Ryan Deiss had a knack for starting companies as a hobby and made his first sale from a company he started while in college. This hobby and collection of small companies bloomed into what is now Digital Marketer. Ryan and his team at Digital Marketer run several companies online in the areas of survival and preparedness, beauty, home improvement, men’s accessories, gardening, and DYI. Digital Marketer specializes in marketing for media and ecommerce companies and shares what they learn from running these different companies with their audience.
A Quick Preview of the Podcast:
- How to use surveys in your email marketing strategy that will prompt clickthroughs
- The best copy to use to cause action from your prospects
- The number one tactic to use on your landing page after people have clicked through via email
To See These Tactics In Action:
To See The Transcript:
Tim: Everything you do in your marketing should have a clear goal. The goal of an opt-in landing page is to collect an email address. The goal of a subject line is to get someone to open an email and the goal of the email is to get a click through to the next part of your funnel. If you’re like a lot of marketers, getting people to click through from that email has been one of the toughest metrics to impact.
Ryan Deiss and his team at Digital Marketer have implemented something they call the FO survey which they’ve employed in several of their businesses in several different markets. Each time, it doubled or tripled their click through rate. The best part is just two emails and it doesn’t require any fancy tech to do. Sounds awesome? So let’s get into it.
I’m Tim Page, the conversion educator here at LeadPages and this is ConversionCast.
What’s up Ryan? Welcome to ConversionCast. Thanks for coming on.
Ryan: Thanks for having me.
Tim: Absolutely. So today we’ve got a fun one. I always love talking about email marketing. It always revs my engine a little bit. So let’s rev the engine. What were the results you were able to get from the case study we’re going to talk about today?
Ryan: Yes, so this very simple email template that I’m going to talk about consistently doubles and if it’s timely, can as much as triple your average click through rage that you’re getting from your marketing and promotional emails today.
Tim: Beautiful okay. So we’re going to get into that and have you share some specifics on how it works but first tell us who is Ryan Deiss and what is Digital Marketer?
Ryan: I’ll be brief because I know nobody actually cares. So yeah so digital marketer, so basically I’ve been selling stuff online having had different companies since 1999. That was when I made my very first sale well in my college dorm room kind of classic startup story although not nearly as cool.
Ryan: But I did. I mean that was kind of – that was where I got my start and yeah I’ve always had little companies, started as a hobby as a way to make some extra money and it really ballooned into a really nice sized company. So we’re in you know, we’re known for being in the survival and preparedness space but we’re also in beauty space. We own like MakeupTutorials.com. We’re in the gardening and DIY and home improvement space and in the men’s accessories and men’s wear space so a lot of mostly media and ecommerce companies is kind of our bread and butter.
So what we do is we take all cool stuff that we figure out running all the different companies and we share it on Digital Marketer. So we’re big believers in transparency and kind of open sourcing our data. So that’s what we do. That’s what we’re about. That’s what digital marketer does.
Tim: Awesome and this case study came from what you’ve done in most of those different kind of spaces, is that right?
Ryan: Yeah. We apply this particular email series. This is a simple two-part email series to basically every single market. It only works if you have –if you send emails. That’s the only –you know, if you don’t send emails then this one won’t work. But if you’re doing any type of email marketing this works and basically all of our businesses we do, we do email marketing. So yeah this it works. It doesn’t matter what markets you’re in, it works. B2B, B2C doesn’t matter.
Tim: Alright, let’s do it. Walk us through it. What was the tactic?
Ryan: Sure. So we called this the FO survey, alright, the FO survey and I know a lot of people talk about using surveys in their marketing and surveys can be good. The problem that I have with surveys well there are two problems. Number 1, one big problem of surveys is they get you the opinion of people who are willing to take surveys which isn’t always your customer.
Ryan: But the bigger issue that I have with surveys is they tend to be a roadblock to conversion. So if you want to get data and you want your people to take a survey then that’s fine. But you’re going to get data and you’re not necessarily going to get a ton of conversions because people are going to click on a link. They’re going to fill out a survey. You know, not everybody is going to be willing to do that. The ones that do may not fill out all the survey. So we wanted to simplify it. We wanted to ask just a single question and instead of sending people off to a survey, we just put the survey in the actual email itself.
Now original we wanted to get super fancy with this. We’re trying to figure out okay, how do you embed a survey into an email right? How do you embed a one question survey into an email. And then we couldn’t figure that out. So we always divert to you know, where we always divert to which is how can we redneck this thing? Like what’s a redneck solution to this?
So I said alright let’s just put the question at the top and then list the answers you know, A, B, C and D and just put tracking links for every one of those. Have –they click on it, have all the links go over to our landing page but just track it so we know that you know, there’s tracking link #1 is A, tracking link #2 is B. It’s not perfect. It’s not like it’s rotating it out but it was good enough.
So when we send it out, our thinking was this will be a great way for us to get a lot of responses and then what we can do is we can ask the question. So we get to do a little bit of surveying but we actually in many cases when we do this, this is not a true survey like we want to see what people think. But more than anything, we in many cases know the answer and we reveal that answer on the landing page. So it might be easier if I give an example. Would that be cool?
Tim: Yeah that would be great yeah.
Ryan: Okay. So one of them that we did for digital marketer, we were putting out a new course on basically how to launch a blog right? And so one of the questions that we asked was how much money the bloggers really make. So how much money do bloggers actually make and we found a study that actually, you know, that actually reported on this. So the email was just you know, how much money do you believe bloggers really make. Please take your best guess below to see the answer. It was a, less than a dollar per day, b a dollar to $300 per day, c $300 to $1000 per day and d, $1000 and over. So we wanted to get a sense of what does our list believe that bloggers make. Right? Do think they think they make a lot of money and so we should talk about you know, address that or do they think they don’t make much and we need to come at it more from that angle.
Now the reality is the average blogger according to this study that was done by I think blogging.org makes less than a dollar a day.
Ryan: So when they clicked on the link right to vote, we didn’t actually really care that much but when they clicked on the link and they went over to the landing page, there was a video saying you know, alright so if you’re here, you probably want to know how much does a blogger make. Well I’m going to get to that in just a second but first let me tell you this. I kind of was able to ease into the start of the sales message and then I revealed.
So you’ve got to reveal the answer to the survey on the landing page. Now you might do it at the top like you know answer hey the average blogger makes less than a dollar per day. You know, if you like to make more than that, watch the video below or read the thing below or register for the webinar below. Right? So you want to tie the answer in to the call to action on that landing page.
Now it worked amazingly well. The conversion rates were some of the highest that we had seen because they were already engaged. They wanted to know the answer. They were already engaged in the process and we built the answer into the marketing message, into the call to action of a landing page.
What we didn’t expect however was to have 20, was sorry to have double the click through rates that we would ordinarily receive. So we were thinking oh my gosh this offer is just absolutely crushing it. When we looked, the conversion rates were good. They were better than what we had seen in the past but when we really dove in we said we’ve never seen clicks like this ever. We have never seen clicks like this ever.
Ryan: And it’s because you’re just clicking on the link, getting the answer to a survey. It’s not a sales message it’s not a sales pitch. It kind of flies under the radar. And we also allowed them to skip the survey, so the email finishes you know, or skipped the survey completely and just see the results below and then we link off to the landing page.
So if you don’t want to input , if you don’t want to participate in the survey, and you just want to see the results, then great there you go. But that’s the whole email. Right? You asked the question. You have the answers. Drop in some tracking links or you know [indiscernible ] skip the survey and link. That’s it. I mean we can put a screenshot in one of these emails in the show notes but I mean if you’re cool with that I can tell —
Tim: Yeah, yeah absolutely.
Ryan: – so people could see it but that’s the email. It’s really, really short.
Tim: Do you think that part of the reason why this has such a great click through rate is also the positioning of the surveys? Because you know, I think there is a little bit of kind of like oh I want to know if I know the answer. Like almost not quite ego but maybe a little bit of ego where we look at that and say oh yeah I totally know it. It’s got be a dollar to $300 per day or you know, in the case of the survival life, one that you were mentioning, like I definitely know what’s the best place to go in case of an emergency. That kind of thing.
You think that’s part of the reason why the click through rate is so high?
Ryan: Yeah. So I think there is the ego to it where I want to know if I got it right. That’s just –you know, magazines have been using these types of quizzes.
Ryan: Forever right? This is not a new concept. We did not invent this. We just brought it to a new medium.
Ryan: So I think there’s that. I think people want to know the answer like have you ever watched those travel shows and it’s like the top ten hotdogs in America.
Ryan: Kind of thing. And it gets to the end and it’s like oh it’s this hotdog in Chicago on this thing and you’re like yay, now I know then.
Ryan: And your life isn’t changed at all. But you felt like that you had to get engaged. Yeah I think it’s that. I think it’s I want to know if I’m right. I want to know if I got the right answer. And you get to see it.
I think because they’re engaged in wanting to know the answer, they’re now engaged in the process. I think it’s not a selling message. Right?
Tim: Right .
Ryan: It’s perceived as content. It doesn’t come off as oh they’re trying to pitch me something because we kind of backed into you know, okay here’s the answer. So the thing about the survey is there needs to be a right or wrong answer. It’s not a true survey and like give me your opinion. Now we do want to know what are the perceptions. You know what the people believed to be true because that’s very valuable in marketing and that’s why yeah you mentioned the survival life one so the one that we did there was the question was if you were stranded in the wilderness which of these skills is guaranteed to get you out alive. You know, take your best guess.
So it’s finding water, building shelter, starting a fire, finding food. And again or skip the survey and just see the results below. So if you’re a survival and preparedness enthusiast, you know you can have an opinion about this. So that’s – so in going over there, it’s you know, okay yeah the answer is I think it was finding water, I don’t know I’m more of a hotel guy than a camping guy.
Ryan: But the answer was woven into the message.
Ryan: Now what you could do if you want to be a little bit tricky with it you know, you could say actually it’s none of the above, I wouldn’t recommend that necessarily. I think you want some people to be right and some people to be wrong. But in knowing the answer, that allows you, that gives you the opportunity to send the follow-up email the next day to get even more clicks. You want me to talk about that one?
Tim: Yeah. I think that’s going to be really helpful. So you send the initial email and there’s a follow-up to kind of capture who didn’t go through?
Ryan: Yeah, exactly. Well either capture the ones that didn’t go through or capture the ones that did but didn’t necessarily buy yet right.
Tim: Uh-hum. Interesting. Yeah let’s talk about that.
Ryan: So the first thing goes out and it’s just a pure survey. Again it’s you know, it’s like three sentences long not counting the answers, right? The next one that goes out we send the same subject line no matter what. So this subject line that we send out now is were you wrong?
Tim: Oh. Yeah.
Ryan: Okay. Were you wrong? Now quick kind of like give you a little bit of insight into this. Originally the first time we ever sent this email out, we sent it out you were wrong. Now that kind of way more opens. It also got way more death threats especially when you send that out in the survival preparedness space.
Ryan: So that was not my idea. That was one of the guys on our marketing TV send it out and like you were wrong. I was like don’t do that. Don’t alienate your list and tell them they’re wrong. Just because were you wrong? That’s I don’t know was that like people want to see.
Ryan: And so this email is really simple, right? It just starts off you know, yesterday I asked the question where is the safest place for you to go and all hell breaks loose or how much the bloggers make, right? So yesterday, I asked this question over 10,000 of you voted and all we did is we just calculated up the total number of clicks you received.
Ryan: Those are all votes.
Tim: So over x number of you voted but less than 2% knew the right answer or less than x percent or you know about 40% got it wrong. So whatever again you can look at which and every auto responder solution you create multiple tracking links. So it’s pretty simple. You know, this percentage of you got it right which means this percentage of you got it wrong. You know, were you one of the ones who got it right or were you one of the ones who got it wrong, watch this video or go to this page to find out the correct answer.
And then that’s it and then we’ll do APS for those of you who missed the email I’ve attached it below and we will literally just copy and paste the previous day’s email below the PS. So there’s more opportunities to click. So they didn’t see it, they can participate. If they did see it, you know, but they didn’t open it, now they want to find out okay here’s the answer.
Between those two emails, those two emails right there you know, if you’re typically averaging 10, 15% click through rates, you can expect to get anywhere from a 20% to 30% click through rate on each one of those emails. It’s amazingly powerful. You can’t do it every week obviously. I probably wouldn’t even do it every month. If you could come up and do a timely one so I said it’s double to triple, if you can do something where it’s timely right if it’s about something that just happened tied into a current event, then that’s how you can bump it up and get it closer to a triple than a double. But those two back to back the simple little two step first FO survey campaign, there’s nothing we do across all of our different companies that generates more clicks than these two emails.
Ryan: Wow. And what have you found is the best next step? So if somebody wants to do this, you know is it have you found the highest conversion rate once that click through is to a webinar or to a specific offer itself or you know, what have you found is kind of the best offer or has it been kind of even?
Tim: What typically works the best is if you will tie it into some type of a you know, video sales message.
Ryan: Got you.
Tim: Because the what you can do is at the start of it, you could say you know, hey so you’re probably here because you want to know the answer to and then you kick of the you know, —
Ryan: Got you.
Tim: — you restate it. I’m going to give you that answer just a little bit but first let me tell you this. And you answer it within the sales message itself.
Ryan: So now you get engagement because they’re going to watch it. Well not everybody is going to want to do. So if you asked what’s the most effective, that’s been the most effective.
Ryan: Because they have to consume it to get the answer. They’re in it to win it. It’s like I said before, you know you’re going to sit there and watch the dang travel channel episode at the top. You want to know what the number one hotdog is.
Ryan: And you’ll stay on you know, they get to number 2 and then they take a commercial break and you’re like ah.
Ryan: So that’s the most effective from a conversion rate standpoint. Not everybody is going to want to do that because it requires creating a new custom message. So what you can do is just you know, address it with the answer at the top, you know hey the answer is this but you want yours to be better, or if you want it to be different or if you want to improve upon that, you know, watch this below or sign up for this. That is typically going to outperform and give you a conversion rate bump over what that page would do by itself.
Tim: Got you.
Ryan: So if you would normally send somebody to a webinar signup, and let’s say for example you guys let’s say LeadPages was – say we want to do a content marketing webinar and you’re going to have somebody sign up for how to launch your own blog, right?
Ryan: If you were to send out [indiscernible [0:16:59]] survey saying what do bloggers really make and you address that at the top with the registration form below it, the one with the survey and the registration form that would typically get a significant bump you know, over what you could see just sending directly to it. So it kind of – whatever you want to do, you’re going to get a bump with what we’ve seen but nothing is going to outperform sending people to a video where the answer is embedded within that video message.
Tim: Yeah I like that and it’s not like it’s –you know, it requires a little bit of time to create the video but for the increase in conversion, why not take that time and really kind of put together that one-two punch I guess if you will combining the survey email with the video? I think that that’s great and I think that anybody could do this. So thanks so much for sharing this o ConversionCast. I love this idea and we’ll have to have you back again to talk about some other ingenious thing that you crazy folks are Digital Marketer are doing.
Ryan: Yeah any time. Thanks for having me.
Listen To Discover The Exact Email Marketing Template Digital Marketer Used To Triple CTR