Creating Evergreen Sales Funnels (And What to Watch out For) with Amy Porterfield
Amy Porterfield: When you go evergreen, I think a lot of old school marketers who talk about evergreen, like make money in your sleep, you can go off and play more, take time on the beach, get a tan, blah, blah, blah. I’ve experienced that evergreen still takes some focus. Every single week I’m dabbling a little bit in my evergreen funnels. Where it happens for me the most would be in my . . .
Pat Flynn: That’s Amy Porterfield, our special guest today who’s coming on to talk about evergreen funnels. If you don’t know what a funnel is, a funnel is how you take somebody from when they first find you, to the next step, to the next step, to eventually a purchase decision of some kind. Hopefully a customer is what they become. An evergreen sales funnel is one that happens automatically. You’ve set things up ahead of time so that the progression happens automatically. What Amy’s saying there is that it’s not as automatic as some may make it out to be, so we’re going to get deep into what evergreen is, how to make it work, how Amy’s been doing with it, some of the pluses and minuses, the pros and cons of it, and what you can do. Whether you already have a business or not, this is a great way to start thinking.
It’s like, I remember when I read The 4-Hour Work Week by Tim Ferriss. I didn’t even have a business yet back in 2008, but it was inspiring because it showed me the right way to go about it. Then when I finally built my business, I had built it in a way such that it was mostly automated based on what I learned from Tim. Now we’re talking about not just sales funnels, but evergreen sales funnels. Even if you don’t have a business, this will be very helpful.
All you have to do—two things. Number one, hit subscribe if you haven’t already. Number two, put that phone in that pocket because this is going to be a good one. Amy Porterfield’s with us, hit that music.
Announcer: Welcome to the Smart Passive Income Podcast, where it’s all about working hard now, so you can sit back and reap the benefits later. And, now your host—he believes in JOMO, the Joy Of Missing Out—Pat Flynn!
Pat Flynn: What’s up? Welcome everybody. Thank you so much for joining me in Session 335 of the Smart Passive Income Podcast. I’m very thankful to have one of my best friends here in the online space, who is also with me in San Diego as well. We get coffee every once in a while. I really wanted her to come back on the show to talk about this, because I noticed that Amy had switched from a lot of live launches—which is where you kind of have to work to have a launch period between a certain amount of time, and it takes a lot of effort and work. Which is what I’m doing right now mostly, although we are starting to experiment with evergreen. I don’t know much about it yet.
What do I do when I don’t know much about something? I talk to as many experts who have done that thing before, and that’s exactly why we have these experts like Amy here on the show. To not just share with me, but share with you all the things we need to know before we dive in, and go full force with it. Without further ado, let’s bring on Amy Porterfield from AmyPorterfield.com, and the Online Marketing Made Easy Podcast. Here she is.
Amy, welcome back to the SPI Podcast. Thank you so much for being here again.
Amy Porterfield: Well thanks so much for having me, I’m happy to be here.
Pat Flynn: I was checking on the date of the last time you were on the show, and it was August 9, 2017. So literally at the time of this recording, about a month, or a year ago to the day.
Amy Porterfield: Too funny.
Pat Flynn: I think I need to you have on more often, because that was a really popular episode. We’ve had you on before also to talk about course launches, last time it was list building. This time, we’re going to be talking about not just creating courses, but how, and why, and should we make them evergreen versus the live launch sort of thing. We’ll get into that. But, any . . . What’s new in your world right now? Any big updates, or what’s kind of going on in Amy Porterfield land?
Amy Porterfield: We’re kind of in an interesting season right now, where I have my team focusing on cleaning things up and making things stronger, which we don’t typically do as entrepreneurs because we’re always moving forward and going on to the next big, great thing.
But, because I run a simple business—I create courses, I sell them live and on evergreen, that’s the bulk of my revenue—sometimes things get stale, or a little bit old, and we’ve got to renew and clean up. I know it’s not sexy. I just did a vision meeting with my team. I said, “I know it’s not sexy, but our theme right now for the next two months is to clean things up, and strengthen, and get rid of things that aren’t working.” So, it will lead us to some massive growth, but we’re just not there yet.
Pat Flynn: What does that mean exactly, clean up? What are you cleaning up?
Amy Porterfield: Well, funny enough that we’re talking about evergreen funnels today, because we were using a specific tool for our evergreen funnels. We customized this tool beyond customization. Like, deeply customized it for our evergreen funnels. A lot of deep customization can really get you into trouble when they change the tool, or it needs to be upgraded, because you customized a tool that can’t upgrade now. And so that’s what happened. Things were breaking down in my evergreen funnels. We actually moved them over to EasyWebinar, which I’ve promoted for years now. Now I’m finally back using what I started with, ’cause EasyWebinar’s one of my favorite tools for evergreen. We are cleaning up tons of our evergreen. Then, the other thing is we’re making sure that people on the team are working on the right projects to move us forward. I had a little too many cooks in the kitchen on my team. We were doing one project, and everybody was part of it. I don’t think that’s the best way to run major projects in your business, so we kept it a little bit more lean. Those were the two areas we were cleaning up.
Pat Flynn: Nice. Thank you for sharing that with me.
Amy Porterfield: Yeah.
Pat Flynn: I’ve gone through a lot of the similar growing pains with customizations and tools breaking down.
Amy Porterfield: Yes.
Pat Flynn: It’s just one of those things that you kind of have to go through. What’s the biggest tip you can give for people as they grow their business, as things don’t always work the way they had been working. How can we handle those situations?
Amy Porterfield: I think that’s such a great question. One of the biggest things I have to remind myself is, as a business owner one of my biggest jobs is to troubleshoot and work through problems. Sometimes when something breaks down—you know my website server, something was so off. That’s another thing we strengthened, was the backend of our website. I was really hard on myself about, “Oh my gosh, this is breaking down. Our website’s been down for days. We lost a lot of money in it.” I wanted to blame myself and think like, “I’m not a good entrepreneur right now.” Then I realized, and talk to so many of my peers, it happens to everybody. Problems are going to come up, and your job is to fix those problems and move on quickly and not dwell in them. I had to actually manage my mindset more than anything around some of the challenges that came up lately.
Pat Flynn: Nice. Thank you for sharing that. That helps me to hear too, because I forget sometimes that this is just the part of the process. Things are going to break, and you’re going to have these growing pains. Part of a job of an entrepreneur is just to kind of figure things out and roll with the punches.
Amy Porterfield: It’s so true. If things are not breaking down at least a few times a year, you are not experimenting enough. You are not doing enough out there to kind of move the needle and see what else is possible. I really do believe that things need . . . You need to have a shake up once in a while, because that means you’re trying new things.
Pat Flynn: That’s so good.
Amy Porterfield: Yeah.
Pat Flynn: I don’t know if y’all heard me right now, but I just went, “Mm.” I’m trying really hard not to do that on the podcast, but I couldn’t help myself with that one. That was a yummy tip.
Amy Porterfield: I love it.
Pat Flynn: Let’s talk about evergreen course launches. I remember when I first started following you Amy, you were doing a lot of what’s called live launches.
Amy Porterfield: Yes.
Pat Flynn: This was happening multiple times a year. Can you explain just for those who are listening, what is a live launch? Then, why are you going evergreen, and how does that differ?
Amy Porterfield: Yes. A live launch would be something like doing a few different webinars over the course of, usually fourteen days. We usually do two weeks of live launching. You’re promoting one program, or one service. You promote it, you get people on your webinars, you sell, you do a lot of email campaigns, or email promotions. You have cart open, and cart closed. On a certain date that cart opens, you promote, promote, promote. Webinars, emails. Then you close the cart, and people can’t buy after a certain date. That usually is what a live launch would look like.
Now, it might happen over two weeks. But, holy cow you work really hard for a month or two before to get everything in place. All your bonuses, your sales page, your webinar, your shopping cart—there’s so many moving parts. Then after, when the cart closes, you’re usually delivering the course. You might have pre-recorded it, maybe you didn’t. It’s not just two weeks, and it is exhausting. Which, we will probably talk about if you ever ask me why I moved to evergreen.
Evergreen is when you—usually it includes a webinar, it doesn’t always have to. But, in this case, it does. You record your webinar in advance, you put together all of your emails, you put together the entire funnel of the ads, and then registering for your webinar, and getting the confirmation email, watching the webinar, the replay email. All of that is automated from start to finish. You can still have some kind of a start date and an end date. We’ll talk about that. But, it’s all automated. You are not doing anything once it is up and running, which is a really attractive thing to most.
Pat Flynn: That does sound very attractive. First question, should you, or can you do evergreen to start, or should you always start with a live and then kind of transition into evergreen from there?
Amy Porterfield: I’m so glad you asked me this question, because I have a lot of opinions around launching in evergreen because I’ve been doing it for so long. I tell my students that if you are going to promote a product or service with a webinar, you need to do a live launch, and you need to do that webinar live multiple times until you get to a place that you are really happy with your conversions. Now, the conversion, it could vary for sure. You could be getting 20 percent conversion with the people showing up for your webinar, and then eventually buying, or people signing up for your webinar, and eventually buying. People look at the numbers differently. But, you could get 20 percent, 30 percent, 40 percent, whatever good looks like for you. You need to make sure that you can do a few different webinars and hit those numbers.
Once you do, then it’s okay to go to evergreen. But, you never want to start with evergreen because what happens with evergreen, is you’re going to typically pay to send a lot of traffic via paid advertising to your webinar registration page. Even if you don’t pay and you send a bunch of people from your email list to a webinar registration page, you do not know if that webinar’s going to convert well. You might have wasted a huge opportunity. You want to do this live, and tweak while you’re in the moment. You can change so much when you do a live launch. You’re not changing a thing in automation. Do it live, I say three, four, five times. Get that conversion rate where you want it. Then it’s safe to turn it into evergreen.
Pat Flynn: I see. I think I know the answer to this question, but if live works so well, and you can always continually tweak and improve, why even consider evergreen?
Amy Porterfield: It’s a great question. Really, if you look at the numbers too, some people ask me that. Because, with a live webinar, I might be getting 30, 40 percent conversion on a warm audience if they’re my list. With evergreen, it’s typically a cold audience, most likely. It could be as low as three percent. Three to 10 percent on evergreen is typically pretty good. The conversions are grossly different as well. Here’s the big aha, two reasons actually. Number one, if we just look at the healthier business, and the health of you as an entrepreneur ,ive launching, if you do it consistently, even four or five times a year, is incredibly taxing on you and your team. It’s just a lot of work, a lot of focus. It usually means that everything else in your life is put on hold, including your family if we’re being really honest. My husband Hobie, he knows when we’re in a launch I’m not totally present with my family. I hate to admit it, but it’s true, because it’s so intense.
I do my best, but there’s been moments for sure. When you live launch, that intensity is taxing on your team, and on you as an entrepreneur. But, the second thing is, that sometimes it feels like feast and famine when you’re live launching. You make a bunch of money in a live launch, and then for a while you’re hardly making anything if you don’t have anything evergreen running in the background. Then you’ve got to do another launch to make money. That is a scary way to run a business as well. One of the reasons I moved to evergreen is that I wanted money coming in every single day. I can make smarter decisions knowing the amount of money I have in my bank account, what’s coming down the pipeline.
Also, here’s the big thing. With evergreen, you are running it every single day. In fact, I have four webinars running every day. I give people four different time slots to sign up for. I’m making money every single day on automation, and so at the end of the day it definitely starts to add up. That’s why evergreen over time becomes incredibly profitable. I also believe that you’re still never going to make as much as live launching if you do it well. My live launches, we’ve had two million dollar live launches in two weeks. I’m not going to make that in evergreen. But, I also know that that is not always going to happen, a two million dollar launch in two weeks. Evergreen is so much more stable.
Pat Flynn: That makes sense to me. However, in my attempt to transition from more of the live launches, which I’ve had in the past ’cause thankfully I finally have stuff to sell now—moving into more evergreen, automated passive income. There’s been a lot of challenges for me, and I think a lot of people who might be going down that route, or will in the future, may be concerned of the same things. In terms of the customer, when they get these webinars that you have. I mean, is it seemingly live? I worry a little bit about being disingenuine across the process. I know you of all people would be the last person to do that. I’m curious to see how you balance the live launch, and the you being there to help them through that launch period, versus evergreen and you’re kind of not even in there anymore.
Amy Porterfield: I’m glad we’re talking about this because you do give up a little bit. For someone like me and someone like you Pat, that’s actually really hard to swallow. I’ve been able to get past it, and I’m going to talk about that. But, it is not the same. You are not there, so you’re not offering that level of support that you typically would during a live launch. Now, at the same time, if we kind of flipped it, you’re also offering something on a regular basis instead of taking it away, and people can’t buy for months and months. There’s this trade off as well. That’s where it comes down to you’ve got to look at the pros and the cons, and make sure that you feel better. That the cons are heavier than . . . I mean, the pros are heavier than the cons for you personally as the entrepreneur.
Let me talk about a little bit of that. Number one, I make sure I never say that anything is live. If we have an automated webinar, I never use the word live when I’m like, “Okay guys, I’m on live now. Let’s get to it.” I do not use that word. Also, I don’t use the word live in any of my marketing for evergreen. Right there I take it out.
Pat Flynn: Okay, so you’re not pretending it’s live?
Amy Porterfield: I’m not pretending it’s live.
Pat Flynn: Okay.
Amy Porterfield: However, here’s where the gray part comes in that you have to feel good about, or not. That is, I never say it’s recorded either. The minute you say something is recorded, the value of that, typically it’s a perception, goes down. In my heart of hearts I think about it, and I think, “I am delivering the exact same content live, versus evergreen. I know that the value hasn’t gone down.” So, if the perceived value goes down because I say, “Well this is a recording that you can get on.” I know people won’t take it as seriously. It’s just human nature. I do not say it’s recorded, but I do not say it’s live. If anybody asks me if it’s live, I say no. I make sure that I let them know if they ask. But, if they’re not asking and they’re not worried about it, I’m not advertising it.
Pat Flynn: Mm-hmm. Now, what is the drive to buy if the course is always open? Can’t a person just go, “Oh yeah, I mean I’ll get it later.” Versus the live launch, right? It’s like, “Oh, the course is closing, these things are going away. I have to buy now.”
Amy Porterfield: Yes.
Pat Flynn: We as marketers, we need to help people get to a decision making point. But, if that course is always there and available, what’s making them make the decision?
Amy Porterfield: Okay, so you must have scarcity in your evergreen funnels in order for you to convert on a regular basis. If you’re cool with it, I want to get a little bit techy here about the backend.
Pat Flynn: Let’s do it.
Amy Porterfield: And, what we do inside my funnel.
Pat Flynn: Sure.
Amy Porterfield: Okay, so when somebody signs up for one of my evergreen funnels, I use Infusionsoft. I’m going to give you some names of tools, but you get to find the tools that work for you, because my tools are not the only tools. I use Infusionsoft, and also a tool called PlusThis that integrates with Infusionsoft. But, there’s other tools like Deadline Funnel that is probably more compatible with other email service providers.
Pat Flynn: We use that.
Amy Porterfield: Okay, cool. So Deadline Funnel is a perfect tool for this strategy I’m going to tell you. What happens is, first of all, we map it out, and we say, “Okay, our funnels are about eight days from the day you sign up for your webinar to the day you get your final email.” And our scarcity play is that the bonuses go away. So we create some pretty amazing bonuses, and we sprinkle them throughout the eight days.
And on day one after the webinar, in the first email they get, the replay email, we announce that there’s a first-day bonus, so if they buy that day, they’re going to get a special bonus. If they don’t buy that day, we never mention it again. They get in the middle of the funnel, so essentially day four, and we have a mid-cart bonus. “If you sign up today, you’re also going to get X, Y, Z.” So it’s either a 24 or a 48-hour mid-cart bonus. We’ve done both.
And so we announce that in the email. We actually send two emails announcing it and making sure they know there’s a countdown timer going on. And then if they don’t buy, that bonus is no longer mentioned or offered. And then on the final day, we have a cart-closing bonus. And so we use bonuses throughout the eight days to incentivize people to make a decision. And if they do not make a decision on that final day, we say all of the bonuses are going to go away. So we’ve built out these email sequences to . . . This creates absolute scarcity inside the entire experience, but what’s important to me is that we actually do take the bonuses away.
So with PlusThis integrating with Infusionsoft, or Deadline Funnel integrating with whatever email service provider you use . . . Let’s say ConvertKit is it. Whatever you’re using, when they click a link, if that bonus has expired, it will go to a sales page that no longer shows the bonus. So it actually is integrity. We actually mean what we’re saying. If you click a link two weeks beyond my campaign that I sent out, it’s going to go to a page that says, “Unfortunately, you missed out on all the bonuses. You can still buy, but the bonuses are no longer available.”
Pat Flynn: I see. Okay, so they can still buy the course. Just, they won’t have access to the bonus. They could go to the main sales page, and it wouldn’t mention the bonuses at all after it?
Amy Porterfield: Correct. Yes.
Pat Flynn: Okay. So the bonuses are the scarcity. I like how you broke down the bonuses into different days. So let’s say that I buy mid-launch to get the mid-launch bonus. Do I still get the first bonus, or had I missed out on that opportunity?
Amy Porterfield: You missed out on the first-day bonus.
Pat Flynn: Okay.
Amy Porterfield: Yeah. But it doesn’t have to be that way. You could always include it.
Pat Flynn: How do you determine what the bonuses are?
Amy Porterfield: That’s a great question. When I look at bonuses, I always think of, I’m going to create a bonus to get them to the finish line faster or make their experience a whole lot easier getting through my program or dive a little bit deeper into one area that I teach to enhance their whole experience. So those are kind of some of the criteria I use when I think about bonuses. And typically in the beginning, that first-day bonus, I try to think of the number-one objection . . . I say this word wrong. Objection, right? Not objective. Objection.
Pat Flynn: Objection. Right.
Amy Porterfield: Great, great. I mix them up all the time. But I try to think of that number-one thing that they’re thinking of. So let me give you an example. I’ve got a course about webinars, and one of the first-day bonuses in the past . . . I think we’ve changed it since then because we like to change things and try new things, but it would help you come up with a topic for your webinar.
And because one of the things that’s stopping them is they’ll watch my webinar and think, “Oh, I want to do a webinar so bad, but I don’t even know what I would do a webinar on. I don’t even know what the topic would be.” So right away on day one, I’ll say, “If you’re ready and you want help with your topic, I’ve got a bonus for that.” So you’re really trying to just tick off all of the objections that they might have about buying through the bonuses.
Pat Flynn: Mm-hmm. How do you balance the bonus versus what should be just seemingly included in the course itself? Because that seems like something that could be included in the course. Do you essentially just take that out and then have that be a bonus?
Amy Porterfield: I love these questions because this is all stuff that you have to really think about, and I’ve made mistakes in the past where I’ve made something a bonus and then looking back, I think, “Holy cow! Everybody needs to know how to do this in my course and not everybody now has it.” So it makes it really awkward for the creator. Like, “How am I going to fix this?”
So be very careful of that. When you’re creating a bonus, you have to ask yourself, “Does everybody absolutely need to know this in order to have success to get to the finish line, or is this an enhancement?” So I tend to ask myself, “Is this an enhancement of the program, or do you have to know this?” And a lot of the times, here’s why that topic doesn’t have to be in the course. Most of the people getting into the course, they know what their topic idea is. Most of the people are there.
Pat Flynn: I see.
Amy Porterfield: But those that aren’t there, I’m going to help them along the way before they even jump in.
Pat Flynn: Got it. Okay. So since going evergreen, what has been … Let me just ask you, what’s the most interesting thing that has happened since switching from a live launch to more of an evergreen funnel for you?
Amy Porterfield: So when you go evergreen, I think a lot of old-school marketers would talk about evergreen like, “Make money in your sleep. You can go off and work on . . . not even work. Go and play more. Take time on the beach. Get a tan, blah, blah, blah.” I’ve experienced that evergreen still takes some focus. Every single week, I’m dabbling a little bit in my evergreen funnels. Where it happens for me the most would be in my Facebook ad strategy.
To run evergreen all year long, you’re not just going to be pulling from your existing email list. And so we’re always looking for ways to enhance our Facebook ads and our Instagram ads and also finding ways to get people in the funnel before we invite them to a webinar. So there is more tweaking and playing around than you might think. Not a lot. Not nearly as much work as a live launch, but you’ve got to tinker on a pretty regular basis. I have an ads call with my ads team every single week about evergreen. Things break down. You’ve got to get them fixed. So it’s not a one-and-done forever. Very different than live, but not one-and-done.
Pat Flynn: Yeah. Well, thank you for giving us the insight on this because I think a lot of us hear evergreen, and we just have these dreams, like you said, of just doing nothing and having it work for us.
Amy Porterfield: Yeah.
Pat Flynn: But I have found that everything that works online requires some work and at least some upkeep.
Amy Porterfield: Exactly.
Pat Flynn: So I even say that when people go, “Oh, is there really such a thing as 100 percent passive income?” I’m like, “Actually, no. There’s not.” So . . .
Amy Porterfield: I love that. I’m totally on the same page there. And one thing I’ll add to that, I did a full year of evergreen last year because I got so burned out with doing so many live launches. I’ve been in the game for a while, so I just hit that point where I thought, “I never want to do a live launch the rest of my life.” Dramatic, I know, but that’s how I was feeling.
So we did a full year of evergreen, and then I realized, okay, evergreen’s amazing, but I know that I want to make more money throughout the year, so what I . . . And even more so than money, truly, was I felt very disconnected from my audience, because there’s a magic in live launching, and you learn first-hand where people are, what they’re struggling with. They talk more because you are there. You’re answering questions, doing Facebook Lives. You’re in it.
And so what I decided is I’m going to always have evergreen running in the background of my business, but I want to do two live launches every single year with either one of my existing programs or something new. So I think a really good mix would be a few live launches and then evergreen as well. I don’t think it’s one or the other.
Pat Flynn: Interesting. So how do you make sure that you don’t confuse the buyer by being in both an evergreen and a live launch at the same time?
Amy Porterfield: We turn off our evergreen about a month before we go into a live launch.
Pat Flynn: Okay.
Amy Porterfield: So we kind of get a little quiet. I love the jab, jab, jab, right hook of Gary Vee, and so we do a lot of jabbing in the month leading up to any promotion. So we turn off that evergreen, so we’re not selling anything.
Pat Flynn: I like that. Okay, so you give it some time to just quiet down and then you go live?
Amy Porterfield: Yeah.
Pat Flynn: And then after the live is done, I’m assuming you just turn the evergreen back on?
Amy Porterfield: Yes. And if for some . . . Once in a while or in the past, I’ve actually live-launched something that has been on evergreen, so my webinar course. And two things I’ll share with you. Number one, turning it off and then . . . turning it off the month in advance and then selling the program. We waited for about a month or a month and a half to turn it back on, because where it gets weird is if you say, “Okay, the cart’s closing, and you can’t buy anymore.” You can’t turn your evergreen on two days later because it just isn’t fair to the people that you said, “I’m closing the cart,” because during a live launch, I say, “Cart’s closing. You can’t buy anymore.”
Now, I don’t say you can’t ever buy, but I’ve got to at least go a month without people being able to buy, if not more. I think I’ve gone, like, sixty days. So that’s one thing to think of. So I love live-launching something that’s been on evergreen because it’s just a different experience, but I’ll tell you, you’re going to make less than maybe you’ve made in the past when that program was new.
I was expecting a million-dollar launch with Webinars that Convert because it was over a million dollars the first time we had launched it live, and we hadn’t launched it live since then. But I never had relaunched something that’s been on evergreen. I reached a lot of people with that program on evergreen for a full year. So when I relaunched it live, definitely it was half. I think it was a $500K launch, a very different experience.
Pat Flynn: So why do you think it’s . . . I’m just curious. Why do you think you made any sales at all if it was always available on evergreen beforehand? What about the coming back, doing it live made people buy that time?
Amy Porterfield: One of the things is I don’t go hard on my existing list with my evergreen. We invite them a few times a year, but nothing aggressive. And so my existing email list that I had been warming up all year, if they haven’t purchased Webinars that Convert, they were part of our big promotion. And so I think my existing list is who was actually buying it.
I also think that there is just magic in live launching and doing the Facebook Lives. Here’s the really cool thing about evergreen running and then you do a live launch: Those who haven’t purchased, they’ve heard about it and heard about it and heard about it. They haven’t pulled the trigger. Now you’re there live on a FB Live, and you’re talking about it, and they can ask questions. It’s a different experience for them. So there’s power in hearing a message over and over again. Sometimes evergreen then into a live launch can really strengthen that. I think that helped me as well.
Pat Flynn: I like that. I like that a lot.
Amy Porterfield: And we added new bonuses. We did play around with our bonuses during a live launch. You have to have something different or something new.
Pat Flynn: That makes sense to me. Have you ever . . . Like I can imagine . . . Actually, we just did this. We did a live launch for Power-Up Podcasting on top of our evergreen, and it worked well.
Amy Porterfield: Oh, good.
Pat Flynn: And the scarcity in the live launch was that the price was going up, which it is going up.
Amy Porterfield: I like it.
Pat Flynn: And that drove a lot of sales there. So that went really well. I’m curious, when you go evergreen, after a person goes through the eight day funnel and they don’t buy, how soon until you maybe ask them again next time?
Amy Porterfield: Three months at the soonest. Three to four months. So we give them a pretty good time in between before we get them back into the loop.
Pat Flynn: And do people require multiple touchpoints before they eventually buy in that way?
Amy Porterfield: I’ve noticed yes. In the meantime, we are emailing them every single week with a link to my podcast. We’re sending them to epic blog posts. I’m getting on Facebook Live. So there’s a lot of touchpoints between when they did not buy and when we promote it to them again.
Pat Flynn: Got it. Okay, thank you. Now just to clarify, for everyone in terms of the evergreen launches—and correct me if I’m wrong too, Amy—so let’s say I see one of your ads for one of your courses. It’s on evergreen. I click on the ad. I get into the eight-day funnel. Somebody who’s listening sees that ad. Tomorrow, their eight day starts tomorrow, right? It’s unique for every single person. Is that correct?
Amy Porterfield: Correct. Unique for every single person. And we have it so that you click on an ad and you get to sign up for the very next day, but you have four days to choose from. Some of my friends—and it’s something we’ve done in the past, we just haven’t brought it back, and I think we’re going to.
Pat Flynn: Four times to choose from?
Amy Porterfield: Yep, four times to choose from. But some people do just in time. So you click the ad, go to the reg page, and you can sign up for a webinar that’s starting in five minutes. And I was talking to one of my friends who has really good success with evergreen, and she said, “I like that way to sign up right away, because they are less likely to go through the whole webinar, because they have to stop what they’re doing and watch.”
But they’ve watched some of it so that when the promo emails start to come out afterwards they have the connection, whereas if you sign up for the next day and then don’t get on the webinar, you’re likely not going to watch the replay. Unfortunately, people just get busy, and they don’t. And so now they’ve never watched the webinar, and they’re getting the promo emails. There’s pros and cons to all of it, but if you’re going to try evergreen, try the . . . I call it just in time. Is there another name for that that you know of?
Pat Flynn: On demand.
Amy Porterfield: On demand. Yeah, I knew there was two. So on demand, which would be in five minutes or something like that, and then the next day. So you want to play with that. But Pat, you just reminded me, because you mentioned ads. Can I tell you really quick the ad phases we do with our evergreen?
Pat Flynn: Of course.
Amy Porterfield: Because I think this part’s interesting too if you’re thinking about doing evergreen. We have five different phases of our Facebook ads. Now without getting too technical, let’s say you’re using Deadline Funnel and ConvertKit. Do they integrate? I’m making this up.
Pat Flynn: They do, yes.
Amy Porterfield: Okay, great. So let’s say you’re using those two tools. They’re going to talk to each other to help you do the ad phases. That’s how technical I’ll get. I’ll just say that they need to integrate and talk to each other. So what happens is when somebody . . . We have phases one through five. Phase one is webinar registration ad. So we’re just running a bunch of ads to get people on our webinars.
From there, based on tagging that we use in our own email service provider, we can run ads to remind people, “Hey, you signed up for a webinar. It’s starting soon. Don’t forget.” So we have reminder ads. The next phase is, “Okay, the offer is open. Here’s all the bonuses. Here’s everything you get.” We do carousel ads. So once they’ve watched the webinar, our offer is good to go. “Here’s everything you get.”
Phase four is mid-cart bonus. So once that mid-cart bonus hits, we send out some ads to remind them this bonus is only available for the next 24 hours. And then phase five is “your offer is expiring.” And so these are the five phases of ads that we actually deploy during anybody’s evergreen funnel. No matter where you are in the funnel, you’re going to see different ads. I don’t think you need to start with five phases. Maybe start with one or two, but I just wanted to show you that Facebook ads are a big part of our evergreen success as well.
And with ads … I’ll tell you one more thing. There’s so much to talk about—with ads, this is our rule. We have an ROI rule, and we tell our ads team, “Okay, with your ad spend for the week, you can only spend as much money as we’re going to collect.” Now, over time, you know basically your benchmarks, but let me give you an example. Let’s say that I sold ten units of my program this week. My program’s $1,000, so that’s $10,000. But I have a payment plan, and the majority of people only pay $97 in the payment plan. So that’s really just $1,000.” Am I doing my math right?
Pat Flynn: I think so.
Amy Porterfield: Okay. I’m terrible at live math. Anyway, that means that my ads team only has $1,000 to spend on ads to get people into my webinar. We’re talking about just the ads to get people into the webinar. All the other ads are pretty cheap because we’re not talking big numbers. But that way, I know that my ad team isn’t spending more than I’m making this week, and anything after that is gravy. But we do have an ROI rule for our ads, just to make sure that we stay in that good zone.
Pat Flynn: I like that. Do you do anything with the replay, or do you send out a replay?
Amy Porterfield: We do. So I’ve always been a big fan of replays. The day of, we send out an email saying either, “Thanks for being on the webinar. If you want to watch it again, here’s the replay. And by the way, we have a special one day bonus.” If you were not on the webinar we say, “Hey, we hate that you missed it. Here’s the replay. Go watch it before it expires. By the way, we’ve got a first day bonus that I want to tell you about.” So we just do attended or didn’t attend.
Pat Flynn: I like it because something interesting I’ve learned, Amy, is that unlike what I’ve read about webinars a long time ago when I initially wanted to try it but then I was too scared, now that I’m doing a lot of webinars now, I’m seeing a majority of my sales coming not live on the call, but actually in the follow-ups after that. And the webinar replay plays a big role in that. One thing that I do is I create a . . . And this is for the live launches that we do. When we send out the webinar, people have been loving that I’ve been writing the timestamps of when certain topics have been covered.
Amy Porterfield: Oh, that’s good. That’s good. I love that.
Pat Flynn: And we’ve been putting it in the email, even on the landing page which we use LeadPages for that has the replay on it. We have the timestamps below, so people are always like, “Oh, wow. This is really helpful,” or, “I missed that thing. I can go there.” And I’m imagining like if it’s an evergreen webinar, which I hope to get to in the future . . . I’m still fine tuning my own webinars, but eventually, hopefully, we’ll get there. It’ll just be the same timestamp every single time because it’s the same webinar.
Amy Porterfield: Yes. That’s a great idea. I love it.
Pat Flynn: You guys should try that.
Amy Porterfield: Yes. I think I’m gonna steal that from you. Thank you.
Pat Flynn: It’s worked really well, and the replays we’re finding are driving a lot of the sales. Where in the whole process are a . . . Like if you could give us, if you have that knowledge, the percentage breakdown of like sales live, or on the evergreen webinar, versus the replay that they’re watching, versus like the last parts of the sale? When are sales coming in for you during your evergreen process?
Amy Porterfield: A lot of sales are coming in in the post-webinar sequence. You’ll see more of that in evergreen even than you’ll see in live. But I also think that . . . You know, people ask me, “Do webinars still work? Are they really that powerful?” Incredibly powerful, however we’ve seen behavior with webinars, live webinars, in evergreen change. People are very savvy to webinars. They know that there’s likely a replay. They know that they can buy after the fact, and that’s fine. As long as they buy, I’m good. And so, yeah. What you’ve seen is pretty normal.
Pat Flynn: Do you have any live, on-webinar bonuses, or do you not do that?
Amy Porterfield: I do. So when I do a live webinar, this is for evergreen and live webinars, I have a bonus that if you buy while we’re still live on the webinar, you get some kind of free cheat sheet. And that’s a little bit more technical and hard to track, so if you’re just starting out and it’s hard to track something, go ahead and not include that because a lot of bells and whistles will screw you up in the beginning. But this is something that we’ve been able to track, and we do special bonuses when you’re on live and buy.
Pat Flynn: Okay, cool. I’m thinking of the systems I use. Right now, I’m experimenting with Demio, which is a really—
Amy Porterfield: I don’t know that one. You always know cooler tools than I know. Always.
Pat Flynn: It’s nice. I used it before, and then I stopped, but then they came back with some amazing features that we’re using right now. And I used it for my recent launch, and it did very, very well. And they have the ability to create these like, live replays and things like that. So I’m just trying to think out loud of how to eventually move into an evergreen system, but I’m also worried about like, some mistakes that I might be making. What are some things that I, and everybody listening, should just make sure to have in place or . . . I don’t know, maybe based on your own experiences, what are some big mistakes that people going evergreen forget or don’t do?
Amy Porterfield: I think the first thing is to get really clear on what feels right to you. So right from the very beginning, you asked such a great question about, “do I say it’s live? Do they know it’s recorded? What is the best way to do it?” The best way is what feels right to you. Even if it means fewer sales, it’s still important that you feel you’re in integrity. And so that’s the one thing. Get clear on your non-negotiables and what this is all going to look at. And then map it out on a piece of paper or in a Google Doc first before you start building it inside of any system. That’s another thing that helped us. We needed to see it visually before we actually implemented it. That’s a big one.
And the third one is really keep it clean and simple in the beginning. We have lots of bells and whistles, but we sure as heck didn’t start there. So when you and I, Pat, were talking about this episode and how cool it would be to kind of break things down, you brought up, you said, “I’d love to know kind of what you changed along the way, or what you did differently as you started to get things going.” And one thing I did is I had it way simpler in the beginning because, like I said, too many bells and whistles, it’s going to break your system, and you’re not going to know how to fix it, and you’re gonna throw your hands up and think, “This is so complicated.” But if you keep it really simple in the beginning, just add to it as you get better.
Pat Flynn: I like that. Yeah, if it were simple, what would it look like? Shoot for that first.
Amy Porterfield: Yes. Yes.
Pat Flynn: How about just your emails? I think a lot of people struggle, and I struggle sometimes, with the right emails to write. And I think especially with knowing something’s gonna be evergreen and used over, and over, and over again, that might get into our heads even more to write the perfect emails. Can you talk about how you approach the emails in these evergreen sequences? And I know that there’s the ones that share the webinar replay and things like that, but do you do any other fancy kind of emails that go out, like maybe some testimonial type emails, or story-telling emails, or . . . ?
Amy Porterfield: Yes. I have a system that I use for live and evergreen. And what I do is after I send out the replay email, I typically send an email that tells a story, and meets them right where they’re at, and usually includes a testimonial, or a story about me. But in my webinar, I typically tell my own story, so I like to pull from testimonials. So I might even do a full case study email that tells the story. I also—this is a big one, two big ones I always include. The next one is an email that tends to be the longest email where I literally lay out exactly what they get, five modules, here’s what you’ll learn in each module, three bonuses, here’s what you get in the bonuses, everything they need to know in one email. This is what you’re paying for. And so it’s a little bit different. It’s a feature email versus benefit email, but people want to know, “What am I paying for?” And that’s the email.
Now, from there I just focus on the benefits, and really get to the emotional side of things. So I also will have an email of Q and A, the most frequently asked questions. And I might do like ten questions and I answer them in the email. The emails tend to be long. And here’s something . . . I think it was Andrew Warner said this, but I could be wrong. Someone who I really admire said this a while ago. No, it was Ramit. Take it back. Ramit said, “Guess who’s reading those really long sales emails that you are writing? The people that are buying.” And I really do believe that. So it’s okay if they don’t read the whole thing. They just need to get just enough to know that they’re ready. And so I do ten questions that I know are being asked, and my answers. And then finally, I end every funnel with those heart to heart.
And speaking of Ramit, I saw him do this a long time ago: He flipped on his camera on his computer, had his earbuds in, and he said, “Look, we’re coming to the end and I’m going to—” whether it was “close the doors,” or “take bonuses away,” or whatever. But he said, “here’s what I want you to think right now.” And he got to the emotional side of why they haven’t purchased yet, versus any features or whatever the product was about. And I think it comes down to when they have just hours left, there’s something emotional inside them that is keeping them from buying, not that they think you need to add one more module. So I love getting more emotional near the end.
Pat Flynn: You do that video kind of thing too?
Amy Porterfield: I have for live. I’ve never done it for evergreen, but I’m not against it.
Pat Flynn: Yeah, because I did that in my recent launch too. So on the last day I sent out three emails, one in the early morning like, “Last day to get it. Less than 24 hours left. All this is going away. This is another reminder.” The next email that went out around noon was a video that I shot. And I literally just added this email last minute because I was in Boise, Idaho for an event. And I just turned the camera on, and like what you said with Ramit, I think he was the one that taught me how to do that too. I just linked to that video that was an unlisted video on YouTube about, “Hey, I know you haven’t made a decision yet. You’re on the fence. Here’s why I think you should buy.” And that’s been viewed like nearly a thousand times. And so people are watching those videos, and many of them did convert. And then finally, the last one, which is three sentences long which is like, “You guys, it’s going away.” And that’s it. But doing it in an evergreen, I can imagine it going very well, but you’d have to make sure that you don’t have anything with like, the date on there.
Amy Porterfield: Right.
Pat Flynn: But I think, like you said, tapping into people’s emotions, you want to understand what state of mind they’re in at the time that they’re kind of deciding whether or not to purchase. And you have to be there to answer those questions that they might directly ask you, or they just might be asking themselves. And I think that’s really important.
But to finish off, Amy, this has been so great. Thank you so much for sharing a lot of the insights of how things are working in your business. And I think, again, this has been really interesting for me as a friend and as a colleague of yours to just kind of see, on the outside, this shift to more evergreen. And is this something that you’re gonna continue to do? What are some plans that you might have to enhance it even more in the future?
Amy Porterfield: Absolutely continue to do. We are going to make our system stronger. So starting out with a really good tool for your evergreen funnels is important. I love EasyWebinar, but there’s a few great ones out there. We’re gonna continue to do it, and we’re also going to . . . We’re playing around with a quiz about creating online questions like, “Are you ready to do it?” The quiz then will invite them to a webinar if they’re ready based on their quiz results. That’s the latest thing we’re playing with. I think it’s gonna work like gangbusters.
Pat Flynn: Ooh, a quiz.
Amy Porterfield: So I’ll keep you updated.
Pat Flynn: I know a few people, a couple of my accelerator students, are using quizzes. Do you have a particular tool that you are already using to kind of plan that?
Amy Porterfield: Yes, Interact. Am I saying that right? You know, Pat, I get my tools wrong all the time.
Pat Flynn: That’s okay.
Amy Porterfield: I think it’s Interact, something that sounds like that. I feel bad because if it’s not, it’s something like that. No, it’s not Interact.
Pat Flynn: TryInteract.com, is it?
Amy Porterfield: Something like that.
Pat Flynn: It says—
Amy Porterfield: Oh, Try Interact?
Pat Flynn: Yeah.
Amy Porterfield: Okay.
Pat Flynn: “Grow your email list and make sales using quizzes.”
Amy Porterfield: Phew. I need to remember that for the future. But that’s what we’re using for all of our quizzes, because we’ve used quizzes in the past for other promotions. So we’ll continue to use them.
Pat Flynn: Well, let me ask you about . . . Why do you think a quiz might work better?
Amy Porterfield: Okay. So, I’m glad we brought this up, and then we’ll wrap it up, I promise. But one thing we’ve noticed, because we run so many Facebook ads to a webinar registration page, one thing that I think is changing, not completely, so we still do it: We run Facebook ads directly to a webinar registration page, but we also have noticed that putting something in front of that can warm up the audience that they’re more likely to show up for the webinar and interact with those post-webinar emails and all of that, if we give them a little bit of something before they get on the webinar. Because remember, I’m running Facebook ads to a cold audience. I’ve tapped out on my warm audience.
So with that, we wanna warm them up a little bit. So a quiz really helps them decide, “Would this be something that’s right for me, or maybe I’m jumping the gun?” Like with course creation, people don’t know if their business, or if they are ready. So putting a quiz in front of it, again, answering some objections that they don’t even know they have yet is a really good way to say, “Let me tell you about yourself based on your quiz results.” And then from there I can give them proof that, “Yes, you’re ready” or, my quizzes are genuine, “No, you’re not ready. Instead, it’s time to focus on list building.” I’ve got a webinar for that. That’s the magic of that one.
Pat Flynn: Okay. I like that. So you’re almost kind of having a conversation with them beforehand and helping them through something. You’re giving them a quick win and helping them kind of say yes to a few things before they say yes to hopefully bigger things.
Amy Porterfield: Exactly.
Pat Flynn: I like it. Amy, thank you so much for coming on and sharing all this information. It’s very helpful for me, and I know everybody else who’s listening too. Where would you want them to go from here?
Amy Porterfield: Well, you could just checkout AmyPorterfield.com, and I’ve got a lot of free stuff there.
Pat Flynn: And subscribe to your podcast too, obviously.
Amy Porterfield: Oh, please, Online Marketing Made Easy. Thanks for asking, Pat.
Pat Flynn: Of course, Amy. Hey, thank you so much. I appreciate you, and we’ll talk to you again soon.
Amy Porterfield: Thanks a bunch.
Pat Flynn: All right. I hope you enjoyed that episode with Amy Porterfield. Amy, thank you so much for coming on. My audience loves you. You always have such great information to share. She’s been on the show a couple times before. We’ll put links in the show notes to those episodes, plus all the resources and things we mentioned in today’s episode over on the blog at SmartPassiveIncome.com/session335. Again, that’s SmartPassiveIncome.com/session335.
Another thing that Amy taught me a lot about way back in the day, and even in private conversations and whatnot, was the power of webinars. She has a webinar course herself. I’m actually a student in it, and I’ve been holding a lot of webinars lately to help train you for free for certain things. So if you wanna check out my upcoming free live trainings in these webinars that I’m doing, all you have to do is go to SmartPassiveIncome.com/live. Again, SmartPassiveIncome.com/live, and you’ll see the upcoming trainings that you can register for and reserve a seat for. Then, we’ll hook you up with some free stuff to help you grow and scale your business.
Thank you again for coming on and listening today. Again, if you don’t know who I am, my name is Pat Flynn, here to help you make more money, save more time, and help more people too. All you have to do is hit subscribe, and I cannot wait to serve you in the next session of the Smart Passive Income podcast where I’m bringing on the CEO of a company who, with his two brothers, created a business and entered one of the most hardcore, competitive niches there ever could be, and broke some records. So we’re gonna talk about that next week. Until then, hit subscribe. See you in the next one. Keep crushing it. Cheers.
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