668: Why Optimization is Overrated w/ Josh Mendelsohn

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

In this episode we talk to Josh Mendelsohn, VP of Marketing at Privy.

Click here to connect with this guest on LinkedIn.

Are you struggling to come up with original content weekend and week out? Start a podcast, interview your ideal clients, let them talk about what they care about most, and never run out of content ideas again. Learn more at sweetfish MEDIACOM. You're listening to the BETB growth show, a podcast dedicated to helping betb executives achieve explosive growth. Whether you're looking for techniques and strategies or tools and resources, you've come to the right place. I'm James Carberry and I'm Jonathan Green. Let's get into the show. Welcome back to the BB growth show. We are here today with Josh Mendelssohn. He is the VP of marketing at Privy. Josh, how you doing today? I'm doing great. How are you? I am wonderful. So, Josh, we're going to be talking today about something that I think is going to shock a lot of people. We're talking about this idea of optimization being overrated. And you...

...guys, this isn't just something that you guys say, you guys are living this. Your Business is grown dramatically, kind of flying in the face of this traditional idea that you know, you got to optimize everything, and so I'm excited to dive into the story about. Before we do, can you explain to us just a little bit about privy and what you're, in your humor, up to over there? Sure. So we are a software company, software as a service, and we provide and marketing automation too small and medium sized businesses, sort of in the way of on site pop ups, another displays along with triggered emails designed to help our customers grow their email list, drive online sales and, for a lot of merchants, produced cart abandonments. Love it to just you know, is we're talking offline about this idea of optimization being overrated. He said something to me that was very interesting. You said, you know, we as marketers, we settle for these two to three percent conversion rates really because we don't know what else to expect.

We don't have any other kind of benchmark to to run against, and so we just end up settling for two to three percent conversion rates on our sites. But you guys have actually seen substantially better results in that. Can you kind of walk us through this idea? Yeah, sure. So, you know, I think a lot about online conversion and you know, I think there's a bunch of things that we know as marketers. You know, first of all, we know that not everyone who's visiting our website is looking for the same thing. We know that we should be creating these more targeted, relevant experiences, but we also know that, like, Hey, no one's going to get fired if we have this two to three percent conversion rate, even though we also know that, like, that's not very good. Like if you were in a in a store and a trade show booth and you only got the email at us of two percent of the people who walked up, I mean you get fired for that, right. Yeah, you know, I but it's so many, so many marketers answer that problem with this...

...like we're just going to spend more money to drive more people to our site. We're going to hold our two percent, hold our three percent and we're just kind of it's a mass equation, right. So most marketers sort of fall into two three buckets, and you know, as a marketer, I've certainly been guilty of these at times too well, where the first is sort of this idea of being frozen right where I just don't know what to do, so I'm going to do nothing and they let my website or or whatever, or my direct sales team do all the selling and walk away. The second group is sort of this one size fits all group where they're like Hey, I'm going to put up, you know, one message for everyone and it's going to be great. And then the third and I think on the Bob Marketing side this is where too many of us are fall is this sort of overoptimized group where every lever is being people are trying to find tune every single lever. So instead of saying, you know, which just doesn't scale very well, so I've got a landing page for every ad and I'm optimizing...

...the ad, optimizing the audience and I'm optimizing the landing page. And at the end of the day all you're doing is trying to optimize for these tin of little portions of your audience when in fact there's really big opportunities to say these are the top two or three sources for me. I'm going to create a relevant message for them and I'M gonna drive them to conversion through each part of the funnel, so at the top, the middle, on the bottom. Could you walk us through, just just to give us kind of a real practical look at what this looks like. So for your own business, obviously you guys are be to be what did this look like as you guys were drinking your own champagne, if you will, and doing your sensel? Yeah, sure, so. You know, for us, one of the big keys to our growth as a business has been integrating with shop of by. So we have tons of shop of by merchants who use privy in their stores and we try to look at that. Said, okay, this is first of all, this is awesome. They're growing like crazy, we're growing...

...like crazy, but also that's a different type of traffic that's coming to our website. They already know a little bit about us. So what we've done is we've created specific pop up messages that if someone has been to our shop of by APP store page, they're getting a different message when they hit there, when they hit our site, and they're being directed to specific things on the site. So they get welcome to we acknowledge that, acknowledge that their shop of my merchant and we drive them directly to sign up for our product or to a specific piece of content that relates to the shop of by experience. Right. We're not we're not getting micro underneath that. But what we're saying for that audience is we understand what you're doing. We're going to be specific, but we're not going to create we're not going to Overdo it. You know, you can create a pop up message and, you know, a couple of minutes, as opposed to these highly optimized landing pages. And then we take that same audience and we get them into an email nurture flow and we also use use that audience to create retargeting lists based on both the...

...fact that they've been to the shop of by page as well as if they've signed up for a shop of five related asset where then plugging that back in. So we're using rechargeting and we're using email to drive them back to our site. Gotta. And so, as a result of that type of the personalization based on a big portion of the people that are coming to you guys, a site like what do you guys notice from a conversion standpoint, based on doing right? So, yeah, so we're seeing well over twenty percent conversion on those types of things, which is, you know, it's a highly qualified audience, but we're seeing, instead of two to three, we're seeing, you know, well over twenty percent conversion on that traffic and we've done that with a couple other of our key audiences to where we're able to say this is worth spending the effort on and we'll get, you know, ten, fifteen, twenty percent conversion on those and just say, you know...

...what, for these smaller traffic audiences it's just, you know, we're a small team. We're not going to invest the resources to focus on that. We're going to give them a good experience, but it's not going to be as personalized or as optimized. For several years now I've been using a graphic design service called Capa Ninety nine. You've probably heard me talk about them on the show before, because it's one of the best investments we've ever made in our business. For just three hundred ninety nine bucks a month you can get unlimited graphic design. Seriously, it really is unlimited. You can have them design your infographics, case studies and all of your blog posts and social media graphics. They even do t shirt designs, email signatures and book layouts. So head over to BB growth showcom design and sign up for their fifteen day free trial. That's BB growth showcom design. You're going to love it. All right, let's get back to this interview. So you guys, obviously...

...you know figured out a lot of traffic was coming to your site from, you know, from shopify. Could you share maybe some other personas it just to give some more ideas to the folks listening to get them thinking about okay, what? What are the big kind of buckets of traffic that are coming to us? Sure. So, Google ad words is another good example for us where we basically have two types of ads that we run. The first is very product centric and that's actually a big driver of traffic for us. So when those folks are coming from from those big ad sets that we run, we're able to give them a very product specific message that a connect to the ad that they've seen and pushes them directly to sign up instead of having them brows around the site. So that's one way that we do it, whereas there are some other keywords to drive a little bit of traffic and they're worth doing, but they're fine with a with a more generic experience. We do the same thing on facebook when we're pushing our content. When someone hits...

...our site from one of those ads, you know we're directing them to the continent they've been looking for or some other related resources instead of pushing them to, you know, assign up. So, understanding what those big groups are, we're able to give them a relevant message, again without creating dozens of land of optimized landing pages for it makes sense. Makes Sense. So and because of this, you know, the retargeting that you guys are doing, the messaging that you guys are doing, based on these personas, you've been able to grow without growing any normous sales team. Can you elaborate on that for us? Sure so. You know, I've certainly worked at high growth companies where the growth strategy is let's hire more bedrs, right, let's let's get a bunch of twenty two year old pound on the phones, and that's how we're going to grow. What we've been able to do because we have a premium model and we've taken this approach of getting as many people, you know, converting as many people into into users as possible. We're able then...

...to see how they're using the product, what they're integrating with and give our one, you know, the one member of our direct sales team. He's still well informed by the time he's actually picking up the phone to call these guys, that he can tell what the commerce platform they're using, what email service provider they're using, what they're their traffic volume is, all through information we're able to gather, so he's not wasting his time with people who would never possibly buy. That's incredible. And so you see, you said that there is one person on the direct sales team. Yep, there's one. We made triple that, two, three over the course of the year, which is like nothing, nothing for a Bob Company. You know, I think. I think we want to take her. We're taking a very steady approach to growth, but we know that direct sales is, you know, a little bit of gravy for us and there's a certain kind of buyer that requires that. But we get plenty of, you know, pretty established businesses...

...who like to use privy as a self serve tool and we're totally fine with that. I love it. This is this has been incredible, Josh. I think it's definitely going to be an episode that our listeners enjoy and learn a lot from. I appreciate you sharing your story. If there's somebody listening to this they want to learn more about U sty connected with you or learn more about privy. What's the best way for them to go about doing that? And you can certainly hit me up on Linkedin or on twitter. I'm at Mendelsohn. Underscore, Josh, and that we are at privycom. Then on all the social channels, at Privy on twitter, get privy on facebook, and we're playing around with with instagram where we feature a bunch of customer stories as well, and that's just instagram flash privy. Love it awesome. Josh will, thank you so much for your time today. This has been fantastic, so I really appreciate it. Man, thanks a lot, James Seven. Great Day. There are lots of ways to build a community and...

...we've chosen to build the BEDB growth community through this podcast. But because of the way podcasts work, it's really hard to engage with our listeners and without engagement it's tough to build a great community. So here's what we've decided to do. We're organizing small dinners across the country with our listeners and guests. No sales pitches, no agenda, just great conversations with like minded people. Will Talk Business, will talk family, will talk goals and dreams will build friendships. So if you'd like to be a part of a BB growth dinner in a sitting near you, go to be tob growth dinnerscom. That's Bob Growth dinnerscom. Thank you so much for listening. Until next time.

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