A sales and marketing funnel is when people have an awareness of your brand and move closer to a buying decision. You want them to know, like, and trust you, so there is enough value for them to become your customer. What does your customer’s journey look like?
Fortunately, today’s episode features Daniel McGaw, the founder of Effin Amazing and creator of UTM.io. Daniel is a conversion rate optimization and sales funnel expert. Find out about the magic you can get from links and how to increase Website and content conversions. What are the superpowers of what can be done with a link when shared online?
Some of the highlights of the show include:
- Urchin tracking module (UTM) tags are bits of code you can add to the end of any link; it’s the only universal tracking method available
- Daniel’s product offers presets for teams to keep tags consistent
- Most entrepreneurs think about business in the wrong way; they focus on the logo, brand, mission, and other factors before they acquire customers
- Daniel thinks of business this way: Where is the demand? Do we have a customer? If we have a customer, then we have a business.
- How Effin Amazing got its name and gets a lot of attention
- Don’t ask for tons of information; just get an email address to optimize for leads
- Funnel Anatomy: Awareness, top of funnel (TOFU), middle of funnel (MOFU), bottom of funnel (BOFU), and referrals of the funnel (ROFU)
- Daniel’s company uses the Velocity/Impact/Confidence/Easy (VICE) framework to map a funnel, which includes documenting information, developing strategies, and building benchmarks
- Evaluate your team’s skills and abilities to augment VICE scores
- Most marketers and businesses go wrong when they expect people to buy too quickly; and do not get enough email addresses – email is king and the lynchpin to success
- Learn more about your customers during the funnel stages, and try to educate them
- Daniel McGaw
- Effin Amazing
- AMP on iTunes – leave a review and send screenshot to email@example.com
Jordan: You’ve heard of a marketing funnel, I’m sure. The idea is that people have awareness of your brand when they first meet you and then they move in this sequence that gets closer and closer to a buying decision. Increasingly, you’re trying to help them get to know you, like you, and trust you so that they see enough value to actually become a customer.
This is the whole idea of nurturing prospects through a funnel to a certain goal that your business has. The big question is—what should it look like? What should it look like for you company? What is that buyer’s journey or that customer’s journey? These can be really big, thorny questions but fortunately for you, I have an absolute conversion rate, optimization, and sales funnel expert on the show today. It is a fantastic conversation. I have Daniel McGaw who is the founder of Effin Amazing and the creator of UTM.io and we’re going to share a little bit about the magic you can get from links.
It’s amazing, and I think this episode is going to blow your mind if you’re looking to increase the conversions that your website is driving, that your content is getting. Learn how to really maximize your email list, there’s so many good things in here and stick around at the end because Dan will actually give you the blueprints of the certain funnels for specific industries. It’s really cool to get a look into the mind of someone who is an absolute marketing master. My name is Jordan with CoSchedule, and here is my conversation with Daniel McGaw.
Dan, thanks so much for being on the show.
Daniel: Absolutely, thanks for having me.
Jordan: It’s a pleasure. Can you kick us off by telling us about you’re up to these days, cool projects and fun things that you’re doing in the digital world?
Daniel: Absolutely, I have to say, one of the most exciting things I get to do is obviously work at Effin Amazing where we do a lot of consulting but we recently built a new product called UTM.io and that product is really helping us help marketers better understand what they need to make as a UTM for their link tracking, how to keep their teams consistent and stuff like that. A lot of the stuff I’ve been working around has really been focused on what are the superpowers that we can do with a link when sharing it online.
Jordan: I have to evangelize for this thing. I use UTM.io every day. That chrome extension, it has saved me so much time. It is brilliant, I’ve been manually doing UTM tags like a barbarian for years and now I’ve got this. Anybody who’s listening to this, if you’re doing UTM tags and you’re not using UTM.io, you’re doing it wrong, that’s just the truth, it’s an amazing tool.
Daniel: We are definitely trying to set the standard for how people make UTMs, that’s for sure.
Jordan: Well congratulations, you’ve done that. How could someone best use UTM tags if they’re not using them now? Just give a quick pitch for that so people use this thing, I love it.
Daniel: Absolutely, for UTMs it think the hardest thing is obviously UTM stands for Urgent Tracking Module and they’re little bits of code that you add to the end of any of your links so that way you can track things effectively. If you share something on Facebook, somebody clicks it and it comes back to your site, you can obviously see the exact thing that they clicked on and have a better idea of your campaigns. These things are used obviously across AdWords, Facebook, your blog, other people’s blogs all kinds of places. They’re the only universal tracking method out there. Basically, every analytics tool accepts UTM. The hardest part with UTMs is keeping your team in sync. For example, there’s four or five people on your team, you’re all making UTMs. However, if one person puts a capital F on Facebook and another person puts the lower case F on Facebook, those are two separate things.
When you’re working with a team of people, even more than just one, like two or three people UTMs wind up, getting messed up. Our tool enables you just make presets so that way, everybody’s using the same exact UTM for older campaigns when it’s applicable. It just makes it a lot cleaner and easier, not to mention it’s a Chrome extension so you take it everywhere with you compared to having to go to Google site and use their form, ours is just always there. Just trying to keep your UTMs consistent is like the biggest focus and that’s usually where people go wrong as people use capitalizations, some people don’t, some people use different spellings, so just try to keep it consistent.
Jordan: Yeah, and it absolutely delivers on that. Let’s talk about your marketing story a little bit. You and marketing go way back don’t you? How did you get started?
Daniel: To be completely transparent, when I was about nine years old I received this thing in the mail about a boy band. I grew up in the hood. I was the only white kid in my neighborhood and I get this thing in the mail, “Do you want to be a street crew for this all white boy band?” I was like, “Oh, this is great. I’ll promote these people.” I was into music at nine or whatever. My first experience was me in a hand-to-hand combat trying to give people flyers and put posters up about this boy band not realizing that in the community that I was in, the demographic culturally was rap music, not boy band.
I was met with complete anger and frustration on these things that I was doing. That was one of the first experiences that I had to learn in marketing and the fact that, you have to understand your target customer, and what you’re trying to sell them, and is this the right thing for that target customer? Obviously, me, promoting that boy band did not last very long.
That was my first experience in marketing and I do remember it pretty well because I remember being posed with this whole thing of everybody hates boy bands. I think their music’s good, what is different here. I had to learn a lot about demographics, and cultural things, and my mom, and my godfather definitely helped me understand. That was my first foray into it. I haven’t stopped being in marketing ever since. I’ve always been marketing something; I didn’t know what it was until I was probably in my late teens. I’ve just been marketing for 20 years now—not too bad.
Jordan: That’s the best marketing origin story I’ve ever heard. That’s amazing. It’s Effin Amazing, I’m going to have pun going all episode. Fast forward, how did Effin Amazing get founded, how did you get that going? Tell us about that.
Daniel: It was a complete accident. I was working at KISSmetrics as the head of marketing. Due to my travel schedule, I decided that I wanted to be able to spend more time at home. I do live in Orlando, Florida and I was traveling to San Francisco for one to two weeks a month. I have three young kids. I decided to leave that and then come back to Orlando and focus on another business that I had called, Fuelzee, it was a mobile app. It was November, right before Christmas, my investors in my other start up paid me just enough money to survive, not to buy Christmas presents. My wife says to me at the beginning of November, “Why don’t you do some consulting? Do 10 hours a week just to make some extra money so that way we can buy some cool Christmas presents,” my wife loves Christmas. I said, “Sure, that’s great.”
I was currently working out of a co-working space downtown and the first day that this happened I just said to a couple people I knew, “I had 10 hours,” and within another 20 minutes I had the first client of the company in essence which we didn’t have a company at that time. Somebody was like, “Hey, I’ll take all 10 hours right now. We’ll give you 10 hours a week, we’ll continue to do this every week and we’ll figure things
We have some of the consulting, we’ll make extra money. The problem was that other people kept finding out that I was doing consulting, and then more and more leads came to my direction. I had this one company come to us and said, “We want to give you $25,000 a month, you’re going to run our digital product and be responsible for all its marketing. You’re going to serve as interim CEO.” and that was right in the beginning of December.
I talked to my wife, “This is this is crazy. I keep getting all these people that want to pay me money to do stuff. What do you think we should do here?” my wife said, “Well let’s think about it. Let’s get through the holidays.” during the holidays we decided we should
probably create a consulting company, create something. At the end of 2014, we agreed to start something. We didn’t have a company name; we didn’t even have a business. We started funneling all of the business to one of my friend’s agencies just to be able to take it. Then by February 2015 we were like, “We have to get an office. We have too much business.”
We made some hires. We still did not have a company name. We just knew we were doing something. We’re running it through our friend’s agency. We just couldn’t figure out what to really name it. That’s when things were like, “We have to figure things out.” The agency was completely started by accident. I never meant to start this. People kept saying, “We want to give you money to do X, Y, and Z.” The analytics and marketing up
space is really intense. That’s how I got started. It’s really that simple. It was 100% accident. I even had said before doing this, “I don’t want to go back to consulting.” However, that’s what I’m doing for the past three years.
Jordan: What I love about that too is, I’ve ran into so many people who have a logo, and name, and a website, and they set up an LLC but they don’t have any clients yet. They’re like, “Oh, I guess I got to get some clients.” And you’re over here, “I’ve got all these clients, I guess I have to start a business now.”
Daniel: I think with most entrepreneurs, the unfortunate part is that they think about business in the wrong way. They think about the logo, the brand, the mission, the creative, they got to get legal structure, they got to get shares, they got to incorporate it in Delaware, they’ve got all these stuff before they get customers. This is my 15th very fortunately. I’ve always been very much the opposite, where is the demand, do I have a customer? If we have a customer now, we have a business. It’s always been a little bit
different for me.
UTM.io for example, that was created simply as an internal tool. We built that as a tool for ourselves and our clients to be more effective with UTMs. We did not build it so we can turn it into a business.
However, we kept getting so many feature request and things that can be changed with it and things we could do. We finally had a customer and we’re like, “Listen, we’ll build this but you have to pay as per month for these kind of features,” and we had a customer then all of a sudden, “Okay, well, now we have a business.” I think that is the better way to start a business. At least this is how it typically works for me.
Jordan: I think that works really well especially since you promoted for One Direction when you were nine before any of them were born. I absolutely love that, getting things in the right order. I got to ask you before we start, I want to talk to you about conversion rate optimization and some of the things that you’re just brilliant at but I got to ask like how did Effin Amazing come about because that is the best name I’ve heard.
Daniel: Thank you very much. I have to give all the credit to my wife. I did not come up with the name. I spent two months trying to figure out what we’re going to call it. We knew that we were doing something in growth; we knew we were doing something analytics. I’ve always said amazing, if you ever ask me, “How’s your day?” I would always say amazing. I’m very well known for that. People joke that I have a trademark. we couldn’t figure it out and then randomly one night we were watching TV my wife and I, really late, and this TV show came on called Effin’ Science and it was on the science channel and she was like, “That’s it, Effin Amazing.” I was like, “That’s the best name you could ever have.” I got super pumped, I was excited.
She was like, “No, that was a joke. I didn’t mean that seriously.” but it definitely stuck that first night that she said it. I have a tendency to say that F word, I’m pretty loud, I’m kind of a big character sometimes and I do follow that amazing lifestyle thought process. I think even when I have really bad days and I’m miserable I’ll still tell people
I’m doing amazing. It’s because it really does change my mind set in remembering that this is just one bad hour or day. My life is amazing. I have the best life you could imagine. I love it so the fucking amazing which is what we typically say internally just stuck and it’s kind of worked out ever since because it gets a lot of attention.
Jordan: I love that how your wife is like, “No, I’m joking.” and you’re like, “No take backs. That’s it.” Daniel: My wife was the one who told me to start consulting, so I did and then two months later she was the one who even named the company. At the end of the day I might be able to take the credit that it’s my name on the front door but really it’s my wife’s company. She named it, she started it, and she still runs the finances. I just work here. She has to be the boss.
Jordan: That’s the best. Let’s talk about some optimization stuff because that’s what it’s apparent, you bring this real data driven, everybody says we’re data driven but then you actually look at your stuff, you read your case studies, and you’re like oh my gosh these guys are actually data driven. When it comes to optimization, I know you have a pretty holistic view about it. When you’re working with a client and you want to optimize for leads let’s say, help us see into your brain, where do you start?
Danie: That’s a great question. I think one of the interesting things that people forget about is that like email is still the dominant player in the space and we’ve learned this across many different clients. A lot of times even when you think about leads like let’s say you have demand, you have all this SCO traffic coming to your site you’re like, “Okay I’m doing great, I get 100,000 visits a month and whatever, and I have a conversion rate of 4% for somebody giving me their first name, their last name, their email address, their company name, their company head count, the revenue, all these stuff.”
They ask for all this information, and typically, it’s actually the worst thing to do because if you just got their email, now what you can do is they’re nurturing to giving you the rest of that information. Whenever we typically start working with a client, the first thing that we’re trying to accomplish is how do we just get an email. Because once you give me
that email, I now have the opportunity to send you another email saying, “Hey, come back to my site. I have this cool resource.” and then they can choose to do it or not choose to do it. However, I now own that traffic and I can get that traffic to come back to my site.
However, if you’re doing all this SCO working, this person lands on the site and you’re asking 36 questions to be able to become a lead and that person bounces, you’re never going to see that person again. You might have them with retargeting, you might write a bad ad lock and you’re not going to see it, but if you get that person’s email, great there are prospects. You have a way to follow up with them.
We always try to figure out like what is the way that we can look at each step of these funnels and make it even smaller sometimes. It may elongate your funnel, and every once in awhile the fact that you get an email, now to really be able to turn that into anything you need first name, last name, and company, that’s great. I’m happy that I added this step to my funnel because now I can obviously optimize for step one and then I can optimize step one into step two. If I just go to step two, my conversions are going to be shit either way.
I think the framing at which people typically look at their leads, they’re always expecting too much. They make it too much about themselves and it’s like, give me this information, and I want you to give me nine fields. When reality comes down to it, it’s more about what are we giving them and a lot of times, I feel people just ask for way too much. The first thing we always do with the client is we get them to ask for just email
notification. That way, we can really build out, and nurture, and drive more people into that funnel.
Jordan: Howdy marketers, I hope you are enjoying the show so far. There’s so much more good stuff to come. Real quick though. I want to give you some free stuff. If you want some free CoSchedule Swag, would you help us out by hopping into iTunes and leave the show a review. It helps us out so much to get feedback from you, know what you think, and also reach even more marketers. So, if you leave us an iTunes review, simply take a screenshot of your review and email that screenshot along with your mailing address to firstname.lastname@example.org. I will send you some free swag, as a way of saying thanks and it will be to your doorstep in no time.
All right, let’s get back to my conversation with Daniel.
Jordan: When we talk about funnels now, everybody has an opinion about funnels it seems like you’ve got people who are like, “There’s no such thing as a funnel.” and then you’ve got other people who are very funnel centric. We like funnels here at CoSchedule but what is your opinion, just give us a good definition and description of a great sales funnel if you are in fact in favor of them.
Daniel: I think anybody who says that there’s no such thing as a funnel, I think that they’re just not thinking about the world as start and end. For example, you have somebody who is aware of you, and then you’re going to have somebody who purchases you. That funnel may not be a linear funneled directly between point A to point B but either way, that person has to go through some sort of process to become a customer.
For anybody who says that there’s no funnel, I guess you don’t believe that there’s somebody who gets introduced to your brand and then I guess you don’t believe that there’s somebody that eventually purchases your brand because that’s a two-step funnel right there.
You have hit the website, and then you have purchase. That’s a conversion rate of a funnel you need to track. There’s micro conversions and macro conversion which you would add in between those two steps. But in no matter which way you look at it, there’s a conversion metric that has to be looked out there and if you have a conversion metric, those little percentages, you have a funnel, it’s that simple.
For me obviously, I think that a funnel needs to be looked at from a holistic standpoint obviously. Let’s look at how we can move the needle from a visit to the website, new user on site, to purchase. I think that’s an important conversion metric to look at obviously but I also think you need to break that down into multiple micro steps so that way we can understand. Okay, they went from the homepage we know pricing is an important page, that’s another step to the funnel. We know they have to sign up because if they don’t sign up, there’s nothing there.
We know they need to do the activation moment in the product, and then obviously they need to purchase. I personally feel you need to track more most of the times. I’m not a big believer in micro conversions like they click the button on the top of the page compared to the bottom of the page. I think a lot of times that’s just noise in 99% of the cases. You have a funnel no matter what. If you have people that are aware of your company in their brain, that’s the top of the funnel as far as you can get and if they ever
purchased something well that’s the bottom of the funnel so for me I just don’t understand how people say there’s no funnel.
Jordan: That makes absolute sense. Can you give us the anatomy then of the way you think about a funnel?
Daniel: We take a lot of funnel we have Awareness, ToFu, MoFu, BoFu, and RoFu. We have awareness which means that somebody cognizantly knows that this thing exists. For example, you’ve heard about UTM.io today on this podcast, however, you have never been to the website, so you haven’t hit the top of funnel for us because obviously there’s no connection from a data standpoint or any of those things.
ToFu which is top of the funnel, is typically going to be the moment that we identify you either through an AdWords cookie or either through you visiting our site, so wherever the initial identity starts because we do track basically an identity through all these different systems. The top of the funnel for me is typically they’re going to be when we have cookie view from an AdWords or retargeting pixels somewhere or you actually visit our site. I would then qualify obviously everything on our website to be the top of the funnel so no matter where you’re at in my website, I would consider that ToFu.
Now, MoFu which is middle of the funnel for us is typically going to be everything inside of the product up until you basically have activated. For example, activation for us is the moment somebody gets value from the product. I’ve signed up, let’s say you’re on Trello, there was a trial, I’ve signed up, I’ve created a card, I’ve added a team member and then I’ve assigned that task to a team member. That’s the moment that I as the owner get value out of Trello.
The moment that that activation moment is hit, we are now talking about BoFu, which is bottom of the funnel to us. The reason why we look at it that way is because the middle of the funnel’s objective is to show you how to get value, the bottom of the funnel’s objective is to get money from you.
If I can get you to the point of seeing activation which is you’ve assigned a Trello to get to somebody else, or you could even take it a step farther that task was completed by that person, now I need to worry about what are the things I need to prove to you to get the money out of your pocket which would to us be called BoFu, bottom of the funnel. At that point obviously, I’m trying to show you more values, cases, I’m trying to get case
studies in front of you, potentially we’re doing more demos of how the products
Obviously, once you’ve purchased to us, you then become referrals of the funnel. That would be where we have RoFu. The moment that I acquire you as a customer, you’ve completed my funnel, you’re out of the bottom, because bottom of the funnel is the purchase. However, RoFu, referrals on the funnel, we need to get those people that are currently customers of ours to get other customers into the funnel.
I’ll give you a real world example on how this works especially since you have UTM.io. The moment that you use UTM.io, we track every single thing that you do for us to be considered the bottom of the funnel, you automatically have to have a paid subscription. Now one of the key ways that we create the return of the funnel and getting referrals back through that system is, every account has projects. You have a team and they have projects underneath that team. Those projects can be basically exported off of your account and then turned into their own team.
When we have an agency partner which is a big model for us,our goal is to get them to add as many of their clients as possible to those individual projects. So let’s say CoSchedule was a client of mine here, should have their own UTM.io project, you and your team would be in that project with me. Currently because you’re on my team, I’d be paying for the subscription. Let’s say CoSchedule and us decided that we’re finished with our engagement, you guys are happy and you’re going to go do your own thing.
Now, you’re a UTM.io customers and you like this tool but you need to pay for it yourself. Soon in our version, you’ll be actually able to hit separate into own team and assigned to this person which then makes it so that as Effin Amazing, I’ve referred CoSchedule as a new client for UTM.io and I’m getting that referral rate to continue to come back through that way. For every new client you add, I have an opportunity for a new referral, and that’s the reason why we track the referrals separate from the bottom of the funnel.
Some companies keep bottom of the funnel and referrals as the same. I think it’s a bad way to look at it. The reason why is because, you need to have certain checkpoints of your funnel so the middle of the funnel is activation, bottom of the funnel is purchase, we still need to get that person from purchase to referral now. That’s a totally separate conversion rate. We use ToFu, BoFu and all that stuff because in every company they have different definitions so obviously, we’re just giving more grandiose statements.
Jordan: Now, that makes total sense and the interesting thing too—I don’t know if UTM.io is a perfect use case for this but it sounds like the way you look at it, you really see marketing and sales as part of the whole funnel because it surprised me when you said that activation, you consider that middle of the funnel, like trial. A lot of people that I’ve talked to would consider that as bottom of the funnel. From a marketing perspective and now it’s on to sales, it’s under my SDRs or whoever.
Daniel: See that’s the thing, I don’t think of marketing and sales are separate and that was one cool thing. When I was at KISSmetrics, Chad Malchow who was the CRO head of sales there, we were both hired at the same time which worked out really good, but the one thing that we both decided early on is that there will be no difference between sales and marketing, the only difference is we all have our own roles. Obviously, we’re two separate departments but we look at the whole funnel as if we were responsible for the whole thing. The one thing that I remember with Chad being very important is this is not the organization where I’m just going to throw leads over the fence and you’re going to take over. We all have a share of responsibility here, and the more we work together, the better we’ll be.
I can understand, in the stereotypical marketing and sales environment, most companies separate middle of the funnel off because that’s now sales responsibility but I think marketing holds just as much responsibility because if they showed crap to the people in the funnel that don’t agree with the middle of the funnel and stops sales and selling, you’re screwed either way.
Jordan: Absolutely, exactly like that pass through. You might be—look at all these MQLs we give you every month sales, what are you doing with them? And they’re like, “Well these are people who you know aren’t even remotely identical to our ideal customer or whatever.”
That’s such a good point. Let’s talk about if someone came up to you, “Dan, I want to start mapping out a funnel for my company and sort of adapting this.” How would you tell them to start?
Daniel: We use a tool called RealtimeBoard. I really like RealtimeBoard, it’s really flexible. What you’ll see is lose chart and stuff like that but Realtime was just a little bit better. We typically always put all our funnels out in RealtimeBoard and we want to document as much as we can. We obviously want to better understand, where are the customers coming from, which channels are driving them into the funnel, do we need to tailor that experience to that channel that’s coming into the funnel. What is the current
marketing automation structure that’s supporting this entire funnel? All of that starts in a RealtimeBoard and then we have one giant funnel which looks like all these crazy lines and different things that come out of it, but we ultimately document it first in the RealtimeBoard.
Jordan: When you move it from RealtimeBoard to real life, then do you just stack it again and say, “Okay, what’s reality versus what we predicted?”
Daniel: Obviously, you have to build benchmarks of what your conversion rates are in each step and then as well as what are you trying to accomplish in that. The best way that we attack a funnel is we have a proprietary framework called the VICE Framework that we use to basically decide what needs to be attacked in a funnel first based upon what VICE says. VICE stands for, V is for velocity, from the time we started this until the time we started making money, how much time is that so 10, it’s very fast, one it’s very slow. Impact tells us how big of an impact is this going to be on the company. Do we
have a good opportunity, is the impact conversion a lot or a little.
C is confidence, how confident are we that we are going to win and then E, how easy is this going to be a bill if it takes one engineer, maybe get the needs of a nine, but if it takes six engineers, two designers and a copywriter, it’s probably going to get needs of a one. The higher the score is on that VICE Framework that’s going to tell us basically—what are we going to work on first in this funnel. That’s how we would look at those funnels, we basically look at the funnels, understand each one of those steps, then we create a list of strategies that we basically think will help us increase the
conversion rates throughout that funnel. We’ll take all those strategies, we put that into our VICE Framework, we then have our team and our client’s team actually score that in VICE Framework and then basically whatever bubbles to the top is typically what’s going to provide the most value in the shortest amount of time and the cheapest amount of resources.
When we look at a funnel, a lot of companies typically will say, “Well, let’s start at the top and work our way down.” However, I have a client right now, where the top of the funnel is converting like crazy, it’s doing a good job but their trial pages are crap, and we lose 60% of our people on the trial page.
Obviously you could then say, “Well let’s go to the place where we think we have the most gain.” but once again, then you’re taking all of this out and you’re making it an opinion-based kind of thing like, “Oh, we should go there.” You could realize, if we look at all of your other strategies you have other gains elsewhere. By using the VICE Framework, it enables us to be a lot more specific and prioritize correctly. That’s how we decide which strategy gets rolled out whenever we’re attacking a funnel.
Jordan: That is so smart. We’re big fans of frameworks like that too because it even makes things so much quicker in my experience. We all agree, here’s the framework, here’s how we make decisions and prioritize things. We put the numbers in, there’s some subjectivity when you’re going to assign it but it’s an educated opinion. We’ve done this a lot, and then the thing that bubbles at the surface like you said, that’s what we roll after and I think that is just genius to have those and I really like VICE, I dig that.
Daniel: I’ll give away a little bit of our secret, it’s awesome. One of the things we are building, obviously the VICE Framework is only as good as the people you have scoring it. I suck at user experience, for some reason, I am more analytical and less emotionally inclined. I don’t always think about the user’s experience, I think about what am I trying to accomplish. If we have a specific test which is being ran on user experience, my score shouldn’t count as much as potentially the user experience designer. Even though I grade the model and I say, “Listen this is overall the score, my average is going to bust out to be at 20.” I don’t know anything about user experience and this is the user experience test. However, my user experience designer who has been doing this his entire life, he of course gives it a score of three and I’ve given a 20.
Without any kind of augmentation of the scoring, this project could move forward and be completely wrong because I’m some stupid person about UX and I assigned the wrong score. We’re actually in the process of making it so that every employee here is basically not only where personality tests, and stuff like that but we’re also doing what are their specialties and then what are they actually good at here, and then as well as
what is their winning percentage based upon other ideas that they have had, and
then we actually are going to be using that to actually augment that score. Because I’m not very good at UX, my score would be decremented by 90%.
Meanwhile, the guy who knows about user experience, his score would actually be considered a factor of two compared to everybody else because he’s an expert, which would then modify everybody scores to make it so that we actually are giving you the correct answer compared to what’s the stupidest guy in the room’s scoring for this. His score shouldn’t matter in regard to this decision. We’re taking it to a whole extreme algorithmic level which would be really fun to do and it helps a lot with funnels.
Jordan: That is super smart as well. I’m certain I sound like a broken record a little bit but that really is clever. I really like that you’re actually taking into account the win percentage too. I think that’s really smart, how did you come to that idea?
Daniel: Unfortunately, everybody has losers on these VICE Frameworks and stuff like that. We track these VICE Frameworks throughout the entire livelihood of a project. There’s employees here that sometimes have a lot of losers. I’m not saying that they are losers, they’re really good at what they do just however when we look at their scoring abilities when it comes down to the VICE Framework, we’ll notice that somebody loses a lot and that gives us an opportunity to then coach that person and better train them, and to better understand where do they actually need help.
The winning percentage obviously is like everybody wants to compete and have the best score. The way that we’re looking at this project is leader boards, and player cards, and stuff like that.
Jordan: That is sweet. Let me ask you this as we start bringing this in for a landing. In your experience now, where do most marketers or businesses go wrong at a high level?
Daniel: First one, they go for the kill too quickly. This is specific especially in online education which is one of my specialties. Online education companies always are like sign up now, enroll today. However, anything with education and a lot of these other products and this isn’t just education but you need to basically take people through a buyer training.
They need to become aware that the product exists. They need to be able to research a product then consider your project towards competitors and then purchase. A lot of companies decide they’re just going to get rid of the research and consideration phase and try to push you right into basically buying.
I think that’s typically where most companies go wrong, they’re so focused on—how do I increase conversion to purchase, that all they focus on is trying to get people to buy faster. when really if you take the time to look at the funnel and say, “Somebody landed on my homepage.” the first thing that they want to do is probably not sign up. If they do, that’s great but does my conversion rate then go down because they signed up and then they bailed on the product before they could really understand if it was good?
I would have to say number one is typically people expect people to buy too quickly. They need to give them more time to assess your product, your solution, your service, and you should walk them through that process in a very structured way and you’ll see your conversion rates go up, and then I also see most people don’t collect enough emails. Email is king, get the email, get the email at all costs, and don’t let them leave your site until you get their email. Those are the two biggest places I see the problems.
Jordan: I 100% agree with you too concerning email, that’s been probably like the linchpin of our success. I think it’s a factor of three in terms of ROI comparatively that we’ve seen. Email has just been absolutely huge. All right, now let’s do some sage wisdom time here. Put on your Obi-Wan robe and what is your absolute best funnel advice?
Daniel: There’s a lot of different things that I can think of.
Jordan: Just a small question Dan, just a little one.
Daniel: Learn more about your customers during the funnel stages and try to educate them the best that you can. Once again, I would just ultimately say, stop going for the kill so early on. I think a lot of people, if they focus more on trying to show the benefits of their project or their products compared to just trying to get them to sign up and get into a free trial, sometimes I think companies would do better there.
Whenever I think about questions like this, I think about it in different like what did I learn in online education compared to, what did I learn in ticketing compared to, what I learn in media and publishing.
Each one of these verticals to me, have different funnel advice so it makes it a little hard. Online education, the master funnel for online education is, tell them what you do on the homepage. Have a big called action to be able to view your courses, get them into looking at a course, then show them a video of that actual course, then ask them to sign up for a free trial of that course. That’s the best funnel for online education.
If you’re a media and publishing company, you should understand that the entrance to your site is not your homepage, it’s typically a blog post. Focus on making it so that blog post is always a lead capture form, you have many different places for people to ultimately give your email, and then understand that you have to drive people through a set conversion funnel via email for a publishing company.
With ticketing companies, obviously it’s a little easier, you are much more focused on focusing on the value of that ticket and then having you get their email before you try to get them to purchase and these are some of the verticals that I work in more often. I’m trying to be more specific.
Jordan: That was wickedly specific and super helpful for anyone who is in those spaces. Dan this was Effin Amazing.
Daniel: You’re welcome.
Jordan: I can’t stop, I can’t help myself. Thank you so much for being on the show, this was fantastic stuff, I really appreciate it.
Daniel: Thank you for having me, I look forward to talking to you soon, and go check out UTM.io.