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John Jantsch: Hello and welcome to another episode of the Duct Tape Marketing Podcast. This is John Jantsch and my guest today is Josh Slone. He is the product marketer for get Gist, which is an all in one software platform for stuff like live chat and email marketing automation, forms, knowledge-based, all the tools that we need to use today. So Josh, thanks for joining me. Welcome.

Josh Slone: Thanks for having me.

John Jantsch: So as I started talking about all the tools that are involved, I can already hear listeners thinking, “Gosh, do we really need all of these ways to communicate today?”

Josh Slone: Yeah, it’s very important to both be where your customers are, but then also have all those things in the easiest to understand format for business owners and marketers.

John Jantsch: I guess the point of my question is, I think a lot of small business owners, marketers, are overwhelmed by the fact that, “Okay, I’m monitoring social media, I’ve got email, now I’ve got chat and now I’m putting all these forms and things that I have to react to on my website.” I mean, how do you wrangle all of this into a manageable… It’s like you’ve got customers everywhere, how do you keep control of things?

Josh Slone: Well, there’s a couple of different ways. One of the ways is to integrate all your tools together. So say if you had a meeting scheduler app to book appointments, or if you had live chat software that was bringing in communication from your website, and then of course you got Facebook messenger and Twitter and all of these social platforms. So you can either integrate them all together, or what’s become more popular is there’s several tools out there that offer the all in one approach and just really tries to harness that and they… For that reason, we’ve created a conversations tool that not just gets live chat from your website, but we also integrate directly with Twitter messaging and Facebook Messenger to bring all of those under one dashboard that you can answer from one place instead of having to log into different accounts all day long.

John Jantsch: So the really common practice for many, many years was drive people to your website to offer them something of value in exchange for an email address, and then just put them into a campaign that follows up and hopefully gets them more and more interested in your products and services. But buyers, first off, we’ve become, I think a little fatigued with that approach but also have just gotten a lot more sophisticated, have a lot, I think a lot higher expectations because people are certainly personalizing their experience based on behavior. The classic one is always Amazon, knows what we buy and how we think and is offering those things to us. So how does the small business owner take that level of sophistication really tapping into behavior? Because obviously that sounds like a lot more work, doesn’t it?

Josh Slone: Yeah, it definitely does. And if you’re talking about the level of complexity that Amazon and their algorithm gives you, it can seem overwhelming. But I think just about every business owner can identify two to three activities or behaviors or events that they want leads to do. And then, basically if you can identify those two or three things and then react to those behaviors when they happen, it’s a more personalized experience for the user and it’s more effective to move people down that marketing funnel.

John Jantsch: Okay. So let’s say that one of my things is I sell marketing services. A lot of people are looking for SEO services. So for example, maybe I’ve written a blog post and it offers a free SEO checklist and that’s what I want people to do is download that piece of content. Now, how could I actually make that a better experience based on behavior?

Josh Slone: Okay. Yeah, definitely. So if they downloaded your checklist, that would obviously be one behavior, and then following up with those particular services. So if it is SEO, if you send them emails specifically more towards the SEO, instead of say pay per click advertising or web design, it’d be more tailored personal experience. That’d be a simple way of doing it. But you could also see if that guide or that checklist sends them to your SEO services page. Like most agencies would have a page that outlines their SEO services, lays out expectations and things like that. So if they download your SEO checklist, and then they visit your SEO service page that explains your services, that’s going to highlight to you that they’re more interested than say someone who just downloaded the guide and forgot about it.

John Jantsch: Right? So you’re suggesting I can now segment that person maybe for a whole nother kind of campaign?

Josh Slone: Right. And then, yeah, you can actually put them in a Facebook custom audience. So that way they’re seeing, use us for SEO ads instead of just general ads, things like that.

John Jantsch: So let me give you another example that I run into a lot of times. A lot of companies sell a variety of services or products and they don’t necessarily… There’s totally different segment of the market that wants those different services. So typically we will build pages for those services. Or if you’re this kind of business go here. How could somebody use behavioral activity like that to really then tailor a better experience for that person because they visited certain pages I guess on a website? Is there something we can start doing that to say, Oh, you must be interested in these things. Let’s send you that kind of content?

Josh Slone: Actually, Gist does something very similar to this. We ask people for what industry they’re in. So we’ve put people into seven different industries, whether it be business services and marketing agencies, software companies, more home services like plumbers and electricians. We have seven different industries. And then, when they indicate which industry they’re in, we actually have specific content that we can send to them that helps them use automation better. Because a lot of people, they see Gist, we offer nine different tools, they get overwhelmed. And not only that, some people aren’t going to use all of them. So we focus on the the top three to five tools that say an electrician would use. And not only that we explained specifically why an electrician would want to start using them. And so, it really helps us to understand their industry and it helps us to tailor the content experience from there.

John Jantsch: So let’s say somebody does download a piece of content and you start sending them some emails based on that. We all know that… I don’t know what the percentage is, maybe let’s be conservative. 60, 70% of them never open it, never do anything with it. So that other 30% that open it, and then maybe click on something or then go visit something else. Are there ways in which we can actually take that group and say, okay, these are our most engaged folks, let’s do something special for them?

Josh Slone: Absolutely. I won’t get too deep into it, but one of the most important things for Gist is to install just onto your website so that way you can use it. And we actually use both the positive and negative behavior to tailor that experience. So if someone has installed our WordPress plugin or our script on their website, then they move into a different sort of automation. And if they haven’t, then of course we want them to install that script. So that’s going to be our primary focus there. So separating both the people who do perform that action and the people who don’t is very important, in terms of like getting more people engaged.

John Jantsch: So the script you’re talking about is actually—that just allows you to say “This person is on your email list and they did X on your website?”

Josh Slone: Yes. And it could be, like if you’re a marketing agency and you have a webinar, a prerecorded webinar, if someone watched that webinar, well then that could be the people who perform that action. The people who didn’t watch the webinar, maybe you follow up with a piece of written content or maybe a podcast to get their preferred form of content and catch as many people as you can.

John Jantsch: So obviously a lot of this takes doing, it takes learning. It takes building the assets that you might need. What are some folks that are coming to this, like all they’ve been doing is, sign up for our newsletter, kind of lead capture. What are some of the first things that they should start doing that are not going to necessarily overwhelm them?

Josh Slone: Yeah, it could be as easy as tracking those who open your emails. That’s probably one of the ones. And if you want to take it a little step further you can, you probably know that every email should have a link in it, a call to action. So I’m sure you’ve definitely said that. So that call to action, that button clicked or that link clicked can be a behavior and that would be the easiest way to get started.

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John Jantsch: So let’s talk about that group. So what would be a simple thing that or just maybe an obvious thing to do? Let’s say I send out, I don’t know, a number, a thousand emails and 300 people open them. Is there something I should do immediately to those 300 that open it to try to get them even more engaged? Are there just kind of obvious steps?

Josh Slone: So for the people who have opened your email, it depends on what the content of the email would be, but you definitely want to continue that conversation with them. And the next thing would be, what did they open? What was the email that they opened? So they open an email like we were talking about, about your SEO services. The next email, maybe not necessarily a sales pitch or a or a call to action as far as like in terms of like getting them to buy, but it could definitely be something that helps their SEO a little bit further. So if they open an email that just talks about an SEO blog post that you just wrote, let’s talk about SEO, excuse me, and they opened it. The next email wouldn’t just be a generic email. It could be like, Hey, here’s our SEO checklist that you haven’t downloaded yet. Here’s another piece of content that’s particular to SEO. You’d want it to be more personalized to what they actually opened in most cases.

John Jantsch: How easy is it to use a tool like Gist, obviously there are other ones out there as well, to automate some of these things? Because you want to send out an email, you don’t necessarily want to have to then go, okay, let’s see who opened it. Now, let’s do this far. How easy is it to create these workflows and automations?

Josh Slone: Obviously there is going to be a learning curve with any of these tools, especially if like you said, the only thing that you’ve done is you’ve had a newsletter and you’ve hooked it up to, say like a AWeber or something like that. But with our visual workflow builder, you can see how your contacts are going to move through, and we have dozens of pre-created properties like last email, our marketing email opened, last marketing email clicked that are already preset, so you don’t actually have to create those events. You don’t have to set those up. You don’t have to know how to code.

Josh Slone: It’s if you send an email and you can say, if someone clicks in this email, I want them to move over here based on… And you can actually set decisions like, yes, they did or no they didn’t. It might take you an afternoon, but within an afternoon you could have a fairly complex marketing automation system. And we just actually last week rolled out a few dozen done-for-you templates that include the email draft in there that you can edit as well. So we actually have some prebuilt for you, specifically for those business owners who are trying to either bootstrap or their [solar preneur 00:12:18] kind of situations.

John Jantsch: One of the things that comes with a tool like this, obviously, in terms of power and complexity, also comes price. Let’s say somebody has been collecting email addresses for a while and they’ve been using MailChimp or something, it’s pretty low cost. If they wanted to bring a pretty good size list over, how would they justify… They might be talking about $500 a month now of a cost to use a tool like this at that kind of volume. Is there a way for somebody to sort of selectively bring people over that…? Because I think everybody’s got… Anybody who’s collected generic email addresses for years probably has a lot of email addresses on there that really aren’t worth spending money on necessarily. They probably should almost be weeded out but, but if somebody was trying to make the move to a tool like yours and they did have say a 10 or 20 or 30,000 person list, what would be the best way to bring something like that over in a cost effective manner?

Josh Slone: You could absolutely test it. We have a 21-day trial that’s the full version of Gist. You see everything that has to offer. You could segment a portion of your list and you could send emails to them. You could test out the marketing flow for a full three weeks to see if your conversions increase and things like that. And then, if you decided that you wanted to move that full list over, we actually migrate for our users. So you would contact our team and we would get, not only your contacts over, but we would recreate your emails and even your automations that you have through any other provider. And then, before we turn it on, we show it to you, we walk you through it and then you can complete the move.

John Jantsch: So I want to circle back to something we were talking about early on and that’s idea of having the ability for somebody to sort of self select their segments, so to speak and that you had like your seven different areas. Do you think that’s something that if somebody comes to your website or maybe they found you by way of a particular blog post that ranked pretty highly, is that something that should in your opinion, should be offered to them right away or is that something that as they get into your funnel or one of your workflows, that should just be something that comes as a natural step of nurturing to get to know them better?

Josh Slone: For us when we really start our marketing, when someone signs up either for a free version of Gist or the free trial, so we ask it from the get go to use that as a qualifier for leads. How serious are they, how much they fill out of our onboarding process? But for someone like a marketing agency where someone’s going to find you either through word of mouth or, like you said, through a blog post, it can definitely happen naturally. And they don’t even have to self identify. If they’re only researching SEO, if they’re only checking out your SEO blog posts and reading your SEO content, you can apply a tag to them and you identify them instead of them self-identifying. So it can happen way more naturally over time.

John Jantsch: I see. Or even if they visited a certain page, a certain service page or a certain segment of the audience, you could actually then say, well they must be interested in.. Or at least make that assumption.

Josh Slone: Absolutely. And the number of times too, if someone visits the SEO service page four or five times in the last 30 days, that’s definitely a indicator.

John Jantsch: So tell us a little more about where people can find out about Gist and, as you said, potentially sign up for a free trial.

Josh Slone: I would definitely suggest the homepage, Right there it just says get started for free and you can either sign up for a free version of Gist or you can see the full version by signing up for a free 21-day trial.

John Jantsch: So tell me, are there any… I know that you have a number of tools, the knowledge base, the forms of email marketing, live chat, meetings, scheduling. Are there any kind of big things that you feel like you’re missing but they’re on the roadmap?

Josh Slone: Yes. The one thing that we get asked about the most and people integrate with the most, is a CRM. And that is, that is something that’s on the roadmap. It’s been in development for quite some time. And we’ve been releasing like visual workflows is our biggest release that we’ve had this year and that rolled out a few months ago. So we’re definitely working on it and that’s the one thing that we hear most often is missing from Gist.

John Jantsch: Well, Josh, thanks so much for stopping by, and hopefully we’ll run into you out there on the road. We’ll have all these links, the link and the things we talked about today in our show notes.

Josh Slone: Thanks again for having me.

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