Jun 20, 2018
For those of you that don’t already know Mike Jackness, he runs an ecommerce business approaching 10m a year in revenue, and is the co-host of the EcomCrew Podcast. On the Podcast Mike shares his direct experience with listeners to help them grow their ecommerce businesses.
If you’ve tuned in to our Podcast regularly, you’ve heard Mark and I talk about how multiple revenue streams increase the overall value of your business (by de-risking it). So…if you want a more valuable business why not expand it to include email? But email marketing is dead right? All junk mail and spam. If that’s true why does Mike get an open rate of 30% on his emails…and generate over 52% of his revenue for ColorIt from email? Because it works…and he does it in a “helpful”, customer friendly way.
On today’s Quiet Light Podcast Mike shares his process with email marketing using Klaviyo, and talks about how their Facebook synchronization feature enhances his customer reach and overall return on investment. The Facebook ads produce a whopping 1500% return on investment!
You can learn about Klaviyo through their online training feature, and listen in to the EcomCrew Podcast and pick up additional tips and strategies. Mike and Dave also offer specific training such as importing from China, Launching on Amazon and finding your product niche.
Mark: Oh welcome back from Italy.
Joe: Thanks man, it’s good to be back.
Mark: Ah is it really?
Joe: Yeah that’s a good question, I don’t know.
Mark: Well welcome back all the same. I’m sure everybody’s glad to hear you instead of me for a change.
Joe: I’m a little tanner and a little fuzzy. I haven’t shaved in a couple weeks.
Joe: Haven’t trimmed it a couple of weeks I should say.
Mark: Haven’t trimmed … are you missing the espresso and the-
Joe: Oh man café, ginseng, the views of the ocean. We were at the coast for most of the times as you now we’re in Rome as well but up in the north and coast of Italy is absolutely gorgeous.
Mark: Hey I got a business idea for you. I think you and I need to start a podcast about traveling to Italy and of course, you would have to go onsite for that.
Joe: I think it’s a great idea. Let’s do it.
Mark: All right you guys we’re going to shut down Quiet Light Brokerage and move on to a new business, new venture; a podcast about Italy but stay tuned for that. But in the meantime, we do actually have something related to Quiet Light Brokerage and that is … and to buying and selling online businesses; you talked to a mutual friend of ours, somebody who’s been a friend of Quiet Light Brokerage for a while Michael Jackness.
Joe: Mr. Mike Jackness from EcomCrew. Mike and I go back to him at e-commerce shield presentation he did on email marketing and a Klaviyo on what he does within his ColorIt Company, the adult coloring book company. And you would think email marketing is dead but this guy generates 52% of his revenue from email marketing. Has like a 30% open rate and just nails it, hammers it down and produces a ton of revenue that way and does Facebook synchronization. He talks about it all, on his Facebook synchronization that’s part of Klaviyo, don’t want to get too technical but he gets a 1500% return on investment. You and I have talked about this all the time, diversification of revenue streams does what to a business other than add more revenue; it’s more valuable, right?
Mark: It absolutely reduces the risk, increases stability, yeah.
Joe: That’s right. So we talked about that. We talked about the ability to expand beyond your typical just one source of revenue e-commerce business whether it be your Shopify store or your Amazon FBA site using tools like Klaviyo and Facebook Messenger, things of that nature. And then we talked a little bit about EcomCrew what they do there. EcomCrew is yes a podcast Mike and Dave have been doing it for almost three years now and they just simply help people. They’ve got a … my favorite subject is the under the hood section where they actually talk to an e-commerce owner about the problems within their business and try to help them right there right on the podcast sharing a lot of detailed information for people to help themselves.
Mark: That is pretty cool. He has a ton of knowledge absolutely. The podcast they have is fantastic. I think the topic itself is really fantastic especially as people are trying to build up more integrated marketing systems. You know this idea of having their email coincide with a live Facebook audience and the marketing that you’re doing there. Really really kind of advanced stuff but really good stuff and those numbers are staggering; 1500% ROI on Facebook.
Joe: Yeah, huge.
Joe: Huge and he started small. He started testing little things just like everyone else. It’s not like he had all this knowledge, he figured it out along the way. And just to put some numbers behind Mike and his expertise he’s hoping that 2018 will be the year when his business overall hits the 10 million dollar revenue mark. So he’s not a small player, he’s doing a great job. Somebody that is now traveling around the world doing presentations and speaking on E-commerce Group Podcast subject and on email marketing and e-commerce in general, so definitely somebody worth listening to.
Mark: You know one thing I do want to say before we jump into the episode, when people are listening to these numbers and hearing things like 1500% ROI, 10 million dollars breaking this year, I think it can be really intimidating for some people that are maybe at the beginning stages to hear this and to see all the opportunity and see so many advanced stuff these people are doing. We did an episode with Dan from Science of Skill who pulled about two million dollars of revenue from an email list of about 11 or 12,000 people. We’ve talked to Bjork Ostrom from Food Blogger Pro who is completely dominating that world. And I think the one thing just to keep in mind if you’re hearing these episodes and seeing what some of these people are doing don’t be overwhelmed by it and understand something that you alluded to Joe; he’s done this over time. Focus on this continual improvement every day, small little group improvements and you can work yourself up. These guys didn’t jump up to this in one month they did this over time.
Joe: Yeah and on the podcast EcomCrew, he’ll talk to and work with people that are doing 50,000 dollars a year in revenue and that’s what they do under the hood and they help that. He’ll also do it for folks that are doing half a million in revenue or five million in revenue but you know at all stages there’s different tools and resources that can be used to help people grow their business. And bottom line is Mike’s just a really nice guy. He’s an expert in the arena. He’s sharing the information. He’s not afraid of competition. He says if I share information about my business and competition comes up and bites me in the heels it’s because I didn’t do a good enough job in promoting my own products.
Mark: That’s awesome. All right let’s get to it.
Joe: Hey folks it’s Joe from Quiet Light Brokerage and today I’ve got Mike Jackness on the line with me. Hey Mike how’s it going?
Mike: Good man, it’s good to be here. It’s good to see you, I wish it was in person but it’s … at least we’re actually … we’re in the same room.
Joe: I agree. Good to see you as well and I know you’ve been traveling the world, good to be back in San Diego I hear right?
Mike: It is man, like I can live anywhere in the world I want. At least we could at the time when we moved here I was like we had a virtual business but it’s we’re kind of anchored down here now but I want to be here and I feel sad whenever I had to go somewhere because it’s San Diego, it’s a pretty awesome spot.
Joe: Well you got good problems. You’re kind of a big shot now; you’re travelling the world [crosstalk 00:06:51.0] all over the place. For those folks listening that don’t know you why don’t you, as you know we don’t do formal introductions here at Quiet Light. Why don’t you share a little bit of background on yourself? So what your history is, what you’re doing now so that they understand who we’re talking to today.
Mike: Yeah no problem it’s always [inaudible 00:07:07.3] to talk about yourself but I’ll give it a shot. I’ve been doing this online marketing stuff for … this dates me for about 15 years. I actually quit my job back in 2004 and I’ve been doing this stuff ever since. Like some I retired in between a couple businesses that we were doing for a couple years and RVed around the country and got bored of being retired so we got sucked back into the business again and it was an e-commerce this time and we started doing that a few years ago. It’s been almost five years now and are on the road to build an eight figure business this year. We’ll get to crack eight figures this year or next year and along the way we’ve been documenting all that on EcomCrew. So it’s been a much different environment than what I was doing before which was affiliate marketing where everybody was really guarded; you never talked about anything you did because everyone was kind of a competitor and going after the same traffic. But in e-commerce, it’s like this multi-trillion dollar industry and you’re never going to be the one selling all the things in your niche. And one of the things that we do is coloring for adults and I always say like I’m never going to select all the gel pens in the world. So talking about what we do and being open about it I think has been cool and yeah it might create some competitors but if they can catch me I feel like it’s my fault. It’s kind of been my philosophy plus I’m just more secure about everything I do now that I’m a little bit older. And I look at the things that come out of it positively, which is getting to meet people like you which would never happen if it wasn’t for EcomCrew and speaking and all these things. So and for the most part like 99% of what we do; helping other people doesn’t adversely affect us and for the one [inaudible 00:08:41.9] that does you know so be it whatever.
Joe: Well you just touched on it what you do believe and I’m … for people listening EcomCrew is just that. It’s what we do at Quiet Light, it’s helping other people. Help them first then things come back to you. And I’ve seen you do presentations on the adult coloring books and the email marketing behind it. I’ve listened to the EcomCrew podcast; I worked with Dave as you know as well. So I want to talk about both but let’s just answer the simple question first about email marketing; you know I’m an old school direct marketer, I’ve been self-employed since 1997 believe it or not.
Joe: It was radio direct marketing back then and then the next evolution at that point was email right? As old isn’t email marketing dead, are you making any money with it?
Mike: Yeah and it’s a trick question right, or it’s a blue question, it’s a softball question. You know when I first got into doing email marketing for e-commerce I felt the same way and I had drug my feet forever and it’s probably one of my bigger regrets in this business for a couple reasons. Number one, I think its human nature to approach stuff in life and in business the way that you think about it yourself. So for me, I flipping hate email. It’s my biggest nemesis. I cannot get to Inbox 0 no matter how hard I try. It … I’m unsubscribing for more things than I’m subscribing to just to try to get email under control and I just viscerally have this negative hatred in reaction towards email. So you know I didn’t want to get into emailing people because I … you know how I am I like to treat others like I like to be treated. So for me, that was the conflict more than anything. It’s like I’m going to start emailing people and I wouldn’t want to even receive these emails myself. So that was the basis for the whole thing to start with so I was slow at doing it. But listening to other people talk and going to other you know a lot of these conferences and you still hear email as a prevalent thing and it’s important; you should be doing email etcetera etcetera. So eventually I started dipping my toes into it and what I realize now many years later first of all email is 52% of our revenue. I was just looking before doing this podcast; it’s 52% of our revenue for ColorIt. So it’s a massive amount of our business. But our open rates-
Joe: That’s 52% of nearly an eight figure business.
Mike: So just to … yeah [inaudible 00:11:07.1] that’s just on ColorIt.com so we also sell on Amazon and Amazon is two thirds of our business so … but it’s two thirds of a million dollar business because ColorIt.com does about a million dollars a year. And as a business overall ColorIt is bigger than that because you add in the Amazon component. But yeah what we do on ColorIt.com like when it’s our own website and we control all of our own destiny; email marketing is a mass sort of part of that and it has a massive halo effect that you can’t directly determine. But it has a massive halo effect on our Amazon business as well. Because people are reading these emails and they eventually go buy on Amazon. We have a lot of data on this but you can’t … it’s not empirical, you can’t tell definitively like exactly what’s going on there. But I mean totally you can look at the numbers and say okay by doing these things over here that it’s affecting the stuff over here. So it definitely makes a big difference.
Joe: Yeah for sure and then we’re going to talk about open rates there in the email before I interrupt.
Mike: Yeah. So our open rates are close to 30% so they hover somewhere 28 to 32% depending on what stage we are on scrubbing or list. So one of the things that we work really hard on is email deliverability; making sure things end up in the primary inbox, not in spam; that we are providing value to people so they want to open our emails. So that’s been a really big angle for us so we kind of use the 80-20 rule here where at least 80% of our emails are helpful and they’re not hitchy in any way of what we’re trying to sell you something. And it’s really more like 90-10. The vast majority of what we send out is helpful tips and tricks or things you want to know. So for instance in the coloring space; how to blend your shade with colored pencils, how to blend with markers or something like that, how to sharpen your pencils. Here’s a time lapse video of how to draw this particular drawing and here’s a free copy of it. Here’s some stuff from our community other people submitted you might want to like it out as well. We’re doing a giveaway this month or fan of the month contest. All these types of things that add value and every now and then once every six weeks or so or eight weeks we’re releasing a new product and that will be a part of the sequence. Or maybe there’s a Mother’s Day sale or the month it’s going to be come up soon it’d be a 4th of July sale. But very few of our emails are in that realm and most of them are in here are some helpful tips and tricks. So let’s apply that to something besides coloring let’s like it like tactical.com, your emails will be 10 things to bring on your next hiking adventure, how to prepare for an emergency, things to put in your bug out bag, what to do when the lights go out; whatever the types of things that we’re doing in tactical world. Things that are like truly helpful for people especially I mean right now we’re getting into hurricane season so we’re going to be releasing a lot of content about that. And you know the fact of the matter is that most people just aren’t prepared. Like a hurricane comes or an earthquake, a tornado comes whatever and you have no food and water or a flashlight that are is or all dead whatever it might be. It’s actually quite helpful to people to bring us the forefront of their mind even if you just think about it for a second you can actually help save someone’s life in this case. So these are the types of things we’ll provide and every now in that cycle he check out on your products this might help you as well. So the vast majority we do is trying to train people to want to open our emails, to kind of like … you know and humans are very habit forming creatures. It only takes a few times of doing something to make it a habit. So we try to make this a habit for them and that’s our approach.
Joe: Yeah it seems to have worked with your open rate which is pretty phenomenal. Let’s back up a step, what email software are you using; what do you prefer?
Mike: So we’re using Klaviyo for almost everything at least in the e-commerce space. You know Klaviyo is just heads and tails above everything else when it comes to e-commerce. It has a direct integration with Shopify, you can build segments within Klaviyo, people that have done particular things and then generate emails based off of that. And probably the feature that it has that’s most valuable is the ability to then take those segments and synchronize those segments with a Facebook audience and then you can … it can currently run Facebook Ads to that group of people which is highly effective. And the thing that really got me going with this was actually a really funny story because I had just got done presenting at E-commerce Fuel; I think you might have actually been there. I was talking about email marketing and I was like-
Joe: That was Savannah?
Mike: Yeah. I think it was in Savannah. And I was like gloating about email marketing and all these cool things that we’re doing and at the time that I was really … all I really focused on was mostly email marketing. And what I had said there was at the time our open rates where between 20 and 25% which is still double industry average and we’ve since improved that. But I was really proud of that fact and someone came up to me after the show. A good friend of mine, Kevin Stucco and he was like well what about the 75% of people that aren’t opening your email? And I was just like … it was an instant like aha moment. It kind of knocked me down a peg because I was like all … kind of like in that gloating mindset but it was actually a really good point. Even … you know I was looking at it from one perspective of we’re double or more than double the industry average on open rates on email. But what he made me think about was what about all these people that aren’t opening email. And one of the things that Klaviyo at the same time was coming out with was that synchronization feature. So we started getting really heavy into Facebook Ads. And what you can do is if for instance there’s like someone … let’s say your average order frequency is 80 days so what we do as a win back sequence at 90 days we offer them a coupon; the comeback as an email. Well, why not run an ad to them, a Facebook Ad at the same time and Klaviyo makes that really easy. So yeah there’s going to be basically three things that can happen; either they’re going to open your email, they’re going to see your Facebook Ad, or they’ll do both. Some people going to see both of your email and your Facebook Ad. But either way, throwing the Facebook stuff into it is a much more effective approach. So it’s been really successful for us and now we have these Facebook Ads that run 100 or 1500 to 2000% return on Ad Spend.
Mike: But the most effective ads that we run are-
Joe: It’s incredible.
Mike: Yeah. Because if you think about it I mean it’s a super small audience, we’re putting a really small budget together and these are like highly primed people. These are someone that’s already bought from us. They kind of maybe forgot about us, you send and ad to them 10% off of course they’re much more likely to convert than someone that’s called traffic. It’s way … this is what people forget about in e-commerce; it’s way easier to sell someone something the second time than the first time. But the problem is that we all get our high off of getting new customers so that’s what we always focus on is those angles. But what really brings the profitability to e-commerce is nurturing the existing customer.
Joe: Lifetime value of a customer.
Joe: Repeat customer acquisition all that good stuff. So Klaviyo is the software of choice. Your emails separate yourself out from the mass emails that we get just by being as helpful as possible. So you don’t wind up in the unsubscribe section and then combine and sync with Facebook which is great to go back out to those folks. On the emails themselves, how many are you sending on a day or week or things of that nature, and do you have any concerns about people opting out and do you make it easy enough for them to unsubscribe?
Mike: Yeah. So we were sending millions of emails a month now literally; the number is actually crazy. We were just looking at our Klaviyo account the other day and it shows you the number of emails you’ve sent out. And in this particular account we’re looking at it was actually just yesterday and it was 200,000 emails we had sent out and we were just like four days into the billing cycle. And I was like uh-oh like oh excuse me something might be wrong with … I think they were sending like … maybe people are getting two emails of the same thing or something. We kind of dug into it for a few minutes and realized just like the actual frequency, the number of emails we’re sending is like in the millions a month now and it’s actually accurate. And that’s what we want to be happening it’s just that we didn’t quite have our … even have our heads around it.
Joe: At the millions a month, how many is one individual getting?
Mike: It really depends. It depends on how they came in to our system and what part of the sequences that they’re in. There are some situations where someone might get an email from us literally every single day. So if they are coming in to one of this new lead magnet flows that we have which is basically I call this this the trifecta; this might be like a little bit of a version of what we’re talking about today because we’re talking about email but just as a real quick side note the trifecta to me as a marketer is getting them on a Facebook Messenger list, getting them Pixeled so I can also have their Pixel data, and getting their email address. So to me like-
Joe: What’s the Pixel part?
Mike: So the Pixel part is just it when someone visits your website that’s a piece of code that you have on your website that the Facebook Pixel or the Google Pixel and by having this script on your website you now know that someone has visited you and you know that they visit a particular pages or that they took particular actions. You don’t know individually who they are like I don’t know that Joe Valley visited my website today but I … you are in a bucket that I can say like I want to know all the people that did X, Y, and Z and you’ll be in the bucket and I can then advertise to you in a particular way by being in that bucket. So what we do for Facebook campaigns or most of our campaigns is this whole … again the provide value first angle. So we’ll offer people something for free whether it’s free downloadable content, free drawings, a lead magnet whatever might be or offer them a free plus shipping off or maybe … so we start with these really compelling low friction offers and then send them to a Facebook Messenger flow. Which is basically are you definitely interested in this; yes or no. If they say yes we give them a link to a page and when they get to that page they’re now Pixeled. So we have them on our Facebook Messenger list I can market to them that way. I have them Pixeled so I can remarket to them that way. And then that landing page will have a spot to give us their email address and I can market to them that way. And when they come through one of these flows for free downloads let’s say we don’t just give them all the free downloads in one day. We give them an email every single day for 30 to 45 days. It’s actually a very long sequence where … so it’s a 20 free download program or promotion I would say. And so we’re giving them a download every other day and in between that we’re giving them some other value. So and we tell them we’re going to send you 20 free downloads, you’re going to get one every other day. We don’t tell them they are going to get another email every other day in between but they still open those as well.
Mike: And those other emails are still value, it’s the how to blend or shade kind of emails or things like that, here are some stuff from our community and in it dispersed within there is here’s a coupon for the book that you were just downloading these drawings from and things like that. So in that circumstance, their getting emailed incredibly frequently but the baseline minimum that people are getting email from our company is six times a month. That’s the absolute minimum, someone, what would get.
Joe: And that’s fine. I’ve seen people … I’ve seen your presentation and I’ve heard people say man that’s a lot of emails but if they don’t want then they opt out.
Mike: Yeah so-
Joe: And your open rates-
Mike: Exactly let me let me hit on that just real quick because it’s a really important point. Again treating people like I’d like to be treated; I don’t … if I don’t want the email like I want to be able to number one at least [inaudible 00:22:39.8] easily unsubscribe so we make that easy for people. And I want them to be able to easily unsubscribe. What people … the shady email marketers don’t get is you’re actually hurting yourself more by trying to jam it down their throat because you want the open rates to be high. And Google and Hotmail and Yahoo all the different email platforms look at your stats of your open rates just like Google is looking at click to rates in inorganic search. And if your open rates are high, way higher than average; they’re gonna say though this is content that people probably want we’re going to put this in the main inbox. If you dip below a certain point you’ll end up in the in the promotions tab, if you dip below even a certain point from that you’ll end up in spam. And there’s like no way to get yourself out of there. So we want to keep our open rates as high as possible probably for our own best interest right? So it’s-
Mike: We make it easy to unsubscribe and if you don’t open one of our emails for 13 weeks we unsubscribe you for yourself. So we figure after 13 weeks you know which is going to be probably something that range of 20 emails that we’ve sent out if you haven’t opened one of those emails in that longer a time period you’re probably just done with us and we’ll just stop emailing you. And in that way … that’s one of the reasons why our open rates continue to be as high as they are and we keep on adding our net gain every month is way higher than our unsubscribes or people we’re removing. We’ve got something like 60,000 active emails on ColorIt where you know some people might look at that list and they would say it’s 200,000 or something because we’re not constantly scrubbing it. Our emails are active; these are 60,000 people that are actively open … we have 60,000 people that have opened at least one of our emails in the last quarter which is a much better stat in my mind than looking at the total number of people we’ve ever signed up.
Joe: I totally agree. We’re constantly asking that question in our client interviews and trying to drill down into the relative usefulness of those total emails. Yeah for those that are listening can you touch on, I mean it’s probably overwhelming for both buyers and sellers that are listening in terms of if they’ve never done email marketing if they don’t know how to do any Facebook marketing. I want to ask a question; let me first touch on the fact that for those that are not doing these now, for those that are getting revenue from one channel your business is going to be 20 to 30% less valuable than one from multiple channels and you also … and that’s because of the risk. You’re at a greater risk of a catastrophe if you’re 100% Amazon business or 100% email marketing business, or 100% Facebook. You want to spread out and do all of them and have more sort of legs on the stool to balance out the business. Buyers will love that. They’ll pay more for it.
Joe: And figure how to do it so what kind of training would you recommend for anybody looking to learn Klaviyo, anybody learning Facebook marketing?
Mike: I mean we obviously do ourselves some I mean that’s a kind of a loaded question but-
Joe: It’s funny, wasn’t actually for people listening it wasn’t a loaded question because I didn’t know that. I know that you’re doing … I know I’ve listened to EcomCrew you know I know Dave well, I know you well know and I love your Under the Hood sessions and I didn’t really hear that you’re actually doing the training sessions on Klaviyo and email marketing so let’s … on Facebook so let’s move to that. Let’s talk-
Mike: So we have a new thing called the EcomCrew Premium and what we were doing is like releasing a course every couple of months and charging 500 to 1,000 dollars per course depending on what the course was on. We did one on importing from China. Then we did another one on how to launch products on Amazon the white hat way without doing any black hat tactics. And as we kept on releasing courses we were getting emails of people just like this is getting expensive. It’s like our core fans are like they’re just buying everything we do, it was getting expensive and I also felt like starting to feel like a kind of a used car salesman in some respect because you’re just constantly trying to sell them something different every couple of months. So we just said you know what like … because you know how Dave and I are like and we just we’re not like that so-
Joe: [inaudible 00:26:36.0]
Mike: Well, thank you. Thank you very much.
Joe: [inaudible 00:26:38.4]
Mike: Okay well that makes more sense though he is Canadian so like by default he’s just like already 40% nicer.
Joe: It’s it.
Mike: Yes so we came up with this subscription model which is you just pay once a month, then you get access to everything that we’ve already done; everything that we’re going to do in the future. And it includes webinars twice a month and the training we’re about to release depending on this podcast will be released. The next one we’re doing is on Facebook Messenger and we actually have a webinar later today as recording this on that topic as well. So we give those webinars to our EcomCrew Premium members as well. So we’re constantly talking about this stuff and whatever’s going on more current. The Klaviyo we don’t actually have a course on yet I mean that was something that I learned on my own. I’m not really sure if there’s one out there. We are going to be doing one on that but as a part of our subscription model, you also get access to us to ask questions so you can just email questions if you’re having a hard time with Klaviyo as if for instance we would just help you with that as well. It’s any type of e-commerce stuff we would help with. But Klaviyo is simple and it’s complicated at the same time. Like I can understand why it would be overwhelming. I’m kind of a tech guy so I naturally kind of gravitate towards the stuff and figure it out. When I realize when it’s complicated is when we hire a new employee and I had to explain to them how to do it and I see their eyes kind of glaze over. It’s like I’m trying to explain the difference between a segment and a list or a flow and a campaign or how to synchronize something to Facebook and they’re just like … you’ve been kind of giving that look and I … and then I understand that some things come harder to certain people. It’d be the same look I would give somebody if you asked me to do rock climbing or something. I’d be like yeah that’s not going to happen. I’m not going to be able to do that. So yeah I don’t know besides just Klaviyo’s own website for that like what the best way to go about that is.
Joe: So yeah you sell a very visual product you know with ColorIt and the tactical gear stuff you know common sense makes sense, between your connections with the EcomCrew and the Under the Hood Segments what’s the strangest … I don’t want to say, I don’t want to call somebody’s product or service strange but the thing that you would think would not necessarily work via email marketing that or Facebook that they get a shot and actually made a difference in their business.
Mike: Yeah I mean let me start by saying give you like a whole another kind of answer to this real quick. What I always say when I when I speak at events or do these podcasts, whenever wherever I’m talking about and this comes up, one of the things that drives me crazy I mean you’re in the same industry I’m in there is a lot of people out there that are like follow my secret 10 step plan, do these exact things and sprinkle this special dust in your business and you’ll be a millionaire overnight. Those ads are on our Facebook feed like nonstop. We also go to events where some of these people speak and it drives me nuts. So I’m always cautious and tell people look like you have to use … you know your business better than anyone else and there’s like all these variables that kind of go into it. You have a different margin than I might have or maybe there’s a Facebook audience site that directly matches up with what you’re doing. Maybe you have the ability to get user generated content really easily or you can make a lead magnet or a free plus shipping offer. If you have a lot of repeat business opportunity maybe you don’t like I mean … so I try to talk about all these different types of businesses that we’ve been involved in and how we’ve approached it. And the thing that’s cool about us now is we have four brands. We’re doing things in coloring and hot and cold therapy we have a baby brand and we have a tactical brand. I’m gonna start talking a lot more about like our different approach for each brand but what your … the question you’re asking is and I think that the answer to it really is that every business is unique. You have to follow maybe a basic outline of what people … like I’m doing with email marketing, here is like the different approaches we’ve taken with our different niches but you know it’s hard to just say like do these exact 10 things. I mean there’s a couple of things you want to do by default with email. You want to definitely have like an abandoned card sequence; that applies to everybody. You want to have a win back campaign; that applies to everybody. But what doesn’t apply to everybody is 20 free downloadable coloring pages. That doesn’t make sense for anybody else except for us.
Mike: Or like here’s how to prepare for an emergency that probably doesn’t apply to most businesses. You have to think out of the box and more importantly than anything is try a bunch of different concepts and don’t be afraid to fail. This is where I think people get hung up like the human nature which I’m different in this regard for whatever reason. I’m wired differently. I just don’t care about embarrassing myself or doing something that doesn’t work. So you know I’ll try 10 or 20 different things until I find the one that resonates and gives some traction where you know somebody else might try something once or twice and just give up. You have to keep on trying different concepts until you find the one that really seems to resonate and then with something in the world of Facebook when you find the thing that resonates or in email marketing it really seems to work. You’ll get stats that are completely different than what you’ve done to that point. I mean 10 times better, 20 times better and you’ll kind of hit that thing that kind of … that really works and I’m hoping that kind of answers the question. I mean I’m always reluctant to talk about other people’s business specifically that we’ve run into at EcomCrew because I’m always pretty protective of the things that they’re doing.
Mike: I never want to break anyone’s confidence but I think that that is probably the best approach. And one last thing that I’ll mention is when we got started in e-commerce with treadmill.com and I always talk about this. So it’s like that’s the most different thing that we’ve done compared to the other things that we’re doing now. The approach there would be way different than selling something like a coloring book because you’re only going to sell someone one treadmill. You’ve got no chance at a second sale. In fact, you just hope that they don’t return it because it turns out to be like the most expensive clothes rack they ever bought right?
Joe: Exactly. That’s right.
Mike: So I mean you have to take a different approach with that. And it’s a much longer term sale cycle that you’re not going to spontaneously sell somebody a 2,000 dollar treadmill. This is sort of like well long thought out, multi-year struggle with weight or whatever it might be that drives them to buying this treadmill, much different way to approach it so you’ve got to take a different approach there than selling somebody a sort of coloring pens or something. Because like yeah you can put an ad up, they’re 30 bucks. Someone won’t think twice about buying that and it can be a very spontaneous purchase versus the other way around. So you got the like … it’s kind of like what you do, I mean people … like it’s a very long sell cycle when you are trying to get someone to sell their business or purchase a business. That doesn’t spontaneously just happen. So you’re having to take a different approach with your email and your marketing than someone else that’s actually selling widgets that are something that people just want to buy like that so-
Joe: And it’s interesting; it’s the exact same approach you take in email marketing which is help as many people as you can. Be [inaudible 00:33:45.2] as you can and it generally is it’s the right way to do it number one. But it generally works. You build relationships with either customers or clients like you sell from whatnot that they come around and work well.
Mike: [inaudible 00:33:57.3] that works pretty well in life too by the way.
Joe: That is [inaudible 00:34:00.6] life lessons from Mike Jackness.
Joe: We’re running short on time but I want to talk about just EcomCrew briefly. I want people to now how to listen in because if you’re in the e-commerce world you got to listen to Mike and Dave on EcomCrew because all they do is help people. Talk about that for just a minute; when did you start it, how do they download, listen to it, that kind of thing.
Mike: We started it I guess it’s been three years ago, three or four years ago. It’s kind of hard to … I lose track of time. And we’re out at Episode 150 something on the podcast as of recording this. My favorite episode we ever did was Episode 88 though, which was the Joe Valley EcomCrew podcast so-
Joe: [inaudible 00:34:37.6] we talked today.
Mike: I did. I just I was just looking on this great. But it’s been a weekly podcast and we’ve now gone to twice a week. So twice a week we are talking about e-commerce stuff because between Dave and I we have plenty of things to talk about. We might even go to three times a week I just don’t know if I have the time to do it. But as you’re growing a business with the speed that we are there’s plenty of talk about and I love talking about it because it produces a lot of cool stuff. I mean like I said it helps me meet people like you know but it also … it’s really embarrassing to have to get on a podcast and start like you were … because I talk about my goals and the things that we’re like looking to do. When you have to get on the podcast and say like I didn’t get this done it’s like there’s nothing better than peer review and peer pressure. So I keep on pushing it till I get stuff done. So it’s been very helpful for me as well. So yeah there’s the podcast component so on iTunes E-C-O-M-C-R-E-W but we also have a blog which Dave does almost all of that content, EcomCrew.com all of that stuff is free. We even have actually a free … three free courses under the My Ecom Career Area none of that requires giving us a penny. It’s just kind of us giving back. And you know I hope our long term strategy just like you is if we help people in they get an affinity towards the things that we’re telling them and teaching that eventually they would want to become a premium member. But even if they don’t like you were pretty financially secure and happy with what we’re doing and all the other stuff is free. So definitely come check us out.
Joe: It’s awesome. Thanks Mike. I appreciate it. Anybody listening I would highly highly recommend you go to EcomCrew and check it out, download, listen to the podcast; definitely Episode number 88.
Mike: Best episode ever.
Mike: It actually was one of our best or highly rated episodes. And people are always interested in buying and selling their business. I mean it’s something you should always be thinking about it’s just I think people often wait too long to be thinking about these things and-
Joe: Nine times out of 10.
Joe: Planning in advance should be probably number five. Mark doesn’t like it but plan in advance you’re going to understand the valuations and you do things like we talked about today which is [inaudible 00:36:41.1] email marketing and you’ll [inaudible 00:36:43.6] business and get high value profit so [inaudible 00:36:46.6]. I appreciate your time today Mike I know you’re a busy guy.
Mike: No problem, thanks.