Travis Ketchum is the founder of Campaign Refinery and Contest Domination. That's the tool we use for contests, and he's helped over 20,000 business owners grow and manage profitable e-mail lists.
NOTE: Complete transcript available at the bottom of the page.
Screw The Commute Podcast Show Notes Episode 126
KickStart Guide to Viral Marketing – https://screwthecommute.com/viral
Internet Marketing Training Center – https://imtcva.org/
Higher Education Webinar – https://screwthecommute.com/webinars[04:24] Tom's introduction to Travis Ketchum [05:33] What to watch out for [08:55] Behind the Contest Domination platform [15:46] Starting from “humble” beginnings [19:00] How to develop a contest [36:54] Sponsor message [38:40] Being recognized by his voice! [41:18] A typical day for Travis and how he stays motivated
Higher Education Webinar – It's the second webinar on the page: https://screwthecommute.com/webinars
Screw The Commute – https://screwthecommute.com/
Screw The Commute Podcast App – https://screwthecommute.com/app/
Know a young person for our Youth Episode Series? Send an email to Tom! – firstname.lastname@example.org
Have a Roku box? Find Tom's Public Speaking Channel there! – https://channelstore.roku.com/details/267358/the-public-speaking-channel
How To Automate Your Business – https://screwthecommute.com/automatefree/
Campaign Refinery – https://campaignrefinery.com/
Contest Domination – https://contestdomination.com/
Top Talent – https://www.toptal.com/
Travis on Twitter – https://twitter.com/travisketchum/
Via email: email@example.com
KickStart Guide to Viral Marketing – https://screwthecommute.com/viral
Internet Marketing Training Center – https://imtcva.org/
Heather Parady – https://screwthecommute.com/125/
Paid Traffic – https://screwthecommute.com/127/
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The WordPress Ecourse. Learn how to Make World Class Websites for $20 or less. https://www.GreatInternetMarketing.com/wordpressecourse
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Episode 126 – Travis Ketchum
[00:00:07] Welcome to Screw the Commute. The entrepreneurial podcast dedicated to getting you out of the car and into the money, with your host, lifelong entrepreneur and multimillionaire, Tom Antion.
[00:00:23] Hey everybody it's Tom here with episode 126 of screw the commute podcast. I got here a great guy his name is Travis Ketchum and this guy is responsible for over twenty nine million contest entries and probably more than that by now. So we've got kind of the king of contests here today but he's got another really great invention he's going to talk to you about a little bit later. All right. Our last episode was Heather Parady and I really apologized to her I called her perAdy on the show it's parady. I just met her and I have to say she's a very inspiring young woman who came from humble beginnings and really made something out of herself very inspiring. So listen that when you get a chance episode 125 now our youth program is in full swing. We're looking for young people that are doing entrepreneurial things and when I say young that's maybe up to about the early 20s if they're older than that they might be a candidate for our regular podcast. So if you know anyone they can get in touch with me at firstname.lastname@example.org and you of course see that in the show notes. All right I've got a big freebie to thank you for listening to this podcast. It's the twenty seven dollar e-book called how to automate your business. And just just one of the tips in this e-book is saved me over seven million keystrokes and that's. We figured that out a couple years ago. That's probably at least seven point five million by now. And I also have another little gift there for you I'll surprise you with when you go over to screwthecommute.com/automatefree. Our podcast app is in the iTunes store you can also go to screwthecommute.com/app where we have complete instructions on how to use it and all the fancy features so you can take us with you on the road and if you get a chance go over to iTunes and leave us a review and a rating and hey tell just one person about this that wants to start a business or improve the business they have and I swear they'll thank you for it. So the show is growing rapidly and we want you to help out your friends with it. All right. Let's see or on demand TV channel was up on both Roku TV and Amazon Fire our first channel is the public speaking channel. We have several others coming. Brutal self-defense protection dogs elite and various internet marketing channels. So if you have a Roku device or an Amazon fire stick. I mean it's a really good deal you can get thousands of channels just under your Wi-Fi connection. A lot of people are getting rid of cable and you can hook up your regular stuff your Netflix and other things right through the same device and my channel's probably got a hundred thousand dollars worth of free public speaking training on there and professional speaking training. So check out the public speaking channel on either Roku or Amazon Fire. All right now let's get to our sponsor how to get thousands of people to share your content and send and send you money. I've got a book called Kickstart viral and it's extremely inexpensive it's an 80 page e-book training blueprint and it thoroughly covers the three main techniques we use to go viral and the guy on today is one of them's one of our main ways. And there's nothing hocus pocus by going viral. I mean the mechanisms are proven and they work and you'll really be a believer after you hear Travis today. The e-book has lots of screen captures showing examples of all the techniques you can and you can build your thing just exactly like are mine and just put your information in. Because I've got all the screen captures in there of what you need to emulate. And anyway I don't buy an overly priced expensive course on this. You can get this e-book and then you can use some of Travis's tools and really go crazy with contests and quizzes and things like that. All right so check that out at screwthecommute.com/viral.
[00:04:27] All right. Let's bring on the main event Travis Ketchum. He's the founder of Campaign refinery and contest domination. That's the tool we use for contests and he's helped over 20000 business owners grow and manage profitable e-mail lists so Travis are you ready to screw. The commute.
[00:04:47] I'm so ready.
[00:04:49] All right. Well I'm glad that we caught up. It's been there have been quite a while. And I know you're doing great things in that. So tell everybody what you what you've been doing and then we'll take you back a little later to the how you got started.
[00:05:03] Sure I mean I've been real focused since about 2012 on marketing tools that make a dramatic shift in people's email growth and management. So for a good portion of that since 2012 has been as you know contests with contest domination for the last seven years or so and over the last few years we've been building marketing automation tool called Campaign refinery that is really focused on deliverability and conversion tools to how people really get the most out of their e-mail list.
[00:05:35] Yeah. And let's say let's talk about the contest a little bit now because you know there are some some Web sites and attorneys out there that scare you to death about having a contest that you might accidentally step over the line and become illegal. Can you expand on that a little bit of what people need to watch out for.
[00:05:54] Sure. Well I'll preface by saying that I am not a lawyer or attorney.
[00:05:57] Right. Right. We don't even play them on podcasts.
[00:06:01] Yeah. But that being said you know with few exceptions there's a few states that you want to look out for and we try to point out some those pitfalls in our you know easy rule builder that we include in contest domination.
[00:06:14] That was very helpful because I was trying to look all over the place to come up with rules and the that that really saved a lot of hassle.
[00:06:23] Right. Yeah. So I mean it was written by you know a legal entity to begin with but obviously you can't adapt to everyone's situation. But short of you know Rhode Island and a few other sort of weird ones where the threshold is really low right before you have to start filing for all these other things the vast majority of states are actually pretty lax on this whole scenario. As long as you're acting in good faith and you're not boasting insane claims you know I'm saying you're going over a million dollars in cash or whatever. Generally speaking you're OK. I think what people really kind of misunderstand is that most contests and giveaways don't require paid entry. That's the biggest thing that people generally want to look out for because paid entry is considered really a paid lottery. And I have a sneaking suspicion that that's illegal in many states because it's a revenue system for those different entities which is why they don't want any competition. You know for the different lotteries and whatnot paid lotteries but when it's you know a game of chance a game of skill all those kind of things you're generally pretty good on that around the world for the most part. Where essentially someone is just entering their information for a chance to win and then the skill component can indeed be answering you know solving a math problem or doing additional questions like that. And then there's also the skill and chance of referring your friends to get more entries. So a lot of those kind of check the boxes for what most entities are looking for to be a valid contest that you're allowed to run pretty freely.
[00:07:56] Yeah. So you just have to be overly afraid of doing this. I mean the upside to this is far far bigger. I mean far times a hundred bigger than taking care of these little details to stay kosher right.
[00:08:11] Yeah. I mean we always encourage everyone to you know if you're going to be running a pretty substantial campaign check with Legal Counsel but you can find that for a pretty reasonable price you know hundreds to maybe a thousand dollars you can get someone to review the actual contest rules that we generate for you you know even big companies like Digital Marketer that have attorneys on staff permanently said that they edited like you know half of two sentences to meet their particular needs as an example. So I said we're not attorneys or lawyers but we'll put you in a really good place to do a lot of that legwork in the upfront so that even when you do go to a lawyer they just kind of shrug their shoulders and say I'd maybe change a few little things for your scenario but it's you know 15 minutes of work as opposed to a full day.
[00:08:57] Yeah. And I've been selling online for 25 years since the commercial Internet and I have never heard of any lawsuits about this. For people that are just you know like is that in good faith and doing you know just running the contest. So so nothing to worry about there. But tell me a little bit about your platform and how it makes it so easy to do this.
[00:09:18] Sure so the premise behind contest domination when it first got started was to focus on the business result of generating more leads. Because that you remember back in 2012 there were a lot of contests apps we were not the first contest app by a mile to come out. But at that time the overwhelming majority of the marketplace gave equal weight to sharing the contest not for the end result of the actual referral.
[00:09:46] And so they would give you you know maybe 10 points just for sharing it on Facebook just for sharing it on Twitter just for sharing on LinkedIn or whatever. And what we found is two things One is that it was not fair because if you ask someone to share to a dead Twitter account you're giving them the same number of points as someone who might share to actually 5 million real followers. So it wasn't weighted and incentivized people to actually share to a real audience. The second thing was with those tools at the time when they gave you points just for sharing. There was no incentive to leave it up so you could go share the thing get the points and then immediately go delete your tweet delete your Facebook post. And so it didn't give you the business metrics that you really wanted which was more leads.
[00:10:27] So people game the system they just put it up there and get rid of it in a hurry.
[00:10:31] Sure. And you can't really blame them. You give them the tools and mechanics and make it really obvious on how to do what they want but not what the business wants and that's what users are going to do. And so what we did is we built a system that uses a multi-step process where we ask users to invite their friends via e-mail share in different social networks. But the difference is we don't give any points just for the act of sharing. What we do is we get points when a referral occurs. So by default you know someone may get one entry for entering themselves but for every friend that they can actually get to click through one of their unique links because they're all unique and they're all tracked. It gives them by default 10 additional entries for every actual successful referral. So you know you refer one person you have you know eleven times better chance of winning the contest than you had before. And it goes up in increments of 10 or you can edit that if you want but there's always different ways that only counts when someone actually enters the contest through one of their links.
[00:11:34] I can't remember is that a mandatory double opt in or can it be single opt in. I can't remember about that.
[00:11:42] So we actually give the administrator of the contest the option so you can either automatically confirm all entries. So as soon as they enter the information hit submit it can be greenlit and then eligible to be chosen as a winner or to be confirmed and eligible to chosen as a winner. You can require a double opt in. So you can either let our system run that confirmation email for you or we give you a special link that you can put in your autoresponder to be you know only when a user clicks this special unique link. Will then confirm them so that we know that we have the right information and everything's good. We actually find that a huge percentage want to give their real information because you say hey we contact you from the information you get us. So make sure you give us your best e-mail your best phone number your best address whatever that may be.
[00:12:29] Yeah because in the in the industry when people sign up for freebies and lead magnets and all that stuff a lot of thought they just use a crap email just to get it and then they never see any of your stuff again. So you're telling them ahead of time hey you know you'll never get notified if you win if you put a crap email address.
[00:12:48] Exactly. You want to be something that they want to be part of the monitor because a lot of times you know a lot of our customers choose to say hey if you don't respond within 24 hours we pick someone else.
[00:12:57] So. Exactly. Puts some urgency on it and they go they go as they stay on it. So. So keeping track of this stuff. I mean when people tried to do this prior to you. Oh man nightmare. So so your your platform keeps track of everything right.
[00:13:15] Yeah. We keep track of everything we actually have a fraud detection system to actually create a fraud probability score for every single lead that enters based on their IP address you know which includes what country they're from. Have they entered other contests previously. Then we start looking at their downline referrals. What percentage of those become confirmed how many of those are actually sending referrals or are they looking like they're real organic referrals. How many of them bounce How many pass validation and we come up with this big fraud score right and if someone tips that we actually can automatically banned them from not only your contest but all future contests that they may try to enter with the same information on contest domination and we have actually pretty sophisticated ways of detecting some pretty wild ways that people have tried to game a system. So you're getting referral tracking you're getting fraud detection and then obviously we handle the subscription for actually adding that contact information to whatever email list service or contact management service you're using to then follow up with them with your own E-mails.
[00:14:18] Yeah. Oh that's the. I mean even one of those things would be virtually impossible for any kind of volume to track and figure out and I imagine there's been people that create that bots to try to beat the content systems.
[00:14:33] For sure. But like I said we have probably got a thousand different data points that we actually analyze in real time for. For every entry that gives us a pretty accurate Fraud Score I mean you're never going to be 100 percent bullet proof and you're never going to have your bands be 100 percent correct. But over time we've gotten better and better and better and more and more reliable about you know when it makes that decision automatically and then we always have the ability to manually review for hey this person has you know 100 times more referrals than everyone else. We can look at and that gives a sense sort of a new fingerprint on ways that people may be legitimately or illegitimately trying to game the system and it allows us to then update our system and update our process.
[00:15:14] Yeah and this is what why folks you don't want to get a two dollar contest program or free one and then run a big contest in the 98 percent of it is fake and you put all this effort in and you've gotten nothing out of it basically so so. So how did they how did they check this out. You have a free trial.
[00:15:36] Yeah there's a seven day no credit card required trial for contest domination and so if they want to check that out they can just go to contestdomination.com and put in their information and check out the system kick the tires and see what they think.
[00:15:48] Yeah. We'll have it the show notes for them too so let's take you back a little bit because you kind of started this with humble beginnings. Is that a fair statement.
[00:15:59] In a lot of respects if you go back just a little bit further I mean when I was in high school what whatnot I grew up on a goat dairy. So you know it's it's kind of night and day I've always been interesting in technology and marketing and business and I started my own company you know building computers and drop shipping them on eBay and that kind of stuff in high school actually which paid for a portion of my college I went to college had fun. You had a sort of normal enterprise I.T. desk job sort of a help desk ended up building a couple of million dollar video system for them that replaced their TV system at the time. By the time I left but it was very much sort of a traditional hey let's make some more money let's pay rent and be able to buy some beer and that kind of thing. I'd say that the normal college priorities. Yeah that was in college. And I did have a brief stint at a normal job which I know you want to touch on a little bit but you know when contest domination started I didn't really have much of an email list or an audience you know. And I just had this idea that I needed to build my own. That was because I've been in client work at that point after I had transitioned out of a normal desk job into a client role which was basically switching one paycheck for another. And then I realized you know I hate the shoemaker's kids have no shoes kind of scenario. I'm I'm building a a million dollar a month funnel for my clients and I have like you know a hundred e-mail subscribers on my list. So I wanted to build my own list as fast as possible and cobble together a few bucks and put some money on a credit card to get a kind of a minimal viable product built up a WordPress plugin.
[00:17:42] So you built the plugin.
[00:17:45] Yeah. I hired someone to build this plugin for my own use. And then when I went from you know one hundred and twenty whatever subscribers I had at the time to a couple thousand subscribers in like two weeks I thought Oh wow. I'm really onto something and that's when I decided to try to put a little bit of a packaging around it so that it could actually be sold and then that Wordpress plugin once we sold the first eight or ten thousand copies I said OK. Now I need to make this a real business. And so I put all that money and built it all over from scratch as a software as a service which is what it has then morphed into today.
[00:18:18] So actually the twenty nine million figure of entries was from after it was software service. Right.
[00:18:30] It was real basic you know because if we didn't have as many analytics and stuff as we'd like and we're actually well north of that twenty nine million entries at this point on the SaaS and that but that is again just the SaaS.
[00:18:41] SaaS everybody is software as a service.
[00:18:44] Yes sorry. Yeah. Yeah. But you know it's probably not unrealistic to think based on the you know a few sort of sample sizes we have of the WordPress customers that we're probably more like you know somewhere in the range of 80 to 100 million.
[00:19:01] Right yeah. Yeah. So. So tell people what they should do. Let's say they have your your service how they start developing a contest.
[00:19:11] Yeah. So when you develop a contest you want to think about what's a prize that's going to be relevant to what I want to do and sell.
[00:19:17] That's really important right. Because right a lot of nobodies if you just kick ass or an iPod or iPhone or something. Yeah. People just waiting and then leave room.
[00:19:28] Exactly you want a prize that actually disqualifies most of the marketplace from what we think about what qualifies them like what disqualifies the people you don't want. So you want some that your core Avatar gets really excited about and then you want to run it for a limited time.
[00:19:43] Core avatar. That's your best looking customer. Here on Screw The Commute we call ourselves screwballs we got a lot of beginners and people build the business so Avatar is this your whoever your best customer would be.
[00:20:01] Yeah. You know what are they. What are they like what are their hopes. Well their desires what are they trying to accomplish. And you think of a prize that will help them do any of those things better faster or less expensive. And those are usually sort of a good starting criteria.
[00:20:15] For me like you know I did one on public speaking which most people hate. So I didn't want to give a cash prize or some tablet or iPhone or something because people people would join to win and then they disappear and never hear from me again. And then all that effort was wasted. So I gave a prize that was specifically public speaking related and even though it wasn't as big a contest as some other you know better topic it was very very targeted. And that's what I want.
[00:20:45] Yeah. I always encourage people to think you know a list of 100 people that are salivating for what you want is way better than a list of a million people that don't give two craps about what you're selling. Like like we had this person use our tool that they actually sell tractors farm equipment. John Deere tractor as lawnmowers et cetera and they're like how are we gonna get as many people in as we can and against our advice. They decided to give away Super Bowl tickets and a trip to the Super Bowl. And like no results. And then they ran a second contest. They gave away a riding lawnmower. And they had like you know one tenth of one percent of people enter and they actually sold product from it. So it's all about you know targeting there. And the second component is you want it to be a limited time thing. So you know the sweet spot tends to be between two and four weeks if you let it run too long. People will forget that they actually entered your contest they're going to lose interest they're going to fatigue from the offer and you're going to sort of get diminishing returns and then it means that your end of contest offer is going to get a lot less eyeballs because people have forgotten or lost interest. So that 2 to 4 week period is enough time for people to stay excited about it stay competitive stay engaged keep referring people and then you can get them that release of letting them know who won who didn't and then making a special offer to convert them to a customer.
[00:22:17] That that the ending part is important because for the people that didn't win or you you win I thought I have a thing in my book about I think I got it from you about even before the contest is over people will buy stuff. I have a page that says hey I never win anything. You know here's the deal for you. They bought stuff and didn't even try to win.
[00:22:39] Yeah precisely. You know sometimes you can say hey you know if you buy this now you're guaranteed a certain discount and if you win I'll just refund your money back or you can say if you buy it now not only if you win why refund you but buying it maybe gives you a hundred additional entries into the contest so there's there's different ways you can game that.
[00:22:58] Yeah yeah. Training on your site for this.
[00:23:01] Oh yeah. We have all kinds of training there is on a on contestdomination.com you're gonna see a free e-book called the contest funnel formula which gives you kind of a infographic workflow in several different case study examples that you can read to to get inspired.
[00:23:16] Beautiful. All right so tell us about this new thing you're working on. How how far along that.
[00:23:22] Yeah. So the new platform is a marketing automation platform. So you know we think about contests are great for generating leads but all the magic happens when you sell to those leads right because the two things you really need as far as assets is a list that cares about what you do and the ability to sell to them. And so we have covered the ability to generate and grow lists and improve and compound those results with contests. But we weren't real happy with a lot of the tools for managing those lists because they lacked in sort of two key areas one of those was deliverability until they held you hostage on the way that they sent email and deliverability isn't just did the email bounce or not deliverability it the ticket to their inbox or not. And the second component of that is conversions what tools can you put in that gives you different levers as a business owners to to convince your prospects to buy now. Because we don't give the reason to buy and now they'll kick the can put it off like other than your top most raving fans a lot of people need a reason to buy today.
[00:24:23] So if you don't get them to buy today 600 other marketers will get them by tomorrow.
[00:24:28] Exactly. So we looked at the landscape and we were we were longtime Infusionsoft users and we were frustrated by it they would claim you know ninety nine percent deliverability.
[00:24:39] It's like you know we have a nickname for them. That's. probably confusion. I'll use that.
[00:24:49] But we were even longtime users and we really tried to make it work and the idea at the time when we switched to them was appealing. And all in one solution. But the reality of the all in one solution is the people that try to do landing pages and check and check out software and marketing automation and all these other things is that they end up being the jack of all trades in the master of none. And so as we set up these really powerful on paper campaigns we found that they flat out just didn't work like they were supposed to even paying Infusionsoft employees themselves like you know blessed by Infusionsoft paying them to set up what it should have done. We found that it only worked about 50 percent of the time and I don't mean it was only affected 50 percent of the time. I mean it only worked at all 50 percent of the time you know ways to add and remove access to an offer or to do some sort of simplistic automatic segmenting and things that know where people could raise their hand and go through this interesting customer journey. It just didn't work. And we were frustrated by the lack of support that either would straight up lie or tell us that it was our fault or in one case which was the straw that broke the camel's back was we had this system in place that was supposed to do basically a flash three day sale that we had paid their employees to help us set up and it works less than 50 percent of the time and support's answer was good luck finding anything better. And as and as a software guy I'm like oh well okay I guess I'll have to build something better right. And so instead of trying to build it all in one solution we decided to be really laser focused on just building the best automation tool that we could. And so what campaign refinery does that's different is for starters we manage our contacts but your e-mails are actually sent by email delivery services and what that means is that you always have complete control over the sender score and the way that your email is sent I know is a little technical probably some of the audience but it means that if at any point you aren't happy with the deliverability of your email it's literally a couple clicks to split test that against any other service and we can automatically pick the winner for you right now if you're using an e-mail tool and you aren't getting the opens and clicks that you expect in order to test someone else. That means you have to export all of your contacts reimport them rewrite your emails.
[00:27:14] If you even can because you know not everybody lets you just import a list with enormous trouble and almost everybody loses tons of their percentage of subscribers in the process. And also to say what the whatever you said about Confusionsoft of it was your opinion. They just got a thousand lawyers that don't want to do that. But yeah. So yeah but I've heard lots of people come to me from all the students I've had that got sucked into it and had similar experiences. So yeah I'm thrilled to hear about this thing you got because I've never heard all the years I've been doing this. Never heard of anybody with this kind of functionality.
[00:28:00] Exactly. Because right now as you mentioned even if you can bring all of your list which as you mentioned is not always guaranteed even if you can bring it with you. There's a ton of work a ton of headache and heartache and you're not even guaranteed that the results be better and if they if they aren't or if they're only marginally better and you wanna try it again you have to start the whole process over and it's extremely painful. And even then. You're basically trading you know what you know yellow for blue. I guess it's it's sort of a different shade of the same sort of thing because what is effectively happening on most e-mail providers is they have a small number of IP addresses that all of their customers send from. So what that means is that even if you do everything right as a business owner you take care of your list you send them good content you know you don't spam them you're not buying leads you're doing everything right. If somebody else that's a customer of that same platform does something naughty. That can affect your ability to reach your customers even though you did nothing wrong on that.
[00:29:00] And that will absolutely affect it just can because if you're on that same IP address from that server bank you're screwed.
[00:29:09] Precisely. So what we've done by separating the automation brain side of things from this sort of a whole sale you know systems that can just sort of send e-mail when you tell them to which is what our platform does it tells with these systems to send the right e-mail at the right time. That means that literally in a couple clicks and even you can set up a split testing center broadcast you can say provider A versus provider B whichever one has the most clicks after two hours send all remaining emails to the winner. It's literally that simple and you're always in control and you never have to rewrite an email redo a delay timer is all your business logic all your forms your shopping cart integrations all that stays the same. So you take all the pain all the expense and all the headache out of the process of improving your deliverability.
[00:29:58] You must have taken up magic. So how did you make this happen with all these different providers and get them to agree to it.
[00:30:09] Well there's actually a lot of companies out there that just want to send e-mail. They don't want to necessarily do all the business logic because sending email is hard. Building the business logic is hard. And so what you find is people are only good at one or the other. And so we're not even pretending to try to be good at the e-mail sending part. Instead we're partnering with what in some cases is actually what's powering the back end of some of these other services. And instead of marking up the price along the way we're allowing you to pay wholesale. So think of it like this our system is like the iPhone and all these other all these other services are like the carriers. But imagine if you could only use the carrier they gave you the best service at the cheapest price at all times.
[00:30:48] Would that be nice. That's right. Yeah.
[00:30:54] Yeah. So that was that was solving the deliverability problem the second part is it was too slow even for experienced marketers to get a great campaign up and running. And so some different platforms have mastered the idea of like being able to have like sort of starter campaigns but they're usually really vanilla and really basic. Right. It's like oh here's a standard send an email wait a day send an email wait a day kind of thing right. What we did is we built a really awesome campaign library that has proven campaigns with proven swipe copy a proven structure that literally in one click it copies everything over it creates the tags it adds and the email copy forms all the automation logic is there so that all you then after easy as user have to do is edit what the emails say and replace the links that's it.
[00:31:46] And this is this is crazy crazy. Amazing. Yeah I'm there. You know I've been around a long time. I've never heard anything like this. It seems like an enterprise kind of thing where the fifty thousand a month you have this.
[00:32:01] But it's not. We actually made it super affordable and because we allow you to pay for your email volume separately which is really cheap. I mean you look at some of our providers it's like 10 cents per thousand e-mail sent. I mean it's a really really inexpensive and by separating that we are able to actually charge a flat rate for our tool with unlimited contacts of just ninety seven bucks a month.
[00:32:24] Been really stressing over this actually over the past year because I mean I made fortunes on email and then I started the checking open and delivery rates and I'm thinking oh I've been asleep at the wheel a little bit. Things go downhill so I've been actively looking for ways to improve this. But it's like you said it's such a hassle. And I even sent a list through a cleaning service and went from 38000 down to eight thousand on one list. You know that's so. So this is really some kind of innovation here. You get some awards for this.
[00:33:09] Well you know I've been working on it behind the scenes for about three years when we launched towards the end of last year in beta and then about a month or so ago we came out of beta so. We're still pretty fresh on the scene but we even have some of our customers are sending you know upwards of 10 to 12 million e-mails a week already on our tool. But I want to touch on the three pillars. We have developed deliverability then we have this campaign library concept which speeds up the ability to use that deliverability right. And then the third pillar is conversion tools because if you look at a lot of the existing platforms to make them really setup and saying and do what they need right you need all of these other add on tools for Countdown timers or link management and so those are the kind of things that really work best when they can be baked right into your automation layer. And so it was an important component from our perspective to make all these things work in concert. And so you know we have this idea of campaign links as an example with campaign links. You can essentially deploy evergreen flash sales you can manage evergreen webinars effectively where you can show people certain content forced redirect them when a timer ends you can basically add or remove their access no matter if they went to an old email at a forward the link or whatever all of the access to content offers and bonuses are tied to where they are in their customer journey even if they share the link. So we're not talking about a basic level you know sort of got cookied right. Like you look at a lot of these other countdown timers they're based on a session on one device on one browser and you go outside of that. Things get wonky fast. Ours is actually tied to the contact record inside of Campaign refinery so that we always have a sanity check and it doesn't matter what device what browser or what computer if they shared the link whatever it always is authentic to where they are in your overall customer and prospect pipeline.
[00:35:16] Folks I don't think the average listener realizes how revolutionary what I'm hearing right now I really don't because like I said I have never heard anything like this and this is all I do. Day and night for the past twenty five years. So this is this is really something you ought to get some kind of reward for this.
[00:35:38] Well we're looking into patents for several of our items because we're really truly breaking out a lot of new ground on this and end by not trying to build a shopping cart and not trying to build a landing page provider. It allows each business to think about their specific needs right we're not trying to build a membership tool. We're integrating with the best in class tools out there and we are to integrate you know even natively or through Zapier whatever their support for thousands of these tools already even in this early stage. And so you can use the shopping cart that suits your business model best right. Because if you're e-commerce or you sell info products your needs of a shopping cart are a little different. If you you know want to build a membership area Your needs may be different. Right. If you want to do all these different things you can pick and choose the best tools. Right so you're not getting some vanilla thing that you're paying for kind of by accident because it's an all in one software. You can go out and elect to use the tool that fits the way your brain works the way your business works best. And if you sum it all up you'll actually be paying about the same if not less than a lot of the all-in-one tools but you'll be getting the best in class across the board as opposed to a pretty mediocre experience.
[00:36:55] Folks It's really good we had Travis on now because somebody is going to give him 50 million bucks for this one of these days and then we'll never hear from him again. This is really great. So we got to take a sponsor break and we come back we're going to ask Travis anything crazy has happened and is in his business than what a typical day looks like for him and how he stays motivated.
[00:37:20] So folks do you know with colleges and universities are doing well according to gradeinflation.com they're raising grade point averages to make it look like they're doing a better job of teaching when there's a mountain of evidence that says they aren't. So I really want you to watch the eye opening higher education webinar at screwthecommute.com/webinars to potentially save yourself and possibly your loved ones friends and neighbors hundreds of thousands of dollars of debt when you go for higher education and this is it just me talking and trying to sell my school which I do want to sell to you because it's made a fortune for me. That's it IMTCVA.org but this webinar is all these big shot authors in the education community telling you how screwed up things are and how you're just blowing your money and how the kids are spending eight hours a week only total in class and preparing for class the rest of the times eating and partying. So I'm not sure I'd want to mortgage my house for that anyway. In my school internet marketing training center Virginia you can get a lifestyle business in as little as six months and do the kind of things that Travis is talking about and I'm talking about. So. So check it out. IMTCVA.org and also check out the screwthecommute.com/webinars.
[00:38:43] All right let's get back to Travis. The Mr. revolutionary I'm going to call him now. Anything crazy ever happened. You've been working for yourself for a long time.
[00:38:54] Yeah well I've been working for myself since July 1st 2011 which actually that in and of itself is kind of a funny story because I've just been dating my now wife for a couple months and her dad the doctor was like How is this going to affect your CV you know the whole family's come around but I can understand at the times like you've only been dating my daughter for two months you deadbeat what are you doing by quitting your job. But one of the kind of funny things that that I think sort of highlights the world we live in today for entrepreneurs because for instance our team is completely distributed right. So my people that work for me there in the UK there in Australia they're you know Eastern Europe they're all over the place and so a lot of times I've either never met them or it's been years since I've seen them in person. And so the sort of personal anecdote it wasn't an employee. But I live up in the Pacific Northwest in the Seattle area and we actually have the largest ferry system in the world because there's all kinds of islands out here and a couple summers ago I had some family in town they wanted to go to a place called Friday Harbor which is sort of this bustling town on San Juan Island where a lot of movie stars and stuff have sort of second homes or whatever. And so we're just going to go over there for the day and so we walk on the ferry and get there and we're roaming around and it's like hey what are we gonna do we're let's go get lunch some fish and chips place you know eight blocks or so from the ferry and so we're out there on Friday Harbor you know which is a couple hours away from my house and. We're sitting there having lunch and I get a text and it's a friend of a friend who I played like x box with a couple times who's never seen a photo of me. But we had each other's phone numbers. And he takes me said Are you at so-and-so. Fish and Chips In Friday Harbor. I'm like Yeah. That's creepy. And it turns out I've got apparently sort of a recognizable voice. And he just heard me laughing at the table whatever it was like I'm pretty sure Travis is here he had never seen me never met me in person before but recognized my voice across a little fish and chips place. So you know it sort of adds to the serendipity about you never know who you're going to see where. And it really says about 2019 or whatever now that it's possible to have complete meaningful relationships with people that you may never meet or that you may rarely meet. And so I think that's kind of a quirky little example.
[00:41:21] So OK. So that was a special day were you with the folks. But. So what's a typical day look like for you.
[00:41:28] Yeah. So for me I used to sleep in a little bit more but since we got a year and a half old black lab a few months ago I kind of feel like she's training us more than we're training her. You know I get up in the morning usually I check to see if there's any kind of urgent things on the list from the team or from customers that have been escalated and if they're if there is and I deal with them and if there's not been a little bit of breakfast.
[00:41:55] You're by yourself though in the house with your wife and the dog.
[00:41:59] Yes. So yeah. So I work from home. I have a dedicated office space in the home but I don't I don't have an exterior office an exterior mailing address. But I don't have an exterior office so I'm able to work from home all the time we have a nice big backyard that makes for kind of a comfortable place to hang out. But I always make sure that in the day I get in some kind of exercise whether that's you know a three to six mile walk or it's a 20 to 60 minute bike ride on the peloton inside you know depending on time to get an exercise in kind of get my juices going get some endorphin release and then I get back to work in waves and I'm of the opinion that if I'm being productive then I can stay and work and I stay in work as long as I feel productive. But as I start to feel my productivity fall off there's no sense wasting time in front of the computer and I'm not being productive because the beautiful thing about working for yourself or working from home is that your unit of measurement is productivity not time in a seat in front of the screen. And so as always I'm being productive then I'll be productive and in my wife now has a different schedule as a as a nurse. So whenever she comes home is usually kind of when I check out for the day we make dinner relax maybe watch something on netflix maybe go for an additional walk you know have a barbeque or fire on the backyard and then kind of wind down for the day. But I try to make that more or less a consistent experience with the exception of when we want to travel somewhere. But that's kind of an average day for me.
[00:43:34] So how many people do you have working around the world.
[00:44:22] Now do you have the ability to evaluate their work not on does it do what it's supposed to. But you know you can make things do what they're supposed to but the code is really a mess. You know it's is crazy or it can be nice and clean and somebody else could work on it. You have that ability to evaluate that.
[00:44:42] So I'm not personally a developer but I have two pieces in place that help with that one is toptal does their own rigorous code reviews and code testing. Anyone even gets into the pool. So that is a huge hurdle that that cuts out all those problems.
[00:44:58] Exactly because you know there's tons of places you could get a programmer or but you have no idea what behind the scenes looks like it could be all shiny on the surface and be a total nightmare underneath. So that's really a great feature.
[00:45:13] Yeah. I mean you pay a premium for that but I've had to learn this lesson several times the hard way which is looking at an hourly rate of somebody is not a good way to evaluate what the true cost of the feature will be. Oftentimes I find that the lower the hourly rate ironically the more expensive it's going to be for me to successfully deploy a feature that works for customers be that you know if it's if it's way too low. Not only is the development time way longer because even at you know let's say ten dollars an hour versus one hundred dollars an hour they'll actually spend more than 10 times the amount of time to build the feature in the first place and one hundred dollar an hour guy. And secondly once they do ship the feature it's going to have so many bugs and so many issues that not only is it going to cause heartache and headache in your customers which can increase churn but the raw number of hours you have to pay for them to fix all the things that weren't fixed in the first place. So I would almost every time pick the way more expensive person he gets it done away less time and it's done right the first time. But the second kind of piece that we have in there to assure code quality is I do have a couple consistent long time developers that when we do bring someone new into the fold it's kind of be with us for at least a little while A all of their code gets checked in and reviewed by that person before I can ever get deployed. So we avoid the churn aspect of things.
[00:46:37] Churn means folks that the people bagging out on you and leaving because of it.
[00:46:42] Yeah because they're frustrated because things don't work. You know we don't we don't want to be Infusionsoft. One of you know we're not perfect but you know we do our best to do as much as much quality assurance as we can which we actually have a quality assurance person that's running through and testing features to save time but no code goes out until it's tested and reviewed and then integrated into the way that we do things. So it's a way to sort of clean things up along the process and try to ensure a consistent smooth path moving forward. Like I said you're never perfect but those two things as well as a QA person really help us get to where we're going. Most of the time.
[00:47:19] So working out of your home with the only thing to hang around with is the dog. How do you stay motivated. How do you get the get your motivation.
[00:47:30] You know motivation has never really been a problem for me because even as it is. Yeah. I I always wanted to do things I have I have trouble sitting you know sitting around for too long. You know I would always I was going out washing cars delivering papers buying soda at the grocery store and reselling it for a markup in the ferry line. I mean I was always doing something. And so that combined with the fact that the the work that we're doing with campaign refinery really truly is breaking a lot of ground. And the whole marketing automation space as a whole has really been kind of a laggard in a lot of ways and just sort of twiddling their thumbs. And you know when we surveyed the over 20000 contest domination customers we found that everyone had an e-mail tool and pretty universally nobody liked what they used. And so that alone is enough to get me up and excited and then when we'd launch things like the ability to deploy flash sales on demand evergreen and we get the response from customers saying it's like wow this totally blew my mind. That gives me motivation for the next round of features and it sort of feeds on itself moving forward.
[00:48:40] Awesome. That's that's really great. So how did they get ahold of you and check all this stuff out.
[00:48:45] Yes obviously the two tools that we mentioned is contestdomination.com and then campaignrefinery.com. If you want to reach out to me specifically they can e-mail me which is Travis@campaignrefinery.com and I'm on all the normal social channels. My preference probably being Twitter actually. So just @TravisKetchum and I'd be happy to field any questions anyone might have.
[00:49:20] I've known this guy a long time folks. Never heard one bad thing ever about him or his services or his software all that stuff so that you can be sure he'll take care of you and the only thing I would like when all these kinds of services just put the bug in your ear is big training PDFs that have tons of examples of what other people were doing because a lot of times people get something this sophisticated and they say okay well now I don't know what to do with it you know so with my stuff. So see an examples still to this day for me gets me fired up and gets me using this stuff more because I can emulate what somebody else does just with my info. So that's my two cents worth.
[00:50:10] Well we definitely are working on something like that. It's not quite ready for release but it's called the marketing automation bootcamp. And that'll show you examples and real world tutorials and always different scenarios so I think that we'll definitely scratch that itch for.
[00:50:24] There you go. All right so thanks so much Travis for coming on. We really appreciate it. Make sure everybody checks out your stuff in the show notes. And next episode is 127. I'll give you Paid Traffic tips. It's how to drive immediately targeted traffic without losing your shirt. And how do I know. Well one time I made a ad on a Friday. Got too busy to check it. And Monday I owed Google eight thousand dollars. So trust me folks I know you do not want to lose your shirt on this paid traffic but we kind of gave up on Search Engine Optimization several years ago. It's just too much trouble. So we're gonna go into paid ads and help you with that on our Monday trainings Mondays are trainings and things that have made me or save me a fortune. And on Wednesdays and Fridays we have great people like Travis on to give you there tips. So we will catch y'all on the next episode.
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