Drew is joined by Patrick Shanahan for another round of Tradecraft – this time featuring a tool for postcard marketing, and a chat app that reveals what your customers really want.
EXCLUSIVE RESOURCE: Prefer to read rather than listen? Click here to download the text transcribe from this episode.
- Drew is off to travel the world with family in tow, expect new episodes from sandy beaches and other exotic locales.
- A new emphasis on video content
- A shopify app to trigger the sending of physical postcards to people in your database
- Who to make the target of your postcard marketing
- A chat app Patrick uses to get in touch with what his customers really want
- How to collect customer feedback into something actionable
Links / Resources
Prefer to read rather than listen to the podcast episode? No problem, you can request the text transcribe and I will send it to you as a PDF.
Drew: Everybody, welcome to the Nerd Marketing podcast. This is Drew Sanocki and I am joined today by Patrick Shanahan, my trade craft partner. How’re you doing, Patrick?
Patrick: Good, Drew. Nice to talk to you again.
Drew: Today we’re going to go over some tips and tricks, what we see working out there, what’s helping us do our jobs better as online marketers. You’ve got a couple things, Patrick?
Patrick: I do, I do. I’ve got one I’m quite pleased with, so I’m fired up to talk about it.
Drew: I think people like these episodes. They like hearing what’s working.
Patrick: Yeah, they do. I mean, I’ve looked at your stats, they’re the most downloaded so obviously it’s working. So, you just come off your big talking circuit, I know you talked about that in the last episode, but you’re about to go full vagabond. Hit the road. Want to tell us about that?
Drew: Yeah, it’s something really exciting my wife and I’ve wanted to do for a long time so next Saturday we’re packing up, and we’re going to the Caribbean, and we’re not coming back to New York for probably six months. I think that we’re not going to be in the Caribbean the entire time, but we’ll do Central America, and Europe. We’re taking the kids, obviously. We’re really looking forward to it.
I mean, we’re stressed about the packing and getting everything done and we’re trying to liquidate a lot of our personal belongings that we really don’t care about or want to store, but with any luck it’ll all come together by next Saturday when we’re on that flight.
Patrick: Amazing, amazing. I can’t believe you’re taking the kids. That’s going to be an adventure, buddy.
Drew: Yeah, we debated leaving them at home for six months, but we thought we should… we thought they’d miss us so we’re going to take them with us.
Patrick: Well, congratulations, that’s amazing. And are you going to stay podcasting?
Drew: No, I’m shutting down the podcast for six months. No, I’m going to… I’m going to keep podcasting, I’m going to do some video. A lot more video. Maybe not quite as much writing, the long form emails, they take up a lot of time, so I think I can try to move a little more into video and audio for the next six months.
Patrick: There we go, so the future dispatches will be from sandy beaches and other places hither, and thither, and yon.
Drew: Yeah, you know, I feel like I’ve got a lot of things I want to cover. We’ve been talking a lot about this concept of a cash flow business, or a lifestyle business, and we’re just scratching the surface. We’re talking about customer problems and brand, and there’s a lot more I want to talk about on that and what I see working for you, Patrick, for me, at Nerd, and through my own consulting. So I want to share that on the podcast.
And, really, I think video’s going to be a great medium for that. So, maybe you’ll see a lot more of me now that I’m leaving the country.
Patrick: Maybe the best thing that every happened to the podcast, you actually have the time to focus on it and [inaudible 00:03:23].
Drew: And how’s your kid?
Patrick: My kid’s good. My kid’s good. I got a kid, dog, I got a kid on the way.
Drew: You’ve got another one on the way, right?
Patrick: I’ve got to get a full menagerie. I’ve got a full menagerie over here. I’ve got one coming in October.
Drew: That’s awesome. Congratulations.
Patrick: Yeah, thanks, man. Thanks.
Drew: I’d say your life is going to change forever but you already had that change, probably, at the first one.
Patrick: Yeah, yeah. And the dog, and the whole thing. I mean, I’m running a proper chaos pit over here, let me tell you.
Drew: Cool. All right, let’s do a little trade craft, Patrick. I think, I’ve been using an app that I want to share with everybody, and it’s called PostPilot.com, or it’s called Post Pilot, but it’s PostPilot.com. And, what it does, is it’s a Shopify app, plugs into your Shopify, and essentially lets you trigger and send physical postcards to people in your database.
I love this, I mean, you may be asking why the hell I would want to send a physical postcard, and the reason is because they work. Right? So, at my own retailer, back in 2005 we did that. It was a very, it was, like, custom audiences, one-dot-oh, where you take email lists out of your email software or customer list out of your eCommerce software, and we would upload them to a service called Modern Postcard. And I would send out targeted coupons so all the principles we use in email marketing, like this idea of a discount ladder, if people haven’t purchased in awhile you want to increase the discount that you send to them, you an do the same thing through postcards.
They are, just, you know. Catalog companies work because catalogs work, and people still like getting postcards in the mail, and they respond to coupons there, and if you’ve already tapped out email, if you’ve already tapped out Facebook I think physical postcards are probably the next frontier for you to experiment with. So, I’m really loving this app.
Patrick: What are… so what are you including in the… I mean, is it straight discount ladder, like, you know, 30, 60, 90’s, like how are you approaching it?
Drew: Yeah, you know I think the app was built by a couple marketers, so they know what they’re doing, I mean a lot of their examples are just straight up, “Hey, thanks for ordering from us”, just straight up postcards. Or, maybe, “Hey, you’re new”.
If you’ve tripped a wire where you’re at a certain average order value or made a certain number of purchases, you get a “Hey, thanks for being one of our best customers” postcard.
I like using the discount ladder in these postcards, so this customer cohort is eligible for this coupon, they see that coupon in their email, they see it on Facebook, and they see it through the postcard, too.
Patrick: Wow. Wow. And, are you sending just one per customer, or are you sending… do you send them, literally, three in a row?
Drew: You can stagger them over time, so I would, some, have sent more than one, so, for the first couple of months they may see a 10% off coupon, and they get that 10% off coupon in the mail. Then, it goes up in month three, and then maybe goes up again in month five. So, that’s how I do it. I mean, you can’t… it’s not as sensitive as an email, like you can ratchet up your discounts over days, or weeks. But if you send out one a month then you certainly can build a discount ladder into it.
Drew: But, they do allow you to generate uniquely identifiable coupon codes, too, so on the tracking side of things you know if the offer is coming from a certain customer or not. So, all these postcards don’t have to go out with the same coupon code. They’re all going out with uniquely identifiable ones. And that’s what makes it a killer app, in my opinion.
Patrick: Got it. And they just charge you per postcard, or whatever?
Drew: They do, yeah. 99 cents per postcard, or something like that. Yeah, it’s really reasonable. Yeah. So, if you haven’t experimented with postcards and you use Shopify, sign up for postpilot.com, or sign uppostpilot.com. It’s a great app, and you really get to… the catalog spaces, old school catalog guys have talked for awhile about how they’re sort of grumpy. They feel like catalogs generate the demand, and eCommerce captures the demand. They feel, like, eCommerce is not good at demand generation, it’s good at demand capture.
There’s something to that, like, going into a physical store, or holding a physical catalog, does a lot to generate demand. So, you can use postcards for this, you know, to generate some demand, like, experiment with them and, yeah. Touch Card. Try it out. I love it.
Patrick: And, as a final, do you recommend that for people who are literally just getting up and getting started, maybe only a couple orders a month, all the way. Or, are you putting them, I’m sure you’re putting them on your big volume guys, yeah?
Drew: Yeah, I use it with large volume clients, I don’t think it’s a get started marketing approach. You need a list first. You need customers to mail. So, yeah, I probably wouldn’t experiment with it if I were just starting out.
Patrick: And, as a final questions, is it completely automated?
Drew: It is, yeah. You set up the automation rules and it runs.
Drew: Which is great. So, what about you? What’s going on? What kind of [crosstalk 00:09:07].
Patrick: Yeah, so I’ve got a new one. I’ve got a new little hack I’ve been… little technique I’ve been playing around with and am really, really enjoying and getting some tremendous value out of it, and it’s a couple parts so I’ll get into it. Per my normal shiny objects theory, I heard about Drift enough times I thought it was worth a look and worth a try, and if you haven’t heard about drift it’s D-R-I-F-T, it’s basically just chat, right? They haven’t really invented the wheel, but they have kind of a new spin on it. I think, the most… so it’s a chat box that you can fire based on a whole range of different rules, you know, all kinds of different bells and whistles that you can do it.
It’s primarily, I would say, their audience is for SaaS companies, right? So if somebody’s on your pricing page you pop the box, it integrates with Slack and so you’re doing all the answering in Slack, and all of that’s great. So, we tried some of that and I think that’s what they recommend for most people, like, pop it on the pricing page and have a conversation. And if you integrate with, say, Drift, or something out, there’s tagged based things you can do. So, if you have a tag on somebody that’s an awesome prospect you can just pop the chat on them, right. And they have some other bells and whistles there.
But, I think, the step back, the most interesting thing that I’ve discovered about it, is… and, you know, David Cancel, the CEO, you know that guy, don’t you Drew?
Drew: I do know David Cancel, yeah. Not well, but the guy’s a stud. I think he ran growth at HubSpot before.
Patrick: Yeah, the dude’s had, like, five companies, he’s got a great podcast too, called Seeking Wisdom. But, anyway, their whole mantra is that people embedded in companies are always too far away and too far removed from the customer, right? That’s the big takeaway of it all.
So, sometimes you’ll go to their website and you find that both founders of the company’s face is actually popping on the website, and they’re actually doing chats. So, they rotate everybody through their entire company to do chat and have these customer interactions with the idea of being everybody is too far from the customers. You’ve got so many people that are working in your business that are not chatting to customers every day. And when they’re not doing that you’re making decisions not based on what’s best for the customer but what you think is best for the customer. Right?
So, that’s the mantra to it. And, it’s like, how does that apply to an eCommerce store, or what I’m doing at SaaS? What I found is, even just popping the box and asking questions, and so in the capacity that I’ve been testing it and doing it, I’ve got a new podcast we launched over there, I’m popping it on the podcast page, and I’m saying, “Hey. What do you want the next podcast subject to be?”
So, I haven’t experimented, obviously, on the eCommerce capacity, but it would be the same thing. Just pick a test, start popping the chat box, and it’s great because the thing integrates with Slack, right, so it just fires these messages into slack and you can just boom, hit join, and start talking to them.
Drew, you should do this on Nerd, it’s amazing. I’ve got my whole team doing it now, and we’re all rotating through and taking turns, and you can kind of throttle it, you know, put it on just a bit of your site at a time. I’m finding, even just that, so the way we’re using it is not what Drift recommends, like, I’m using it in the content marketing capacity to get feedback from my users. They’re giving me insane feedback. We’re having conversations back and forth in, like, a live chat type of capacity and I feel like my whole team is a little bit more in tune to what the customers are talking about, and what the customers truly want.
And that’s step one of the hack. And so, I’m really getting a tremendous amount of value and continue to do more experimentation, and you can just do it so instantly, and you know you can be chatting with your customers on your website which is absolutely awesome, right?
Drew: So, it’s more, you can be more proactive with it in other words. The customer doesn’t have to click “Live Chat” button. You could proactively pop it up in front of him or her.
Patrick: Yeah, yeah there’s a bunch of different ways you can pop it. I’ve just been doing the little bottom right hand corner. After a few minutes my face, or my guys’ faces pop, and it just, it asks the question. I mean, we’ve done it in a couple different capacities, right, we did try the pricing thing originally, it didn’t work. But anyway, didn’t work as well, I mean, I think it just took more refinement. But, this whole trend of chat is absolutely, I’m extremely convinced, that it’s absolutely the future, and it allows you to provide an incredible experience. It just does.
Everybody’s scare, like, “I don’t have the time to do that, I couldn’t possibly have the time to do that.” You will see the ROI, in my opinion, by doing it, and it’s very easy, and very cheap to try. I mean, we’re all about execution speed so you can throw this up, get it going, start chatting. So, everybody out there in eCommerce land is, like, “Well how the hell is this going to benefit me? How would I pop it, I’ve got so many customers.” Find out why they didn’t buy. Start asking the questions why they didn’t buy.
So, in my case, and this is the second part of the hack that I’m finding insanely valuable is I’m asking them what they want as the next podcast subject, right? And I let those answers all pile up, and I’m taking them and I’m going through them one by one. I’m extracting out the language in a way that they’re talking about their problems and I throw it into a mind map. I use that x-line mind map, Drew, we’ve used it before. It doesn’t matter which mind map you use.
But, I’m finding that I throw their words, their language, how they’re describing what their problem is, into x-mind, into one tree. And you just keep throwing everyone into that tree, and sometimes it’s, like, they say three problems instead of one, and so you have to know how to tease those out. But what I’m finding is by dumping them all into a mind map you start to see themes emerge. And so, in the case of our store fronts, one of the most common ones is how to know what my niche should be. Trying to figure out what my niche should be, and, like, stuff for photographers, because you’re shooting weddings, you’re shooting dogs, you’re shooting your sister, you’ve got landscape photos. It’s, like, how are you going to sell art, what are you going to be?
So, by teasing out these things that they’re saying in their words, I get the themes, and I just have this thing saved, and then everybody on my marketing team is going into that mind map when they’re writing emails, when they’re doing the blog post titles, and they’re pulling the language in these people’s own word right out of it. I’m telling you, in two weeks of doing this, and I do it pretty diligently, I’ve seen some insanely high open rates on my emails, but extracting those subject lines out of the chat, and being really intentional about it, and then throwing it into messaging. I know I’m incorporating it into my Facebook ads a bunch, so I think on the eCommerce side of things the thing does not have to be on all day.
Grab your big boy shorts, put the Java script on, pop the chat box, and start learning. You can turn it on and off in a couple hours, and see what it does for you. “Hey, noticed you were on the page, did you have any questions?” Grab that data and have that informed what’s going to go on your FAQ, or maybe it goes into your item description. I just, I think there’s just a tremendous amount of learning there, and Drew, you on Nerd, I think you should just start popping it on Nerd.
Drew: Yeah, well, we’ve been playing around with Drift on teamwork, on teamwork.com, SaaS company.
Patrick: How’d that go?
Drew: Really well, and really the same philosophy, right? I felt like the company was getting farther and farther away from the customer, and building in features just because we could and not because the customers wanted them. So, we did a number of things. We’d rotate through customer service, we do a lot of other things internally, but Drift is one thing we’ve been experimenting with. We, too, were very concerned that we’d get overwhelmed with chat requests, so we rolled it out very slowly and deliberately, starting only on, like, the pricing page, or in eCommerce probably in the cart. Some critical pages where you think it might help before you make it available site-wide.
It’s great. The more you can use the customer’s own words in your sales topping, the better, and so I never thought of using it for that. But, that’s a great use of the product.
Patrick: Yeah, it’s amazing and I’m telling you the concept of “throw all of them in a catch-all folder”, and I use a mind map, you can do it however the heck you want, but, you throw it all in a catch all folder and you see it, and then you don’t even think about it, you just dumped everything in there. And as you go back you really do start to tease out these themes that are their frustrations, their problems, that you’re not solving, that you need to work on solving. And then, the way that they say it is so much more important than the way we think they should say it.
And, I mean it. In the eCommerce side of things these are the final things that they’re wondering about, that you’re not answering, and you’re not doing a good job of answering. I really do believe that every hour, or two, or three spent doing this, it will yield ROI. It’s just too easy to get an account and test it, and see, and I think… Yeah, fired up about it, going to continue hammering it.
Drew: Great. I love it. So, that’s called Drift, and it does a bunch of other things too, I think, it’s sort of like they inspire to take on intercom, right?
Drew: There’s a lot of in-app things it can do.
Patrick: Well, yeah. And, on the SaaS side of things, which I think is really, really funny. They have just added this feature. Well, there’s two features. One, if you’re a sales guy you can actually integrate with their own calendar solutions so you can pop the time to schedule a calendar, and that’s great. But they also have the whale alarm, and I don’t know how this would potentially work for eCommerce, but it might be. You could take one of your whale eCommerce segments, figure out what your variables are and try to target it.
But in the SaaS side of things, let’s say, if you have really big deal size, like your deal’s are 20 or 30 grand, you have your whale targeted, that you’ve been working on, longer sales cycle, and when that whale, their job description comes back to the website, you get an instantaneous alert. So if you’re at your desktop, it’ll send the alert to your desktop. If you’re on your phone it will send the alert to your phone. You can press a button and it’s got live screen recordings so you’re watching that whale browse around on your site, in real time.
If you’re so inclined, if you want to, I haven’t tested it yet, but I guess the idea is, like, “Hey, Mr. Smith is on the site, he’s browsing around, he’s on the pricing page,” okay. I’m popping the chat box and you can pop the chat box and go, “What’s up, Mr. Smith? Anymore questions? Happy to help you out.” I thought that was pretty cool, too.
Drew: That’s awesome. So, taking on hot jar, too, these guys are encroaching on each other’s turf.
Patrick: Yeah, honestly. I mean, it’s all out war out there. Bullets are flying, people are dying.
Drew: Well, we are the benefits. The beneficiaries of that war. So we’ve got two things today. postpilot.com and Drift. Check them both out and use them to take your business to the next level. Patrick, great talking to you.
Patrick: Drew, as always. Thanks. Safe travels. We look forward to your video updates from white sand beaches and the rest.
Drew: Yeah, our next trade craft episode might have to be from a beach somewhere in the Dominican Republic. We’ll do that in a couple weeks.
Patrick: Good times, good times. All right, thanks Drew.
Drew: All right, take care. Thanks for listening to the Nerd marketing podcast. If you want to hear more about this episode go to Nerdmarketing.com/32 and you’ll see all the show notes and links that Patrick and I talked about. That’s it. My name’s Drew Sanocki, I’ll talk to you next week.