Why waste time and resources on a single sale, when you could be taking that same sale and transforming it into several sales? Yes! You can totally make more money with a single client in a way that benefits the two of you.
In our most recent episodes of Systematic Excellence Podcast, we have been covering every part of the Business Hierarchy of Needs, and this time we talked about Transaction Frequency and how it makes business grow and increase revenue.
Our guest for this episode is Will Perry; CEO and CMO of Reason, an ecommerce direct response ad agency that specializes in scaling growth-stage ecommerce brands with The Ecommerce Growth Formula, and Will is an expert in increasing transaction frequency. Whether you are familiar with how this method works or not, we highly suggest you read this article so you can make your business grow. Keep on reading!
How to keep your customers buying from you
Amalie: Let’s just start out by talking about how to continue to have your clients purchase from you without overly diversifying your offerings, because then you run the risk of having less quality versus providing the highest quality. So let’s talk about that.
Will: Yeah, absolutely. From the agency side, we are on a recurring revenue model / continuity model with our clients, we generally get paid for results, so we’re not locked into these fixed contract structures. And so we made a massive shift about probably six to eight months ago where we kind of completely altered how we price, bid, sell and position ourselves with all of our e-com clients. We’ve really started to see some explosive growth with our clients, with our own revenues and profit percentage by getting everyone’s goals in alignment.
So based on the transaction frequency, it’s really simple. We produce results, they stay. So, it really comes down to the three P’s. So about six to eight months ago, we completely changed the entire structure of our financial terms, our payment terms and how we aligned with the brands that we partner up with. And basically what we did was we opted directly for performance-based-only contracts with our clients. Now everything we produce is in direct correlation with the amount of effort that we’ve put in and that way, on the brand side, they’re getting exactly what they want, which is scale and growth. We’re not held back in terms of what we’re willing to do, it’s a much more win-win scenario and we’ve been able to keep clients longer. This has really helped our transaction frequency because in the past we were generating great results, but we were kind of feeling held back by flat payment structures.
And that dynamic is completely different from how we actually scale e-com brands. Not every brand is ready to grow. They may not be traffic ready or they may not have the infrastructure or inventory internally. In the midst of COVID, I think we’ve sold out five of our clients out of inventory multiple times. But then our growth is halted because of the lack of the operational side of their business.
It’s actually kind of fun being on the other side of the coin now, being the ones saying, “Hey, y’all got to keep up.”
But in terms of the frequency portion a lot of times, whether it’s the CEO, the marketing director, the executive team or the investors, they get so shortsighted on the profitability of acquiring a customer. Probably the hardest thing that we do is kind of coaching through those conversations because no matter what sort of marketing activity you do, whether it’s SEO or organic social media, brand awareness, events, advertising, it’s all going to be costly to a degree. So it creates this massive disconnect of profitability vs. lifetime value and scale.
So for anyone who has an online business, has an info product that they sell online or is selling physical product online, there’s two key business models that work, any sort of continuity model:
A highly consumptive product that you can replenish every 30 to 90 days
A subscription product
Those two models are the way to make your marketing the most cost effective possible, even if you’re overpaying in some areas to acquire customers, but at least the ability of getting them buying from you again and again monthly is significant higher probability. So if you’re selling something that’s less than $50 and you only have one product and it comes in one version, it’s going to be extremely difficult for someone to gain profitability in their business by selling that sort of product.
And so going back to that continuity model at minimum, if you sell protein bars, getting that customer to buy those protein bars every month; or secondly, what’s called the product ascension ladder, which essentially is ascending them from product number one to product number two, to product number three. Whether it’s emails, SMS marketing, it doesn’t matter, if there’s no plan to extend the customer into the second product it’s just going to be an extremely costly endeavor.
The one reason you shouldn’t over-diversify your services and products
Amalie: Then making sure that it’s all in alignment and you are solving the next problem with each next service. And it’s important you’re able to maintain the quality, because if you overly diversify maybe you won’t have the infrastructure or the team to keep the quality of your services. Once you’ve spread yourself thin, your quality goes down.
Will: In the digital marketing world, it’s very easy to build a business based on unicorns. You know, people who have a lot of skills in a lot of different things. What we learned through that is that we had to specialize internally with our roles so that we could continue to scale and we weren’t getting stuck behind. For example we had this one person that could do ads, emails, copy and ads all at the same time, and that created a bottleneck.
And to go back to the not diversifying your offer too much, I kind of always look at it in terms of an upselling strategy. So how do I take that one customer and sell them my next level or layer of value? Maybe you start by doing an audit and you charge $500 for it, and then you do a $1,500 project, like a landing page. And then after that landing page, you sell them on a three-month engagement. And maybe 15 to 30 grand. And then you partner with them for 12 to 24 months. So all of those services stack on each other.
If anything, we’ve actually been removing services from what we do and charging more. We’re kind of stripping away the fluff and really just focusing on what drives the maximum amount of results for our minimum amount of input. I know that that sounds super selfish in a way, but this way we’re not just doing a bunch of stuff for the sake of doing a bunch of stuff, which costs us and the other company time and money.
How to take one customer and sell them your next level of value?
Amalie: So when you get ready to offer that next service or that ascension plan, that’s where Janine and I come in. So you’re the one that’s helping them get their sales in and all of that. And then we pick up on the internal part. Because you can bring the clients in, but if you can’t fulfill on it, ultimately, it’s a dead end. Having not just the products, but the people, the time, the structure; those small things can make or break a business internally.
Will: The big theme this year has been thriving. On our wall in the office it says, “thrive with us” and getting back to our “why” really kind of realigned everything of what we do, how we do it, how it’s set up, how we charge, how we communicate, how we’ve put the team in place in order to succeed. And all of that is evolving and growing, but it’s all geared on wanting to align with people who also want to thrive. If they don’t want to thrive, they’re probably not someone that I can help. But I think that’s what business is all about, aligning yourself with people where you can make big things happen together.
Janine: Awesome. So being performance-based is a bold statement about your confidence in yourselves and what you do and it’s awesome. I was just having a conversation with one of our clients the other day, they were being told their ads are profitable, but the agency wasn’t counting their actual fee for services. It’s bad math.
Will: That’s the thing of it too, a lot of businesses don’t know their own numbers. So you come in and, especially as a marketer, you come in and you disrupt the whole thing. You sell a bunch of stuff and they don’t know how to track it, and then they don’t have enough cashflow to be able to turn the whole thing back over again.
Stay away from anything that’s a onetime purchase. Stay away from anything that is sold one time to one person and instead start with a continuity model in mind from the beginning and how you’re going to continue to sell. Start out with that sales strategy first and then build out the rest of the foundation around it.
And that’s it for today! We hope this interview has been helpful to you. See you on the next episode!
To listen to the full episode click here. https://systematicexcellenceconsulting.com/podcast/
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