Why should you invest in product creation and remodeling? Molly and John just launched Smart Marketer’s new mentorship program and it was one of their most successful product launches to date. Why? Because they innovated. To promote Train My Social Media Manager, they used a next-level lead magnet to deliver tremendous value and attract warm and cold audiences alike, earning them super low CPAs despite the new challenges of iOS 14. In this episode, get the full breakdown of their successful product launch and learn why you should always be creating new products and updating existing ones.
- How to help prevent diminishing returns on your products.
- Why instant gratification minimizes the effectiveness of certain offers.
- The metrics that support Social Media is its own revenue generator.
- How we took our offer up a notch.
- Smart Marketer
- BOOM! By Cindy Joseph
- Episode 45: I.C.O.S.A. Framework: Our 5-Step Social Media Strategy
- The “I.C.O.S.A.” Framework
- Train My Traffic Person
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0:00 “The cold traffic is performing even BETTER than the audience that knows us…”
0:53 The goal: Launching a new mentorship.
3:30 How to avoid diminishing returns on your products.
5:02 Most businesses’ #1 mistake.
8:55 The simple yet effective route.
10:55 “I think that people want instant gratification that a live webinar might not provide.”
13:27 RECAP – This is what our lead magnet funnel looks like.
14:10 The numbers are showing that this WORKS.
14:47 Social media was generating revenue all on its own.
17:04 “…we realized we had to do more than just a case study. “
20:16 Adding the Daily Schedule really took the offer up a notch.
22:15 The biggest takeaway from this episode…
24:00 Thanks for listening! To share your feedback or get a question answered on the podcast, follow and message Molly on Instagram at @mollypittmandigital.
Transcript Of Episode 49:
0:00 John: We have over just five or six days of spending money on ads. So not a very long time. Been consistently getting $3 leads to warm traffic and $2.70 leads to cold traffic. The cold traffic is performing even better than the audience that knows us and loves us and buys all our stuff and ops and everything because we’ve really hit the nail on the head with this offer.
Molly: Hello, everybody. And welcome to episode 49 of “The Smart Marketer Podcast.” John and I are in person in Austin, Texas recording this episode. And we wanted to show you some behind the scenes of a recent campaign that we launched and something we’ve been spending a lot of time on.
0:53 John: Yeah, I’m so excited to dive into this one because we have been cooking on this for a long time and it is really, really big for Smart Marketer. We have been talking about doing this for years and we get proof of concept. And what’s so crazy is we are seeing some of the best results we’ve seen in the past 6 months, probably after all the iOS 14 stuff, which the whole episode is not going to be about that. But you can still get amazing performance if you follow the process we’re going to talk about here, which is all about diving into the offer, right?
We’re not clicking magic buttons. We’re not, you know, pulling some secret hack hashtag out of the hamper here. We are just thinking about what the consumer needs, building an offer around them. And it works. That’s the secret to marketing.
Molly: I think things go in the hamper, I don’t know if they come out of the hamper. I have to figure that out.
John: We need to buy a hamper and test this.
Molly: So just to give you guys a little backstory, we decided last year that a goal for 2021 would be to launch a new mentorship. So, Train My Traffic Person is one of our flagship offers. It’s the first mentorship-style program that we’ve offered. It’s 16 weeks. You get access to a bunch of amazing content, but it’s also taught in live cohorts twice a year. And it comes with Q&A calls every week, support in a group, etc, etc. So we knew that this model worked and we wanted to see what it would be like to launch a new mentorship on another topic.
So if you’ve listened to the last few episodes, you probably know what the topic of this mentorship is that we’re launching later this month. It’s June and the topic of this is social media. So this will be Train My Social Media Manager. And so we’ve been planning this for a while. It will be taught by Laura Palladino. And, of course, we knew we needed a strategy to sell this new mentorship. So traditionally, with Train My Traffic Person, we’ve hosted a live boot camp twice a year. And we use that to generate leads, generate buzz, really give a lot of value first, prove that we know what we’re talking about.
I think we had over 10,000 people opt in for that at the beginning of this year, which was very exciting. So we knew we needed a lead generation activity to not only re-engage our lists, re-engage our followers around the topic of social media, give value first, but an offer that was also going to allow us to go out to cold traffic and generate new leads and continue to build the email list. And hopefully, even convert a lot of those new cold leads into buyers of this new mentorship.
3:30 Molly: So we wanted to spend today’s episode going behind the scenes of how we created the new lead magnet for this particular offer. And I think there’s a lot of wisdom in this. This step is what most of you are, honestly, not spending enough time on. Would you agree with that, John?
John: One hundred percent.
Molly: And we see this with students. I mean, I see this in my newsfeed every day. We’re so focused on the advertising side of things, which, of course, we love. We are marketers at heart that we forget about the actual offer. For example, it’s easy to stress about the new iOS updates and every time I get on Facebook, it stresses me out, the conversations that I see in Facebook groups about this topic. And we know it’s a big deal and it’s also been something that we’ve been trying to overcome, but instead of necessarily worrying about iOS, right, or being fearful about it, I think we’ve channeled a lot of that energy into making our offers better because we know that no matter what traffic platform, no matter what change comes about, if we have a really solid offer, we’re going to be fine. We’re always going to be fine.
So we wanted to go into detail to explain how we have gone about creating this new lead magnet and this new offer that we’re using to acquire new leads that might be interested in the mentorship coming up, but to also, you know, re-engage our audience, like I said, and really get them excited about social media and the possibilities for their business.
5:02 John: Yeah, I think that’s great. And we’ll dive into some numbers in just a second. It’s not real numbers. I know I always say that probably. But I want to just say one thing, and that is, this is for any business type and it is so critical because whether you’re e-commerce and you launch new products, or you’re info and you’re launching new courses or new trainings, or you’re an agency and you’re launching new services you offer to your clients, you need to generate buzz when you create something new.
That’s a big flagship offer. That’s a big change. That is something you want to put energy behind. And the biggest mistake I have seen across, I don’t know, the four or five dozen businesses that I’ve worked very closely with is they keep trying to use the exact same launch model every time. And then it doesn’t do as well. You repeat the exact same webinar with the exact same emails and the exact same videos. And you say, “Gosh, this didn’t do as good this year as it did last year.”
Molly: Diminishing returns.
John: Exactly. And people don’t mix it up. That is the biggest thing I’ve learned with TMTP especially. We do a boot camp every time but we always change the hook. We always shoot brand new videos live for it. And we always think about what is on people’s minds right now? What problems are happening? What questions are coming up and how do we speak to those concerns and give people the tools they need to succeed? And keeping it fresh like that, is the game-changer for your business. So as you guys listen to this episode, no matter what kind of business you are, remember that you’re going to be launching something someday and you need to keep this in mind, right? This process of honing the offer that we’re going to share with you.
Molly: And this rings true for evergreen too. It’s probably even more important for evergreen that your cold offer is attractive because it will, you know, help prevent fatigue. And I think it’s also important…those of you that are selling physical products and you’re more of an e-commerce business, don’t think that this doesn’t apply to you. I mean, almost all successful e-commerce businesses are also buying leads.
You know, they’re also committing a percentage of their marketing budget or their ad spend every month to the acquisition of email leads through something like a really good lead magnet as we’re going to discuss today. So for every single business site, whether it’s local, whether you’re selling information, coaching, services, physical products, it doesn’t matter. This is something that we all need to know how to do.
John: Awesome. So let’s start with the product. You want to start with your end result you’re looking for and work backwards to take where you are and connect it to where your prospective customer is. That is the key to this whole process. So we’re selling this brand new mentorship, it’s a beta launch of it, right? So it’s going to be a little cheaper than the average mentorship. We’re selling it for $1,997. So just under…a hair under $2,000. And it’s a 13-week course, with live trainings from Laura Palladino, with 90-minute Q&As, I think 13 of those, lots of chances to get direct feedback, coaching support. Very similar to the model that we’ve kind of perfected with Train My Traffic Person.
So it’s high touch. It’s higher dollar, for sure, on the high end, and it’s a time commitment. And the idea is we teach them in this the process that we used at Boom, that we used at Smart Marketer, that we used at Zipify. And then other brands like, who were they, Taco Bell and Whole Foods and companies of all types used to grow their social media and turn social media, not just into a time stuck but one of the most important ways to connect with customers and build value in business.
For so many people, it’s the missing piece because it helps you create great content that you can take out on your email and take out on your paid traffic and really amplify it. Instead of just going sell, sell, sell, it’s about building a relationship and building a brand. So we feel really good about the offer but high dollar, higher level of commitment in time and energy and high touch.
Molly: And it’s the first time we’ve sold this. As John said, this is a beta launch, so we’re not quite sure how this is going to sell.
8:55 Molly: So, John, I’ll kind of walk through what went through my mind as we started to think about how to sell this. And so you guys understand the product now. Now we’re going to take a step forward a bit closer to the customer and talk about the front-end offer that we’re using. And when I started thinking about this, number one, I knew we didn’t want to do a live boot camp like we do at Train My Traffic Person.
The first few times we sold Train My Traffic Person, it was through one sales webinar, like five days of promotion. Now it’s a month-long launch and it’s its own beast that we love, But that developed over time and that developed as our confidence increased in we know this offer is going to perform in a certain way. And so the better it sold each time, the more resources and time we put into the actual launch. And so we go all out for that, you know? Live boot camp, we use other lead magnet styles to drive leads, we do a sales webinar, that’s a 30-day thing.
So I knew that we wanted to simplify for this because we don’t know how it’s going to do. So that was the first thing that I thought about. And especially in regards to our resources and Laura Palladino’s time, doing some sort of live boot camp was just kind of out of the question for me. I think you probably felt the same way.
John: One hundred percent.
Molly: And so I knew it needed to be simple. So that’s why we decided on a traditional PDF-style lead magnet. And that might sound underwhelming but it’s actually performing really well.
John: Yeah. So we have over just five or six days of spending money on ads. So not a very long time. Been consistently getting $3 leads to warm traffic and $2.70 leads to cold traffic. The cold traffic is performing even better than the audience that knows us and loves us and buys all our stuff and offers and everything because we’ve really hit the nail on the head with this offer.
10:55 Molly: And something else to note, again, we started simple on this. So we decided to put together a PDF, which we’ll tell you more about. The way the funnel currently looks, if someone opts in for this PDF on the thank you page, there is a video from Laura explaining further the concepts discussed inside of the resource. And then there is a waitlist below where someone can opt-in to be notified when we do open enrollment for Train My Social Media Manager. So that’s really the first step.
And so what we’re measuring is, of course, cost per lead. We know what a good cost per lead is for Smart Marketer. Honestly, as John said, it’s performing way better than expected, especially with all of the iOS updates and how expensive traffic is right now, these leads are cheaper than the live boot camp leads in January, which we’ll get to, which was shocking. And then we did decide to do a sales webinar for this offer. So again, we wanted to keep it simple but we do know that the webinar is a huge sales lever for us.
So it’s not something that we really want to take out to cold traffic any longer. I think we’re kind of drawing a line in the sand on that, like webinars aren’t really working great for us to cold traffic any more. I think they’re a little bit tired. I think that people want instant gratification that a live webinar might not provide. I think there are a few reasons that this is the case, but it doesn’t mean that webinars aren’t still valuable. And we’re just looking at webinars as something we can put in the middle of the funnel to further educate and to be able to do a much deeper pitch and further explanation of the product.
John: Exactly. And I mean, we can take the webinar recording out, right? And honestly, we care about it still because we’re still doing it but we take that recording and leverage that, sharing it with people who opted in for IPOs through more retargeting and our emails. And we’ve realized that you can buy a lead who is clearly interested in the topic for significantly cheaper, right? We’ve seen across the multiple businesses, right, we have three businesses we look at, webinars leads have crept up to $8, $9, $10, $11, depending on the webinar we offer for a lead.
Well, we’re able to get $3 leads for this. And those people are all clearly really qualified for the webinars. So we can just retarget them with a great video, right? And if you think social media is something your business needs or whatever the topic is, the webinar is a great explainer. It provides a ton of value and it introduces the product in a way that is really digestible, which is great for beta launches.
13:27 Molly: So before we dive into the specifics of the lead magnet, because I think that part of the process is where we did shine here and I think where we can provide value to you guys, I’ll just recap, kind of, what this launch looks like. So we’re doing lead generation right now to a simple lead magnet, as we said a few times. Next week, we will have the sales webinar. So we will run ads to this particular lead magnet for about 10 to 14 days leading up to the webinar. We’ve decided to actually not spend any money on traffic for the webinar and really rely on the email list for that.
The cart will be open another 7 to 10 days after the webinar, of course, with some scarcity at the end. And we’re hoping, you know, for over a hundred students on this test run.
14:10 John: Yeah. And I feel really confident. And this is the reason that I know that this works. We mentioned the waitlist, right, Molly, this idea that on the thank you page for the opt-in, people watch a video with Laura and if they’re interested, they can raise their hand and say, “Put me on the waitlist.” We have had crazy response to that. Literally, 18% of people that opt in say, “I want to hear about this product when it opens up.” That is unbelievable.
Molly: It’s amazing. Yeah. I expected 5% to 10% on that.
John: So a really, really good sign that we have struck a nerve. So without further ado, we’ve set the stage, right? Results are great. We think this process works for any kind of launch. Let’s talk about what we made and why we did it.
Molly: Let’s do it.
14:47 Molly: So as you all know, a lead magnet is something of value that you give away for free in exchange for the ability to follow up with that consumer, it also needs to be easily consumable. It needs to be, you know, overwhelming value so that they’re hooked, they’re interested. But it also needs to seamlessly transition into the next step of the funnel or into the pitch for your product or service because we could be generating dollar leads all day but if none of them turn into buyers, that ain’t good.
So for this where we started, and this is normally our go-to, John because they’re powerful and because of the nature of our business was to go with a case study. Laura Palladino is the social media manager at Boom by Cindy Joseph. After we started to pull some numbers, we realized how significant of an impact social media had had on Boom’s revenue last year. We were able to attribute $7.5 million in revenue back to the efforts of Laura and the social media team.
And so we thought that a case study would be the best style lead magnet here. And you know, again, that’s a marketing hook we use all the time because it’s what we do at Smart Marketer. We do cool in our businesses. We teach you guys about it. So we first went down the direction of, “Okay. Let’s turn this into a case study of how social media had performed for Boom last year.” But that’s definitely not where we ended up.
John: Yeah, it was a little bit overwhelming to try to pack it all in and to pick out any one social media campaign didn’t really do justice to how high the impact was on the business because social media’s impact, when we came up with that $7.5 million number wasn’t from one Facebook post or one Twitter, or even a month of posts, right? It’s this idea that social media generates revenue on its own. I think it was like $2.4 million from social posts themselves. But its biggest impact is in fueling what you’re doing on other channels.
There were social posts that the team created that went so well that the ads team, Boris, took it out and spent money to promote those further. So those assets were built by the social team and based on what they knew about the customer, great concept they created. And they drove a ton of revenue there and then they took those same assets and put them in emails to stretch them even further.
17:04 Molly: Yeah. And I think, John, we also realized that social media just simply isn’t as sexy of a topic to you guys, our audience, as paid traffic is, or as email is. And we’ve known that based off of the last 10 years. This isn’t just a Smart Marketer thing. So I think we realized we had to do more than just a case study. And so that’s when we started to layer in, okay, what are some actionable tools that we could give the consumer that will help them achieve, you know, the success that we’ve had in this discipline at Boom, and not just talk about what we’ve done but we kind of got to do a little bit more than that here.
John: Yeah. And we honed in on the big idea behind social and then how to actually put it into practice. So what we use is something called the ICOSA Framework. And if you guys go back to episode 45, I believe, you can hear Laura kind of introduced this. A quick summary of it is ideation, creation, optimization, syndication, and amplification, right? Molly’s doing a little dance. It sounds like a Daft Punk song. But it’s a process of just listening to what customers are liking, figuring out how to create interesting content.
It’s not just blog posts, right? It’s videos, it’s pictures, it’s stories, it’s sharing the life of your customer and sharing the voice of your business and turning that into business assets. And so we started with that framework that really underlies everything we do on social.
Molly: And I think anytime that you can position your lead magnet as a tool for this person to use, whether it’s a grocery list, whether it’s some sort of calculator, I mean, it depends on your market, it’s going to have a higher perceived value than something that’s just a case study, for example. And so when you were telling me about the framework, and this is something [inaudible 00:19:02] have always been chatting about for years, I knew that was going to be a very important hook and part of this offer because even just saying the word “framework,” we’ve now turned basically knowledge that’s in our brains into something that’s a tool that you can use.
It’s not just us teaching. It’s not just us explaining. It’s us giving you something that we built. And that will always have a higher perceived value than, you know, if you don’t go that route.
John: And that’s a limitation of a case study, not that those are bad, but when you see a case study of our success or any business’ success, you can’t necessarily copy that post, right? If you’re selling water bottles, you can’t copy Boom’s post about makeup for women over 50. It’s just not going to work. And so the framework is nice because you can learn the principles rather than get the exact copy you need to reach older women who want makeup. And so it’s better to take it out and reach more people.
But a framework itself isn’t necessarily something you can use in any given day so we knew we wanted to go one step further and not just build a framework. That’s helpful and it does underlie everything but we wanted to make this something that you would want to refer back to every single day if you knew social media was something your business needed to go deeper on.
20:16 Molly: Mm-hmm, yeah. We wanted to take it up another notch. And that’s when we came up with the idea of the daily schedule.
John: Yeah, which was something we had seen work really well with you, Molly, because you had, the first time you sold Train My Traffic Person, created a schedule for the perfect day of a media environment. I said, wow, people really respond to this message. And it’s a great way to break down a really complex topic into some core initiatives, right, things that you’ve got to get done every day.
Molly: Mm-hmm. And even though we had used that concept before, it had been at the end of a webinar, which is interesting, but we knew that the hook worked because that was a big promise of the webinar, that they were going to get this daily schedule. So why not take that same concept and just apply it to this particular topic? So what we ended up with, y’all, and you can check out the landing page, opt in for this thing so you can see it, smartmarketer.com/icosa, you will see that the headline of the page is “Swipe This Free Download, The ‘I.C.O.S.A.’ Framework.”
So again, we’re selling them on this tool, but then the subhead is “Copy the Formula a Top Social Media Manager Uses to Drive Growth for a $40 Million/Year Brand.” So that’s more of the case study part mixed in here and proof, of course. And then we have “Plus: Get the Daily Schedule of a professional Social Media Manager and see how a real brand uses the I.C.O.S.A. system on a daily basis.” So this offer is strong because we didn’t just stop at the case study. We also added stuff that felt really significant and valuable. And I think that’s why this offer is so strong.
John: Yeah. And we honestly spent probably four or six hours just talking to Laura and talking to our copywriting team about this schedule, right? We spent…
Molly: Russ Henneberry.
John: Yeah, Russ Henneberry. We spent almost more time talking about the schedule than anything else because we knew that was the secret sauce of this.
22:15 Molly: And I think that’s probably the biggest takeaway from this episode so far, John. And I know I said this earlier but I’m going to say it again, most marketers nowadays would look at something like this and maybe spend an hour or two of time, that’s not important, we need to go focus on the ads, I’ve got other stuff to do. It’s like, y’all, this is a free PDF.
And I would say, that’s just you and I chatting about it. In regards to the entire team working on this, I mean, it was definitely 20, 30, maybe even 40 hours spent when we talk about the conception, when we talk about actually the writing and creation of the document. And then of course you guys will see the awesome design on the landing page and in the PDF that our new designer, Anna, who rocks, she really took it up a level there too.
John: Yeah. It’s so nice that we can have that. So shout out to you, Anna, on our podcast. I will make sure to connect to you too.
Molly: And it matters because it…again, higher perceived value because it looks cool. I want this, you know. If it was a random PDF that hadn’t been styled, you know, it’s still valuable but it just doesn’t feel as valuable as what we have here.
John: I think that’s kind of a tangential lesson but it is a good point. Like if you think you created something good, it deserves to be designed well. And people care about this a lot more than they used to, right? It used to be, “Oh, I made a little calculator in Excel. It’s really ugly. And I threw it up online and a million people opted in for it.” Great. That doesn’t really work anymore, right? There’s so much noise out there. Investing a little bit in the design and aesthetic of something is worthwhile for your business. So I don’t think you can approach that half-heartedly anymore.
24:00 Molly: Thank you so much for listening to this episode of “The Smart Marketer Podcast.” For any resources mentioned on the show today, please visit our show notes at smartmarketer.com/podcast. If you enjoyed this episode, please leave us an honest review on whichever platform you are listening. Thanks again. And we’ll see you next time.