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Inbound Success Podcast

What do the most successful inbound marketers do to get great results?

You’ve heard the stories about companies using inbound marketing to dramatically increase sales, grow their business, and transform their customer relationships, but not everyone who practices inbound marketing knocks it out of the park.

If you want to know what goes into building a world class inbound marketing campaign that gets real, measurable results, check out the Inbound Success podcast. Every week, host Kathleen Booth interviews marketing folks who are rolling up their sleeves, doing the work, and getting the kinds of results we all hope to achieve.

The goal is to “peel back the onion” and learn what works, what doesn’t and what you need to do to really move the needle with your inbound marketing efforts. This isn’t just about big picture strategy – it’s about getting actionable tips and insights that you can use immediately in your own marketing.

Oct 7, 2019

How did Jake Neill help B2B SaaS company SocialChimp cut its cost of customer acquisition (CAC) by 95% in 30 days?

Adam Sand headshotJake Neill Headshot
Jake Neill

This week on The Inbound Success Podcast, Lead Hounds Marketing CEO and Co-Founder Jake Neill breaks down the 90 day accelerated growth strategy that he and his business partner use to help their client meet aggressive growth goals. 

Jake's Digital Experience Roadmap framework can be applied in any business, and he shares the specific story of SocialChimp, a client that he worked with to cut CAC and generate more than 5,000 qualified leads.

Highlights from my conversation with Jake include:

  • Lead Hounds Marketing focuses just on strategy and leaves marketing implementation to its clients and partners.
  • The company has a specific customer journey framework that it uses to build 9 day, accelerated growth plans for clients.
  • One client, SocialChimp, needed a way to more predictably generated new qualified leads and customer acquisition.
  • Using their framework, Jake and his partner cut Social Chimp's cost to acquire a customer by 95% in 30 days, and generated a 7.41 return on ad spend. They also generated 5,677 leads at an average cost per lead of $5.15.
  • Jake says there are three things that are key to making any offer successful - the audience, the message and the offer.
  • A successful campaign must be focused on one particular type of customer avatar, and that customer's key pain point.
  • The Digital Experience Roadmap has seven relationship levels: strangers, visitors, leads, qualifieds, opportunities, customers and fans. 
  • Jake generally begins by building out a good lead magnet and finds that with that in place, the rest of the roadmap tends to build itself out.
  • Jake finds that the best lead magnets are hyper specific and able to be consumed quickly - things like checklists, tools, etc.
  • For SocialChimp, Jake created a "real estate swipe file" aimed at realtors that is converting at 84%.
  • Once you acquire a new lead, then you have to qualify them. Jake finds that deep dive content such as webinars and ebooks work very well at this stage.
  • One thing that many marketers miss is the step that involves turning customers into fans. Jake says there are incredible opportunities for upselling at this stage and growing revenue without having to acquire any new customers.
  • Jake uses paid ads to promote his initial offers and get them in front of the right prospects.
  • When it comes to nurturing leads, Jake says it is critical to keep your marketing human and make sure you are using language you would use conversationally and not artificially pushing a sale onto someone who isn't ready for it.

Resources from this episode:

Listen to the podcast to get learn exactly how Jake uses the Digital Experience Roadmap to build 90 day accelerated growth strategies for clients like SocialChimp.


Kathleen Booth (Host): Welcome back to the Inbound Success Podcast.

I'm your host, Kathleen Booth, and this week my guest is Jake Neill, who is the CEO and co-founder of Lead Hounds. Welcome, Jake.

Jake Neill (Guest): Hey, Kathleen. Thanks for having me.

Jake Neill and Kathleen Booth
Jake and Kathleen hamming it up while recording this episode together .

Kathleen: I’m excited to chat with you. Can you tell my audience a little bit about yourself and about Lead Hounds?

About Jake Neill and Lead Hounds Marketing

Jake: Yeah, of course. So, Lead Hounds Marketing is, we're a company of just two people, and our sole focus is on giving people a formula and framework for predictable growth. So, our objective is to put people on a path to doubling their sales. So, we live, eat, and breathe strategy specifically. So, we're not as much...

Early on in our company's journey, we were doing Facebook ads, doing all kinds of things, but what we realized was there's a real need in the industry right now for people who are architects. So, what we did was we partnered up with another company in San Diego named Digitopia, and they are a full-house digital marketing company, and they do kind of the SEO, PPC, all that kind of stuff. So, we partnered with them and used their framework to engineer what we call Digital Experiences to turn strangers into fans, and then they do the implementation side, or the client does it in hands, or in-house. Sorry.

Kathleen: Nice. I like that you guys have zeroed in on strategy as your strength. I think there's a lot of agencies that try to be all things to all people, and there is something to be said for not doing that and becoming very specialized. I say that as somebody who has been in agencies for 13 years. I used to own one, and now I'm in one as well.

Jake: Yeah.

90 day accelerated growth plans

Kathleen: Yeah. Well, one of the reasons I was excited to talk with you is that you guys do specialize in working with B2B SaaS, and you have these 90-day accelerated growth plans where you're able to get really great results for your clients. It's not like a blueprint. It's not like a copy-and-paste solution, but you do have kind of a structured approach to how you do this, and I loved that when you and I spoke you were able to share one particular case study that got amazing results, and I thought it would be fun to just use that as the example through which to break down what this framework is that you use, and how it functions.

So, let's maybe start at the beginning, and if you could talk a little bit about how you guys think about the customer journey, you have a particular name for it.

Jake: Yeah, totally. So, yeah, like you said, I didn't mention that earlier, but we do focus on B2B SaaS. We've done a lot across different industries, and the framework applies across tons of industries. The framework's been implemented for companies as big as Toshiba, and then all the way to startups. So, I'll show you...

That's the case study that you're referring to, that we had already spoken about, was a case study for a B2B SaaS startup. I think it's a really powerful case study because it shows that you don't need also these big budgets and an established business to implement these principles. No matter what your size is, you can implement those things today.

Kathleen: Yeah, and you have a couple of resources that I'm going to link to in the show notes. So, I think one of them is an example of your customer journey framework. So, if you're listening, and you want to have some visuals to refer to as you listen, if you happen to be in a place where you can do that, head to the show notes, and you can pull that up and actually see it as we talk.

Click here to view the SocialChimp case study

Jake: Yeah. I would highly recommend pulling up that document, and you can even pause the podcast as we're focusing on each relationship level, and you can even kind of put in your own. How would that apply to your own business? That would be really helpful. That way, it's not kind of like drinking out of a fire hydrant.

Customer journey framework

Kathleen: I love it. All right. So, let's start at the beginning. Talk us through how you think about customer journey.

Jake: Cool. Yeah. Well, the first thing that I kind of want to start with is just the output, because I want people to understand that when you implement this methodology, that it actually works.

So, we implemented it for a company called SocialChimp, and with SocialChimp, they were a startup. They were looking for funding, and they didn't really have a way to predictably acquire customers, which is what I see happening across the board. That's the biggest issue, is how do we create predictability. Tons of people are pushing a lot of different tactics, which are vital. Right?

The tactics are important, SEO, Facebook ads, webinar funnel, whatever it is that you're trying to implement, but the problem is when you don't have a systematic approach to turning strangers into customers, then you're kind of like a bull in a China shop. Right? You're knocking over everything. You don't really know what's working, what's not working. Sometimes things work, but you don't really even know how it worked, why it worked. So, if you can't measure that thing, then you can't optimize it or do more of it.

So, this framework really helps you get the foundation, and when we implemented it for this company, we cut their cost to acquire a customer by 95% in 30 days, and we generated a 7.41 return on ad spend, and we also generated 5,677 leads at an average cost per lead of $5.15.

Kathleen: Was this all in 30 days?

Jake: No. So, the first 30 days was cutting the cost to acquire a customer. That did happen, and the 95% decrease happened in the first 30 days, but the campaign's been running for a little bit. It's still running to this day, and still producing predictable results, which is really important because with the tools and tactics, they might work also for a period of time, but they only work for a set amount of time. They might be working for the next six months, but they're not really what you're going to build the foundations of a business for years and years to come.

Kathleen: Got it. Okay. So, let's walk through it.

Jake: Yeah. So, one last thing before I jump into the methodology is there's a couple things that you have to understand, is with all marketing across the board, there's three things that have to be hit in every single campaign. There's your audience, your message, and your offer.

"With all marketing across the board, there's three things that have to be hit in every single campaign. There's your audience, your message, and your offer."

- Jake Neill, Lead Hounds Marketing

So, I know it's very basic, but what I'm going to assume is that you already know who your audience is, and that you can already articulate the offer to that prospect or that customer in a good way to actually move them to action. So, you already have those things dialed in. I'm going to assume that. So, if you don't have that dialed in, then make sure you dial that in before you implement the methodology.

Kathleen: Yeah, and I think most listeners of this podcast probably have all that together, because they're generally pretty savvy marketers.

Jake: Perfect. So, in order to understand the methodology, the first thing you need to understand is a little bit just briefly about the actual client themselves.

So, we implemented this methodology for SocialChimp, and they have a software that automates social media posting for various industries, so real estate, wealth management, insurance, all kinds of stuff. So, what we had to do first was identify and hone in on our target market.

This is a big mistake I see people making early on, is they try to create campaigns that funnel in tons of different customers, but you have to... You can build multiple campaigns, but for a successful campaign, it needs to be focused on one avatar. So, what we chose were real estate agents.

The last thing, too, before we jump into the methodology is the... When you identify the audience, you need to hone in on a key pain point.

A lot of you listening to this are going to skip this step, and you're going to start working on the Digital Experience, and it will fail if you do that, because hyper-specificity is key to the success of building out this roadmap or this Digital Experience.

So, for the client that we serviced, their target market was real estate agents, so what we did was we interviewed real estate agents, we spoke to them, we did our research, we did our due diligence, and what we found was their biggest pain point was, how do I build and engage social media presence without any kind of time?

So, they're all stretched for time. They want to sell real estate, but it takes a lot of time and commitment and consistency to post. So, we had to build a Digital Experience out of that. So, at this point, if you don't have the Digital Experience map, I'm about to jump into it. Definitely pause, download the Digital Experience, and then follow along with me.

Kathleen: All right.

Jake: So, on the Digital Experience map, we have seven relationship levels, and you see those on the side here. I'm going to briefly touch on them.

There's strangers, right? That's the very first step. Someone has no idea who you are. So, the questions you have to start asking yourself is, what offers are we going to offer strangers to turn them into visitors, and then visitors, to turn them into leads, and then once we have leads, how are we going to qualify those leads, and then once they're qualified, how are we going to turn them into sales opportunities, and then once they're a sales opportunity, how do we close them into a customer, and then from a customer, ultimately, into a fan?

So, those are the seven relationship levels that we have to implement in our business if we're going to see the consistency and the predictability.

So, at the first level, you've got the blog post here. So, what we have is what we call a cornerstone piece of content, and that's how we turn strangers into visitors. But I want to take one step up to the lead sector just briefly, because that's actually where we start.

If you can build and identify a lead magnet, a really, really solid lead magnet, then this experience begins to kind of build itself out. So, what we did for this client was... A lot of you are already familiar with a lead magnet.

By the way, a quick note on lead magnets. The hyper-specificity is super important, but also that it can be consumed rapidly. I see a lot of people using things like eBooks, but those are better used for deep-dive content, which is later in the journey, because it consumes a lot of their time. So, at the lead stage, and this would change your business, if you guys can come up with a really, really, really good lead magnet, a lead magnet is... When you're thinking about a lead magnet, think about tools, checklists, things that can be consumed really quickly and solve a problem.

So, with a lead magnet, the place that we always start is making a promise. So, I don't even start with the tool itself. I identify what promise can I make to the prospect that's in alignment with the key pain point. So, what's the best possible thing I could promise? So, what we did for this client was we identified, well, they want more social media engagement, and they want to do it in less time. What if I could hand you more than a month's worth of proven social media content to post to your newsfeed? Right? Where most people would go and say, "Well, let's educate them on how to post better posts." Well, the issue is they don't have time, so you're missing the mark. That's why it's so vital to identify that key pain point early on.

Kathleen: That makes a ton of sense.

Jake: So, what we did was we created the real estate social media swipe file out of that promise. We said, "How can we give them over a month's worth of proven content?" Well, we just went to... I think it was BuzzSumo, whatever the app is that has... You can find most engaged content. We grabbed the most shared real estate content of 2018. We grabbed 40 posts. We put them into a swipe file, into a PDF document, and then we wrote some copy. We wrote some different copy variations for each post and embedded a link. When the real estate agent clicked the link, it populated the social media post into their newsfeed and gave them 40 free posts to post for, depending on how many times you post, a month or more.

Kathleen: Awesome.

Jake: So, that lead actually to this day is converting at 84%. So, 84% of the people who land on that page are giving us their email address, and it's not because of the landing page design and the landing page copy. That, of course, matters, but it's about identifying an offer that aligns with that key pain point at this stage in the journey.

Kathleen: Yeah. It's like the best landing page copy in the world can't make up for that offer.

Jake: Yeah, exactly. It doesn't matter if you're... Yeah. I mean, you could offer a toothbrush, you could write the best copy for a toothbrush, but I don't know how many people are going to opt in, give you their email address for a free toothbrush.

Kathleen: Right.

Jake: So, once we identified the lead magnet here at the lead stage, the rest kind of writes itself.

One thing to note as we're going to build out this experience together, each stage, as you elevate the relationship, it should be the next logical step. So, I should be able to say, "Because you read this blog post, you might be interested in downloading this lead magnet. Because you consume this lead magnet, you might be interested in watching this video. Because you watched this video, you might be interested in this product." So, it needs to be this logical progression.

So, after we identified the lead magnet, we went down to the blog post stage, and this is how we turned strangers into visitors. Yes, you can create tons of different content. You can do SEO, this kind of stuff, but the cornerstone piece of content is this one kind of content that explains the value of the actual tool itself.

So, what we did was we created a blog post called How to Repurpose Your Content and Get 10 Times the Exposure. So, if you notice the blog post, once again not teaching them about social media, it's showing them how to save time and increase their social media engagement. It's showing the power of repurposing content, and then the tool, what does it do? It gives you the content, the repurposed content kind of done for you. So, there has to be that logical progression.

From the lead stage, now you have an email. So, if you guys know about using automated emails, this is where that would kick in, but don't let... If you don't know how to use automation and the CRM and everything, don't let that hold you back from building the experience. That's just a way to push people to the next stage.

So, once you have a lead, you have to identify, how do we qualify this lead? So, this is where we build deep-dive content. So, in the SaaS space, a lot of times it's kind of videos around the product, but in most every industry, webinars work really great. This is also where eBooks can work.

So, in this experience we built out a free trial video. We said, "Okay. Well, you just downloaded 40 social media posts. Well, how about we turn those 40 into an unlimited amount of social media posts?" So, that's where the free trial, we showed them the software that curates all these posts for them, and then posts it to their newsfeed every day for as long as they want. So, after watching the free trial video, we had a qualified lead, and then could offer that person a free trial offer. So, we said, "Now that you've checked out our video, now that you've checked out our software, would you like to take a free trial?"

So, this is a really, really important step. It's a little more straightforward in the software space, because usually it's a demo or a free trial offer, but the foot-in-the-door offer is essentially an offer that you can give that's a low barrier to entry, so it's not your core offer. You don't want to jump in and say, "Buy my product," yet. You want to say, "What could I offer this person to get them to commit one of two things, either their time or their money?" A lot of people forget the value of getting someone to commit their time. Sometimes it's harder to get a commitment of time than a commitment of money.

Kathleen: Yeah, that makes sense.

Jake: Yeah. Maybe for the viewers who aren't in the software space, just some examples of ways to turn qualified leads into opportunities, let's say you're a brick and mortar. Let's say you're a dentist. People offer $20 teeth whitening. Right? It's not the core offer, but where does a dentist want to have the sales conversation? Where do they want a sales opportunity, when your mouth is open, and they're working on your mouth, and they want to say, "Hey, you've got some loose teeth here, or some crooked teeth. Have you considered braces?" Then that pushes them to the core offer. So, that's an example of an entry point offer that's not in the SaaS space, but if you are in the SaaS space, demos and trials work fantastic here.

Kathleen: Yep.

Jake: Then, obviously in the SaaS space, software works, selling actual software after the free trial. Now, there's all kinds of practical things about getting people to actually use the free trial. A lot of people sign up and don't use it, so you need email automations and things pushing people to actually use the software, but the software, your core offer, is that next step.

Then from the core offer, after someone purchases, the next step is, how do I turn them into fans? So, at the fan stage there's a lot that we can do. What we want to focus on at the fan stage is increasing the lifetime value and the immediate value of a customer.

So, what you do here is you offer complementary services to the core offer that would be interesting to the prospect in order to increase that value. So, for them we said, "Hey, you've taken the free trial. You're now using our software to post every day for you. Would you like some more awareness?" So, we offered them paid ads. We said, "You know, we're not..." Once again, it's not costing them time, but they're getting to spread their message out and build their brand and get more engagement to more people, because we're going to manage their ads for them, and maybe do something like a hundred dollars a month, something simple. But that was a really good complementary product, and we had 10% of people took that upsell, and then it allowed us to increase the lifetime value of a customer by 20%, which is extremely important because you can move your entire top line by 20% with one single offer.

Kathleen: And without signing any new customers.

Jake: Right, exactly.

Kathleen: Yeah.

Jake: So, that essentially is the framework. I don't know if there's anything that you feel like would be good to hit on in terms of helping people with the more practical side of thinking through any of these offers, but that's just one example in the software space.

Kathleen: Yeah. I mean, it sounds like... So, we're talking about going from a stranger to a visitor, to a lead, to a sales opportunity-

Jake: Or to a qualified lead.

Kathleen: ... to a qualified lead, to a sales opportunity, to a customer, to a fan. Correct?

Jake: Correct.

Promoting your offer

Kathleen: So, really, it's an expanded kind of concept of the customer journey. You guys have a special name for it, the Digital Experience?

Jake: Yes.

Kathleen: Yeah. It sounds like the key to it, at least what I'm hearing, is really deeply understanding the pain point, because if you get that wrong, it's like Dominoes. Right? You start at the beginning. If you get it wrong, nothing else works.

Jake: Yeah, exactly.

Kathleen: So, for SocialChimp, you did this exact thing. You walked us through all the different offers and the content, et cetera, that you created. One thing we didn't really touch on too much was, how did you promote the offer in the very beginning?

Jake: Yeah. I mean, the way that we promoted it in the very beginning was with paid ads. I mean, there's a lot of ways to promote, and it also depends on your goals. What I see a lot of people missing on as well is the business math on the front end. They don't actually calculate things like, what is the lifetime value of a client? Well, maybe the lifetime value of a client is a thousand dollars, and then you have to ask yourself, well, what percentage of that profit are we willing to spend to acquire that customer?

So, let's say typically a business is going to use 10% of two to three years worth of the value of a customer. If you're a startup, sometimes you'll use the whole lifetime value because you want to scale, but most businesses aren't going to use more than 10% of the first two to three years of the value, the profit, not the revenue, the profit of a client.

So, it's identifying it early on, how much am I willing to spend? So, if the lifetime value is a thousand dollars, and you're willing to spend 10%, then you know the cost to acquire a customer can't go above $200. Then what you can then begin to do is you can begin to map out your conversion rate at each of these levels. So, you can say, "Okay. What percentage of visitors are becoming leads? What percentage of leads are becoming qualifieds, qualifieds into opportunities," and so on, all the way up to fans. You can then begin to reverse engineer the percentages.

So, let's say at the customer stage you are turning 10% of customers... Or let's do the opportunity stage. You go to your sales team, what percentage of opportunities are we currently closing? 30%. Well, if you want to add an additional 10 customers, then you need to make sure you're bringing in another 30 sales opportunities in order to close those customers.

So, you can reverse engineer all the way back to the visitors, and I'll actually... In the Digital Experience worksheet, I actually have a business math section, and you can fill that out. We won't have time to go over that in this call, but you could fill that out and identify what is your max cost per click. So, then you can decide what platforms to play on.

So, if my max cost per click to drive a customer is going to be, let's say, $1.50 to turn the stranger into a visitor, then I'm probably not going to play on LinkedIn ads, because LinkedIn has a price floor, and you're not going to be able to drive traffic for that $1.50. So, setting up the business math on the front end is really important and vital to the success of campaigns, and it also helps with... If you're a CMO, for instance, and you're reporting to the CEO, it's really important because sometimes a CEO doesn't necessarily have realistic expectations of what should happen on the marketing side, and you can't dispute the numbers. Right? So, what you can do is you can show the numbers and create realistic goals around customer acquisition and what budget you'll need to fuel those customers.

Kathleen: Yeah. I love that you guys focus on the cost of customer acquisition, because I think that's a big mistake that a lot of marketers make, especially those that are new to pay-per-click. I hear people ask the question all the time, "What should my budget be?" Right? They think that there's some magic lump sum number, like you're going to say, "Well, if you spend $3,000 a month, you're going to get results." It's really, the premise of the question is flawed because it shouldn't be what should your budget be. It should be how much are you prepared to spend to acquire a new lead or a new customer. As long as you're staying within that amount, your budget could be infinite. Right?

Jake: Right.

Kathleen: If it's resulting in customer acquisition, then you wouldn't want to cap it, certainly. You wouldn't want to say, "No, I got 10 customers. That's the end of my budget." You would want to keep it going. So, I think that's so interesting, that little shift in mindset that happens, and it's definitely something that you see... The mistake is something you see made a lot by people who are novices with pay-per-click.

Jake: Yeah, definitely. So, I'd highly recommend using the business math section on that experience worksheet, and just as you build out your own experience, measure the conversion rate from customers to fan. Well, you can start from visitors to leads, and all the way up, and then measure those numbers, and it's kind of a fill-in-the-blank document, and it'll produce at the end of it what you'll actually spend. It will create the goals for what you can spend to acquire a customer, and that'll inform everything moving forward.

Kind of to jump to the original question, I know I kind of went on a side tangent, I think it's an important one, but what we realized was this software was only being sold for $49 a month, so the cost per click that we could drive was on the lower end. So, we chose to play on Facebook. We didn't choose Google Ads or LinkedIn or anything like that. Of course, real estate agents are using Google, but the prices are a bit higher. So, we knew if we were going to get a really big return on our investment, then we needed to really drive home some good offers that could drive low cost per clicks, and Facebook's a great platform for that.

Kathleen: Yeah. Now, you also have used retargeting. Correct? So, once somebody gets into your funnel, if you will, or into this Digital Experience, there are ways you can use retargeting to push them faster down it? Is that correct?

Jake: Yeah. Yeah. So, that's actually a really important point. I'm glad you brought that up. The middle section on this experience map are the offers that we're going to give someone at each of these relationship levels, but on the outside you see things like retargeting, advertising, SEO, social media, email marketing. These are the platforms and the tools that you use to move people through the journey, and that's where I see most people starting, and that's a very, very, very bad mistake because of what we talked about earlier where you're just going to be implementing content, SEO, retargeting, and you're not going to have a systematic way to predictably bring in customers.

So, we did implement retargeting, advertising, social media, all this kind of stuff, but it was to move people through the journey. So, you see, at the first stage, at the visitor stage, we started running ads. Our goal was to push as much traffic to this blog post as possible to build up an audience that we could then retarget. Right? So, retargeting, we retargeted the blog traffic to the lead magnet to get them to give us their email address. Well, now that we have their email address, we have a way of contacting them in multiple platforms. We can speak to them on email and retargeting ads still. So, for people who downloaded the lead magnet, we had email sequences.

Kind of just a note on when you're doing this as well, keep it really, really, really human. We didn't say, "They downloaded the real estate social media swipe file. Quickly, buy the free trial. Watch the free trial video. Buy this thing." People can ascend really quickly through the Digital Experience, but we kept it, and our emails would follow normal relationship building, and we'd say, "Hey, because you downloaded this swipe file, I thought you might be interested in watching this video about how you could have a lifetime of proven highly-engaged real estate," and it's just like, "Hey, check this video out, and it's because the action prior to what I'm asking you to do now is you kind of raised your hand and said, 'Hey, I'm interested in this kind of thing.' Let me give you more of it."

So, it's really about thinking from a value. It's not this kind of... A lot of people talk about this kind of stuff purely in funnel terms, and they think about funnels and funnel hacking, but a lot of times, people get so caught up in those things that they're just looking to make the sale as quickly as possible. But I think when you... That's why we changed the language from funnels, where people are kind of dropping down in the funnel, to elevating relationships, building experiences that are going to actually earn us the right to do business with our customer, as opposed to these kind of gimmicks that are, "Maybe we can kind of get our customer to buy with this thing."

Kathleen: Yeah, marketers are the worst at that. I always say this. We're people, right? We're people who buy things, and we know, as people who buy things, what we like and what we don't like when we're marketed to, but then when we go and put our marketing hat on and become marketers, it's like we throw everything we know about being human beings out the window, and we do the opposite. It's like, the biggest mystery to me of marketing is why do we allow ourselves to do that.

Jake: Yeah. I mean, it's wild. I see it happening all the time. I see people, "Hey, you read this blog post. Do you want to get on a call so I can talk about me and my product?" No, I actually don't. I also try to keep things in that human-to-human mindset and ask myself the question, number one, put myself in my customer's shoes, in my prospect's shoes. Would I want to receive this email? Does it make sense for me? Does this thing add value to my life? If the answer is no, if this email... This is a great principle to use. If you're going to send out an email, whether it's automated, eblast, or if you're going to post a blog post, so many people get caught up in, "Well, how many emails do I need in order to push them to the next step? How many blog posts do I need to post each day or each week?"

The answer is not about the quantity of content that you're pushing out as much as the quality of content, because when you put something out, it says something about your brand, and if you're putting out crap, then people are going to... They're going to start associating you with, this isn't worth my time.

So, if you send them enough emails that aren't valuable, they're going to start... Number one, they're either going to unsubscribe, or number two, in their mind they're going to say, "I don't need to open this email because I'm not going to miss anything." But if you're always adding value, then when they see an email come through from your brand, then in the back of their mind, "I know I'm busy right now, but if I don't read this, I may lose out on something really important to learn."

Kathleen: Yeah. My little hack for that is instead of imagining I'm the recipient, because sometimes that can be hard for me, I actually think of a friend, and I think, if I were emailing my friend Abigail, what would I say? I wouldn't say these spammy things, right? I would be friendly. I would be helpful. So, I picture a real person, and I write to them, and that's really helped me a lot make things less marketing-robot-like. Well, this is so cool, and hopefully people have gone in and downloaded the visuals, because it is very helpful to follow that along in this conversation, and if you didn't, go download it afterwards and then re-listen to it again, because you'll get more out of it.

The results

Kathleen: But I want to recap, go back to the results you got, because this is the exact process you used with SocialChimp, and you guys had crazy good results. So, can you just mention those again?

Jake: Yeah. So, when we built out this Digital Experience, we took someone who was getting terrible results, they were spending way more money than they were bringing in. Their cost per trial was $1,147. That's pretty bad. Now, what were they doing? They said, "Oh. Well, we've got a great product, and we're giving you something for free. Do you want it?" So, they were running ads straight to their free trial, but that would be like me walking up into a coffee shop and saying, "Hey, I'm pretty awesome, and I'm rich and funny. You want to get married?" Just because those things may be true, I may be awesome, and we may be a great potential match, but if I come at it with that approach, then I'm going to turn off that person.

So, in the same way, I can't come across in that way to my customers. I see a lot of people telling stories about themselves to their customer, but the real question that we need to ask is, how do we change the story that our customer tells about themselves? How do we take them from point A to point Z, where they want to be? So, when we stepped away from that and said, "Okay..." They wanted to hire us originally to run their Facebook ads, and I told them, I said, "I won't run your Facebook ads because you have a much more fundamental problem. If you push traffic to this system right now, then you're just pouring water in a leaky bucket, and you're just going to be wasting money."

So, we had to build out that experience, and when we did that, we cut the cost per trial from $1,147 to $56 within just 30 days.

Kathleen: Wow. That's crazy.

Jake: Yeah, you can see the... We were selling the product for $49, but we also had an upsell that 10% of people took, so it made the monthly payment $59 a month. So, within 30 days, as a SaaS product, they were recouping what they were spending to acquire a customer. It's really, really, really powerful for a SaaS company.

Kathleen: That's awesome. Definitely speaks to the value of kind of that whole... You have to slow down to speed up. Don't just try to drive traffic to a bad offer or a bad website. You've got to have a solid foundation. I love it.

Jake: Yeah.

Kathleen's two questions

Kathleen: Well, before we wrap up, I have two questions I ask all my guests that I want to ask you. The first one is... We're always talking about inbound marketing on The Inbound Success Podcast. Is there a particular company or individual that you think is really doing inbound marketing well right now?

Jake: Well, besides you, I would say DigitalMarketer. If you haven't heard of them, it's, and my agency's actually certified partners with them as well, they've got tons of resources. But they are phenomenal at this. They really, really, really focus on adding so much value that you almost feel obligated to purchase, because by the time they offer you anything that you have to pay for, you've already learned so much that you know a couple things. Number one, there's this kind of feeling of, well, I need to give back to this person, and then there's also the feeling of, well, I got so much value for free, I can't imagine how much value I'm going to get when I pay them.

Kathleen: Yeah. Yeah, they are great, Ryan Deiss and Marcus Murphy and the whole team over there. They're just killing it. IMPACT is also a partner of DigitalMarketer. It's a great company.

All right, second question. I always hear from marketers that there's just so much changing in the world of digital marketing, and it's really hard to keep up with. How do you personally stay up-to-date and on top of all of that?

Jake: Yeah. So, there a lot of ways. I would also say I do stay up-to-date through DigitalMarketer because they are one of the leading trainings and resources for individual companies, marketers, and digital agencies. They're kind of on the cutting edge, and they are certified with so many people like us who are in the trenches, and then we relay that information to them so that they can get quite a large amount of data around what's working, what's not working.

So, I use DigitalMarketer, and then that's how I stay up-to-date, but I really think a lost art is looking back at some of the older advertising, like some of the books, like Breakthrough Advertising. If you haven't read that, it's really phenomenal on copywriting.

But going back all the way to the people who were writing direct mail and getting people to literally mail... They were mailing something to someone's house to get them to purchase a product from one single letter. It's really powerful psychology and principles to be learned from those people as well.

Kathleen: Yeah. I love that whole going back and being old school. I've had a bunch of people mention that, and everyone cites different books. I think the one you mentioned is a new one. But some of these principles don't change, because they just have to do with human nature. So, it's not like there's new advances in human nature in 2019. It's the same basic principles, and I think sometimes we lose sight of that as marketers. So, great insights there.

How to connect with Jake

Kathleen: All right. If somebody's listening, and they want to learn more about Lead Hounds, or they have a question and they want to reach out specifically to you, what's the best way for them to do that?

Jake: So, they could email me directly. My email is That would be probably the quickest way to get a response.

Kathleen: All right, awesome. I will put that link in the show notes. So, if you want to reach Jake, either shoot him an email or head to the show notes and get that link.

You know what to do next...

Kathleen: If you're listening, and you learned something, or you liked the podcast, please leave the podcast a review on Apple Podcasts, preferably a five-star review, but I say this every week, and this week I'm going to challenge you if you're a regular listener to take a moment and do that. Leave a review if you haven't done it already. I would really appreciate it. It helps get the podcast in front of more people. If you know somebody else who's doing kick-ass inbound marketing work, tweet me @WorkMommyWork, because they could be my next interview. Thank you so much, Jake.

Jake: Thank you, Kathleen. It was awesome.