#401 WP-Tonic Show With Special Guest Bryce Christiansen of Plusthis.com

Plusthis The #1 Campaign Toolkit for Marketing Automation Users

We going to be discussing marketing automation and while is industry going in general in 2019. What are the things an eLearning entrepreneur needs to really understand connected to marketing automation?

Bryce Christiansen

Bryce is a marketer, writer, and creator. he has had a quite an interesting career in marketing so far. His first marketing job was as a consultant for Microsoft, Dell, and Nestle, helping them train their people and promoting their products. (I don’t miss melting to death inside a Nestle bunny suit anymore.) From there he worked in sales selling IT services. But for the last 5 years, I was the head of marketing for Plusthis.

This weeks show is Sponsored By Kinsta Hosting

Jonathon: Welcome back folks to the WP tonic show. This is episode 401 yes. We got over the 400th show. And we got a great guest this week and I’ve got my great cohost Cindy Nicholson. But like we say we’ve got a great guest. We got Bryce Christiansen of Plus This. I apologize for my slight stammer there. But we are going to be talking about all things marketing, and marketing automation. And we’re going to be also talking about Plus This as well. So Bryce would you like to introduce yourself to the listeners and viewers?

Bryce: Yeah. My name is Bryce. I am the head of marketing here at Plus This. I’ve been here for almost four years now. It has been really, really cool. And I was really excited to come on this show. Because one of our like big niches for industries that uses Plus This are membership sites. And I don’t often get to kind of talk about Plus This in regards to like that specific niche. As much as I’d like to. So this is a really cool opportunity to kind of dig in to an audience that’s focused on that and be able to see how it can help you.

Jonathon: Oh, that’s great Bryce. And I got my great co-host Cindy. Cindy, would you like to introduce yourself to the new listeners and viewers?

Cindy: Sure. Thanks Jonathan. Hi Bryce. Welcome to the show. My name is Cindy Nicholson and I’m from the coursewhisperer.com where I help entrepreneurs who want to create online courses.

Jonathon: Straight into the show. I’ll say let`s actually talk about our major sponsor first. And then we can continue the discussion. And that`s Kinsta hosting. And Kinsta provides WordPress hosting, only WordPress hosting. They use cloud hosting as its platform. What you get from Kingston is a great interface with all the bells and whistles that if you’ve got a membership site or learning management system. Or anything that needs a little bit extra grump. So keep the performance up to the level that you want for your clients and users and students. Kinsta is something you should go and look at. They offer a great interface, all the bells and whistles, staging site, latest version of PHP. That means that your website will be really fast. And the main thing is they offer superb, 24/7 support from people that are actually really know something about WordPress. And they are able to help you. They’ve been sponsoring the show for the past two years. I really appreciate their sponsorship. Go to Kinsta if you a power user or you are a developer. I’m sure you’re going to be really happy with Kinsta. So into the show. So Bryce Plus This, why was it created? What was the niche that the founders of the company saw for Plus This?

Bryce: Yeah. So the origin story for Plus This. It’s really interesting because we came out of an agency basically. It was created over seven years ago. At that time, the founders of Plus This had also started a marketing agency for Infusion Soft. This was kind of revolutionizing the full marketing automation world. And a lot of people do some really cool stuff between like emails and websites and membership sites and everything. And so they kept getting clients coming in that wanted to push the boundaries of marketing automation. And be like, Hey, do you guys know of a way to be able to like apply automation based on how long people watch the video on my website or my membership site? And they will be like, no we don’t, but we could create that. So they create a tool and then the next person would come in, they got expert, big speaker, whoever.

It would be like, Hey, I want to be able to create this thing and do this kind of thing. Does that exist right now? There is a tool that can do that. Like, no, but we have this developer and he can create that tool too. And so over a pace of like a year or so. They just started out having about 10 or so of these tools that had been created for all these experts out there. And we’re like we could actually probably make this a product. We could put this all together and like in full kit. And sell that and make it a product that could help all these marketing automation users. That wants to build from the coolest new strategies and tactics when it comes to marketing. And not have to go and buy a dozen outside tools to do it all. So that’s kind of the origin story of where Plus This came from.

Jonathon: Oh, that’s great. Before I throw it over to Cindy, I just have a quick question. Well, you say a lot your customers are people in the learning arena. They got membership sites and they’re selling courses online. What are some of the key features of Plus This that you think that particular user based likes and benefit from?

Bryce: Yeah, I would say the top three are the video triggers thing that I mentioned. A lot of membership sites that rely on video content. And they want to personalize the experience for each of their members. And be able to do things like track how much of their video people are watching as they’re going through different modules. And be able to know and send all up based on that too. So if you go through module one and you only watch the first minute and then you stopped there. You’ll get follow-up that will say, hey, it looks like you started it. Didn’t quite finish it. We have all this great content that comes up in the left at this point and this point, this point encourages people to come back and check it out. Or maybe there’s leading onto like the next point or tool that we have.

We have a math feature too. A lot of people are using it to add in more gamification with the membership site. So as people complete videos, our systems, our map tool can say, okay, cool. Cindy watched one video, so put that in her like credit spots. And now people can use credits. So unlike other videos or other courses or whatever it might be. So they’re using the combination of like video triggers to track it. And then math to create like a gamification credit system. Another one that’s popular is some of our like file uploads tools. So a lot of membership sites they have homework that you give people after they complete a module. And they need to upload the document or a screenshot of something that they’ve done to show that they’ve taken the learning and they’re applying it.

And so we have tools that allow you to put a little widget on your membership site that people can drag and drop a file to. And now that tells your marketing automation system a, Jonathan’s completed this assignment. You don’t have to keep sending him emails to remind them to do that kind of thing. So those are just a handful. There’s probably a dozen other ones that I have here listed, but we just spread those out or we can talk about them as we go throughout the day.

Jonathon: Yeah I think we will talk about them through the show Bryce. Cindy?

Cindy: Thanks for sharing that Bryce. It is interesting because one of the challenges with people who have membership sites or online courses getting people to finish them. Or once they bought them actually to go through the course. So it’s interesting that some of your tools are really kind of help to make sure that people continue it. Like with you’re talking about the video triggers or the gamification or what have you. So that’s great to hear because some of the LMS are missing those kinds of features. So it’s good that you support it from that perspective. So can you share, like, do you know any detail, like any stats or any additional information about what it’s like before these people? Before you add these tools with what it’s like the existing membership site versus after they’re using the tools. Do you have any supporting statistics or whatever to share how it actually helps the owners?

Bryce: Yeah, no, that’s a great question. So unfortunately I’m kind of more on the software end of this thing. So we’re building the tools. But our partners, we have some really big partners in the membership community. And they kind of keep track of all that kind of the results that they’re getting from it. And a lot of them are basically requiring their clients to use Plus This because it enables them to add. So a whole other layer of like personalization and follow up for it. One of my favorites examples are from our, one of our pieces that we share for free is called campaigns of the titans. And it’s a document that is over like 300 pages of campaign walkthroughs. And it has examples of these kinds of campaigns that are really common out there in the industry from our experts. And there are a number of them that are focused more on the membership side of things. And I know that some of the extras that we have are working with big profile clients like Tony Robbins. And a bunch of other ones too. But it’s almost like a must have for it because of the layer of personalization to ads. But I don’t know what the numbers are before and after. That’s more of the things that like our partners that are building these things for their clients probably know a little bit better than I do.

Cindy: Yeah, it’s interesting. I can only imagine that it would improve the numbers. Like just because of that. The additional nudges that you can give them here and there to kind of help them continue on. Because a lot of people often forget about their courses once they started. So having those extra features definitely, I’m sure will help it. Jonathan.

Jonathon: So when it comes to marketing automization it seems to be the buzzword of the past I 18 months Bryce. Basically, where do you see the automization road going in the next 18 months? And what are some of the key features that you think people got to understand before they go down this road?

Bryce: Yeah I’m seeing that’s a big trend towards connecting with people on the platforms that they prefer to connect on. So that means at the start of this whole journey, a lot of people kind of stuck with email. And email is like all they send. And that was kind of what they became comfortable with. The more and more people are now using SMS and tying that into the communication that they’re sending out to their customers. And to their leads and prospects. We’re also seeing a lot of people using Facebook more so being to match the messaging that you’re sending through your automated marketing campaigns with what people can start seeing on Facebook too. But the ads that you can retarget there. I think you’re seeing a lot of people start to use messenger bots. And those kinds of the things to like Facebook is doubling down on like what kind of tools and abilities you can start doing from just the Facebook messenger.

You can start buying products in the future. You can start doing ecommerce and do a lot of things there. WhatsApp is a really huge out in other countries outside of the US. And that’s becoming a big trend. I can see that communication is going to kind of go from. And marketers are going from just doing most of their stuff on email to all these other platforms where people rapidly want to be able to communicate and get back to you and open your messages actually and see them. And then interacts with the brands that they like.

Jonathon: Oh, that’s great. Cindy?

Cindy: You mentioned that membership sites, it’s kind of a niche that you like to focus on. Is there anything different about marketing and marketing automization when it comes to, if you’re marketing a membership site versus any other type of product or whatever that you sell online?

Bryce: Yeah, I was actually in prep for this interview. I was talking with the team and just thinking of about like all these cases and what the support and the launch coaches have done with membership sites. And they’ve helped the customers out. And what’s really cool about a membership site that is way different than any of our other customers that don’t use them. Is that you can do a lot more with marketing automation than you could without it. So for example, what I mean by that is, we have a lot of tools that rely on knowing who the person is that is interacting with your content. And in order to do that, normally people have to click a link from like an email that you’re sending from your marketing automation software. That’s how we know that was Jonathan that did that. Or that was Cindy that did that.

What’s nice about a membership site is that we know who everyone is inside of a membership site. As long as they’re logged into that thing. So we can do cool things like be able to have it so when someone clicks any kind of links on your membership site. Any images, whatever, we’re going to apply automation inside your marketing automation platform now. So like if Cindy clicks on module one, image one. But she doesn’t sign up for it, we can send an email in the next couple of hours. And be like, hey, it looks like this was an interesting course for you, but you didn’t sign up. And we can give you a 10% off if you want to sign up for it in the next couple of days. We could never do that with the normal website because we would never know who that person was that was actually clicking on those different things to check stuff out.

Other examples, we could do are like countdown timers. So if you want to make some courses expire after a certain amount of time. But not make it, so it’s like, okay, this course is going to expire for everyone on the site. And the next day you want to do, maybe you want to have one course have a special offer that’s only available for a specific people for a certain amount of time. You can do that because you have a membership site. It’s just way more interesting and the capabilities of what you can do because you know who’s interacting on your site are way more flexible than with any kind of normal sites.

Cindy: Yeah. It could even just be a way to keep having touch points with your students as they’re part of the course. Even if it’s not necessarily a marketing strategy. It could be just a way to have something triggered so that you keep that contact, which I think is really important when you’re putting, when there are people who are a part of your membership site just so that they don’t feel like they’re on their own sort of thing. So that’s an awesome way that it could be used.

Bryce: You’re right. I’m always thinking on the marketing side because that`s my realm. But we have another tool that’s really popular. That is to calculate time between events. So if people, if you want to calculate the time between like when someone completes one module and the next one and it’s been over 30 days or 60 days. You can build in that automated checkpoints to be like, hey, it looks like you haven’t been in for a while. And we want to be able to just make sure everything’s okay if to say, can we do to get you back? That kind of thing too.

Cindy: That’s awesome. Jonathan?

Jonathon: That`s awesome. We are going to go for our break folks. We will be talking more about Bryce and about Plus This. We will be back in a few moments’ folks.

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Jonathon: We are coming back. We have had a good discussion with Bryce. Let`s continue it. So Bryce how does Plus This work with WordPress. Does it work with WordPress? And what’s the integration like? If it is there?

Bryce: So we worked with WordPress. For a long time our website was on a WordPress load out too. Probably one of the most popular ways for a lot of small businesses to get started with website. And we build specific integrations for some of the more popular WordPress related membership sites. Like Imbarium is the big one for us. So we’ll build actual like, inside of Plus This, we have an option for a lot of our tools to get an embed code. They just put it into a WordPress site. And then if you have something more specific, like Imbarium or Access Ally or Customer Hub. We have specific ones for those two that can just make it work even more smoothly for them.

Jonathon: Oh that`s great. Cindy?

Cindy: So when it comes to marketing automation, I imagine there are a lot of people that, maybe are making a lot of mistakes or maybe not using it as efficiently as possible. What are some mistakes you see people making out there when it comes to marketing automation?

Bryce: Yeah mistakes I think are sometimes when it comes to implementing new things, people can feel a little overwhelmed. They can think that it’s, they see something that’s going on another membership sites that they really like and they want to implement. But they put this kind of limiting beliefs a lot of times that they can’t do that or it’s too expensive. Or it’s got to be like Custom Dev or whatever, things like that. So one of the mistakes I see is that people are just not willing to try new things because of that fear that kind of gets in there.

The other common mistakes are things like just when it comes to marketing automation, there’s definitely some know how`s that comes to making sure it works correctly. And so it’s just important to map out what your process is gonna look like. What your customer journey might look like before you actually go and build that into the marketing automation. So I see a lot of people that kind of just go into their platforms and started like dragging and dropping different campaigns and emails and things. And then don’t realize like where are the gaps could be or where things can just fall through the cracks. So I’m a big fan of kind of white boarding it out, thinking what are the possible actions that they do, A, B or C. And kind of figuring that out from a high level before you build it into your marketing automation membership site.

Cindy: You really want that customer experience to be positive. So you need to actually understand the journey that they go through when they actually come to your door, so to speak. That’s a good point. Jonathan?

Jonathon: Yeah Bryce you mentioned that, before Cindy’s question. You mentioned about free WordPress service plugin`s. Do you mind mentioning them again? And as an outside of linked directly to those plugin`s. What you think they do and their strengths?

Bryce: So the ones I’m most familiar with and the ones that directly integrate with are Imbarium, Access Ally and Customer Hub. And Imbarium is probably the most popular WordPress related membership site out there that we integrate with. So that’s kind of their strength is if you have a membership site and you want to build these of it’s your existing WordPress site, your site’s already built on WordPress. You just want to add like a module or portion of the site that could be membership related on your existing website. They’re perfect for that kind of thing. The second one I’m most familiar with is Customer Hub. And what differentiates them is that they’re a standalone platform. So you don’t have to have an existing website, you don’t have to have any kind of connections there. It kind of just works on its own. And it’s a quick little easy platform for building those kinds of templates. And things like that for a membership site. And Access Ally is another one. They’re kind of one of the more new ones for us. So I’m not as familiar with them, but there again, another really good membership sites that you can use if you’re looking for other alternatives to explore.

Jonathon: Yeah thanks for that. I knew when you mentioned all three of them. I just thought to the listeners and viewers it could be handy. And you could outline what they exactly did. Over to you Cindy.

Cindy: So I’m curious how it works then with Plus This. Because it sounds like you have a bunch of different plugins or tools that can be used on a website. So like if somebody is listening to this and they’re like, oh, that sounds interesting. How do they go about? Do they get assigned somebody who kind of listens to what they’re looking for? Whatever it just tell me what the experience is like for clients that come through your door.

Bryce: No, that’s a great question. Thanks for asking that. So those tools that are kind of mentioned earlier with like Imbarium and Customer Hub and Access Ally. These are your membership site, like foundations. Basically, they’re the thing that you’re going to actually lay out how you want your pages to look. And the templates and everything like that for your actual membership site. And plus this where we come in, we’re kind of like the add on`s for that. So we’re like, Hey, I have this membership site and I know I’m going to want to put countdown timers on it. But I needed to interact well with my marking automation system too. So that they’re all three like working together to create a better experience, get more sales, increase how long people stay members, that kind of stuff. So with us, a lot of times people have come to Plus This. And be like, Hey, I’m using this membership site with this marketing automation platform and we want to start using SMS with it.

What does that look like? So we have offered a free trial. It’s free for 30 days. And one of the first things we’ll do when you start a free trial is schedule a launch call. And on the launch call we will sit down and get you familiar with a lot of these tools. So that we can kind have look into what you’re building or what you want to build. And we can start putting together the first like marketing campaigns or the first couple of tools that exist inside of your membership site. So you can kind of have someone walk you through that whole experience. Inside the app it’s really well laid out too. We have videos that walk you through how to implement all of these different tools. There are examples on our website and there is knowledge base. There’s chat inside the APP.

There’s a lot of ways for people to get support they need when they’re during these things. But most of the time all you’re doing to implement our tools are you are putting the little settings you want. So for example, the countdown time, or you might say how long you want that countdown timer to run. Or if you want it to run until a certain date that’s inside of the marketing automation platform for that person. If you’re storing that kind of information and then we give you a little embed code that you just copy paste inside your membership site and you’re done. So really easy stuff usually.

Cindy: And so it’s good to have that launch call to really help identify what it is people are looking for in terms of how to amplify what they’ve got in their membership site.

Bryce: And we also run a lot of demos. So a lot of times from demos, people will kind of share what they’re currently working on, what they’re challenges that they want to solve. And want to see how Plus This can help with that. So yeah.

Cindy: It’s funny because like you probably have a lot of things that people don’t know they want until they know that you’ve got it sort of things. That`s a good way of doing it for sure. Jonathan?

Jonathon: Thanks Cindy. We are going to wrap up the podcast part of the show. Hopefully Bryce is going to stay on for another 10 maybe 15 minutes. I want to ask him about how Plus This integrates with webinar platforms. And also asking what you think, how it works specifically with some of the leading CRM. `s And we thinks are some of the CRMs. So we’re gonna wrap up the podcast. Bryce, how can people find out more about Plus This, or about you and the company in general?

Bryce: You can find us at our brand new website at plusthis.com. That’s completely updated. One of the things I really liked about is that we’ve added some specific pages to help walk through actual like use cases and strategies. So go ahead and check that out.

You can see our whole full list of 50 plus tools. But you can kind of just scroll through and see like what might be interesting to you. Like Cindy asked earlier too, we have the demos so that if there is something here but you’re not quite sure if you want to try that out yet. You can schedule a demo and see like how I am working this in your specific situation. And then we also have the trial for Plus This. So you can go ahead and play with it. Have it for 30 days and get on a launch call. We’ll help set up some stuff, see how it’s worked in. If you like it, keep it. If you don’t then that’s fine. No problem. Keep your campaign. So we helped with and we’ll try to help you find what you are looking for.

Jonathon: That’s great. Cindy how can people find out more about you and what you are up to?

Cindy: Thanks Bryce for joining us today. Anyone who needs a little help getting their online course created, you can visit me@thecoursewhisperer.com.

Jonathon: That’s great. And if you’re looking for a WordPress partner with your membership learning management system. And integrating systems like what Plus is offering, go to the WP tonic website. We have maintenance plans. And also we have fully hosted plans as well. And we do full custom development around membership learning management systems. We will be back next week with another guest or internal discussion to help you the eLearning entrepreneur get that business online business up and running. And get the results that you’re looking for. We will see you soon. Bye.


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