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What if discovering the power of storytelling in religion could unlock marketing success? In our latest episode, we dive into an insightful conversation with Aaron Orendorff, a master copywriter and marketing expert with a fascinating background in theology. Aaron shares his journey from a non-religious upbringing to a conversion experience that shaped his marketing career, and ultimately led to understanding the parallels between religion as a brand and the principles of sales and marketing.
Together, we explore the importance of understanding your customer's fears, desires, and the stories they tell themselves to create a memorable customer experience. Aaron shares his expertise on identifying and targeting your ideal customer, mining complaints for valuable insights, and testing and scaling marketing strategies for maximum impact. He also opens up about his own journey to overcome fear of rejection and the power of the mantra "Let's get rejected."
Finally, Aaron introduces Recart, an efficient SMS marketing platform that can help businesses cost less, sell more, and drive real growth. We discuss how leveraging SMS marketing, creating unforgettable customer experiences, and building relationships and stories that galvanize religious brands can revolutionize your approach to marketing. Don't miss this enlightening and thought-provoking episode!
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Yeah, it all comes back to a little over 10 years ago. A decade now, in February, is when I jumped with gun to my head necessity being the mother of invention, needing to eat and pay rents into this online marketing career. And you're right, copy is I'm a words dude. So you nailed it. That is absolutely and and actually nailed. It is a great way to put it, because what I'll often tell people I'm doing consulting is listen, there may be other people on a paid front, on a community front, that'll talk about. I am a carpenter with a hammer and everything's a nail. I'm a words person and so that the whole idea of Rejection that was my way. When I jumped into this game, with no credibility, no clients, no even academic background in marketing, copywriting, any of those things I whipped up a website that basically my mom And a couple other people went to. I got the GA screenshots to prove just how dead it was. I whipped up a website and when I started pitching first publications, then clients or raising rates I tried to game the system and I use this little phrase Let's get rejected. Every time my finger would hover over the send, submit, publish, even getting into social media You know LinkedIn and Twitter. When it was just Can crickets like brutal to publish and see nothing come of it? I, just that whole let's get rejected. Idea was How can I game Aaron's system? because fear is the thing that's gonna hold me back Fear of rejection, fear of the no. So if I can game the system and pretend for five seconds that rejection is the goal, then I'm gonna do something, and that that's like the absolute, bare Necessity. Key to success is do something, not nothing. Do something new, not the same thing. Do something, not nothing. So, whatever you can do, yeah, to unleash yourself, untether yourself from that fear. For me, let's get rejected.Speaker 2:
Yes, it's a tough one to master, but it's so true, kind of a sales 101 fundamental, isn't it? Fear of rejection stops a lot of people from moving forwards. Yeah, you can cannibalize the feelings of rejection.Speaker 1:
Or you can at least. It's not about getting over it like I would hate for anybody to hear this and think I'm a confident human. I am NOT a confident human, but I know, in those clutch moments, when it comes to just pushing the thing out there or just responding That whole idea of just doing something I need Anything I can hang on to to push me over that edge. And that's really what's about. It's about traveling through the fear, not denying it, but trying to game it.Speaker 2:
So Stopping along your life. I've done a bit of research but rather than doing the traditional, watch your backstory And going into that, i thought we could look at it through the lens of marketing more broadly speaking, brand and e-commerce, which novel approach may not work, let's see. But It's from from a conversation that you've had to understand that you talk about religion, or maybe not religion, maybe more divinity, and I just wanted to kind of talk about the parallels between Religion and a brand, or religion as a brand, which again may be slightly a taboo subject, but we'll try and do it respectfully. So just can you just loosely give us a backstory so that I've got clarity on on what that means to you, because I know you've done some work there?Speaker 1:
Shortest version is I grew up in a non-religious home, self-consciously atheistic father who I grew up wanting to be like, love to argue with the other religious kids. When I first got exposed to people who didn't believe in evolution, that sort of thing Florida me that's how much I grew up in in a non-religious home. For me I didn't know they existed, all right. And when I was 17, 18, i had what I would have described at the time as conversion experience. Shortly after that I went into the National Guard. The Oregon Army National Guard got deployed a couple of times overseas, once here domestically as well. That solidified a love affair with Theology of all things that I discovered. While I was on one of those deployments I went to seminary and that was, that was what I thought Aaron Orndorf was going to be was a preacher, a teacher, in a conservative religious setting, not necessarily conservative politically, but conservative Theologically and religiously. So the idea of you know that breakpoint in my life ten years ago. What are the overlaps that connect the two? the best expressions I Was exposed to, the best expressions of organized religion, came from people like Tim Keller, who actually passed away just a couple of days ago. Not sure when this will be released, but recently passed away. And the amazing thing, so Tim Keller, pastor of a conservative Presbyterian church out in NYC and And conservative again, not in a political sense He actually had an article in the Atlantic about can Christianity and evangelicalism survived. Trump like this is not a politically like, he just wouldn't pick sides, but this Bible believing, jesus loving is how you could put it Presbyterian church in the heart of Manhattan. When he passed away, new York magazine, the New Yorker Atlantic, washington Post, the New York Times, covered his death and that just speaks to this this humans ability to reach outside the traditional bastions and circles That enclose the, the worst expressions of organized religion. And for him, what he taught me was I don't get to disagree with you Till I can articulate your position better than you, which is all about, in marketing, empathy, identification, understanding your audience, crawling inside their mind and being able to overcome objections. Only after you've established a vision for what they want that you can fulfill. Right, that's like I said, it was gonna be short, that I don't know if that was very short, but that is that's. That's that overlap of. Somebody has to want a thing to be true, based on their desires, their fears, their dreams, their hopes. They have to want a thing to be true Before they can with their minds, then assent to it and agree with it. The emotions, the heart, lead the head.Speaker 2:
Just because of my, my personal exposure. Christianity is what I was exposed to growing up in the UK. I went to a Guess it was a Catholic school, primary school and then secondary school generally tends to be non-religious. So the Bible, then, because that's what's closest to me as a piece of copy Incredible, possibly the most, the most well-known piece of coffee, and and The one that stood for the longest. And you mentioned some terms that that we use conversion. You had a conversion experience. Obviously, we use the word conversion in e-commerce a lot, and also you mentioned People wanting to Their fears. They want to believe something, maybe fulfill something within themselves, perhaps, in a way, that's what faith can do. So what I wanted to do is look at, look at Religion as a brand, because it is ultimately one of the longest running. I Don't want to say lifestyle choices, but believe someone has and, and there must be some components of that that are effective, that keep it there, that keep it at the forefront of. You know it's a cornerstone of our society, still. So just wanted to have you ever thought about religion in that way? Have you ever broken it down as a? what would it be if it was actually a commercial brand. You know what are the components of religion that make it so successful in being adopted.Speaker 1:
We are storied creatures Who live in relationships. We are inescapably relational and we are inescapably story bound. That's the power, that's the crux of a religious brand, is To tell two stories at once Your story, the story of your needs and particularly, i would say, your fears and your deepest desires, what you, as an individual, wish were true to make sense of the story you live in. Yes, you're seeking a happy ending for sure, that's part of it, but you're also looking for ways to piece together, the way Steve Jobs talked about You can only connect the dots, looking backwards, not looking forwards, and so that connecting of the dots is the story we tell ourselves about ourselves. That's the first, and the second, then, is that larger narrative of what is the universe really all about? What is ultimate reality all about? What is it the core of existence And religion. The power of religion is that it, at least in its good, positive, persuasive elements, is. It shows you how those two stories aren't antithetical, that your story can be subsumed into this larger story that is full of relationships with other people, but also full of a relationship with either a higher power or a system of thought, a set of rules and principles that are objectively true and can give you the things that you already desire. Now the real switch is when not only that story gets bought and swallowed and you have that conversion experience, but then when you enter into those relationships in that story and you find actually your desires being transformed too. So, community relationships we both seek them because we want what they have to offer and then they subsequently transform us and change what we want, especially the relationships that we're in. So it's those two elements, those inescapable elements of being a human story and relationships, that is the power to galvanize.Speaker 2:
You went on a journey and I would just like to understand the kind of touch points and maybe try and map those to what we would be more used to in the e-commerce.Speaker 1:
A little nod towards influencer What we might call user-generated content. Right, like this is the idea of being a witness in my previous life would be like to witness, right To go out there and proselytize, evangelize. Right To be a witness in your neighborhood, the kind of neighbor whose home is open and it projects and has at its core a depth and a sense of well-being and peace. That is, in and of itself, relational gravity. Right, that's the kind of thing where we find people out there in the world that we respect, that we look up to, like attracts, like we look for people that we say, ah, that person, they think like me, they act like me. In a lot of cases they look like me. We try to find these commonalities and then we default to looking for. What is it there about? Do they have something I want? All right, so that's influencer. That's UGC, that's reviews, dude, that's like that's reviews when we're trying to make a decision. Is this like the swirl of human interactions that take place on it that are at a different level than okay? I go into buying mode and now I'm actually going through the evaluates from process of what's the PDP, what's the fit, what's the size? All right, what's it made of? I'm doing my logical investigation, all right, and those are always happening at the same time, but what we so humans like to think we're far more logical than we really are, and I had this experience over and over again when we were working on even something like working on I'm not head of marketing at Rekart SMS app right, and we relaunched this homepage and I spent all this time crafting the logical argument of it, trying to get emotional words in there, identification to it, and, as I'm trotting it out in front of a whole bunch of different DTC Ecom leaders that I know the thing that the bane of my existence is, what they always notice is the logo bar and the testimonials. And if they recognize the logos and they call out the ones that they do, and especially they recognize the human or the brand that that human represents, that is so much more powerful than all of the other things. But all the other things have to follow along the way. So there's all these overlaps between the two, and maybe that is that what you're driving at, this idea of like how to connect those two worlds, or what lessons can they teach us about each other?Speaker 2:
Yeah, I think so. I think I don't follow any particular religion and I don't know, no one knows but I don't regularly practice any particular religion. But it does fascinate me that, fundamentally, religion in many formats has been a huge part of human existence and still is in the modern human existence, And it has a certain power to it. If you look at it as a brand religion as a whole, as a brand and try and break it down into its component parts in terms of what has allowed it to be this longstanding, And you could only really compare it to something like a Coca-Cola or something that's generational, that's been around for a very, very long time. But religion obviously necessarily doesn't have a physical product, But if you look at some of the aspects of it, you have in Christianity, you have Jesus Christ, who you could say in a very loose way is a creator-led brand in that he has the Bible. You have church, which is a place that you visit, and you have that community. You could draw parallels to an online digital group, whether that's on Facebook or Slack or things like that a place that that community can thrive. You could look at the Bible itself as a product in a way that is something that's consumed, that fulfills you, And there are just a lot of other things and I just want to understand, okay, what are the things that keep religion at the forefront of a lot of people's minds, that get passed down? What is the product that is serving to those people beyond faith? kind of parking faith for a minute and just looking at the component parts And I just there's so many things that you were saying when I was listening to you on the other one about conversion, your conversion over to religion. You came from a non-religious background. You were exposed to religion and swept into that to the point where you, you know, absorbed it into your life, And that is similar to a product discovery process or a brand discovery process in becoming a dedicated and loyal brand customer. So I just wondered if you had any thoughts, have you ever thought about it in that way? And the same for the military as well. You know they sell a slightly different product, if you like, but I know that was somewhat a part of your life.Speaker 1:
The military is a good extension of that as well, because it still is right Like when I joined the military, it was very much. It was 1999, the world was at peace, at least my part of the world. I was 17 years old. My goodness man, 17 years old. I had just dropped out of high school and gotten my GED. How was I gonna pay for college and university? That was my next step in life. And what the military was so good from a recruitment perspective is it attached itself to the things I already wanted, told me I could get them and that the exchange I would have to give less than I would get. So I was going to get the GI Bill and I was going to get 90% tuition waiver. I was going to get a viable financial path to college, to university that I couldn't have got otherwise, and that exchange was worth it. And there was a few additional pieces along the way. It had to do with the individuals that I met and who I was exposed to going through the recruitment office, to showing up to a few drills beforehand, getting to know the other people that were there, that like attracts, like kind of idea. I was testing the community out before I actually bought and signed on the dotted line, the bottom line, that sort of thing. But it's such a, it's a fund, it's an exchange And that's really what every sales activity, every good piece of copywriting which is why copy exists is to sell a thing. That's what copywriting is for And it has to paint a picture of you're going to get more than you give. And urgency. Now, they didn't have to manufacture the urgency because I was feeling the urgency of I'm staring down this barrel, of I cannot afford to do the next thing I wanted to do of art, right. But it's also not only an exchange. That is an excessive of receiving than it is of giving, and making that very clear so that I'm willing to give up really significant things. I was in for like eight years, got to go waste, basic training, i ended up getting deployed a couple of times, right. All these things that you give up, you basically give up your freedom for whatever that period of time is, because they can just call you in And you don't know. And it's even more so if you're going into active military. But it's such a. I don't think we think hard enough about that at an ad level, at a product page level, at a subscription level, at a recurring order level, of how am I highlighting the value exchange so that it appears and feels disproportionate? And then why do I act now? What is the pressing piece of urgency that I should? I need to do this. I need to purchase, not next week, and this is like some of these are just moments of natural purchase, imperative with holidays, with gift giving, if you can attach your brand to specific events. Product drops are like this. Scarcity is like this, where it's playing with that idea of not later now And it's pressing that to the forefront. But it's such a good lesson. I mean, i'm glad I've never even thought about the military in this way until you brought it up that that's constantly what you're doing is you're establishing that value exchange so that it's undeniable.Speaker 2:
Yeah, And in order to have a good value exchange, you have to know one key piece of information, which is what the other person wants, and without that it becomes more difficult. It's easy to write a copy around the holidays because you know a Christmas song wants to buy a gift, because the feelings that generates for their mother around Mother's Day, or Father or Father's Day as well. That's why holidays are more simple, but more generically, especially with copy. Like you said, it's a one to one communication, not one to many. I think a lot of people forget that And then they fall back on their own product benefits, assuming that that's what people want. And then you join the military because you wanted something else. You didn't want to go and do some things that the military could have tried to incentivize you with. You had a quite specific purpose and they managed to tick those boxes.Speaker 1:
In that process leading up to you signing on the dotted line, they showed me how a future state would be better than my present state And so like, let's go from like religion, military, let's go all the way down to like a big AOP purchase. I bought a Lomi earlier this year 500 bucks for a fancy compostable, like I don't know how many X that is of what I had previously been spending on this ugly little bin on my countertop. And as I was going through that evaluation process right, it was all the things of like I've been exposed to Matthew, the CEO of Loma and Pelley case, so like I had a good association with the person that runs it. I'd heard them on, i saw some other people sharing about it. I visited the site and I got hit with retargeting. I signed up for the emails. But what really finally tipped me in was I remember going to the landing page and there was one illustration. It's like the before and after, and in this case it was before, and it was like they had taken a picture of my countertop with the ugly bin with the bag that always falls apart. It's messy, it smells once or twice a year, it attracts bugs. It was like they weren't competing with any of the other compostable, fancy, high end like bins They weren't even competing with what if I went and built something in my backyard, it was like it's like they had crawled inside my mind And you know, this is it. This is what we're competing. This is the present state of what this person experiences And I could like put freight and investment into that one image And I was like, dude, that would be so nice not to have to mess with this thing anymore, because I'm the dude in the house. I've got three daughters, a wife and two bunnies. I'm like the de facto clean, ugly, nasty things out. So it's me, it falls to me. But I was like I was blown away by how that was. The thing that finally tipped me in was present state One image. It was like they knew me and this is the better way And I was like it's worth it, that's a value exchange, that's worth it And it's a pretty high value exchange. That's not a small amount of money to give up for it, but it's all that stuff of identification as well, Right, Yeah, you have to really, i think.Speaker 2:
map out all of the possible funnels that you have. Customer pain points that your product solves. Get those baked into full funnels.Speaker 1:
And I have been enthralled by this idea recently to truly know what you're competing against. What is the alternative? And it's like in SaaS right In anything SaaS the alternative is typically not some other tool or feature set. Usually it's some combination of Google Sheets, excel and Gmail or some other scrap. You put it together the way people have been doing it And there's large brands that run a crap ton of data through just those kind of platforms. They are very large enterprise brands that, at the end of the day, that's what their fallback is, and so you're not actually competing against the. What are the other category leaders? You may need to address that, but I think of that Lomi example of they didn't even try to show me who else is out there on the market. They just said this is what you're actually probably doing And I'm sure there's like tons of market research that goes into that. But it was so exposing to me when I had that experience of you've got to be able to identify who the enemy is, and the enemy is almost always apathy, and it's easier to do nothing than something like I highlighted before. It's easier not to buy, it's easier to put it off, it's easier to do nothing than it is. What are you? what's the actual enemy that you're competing against? Is that crafts, the entire approach that you're going after?Speaker 2:
And Lomi, I believe, has a subscription as well. Is that right?Speaker 1:
Yes, and I got the subscription for the charcoal inserts to clean the Yeah, exactly. Yep, they got me a hook line at Singer.Speaker 2:
From what I understand, they sort of shoot for break even or marginal profitability on the actual unit. I don't know the unit economics, so that great on the unit, but that business is backloaded into subscription to make it successful. So I think you get a good deal on the unit and then they start to make their money over that subscription. And because you're in SaaS now, i thought, well, you've been in SaaS a while, but I thought it would be interesting as well, because a little while ago I had a somewhat of a theory about the DTC model being slightly upset at the moment, i guess is one way to put it And how brands could potentially bring in more profitability, and SaaS seemed like a really good possible solution for that. There are brands out there that maybe sell activeware, for example, that could create an app or some kind of digital training program and sell digital branded training programs and things like that, but it never really seems to take off that much. I've got Lomine. That's got subscription, which is a physical good, but perhaps they could have had a digitally native subscription around food waste or things that you could do in your garden with a compost or you know. There's just a number of things low cost but high profitability, digital SaaS products that I just haven't really seen enter the DTC market And I think that's because SaaS is pretty tough. You don't have a physical good to push, which is what makes copywriting and things like that so so important. And one of my influences in copy is David Orville, a British advertising man from sort of Mad Men type days. I mean, have we lost the art of copywriting in your mind? I mean, when you look out there at the landscape of DTC commerce, what are your general feelings towards the copy that you see?Speaker 1:
We have. I would say we have. This is an interesting conversation. We have and we haven't. And what I mean by that is if you go to like. So I've been scouring other SMS app landing pages, home pages, email sequences like just inundating myself in it over the last six months to just soak up as much as I possibly can. And it's very easy to look at the surface of things, the things that you can find as an outside observer. Maybe signing up for some email lists you get a little bit inside. But it's a different experience than like, for example, gorgeous in the last. What it was six months ago that they became the number one Shopify. They beat. They finally beat who's their major competitor, zendesk. They finally beat Zendesk for Shopify and Shopify Plus merchants like they took over right. And what blew me away about that is I got to go behind the scenes with some of the folks that are in charge of growth and marketing there and contents, and when you go a couple of levels deeper, what you discover is the absolute beast, monstrous, detailed machine that they've built. That you wouldn't experience unless they were targeting you. So it's easy to say something like oh you know, most home pages are the freaking same and they don't do that much. And most landing pages and people are very lazily creating search ads that don't even necessarily go to a civic lander to do copy matching. There's a lot of wins you can produce by just simply creating that process of a through line from what somebody is looking for to what they've experienced of you, to the landing page You serve them up to the emails that they get, based on who they are and what you know about them. You can do a lot of that on the surface, but what I discovered with freaking like Gorgeous absolutely blew me away. They've got like custom dynamic LinkedIn ads featuring logos and brand names for folks that they're going after at scale, and they've got pools identified of like five to 15 humans at these organizations. Talk about account based marketing at these organizations that they're looking to hit a certain frequency on for a number of times someone from this organization they've identified has, and then they kick into cold outreach via email, cold outreach via LinkedIn, dm, all in the service of getting connected to the one or two decision makers that they've also identified there. And so what the whole reason I say all of that is for me that was incredibly disheartening in a lot of ways It was like, oh my gosh, okay, tell me what you were doing six years ago and you're growing. That is amazing. But I would also I just caution us to think about what you see on the surface is not often what's really driving growth. And that's true too, i would expect, in e-commerce and products themselves as well, where usually the best stuff is very hard to suss out and discover unless you buy an experience and go through the process and spend some money to actually know what happens next.Speaker 2:
Yeah, and I was two things ever. One is that e-commerce marketers and people in that realm are great. They're very, very talented people compared to most of the people on this planet. But go look at a SaaS business that's doing well, like someone, like a gorgeous, and I bet there are a couple of killers, absolute killers, in that team who are on another level, because SaaS is so, so difficult to sell without going back and falling on fundamentals of sales like demos and sales people getting it over the line. If you can, if you find a SaaS product that is primarily getting someone to conversion without much human interaction at all, the people behind that funnel that study it because it is, it will be. you know, there'll be some lessons in that that you can take away Because it is such a tough business. And then the second thing that I wanted to just go on to as well is that, fundamentally, copywriting is still so, so important, and I wanted to get an understanding from you about what makes good copy in your mind. Is there a structure of framework that you lean back on? Is there a process that you go through when you're trying to create copy? Can you just walk us on a bit of a journey on how you approach copywriting.Speaker 1:
Yeah, it has to start with identifying your ideal customer persona, your ideal buyer, who is the one most valuable group? And you can move on to another one, stage by stage. But it has to start with that singularity of who is the person. If we get, we win as an organization because they have the buying power, the decision making power, they're spending enough money, the margins are there. So you're understanding what the upside is. Who is this person, right? What does the organization look like and who's the decision maker in that organization? And you can do this in a similar way with. So, like one of the things I got there and I start that, that process of who are, who are we targeting? Number one, how do I describe them? And what I'm looking for is, yes, to get the basics of their demographics down. So I understand they have to be generating at least $50,000 in monthly revenue, that's you must be this tall to write the right. And they already have to have SMS installed, right. That's something I learned the hard way of. There's a big green field, but they're really small accounts because subscriber list is what makes you money. So if you can perform better, you can actually win for them faster. They get a much quicker turnaround to value, which makes them stickier as customers. So it's better retention And you get a far faster return for somebody who's migrating with an existing list Right. So it's good upside in both directions. So you're identifying the person And then it's simply it's about soaking yourself in that audience, in their natural habitat, and some of my favorite places to go for this are like I don't know if you've ever experienced this. Shopify Reddit is insanely different. Insanely different than Shopify or D2C Twitter. Like you wanna actually understand what's going on for the real humans out there on the front lines of medium to large businesses Ecom, d2c. Shopify Reddit is where it's at, and I got jumped into that because when I was at Shopify Plus for about four and a half years, I was inside the Shopify Plus Facebook community And what you realize there is that's where people are constantly asking questions about leverage and tool choices Like it's just that, and the technical issues come up over and over and over again. So you start to understand what the pain points are by going sort of behind the scenes into these places. The other spot I love to go not only Reddit, but actually YouTube. Comments are an absolute goldmine for how people are really feeling about a solution, about a service provider, or about, like SMS industry, going to not only your competitors YouTube pages to then go trolling for the troll comments are incredibly helpful, but you're soaking yourself in that audience And then, as soon as you possibly can, a balanced approach to spending time with the customers. You're happy because they're going to teach you about the things they actually use your product to get done. I love the whole jobs to be done framework. That's one that's paid off a lot for me too. What is the job that somebody's hiring this product or service to do for them? And then also to hang out with people who were recently lost, like folks that came into the funnel but never converted. If you can spend time with them or just people that are brand new and you have some sort of existing relationship with and you can simply open the door for 15 minutes of. I've got this thing. I want to run by you and I want you to beat the hell out of it. Like opening the door for feedback from people that you trust and are in that ideal customer persona. There's just nothing on that top line as important as soaking yourself in and spending time with your ideal customer.Speaker 2:
That's the non-aggressible element of it. What are you mining for in that process? Do you just look at the frequency of pain point and you're looking for frequency of, and what do you? when you ultimately finish that and you look down at your piece of paper probably more likely a laptop what do you see on the screen?Speaker 1:
I'm looking for the mumbled complaints, The not the screaming angry people, right, Cause, like a really good example of this is a tentative. I'll just say it has gotten so much flack on D2C Twitter recently, right, Everybody's piled on And the thing is they're an absolute behemoth and the vast majority of people that are targeting aren't exposed to that. It creates this echo chamber of oh, people really care about owning their list, owning their numbers, And the truth is nobody cares about that until something goes wrong. And I say that because I thought when I saw all that going on one, I knew I can't get involved in this because I work for a competitor, so it's just gonna look ugly if I say anything. But, oh, I can start creating content about it and especially emails, and nothing performed worse than trying to lead emails and lead landing pages with this whole idea of owning your list. I brutally discovered that was an echo chamber and outside of that echo chamber people don't give in. Like, it's not top of mind at all, So that's part of the whole. Like you're not looking for the screaming voices, you're looking for the mumbled complaints of like, oh, I'm not gonna get involved in this. You're looking for the mumbled complaints of, like you know, I'm pretty sure, the inflation, the attributions inflated. That's one of those things where, like when I heard people say that a number of times and I saw that on especially a lot of comments reviews, clutch, G2, like a lot of these aggregators where I'd see not five star, not one star, but middling ones where the complaints come up of like I'm not sure if I can trust the attribution. It never really seems to show up the same way in my Shopify dashboards and definitely not in GA. I was like, okay, attribution is an issue. How can we nail that more? Where people would be saying like one of the complaints was I get surprised by my bill. I was like, oh okay, It doesn't sound sexy, but what if we just showed you how you can actually see campaign costs before you send Not credits, real dollars you're going to spend? And the same thing on automations. So it's those sort of things I'm looking for, like the mumbled complaints or oh, I wish it'd be nice if it's those sort of things that really can delight folks way more than what you might think.Speaker 2:
So in the past, jobs for copyright is really a little bit easier, because you'd find that insight that you were just talking about and then you'd say, okay, does it go on the front page of this newspaper or does it go somewhere in the middle? And that was really your only decision and possibly which image to pair it with. but that would be dealt with by the RT, not you. But in today's world, you've got to choose format, You've got to choose placement, You've got to choose channel. So, once you've got your insight and take any of the examples that you gave, what do you do next to work out Okay, should this be a landing page, a video, an email, an SMS? Should we send this out as a postcard? in the you know how do you start to think about okay, now we've got to look at channels and how we get this message out.Speaker 1:
For me at this stage, it's about what is our highest yield, lowest effort, what are the proven channels that are already working? Where do we have eyeballs that we can put this in front of? That's really what it comes down to. So number one it starts with cold outreach. If we're going to stress test something right, we're going to go to cold email off of the main domain, off of the CRM, and that's going to stress test it, for can we get opens With putting this in the subject line And can we get responses by framing this as the question, in short form, that ends it. That's a really good litmus test for the hardest audience. The third one, then, is so number one, cold outreach. Number two is inbound emails that you already have. Let's start testing this on top of, again, just email subject line. We've got a large list. Can we get people to open? Does it resonate? We can tweak that. We can actually send the same idea multiple times about every other week until we get right on top of what's the thing that actually gets the opens and gets people to start engaging with it. Third would then be organic social, and organic social has to be not from a branded account but from individuals. So I have my sort of platform where I can test things out And anywhere you have this would be like the equivalent of what if we're seeding this out to micro influencers and what do they say? And can we get them to craft their message based on the value propositions and the differentiation that we've got? Can we get that out in front of a large number of people outside of like a mega influencer war spending a ton of money to get that out, and we're trying to find ways to get this in front of eyeballs and just measure quick responses? Well, like when I was a common thread collective, our bread and butter was paid media. It was all about the headline and the creative, and particularly the first three seconds of the creative. So like, can we get people to stop and watch this? That's it. What we're really doing with organic social would be to be perspective as well, is that? and then I want to know, does it have legs that are attached to some sort of organic search volume or estimated CPC for search engine marketing? Can I create a piece of content around it that I can first drive organic traffic to by getting it to rank and then create a short form version of that is like the fifth short form version of that that I can build ad copy around at an SCM level primarily Google and Bing and then out to the bigger investment. For me is actually paid social LinkedIn and then on to meta, because that's just the hardest one. So I really want to make sure I've got the idea nailed before we go spend money there. So that's the sort of like the hierarchy of how I just go through the what's the lowest effort, highest yield, that gets in front of the most eyeballs, that we can stress, tested all the way through, and then when we're actually going out there to spend money on LinkedIn or meta, we know we've got something that has legs already in the creative, in the copy, and then on to the landing pitch.Speaker 2:
And is that a repeatable process? Is that something you can do over and over again? You end up with this kind of roller decks of core brand messages that you kind of pin everything to do, kind of get it to a point where it's like wow, that works, okay, what's the next one? And then you just keep adding, or do they keep churning, like, what's the process there?Speaker 1:
Oh, the wonderful thing is you don't. Okay, yes, okay, two things. I'm going to go back to that idea of I'm a carpenter with a hammer and so everything's a nail. Right, i'm a words dude. So I'm going through all of these avenues and that's what I'm limited to right now. Right, if I had a demand gen machine behind me, i might start on paid social and a lot of Ecom. You're going to have to start on paid social because that's just going to be the place where you go test and you create the creative and you've got a discipline, consolidated account approach. So you just feed the machine and it's going to go out there and find you. Plus, you have way tighter feedback loops. B2b is a nightmare for feedback loops. That fucking sucks, especially if you're trying to measure the actual payoff at the end of the day with closed one deals and you're looking at like a 30 to 90 day sales process getting a murderous on attribution. So you're trying to find the place of where can I get the tightest feedback loop? Yeah, and then the old oh man. So one of the things that I love about Isaac from mini katana is I've hung out with him a couple of times, and the very first time we hung out. This is before he really blew, blew up, and he was telling me like dude, i have a structure and I basically, once I find a video that wins, i either recut it and just keep posting it or I simply take that exact structure and script and I reshoot it. And I was like you find something that works and then you write it till the wheels fall off. And I was overjoyed to hear somebody in Ecom D to C say that with organic, which then also works, and paid, because if you can get it to work in organic, damn, you're almost always work in paid. But it was also like I just have that feeling of two, of like people feel like they're onto the next one, onto the next one, onto the next one. It's like, no, you find something that works. Your job then becomes how many different clothes can I dress this up in and how many different channels and distribution networks can I put it out in? and then do it over and over and over again. Right, because nobody ever remembers anything on the internet. That's basically like we're not Kim Kardashian, we're not Kanye, we're not at that level that people remember anything that we've put out, so you just don't ever feel ashamed that you're saying it again.Speaker 2:
It's like if you're digging for gold and you find a piece of gold, you don't then pick it up and walk somewhere else and try and dig again. You carry on digging in that hole until you've got all the gold out of it. All right, man, this has been a golden episode already, And I actually didn't even get into getting SEO with you or any. I really would like to do some deep SEO talk and work with you, So maybe we can record a special kind of SEO collab episode. I'd love to do that in the future, but just give a quick shout out to well where you are now professionally and personally, where people can reach out to you.Speaker 1:
I am the head of marketing at Rekart. We're an SMS platform for Shopify businesses built to cost less, sell more and drive real growth. We have engineered efficiency at the core of our product through five features no other SMS tool offers. Because you know how. You suspect you're overpaying for SMS marketing and don't trust the results. Yeah, you do. Okay, so that's my little spiel, for I'm honed. That thing There, there, that's my thing. I'm saying it everywhere, just like I practiced when I preached. But you can find me, aaron Orndorf, on the Twitter's, on LinkedIn. Those are the two places to hang out most. Holler at me. I'm pretty low hanging fruit. If you say something nice, if you give me a compliment, if you like some of my stuff for a week or two in a row, then come crashing into my DMs. If I can do something nice for you, go for it.