Advanced Marketing Funnel Strategies & Tactics – An Interview with Todd Brown

Todd Brown marketing funnels

Todd Brown – Advanced Marketing Funnel Strategies & Tactics. The Online Marketing Show Episode 001


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…

* The must-have tool to run your marketing funnel

* Why straight, linear funnels are dead! (Hint: Dynamic, segmented funnels are what’s working now)

* How to have a high converting, front-end funnel that pays for all your traffic

* How to create content in your funnel that does no selling, but still makes you a lot of money

* How many steps a funnel should have

* 3 back-end marketing sequences that will raise the lifetime value of your customers

* And a lot more! Trust me, this content is gold, invest the next hour to listen to it, it will pay off

Either listen to the interview or read the entire transcript below…

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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

Todd, thank you so much for being on the call with me today.

Todd BrowTodd Brownn: 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 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.