Advanced Marketing Funnel Strategies & Tactics
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Todd Brown is one of the worlds leading authorities on building highly profitable marketing funnels. He’s the creator of several training programs including “Marketing Funnel Automation Partnership Coaching Program, 26 Advanced Marketing Funnel Conversion Tactics and The Marketing Funnels Uncensored Newsletter”. He helped Rich Schefren grow Strategic Profits into the company it is today by implementing these strategies and tactics.
What we talk about in this interview is easy to understand but it’s advanced money making advice. It’s all about Marketing Funnel Optimization.
I promise you there is no joke, no hype in this next sentence… acting on what Todd teaches in this interview could easily multiply your online sales by double, triple or much more.
Why? Because your marketing funnel is the core of your online business. You have to get it right and you have to keep optimizing it if you want to make the most money possible.
In this interview Todd reveals…
Joey Bushnell: Hello, welcome to The Online Marketing Show! I’m your host Joey Bushnell
Today’s special guest is Todd Brown… who is without question, one of the worlds leading experts when it comes to marketing funnels.
He’s the creator of several training programs including “Marketing Funnel Automation Partnership Coaching Program, 26 Advanced Marketing Funnel Conversion Tactics and The Marketing Funnels Uncensored Newsletter”. I highly recommend you go check out his blog over at marketingfunnelautomation.com
Todd, thank you so much for being on the call with me today.
Todd Brown: You’re welcome man! I’m excited to be here.
Joey Bushnell: Thank you. Todd, how did you become an online marketer and become known as the go-to-guy for marketing funnels?
Todd Brown: I’ll give you the shortened version of how I first got online. Basically I was working for a company that owned about a dozen health clubs in New Jersey, in the US. I got a direct mail piece, a letter in the mail that was selling a direct response marketing training program for fitness professionals. It was about $300 odd dollars and I thought it was perfectly fit for what I was doing with this health club company.
So I went to the owner and asked the owner if I could buy this thing and expense it, he said :”Yeah go ahead.” I bought this course for $300 odd dollars, got it sent to me and that was my first exposure to direct response marketing, copywriting and the world that we operate in within the online marketing community.
I was immediately engrossed with this training program and got sucked in, so I decided I’m going to pick up the phone I’m going to call the dude who put this training program together and I’m going to ask him who he learned from, what did he study. That’s what I did and he mentioned Dan Kennedy. So of course, I immediately went out and bought everything I could get my hands on from Dan Kennedy, at the time most of what I was buying was on eBay and I dove in and was going through the Dan Kennedy stuff like crazy.
That very quickly led to me starting my first information marketing venture online. Knowing nothing about the internet, technology or websites, I barely knew how to send an email, this is about ten years ago now. The rest is history in terms of online, eventually the business started making a lot more money than what my job was paying so I eventually left that gig and moved down to south Florida and the rest is history.
How did I become the go-to-guy for so many top marketers in terms of marketing funnels? Well, two things really happened. One, I was originally a client of Rich Schefren’s when I decided to leave my job and go full time online, the skill set that I knew I was missing was business systematization. It wasn’t the marketing, copy or marketing strategy it was the actual systematization of the business. At the time I knew that and still to this day, Rich is the absolute best at teaching that side of things.
I became a client of his, we hit it off and became really good friends then Rich asked me to come aboard as a partner at Strategic Profits and run the marketing for him. So for about 2 years I was juggling, running all of the marketing for Strategic Profits, launching 15/16 different front end products, big internal launches, JV’s, affiliate promotions and campaigns along with my own companies. It was through my running of the marketing there that I got to work on projects with Jay Abraham, Clayton Makepeace, John Carlton and then became friends with Michael Masterson. Then worked on and co-ordinated projects, launches and campaigns with JV partners like Mike Filsame, Russell Brunson, Frank Kern and Ryan Deiss.
So I got to see 2 different sides of the marketing funnel world. I got to see what the online guys were doing and how they were applying direct response marketing techniques to their funnels online. I also got to see how the original “old school”, if you will, direct marketing guys did it offline. So how was Jay Abraham with his clients? How was he getting new customers? How was he multiplying their front end or back end? The same thing with Michael Masterson at Agora and the best franchises and divisions if you will at Agora, What were they doing? How were they doing it? Eventually that carried on over into application at Strategic Profits and we launched a whole bunch of killer front end products.
We launched the Founders Club Membership which is still thriving and growing today. We did about 3 quarters of a million dollars in 7 days in an internal relaunch of a particular product applying some of the things I have learned.
Just to wrap this up because I want to get into some meat and potatoes for everyone listening, what happened as about a year ago was a good buddy of mine Chris Brisson from Call Loop which is great application for SMS and voice broadcast, he was constantly giving me access to all of his software, application and all of this great stuff. So I said to him one day “What can I do for you?” and he said to me “Look, do a webinar for my customers.”
We had one funnel at the time which was doing 24 dollars for every opt-in and so I did this 90 minute webinar for his customers. He has a lot of savvy big name marketers on there. It was pure content, no pitch at the end and after that webinar Chris’s partner texted me within 20 minutes and said “People are freaking out they loved the webinar and they were disappointed you didn’t have something to share with them in terms of coaching, courses or training.”
Then we came back 2 months later and opened up Marketing Funnel Automation, the partnership coaching program and the rest has been history.
But enough about me man let’s talk about funnels what have you got next for me?
Joey Bushnell: My first question for you Todd, was for someone who maybe hasn’t heard the term before what exactly is a marketing funnel?
Todd Brown: A marketing funnel is a strategic process. A strategic set of steps that you bring a prospect through with the ultimate objective being… at the end of the process they desire your product and they are ready to buy. They see the need and value of your product as the solution to their problem and situation above anything and everything else.
Let me make an important point that I want everyone to get… When I first launched this Marketing Funnel Automation brand I specifically refer to it as a marketing funnel, not a sales funnel. Most people talk about it as a sales funnel but there is a distinct difference between marketing and sales.
I think it was Peter Drucker who said that the whole purpose of marketing is to make selling superfluous. When you do marketing the right way, you are leading the prospect to the make the decision on their own that your product or service is the best choice for them, the perfect fit and perfect solution for their problem or situation. People love to buy they hate being sold.
There is a massive difference in the way we approach a marketing funnel. Our job again, is to give the prospect this feeling of freedom of choice and freedom of decision so they feel at the end that they’ve come to the conclusion on their own and they weren’t sold. So there is a very specific way that we do that. I’m sure you and I are going to get to how we actually do that and how are we marketing and not selling. How are we leading them to the conclusion.
But again a marketing funnel is just a series of steps, it’s a strategic process and I say strategic because so many marketers get caught up in the tactics of the marketing funnel.
Most marketers, especially newbie marketers that get online and start learning about marketing funnels, when they think of a marketing funnel they think “OK, I’m going to have a squeeze page to a sale letter or one time offer to the order form to the up sell, if they don’t take the up sell it goes to a down sell, if they do take the up sell it goes to another up sell”. That is all the tactical components if you will, of a marketing funnel.
I refer to that as a an offer sequence. You have the main offer then you have the up sell offer or down sell offer or an OTO and so on and so forth. But what’s more important is the strategy behind the marketing funnel… What are you saying? When are you saying it? How are you saying it? Why are you saying it? What are you actually communicating through each of the steps of your marketing funnel?
Whether your marketing funnel is 8 steps, 4 steps or 2 steps, whatever it is… it’s the strategy behind the marketing funnel that’s more important than the tactics. You have to have both but you build it on the foundation of strategy.
Let me give you just 2 examples so that this makes sense. When we are putting together marketing funnels, there are a few things that we look at but 2 of the main things we look at are Market Sophistication and Prospect Awareness Level.
Market sophistication is basically what promises, claims and benefits have your prospects seen from competitors? What are your competitors promising to your prospects? What claims have they made about their own products, about the benefits of their products to your prospects? There are 5 different levels of sophistication if you will, in a market and depending on the sophistication level of the market, that needs to change the sophistication of your marketing.
The example that I give which comes straight from Eugene Schwartz and “Break Through Advertising” one of the greatest copywriters of all time, is this idea when weight loss supplements first hit the market, one day there weren’t any weight loss supplements then the next day there was a supplement the advertising only had to say “Take this pill and you’ll loose weight.” That’s it. That was because nobody had made any similar claim before, there was nothing like it on the market. It was a totally fresh and really you could call it a “level 1 sophisticated market”.
But as more and more competitors came out and were saying similar things, the market became more sophisticated and those same claims didn’t work to the same level that they previously did.
Now the marketing had to go up a sophistication level. So then it became “Take this pill and lose 7 pounds.”
Then when the market reached that sophistication level because more and more marketers were making a similar claim like that, then it was “Take this pill and loose 7 pounds in 7 days.”
Then it went on to “Take this pill that contains some crazy rain forest bark that blocks the absorption of fat in your intestinal track.”
They go through these different levels of sophistication. If you think about that one example then, today you couldn’t release a weight loss or fat burning supplement and say just “Take this pill and you’ll loose weight” Why? Because the market is too sophisticated for that.
So that’s just an example of how the strategy behind the campaign is more important, behind the funnel is more important than the tactics. It’s not about having a front end offer, an up sell, a down sell or an OTO.
If you don’t take into consideration for example, market sophistication you could come into that with all of the right tactics and the whole offer sequence but your message is not sophisticated enough for the market. It’s too “Unsophisticated” for the level they are at then it will fall completely flat. That is what happens to a lot of marketers and that is what I mean when I say strategy. Does that make sense?
Joey Bushnell: Yes, it makes perfect sense. I think we’ve seen that happen in the internet marketing world. I remember back in 2007, where people were selling push button riches, and all sorts of other shenanigans which we all know now, are total BS. Fast forward to 2013 and the market has really matured, they don’t fall for these things like they used to. So I can totally see your point there and I’m guessing that would carry over to any niche wouldn’t it?
Todd Brown: Absolutely, every niche will go through this and mature. They mature based on the marketing claims and promises that they are exposed to from the market place and from competitors. All we are saying is, if you could go into a niche and you could make a completely unique promise that they’ve never seen before, man you are going to crush it!
I’m not saying if you can go into a niche that no one has ever marketed to before. I’m saying if you can go in with a unique promise you are operating at that level 1 sophistication, so your marketing message doesn’t have to be that sophisticated. But in all niches eventually as competitors see you making money or as individuals see you making money and doing well competitors are going to come in. Usually what happens is you see lots of copy cats and so similar messages get put out to the market place. Then I don’t care what geography you are operating within, every niche matures and gets sophisticated over time.
It’s your job as a marketer before you begin crafting your marketing funnel, before you begin engineering it or start thinking about one word of copy, it’s your job to understand where your market is at on that scale of market sophistication.
Joey Bushnell: Todd that’s a great explanation, thank you.
Before we talk about strategy and some of the marketing principles that go into a marketing funnel, I want to first of all just talk about the automation part. We can do all of this, as the name of your website marketingfunnelautomation.com suggests, on auto pilot. So there’s lots of autoresponders and CRM tools out there that can help us to automate things.
In your opinion what is the best one?
Todd Brown: My opinion is that Infusionsoft is the best CRM. I don’t get paid anything by Infusionsoft for thinking that, if something better came along, better meaning it would allow me to do more things than Infusionsoft allows me to do for myself, coaching students and my consulting clients, I would go to that. I am always keeping my eye out for a better CRM but the thing that Infusionsoft allows you to do that makes it so invaluable is that you can auto segment prospects based on their engagement or lack thereof with your content.
What I mean by that and I think it will be incredibly valuable for everyone reading is… The days of bringing all prospects through a straight, linear funnel are dead.
What I mean by a straight, linear funnel is, the days of sending everybody to a squeeze page and then sending them through a 4 part video series, where 3 of the videos are educational, another one is a sales video… So day 1, you send an email to prospects who have opted in saying “Video 1 has been posted.” Then day 2, you send everyone an email that says “Video 2 has been posted”, day 3, send them an email saying “Video 3 has been posted” and day 4, an email saying “Video 4 has been posted”.
Those days are long dead of sending people straight through regardless of their engagement.
Some people that opt-in to that type of funnel will immediately on day one go and watch video 1 and day 2 go and watch video 2 and day 3 and 4 and so on. But what about the people who opt-in go watch video 1 then on the next day when they are sent an email about video 2, they don’t watch video 2?
Now if your entire video series makes up your entire marketing funnel, if it’s one big overriding message, that means every video in that example funnel is valuable and serves a purpose. Everything that we do, say and everything that happens in a marketing funnel is done strategically. It’s there for a reason, it serves a bigger strategic or tactical purpose. If It doesn’t then it shouldn’t be in the funnel.
We have to assume that in a 4 part video funnel, every video has a reason for being in there. Obviously, if it didn’t we wouldn’t keep it in there. Does it make sense to take a prospect who let’s say… gets an email about video 2, doesn’t click the link to watch video 2, doesn’t actually watch it, should we the next day send them an email about video 3 which sends them straight to video 3 without them even watching video 2? Does that make any sense?
No of course not.
That is like us taking a 1 hour sales presentation so to speak, and letting them skip a 15 minute chunk of that sale presentation. We might say something crucial in there or cover one objection or two objections, highlight a benefit or a feature that is critical to making the sale at the end, in that 15 minute chunk.
What Infusionsoft allows you to do, is move people through your funnel based on their engagement.
The people that are consuming the videos in this example… if they consume video 1, tomorrow we are giving them video 2. If they consume video 2, the next day we are giving them video 3 and so on.
The person who doesn’t, we are going to continue to drive them back to where they left off. So people can go through your funnel at the appropriate speed.
It’s like if you were selling “face to face” with somebody and they said they had to go to the bathroom, you would stop your presentation, you’d let them go, wait until they got back then pick up where you left off. It’s the same thing, we wouldn’t just carry on speaking. Infusionsoft allows you to do that and a whole bunch of other auto segmenting.
Segmentation is critical in the marketing funnel process because it allows you to communicate more targeted messages to your prospects. The more targeted you can be in terms of their engagement, needs, their response and their interaction with your content, the better your conversion rate is going to be for all the different segments.
Joey Bushnell: So in that situation Todd, where someone has a 4 part video series as part of their funnel and they watch video one and then they don’t click the link for video 2. So would you send them an email again saying here’s video two, you wouldn’t let them see video 3 until they’ve clicked the link and consumed video 2?
Todd Brown: Yes and No. What I mean by that is, yes I’m going to send another email about video 2, I’m going to take an additional 3 days to do everything in my power to get them to consume video 2 before I send them on to video 3.
At some point you’ve got to send them on to video 3 in hopes that they will re-engage and go back through video 2 as well.
If they go and watch video 1 then the next day we send them an email about video 2 and they don’t click the link or go to consume video 2. The day after I’m going to send them an email about video 2 that is going to present a different benefit, a different hook or angle as to why they should consume video 2. Remember people desire things for different reasons.
So sometimes the hook you present or the main benefit that you represent as to why they should watch video 2, it might resonate with some people but not with others. So the next email that we send out is going to be a different angle or hook.
Then finally, the day after that is going to be another angle and hook, ultimately again, trying to get consumption of video 2 and our marketing message.
After about 3 additional days we are going to drive them on to video 3 but they are now in a different follow up sequence, meaning that the people who are actively engaged in the funnel, the people that went to watch video 1 went to watch video 2 are in a follow up sequence that acknowledges their engagement. It acknowledges their engagement, it’s a funnel that’s designed for people that are hot and engaged with your content.
Whereas the people who didn’t consume video 2 that we eventually have to move them on to video 3 they are in a different video 3 sequence then that communicates differently with them than the other video 3 sequence that is communicating with the other “hot” prospects.
Joey Bushnell: So basically there’s no such thing as a one size fits all funnel anymore. Every funnel should be tailored to how the individual engages with the funnel.
Todd Brown: Yeah so if you are thinking big, operating big and you want to play like the big boys play, then you go the distance with your marketing funnel when you are engineering it because a single, phenomenal front end marketing funnel could revolutionize your business. It could revolutionize your business, a front end meaning customer acquiring.
The funnel or funnels you have that acquire new customers for you, when you have one that allows you to generate new customers at break even, meaning you spend $1000 and you get $1000 worth of new customers in your business, the sky is the limit. You’ve just reached the promise land because at that point it’s no longer about marketing it becomes a scale issue.
I mention that within this context because is it work for you to set up a funnel like this? Yes absolutely. But anybody that tells you that you can have a 7 or 8 figure business without putting in the work is lying to you.
The reality is, there is no fast way to sustainable riches online, that’s all bull crap. I’ve been around this game a long time, I wish it was true. I wish there was a fast and easy way to make crazy money online but the reality is, there is a big difference between having an income stream online or making money online and having a business online.
When people go after just income online, they are constantly having to hustle month in, month out. Eventually when that hustle breaks them they have to move on to something else.
Whereas what we are doing is building a business, a long term sustainable business that grows and grows every month. In order to have something like this you have to have a rock solid funnel that allows you to pay for traffic, do paid media and break even on the front. In order to be able to do that with the cost of media today, you need a funnel like what we just went through with multiple paths all based on engagement not a one size fits all cookie cutter approach.
Joey Bushnell: So with this type of funnel, you’ve already said Infusionsoft is your weapon of choice, it’s mine as well. Am I right in thinking that if there is anyone listening to this interview that has Office Autopilot, they can do it on there as well?
Todd Brown: Yes, that’s right.
Joey Bushnell: And tools such as Aweber, Get Response, Icontact, Constant Contact and MailChimp those types of auto responders, can’t do these extra things?
Todd Brown: With Aweber you can do certain things with AW Pro Tools.
The reality is that we shouldn’t even compare Aweber or Get Response with things like Office AutoPilot or Infusionsoft because Aweber is a tool to send out email broadcasts and email autoresponders. It is not a marketing automation tool, it’s an email automation tool.
So when we talk about segmenting on the fly and you and I could talk about tracking links, using interest tags and crazy marketing automation stuff in InfusionSoft. Aweber isn’t set up to do that, it’s not a tool to do that.
So to me the reality is, I have a lot of coaching students who use things like Aweber and Get Response, I’ll say the same thing to your audience as I do to my clients, I say “That’s where you’re at right now and we are going to set up the funnel with what it is you have right now, to the best of our ability. We are going to max out the tool that you currently have and get it as close to where I know it should be. But we are going to do that knowing that ultimately in the near future we want to move over to Infusionsoft” because done right, a tool like InfusionSoft or Office Autopilot will give you a positive return on investment month 1 when you use it.
So we are going to set it up right now with whatever you have, that goes for everybody. I don’t care whatever it is that you’ve got, you use what you have and you use it to the max. You don’t use a lack of tools, a lack of technology or a lack of capital as an excuse, ever!
I’ll tell you very quickly, I started my business over 10 years ago with $850 – that was it! For that $850 I think we formed a corporation there in the States, like a legal entity. We got a merchant account, I think we paid out $200 for that. We bought a domain name, some hosting and that was it. I never to this day invested another dime of my money into any of my online ventures. That $850 grew our first company, then the money from the first company grew the second company and the third company.
The point is… you can never let technology, tools and resources be the excuse because we just set it up the best we can, with what you’ve got then we go from there.
Joey Bushnell: So Todd, what are the main steps of a marketing funnel? I know that this is going to be different depending on the product, the offer and the niche but are there some core steps, core components, that you think should be in most marketing funnels?
Todd Brown: I’m going to answer that question a little bit differently than the way you were asking it. What I’m going to say is… First of all you were right in that every funnel is different.
Every funnel and the complexity of the funnel, the steps and the length is all dependent on the complexity of the product that you are ultimately going to present, such as how many features and benefits there are.
Also the number of steps in the funnel, the length and complexity of the funnel is based on the objections the market has, the sophistication level of the market, what competitors are doing in terms of, are all competitors using video or PDF’s? So there are a lot of these to take into consideration.
I spend a lot of time on with our coaching clients, it’s something that I call EBM content. EBM stands for Education Based Marketing. The bulk of a marketing funnel should be EBM content.
The way we are able to come up with the content, what you communicate and what order you say it is by asking one main question. There is a bunch of little questions but we start with this main question which is “What do prospects need to believe to buy?”
The way I want you to think about this, is I want you to think of yourself as an attorney, lawyer or prosecutor if you will, and you are presenting a case to a court room and jury. In this case, the jury are your prospects and there are certain things that they need to believe.
If you were prosecuting a case where the gentleman was being charged with murder, you would know that the ultimate objective is that you want the jury to believe that this guy committed murder. From that we can work backwards and we can say what do they need to believe in order to believe that. What do they need to believe he committed murder? That he was there, that he had motive, that his finger prints where there, that he is a shady character, whatever it is they need to believe.
Our entire court case as prosecutors would be presenting that information in a linear, logical progression, making sure that everything they need to believe in order to come up with a guilty verdict at the end we are presenting. To simplify it, if we were prosecuting we make a statement of what we want them to believe and then we back it up with a preponderance of proof.
Proof in marketing, proof throughout your marketing funnel for all of your claims is one of the most critical aspects of a high converting marketing funnel. Without proof all you have is a claim – that’s it. So as a prosecutor you can’t just say “He was there at the scene of the crime” that’s not enough. You need to say he was there and here is proof his finger prints were there, there was an eye witness, he was caught on camera and it become a preponderance of proof.
Making the claim is the easy part, any marketer can make a claim but the difficult part is presenting the preponderance of proof. So every point you would want that jury to believe, we present in the right order, like he had motive, here are the reasons, why the reasons are the proof. He was there at the scene here is the proof, he committed the murder here is the proof, his finger prints were on the knife, the knife has the victims blood on it. So we are presenting it in a logical, linear order and for everything we want them to believe, we are making a statement, a claim, a promise and then we are backing it up with a preponderance of proof.
That is EBM content. That is education based marketing and before I give you an example let me say this… all of this happens without talking about the product. We are not talking about the product, we are educating and educating them in a way that leads them closer and closer to the sale and increases their desire for the end result, even before we present the product.
So when we present the product, they want to buy rather then us selling. We are educating them in a way where we are pre-selling them on our product or service. So when we present our product or service, it’s exactly what they want and they are grateful that we presented them with an opportunity to get it.
An example is one of the early companies that I started, was a company that worked with chiropractors. We used to teach chiropractors and even create funnels for them and what it would do is offer a free video to prospective patients. The free video would be “How to relieve back pain naturally with no drugs, surgery or crazy treatments”. The video would be educational and what it would do is walk people through all of the different options that they had to relieve back pain.
All of the options where the other choices or alternatives to chiropractic that they had. But when they presented each of the alternatives one at a time, we would give them the negatives of those alternatives. We might give a weak benefit but we would go through such as they could go and get a massage, physical therapy, hire a personal fitness trainer, they could take natural herbal supplements and for each one of the alternatives we would tell them about the negatives.
Then when we finally got to chiropractic we would give them all of the positives. Now we weren’t talking about chiropractor care with the doctor we were just talking about chiropractic care in general. We educated them the whole way so at the end when we were done talking about chiropractic they got value from that marketing message and they reached the conclusion on their own that these other options suck, the best option is chiropractic care and I have to do it.
So when we transition from EBM content to the introduction of their service (chiropractic care) then it became “Yes, this is great I want this!” There was no hard selling needed or hardcore sale pitch, there was no fake scarcity needed, none of that. This was because we educated them in a way that led to the sale. We pre-sold them on the idea of chiropractic care with education based marketing content.
So whether that EBM content gets delivered by PDF, video, audio, a combination of those, a webinar or evergreen webinar or Google hangouts. Whether it’s done in 3 steps, 6 steps that is all dependent on how much information you have to present. It’s just like the question of how long should a sales letter be? Well, a sales letter should be as long as necessary to make the sale and no longer. Whether that is 3 pages, 1 page or 25 pages there is no arbitrary length, just like there is no arbitrary number of steps for the ideal marketing funnel or no ideal length for the perfect marketing funnel, it’s all dependent on what you have to communicate.
Joey Bushnell: So Todd, if we were to picture this front end marketing funnel, am I right in thinking it’s an opt-in or squeeze page of some kind, then they are delivered the EBM content then you are sending them to a video sales letter or sales page to make the sale but only after they have consumed the content?
Todd Brown: Yes, I think that is fair. For most marketers online, the majority of their conversions and front end revenue will come from the follow up steps in the marketing funnel. Whereas companies like Agora or take Stansberry research for example, one of their divisions they send people directly to a sales video or sales page. They are able to do that without an opt-in because of the quality of their copy. The quality of their copy is so good that they don’t need to generate a list of prospects, they can just send people directly to a sales message, generate enough sales to pay for their marketing and only a customers list.
For the average marketer online, yeah at a bare minimum, more than likely they should send people straight to a squeeze page. Then from a squeeze page have some kind of sequence behind that. The sequence then depends, in some cases you might have an immediate one time offer that you present right off the back of the opt-in depending on the niche and the product and so on. Or depending on the price point you might have a lengthier funnel, where you have one or more videos. There is no one tactical way to set up a marketing funnel. There is one right strategic way to set up a marketing funnel but the tactics of how you deliver your message, well there’s more than one way to skin a cat.
Joey Bushnell: With our front end marketing funnel, are we looking to make a profit on the front end? Or is this just something we are looking to break even with and make money later on?
Todd Brown: The right way to do it and the way the big boys operate (when I say big boys, I mean real big boys, the Agora’s, Boardrooms, etc) is that you look at your marketing in two different categories…
Marketing to prospects in order to make the first sale and get the first transaction with them, that is what we call front end.
The other category of marketing, is all the marketing that we do to existing customers, people who have one or more transactions with your company and that is what we call the back end.
The purpose of the front end is to acquire the maximum number of new customers at break even. That is ultimately the goal, maximum new customers and for the average marketer, it’s at break even. We won’t even get in to the more advanced “going negative” on the front when you have the cash flow, we’ll just say the goal is… maximum new customers at break even.
There are 2 components there… One is of course, at break even, that means if you spend $1,000 in media buy, your goal is to get $1,000 back in the form of new customers. That’s really like acquiring customers for free, there is no expense. If you invest $1,000 and get $1,000 back plus you get new customers on that front end transaction, that’s not an expense, that’s an investment and you should be willing to do that all day.
The second thing and this is where a lot of people seem to misunderstand, is that the goal is not just to break even, the goal is maximum new customer acquisition. I hear a lot of marketers say, they will teach from theory this idea of why have a $1 trial on the front? Why not sell an expensive product?
For you, if you are selling a $1 product, let’s say you have to generate 1,000 sale,s where as if I’m selling a $1,000 product, I only have to generate one sale. The difference is I would much rather take 1,000 new customers at $1 a piece than one new customer at $1,000 because now even though on the front end they both break even and both put out in the same financial situation, if I have 1,000 new customers and you only have 1, I have the ability to put those 1,000 new customers into a back end funnel and sequence that sells them on my premium offer.
Now we could bring them from $1 to a $97 a month continuity program or a $500 offer or to a coaching offer, a $2,00 or $5000 offer. I have 1,000 people to work with and you only have one. The goal is maximum new customers on the front end at break even.
The purpose of the back end, all your marketing to your existing customers is to maximize lifetime customer value, is to build the value of your customer.
So if you know that every $1 customer you get is currently worth $300 to you, our goal is to increase that so your average customer goes from being worth $300 to being worth $350, $400, $500 and eventually to being worth more and more. The marketer with the highest lifetime customer value can dominate.
If my customers were worth $3,000 to me and your customer is worth $300 to you, I can afford to spend $1,000 to acquire a new customer if I really wanted. Whereas that would put you out of business but for me it would still give me $2,000 of profit over the life of that customer if I wanted to, so lifetime customer value that’s all back end.
Joey Bushnell: My last question was, I’ve seen on your blog, you talk about 3 back end marketing sequences that can help you maximize the lifetime value of a customer, can you let us know a little bit about those 3 sequences?
Todd Brown: There are more than 3 but these 3 that I’m referring to are the resell sequence, the retention sequence and the reactivation sequence.
The resell sequence is what most marketers online call their fulfillment sequence or thank you sequence. So somebody buys a product and most marketers fulfill the product, they will deliver the product whether it’s physical or digital. That sequence really should be used to resell them on their purchase, sell them on consumption of the product.
In other words don’t just deliver the video course or eBook, it should resell them on the wise decision that they made. It should also deliver a phenomenal customer experience, make them feel valued and give them access to whatever training materials they need. It should also build a relationship with these people because ultimately your goal is to continue to sell to customers by delivering more and more value. Deliver more value in exchange for their investment in you so you build a relationship but it should also be used to generate testimonials and referrals. These are all things that need to be built in to the reselling sequence, that is number one.
The retention sequence is really more of a sequence that is applied to continuity. What are you doing to retain your members or subscribers above and beyond just delivering the content that they expect to get. So if you have a newsletter, membership site or CD of the month or book of the month club, it’s a sequence that is designed to remind your customers of the return of investment that they are getting from their subscription. It’s telling them, reminding them and refreshing them on the benefits they are getting, the community that they belong to and the value they are reaping from this continuity program.
In terms of keeping them around long term, one of your goals with this retention sequence is to tease future content. Tease what is coming up, what is going to happen next and what you are going to miss out on if you are not a member. In the retention marketing sequence, it’s rewarding your members with little gifts, trinkets and unexpected surprises recognizing that there is a value to each subscriber.
If you realize after looking at your metrics that a significant percentage of subscribers or members drop off at month 5 then you know in month 4 it would benefit you to send out a little something extra. Spend the $10 or $12 to send them a little gift tapping into the whole law of reciprocity the month before the big drop off point because if that helps you boost up your retention rate and you’re charging $47 a month you could very easily, very quickly see a positive return on your investment. So a strategic use of expected gifts is extremely valuable.
Then the last one, the reactivation sequence is just about not giving up on customers that either asked for a refund or cancelled their membership with you. But recognize that with the right reactivation campaign, in the right setting, you could activate up to 50% of the people that go inactive.
If you have a membership site for example, credit cards decline because of balances or expiration dates on them and I learned from Jay Abraham a majority of people that go inactive in any business, don’t go inactive because of anything harsh or negative from the business or business owner did but they go inactive for one of many different “Life reasons”.
With a certain reminding them, that there are no hard feelings, these things happen, come on back with different custom offers for inactive, cancelled or old clients. You can re-engage with them and bring them back. Remember that a customer at one point has the potential to be a customer in the future and it’s your job to continue to try to make that happen. So that is the reactivation marketing sequence.
These 3 sequences are of course in addition to the big back end sequences that are designed to sell your customers on bigger and more valuable products and services with you. Your job with your customers is to deliver more value at higher and higher price points to your customers. The key being deliver more value, don’t just have the mindset of what can I sell to them today. I learned from Jay Abraham… fall in love with your customers, value the customer and be a true customer resource and advocate for your customer. Put their needs at the forefront of your mind and you can’t go wrong with that.
Joey Bushnell: Todd, you said you were going to give us some meat and potatoes and there it is! Absolutely brilliant, so thank you. Where can we find out more about you and where can we get more of this first class information which is going to help us build our own first class marketing funnel?
Todd Brown: The website you mentioned earlier, go to marketingfunnelautomation.com. Put your name and email address into the form and you will get our email newsletter when we put out new blog posts and have webinars you will get notifications on those things.
We have a couple of different programs right now that marketers can participate in and they’ll learn more about when get on that email list. We have a print publication called Marketing Funnels Uncensored it includes analysis, dissection, explanation of a player money marketing, money making marketing funnels. There is a newsletter with that, a blue print report that gets mailed to them.
There is also of course, the Marketing Funnel Automation Partnership coaching program when that opens up.
We have a product called “26 advanced marketing funnel conversion strategies”.
But more than anything everyone, go over to marketingfunnelautomation.com, get on the list and I strive to always put out some great content so you’ll find value if nothing else just being on that list.
Joey Bushnell: Brilliant, Todd I want to thank you so much for your time today and thank you for being so generous with your information it’s been absolutely first class. Thank you every body for listening in, get on Todd’s free newsletter and you’ll be able to continue your marketing funnel education.
Todd Brown: You are very welcome, thank you so much Joey, talk soon.
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