- [Tip 1]: The 5-Step Value Ladder You Can Base Your Business On
- [Tip 2]: How To Engineer Lead Generation Through Free Tools
- [Tip 3]: Give your readers massive value & epic content to wow and attract them into your sphere
- [Tip 4]: Use the power of free software for lead generation
- [Tip 5]: Give your leads detailed and actionable advice and takeaways to warm ready them for the sale
- [Tip 6]: Provide a consistent content spiel to transform even slow lane leads into paying customers
- [Tip 7]: Have a clear clarity throughout all channels to make it easy for potential customers to exactly know what they can expect and how you can help them
- [Tip 8: If you want to sell high ticket offers you need to change the selling environment
This article is for entrepreneurs who want to learn how one of the most successful online businesses – VideoFruit – operates to attracts 1000s of customers, generate millions and is one of the main marketing authorities on this planet.
[Tip 1]: The 5-Step Value Ladder You Can Base Your Business On
Before building a sales funnel, you should understand the concept of the “value ladder”. I learned this concept from Russell Brunson.
The value ladder is your big-picture zoomed-out funnel strategy.
As people “ascend” your value ladder, they’re offered more value. However, this value comes at a price ($).
A value ladder usually looks like this:
- Lead Magnet
- Frontend Funnel
- Core Funnel
- Backend Funnel
- Continuity Funnel
How does VideoFruit’s value ladder look like?
- Lead Magnet: Blog & Free Tools
- Frontend Funnel: Rabid List Building
- Core Funnel: Get 10,000 Subscribers
- Backend Funnel: 10ksubs Elite
- Continuity Funnel: Slingshot
Let me walk you through their value ladder now..
1) Lead Magnet:
A lead magnet acts as a magnet to attract your ideal customer. It’s important to understand that a lead magnet is not only a magnet but also acts as a filter. It filters wrong people out and pulls the right people closer to you. A lead magnet is usually a PDF and can be downloaded for an email address in exchange (it doesn’t cost anything).
You drive traffic to your lead magnet with the goal to get people to enter their email address in exchange for the lead magnet.
VideoFruit seems to base their traffic game mainly on free traffic (SimilarWeb).
So how does VideoFruit’s lead magnet look like?
They write awesome & actionable blog posts to attract people from Google.
With exact 8,000 words & 99 comments, countless of screenshots & awesome takeaways, this article seems to perform well.
If I search on google for “how to launch an online course” (which is one of their main customer avatars), I can find this article on page 1.
These are their traffic stats I pulled from SemRush.
Not too bad.
The most important part of the article is their content upgrade though..
The content upgrade is a piece of content (PDF or tool for example) that extends the blog post. Someone who actually read the article & is interested in its content, will naturally sign-up as the content upgrade is the logical next step.
It looks like this..
Once you sign-up, an automated email using tools such as Wild Mail gets triggered & you get access to the blog post’s member’s area..
This marks the entry point into the VideoFruit world and their funnel will play out..
Blog -> Free Email Course -> Rabid List Building Course (Paid) -> 10kSubs (Paid) -> SlingShot (Recurring Payment) -> Coaching (Recurring Payment)
VideoFruit tries all kinds of different traffic strategies & lead magnets. But their blog seems to be one of their best performing one. They also engineered lots of free tools to generate leads. These tools act as a lead magnet as well. I wrote an entire tip about this here. But let’s continue with the frontend now.
2) Frontend Funnel
After someone opts-in through one of VideoFruit’s lead magnets, an email sequence plays out.
Products (& Value Ladder):
This email sequence is a 6-lesson free email course to teach people how to grow an email list.
It’s important that this free course is 100% aligned with the core product and the frontend.
The frontend product is called “Rapid List Building System” and sells for $X.
The sales funnel that sells the frontend is an evergreen sales funnel. The core product (which we’re gonna talk about in a second) on the other hand is sold via an open/close launch model a few times a year (I think Bryan launches Get 10,000 Subscribers two times per year).
How does this evergreen sales system look like?
It’s an email automation consisting of 6 emails. You can check out all 6 emails here:
- Email 1
- Email 2
- Email 3
- Email 4
- Email 5
- Email 6
What You Need To Know About Email Sequences:
- The goal should be to install buying beliefs and ready leads for the conversion event
- The goal should not be to sell the product per se, but instead to establish a relationship, create trust & authority and install all necessary beliefs so that someone can accept the desire or need of your product or service.
- Once all beliefs are installed, the lead is “read” and can move on to the conversion event (sales page, VSL, webinar etc..)
[Tip 2]: How To Engineer Lead Generation Through Free Tools
What’s the idea here?
Build free online tools that solve problems your ideal customer have.
Companies like HubSpot, Shopify or Buffer play the same game. They all engineer free tools to generate leads for their core products.
For example: Buffer sells awesome Social Media software. They decided to create a free but helpful tool to create beautiful social media images called Pablo.
When building your own free tools, make sure to follow these simple rules:
- Give users an immediate payoff. It should only take seconds for them to actually get value from your tool.
- Make your tool relevant to your core business. Your goal is to turn the people using your free tool into paying customers later on. If you build tools that attract the wrong people, you will have a problem.
- Give people something of real value. Even though the tool is free, people should see actual returns from using it.
So, what tools did VideoFruit engineer to generate leads for their business?
They have created a lot of free tools over the last few months:
Let’s talk about ListGoal real quick.
Bryan Harris (CEO of VideoFruit) wants to sell his core offer which is (at the time I write this) Get 10,000 Subscribers and his coaching services.
Most of his offers are all about email marketing and how to grow an email list.
It makes sense for him to build free tools.
ListGoal is a chrome extension that monitors your email list growth & health. It also keeps track of your progress. Quite cool.
VideoFruit uses ListGoal to attract new people into their world (by launching ListGoal on ProductHunt for example) but also to engage & monitor their existing user base.
What I like the most (from a business point of view) is that in order to make ListGoal work, the user needs to connect the tool with his/her ESP (email tool).
This means that VideoFruit knows exactly the email list size of all their ListGoal users. This allows them to segment their user base and offer them the right products or service based on list size.
They can also use ListGoal to track the progress & success of their customers. Here are two things they could do with that:
- Monitor list growth of their customers and reach out to customers who reach certain milestones to create customer success case studies.
- Reach out to people who are not progressing and try to proactively help them to reduce refunds & churn.
Let’s continue with the frontend now..
Once someone enters the VideoFruit world through one of their lead magnets, what happens next?
- Create content upgrades that extend your blog posts to get people to enter your sales funnel.
- If you have engineering power in your team, build small but useful free tools to solve annoying problems your ideal customer is experiencing. The goal of the tool is to attract the right kind of people (customer avatar) into your world so that you can then later sell them one of your products or services.
2) Frontend Funnel
A frontend funnel that sells a frontend product/service is not a must. In fact, if you’re just starting out, you should not focus on having a frontend funnel. Instead, just create a lead magnet and build a core funnel to sell your core offer. That’s it. Only once this is working, introduce your frontend.
So, does VideoFruit have a frontend?
Well, VideoFruit chose to sell their core product (Get 10,000 Subscribers) through an open/close product launch model. This means they only allow people to buy their core product two times per year (spring and autumn).
The main problem with this decision is that they need to find a way to generate revenue between these launches. And that is where their frontend product comes into play 🙂
Their frontend product is called Rapid List Building and costs $450.
How do they sell that product?
Bryan created a free email course called “Jumpstart Your Email List”.
This email sequence consists of 6 emails to teach people how to grow from 0-100 email subscribers.
The goal of that email sequence is to establish a relationship, create trust and “ready” people to sell then Rapid List Building ($450) – which is their frontend product.
It’s important to understand that this free email course is 100% aligned with VideoFruit’s frontend product & core product.
Where does VideoFruit sell their frontend product?
Unfortunately, only through their Main Squeeze.
(I will comment on what they are missing out on in [Tip 3]..)
If you decide to opt-in on this page, the frontend funnel will get triggered. If you’re interested, you can have a look at all 6 emails here:
That’s it for now. I will feedback Bryan’s email sequence in [Tip 3].
- If you sell your core product through a product launch model (PLF style), you need to find a way to generate revenue between the launches. One way VideoFruit solves this problem is by selling an evergreen frontend product.
- A frontend allows you to qualify your buyers. Some people need less time to make buying decisions. We want to give them the opportunity to pay us money through an evergreen frontend.
- A frontend enables you to generate your ROI back faster. Depending on what you sell, sales cycles of core funnels can be quite long. Since frontend products are low-priced, you will be able to sell quantity which allows you to re-invest that money into growth again.
3) Core Funnel
How does VideoFruit sell their core offer (Get 10,000 Subscribers)?
That’s what I will reverse engineer now.
The core product is targeted for people who want to start growing an email list.bAs I mentioned before, Bryan uses a launch-based sales process to sell this product. This means that two times a year, VideoFruit organizes a huge launch party for a couple of days. Only during that period, people can buy his product.
The reason he does that is because it creates a massive amount of urgency. Bryan has a big email list. Some people are true fans, some are customers of his frontend products, some people are active blog readers and some don’t have a relationship at all with VideoFruit & Bryan Harris.
Let’s assume Bryan’s email list is 100,000 email subscribers big. The questions Bryan was asking himself were something like:
- Should I launch my product to my entire list?
- Should I add someone who just joined my email list to my launch event?
- Should I launch my product to a smaller segment of my email list?
- Am I missing out on sales if I don’t launch to everyone?
So, how does Bryan solved these problems?
He created a free introductory course called “Audience From Scratch”. The goals of this course are:
- Prepare people for the big launch event so that once he launches his product people are ready to buy.
- By offering this free course he can identify the engaged people on his list. This segment will then be the segment he will launch his core product to.
- “Audience From Scratch” (AFS) is the introductory product to “Get 10,000 subscribers” (Get 10k). Someone who is interested in AFS will automatically qualify as interested in Get10k.
- This allows him to be hyper-relevant as he only promotes his core product to people who actually show interest. People who’re not ready yet, won’t be part of that sales event (launch).
Bryan sends out six AFS emails to set the stage:
- AFS Email 1 (Lesson 1)
- AFS Email 2
- AFS Email 3 (Lesson 2)
- AFS Email 4
- AFS Email 5 (Lesson 3)
- AFS Email 6 (Live Office Hours)
These 6 emails prepare people for the real launch event which included a few emails:
- Email 1 (Open Doors & 15% Discount)
- Email 2 (Features)
- Email 3 (Webinar Invite)
- Email 4 (Closing Doors)
- Email 5 (Final Call)
If you’re interested in learning about their entire launch, you can read Bryan’s blog post here.
The question now is: How does VideoFruit communicate with its audience between the two launches? How do they establish relationships & create trust?
VideoFruit uses a very cool 4-part communication strategy..
Every Friday VideoFruit sends out a newsletter to its email list. This results in one email a week and around 4 emails a month. Friday is VideoFruit email day and I, as their subscriber, know this & expect an email from them.
This is VideoFruit’s newsletter strategy:
Every month, VideoFruit announces a new topic to talk about.
In the first email of the month, Bryan announces the topic of the month and shares some cool stats & results (based on their own experiments).
Check out email 1: Test Result Email
The second email is all about giving value without asking for anything. This usually happens in form of a free PDF or video to teach something cool.
Check out email 2: Asset Bundle Email
The third email introduces a new free tool that helps to solve the problem VideoFruit is talking about that month. They build & launch new tools every single month and they offer them for free. Not everyone has the resources to build their own tools. You could also link to other tools on the market instead.
Check out email 3: Free Tool Email
The fourth email is an invitation to a webinar. The webinar has a pitch at the end to sell a product that is related to the month’s topic. By looking through their emails of the last couple of months, I can tell that they didn’t run a webinar every single month. If they don’t, they usually link again in email 4 to their new free tool.
Check out email 4: Webinar Email
If you want to learn more about VideoFruit’s content strategy, you can watch this video.
- As VideoFruit sells their core product through open/close launch model, they needed to find a way to engage the audience in between launches. They use a very cool 4-part content strategy to communicate with their audience on a weekly basis.
- To find the right segment to launch your product or service to, you could create a small introductory product and then only launch your product to people who show interest for that pre-launch product.
- A pre-launch product allows you to find “hot leads”, become more relevant and decrease email unsubscribe rate.
The goal here is to increase revenue & profits from existing customers. It’s always easier to sell to an existing customer again than selling to a person who has never bought from you before.
That’s why you want to cross-sell related products/services or offer upsells in form of upgraded features or packages.
VideoFruit runs a coaching service for people who want 1:1 attention to grow their business.
This is a high-ticket service with lots of value positioned at the top of their value ladder. With higher value comes also a higher price.
- Lead Magnet: Blog & Free Tools ($0)
- Frontend Funnel: Rapid List Building ($450)
- Core Funnel: Get 10,000 Subscribers (around $1,000)
- Backend Funnel: 10ksubs Elite ($4,950)
- Continuity Funnel: Slingshot ($750/year)
VideoFruit sells their coaching service for $4,950.
(according to their product page..)
This means they need to change the selling environment. It will be hard to sell that service through a simple text-based sales page or a webinar as this service costs a lot of money.
People who consider purchasing this service want to talk to a real person. That is why the sales environment gets changed from a sales page/webinar to a “Strategy Call”.
This “Strategy Call” has two goals:
- Qualify the prospect
- Close the prospect if it’s a good fit
There are two ways how VideoFruit promotes their coaching service:
- Personal upsell email
- 3-Part Email Sequence
The personal email they send looks like this..
(click here to see the full email..)
The content of the email is personalized to existing Get 10,000 Subscriber customers and the call-to-action is to jump on a free strategy call.
The second way is a 3-step email funnel. It looks like this:
- 3 Emails
- 2 Videos
- 2 Case Studies
- Call-To-Action: Free Strategy Call
- Send personalized emails to existing customers to upsell a backend product. VideoFruit sends these emails from their ESP. What we do at Wild Audience is to send these “Free Strategy Call Invite Emails” via a Gmail Zapier Hack. You can learn more about it in this article.
- Use case studies to sell your high-ticket services or products.
- Change the selling environment from a standard sales page to a personal 1:1 call. Qualify first to see if the prospect is a good fit or not. A strategy call or sales call works well to handle objections.
Recurring revenue is the holy grail of business. It’s probably one of the best business models ever invented.
The goal of the continuity funnel (I learned this term from Russell Brunson) is to generate recurring revenue.
This could be in form of:
- Software (SaaS)
- Service Container (if you run an agency or if you’re a coach/consultant)
VideoFruit generates recurring revenue with two of their offers:
- Slingshot ($750/year)
- Coaching Services
Let’s talk about Slingshot.
Slingshot helps you plan & run a launch to sell your product or service. The product is the logical next step for everyone who is a Get 10,000 Subscribers customer. Because once you know how to grow your email list, you – of course – want to monetize your list and make money.
I will show you two different ways how VideoFruit sells Slingshot to generate recurring revenue:
- Discount Funnel
- Webinar Funnel
The discount campaign is a 2-step email sequence to sell Slingshot and offers a 50% discount to all Get 10,000 Subscribers customers. Here’s a summary of the funnel:
The idea here is to first provide value through Bryan’s video about automated email sequences and then lead to his product Slingshot which actually helps people to build such an email sequence and then launch their product.
To make it a no-brainer decision, Bryan offers a 50% discount offer for a “limited time only”. This is actually a lie. It’s fake urgency as this offer is still available here.
This is how the webinar funnel looks like:
- Blog Post
- 4 Emails
- Offer: $500 instead of $750 plus some other resources for free
- VideoFruit uses two different conversion methods to get people to buy Slingshot. This is a great approach as some people prefer to watch a webinar and others prefer to read emails.
- VideoFruit uses discount codes quite heavily (especially for existing customers) to cross-sell more products.
- VideoFruit uses fake-scarcity to sell their product. I’m not a big fan and would not suggest doing that as this will impact your trust status with your audience.
[Tip 3]: Three (Out Of Eleven) Suggestions I Would Implement For VideoFruit If I Would Work For Them
It’s time to share what I would do differently if they would hire me. I have discovered 11 improvement ideas VideoFruit could consider. But in order to not explode the length of this article (& respect your time), I will only share 3 suggestions for now.
Suggestion 1: Add A Segmentation Process
VideoFruit offers all kinds of products/services from email marketing to hiring and copywriting.
Being relevant and personal is a prerequisite of getting the right people engaged. Getting the right people engaged will always (always always) result in higher sales conversions and more revenue.
You can read my article “7 Engagement Techniques To Increase Sales Funnel Conversion Rate” to learn more about how to get your audience engaged.
In order to be relevant & personal, you first need to know your people. This is done through a segmentation process.
Here’s how VideoFruit could do that..
Instead of just asking for email + first name, they could ask a question first to get to know the new lead better: “What’s your biggest problem?”.
I first saw this being implemented by Ryan Levesque (Ask Method). Here’s a screenshot of how we implement this at Wild Audience..
A person has to answer the first question first to then be able to enter their email address.
After someone signs-up, this person will arrive on a sign-up confirmation page. On this page,e we have embedded a second segmentation interview. It’s five questions long and has the goal to collect data so that we can personalize the experience inside our emails, bot messages & on our website pages.
We get around 50% of the people to also complete this survey. Here’s a screenshot of our data of an onboarding survey for cold leads that came in through a Facebook ad (cold audience).
Suggestion 2: Add People Who Opt-In Through A Blog Post To A Frontend Funnel
VideoFruit adds people who read one of their blog posts and then signs-up through a content upgrade directly to their weekly newsletter (at the time I write this).
Here’s what I would do instead:
Segment people (lead opt-in bucketing & onboarding survey) after they sign-up through the content upgrade (as I suggested above) and then add them into an RBS (Relationship Builder Sequence) to establish a relationship, create trust and install buying beliefs.
Once this is accomplished, you would add them to a conversion event (sales page, webinar, VSL..) to sell a frontend product based on data they collected during the onboarding interview. This allows you to systematically establish a relationship (through an RBS), generate revenue and make your ROI back faster.
Only after they went through that mini-funnel I would add them into the weekly email newsletter
Suggestion 3: Four Ways How VideoFruit Could Improve Their Email Automation & Rock It
I will now feedback VideoFruit’s evergreen email automation called “Jumpstart Your Email List”.
No Images & Social Proof :
VideoFruit’s first email doesn’t have a single image (link to email 1). I tell my clients to add one social proof image per email. This is especially important in the first email as this sets the stage for everything that comes after. I, for example, place three social proof images in email #1. Have a look at two out three social proof screenshots..
And here’s the second one..
That’s how you set the stage.
Micro-Investments & How VideoFruit Could Use Them:
The goal of micro-investments is to increase the lead’s investment into you over time so that once the prospect sees your offer (which is your big request), they have already said “yes” a few times via micro-investments.
You want to increase your request over time so that your big request (offer) doesn’t seem that big anymore once presented.
VideoFruit asks people to fill out a worksheet at the end of their emails. Bryan borrowed this technique from Brennan Dunn I believe.
When it comes to requests, I always lead with the question..
“What’s in for the reader”?
You want to make it as easy as possible to complete the request and at the same time make the ROR (return of request) as big as possible (value they get).
In my opinion, the worksheet seems pretty “boring” as there is not enough in for the reader.
Here’s what I would do instead..
In the first email, I would place a small micro investment: Get your people to respond with one single word. We ask our people to respond with “ready”.
If they complete this step and respond with “ready”, you want to reward them. Here’s what I do..
People who respond “ready” are getting rewarded with three welcome gifts & have higher chances to engage throughout your sales funnel as they’ve already micro-invested into you.
In email #2, VideoFruit offers another worksheet.
People can submit an answer but then that’s it. It doesn’t have much of an exciting element. What they could do instead is cliffhanger from their email into a video and continue the story there.
Email -> Video (that extends the email) -> Button to go a level “deeper”.
Here’s how I implement that..
Email -> Video -> Bot.
This process is something that I call Funnels In Funnels (FIF). It allows people who want to engage with you to go deeper.
Add Personality To Every Email
What I’m missing in Bryans’ emails is personality. Don’t get me wrong. Bryan has a very “Bryan way of writing” and I love it. But what I have seen is that people have an eye for details.
They love if you put a picture of yourself at the end of the email. Like I do for example..
They also love to discover Easter eggs in the P.S. section of an email. Or laugh if you have a funny quote in your email footer..
Let’s Spice Up Those Cliffhangers
The cliffhanger is one of the main vehicles to get people to open & engage with your next email. Just think about how your favorite TV series ends.
Yes, exactly. That is called a cliffhanger. It’s the reason why you can’t stop watching House Of Cards.
You want to use the same mechanism at the end of your emails. Because if you do, you might end up getting people to respond to your emails like that..
Let’s look at the cliffhanger of email two of VideoFruit’s email sequence:
“In the next lesson I’m going to show you how to start building your list by using the Testimonial Hack. This strategy can get you featured to thousands of potential subscribers and single-handedly jump start your list.”
Hmn. Not bad but a little boring if you ask me 😉
Instead, try this..
I’m sure you can relate..
You buy this really cool new product and you love it so much that you tell all your friends about it..
Well, I don’t.
This one day I gave the product creator direct feedback instead..
.. And this changed everything.
Here’s what happened..
I surprisingly got 780 new email subscribers in just 3 short days and made just over $10,500.
I know crazy, no?
Well how I did that and how you can do the same is what I’m going to show you in my next email.
That’s a bit better, no?
And with that, I would like to end this article.
I hope you found it valuable & educational.
I tried my best 🙂
If you want to move on (& go deeper), I’d suggest to follow the path I have outlined for you (see my emails).
And if you know Bryan or want to let him know via email or Twitter that he should check out this article, you can do that below..
- Email Bryan Harris from VideoFruit (Click Here!)
- Tweet Bryan Harris from VideoFruit (Click Here!)
Thanks! And talk soon.