Episode Description

Tune into this week’s episode where Chris is joined by a long time friend, Bob Sparkins, to discuss how to leverage education effectively to generate more conversions for SaaS companies. Bob is a former high school history teacher and now the Sales Marketing Manager of the top landing page and website building conversion platform, Leadpages. This episode is filled with so many golden gems and insights, that this very well may solve the missing piece to your business growth you’ve been looking for as a SaaS Founder.

Check Out Our Show Notes

Narrator 0:00
You’re listening to the all systems go podcast, the show that teaches you everything you need to know to put your business on autopilot. Learn how to deploy automated marketing and sell systems in your business the right way with your host, the professor of automation himself and founder of automation bridge, Chris Davis.

Chris Davis 0:31
Welcome everybody to another episode of The all systems go podcast where we interview founders and digital marketers to discuss strategies and software to build automated marketing and sales systems at scale. I’m your host, Chris L. Davis, the founder of automation bridge, and today I have my good friend, Bob sparkins. Bob, the teacher sparkin’s To be exact, and he is the Sales Marketing Manager at LeadPages. And he champions, the customers of the landing page and website building conversion platform in the audience’s they serve. Now Bob is a former high school teacher and academic team coach. He’s taught business owners around the world how to leverage digital marketing to impact more people with less effort since 2006. Where were you at it 2006 listeners just just take a step back in time at 2006. What were you doing, I was just starting my first job at Lockheed Martin in 2006. He’s the author of take action revised later lives in Bloomington, Minnesota with his wife, Teresa, and their amazing kids, Laura and Landon. Bob is here to talk to us about two of my favorite topics, everybody, automation, and education, how to use them both for growth and your business. Bob, welcome to the podcast, longtime come in, how are you doing?

Bob Sparkins 1:57
I’m doing great, Chris, it is a pleasure to spend some time with you, longtime listener of all systems go and a big fan of yours. Fun fact, I don’t know if you have this in mind to share. But you know, I know when you get on a podcast, people are like, this is my friend and blah, blah, blah. And you know, they hardly ever know each other. You were you were on the interview squad when I joined LeadPages in 2014. You you and I go back far enough that I was Bob Jenkins back then. Not even Parkins yet. So it’s really great to connect with you. And it’s been great to be in your space for a long time. Oh, man, what a trip down memory lane. You are correct. I remember that Bob. Oh, wow.

Bob Sparkins 2:41
that you’ve been a part of? Yeah, there’s there’s been a lot of changes. And a lot of things stay the same, right. As you mentioned, I used to be a high school teacher, I started running my own business in 2006. I spent about 10 years doing that, and then decided to jump on board with the LeadPages train after being an affiliate for a while. And back then in 2013 2014. There was you know, we always looked at that map at the beginning of the year of the MAR tech space, you remember, and there was you know, 500 companies and then there was 1000 companies and now it’s like 5000 companies that are put on this map. I don’t even know the number anymore. But one of the things that I think is important is that there’s always been this dance and still continues to this to this day of startups who want to be specialized and really good at one aspect of the mahr tech space and the marketing stack of a business and then other startups that want to try to be an all in one and try to have all the tools and all the features under one roof. And you know for the LeadPages side, we come on the the side of team all marketing tools together you know integrating well to

Bob Sparkins 5:00
best of breed on all the little specialized things that you can get the right thing done, depending on your individual business needs. And then there’s competitors, and all in one solutions that try to still do all the things. And they can do them moderately well in some areas, but they usually tack on all this stuff. And eventually, it’s like all in one fax machines, right? They eventually have something break, and then the whole system breaks, and what are you going to do? So that’s one thing, that’s, I think the same, there’s always this dance of all in one versus specialization. And then also, I think there’s always been this dance between bootstrapping, and raising money, you know, in the startup space, and we bootstrapped for the first year and then we raised some money, and then eventually grew and raised some more money and continue to, you know, be a bootstrapping mentality while having the backup of some funding, which was kind of nice. And then recently, actually, about two years ago, now, LeadPages, was acquired by a tech portfolio company out in Canada called red brick. And so we still have this best of both worlds, we’re responsible for our own money and bootstrapping, essentially, that spirit and mindset. But we also have a team of experts and some extra funding that can allow for even higher risk taking, than what you might be able to do on your own. So there’s a lot of that kind of stuff going on. But at the end of the day, I think what’s really cool about startups is this idea of there being a problem that needs to be addressed, and how can you best solve it, and whether that’s as a as a small team or a large team, it’s always about that entrepreneurial spirit of thinking first about customers, how you can best serve them. And that’s what we love to do at LeadPages.

Chris Davis 6:35
You know, one of the things that’s unique, and I feel like it’s a, it’s something powerful for LeadPages. It’s a little bit unfortunate for the market in the SaaS space, in general, with founders is the approach towards marketing. So you and I got to catch up before this recording, and I was mentioning how a lot of the tech founders that I that I speak with now and you know, potentially consult with or whatnot, struggle with building out a marketing team. They’re always sales team, heavy pipelines and all of this. It’s a little different and LeadPages. Tell us a little bit about the approach to marketing and sales that you all take.

Bob Sparkins 6:35
And as well, you know, at the risk of sounding like a bad Sylvester Stallone, impersonation, I am the sales team. I am the sales marketing manager, I don’t have a sales team, I don’t actually do outbound sales calls, I don’t have a pipeline, we don’t use some form of outreach like that we have inbound marketing as the primary force of how we grow revenue. And that’s done through basically really great educational content, a really streamlined website that helps you get started at your pace, basically. And a really solid onboarding team, that’s where we put more of our resources, is once you do sign up, making sure you’re well taken care of making sure that you know how to use the products. And that’s marketing to write is getting yourself to reach the customers at all points of the journey, not just at the point of them buying. And so we don’t have a sales team, we put together the content, we may in the future, have it but honestly, when you’re working on a membership, SAS, you want to have the more personal relationship, but you want to do it in a way that’s testable, and scalable. And I don’t care how good of a sales team you have. It’s really tough to scale sales, because you’re talking about individual personalities. And I don’t know how many times people are actually able to go in and listen to the recordings of their sales team as they have calls. Yes, they can do debriefs, and yes, they can do all these things to try to help tweak performance. But it’s super hard to scale a high performing salesperson, right. But if you have to rely on education and on video content, and on email messaging, and all that stuff, you can test and tweak and really optimize quickly. And then scale the things that you’re working with. So you don’t scale humans, you’re scaling the tech. And I think that’s important in our world. And I imagine it could be important for other teams as well. It’s also very cost effective to do so. And I would add one other thing there is, you know, a part of my role as well is to help, you know, really Shepherd, the affiliate program that we have at LeadPages. So I am in that regard. That is our sales team, right, external people like yourself, Chris, who know that there’s resources to recommend and then we just want to make sure they have the tools to recommend us in a quick and easy way.

Chris Davis 9:42
Yeah, and I’m glad you said I said what you said about sales teams and scaling, because a lot of the work that I’m currently doing is around a lot of sales team. So I’m using automation to enable the sales team in by What I mean is the future sales team, because it’s usually the founder and like, the customer support person or something like that there’s not an official sales team. But I’ve got to look at the process, simplify it to a point where if they bring somebody on, they could quickly get up to speed. They can’t learn, they can’t learn a new tool, they have a script, you know, like it needs to be plug and play. And I think that there’s a huge opportunity. I’m not against that. But what I’m what I’m on board with you, of course, is I think that there’s a huge opportunity to leverage marketing more strategically and education to start to start that relationship early. Right, and really get them ready. So that yes, your your sales does perform better. And what if you didn’t need it? What if people could literally take some content, consume it, maybe take some time, and some more content doesn’t matter, because everybody’s consuming at their own rate, and actually sign up for your application. I think that that’s, that’s real, because a lot of the startups have this b2c, and sometimes a b2b side. So they go b2b, when it’s one to many. And then they have a b2c side where they’re going directly directly to the consumer. So there’s, you need both, you need both definitely. But I see most startups lopsided, unintentionally by this, it’s not like they can help it, it’s like somebody with a short leg, that wishes they had a long leg, it’s like know that they actually don’t want to walk with that limb. That’s not a feature. Property. That’s not a feature that they intended. But to the point that you’re making, of the power of using education, in your marketing and education to an able, your your growth in terms of sales, marketing and product. One of the things that stood out when and I’m gonna drop another fun fact for everybody. One of the things that stood out when you started at LeadPages was your strong education background. And I’ve gone on and I’ve grown my education arm with Active Campaign and on and on. But you were the first person Bob, I don’t know if I told you that. But you were the first person that drew a mind map that I’d ever seen. How was like, what is that? boxes in arrows? Bob, Teach me your ways. So you’ve always had this grounding of the importance of education, and being able to really make something visual, simple, see how it connects in correlates. So I want to give you the floor a little bit and talk about the role and the effectiveness that that education is playing right now at Leadpages.

Bob Sparkins 12:54
Yeah, well, kind of generally, in the landscape, one of the things that I have is just a philosophy is that a better editor, but a better educated buyer, is a longer term customer. Okay? And so even if you do have a sales team, let’s just go just to go back for 30 seconds. teaching them something before you even get on the call is really critical, because it helps weed out people that decide, You know what, this isn’t for me, before we even get on the call. And for those that do get on the call, they’re much better educated, ask better questions, respond better to what offers you put together, etc. So regardless of whether you take the full on no sales, or full on sales, or some hybrid in between, education really matters, because customers are already trying to find it, right. They’re on Google, they’re on Facebook, they’re on next door, sometimes they’re on Reddit, wherever they are, they’re trying to find out information from people. And what your job is, I think as a leader in your company, or as a marketer of your company, is to make sure that the right kinds of information get into the brains of your customers at the right time, right. Also, fun fact, Chris and I made a course called Marketing Automation back in the day with LeadPages. And then mind maps were a big thing for me, obviously. And one of the things that I use mind maps for just to kind of bring that circle is just a quicker way to brain dump. You know, one of the things if you’re thinking about putting together some educational content, is you can either have the blink cursor problem and try to write from scratch some big long thing, you can try to put a few prompts into some AI software and have some stuff pop out and maybe something sounds intelligent, and maybe it won’t. Or you can spit it out on a mind map or something visual where you can just get some ideas out really quickly. And then you can see the vision of where you’re going and change things around, move them around, manipulate them to a spot that makes sense with a sequence. And if you’re a subject matter expert, you don’t need to spend the time actually typing stuff out, right? Whether you’re a 50 word a minute or 200 word a minute typist that still takes too much time. So by using a minute After using some form of skeletal approach towards organizing your thoughts and ideas, you get the idea out there. And then if you wind up doing a webinar or video, you don’t even have to write out a full script, you just have three or four bullet points through your few sub points. And you can roll with it from there, right? Any good person who’s a subject matter expert in your company can can do that. So you have a faster delivery faster approach towards what it is that you’re doing. So I’ll leave it at that for just a second. See if that prompts an additional question from you Chris?

Chris Davis 15:31
No, no, no, that that’s, that’s super, super accurate. As you’re talking, I can literally see the mind maps in my head and the bubbles and the ease of moving things around. One of the things I realized Bob, in my journey as a marketer, who then so my journey as a marketer, I leaned heavily on marketing for conversion. Then as my career went on, I started to see the importance of education. And like you said, an educated buyer is, is the one that you’re not going to have to worry much about churning, right, they become easier affiliates, because they understand the product making explain it, the third party credibility is a lot more accurate. And when I started to see it, and when I started to actually do it, a lot of founders were like, Hey, how do we get started with education? We’re realizing that a lot of people, they can run advertising Bob and get some awareness. But then once they’re aware, they’re like, how do we you know, whether they need somebody in the video whether they need to understand like how to create the content. So what would you do as a on this fly framework, we I’d say, with those startups that are looking to get started, like they, they know the power of education, they just don’t know what foot to put first. And after that, to truly start to get it going to the point where their education is effective enough to start to generate conversions.

Bob Sparkins 17:05
Yeah, well, well, first of all, I want you to see education as a differentiator for your brand. So right now, as you know, Chris, the space, whatever space you’re in, it just keeps getting crowded, more crowded, more crowded, more crowded. And so your people your customer support, and your education becomes a brand differentiator, because everybody has a tool that can do the same stuff you do. Everybody has a platform, or a widget or whatever that can do what you do, it’s super hard to have an entirely unique business, you know, don’t kid yourself first. And so if you take that assumption to be true, then how you have people being seen and heard, really matters. And one of the ways you have people feel seen and heard is by giving them a transformation in their mind. And that is what education can do for people, right? You heard of light bulb moments, I’m sure you’ve had them yourself, I hope that you’re trying to get them for your end user. And Chris can tell you from all those office hours you did, touring the country back in the day, there’s nothing like being in front of people, and seeing those light bulbs go off, right, because then they run with it, and they expand it in ways you didn’t even have an idea of how it would work. So number one thing is buy into the idea that you’re providing a mental transformation for customers, no matter what your business is. And that that excitement that they can get from your product or service is going to grow your business too. Okay. So there’s a couple of factors that I would on the fly and make you do if I was your Director of Education at your company. So one of the things is, is to make sure that you have multiple teachers on your team, your customer support, people need to see themselves as educators, as teachers, when they are answering problems. They’re not just saying, I fix it for you, they’re saying I fix it for you. And here’s how to deal with this, if this happens in the future, okay, that can take the form even of videos, right? Fire up a screencasts, fire up, loom, whatever the video tool of choice might be, make it so it’s easy for your support team to be able to send stuff people so that they can educate them. Right. The next thing I would say is think about your marketing from an education standpoint to regardless of whether they use your tool or your service. So I know Chris, you probably remember this, but back in the day when Clay was doing them, and then Tim was doing them. And then I started doing them. Our webinars, were all in Jeff was doing them too. We were our webinars, were always about, here’s how to become a better marketer of your business. And oh, by the way, if you want to make this easy for yourself, use LeadPages to do it. And we still take that same approach. Because we again, we want that transformation and we want people to have that sense that LeadPages knows what we’re, you know, we know what we’re talking about. And you’re gonna get more of that, where it came from. So keep coming back and eventually you’ll realize hey, I should use this tool that’s going to take the technical headaches out of my way. But the marketing strategy is baked in to the use of the product. And I can move forward faster with that. So whatever you’re thinking with your business right now, it’s not just about how to be an educated buyer in the sense of what’s the price, how long do I have to start a trial or whatever it’s about whatever you’re trying to accomplish, that’s in the same zone as other things that they’re trying to accomplish. Teach them about how to do that better. Get that connection, and then they’re going to be you’re going to then be the obvious expert, to quote a gentleman named Elsa Eldridge about that. I’ll stop there for for any other input you have, Chris are questions that can deepen it up.

Chris Davis 20:41
Well, what’s your I’ve got some notes here, I’ve learned to write, make notes. As I’m listening, because there’s so much there’s so much that is deployed on these podcasts even as a host that I learned, and you jog my memory, one of the things that that I learned when I was building out education departments, the education department at Active Campaign was the power of leading with learning. You mentioned, you mentioned education being the differentiator. In Bob, I saw it man, there are so many people out here, you we went from a day and age where the internet was kind of like, Hey, everybody, make sure you don’t use your real name on that thing. Right? They’ll steal your identity. If you buy something online, make sure you have a PayPal account and hook it up to eBay. Because you that’s the only way to protect yourself right? To now. It’s just it’s open world, man. I mean, you can go to websites. Now somebody say, hey, look, I just bought this product. And it’d be a website. And I like I wouldn’t trust my child on that website. And they’re putting in all of their information. And so you saw, you see this dynamic where we were so tight with our information. And now we’re so open. But because we’re so open, now people are more susceptible, because they don’t know the signs of somebody that’s trying to run a fast one on them, or somebody who’s not really dedicated to their product, they just want to make up make that get you to make a purchase. And education becomes that that calming factor, where it’s just like, okay, it gives people a chance not just to get to know the brand, but it gives you a chance to give value, Bob, without asking for anything in return. Yeah, literally nothing. Hey, come ask questions, we’ll answer the questions. Whether you buy the software or not, the information is yours. Take it, go run with it. And like you said, hopefully, that information is a light bulb, and you’re running around with the light on now. And at some point, you come back and say, Hey, I remember that thing that that guy taught me, I still get people to this day, have been following you since LeadPages. It’s been almost 10 years, man. This is the longevity of turning on the light bulb in someone’s life. And I think that it’s just Bob somehow somehow we’ve got to get the word out in these startups have got to start utilizing this more effectively, you know, in their marketing and sales.

Bob Sparkins 23:11
Yeah, well, and even the other people who listen on your podcast, the automation service professionals that you train so well, they have to do the same thing, right? They have to go into these meetings with potential customer clients and folks are going to consult and educate them on what are the choices they have, they really have to make or the questions they should be asking in these meetings. What are what is automation in the first place? You know, there’s all kinds of questions that come in. And I hope those of you in that zone are also thinking about how can you do that better. There’s always this fear that if you educate too much, people are going to take that information and run with it and not hire you. And if they do that, they probably aren’t your best ideal customer anyway. But if they listen, and they really get what you’re about, they may do business with you or not. But when the next time the question comes up from someone else, who do you know, that knows their Shi t about whatever, guess what, they’re going to have you on the top of their mind. So education really is a critical piece and I will tell you that it’s it’s not smarmy, HYPEE marketing tactics that gets you the high conversion rate. Okay, because you and I both have been in this space a long time. And we know that conversion rates can be higher if you’re a little bit more over the top with your urgency and with your tactics and whatever, but the refund rate. So astronomical and that situation, and it doesn’t balance out. Whereas again, if you educate it might take a little longer to build up the customer base, but they stick with you much longer their net revenue positive and they tell people and they tell people about what is it you’re doing so you just having a nice, more natural growth curve that I think is really important for any kind of business at any phase.

Chris Davis 24:54
Yeah, I’m gonna say this at the risk of sounding super nerdy, but I heart

Bob Sparkins 25:03
podcast for a long time, right? They already know. Right?

Chris Davis 25:07
So I’m gonna tell on myself here, Bob, part, I want people to understand too that part of your EDUC your, your support documentation is part of your education. For sure do not I repeat, do not go. If you’re going to cut a corner, don’t let it be in your support documentation. There are people like myself, there’s others out here, I let them name themselves, I’ll just put myself on the line, Bob, I read documentation like a book man. When I’m when I’m looking at a new software, the first thing I do is go look through their documentation to help me just understand what can be possible with it. I used to be the type to just jump into a tool and figure it out. But that’s kind of like getting the furniture and putting it together without reading the manual. And it’s like, if you did it, it’s like this, bro. I don’t need that manual. But oftentimes, it’s like, there’s been many times where I’ve put a piece of furniture together. And I’m just like, where did the squat I have all of these extra screws. And some time later, I’m like, oh, that’s why I needed that screw in the back. So it wouldn’t tip over. got it noted, right? But when you look when when a product has really good documentation, and I’m gonna give a shout out because I recorded a little while back a podcast with Jack Arturo for WP fusion. He’s the founder of WP fusion, some of the greatest documentation ever. I mean, before I purchased WP fusion, I was able to answer pretty much every question that I had every single one and understand what features I was looking for that I wasn’t even able to communicate to myself. But when I read about them and saw the use cases, I was like, This is why I need this software. Talk to nobody, Bob, not a single person. When I was ready to make my decision from the support documentation, went straight to the went straight to the page and purchased. No humans required. You know, so I want people to understand that your your support documentation is education. And and it works. If you want to get the trifecta in your in your marketing, education and support is your linking. You’ve got marketing post that mention. So So let me give an example of something that that I did in the past is that there will be questions that come up frequently. And I will create guides, I will create guides that are pretty much long form. How Tos, right? No call to action, no sign up today. Nothing like that just straight value base. Now that enabled marketers to be able to write a post that was conversion based, but give somebody the option to go learn more. Now, in that guide, I’m also linking to support documentation. Oh, my Bob, it works. So Well, man, it now did the sales cycle extend a bit? Sure. But it was scalable man, I’d rather nurture 100,000 leads at once, right over time, then try to focus my sales team on landing that one big one or you know, one at a time. And so I really want our listeners to understand that education and your support documentation really do go hand in hand?

Bob Sparkins 28:26
Yeah, they really do. And to echo that. We love this strategy a lot. LeadPages our blog posts, you typically have at least two links to support articles, based on the content of the post. Our email, lead nurture series, often links to support articles, not just the blog posts, and our support articles link back to blog posts and guides and stuff like that, too. Eric como is the person who is the current iteration of like the master behind this. And one of the things that’s most important about the person in this role is that they know your product backwards and forwards. So between Eric and the onboarding team that he manages, they see what people are getting stuck with, they see what what places that they’re running into some kind of a roadblock or what parts are easy, and what do they really need. So that’s one thing. But the second thing is this is search engine optimization heaven, right? I mean, if you optimize your helpdesk articles using you can use Zendesk, you can use HelpScout, you can use whatever tool you want. But when you’re answering a question, it’s the exact phrase usually they’re good. They’re typing into Google. How do I add a video to LeadPages? How do I hook up stripe delete pages? That’s basically the title of the article and they’re not going to find a blog post. First they’re going to find your help article. So with a human tone, you answer the question but you also have this idea of helping them go on on the next stage of their journey wherever it happens to be so although you mentioned not having a call to action, I wouldn’t hide calls to action from your help desk stuff but, but always be thinking You know you’re answering questions at the right time. And one last point here, you mentioned you like to read Help Help Desk like a book. It’s a Choose Your Own Adventure book. So it’s not just a book where it has a start and a middle and an end it’s a Choose Your Own Adventure book. You don’t know what’s the first page you don’t know if they’re turning to page seven or page 15 Because the Goblin is coming after them and do they have a lantern or do they have a torch? Yay, go their own pathway. So always treat every page as if it’s the first one that they’ve come to, while also having some familiarity so that they know what’s coming up next and try to link those things together. It’s really really key to think about it that way.

Chris Davis 30:42
Man Bob this this has turned into like a masterclass man. Education masterclass for, for SaaS companies. This is, Listen, everyone, this is really good stuff. I need you to do this real quick. Just pause and think of your, your friendly founder, your friendly neighborhood founder, this is going to be an episode they absolutely must listen to. Because this, this may be the missing piece. Seriously, Bob, right. Like this may be what they’ve been trying to figure out this year, how do I get get more traction? How do we really get SEO off the ground? How do we increase our retention? This may be the missing piece, you know? So let me shift real quick because I can talk to you all day about this. But it would, who would I be to not talk about the next topic with you. And that’s automation. Automation, Bob. Education goes hand in hand with support documentation. But it’s also fueled by automation. So give us some examples of just tease us a bit with some of the automations you guys have set up and running that are working well for you today. Yeah,

Bob Sparkins 31:53
we’ve got quite a few that we love. And we’ve got, you know, an old colleague of yours running automation at LeadPages, Adam and Stan and, and some some of the things that we’re doing. One is, we have a lot of focus, and always a revision mindset towards onboarding. You mentioned, I’m the author of take action revise later. This is a mindset that I’ve always had, it’s one that LeadPages has had, for a long time. And what that really means is, don’t try to make the perfect system, try to make a system you can launch that feels like the best system you can at this time, and then get it out there and keep revising by paying attention to what’s actually the results, you know, give the world a chance to give you feedback by showing you what’s successful and not and then revising. Same thing goes with audit automation with onboarding. So we have a lead nurture sequence before they buy. And then after they become a customer, there’s a 14 day trial, during which there’s several different spokes, depending on what activities they take, along the way, whether they publish their page in the first day, or takes a couple days later, right? Whether or not they get their first couple of leads in the first few days, or they hook up a domain. Like there’s all these little pieces that we’ve identified as indicators of a successful customer, that we want to make sure our automation is responding both in the messaging that they’re getting in their email campaigns, but also in intercom, you know, when they pop up inside the account. So those are that’s, that’s one side. The other side are things like my time as a sales marketing manager, I have a limited time window, right? I can’t scale myself other than through video and podcasts and stuff like that. And so as you may imagine, I get a lot of emails that come in and say, Hey, Bob, will you come on this stage? Or will you come on this podcast? Or will you do an integration with our software, or collaboration and guest blog posts, whatever. So we actually have a really sweet, tight form kind of questionnaire on a partnership request page that helps to answer all the initial questions for us. So we don’t have to go back and forth. And then we’re able to see that information and pipe them through to the right channel. That’s another automation that we love to do. And then of course, within our our webinars, anytime we do a webinar, we have automations that are segmented based on do we already know this person before or not? Right? Is there subscribe date before this opt in or not? Right? And then they go into one form? If they if we do know them? Are they a customer? Or are they not? And we make sure we’re using drip. So we’re using liquid to tell in within the message? Do they have an account? If so, what level account, do they have access to this feature or not, and then separating the messages out accordingly. And then after the webinar is over, two days later, each group gets a different message. And then a week later, each one gets a different message. And if they’re still not a customer, they go into our lead nurture campaign that takes over for their for the next 45 days or six months or whatever it is up to these days. So there’s a lot of different pieces that we’re doing and one thing I will say is I know those of you listening you listen to Chris, you listen to the people he talks to. I want thing I always want to warn people against is thinking that you have to build all of this at once. Yeah. Okay, take one piece of all that you just heard from me or any of the other episodes you listened to, and just automate one thing this month, and test it out and revise it, and then add on the next thing and then add on the next thing, don’t wait until you have this huge labyrinthian process that can really overwhelm people. And it makes it very difficult for you to feel like you’re making momentum. So take one thing, whether it’s onboarding, or it’s lead, nurture, or some other aspect of it, just take one thing to automate it. So I’ll leave it at that.

Chris Davis 35:38
Bob, that was so solid, I’m not going to touch it, man. I’m gonna let that be. You heard it from Bob’s mouth, everyone, Bob’s mouth, not my own. And again, these are real companies doing real things. You’ve probably there’s a listener, this probably a few listeners who are like, Yeah, I remember getting that email when I signed up. I remember attending that webinar or getting that email. So it works. It takes a special kind of individual with experience to set it up. And that’s where I see the biggest need in the marketplace, which, of course, is what I’m out to solve with my automation service providers is to make sure that SaaS companies and entrepreneurs have that level, you know, of connectivity and synchronicity, between your marketing education, your your leads coming in and your potential customers in everything. So, Bob, this was great, man, this was great. I can’t thank you enough. It’s It’s so refreshing man. So refreshing to catch up and, and talk shop with marketing and education. If they don’t know by now, and they want to find out more about you or leave pages. Where can they go?

Bob Sparkins 36:53
Yeah, well, first of all, thank you, Chris, for having me on really is a pleasure. It has been too long since we’ve had the chance to teach together. So always up for that. So I’m at Bob the teacher everywhere on the social. So I’d love to connect, hear what your biggest takeaways were from this episode, LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, etc. So that’s one spot, obviously LeadPages. Back in the day, Chris, you may remember we had leadpages.net. Now we have the.com that came on about two years ago. So you can find this in leadpages.com, you can go to support that leadpages.com To see our wonderful help desk and all the articles to get an idea of how exhaustive our education is there. And then within the leadpages.com website, if you go to Resources, you’ll see a catalog of guides and webinars and all that kind of stuff to help show to you like how can you package this stuff together? Some of its gated some of its unguided. And therefore it has different levels within itself for SEO and list building and growth and all that kind of stuff. But sign up for something of ours and see what we do. How do we teach you on the thank you page? How do we teach you in that first message? How do we take you through from step one to step two. And we’re always tweaking it. It’s not 100% perfect by any stretch, but we’re doing pretty well. We’re always looking to, to grow it. But take a look what we’re doing. And I bet that that in itself would be some education. And I look forward to seeing the results that you get from listening to this episode and taking action on what you learned.

Chris Davis 38:24
Yeah, so Bob, the teacher on all social platforms will have the link to Bob as well as Leadpages.com. There’s a story behind the dotnet to.com. Don’t have time for it today. If I meet you somewhere you say Hey, Chris, I was listening to the podcast. Tell me about the dotnet.com with leadpages. I’ll give you a story that you won’t forget. Bob, thank you again, so much everyone. Again, those links will be in the show notes. Don’t worry about if you didn’t catch them, you’ll be able to click on the shownotes link in your podcasting app and go straight there. Greatly appreciated. Thank you so much for your education, your marketing and your stick to itiveness man, it is something to Behold, from afar that was once up close. Keep going I wish nothing but the best of success to lead pages the lead pages team and drip and drip. So thank you for taking the time my friend.

Bob Sparkins 39:22
Thank you, sir. Appreciate it.

Chris Davis 39:23
All right, I’ll see you online Bob. Take care. Thank you for tuning in to this episode of The all systems go podcast. If you enjoyed it, make sure that you’re subscribed at the time of recording the all systems go podcast is free to subscribe to and it can be found in Apple podcasts, Google podcasts, YouTube, or wherever you get your podcasts new episodes are released every Thursday. So make sure you’re subscribed so that you don’t miss out and while you’re at it, please leave us a five star rating and review to show some love but also to help future listeners more easily find the podcast so they can experience the value of goodness as well. We’ve compiled all resources mentioned on the podcast, as well as other resources that are extremely valuable and effective at helping you grow your marketing automation skills quickly, and you can access them all at allsystemsgopodcast.com Thanks again for listening. And until next time, I see you online automate responsibly, my friends.

You'll Learn

  • [3:45] The shifts Bob has seen in the start up space from when he first started to now
  • [7:16] Bob explains the marketing and sales approach used at Leadpages
  • [10:34] “There’s a huge opportunity to leverage marketing and education more strategically to start that relationship early.”
  • [12:47] The role and the effectiveness that education plays at Leadpages
  • [15:44] The importance of creating educated buyers
  • [16:41] How startups can ensure their education is effective enough to generate conversions
  • [25:11] 1 thing you should never cut a corner on when it comes to the education of your software
  • [28:26] How Leadpages uses education and support documentation hand in hand
  • [31:35] Bob shares examples of automations that are working well today at Leadpages

Today's Guest

As the Sales Marketing Manager at Leadpages, Bob Sparkins champions the customers of the top landing page and website building conversion platform and the audiences they serve. A former high school history teacher and academic team coach, Bob has taught business owners around the world how to leverage digital marketing to impact more people with less effort since 2006. He is the author of Take Action, Revise Later; and lives in Bloomington, Minnesota with his wife, Therese, and their amusing kids, Kira and Landon. Connect with Bob on the social channels via @BobTheTeacher.

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About the Show

On the show, Chris reveals all of his automated marketing strategies he has learned from working in fast growing marketing technology startups so you can put your business on autopilot quickly and without error.

Discover how to deploy automated marketing, sales, and delivery systems to scale your business without working long hours to do so.

Chris L. Davis - Chief Automation Officer
YOUR HOST

Chris L. Davis

Chris is an Electrical Engineer turned entrepreneur who is the Founder of Automation Bridge, an international speaker and facilitator, and startup consultant