In this episode, Bobby speaks with Amber about how she helps clients improve their email deliverability, how to improve a quiz funnel, whether webinars still work, and shopping cart tactics that have increased her clients’ sales by 15%.
(01:00) – Introduction
(01:15) – Smart To Finish’s Customer Journey
(02:15) – How Amber’s Recommendations Have Changed
(03:15) – Planning Your Technology Stack
(4:00) – Netflix Premiere Tech Disaster
(5:45) – Tips to Improve Email Deliverability
(9:15) – The Secret to Cart Abandonment
(12:00) – How To Make Webinars Work Now
(14:00) – Improving Quiz Conversions
(17:45) – Order Bump Pricing Strategy
Bobby: Tell the listeners a little bit about you and what your company does.
Amber: I run a company called Smart to Finish, and we help online entrepreneurs with everything from their launch support to their tech implementation. So we’re the backend support for launches and marketing.
Bobby: What is the overall journey that customers take with you, from never hearing about you to becoming raving fans and lifelong business partners?
Amber: Well, for us, we’re lucky enough to get a lot of referrals. We’re very relationship, long-term based. Gosh, I’ve had my longest-standing client that I still work with today started with me in oh six. So we’re very long-term oriented.
We like to come in, we like to be a part of what they’re doing, grow with them. Be a real actual part of what their overall mission is.
So typically a lot of them will start with, well, let’s handle this part of the business, or let’s just have you focus on the email marketing.
And then they start seeing everything that we can do, and then they start feeling like, oh, this is great. Can you take this part of the business? So we work them through more or less the experience and just having somebody to actually support them and them not having to figure these things out at three in the morning, right?
Bobby: For sure. So it sounds like you do a ton for clients. How have your recommendations and strategic approach with them changed over the years?
Amber: Well, and it goes along with technology. So when I first started, it was 1ShoppingCart. That was the great big thing. So it was making sure I was well-versed in that.
And then Dan Kennedy did a big talk back in I don’t know, 2008, with Infusionsoft (Keap) and was like, everybody needs to go buy this. So all my clients came to me and said, Dan Kennedy says we need to go move to this system. So it’s changing with the patterns of what’s hot at the moment.
I feel like in our space we have to stay up on, what is everybody using, how do you use it? And I get asked, I’m sure you do too, Bobby. Like, what do you recommend? I get that all the time. What do you recommend I use? And it’s really always gonna be: what are your long-term goals? Because I don’t wanna go set somebody up and in six months they’ve outgrown the system. I’m always going, okay, well what are your plans in six months to a year?
Maybe you don’t need to invest now, but what’s it gonna cost for us to move you off of that platform. So I’m always thinking one step ahead of them on, move your entire marketing funnel to something else that will then support your growth costs way more in the long run.
Bobby: I have a client, no names will be named but they got into this loop for a year or two where they were switching every three to six months. You know, shiny objects here, oh this has this feature over here. And I was like, wow. Like it’s saving you a little bit of money, but what it’s costing you in just time that could be better spent on your zone of genius.
Amber: Totally and to bring to that point,we have clients and it cracks me up because they will be using three different systems. Maybe using Zapier to connect them because they don’t wanna upgrade for another $12 a month. And I’m like, all right, so you have now added the cost for us to build this integration. The chance of one of these three, breaking down at some point, and then figuring out where is the break? Let’s just upgrade. You know? So sometimes I think we get stuck and I don’t wanna pay more, but what does it cost you to not upgrade your systems?
Bobby: What have been some of the significant challenges that you’ve facedgetting better results for your clients?
Amber: This last year, I have been focusing really heavily around email deliverability. I have personally watched a few of or very, very big clients be censored.
We had a client be completely shut down from one of their marketing systems 12 hours before their Netflix premiere. So it has become a bigger issue and I think the biggest challenge that comes alongside of that is educating and helping people understand the shift in mindset.
And it’s not about the list size. We’re so taught, grow your list, grow your list. It’s all about the list. But the thing is, if they’re not engaging and if they’re not opening, you’re actually hurting, you know, I could get real technical here, but they’re hurting their domain, they’re hurting their sending reputation because they’re sending emails to folks who aren’t opening, and that actually hurts their reputation.
So when we actually look at how many people are engaging with you in the last 30 to 90 days, it’s a sticker shock. Everybody’s like, oh my gosh, no, I can’t do that. Like, that’s, a big part of my list gone. But that’s the way we’re going. I think that that is gonna be the way we’re gonna need to be showing up at inboxes, because right now the biggest issue is actually deliverability, is getting the emails to show up in the inbox and not spam or quarantine. It’s a big deal.
Bobby: I came up in the launch world and it was like, I have a hundred thousand list, I have a 200,000. Like that was the big thing. And I’ve seen that too, where just because you have all these people doesn’t mean they’re paying attention to you.
I would love any tips you’d be comfortable giving about increasing deliverability, what to look for there.
Amber: A big part of it is subject lines. Learning what your list is responding to. Because the key is to get them, first of all, to open, ideally to click. But our first goal is to keep them engaged. So it’s really looking at your email stats. So we’re constantly reviewing what got opened, oh it was having the word gift. So for Your Your of Miracles, our audience responds to the word gift in the subject line. So it’s looking at the behaviors of your audience and seeing how you can bring more of that in. Also the content, not having too long of emails. We were taught the longer the better. And now it’s short to the point and keeping our links to two or three at the most in an email. Otherwise, especially Yahoo and Outlook will put you in spam if you have too many hyperlinks.
And then images, careful with the images, those also can put us in spam if we have too many in the size of them. Two to three images tops. And that can make a big difference.
And create test accounts and actually test and see where they’re landing. We found that just by not bolding as much, we would show up in the inbox.
It’s really a lot of trial and error and playing around and see for yourself, where are you landing? Don’t just rely on Gmail or don’t just rely on Outlook Test different platforms with your emails.
Bobby: Because you’ve been with some high level partners and you work with some big names, what is that conversation like when they have that hesitancy of I have this huge email list? How do you coach them through seeing the value of smaller, more focused, better engagement is ultimately better.
Amber: And I’m not gonna lie, Bobby, it’s tough. I’m thinking back to two of my big clients. I’m not gonna say it’s an easy conversation. What typically works for me is. I don’t expect them to right away be like, oh, you’re right. That makes sense. So what I typically try to do is show them. There’s something about the data, there’s something about actually seeing, “oh.” So what I do is I say,give me a month. Let me show you what I mean. Let’s try sending to just this group and let me show you what I’m wanting to do. And then they’re like, oh, I see. When we start having higher open rates, things start landing in the inbox instead of going to spam.
So I think sometimes they have to see it to believe it. And it’s all on the data. But it is. We’re programmed to think that we need to send you to this full list and we have to do it this way because that’s how we’ve always done it. And the landscape’s shifting for sure.
Bobby: Just a quick little cheat that we do, especially for those who are anxious about, oh my gosh, I’ve got a hundred thousand clients now that we’re not mailing to. So what we’ve done is we’ve exported them. And we’ve sent them through another sending, so let’s say you’re on Keap or Infusionsoft or Ontraport. We would export those who are older than 90 days, import them into something like an ActiveCampaign and we would send one email to a lead magnet to get them back in to being active.So I’m not saying go delete all those people and we’re never gonna talk to them again. We use them for retargeting. We send them to our ads. So there’s still things you can do with them, but in your normal everyday campaign and your funnels and your sending, it’s best to exclude them. We’ve had about a 10% conversion on getting unengaged people back engaged by doing that.
Amber: One other tip, don’t use the same domain. So if you set up a separate campaign, like ActiveCampaign, have another email account like at a .net because again, we’re trying to build your domain reputation. So if you go and send and you use your same from email, your info at .com, and now you’re sending to an engaged, you’re hurting your score, it’s going back down. So use a different email for sending for those people.
Bobby: This is really good. Especially these days when the email is more important than ever, and getting it right is super important. Are there any specific tactics, strategies, approaches that you found are working really well right now?
Amber: Good question. You know, it’s kind of the oldie but goodie, but we’re finding cart abandonment. Like with the last two launches, we have found that by sending an email within 30 minutes to an hour of visiting the sales page and not buying we have done pretty well on bringing in more sales. Also something I have been testing this last month and it has upped sales about I think 15% for one of our clients. Going back to a very, very simple order form. Because again, the shift the last few years was putting testimonials and all this copy on the order form. That’s not working. So it used to work. Again, it’s one of those things thatused to be really popular. You’d have the sidebar on your order form, social proof, recap, and a couple testimonials.
We’re actually finding that we’re having more car t abandonment t using those full on order forms and instead simple, bare bones, name, email, put in your credit card, bye. That has upped our conversions immensely with one of our clients who is really struggling with people getting to the cart and closing. Again, I think it just goes back to attention span. We’re so busy and just confused. Like you already decided you wanna buy at this point. So there’s really no point in trying to resell me. I’m on your order form. Let me just put in my credit card and check out as easy as I can.
Bobby: Do you still include trust markers? Like a guarantee symbol?
Amber: Yes, We still put that in the footer. But we’ve taken out the image, it’s just simple white. Like a gray background, the required fields and that’s it. And it’s increased pretty significantly. I would say 15%.
Bobby: That’s so interesting.
Amber: But you just don’t know unless you try. I always tell people don’t be afraid to try it. You can always go back. But, give it a good week or two to really, to really see. Right now is just trying different things and seeing what people are responding to. And just because we’ve done it for the last three years doesn’t mean that’s still the best way to do it.
Bobby: With the cart abandonment, I’m very interested in that with the 30 to 60 minute email. What is the email like? Is it super short? Is there anything specific that you’d like to say in that?
Amber: Lots of times when I bring in the client or marketing, they wanna add more bullets, but it’s more or less like, Hey I just wanna make sure that you didn’t have any other questions. Here’s a recap. So it’s more of like a recap. Not too long, but definitely bullets saying, okay, just a reminder, this is gonna end, you’re gonna miss out. The FOMO, right? The fear you’re gonna miss out.
It’s not super short and it’s not super long, but it definitely has a recap of what they’re gonna get.
Bobby: Thank you for that tip. I’m definitely gonna use that right away. That’s awesome. I was in a webinar yesterday where he was talking about how things have shifted and he was talking about low ticket funnels and things like that.
What kind of shifts in the market, across your clients, have you seen in the last year or two?
Amber: Going back to like you were on a webinar, right? So people still ask me do webinars work? A hundred percent webinars still work, but short webinars. So it used to be 60 to 90 minutes. We’re now saying, Hey, keep your webinars 30 to 40 minutes. We’ve been trying to monitor drop rates, so that’s something I would always recommend. Again, I’m a numbers data gal. The numbers don’t lie, right? We keep a very clear spreadsheet of 5, 10, 20 minutes, how are the numbers? So we’re constantly monitoring, how long are people staying? Typically we have found people start dropping off around the 30 to 35 minute mark. So that tells us that’s the attention span.
So I think that’s one shift is short and sweet. But I still see webinars doing really well.
Bobby: Interesting. Yeah, I see people online, saying, oh, webinars don’t work anymore. But presentations have worked thousands of years.
Amber: I’m still signing up. You’re still signing up, right? So they still work.
Bobby: Yeah, I think from my perspective,it’s harder to get me to sign up for a webinar these days, but if you make the right promise, I will be there.
Amber: Yeah. And I have mixed feelings on “will there be a replay?” Because there’s the, I’m not gonna send it because I wanna get people to attend.
And then there’s the camps that are like, oh no, you know, we need to send a replay. I go back and forth. For me personally, rarely will I be able to make the time of a webinar. I’m banking on the replay. So I think sometimes we hurt ourselves if we don’t give a replay. That said, I think it’s good to put a time limit on it. I think people still need some type of push, right? But I think there can be a combination of how to still have that time sensitive call to action, but let people have the replay.
Bobby: Yeah, absolutely. The number of things that I have said I’ll do one day and then forgot about promptly.
Amber: Like I have so many things in all these folders, right? Webinars I need to watch and this and that. But if we don’t have that urgency, it’s never gonna get done.
Bobby: Absolutely. So if you wanted to talk shop about anything going on with the customer journeys, with your own business, with your client’s businesses, and brainstorming ways to improve those.
Amber: Yeah. You know, for me, I’m always asked, speaking of funnels, how many emails do you send? I’ll be open. So for we have a quiz and our quiz funnel doesn’t convert like we would like it to. And so we’re trying to determine is it that a quiz is more of a fun thing, people just wanna take it to learn more about themselves, and then to get them to actually convert or buy something is a bit harder. Is it that our sequence is too much of a nurture? So right now we’ve got three emails, I believe when they come in and they get the results and then they start with an indoctrination series.
And I’m wondering, do we have too much of that? Like, do people not really care? What are you seeing? Do they not really care? It used to be educate people on who you’re learning from and why should I listen to you? Right? But are we spanning that out too long and losing their interest?
Bobby: That’s a really good question. So I ran cold traffic to a quiz that was profitable, I think we brought in like 20,000 people and it was basically the quiz questions, they got one of five different types and then the page right after they took the quiz was like, hey, because you’re X, Y, Z, I think this program would be really good for you. And it was a $97 course. And that sold really well.
In terms of making a quiz work, quizzes are so powerful because you get the chance to diagnose their problem and then prescribe the perfect solution for them. So if you make that offer right away and then have a sales sequence off the back of that, it’s super powerful.
In terms of your question about why learn from these people? I go back to Donald Miller’s StoryBrand framework. His point about, you are not the hero, you are the guide. And so whenever I see clients or see people out there talking too much about themselves as the hero, that’s where I get concerned. You just have to establish that you know what you’re talking about. You’re the right guide for them, and that’s where kind of a personality match comes into play. And then you gotta switch right back to you. But you, you, you and your journey.
Amber: Yes. Okay. Thank you for confirming that, because I feel like that might be where we’re missing is we’ve got, it was five , to nurture, but I’ve cut it back to three and I’m thinking maybe we just can condense all of this into one email. You wanna learn from them here’s why, here’s what they’ve accomplished, and that’s it. Like, it’s just one email. And my idea was backing up each type on why they need that program. Sonot a general email that we put in each outcome, but it sounds like you’re saying as well, like speak their language for their outcome and so each email is going to be a little bit different.
Bobby: Yeah, with the quizzes I’ve done, we find that the number one challenge, and then we just speak to that. What is that burning pain point for them, and make sure that we’re talking to that specifically.
Amber: Yeah, I think that’s the key. We lump them all into just one follow up. But I think we’re missing out by not continuing to speak to their outcome type throughout that funnel. So yeah, those are some good thoughts. Thank you for that.
Bobby: Yeah, absolutely.
Amber: I might ask you the same thing, what are you seeing people doing that they’re having success with?
Bobby: Definitely low ticket if you’re doing cold traffic, making sure that you have optimized order bumps, upsells, increase the average order value and pay for that traffic as soon as you can. Other than that, webinars, but webinars are harder than ever. People went through the pandemic and got used to online training. And they’re still consuming those things. But I think it’s a combination of they’ve seen a lot of the promises and they are watching YouTube videos and YouTube video creators have gotten crazy good. Like you are competing with, in my world I like, Mr. Beast, but like those who are smart, they have great editing, like you’re competing with them.
Amber: Yeah, you’re right. And it’s free. Like, not that your webinar isn’t free, but I think people, know the game. Like, oh, they’re just gonna sell me on something. It used to just be like us, those who build it, we know, right? Of course they’re gonna make an offer at the end of the webinar. But I think now everybody else has picked up on the flow.
Back really quick. So with order bumps, are you seeing a specific dollar amount work really well?
Bobby: 47 or lower usually is like the sweet spot where it’s just an easy, oh, I want that. Click the button, click the checkbox and add it. I’ve seen some examples online where they’re doing, you know, 67, 77 for the order bump. I don’t think I’ve ever seen an order bump that was more than a hundred.
Amber: I’ve got a client who’s got one to add a partner, and it’s $690 and we don’t get anybody. I have always been taught that the order bump is like you’re at the grocery store and it’s the stuff on this side, right? The candy bars, the chapstick, the phone charger. I the stuff that’s like a no-brainer that you just throw on. So I think you’re right. I think it’s 49, 47 and below. I think the upsell page is more for those higher priced things, but I think that order bump
I always tell my clients it needs to be, they really need to save money. Like you’re not gonna see this again. Really discount it, make it be so irresistible. But again, like you said, it’s increasing, the spend of customers and the more we can get them to buy, the likely it’s gonna be for them to convert and buy more from us. it just has to be so cheap and simple and easy to just click to add it.
Bobby: Speaking of pricing psychology, do you have any thoughts on pricing as far as ending in nines or sevens?
I follow a few people who explore this in a lot more depth than I have time for. And it’s kind of split. If you’re really high end, then you wanna do flat pricing. Seven is to make it seem cheaper.
Amber: The psychology of buying is very interesting to me.
One of the things I heard also is everybody is now so programmed these days to buy on Amazon, using the Amazon button color. It’s amazing just learning a little bit of insight and it can make a difference.
You know what I saw somebody use today in an email, Bobby, is you know, when you’re on Amazon and there’s that coupon, there’s like a box. Have you ever seen that when you wanna buy something and it’s on, they actually put that in their email. Very similar graphic that looked just like the Amazon clicked to add 15%, and it got me, it did get me to look into it more so, it’s funny how Amazon is pre-programming us.
Bobby: It really, it really is. But now I really want to try that.
Amber: Yep. That’s what they did. It was funny. I think that’s all I had for you. That was very helpful. Thank you.
Bobby: Yeah, let me, yeah, let me know how it goes. So where can people find you online to learn more about you and your company?
Amber: Yeah, so we’re just at SmartToFinish.com.
Bobby: And is there any kind of final notes or anything you wanna leave our listeners with?
Amber: Oh gosh. I think just like what we were talking about. Just be open, I’m gonna ask people to go beyond their comfort level and look at who they’re sending to. I think that’s my big takeaway is just really educating everybody on why it’s so important to be sending to our engaged list and keep your list clean. And try it for a month, see how your results are. But it’s not anymore whether people were open or click, it’s whether you’re gonna show up in their inbox at all. So I think we need to start really taking it more seriously.