Shiv Narayanan is the Chief Marketing Officer of Wild Apricot, the number one cloud software for small associations and non-profits. Wild Apricot provides an entire, all-in-one system for companies to manage their membership data-base, events, payments, newsletters, etc. (think WordPress, Mail Chimp, and Eventbrite all rolled into one package). Shiv is also the Founder of the podcast, How to SaaS, which helps software companies grow by explaining how to connect lead generations to inside sales, customer support, user experience, business development, etc.
A Quick Preview of the Podcast:
- How to effectively organize an online summit
- How to create a high value offer that prospects can’t turn down
- How to find the appropriate theme for your online summit
To See These Tactics In Action:
To See The Transcript:
Tim: I’ve been seeing a crazy trend lately of people doing summits. You’ve probably seen them x number of speakers all joining in to a virtual event where people can watch for free but they have to pay for the recordings or some other similar setup.
A lot of the folks doing them are having a ton of success but Shiv Narayanan has found a really incredible way to use summits to grow his email list and convert those folks to high end offers in a really short period of time to the tune of 5000 subscribers in one week. Today, he’s going to share his tactics for making it work and discuss how you can use the same strategy for your business.
I’m Tim Paige, the senior conversion educator here at LeadPages and this is ConversionCast.
Hey what’s up Shiv? Welcome to ConversionCast. Thanks for coming on the show.
Shiv: Thanks for having me, Tim.
Tim: Absolutely, man. So I’m excited to talk about today’s tactic. So before we go there, can you tell us what we’re what were the results from this case study?
Shiv: Yes. So we just completed our first online summit. It’s basically six webinars over five days with seven experts and we normally do these webinars where we do one a month and their topic and they’re future industry experts. We normally get about between 600 to 800 registrants every single time we hold one.
So we thought why not combine all of those webinars into one week where it’s like an event, a much bigger event. That just completed and we had gotten about 5000 registrations and from that about 2400 were leads.
Tim: Wow. Yeah that’s amazing. So can you tell us so what was the difference with why was it 5000 registrations and 2400 leads?
Shiv: Well there’s many factors. I would say in terms of the offer itself, it was a much higher value offer. In the past when we do a topic based webinar, you’re really trying to address one specific area that you can help your audience but similar to this podcast where every episode has feed. What we actually try to do is we try to keep the whole summit a theme and made it into a weeklong strategy session where you went from day one where you get introduced to this high level topic that’s trying to address the key pain of our customers. By the end of day five, we’ve been given four or five major strategies from their speakers to address that key pain point. Right?
So it’s really building a theme, really building up a software and when the offer is so powerful you can actually leverage it in many ways, right? You can use it to create awesome partnerships. You can use it to increase word of mouth because people actually share bigger events, right? Whereas a webinar or a podcast episode that’s just a one-off. They’re lessons and [Indiscernible [00:02:45] too but when it’s an event and when it’s something like an online conference they talk about it more on Twitter. They forward it more to coworkers right? So it’s really an embedded virality within the concept of an event.
Tim: Cool. Got it. Okay. Well we’ll talk a little bit more about it in detail in just a minute but why don’t you tell everybody who you are and what you do?
Shiv: Yeah. So I’m the CMO of the company called Wild Apricot. We are the number one cloud software for small associations and nonprofits. So what we do is we provide them with assistance to manage their entire membership database, their events, their payments, their newsletters, literally everything all in one. So you’re looking at WordPress, MailChimp event, [Indiscernible [00:03:29]
I’m also the founder of a podcast called How To SaaS which is based on helping cloud software companies grow. So what I really specialize in is in connecting the lead gen activities of the company and how does that connect with let’s say the business development piece or the customer success piece or the inside sales piece or even as far as customer support and user experience.
Tim: Very cool. Awesome. So can you tell us –you know, I know that there are a lot of people doing summits and online events but what made it, what was so powerful about yours that made it so successful?
Shiv: Uh-hum. I would say it’s always starting with the pain points for the user. So we as a company, we invest a lot of time and effort into understanding the biggest pains and frustrations of our audience. So we do annual surveys with our existing customers. We do surveys with our trials which are ongoing. We do a lot of one-off conversations, one-on-ones with the user testing. We do a lot and what we learned over the last few years is one of the number one pain points that our customers are facing is in terms of growing their membership. So our audience is someone like let’ say a law association or a tennis club or a human rights association or a charity. What they really need is they need people to join their organization so that they can further their cause and they need people to become volunteers that can organize these events that they’re holding or fund raisers. So for us once we’ve realized that that was what the pain point was, we started to build our content around that pain point.
I think that’s really what has fueled our success is by investing a lot of time into user research.
Tim: Got you and so how do you organize something like this to make it work once you understand the real pain points of your audience?
Shiv: So at the high level, once you know that there is this pain point, you kind of have to bring it back down to earth right? You got to figure out, okay I know that they’re struggling with this but what is a strategy or a tactic that they can really implement today when they leave this webinar or leave this summit that would actually make their life better? It comes back to like the basics of any type of copywriting, right where you’re not selling a product or even a benefit. What you’re really selling is transformation. So what is the one thing that is going to for example get them a lot of volunteers to organize that fund raiser that is finally going to bring them the funding they need to further their cause for.
Tim: Got you. Okay. So you’ve done that and you’ve gotten that worked out. Do you then reach out to the various different folks that are going to co-present with you?
Shiv: Yeah. So what we’ve really done is once we figured out this piece of okay we want to give them these how to strategies, we’ve done a lot of research to figure out who are the influencers within the industry that can really teach that to our audience? So our belief is that any great SAAS company should be teaching the customers how to succeed with their software which is kind of what you guys are doing with LeadPages. Right? You have this amazing product and building landing pages but ConversionCast helps educate that audience and how to succeed with something like conversion which seems to be a core reason why people come to LeadPages in the first place.
So with us, it’s identifying who are those influencers whereas in the internet marketing world or let’s say social media you really know someone like Gary Vaynerchuck. In the nonprofit world, people don’t really know who those influencers are except a small subset of the market. So we’ve gone and we’ve created relationships with those influencers, gotten them to come on board and work with us in a partnership to create an amazing content that addresses that core frustration that we were talking about earlier.
Tim: Got you. So are the events, the webinars and that kind of thing during the summit, are they live or are they prerecorded?
Shiv: They’re always live.
Tim: They’re always live.
Shiv: And the reason for that is there is something to live being a higher value content piece.
Shiv: Because when it’s recorded it’s easy to just be like oh I’ll watch it later. But live has this scarcity built into it, this idea that I have to watch it now it’s an event. There’s a lot of stuff, a lot of hoopla happening around it, right. We have a live Tweet chat going. There’s a live chat box on the web. Now there’s a bunch of things happening. So live makes it a higher value.
Tim: Totally agree. Great. And then so basically people are registering one time for this entire thing and as a result of registering, they get access to all of the webinars?
Shiv: Exactly, exactly all the webinars and we do a lot of post event follow-up as well and we do a lot of blogposts. We’re communicating with them across multiple platforms. Also they get bonuses so for example we have a paid course that we offer so they get 50% off of that. We give away a bunch of free books. We did a bunch of things on top of the registration and the webinars that they got with the summit.
Tim: Awesome. So you know is there anything that we’ve missed that I think is key for people to know to make this work?
Shiv: Just my feedback would just be to focus on really creating this high value offer. I think for most of the time, we get stuck in this idea of okay what’s this amazing headline that we can tweak or AB test or how can we change the color of this button. You know like all these little dynamic or like tactics and manipulations. I think what it really comes down to is having an amazing core offer that people are willing to share, willing sign up for and it’s almost a no brainer. When they get to the landing page, it’s almost like the copy doesn’t matter because of how high value the piece of content is.
Tim: Right. I love it. Cool man. Well thank you so much for coming on the show and sharing this. I really appreciate it and hopefully we’ll be able to chat again.
Shiv: Thanks for having me Tim. I appreciate it.