How to Use Infusionsoft to Increase Business Automation, Double Revenue, and Increase Customer Engagement: A Case Study with Samantha Bennett

Are you constantly thinking about how to grow your business?

Would you like to hear how one entrepreneur has been able to double her revenue without killing herself in the process?

To discover how to get more referrals, increase customer engagement, and improve business efficiency, I interview Samantha Bennett in this episode of the Bright Ideas podcast. When you listen, you are going to hear how Samantha used Infusionsoft in her business to achieve a 100% increase in revenue.

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.

In this episode, I interview Samantha Bennett of The Organized Artist Company.

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Trent: Hi there idea hunters. Thank you so much for joining me for this

episode of the Bright Ideas podcast. I’m your host, Trent Dyrsmid, and this

is the podcast for business owners and marketers who want to discover how

to use online marketing and sales automation tactics to massively boost

their business.On the show with me today is Samantha Bennett of the Organized Artist

Company and in this episode, she’s going to be sharing with us a couple of

really interesting ideas. The first is how she used a very unique referral

strategy to boost her business by 10% over about a four day period. The

second is her very own customer engagement strategy that results in a very

high level of open rates on her e-mails.And this is something not like anything I’ve ever seen before and finally,

in 2010, Samantha was nominated as one of the Infusionsoft Ultimate

Marketer of the Year. Or ultimate marketers of the year, I should say and

the reason that that’s going to be such an interesting part of the

interview is that Infusionsoft is a tool that she and I both use. Is a

really powerful software tool that you can use to automate all sorts of the

sales and marketing and execution portions of your business and in the

interview you’re going to learn how Samantha is doing that and the results

are pretty astounding. Her growth rate is 100% year over year and she’s

forecasting to do the same year ahead. So, please join me in welcoming

Samantha to the show.Hi, Samantha.Samantha: Hi, Trent.Trent: Thank you so much for making some time to come and do this interview

here with me. Welcome to my show.Samantha: Thank you. My pleasure. I’m happy to be here.Trent: So, I first learned of you in San Diego here where there was very

recently an Infusionsoft marketers day or some kind thing like that and you

were a case study. Or I don’t even know if case study is the right term,

but you had an awful lot of success with your business, your online

business which we’re going to talk about in just a second. And you won an

award as the Infusionsoft Marketer of the Year which is really a big deal.

Because what that demonstrates to folks in the audience don’t know what

that is, you’ve got to be really good at online marketing and sales

automation to win that award.And so when I heard that Samantha had won. I thought, especially how unique

your background and your niche is, I thought, “I really need to get

Samantha on the show.” So, Samantha, give me the. First of all, how much

revenue does your business, is it going to do this year? And how much did

it do last year?Samantha: Last year was about $50,000 or so and well into six figures for

this year. In fact, I just sent one e-mail that I believe is going to

generate $120,000.Trent: Not bad. All right.Samantha: Not bad.Trent: So, now, everyone’s wondering, “Well, what does this woman do?” And

you do some really, what I’m going to call, unusual stuff. Because for me,

like I’m your black white capitalist business kind of guy and you’re more

kind of like this artsy, fluffy, actress on stage, artist. What is it? Tell

me about your business.Samantha: That’s what I am. That’s my background. My background, talk about

anybody can do it. I do not have a background in business. I do not have a

background in computers. I do not have a background in marketing. None of

that. I know nothing about any of it. Or no training in any of it. I’m an

actor and a writer. And, about 15 years ago, I started teaching a course,

called the Get it Done Workshop. Just to help other creative people get

their work done and out there. Because it’s really hard when there’s no

quarterly review on how your novel is going. So, it’s hard to stick with

those projects. So, and then in 2009, you know when God sends you the same

postcard like eight times in a row?Trent: I do.Samantha: Okay. Fine. I had the Organized Artist Company was one of a lot

of things that I was doing and then all of the sudden, sort of everything

else, fell away. I had a bunch of projects come to their natural

conclusion. I had a couple of other things I thought were going to happen

and not happen. And I was thinking, “Oh, I guess I better get another gig.”

And then I thought, “Or I could see if I could do that Organized Artist

Company full-time.” Then I thought, “I guess I better get some business

cards.” And that year, I signed up with Infusionsoft very early, almost

right away. Much, much sooner than my business warranted it. It’s a

complicated and expensive system, and my business was that big and had no

revenue. I needed Infusionsoft to pay for itself before the American

Express bill came. There was no budget. There was nothing. There was no

safety net, nothing.Trent: Wait a minute. You mean you started this with almost no savings as

well?Samantha: Oh yeah. This whole thing has been bootstrapped . . . It’s had to

pay me. I’ve had to make a living wage off of the Organized Artist Company,

almost from day one.Trent: Wow. That’s such an important point. I hope that the people who are

listening to this . . . I have a mixture in my audience of people who are

running businesses and want to get them bigger. I also know that there’s a

meaningful portion of my audience that’s still working for somebody else,

and they have these, “I don’t know if I have enough savings. I don’t know

if I have enough of this, that, and the other thing.” Yours is a fantastic

story that you went into it with that attitude. You had the courage to do

it still. I really take my hat off to you, for that.Samantha: Thank you. Sometimes, I’m at like that event in San Diego, and I

hear other people be like, “Oh yeah. I spent $30,000 on pay per click

advertising. Oh yeah.” I’m like, “Oh. A lot of people invest in their

business? Interesting.” That would be fun. Gosh, having a marketing budget.

I should look into that. It’s true. You can do it. You can absolutely do

  1. I work with creatives. I work with artists. Some people who are self-

defined as artists, they’ll say, “I’m a singer. I’m an actor. I’m a dancer.

I’m a writer. I’m a ceramicist. I’m a timpanist.” Other people who would

not say necessarily that they were professionally creative, but that they

want to be feeling more creative in their lives.Trent: Okay.

Samantha: It’s a great demographic. It’s a great group to work with. They

are really fun people.

Trent: What is it that, in case there are some of those people listening to

this and wondering, ‘How? What? What is it? What are you going to help me?’

Just explain the business model real quick. I want to make sure people have

context, because coming up, we are going to talk a lot about marketing and

conversions and opt-in pages and sales funnels, and all this stuff that’s

really important. To give context for that, at the end of the day people

are buying something from you. I don’t even know if I know what they’re

buying yet. What exactly do you sell?

Samantha: My flagship offering up until now has been a 6 week teleclass

called The Get it Done Workshop.

Trent: Okay.

Samantha: People come in with a project. They want to finish their

screenplay. They want to get an agent. They want to get back to dancing or

poetry, or whatever. They’ve got 37 projects, and they don’t know what they

want to do. They can’t decide. That’s very common. I have a lot of

questions, worksheets, and exercises because there’s not one way.

Trent: Yeah.

Samantha: There’s not the way. There’s not a way to be an artist, any more

than there’s a way to be an entrepreneur, or a way to be a good parent or

partner, or a good citizen. There’s just your way. It’s not like I’ve got

some incredible method, and everybody should just do things my way. I have

an incredible method for you to figure out what your incredible method is.

Trent: You have a process.

Samantha: It’s all about process and reconnecting people with their

intuition. Really getting good at listening to those half ideas. Because

especially if you put it into an entrepreneurial context, the amount of

things that you could be doing at any moment in time is endless.

Trent: Absolutely. It’s a big struggle.

Samantha: There’s the things you could be doing, the things you really have

to be doing, the things that really should have been done yesterday, the

things that really should have been taken care of three years ago. A list

is enough to make a person crazy. How do you discern? How do you decide

where am I really going to get the most return on my investment,

personally, creatively, spiritually, financially? What can I do that’s

really going to make a difference? That can be very hard to see when you

are in the middle of it.

Trent: You had to make your business pay, right from the start. You were

your own student. In other words, you created this, I’m guessing to a

certain degree, to scratch your own itch, which is why I created Bright

Ideas. I love talking to people like you, because every time I do, I get a

free hour of consulting. I get a little smarter. Let’s talk a little bit

before we get into all this sales automation stuff, that’s going to be the

bulk of our conversation today. You are there, and you are thinking, “Hey.

I want to do this creative artist company. I want to do it full time. I

need to deploy Infusionsoft. I need to come up with marketing. I need to

create my information product. I got to do a sales pitch. I got to, got to,

got to, etc.” How did you figure it all out?

Samantha: Very slowly and one teeny-tiny step at a time.

Trent: But wait a minute. You’re in a hurry. You got to generate cash flow.

You got to make sales. Panic! Panic! Panic!

Samantha: Yeah. The first thing I did was I chained myself to the desk and

made myself learn Infusionsoft. Like I said, I didn’t have any real

background in this kind of thing and I knew I needed to learn it, and this

is back in 2009 when, frankly, it was a lot harder to learn.

Trent: Yeah. That’s how it earned its nickname, Confusionsoft, perhaps.

Samantha: Yeah. Exactly. I just really buckled down and made myself learn

  1. That was step 1, as I sort of dove right into the software right away

and got a sense of what it could do and what could happen with it.

Trent: How long did that take? How long did you dive into that particular

phase? Because, again, I’m still thinking, “Revenue! Revenue! Got to make a

sale! Got to make a sale! Got to get the cash coming in!” So how long did

you allow yourself to dive into that?

Samantha: I spent four straight days learning it, and then it’s an ongoing

and uphill climb since then.

Trent: You’re watching training videos and you’re mucking around and trying

to set stuff up, or what were those four days?

Samantha: There weren’t any training videos.

Trent: Back then there wasn’t any? Okay.

Samantha: There weren’t any training videos. [inaudible 00:11:20]

Trent: There are lots of training videos now.

Samantha: There are lots of training videos now and they are excellent.

Yeah. Yeah. I just made myself do it. Then I just started sending


Trent: You had a bit of a… That’s right. Because you had done this, you’d

been doing this [part-timers], so you had a little bit of a list. Is that


Samantha: Yeah. I had about 700 people on my list. A lot of them were

friends and family, like everybody when they are first starting out.

Trent: Yeah, absolutely. They were just there to support you?

Samantha: Yeah. That’s why I had gotten Infusionsoft to begin with because

every time I offered one of these classes, and at that time I was still

offering them live, I wasn’t doing teleclasses yet, I was sort of hand-

sorting my list. I’m going through the marketing thing going, “Okay, I

should send it to that person. I think that person lives in Chicago. Yeah,

I should send it to that person. I think that person already took this. Who

is that person?” My list was outgrowing my brain.

The other thing I’d learned how to figure out how to do right away was put

up a little web form and it honestly said, “Stay in touch with me.” I

didn’t have a lead magnet. I didn’t have anything. It just said, “Stay in

touch” or “Join my list” or something really lame like that. The first time

a total stranger joined my list, I was like, “[inaudible 00:12:38]. It


So, yeah. I just started the broadcast. I started with a little web form.

It was another year or so before I even added the shopping cart

functionality. I was just going on PayPal [buttons]. Yeah.

Trent: Okay. I love this because I really hope that the people who are

listening to this interview, who maybe haven’t taken the plunge yet, are

going to find inspiration in your story. You thought, “All right, step 1,

forget everything else. I’m just going to learn about Infusionsoft. To the

exclusion of everything else in my consciousness, I’m going to focus on

this one task and thereby eliminating that level of overwhelm that we often

suffer from.” You get a little handle on that, you thought, “Okay. Well,

I’m going to build a web form.”

Samantha: Right.

Trent: “Now I’m going to send an e-mail. One step. One step.”

Samantha: Right.

Trent: So what did the first e-mail say? Did you make revenue off that

first e-mail?

Samantha: I don’t know that I did. Do you know where it really slipped from

me? Honestly, I wrote a poem called “In Praise of the Capable”.

Trent: Yeah. All Internet marketers write poems, definitely.

Samantha: I’m here to tell you. I sent it out. At first I wrote it just for

fun and I sent it out to a couple of friends and they really liked it. I

thought, “Oh, well, this is sort of cute. I’ll send it to the list. Now I

have this list. I should send them something, so I’ll send them this


I got this avalanche of response back. People really felt like I had

written it for them. They really wanted to communicate back with me about

how much it had meant to them. That was when it tipped for me that this

thing that could seem cold or mechanical or manipulative was actually a

device to communicate very personally with a lot of people.

Trent: Yes. Yes.

Samantha: So now my initial follow-up sequence, and this is what got me the

ultimate marketer finalist in 2010, is… Right to this day, if you sign up

on, the first bunch of stuff you’ll get is a

bunch of poems. There’s the Praise of the Capable, the Ode to the

Overwhelmed, there’s one for the entrepreneur, There’s one for the grouchy.

And, by the time, people get three or four of these, like they feel like I

am their sister.

And, what I love about this is exactly what you said. There is not a

business book in the world that says, here’s what you do. Write a bunch of

poems. That’s the ticket to profit. But, because of who I am and because of

who my people are, it’s just makes me a welcome guest in their e-mail box.

It makes them feel like I know that, like I understand where they’re at.

And so when I do try and sell them something, which I don’t do that often.

The response is huge.

Every time I do a JV offering, every time I offer something, the response,

I get these calls like, “What is your list? They’re so responsive.” I’m

like, “I know. Because they trust me.” And they get excited. They see

something in their box from me and they’re happy about it.

Trent: And nobody else is doing it.

Samantha: No higher compliment can a marketer get.

Trent: Yeah. Nobody else is doing what you’re doing, either. You’re off

sounding so much different than what everyone else has got to be sounding

like. I’ve got to think that really works for you. Let’s go into a number

here. Do you know what your open rate is on your typical e-mail broadcasts?

Samantha: I don’t know. We all know the open rate is not a reliable number,


Trent: Why?

Samantha: It’s one of the worse metrics we have because when people open

something on their smartphone it doesn’t count as an open. That little one

pixel bing, bing, bing.

Trent: Really?

Samantha: Let’s somebody know that it’s open doesn’t happen.

Trent: I didn’t know that.

Samantha: So this doesn’t count as an open and when people are looking at

something in their Outlook or their Apple.

Trent: Preview.

Samantha: You just scroll through things like delete, delete, delete. That

does count as an open. Even though nobody’s actually looked at it.

Trent: Oh, wow. Okay.

Samantha:. So that number is not a good, not a reliable number. It is

however, the only number we have to start with. So, yeah, my open rates are

usually between 16% and 35%.

Trent: Okay.

Samantha: Something like that.

Trent: So, that’s still a pretty healthy, for inaccurate number, it’s still

a pretty healthy open rate. Now, by the way, just a little quick, maybe

it’s a take away for you, I use on my sites and I just started to use this.

There’s a plugin called iMember360 which very tightly integrates. Do you

use it?

Samantha: I don’t. I have customer help.

Trent: Okay.

Samantha: But I know.

Trent: Very tightly integrated with Infusionsoft and you can apply a tag

just when someone views a page.

Samantha: Well, you know the new.

Trent: Well, hello, kitty cat.

Samantha: The new, the latest version of Infusionsoft, the one from the

spring release, there’s web analytics in Infusionsoft.

Trent: Yeah, there is.

Samantha: So you want to put.

Trent: You’re right.

Samantha: And it will create, it creates a visitor record for everybody who

visits your page and if they then become a contact, it will still have all

the records of every page they visited. You want to get that snippet and

put it on every page you have.

Trent: But do you, where I was going with my comment, is there a better

number for the open rate? Like can you say, “This is how many people viewed

this page from this e-mail.” And I guess there’s lots of different ways to

do this. You can use.

Samantha: Oh, I just track that off of clicks. To make the link to the page

a clickable link and then just track.

Trent: Absolutely.

Samantha: My clicking rates great. My conversion rate is great.

Trent: That’s another way. Okay. So, let’s get into some more marketer’s

nuts and bolts as it were. So, let’s talk a little bit about your sale.

First, let’s talk about how people find you.

Samantha: Right now, they find me almost exclusively by looking for me. My

Google Analytics are all about Samantha Bennett, the Organized Artist

Company. Samantha Bennett, Organized. Samantha Bennett, get organized

artist. Like the people, it’s really people who are looking for me. So, I

have, while I have thesis on my site, so I’m sort of automatically

optimized for SEO, I haven’t done any deliberate SEO activity. It’s on the

list. You know.

Trent: I know when I typed in Samantha Bennett. You come up first. I think

your site the Organized Artist company comes first. So, therefore Google

thinks that you are the most important Samantha Bennett in the entire


Samantha: Well, that’s good because there’s a couple of us out there,

actually. There’s a writer.

Trent: I’m sure there is.

Samantha: There’s a journalist in Pittsburgh. There’s a couple of Samantha

Bennetts out there with a profile but you should always come up first for

your own name. So, that’s another tip for marketers out there. If for some

reason, you are not showing up first for your own name, fix that.

Trent: What if you are John Smith? That’s harder to do.

Samantha: Become John Fabulosity Smith.

Trent: All right. People find you predominantly, it sounds like, word of

mouth. They’ve heard of you in some way, shape, or form, which is the

natural by-product of when you have content that people love. When you have


Samantha: That’s it. The e-mails are very formidable to those poems, and

the stuff I write about, creative inspiration, and staying motivated. It’s

content people love to send to their friends or their sisters.

Trent: Let’s jump into another nugget, then. In the Infusionsoft e-mail

builder, there’s a share bar, a social networking share bar. I didn’t learn

this until the day that I met you. I want to know if you do this. If

someone receives an e-mail, and they want to share it on their social

network, Infusionsoft puts that content on an Infusionsoft hosted page, and

to the right of it you can have an opt-in form.

Samantha: That’s right. You have to tell it you want that form. You can

have the form on the right or left of the e-mail, but that’s absolutely


Trent: Is that something that you do?

Samantha: Every time.

Trent: Every time. Okay.

Samantha: Yeah. Yeah. In fact, now I almost don’t send out an e-mail

without a link to a form. It doesn’t get used all that often, but I want

people to have the option if it’s there.

Trent: Okay. I just learned about that, so I haven’t done it a bunch. Is

there an easy way to get analytics on how many opt-ins you are getting, as

a percentage of how many e-mails were shared, or that kind of thing?

Samantha: You just tag off the form, submissions on the form.

Trent: Yeah. I guess you could. That would be a unique tag. You could

create a tag for that particular e-mail and that particular form. Then, you

would know. Okay.

Samantha: Yeah. Speaking of tagging, whatever your tagging protocol is,

have a tagging protocol. Have a way that you do it every time. For me, I

put dates on everything.

Trent: How about you give us an example?

Samantha: If I sent out an e-mail today about a beautiful sun shiny day, it

would say, “Beautiful day.” It might say, “Content only.” If it was in

regards to a class, I might have something else in there about the class.

Then, it would have today’s date at the end.

Trent: Okay.

Samantha: I tag everything. If people do something, I want to know about


Trent: Yeah.

Samantha: I’ve got tags from when I first started that say, “Workshop.”

Trent: In hindsight, it means nothing.

Samantha: Try 700 workshops that I have no idea what that’s about. It says

, “Workshop. February 2009,” I’m like, okay. I had some idea that that’s

the last time somebody clicked, they’re not that interested.

Trent: Did you learn that, by chance, from Jermaine Griggs? Or did you just

think, “Hey. This tagging stuff is the coolest thing ever. I’m going to go


Samantha: It was the tagging thing is the coolest thing ever, I might as

well go nuts. Jermaine makes me look like a child, in terms of tagging.

Jermaine’s system is so beautiful and precise. The man is a twisted,

twisted genius. I love it.

Trent: Yeah. I want to get him on the show, definitely.

Samantha: Yeah. He’s brilliant.

Trent: For people who are not using Infusionsoft yet and don’t know what we

are talking about, can you just please tell us what this tagging thing is

all about?

Samantha: Yeah. Infusionsoft is an e-mail marketing machine, like MailChimp

or Constant Contact or iContact, any of those things that you might be

using. It’s also a customer database management system. They talk to each

other. You can create an e-mail, and in each e-mail you can say, “Click

here to read my blog. Click here to find out more about this workshop.

Click here to get the free PDF.” Whatever it is that you are offering. In

Infusionsoft, you can tell that link not only where it goes, but you can

tell the system to apply a tag anytime somebody clicks that link. I can

see. It’s a great way to measure engagement.

Trent: Yeah.

Samantha: You really want to get people used to clicking on your e-mails,

partly for sales purposes. You just want them in the habit of clicking, so

then when you’re selling them something, they are in the habit of clicking.

It doesn’t feel weird to them to click and be taken to a page. Also, for

the Internet service providers, that’s one of the ways they gauge whether

or not your stuff goes in the spam box or not. It’s not just does it get

opened, but is there engagement. Are people clicking on it? Are they

forwarding it? Are they saving it? Are they flagging it? Are they putting

it in a file? That’s one of the ways that you stay out of the trash bin.

Trent: Yes. I didn’t think of that. Very good. Again, just in case folks

still don’t get this clearly, tagging is just a means of categorizing

people, or making a notation on their file as it were, based upon an action

that they took that you asked them to take.

Samantha: That’s exactly right; just slapping a post-it on somebody. They

did this; they did that; they did this; they’re interested in that. So that

then you can really target your marketing. And, again, this is a great way

to get a really high response rate. You don’t want to be selling cat food

to the dog people or dog food to the cat people. You want them to segment

themselves a little bit so you know who is interested in what. Then you can

really be sending specific stuff to specific people.

One of my favorite ways to use Infusionsoft is this; if I send out a

broadcast for example, about a class, and there’s a certain number of

people who open and click, and there’s a certain number of people who

register, the people who click but don’t register, I send them another e-

mail almost right away. Because I don’t want to pester the people who

haven’t opened and haven’t clicked because they’re not interested. I might

send them a second one in a couple of days but I don’t want to be all up in

their grill about it.

But the people who have clicked but not registered, they’re interested.

They’re warm, they’re ready and they just need a little nudge. So I send

them a little nudge.

Trent: Give me an example of a nudge. What does a nudge look like?

Samantha: Just a little, “Hey, I forgot to say, there’s going to be a

special something on this teleclass” or “Wait until you hear me talk about

thus and such . . .”

Trent: So you don’t write them and say, “Hey, I noticed you clicked my link

but you didn’t buy.”

Samantha: No, because I think that’s creepy.

Trent: And especially in the artist’s community; they’re not going to know

anything about this stuff so they’re not going to know that we have this

level of visibility into their mouse clicks.

Samantha: Right. That’s right. But you can say, “I think you’re interested

in . . .” or “I really think you might be interested in this course.”

Trent: I love what you said though: “Oh, I forgot to mention . . .” and

throw in another benefit. I think that’s brilliant. It’s authentic because

you can plan to forget something and that’s just good marketing.

Samantha: In the same way, if you were trying to talk somebody into going

to the movies with you; you’d say, “Oh no, it’s a good movie. You should

come with me. You know what, I didn’t even tell you this, and I’ll give you

a ride. How about that?”

Trent: Great metaphor. So they’re like, “Yeah, all right, I’ll come.” Then

they go to the movie and say, “Hey, you know what Sam. Thanks so much for

getting me to that movie. I had a really great time. That was awesome. It

was a good movie.”

Samantha: But be careful because it is your reputation. If you take someone

to a bad movie, they will never let you forget it.

Trent: I was just going to say, and it feeds right in to what you just

said, if you really believe in your stuff, like you really believe in a

movie, you almost have the obligation to do everything that you can to get

them there, because you know that they’re going to have a positive

experience. Why would you not want to have people do that?

Samantha: Exactly.

Trent: Let’s go back to your sales funnel. So they find you, they come to

your site. It all starts with a lead magnet. I’m looking at your site right

now. The side bar, is that the primary place where people opt in?

Samantha: Yep. You want to have it above the fold, right there in the upper-

right. That’s where most people look for it these days. So you want to have

it right there, very easy and visible. Right now, mine’s usually a free

recording, a free webinar. I think the one that is up right now is called

Ready Set Um. It’s about moving from having a great idea to actually being

in action around your great ideas.

Then they hear from me quite a bit in those first couple of days. This is

all Infusionsoft doing this for me automatically – I am at the beach. It

automatically sends a double opt-in e-mail. It automatically sends them a

welcome e-mail. It sends them that free thing that they’ve signed up for,

whatever that is. It sends them a poem; the next day it sends them

something else. Three days later it sends them something else.

These are almost all content e-mails. There might be a little Johnson Box

or something in them that says, “Oh, they got it done. Home study kits

available,” or “You can buy the book of poems, if you feel like it.” But

it’s very low-key. And it’s actually one of things that I’m trying to work

on; I tend to have the selling style that’s a little like, “Um, you know,

there’s a thing, if you want . . . you could . . .” I think, sometimes, I

need to be a little more aggressive in my selling. But initially not.

It’s a lot of content; it’s a lot of feel-good stuff. I’ve had people ask

me, “Do you worry about turning people off by sending them so much stuff in

the first couple of days?” I don’t worry about that for a couple of

reasons. One, I figure you have about 36 hours before somebody forgets that

they have ever heard of you, been to your website, signed up for anything,

seen you, ever had any interest in anything you ever did. So I really want

them to know right away, like, “Hi! Hi! Sam Bennett, you signed up! Hi!

Remember me the day you signed? You were there, I’m typing in your name,

I’m not spam, swear to God!”

So that’s one reason, is I really want to cement for them that this is

something they’ve requested. But also, I’m kind of an overcommunicator, you

know? You’re going to hear from me, and if that bothers you, you should get

off my list sooner rather than later. God bless the unsubscribes. Go find

your people.

Trent: That’s such an important point. I interviewed a gal by the name of

[Jamie Tardy] a couple of days ago, and we talked so much about that, and

then we talked about a guy by the name of [Derrick Halpern], who I had a

very nice conversation with on Friday…

Samantha: Yeah, he’s a smart guy, that guy.

Trent: Both of whom are super, super smart marketers, and they’re, they,

much like me, believe that you need to figure out who your audience really,

really is, and to heck with everybody else. Trying to please, trying to

please everybody is insane.

Samantha: It’s, first of all, it would be creepy.

Trent: Yeah.

Samantha: If everybody liked what you did, that would be weird.

Trent: Yeah.

Samantha: You don’t want that. You want a small, passionate group.

Trent: Yep. I heard, and I don’t remember where I heard it, but it was in

the music scene, and it was basically, if you can have an audience of rabid

followers, you only need a thousand people, and as a band, you could make a

living off of that. Only a thousand.

Samantha: Absolutely.

Trent: And so many people are focused on, I need 50,000 or 100,000 or 5

million or whatever, and they’re trying to be, trying to appease everybody,

and in doing so, they’re appealing to nobody.

Samantha: Well, exactly. And, you hear a lot of this, you know, my list

size poker, well, my list is this big, and my list is that big. It’s like,

okay. I’m sure it is. But again, I’m much more interested in clicks and


Trent: Yeah.

Samantha: I don’t want to know how big your list is. I want to know how

many of those people are clicking, forwarding, signing up.

Trent: Yeah.

Samantha: Just another fun little metric, and this is something, again,

that if your Infusionsoft people aren’t doing, they should be, and if

people who aren’t Infusionsoft people, you can probably do this without

Infusionsoft if you have a little bit of JavaScripting.

There’s a function on the, in the lists, in the link filter in Infusionsoft

where you say wanted the link to link to this webpage, or this in this case

a form, web form that says, “Hey, sign up for a free class,” and then

there’s a little box of “other” and it opens up a few more options, and one

of those options is “Pass this person’s information along at the end of the

link,” then it says, “For Techies.”

And what that means is that it takes the person’s first name and e-mail

address, and passes it to the web form. So they go to a web form that is

pre-filled out for them. I have had conversion rates of over 100% for a pre-


Trent: How is that possible?

Samantha: Because… Yeah, I know. I did the math a couple of times.

Because if people go to the form, it’s already, they don’t have to type

their name and e-mail, it’s already filled out for them. All you have to do

is press the big red button that says, “Sure, sign me up,” and they go

sure, sign me up, and then they forward it to a friend.

Trent: Oh. That’s how you got over 100%.

Samantha: That’s how you get over 100%.

Trent: Okay. Fantastic. That is a brilliant idea. So people come to your

site, they enter into the sales funnel, you communicate a lot in the first

36 hours. You’ve not generated any revenue yet. You’ve built some

credibility, relationship, and trust.

Samantha: Yep.

Trent: Now what happens?

Samantha: Well that’s, that’s 90% of the game. I mean, that’s 90% of what I

do it’s just keep them warm. Keep them supported, keep them feeling

connected to me. I write articles, I answer advice columns and then a

couple times a year I offer a class, and so a couple times a year I do

affiliate offers, and I’m just really straightforward about it. I say I’m

offering this class, and if you’re the kind and if you’re thinking that you

should do it, then you should do it.

Trent: Yeah.

Samantha: And then I offer a satisfaction guarantee or your money

cheerfully refunded. Most of my stuff is very low-cost. The only thing

that’s not low-cost is working with me one-on-one, working privately, but I

have a membership site that’s really cheap. I have these home study kits

that aren’t very expensive. When I do affiliate mailings, I’m very straight

forward about that. I’m like, “This is my friend. They are offering a thing

that I think is really cool.” They are actually my friend. I don’t do it

for people I don’t know.

Trent: That you don’t know. Yeah.

Samantha: The sort of recurrent thing that we keep coming back to here is

treat your list like they’re your friends.

Trent: Yeah.

Samantha: There’s all kinds of tricks and strategies and stuff. There’s

tricks and strategies to friendship too. If you gave me a necklace, and I

knew we were going to dinner, I might where the necklace you gave me.

Trent: Yeah.

Samantha: So that you could go, “Oh. I gave you that necklace.” I go,

“Yeah. I know. I love you. We have this thing together.” Is that

manipulative? Maybe a little bit.

Trent: Yeah.

Samantha: But it’s also a warm, loving, and considerate thing to do.

Trent: Yeah.

Samantha: That’s really what I think about, when I think about marketing.

There’s a lot of tricks and strategies and games, and things you can do.

The fact of the matter is that people are going to do what they are going

to do, when they’re going to do it, and not one second sooner. Not for love

or money, same as you. Nobody can make you buy anything. Nobody can make

you interested in something you are not interested in.

All you can do as a marketer is just stand there in as genuine a way as

possible, just going, “Hi. I’m doing that thing. That thing that I said I

was doing. I’m still doing that. You know anybody who needs the thing, I’m

the one doing that.” When you put out this clear, authentic and consistent

message about the truth of who you are, and what you do, you become like

the whistle only dogs can hear. Your people start to find you.

Trent: Yeah.

Samantha: Again, those people who are not interested in you, who are not

good clients for you, who are not good customers for you, will not find

you. That’s almost as important.

Trent: Wise words. Very, very wise words. A couple more things I want to

cover off before we finish up this interview. One of them is you ran this

referral strategy. We are going to save that for last, because that was

pretty awesome.

Samantha: That was pretty cool.

Trent: I think you said you grew your list by 10% in a week, or something

like that.

Samantha: 4 days. Yep.

Trent: 4 days. We are going to get into a little bit more detail on that

one. I want to go back to your product for a minute, for a little bit. For

the folks who are listening to this and just want to get organized, let’s

give them something. What do you see as the number one mistake that people

make? When they have that pile of all the things that they need to do to

accomplish whatever their project is, screenplay, book, business, whatever

it is, what’s the number one thing, hopefully there is a number one thing,

that you see most commonly as the big mistake?

Samantha: The big mistake is thinking about everything all at once and

getting overwhelmed, and quitting before you even start because you feel so

overwhelmed. The number one strategy I have, and listen carefully to me

when I say this because the clients and students I have who employ this

strategy, see amazing results, sort of jaw-dropping miraculous results. The

clients and students I have who do not employ this strategy, some have

amazing results, and some don’t.

Trent: Okay.

Samantha: Here it is. This is not unique to me. I didn’t make this strategy

up, but I’m a big proponent of it. 15 minutes every day, before you check

your e-mail, before you check your e-mail, before you check your e-mail.

Trent: So after my e-mail?

Samantha: Spend a few minutes on the projects that matter most to you.

Trent: Sorry. I’m sorry I shouldn’t have said anything. Please say that


Samantha: Spend 15 minutes a day on the projects that matter most to you.

Trent: Okay. Focus. Really, that boils down to focus.

Samantha: Daily chipping away at it.

Trent: Yeah.

Samantha: You sort of feel like 15 minutes, that’s not going to help. It’s

amazing what you can get done in 15 minutes. It’s amazing what happens when

you spend 15 minutes every day for a week, a month, a year, 2 years, 10

years. There’s something about claiming that time and space for yourself,

and for the work that matters most to you, that has a really lovely effect

on your life. It’s a little like when you go to work out in the morning.

You spend the rest of the day like, “I’m so awesome. I went to the gym


Trent: Yep. Yep.

Samantha: It’s a little bit of the moral high ground like that. You just

feel great. We know it’s true. If you spend 15 minutes a day practicing

guitar, it wouldn’t be very much time before you were a much better guitar

player. 15 minutes a day to work on your novel, 15 minutes a day

strengthening your core, 15 minutes a day looking for the perfect life

partner, whatever it is that you’re thinking, “Wow, if this were

accomplished, I think my life [inaudible 00:40:19]. You have that control.

I know we don’t control everything about our lives, and there’s a lot of

other people’s fingerprints all over us, I get that, but you have 15


Trent: Yes, you do. And I want to just jump on the piggy-back on that, and

say that that’s the strategy that I try and do. I try to not check my e-

mail till around four in the afternoon, because you know what? It’ll still

be there waiting for me. If I get sucked into e-mail early, the whole day

is maybe one-third or less as productive as if I can maintain what’s

supposed to be my daily routine, plan my day the night before, think about

what are the key drivers to move me closer to this project’s completion,

and then to the exclusion of everything else, I focus on just those things.

Samantha: Yeah.

Trent: It makes a huge difference.

Samantha: It makes a huge difference, and this is why we created our own

businesses, right?

Trent: Yeah.

Samantha: So that we could be the boss, so that we could determine how we

spend our time, and to give up that control is mind-boggling to me. Why

would you create your own business and then work yourself harder and

stupider than any boss ever would?

Trent: I’ll tell you why. Because people aren’t organized, and they don’t

prioritize. They get overwhelmed. There’s all, there’s a lot of noise.

Samantha: And it’s hard. I mean, it’s really, really hard. It’s no joke,

man, it’s a lot of hard work, it’s a lot of time, and particularly writing

and I think copywriting, good copy, is the key to success, something you

certainly need in marketing, certainly in Internet marketing, I think you

can make videos, you can make audios, there’s other ways to communicate

with people, but predominantly, we use the written word, and to get really

good at that takes a lot of time. To find your authentic voice takes a lot

of time. To really target in on your niche audience takes time. But then

when you’ve built it, it’s yours.

Trent: Absolutely. Here, here. And then some of us will get to the level of

somebody like Jermaine Griggs, who, and I have not met or spoken to

Jermaine, perhaps you probably have, but I know in his messaging videos and

so forth, he at least tells the story, that he has a fair amount of free

time because he was willing to invest the time to learn how to run

Infusionsoft so that the level of automation in his business if phenomenal.

Samantha: It’s jaw-dropping, what he’s created. I mean, it’s beautiful.

It’s really beautiful.

Trent: I think he’s doing, like, 10 million bucks a year, somewhere around

that range.

Samantha: Yeah, and he really does. He works four works a week.

Trent: Wow. Very nice. So, for those of you who are listening and you’re

wondering what’s all the fuss about. Hopefully, that will give you some

idea of what all the fuss is about. That’s where we’re all trying to get


Samantha: And become a hundredaire. Don’t start trying to work four hours a

week and make ten million dollars. Start trying to make an extra hundred

bucks this month.

Trent: Yeah.

Samantha: Well, see what happens.

Trent: So let’s get into, let’s close up on this, because I know we’re even

closing in on an hour now, and I want to try and keep this as close to an

hour as we can. Tell us about this super-duper referral strategy, the thing

that you did that got you, what, 10% or 11% risk growth, like another, I

mean, that’s a big number. If you can take however many subscribers you

got, and grow it by 10% in four days, clearly you did something that worked

well. Tell us about that.

Samantha: Yeah, and this was, I have to actually give a lot of the credit

to Mr. Jordan Hatch, who’s the Head of Training for Infusionsoft and, like,

another sick, twisted genius, and a very lovable person. He’s the

mastermind of webinars for Infusionsoft, and he and I were talking. He had

an idea he wanted to test out, and I had an idea I wanted to test out, so

we got together, and I could never have done this without Jordan, because I

don’t have the technical . . . I wouldn’t have known how to do it.

But what happened was this. I had a project I was launching called the

Procrastination Domination Starter Kit, right, it’s a $47 webinar, great

little product, very tight. So I sent an e-mail to my list that said, “Big

News! Launching the Procrastination Domination Starter Kit, $47. If you

want to buy it right now, $27. Special Introductory offer, $27, click here

to buy now.” That just took them to an order form to buy it, and a lot of

people did that.

If you would like to get this for free, refer three friends. You’ll get the

Procrastination Domination Starter Kit for free. They get an e-book that I

wrote called 365 Reasons to Write, and I get to triple my list. Fun for

everybody. So the people who selected that, they clicked on it, that click,

the first thing I did in Infusionsoft was make everybody, everybody on my

list a referral partner for a program I called Refer-A-Friend. Now this was

a referral program with no commission payout, no nothing. I just needed to

be able to track who came from whom.

Trent: Yeah.

Samantha: Okay, so that was the thing that happened, was everybody became a

referral partner without even them knowing it, and then in everybody’s e-

mail, their link was personalized with their affiliate code. Again, this is

part of the magic of Infusion software. It can do this for you.

So, they click on that, it takes them to a web form that pre-fills in their

name and e-mail address, and asks for their friend’s name and e-mail

address. And then the, okay, yes, please send this to my friend, this

person. Takes them to, normally you fill out the web form and it takes them

to a success page that says “Thanks so much for filling out our form” or

something like that.

The success page, however, was a second web form, almost a clone of the

first one, that said, “Please tell us friend number two’s name and e-mail

address,” submit. Please tell us friend number three’s name and e-mail

address. Submit. The final page had, “Here’s your free, here’s where to go

to get your free thing. Thank you so much.” I also sent them an e-mail that

said, “Here’s your free thing, just in case you didn’t get it from the

success page.”

Now, each of those three friends got an e-mail that said, “Hello, contact

first name, your friend, referring affiliate’s first name, thought you

might like this.” So, “Hey, Trent, your friend Samantha thought you might

like this information from the organized artist company,” and then they got

a little e-mail that said, “Hi, I’m Samantha Bennett, your friend so-and-so

put you on this thing, if you would like to join my list, you can get this

free, 365 Reasons to Write, just click here. If you don’t want to be on my

list, no pressure, you’ll never hear from me again. Don’t worry about it.

Trent: Very, very cool. Did those new people also go through the refer-a-

friend process?

Samantha: They didn’t. They could, I could put it on some kind of a loop. I

wouldn’t want to do it to them right away. I would probably want to keep

them on my list for a little while.

Trent: Yeah. Because I thought about that after I talked to you, after I

heard you explain this. I thought, well, why not make the same offer to

everyone that drops into your list? Why not say, “Hey, if you want to refer

one more person, I have an extra special prize for you, or reward, or

whatever, a piece of content, something.

Samantha: Yeah. You could absolutely, and there is actually two other

things that sort of kept it, kind of speak to what you’re saying. The, I

got e-mails from the people who were referring, the people who were already

on my list, saying well, I want a copy of the 365 Reasons to Write e-book,

too. Can I have what they’re getting? So, I included that for them as well.

So they got that bonus as well.

And at the end of the Procrastination Domination Starter Kit webinar, I

give them a link to a survey, a little three-second, three-question survey

that says, “What three words would you use to describe this webinar? Are

you very satisfied, satisfied, not that satisfied, Sam I hate you?” and

anything else you want to say, just an open text thing in case they want to

say anything else. And that, but their prize for filling out, so it’s take

this three-second survey and get another webinar called “I love money and

money loves me” that’s about creatives and making money.

So that also had, had two important things. One, it gave me feedback and

testimonials right away on a brand-new product. So I can say here’s what

people are saying about the Procrastination Domination Starter Kit,

illuminating, inspiring, fun, helpful, warm, intriguing, blah, blah, blah,

blah, blah. It gave them a second thing, which I’m happy to do, and again,

it gives me some idea about the level of engagement, and that was really,

in some ways, everything about that referral program, the thing that meant

the most to me was that people would do it at all.

I sort of haven’t thought about it until all of a sudden, these referrals

started coming in. I thought, how lovely. How sweet of them. Take the time

out of their lives, we were just talking about how an e-mail can just eat

your life. To take the time to actually think of three friends who might

like it, and send this out. It was really moving to me.

Trent: How much revenue did you generate from the referees, the people that

were referred to you? There’s approximately 650 of those people.

Samantha: There was 600 people referred, and about 150 of them ended up

joining my list.

Trent: Okay.

Samantha: Permanently. The rest of them, I deleted because I don’t have

permission to e-mail them. I have no idea what that number is.

Trent: Really? I would have thought you would have known that. All right.

There’s some portion?

Samantha: I’m sure some of them have bought something at some point. Yes.

Trent: Okay.

Samantha: Or if they haven’t, they will.

Trent: Yes. Absolutely. The point is that those leads were very easy for

you to acquire. You now have them, and have a relationship, or building a


Samantha: Right. The statistic I hear is that a referred client is 70% more

likely to close and will spend about 70% more with you.

Trent: Absolutely.

Samantha: That’s what the numbers I’ve heard out in the universe. I don’t

know if that’s true of those 120 people or not.

Trent: In my old business, absolutely that was true. I had an offline

business. I always met with the people. I knew that data pretty accurately.

Our biggest customer ever, they were a referral from another customer. That

particular customer paid us more than two times per month of our previously

bigger customer. Without the referral, never would have gotten them. Not a


Samantha: Never would have had them. Again, it’s just like all

relationships. To make a new friend, to have a blind date, I’m so much more

interested if you say, ‘Oh my gosh. Wait until you meet my friend Trent.

You are going to love him. He’s so smart and funny and charming. You are

just going . . . ” Okay. Great. That sounds great.

Trent: Yeah.

Samantha: As opposed to somebody that comes cold. It takes time. This

organic search thing takes time. This building a dedicated list takes time.

I would rather have something that takes longer and goes deeper, than

something fast that burns out. That’s me.

Trent: Samantha, you have been an absolutely fascinating guest to have on

my show. I want to thank you so much for making the time and sharing all

this with us. I never want to put anyone on the spot while I’m recording

the interview, but I sure hope . . .

Samantha: I’ll do it. I’ll do it.

Trent: All right. Awesome. There you go. There is a master class soon to be

available. We will schedule that as soon as we hang up.

Thank you everyone for listening. It’s my privilege to have the opportunity

to interview so many really smart people like Samantha, and get a free

education myself. I hope that you find inspiration in these. If you do, and

you have feedback that you’d like to give, please do get in touch with me.

You can find me on Twitter or the comments under the forum. It’s not hard

at all to get a hold of me. Use the contact form on any of my sites.

We will see you again soon. I guess you will see me again soon, because I

can’t see you, here on Bright Ideas. We will have some more. I’ve got just

some amazing guests coming up, founders. I’ve got this one guy coming up.

He’s got this hot sauce company, does $7 million a year in sales. This is

like the world record hot sauce. I got another guy coming up who’s the

founder of V-worker. He’s doing $11 million a year with his show. Not his

show, his site. It’s just awesome. I love doing this stuff.

Thanks everyone for tuning in. I look forward to having you back soon. Take


If you want to get the show notes for today’s episode, just go to The other thing I want to tell you about is if you go to, you are going to get access to my massive

traffic tool kit. This tool kit is chalked full of the very best traffic

generation ideas that have been shared with me by previous guests on the

show. The great thing about all the ideas that have been shared in the tool

kit is that you don’t have to be some kind of SEO guru to be able to do

this stuff.

Go check it out. Just enter your e-mail on the page. It’s That’s it for this episode. I’m your host,

Trent Dyrsmid. Want to ask you a small favor, if I can. If you love this

episode, please head over to iTunes, and give it a 5 star rating. Also,

leave a little feedback comment. Every time you do that, the show gets a

little higher in the rankings on the iTunes store. More and more people

find the show. Therefore, we can spread all these great bright ideas with

even more and more entrepreneurs out there in the business community.

Thank you so much. Thanks for tuning in. We’ll see you in the next episode.

Here are some of the things you’ll discover in this episode:

How to Increase Web Traffic with Marketing and Sales Automation via Infusionsoft

Samantha Bennett, an artist by nature, has created an online business that has gained her recognition in the world of online marketing. She was a finalist for the Infusion Ultimate Marketer Award in 2010. Her unique referral strategy has allowed her to boost her business by more than 10% in just four days. This level of growth for any business is almost unheard of, until now that is.

Listen to this episode to learn just what Samantha did to grow her business phenomenally in four days.

Emails are very much ingrained in the marketing strategies of any business. Your online business will either thrive or perish with how you manage to engage your customers through email. Samantha has developed her very own customer engagement strategy that has allowed her to achieve high levels of “open rates” on the emails that she sends.

Listen to the show to learn what Samantha wrote in her emails and just what she does to compel people to open them.

With the strategies that she has developed and employed herself, Samantha has managed to grow her earnings from $50,000 the previous year to well over 6 figures this year. She has even sent a single email that has generated $120,000 in revenue. These numbers are impressive. If you want to find out more about how Samantha increased her earnings, listen to the show and hear her explain her methods and her strategies.

Before her success as an online marketer and entrepreneur, she was predominantly an artist (writer, actress) with no real background on business and computers. Since she discovered that she had the knack for helping other artists out with their works, she has spent most of her time working on that aspect of her business. It is inspiring to hear what she has done to build her business with nothing but Infusionsoft and a strong desire to succeed.

Listen to the show to find out how Samantha started out with no savings and no training to create a thriving business one tiny step at a time.

Customer engagement and response is really crucial to the success and development of a brand or business. When you send out emails to your target customers, you want them to respond positively by having them click to your site or sales page, having them forward the email to their friends or even having them refer your site or offers to their friends. Listen to the show to find out how Samantha got an avalanche of response to her emails.

If you are running and marketing an online business, it goes without saying that you need to market to people who are interested or who will be interested in what you are offering. Samantha has successfully done this with the help of a customer database management system, in her case Infusionsoft. Listen to the show and learn just how she automated a system that kept her emails out of the trash bin allowing her to get a high open rate and response rate.

With all the distractions in today’s modern world, a typical person or potential customer will usually forget your business in 36 hours. Your goal as an entrepreneur then is to maintain your potential customers’ attention long enough to create a relationship.

Listen to this episode to learn what Samantha does in this crucial time period to create a lasting relationship with her potential customers.

It’s all already been said. Just not by you.

Many online entrepreneurs think that it is mainly a numbers game. They think that the size of the mailing list alone is enough to ensure success. Samantha knows through experience that this is not the case. She has found a way to gain more targeted potential customers and increase her conversion rate by over 100%.

Business is a relationship between the entrepreneur and the clientele. It is your responsibility as business owner to keep a relationship going with your clientele. Samantha shares her views on this relationship and her thoughts on just what it takes to be a successful marketer and communicator.

Samantha is a great communicator and artist. In the interview, she shares how she acquires leads easily and build lasting relationships in ways that encourage referrals. Listen to the show to learn more about her highly effective super referral strategy that allowed her to grow her business by 10% in 4 days.

As a bonus, Samantha also generously shares a piece of advice that has allowed her and many of her students to achieve jaw-dropping results with their art and other projects.

Listen to the episode to learn Samantha’s best secrets.

About Samantha Bennett

49kb-BennettOriginally from Chicago, Samantha Bennett is a writer, actor, teacher and creativity/productivity specialist who has counseled hundreds of artists on their way to success.

The author of the surprisingly popular book of poems, “By The Way, You Look Really Great Today,” Samantha is currently writing “The Organized Artist Book: A Success Book For Creative People Who Want To Be More Organized And Organized People Who’d Like To Be More Creative.”