re in a hurry and somebody just has one quick
question, it wouldn’t necessarily make sense for them to say,
“Hold on a second while I log into Infusionsoft. My password
expired; I have to change my password, hold on another minute.”
That’s just a bad customer experience.

It’s not going to be perfect, but we try to make sure they know
there’s something in it for them. We don’t have a formal program
in place; they get credit for those leads in terms of the
commission that’s driven from those sales. They get some upside
from that.

We also do little promotions. If you’ve ever worked in a restaurant,
whoever sells the most appetizers today gets whatever. We do put
tags on people so we can tell who are all the people who had the
internal form filled out for them. You can do some metrics on
that and provide some one-off incentives to give them a little
boost.

Trent: We are closing in on the hour. There is one last thing I want
to ask you before I go into the lightning round which is a
couple of real quick questions. You talked a lot about measuring
customer satisfaction. Are you using a net promoter score to do
that?

Andy: No, we’re not right now. It’s on my list of things to get
implemented. Right now, it’s purely based on their rating on a
scale of one to five. We’re in the process of rolling out a
program that’s going to make it easier for people to refer
friends. We don’t really track right now. If Trent sent Bob to
me and Bob placed a big order, then I give Trent some sort of a
high five for that. We’re not doing that right now, but probably
in the next month or so we’ll have a formal system in place to
do that.

Trent: Yeah. Okay. Let’s wrap this up. Lightning round. Three
questions: what are you most excited about, Andy, for 2013?

Andy: For 2013, I think I’m most excited about the growth on our custom
sales side. We’ve dialed in so many things on the retail side
and seen such incredible results there. We haven’t applied all
those things to the custom side; we’re in the process of doing
that now. I think between the growth and our sales team and the
things that we’ve learned and the capabilities that we’re
getting in place, that business which is actually two thirds of
our total size of the company, if we can see the same results in
our custom apparel sales as we have seen in our retail sales, I
think that’s going to be outstanding.

Trent: Yeah. Huge. Okay. How about a business book? Do you have a
favorite business book? You mentioned “Hug Your Customer.” Would
that be it?

Andy: One that is more for more complex, consultative sales; I mentioned
Mahan Khalsa before. There’s a book called “Let’s Get Real or
Let’s Not Play” and that was really a fundamental shift in my
thinking about sales. I was talking about how you’re not
selling; you’re creating a buying opportunity. It gives you some
direct, clear ways for thinking about how you interact with
customers and how you’re actually trying to do.

The thing I try to keep in mind every day is it’s really about what’s
best for our customer. We’re trying to be a trusted advisor and
I want every customer to make a decision that’s in their own
best interest.

A lot of times, that means we’re not the best fit. If we can’t meet
their timeline or we can’t provide good service based on their
specific requirements, we have no qualms at all with saying,
“We’d love to have your business but we’re not going to give you
the best experience and we want you to have the best
experience.” Just that shift in mindset from I’m going to do
whatever is good for me regardless of what it means for the
customer to doing the best thing for the customer regardless of
what it means for me personally.

In the long run, there’s no question that’s a better way to operate.
And in that book, “Let’s Get Real and Let’s Not Play,” that was
pretty profound for me.

Trent: Okay. Cool. Thank you for sharing that; I hadn’t heard of that
one. For anyone who is listening to this, if they want to be
able to reach out to you, is there a way that they can do that?

Andy: Sure. I’m on Twitter; my twitter handle is theandymichaels. I also
check my email a lot. My email address is
amichaels@bluechipathletic.com.

Trent: Okay. That was very generous of you. Thank you for sharing
that. Andy, thank you so much for making the time to come on the
show. I hope that the listeners who are already using
Infusionsoft have picked up some really terrific new ideas, and
for those of you who aren’t yet using Infusionsoft, hopefully
this interview has given you some insight into what is possible
with Infusionsoft.

If you have additional questions about it, please feel free to email
me directly. I’m also an Infusionsoft user and obviously a
raving fan. You can send that to trent@brightideas.co. Andy,
thank you so much for making time to be on the show.

Andy: Thanks, Trent. It was my pleasure.

Trent: To get the show notes for today’s episode, head on over to
brightideas.co/55. When you’re there, you’ll see all the links
to any sites or books that we talked about as well as some other
valuable information that you can use to ignite more growth in
your business.

If you’re listening to this on your mobile phone, you’re in your car
or wherever, and you want to be able to get access to some other
really cool stuff, go ahead and send a text. You want to text
the word Trent to 585858. When you do, you’ll get access to the
Massive Traffic toolbox, which is a compilation of all the best
traffic-generations strategies shared with me by my guests on
the show. As well, you’ll also get a list of my personal
favorite picks of all the interviews I’ve ever done. With 55
interviews in the can so far, there are a lot of interviews to
choose from.

And finally, if you really enjoyed this episode, please head over to
brightideas.co/love where you will find a link to leave us a
rating in the iTunes store. That’s it for this episode. I’m your
host, Trent Dyrsmid. I look forward to seeing you in the next
episode. Take care and have a wonderful day.

Recording: Thanks very much for listening to the Bright Ideas Podcasts.
Check us out on the Web at brightideas.co.

About Andy Michaels

WAM_HeadshotAndy worked for the global consulting firm Accenture for over eight years, traveling the country helping Fortune 500 companies achieve positive results through smart implementation of process and technology.  After getting sidelined by Hodgkin’s Lymphoma for nearly two years, Andy went back to the drawing board to rethink his approach to life and his definition of success.

He now serves as the CIO for Blue Chip Athletic, where he introduced Infusionsoft to catapult their sales of retail and custom apparel.  In two years he turned Blue Chip from a customer-ignoring wallflower into the belle of the athletic apparel ball, culminating in their nomination as an Infusionsoft Ultimate Marketer in 2013.

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Welcome to the Bright Ideas Community of Entrenpreneurs

How to Use a Contest to Generate More Leads

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This is a guest post by Travis Ketchum, founder of Contest Domination, a robust contest solution with thousands of customers.

glengarry glen ross

A lot of people have the desire to run a contest to generate more buzz for their business, but many fall into the trap of giving away the wrong prize (like just an iPad), and end up with a big list of unqualified leads that don’t help their bottom line.

Well executed contests have proven themselves time after time to produce high converting landing pages for fresh leads, with strong viral mechanics that let your audience do the hard work of convincing new prospects to care about you.

There are three components you’ll need to know in order to run your own effective contest that generates what your business benefits from the most: more leads & sales.

#1 Pick a Prize with Intrinsic Value

It’s easy when first thinking about what to give away in your contest, to choose something that will generate a ton of interest because it’s shiny and has mass appeal. However, in practice this generates very unqualified leads.

For example, you’ll see a lot of companies choosing to just give away an iPad or an Amazon gift card as the contest incentive. This is massively flawed for most businesses.

Unless you’re an electronics retailer, this doesn’t make much sense because someone who wants an iPad is not necessarily interested in what you do or sell. The goal of your contest should be to get qualified leads who are excited to share your contest.

In most cases it’s not just a prize that is considered “nice”, but instead it’s “experiences” or “fan paraphernalia” that have true scarcity and get people the most excited to enter your contest and share like raving fans.

Fan Paraphernalia

A brick & mortar shop in Vancouver, BC that sells fan gear like hockey jerseys etc, had never done very much internet marketing. They wanted to generate more leads and Facebook likes for greater visibility in the Vancouver area.

While they could have likely had decent traction by simply giving away some apparel or a gift card to their store, that wouldn’t have been enough to actually inspire their ideal customer to become passionate about the contest and share it like crazy.

So how did they light a fire and get people to go crazy over their contest? They got Dan Hamhuis – a local, well known hockey player for the Vancouver Canucks – to sign a jersey to give away as their grand prize.

The results? More than 60% of their total leads came from referrals, and not their own direct traffic. The viral coefficient was very strong because those who entered would do just about anything to improve their chances of winning something that was flat out cool.

This simple strategy of speaking to their fans generated monster results.

Word of Mouth Leads

(More than 60% of their leads were from word of mouth!)

As a nice side effect (since Facebook “likes” weren’t required for their contest), this company added over 300 new fans to their Facebook page in roughly 30 days. These are all people who are extremely engaged, qualified and care about what the company has to offer.

#2 Reward the Right Metrics

The entire reason the Contest Domination platform even exists is that in late 2011 we wanted to use contests for one thing and one thing only: to get more leads for our business.

We were completely shocked to see that the “other guys” out there seemed to be building contest software for the sake of letting people run a contest that had no clear, measurable goal beyond “generating buzz”.

While buzz is good, it can’t be the basis of whether a campaign is successful or not. No one but the Coca-Colas of the world can spend millions trying to stay top of mind.

For the rest of us, we need to be able to correlate our campaigns to real tangible results that impact our bottom line to justify the money and energy we put into something as intensive as a contest.

To put it simply, if something isn’t delivering it needs to be killed off from the budget.

Since we couldn’t find a contest software that was laser focused on rewarding users for actually driving us more leads (vs just taking social actions), we built a new way of doing contests ourselves.

The basic principle is this, when someone enters your contest they get one “unconfirmed entry” into the contest. That entry becomes “confirmed” once they’ve double opted-in to your marketing list.

In order to earn more than the base entry, they will need to convince their friends to enter the contest as well through a unique referral link they are given after entering. Each person they can successfully get to enter your contest gets 10 extra points (entries).

Pretty simple right? That’s the idea, keep it easy to understand and to the point.

Couple this process with your highly valuable, intrinsic prize and it’s a recipe for success.

#3 Maximize Your Campaign’s ROI

There is a rhythm to running a contest that you need to understand in order to leverage each campaign to provide the largest ROI possible. Every business has its own complexities, but these guidelines will help you define what can work.

The Timeline

One of the more common questions we get from customers is along the lines of “How long should I run my contest for?”. While there are benefits to both short contests (scarcity) and long contests (allows for more people to enter over time), we’ve found that 30 days is just about the sweet spot to run a contest.

Running it for one month allows you to give your contests several “pushes” so you can reach a nice wide audience. It lets you get a decent amount of runway from one set of prizes but doesn’t drag on so long that people lose interest.

The Messaging

When you’re working with prospects, it’s always most effective to tell them exactly what you want them to do so that there is no confusion, and you don’t just hope they do what you want. Make it easy for them!

Make sure that you give your audience a friendly reminder that they can earn additional entries by being more active with their unique link. Drive those who have entered back to the share page of the contest to encourage more sharing to get even more mileage out of each person who entered and effectively raised their hand to say “I’m in!”.

Paid Advertising

This one scares some people off because they don’t want to have to spend any extra money to get their contest rolling. However, once you’ve committed to putting the prizes together and to taking the time to run a contest, even a small ad budget can go a long way.

To make things even more attractive, most companies can find their core demographic on Facebook, and when you use an app like Contest Domination to install right into your Facebook tab you’re able to run ads within Facebook.

Why is that important? Because historically speaking, Facebook has given much lower cost per click rates to people advertising within the Facebook walled garden. This means you can acquire real leads inside Facebook for less than your competitors who might be trying to drive the traffic offsite.

Even a $5-$10/day budget can go a long way towards extending your reach, helping you build that initial audience & tribe that can stick with you through future campaigns and give you the kick start you need.

Conclusion

I hope by now you’ve seen just how easy it is to put together a successful contest campaign in a matter a minutes, and taken away a few of the key elements that dictate your success. If you’d like to get started with your own contest you can do so at Contest Domination, absolutely risk free.

About Travis

TravisK

Travis Ketchum is the Founder & CEO of Contest Domination, a powerful contest platform. Travis is a performance marketing expert and entrepreneur.

Having worked with celebrities, best-selling authors, and starting several companies before (including drop-shipping, affiliate shopping portals & more), he’s focused on creating a performance marketing suite of software that anybody can use.

You’ll find his software and influence across many top blogs as well as by household brands who depend on creative, scalable marketing solutions to meet their growth objectives. (And he has the love letters to prove it.)

Check out Contest Domination today!

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Digital Marketing Strategy: Dr. Dustin Burleson on How He Tripled His Revenue Using Marketing Automation

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dustin-burleson

How would you like to triple your company’s revenue in just 18 months? Sound too good to be true?

It can be done. In this episode of the Bright Ideas podcast, I’m joined by Dustin Burleson, a practicing Orthodontist and an extremely talented marketer. By focusing on marketing excellence, Dr. Burleson has been able to build a practice that has 4 locations, 35 employees, 7,500 patients, and annual revenue of just over $4 million.

Best of all, Dr. Burleson has increased his vacation days from just 5 to over 40 per year!

In this exclusive interview Dr. Burleson will go into detail explaining how he:

  • Increased revenue by over 600% since deciding to focus on improving his clinic’s marketing
  • Attracts new patients
  • Retains existing patients
  • Reduced his patient acquisition cost by 56%
  • Increased revenue from referrals from just 20% of total revenue to over 60%
  • Managed to go from 50 new patients per month to over 170 without overwhelming his staff
  • Makes use of high quality free information reports to capture the interest of prospective patients, and then, how he’s automated the entire follow up sequence that last for 11 months after the initial inquiry which has resulted in 30% more calls from these prospective patients
  • Advertises in specific locations to drive more traffic to the portions of his website that offer these valuable free information reports
  • Configured his systems to alert his staff to which patients and prospective patients require a personal touch, and when that touch is needed so that no one falls through the cracks
  • Created an irresistable offer that gets bundle in with routine treatments so that he is able to protect his pricing

…And so much more!

Links Mentioned

More About This Episode

The Bright Ideas podcast is the podcast for business owners and marketers who want to discover how to use online marketing and sales automation tactics to massively grow their business.

It’s designed to help marketing agencies and small business owners discover which online marketing strategies are working most effectively today – all from the mouths of expert entrepreneurs who are already making it big.

Listen Now

Enjoyed this Interview? Here’s How To Leave us a Positive Review on iTunes!

If you enjoyed this episode, click here for more information on How to Leave Us a Positive Review on iTunes! Your review will help to spread the word and get more entrepreneurs like you interested in our podcast. Thanks in advance - we appreciate you!

Transcript

Trent: Hey there. Welcome to the Bright Ideas Podcast. I’m your host
Trent Dyrsmid and this is the podcast for marketing agencies and
entrepreneurs who want to discover how to use content marketing
and marketing automation to massively boost their business. My
guest on the show today is Dustin Burleson of Burleson
Orthodontics. Burleson was started in 2006 with just one
employee and no customers.Today Burleson is doing over $4 million a year with 35 employees,
four locations and over 7,500 active patients. In 2013 Burleson
was named as one of Infusionsoft’s Ultimate Marketer of the Year
finalists, and after hearing its story of how using Infusions
software tripled the size of this company, I knew that I really
wanted to have Dustin on the show.But before we get to that I have a couple of special announcements,
including my technology tip. So this one is, if you use Chrome
and you frequently need to access the same kind of set of
webpages in multiple tabs, there is a free chrome extension
called FreshStart Cross Session Browser Manager. So if you just
Google Chrome extensions, it’ll take you to chrome extension
store where you can get this. So if there’s like five or six
tabs. For example, for me, I have like this social, so it will
open up Facebook, it will open LinkedIn, it’ll open YouTube and
it’ll open up Twitter. So I don’t have to open those manually, I
just click this button and all of them just pop up. That’s
exactly what Fresh Start will do for you.The next thing I want you make you aware of is my upcoming webinar on
Lifecycle Marketing. Now, this a topic if you aren’t familiar
with lifecycle marketing, you really need to be because it’s
what separates the profitable businesses from the ones that are
struggling. Lifecycle marketing comes down to seven steps:
attracting traffic, capturing leads, nurturing those prospects,
converting those prospects to customers, delivering your product
or service, and satisfying the customers with, not even just
satisfying wowing your customers, increasing revenue with
upsells and cross-sells and then motivating your customers to
generate referrals.And as you are going to hear in this episode, my guest used to get
15% to 20% of his new clients from referral now he gets 60% of
his business from referrals from existing clients. So lots of
good stuff to come in this interview, to sign up for that
webinar just go to brightideas.co and you’ll be able to be on
the list and you’ll receive a notification every time that I do
that webinar.So that said, let’s transition over to my interview with Dustin. Hey
Dustin. Welcome to the show.Dustin: Hi Trent, thank you so much for having me.

Trent: No, it’s my pleasure to have you on the show. So for the folks
who have just heard the introduction that I read off for you,
but don’t really know who you are, maybe just in your own words
give us a little short brief introduction of who you are and
what you do.

Dustin: Sure. I’d love to. So by trade I’m an orthodontist, so I work
on teeth and help mostly kids and some adults straighten their
smiles and improve their bites. We also work with cleft lip and
palate kids. So by professional, I’m a trained orthodontist, but
over the years of growing into coaching and consulting other
doctors, dentists and certainly orthodontists on how to improve
the business life, how to improve their practices and actually
create a lifestyle that’s not so much about working in the mouth
24/7.

So that’s a little bit about me, I’m from Kansas City, Missouri. Have
a wife and three beautiful children and we have four locations
throughout the Metro area and about 35 employees and we’ve grown
from zero patients and zero employees. Actually, I was the first
employee back in 2006. So it’s been a rapidly growing ride and
we’ve been enjoying it quite a bit.

Trent: And no kidding, that is a phenomenal accomplishment and so for
the folks who are listening how I met Dustin was at InfusionCon,
which is Infusionsoft’s Annual Conference, and he was nominated
as one of the three finalists for Ultimate Marketer of the Year.
So this is going to be a conversation that has a lot to do with
Infusionsoft because, and I’m going to let Dustin explain it to
you, it had a pretty big impact on his business.

Do you want talk before we get into the how you did what you did? Can
you just tell us a little bit about the results that you
achieved Dustin? So the folks who are listening can figure out
hey should I keep listening to this interview or should I skip
on and do something else today.

Dustin: Yeah, so for those who are result-driven much like I am, I will
fast-forward to the end result and say that since we started
with Infusionsoft our company grew 600% and that was beyond our
a pretty good-sized company. So we started getting seriously
involved with using Infusionsoft on a day-to-day basis to run
our operations. We purchased the software probably in 2009 and
like a lot of users kind of dabbled with it and once we got
really serious with it in 18 months it grew our business over
600%.

So it’s been a tremendous result for us and I would encourage anyone
who’s not using it to at least look it up and can consider that
because we’re going to talk about, today’s trend is the nuts and
bolts of how that’s happened and it’s as Trent knows a very,
very powerful piece of software and it’s completely changed not
just our business but my personal life as well. If you are
entrepreneur looking to get some free time back, enough to spend
some more time with your family and to not be involved in the
doing day-to-day routine, repetitive tasks that Infusionsoft can
totally change your business life and it’s certainly done that
for us.

Trent: And for me as well because I’m also a very happy Infusionsoft
user and by the way a few, a lot of my audience is not in your
business Dustin, they have their own marketing agencies or
variety of other types of small businesses and if that’s you and
you’re listening don’t tune out because the principles that
we’re going to talk about in this interview are applicable to
your businesses just like they were applicable to Dustin’s and
this is going to be, it could be a game changer for you.

Obviously for Dustin using the software it was. For me, it has had a
huge impact on my business as well and when I was at InfusionCon
I met entrepreneur after entrepreneur after entrepreneur who
were just raving fans and one of them in fact said, “With
Infusionsoft you can hit 1 million by accident.” I thought was
great.

Dustin: That’s a great point. Yeah, that collection of individuals and
businesses is unlike anything else on the planet. If you’ve
never been on InfusionCon, this is on YouTube, I agree with
Trent. This is something that you really can get so many great
ideas and most of them, you had a great point which is most of
our big breakthroughs in business have come from outside of our
industry.

So the idea of, well, I’m not orthodontist and I’m not from Kansas
City, so I’m going to tune out to this episode and listen to one
when Trent starts to talk about my business and my particular
part of the world, I would caution you against our biggest
breakthroughs have come from outside of our industry. So the
hours we set, how we train customer service positions in our
office, down to how we communicate with our patients, none of
that I have learned from other orthodontist. So it’s a great
point.

Trent: Yeah, and thank you for echoing that. All right. So let’s jump
into, I want to make sure that people understand when they might
want to consider using Infusionsoft, so tell us a little bit
about your business and what you were using before Infusionsoft.

Dustin: Good, it’s a great question. We tried everything because we hit
a wall. I think when you look in your business and say, “It
seems like there’s something that could be a little bit more
streamlined.” In other words, we seem to be doing the same task
over and over and over again.

So a good example might be a new client or a new customer welcome
sequence. So they purchase a product or service from you and you
want to follow-up with that individual to make sure they’re
happy with the product or service. You want encourage referrals
and get feedback, you want to make sure that they come back
again and again to purchase either another product or to renew
that service.

For us that sequence was the same thing over and over again. It had
to be somewhat customized to the individual. But we were wasting
a lot of time manually printing letters, manually sending email,
so we start to look at some email automation tools, constant
contact and mail jumper to the very entry-level one of those,
AWeber was a little bit more sophisticated, but when you get
into that world of marketing automation, you’ll quickly hear
about or meet someone or even get into a sequence from a company
that’s using Infusionsoft, and you start to compare the benefits
of Infusionsoft to a lot of the others. We found it was far
superior.

And so our initial drive to get into something this sophisticated was
to take that the mundane, those repetitive tasks you’re doing
over and over again, your staff is just completely strapped down
with these repetitive tasks. For us, getting that off of our
staff so they could focus more on spending time with our
clients. That was a huge initiating drive for us.

Trent: And so just so that people know, Infusionsoft is your customer
relationship management software. It’s your e-commerce shopping
cart software. It’s your email marketing software and your
marketing automation software all wrapped into one beautiful
package that works together. And I think that’s one of the
reasons why it’s so popular because when you’re using multiple
systems, trying to get them all talk to each other can be a real
nightmare, especially for someone who’s not technical and
doesn’t understand what an API is and doesn’t want to hire a
programmer and all this other stuff which causes friction in the
whole idea in marketing and in running your business is to avoid
friction.

All right, so Dustin, can you just tell us a little bit at the high
level and we’re going to drill in with details here and follow-
up questions, but how are you using Infusionsoft in your
business?

Dustin: At this level, we get this question a lot, and we kind of joke
with a smile and say, “I’m not sure of any way that we’re not
using Infusionsoft.” So it’s from everything as like you
mentioned with marketing. So how we attract and convert leads
into customers, how we nurture those customers to encourage
referrals.

So we’re using it to drive new business. We’re using it then at that
point with new customers to drive new referrals. We’re using it
to increase their satisfaction, so all our surveys and all of
our quality assurance measures are run through Infusionsoft. If
you boil down to the very nitty-gritty, we’re actually using it
to train new staff member. We’re using it in HR. We’re using to
nurture referrals from, for me would be B2B type referrals. As a
dental specialist we’re using that to nurture relationships
amongst our general dentists to send us patients.

So on every level of the business, it’s back to basic management.
Peter Drucker says, “If there is something you can’t measure,
you really can’t manage it,” so any number in your business that
you’re measuring you can turn that on to Infusionsoft. So for us
it was new clients for us, so generating new patients. Where are
all those new patients are coming from.

So managing those leads, in other words automating the process of a
patient or a parent requesting a free report that now goes out
automatically, we don’t have to put it in the mail, it’ll
actually would go to our fulfillment center of its requested via
mail, and go via email if it’s requested that way. That’s all
automated. This happens without us even knowing it, you just set
up inside Infusionsoft and let it run.

So new patient management has been huge for us. We went from about 50
new patients a month to over 170 new patients a month just
through automation because we couldn’t keep up with it. It
wasn’t consistent and it really was kind of a mess if you’re
trying to manage it manually. So, on every level business we’re
kicking numbers that matter and we’re attaching and automating
the steps in the process to increase those numbers.

Trent: I want to go down my first of many rabbit holes here for just a
second because you talked about, you’re going to give a free
report and automate it and so forth. And I don’t know that
everyone that’s listening to this I understand exactly what you
mean, but I think there’s some people on who are listening who
might not grasp this free report lead generation what is that
all about?

So essentially what you’re doing is you’re putting up a page where
you’re offering a report that is relevant to a problem that
people are searching for? What’s the report? How you get traffic
to the page and then and don’t spend too much time on this
because there is so much other stuff I want to cover, but I
didn’t want to skip past because I think it’s important.

Dustin: I think what we found is a in my industry, a lot of parents are
considering not just, you know, do I need orthodontist, but when
should the kids go see an orthodontist. When should they get
braces? So we started looking at a lot of, you can go to Google
and actually see what people are searching for in your industry,
and for us it was a lot of parent searching for, “How much do
braces cost,” and “When is the best time to get braces?”

So we generated and created free reports that answer those questions.
So what you’re going to do is take really a question or problem
you can solve for your customer, your client or your patient and
you’re going to boil that down into just great contents. So this
is not a sales message. This is all about providing great
content to potential customers and the goal is to get those
potential customers to raise their hand and say “I’m interested.
This is something I’m interested in.” And then you capture their
contact information.

So we would generate free reports on landing pages and you can
advertise those through, for us, a lot of mommy blogs, so a lot
of moms that are talking about events in our area will advertise
on those websites. We’ll advertise in traditional media, we’ll
advertise on the radio, Google AdWords is a great lead
generation tool. We’ll also do some Facebook advertising.

So any lead source that works for you. In other words, where your
clients are coming from, whether it’s the Yellow Pages or
newspaper print, postcards, webinars, what you want to do is
think about how can I solve a problem for this patient or this
customer or this client, and then how can I then nurture that
relationship? Because not everybody is ready to buy.

So for lead generation for us we’ve automated that process and in
turn we’ve had parents stay in our sequences for up to 11 months
before they make the decision to actually call one of our
offices and schedule a complementary consultation. So for us
that blew our minds. We assumed when parents were ready for
braces, the buying cycle was within a few weeks, maybe a few
months, but a lot of these parents are staying in the sequences
for 11 months. Could you imagine trying to nurture someone for
11 months and keep in contact with them manually? For me it
would be impossible.

Trent: And that’s just what I was going to say is that the whole
automation of the follow-up is one of the reasons why
Infusionsoft, people that use it are such evangelists for it
because there’s no way you could do this manually. The wheels
would fall off, like I have a friend who’s a realtor, and he
spends all this money on postcards to generate leads and his
call to action is a phone number, and I said to him, I go, “Why
do you not capture an email address?” He goes, “Well, it’s risk-
free. They can call.” And I said, “No, that’s not risk-free,
people don’t want to talk to you yet.” So I said, “What you’re
doing with the people that don’t call?”

Okay, so now he started to capture email addresses. But he doesn’t
have an automated follow-up system so they get the email to
respond, and they reply back and if the person doesn’t write
them back, again they don’t do anything more with that email
address ever.

Dustin: Wow.

Trent: And I said to him, I said, “Do you understand how much money
you’re leaving on the table?” And so I sent him some podcast on
realtors and so forth and so the light bulb is starting to go on
and I hope that if you’re listening to this and you’re capturing
email addresses and you don’t have an automated follow-up system
that allows your prospective customer to self-segment themselves
and will get into that little bit later on, you’re really
probably leaving a substantial amount of profit on the table.

Dustin: Absolutely.

Trent: Okay. Wow. I actually, my next question can you describe your
process for tracking and capturing leads? I think we just kind
of covered that one. All right.

So the content that you are using for lead magnets are all very heavy
information base to answer questions that people have and I want
to reference another podcast that I did. If you go to
brightideas.co and you search for Marcus Sheridan, he’s the pool
guy, and he has got the most highly trafficked pool website in
the world because he just decided to create a whole bunch of
content to answer people’s questions. So really don’t
underestimate the value of the simplicity of just thinking what
are people asking before they buy my stuff and figure out a way
to get that information to them.

All right. What is next, because you just answered a whole bunch of
my questions in advance. So, yeah, you said the results from
lead generation you went from 50 new patients a month to 170 a
month that’s pretty substantial.

All right. Let’s talk about nurturing and conversion then because
just because and you alluded to this stuff and you said some
people stay in the nurturing process for 11 months. So
obviously, not everybody that gives you their contact
information is in the same space from a psychological buying
standpoint. So can you talk a little bit about how you nurture,
and if you’re segmenting, how you segment?

Dustin: We do. So I mean the nurture process for us and Infusionsoft
has completely changed our business and the reason is obvious.
When you look at, so a good example is, you know, the other day,
I’ll tell you a story. I was at Costco and if have Costco, these
are like big-box retail stores, lots of people buying some
things for the business and buying some fruit and berries for
the kids at home and I see this lady. I kind of tell you she is
looking at me and she’s looked over a couple times and we’re
walking out to the parking lot, and she says, “Are you an
orthodontist?” I said, “Yeah,” and now my brain is rapidly
trying to think of who is this mother and what is her child’s
name because I’m assuming she’s a patient of ours.

And she could kind of tell that I was just hesitating and she said,
“We’re not a patient of yours yet, but we’re coming to see you
tomorrow. We have a new patient exam schedule tomorrow.” And I
thought that was really odd, and she said, “Well, we’ve seen
your YouTube videos and then we’ve requested some information.
We read one of your books.”

And so we went back and I made a mental note to remember her name and
I thanked her, and I said, “I’ll see you tomorrow and I went and
looked her up and she was one of these parents inside
Infusionsoft who had been in the sequence for months and months
and months, and so nurturing that that individual when finally
and here’s the main point, when she was ready to schedule the
appointment we were there and available to her. That wasn’t on
our terms.

It wasn’t on our time, it was on her terms and her time because what
we did previously to nurture was you would call the office much
like a real estate friend after lead generation via postcard or
direct mail of some sort and you would request some information.
We would send it to you and if you didn’t schedule appointment
we really didn’t do much else. We just assumed you were
disinterested and went somewhere else.

And what we found if you study consumer trends is we’re wildly
distracted. That mom, she didn’t purposely neglect scheduling an
appointment for her child, she’s got busy, she got busy with
life. I talked to a mom the other week that she had… so our
customers are primarily mothers aged 22 to 44 and she had eight
volleyball games in one weekend with her kids.

Trent: Wow.

Dustin: And so, this isn’t a mom who is disinterested in doing what’s
best for her child or who doesn’t want to buy what you have to
offer. She just really, really busy and what we want to do is be
there when that mom is finally ready to make the decision to
come into our office. So for us nurturing is a monthly process.
It’s highly loaded to the front-end.

So if you get into one of our sequences, we communicate with you
pretty frequently. We’ve tested this. We found that people, if
you give them a free report, and you don’t say anything else for
a couple weeks they usually forget about you. So we’re
frontloading the information heavy in the first two to three
weeks and then we stay in touch each month via newsletters, via
audio CDs that go out talking about specific topics. We have
free books, free reports, we sponsor a lot of events in the
community and we remind those people that we’re going to be
sponsoring those events. So it’s a monthly process and when that
patient or parent is finally ready to say yes, I can guarantee
you we’re the only doctor that stayed in touch with them that
long. So we become the obvious choice.

Trent: That is the beauty of it. Can you talk a little bit in detail
about frontloading the follow-up? Can you give us some
specifics, how many emails in the first couple days or week or
two-three weeks?

Dustin: Exactly, Trent. We tested this, so we used to do a weekly
email. If you got into one of our reports, free reports, or a
free audio CD or a free book, what we would do is we would send
you a thank you email that sent you the free report that you
requested and then a week later, we would follow up with you and
then in a week later we’d follow up to you again and a week
later, so it was about four-week process.

And what we’ve done now is push that higher into the frontend, so
those first-three emails go out on days one, three, five and
seven. So we’ve communicated with you four times in the first
week and then our conversion. In other words, patients who then
call us after those initial contacts has gone about 20% to 30%.

Because think about anything you’re ready to buy, whether it’s a car,
may be a jet ski or maybe a new boat, in this part of the
country we’re coming up on warmer spring weather so it’s getting
close to boating season and if you’re interested in buying a
boat and you call a boat store and ask for some information and
they send you some information and you don’t hear back from them
for a week. There’s a lot that can happen in a week. Another
opportunity might come up, you might get busy at work, you might
get distracted, get distracted with free vacation offer from
some other company.

And the reality is so we’re sending those first-four emails that used
to take a month, we’re sending those all now in the first week.
Initially to me with hesitation in testing was that we would be
really kind of annoying people with too much information. We
have actually found that our conversion rates have gone up
significantly. So I would encourage people to look at two or
three emails kind of tight in sequence from the first two or
three weeks and those patients and parents and clients who have
an interest do tend to convert higher when they get the
information they want much quicker.

Trent: In an email number one you’re thanking them and delivering the
content or report. In email two, three, and four, what are you
talking about?

Dustin: So it seems little silly, when we first tested this we thought,
should we just deliver more content so they have more and more
and more? What we found and you might be guilty of this, all
request a free report and get maybe a package and a DVD on some
something from a house for my business and I’ll set aside and I
might have not read it all the way, I might’ve looked at it and
glanced at it.

So the second email is reminding them why they requested the
information the first place. So it will be something along the
lines of, “Hey, I hope you got the free report that I sent. If
you’ve had a chance to look over it, you might have a question
or two and these are some the most popular questions we get
after new patients look at this reports. So we’re reminding them
first why they requested the free report it’s another chance,
it’s another excuse to stay in front of them and to give them
another email is we want to make sure if you any questions after
reading it.

And then we also, we break it down, we say, if you haven’t read it
yet, “Hey, we know life gets busy, let me go and summarize the
first main point,” and so that might be a little bit about how
much braces cost and why they cost what they do and how you
might be able to save for it, or how you might be able to sign
up for insurance and again solving problems for your client. If
they are about to purchase that product, what’s the first
problem they might encounter?

So for example, the real estate agent might say, “I’m just not sure
how to get my house on the market, I really want to sell my
house and I requested some information from this real estate
agent how I might list my house and I got the free packet, but I
haven’t taken the first step yet.” And so that that real estate
agent might remind that client potential lead, why they
requested the information the first place and then give them
kind of the first, almost like, it’s almost like you’re spoon
feeding them. You’re really kind of breaking up the free report
into bite-size pieces and that’s really worked well for us.

So we can track inside Infusionsoft, who clicks on what and when they
click on it, and for us, it’s actually the second email that
converts the highest. So the first email, it delivers what you
promised. The second email then reminds them why they requested
it and encourages them to take the next step.

So for your friend who was the real estate agent, could you imagine?
Our second email is the highest converting. What if we stopped
after the first email? We’d be losing the majority of our new
leads and new clients. So it’s a testament to follow-up. For us,
those next few emails are all about getting the patient or the
client to do the next step.

Trent: And our email number three and email number four is just a
version of what email number two is again.

Dustin: Exactly.

Trent: Reminding them and maybe summarizing some other points that you
haven’t talked about yet.

Dustin: The next point and then we’re delivering it in different media.
So if you look at our first email, the free report it’s usually
PDF. The second is the kind the first step in that report. The
third might push them into going to a video series. So maybe
they don’t want to read it, maybe they want to watch it and so
for us we have a site called burlesonorthodontics.tv, and those
are bite-size little webinars, two or three minutes in length
that talk about a particular question a patient or a parent
might have, and so we’ll push them to the video.

And then the final one really kind of gives them, so the final email
in that sequence is giving them what we call an Irresistible
Offer. And so for us or for your clients you might find, what
would be the final thing that might really get someone to call
in? You’re summarizing the first three emails you sent, because
frankly, some of them might not have read the first-three
emails. Don’t assume that everyone’s reading your content and so
we’re summarizing and then encouraging with the irresistible
offer to come in and schedule that first.

For us we do are selling face-to-face. We can’t sell braces over the
Internet, you have to actually come to my office and we have to
put them on your teeth. So it’s the final push to get them to
call. We use an irresistible offer to do that in the fourth
email.

Trent: And what is that irresistible offer look like?

Dustin: For us it’s free whitening and so we always offer free exams
and consultations with one of our doctors. But we add on top of
that a free whitening offer, so they can get up to a $500
premium, and it’s free professional whitening and if you bought
that as a patient in our office, it actually does cost $500 so
we’re throwing that in for free if they call by a certain date
and time so there is a scarcity on how many of those we can do
per month and so that for us works very well.

Trent: And do they need to get braces to get the free whitening or can
they…

Dustin: Exactly, so it’s a premium that goes with coming in and getting
braces, you’re exactly right.

Trent: Okay. So buy one thing, and over this limited time, I’m going
to give you this other highly valuable thing for free.

Dustin: Exactly. We’ve tested that, we have tested discounts, we’ve
tested what we call premiums or giveaways and for us the
premiums giveaways protect our price strategy, so we’re not
discounting our fees, but we do still convert a higher rate and
so for us you might test that, but for us premiums work better
than discounts and this is about the best offer we’ve been able
to together in multiple tests and that works pretty well.

Trent: So you’ve talked a lot about testing. So I’m going to maybe go
down another rabbit hole here. Let me proceed that with this
question, on your lead capture pages, so just so folks know
landing page basically has one thing to do, there’s no
navigation, I’m assuming at least in my mind there’s no
navigation. There is only thing there is to do is read the copy
and put your email address in or leave the page.

Dustin: Exactly.

Trent: What types of conversion rates, in other words what percentage
of the visitors that view those pages are giving you their
contact info?

Dustin: I’m going to back up this to just to segmenting the list,
because it depends on where they came from. So if these are
internal referrals, we push a lot of patience to landing pages
based on referral cards. So if you become a new patient in our
practice and let’s say, you get braces and then and you love the
experience so you refer a friend and you hand out a little
business card that on the back has a QR code that goes straight
to landing page that’s mobile-friendly. Those convert a lot
higher. So we’ll see 50% and 60% conversion on internal
referrals, which is amazing.

For cold leads coming from mommy blogs or Google ads will convert
anywhere from 5% to 10% of those that actually get into, in
other words eventually become new patients. I would say a high
convert. Once they visit the page, the number of people actually
giving us their email address is pretty significant, because
this isn’t like a get-rich in real estate program. This is like
people that are looking for braces, the kind of pretty, it’s a
pretty unique little niche.

So I don’t think most people wake up in the morning and go, “I wonder
how much braces costs and I just want to drive round town and
meet a bunch of orthodontist.” These are parents who are pretty
far along that process if not at least convinced that their kid
need some help. So our conversion on getting email addresses is
above 80% out of those landing pages. Getting patients, it
depends on where we’re segmenting and where those come from.

Trent: Yeah, and so the testing part of my question is do you use
split testing software?

Dustin: We do. So we’ll use split. There’s some that are built-in to
Infusionsoft and we use them, one of our vendors is ELaunchers
and they are a certified consultant. I’m trying to think of the
one if it’s AB split test but there’s a plug and you can use,
you can then randomly assign different headlines, randomly
assign different images and randomly assign different offers. So
for us, we usually test the headline, the image and the offer.
Now you can really get detailed and for businesses that do the
majority of their new patient or new client generation online, I
mean they are testing the color of the of the opt-in button,
they are testing the placement.

For us, we have tested, we use pictures in the background and if the
person in the picture has eyes looking towards the opt-in thing
or away from it that actually does drastically change your opt-
in rate, but most of this because we’re a little spoiled these
patients are somewhat interested in what we’re doing. It’s not
like a cold thing, like and say, “Make an extra thousand bucks
from home,” is not that type of an offer. The lead does mention
“braces.”

So I think we get a little spoiled in having higher conversion, but
certainly with direct mail, with all of our tests, minimum for
us is a 1,000 pieces and we’ll measures those results based on a
different tracking numbers, for Infusionsoft it’s super easy
because you can have different versions of the landing page.

Trent: Yeah.

Dustin: Yeah, I would test everything. You can always be your control
and sometimes you won’t, but it’s worth the test. Certainly in
landing pages, it doesn’t cost that much.

Trent: It is and if you’re not yet using Infusionsoft, there is tool,
and even if you’re using Infusionsoft, there’s the tool that I
use called Optimizely, Optimizely.com. You can, I think it’s…
I don’t know if you get a free account, but it’s 20 bucks a
month, it’s not expensive, and you do not need to understand how
to program any HTML. The interface is very, very easy to use,
and I was able to after I did an interview with Stephen Woesner,
if you come to brightideas.co and search for it.

I was able to double my conversion rate by taking into account some
of the things that I learned from him in that interview and then
using Optimizely, and now I’m a religious split tester. So I
would encourage that if you’re not split testing at something
you probably want to start.

All right, is there anything else before we leave the nurturing and
conversion part of our discussion Dustin, have I left anything
out that you think is particularly important and want to talk
about?

Dustin: I think like you mentioned initially we could talk about it all
day, but a quick recommendation that we have used in the
nurturing is to really survey your clients before. If you’re
doing this, in other words, if you’ve never used Infusionsoft,
you’re not sure what type of content you need to put out there,
you could spend months or years building content that has no
relevance to your client or to your new patient or new customer.

And so, I would ask them, basically you could start with the top
questions you get and then you can also then just ask people in
your process of buying this widget or buying this servicer from
us, what was your biggest fear or frustration? And then will
talk to you about price and they’ll talk to you about being able
find some they can trust and you’ll get some ideas on what type
of content.

So in the nurturing process, make sure you’re nurturing with
something that they want and not something that you think they
need. You might think because you’re inside of your business day-
to-day, you might think there is something your patients or
clients or customers really need and they might have no interest
in it whatsoever. So we used a lot of surveys before we built
out our content and so our articles get really, really good
download rates and they get a lot of good pass-through rates and
that would be my one piece of advice on nurturing is to make
sure you’re giving them what they want.

Trent: Yeah absolutely, and I want to talk just very briefly about how
I do this in my own funnel. So as I mentioned off, we’re not
camera, but off air before we started. My audience has made up
of a lot of marketing agencies, local marketing consultants, and
business owners and those are kind of three very different
people, and they would be interested in different interviews and
in our various products and some of my products would be of a
lot of interest to some but not interest to the others. So if
you’re in that situation, you want to say, “Hey, buy this
thing,” to everybody because if only one-third of your audience
is going to be interested in whatever that thing is, the other
two-third is going to start to tune you out when you start
sending offers like that.

So what I do very, very early in my funnel and Infusionsoft is very,
very helpful of this because of this concept called tagging
where you can essentially categorize people and you can apply
these tags based upon links that are clicked. So anyone
listening to this knows this because they’ve been my funnel and
they’ll get an email on this “Hey. Tell me a little bit about
you, do you run a marketing agency? Or do you run a small
business? Or are you just getting started in business?

And when those tags get applied I can actually have-if you imagine my
funnel, like a three-lane highway or you can have as many lanes
as you like, I can send my traffic down, and it’s all automated.
I don’t actually have to do this; I just build the highway to
begin with. They go down the appropriate lane for them based
upon the links that they have clicked.

In other words, I let my list segment themselves within the confines
of the funnel that I’ve built and that helps with conversion
rates, it helps with engagement, it obviously it helps with
revenue. So there is a ton of things that you are going to
discover that you can do once you start to build marketing
funnels and take advantage of marketing automation.

Dustin: Yeah, everyone listening to this should have just heard
collectively minds exploding around the globe because that’s
what happens when people hear a statement like that, which is
your list can self-segment. And what people get inside of the
sequences, in other words, the content delivered to them changes
based on their interaction with the software.

This totally blows the minds of our coaching and consulting clients.
So in our industry for example if a patient requests information
on bleaching or tooth whitening and then downloads a free report
that talks about how to use and eventually purchases it, their
interaction with the software is totally different than someone
who got the email for the initial offering didn’t say yes. There
are getting totally different piece of information even though
they entered the sequence at the same time.

This really, really blows the minds of our of our small business
owners, which I think most dentists are small business owners.
This is so powerful. It’s almost like as a user or as a patient
or a client of your business, they open the email and go it’s
almost like, this was sent just for me. It’s customized and it’s
just incredibly powerful. So I would encourage everyone to do
not miss that point.

Trent: And that’s where the things like the AWebers and Mailchimps
send and what I will call the entry-level programs that they
didn’t do any of that stuff. AWeber, you can kind a sort of do
it, but it’s a really tricky to do and you got to have all these
different lists and you got to have them join one list and exist
the other list and it’s a royal pain in the backside.

The other thing that I wanted to add, if you’re marketing agency and
you’re thinking that you would like to use Infusionsoft, I have
built-one of the challenges for a new Infusionsoft user is when
will we get all the content, like all the emails and all the
stuff for marketing agencies. I have already built all of that
for you. I have designed, I have the webinar, I have all the
follow-ups, the funnel, the email, everything is completely
built for you, and I will give it to you for free if you decide
to become an Infusionsoft user.

Obviously, I’m Infusionsoft affiliate and if you use my link I get
paid for that. So that’s why I’m giving it to you for free, but
just an FYI. If you have questions about that please email me
trent@brightideas.co. Okay. Want to move on to referrals, up
sells and repeat business. Can you tell us what are some of the
things, Dustin, that you’re doing to encourage referrals in your
business?

Dustin: It’s driving our new patients and we used to rely solely on
referrals from general dentists and what we found with new
technology like Invisalign and Six-Month Smiles is that the
dentists really enjoy doing braces as well. So we have to
continually provide and push for the front our value as
specialists to our clients. And so what we’ve done then is
focused a lot on patients who have great experiences in our
office.

So a lot of this is internal marketing, but just because we’re
talking internal marketing doesn’t mean you can’t turn
Infusionsoft on to it to automate it. And so for us, we really
looked at the number of patients who were coming from existing
clients and that number consistently hovered around 15% to 20%,
and I really wasn’t in the least bit satisfied with that and
I’ll tell you when we ask, so you might just right now think if
you’re a small business owner or a marketing consultant to small
business owners is what is your number, how many of your new
clients come from existing clients? And I’ll tell you that
question usually stumps most of our coaching and consulting
clients because they just don’t know.

So first of all, with Infusionsoft you’ll know because you can set
patients up as affiliates and you can tag them, you can see who
they’re referring. So in our industry a lot of our internal
marketing is driven through in-office contests, raffle prizes,
rewarding good behaviors. So for us, patients who show up on
time, kids who keep their teeth clean and don’t break the
braces, and then certainly patients and parents who refer their
friends and family, we enter them in a lot of raffles, and so we
give away a lot of prizes.

And you have to check how you can do this legally in your state. For
us it has to be random and so we give away random raffle prizes
and you can enter the contest even if you’re patient of ours but
it encourages patients to refer friends and family and we reward
those people and we track all that through Infusionsoft. So to
fast forward, our patient-to-patient referral or existing client
to existing client referral has gone from 15% to over 60%.

So the majority, in other words, the #1 referral source now on our
business is an existing client and if you run a business or even
remotely have interacted with the business you know the best new
customers are those who come from an existing satisfied customer
and so for us and there’s no better area of your business to
focus on then on turning internal referrals and just setting
those things on fire, just blow those through the roof and you
take every, and this is the takeaway point, you take every new
client acquisition, you cut the cost in half when they refer a
friend or family member.

So if you’re spending 200 bucks to 1,000 bucks to attract and
generate a new lead and that new lead refers a friend or family
member, you just cut the acquisition costs in half. So for us,
we put a lot of effort on this and Infusionsoft has built into
every sequence, new client new patient referral, referrals
generation, dentist, everyone that has a sequence in our office,
somewhere there is an invitation to invite a friend or family
member. It’s usually our business a coupon or a certificate for
a free new patient examine x-rays and sometimes depending on the
month and depending on our cycle we might offer premiums like
free iPod or free iPad or something exciting to get them to call
the office.

But Infusionsoft can track all that, the tag feature is tremendous.
We know in a split second, I can tell who’s referred, if they’ve
referred an adult or a child. That adult or child is an
Invisalign or in braces and you can custom tailor the message.

So for example, Trent, if you came to our office and got a
Invisalign, your follow-up sequence and inviting other people to
come experience our office would be tailored to what you’ve
experienced. So your referral postcard and your referral emails
and your referral letters would mention the benefits of
Invisalign because we’ve tracked a statistically, we know that
an adult Invisalign is probably not going to refer a 12-year-old
kid that’s in braces, but a 12-year-old kid in braces will
probably refer his friends who are also 12 year olds and need
braces. So Infusionsoft can do that. It’s so powerful and
referrals can just be taken to a new level, it’s really kind of
exciting.

Trent: I want to give a shout out two people, one of them is relevant
to something you just said, Dustin, have you heard of Contest
Domination.

Dustin: Yes.

Trent: You have. Okay. So Travis is a past guest and that is a
wonderful application for doing contests and it’s at
contestdomination.com and now that URL, I’m not an affiliate. I
don’t get paid anything to mention that. The other thing is
there is a podcast called I Love Marketing and it’s run by Joe
Polish and Dean Jackson and I’m a huge fan of their podcast and
so if you just check that on the iTunes store, I think you would
probably enjoy, I don’t mean just you Dustin, I mean the who are
listening to the show here today.

Dustin: Everyone can benefit from Joe Polish absolutely.

Trent: Absolutely, because if you’re in business, if you own your own
business, I believe before anything else, you are a marketer,
either that you’re poor.

Dustin: It’s a Zig Zigler line, “The poor salesman has skinny kids.”

Trent: Yeah.

Dustin: No, I think you’re absolutely right. This is about running a
successful business and if you believe in what you do you can’t
believe that’s worthy of hiding. You got to share with everyone
you can possibly share it with and if I’m on an airplane and you
sit next to me and you ask me what I do for a living? I usually
say I’m an entrepreneur and I teach other doctors how to market
their businesses and the more we talk that I’ll finally say I’m
a clinically trained orthodontist, but that’s just a very small
portion of what I do.

And if you don’t get serious about marketing, I can tell you the
world is changing and you’re going to be in basically the gig is
up right? If you think you’re going to just open a business and
wait for people to stumble across the threshold of your door or
stumble across your website without getting really serious about
marketing you’re really just kidding yourself. It’s not going to
be feasible; it hasn’t been in my opinion for years.
Professionals like mine are seeing historically. Orthodontist
did well with no marketing and we’re feeling the effects of
that. Since 2008, our industry is down 32% on average. In some
areas, up to 47%.

Trent: Wow.

Dustin: You’ve never seen dentist orthodontist go bankrupt; we’ve
actually seen that at record rates in areas like Arizona and Las
Vegas. So marketing should be your #1 focus on your business,
without a doubt you’re absolutely right.

Trent: Wow. That’s a huge decline. So very early in our show, you
talked about how Infusionsoft changed your life and marketing in
Infusionsoft so tightly correlated I think it’s a great segue.
Can you just, for the other entrepreneurs that are listening who
are maybe working too many hours and they have a spouse or kids
that don’t get to see them as much as they would like and
they’re just in that place where, “Man, I don’t feel like I can
work any less, because I’m just getting by, just getting the
bills paid.” What’s your life like now?

Dustin: It’s so drastically different. So I’ll fast-forward to the end
result, which I’m doing this podcast from home. My home office,
I got to the kids to school today and my three-year-old is still
at home, he’s not in school yet. So I get to have breakfast with
him and we were playing racetrack. We went out and had a daddy
date night last night. So we went and bought this cool little
racetrack with these cars, we were playing with that this
morning.

And so then I’ll get up and check some matrix on the practice. I’ll
check some things in Infusionsoft. I’ll check in with my team
leaders and site coordinators. We have three different offices
open today and today I will do some marketing, and I will see
patients later this week, but most of my job through the help of
Infusionsoft and really through the help of people like Joe
Polish and Dan Kennedy and people who have taught me to get
serious about marketing is that is that I get to really run a
business that operates on my terms.

And I would tell you I was in that place, it was in a dark and scary
place where I was working 16 to 18 hours a day not seeing my
wife and kids at all and feeling like the only way to get ahead
was to do more. To work, somehow work harder, even though I was
working six and seven days a week, and literally there were few
nights where I was at the office working on some marketing the
old-fashioned way, hammering it out, literally printing things
and stuffing envelopes and it was 2:00 or 3:00 morning I would
fall asleep, wake up in my shirt and tie, drive home, take a
shower and turn right back around to come back to the office.

So I’ve done, I’ve pulled all-nighters, and I’ll tell you there’s
nothing scarier than being in a position to own a business and
feeling like basically you’re an employee that can’t be fired.
In other words, you’ve got a job that can’t quit and I’ll tell
you, you got to think back to why you started your business in
the first place. You got to really write down your list of why
you’re doing this and for me it was to experience great things
with my family, to spend a lot of time with friends and to
travel and to help as many people as I could.

And there’s no way you’ll do that, if you’re the only person doing
everything in your business, you’ve got to get some help either
through delegation and for me Infusionsoft and so the
transformation has been night and day and you’ll hear the story
over and over again. My story is not unique. So to me
Infusionsoft didn’t just change the business, it changed my
life.

Trent: Yeah, you mentioned metrics. So I’m going to do another rabbit
hole here for a minute. So for people who don’t use
Infusionsoft, they won’t know about this dashboard thing and
when you talk about metrics, are you talking about looking at
the Infusionsoft dashboard and all the custom reports.

Dustin: We have customized some of it inside of our business as well so
there exactly, but yeah.

Trent: Can you expand? Tell us a little bit about the dashboard with
some of your little box of widgets are, some of things you’re
tracking and then maybe we can go little further and you can
explain some of the custom stuff you’ve done.

Dustin: So inside of Infusionsoft, you can track, open rates, so how
many people are opening your emails, how many people are
clicking on things, how many people have opted in the web forms.
You get a pretty good picture day-to-day and hour-to-hour how
your online lead generation is working and then if you’re a
slower pace, if you’re using direct mail, we do a lot of offline
to online lead capture.

That means we mail you a postcard, it pushes you to a website which
is really a landing page like Trent mentioned, there is only one
thing you can do and that’s give me your email address. We’re
seeing how many of those patients are opening, how many of them
then are clicking and downloading. So we can get a good idea if
the email really stunk, a lot of you opted out, it looked too
spammy, so we want to change that pretty quickly. So inside of
the digital realm of like what we’re doing to capture leads
that’s one thing.

On a grander scale, we’re looking at acquisition costs. In other
words, how much are we spending per piece, so if spent a certain
amount money on a Google AdWords campaign that’s pushing to a
certain part of our website or maybe our new video series or
perhaps on a postcard, we want to know how much it cost for each
one of those patients to show up at our practice. So for us, we
track acquisition cost pretty severely. In other words, we
really, really monitor that. We’re always trying to get it to go
down. So some of you might consider this cost per lead or cost
per sale. You want to figure out, in other words, you’re going
to see differences based on the media. So based on the lead
peace, in other words, where these new clients are coming from.

So you don’t want to be too fast to disregard, in other words if you
know your numbers, you might say wow were spending $200 per new
client in this area, like Google AdWords but the postcards,
we’re getting them for $85. So we should cut out the $200 and we
should focus on the $85. You got to really look at our biggest
metric than this lifetime value per customer. So how much does
that customer spend, how much do they potentially refer and you
might realize pretty quickly that a higher cost per lead has a
customer or a client or new patient that spends a lot more money
with you.

And so you really have to know your numbers and I can’t stress this
enough, you should know daily. It should not be a mistake, it
shouldn’t be guesswork. Like I know potentially within $100
exactly what will generate today, and I know what we should
generate by noon and you can break it down by hour. So if you’re
not monitoring how many new patients or new clients come to you
per month, per week, per day, there’s no way you can set goals
to improve that.

And so inside of Infusionsoft you can track all the stuff. So some of
this, the cost per lead and in cost per sale, you’ll have to
monitor and adjust if you’re using additional media outside of
just email marketing and online advertising because you’ll have
to plug. In other words, Infusionsoft has to know how much you
spend on the direct mail piece, how much was the postage, how
much was the postcard, but you can do it.

You should be getting a daily report, even if you’re the only
employee, you should have a daily report that’s how many new
customers came in, where they came from, how much it cost to
acquire those, how much they spend or how much they could
potentially spend in a lifetime, have they referred people or
not, how much was produced, how much was collected and is there
bad debt outstanding. All that should come daily in report; you
can do that inside Infusionsoft.

Trent: So I want to dive a little deeper there. Let’s talk about, so
people come in and they become a patient and spend some money
with you, they’re are not checking out online and using
Infusionsoft shopping cart features. So how are you getting, you
just have staff that like do you have an API to your bookkeeping
system, do your staff manually, enter how much they spend, how
does that get there?

Dustin: Well, I tell you. We used to do the painful way and we built, I
say, we hired a brilliant team called Dentama to build a bridge
between our practice management software and Infusionsoft so
there is an API that daily then uploads all the data.
Appointment times, broken appointments, missed appointments,
whatever braces they are wearing, how much they owe us through
last payment, their date of last payment, all that information
goes back and forth between Infusionsoft and our practice
management software.

So most dentist have some sort of in my industry, a piece of software
that the stores and organizes x-rays and clinical notes. It
would store insurance information and then their contracts and
payment information. For me, ideally I’d build the whole thing
inside Infusionsoft and we’re kind of working on that, but for
now the two communicate with each other inside of API that was
built by a group of guys and it’s called Dentama.

And so that for us was a game changer because now we can then track
pretty easily inside Infusionsoft how much. If I want a list of
how many people have not bought whitening, I can quickly send an
email to just those people which is convenient enough and
increases are open rate.

But now think about direct mail, how much more efficient would it be
to only send postcards because then we’re talking hard cost.
Emails are essentially is free, you don’t pay for the service,
you can send emails all day long. Sending out direct mail to
15,000 or 20,000 people gets expensive pretty quickly. So we can
then inside Infusionsoft see if the lifetime customer value is
low for a group of people and we want to increase that we can
send specific targeted pieces to just those people. Usually for
us, it’s increasing referrals of friends and family.

So if there’s two kids in the family that have braces, we can about
30% of the time get mom or dad eventually to come inside to the
practice and get Invisalign. There are already there anyways,
they are waiting in the waiting room, you might and they
probably got quick at teeth. So for us, the upsales are
referring friends and family and then also selling additional
services, like whitening or like night guards or mouth guards
and things like that.

Trent: Okay. So all of that revenue data is now making its way into
Infusionsoft. So it’s very easy to calculate then the lifetime
value of a customer.

Dustin: Yes.

Trent: So let’s get back to the beginning, you talked about cost of
acquisition of a lead and you talked about Facebook advertising,
Google advertising, advertising on mommy blogs, direct mail, so
we’ve got spend that is occurring in a variety of different
medium, none of which are connected to Infusionsoft so how is
that data getting into Infusionsoft.

Dustin: You can link in, so you can build there is companies that have
APIs that connect with QuickBooks. So if you’re good if you have
an accountant keeps actual hard costs, we might actually tag
inside of QuickBooks. So for us, we use one vendor for all of
our print mail and then we’ll have a specific code for that
piece.

So I know like the April postcard went out April 1st, we’ve got the
amount we spent on that and we can have that actually through an
API with QuickBooks tag into that. So inside of our
Infusionsoft, we’re not just running email sequences, we’re
putting people into direct mail sequences, and for us that’s a
simplest exporting the list. So Infusionsoft, if people aren’t
familiar with Infusionsoft, it’s not that some magical computer
system in the sky that that connects to a fulfillment house and
prints out postcard. You can do that, but for us we’ve got one
vendor that prints all of our hardcopy sales letters and
postcards and we tag into that, how much that costs we can track
and as those patients come out, you have to tag them, there is
some actual human effort here.

So when a phone operator in our business takes a phone call,
hopefully they use the call tracking number that’s on the
postcards. So for us there’s a whisper feature and the whisper
feature right before you answer the phone says April postcard
and so that that staff member on the phone knows that this new
client is calling probably with a postcard in front of them and
that phone number is only published on that postcard; we don’t
publish that phone number anywhere else. So that staff has to
tag that patient as being referred from that postcard and that’s
how we track that this me patients came from this piece and this
is how much we spent and this is our average acquisition cost
for that group.

Now as you go through the lifecycle of a customer, the long lifetime
customer value increases. So we can only base it initially on an
average when they start the contract, but we know historically
those numbers go up anywhere from 10% to 15% of what patients
initially signed to spend we can usually bump that in our
business by 10% or 15% as an average conglomerate into the
referral or through purchasing additional products and services.

Trent: And are you using QuickBooks online?

Dustin: We are. So there’s an actual…

Trent: Okay.

Dustin: There is a service, I don’t know if it’s just in our area
through your CPA, but it’s called bill.com and bill.com has an
online version of QuickBooks that actually works pretty well
with this.

Trent: Okay. So was there anything custom to get QuickBooks talking to
Infusionsoft or did you just use the service from bill.com.

Dustin: No, there isn’t, so ELauncher is the company, they’re an
Infusionsoft certified consultant who’s helped with that. So
anything, I can go to a certain extent and understanding a lot
of this, but when we start talking about programming APIs, I
just hire some people who know how to do that.

Trent: Yeah.

Dustin: That’s when I used it, I get to use the excuse, “Well, I’m just
a dentist.”

Trent: I don’t know how to program APIs either and I don’t want to
know how to program APIs because you just don’t need to know all
that kind of stuff, very easy to find people to do it. Okay. I
think I want to a wrap up with a lightning round because we’ve
been we’re closing in on an hour and I promised that would be an
hour. So I want to stick to the schedule.

So Dustin, last three questions what are you most excited about for
2013?

Dustin: I am most excited about expansion in our business. We got the
opportunity to take, now that we know are marketing systems
work, and they can be automated with Infusionsoft, we have the
ability to buy existing practices, and we’ve done this. So we’ve
grown from one location to four and we’re taking practices that
have a healthy patient base, but historically have done no
marketing and we’re taking small orthodontic offices that do 10
to 15 new patients a month and we’re bumping them within a few
months in 50 or 60. So for us it’ll be at a growth regionally
within our area to add new locations.

Trent: You are going to end up being a very wealthy man, my friend.
That’s a heck of a system, you’re buying businesses that have
patients that don’t understand how to market and you’re paying
whatever X of earnings as a multiple and you’re immediately
within three months able to bump up earning significantly and
roll all that up that. That’s a heck of a finance and leverage
strategy.

Dustin: Yeah.

Trent: Favorite business book.

Dustin: My favorite business book, oh my gosh, I’m looking at the
library like 400 of them. Anything by Dan Kennedy, anything by
Robert Ringer the probably number one, favorite business book of
all time would be Napoleon Hill’s, “Think and Grow Rich.”

Trent: Yeah, that’s a good one. Robert Ringer, never heard of him
before. Which one did he write?

Dustin: So he’s the guy back in the 70s, he changed it to be a little
less threatening but it was like “Looking out for #1” and
“Winning Through Intimidation” and then he’s changed it now to a
little less intimidating titles like one is called “Action:
Nothing Happens Until Something Moves.” That’s brilliant brand
strategy and that he did a lot real estate and really bright
guy, but a lot of his stuff is back in the 70s, but Robert
Ringer.

Trent: Okay. And in the off chance that we have, another orthodontist
listening to this episode are thinking, “Hey man, I want to get
in touch with Dustin.

Dustin: They can find me at burlesonseminars.com that’s where we have
coaching and consulting services available to orthodontists and
dentist as well.

Trent: Okay. Burlesonseminars.com. All right, my friend. Thank you so
much for doing this interview with me I thoroughly enjoyed it
and I hope that the listeners got just a truck load of good
ideas out of it. If you did and you have questions for Dustin
here in just a few minutes, I’m going to announce how you can
get to this episode, I can’t do it live during the interview
because I don’t know what that URL is yet, but I do in post
production. So you’ll be able to get everything you need and if
you have questions you’ll be able to put them in the post and I
would imagine that Dustin would probably keep an eye on that for
a day or two after it goes live. And if there are questions here
I will answer those. So Dustin, thank you so much for making
some time.

Dustin: Trent it’s always a pleasure. Thank you.

Trent: You’re very welcome. Take care.

Dustin: Thank you.

Trent: All right, to get the show notes for today’s episode, head over
to brightideas.co/56. When you’re there you’ll see all the links
that we’ve mentioned during this episode plus some other very
valuable information that you can use to ignite more growth in
your business.

If you’re listening to this on your mobile phone, go ahead and
text right now. Text the word “Trent” to 585858 and when you do
I’m going to give you access to the massive traffic toolbox
which is a compilation of all of the very best traffic
generation strategies that have been shared with me by my many
proven experts that have been guests here on the show. As well,
you’re also going to be able to get access to a list of what I
feel are the very best interviews that I’ve thus far published
here on Bright Ideas and also you’re going to get notified of
the webinar that I mentioned at the beginning of this episode.

And finally, if you really enjoyed this episode, please write
over to brightideas.co/love where you will find a link to leave
us a rating in the iTunes, I really appreciate it if you would
take a moment and do that. That’s it for this episode, I’m your
host Trent Dyrsmid and I look forward to seeing you in the next
episode. Take care and have a wonderful day.

Recording: Thanks very much for listening to the Bright Ideas Podcasts.
Check us out on the Web at brightideas.co.

About Dustin Burleson

dustin-burlesonDr. Dustin Burleson is a speaker, teacher, author and orthodontic specialist. He is an Assistant Clinical Professor at the University of Missouri ­ Kansas City School of Dentistry, the Attending Orthodontist at the Children’s Mercy Hospital and Director of the Leo H. Rheam Foundation for Cleft and Craniofacial Orthodontics.

Best-selling author of “Stop Hiding Your Smile! A Parent’s Guide to Confidently Choosing an Orthodontist” and “The Consumer’s Guide to Invisalign,” Dr. Burleson mentors not only patients and their parents but also orthodontic specialists from all over North America. In his private coaching groups, Dr. Burleson lectures and teaches his orthodontic peers how to create patient-­centered practices focused on changing lives and supporting the community. Through his efforts, hundreds of orthodontists across the nation have committed to providing orthodontic care to children who desperately need but cannot afford orthodontic treatment.
Dr. Burleson is the nation’s largest provider of free orthodontic treatment to children in need and is the president and founder of Burleson Orthodontics & Pediatric Dentistry, a large multi­doctor, multi­clinic specialty practice in Kansas City, Missouri where he resides with his wife and three children.

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Digital Marketing Strategy:Mark Schaefer on How to Expand Your Professional Network with Twitter

, ,
MarkShaefer

Would you like to be able to significantly expand your professional network without having to attend all those awkward networking events?

Do you enjoy helping other people?

Did you know that Twitter is a tool that can help you accomplish both of these objectives?

Not so long ago, I used to absolutely despise Twitter. I thought it was by far the dumbest thing ever invented, and, for the life of me, I couldn’t figure out why it was so popular. Thankfully, I have discovered the error of my ways and Twitter has become an extremely valuable business tool for me.

In this episode of the Bright Ideas podcast, I’m joined by Mark Schaefer of Schaefer Marketing Solutions and author of the best selling book, The Tao of Twitter: Changing Your Life and Business 140 Characters at a Time. I recently had the pleasure of hearing Mark speak about the business benefits of Twitter and I learned a great deal. In today’s episode, I’m going to get Mark to share with us why Twitter is a far more powerful tool that you realize, and how you can take advantage of it.

Listen to this interview and you will learn:

  • the 3 main business benefits of Twitter
  • the types of content that you should share
  • how to target relevant people and establish meaningful connections
  • how to really grow your network with authentic helpfulness
  • 2 critical steps to use to begin building your network
  • 2 of the biggest mistakes that people make with Twitter when they first start out
  • the 2 types of ROI for Twitter and why one is so much more valuable than the other
  • software tools and resources to increase Twitter effectiveness and save you time

And so much more…

Links Mentioned

Twello.com
CompletelyFreeMarketingAdvice.com
Tweetbot (now Social Defender)
Hootsuite
ManageFlitter
BusinessesGrow.com
Pippity

More About This Episode

The Bright Ideas podcast is the podcast for business owners and marketers who want to discover how to use online marketing and sales automation tactics to massively grow their business.

It’s designed to help marketing agencies and small business owners discover which online marketing strategies are working most effectively today – all from the mouths of expert entrepreneurs who are already making it big.

Listen Now

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About Mark Schaefer

MarkShaeferMark W. Schaefer is a globally-recognized blogger, speaker, educator, business consultant, and author who blogs at {grow} — one of the top marketing blogs of the world. Mark has worked in global sales, PR, and marketing positions for nearly 30 years and now provides consulting services as Executive Director of U.S.-based Schaefer Marketing Solutions.  He specializes in social media training and clients include both start-ups and global brands such as IBM, AT&T, Johnson & Johnson, and the UK government.

Mark has advanced degrees in marketing and organizational development and holds seven patents.  He is a faculty member of the graduate studies program at Rutgers University and is the founder of Social Slam, a national social media event that takes place each April.  He is the author of three best-selling marketing books, Return On InfluenceBorn to Blog, and The Tao of Twitter, the best-selling book on Twitter in the world. Return On Influence was named to the elite “Top Academic Titles” of the year by the American Library Association, which declared it an “essential” book of 2012.

He is among the world’s most recognized social media authorities and has been a keynote speaker at conferences such as Social Media Week London, New Media Expo, National Economic Development Association, and National Association of State CIOs. Mark has lectured at Oxford University, Carnegie-Mellon University, Princeton, and many other prestigious institutions.

Mark is a popular and entertaining commentator and has appeared on many national television shows and periodicals including the Wall Street Journal, Wired, The New York Times, CNBC, and the CBS NEWS. In 2012, he was named by Forbes magazine as one of the Top 50 social media “power influencers” of the world.

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  • Leave a review on iTunes. It's your best way to say thank you to our team.
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Welcome to the Bright Ideas Community of Entrenpreneurs