Ep. 96 – This week, Chris is joined by marketing authority, Paul Sokol, to discuss the union of automation and messaging. Paul is a thought leader in Automated Experience Design, author, speaker, and promoter. Over the years, he has learned that the art of copywriting for automation requires a lot of attention to detail. Paul shares how to craft the right messaging for your customer journey along with many other automation gems intended for the experienced marketer.
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 sale 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 to the All systems go podcast. I’m your host, Chris L. Davis, the founder and chief automation Officer of automation breeds the place online to learn about Small Business Marketing and Sales Automation, where we focus on turning digital marketing professionals in the automation service providers. And if you like to become one or find out more about what that means who these amazing new professionals are, you can go to all systems all systems go podcast.com. To find out more if you’re new to the podcast, make sure that you subscribe, subscribe and share especially after listening to this episode in its entirety. get the words out today, Chris, at the time of this recording, the All systems go podcast is free to subscribe to. So you can find the show in all main podcasting apps like Apple podcast, Google podcast, you can subscribe on YouTube. Just make sure again if this is your first time listen to this episode in its entirety and subscribe if you’re not already subscribed, what are you waiting on? Come on join the family of listeners every Thursday new episodes come out and while you’re at it make sure you leave a five star rating and review it will be greatly appreciated. If you’re having any any issues at all leaving a review we’ve got you covered you can go to automationbridge.com/review while this is playing in the background, leave your your five star rating and review and we’ll take care of the rest in this episode. I get to sit down with Paul Sokol. And Paul builds automation and advertises for living Builds automation and advertising for a living. That’s what he does. He’s a thought leader and automated experienced design and author speaker promoter. He is the one you cannot know. Let me put it like this to know Infusionsoft and I understand its keep now but to know Infusionsoft is to know Paul. He was instrumental in training so many of us at a at a time where the campaign builder was new. And he will put out weekly or monthly automation recipes. He was the one that really helped me wrap my head around understanding is so it’s good to have them on officially meet nerd out a little bit. And there’s all types of little automation gems, just just hidden throughout this podcast. So this is definitely a marketers marketing, a marketers marketer, podcast. So I hope you enjoy this conversation between Paul and I. Paul, welcome to the podcast. Glad to have you on man, how you doing?
Paul Sokol 3:09
I’m doing great. Thank you so much for having me. This is gonna be fun. It’s gonna be fun. today.
Chris Davis 3:14
This is a long time coming listeners understand that Paul and I really should have crossed paths. many moons ago. somehow we’ve alluded each other so you all get the pleasure of having this is like a brain collision. Brain collision, and what what that comes out of it is going to be all types of value. So Paul, give the listeners a little bit about yourself and your background.
Paul Sokol 3:45
Oh man, how about follow up with that Chris? Alright, so let’s see. So so let’s let’s go to like kind of how we get here right so like I you know, always knew I wanted to be some kind of like a math or engineering type nerd in high school. So I went to college and University of Central Florida go Knights for electrical engineering, but my freshman year I got recruited to sell knives Cutco. You ever heard of Cutco. World’s Finest set of cutlery. Well, basically it’s directed home knife sales. And it’s a really good product. It’s like a like a Casper vacuum or you know one of those things where it’s just guaranteed forever, they’ll always replace it like, you know, Sears used to deal with their Craftsman tools, you know, you buy it once, they’ll always replace that kind of stuff. And so I learned how to do direct sales as essential nearing nerd, and undergrad. And then I ended up also being a sales manager or assistant manager. And so helping develop the team and do interviews and train people and motivate people and help them close deals, all that kind of jazz. And then in 2008 when I started grad school, I started a video email company with my buddy will, who’s kind of like you know, brogden older brother and ever had an a big mentor both personally and business wise. And so that’s where we discovered Infusionsoft. So this Have you know, like mash June 22,008 2008, got into Infusionsoft and started using it. And so he was kind of the sales guy getting him in the door, and you know, kind of running things. And I was support on the back end, taking care of people onboarding folks. And then, let’s see, when I graduated in 2010, it was, it was really hard to get a job with a master’s degree in new experience. And so I ended up switching coasts, working in an incubator for a little bit, ended up being homeless for a little bit and then getting picked up by Infusionsoft directly to be a success coach, because I knew the software very well. You know, I was out on that coast. And so yeah, through a wild series of miracles, I managed to do two interviews in person interviews in Arizona. And then, yeah, they basically took me off the streets. You know, happy as a clam I lived is Oh, dude, it’s it is man. I mean, it was one of those. Yeah, you think you it was definitely a rock bottom moment for sure. Like it was, it was no bueno. I mean, that was the moment I really should have been like, Hey, dude, you should probably get your mental health like really looked at, but took about maybe another 10 years before. It got real serious. But um, anyway, I worked at Infusionsoft as a success coach. And when people bought the software, my job was to get them going and using the system and I loved it because it was basically what I was doing at drive systems. Except instead of helping people get started with video email software, it’s getting started with Infusionsoft, which I knew because I literally ran my business with it. In fact, we were in the double or sent to double your sales thing in like 2009, because we literally double their sales. And we were one of the first certified marketing automation coaches, the C Max, the old, old old partner program with the very first partner program they ran. And then about Shawnee 12 is when the visual campaign builder came out. And when I saw that, I realized that like, I wanted to be like one of the leading guys, and I want to get to Dan Kennedy campaign builders, what I told my by my manager, my director, he had my support through that and, and I got an opportunity at the end of 2012 to fix a whole bunch of pre built campaigns that they were pushing in and kind of managing that I ended up getting employee the month to month for that in driving around the company Camaro for a month. At which point, the day after dropping off that Camaro I bought a car because I there’s no way I was going back to that. Because I already I bought a house by then too. And like I still didn’t have a car. But then I got pulled into the product team. And I spent them the rest of my tenure, their product. That’s where I developed the campaigns a month, and we released a campaign from like, like October 2013 to 2016. And then I also was invited right the Infusionsoft cookbook, by publisher over in the UK. And then they invited me to turn it into a bunch of video courses The next year, which they’re giving up the rights to the courses, so I’ll actually be able to just put them online now. I think I’m just going to put them on a YouTube channel. monetize? Because Yeah, man, those royalties were just weak sauce. Like, I was shocked that the videos are more expensive than the book. Overhead was less to produce. And the royalties were worse. I’m like,
Paul Sokol 8:29
what, like, you know, but whatever. It was a big learning experience. He was my friend, my very first book. And then let’s see a research and development inside products. So that’s really where like, I kind of got almost like a PhD in small business success. I was actually on the small business success method team, where we were literally doing academic research into what is what does it mean to be successful as a small business. And so we developed all sorts of distinctions and tools and things I use to this very day. In fact, I’m writing a book called The business stack, which is talking about, which comes from the research that I did there. And at the end of the day, you’ll love this, because you can use automation across the whole thing. But at the end of the day, any business no matter how big or small is developing offers. And then there’s the customer journey of the marketing sales and fulfillment of those offers. Behind the scenes with the customer sees that you’ve got your operations, and then you got your people to run the ops and money to pay it all. And those are the seven plates any business is spinning, whether you’re a one person hot dog cart, or Disney, the differences, just the scale and you know, the flow through of money and the people involved. And so you can use automation across all years. Actually, have you ever built any financial money out of it? You haven’t built any money automation, like for collections or anything like that.
Chris Davis 9:52
I have I have is actually one of my most lucrative Going to collect the money and having some consequence in there. works really well. I learned, but don’t A lot of people don’t do it. No,
Paul Sokol 10:11
no, they don’t, they don’t. In fact, I use the opportunity pipeline for for all my businesses, you know, I’ve got like six different pipelines running at once. And there is a financial collections pipeline. So like, there’s like someone with an outstanding balance. And then they go to pending collections. And the last stage is set to collections. And so pretty much I can try and chase them down a little bit. But at a certain point, I say it’s not worth it, and pass them off to a collections company, and they send a couple letters and try and try and hit them. Which I feel bad. I had to do that. Once I do that. I’ve had to do it once. And it was in the pandemic, and the guy just completely ghosted entirely. Like I’m reasonable. If you talk to me or whatnot. I’m like, I’ll work with you something like, but yeah, it was just total. So that’s what it’s like, All right. Well, this is, you know, this is not the first time someone’s totally ghosted in the five or so years. But at this point, now, I need to formally make it a process. And yet, that’s where, yeah, we got a collections person on there, and you know, for billing policy. Yeah, but using automation should,
Chris Davis 11:01
you know, I’ll say this, learning, learning about your journey, just even now. Wow, I’ve got another level of respect for you. To be to be at rock bottom and still be fighting still be in in the match, at least, you know, maybe you are crawling on hands and knees, but you are still in the ring man and to bounce back and then have the vision to say, you know what, visual campaign builder that that’s me own that, which also gives me insight. Just, most people don’t know, the days of Infusionsoft, by keep by if you saw by click prior to the campaign builder, they don’t know that life,
Paul Sokol 12:04
legacy life. It was all bottom up automation, you had to know in your head that this link is supposed to stop this sequence, because the point of this campaign is to like sell the thing like it was. I mean, that was that was real. The people who made it work back then those were I mean, it was masterful. Because it’s really hard to do well. Without being like robotic or school soda.
Chris Davis 12:32
Yeah, to see, you master that in its early stages, and then come on board and then be to be the brain behind the campaign builder is everybody like I said, Every, all the listeners, I was telling Paul, before we got on, he was like this mythical creature. They were like, hey, the mad scientist, almost like not a real person. Because we he wasn’t very visible. He wasn’t in videos, you couldn’t really see him like I can’t now. And when we find when I finally saw when I got certified, I was like, Okay, he’s a real person. He’s still the legends of his mind. And the things that he could do with the campaign builder. was great times, man. And I’m glad that again, we’re finally connected. And I wanted to, I wanted to give you the floor here and talk about, I think, excuse me, I think this is one of the more critical pieces of of automation, one of the critical areas, and that is that intersection between automation and messaging. I’ve always known for them to go hand in hand. But I understand in my early days, I may not have made that connection. And maybe I was just doing things, because that’s what you’re supposed to do. Right? Like, oh, send an email when somebody fills out a form, but not really thinking through like the messaging threw out the entire journey. So let’s let’s talk about that Union for a second between automation and messaging. Yeah, man.
Paul Sokol 14:03
So I guess the the thing that I think a lot of people either they forget, or they don’t really consider when they’re writing copy is that you still need to write it like it’s going to one person, like, I still need to write it like it’s going to you, Chris. But maybe it’s going to a million Chris’, in reality, but it can’t really necessarily feel like that. Otherwise, it’s it’s not going to be effective. It’s not going to help the relationship. I like to think of automation as relationships at scale. Yes, by intentionally designing like those little interaction points, and so for the messaging, it’s almost like the continuity of a movie. If they’re wearing the blue jacket in the scene, and then the camera camera B and it’s a red jacket will something’s off. Yeah, they messed up. So like, bad messaging is like continuity error, bad messaging. And automation is like a continuity error, where it just feels weird. Whereas good messaging really leverages those subtle things. So like, I don’t know, if you’ve gotten a whole lot of emails from me, but I’ll try and acknowledge the same time, I’ll say, Good morning, Chris. Or Good afternoon, Chris. Or if I’m intentionally waiting until the weekend, or be like, hey, you’re having a great weekend, Chris. And then even they’re putting somebodies name in there. Because psychologically, we are trained to pay the most attention to whatever someone says after your name. Yeah, so sometimes I won’t just open the email, hey, first name, mate, because then maybe I want them to take some kind of call to action, or really lean into something. Or maybe I’m asking a favor. And so I’ll really dig in. And here’s why I want you to come in Chris, I want you to you know, host a virtual book tour when it comes out kind of thing, like that kind of stuff. And so for the writing of the messaging, it’s all about, it’s really about understanding the context, in that moment of time, because, you know, nothing happens in a vacuum. And I think that’s the hardest part for a live when writing is to consider that like, like, something really common that, uh, that I’ll see is like with lead magnets, you know, someone will opt in, get a lead magnet, and then the sales emails and follow up says, Hey, you know, we were talking about a blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. But they’re not making sure that people are actually downloading it. So you can’t really even speak to that, necessarily. In fact, all I’ll have a structure where I’ve been teaching for years is a weekly Redeemer timing, where the Redeemer meaning to redeem something like a lead magnet, or just some kind of clicks on offer. And so let’s say the opt in, you know, send it right away, three days later in the morning, if they haven’t clicked, you send it again. And then four days later, in the afternoon, you send the third attempt. And of course, if they click, it pulls them out. The idea is that, if they don’t click, you can still put them in the sales series. But you have to slightly modify the beginning of those emails. You can’t say, hey, hope you enjoyed the whatever lead magnet to say, Hey, thanks for requesting the lead magnet. Because they did at least requested didn’t necessarily download it. And I’m not necessarily going to chide them for not downloading it At least, that’s not the brand that I would go for. certain brands may be a little more, you know, poking to ego like that. But that’s the other thing too, is you don’t want to be big brother. Like that’s, you would never want to be like, Hey, I saw that you click to my shopping cart 23 hours ago, but you didn’t buy anything. Would you like to buy something like that’s not human. And that’s not relationship at scale. That’s you ever watched the show big mouth, you’ll see big mouth? No, man, there’s one of the characters out there, he just doesn’t get social cues. And he’s just just awkward. And like, he just doesn’t read the room. And like, that’s what weak automated messaging will do. It’s just like not reading the room. In fact, I might have messaged him on my auto messaging, my automation. And the messaging saved me recently, because I was adding people to sign up with their cell phone for text notifications when when I send out my emails, which by the way, or fear, or they do you get minder, the hare emails? Have you ever gotten these? You got to go to Paul sokol.me. Right now, and and completely ignore the weak landing page. That’s there intentionally, by the way, I put it up in 2013. And like, well, it’s a it’s a filter. It’s a filter, because like, you know, I only want people that want to be there. And you know, have to read what I’ve got to say.
Paul Sokol 19:01
Because I really put a lot of effort into those. So that’s why I’m doing Hey, I’m going to send you a text message notification. Well, based on how I had the automation set up, there’s people having problems, and the automation was automatically following up with them just to make sure everything was okay. And I didn’t expect that. I was just building in because I know that that can happen. But I wasn’t expecting that like. Yeah, I don’t know if that just there’s going to be that secondary benefit of people really making sure they get taken care of. Which is cool. I’d much rather have people replying to automated emails and having to reply back then. And not, you know, or worse marketed as spam or just not paying attention. Yeah,
Chris Davis 19:45
yeah. Let me let me jump in here. There’s a couple of things that come to mind. One is, all of the times that I’ve been sending reminder emails to people who have doubt who have requested a lead magnet and haven’t downloaded it. You know, Paul I never thought about trying to send it at different times of the day. Uh huh. Right, I literally just sit, you know, wait a day or so. So it’s always going out at the time that they opted in. But you, you caught my attention when you say, you know, I’ll send one reminder in the morning, and then wait four days, and another reminder in the evening. And it’s like, why not try you know, you’re, you’re giving them multiple opportunities just by sending the email. But you’re right, it may be a time of the day thing, maybe they opted in at work got busy. And that time of the day is just always busy. But if you send that reminder in the evening, you’ve got an opportunity to hit him. That was great. That was just, it was a nugget that you just kind of slipped in.
Paul Sokol 20:45
You want you want some icing on the gravy. This is this is coming from actually one of my clients, john Hutchinson, really cool dude, he’s uh, I don’t know if he’s ever been a partner. But him and I are both like big Frank Kern fans. So like we and we’ve done some ontological studies, you know, from the same schools of thought. So like we we dive real well together. And he, he came up with this term called the witching hour. And the idea is, it’s using the automation to send with respect to when they’re active. And so I’ll do this a lot after email, open goals or link click goals, you know, they so let’s use a lead magnet thing, you know, often for a lead magnet. Let’s say they click to download it at 3am. Well, 23 hours later, at 2am, I’m going to send that follow up email and says, Hey, what do you think of that lead magnet? Yeah, because we know, at least for them, the last time they open an email clicked, it was 3am. So that’s statistically the highest likelihood that they’re going to do it again. So that’s where we’re going to show up in their inbox an hour before they were active last time. And then if you make it a really transactional email, so we’re seeing black and white, left justified, like you actually wrote it, because you did actually write it for them because you cared. It should actually help the relationship. get people talking, or, you know, they’ll just appreciate the reminder and click through and do what they’re supposed to. Yeah,
Chris Davis 22:15
I love it. It’s just being intentional with the little details, like 23 hours seems like a mistake to the novice marketer. They’re like, Oh, you meant 24 I can see somebody looking at your automation, and be like, Oh, he’s got 23 He probably meant 24. Why even put 24 just put one day, right? And it changes everything that little hour. This is you know what? Since you opened it around this time, when you get here tomorrow, it’ll be waiting for you. Yeah. Right. is waiting for you. I love those considerations. But But here’s the thing, Paul, alright, help everybody out there listening in myself included? And it’s just like, Oh, yeah, you’ve got to, it’s got to be contextual, right, based on what they previously did. And right when you said that somebody, his brain got overwhelmed, and started trying to think of like, every single outcome and every single path, and you’re like, Oh, my gosh, how do I do it all? So for you, everything is important, but how do you start to determine what actions are more heavy, you know, are more valuable than others that you want to really personalize around?
Paul Sokol 23:23
That’s a really great question. So I think when it comes to writing a good automated message and the context specifically, how do you consider everything? It’s being clear about what are the things we 100% can speak to? And sometimes it’s even more important, what are the things we can 100% not mentioned? Like, what do we not want to absolutely talk about? So like, if they let liberal use the lead by example, they let’s say they click let’s say they do not click to download it, and they’re getting the sales series, but they click to the shopping cart to checkout from the sales series, right? Well, in those follow up emails, we have to be careful not to say anything about the fact that they did or did not download the lead magnet, because we don’t know. We do know that they at least opted in for it. And we do know that the least click to the cart, so there’s something there for them. But we can lead with lead magnet. But you got to be real careful about kind of stuff like that. So like if I was writing copy for this. I mean, I know for a fact that anybody listening to this knows who you are, Chris, and they’re, they’re listening to this podcast, and most likely, I can’t speak to I can’t speak to their affinity for heavy metal, because that’s not what your podcast is, you know, maybe you have an opinion on it or not, but we’re talking about automation today. You know, we’re not nerding out about bands. So is that is that helpful as far as how to write to stuff?
Chris Davis 24:57
Yeah, it’s, you know, because one of the Things that I that I teach people are, you know, identifying your indicators of interest, right? Like, what actions do people show that lets you know that either Hey alert, send something to somebody on the team that this just happened, you know, either to keep them in the loop or to do action off of it. Or it’s just like, when people start out, I see them struggle with trying to differentiate from tagging everything. Oh, my, I get it, they’re free. We’re not we don’t pay per tag, therefore, we’re not understand it. But they will tag everything. And it’s just like, okay, that’s fine. The tags are there, it’s going to confuse you quicker than it’s going to help you. Because it’s not like you’ve you’ve got them organized, you’re changing naming conventions, and you don’t even know what’s what. So what are some of the best practices that you’ve used to kind of eliminate that temptation to try to tag or track everything and really stay focused on the main, the main actions that tell you Oh, somebody just did something really important?
Paul Sokol 26:11
Yeah. So I think it’s important to uncollapse the distinction between the the customer journey and the operations. So when we talk about tags, that’s that is completely behind the scenes, as far as the customer is concerned, there, we’re going to see that that’s an operational consideration. And so that, while related to the customer journey, should be predicated upon the customer journey, not the other way around. Now, you definitely, you probably have to go into with some considerations for the data structure of what you’re doing. It’s very common to all not very common, but it’s, it’s not uncommon to actually use a custom field in place of a tag because it just gives you better functionality, like usability of it. Tags are pretty limited, and they just tell you one bit of information about the relationship. And then the category can give you a second bit of info or some meta info. But like, if you’re designing your customer journeys from the tag up, you’re doing it the absolute inside out, you need to design you need to storyboard out the customer journey, like they’re going to, they’re going to come to a website, and then they’re going to be offered this ebook, and they’re going to give their name and email. And that’s the first asset. And then the next asset they see is the thank you page that says, go check it out. And then the third asset they see is the email that comes right away. And then the fourth asset is the actual lead magnet they requested. Have you ever thought about that? How a lead magnet delivery is a four asset mechanism, including the actual lead magnet, you need, you need the pet, you need that you need them to form in the page with the form, you need the thank you page, you need an email to deliver it. And then the actual lead.
Chris Davis 28:13
Yes, all of it, man. It’s all hidden in, you know, I’m going to create something I need a free offer. Right, just committed to the landing page to copy the form and integrating it the thank you page and somehow getting the thank you page URL built in the URL into the form so that they’re connected. And then the actual thing, and that’s the operation. Yeah,
Paul Sokol 28:37
that’s the operations of that journey. Right. So what tag do I use? I don’t know, don’t use a tag, just do the webform goal report. If you need a tag, for some reason, in the future to segment or filter, just make a temporary tag, clear campaign goal report temporarily tagged a couple of 100,000 whatever people you need, and then do what you need to do. Like, I would never use a tag, you know, you know, back in the day, I would, you know, requested ebook downloaded ebook. That is how I would kind of track that behavior with tags. So old me would have maybe made an argument that yeah, if you’re going to use a tag, you would swap them out. Because you do want that granularity. You wouldn’t just say request an E book. You wouldn’t just have like a an E Book Tag, like that’s useless. You want to know that people either requested it or do they download it? Yeah, they should only have one of those tags. But I wouldn’t even make a tag for that. There’s no need to make a tag. Even if I’m starting another campaign, I don’t need to make a tag because I have the start sequence step process now. So we don’t even need to make tags anymore. They’ve been a crutch for years. My opinions there’s a lot of old school legacy Infusionsoft people that were part of the they were early adopters part of the ground floor. They got influenced and they relied heavily on tags because that’s how they learned it. Yeah, they still rely on that, um, do you know the actual danger of too many tags, there’s a genuine danger if you have too many tags in your system. Okay? The it’s all databases, right. And there is a tag contact database. So if you have one contact with 10 tags, there is 10 entries on that database table. So if you have an app with, you know, 1000s 10s, of 1000s of tags, a couple million people, that database table literally becomes millions of entries deep. And so it literally takes time for the system to go through it all and slow it down. And so that’s what he’s talking about tag proliferation back in the day. So like, I almost never create tags anymore. The only reason I will create a tag is usually for third party integrations that don’t support the API goal. So like, if I was using like LearnDash, my barium, I would absolutely use the API goal every time. But for something like Zapier, I don’t think there’s a way to hit an API goal with Zapier so fine, I’ll use a tag. And then I try to use it in such a way that like it can stay on them and provide a little bit of value, rather than just being used to trigger. But yeah, starting from the journey, always, always, you know, like a director or director doesn’t like start filming things, they storyboard it out, they figure out we need these four locations. Cool, Cambrian and b are going to Jakarta and you know, you know, South Africa next month, because we need you know, these 30 minutes to fill shots. Cool, man, camera unit here, we’re going to Utah, and then we’re gonna have two weeks, you know, on the lots in LA like, that’d be short movie. But yeah, that’s your plan it out. Because then that exposes the true scope of it. And that’s something that like, really, it’s frustrating to me sometimes when people don’t know what they don’t know. And they’re like, yeah, just put up a you know, just just, you know, just put up a landing page and you’re given a lead magnet. I’m like, do you know how to build a landing page?
Chris Davis 32:10
Paul Sokol 32:11
Do you know how to write copy for landing page? operationally, do you know to do if the lead if the website slow? What about the digital tracking? Like, there’s just so many things that people don’t know, they don’t know. And it’s challenging, because it’ll cause people to to undervalue what you’ve got. And like, really not get it. And so that’s why I like to plan everything out. And when we’re doing a journey, anything whether it’s automation or advertising we we plan it out, and we show this is is a unit about the four story mansion. Cool, here’s the giant set of blueprints you wanted, Oh, that’s too big for you. This is what you want it. You can’t afford a four story mansion, you can only afford to build a one straight family home. Okay, cool. Well, let’s build the guest house from the mansion as your one survey.
Chris Davis 33:01
Man No, that’s, that’s great. I, I find that most of the times where you find an account that gone overboard, not just with tags, because custom fields are in there, too. They’re just all over the place. It is they did not start with the customer journey and let the journey dictate the path. You know, the requirements and all of that. You said you didn’t use tags. So I’m, and I think you say you use goals instead. So for you, you’re using goes between sequences to move people along and track. So you’re running like go reporting if you ever need to know how many contacts meet the criteria?
Paul Sokol 33:35
Yeah, that’s the whole point of it. I mean, that’s another thing too, a lot of I see a lot of people use tags as a crutch for not learning how to use the system properly. You know, like when all you have is a hammer, every problem is a nail kind of thing. Like the campaign reporting is very robust. And so if you know how to use it, you should be able to get any data you want. And so yeah, that’s so when I see a bunch of tagging and and stuff like that, that’s usually a symptom of like, they don’t actually they never got training on how to report properly. Yeah. Yeah. In fact, I was on a call to my buddies in Panama the other day, and it was the same thing. He was using the campaign reporting widget. And he had to build the campaign, almost like a ladder based on how the widget works, because there are legit starting and ending goals. And I’m like, Well, yeah, that’ll function but let’s actually make this like a cohesive journey. And then I had helped build a better dashboard. Just showing you how to disable reports and things like that. Yeah, cuz there was one of the things once they buy, they’re getting added to some forum. And so he wanted to be able to see who bought but wasn’t yet added. And so that was an example of where we used to tag that said, you know, pending registration and then as soon as the internal phone is filled out with their username and password, it removes the tag and sends them their login info. So like that’s it. That’s It’s a good use case for tags you can usually use tags for, if I really, really need to control something very precisely, that’s usually where tags will have to come into play usually have to set some kind of a timer tag that’s connected to some goal, some tag goal. Yeah. Yeah, no, that’s good. Are we having fun?
Chris Davis 35:24
Absolutely. Okay, this is, but the reason why this is good is because we can talk about these things. But look at how much goes into it. Something as simple as a tag, you know, and I tell people all the time, a tag is a, it could be a representative. So that tag, if used correctly, can represent a combination of actions and inactions all built in. Or it could just be something that you thought of in the moments time and just decided to apply it it made sense today, but doesn’t make sense tomorrow. And you’ve got to hold on to those, you know, yeah, it starts to speak on this. What I would say, is this automated marketing minefield, right? Where the knot is, like, you’re somebody like us who are mature, you know, when we weren’t, you just go at go at it, like, I’m coming success in this, like, boom, you’re losing limbs. And before, you know, you’re just like, I’m done with it, then you get like the little detector, right? We’re a little more safe. Okay, wait a minute, I know, I can send this email to everybody accidentally. Let me figure out how to do some safe search, some segmentation, things of that nature. So you got the little landmine detector. And then it gets to the point where you’re like, Oh, I could see how the dirt is raised a bit. There’s a mine there don’t need the detector. And you’re just kind of sprinting through, right. Like, I feel like we’ve sprinted through the landmine after losing so many limbs figuratively, but you see it. Now when you go into an account, and you see tags all over the place, you’re like, yep, that was one landmine, you know, I’ll see custom fields that are repetitive. just didn’t have a consistent naming convention. And Paul, these are all of the things that prevent people from being successful. And then they blame the tool, they get mad that automation doesn’t work. And it’s not about the tool. It’s not about any of that. It’s about them literally stepping back and architecting the customer journey and understanding from there, how to build the car, how to structure the data, right in the CRM to aid that journey. I think it’s critical. And one of the things I want to mention before we go, is you we’ve been talking about email, but it’s becoming even more important with chatbots. Because that’s becoming more of a norm that people are engaging with and using, especially on social media, it provides a level of convenience. And it’s like, well look, the same rules apply. Do
Paul Sokol 38:01
they not? Absolutely do. In fact, they’re they’re even more discerning at that point. I remember one time, I think I was like 2018 with chatbots for starting to blow up and like, you know what, I’m going to go ahead and try and sell this little Gmail course that I need you on how to set up your inbox to like automatically sort itself. So like, I took an old email that an email promo, and that actually got sales and I’m like, Okay, I’m just gonna kind of convert this to chatbot. Yeah, whatnot. And so it didn’t translate overwhelmed, because it was like, una interested in learning about this thing. Yeah. Okay. And then when they hit yes, it just kind of hit with a sales pitch. And it was a very one sided thing. And one guy was actually getting real pissed at it. It was okay. He wasn’t, he was my target audience anyway, that guy was, you know, yeah. But yeah, it was just interesting. So like, with chatbots, you really got a cadence about the experience. So give me an example with my band. I’m in a band, we got a show on Friday 13th, up in black sky brewing in Colorado, in Denver, and we just printed CDs. And so we’ve got fans all over the world. And so we’re like, you know, posting pictures of the CDs. And if you’re interested, go ahead and you know, leave a thumbs up in the comment, we’ll, we’ll send you information on how to get a copy. And we’ve got that connected to a comment guard in many chats. So somebody thumbs up it, and I actually just I ripped and replace the same flow that I use from when when we first got the art and we said who wants to get on the waiting list we we have some some mock ups made up and they could choose to see that before getting their email. So I literally just rip that off the shelf and I was like, cool. Before you use your email, you want to see some mock ups. And then we collected a couple of emails and then inside the band’s Gmail that we all use, I turned on the templates feature and I An email template that basically says, here’s how much it is and give us your address. And we’ll tell you how much the shipping is. Because like, in some cases, there’s a fan out in Sweden and it’s going to cost the CDs 15. us, it’s going to cost more than that to ship it, ship it to them. So like, right, or there’s like this poor fan and like, I think, Croatia or like one of those really esoteric European countries, and the shipping is like, it’d be like 150 bucks just for like a cd 150 American, that’s like, Pam, goodness, here’s a digital copy, Bro, I guess. But yeah, the messaging is really important, especially for audiences like that, like a heavy metal crowd who they’re not particularly technical, and they’re actually really sensitive to bad messaging and bad automation, you’ll get flamed real hard. The peanut gallery effect is what we call it when you start, you know, people flaming your comments or whatnot. That just means that your audience and the message market match was just not. So yeah, chatbots real important, because it’s the back and forth. And you really got to design that. The other thing you got to do is build your list as well. Yes. So you still want to collect emails, because you don’t own your chatbot list. You can be late switch to anytime just like your Facebook page. So it’s called the list booster of trademark, I think is what I would put in my my little plans back in the day where cool was send you the lead magnet? You know, should we send it to you via email? And if they say yes, let me collect their email. If they say no, it’s like, okay, here it is. And then if you can even get get them on a mobile number two and start text messaging, that’s huge. When daymond john is, he does really good with that, I signed up for his dis chatbot and then gave him my phone number. And then every once in a while I get a text message that points me to a Facebook message thread on a new piece of content that is released. So it’s a it’s really easy to go multi channel these days. But the messaging is even more important.
Chris Davis 42:11
And I think that one of the things people have to understand is that you may be using a different channel, but the overall messaging is pretty much the same. Right? Like, just because the channel is different doesn’t mean you have to rewrite that email, maybe you just extract a little bit out of it and put it into SMS because maybe the emails too long SMS has character limit, you don’t want to chop it up, you know, but at the end of the day, it it doesn’t matter. The channel, you know, like the approach to messaging is the same. So when I look at a chatbot, and you know, log into mini chat, mini chat was on the mic the founder was on a few weeks ago. And it’s the visual builder. It looks no to me, it just triggers the same brain space. Okay, time to map out logically. Yeah, what I need to happen before I go and start building I cringe every time I see somebody just jump into our app and literally start typing and start moving. It’s like it’s a disaster waiting to happen.
Paul Sokol 43:14
Yeah. So that’s, you know, that’s the blessing and the curse of a tool like that. Like, like Frank Kern said, it’s a whiteboard that spits out money. And it is if if you know how to how to use it, otherwise, it’s going to spit out pain and heartache.
Chris Davis 43:28
Yeah. And I know you’ve seen your fair share being in success, helping the What did you What was it called, again? Your success coach? Yes, success. Success Coach. You’ve seen so many errors, not just with Infusionsoft though, but just business period. So, you know, you see enough falling, what happens is you just, you could be the most cold hearted individual in the world. And you’ll still feel a certain way for people who just can’t figure that figure it out. You can look at some of these campaigns and be like, you know what, I think I see what you were trying to do it right. doesn’t work like that. How it works, let me help you out. It figure out the landscape. So if anything, I hope the podcast today is comforting to you all who have been struggling trying to master automation, you may be the one for it, and hopefully what we’ve said today help, but you also may not. That’s okay. That’s okay. Literally it’s okay to ask for help for somebody who does this stuff.
Paul Sokol 44:34
Because that’s a really, really good point, Chris, because there’s a big difference between like the strategies and the tactics like the vision and the implementation so like if you’re not a technical person, but you’ve got the vision if you if you know that like listen, I want there to be like a landing page because I’ve got this ebook I want to give away and like I know that I want to follow up with some of yours like in you know, the journey you want to create. That’s all you need. Again, that’s almost like a director being like, Hey, listen, I need this shark to jump out of the water and onto the boat and The crew of jaws it’s like what are you talking about? 1974 Spielberg? He’s like, I need a shark to jump out of the water out of the boat. That’s a shot I need. Yeah, yeah. So then it’s up to his nerds to figure that out. So same kind of thing. If it’s like, I want this lead magnet thing, this email drip great. Go find someone like myself, like Chris, like, there’s all sorts of people in the community that can actually help you implement. Because it is not for everybody. Everybody should not be a mechanic. Not everybody needs to become a mechanic just to learn how to drive the car. And in fact, that’s an important distinction, I try to really only teach people what they need to know. So if we built like an internal for them like that, so I’m going to teach her I’m not going to talk about opportunities, unless they’re using opportunities, and then we’re going to teach them on that. But, you know, maybe we’re not going to teach them on the e commerce because they’re not using that. So or maybe we only talk about products, because they’re just doing the revenue forecasts. And that’s it. Me,
Chris Davis 45:55
too. Tell me this. Paul, you mentioned something prior, before we hit out. You said you you’ve run multiple pipelines? Are you? Are you meaning within one account? or? Yeah, cuz it’s been a while I will admit, it’s been a while. But to my last recollection, I thought it was one pipeline per account. It is no, you can do Oh, you what you do multiple with that one.
Paul Sokol 46:20
Yeah, I still have one master when in last stage, but I have, you know, my main sales stages in there. And then I have stages to track fulfillment. I have sales stages to track the acquisition of shares for polling events, I have sale stages to track keep children rockin donations, which I can’t believe I’ve been talking about that, um, I have a nonprofit that provides music equipment repairs, and to local schools. And so I use sudo fusion soft to track those, you know, the acquisition of those schools to have conversations with teachers and get the list of stuff they need and buying the stuff. So like, just recently, we bought 25 ukuleles for school out here in Phoenix. And then we bought a whole PA system for schooling Kingman because they had an old like speakers built into the wall kind of thing. And rather than fix it, the the partners and I were looking at them, because they’re their technical sound guys, too. They’re like, we’re just gonna buy him some portable speakers and a mixer. You know, that’s all they needed. So yeah, I use I used to keep for that, for tracking that too. And then I also have that pipeline I was telling you about the financial collections. And then there is also I just use the pipeline to track sponsors for the dead of winter Fest, which is the annual heavy metal festival to generate donations for key field. So yeah, that’s like five or six pipelines all in one and then there’s just one master win loss stage. And then the weight loss reasons are broken down by the brand. So there’s like, you know, the pls consulting win loss reasons to keep children rockin win loss reasons, the quality event reasons. And of course, with keep growing Pro, and Max, you now do actually have distinct separate pipelines. Yep. Which is, which is new. So yeah, yeah, that
Chris Davis 48:10
is new. Thank thanks for dropping that on me. I was wondering about it. I hadn’t logged in and so long. So that’s welcome. Because everything to me, PA, everything is a pipeline. Everything is a process. That’s what it is right in the stages become steps in the process. Just like I think in pipelines, I can’t not do it that way. So to have a platform that aids that way of thinking and automates right along with you. It just makes you that much better, man. It really does. Do you have a podcast gas pipeline? I do. That’s awesome. That’s awesome, dude. Yeah, absolutely. Do it is the I can’t call. You
Paul Sokol 48:55
couldn’t do anything without it. If you didn’t have the pipeline, what would you do? Oh,
Chris Davis 48:59
I can I literally, I probably wouldn’t have a podcast.
Paul Sokol 49:04
That’s that’s Yeah, man. That’s about the answer. I can’t imagine. You know, we’re two person boutique agency over here. It’s just me and Breanna and like, you know, we’ve sold over, you know, 300 grand worth of services in the past five or so years. And that’s just me. If I didn’t have a pipeline, there’s no way I’d ever really I think about like, if I knew what I knew now about pipelines when I was selling knives. I’d probably be a cruise sales professional. I’d probably be over a million dollars in sales making half 50% Commission on that, with the exception of the first 50 grand of that sales, but like Yeah, right.
Chris Davis 49:37
That’s man. I remember when I discovered them because you had to learn them when I was getting certified for Infusionsoft. And then I actually didn’t find out or pay attention to them to later because the stage stuff always kind of confused me like okay, you change the stage what’s happening. And then when I had to I was at Active Campaign as the Director of Education. I had to Learn pipelines because I had to teach on it. And then once I learned what a pipeline was, I was like, wait a minute, this can be used for anything, and it just blew. And now like I said, I cannot their podcast pipeline. Anybody that sells high ticket services that require a call before enrolling, or any assistance sale needs a pipeline, any assistance sale, are you serious? Well not use assuming
Paul Sokol 50:29
if the price magnitude is hundreds of dollars or more. And it’s an assisted sale, you need a pipeline, you know, if it’s an unassisted sale, like a cup of coffee, or maybe something for 10 or 20 bucks, so you don’t need to pipeline. Anything that’s, you know, 100 bucks or more, you’re wheeling a deal. And yeah, you set up a pipeline for that, man. That’s my favorite thing in the whole world, by the way, is pipelines because I come from
Chris Davis 50:52
direct sales. We are 100% in line there.
Paul Sokol 50:56
I love them. And how has it been almost a decade? Since like, like, man?
Chris Davis 51:02
I don’t know. This is great. This is more, we should do a follow up just about the various pipelines You and I have built.
Chris Davis 51:15
Alright, I think we got our next podcast. Let me say this, Paul, thank you, man, for jumping on to the podcast. This has been great. Great to meet you. Great to see your brain great to connect in front of everybody for the first time where I know people are like, Okay, well, if we need to hire somebody like you, how do we find these people? How can somebody connect with you and find out more about you?
Paul Sokol 51:44
Yeah, so I’m all over Facebook and LinkedIn. So my page on Facebook.com/underthehair, and then on LinkedIn, just Paul Sokol And that’s me. And then if you go to Paulsokol.me, again, there’s going to be very unimpressive landing page. And the whole point is to weed out people that aren’t interested in serious marketing and whatnot, and I send that email. The goal is to do it monthly, but sometimes it’ll be a couple months before I have anything valuable to say. So I’m not just going to like, send it like the last one I sent was talking about how I use automation for my mentoring program. In fact, if you’re interested in that, let me know Chris, and after you sign up, just tell me I’ll push that out to you. Because it’s all using internal forms. You might even be able to do something like that for your podcast follow up now that I think about it. Because it’s just it’s an internal form that takes like an introduction block and then to work items and then you know, what’s the date and time for the next call? In your case, it would probably be like thanks for being on the podcast, customized paragraph and then maybe a blurb about the production or something.
Chris Davis 52:54
Yep, absolutely, man. All right, well, great. We’ll have those links in the show note. Again, my friend Thank you for coming on to the podcast man enjoy recording this one I know our listeners will enjoy it as well and are ready looking for looking forward to part two whoo It’s alright. Thank you for listening to this episode. I hope it was eye opening. This wasn’t for the beginner right this is for that marketer who has some some nicks and bruises some some some scars from the marketing automation minefield, but it was just so refreshing to hear Paul talk about tags and how you should, how they don’t proceed the customer journey, right and talk about how everything is a pipeline and how to craft the right messaging. These are all critical ingredients to a automation automated customer journey that that converts. Okay, so if you found this helpful, and if you know somebody who’s looking forward to leveraging Infusionsoft or keep buying fuses are Infusionsoft by keep? If they’re trying to leverage their CRM and manage their pipeline more effectively? share this episode with them, share this episode with them. And while you’re at it, if you were that first time listener I mentioned at the beginning, now’s the time for you to subscribe. Okay, and leave your five star rating and review I want to say thank you in advance for that. Here at automation bridge. We’re dedicated to training digital marketing professionals to become automation service providers, small businesses, they need help. They’re in dire need of somebody who can understand technology, the marketing technology and the strategies for marketing and growing a business. put those together to to to deploy automated marketing and sales systems for their rapid growth. Small Businesses need that? If that is you, this is the podcast for you. So what we’ve done is we’ve made it easy for you to get access to everything that you need. If you go to Allsystemsgopodcast.com you’ll be able to access the latest episodes and more importantly are amplify my automation package. And it’s geared to put automated marketing and sales systems in your business over the next six months, okay? We also have a free Facebook group, you can request to be a guest on the podcast, or you can refer someone your referrals are greatly appreciated. All right, and any resource or training mentioned on the podcast, one URL to remember gets you access to it all. And that’s allsystemsgopodcast.com Thank you for taking the time to listen to this episode. And until next time, I see you online. Automate responsibly, my friends
- [3:45] Paul’s background and how he got into the marketing automation space
- [13:16] One of the most critical pieces of automation that is often overlooked
- [16:21] Paul shares his Weekly Redeemer Timing structure – you want to hear this gem
- [17:58] “Weak automated messaging is the equivalent of not reading the room.”
- [20:45] Why you should be intentional and utilize “The Witching Hour” in your automations
- [22:50] How to determine which actions are most important to personalize in your customer journey
- [25:55] Why tags should not proceed the customer journey
- [33:01] The complexities of the “automated marketing minefield”
- [38:13] The importance of mapping out relevant and intentional messaging no matter the channel
- [45:55] Paul shares the details of his multiple pipelines
- [54:20] How to become an Automation Service Provider™
Paul builds automation and advertising for a living. He is a thought leader in Automated Experience Design, author, speaker, and promoter.
- Website: https://www.paulsokol.me
Want to Be a Guest On the Podcast?
We're currently accepting guests for the podcast that are SaaS owners, marketing automation consultants, and digital professionals that have produced high results with automation.
If that's you, or you'd like to recommend someone, click here to apply to be a guest.
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
Chris is an Electrical Engineer turned entrepreneur who is the Founder of Automation Bridge, an international speaker and facilitator, and startup consultant