Conversions and the Wild Wild West - How Funnels First Got Firing Conversions.

Tod Holland      Monday, October 8, 2018

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The essence of value provided by funnel builders and Vice President Mike Pence’s favorite dinnertime conversation topic.


We’ve actually come a long way in the way we’ve automated the conversion process. Fifteen years ago when Congress passed the CAN-SPAM Act of 2003, the MO for internet marketers was broad-spectrum, 360 angle email marketing.


Prior to this law passing, the legal landscape was essentially The Wild West; in which businesses could indiscriminately send out ridiculous and unsolicited offers to anyone, with or without their permission.

This obviously led to a number of highly disgruntled Hotmail users (or whatever we were all using in 2003). This list of frustrated users included thirteen years old me, who would regularly receive ridiculous offers including, but not limited to:


* Breast enhancement procedures

* Male virility drugs

* Fitness medicine

* Leg salves that would restore my ability to walk which I absolutely hadn’t lost.


Which, as hilarious as it sounds, actually characterized the entire failure of the old way of marketing in a pretty amazing way.


For me to get that particular list of emails in today’s hyper-targeted marketing era, I would have to either be an out of shape paraplegic transexual with body issues and stage fright, or I have some friends opting me into things who think they are entirely funnier than they are.

Either way, their “avatar” of me didn’t exist. Their targeting didn’t exist.


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They were basically throwing everything at everyone, hoping something would stick enough with someone so they’d make a few dollars that day.


And because their avatar of me was literally one of those amorphous “every face in the world” montages, who can really blame them for sending all kinds of ridiculous offers.


Now that was then, and this is now. Technology certainly moves in favor of those who create it, and this case is no different.

We live in the golden age of data.

When we’re building funnels for our clients, we’re really automating client data intake.

When we segment our follow up based on opens, link clicks, etc. we are automating our data categorization.

You can go all the way down the line, and you’ll find at least one common theme: automations and data.


I’ve been a long-time proponent of the idea that lead generation is really just the automation of parts of the sales and marketing pipeline. Businesses certainly don’t need a funnel to generate leads, but in neglecting this step, they are reducing their operational efficiency.

Kind of like deciding to mop the carpet, or putting the spoon directly under the sink’s water flow. Sure, you can do it, but does it really make sense now that you know there’s a better way?

The same goes for how we convert our leads to prospects, clients, fans, haters, etc.

The golden rule in advertising is that if you can think of a more targeted approach to the market, chances are your competition is already building out their own version as you’re planning.

Conversions that are not targeted, like my example above, lead to the sentiment that “conversion marketing doesn’t work.”



And in a sense, the people who say that are correct.


If you have a prospects data (more than just name and contact information, but their interests, demographics, expectations, past experiences, or whatever), then you have all the power in the world to put the right solution in front of the right people.


If you’ve segmented where the prospect is in the process (like an abandoned shopping cart), you can deliver situation-specific ads to help guide the candidate into the next step to working with you.


Beyond just being really cool and tricksy for us marketing types, this is actually a HUGE benefit for the consumer.

If I just bought a pair of Tom’s shoes on Amazon, it’s highly unlikely that I’m going to buy another pair in green. So for Amazon to try to sell me another set of shoes, it would be a step backward in terms of personalized marketing.

However, if Amazon had data that people who bought Tom’s Shoes also purchased a specific kind of quinoa, then showing me that ad would be of a statistical benefit to me.

Because as a consumer, if I have to sit through advertisements, it better at least be for something I might want to buy.

That is until you all realize that the previous emails I got at 13 were correctly targeting me all along.

Until then, my secret is still safe.


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