Cindy Donovan: In this episode number seven, I interview Mark Thompson, he has been creating products and building a massive online business for ten years now selling over twenty million dollars in products sales.
During this episode, Mark is going to be discussing some strategies that he uses to fill his webinars as well as some tricks that people just starting out with webinars can use to pull more people in. He’s going to share some strategies about how to maximize registration page conversions and how to make the most out of your follow up sequences, but most of all, how to get more people out of your webinars. Thank you Mark, very fantastic to have you here.
Mark Thompson: Thanks for having me, I appreciate it.
Cindy Donovan: Lets start straight in here. What do you think is the best source of traffic for filling up webinars.
Mark Thompson: Well, the best source is going to be your own internal email list but I’m sure there is going to be a lot of people listening that don’t have an email list. You need to do one of two things. One , you could try to drive paid traffic to your registration page or you can try to leverage other people’s authority, influence and their email list to try to fill those spots. I would prefer to try to find other people that help fill those spots just because, obviously if you are paying for traffic and you are driving people to a registration page, you are only going to get a fraction of those people to register, and if this is an especially new webinar that you are running, you are not really sure how well its going to convert.
There is a bit of a risk there because you are going to be investing into paid traffic that you are not really sure what your return on investment is going to be. I always try to leverage other people’s email lists or affiliate partners to help fill the spots for the webinar.
Cindy Donovan: Okay, that’s fantastic. Did you have any sources … You’ve been doing this for a while, you have your connections and your list of affiliates. How do you reach out to get more people to want to promote for your webinar
Mark Thompson: So, there are two things. One, you could hire a JV broker or a JV manager, someone who already has the relationships with affiliates and vendors who have an email list. The only downfall of that would be that you are going to pay them some sort of percentage generally for the number of sales you make on the webinar. If you hire a JV broker, probably about 10% of the sales will go to that JV broker, that’s how they make their money. It’s a great way to get to start getting introduced to other vendors and affiliates who have an email list.
That would probably be the easiest route to go. You may not make as much money, but it’s a good starting point and then you could start to leverage each of those relationships that the JV broker makes for you for the future. You can start to fun future webinars or maybe other products that you have webinars for. You can start to leverage those relationships that you build. That’s the first way.
The other way would be to partner with someone that already has relationships with affiliates and make them part of the actual webinar or part of the launch. Then just you are basically leveraging their audience, their network of people that they know. Those are probably the two quickest ways that you can really get introduced to affiliates that you maybe don’t already know or if you are just starting out.
Cindy Donovan: Right, okay. Do you have any actual places that you can recommend for people to find people like these. How do you track down people that can help you?
Mark Thompson: It depends, I guess it depends on what niche you are in. If you are in the internet marketing space which I would assume a lot of you guys are, you can go to JVNotifyPro which is run by a guy named Mike Merz who is a JV broker. He does a lot of brokering for vendors. That would be a good place to start, JVNotifyPro. You can also just look … there’s product launch boards like muncheye.com or launchsuite.net where vendors are launching products.
Generally if you see people launching lots of products on these launch boards, they probably have relationships with affiliates and already have an email list. You can start to connect with them and hopefully they will buy into your products. Always have something to sell them or a reason for them to want to partner with you an open up their rolodex of partners. The ultimate key here is to have a good product, already have the webinar presentation ready to go. It’s really easy to bring someone on and say, “Hey, I already have this product, I already have this webinar presentation. Maybe we’ll tweak it together, but its ready to go, its ready to start making money.”
In the internet marketing space, its fairly easy to find either JV brokers or people to partner with, but in other spaces like the dating or the weight loss or whatever niche that you are in, what I would recommend doing is just go into Google and searching JV broker and then the niche that you are in or JV manager and then the niche that you are in. Not every niche is going to have official JV brokers but a lot of the larger niches will.
You could do that and then also just having your finger on the pulse in terms of where are people going in your niche, what blogs, what forums, what websites, what products are people buying in your space and then try to reverse engineer … Try to find out how you can contact those vendors and see if they’ll be open to some sort of joint venture opportunity.
Cindy Donovan: Right, that’s awesome. Have you done anything as far as social media, like trying to bring extra people into your webinars using social media, maybe Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook or even SEO. Do you do anything outside of email lists?
Mark Thompson: Yeah. Not so much with SEO because SEO takes a lot of time to rank your site. With a webinar, its more of a times event. Usually you start promoting a webinar two or three days from when the event is going to actually happen. From an SEO standpoint, you really can’t optimize it very well for such. From a social standpoint, there is definitely some things you can do. Obviously, if you have a strategy in place to build your social presence, if you have a Facebook fan page or people following you on Twitter, or Snapchat or Periscope or any of those social media platforms.
That’s obviously a way you can channel those people from your social media into a webinar registration page. You can do that. If you don’t have those social media presences built up yet, you can do paid traffic. Probably the most used would be Facebook ads. You can start targeting specific likes and interests and start driving people into your webinar registration page that way.
Cindy Donovan: Right. Speaking about registration pages, maybe we can move on to that a little bit, because you do this quite well. Out of any registration pages and thank you page flow, you have got this nailed. What is your formula, what do you put on a Thank You page or in a registration page that people should really pay attention to?
Mark Thompson: Well, one thing I learned from … If you guys know who Jason Fladlien is, he sold 50 million dollars worth of products on webinars. I really try to study him and I’ve learned a lot from him. One of the things that he always says is to invoke curiosity on your registration page. Give them enough information that they are interested but don’t give them everything that you are going to talk about. Make them curious and invoke … That curiosity would make them want to register.
Secondly, come on to the webinar. From a copy standpoint, that’s what I would do. I would have a really good headline, good sub- headline and then three bullet points as to what they are going to learn on the call. Another thing that has rally helped is by doing a video. Having a video on your registration page and then having a video on your thank you page just to build that personal rapport with the person that’s about to register.
One thing that I always like to do on the thank you page is say,”Hey, thanks for registering. Now, make sure that you go and put this on your calendar so you don’t forget about it.” We always have buttons to add to your iCalendar or Google calendar, just to make sure that they know hey, just to set a reminder to make sure that they come on the call.
Cindy Donovan: Yeah. That totally makes sense. You are actually just giving that little bit of extra connection with your audience, I guess. On some thank you pages, I’ve seen them actually … I think there’s like some widgets and stuff that you can put there sometimes generates downloads so they can click it and it automatically adds it to their calendar. I’m not sure if you have used any of those but they look pretty neat.
Mark Thompson: Yeah. So, we’ve done that. We have it built in with webinar ignition product. We actually have a platform that does that. You can do it that way. Then I also know that click funnels … If you use click funnels they have a thank you page that allows you to add it to your iCalendar or your Google calendar. That helps but then … Another thing that we’ll do is we’ll put Facebook comments below the thank you page and just say, “Hey, what type of questions do you have?” Or “What type of things are you hoping to learn on this call?” Then, we can use those questions and that feedback and tweak the presentation a little based on the audience.
Cindy Donovan: Yeah. Exactly. If you are getting them to ask questions, then they are more likely they would want to show up for their answer, right?
Mark Thompson: Yeah, totally. That means, some of the things that we do are in the actual follow-up emails. They get an email right after they register but then, we also usually send them probably three to four reminder emails. Generally, 48 hours, 24 hours and then probably six hours and then probably 20 to 30 minutes right before the call. That’s probably the most important email to send out, just because people are busy, they are always doing different things, they are always getting a lot of emails. That email that you send right before the webinar starts will just remind them and say, “Hey, we are starting right now, make sure you get on the call.”
Cindy Donovan: It’s funny that you mention that because a lot of people would talk about increasing conversions on your registration page. You want to get a lot of people to register, but then, it’s just a given that not many people are going to show up, out of … If you can get 30% of registrations show up, that’s really good. Often its lower than that. When you can really push these people and encourage them to show up, then that really adds extra dollars to your end, in your bank, doesn’t that?
Mark Thompson: Yeah, the first part is obviously driving the right type of traffic. If you are using paid traffic or if you have partnered with someone that has an email list that’s not relevant to the offer, then they are probably not going to register or even show up. As you know, attendance rates are just dropping. They have dropped a lot since five years ago. Five years ago it was probably 50%, then it went down to 40 and now it honestly closer to 30. Anything that you can do sometimes will just bribe people and say, “hey, we want to give you an ethical bribe and say, hey for people that show up, we are going to have some sort of a bonus or we are going to give away an iPad or try to make it fun and incentivize them to come on.”
Cindy Donovan: Right. So when you are split, do you do split testing for your registration pages?
Mark: Not really, to be honest with you. We keep it very, very basic. We use like a click funnel’s template. A lot of the times, with clickfunnels, is they’ll do the testing for you and show you which open pages have the best conversions. We usually will just make sure we have the headlines, sub-headlines, a good video, three bullet points, just kind of all the basic elements on the page.
Cindy Donovan: Okay, that’s awesome. What about the follow up after. How do you actually sequence things so that after you finish the webinar, you can close those people that are just on the fence. Maybe you could talk about that a little.
Mark Thompson: Yeah, so there’s a few things that we’ll do. We usually we’ll have a replay up for about 72 hours. We’ll email them, it depends, if the webinar did really, really well on the live call, then we’ll email them that night. If it didn’t do that well, then we’ll email them the next day. What we’d like to do is try to save … Put something in the tank for later. Maybe we’ll add a few extra bonuses that we didn’t have on the live call.
We’ll always try to give them some sort of incentive to watch the replay or maybe they missed the live call, we just wan to get them to watch the replay or maybe they were on the live call and they didn’t buy. If we can get them to come to the replay, we can introduce some sort of additional bonuses or additional value, then that’s another reason to come on to the call. We’ll generally do a three day sequence and we’ll email them two to three times depending on how well it’s converting. We always try to push the last day, the close, the last 12 to 24 hours. Its really hard because that’s when you can start to get the fence sitters to turn into a buyer.
Cindy Donovan: Yeah, Excellent. Do you have any … What about pricing … Do you have … Obviously it depends on the product that you are going to be selling. Do you have experience in selling it as a once-off thing, whats your experience, selling once-off, doing payment plans or even re-carrying on a webinar. What’s your experience there?
Mark Thompson: Generally, I won’t do webinar unless its going to be $300 or more just because, to me a webinar kind of lends itself to having a higher ticket products. There is more interaction, you can overcome objections much easier on a webinar than a sales page. We tend to do mid to high tickets price points when it comes to pricing webinar products.
We also we’ll do … If it’s like a $1,000 product, we may also introduce like a two or a three time payment plan. A payment plan that will put on the replay as well. That works really well. That’s a great way to get people who were fence sitters on the live call to get them actually buy on our replays if we introduce a two or three time payment plan.
Cindy Donovan: Okay. Do yo make it so that it costs a little bit more with the payment plan or you just want to get the sale?
Mark Thompson: Yeah. Usually we’ll do it an extra 100 or 200 dollars depending on how much the product costs.
Cindy Donovan: Okay, Awesome. Do you have any advice for people just generally for webinars, if they are just looking to get started, say they have products that they think would be great just for generally getting started with webinars?
Mark Thompson: The first thing that I would do is watch as many webinars as you can and try to follow the people who conduct really good webinars.
You’ll start to notice as you watch webinars, people have a certain style and people have a certain formula that they use for every presentation regardless of what the product is or regardless of what niche they are in.
There are certain elements that they use inside of a webinar. It’s important to just reverse engineer an dissect each of their presentation. Whenever I see a webinar that I really like, I’ll make sure that I get the replay of it and I’ll download it to my local computer. I’ll just study it and just see what they did, just the way that they say things or the way that they position things. That’s a whole animal in itself and we could talk about that for hours, just how to go about creating a presentation that sells and how to pitch your product.
So for anybody who is just starting out, I would strongly recommend just reverse engineering and seeing what other people are doing and then just diving in because what happens is most people, they want to sell their products, they know that webinars are great platforms to do it, but they are nervous or don’t feel comfortable doing it. What I would recommend is do a dry run by yourself, like you were on a call with people listening and then just dive right into it. Like anything, practice makes perfect. When I first started, I was fumbling around, I didn’t know what I was doing. Just like anything else, you start to get more comfortable and it becomes kind of second nature.
Cindy Donovan: Right. You generally present very well in webinars and people connect with you. Do you have any…. Not everybody here English is their forte, they struggle to get in front of the camera. Can you give any tips for people maybe they can’t present it themselves or they have a great product but they need to find someone to help them to actually do the webinars, what would you suggest?
Mark Thompson: Yeah. That’s where a partner can come into play. If you could find someone that is comfortable on webinars, I understand that, like you said, not everybody … It’s not for everybody. Either having a partner or just go out and find someone who is in sales that’s comfortable with talking with people, or people that are on webinars. Sometimes, about to 40, 50 percent of the webinars that are done, they are not even done by the actual product creator. They are just the kind of pitch man, if you will. There’s nothing wrong with hiring someone to run or conduct the webinars. That’s an option.
You could also look into, once you’ve got a good webinar that converts really well, you can record that and actually make that a live call. You can play the recorded call live but have people that can answer questions in the background. Sometimes it’s not about just always having someone there that can actually run the live webinar over and over again. If you find one that converts really, really well, use that, play it like its live, but its recorded and then just have people in the background answering questions.
Cindy Donovan: Yeah, that’s an easy way around. We are probably going to wrap things up. Do you have any last minute tips or advice for people to do with webinars?
Mark Thompson: The first thing is like I said, just dive into it, just like anything, if so many people are just hesitant like I talk to people all the time that are like, “Oh, I want to create a product.” I always ask, “Why haven’t you? They are like, “I just haven’t done it.” They don’t actually go and do it. Don’t worry because along the way you are going to mess up, you are going to make mistakes. Don’t get turned off by that. If you do a webinar and it doesn’t convert well or something went wrong or you had a technical issue, so what? It happens, it happens.
Its something that you learn from ,you learn from your mistakes and just continue doing it. If its a hurdle that you are trying to overcome, do whatever you can to get over that hurdle because, this is where the internet is going with videos and webinars being a large component of it. It can really open the doors to so much opportunity for your business. It’s such a great way to sell specifically mid to high ticket products.
Cindy Donovan: Absolutely, that’s been great. Thank you so much for sharing all of your knowledge and I appreciate you jumping on the call.
Mark Thompson: Yeah, no problem. Great to be here. Cindy: All right. Thanks, talk to you soon. Mark: Bye.