Six weeks ago, I decided to take my top converting webinar and try to turn it into an auto-webinar funnel that I could then drive paid traffic towards.

The thinking was that if I could successfully acquire new leads from paid traffic and sell enough product to cover the cost of my advertising, I could make my software company (flowster.app) grow a lot faster.

For the first three weeks of the funnel, things went unbelievably well and I went from getting around 3-4 leads a day (organically) to 40-50 leads per day…and the best part was that my offer on the webinar was converting well enough that I was actually making a profit on the front end!

So what did I do next? I asked the agency buying my paid traffic to increase spend as much as they could.

And then…it broke.

My funnel went from being slightly profitable, to losing $2,000 in a single week.

Ouch.

Try as I might, as of this writing, I still haven’t been able to find what broke and had it not been for today’s interview, I very likely would have just turned off the ad campaign, licked my wounds, and called it a day.

Thankfully, in today’s interview with Chris Mercer, I have discovered exactly what I need to do to be able to effectively measure my marketing at every step along the way in my funnel!

As marketers, we all start by putting up an offer and hoping it converts. Unfortunately, that’s not usually the case. My experience is actually pretty common, and that is why measurement is so incredibly important.

If you are an eCommerce store owner, or someone that sells information products, and you advertise on Facebook, Youtube, etc…today’s interview is going to be pure gold!

Full Transcript

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Trent: Hey there everybody, welcome back to another episode of The Bright Ideas Podcast, as always I’m your host Trent Dyrsmid and my job is to help you to shine a light on what is working or maybe not working in e-Commerce and to do that I bring proven experts onto the show to share with you their specific body of knowledge and years of experience to help you make sure that you execute the tactics and the strategies that you should be executing in the right way. 

And you’re going to get a kick out of this episode because we’re going to be talking about how yours truly has made some mistakes and they have cost me a lot of money and we’re going to hopefully fix that. My guest this time round is a fellow by the name of Chris Mercer who will introduce himself in just a minute. 

We do have a sponsor for this particular episode, this episode is brought to you by ACM rush a tool that I’m sure all of you have heard of and it’s been around for a very long time but they have a new tool that maybe you haven’t heard of and if you like me are an Amazon seller, this is a tool that you’re going to want to pay attention to. It is called ‘Seller Lee’ and it is a free AB testing tool for Amazon listings. It is powered by ACM rush. 

An award winning team with more than 10 years of experience as we all know, they’ve been around for a very long time. So what the heck is this tool for? Well, if you want to be successful on Amazon obviously one of the key things you’re going to be paying attention to is the conversion rate of your product listings. So this Seller Lee tool allows you to test or other split test the main elements of a product detail page; these elements being the title and the description and the price to find the best combination thereof. So you can run an unlimited number of tests and each test lasts for 7 days and you can discard them in any time if there’s bad results. And by doing these tests, it will help you to make a more informed decision about what is the best combination of those key elements and the coolest thing of all is are things totally free, so you have nothing to lose. And I would highly encourage that you go give it a shot and see if you can improve the conversion rate of your Amazon listings. All right Chris welcome to the show. Thank you so much for making some time for the folks who don’t yet know who you are. Let’s start there, who are you? 

Chris: Fair enough, my name is Chris Mercer I actually go by Mercer because it always seems there’s another Chris in the room when I’m around and I’m the Co-founder of a company called measurementmarketing.io And essentially what we do is teach marketers marketing teams and agencies how to know their numbers so that you can ultimately grow those numbers. And we do that through helping them learn tools that they have access to, things that are free like Google Analytics, Google Tag Manager, Google dash dashboards and even things like Facebook analytics now. 

Trent: All right, so we were talking before we hit the record button on what we were going to do to make this interview as impactful and useful as possible and we concluded that the– my broken funnel is also what we’re going to talk about.

So the audience doesn’t know what the hell I’m talking about so let me give you some quick background and then we’ll dive into it. So I have a webinar that I’ve been doing manually for months and it converts exceedingly well to my house lists and I thought to myself, “Well, you know I wonder if I could turn this webinar into an evergreen funnel and drive paid traffic into it” So I set out putting together the tech stack to do all of that and I hired an agency to create all the more buying the traffic from YouTube so they created the ad video for me and they created the campaigns for me. And they’re actually an agency that I had on the show a number of months ago. And so we turned the on switch on and for the first three weeks it was awesome. 

I mean I was adding you know 40-50 leads a day to my email list and I was selling and that’s the stuff that I was offering on the webinar to offset the ad spend and actually generate a small profit on customer acquisition which surprised the hell out of me. And so I said to them, “Alright guys we’ve got three weeks’ worth of data in the can, it’s all good match the gas pedal down” and the car promptly broke. I think we’ve add Ace and I lost two grand that week alone and I don’t think we’ve had a conversion since. So I’m thinking sitting here scratching my head thinking well what did I break? 

Because somewhere this thing broke because you don’t go from this many conversions to none and so we’ve got an opt-in page on my blog, we are using a form that drives traffic into a wonderful app called can or not traffic drive leads into an app called ‘Campaign Refinery’ and I just actually interview the founder of that in episode 270 I believe because we talked to one of the great things about this app is how you can produce scarcity that lines up with when you’ve got an evergreen funnel everybody needs to have scarcity at just the right time makes it super easy to do that so I’m able to see get data there. 

There’s a follow up campaign driven by that app and then we drive the traffic or the registrations go into every webinar which is the software that we use to deliver the evergreen webinar. And between those three pieces of the tech stack I thought I was getting pretty decent analytics in terms of you know well this is working and this is working on oh and then checkout happens at infusion stuff. And so then checkouts just vanished; no more checkouts and so now I need to figure out. I have not been able to fix it so I I’m at the point where I either got to turn it off and stop bleeding or I’ve got to find a smarter way to figure out what went wrong, so Chris help me out. 

Chris: Yeah so number one you’re not alone, most people that come to us when they’re coming to measuremarketing.io because something like that has happened because measurement is not something that typically you start thinking about; your first thing is like let’s get an offer and let’s make sure the offers working and that landing pages like you said the tech stack and just the fact that I can learn how to use webinar jam. I can you just get the basics in place and you’re happy with that. And then your next stage is okay, let’s track the results. Typically, those come to the platforms for the most part most people start is Facebook says I caused this or you know my bank account has this run few self, I got this many workers right or whatever I may just pay sales. 

So you sort of have that but the challenge with just doing that and that’s what you’re running into now is you’ve essentially built a machine like I love to use the car example. We talk about all time like and that’s what it was it was a machine that was rolling down the road and kind of propelling the company forward and then the trick is you didn’t really know how that machine worked and you sort of just kept going up and again nothing normal phallic everybody starts like this you just didn’t realize was to know that until it makes the big clunking sound then you’re like “What’s that?” So something was like, “Oh that’s in the engine” you’re like, “What’s an engine?” right now. Well we got to pull over because the thing is smoking now what’s going on, do we push it? Do we buy another car? Is this just a belt I got to replace that’s a $5 item like who knows? 

So the trick to measurement— that’s what the whole idea of measuring your marketing is using platforms and this is where Google Analytics just can’t be beat because right now you’re relying upon what Facebook says or what webinar jam says, what infusion software says and ultimately with the bank accounts this type of thing. And you’ve got these different versions of the truth of what’s going on. All right. 

Trent: They don’t all agree with each other either. 

Chris: They don’t all agree that’s 100% percent right and the way to think about that because that’s hard. People wrap their head around like well if they’re all looking at the same thing what I don’t understand why they tell me different stories because that’s exact what’s going on, they tell you different stories but they are 100% looking at the same thing. So the way you wrap your head around this is you think about it like a fairy tale. An imagine Goldilocks and the three bears is the story everybody’s familiar with. 

Now imagine that you were a detective trying to figure out what was going on and you just talked to Goldilocks about her version was okay the baby bear, then you just talked to momma bear. You’re going to get distinctly different versions of that same story, right? When you put them all together, you kind of get an idea of what’s going on in analytics, Google Analytics is the only thing that can do that because it’s the only thing that’s got the entire viewpoint of everything when it’s set up properly and it doesn’t need to be set up properly. But when it is, it can see everything from the click coming in from Facebook all the way through going into the campaign refinery right becoming the new lead, going to the webinar jam coming through to influence off and making that purchase. 

So it can see all of that and if it can see all of that you can then measure your stages and now you know not just what the results were but how you’re getting those results. And then you’ll start to expect kind of they give you benchmarks and you start to expect some normal numbers to show up like for example like Lander.cart is typically for most coal traffic stuff like 8%-12% you know for most of our direct response style funnels that traffic at scale, so it’s like if I see less than that, I know I have an issue. 

If I see substantially more than that I probably just have a traffic source that doesn’t scale. And so you can start to measure that and if something breaks if you know how it’s supposed to expect you know the sound the engine supposed to make because you know how engines work now. When you hit the gas and you start hearing something kind of where you go what will it take. “Okay, let’s fix that, that’s a belt we got tight now” “Okay now we can hit the gas” and then it works a lot better. That’s what analytics is really is really for it’s exactly the situation where you’re at and specifically paid media because that’s when it matters; if you’re doing a lot of stuff of your SEO and your own list, you’re like you said a male didn’t work that’s okay. I want to declare something no nothing but analytics told you how it was working so that when you do your paid media, it makes it even better. 

Trent: So do your best with the — we don’t have a screen here that we’re sharing or anything like that. Do your best to talk me through how I’m going to fix this. 

Chris: So it is— I’m going to put this out front like this is not something that’s like Oh great. Just put some code on the pages and then bam there’s your answers right. The misconceptions around Google Analytics are many. The biggest one is and this is how we started was, “Oh you just put code on the page and then there’s analytics.” And that is not at all how it works. And it took me a long, long time to figure that out. You put code on the page and it turns it on but it is not set up at all. And so it’s just all this raw data that’s coming in. And if you’ve ever gone analytics and I got I can already guess this answer is going to be if you’ve ever gone in analytics and you’ve ever gone like okay like I’ve got no idea what I’m looking at or what any of this stuff means. And I just I’ll come back to this in a few years like that’s what most people do. 

And that’s because it isn’t telling a story, it’s a ton of information right. It has a story in there. But you’ve got to hack into it trying to figure it out. It’s a pain and no one is going to do that. So you set up your analytics so it naturally tells a story. Now how are you going to do that in your case, the thing I would recommend and you’re kind of at it is do you have any analytics at all right now? That you’re using Google Analytics? 

Trent: Oh yea, there’s Google analytics on my website but it wouldn’t be anywhere else. 

Chris: Okay so, the very first thing that I would do for if you want to do this right and I mean like this is a ground up rebuild because you’re an opportunity here, is you don’t have any visibility at all. What’s going on with webinar jam other than webinar jam truth, right? You select what you don’t have an NGA. And you need to be on a tight NGA because ultimately you want to tie it back to the Facebook ad that caused the webinar registration in the first place, right? 

You want to tie that Facebook ad to the course registration, did they show? Did they click on the buy button see the page that they purchased? Analytics is the only thing that can tell you that because it’s the only thing that can supersede all of it but you cannot just put the code on the pages. 

You cannot just put code and webinar jam because if you do that you’re using different domains. And this is where it does get complicated but it’s necessary to think this through. So you’ve got your main domain. We’ve got domain dot com or offer by com whatever your offer pages are then you’ve got webinar jam which is all Jendayi.com domains. So you’re doing your replays your live links something else; they will absolutely send that stuff to Google Analytics but to Google Analytics, it’s coming from a completely different domain. So it thinks it’s a totally different user. So you break what they call break sessions. Now you’ve got two users showing when really it’s just one user and if you’re like what’s going on with Facebook? It’s like I don’t know they showed up and they registered and you’re like Okay well what happened is like nobody ever, ever can ever shut up to an hour after that you’re like okay, well that’s impossible. But the analytics it just wasn’t set up right. It lost its connection. 

So what I would recommend is actually backing up a little bit from analytics and going in the Tag Manager first and so I’d use Tag Manager. All right now not one bag of wonder is your absolute next thing to take a look at. So here’s how to think about it. So Google Analytics does three things natively when you put the script on the pages, it’s just by itself without doing anything else it does these three things. One is it collects its information, so it collects things like page views. Right what page people are on, it also stores that information. And that’s really all Google Analytics is a big giant database that stores behaviors of users. That’s all it is, then it reports on those behaviors. And that’s where you all those little reports are in good analytics do. Only one of those things does it do really well which is store information. It’s not really great at collecting details. It’s not really great at reporting details. 

So what Google has done is they’ve created two other platforms that do those things even better so Tag Manager is there to collect information and that’s what does incredibly well. So yes it will collect things like page views but it will also collect information like what button they’re clicking on, it’ll click if they click on the buy button a webinar jam for example click if they showed up for webinar jam it can tell you if they showed up and watched it for 30 minutes. It can be raising amount of stuff like they interact with the video VSL that I had that was the replay of the webinar it will do that sort of stuff. 

So what happens is going from this little page view details you can get from analytics kind of natively and you can custom code analytics to get all this stuff too. You’ve got a custom code IT. And if you change stuff you get to get the developer again to customize general thanks pain Tag Manager it’s like 50 minutes and you say and you got a tag manager and you essentially sort of train this tool to say well when you see somebody watching this video on this page or showing up for this webinar, I want you to fire 45 minutes in when the button pops right you can actually say when the button pops I want you to go ahead and report back to analysts to the button. And then when they click a button I want you to tell analytics that the button was just clicked on. 

And then when they purchase what you tell analytics that the purchase happened and now analytics is kind of in listen only it just listens and stores the details but the important part as it’s getting all of those details and this is how you understand the how journey. Because when it comes to numbers you need two types of numbers. One is the results numbers but then there’s the how numbers how am I getting those results. And that’s what Tag Manager will give you that visibility and it does not take long, there’s a tiny learning curve to it for sure but pretty quickly admit it’s made for marketers. It’s made from marketers to use to get these exact answers. This exact information so tag managers and control of all that and Tag Manager is what you can say hey, “Tag Manager I want you to tell Google Analytics that my site and Gendi is basically the same thing. Please treat them identically and it will totally do that. 

And now analytics instead of doing this thing where we’re separate is they’re all combined and now those users are still are all tracking from Facebook all the way to purchase because analytics is storing them like that because Tag Manager’s in charge and Tag Manager again a thousand times better at collecting than Google Analytics is. So that’s the first thing is get Tag Manager in place get it and you can put it into a webinar jam we use webinar jam ourselves so we’ve done this exact same thing. 

And you can track from Facebook to webinar jam opt into when they show to watch the replay it, when they purchase. And all those details get sent into google analytics. Then you can start doing things like funnel builds and does analytics. You can see exactly where your funnel is and what it looks like all the different stages and steps and then ultimately you’ll start to get used to— okay, Here’s what good looks like, here’s a good performing funnel looks like. And then all of a sudden you see your registration rate go from say 35% and all of a sudden it goes down to 5%. You like that’s weird, if it goes to 78% That’s also weird right? That’s a traffic source that just possibly isn’t scaling well your show rates go from you know 40% down to 10%. You’re like okay like that’s what’s going on. Everything went well except for this one step. But now it’s 100% apparent.

And it’s not a I don’t know what happened, let’s just try to work on the offer or the headliner figure out maybe the ad changed. Here’s where it was. All right. And you can use that same mechanism same mindset of how am I achieving this result. All the way at the start of the ad technically to say here is the impressions, here’s the people that click through to the ad or to the site off of Facebook at that point. And then how do people opt it in shows purchase et cetera but you start way over here because the problem may have been that it was sent to a ton of people impression wise and then just nobody clicked or nobody clicked because it was sent to a 10% as many and they just cost you a time. And now you would know that being like well Facebook just their rates like. That’s where I broke I broke at the beginning. So maybe it’s not that the machine stopped working was that stuffs didn’t go into the machine in the first place. And so when you look at those each individual steps, that’s how you can tell that. 

And I’ll give you a kind of a five step framework. Very, very high level work this in your system first step is planning something that everybody skips. Everybody does, you don’t think about it, now you do because when you have a little bit of pain you like, “Oops okay we got to make sure next time we cover this” So planning is three main things. 

Number one what questions do I want to know when you write down all the different questions you want to know and you want to know all the different steps of that journey of that funnel right? What are the customers needed to do? What are the behaviors what are the drop offs? 

Second thing when you have those questions right now you say okay, “What information will I need in order to get those answers” that will tell you to set a tag manager to make sure it’s tracking or at least to make sure that analytics a story properly. However you do that then the third thing still in planning. Have you done anything no tracking script or anything yet? 

That third thing is once you’ve got the question that you want to know you get the information to get the answers, it’s what actions am I going to take based on this answer? And this is where you start marketing roleplaying and you’re starting to go, “Okay, if I know that my drop my opt-in rate is typically 35, let’s say 30%-40% and then it drops down a path that I normally do this or if it goes double that it probably means something like this. And now you’re practicing your muscle up here right before you even start do anything start practicing it. 

Sometimes, what will happen is you will get to a point where like I actually don’t know what I do with that information and I’ll give an example that with the client. Another popular Podcaster who was setting up tracking and they were tagging their traffic in e-mails we’re showing them a tag the traffic coming from e-mail and they tagged it to the point where they were in there in the paragraph they knew what paragraph somebody’s clicking on it which you get very specific. And so I asked him I said, “Well let me ask you this before you go through all the work of setting that up because they have a club as part of their plan. And so I said Well before you do that, what will you do if this report in six months says hey paragraph three, paragraph three is a what are you going to do with that? Like what. Actually I don’t know. I don’t know what that lead to. I said exactly because it’s sort of doesn’t have a meaning. You can’t actually take an action on that because what is a paragraph was there one line that just happened to be shorter like you have to think about and they go okay you know what?

There’s an example of I can’t take an action with this so let’s not track it. I was just tracking for tracking sake. Instead they start focusing on okay, PS links for sure it was are working we want to know if image versus text links and I’m like, “Perfect! That makes sense” because that’s something you can test and see are the images getting clicks and if those clicks are leading the sales awesome but are the images getting clicks too quick with the e-mail didn’t do its work because they didn’t read anything and now they’re coming to the offer and then prepped? It is just curiosity. Now I’m not actually closing even them my quickly it’s a better analytics. When you task stuff. All right so that’s just an example of the planning and that’s the first sort of pillar of measurement marketing. 

So you plan out those things then you do your build and hopefully in the planning stages you kind of get an idea of like oh I can understand the build will be a little bit better now because I’m already you sort of roleplaying how I’m going to use this thing. So with Tag Manager it’s easier to build, analytics it’s easier to build because you understand kind of what it’s for you understand the end result you understand what your actions you’re trying to get from it. 

Finally, you go into the reporting and the third step I should say is reporting and that’s where you get. You could use google analytics. So they’ve got built in funnel reports that you can set up. Personally we recommend data studio so that’s what I talked about in the beginning where said Google does one thing well which is store. Google Analytics does storage really well; Tag Manager for collecting data to use for reporting and specifically dashboards. It’s incredible it’s free just like Tag Manager has all these tools are free and data studio will help you to visualize what you’ll do is you build a report that is designed to give you answers not information and that’s a huge mental shift. 

Most people go into analytics they just see a bunch of data, they see a bunch of numbers and see bunch information and there is a story there. One has that understand the managers understand how to read this thing it would tell me the answer but most of the time it’s not going to be useful at all that’s because that’s how it’s set up properly a lot of stuff that you don’t need to see right. So if you just saw the one little thing you need it’s a lot easier to kind of see the weed from the chaff. Same thing that data studio, so data studio you build the report to answer just this question. So for example how is my funnel working? What’s my webinar show rate? And you just put numbers in there and then you come to this page that is built to show you, this is how your webinars perform. 

Trent: And so is it really going to show you like a funnel and it’s going to show you conversions of the various stages that you’ve identified? Registration show up, click the button bla bla.

Chris: 100% It’s an amazing tool, if you want I can screenshot and show you one; want to see one?

Trent: Yeah we could try that, I’ve never done this before.

Chris: I’ll try, I’ll try to zoom in, I know we’re going to be doing a little split screen here. Yeah but let me show you— I could give you an example of kind of some things you could do with data studios; I’m going to bring this over and then I’m going to share it quick. All right, so this is data studio and I’m going to zoom in a little bit so you can kind of see this. So this is like high level stuff right. So you can say it just overview, if you have different products. This is a report that was designed answer from an overview perspective. How are things performing? But then I can go in and I can say well let’s look at a particular funnel does that give you some examples of it like a funnel report and this will say, “Okay, well here’s number of pages.” Now remember this could be built for anything. So registrations, show rate, purchase, whatever you want. [Got it] 

So you’re building your funnels; now I know well my overall conversion rate is I also know how I’m stepping from step 1 to step 2. That is a no card abandonment rate. So I know if something does break some time I can figure it out. And what’s cool about data studio is stuff like this. I can say, “Oh, just show me my Social Media Examiner traffic or whatever” and you can just choose different traffic sources or device categories or have else you want a slightly nice by affiliate ID We just did one for a client recently was by affiliate ID for that and then all of these numbers change to show you just what your Facebook traffic is doing. 

Or your Facebook targeting traffic if that’s how you’re tagging it, so that’s data studio and you can you can get real specific on what this looks like because it’s literally just a blank board. And then you build on all these things and it doesn’t take a long time to do it. The trick is making sure that analytics has the data. And we think because all this data comes from Google analytics for the most part. So you pull that data and then use data studio to make it easier to tell the story, that’s what we try to do.

Trent: When you’re using Tag Manager you’re making an easy way to collect the data. The data is being stored in Google Analytics. and then you’re looking at the data in that data Studio; so you’re not really looking at analytics? 

Chris: Odd enough it’s entirely right, sometimes I go into Google Analytics but it’s like I love the source media report and Googling. I think that’s a great report because in one place you see where my travel is coming from? How much of it am I getting? What actions are they taking and what are the results of the actions? Like that’s all in one report there. 

But we did that; in data studio I can build anything that I want and get a kind of a breakdown. So if I’ve got a bunch of different funnels if we’ve got a program called Win monthly passage is a little membership part of different funnels for that. So I’ve got a data report that breaks out each individual funnel and has a combined; so I can see well overall how does this product do and then by funnel type how is it doing? And then of course I can break it down by whatever I want to break down the traffic source or whatever else .

Data studio is amazing and for me, that’s what levels up analytics because if Tag Manager makes sure the analytics are scoring better version of the truth, right? It’s kind of like in the beginning analyze just page views. But by the end it sees every behavior is happening on the site. How far down the page there scrolling like all that sort of stuff. Then you’ve got data studio that just does a better job of telling the story because Google Analytics is great but it’s a super geek. So when it tries to make you just spits out a bunch of numbers and you’re like dude like you’re kind of on the spectrum somewhere I have no idea of you’re saying, right? 

Data studios got people skills and data Studios says hey listen here’s what Google analytics is trying to say; it’s trying to say here’s all your phone works and here’s the breakdown. Would you like me to break this down? And then interact with it. So and it also works like Google Drive so you can share, you can create something that shows for your team every team created share with you which is really cool. 

Trent: So we’re step four of the five step frame let’s first step forward. 

Chris: So right now you can see this is technically the reporting stage you just saw this, all right? So that’s three steps in; we’ve planned, we’ve built now we’ve got our reports. Once you have your reports, this is the important step four you start to forecast. So instead of always looking back at your marketing which is what most people are doing they look back and see what happened last week. Okay, what happened? Was that good? I’m not sure. Instead you market forward and you start saying, “Okay next week we’re going to sell 5000 cars to stop, here’s how we’re going to do it” We’re going to send 100 out based on our numbers, right? You’re not guessing, you’re basing it on your metrics now your numbers that came back the story that you now know from data studio and you say, “Well based on our story, we’re going to have to send a 100,000 impressions 1% going to click through of those X amount of income leads of those three days later they’re going to come in through email and purchase for an average order volume of this and then that’s equal to 5000” 

So that’s your forecast, right? Step four. After that, you optimize and that’s where you actually just send traffic. Now you send your traffic and you watch because now you’ve obviously you’re measuring all of those steps four, that’s how you got to the forecast in the first place and then you just measure it against what you thought was going to happen. And now you see 100,000 impressions check. We got a 100,000 for our budget. Perfect 1% click, awesome leads, great. Okay, it’s the e-mail, the e-mail was coming in three days and they didn’t. Something’s going on with the mail series. So let’s– Did we make a change? Did somebody not get tagged? Did a few soft crap out like that stuff you take a look at. 

So and for it for our cases that we tag you can tag the emails we’d like the day numbers like we used it feeds off to us is really kind of nice. So we can tag in the day number of the email so we know if it was day three or day four day two that they came in through. And then again you can measure it and then you’ll see. And what’s cool about it is there’s no more of that weird like God what the hell happened? What do we do now? Because what you’ve done and this goes back to your car analogy you’ve built yourself a map, right? 

So now you’ve built a map and now instead of like being pulled over side of the road and God knows where; you’re pulling beside the road you’re like, “Okay, here’s where we made a wrong turn back right. There’s other thing up your head because you’ve got something to kind of guide yourself. And that’s why it’s important to be able to measure marketing in this way. If you follow those five steps, right? Plan, build, report and most importantly plan. Plan, build, report forecast and then you optimize. And most people try to like throw code on pages and then they go to optimization and they forget about the rest of the stuff. 

They use the built in reports that the platforms give them, they don’t realize they’re talking to Goldilocks. They’re thinking they’re getting baby bear story and then that’s where a lot of the confusion comes from. 

Trent: So in terms of the fact that we’ve started this conversation about an evergreen funnel that drives traffic to webinar in its intended to result in a conversion, Stage 1 planning what questions do I want to know? What would that be for me? 

Chris: Who do you think? 

Trent: I want to know what my planning, I want to know how many people are hitting the landing page, I want to know the landing page conversion rate. 

Chris: Defined as how?  

Trent: As a percentage I would think. 

Chris: Conversion rate to cause there’s a conversion rate you’ve got to start and you’ve got an end. So the start is your landing page and when you say conversion rate what do you mean?

Trent: Well, I would want to know a couple of things; I would want to know how many people are showing up for the live event. I would want to know how many people are watching the replay. And then I would want to know how many people are playing it, how many people are buying it. 

Chris: Yeah, exactly! And the most important one to begin with is how many people registering for the thing in the first place. 

Trent: Yeah, how many people to the lander. 

Chris: Yeah, so you’ve got how many people to the lander. 

Trent: How many registered. 

Chris: How many people are even starting coming in through Facebook. And how many people register? Now with those two pieces of information I now know my conversion rate to registration; then and this is where it goes through the— now we’re in the information stage right. What information do I need to know? So in order to figure out the conversion rate for sure, what I need to know I need to know there are people who show up, right? So now I put that in our number people who show up for my webinar and then it’s okay and how many people watch the replay and conversion rates whatever and then purchases that are coming through. 

Now you just dividing out landing page divided by whatever that thing is that you’re looking for, so whether it’s registrations or purchases but that’s what’s really important about how you define stuff because that’s where a lot of confusion sometimes happens to as you say, I wouldn’t track the conversion rate on my landing pages, I go great. I track and opt in for you. You would think and purchase, right? And so that’s when you whenever you define stuff you say okay conversion rate defined as this. 

I want to know people started here and ended here and sometimes it’s 47 other steps in the middle. And it’s still totally cool like in that in that days to report I had it will be called the core conversion rate it’s kind of what we’ve called it. You say the core conversion rate means the first purchase in the funnel. So when they actually trade a dollar that’s the core conversion rate for us. 

Trent: Then would that be from Landers sessions through to the first purchase?

Chris: Yeah, 100% so even if there’s 37 steps I don’t care, I want to know how many people started having people each core conversion and what else do I know. I also know all those 37 steps in between because I have a forecast of how that works for me to get to that. Yeah. So that’s why I said like other very simple fun I would be like landed a cart. Typically I’m going to look at roughly 8%-12% I’m going to click through on average, there’s always outliers neither. I totally get that but most of the time that tends to be the number. And so when I’m looking at that, if it’s too high, too good or if it’s horrible too bad that’s where I know I’ve got to focus around that. 

For example we had one where the lander a cart was like 50% on like what is going on right. Like and what the problem was my core conversion rate was off so I wasn’t converting what I wanted to at the end of day I was like 1%-3% I think we were like of 1% like something’s broken here. Let’s go back in; I look at Lander the cart goes 50 some odd percent I’m like okay, that’s good but it’s way too good like for our forecasts you know three times the forecast. 

Trent: So you’re what you’re saying is you’re cold traffic to the lander that conversion rate to registration was really, really low?

Chris: In our case it was offered directly to cart to sales and no lead involved here, they weren’t going in. So but it was they were what was happening was they were going from Lander the cart and what I was expecting was a 10% to get there. So instead of one every 10 people I was getting five out of every 10 people to go to the cart. Now that sounds good in the beginning like well it means a lot of people are interested except that we went back and we realized that particular sales page for whatever reason somebody forgot to put a price on it. So what happened people were going to the cart not to buy but to figure out how much the thing was. Then they were going back to the sales page and you could actually see that’s got to flow, you can see that in Google Analytics to you see them actually looked back and we were like okay, like that’s our problem. 

So our sales page didn’t have pricing. They were going to the cart not to buy but to find out more information. That’s not what the cart is designed to do because the cart designed to facilitate payment. So now I’m violated the whole 1 purpose 1 page thing. So I’m like okay, we got to put the price let’s explain it down and sure enough that dropdown we didn’t have as many people going to the cart but the people that went to the cart were purchasing and I kind of benefit rate also came down and my core conversion rate came within that line that we were looking for. 

Trent: So when you say landed a cart, you’re measuring from lander to adding to cart not to checking out. 

Trent: Correct! Yeah, well so yes, yes to starting the checkout process exactly right to the point where they can put in details now in e-Commerce there is a lot of times it’s like a Shopify cart or woo commerce is a multi-stage checkout you know Google Analytics actually both those platforms are pretty good about this, they have a built in integration for Google Analytics called enhanced e-Commerce that you turn on and you can turn on this thing called enhanced e-Commerce and Google Analytics and it will show you a funnel. It’s like a horizontal funnel and it will show you your checkout steps. So to say here’s what do will initiate a checkout and then here’s I mean we want the billing and payment and you can customize that whatever your steps are but you can actually see where in the checkout process things broke if at all; you can see your checkout process. 

Not only do you see all of the steps of okay category to a product detail to add to cart and then all the back and forth that happens there but then there’s this whole the whole separate component of here’s how your checkout is working once they decide they do want to move forward. Here’s where you can see the drop off and that’s an element as reports that actually with an analytics is pretty good. 

Trent: So you wouldn’t need– you would use once they get to cart you’re not using Tag Manager anymore? 

Chris: You’re just always using Tag Manager; so to put that in perspective what you do remember I say in the beginning, analytics does three things; collect store and report. What we’re doing what you kind of do a Tag Manager is you tell analytics you know what we’re going to do? I like I’d love you to death man but you just are not great at collecting so you can’t collect anymore anything. Tag Manager I want you to listen to Tag Manager for everything you do what you do well which is store buddy you do that, Tag Managers will not tell you everything. 

So now, Tag Manager is telling it when it’s going through the different stages and then Analytics just responsive fragmented call and write something down it stores it and then they both work incredibly well. So Tag Manager has complete visibility over everything that is in the user journey so which is why you would want to put it on your webinar jam is actually placed in webinar jam or webinars and the integration code we use market based Tag Manager code in their, analytics will fire through there. You can also add this is a huge benefit with Tag Manager. It’s not just analytics that it can tell, it can also tell Facebook, it can tell Google ads you can put in a ad jar script. 

So now what happens is Tag Manager becomes like this one source of truth that all the platforms get at the same time instead of having to worry about Facebook pixel that’s on your page sort of rogue telling Facebook leads are occurring when they’re really not, everything’s tag managers telling Google Analytics, “Hey, a lead just occurred” It also tells Facebook at that same time hey Ali just occurred. And now both platforms are getting the same version of the truth at the same time from the same source. So there’s a lot less of that, He said, she said stuff that happens is different measurement platforms, there’s huge benefits of Tag Manager. 

Trent: Yeah no kidding, so for someone like me, it’s a relatively simple funnel, what product front and offer an app so getting tag, doing the planning maybe have an hour there. Yeah. Building in Tag Manager, taking into account I haven’t used tech manager before is it reasonable to expect that I could get it tagged and built in half a day?

Chris: Yeah, yeah I think the way to the way to do this is tag managers one of those tools that will grow with you. So if you look at my Tag Manager and you try to do what I do, you’ll just end up being frustrated. 

Trent: Yeah but you’re at the initial level.

Chris: 100%; I’m like 13 levels in the ladder; 13 levels up; you’re just looking at the ladder going into I climb it. So what you do is in Tag Manager you get the basics in place and you can do that really quickly. Again, there’s a learning curve but just take a course through us or somebody else, learn the basics of it and pretty quickly you can get page views showing up, then what will happen is let’s say you know so are they even scrolling down? 

So for example in a lander, did they not go to the cart because they didn’t want my offer or did they not go to the cart because they weren’t interested in the copy at all and did even scroll; they might even know this, is so you can tell Tag Manager, “Hey, report scroll rate” you could technically tell Tag Manager when the button shows up. This is what I calls things all that time measure. When the Bible shows up I see you’re scrolling in a long form copy. When the buy copy shows up for at least 10 seconds in the browser window, then tell Google Analytics if they are aware of the offer. 

Trent: That’s pretty awesome. 

Chris: Again it goes back to house so now instead of going well I don’t know they started this page they end up on this page; now I can see how they did that or didn’t. And I can go back to my copywriter and say listen man, they’re not scrolling at all, that that offer as he was showing up. It has nothing to do with our offer. So don’t think that, it’s somewhere in the headline of The Lead copy because they’re not even seeing the offer or it’s hey they’re seeing the offer and they’re not clicking. So let’s maybe work on the offer like we got him to consider but they’re not, so let’s focus on that. 

And now you can tweet your copy again based on the story that technically even though it’s coming from numbers, I mean the stories is numbers but it’s behaviors that the users are leaving behind. It’s their story, it’s the users kind of writing me the story saying hey here’s what we think about your sales pages and we’re using it. And I’m kind of reading that going. Yeah it’s exact what I want you to do or well that is not all what I want, let me go fix that. So that’s I mean it’s huge benefit. But to go back to the point of Tag Manager basics no problem; I can get that within a half day. Then you’ll start leveling up and that’s where you just get a little bit each day and be like oh I want to have button clicks now and I want to add scroll, now I want to add video interaction and then you’ll look back a year from now you’ll be like holy cow how did I live without this stuff? It’s amazing. 

Trent: Instead of having a week where I blow through two grand. I can throw a couple hundred bucks of this a week to buy me some data to figure out where did it break and then once I fix it I can ramp back up again?

Chris: Yeah, 100% 

Trent: All right man, very cool. So Chris, for people who want to learn more about your stuff, where do they go?

Chris: Sure, bettermarketing.io our site and if you go to bettermarketing.org/brightideas I’ve got a UTM traffic tracker that’s there for you. So a little tool kit because I think the biggest mistake that even if you have the stuff set up most people where they scrub from a marketing standpoint is they don’t track the traffic properly in the first place. So there’s something called UTM parameters that need to add to all of you different links. So you know if they came from Facebook or from an email for example. 

And then the trick is number one, knowing to even use those but number two is knowing again it’s the how, it’s the structure that you use and sort of the formulas that you use. How do you define those different things? And when you know that your traffic starts telling a better story. So for us I can go to my analytics and I can say well I’m going to go look in my win campaign for like my win courses. I can say what traffic sources are generating traffic for the purpose of selling wins? And I can go and see oh there’s Facebook, there’s Twitter, there’s LinkedIn whatever that I can click into there’s traffic sources and gets very specific details of ads are causing what. 

So I have a total story of how my traffic– you know what results are being attributed to whatever traffic source. But if I did not tag that properly in the first place without knowing my traffic sources like what are you going to do? You don’t know kind of where they came from. So super important thing and that’s a totally free told the ABC can use has a video on how to use it. That’s what I recommend people go to some measuremarking.io/brightideas.

Trent: And then if I want to go ahead and which of your courses given the problem that I want to solve, which of the courses would be the most beneficial 

Chris: Is it just you or do you have a team? 

Trent: I have a team in this for this stuff because I like learning this stuff I’ll probably do it initially.

Chris: So I’ll give you two options, so we’ve got individual win courses that are literally designed to get you using these tools. I don’t care if you know about some backwater report and Google Analytics of where it is and what it does cause you’re probably never going to use most of reports back there. But what I do care about is you’re tagging a traffic you can get results; so we create these little win courses that are designed to get you moving in these specific topics. 

Very, very focused, easy to get through and fast Tag Manager, Analytics, Data, video the whole thing’s back there. We have something called Win monthly pass that gives you access to all of those courses. So I’d recommend if you’re kind of a solo freelancer style, that’s what I’d recommend that you do. There is a level above that is why I was asking about teams call the Measurement Marketing Academy. The Academy is made for teams because somebody is going to be more of a strategist when you’re a team, somebody is going to be more of the implementer somebody can be more responsible for building reports and so these are normally not the same person. The Academy’s got four separate logins and it’s a lot more robust as group coaching every week. You can talk with the instructors live on calls and there’s a whole workshop just typing questions and it spits out but as I say here’s how you do this thing. So it’s a lot more robust. And so if you have a team that you need to learn as I’d say Measure Marketing Academy but otherwise win monthly pass is absolutely going to be there and get you started to make sure you get the basics down and Academy comes along when win anyway. 

Trent: Cool, all right well it’s been a pleasure, I learned a great deal and I have a funnel to fix 

Chris: So good luck with it, let us know how we can help. 

Questions Asked During the Interview

  1. Who are you and what do you do?
  2. Tell me about an incredible result that your expertise played a role in achieving.
  3. What was the first step you took to create this result?
  4. What happened next?
  5. Can you tell me about some of the biggest mistakes/lessons learned along the way?
  6. What advice would you have your younger less experienced self about trying to do this again?

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Today’s Guest

Chris Mercer, co-founder of MeasurementMarketing.io, is a sought after measurement marketing expert. Mercer (as he’s known) and his team have been helping marketers, marketing teams, and agencies know, trust, and grow their numbers.

They start by planning out the crucial important to marketing measurements, then actually measure them (using tools like Google Tag Manager and Google Analytics). They create dashboards that are truly useful, and pull actionable insights from what’s being measured to begin forecasting and optimizing future results.

Mercer spends countless hours reading, practicing, adjusting, and innovating to improve his skill set. He has a knack for teaching, and is known for his ability to simplify even the most complex ideas for his audience.

He can be found speaking at conferences and events, such as Traffic & Conversion, Conversion Conference, Social Media Marketing World, Content Jam, Digital Elite Camp, Baby Bathwater Institute, and others.

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