Robert: Welcome to the Ecommerce Marketing Podcast. Today’s guest is Chris Davis. Chris is he head of Marketing Automation at LeadPages, and today’s, he’s going to be telling us and explaining how you can set up a funnel system for your business. Welcome to the Ecommerce Marketing Podcast, Chris, how are you doing?
Chris: Ah, Rob, thanks for having me. I am so excited and privileged to be here. So thank you.
Robert: Yeah, I’m also excited have you on. I know you guys do a lot of amazing marketing at LeadPages, so it’s really an honor to have you here to share the strategies that you’re about to share.
Chris: Yes, yes, and I am—I love doing this because there’s a lot of confusion around just webinar marketing in general. So any time that I have an opportunity to really teach on it and help people out and get started—because it can be a very, very beneficial tool for your business.
Robert: Okay, so, let’s just jump right into it. So tell us, why is creating a webinar funnel system important for a business.
Chris: Yeah, and it really—you know, Rob, it really goes back to the fundamentals of marketing, and if you go back in time, commercials. You think of commercials and infomercials, they have withstood the test of time. People wouldn’t still do them if they didn’t work. And the only thing that’s changed is technology. Technology has made it more available for people to emulate or implement these strategies at a lower price point. So what used to be available to only enterprises and big corporations, now the entrepreneur can do, and that’s essentially what webinars are. They’re leveraging the power of video to sell your product, and video is one of the most persuasive and powerful mediums that you can use to communicate the value, the benefits, the feature of your product to any target audience.
Robert: Okay, so, when you’re talking about webinars, you’re just talking about video, or does it also count—I know different businesses have different webinars. Some may be doing some audio. Do you specifically just focus on the video one?
Chris: Yeah, yeah. So I would say—I would define a webinar as a speaking over a visual representation, whether it’s slides or whatever. And I would say they’ve got webcasts, where a webcast is more like insta-teleseminar and tool where people can actually call in and look at the screen. So it’s kind of the same, but not, and then you’ve got your teleseminars or your telecasts, which are all audio. So for this specific podcast, I’m talking about webinars where it’s either you on a webcam, as well as your screen is being shown, a presentation and keynote are PowerPoint and you’re talking over the slides and presenting your information.
Robert: Okay, thanks for clearing that up. So what do you need to get started with creating a webinar funnel system for your business?
Chris: Yeah, absolutely—a lot of people, when they talk about getting started with webinars, they instant dive into the tools. And that couldn’t be more wrong. To get started to build your webinar funnel system, you actually need a product. You need something that you’re gonna give people. And this is crucial, Robert, because a lot of times, people will do a webinar, and not ask for anything at the end. And I tell people all the time, “Listen, somebody has taken the time to register for your webinar. They’ve sat through forty-five minutes to an hour of your presenting whatever it is. You’re actually robbing them of the opportunity to move forward and solve a problem by not having a core offering at the end of that webinar.”
So you really need a product to set up a webinar funnel, because the webinar becomes the most effective tool to sell that product.
Robert: Okay. So you already have the product, and don’t think about the tools—okay, so the end goal is just you trying to use that product to solve the problem for the attendees.
Chris: Right. So you have your product, but how can you make your product tangible to them? A lot of people will just say “Go fill up a registration page.” Now, if you’ve got a big following and high influence, that’s fine, you can do that. But if you’re just getting started, you need to give a little bit. Let people get used to you. Build a relationship with them. So that’s when I really recommend that you take your product—so let’s take a book, for instance. Let’s say you have a book. Take a chapter or two out of that book, or maybe a worksheet that goes along with the book, or a resource that goes along with the book, and offer it as free. That’s what we term a lead magnet. Now that way, it’s a softer commitment—they may not commit to the webinar, but perhaps they’re commit to the free chapters. And if they like the free chapters, then you’ve got more of a chance that they will opt in and register for your webinar, and you can sell to them, than if you just came out of nowhere and said “Hey, register for my amazing webinar!”
Robert: Okay, so, first off, everybody needs to have a product, before they even get started.
Chris: Absolutely. Absolutely.
Robert: So you already have your products, you already have this item software that’s going to be solving a problem for customers and attendees—what’s next?
Chris: Yeah, so now, you’ve got your product, you’ve got your lead magnet, per se. now it’s time to actually start strategizing, right. “Okay, so I’m gonna give them this lead magnet,” and then you need a way to connect the lead magnet to the webinar. And that becomes two-fold. What we like to use, this is more into kind of like our tricks, is we like to use the Thank You page of every opt in on our website—if you go to LeadPages and opt in, you’ll be granted with a Thank You page, and that Thank You page gives you the opportunity to register for the webinar right there. So that’s the quick and dirty. That page is extremely effective.
But since you have their email addresses now, this is where your email auto responder comes into play. Because now, you don’t have this one shot in the dark “Oh, if they don’t register on my page, I lost them forever!” They can now grab the lead magnet and you can nurture them and send them emails to build that relationship, so that when it is time for them to register for the webinar, it’s an easier decision for them to make.
Robert: Okay, so, just to paint a clearer picture for the listeners so that they can follow well—okay, so first you have the product that you solve the problem, you take out—like in your example, a book, you take out two chapters, you offer them for free as a bribe on your website. And you are using this bribe to collect emails. As you’re collecting these emails, you start nurturing and setting up sequences to the emails, sending out emails so that the subscribers get to know you more, and then eventually, you’re going to register them, you’re going to send them an email for a webinar.
Chris: Absolutely. Absolutely. So—and like I said, of course, when they opt in, you’re gonna give them the option on the Thank You page to register for the webinar too. So it becomes extremely critical, because there’s this voice of consistency. This consistent voice that needs to be present and extremely apparent in your entire funnel. So what the bribe is has to be directly related to the product. I say that because I see a lot of people, they’re treating like two different things. And that’s why I say start with the product, take a piece of the product, and offer it as your bribe, so that all of your communication and all of your funnel is in one voice, one consistent voice. Because it will eliminate confusion, because confused people don’t convert.
Robert: Wow. So really, you’re really setting up a huge system in the process to get these webinars. Even before you start providing webinars, you have this whole system going where you’re colleting emails, you make sure that the tone and your messaging is clear. And then—okay, so eventually, you send that email promoting that webinar, whether it’s a Thank You page or an email when people register. So what happens after that?
Chris: Yeah, so after they register for the webinar, the hard part—the hard part is done until after the webinar, I’ll say. So you’ve got your pre-webinar follow-up. And your pre-webinar follow-up is essentially reminders. I’ve not seen—the thing is, you can go overboard, right. So I try to tell people to keep it as simple as possible. And a lot of times, people are tempted to, after somebody registers for the webinar, they want to keep sending them content. They want to keep sending them videos and “Hey, this is what I’m gonna talk about and—oh yeah—don’t forget about this.” And what you end up doing is actually overwhelming your subscribers. And you’re like shooting yourself in the food because they’re excited for the webinar, and then you start giving away more and more and then they start feeling like “Well, I think I get it. I don’t need to attend this, I get the gist of it.”
So I like to keep the pre-webinar follow-up—so, the pre-webinar is they registered for the webinar, but have not yet attended the webinar. And I like to keep that sequence, that part of the funnel, and reminders. So I’ll send out maybe a three day reminder, one day reminder, one hour reminder, and then like a fifteen minute reminder, just to make sure that they know—that they’re reminded that the webinar’s starting, because people are extremely busy, and especially entrepreneurs. And we don’t manage our time as we should. We just don’t. So sending those reminders is the best way to get people to show up on those webinars, especially the fifteen minute reminder.
Robert: Okay, so that’s very interesting. So once you have that pre-webinar list, you don’t want to even send out any other email—you don’t want to confuse your audience. You just want to stick with, I guess, reminders just—and the whole reason is you don’t really want to confuse them, even know you might have something that’s really going to be helpful to them, you don’t want to be sending mixed messages.
Chris: Yeah, exactly. And in fact, and this more into some of the tricks that we do at LeadPages, when someone opts into a webinar at LeadPages, I put them in what I call a “do not disturb” mode, and the only emails they get, that I allow them to receive, are reminder emails. That’s it. Because I don’t want you focused on anything else, except getting on the webinar, and the reason being is because I’m so confident that when you get on this webinar, you will see how amazing my product is, and you’ll buy it. And that’s the most important thing.
Robert: And you already have the pre-webinar lists—okay, you’ve already set that up to a do not disturb mode, what’s next?
Chris: Yeah, so the next thing is to do your webinar. And what’s very important about your webinar is that you—of course you’re comfortable and confident. But the audio on your webinar is far greater than the video. If people can’t see you and can hear you, they’re more forgiving than if they can see you and can’t hear you. So it is worth your weight in gold, if you’re gonna take webinar seriously, to get a microphone or an audio system that is gonna allow you to be very clear. And then the next step is, you know, actually the format of your webinar.
And I don’t plan out the formats of our webinar, but if anybody’s every attended a LeadPages webinar, we take about a good fifteen minutes to introduce ourselves. Tim Page is our trainer, tells a little bit about himself, and then he sets the expectations. You have to set the expectations. “This is what you’re going to learn on this webinar.” Because remember, I’m still kind of—I’m not at ease yet, I’m still kind of skeptical. People are very skeptical, more now than ever, when it comes to purchasing and just doing what people say and do. In line with this whole theme of consistency, you’re gonna remind them “Hey, you registered for this, and this is what we’re gonna cover. This is how it’s going down on this webinar.”
And then for the next thirty or so minutes, it’s straight content. I mean, you are teaching, you are educating at your highest ability. I mean, that’s it. You really want to drive home what your tool is and how it can be used for their business success. Not focus on all the features of your tool, but effectively educating them on where they’re at and how to get to the next step and why you tool will fill that gap. And then the last fifteen minutes or so, you’re gonna pitch your product and then open for questions.
Robert: Okay, so during the webinar, you don’t try to sell the product at all, it’s just more educational?
Chris: Yeah. And you have to—you have to take advantage of the face that you have their attention. So there’s this—there’s a saying that it takes seven touches in marketing before anybody makes a decision to buy your product. So a webinar could count for all seven of those touches. That’s how hot the lead is at the end of the webinar. And when I say at the end, after you’ve introduced yourself, set expectations, and actually gave some valuable content in the form of education. If you don’t do those three things, please don’t ask for the sale. Please do not ask for the sale.
Robert: And what happens right after the webinar?
Chris: Yes—so, this is where—this is probably the most advanced. If there’s an advanced part to it, it’s after the webinar. Because you really have two cases after the webinar. Either they purchased or they didn’t. So to keep it simple, at a bare minimum, you want to talk to the people who purchased different than the people who did not. The last thing you want to do is send out a broad communication to everybody. So you’re gonna need a tool in place that can differentiate between who purchased and who did not, and then you want to talk to them accordingly. Of course, the purchasers, that’s easy, because you essentially need to deliver your product—which you should already have set up. But the non-purchasers, what you can do, which is very easy, is provide them with a time limited replay. So let’s say it’s forty-eight hours or so, and we use a LeadPages template with a countdown timer set to forty-eight hours and say “Hey, just for you”—and you’re just gonna email the people who registered and didn’t purchase and allow them the opportunity to view the replay, and perhaps get some purchases that—you know, put them at ease and give them a reason to purchase after the webinar.
Robert: Okay. And what types of tools do you need to create this whole system? Because there’s a lot of gears and there’s a lot of things moving. Is there one tool controlling all of this, do you need multiple tools? You have the bribe, you have the webinar, you have the after-webinar emails you need to send. So how do you set up all of these things to work together?
Chris: Yeah, so I’ll start with the basic setup and then I’ll give you a more advanced set up. So for a basic set up, you can use an email auto respond—well, the first thing is you need your landing pages, of course. So I was a user of LeadPages before I was on staff there, so I’ve always used lead pages. It’s simple, thirty-seven bucks a month, thirty-day free trial. You can actually run your entire webinar on the free trial, and actually make sales.
But anyways, you’re going to need a landing page platform, because that’s how you capture your traffic. Alright, so once you capture your traffic, you’re going to need to integrate that with an email auto responder. Again, I’m talking about your basic set up. So some of the basic auto responders you can use are AWeber, MailChimp, or GetResponse. Those are some of the basic ones. Now there’s one provider that goes from basic to advance that handles both those areas and I’ll put that one out there, and that’s ActiveCampaign. That’s actually the one that I recommend that you use come out of—if you’re just starting running webinars. And there’s a reason, and I’ll get into that a little later.
So now you have your auto responder in place. Now remember, the whole purpose of your email auto responder is to integrate with your landing page platform. So in LeadPages, you can select your email auto responder, and then select which listen you want somebody to be added to once they give their email address on the landing page. And what you’re doing right there is the handshake. The landing page is saying “Alright, got the email, here you go email auto responder, do your thing!” and they’re gonna go into the email auto responder and that’s where they’re gonna get the nurture that’s going to invite them to register for the webinar.
So now your landing page and your auto responder have done their thing. So now, your auto responder is gonna shake its hand back to LeadPages because they’re sending them the webinar registration page. And on that page, another feature of LeadPages is you can integrate your webinar platform with the landing page. So for somebody basically starting out, I would honestly recommend WebinarJam—one word. WebinarJam, and it’s powered by Google Hangouts—Google Live Hangouts. And what it does is it takes a hangout and wraps it in a skin that’s very presentable and allows you to run your webinar live, and it takes care of all the technical stuff for you.
So what LeadPages will do now is, once they get to the webinar registration page and put their email into that one, LeadPages is gonna shake it’s hands with WebinarJam and give them the email addresses, say “Hey, we have a registrant here.” And then WebinarJam—which I really like about them. You can program your pre-webinar follow-up in WebinarJam, so you can send the day reminder, the one hour reminder, as well as the fifteen minute reminder, all from WebinarJam.
So then, you have the webinar! So you’re doing your webinar on WebinarJam and you’re killing it, right. You’re sweating it, you got your cup of water, but you’re rocking it—and then you say “Here’s the opportunity to buy what I’m talking about. Here’s my product.” And they go to purchase.
Now you need a shopping cart solution. Now I wish—Rob, I wish I had an easy, basic shopping cart solution, but none of them are really basic and inexpensive. That’s just the nature of the shopping cart space right now. So there’s—for the basic user, there’s two ways you can do this. You can use PayPal—and the only problem with PayPal is it’s gonna take a little bit of technical acumen to understand how to get PayPal to talk to your email system to say “This person bought and this person didn’t.” So that’s a little tough. And then you have Stripe. Stripe is just as good as PayPal, but it doesn’t stand alone. It needs to be integrated with something, like a web form platform or something like that. So they’re not basic.
So one shopping cart solution that has come to the market that I really, really like and would recommend is SamCart. SamCart is one word. And what they allow you to do is they handle all of your sales automation for you. So when you purchase a product, they can add you to a specific list on your email auto responder. So if you have like a webinar list and then a customer list, they can remove people from your webinar list and put them on your customer list for you.
So those would be all of the tools if you’re just beginning. And it’s a lot easier, actually, if I update everything—I would keep everything the same if you’re a more advanced user, but for your email auto responder and your checkout page, you can use Infusionsoft, if you’re advanced. Infusionsoft or OntraPort are two options out there if you’re more advanced and need a little bit more marketing automation muscle.
Robert: So the only difference between the basic set up and the advanced set up is the advance setup, you have Infusionsoft and OntraPort.
Chris: Yeah. And what they give you is the ability to checkout.
Robert: Okay, to check out, and do they have—they have built in segmentation that’s probably more powerful than the others.
Chris: There you go. So now, if I purchase one on of—we’ll take Infusionsoft, for instance, because that’s what we’re currently using. If I purchase a product on an Infusionsoft hosted checkout page, I know what product they purchased in Infusionsoft, so I can easily say “Oh, this contact preached this product, so take them out of this sequence and put them into the customer sequence.”
Robert: Okay. So that’s—I mean, that whole webinar funnel system, it really is a system. [Both laughing] And you really do have to take your time and set up everything, but eventually, after everything is set up, it is a strategy that converts highly.
Chris: There you go. And here’s the thing, once it’s set up—and this is the case with all marketing automation—there was a saying, I can’t remember if I read it in a book, which—I know it read it in a book, I can’t remember which book. But it was saying if you give me an ax to chop down a tree in thirty minutes, twenty-five of those minutes, I’ll sharpen my ax.
Robert: Yeah, I’ve heard that before.
Chris: Yeah! And that’s it! That’s the whole process of marketing automation. If you take the time upfront, it’s boring, it’s not sexy, it’s not exciting—you’re not gonna go to somebody and say “Hey! I just build my email follow-up sequence!” and they’re gonna be like “Yay!” It’s just not that type of thing. But once you have it in place, this system is so powerful, because it is essentially what the entire business of LeadPages was built on. And now that we have a system in place, it’s just a matter of updating it every week. We don’t build out—we don’t have to rebuild it every time we have a webinar. You just update it. You update the date, the product stays the same so that next week, they get the right dates and you can leverage that time that you spent to build that one system multiple times over and over. That’s why it’s so powerful.
Robert: Okay, Chris, thanks for sharing all the tips and the strategies that you’ve shared. Did you have any final thoughts on the setting up a funnel system?
Chris: Yeah, just a final thought is take your time and actually plan. The biggest thing that you can do for yourself, if you want to run webinars, is get very clear on your product offering. If you’re very clear on that, the benefits, and how to communicate them, every other part of the system is gonna really flow. You’ll run into some technical barriers, that’s with anything, but for the most part, if you’ve got a solid product and know how to communicate your product effectively, I would say start right now mapping out and starting to build your webinar funnel system.
Robert: Okay, and how can people reach you if they have questions or they just want to follow up?
Chris: Yeah, the best way to get at me is on Twitter, autobizchris—A-U-T-O-B-I-Z-C-H-R-I-S. That’s the fastest way, if you need a response from me, if you get stuck anywhere, if you just have questions about tools, platforms. Maybe you have a landing page you want me to look at, Twitter is the best way. Otherwise, you can always go to my website, chrisldavis.com, and that’s like the hub of all things related to me. So if you have those two, you can’t miss me.
Robert: Okay, Chris, thanks for being on the podcast and thanks for sharing everything.
Chris: Yeah, it’s no problem at all, Robert. I really appreciate you guys having me on.