My friend Alex and I recorded this on the road, fresh from Ontraport’s Ontrapalooza, which promoted their software. Tune in as we share observations and insights from the two-day event.
00:34 – On the road from Ontrapalooza
01:21 – Taki Moore starts things off
03:23 – Postmaster Brendan Dubbels on deliverability
05:32 – Aim for a positive customer experience
11:24 – Conversion Geeks’ Lance Johnson
14:58 – Learn from other conversion experts
18:14 – I met the Ontraport team
20:46 – Brendan Burchard on integrated marketing
25:08 – Respect your potential customer’s initial intention
30:30 – Loyalty is the most important metric
32:30 – Use the reply field
34:28 – CEO Landon Ray
41:35 – Do you need to master just one thing?
44:42 – Selling the Ontraport software
47:21 – Webinars that convert
52:37 – We make custom responsive themes
54:44 – Why use Google Analytics?
56:15 – Multi-screening is in
58:51 – The Ontrapalooza wrap up
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Welcome back to SuperFastBusiness.com. I’m James Schramko and today I have a special guest called Alex. Welcome, Alex.
James: So Alex and I are driving along the coast down from Santa Barbara to Los Angeles, and we only met very recently, actually at the airport. We’ve been attending an event called Ontrapalooza which is put on by Landon Ray and all the team at Ontraport. I guess it’s a user convention for people who use the software or are thinking of using the software. And the software is an email business automation, shopping cart, affiliate all sort of wrapped into one tool.
So what we’re going to do is, we’re going to cover some of the highlights of the event. We’re just going to discuss what each of us got from it, and share some ideas with you so that you can perhaps integrate some of these into your business.
So Alex, why don’t you talk us through some of the sessions there? I can see that you got your workbook there as I’m driving and we’ll just go through some of the things that you thought that were most interesting and have a discussion about that.
Inspiring talk from Taki Moore
Alex: Sure. So, there was definitely a focus in the theme throughout the whole event, and I think they started off with a man named Taki Moore.
James: Ah, Taki Moore. He’s a good friend of mine.
Alex: Ah yeah?
James: Yeah, we go and have a meal each week. He lives just up the road from me in Sydney. How did you like his presentation?
Alex: It was great. He’s really energetic, he was really engaging. And I think that amongst all of the speakers, he was one of the most kind of inspirational people that I saw.
James: He’s definitely inspirational. Taki’s got super energy. He was straight out of the gates engaging the audience and his message was: Put in some work upfront to get a long-term payoff so you can have a little bit of effort setting up the right automation and your business will start running for you and be less on your having to remember to do things individually.
I also like his management of the “Gumby” white board, or the flipchart that kept falling over. As a speaker, he handled that particularly well and it’s a great example of utilizing things that go on. Also, on the stage there was a rock band. What did you think of that?
Alex: Ah it was cool you know, every time somebody… the theme song coming up or you could cue them for a little fist punch.
Alex: And they would play the drum for you.
James: Yeah, I like that. They had an Elvis emcee and he would do some fake fighting with a pretend person and have a little bit of band magic going on. I thought that it was a great idea. It would be great to have a band at my event having seen that in action.
And so real top marks to the team on Ontraport for putting on a show. Really was like a rock show. So, what came next after Taki?
Postmaster Brendan Dubbels
Alex: After Taki was Brendan Dubbels. He’s the postmaster for Ontraport and his focus was really just having everybody get the most out of their email.
James: It was. He talked about getting deliverability. He basically told you that the email companies, they’re on to all little tricks and techniques that you might think you’re getting away with when you’re trying to cheat the delivery. He talked about how important it is to have a high deliverability rate and that if you have a good list hygiene, then your message will go through.
Think he also shared a tip for making sure emails got moved into the Priority with Gmail instead of sitting in the spam box.
Alex: Yeah he did.
James: Do you remember what that tip was?
Alex: Yeah. So with the new Gmail setup, you’ve got these three tabs: There’s the primary one which is most of the mail, then there’s the Social tab and then there’s the Promotions tab. And unfortunately, if you’re using email client, like Mad Mimi or Ontraport, your emails by default now are going to fall into the Promotions tab. And a lot of users actually don’t even know that those tabs exist and a lot of them will never click over the Promotions tab because it’s a promotion.
James: And he mentioned quite a stat in terms of the case study they used. They got a 15% increase in opens or deliverability or something.
Alex: Totally. So, the way they did it is, they sent out one email and all you have to do is write in it: “Hey, If you want to keep getting my business updates and this good content, then take this email. Click it and drag it over to the Primary tab.” And then from then on, you’re sort of checked off as being an OK email.
James: So from then it’s kind of like prioritized comes through. Yes, so that was really good and I send quite a lot of emails each month. Thought it’s something I should do. I use Google apps so I haven’t really seen this new inbox thing. I think it just gets rolled out randomly. What was next?
Joey Coleman on customer interaction
Alex: The next one was Joey Coleman.
James: Oh, really? So was he on the first day?
Alex: You want to do it by day, huh?
James: You want to do it by… you just want to do it by what you want to talk about? That’s fine. I can roll with that. Let’s do that. As long as you don’t miss my session outright.
Alex: We’ll jump around a little bit.
James: OK, so Joey Coleman and he was talking about customer experience?
Alex: Yeah his whole thing is customer experience and it wasn’t something I even really thought about until he got up stage.
James: I imagine a lot of businesses haven’t given it a whole lot of thought. It’s like this secondary thing, you know, this pesky customer always making the business difficult.
James: In our business, we have a whole support team. A big shoutout to our team at SuperFastHelp who are very responsive compared to a lot of other companies and certainly, I’ve been fortunate enough to see people like Tony Hsieh from Zappos talk about the customer experience, and from my background in Mercedes-Benz, of course customers have huge expectations when they’re dealing with a prestige, luxury product, so that’s why I carried it across. But what did you think was the standout commentaries from Joey?
Alex: Well he made one really big comment that stuck with me. And I think will immediately take to our business and he asked, “If somebody buys a product from you, what’s the first thing you get in your inbox?” And you know, we think about it for ourselves. The invoices, the bill, and then he asked everyone to put their hand up if they liked getting bills.
And you know obviously, nobody put their hand up. So it’s about each time you’re interacting with a customer, it should leave them feeling positive. Like they should feel good each time they interact with you because then, because you know if you have a friend that you really like, and you go hang out with them, it’s a positive experience every time. Like you want to go spend more time with that person.
James: Yes, and I like that he put up a slide and it had the different contact points and types of contacts you could have in the first 100 days.
Alex: Yeah. So he had this idea and this is kind of overarching the whole thing and so within 100 days, between 15 to 70% of all of your customers are going to leave.
Alex: That’s a big range and you have to affect that somehow.
James: That is a huge range and a business like mine has around 90% repeat customers so they’re going to be around for a long time. They hear from me often. In fact, with my paid communities, I send out a weekly video just summarizing what’s happening. What’s cool? What’s the latest discussion?
And I stay in touch with them. Even though they’ll get billed once a month, they’re going to hear from me at least four times a month, like once a week, with how to get better use from their community that they’ve joined, what’s happening, which things they might be willing able to engage with, and I send them a handy list of links. Now to put that together, it takes a bit of effort.
I actually have a friend of mine, Ken go through my community and who looks for these topics. He makes a summary list. Sends that to me. I pay him for this and then I make the video and paste the links in underneath the video.
So it’s really easy for people to get more value from their subscription. As opposed to a lot of companies where they, as you said all they’re sending is an invoice, nothing else. So that was a great presentation. Wasn’t he a great presenter as well? Really dynamic.
Alex: Yeah. He was really good at engaging with people and he made his point very clear. I felt like, right now, I have to start that thing about the 100 days.
Alex: And I think that as soon as I get home I’ll start changing things.
James: And it’s not just emails. You could send SMS, you could send a gift, you could phone a customer, you could meet a customer face to face, you could send a postcard. So there’s a lot of different medium you could use to have that engagement happening with the customer.
And I certainly do it with my highest level program when someone joins that. It triggers an automatic response for me to mail them a gift which I’ll send, and I already collect their street address and I get a feel for their shirt size, bit of a hint there, and send them something nice and useful that they would use.
Alex: So it sounds like you’re already getting a bunch of these already. On this list of six ways.
Alex: Of customer contact.
James: And I like the list and I think that I would certainly see if I’m missing some of them. I’d like to be able to do SMS, not quite as easy for me because of the geo-location. A lot of these things won’t work in Australia but are very easy to use in North America.
James: But I think it’s going that way. They say that deliverability of SMS is very, very high and the open rate is very, very high. So one of the big takeaways for me is, I’m going to start collecting phone numbers on my opt-ins. If it is a U.S. thing, maybe on a second submission, like a further CAPTCHA.
It’s two-step, we call this, two-step sequence: First step will be your email; second step will be a name and a phone number and I want to collect the country now from my users so that I can start having those SMS messages for my North American customers or any market where I can have that service working properly. Ah, so what else did we learn?
Alex: From Joey?
James: Well, from anyone. Still on Joey? You like Joey?
Alex: He’s good.
Lance Johnson of Conversion Geeks
Alex: So another guy that was really interesting. He came from a company called Conversion Geeks, and his name was Lance Johnson.
James: Right. Yeah that was good. He showed some test results of the most validated test and earlier results from sort of more gut-feel than validated but there were some pretty interesting findings that trust seals and the use of elements on checkout pages and stuff. So do you remember some of those test results?
Alex: Yeah, actually. He laid out a couple of examples and one of them was, if you have a testimonial on your sales page and you include a picture and in this case it was for a doctor and he was recommending a product. He asked, do you think that the conversion rate, the click-through rate was higher with or without the picture?
And if you can see it, you know you have the words from the doctor but having the picture there might also give you a better example of who this person is. And it turned out that the click-through rate was better without the picture.
James: Right. So you can never really know unless you test it. I once had a testimonial on the checkout page of my biggest-selling product ever called TrafficGrab and it was a picture of a well-known marketer who said, in inverted commas… is that what you call it, inverted commas? Brackets? What do you call those things?
James: And it said “Best product ever!” And that lifted my conversion rate. So you can get a nice endorsement. Test having a testimonial where you ask people for money because it might just reduce the risk and help people make that decision.
And if they know that person then that’s great, especially in the North American market. If you can use celebrity endorsements, they’ll just go nuts for that. Not so much in the U.K. or Australia as my gut feel on that. But definitely North Americans love an ambassador or superstar you know, endorsing a product.
That was a good test. He also mentioned some other tests.
Alex: Yeah. Well, let’s see…
James: Just while you’re looking at that, I’m just going to describe our locality. We’re making our way down the Pacific coastline, California, between Santa Barbara and Los Angeles. And the views are just amazing. I’ll post some pictures near this post.
The houses on the right look just wonderful. Beach front houses. They remind me of the one of the houses that the guy lived in the Californication movie, or series.
The guy had a really nice house by the beach and this Porsche and it just reminds me of that.Probably it was filmed here or something. Anyway, back to topic. Give us a test result.
Alex: Sure. So another one that he tested was images and the use of captions. Yeah he gave a little description of what image is and what he found was that actually an image without a caption performs better than one with.
James: Isn’t that interesting? So we had a test where the image missing was better and then an image with no caption was better than an image with caption. And there’s something else he was talking about.
Alex: Big part of what he’s talking about was an AV testing in general.
James: Right. Just to do it. And he mentioned some tools to do it. So I’m using Visual Website Optimizer and another tool would be Optimizely. And these tools would help you try different variations.
A lot of people in my community are conversion experts. I’ve my friend Brent Hodgson who we’ve had on our show before, who was a founder of Market Samurai and he’s right into this. We’ve also had Greg Cassar on the show doing conversions and we’ll link to those episodes. So if you’re interested in doing conversions, these guys know what they’re talking about.
And in an upcoming episode, we’re going to hear from AJ Silvers who is also getting some absolutely phenomenal test results from customers where he’s basically just finding such a huge return on investment for customers. I’m going to come here and ask him about it. And of course we have our regular guest, Clay Collins who recently shared with us how to get much better opt-ins by putting a downloadable PDF or resource next to a post. Even if you have the video on the post, people like to download that stuff.
Now since I’ve been putting that on every post, and you’ll see that right near this podcast, there will probably be a purple button and it allows you to download the PDF transcription. That button there converts at over 51% which compared to the normal squeeze page on this site, generally is around 30%. So that is a big lift in conversions, so a big thank you to Clay Collins from LeadPages.
The technique is really, really working well and if you click on it, you’ll see how LeadPages grabs the email address and then we send that particular resource. But now we have the ability to tag that person according to the topic of the post so we can really start getting a segmented list by type and have a relevant conversation. Alright, what’s next there, Alex?
Alex: Well, first I wanted you to know that I think it’s kind of interesting that your LeadPages button is actually converting more people than it is, like 51%?
James: Yes. It’s super super relevant. Because people are getting exactly what they want right there in the posts. So here’s a general conversion theme that will work well in any website and is really good for SEO and it’s really good for conversions and that is to have a category content or category advertising or category themed opt-ins. So that whenever you’re in a certain part of a website, just show relevant offers for that specific website.
So if you have an e-commerce store and you’re selling bath taps, then if you have like antique bath taps, then you could show antique baths or antique light fittings because they’re relevant to that theme, that category, that topic. So hopefully that’s really helpful. By the way, if you get any good stuff from this particular episode, I’d love you to post it right where we play this on SuperFastBusiness.com.
I want to get your feedback. Alex wants to get your feedback. He’s a feedback machine. Alright. So who else did we have speaking in this event?
Alex: So, there were several employees of Ontraport that contributed to its success and one of them is Aylin Sankur who is their content writer.
James: Well, just on a side note, all the employees were there. They were working at the event which was really cool. And Landon really believes in culture and developing a great team. I met all sorts of terrific characters over the weekend.
Everyone from Landon who is running the show to Lena who is just powering up the productivity of that whole business in command there. I met some of the people doing the emails. I met Jan who does the design. I met the vice president of customer service who is really focused on looking after people.
So it’s such an impressive thing to have the team members in the business at the event, talking to customers and sharing that culture. I think that’s something you remarked to me, Alex. You felt that the company’s really going places and that they’re with it and they’re interested in developing solutions for their customer base by intermingling with them.
Alex: Yeah, absolutely. I mean it puts like a face to a name. It’s not just some random person that’s working for you and then a company. I can feel now that this is truly a fun and thriving environment, which, you know it’s a good place for employees to work.
James: And I noticed a lot of the customers are really cool and super successful. A lot of them are heavy hitters. The reason why I wanted to go to the event is when you have a user base who pays $300 per month for a software tool, you’re getting good people. You know this is not a hobby anymore.
Three hundred dollars a month is a reasonable investment filter that would separate the kids from the real business entrepreneurs. And people who are using the tools who have some great user case studies. Everything from how I use it for affiliate marketing through to people using it for webinars and some of the cool technology that’s starting to come in with my friend, Jake Hower, his Fused app.
If you want to find out how I use that, listen to the episode I did with Jake recently and we’ll put a link to that in the shownotes so that you can find that episode. Jake is really, really popular at this convention because his tool, Fuzed app is helping people integrate GoToWebinar, Wistia and Ontraport altogether to make it do some pretty cool stuff with percentage play triggers and stuff. Alright, who are the other speakers?
The Millionaire Messenger Brendon Burchard
Alex: There’s Brendon Burchard.
James: OK, so we had Brendon there. And what did you think about that presentation?
Alex: Ah, that was one of the best demonstrations that I think I’ve seen. I mean the guy’s like really, really got his speech down and he’s really got his message down.
James: Do you think he got it down too much?
Alex: In some ways. I mean if you ever picked up one of his books or even looked at The Millionaire Messenger, you know the story was not something new for him. It was not like he was sharing some new insight in that way.
Alex: But that being said, the way he delivers it and the way he performs on stage, it still captures you, like one of our co-workers almost missed an appointment because he forgot what time it was.
Alex: Yeah. He was just paying attention to the speech.
James: Yeah, well you know it’s just really interesting to see how people respond to it. For me, it was not a good presentation just because it was all about him, the story. He was so contrived and theatrical. You know it made me feel as though there’s a little bit of crocodile tears happening there.
To me, the staged and over-acted delivery was a turn off. Maybe I’m a little bit more cynical but I didn’t need to hear the car crash story for half an hour. I would have liked to have 10 bullet points that were on the schedule that didn’t materialize. The main points he had were that we’re in a really good window of opportunity.
The next 18 months to get our things in play. To be able to take advantage of this never to be repeated Internet phase and he also is a heavy endorser of having his automation. One of the interesting things that he mentioned is that he does everything himself. He sets up his own forms.
He gigs out on that stuff so, he’s a guy with and he’s purporting an eight-figure business so I can’t validate that but let’s say he’s got an eight-figure business and he’s still tinkering around the forms. I was fascinated with that because I’m certainly not doing that in my business. I have a team to do that.
And I would say, unless you really love that stuff, think about having someone else do that. The other thing that he mentioned was he’s sort of had a way of looking at Apple’s success. It’s amazing how many people refer to Apple from platforms right?
James: It’s kind of like you can borrow a little bit of cred from them. But he talked about their integrated products week. And my listeners will know that is the chocolate wheel. I’m talking about the chocolate wheel for years.