Episode 124: 5 Selling Systems to Scale Your Traffic Campaigns and Grow Your Business [Part 2 of 2]

selling systems to scale traffic campaigns

There’s more than one way to do this.

Listen as John Grimshaw, DigitalMarketer’s Analytics and Data Manager, reveals the five selling systems DigitalMarketer uses to scale traffic campaigns and achieve growth and how you can use each system to do the same.

If you want to build a stable business geared for growth and steady acquisition, you have to have multiple selling systems that help you achieve your goals.


  • Answer three questions to know the different goals and assets you need to successfully run each selling system.
  • The traditional selling system many are using wrong because they think it’s the only funnel to use (« and the correct goal to apply so this selling system successfully generates leads for your company).
  • Use the “Low Entry Barrier Subscription” selling system to pique curiosity and eliminate risk for your customers… all while encouraging massive product subscription growth.
  • The funnel you should start with and the audience you should target to monetize your leads and customers (« Hint: It’s the 4th selling system).


Get John’s slides here
Episode 123: 5 Selling Systems to Scale Your Traffic Campaigns and Grow Your Business [Part 1 of 2]
Episode 106: How Much Can You Afford to Pay to Acquire a Customer?
Episode 124 Transcript (swipe the PDF version here):

Keith Krance: Hello and welcome to Episode 124 of Perpetual Traffic. Today we’re back for part two with John Grimshaw, going over the five selling systems DigitalMarketer needed for growth, the whole breakeven or bust. If you haven’t listened to Episode 123 yet, you’re going to have to go back and listen to that episode. That really sets the framework for everything he’s going to get into today. He’s going to be revealing the five selling systems that they created to really adjust for changes and to be able to truly double 10,000 businesses.
All right, guys, how are we doing?
John Grimshaw: Yeah, the big reveal.
Molly Pittman: Yeah, I’m excited. I’m on the edge of my seat.
John Grimshaw: Literally on the edge of my seat.
Keith Krance: Da-da-da-da-da-da, drum roll.
Ralph Burns: Let’s do it.
Keith Krance: Let’s do it.
John Grimshaw: I’m excited to dive in. I had a ton of fun on last week’s episode, and just like a super quick little recap. We were talking about risk and opportunity, trying to decide what your system’s job is. Really, really fast, I just want to go back over these three questions that we ask at DigitalMarketer every time we’re going to create a new selling system, some new funnel that’s going to promote a new product or one of our old products or services with a different offer.
The first question is what is the goal of the system? You need to know what it is that the business needs. Is it money that we need? Are we after leads? If you’re a smaller business, you’re definitely going to be saying, “We need to make revenue, right? We’re trying to prove that this digital thing can work for us.”
If you’re a bigger business or you’re a business like DigitalMarketer that’s trying to expand and open up into a brand new audience, finding leads, finding people that are the right businesses or the right people to have conversations with is critical.
The next question is how do you define success? It’s that quote. “You don’t know what success looks like until you know how you can measure it.” You need to pick something that is sort of your key metric. Where you’re going to live? What is going to be the switch you’re going to flip? If it’s not working for doing this or that or the other, you’re going to turn the campaign off. It might be revenue, it might be leads or subscribers. It could be phone calls or even site visitors who really want to take it back. All different things can be the measure of success. You just need to decide beforehand what it is.
Then the last one is how much risk are you willing to take to accomplish the goal? The key here is risk needs to correlate with opportunity. When you’ve got a chance to really find some amazing customers for your business and really put yourself out there and grow, it’s okay to take on more risk because you know that the payout or the number of customers that you do bring all the way through that journey is going to be massive. Being willing to lose a little on the front end for this long-term play is so critical. It’s really making an investment in your business, in your customers and in your traffic strategy.
Keith Krance: Two of I think the best lines from last week’s episode… Definitely go back and take a listen from Episode 123 is, “He or she who can spend the most money to acquire a customer wins,” which is a shift in mindset for a lot of people who want to just spend a dollar and just make a dollar or plus dollar, maybe $1.20 or $2. If you get 100% ROI in every dollar you spend online, to John’s point, you have stunted your business. You can’t grow that way. It’s really, really hard to do it. You need the cash reserves. You need obviously these systems to be put in place.
Two things to keep in mind because this is not for the faint of heart, to be able to do it this way, and you do need to have some experience to be able to do it. Going back to Episode 106, we did this in a really, really basic way. Now we’re going to get into exactly how to do it on a massive scale, which is awesome and the big reveal here in episode 124.
Molly Pittman: So what are they?
John Grimshaw: These are the five selling systems DigitalMarketer needed to reach the next level. We made this commitment that we were going to move outside of our sort of smaller pond that was a little bit more Internet marketing focused based on the company’s roots and commit and take a stand and say, “Hey we are going out there and we are committing to being the best resource for businesses of all shapes and sizes to grow and build strong marketing teams.”
First system on the list, bulk lead acquisition. This is like the classic. This is the OG funnel for everything DigitalMarketer has ever done. It’s all about driving leads. Our goal here is just to drive as many leads as we can. For each of these, I’ve got a good specific example, and this one, it’s the Facebook Ad Template Library. It’s this awesome resource that Molly put together that I think was like seven different ads that we used at DigitalMarketer that you could opt in for free and download them and then just tweak them up to fit your business. It was all about just providing massive value and getting the lead, right? It’s the lead magnet.
Then on the back of that, we had a Tripwire of our $10-day traffic plan and then we move into selling DigitalMarketer Lab with our trial. If we ask our questions, those three questions that I went over, what is the goal of the system? Well the goal is to drive new leads to our email list.
At the end of the day, that is what this campaign is all about. It is about increasing the number of people that we can reach any time we want to send out an offer or tell people about some cool new beta for something we’re doing. How do we define success? It’s positive growth in the email list. Every email is going to have some attrition. Ours is something like 0.5% a week.
When you get a big email list, that’s like 5000 emails, something like that. We needed to be bringing in 5001 new leads every week to keep our list growing, and really we wanted more than that. That’s how we define success. If we’re able to grow our email from this, then it’s working.
Then the last question is that risk question. How much risk are you willing to take to accomplish the goal? Risk here is how long you can wait to get to breakeven. Breakeven is sort of the point when it’s like we’ve made back everything we put into this. The cost of our goods, the cost of hosting this online, the cost of running the traffic and investing in this customer relationship.
Molly Pittman: That’s the traditional five-step funnel that most people think all funnels are, and they wonder why they’re not making millions of dollars. It’s because the goal of that funnel is just to generate leads and maybe acquire customers at breakeven depending on the price point of your core offer or your profit maximizer. Really, the goal here is lead gen and acquiring a few customers along the way.
John Grimshaw: The next one is definitely something that we came up with after we started talking about this idea of thinking about the systems and what their job and purpose is. That is the low entry barrier subscription. We talked a little bit about the trial, but a big component of that is it’s really hard to get to the point where the trial is something you hear about.
Molly Pittman: This was a dollar trial for DigitalMarketer Lab, which is a $38 a month product.
John Grimshaw: Yeah, and so something like 4% of everyone that was seeing the ads were actually seeing that trial. We flipped the script and we said, “Instead of using the system that doesn’t really push people to this product, it’s way more about acquiring leads, what we want to do is really pull the lever and grow DM Lab. Really increase the number of people that are there and participating.” It was all the building subscriptions.
Trying to front end the dollar trial initially didn’t really work, until we came up with this invitation concept. We basically took DM Lab, this product that we know people love and people would stick in forever, but they needed to get warmed up before they were ready to join and ready to learn about it. We created an invitation process where you would be invited to join. Once you were invited, you get to do this trial, this $1 trial for 30 days. It’s all about building subscriptions by creating intrigue and mystery with the invitation and mitigating the risk.
Keith Krance: To warm audiences in this case then?
John Grimshaw: Yup, that’s exactly right. Yeah. This is something we go back with to people that are regular site visitors and opted in. We send this out to our email list a bunch, all kinds of stuff like that. Just trying to take it to people who know who we are, who know what we’re doing and haven’t necessarily had a chance to see this offer, but the trust is there.
The goal, kind of going back to our question, was to encourage massive subscription growth by really limiting initial risk and creating some intrigue. Defining success was conversions to full paying subscriptions. It was not about just saying like, “Okay, we want to get 500 trials right every month or 1000 trials every month.” It was finding people that were going to convert to actual subscribers through the trial period.
That was a really key reason we took this out to warm audiences because it was all about trying to find these people who were comfortable enough and willing to take that still limited but initial risk and saying, “Hey, this is such a valuable great product. I want to stick around and keep using it.” This was another one where our level of risk willingness was fairly low because it’s a dollar trial, it does not immediately pay out. We wanted to break even within 40 days, so that’s after the first rebuild period again.
You can see the two systems we’ve talked about so far use sort of similar methods. They are not super, super high opportunity, but they’re really good volume plays. One is about high volume of leads, one is about high volume of subscriptions. This low entry barrier subscription you see all over, like Blue Apron’s try your first three meals free or Audible’s like 30 day trial of Audible. You’re going to love it so much you’re going to stick around.
Molly Pittman: Spotify has a trial too.
John Grimshaw: Yeah, exactly. The creative assets for this is you want some kind of subscription product basically. That’s sort of the key to it. The idea is that you basically remove every ounce of risk with a trial, a money back guarantee or some bonus worth more than a payment. You drive tons of warm leads to that offer. People that have been around, who know who you are and know what you’re doing.
Molly Pittman: That maybe you generated with the bulk lead system.
John Grimshaw: They all kind of work together. This one does have a big pitfall potentially, and that’s if you don’t understand how well your trials are creating subscribers, you can really hurt yourself. You want to make sure that you understand trials represent risk to customers too and not everyone is going to convert. That’s just the nature of putting these offers out there. You want to make sure that you make the offer attractive, but also that you just understand like how well it creates actual customers because a trial member, they haven’t signed their acceptance letter yet.
Molly Pittman: So true.
Keith Krance: Totally. Numbers wise, you guys were getting or wanted to get at least 50% of dollar trials to convert into paying members.
John Grimshaw: That’s exactly right and that’s about what we see. It’s like 58% of trial members actually love our products so much that they stick around and become full paying customers. Digging into different audiences for this when we start taking a new slight tweak of this offer out, we always want to break it out basically and say, “With this form of the offer, how well does it generate?” Because you see even within this dollar trial taking it to one audience or another, you’re going to get different conversion rates from that trial.
It’s really important to understand that if you want to take it out to the B2B audience or take it out more to solopreneurs or students. That’s an audience we’re exploring, all that kind of stuff.
Keith Krance: In these first two models, how do you reverse engineer? This is going back to Episode 106 a little bit here. How do you reverse engineer what you can pay as a tolerable cost per acquisition for each one of these funnels? I have sort of an idea, but how do you guys do it and then is there a metric or some way in which you look at things so that you know exactly how much is too much and how much is just about right? Or how you can optimize your front facing ads to get even better conversion rates or lower cost per acquisition?
John Grimshaw: When we’re talking about how much risk are you willing to take, that is basically where we’re thinking about these numbers. Breakeven within 40 days. We basically can calculate that after 40 days for this low entry barrier subscription, we make on average about $27 per trial. With that number in mind, we basically say, “All right $27, right, that’s where we want to be. We need to make exactly that much or more after 40 days or this is not working.”
Then we can go back and look at the customer acquisition cost, and so we say, “All right, so we can see looking at these custom conversions and Facebook or AdWords or our email, wherever we might be driving this traffic from, and say, “All right, we’re paying $20 for this campaign to acquire these customers, but this one we’re paying $35.” We’re not getting there.
You can go even a step back and say, “All right, how much are we paying for the clicks? Can we drive that down?” It’s really all about thinking about getting that customer acquisition cost and that breakeven period of time cost equal. Once you get those two things to equal each other or where the customer acquisition cost is a little bit below the breakeven point, that’s when you have this massive scale and massive opportunity to take it out. It’s working.
Keith Krance: Or you can identify sticking points or conversion points, as we sort of refer to them in agency that are critical for the business. For example, a 50% conversion rate on a $1 trial. If you can double that or at least increase it by 50%, maybe up to 75% for something that you do, some kind of email sequence, some different landing page, whatever it happens to be. A better onboarding sequence for Lab, whatever it happens to be there, then you can afford to pay even more under upfront acquisition. You guys go through that, I would imagine.
Molly Pittman: Then the data tells us, “Well what does the team need to do or what do the numbers say? What are the biggest optimization points?” That informs marketing campaigns and different projects that are completed within the company.
Keith Krance: Average stick rate, right? Maybe it’s a support issue or engagement issue or content issue or they stand 2.5 months or 6 months. Cool.
John Grimshaw: Yeah. We went back and retooled our welcome series for people in Lab. It had been like a year or so since we updated, and we said, “You know what? Instead of trying to pull this traffic lever, we are going to step away from looking at the customer acquisition cost and this breakeven and say, “Where can we optimize elsewhere to make these customers stick around a little bit longer and drive that 40 day breakeven value up, right? Take it from $20 to $27.” That was a really big lever we actually did just pull very recently.
Keith Krance: Who can pay the most wins.
John Grimshaw: Right, that’s the tattoo I’m going to get.
Molly Pittman: I love it.
Keith Krance: Right on your chest. Right in the middle of your chest. Absolutely.
John Grimshaw: Those are the first two, and they’re all about volume. That’s really the play there is trying to drive massive numbers of leads or trying to drive massive numbers of subscribers and just grow the base amount. This next one is one that I really love, and this is the coolest thing for me to discover. This is the value centric lead acquisition. It’s all about really just putting everything out there on the table, giving the customer the best possible experience and just sort of saying like, “Revenue, everything else is going to take a back burner. Right now we are 100% focused on providing massive, amazing information and just like a great experience.”
This one is the double your sales mini class. That’s kind of the example that I’ve got. It’s a project we did with Infusionsoft, and it was all about Ryan teaching the six week course, so it’s pretty long, all about how to double your business. It’s doubling your leads, it’s doubling your sales, it’s doubling your reactivation purchases, all that kind of stuff. It was a really, really awesome course that was a great introduction to online marketing for people that were using Infusionsoft, but maybe didn’t quite get how to make the most of it. When we did this, it really wasn’t about making money for us at all. It was us trying to support Infusionsoft.
At the very end of it, we had our product, The Machine, which is something that we could just deliver through Infusionsoft, and so it was a great fit. We didn’t go into it trying to make any sales really, but it was really awesome. When we were looking at performance over time, we realized that we were selling tons and tons of units of this Machine course without even really thinking about it. It was totally just like a, “Ah, we’ll just put it in there just because it makes sense. They can kind of know what we do.”
Suddenly we came back three, four, five months later and said, “Whoa this is insane.” We didn’t go into this trying to make money. We went into this trying to just give a good experience, and we ended up generating tons of sales for a fairly high dollar value product.
Keith Krance: What was the price of that product?
John Grimshaw: 19.97. Available now.
Keith Krance: This week only.
John Grimshaw: For this value centric lead acquisition, let’s jump back and think about what are three questions, all right. What is the goal of this system? It turns out that the goal is to educate and excite, and so it’s to take these people that are a really good fit. In this case they were Infusionsoft users who really didn’t know how to make the most of their tool. We wanted to educate and excite them, and we ended up preparing them for this relevant offer that they basically self-qualified for.
You’re getting people pumped up about something that you know is a really good fit because they’ve basically said, “Hey this kind of concept that you’re talking about is incredibly relevant to me, so I’m going to listen to this free information you have. By the time you get to the end, I’m basically going to be totally bought into what you’re talking about, and I’ll be ready to buy.”
They don’t go into it necessarily thinking, “I’m ready to get my credit card out,” but by the time they get to the end of it, they’re just so certain that this is what they need and want because you have just provided this massive value.
Keith Krance: Similar to like a traditional product launch formula, right? They might go two weeks. The six week double your sales is a free six week … That’s where you’re saying like that’s a lot of value, right? It’s six weeks for free. The program that they can buy at any time throughout that is The Machine program for $2000.
Your Machine program, just in case you haven’t bought that program, it’s kind of unique. It’s almost like doing education because you sell a software. The Machine is not only a training program; it’s also a like plug and play, so it’s got all these email templates that are written for you. Obviously that works well with Infusionsoft, so it’s the next logical step. It really is a soft sell, so it is a unique thing.
I just want to make sure people understand. This is pretty cool. You’re doing a six week training, but because you’re a paid program, it just works so seamless with this. Of course everything else you guys have other people are going to go buy some of those things as well too, right?
John Grimshaw: This is what we would call a Trojan horse product placement because it’s so seamless from the free content. The next logical step is get this paid thing. It’s not a bait and switch at all, and we try and teach this to our customers all the time. This is fabulous, and this is … Obviously, it’s a high dollar product.
Keith Krance: You can’t sell this typically just on cold traffic on Facebook. “Hey, you want this thing.” Molly, we’ve seen some ad accounts recently where they do exactly that.
Molly Pittman: Hey don’t you want my thing?
Keith Krance: Yeah, here it is. Here’s my thing. Cost you a couple of grand.
Molly Pittman: Buy it.
Keith Krance: Get it. Buy it right now.
John Grimshaw: I’m going to propose a new name, though. Trojan horse is definitely bait and switch. Let’s call it the Trojan piñata. It comes in and it’s a giant horse, but instead of soldiers coming out of the inside, it’s candy and goodness.
For our next question, how do you define success? This one had … It had an interesting like measure because, again, when we went into this, the sales was initially just an afterthought. It was like we just want to make sure people get tons of value. We were looking at percent of course consumed. Every time we’ve gone in and optimized this, it hasn’t been about let’s try a new audience or let’s try some new ad creative. It’s been how do we take these people that are already committed to the six week course and help them go from the sticking point of lesson two? That was usually where people drop off.
We came up with some cool banners, some additional videos we could use to encourage people to come back, use some new emails to make sure that they finish the course. Because that was exactly what we were focused on. It wasn’t about saying like, “How do we maximize the revenue?” It’s saying, “If we can get people to the end of this course, we know that they’re going to love and want exactly what we’re talking about.” We want to make sure that they are coming back and getting just this incredible experience.
How much risk are you willing to take? That’s the third question. We were aiming for breakeven within 60 days, which is the length of time it took for the six week course to run. Then this short six email follow up series that came after the course that was talking about The Machine. That was all … All it was about was saying like we want to make sure that people go all the way through this, and by the time they finish the course and finish the sales series, we’ve broken even. We blew it out of the water every time.
Molly Pittman: Bam.
John Grimshaw: Thinking about how you can build the system in your own business, like the creative and assets you’re going to need. You need a high dollar product. That’s a key part of this. You want to identify your high dollar product and then figure out a desire that that product can satisfy. In this case it was automation and simplicity of sales. That was really what Infusionsoft and The Machine together would do.
Then you need to put together some assets, and this is where you really need to pull out all the stops. To put some content together that’s all about educating people who have that desire. People that in this case wanted automation, or if you’re selling skin care. Put together of course all about how to make sure that you have the skin of a 20 year old even when you’re 60 years old. Then you need to make sure that you’ve got some email follow sequences to really just make sure the content gets to people. Make sure they come back and watch it again and again, and eventually sell them that high dollar product.
This one has a ton of opportunity. Medium high. It depends on how expensive your product is, how good of a fit your course can be. This is a really, really good one for businesses that are trying to get out there and sell something a little bit more expensive, a little bit harder to front end.
Then the biggest risk or potential pitfall here is you really need to make sure that your content is goal. You can’t just throw together a course that you recorded in your car where you’re sort of driving, but also talking about this. You need to make sure that this is top notch.
Molly Pittman: Yeah, and not just that the content is good, but that the content tees up the pitch for your product. You can’t have a course about cats and sell dog training. It really has to be a seamless transition. The course really needs to give them enough, but not quite enough that they still want to buy the product. Really, really important. If the content is off, none of this will work.
John Grimshaw: Yeah, that is so true, so that relevance is key.
Keith Krance: Or you’re teaching them what to do, but how to execute on it, you’re giving them the easy button, which is basically what The Machine does and Infusionsoft here. You could create your own email system, but you might as well get Infusionsoft or you could create your own email sequences or just get ours, and it’s directly related.
John Grimshaw: Easier, faster, better.
Keith Krance: Better, faster, cheaper.
John Grimshaw: The next system is probably the most fun and the one where everyone should get started. It’s monetization and retargeting, and the goal here is real simple. It is to monetize your leads and customers.
For DigitalMarketer, one of the best ways we do this is our live events. We have Traffic & Conversion Summit and we have Content & Commerce Summit and we have Digital Agency Growth Summit. These are events that we put on, and they’re amazing. I have so much fun when I go and I’ve got to do all the grunt work. I can’t even imagine how fun it is to go to as a customer. It’s an awesome way for us to really take people that are on our list and make some money.
This is when we’re going to move a little bit away from that, “Oh man, if you’re making all of your ROI immediately, you’re stunting your business growth.” No. This is a place where you should, can and really want to be turning that ROI back.
Thinking about the goal of the system is to turn customers into multi-buyers and promote your higher dollar products. Success, again, really simple, it’s positive ROI, and risk, it really should be almost a no risk situation. This is your hottest audience. This is the people that are like anytime you say, “Hey, would you like to buy this? Do you think maybe you want this?” They say, “Give it to me right now. I’m going to mail you my credit card. Just like hook me up. This is so good.”
We look for breakeven within zero to three days depending on your cart abandonment retargeting, but really you want immediate breakeven. This is a pretty easy one to build. You just need to use traffic to promote your high dollar offers to your best customers and you really don’t want to send this to leads so much. It’s more about people that have already become buyers or people that have had that magical switch in their brain when they went from just being someone who sort of cares to someone who’s invested themselves in your business.
You’re going to have a little bit of a smaller audience in this because it’s really all about finding those good, qualified customers. For our events, one of the big customer pools is people that have been before or our agency partners or people that are power users of things like DigitalMarketer HQ or DigitalMarketer Lab.
As far as opportunity, it’s low opportunity in the sense that like you can’t scale this one too much. You need to have those high dollar offers, those great customers, and you basically just set them up and they make the purchase. If you don’t have a ton of those really good high quality customers, the hot traffic tier, you’re not going to be able to push this super hard. It’s a great way to get started in digital and really is the first place you want to be when you’re trying to build out your traffic plan, and maybe when you’re a little bit of a smaller business trying to just supplement all the other things you’re doing with paid traffic.
Molly Pittman: Building that cash.
John Grimshaw: Yeah.
Molly Pittman: This is so important because a lot of people will take this selling system and try to go to cold traffic, and they wonder why their ads don’t work. It’s not that your ads don’t work. You’re asking someone who doesn’t know you to buy a really high ticket item, so back to the Customer Journey and making sure that you have a traffic system in place; not just a traffic campaign.
Even when you look inside of the DigitalMarketer Facebook and Google ad accounts, it’s funny looking through these because we have campaigns built for all of these different selling systems. The targeting is very, very different.
The first selling system that John was talking about bulk lead acquisition, that’s where most of our cold traffic is going to, lookalike audiences, interests, people who have never heard of us before. Then once you become a part of our pixeled audience, you’re on our email list, then we run low entry barrier subscription campaigns. The value centric campaign we’re always running double your sales. Then when it’s time for T&C or really high ticket offer, we’re running campaigns to T&C alumni, to Lab members, to these specific little customer groups to sell them the big ticket item, the event ticket.
What is number five?
John Grimshaw: All right, here we go. The final one. It is sales lead acquisition. We talked about this a little bit in the last episode, but this was part of a big pivot DigitalMarketer made to really start talking to businesses, not just B2C, but going B2B and thinking about connecting with these small or medium, even larger businesses that probably are never going to make a purchase through an online sales funnel. Some things require a conversation, and that’s honestly a good thing, right.
For selling a bigger product, a bigger ticket item or something more like a service, having a conversation can be a really powerful thing because you can make sure the person is a good fit, set up expectations right and then help customize whatever it might be to their needs.
The good example here was we had an invitation for DigitalMarketer HQ, and it was all about starting this conversation. We were trying to basically migrate decision making from our online sales funnel to happening in a person-to-person, human-to-human setting. It’s not Uber, one of HQ customers going through and saying like, “Well I’m going to buy this product for all 2000 of my marketing team members online.” It’s saying, “No, no, no, no, no, you have unique special needs. We want to make sure we accommodate those.” It’s going to be a person from your team talking to a person from our team, and that decision making that normally would happen in a sales funnel is going to happen between two people.
Thinking about our three questions, the goal of the system was to generate conversations for offers that require more customization and a more nuanced understanding of the customer. It’s all about making sure that whomever is buying this is getting really the best version of the product for their needs, and getting an experience that really speaks to them and provides huge value. Success look like conversation started.
One half of it was getting someone to fill out the form for the sales lead acquisition, but the other half was actually getting people to jump on the phone. We tried different audiences, we found some where we could get signup super easily, but nobody ever wanted to talk. We ended up finding this sweet spot where we were able to drive lots and lots of people to fill up the form that were more in the business size that we wanted, which was really, really awesome and an awesome game changer for us to really get HQ out there. For risk, how much risk are you willing to take?
For us, it was breakeven within 60 days. We’re selling a much higher ticket item than we are with DigitalMarker Lab, and it’s got a subscription component too. For us, it was easier to push this out. You really need to decide based on what your more customized offer is, but typically this can go even further out. If you’re a bigger business with a more complex sales cycle, the breakeven can move further out for you.
Thinking about how you could build the system, this is going to be for your most complex offers. Something that requires a lot of decisions, something that really could go one way or the other based on some need or interest of the end user. You want to build a lead capture system that really only exists to start a phone conversation. It’s not about trying to sell someone, it’s not about really setting too much up. It’s just saying, “Hey, we want to get on the phone with you.”
This has a ton of opportunity. Your post-conversation conversion funnel is going to guide exactly how much you can wait, but if you’re selling agency services, for example, typically, you’re going to have a 60 to 90 day sales cycle. There’s a lot of opportunity, and you’re willing to go further out on your breakeven point so that you can really close these deals and make sure that the customer is getting an experience they are going to love. You really need a strong sales team and strong sales processes in place to make this work. Don’t go out and get a bunch of phone numbers. If you’re one person—
Molly Pittman: You can start calling.
John Grimshaw: —in office by yourself, saying, “Okay, I can call 500 people in a week. That’s fine.” It’s not going to be realistic.
Keith Krance: This is obviously for the highest priced products. This is an enterprise sale, correct?
John Grimshaw: Yeah, that’s exactly right.
Keith Krance: It totally depends on your situation. You might have a high ticket coaching program, whatever. You might have higher priced digital product. You might have high priced physical product and in store, a retail store. There’s a lot of different ways that you could use this model.
Molly Pittman: If you don’t have the bandwidth of a huge sales team, you could use this model. If you just have a few people making calls, you would just obviously want to keep the volume of traffic going through the funnel a bit lower.
John Grimshaw: Yeah, that’s the mistake we made.
Molly Pittman: Yeah, we sent away too many. We freaked the sales team. That was fun.
John Grimshaw: You remember.
Molly Pittman: Yeah. We were like, “Ooh, that’s a good problem to have, though, right?
John Grimshaw: Yeah, that’s very true. Those are the five systems and that’s really how we went from this B2C mindset when we were still living in a little bit of a smaller pond to really taking what DigitalMarketer did and who DigitalMarketer was talking to the next level to talking to these small to medium businesses and really helping ourselves get to that goal of doubling 10,000 businesses.
Molly Pittman: Totally, amazing. I think the key here for me is if have a business or you work for a business and you feel stuck … There are so many stages that you go through as a business, and at each one you have a moment where you feel stuck or confused or things quit working that used to work. Come back to one of these. Sit down and say, “Do I need another selling system, right, so that I can speak to another market, so that I can sell another product, so that I can scale my business?”
These are always great to come back to for ideas and just tweak them to it to fit your business model and your assets. This is a great framework, and John, thank you so much. This was absolutely brilliant.
John Grimshaw: Yeah, thanks for having me. This is a blast. It’s been fun. This was definitely something that we were learning as we went with DM, and so it’s really awesome that we can on the other side of it say, “Hey, these are the systems that help us do exactly what we wanted to do. I hope that other people can take this, take those questions, take those creative and asset things and turn them into their own predictable selling systems. They know exactly how much risk they can take and how they can really transform their business with these kind of things.”
Ralph Burns: This is a lot about diversification too because in each one of these systems, you can have multiple channels for each one of the ways in which you’re acquiring whatever it is, a lead or a sale or whatever it happens to be. The more you build out the more assets you have as a company, the more diverse you can actually make these systems into themselves. You’re minimizing your risk, the downside for one lead magnet or one product not converting as well as you wanted to because you’ve got maybe other ones in that particular one of the five systems that are pulling their weight.
The more that you can actually diversify your means in which you acquire customers, the better off you’re going to be as a business. Not only are you going to be hitting different avatars, different people as you expand, but it also diversifies your risk. It’s all about risk mitigation.
Keith Krance: Well you learn a lot too. You might learn like, “Ooh, that hook. That was big. We want to tweak that and turn that into our mass lead gen funnel or something.”
Ralph Burns: Absolutely.
Molly Pittman: Yeah, definitely. I can’t emphasize how important it is if you, especially if you’re an online business, these selling systems are what make your business literally. These are the ways that you acquire customers. If you’re thinking about all the things you need to do and growth and what should you be working on, what should your team be working on, they should be working on these selling systems and constantly trying to find new ones that achieve specific goals that are going to help the business grow. Constantly tinkering and trying to optimize these selling systems based off of the data. This is really the framework that holds up the house.
Keith Krance: John, this has been amazing. Once again, if you want to take a look at these slides and download them, head to the Show Notes. He’s sharing the slide deck at the Show Notes, and it’s digitalmarketer.com/podcast. This is Episode 124, so this was a two-part episode, Episode 123 and 124. Get those downloaded, take some action. Maybe you can get one idea out of it, have one additional selling system and you’re on your way. Thanks again, John. Good stuff.
John Grimshaw: Yeah, thanks for having me. I had a ton of fun. I love getting to talk about this kind of stuff.
Keith Krance: Yeah, we love when you talk about this stuff.
Molly Pittman: We love you, John. We love you. We love everybody.
Keith Krance: This has been great.
Molly Pittman: See you.
Keith Krance: All right. Bye, bye.
Molly Pittman: Bye.
John Grimshaw: See you.

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