Brad Post, Create the Movement, host
Adam Colbert, Rocket 31, guest
Brad Post, Create the Movement, host: Welcome back to Create the Movement Podcast. This is your host, Brad Post. I’m excited to be sitting with a new friend of mine, or a long-time friend of mine, Adam Colbert of Rocket 31. Adam, how are you doing?
Adam Colbert, Rocket 31, guest: Doing good, Brad. Thanks for having me on.
BP: Absolutely. So, just wanted to give you a little history on Adam and his tie-in to us. I think it was a little bit over a year ago a couple of our team members found Adam. I’m not sure how they originally connected but started connecting with Adam asking for advice on SEO and email marketing and getting more leads. Adam was just awesome. Such an awesome guy. He worked with a couple of our team members for several months. For the past three months, Adam and I have been connecting with Dominick, as well – increasing our relationship. Looking forward to potentially working some projects together in the future.
Adam, I’m excited to have you, man.
AC: Me too. I’m excited to be on.
Adam Colbert of Rocket 31
BP: If you could, Adam, maybe share a little bit with our listeners about how you got started. Actually, if you could, share what Rocket 31 is, first. And then, how you got started in doing this type of work.
AC: Sure, yes. Rocket 31 is a full-service digital agency. We do SEO, web design, pay-per-click, email marketing. Basically, we’re kind of a one-stop-shop for anything digital.
I was living the corporate world. I was basically a traveling salesperson; I was doing a lot of B2B sales, so I was traveling all over the USA. It just started to wear on me. I started to get tired of traveling and not being home. I was gone usually, at the peak of things, I was gone four to five days out of the week. I was selling business services to retail flower shops. So, I would travel around and I was selling software, websites, point-of-sales systems, and general business services.
So, I had the idea that I’m already selling B2B services, if I were to do this for myself I’d probably make a lot more money and I wouldn’t have to travel around. So, that’s how I got started. I started a couple of my own websites – just local lead-generation websites. Just kind of learned how to do SEO and learned how to build websites. Finally, I felt like I was ready to start selling it. I took my sales ability and started calling on local businesses. I’ve since built up a small group of salespeople and now I have a fulfillment staff that handles a lot of the actual work that goes along with doing the marketing for the local businesses. That’s how I got into it.
BP: That’s exciting, man. I have a similar story as far as working in corporate America, traveling, and just getting tired of being on the road. That’s exciting.
AC: It burns you out.
2. Generating Cold Email Leads Through Email Marketing
BP: It does. Let’s talk a little bit about email leads for your company. That was one thing that you’ve worked with us very closely. Tell us some of your thoughts on that. I know you could probably talk for hours on that. Just kind of developing some leads for the business owners that are listening.
AC: Sure. My number one source of leads for my business is email. What we do, is we run email campaigns every week. This is B2B so we’re targeting small business owners. We send them out an email. I send it out in my sales guy’s name, so that way when a lead comes in it’s going to the salesperson.
What we do is we send out an email message, and then we send the prospect to a landing page. When they get to the landing page they can either call in directly, or they can fill out a contact form. We’ll send them out a free competition report.
That’s my number one source. We do some Facebook advertising, but the number one source for lead generation, for me, is definitely just cold email. I think that relates to regular businesses. Even if you’re not selling B2B services, if you’re selling B2C, you could be selling anything, you could definitely use cold email.
3. Email Marketing Caveats
A common misconception is that it’s illegal to send email to somebody who hasn’t opted into your list. That’s not exactly true. There are a lot of rules. If you’re selling pornography or pharmacy products there are a lot of rules around that. Fortunately, we’re not selling anything like that. I’m sure most of your listeners aren’t selling those products. So, you don’t have to have somebody opt-in to your list to send them an email, but you do have to honor their opt-out request.
So, you can send them messages but there’s a couple of rules. You have to have your business name, you have to have your address, and a clear, easy way for them to opt-out. Another rule is that you have to be clear in your message. So, in the subject line, you can’t put: ‘We’re going to give you a $100’ and then in the email not give them a $100 or not mention a way. It has to be relevant. You can’t use misleading subject lines – that would be against the law.
Another common misconception is that you can be fined for sending just one email to somebody who hasn’t opted-in. That’s actually not true. In fact, you can only be sued under CAN-SPAM, which is the federal law that regulates email sending. You can only be sued by a State Attorney General or by the FCC. Brad, if I send you an email that you don’t like you can’t sue me. You can’t hire a lawyer and sue me. Maybe you could under some state law. I’m not a lawyer. This is just what I’ve heard from a lawyer. So, I would definitely check with your local laws. I just wanted to bring up that misconception.
BP: You’ve obviously had to contact an attorney before because of your awesome and aggressive techniques, right?
BP: From the stories you’ve shared in the past with us which are kind of funny. We won’t go into them here. That is a common misconception. Even sometimes when you opt-in to an email it’s hard to unsubscribe, but a lot of them do have that. I think people think the same way with cold calls and cold emails. I think we talked about that last week. That’s good.
AC: I can also go into the process if you think that would be helpful.
BP: Yeah, absolutely.
AC: Okay, cool. We’ve done a couple campaigns this week for personal clients. One of our clients was a fitness learning company and they sell continuing education materials to fitness professionals. If you’re a fitness instructor you need to be certified and you need to have a certain number of hours of continuing education every year to keep your certification. This company would sell you that service.
Another one we worked with was a company that sold a training system through doctors. There’s these things called pellets – they’re hormone pellets. If you need a hormone replacement, instead of giving yourself a shot, you can actually go to your doctor and they inject you with this pellet. It’s like a timed release of the hormone. This company was selling pellet-therapy training to doctors and anybody who could administer these pellets.
So, email was definitely the best route to go for these companies because with the pellet therapy it would be incredibly hard to target this particular type of physician that can benefit from their service via Facebook or even AdWords. Another thing, the search volume was very low. There’s maybe 10 people a month looking for pellet-therapy training. It’s just not something that’s searched. Organic SEO really wasn’t a good route for this business. Email turned out to be the best way because we could get the training in front of the people that needed to see it and almost interrupt them and say, “Your practice can grow exponentially if you offer pellet therapy. If you take our training, we’ll teach you how to leverage pellet therapy to grow your practice.”
4. Tools for Email Marketing
We needed to get a list of emails. I used a tool called ScrapeBox. It’s a complicated tool to somebody who’s never used it before. Basically, it’s an extractor and can go to any website and parse the HTML code and then extract any information that you want. In this case, we’re using it to extract emails, but you can use it extract phone numbers, names, or anything.
Another, what I believe is an easier but more expensive platform, is called … it might be closed.io. But there’s another platform. I’ll have to get you a link to put in the description. We found all of the potential clients through this company. And we’d scrape their email address.
One thing that you need to make sure you’re doing when sending, especially cold email, is you need to verify your list. You need to run your email list through a verification platform. You can go online and Google ‘email verification’ and there’s a million tools. One of is bulkemailverify.com. That’s the cheapest one I’ve found. What verifying does is it removes any spam traps or any dead emails. If you go to send out 10000 emails and 2000 of them are dead your email service provider is going to shut you down. They’re going to know what’s going on and they don’t care for cold emails.
So, if you maintain a clean list and keep it to where your bounce rate’s very low – under 3% would be ideal – you’ll be able to survive and have some longevity. We ran the emails through the email verifier, got back a really large list, and then what we did was build a landing page. If you’re doing email marketing for a specific message you don’t necessarily want to send people to your home of your website. Because you’re getting the traffic there there’s a million ways that they can get lost. They can click on a menu link or they can get lost in looking at a map of your location or whatever.
So, the goal is to hold their attention. And the only option on the page that you send them to is the option to get the result that you want. Whether that’s ‘Download Our Free Ebook’ or ‘Buy This Product.’ You don’t want to give them any other option other than to do what you want them to do. So, that what we do. We built the landing page. In this case, we offered a discount on the product.
It was a huge success. They got to the page. The training costs a $1000. There’s also a refresher course, as well, but we were selling the main training and it costs a $1000. They sold seven or eight the first day.
AC: It was way more than I thought.
BP: That’s fantastic.
AC: It was huge. So then, part of what we did was we made sure to put a Facebook pixel on the page and that way if we did want to re-market, so anybody who hit the page was showing some interest in this training. We had a Facebook pixel on the page and that way we can re-market to these people down the line.
And, of course, we kept the list of people who opened the email, people who clicked, and people who purchased were removed. We’re planning another campaign for this for next week. We actually sent another offer back to the list. We want to get the people that opened the email to take action. If they opened there was obviously some interest so we need to figure out how to sell to rest of those people.
BP: I was going ask, are you looking at writing two separate emails? One for the open, and one for whoever clicked on it? Or, the same?
AC: No, we would do something different. And that’s where it gets advanced. If you really want to dial it in you should have different messaging for people who have taken different actions. If they opened it and didn’t click they may need to see a different message than somebody who did open it and did click.
So, maybe the people who opened it and did click and got to the page, maybe they need to see a different landing page. Right? Because they went to the page but they didn’t buy. Maybe the people who opened it but didn’t click need to see a different email message.
AC: That’s the best way to do it.
BP: That’s exciting, man. And then we can go even deeper – that’s what you worked with our group on. That’s awesome. So, step one ScrapeBox where you said the other one you’re not sure on, but then verifying it through a bulk email verifier, and then setting up an email service to send out those bulk emails. Correct?
AC: Correct. It’s actually a pretty big process. If you’re the kind of business that benefits from sending email you should definitely take the time to set this up correctly. What that involves would be making sure that when you set up your email service provider, whether you’re going to use an SMTP service like SendinBlue or Amazon Web Services or SendGrid. Or, if you just want to use a platform like Mailjet.
Whatever your doing make sure that you take the time to add the DNS records to your domain. There’s two different records. One’s called DKIM which basically validates that the email originated from your domain. That’s important for spam filters because if the spam filter doesn’t see that record it’s going to think that somebody could be spoofing your email and that it could be a phishing attempt. That’s an important thing to do.
There’s also another record called SPF which stands for sender policy framework. I’m not too clear on what that actually does, but I know that it has to be there. But yeah, that’s pretty much the steps.
BP: So, there’s a lot to go into. But bottom line you need to hire a company like Adam or ours to help you set that up. Right, Adam?
5. What Excites Adam in Business Today
BP: Our team went through multiple, multiple training calls with you to set all of that up. It’s a lot to look into. If we could move on, Adam, if that’s okay with you. What would you say is the one thing that’s really exciting to you about business right now?
AC: Right now we’re in a growth pattern, so we are hardcore focusing on sales and growth. It’s exciting right now every time somebody signs up a new account it’s just exciting. You almost hear the cash register go ‘cha-ching’ every time I get those emails.
That’s what’s exciting right now. We’re just growing. That’s it. Just try to grow and be the best that we can be and find better processes to service our existing clients. I think everybody has growth pains. With my company, it’s been, not necessarily fulfillment, but just staying organized and being able to have a system in place that, “Okay, this client needs this done today.” Just getting those systems in place where we can fulfill. If you can be streamlined in fulfillment your cost goes down and you pass that savings on to your client. So, that’s been an exciting process.
I don’t think we’ve mastered the fulfillment process, yet. But that’s something we’re working on.
BP: Awesome. What are some of the tools that you use on a daily basis that you would recommend to our listeners? I know you mentioned a few of them.
AC: It depends on what type of business it is. So, if you’re a construction company you may not have as much use for some of the stuff as somebody who’s selling a course or somebody who’s doing B2B sales. The tools that I use daily, one, of course is ScrapeBox.
I use Salesgenie. My team uses that. Salesgenie is just a database of every business in the USA and also gives a contact name for the business owner. It gives a phone number and an estimated credit score. That’s a big tool for me. The guys will cold call from that. It’s been very helpful.
I pretty much use the normal stuff. Scrapebox is my favorite tool. It is complicated to use, but once you master it, if you have the need to extract information from a website – that’s the tool that can do it.
I use Google Apps for work every day. That’s actually pretty much it that would be relevant to your audience.
6. Adam’s Best Business Advice
BP: What would you say, Adam, is the best business advice that you’ve ever received? If you could narrow it down.
AC: If I could narrow it down my best business advice may not work for everybody. Somebody told me a long time ago: don’t worry about the minutia of things. If you have a goal, get it done. Don’t worry about the small stuff, get the revenue in the door and the small stuff will fall into fall into place later.
Basically, what that means is don’t worry necessarily about building out the perfect funnel or the perfect website optimization system or have the perfect SOPs in place. Just focus on growing your business – get the sales in and then all of that other stuff will fall into place. At the end of the day, it all takes revenue. So, you need money to operate a business. Sales should be the number one focus.
I think I had a very wise man tell me one time that if you’re not being threatened with legal action, you’re not doing it right.
BP: That’s good. We’ve got some stories as well. Adam, thank you so much. It’s been a real pleasure. Any last words for our listeners?
AC: Yeah. Email marketing can help grow your business in any capacity even if you are a B2C company. Look at obtaining an email list, leverage that email list to increase your sales. Especially this time of the year. We’re going into the holidays; the ad prices are going to go up. So, if you’re doing Facebook ads, or pay-per-click these big companies have big ad budgets for this time of year. You’re going to be paying a higher cost-per-click. So, if you can figure out a way to get into some email marketing – definitely a good tool for this time of year.
Brad, I just want to thank you for having me on. It’s always a pleasure. I’m sure we’ll be in touch soon.
BP: Absolutely. You can find Adam Colbert at Rocket 31. His website is rocket31.com. Again, Adam, thank you for being on.
ro: Thanks, Brad.