This is a strategy and conversion funnel post. In this post I want to talk about a campaign I saw from back in the day before I knew what internet marketing was. I think the conversion strategy this guy employed was genius. Was it a “new” strategy? Nope! Not at all, but I hope that reading the story makes it easy for you to grasp.
Anyways, the story. Back in my late teens, I got the sudden itch to learn how to play the guitar. For a few weeks there, I was fantasizing about all the girls I was going to get and all the future friends I was going to impress. From that moment forward, I actually noticed all the “learn guitar” advertisements I was seeing because I was a hot lead at that point.
I got my paycheck from my machine shop job that next Friday and marched right down to Guitar Center where I bought myself a brand-new, entry level acoustic Fender. I was stoked. It’s funny, but I even imagined myself in music videos I was gonna make and everything. Haha.
I immediately raced my new guitar home and started searching the internet for tutorials. I almost bought a few of the beginner guitar DVD’s when I was at Guitar Center, but decided to see what the internet had to offer first. As soon as I started digging in, I would see many “generic” advertisements, much like these:
Hmmm, they look good, I thought. But I kept searching.
It didn’t take long, but finally I came across the campaign.
I came across a very simple webpage, probably from a PPC ad, with a video on it. The dude in the video was totally Metal, long hair, beard and everything. I mean, this guy LOOKED like a guitarist. He was sitting in his chair, filming himself on his webcam.
The video was maybe 5 minutes long at most – and he simply said something like this: “So you want to learn how to play the guitar but you don’t know where to start? Before you even START learning, you need to get comfortable with the guitar in your hands and your fingers on the strings. Here’s what I want you to do.”
This guy spent the remaining 5 minutes of the video explaining that, if you want to become good at the guitar, the first step you should take is to spend a few weeks doing a very simple exercise. He demonstrated and urged me to copy him.
I can’t remember for the life of me what the exercise was called, but it entailed using your three fingers, and playing the notes on the first string. dun dUn DUN! Then moving on to the next string. dun dUn DUN! And all the way down to the smallest string. And then going backwards. He said “DO THIS until it becomes second nature! Don’t even try to learn the guitar if you aren’t VERY comfortable doing this exercise forwards and backwards. Trust me, spend the next few weeks just practicing this 1 exercise.”
I was getting great value from this simple exercise he showed me. He wasn’t blurting out headlines at me, like “DISCOVER THE ULTIMATE GUITAR PLAYING TRICKS THAT METAL GODS USE”. He was being real and genuine. He was showing me the same thing he shows his students who pay him for private lessons.
Around the 4th minute of the video, he said “Listen, if you Paypal me $3, I’ll give you a chart that you can print out that helps you do the exercise better”. I can’t remember exactly what the “thing” was, but I do vividly remember that it was $3. It was a chart or something, but that’s besides the point. He also said he didn’t even like to charge $3, but it was to help him pay for his video costs. This was before Youtube.
When he made the $3 offer to me, I didn’t hesitate, I clicked his Paypal button and sent him that $3! I didn’t have much money, but virtually EVERYBODY can afford $3. I wasn’t making much money, had lots of bills, but I had that 3 dollars!
When I think back on this story, it reminds me of what a great funnel that guy had. He didn’t use marketing trickery and loud headlines, he just provided some solid value for a couple minutes and upsold me for $3. If he was a marketer, he could have marketed ALL sorts of complementary things to me and I probably would have bought them! I don’t recall him ever sending me an email, but if he had I would have paid attention to it. I guess his claim that he was just covering his video hosting costs was legit.
- SHORT PAGE WITH VALUE
- VERY SMALL UPSELL (<$10)
- EMAIL LIST (made up of exclusively people who paid you)
- MONETIZE LIST WITH OFFERS AND CONTINUING CONTENT
I don’t think the guy even knew what he was doing, but he knew how to SELL! And he did it without writing all sorts of hypey marketing copy or anything like that, he just provided some legit value to a noob guitarist like me and asked for $3. If he would have sent me an email with a recommendation to sign up for something, I probably would have! He had the funnel of a super high converting email list down pat!
Can you see the power in laying your funnel out like that as opposed to driving all your traffic direct to the sales page? He got people to buy something valuable for $3, made a great impression, created trust, the whole nine yards! THAT is how you build a little internet business without relying on your traffic source banning you and cloaking advertorials.
Oh, and I never learned how to shred the guitar. Lost interest after a little while. Haha