Ever wonder what it takes to have a million dollar day online? Think it’s even possible for an online marketer? If not, Mike Filsaime, the car salesman turned online marketing pioneer will be the first to tell you how it’s done (since he’s the second guy in online history to ever do it).
Flashback to the mid-eighties when Mike first learned how to write code after high school. He quickly turned a small bit of state-specific code into something he could modify for multiple states and sold the rights for a tidy profit. That was his first taste of turning a profit with software, one he would enjoy again soon enough following in the footsteps of John Reese.
Take your time with this episode and you’ll learn about what it takes to turn out great conversions with your webinars, why a launch model isn’t the best business model and the four quadrant approach to deciding which SaaS you should dive into developing. If you like what Mike has to say, you may find they pair well with some helpful tips from Mike Matuz’s episode and Joe’s take on creating the perfect webinar flow.
I always tell people, you don’t market in a debate format.”– Mike Filsaime
Some Topics We Discussed Include:
- The fine art of influence and why it matters
- Hands down the most important skill to sell something online
- How to leverage a support desk and tools you use to create a new SaaS product
- Matt’s warning about the consequences of good copy without this
- How to never tell your affiliates about your payment program and still get them to sell for you like gangbusters
- These 5 KPIs are what make a webinar the most successful
- Did somebody say Snoop Dogg was in the house?
- The baffling reality of what a pre-order really gets your client yet how much more it delivers during your “grand opening”
- The highest and best use of a launch
- If you’re still offering webinar replays, reconsider doing this instead
- How to spot the Coca-Cola and deliver the Pepsi online
- Should you pay for affiliate partners or pay for traffic to sell your product?
- What Mike believes you should always pair with an info product to earn more money online
- GDPR makes the Butterfly Site a tool Mike had to retire for now…But maybe not for good
- Mike shatters Matt’s myth’s about developing a SaaS
- This four-part video sales funnel that still slays it today
- If you consider building an app that piggybacks, consider this first
Contact Mike Filsaime:
- Connect with Mike on his website
- Follow Mike on Facebook
- Learn Mike’s laws of giving a successful webinar here
- Join Mike and like-minded marketers on a cruise to Mexico
References and Links Mentioned:
- Webinar University
- The Rober Collier Letter Book by Robert Collier
- Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion by Robert B. Cialdini
- Predictably Irrational by Dan Ariely
- Yes by Dan Ariely
- Triggers by Joseph Sugarman
- The Adweek Copywriting Handbook by Joseph Sugarman
- How to Create the Perfect Webinar Flow by Joe Fier
- Hustle & Flowchart Masterclass #79 with Mike Matuz
- Need to learn more about generating the traffic you need to have a massively successful “grand opening”? Find out more here.
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Matt: Hey, Mike. How are you doing, man?
Mike: Doing great. Thanks for having me, fellows.
Matt: Yeah. Thanks for hopping on the show. I think you've been one of those guys who've been wanting to get on for a bit now and just because I know conversations just go everywhere, but they're always fascinating.
Mike: Yeah, that's right.
Joe: Yeah. For the few that are even out there that don't know you, which is maybe a little bit out of the internet marketing space, give us a little history, backflash of-
Joe: Backflash, that's fire, huh? Flashback of Butterfly Marketing, all that stuff that you did when you first came on the scene there.
Mike: Yeah. I spent 14 years in the car business. I started doing this in 2002 was when I bought my first domain. I got fortunate that I realized right away that building a list was better than selling a product. What I started doing was taking some resale rights products. Back in the early days, those were some big things. I created a squeeze page to give the products away for free and then, I had an upsell that would upsell 25 other resale rights products after they opted in. If they bought or they didn't buy, I had them on my list and then I could promote other offers and launch other products in the future.
Mike: But where it went really cool was with Butterfly Marketing, I realized what if I could make everybody an affiliate instantly as soon as they opted in on the squeeze page and that was something that we pioneered. This was before WordPress, before YouTube was even an idea. This goes way back. But in 2003, 2004 and 2005, I started doing these “butterfly sites” where basically, when you entered your name and email address, you also created a password and I immediately created an affiliate account for you and then after you bought the upsell or didn't buy it, I would basically tell you that, “Hey, we pay 50% and here's your link and here's all your promotion tools, and if you bought the product, I'll pay you 100% commission or 75% commission,” or whatever it was, but I didn't have to walk you through the affiliate program.
Mike: There would just be a list of tools. Step 1, go change your email signature in the warrior forum. Step 2, change your email signature and your Gmail, all these different things that we taught people how to do. What would happen is any traffic that you would get from advertising or JV or wherever they were coming from, those people would immediately turn into viral traffic for you. I was in the heyday between five or six different sites, I was getting 700 opt-ins a day.
Mike: Back then, email open rates were just better. It was just great so I ended up taking that idea and building a script around it back then, but we didn't do SaaS programs or software as a service. You had to install your own server like a WordPress, but I was the second person to ever do a million dollar launch. The first guy was a guy named John Reese, you probably heard of him.
Joe: That's right.
Mike: He did Traffic Secrets in August of 2004 and this guy named Jeff Walker. You probably heard of him.
Mike: He wasn't famous yet, but he did do six figures in seven days. Jeff's email to this day, I don't think he'll care 'cause he doesn't use that one, but his email address was email@example.com because back then, my God, you did $100,000 in seven days. It's still incredible now, right?
Joe: It is, yeah.
Mike: But not extraordinary, but back then, that was extraordinary. You've done what people even online would dream about and in the real world, they would do in a year, and Jeff did it in seven days. He consulted with John Reese about doing this. John was the first guy to go high ticket. I think the most money ever done in a day, somebody had posted was like 54,000. When John did a million dollars, it was pretty big. He wrote a report and it was called One Man, One Million, One Product, One Day, something like that. He gave a lot of credit to Jeff Walker and that report came out on August 31, 2004 and if you look in the who is, the directory, you will see that I registered the domain name, Butterfly Marketing on August 31, 2004. What John said that, he said, “I believe million-dollar launches are going to become commonplace.” He equated it to Roger Bannister breaking the 4-minute mile. “Now that it's done and it's true, it could be done and I hope that this report inspired you.”
The Million Dollar Launch Echo Effect
Mike: I went out and I said, “That's it. I'm going to do this. I'm going to do a million dollar launch.” I had so much success. The echo effect of that million dollar launch probably lasted even to this day, right, because it lasted me three, four, five years, but because of that, I kept being able to double down and parlay it with the next launches because I was now Mike Filsaime. It really helped me to make a name for myself in the industry and I always equate it to this. There's been 13 men or 11, I forget, 11 or 13 men in the history of space travel to ever walk on the moon and all of them have all been American. Now you can probably name two of them.
Mike: If I was to say, “Name the third … ” I think John Glenn was the first to do the space walk. Neil Armstrong, he was the first. Buzz Aldrin was the second. I would ask you to name anybody else after that, you guys probably can't. If you are, you're a really science buff.
Matt: The guy that was in Apollo 13 I think eventually got to walk on the moon, didn't he? What was the guy's …
Matt: I can't think of his name …
Joe: Yeah, I don't know. I think we're proving your point.
Matt: Yeah, yeah.
Mike: Yeah, and we saw the movie and it's Tom Hanks. What happened was John Reese was Neil Armstrong and I was Buzz Aldrin and then everybody else was everybody who's ever been to space and the space station and all those different things.
Mike: Just one last thing on that, John did that report in August of 2004. I registered the domain name in August of 2004. I did my million dollar launch January 31st of 2006.
Mike: It took me a year and a half or anybody else, after John laid out exactly how you do video one, video two, video three, high ticket product, JVs and everything like that, it still took a year and a half for anybody to do it after that. Then I did and I'm being asked to speak all over the place. [Inaudible 00:10:07] asked me to speak at the big seminar, but right after that, Rich Schefren does Strategic Profits. StomperNet does StomperNet. Jeff Walker does Product Launch Formula and on and on and on and on and on. That model became the product launch, but that's really what created it for me.
Mike: From there, what it was, it was a bunch of strategies around software. I always had a thing for software. I always that it has this extra done-for-you element that people want and it increases the conversions and the intrinsic value of what people are buying over just information products.
Joe: Yeah. That's where, 'cause I know Matt and I have talked about this a lot with information specifically, if you're just stuck in information, at least the trend now, it's much different than when you were starting out or all of us really, is information is becoming so freely, widely just given out, YouTube, free reports. You can't really command a lot of money just for information alone. You've always kind of been a step ahead with software it seems like.
A Little Background On Mike Filsaime
Mike: Yeah. Here's a little-known thing, I was actually a software developer. I wrote code. I cannot write a line of code on the web, but I've been around a long time. I'm 50 years old so I graduated high school in 1985, but I had my first Commodore VIC-20 in 1983 and then, I had a Commodore 64 right after that, like a month after that, the 64 came out. So I started learning programming. Then my mom got the IBM XT and I learned how to program in Basic. Then I graduated and I went to New York Institute of Technology to study Computer Science with Business Administration. I was writing programs, actually sold a program to Lottery Players Magazine.
Mike: My dad used to fall asleep trying to do his lottery tickets. Two games for a buck back then and he would spend $25 so he had 50 tickets that he had to check every Wednesday and every Thursday, and he'd fall asleep after the fourth one came on at 10:30 news. We always used to joke, “We could be millionaires,” but he played the same numbers every week so what we did is we … I put them onto a disk and he would put it in and it would tell him if he had three and the supplementary or four or five or six, and if we were millionaires and all that. Then I wrote it for all 50 states 'cause they were all a little different, but pretty much the same formula. I contacted Lottery Players Magazine to put an ad in the paper. The owner of it said “What? What are you doing?” Computers were just brand new back then and so he offered me 25 grand for the rights of it and I sold it. I think right there was when I realized hey, you can make money with software, but I ended up leaving school, never graduated and I went into the car business.
Mike: I was in the car business always trying to get them to get onto computers, computers for leasing, computerized inventory, computerized business development center. I was the pioneer of the internet department and the computerized key systems. I learned a lot about sales, everything I know about marketing at that time I was able to take online, but I wanted to always tie that back into software.
Matt: That's interesting. We've had quite a few people on our podcast, too, who seem to have a background in either car sales or real estate. It seems like just getting that sales background has been really big. We had James Schramko on a couple months back and he-
Mike: Yeah. You know, James' story?
Matt: Yeah, yeah. He worked at BMW, became one of their top sales reps and …
Mike: It was Mercedes Benz I think.
Joe: Mercedes, yeah.
Matt: Sorry, yeah, Mercedes-
Mike: I'll tell you why. I'll tell you why. Not to cut … The reason why I said, “You know his story.” I went to speak at World Internet Summit in Sydney and James sees this ad that there's going to be 1200 people at the Sydney Convention Center and he's like, “Yeah, right, this is all nonsense.” All of a sudden, it says, “Mike Filsaime, former car dealer turned online superstar,” blah, blah, blah, “will be speaking.” This is 2006 or 2007.
Mike: I'm done speaking. I sell my coaching package and there's this one tall guy, very nice guy, he's just waiting for everybody to leave and finally when he's done in his beautiful Australian accent, he says, “Mike, you were in the car business?” I said, “Yes. How do you know that?” He said, “It was on the paper here.” He said, “The reason why I'm here at this event is 'cause I didn't believe any of this stuff was true and I said I would know when I met you if this is true.” Then we were talking about the car business and he says, “So this is absolutely true, everything you're saying?” I said, “Yes.” I said, “Get involved in this stuff. It's going to change your life.” We became friends there.
Mike: Here's the funny thing, right. Nine months later, nine months later, I'm at a Maverick Business Adventures. It's Yanik Silver's thing where millionaires do these crazy trips and we're doing a zero-gravity dive with Tony Hawk and all of a sudden, “Hi, Mike. How are you?” I said, “Hey. How are you doing?” He goes, “You don't remember me, do you?” I said, “Oh, I'm sorry. You look familiar.” He goes, “James Schramko. I met you in Sydney.” I said, “Oh, yeah,” and it still doesn't hit me. He goes, “I worked at the Mercedes Benz dealership.” I said, “Oh, right.” I said, “Wait. Wait a second, worked? Wait. Wait. You're a Maverick?” He goes, “Yeah.” I said, “You got to be doing a million dollars a year to become a Maverick.” He goes, “Yes, I am.” This is nine months later.
Joe: Oh, yes.
Mike: James is probably the most brilliant person I know in this game and on top of that, probably the most ethical and honorable dude I've ever met. Yeah, that story like you said about another guy in the car business, that's how he and I go back.
Matt: Yeah, that's 100% accurate about James, too, and that's why it was so fascinating to have him on the podcast. He told that. Not with you in there, but the whole story from … We'll definitely share this with James and make sure he hears it.
Joe: Your Australian accent is spot on, too.
Matt: I was mistaken for a while, yeah.
Mike: Good on you. Thank you.
Matt: Good on you, mate. Sorry, James. That was horrible. You always had this software in mind, but you also had to be really good at launches, very proficient there. Do you think you took some hustle … Was there something from those car days that you carried over into where you're at now?
Getting Into Online Character
Mike: Yeah, without a doubt. There was, as you said, hustle. That's one thing and the next thing is going into character, right. I could be talking to you guys right now or talking to my wife or my business partners or anything and then, there's Mike Filsaime and we were talking … Excuse me. Then there's the same thing you would do when a customer walked into the showroom. You'd smile with your eyes. You'd put your chest back. You'd put your shoulders back and put some air in your lungs and very warm and welcoming with a commanding, but not overpowering voice and say, “Hi, welcome to Millennium Toyota. My name is Mike and you are? What type of car are you looking for? How can I help …
Mike: It's that same type of thing of understanding how to do that with online video whether you're talking to your JV partners or whether you're doing an online video sales and you have to go into this character. You have to find the balance of it because you don't want to become what I would call Don Lapre, the late Don Lapre, right, and we've all seen that. That's when you start talking like “Literally, thousands upon thousands of dollars can be made with online marketing.” That's just cheesy, but you also want to get away from saying, “Um, um, and you know, the good thing about online marketing,” just being droning and drowning people out. I think sales there, but also learning influence, what makes people buy.
Mike: Here's a funny story. You guys have heard of the book, Influence: the Psychology of Persuasion-
Mike: Cialdini. Urgency, scarcity, authority, reciprocity, all these things. We used to do all of those things in the car business. There was a system. It was called the death system and it was done by Don Rosenbaum and every one of those seven things were in there that when I got online, I remember Jeff Walker talking about all these things before he spoke about the book. I said, “Oh, my goodness. They completely ripped this off from the car business.” That's how naïve I was. Then I heard about the book and saw that it came out two months before this system swept across the entire country for auto sales. I was like, “Oh, my goodness, Don Rosenbaum read this book and applied it to car sales, but I had a knowledge.
Mike: We called it liking, Cialdini calls it liking. They called it the like affair, establish common ground. If somebody said, unfortunately, these are the tricks of the trade, they sound very sleazy, but if somebody said, “I want the white one,” our initial reaction would be like, “So does everybody else and I think all the white ones are sold.” That would just be the reaction. They would go, “Oh, really?” “Let me check for you. Hold on a second. We have a deposit on this one, but the credit didn't go through, but if we can do a deal today, I can probably get you in it.” Unfortunately, right, that's just sales tactics and things like that. It's the same way that we put a countdown timer on a page, right.
Mike: Learning all those things in the car business made me realize that sales copy is nothing but a bunch of paint that goes on at the end. If you have a bad offer or you don't have all the proper elements of an offer in there and you just have “good wordsmithing,” you're not going to sell. They call that putting lipstick on a pig. What I've realized is that if you get the offer down and the frame and the hook and all these things down first, then you're going to go out of the gate with an A and then when you wordsmith it with good copy and good structure, you can get that to an A+.
Joe: I love it. That makes perfect sense. That's the thing. It's always offer and that's where I think like copywriting, a lot of folks just feel like that's … It's one of the best skills you can possibly have for sure.
Matt: I've seen a lot of software products actually specifically that have some of the worst copy I've ever seen, but all they had to do was put a demonstration of their software in a video form on their website and it does the selling for them. At the same time, I've seen some amazing brilliant copy written that maybe it sells a shit ton, but at the end of the day within 30 days, 50% of those people refund on it.
Read Like Mike
Mike: Yeah. I'll give some resources if you guys don't mind, some books that I would recommend.
Joe: Please. Yeah, that'd be great.
Mike For anyone listening. The one for copy that you want to read, you're probably going to buy it on Amazon used or on eBay or something like that, I'm not sure if it's still in print, it's called The Robert Collier Letter Book. Robert Collier was probably one of the best copywriters of all time. Everything that he ever put in copy ended up being the control. The ad agencies, his own ad agency, all the people underneath him could never beat it. Now, this does go back to like the 1930s and '40s, but substitute the horse and carriage for modern day products and the stuff is brilliant. That is on copywriting.
Mike: Now for psychology, I recommend obviously Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion by Robert Cialdini. I recommend two books by Dan Ariely. One is called Predictably Irrational and the second one is called Yes. Then the final book, just a masterpiece of a book is called Triggers by Joe Sugarman. If anybody spends time reading those things, maybe one a week for four, five weeks, you'll be a master copywriter 'cause you'll start understanding the psychology and saying, “Oh, I just need to communicate this. That's all I need to do,” and then you take the Robert Collier stuff and wordsmith up the structure of an offer and you'll be a hero.
Joe: Oh, man. That's amazing. I'm going to go back in and … I think there's a couple of those … No, I got to get them all.
Matt: I've got Robert Collier's Letter Book and I've got Influence so I think those are the only two I have so far.
Mike: Seventy percent of the way there. Basically, Triggers by Joe Sugarman is it's Influence by Cialdini broken down a little bit better into about 14 or 15 different what he calls Triggers. The difference between Joe Sugarman and Cialdini, Cialdini is now a consultant, but Cialdini used to be a professor so he wrote that book to warn people how you'll get taken.
Matt: That's right. That's true.
Mike: He got so famous from it that he ended up becoming a consultant. Joe Sugarman is a copywriter. He did BluBlockers. Remember the sunglasses that were on infomercials and many, many other products like that-
Matt: Did he do The Adweek Copywriting Handbook, too?
Mike: Yes, exactly, yeah. If you go to Amazon and look up Joe Sugarman while you're there, pick up all the other stuff that he's done. He's a brilliant, brilliant man. Old man, but brilliant.
Joe: Yeah. No, that's really good, helpful things there. We were going to ask you probably towards the end of the podcast, but that was perfect.
Some Insight On Launches
Matt: Yeah, we always ask for books, but now we got that out of the way so going into … Let's dive deeper on the launch thing and we'll talk on obviously software as well in conjunction with this, but … ‘Cause I know a lot of … Talk about the state of the launch now. If someone were to approach launching a product, call it SaaS or maybe a service or e-com, what are some principles they should go by?
Mike: The first thing to understand is that the launch industry and the whole mentality around launches has changed. People hate them and what I mean by that is not the customers. If the launch is done right, it's going to be successful. Getting JV partners is more and more and more and more difficult because from 2006 to 2011, the launch was the business model for digital marketers, right. You would go out and do a launch and you'd put it on the calendar and you were expected to have a good product and good conversions and all that stuff through your affiliates, but assuming you did all those things right, the JV partners would line up.
Mike: Something happened in 2011, 2012 and then more each year, and that's simply Facebook. Facebook advertising became so strong that people … Two things happened. Number one, people were responsible for their own traffic and they didn't need the JV. Number two, they were paying for the traffic. They were paying $4 to $5 to get an email and they didn't want to just give it up to you anymore.
Mike: What we would call the launch game, you would do a launch a year, maybe two, but that also meant that you had 26 JV partners that you had to reciprocate for so they would mail twice a year. You were hammering your list every single week and people don't want to do that anymore as much, but there's good news to that. Since people aren't launching as much anymore, it's almost done out of favor. What that does mean is that when you do a launch and you do it right that there is a little less noise in the launch.
Mike: Now there's still smaller marketplaces like the JVC markets and things like that where people are launching, six, seven different people are launching a day for the $47 product and then the four upsells and six downsells, but I'm talking more about the Jeff Walker product launch where you have video 1, which is the proof of concept or you … Video 1 is always talking about the concept. You have to explain why would you want to get into e-commerce and maybe shatter some of the myths. Video number 2 is the how, the how I'm doing it, and video 3 is kind of like the tease of the product, the sneak-peek behind and then video 4 is the video sales letter. It's a tried and true model.
Mike: But I can tell you that the last couple of launches I've done were very, very difficult to get the usual suspects promoting, even if you can do well, but they were still million dollar launches and we worked harder on the conversions. If we would've gotten the launch partners we did in the past, we probably could've done 3 or 4X of what we did in the last couple of launches.
Joe: Yeah. No, that makes sense and that mirrors exactly what we've seen as well. If you can really hone in on Facebook and even take the launch out of it for a second there, it's almost like if you compare that to JVs, you'll be spending a lot less of your investment in terms of if you're giving 50% away to JVs as compared to just paying for traffic and honing in on it.
Mike: Exactly, yeah, exactly.
Joe: Yeah, but if you can layer both, oh, my God.
Mike: Yeah, launching is not a business model, not a business model for making money, but the most important thing about a launch that I've learned is that you launch a brand. The biggest mistake I've seen with people, they come up with their $997 product, their info product and they launch and just so that they could have scarcity and urgency, they close the launch down and [inaudible 00:28:15] for nine months. That's not a business.
Matt: I think that's so ridiculous when I see that.
Mike: Yeah. What we did starting with WebinarJam back in December 2013, January 2014 when that launched, we launched something called the grand opening and we said that this offer is only guaranteed through the grand opening and may change after the grand opening. Then after that, the grand opening went away and then we either raised the price or took off some of the bonuses or both, but why lose all that traffic, why lose a brand? Imagine how silly that would've been. Sold out for nine months.
Matt: Yeah, with like Facebook ads and Google display network ads and things like that, you are building a giant pixel as well. Might as well grab all that pixel traffic and re-target the heck out of them as well.
Mike: Absolutely. Yeah. Today, I look at a launch for exactly what it is. It's to launch a brand so that you get people talking about it, right. When you and I last saw each other in person, we were at a high-level mastermind, the SpeakEasy event in San Diego. The launch was for Kartra was just going on at that point and it created the conversation where people were talking and then other people hear, “Oh, how is it? I got to check that out.” That's what you want to do, that's what a launch does as opposed to trying to get the customers one by one with Facebook. You want to get everybody in that industry talking about it if you can.
Joe: Yeah. No, I love it. Then I know you mentioned what previously is go-to, you can totally get evangelists or affiliates talking about it in Facebook groups, for instance, that's still highly engaged on Facebook. Luckily not paid.
Mike: Yeah, I call that …
Joe: … Facebook. Luckily not paid.
Mike: I call that getting into the conversation.
Software Marketing Tactics
Mike: As we were talking, before we got on the podcast that, if the people in the Reddits and the subreddits and the Facebook groups that have these incredible niches around your product, then there's an 800 pound gorilla. For instance GoToWebinar, right and everybody is saying, “Hey, do you know where I can get good landing pages for GoToWebinar? Should I use ClickFunnels or LeadPages?” That might have been a pretty popular thing that would have been in a Facebook group.
Mike: If we could get into the conversation where people are like, “That's why I use WebinarJam. It has templates built in.” Then everybody that's part of that group starts seeing that. When they start seeing over and over, “I just made the switch, I just made the switch,” that social proof is so powerful. That doesn't happen unless you have a good launch that gets people talking about it.
Joe: Yeah. No, that's so powerful and that's the thing. That's where we see now as you can drive traffic, you have all the retargeting, all of that stuff. Really what you're doing is you're building that brand, and then if you can convert folks, I don't know, if you're still doing the butterfly marketing approach with getting them to become affiliates immediately or at least get a vendor list.
Mike: Well, I asked Hector with Kartra to put that feature in for me, just create a rule that if somebody buys a product or fills out this opt-in form, then make them an affiliate. With all the new GDPR-
Joe: GD yeah.
Mike: … and all these different things that people need to agree to, he didn't want to do it, and legally so because Kartra is essentially a third party affiliate program that I would be using. The customer needs to agree to Kartra's terms of service and all these other things that have to have when you fill out an email form. He just said, “Basically Mike just put it as part of a step, make them click a button and join your affiliate program after.” Man I wish that was able to [inaudible 00:32:03].
Joe: Seriously. Yeah, I guess you could do stuff like our buddy Wilco with UpViral. You know just give them some incentive, or some bonus to then share it around.
Mike: Wilco, that's another genius marketer man, he thinks outside the box.
Joe: Yeah, we've had him on the podcast, and our minds were pretty blown to in the whole software stuff.
Mike: Facebook on your podcast, that's two right there I'm going to have to go download names and then Wilco.
Joe: Of course, yeah.
Mike: Probably everybody else you have on, you have some good people.
Joe: He's one of the most popular ones, there's a reason for it.
Joe: Yeah, I know with Kartra, well I mean to make a, so I'll just keep it on the vain of like launching now what you guys had a dollar trial.
Joe: Obviously that's going to catch some attention immediately.
Mike: Well, we did two things with Kartra that was pretty interesting. Number one for the launch, we had a separate affiliate program than the standard 30% that's there now. What I wanted to convey, and just for the record you know a little asterisk, I'm the co-founder of Kartra, WebinarJam and EverWebinar, but I'm no longer affiliated with them. I sold the company to my partners Hector and Andy. In fact, Frank Kern is now owner of that company with them, and I was hired as a consultant for the launch, because I had sold it a while back.
Mike: The idea that we wanted to do with that launch was, number one, do a dollar trial and then pay people 100 bucks if that trial build in 14 days. It sounded like a CPA offer, but essentially there was no risk the person had to build it. Then we paid 50% as a bonus and we called that, “And as a bonus we're going to pay you 50% on payment number two.”
Mike: Again, the way we frame that, right, the way we make it an offer to the affiliate is the same way you make an offer to a customer. You very quickly have to get off of all that complexity and then break it down. This is one of the best tips I can give you about a launch. Do not communicate to your affiliates about the affiliate program. A shameless plug here for GrooveKart. If you go to groovekart.com/jv you're going to notice that we don't talk about the percentage, “Oh we're going to pay you 40%,” or anything like that. We focus on the EPC.
Mike: We simply say, “Based on the last launches that we've done with similar products and similar price points, we average eight to $15 EPC for our top 20 affiliates.” Then I immediately go to a whiteboard and I'll do the math. I'll say, “So that means if you send us 100 people, we'll send you a cheque for $800. If you send us a 1000 people, we'll send you a cheque for $8000. Send us 5000 people and we'll send you a cheque for $40000. Send us 10000 clicks and we'll send you a cheque for $80000.” Then say something like, “And that's very complimentary to what we've done for our other affiliates in the past.”
Mike: If I start telling you the opposite, I'm going to pay you 40% commission, plus we have an upsell for this and a down sell for this, all that is, it doesn't mean anything, right?
Mike: How does it convert all that nonsense, but if you convert it down to the earnings per click, I don't even need to talk to you about the commission that I'm paying you. I've been doing that now for the last five years. I focus solely on the EPC. They'll look at the commissions when they sign up. 40% is a pretty decent standard these days. That was the first thing we did, is that we communicated something to the customer, people that said, “Listen, we're going to have a high converting product that people want. All you've got to do is get them to commit for a dollar, maybe give a bonus program. On average, you'll be making $125 for every dollar trial, let's do the math.” That was number one.
Paying For Your Place In Line
Mike: The second thing that we did revolutionary and I've got to give credit to Frank Kern on this one, this was just absolutely brilliant, but I recommend anybody steal it if they're doing video one, video two and video three. Let me give you guys an example before I actually give you the tip.
Mike: Do you guys play any games, Xbox, PlayStation?
Matt: It's been a while, but we do when we find time.
Mike: Okay, I'll give you an example Call of Duty, right? You can pre-order the game right now and it comes out in October. What the hell does that mean? It means you pay for it.
Joe: You don't get it yet.
Mike: I don't know if you guys use like iTunes to rent or buy movies like on your Apple TV.
Mike: It's the same thing, like you'll see the Avengers, pre-order, all that means is you're spending your money now and you get it when everybody else gets it. You could have ordered it then. You're really not getting anything extra for pre-order, but sometimes you do, like with the games they give you free maps. That's what we wanted to do.
Mike: Typically, with a product launch, you have video one for four days, video two for three or four days, video three for three or four days. You're getting all this traffic, but the people can't buy and you've got to hope that they come around when the video sales that opens up on the 12th day. What Frank did is he said, “Let's put request invite without explaining anything and right underneath we're talking about this new software platform.”
Mike: They kind of get it, they see request invite, everybody wants to get something like that. Immediately after they requested an invite, they get an email with a countdown timer in the email. Kartra does that and something that basically said, “Hey, we may, no, after we open the launch, these bonuses may go fast.” Whenever you have urgency or scarcity you always need to do a reason why right? It would be as silly as the guy in slap chop. “You need to order now because we can't do this all day.”
Joe: You just close that loop.
Mike: “You need to buy now because we can't do this all day.”
Joe: It's true.
Mike: Oh no, right, yeah. What we did is, I think we said something along the lines of, “Look, we have every anticipation of keeping the launch open for seven to 10 days, but we may have an overwhelming response, because of the dollar trial that we want to be able to service all of our customers. We have a certain amount of customers we're anticipating for the launch. If it comes out better than we anticipate it, we may close the launch sooner. That could even happen in the first day or the first hour. If you want to jump the line, you have four hours to guarantee yourself a spot. Click here,” and they go to a page. They actually saw the video sales letter that they'd have to wait 14 days for.
Mike: There was a countdown timer that said four hours and after that the page redirect and said, “Sorry, you're too late, you'll have to wait til the launch opens.” We were making sales right from pre-launch video one, two and three. I think if you take the internal and the JV launch, I think we did about 35% of our sales during pre-launch.
Joe: Oh my God, that's freaking brilliant.
Mike: Yeah, I think the conversion rate doubled what it was during the launch because there was a countdown timer there for four hours every day. However, the overall conversion, that was a conversion if they saw the video. The overall conversion was a little bit less because we were only getting about a third of the people to request the invite, so we didn't get everybody to see the video sales, but it's still ended up working.
Joe: Yeah, and we have used for one of our businesses the beer one with Brad – Kartra and we did a launch, it was just a little mini launch. We were freaking blown away with features like that in Kartra. Like the countdown timer was just one of the smallest ones, but just the tracking really, holy moly.
Matt: Oh yeah, I mean just speaking out of Kartra for a second, like it's crazy because there's very few platforms where you get like that sort of granular tracking across everything you're doing.
Mike: Everything, from the video to the page, you can put a tag. I've got to tell you, even for me, the more I use it the more I fall in love with it. Every time you go in, it's always thinking ahead for you and you're like, “Oh wow, oh look at that, that's great. Let me make sure to add that.” It just makes life easy for all marketers.
Joe: Yeah, no, it works and I know it's still fresh, so it's only going to get better.
Mike: Yeah, exactly.
Joe: Yeah, no, I mean the launch one I just love the fact that, if you put I think an ounce of effort into launches these days, like you said, not everyone's doing it, people are probably scared that you don't know how to approach it now. They don't know the Facebook, the branding side, how you can back it up and really …
Matt: Well it's almost kind of like email and direct mail, right? At one point everybody was like, “Oh shit, all I got in my mail is junk mail,” and nobody really wanted to check their actual real-life mailbox. Then when they got that little, “You got mail,” people loved getting email. Then over time, it shifted until people were like, “I'm really, really sick of getting email.” Now all of a sudden people get excited when they actually get something real in the mail. Once again there's like this new sort of revolution where direct mail works like crazy again because nobody's doing it.
Mike: Yeah, exactly. What comes around goes around.
Mike: I remember, I'll just give you an example. You know when you go to an event somebody says, “Hey, try this, I'm getting these insane conversions.” Now everybody's doing it and it's on everybody's site, it's the same exit pop and then it stops working.
Mike: I remember back in the day how much like Intel champs software would work. It would pop up and give you a coupon code, but then everybody was using it and there were bots and the artificial intelligence wasn't that good anymore. Then everybody knew that it wasn't real and that it actually would not work on the site anymore with our conversion. I guarantee you if you put that back on the site because nobody's doing it, it would absolutely work right.
Joe: Yeah, that's probably true.
Joe: Oh man. Having gone down the vein now, so we've got that, you've always been a software guy, so we could probably transition into what you're doing now.
Boost Your Webinar Metrics
Matt: Yeah, I mean there's really two kinds of rabbit holes we still want to go down with you. One of them is webinars and talking about some tips on webinars, because I know you've got some good strategies that are working well there. The other one is just talking about the software business in general. I know that's sort of avenue that Joe and I have always talked about traveling down, but I've never really traveled down. Which one would you like to talk about first I guess?
Mike: Well we could talk about webinars, let me give a good free resource for everybody that Andy and I created. Basically what we did was we figured, if we could educate people on doing webinars they would buy WebinarJam. Over at webinaruniversity.org, there are some videos there, some different people that we've interviewed and things like that. Basically you'll see law one, law two, law three, law four and five, and we broke it down to the five laws of a successful webinar.
Mike: It basically breaks down to the five key or KPIs, key performance indexes that you need to focus on, on a webinar. Basically law number one is the law of maximum conversions on your registration page, law of maximum on registration. Law number two is the law of maximum show rate. It's great to get them to register for webinar, but you've got to get them to show.
Mike: Law number three is the stick rate. Once you say, “Get on the webinar,” how do you structure a webinar to keep people entertained, teach them properly, get them interested in what you're buying? Then law number four is conversions, how do you stack and create an offer that people want to buy, and how do you transition to that? Many people just mess this up and you can just see it, it's like, “Alright, that's the end of the webinar, but let me talk to you about a new product I have coming up.” People are like, “What?”
Mike: Yeah, we talk about how to do that transition, quick little tip on that. The first thing you want to do is make a really big, bold promise at the beginning of the webinar. If you just stay on this webinar, you don't have to buy anything, I promise you that at the end of this webinar, you're going to learn how to do this. The most important thing is, never promise them what they're going to get if they buy your product, that's really horrible.
Mike: You want to say, “Over the next 45 minutes, I'm going to teach you how to double your this, that,” or whatever the case is. “Even if you've never done this before.” Then you promise them a free gift to stay to the end. Then you telegraph the close and then you say, “And by the way, when we're done with the webinar, I have a new product that I would love to share with you. I'm going to tell you right now it's not for everyone. Probably about 15 to 20% of you are going to be very excited, but I would love to share it with you. I'm only going to do that with your permission, so I have to live up to this promise that I'm going to show you how to double X, Y, Z.”
Mike: “At the end of the webinar, when I'm done, I'm going to ask you right in the chat, did I live up to that promise and would you like to see the offer? If you say no, then I'm going to be very embarrassed that I didn't give you guys good content. You know I'm going to be working really hard to give you good content. Does that sound fair?”
Mike: Everybody will type, “Yes, absolutely, way to go, I can't believe you're being so honest. Thank you, thank you, I appreciate.” They love you for it. At the end of the webinar you go, “Guys, so that's the end of the training. Now, the moment of truth is here. I made you this promise. Did I live up to it and did I earn the right to talk to you about my offer? Is that going to be okay? You guys excited to hear about it?” “Yes, can't wait.”
Mike: It just makes that so much easier to say, “Great, thanks I'm glad you're excited. Let me spend five minutes to tell you about it.” In these different videos we cover all those types of tactics, everything in there is free to learn, each video is about 10 or 15 minutes, so it's really good stuff. I think everybody will appreciate that. Then law number five, which we didn't cover is what we call the law of the echo.
Mike: Most people end their webinar and then they get off the call kind of like we will at the end of this, say, “Hey, how did you think it went?” “Yeah, I'll render down the video and if you don't mind sending a replay, then get about another 15% sales.” What we talk about is how you can actually double or even triple the sales of the first webinar by doing what we call these on course and different things like that. All that's in there.
Matt: Very cool, yeah and we'll definitely link up to that in the show notes. When it comes to webinars maybe you've got some good tips on this too, one thing that we've run into doing our own webinars over the years is that, it seems to me that it's gotten harder and harder and harder to get people to actually show up to the webinars any more.
Matt: I remember maybe three years ago, if we got 60% of the people that show up we were happy, and then it was 50% a year later, then it was 40. Nowadays it's like, if we get 25% of the registrants to actually show up, we're pumped that we got that many people to show up.
Mike: Well, I'll give you a tip, I'll give you a tip. This isn't off the top of my head, this is something that everybody including myself has suffered with. Here's what I did to correct it. I get about 45% show rates, which is insane, isn't it? I do a couple of things. Number one, what I have learned is, on your registration page, the more copy that you put, the lower the conversion rate's going to be on that page, but the higher the show rate.
Mike: Now if you put a video, you are going to get even lower, even a very well crafted video and even lower opt-in rate or registration rate for the webinar, you're going to get an extremely high show rate. Okay? Now, if you eliminate a lot of that stuff, basically you just have a picture of you on a whiteboard with a headline and a button that says, “Register for this one-time event,” you can get registration rates as high as 40% on Facebook and 65-75% with JVs.
Mike: The problem is, you're going to get horrendous, 10-15% show rates. How do you fix it? Well, the first thing we have to do, remember law number one, regardless of anything else, we have to focus on maximum registration. Let's go with the background, the view on the whiteboard, it's blurred out and you're showing these stuff with the cool headline, sub-headline, a picture of the host. Put a bio of why they should listen to you, Matt and Joe are leading experts in these different things.
Mike: Then your button, big button, so when they get there, basically all they're doing is clicking and then they go in and they don't know what the hell they're signing up for. Hey, you're getting 45 to 65% show rate. Now what you do is you take your Kartra page or your ClickFunnels page and you use that as your thank you page. You basically reverse it. I did this consulting for John Assaraf.
Mike: Here is where you want to put a nine or 12-minute video, teaching them what's going to be going on. Telling them, “Make sure to add this to your calendar, send a reminder in Siri or Hey Google. Click here to get a reminder to your Facebook, I'll send you a Facebook messenger. Enter your number so I could send you a text reminder, and remember this webinar is not optimized for a mobile device. I'm going to be texting you and you're going to get that on your phone and you're going to want to watch this on your phone, but you're not going to be able to do this. You're not going to be able to get my free downloads, you're not going to be able to get the free bonuses, you're not going to be able to see the chat. Phones aren't optimized for this experience, so make sure that when you get the link, you open that email in a desktop or PC.”
Mike: Then every transaction reminder email that I send them, always has a banner, “Webinar is not optimized for a mobile device, make sure to watch on desktop or PC.” I always did that because if people are on a mobile device, they're going to be getting a text message and a Facebook message update and they're in and out.
Joe: Yeah, they're not going to buy.
Mike: You've just got to get them on a desktop. Now, on that page, you've got a video, you've got all the things step one, add to calendar, step two, all those different things I said. Then underneath that, don't be afraid to put a lot of copy, a huge buy or a view Joe or a huge buy or view Matt, what you're going to be teaching, you're going to learn.
Mike: You ever looked at the table of contents of a book and said, “Man, I need to get this book,” right? You want to use curiosity based bullet points. If I was doing it for a webinar, like here's a perfect example, I would say, “Testimonials on your registration page. Do they hurt conversions or help conversions? Find out on the webinar.” Now I'm making you like, “Shit, I use testimonials on my registration page, should I?” You find out you shouldn't, they hurt, they telegraph a sale. You want to use what I said before, the topics specific bio.
Mike: Talk about why you guys are experts or why they should listen to you. All of these little things, if you put about 15 to 25 of these things that they're going to learn, like imagine it was about a Facebook webinar. Here's the three things you absolutely never want to do with your Facebook ads after the latest changes. Doing this might get you permanently banned forever. Oh my God I've got to get on this webinar, right?
Joe: Oh yeah.
Mike: By selling the event and saying it in the video, “This is going to be a one-time event, I cannot guarantee you're going to be able to watch this event again. I cannot guarantee you that there's going to be a replay or that we'll even mail a replay. This stuff is very special and we need you to attend it live,” and sell it. Just these little sayings are going to help increase your registration rate and your show rate.
Joe: I love it. That's freaking awesome. That whole section that you just said there, I would definitely swipe. I'm sure we will, because honestly like no joke we've been kind of scared of kind of doing webinars, because of how Matt described it. I could tell that we're doing it all wrong. You know in the beginning which I'm sure most people are too so. Thanks for that. That's awesome.
Mike: You've got. I'll try to get you guys a replay so you can give to everybody of John Assaraf's page, you can see him, I helped him design his. Or just Google John Assaraf, what the hell is it called, Brainathon and just register and you'll see the exact same thing after you register.
Joe: Nice. He's been running that Brainathon forever.
Mike: Yup absolutely.
Joe: I mean it's still something right?
Start A SaaS Chat
Joe: Now software, do you want to kind of get down that rabbit hole?
Matt: Oh yeah, I was probably going to start with the new BS newbie kind of question. This is like, so, Joe and I, we've talked about SaaS that's kind of a world that we don't really, we're actually good at marketing SaaS products as affiliates, but we've never actually developed our own SaaS.
Matt: It's a path that we're considering traveling down at some point. Now, what advice would you give like just the very basics, what advice would you give to somebody who's considering building a SaaS?
Mike: Well first one is the four quadrants and I forget who said it, I apologize. There's four quadrants, you basically make a box and put a plus sign in them. Quadrant number one is competent, I'm sorry, conscious competence. Box number two is conscious incompetence. Box number three is unconscious incompetence and all four of those variations. I'm a little tired guys, I apologize.
Joe: It's all good.
Mike: Basically one is competent, the other one is incompetent, and the other is conscious and incompetence. Those four variations.
Joe: Got it.
Mike: You never want to be doing anything where you're not developing software, where you have a competent, conscious competence, meaning you're aware of every little trick that needs to be done. Basically nobody knows this part of the industry better than you. The last one of course is unconscious incompetence. There are things that you don't even know that you would need to develop.
Mike: Like if I asked you to go build something for NASA, you'll be like, “First of all I don't know anything about NASA. If I studied, there's still things I'd never learn.” Correct? If you see an opportunity and you don't fit in that first box of conscious competence, then get away from it. Just because it's a great market, I hear that all the time. How many times have you guys heard friends, relatives or someone say, “Hey you know what would be a great app?”
Joe: Way too many.
Mike: We've all suffered from that, but unless you have an understanding, like when we created Kartra or WebinarJam, we created something that we wanted to use. We understood webinars, we used it in our business. We didn't just see it as a market that we can explore it. Even developing Kartra to go after Infusionsoft was a massive task, but we knew exactly what we wanted. We've developed software and we kind of knew if we were going to bite off more than we can chew.
Mike: That would be the first thing that I would tell you. The next thing I would tell you is good news. If you know what something is supposed to do, the next thing is you just hire a developer that has played in that market before and just get started. Get with one developer, you can usually get to beta in nine months to a year. Then you build from there, and then from there, if you do it right, it's game over. Don't ever think anything is too small of an idea. Take a look at Use Proof and Use Fomo, you guys are familiar with those right?
Mike: I mean those prices what you pay, I think you pay it like, for like 10,000 views or something, which any good marketer is going to need, is like $99 a month.
Joe: Yeah, it's ridiculous.
Mike: Just to put a pop up on the site, that's more than the cost of Kartra.
Joe: Yeah, that's true.
Mike: We could do everything.
Matt: Josh and I, we've had this conversation multiple times about how there's like tools like that, that essentially really should just be like features of a bigger tool. People have built the whole sass around them.
Mike: Yeah, I mean look at Intercom, they started out as this like this little chat for support. They built an incredible company around it. They went and got money and they've turned it into something that will probably compete with Zendesk. You could always grow from there. Other companies that have exploded just recently ManyChat right?
Mike: Now, I love the guys at ManyChat. I'm very, very good friends with Travis Stevenson over at Chatmatic. I think that ManyChat is a coke as I was telling you guys before the call. I always think whenever there's a Coca Cola in the market place, there's always room for Pepsi. If you remember, who was the Coca Cola with page builders? It was LeadPages.
Joe: LeadPages for sure. Yeah.
Mike: Right, and Russel became the Pepsi or the bigger brand, and before that, it was optimized press and everybody was saying, “Oh you could never take them on, they control the whole market.” Don't be afraid of doing that. You can first compete by price and some unique selling features that the competition doesn't have.
Mike: You look at like Chatmatic, I wouldn't go develop it, because I don't know. I have unconscious incompetence there. There are things that I don't even know that's needed, but if somebody knows, in other words you're using the software. If you find yourself going to the help desk of a software, number one that means you're using the software and you have a deep understanding of it. If you're constantly going to the help desk of the software and you're begging them for features, you've just got an idea for a software platform.
Joe: I love that.
Mike: Stop giving them the ideas and develop it yourself because you know what the software needs and you know the features that it's missing.
Matt: Yeah, no I love that. I love that thinking. Now what's your thought on softwares that sort of play on the back of existing platforms? For example, you mentioned ManyChat and Chatmatic, obviously those wouldn't exist if it wasn't for Facebook. It seems like if Facebook wanted to they could shut those down tomorrow, right?
Matt: There was a like what, a two month period where Facebook all of a sudden decided you know what, we're not going to let anybody have chat bots anymore. They went like two months where ManyChat just wasn't getting any new customers because they couldn't turn on their chat bots.
Mike: Okay, so you've brought up a great question, great question that we've dealt with. This is something that remember back in the day the Twitter slap, they basically realized we've got to get people to Twitter and in our app. We opened up our API, now tweet deck is killing us and we've got to get them to the app platform. You've got to be careful of that of course.
Mike: If you look at WebinarJam, the way WebinarJam came about, Andy and I were doing Video Genesis in 2013. We had 70,000 people that had registered for the pre-launch. We wanted to do a webinar, and guess what, we got 7000 people registered. The only platform back then was GoToWebinar. They had a maximum of a 1000 people.
Mike: We were calling all of our friends, “Hey, how did you do that thing where you gave everybody one number, but they randomly piggybacked to a different GoToWebinar?” Oh my God, we knew it was going to be a hassle. We were telling people on I think we were using Livestream or YouTube live back then, or that we were going to be, and we call them Bossathon.
Mike: We called them “Bossathons” back-
Joe: Yeah, I remember those.
Mike: So, we were telling people that we were gonna be doing this, but we weren't sure how we were gonna be able to get this done. Because YouTube Live didn't let you share the screen, and then basically a couple of people told us, “Hey, why don't you guys just do Hangouts On Air?”
Mike: And then I looked at Hangouts and I was like, “Okay, you can share your screen. This is pretty cool. It's unlimited. And you don't pay for it.” The only thing is how do I get you to register, and send reminder emails that's saying it's starting in an hour and all that type of stuff. And you couldn't. So immediately, I got an idea and I called up Hector because we had just finished Evergreen Business System. And I said, “Hector, you know everything we did with Evergreen Business System with our pages and everything like that? What if everything was the same but the only difference is, instead of getting an automated video, they got dropped into the Hangout On Air URL?”
Mike: And so, WebinarJam was born out of the need for a solution. Now we had some pretty good things going on at that time. We didn't have to pay for bandwidth, and then we didn't have to create an interface to share your screen or your webcast and all that stuff. The problem was, Andy kept saying, “Guys, we've got a company and if we're ever gonna sell it, we're built on somebody else's technology. What if they ever get rid of it?” And I remember saying, “They're never gonna get rid of it.” and then all of a sudden, “Oh my God, they're getting rid of Google+. Oh, they made a change. Oh, they're changing.”
Mike: And Andy said, “We've gotta get away from Hangouts On Air.” And sure enough, we started building out the solution. And about three weeks before we had it ready, after six months, Google announced in two months, 60 days, they're getting rid of Hangouts On Air. It's gonna be just basically YouTube Live, Hangout, something along those lines. It would have taken our company down. So luckily we got ahead of that. And so then we were broadcasting with our own interface to YouTube Live, and then Andy said, “What happens if Google says they don't want to do YouTube Live?” And then we actually created the WebRTC technology like GoToWebinar has. It's all our own technology.
Mike: So it's a very good question that you brought up and it's something that you have to realize, that if you're piggybacking off of a company they could put you out of business. You guys remember the notification company that was put out of business by basically, Apple?
Joe: Oh, no.
Mike: Yeah, so there was a company that would give you desktop notifications.
Joe: Like a PushCrew type thing?
Matt: Oh, I do. They were called Growl.
Mike: Yeah, Growl! And then one day they basically announced, “Hey guys, we knew this day was gonna come, it's being integrated into Apple.” Right?
Mike: How many apps are there that were not native apps to Apple that Apple saw, “Oh, wow, that's … ” like a newsreader app or like Flipboard, different things like that that were paid apps. And then Apple, three years later said, “Hey, now it's free.” Kinda like Windows with the operating system when it used to be Netscape Navigator, that type of stuff.
Joe: Right, right.
Mike: So you look at the Shopify apps. You've got a company and they've got 500,000 users and you're doing $99 a month with 30,000 people. What happens one day when Shopify decides to put that as a core app in their system? You're out of business overnight. So those are things that you have to consider, they're gonna be risks about selling the company. You might be able to sell but not get the right valuation for it because there's a lot of risk. These are things that people bring up. What can disrupt this business overnight? And when you're tied into somebody's backend that could certainly happen.
Joe: That makes perfect sense. I guess the whole point is, hey, get out something fairly quick if you can always keep it in mind. But if you have an MVP, hey, launch that sucker, build it, get some revenue and reiterate for the future.
Matt: Well, I love the concept too of just like what things do you constantly ask for support on or integrations on, that's the potential app. Because I don't know how many times Joe and I are throwing around ideas for software and there we go, “No,” but that already exists in this tool. Or “No, that already exists in that tool.”
Mike: Yeah, don't worry about that. I always tell people, you don't market in a debate format. And basically what that means is, you're not a Republican and Democrat at the podium when people are trying to buy your product. If of Kartra we don't have infuses of say, “Can I just add something to that?” So all you've got to do is do what you guys know how to do already and that's just and everybody listening, go put ads on Facebook, YouTube, Google. Do some SEO on your blog, get JV partners, whatever it is, social media and get to click. Because your competition, they may not even know about it. And if you have those unique features anyway, they're gonna buy from you. You will never get a rebuttal on your sales page by your competition.
Bridging The SaaS Loyalty Relationship Gap
Matt: Yeah. Now I know this is kind of a weird question but, how do you feel about the relationship factor when it comes to like developing software that maybe somebody you already have a good relationship with like has already developed like a competing software? For example, let's say like Russell Brunson was good buddies with Clay Collins and then he went and built ClickFunnels just as an example. Does the relational element play a factor at all in what you decide to develop?
Mike: Don't worry about it. Don't worry about it at all and I mean it. So let me give you some examples. Yo know we have Kartra Pages. We had Clay Collins on our Genesis Labs episode. We promoted ClickFunnels and we were the number one affiliate for ClickFunnels for the first year. With the agreement Russell, my good buddy … and Russell and I talk every week. We said to Russell, he knew all about Kartra. We said, “Hey Russell, if we promote ClickFunnels, are you gonna come out with like a shopping cart, an affiliate thing or anything like that?” He said, “No, no, it's just page builder.” And we've got, I think we made $250,000 in commissions.
Mike: So next thing you know, he threw Stripe: Integration. But then he threw the affiliate Backpack on top of it and then he did the Actionetics and it became a CRM. I called him and he and he said to me like he should, “Mike, I've got customers that are asking for a solution and I'm a businessman I gotta give it to him.” And then here's the thing, we started developing Kartra. If you guys remember DealGuardian?
Joe: Yeah, yeah.
Mike: So DealGuardian was gonna be called DealGuardian Enterprise. Because we changed our business model … we never even launched it. After we created it and we used it to launch video Genesis and you know people like Wilco, other people, used it to sign up and sell their products. We immediately said, let's go after the market where we can charge people $99 a month and trade all these other products with it. And then as that development was going on, DealGuardian ended up becoming popular … I wouldn't say popular but people were mailing their affiliates and we had you know thousands of users using it. That little site, guys, was making over two million dollars a year for us, just in transaction fees, just to tell you what software platforms can do.
Mike: So we said to ourselves, “You know what? We can't launch this as DealGuardian because people have a preconceived notion that you know what DealGuardian is, we can't just say DealGuardian Enterprise that people gonna be like, “Yeah, isn't that the JVZoo competitor?” So we said we're gonna rebrand it as Kartra and we've bought this beautiful domain, I think it's a great name. And it actually became something completely different, there's really no memory or skeleton to DealGuardian there.
Mike: But Russell had seen the demos of Kartra and everything like that. And I remember when somebody posted into the ClickFunnels user group, somebody said, “Hey Russell, how do you feel that your good buddies Mike Filsaime and Andy Jenkins saw that you had something successful and ripped you off?” And in my head I'm like, “ Do people really think … We started building DealGuardian at 2011, we launched in 2018.” Do people think that you could just say, “ Oh, I'm gonna go do that in four months and do something like that-” And Russell said the perfect thing, “ Hey, I welcome the competition that's good for everybody.”
Mike: Guys, you guys are you know friends with Josh Bartlett, right?
Mike: Kartra has a video component to it. We more compete with Wistia but obviously couldn't get Josh to promote. Anik Singal couldn't promote. He always does, because he has Sendlane, we have a CRM. Well, I couldn't get Russell to promote obviously because he had a page builder, so did we. We couldn't get Omar Martin to promote because he was contracted with JVZoo. We couldn't get Brendon Burchard to promote because he's owns shares in Kajabi. We couldn't get Eben Pagan to promote, he owns shares in ONTRAPORT.
Mike: Remember, I told you, all these different people we couldn't get to promote because as you went down the line it was all a conflict of interest. But none of them … we even called Kajabi and had a phone call with them because they have a membership site platform and they were like, “Hey, you guys did a really, really good job.” And we're like, “Yeah, we focus more here, you focus more there. Let's integrate.” And that we added Kajabi into Kartra even though we weren't had membership-
Joe: That's awesome.
Mike: So you know we always an abundant mentality. We're gonna meet everybody at the top of the mountain, rising tide, raises all boats, all that type of stuff. So I wouldn't about that at all.
Joe: I love it. No, I mean, that's the mentality that we have. We're always there to support our buddies. And like you said, it's a business, and we're all in it together anyway. And that's the beautiful thing with software is you can integrate. If they talk of each other, I mean you're only gonna help the other guy with the integration.
Matt: Oh yeah, I think one of the best marketing tools with software is that you go after other software's to integrate with because that's one of the ways that people discover software's is, I'll be on the back end of like Leadpages or something, and I'll see the list of all the autoresponders they integrate with and I'll be like, “Oh, I've never heard of that one.” and I go look into it.
Mike: Oh, I gotta tell you and that's like, luckily like the guys that use Proof they reached out to us. “Hey, we saw what you did.” In the olden days, I got to tell you, we would reach out to GoToWebinar or Infusionsoft and say, “Hey, can we integrate EverWebinar?” Because they had stealth at Infusionsoft. And “Can we integrate EverWebinar, WebinarJam?” Everybody is like, “We only do integrations when we get an overwhelming of support from the customers.” So we would go to our Facebook group and our customers base and tell them, “Hey, go blow up their helpdesk.” Because they're not gonna do an integration unless you can prove. And then after you create the brand, man, they start reach … everybody wants to put a little …
Mike: And I gotta tell you like the feeling for me to be able to go to websites, knew different companies that come out and I see integrates with WebinarJam, EverWebinar and things like that, to me that's where you know you've created that that brand. They want to tell their customers that they work with leading software.
Joe: That's amazing. That's the best way to do it. I'm just being careful in time here because I know we're going over already. But let's talk about GrooveKart since you're working on that now, that's kind of a big focus. And I think it's addressing a lot of what we're talking about here. We can kind of wrap up the conversation with this.
Mike: So guys, thank you and I appreciate that. And I know, so I'll keep this quick. So I want to tie this back into me having no right to be in this market. And I mean that humbly. I've never sold an e-commerce tchotchke in my life. I've sold physical products. I've had my print monthly newsletters and I've delivered CDs through Kunaki and things like that. But merch, merchandise, things like that I've never gotten into. So I don't know the way that market works.
Mike: But when I sold my company, I said, “Okay, well what are you gonna do? You're gonna compete with ClickFunnels?” “No.” “You're competing with Kartra?” I had a two year your non-compete, that's over, but no, I know what it took to build that. I frigging love that software. I'm not gonna … I'll never create anything better than Kartra. It took seven years to build and the best team in the world. And if it takes me seven, where are they gonna be? I just think they did that right.
Mike: So the page build is done. The digital marketing to sell for affiliates, the video, the membership site plan, everything is done. And then like I said, you've got the Chatmatics and all these different things. I wanted to create something big. But I wanted to find … WebinarJam I'm not gonna compete with them, EverWebinar, all these different things. I said, WebinarJam was to Pepsi to GoToWebinar. And I said, “What is the Coca-Cola in the marketplace that doesn't have a Pepsi?” And I looked and it was e-commerce, it with Shopify. You look at Ezra Firestone, what is he doing? Ezra has created Zipify off of Shopify apps, lots of people doing apps. And then you've got what WooCommerce … What I would call a lot of Dr. Peppers. You got WooCommerce and Etsy and maybe WordPlus things. But when you type in Shopify verse you know maybe Magento shows up but it's Shopify.
Mike: And then I looked at the marketplace and it was so big. I think the stats are in 2017 2.4 trillion dollars in sales in e-commerce and it's expected to be three trillion this year and five trillion by 2022. They're valued at over 1.2 billion, they have 500,000 customers et cetera, et cetera, et cetera. The only thing is, I knew that just because it was a marketplace there were two things. I don't know how to communicate with the market. I would need a partner that at least is doing e-commerce and I found John Cornetta, my partner. And he does about a 100, 250,000 a month with this e-commerce store. So we can do training like when we did WebinarJam, we did Webinar Genesis and Webinar University. You need that credibility. I would have been called out on it. Sure, they say, never sold a physical product in its life. But if I've got the partner that's doing it, people understand I'm the front man and I'm a very good one. And I know how to build a company and treat customers the way they want. But what about getting the software done right?
Mike: Well, this software is done by one of the original founders of PrestaShop, which is the world's largest open source e-commerce open source thing that you install on your own server. So he knows e-commerce in my opinion almost better than anybody and he has his own developers and he took what he knew there and built it into a SaaS. And then you get a guy like John who knows e-commerce and it's still being schooled by him when he's like, “No, no, no, let me show you how we do that here.” and John's getting blown away that Shopify doesn't even do these things.
Mike: So what our USP is, number one, the price. Number two, is that Shopify basically wanted to become an app store but in the sense that you see WordPress plugins, they never rate you over there, most of them are free. Shopify people will charge you sometimes $299 a month to do a retargeting feature and you only pay 99 a month for your Shopify store. The average Shopify store person that's making over 10,000 a month is spending between $700 and $2000 a month on their store and plugins. So we're gonna do something that when you pay the annual it's gonna be less than $49 a month, at least for our grand opening. If anybody's listening later down the road the price went up. But it's been under development for over two years.
Mike: And when I met them in Orlando and we were talking about Kartra and they overheard me say that I sold my shares in Kartra and I was just helping them with the launch. These guys like tackled me in a room and were like, “Hey Mike, we saw what you did with Kartra, would you want to be partners with us with this?” And I was like, “Show me the software.” And I was like, “You're letting me in? Thank you.” Like it was triple yin-yang thing there. And I'm blessed to be with these guys. I wouldn't bring a product to the marketplace just because I know I can sell it. I think as good as I'm gonna sell it this product is gonna do … As happy as I was with what Kartra is I think Matt and his team did just as good a job in e-commerce with this and I can't wait to demo and show it to the world.
Joe: That's amazing, man. Yeah, we can't wait to see it too.
Partnering On SaaS Projects
Matt: Now quick question is, we actually have some notes here of questions we want to asked. And there's actually one, only one that we didn't get to surprisingly, and that was about actually partnering. Do you have a philosophy in business that it's smart to partner with the gaps that … I'm trying to think the right word. But like you don't know how to necessarily develop online software and you don't necessarily know e-commerce. So do you make it a point when you're going in on projects to go and partner with like these gaps in your sort of brain power I guess.
Mike: Absolutely. Find the yin to your yang. Absolutely. Whatever it takes. Sometimes to three people can bring the magic together. And man, you'd be surprised what happens if you just ask. You see a software product out there that you love and you're like, “How come I never heard of it?” And you can do the marketing. Call the guy and ask them to become a partner.
Mike: Say, “Hey, do you want to partner in this?” Or say, “Hey, do you want to sell this? You want to license it to me? Can I can buy the rights to sell this for five grand?” You'd be surprised the different deals that can be done. I would recommend keeping that person on and partnering with them. But I would definitely, definitely look into those opportunities.
Matt: SO then real quick. What would be your philosophy on like if you found a really good developer that can get what you need built, would you prefer to go and partner with that developer and actually have them be an equity holder in the company or would you prefer to just go hire them and have them develop the software, just have them be staff?
Mike: That's a fantastic question. It really is. I would make that decision after I see the guy code. And if you see talent … If you see talent, right? You picked the guy up in a Laravel Forum or something like that and I don't mean this the wrong way. And what I mean by he communicates good is that as English is good. Because that guy might be in Romania or the Ukraine or India or something along those lines. And I'm not saying to do demo videos. I'm saying that, he just gets what you're saying or she gets what you're saying.
Mike: If you start communicating well with people and they don't mind working the hours that it takes to work with you and they've got it all. And what I mean they got it all, they understand CSS and user interface and user experience. And they've been in this industry and they say to you this is something they've always wanted to develop but they … When they know it that well and then they tell you they've got two other guys that want to come along later. Yeah. Lock them up. Tell them, “Look, don't take any more jobs. I can't pay you any more but I'm gonna give you X percent of the business.” and that might be five, 10, 15%. You want to be stringy with how much you give away. It's a little bit easy to just start giving away and giving away and giving away and giving away. But you start it 10% … 10% owner in a company. And that person they're not gonna work for you anymore, they're gonna work for themselves, they're gonna work 18 hours a day, seven days a week.
Joe: I love it, man. I mean that's exactly it. And I love the fact that you said, “Hey, go look for” … I mean there's so many distressed assets out there-
Mike: That's right. Exactly.
Joe: And we're just like, “Okay, flip that house. How about flip that software?”
Joe: Really. We have the marketing talents, it'd be a no-brainer to just start doing that, find some gaps.
Mike: Let me just give you the last thing on why software is so easy to be made these days. With GitHub, Laravel Forums, code-
Joe: There's another software like pairing company my wife just used. I forget the name of it now where they like … they basically source the perfect coder for ya.
Mike: Oh yeah. There's a few of those. But like places like CodeCanyon, codepen.io, Laravel Forums and Laravel. You always want to have somebody develop on Laravel. That's what I would do. It's a framework for PHP. Because it forces them to write a certain way. And if they ever have to leave the project, you can go get anybody else to come on board and they'll think they wrote the code. That's why you want to do something like that. You never want a coder with his own framework, then you get the thing of like, “Well, let me get a new coder.” and that is gonna be like, “This is shit. You might as well let me rewrite it from scratch.” “What? Three years development here.” “Oh, I can get it done in 30 days.”
Joe: Bull … bull-
Mike: Never listen to any of that.
Joe: Yeah. Yeah.
Mike: So but those things I just mentioned, CodePen, CodeCanyon, GitHub, CodeIgniter Forums. There is so much stuff out there where you want to pull something that does a date and time script or … Basically all code is written already, everything. Stripe has written all of the e-commerce for you. And you got a good developer that understands this and he works with frameworks. He could go to ThemeForest and download an admin panel and you could have the shell of a gorgeous-looking company. You're gonna be like, “I can't believe this is done.” And then the other 20% is what takes 80% of the time. That's all the little ninja features that you want to get done. But getting the skeleton of a site up with log in, lost password, all that stuff is just done by drag-and-drop code that's already been written.
Joe: Yeah. Wow, man.
Matt: Now this has blown our minds a little bit, because this is a road that we've wanted to travel down. And we've often thought it was too hard or that we didn't want to burn bridges with other people that have similar software. Or this software that we wanted to do already existed, so what's the point? Things like that. But I think you sort of like shattered all of those, sort of limiting beliefs around software. So just awesome stuff.
Mike: I appreciate it. Yeah, I wouldn't worry too much about that. In fact, DealGuardian was originally Deal Hacker. I don't know if you remember that name but that was-
Joe: I do, because dealhacker.net when I heard about that. Because originally I think Josh Bartlett was involved in some way and he told me the name was gonna be DealHacker, so I was like, “Ooh, .net is available.”
Mike: Yeah, yeah. There you go. And Josh is a software developer. He was tied up a little bit too much at [Odelo 01:22:38] and we couldn't get the project off the ground. And I had just finished Evergreen Business System with Hector and I asked Josh very politely, “Hey, would it be okay if I move the project over to somebody else that's ready to go with it?” And he was like, “Yeah, I apologize, I'm really busy.” I said, “No, no, don't, don't.” But even that, Josh, a good friend. He wasn't upset that we had an idea that we were gonna work on together that I work with somebody else, and that ended up becoming Kartra. Just looked look at how … It's a blessing that Josh was even a part of that conversation, that it led to that. And then we did a test on the name and everybody said, “That's the worst name ever.” We changed it to DealGuardian.
Matt: I love it. It's amazing you hear the history but then like to know, “Okay, yeah.” There's all these connecting pieces and I mean there's … It's a cool space. It's always fun. There's always something new we can expand on.
Matt: So to wrap it up. You already need a bunch of books, I appreciate that, we won't rehash that. But what's the best place for people to go find more about you? Obviously we got GrooveKart too.
Mike: Yeah, in fact I got to put it on the front of that page I'm gonna give you. So, they can go to mikefilsaime.com. I'm sure they're seeing somewhere in the podcast how to spell my name.
Mike: And they could learn all about Kartra, WebinarJam, EverWebinar, my affiliate programs, my webinar protocol webinar control. If they want more advanced stuff then what we share at Webinar University and of course groovekart.com which I'll be putting at mikefilsaime.com as well.
Matt: Awesome. I appreciate it. Well, thanks so much for spending the time with us and going a little over-the-top in a little extra time. And it's been great stuff. It's been a nice little trip down memory lane with a lot of the stories and learned about webinars and software and just amazing stuff. So thanks so much for taking the time-
Mike: We did the whole … We went from life-story all the way through everything. I had a lot of fun, guys. Hey, thanks for all the shameless plugs. Can I get one more in there?
Joe: Absolutely. Go for it.
Cool Breaktime Opportunity From Day To Day Ops
Mike: This is the one that makes me no money but one of the things I'm most passionate about.
Matt: Are you opening a new car lot or something?
Mike: Hey, come on in, no money down.
Joe: Oh, God.
Mike: …only $99 a month… I'd love to see you guys on there as well. The Marketers Cruise. Just go to marketerscruise.com. We take a vacation with 400 to 450 entrepreneurs and their family every January, this year or this coming January 2019 we're gonna be setting sail out of Long Beach California doing the Mexican Riviera, Acapulco and Cabo and all that good stuff. I think it's a seven-day cruise. We don't mark it up, it's Carnival's prices, I think it starts at like 1100 bucks, all your meals, everything are included and you get to take a vacation with a lot of really cool people. So thanks for letting me get that one in.
Joe: Yeah and I've neglected not going on one of those things. But I've only heard amazing stories. So damn it. This next year I'm making this happen because I love it.
Mike: Book it, man. I'm telling you … So, I know we're running long and saw I'll make this in 30 seconds. You know when you go to an event and you meet so many people and you get back and you're exhausted. And you have a bunch of business cards and you're like, “Oh, man. I've lost so much time from work I don't even know if I can call these people.” And but the people that you do connect with, you're either missing a speaker or you're talking outside the room and somebody's coming up and say, “Hey guys, can you get back in the room? The next speaker is starting.” You're like, “Hey, can I get your business card?” You get you don't really make relationships, you make these tiny connections.
Mike: On the cruise, we don't have any speakers, there's no selling in the back of the room. We have these sessions from 10:00 to 1:00 the days that were at sea. And then other than that, it's your vacation. Bring the spouse, bring the kids, bring the parents, all that stuff, it's your vacation and you're vacationing with other people and you create lasting friendships. No joke, there are people that got married on the cruise. People that have their … their baby on the cruise. Nate Anderson that's what he had told us. And I can't tell you, you take a look at guys like [Allan Cuts 01:26:38] and Chip Cooper they … on the cruise and they have a multimillion-dollar company. There's dozens of those things where people meet connections on the cruise that … John Cornetta, my current partner, we met on The Marketers Cruise and that's when we came friends. He's been doing it for seven years.
Mike: So the things that you traced back to when you can be at a beach for four or five hours talking with somebody in their wife and their kids, you create connections that you don't do an event. And I always say, you work hard, you're entitled to a vacation, you're gonna take a vacation, why not take it with other like-minded people?
Matt: That's right, man. Business is not there for you to sleep over, it serves you.
Matt: So there it is, man. Marketers Cruise, it's amazing. And, yeah, I'm looking it up. So I'm gonna get my wife on board. “Matt, you're going.”
Joe: “Damn it.”
Matt: Alright, Mike, good times with you.
Mike: Alright. Thanks, appreciate it.
Matt: See you, man.