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How I DOUBLED Sales with The 'Ask Method'

marketing Jul 10, 2017

I read 'ASK' about a year ago. I loved it, because of it's practical application and use, but also because of it's simplicity. It's really palm-to-forehead, "why didn't I think of that?" SIMPLE.  

The ASK Method is Simple:


Ask People What They Want. Then Give it to Them.  


...we tend to skip that first part.

After reading the book, I became obsessed with doing surveys and getting passionately curious about everything my subscribers were thinking and feeling. 


CONFESSION: I think I struggle with this more than anything. After being in business for 10 years, I've forgotten what it's like to be a "newbie."  Those days of confusion, overwhelm and uncertainty because you don't even have a plan or purpose happened so long ago for me!  At times I feel like I've forgotten to relate with someone who is just taking that first step.  #truth


Ok, so I did all these surveys... but then I was like, now what? I didn't really do anything with the data other than realize I don't know my audience as much as I should!

LESSON #1: Don't Assume! YOU ARE NOT YOUR AUDIENCE!  Don't assume you know what they want, why they want it, or what they're going through!

Then, as luck would have it...

Ryan Levesque (author of Ask), who happens to be in the same Mastermind Group as me, gave a mind-blowing, jaw-dropping 25 minute presentation on how to create SEGMENTATION and CUSTOMIZATION into your launches and funnels. 

Yes! This is exactly what I needed! He gave me three homework assignments and I was off to get to work!

The Before and After The Ask Method

In August of 2016, I had launched my brand new signature program Business by Design for the first time. It generated just under $240,000 in sales. That's a lot of money, but I wasn't happy. I knew the messaging was off.  ...way off.

The biggest struggle: I couldn't really communicate with SPECIFICITY what the hell this program really was?!  I mean, couldn't I just say, "hey this is everything I've learned and used in 9 years of my business?"  No. You can't.  

My first thought was to completely re-tool the offer and the product, to re-brand it by removing a ton of the content and training and just teach ONE small topic very well.  But that didn't excite me. 

Enter ASK.  

I took The Ask Method, overlaid it to my previous launch (and kept everything else the same!) and I doubled sales. Just over $490,193 to be EXACT.

What?! That's crazy! But it's really not, and here's why:  'Ask' allowed me to take a BIG PRODUCT that had a BIG MESSAGE and communicate it clearly and uniquely to four different groups of buyers.  As a result, Business By Design was clear to each of them.  (We all know, a confused mind doesn't buy!)  Plus, this just made writing my follow-up copy easier (and more fun!) Because I knew EXACTLY who my avatar (or bucket!) was, and I knew exactly what they needed!

Here's EXACTLY What I Did...

Obviously, I'll be using The Ask Method again (and again!) for both my live and automated promotions!  So, I've gone ahead and created a summary of what exactly I did in that launch and how I used The Ask Method! 

Buckets, Buckets & More Buckets! 

"Buckets" is the term used to describe the category or label you give to each segment or group of your market.  Identifying 3 to 5 buckets is hands down the MOST CRUCIAL and probably the hardest part of the entire Ask Method. 

In fact, in my LIVE Interview with Ryan, he actually breaks down three ways you can create these buckets with your audience:

The 3 Bucket-Styles FRAMEWORK:

  • Segmentation Strategy #1: The Challenge Framework
  • Segmentation Strategy #2: The Journey Framework
  • Segmentation Strategy #3: The Situation Framework

The Challenge Framework puts your audience into different buckets based on the specific problems they are facing (ex: Bucket #1 is "my dog pees on the rug" vs Bucket #2: "my dog won't stop barking)

The Journey Framework focuses on the Success Path of your audience and buckets each segment based on different milestones on their journey (ex: I'm a newbie, vs I'm advanced).

And the Situation Framework focuses more on WHO the specific avatar is (ex: I'm a local business owner struggling to generate sales, vs I'm an e-commerce business struggling to get sales)

For more detail and a complete explanation on this, check out the interview I did with Ryan Levesque here:

I chose to go with the Journey Framework for my launch of Business By Design. To do this, you'll need to identify the Customer's Success Path.  This really needs three things: a) The Before b) The After and c) The Major Milestones.

 

 You'll need to get clear on WHERE you're audience is when they "start" their journey, and where they will end up when they finish.  

For Business By Design, I teach content creators how to build a wildly profitable business around their digital courses and coaching.  

Their Before: they want to start an online business but don't have the first clue how.  They are probably still working in a job, and they desperately want to get out. 

Their After: they have truly built a business by design. They have several digital products that they are selling. They know their market, they know their message, and they are reaching thousands of people. They love what they do, and it makes them a lot of money. 

So, how do you get from "Point A," to "Point B?" Below are the simple milestones I created for my market. 

With that, I now had my four buckets.

Bucket #1: Someone looking to create their first course

Bucket #2: Someone looking to reach more people

Bucket #3: Someone with an existing business looking to scale/automate

...and my slightly bizarre, misplaced Bucket #4: Offline Businesses looking to take their business online.

Note:  Bucket #4 was a mistake.  I kind of made a hybrid mess of the Journey and Situation framework.  Needless to say, this was the smallest bucket chosen by far, and I shouldn't have used it! Sometimes you just gotta listen to what others say and not try and re-invent the wheel! ;-)

So, from these four buckets, I created our Two-Step Opt-in Process, which looked like this: 

When visitors click the "orange" button, they are sent to Step #1 of 2, which asks them to identify which level they are currently at:

The Bucket Segment Opt-In Form:

 After visitors select a radial button, an opt-in form asking for their email will automatically appear.  After that, they submit their email, two things happen:

  • A unique "tag" is applied to their contact record
  • they are directed to a unique "thank you" page (more on that later).

The software we used for this was SurveyFunnel.io. I can't recommend it enough.

Our Bucket Results:

Below is a screenshot of our stats. Two things I noticed from this: #1. The VAST majority of my visitors were at much more of a "beginner" or "just getting started" level. Next time, I will most likely break this first segment out into two buckets.   #2. I can also guess that people are a little lazy. They don't read all four options. They simply click the first one and move on.  Notice how each bucket had less and less.  Could be accurate. Could also be user-error. 

 "But Does This Hurt Conversion Rates?!"

Does adding a second step to your opt-in process hurt conversions. According to Ryan, no. He shared a split-test where having the buckets actually INCREASED conversion rates!  Why? 

Micro-Commitments.  

Getting your audience to take small actions will ultimately result in their continued effort.  In other words, get them to select an option (which is an easy step), they are more likely to finish the process and submit their email.

Setting up these buckets and segmenting my audience at the opt in took the most thought and strategy. And that's exactly what Ryan helps you with in his free video series, which you can check out here:

Here are some more results from this launch:

Almost half of the sales came from Bucket #1. That is another indicator that there are probably TWO "collapsed" buckets here.  In my opinion, the percentages shouldn't be skewed so heavily into one segment, but rather spread more evenly.

Another stat I looked at was the PERFORMANCE of each bucket:
Note: Bucket 4 had 12 sales, not 2. 

Notice how Bucket #1 (our beginner segment) had the largest by volume, but it was almost the lowest performing bucket.  Isn't that the point?  To increase the performance? Not just get volume!  

The messaging in Business By Design didn't really speak to newbies (even with buckets), and it's clearly evident by these above results.  Not to mention, it is a $2,000 program. This is not something a beginner can easily afford.  

Ok!  Let's take a look at some of the stuff I did to create... 

Perceived Customization

Perceived Customization is based off the idea that you can look for the 5% of assets and elements to customize for each bucket, and it will appear like the rest of the 95% is customized as well.  

I only customized four things, and it was embarrassingly easy... and quite fun!

#1. The 'Thank You' Page (x4)

After visitors self-selected their bucket and submitted their email, they were brought to one of four "thank you" pages.  Each of these pages had a unique 3 minute video and a unique headline.  

Each video simply spoke to their current "milestone" and associated pain point. Then, I showed them HOW my upcoming 3-part video series would apply to their unique situation. 

#2. Bucketed Bonuses (x4)

Each "bucket" got a unique bonus ADDED during the follow-up period. Each of these buckets had unique objections (reasons why they didn't want to buy), and a GREAT BONUS removes the objection.  So, I created a unique bonus for each!

#3. Unique Case Studies (x4)

One very specific objection your audience will have is, "ya, but this won't work for me and my very unique situation."  BUT, the right case study (aka a past student who was just like them!) can put this issue to rest immediately. So, I created FOUR unique case studies that most resonated with each bucket. 

#4. My Cart-Close Follow-up Emails (X4)

Finally, because I loooved the Ask Method so much, I decided to customize the "Cart-Close" Follow-Up sequence. I didn't write four sets of emails (that would have been close to forty emails... ya no thank you.  

But, I did change the headlines, and some of the body copy (especially the first line or two). It didn't take much time and it was totally worth it!

In Conclusion...

The Ask Method allows you to highly customize and tailor your message without having to create four or five unique products! It's simply about customizing a few pieces in your marketing!  It may seem like it will take "too much time" to set up.  But I'd argue that it will take more time stumbling around in the dark trying to unlock the "perfect" way to market your product to everyone.  Because remember...

"When you try to be EVERYONE to EVERYBODY, you become NOTHING to NO ONE." 

The Ask Method, the Buckets and the Perceived Customization is the only way you can be the ONE solution to everyone in your market.  

If you'd like to learn how you can deploy ASK in your business, check out Ryan's free training series here. 

In his series...

Ryan walks you through the big picture strategy, how to find your buckets and how to create customization in your marketing!  

Now, it's also important that you know that the link above is an affiliate link. Which means, Ryan will be selling something (his Ask Masterclass), and I will get a commission if you buy.  It's also important that you know I only endorse people and products that I personally use and see wildly successful results.  

I hope you've enjoyed this 'Ask Debrief,' if you have questions, please post them below! Thank you!

 

 

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