Ezra Firestone – The Exact Formula We’ve Used to Generate $5M in Revenue from Software in the last 3 Years – MicroConf 2017

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    • The real value in life comes from relationships
      • Beyond the content at this conference, focus on making at least one good relationship
    • Ezra Firestone
      • E-commerce expert
      • 2016 – $17MM revenue on one of my e-commerce brands
      • Sold $5MM in software in the last 3 years
      • Zipify: $120k/mo and growing
    • Overview / some stats
      • Touch has taken over
        • Touch has eclipsed desktop/laptop
        • We carry these devices all day
        • Consuming in shorter periods of time, but more time overall
          • At the bank, on the toilet
        • The way people consume the internet has fundamentally changed
        • Changes the way we need to market our product/service
        • 33% who show interest on a mobile ad CONVERT ON A DESKTOP
        • 67% of consumers start shopping on one device and continue on another
        • Mobile → fragmentation
        • Average person has 194+ channels they consume from
        • More than 60% of adults in the USA have 2 devices. A quarter of those have 3.
        • 1 in 5 minutes that people send on mobile devices in the USA are on FB & Instagram
        • 4 of 5 carry a smartphone with them every day
      • What do these stats mean?
        • More effective communicator → more effective person

 

  • You’re going to need multiple touch points before you get a conversion

 

      • Used to be find, click, buy
      • Now, need MULTI TOUCH POINT MARKETING
    • The idea of a single campaign is dead
    • I spend ~$5MM/yr on advertising
      • People give up on advertising too early
    • Your core platform, and any sales funnel you create, is simply a collection of conversion points
    • First big shift: all of your ad campaigns should be looked at in PHASES.
    • Three pillars:
      • Awareness (getting people to know about you)
      • Retargeting
      • Loyalty (content for people who are already customers)
    • Retargeting & loyalty is where the bulk of conversions will happen (2nd, 3rd, and beyond touchpoints)
    • So: what is the best top-of-funnel conversion asset?
      • AN ARTICLE
        • About a topic they’re interested in
        • Which alludes to a solution, which is your product
      • Virtually every product I have has one core article that amplifies it
      • Why amplify content?
        • New advertising is contextual.
          • Used to only have 1 data point: the web site they’re seeing your ad on
          • Now we have thousands of data points on any given user
        • When someone wasn’t searching for something, we need to first engage them in conversation, provide value, before trying to sell them something
  • Visibility
    • FB, Instagram, Google, Pinterest. There are others (LinkedIn, Twitter), but those 4 are pretty much it
    • Mistake #1: people target too broadly
      • The success of your advertising hinges on your targeting
    • How do we start out targeting properly?
      • Start with lookalike audiences
        • Upload your email list, buyer list, Facebook fans
      • Interest and behavior STACKING
        • E.g. people who have purchased cosmetic products AND purchased fitness products
        • E.g. Interested in Marketo AND Basecamp
      • Use best placements
        • Some work better than others
        • We know people move from smaller device → bigger device to buy
          • Start with e.g. iPhones, stacked interests, top 6 US states
          • That’s where you’re most likely to make the sale
          • Then retarget only on iPad and desktop, to sell
        • Try “only WiFi enabled” iPads
          • They’re not walking around. They’re sat in a fixed place
          • For us, iPads are best on every one of our ad sets
        • Target awareness ads on small devices, Retarget large devices
    • Mistake #2: Selling the click
      • You want flashy, attention grabbing ads
      • Headline on the actual ads
      • Cartoons very effective
      • Ads with faces very effective
      • We have tested literally hundreds of types of ads
        • Cartoon, text in lower third, imagery, is working best
      • Ad creative + landing page MUST be congruent
        • Future ads become brand-oriented
    • Mistake #3: Post click engagement. Post engagement selling
      • You need to engage prospects in conversations they are interested in
      • Get them to say YES to consuming your sales message
      • They’ve got to read that headline and BE INTERESTED
      • It starts with 1 core front end customer acquisition funnel.
        • Every business only needs 1 funnel that works
        • Traffic → pre-sell → Sales-page → Post sale engagement
      • We don’t chase our prospects. We don’t say “HEY BUY OUR STUFF”
        • 2005 with AdWords, you could sell something directly
        • Now, we let them chase us
        • They click through from the article to the solution because they’re interested
          • They’re chasing us for the offer, because
            • we added value to their lives
            • through content
            • that helps them with a problem they are facing
      • We use video on Facebook sometimes, because you can retarget people who e.g. watched 50% of the video but didn’t click through
        • Tracking funnel engagement
          • They clicked the article but didn’t consume it?
          • Retarget based on WHAT THEY’VE DONE
      • Pre-sell MUST relate to the problem the product solves
        • Every product, every SaaS, solves a problem
        • Case studies work really well
      • “Behavioral automated response”
      • For our more expensive products, we have a longer sales cycle
        • Step 1 – The prospect has visited our pre-sell page (case study)
          • If you’d like to know more, opt in for this webinar
          • If they don’t opt in, retarget them with the webinar
        • Multiple emails (to all opt-ins, and then to un-opens)
        • Step 2 – Webinar → now we want them to visit our sales page
          • Don’t click through? Retarget them via email with behavioral response content based on how much of the video they watched
          • Emails for 25%/50%/90% of the webinar
            • Summarize what they saw, and what they didn’t see
        • Step 3 – Webinar PDF
          • “PDF is going away!” Urgency is huge
        • Anyone who’s consumed 90% or more of the webinar
          • Pared down offer
          • Trial offer (these people are interested — they watched > 90%)
        • Once they DO look at the sales page, start a new sequence of behavioral emails
      • CONTENT BASED ON WHAT PROSPECT HAS CONSUMED
      • Pay most attention to most engaged prospects
        • Added to cart but didn’t buy?
      • You owe it to yourself to do good marketing
        • Assuming you believe you have the best solution in your marketplace, you owe it to yourself and your customers
      • We retarget at every step
        • Visit pre-sell but not webinar
        • Visit webinar but not sales page
        • Sales page but not cart
        • Cart but no buy
        • Ads mimic emails!
        • The sales process BEGINS at the purchase
          • Lifetime value
          • Upselling
      • Every offer that you have needs to have multiple conversion assets
        • Long form / medium form / short form
        • Video
        • Reviews
        • Email automation
        • Pre-sell pages
      • Your business is a collection of conversion assets leading to sales
        • So step 1 is get the conversion assets!
      • Very few people will see your ad → consume → buy in one sitting
      • Awareness → retargeting → loyalty
        • Gives you more freedom. You’re not just trying to make the first engagement work
      • Repetition creates mastery
        • Willingness to put your attention in one place consistently over time
          • Practice advertising. Put 30 mins a day into it, you’ll get better
        • It’s not about how much you work, it’s about what you produce
          • Work will fill the time you have
          • So set deadlines. You don’t need to work 24/7
          • You work to the point that you’re crazy stressed, what’s the point?
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  • Q&A:
    • “You do really well at making people feel like they know you, even if they’ve never met you. I’ve seen you on video etc. Wonder if you could speak to live vs pre-recorded webinars?”
      • You should have both. Live works really well because people know you’re live. But you can’t be live all the time.
        We try to do 1 live per month. Then we have pre-recorded in our library
        Some people will watch webinar a couple times before they buy
        Everyone focuses so much on their performance (messaging everywhere is about how flawed you are). Focus on getting out there and having fun, webinars will be better for it
    • “Emails and ads at the same time. Specifically, how do you know if an ad is cannibalizing a sale you were going to get for free from emails? More generally, attribution”
      • Multi-touch attribution is hard
        Unless you’re engaging with a 3rd-party, you won’t have true attribution. But it doesn’t matter too much
        Who cares where the ad came from? I want to be visible on all channels. I have a budget, I’m going to spend it
        Set it up. Don’t worry about it. Then ONCE YOU’VE GOT DATA start worrying about it
    • “Specificity of ads. Getting specific to the prospect. Are you running a dozen different campaigns to try and target them all?”
      • It’s budget specific
        Start with lookalikes, stacked with interests
        We’re always testing different groups. But I’d say you need to spend $50/day for 3 days before you can decide whether they’re profitable
    • “You talked about the big 4 (FB, Instagram, Pinterest, Google). Any thoughts on placing your ads in a more domain-specific podcast / other place where they might not have the data but it’s targeted?”
      • Absolutely. Podcasts are great. Not necessarily easy to track, or to go to the store and buy those ads.
        Google has wider spread, start with running all awareness ads on Google
        Retargeting – leverage all channels
    • “What’s the CTA from the pre- article?”
      • 500-1000 words. Talk about the problem the user is facing, that your solution happens to provide. I like to do case studies, keep referencing back to the solution. “The good thing we’re talking about, the solution they experienced, was caused by X (your product)”

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