Found Traffic And A Swipe File: Two Marketing Secrets From Clay Collins

Clay Collins is the founder and former CEO of Leadpages and a straight-up marketing genius.

(I’m not kidding; and I think you’ll get the idea within the first five minutes of listening.)

But he isn’t your traditional marketing guy. Clay comes from a science and psychology background — and since Clay was in Boston for a bit, David reached out to have him on Seeking Wisdom to do what he does best: talk marketing.

We talked about why you should look for inspiration from companies outside of your industry, why Clay keeps a MASSIVE swipe file with his favorite websites and landing pages, and the idea of “found traffic” — taking advantage of all of the people who are already on your website.

If you love marketing, I think you’ll love this interview with Clay.


– DG

Time Stamped Show Notes:

02:08 – The secret to finding inspiration (and looking outside of your industry)

04:19 – Clay’s massive swipe file

10:23 – How Clay created passion and knowledge at his company

13:00 – Found traffic, generating leads, and conversion optimization

17:30 – Dan Kennedy, endless sales funnels, and the growth mindset

21:30 – Organizing your team around the company’s goals

23:10 – A recap on what we learned from Clay

25:28 – Clay’s background and founding Leadpages 

3 Key Points:

  1. Find role models beyond companies in your industry for inspiration.
  2. There’s magic waiting on your website already — and it’s called found traffic.
  3. Marketing should never be done — everything can be a funnel.

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Episode Transcript

DG:              DC, tell us who we have on Seeking Wisdom.

DC:               We have a special guest today.

DG:              Surprise drop-in appearance – surprise drop in – last minute. We don’t do this often.

DC:               Nope.

DG:              We don’t do this often.

DC:               Our homey, Clay Collins from Minnesota, Minneapolis happened to be in town. He’s joining us for an episode of Seeking Wisdom.

Clay:             Is this the pre-game? We’re live?

DG:              We’re live.

DC:               We’re live. We’re talking. He’s gonna drop science on us today. I’m hoping DG has the record working on there. This one doesn’t have a flashy – but we’ve upgraded.

DG:              It’s on.

DC:               It doesn’t have a flashing button, so I don’t know if it’s on.

DG:              I just got to sit here and take it because I’ve done it twice in the year.

DC:               I got to meet Clay when he founded and was CEO, now Chairman of a company called Leadpages, which also runs a product called Drip that we use internally – email marketing automation platform.

DG:              DC forwards me the bill every month, and he says, “Damn!”

DC:               He is super knowledgeable, and he’s gonna drop down some sci-ops as Elias would call it – [inaudible 0:01:32].

DG:              Sci-ops.

Clay:             Nice.

DG:              We just did a little pre-game with Clay, and he said something – I don’t know if you were in the room, when he said something. He said that whenever he goes on a podcast – he’s a humble guy, but this is just like – he’s telling the facts. We like the facts. Whenever he goes on a podcast, it is the number one most downloaded.

Clay:             Not “whenever.”

DG:              I’m a marketing guy. I just changed your words a little bit.

Clay:             Okay.

DC:               Number one.

DG:              The expectations are high.

DC:               High. We’re gonna bring heat now. Don’t forget to make this the number one episode ever.

DG:              Here’s where I wanna start. Something you said at the end – we were talking about inspiration and looking at inspiration for yourself personally, for you as a company, and I was telling him – should we as Drift be looking at companies like Leadpages, MailChimp, Slack as inspiration? He was like, “Fuck no. No way.”

DC:               Why?

Clay:             I said no. Look at huge consumer brands.

DC:               See why [I mess with 0:02:33] Clay?

DG:              I know. Why? Why though?

Clay:             Because it’s usually where innovation comes from. There’s this big – I don’t want to use a metaphor that I wanna use, but like everyone’s kind of copying each other mar-tech, right? Look to the North 5Face. Look at people who are inspiring. Look at Nike. Look at people with millions of customers – not just hundreds of thousands of customers or thousands of customers.

DG:              You had an example. You were looking at shoes for your wife.

Clay:             Yeah. I’m always swiping. I’ve got this terabyte drive – always hitting Save on the webpage. In Safari, you can capture the entire webpage. I’ve got 16 GB on a 1 TB drive just of landing pages.

DC:               I love that.

Clay:             I’m always swiping landing pages, where I’d copy – the other day, there was this gambling newsletter. I would never adopt this, but on the checkout page, there were five for checkbox. The first checkbox was “I realize I might make thousands of dollars on my first investment, and I’m okay with sudden success.” It was like all this stuff. The checkout page was actually a sales page.

DC:               That’s awesome.

Clay:             You should never do that, but there’s something there.

DC:               Damn.

Clay:             There’s a tactic you can adopt. “I realize that by adding Drift to my website, I have the potential to skyrocket conversions, and I need to [stop it 0:03:52].”

DC:               1500 ROI. Yeah.

Clay:             There’s always things to learn from other industries, and I think that you should just always do that.

DG:              Do you actively go through that? I actually think that the most underrated thing is keeping a swipe file. You’ve had one. You have one. I don’t think enough people do it. Where is your inspiration? Where is that place?

DC:               What is a swipe file?

DG:              A swipe file is basically – it started with the old school ad agencies, copywriters – who knows when that started, but that’s where I first read about it – was they would keep literally a file, a drawer – my wife always kills me because I call it “draw.” She’s like, “It’s a draw-er.”

DC:               She’s not from west…

DG:              In that drawer is examples. It would be like other ads you’ve seen, great copy that you want, great images that you want because the creative process is just so hard on its own that when you have an idea, you should be able to go rifle through like, “Yeah. I think I’ve seen something like this. Hold on.” Then you can lay out a couple of examples to really get your gears cooking and going. How’s that? Good explanation?

DC:               That was good.

DG:              You’ve used the same thing from product perspective – to have a swipe file. I think it’s a really tactical thing that speaks to a lot of things that we talk about in Seeking Wisdom, which is always be learning, learn from others, innovation versus invention. I think it speaks to a lot of those things. Having that shows you’re thinking about this. This is something you’re excited about. You want to keep a swipe file.

Clay:             Yeah. I’ll give you another example of this. It could be UI. It can be anything. A lot of people involved in sports will have clips of the best performances by the person that plays their position, and they’ll just watch it over and over and over again.

DG:              Totally.

DC:               Training film.

Clay:             Feed off that vibration. When I was going to create the webinar for Leadpages, I found the top performing –

DG: What do you mean? The original webinar?

Clay:             The original webinar. The first one.

DG:              Okay.

Clay:             Convert at 35%.

DC:               Excuse me.

Clay:             35% of the people that attended bought on that webinar.

DC: DG, you got to come up a little bit.

DG:              That’s insane.  Question, can we still do that with the way that we sell our product today?

Clay:             I think so. Yeah, I do. What I did was I found the top 5 best performing infomercials of all time. I had them all transcribed. I’ve ripped them all to mp3. I ran around for a week playing them in my car at like 4x – 3x to 4x on my iPhone. I just got the calls to actions, the pace, the rhythm, the cadence, the social proof, the switching between, like this person and that person, case study. I just internalized it. Then I took the transcription of those videos. I was like, “That’s this.” Then I wrote that version for our webinar. It’s took me a month to create this webinar, but it grew our business. Then we rolled it out to affiliates, then we rolled it out to different verticals.

DG:              Where’d you give them? Your script?

Clay:             No. The affiliate would host the webinar that I do with them. Then we roll it out to different verticals, so we had verticalized versions of it. Paid the cost upfront, but the result of that has been huge. Then it started with the swipe file.

DC:               Did you have a prompt? We have a couple of prompts. The second prompt we have is – now we can’t air this episode until Q1 next year. We’re going to use this.

DG:              Because I need to revisit our webinar?

DC:               Exactly.

DG:              No bullshit. I actually just scribbled in my notebook – “Trip to Minnesota.” I’m not kidding.

Clay:             Come down.

DG:              We talked about this. I was supposed to fly out, learn a bunch of things. Oh my goodness. I’ll be back. I’m coming. Once we get past Hypergrowth, I’m there.

DC:               35%.

DG:              35%. There are people that would be thrilled to get 35% of people to do anything – give them their email address, credit cards. When we started to do webinars here, I started to watch a bunch of the Leadpages webinars. There are a million things that we can talk about. But the thing that I took away that has been the most impactful – I don’t know if this is intentional or not. I’m sure it is because you got the psych background, but in the beginning of the webinar, whoever the webinar host – he says, “Thanks for joining. Before we get started, I just want you to put your name and where you’re writing in from in the chat box right now. Just to make sure I can hear you okay.” Just like that, the whole thing lines up. “David in Boston.” He starts shouting them out as they’re coming in.

Clay:             Social proof.

DG:              When I first saw that webinar, I was like, oh my god. This is such a tiny detail that nobody would ever think of. They think about, “Is the Join Me thing running right? Are my slides good?” Ever since I started doing that, completely changed the game, because within 10 seconds of the webinar which most people’s webinars are boring as shit. They don’t spend any time – A, I just shouted out 50 people. B, you just saw that people are coming in from all over the globe. Then C, you feel like you have this personal connection because I shouted your name out. Everybody knows that the best thing people want to hear is their own name. If I just took one thing from that, it was the name shout-out thing. That has been an absolutely game changer.

Clay:             That’s awesome. Another way to do that, if you’re just starting off and you don’t have 15, 20, 30 people to rattle off, is you open up the lines. You’re like, “How excited is everyone to be here? Thanks for coming. On the count of three, I’m going to open up the lines, and everyone just like scream just to show how excited you are.” If you have four people there screaming, it sounds like thousands of people.

DC:               That’s awesome.

Clay:             Take everybody off me. You unmute everyone. Ask them to scream. That works too. There are a lot of different ways to do this. I’ve done a lot of webinar in my day.

DG: I love it.

DC:              We’re going to call this episode DG Goes to School 101.

DG:              Is this not what you texted me? Hold on. DC texted me over the weekend, and he said something like, “You better get ready. blah blah blah,” – something I can’t repeat on the air. He said, “You two are going to geek out. Let’s do it.” That’s basically what is happening anyway.

DC:               That’s awesome.

Clay:             Awesome.

DG:              How many people are at Leadpages now?

Clay:             170 approximately.

DG:              You’re obviously really fired up about marketing and persuasion and this type of stuff. How do you translate that passion and knowledge to everybody else at the company? Because you’re not the guy that’s running webinars, you’re not the guy that’s sending emails, you’re not the guy that runs the social account for Leadpages. You’re not doing any of that stuff anymore. How do you pass that on down without feeling like you have to personally educate everybody at the company?

Clay:             Yeah. A couple of things. I think the first is to always be sharing new things that are coming from the industry. When I saw the ShoeDazzle webpage, I shared that out with everyone. People saw that. Another way is to hire other people that are super interested in this. They can all geek out together. If you have an opportunity, there’s a movie called The Man Who Sold the World. Have you watched it?

DG:              Mm-hmm.

Clay:             Okay. It’s about this dude who starts a skateboard company. They take out Powell-Peralta and all these others. They built out this cult following of insiders to geek out about skateboarding. It’s not being about the single guru; it’s about hiring a bunch of gurus because that’s scalable. I think that’s the second thing we did.

                    The third thing we did was I created this mini sabbatical program. I not only have a swipe file of videos, webinars, copy, landing pages. I have a swipe file of marketing courses. I just put in Dropbox 20 marketing courses, and anyone could take a mini sabbatical. You fill out this form. It automatically gets approved. You take two to three days, and you just go through some geeky marketing course. You could be an engineer. You could be someone in support. It doesn’t matter. This is what our customer base thrives on. If they can get a rush of some marketing hacks, some new way of seeing the world, that’s going to make them serve our customers better. I think that’s how I tried to sort of scale this stuff.

DG:              You can’t really teach it. You have to find people who are. That’s why you talk so much about their learning thing. You can’t teach that. You have to find people that are hungry to be learning.

DC:               Yeah. I wish I could go through all his classes and swipe files. I’m seeing some here.

Clay:             I’ll send it to you.

DG:              You could see it.

DC:               I’m looking at them.

DG:              What are they? PDFs?

DC:               No. He’s got notes, very well-organized notes here – I’m looking at.

DG:              Notes that you’ve written?

Clay:             Yeah for this podcast. Do you think I’m just going to show up?

DG:              I’ll let you run with it.

DC:               He’s not going to pull a DC on this.

DG:              What’s next on your mind? What’s next?

Clay:             I’ve been thinking a lot about found traffic.

DC:               Tell us, what’s found traffic.

DG:              Hold on. First of all, pull over, pull over. Put the emergency thing on. Take notes. This is free advice. It’s why we don’t do any of that stuff at Drift; we just give it all away for free. I know where this is going.

DC:               I’m going to rethink that. We’re gonna have to put PayWall.

DG:              You might give away too much information.

DC:               PayWall on the podcast.

DG:              Go ahead Clay. Found traffic.

Clay:             People who are into literature, there’s this thing called found poetry, where you just like open up a book – or you see some graffiti written on a wall somewhere. It’s just beautiful. It’s found poetry. It wasn’t intended to be poetry, but it is. I think there’s a corollary to traffic called found traffic. Before I tell you what found traffic is, I want to just sort of take everyone through the process by which people end up on their website. It’s a small miracle. I don’t think enough people appreciate and realize the value of having a visitor to your website.

                    There are billions – there are multiple billions of webpages on internet. Somehow through some small miracle, some series of events, especially if you’re new, someone finds you amongst the billions of webpages. Maybe someone tweeted, and it was a serendipitous thing. Maybe they’re on page 3 of Google, if you’re just getting started. Who knows? Maybe they typed in the wrong URL, and they ended up on your website. First off, you should be thanking whoever you worship, just that someone ends up on your website in the first place. Out of billions of webpages, they find yours.

                    Next, they don’t bounce. That’s the next miracle. If you look at your Google analytics, it doesn’t matter how big you are, how cool you are. The majority of the people that come to your website just immediately bounce. They find you among millions of webpages, billions of webpages – they don’t bounce. Next, they stay on your website long enough to engage in some way and figure out that they want more. They go to a Drift session, or they maybe fill out – I know you guys don’t like weed forms. They fill out something, and they opt in.

DG:              They have a conversation with somebody at your company via Drift.

Clay:             Exactly. Or they go to the Drift bot, the lead bot. They become a lead. Then what most people do is they just say thank you. They just end the conversation right there, which is ridiculous, because the hottest leads on your website are the people who just became a lead.

DG:              This is what DC has been telling me, man, for years now. He said, “Why do we spend all this time and effort to get somebody into our stores,” because that’s what your website is. It’s a store, “but then once somebody gets in that store, we just turn our backs on them?”

Clay:             See you.

DG:              Stupid. They’ll help themselves. They’ll buy.

Clay:             It’s so dumb.

DC:               That’s found traffic.

Clay:             The found traffic is – for example, someone on your Thank You page – maybe they just opted in. They’re on your Thank You page. What we did was we took all of our post opt-in thank you pages, and we turned them into webinar registration pages. It tripled our webinar attendance.

Our webinar is converting at 35%. We just added a ton of revenue to our business. Then we started thinking, how much free traffic do we have on our post opt-in Thank You page that we could deliver to somewhere else? Check this out. Now you opt in to our webinar. You register for our webinar. You hop on to Thank You page for that; we’re inviting you to like us on social media. More found traffic.

                    Then we’re like, where else do we have this? We’ve got the signatures on all of our emails that go out from all of our employees. That could be inviting people to conferences. We’ve got everyone on our log-in page. They should be invited to our onboarding webinar from our log-in page. Everyone who just logged out of Leadpages or Drip – we should be inviting them to our conference. We should be doing something. There are so much traffic here. People are paying thousands of dollars to retarget these people, to bring them back to the site, when they should just never let go of them in the first place. It’s absolutely ridiculous.

                    We calculated this out. Literally we’re talking about several hundred thousands of dollars’ worth of retargeting paid traffic that you could get from just found traffic. There’s this direct sales marketing guru, who’s kind of like curmudgeonly named Dan Kennedy. Have you heard of Dan Kennedy?

DG:              Yeah, read his book The Ultimate Sales Letter.

Clay:             Yeah. He’s like this curmudgeon. He lives in Arizona. He hates his clients. That’s his personal brand.

DC:               That’s his brand.

Clay:             I kind of got this from him. I have a friend who’s like multi-billionaire.

DG:              DC?

DC:               No.

Clay:             No. He was like, “I’m going to find the end of Dan Kennedy’s funnel.” He bought his newsletter. The newsletter was like, “You can join my mastermind.” He joined his paid mastermind. The paid mastermind was like “You can get the ultra-platinum mastermind.” He buys into the ultra-platinum mastermind. He’s like, “You could get a day with Dan Kennedy.” He buys a day with Dan Kennedy. Dan’s like, “While you’re here, I can write some of your sales letters for you.” He writes the sales letters for him. He’s like, “You could actually get whatever.” He’s just like, “I don’t care. I’m just going to pay.” He’s like, “At some point, Dan Kennedy was making shit up.”

DC:               Hold on. I got one more thing.

DG:              One more funnel.

Clay:             He’s like, “There is no end to this funnel.” There’s no end. You can’t even reach it. I’m gonna just – $100,000 – “million-dollar intensive month with me.” Whatever. He’s just going to give it to him.

DC:               By the way, you can buy a million-dollar intensive month, just make that out to Drift. I will spend a month with you. Do you hear this? Dave was holding his head because his head was breaking. This is too much science dropped on. Dave, there are so many areas.

DG:              There are so many – you just exposed everything.

DC:               Dave is feeling little league.

DG:              What you’re listening to right now, my friends, is – I call this the Ultimate DC.

DC:               Please pay Drift now.

DG:              He knew exactly what he was doing. This isn’t about Seeking Wisdom.

DC:               This is called the therapy session for…

DG:              This is about me right now. I know this. I’ve been through this before. He’s done this to me with videos, with podcasts, with books. This is the ultimate. This is you handing that person…

Endless funnel. That’s the best thing that you could learn about marketing. It should be never done. The conversation that we have is like yeah – we’re starting to feel ourselves a little bit. A lot of people are starting to know about Drift. But then if we really have the conversation, if I go grab one person on the street right now and say, “What’s Drift?” they’ll say, “I don’t know.” I have more work to do. That’s the same thing in the funnel.

                    Maybe somebody’s attending your webinar, but do they follow you on Instagram? Maybe they follow you on Instagram, but are they on your email list? Maybe they’re on your email list, but haven’t had a conversation on your website? Are they wearing a Drift t-shirt? There are endless funnels. But it’s finding those people who think like that. This is what we talk about a lot on the podcast is the growth mindset.

                    It’s not growth hacking; it’s the growth mindset. Most people are willing to say, “Dan Kennedy sold his first book. Okay. We’re done.” Where he’s thinking, “Now it’s just beginning. I got you on the book. Now I’ll get you on the videos. Now I’ll get you on the in-person seminars. Now I’ll get you in the one-to-one lunch.” That’s unbelievable.

DC:               I love this episode. I’m just gonna sit back.

DG:              You should.

DC:               DG, listen. Listen.

DG:              Thank you.

Clay:             It’s just about hustle. There’s someone on the marketing team at Leadpages and Drip named Kat. Shout out to Kat.

DC:               What’s up Kat?

DG:              What’s up, Kat? Probably a listener.

Clay: Probably. Totally.

DC:              Five stars only.

Clay:             But has she gone to your webinar?

DG:              No.

Clay:             She’ll sit at her booth at conferences. People come up, “Hey, I love Leadpages.” She’d be like, “Awesome. Are you an affiliate yet?” “Yeah.” “Have you hosted a webinar yet?” “No, I haven’t hosted a webinar.” “Hold on,” she’s opened up the calendar. “When can we schedule webinars? You can tell your audience about our people.” Someone comes up; they’re wearing a t-shirt. “Hey that’s awesome. Are you a customer yet?” “Yeah. I love Leadpages.” “Do you use Drip yet?” “No, I don’t use Drip.” “Oh, here’s a free trial.” Dude, she gets everything.

DC:               That’s amazing.

DG:              How do you roll this out in the team? If you were working on your own business, this should be easy. You control everything. But once you start to get into a company, it gets more complex. We’ve worked at companies where somebody in marketing – their job – they own the log-in page. Literally that’s their job. They own the log-in page. Then you got to go to the person, who owns the log-in page. Then you gotta go to the person…

DC:               You’re losing them.

DG:              Have you had to fight through that? Or is it just something you built in structurally, so that’s not a problem?

Clay:             It’s like the name on the front of the jersey is more important than the name on the back of the jersey. That’s what it’s like. What is our goal as a business? We know what the revenue target is. Someone’s in front of you. I don’t care what you do, if there’s an opportunity there to get our goal, you do it. I think you just have to live and breathe this. You got to talk about it over and over again. It just has to be part of the culture.

DC:               How do you find people like Kat? Do you find people like that, and you find like-minded people and you bring them together? Because did you train Kat?

Clay:             She just did that.

DC:               She just did that.

Clay:             Yeah.

DG:              You can’t teach that.

Clay:             I knew about this on websites, until I saw Kat. I didn’t realize you could do it in a conference.

DC:               In person, in this funnel.

Clay:             Yeah. This is the endless funnel version of the conference thing.

DC:               If you’re an endless funnel person, hit me up. We’ve got room for you on the team. There’s a room on the boat.

DG:              I haven’t written a blog post in a while. I’m writing this one. I’m taking this one.

DC:               Alright. Let’s see what else is in that notebook.

DG:              We got number 1. In Seeking Wisdom, we like to have the rule of 3. We stick to the rule of 3. We need two more. What’s number 2? Found traffic is number 1. Number 2?

Clay:             You know what? I came in here to found traffic to endless upsell. Endless upsell is number 2.

DG:              The endless upsell. I like that.

DC:               Number two.

DG:              The endless upsell.

DC:               He’s trying to write his blog post right now, Clay. He’s looking for you to…

DG:              Alright. It’s what I got to do after this. Found traffic, the endless upsell.

DC:               Webinars? You missed the webinars.

DG:              We know about the webinars.

Clay:             I think the third thing, which is related. It’s all like variations on a theme. But there’s no such thing as the discrete point of conversion. It is not like, “Oh, here is our conversion rate. It was this percentage.” People can say, “Oh they converted this much on this page.” How much did the funnel convert? How big is your funnel?

DC:               When the funnel’s not just linear; there’s no end at the funnel – back to your endless funnel thing, which is not like step 1, step 2, step 3, close, end of story. It just continues.

Clay:             Exactly.

DC:               That’s what I love about the endless funnel. [My double back end stuff 0:24:27]

DG:              I saw a cartoon the other day about first touch versus last touch attribution. It was like why people hate last touch is because you may have listened to this podcast, watched a video, go on our website, but then you see an ad on your phone and they click and buy. Then the marketer’s like, “Yup that’s the ad. Got them.” You don’t talk about anything else that happened in that funnel.

Clay:             Yeah, it was like when I met my wife. I had someone else talk me up to her.

DC:               Social proof.

Clay:             I sent her a pretty good email. We went on our first date. There was a – I don’t want to say multi-touch conversion.

DC:               That’s a complicated model, if you model that.

Clay:             It was not last touch attribution. I’ll tell you that.

DG:              Basically you’re just thinking about all the points within a brand or within a journey to actually become a customer. There isn’t just – they converted on this page and that’s where we should spend all of our time – is on that page.

DC:               Yup. We glaze over one thing. How did you even get into Leadpages? Because you have an interesting background.

Clay:             Yeah, I was a marketing blogger.

DG:              What year was this?

Clay:             This was like 2009. I freaking hated the fact that I would write these long, maybe 2000 or 3000-word blog posts. They get like 15 comments or something like that. It didn’t feel like a lot at that time – heyday of blogging.

DG:              You had your own blog?

Clay:             Yeah.

DG:              Okay.

Clay:             Freaking Gary Vaynerchuk of Wine Library TV – unscripted, uncut, probably how DC would do it, pulls three wines off the shelf, just talked some shit.

DC:               That’s definitely how I would do it.

Clay:             He’s like, “Friends, I don’t know. This smells like goulash combined with licorice – I don’t know – and some dirt.” That’s how he would review wines. He’d get thousands of comments, hundreds of thousands of views. I was like, “Screw that. I need to do video.”

                    I started reviewing landing pages, and so in every episode of my blog back then – was called The Marketing Show. I just reviewed a landing page. I talked about how it worked, why it worked, the conversion rates that we had, then I gave away the landing page template to people, because I was trying to be like Gary Vaynerchuk. I made this very quickly. In the comments everyone was like, “How do I integrate this with sales force? How do I upload this to WordPress? How do I run a split test? How do I do all these things?” At first I was pissed, because I was giving this away for free. What do you guys want for free? I’m giving you this for free, and all there is are complaints. Then I realized…

DC:               Welcome.

DG:              Welcome.

Clay:             Then I realized that whenever I personally feel a lot of pain and needed drink, that’s usually where the business opportunity is.

DC:               I love that. This is a bonus tip.

DG:              This is a bonus tip.

Clay:             I went to my audience, and I was like, “Alright, you all are complaining. I’m going to create the thing that does what you’ve all been asking for in the comments. It’s $200. I’ll give you Early Adopter.” I basically ran my own Kickstarter on my blog. I’ve got 200 people to pay $200. I hired a developer in the Czech Republic. We launched the thing three months later.

A lot of people talked about a minimum viable product. How about this? How about the minimum viable audience? Start with an audience that’s engaged. If you can’t get a thousand people engaged in your blog or come into your audience, how do you think you can get a thousand people to buy anything?  

                    Every single time I launched a blog post, I learn something new. Sometimes there would be a lot of comments and not a lot of social shares. Sometimes there would be a lot of social shares, but not a lot of comments. Sometimes neither would happen, but people would sign up for my email list. I got really attuned to what the market was thinking, what they were doing. It’s the same thing with Drift these days. Before it was just comments. What if you could talk to every single one of those people, when 10 people are visiting you a day? What is the value of that? When you can finish their sentences for them – priceless.

DC:               Amazing.

Clay:             It’s better than venture capital.

DC:               Science.

DG:              This is where we can wrap up. My favorite thing about all of your advice is that it’s timeless. This is something I’ve been thinking about a lot, which is like in the world of: you want hacks, people want quick wins, they want the get-rich-quick schemes – this is the thing that DC had to beat into my head.

DC:               Literally.

DG:              All of the problems in marketing and business and sales, they all come back to the same thing, and that’s people. While marketing technology has changed, everything has changed, phones, whatever. The one thing that has never changed is people. I know you like the psychology of copywriting. If you go back and read the advertising books from the 1900s, 1920, that stuff is the same. It is the exact same as 2017. I think there’s a quote from Jeff Bezos, where he says like, “Focus on the things that don’t change.” I think that’s why we invested in the things that we do in marketing because it’s about people, and those things haven’t changed.

DC:               When I first met Clay, he told me about some of the old books he read. I came back. “DG Reading list.”

DG:              He got me a legal copy of something I saw. I have it on my desk.

Clay:             People used to take two to three months of their salary, put it in cash and envelope and mail it to someone till [they’d sent him a stove 0:29:53] based on copyright. That’s the old school stuff.

DG:              DC came back to me, and he said, “You need to go study the direct response marketers because in their time, you had this long to make your pitch. People had to send you a check in the mail.” He’s like, “If we can’t figure out how to do that for a SAS product, then we got to go find something else for you to do.”

DC:               I love it.

Clay:             Carry water, man.

DC:               That’s it. Carry some water, bro. Is it too early to talk about your next thing or are you working on a new thing?

Clay:             No. That’s top secret.

DC:               Top secret? Alright.

Clay:             Yeah. I appreciate it.

DC:               I suspect that people are going to ask where episode number 2 on this science episode, and then maybe Clay will be ready to talk about his new thing. But while you guys are thinking about that, I was going to ask you to go join us at Hypergrowth, but too late. What happened Dave?

DG:              We sold out.

DC:               What?

DG:              We sold out today. It’s on the website. Amy put it on the website.

DC:               How many people registered? You can unveil the number. How many people registered?

DG:              We actually had to cut it off. We cut it off at 1300.

DC:               Let’s go. I should’ve raised the goal.

DG:              I don’t know what the record is. Tweet at us, if you know of a conference in year number 1 that has gotten more than 1300 people.

DC:               I wish we got 2000.

DG:              It’s amazing. We’re really excited.

DC:               I think he’s nervous because he’s got to put on a good show.

DG:              I know. The next three weeks are going to be crazy. I might rush this episode out because it’d be a nice little bonus for people.

DC:               Since people don’t have to go and register for Hypergrowth anymore because they can’t, they can go to iTunes podcast app. Open that up.

DG:              Single call to action.

DC:               Single call to action. Six stars. If it breaks, leave five. Leave a comment and a shout out for Clay Collins, and ask him some questions that he will answer on episode number 2. Will you be the first repeat guest? If the people ask for it?

DG:              Yeah. I think so. I think he’ll be the first repeat guest.

DC:               No pressure.

DG:              I think what we’re going to have to do though is once we get through the craziness of Hypergrowth in the fall, although it really never ends, I might have to do a little marketing boot camp with Clay I think.

Clay:             Come on down. Come to Minnesota.

DC:               Oh okay.

DG:              We have to document that.

DC:               Wow.

DG:              Yeah.

DC:               Thanks Clay for coming.

Clay:             Thanks for having me.

DC:               Amazing.

Dave:            Amazing.

DC:               Endless funnel. DG’s got work to do. See you guys.

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