We Talk About The Three Big Mistakes You Can Make With Marketing Automation & The Future of Groundhogg
In this episode we discuss the three biggest mistakes that Adrian see regularly then people are starting out building marketing automation funnels we then go on in the second half of the show the big upcoming changes that Adrian is making with the help of his team to Groundhogg.
Jonathon: Welcome back folks to the WP tonic show, this is episode 440. Our supposed guest unfortunately for personal reasons couldn’t attend. So you’ve just got us for you, it’s me and my knowledgeable and great co-host Adrian.
Adrian: Hi everyone, Adrian here.
Jonathon: Here for GroundHogg, we’ve rustled up some interesting topics. We’re going to be discussing some of the major problems in marketing automization, the agencies on a regular basis. Then we’re going to, in the second half we’re going to be talking about some of the major changes that GroundHogg itself has recently announced. Adrian is going to give us all the [inaudible [01:13] on those changes and then the bonus content we’re going to be talking about how to handle proposals and other business subjects so it should be a great show. Adrian, would you like to quickly introduce yourself to the new listeners and viewers?
Adrian: Absolutely, hi everyone. My name’s Adrian, if you don’t know me, I am the CEO and founder of GroundHogg. We produce and create amazing marketing automation and sales plugins or businesses that use WordPress. I come from that background of marketing automation, email marketing, page creation, digital marketing, and what have you. I have seen throughout my tenure of like seven years in this field of seeing time and time again, businesses making the same mistakes when it comes to marketing automation and wasting tons of time, wasting tons of money and then never being able to reach their goal because they do these things over and over and over again. And I’m here to share with you three things that you can do in order to avoid those pitfalls. But before we get into that–
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After you’ve tried something like Kinsta it’s extremely difficult to go back to, in my opinion, very inferior hosting providers. So if that sounds interesting, go over to Kinsta for yourself or for your clients. Go over to Kinsta.com, and have a look at their packages. I will suggest you should sign up and also tell them that you heard about them on the WP tonic podcast. So, Adrian let’s start, what are some of the basic mistakes that you see people making or regular basis when it comes to marketing automation.
Adrian: So, there are actually, there are three big ones and I actually took those three big ones and I created something called the three principles of automation. I’m not the first person, by the way, to come up with this top concept. You’ll find it on our website, but you’ll find it on other websites as well. But essentially there are three big areas and I’ve actually, I’m going to take a section directly out of our certified partner training, which we give to like the people who say, Hey listen, I wanted to do implementation for GroundHogg for my clients or their agencies or whatever.
We train this for all of our certified partners so they know and understand what these pitfalls are so they don’t pass them on to their clients inadvertently. But here are the three principles of automation and from those; we’ll be able to extract basically what people do wrong time and time and time again. The first one is we simply just call it, keep it simple stupid. Everybody has heard; keep it simple stupid, in their lives before, it’s the kiss principle. Essentially, when we go in and we get so excited about marketing automation, it’s easy to do, want to do a whole bunch of cool things.
Because you see, Ryan Deiss or Russell Brunson or like these super big marketer types with big teams, and creating awesome automation. So that basically runs their businesses on autopilot or with the promise of being able to run your business on autopilot. And then you go out and you spend $300 a month for infusionsoft.com, HubSpot, Marketo, or whatever it is that you choose. And you say, now I have all of this power and functionality, I’ll be able to design this awesome set of funnels or campaigns or what have you, and automate business.
What becomes quickly apparent is that one single person with very limited card budget, over the course of a year, we’ll be unable to create that promise or that level of expectation that they had going into it. So I don’t know if anyone has ever gone to, for example, like Google images and typed in infusion soft campaign. What you’re going to see is a bunch of items all-around a canvas with a bunch of lines going in between and you’re looking at it and you’re like, I have no idea what that means. I don’t know what’s happening. I don’t know what the intention is. I don’t know where people start. I don’t know where people end and it’s very, very, very, very complicated.
And if you over-complicate it, you essentially overwhelm yourself with the amount of functionality that you’ve built. And if you don’t know what’s happening, it essentially comes down to this. If you don’t know what’s happening within your own business or your own automation or your own funnels, the customer doesn’t know what’s happening either. If you can’t point to point a and point B and say you need to go from here to here because you’ve designed such a complex process with edge cases and whatnot. Then the customer cannot take point a and point B and then go through that process because you’ve implemented so many barriers from them to actually completing whatever transaction it is that you wanted in the first place.
So keep it simple is principle number one. You got a web form on the page, you send them an email, the email goes to a checkout page, and that’s marketing automation for you. That is like the most, that’s pretty low level and you’re going to do cooler stuff than that. But as soon as you start getting into like, I want it to connect to X software to B software and what if people answer option A, I want to send them a different series of emails or option B. Oftentimes the most simple solution is often the most effective solution. Yes, there are people, it’s not one size fits all, so some people may not want to conform to that process, but that’s fine. That’s what live chat is for or email is for.
You can just communicate with that person instead because a lot of times people want to be able to communicate with somebody instead of just communicate with the automation, which brings me two principles of automation number two. Not everything needs to or should be automated. Whenever someone gets marketing automation, they get infusion soft or HubSpot. They say, great, now we’ll be able to automate my human resources and my high ticket sales. I will be able to automate my live chat. I’ll be able to automate customer support. I’ll be able to go off and automate all of these things so I can work from the beach in Florida somewhere.
Incorrect or at least it’s extremely difficult to do that because human resources, customer chat, live chat, high ticket sales process, and all of those things. The customer has a certain level of expectation that they’re going to be talking to a real person. They want to be able to communicate with someone behind on the other side of the computer and get a genuine response from someone with flesh and a beating heart, hopefully. But, there are certain things that can be and should be automated that will be able to save you time and money. Lead generation, a long-term follow-up series, card abandonment, simple auto-responder, review requests or someone buys something; you can automatically send them a review request.
You don’t have to do that manually and it’s a super low-level thing that you can automate that will save your time. A lot of reporting can also be automated. So you can get your report in your inbox and say, I made X revenue this month. So those low-level repeatable tasks that don’t have a lot of variation in them can be automated relatively easily. However, human resources, customer service live chat, those things have something in them that is continually sever-able and that is a person. A person with a specific question, that you cannot always every single time, account for.
So you ended up building these supermassive funnels or campaigns or whatever to essentially accommodate all the possible different nudes and questions that a person might be in or have. And it just costs way too much time and way too much money and you end up never actually creating a solution that’s functional because it’s not a one size fits all. It is way easier to take the three minutes out of your day to hop on live chat, answer some of these questions, or hop on sport, answer somebody’s question. Or send out an email to someone who wants to give you $10,000 and be like, hey, do you want to give me $10,000? Or, do you want me to implement your site? Or do you want an acceptance quote, instead of letting automation take care of it because the automation won’t?
Because there you have a level of expectation to talk to a real person, so those are the first two and it looks like we have three minutes left to talk about number three and this is by far the biggest one. Keep the focus on your deliverables. We get so excited about marketing automation and email marketing that we lose sight of whatever it is that we actually want to sell in the first place. At the end of the day, a business is supposed to create two things, value for customers and value for shareholders. Marketing automation does neither of those things.
Marketing automation enables value for customers and enables values for shareholders, but does not create its products and selling products creates that value. When we get marketing automation, we say, Hey, listen, if I send this super cool email, the contact or the person or the customer will think it’s really cool that they got that email and that’ll make them want to buy, wrong. You need to keep the focus on whatever it is that was actually making revenue for your business the focus of your marketing automation. We can’t lose sight, it’s something that I see so they get–, business gets a new tool, and they say this new tool is super cool.
They spend three months developing and building [inaudible[12:00] this new tool trying to sell their product. End I’m not selling their products, moved to a new tool, do the same thing over and over and over again. And this happens because there is a level of expectation taken from the business. It’s not a valid expectation, but there’s an expectation that the tool is going to sell their product for them and that’s not necessarily true. Experience, marketing experience, email marketing experience will help you sell that product, but the product needs to have certain–, you need to put a certain amount of effort into that product in order for it to sell.
For example, if you are an agency, right. You sell websites or you implement websites or whatnot, marketing automation is not going to sell that for you, you need to have like, a certain amount of reputation to provide a good website in the first place in order for you to be able to continue selling websites. If you sell websites and don’t implement but rely on email and marketing to sell websites for you, it just doesn’t work like that. So to reiterate, three principles of automation, number one, keep it simple.
There is no point in trying to come up with every single edge case or automated super complex things, often the simplest as the most effective. Number two, not everything needs to or should be automated. Automate low-level processes and repeatable tasks, but stuff that requires a higher level or has lots of variables. Example of a human being may require a little bit of human intervention every once in a while to provide a good user experience. And number three; always keep the focus on your product.
If you have a good product, it will sell. You don’t even–, a lot of good products out there, don’t need marketing automation in order to sell. Marketing automation simply enables more sales, which is great but make sure that you’re providing a good and solid product first. And that is definitely the most important thing out of those three. Marketing automation will not sell a bad product; you have to have a good product. So keep your focus on your deliverables always, always, always, always and that brings us to the break.
Jonathon: Oh, that was fantastic Adrian. I think you’ve given some great insight there and I didn’t interrupt you once, which is unusual for me, isn’t it Adrian? But I felt every point you are making here, I totally agree actually. Actually thinking people think a tool or something external will solve a fundamental business problem, it can’t, and nothing can do that. It can only help but if there’s something really wrong, you actually will probably magnify the problem rather than solve it.
Adrian: Whenever you invest, so for example, there is a saying, there’s a misbelief that money makes like rich people terrible people or like money absolutely corrupts or there’s a bunch of ways to say that. I prefer to look at it like money only serves to magnify the person that you are. And I think that’s applicable to this as well. In introducing marketing automation will magnify the problems that you already have. So if you have HR problems introducing marketing automation in HR will magnify that problem.
You have to solve the root problem first. So if you have problems with your product, marketing automation will not solve the problems in your product, it will magnify them. You’ll be able to reach more people at a greater scale with a product that isn’t working for a minority of people. So make sure that you are solving those root problems first before introducing marketing automation. Marketing automation at the end of the day just enables you to do more of the same. That is the purpose of marketing automation.
Jonathon: Well, that’s fantastic and we go for our break folks. When we come back, we’re going to be delving into some of the major changes that Adrian announced this week and last week around his own great project GroundHogg. We’ll back in a few moments’ folks.
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Jonathon: We’re coming back, and we’re going to be discussing GroundHogg. But before we do that I want to mention another sponsor, another great sponsor, that’s Lifter LMS. And what is Lifter LMS? Well, if you’re in the e-learning business or thinking of entering it, which is still rapidly growing. I’ll suggest that you should look at WordPress because it’s a bit like renting or owning your house. It’s best to build your e-learning business on something that’s going to be yours forever. If you decide to go down the WordPress, the best, one of the best learning management systems plug-ins going to help you do that is Lifter LMS.
They’ve announced a number of improvements. They announced a video add on enhancement to their core product, which is fantastic. They’ve expanded their API, so it makes it extremely friendly for developers. There are amazing things that you can build with Lifter LMS. So if that sounds interesting, go over to Lifter LMS, and have a look at what they’ve got. You can download the core product for free and try it out, it is fantastic. So, Adrian, you announced some major changes to GroundHogg some of them surprise me. So would you like to quickly outline what you think some of the major things that you’ve announced around your own product?
Adrian: So before I head into that, I’d just like to preface everything and contextualize everything. So two weeks ago, or was it last week? I think it was two weeks ago.
Jonathon: Two weeks ago?
Adrian: I came back from, CaboPress and we actually talked on that show about my trip to CaboPress. And a lot of the things that I learned from that, I am pulling in and are the result, or the resulting of that learning experience is, are these changes that we’re making to our platform. And I have consulted with some very high profile people within the WordPress community. Asking them for advice, learning from their experiences and there, the mistakes that they’ve made and positioning myself to hopefully avoid the same mistakes. One of those being Lifter LMS and Chris [inaudible [18:57] who’s a friend of mine or ours I guess.
I’ve taken all of that advice in and all of the things and the stories that I’ve heard and the combinations about all the changes that we’re making. So the first biggest change is, we are sun-setting the GroundHogg sending service. So, in our attempt to make email easier and provide a simpler process for people to set up and integrate their email, we actually ended up making that process a little bit more difficult than it needed to be. So the way that we were doing it was technologically a little bit more complicated and thus it was a little bit more complicated for new users who aren’t that familiar with the technology to get set up with.
So rather than continuing to pour money and resources into it, we’ve just decided to discontinue it. And instead, we are partnering with Send-WP. Send-WP is an email marketing WordPress focused company, they’re produced by Ninja Forms and people behind Ninja Forms which is Saturday Drive, James [inaudible [19:59].
Jonathon: We have to get him on the show, maybe in the–
Adrian: We do.
Jonathon: In the New Year we do some [inaudible [20:05] and see if we can get him on the show, you folks.
Adrian: I met him, I met James at CaboPress and he was talking to me about Send-WP and this sound like the ideal solution to my problem, which was people are having a hard time sending emails with our server. So instead we’re going to sunset it and we’re going to introduce a partnership with them, which is actually already introduced into the platform and people are actually really, really enjoying that so far. So I’m happy to see that level of engagement from our users with that platform already. So that’s big change number one.
Jonathon: So we were saying with WP, is it WP-Send or Send-WP? Saying those—
Adrian: So I think it’s around $9, isn’t it, their basic plan?
Adrian: Exactly $9 a month for unlimited email.
Adrian: Unlimited, there is no cap which makes that very affordable and great for both the high level and the low-level senders of our audience. And it does all word press email as well, so Groundhog email, your password reset emails and all of them. So it makes a lot of sense for us to just move forward with them instead of trying to fix a lot of the problems with the GroundHogg sending service and it’s a happy relationship that I’m super happy about.
Jonathon: That’s fantastic.
Adrian: So, you go ahead.
Jonathon: No, get down to the next thing Adrian.
Adrian: So big change number two is, we are removing something that we’re calling minority features from the free plugin or from GroundHogg. So we have in the past introduced a significant amount of value into the free version. So much value in fact, that it was devaluing the product as a whole. The way that that works is, if we provide too much value in our free plugin, then there’s not necessarily any form of incentive to upgrade to any sort of premium plan, which doesn’t allow us to create as much value in return for our customers. And there are a whole lot of problems that are introduced at that level.
But by providing so much value, we basically devalued the brand or the plugin and our solutions and our company as a whole. So we are pulling out a lot of minority features, minority features or features which do not benefit the majority of free users. We are pulling those out and placing those into premium extensions. Premium ad-ons, premium extensions are being bundled into a premium plan, which I’ll get to in a second. But essentially the big ones that are already being pulled out are text messaging and SMS. So that is being pulled out and put into its own premium extension, because, a minority, only maybe 5% of current users are utilizing that feature.
So it makes sense to put it in a more niche plugin that can be bought and paid for rather than kind of forcing it upon a bunch of people who aren’t going to use it. Big one number two, Elementor was included free in the integration because Elementor just has such massive market penetration. However again it’s a minority of users who are using it so it’s going to be put as its own extension which makes sense because [inaudible [23:08] integration as well as other popular form integration since it’s just a form integration [inaudible [23:12], all have their own separate plan or separate add-ons or pulling Elementor out and making its own separate add-on as well.
We are also doing a little bit of tweaking in terms of email and funnel automation. We’re pulling some of the minority benchmarks so the benchmarks which aren’t used as much as well as the actions which aren’t used as much out of the funnel builder. And as well as we putting out the drag and drop email editor. So, we are introducing a simple email text base editor that will send a little bit more plain looking emails but still supports images and stuff so it’ll get you by.
But if you want the new, or if you want the advanced, we’re calling it now the advanced email editor, which drags and drops images, spacers, lines, H tunnel, and all of that good stuff. That email builder, as well as the funnel actions and benchmarks to go plat, will all be bundled with something called GroundHogg pro features which will essentially bring the free version back up to the place where it was. As well as we’re going to use that new add on as a catchall for features that we want to add but should be premium but don’t necessarily deserve their own extension in their own rights.
So it makes sense for us to kind of just bundle all of that stuff together. You can basically just then, once the changeover happens and the new updated GroundHogg goes out, that removes those three features, you’ll be able, if you have an all-access pass or a premium plan or whatever, then you’ll be able to just go download that, drop it back in your site and basically brings GroundHogg up to where it was before.
Jonathon: That fantastic.
Adrian: So those are the big changes. The last one is the new pricing. So we’re sun-setting or sun-setting a lot of stuff. We’re sun-setting the all-access pass. So the all-access pass has been our defacto pricing models since our inception in August of 2018. And that’s kind of just the way we did it because we actually based a lot of our pricing off of other popular WordPress extensions. At the time Easy digital downloads had an all-access pricing model, which is kind of like we copied it because we used to easy digital downloads to sell all of our stuff.
We’re like, well, it’s working for them it makes sense for us. Later they ended up actually changing their pricing model to what we’re about to adopt as well as this pricing model that we’re about to adopt and introduce is pretty defacto among every other WordPress plugin company that currently operates. So we’re moving to a good, better, best pricing model. Essentially, you have your good package, you have a better package, and then you have your best package. Now based on psychology and split testing and whole bunch of stuff, basically, the way it works out is if you generalize and pull your averages, 10% of people go for the good package. Okay, so 10% of all of your traffic or all of your customers will go for a good package, which is your lowest level package.
You have your better package where the bulk majority, 70% of which they go for. So 70% of your traffic will end up going for the good package, sorry, the better package and then 20% we’ll end up going for your best package, okay. And you price that like, a good price, a more expensive price and then a premium price respectively. So that’s the model we’re moving to and our value differentiator will actually be the extensions which are included. So in our basic package or a basic plan rather we are going to offer the GroundHogg Pro features as well as some of our more low-level extensions integrations.
I worked out the value in a blog post or a press release that we actually just pushed out maybe 30 minutes ago and it works out to like $150 in savings if you were to buy everything separately. So good value, not great value, look good value and then you move up to better, which again 70% of the people are going to go to. It’s going to include all of our more premium add-ons as well as all of the form integrations of which there are many and its total savings I think is $1,100. So that’s like really good value, right? It’s way better than the previous value.
Again, we want the majority of people to go for that bill package. And then we have our premium package or what we’re calling our pro-plan and that’s where kind of like the big guns are in. So all of our LMS integrations are e-commerce integrations, AWS [inaudible [27:22], SMS is going in that plan as well, and that is over like $2000 in savings if you’re to buy everything separately. So the best and those premium amounts of value were included in that so that’s our new pricing model that we’re going with. If anybody, if you’re listening to this thing like shit, I bought an all-access pass, my pricing going to change, absolutely not.
If you actually go–, if you go to the pricing page now and you were to buy right now, there’s actually a bar at the top that says pricing changing in 13 days. Lock in your price now because we’re just grandfathering everybody who buys it at the moment. So no worries if you previously bought or anything, if you’re listening to this and you’re thinking, I don’t want my price to change. It’s not, so don’t worry and that about cover it. Those are the big changes and better happening we want to make sure that GroundHogg remains the defacto marketing automation solution for businesses that use WordPress.
And this just seems based on all of the advice and all of the learning and professional development that we’ve done recently. This just seems like the best way to go about it. And so far our audience seems to agree based on the office hours as well as responses to the press release and all of that good stuff. So–
Jonathon: Well, I think most people understand. They want you to be around, they want the company to be able to exist and for you and your team to add more fantastic value and features. And you can only do that if the business is financially stable and progressing.
Adrian: I don’t want to introduce any sort of fear; the business is totally financially stable. We’re actually doing really good; it’s just the turn and it’s about growth at this point. We want to be able to grow a little bit faster so we can bring on new team members and be able to continue to provide an excellent level of support because we’re growing and we’re getting more customers, but we’re not able to grow our team at the same rate. So support takes longer. We want to be able to make that process a bit quicker so that we can continue to build onto our business and create more jobs in our local area and be able to provide the same level of expectation of response and quality support that people be getting to this point.
Jonathon: That’s great. And we probably might be in the bonus content discussing what your hopes, where you see GroundHogg being the end of next year. So, Adrian, how can people find out more about you and GroundHogg?
Adrian: So if you go Groundhogg.io, Groundhogg is spelled with two G’s at the end you can find all about our company. You can download the free version of the plugin, which is currently on the WordPress repository. You can also checkout maybe with an all-access plan, which we’re discontinuing at the end of the month. So you can go lock in at that price if you think GroundHogg may be able to solve a lot of your marketing automation needs and enable you to create more sales and more value for your customers. So again, that’s GroundHogg.io
Jonathon: Right? And if you want to support the show, we’ve got great guests next week; hopefully, they won’t have a personal problem which will stop them from coming on. It doesn’t normally happen that regularly, but people have their personal lives and sometimes it does infringe on their business life. But if you want to support the show, one of the best ways it’s giving us a review on iTunes. That’s right, Apple and if you want to see the shows the quickest, it’s normally best to go to the WP-Tonic YouTube channel.
So, we tend to post our interviews and our round table shows you the quickest on the YouTube channel and subscribing it is a great way of supporting the show as well. We’ll be back next week with another great guest and another great discussion giving you value in the world of WordPress and learning management systems and marketing automization. We’ll see you, next week folks.
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