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

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

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

Listen to this interview and you will hear:

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

..And so much more!

Links Mentioned

More About This Episode

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Scott: Correct.

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

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

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

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

Trent: That does not sound like the American dream.

Scott: That wasn’t too fun.

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

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

Trent: Not a lot of fun.

Scott: No.

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

Scott: About five and a half million.

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

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

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

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

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

Scott: Right.

Trent: What year did you start using InfusionSoft?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Scott: It’s the real deal.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Trent: Please do.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Scott: Currently we’re using Certona.

Trent: How do you spell that?

Scott: Pardon.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Scott: Other than just using it.

Trent: Nothing’s popping to mind.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Scott: No. We’re not.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Scott: Sure.

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

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

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

Scott: Very good.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Scott: Right now?

Trent: Yes.

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

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

Scott: My email is

Trent: That’s Trainz with a Z.

Scott: Right.

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

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

Trent: No problem at all.

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

Trent: Thank you so much. Take care.

Scott: Thank you.

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

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

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

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

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

About Scott Griggs

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

And so much more!

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

Links Mentioned

More About This Episode

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

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

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Connect with Trent Dyrsmid:


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Trent: In Infusionsoft?

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

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

Trent: No one would know.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Andy: Thanks, Trent. It was my pleasure.

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

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

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

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

About Andy Michaels

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

…And so much more!

Links Mentioned

More About This Episode

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

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

Listen Now

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Connect with Trent Dyrsmid:


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Dustin: Wow.

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

Dustin: Absolutely.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Trent: Wow.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Dustin: Exactly.

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

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

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

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

Trent: And what is that irresistible offer look like?

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

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

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

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

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

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

Dustin: Exactly.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Trent: Yeah.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Dustin: Yes.

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

Dustin: Everyone can benefit from Joe Polish absolutely.

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

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

Trent: Yeah.

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

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

Trent: Wow.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Dustin: Yes.

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

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

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

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

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

Trent: And are you using QuickBooks online?

Dustin: We are. So there’s an actual…

Trent: Okay.

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

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

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

Trent: Yeah.

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

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

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

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

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

Dustin: Yeah.

Trent: Favorite business book.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Trent: You’re very welcome. Take care.

Dustin: Thank you.

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

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

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

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

About Dustin Burleson

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

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

Bob Burg on The Five Laws of Stratospheric Success

Are you a go getter? Do you want more out of your life than you are currently achieving, but aren’t sure exactly what to change?

If you are, you are not alone.

In this episode of the Bright Ideas podcast my guest on the show today is Bob Burg, co-author of the best selling book, The Go Giver, a TheGo-Giverbook that I so thoroughly enjoyed that I bought 10 extra copies to give to all my closest friends. This was one of the better business books that I’ve ever read.

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

  • The five stratospheric laws of success
  • The importance of each law with specific examples of how to implement it
  • How sales skills and techniques work in concert with the laws
  • How being an author has created huge opportunities for Bob
  • How he converts his site’s traffic into customers using Infusionsoft
  • How to use marketing automation to score your leads
  • How to use lead scoring to segment your list automatically

And so much more…

Links Mentioned

Mike Michalowicz interview

More About This Episode

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

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

Listen Now

Leave some feedback:

Connect with Trent Dyrsmid:

About Bob Burg

BurgHeadshot2010Bob Burg is a sought-after speaker at corporate conventions and for entrepreneurial events. He has addressed audiences ranging in size from 50 to 16,000 — sharing the platform with notables including today’s top thought leaders, broadcast personalities, Olympic athletes and political leaders including a former United States President.

Although for years he was best known for his book Endless Referrals, over the past few years it’s his business parable, The Go-Giver (coauthored with John David Mann) that has captured the imagination of his readers.

It shot to #6 on The Wall Street Journal’s Business Bestsellers list just three weeks after its release and reached #9 on BusinessWeek. It’s been translated into 21 languages. It is his fourth book to sell over 250,000 copies.

Bob is an advocate, supporter and defender of the Free Enterprise system, believing that the amount of money one makes is directly proportional to how many people they serve. He is a founding and current board member of Club 100, a charitable organization focused on helping underprivileged local area youths. A lover of animals, he is a past member of the Board of Directors for Safe Harbor, which is the Humane Society of Jupiter, Florida.


3 Ways to Capture More Leads

Are you struggling to increase your firm’s revenue? Are you losing out on price? Do you still ask your sales reps to make cold calls to prospects?

If so, you are not alone. In fact, the vast majority of small business owners really struggle when it comes to lead generation.

If you want to experience predictable revenue growth in your agency or small business, you are going to need to master the second step of Lifecycle Marketing: Capturing Leads.

In today’s post, I’m going to share with you 3 lead generation ideas that you can immediately put to use in your business.

Way #1: Use a Squeeze Page

A squeeze page is nothing more than a page that (ideally) has just one call to action – although some companies do leave other navigation options in place.

In the case of, our squeeze page has a single call to action: enter your email to get a copy of our Massive Traffic Toolkit.

Lead Generation Ideas

In the case of Iron Tribe Fitness, they have actually created an entirely separate site, called


In both cases, the main function of the page is to capture the contact information of the visitor so that you can begin to nurture them towards becoming a buyer.

While I don’t have access to the conversion statistics for Iron Tribe, I can tell you the page above is (currently) the #1 source of new email addresses for Bright Ideas.

How to Make a Squeeze Page

Use a Theme: If you are using WordPress, you have several options for creating squeeze pages. The first, is to pick a theme that supports them. A theme that I use for this is called Pagelines (affiliate link). The reason that I like this theme is that a non-technical user (me!) can eliminate the navigation bar, head, footer, and sidebars just by unchecking a box within the page settings.


Use a Plugin: If you already use a theme that you like and you don’t want to go through the pain of switching, then I’d suggest you use the Instabuilder (affiliate link) plugin for WordPress.

The beauty of the Instabuilder plugin is that you can create a fully optimized landing page regardless of which theme you are using. To turn any page into a landing page, all you need to do is to configure the Instabuilder pages settings as I’ve shown in the screenshot below.

This is an extremely powerful plugin that comes with all sorts of pre-made templates, so if you aren’t sure exactly what to create, they’ve made it really easy for you to get started.


Once you have selected all your settings, the landing page will be ready to go. In the screenshot below is a page that I created for Liz and I’s wedding invitation. As you can see, this page has no navigation and even some Facebook integration. All of this was made possible by the Instabuilder plugin.


Way #2: Use a Pop Up

Say what you want about pop-ups, but the truth remains – they work.

On the Bright Ideas site, we are using a plugin called Pippity (affiliate link) for our pop up. Popup Domination (affiliate link) is another very popular plugin that you may want to have a look at.

Here at Bright Ideas, our Pippity popup is virtually tied with our squeeze page for the number of leads we capture.

The reason that I like Pippity is because it allows me to create plenty of different versions of the popup. The best converting version (so far) is the one you see below.


In addition to allowing me to create more than one version, Pippity also gives me conversion stats and allows me to split test on versions against another.

Speaking of split testing…

Way #3: Split Test to Improve Results

Now that I’ve shown you two ways to easily capture more leads, I want to touch on something that you’d be foolish to avoid, and that is split testing.

Virtually every time I’ve created a squeeze page, I’ve been able to increase my conversion rate substantially by split testing one version against another.

For example, on the home page, I used to have a video displayed where the big yellow box is. Intuitively, I thought that video, due to its (supposed) increased level of engagement, would have the best conversion rate possible.

split-testing-results-bi-home-pageI was wrong!

Once I split tested the static image of the box, along with subtle changes to the copy, I realized that the second version of the landing page had a conversion rate that was nearly twice what I was getting from my original attempt.

While video does have terrific engagement, using it for this particular squeeze page was ineffective. Had I not been split testing, I would have never discovered this huge opportunity.

To put this in perspective, to achieve the same increase in optins, I would have had to nearly double the traffic to the home page, which without using paid traffic, would not be easy to do!

Hey, thanks for the info. Now what?

If you need any help with content creation, we have tons of free resources to get you over the hump. Please subscribe to this blog to ensure that you never miss an article.

Have questions or comments? Please contact me.

If you really enjoyed this post, please help us to spread the word by clicking one of the social media sharing buttons.

Thanks so much!

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Are You a Follow Up Failure?

What do you traditionally do with the leads that you capture? I am assuming that most of you will call them or send them an email. If they don’t respond, you will call them again or send them another email. If they don’t respond again, you will probably call them again or send them another email.

Now, here’s the real question. What do you do next? Because, if you are like most small business people, you stop trying to contact the prospect and it ends up in the trash. Do you realize how much business you potentially throw away every single day? Imagine the impact on your business if you could convert an extra 10% of the leads that go in the trash.

Have you ever wondered why it’s so important to nurture your prospects?

followupstats-1It’s because 81% of your sales happen after you make seven or more contacts to your prospects. Seven contacts! How many of you can honestly tell me you attempt to make seven or more contacts to your prospects.

Please don’t feel bad because 85% of the time, we stop after 1 to 2 contacts.

Have you ever wondered the cost of not making the additional 4 to 5 contacts to each of your prospects?

Here is a very good example that will help identify the cost of not nurturing.

Let’s say you do a campaign to 10,000 people. This could be by email, direct mail, etc. Out of those 10,000 people, 100 people say they are interested in your product or service. Out of those 100 people, 10 people end up buying your product or service.

I’m assuming many of you would be thrilled by closing 10% of the people that were interested in your product or service.

10customersThe question I always like to ask is: what happens to the other 90 responders? Most of them fall through the cracks, have zero follow-up, or will end up buying from your competitors.

In other words, most of these 90 responders will end up in the trash.

What if, on the other hand, you had a way to easily stay in touch with them? What if it was automated?

What if this system allowed you to convert 15, 20, or 25 people instead of just 10? How much of an impact do you think all that extra profit would have on your business?

25customersIt would be huge, wouldn’t it?

That’s what I’m talking about! If you aren’t systematizing the lead nurturing process, you could be leaving thousands, or tens of thousands of dollars of profit on the table…for someone else’s business to grab.

Now, that’s just not good business!

As you can see, the key to great nurturing is with AMAZING follow up. This is where so many business people drop the ball. They are great at making lots of contacts and connections but they lack the skills necessary to follow up properly.

This is why most business people need a specific campaign or path to follow to deliver the right follow up.

Three Basic Follow Up Campaigns

There are three basic follow up campaigns that will help most businesses.

  • New Lead Campaign – to be used when you capture a new lead and want to nurture them until they are ready to buy
  • New Customer Campaign – to be used after a customer purchases your product or service so you can work on repeat sales, up-sales and referrals
  • Long-Term Nurture Campaign – to be used for those people that aren’t really interested in your product or service but you still want to follow up with them over a period of time.

If you’re curious what one of these campaigns looks like, please take a look at the diagram below.

Screenshot from Infusionsoft's Campaign Builder

Screenshot from Infusionsoft’s Campaign Builder

This is a typical lifecycle marketing campaign. Starting on the left, you can see how this company plans on attracting traffic to their business. They plan on doing this through blogging, Facebook, their website and organic marketing.

They will be offering something free as their lead magnet.

They will then enter the customer into a new lead campaign that will send information about their product or service to educate the customer until they are ready to purchase.

From here, either the customer purchases the product or service online or they will be added to a long term nurture that will provide them consistent information until, sometime in the future, they will hopefully be ready to purchase a product or service.

Once they make the purchase online they are entered into a new customer campaign which will provide them with information to encourage repeat sales and to upsell them on other products and services.

As you can see, this campaign is a easy (and easy to replicate) follow up system. Best of all, we do all of this automatically!

What does this mean for small business owners?

It means you get to spend less time on worrying about your marketing and more time working on growing your business.

It means that emails, white papers, videos, etc. are sent out to the right people at the right time without you thinking about it.

It means that fewer of your leads will fall through the cracks and more of your prospects will become customers.

It means that you are generating the maximum amount of sales from each of your customers and generating the amount of referrals necessary to reach a higher level of success.

Doesn’t this sound like the kind of business you always dreamed of owning? With an automated follow up system like Infusionsoft, this can become your reality.

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Digital Marketing Strategy: How Laura Roeder Used Infusionsoft to Achieve an 8x Revenue Increase in Just Two Years

Would you like to fire all your clients and completely re-invent your business if doing so was going to give you more freedom and more profits?

Would you like to use content marketing to attract new customers?

That is exactly what Laura Roeder did.

Two years ago, Laura was a web designer, working from home earning just shy of $100,000. Today, her company is doing just over $1M, she has four employees, and she runs her company while traveling the world.

Suffice to say, she’s got a lot more freedom (and money) today than she did two years ago – thanks largely to a shift in her strategy and the use of Infusionsoft.

In this episode of the Bright Ideas podcast, Laura is going to share with me exactly how she made the transformation. In our discussion, you will hear the two of us talk about:

  • how to create business fame and why it’s so important
  • how to garner the attention of major media outlets
  • her (very successful) guest posting strategy
  • how she attracted so many people to write for her blog
  • how and why she repurposes much of her content
  • how she’s built her team of superstars
  • how content marketing has played a huge role in her traffic generation
  • her business model and the software she’s using to run it
  • how she determines which courses to create and how she creates them
  • how she is working towards being more metrics driven
  • how she is using Google analytics and Kiss metrics to help her make better decisions
  • her favorite blogs
  • her favorite book
  • and so much more….

More About This Episode

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

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

Watch Now

Download and Listen Later

Leave some feedback:

Connect with Trent Dyrsmid:

About Laura Roeder

roederLaura Roeder is a social media marketing expert who teaches small businesses how to become well-known and claim their brand online.

She is the creator of LKR Social Media Marketer and Creating Fame and author of Facebook Fame: The Facebook Marketing Bible For The Small Business.


Digital Marketing Strategy: How Yvonne Halling Used Infusionsoft to Double Her Revenue in 12 Months

Do you ever look at tools or technology for your business and think, I would love to have it, but I can’t afford it?

Do you feel like you have what it takes to make your business grow, yet, growth is still eluding you, or you are working way to hard to get it?

If you answered yes to either of these questions, you are not alone.

In this episode of the Bright Ideas podcast, I’m joined by Yvonne Halling, owner of the Les Molyneux bed and breakfast in Champagne, France, and recent winner of Infusionsoft’s best in class for customer service award. After seeing that a B&B had been recognized by Infusionsoft for excellence, I just had to find out what Yvonne was doing that was so unique.

Don’t forget to check out our post Ontraport vs. Infusionsoft for comparisons and analysis.

In her and I’s discussion, you are going to hear us talk about:

  • how she doubled her revenue in just 12 months after beginning to use Infusionsoft
  • how she is using marketing automation to sell more to her guests once they’ve booked a room
  • how she is getting a top trip advisor rating from virtually every guest without having to take the time to ask
  • the ONLY two key activities that she now focuses on in her business
  • how her success lead her to create an entirely new business that provides coaching to other bed and breakfast owners
  • which two books radically altered her thinking a few years ago
  • how her new belief system is actually what lead to all the success she is experiencing
  • the content that she’s put on her site that has increased engagement with her clients exponentially
  • and so much more

It really doesn’t matter if you run a B&B or not, this interview is packed with golden nuggets that will benefit any entrepreneur who is struggling to do it all themselves.

Regardless of where you are at in the process of growing your own company, this interview is one you can’t afford to miss. Trust me.

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.

Watch Now

Download and Listen Later

Leave some feedback:

Connect with Trent Dyrsmid:

About Yvonne Halling

I’m Yvonne Halling and I YvonneHalling run a Bed and Breakfast business.  I’m currently in the heart of the Champagne region of France, and I welcome people from all over the world, helping them to discover the hidden gems of Champagne.

I opened my B&B business in 2001, before the internet!  How life has changed since then.  If you’ve been in this business for any length of time, you’re sure to be able to relate to that.  And if you’re new to the business, then you won’t know what it was like back in the day when communication was much more limited.

I believe we are lucky to have witnessed the explosion of communication channels, which can only be a force for good.  If we embrace the changes, then we will see what great opportunities lie ahead for us all.

The Bed and Breakfast business is in a unique position now to embrace online technology and add value to our local communities in a way that simply wasn’t possible 10 or even 5 years ago.  My philosophy is that as we welcome more and more people from diverse walks of life, we have the chance to learn about and understand more human beings, bringing value to our own communities and theirs, through the sharing of our knowledge.

My business philosophy is simple:  I bring in the guests, which means that I buy more bread from the local baker, buy more meat from the local butcher, bring diners to the local restaurant, bring buyers of champagne to the local producers, bring clients to local attractions, bring employment to my cleaners, gardener and book-keeper, and give business to the local laundry service.  I buy local produce wherever possible, which supports local business, and for anyone who I trust and who has something valuable to offer, I offer their products for sale at the B&B.

This is simply how, I believe,  all businesses must operate in the 21st century, rather than the relentless quest for more and more profit.

And the funny thing is that as soon as I had adopted this philosophy, more and more profit came to me, like magic!



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.

Watch Now

Download and Listen Later

Leave some feedback:

Connect with Trent Dyrsmid:


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
it. 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
it. 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.

365-blue-coverEmails 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.

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.”


How an Auto Mechanic Became a Millionaire Business Owner Using Advanced Marketing Tactics, Sales Automation, and Infusionsoft: A Case Study with Bob Britton

Would you like to learn time-tested marketing strategies you can use to market your business and brand to your customer?

Do you even know who your customers are and how to keep them interested in your business?

To discover how to create and grow successful businesses with the use of updated old school marketing methods in a high-tech business world, I interview Bob Britton in this episode of the Bright Ideas Podcast.

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 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 Bob Britton, owner of Pro Autocare, direct response specialist and winner of the prestigious Infusionsoft Ultimate Marketer Award of 2010.

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Download and Listen Later

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Connect with Trent Dyrsmid:


Trent: Hey, everybody. My name is Trent Dyrsmid. I’m the founder of In this interview, I am joined by a fellow by the name of Bob Britton, who got his start actually as an auto mechanic and then became an auto repair shop owner.This was an absolutely fascinating interview because he’s now got this auto repair shop, in addition to two other businesses, and this thing is doing just over $1 million a year. Most auto repair shops make 1% to 2% profit. Bob is doing over 25%, actually closer to 30% net profit and he hasn’t even been to his store in six months. How is that happening?There’s a whole lot of direct marketing, using Infusionsoft and really leveraging automated processes. In this interview Bob and I are going to go on to explain conceptually how he does that. I really encourage, if you have a business, that you feel like you’re working too hard to make the marketing happen and you’re working too hard to attract the customers to the business, or you’re just working too many hours, this is an interview you absolutely want to watch. Please join me in welcoming Bob to the show.

All right, Bob. Thank you so much for making some time to do this with me from your home office. It’s always a pleasure to have the opportunity to interview someone who has been as successful as you have. Welcome to the show.

Bob: Thanks for having me, Trent. It’s really great to be here today. I’m looking forward to it.

Trent: Very first thing I always want to do, I always want to give my audience a reason. They’re 30 seconds into this interview and they’re going, “Why am I listening to this? Who’s this guy? Why do I care?”

Bob: “Who’s this joker here?”

Trent: Yes, exactly. In the pre-interview you told me that you’ve actually built a pretty successful offline business and then you used a lot of online stuff to really make that business successful. Tell us really quickly, what is that business?

Bob: My core business that I started with is an auto repair shop. We fix cars. I used to be a mechanic years ago. I worked on cars myself. I kind of went from being the guy under the hood to a multiple business owner now. A lot of that success has been due to the help I got from using Infusionsoft to build my companies.

Trent: Think back, if you can., how much revenue are you doing and how many locations are there?

Bob: I had two locations at one point. I did downsize a couple of years or so ago into one location. I do about $1.1 million a year at that location. The thing that a lot of people don’t realize, that I’m very proud of, is I’ve got a three-bay operation. It’s got five total employees there. To do that kind of volume in that space is virtually unheard of in the auto repair space.

Net profits typically in an auto repair shop tend to be around one and 3% net profit. It’s not a very profitable thing. We typically run around 28% to 35% net profit. It’s not only huge volume, it’s supremely profitable. A lot of that is because the direct response marketing that I’ve used and Infusionsoft that goes along with it.

Trent: Wow. This is going to be an interesting interview. I’m looking forward to this. I notice that you’re not doing this interview at the auto repair shop. Do you go there every day?

Bob: I have not been to my repair shop in probably six months. I don’t go there on a daily basis. I have no need to. I have a general manager that takes care of the day to day operations. I do some things remotely. But in a weeks’ time I may spend a couple hours working on the repair shop stuff. Very little is required of me at this point.

Trent: Let me make sure I really understand what you’ve just said. You have a business that’s making about a $300,000 a year profit for you after everyone’s been paid and you haven’t been there in six months?

Bob: Yes. That’s correct. I take that back. I did stop in to get mail.

Trent: All right.

Bob: I don’t work there on a day to day basis.

Trent: Alright, folks. If you’re not hooked on listening to this interview now, I don’t know what we’re going to be able to say to get you interested. I want to get into the auto business now.

Bob: Oh, no you don’t. I have since learned there’s a lot easier ways to make money.

Trent: Yes, probably. Probably there is. Maybe you could interview people for a living and put all the interviews on a website?

Bob: You could do that.

Trent: You could do that. I’ve got to make some notes to myself so I can keep asking interesting questions. $1.1 million and $300,000 net. Let’s go back. The people who are going to be most interested, I hope, in listening to this interview are maybe people who have a business that they don’t feel like they’ve got their marketing figured out yet.

Back when I was running my tech company, lead generation was God-awful, customer acquisition was brutal. We were sitting, cold calling all day long. It wasn’t a lot of fun. It was exhausting. It was ultimately one of the reasons why I sold the business. It just was so hard to get customers.

Since I’ve started to learn about direct marketing and not just the concept of it, I always knew about that, but since I started to learn about the specific tactics and tools, it’s getting a whole lot easier to get customers. Let’s go back, pre-Infusionsoft, just for a few minutes and talk about how did you get customers. I want to see if people can relate to the situation you were in.

Bob: I was in a really unique situation. You’re not going to believe it, but I swear everything I’m going to tell you totally is true. I was in my 20’s. I had very big ambitions about being my own business owner, running my own company. My wife and I, a new baby came along kind of unexpectedly, so my ambitions got siderailed. I took a job working as a mechanic literally just to make ends meet.

I had never actually even grew up knowing the difference between an import and a domestic car. I saw an ad in a paper one day and I’m like, “I need a job”. It was an ad for auto repair and I said, “You know what, I could do that job”. I went and applied for the job. I went out to the library that night and checked out every book I could find and read them all in the next few days. I went and got the job.

Six months later, I was working as a manager of the store. Six months after that I was a certified master technician and I worked about eight years under the hood, fixing cars. It was some tough times but it was enough to put food on the table and take care of my young family. It was a growing family at the time.

Along the fax machine one day came this fax. I was working for another owner and I happened to see it. It was talking about how to really explode and get a load of customers for your auto repair shop. I knew I wanted my own business. I knew I was planning that so I kept that paper. I set it aside.

Trent: You stole his fax?

Bob: He didn’t want it. He was going to throw it out.

Trent: Okay.

Bob: He said, “That’s garbage”. I ended up doing a deal with that owner. It was a horrible deal. It was the biggest mistake I ever made in my life. I didn’t understand the terms and conditions of what I signed for, but making a long story short I bought a business that was just about out of business, doing total gross volume of around $20,000 a month for a $1 million dollars. I personally signed on.

The problem was that didn’t include any real estate. It didn’t have any employees there other than myself. I basically bought myself a job for $1 million. I didn’t come to that realization, obviously, until a few years later after paying the bills and trying to grow that company.

There’s that old saying that “If it doesn’t kill you it makes you stronger”. I lived that. I lived it in a very personal way. I went from basically turning wrenches myself, having to put a huge amount of money to the old owner to pay that debt and grow that company at the same time. It wasn’t in a good location and it didn’t have a good reputation in the community. But I dove into direct response marketing. I went and spent tens of thousands, probably hundreds of thousands by today.

In my own education, just really learning what the heck is this direct response stuff and what can it do for my business, I took that single store and grew it to two locations, started doing several millions of dollars in volume in about five, six, seven years. That was a direct result of learning direct response marketing, learning how to get people to come in. That was mostly done with direct mail.

At the time, Google wasn’t really out there yet. Infusionsoft wasn’t even around yet. I was old school by any stretch of the imagination. That stuff still works today and I still use a lot of that stuff. But with the tools that are out there today, it’s a whole new ball game.

Trent: Back then, you basically just, I’m assuming, bought databases or lists of people that were probably in your geographic area, blanketed them with mail so they knew you existed. When they showed up at the store you made sure they had the best possible experience and then you probably kept in touch with them with mail again afterward?

Bob: I wish it was that simple. In a nutshell, yes. That’s what we were supposed to do. Unfortunately, I had hired the wrong people. I had some tough lessons there to learn about hiring the right and wrong people. I hired the wrong people. I drove in an avalanche of customers. We had tons of people coming in and they burned them right back out again. I called them the ‘churn and burn’.

That was another valuable lesson there, about having the right people behind your team, learning how to find the right people and manage them accordingly. I did make a lot of mistakes there, some very painful ones, but the end result was I learned some really powerful lessons in a very short time frame. It gave me a lot of strength moving forward to do new opportunities and new ventures.

Trent: Yes, no kidding.

Bob: Yes, you’re right. I did a lot of direct mail, bought lists of what I would consider my ”A” client, the people that fit my profile the best, that would allow me to make a good profit and all that.

Trent: Let’s dive into that for a moment. Customer profiling is so important. I know for me, when I was running my company, I was frightened to be too focused. I thought, “If I get really focused on just this one type of customer, what about all those other people? I won’t be speaking to them”.

In hindsight, I think I was a dimwit because that’s exactly what I should have done, was get really focused on that one customer. How did you figure out who your one customer was going to be? When I say “one customer” I don’t mean one person, obviously, I mean this profile.

Bob: Actually, in auto repair it boiled down real simple: there are a certain number of people that walk in, they throw you the keys, you have their credit card on file and they say, “Bob, just fix it”. They don’t want you to bother them during the day. What I did is I went through my database of customers and I had a handful of those people. I liked to call them my advocates. These are people that love me, trust me, no matter what I said, they just buy it.

It’s not a hassle. They allowed me to be profitable. I took really good care of them. I gave them everything I could. I would think up new things to give them to keep them happy. What I did was I analyzed those people based on their income, where did they live, those types of things.

I built this picture of an “A” client. I went and bought lists of people that matched that criteria. Lo and behold, we got a successful business. The formula is not that complicated, but getting all the pieces together is sometimes going to be a little crazy. That’s what we do.

Trent: Where’d you learn that? Was there a book?

Bob: I learned that from Dan Kennedy. I learned that from being around direct response marketers. I got involved with a mastermind group at a young age. Thank the Lord above that I did because I was able to really accelerate my understanding with that.

Trent: Let’s talk about that for a minute because I’m a big believer in masterminding. I’ve been a participant of masterminds in the past. I’ve launched my own masterminds. I’m getting ready to relaunch my mastermind. Tell me, why do you think being in a mastermind is such a good thing?

Bob: You don’t know what you don’t know. In the simplest terms, that is the absolute reason you need to be in it. I’ll give you a quick story. This is the power of a mastermind. I’m struggling to grow this business. I’m deeply in debt. I’m charged up to the wazoo on my credit cards and I needed a loan. I knew that if I didn’t get this loan I was going to be in some deep trouble.

I went to the bank, they said “No”. I had made one late payment on my mortgage. It was just over 30 days late. It was a black mark on my credit. It was the only black mark, but they would not loan me any money because of it. I was kind of embarrassed about that.

I look back now and I can smile. At the time, it was a really big deal to me. I was really upset about it. I was involved in this mastermind group. I was committed to it. I flew out. The meeting was whatever, but I was having lunch with this guy. We were sitting there and I was struggling with this in my mind and I was worried about it. The conversation came up so I said, “I’m just going to let the guard down. I’m just going to be honest”.

I told this guy what was happening and he goes, “You know, Bob, why don’t you just call them up and ask them to remove it?” I went, “What? They’ll do that?” He goes, “Yes. It happened for me. Just call them. You have a good payment record. Just call and ask them to remove that. Tell them your situation and see what they do.” It never occurred to me, ever, that I could call the creditor and that they would even consider doing that. That little piece of information twisted my head and I went, “Okay”. I went home and called them.

Sure enough, they removed it, got the loan, boom. I was rocking and rolling. All of that changed because I was in an environment with other entrepreneurs and other business people who have been through and around these types of things. It made all the difference in the world. That’s just one example that I can think of. I could give you 100 more. We could talk all day about it. The power is in other people’s perceptions.

Trent: We could go on and on. I’m sometimes known for hijacking my own interviews and telling my own stories. I’m going to refrain. I’m not going to do it. No. What were you paying, though, for this mastermind, to be a part of it?

Bob: Ten thousand dollars a year was the cost of that one, plus airfare and hotel, meals and so on. I look back now and I did not have the money. I mean, I had to scrape up the money together, every dime I had to get to those things and be part of that. Oh my God. If I hadn’t done I know for a fact I would still be either turning wrenches or slaving away at some repair shop and not where I am today.

Trent: Chances are you wouldn’t have got that loan. If you didn’t get that loan…

Bob: Who knows? I would have gone bankrupt.

Trent: All right. You’ve been doing this direct marketing. This is all pre-Infusionsoft. Back then. Let me guess, lots of moving parts, lots of manual processes, lots of work and things falling through the cracks. Am I kind of painting a reasonably accurate picture?

Bob: I don’ think you’re painting it as painful as it actually was. We were doing a lot of direct mail. I do multi-step sequence mailings to get people to respond. It was our most successful thing. I think you can imagine. Let’s say you get a list of 3,000 people. This is a real world example.

You divide that up and let’s say we divide that into 1,000 each. We’re going to mail it and 1,000 people get letter number one. Two weeks later those same people get letter number two. Another two weeks later they get letter number three. I called it my three step letter. Each letter is specific to that person. It has a specific expiration date and it’s always the same for those people. You get a letter and it says this expires six weeks from now. That’s letter number one.

Letter number two: “Hey, it’s still six weeks from now”. It’s very, very powerful marketing. That’s cool. That itself is pretty complicated to make sure the right person is getting the right letter at the right time. Now, what if you wanted to do multiple mailings at the same time? There’s a two week window. What if I decided we’re going to mail out this letter, letter number one, to this 1,000.

Week number two, in between, we’re going to take the second part of that list and mail them letter number one. We started multi-stepping these things. We had calendars going, I had assistants to try and track this stuff and make sure it all went right. I’ll tell you what, it didn’t always go right. It screwed up a lot.

Trent: I’m seeing landmines all over the place here.

Bob: The process was a nightmare. I tried to outsource a couple of times with minimal success. A lot of times, even the mailing houses would screw it up or they wanted a lot of money to manage a campaign like this. It became the law of diminishing returns when you start doing that. We had some fun in the pre-Infusionsoft days.

Trent: You mentioned you had some assistants. In addition to your own time, you had labor costs associated with all of your hard costs of actually mailing these letters out?

Bob: Oh, yes. Yes, I did. She still works for me part-time. She was responsible to get all those mailings out.

Trent: Where I’m going with this is, for example, when I spoke with Janette Gleason the other day, folks, if you don’t know who she is she’s another interview that I’ve done so look for that interview on the blog, they, pre-Infusionsoft, were spending $15,000 per month.

After Infusionsoft was deployed they were spending $1,500 per month and they tripled their revenue. Can you give me a sense of what was the spend before you put Infusionsoft in place? You probably had much higher labor, I’m guessing, than you did afterward?

Bob: Yes. There’s actually no comparison. I don’t have the exact numbers here but I can tell you it’s probably a third. My assistant was full-time with me at that point trying to manage all these. I gave you the example of the three-step letter campaign but we were doing follow-up mailings, new customer mailings, we were doing all kinds of different moving parts. There was a referral program that she would manage. Even with her working full-time, a lot of these pieces would break. If she took time off, some of the things didn’t get done.

After Infusionsoft I took all of those processes, put them into Infusionsoft for that business, I have 72 individual processes that work now. We’re doing my Infusionsoft app for that repair shop business, and I cut her time down to about five or six hours a week. That’s all she works now. She physically makes sure the stuff gets in the mail but she doesn’t have to know who gets what or when or keep track of any of that stuff. It’s all automatic and done with Infusionsoft.

Trent: All right. The audience is probably saying, “Enough with the old school. Let’s talk about what’s working today.” I just wanted to make sure people really understood the problem that Infusionsoft helps people to solve. In case anyone is curious, yes, I’m an Infusionsoft user as well. I’m a big advocate. As a matter of fact, that was one of the reasons why I started Bright Ideas.

Once I started using Infusionsoft in my business I thought, “Oh my God. If I would have known about this stuff back when I had my tech company” I don’t know when Infusionsoft was started, it was probably available in a more rudimentary form, but all I can say is, “Good Lord”. It would have been exponentially easier. Back then I wasn’t even building a list. I had a website with no opt-in form. Can you believe that?

Bob: I actually know that most businesses these days don’t. Even though it seems like we talk about this stuff all the time, if you stopped 100 people on the street that are business owners and said, “Hey, you got an opt-in form on your website?” They would be like, “What’s that?” This is the thing that really gets me excited, Trent. Anyone who is watching this, you are on the absolute bleeding edge of what I believe is the next revolutionary technology.

Not just Infusionsoft, but marketing automation, along with Infusionsoft, understanding these principles, will transform small businesses. It is going to have an enormous impact not just on small, but on small to medium businesses. It’s going to have an unbelievably huge impact. Those people who are going to take that technology and start to use it and run with it are going to be the next Bill Gates. That’s the impact this is going to have on the American and worldwide business community.

Trent: I couldn’t agree more. Again, that’s why I started Bright Ideas, because I wanted to interview guys like you who can say to my audience, “Look, this stuff works. This is how you do it”. Enough. Let’s get into it. Let’s talk about Infusionsoft. We’re going to need to do a master class, which is when we get into it way, way more details. I’m going to be all over you afterward about that.

Those are only available for my premium members and I’ll talk about that later. As best we can, let’s talk about the overview of the process. I call it the ‘life cycle of a lead’, from how you’re getting the lead, how it gets into Infusionsoft, what happens. We’re not going to go super granular and talk about action sets and campaigns because without seeing it on the screen people won’t have a clue what we’re talking about. But, conceptually.

Bob: Until you dive in there, I won’t go to that depth. You want to start with capturing leads?

Trent: Top of the funnel, yes.

Bob: Start with your website. Here’s the best gift I can give to anyone that’s watching this: 99.9% of the web designers out there don’t know anything at all about how to make money online. If they did, they would not be working building websites for $15.00 or $20.00 an hour or whatever they’re getting paid.

There is such an opportunity to make enormous amounts of money if your website is properly designed by somebody who understands direct response marketing, understands how to capture leads from the web. That is the foundation piece.

All this Infusionsoft stuff is kind of behind the scenes things that happen. It manages all these processes and it markets to your people and it can do all that stuff. If you don’t have a good lead generation thing to start with, that’s going to bring people in. I don’t care if that’s brick and mortar or online business. It’s the same for both. I’ll give you some statistics about that in a second. You’ve got to start with the foundation piece. It’s a properly designed, direct response website. There are almost none out there. That’s part one.

The top of the funnel, you’ve got a lead coming in from your website on an opt-in form or people are requesting more information. That information goes into Infusionsoft, triggers a response. They’re going to either get an email back or get physical mail back, a DVD, a CD, they’re going to get something from you. They’re going to get a phone call from a sales rep. All of those behind the scenes things can be managed through Infusionsoft, but that’s where it all starts.

Trent: Okay. I want to go a little deeper there because I know that 99% of the people who are listening to this are kind of going, “Well, how does that happen?” They fill out the form, name and email, they hit that Submit button. They get an email and it says, “Here’s your report” or whatever it was that you promised. That’s called a lead magnet, for anyone who’s wondering. That then creates a record in Infusionsoft, which is the software that you and I pay to use. Then what happens?

There’s all these processes that we can create to have them fire all on autopilot. Can you give me an example of how that works for you? You mentioned some things that I don’t do. I don’t do direct mail. I don’t mail CDs. I want to know how automated is that kind of thing?

Bob: It’s completely and totally automated. One of the things you can decide to do, a lead comes in, you can say, “Okay, send an email to a sales rep with this person’s information and have that sales rep call them”. You can have a fulfillment list that goes out to a mailing house that says, “Send this person this CD”. You can have a letter that goes out, a postcard, a voice broadcast where an automated call goes out to the person and says, “Hey, thanks for reaching out to us. We’re going to get back to you”. You can do so many different things.

It’s virtually only limited by your imagination. I just recently started playing around with text messaging. If somebody comes into my funnel I’m going to text them and see if I can get them to respond that way. We’re going to do some testing in that area. All of those things are part of this whole marketing system that you’re going to put together for your small business. It really is what makes the difference.

Trent: What I’m trying to get people to appreciate is that back when I had my business, the only marketing that I did was picking up the phone and making cold calls. If I wasn’t picking up the phone, and if I wasn’t making cold calls, there was no marketing happening. Every day that I went to work I had this panic feeling of, “There are no leads coming in. There are no leads coming in”. I hated cold calling with a passion because it was so ineffective.

Bob: Let me put this in perspective for anyone watching this. Forget about the new leads just for a second. It’s super important for every business. I can guarantee you that almost everyone watching this that’s in business right now has a stack of papers or business cards that they’ve collected that they know for a fact there is money sitting in that pile, but they haven’t followed up with those people.

What if you had an automated system that you didn’t have to do anything at all and it followed up relentlessly with those people, those new people, those contacts that you’d made, talking about your products, your services, educating them and giving them free stuff. What would happen? What would happen? Would you make more money?

I’ve never met anyone yet who is in business that doesn’t have that scenario. The reason is that in business you’re busy. The phone rings, you have this going on, there’s all these moving pieces. You, as the owner, are typically running around doing all of that stuff.

Sometimes those things fall through the cracks and that’s the power of having a system in place that works 24/7, never gets tired, never takes a day off, using and putting together all of these marketing sequences to make money and make sales for you. It may not be instant. It may be down the road. It seeds the list. It works the people and educates them for you, so you can continually just make sales.

Trent: That’s why your car repair shop makes so much money, because that’s happening all the time. Let’s go back to that. I know we’re both pretty excited about Infusionsoft and I don’t want people to listen to this interview and think, “Well, that was just one big Infusionsoft commercial”.

Bob: By the way, you can do this all without Infusionsoft. That’s a disclaimer right there.

Trent: It takes a lot more work. What is your website for your auto repair shop?

Bob: It’s

Trent: All right. If anyone is listening and they’re not driving their car, presumably they’ll punch up this. There you are.

Bob: You’ll recognize me right away. You’ll notice that it doesn’t look like an auto repair shop website.

Trent: No, it definitely does not. $200.00 at the top, which is your guarantee, you’ve got your contact info, okay. Walk me through. Someone comes to this site and where do you get most of your leads from on this site?

Bob: Two things. Right on the right column, you’ll notice that there’s an opt-in form for a free report. Also, it should pop up a banner at the bottom offering a free report as well.

Trent: There’s the “Make an appointment” button.

Bob: If you scroll down slightly on the right.

Trent: Free report: learn the seven deadly sins people make when choosing an auto repair store.

Bob: Interestingly enough, and anyone who’s in the internet marketing space would say, “How come you make them scroll to make them see the opt-in?” I’ve tested this. We used to have it right above the headline.

Trent: I was looking at it and going, “I don’t know about this”.

Bob: I tested it. It works better that way, believe it or not. We get more opt-ins on this particular one because the headline is so important. I’m driving a lot of traffic from pay per click and other places and they need to see the headline right away. Obviously, they see the banner. But the headline is very important as well.

Trent: It’s funny you mentioned the banner and I scrolled to the bottom of the page. I’m like, “What banner?” Then I just noticed the big orange banner across the bottom.

Bob: Yes, the other one. That’s the second opt-in that pops up.

Trent: People fill this in, they get a report. What happens next? Does it go by email? It must.

Bob: Yes. I deliver the free report by email. Obviously, we follow up and invite them in. We do a couple of other things. We offer them a discount to come visit us for the first time, so it gives them some incentive to visit us the first time. Here’s the thing that you should really take away from this, tracking is one of the big things we talk about in direct response marketing.

You’re not going to do anything if you can’t track it, which is why I love the web so much because it’s so easy to track everything. I know for an absolute fact that when people find my repair shop on the web, versus coming in any other way, that they spend almost three times more money. I started to look at that. Why would people be spending more when they come from online versus direct mail or other ways they come in? If you think about it, it makes total sense.

The people that are looking for repair shops online have a broken car. Something is wrong right now. This is the beauty of the web and getting all these pieces right. Back in the old day, when I was doing all that direct mail, I would have to front all this money, spend all this money to put the mail out then hope that somebody had a need and they would come in and take advantage of that offer. Now, this whole thing has been flipped upside down.

Somebody has a need right now, they’re looking for me. All I’ve got to do is not mess up the sale. I’ve got to convince them that we’re the best option for them to get their car fixed and it’s an immediate sale. They have a need, they find me and we’re golden. They see that website, I’m putting my money where my mouth is right away. This is the beauty of this whole thing, this whole internet marketing for small businesses. This is where it’s at. This is exciting stuff.

Trent: I’m willing to bet that the 99.99% of your competitors are completely and totally clueless.

Bob: Utterly clueless. I love going and looking at my competitors. I have competitors who are spending humongous amounts of money on pay-per-click advertising with Google ad words and other things. I know where they’re driving the traffic. I go there and I’m like, “These guys are just killing themselves and they don’t even know it.” They see me doing it so they’re doing it too, but their website is never going to convert anyone to buy ever.

Trent: They opt-in. They get the free report. You guys follow. I’m assuming you must have some sequences that include making a phone call. Do you get the phone number at some point in here?

Bob: It’s on the bottom of every email that comes in. Obviously, as soon as you opt-in an email actually goes from my service manager to you, inviting you to come in. He doesn’t send it, but Infusionsoft sends it for him. It actually drives you back to the web to make your appointment.

If you click the “Make an appointment” button, that’s an Infusionsoft web form that then follows up religiously with people once the appointment request is made. He will either call or email. He’ll email automatically from Infusionsoft but we’ll follow up with a phone call to get people to come in. All of those processes that are happening, you can see the front of it is the website. The whole behind the scenes stuff is Infusionsoft.

Trent: I notice you have a tab called “Internet coupons”. Does that work well?

Bob: It works very well. You’ll also notice that the coupons have an expiration date on them. If you look closely and come back tomorrow, you’ll realize that the expiration date is based upon 14 days from the day you view the page. We’re always timely.

Trent: Are you using iMember360 as the plug-in on that? Is this a WordPress site?

Bob: It is a WordPress site. I am using iMember360. I have a membership portal for my customer base there. They can log in, look at their invoices, it actually does up-sells within my membership portal.

Trent: How are you having the date automatically change? Is that just a bit of Javascript?

Bob: Yes. A little bit. Now, we’re getting granular. It’s a little Javascript that does that. That’s an important point from a marketer standpoint. You guys have probably seen this, anyone watching this. You go to a website and you see coupons and they’re expired or they’re out of date. Just that one little tweak and that’s an automation thing. Put a little bit of script in there, we’re able to keep the coupons fresh. I can update them if I want to. The expiration date puts a sense of urgency on the coupon.

Trent: There are a lot of lessons to be learned. You don’t need to be in the auto repair business. I hope that you’re realization that if you’re cutting hair or you’re a florist or you’re an accountant or whomever is running a brick and mortar business and you’re relying on just foot traffic to bring people to your business, there’s so much more that you could be doing, so much more. It’s not terribly expensive to do all this stuff.

Bob: You know what it takes, really? Getting around some people who are doing this stuff and they can show you how. That’s the big thing.

Trent: Back to the mastermind yet again.

Bob: Yes. It really is. Like we started out saying before, this stuff is so cutting edge that nobody knows this stuff. It’s not that many people. You can’t stop people on the street. It’s not common knowledge that this stuff even exists or how to put all the pieces together. I’ve had people come in to my group that have spend 10, 20, 30 thousand dollars on a website and it doesn’t make them a dime. They didn’t know that you could get this stuff done for a couple hundred bucks.

Trent: Are you still direct mailing where you’re just buying lists?

Bob: Absolutely.

Trent: Okay. How much are you spending per month on direct mail versus how much are you spending, I’m assuming you’re doing pay-per-click to drive traffic to your site?

Bob: I am.

Trent: How much on each of those two activities?

Bob: I spend about a grand a month on pay-per-click and I spend about maybe $1,200 on direct mail.

Trent: You said you track a lot of your stuff.

Bob: I track all my stuff.

Trent: How much revenue is coming, and it might be blurry because your direct mail is probably driving traffic to your site, right?

Bob: Well, it is, but it’s a specific offer with a coupon code so when they physically show up in my shop I know that they came from direct mail. I did one other thing, too, that we’re getting a little granular but I think it’s important because people like this. I did something that nobody had done before.

I don’t know that anybody has done it again. I tied Infusionsoft into my point –of-sale system at my repair shop. This point-of-sale, which is a computer, physically, sitting at my repair shop, at my service manager’s desk, is at night synchronized and all the data goes up into Infusionsoft by a special program link that I had created.

When I do all my direct mail now, that entire list is imported into Infusionsoft. There are no email addresses so it doesn’t violate any terms of use. You get a piece of direct mail from me, even if you don’t use the coupon code, you’re in Infusionsoft.

I had a special algorithm written so that the point-of-sale, when you show up at the shop, it says, “Hey, wait a minute. This guy lives at this address. He must have been direct mail. He’s a response to this direct mail”, even if you don’t use the coupon or the offer. I’m tracking it automatically based upon that, using that system.

Trent: Which is giving you the higher ROI: direct mail or pay-per-click?

Bob: It’s definitely pay-per-click, by probably 10 to 1 at this point. The last I looked, I haven’t looked in a while, I’ll be honest, at last look we were doing $45,000 a month in direct from my website and/or pay-per-click combined from the web.

Trent: It makes perfect sense because of what you said before. The pay-per-click is working because people have a problem with their car. They’re looking for a solution right now. Direct mail, you’re just farming. You’re planting seeds. “I’m in your neighborhood. When your car breaks down, think of me. Think of me. Think of me”. Again, that’s why the whole online part is just so incredibly effective. Are there any video customer testimonials? Are they anywhere in your sales funnel? Like, “Bob’s a great guy. I love the store. Blah blah blah”?

Bob: I do not have video but if you go to the testimonials page, there I have pages. I actually built a custom automated system for testimonial collection as well. When a customer picks up their vehicle there’s a nice thank you card that drives them back to the web to leave their remarks. When they do that, they can go right online and put that in.

It’s an Infusionsoft web form that then captures that information and automatically publishes it to my website upon my approval. I’m getting new stuff coming in. Again, the testimonials page is no longer a static thing, it’s constantly being updated by my customers.

Trent: Yes, there’s a gazillion of them on there.

Bob: There’s a gazillion on there, yes. In fact, every couple of days, sometimes there’s gaps, but every few days somebody puts one on there. It’s a great way to constantly have that happen.

Let’s go back to the beauty of Infusionsoft. Back in the day, somebody would send a testimonial in or leave one for us someplace and we’d have to write them a letter saying thank you and send them a little thank you card or whatever. Infusionsoft now automates that whole process.

If somebody fills out the thing it sends them a thank you. I do a little gift card that goes along with it as a thanks for their testimonial. I don’t have to do anything. Nobody has to do anything. It just happens.

Trent: Are you using send-out cards?

Bob: Yes.

Trent: Janette, she has it tied directly into Infusionsoft.

Bob: I do as well.

Trent: You do as well. I think somebody makes a third-party piece of software to do that. Is that correct?

Bob: That is correct. There are a couple of guys doing that now. It makes it real simple that Infusionsoft basically sends an email and they can get a gift card, greeting card, cookies, whatever you want to send. I do birthday gifts, greeting cards, cookies, that kind of stuff, all kinds of different things. Again, the sky is the limit. What your brain can conceive, you can get it done.

Trent: What percentage of your annual revenue comes from repeat customers versus new customers?

Bob: Repeat business is three-quarters of my business, three-quarters at least. It has to be that way, too. Otherwise I’m not doing something right.

Trent: Yes. I don’t want people to think that by hearing that they should just focus on their existing customers. People are always moving and dying. If you’re not bringing new blood into the fold then you’re dying as well. It’s important that you do both.

Bob: I think you do have to do both. Although, most of the time, as business owners, I do think we get caught up in new business, new business, new business and we forget that, actually, if we worked a little bit harder on getting more money out of our existing customers we would do really, really well. There is two really good targets right there.

There’s only three ways to build a business, right? Three and only three; you get more customers, you get each customer to buy more, so a higher transaction size. Then you get them to come back more frequently. Out of those three, 66%, now, the two, are dealing with existing customers, higher transaction size and more repeat business. I think it is a valuable target to go after the new customers and you definitely need to spend time there. It can be more profitable if you focus on those other two areas as well.

Trent: Bob, I want to talk a little bit more about, if you haven’t covered it already, your best strategy for getting repeat business from your customers. Then, if people want to get a hold of you, because I know that you’ve got an Infusionsoft mastermind and I want to give you an opportunity to talk a little bit about that. So, let’s go with those two and then we’ll wrap up.

Bob: The first one was what’s the best idea for getting repeat business?

Trent: Yes.

Bob: The best idea I’ve ever heard or came up with and developed was getting people to pay me in advance for my services. Here’s the thing that I’ve come to realize: we all, as business owners and human beings, actually, accept that there’s boundaries and limits based upon our own thinking. I think if you stopped 100 people on the street and said, “Would you ever consider prepaying for auto repair?” 99 out of 100 would say, “You’re out of your mind. I’m never going to do that.” I get a lot of people to do that.

The benefit to me is that I give them a lot of benefit for doing so. There’s a whole program that goes along with it. It’s a great sales pitch that I put together for it. It actually benefits them tremendously. They get the best price, the best discount all the time, all that kind of stuff. They’re prepaying me every month. Their credit card gets dinged for a set amount that we’ve agreed upon or they’ve opted-in for.

I have money rolling in before I even put the key in the door and open for day one of business at the first of the month. That is guaranteed locking them in to do business with me for as long as they stay in the program. I already have their money. It’s already been prepaid. It’s a great program. I think with a little bit of creative thinking and stretching your own assumptions of what people will or will not do.

Just about any business can come up with something that gets a cash flow system like that in place. In the info businesses we call that continuity. We want to add continuity coming in. I haven’t seen a business yet where we haven’t been able to come up with some way where we have that kind of thing. That’s one. That’s a higher level.

Trent: Can I interrupt you for just a moment? Something I want people to understand: I had a computer fixing business. We built continuity into that business and I was able to sell that business for $1.2 million when I was done. If I did not have that continuity, that business would not have been worth 10 cents because people who are wanting to buy a business, they want certainty. They want predictable cash flow.

If for no other reason other than your exit strategy, which is the time when it comes to sell your business, if you want to build value you have got to figure out some way to build continuity into your business. Sorry, I just could not go past it without hammering that point home.

Bob: Couldn’t resist that one, could you?

Trent: No. It’s so important.

Bob: The other thing you can do is never work in your business and it makes it a lot more valuable to an investor.

Trent: It does. They don’t like buying businesses that are all wrapped around one person. People don’t like that.

Bob: That’s very, very true. The other thing, real quick, is to have some kind of club or membership that people can buy into. Obviously, I call that my VIP program when it’s prepaid. I also have what I call the ‘Car Care Club’ card where they can buy a card and it’s a bunch of services at a discounted price which also locks them into doing business with me.

They’ve basically bought a discount and it’s guaranteed that they’re going to come back to me again and again and again when they have a problem. Those are two quick strategies that pretty much any business can use to get that working for them.

Trent: Okay. Which kind of segues us into the whole mastermind thing because people might be thinking, “Well, yes. But how do I figure that out?” That’s, I think, a great segue. If you want to talk a little bit about your mastermind, this is your chance.

If you have a URL where people can get more information, please feel free to give that. If there’s any kind of coupon codes or anything that you can extend to my audience, mention that and we’ll make sure that underneath this interview there’s whatever links they can click on to get whatever deals there might be available.

Bob: Let me tell you how this came about. I built this whole system with Infusionsoft, took this business to the moon and was kind of bored. I was home and I was like, “This is boring”. I started another business and started another one after that. I’ve got three different businesses now. My second one was in the IT industry like you, Trent. I sell marketing information to the IT industry. That’s completely online, completely automated business.

Then, I won the ‘Ultimate Marketer’ from Infusionsoft in 2012, got a lot of notoriety around that. It talked a little bit about my repair shop and these other businesses that I started. I realized that there was a real need within the Infusionsoft space to have a sense of community. There’s some there now but I wanted to take it to a whole other level.

I wanted to get a group of people who are serious about taking their business to another level and helping other people work together. I kind of felt like it was almost my duty to do so because I had been given so much in the past at my own mastermind that I had been part of and I had some real key people that made a big difference in my life. I said, “You know, it’s time to do the same thing”.

I created what we call the ‘Marketing Automation Group’, or MAG, for short. Some people who are in the Infusionsoft space may have heard of it. It’s not a huge group. I don’t want a great, big, huge group. It’s a small group of very passionate entrepreneurs. We work on all facets of business: hiring and firing, management, sales strategies, marketing, direct response marketing.

The common theme that runs through everything is automation. We take all of these ideas and we say, “Okay, how can you take that strategy and how can we automate as much of it as possible, if not all of it?” We come up with new ideas. Members share with each other. It’s really a fun and exciting group.

You can go to I just have a basic funnel there right now. I don’t really do a lot of online sales for that business. I actually do most of it in person. At this point, we get a lot of referrals from people that are members who have friends and they’re wanting to get in business. Don’t expect a big, fancy sales funnel because it doesn’t exist. But, make no mistake.

When it comes to building your business, we’re very, very serious about helping our members. We’re seeing some tremendous results that people have gotten. I’ll give you another link, too, actually, at the end of it. I don’t want to say the wrong thing in the recording.

I’ll give you another one, Trent, that you can put underneath the video. People can get more information as well. It’s not for everyone. It’s not cheap to be part of our mastermind. It’s for people who understand what we’re doing here and want to be part of something bigger. I think one of our members said it really well. He said, “My sales are up but the most important thing is having infinitely more fun along the way than he ever could have doing it himself”.

Trent: My sales are up but my work is down.

Bob: Yes. And he’s having fun with his new friends. It’s pretty cool.

Trent: How much is it for people to become a member of this?

Bob: It’s $13,000 a year to join plus travel expenses. There’s a whole list of things that you get as part of your involvement in the program. I’ll give you the link that gives that out to everyone. I will make an offer to your people that are watching this or want to join your master class. We’ve got to talk about the specifics of that. I’ll definitely discount that some for people who see this and say, “You know what? This is the kind of thing I’ve been waiting for. I know this is going to be right for me”. They can see the ROI of being part of something like this. I’ll make a special offer to them.

Trent: Okay. Terrific. Thank you very much for making the time. This has been a fun interview. I think that you and I are going to be talking lots more in the months to come. I just love being around other passionate, energetic entrepreneurs who are excited about what they’re doing. That’s why it’s such a privilege for me to be the host of Bright Ideas because I get to talk to you guys every day.

It’s pretty rare that I have a day where I feel like I’m overworked or things aren’t going that well. They have. We’re entrepreneurs. We’re humans. It all happens. But every day that I do an interview, I get this dose. I get my fix basically.

I hope that my audience gets as much of a fix out of these interviews as I do. I want to thank all of you guys for being my audience. If you think this is good stuff, please tell somebody else about it. Put it on Twitter, Facebook, Google+, wherever it helps spread the word. For that, I would be really appreciative.

Bob, again, thank you so much for making the time.

Bob: You’re welcome. Thanks for having me. It was really fun.

Trent: All right. Take care.

Bob: Okay. Bye.

Trent: Okay. If you want to get the show notes for today’s episode, go to The other thing I want to tell you about is the Massive Traffic Toolkit. If you go to and enter your email address you’re going to get instant access to the Massive Traffic Toolkit.

What is the Massive Traffic Toolkit all about? It is a compilation of all the best traffic generation strategies that have been shared with me by all those really smart people that I’ve had here on Bright Ideas. The really great part about all these ideas is that you don’t have to be some kind of SEO guru to be able to implement them.

To get access, again, just go to and enter your email address. You’ll have access right away. That’s it for this episode. I’m your host, Trent Dyrsmid.

If you really loved this episode or, heck, even if you just liked it a little, please do me a favor and head over to iTunes and give it a five-star feedback. Go ahead and leave a comment.

The more people that do that, the more visibility that comes to the Bright Ideas podcast and the more people that we can help with all of the really terrific bright ideas that are shared by the experts that I’m so privileged to have on my show.

Thanks very much for being a member of the audience. I look forward to seeing you in the next episode.

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

How to Increase Web Traffic and Stay Well Ahead of the Competition by Marketing to a Huge Volume of Customers

Bob talks about his success building and running a brick and mortar business with the help of marketing strategies that are also applicable to small and medium online enterprises.

You’ll hear him discuss these marketing strategies that can be applied universally to all forms of business.

Marketing plays a big part in the overall success of a business or brand. With well implemented and well planned marketing strategies, entrepreneurs can expect severalfold growth in profit.

Bob’s automotive shop earns exponentially more than the industry norms. Image source:

Listen to the show to discover how Bob managed to create and implement efficient plans that helped him grow his profits both online and offline.

Automation is an important key step in maximizing the returns of any investment. Bob paints a realistic picture that shows just how essential automation in marketing really is for the overall financial success of a business.

A business that wants to dominate in a field or niche will ultimately have to deal with competition. If you want to stay ahead of the competition, you should be able to make full use of all available technologies to market your business efficiently to your potential clients. To do this, you should reach huge volumes of your target clients. Bob makes this clear as he explains the best strategies that entrepreneurs need to utilize to market to their customers.

Bob’s business is so profitable largely because of the marketing automation he’s put into place. Image source:

Listen as Bob shares his extraordinary tale of triumph as he reveals his beginnings as a young man in need of a job to a mature and successful entrepreneur earning $1,100,000 a year in his auto repair business.

Many modern day online methods of marketing evolved from old school strategies. Learn the connection between the old school and the modern-day marketing strategies by listening to the show.

If you wish to build and manage a successful business, whether online or brick-and-mortar, you first need to hire and manage the right people. Learn from Bob’s experience by listening to him recount his beginner’s mistakes in hiring the wrong people.

If you wish to go far with your business, you need to take good care of your clients or customers. Before you do however, you must first know just who your client or customer really is. Bob discusses just how important customer profiling is and relates the techniques he has used to bring him his present day success. He first starts by describing what he calls his “advocates” and later on proceeds to outline his method of creating an ideal customer profile.

Customer profiling has played a huge role in Bob’s success. Image source

Listen to the show to discover just how you can use your creative mind to gather and analyze information required to help you create a clear picture of your customer.

The Mastermind Principle helps individuals achieve their goals with the help of others. Bob describes the importance of a Mastermind concisely by relating it to the single piece of information that changed his entire life.

Listen to the show to learn just how being in a Mastermind has allowed Bob to achieve the successes that he has now experienced.

The internet is an extremely powerful tool for business. It allows entrepreneurs to run their operations faster, more accurately and infinitely more fun. Bob explains the great potential for success that current entrepreneurs have with the available software and technology by comparing the next successful small or medium sized enterprise to Bill Gates- type success.

Bob explains just how to boost your sales with direct marketing and automated marketing campaigns. He shares many proven strategies that defeat the law of diminishing returns that are so inherent with today’s websites and business models.

Direct marketing is an absolute must, say Bob. Image source

Listen to the show to learn why it is important to have an Opt-in Form and just where to place these forms on your site.

Bob boldly states that 99% of web designers and web masters DON’T know how to create websites. He then proceeds to state the common mistakes of average or ordinary websites and web designers that don’t generate and convert leads into profit.

A business always aims to bring in new customers and keep old ones to remain successful in their specific field. Listen as Bob enumerates wise business facts that allow you to do just that.

Listen to the show to learn Bob’s best ideas for creating and keeping leads.

About Bob Britton

BobBrittonFeaturedBob Britton is a business owner, direct response specialist, author and speaker who has 19 years experience building and growing brick-and-mortar companies as well as online businesses.

He started his career as an auto repair mechanic but his ambition brought him to new heights. He soon built and managed his very own successful auto repair business at His business genius has allowed him to win the Infusionsoft Ultimate Marketer Award for 2010.

Aside from running three successful companies he is also actively involved in his Infusion Coaching Group and Marketing Automation Group that allow him to coach and influence other hardcore entrepreneurs.