Brian Casel runs Audience Ops, a content marketing company that provides a done-for-you blogging service for companies. The company recently released a WordPress plugin that easily allows people to add content upgrades to their blog. The plugin is found at contentupgrades.io. Besides running his company, Brian also teaches people how to build productized service businesses on his personal blog, casjam.com.
A Quick Preview of the Podcast:
- How to create an automated strategy tailored to your audience
- How to use content upgrades to multiply the number of subscribers to your list
- The strategy you need to be using for the most success for your list
To See These Tactics In Action:
To See The Transcript:
Tim: Content upgrades might be the most popular topic of this show. Countless people have talked about the unique ways that they’ve used content upgrades to grow their list. But how do you take a subscriber who’s opted in for a content upgrade, move them to your regular follow-up sequence and get the best results from doing so? That’s what today’s episode is about.
Brian Castle form CassJam.com is here to share the tactic that’s responsible for generating $90,000 in revenue this past year alone. The best part it’s just one email. I’m Tim Paige, the conversion educator here at LeadPages and this is ConversionCast.
Hey, what’s up Brian. Welcome to ConversionCast. Thanks for coming on the show.
Brian: Hey, Tim. Thanks for having me on.
Tim: Absolutely. So I want to kick things off with some results that you were able to get. This is a pretty awesome tactic. It’s something that you and I talked about it that we love but I would love to hear some specific results that you were able to get from utilizing this.
Brian: Yeah, absolutely. So you know, we’re kind of talking about content upgrades but really all of this is an effort to build my email list and get new subscribers into my audience and then kind of nurture them and point them in the right direction so that they’re getting the right educational content that I have lined up and then followed by kind of a relevant pitch for my product. I guess today we’ll be talking about what I do on my personal blog which is where I sell my course productize that’s a course about building a productized service. That has resulted in about well this whole sequence that I’ll talk about today has resulted in about 90,000 in sales revenue over the past year.
Tim: Perfect. I love it. Yeah people are going to love this and you know, I think at this point content upgrade is pretty – they’ve become just about standard. Most folks that have a blog to promote their business are using content upgrades or at least know they need to and then I think that point there are some confusion about what to do next. That’s why I’m excited about this. But before we get into the tactic itself, I would love to you have you just take a minute, tell people kind of who you are and what you do.
Brian: Yeah. So I as I said I teach a course called productize. That’s about building a productized service business. That’s mainly what I write about and talk about on my personal blog and my email newsletter. But I also run a company called Audience Ops and we’re a content marketing company and we basically offer a done for you blogging service for companies. Actually we just recently released a WordPress plugin from Audience Ops and that’s for exactly what we’re talking about today, for adding content upgrades to your blog and that’s over at contentupgrades.io.
But of course you can do this stuff with a number of different tools as well. So but yeah that’s what I’m working on.
Tim: Awesome I love it. So this is something obviously you’ve got a lot of experience with. So why don’t you walk us through kind of the process? You know you create a blog post. I think at this point everybody knows what a content upgrade is. It’s a specific lead magnet that you’ll offer with each blog post and it’s tailored specifically to the content of that blogpost. It’s extra value, extra content but in order to get it somebody has got to give you their email address.
That being said, what’s the kind of mojo? What’s the juice that you put into it after that when somebody enters their email address, where do they go?
Brian: Yeah exactly and you know, the –why content upgrades are so great is that they help you bring new subscribers into your email list. They kind of help you multiply the number of subscribers you’re getting because you can add so many different entry points into your email list. I mean like what we do at Audience Ops we actually add content upgrades to every single blog post that we put out. So we’re constantly adding all these different entry points. Now at a high level that’s great because you’re growing your email list but then what happens to all those subscribers especially when they’re coming from all these different places.
So in my case on my personal list, I want them to go through my main sequence which is an email course which is then followed up with a video workshop and then eventually it leads into an offer to buy my productize course.
Now some people come to my website and they sign up directly for that email course and that’s great. They go right into the sequence that I want them to. But a lot of people opt in for these content upgrades on my blog articles. So what I want to do is after they’ve opted in for the content upgrade and I’ve sent them the immediate response email containing the link to get that content upgrade, then what happens? Then I want to kind of route them over to my email course. But I don’t necessarily want to just immediately start this email course that they may not even be aware of or be expecting. What I do is I actually send them a one-off email and this is automated. I’ve set this up as an automation rule in my tool of choice which is Drip.
So basically this says – about a week after they initially sign up for the content upgrade, they’re going to get a one-off email that says hey this is how you can learn how to productize your service. It’s kind of a one-off email that contains a link to start my free email course. So they’re already on my subscriber list. All I have to do is click that link to start this email course and that basically triggers the start of my main sequence.
So I’ve set up some automation rules and I can get into the nitty-gritty of how I’ve set this up to see whether or not someone has joined my main sequence and if not then to send them this one-off email and kind of get them over to that direction.
Tim: And what happens if somebody gets that email and they don’t click to join your follow-up?
Brian: Then they don’t necessarily go into that sequence because they did not click that link. But they do receive my weekly newsletters that come after that and I also have some automation in place that sends a sequence of email newsletters over the first three months which aren’t necessarily live newsletters but they’re kind of like my tailored best of from the last year and those also include some offers for the course as well.
So even they don’t get into the course they’re still going to receive content for me on a weekly basis.
Tim: Awesome. I love it. So this bridges the gap kind of between somebody saying I want that content upgrade because they’re interested in that specific content upgrade for that blogpost and getting them into your course which is basically for really it’s there to sell your stuff but at the same time provides them value. But they didn’t opt in for the course. They opted in for something else. This bridges that gap .
In theory, couldn’t you though, couldn’t you have in your welcome email just kind of prepare them for that and then just put them right into that sequence or have you found that it seems to be a softer transition when you have that first, that kind of transitional email from content upgrade to your regular sequence?
Brian: Yeah. I mean I could do that and I’ve seen that work you know, very effective with other people’s list and I’m not necessarily against that but I prefer, personally I prefer to have the intent very clear cut. You know, because I know that I’ve been on people’s list before and then all of a sudden out of the blue I started receiving what looks like an email course you know, every day or every two days that I didn’t necessarily opt in for. Even though I’m still interested in hearing from that person, I’m not necessarily in a mindset right now that I want to learn about this specific topic through an email course. So what I’ve actually found with people in my list is they would come into my list and if they didn’t get on the what’s called the productize crash course immediately they often come back to it a few months later when they’re kind of in that mindset and ready to learn about productized services.
So I purposely want to get them into the course when they have that intent and that really kind of keeps their attention through the course and then into the video workshop and ultimately you know, they’re more likely, they’re more ready to join the paid course.
Tim: Awesome and I love that for two reasons too. One is that like you mentioned you can hit them with a course at the time when they’re ready which means that that tool that you I assume have tested and kind of perfected to provide as much value as possible while also converting well. You can use that tool when they’re t the right stage. You’re not just like you know, throwing stuff out there and hoping something snags a customer for you.
But at the same time you’re also able to find out who are the people that are on your list that are like ready to go, ready to take action and who’s not and probably you could use that to then reach out to them and say you know, hey where are you at in your business or why did you subscribe, what is it that you know that’s driving you, what are you looking to learn? You can learn a lot from people who are kind of more active and ready to buy but you can also learn a lot from those who are not quite active or ready to buy right?
Brian: Yeah, absolutely. And I do a lot of that. Like after the first welcome email that you receive is just a very short email from me asks you a couple of questions and ask you to reply just so I can get that kind of insight into who these people are, how the subscribers are. But you know I’ve also paid a lot of attention to the lifetime of a subscriber and I think as you’ve seen plenty of times in your guest here there is a lot of action that happens in the first two to three weeks of a new subscriber because they discovered me just recently and they’re really interested in the topics that I’m writing about. That’s why I want to send this automation sequence right away in the first week to try to get them into that course early on.
But then what I’ve also found is that there are some subscribers who maybe they were interested in a particular topic that I wrote about but they’re not necessarily ready to get into the full course and they usually come back about three to four months later. During that time, they’re receiving newsletters from me. So I was kind of strategically put these offers in my newsletter sequence you know, at like one month and at like three months that kind of checks in and kind of gives them opportunities to join that sequence.
Tim: Love it.
Brian: If they haven’t already.
Tim: Yup. I love it. That’s awesome. So I think the only other way that we can make this episode as valuable as possible is I think people now are saying great I want to do this, this is cool. You know, and I’ll say these different tools will allow you to do this differently. If you’re using LeadPages the link that you’re talking about that automation link you could use a lead link in that email to get them added to the list that actually has the course in it.
I know Drip has that ability. Some of the automation tools allow you to do that as well. But I think the thing that’s more pertinent is not so much like what tools do you use to make this happen but more what do you say in that first email the one that you’re trying to transition them into the course? Can you give us a sense for what that email says?
Brian: The name of the email course is called How to Productize Your Service. I think that that’s actually what I used as the subject line. So you know, right away I’m telling the person like hey this is all about productized services. So if that idea has been on your mind or maybe you’ve heard me write about it or speak about it or you’ve heard someone else talk about it you know, this subject line should kind of like pop out. And then in the email itself, I kind of go through why our productized service helped me in my career so much and the kind of results that I’ve had with it. And then I kind of introduced this completely free productized crash course with and kind of lay out some of the benefits and what’s included in there and then just a quick like click here to get the first lesson you know, right now.
Tim: Awesome. Yeah I love that. It doesn’t have to be a lot you know, and I think the thing is that that’s going to tell you, that’s going to first off get them prepared for it and it’s going to tell you whether this person is here for the you know, is a potential customer or if there was just one particular topic that they were interested in from your blogpost. So I think that’s awesome Brian. This is amazing. Is there anything that we’ve missed that somebody would want to know if they want to try this?
Brian: No, I mean you know, I guess again like you said you can certainly set this sort of thing up using any of the tools. I prefer drip and you know, you can do this in different ways using different tools but kind of the theory behind how I set it up is I set up an automation rule that basically checks whether or not you have been subscribed already. If not then send them this automation rule. I think that’s important so that people aren’t receiving kind of repeat messages or the wrong messages at the wrong time. You know, I try to take care of and figure out you know, again like the life cycle of the subscriber. I want to make sure that they’re receiving messages from me that are timely and kind of you know, saying the right thing at the right time.
Tim: Yeah that makes perfect sense. Don’t get people – they’ve seen the course and then all of a sudden they get an email saying hey you should check out this course which they’ve already been through.
Tim: I love it. It makes perfect sense. Brian this has been awesome. Thank you for coming on the show and sharing this with our audience.
Brian: Yeah no problem, Tim, thanks for having me on.