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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.

Jan 20, 2020

Rylee Meek went from being virtually homeless, with $600 in his bank account, so selling more than $2 million within just six months. Here's how he did it...

This week on The Inbound Success Podcast, Rylee Meek shares the story behind The Social Dynamic Selling System, his approach to using dinner seminars to generate qualified inbound leads. 

Rylee's selling philosophy is built on a belief that success hinges on getting prospects to know, like and trust you, and he does this through dinner seminar marketing. Now he has parlayed his success with this approach into a business where he trains other entrepreneurs on how to use this same system to grow their own companies.

In our conversation, he breaks down exactly how it works, and how you, too, can leverage Social Dynamic Selling.

Highlights from my conversation with Rylee include:

  • For the last ten years, Rylee has been using a process he calls Social Dynamic Selling to sell a variety of products and services.
  • He says that the product or service isn't the focus - it's the environment that involves bringing a group of people together, establishing the presenter as that authoritative figure in that industry, and then ultimately getting potential clients and customers to know, like and trust them.
  • Today, Rylee teaches and consults with other business owners who want to learn how to use his process to grow their business.
  • When Rylee works with a new client, he starts by asking what they want to sell and then digging deeply into what the ultimate benefit is that the customer would get from that product.
  • The Social Dynamic Selling approach works best when the product or service being marketed has a high price point or upsell value.
  • Rylee's process relies heavily on direct mail to generate initial interest in his dinner seminars.
  • To generate an audience of 25 registered dinner seminar attendees, Rylee sends out around 3,000 postcards.
  • These results are generated from one send, as opposed to a multiple step direct mail campaign.
  • Once attendees are in the room, Rylee says it is critical that the presenter NOT do a hard sales pitch. Instead, the goal is to establish a relationship and get the audience to know, like and trust you.
  • Rylee and his team track six measurables: 1) response rate; 2) RSVPs; 3) show up rate; 4) appointment set rate; 5) appointment rate; and 6) close rate.
  • His goal is to generate an ROI of 300% from each event.
  • One of his recent clients generated $11 million in sales in less than a year using this approach.

Resources from this episode:

Listen to the podcast to learn how you can leverage dinner seminars - and Rylee's social dynamic selling formula - to generate qualified inbound leads.


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

I'm your host, Kathleen Booth. Today, my guest is Rylee Meek, who is the founder and CEO of The Social Dynamic Selling System. Welcome, Rylee.

Rylee Meek (Guest): Hey, Kathleen. Yeah, I'm happy to be on here. It's going to be fun.

Rylee Meek and Kathleen Booth
Rylee and Kathleen recording this episode.

Kathleen: Yeah, I'm excited to have you here. I was really intrigued reading about your background, and kind of your, let's just call it a rags to riches story. I think it would be really interesting if we could just start by maybe you sharing some of that story. What was your journey? How did you wind up doing what you're doing now? Then we can finish it with, really what is social dynamic selling.

About Rylee and Social Dynamic Selling

Rylee: Sure, yeah, happy to do that. I'm 34 years of age now. I started really my entrepreneurial journey, I guess, probably at the age of 14, 15.

It all started based upon me getting my first actual job at the age of 15. I grew up in South Dakota, a tiny, tiny town in South Dakota, like less than 1,000 people.

Kathleen: Wow.

Rylee: There wasn't much for opportunity there, but there was a little gas station that I had the opportunity to go make pizzas at, at the age of 15. My hourly rate at that time was minimum wage, $5.15 an hour.

So, tough to get excited about that, but I still went to work. My first shift, I worked eight hours. I did the math in my head after I calculated that, and I thought, "There's no way I'm doing that again."

Kathleen: You want to know something funny? I too was a short order pizza cook-

Rylee: Really?

Kathleen: Around the age of 15. So, we'll have to have a whole separate conversation about that.

Rylee: Absolutely. Absolutely. That was kind of my initial introduction to really the workspace, I guess we'll call it.

I was in high school at the time, and I realized there're additional ways to make money versus just having to go work for somebody and creating your own platform or your ability to earn income, is really based upon some of your own efforts if you really put your mind to it.

I was introduced to a number of different network marketing companies, MLM companies, which at the time was an amazing personal development time for me, going through high school and just be around... I completely drank the Kool Aid within those industries.

Being around just like-minded people that were all about personal development, and opening your mind, or just expanding your vision. I think that really has attributed to where I've come today, which is surrounding myself with those types of people.

The day I graduated high school, I actually moved up to Minnesota. Like, literally the day. Not really to come to Minnesota, but more so just to get out of South Dakota. I needed more. I wanted more of an opportunity. I moved to the big city and was fully planning on going to school.

My initial intentions were to become a chiropractor, which you own your own practice, but you've got to build your own practice with that. I like the idea or thought process behind that, that I wasn't really working for somebody. I was still working for myself.

During that time period, I started to make a decent amount of money just selling things. The network marketing company that I was with at the time was nutritional supplements. I put together some catchy little campaigns that I was doing in newspapers and PennySavers and things.

I was retailing between $10,000.00-$15,000.00 a month in nutritional supplements. At the age of 18, 19 at the time, I was doing pretty well for myself. I thought, "This is great. Why do I want to go into student debt, and go down that path when I can just build my own business doing this?"

So that's what I really did. Through that time process, kind of in that network marketing world, MLM, whatever you want to call it, a lot of the pitch of that whole atmosphere is why earn 100% of your own efforts, or 1% of 100 people's efforts?

I always loved that. That was kind of the goal, was that mailbox money, or just that residual income. I realized what I was doing certainly wasn't something that was duplicatable. I was working 15 hours a day, meeting with people, and going through our sales process. They would physically come into an office that I had rented. I was working my butt off, making good money, but I certainly didn't have the time to enjoy it the way I should.

I started to look at a number of different opportunities. Kind of flash forward a few years at least, a number of different business ventures that were successful, some failed.

Learning a lot through the process, I had an opportunity to go to Mexico when I was 23. We were opening up operations there with, again, a different company that was expanding into Mexico. I ended up renting out my condo here in Minneapolis, and moved down to Mexico in Puerto Vallarta. We had a beautiful spot just up by the beach.

Things were going well. It was great. It was a fun time in my life. About five months into that process, the Mexican government shut us down, shut down all operations. We pretty much were done. We didn't have anything to do. We packed up our stuff, we came back to the states.

I pretty much invested all of my money. I'd even rented out my condo here, so not only was I pretty much broke, but I was homeless essentially. I had to go sleep on my sister's couch, and I was just kind of looking for the next thing.

This would have been in April of '09, I think it was, in which I came back. I spent really that entire summer just trying to figure what play, what I was going to do next, full well knowing I didn't want to go work for somebody. I don't know why.

I know why, of course, but it was just no matter what, I was going to try to figure this thing out on my own. I ended up coming across this ad on Craigslist of all places. It said, "Work three days a week and make $10,000.00."

I thought, "Yeah, right." But-

Kathleen: Your curiosity got the best of you, huh?

Rylee: Exactly. Exactly. A nice little catchy phrase that they had there. I inquired upon it. I had multiple conversations with gentleman, and he started talking about these events where he was getting groups of people together, and then delivering a presentation and selling his products.

It was the first time I was really introduced to this concept of selling one to many versus one-on-one. Everything that I'd done up to this point, was pretty much meet with somebody one-on-one, give them the whole sales spiel from A to Z, and then try to close the deal.

It was a new concept for me. I didn't really fully grasp what it meant, because one of the frustrating things for me leading up to this was, as much as I wanted to believe in direct sales, your income is unlimited, you earn what your worth, I realized that that wasn't necessarily true because granted, I could sell higher ticket items and make higher commissions in that standpoint, but I was still limited by the amount of time in a day. I could only do so many presentations in a 24 hour period. My income was still capped.

After multiple conversations with this gentleman, he invited me out to one of his events. It was a couple of hours away. I'd driven down to it, and that's when it really hit me.

It blew my mind that I walked in this room and there was 20, 25 people sitting there, all chit chatting, having a good time, enjoying a nice meal. He bought them a free steak dinner. He delivered a presentation, and it wasn't like this sales-y pitch, like rah-rah, rush to the back of the room or anything. It was just getting them to ultimately know who he was, and if they liked him, they trusted him, then he had the ability to ask for that second appointment or at least the opportunity to present price on what it was that he was selling.

I left that meeting, I just couldn't shut off my brain. I had a couple hours drive back, and my wheels just kept spinning, and spinning, and spinning, and full well knowing, you know what, I didn't want to go work for somebody.

I started just to think about what could I sell through this format, because it's a beautiful system. I realized getting these people together, how do I get people, how do I market to them to come on out and have any interest in what I'm even talking about.

I spent months and months trying to figure this thing out, and by that following summer, I did my first presentation, my first campaign, in which we did some direct mail, just little postcards. I invited people out for a free steak dinner, and I had 15 or so people that showed up at my first event.

Through this process, I literally remember I pretty much spent all my money. I remember driving to this first event I had $693.00 in my bank account. It was like, "Okay, I've got to figure this out. How do I get these people to ultimately want to do business with me?"

I ended up making a few sales through that process. Flash forward a decade now, it's been since I've been doing this, we've sold multiple different products and services through this format.

The product or service isn't necessarily the focus. It's really the environment that we create where we're bringing a group of people together, establishing the presenter as that authoritative figure in that industry, and then ultimately getting our potential clients and customers to know, like and trust them.

That's what we've really kind of been doing over the last decade, and fixing and refining that process, which is now what we know as The Social Dynamic Selling System.

Kathleen: Ah, there we go. You brought it full circle. I love it.

One of the reasons I was interested to talk about this is that I feel like this format can be used well, or it can be completely abused. I've certainly seen examples of it, where you go in and you're like, "Oh, crap. It's like those timeshare pitches," where you're like, "I've got to sit in that room for three hours to get my free night."

Rylee: Right.

Kathleen: There's definitely bad ways to do it. Some people will walk in and know that they're trading a steak dinner for a hard sell, and it's a terrible experience. I always wonder, do these places actually get people to buy anything?

What I thought was interesting about your approach, and really what made it kind of inbound-y, is a few of the things you just said here, that's it all about getting people to know, like and trust you, which is really the heart of inbound marketing. It's not a hard sell. It's a get to know you session, if you will.

I think you said something that really stood out in my mind, which was you didn't say, "We tried to figure out how to sell them something." You said, "The events were all about how do we get them to a point where they want to buy from us?" Which is a very different thing. It's a subtle difference, but it's an important thing.

I think the, "Having them want to buy from us," tracks with know, like and trust, and "How do we sell to them?" tracks with, "Lets spam them and give them the hard push, and guilt them into buying from us," or what have you.

Rylee: Right.

The Social Dynamic Selling process

Kathleen: That was why I was interested in chatting with you. Let's actually break this down. If you would, really pick apart and describe to me the process you're using.

You realize you have something you want to sell. You've said yourself, the product really doesn't matter. So, if somebody's listening and they're thinking, "All right, how would this apply to me?" You've got something you want to sell, then what? How do you tackle this?

Rylee: Sure, absolutely. When I started out, it was all about, "What could I sell? What could I sell?" And then it was, "Okay, that did great."

My first six months, literally, we were selling energy conservation products. I am the least mechanical person on the face of the earth. Literally, my wife is the one who hangs the pictures in our house.

For me to be selling home remodeling and home improvement products, it was like I couldn't give two cents about that, but it was the process of being able to connect with our clientele, our customers, understanding what their wants and needs are, but really what their wants are, because I really feel people don't buy what they need. They buy what they want.

It was about creating that environment.

My first company, in our first six months, we did $2.1 million in sales through this process. Then that's when I started looking at, "Okay, what else could I sell? What else could I sell?" It wasn't until about three or four years down the road, where I realized-

Kathleen: You did $2.1 million in the first month, did you say?

Rylee: The first six months.

Kathleen: The first six months, okay. I was going to be like, "What? That's crazy." I mean, that's still really good.

Rylee: Yeah, it was great from going from $693.00 in my bank account.

Kathleen: Yeah, that's pretty awesome.

Rylee: When I started to look at different products, and when I would go out and have my sales weeks, and I'd come back, I remember so clearly just this lack of passion that I had. I didn't care what I was selling. Were we helping people? Yes, but that wasn't it for me.

When I really had that realization, I remember so clearly, this was like a Wednesday night, I came home. I'd had a successful sales week. I was sitting down. My wife and daughter were already asleep. I just started thinking about, "What am I doing with my life?" Yeah, we're making money and that's great, but if you don't have any passion or you're not enjoying doing it, it ain't worth it, really. I mean, it's just not. That's not what I wanted for my life.

I realized my passion really was people, and being able to help them develop a sales strategy to take their products to the marketplace, because if you build it, they don't come. You've got to figure out a way to get them to want what you have.

That's when I really pivoted in my career to moving more to consulting and teaching people how to do this versus physically doing it myself. Anytime we onboard a new client, or somebody that's even questioning, "Does this make sense for me? Can I do this?" We always start out with a quick strategy call, and really kind of determine, what is your product, and not even just what are you selling, but really, what truly are you selling?

You know, getting into the actual benefits of the benefits of it, and can we create a story, an environment that we can take people on that emotional journey that want we have?

It always goes back to the old "People don't buy a drill because they want a drill, they want a hole." But we even obviously take it further than that, that they don't want the hole, they want the picture hung. They don't want the picture hung, they want their house to feel warm and comfortable.

It's the benefits of the benefits, of the benefits that we really try to get into on these initial calls to determine, is this product saleable through this format?

Who is Social Dynamic Selling right for?

Rylee: But then also we really want to get into the numbers, the money aspect of this. I will be the first to tell you that what we do isn't for everybody by any means.

If you have a $48.00 widget and there's no additional upsell or upside of that, or no additional lifetime value of your customer, this is not going to be the format for you. You're just not going to have a return on investment that is going to allow you to do this long term.

I want to be very upfront with people on that when we do our initial strategy calls, that this does take some money to do some marketing with this.

Getting started

Rylee: We do a ton of direct mail initially. I call it, "We fish with corn dogs," and really what I mean by that is there's not a fish in nature that would sustain a life on solely eating corn dogs, but if I put a corn dog on a hook and throw it in the water, they're going to bite it every single time.

My goal with that initial outbound piece, I guess, is to bring them in. I'm hooking them, and then once they're within my group, within my environment, now I can really nurture them, and feed them what they need to actually truly be fed.

That's what we do. We do a ton of direct mail in that aspect, but once our message is clear with the client or customer, whatever the product is, we want to have continuity within that whole process of the message that's been given initially to them calling to RSVP for the actual event, to the confirmation call, to just the culture that they walk into for this actual event.

Most of these, we host at kind of mom-and-pop steakhouses. We're not booking out huge comfort centers, or rooms, or anything like that, because that whole process of know, like and trust, you need to be able to connect with them.

If you can get them to come to a neutral environment where they're not feeling pressured, like you had mentioned, that timeshare thing where they literally chain the door and you can't wait until you get out there.

It's more of just creating that neutral environment in which we're having a good time, we're joking. We're really getting to know each other and understanding who you are, to obviously know who you are, but then that like and trust is the most important aspect of our whole process through our system.

Kathleen: I love that you started with figuring out what it is somebody's really selling. You're not a marketer by training, and I always say this on this podcast, that sometimes the best marketers are the ones who are not trained.

What you've figured out intuitively, is something that a lot of marketers are taught, but not all marketers actually do, which is really focusing on the outcome, the benefits, as opposed to the features and the inputs. When you talked about you're not selling folks a drill, you're selling the picture hanging, the home feeling cozy, et cetera, that's something that I think many marketers get tripped up on.

Using direct mail to attract prospects

Kathleen: We focus more on features than on benefits. That makes sense to start there. Assuming somebody's listening and they have figured out their benefits, they're able to tell that story of the compelling problem, let's say, that their product or service solves, then you have these direct mail pieces which is, if I understand correctly, that's primarily how you're driving registrations for these dinners. Is that correct?

Rylee: Yeah, primarily it is. We've done a lot of online, Facebook, SEO and different Google Ad Words, things like that, to get people try to register for these events. But by far, the highest return on an investment is direct mail. Part of it is because it's such an easy, measurable format for us.

When we do these events, first off, we do them all throughout the country. This week alone, we hosted over 63 events. Not over, but 63 events exactly this week.

We're all throughout the country, so when we determine where we're going to go, it could be Evansville, Indiana, it could be San Diego. It can be any city. It can be anywhere throughout the country.

When I determine who my demographic is, who is my ideal client, and we create that message to get them to take action, when we do a direct mail piece, the data that's out there that we can purchase is amazing.

If our target demographic is blonde hair, blue eyed kids from... Whatever it is, we can get so specific with who we're going to be inviting out to this, where we'll craft a message to speak to them specifically.

If I send 5000 pieces and I get 50 phone calls, that's an easy thing for me to measure to start my initial process of what my return on investment is going to be.

Measuring success

Rylee: There's six measureables that we track throughout every single campaign, every single week, for every single one of our clients. The reason we do that is because I'm not physically in San Diego doing our events this week, but I need to be able to have a bird's eye view of an understanding where things are at.

Is our message off? Is the phone conversation off? Are we saying something that's turning people off? Is the venue icky? Is it in a bad spot? Is there parking that's tough for people where they don't want to walk three miles to get to the venue?

All of those come into play when we're tracking this, and measuring this. But it all starts with that initial how do we get them to take action? That's where direct mail has really been the primary focus for us.

Kathleen: Okay, so now I have a bunch of questions. First of all, it sounds like, if I'm understanding correctly, you're defining the audience, and then you're able to purchase a physical mailing list that matches those demographics.

If you want to have, let's say 25 people show up, do you have some benchmarks around how many postcards you need to send out to get that many people?

Rylee: Yeah. Yep, absolutely. That is going to be different per industry and per product, I guess, because for instance, we're working with a solar company, and they consider a household as one buying unit. You have husband and wife together, so that's two people coming in for one potential sale, versus when I work with our medical doctors.

When we're inviting them out, we're still sending one invite to one household, but there's two potential sales, maybe three or four dependent upon how many people live within that home.

So, all of that comes into play when we determine how many people we're going to try to attract.

When we do these invitations, we're not just doing on Monday only at this time. We're planning, we're giving options throughout the week, where if there's usually two, three four, sometimes five or six options within that area, maybe all at the same venue.

We might do a luncheon and a dinner on Monday, and then just a dinner on Tuesday, and then a luncheon on Wednesday. Whatever the case is. Again, that is all going be dependent upon who we're trying to attract, because a luncheon might not be good for somebody whose working a nine to five job. We might need to look at focusing on an evening, or sometimes it's Saturday morning breakfast.

All of that comes into play when we really peel back the onion on determining who is our true client, and how do we want to get them to the actual event.

I can safely say personally I love doing presentations or rooms with 20-25 people.

Kathleen: Around, like ball park, understanding that it's all different, but around how many invitations have to go out to generate 20-25?

Rylee: Maybe up to 3000, just to be safe.

Kathleen: Okay.

Rylee: For instance, this week I was out in Ohio. I flew in and out, and did some events for one of our clients. We had sent 6000 pieces. We hosted three events. The first one had 23 people, I think. The second one had 18, and the third one had almost 30. That's where we give it some options.

Part of it too, is we've got to make sure the room holds enough, and that's kind of choosing the venue, making sure everybody's facing forward. There's a lot of components that go into truly hosting a successful campaign.

Kathleen: Yeah, I was going to say do you ever have situations where you have a much better turnout and you're like, "Oh no, more people want to come, and we don't have the room."

Rylee: Yeah, it's a terrible problem to have. That's where our event team will... We'll know in advance if we have an over-response that's above and beyond this, could we add an extra day or time?

That's stuff that we kind of monitor, because part of our campaigns is we want our invitations to hit in time, where we know how often these are filling, do I have to send some booster, even some online stuff to try to boost our response rate because mail hit funny that week, or a snow storm came in. God forbid, I'm in Minneapolis right now, and it's negative 10 out right now, I think.

Kathleen: Oh, God that sounds terrible.

Rylee: And it's snowing still. It's like it shouldn't snow when it's that cold. There are certain things that are out of our control that you do still have to be flexible and be able to roll with the punches with this a little bit. We try to control as much as possible, knowing what we know works within the system here.

Kathleen: In general, do you have a sense of how many times do you need to hit that same audience before they'll say yes? Is it one postcard and 25 people respond? Or, is it one postcard sent three times?

Rylee: Yeah, it is usually one approach, and this is where kind of that fishing with the corn dogs. To me, if you send me... This is personally, and this is why I'm probably not a good example of this, but if somebody sends me an invitation that I don't care anything about, I don't care if they're feeding me a steak dinner, there's no way I'm going to go.

But there are some people out there that they don't even care. They come to the events, and they don't even know what they're for to listen to. They're there for a free meal. Whatever.

I love those people because the Law of Reciprocity takes place here, in which they're coming out, I'm getting them to love me through this hour chit chat that we're talking about. They know everything about me, and that's setting know, like and trust.

Even if you get the people that are never going to do business with you, they are your biggest allies because they know they're never going to do business with you, and they're the people smiling, nodding, giving you great feedback and energy within that whole room.

Know, like and trust

Kathleen: Let's actually talk about that for one second, because you said you have that hour and your goal is to get them to know, like and trust you.

Can you shed some light on both how you do this, and how you advise your clients to do this correctly so that it's not just a hard sell job? What happens in that hour?

Rylee: Yeah. Let's call it an hour. Sometimes it could be less, sometimes it could be more, dependent upon if there're demonstrations or things like that.

While this the first time they're physically meeting you, this isn't the first time they've had any interaction with us. They've received an invitation. They've talked with potentially you on the phone, if you've called to do the confirmation and things like that. We maybe have given them direction of, "Go look at this prior to the event."

By the time they get out to meet you, they have at least a decent understanding of what's going on here. Now, I call it, this is your circus and you're the ringleader within here.

Immediately, you are established as the authoritative figure, because you are, you're the speaker. Name an event that you've gone to, and you haven't immediately had a respect for the person on stage speaking. They've created that environment where they are that authoritative figure.

Now, assuming you know your product well, which we just assume that, the goal isn't just to educate them and make them think how smart you are, and how wonderful the features are of your product. We've kind of said that.

The goal is to get them to know that you're human. You're just like them. We take people on an emotional journey through this process, because I fully believe every buying decision is emotional, but it has to be backed by logic. We take people on this emotional journey.

We teach of NLP, neuro-linguistic programming, in this with getting people to be able to speak to their subconscious of feeling certain things within the environment.

That's what we talk about getting them with the drill. We're not talking about, "Okay, this drill has a 3.5 volt battery, and it's going to spin at X amount rate per minute." Whatever. Who cares?

Nobody cares about that. They want to know what's in it for them. That's all anybody ever truly cares about, is what's in it for them. We can talk about all those benefits full well knowing by the end of these, they know my life story, they know my daughter's name, they know where she goes to school.

We're creating a relationship, a bond, with these people, and I'm not there pressuring them.

This isn't rah-rah, rush to the back of the room and buy this course, and blah, blah, blah.

I mean, we could do that, but that's not what we teach within our system.

At the end of it, assuming you've done a good enough job where they like you, you're just simply asking for that next appointment.

That's it.

We're not closing deals. We're not selling things within these environments. It's just, "Okay, we're to help. If what we talked about is adventurous to you, we're available all day tomorrow."

So, we are creating a little sense of urgency in doing that, because we're in town for a period of time, where we've got this special rate for this consultation. Whatever it is, we can create that sense of urgency to get them to make that decision.

Most people don't make decisions. They need a reason to make a decision, and that's where I say people don't buy what they need, they buy what they want. You can lead a horse to water, but you can't make it drink. But you can put salt in his oats, and he'll want to drink.

That's really what we're trying to do with these educational events. We truly speak to express, not to impress. The presenters going up there, and making people think how smart they are, that's just not what we focus on. It is getting them to...

Again, I always just come back to that know, like and trust, because people do business with those that they know, like and trust.

Six measurables to track

Kathleen: Absolutely. You said something earlier that my ears perked up at, which is that you have six measureables that you're tracking in all of these cases. Can you just kind of quickly summarize what are those six things?

Rylee: Yeah, absolutely.

Obviously, our response rate, which is more of our outbound, our initial hook, where if I send X amount of pieces or I have X amount of clicks or whatever the case is, so we're tracking that.

Then to the actual RSVPs, because just because they respond doesn't mean that they're going to register for the event. We want to make sure we have a proper registration rate.

When we do our confirmation calls, we want to make sure there're strategies of the words that we use on how to get people to actually show up to the event. So, we have our show up rate.

Then from there, you do your presentation and at the end of the presentation, you're asking for that actual appointment. Then we obviously we have our appointment rate.

By the time we go to meet with them the next day, some may fall off, some decided they didn't want to do it, or something came up, and they... I hate that "cancel" word, but they cancel the appointment. So, we want the actual appointment set rate.

And then, obviously once you meet with them, the close rate, the actual, "I made the sale, and there was a physical transaction there."

If I can measure all of those throughout this process, again, I could be anywhere in the country looking at an event from across the country.

I kind of equate it to we've kind of created an offline funnel system. Everybody talks about the online, you start up top. It's like, okay we're trying to get as many leads into there, and now we're constant sifting the sand, bringing them down to actually only meeting and spending time with those people that truly want what we have to offer.

The cost structure

Kathleen: Yeah, I think you described it well. They're like funnel metrics, conversion rates at every different stage. Are you also tracking the cost of acquisition?

Rylee: Oh, yeah, most definitely. Most definitely.

Kathleen: I would be interested in knowing kind of what that ratio usually looks like, because you talked earlier about how if you have a $43.00 widget, it doesn't make sense to do this.

Rylee: Right.

Kathleen: What kind of a multiple do you need to have to make this really work?

Rylee: Again, any time we onboard a new client we're always starting with that end in mind, of "All right, if I can net $1,500.00 of sale on my product, can I make this work?" Or, "If it's $4,000.00 of sale, can I make this work?"

Some of the data that we have to buy could be more expensive than others. If we're just sending a post card to every door direct mail, anybody could do that. That's cheap. Go ahead and do that. But when we're buying specific data, and the invitation that we have to craft, if it's mailed, it could be a certain card stock, it could be in an envelope.

Rylee: We've done video invitations before, where it's a physical, they're getting it in the mail. We've done-

Kathleen: Those are cool. I've gotten those before. They're really neat.

Rylee: Yeah, we've done chairs before, like physical chairs that we have to mail out. Because you need to get their attention. If you're trying to figure out how to get past a gatekeeper, we do a lot of B2C, business to consumer, but my goal is to talk to that corporate executive, but he doesn't check his own mail. We've got to figure out to get past that, where we can...

Some of those cost more, but I don't need to send as much to get the response that I need. That's everything that we kind of take into consideration in building these campaigns.

My sweet spot is a three to one ratio of what we're spending. Can I at least make three times that? Net profit, three times that, because if you're only about to do two times that, or if it's four times that, maybe we're not spending enough money on marketing to bring that number down.

So, that three to one ratio for me, is just kind of that sweet spot. If I go to the casino, and I know that every third quarter I put in I'm going to four back, I'm never going to not do that.

This is a well oiled machine for the right products and campaigns. We're doing these every single week. A lot of financial advisors do these. They do selling annuities and things like that, but they do them once a month or once a quarter, and then they're working with them.

What we do, it's more of like let's keep this thing going, constantly keep you in front of that correct audience so you never have downtime, you never have that slow season utilizing this marketing format.

Kathleen: Let's talk about where the rubber meets the road, results.

Rylee: Sure.

Rylee's results

Kathleen: Can you share some examples of ROI for a typical campaign like this?

Rylee: Yeah, I've got so many examples. One of the most recent ones, we met with a group of doctors. It just would be actually about a year ago now we started our initial conversations. They were trying to do events like this. It's educating people about what they do.

We're not getting into too many specifics. We went out and saw their events that they were trying to host, using Facebook ads and things like that. They're very smart. They do a great job at educating, but the goal isn't... There's no ROI in educating. You have to still create that environment to get them to take action.

Through our consulting with them, we hosted our first campaign. This would have been in February of 2019. So, from absolutely zero business through our format, they've done over $11 million since February of this last year, solely utilized in our system.

Kathleen: What kind of cost basis goes into generating $11 million? I'm just curious what the ROI is.

Rylee: Sure, absolutely. That's definitely a lot higher than three to one. Again, it partly depends on the margins that we're working with, but realistically, like I said, if we determine a campaign is going to cost five grand, six grand, whatever that amount comes to, I'm inviting people out, we have meals involved here.

We want to make sure that we're at least going to be able to confidently be able to earn $15 grand off of that campaign. Otherwise, they just might not make sense. There might be other ways to go about this.

That's again why I say we're definitely not for everybody, but for those that we are for, it's a great system to constantly have that pipeline full of new potential clients.

Kathleen: Great. So interesting. I have so many more questions, but we don't have much more time.

Rylee: Yeah, exactly.

How to connect with Rylee

Kathleen: Thank you for sharing a lot of the details about how you're doing that. If somebody has questions, or they want to learn more, what's the best way for them to connect with you on that?

Rylee: Sure, yeah. Our website is, so That actually has some exact case studies and things like that, that you're kind of asking for. It really gets into the specifics on ROI and things. That's a good site. They can schedule an easy strategy call on there.

I wrote a book last year, so all of that's available on there, they can get more information on.

Kathleen's two questions

Kathleen: Awesome, well I'll put that link in the show notes for anybody who's interested. Of course, I have to ask you the two questions I always ask everyone. The first being, we talk a lot about inbound marketing on the podcast. Is there a particular company or individual that you think is really killing it with inbound right now?

Rylee: I travel a ton, so in my downtime I will throw up social media and just try to catch up on certain things.

I think Gary Vee is always out there, his face. He has a ton of videos and things like that, so I think he's obviously crushing it.

A new one, well he's not really new, but Steve Weatherford. I don't know if you know him, but he was a former punter in the NFL. He's created a real brand just in the health and nutrition kind of field. I think he's crushing it right now as well, with just the content that he's putting out there, and creating that environment, that following of getting people to want what he has to offer.

Kathleen: Very cool. I have not heard the Steve Weatherford one before, so I'm going to definitely have to check that one out.

The other thing is, of course, digital marketing changes so quickly. Your somebody whose totally self-educated in this area, so I'm curious, how do you stay on top of the changes happening in the world of marketing?

Rylee: Yeah, absolutely. Completely self-educated. I think I probably spent more than having to go to college than I would have through this process-

Kathleen: That's what they call "winning ugly".

Rylee: Exactly. Completely worth it, and it really has just gone back to surrounding myself with not really like-minded people, but how about like-minded people, where everybody is here to help, and surrounding yourself with that. Iron sharpens iron, by all means.

So, being able to surround yourself with those type of people, and continually feeding off of that information. Through that, I meet with mentors and coaches, and things like that, but we're always working through books.

I listen to a ton of Audible, which is great. I always do the every month by three, so that way I know I'm listening to at least three a month, new books, a podcast all the time.

Again, I travel a ton, whether it's on a plane or in a car. Sometimes it's nice just to have that downtime and chill, and zone out to some music, meditate or whatever. But utilizing that time specifically for bettering yourself, I think has been crucial in what I've been doing over the last decade.

Kathleen: Yeah, I'm a huge fan of Audible and podcasts as well. I love with Audible, putting things on 1.5 speed, especially business books, because it's not like you're immersing yourself in a story. You're like, "I want the information and I want it quickly."

Rylee: Yep, yep. Keep it going.

Kathleen: You can tear through some Audible books that way.

Rylee: Absolutely.

You know what to do next...

Kathleen: Great, well, thank you so much. This has been really interesting. If you are listening and you liked what you heard, or you learned something new, I would love it if you would head over to Apple Podcasts and leave the podcast a five star review. That's what helps us get found, and in front of new listeners. If you have a minute, consider doing that.

If you know someone else who is doing great marketing work, tweet me @WorkMommyWork, because I would love to make them my next interview.

Kathleen: Thank you so much, Rylee.

Rylee: Yeah, thanks Kathleen. This is has been fun.