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Not Making Sales? Don’t Kill that Product or Service Until You Read This…

Sometimes you find yourself with a great product that just isn’t selling.

And when that happens, you have to wonder:

Why aren’t people buying?

You KNOW it’s a great product (or service). Your marketing is on-point, and you have a proven sales funnel.

So what’s the problem here?

Well, sometimes when a product isn’t selling, the problem isn’t with the product… but with the OFFER.

See, your offer is different from your product.

Having a good product is important. It’s essential, really. But… it’s not enough. A good product on its own may not sell.

Instead, you need to frame that product as part of an irresistible offer.

Don’t know how to do that? Well, don’t worry. You’re about to learn!

This is not one of those “read and absorb” type of posts. This is a mini-online workshop. So, I want you to get out something you can write with — pen and paper are fine, or you can open Microsoft Word or Google Docs.

And as you go through these ten steps, work along with me in your notebook.

When you’re done, you’ll have a page full of great ideas to help you turn your great product into a great offer… one that sells.

Now, some of these steps may not apply to your business — although most of them will. But even if it seems like one of these steps doesn’t apply to you, I highly recommend you try it anyway.

Getting creative here can uncover some great insights that lead to a truly standout offer.

So… got something to write with?

Let’s get started!

How to Craft an Irresistible Offer Step 1: Write Down the Name of Your Product or Service

We’re getting started easy: just write down the name of your product or service.

Keep in mind this isn’t your brand name or your company name, but the generic name of one particular product or service. "This will incentivize people to give you more revenue up front."

So not “KFC,” but “fried chicken.” Not “DigitalMarketer” but “digital marketing certifications.”

Here’s my example for you to follow along with:

  • PRODUCT: Digital Marketing Certification

Right away I want you to realize that what you’ve written down is NOT your offer. It’s just your product or service.

Soon we’ll start to figure out ways we can present this product as part of an offer.

How to Craft an Irresistible Offer Step 2: Write Down the Price

Next, just write down how much the product or service costs. Like so:

  • PRODUCT: Digital Marketing Certification
  • COST: $995

Now you have a product/service and a price. Technically, this is an offer… but it’s not a very compelling one.

Sadly, this is about as far as many companies ever get! They create a product, sell it for a certain price, and that’s all there is to it.

But we’re going to go beyond that and explore some ways to help you structure that product as a more compelling offer. And we’ll start by playing with the price.

How to Craft an Irresistible Offer Step 3: Add Some Payment Terms

The first modification we’re going to make to your offer has to do with the payment terms. In other words, give people the option of breaking up the cost into multiple payments.

So, instead of making one payment of $995, we give users the option of making three monthly payments of $395:

  • PRODUCT: Digital Marketing Certification
  • COST: $995
  • PAYMENT TERMS: Three Monthly Payment of $395

This technique is especially effective for higher-priced items (certainly anything over $1,000) but is worth testing for any product over $200 or so.

Generally speaking, you want the one-time payment to be less expensive overall. Here’s an example of this on one of our sales pages. The one-time payment costs $1495, and the monthly option adds up to $1770:

An example of payment options from a DigitalMarketer sales page

Another way to change the payment terms is by offering annual vs. monthly payment plans. This works well for SaaS companies and other subscription services, like Birchbox:

Birchbox offering monthly and yearly payment options

Once again, you would discount the monthly price for anyone who pays up-front for the whole year. This will incentivize people to give you more revenue up-front.

How to Craft an Irresistible Offer Step 4: Add a Discount

Discounts are a classic, time-tested way to get more people to take your offer.

Retailers do it all the time, as you can see in this Kohl’s ad:

Kohl's offering a 40% discount for President's Day

Of course, the downside to offering discounts is that it eats into your profit margin. But they make up for it by increasing their total volume of sales.

And keep in mind, an added benefit of advertising discounts like this is that it gets people “in the door” (and/or on your website). And some of those people will purchase your non-discounted items.

For our example, we might offer a limited-time 50% discount when a new certification is launched:

  • PRODUCT: Digital Marketing Certification
  • COST: $995
  • PAYMENT TERMS: Three Monthly Payment of $395
  • DISCOUNT: On Sale for $495

Next, to craft an irresistible offer, think about what you can add to your product to make it even more enticing…

(NOTE: Before you can start selling to your audience, you need to know who your ideal customer is, where they are, and what they will buy. Download our proven Customer Avatar Worksheet now and get clear on who you’re selling to.)

Get DigitalMarketer's Customer Avatar Worksheet

How to Craft an Irresistible Offer Step 5: Add a Bonus or a Premium

Just about every product or service can be improved with some kind of free bonus.

In this example, Birchbox offers a free beauty tool when you sign up for their subscription service:

Birchbox offers a free beauty tool when you sign up for their subscription service

At DigitalMarketer, we could offer an autographed copy of Ryan’s book for anyone who signs up for our digital marketing certification course:

  • PRODUCT: Digital Marketing Certification
  • COST: $995
  • PAYMENT TERMS: Three Monthly Payment of $395
  • DISCOUNT: On Sale for $495
  • BONUS: Buy a Certification Course, Get an Autographed Copy of The Invisible Selling Machine

Try to keep your bonus consistent with your product, like the examples above. But even if you can’t think of a relevant bonus to offer, something is better than nothing. "Just about every product or service can be improved with some kind of free bonus." ~Russ Henneberry

As an example, banks have been known to offer a free Keurig if you open a new checking account with them. Keurigs don’t really have anything to do with checking accounts, but it’s a nice bonus that might be enough to persuade you to choose one bank over another.

Next, I want you to see if you can package your product as part of a bundle…

How to Craft an Irresistible Offer Step 6: Create a Bundle

A bundle is where you take several different products or services and package them together in the same offer. It’s a more expensive purchase (because it includes more products), but you offer a discount on the items when they’re purchased together.

You see this all the time in combo meals at fast-food restaurants:

The Blitz Box: A bundle meal from McDonald's

If you have several different versions of a similar product, you can offer them together in a kit like this:

Sauce and dry rub bundle kit from The Salt Lick BBQ

When you start to look for it, you’ll notice that a lot of companies use this strategy of bundling.

Cable companies like to bundle your TV, internet, and phone bills; they offer a discount on the services if you purchase all three together.

Insurance does the same thing by offering to bundle your home and auto insurance:

Bundling example from Progressive Insurance

As long as you offer more than one product or service, you should be able to create a bundle. Give this one a try; it’s a great way to increase your average order value. "It's a great way to increase your average order value."

Here at DigitalMarketer, we already offer our certifications in a bundle… it’s our premium subscription service, called DigitalMarter HQ:

  • PRODUCT: Digital Marketing Certification
  • COST: $995
  • PAYMENT TERMS: Three Monthly Payment of $395
  • DISCOUNT: On Sale for $495
  • BONUS: Buy a Certification Course, Get an Autographed Copy of The Invisible Selling Machine
  • BUNDLE: Sign Up for DMHQ and Get Access to All Our Certification Courses for as Little as $83/Month

How to Craft an Irresistible Offer Step 7: Reverse the Risk

Every purchase involves some risk, and the fact is: you can’t eliminate it.

There’s always a chance that something will go wrong — the product will break, your service won’t live up to its promise, the customer just won’t be happy for whatever reason.

And while you can’t eliminate risk… you can reverse it. In other words, take that risk off of your customer and put it on yourself.

The most obvious way to reverse the risk is with some sort of money-back guarantee or return policy:

  • PRODUCT: Digital Marketing Certification
  • COST: $995
  • PAYMENT TERMS: Three Monthly Payment of $395
  • DISCOUNT: On Sale for $495
  • BONUS: Buy a Certification Course, Get an Autographed Copy of The Invisible Selling Machine
  • BUNDLE: Sign Up for DMHQ and Get Access to All Our Certification Courses for as Little as $83/Month
  • RISK REVERSAL: 14-Day Free Trial, 60-Day Money-Back Guarantee

Take Zappos for example. A big part of Zappos’ success is due to their generous risk reversal. Their offer of 100% free shipping and returns is such a big part of their brand image that they put it in their AdWords headlines:

Zappos promoting their return policy within their paid advertisement on Google

Another way of reducing risk is to offer a free trial period. This is a low-commitment way to get new customers in the door for a subscription service, like we do with DigitalMarketer HQ:

This technique might not work for small impulse buys (like a pack of gum), but any product or service with a decent price point and a sales cycle should include some sort of risk reversal.

Sure, you might have to give a customer their money back every once in a while… but because risk reversal helps to generate so many additional customers, it’s almost always well worth the cost.

In the next step, we really start to dial things up…

How to Craft an Irresistible Offer Step 8: Add Urgency

Up until now, we’ve explored different ways to make your offer more compelling. We’ve given your prospects several good reasons why they should take your offer.

But we still have to explain why they need to take your offer right NOW.

Keep in mind that in the world of sales, later almost always means no. If a prospect visits your sales page and decides to “come back later”… you have probably lost that sale.

This is where urgency comes into play. Urgency gives people a reason to buy right now, today, rather than putting it off for tomorrow.

So, how can you inject some urgency into your offer?

The most natural way to do this is through a combination of scarcity and/or a deadline.

Scarcity: This is when you have only a certain number of products available. Amazon uses this technique when they tell you they have “Only x left in stock – order soon”:

An example of scarcity from Amazon — only 3 left in stock for a toy mini fridge from Robolife

Deadline: This is when your product is only available for a limited time. In this example, the discounted pricing is only available until August 15:

An example of a deadline for a product, with discount pricing ending on August 15

The next thing you have to decide is: What should you do after your urgency passes? In other words, what do you do when the deadline is passed or when the limited number of products are all gone?

You have a few different options:

  • The product is no longer available. This works well with special or limited-edition products, including live events (which have their own built-in natural deadline).
  • The product is still available but at a higher price. If you’re running a sale or promo, the discount price should go back to normal after a certain amount of time.
  • The product is still available but without the bonus or premium. If you’re offering a bonus (such as during a product launch), you can remove it after a certain amount of time or after a certain number of purchases have been made.

"Anytime you can build real urgency into your offer, it's always a good idea to do so." ~Russ HenneberryWhen we’re marketing a new Certification Course, we usually offer a discount for early adopters… but that 50% discount only lasts for a limited time. If you don’t sign up during the promo period, the price jumps back up to $995:

  • PRODUCT: Digital Marketing Certification
  • COST: $995
  • PAYMENT TERMS: Three Monthly Payment of $395
  • DISCOUNT: On Sale for $495
  • BONUS: Buy a Certification Course, Get an Autographed Copy of The Invisible Selling Machine
  • BUNDLE: Sign Up for DMHQ and Get Access to All Our Certification Courses for as Little as $83/Month
  • RISK REVERSAL: 14-Day Free Trial, 60-Day Money-Back Guarantee
  • URGENCY: Price Jumps Back Up to $995 After Initial Promo Period

Keep in mind, you should never create “fake” urgency — such as telling people that you have only a few items left in stock when you have plenty, or claiming that a discount is going away when it really isn’t. That kind of deceptive marketing will come back to bite you in the end, as people start to learn that they can’t trust you.

But anytime you can build REAL urgency into your offer, it’s always a good idea to do so.

How to Craft an Irresistible Offer Step 9: Champion a Cause

The last way to craft an irresistible offer is by championing a cause.

Some examples of this include:

  • Donating a percentage of sales to charity
  • Donating time or products to people in need
  • Supporting a worthwhile social cause

Championing a cause can be just as powerful as offering a discount. It increases sales while helping to create positive associations with your brand or company — and it makes the world a better place! It’s a win-win-win.

One of the most successful examples of a company that does this well is TOMS Shoes. For every pair of shoes you buy from TOMS, they’ll donate another pair to a child in need:

A pair of TOMS shoes with their pledge to donate to a child in need

Here at DigitalMarketer, we have an annual event every Thanksgiving called “Black Friday Bootcamp.” During the season when most people are focused on buying material possessions, we run a charity event focused on donating money to finding a cure for children’s cancer:

The DigitalMarketer crew posing with representatives of Battle for a Cure and Jason's Frog Foundation, two children's cancer charities. DigitalMarketer donated $50,000 to each.

Our past participants love the good-natured spirit of the event. And in the meantime, we’re making the world a better place — bonus!

  • PRODUCT: Digital Marketing Certification
  • COST: $995
  • PAYMENT TERMS: Three Monthly Payment of $395
  • DISCOUNT: On Sale for $495
  • BONUS: Buy a Certification Course, Get an Autographed Copy of The Invisible Selling Machine
  • BUNDLE: Sign Up for DMHQ and Get Access to All Our Certification Courses for as Little as $83/Month
  • RISK REVERSAL: 14-Day Free Trial, 60-Day Money-Back Guarantee
  • URGENCY: Price Jumps Back Up to $995 After Initial Promo Period
  • CHAMPION A CAUSE: Sales Benefit Childhood Cancer Charities

How to Craft an Irresistible Offer Step 10: Layer Your Offers

OK, at this point we’ve gone through a number of steps designed to help you craft an irresistible offer. The final step is to layer these elements together and test different combinations of them.

You probably don’t want to include ALL of the offer elements you wrote down on your paper. Adding in too many parts to your offer is likely to confuse people. (And in case you were wondering, confusing visitors will definitely NOT help your conversion rates.)

But you should come up with different combinations and different ways to present your product or service in a way that makes people want to take action.

For example, a fast food company might come up with this offer:

  • PRODUCT: 3 Pieces of Chicken, Fries, and a Soft Drink
  • COST: $10.95
  • DISCOUNT: On Sale for $6.95
  • URGENCY: Today Only
  • CHAMPION A CAUSE: 10% of profits will benefit the Washington Elementary School Parent’s Association

Or a software company might offer:

  • PRODUCT: Invoicing Software
  • PAYMENT TERMS: Pay Yearly For 20% Discount
  • BUNDLE: Add Time Tracking Software and Get 30% Off Each
  • RISK REVERSAL: 30-Day Free Trial

So, you’ve made it through the steps on how to craft an irresistible offer. Now what?

Your Product Is Not Your Offer

If there’s one thing you should take away from this post, it’s the fact that your product is not your offer.

Your product is your product, and an offer is a different way of presenting or selling that product. Every product or service that you provide can be part of multiple different offers.

"Your product is not your offer."As you’ve just learned, there are many, many different ways to structure an offer. They can range from relatively straightforward (like a week-long sale) to fairly complex (with deadlines and disappearing bonuses).

There’s no way to really tell in advance if an offer is going to work or not. So, the only thing to do… is to test them!

When you hit on the right offer, the difference in sales is night and day. It’s not out of the question to see 10x the sales on the same product as part of a different offer.

So, get out there and test a better offer for your product!

(NOTE: Before you can start selling to your audience, you need to know who your ideal customer is, where they are, and what they will buy. Download our proven Customer Avatar Worksheet now and get clear on who you’re selling to.)

The post Not Making Sales? Don’t Kill that Product or Service Until You Read This… appeared first on DigitalMarketer.

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Episode 117: The 3-Step Formula to 10X Your Facebook Ad Spend with Consistent ROI [Part 1 of 2]

Want to scale your Facebook ads?

In this two-part episode, learn the simple three-step strategy to scale your Facebook ads while generating a consistent return on investment. Once you understand this, you can create an ad that will resonate with a broad audience, get your message across, and create a campaign that can last for years to come.

IN THIS EPISODE YOU’LL LEARN:

  • What to do in the first ten seconds of your video ad to grab a viewer’s attention (« and what you should avoid doing so you don’t discourage views).
  • How to leverage the UPSYD Awareness Formula to move people from unaware of the problem to desiring your product/service.
  • The tactics Dominate Web Media uses in their clients’ Facebook campaigns to turn cold traffic into buyers.

LINKS AND RESOURCES MENTIONED IN THIS EPISODE:

Episode 67: The Proven 3-Step Formula to Transform Your Business with Video Ads [Part 1]
Episode 68: 3 Elements of High-Converting Video Ads [Part 2]
Episode 86: UPSYD: The 5-Step Framework to Generate More Customers
Episode 115: 3 Facebook Tests to Double Conversions and Decrease Cost Per Lead by 40%
Episode 116: Ryan Deiss Breaks Down the “Before & After” Strategy of Chatbooks’ Viral Video
Keith and Ralph’s 2017 Content & Commerce Summit Slides
3-Step Video Ad Formula PDF with live links to video examples
Dominate Web Media Certification Event

Thanks so much for joining us this week. Have some feedback you’d like to share? Leave us a review on iTunes!

The post Episode 117: The 3-Step Formula to 10X Your Facebook Ad Spend with Consistent ROI [Part 1 of 2] appeared first on DigitalMarketer.

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What Facebook’s New Group Features Means For Community Managers

Big news for Facebook Groups!

Facebook is fulfilling the commitment it made earlier this year to focus efforts on building true communities on its platform.

Mark Zuckerberg: Building Global Community

Along with expanding their own internal community teams, the social media goliath also kicked off its first-ever Facebook Communities Summit, gathering hundreds of Facebook Group admins from across the globe to discuss ideas and features that would make Facebook Groups, well… easier to manage.

And that’s when a HUGE announcement was made!

Key community management features will soon be gracing our beloved Facebook Groups, including:

  • Group Insights
  • Member Request Filtering
  • Removed Member Clean-Up
  • Scheduled Posts
  • Group-To-Group Linking (this is the one I am most excited about, and I’ll tell you why in a moment!)

So, what do these new Facebook Group features mean for community managers? 

Let’s talk about it with real-life examples and some sweet images (thanks to Facebook and TechCrunch!). And be sure to check out some of the most recent updates here (or scroll to the bottom of the post)…

Group Insights

From Facebook:

Group Insights: Group admins have told us consistently that having a better understanding of what’s going on in their groups would help them make decisions on how to best support their members. Now, with Group Insights, they’ll be able to see real-time metrics around growth, engagement, and membership — such as the number of posts and times that members are most engaged.

This. Is. The. COOLEST.

Until now, community managers of Facebook Groups had to either rely on vanity metrics — like the total number of members — or invest in third-party analytic platforms to get any insight into who participated in their community and how often they did so.

I’m so happy to see that Facebook is making an effort to help community managers measure what IS important — like participation and activity.

A word of caution here — it looks like the initial version of Group Insights includes some vanity metrics when it comes to community growth:

Community Metrics Insights

Community managers shouldn’t measure growth by a total number of members or a total number of new members — real community growth is a result of member activity, so for the moment, it looks like there is still some work to come in the growth metrics department.

This feature does mean that community managers can potentially stop investing in third-party tools and rely on Facebook to do what it does best – provide valuable data to make the best decisions.

Up until now, Facebook only provided insights for Pages as a way to understand performance metrics, how people were engaging, and to help provide better ad targeting.

Community Metrics Insights
Which begs the question… what’s Facebook’s end goal here? Perhaps a way to better understand your community in order to… dare I say it… advertise?

As Mari Smith noted in her insights into this feature, “This could be the first step in monetizing groups. We’ll see.”

Member Request Filtering

From Facebook:

Membership request filtering: We also hear from admins that admitting new members is one of the most time-consuming things they do. So, we added a way for them to sort and filter membership requests on common categories like gender and location, and then accept or decline all at once.

Membership Request Filtering

If you manage a Group, you are acutely familiar with the pain it takes to go through a long list of member requests every day.

Filtering member requests in DigitalMarketer Engage

It’s time-consuming, it feels like busy-work, and… it’s boring. I’m bored now just thinking about it.

Facebook’s new member filtering feature will be a welcome reprise for communities who focus on catering to specific demographics or locations.

And BATCH. ACCEPTS. Be still my beating heart.

This means community managers can spend their time actually building up their communities through content and strategy instead of spending hours (yes, hours) going through membership requests one-by-one.

From the bottom of my heart: thank you, Facebook.

(NOTE: Want a step-by-step plan for tracking, measuring, and monetizing social media? Learn more about DigitalMarketer’s Social & Community Mastery Specialist training and certification program today.)

Get DigitalMarketer’s Social & Community Mastery Certificate

Removed Member Clean-Up

From Facebook:

Removed member clean-up: To help keep their communities safe from bad actors, group admins can now remove a person and the content they’ve created within the group, including posts, comments, and other people added to the group, in one step.

Remove member clean-up in DigitalMarketer Engage

Fellow Facebook Group moderators, I can hear you toasting champagne glasses from here. Cheers!

Every community manager has had to deal with a toxic member at one point or another. Trolls. Spammers. Straight up assholes.

If you’ve ever had to remove said person (and their hateful remarks) from your group, you know how painful it is to go back and make sure the poison from every wayward comment and post is removed from sight.

Ain’t nobody got time for that.

Now, in one fell swoop, that jerkface — and all their awful contributions to your community — can be wiped off the face of the planet.

Oh, happy day!

Why is this important for community strategy? Ever heard of the phrase, “Monkey see, monkey do”? 

Humans are imitators; we learn by repeating the actions of others who have gone before us. We naturally mimic behavior that we see… especially in tribes that are linked to our personal identities.

It gets a little complicated from there, but the main takeaway here is that bad behavior can easily create more bad behavior in communities. Our brains are just wired for it (good news though — good behavior works the same way!).

By removing toxic comments and posts, community managers are looking to educate their groups on the proper way to behave — it’s often less a matter of “policing” and more to do with removing barriers to valuable conversations.

The new member clean-up feature will go far in helping community managers keep their communities moving forward; a thriving, happy family that doesn’t have room for the haters.

Scheduled Posts

From Facebook:

Scheduled posts: Group admins and moderators can create and conveniently schedule posts on a specific day and time.

Scheduling a post in DigitalMarketer Engage

Um, yes, please.

Creating engaging, consistent community content is a cornerstone to helping community members connect with one another.

For example, in our DigitalMarketer Engage Facebook group, we create a #OneWeekOneThing post every Monday, so our community members can keep each other accountable on big goals…

DigitalMarketer Engage One Week One Thing

On Friday’s there’s the #CelebrateTheWin post so our members can celebrate their achievements…

DigitalMarketer Engage Celebrate the Win Post

Not to mention, our members-only weekly webinar announcements…

DigitalMarketer Weekly Webinar Announcement

And monthly content like #HotSeat!

DigitalMarketer #HotSeat with Molly Pittman

Community managers understand the power of consistent community-building content… having the ability to schedule these posts is a HUGE time-saver!

That time can be spent actually participating in community conversations instead of creating them.

Group-to-Group Linking

From Facebook:

Group-to-group linking: We’re beginning to test group-to-group linking, which allows group admins to recommend similar or related groups to their members. This is just the beginning of ways that we’re helping bring communities and sub-communities closer together.

The group-to-linking feature in DigitalMarketer Engage

THIS. THIS S!*T RIGHT HERE.

Why, you might ask, am I so excited about this particular feature, given all the greatness that was just announced?

Two words: Social Density.

OK, four more words…

It’s too damn high.

If you’re not in the know on community management lingo, social density refers to the amount of conversation that can happen in a set space.

For example, let’s say you take five people…

…and put them in the Kauffman Stadium (go Royals!)

Kauffman Stadium

That stadium would feel super empty, right?

But let’s take those same five people and put them in a filing room…

A small filing room

Now we have the opposite problem — it’s way too cramped!

The same concept applies to conversations in online communities — if your social density is too low, not enough activity is happening to keep new members interested in participating.

If it’s too high, there are so many different conversations happening that it’s impossible to keep up. Large Facebook Groups (like the DM Engage community) suffer from a very high social density.

With over 10,000 members, there is such an overload of new conversations and active discussions that it’s difficult for new DM Engage members to plug in and for active members to find where they can best contribute.

It’s a problem that stunts community growth.

Other community platforms, like forums, address high social density by creating subtopics, like Reddit famously does here:

Other community platforms, like forums, address high social density by creating subtopics, like Reddit does here

This keeps different discussion topics in their own dedicated area, so conversations don’t get cluttered.

Until now, creating subgroups or subtopics was an impossibility on the Facebook platform. Community managers who struggled with high social density had to do their best to organize content on their own.

The new group linking feature could be a solution for organizing subtopics of communities by groups conversation topics into their own groups — without alienating the community as a whole.

Group To Group Linking

October 2017

The other week, I was fortunate to meet with the Facebook team at this year’s CMX Summit, and let me tell you…

…the Facebook team is VERY serious about making Facebook Groups an integral part of the platform experience!

Expect even MORE changes in the coming months (and years) to Facebook Groups that will make your community management tasks even easier.

For instance, Facebook is rolling out a new welcome feature that will automatically tag up to 50 new members in a welcome post — that’s HUGE news for group admins who have been performing this task manually.

They’ve also added a new “Mute Member” moderation feature that is an excellent alternative for removing questionable members.

Mute Member feature option in DigitalMarketer Engage

This option temporarily prevents a group member from making new posts or comments for seven days — a “time out,” if you will, for members who might need some time to cool off after a divisive conversation or other situation that doesn’t require a ban.

Next, Facebook has dipped a toe into community gamification with Admin Badges…

The Facebook Admin Badge

…that gives group admins a literal badge to build authority among their community members.

Facebook is also giving visibility to new group members with a similar designation:

A new community member, with the New Member designation, posts for the first time in DigitalMarketer Engage.

The New Member Badge lasts for the first 14 days a member is in the group.

Highlighting new members gives your community an opportunity to recognize and support newbies in your group who might not know the ropes — and making sure they feel like part of the tribe!

And word on the street is a similar designation will give visibility to power users of your group as well.

It’s safe to say that Facebook is working hard to help admins effectively care for their communities. I can’t wait to see what other new features we’ll see!

(NOTE: Want a step-by-step plan for tracking, measuring, and monetizing social media? Learn more about DigitalMarketer’s Social & Community Mastery Specialist training and certification program today.)

Get DigitalMarketer’s Social & Community Mastery Certificate 

The post What Facebook’s New Group Features Means For Community Managers appeared first on DigitalMarketer.

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Facebook’s Targeting Expansion Box: Should You Check It?

It’s crazy what a difference checking one box can make on the success of your Facebook ad campaign.

In November of 2016, Facebook rolled out targeting expansion:

“Targeting expansion gives us the option to expand your target audience if we think doing so will get you better results. It allows us to adjust your interest-based targeting (the kind you choose in the ‘Detailed Targeting’ section of ad set creation) to reach more people who may get you more and/or cheaper results, but wouldn't otherwise have been in your target audience. It's available to ad sets that are part of campaigns using the conversions, app installs, lead generation, engagement or traffic marketing objectives.”

You’ll find this button underneath the detailed targeting section at the ad set level of your campaigns:

Where to check Facebook Targeting Expansion

Long story short, when you check this box, Facebook will show your ad to people outside of who you have already selected… if they believe those people are likely to convert.

But… does it work?

We decided to put this box to the test!

Facebook Targeting Expansion: The Test

We created two campaigns. They were identical OTHER than one had the box checked and the other didn’t.

This was a website conversion campaign optimizing for people to opt-in for our “Perfect Blog Post Template” Lead Magnet.

We created 14 ad sets…

  • One to warm traffic (people who are familiar with your brand)
  • Five to various lookalike audiences
  • Eight to varying clusters of interests

Here’s a screenshot for those of you that are visual learners:

DigitalMarketer's 14 Ad Sets

And here’s the ad on Facebook:

We ran the test for ten days, with a $5,000 budget for each ad set…

…and the results were VERY surprising and unanimous across each ad set!

Facebook Targeting Expansion: The Test Results

When we checked Facebook’s targeting EXPANSION box our cost per lead was 25% higher…

A graph depicting DigitalMarketer's test results for Facebook Targeting Expansion

…and it also produced less volume. When we checked the expand box, we generated 322 fewer leads than when didn’t check the box.

The cost per unique click was 17 cents higher when we checked the expand box. 

The conversion rate on the page dropped from 66% to 58% when we checked the expand box. This makes me think that the traffic hitting the page was less qualified for the ad sets where the expand box was checked.

Every one of the above metrics from this test goes to show that checking the expand interest box produced WORST results for our campaign.

So, here are my thoughts….

1. This Isn’t the End All Be All… You Should Test Facebook Targeting Expansion

Remember, this is just one test.

Although we saw a significant difference in our metrics when we checked the expand interest box, this doesn’t mean that this will be the case 100% of the time. 

There are a few factors here at play, like the objective. We were running a website conversion campaign for this test. The expand interest button could behave differently under different objectives (I wouldn’t expect to see anything drastically different from what we saw, though).

Moral of the story… if you’re curious, run this test on your own.

If you’re not, take our advice and DO NOT check the expand interest box when launching campaigns, especially if they’re to cold traffic (people who have never heard of you before).

(RELATED: Perpetual Traffic Episode 113: Facebook Interest Targeting Expansion: Should You Use It in Your Campaigns? [Case Study])

2. Facebook Targeting Expansion Could Be Used for Scaling

I wouldn’t recommend checking the expand interest box when launching campaigns to cold traffic, BUT I do believe there could be a use for this box when scaling your ads.

Once a campaign has run to the point of fatigue (your frequency is high) clicking this button could allow you to scale and show your ads to more people that are most like the ones who have already taken your desired action. 

This box could allow you to broaden your targeting and to quit showing your ad to the same users over and over.

We are in the process of testing this strategy and will report back.

(RELATED: The Ultimate Guide to Scaling Paid Traffic Campaigns)

3. This Feature Will Get Better

While the results aren’t very promising for Facebook’s expanded interest box, I do believe we will see improvements over time.

Facebook’s algorithm is getting smarter every day. As the platform gathers more data and feedback on this feature, they will continue to improve it. My guess is that we will test this again in six months and see very different results.

But for now, leave the box unchecked… our tests show that you’ll see better results for your Facebook ad campaigns.

(NOTE: Want The Ultimate Facebook Ad Template Library? Copy and paste these seven proven Facebook ad campaigns to create low-cost, high-converting ads on demand. Get them here.)

Facebook Ad Templates

The post Facebook’s Targeting Expansion Box: Should You Check It? appeared first on DigitalMarketer.

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5 Advanced Email Deliverability Tactics to Help You Reach the Inbox & Increase Engagement

Are you looking to go beyond the basics of email deliverability?

If you’re familiar with most of the basics behind getting better email deliverability, like…

  • Building (and not buying) a clean list of people who’ve opted in to see your emails
  • Sending to your most engaged subscribers
  • Letting people unsubscribe when they want to

…then this post is for you!

Today, we’re sharing five advanced email deliverability tactics — tactics that usually aren’t discussed in basic deliverability guides. These methods will help you increase your odds of getting your emails seen, opened, and clicked.

Of course, if all of this is new to you, you can read my Eight-Step Email Deliverability Checklist on the DigitalMarketer Blog, which covers the fundamentals of deliverability.

Read our "Eight-Step Email Deliverability Checklist" on the DigitalMarketer Blog, which covers the fundamentals of deliverability.

So, without further ado, here are five expert email deliverability tactics you can use to improve inbox placement and increase engagement.

Advanced Email Deliverability Tactic 1: Suppression Lists

In email marketing, we talk a lot about the importance of who you’re sending to, whether it’s building a clean list or implementing segments so your emails are reaching the most relevant audience.

But who you aren’t sending to can be just as important. "It's a great way to build a good reputation."

At Maropost, we always advise clients to send to their most engaged users first. It’s a great way to build a good sender reputation and reap the rewards of your most loyal subscribers opening and clicking your emails.

We also advise clients to not send to their inactive subscribers — the ones who aren’t engaging with their emails — as another way to boost sender reputation and deliverability.

When you send to subscribers who aren’t engaging with your emails, you risk internet service providers (ISPs) bulking or blocking your emails, preventing you from reaching the audience who actually want to see what you’re sending.

So, how do suppression lists fit into all this?

While you can suppress for anything, from age to gender to previous purchases, inactive suppression allows you to target your inactive subscribers, preventing them from damaging your deliverability.

There’s no universal length of time on when to suppress an inactive subscriber, but there is an easy rule of thumb to gauge when you need to suppress — the higher your send frequency, the shorter the period of time before you suppress.

Chart showing inverse correlation between send frequency and time period before suppression

Inactive suppression is really more of an art than a science, involving a complex balance between suppressing enough to not get bulked by ISPs, while still sending to a large proportion of your list.

Screenshot of what inactive suppression looks like in Maropost

As long as you keep in mind the “golden rule” of email marketing in mind, you can expect to see your deliverability improve.

What’s the golden rule, you ask?

The golden rule of email marketing is to send to people who want to get your emails and not send to people who don’t want to get your emails — you’re emailing your most engaged users and not sending to your inactive subscribers.

Sounds simple enough, right? But as we all know, it’s easier said than done.

You’ll know you’re on the right track with suppression when:

  • Deliverability is at 100%
  • Open rates and click rates are up
  • Complaint rates are down

If you’re not seeing improvement, you’ll want to adjust your suppression rules, usually to make them stricter (a shorter inactivity period before suppression).

Suppression lists are a great way to prevent disengaged subscribers from spoiling your deliverability, but you can always opt to take things a step further, by cleansing your list

Advanced Email Deliverability Tactic 2: List Cleansing

So, what’s the difference between cleansing your list and suppressing it and why choose one over the other?

Suppression lists aren’t as permanent and can be used as a stepping stone to eventually cleanse your list, allowing you to figure out who you might want to cleanse and what your list will look like after.

List cleansing is powerful and, importantly, permanent.

Cleansing your list of inactive subscribers will boost your open rates, but can reduce your open volume. While it’s possible to boost both with a well-executed list cleanse, the usual result is a boost to open rate at the cost of open volume.

But before we get ahead of ourselves, here’s a look at what list cleansing actually involves.

Screenshot Maropost list cleansing tool, and list cleansing in journeys

Let’s say after some experimentation with suppression lists, you find that suppressing people who have been inactive for 90 days yields the best results for increasing engagement, without cutting too much into your list size.

Different email service providers (ESPs) vary in how they handle implementing a list cleansing rule, but in Maropost, you could automate that using the Journeys Tool, so subscribers are automatically unsubscribed from your list if they go 90 days without any engagement.

Wait!

There’s one final action you should take before removing subscribers from your list — send a re-engagement series.

A good re-engagement campaign is sent out only once to people who haven’t opened or clicked in over 90 days.

(RELATED: The Ultimate Guide To eCommerce Email Marketing (Online Retailers, This One’s For You…))

Let’s say you’ve set up your cleansing rules so subscribers who have not engaged with your emails for 60 days will be cleansed from the list after 90 days. In those last 30 days, you should put them through an automated re-engagement email series to try to regain their interest.

Like this win-back email from Paragon Apparel…

An example of a re-engagement email from Paragon Apparel

Or this one from Zillow…

An example of a re-engagement email from Zillow

And after that re-engagement campaign is sent out, any subscribers who don’t open or click in the next 30 days, it’s safe to say it’s time to remove them from your list.

But engagement isn’t the only factor to consider in list cleansing. You also need to cleanse your lists of any email addresses that may be less than legitimate.

There are two methods to do just that.

Identifying Illegitimate Emails Method 1: Real-Time Email List Cleansing

This method involves checking emails automatically, as people enter them to sign up for your list.

At Maropost, we do our testing on XNND.com. But we suggest BriteVerify, a third-party vendor, as well, which charges per email verified.

If the email is valid, it’s added to your list. If it looks like there might be an error in the address or the address might be fraudulent, the service performing this audit will ask you if you want to continue with adding them to your list.

Identifying Illegitimate Emails Method 2: Long-Form Email List Cleansing

This method involves taking a large, pre-existing list and running it through a validation process. This goes through a number of actions, like looking up all the MX (mail exchanger) records for all of the domains of the emails to see if any are invalid and remove any emails from bad domains.

The validation process will also start an SMTP (simple mail transfer protocol) connection, which makes it look like they’re about to deliver an email to that address, but stop before it’s actually delivered. By doing this, the receiving ISP can tell you whether or not the email address exists at that location.

Again, we use BriteVerify to run our list through this validation process.

Between these two methods of email validation, both as part of sign up and before importing a new list, you’ll filter both non-existent email addresses and eliminate some (but not all) spam traps from your list.

Next is…

(NOTE: Want to make an email marketing campaign that can’t be ignored? Get your FREE email marketing guide from Maropost by DigitalMarketer and learn the strategies to get the most out of your email marketing — from what your emails should and shouldn’t do to the KPIs to pay attention to. Get your copy here.)

Advanced Email Deliverability Tactic 3: ISP Distribution

Now, this isn’t so much a tactic as it is a strategic piece of information.

Knowing the ISP distribution of your subscriber list won’t win you any deliverability points, but you can use this information to better understand your inbox placement and engagement. Maropost advanced email deliverability tactics

Different ISPs operate differently.

It sounds simple, but it’s not always something we consider when sending. What might be considered spammy content on one ISP might not raise any eyebrows on another.

The level of spam detection sophistication varies between ISPs, and while larger ISPs can afford to build their own reputation filtering systems, smaller ones have to outsource their reputation filtering systems.

It’s also important to know your distribution so you can calculate how your performance metrics…

  • Bounce rate
  • Complaint rates
  • Open rates
  • Click rates

…vary, if at all, between domains.

Now, if your metrics are skewed for one ISP, rather than spread evenly, there’s a different course of how to address it…

Let’s say your engagement rates are lower on Yahoo than other ISPs. In that case, you’d want to enact stricter rules for suppression lists and list cleansing specifically for Yahoo.

"It comes down to testing and seeing what works best for your campaigns."For instance, instead of removing inactive subscribers from your list after 90 days, on Yahoo you’d cleanse your list at 60 days (and start your win-back campaign 30 days earlier, too).

But remember, there’s no universal move to make for enacting stricter rules that would work for ALL senders.

Two senders both suppressing after 60 days might have to shorten the period by different times. It comes down to testing and seeing what works best for your campaigns.

But by establishing different rules for different ISPs, you can target problem areas in your deliverability.

The next tactic we’ll focus on can mean the difference between reaching users’ default inbox and landing in their promotions tab.

Advanced Email Deliverability Tactic 4: Treat Email as a Two-Way Communication Medium

With so much of our time as email marketers spent sending out emails, it’s easy to forget that email is meant to be a two-way communication medium. But keeping this in mind is an incredibly powerful way to increase deliverability.

One move to start that two-way communication is with user-level whitelisting. Maropost advanced email deliverability tactics

What is user-level whitelisting?

In its most basic form, it’s when a subscriber adds you to their address book. But it’s also a reputation metric ISPs use to make decisions about filtering emails, so it can mean the difference between reaching the default inbox and reaching the promotions tab.

However, being added to an individual’s address book isn’t the only way to gain the privileges of user-level whitelisting.

If enough people on your list have extended user-level whitelisting to your send address, ISPs will make a default inbox decision for everyone on your list. So, even if you only have a percentage of your list personally whitelist you, you can receive the benefits for your whole list

Just to clarify — whitelisting is not a magic wand. "Keeping this in mind is an incredibly powerful way to increase deliverability."

But the best practices to generate whitelisting include:

  • Low complaints
  • Good content and subject matter
  • Adding the senders from address to the end users contact list
  • Having Sender Policy Framework (SPF) and DomainKeys Identified Mail (DKIM) setup on the Domain Name System (DNS)
  • Speed volume and frequency of the email

You’ll know you’ve been whitelisted when:

  • Deliverability is at 100%
  • Open rates are around 15-30%
  • Click rates are at 5-10%
  • Complaint rates are under 0.1%

Other interactions to incorporate into your email marketing include having subscribers reply to your emails. While it’s not a campaign that’s spoken about a lot, a reply-to campaign can help upgrade your IP reputation.

Which brings us to our final tactic.

Advanced Email Deliverability Tactic 5: Segmentation by IP and Subdomain

Different kinds of mail have different levels of urgency, and more importantly, different levels of deliverability.

Maropost advanced email deliverability tacticsFor instance, some emails, like transactional mails, tend to have a high-level of urgency for subscribers. These are emails like receipts and password resets, and they typically see 8x higher opens and clicks. However, the send volume of these emails isn’t typically that high.

On the other hand, promotional emails are more important to marketers than they are to subscribers. For these emails, a mere 20% open rate is considered to be a success.

With engagement filtering, if you have a little bit of transactional email mixed in with a whole lot of promotional email, then it’s possible for promotional email to cause ISPs to bulk or block your content, hurting the deliverability of your transactional emails.

Why is this?

Because engagement is lower on promotional emails, they can detract from your sender reputation (which depends heavily on engagement levels).

A lower sender reputation means lower deliverability. Lower deliverability means lower deliverability on all your emails.

Unless… you send from different IPs and subdomains. In that case, the sender reputation on one will not impact the sender reputation of the other.

So, how do you send both emails without the deliverability of one hurting the other?

The answer is to keep them separated, by sending transactional emails from one IP and subdomain and promotional emails from another IP and subdomain.

If you use different IPs and subdomains for different email types, you won’t risk the deliverability of one due to the engagement levels of another. So, even if your open rates on promotional emails dip, you’ll know that subscribers will be able to receive those urgent transactional emails without a problem.

After you’ve employed all these methods, how will you know your efforts are paying off?

How to Know the Advanced Email Deliverability Tactics Are Working

Here are a few key performance indicators (KPIs) you can look to see change when employing these advanced email deliverability tactics.

Graphic showing bounce rate, complaint rate, and open rates

Bounce Rate

Your bounce rate will go down.

With better email verification processes in place, fewer invalid addresses will be on your list, meaning you’ll have fewer bounces.

Complaint Rate

Your complaint rate will go down.

By using suppression lists and list cleansing, fewer uninterested subscribers will be receiving your emails. When your most engaged subscribers are the ones you keep, you’ll know that the people getting your emails actually want to be receiving them.

Open Rate

Your open rates will go up.

However, this improvement comes with a caveat.

While you should want to improve your open rates, you don’t want to sacrifice too much of your open volume. And as much as we encourage clients to keep a clean, lean list, there is such a thing as too lean a list.

Too lean of a list will depend on the sender and how they use email marketing. For some, a list of 10k after cleansing is still huge, for others a list of 10k after cleansing is miniscule.

Improving email deliverability is all about balance. Use these five advanced email deliverability tactics to balance your list size and boost your deliverability without sacrificing your audience size.

(NOTE: Want to make an email marketing campaign that can’t be ignored? Get your FREE email marketing guide from Maropost by DigitalMarketer and learn the strategies to get the most out of your email marketing — from what your emails should and shouldn’t do to the KPIs to pay attention to. Get your copy here.)

The post 5 Advanced Email Deliverability Tactics to Help You Reach the Inbox & Increase Engagement appeared first on DigitalMarketer.

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Episode 116: Ryan Deiss Breaks Down the “Before & After” Strategy of Chatbooks’ Viral Video

Join Ryan Deiss, Co-Founder and CEO of DigitalMarketer, as he explains the “Before and After” strategy that will help you reach your target audience and show them that your product will get them to their desired After state. Using a brilliant Before and After example from Chatbooks, Ryan shows you what you can do when you get this right.

IN THIS EPISODE YOU’LL LEARN:

  • How Chatbooks’ ad shifts from the Before state to the After state (« Use this as inspiration so your audience is open to your marketing message).
  • An ingenious way to position a product so customers understand your pricing model.
  • The mistake Chatbooks makes on their homepage that’s hurting their marketing message and how you can avoid doing the same.

LINKS AND RESOURCES MENTIONED IN THIS EPISODE:

Watch Chatbooks’ Viral Video:

Chatbooks Homepage
Chatbooks About Us Page
Episode 116 Transcript (swipe the PDF version here):

Darren Clarke: Hi there, and welcome to Perpetual Traffic. This is Darren here, reporting in from the DM studio where we’ve put together a Ryan Deiss special for you. Now, I’m sure you’ve heard of the Chatbooks video, it’s a very successful video ad that went absolutely viral. In this week’s episode, Ryan’s going to talk you through the whole thing, detailing what makes this ad work so well, and explain how this ad brilliantly portrays the shift from the before-state to the desired after-state. Later in the show, you’ll see an ingenious way to position a product so the customers understand the pricing model. Most importantly, at the end of the show, Ryan highlights how even though this is an amazing video, there are some problems with the Customer Journey that could be vastly improved upon. I hope you enjoy it, and here’s Ryan.
Ryan Deiss: Let’s take a look at a before and after example in action. I want to show you an example of what you can do when you really get this right. This video is probably one of my favorite little viral ad videos of all, it’s a company called Chatbooks. Now Chatbooks produces photo books for, primarily the target market is moms, and it opens with this woman in a tub, and no, it’s not what you think, but if you’re a parent, believe me, when you watch this video, you’re going to say, “Oh my God, that’s speaking to me.” Throughout the entire video, it’s before/after, before/after, before/after.
This is one of the best examples of really clearly articulating the shift from the before-state to the after-state. They talk about the product, but the product is always positioned as the vehicle. Okay, so keep an ear out for those specific things. We’re going to be going through, it’s only about a four-minute video, but I am going to be pausing it occasionally to kind of make notes and point out how they’re effectively leveraging the shift from the before-state to the after-state, and how they’re positioning what is a relatively simple product, a photo book, a book of pictures, and showing how this one product, their product, can actually transform this mom from the before-state to an after-state.
Now, don’t get really distracted by how hilariously awesome and funny this video is. This video is amazing, it’s astoundingly well done, and there’s a lot of different pattern interrupts and things like that that they incorporate, but I want you to focus right now, is that before and after process. The first thing that I want you to notice is how they immediately call out to their market. They immediately announce and point out who their who is. If you recall, that’s where we start as well with the before and after process. If you don’t know who it is that you’re serving, it’s impossible to know who to talk to, and it’s impossible to create really good, compelling marketing. Listen for this and catch it.
Mom: I have three kids and I work from home, so people always ask me how I stay so calm and organized.
Ryan Deiss: Did you catch that? “I have three kids and I work from home.” Literally the first sentence is a call out to the market, “I have three kids and I work from home,” so what are we talking about here, who is our market? Well, our market is obviously stay at home moms. Now, this is one thing that’s interesting to point out because a lot of times when people say, “Well, I don’t want to call out so specific because then I might offend.” Look, as a father of four kids, I can resonate with some of this as well, you know even though it’s a woman and even though it’s a mom and even though I’m not a stay at home dad, it’s still close enough. Don’t think that when you plant a flag that you’re doing it at the exclusion of everyone else, think about it more like concentric circles.
You’re specifically planting a flag so those people, they’re going to see it, they’re going to feel it, I mean I found out about this video from my wife because she’s like, “Oh my God, this is hilarious, this is my life.” For her, it made a lot of sense, I’m sure for moms who aren’t at home who aren’t stay at home moms who go into an office or go into work, this would resonate with them as well, so don’t think that when you call out to a market that you’re eliminating everything else. I’m going to back it up again from the beginning, and I want you to look for the statement of the before, the first kind of picture that we get of the before-state because it’s not what you think, right?
What you see when you look at this is almost a picture of maybe the after-state, you’ve got candles lit, bubbles, life is good, middle of the day, what mom wouldn’t want this? This is the ideal, perfect after-state, and yet they’re going to use this idea of an after, but bring you right back to the before.
Mom: I have three kids and I work from home, so people always ask me how I stay so calm and organized. I’m kidding, do you think I have time for a bath? I’m fully clothed, I fell in the tub while I was timing my son holding his breath. [gasp] 26 seconds! Now go fetch mommy’s hairdryer.
Ryan Deiss: And boom, so right there you are brought into the before, “Do you think I have time to take a bath? That’s ridiculous, I’m fully clothed,” boom, she stands up, she’s fully clothed, soaking wet, and we find out that this is another mom just like us, who’s trying to get through another chaotic day. Instantly we’re brought into this before, right? What do we know right now? We’re less than 20 seconds in, we know who the who is, stay at home moms, probably multiple kids, and we know what the before state is, a little bit frazzled, overwhelmed, definitely living in chaos. Okay, so let’s see if any more of these themes emerge.
Mom: Motherhood goes by too fast. I haven’t slept more than four hours in 12 years.
Ryan Deiss: Did you catch that? “Motherhood goes by too fast,” and then, “I haven’t slept more than four hours in 12 years,” an absurd statement, and yet what are we getting a picture of in that statement? Motherhood goes by too fast, this notion that time is passing you by, that life is happening and you’re missing it. Like literally, if you go back to that picture, life is happening behind her, and she’s missing it, but then we also find out that she’s exhausted. “I haven’t slept more than four hours in 12 years,” so she’s exhausted. Now we get to the emotional state, she’s exhausted, she also maybe feels a little bit guilty that time is passing by and that she’s missing things.
In this kind of battle, this good versus evil, there’s this notion that the clock is evil, that the clock keeps ticking and it doesn’t care, and it’s this evil force that is taking away kind of some of these amazing moments with our kids, and we’re missing them.
Mom: My diet consists of the protein bars and pita chips I inhale in the dark in my pantry, and my children are growing like weeds, but I barely have enough time to keep them alive, let alone print pictures of them.
Ryan Deiss: More chaos, no time. Before that, you know you see mom in the pantry scarfing stuff down, another before-state. She’s so busy, she doesn’t even have time to eat.
Mom: Because here’s the problem, what the fork? Making photo books sucks.
Kid 1: It sucks.
Mom: Don’t say “suck.” They’re designed for moms with lots of free time, imaginary moms.
Ryan Deiss: All right, so what do we have now? We’re learning a bit more about this mom, she’s just like us, she isn’t perfect, she occasionally curses around the kids and feels bad about it, but more importantly, now we get an introduction to the before-state with regard to the product, “Making photo books sucks,” right? It’s no fun. Now we’re 40 seconds in, and we’re only just now beginning to realize that this is actually about a photo book service, 40 seconds in before there’s even a hint of a product. They’re recognizing, appropriately so, that the emphasis needs to be on the who and their before-state.
Remember, it’s not about your product, it’s about your product is simply a vehicle to get people from this before-state to this after-state, so let’s see how traditional photo books fall short with regard to being this vehicle. In fact, they’re working against you in terms of getting you from the before-state to the after-state, but how Chatbooks can actually be that vehicle that we’re all looking for.
Mom: They’re designed with moms with lots of free time, imaginary moms.
Ryan Deiss: I’m going to pause this and we’re going to back to it, and I want you to listen to this line. “Photo books suck, they’re for moms with lots of free time, imaginary moms.” Listen to this and catch it, because we’re kind of poking fun and getting a sense of this notion of there’s this group of imaginary moms over here, and sure, they can use the existing products on the market, but that’s not us. All right, listen for it.
Mom: Making photo books sucks.
Kid 1: It sucks.
Mom: Don’t say “suck.” They’re designed for moms with lots of free time, imaginary moms. What?
Kid 1: My hedgehog.
Mom: Really? Formatting them takes hours.
Ryan Deiss: This is an example of average day. Now again, the average day is being fictionalized, you know it’s really being kind of pushed to the limits, but what’s the average day in the life of a mom trying to do photo books? Well, she’s up late at night, and she’s two Diet Cokes and an apple into her evening, and she’s finally just lost it. It’s not working, the photo books aren’t freaking working, she can’t make it work on her computer so that’s it, she’s done with it, out comes the hammer, right? Now we’re getting average day, we’re getting some narrative here with regard to the average day.
Mom: They easily cost $50, so when Sarah does something adorable, I have to say, “That’s cute, but not $50 cute.”
Ryan Deiss: What are we getting there? A little bit of guilt, right? You know, “That’s cute, but it’s not like, really $50,” now they’re not saying that a mom actually thinks that, but what you’re thinking as a mom is, “My kids are doing really, really, really cute stuff, and it’s being lost. It’s being lost, it’s not being captured. All of these thousands and thousands and thousands of photos of our kids doing really, really cute things, they’re lost, they’re trapped, they’re captured and held by the phone, and nobody will ever see them. I’ve got to decide, yeah all this stuff is cute, but is it so cute that I want to spend a ton of money to get it off, and is it so cute that I can spend a lot of time to do it?” Now we’re kind of poking at the guilt thing a little bit.
Mom: But at least scrapbooking is great if you have no job or no kids, so not great. Jeffrey, put down the crossbow.
Ryan Deiss: All right, so there obviously again, a pattern interrupt, that’s an attention reset that you’ll see a lot of different videos use, you know you get an arrow blast out, and mom catches it. Now we’ve got a mom that we can actually respect, but did you see what she said before that? “Sure, scrapbooking is great if you’ve got lots and lots of time, therefore, not great.” Now we’re poking at other existing products on the market, that apart from not taking you from the before-state to the after-state, in fact are inhibiting it.
Mom: I am so tired.
Ryan Deiss: Did you catch that? “I am so tired,” it is a theme that you see repeated again and again, what’s her emotional state? “I am so tired.”
Mom: Don’t get me wrong, I love Instagram, but my kids never see our photos, they refuse to follow me. Hi Jeffrey, you’re doing great! But now there’s a solution I do have time for because it takes no time. Introducing Chatbooks.
Ryan Deiss: We are a minute, almost a minute and a half into this video and we are just now finding out what the product is. Did you catch that? We are a minute and a half into this video, and we are just now finding out what the product is. Up until this point, it has all been about acknowledging to our who that we know who they are, and speaking to their before-state, and their desired after-state.
Mom: Introducing Chatbooks, the app that automatically creates quality photo books from your phone. Chatbooks is shockingly easy, because you already did the work when you took the photos.
Ryan Deiss: You see that? “Chatbooks is shockingly easy because you already did the work when you took the photos.” Now we’re beginning to introduce, and this is really, really critical, if you’re going to acknowledge that the before-state is your customer is tired and overwhelmed and exhausted, the last thing in the world that you want to do is position your product as something else that’s going to make them more tired and overworked and exhausted, right? You want to in fact position it the opposite, so scrapbooking? Okay, so let’s go back. Hey mom, you know how you’re really tired and overwhelmed and overworked and just don’t have any time?
Well, scrapbooking takes a long time, it’s really exhausting, it’s really overwhelming, and there’s a lot of stuff all over the place, it’s going to add more chaos to your life. They didn’t say that in as many words, but you get the idea. Now we want to position our product as separate from that, right? Our product is the exact opposite of that, so now we’re finding out that Chatbooks is the easiest thing in the world because you’ve already done the work. Apart from it being no work, it’s even better than that, you’re leveraging work that you’ve already done, that precious work and that precious time that you don’t have much of.
Mom: Chatbooks creates and ships a photo book to you every time you add 60 photos to Instagram, Facebook, or your phone favorites. It even includes the original dates and captions. It’s like getting a magazine subscription to your own life.
Ryan Deiss: Did you catch that? “It’s like getting a magazine subscription to your own life.” Now let’s go back to what do you have before. What you have before is pictures that are trapped on your phone, nobody ever sees them, you don’t have the ability to get them into the “real world” where people can see them and they can be viewed and remembered and oohed and ah-ed at, because photo books are really expensive and they take a long time, scrapbooking is even worse, but what do you have now? What you have now is you have a magazine for your own life, such brilliant positioning because it’s not even about a photo book anymore.
We’ve now positioned this as something that is separate, in particular we’ve positioned it as something that is a subscription, which I think is critical because this product’s pricing model is subscription. When we’re positioning our product in a way where it is different and unique in the marketplace, but that brings about a pricing model that we may not understand, so for example with scrapbooking, you’re going out and you’re buying all the pieces and you’re doing all the work yourself, with a photo book, you’re piecing it together, it’s a one-time fee, they said $50. This is a subscription, so now we need to anchor that idea to another subscription-type concept that we would understand.
Well, what are we accustomed to paying a subscription for? Magazines, there you have it. With Chatbooks, it’s a magazine of your life, really, really, really smart.
Kid 2: Why is dad wearing a dress?
Mom: Okay, that’s me. All right, the short hair was a mistake, okay? Unlike a photo book site, the Chatbooks app takes only 30 seconds to set up, and you do it once.
Ryan Deiss: “Unlike a photo book site,” so before, you were having to take forever to set up, now it’s only 30 seconds. Again, everything you’re seeing with the attention resets, they’re more little things to call out to the who. Most women that I know, they had a thing where they got a bad haircut and they’re embarrassed by it, so we’re just pointing out like hey, we get you.
Mom: 30 seconds to record the lives of your kids. Technically, that’s less time than it actually took to make the kids.
Kid 3: How do you make kids?
Mom: What?
Kid 3: What?
Mom: What?
Kid 3: What?
Mom: If you love your kids, or think you someday might, click the install button here, or search Chatbooks in the app store or Google Play to install the Chatbooks app today.
Ryan Deiss: Again, much like cursing in front of your kids, having to have the birds and the bees talk, something that all parents can relate to, really good pattern interrupt, and you see this mom, still real mom, running away from the scene. I’ll back it up so you can hear the first part of this one.
Mom: If you love your kids, or think you someday might, click the install button here, or search Chatbooks in the app store or Google Play to install the Chatbooks app today.
Ryan Deiss: “If you love your kids, or you think that someday you might,” I mean, it was so subtle, and it was presented in a humorous way, but what mom doesn’t love their kids? If you love your kids, or you think that someday you might, you know you should download our app, right? If you love your kids, or you think that someday you might, you should download our app, really simple and really smart call to action.
Mom: What’s awesome is your Chatbooks requires zero formatting, and if you’re saying, “No formatting? That’s the only reason I do photo books,” then this isn’t for you, freak mom. These books are already beautifully designed.
Ryan Deiss: There you go, “This isn’t for you, freak mom,” if you actually love the formatting. All we’re doing from this point forward is restating some of the points that we’ve made, and continue to present these new scenes that all parents of young kids can understand, right? Right now, what we’ve got is potty training, okay? All parents of all kids, you know you’ve got to accidentally cuss in front of your kids, you’ve got kids doing crazy stuff and destroying the house, you’ve got potty training, you’ve got having the birds and the bees talks with the kids, you get the whole thing, all right?
Mom: These books are already beautifully designed. Did you do it, do we get to do the potty dance?
Kid 1: No!
Mom: Plus, these Chatbooks cost just $8, that’s what you’d pay for a day’s worth of diapers, except you fill Chatbooks with the kind of crap you care about. How about-
Kid 1: Go away!
Mom: Then your photo books won’t just be for special occasions, they’ll be for all the quirky daily stuff you and your family care about. Yes, it’s that easy, it really prints and ships your photo books without you having to lift a finger. Thank you. Jeffrey, get off the roof.
Kid 2: Okay.
Ryan Deiss: That obviously again, absurd, ridiculous, but what are we getting, what do we have this picture of? Mom in the before-state, the yard is a wreck, the kid is on the roof, kid jumps off the roof. This is an insane scene, but we’re still in the before-state, we are still in this before-state. Let’s go back, she’s really, really happy now, Chatbooks gives us a glimpse of the after-state. It gives us a glimpse of the after-state, when the Chatbooks person arrives with her thing in the mail, she gets some relief and she smiles a little bit, but then it instantly snaps us back to the before-state.
Mom: Every time a Chat Book is shipped, you’ll be notified with enough time to edit your order. If you’re not satisfied, you can always get our money back, with our Love Chatbooks guarantee. That was really stupid. Chatbooks are made with the same paper and ink as photo books five times their price, so you can spend the savings on your little thumb suckers.
Kid 3: Suck.
Mom: Don’t say “suck.” My family’s life is insane, and I want to hold onto every single freaking stupid stressful beautiful moment, and now I can.
Ryan Deiss: My family’s life is insane, and I want to hold onto all of it. You get this acknowledgement that yes, there’s chaos, and yet at the same time, I know it’s fleeting. “My family’s life is insane, but I want to hold onto it,” and you can see as she’s saying it, I’ll rewind it so you can hear it again, she’s almost exasperated, right? This notion of, you can see this sense of guilt almost welling up, I mean the acting in it is pretty amazing, I wouldn’t be surprised if this woman were a mom who’s going through all of this stuff, but listen in again, and listen again for the emotional state. Remember, we’re still in before and after, acknowledgement that it’s crazy, but I want to hold onto every moment. Listen to the tone of voice, this is being acted, but all of this, it should be making its way into not just videos, but sales copy and things like that as well. All right, listen for it again.
Mom: My family’s life is insane, and I want to hold onto every single freaking stupid stressful beautiful moment, and now I can. You can install Chatbooks directly from this video, click the install button here, or tap the screen once and click the “visit advertiser” link here. Chatbooks.
Ryan Deiss: It’s insane, I want to hold onto it, and now I can, boom, after. Before, life’s passing you buy, stuff’s going, yup, it’s crazy, but you wish you could capture it all but you can’t, oh wait, but thanks to Chatbooks, you can. We are now beginning the transition to the after-state, we are beginning the transition to the after-state. If you’ve ever watched The Wizard of Oz, and you remember kind of one of the opening scenes when Dorothy is in the house and everything is black and white, and then she lands in Oz, and when the door swings open, Dorothy walks out, Oz becomes, you know the movie literally shifts from black and white to color, and we are shifting into this after-state. Okay, we’re shifting into an after-state, that’s what’s happening right now in the video. First, they’re going to hearken back to the before, but now because we have Chatbooks, we’re beginning to get a taste of the after.
Mom: You can install Chatbooks directly from this video, click the install button here, or tap the screen once and click the “visit advertiser” link here. Chatbooks, live your life and let Chatbooks print it. Oh, hi there, this is an actual bubble bath, since Chatbooks gave me the time for them. In fact, I’m ordering one now, and I’m done. I did not think that through.
Ryan Deiss: All right, so what we have there is a mom who’s still a real mom, but she has now fully achieved the desired after-state. What is the desired after-state? The desired after-state is, “I’ve captured all the precious moments, but I haven’t let life get the better of me. In fact, look, here I am taking a bubble bath in the middle of the day,” all right? Really, really, really smart, really well-done video, amazingly well-done video.
Now what I want to do is I want to transition over to the homepage for Chatbooks, and I have one really, really, really, really, really big problem with this website. As amazing as the video is, I’m not seeing any, any of this before and after transformational stuff listed on their website, right? It’s product first, I mean yeah you’ve got a cute kid and that’s great, and the cute kid is, you know you can see his eyes are looking down at the book, which from a conversion perspective that’s fine, you know we see beyond easy photo books and some pricing, make your own book.
Like all this is okay, but where’s the mom? Where’s the mom? If you’re going to leverage before and after effectively on a website, then I’ve got to see the mom, ideally in that after-state. I would much rather see the mom in the tub saying, “I just made a photo book for my kids from the tub.” Right now, I’ve got mom in after-state, and I still get what the product is. I hate that I’m missing that. Now, stop wasting hours making photo books, you know that’s okay, but even on the page itself, “Watch the viral video, 36 million views and counting,” even in the introduction of the video, which is outstanding, it’s, “Us, us, us, watch our video, 36 million other people have, aren’t we smart, aren’t we great, aren’t we awesome?”
Kind of, I mean it’s a great product, and good job hiring the Harmon brothers to make your video. You should have also hired them or leveraged some of the stuff that they created for your website in your copy because the people that made this video nailed before and after. The people that wrote the website copy, not so much. Stop wasting hours making photo books, got it, I understand it, but where’s all this, where’s the before and after-state? “Don’t have time to make photo books? We hear you,” okay that’s pretty good, that’s pretty good, but then it’s all just features. There’s no emotion, there’s no acknowledgement of the before state or positioning the product as the vehicle to take them to that transformative state, and I really do think it’s as simple as bringing in some of the copy elements that were already in that video.
At a bare minimum, like I get if you want to say, “Well really, you know Chatbooks are for everyone, they’re not just for moms,” that’s fine, but where’s mom, where is she? I don’t get it, simple, beautiful, automatic, that’s great, I’m sure some hipster copywriter spent a lot of time coming up with those words, but where’s the freaking before and after? It’s gone. Everyone loves Chatbooks, yay, we’re so great, more features, right? More features, pricing, it’s just so, it’s pretty, but it’s sterile and it’s completely devoid of emotion and story. Now let’s go to the about us and see what’s going on here.
What do you have here? These are the founders, this is founder mom and this is founder dad, and these are their seven children, seven children. Now, on here you find out the story, this woman was that mom, so why not have this story on the homepage? Why not bring this over onto, clearly it’s not a privacy thing because it’s on the about us page, but even this, “Hold onto what matters.” This is a registered trademark, that should be the headline. That’d be a much better headline than what they currently have on the homepage. “Hold onto what matters,” compared to, “Beyond easy photo books,” which one speaks to the true desired after?
“Beyond easy photo books,” so before, you’ve got difficult and expensive photo books, now you’ve got easy and cheap photo books, that’s have, that is have. Have is okay, but as you move down that continuum, at each step you gain more power. Emotion is more powerful than have, average day is more important than emotion, status is more important than average day, and really if you can bring in a good versus evil element, then you’ve got that. What they have down here, “Hold onto what matters,” is a good versus evil argument. Right now, time is your enemy, you’re losing all of these things. With our product, you can truly hold onto what matters, you can beat the clock.
Amazing video, amazing video, clear understanding of before and after from the people who produced the video, a clear lack of understanding of before and after from the people who developed and wrote the copy for the website, so that’s a little bit disappointing.
All right, before Chatbooks, what does the stay at home mom have? Well, what she has is thousands of pics that are stuck on her phone that no one can see, or what she has is maybe an expensive photo book that was a pain in the butt to set up. Okay, how does that make her feel? Well, it makes her feel overwhelmed, frustrated, and tired. You saw that throughout the video, right? Clearly overwhelmed, frustration galore, and she says specifically multiple times, “I’m so tired.” What’s an average day like? Chaos. If there is one word I would use to describe that video, it would be “chaotic”, but chaos mixed with cuteness, you know and if you talk to the stay at home moms who are there living in the chaos, in their kids’ chaos and in their kids’ messes every day, they’ll tell you that that’s exactly what it is, it’s chaotic, but it’s very rewarding.
One really cute moment can turn a bad day into a great day, so that’s the average day. Status, you know it’s the frazzled mom that everyone pities, and no mom wants to be that mom that other moms are pitying because, “Oh my gosh, look at her, you know she clearly can’t keep it together, hasn’t even brushed her hair this morning, those socks don’t even match, you know blah blah blah,” no mom wants to be the mom that all the other moms pity or think that she just doesn’t have it together. All the moms want to be the moms that clearly have it together.
Now, this notion of good versus evil, we touched on this a bit, life is moving too fast, time is the enemy, the clock is the enemy. Each year, your kids grow a little bit more, you know they get a little bit older and those little moments that they had the year before, heck, even the day before, aren’t ever going to happen again, and that’s wrong and it’s evil and the clock is trying to steal all that from you. I mean, there’s not a great method today to really capture that and to hold onto it because all the things today that are used to capture and hold onto it take even more time, and so they actually exacerbate the problem, they don’t solve it, so that’s the before.
Now let’s look at after. After, what does mom have? Well now, mom doesn’t have 1,000 pics stuck on her phone. What mom actually has is a magazine subscription of her family’s life, so much more valuable from a have perspective. How does she feel? She feels accomplished, not overwhelmed, not frustrated, but accomplished, and even at peace, there’s this sense of peace. Remember before, you know, “Are you kidding me? I don’t have time to take a bath,” and yet after, there’s accomplishment mixed with peace, accomplishment mixed with peace.
Average day, still chaotic, but the cute moments are remembered. At no point did they pretend like, even when you saw her at the end as Chatbooks gets delivered, the lawn is still, there’s toys all over the place and the kid’s jumping off the roof, there’s still chaos, but she’s content because these moments are getting remembered. Now she’s scrapbooking supermom, that scrapbooking mom that all the other moms love to hate because somehow, even though they have like 15 kids, the kids all look great with their teeth brushed and their hair combed, you know and they’ve got these amazing scrapbooks to document every second of every kid’s life.
Well now, because of Chatbooks, you can be that mom. In terms of good versus evil, you’re actually able to slow life down a little bit. Chatbooks actually gives moms, parents, families, people more time, more time, they’re actually slowing down the pace of time. In terms of products and services, what are we really talking about? We’re talking about a done for you photo album, a done for you photo album, an incredibly simple, and I would argue, unremarkable product left to its own device. Yeah okay, awesome, you take the pictures on your phone, once 60 of them are taken, then it automatically creates a book, that’s awesome, yippee skippy, but there’s nothing overly unique or remarkable or miraculous about the product itself.
What’s unique and remarkable and miraculous about the product is that it shifts moms from this before-state that we described on the left, to the after-state that we described on the right. It is a vehicle that figuratively is like a time machine for moms, and for that, is it worth $8 a month? I think so. Okay, so I know this was a long example, but I really want you to think, and it doesn’t have to be done in video. We talked about how this is an example of a company that did it great on video, but poorly on a website. Those same elements could have been brought over to the website, and it would have sold really well from the site, but I want you to think about this when you’re getting into your messaging and crafting.
Are you speaking to the transition, and are you positioning your product not as this thing that’s really smart and amazing and inexpensive and, “Whoa, we got 36 million views and counting because we’re awesome and so hip and so with it,” screw all that, okay? Are you positioning your product as a vehicle that will take your market from their undesirable before-state to a far more desirable after-state? If you’re doing that, then my guess is you’re going to sell a lot more than your competitors, and if you fill out this before and after grid for your business, then you’re going to actually be able to do that.
Darren Clarke: All right, well there you have it. If you want to check out the resources and Show Notes from this episode, go to digitalmarketer.com/podcast. This is Episode 116. The gang will be back as usual next week, so we’ll see you then. Have a great week.

Thanks so much for joining us this week. Want to subscribe to Perpetual Traffic? Have some feedback you’d like to share? Connect with us on iTunes!

iTunes not your thing? Find us on Stitcher or at DigitalMarketer.com/podcast.

The post Episode 116: Ryan Deiss Breaks Down the “Before & After” Strategy of Chatbooks’ Viral Video appeared first on DigitalMarketer.

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The Best of Content & Commerce Summit 2017: 105 Insights, Actionable Ecommerce Strategies, & Digital Media Content

It’s going on right now. The question to ask yourself is: Are you ready for it?

It’s a changing of the guard and it will play a major role in digital advertising…

This was the main focus of Ryan Deiss‘ opening keynote of Content & Commerce Summit 2017.

Read on to learn…

  • How to prepare for this changing of the guard and other words of wisdom from Ryan’s opening keynote
  • What’s working now in digital commerce and publishing
  • The highlights, insights, and strategies from three days of Content & Commerce Summit 2017

Click here to go to:

You’re about to get the best of Content & Commerce Summit (besides being there, of course 😉 )!

Content & Commerce Summit Day 1:

Putting It All Together (Behind the Scenes of Content & Commerce Summit 2017)

It takes a lot of time.

We no sooner wrapped up last year’s Content & Commerce Summit then we started planning for 2017!

In the weeks leading up to the Summit, we packed up an 18-wheeler with everything we’d need, from couches to AV equipment.

Loading up the truck to send all the Content & Commerce Summit equipment to L.A.

And when it arrived in L.A. from Austin, Texas, we got to work putting tables together and prepping event bags for attendees and speakers…

Setting up tables for Content & Commerce Summit 2017

Prepping Content & Commerce Summit event bags

…getting sponsor booths set up…

Setting up sponsor booths at Content & Commerce Summit 2017

Setting up sponsor booths at Content & Commerce Summit 2017

…ensuring everything was in its proper place and that the ballrooms were ready for our attendees and speakers…

Riding the escalators and getting the DigtialMarketer gears to their homes as we set up Content & Commerce Summit 2017

Setting up the ballrooms at Content & Commerce Summit 2017

…so it ultimately looks like this on opening day…

The stage in the DigitalMarketer ballroom at Content & Commerce Summit 2017

During setup, with the Emmy Awards going on next door, we kept our eyes peeled for our favorite TV stars (we’re big Game of Thrones fans at the office). Here’s our Justin Rondeau posing with the Emmy statue…

Justin Rondeau posing with the Emmy Statue at Content & Commerce Summit 2017

With the day before the Summit wrapping up, we threw a Welcome Reception for Content & Commerce Summit attendees. The mixer, presented by Quality Score, was complete with a taco bar and Connect Four!

Connect 4 at the Welcome Reception for Content & Commerce Summit 2017

Taco bar at the Content & Commerce 2017 Welcome Reception

I’m So Excited!

Attendees just can’t hide it. There’s an undeniable energy in the air, and that anticipation and excitement is contagious.

Tweet from C&C attendee

Instagram update from C&C attendee

C&C app update from C&C attendee

You can see it as people run into old friends and connect with new ones. As they go through registration and are handed their name badge and Content & Commerce Summit event bag. People are pumped!

Before the event officially kicked off, we checked in with Content & Commerce Summit attendees. Here’s what they were looking forward to most…

Exclusive Interview with Ryan Deiss

Before DigtialMarketer’s Co-Founder and CEO, Ryan Deiss, delivered his opening keynote presentation, Christine Haas, DigitalMarketer’s Director of Communications, exclusively interviewed him backstage.

Watch the video below to get a look behind the curtain and to learn Ryan’s thoughts before he kicks off Content & Commerce Summit and unpacks what’s working now in digital commerce and publishing:

The Challenge on the Horizon

When you expect changes in your business, you’re able to see challenges on the horizon.

And as the opening Content & Commerce Summit video reminded the audience, the challenge on the horizon is here. With Amazon buying Whole Foods and other big box stores, like Sears, on shaky ground, the digital landscape is changing… fast!

That’s why you’re here. So you can learn what changes and challenges are coming.

Watch the full opening video here:

Are You Ready for the Changing of the Guard?

This changing of the guard is creating a rare window of opportunity that we’re unlikely to see again in our lifetime.

That’s what Ryan told attendees during his opening keynote.

And this change is being driven by Amazon.

While this may be terrifying, it’s going to be okay, Ryan assured the audience. You have a reason to exist.

What you learn during Ryan’s keynote and Content & Commerce Summit as a whole will help you deal with this change.

It’s important to remember that Amazon is not the enemy.

"Amazon is not the enemy." Ryan Deiss during his opening keynote at Content & Commerce Summit 2017.

But they are the standard. Amazon is setting the bar that everyone must meet.

How can you compete and win in the “Age of Amazon”?

Love your customer. While that may sound like a load of fluff, stay with me here.

Make no mistake, Amazon is focusing on their customer. It’s part of their business model…

"The most important single thing is to focus obsessively on the customer. Our goal is to be earth's most customer-centric company." ~Jeff Bezos, CEO & President of Amazon

And they’re doing that by making it easy for the customer. Amazon wants to make it as easy as possible for the customer to buy and then return to buy again.

But Ryan argued that making it “easy” for the customer isn’t customer-centric.

So, how do you love your customer more than Amazon?

Talk to your customer directly using content and commerce. Content and commerce is the tactic you will use to show your customers that you care about them more than Amazon does.

We’ve identified that there are three stages to this content and commerce journey.

Three stages of content and commerce: 1. Content-Driven Commerce 2. Curated Commerce 3. Community-Driven Commerce

Each stage builds upon the next. Each stage deepens the relationship with your customer.

What are some other key takeaways from Ryan’s keynote? Well…

  • “In the future, the words ‘brand’ and ‘community’ will be interchangeable. And no one will be able to claim they have a brand unless they have a community to go with it.”

“In the future, the words 'brand' and 'community' will be interchangeable. And no one will be able to claim they have a brand unless they have a community to go with it.” ~Ryan Deiss

  • “If you can tell a person a story, you can capture their attention. If you can help them tell a new story about themselves, you’ll capture their hearts.”

"If you can tell a person a story, you can capture their attention. If you can help them tell a new story about themselves, you'll capture their hearts." ~Ryan Deiss

  • Tell your customers where you stand, even if you think they may not like you for it. Like clothing store Chubbies does here…

What clothing store Chubbies believes

There were so many great takeaways from Ryan’s keynote. We just had to share it with you! You can watch Ryan’s entire keynote here:

What else happened on Day 1 of #CCS2017? Let’s see…

(NOTE: Love Content & Commerce Summit? Then you should join us for our next event: Traffic & Conversion Summit! Reserve your seat today for Traffic & Conversion Summit 2018 and SAVE 50% with Early Bird Pricing. But hurry! The Early Bird promotion is for a limited time. Learn more here.)
Reserve your seat today for Traffic & Conversion Summit 2018 and save 50% with Early Bird Pricing!

Welcome to the Mobile Movement

There’s no denying the importance of email. But, when it comes to reaching your customers, email is also super crowded and competitive.

It doesn’t matter how good your subject line is when your message isn’t even being seen, Oli Billson told the audience. The Founder and CEO of Oliver Billson Marketing went on to say…

Most people figure out how they will generate new leads instead of worrying about how they will sell. The result? Half built bridges. ~Oliver Billson Content & Commerce 2017 Presentation Slide

So, how do we open up channels of communication we’re going to need in a sales process to complete these bridges?

In his presentation, Proven “Dynamic Response” Mobile Marketing Campaigns to Accelerate Sales, Generate More Leads, and Increase Engagement, Oli told the audience to turn to the device in their pockets and purses.

The new opportunity: Connect with the device in your prospects' pockets. ~Oliver Billson Content & Commerce 2017 Presentation Slide

Mobile devices offer marketers a huge opportunity to reach their customers and generate sales because people find text messages less intimidating.

To fully leverage the power of the mobile marketing to accelerate your sales process, there are three “recipes” you need to employ. They are…

Goal 1: Get their phone number. Goal 2: Get into their phone. Goal 3: Start the conversation. ~Oliver Billson Content & Commerce 2017 Presentation Slide

As Oli went on to say…

People don't want to wait for their information. Skip the email — just text them. ~Oli Billson

Interview with Hint Water’s Founder & CEO, Kara Goldin

A very senior exec at one of the largest soda companies in the world told her that her idea wouldn’t work. She was told that they would be roadkill within months.

But that didn’t stop Kara Goldin, Founder and CEO of Hint Water®, who went on to launch the award-winning brand in 2005.

Flavored only with natural fruit, Hint® produces a leading flavored water with no sweeteners and nothing artificial. And the company is thriving.

Before taking the Content & Commerce Summit stage, Kara tweeted…

Kara tweets her excitement before her keynote at Content & Commerce Summit 2017

The feeling is mutual! 🙂

Kara sat down with Roland Frasier to give the insights and strategies that helped her launch Hint®.

Roland Frasier (left) and Kara Goldin (right) sit down at Content & Commerce Summit 2017 to talk about the founding of Hint.

Sweetie, Americans love sweets. Your product will never be anything,” that was one take on Hint® when Kara started pitching it. But Kara didn’t hear any of the criticism.

She told the audience:

Tweet on Kara Goldin's presentation at Content & Commerce Summit 2017: "Look at naysayers as gifts of information."

Because it boils down to finding if you’re doing something and seeing if you’re getting traction with your consumers and solving their problems.

Kara went on to say to figure out your fears and challenge them…

"Don't be afraid to build a plane while you're flying it." ~Kara Goldin

When building her flavored water brand and wellness company, she said the three most important relationships were with…

  • The Customer: It’s important to remember you’re not only selling stuff but also solving the problem for your consumers. Kara said it’s important to have a dialogue — really hear what customers are saying about how your brand impacts their lives. The dialogue with the customer and ability to actually hear from them gets deeper as you build the relationship.
  • Her team: Those at Hint® don’t just agree with the brand’s beliefs — they live them. At Hint®, they don’t have people running around drinking Red Bull. Their team is filled with people who really want to be healthier and not just from a weight or health perspective.
  • Her husband: He helped co-found Hint® by trusting Kara’s vision and process and has been a cheerleader since her lightbulb moment sparked.

3 Steps to Consistent Facebook Ad ROI

They know Facebook ads.

The Dominate Web Media duo, Keith Krance and Ralph Burns, took to the stage to share how to use Facebook video ads to pre-frame viewers for the sale, no matter your industry.

And it only takes a few steps.

In The 3-Step Formula to 10X Your Facebook Ad Spend with Consistent ROI, Keith and Ralph said Step 1 is to stop the scroll.

Stop the person from scrolling through their Facebook feed and pay attention to your message. To do this, at the very beginning of your Facebook video ad, do one or a combination of the following:

  • Use motion
  • Literally say, “Stop,” in your opening line
  • Include text overlay
  • Have creative content that’s unique

Step 2 is called EDIE (educate, demonstrate, inform, entertain). During your video, make sure you…

  • Educate your audience
  • Demonstrate something to your audience
  • Inform your audience
  • Entertain your audience

(RELATED: Perpetual Traffic podcast Episode 67: The Proven 3-Step Formula to Transform Your Business with Video Ads [Part 1])

Include at least one EDIE tactic, or more if that makes sense, in each of your Facebook videos ads. This is a simple way to get your product message across in your video without sounding all “weird and salesy.”

“When you make content like this,” Dominate Web Media’s Founder, Keith, said about EDIE, “you’re getting to the heart of your customer. They think they are making a logical decision, but they are really justifying an emotional one.”

Keith Krance giving his presentation at Content & Commerce Summit 2017

Step 3 is the call-to-action (CTA). Many marketers may wait till the end of their video to make their CTA. But if you want to compel people to make a purchase, consider including your CTA earlier.

Without being pitchy, include your CTA where it makes sense earlier in your video AND within the copy of your Facebook ad.

Ralph, Dominate Web Media’s Agency CEO, told the audience, “Even if they’ve only watched five minutes of a ten-minute video, give them an opportunity to buy. Make sure to include the CTA link in your post copy.”

Ralph Burns giving his presentation at Content & Commerce Summit 2017

How to Get Access to Millions of Ecommerce Testing at No Charge

DigitalMarketer’s Director of Marketing, Justin Rondeau reminded his audience that successful websites and online businesses need to do one thing and one thing only: Meet the visitor’s expectations.

What’s the easiest way to meet a visitor’s expectations? Take the most used trends by the world’s largest online retailers and apply them to your business!

In his 11 Conversion Lessons the World’s Largest Online Retailers Spent Millions to Learn, Justin shared his biggest takeaways from analyzing online retail giants.

For instance, users hate being forced to create an account at checkout. Making someone create an account to place an order is a surefire way to generate cart abandonment.

Multi-million dollar ecommerce stores, in most cases, give shoppers the ability to check out as a guest or “Express Checkout.”

Here’s how REI.com is handling the account creation process:

REI letting customers create an account or checkout as a guest

Crate & Barrel knows it too…

Crate & Barrel letting new customers checkout as a guest and returning customers use Express Checkout

In the words of Justin Rondeau, Always include guest checkout. Seriously.”

Then, if you offer free shipping (or provide it after a purchase reaches a certain value), advertise that fact early and often — from your home page to the checkout page. Free shipping is still king for ecommerce stores.

And when it comes to payment options, which there are a ton of, providing every payment option out there is actually counter-productive.

If you sell internationally, you should be using geo-targeting to make sure you are showing payment options that are best for that region. To visitors who would be MOST LIKELY to use it.

For example, Dutch visitors use the payment option IDEAL more than U.S. visitors. While a U.S. visitor could use IDEAL, it is more likely that they won’t.

So, before you list every payment option under the sun, look at the regions you do business in most. Then evaluate whether you are meeting their preferred needs with your current options.

(RELATED: 21 Lessons the World’s Largest Online Retailers Spent Millions to Learn [2nd Edition])

Are You Alienating Your Audience?

Many current consumer engagement strategies are intrusive — from ads on autoplay to ones that are impossible to close — many marketers are guilty of pushing their audience to the brink.

During his presentation, Craig Kapilow quoted a Kate Harrison article from Forbes:

“Today’s consumers don’t want brands aggressively pushing their way into social media feeds, whether on Facebook, through promoted Pins or Tweets, or paid-for Snapchat stories.”

The Senior Director of Integrated Marketing at Rue La La said it’s time to adapt. The ad industry and modern consumer engagement tactics need to evolve.

After all, on many platforms, there’s not much standing between the consumer and an ad-free experience…

From Hulu to YouTube, consumers can pay a small fee to be ad-free. ~Craig Kapilow Content & Commerce 2017 Presentation Slide

So, what do you do?

You have to engage with your consumers differently… or you risk alienating them.

In Content, Commerce, & Customer Acquisition: A New Path for Accelerating Subscription-Based Business, Craig offered these tips to improve your consumer engagement:

  • Leverage user-generated content (« especially on your website)
  • Video, video, and… more video
  • Be timely with your content
  • Have fun with your brand (« humor is a blessed thing)
  • Be relevant and personalize your content

How to Build Rapport with Your Audience

No matter your business or industry, we all have one thing in common (well, probably more than one, but definitely this one!)…

  1. We all want to connect with people and brands who are actually interested in our product/service

To connect with these people and brands, we need to build rapport. But, like most things in life, building rapport takes time. And where do you even start?

Start by following these nine steps from Joe Polish, Founder and President of Genius Network®.

Joe Polish during his Content & Commerce Summit 2017 presentation

During The 9-Step Magic Rapport Formula that Connects Your Brand with the People and Companies that Matter, Joe told the audience to follow these nine steps to connect your brand with your market:

  1. When you meet people, focus on how you can help them
  2. Be willing to invest time, money, and energy on relationships
  3. Be the person people will always answer the phone for
  4. Be grateful and valuable
  5. Treat people like you want to be treated
  6. Be fun and memorable… not boring and uptight
  7. Appreciate people… everyone wants to feel significant
  8. Give value on the spot
  9. Keep as close to “in person” as you can when dealing with people

1 = 3

Richard Lindner brought it during his presentation!

In Turning 1 Customer into 3: Strategies to Turn Happy Customers into Brand Evangelists and Promoters, the Co-Founder and President of DigitalMarketer spoke about how to leverage…

  • Email
  • Facebook Messenger
  • Social media
  • Your existing customer base

…to multiply your business.

Richard Lindner during his presentation at Content & Commerce Summit 2017

What were some of his biggest takeaways?

For starters, keep in mind that you will instantly lose ten customers if you ask a disgruntled one to review you. However, if you ask one happy customer to review you, you’ll gain three!

No matter what you sell, there are a couple of points where any customer is most excited about what they just purchased or what’s about to happen. So, make that as part of your strategy.

Encourage and enable a trigger with a series of positive rewards, slowly pushing them down the path of a customer to a promoter.

Finding Your Extra Gear

The final presentation of the night came from serial entrepreneur and endurance athlete Jesse Itzler.

Jesse Itzler during his keynote at Content & Commerce Summit 2017

He said we all have an extra gear, yet so many of us don’t know it. During his keynote, he spoke about finding his extra gear and how to tap into a reserve tank we all have, but so few of us know how to access.

He quickly had the audience enraptured.

The attentive audience during Jesse Itzler's keynote at Content & Commerce Summit 2017

Jesse talked about finding purpose…

  • “When you can find a thing you love that brings good to the world, that’s how you know what to do.” 

He spoke about experience…

  • “Experience is over-rated. It takes too long.”
  • “For me, not having experience guaranteed that everything I did would have a different result because I was forced to do it differently!”

He told us to get over ourselves…

  • “The limitations we put on ourselves are self-imposed.”
  • “Once you get over the fear of being embarrassed, it’s the most liberating thing.” 

Jesse Itzler during his keynote at Content & Commerce Summit 2017

He revealed how to push past our wall…

  • “When your brain says you’re done, you still have 40% left. The first time we experience pain, our body says, ‘stop.’ When we ignore the discomfort and tap into our reserve bank, that’s where the gold is.”

Finally, he closed by saying, “You didn’t come this far to only come this far.”

C&C Reception Presented by Maropost

Day 1 culminated in a networking party on the pool deck of the JW Marriot L.A. LIVE.

There was a live band…

Live band at the Maropost Reception at Content & Commerce Summit 2017

….a caricature artist…

Bryan Eisenberg's caricature from the Maropost Reception at Content & Commerce Summit 2017

…tasty treats — from lobster mac n cheese to mini s’mores — and drink specials…

Drink specials at Maropost Reception at Content & Commerce Summit 2017

…and people had a blast with the photo booth…

Guests posing at the photo booth at the Maropost Reception at Content & Commerce Summit 2017

Guests posing at the photo booth at the Maropost Reception at Content & Commerce Summit 2017

Of course, none of this would be possible without DeAnna Rogers and her amazing events team planning every detail of Content & Commerce Summit!

DeAnna Rogers posing with the Maropost ice sculpture at the Maropost Reception at Content & Commerce Summit 2017

(NOTE: Love Content & Commerce Summit? Then you should join us for our next event: Traffic & Conversion Summit! Reserve your seat today for Traffic & Conversion Summit 2018 and SAVE 50% with Early Bird Pricing. But hurry! The Early Bird promotion is for a limited time. Learn more here.)
Reserve your seat today for Traffic & Conversion Summit 2018 and save 50% with Early Bird Pricing!

Content & Commerce Summit Day 2:

Everyone’s Here for the Same Reason

Day 2 kicked off with an opening video that reminded the audience that we’re all here for the same reason — to grow our business.

But no matter how great our product or service is, without traffic, we won’t get a conversion. Which is why Day 2 of the Summit focused on traffic and conversion strategies that will get us more sales and grow our business.

Watch the two-minute opener here:

With four sessions devoted to Amazon, the ecommerce powerhouse was a main theme of the day. Roland Frasier kicked off the Amazon focus with Day 2’s opening keynote…

10X Your Sales by Year’s End

Roland Frasier, Principal Partner at DigitalMarketer, explained how to build winning marketing campaigns that generate leads and sales. And then how to scale those campaigns with paid traffic.

He used Amazon as an example throughout his presentation of The Bezos Blitz: How to Use Amazon, Mixed Reality, Auto-bots, & 7 Other Tools, Tactics, & Strategies to 10X Your Sales by the End of This Year.

Roland Frasier using Amazon as an example during his 2017 keynote at Content & Commerce Summit

Roland Frasier using Amazon as an example during his 2017 keynote at Content & Commerce Summit

And people couldn’t get enough of it.

Tweet praising Roland's presentation during Content & Commerce Summit 2017

One of his biggest takeaways?

"The product people want to buy from you the most is something they have already bought from you before." ~Roland Frasier

If they bought from you once, chances are, they’ll buy from you again! So, think about how you can sell your product again to people who have already bought from you.

He also went on to say to use FOMO (fear of missing out) or a similar tool to give visitors social proof. Do this and watch your sales soar!

The Principles and Practices of the World’s Most Dominant Companies

In the next keynote, legendary marketer, Bryan Eisenberg, revealed and demystified the principles and practices of world’s most dominant companies.

One of the dominant companies the Co-Founder of Buyer Legends focused on? You guessed it. Amazon.

Bryan Eisenberg during his keynote at Content & Commerce Summit 2017

In The 4 Pillars of Amazon’s Success, Bryan talked about making Amazon’s four pillars work for you.

The four pillars of Amazon include:

  1. Customer Centricity
  2. Culture of Innovation
  3. Corporate Agility
  4. Continuous Optimization

One of the ways to make Amazon’s pillars work for you is to look at your actions. Afterall, your actions express your priorities.

Quoting Simon Sinek, Bryan said: “People don’t buy what you do; they buy why you do it. And what you do simply proves what you believe.”

"People don't buy what you do; they buy why you do it. And what you do simply proves what you believe." ~Simon Sinek

Looking at your company’s actions will create customer loyalty because customers will stay loyal to a brand that they believe shares their values.

(RELATED: How to Run a Business Like Jeff Bezos)

Conversion Funnels That Work

Let’s talk funnels in a panel with Perry Belcher and Amanda Dobson of Native Commerce, Mitchell Savage of Battle Bridge Labs, and Walter Burch of Envoy Media.

The group would share three aha moments that led to a $3 million monthly lift:

  • The first aha is that multi-step forms are powerful and can help you ask the right question.
  • Next is the never-ending story (the form that never ends). It qualifies and educates your customers.
  • The final aha is that it’s a conversation! Your funnel is a conversation. So tweak your order form to make it more like a conversation between you and your customer.

Here are some other words of wisdom on funnels from the panel:

  • There is no rulebook. To understand why your funnels are working, you have to learn the rules over and over again.
  • Send unconverted leads to an authority, like Amazon, to help generate a conversion.
  • Perspective is everything. If you’re looking for just another tactic, then what you’re learning today won’t have anything to do with your success until years from now.
  • If you have something that works, high five! Get excited. But come back down and ask why it works.

(RELATED: How To Architect The Perfect Conversion Funnel For Your Business)

Using Facebook Groups to Increase Conversions, Reduce Churn, & Change People’s Lives

For businesses, how important is creating a community? In one word:

Essential.

At DigitalMarketer, through our research and our own personal experience, we’ve found that a successful community can improve the bottom line by…

  • Increasing conversions
  • Increasing ascension
  • Reducing customer churn

Not only that, a community has the chance to positively change people’s lives…
A community member of DigitalMarketer Engage posting about the value he gets from being a member of the community

But how do you get your community to this level? That was the focus of Suzi Nelson‘s How to Drive Leads, Sales, and Loyalty Using Facebook Groups presentation.

The Community Manager of DigitalMarketer offered several tips on building a successful community that impacts the bottom line and helps your customer.

For starters, know where your community fits within the Customer Value Journey.

This is the Customer Value Journey…

DigitalMarketer's Customer Value Journey

…and, more than likely, your community fits within the…

  • Awareness and Engagement stages
  • Excite and Ascend
  • Advocate and Promote stages

Next, it’s important to remember that your community isn’t a place to pitch because a community isn’t about you. It’s about your members and their relationship with each other. Your brand helps to facilitate this.

If you keep that in mind and do this right, you’ll build trust and loyalty with your community members. Not only do community members want to build trust with each other, they also want to build trust with your brand.

That’s where the magic happens because…

"Anything your community members have to say about your business is way more powerful than anything you have to say about it." ~Suzi Nelson

(RELATED: 6 Essential Strategies to Build a Thriving Customer Community)

It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year

The holiday season is upon us. Are you ready?

It’s time to do more than just stand out during the oversaturated holiday season a panel, with Richard Lindner of DigitalMarketer, Ezra Firestone of Smart Marketer, Tracey Wallace of BigCommerce, and moderated by Molly Pittman of DigitalMarketer, told the audience.

The panel poses for a quick picture before they take the stage. Left to right: Molly Pittman, Tracey Wallace, Ezra Firestone, and Richard Lindner.

The panel poses for a quick picture before they take the stage. Left to right: Molly Pittman, Tracey Wallace, Ezra Firestone, and Richard Lindner.

So, they shared fool-proof campaigns to crush Q4 and start 2018 on a high before your competition has even picked out their first pumpkin.

For a holiday campaign to succeed, Tracey advised that campaign content produced in October needs to be…

  1. Inspirational
  2. Seasonal
  3. Enlightening

Ezra would share a holiday campaign he calls “The Two-Step Dandy,” which is all about theming it up! Theme your ads, sales pages, and emails with the same branding.

The panel on stage at Content & Commerce Summit 2017. Left to right: Molly Pittman, Tracey Wallace, Ezra Firestone, and Richard Lindner.

The panel on stage at Content & Commerce Summit 2017. Left to right: Molly Pittman, Tracey Wallace, Ezra Firestone, and Richard Lindner.

Other highlights included…

  • “If you’re running a holiday campaign, you MUST retarget the people who come to the sales page and don’t buy.” ~Ezra Firestone
  • “Don’t consider it a done deal once someone has bought once,” said Ezra. Consider giving a bigger discount to previous buyers.
  • “If you’re not a personality brand, use this time to humanize your brand with your buyers and actually entertain them.” ~Richard Lindner

Where to Focus Your Content Marketing Efforts

Are you confused by what content is?

According to Russ Henneberry, Director of Editorial at DigitalMarketer, content is the “brick” that makes up the internet.

Content is everywhere. From a blog post to a YouTube video to a Facebook post to a sales page. That’s content.

Most content marketers would agree that good content marketing educates, entertains, or inspires.

But what if you want to make your content great and actually turn a profit?

You need to think about your content differently then.

In The 4-Point Content Marketing Audit, Russ explained that great content marketers think of these “bricks” as assets for the company.

Content marketing is the act of producing content that increases leads, sales, and loyalty.

To create great content that drives a return on investment (ROI), start by making content that generates awareness and gets your audience to engage with you…

Content types that drive awareness and create engagement: blog posts, YouTube videos, podcasts, images

Then, you need to make content that generates leads…

Content types that generate leads: webinars, newsletters, templates, cheat sheets, swipe files, free reports, white papers, guides

Next, move on to content that creates excitement and sells regularly…

Content types that create excitement and sell more and more: onboarding resources, support documents, webinars, customer stories, product demos

Finally, produce content that gets your brand advocates to share your content…

Content types that produce advocates and promoters that drive referrals: blog posts, YouTube videos, podcasts, images, social media updates

(RELATED: Perfect Content Marketing: How Content Generates Leads and Sales at Every Step of the Funnel)

The Full Funnel Dream Team

Anyone a ’95-’96 Chicago Bulls fan?

Wait! — you may be wondering — I thought this was about funnels. Why are you asking about basketball?

Well, as Brett Curry pointed out during his presentation, treating your ad campaigns like a basketball team can revolutionize your results.

You see, the old way of thinking is that every campaign is a silo or an island. But a better way is to think of your individual campaigns as teammates.

The CEO of OMG Commerce told the audience, “This is about building a full funnel dream team. It’s beyond building a few campaigns that work and about how to make them all work together as a team to create rapid funnel expansion.”

Slide from Brett Curry's 2017 Content & Commerce Summit presentation featuring the Dream Team

Brett went on to explain how to combine…

  • Google Shopping
  • Search
  • Display
  • YouTube

…to feed and expand the funnel.

To do that, start by going beyond the search query with audience targeting.

Then, just like in basketball, pay attention to those assists. Track assisted conversion for top of funnel (TOFU) campaigns

"Most conversions have an assist...71% of conversions come from multiple visits." ~Brett Curry

Then, keep this in mind:

Being there at the right moment — Brett Curry slide from his 2017 Content & Commerce Summit presentation

Elements of a High Converting Traffic Campaign

No matter where your customers enter, traffic is the road that moves people through your customer journey.

During her presentation, Molly Pittman, DigitalMarketer’s Vice President of Marketing, said there are currently three big traffic stores to choose from:

  1. Google, which is like Yellow Pages
  2. YouTube, which is like television
  3. Facebook, which is like billboard ads

And because of it’s over 1.94 billion active users and easy interface, Molly said Facebook is the clear traffic store to use.

Now, keep in mind, all the traffic in the world won’t fix a bad offer. So, if your campaign is struggling, you may need to take a look at your offer.

(RELATED: Perpetual Traffic podcast Episode 43: Ryan Deiss Shares 4 Steps to Crafting and Optimizing the Perfect Offer)

Once you know your offer is solid, then you can move on to traffic.

One element of high converting traffic campaign is the ad copy.

Molly told the audience that your ad copy should explain why your offer is something that the market actually wants. Not that your offer simply exists.

Just because your offer exists, it doesn’t mean they want to click!

So, what should you do?

Explain why you’re interrupting them by explaining how your offer solves a SPECIFIC problem they’re facing. Your ad copy should focus on the Before and the After.

Use your ad copy to communicate how your offer transforms the customer from the Before state to the After state.

How your offer will transform them from the undesirable Before state to the desireable After state.

Why You Should Get a Little Crazy with Your Marketing

The final speaker of Day 2 came from a major player in the sleep industry: Casper.

Russ Henneberry sat down with Michael McCutcheon, Casper’s Director of Content, to learn the insights and views that are driving Casper’s success… and how we can apply these strategies in our own business.

Michael pointed out that a driving force is how they view themselves at Casper. He told Russ and the audience that they don’t look at themselves as a mattress company. They view themselves as a company that helps people sleep better.

That viewpoint as made all the difference.

Russ asked Michael about taking chances. He asked why the company decided to develop the “napmobile,” a bus outfitted with Casper mattresses, pillows, and sheets that tours the country so people can experience Casper firsthand.

Michael said the “napmobile” is one of his favorite things they’ve done and explained it’s helped create user-generated content.

Marketing is about building extraordinary experiences. Michael advised to, “Always default to doing what’s awesome.”

To enhance your marketing, take some of your budget and put it towards crazy stuff because…

"You can optimize until your head is blue, but if it doesn't surprise them or amaze them it isn't going anywhere anyway." ~Michael McCutcheon

VIP Dinner Presented by Maropost

The final networking party of Content & Commerce Summit was the exclusive VIP-only reception.

Complete with an ice sculpture, speakers, VIP ticket holders, and DigitalMarketer staff sat down to a dinner of Latin-inspired food (including paella and churros) before the last day of the summit.

Content & Commerce Summit 2017 ice sculpture at the VIP party

Content & Commerce Summit 2017 VIP party sit down dinner

(NOTE: Love Content & Commerce Summit? Then you should join us for our next event: Traffic & Conversion Summit! Reserve your seat today for Traffic & Conversion Summit 2018 and SAVE 50% with Early Bird Pricing. But hurry! The Early Bird promotion is for a limited time. Learn more here.)
Reserve your seat today for Traffic & Conversion Summit 2018 and save 50% with Early Bird Pricing!

Content & Commerce Summit Day 3:

Doubling 10,000 Businesses

At DigitalMarketer, we’re on a mission to double the size of 10,000 businesses by 2020. So, when we heard that a 14-year-old entrepreneur was in our midst, we took notice.

Meet Ella Pader. She manages Pinterest business accounts and came to Content & Commerce Summit with her dad, James.

Before the opening keynote, Ryan Deiss invited Ella and James to join him on stage…

Ryan Deiss interviewing Ella and James Pader at Content & Commerce Summit 2017.

…for a quick interview.

Ella’s favorite part about running her own business? Being able to wake up and work from bed! 🙂

So she can continue to grow her business, at the end of the interview, Ryan gave Ella and James two tickets to Traffic & Conversion Summit 2018 in San Diego, California!

Ryan Deiss with Ella Pader at Content & Commerce Summit 2017.

Our Events Director, DeAnna Rogers, recorded the whole exchange, which you can watch here:

Looking forward to seeing you in San Diego, Ella and James!

Let’s dive into the rest of the final day…

Welcome to Day 3

The opening video for Day 3 highlighted some of the biggest strategies and takeaways from the previous day that marketers can use to strengthen their business…

What else happened on the last day? Well…

How Mobile is Shaping the Future of Selling

Did you know, that more than half the world uses a smartphone?

Are you using this fact to your business’ advantage?

The social web is changing how we discover, research, and, ultimately, buy products, Ezra Firestone said during his opening keynote.

"Websites at some point will become semi-obsolete and people will be making purchases integrated within whatever platform they're using." ~Ezra Firestone

Which is why it’s time to be aggressive about mobile optimization and strategy.

For instance, 67% of consumers start shopping on their mobile device and continue on another. People are moving to bigger devices, like laptops and desktops, to make purchases.

Therefore, the CEO of Smart Marketer said, marketers should mimic user behavior!

Use mobile for your awareness ads…

Use mobile for your awareness ads — a slide from Ezra Firestone's keynote presentation at Content & Commerce Summit 2017

…and retarget consumers with tablet and desktop…

Retarget consumers with tablet and desktop — a slide from Ezra Firestone's keynote presentation at Content & Commerce Summit 2017

Another mobile strategy is to optimize the top navigation of your mobile site…

Mobile top navigation: more functional header; labeled buttons; search option; important pages bookmarked; sale notice option — a slide from Ezra Firestone's keynote presentation at Content & Commerce Summit 2017

Ezra also went on to advise…

  • Add a quick way for users to get back to the top when scrolling through your mobile site
  • Display the entire menu with an option to hide the menu
  • Make your fonts big, and easy to read on a clear, white background

This will help improve user experience, which will ultimately help improve conversions.

This Isn’t Your Diary

If used correctly, the blog is one of the most powerful digital marketing tools at your disposal, Lindsay Marder said from the stage.

But… one of the biggest misconceptions about blogging is that it’s for your diary entries.

This misconception will cause some to miss out on the power of the blog.

The role of the blog lies in its capability to generate awareness for your…

  • Company
  • Brands
  • Employees
  • Partners
  • Products
  • Services

Done wrong and the blog can become a never-ending hamster wheel of content creation that gives zero return on your efforts.

“Let’s avoid that, shall we?” DigitalMarketer’s Manager Editor asked. 🙂

To create a blog that will give you a return, you need to determine the user’s intent. Ask yourself, what does your audience want to do? 

There are three blogs posts types you can use to generate that return. At DigitalMarketer, we affectionately refer to them as…

Blog Post Type #1: The Hungarian Honey How-To — a slide from Lindsay Marder's presentation at Content & Commerce Summit 2017

Blog Post Type #2: The Frisky Roundup Retriever — a slide from Lindsay Marder's presentation at Content & Commerce Summit 2017

Blog Post Type #3: The French Canadian Comparison Can-Can — a slide from Lindsay Marder's presentation at Content & Commerce Summit 2017

Deploy these posts to inform your audience, prospects, and customers about what you have to offer.

But, these posts are nothing without a great headline! If the headline isn’t compelling, you’re just another piece of content doomed to never be consumed.

Use these headline formulas to get your reader’s attention:

Headline formulas from Lindsay Marder's presentation at Content & Commerce Summit 2017

(RELATED: How To Write Blog Posts That Sell)

Too Good Not to Share Quotes

Ryan Moran of Capitalism.com had some amazing takeaways in his Zero to Eight Figures with Physical Products on Amazon.

Ryan Moran during his presentation at Content & Commerce Summit 2017

We found these quotes from his presentation thought-provoking and valuable and thought you would, too:

  • “You now control the media because you are the media. You drive the media.”
  • “The turning point from seven to eight figures is — can you take an order, and turn it into a customer?”
  • Ryan Moran on the math behind a seven-figure business: “If your price point on a product averages $25-35, and you can consistently and predictably take 20-40 sales a day on that product, then we need three to five products to make a seven-figure business. This is the four-minute mile for entrepreneurs.”
  • “The brain perceives difference as the rustle in the bush. The way that you carve out a niche in your space is by being or saying something DIFFERENT. Not better, or cheaper, but DIFFERENT.”

Our Favorites of #CCS2017

Throughout the course of Content & Commerce Summit 2017, people took to Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, the Content & Commerce app, and more to share their experiences and what their big takeaways were.

These are some of our favorites:

Content & Commerce Summit 2017 attendee sharing about her experience and big takeaway from the event

Content & Commerce Summit 2017 attendee sharing about her experience and big takeaway from the event

Content & Commerce Summit 2017 attendee sharing about her experience and big takeaway from the event

Content & Commerce Summit 2017 attendee sharing about his experience and big takeaway from the event

Content & Commerce Summit 2017 attendee sharing about their experience and big takeaway from the event

Content & Commerce Summit 2017 attendee sharing about her experience and big takeaway from the event

And, here are some of our favorite takeaways from the three-day event…

"If you don't know who your customer is, you can't be customer centric." ~John Fillmore

"What's the one thing successful websites have in common? They meet the user's expectations." ~Justin Rondeau

"URLs get more powerful the longer they exist and the more they get updated." ~Tiffany Yannetta

"Find out WHY your customer is buying. If you don't, you can't market to them." ~Justin Ligeri

"Customers talk to you through your data. Learn how to listen and translate it into action, then you have the edge." ~Scott Desgrosseilliers

"The lack of relevance is the number one failure of almost all Amazon sellers." ~Michael Devlin

Content & Commerce is a lot of work. There’s so much to learn and do! But at DigitalMarketer, we believe you should have at least one good belly laugh a day

Content & Commerce Summit 2017 social share

Maropost Monkey

Content & Commerce Summit 2017 social share

Content & Commerce Summit 2017 social share

Content & Commerce Summit 2017 social share

Content & Commerce Summit 2017 social share

Holy smokes, this audio speaker looks a lot like Batman!

Audio speaker that has an uncanny resemblance to Batman

Audio speaker that has an uncanny resemblance to Batman

And not to alarm anyone, but there were two book thieves at the event.

An Content & Commerce Summit attendee trying to "steal" books by DigitalMarketer

Don’t worry, we took care of them. 😉

How to Leave Content & Commerce Summit with Results

Content & Commerce Summit 2017 has come to an end. Want to know the difference between leaving with great memories and leaving with results?

Write it down.

Before you leave the conference, write down what you’re going to do:

  • What’s the main thing you want to accomplish?
  • What are you going to start on first?

Because when you leave the breakout sessions, the outside world is waiting for you.

So, to keep the same focus you may have found or experienced here at Content & Commerce Summit 2017, write down what you want to get done.

During the closing ceremonies, the video below, produced by DigitalMarketer’s Christine Haas and her team, played. We feel that this video perfectly sums up the Content & Commerce Summit 2017 experience:

To everyone who attended Content & Commerce Summit, thank you all! Thank you for spending time with us.

We hope what you learned here will help you double the size of your business and help others do the same!

See you at the next event!

(NOTE: Love Content & Commerce Summit? Then you should join us for our next event: Traffic & Conversion Summit! Reserve your seat today for Traffic & Conversion Summit 2018 and SAVE 50% with Early Bird Pricing. But hurry! The Early Bird promotion is for a limited time. Learn more here.)
Reserve your seat today for Traffic & Conversion Summit 2018 and save 50% with Early Bird Pricing!

The post The Best of Content & Commerce Summit 2017: 105 Insights, Actionable Ecommerce Strategies, & Digital Media Content appeared first on DigitalMarketer.

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Worst dating mistakes men make.

Dating is hard, as we all know. The single life isn’t easy, and no one wants to be alone. But many men just like you make a lot of dating mistakes that ultimately lead to unhappiness or sleeping alone.

The worst part is that most of you don’t even realize when you are breaking some of the major dating rules. Even worse is when you think you are doing the right thing and believe that you are coming across as cool or sexy when, in fact, you are turning off every woman within a 20-mile radius.

So what can you do about that?

I feel your pain and your anguish, and I have put together a handy little list of the worst dating mistakes that men make and how you can avoid them. They are as follows:

*Staring or ogling at a woman, or following her across the room. Guys, this borders on stalking and is extremely creepy. A little eye contact is okay if done with confidence, but be careful not to stare for too long and be sure to smile.
*If you want to say hello, then say hello. Don’t stare a woman down half the night and then try to approach her. She’ll likely run away or spray you with a can of mace or zap you with a stun gun.
*Not calling her by her name. If you expect to get a positive response from “babe,” “chick,” or “broad,” you might be dating in the wrong generation. These terms are considered degrading and repulsive to most women and will only turn her off and make her think you’re a jerk. So don’t use them. Instead, find out her name and use it often—and by all means, pronounce it right. Nothing is more annoying than having someone mispronounce a name.
*Spending the whole conversation staring at her breasts. You should look a woman in the eye while you are talking. She will notice if you don’t. On the same note, do not compliment her explicitly on her body parts. Treating her like an object will turn her off quickly and make her think you are a jerk. Instead, concentrate on looking into her eyes and getting to know her as a real person.
*Controlling every aspect of the date. This is a serious dating DON’T! If she wants to order for herself, open the door for herself, or even pay for herself, let her. Although women like to feel pampered, they certainly don’t want to feel overpowered. By allowing her to express independence, she will be impressed that you do not feel threatened by her liberty. The key, though, is to follow her lead.
*Being too sexually aggressive. Don’t act like you want to jump her bones before you even know her name. Acting like your only reason for being with her is getting into her pants is not going to get you the girl. Instead, it will get you a very bad reputation and set you up for another dateless night.

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*Spending all your time checking out other women while you’re talking to her. Trust me, she will notice, and she definitely won’t like it. If you truly want to impress her and attract her to you, then you must focus all your attention on her. Treat her as if she is the only woman on the planet. Treat her like a lady, a lady that you are sincerely interested in getting to know.
*Bringing up your romantic history too quickly. Don’t brag about what a great lover you were to your last girlfriend or spend time telling stories about your old girlfriend or other dates you’ve been on. No woman wants to spend a date hearing about your ex. Instead, concentrate on getting to know her. If the conversation turns to your ex, then simply say that things didn’t work out and move on.
*Talking about questionable things that you do. Refrain from bragging about using drugs or participating in other illegal activities.
*Don’t talk about how much you can drink, the drunkest you’ve ever been, how loud you can fart, how far you can spit, or the stupidest thing you’ve ever done. This is not the way to impress a woman. Instead, concentrate on your positive attributes.
*Acting self-absorbed. Don’t talk constantly about yourself, and do not divulge too much about yourself all at once. Leave a little mystery and intrigue.
*Be honest about what you can do and ask your woman questions about herself. Let her get to know you slowly.
*Looking, feeling or acting desperate. Being desperate or needy is definitely a turn-off—women hate needy guys. Instead, be confident and assured. This will help you get more dates than acting desperate or needy.
*Poor hygiene. This should be a given, but it is so important that I had better mention it anyway. If your breath stinks, your clothes are unclean, or you smell like yesterday’s garbage, she’s going to be turned off. On the same note, if you’ve eaten something that makes your breath offensive, do yourself a favor and chew some gum or pop a peppermint before you approach her.
*Talking about sensitive issues. Avoid untactful conversation topics such as death, politics, and religion in the early stages of dating. These topics are controversial, and it’s best to keep conversation light in the beginning. Otherwise you may turn her off before you’ve even gotten the chance to turn her on.

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Acting possessive or domineering. Women hate these traits in a man. Although they like feeling protected and cared for, they don’t want to feel as if their mate doesn’t trust them or wants to run the show.

MORE THINGS TO AVOID ON A DATE
Remember that you should always treat your date like a person and respect her and work hard to avoid being rude and impolite. Try to imagine how she might feel if you were in her shoes, then do the right thing.

Don’t talk on your cell phone while you’re talking to someone in person. It’s just not polite and sends the message that you are distracted. Keep your phone on silent or vibrate and check it discretely if you are concerned about missing calls. If you must return a call, excuse yourself and take it somewhere else. Try not to be away too long. Nothing is more annoying to women than feeling as if a man is easily distracted.

Don’t drink to the point of intoxication. You should know what is too much for you. Although it is acceptable to go out and have a few drinks, it is not acceptable to become intoxicated and then approach a woman. Not only will this make her uncomfortable, but it will probably embarrass you, and this is not what you want.

Do not whine or complain or appear needy or selfish. Later into the relationship, you can discuss your wants and needs, but professing all this in the beginning, when you don’t even know her, will send out a very bad impression.

Do not pretend to be what your partner wants. Although this may seem like the way to go, it is much better to be honest at the very beginning. Although it is okay to accentuate the positive, it is never cool to lie. Embellishments are simply bad business and can lead to hurt her feelings and dissatisfaction.

In conclusion, if you memorize the above list of dating mistakes and vow not to make the same mistakes that most men make, you will see results immediately. You’ll find that you have more success with women whom you’re interested in dating.

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Find out What to do if she’s not interested

Most of us know how to tell if a girl is interested. We know the signs of flirting: the head tilting, the eye contact, the infamous hair flip.

You’ve studied how to flirt with women, how to make women approach you, and even how to get phone numbers. So you’re out making use of your newfound knowledge. You’re chatting up a girl at the club, in the mall, or even on the elevator.
You’re walking with confidence, dressing better—heck, even smelling better. You are a man on a mission and won’t take no for an answer!

But … what do you do when the girl you’re into isn’t interested?

Let’s say you’re practicing all the techniques, and you even saw her giving you the eye from across the room. So you catch her gaze and smile, holding the glance for a few seconds then breaking away.

Later, you repeat these steps. And she’s still looking at you. You want to approach her, but she’s with a group of catty friends, so you wait for just the right moment when she’s alone at the jukebox. You’re ready to make your move. This is the perfect moment: you’ll say “hi,” she’ll say “hi,” you’ll make some conversation about music and then it’s on. Right?

So you say, “Hi, I’m fill-in-the-blank.” And she responds with a “Hi.” Good sign! Then you notice her jukebox selection and you comment, “You know, I saw that band in concert in February! They’re awesome.” Way to go, Smooth-talker, this one’s in the bag. “So, do you have any of their albums?” You give her perfect eye contact and a charming smile.

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She looks straight back at you and replies with, “Did you know you spilled beer on your shirt?”

Ouch! That one’s gotta hurt!

Okay, so most women are actually not that rude when they reject a man. Most women try to spare the opposite sex the ego-crushing humiliation. But still, it’s hard when she’s not interested. So what is a guy to do?

Well, for starters, don’t take it too personally. Chances are, if a woman rudely rejects you, you wouldn’t want to be with her anyway. The same goes for a woman who’s just not interested. You deserve a woman who’s keen on you, not just the other way around. Not everyone you meet will click with you. It’s part of life, so accept it and move on.

The real problem comes when women are playing hard to get. How are you supposed to distinguished between a cool “come get me” attitude and a cool ice princess one? Sometimes women just lead you on so that they can watch you fumble and fall on your face, when they had no intention of going anywhere with you anyway.

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What are the real signals that a woman isn’t interested? Here’s a list, starting from the most obvious to the lesser signals that you may not catch.

• She ignores you, insults you or flat out tells you she is not interested.
• She walks away.
• She starts another conversation while she’s in conversation with you.
• She looks back towards her friends or anywhere except at you.
• She has crossed arms or a “standoffish” posture.
• She backs away when you lean closer.
• She turns her body to the side rather than angling it towards you.
• She answers all your questions with a quick, “Uh-huh,” and doesn’t ask you any questions back.

If a woman at a club is playing cool, here’s one way you can see if it’s just a pose: ask her to dance! Often, women just get bored with small talk. Let your moves on the dance floor speak volumes.

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The 5 Most Deadly Conversation Mistakes YOU Probably Make With Women

Let’s face it…

If you want to create attraction in a woman… you must possess the ability to talk.

You can know all the “secret attraction building techniques” in the world… but if you can’t carry a conversation… YOU GET NO WHERE.

(Don’t worry, we’ll discuss some of those “secret attraction building techniques in future articles.)

Right now I want to concentrate on the exact ways you’re killing your conversations… probably without realizing it.

Mistake #1 — Breaking the 90/10 Rule When Starting a Conversation

Have you ever noticed that most conversations don’t pick up steam until about 5-10 minutes in?

This is because when you start talking to someone new, especially somebody you do not know yet, they are going to be just as cold inside their heads as you were before you psyched yourself up — making yourself ready to start that conversation.

A conversation needs time to build “conversation momentum.”

The problem most guys face is that don’t ever give their conversations a chance to build that “momentum.”

Most guys expect to hit this “conversation flow” too quickly. And because of this the opposite effect happens… and their conversations just “stall out.”

Well you have to carry the conversation. Be prepared, in the first five or so minutes, to carry the conversation by providing 90, or even sometimes 100, percent of all the content until the woman gets warmed up a little bit.

How do you do that?

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Keep talking!

Well the rule is very simple: Just keep talking.

By taking control of the conversation right from the beginning, you allow her time to “warm up” and shift her brain from “receive mode” rather than “give mode.”

In future articles I’m going to show you exactly what tools you need to be able to do this… but for now, just know you HAVE be prepared to talk 90% of the time for the first 5-10 minutes of your conversations….

Mistake #2 — Not Recognizing the Signals a Woman Is Giving You

You have to recognize the signals that women are giving you so you know whether you have the right kind of emotional intensity — the right energy — and whether the topics you are talking about are actually even appropriate for this point in the conversation.

How do you do that?

Well, you use your senses. Your eyes and your ears are your best friends. You have to watch people’s reactions and learn to read them.

You naturally have a good sense of when you are boring her, when she is excited and how she is reacting to you. You just have to make sure you pay attention.

The rule of thumb is when you first start a conversation with someone or with a group of people, you want to have a little bit more energy than that group had before you came in.

You must recognize where she is at in terms of her energy level, her enthusiasm, her excitement, and how her neurology is wired up and lit up. Then you can pitch your own energy level to be just slightly above that. And you will be sure to be a success wherever you go because you will not be too much and you will not be too little.

Mistake #3 — Not Assuming Rapport Right From the Beginning

For the longest time I could never understand why it took so long for me to develop rapport with women… while my friends seem to jump right into it.

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And then it hit me…

I was waiting for rapport to happen naturally… and they were assuming it.

When you are talking to a woman, even if it’s your first time talking to her… talk to her in the same laid back way you would talk to an old friend.

Most guys do the complete opposite… they talk to a woman in a “stiff, formal” way reserved for strangers…. And this just makes it more apparent that you are a STRANGER. And this puts her guard up. And this creates that uncomfortable “awkwardness” that is devastating to a conversation.

By jumping right into rapport you create a more natural feeling conversation and give her the feeling of “knowing you forever.”

Mistake #4 — Going Into “Interview Mode”

I know you’ve experienced it… talking to a woman, and feeling like you’re on a job interview.

This is the dreaded “interview mode.”

This happens when you don’t know what to talk about. So to keep the conversation going you ask questions like:

What do you do for a living?
What do you do for fun?
Where did you grow up?
What kind of music do you like?
It’s not the questions themselves that kill you. It’s the rapid firing of question after question… and the steady stream of fact based answers that destroy any sort of “chemistry.”

A conversation is supposed to fun vibing back and forth… it’s not supposed to feel like a job interview.

Mistake #5 — Letting Her “Lead” the Conversation

Most guys are so unsure of themselves when talking to a woman that they look for the woman to give them “approval” or “permission” before they take any lead in the conversation.

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And this is DEAD wrong.

The minute a woman realizes you’re looking to her to lead the conversation… her attraction instantly disappears.

Most guys let the woman lead the conversation because they are scared of “pissing her off” or choosing the wrong topic.

But here is the thing…

Women will follow whatever tone you set for the conversation. If you set a fun, flirty vibe… she will follow.

And even if she isn’t interested in the topic you’ve chose to discuss… she’ll still respect you a lot more for taking the initiative.

The Biggest Mistake

Do you want to know what the biggest mistake men make in regards to their conversations with women?

Not getting help.

Would you believe that 10 years ago it was nearly impossible to find this sort of information on improving your conversations with women? This meant that guys were forced to either struggle forever, or figure it out on their own.

However, you have no excuse. There is help available. Help that can change your “game” almost overnight.

Even though it has been close to five years since I last struggled with this… I still know the pain you feel. I had felt it for more than two thirds of my life. And I don’t wish that pain on anyone.

Now, I know that anytime, anywhere I can go out and talk to women and create attraction.

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This is what fueled me to create a program about this. I asked 5 of the guys I know who are the absolute best at talking to women… to join me on this program to help create that change in you — a lot quicker than it took me.

It’s jam packed with dozens and dozens of specific strategies for creating the right mindset for talking to a woman, getting “in the zone”, making her laugh, creating rapport, keeping a conversation flowing naturally, overcoming “sh*t tests”, dealing with guys who might be overshadowing you, and most importantly, creating attraction as you talk to her….

This is arguably the most comprehensive “conversation training” you will ever receive. There is no way you can listen to this program and not come away with at least a dozen tips that will change the way you communicate with women… nearly immediately.

To become a master at talking to and flirting with women, check out the very popular Conversation Escalation: Make Small Talk Sexy and learn how to instantly generate attraction through the way you talk to women.

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