My guest on the show today is Troy Dean. Troy Dean is the co-founder of Video User Manuals and WP Elevation – an online program and community designed specifically for WordPress consultants, teaching improved workflow, business practices, and client communication. He’s been building WordPress websites for over 10 years and has spoken at WordCamps around the world. The reason he gets out of bed every day is because he loves helping WordPress consultants build a successful businesses!
Highlights from this Conversation
- What has worked well for you?
- Marketing Automation
- 24 hours after joining email list, check customer record for a tag, if they have one, do nothing, if not, send follow up email to prompt them to fill out the survey
- Survey answers go into Slack automatically
- Continuous feedback
- Marketing Automation
- What has worked well for you?
- If you can articulate your audiences pain points better than they can, they automatically credit you with having the answer problem.
- 2 questions someone asks when landing on your website
- Am I in the right place?
- What do you want me to do now?
- 2 questions someone asks when landing on your website
- What hasn’t worked well that we can learn from?
- Gaming the system
- And that’s a good thing
- Rely less on robots
- You can’t automate the human relationship aspect of what we do
- Less robot, more human
- Traditional squeeze pages
- Recommendation: Attach a lead magnet to a blog post and then drive people to the blog post
- Look at the long game
- Gaming the system
- What are you excited about?
- Personalized marketing
- Segmenting their huge list
- Personalized marketing
Adam: [00:00:09] Hi, and welcome to the Good People, Good Marketing podcast, a podcast about nonprofit digital marketing and how to make it better so that good people and good organizations can have good marketing as well. I’m your host, Adam Walker, co-founder of Sideways Eight, a digital marketing agency that specializes in nonprofit work, and 48in48, a non-profit dedicated to hosting events that build forty-eight websites for forty-eight nonprofits in forty-eight hours.
Today on the show, my guest is Troy Dean. Troy is the co-founder of Video User Manuals and WP Elevation, an online program and learning community designed specifically for WordPress consultants teaching improved workflow, business practices and client communication. He’s been building WordPress sites for over ten years and has spoken at WordCamps around the world. The reason he gets out of bed every day is because he loves helping WordPress consultants build a successful business, and I can attest to you folks I have heard Troy speak and he knows his stuff. Troy, welcome to the show.
Troy: [00:01:02] Hi. Thanks for having me, Adam. It’s a pleasure to be here.
Adam: [00:01:05] And I think we should probably mention, this may be our longest distance between interviewer and interviewee, right?
Troy: [00:01:12] That’s right, that’s right.
Adam: [00:01:14] You’re in Australia, if I’m not mistaken.
Troy: Yeah, yeah, that’s right. I’m in Melbourne, Australia. It’s currently 8:00 a.m. on Wednesday morning, so I’m in the future, man.
Adam: [00:01:23] And it’s 4:00 p.m. in Atlanta on a Tuesday evening, so yeah, you’re in the future…
Troy: [00:01:30] I’m here to tell you, man, Tuesday night is a good night. You’re going to have a good night tonight.
Adam: [00:01:36] I love that. Well, Troy, is there anything you want to fill in from your bio?
Troy: [00:01:40] No, I think you covered it, man. I think you covered it.
Troy: There is one little quirky detail that some people don’t know about me, which is in Australia there was a commercial years ago for Cadbury Chocolate and the jingle was a parody of Wouldn’t It Be Good by the Beach Boys—Wouldn’t It Be Nice by the Beach Boys, “Wouldn’t it be nice?”
Troy: Yeah, Wouldn’t It Be Good.
Troy: [00:02:06] And I sang the Cadbury jingle here in Australia.
Troy: Yeah, yeah.
Troy: I did, yeah. I sang it.
Adam: Oh, that’s amazing!
Troy: [00:02:14] Yeah, yeah. And so when someone says, “Now, tell us something nobody knows about you,” that’s one of those little things. And so the commercial was this animated chocolate family that go on holiday and they travel around and they take a bite of the Leaning Tower of Pisa and it’s all made of chocolate, and I sang the jingle.
Adam: Right. That may be…
Troy: It freaked me out because it was like a Brian Wilson melody, it was a Beach Boys song, and you have to be really accurate when you sing those melodies; otherwise, they don’t work. And I was in the studio and I was absolutely freaking out trying to nail this melody, but the guy that produced it was a fantastic director and a great producer and we nailed it, and it was really good. It was fun.
Adam: [00:02:52] That is unbelievable. That’s a first for that level of detail and an odd factoid here on this show. That’s unbelievable. I appreciate that.
[00:03:01] So to my listeners, let me say this first to sort of preface this conversation. So normally I’m often interviewing nonprofit marketing professionals, VPs of marketing and CMOs at nonprofits. In this case, I got the opportunity to introduce Troy Dean and immediately said yes because Troy is really a marketer extraordinaire and he’s pushing the envelope in a lot of marketing ways, and really I wanted to interview him so that we can see and understand what he’s doing to push the envelope personally so we can see how as non-profit marketers we can also push that envelope and move ourselves forward in a more aggressive manner. So Troy, really, this isn’t from your perspective a focus on nonprofit marketing as much as it’s just I want to know what’s working for you because I know your business is growing. I mean, I got to also say you’re the co-founder of Video User Manuals and 48in48, where we build forty-eight websites for forty-eight nonprofits in forty-eight hours. We use video user manuals to help with that process, which is an unbelievable product, by the way, for anybody that’s not familiar with it.
Troy: [00:03:58] Yeah, awesome. And when I was running an agency back in sort of 2008 through 2012 here in Melbourne and a lot of our focus was helping nonprofits, so we have actually done a lot of work in the…
Adam: Oh, nice.
Troy: Particularly for some reason around the drug and alcohol sector here in Melbourne, we work with quite a few nonprofits. So I have got a little bit of experience in that in that space, and my brother also is a general manager of a large nonprofit in South Australia, so I’m familiar with the space.
Adam: [00:04:29] Oh, great. Man, that’s fantastic. That’s amazing. Well, the details about your life continue to expand, my friend, so that’s great. Well, let’s dig into it. So first question is related to digital marketing. Tell us something that’s worked well for you.
Troy: So, wow, where do I start, man?
Adam: [00:04:48] It can’t be everything.
Adam: It’s got to be…
Troy: So, specifically, automation is one thing that’s very sexy. Marketing automation is a very sexy thing and a lot of people can get very caught up in trying to automate marketing campaigns. But I’ll tell you what’s working really well for us at the moment, is when anyone joins our email list, so we have a number of ways that people can join our email list, but when anyone joins our email list usually what happens is twenty-four hours after they join our email list we go and check—this is automated—we go and check their customer record card. We use a CRM called Infusionsoft and we go and check their customer record card. A little robot campaign goes and checks their customer record card for a particular tag, and if they have got a tag on their customer record card that says they have already completed our new subscriber survey, then we do nothing. We leave them alone for a few days before we start sending them our weekly newsletter. If they have not got that tag, then we send them an email, a very, very short email that says, “Hey Adam, thanks for signing up for the free thing yesterday that you downloaded. I hope you’re enjoying it. Hey, can you tell me, what’s the number one challenge you’ve got in your business right now? Just answer here and I’ll see what I can do. I’ll do my best to help.” And when they click on the link, it takes them to a SurveyMonkey survey where we just ask them very strategic questions. “What’s the biggest challenge you’ve got in your business right now?” It’s a very short survey. And also, what their name and email address is. And we give them multiple choice answers so they don’t have to spend a lot of time typing. We give them an option where they can add ‘Other’ and then they can fill in the blanks and get everything off their chest. But we give them some multiple choice options so they can just go, “Oh yeah, that’s the biggest problem. That’s the biggest problem.” And the answers to those surveys get automatically fed into a Slack channel that we run. So Slack is an internal communication tool that we use to communicate with the team.
And so the point of this story is every day I’m sitting here at my desk and I just have this constant feed of feedback from email subscribers who are telling me what their biggest challenges are in their business. And so from a research point of view, that’s amazing, because whenever I need to write emails or I need to put together a sales letter or I need to put together a blog post or a website or a podcast or a training video or whatever it is, I know exactly the language to use and I know exactly the pain points that I need to be touching because my audience—and most of these people are not our customers, they’re just at this stage e-mail subscribers—they’re telling me what their biggest challenge is. And so that’s just a little hack that I’ve used to try and stay ahead of my competitors and try and understand my customer better than they really—the goal is, if you can articulate your target audience’s pain points better than they can, then they automatically credit you with having the solution to that problem.
Adam: [00:07:55] Wow, that is an incredible statement. Let me make sure I got that. If you can articulate your audience’s pain points better than they can, they automatically credit you with having the solution to that problem.
Troy: [00:08:06] Yeah, because they realize that you understand their problem and that you empathize with them. So they instantly say, “Yes, Adam, that’s exactly my problem. Can you help me?” And you say, “Well, of course I can. Come over here.”
Adam: Right, right. Absolutely. “Sign up for this! Let’s get this thing going.”
Troy: That’s right. You pull back the red velvet rope and you show them into the club.
Adam: (00:08:30) Right. Wow, that’s amazing. And there are several layers to what you’ve just said that I would love to just sort of peel back for just a moment. First of all, marketing automation is huge in that ability to create a system that provides these tiny touches to get users to do specific actions. I mean, like you said, twenty-four hours later if they haven’t filled out the survey they get a reminder e-mail. I mean, we’re doing similar stuff like that for 48in48. We’re using—what is it—ActiveCampaign for that, which has worked really well for us. And it’s the same idea: If the user has done this, then they’ll get this tag, and if they don’t have that tag, then go back and do this in two days and remind them of this and this and this until they’ve done what we asked them to do, or until they are obviously stuck in the process and they need a manual person to actually come and help them with it.
(00:09:15) So that’s first of all really critical, I think, to good marketing. Secondly, having the answers going to Slack so that you see the language that your users are using to convey their problems, that’s unbelievable from a sales perspective because you should always use their language, not your language. We’re not selling to ourselves. We’re selling to other people. We need to talk like they do. And especially in the marketing community, I mean not marketing, at the nonprofit community, we’re trying to get people on board with us. We have a tendency to use our own language and our own internal language, it’s not about us, it’s about them. And so that’s unbelievable. That’s unbelievable.
Troy: (00:09:48) That’s right. The world’s most famous radio station, WIIFM, it stands for, “What’s in it for me?” And this is true too when anyone hits a website, I mean, I’m constantly looking at our website and tearing it down and just going back to the team and saying, “We’re going to fix this, we’re going to fix this,” because when you land on a website, whether you’re on a mobile phone or on a desktop, there’s two questions that you ask subconsciously straight away. You don’t even know you’re asking these questions. But the first question you ask is, “Am I in the right place?”
Troy: (00:10:20) And you got to remember, when someone lands on your website, between someone landing on your website and them actually reading your website, there’s a whole bunch of things that could happen, right?
Troy: The courier could arrive with some deliveries. A team member could have a meltdown. The phone could ring. There could be a bunch of distractions that go on. So when someone originally lands on your website, they might know, “Oh yeah, this is where I want to be,” but it could be forty-five minutes later they come back and all of a sudden the browser tab’s open and your website’s looking at them. And they’re like, “What the hell am I doing here? How did I get here?” So the question I ask is, “Am I in the right place? Is this where I want to be right now?” And so your language on that webpage, on that website, all over that touchpoint, needs to tell them, “Yes, you’re in the right place.” That’s why headlines like, “If you’re a nonprofit CMO and you want to learn how to increase your donor database by 30% in the next ninety days, you’re in the right place,” that languaging is fantastic because you’re calling out the target audience, you’re touching on their pain point straight away, and literally you’re telling them that “you’re in the right place.”
(00:11:27) So it’s okay, right, “I’m in the right place.” The next question they ask subconsciously is, “What do you want me to do now?” “Okay, I’m in the right place. What am I supposed to do next?” So if you don’t have a really strong call to action, which might just be “read this blog post and leave me a comment” or “watch this five-minute training video and get in touch for a consultation” or “read this blog post and download our free checklist that helps you implement XYZ,” if you don’t have a strong call to action, then people are like, “Okay, that’s neat. Cool. Thanks,” and they hit the back button and you don’t even know they’ve been there because there’s no way for them to engage and interact.
(00:12:02) So I always ask myself, whenever we produce any kind of communication for our audience, always ask myself, “Does this tell them that they’re in the right place?” And that could be an email, it could be a Facebook post, it could be a tweet, could be a LinkedIn update, a blog post on LinkedIn, a website, webpage, whatever it is. “Do we tell them that they’re in the right place and are we telling them clearly what we want them to do next?” And if we can’t answer those two questions, then we need to do some work on the languaging.
Adam: [00:12:26] I love that. I mean, I always talk to my team and I talk to people at 48in48 about how users want to be told what to do. So they only care about themselves and we have to know that.
Adam: They only care about themselves and their needs. But at the same time, they want to be told what to do, because so often we land on these pages and we’re just looking at them and there’s too much information and you’re just kind of going, “What is this? And why am I here?”
Troy: Yeah, that’s right.
Adam: And you just bail. That’s what I do. I bail. I’m gone. When I open an email, it’s like fourteen paragraphs, and I’m just like I close, I got to come back later. I can’t deal with it right now.
Troy: Yeah, that’s right. That’s right. And we all know that later is never.
Adam: Yeah, that’s right.
Troy: [00:13:02] It amazes me when people are like, “Oh yeah, I go through my e-mail every morning and I filter out all these e-mails. I put them in folders and they’re all labeled and they’re all neat and they’re all nice.
[00:13:10] My brother does this all the time and he’s like, “My inbox is zero.” He’s got eight-and-a-half thousand unread e-mails in folders. I’m like, “Dude, if you can’t read an email when it lands in your inbox and decide what to do with it immediately, how the hell are you going to find the time to come back and read it later?”
Adam: He never will.
Troy: Later equals never. Exactly.
Adam: It doesn’t exist.
Troy: That’s what you say to salespeople. “Oh, you know what, man? This is a great idea. I’m going to do it later.” Later equals never. It’s never going to happen.
Adam: Right. That’s right. “Call me later.” You never want to hear that as a sales guy. “Call me later.” That means, “Don’t ever call me back. I’m going to block your number right now.”
Troy: [00:13:45] That’s right. When is later? Later this afternoon? Later is just not now. That’s what later is.
Adam: [00:13:51] Yeah, which means you’re not important. That’s exactly what that means. Well, this is great Troy, but I want to make sure I get some other questions too. So related to marketing, digital marketing in particular, tell me something that has not worked well or that’s not working as well as it used to.
Troy: [00:14:08] Man, that’s a good question. I think there’s a whole bunch of things that aren’t working that maybe used to and I think it’s a good thing that they’re not working. So, trying to game the system is just not. It’s just getting really hard to get…
[00:14:26] There was this whole push years ago for lots of cheap free traffic to your website and the more free traffic you got in your website and the more cheap traffic you got you in your website, then the more conversion rate you got. And then everyone kind of realized that you end up with these huge e-mail lists of like two hundred thousand people who are not interested in anything except the free thing that they downloaded twelve months ago, and they’re never going to be a customer, they’re never going to engage in a meaningful way with your organization. And so free traffic became this horrible thing that everyone was after and, of course, Google’s search algorithms smartened up and decided that, “Hey, if you’re not actually providing meaningful solutions and helpful content to your audience, then we’re going to penalize you.” Facebook have now just changed their algorithm recently, like literally in the last few days. They’ve rolled that out where so now your Facebook feed—and it’s awful, actually. My Facebook feed used to be really diverse and really interesting, and now I’m just getting the same half a dozen posts from the same half a dozen people, and…
Adam: Yeah, I’ve heard several people say that. Yeah.
Troy: I want the old Facebook algorithm back. Maybe it’s because I’m a marketer. But Facebook’s really weird at the moment. I don’t know. I’m not sure what the play is there. I know that they have been losing eyeballs. But I think what it comes down to is you used to be able to game the system and now you really can’t game the system, and I think that’s a good thing.
[00:15:51] I think providing useful helpful—and you said before, sometimes you got to put a human being in the process. Sometimes someone gets stuck in a campaign or stuck in an automation. You got to put a human being in the process. And I think that’s happening more and more. I think we’ve got to rely less and less on robots to—robots are great for doing certain things like segmenting an audience into particular areas or mass communication with hundreds of people at once or using mail merge fields to send handwritten thank-you cards. So robots definitely have their place, but you can’t automate or roboticize, if that’s a word, the human relationship aspect of what it is we do.
[00:16:32] And I think that’s something we’ve learned a lot as marketers over the last few years, is that the more—in fact, we have a saying here that we have to prove to people that we’re not robots. So when people land on our website, our little chat (inaudible 16:46) widgets pop up. Our languaging is really deliberate there. We try and be really quirky. We try and let them know that some of this is automated and we are using things to track their behavior on our website but it’s not creepy and we are real humans, and if they want to just have a chat about the weather, they can ping us and we chat about anything. So less robot, more human, is kind of where we’re at now and I think that’s because we did go down the automation rabbit hole in a big way and we did try and become very robotic, and it kind of beat us in the bum a little bit.
Adam: [00:17:17] Yeah. Well, I think people want to know that there’s a real person on the other end of whatever it is they’re dealing with, whether that’s a Super Bowl ad where they’re identifying with a commercial or it’s a chatbot that’s not necessarily all bot and is some human or whatever in between.
Adam: I get those robocalls all the time that are almost human and I wait long enough on the phone to realize that it’s not, and I just go, “No, I’m done.”
Troy: [00:17:41] Yeah, yeah, yeah. Yeah, it’s horrible. The other thing that we used to a lot of is we used to drive—and this is just a way of automating lead gen—is we used to drive traffic straight to a landing page where there’d be nothing except—and we still do this a little bit—where there’s nothing but a freebie and a form where you put your e-mail address in and download the freebie, and there’s no other content. There’s no blog post. They’re called squeeze pages and I’m sure most of your audience is probably familiar with what they look like. It’s really hard now to drive traffic straight to a squeeze page. Google basically—I mean, (inaudible 18:12) when I say that, from ad platforms. So Google AdWords, really difficult to drive people straight to a squeeze page. They want you to provide some kind of helpful content. Facebook’s getting the same. So we now produce these kind of faux blog posts or we attach a lead magnet to a blog post, then we drive traffic to the blog post, which I think is a better experience for the user because they get some kind of content. It actually brings your cost per click down because people are engaging with the content, staying longer on your website, and the quality of your subscriber goes up. So your cost per subscriber may go up a little bit and your numbers of subscribers may drop a little bit, but the quality of those subscribers is much higher. So that’s one trend that we’ve found in the last eighteen months that’s shifted a bit.
Adam: I love that. I mean, I love the idea of driving leads even through ad campaigns to something real. It’s your real blog post and then they’re interacting with something that’s a tangible real asset. It’s a part of a larger body of work. And maybe there’s a lead magnet like a white paper offer or something related to that that’s attached to that blog post or maybe there’s not, but I love the idea of driving them to engage in a more community aspect, not just to a squeeze page, not just to a landing page. That’s great.
Troy: [00:19:26] The other thing is, too, that you got to look at the long game, and so what a lot of people don’t realize is that when you—and it took me a long time to get my head around this, like, “Why would I pay to drive traffic just to a blog post?” Well, what you forget is that anyone—you can pixel people. So you drive people to a blog post or a video and you pixel them either using Google AdWords or using Facebook, or even LinkedIn has a pixel, and then you can show YouTube ads to that audience or you can show Facebook ads to that audience. People that have been to the website and engaged with their content and watched more than twenty-five seconds of a video or visited a blog post and been there for longer than seven seconds and engaged in some kind of content, then you can retarget those people through those pixelings. So you got to look at playing the long game and not just look at your cost per click or your cost per acquisition upfront, but we now look at cost per customer over the long game, not just looking at what’s happening in the last seven days.
Adam: [00:20:23] I love that. And I think marketing is moving in that direction, looking at the long game in general with everything from pay-per-click marketing even to content marketing and thinking about a content marketing architecture and structure and strategy that’s going to take six months before it even begins to pay off but there’s value in it, and they’re starting to recognize that there’s value in it. I think that’s critical.
Troy: Yeah, 100%.
Adam: I love that. I love that. So, last question. I’m kind of excited about this question because you’ve already given me so much good stuff as it is that it just can’t help but get any better here, so no pressure. Related to digital marketing, tell me something you’re excited about.
Troy: [00:21:01] So I’m really excited we’re going kind of really deep and complex on personalized marketing. And it just takes a lot of work to get this stuff right because, so we’ve got an e-mail database of about eighty thousand now and to personally market to eighty thousand people is you have to use automation and robots, and so what we’re trying to do now is we’re trying to get super-clear about what these people are actually interested in and we’re trying to get them to self-select and put their hand up and say, “You know what? I’m not interested in what you’re doing over here and I’m not interested in that new Facebook Live show that you’re rolling out because I think you’re a bunch of idiots and you carry on and you laugh too much, but what I am interested in is I’m really interested in how to put a job application up on a job board so that I can hire the right team member that I need for my position.”
(00:22:01) “Great. Well, if that’s what you’re interested in, let’s have a conversation about that and that’s all we’ll talk about. If that’s what you want to talk about, then let’s talk about that, and if you don’t want to talk about our podcast or you don’t want to talk about our blog post and you don’t want to talk about our YouTube show, then we won’t talk about that. We’ll just talk about hiring a team member. And however, you over here, you want to talk about how you can keep people from unsubscribing from your email list or you want to talk about how you can make more money as a public speaker or how you can use public speaking to better your business. Well, that’s great. Let’s have a conversation about that with you.”
(00:22:36) Now, doing that with a database of eighty thousand people is really difficult, and the problem is that when you start to say, “Alright, we’ve just produced an episode of our podcast. We’re not going to send it to our entire list. We’re only going to send it to the people who are interested in our podcast,” you get FOMO. I freak out as a marketer. I go, “Hang on a second. What do you mean we’re only going to send this e-mail about our podcast to twenty-seven-and-a-half thousand people because the rest of the people aren’t interested in the podcast? Why would we do that? That’s craziness.” But I think that’s what you need to get. You need to understand that it’s not about broadcasting. It’s about having a conversation and using advanced segmenting in your database to try and make sure you’re only having a conversation with people about what they are interested in – to look back to that start of the conversation, what’s in it for them. Because the problem is, if you do keep knocking them over the head with messaging that doesn’t resonate with them and that they’re not interested in, chances are they won’t unsubscribe, they’ll just stop opening your e-mail, and you don’t want to have a database where 50% of your database never open an e-mail but they don’t unsubscribe because that just creates an admin overhead for you. It costs money to host those e-mail addresses and it’s bad for your overall deliverability into inboxes. So you want to make sure that you try and maximize your open rates and engagement rates as much as possible by sending less emails to people who aren’t interested in it. You’ll still send the same number of emails but they’ll just be different e-mails to different segments of your database.
So that’s something I’m really excited about. It’s something that we’re just starting out exploring now, going deep. And I’ve got to tell you, the hardest thing for me is managing my own fear of missing out.
Adam: [00:24:19] Right. I mean, that’s unbelievable. I think you’re so right because people want, I mean, like we talked about earlier, they want their needs spoken to and really only their needs, and if you try to do something that’s not their needs and you try to broadcast everything, it doesn’t work for them. And then they’re just going to opt out or worse, like you said, they’re not going opt out, they’re just going to zone out.
Troy: (00:24:40) Yeah. It’s like that really annoying guy at a family barbecue that just talks about himself the whole time, “Well, last weekend I went to the game and then we did this, and I never ask you about you.”
Adam: Yup. I met a lot of friends that way, oddly. Not a lot. I met some friends that way, or more specifically, that are friends of friends perhaps, and I end up in a room with them and I just do a lot of smiling and nodding and smiling and nodding.
Troy: (00:25:05) Yeah, yeah. And then they say, “Anyway, enough about me. Let’s talk about you. So what do you think of me, Adam?”
Adam: “What do you think of my stuff and my team?”
Troy: Yeah, exactly.
Adam: “What should I do with this next thing?”
Troy: Yeah, exactly.
Adam: “Give me free advice after I’ve talked about myself for thirty minutes.”
Troy: Yeah, exactly.
Adam: I bet you get that a lot. I know that I do. It’s unbelievable.
(00:25:26) And I think what’s interesting too about personalized marketing and how, and you talked about it in the context of segmenting e-mail lists, but I think there’s some trends coming in the near future where we’re going to be doing a lot more of that even on websites where websites are going to become significantly more personalized like Amazon is. But every website’s going to be like that. “Hey Adam, I see you’re in Atlanta. Let me serve up that to you, and I know that you like this.” I mean, it’s going to get crazy.
Troy: [00:25:51] That’s right. And we’ve still got a way to go, but the technology is becoming easier to use and cheaper to use where you can actually serve up a different version of a homepage depending on who the person is.
Adam: Oh yeah.
Troy: (00:26:06) If they’re in your e-mail database and they’ve expressed interest in XYZ, then the headline actually uses languaging and maybe is served up based on where they are geographically in the world. So that’s all becoming more and more available to small organizations. Because the whole generic “blasting the same message to everyone” is just not working and engagement rates are going down, and that’s why we’re getting smarter at trying to put the right message in front of… It’s the old adage, “The right message to the right market at the right time.”
Adam: [00:26:36] That’s right. And what’s interesting about that is I’m actually looking into some of that technology for 48in48 because, as you know, we’re doing events all across the globe and we’re doing six events this year and we’re just scaling faster and faster, and there’s going to come a point where it makes sense if somebody in Boston lands on our homepage you should talk about the Boston event and if somebody in Raleigh lands on our homepage you should talk about that one and if somebody in Atlanta lands on our homepage you should talk about that one. And so why not begin to make these customizations so that we can speak to those audiences specifically?
Troy: Yup, 100%.
Adam: That’s right. Well, Troy, let me see if I can recap some of the notes that I’ve taken during this call just so that our listeners have a good takeaway and something they can act on and really think about as they go, and then I’ll kind of roll through this. You just sort of chime in and add too or whatever, and then at the end I’ll ask if you’ve got anything else you want to add before we take off here.
Troy: Sounds good.
Adam: So the first question asked what’s worked well for you. You said marketing automation has worked well where you do those small touches to get users to fill out certain forms or to do certain tasks, and you have those answers pull into Slack automatically so you have a continuous speed once somebody does fill out a form. So you know their language and you can speak to them on their terms.
[00:27:46] The quote that I wrote down and put in bold in my notes is, “If you can articulate your audience’s pain points better than they can, they automatically credit you with having the answer to their problem.” That may be the best nugget out of this entire episode. That was an unbelievable nugget of wisdom right there.
And then you also said, “Two questions someone always asks when they’re landing on your webpage: Number one, am I in the right place? Number two, what do you want me to do now?” So, always make sure you have a call to action and you’re welcoming them in.
Anything you want to add to that particular segment here so far?
Troy: No, I think that’s an excellent summary.
Adam:(00:28:23) Okay. Number two question: What hasn’t worked well that we can learn from? You said gaming the system is not working well, and that’s a great thing and I could not agree with you more. I’m a big believer in creating the best content for a specific industry that you ever possibly can, being the best in that system and in that industry. That’s why I’m creating this podcast, is I want to be the go-to resource for nonprofit marketing and I’m trying to create the best contents while I’m interviewing the best people. So, it’s great.
The second thing you said is rely less on robots. So yes, use automation, but make sure that we don’t lose the human aspect of the relationship as we do that. So less robot, more human. Be real in your language to be sure that you’re communicating that you’re a real person when you’re doing that.
[00:29:05] And then last one you mentioned, or two of the things you mentioned: Traditional squeeze pages are not working, so consider pushing people to a blog post and having like a lead magnet attached to that, and think about the long game. Always think about the long game. It may be more expensive to get good leads, but they’re good leads. They’re good donors. They’re good supporters. They’re good users. They’re good participants. Get the good ones. Don’t get the cheap ones.
Anything else want to add to that list?
Troy: Man, you’re doing a fantastic job of summarizing this.
Adam: I take good notes. I’m listening carefully and taking good notes. I want to be on point here. This is great.
(00:29:39) And you said—what are you excited about—you’re excited about personalized marketing specifically, being able to segment your large database of users, being able to speak specifically to their needs and wants rather than blasting out everything you’re doing all at once. You want to be able to hyperfocus and if they’re only interested in the podcast you only email about the podcast, and if they’re only interested in this you only email them about that, so that they’re going to engage at a deeper level, they’re going to become a better part of your community and, hopefully, they’re going to be even better customers and better supporters of your organization.
[00:30:07] Anything I missed there?
Troy: Yeah, spot on. Perfect. No, no, man, you’re all good. You’re all good.
Troy: I got a question for you. How do you make notes like this? You’re hand-writing notes while you’re interviewing?
Adam: [00:30:18] No, no, I’m typing in Google Docs as we go. So I’ve got a little script in Google Docs and I’m just quickly bullet-pointing out stuff as we go, enough for me to remember. Now, I did verbatim-type-out if you articulate your audience’s pain points and that took me a little longer, but I wanted to make sure I captured that thought perfectly because it was so good that I had to make sure I could say it verbatim back to you.
Troy: That’s awesome.
Adam: But everything else is quick bullet points. I’ll share the link with you in a minute and you can take a look at my notes, if you’d like.
Troy: Beautiful. Love it. Love it. That’s neat. Because I can’t make notes while I host a podcast because I’m a terrible typist and my handwriting at the end of it, I can’t read it.
Adam: [00:30:58] Now, if I was hand-writing the notes would not be that good and they’d be a lot shorter. I can tell you that right now. But the typing works for me.
Well, Troy, is there anything you want to add? Any final thoughts for our listeners?
Troy: [00:31:10] Man, I think we’ve covered a lot and I’ve really enjoyed being here, and I think just sort of the final thought would be to be careful with what you automate and be careful with getting kind of caught in that marketing automation rabbit hole because it’s a very sexy rabbit hole to go down. But just be careful that you don’t automate the human aspect of building relationships, particularly online. Make sure you keep the human touch involved.
Adam: [00:31:40] I love that. And honestly, that’s good advice for me. I’m currently actively working on a lot of automation for 48in48, and it’s important because we want to have good relationships with the nonprofits we serve. So I want to make sure we’ve got that human touch involved. So that’s really helpful. I appreciate that.
Adam: Alright, Troy. Well, thanks for listening to the Good People, Good Marketing podcast. To get more resources about digital marketing, make sure to go to goodpeoplegoodmarketing.com, where you can find more podcasts, blogs and other fun resources. If you also want to find me, Adam, your host, you can find me on Twitter, @ajwalker, and on my blog at adamjwalker.com. Thanks for listening and tune in next time.
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