AMY PORTERFIELD: Welcome back to another episode of The Online Marketing Made Easy Podcast. I’m your host, Amy Porterfield, and I am absolutely delighted that you’ve tuned in. So, thanks, so much, for being here.
Today’s episode is all about eCommerce strategies. I’ll be the first to admit that I am not an expert in eCommerce. That’s why I have a very special guest today. His name is Steve Chou. He owns the site MyWifeQuitHerJob.com. Steve literally did create a business where his wife could quit her job because in the first year of building his online store he was able to bring enough money to supplement his wife’s $100,000 salary in her corporate job.
She really did quit. She came home to be with her kids and help with their growing eCommerce site. Steve is unique because he also has an online training program so he knows a lot about eCommerce. But he is also well versed in the info marketing space. He brings a really unique perspective to the show today.
We are going to be talking about Google ads and Facebook ads and, specifically, Facebook targeting and Facebook scaling and so many different strategies that he has been using in order to grow his eCommerce site.
In addition to that we are going to be talking about webinars and some new strategies that I’ve never tried that Steve is actually using to get people to sign up for his webinars and buy his online training program. As you can see, we have a lot to cover today.
One of the conversations Steve and I got into during the episode was all about scaling your Facebook ads. Have you ever had the experience where you were paying $3 per lead for your Facebook ads and all of the sudden it jumps to $6 or $7 per lead? It’s frustrating, right? Well, because we talked about this in the show I promised to make a freebie video to help you understand why that happens when you’re trying to scale your ads and give you a few strategies to kind of work through it.
That’s the freebie for today’s episode. The freebie video that I’m going to give to you about scaling your Facebook ads is not just for eCommerce sites. It will work if you are running ads to grow your list for your consulting or coaching business or your info product. It kind of works across the board.
If you want to get your hands on my special Facebook ads scaling training video all you need to do is got to http://www.amyporterfield.com/103download or just text the phrase 103download to 33444 and you can get your hands on it instantly.
I won’t make you wait any longer. We have so much to cover. I’m so excited for you to meet Steve. Let’s go ahead and jump into it.
Amy: Steve, thanks so much for being with me here today. I really appreciate it.
Steve: Great to be here Amy.
Amy: I want people to know a little bit more about you. I gave you an intro in the beginning but you didn’t even get to hear it. Because of that, tell us about how you got to where you are today, about these multiple businesses you have, and kind of what life looks like now that things have really switched up for you over the years.
Steve: I have no idea what you said about me earlier, Amy, but I’ll assume that it’s all lies. I run a variety of businesses. One is an eCommerce store I run with my wife. It sells wedding linens and wedding handkerchiefs. I run a blog at MyWifeQuitHerJob.com where I kind of document the step-by-step stuff related to eCommerce. I teach a class that teaches people eCommerce and then I run a podcast. You were a guest on my podcast.
Amy: What’s the podcast called?
Steve: MyWifeQuitHerJob podcast. It’s very original.
Amy: I like to keep the branding the same.
Steve: I do too. So that’s basically what I run. It all started with the eCommerce store which we started because my wife wanted to quit her job in order to stay at home
with our kids. Where we live in the Silicon Valley it’s really expensive and in order to get a house in a good school district you pretty much need two incomes. She was making six figures at the time. I didn’t feel like eating Hot Pockets and Ramen for every meal so we thought about businesses we could start and landed on eCommerce selling wedding handkerchiefs, of all things.
Amy: Do you still have your nine-to-five job?
Steve: I do actually. It’s only four days a week now.
Amy: What do you do?
Steve: I do microprocessor design.
Amy: Okay. So you still have that going on but then you’ve been able to build these amazingly successful businesses. I say on the side, but they have to be a big piece of your focus. You started the eCommerce wedding site and then you had some success with that and decided you could teach this. Is that how it worked?
Steve: The eCommerce store ended up doing $100,000 in the first year and has been growing in the double and triple digits since 2007. The course and blog is probably going to do about $700,000 this year. I don’t really need to be working but it’s very hard to be doing microprocessor design on your own. You kind of need a lot of funding to do hardware design so that’s why I’ve stuck with the day job.
Amy: I think it sounds fantastic. I love that you’ve been able to juggle all of this and I’m assuming your wife is now working from home. Does she help you with the businesses?
Steve: She is actually in charge of the eCommerce store now. She goes in in the morning. We have a couple of employees that pack and ship orders in an office. In the afternoon she pretty much is a full-time taxi driver.
Amy: To your kids?
Steve: To the kids, yes.
Amy: I’m like, wait a second, how does that fit in?
Steve: You can relate to that, right?
Amy: Oh yeah. I only have one and I feel like I am driving him around all the time.
Steve: Yes. If they had Uber for kids, they kind of do but I’m waiting for that to take off because that will free up a lot of time.
Amy: Amazing. Okay, you’ve got these businesses going on and we want to talk about a few different things today. As I mentioned earlier, we’re going to talk about your eCommerce training program. I want to talk to you about what that looks like and how you created it and how you market it. I also want to talk about how to market online for eCommerce.
I do not teach eCommerce. I typically sell to people that want to create online training programs, products, and services so eCommerce is something that’s a little bit foreign to me. We want to talk about how you market online with eCommerce. In addition, I want to talk about some amazing success that you had with webinars for your eCommerce training. Do you think we can get it all in?
Steve: We can.
Amy: Okay. First I’m actually going to kind of flip things around. I want to talk to you about eCommerce in general. What have you seen in terms of marketing online? I’m especially interested in Facebook, Instagram, and some of the other sites that you think are really effective for eCommerce marketing.
Steve: It really depends on what you’re selling and what your value proposition is. But, if it’s something that lends itself good for searches, any sort of Google pay-per-click advertising, especially Google shopping, converts very well. If you tend to sell goods that are really crowded for a particular set of keywords that people are searching for, like t-shirts, you would never be able to make money buying search ads for t-shirts because it’s so competitive. But, with Facebook where you can target a very specific set of individuals, Facebook advertising tends to work well for those products.
I’ll give you an example. Let’s say you are a New England Patriots fan and, like last year when they won the Super Bowl, you decided to create t-shirts that were very specific, you can target people in New England who like football and your conversion rate would tend to be pretty good.
Amy: I like that. For your wedding business, I’m assuming you use Facebook ads.
Steve: We use Facebook ads and we make a lot of money off of Google ads as well.
Amy: The Google ads, talk to us a little bit about how that works.
Steve: Our primary products are wedding handkerchiefs, linen towels, linen napkins, and personalized goods (oh wow, we’re going to pack all of this into an hour). If we start with Ad Words, which are regular search-based ads, I might bid on a keyword like “wedding handkerchiefs” and I only pay when someone actually clicks on the ad to land on my site.
If your conversion rate is high enough you can make a profit doing those things. That’s one way to do it with Google Ad Words. Google also offers an advertising platform called Google Shopping. I don’t know if you’ve noticed, Amy, but when you type in a search query in Google you sometimes see pictures of products and their prices.
Steve: If something like that appeals to you and you click on it I pay for that click and if you end up making a purchase that’s great. But those ads tend to convert much higher because you see the price and the picture before hand, before you do the click.
Amy: Okay, got ya’. They are a true warm audience.
Steve: Correct. The problem with Facebook with eCommerce is that unlike Google, when you’re actually searching for something, when I take something in Google I’m searching for something and more likely than not if it’s a product I’m looking to buy that product. With Facebook, you might just be checking out cat videos or checking what your friends are up to. So the intent to purchase might not necessarily be there.
The Facebook strategy with eCommerce tends to be a lot different than you would take with Google.
Amy: So if the strategy is different, do you mean it’s just not nearly as powerful or are you doing things in your Facebook ads that are going to make them more effective? You know how Facebook advertising works really well and you know how it works with marketing a webinar or marketing a freebie or an info-based product. But, what to you see works in a whole lot different way with eCommerce and do you have any tips or tricks for that?
Steve: What’s funny about this is I started trying to run my Facebook ads in the very beginning just like Google ads. I would have these ads just point to a category of products and it was not doing well at all. On the flip side, I was running Facebook ads for my courses and that sort of thing. For some reason it took me a while to kind of marriage the fact that the two strategies are actually quite similar whether you are selling products or selling courses.
Steve: Yeah. So at the eCommerce end, I decided to point the ads at a content page that described my products. Within that content I had buy links to my products and I was gathering email addresses. I had “add to cart” buttons within that content. Through a series of collecting email addresses, getting people to sometimes click directly on the products and buy, and then retargeting those people was how I was able to make Facebook ads profitable for me.
Amy: If you’re cool with it, can I link to one of those content pages in our show notes?
Steve: Yes, absolutely.
Amy: I would love people to see that. You said you were actually growing your email list. How so?
Steve: I can go into a little bit more of the specifics now. The one article I’m thinking about right now is called Nine Unique Ways to Make Your Wedding Extra Special.
Amy: So you were basically sending people to a blog post?
Amy: Do you have a blog on your eCommerce site?
Amy: Okay, great. What was the topic again?
Steve: It was Nine Unique Ways to Make Your Wedding Extra Special. Basically, when you get married brides often look for unique DIY projects to make their wedding special. I’m not a wedding expert, by the way, this is my wife talking here. But I wrote that post actually.
Basically, we have these cool arts and crafts projects on our site. SEO is very important for an eCommerce store as well. My wife puts out craft projects made with the products we sell online. That particular article was basically an amalgamation of all of these different things you can buy for your wedding to make it cool and personalized.
We had a wedding dress hankie that’s personalized where you can personalize the initials with the bride/groom, and wedding date. We describe how to make that and then right below there is an “add to cart” link.
Meanwhile, on that same page there is a pop-up form, a sign-up form above the content, below the content, and in the sidebar as well.
Amy: This is really good to hear. I was curious to know in the eCommerce world if content is still so very valuable like it is in our info marketing world. You’re saying it is.
Steve: I think it’s the next wave of how people do things. Remember when we first got on I was talking about Facebook ads where you can actually get away with pointing them directly at products if your audience is niched down so tight that you can make that work.
Amy: That’s what I was going to ask you. Do you ever just sell directly to a page where you say, “Here it is, put it in your cart”?
Steve: Yes. One particular ad right now, for example, this is the holiday season for us. Everything works pretty much during the holiday season because people are looking to buy whether they are on Facebook or whatnot. We have an ad where we sell personalized mother/daughter aprons. You buy a matching apron for your mom and daughter.
Amy: That’s pretty cute.
Steve: I target moms that make over $50,000 and drive fancy cars based off of a look- alike audience of my existing customers for that product.
Amy: That is good. This is what I always get excited about. With Facebook the targeting and what you decide to do in terms of targeting is just so interesting throughout the different niches. I wouldn’t have even thought “who drive fancy cars.” That is so brilliant. I love it. But how do you know that they have kids, or a daughter of the type of age, they would want an apron with them?
Steve: In Facebook you can actually target moms with toddlers.
Amy: Perfect. So you have become a Facebook ad targeting expert, I would guess.
Steve: I wouldn’t call myself an expert. Often times it is trial and error. It takes a while to figure out what works. So I usually put out $5 or $10 a day on a bunch of different targets with the same ad and figure out what works and kind of meld all of the ad copy and pictures all together once I figure out what works.
Amy: Got ya’. I definitely agree. There is a lot of trial and error with Facebook ad targeting and although I teach it in a lot of my programs, a lot of times I say that you have to get creative and you’ve got to think in different ways about who these people are and their behaviors and interests and all of that good stuff because there are some really cool things you can do but it all comes down to, and I don’t know if you agree with me, really knowing your audience.
Steve: You really have to have a picture of who is going to be buying your products in mind. For example, with the wedding handkerchiefs it’s pretty easy. You can actually target people who are recently engaged on Facebook.
Amy: That’s a huge win for you, definitely.
Steve: It is, it’s an awesome target.
Amy: Tell me this, I have no idea so it’s okay if you haven’t, but have you experimented much with video yet?
Steve: I have not.
Amy: Do you see a lot of eCommerce sites experimenting with video? You can, of course, do it on Instagram and Facebook. I was just reading up on video and the fact that Facebook is becoming a leader in all things video and they are blowing everybody out of the water. I was talking to my good friend, James Wedmore, who does a lot of Facebook video ads and he was talking about how they are just crushing compared to his image ads.
I am wondering if you are seeing eCommerce jumping on the video bandwagon when it comes to advertising?
Steve: That’s an interesting question. I actually really like looking at my Facebook feed because I always find new eCommerce products to buy. For example, I was looking at Canary the other day.
Amy: What’s that?
Steve: It’s like a home surveillance system.
Amy: That’s a great name.
Steve: It’s always on. I was thinking to myself, that ad would have done pretty well with video. I haven’t seen a whole lot of it, to be honest with you. I think with eCommerce, it’s tough. Unlike with courses where the return on your investment is a bazillion percent, with our eCommerce store, our average order size is between $50 and $60. You have to be extra careful with your targeting in order to make things work.
It really all depends on your margins. I would even go as far to say if you’re not making at least $50 per sale it might be a little harder to make Facebook ads work unless you have an incredible back end and email sequence.
Amy: Okay. This is good to know. That’s the kind of stuff I wanted to hear from you, what you think might be the right road to go down and when Facebook would work and when it might not work. There are some people that come to me and tell me their product is just $20 and ask whether they should be doing Facebook advertising. My gut usually is saying it kind of depends, like you just said.
It is a hard road to go down when that price point is so low.
Steve: This is how you can do it. You can gather email addresses to your content pages and have a separate list just from your Facebook leads. Often times, throughout the lifetime of that sequence you might have, you can make your Facebook ads profitable; $20 might be hard but, again, it just really depends on how repeatable your product is.
If it’s a consumable I am pretty sure you can make your money back. You have emails that kind of remind them when to replenish their stock. But in general, for a wedding type of item, the divorce rate is high in this country but most people don’t come back for more. So, you can get them on other things. You can upsell them on getting handkerchiefs for their bridal party and that sort of thing. Those are all things you can make your average order size larger after the fact with an email sequence.
Amy: You can target those people on your email list with Facebook ads with these upsells.
Amy: The retargeting could be really valuable, especially for eCommerce in the ways we are talking about. How about Instagram? Do you use Instagram?
Steve: We are just starting up our Instagram account. It is actually very powerful from some of the Instagram experts that I’ve talked to.
Amy: Yeah, I would think so with eCommerce and especially with the wedding industry.
Amy: So eCommerce is one. What were you going to say?
Steve: I was going to say, here’s my dilemma. You asked about video. I have been trying to get my wife to do video but she is very shy. It’s not like you can get a Chinese guy to come up and talk about wedding stuff. It just wouldn’t work.
Amy: Maybe not. We’ve got to get your wife to start thinking the video thing is right for her. But that’s why I don’t do tons of video and I know I need to. But I don’t necessarily love being on video. It’s not something that comes natural to me. I know a lot of people listening can totally relate to this so I really think video is where it’s at and I really do think video will be even bigger in 2016 and beyond.
At the same time, speaking from one entrepreneur to another, we also need to know where our strengths are and where we can focus and where we can see the biggest bang for our buck. It’s just a decision we’ve got to make.
Steve: One thing I forgot to mention, with retargeting on Facebook with an eCommerce store what’s really nice is they have is Facebook dynamic ad retargeting. Based on exactly which products a customer actually looked at when they were browsing your store, those exact products will be shown to the customer in the ad.
Amy: That’s huge.
Steve: Yeah. So I get between 10 and 12x return on investment on those Facebook dynamic product ads.
Amy: That’s definitely something for anybody in eCommerce to look into, these dynamic Facebook ads because of the face that it’s exactly what happens. I look at something on one of my favorite sites and all of the sudden I see it inside my Facebook newsfeed within minutes.
Steve: It kind of reminds me when I accidentally clicked on your blog and all of the sudden I was seeing you on every single page.
Amy: I was following you everywhere. Funny how that works. I want to transition a bit and talk to you bout the amazing success, $700,000 this year, in your programs and products to teach people what you’ve learned through your eCommerce experience. Do you have more than one program or do you just have one?
Steve: I only have one.
Amy: Tell me about this program. Now we are going to transition into this interview for those that want to create an online training program or have been creating one. I always like to hear about other people’s programs and some of the details of the programs, the price points, and all that good stuff just to give you ideas in terms of creating your own program.
What is the program called?
Steve: The program is called Create a Profitable Online Store.
Amy: Who is the target market?
Steve: Because of the nature of my blog, I tend to attract a lot of parents who want to stay at home with their kids but in general it applies to anyone who wants to learn how to sell physical products online.
Amy: Okay, cool. You were going to say something and I cut you off before.
Steve: I don’t remember what that was now, Amy.
Amy: That’s okay. I wanted to ask you the name of your product, who your target market is, and then tell me a little bit about this product. What does it look like? How many modules? What’s the price point? Give me some details.
Steve: The course is called Create a Profitable Online Store. It currently sells for $997 and caters to anyone who wants to learn how to sell physical products online.
Amy: Do you have a payment plan for that?
Steve: I do.
Amy: Okay, great. That’s a big thing we have been talking a lot about on the podcast. When you have a $997 program those payment plans make a huge difference. How many modules?
Steve: My class is unlike others in that it’s an ongoing thing. I’m constantly adding to it every single week. The number of modules…It kind of runs like Fizzle if you are familiar with Fizzle.
Amy: I am but talk to us about that in case somebody isn’t.
Steve: In my class I am constantly adding new content every single week so the number of modules actually grows all the time. As the amount of content grows I tend to increase the price of the course.
Amy: Look at you! So what did it start out as?
Steve: It started out at $299.
Amy: Wow. So you are already up to $997. You just launched it this year, right?
Steve: No, I’ve had it for a while. It’s been three years.
Amy: Oh! For some reason I thought it was just this year. So you have had it for three years. You have increased the prices over the years and now it’s $997 and you continue to add to it. Do you have lifetime access?
Steve: You get lifetime access.
Amy: How much are you involved in terms of real time in the course.
Steve: I am actually heavily involved. I give a webinar once a week for 30-45 minutes where I kind of answer people’s questions live. Then there is a forum and email support.
Amy: Okay, cool. Do you have a big team behind you for your info marketing business?
Steve: I do not have a big team. It’s basically me and an assistant.
Amy: That’s all? I thought you were going to say something else.
Steve: That’s it. The assistant basically handles all of the media stuff, the audio video. The rest of it is just me.
Amy: That’s awesome. One thing I have learned about you, and we’ve only talked a few times. I feel you keep things pretty simple. Is that just an illusion or am I on to something?
Steve: That’s the only way I can do it. I work full time. I have these other businesses. I have to keep these simple otherwise I get overwhelmed.
Amy: This is a little off topic, but give me some tips or at least one tip that you kind of subscribe to in terms of keeping things simple that might be different than other people trying to do this. Most people, when I talk to them and they don’t have an online training program, they will tell me they are “working on it.” But in all honesty they have been working on it for over a year. What’s one thing you do to keep things simpler than maybe the next guy?
Steve: I can tell you how I got started. I actually launched this course by just telling people I was going to do it and I had nothing. Basically, I got 35 signups right away and then all of the sudden I was like, “Crap, I need to produce the content.”
That’s kind of how I got started.
Amy: That’s how a lot of people get started. Obviously you know I teach webinars. I say you could do a live workshop, which is kind of what you did in terms of selling it and then creating it. I feel like if you ever need a kick in the pants to get something done that is a great way to do it.
Speaking of webinars, tell me if I’m wrong, but this year was the first year you did webinars?
Steve: Yes. It was the first year.
Amy: Free webinars to get people into your program?
Steve: That’s correct.
Amy: Okay. So, let’s set this up a little bit because you have some amazing results with webinars and I want to break it down little bit. First of all, what is the title of your webinar?
Steve: That’s a good question. I can’t even remember what’s on the top of the slide. Basically I run through the very basics on how to get your first sale online.
Amy: So, How to Get Your First Sale Online. You did your very first webinar and talk to me about what that looked like. Did you have a pre-webinar sequence? Did you have a followup? How many people were on? Just kind of run me through your very first webinar.
Steve: It is funny. I ended up watching yours probably 11 times.
Amy: Oh no, you had to have gotten sick of me.
Steve: I knew exactly your entire presentation for your product. I ended up following pretty much the exact same strategy but obviously different because we’re selling
completely different items. But I didn’t really have so much of a pre-launch sequence because for my very first webinar I basically launched it to the people on my email list.
They already kind of new me and I didn’t really need to warm them up or anything. So that first webinar, which was just an email blast out to my list, I had 1,320 people register and then 480 people ended up attending. Then 12.3% ended up buying.
Amy: That is huge, you know. Do you know that’s huge?
Steve: See, that’s the thing. I have been asking around and it seems like it’s anywhere between 5 and 15%.
Amy: I don’t hear many 15%. Your numbers are really strong. And I just want to point out, to make this a training type episode, you’ve been nurturing these people. These people were on your list, they weren’t a cold audience. We can do webinars to a cold audience and I’m sure you have. But they are already subscribed to the fact that they like what you’ve got and they want to hear more. That is just a great argument for why it’s important to reach out to your list on a regular basis and nurture them.
Keep going with your stats.
Steve: That first webinar made $60k. As we were kind of talking earlier, I actually don’t like doing webinars.
Amy: I know.
Steve: And then you yelled at me.
Amy: I was wondering if we were going to talk about that. So Steve does not like doing webinars. He said he would do more but he really doesn’t like doing them. One thing I love about that is let’s stop forcing ourselves to do things in our business as entrepreneurs that we do not enjoy doing. I think it’s cool that you’re honest about that.
Then I asked you why you don’t like doing webinars. Talk to me about that.
Steve: I actually like public speaking but with a webinar I don’t get any feedback from the audience. That’s what I don’t like about it.
Amy: Got ya’. I did a podcast episode with Tim Paige of Conversion Cast in Lead Pages. He actually did the same type of interview I did with him on his own show. Did you ever hear him talk about webinars and getting engagement?
Steve: No I have not.
Amy: I will sum it up really quick. When he does webinars he is constantly looking at the comment section. It’s a thing that’s really difficult for me to do. We talked about how it’s really awkward in the beginning. He will be going through his content and constantly answering questions that are popping up in the moment in the comment section.
His webinars are like a full hour of conversation he’s having with everybody that is there live. Here’s the cool thing, Steve, the cool thing is that he gets the engagement and he feels he is really there with them. I know you can’t see them, but he feels he is there with them, and it has also skyrocketed his revenue.
Steve: His conversion rate too?
Amy: Yes, his conversion rate. So you’ve got to check out that episode (Episode #88) from December when I did the interview with Tim Paige all about engagement and webinars. I think you would really like it and I think that might change your attitude around engagement and the audience. That’s just one thing.
Here’s the deal, you did a $60,000 webinar on your very first webinar. Were you like, “What the heck?” You must have been very proud of yourself.
Steve: I didn’t know what to expect, to be honest. I knew I didn’t like doing them but $60,000, maybe I would do another one just to see what happens.
Amy: So you did another…
Steve: I did another but this one was just Facebook traffic this time.
Amy: How many people were on it?
Steve: On this one I had 1,032 register and 320 people arrived. The conversion was 9.1% on that one.
Amy: Who did you target for that one?
Steve: It wasn’t actually pure Facebook because I actually emailed the prior workshop attendees in case they missed it because not everyone attends. After that I started targeting people who were on my fan page, people who had visited my site, and people who were on my email list.
Amy: Great. Again, here’s the power of building a tribe and using Facebook advertising and specifically targeting in order to attract a warmer audience. I was going to say, if you had 9% conversion on a really cold audience I have never even heard of that. But the fact that it fell a little bit because they weren’t directly from your email list, but still really high.
Most people, if they are being really honest with their webinar conversions, are in the 2 to 3%, especially a 100% if they are just starting out. I hope you know your numbers are incredible.
Steve: That’s interesting. The one I did after that ended up converting at 13.8%.
Amy: Shut up. Just shut your mouth! 13.8%? Who were they?
Steve: Again, I emailed the prior workshops from the past two to attend. Then I did the same Facebook targeting and I also started targeting lookalikes for my students for that one.
Amy: Okay, tell people in case they are new, what is a lookalike audience and how do you do that?
Steve: It is basically when you upload your email list. In this case it was people who had purchased my class. Then Facebook will find people who are similar in demographics to within a percent of what you have uploaded.
Amy: I really strongly believe in lookalike audiences. I don’t think it’s the first place to start. I like the idea of targeting your own email list and your traffic to your website and your Facebook fans. But once you’ve done that you did exactly what I would suggest and that is to expand with a lookalike audience.
What’s really crazy is the lookalike audience plus those that had been invited to your previous sessions, you got an even higher conversion rate. But, let’s be really clear, you’re inviting people that did not buy your product but did sign up for a webinar?
Steve: Um hum.
Amy: So does it matter if they attended it or not?
Steve: Here’s what’s funny, a lot of people who purchased on that third webinar were people who had actually attended the same one two times before.
Amy: Okay, this is so good. I didn’t even know that. I love that you are giving me new information. You are telling me that they were on the first webinar and on the second webinar. This is the same webinar.
Steve: It’s the same exact, almost exact webinar.
Amy: Okay guys, we just learned something new. I might have to include this in my webinar program. There is something about getting people to reengage with you. You have to have a really good webinar in order for people to want to watch it three times. But it is also such a great reminder that people don’t always buy right away. They could be on the fence. Something might be going on in their life.
We’ve got to go reach out back to them and invite them on. I don’t think I’ve ever done that. I typically invite my entire list to my webinars so they have probably been invited a few times. But segmentation is smarter. The way you’re doing it by segmenting your list and saying these are the people that signed up for the webinar but haven’t bought, “let’s get them on.” Look at your results!
I just learned something new and I hope those that do webinars are really paying attention. Let’s get the people that have already signed up back on your webinar. Now that I am thinking about it, Steve, I’m talking a lot. I must be really excited about this. I am going to let you talk but the reason I’m thinking about this is I might not always email those that have already been on my webinar.
Listen, if I see huge results with this you are getting all the credit.
Steve: I wanted to talk about some mistakes I did too, which are just classic Facebook ads mistakes. I am sure no one in your class would ever make these, right?
Amy: Never, never, never. But let’s talk about them.
Steve: I was doing really well with just marketing to people who had visited my site before and with my lookalike audience. I wanted to try to max out the attendance on one of my webinars so I ended up upping the daily budget by 4x the following day to see how many people I could get.
Then my cost per acquisition went through the roof. I know from eCommerce, and you can tell me if you share the same experience, but whenever I try to do this by more than 50% on my eCommerce ads I tend to lose a lot of money.
Amy: Right. Exactly.
Steve: But I got really greedy with these webinars because the return on investment is just so high. I only need to sell one of these at $1,000 and I can spend $1,000 on Facebook ads.
Steve: But it ended up not working out so well. Instead of $3.50 per acquisition it ballooned up to almost $6.
Amy: I want to make sure I’m really clear. Basically you were doing really good and your cost per lead was really low so you added more money to it and then it got up to $6?
Amy: Do you know why that happened?
Steve: I have my suspicions and no one really knows 100% how Facebook ads work but when I used to do this in eCommerce land the same thing happened but I am always more careful in eCommerce land because my average sale is $50 to $60. So I came out profitable on that campaign so I guess, in theory, it was the right thing to do but I was just curious what you do with your ads.
Amy: I have a guy that helps me with my Facebook ads now and he recorded a video. It is a video he recorded just for me and I am going to ask him to actually rerecord it and I will put it in the show notes. But I’m just going to tell you about it now, Steve, and then I’ll send it to you.
He talks about the fact there are only so many people that you can go after, like the low-hanging fruit. They are going to be a really low cost per lead. But, when you start adding more to it you are asking Facebook to go out and find more of them and that pool gets a little bit smaller.
Quite honestly, he explains it so well and in detail. His name is Jonathan so I am going to ask Jonathan to make a video. I am going to put it in the show notes and I will make sure I send it to you, Steve, because it really does explain why this is happening and I thought he did an excellent job with it.
I’m teasing you all with this little freebie but you will have to go to the show notes to check it out.
Steve: Here’s the thing, that audience was really quite large so I’m pretty sure I didn’t tap that out. It just so happens, I bet if I ran a consistent campaign over a longer duration with the same budget I would have had similar results on a cost-per- acquisition case. But the fact that I just flooded everything up front, I’m guessing that everyone got flooded with these ads all at once. The audience for that was over a million people. I normally don’t do that in eCommerce land. But, in course land I feel it is okay since I have such a huge margin for error.
Amy: That is really cool. And, I love that. But one thing you said that I thought was really interesting reminded me of a call I had just yesterday. I mentioned James Wedmore earlier in our interview and one thing he said, after every promotion he does, is that he wished he had spent more on Facebook ads.
It’s funny that even you said if you had kept going with that it probably would have proved to be really valuable. I actually still feel like $6.50 per lead, when you’re selling a $1,000 program is safe. It’s just hard to see it go from $3 to $6 so quickly like that. You have a gut check there.
I think once you have something working and you’re scaling them, sometimes it’s tricky to scale and that’s why I want to include that video, when you have a really good promotion you look back and wish you had spent a little bit more on ads because you would have had more people on the webinar.
Steve: Here’s what I actually do now, this is something I don’t know if you’ve seen with your webinars and Facebook ads, but the farther out from the webinar I am the conversion rate tends to be lower.
Amy: Oh yeah.
Steve: I actually don’t even run the ads until four days before the workshop now. Now I increase the budget by 50-100% each day leading up to the webinar so the last day or the day before I’m maxing out my budget at that time.
Amy: I think that’s a really cool strategy. We usually get in front of it about seven days in advance but no more than that. I could see why you might do the four days in advance and I also think that could increase the number of people that actually show up live. The more you get in front of it to fill up your webinar, 10 or 14 days, you are going to have a really hard time getting those people to show up live.
For these webinars, did you use a pre-webinar onboarding sequence by sending emails to encourage them to get on live?
Steve: I actually send them an email that kind of introduces me a little bit. I have a podcast which I just kind of put out and have a couple of articles that explain who I am and what I do and I send that out to kind of warm them up a bit. But outside of that one email I don’t really send anything.
Amy: Really? Interesting.
Steve: I remind them that the webinar is coming up but I don’t give them anymore background.
Amy: Okay, got ya’. I don’t give a lot of content in terms of teaching and all that good stuff but I definitely send a series of emails to make sure they show up live.
Steve: Oh yeah, I do that for sure.
Amy: Okay, good. I just wanted to make sure.
Steve: I use the Porterfield method for that, yes.
Amy: Lovely. You obviously are sending out a follow-up sequence as well?
Steve: Yes, the follow-up sequence is very important.
Amy: Very important, right? For those of you who don’t know, basically what I teach and what Steve does in his webinars, after the webinar we send a replay, which is pretty common for most people. But we then send a series of emails. These emails will encourage people that are still on the fence to either jump in or jump out depending on if the program is right for them.
They are full of information about the product, the benefits, features, and some testimonials and stories and all that good stuff.
Steve: I know that you do this too, but I make sure to give out a freebie with every email that I send to encourage them to actually open it and take action on something. I give an incentive.
Amy: Whoa, let’s talk about this. You mean in the follow-up sequence?
Steve: Yes. I don’t know if you had a chance to watch my webinar but during that webinar I show them tools and spreadsheets that I use to calculate profitability and that sort of thing. I tell people not to take notes during the webinar because I am going to send this stuff to them.
With each email that I send after the webinar I include one of those items I said I would include during the webinar so people open the emails.
Amy: That’s really good.
Steve: Yeah, to grab that freebie.
Amy: No, I haven’t done it that way but I really like these ideas. This is really good. Maybe you should be teaching my webinar course. Webinars for eCommerce, there you go. This is fantastic information. Giving them those freebies after the fact…why that is so very smart of you, you already know this, but I just want to put it out there for my audience, after a webinar the people that are opening up those emails are genuinely interested in what you shared or they missed the replay or the live webinar and are still curious.
These freebies are just building trust and engagement and getting them to see what you’re all about giving them a little taste of what your program might be about as well. I think that’s really brilliant. I want to commend you for your amazing success with webinars. I hope you fall in love with them.
I want you to listen to that Tim Paige interview I did because the engagement might be something really cool for you. I think you would love it. Again, congrats on your success.
Steve: Thanks. I learned from the master so…
Amy: Oh, you are too good to me, for sure. You had so much going on for you before but I’m so glad to be a little part of it so thank you for that. I know we covered a lot. We talked about your eCommerce businesses and creating a product to help people with eCommerce and also the webinars that you ran in terms of getting people to learn more about your eCommerce product.
Through this whole wild ride of building an online business and getting to get your wife to stay home with your kids and all of this entire experience, what do you think is one of your biggest pieces of advice for anybody that has an eCommerce product? When we’re talking about business and marketing and all that good stuff, where do you think you could help people the most in terms of where they are with their products?
Steve: I’ll answer the first part of your question first. I think when it comes to selling an eCommerce product or any product, for that matter, you have to make sure you have something unique. You have to have a unique value proposition associated with it.
One of the #1 problems I see when people sign up for my class is they pick an item that’s either too saturated or doesn’t have enough demand. You have to check those things too. But often times those people sell “me too” products that just kind of blend in with everyone else’s.
If you find a unique product or something about your product that’s better than everyone else’s, it will end up selling by itself.
Amy: Yes. I love that. That is so very true. It kind of comes back to knowing your audience and knowing what they need and want and having something really unique out there.
I cannot thank you enough for coming on my show. I knew that you would deliver a lot of value but you popped in here with some information that I didn’t even know that you kind of knocked my socks off with. Thank you for sharing that and thank you for caring so much to help my audience learn more about this eCommerce world and also to talk webinars.
Steve: Thanks for having me, Amy.
Amy: Take care. So there you have it. I hope you enjoyed this interview with Steve as much as I have. I really loved talking about the Facebook ad targeting and Facebook ad scaling as well as some of his strategies that he does in his follow-up sequence for his webinar which I thought was really unique and something I might try out as well.
I hope you’re walking away today with some really valuable tips that you are going to apply to your business as well. Don’t forget that I created that extra-special freebie for this episode all about scaling your Facebook ads. You can get it at http:// www.amyporterfield.com/103download or you can text the phrase 103download to 33444.
Don’t forget to get your hands on that. I think you’re going to find it really valuable. It will be valuable for those who have an eCommerce business but also for those that have a consulting or coaching or info marketing business and you are running Facebook ads to grow your email list and to sell more online. The video is universal in that respect.
I hope you grab it as soon as possible. Thank you so much for tuning in. I cannot wait to connect with you again next week. Bye for now.