The Reason “Why”

Posted on: February 11th, 2012 by benegourmet
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I would like to welcome you to Funnelator.com.  I started doing many of the elements of “Add to Cart” and “Get Instant Access” in 2002, when my wife and I were running Bene Gourmet Pizza, a branded specialty pizza chain located in Oregon.

After seeing little success from television ads, radio sponsorships, and newspaper ads, we started dabbling in online and offline direct marketing. One of our early successes was creating direct mail pieces with very specific offers. The direct mail strategy included the following items:

  • Engaging copy (for relationship building)
  • A clear offer (a call to action)
  • A clear expiration date (to create scarcity and a measured response)
  • A list strategy (income, home ownership, and distance from each)
  • And a tracking system for measuring the results of our campaigns.

In addition to our direct mail efforts, we began to collect the email addresses of our customers, so we could send specific offers to them as well to increase the frequency and life time value of each customer.

Lastly, our online efforts consisted of writing valuable content, such as recipes, sponsorship highlights, and customer stories on our blog. Then we syndicated our contact to Facebook.

By 2005, we had created a fairly successful local direct marketing program.

In 2006, I co-founded Corx Wine Bags, an online retailer of BYOB wine bags. Though Corx Wine Bags is a small niche product, running the business allowed me to develop my online marketing skills. I expanded on my online content creation and social media syndication, while diving deep into SEO.

By 2008, I had transitioned out of Bene Gourmet Pizza, and I was back into consulting, primary focused on strategic planning and finance. While I was consulting, I continued to consume everything I could in the online marketing space. I started to share my insights and techniques with my friends and clients, and they asked me if I could help them with their online marketing efforts.

After a few successes, I got my big break in 2010. My friend, Robert Hirsch, asked me if I could help him transition his seven-figure weight loss website from an enterprise e-commerce platform to a less costly cart. Robert offered to open-up his suite of information products on online marketing, in exchange for my time. I agreed, and we moved him to the new platform in 6 weeks. Robert described the implementation as “a good plan executed violently.”

During my time with Robert, we created an affiliate program with Michael Lovitch, my good friend, which generated a high six-figure income stream. Also, I made some mistakes, as well. For example, the incorrect setting within the cart resulted in nearly $50k in lost income. Regardless, we grew revenues and profits considerably during the 14 months we worked together.

While working with Robert, I continue to consult with many offline businesses helping them to develop online lead gen funnels. The clients that followed my recommendations, created revenue streams ranging from $68 thousand to $3.6 million on consulting fees of roughly $10 thousand. Not a bad ROI….eh?

Speed forward to December 2011. I had an epiphany… I realized that all of my strategies and techniques were in my head, so I decided to put it down on paper. After a couple of days, I had created a single spaced, 12 page outline. I let the outline sit for about a week.

When I went back to the outline, I asked myself, “What is the hell are you going to do with this thing?” At the same time, I was reading “The Lean Startup” by Eric Ries.

“Lean startup” is a term coined by Eric Ries. His method advocates the creation of rapid prototypes designed to test market assumptions, and uses customer feedback to evolve them much faster than via more traditional product development practices, such as the Waterfall model1.

About two thirds through “The Lean Startup,” the light bulb went off. Instead of sharing my information with a few people that can afford my consulting services, why don’t I write a book about what I’ve learned and share it with the world.

The second insight I gained was that my outline was too broad. I needed to break the information down based on the objectives that people were trying to achieve. I created “Get Instant” for people looking to generate online leads and sale profitably. And I wrote “Add to Cart” to entrepreneurs and businesses who want e-commerce success.

These books walk you through the process of planning, design, traffic and conversion in a very simple, straight forward fashion. Building an online lead gen funnel is complicated, if you don’t have a plan.  These books are your baseline plan.

 

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