Danny Iny is the Founder and CEO of Firepole Marketing, a website dedicated to educating on online marketing, blogging, and audience building and engagement. Firepole Marketing consists of 10 people teaching thousands how to build an audience to drive their business. They do this by providing value through free resources while demonstrating ethically driven business practices.
A Quick Preview of the Podcast:
- Why you should rethink how you are positioning your offer on webinars (and how you can position effectively)
- The one thing you need to change about how you sell on a webinar
- How to strategically follow up on your offer after a webinar
To See These Tactics In Action:
To See The Transcript:
Tim: Welcome to ConversionCast, the only podcast that gets to the heart of the metrics. Now here’s another data-driven case study.
Hey fellow marketer. It’s awesome to have you here with me today. Now the first thing I want to say is thanks to everybody at Podcast Movement for coming and watching my presentation. I had a great time. It was awesome getting to meet all of you and thanks for all the awesome feedback.
Now today’s guest is about to share with you a really powerful way to create brand loyalists and potentially improve your conversion rate. There are a few keys that truly make this work, which we have available on our website. So visit ConversionCast.com/DannyDownload, that’s ConversionCast.com/DannyDownload right now to download the guide absolutely free.
Now you’ve probably been able to figure out by now that I love webinars, I mean really what’s not to love? They’re the best way I’ve ever found to grow your list, the conversation rate is insane, they create a powerful connection with your audience and so on and so forth. But as Danny Iny, today’s guest is about to point out, more and more people are doing webinars and that means that you’ve got to make yourself stand out. One way to stand out is to alleviate some of the pressure on your pitch at the end of the webinar. This episode features two very different results from that exact experiment.
Danny experienced one result and I’ve experienced another. The biggest takeaway here is to see what works best for your market and don’t just blindly follow what you’ve heard. Then again, isn’t that basically the biggest takeaway from every episode of ConversionCast? This is going to give you a new perspective for how to ask for the sale. For me it bleeds over to tons of other areas of the business. Don’t forget to download your guide to the keys to making this work by going to ConversionCast.com/DannyDownload and then let’s get on with the show. I’m Tim Page, the conversion here at LeadPages, this is ConversionCast and here’s Danny Iny from Fire Pole Marketing.
Hey Danny how is it going today?
Danny: I am great. Tim, how are you?
Tim: Never better and it’s great to talk with you today. We’ve got some cool stuff coming up this week and so it couldn’t be a better time I think to have you on ConversionCast. So before we get into kind of the –you know, the topic we’re going to talk about today, can you tell us a little bit about the results that you found from this case study?
Danny: Yeah. Basically we changed the way that we structure offers on your webinars. We toned down the pressure quite a lot and we actually found we didn’t lose any sales. We actually increased our overall conversions by about 5 or 10%.
Tim: I love that. That’s awesome. Of course we’re talking about webinars, which is one of my favorite things to talk about. So tell us a little bit about yourself. Tell us about kind of Fire pole and everything that you’re doing. What do you do?
Danny: Sure. So I run Fire pole Marketing. We have been around for three and a half or so years and in that time we went from doing basically a one-man show with a little bit of help to now I lead a team of about 10 people. We serve a community of about 40 ish thousand including several customers. We teach online marketing with a focus on audience building and engagement. So the basic premise is that if nobody knows you and nobody likes you and nobody trusts you, selling anything is hard.
If you’ve got tons of people who know you and like you and trust you, selling those things is relatively easy. So we teach people how to build an audience that will then drive their business. And we place a lot of value on kind of you know value and ethically driven marketing and online business.
Tim: I love it. Fantastic. I think that’s really going to speak to what we’re about to talk about. So in this case we’re talking about changing the way that you kind of did your pitch at the end of the webinar. So can you set the stage for us? How were you doing it before?
Danny: Well what we were doing before is basically what just about everyone does when they close an offer on a webcast. So you’ve got your webinar, you teach, you give your presentation, give value, you close with an offer. You know, it’s a special offer for you to sing up and join whatever program/product offer I’m selling. And there tends to be a short window for people to take advantage of that. So maybe it’s you know, you’ve got to sign up right now live on the call or else I’m taking this away and you’ll never be able to get it again. Your life will be miserable forever.
Danny: Or at best you got you know we’ll give you three days so you can like really hammer people with in times of urgency and scarcity with a very short follow-up in them. So that’s how we used to do it. So I explained a little bit about like why we thought to change it.
Tim: Yeah I think that’s important.
Danny: Sure. Well there’s two things here. The first is that I’ve just never been super comfortable with you know, putting all that pressure in and all those really manipulating people and they’re working with me. It never really sat well and so you know even when we did that it was not like we’re taking away, it will never be available. But you know, this is relatively small discount that we’re offering will no longer be available. So it’s not like you know, we’re really stirring people if they’re past the deadline. There’s just a reason to act.
Danny: So that was the first thing. Like I just wasn’t comfortable applying that kind of pressure. It didn’t really jive with who we are. But the second reason is that we are as much as we’re a value and kind of mission driven business we’re also a very metrics driven business. So we had done a really big launch in January 2013 and another one in January 14 and they were both heavily webinar driven, lots partners like 30, 40 partner webinars, tons of them. Those pretty much following the same script, same routine, same old, way of doing things, which is, we deliver the training. There is an offer, there is a short window of let’s say you know, a few days or so during which people can take advantage of the offer.
We noticed something really interesting. Overall if we look at conversions out of attendance, then they help study about the same from year to year. We ended up converting about 20% of people attending a webinar. The interesting thing was that in the first year, in 2013, we saw the majority of those sales came in during our within a couple of hours of the webinar. So in other words a lot of people are making like impulse for this decision. They’re like yes, okay I’m going to do it. I’m whipping out my credit card, I’m in.
In the second year, we saw that the minority of people were doing that. So a lot more of the sale will come in in a few days afterwards and that’s a good thing. It’s not like people are not buying. They’re just buying a little bit later. Someone who waits a few days, thinks it over, decides that this is really what they want to do, that’s a much more committed customer. It’s a more committed sale. They’re much more likely to stick through whatever you’re offering to them to implement, to apply, to get results. They’re not going to want to refund. These are the people that you actually want to work with.
So we took a step back and looked at what’s going on in terms of trends in the industry and we all know that you know everyone and their brother and their sister and their cousin, their aunt is delivering a webinar these days, the overall quality is dropping. The volume is super high and it’s because of the you know, (A) it’s very easy to relatively speaking a very effective and easy way of making sales and making money. (B) The technology that you need in order to do it is much more accessible. It’s much more easy to just get in there and do a webinar than it used to be.
So a lot of people are jumping in. There’s a ton of them going on. The quality is pretty poor and people are much more skeptical about (a) attending. If they do attend, they’re much more skeptical about whipping out their credit card on a webinar. They kind of see it coming and they –you know, the scarcity and urgency techniques, they’re very transparent and they just feel manipulated.
So there’s kind of a trend in the industry at least that’s what we were seeing that people are not as receptive to these tactics. Now looking what a lot of other marketers are doing, if they’re trying to kind of compensate [[0:07:53]] [indiscernible] by dialing up the pressure where they’re like just adding it on. Well if you sign up right now today this minute, you’re going to get this extra bonus and that extra bonus and that other thing. But if you don’t, if you wait five minutes, or ten minutes, or 20 I’m going to take this away and that away. Really dialing up the pressure.
Often I find it’s a little disingenuous because you know you see a lot of people doing like a weekly webinar but pretending that this offer is only valid right now this minute as if people can’t figure out that it’s going to be available again at the same time next week. So instead of trying to fight this trend, we said well we’re going to steer into the skit. If this is where it’s going anyway, let’s treat our audience like adults. Let’s treat our prospects and our customers like adults and we change the structure. So on the webinar I present the offer and I make it very clear. I’m like if this is great for you, I would love for you to sign up. But if you want a little bit of time to think about it, if you want to talk to your spouse, if you want to talk to your business partner, that makes sense. I respect that.
So I’m going to hold this offer for you for two weeks. Think it over and make the decision that’s right for you. So that was the big change that we made and when I first did this, we tried it with about 17 or 18 partners in April. So you know, we had it spread across in a partner as we have some good data and the first thing that I noticed is that at the end of the webinar, almost nobody bought.
There I was like freaking out.
Danny: I’m like you know, what the hell did I just do to my business.
Tim: [Laughs] Right.
Danny: But we’re like okay, you know, stay the course, we believe in this let’s wait and see what happens. And we didn’t just change the close and leave the same high pressure a three day you know, like come on sign up, sign up, sign up. We changed that too. We extended it to a two-week long window during which first people have a few days that they can check out a recording and watch it before we kind of take that away so I have a few days to watch if they missed it. And then we have about a week and a half left during which we can email fairly aggressively. We send an email every day or two, each one providing a case study or an example emphasizing one key value proposition point addressing one key objection and just stepping up the urgency a little bit towards the end. Saying look, if you want to get in at this price, you know, this is your deadline.
We found that even though our sales were almost zero, right at the front, by the end of that two-week window, not only were we reaching the kind of 20%-ish conversion out of attendance that we had originally. We were exceeding this. We were going up to about 21, 22% so kind of beating it by 10% overall. SO more sales, lower pressure, much more consistent with our brand and you know, just our values that we bring to our business. The response of people, the amount of trust earned just by treating people like adults on webinars when I make that offer and I say if you’re not ready, think it over, you’ve got a couple of weeks, made the decision that’s right for you, the comments of people who are like you know, thank you so much, you’re the first marketer to treat me like an adult, to treat me with respect. And that’s huge. I mean it’s a huge part of who we are but I think it’s a huge part of where the industry is ultimately going to and it’s just a matter of time before people start catching on.
So that’s the big change we made, we’re super happy with it. We’re continuing of course to experiment and explore lots of things that we can potentially do to create a better outcome for our customers and a better outcome in terms of sales and conversions. But that’s a pretty big change that we made that we’re happy with because it could have gone the other way. Like we were definitely afraid that okay this is a risk.
Tim: Yeah. I could imagine kind of the feeling that you had when you first did and no sales came in or almost no ales came in. That’s pretty terrifying especially when you know for so many businesses like yours and like ours, webinars are a huge revenue source. So I can totally appreciate that.
There’s just a couple of things I want to ask about this and then I’ll share kind of maybe some different results that we’ve had. So the first thing is the product that you were selling, it was an information product, is that right?
Danny: I don’t like the term informational product.
Danny: Because it says we’re giving the information and they’re on their own. We’re not an information or publishing company. We’re an education company.
Danny: So it’s a training product. People sign up. They get information, they get support, they get guidance and we help them to create an outcome in their business. It’s an education product.
Tim: I love it. That’s fantastic and when you were doing this, was it kind of like a launch type scenario? I mean after the two-weeks, would it be that you know the cart would close and people could no longer order this or was this kind of always available it’s just that they didn’t get you know, the discount or the bonuses?
Danny: It’s always available. We don’t take the software off the market. It’s evergreen. We offer a slight discount when we’re doing this kind of promotion. And I’ll bundle an hour of consulting time for people to sign up during the window. So there is an attractive reason to sign up during the window but I don’t want to penalize people where like you know, now really isn’t the right time for me.
Tim: Got it. Okay great. And so I mean that makes sense. The thing that’s really interesting here and then I have a kind of a follow-up question, the thing that I think is so interesting is that if we look at two kind of different businesses. So you’re kind of in the education business. You know, we at LeadPages run a software business and obviously you Danny you and LeadPages have worked together on so many projects, it’s unbelievable. But the thing that I find really fascinating is that you had these results and we’ve only done this test once. But we did a test where we had run a promotion with a partner. We did a webinar. We invited people to sign up after the webinar. There was no pressure to do it during the webinar. They could sign up at any point and we weren’t doing a discount but we offered some really specific and special bonuses that we had never offered before. They were really fantastic bonuses. They involved lots of time and kind of one-on-one coaching and stuff like that.
And we found that we had a terrible conversion rate all the way from the very beginning all the way out. So we never ended up getting you even close to the conversion rate that we were used to getting on these webinars. So we tested the same webinar and kind of applied the philosophy and I guess a little bit of pleasure where people would have to sign up by the time the webinar closed out in order to get these bonuses that we had. People can always get LeadPages but in order to get these bonuses, they would have to actually buy before I even close the webinar out. It’s really interesting. We got one of the highest conversion rates, I think it was like 28% or 29% that I have ever seen on a webinar with that many people.
So it was only one test but I’m really curious if this might have something to do with maybe the specific industry. I mean because people will always get to use LeadPages. People will always get to use the education that they get from you but I just really wonder and I’m just kind of asking for your opinion here if it might be due to the specific business model.
Danny: Tim, I think there could be a few things at play here and I really appreciate you bringing up like a counter position, counterpoint because it’s so easy to listen to a case study and then for everyone to just run off, [[0:14:53]] [indiscernible] without thinking about the dynamics of their business.
Danny: So that’s really valuable and I appreciate that. I think there are a few things that are potentially at play here. Of course we can only really hypothesize and test.
Danny: We haven’t really —
Danny: The first is that as you said LeadPages is a software and we ramp it up to initially getting started with LeadPages is pretty short. I mean you know it’s a great easy to use user-friendly kind of program. We use it, we recommend it. You can get a LeadPages account and be up and running in 5, 10, 15 minutes. The stuff that we teach is not like that. We’re teaching people how to fundamentally transform their business. It’s hugely impactful. They take some time and it takes work. So people have to be a little more committed to jumping in. You could legitimately make an impulse decision yeah I’m going to try LeadPages on a webinar, set it up that afternoon and start seeing results the next day and you’re happy. If you make an impulse decision to yeah I’m going to totally change and improve my business, without really thinking through. Am I going to put in the time, am I going to do the work, you’re going to buy it, it’s going to sit on your hard drive and weeks or months later you’re going to either ask for a refund, forget about it. You’re not going to be a happy and successful customer. So there’s a different dynamic there.
A few other things that I would explore ask about though is and it’s hard to know because you know, it’s hard to test everything but there’s a few things right? If you impulse buy, you’re still more likely to have a percentage of people who bought and they’re like oh yeah I’ll get around to it later.
Danny: So I wonder what the –you know, if you look at six months, looking at the attrition what is the value of a customer? If you compare the value of customers done one way versus the other way, I don’t think it will be as prevalent. The other thing that’s really just depends on it to work well is that you can’t use the same kind of follow-up. The follow-up has really got to be different. It’s got to – it allows you to have a much larger window for education based marketing and then kind of just dial up the pressure a little bit at the end but you’ve really got to be their [[0:16:54]] [indiscernible] this is what we’ve experienced at least, with a lot more of that education, a lot more reasons why yes and addressing objections why not and at the end that all culminates and you know. If you want these special bonuses, if you want these opportunities, now is the time.
So it’s not that you’re not applying any kind of pressure. It’s not that there isn’t a deadline. You’re just doing that after people have had a fair window to really think it over and decide if it’s right for them.
Tim: Yes those are such good points and it’s I wish that I had data about kind of the effect of the attrition because you know this is – it was so recent that I really don’t have anything. I’m curious did you find that you had a lower cancelation rate on the webinar where you didn’t apply the pressure?
Danny: The answer is yes but. So yes we did but we you know how it is. You don’t test just one thing at a time.
Danny: We’re always changing things. We’re always paying attention to where do our students have trouble and get stuck. We’re always improving the course and what we’re offering and how we deliver it. So yes our cancelation rates have consistently dropped since the day we launched until today. Like because you know we’re making a concerted effort in this area. But I don’t know that I can you know, honestly attribute that necessarily to this change because there are too many other things happening at the same time. I can’t isolate that.
Tim: Right. No that makes perfect sense. And this is something you know and I think I’ve said this now about 475 times throughout the course of this podcast and probably thousands of times on webinars but this is stuff that you should be testing right? I mean test this stuff in your business. If you’re doing webinars and you’re doing these offers where maybe you’re not doing any kind of pressure, maybe try it versus the pressure, maybe try it against a different method but keep in mind the experience that somebody is going to have and find out what works best for your business.
But there are obviously the things that I also see that are worth considering, you know, we’re so focused on conversion and making sure that we’re getting lots of people in and hopefully you know, not getting lots of cancelations but at the same time there is an experience and a brand and kind of a thought process to consider. I mean how do people perceive you, how do they perceive your business and that’s something worth considering as well as you’re considering testing this out. I mean if you maybe a lose a couple of percentage points of conversion, but the people that are buying are just – they become the biggest evangelists for your company or for your or for your band, was it worth maybe losing a couple of percentage points because people love you and they believe in what you’re doing? I would say that’s something worth considering for your business. would you agree with that?
Danny: I would absolutely agree with that. I think that even it’s – the challenges it’s harder to test for that sort of stuff but that is a legitimate different outcome and if you’re looking, if you’re measuring results not five minutes after they visit the page but like five days or five month your data is going to be skewed one way or another. So you’ve got to make sure you’re testing for the right thing. You’ve also got to test intelligently. Like I see too many people go into the page and they oh I should have a split test. They set up a test with a different button color. They set up a test with a different headline just so they have a test running. They don’t think through what is really the purpose of testing. Testing is a way of validating hypothesis. So you know the way you built your page, the way you crafted your headline, the core of your message, the way you structured your offer, that’s all based on certain hypothesis that you’ve got, assumptions that you’re making about who your audience is, what matters to them and what they’re going to respond to.
The purpose of the test isn’t to just try different things and see what happens. It’s to have okay so if this is one assumption, what might an alternate assumption be and how do I test that? And really get to a point where you have a better understanding of how people respond to decision-making situations and how your audience responds to offer. So the purpose of these tests and the purpose of listening to ConversionCast, of listening to this case study and all the other case studies that you’ve published is yes of course you want to take away. Here’s something specific I can try in my business, but you should be listening for what does this tell me about how people process stuff that they’re presented with and how do they make better decision. Let that inform your ability to craft to marketing and create offers and persuasive presentations that are really going to be compelling and effective.
Tim: Right that’s exactly right. It’s about what you can do and I really think that obviously we want to give people ideas for things to test but more important just I think that I love the idea that it gives you ideas for new ways to think about your business and new ways to think about testing and what it means for your business going forward.
So I love that Danny. This has a been a great, great case study. I appreciate you coming on the show and sharing this with us and hopefully we’ll be able to have you back soon to share something new and interesting that you’ve been doing. Danny thanks so much for coming on the podcast. It’s been great.
Danny: Tim, totally pleasure, I’m happy to do it any time. I hope this has been valuable for the listeners.
Tim: Thanks for listening to this episode of ConversionCast. If you liked what you heard here today, we have something awesome that we want to send you. Our amazing team has created a free reference guide for you with every single split test and piece of conversion data that we have access to here at Conversion Cast. This free booklet is packed with incredible case studies and real metrics from real people to show you what’s really working across multiple industries right now. This is the kind of information you won’t find anywhere else.
As one of our listeners, we want to give you a copy of this book absolutely free. You can get your copy right now by going to ConversionCastGift.com. Again, that’s ConversionCastGift.com. Go there now and pick up your copy and we’ll see you next time.
Listen To Discover How Danny Iny Changed His Approach In His Offer To Increase Sales By 5-10%