The eCommerce Marketing Podcast walks you through everything that goes into ecommerce marketing — from inbound marketing to paid advertising to conversions. Learn the strategies top marketing experts use to grow their businesses.
Marketing Strategies Revealed in this Episode:
Welcome to the Ecommerce Marketing Podcast. Everyone. I am your host, Arlen Robinson. And today we have a very special guest, Josh Coffy, who is the fully caffeinated founder of an ecommerce marketing agency – Flight Media – as well as a real estate investor. He’s helped his clients & students generate more than $40M in revenue and specializes in helping ecommerce brands explode their email lists & revenue through giveaway campaigns. He’s an avid reader, coffee enthusiast, and part-time comedian.
Hey, it’s good to be on it. Yeah.
Not a problem. I’m excited, too. Yeah, definitely. Definitely. I’m super excited. And from leading your intro, there sounds like you kind of got your hand in a few things. There real estate investing, digital marketing as well as the part time comedian. The course that I have, though, is when do you sleep?
Yeah, I know. That’s the trouble. My days. It’s pretty crazy. I’m gonna go to bed [10:00]. I’m up at 445. I’m in CrossFit by 530.
It’s actually right now I’m in our coworking space. So we have an eight0 square foot coworking space in there downtown. My wife and I called Coffee Space, and it’s coffee space.
So you run and manage that cord.
You say I have the ideas, but my wife runs and manages it.
Okay. Got you. It’s fun.
And then our agency works out of here, too, which is pretty cool.
Okay, that’s good. So it’s kind of a dual purpose there.
Yes. Exactly. Tons of fun.
That makes sense. Well, I know the dual purpose aspect of it kind of helped you out during the Cove. I would imagine you guys saw kind of a bit of a shutdown with the height of things.
Well, so we bought this. This is a historic building, and so we bought it in 2019. And I thought I told everyone I was like, it’s going to take nine months. We’re going to be renovated and rolling and ended or 2018. And it took two years to renovate. But yesterday we celebrated our one year of being open, so they’re fresh. We opened it right when the lockdowns had come out in Ohio.
So we opened in the midst of all of this. So it’s been interesting people weren’t in here. My team worked of this through COVID in the lockdowns, but we open in the middle of all of this asteroid was out of lockdowns. Gotcha probably is slower growth than we would have seen without it, though.
Yeah. I could imagine what that’s good stuff, man. We have Congrats on getting that going. And yeah, I’m sure that’s a great opportunity for your local community there. Yeah, well, great, Josh. Well, as I mentioned, an intro, one of the kind of key areas that you are in and that you focus in there with Flight Media is helping companies generate revenue and exploding their email lists through giveaway campaigns. And so that’s really what we’re going to talk about. It’s really a hot topic, because I think a lot of businesses these days are really wondering.
We keep hearing how email is still alive. It’s not dead. And how many things that you can do to try to really grow your list. There’s all of these tools out here. But giveaways is something I think a lot of times people don’t really know how to, how to implement correctly. And so I’m hoping that you’ll be able to enlighten us and give our listeners some actionable advice and tips on how they actually can do this for their business before we do get into all of that, why don’t you tell us a little bit more about your background and you know how you actually did get into what you’re doing today.
So my first business was not our marketing agency, and also our marketing industry is called Flight Media. And I own I’m a musician. So I love drums. I play a lot of instruments, but I love drums. And so in 2012, I started my first business called Flight Drummers. And actually, this is before online courses were even a thing. Right. So we started it is 20 11, 20 12 ish. And it was called Flight Drummers. And I had this idea of doing online drumming edges education. Most people pay $25 to $50 for a half hour lesson, and I figured, hey, what if I bring in all these drummers that are known in the drumming community?
We built a studio and we’re like, we’ll bring them in, we’ll fill them, and we’re going to have memberships. And so that’s kind of how I got going. And what happened was I had a business partner. He was the skill, I was the brains and the marketing of it. And he was an incredible drummer way better than I. And we started getting members. We had members in 22 countries. We were growing. People were paying us every month, have access to this growing library of education. Unfortunately, things didn’t work out between the two of us, and I just realized I was more passionate about marketing than music, even though I love music.
And so I split out and still friends of this day. But I started Flight Media, and he took Flight drummers. Now he shut it down not long after I had left, because you need to know how to market it. But that kind of was the foundation of Flight media was marketing. And a lot of it was around education, too. And that’s back in the days when Link went on Instagram. I remember when Instagram wasn’t it was relatively new in 2011 aspect when you can follow, like, 1000 people in a day and then they follow you back and then you go and follow everybody.
And so we were doing the whole following follow before that was even taught. I know obviously can’t do it now. We were growing and we ended up getting well over a million views in year one on YouTube. We had, like, 50,000 subscribers, and we’re just starting to explode. And then I kind of headed out and started the journey of marketing, which has been pretty amazing, honestly.
Okay. Well, that’s awesome. That’s quite a story with the drum business that you guys had there and then moving over and shifting over to digital marketing. And so it sounds like kind of the online space use you still have been in for quite a while now, even prior to Flight media.
Yeah. That’s kind of a value. So I graduated high school in 2011. So I went to College for nine weeks. I went to College, and I realized, you know what I think this internet, Google, YouTube. I think I can create a business, and I could create a life with the Internet. And my parents hated. As soon as I dropped out of College, you’re like, okay, you’re paying rent. We’re not paying for this. I’m not paying for this. You have to go work here. And so as soon as I dropped out, I had all these ramifications of it consequences.
Let’s say. And I started harnessing the Internet. And now I can’t complain. I’m so grateful for the life I live when it gets to do.
Okay. That’s awesome. So you don’t look back and you don’t regret dropping out out of College?
Definitely not. I’m a nine week drop out. I went in.
Wow. Got you. Well, kudos to you. Definitely. It could definitely be done. But I can definitely understand the pain and angst that your parents had at that time, because people that are older or kind of from the old school. My parents are the same way. I couldn’t have imagined if I would have dropped out. I don’t think I I don’t think I would have been able to come home.
Actually, none of them had social media. So when I told him like, yeah, we’re going to manage social media for companies and get paid for it. They’re like, that was just ludicrous, right?
I could imagine. Well, good stuff. Well, thank you for sharing that and elaborating on how you got to where you’re at today. But as I mentioned at the top of the episode today, we’re going to be talking about exploding your email list using these giveaway campaigns. And we really kind of want to start off with is why really? Now are these giveaway campaign effective and really are they appropriate? And how are they appropriate for e commerce businesses?
So there’s this cliche marketing line that I’ve heard for ten years, and it makes me want to throw up a little bit when I hear it. And the money is on the list. Have you ever heard that? Yeah, the money is in the list. The money is in the list. And it makes me cringe. But it wasn’t until about seven years ago that I had this experience with that. Every time I would hear it, I’d be like, okay, yeah, the money is on the list. Whatever. And then seven years ago, we had a client who had 2000 people on their email list.
He was making maybe $10,000 a month with his list, and he hired my team and we went and we look at everything we said. Ok. Well, here’s what would do. And we took it. We took $100 product, and in the first 30 days, we sold 2080 units. So we made 208 grand approximately give or take a few thousand. We sold 2080 units in 30 days with that list. And that’s where something clicked. I’m like, wow, the money is in the list. What I tell everyone is like, email marketing is the most legal way to print money on demand.
It’s the only legal way to really do it. I mean, you have an email list. I have an email list. If I want to generate sales or clients, I send an email to my list, and I make sales. And e commerce is more that than anything. In fact, most Ecommerce businesses are in the 30% to 50% revenue range. If they’re doing it right, I should be coming from email. And so when we have that realization, especially Ecommerce has the largest return on investment right now. It’s a 45 to one.
It used to be like 40 42. It’s 45 as of the benchmark for this year. From the latest 2020 data, $1 investment produces 45 to return. And so our team really started honing on how do we grow email lists and what are the most effective ways? And how do we generate more importantly, sales from that and giveaway campaigns? We test it with some clients. And actually, last month, I did a beta test with 120 Ecommerce companies. They all paid to be part of it. And I did a giveaway boot camp.
And we sold people coming into the on demand version now. And we drew over 50,000 emails for those people in the group in one week. So we’ve been doing this. We haven’t opened the playbook to anyone. And that was the first time we did explain how we generate it and how it works. And we had over 50,000 people to those lists of those people, and some of them were starting at zero, which was crazy somewhere at zero, somewhere at thousands already. But it really, really works.
And so that’s kind of why I’m a huge advocate for them.
That’s Hu huge. Actually, I had one question came up when you were speaking about the potential of this and with e commerce companies, at least in your example, you were dealing with these e commerce companies. Were these product companies or were they product and service companies, or was it kind of a mix of both and is it appropriate for both types of companies?
Great question. All product we only did e commerce with. I believe some people in the group were doing drop shipping. I would say if they had inventory, they had products warehouse somewhere that they were actually shipping. So it was primarily physical products. I would say from a B to B standpoint. So if, like, an agency, I’m not going to be running a giveaway, I don’t need to because we have so many leads and we have product we don’t need to always work best for people that have actual products that they can sell from the commerce Sandpoint.
So that group of 120 was entirely Ecom and product base.
Okay. Yeah. I was just curious. I have seen giveaways of when people running giveaway campaigns in the service space. Personally, in our space, we’re a SAS company, and I have seen people try to do it in our space in it. I’ve seen people that have had a fair amount of success with it, but I think it’s a little bit more challenging because the SAS companies, they really unless they go outside of the scope of their services as to what the giveaway is, it becomes a little bit difficult.
What do you think?
The only thing I would say about SAS SAS is unique, and I honestly haven’t run one for a SAS company, and we work with several of them. Still, they’re kind of grandfathered in his clients. We haven’t run one because one of the keys and there are some rules that I have when you’re running giveways and one of them, you have to have a relevant offer. You typically don’t want it to be your product, because then nobody will buy during the giveaway if they think they might win.
I could see a SAS if I had a SAS company or I use one of our clients, I would consider giving away a year or three. People would get a year subscription to whatever of unlimited because your cost is virtually nothing or very low. And you know that the people opting in for that would only have opted in if they were interested and would utilize it. So, you know, you have a targeted list. So actually I haven’t run it specifically for SAS, but I would say that I don’t know why it would work any worse.
Your cost per acquisition might be a little bit higher than a product based one, but I don’t see what that wouldn’t work.
Yeah. Yeah, that makes sense. And the cases that I’ve seen that’s actually what I saw where people were giving these companies were giving away a year worth of service. I’ve even seen a lifetime lifetime is a little tricky. Yeah, that’s a little tough to give away lifetime, but I’ve seen some companies do it because that definitely stands out. But you are going to have to eat the cost for the lifetime of that customer when you’re servicing them, just supporting them and that type of thing.
But yeah, I can see how that could be done thing. But if I saw an affiliate software or I sold an email marketing tool and I had 10,000 people entered to win the email marketing tool. Clearly, they all need email marketing, and they’re interested in my tool, or they wouldn’t have entered if they would have. Just not like, you never give away an ipad because anyone who want an ipad and that has no relevancy to whether they would want your product or not. So that’s where the first rule of there’s five rules.
The first rule is relevancy, and if it’s not relevant. So I’ve never done any assass because we work with ecommerce product based businesses, but I don’t see why it wouldn’t work. To be honest.
Okay, great. Well, that actually brings me to my next question was, I think a great segue because you had mentioned the relevancy of that giveaway. And so I guess I’m sure the million dollar question a lot of the listeners and viewers are wondering if they want to do this. How do you decide what to give away when you’re doing this? And how do you structure this whole campaign?
So everyone will be a little bit different if you have a lot of products, it’s easy to use one of the products that you sell. But if you have one product that you’re selling, I generally recommend getting buying other products that would complement it. So five rules first rule is it has to be relevant. Like I said, don’t give cash, don’t give an ipad, don’t give a MacBook Pro. I anybody will enter those. And it doesn’t mean that they would be interested or use or want your products.
And so the first thing is, whatever you’re giving away has to be relevant. So we did this for input. It doesn’t have to be your products either. So we had one of our clients. They sell amazing custom etched wine glasses, and they’re really cool. They’re humorous. They have ponds like it’s just they’re really good talking points. And so they sell wine glasses. Well, we didn’t want to give away wine glasses as the only giveaway. So what we did was we created what we call the wine lovers essential giveaway, and it gave away everything that you need gave away the wine rack.
We didn’t give way wine because that gets a little tricky, but we gave it the wine rack, custom Cork screws, custom holder is we did give away some custom glasses. So we gave me all these different things, like a ton of different pieces with it. It was like a three or $400 value. They ran it and they were starting at almost zero on their email list because they do a lot of Amazon. So they didn’t have a lot in their own database and Shopify. And they added 2700 people to their email list in less than a month.
Wow. So first has to be relevant. So wine accessories are relevant to wine glasses. That’s kind of our first rule. The second, I think, is it needs to be easy to enter. So this is the largest mechanic people make is give us something irrelevant or the really large thing they do is they make it really complicated to enter. It has to be easy to enter. Some people are like, okay, follow me on here. Go like this page. Go here, drop a comment like this. There’s like, 14 things.
Yeah. And then they do it on like an Instagram post. It needs to be easy to enter and you need to gather their information. So they need to go to a website page and enter their email to initiate the entry point because you need to own the data.
Yeah. I was just going to ask now with that entry point, because traditionally, of course, most ecommerce these days are going to already have some type of opt in for the list, probably various places, various touch points on the website. When you’re doing a giveaway. Now, does that need to change? Do you need to change the placement of where these opt ins are? Does it have to be special, or is there any particular rules to how you’re really promoting this?
So how you drive traffic? There’s a lot of ways I always recommend utilizing a paid traffic source. Facebook ads is so easy, you’re going to get leads for $0.50 or less per person. I mean, it’s so easy. In our beta group, we have people getting leads for $0.12, $0.36. It’s just unbelievable because they just start to go viral and you get tons of social proof and engagement. But we always drive into a landing page and you have to use a tool. So there’s a few different in the rules.
Like one of them is. Remember, I’m looking at him right here on the lot. So rule number four is it has to be gamified, so you have to gamify rate and email is the entry point. Once you gather that data, you need a game, a fight so they can get more entries by sharing it by following you on social media, by visiting a specific product page by watching one of your product videos and then give them bonus points when they complete all of the actions. So you gamify in a way that is driving them to look at key products and look at collections and take certain actions to engage with you.
On social media. You’re growing your social media audience, you’re growing your email list, you’re growing your social media audience. You’re also driving traffic to your product pages that are now getting hit with remarketing ads, and then they’re watching your brand videos. You can have them take surveys. So there are tools you can do for that. And they’re at two. We recommend. One is called Gleam, Gleam, Gleam IO, and another one is called upviral. The two tools really easy. They integrate with Clay, the INTERGROWTH, basically an email marketing tool really easy to set up.
And it gamified just literally copy the code and embed it on a page on your website and it builds this whole beautiful form. Super simple. You just drive traffic there from social media from go to Josh. Coffee. Com giveaway. And that’s what we always use. It’s really simple, easy to remember. And you drive traffic to that paid ads, social media, even your own email list to get it going. And the key is in. The gamification is getting people to refer others and you assign the greatest point value there.
And we typically will see a it varies based on how valuable the giveaway is. If it’s like a $2000 value, you’re going to see more people referring others because it’s a higher price point. And so one to three X is what we call the multipliers. If you get 1000 people on, you’ll typically typically get those thousand to refer, another one to three people on average each if you’re doing it right. And it depends on the value of the giveaway. Some of them like one of them we gave away.
It was like 17 or $1800 value, and it was a whole solar power, just whole thing. We bought the products, and when we did it for the client, they grew like 700 people to over 15,000 other email list. They drove like 21,000 in immediate sales, and they ended up we had a three X multiplier, so it was like out of the 13,000 we got in, we only got like 4000 to 5000 all the rest for referrals. So yeah, you have to gamify it. And so that’s how we do.
We don’t do it on social media. They drove them away.
I got you now with this whole gamification portion, like those tools you mentioned, the Gleam does that handle the tracking everything because you mentioned gamifying it by giving people additional entries. If they’re going to share it different places, what amount of times they share it, they get extra entries. Do those systems track all of that?
Yeah. So they’ll track all of it. They’ll allow you to automatically draw the winner it keeps track of all their entries. It detects fraud because there are people that will just go math, enter, giveaways and subscribe, and it detects fraud. If someone goes and then suddenly they have, like, 1000 referrals, it detects that and it’s text IP addresses and then also will integrate natively back with Facebook in your Pixel. So it’s going to shoot the lead conversion data right back. And even with iOS 14, it’s pretty accurate tracking versus a lot of other things that are happening.
Yeah. So it’s pretty crazy how well it works when you game.
That’s good stuff. So it really sounds like to make all of this happen. You really just need kind of two tools here. Really any email mailing list. So solution you mentioned play to I don’t hear it over. Side we use active campaign, but there’s a ton of different email mailing list solutions, so you need that. And then you need one of these gamification solutions like Gleam, and that really it is that the only thing required?
Yeah. I mean, that’s literally it you have to drive traffic, you drive them to a registration page, which usually glamor a viral will have, and then you get them on the email market tool, which actually rule number five is you have to have a back end sales strategy. So email is going to be crucial. You don’t want to drive a lot of traffic and then not be able to convert it and drive a ton of leads and increase your mailing tool costs without converting people.
Right. Right. Well, that is pretty straightforward. Just those two solutions to really to make all of this happen. That’s definitely the ideal situation now.
We were Gary to wrap things up. I know you’ve worked a lot of different businesses that have done these things. Are there any particular businesses that you’ve either worked with or that you’re familiar with that have launch these giveaway campaigns and have been pretty successful with and if so, what specifically did they do that really kind of stood out.
Yeah. So I mean, there’s a lot of businesses. I got a list off one we use a case study for was one of the very first ones we did, and we had their permission to drop numbers and stuff was called Toro off Road, and they saw hardshell rooftop tens. Pretty amazing. Actually, I have one. It’s pretty great. We’ve done several giveaways with that. And even in the first giveaway, we took them from 1700 to over 15,000 people on their email list. And from that in the first 30 days, we converted $21,000 in immediate sales, and then you have trail sales after that.
Obviously, lifetime value is pretty substantial with email marketing. And so that’s one example. But they started a little higher. We have just brew coffee as a coffee brand. They started at 40 and organically with zero ads. They went to 2000 people on their email list in two weeks. All of it. Like I said, all of us in the five day boot camp that we did in that one week, over 50,000 emails were added, and from different range of a lot of people, surprisingly, are starting at zero.
You know, sometimes I take for granted. I’m ending this for so long. So I’m like, oh, what’s your email list? And they’re like, well, 97. And I’m like, oh, wow, you’re just getting going. But with giveaways it’s okay if you have a larger audience to start on social media. Yeah, amplifies it. But with paid ads, it’s so cheap to reach so many people with a lead campaigns with Gleamer or Upviral got you.
Now, one other quick question I have with these giveaways you’re coming up with something that you feel is going to be relevant to people that will be interested, of course, to your prior and services. And is it typically just one winner? Do you pick a number of winners? How do you do that?
So you can do it in so many different ways. We’re about to launch one campaign on August 2 for a client that they are an ecommerce product, but they have a SAS. They have an app that goes with their product, and we’re giving away 100 of their products, and they retail at $149 each. So I’ve never had selected 100 winners before. We’re testing it. We’re going to see how many more entries, and then I’ll have data on that. Normally we draw one. That’s pretty common. One to five winners to be 100, but typically one winter pretty easy.
And another thing people can do is they can offer store credit with complementary products that are relevant. So if you had to store that sold shoes, you could give a $200 credit plus a pair of shoes. Plus this plus this plus this. So even store credit is a way to include that. And you’re offering to make it a higher value giveaway.
Yeah, that makes sense. And the store credit, of course, to get people to come back. Exactly.
It doesn’t even guarantee they’ll use it either. Yeah, very true.
Very true. A lot of times people get these store credits and they forget about it. Everybody’s so busy these days. Well, that’s awesome, Josh. It definitely seems like this is something that you’re an e commerce space if you’re selling product, even if you’re a service, something, as you mentioned, is something that can definitely work for you. And I know it could be a benefit to your business. So I definitely encourage all of our listers who are ecommerce business owners or marketers to definitely give it a try, because it seems like it’s a fairly low barrier to entry.
We just mentioned that you need the email marketing tool like Clay To or any other solution, and then tie that into the Gamification tool like a Gleam or any other tool like that that can tie all of this together and then track everything and then determine who the winner is. Definitely seems like it’s something to try out.
Absolutely. And actually, here’s what I’ll do. I’ll have our team make a link on our website. It’ll redirect to an overview of the strategy. We use a document, it’s called Miro. It’s a collaboration we use, but we have the actual visualization of these campaigns. And so I’ll create a link. We’ll go Flight Media Co. Arlin, and then if someone enters that, it’ll just redirect. And then you can see kind of the overline of the strategy from the traffic to registration and what our recommendations are and the five along with that, if that’s helpful.
Yeah, definitely. We appreciate that. I definitely encourage that we’ll have the link in the show notes in the meeting in the podcast description. So thank you for offering that. Well, it’s an awesome having you on Josh. I’ve definitely learned a lot. It’s definitely something that I’m gonna recommend to other ecommerce businesses that we work with. That they give it a try because we can definitely see the value in doing this. But lastly, before we let you go, I’m always interested for our audience to get to know, I guess a little bit better.
So if you don’t mind sharing one closing fun fact that you think people would be interested to know about yourself.
You know, it’s funny when we onboard a new client, we start with a fun fact about ourself to break the ice and get everyone getting weird not to come with something new fun fact. So my last name is coffee, and I love coffee. I’ll do pour overs and it’s small batch roasted coffee, and I weigh the grams to water ratio and the water’s on a 205 degrees and there’s, like, a whole process. But I actually have a commercial grade drum coffee roaster. Then we import coffee and a roast to our own coffee.
And it’s actually a wow.
So it’s super fashion. It really it was kind of like a hobby side passion of mine. So my last name is coffee, and I genuinely love it.
I have to live up to my name. I can’t be a tea guy, you know?
Yeah, you got you got to. Well, that’s good stuff. Well, yeah. You’re definitely all in if you roast in your own beans there. And I’m sure that’s some good stuff. That’s something I would love if I was into coffee. I’m not a coffee drinker, but I know a lot of people that are with me. It’s not that I don’t like it. It’s just it doesn’t agree with me the acidity and coffee that has never agreed with my stomach. So even if it’s decaf, I can’t do it all.
But yeah, unfortunately not too bad. The good. I won’t have a good next day for free to drink some coffee. But yeah, I had kudos to you, and that’s off for you for kind of going all in with that. It sounds like that’s some awesome coffee. Well, Josh has been awesome talking to you. Thank you for sharing that fun fact. Then lastly, before let you go. If you don’t mind letting our listeners and viewers know how they what is the best way for them to get a hold of you if they want to pick your brain anymore about doing email campaign giveaways.
Yeah, just connect with me at Josh coffee Cuffy or our agency at Flight media. Com. You can go check us out. There’s always a ton of content on our blog and resources we have on there as well.
Okay, that’s awesome. Well, thank you for sharing that definitely encourage people to reach out to you and see how you can help them out and you know. Leslie, thank you for joining us today. Josh, from the E Commerce Marketing Podcast course.
Founder of Flight Media
The eCommerce Marketing Podcast walks you through everything that goes into ecommerce marketing — from inbound marketing to paid advertising to conversions. Learn the strategies top marketing experts use to grow their businesses.
Marketing Strategies Revealed in this Episode: