LeadPages co-founder and whispered Steve Jobs successor, Clay Collins, is back to talk about the recent changes within the company, product updates and a reward to anyone who can dethrone James’ number one template.
Topics discussed in this podcast:
01:47 – Benefits of strategic partnership
04:25 – The conversions aspect of LeadPages and Clay’s PDF tip
08:46 – The highest-converting webinar registration page
10:50 – Clay Collin’s ultimate challenge!
12:44 – LeadPages new feature update
15:23 – Expect more integrations
16:20 – Making things a lot simpler
18:19 – What has funding done for the company?
25:34 – Making Grange
30:59 – Clay’s previous company expectations
32:26 – “Senna” – the documentary film
33:53 – Freebies for listeners
Add customized opt-ins related to your content. [Click To Tweet].
Analytics stats are indicators of your return on investment. [Click To Tweet].
Overcome what’s holding you back and just get started. [Click To Tweet].
Speed is an important factor in a competitive environment. [Click To Tweet].
Your greatest competitor is you and your mindset. [Click To Tweet].
James: James Schramko here from SuperFastBusiness.com. Thank you so much for coming back and listening to this podcast. As you know, I love to interview business experts to find out their take, and all of these podcasts are absolutely free. What I want to do is to serve the business community, to put some good ideas out there, to inspire other entrepreneurs, and to help you grow your business as I communicate what’s working in mine.
Now one of the greatest innovations that I’ve come across in recent times is this LeadPages technology. I’ve become very good friends with the inventor, the founder, the man, the extraordinaire, and that is Clay Collins, who I’ve had back on this show many, many times, and that’s because he always delivers. He’s always got something new, and I’d like to welcome to the show Clay Collins.
Clay: James, thank you so much for having me, I feel very at home here, and I think I actually enjoy being on your podcast more than I like being on my podcast, so thanks for having me back again.
James: Well, I’ve got a warm comfy chair and milk and cookies in the corner there for you, so enjoy the ride. Now I’m not even sure what to call you these days. You’re like a fancy, funded, VC-backed super company now. What’s your company called?
Forming strategic partnerships
Clay: So the company’s called LeadPages. Recently we raised $5 million dollars in venture capital, and it’s not something that… I’m proud of what we did to receive the funding, but I’m not proud of getting funded, per se. I think what was pretty amazing was not that we got funded but the size of our bank account when we did get funded.
We didn’t take this money because we needed the money. We did this because we wanted the strategic partnerships that came with it. And a whole host of other things. I’m still a bootstrapper at heart, and in a lot of ways our approach to business is very bootstrappy.
So it’s something that is going to help our customers a lot, and I like to say to our customers that this gives them even more of a right to complain about the additional features that they want, and to advocate for their pet features down the road. So I’m super proud of what we did to get here.
And one thing that, you know, when we got funded by the Foundry Group, which in my opinion is one of the top three early stage venture capital firms; we were in TechCrunch, we were in VentureBeat, we were in the Wall Street Journal, we were like in all these places. And on one hand, I’m grateful for the PR opportunity, right?
It’s something that I’m glad we have, but on the other hand as someone who still identifies as a bootstrapper and thinks like a bootstrapper, I’m very sad that there’s these built-in PR opportunities for venture-backed companies that bootstrapped companies don’t get, that when a venture-backed company raises money, they get to be published in all these significant places, and honestly, when we were bootstrapped, there were things we did that were much more significant than getting funded that we never got PR coverage for.
So I have mixed feelings about sort of people congratulating us for getting funded but I don’t have mixed feelings about whether or not this was the right direction for our company.
James: Right. Well, you’ve made it clear that you were already making good money and you had explosive growth and if someone were to go back and listen to our first discussion you would’ve sort of got that early germination. You know, you had the LeadPlayer I think was our first chat and then you progressed into LeadPages. The thing about LeadPages that’s so cool is that it forces you to have an offer. You have something that you can measure.
You get an opt-in and you are able to then track that opt-in and to see how much sales it’s making and you’ve got these built-in analytics tools and the ability for a customer to hold you accountable for return on investment. That’s why I love the tool because I can now take my offer and I could put it in the most popular places on the side of my WordPress blog, in my Facebook page. And the ability for a customer to see what they’re getting is such a revelationary thing which wasn’t so prevalent with the video player.
Sure, you can see video players or whatever but to see an opt-in percentage and just see that funnel grow into a customer is exciting. So, I’d love to talk about your take on the conversions aspect, the tools that you’ve given customers to be able to see that.
I also want to report back in from our last discussion, the PDF tip you gave me to put the transcription in a PDF even though it’s published on the post, we’re still getting opt-ins over 60 percent, sometimes over 70 percent but almost always over 55 percent for that one thing and I had my record 30-day opt-ins and I’m sure that it’s a result of that because I’ve pretty much was travelling for the whole month so it’s not like I was sitting here 9 hours a day driving people to that page.
I was just doing my usual thing maybe even a little less – just a piece of content every few days, doing what I call OwnTheRacecourse which I give away for free on this website. But that was a record month and I think it’s this highly segmented, targeted opt-in of which I’m tracking interest now so I know that when I build out my sequences later around customer preferences, this has been a fantastic innovation. I encourage listeners: make sure you’re doing this on your site.
Clay: It’s really cool because you know, as someone who has influence over the software product we get to use it ourselves and I actually had the same experience. So everyone who’s listening, if you listen to the previous podcast or the previous thing that James and I did together, I kinda talked over this kind of revolution that happened on our website where we were able to triple our opt-in rate across our entire blog by offering, with every blog post, a customized opt-in that came just with that blog post and we created some features in LeadPages around this.
And for the first time in years I had a…we had growth that was this big in our opt-ins and it sounds like James, you’ve had some similar experiences. So I’d encourage everyone to go and listen to that previous video that we created around creating a customized opt-in with every blog post because it has been huge and it really just goes back to kind of what drives us as a business. We have combined in LeadPages, we’ve combined one, an analytics tool, so it makes it very easy to track opt-in rates and things like that in LeadPages.
So we combined an analytics tool, a split testing tool and a landing page builder. And, I noticed that as much as we hear about the importance of split testing and analytics and tracking, that so often getting that code on all your pages and running the split tests, it’s very, very difficult when you’ve got a separate analytics tool and a separate split testing tool and a separate landing page builder and by combining these, we’re trying to make people obsessed about their opt-in rates and about their split tests.
And so that’s the upside is that there’s that benefit but the downside is that everytime someone logs into LeadPages, they’re seeing analytics on their pages. And so what that means is that we have to provide ROI if we want to maintain our customers because every day, they’re opting in and they’re seeing or they’re logging into LeadPages and they’re seeing how many opt-ins they’re getting. They’re seeing their conversion rates.
And we only exist and survive as a business to the extent that people look at those analytics and determine that they’re getting their return on investment on money that they’re paying for LeadPages. So we’re obsessive about those stats and for better or for worse, we’ve made them available to everyone. And so, we as a platform are sort of accountable to those stats.
Sort templates by conversion rate
James: But you also share it right? You’ve got crowdsourced templates, I know that I put a template in there, other people have and you can actually sort by conversion on all of the different templates you’ve got. So, I’m just wondering what that marketplace looks like these days.
Clay: D**n you Schramko! So, one thing you can do in LeadPages is you can sort the templates in LeadPages by average conversion rate so it means across the entire LeadPages platform, you can sort and see which templates are producing the highest opt-in conversion rate. And funny enough, the webinar page from James Schramko is getting the highest conversion rates.
So, we’ve produced like over 50 templates now inside of LeadPages and the one that you gave to us is beating them all. And you know, I have mixed emotions about this. On one hand, I want to win right?
But on the other hand, I’m glad that all of our customers have access to your webinar registration page template because it’s out-converting everything else and it is oh, it gets under my skin because the highest converting page across all of LeadPages is your page and the highest converting webinar registration page template is yours and the highest converting opt-in page is one from Charles Kirkland.
And so, as much as I’d like to pride myself as being really good at this stuff, it just kills me that you and Charles, obviously both complete pros, are dominating in these two categories. So, I’m trying to beat you. And so, personally, I’m trying to beat you and…
James: We’re all trying to beat ourselves, too you know. It is a conspiracy you though I have to be open and tell you that Charles Kirkland is a member of my SilverCircle and he drives a lot of traffic.
Clay: Oh God!
The Clay Collins Challenge
James: The two of us are like very inspired to have the best converting pages, the best lead funnels and I know that there’s probably a bit of interest. I reckon if you put a challenge out there Clay, you will probably get someone to knock off our template.
Clay: So, here’s my challenge. If anyone, and you can give this to me in any way OK? If someone gives me a PSD file, so it’s like a design or a JPEG but basically a landing page design or an HTML template for a landing page and we implement this and it beats James’ template across LeadPages, I’m awarding $3,000. So if I can’t beat you Schramko, I’m going to fund someone else who does.
And personally I’m trying to knock you off but if someone else does, I think you need to be dethroned for a bit. If only to motivate you to give me something else.
James: It does motivate me. You know like many years ago, I’d refined the Belcher Button and I had the Schramko Button that out-converted the Belcher Button. And I made it available for download and it was inspired by the Belcher Button. And then, recently at the Ontraport conference, I shared my affiliate sequence which boosted my affiliate commissions a thousand percent.
And you have some insight into my affiliate potential for a business so when I concentrate on something, I can really inspire results. And they’re now sharing that with Ontraport users who sell one or more sale of their product.
James: So, I want to have the highest-converting, the most successful, the most profitable sequence, device, technique in every field. Sure, let’s bring it on. We’ll publish this episode. I’m sure you’re going to get some submissions and every one who is a LeadPages customer will benefit when that template gets beaten because there’ll be a new standard.
So, I celebrate the progress of the entrepreneur. What else have you got coming through the system for us?
More new stuff rolling out
Clay: Well, one thing we’ve got coming is that Justin Brooke who works with Rich Schefren just posted a competitor geared page so we’re going to do that. But sort of on a different front, we recently added the ability, at least with some templates and we’re rolling this out on more and more templates each week, but we added the ability to collect additional fields.
So, if someone wants to collect like zip codes or they want to add a survey to the opt-in box or ask people what their favorite color is or have some radio buttons and things like that, we’ve added that. So, somewhat surprisingly we’ve grown to multiple thousands upon thousands of customers with only the ability to collect name and email but I’m happy to report now that people in the real estate industry can now collect zip codes and addresses for people who opt-in and people in the insurance business can collect other fields as well. So, it’s…
James: Yeah, I want to be collecting phone numbers for SMS.
Clay: Yeah, absolutely, absolutely! So we’re super pleased that we’ve added this and it’s something that was a long time coming. I think it was one of those things where we wanted to do it in the right way. You know like Apple kind of remarked that a lot of people were going to do this watch thing and Apple didn’t just want to, and I don’t purport to be Apple or Steve Jobs or Tim Cook or any of these people but I…
James: Come on, Clay. Everyone knows you are the new Steve Jobs. Like, look at you on this trajectory. Everyone talks about you behind your back: (stage whisper) “Clay, he’s like the next Steve Jobs.”
Clay: Well, it’s fun to be here. It’s a fun run. We’ll see how long it lasts but you know, like Nokia for example. It came out with the phone first and a lot of people came out with the mp3 player before Apple came out with the iPod. And so, we’re less concerned with doing things first and more concerned with doing thing them right.
And so, I think people are going to be super pleased with the way we’ve allowed people to add multiple form fields across all our integrations and we wanted to do it right and we’re just starting out with this solution and we’re going to make it even more robust over time. But we’re glad people don’t have to wait anymore to collect a zip code or a phone number and address field or all of these things.
James: And also if you use sales pages, you can easily link to a payment processor or shopping cart.
Clay: Yeah, I mean you can absolutely, yeah! So some things require integrations and other things don’t. So for example if you want to just link to PayPal and take payment on PayPal, you can do that. It doesn’t require an integration.