Media in Marketing with Aaron Abramson
Media in Marketing with Aaron Abramson
[00:00:00] Ryan Chapman: Hey, this is Ryan Chapman with Fix Your Funnel. I'm pleased to have yet another friend for today's interview. We're going to be talking about some neat stuff. I have with me Aaron Abramson and, Aaron, you've been doing DJing and, kind of, party stuff for a long time.
Aaron Abramson: Well, kind of, yeah. My background is actually IT software development and project management, and I was the chief technology officer for a Wi-Fi company for, oh, eight years or so back in the early 2000's. Pioneering Wi-Fi in hotel space.
Ryan Chapman: Okay, yeah! I remember that. You told me about that.
Aaron Abramson: Yeah, and then in 2012 I started DJing part time for another company just to make some extra money because I was going through some relationship issues and so on but- had to hire an attorney. But then I ended up buying the DJ company that I was working for because I fell in love with entertaining. I found out that I was pretty good at it. I really enjoyed it and sitting at a computer, staring at a [00:01:00] screen, was kind of killing me inside all week long. When I bought the company the previous owner had- I mean the company had been around for 25 years and they had a defined set sales process and a cycle and a system for everything they did. They just did it very manually and so being the consummate nerd and IT geek I was, the first thing I did once I bought the company was I got Infusionsoft and I automated as much as I could of the existing systems in the business because as a computer programmer I'm inherently lazy. I'll spend 18 hours writing a script to save me 3 seconds every day.
Ryan Chapman: I don't think that that's lazy. I think well, yeah, I guess I'd say the same. Like you don't want to be doing the same thing over and over again. It's like almost... You have, like, a phobia of wasting time.
Aaron Abramson: Absolutely. Absolutely. It's work smarter not harder. And so when I [00:02:00] implemented Infusionsoft- this is back in 2014-
Ryan Chapman: Yeah.
Aaron Abramson: There were things that I needed to do, some functionality, for like manipulating dates and fields and so on and so I actually found Fix Your Funnel with the funnel bots pretty early on. And so a lot of my current campaigns that were built back in 2014-2015 still are rocking today, chugging away and manipulating date information. For example, as a DJ company we're marketing to brides. Brides have wedding dates. So I need to know how many leads do I have on October 7th, 2019? And then- so I can segment my list based on Saturdays, based on Fridays, based on all these date things so I can actually market specifically to fill my inventory because dates are my inventory.
Ryan Chapman: Yeah. Well, that's really interesting. So, [00:03:00] in your business it's a lot like medical and attorneys and stuff like that where your inventory is time. So if that time is not filled in the past, that's like a banana going bad.
Aaron Abramson: Absolutely. And so with supply and demand I know that every Saturday here in northern Minnesota between May and October has a really good chance of selling out all of our services for DJs and photo booths and so on. However, Friday's there's less demand. So if I can run on the funnel bot, date bot, to tag my leads as they come in and if a tag is a Friday date, then I can automatically segment off to a special sale campaign to promote a discounted price to them.
Ryan Chapman: Okay, so we're starting to get a little nerdy. I want to back up a little bit, though.
Aaron Abramson: Okay.
Ryan Chapman: I'm curious, what happened to business volume once you started automating compared to the 25 years before?
Aaron Abramson: Business [00:04:00] volume went up significantly. Actually, the first year volume dipped as I was still getting my hands wrapped around- yeah, learning the nuances of marketing to brides, learning the nuances of marketing a seasonal business and-
Ryan Chapman: That would have happened if you were doing automation or not.
Aaron Abramson: Correct, correct. But the biggest thing for me was I falsely assumed that 'hey, I can automate my email marketing and I can stop sending out physical mail.' Part of the sales process that the company had been using for years was to send out letters and postcards to all the leads that came in. Well, I thought 'why are we wasting money on postage when we have email and the internet and all this stuff?' And sales tanked.
Ryan Chapman: Yeah, that's classic.
Aaron Abramson: So the next spring came around and, after a conversation with the [00:05:00] previous owner, I sent out about 600 letters to my lead list and what do you know? Sales started coming in again. And so now I've reintegrated physical direct mail to our sales process.
Ryan Chapman: I think that's something interesting with highlighting. Because what I've noticed (inaudible) is like a huge opportunity when it comes to business in general is when you have an industry or business that's been very manual what you want to do is you want to observe. What are they doing that's actually working, right? And then we want to take and start automating those parts that are appropriate to automate and then highlighting the time where humans are involved where they should be involved. You know what I mean?
Aaron Abramson: Yeah.
Ryan Chapman: If you do that, there's just- it's really easy to get a huge initial bump off of just doing that, right? Just adding in some better consistency to where maybe it doesn't currently exist. And the cool part about your, kind of, your [00:06:00] mentality is that when you come into a process- what you got through that first lesson, which was don't change stuff that's working, you know what I mean?
Aaron Abramson: Yeah.
Ryan Chapman: That's what- you know, I kind of laughed when you were telling that story because that's a classic mistake. Everybody makes it. Everybody makes it. Especially if you're coming into a new business and you're looking at cost versus ease, you know? Everybody makes the same mistake. They're like 'well, let me throw these dollars aside so I can get these pennies on the ground.' They don't realize they're shooting themselves in the foot, you know? So I'm glad you figured it out so quickly because a lot of people don't, unfortunately. That's kind of the sad, the tragedy portion of that story. There's a lot of people that just don't get it. And so they end up really getting into trouble, you know?
Aaron Abramson: Yeah, absolutely.
Ryan Chapman: So I'm glad you figured that out. Okay, so I love the way you gave that history too, because I think it gives people that are listening this kind of context of how this whole [00:07:00] thing... You know, how you got into it, how you started working with it. You mentioned you kind of started off with Funnel Bots. But when I was asking before we started the interview I was saying 'what are some of those things that are making the biggest difference for you?'
Aaron Abramson: Yeah, right now-
Ryan Chapman: I said, well, your follow-up process was the first thing that came to mind.
Aaron Abramson: Yes. Yes. So the first thing is-
Ryan Chapman: Hold on, before we go any further I want to give context to that question because that question kind of seems like- it's not a good question from my perspective. The question I actually asked was 'what are the things that help grow the business or increase the profit?' Because that's different from things that people get excited about. Because some people get excited about stuff that's super sophisticated. You know, they're doing all these decision diamonds, they're... pushing people different directions, but it doesn't make any money for them.
Aaron Abramson: Yeah.
Ryan Chapman: -Grow the business and I think that that's just, you know, failure on the part of the business owner because they get excited about something but it's not the thing that actually makes a difference [00:08:00] for what they're trying to accomplish. All that being said that was the question I asked and then you came up immediately with the follow-up process. You improved your follow-up process. So, walk people through what was your follow-up process before and then after?
Aaron Abramson: Well, the follow-up process has mostly remained the same with some tweaks and improvements to it. Our process is when a lead comes into the system we never stopped following up with them until they tell us to shut up or their wedding date passes and we know that they're no longer a prospect because they're either married or something. So we do a lot of lead acquisition through bridal shows, wedding shows. Purchase leads from other wedding vendors like David's Bridal and so on. We have our Facebook page, the Knot, Wedding Wire. All the different directories and stuff to acquire leads, we have that. And they all [00:09:00] go into our system.
And then we have cycles of sales and promotions. We have different follow-up segments so if new lead comes in we run a certain special promotion to them for the first three weeks and then let them cool off for a week or two and then-
Ryan Chapman: You had a pretty good system to start with.
Aaron Abramson: Yeah, I did. And that's where I took their existing system that was this the follow-up process and automated it in Infusionsoft so instead of having to go in and run a search, export the list into an Excel spreadsheet, and then go print off labels here, and then import them into Constant Contact to send out an email and keep track of what email, who's where. Now they're all just in the Infusionsoft database. I apply a tag that says 'start this promotion' and it goes through and runs the promotion and then it ticks [00:10:00] down and next time 'okay, we're on this one.' And so on.
Ryan Chapman: It's obviously working really well. Plus it's easier for you to run and organize and know where everybody is. Then you said you did something that improved it. What did you do that improved that already, what sounds like, a really great system?
Aaron Abramson: Yeah, in the last year now we've implemented the live texting and the automated texting and we have seen a significant improvement in our response rates to our follow-up. For example, when somebody prints the- or not prints. But when somebody fills out our form on our website we now have a check box that says 'instantly text me the information' and we've added that to all of our lead capture forms everywhere.
Ryan Chapman: That's cool. So, that's kind of a variation on what we taught about using lead ad forms. I understand you do some stuff like that with-
Aaron Abramson: Yep. Yep. So we do the Facebook lead ad forms, but then the bulk of [00:11:00] our leads come in either through our website or through Wedding Wire.
Ryan Chapman: You just converted that technique and put it over to your web form.
Aaron Abramson: Yep, exactly. And so when somebody check marks the box that says text me the information then we use the Fix Your Funnel automated messaging conversations to send that out. When we go to a bridal show-
Ryan Chapman: Hold on a second, because a lot of people listening may be going 'wait, you used what?' So you are using an automated conversation to gather some more information?
Aaron Abramson: Yes, we are.
Ryan Chapman: Okay, so you're using- so people that use Fix Your Funnel you can find that by going into auto-conversations or automated messaging conversations. And for the people in the US and Canada there is a beta feature, advanced feature. You'll click on a button to kind of show it. What it does is it allows you to start an automated conversation from campaign builder http post.
So you're doing that to not only send them the information but then start gathering some more information that will help you to know how to follow up with them?
Aaron Abramson: Yes. Yes. And then we also [00:12:00] use the automated conversations with keywords for lead collection at bridal shows. So in our booth at the show, we use the QR codes and also text packages to our phone number to receive... To register for the the special promotion for the bridal show.
Ryan Chapman: So something that some people may not pick up on, because I'm a fellow programmer I picked up on this, is Aaron is going in a very sequential- you're going in a real sequential process. So a lot of people, when I ask that question of 'what did you do to your follow-up sequence?' they would immediately go to well we sent conversation starting text messages through a campaign builder messaging post, right? So I'm using my Fix Your Funnel number. I send out a conversation starter. Then I ask them a question that gets them engaged and then we carry on with a live texting conversation.
But you actually backed up and went to how do you open the door to give you that opportunity in the first place? Because [00:13:00] that's where you went with the web form, asking for the phone number, also asking for permission to text them, also you went to key words at your bridal showers to try and get the the door open for texting. You kind of intuitively walked backwards and went through the process that we kind of teach people, are trying to teach people, more clearly, which is open the door, start asking questions, have live conversations. That's kind of the secret to getting the most out of texting from my perspective.
Aaron Abramson: It is. And I actually... The very first time I dipped my toe into the text messaging arena it was November 2017. We were running our annual Black Friday sale promotion and this promotion does really well every year. I require my lead list to register to download the Black Friday price list and then they can get the special discounts. And so on Friday, on Black Friday, I was in my office and [00:14:00] I said, ‘you know what? I'm going to try this.’ I sent out a broadcast text message to all of the people that registered for my sale. So we had like 72 people that are registered for the sale. So I sent out a broadcast text to all 72 of them and for about the next hour, hour and a half, just back and forth messaging inside of Fix Your Funnel's live messaging app answering questions. And I had three people book through the text messaging from that.
And so I'm still hesitant to do large-scale broadcasts to like 3,000 people on my list, but for a special targeted promotion, I still do that for everybody that registers for the sale. Then I will do a broadcast text. Say 'hey, did you have any questions about the special?' Or 'just a reminder our Black Friday sale ends in 3 hours.' Or something like that.
Ryan Chapman: There are certain [00:15:00] situations where some of those larger broadcasts can make sense.
Aaron Abramson: Yeah.
Ryan Chapman: Nowadays we are saying 'hey, you guys gotta give yourself time because that's going to take time to send out to have it actually be delivered.' Because carriers have gotten more intense and they're filtering at messages. But, you know, overall I think the most powerful way to be using texting is organically as part of the follow-up process like you're doing.
Aaron Abramson: Absolutely.
Ryan Chapman: You've got those text messages baked into certain actions like filling out the form of the checkbox. Okay. Boom. Let's start some texting there.
Aaron Abramson: Yep.
Ryan Chapman: Maybe they do something that's a key action that indicates 'hey, they're taking a step towards making a decision. Let's start a conversation now.'
Aaron Abramson: Yeah, and so the biggest improvement in the most recent months that we've seen- I actually had a conversation with my sales staff about this before the call here -and that is simply using the the live messaging app [00:16:00] to be able to text on demand with our contacts. And so as part of our follow-up process, our very first follow-up on a lead requesting information, we make a phone call using the the Fix Your Funnel dialer. We want to get that phone conversation, but even if they don't answer and we leave a voicemail, we still send them a text. And marketing to the millennial bride is very much text communication. We do a lot of sales via email, sales via text now. And the fact that we were able to port all of our business phone numbers to Fix Your Funnel so we are texting and calling from our actual business line instead of a secondary number and so on, that's been huge.
Ryan Chapman: Yeah. Well it especially with your demographic. I mean, some people tend to narrow the demographic that prefers texting to just people that are [00:17:00] millennials or under like a 30 or 40 year range, but statistics actually show people up into their 60s prefer texting over phone calls.
You know, what's an interesting statistic, Aaron- I just saw this last week- is that there are now five billion people on the planet on a smartphone or at least have some sort of mobile phone. And maybe it's a little bit less that are smartphones, but it's five billion people have a mobile phone. All mobile phones are text enabled. In the United States it's probably a hundred percent smartphone almost.
Aaron Abramson: It is interesting when I look through my Google Analytics on my website the volume of mobile users on the site. But yet at the same time what's even more interesting is the high number of desktop users specifically between 11:30 AM and 2 PM as brides are planning their wedding at work on their work computers.
Ryan Chapman: Yeah, [00:18:00] those are good observations. You know, those are important things for all business owners to make. You need to have some Google Analytics just so you can be seeing how people are using or interacting with your website. I think that's pretty critical. And also checking out your Facebook Analytics to see like, who are you actually targeting with your ads? What device are they on?
Aaron Abramson: Yeah.
Ryan Chapman: Because that tells you a little bit of something. It's different for every business. So you can't get like- you know, the statistics are like almost like 95% of Facebook usage is on smartphone, but that doesn't mean that your market is at 95%. So like with my business a lot of our users are actually on desktop which really skews things off because they're doing our stuff on the desktop. You can't use Infusionsoft with a mobile phone really so you got to have a desktop for it. So that kind of skews all our numbers away from what most of our users actually experience which is most of their [00:19:00] customers are on mobile phone. So it's very interesting. But you got to look at that so you can know those things. That's very astute of you to observe what time of day they're actually on desktop versus mobile. Because that also tells you something about when you should run ads and when you shouldn't type of thing. Well, very fascinating.
Okay, so you're incorporating the live texting. You notice that that may have a pretty big impact on your ability to connect with people which is what we've heard from everybody and seeing ourselves. There's just too much going on with email, you know?
Aaron Abramson: Yeah.
Ryan Chapman: You've got to use both. I don't- you know, I am not a huge fan of email, personally, just from the receiving and processing side of it, but from a business standpoint, I recognize the utility of email. But it's just so much more powerful if you couple it with texting because you know the text is going to be seen but you really have a limited payload. With the email you can you can deliver a lot more but you know it's difficult to be [00:20:00] seen. So by combining those two you can really have high effectiveness. And then if you incorporate the phone call like- I think there's something some people don't really understand. Because what you're using is you're using direct mail, using a voice conversation through the phone, you're using texting and you're using email. Is there any other media's that you're using besides those four?
Aaron Abramson: Well, we're using Facebook. And we're using the Facebook sync functionality of Fix Your Funnel as well.
Ryan Chapman: Let's go into that in just a second. What I want to point out with those five media's that you're using which is Facebook. I'm glad that you included that because it's it's own, sort of, media, right?
Aaron Abramson: Yep.
Ryan Chapman: You’re doing email, you're doing texting, you're doing phone calling and you're doing direct mail. With each media layer that you can add into your marketing the better chances you have for actually making connection. And connection is where you get results. If you don't connect you don't get results. And so that's the important part is connecting. People mistake sending for connecting. They're like 'oh, I'm sending out [00:21:00] emails.' And so that's like the classic mistake you made, right? At the beginning was 'oh, why do I need to send this directly when it costs money? Let's just send emails.'
Aaron Abramson: It's also the the pattern of disruption to stamp out and the consistency and perseverance and follow-up. I know for me it's understanding the sales cycle. If I am attending a bridal show in January, and half the people that are coming through just got engaged in December over Christmas time and the other half of the people have their weddings coming up in a few months and they already have all of their vendors picked. So, half the people aren't really customers because they have everything booked already and the other half aren't ready to book yet. And so they come into our system and we follow-up, follow-up, follow-up, and a lot of those leads then don't actually become customers until five, six, seven months later when they're actually ready to book based on when their [00:22:00] wedding date is. Having the ability to know, kind of, how far out in advance it is. So, if I know that a lead is looking at a date in June of 2020 I'm going to be talking to that lead now differently than a lead that is in October of 2019 because they're in a different part of their buy cycle.
Ryan Chapman: Absolutely and I think those are just good concepts for people to get a hold of. Because if they can think that way, if they understand the sales cycle and they can think about 'okay, when should we push harder and when should we back off?' then it'll make it so that they can afford to do the multiple media's. Because, like, phone calls are expensive. I think the phone calls are more expensive than direct mail, personally. And not because of the cost of the call but the cost of the time of the person making it.
Aaron Abramson: Oh, yes. Absolutely.
Ryan Chapman: So, as far as, like, when I'm evaluating where and when we want to use different media's, you know, phone call and looking at 'okay, that's the most expensive one so I want to use that only in [00:23:00] the best times.' Then there's direct mail, which is super effective for standing out because nobody does it. And those that do don't do it right for the most part. So, you know, it's really easy to win in direct mail if you put in a little effort. But it's expensive relative to the other two or three. There's Facebook ads which is probably the next most expensive. But it can be great because that's where they're spending all their time, you know? At least free time, disposable time. And then there's the text message which is super effective at being seen, relatively low in cost and is a lot easier even if we get them to live chat to respond to them by phone call in terms of time consumption.
Aaron Abramson: Yeah.
Ryan Chapman: And at the very bottom is email but it's cheap but not very effective. So, you know, why not use it because it's not costing a ton?
Aaron Abramson: Even thinking here, I remember back when I first bought the business and went kind of crazy on the marketing side and [00:24:00] I thought I'd do like other companies did and take out ads like quarter page or half page or full page ads in various magazines and it was expensive. And I didn't see any noticeable return from that. However, now that we have the text messaging ability for lead capture and with a good clear offer and call to action I'm tempted to do a test again and run a magazine ad.
Ryan Chapman: That's the thing too, that I think we're just talking about mediums here, but you raise a more important point which is the one that's often overlooked which is the quality of your offer and the ease of the call to action. And that's the beautiful part of it- like, the easiest call to action for many business owners is to just put a website on the ad. Like, even if they develop a good call to action that's compelling, which frequently isn't... So there's not a great offer, right?
Aaron Abramson: Yeah.
Ryan Chapman: But if there was a great offer, [00:25:00] they'll send them to a website. The fact of the matter is, though, if you have a compelling offer sending them to a website is as easy as asking them to text the keyword to a phone number. But the big difference is the second that they text the keyword to the phone number you've got a phone number and an intent.
Aaron Abramson: Correct.
Ryan Chapman: Is significantly more than the- you can't pixel them if they go to the website, which is way more than we used to be able to do. But now you've got to spend even more money to figure out who they are. If I get them to text in I can now- that's the same as pixeling them because that phone number is virtually a guarantee I'm gonna get either an Instagram or a Facebook profile that I can market to, you know what I mean? On the ad networks. But I also have the ability to text and call and I'm probably going to get an email through that process. And then I'm also going to get them on the website. So I get all, like, five different things versus just going to the website.
[00:26:00] Aaron Abramson: It's also just a matter of not that you can but whether you should and measuring it, being able to measure, setting it up so you can measure your results. So you can then actually determine what your return on investment is for a given marketing piece.
Ryan Chapman: Exactly.
Aaron Abramson: At least that way you-
Ryan Chapman: Especially when it comes to advertising, like you're talking about, in periodicals and stuff. They can be very effective. Usually the problem is people spend too much time on the wrong things when it comes to periodicals. What you really have to do, and it takes time and that's why most people end up not doing it, you really have to think about the context you- you've got to think about what do they know? What do they not know? How can I give them enough information so that I can create a compelling offer? And then being able to pull it together and engineer that compelling offer so that they're like 'how can I not request this?' You know? 'How can I not go for this offer?' And so those are the things where I see people cut short [00:27:00] on it.
I know what I'm guilty of doing when it comes to these periodicals or maybe an ad that goes in a booklet for an event or something like that is I let the time get by me. And so then all of a sudden I'm up against a deadline on them so I have to rush it, right? That can happen with periodicals, too. So what's really important is that you really give yourself enough time that you can do those things you need to do which is create something that's super compelling for the right person in the right place. And if you do that, then you've got a good chance of it, especially with the text message call to action. Because you know nobody is reading anything without their phone within three feet of them.
Aaron Abramson: Absolutely. And that's the- you said something that made me think of something about how forgiving it is to use the combination of email and text and a Facebook sync because you can rather quickly set up a special [00:28:00] promotion, send out an email blast followed up with a- opt-in with a text message and a Facebook ad targeted to whoever you're running the promotion to. And you can get that up and running pretty quickly. Done is better than perfect. And it's funny how my most effective emails and text messages are the 'whoops! I made a mistake on that last e-mail. This is the correct link.' And it shows that humanity. And it shows that 'hey, there's actually a real person here.' And it also causes them to go back and actually read the email where you goofed up on the link and so on. And so it's...
Ryan Chapman: It wouldn't be entirely the worst thing in the world to have a campaign where you actually said 'whoops.'
Aaron Abramson: I have those all time!
Ryan Chapman: Okay, well, let's talk about the Fix Your Funnel [00:29:00] sync because that's something you've mentioned a couple times. A lot of people may not be following or tracking what you're saying. So tell us a little bit about how you're using Fix Your Funnel sync. I'll just give a quick intro. Fix Your Funnel sync allows you to take contacts based on a tag on that contact and put them into what's called a Facebook custom audience. Maybe you can take it from there and talk about how you're using that. Are you using lead ads as well or just the sync?
Aaron Abramson: I'm using lead ads.
Ryan Chapman: Let's go into sync first and then that way we can- people can get an idea of how you're using it.
Aaron Abramson: Yeah. So with Facebook marketing and ad audiences it's best to think of layers and buckets. So I have the Facebook pixel on my website. So if anybody visits my website, they then go and are in one ad audience and I have an ad running to them. So on Facebook in my ads manager, this is the logic in the custom audience, [00:30:00] that if they've visited my website and they are not in my active leads sync audience- so once someone fills in my request for information form or any of my lead capture and they get into my Infusionsoft they get synced into an active lead ad audience. So I can run a targeted ad to people that have visited my website and are not part of my active lead list. So I don't have their actual information yet and then-
Ryan Chapman: See, and that's really important. A lot of people don't think about this. But just that ability right there to segment your Facebook ads just gives you a lot more control and making sure you don't waste dollars-
Aaron Abramson: Absolutely.
Ryan Chapman: -On throwing ads at the people who are already saying 'yes, I'm interested. Why are you still showing me ads?'
Aaron Abramson: Well, it's even more important here in my business because once a client books, then I sync them into my booked client ad audience. [00:31:00] And so when I run ads to my active leads I exclude everybody that's part of my booked audience. And then I also run other ads with upsells and add-ons to my booked client list.
Ryan Chapman: Now, see, that's so smart. When you're talking about buckets what you're saying is 'okay, what are the buckets that represent the progress of a person from they're aware that I exist, they've gone to the website, to they're booked and they've upgraded to a better package?'
Aaron Abramson: Yes.
Ryan Chapman: So, any business can do that. And so what I recommend, and tell me if you do it any different, Aaron, is just get out a piece of paper. You know, I think too often people think everything's gotta to be done on the computer. I do a lot of my program, my pre-programming, my pre-design of marketing campaigns and stuff like that, just on paper with pencil. Because I want to explore, I want to play a little bit and as you're taking the pencil out and you're drawing stuff and making some lines and scratching [00:32:00] some stuff out, your brain works in a different way than it does when you're sitting at a computer. So I really like to do that. And so when it comes to thinking about the flow of customers through your business, go get yourself a nice lunch, sit down with a pad of paper and a pencil and then start just drawing out. Like what's the process? What's the flow? You know, what are they doing?
Aaron Abramson: Yeah.
Ryan Chapman: You go back and compare it to your campaigns and Infusionsoft and say 'okay, are we actually doing anything to identify these? No, we're not. How can we start doing that?' So, one first step is make sure you get your Facebook pixel on your website so you can start getting that list. Then you need to identify the next bucket and you're like 'okay, are we doing any tags to identify this second phase? Yeah, we- oh, right here we have- oh, in fact we have four tags that identify that second phase. They're just from different sources.' That's fine to put them all together. Or 'maybe I'll just start applying one tag universal across them and use that for my custom audience that represents bucket two.'
Aaron Abramson: Or tags based on interest. When somebody fills in our [00:33:00] request a quote form and they're interested in DJ services, but they're also interested in photobooth services I can market to them differently than those that don't select photo booth services.
Ryan Chapman: So, some people might hear all of this and then go 'oh, jeez. This sounds like a lot of work because now you have to have all these campaigns in Facebook.' But you just set up these campaigns, you do a little thought and you put together a basic ad. Because it's so targeted your ad doesn't have to be out of the park. It just has to be clear, right?
Aaron Abramson: And Facebook recently updated and lets you have campaign level budgets. So you can now have dozens and dozens and dozens of ad groups and ad sets in one campaign and have one single budget for all of them. So you're not having-
Ryan Chapman: This shows how frequently I'm checking our Facebook ads.
Aaron Abramson: Yeah.
Ryan Chapman: I didn't know that. That's a good addition because really frequently, you know, I've got at the campaign level that I want to put a budget and I wanted to spend across those ad sets-
Aaron Abramson: Yeah.
Ryan Chapman: Especially when we're [00:34:00] talking about situations like what we're talking about here where we have our buckets. Those would each be individual ad sets in one campaign.
Aaron Abramson: And here's the thing, too, is with Facebook, Facebook forces you to have a campaign and a campaign goal. So it's either a branding campaign or it's a lead acquisition campaign or some other thing and you could run a more generic, like- the goal is to get them to click the link. So Facebook updates the targeting to get them to click but then if I'm running... If I'm running a landing page that has a lead capture form that applies a tag and then that tag then adjusts the Facebook sync I can now have more control over the performance of my ads and move people through from one ad set to the other to different targeting without having to have [00:35:00] as many unique campaigns based on campaign goals.
Ryan Chapman: And something I would frequently do and even recommend is I would do a lot of video view ads on particular topics that correlated with content in my email campaigns. And so video views are super inexpensive so it's a great way- especially now with the campaign level budget- I can say 'okay, I want to spend $50 a month on video views.' And then you can have within that all your little buckets which are your ad sets, right? And have your different videos as the ads in those ad sets but each of those ad sets correlating with a different bucket because it's got a different audience associated with it.
Aaron Abramson: And this is more important for small businesses that are dealing with smaller lead lists and target audiences.
Ryan Chapman: Yeah. Now, and something for people to be aware of is, I think you have to have at least 30 people that are a match and it's really hard to know with custom audiences because Facebook, they got into some trouble for privacy stuff for something, they removed the ability for you to [00:36:00] see how many people match up. But just know if you're using cell phone numbers and email addresses you're probably getting about a hundred match. At least that was our experience before they took away the ability to see that. We did a lot of research on this. If you have a cell phone number and email address you're probably getting a match with either Facebook or-
Aaron Abramson: Adding in the text messages actually gave us a huge improvement. We were already doing some Facebook ads beforehand, but it wasn't until we added in the cell phone number and, like, the capture and so on, because when someone's planning a wedding they actually create like a [email protected] wedding specific email and that's not the email they use for Facebook. So...
Ryan Chapman: That's really important because a lot of people are using different- there's a lot of different ways to do a custom audience creation on Facebook. There's like probably, not exaggerating, 200 different providers that do it. Not all of them integrate with Infusionsoft. But with [00:37:00] Zapier, you know, you can probably say there's 200, right? Or something like that. But most of them only do email and because of our background in mobile and understanding mobile numbers and the uniqueness of them and how Facebook and Instagram use those it was really obvious to us 'no, you've got to do phone number and email. You can't just do email.' So we're one of the few that do phone number and email. The only other one that I know of for sure that does phone number and email is SyncSumo and that's because I wrote it. So if you're not using a Fix Your Funnel sync, you want to use SyncSumo. Either one of those two are the only two I know that use phone numbers for the Facebook sync. And that way your custom audience is going to be close to 100 percent.
Well, the reason that's important is because you got to have at least 30 people in that custom audience for the ads to be active. So if you're- when you're dealing with smaller numbers, if you've got it down to like five people you're not- they're not going to see any ads. You got to get at least 30 in that group. [00:38:00] So, as you're designing your buckets, just think about 'how many people are in that bucket?' And you may not do exclusion the same way. You may allow a little overlap if you need to to make sure those buckets fill up with at least 30 as you're showing ads to people. Now it will make sure that the ads show. So, didn't know if everybody knew that but that's helpful to know.
Okay, Aaron, so you're doing lead ads, too?
Aaron Abramson: We are. Not a lot of them. I haven't really... So one of the things that I'm not doing well is I'm not doing any Google Ad words and I'm not doing a lot of lead ads... Like, capturing brand new leads on Facebook. What I'm using Facebook for is remarketing to our existing lead list, people that visit our website and so on. I have yet to turn up the budget to actually go out and say 'find [00:39:00] me all people in the state of Minnesota who got engaged in the last six months and serve this ad to them.' And then do a lead capture that way. So-
Ryan Chapman: I don't know if you- I'm sure you saw it. In our Facebook User Group we had a little story by Ross Walker, what he's doing with doctors. He's doing the Facebook lead ad and he's- instead of trying to book an appointment directly through that, what he's doing is he's sending out a text immediately. So he's asking for the mobile number and permission to text. He sends the text immediately and then within 5 to 10 minutes to try and have a member of their staff call the prospect. And what they're finding is if they do that formula where they say 'hey, we'll be calling you in a few minutes to set the exact time. If you have any questions, you know, have those questions ready then.' By doing that process, they're getting like 90% of the people who opt-in to actually set an [00:40:00] appointment, which is through the roof. But I thought that might be interesting for you to think about. How you can modify that strategy for Facebook lead ads to consult or potentially even booking. Because the reality is a lot of people just want to get the thing taken care of.
Aaron Abramson: Yeah.
Ryan Chapman: They do have a budget and they want to stay within that but as long as your pricing isn’t extraordinary, they really just want to nail somebody down that will work for them. And the fact that somebody gets with them quickly is very demonstrative that they'll probably take care of business, too.
Aaron Abramson: It is and I see the value in that. My own personal hesitation is I know what I'm currently paying per lead through my existing sources and everybody that tells me that they do Facebook lead ad capture is spending twice per lead what I'm paying right now. And so...
Ryan Chapman: Yeah, I think the low side that I've seen on Facebook lead ads is a buck [00:41:00] 67. Which is interesting because it always ends up being a buck 67. I haven't heard anybody saying-
Aaron Abramson: Per lead?
Ryan Chapman: Per lead.
Aaron Abramson: I've seen numbers more like seven or eight dollars per lead.
Ryan Chapman: Yeah, the high end is going to be up to 20, 30 dollars a lead. Usually that's because there's something wrong with the audience or the offer.
Aaron Abramson: Okay.
Ryan Chapman: So if you're...
Aaron Abramson: If you're telling me that you can help me get a buck 67 a lead, I'll gladly...
Ryan Chapman: To get to that level what you're looking is you've got to make sure you got the right audience, your ad is not- and one of the ways you can do that is using it as a secondary layer. So use a primary layer, which is just to get attention and then people that you get attention from you then do a secondary layer asking for them to take, you know, take action. So you will spend a little bit in the primary layer that primes them. But you’re- what you're doing is you're making sure that your lead ads, which tends to be more expensive, is [00:42:00] reduced because it's focused only on people that have shown interest in the first place.
And so what you can do with that is have like a text message call to action in your primary ad. What you want to look for is the cheapest potential ad that you can do that we'll be able to track in some way within the Facebook program. Or you know, if you send them to a website. Some way that you can track and identify who those are. And then only those people do you target with the lead ad for a direct call to action are people who have already demonstrated that they're actually interested in the topic.
Aaron Abramson: Got it!
Ryan Chapman: Doing that is going to help. So, you've got to get the right audience. And then part two is make sure that you have a really compelling offer for that market. And so thinking about what was actually going to be interesting and useful to them that will help them go 'oh, yeah, this is actually going to help me get-'
Aaron Abramson: Yeah.
Ryan Chapman: So those two are the two big keys I see that will help reduce cost. Now, the smaller the audience can sometimes bump your cost up but if you've done proper filtering [00:43:00] then that can help because it's the right people seeing the right message at the right time. Some of those things can be like… Video views are super inexpensive. There's some other ones that are super inexpensive. But if you get the right audience... All you're really trying to do is filter out on the cheap cost to those people who are the right people. And that will help when you go to a direct call to action. So my experience has been that's a pretty good one for going after cold traffic on Facebook or Instagram.
Aaron Abramson: I'll have to give that a shot!
Ryan Chapman: Yeah. Well, very cool! Aaron, this has been a really neat. I really appreciate you spending the time and sharing some of the things that you've learned through your experience. One of the main reasons I do these interviews is I want to help small business owners like you and me be able to avoid some of the pitfalls and see some new perspectives from people that are getting results. And you're someone that I've been enjoying observing from a distance and seeing the results that you're getting. So, I really appreciate you spending the time with us today.
Aaron Abramson: My pleasure.
Ryan Chapman: If there's anything- was there anything that you [00:44:00] think has been like a huge impact on you that you would want to pass on to people that are listening?
Aaron Abramson: So in growing a small business, taking on the business owner mindset versus the kind of the self-employed mindset has been huge. Creating just, like, we create campaigns and systems and flowcharts inside of our marketing automation and our funnels also spending some time to design out interpersonal systems inside the business. So having a new employee come in what's the next step there? Having an employee orientation, creating a company handbook, documenting things, systemizing it so that way other employees can handle the hiring and the training. And one of my, I think, biggest achievements has been hiring [00:45:00] managers and training them to do the hiring and training and then ultimately writing paychecks for people that I've never personally met yet.
And so building a business systematically through designing policies and procedures and when something doesn't work you look at it. Why didn't this work? What can we do here? Document it, create a procedure for next time and really empowering people. I mean, what one of the easiest way to automate early on is you hire people and have them be laborers. And so, like, when we do physical mail I call people or put it in a message on their company WhatsApp chat and say 'hey, if anyone's looking for work Thursday afternoon, we're stuffing envelopes.' And you set up a little assembly line in the office and we're... The printer is going crazy and one person folds, one person staples, one person stuffs and one person stamps.
Ryan Chapman: And I [00:46:00] think that that is probably a very underrated skill that a lot of people- because they don't recognize it because they don't recognize the danger of being self-employed. And, to be fair, these terms get thrown around quite a bit interchangeably sometimes- entrepreneur, self-employed, business owner, etc. But they all have some distinct meanings to them that are very unique. And the self-employed mentality is one that people fall into thinking that they're a business owner. And the way that you know if a business is- if you're self-employed is if you don't show up to work does that business actually survive? And maybe it's for a period of time at least, like, can you go a month? Could you step away for a month and that business survive? And if the answer is no then you're self-employed for sure. So it probably is in degrees more than black and white in many ways, but people don't realize the danger of being self-employed. The danger of being self-employed is that if for [00:47:00] any reason you have to step away your income goes away. And that's like a super dangerous position to be in. Like, obviously that happens if you're employed by somebody but one of the benefits of owning a business is that the business could be an entity that produces revenue for you even if you're not there.
Aaron Abramson: Absolutely.
Ryan Chapman: And so it's really critical- and, like, you just demonstrated with your example of the direct mail a very small way that that can be done, right? Which is just even hiring part-time labor to come do something that normally the self-employed individual would just take on themselves.
Aaron Abramson: Yeah.
Ryan Chapman: It's because you have some respect for the value of your time in the business.
Aaron Abramson: Yeah, I can spend five hours stuffing envelopes myself or I can spend 45 minutes and pay six people an hourly rate for an hour and get it all done instantly.
Ryan Chapman: And allow that time that you would have wasted doing it yourself to be invested in something that's actually going to bring in more [00:48:00] revenue. Like thinking about 'well, what should this ad be in this new periodical I'm going to try?' That's actually extremely valuable time. It's time that people often don't equate with being extremely valuable. The time working on offers, time working on designing process, you know, or taking a process that’s manual and converting it to automate it. That's extremely valuable time because you do that once and then it replicates and creates return on investment, ongoing. You fold an envelope that's done. You know, you wasted that time on that one envelope and it probably isn't going to even be seen. It's going to end up in the trash can, you know? Of those hundred, two or three of them are actually going to get some attention where they actually respond, right? So, it's critical.
Well, thanks so much, Aaron! I really appreciate it. This has been really good. I’ve really enjoyed…
Aaron Abramson: My pleasure! Thanks for having me on.
Ryan Chapman: We'll have to do it again.
Aaron Abramson: Absolutely.