Kat Von Rohr was the third person hired on the Leadpages marketing team and has been running promotions ever since. Her first project was launching a promotion around a new product. In the three years since, she has managed more than 50 promotions. She has been behind webinar promotions with followup sequences, three-day promotions including giveaways, and big feature releases for massive products.
A Quick Preview of the Podcast:
- How to raise your price and still get prospects to buy
- How to add value to your product through a promotion
- The counterintuitive promotion that works to convert prospects
Tim: This is the conversion journey in 13 parts as told by the LeadPages team. In this all new series, you’ll hear what we do each day at LeadPages to find, convert and keep our customers.
I’m Tim Paige and this is the all new ConversionCast.
We’ve been spending a few episodes talking about how to drive traffic. We talked about some free ways, some paid ways but now I wanna to talk about the point where it’s time to transition to getting somebody to actually pay you for whatever it is that you’re selling.
And there are a lot of different strategies and tactics that you can put in play but the first one that we’re gonna get into is promotions, it’s how to get that quick one time injection of sales. And as somebody who isn’t super involved in the promotions, I’m really excited to talk to Kat about this specific thing.
But Kat I think first, can you give people a sense of who you are and what you do at LeadPages?
Kat: Sure. So what I do basically is I run every promotion that we ever have. And I have kind of an unusual role because I was actually the third person ever hired on the marketing team here at LeadPages.
So actually before I came to LeadPages, there really wasn’t a marketing team. There was 2 people and when I came on board, our CEO Clay Collins said, “Hey! Great, we have 3, we have a team”.
Kat: So I have distinction of being the – you know first person on board where we finally said, hey we have a team, that’s great. And one of the very first things I was tasked to do was launch one of our new products and launch it as a big feature release promotion really.
And since then, I’ve actually managed over 50 different promotions for LeadPages over the last 3 years and they have taken many different forms, avenues. They’ve done – they’ve been everything from a webinar promotion where we started with a really interesting webinar and then we have follow up sequence to a really tight 3-day promotion where were possibly giving something away with our product to big feature release.
I was talking about this massive product that we are going to be releasing soon. So, it’s a really interesting – been a really interesting 3 years. And I’m excited to talk about it.
Tim: And so just to – just for the sake of over clarifying, when you say promotion, what do you mean?
Kat: A promotion is a very specific reason why to purchase your product. That is the most specific definition I can give. It’s going out to your audience and presenting them with ideally a landing page but it can also be a blog post or any kind of medium where you give your customers a reason to purchase your product within a certain timeframe.
So for us, that’s usually something like a week or 3 or 4 days. Sometimes people run promotions or launches at last in 2 to 3 weeks, sometimes a month but it is a specific reason why to purchase your product. So when you go online and you see something like 20% off of on my product you know for the next 3 days, that’s an example of promotion.
For us, it might be something like, purchase LeadPages and get the 6 bonuses that we’re only giving away for the next 3 days, that’s an example of promotion. And really for your own business, it can be any specific reason above and beyond the norm to purchase your product within a certain timeframe.
Tim: Right and as we’re recording this, I mean this doesn’t come out until 2017 but just the day we’re recording this happens to be cyber Monday which might be an example of a promotion that just a lot of people are engaging in, right?
Tim: Okay, all right. So that in mind we were discussing you know what tend to be some of the most successful promotions that we run and what I found really interesting was that you mentioned that typically, one of the best promotions if not the best promotion is when we’re gonna be raising our prices and we give our customers the opportunity to buy at the current prices and lock in the current pricing before the price goes up. Can you talk a little bit about that kind of promotion and what the though process is behind it?
Kat: Sure. Well, the very first thing I need to tell you is this type of promotion is like a unicorn. It very rarely happens and no matter what business you’re in, it’s very game changing event to be raising your prices.
And often, when people are in a new business for example, let’s say, you’re launching you know perhaps a new course you’re creating or you’re possibly even an entirely new business, you might be planning to release a new product.
So one – an example of a price increase promotion would be releasing that product at a lower price for a certain period of time and then releasing it on a date and then saying that on a later date, you’re going to be raising the price.
And for your market, that’s an invaluable opportunity to basically get your product at a lower price. And for us because we have you know we have establish audience, we have a large group of people who are following our product and need more time, when word going to raise prices which again almost never happens.
But the few times it has over the last 3 years because we’re startup and we’re always adding value to our product, we’re always making it better therefore justifying a higher price. The few times that we’ve raised prices on specific products, we have gone out into our marketplace and we have said, hey, we are raising the price on this specific date.
However, we are giving you the next 7 days, 5 days, 3 days to purchase our product at the existing price and you will lock in that rate for as long as you remain a customer.
And that does several things, psychologically, it gives a very real tangible urgent reason why to purchase product immediately because you know you’re always gonna lock in a lower price. And because we’re a SAAS company which offers a service, initiate your subscription rate is actually going to be lower for the entire time you are a customer. So there’s tangible value there.
Secondly, it also does something for your current customers where if you have a large base of customers like LeadPages does, it gives them the opportunity to say, hey! I’m really glad that I got in at this – I already purchased you know at some point in the past because I locked in those lower rate and I’m always gonna have it for as long as I’m a customer.
And for us, that also helps with things like retention rates because everybody wants to keep that lower price. And again, I’m a big fan of promotions that are extremely valid in the sense that they create real urgency.
And you’re talking to your audience as if you’re talking to one of your bestfriends, like you would tell your bestfriend if you are raising prices. You would tell them if you were going to be – you’ll be like there’s a very specific huge thing happening in my product and as my friend, I really wanna tell you, you should get it now.
And as an example of that, I like to point to Disney, not many people know this but I actually in base out of South Florida so I live 2-1/2 hours away from Disney world which should be…
Tim: So jealous.
Kat: Yes. But it means that I can go to Disney world a lot and as a Florida resident, for awhile I actually had a Florida pass to get to Disney world which was fantastic. It was about $400 for the year and you can get it in, the entire – all the parks free parking for the whole year. It was great, right?
Well, after going to Disney world about 15 times in one year, my family and I decided to you know take a break for a year and you know put that money somewhere else, the $400 somewhere else which makes sense.
However, I believe it was last year, Disney decided to raise the price for Florida residents to $750 for the year. They didn’t disclose this. Had they? Or at least they didn’t disclose it to a point where I got a mail and it was very obvious like we’re gonna be raising prices, we recommend you, you know renew your – renew your subscription for the year, renew your you know Florida membership to Disney world so you can lock in this rate.
Had they? I would still be their customer to this day.
Kat: And that’s a real tangible real world example of how this didn’t work. So no matter what you’re doing and no matter what business you’re doing, if you have a reason that you’re gonna be raising prices, a lot of people are concerned about raising prices.
They’re thinking they’re not gonna get the customers on you know the back end but if you have established business and you’ve been working on improving your product for a long time, it’s possible you could have something that’s worth a lot more.
And you haven’t taken the time to really evaluate you know what’s there. Is the pricing really what you should be using and if you have a chance to raise prices? Yes, that is a fantastic opportunity to run a promotion and just tell your customers, be very upfront with them that this is happening.
Tim: Awesome. Now before we go any further, I have to mention that all throughout this episode and in the all new season of ConversionCast, you’re hearing what we do at LeadPages to automatically grow our email list and boost our sales every single day.
Well, in my next webinar, I’ll show you exactly how to do this for your business. In this free training, I’ll give you a live step by step walkthrough of the top 3 tactics we use at Leadpages to automatically grow our own list week after week.
This is gonna be everything you need to know to implement this in your business. So make sure you check it out. To reserve your spot on the webinar, text LeadPageslive to 334444, that’s all one word LeadPageslive to 334444 or head to LeadPages webinar.com
All right, let’s get back to it.
And I think it also gets rid of that thing where somebody is shocked you know, they have been looking at your product and then one day they decided to buy and they look and they see, oh my gosh, you know it’s way more money than I thought it was.
And maybe that turns away a potential customer whereas as instead you could have locked in that customer with that promotion, letting them know hey the price is gonna go up, it gets them to buy now and it avoids maybe losing them potentially forever once they see that the price has gone up.
So I really love that. What I’m curious about is and you know maybe we can just give some a general idea but I love to get it specific as possible. When – let’s say that you know we knew that in 2 weeks or whatever, the price of LeadPages was gonna go up, it’s not – this is not me announcing that we’re raising prices so please don’t take this that way.
You know I don’t know when that’s happening but just – let’s say that that was happening in 2 weeks, what process would you put in place? Like how – is it in 1 email, is it 10 emails, is it landing pages, like how do we let people know and get them to take us up on the offer before the price goes up?
Kat: Well first of all, I would plan a price like promotion the same way I planned any other promotion which is – and I’ve said this many times before. When you’re gonna plan a promotion or launch your product, the very first thing you need is dates.
So if you know the price is going up in 2 weeks, you have your end date and then you work backwards. Usually, I don’t run a promotion that’s more than 4 or 5 days so if I knew – and that’s because it’s very difficult to capture the attention of the market.
And also in general, I don’t wanna over email. I don’t wanna spam my customers. I don’t want to talk about something to such an extent that people tune out and don’t want to hear you anymore.
That is usually because people get so many emails every day. An email still works by the way but people get a ton of emails a day. So when I’m running a big promotion like this, I look at 2 or 3 emails tops, paid media and also as many other free mentions as I can do for that specific promotion.
And what does means is because we’re a large company and really any business has this, if you really think about it you have so many different channels to talk to your audience, your readers and your customers. And you may now even be aware of all of the different channels you have but you just sit down and think about it.
You have all the social media channels which if you’re not doing paid media, they’re all free. So all the free social media channels so Linkedin, Instagram, Pinterest I mean off the beaten path, your Facebook community. Those are the free ones. Your homepage.
Anytime we could do a big promotion like this, we usually have what sometimes called the Hello Bar, sometimes called the Rapid Bar but we actually put it on our homepage so that when somebody is just looking for your website, they come to your website, they know this is happening.
For a price increase, I would actually be putting a note on my pricing page because I’d want anybody who’s hitting at my pricing know this is happening in a certain time.
And then during those 3 or 4 days, like for example, we have found at LeadPages that natural end dates work best for promotion, that’s usually a Friday and end of the month. So Friday, meaning end of the week, end of the month or end of the year.
So if I knew – I’d knew that prices were gonna go up, I would work with our product team to make sure that happened on say a Friday because I know that’s the best day to end a promotion.
I know that for us, Tuesday is the best day to start a promotion because that just happens to be the best day for us to mail our customers. I know that’s the day that we get the best open rights as the day we get the best click through rights.
Now, for your own business, it could be something completely different but I would look at what’s my best day to mail my customers and then I would be working backwards to that.
So the actual promotion would like mail on Tuesday, maybe mail again on Thursday, mail on Friday and then paid media we’ve running for those 4 days then I would also be shouting it from the rooftops and any other channel I have.
Sometimes that’s webinars for us, sometimes that’s affiliate mentions, going out to our affiliate partners giving them specific copy that they can go out to their audience and say, hey did you know that you know LeadPages gonna be raising prices or hey do you know this is happening?
That’s the kind of thing that people tend to share also because it’s news. It’s not just a promotion, it is an actual news event and it is a one-time event.
And by the way, when I say raise prices I don’t mean raising by a lot. I can – the first price for promotion we have here at LeadPages, we are raising our price by $100 which doesn’t sound like a lot. At that time I thought, this isn’t gonna work, it’s a hundred bucks a year like the difference is a hundred bucks a year for life but it’s a massive change for our customers.
And the price worked obviously because we kept it.
Tim: I love that. No, it’s really interesting that this has been one of the things that has been so impactful. Now I don’t wanna spend too much time on it but I am curious because I’d be willing to bet that someone’s listening to this right now and they’re thinking you know, I’m following this customer journey on the all new ConversionCast because I have my product.
And maybe I haven’t built a big audience yet or I’m somewhere in the middle and I wanna run a promotion, I want to get that you know a quick influx of sales for some kind of event but a price increase isn’t something I can do now, had there been any other kind of promotions that you can recommend that you think you know or that you know have worked well for us?
And when I asked that I mean are they things like – I know we don’t really do discounts but discounts or things like adding bonuses or things like I know we do where we’ll you know work out at partnership agreement with another tool or training product. What works really well that you can recommend somebody use if they’re trying to get that result?
Kat: Well first of all, I would say it really boils down to one phrase and that is, don’t discount, add value.
Tim: Mm—mmm. I’m with you.
Kat: We have a policy at our company that we never discount our product and the reason we never discount is – well first of all, we priced it base on the value and we go out the industry to discount, it’s really saying that you’re products not necessarily worth what it – what you’re paying for it.
Which can work really well by the way if you’re running like an ecommerce site, you know if you’re doing things like selling like you know spatulas or something. [Laughs]
An ecommerce but when you’re doing specifically some a SAAS subscription base courses, anything that you’re paying a subscription fee, that’s when I would say don’t discount, add value.
And value can come in the form of bonuses as you just said, bonuses by the way is really anything that adds significant value to your product. So sometimes as you just mentioned, it can be an affiliate product which is just some other tool out in the industry that when paired with your product gives massive value.
For example LeadPages, we create landing pages so a companion product might be a traffic product to drive traffic to those landing pages. It could be one of many courses we’ve created to show you how to set up a sales funnel or show you how to do Facebook advertising or show you really anything that would make you use the product.
And you’re looking at your product is really helpful to say, what do my customers need to the maximum value out of my product, that my product doesn’t deliver that I can then add on to that product. That is the very definition of a bonus.
And again, things that really work. We have bonuses to our product, sometimes we will add custom trainings, sometimes we’ll add one on one coaching, really it’s anything that provides value. And I’ve seen – the major ones that I’ve seen worked more than anything else are adding bonuses, adding trainings and specifically going out into the world and saying that you have a new feature. A new feature for your specific product can be huge especially if you give your customers a chance to get it on it first.
Here at LeadPages, we call that an early adapter promotion or a feature released promotion. And that, yes works over and over and over. As an example, we released our new product last year at center, as an early adapter, we gave a certain group of people the opportunity to purchase our product really before it was available to the greater market and as it was being developed.
So it was released at a slightly lower price because it was being created. And I believe it brought in about 700,000 in a few weeks. It was – and it was just going out to the world and saying we have this product coming, which is another type of promotion.
So anytime you’re launching a new feature, you can build a promotion on that, anytime you’re adding value to your product, anytime you are possibly changing the price or another one that’s actually kinda counterintuitive is if you have a product that you are planning on taking features away from which is — doesn’t really make any sense but it has the same psychological mentality as the price increase.
So let’s say you’ve been in the market for a really long time and when you started your business you know 3 or 4 years ago, you just gave everything away. You know you wanted to add as much value to your product as you could, you created a course that maybe had you know 57 modules because you want to deliver as much value as you possibly could.
And now, you know 3 years later you’re thinking, yeah I could probably – I honestly would rather you know redo this course and maybe I don’t the last you know let’s say 20 modules, I’d just wanna really tight…
If you went to the industry and you say, hey my courses were taken away 20 modules, or – and you can get in – you can get the full course as it is now but 2 weeks from now, this is gonna be shorter.
That’s an example of a feature – taking a feature away and building a promotion around it. Another example would be, let’s say, again when you released your product you did one on one coaching with every single client. Let’s say you’re a life coach and you said you know, purchase my course and you’ll get one on one coaching with me you know an hour of my life every week.
Well that was 3 years ago, you’re now really successful and you really have time to do an hour you know with every customer every week. You could say, hey you have to get in this week because as of Friday I am cutting off the hour a week that I’m doing with everyday.
I’m only gonna do it for my existing customers as of this date and after that, I’m only releasing my course. That would be a real tangible reason to purchase immediately and that’s an example of a taking a feature away which I’ve also done and yes it works.
Tim: And there’s a lot – there are a lot of ideas here for things to do for promotions and you know if I was gonna listen – if I’d listen to this episode, I would definitely go back and listen to the specific kind of layout of the way that Kat described how we might do a promotion.
And you know, keep in mind something that we’ve been talking about a lot on ConversionCast is to test and see what works for you because what exactly works for the LeadPages team may or may not work for you but I think there’s a lot here to go with and to test out.
So Kat, thank you so much for sharing your promotions love with us, we appreciate it.
Kat: My pleasure. Thank you.