PreneurCast is a marketing + business podcast. Each week, author and marketer Pete Williams and digital media producer Dom Goucher discuss entrepreneurship, business, internet marketing and productivity.
In this show, Pete and Dom talk about Opt-Ins (one of the 7 Levers of Business): what they are, why they are important, and how you can get more of them. They also discuss what an opt-in might look like for various businesses.
Pete and Dom talks about opt-in and how to increase your opt-in rate
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Improving Your Opt-Ins
Dom Goucher: Hello, everyone, and welcome to this week’s show with me, Dom Goucher, and him, Pete Williams.
Pete Williams: Hey, buddy. How’s things?
Dom: Hey, pretty good, pretty good.
Dom: Folks, this week we are going to be talking about opt-ins. This is one of those 7 Levers topics that we talked about. So we’re going to be talking about what opt-ins are, why they’re important, and how you can get more of them. Before we go into that topic as a main body of this show, let’s have a bit of a catch-up. Pete, there’s been a lot of stuff happening on PreneurMarketing.com again.
Pete: Yeah. Well, as we have hinted and spoken about on previous episodes, we are trying to ramp up the content publication processes and systems in the blog, and it’s going really well. Had another round of awesome essays and articles go, which is cool. Published one earlier this week.
Basically, it’s about how I plan to give [my son] Eli $1 million. It’s just a simple process and system that anyone can put in place (no matter how wealthy you are or not) to teach your children some Wealth Foundations (which is a series that’s been happening on the blog as well). The goal is to give them $1 million. I want to break down the process, but it’s just a little bit of change every month into a system that over time will teach them about compound interest, teach them about growth, teach about investing, and at the end of the day give them $1 million.
It’s a very simple process. I encourage everyone who’s got children or grandchildren, or nephews and nieces, who want to teach them about money, teach them about wealth, and give them those Wealth Foundations that are so important. Check it out because it’s what I’m doing. I’d love to hear a bunch of feedback on that.
Dom: It’s a pretty cool idea, actually. I like the angle, but also, you have a background in this stuff. I was pleased when you did start doing the Wealth Foundations material. One of the things we did together a very, very long time ago was a piece that predates all of that, was your perspective on this. You have a lot of opinions about how entrepreneurs are great at making the money, but not keeping the money, right?
Pete: Exactly. That’s the whole idea of the Wealth Foundations series. It’s just a series of essays that let me get on my soapbox and rant a little bit, as we tend to like to do. But yeah, it’s just about that. I’ve experienced that, and I think so many other people have experienced that too. They’re starting a business fundamentally because they want to pay off their credit card, or make a little bit of money and go on a holiday or something like that. There’s underlying issues if you’re starting a business to pay off a credit card debt. What caused you to get in that debt?
So many people I see in consulting calls and conferences, and things like that, is that if they don’t have those correct and solid Wealth Foundations, once the business starts to make money, they just spend it, and they just end up still having that same credit card debt. It’s just now on info course as opposed to weekends away and random pieces of junk.
So, it is important to get those foundations right for your wealth so when you do actually start making it in a successful business, which is the core of what we talk about here, you actually can keep that money for your future, and you have that retirement, and you get those financial goals and dreams that you are achieving. But you need to have those foundations in place first.
That’s what that whole series is about. This one’s a little bit of a sideways step because it’s about ingraining your children early with these Wealth Foundations. It’s a little bit different from the majority of the articles that are in the series, but it’s just as important.
Dom: It’s just another way into the same material though, isn’t it? Everybody needs to have their own reasons to start and learn things. I just think it’s another good perspective on it, really. Well, obviously, we’ll be linking to this in the show notes, by the way, folks. Don’t scramble away yet, trying to find this stuff. But anything else on there?
Pete: Yeah. Something very interesting that’s happening at the moment is, I think a lot of people realize, particularly those who listen to the podcast, that we get opportunities to rate and consume a lot of books from various publishers that send us galley versions and prereleased versions of books, wanting us to maybe get the author on the podcast or promote the book to our audience some way.
So, we’re going to start producing more book reviews, or not book reviews — I’d say book excerpts. We’ll be going through a lot of the books we get sent and try to find a little chapter or a section that is something that’s swipe-and-deployable, that’s evidenced-based, that’s data-driven, that can give us and the community here a good takeaway, and a good sample of the book if they want to go and dig a lot deeper.
One of the first ones went out this week, which was about the 5 Minute Business, a book from a marketer here in Melbourne, Mark Middo. A really good book. On that — it was interesting. I’m not a big believer in content marketing. I am and I’m not. I believe in content marketing, but I think the issue with content marketing to a certain extent is that people are using it as their ‘lead generator,’ for want of a better term. But the issue with that is, people aren’t searching for content necessarily. They’re searching for information. People are searching for information, which is fine. But when they’re searching to find a solution to a problem, they’re searching for answers. They’re searching for a service provider generally, not information.
And as a marketer, and when we look at the Preneur Hierarchy, we’re all about marketing to people who actually have a problem they’re trying to solve. And content marketing, I think, has confused that with a lot people. It’s given them an excuse to be busy creating content, but not busy marketing to the correct group of people. That’s my general high-level issue with content marketing.
But in Mark’s book, he talked about content marketing and it actually gave me a different view. It opened my eyes up a little bit and made me think that this approach to content marketing could be justifiable and could support the Preneur Hierarchy. So, I’ve grabbed an excerpt out of his book, put it on the blog and give it a bit of context myself at the bottom in the comments. So if people are interested in content marketing, definitely go on and check that excerpt of the 5 Minute Business over at the blog.
I just don’t have the time to get to read as many books as we get. We get tons and tons of books and opportunities to read e-galleys and digital versions of books before they’re released. I just don’t have the bandwidth to consume all of those things. So, we’re looking for one or two interns who can string a couple of words together, who can spell better than me, who are interested to join the team and read these books, and find excerpts and sections of the books that are right to our audience. Be in charge of posting those to the blog, and give me commentary and saying some context of how it relates the Preneur Hierarchy or the 7 Levers framework, or positive constraints or anything like that.
So, if you are interested in joining us — and we got a whole bunch of applications. I’m going to start going through them shortly. If you are interested, make sure you head over to the blog soon and check out the post about the internships and opportunities. Then, you just literally apply, and you can potentially join the team and get a whole bunch of free books and get to see behind the curtain of how we run the Preneur Group projects, the blog and everything else we’re doing. You’ll get full access to all of that. You become virtually part of the team and you can do that. If you’re interested to get free books and join the team, go over to the blog and look for blog post and apply.
Dom: Cool, cool. It sounds like a really good opportunity actually. It certainly expanded my library, just being associated with you indirectly. Because we do get so many books and pieces of materials sent across to us to review. We do our best, we really do. We’d love to look at more and bring the value of more of that to the audience. So I think the internship is a great way to do that. Again, there’ll be a link to that post, but you can just go to PreneurMarketing.com and find these posts yourself if you’re in a rush, or check out the show notes for the show and there’ll be links to all the things Pete’s talked about.
So, on top of all of that, Pete, have you managed to get any reading this week?
Pete: A bit of listening, yes. I had a few meetings around the town this week and training for this Half Ironman in a couple of weeks’ time. Been able to do a little bit. The Art of Learning, which I think I mentioned on the last show, still doing it around on my iPhone in the audiobook app. I’ve been enjoying this book. It was really cool. A lot of surprising stuff and definitely, definitely one of the books I think will be added to my must-read list on recommendations.
If you haven’t checked it out, definitely go and check it out over to Amazon or to AudibleTrial.com/PreneurCast where you can go and get a free book from Audible. The writer of The Art of Learning reads the book, which is cool. I always like it when it’s the author reading it so it has a bit more passion in the words. Definitely check it out. If you haven’t already subscribed to Audible, go and check it out. Subscribe to a free account and choose The Art of Learning as the book this week.
Dom: Excellent, excellent. All right, with all that, let’s dive on into this week’s core topic for the show, which is all about opt-ins. As we’re trying to do in shows, we’re trying to cover the basics of the 7 Levers of Business. One of the things that I think is overlooked in any business is the concept of opt-ins. Now, Pete and I have been talking about this recently. It popped up on your radar recently, didn’t it, Pete, that opt-ins is something that people are a little bit confused about?
Pete: Yeah. I think it does depend on the business a little bit. If you’re in that online information marketing space, I think people do get opt-ins because it’s all about the squeeze page. People almost, in that space, over-focus on opt-ins a little bit too, like getting the e-mail, getting that subscriber in your database, in your Ameer account. We’ll discuss that later.
But we got an e-mail from one of the world’s largest bike manufacturers about a week and a half or two weeks ago, and they’re looking at using the 7 Levers throughout their retail channel, and try to help support their retails and help them improve their businesses. Because obviously, the more those businesses, the retailers improve, the more bikes they sell, which helps this manufacturer.
Now we’re a little bit confused about how do they account for, and measure, and define what an opt-in is in their retail store and working out, how do we do this? What do we define it as? That’s what sparked the idea for today’s show.
Dom: As you say, opt-ins completely depend upon the businesses, in some businesses more generic than others. But in general, what is an opt-in in your definition?
Pete: I think one way to define an opt-in is to define the two things around it. The very first thing you have in any business is the traffic. These are the people who come to your website, who walk into your retail store, who potentially call up your accounting firm. That’s the traffic or the leads your business gets. You might call them prospects even. Then you’ve got the conversion on the other side of your opt-ins. The conversion are people who open up their wallet, and start to transact with you and agree to give you money and purchase something, whether it’s products or services or something in between.
So, if you understand first that, ‘this is what my conversion is,’ you need to start working backwards. Because what could be an opt-in for one business would actually be traffic for another business. Now, let me give you an example. In a business where you, let’s say, sell phone systems for example, (like one of our businesses, Infiniti). For us, the way we define it is we’re primarily driven by online lead generation. That’s the main lead gen, for a new inquiry to the business. So for us, the traffic is people that come to the website, [people] who come to our various websites.
For us, the opt-in is someone who either requests a quote for a phone system, or picks up the phone and calls to speak to one of our sales team to get a quote for a phone system. That’s our definition of an opt-in, someone who’s actually raised their hand, and going from a loose, interested bystander, to someone who’s saying, “Yep, I want to take the next step and go closer towards a conversion.” The conversion is when someone opens their wallet, or their business’s paycheck or credit card, and says, “I’m going to buy a phone system.” That’s the way you fundamentally define what the conversion is for your business. What do people still have to do to raise their hand and show you they are more interested than others? That’s the flow.
If you’re an online business, and you sell information products and you have a squeeze page or an opt-in form (which everyone knows), if somebody just stumbles across your blog, for example, or your website, and is reading the information on there, they are different to the person that opts in and gets this free report which helps solve some problem this person has. It’s showing that they’re more interested than just the average visitor to your website. It’s one way to measure the interest level of your leads, and you can define them as prospects.
If you’re an accounting firm, potentially, and you’re doing that sort of service. Or maybe for you, the way you want to define it is that opt-ins are people who come in for their first consultation. If you are concreter or a tradesman, maybe for you, your conversion is people who sign the contract and say, yes, you can build this pergola or this decking at the back of my home. That’s your conversion. Your opt-ins are people who get a quote. Then for that, your traffic is everybody before that. Someone who calls up and inquires for a builder. That might not be your definition of an opt-in because your definition is waiting for some who gets a quote. The people who just call up could be your traffic number. And this is an important takeaway: it doesn’t matter how you define what an opt-in is. The only thing that matters is that you A) define it, and B) you keep that consistent as you continue to measure and work your funnel, your 7 Levers funnel. That’s the most important thing.
And this was what I was telling the bike company. Because from their perspective as a retailer, they had an issue. How do we define opt-ins? Because in previous episodes where we’ve spoken about opt-ins, we have said in this form of a retail store, like a clothing store or a footwear store, the opt-in for those businesses is generally when someone comes in and tries on a pair of shoes, or goes into the change room to try on a dress. Their issue was, if they defined the opt-in as everybody who engaged in conversation with their sales staff, they’d almost have 100% opt-in rate because everyone who walks into the bike store would generally at least converse with the sales staff about something that has to do with bikes. And that’s a very fair point.
My suggestion to him was, how about people who go for a test ride on a bike. If that’s what you can push as part of your sales funnel (to get people to go and hop on bike and go for a ride), that could be one way you can define your opt-in. Another way you can define an opt-in if you wanted to, and you had the tools to measure this, is anyone who engages in a conversation more than four minutes. Most retail conversations are pretty quick: “How much is this?” “Okay, thanks. Bye.” It’s not a serious prospect putting up their hand and wanting to know more.
Maybe you could create a survey that if someone’s going to buy a new bike, they fill out a survey just for the sales. Just like their name, where they’re going to be riding, how much they’re going to be riding. This will help the salesperson to progress a sale and work out additional items to sell. A questionnaire can do that. You can show your professionalism and understand the person’s needs, but that could be your opt-in. People who are willing to spend their time to help your sales staff fill out that form that gives them understanding of how they are going to be riding their bike and what are they going to be doing with the bike. That could be your definition of opt-in.
There is no one definition. It’s just what works for you and your sales funnel that you can continually measure. Because it’s all about just increasing that number by 10% every time you cycle through (pardon the pun) the 7 Levers.
Dom: Okay. You made a very important point. You kept saying the important point there, but the important point is define it and measure it. And it can be different things to different companies. Even within the same company within a different context or product range, it could be different. So that is what an opt-in is. It’s that putting the hand up and volunteering to find out more about your product range, more about your products, your services, taking that next level and demonstrating a level of interest, right?
Dom: I guess the big one is, and maybe it would be helpful for a lot of people to understand is, why? Why is it important? Why is it important to have opt-ins, or to track opt-ins, or to even be aware opt-ins? What’s wrong with traffic to conversion?
Dom: Good question. Very, very good question. I think there’s a number of ways we can address this. Firstly, potentially, it’s a volume issue. If you treat every single person who walks in to your retail store, or calls you, or does some interaction with your business, the same, there’s a volume issue here. You’re not going to be able to give the level of service to every single person that walks in. If the way you go from opt-ins to conversions, the system you have, is time-heavy, valuable — for example, in the telco business or something where you are selling consultative-type selling, if we went in and had a salesperson sit with every single person who called our business for an hour and had a chat with them, the wastage there will be immense. It will just be ridiculous. So, by helping people to find and gain their intent and showing that they’re willing to put their hand up, that helps filter out some of these people.
When you go to the conversion engine and you are maybe going out and doing a quote to people, you’re sitting down with them face-to-face, you’ve got more predefined, predisposed, prequalified people to speak with, which not only makes conversions easier, but it makes it cheaper and quicker as well because you have people always self-select out. That’s one of the reasons you want to have those opt-ins in there, so you can clearly define who is worth your time. Who is it worth spending time with? That way, you can focus in on those people, and invest more of your time, energy and effort to get those people to convert, as opposed to the tire-kickers. That’s probably a term that a lot of people know as well. On a car yard, people come in and kick some tires and waste some time. They’re not worth your energy. They’re not worth following up five times. They’re not worth sending little things to just help them and move them forward in the buying cycle. You want to help and define, and figure out where people are in that buying cycle. And defining opt-ins correctly can help you do that.
Dom: I definitely take that on board because for my own personal experience, I have found that enforcing an opt-in stage does give you that sense of self-selection, as you called it. This idea that people are volunteering for more information. They want to find out more, prequalifying themselves is another term you used there. It can depend on the business and the product range, and services and things like that, as to how important it is. But there’s definitely a value, not just in that initial stage.
Some of the examples I have for that are things like, in my new consulting role, we make sure that we have a meeting with people. That is the opt-in, like a presales meeting where we are going to talk to them. And as previously mentioned, I’ve talked about the SPIN Selling approach, and it’s our opportunity, not just to qualify the client, but to find out more about the client, to find out if there’s more we can offer them rather than what they initially thought they wanted. If I just had a list of services on my website, they went to the website, they ticked the box, and we delivered as it were, I’m probably missing the sale in a lot of cases. So for me, having the opt-in, having that step in between traffic-to-conversion allows me, and so we’re back into the 7 Levers again, really, further down the list of 7 Levers into number of items per transaction, for example. And also onwards from there, if they’ve opted in to the traditional.
Your opening point was this traditional idea of this mailing list for online companies, but any company can run a mailing list. So, if someone is on your mailing list, then as part of your opt-in process, it’s an opportunity to communicate to them about further offers which extends in number of transactions that they make with you, more of the 7 Levers.
Pete: I think something that you touched on there that sparked something that I think is important and that causes a lot of confusion for people, and that is what’s the difference between an opt-in and a conversion? Because you mentioned that your opt-ins are meetings. And I think in a certain way, people might confuse that. Because technically, I would argue that the meeting itself, physically sitting down face-to-face with the person is the conversion engine. It’s the thing that makes the conversion. So when you’re working on conversions, that is when you look at, how do I structure the meeting? How do I structure my pitch? How do I get them to convert?
Because the way I look at this (and I’m hopefully going to describe this well without any diagrams) is that the conversion happens at the end of the conversion engine. The opt-in happens at the end of the opt-in engine. Now, the opt-in engine might be your squeeze page itself if you’re an information marketer online. So, when you’re working on opt-ins, you’re working on your squeeze page to increase the number of opt-ins you get as a result. When you say, “My opt-ins are my meetings,” well, that’s the result you want of your opt-in, someone to agree to a meeting.
Dom: I should clarify, that’s exactly what I meant to say. The outcome, like you said, requesting a quote is an opt-in. For me, it’s agreeing to meeting.
Pete: Yes, and then the actual meeting itself is the conversion in which we’ll talk about in another episode.
Dom: It starts the process of conversion.
Pete: Exactly. So this is the thing that I think a lot of people get confused at as well, is they get that confusion between the two. So when you’re talking about working on your opt-ins, all you’re trying to do is get more people to engage in your conversion engine. Now, your conversion engine could be a long-form sales letter on a Web page. It could be three-part e-mail sticking to its sales or a service. It could be a meeting. It could be a phone call. It could be the ability to hand the person or to go out to the person’s home and discuss with them the goal they want, and give them the quote.
So, the opt-in for this builder is not the quote itself. It’s the ability to go out and quote. It’s how many people who inquire, agree with having you come out and talk to them and work out a quote. Then the conversion engine scenario is, ‘here’s the quote and here’s all the reasons you need to buy from me and pay me this money.’ The quoting itself is not the opt-in. The opt-in is getting the ability to go out there and see that person.
Dom: That’s good point and very well clarified. I remember many, many years ago (I don’t know if they still do it now), but in the UK, it’s quite a famous, high-end vacuum cleaner manufacturer, and they literally do home demonstrations. That is the thing that you opt-in to. You agree to have one of their representatives come to your home to demonstrate. And to the point when you agree, that’s the opt-in. After you’ve agreed, that begins the conversion because this demonstration is structured to convert you into getting you to buy the vacuum cleaner. Just another example there.
Pete: Technically, yes. In that scenario, the conversion doesn’t start until you walk in the door. So, not to get overly detailed with this for a podcast, but if you have people who agree to in-house demonstration for example (if we use this vacuum manufacturer here), you might have some people agree to it. But then people who cancel the demonstration before you walk in the door, that is still an opt-in issue.
Getting people to stick with attending your webinar, for example, if you’re an online businessperson. Getting people to opt in to your webinar and then turn up to the webinar, those two issues are still part of the opt-in lever. The conversion doesn’t start until people attend the webinar and watch your sales pitch. So, if you’re getting people to opt in to a webinar as part of your opt-in sequence, then you have to make sure you get that person to turn up.
There’s a whole bunch of strategies out there to encourage people from the technical opt-in of the e-mail address or registration for the webinar, to the turning up on the webinar. Those issues there are still part of your opt-in lever. In certain circumstances (not to get too granular), but a particular lever might have two elements: the actual registration and the attendance, the actual agreeing to letting you walk in the door and not canceling beforehand. That’s all part of that opt-in lever that you need to work through.
Dom: I know you said you don’t want to get too granular, but I do think it’s important because one of the most important parts of the 7 Levers is measurement. It’s measuring each part, knowing what you’re measuring, and then actively measuring it and reviewing the measurements. And so, being able to clearly define where one thing starts and ends is important. It is down to you, and it is down to your business, but it is still very, very important. I do think that you give some good examples there without getting too granular. I think it was good to point it out. Whatever goes into getting them to take the step from across the line, right up that line, and stepping over it is still part of that lever.
So in opt-ins, if they agree — and we’ll use webinar although it’s completely not focused on online business or online tactics at all, but we’ll use a webinar sign-up. Somebody signs up and fills in their e-mail address, and agrees to turn up to a webinar at a certain date and time. But if they don’t turn up, then there was something ‘wrong’ with the opt-in process. Once they turn up to the webinar, then they are then in the conversion stage, because they are then going to see that webinar which is oriented to them using purchasing something. Same with the home demonstration of the vacuum cleaner. Completely different industry, completely different thing, but exactly the same in that they agree to the home demonstration, and then they cancel it. They haven’t gone into the conversion phase because they haven’t seen the demonstration.
Pete: Absolutely correct.
Dom: And so, something went wrong there. It may be anything. It could be anything. There is no definition, don’t need to enter the granularity of that. If you’re looking at it in terms of what goes into it, well, maybe it’s copywriting. Maybe you’re writing a description of what will happen in the demonstration, and maybe that’s not compelling enough for them to even agree. Or there’s some doubt in their mind, and just before the appointment, they go, “I’m not convinced enough, I’m going to cancel it.” It’s just a little bit more concrete example of what it could be in the opt-in process that means that they didn’t get through there.
Pete: That’s why stick and stick strategies, getting people to stick to the commitment they’ve made is important in a lot of different levers, whether it’s the opt-in that we’re going to stick with, at least attending or being involved with the conversion scenario. And then, after someone purchases from you, getting them to stick and not refund. That is technically part of the conversion engine.
I won’t jump too far ahead, but when you’re looking at conversions, conversion is not just about that first meeting. Conversions also include two other elements. One is people who agree to attend the meeting, whether it’s a vacuum demonstration or a regional sales letter, but don’t purchase then and there. The continual marketing to that person who is at least engaged and put their hand up and said, “I’m interested in this topic. I’m willing to invest a bit of time with you coming in and pitching me your vacuum cleaner. And just because I didn’t buy it in that meeting doesn’t mean you stop trying to convert me.”
Just because someone opts in to your e-mail list, and then go and reads the sales letter, which is the next step (which is the conversion engine in that scenario, they’ve read sales letter), just because that person didn’t buy this then doesn’t mean you stop trying to convert that person. That’s when you do your remarketing and your follow-up sequences. If someone goes in, allows you to come and quote on a pergola or some decking in their home, if they don’t sign the quote and say yes right then, doesn’t mean you stop trying to convert them. You follow them up. You call them. You send them other information. You send them before-and-after photos. There’s a whole bunch of sequences you can do to ensure that person converts.
There are other elements that make up the whole conversion engine, as well as stick. If someone buys from you, you want to make sure they don’t cancel and refund. That is technically part of your conversion engine to ensure that person stays converted. This is where you look at things like opt-ins. There are a few elements around the opt-ins as well rather than just the person raising their hand. There are other things that go around that that are very important too.
Dom: So, just to bring back those first two points, the first point is: what is an opt-in? Primarily, it is somebody putting their hand up and saying, “I’d like to know more in some way. Tell me more about you. Tell me more about your product. Tell me more about your services. Tell me more about something. Engage me further in the sales process.” That is an opt-in in its simplest forms. As you say, there other pieces around it. But in simplest form, if you can define that part of your sales process, what that would look like to you, that’s your opt-in.
Then there’s the other question I asked, which is: why bother? Why is it important? And I think you just gave another example there again, why it’s important. You can make a sale without an opt-in many, many, many, many, many, many, many businesses make many sales without opt-ins. But there are so many reasons why opt-ins are important, starting with the quality of client that you can get, the quality of service that you can give to client if they indicate their interest and they self-select.
Then there’s all the ongoing benefits, as you say. They opt-in but they don’t convert. Well, if you know that they opted in, you know that they showed an interest. They didn’t convert. You can go back to them and continue the conversion process with more backup information, which is the example you just gave. And then even if they go through the opt-in and they do convert, there’s still the opportunity further down the line to go back to them again because you know who they are and they opted in with the further 7 Levers to add to the conversion process, or to just inform them more about your services, or things they also may be interested in.
Pete: I think it’s also something that is tied in to all this is, the language you use talking to the people in the different levers are different. The thing you need to say to someone before they opted in is very, very different to the words and language, and things you say to somebody who’s already opted in — you’re now trying to get them to open their wallet or their purse.
Let’s use an online-business example again. Someone comes to your website and they don’t opt-in. They don’t opt-in to whatever it is you’ve got, [for example] it’s adding parts to a car. Let’s use an e-commerce as an example. We haven’t used that on today’s show yet. Let’s say for example, someone comes your website and they look at your e-commerce products, but don’t add anything into the shopping cart. Now, you can you do remarketing to those people. You can now cookie them and show banner ads around the Web, that when they browse other websites, your ad about your products and services appear. The thing that you would advertise on those banners could, or should and would be very, very different to the things you put on a banner to people that have added something to a cart.
Someone’s added something to your cart in your e-commerce store, but not checked out. What you can then do is, if you are granular with your remarketing, you can then run ads for that specific product back to that person, saying that there’s a sale on this specific product. So when they come back, they get a 5% discount on that particular item. That is a very specific message you have to someone to convert that person who added something to their cart to their checkout and pay. Whereas, someone who’s just browsing the site and you don’t know exactly what specific product they’re after, it’s a very different message and a very different language you would use.
That is one very granular example of how you would do different things and different approaches, and different language to opt-ins versus non-opt-ins. But this happens in any other business as well. The language you would use to some people is very, very different to others, depending on where they are in their buying cycle. Getting people to opt in and put their hand up can show you where they are in that buying cycle, how close they are to wanting to solve the problem they have.
Dom: Yes, that, as you say, is a very granular example with very, very specific applications. But it’s just another way and just another example of what I was saying about the SPIN Selling approach. By getting the opportunity to know somebody’s interested, and going and talking to them, then your sales messages can go from generic to specific. Whatever the platform is, however you do it, that’s what we’re talking about here.
So, we now know what an opt-in is, and hopefully people have got an idea in their own businesses what an opt-in might be in their own sales funnels, sales processes. And more importantly, why it’s important to them and important to their business, the quality of clients, business revenue, which is what we’re all after here with the 7 Levers. Can we rattle off a few more? Because I think we’ve given quite a few examples of what an opt-in might be. But a few more opt-in ideas for different kinds of businesses before we close off for the show?
Pete: Yes, sure. In a car yard, somebody goes for a test drive. That’s your opt-in. For retail stores, as I said, someone who tries on a dress or tries on a pair of shoes. For an e-com site, someone who adds something to their checkout in the shopping cart. For an info person, someone who gives you their e-mail address and opts in to the free report. For a restaurant, someone who calls and makes a booking.
To give an example it doesn’t apply to: a restaurant is an interesting one to a certain extent. Generally, you just walk into the restaurant. How do you encourage opt-ins in a restaurant where people just walk past and turn up? You don’t have that general opt-in. There a ways to get creative. If you have a website where people are going to check the menu before they come to your restaurant, if you can get them to put their e-mail address in and offer them a half-priced bottle of wine, then at least now it gets you a list of people who are in your vicinity, who go to restaurants.
I know Rory Fatt, who’s the big restaurant marketer, he has done a lot of research. Generally, most people have three restaurants they go to over and over again. As a restaurateur, you don’t think about it. You think you have some regulars, but the majority of your clientele will be regulars. One person has three restaurants they’ll go to over and over again. I know I do. There’s a French restaurant we go to all the time. There’s a place down the road here that we go to all the time. So, there’s fundamentally two restaurants that Fleur and I go to all the time. We occasionally visit other ones, but they’re the two we go to.
If they had my e-mail address and let me know about specials, and let me know about special deals, I’ll probably go there even more so than I do right now. Because rather than saying, “Can we try something new tonight?” Or we just go somewhere we get a free bottle of wine, I know where I would choose. That’s how restaurants can have an opt-in. This is where you have to start thinking creatively as well in some industries where traditionally you can’t find an opt-in, and that’s fine. But there’s ways you can start manufacturing an opt-in to help grow a certain funnel.
Dom: Yeah, I think it’s a good example there where you showed that somebody who wouldn’t necessarily think had an opt-in, has one. I think everything has or could have an opt-in, even if when in doubt it is “Sign up to our Newsletter.”
Pete: This is a beating. I think a lot of people know this, but a lot of people don’t. Asking someone to sign up to your newsletter is the worst opt-in. If the actual call-to-action, the actual offer you make for someone to opt in, because technically, when you are engaging an opt-in, you are making an offer to someone in exchange for value. So if you are getting someone’s e-mail address, that is value to them. You have to exchange something of value in return, and saying, “Give me your e-mail address and I will send you more information to your inbox,” is a very poor, very, very poor offer. People have too much in their inbox so why would you want to give somebody more of what they’ve got? If you have an abundance of water, why would I say, “Give me $2.00, I’ll give you some more water.” I don’t need more water. I got too much of it. So simply saying, “Give me your e-mail address and join our newsletter,” is that example. It’s just like, “Why do I need more of a random newsletter crap? My inbox is overflowing.”
Whereas, if say, “Give me your e-mail address and I will give you one quick tip to help you XYZ,” that is value. If you know what your opt-ins are wanting, what the next steps someone should take to get closer to a sale, that’s really good. If you have a person coming to your footwear store and you say to them, “Let me look at your feet, and I’ll give you the advice of what shoes you should buy.” That’s value for that person’s time. So whether they decide to buy from you, in your conversion engine or not, someone going through and having a foot assessment, they can then take that information anywhere they’ll buy a shoe, whether it’s online or in your store. That’s a good return for an opt-in in terms of value.
That’s the thing you want to start thinking about: what am I doing? I know you didn’t mean this, Dom, because I know you understand this. But if you are out there on your website right now, you are making a very, very basic offer of joining our newsletter in exchange for e-mail address, that is a piss-poor attempt at doing an opt-in. Yes, the opt-in is there. You’ve got definitely got an opt-in opportunity. But that offer itself is very, very poor.
Dom: I’m so pleased that you picked that up and went with that, because you saved me doing it. That’s exactly where I was going to go next with that because it’s absolutely the most important point. If you find yourself in a situation, it’s no longer good enough. I think you made the point more solidly than I think I could have, really. Just saying, “Sign up for our newsletter,” I’ve seen people do this when we do our website reviews. We see it all the time, “Sign up for our newsletter.” Why?
Pete: What’s the benefit? How does that move your prospect closer to the solution they’re after? When you convert people, you’re offering solutions. That’s all you do as a business. You offer solutions to problems. So, your opt-in has to help move that person closer to a solution.
Dom: Even when we are booking our meetings with the consulting business. We explain what is going to happen in that meeting, why they should spend their time listening to us. We’re not arrogant enough, and you as a business owner shouldn’t be arrogant enough to expect the people will just do something. People won’t just have a meeting with me, as much as I’d like to believe that they would, but no, they won’t. There has to be value in the meeting. The more that you can explain what that value is going to be, rather than, “Well, I’m just going come and sell you something,” (which is what most people expect it’s going to be), then the more likely you are to get that opt-in.
It’s about the message. We could go, again, far more granular about this. But the generic message is if you want somebody to opt in, whatever that opt-in is, they need to understand the value. If they’re not opting in, that, I would say, is where you need to be looking. Do they understand the value they are going to get?
Pete: Yeah, everything’s a value exchange. That’s the big thing.
Dom: Yep. In this day and age where there is time online or time on the high street, everybody thinks that their time is shorter and more valuable. So, you’ve got to make that point.
Cool. I think we covered that quite well for what is a topic that I think people don’t have a good grasp of. I think you’ve given some good examples there and the justification as to why, which personally, is one of those things that’s missing from a lot of people’s understanding. And some great examples. I love the restaurant one where you pulled out something. Because a lot of people think, as you say, if they’ve heard anything about online business, they think an opt-in is, “Sign up for my newsletter,” and we’ve duffed that one up as well.
Cool, cool. All right, folks. If you want to give some feedback on these 7 Levers points, or any other part of the show, or any other show, you can always visit PreneurMarketing.com where you will also find the show notes every show, with all the links, the transcripts, downloadable versions of the show. Listen to it wherever you like. You can leave a comment below the post for every show. And of course, well, I say, of course, but you may not know — the shows are available on iTunes, and you can leave a comment on the iTunes Store as well.
Pete: I think with most people, they listen to the show on the app on their iPhone, or it might be the Stitcher app, or whatever app you are listening to the show on. If you are doing it that way, you can quickly install the app right now, while we’re talking. Leave us a comment. Leave us a review, and we would appreciate you doing that. Because we give up an hour and more every week to record and edit these shows up at no charge to you guys, and the way you can offer value back to us is just by saying thanks in the form of a review or a comment. So if you can, if you have listened to more than two episodes and you got some value out of it, can you please just give us two minutes of your time in return with a quick review? It would mean the world to us and it would be appreciated as a great value exchange.
Dom: And if you find it valuable, then hopefully someone else would. And by giving us that positive feedback, then you’re helping other people find us and get this great information as well. So, we would appreciate that, and hopefully so will all the potential listeners.
Pete, I think we should wrap it up there. It’s the usual time limit on the show. What’s coming up on the next show?
Pete: It’s going to be a fun conversation. It’s a conversation with Davey J — Dave Jenyns, who’s a good buddy of mine, who was originally an archenemy. We started off as archenemies, and now we are best friends. His business, he’s running out of our office building and that sort of stuff. It’s a conversation about how we started off locking heads with each other and how we ended up being best friends. It’s all around business and marketing. It’s a very interesting conversation, and I think people will get a lot out of it.
Dom: Super. I’m really looking forward to that actually, because David J is one seriously sharp guy. So, that’s probably going to be interesting. And also, I’m interested to hear little bit about this archenemy thing as well.
Pete: Very cool. Well, boys and girls, we will see you and your comments, and we will also hear and speak to you next week.
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