Profitable Funnels with John Ainsworth FTH: 089

John Ainsworth

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Before we get into today’s episode, I have a quick message for my sponsor Cloudways. Cloudways is a managed cloud hosting platform that simplifies your web hosting experience. The platform allows businesses to focus on their growth and have complete peace of mind with 24/7. Support and flexibility to scale. Can we just say support is hugely important when it comes to hosting and thanks to Cloudways they are offering an exclusive discount for the Kim Doyal show listeners. Visit cloudways calm and use the promo code KIM20 to get 20% off for two months on the hosting plan of your choice. Alright guys, let’s get into today’s episode.

Welcome to F the hustle. I’m your host, Kim Doyal. You want a life that is meaningful and exciting. In this podcast, we’re going to talk about launching and growing an online business that fits your lifestyle. After the hustle is all about doing good work, building real relationships, and most importantly, creating a business that supports how you want to live your life. You don’t have to sacrifice the quality of your life today to create something that sets your soul on fire. And yes, that includes making a lot of money. So we’ll be talking about selling, charging what you’re worth, and how earning more means helping more people. My goal is to help you find freedom and create a business on your terms.

Kim Doyal: 0:00
Hey, what’s up, everybody? Welcome to another episode. I’m really excited. Today, my guest is going to talk about something that we all need are probably not doing well and can do a little bit better. So my guest is John Ainsworth of Data-Driven Marketing. Thank you so much for being here today.

John Ainsworth 1:36
I’m delighted, what an honor.

Kim Doyal 1:40
Yeah, so we connected and we do have to give the listeners a little bit of a backstory because we’re recording this and you’re getting a November and I think it’s kind of fun. We connected through a good friend, Jimmy rose, James rose, depending on where you’re connected with him online. And John is in Mexico, and I’m in Costa Rica. So we’re sort of having this tropical conversation today. Yeah.

John Ainsworth 2:03
We’re both just loving the fact that it’s beautifully warm in November, it is a wonderful thing.

Kim Doyal 2:11
It is, I think I’m going to be in shock going back to California in December, even though it’s California, it definitely cools off in the winter. So I’m like, What am I gonna wear? Did I bring anything to wear?

John Ainsworth 2:23
And I have it on my packing list when I travel. If it’s going to be cold when you go back, pack a jacket, and hat and scarf, and gloves and just like don’t get to the airport and go, Oh God, what am I done?

Kim Doyal 2:37
I mean to wear flip-flops and get out and snow this is.

John Ainsworth 2:41
Exactly yeah.

Kim Doyal 2:43
Anyways. Yeah. So I’m totally excited to talk about this day, John, because, you know, it is there was a time when funnels were not a common marketing language. It’s what you guys do. But before we get into that, how did you get into your funnels? But how did you start your online business what’s a little bit of backstory, I love hearing how people got to where they are.

John Ainsworth 3:05
So this is my second business. And my first one was I used to work in sport and physical activity marketing, I used to be campaigns manager for Sport England, who’s like the National Organization for sport in England. And I’d run campaigns for them. And then I set up a business on my own. And I would do that for local government and health charities. And I would get inactive people into physical activity cancer patients, disabled people, people from teenage girls was a really hard one actually harder the toddler to get teenage girls active than it is to get cancer patients. And I’m

Kim Doyal 3:42
just gonna let that sink in for a minute. But that’s pretty funny. What you should do is send them on a scavenger hunt to find their phones. Go ahead. Yeah.

John Ainsworth 3:51
So I ran that for about 10 years. And it was business and I was running it online most of the time. But it didn’t work for like what I really wanted, which was to work completely remotely, you know, go to Mexico, go to Portugal or go to wherever around the world for long periods of time, because I needed to go to meetings and go connect with people to get jobs in. And so I close it down a few years ago and I set this up. And so I was like looking around and figure out why we’re already been building these funnels for getting people interactivity. Where else do people want funnels? And I didn’t kind of know-how well it would go and I tried it out with E-commerce and online courses. It turns out online businesses want funnels an awful lot more than the government does. They really were like, Oh, that was a lot easier. Why was I making my life so hard for so many years? Like fine, okay. And so I kind of narrowed down to just working with online courses from there because we just found that we had the best bond like it’s I find online course creators tend to be someone who’s a real expert something is a really good person who really wants to Sharan, teach this thing. And they’re spelled spent a long time building up an audience. And so I found like, Oh, these are really good people, I really liked working with them. And this is they tend to be kind of a good fit. And it was somewhere where we got good results as well. So that’s how we kind of got into this niche.

Kim Doyal 5:16
Excuse me, I was gonna try to like, mute that. And it just came on. Why? I would think too, you know, because your niches course craters that I hadn’t said that. So I’m glad you pulled that in his course creators also, you know, unless they’re brand spanking new, but either even with that, they probably help make your job a little easier in the sense that they’ve, they’ve created a curriculum, they’ve got a process, they’ve got steps, so you can pull that out for coffee and marketing and, and how to actually craft the campaign a little bit, right? Because there’s content in there. So. So in terms of the course, craters, so you pivoted, and I’m guessing, did you? Did you create a funnel to find these people that you could work with?

John Ainsworth 6:00
No, it’s an interesting one, right. So that’s kind of, I would say, a funnel is not generally the place to start, you don’t if you’ve got a new business, you’re like doing something for a new audience. And you go and build a funnel if it turns out that you’re wrong in some of your hypotheses is like, Okay, this isn’t the right niche, or I need to change the messaging slightly here or whatever, then it’s a load of work to redo the whole funnel again. So what I was doing is mostly just networking relationship building, like I’m in a business network with Jimmy that you mentioned before, called the DC. And I just would do loads of stuff for free for people in there and find out who wanted some more help, you know, and then I got referrals from in there, and I went on some podcasts and that kind of thing. So that was it for a long time. And we didn’t take on that many clients for quite a long time. Because it’s like, we have to get really, really good at this before we start to scale it at all. Because if you start to scale something kind of mediocre, or, or even if it’s good, but it requires just so much work because everything has to be figured out as you go along. It’s a nightmare. But if you can get like everything dialed in and then start to scale it up, then it’s way easier. So now we have funnels and we’ve tried ad sets doesn’t really work for us, we do most of our work through just going and doing. Probably you would approve. It’s through content. We go and we share content with other people’s audiences. They go on podcasts and teach people about funnels. I go and do presentations for the people’s audience. I just did a webinar for analytics, and their audience earlier today. Oh, yeah, yeah. Might be doing one for teachable at some point this month. So that kind of thing. Just go and teach about this stuff. And some of the people are like, Could you help me more with this? And so that’s just always been my, my kind of style is like, help people as much as you can, and then some of them want more help? So yeah, that was kind of how we got going.

Kim Doyal 7:52
Okay, well, here’s sort of a random and you’ll learn quickly, John, I go off script quite a bit here. But so from that perspective, but because I love that process, you know, and it’s like, I’ve, I’ve recently gotten into just putting an email out, look, I’m going to do this program, it’s a pilot, I only want this many people, we’re gonna do it together. And I, I spend way more time with people than I committed to because I’m trying to find those pain points and have those conversations. And then it’s, it’s been magical, it has been the easiest thing I’ve ever sold or offered, and the relationships really deep. So that being said I have an audience, and I’ve got a list already. So that type of an offer is easy to put out. So if someone’s getting started, is there a way to kind of bring in revenue pre-funnel while you’re gathering that data? Because the thing is, like, I get the doing stuff for free and make and the relationship building. But if someone’s listening, and they’re thinking, that’s great, John, I didn’t have the money to just go work for free. Like, how would you recommend or suggest or what are some ways to kind of step into that?

John Ainsworth 8:57
Yeah, I mean, I can only really, I guess, speak for that one, like what’s worked for me but like when I say I did stuff for free, I only mean for like, it was really a month or something like that I was doing I did these audits. So it was an I did it for six people I think and two of them asked if they could sign up as clients and one of them is still with me now. And I was kind of shocked at the time I was just like testing the market to see what’s out there. But I think like for getting started just going and finding people who have got a pain point like the way of here’s the way I’ve always done it when I’m trying to get started on trying to get going at something is talk to a lot of people as many as I can. So whether it’s at networking groups or in a business network or through masterminds or relationships you know, people you already know who they know whatever. And with no, no pitch at all. Just go and talk to people about their problems. And I find people love to talk about the problems they are they are mad keen to have someone listen to them bitch about their problems. And then if one of those problems is something that I can help with generally say, like, I’ll help them during the conversation if I can. And then like I say, What do you want help with that? And it’s the, it’s the least pitchy pitch that, you know, I could possibly do is like the, they could say no, very, very easily, it’s very comfortable to say no, it doesn’t feel like I’ve just tried to sell them something. But if they say that would be great, okay, cool. And then I would set up a call or you know, a meeting or whatever, and go through it with them. And maybe they just wanted help for an hour or something. But maybe, then they actually want someone to come and do it, what I would often find is people would say, Well, can you just do this for me? Can you just sort this out? You seem right, you know, can you just make this problem go away. And so that will get me started and that I do all kinds of it. I don’t think it’s a long-term way, to run a really profitable business, because you end up doing so many random things, but it gets some money coming in, and you get to identify problems. And when you find, ah, I’ve had three people with that same problem. Okay, cool. Maybe that’s my thing, maybe I’ll try and find more people like that. And you kind of narrow down on to that. So I found that was way easier to get some work in when I started doing that than I, then I do now because we have to turn down most people now. Because most of them don’t fit into our little niche we only helped this specific type of person.

Kim Doyal 11:17
No, I think that’s brilliant. I didn’t think that you meant, you know, like working for free at the same time, like ongoing. I’m always amazed, I don’t know what it is about this space. Or if it’s, you know, online, that people just think I’m going to pay someone to put up a website and where’s, you know, if you build it, they will come kind of mentality. And it’s, it’s, there is so much value in doing that deep dive with people and having those conversations, they will literally tell you, it’s your point, this is my pain point. Well, there’s your headline, there’s you know, and so you know it’s a lot easier. I mean, and not in one conversation, but the more you do that, it’s just gold. And I feel like there’s so much more opportunity to just come back to being a human being and having conversations and really getting clear on it. And then from there, it’s a lot easier to grow and to narrow down so. So how did you come into the space of finding that course craters were your market?

John Ainsworth 12:14
Well, so we were working with SAS businesses, E-commerce, and online course creators and a whole bunch of others. And we did that for I guess about a year where we work with loads of different people, and we sat down and we did an 8020 analysis of it. So my business is called data-driven marketing. So you will not be surprised to learn that I track a lot of things. So we track all of the hours that we spent on stuff. And we tracked all the results that we got for clients. And we tracked how much time it had taken and what the profit was per project. And then we also wrote down for each of them, how much we like it, how much do we like working with them. And what we found was the online fifth graders was one where we like them as people that we felt like this is honestly this is people who are good who are ethical who stand in there doing something originally to help people more than making money. And now they get to make money from it so that we would generally get a group of good people here. Secondly, we found those were the ones we always got the best results for which was brilliant that that lined up so well between the two of them. And then the third one was that we found there were some clients we would work with who we would do a really good job for, we’d build them a great funnel and we get everything running well, and then they’d be booked up, they’d be full. And we’re like, well, that’s no good. Because if you fill somebody up, and then they stop hiring you because you did the job too well. It’s like well, that’s sucks. I mean, honestly, it really sucks. I’ve done it before a number of times, I used to work with gyms. And you can fill up a gym really easily. As you can get a gym to be completely full, all memberships are sold. And then they’re like, great, we’re done now, it’s like, wow, this is horrible. Because like I should, what I should have done is a less good job for you. And I would have made more money from it. And that makes me feel kind of sick. So part of it. And I kind of looked at ecommerce as well. I was like, You know what, technically, if we did an amazing job for E-commerce, they wouldn’t be able to handle it. Like if we really like I was looking at this as long term. I want to be so good at this that it confuses people. If we get to be really really good we double or triple an e-commerce business’s sales, can they actually handle it? Do they have the inventory for it? And so that was a reason why that one was cut out for us. So it was just like, we just had to try a load of stuff, learn what worked, and then narrow down to like, right, this is the bit that works the best online course creators.

Kim Doyal 14:42
Yeah, well, and you were saying too, that people have to fit certain criteria. So when it comes to your court, so we’ve got the course greater market. So what are some of the criteria that you guys look for when working with a horse trader?

John Ainsworth 14:56
So 90% of the audience who is responding to anything about online courses are beginners, like as in, they either don’t have a course, or they’ve just made a course. But they don’t have an audience, they haven’t really started making sales yet like they’re very, very early stage. And what we do our whole shtick is that we help people who are already succeeding, to ramp it up. So they have to be making sales of at least a few 1000 a month, like some of our clients are making hundreds of 1000s a month, but at least 3000 a month, they’ve got to have an email list of at least 3000 people. And they have to there that proves that they’ve got courses that people like because it’s really easy to make a course that you like and that you think people should like, but that doesn’t guarantee that people are actually going to buy it. And it’s really hard to build an audience, like it takes a lot of time to build an organic, we’re working with people with organic traffic. So it could be YouTube, or a podcast or search engine traffic or, you know, whatever, Instagram, Facebook, but it has to be organic traffic that they’ve already got. And that’s what we’re helping to convert more of those into sales. So if they’ve got an email list of at least a few 1000 people, it proves they’ve, they’ve had something work there that’s already made progress. And then that’s kind of our requirements. And what that means is, that our job becomes relatively easy for that specific group of people. A funnel is unbelievably valuable. Like if they don’t have this stuff in place, they can double their revenue in three months, we’ve got people who’ve, I think the best we’ve got so far was like five or eight times or something that went from 38,000 to 225,000, in like five months, something like that. So what’s that like? Just under six times, five times? It’s like, it’s ridiculous. It’s just like, this is incredible potential that they’ve spent years building up. And then we get to help them to tap that untapped potential. So that’s kind of our that’s our particular audience where we really work well with people who’ve got, you know, a lot of traffic, like we had someone start with us the other day, who has got 7 million YouTube subscribers, and so she’ll absolutely crush it in this I know. And she doesn’t even like, to her, this is going to be like, you know, she’ll become a multimillionaire off this stuff. And but I mean, we work with anybody who’s got meets those kinds of criteria, but like, that’s the people who’ve really already spent years building the courses, building the traffic, we can do so much for them. That’s the people were really kind of fit best with.

Kim Doyal 17:29
Wow, okay. So in that sense, let’s kind of back into this as a smidge here. So if somebody wasn’t ready to work with you, what would you suggest they do to get to this point, right, without necessarily giving away like, I mean, I, I’m guessing, right, that you guys are building a funnel on the back end of you’re converting traffic that’s coming to the site, and then you’ve got a funnel on the back end of that. So what are some things that you’d recommend, specifically, for course creators how to how to get the organic traffic going, so that they’re ready to work with you guys?

John Ainsworth 18:01
Yeah, so I don’t do traffic as kind of I don’t have expertise in traffic, we don’t know that much. But like, we do it for ourselves. And I can tell you what we know about it, but I think it’ll be less than lots and lots of other people. What I generally advise people about is to start implementing some of the stuff that we’re teaching. To get you somewhat, further along, you know, if you’ve already got some traffic, you can so for example, it says, like eight different things that we teach people to do. And I teach all of them, I teach what they all are for free, I do free training about them in a Facebook group, I go on podcasts, and I explain all about them. And if people do a couple of them, they can start to get some progress, and they can start to make some more money. And then maybe at that point, they’ll be ready to come and work with us if they’ve already got some kind of a, you know, the, they’ve already got something going there. If they’re like, right, I need to learn how to build organic traffic. So wow, okay, that’s a big, that’s a big thing. And it’s huge. Yeah, it’s like, I’m probably, I’m probably not the best person to answer about it. I can try if you want. But honestly, you

Kim Doyal 19:06
No, no, no, but what about you said there are a couple of things that you tell people like that you teach for free, or you’ve got training sons, yeah, points that you tell people to implement.

John Ainsworth 19:16
So there are three main problems that the people we help have got. One is that their email list is too small. The second one is that they don’t make enough sales to their email list. And the third one is that their revenue per sale is too low. So what we’re teaching people is how do you get a bigger email list from your organic traffic? How do you make more sales to an email list and how do you make more revenue per sale? So in terms of the revenue per sale, it’s this like three things that you can do that you use order bumps, and upsells. And you make better offers. So join me to talk through like what each of those is and kind of how they work, please.

Kim Doyal 19:55
Yea, let’s hit it. Yeah.

John Ainsworth 19:57
So an order bump is a very, very simple concept, it’s about selling something else that goes with what they’re already buying. So if you go to McDonald’s and you say, Can I get a Big Mac? They’ll say, do you want fries with that. So it’s the that’s the order bump in that in that situation, right? You go to the cinema and you buy a cinema ticket, they have the popcorn that goes along with it. So when you’re selling online courses, what you can do is just set up a tick box on the checkout page. So someone’s checking out, they’re putting in their credit card details, there was a tick box, that gives them the option of buying something else that goes with what they’re buying, generally, as a rule of thumb for about a third of the price of what they’re getting. That’s not a hard and fast rule, but it’s a good rule of thumb. And about 40 to 60% of people will buy that. And so that gives you about 15 to 20% extra revenue on every order that you make. And it’s the one I tell everybody to start with because it’s so ridiculously easy to do. You need like two lines of copy about that product. And there’s all the checkout software has got this feature in it. Now if you’re in teachable or Kajabi or Clickfunnels, or thrive cart or whatever, they all do this. It’s very straightforward. But nobody does it. Can

Kim Doyal 21:06
I jump in with one point? Sorry, because 100% Right, like when we launched the content creators planner, a few years ago, I mean, we were slammed getting the planner ready and stuff and like, we need Nord about we need. I know we need an order bump. And so we did a masterclass for $47. So the order bump was actually higher in this case, but they were ordering a physical planner. And it was nuts, John, seriously, I would say like 30 to 50% of people took that order bump, which then raise the cart value, right? And it was like, yeah, it like makes me nauseous to think what we would have lost. Yeah, at the same time, like, dang, we should have had another one. Some. Sometimes you get to that point, you’re like, Hey, I was so stoked that we did that. But seriously, and it’s like, I think so many people get in their heads like I don’t want to be smarmy. I’m like it kind of here’s this the way I describe it. I remember listening to a story of a guy’s like he went on, but he was gonna go on vacation with his family went and bought a camera. And then he went on Vacation and the battery died. And he went back and he was so mad at the salesperson. He’s like, why didn’t you sell me another battery? I could have used a backup battery. So the goal of the order bump, right is to give them something that’s going to complement what they’re buying, to begin with.

John Ainsworth 22:23
Yeah, 100%. So I’ve given I run this conference in London, and I give this, this talk where explain about these, these eight steps. And I’m they’re doing a Christmas version of the conference without me. And to kind of commemorate me, they’re putting an order bump when you buy the ticket for the conference, which is if you buy them if you tick this box, you will get a high five from Noll, who’s organizing that event when you come in? And it’s just ridiculous. About half the people have bought it.

Kim Doyal 23:01
That’s what I’m saying. And you know what’s funny about that is like, especially, like we’re living, we’re talking about crazy times we’re living in but it’s like, it’s like this weird little unique experiential order bump and people the curiosity is like, well, I got it. People probably bought that. Just because they thought it was awesome. And it was hysterical, right?

John Ainsworth 23:20
Yeah. Yeah, exactly. So knows now looking up how to give the best possible high fives so you can really deliver.

Kim Doyal 23:28
Oh my God, that’s awesome. That is so great. Okay, so add an order bump. What’s a couple.

John Ainsworth 23:34
Number two is upsells. So an upsell and an order bump. Some people confuse the two of them together. But the idea is an upsell is after they have checked out. So it’s almost finished checking out the next page that they see. offer them something else to buy. So this is if you’re selling membership and you sell a month’s worth and your initial page, upsell and the highest offer them the chance to get the annual membership or the quarterly or something like that. If you’re in E-commerce and you’re selling T-shirts, and they’ve just bought one offer them the chance to buy a few more. In online courses, what it normally is, is that you sell them a course and then you sell them another course that goes alongside it or the next level up. So you’ve just sold them the basic course will now sell them an intermediate one or you’ve sold them something about funnels where maybe you sell him a course about Facebook ads that goes with it organic, organic traffic or something like that. So it’s what else have you got. And if you can’t find anything, that’s a perfect fit, just offer something just because about 10 to 30% of people will buy that next thing and you can offer that at the same price as your initial offer, or it could be more expensive. And it allows you to add about another 20% to your revenue. And these things are so easy to set up because in courses you’ve already got a sales page built. You just got to duplicate that and make this one say at the top. Your order is on its way to you. In the meantime, check out this offer. And that’s it. That’s the only thing you’ve got So So that’s number two is to put an upsell in place.

Kim Doyal 25:05
Well, you know, it’s funny if we actually then he just didn’t give an example because the E-commerce was the easiest one, in essence. And then we’ve had a couple were just to test it, we had we did like a creators mug and a couple of things. And so that that’s the first upsells going down with that, you know, in the courses to your point, you know, it’s one thing that I can tell you every single time. I’m one of those people who like to buy a book through a free plus shipping funnel, whatever, I 100% of the time, will get the audiobook if they give me the audiobook right then and there. I’m a total podcast listener or audiobook person, you know. So even like an upsell. It’s like taking something you’ve already created and delivering it in a different version or something. Right? Like, I mean, so many people don’t do it. I totally agree. Yeah, it’s kind of gross. If you think about how well it works, and you’ve not done it, you don’t want to think about what you don’t want.

John Ainsworth 26:01
Yeah, I had a free coaching call with this guy, David Vignola. And he runs home recording made easy. And I told him about this. And he’s like, why is nobody ever told me about this before? Why somebody told me and he’s using Kajabi. And he goes in there, he’s like, there it is. There it is. It’s, it’s an option. It’s built into Kajabi, I could just do it. And he set it all up, it took him three or four days to set it up for all of his courses. And his revenue went up about 30 to 40% and has stayed up 30 to 40% forever since then. It’s just like, it’s magical. It’s a wonderful thing to do. Yeah.

Kim Doyal 26:37
It really is. And it’s funny that you know when you look at the platforms, and I do want to I still want some more tips, but the platforms, you know, where you see where Click Funnels is dominated in so many ways. They’re marketers, and the whole point is, that they know how to help people make money, and they teach how to do all of those things. You know, whether or not you’d like to suffer or not. Although Have you seen version 2.0? They’re coming out with?

John Ainsworth 27:01
No, does it look good or bad? I’m nervous.

Kim Doyal 27:05
It looks amazing, honestly, hey, so in this, you guys, I’m not a Click Funnels affiliate, well, I probably have a link somewhere. But I’m not doing that here. They’ve rebuilt it from the ground up, I’ll send you the link it was from the event. And I watched this, they’ve totally rebuilt it from the ground up on react on all brand new everything. And they’re doing it in a way like it’s kind of nuts, John, I’m not here to sell them. But you’ll be able to do Shopify memberships, high ticket everything. But the point being is they’ve got those upsells and stuff built in. So if you have a course, you’ll be able to purchase another course or another product from the course creator inside that course thing. And I’m like, so it’s just unique. And I mean, just from an observational standpoint, like we’re Kajabi should be preaching about how well upsells work to get more customers into their own platform.

John Ainsworth 27:53
Yeah. Yeah. So what I actually do is I go and work with online course hosting companies. And I teach their audiences about this because they’ve built the software, they’ve allowed people to do it, but they’ve not taught them why they should do it. They’ve not got them excited about it. So I rock up, I’m like, I’ll teach your audience about this stuff matters. And then, you know, obviously, some people from there Come and sign up with us. So you know, business benefit, but it’s, it’s not their jam, software companies, generally, that’s not their thing. Whereas for Clickfunnels, as you say, they really, that’s what they’re about. The funnel software is almost incidental. It’s the concepts that they’re really trying to enable people to do in the funnel software, just how you do it.

Kim Doyal 28:37
Yeah, yeah. They’re almost more of an education company in a way when you think about I mean, it’s software, obviously, but yeah, okay, so what’s another tip or two, whatever you’re comfortable giving?

John Ainsworth 28:46
Yeah, I’m happy to share everything. So the third thing in terms of increasing revenue per sale is about making better offers and what people think I mean when I say that is to make offer price reductions, and sometimes, and that works in courses, but it’s the crucial thing with a better offer is, how can you make this seem better to the client to the customer? So that means bonuses and guarantees, what else can you include that goes along with your course? Or make it more valuable? And what guarantee can you offer people and it’s very, it’s really not that complicated to add these things in it takes it you know, to do it really well takes a lot of expertise and have you but to have something in it? So just go, I’m going to have a 30-day money-back guarantee. And that will increase your sales, you know like that’s really, really straightforward. I’d say the next one is if we look at how you make more money from your email list, probably one of the biggest ones you can do is about doing two email promotions a month. And every time that I say that to people, they have the same reaction, which is that sounds like a lot. And I’m really worried all my email lists will unsubscribe if I do that. And so I try and address that upfront and like make sure everybody feels kind of comfortable about it. So what most people think, when they hear the term promotion is that it’s just buying my stuff, buy my stuff, buy my stuff, which is yeah, if people get if you sent out two of those months here, people would unsubscribe and it’d be annoying and probably wouldn’t work very well. So what we’re teaching people is how do you combine content with promotion. So let’s say you’ve got a course about English grammar that you’ve got. And it’s your, it’s your beginner-level course, and you’re teaching English grammar. Well, your content, you should send out some content about English grammar, for a few for like a week first. So people are kind of built up saying, Oh, these person knows about this topic. And I’m excited about this, I want to learn more about it. That could be tips from in your course, it could be talking about, here are the problems that you might be facing with learning English grammar, here’s how that might be affecting your life, you know, showing empathy, kind of helping them understand their own themselves better make them feel better about the fact they’ve got this problem. And maybe here’s a tip, here’s a way of solving that without any promotion tool. So do that for a week. And then in the, in the more promotional parts of it. Talk to people about those people who are more interested in buying the course, show them case studies, testimonials, features, and benefits, talk to her about how this is going to help that person change their life, one of our favorite emails that we send out is called future-proofing. And we learned this probably about two or three months ago, and it’s phenomenal, works incredibly well, what you do is you talk to people about what is going to happen in the next minute, hour, day, month, quarter after they get this course, okay, you’re going to feel like this, and then you’re going to need to log in over here, and then you’re going to have to spend this much time working on this thing. So people have a realistic expectation, you’re going to get this kind of results is how long it’s going to take, that’s going to mean that in your life, you’re able to talk more fluently with your, you know, work colleagues, or you’re going to be able to communicate better in restaurants or whatever it is that you know, whatever the benefit is that they get from the cultural setting. And that is incredibly helpful for people because it helps them to feel like they understand what’s going to happen, like why they should get this thing what the hell they’re like, yeah. Are the other ones sorry, gone?

Kim Doyal 32:21
No, no, I was just gonna say, I mean, that’s so brilliant. And, you know, the email thing, it’s I jokingly say that not focusing on email marketing, earlier is literally the only regret I have about my business. Because it’s a true relationship builder, right. And it’s like, and I jokingly, I’m like, this shit works. I jokingly say that all the time, like, it’s not hard if you’re a good human being, and you truly want to create a relationship with people, and you have something that solves a problem for you. Just start I mean, it really, and people get so fearful of that you’re, you know, to think about that, and it’s like, they think they always have to sell and it’s like you don’t, you can really create a relationship with people. It’s Anyways, um, Okay, keep going. Sorry, this is so juicy.

John Ainsworth 33:10
And then the last three emails that we send the called going, going, gone email. So these are saying the offer is coming to an end. So we normally offering like 30 or 50% discount or something like that, the offer is coming to an end in 24 hours, six hours, two hours, something like that. So it’s the emails going out. And each of those will also have some value in there as well. So what we’re trying to do is trying to make sure every email is valuable to the people who don’t buy and who are never going to buy so they like it, they appreciate you and they stay on the email list. And it’s useful to the people who are thinking of buying to help them decide, is this a good purchase for me, should I get this and therefore it makes you money and people don’t unsubscribe and actually like getting emails from you. So what we’ve seen is when you have this kind of mixture of the content and the promotion together, we’ve actually seen people’s unsubscribe rate go down to we had one client where they went down to a quarter of what it used to be and we’ve seen these be lower unsubscribe rates than just normal newsletter emails that people are sending out because we’re putting a lot of effort and time into making sure this is a really really good email for people and so you’ll tend to see a spike at the end there with those going on emails because courses tend to work quite well with urgency and scarcity that’s that tends to be a tactic that works well in courses. People are thinking about getting this thing but why should they do it now? Why should I not just wait a month and that tends to be you know, having the discount and the discount is going away tends to help a lot with that.

Kim Doyal 34:44
You know, so back to this shit works right? So I have I had purchased I follow roommate set. He has a great course called Breakthrough launch. And it’s you know, I always tell people like the what the one thing that will make the biggest difference In your business to is to learn to write well online copy and in the psychology and emails and stuff because it kind of plays out in everything you do. It’ll, whether you’re podcasting, it’s writing show notes, or headlines, or whatever it is. And so he had an email sequence and I swear to God, John said that cards closing, you’ve got, you know, it’s closing. And it was like, that was so beyond my comfort level to use that language, and which it’s part of it, right. But I literally, just did this eight email sequence that he had. And this is just an example. I’m sure there’s plenty out there, and it’s what you guys work with people on. But I was like, I’m gonna do what he said to do. Sure enough, this shit works. It was like, you know, it’s like the last day I ended up with like, most of my sales coming in the last day, I sent a five o’clock email in the morning, five o’clock, and then I did something with the cart, and it didn’t close, then I got like three more sales the next day. I’m like, I will never not do this again. Yeah, yeah. And it was a lot of content. Right, moving up to that. So just to your point, it was there were value-based emails, what I was going to ask you is in those content-type emails, do you still recommend a call to action? Before you’re opening the car or making the offer?

John Ainsworth 36:14
All we do in there is where we’re teasing the next email. So in the first one, so we’ve got three, three content teams generally the week before. And so one model that we use for it, I don’t recommend this for everybody, because it’s, it’s slightly more complicated. The easy one is just to send out three pieces of useful content. That’s the easy one. That’s what I suggest most people do. The slightly harder one is we use a framework called pain, agitation solution. So the pain one, we’re talking to people about what you might be feeling this problem in your life, to learn that we’ve gone through the course we’ve gone through the Facebook group, we’ve gone through the survey results from surveying their audience like to understand what is that pain point? What is that problem? So we’re talking about that. And in that one, we’re saying, what we’re going to talk about tomorrow, is in a watch out for an email from us tomorrow, in that we’re going to talk about how this might be affecting your life in a way that you don’t even realize yet. So helping give them insight into their life. So in the second one, we’re talking to them about this is how that could be affecting your life. These are some of the consequences that might have on why it’s a big deal to deal with this problem. Still, no promotion at all, what we’re teaching there is, tomorrow, we’re going to give you a useful tip on how to deal with this. So in the third one, then there’s a useful tip, and you expand by that and say, watch out, we’ve got a course that’s going to help you with this. And we’re gonna have a discount on that next week. So just watch out for that there’s gonna be some emails about that next week. So what all we’re doing is trying to get people to understand enough stuff to know that this is something they should solve, and kind of help them understand that problem better. And then the course as a way of solving it, they could go and do stuff on their own. If someone went through every email like we’ve got courses where we’ve got various different sequences, we’ve written for the same course, if someone went through every single email, they probably could get a bunch of like, what’s actually covered in the course, like they don’t have to go and get the course. But the course is obviously a much nicer way of packaging it, then, yeah, then right? You have to read all these emails and figure out how you kind of fit it all together. So we’re trying to always provide value in there and get people ready for the sale in this content ones?

Kim Doyal 38:18
Well, I mean, that’s kind of the theory, right? And people are like, Well, you could YouTube anything and learn anything, you don’t need a course. But the beauty is, it’s presented in a nice cohesive way, with a normal flow, and you don’t have to try and guess so I totally get that. So that’s huge. I love the idea. And these are in let me just clarify. So these are funnels that are coming in with that type of thing. These are people who are already on the email list, and do use the same type of email for, say, organic traffic coming into a site. So somebody opts in to, you know, there’s an opt-in offer on the site. So or do you structure those differently?

John Ainsworth 38:57
How do you mean?

Kim Doyal 39:00
Well, meaning, so like, it sounds like? So you’ve got a course. And if there is, let’s launch date, or the opening and closing, right? There’s scarcity in there. So do you treat people who are already on the list differently than people who come in to make that discounted offer? Who is cold traffic coming in, versus people on the list?

John Ainsworth 39:22
Yeah, we treat the whole thing the same as what we used to do, so if somebody signs up to the email list, let’s say there’s a lead magnet on the site, they see the lead magnet, they sign up for it. First of all, they’re going to get a welcome sequence. So they’re going to get a whole sequence of here are some of our best bits of content. So great to have you on the list. Here is the kind of emails that we send out. So they know what they’re going to be getting. Maybe asking them some questions, providing them like, here’s the way this brand works. Here’s what we’re all about, like really trying to provide as much value in that first kind of three to five days as possible. Then everybody just goes onto the main list and everybody gets the same emails and the reason we do that is we I used to believe that what we should be doing is really complex segmentation and looking at right this person like everyone around Andre chaperones courses and his autoresponder talks about, right, this person has read this email. And so we tag them with this. And this one’s read this and we tagged them with that, and we’re happy. Now there are a couple of problems with it one,

Kim Doyal 40:24
in theory, I had ready to explode but go ahead. Yeah,

John Ainsworth 40:27
Yeah, it gets really complex. So in theory, that means each person is only getting offers about the things that they’re definitely interested in, because you tag them based on what content they opened, and what things they read. And therefore, this person is interested in topic a, they only going to get offers about topic a, this person showed they’re interested in Topic B, they only get offers about topic B. That sounds good. But there are two problems. One, it doesn’t work as well. In terms of an actual number of sales, you get more sales when you because there are people who are interested in Topic eight, who didn’t open those emails who didn’t get tagged, so you will make fewer sales on promotion. The second one is, it always breaks, it’s so complicated that it always breaks and it takes forever to set up all of these. Alright, we’re going to have this automation that runs here and all but what happens if that, oh, now we’ve changed this thing over here. Now that’s broken this tag, it always breaks. Whereas if you just send out a promotion to everybody, and you make sure the contents really good, then there’s nothing really to break. And it just works really well. And it’s a total change of opinion for me because I really felt like we should be doing a segmentation. And now I really feel like we shouldn’t.

Kim Doyal 41:40
Well, and it’s interesting because you know, it’s funny, I brought up Ramit Sethi earlier and I had emailed them one time and I said, Is there a way to take me off of because I would get his dream job stuff. I’m like, I don’t have a job. I got a business for myself. I don’t want a dream job. And they’re like, No, we don’t do that. And it’s funny because I get why now and even. You know, I brought up Russell Brunson, he said he had this was a podcast episode where someone had reached out and said, I already bought the expert secrets book, Why do you keep emailing me about the book? And he’s like, have you read it? Have you implemented all that we do, and we teach these things? And so in a way, it’s like, oh, it’s a really good point, you know, or, God, I should go back into that course. So it’s it, there’s TierPoint there’s a whole bunch of ways that it’s gonna benefit somebody. I mean, I like the idea of being able to say, I don’t want to hear any more about this, like, get some of those options with stuff, but I’m right there with you. There’s sometimes like, I’m not like, throwing names. It’s just people I follow and read, like, Brennan Dunn is brilliant. Some of his stuff makes my head hurt. I’m like, I do not want to do cuz he’s very smart. Like, yeah, brilliant. He’s an engineer, you know? And I’m like, dude, like, I need to take whatever he does. I’m like, Okay, then I’ll study it. I’m like, I need to put this into like, the explain it to a fifth grader idea. It is. Now get overly complicated.

John Ainsworth 43:06
Yeah, definitely. One thing we will do from what you were just saying, as we will exclude people who’ve bought that course if you’ve already bought the course, we won’t promote the course to you, we probably send out the content about it, but we won’t do the bit that’s like, Buy it now at some discount this week, you know, kind of females as well. So those that’s the one group that we will exclude.

Kim Doyal 43:28
Yeah, which totally makes sense. If someone’s purchased for him, though, I was like, Would it be that hard, but at the same time, you know, you just never know, you never know. So? Um, so the last question, kind of on the topic of like the course credit specifically, do you have sort of like, do you recommend doing, like a, say, a basic funnel? But let’s start here. And then once you’ve gathered data, and you’ve seen what’s worked, then you can get a little more ninja? Or do you keep it simple?

John Ainsworth 43:58
Yeah, so what we thought for quite a while as we’ve got these crucial tactics that work incredibly well. So it’s the email promotions and the order bumps and the upsells and a few other things. And we thought once we’ve got that working for somebody will then go and we’ll set up the webinars and the webinar funnels and the VSL, and all these other kinds of things that you know, the super clever stuff. And what we found is, that what actually works better is just doing the fundamentals better. So we just go back to the beginning, and we do more stuff. I know you love the base.

Kim Doyal 44:38
I totally did. I totally do.

John Ainsworth 44:41
Yeah. Yeah. So what we do there is we’ll just be like, Okay, well, we’ve already got all the bumps and upsells. And we’ve got great sales pages and checkout pages, and we’ve got email promotions and a good offer and all this kind of thing. Right? Well, we’re going to need to do some more email promotions next month. So we write those and we learn from what worked the previous Time. So we’ve actually had we’ve got a client, they’ve only got two courses. And you might think if you only got two courses, how can you do two email promotions a month? We’ve done promotion for one of those courses every month for five months. And every month, it’s done better. Because every month we’ve learned from like, what do people respond to last time? And then we’ve gone, right? How do we get more creative? How do we come up with a new hook, another reason to talk about it. So one time, there’s a course about self-love, it’s someone in the spirituality space. And one time, there was a quote from somebody in to do with the Olympics, the Tokyo Olympics, and it was going around social media, and it was being seen everywhere. And so we started out with that, and it was something around self-love, you know, or some board or the opposite. And we had to kind of counteract it. And so we started out with that. And then the whole thing, the entire campaign was based around that idea around that there was that quote, and then we leave everything else. And then the next month is like, Okay, we’ve got the holidays coming up, you know, now we’ve got this thing happening in the world. And that’s another reason why we send the same campaigns to everybody at the same time is that that thing is in the news now that that motion won’t work in three months for anybody, it doesn’t make any sense anymore. And the other thing we do is we’d look back through the previous emails and go, right, this one worked really well, people like that a lot they open that they clicked on, that people bought on that day, that’s great. This one didn’t resonate with people. Okay, why might that be? Let’s try and understand that. And so we don’t do emails, like the one that didn’t work. And we do more emails, like the one that did. And so that’s our, that’s our version of getting Ninja is just how can you do more of that thing? You know, how can you do that better? These are the things that work. These are the fundamentals. So we don’t even like well, if clients are doing a webinar, great, but we don’t do much on that with them. Generally, we don’t build out complicated, automated funnels anymore, like that we used to do we used to, you know, some very complicated funnels, we just like, okay, these are our things, just do this again, and again, and we’ve had clients go from, you know, I’m trying to think that one of the spiritualities, base 20,000, when they first started with us, we got up to like, 70,000 a month. And then last month, I think 180,000 Just doing the same things, promoting the same courses, but just doing it better.

Kim Doyal 47:17
was just like, well, and it makes me so excited because so many people will do something and they go, Oh, it didn’t work. I’m like, did it all not work, or did something not work? You know, and so it’s can you can start I mean, and if you just go back, and it’s funny, because like, I’m not, I want to just make stuff like I’m not a data person, but I understand the value, and then the need to look at what’s working, right. And so you have to find that place. And it’s like, I don’t want to keep reinventing the wheel, either. You know, so it’s so much fun to dig deeper and go, Oh, let me try this. And because I hated writing copy until I don’t know, four or five years ago, I’m like, I’m gonna figure this out. I have to figure this out. Because I know it’s important. And the fact that you can change a sentence and increase sales is like, what I don’t have to rewrite an email necessarily. I don’t have to change the whole sales page. And it’s like, wait a minute, wait a minute. And so that’s kind of behind-the-scenes stuff that a lot of people don’t want to do or don’t have the bandwidth or whatever. So, yeah, no, I think it’s awesome. I love that you guys keep it simple and clean. That’s huge. So you have something that people can kind of figure out. So let’s talk a little bit about your calculator where they can get it.

John Ainsworth 48:35
Yeah, so if people go to date if people want to know how much more could I make from my course, like, I’ve got the course I’m already making money from it. How much more could I make, not just like here are some general numbers for everybody, but like specifically for me, then they can go to datadriven And they fill in a form. And then I or someone on my team will go through and look at the numbers and look at your site and look at what you’ve already got in place and figure out people I think people think this is automated. I need to do something to prove to people This isn’t because like, no, no, we do this manually for every single person. So they fill out a form and it’ll take like, I don’t know, five or 10 minutes might look some numbers up on Google Analytics or look on your email list or what have you. And you tell us like here’s the prices of my courses and what have you fill that in and then we will figure out for you how much more money you could be making from your you know, in your particular case.

Kim Doyal 49:30
Yeah, that’s kind of cold and of course, you guys so the links will be in the show note. Show Notes. Again, it is Where’s the best place for people to connect with you, John?

John Ainsworth 49:45
I respond to all my emails. So John, datadrivenmarketing/co. We’ve got a Facebook group, the advanced course creators group on Facebook if people want to come and hang out there we answer lots of questions.

Kim Doyal 49:55
That’ll be in the show notes too.

John Ainsworth 49:57
I’ve got a podcast which is called The Art of selling online courses, and there’s a particularly wonderful episode that people can find where there’s someone called Kim, who’s been on there.

Kim Doyal 50:10
I shall link to that as well.

John Ainsworth 50:16
Yeah. Yeah, we have a lot of fun with that.

Kim Doyal 50:20
Yeah. And then you’ve got, you’ve got free training on your website, too.

John Ainsworth 50:25
Right? Yeah, yeah. So I go through all of the tactics, and how they will work. That’s all available for free on the website. Just on the homepage, There’s a free training link.

Kim Doyal 50:36
Okay, got John, this is so fun. I feel like I could talk to you and pick your brain forever. And I just keep coming back to see this shit works. John totally validated. I knew that and then the fundamentals, do it better. It gets better and a lot more fun. So a totally good time with you. John, thank you so much for joining me today.

John Ainsworth 50:57
Thanks very much for inviting me on.

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