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
Integrated marketing is a smart strategy. [Click To Tweet].
Respect your leads’ initial intentions. [Click To Tweet].
You want to be remarkable. [Click To Tweet].
Prove your concept first. [Click To Tweet].
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.
Something I’ve learned from the car industry that you integrate the different offerings and services within your business to complement each other. I think… the earliest I’ve heard it being talked about on the Internet marketing scene was when I came into it. There’s a guy called Mark Joiner and he talked about integrated marketing way back seven years ago.
So it’s not a new concept. It’s not just Apple’s concept. Certainly not a Brendon Burchard concept. It’s just… it’s a good thing to do if you’re smart in business, you’ll create product line services that can be cross-sold and can complement each other and that they literally integrate so that were the main points I got from Brendon’s presentation.
I respect and admire his ability to act but for me it wasn’t acted.. it wasn’t authentic. It was actually disingenuine, to me to watch that theater and to see how taken by it many people were. But then there’s other people like me who’s just like, “Yeah whatever. Just give me some content.” I felt to me it was more of a pitch for people to come to his event.
Alex: It was. He followed up in the book that…
James: The book. Yeah that’s nice. I’m sure… you know that’s how the publishing game works. You get bulk books out there and so it was interesting and I don’t want to be taken the wrong way but I’m just giving my raw critical analysis that I think you could be too theatrical and go past the edge of believability. There you go. What’s next?
Andrew Way on customer experience
Alex: So what did you think of Andrew Way, who is the Chief Growth Officer for Ontraport? Who also worked for Eben Pagan.
James: That’s right. So I know Andrew. I think I’ve been involved with him in the Mavericks group.
He’s quite a character. He’s Irish descent, I think he mentioned. Has a propensity to swear occasionally. He’s a dynamic character and he’s very focused.
I didn’t really catch his presentation but I know that throughout the conference, he was working pretty hard to wrangle ideas and help the business with its development path in terms of the marketing approach, understanding the needs of the users. What did you take from the presentation? Because I didn’t see it.
Alex: So one of the big things that I took from him is how all it comes down to customer satisfaction, the customer experience and so when you’re bringing people in with the lead page, you have a certain offer. Like there’s a reason why they’re opting in, to receive your email or product or whatever it is. And one of his big remarks was to respect that initial intention.
So If somebody signs up for your page, to get maybe your potential free T-shirt and the gift. Like you should deliver on that. Like you shouldn’t send them like a box of chocolates.
James: Right. I love that. To match the tension. And there is a little bit of bait and switch going on out there on the interweb, Isn’t there?
Alex: Yeah, totally.
The Purple Cow
James: Especially with cheesy subject lines you know, like about your commissions or whatever. Folks, it’s really important to match the expectation, again an interesting… a couple of points on this, we’ll label it because it’s fun. When I was working in the Mercedes-Benz dealership, once I started this new place, they had a very bad customer satisfaction score. So research a lot into this.
The most helpful book that I found was Seth Godin’s book, the Purple Cow. It’s about being remarkable and there’s a story in there about the ice cream shop where the dude has his phone number on the wall and it says “I’d love to hear from you about my experience in my show.” You know, here’s my home number, I’m really contactable.
So, I implemented this in the Mercedes dealership. Every person who got a car would have a form and it would say, I’d love to get your feedback. You can contact me 24 hours a day, seven days a week, here’s my phone number, my personal number, my email address, my fax line, you can mail this thing directly.
It’s confidential and private. I won’t share the details if you don’t want them to be and just because that form was given to a customer, already, my sales people had a higher expectation because they knew that they were now accountable. That the customer could easily reach me, the General Manager.
Alex: So do you think that gained more trust then? Like, you’re giving your details and usually people are just asking for details.
James: I think that it did a few things right. It helped the salespeople because they were now more vested in having that customer have a good experience. It was easier for the customer to tell me that they were having a bad experience. It was also easier for the customer to tell me they had a good experience.
And I was able to use that prais loop because I was able to complement, in fact for memory I had a price for whoever had the most feedbacks forms submitted back. So the most positive feedback. Then we would reward them like a dinner out or whatever. And the ones that were, you now where the customers were feeling really unhappy, that was an opportunity for us to fix it.
I’ve now taken that principle and applied that to my business with the auto-responder so when someone buys something from me, they will get a onboarding email which is, “Hey, Alex! Last week you ordered a blah blah blah in SEO service. Just wondered how it’s going. Your feedback is really important to me. Could you just hit reply and let me know how it’s going?”
So now I’m catching fires early so if they may say, “Oh, you know James, I haven’t actually heard from anyone yet. I would have thought I’d hear from the helpdesk by now.” I’m like, “Well please check your spam filter because we did send it.” And then they go, “Oh, here it is. I found it! I’ll whitelist you now.”
So you find problems early, you get the ability to get the feedback fast and the team know this email goes out! They know it’s coming. So if they do drop the ball, it’s not a question of If I do find out about it. It’s just “when?”
So the customer feels, wow! This guy actually cares enough to ask how my experience is going and I can just hit reply and email him rather than have to go, you know, could you go here and fill out… you know the people ask for feedback in the weirdest ways. It’s like they make it hard work for you just to tell them that they suck.
By the time you’ve gone through all that effort to tell them that they suck you want to… it compounds. Like you extra suck. Because you made me fill out 21 fields and I’ve three forms to go through to let you know how it’s been difficult it’s been dealing with you. And sometimes you just don’t bother.
And then they’re the ones who really lose out because they’re not finding out anything at all. So the other point I want to make about satisfaction is that it’s not actually the most important metric. I think that more important is loyalty. The most important thing is: Is somebody going to buy from you again?
Because an unhappy customer, an unsatisfied customer might still buy from you. They might not love it but they might still buy from you. But a satisfied customer who is not loyal, they could be really happy with you, but never buy from you. It’s the classic case of you get a customer coming out of the area in a local business.
Let’s say I’m visiting Hawaii and I buy shaved ice cream, or ice… whatever you call it, shaved ice. I could be really satisfied. It’s amazing, but I’m not really that loyal, you know?
I’m not ever going to go back. Probably, I’m not going to go out of my way to go back to that same place. If I went to another place like a suburb or a different part of the island, I’ll buy shaved ice there because I’m out of area.
I’m a satisfied but I’m not a loyal customer. But if I was a loyal customer, even if I didn’t love it but I keep going back, it’s still more profitable for the business. There’s something you could think about.
Alex: What do you think with get somebody to do that? What do you think make somebody go out of their way to come to you?
James: Well, back to that Seth Godin thing. You want to be remarkable. You want to share the customer you care about them enough to fix these issues; if they happen to have an issue, you fix it and empathize for the client. Feel what they’re feeling.
And make sure that their feelings about you are positive and that comes down to branding and it comes down to that position that you occupy in their head. And Eben Pagan actually talked about that from the great resource Jack Trout, is it? He put the book out about Positioning and The 22 Immutable Laws of (Marketing).
Alex: Yeah yeah yeah.
James: …whatever. It’s a great book. Advertising. Yeah so anyway, let’s move on. What was the next topic?
Alex: I was wondering one last point there…
James: Oh yes.
Get into the Gmail Priority inbox
Alex: You said, I really like the idea of using the reply field. It would be really easy for people to write back. And another thing that’s pertinent here is that with the new Gmail inbox, if you have a customer reply, you’re definitely going to be landing in the Primary box…
James: Now you’re dropping the gold nuggets, Alex. That’s great. So if they reply to your email, then that’s automatically filtering into the Priority.
Alex: Yeah. If you interact with one of the emails, totally.
James: So, I think that is hidden gold there because I do get a lot of interaction. I’m getting emails from customers everyday because I tell them to hit reply.
Alex: That’s good. That’s the opposite of what most people do. We funnel them into support stream so then they get.
James: Yeah, I want to speak to someone who’s trying to buy my products and services or who has gone out of their way to already buy them. That’s someone I’m happy to have a discussion with. I mean, think about the money people spend to have a direct response sales team.
They send all these emails. They send out letters. Oh, but they don’t want to talk to a customer.
James: It just blows my mind really. And, you can manage the workload. I think people would be really surprised how easy it is to set this up. Simply just put a line in your email that says “Hey, I respond to your emails personally.” Boom, there you go.
Make sure that email lands in your box. Hey, you might even want an assistant to go through them. They could be flagged if an email comes back that has that particular word structure, then flag it as a customer and you could have someone grooming your inbox if you want to delegate it, but I actually do it personally.
Alex: I’d say there’s a fairly good chance that somebody wants to buy from you if they’re willing to write to you and take their time.
James: Even if they have a query, it’s helping me create answers to their problems by further developing my content, make another video, do a podcast, refer them back to that. Alright so, let’s keep moving on.
Ontraport CEO Landon Ray
Alex: OK. I was curious what you thought about Landon Ray, Ontraport CEO, he got up twice to speak.
Alex: And so the first time he talked about failure and I didn’t really see it coming. You know, why do you think he did that?
James: You know, I’ve seen him do that before and I’m interested in your point of view having just seen it for the first time. What did that make you feel?
Alex: At first, if I had just seen him get up there and talk and I wasn’t at this event for Ontraport, it wasn’t particularly compelling for I guess to make the sale. They’re up there talking about the features, all the employees are up there talking about these great products they’re doing but he got up there and he talked about how they basically bombed it for a bit and it left me not really knowing what to think.
James: Yeah, so it sort of made you depressed almost?
Alex: Yeah, a little bit.
James: OK, so here’s what’s my take on this. I think, keeping in mind that Landon will more than likely be listening to this because he’s a friend of mine. I would say that it’s probably important for Landon personally to share the background of why and the pain and the frustration that goes into making a product. So here’s a few reasons why maybe he does that.
Maybe it would ward off a would-be competitor, thinking oh s**t this is just too difficult. So that’s a potential strategic reason to do it. Maybe he just feels really compelled to share the journey with the audience and bring them along as stakeholders in this amazing journey which ends up having a successful…
James: Yup, he could be the hero. “Once I was lost, now I am found” that classic tale. It could be so he might be telling a story to transform and move people to the now place and give them the contrast that they need to get there and maybe he just didn’t know of a better thing to talk about in that particular segment.
If he were to ask my opinion, I would say that you don’t need to go into the depths of despair so much. It can confuse the audience and there’s a speaking rule of thumb that I stick to and that is that “Everything must support the sale.” So, I learned this from a pretty cool speaker-trainer who knew a whole bunch of tricks after watching a lot of speakers and this person gave me that tip and I… this person is a bit under the radar so I don’t publicly mention names; this person knows who they are.
Anyway, the point is if it doesn’t support the sale, if it doesn’t support the point of the presentation, it should not be in the presentation. So I think there’s probably better things you could talk about in that little timeline and to some extent I don’t think people really care that much about what happened until now. I think they care a lot more about how can this software help me in my business right now and only mention the past if it relates to something that’s coming up in the future like if it shows a trend or a behaviour that is useful for people in the future, then that’s great.
But I think that there’s probably better things to talk about and it’s really important that he leaves the audience inspired and on a high. So maybe he missed a mark on that for you?
Alex: Well, he kind of came back a little bit you know when he…
James: Then maybe he didn’t get everyone there or something?
James: You think he left some troops on the ground.
James: I think also I’d like to see Landon ditch the lectern and speak more naturally. It’s not for everybody speaking. It’s not easy to do. We saw a few staff members, who are not speakers, do an amazing job.
Especially the WordPress guys with the site speed and the WordPress hacks. Those guys were natural, they were fun and they were from the heart and they were giving good information, mostly good. I would debate one or two of the points from one of the guys. However, they only know what they know and that was, for the most part, really good information.
Alex: Yeah. They delivered it in a really concise manner.
James: And, there was a little bit of entertainment. There was a girl-guy combo going back and forth with tips.
Alex: Oh yeah!
James: Through what could be a pretty boring and tooth-pulling session on user features or something and they were flip-flopping the dialogue and that was kind of entertaining.
Alex: Was that the two people doing the mapping?
Alex: He got back up later on and you know like I said before, the first one left me feeling a little confused and like a little depressed, I guess is the word for it. So, he came back on the second time and he started talking about the role of leadership and he told the story from when he was starting off in a company and he had one of his early, early employees.
Alex: He was like not doing a good job. I think he told a story about how his customer service guy was holding the phone away from his head as he was talking to a customer and like, making faces and like, joking around while this person is like pouring out what it is they want with the business.
Alex: And, so Landon was like “Woah, what do we do in this situation?” And what I thought was really impressive was that he approached it with so much thought and he really took the consideration, because he could have just walked over, yelled at the guy and fired him. He could have.
James: That’s it and he was really making a point about how you, if you were starting a business now in the environment of social media, your reputation is so easily lost if you mess up and you have to work much harder than some of the other companies who are now established and may not have been able to replicate their success. He gave a few examples which I won’t mention here because they look after me very well but the thing is that I agree with that.
And we do a lot of reputation management work in our SEO business, helping people fix up messes where they haven’t done anything necessarily bad, they’re not bad humans, but they might have made a mistake and maybe gotten over penalized for it online, socially or whatever.
Alex: Like the landscape these days.
James: Yeah, like we’re not representing people who are axe murderers or anything like that or do terrible crimes like heinous things they get arrested for. I’m talking more about maybe someone just wrote something that they shouldn’t have and it got copied and shared or whatever. Maybe they were having an off moment and everyone has a downtime.
You know, everyone at some point maybe drinks too much or posts something late at night when they shouldn’t or whatever. So I think that’s a great lesson; I like the humility. I think it’s obvious that Landon really passionately cares about the growth of the business.
He did mention it’s heading towards the $10-million revenue mark and that they’ve got a team of seventy one people in Santa Barbara and they’re really working along. You can see the culture there, it’s kind of cool. Alright, so what else do we have?
Eben Pagan on mastery
Alex: We’ve got Eben Pagan.
James: Alright, let’s talk Eben Pagan. What did you think about that presentation?
Alex: I think I really connected with what he was saying. He was putting down the belief that you really need to be a master in one thing to succeed. And he was talking about how in this day and age actually being a master of or not even being a master, just being decent at a bunch of different things, basically a jack of all trades, is going to really let you excel in the future and right now with a business.
James: That’s super interesting to me because you hear a lot of people talking about experts and specialize and niche down, it’s kind of funny though because he did that power word exercise and that was really about niching down and finding them very specific. The most powerful phrases for your market will be very specific rather than vague and general. So, I like Eben’s presentation he didn’t have any slide assist or anything.
He was just straight from the stage, it was quite natural, he’s a deep thinker, his material’s great, he has good articulations around the terms that we use in the industry. His main point was about have better quality and just do better quality. There’s no shortage of quantity these days.
It’s so in tuned with what we’re doing with SEO, it’s in tuned with what I’m doing with shows like this podcast. I’m just putting out better quality content, better quality offers, better quality automation steps, result in a much better result, significantly better result. If you tune them up 10% for each of the steps, there’s 10 steps, you might get 250% result. If you double each step, you’ll end up with what, over a thousand percent.
James: So, that’s the key to how he scaled his business. He also said something pretty interesting and that is he asked for people who teach others and I would classify myself in that category. I’m someone who teaches others. He said these people are really meta-masters.
They get concepts, they think at a deeper level and they are doing things and really sweeping the world with change. And he asked people to identify with him if you were that type of person and he’s doing some stuff around that in the future. So, I think it’s really cool to see his transition. I’ve now watched him many, many times in different events and I thought it was one of the better presentations that I’ve seen him do because it was quite low-key but well thought-out and he had exercises for people as well.
So, it was a really good way to close out the event. He was significantly better in my book than some of the other keynotes and I really resonate with both his content and his style, it was right in my neck of the woods.
Alex: So they also did some interesting interviews with people who are users of the products.
James: Yeah, they did what, three categories? The affiliates, developers and what, user case?
James: So I guess we’ll cover the one that I was in first hey?
Alex: Yeah, that sounds good.
James: So that was the affiliate. So, they wanted to know how I sell OfficeAutopilot, which they now call Ontraport. How do I sell so much of it. And I talked about the little email that goes out when someone clicks on a link in my broadcast.
I have this footer link that talks about this is a permission email sent using OAP. If people click on that, then it will send out an email. So, I encourage you to click on that little thing in the email that you’ll get when you join my list and you’ll see the email that goes out.
You can see what I’m doing now with that email. How I tell a story. How I give third party proof. I tell my story and then I create a value-added video that explains in more benefits and features of the product and I offer a bonus, I incentivize the purchase.
I give people something they cannot get anywhere else that costs them nothing. That significantly increases the results they will get using the software and that, our friends, is the secret to making more affiliate sales. So, I think the audience really likes that. They’ve coined the term “The Schramko Sequence” and I think they’re giving it away to all users if they want to promote the product.
If they make one sale, then they will be gifted the Schramko Sequence which is pretty cool. Even though it’s going to introduce me to more competitors, I’ll have to lift my game now, so look out for Schramko Sequence Phase 2. We’ll see what’s in the works but I have some ideas. I even talked about what I will be doing and that is setting video triggers depending on how much of the story they watch will dictate what happens next in a “choose your own adventure” style.
Alex: Which is a really cool idea.
James: It is a cool idea and mad props to Jake Hower for creating that software that we talked about before that does that integration and he was the developer guy, wasn’t he? Talking about how he’s making add-ons for the system and they encourage developers to make things that plug in and work with their system so that users can get enhanced features and they can get a better result from the tool.
What was the other one? It was a lady talking about webinars. This lady was talking about how many webinars they run and how old some of them were. They get a webinar that converts and then they run replays of that webinar and they have sequences to tell people when the webinar is on and that the webinar is off now and that if they didn’t watch it or they didn’t turn up, it says it’s sort of like “Hey, you missed the webinar. Here’s the replay.” or they do watch it, they can send out exclusive bonuses that were mentioned on the webinar but not to people who didn’t qualify because they didn’t watch to that point.
So it’s pretty cool intelligent stuff and these are the sort of things I’m looking forward to rolling through in my business.
Alex: Yeah. I mean that’s the kind of thing you’d want to install manually but if this software can actually automate all of that…
James: Which it can. So right now, I think Taki’s using this in his live webinar model. If people don’t show up or they watch a certain percentage, it will send them different triggers for what they can and can’t receive. In fact, I might have been just talking about some of the things he’s doing with it and maybe I’m just blending what that lady said and what Taki does.
The idea is, use webinars, use automation, get really segmented and relevant, and you’ll get really mad conversions, and it’s leverage. You don’t actually have to be there.
James: And apparently one thing you can do is send people to an encore or whatever which you can man live. You just turn up and answer questions but you can run the replay but answer questions live. So, that’s another way to do it.
The Evergreen Business System
James: And I think I learned that one from one of the people in the crowd there who is like the godfather of the automation industry and used to set up Jay Abraham’s stuff. For Rich Schefren, he was the original guy that creates all these systems that then became stuff like the Evergreen Business System that’s now popularized out there in the marketplace.
So, it’s really good to see that, in fact, I’ve invited him to come and speak at my event in Sydney in March, the 20th and 21st at Manly and his name is Teddy and he’s a real expert at this automation. He’s really the man behind a lot of the cool stuff happening, especially with book launches, authors, speakers, experts.
If you want to learn how to do that stuff, you must look out for Teddy’s interview with me and his performance at FastWebFormula 5.
Alex: So, is he talking about Evergreen?
James: We’ll be talking about all that stuff. We’ll be talking about, alright I’ve got all these tools, I want to sell my book or whatever. How does it work, what choices do I have, how do we set it up. And that’s what his business does all day long. So I think it would be really useful for listeners to get into that stuff.
James: Just looking here, there’s like a million beach volleyball courts on the beach here wherever we are. Not sure where we are but there’s like rows of three and they just stretch forever.
This is an amazing view. This is a podcast so obviously you can’t see this but what you do is close your eyes and imagine white beach, blue water, beach volleyball and that’s the Pacific Ocean. Isn’t that beautiful?
James: OK, so we heard from some of the team members who are responsible for speeding up the site and using WordPress. Two topics that are close to my heart. So, they talked about some of the things you can do to group together the different aspects of your website as it loads faster, to turn on some caching, to Gzip, to CloudFlare, and here’s the main thing: Get off those crappy hosting shared server things.
If your site’s loading at 17 seconds or more, you’re killing your conversions, you’re killing your SEO, you are killing… I mean probably a small animal somewhere dies if you use that type of hosting. And I’ve got about 50 sites on that type of hosting as an experiment, as part of my catchment for our SEO business, and I’m regularly getting sent notification that they’re awful. They just time out, the database is exceeded, they’re not powerful, they’re not good for your site.
You’ve got to have a dedicated or very, very fast server capacity in this day and age. And they quoted a whole bunch of stats from Yahoo, Google, and Amazon about how much money they lose or how many searches or how many conversions they lose when the site’s not fast, and you’d be insane to stick out with a really crappy thing.
The WordPress guy was talking about some pretty basic stuff for you, our listener. You know all that stuff. You know about minimum viable products, you know about… He said go to ThemeForest, I disagree. A lot of those codes on those sites are janky.
They will cause you more trouble than they’re worth. I suggest you use a pre-done Genesis theme. If you need to get one up in a hurry we can launch them for just a few hundred dollars from our website, and if you want a custom one we’ll make one that’s responsive.
He did emphasize that it needed to work on every device, and that’s our standard. We don’t sell static sites any more. They’re all responsive. And he also talked about proving your concept before spending a whole lot of time and money on it, and I think that’s pretty good advice.
Don’t get obsessed with the idea, work on something that works. If you want to learn about that, listen to the interview that I did with Dane Maxwell, about five steps for a successful startup, and we’ll link to that in the show notes. Did I miss anything?
Fast and Powerful Sites with Genesis
Alex: No, you actually nailed it pretty well. Yeah, this Genesis is actually a really powerful theme, so I know that it’s a really good one to use.
James: That’s our preferred theme with our web development. Most of our sites will be Genesis, and that is because it’s easy to work with, it’s fast, it’s robust, it’s proven, and we’ve just been able to turn that into anything with our custom skins.
Alex: It’s also really geared up for SEO, the way it’s written. You were saying like with ThemeForest they’re not particularly well-written.
James: Yes. I think they were talking about installing a Yoast plugin as well.
Alex: Yeah, absolutely. Which kind of automates some of the SEO for you. It makes it really easy.
James: It does. Be sure if you’re going to do that, spend some time understanding what you’re doing. You’ve got a powerful tool there, and if you tick all the wrong boxes, it’s going to cause some mayhem for you. So I don’t even run Yoast on SuperFastBusiness.com. It’s a very powerful site, it’s got amazing search engine capacity, but it runs pretty lean in terms of SEO plugins.
Our team know to put an SEO-appropriate title, and a description that’s unique for every post. We do use some tags, we do indicate one or two categories, and it works beautifully for us. So it’s not mandatory. If you do use an SEO plugin, learn how to use it, or you might be making more trouble for yourself.
Google Analytics is Essential
Alex: What do you think about Google Analytics, do you use that a lot?
James: We do use Google Analytics. We think it’s great, and interestingly there’s a lot of stuff like social interactions being tracked there, conversion paths, time lag from first contact to opt-in, number of pages they go from. About 15% of my opt-ins will come after they’ve viewed 12 or more pages.
And again, about that many people will opt in after a number of interactions. You know, coming back, in terms of page time. So they might visit the site a month later and opt in, so it’s really interesting to see that we’re not in the same market anymore.
We’re not in that you’ve got to get them when they’re there or you’ve lost them market. A huge number of people will come back if you give them good stuff and you respect them.
Alex: And you wouldn’t know that if it wasn’t for Google Analytics.
James: Google Analytics is really a must-install in my book. Same with Google Webmaster Tools. Because even though you can’t get keyword data in Google Analytics all the time, “Keyword not provided” they show, and it’s going to be like that all the time, Google Webmaster Tools will show you the last few thousand search queries that had people arrive on your site, they’ll show you your rank for that in Google’s index, and they’ll show you the click-through rates so you can see how relevant it is.
And that’s what you want to use for your SEO optimization. You Google search queries, find the ones that are relevant, and tune those ones up.
Alex: One of the big things coming up is that sites need to be mobile-ready. Like you may pull up a website that, when you have it on your phone, looks like absolute crap. It doesn’t show anything that you can actually use to click. You know, using your fingers and pushing all the buttons doesn’t work.
So more and more recently, a lot of viewers – and you can check Google Analytics for this – are going to visit your website from their mobile phones. And if your site isn’t set up to make that viewable, then you’re instantly going to lose those people visiting your site.
James: Yes. You need to look in your Analytics and see how many site visits are coming on mobiles. When I went to a Google presentation, they were really pushing this idea of multi-screening. Everyone, pretty much 90%, so I’m going to say everyone, is using a different-sized device.
Like already today, I’ve used my phone, and my iPad, and I will be using my laptop later. So I will have used three different devices to access the Internet today, and that is typical. The smaller the device, the more important that you need to optimize things like opt-ins and stuff.
Because people use the small devices more often. They use them for short visits more often. They use the bigger devices less often for longer visits and higher transaction value. So if you’re selling tractors or something, probably a desktop-optimized site’s going to be fine.
If you’re selling an opt-in, or you’ve got a blog or a podcast, you’re going to get a lot of people listening to it on a small device. So you want to make sure that it works on anything. If you need help with that, the team at ATLWeb.com can help you convert your website, or get you a brand new one that works on any device.
Alex: I think that’s really useful. Because think about that data, like you said. People on average will visit 12 pages on your site, and then they will opt-in or purchase something?
James: And they’ll come back, more than likely on a different device the next time.
Alex: Right. So what if one of those times they’re on a mobile and they just decide to drop off?
James: Yeah. So that’s why my sites will work on any device. Well, hopefully they will. And unless we’re just rolling out a new launch, but they’ll be responsive. Responsive sites need to be recoded like five times to work on all the different browser sizes. But it’s worth doing.
Alex: Yeah. They mentioned Wordfence, which you can use to block out spammers.
James: Right. Yeah, Wordfence is a security plugin. And you can also use Securely. Securee? So we use those to stop brute force attacks and to check if there’s a problem with malware.
So let’s just do a summary of the whole event. What’s your impression of arriving at the resort, to the content, the way it was organized, and then the farewell party where we got to have a pretend casino by the pool with the DJ?
Alex: Definitely walking into the place I didn’t expect the resort. You know, Bacara is a beautiful place. The venue that they chose was incredible. And I think even just that alone would be something to get me to go to an event like that.
James: I think, also, immaculate facility. I was fortunate enough to arrive one day early, so I had a nice breakfast down at the poolside bistro, you call it, bee-stro?
Alex: Yeah, bee-stro.
James: I call it a “bis-trow.” And then I went up to the pool, I made a video, I had a swim… It was just a really great place. One of the best spas in the United States, apparently. Massage facilities and all that. And ping-pong tables.
It was just cool. And the casino night was a blast. I had a great success with the blackjack, was that what we were playing?
Alex: You were doing pretty well.
James: Doing pretty well. Really enjoyed that. Then we had the DJ playing some tunes that I actually recognized, probably from the 80s and 90s. It was a blast. And people were in sort of Frank Sinatra getups.
Taki Moore had – he looked like he had the fedora and everything, and jacket and looked pretty swish, and he had flipflops on, which I thought was really cool. So there you go. That was the Ontrapalooza wrap up. I want to say thanks to Landon, for having the vision to put on an event like that and to run a successful business.
The tool is great, I do recommend you use it if you have a similar business to mine. If you want to expand it and are just using something like AWeber or MailChimp, you will get a tremendous advantage for upgrading to Ontraport. You can get my bonus as well.
Head over to BuyWithBonus.com, grab your bonus when you purchase through my link, and I look forward to sending that out to you. Thanks so much for listening, and Alex, where can people find out more about you?
12 Degrees of Justin Bieber
Alex: Well, you can go to 12degreesofjustinbieber.tumblr.com.
James: I’m sorry, did you say “12 degrees of Justin Bieber”?
Alex: Yeah. Twelve degrees of Justin Bieber.
James: Dot Tumblr.com.
Alex: Dot Tumblr.com.
James: And tell me more about this. I’m intrigued.
Alex: Have you heard of Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon?
James: No. I’ve heard of Six Degrees of Separation.
Alex: Yeah, yeah. It’s like Six Degrees of Separation. And Kevin Bacon just happened to be a great example. So like six degrees of separation, right?
James: You know someone who knows someone who knows someone?
Alex: Right. Like you and I…
James: So we can always connect through Kevin Bacon.
Alex: We can always connect through Kevin Bacon.
James: And, because, nothing better than bacon, right?
Alex: Right, there’s nothing better than bacon.
James: Unless you’re a vegetarian.
Alex: Well, there’s still nothing better than bacon.
James: That’s like fakin’.
Alex: Or something, which isn’t as good as bacon.
James: Taken? Okay. And is there anything on this site?
Alex: Yeah. The site is basically a music experiment. And what I write there is a blog. And the whole thing is an experiment using Pandora Internet radio. And it’s to kind of test the limits of the Music Genome Project, which is what fuels their whole process.
Alex: So are you familiar with Pandora?
James: I think it’s like a sharing site, for music?
Alex: Yeah, it’s like a music site that plays a radio, and it’s based on, you give them a band… So let’s say, you say, Frank Sinatra, you know? To match the theme of the party we just got out from.
Alex: If you write “Frank Sinatra,” it’s going to start playing music like that.
Alex: But you can thumbs up or thumbs down, any particular song. And when you do that, it manipulates the station to track your preferences.
Alex: So what the whole project was, was to take the Pandora station and manipulate it on purpose. Because, you know, what are the limits of it? So we decided that we would take a Slipknot station.
Alex: And we would click thumbs up or thumbs down, until eventually that station would play Justin Bieber. Which is like really far away from Slipknot. So then the other side of it, that would be six degrees of separation.
James: And can you make it work?
Alex: Maybe. So the other side of it was Peruvian flute music. So you have six degrees of separation there. And we decided that that was the furthest thing from Justin Bieber on both sides.
And so then the goal was, a hundred and sixty hours. A hundred and sixty hours to listen to this music and click thumbs up and thumbs down on songs until you eventually get Justin Bieber to play.
James: And how far into it are you?
Alex: Eighty hours.
James: And is it working?
Alex: Yeah. I got Slipknot to play Justin Bieber.
James: Woah. OK. Well, there you go, folks. Well, great to catch up, Alex. It’s been a good discussion.
And I’m sure we’ll get some comments here on the blog. So we’ll man those and see what comes from this. Thanks so much.
Alex: Thank you.
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