Listen or Read Jonathan Graves’s Monthly Podcast Interview!
Below you will find an easy to read transcript of Jonathan Graves’s interview on the razorcast™ monthly Podcast. You can either watch the video to listen to the podcast or simply read the easy to follow transcripts below. Enjoy!
RC: Hello everyone this is Liz Harvey coming to you from our razorcast™ studios in New York City, where we are dedicated to bringing you top quality advice from many of the leading industry professionals across the US.
In today’s episode we are speaking with Jonathan Graves. Jonathan is the founder of Local Gold, a digital marketing company based out of New Jersey. He is most known for helping over three thousand businesses drastically increase their new leads while simultaneously building massive goodwill within their marketplace and that’s pretty impressive.
Jonathan is widely considered by many to be one of the top industry marketing professionals in the country. He’s also the co-founder of razorcast™ and serves on our national network of industry professionals.
So let’s jump in!
Today we’re going to talk about a very important topic: Marketing Automation.
RC: Hey Jonathan, how are you today?
Jonathan Graves: Very good Liz thanks for having me! I appreciate you taking some time out for the interview; I’m very excited about it.
RC: Great! Well we have a few questions today that we’ve prepared for you.
Question 1 – What is marketing automation?
RC: So first of all, can you explain what marketing automation is? I’m still a little confused after hearing a lot of buzz about it.
Jonathan Graves: That’s okay, it’s kind of confusing and a lot of people have the wrong image of really what it is. Essentially in a nut-shell, it is allowing companies to use technology to automate predetermined communications with the audience. This includes not only emails but phone calls, direct mail, social media, internal follow-up tasks with your team, etc. From a higher level, what this allows you to do is systematically follow up with all new leads that you drive to your business while at the same time building stronger relationships with your current audience.
RC: That sounds pretty intense and it does seem to get a lot of hype on the internet from what we can read about it.
Question 2 – What is the biggest misconception about marketing automation?
RC: What do you feel is the biggest misconception that people have about marketing automation?
Jonathan Graves: That’s a good question. A lot of times people just have a negative condemnation about marketing automation and they feel it’s spamming. Everyone’s gone through experiences where they may have opted into someone’s email marketing list and they’re getting three emails a day; that is just over the top.
So I would have to say that the biggest misconception out there is that marketing automation is strictly limited to email and that it’s used to enforce aggressive marketing tactics. Where in reality what marketing automation does and what we’ve helped over three thousand businesses do over the years is use it to increase leverage. Leverage is very powerful and what it does is allow you to systematically follow up with leads, convert a higher percentage of those leads and also to build a stronger relationship with your current audience. What this will allow you to do is generate greater profits from your same marketing expenditure that you can either put back into your business to grow or back into your pocket.
Based off of our experience from working with over three thousand clients, like I said since 2004, I’d say that over ninety percent of them are not using marketing automation. So if you can incorporate this into your business you can have a clear competitive advantage out there in the marketplace which will allow you to write your own ticket as to how fast you want to grow.
RC: Wow, that’s a great summary and some really helpful information there.
Question 3 – What are the six funnels that drive new leads, sales & brand loyalty?
RC: So there’s another topic about something you talk about in your training videos. You talk about the six funnels that drive new leads, sales and brand loyalty. Can you talk a little bit about those?
Jonathan Graves: Sure, well we’ve done a lot of testing over the years. We’ve spent over twenty five million dollars of our own capital buying media and for the lion’s share of our time in the industry we’ve spent that in the front end media buying process of driving leads and helping businesses drive leads on the front end.
So when we started getting into the back end and really working with marketing automation to say, how do we help businesses convert a higher percentage of those leads? And systematically follow up with those leads to get a better return on their investment? (When they spend their hard earned dollars on driving front end leads.)
We’ve really narrowed that down to six marketing funnels, what we call them. That if you can incorporate these six funnels into your business, you’ll see a very significant increase in the bottom line results of not only your marketing expenditure buy overall , but your profitability and your ability to efficiently grow.
So the first of those would be a new lead education funnel and this is essentially a funnel that allows you to convert a higher percentage of your leads, upwards of 350% increase of those leads, if you were to just drive those leads into your business without any type of systematic follow-up. What that does is it allows you to follow up with them via email, phone calls from your staff, direct mail, social media, etc. It allows you to deliver your best stuff to them over that fifteen to forty-five day period. To allow you to convert a higher percentage of those leads that you drive into your business. That best stuff being your core values, your mission statements, your experience, testimonials, social proof elements, primary benefits, your team credentials, etc. Things that you want every lead coming into your world to see, that lasts anywhere from fifteen to forty-five days depending on how long of a new lead cycle you want to extend out for that process. That’s the first funnel.
The second funnel would be a new client or patient funnel, which is essentially your way of reassuring them of their purchasing decision. So after a client or patient decides to take you up on your offer and becomes a new client or patient, you want to assure that process by sending welcome packages, surveys anything to help reassure them that they’ve made a smart purchasing decision.
The next funnel would be a loyalty funnel and I would argue that this could perhaps be the most important funnel that you could create for your business, and that’s an ongoing strategy for communicating with not only your leads but your entire audience, your patients, your customers. You want to touch them on a minimal from four to six times a month. Whether that be email, social media, direct mail. A lot of different cross platform opportunities that are coming and going as technology continues to evolve. But you really want to make sure you’re in front of them consistently with communications that add value into their lives and help educate them. This can be done via interviews like we’re doing right now, blog posts, surveys, team events. Goodwill promotions we like to call them here that are bargain based promotions that are centered around holidays. Reactivation campaigns, referral requests, etc. So if you provide a good valuable content out into your market and you do that consistently, you’ll get a lot more of a get out of jail free card and a pass to send those types of promotions than you would if you were just sending out spam promo-type oriented communications all the time. So your loyalty communication is really essentially your way of building goodwill out in your marketplace and doing it consistently with anywhere from two to four to six touches on a monthly basis reaching out to your entire audience.
The next funnel would be your survey funnel, which you want to periodically launch surveys throughout the year to get a pulse of your marketplace to see what their biggest problems are so you can innovate with them and help them alleviate those problems because you’re building. You don’t need to be technical to get that done. You can use a company like surveymonkey.com and just launch email oriented surveys a couple times a year to let your audience know you appreciate them and that you have their best interest at heart and you’re looking out for how you may be able to help them.
The last two: the holiday promos funnel, everybody loves good bargains. Six times a year you want to launch promos that give a good reason why for your audience to come back. Whether you’re a medical practice or you’re a business. Give them a reason why with some type of a bargain. We tested this alot diligently over the years and we’ve seen that the best holidays seem to be New Years, Valentine’s Day, Memorial Day, July 4th, Halloween and Thanksgiving.
Last, but certainly not least, is your referrals funnel. The best way to get referrals is to simply ask them. It’s kind of like dating, you’re never going to get the date with the man or woman that you like, it’s been awhile since I’ve been out in the dating world so maybe this isn’t the best analogy but the best way to get that date is to simply ask for it right! So you want to systematically ask for referrals as well and you do that six to eight times a year by putting them automatically into your marketing automation funnel to ask for referrals, run referral contests and do other types of promotions.
So those are the six funnels. Your referrals funnel, your holiday promos, your surveys funnel, your loyalty which is your ongoing communication strategy, your new client/patient funnel reassuring their purchasing decision and your new lead education funnel which allows you to convert a higher percentage of those leads into customers or patients.
RC: Great, it sounds like you really nailed this funnel process for getting new leads and you did mention you don’t have to be a techie – you can hire someone else.
Question 4 – What can non-techie business owners do?
RC: Can you talk a little bit about what a business can do if they’re not super techie?
Jonathan Graves: Right, and I would say that that’s probably the biggest obstacle people have for getting started, they say well you have to be all technical to get this done. Reality is you don’t, you want to start slow and obviously as your skills improve you can get more granule with this and deploy more types of marketing automation into your business. Start slow, start with a simple email platform such as an iContact, Constant Contact, Get Response, AWeber or Mail Chimp. Those are a couple that I recommend; I know that they are very good.
Just start following up with all new leads that come into your world with your best stuff, with that new lead education, and then start following up on a consistent basis two to six times a month with your loyalty funnels, sending out good quality communications of value based stuff to your audience. You do that you’re light-years ahead of all your competitors and then when you start to see the results of your efforts you can start to get more granule, adding in other types of automation into the process.
Question 5 – What are the best tools companies need?
RC: My next question is, what are the best tools companies need? Because people need to know, what are they going to start with, what are the tools they need just to get up and running. You did mention a few different things here so what else can you add to that in terms of what tools people can have on hand to get started?
Jonathan Graves: Like I said, I would start with email and just use a simple email platform and then you would go to a CRM platform which allows you to systematically follow up on a higher level and automate a lot of the stuff. We use Infusionsoft; they are great I’m an Infusionsoft certified partner. They aren’t the only player in town; Salesforce.com is another amazing CRM platform. There are a lot of CRM tools out there, it really doesn’t matter which one you use – I’m not biased toward any.
The most important thing is to just add good valuable content and to start slow and then get a little more granule and add more parts to your automation as you get better in the process. You can accomplish some great things with just a simple twenty dollar a month email platform such as iContact or Mail Chimp, it’s all about the value that you’re looking to put out in the marketplace with good valuable content and helping to genuinely educate your audience when you do that. They’ll reward you with their attention, they’re engaging in your communications and ultimately their business and their referrals and their ongoing loyalty with you. So in terms of the tools, don’t get all caught up with that. I would start with an email platform and then go to a CRM system. If you’re not already using one I would recommend either Infusionsoft or Salesforce.com, those guys are great they’re both very good for what you need to get done with this.
RC: That’s great advice and I think it’s super helpful for companies to wrap their head around what they’re going to need to engage in the marketing automation strategy.
Question 6 – Why is it important to use marketing automation?
RC: Lastly if you could have a takeaway from today’s discussion, why do you feel it’s important for businesses to use marketing automation – in your words.
Jonathan Graves: It all comes down to me to leverage- increasing your leverage. Let’s face it, it’s a very, very competitive marketplace out there today. Just do a google search for your industry and your market and you’ll see how competitive it is. It’s very difficult if not borderline impossible for businesses to compete and successfully win over time if they don’t increase their leverage. You can do that by using marketing automation to increase a higher percentage of your leads and also create a stronger goodwill loyalty with your market.
Abraham Lincoln said (it’s just one of my favorite quotes, “If it takes six hours to chop down a tree, I’ll spend the first four sharpening the ax.” I always kind of loved that quote and I refer it back to marketing automation a lot.
So a lot of our clients come in and they’re like “Jonathan I’m ready to grow; let’s start buying some ads” and it’s actually the last thing you should do- is buy. I tell all of our customers stop buying advertisements, stop buying ads. This is coming from a marketing guy you know, I spent my life buying ads and testing and tweaking and doing all that. So I would stop buying all ads and get this stuff in place to have a system to follow up with your leads. Doesn’t need to be crazy, doesn’t need to be over the top, this crazy marketing system. Just have a systematic way of following up with your best stuff on all new leads and communicating with them with good valuable content over time.
If you do that, you’ll not only increase a higher percentage of your leads but you’ll create a stronger brand loyalty and ultimately deliver more goodwill out in the marketplace because you’re building relationships. Long term relationships over time which will drive more referrals and increase retention rates from your current audience and also allow you to just build your network a lot faster and with a lot less effort then if you’re constantly having to drive new people into your world.
RC: That’s really great advice. Thank you so much Jonathan for sharing all that information with us and we know you have a busy schedule so I want to thank you for your time and your help today.
Jonathan Graves: Thank you Liz, it was a pleasure.
RC: For our listeners across the country if you’re interested in speaking with Jonathan you can either go online to www.localgold.com or call 1-800-850-0493 to schedule an appointment with Jonathan.
On behalf of our entire team here at razorcast™ we want to thank you for listening and we look forward to bringing you more top quality content from our country’s leading industry professionals.