Businesses all about us, possibly yours too, are vying for the attention of their prospects by shouting as loud as they can. Each business pushing the freeline, out doing one another with better and better offers. There’s a lot of noise on the internet and it’s hard to stand-out and be heard.
So what’s the answer? STOP shouting and start questioning.
Ryan Levesque has developed a simple marketing funnel that is kind of contrarian. Instead of screaming we’ve got the best this, that or the other Ryan suggests saying “I don’t know if I can help you. But, if you take a few moments to tell me a bit about your situation, I’ll recommend a solution that’s right for you.” He then leads people through a step-by-step questioning process he calls the Survey Funnel.
It’s simple and it works because it mirrors a real conversation. Worried a consultative process can’t be scaled? Don’t be! Ryan’s generating 10,000 leads per day (on auto-pilot) in some markets with this formula – and that’s one single funnel. Tune in and learn how it works so you can get survey funnels working for you too.
Ryan Levesque known by many as “The Funnel Specialist” is well-recognized for creating online lead and sales flow models – most notably The Survey Funnel Formula. He’s generated over 2.8 Million Leads, 175,000 Customers – across 19 different markets – and those numbers are just the last 23 months alone.
He has been cited as a marketing expert in countless media including CNBC, Yahoo Finance, The Miami Herald, The San Francisco Chronicle, Mass Market Retailer, and many others. As a marketing and business coach, Ryan has generated over $37 million in additional revenue for his private clients since 2008.
Ryan currently lives in Austin, Texas and when he’s not running his business, his “hobbies” are his 2 1/2 year old son and tending to his 8 month pregnant wife!
A QUICK PREVIEW OF THE PODCAST:
Here are some of the highlights from this episode of the Traffic Jam Podcast…
- What’s a Marketing Funnel?
- Ryan’s Success with Survey Funnels.
- How a Survey Funnel Works.
- Survey Funnel VSL Must Haves.
- How You Can Implement a Survey Funnel Offline.
- Traffic Channels that Work Best with Survey Funnels.
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Hi! Welcome back listener! You’re tuned in to Traffic Jam, the podcast show that teaches you how to get more traffic and build a more profitable audience online. I’m your hose James Reynolds and you’re listening in to episode#46 and on today’s show we are joined by Ryan Levesque who’ll be sharing his survey funnel formula, which to date has generated over 2.8 million leads and 175,000 customers.
But before we get to Ryan, I want to say a quick hi to Chall and Adawali who commented on the Brian Dean episode, hi to you both! Remember that you too can join in the discussion on Traffic Jam by going in to the individual episode page for each show which of course for today is TrafficJamCast.com/46. You’ll also find there 2 special bonuses which are being created to help you implement the strategy shared by Ryan Levesque on today’s show. So I encourage you to head on over to TrafficJamCast.com/46 right now, grab your bonuses and follow along as you listen in to the day’s episode.
So as mentioned at the top of the show, Ryan is going to be serving his Funnel Survey formula which to date has generated 2.8 million leads, 175,000 customers across 19 different markets and –get this, those numbers are just in the last 23 months alone. So if you want to convert traffic in a non-hype, helpful way, then I promise you this episode is for you.
A little bit about Ryan before we jump in to the interview just a bit as a pre-cursor who you’d expect in today’s show. Ryan build marketing funnels for 8 and 9-figure clients including the #1 golf instruction site in the internet, the #1 tennis instruction site in the world, and the #1 alkaline health company in Australia to name just a few. He’s been called a conversion genius, he studies neuroscience at an Ivy League university and once worked on Wall Street for Goldman Sachs. And finally an interesting fact about Ryan, le lives in Texas which of course is the land of the cowboys but has never actually ridden a horse. There you go that was a short introduction of Ryan, and now this is Ryan, the funnel specialist, from TheFunnelSpecialist.com.
James: Hey there Ryan, welcome to Traffic Jam!
Ryan: Hey James, it is so great to be talking with you man.
James: So you’re known as the funnel specialist and of course that is not some reference to a piece of pipe used to channel liquids but I guess it is a kind of metaphor, right, for what you do to channel prospects through marketing. Tell us a little bit about what you do.
Ryan: Yeah, absolutely! So I build marketing funnels all day every day and the marketing funnel methodology that I am probably best known for is the survey funnel methodology. Now just so that everybody is on the same level of conversation, when we talk about marketing funnel, some people hear that term and they might not know exactly what that means and it might mean different things to different people. For me, a marketing funnel is nothing more than a pre-determined set of steps you want someone to take, to take them from being someone who has no idea who you are, who has no idea about your business at all, all the way through becoming a customer. And for most businesses, that is a series of steps that can take place in an orchestrated way. My expertise is doing that online – taking people through a pre-determined set of orchestrated steps and I do it predominantly by using surveys.
James: Got it! Well, let’s pre-qualify you for this discussion because I think it is very important with what we’ve got to talk about coming up. Before we get in to the meaty part, what sort of volume of leads have you been able to achieve, perhaps some revenue numbers before we get started with your system.
Ryan: Sure. So I build survey funnels all day every day and I had to do a presentation recently where I had to look at all the different markets that I am in and actually look at my numbers and it actually took me by surprise. In the last 23 months alone, I have actually generated 2.8 million leads, 175,000 customers, and that is across 17 different markets. To give you a sense for what these markets are, these are market outside the how to make money space so markets include golf instruction, tennis instruction, memory improvement, business lending. I am also in dog training, basketball instruction; I am in markets like water filtration, I am in markets like alkaline health, weight loss supplements, fitness, and the list goes on. So just to give you a sense for if there is something that you can apply in what we are talking about today in your business, this is a methodology that has been tested in business large and small. I have clients who are 7-figure businesses, I have clients that are 9-figure clients and these are names that most people would know – #1 golf instruction site in the world, companies like Agora, the 9-figure direct response power house, a dish network, the second leading satellite TV Company in the United States. These are companies that people would recognize and be familiar with. Now, when you think, is this something that you can be familiar with in your business, this has been tested across multiple markets, across different business models, across different price points, across different traffic sources. So I think what is really exciting is the real possibility that for anyone listening to this right now there is the potential to apply what we are going to be talking about in your business.
James: Fantastic! Well those numbers seem pretty damn impressive and I am sure we are going to get in to the detail of how it all works in due course but what is it about your formula specifically that works so well perhaps compared to the average funnel that you might be experienced with?
Ryan: Sure. This has happened through an evolution so it is not like, I don’t want people to walk away thinking that I woke up one day through divine intervention and arrived at the methodology that you see here. This represents over eight years of tapping and tweaking and trying different formulas and arriving at what’s worked best for me and that’s all I can say to it – what’s worked best for me. This isn’t by any means the only funnel methodology out there and it is not necessarily the best funnel methodology, it is only what’s worked best for me. So to answer your question, why has this methodology better for me than everything else that I have tried? Well, it sort of goes like this, most people online, most businesses online basically operates in markets where everybody, if you want to think about this analogy or a metaphor, it is like a carnival. Every business out there is standing on its proverbial tippy toes with its arms up in the air, screaming as loud as they can, “Look at me, our business is the best.” And you see this online, get our free report to try 27 traffic tips that you have not seen anywhere else. And then the guy next door, what does he do? He says, “Check out our free report with 37 traffic tips that you have never seen anywhere else!’ and everybody is basically playing that same game, the same paradigm, raising the free bar, whatever you want to call it, standing at their tiptoes, screaming at the top of their lungs. The approach I take is sort of contrarian. It is counter intuitive. Everybody is screaming at the top of the mountain and I am saying, time out a second, I don’t know if I can help you. But, if you take a few moments to tell me a bit about your situation, tell me a little bit about the challenges that you are struggling with, a little bit about who you are – with that information I can point you in the right direction. If I can help you, I’ll put you in touch with the best match solution that I have available to you but if I can’t help you, I’ll put you in touch with someone who can. Are you interested? And so it is counter intuitive and everybody screaming at the top of the mountain at the top of their lungs come in and they ignore all that noise and they come in, and they say this is refreshing. And the reason why it works is simple. I mean, just think about it. The way I just described it right there is no different than if you were having a one-on-one conversation in a sort of consultative sales offline. It would be very awkward if you and I met James and you said, “Hey Ryan, tell me about what you do.” and I just started pontificating to you and telling you about how great my service is. What would most likely happen is that we’d have a back and forth conversation and I’d ask you about our business and say, “well James, tell me about your business and what you are looking to do right now, maybe I can get a sense if there is a fit for us to potentially work together.” You’re effectively replicating that process online through the use of surveys. The challenge is it is difficult to scale that type of consultative experience that is so easy to do one on one. It is difficult to do that in scale. But we do it right. I am in markets now where for example in some markets, we generate anywhere from 8 thousand to 10 thousand leads per day using this methodology and that’s just in a single funnel. So, there is the opportunity to scale that same consultative approach. It basically comes down to running a very specific type of survey, that’s not positioned as a survey by the way. Asking people about who they are, what their hot buttons are, what their objections are, and then using that information to do a couple different things. #1 segmenting people in to different directions, so marketing to people more specifically based on the bucket or subgroup that they belong to within a market and #2 customizing the marketing based on the answers that they provide on the survey so you echo back that information to them. So for example, if you ask the question are you a man or a woman, the reason I am asking is because men and women tend to suffer for example from different weight loss challenges if you are in a weight loss market. If you capture that information, put it in to your database, and when you offer follow up emails, you speak to their specific gender and say, “hey James, as a man, one of the things that you’ll find interesting especially as you get in to your 30s and 40s is that you’ll start to see blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. “Versus if you answer that survey by saying that you are a 20 year old woman that same email can say, “you know James, as a woman in your 20s right now, and you might have noticed a few changes happening in your body.” Now that one very simple, basic example illustrates one element as to why this methodology is so powerful. It is the perception, and in some cases, the reality, that the information is so much more targeted. And James, I am sure you can agree that when something is hyper-targeted to you, it feels more personally relevant to you, you’re going to be more interested in it. You’re going to feel it’s a better fit for you and thus it is going to improve effectively the conversion rate. So that big picture, that sort of broad brush strokes is the overall strategy that I take but I am happy to take this conversation whatever direction it is, to dive deeper.
James: Love it! Okay, we will do that. So, I think what might be a nice sort of first step is to kind of perhaps almost do a virtual walk through of what this process might look like from the point of view of a prospect potentially arriving on a website, so how would that form be presented and what sort of steps would they be going through after that?
Ryan: Yeah, that’s a great question. So, we are all familiar, and I think everyone in the audience since this is an advanced audience. We are all familiar with a squeeze page, right? So squeeze page is the typical landing page, a page that you might land on a potential company’s website, the first destination point, usually which says something like, check out our free report, enter your name and email for a free copy of the report, we’ll send it to you in a sec. we’ve seen it a million times. Well let me walk you to what the alternative, the survey funnel methodology looks like instead. So imagine landing on a website landing page for the first time. There you see a little video. That video is auto-playing with a headline above it, and then there is a button below the video. The video basically says, sort of what I walked through a moment ago. Let’s just pretend it is a weight loss treatment for example. Maybe, a weight loss company, let’s say Weight Watchers. So say, hey, we’re Weight Watchers and we’ve been helping people lose weight all day every day for the last 50 years, however, not for everybody. And we now have come to a point where we have a number of different programs that fit different types of people. So rather than waste your time by sending you generic information, if you take a few moments to tell us about yourself, not only can we customize the information that you’ll get from us, we’ll also point you in the right direction to get you in touch with the right program that is right for you, all you need to do is this. Click on the button below the video, answer the questions that pop up, and we’ll see you on the other side with your custom information and the best match program for you.” Video stops playing and the prospect has two options, click on the button, or leave. Most people click on the button, because there is a curiosity angle. They click on the button and a little pop up shows up, and in that pop up there is just one question, the first question in a series of questions. This is where it would get in to what I would describe as a micro-commitment thing. The mistake that people make when they think about taking surveys online, one of the mistakes – there are several, but one of the mistakes that people make is asking too many questions at once. What you want to do is reduce the friction, reduce the threshold for someone to take action. Basically, ask them to make a micro-commitment. So instead of asking them straight away, answer name and email and opt in, that in many cases is a huge step. People in many cases don’t trust you yet if you are asking them that. Business owners tend to make this mistake where they tend to ask too much information too fast. Imagine James if you and I met for the first time and this might be acceptable in some cultures but imagine if I just ran up to you, gave you a big hug and a kiss on the cheek. It will be a little bit weird, right? Some people might be cool with that, but most people are going to be whoa, I don’t know you. Versus if it is your grandfather or your grandmother giving you a big hug or a kiss on the cheek, that’s fine, right? Because you know them. Because you have an established relationship. Well, asking for someone’s name and email too soon is sort of akin to that in online terms. But instead, if you ask a basic multiple choice question, something like, first can you tell us if you are a man or a woman, the reason why men and women is suffer from different weight loss challenges. So, I’m a man, click. And the next question pops up. And you go down this path asking one single multiple choice question one after another, one at a time, and then culminating at the end, in an opt in. now that you’ve provided information about yourself, I think we have enough information to point you in the right direction. Tell us your name and your email and we’ll send you a customized report for our recommendations for you and I’ll see you on the other side with the best match program for you to take. So you’ve taken people through that micro commitment survey, you’ve asked for their name and email in this sort of baby steps fashion, after they’ve entered their name and email, they’re then directed, typically, the way I do things, is what I’d describe as a same visit sale video sales letter. So in the world that I operate in, most of the businesses I work with, and in my own businesses, transactions take place online. So I am trying to generate a sale in that initial visit. So they’ve gone through the survey, then they get to typically a video sales letter. And the video sales letter is customized to some degree based on the responses on the survey. So, in very basic terms, women might get a different version of the video sales letter than men. And that’s at the most basic level. And generally, I am customizing things on a number of parameters based on the survey responses. So they get through a video sales letter, a same visit sale. If they end up not buying, they leave that page, well, they have signed up for an email auto responder sequence, and I am marketing to them, trying to get them to buy and I am using their survey responses to a place of advantage. I’m writing emails that might be customized based on the way they answered those questions. And the gender example and the age example that we talked about earlier would fit in to this. So, you get landing page with video, below video button, person clicks on button, pops up a little question, answers first question, one question pops up at a time, until you get to the email auto responder, ask them for their name in email in an opt in form, they answer their name and email in an opt in form, they’re redirected with a video sales letter, and then if they don’t buy, they leave, they’re added to an auto-responder sequence, and if they buy, they’re taken down a one click upsell path that again is customized based on their survey responses. That, in a nutshell, very high level, is a visitor walk through, a typical survey funnel that I would build. There are other bells and whistles, there are other things that we don’t talk about, retargeting, exit pops, a number of different advanced things like that but the plain, vanilla version of it is what I just described.
James: Yeah, I love it. Well, I can see some awesome applications for that, just my mind’s spinning already just to how you could use those survey responses even for someone who exits the survey before they have opted in, I’m sure you could do some customized remarketing or something to that degree based on the survey answers that they have given so I can see there’s some pretty darn cool applications for it. Now on a simple and easy level because some people do prefer simple and easy, I am sure you can also take the very simplistic offline application of this and just take those survey answers and put together a custom quote for someone perhaps if you are on a service related web and there is kind of that need of a diagnosis section that maybe can’t be automated. Would that be right?
Ryan: Absolutely! So if you want to think about – how can I simplify this? Basically people have two reactions when I walk people through this. The first reaction is – this is amazing, this makes perfect sense, this is great, but it sounds like a lot of work. That’s the second reaction. It sounds like a lot of work, and I will be perfectly honest. It does take work. It’s one of those things that, I am not going to sugar coat it. It’s like building a fortress around your business. It takes time to build that fortress but once it’s there, it is impenetrable. And because of that, I have funnels that have been running cold traffic or I have one funnel that has been running for eight years! I have another funnel that has been running for five years, it’s the same funnel because you build this funnel up front. It’s like an ATM, it takes a lot of time to build out an ATM initially but once it is built, you just need to tweak it here and there so it is a complex process to build things. Now, not every has the patience, they might have the size of the business that’s worth building one of these things, the question is, how can you get some value out of the more simplified version? So, two examples. The one example that you brought up is perfect. Take this process offline, you don’t need to worry about the tech, you don’t need to worry about building up any of the pages, you’re doing this one on one with people. Same principles apply. The drawback is you’re not getting the scale that you get, you’re not generating ten thousand leads a day if you’re doing this offline. How do you apply this online in a more simplified way? In the basic core, if someone were to take what we’ve talked about today, basically it would be this. Look at your market, and I have ways to do this that is beyond the scope of what we have time to cover in this conversation but basically you look at your market, you do your research, and then the process that involves a deep dive survey, a different kind of survey and then a deep dive process that I use to do this, and identify the three biggest buckets in your market, the three biggest subgroups of people who are different from one another. And to determine that I go through the statistical process that is known as cluster analysis we’re looking at how groups are dissimilar from one another and you’re eye splitting what those groups are. So you pick three, the three biggest groups, and then instead of sending people to one sales message and one sales pack. Just ask them a single question survey. I have noticed that the people that I have worked with tend to fall in to three categories: which of the following best describes you? A, b, c? Click submit to continue. And then you can send people to one in several directions. That could be one in several sales letters. It could be as simple as the same sales letter but with three different headlines. You can take this as far or as little as you want. You don’t have to take this to the nth degree to take value out of this survey segmentation process.
James: Yeah, and I’m sure very few people are segmenting, if at all, on the way in to an email list, right? I mean most people are totally going down that typical old school method of just asking for a name and an email address and then asking for absolutely nothing else so I am sure even just a few variables can make a massive difference.
James: Now, I have to ask you because this of course is a traffic show, I am sure you have tested a whole bunch of traffic channels with this method. What have been some of the most and perhaps least successful channels that work with the survey formula?
Ryan: I am going to answer this a slightly different way. I have yet to find a traffic source that we are running traffic to that this has not worked in. so let me give you a rundown of the traffic sources I am currently sending volumes of traffic through a survey funnel. So, Google keyword-based PPC, Google display for traffic, Yahoo, Bing traffic, YouTube video traffic, native advertising networks like Bula, solo email drops, banner advertising broadly and generally, I am not running traffic via radio ads so that is one that I am not running traffic in to yet, that is untested. Social media traffic through things like Pinterest and Twitter ads, those are just some that come to mind right now. SEO, just straight email traffic so basically all the major types of paid traffic and non-paid traffic online, I am currently running traffic to this. Now, when would be a case that it might not make sense to you a survey funnel? Well a good example is would be if you operate in a very narrow, inch-wide, mile-deep funnel that consist of a finite amount of long tail keywords. So the example I always give is say you are a local plumber and you are advertising on the keyword “local plumber to fix toilet in Austin, Texas” you don’t need a survey funnel to make that traffic convert, right? Because you already know. The keyword tells you exactly what they’re looking for. But if you want to advertise on a keyword like plumbing or home improvement, there is not enough information in the keyword itself to understand the searcher’s intent. And I learned this in one of my businesses, I have a business called Rocket Memory, we sell a series of courses that help people improve their memories. It leverages my background in neuroscience, I studied and taught at the Ivy League level Brown University and it leverages that background, and I learned this in that business when we were going after keywords like Improve Memory, How to improve Memory and memory improvement. Those keywords, you have people ranging from 18 yr. old kids in college all the way through 65 yr. old men concerned about mental decline, all looking to improve their memory for different reasons. The college kid wants help studying for their test. The 65 yr. old man is concerned about Alzheimer’s and dementia. So two very different needs all searching on that same keyword Improve Memory. So to make keywords like that work, that’s where the survey funnel shines. If you want to go after a banner ad on Yahoo Finance, again, you don’t have a homogenous group of people, you have people who have all sorts of wants, needs and desires. It is a very tremendous volume but again you cannot write a hyper specific ad like you can on a keyword, local plumber to fix leaky toilet Austin, Texas. You know those keywords are easy to convert but there is only a tiny amount of volume available on those types of keywords when you compare that to just the Google display network alone. So in these high traffic, less specific environments, the survey funnels really shine. And that’s why it’s a tremendous tool to help scale your business.
James: Yeah, well that all makes absolute perfect sense and there is plenty more places that we could take the questioning today, but I am not going to do that, I am going to be respectful of your time Ryan and perhaps give our listeners one or two places online where we can send them off to find out a little bit more about what you do, so what would those places be?
Ryan: Well, I offer a free daily email where I talk about some of the work that I am doing in the markets that I am in, people can get access to that free daily email and some other resources that I have at TheFunnelSpecialist.com and if folks are specifically interested in this survey funnel formula methodology, periodically I do teach the methodology in deep detail. I walk people through my six-week process where I build out one of these funnels from beginning to end so you can see all the moving parts and how everything fits together. The way to find out about the next time that that training is made available is to go to surveyfunnelformula.com, and those are probably the two best ways to dive deeper in to the stuff with me and learn more about how you can apply it in your business.
James: Fantastic! Well listener, if you did not quite get a hold of those two website addresses, it will be present in the show notes of the same episode which you can get to by going to TrafficJamCast.com/46. So Ryan Levitt, once again thanks for coming to Traffic Jam, it’s been an absolute pleasure and then perhaps maybe some point in the future we can dive a little deeper in to this as well.
Ryan: I’d love to man, I mean I love answering questions. I eat, sleep, and dream about surveys all day every day. So, as weird as it may seem, this is my passion, I geek out over this stuff, hopefully the passion and energy comes through just in the conversation so I would absolutely love to do that James. Thank you for the opportunity to get on your show and to talk about this.
James: Fantastic, well thank you Ryan.
So there you go, that was Ryan from TheFunnelSpecialist.com. I hope you took away as much as I did from this episode, and you took plenty of notes. Well, if you didn’t, don’t you worry because my notes from today’s episode beautifully presented in a mind map, you can save to your computer or print out for reference in the future and you can get that by going to TrafficJamCast.com/46. Along with the mind map, you’ll also get a step by step flowchart following the sales funnel formula in action which you can of course replicate and apply to your own website. To get all of these bonuses plus a full transcript of this episode plus a downloadable MP3, head on over to TrafficJamCast.com/46.
I’ll be back real soon with another episode where we’ll be joined by Corbett Barr from Think Traffic and now Fizzle Fame. Make sure you tune in to that one. To be the first to know when that episode goes live, you should subscribe via iTunes or Stitcher radio via TrafficJamCast.com/iTunes and TrafficJamCast.com/Stitcher.
For a direct link to both of the bonuses I just mentioned, the resource links and to join the discussion on this show, go to TrafficJamCast.com/46. We end this show with a traffic jam chosen by our guest Ryan Levesque. He has chosen a track called Ants Marching and it is by the Dave Matthews band. We’ll leave the show with that and I’ll see you back here in about seven days from now.
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THE TRAFFIC JAM:
The Traffic Jam is a musical ‘jam’ chosen by our guest. Ryan Levesque has picked Ants Marching by The Dave Matthews Band. This track was released on Bama Rags Records as the second single from The Dave Matthews Band’s 1994 album Under The Table and Dreaming. Ants Marching reached number 18 on the Modern Rock Tracks chart.
Ants Marching – The Dave Matthews Band
HERE’S WHAT YOU NEED TO DO RIGHT NOW:
So you too can start generating absurdly large lead volumes just like Ryan, I’ve put together a special Survey Funnel Starter Kit just for you….
Your FREE Starter Kit Includes:
- A step-by-step flow chart showing the survey funnel formula in action. Take this chart, adapt it for your own scenario and start generating leads today.
- My own detailed notes from my chat with Ryan, deciphered, simplified and presented in a mind map. Use this mindmap as your reference as you start building your own Survey Funnel and you’ll do well.
- A full PDF transcript of the interview with Ryan Levesque, plus MP3 and exclusive episode artwork.
Click below for instant access to your special Survey Funnel Formula Starter Kit: