In our online business, I can think of quite a few "duh" moments where as soon as I discovered them... everything changed. My level of income, the things that were and weren't important,
- Just the fact that I could charge $997 for a course
- The fact that I could launch a course that didn't need 100% live training sessions
- The fact that I could re-market old courses
- The fact that I could re-market using old recorded webinar pitches (and sometimes make more money from those launches)
And anytime I deal with anyone starting out for the first time online I hear the same series of questions...
- What's the best time of day to mail?
- How often should I mail my list?
- What's the best price point?
- What's a good open rate, click rate, conversion rate once I mail?
- What should I price my upsell at?
And the ONLY correct answer to these questions: I DON'T KNOW!
(The answer is NOT "you should test that...")
I simply don't have enough information about you and your business. What's even worse, I quickly realized most people were ASKING THE WRONG QUESTIONS. Let me see your product so we can figure out what to price... oh you don't have one. How often do you mail your list already... not at all...
It's okay, it's fixable, let's just ask the RIGHT questions.
Look, you're asking around about the best day to mail and the "best split test results" because that's what you view as the fun stuff. Creating an OPTIN PAGE? Yuck... writing an INFORMATION PRODUCT? How many months is that going to cut out of my life? A 30-day AUTORESPONDER FOLLOWUP SEQUENCE? Excuse me for a second while I flip over to Twitter to re-tweet some stuff...
80/20 Rule: "The Base" vs. "The Tricks"
Have you heard of this thing called the 80/20 rule? It shows up everywhere in life. It basically means that there are a couple of things you should focus on, and a lot more things you need to cut out of your life...
80% of your results come from 20% of your effort, and the remaining 20% of your results come from 80% of your effort.
Let's say that over a 2 or 3 day period, you finished 10 tasks, some money-making and some not money-making. You ran a pitch webinar for your product, recorded some membership content, wrote an article, marketed on Facebook, checked email, posted on forums, contacted some potential joint venture partners, outlined a new product, responded to customer support issues and fixed a problem in your WordPress setup...
Were all those things necessary? I guess... BUT... it is possible that out of those eight items I listed, there were probably JUST TWO that made most of your money. Out of that list, there were probably JUST TWO things that made you the most money. TWO THINGS that you enjoyed doing, that you did quickly so it was the best use of your time. The remaining EIGHT items? You probably could have automated, outsourced, delayed, or ignored them. Were they a waste? No, but they weren't the best use of your time.
What's my point? Look at your business in two parts:
THE BASE. These are the fundamentals you literally hear everyone talking about. Have a sales letter, payment button, and download page or membership site. Have a blog with articles and drip content. An optin page giving away an ethical bribe with a follow-up sequence getting people to buy.
THE TRICKS. Run this split test, add this special graphic next to your buy button. Place this exit popup downsell. Post content on this social bookmarking site. Run a special paid ad on this site in this way. Make sure your buttons are drawn up in this special color.
For some reason, most people ignore "the base" because they hear about it so much, it's such common knowledge, that it's not new and exciting, therefore it must not be important. Gurus have created 100 pages and they've forgotten how important they are, and newbies have heard about optin pages 100 times (without creating one, or it took a month and I don't want to go through that ordeal again) so even though I hear it all the time, I'm used to hear it and I won't listen...
But the cruel joke is: setting up "the base" only takes 20% of your time, energy and effort, and is responsible for 80% of your income, I guarantee it! Does that mean "the tricks" are unimportant? Of course not, but it's all about diminishing returns. "The tricks" are still important, but they are those unimportant tasks we talked about. The tricks take 80% of your time, energy and effort, but are only responsible for 20% of your income.
Newbies get excited about the tricks because they see it as a way to skip the "outdated stuff" like optin pages or sales letters and take advantage of this hot new traffic source which is really "here today, gone tomorrow."
Gurus get excited about tricks because making THIS change to their optin page and THAT change to their sales letter and tracking THOSE sales meant the difference between a $1 million business this year and a $1.1 million business this year. Of course it's exciting to share how these Ten Changes, or Ten Minutes of Work, boosted this business by $100,000... but those TRICKS are useless without the BASE. And once you have the BASE, the TRICKS are so much better.
Marketing By The Numbers: Clickthrus and Attendance
I know, the "base" doesn't sound sexy and the "tricks" sound too dangerous. You don't want to admit that you need the base, because you're not a newbie and you don't want to seem dumb in front of your friends. But here are a few "average" numbers you can somewhat expect:
- If you have a very simple optin page with a headline, three bullet points, and a call to action... plus your optin bribe is cool enough and relevant enough for your traffic, expect a 50% optin rate, and a 1% daily attrition rate (bounces and unsubscribes)
- The emails you send "should" get a 2% clickthru rate, which should keep its effectiveness every day for a week, so if you email the same offer once a day for 5 days, expect a 10% clickthru rate of your entire list – provided your emails are interesting enough for people to click and open
- You should expect around $1 EPC if you're mailing to a decent sales letter that's an appropriate match for your audience – niche, skill level and price point – that means if you have a $100 offer, expect a 1% conversion, $50 offer, 2% conversion, $7 offer, 14% conversion
- On webinars you can expect about a 50% registration rate, 33% attendance rate (out of total registrations only), and a $20 to $100 EPC on the webinar (although that last number is SUPER unpredictable)
- You can expect about $1 per subscriber per month if you're marketing to your list (this number kept showing up everywhere for me during my early days of email marketing)
These are all rough estimates, and things might change for you, but once you know these basic numbers, life gets a lot easier. For example...
Let's say you've built your list up to 1000 subscribers, not huge but somewhat respectable (whether you're a newbie or non-newbie) if you've just made list building your priority.
Mail for the same offer for 5 days, you'll get 20 clicks each day for a total of 100 clicks...
With 100 clicks, you can count on about $100 from this promotion...
Because I gave you that "dollar per month" guideline, you can easily tell that even if you run four promotions like this per month, you're only making about $400 so there's more juice you can pull out of your list...
BUT THAT'S FINE! You have "the base" in place which only took a couple of days (product, sales letter, optin page) and now you can add "the tricks" to increase your income...
Add in an upsell to boost it to $600 or so, a coaching or recurring option, a done-for-you option, $1000 is easily within reach NOW THAT YOU'VE FIRST HIT THAT INITIAL MILESTONE of 400 dollars.
And think about a scenario like this...
- Instead of going for the traditional "send some emails" approach, you schedule a 1-hour pitch webinar and mail for it – 100 clicks over 5 days
- 50% or 50 people register for that webinar
- 33% or 16 people actually attend the webinar
Most marketers (the ones who don't know what to expect) would be super bummed out that only 16 people showed up, webinars don't work and why the heck did I think this internet marketing thing was a good idea anyway? Only 1.6% of my list even attended?
Yeah but, it's not unusual at all to convert 10 out of those 16 on a live webinar at $97, and now you've made $1000 bucks from one hour of your time (plus you have a recording) so you've potentially earned $2000 from that list of 1000.
These are all examples, and who knows what you'll experience based on your niche, audience, offer, and marketing, but you get the idea. The "base" and the "tricks" can't exist without the other. PLUS, one isn't better than the other, they're just DIFFERENT!
The "base" got you from $0 to $400. The "tricks" got you from $400 to $2000. Without the base you wouldn't have any money to improve with tricks, without the tricks you wouldn't be able to progress past the $400 mark and achieve your true potential with that list of subscribers. Without the tricks, you probably wouldn't be able to build that list of 1000 to 2000 or 5000 or 10,000 or more.
The 95/5/1 Rule
I've found that the 80/20 rule just doesn't cut it when marketing to an email list, since so many of your subscribers won't buy, will only buy low ticket or will simply be one-time purchasers, no matter what you do.
But that's okay, IT'S A NUMBERS GAME! Here's what I've noticed over the years looking back at my email list subscribers:
- The top 1% become your coaching clients
- The top 5% become your recurring and high ticket buyers
- The remaining 95% are your low-ticket buyers and non-buyers
Let me explain. Let's say that you build that list up to 10,000 subscribers. Still not huge, still not close to my list size BUT we're now talking about decent and respectable numbers.
Let's assume that along the way you've setup a couple of products. A free product, a $7 product, a $97 product, a $997 product, and a $27/month product...
100 of those subscribers will literally buy everything you put out. It doesn't matter if it's $7 or $97. They'll actually USE your tools, template, software and training. They'll actually ASK QUESTIONS during your Q&A calls if you have them.
Here's where a lot of marketers mess up. They take the 80/20 rule to the extreme, examine their business, decide to take their low-end products off the market and focus entirely on coaching. Those 100 people at the top.
Maybe the $27/month plan is all that's left standing! And then inevitably as some of the coaching students drop off (which is just what happens on the internet), they don't replenish that top 1% with new people, and find themselves doing the same "time-for-dollars" work but putting in the same amount of time for less and less dollars. Attrition!
The lesson here is that it's important to have products on all price points so you can keep people coming in the funnel and walk them up. Get them used to you at $7 or $97 and then get them to buy the high ticket or recurring programs. Don't be a price snob and only charge $997 and up, but don't wimp out and refuse to go above $7 as a price point.
Now, the top 5%... with a 10K list we're talking about 50 people you can count on to buy high ticket $497 and $997 items, join $27/month and $97/month continuity programs (once again, DEPENDING ON YOUR OFFER AND HOW IT MATCHES TO THEM) but not necessarily interact.
This group won't buy EVERYTHING you put out, so you have to make a compelling argument and actually listen to the problems, struggles and frustrations of your marketplace, create a real sales letter dissolving their objections, market it more than once and package a really good offer together.
This group is the reason to have high ticket (single payment or payment plan) membership sites, not necessarily "monthly forever" continuity. If your highest priced product is $100 bucks, and you have 50 "high ticket" buyers, that’s a nice $5000. But if your high price point is $1000, that's a $50,000 payday you just made instead.
The remaining 95% is still worthwhile for a number of reasons:
- They will still help you adjust your launches and your offers
- Some of the 95% will graduate into the top 5%
- Low ticket items can still add up to a nice healthy chunk of your monthly income
In the same way you can't have the "base" without the "tricks" ... you can't have high ticket without low ticket and vice versa. If you only had high ticket offers, you'd still need to build that list and the best list to build is a list of buyers. If you only had low ticket offers then you wouldn't be giving your top 1% and your top 5% the chance to buy your best stuff.
Here's the best thing about the internet. It doesn't cost you anything to create these extra products or keep them online, so pull out a piece of your high ticket offer or recurring program and put them on the marketplace as low-ticket items with upsells into "the bigger courses."
Can you please go into the comments now and tell me... what was a "big breakthrough" or turning point, revelation, sudden moment you had where everything changed for you and your business?