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Interview with Ryan Allaire


Interview with Ryan Allaire

Webpreneurmedia:

This time we're going to be doing a deep dive with a guy who is absolutely crushing it in direct marketing, but Ryan Allaire's story starts out when he and his family were living in a cramped motel room so I think this is going to be a really fascinating and inspirational conversation. He's also one of the most energetic guys you're ever going to meet. Ryan, it's a real pleasure to connect with you.


Ryan Allaire:

Thank you so much. Thanks for having me. It's so great to be here and so awesome to be here.


Webpreneurmedia:

Well I'm really looking forward to chatting with you, Ryan, because your story couldn't be more rags to riches. Is it true you got started in marketing at just the tender age of 13?


Ryan Allaire:

Yes, yes it is. You're right, it's kind of a cliché rags to riches story which I kind of struggle with because I'm like, "Oh, it's just another story." But to me it's been a unique experience. It started at the age of 13, like you said in the intro, growing up in a motel room is a true story. I grew up, or I take it back, we lived out of a motel room for a while, grew up in Florida, and we were there for probably over a year, closer to two. And it was a humbling time. My parents always struggled with making money and I've always watched them struggle with that. Then I had a friend and his parents and it was like the complete opposite. It's like everywhere we went it's like money was just running into them, they couldn't repel it. It was so interesting how I would watch someone struggle, and someone make it so effortlessly and have multiple nice vehicles and multiple homes and vacation homes and had multiple estates.


Just this completely different life because here we are trying to make it in a motel room and then my parents rented homes, we got evicted, we'd have the electricity turned off, the water turned off, and it's funny, some nights we would have candles and looking back, some of those were the best moments with my siblings and with my family and my parents are great people, I love them, they're probably the hardest workers I know if I'm being truthful and transparent. They are super hard workers, but the irony of all this and what it taught me at a young age is not really just how hard you work, it's also how you work and how you apply the work you're doing because I watched my mentor, and he worked hard but nowhere near, my mom would detail boats, she worked in a fruit field and they gathered oranges, and they'd get them ready and polish them to sell in farmers markets and fruit stands. My dad was in sales, so I kind of got that from him and he worked his long hours doing these moving sales jobs, and I'd watch them work all the time, but never get ahead.


There's been times they would in the states that have an income tax where you get back a portion of your taxes, so for about a week or two we'd go all out. I was kind of looking back, the typical poor thing poor people do, you blow all your money the second you get some. But we'd go to the carnival. My parents did the best they could just to be fair and I love them to death, but the crazy part is is at 13 years old, the writing on the wall was very clear, meaning it's not just how hard you work, it's working hard and working smart at the same time, and this is how I got into direct mail.


My mentor, I worked in a mail room, I would walk in and funny story, I was actually working at a golf course and also McDonald's before this, and this was kind of a part-time thing I would do with my friend whenever I was with him, we'd go into his parents office, his dad's office, and then we would do odd jobs for $20, $50. And we'd help with something small, and to me that was exciting because I got to bring home some money and make some money while I was there. And I ended up actually transitioning from working at McDonald's at 14 and also this golf course, to working for them full-time because I realized I could work in a nice, cool office, the golf course was super hot, and a lot of hard work. I'm weed whipping around lakes and divets and all these things on the golf course in Florida, so just imagine that. And then McDonald's, I don't care where you are in the world, a greasy fast food restaurant is never fun, right? In any climate.


So I realized, hey, I can make more money than all my friends, I can sit in this really nice, cushy chair in this beautiful office, and I worked inside of a mail room, meaning I would help get direct mail piece mailings ready, send them out, then we would fulfil different products that they were selling through the mail, and this is when it came full circle, because I got to see exactly how it worked, because I knew it started out with them sending out four page letter, six page letter, sometimes a 10 page letter, but basically a bundle of paper, right? They'd mail it out and then from there I would watch them sell products that would range from $20, $40, $50, $100 and then some products were even thousands, which I'll talk more about that in a second, those are things they would sell on the back end.


But anyways, so I would watch this process and I'm like, wow, literally these people are making millions of dollars by sending out a couple pieces of paper and postage, the envelope, and selling these products. In the time it was in personal development. This was in the late '90s going into the early 2000s and Mary Kay was very popular, and they actually had product packages and books and things that would help a lot of Mary Kay agents and people that were in the Mary Kay cosmetic business.


It was interesting because I got to see people from all walks of life. What's funny is you could always spot the Mary Kay ladies because their email addresses would be like pinkcadillacdrivingbetty@gmail.com. And I don't know if you know this, but in the Mary Kay business, when you achieve a certain level, they gift you a car, but you have to paint it pink, actually it was Cadillac's. What's funny, and get this, it's crazy, I was actually driving one of my sports cars down the road and I'm like oh my gosh, that's an interesting Cadillac, because it was like this magenta pink, it was a really interesting color pink, and I got closer up to it and sure enough it said, "Mary Kay Specialist, and had her website below it.


Webpreneurmedia:

Brilliant.



Ryan Allaire:

So today, in 2021, they are still giving out pink Cadillac's, which is pretty funny. But yeah. So it was crazy, it was just all walks of life, from younger people, these Mary Kay specialists, I would go ahead and I worked in the mail room and then finally I would hear my, so it was kind of a family business where my friend worked there, his dad owned the business, his parents were working there was well, and they were retirement age, the one was an educator in a school, public school here in America, so he was working there and actually had like 20 staff members total.


So I would go from the mail room to I would walk over when the phones would get busy and I would pick up the phone just to help basically take orders over the phone, because what happened is they would mail out a direct mail piece, and then people would get those. The internet was still kind of new but they had the capability to go online and check out, but it was still a newer thing. Most people either sent back the order form with a check, money order, cash, or they filled out a credit card on the order form or they would call in the office and place an order that way.


Again, funny story, kind of like the Mary Kay story, right? Almost 20 years later, we still do the exact same process.


Webpreneurmedia:

Right.


Ryan Allaire:

Where in my office we collect stacks of cash, cash is still, people send, it's very minimal just to be fair, it's probably a half percent of our sales comes in through cash, but it's funny, people will still send $97 in the mail to get a product package, and we still take orders over the phone. Funny story, my mentor would have people fax in their orders every single day. Now, up into 2021, we probably get one or two a month, but believe it or not, people still fax in an order. It boggles my mind. I don't even have a fax machine. If you think it's through like 1-800 Conference Call, they have a fax line you can buy for like $20 a month or something, so I keep that just for giggles.


Webpreneurmedia:

Just in case.


Ryan Allaire:

Yeah, exactly. If the internet goes down, I can send out faxes.


Webpreneurmedia:

Because what year was it that you got started?


Ryan Allaire:

So this is in the early 2000s is in this era. So get this, you're thinking okay, how'd you get into the internet marketing scene, and just to kind of bridge that gap really quick, my mentor had a mentor named Corey Rudl, and he's out of Canada and I don't know if you guys have heard of him, but he basically started internetmarketing.com was his website and Tony Hsieh, the owner of Zappos, credited him and was his mentor, Jermaine Griggs, who's like the poster child for Infusion Soft, and he has Hear and Play Music, came in through him, and I could list the internet marketing veterans in the next hour, name people that are doing huge things today and have been for the last couple decades that came up under Corey, and Corey told my mentor like, "Hey, writing's on the wall, the internet is where to go." And he said, "You shouldn't really be focused on the internet. The same thing you're doing offline."


Because basically we had a name and address and we would send them a physical piece of mail. He said, "Well now you have a name and email address, you can email them and save the money on your hard costs." We still were continuing to do direct mail because it was actually the bread and butter, and we'll talk about this more in a second, the highest converting stuff and still is to this day, but the fact was is people were also doing a lot of online marketing. So what happened was my mentor saw the writing on the wall and we had a CRM, a Client Resource Management software that we would physically punch in all of our direct mail orders. So someone bought offline, they paid cash, they sent in a money order, we'd put in their first name, last name, the product they purchased, and then their email address, and this was back when everyone had either an AOL email address, or Yahoo email address were the two big providers back then. And my mentor noticed in the CRM you could push a button and email your entire customer base, right?


So I don't know if you ever heard of the product called Butterfly Marketing, but it was with Mike Filsaime, he did a million dollar day promoting it, and my mentor sold over $150,000, we were number two affiliate behind Rick Raddatz, Russell Brunson was behind us.


Webpreneurmedia:

Wow.


Ryan Allaire:

This is dating ourselves. And how basically we ranked in that product launch was by emailing our direct mail customer base and from there we would sell out events, workshops, Michael Cheney, we were actually his very first speaking gig in 2008, he came over with Laura, and he's a marketing legend in the UK. But he was one of the early adapters that was crushing it on Click Bank and these affiliate platforms. But yeah, it was crazy how we still continued to mail and we always mail and we've never stopped that, but from that point forward we would include email marketing, tele-seminars was a big thing, so we would email people and send out direct mail pieces pushing everyone to a tele-seminar. Now we know it's all webinars and interviews like this and podcasts, so it's kind of funny because the tele-seminar stuff is kind of coming back in different forms, in podcasts, Clubhouse, for example, it's just a complete audio thread. But yeah, it's kind of funny to watch the evolution.


So to answer your question, sorry for the long, drawn out answer, 13 is when I got my start, in the early 2000s, and that's how we went from an offline marketing company to an offline marketing company and an online marketing company was basically through the industry and through mentors and people that were paving the way to where we're at today.


Webpreneurmedia:

Just keeping that vision I guess of what may come next so that you're always able to maneuver into those new markets. I guess a question for you, Ryan, would be, for anybody who's listening or reading this who doesn't really understand the differences between internet marketing and direct mail or direct marketing, could you just maybe give us your view on that?


Ryan Allaire:

Yeah, 100%. So how I compare the two is one is a virtual, online process where the other one is an offline and physical. So instead of seeing it virtually through a Facebook ad, Instagram ad, YouTube video, social media post, and email. Those are all online touch points, and what we focus on is long form sales letters, postcards, we even send out what we call lump email, and actually Nick and Kate do an amazing job with this, where they send out an entire product package and we do the same in several different industries that we market and serve, and really what we do is, what I love about direct mail and you can be as inexpensive as 17, 20 cents for a mass market postcard flyer or you can spend 85 cents to a couple dollars and send out a more bulkier package or a product kit and then you could spend dozens of dollars and fulfill big product packages. But the point is that anything that they're receiving physically is direct mail and offline.


And really, so the next question is, "Okay Ryan, when do we know to spend 17 cents or the $50?" And for me how I gauge that is from what we're selling. So if someone's coming in as a lower ticket responder off of one of our direct mail pieces, meaning they're spending $20, $50, anything under $100, then depending on how much they spend is what they're receiving in the mail. It could be as simple as a poster and a USB, or a 10 page booklet, or USBs, an entire product series, DVDs, booklets, manuals, more books, and a step by step process for them to maneuver through the content. So you can get as elaborate as you want, but to answer your question, direct mail is anything in the physical form.


Where we focus at is basically making that touch point because here's the thing, Tony Robbins taught this back in geez, I want to say the early 2000s or mid 2000s, was these touch points, and it was with Stanford University Business School, and basically for someone to purchase a product you had to have six, eight, ten touch points for them to buy. So let's say for example, McDonald's. You hear the jingle, you get the coupon, you see the big golden arches on the billboard, you drive by and you get a radio ad, you get your newspaper clipping in the mail, but the point is that after six, eight times of those touch points, you would go in and consume a product, a happy meal or a Big Mac.


Now fast forward to today, they did the same study a decade and a half, two decades later, and those touch points have sky rocketed. We're talking dozens of touch points for people to buy, and why is that? Because we're in this digital era. We're on 10 different apps. We have multiple email accounts, but back in the day when you would hear the "You've got mail" iconic AOL message, you'd run over and you would check your mail. Nowadays, you wouldn't even check your mail, your virtual mailbox. But what's funny is it's happened basically to go 360 where people are excited to check their mailbox because of Amazon, getting packages, whatever the case may be, and back then people dreaded checking their mailbox because you got tonnes of junk mail. So it's kind of funny how we're in this Renaissance, it's kind of gone 360, and what I love is direct mail is the only marketing option that you can basically have a touch point and go ahead and re market to someone over and over and over again, because people call our office and they say that.


They say, "Oh your booklet has been sitting on my table for the last two weeks and I've been going through it." A Facebook ad, an Instagram ad, once you basically once they get the ad, sure you can do re targeting and spend more money, but what I love about direct mail is once you have that piece out, you can continue making that touch point and continue marketing to them without spending more money, right? So that's what I love about direct mail is it basically lets you connect that dot, make that touch point, without continuing to reinvest and spend more. Does that mean people don't throw out the mail? Of course they do, and people will eventually maybe toss the book, but the point is in our experience is it's your biggest bang for your buck because that physical piece can circulate. You can make it into a poster, you can make it into a mini billboard, a resource, and that's what we do when we use our direct mail, so literally you can take up real estate in someone's home, in someone's office, in someone's work area, where before on an email, digital ad, you can't do that. Once they see it it's done, they keep scrolling, and whatever the case may be.


Webpreneurmedia:

You're absolutely right, I think that the inbox has become busier and busier and busier and the impact of an email years ago was great, I've got an email, I will read it immediately, and these days of course we all receive so many emails that those messages start to drop down our inbox really, really quickly. So if somebody doesn't read that email straightaway, almost the impact of it can be lost forever, whereas with a direct mail piece that lands on the doormat, there's less traffic now on the doormat than perhaps there's ever been, so it means that your message is printing through a lot clearer than it is if you're just sending emails.


Ryan Allaire:

Yeah. 100% right. 100% right.


Webpreneurmedia:

Now a lot of people who perhaps are listening or reading this may be a little bit cautious of direct mail and getting involved in it themselves because of the actual cost. Email these days is seen as free, what's your take on that, Ryan?



Ryan Allaire:

Well, it's kind of funny, right? Because even email technically isn't free, because you have to spend money to accumulate the list. And sure, you can make a TikTok video or be the biggest YouTube star next or whatever, and get free traffic and build a list, but in reality, that's just kind of painting the picture clear here, the odds of doing that is almost like the odds of hitting the lottery, meaning you're going to be the next TikTok star and make millions by posting a video or have a built in audience.


So the truth is no matter which way you slice it, if you're starting a business and you're marketing online, even email marketing costs money if it's solo ads, if you're driving social media traffic, so I think every serious business owner understands that the lifeblood of any business is marketing, you've got to pay to acquire your ads. I know Nick and Kate do tonnes of direct mail, so they get the concept.


They also do tonnes of online ads and paid traffic. So when it comes down to it, the cost is actually much more less than your traditional ad costs. And we look at it as customer acquisition, because the truth is you can spend $50 to acquire a $10 sale on Facebook ads and you're doing good, because ideally you have a funnel, and then the $10 sale will equate to hundreds within the funnel and then the back end is where people make their money. So again, I'm kind of going into the book funnel process, but traditionally it's how it works is you spend a dollar to make two, or spend a dollar to make one so you have the chance to make more on the back end. And what I love about direct mail is at a 1% conversion rate and we hit 2, 3%, our last mailing did us 6% conversion.


Webpreneurmedia:

Wow.


Ryan Allaire:

But let's just say a 1% conversion rate at a $97 price point, you're in the profit just by sending out a direct mail piece, meaning you send out 1000 pieces, it's going to cost you $850, that's including the list fee, to send out the 1000 pieces. And that's give or take depending on how big your mailing is, so just using round numbers here. But the cool part is at a $97 price point you get a 1% on 1000 pieces that's 10 sales, you just made $970 on the $850, just basic math, and what I love about it is if you have any marketer that hears this knows what I'm talking about, you make your money on the back end. So you don't make your money, for example, Russel is a good friend of ours, and we were in his top 10 affiliates when they launched ClickFunnels. How we did it was we sent out a direct mail postcard and we emailed our buyer base pushing the book. The truth is Russel or myself didn't make money selling the book, Dot Com Secrets.


Where we made our money was the back end subscription to the software which everyone knows is the big funnel builder, I won't name it by name but people can read between the lines, but that's where you make your money is the back end software, the back end service, the back end offer, whatever it may be.


So same thing applies for the direct mail campaign. If you have your front end offer between $50 to $100, and getting between 1, 2% conversion, you're in the money just off of your front end push. Now we all know why we do this is the back end offers and helping people more and bringing people down the customer path of serving, and when you do all those things, gradually you charge more money because you're servicing 10%, 20%, 30% of those front end buyers, and that's where the money adds up very quick.


So to answer your question, really it's cheaper from our tests. We do Facebook ads, we've spent multiple six figures on Facebook alone. We spent tonnes of money on YouTube. What's funny is all my friends, to this day, are basically the "gurus" in these different spaces.


Webpreneurmedia:

Right.


Ryan Allaire:

So I get the behind the scenes numbers on what Justin's spending on YouTube traffic, and he's spending $300,000 a month solely on YouTube, or what my buddy David is spending, he's spending 4 million dollars a month on social media. So I know the basic numbers on what they're getting, and I know what we're getting, and we spend tonnes of money on it, and again, dollar for dollar, looking at the research, looking at the numbers, in our experience offline marketing is way more economical.


So to answer your question, do you have to spend $100,000 mailer piece to get started? Of course not. My mentor showed me a case study where he spent $300. For me, my very first mailing was under $1000, and then I had a loan for $3500 and I turned $4500 into shy of $60,000 in about 70 days all through direct mail. How is that possible? It was because out of those $5000 collective dollars of marketing budget I was able to send out about I want to say 6500, 7000 pieces but we were hitting 2, 3% conversion rate, we literally had hundreds of buyers come in, and out of those hundreds of buyers we serviced dozens of people on the back end and we were charging anywhere between $2000 to $5000, so the numbers add up very quick when you have the process in play, but what's so strong about direct mail is the entire touch point, the entire process is different than what people are doing online.


Because let's face it, I don't throw stones because we do this, it's kind of funny, because my friends are like, "Ryan, are you dogging webinars?" Of course not. We do them weekly and we make a lot of money on webinars. Funny, we send out direct mail pieces that fill webinars. So I would never dog them, because they do work. But I must say, the secured that I've learned is using webinars, social media ads, and even our direct mail stuff, it's using it in conjunction. I call it direct mail 2.0, my mailbox secrets is kind of the tagline. And secret is is using Facebook ads, Instagram ads, your direct mail piece, we even do follow up pieces where people get postcards, one to two page letters that give case studies and followup after they buy the product that also coincide with the emails they're receiving and the social media ads they're seeing.


So really it's in combination of all those moving parts to dial in and get a winning campaign. But to answer your question, you can literally start with hundreds to a couple thousand in my case and snowball it, just like a social media ad. We used to teach you can start off with your campaigns on $5 ad budgets. Now, the truth is it's very unlikely to make a multi million dollar business from just a simple $5 ad budget, right? Oh I spent $5, now I have millions. That doesn't typically happen. But it's the snowball effect. The $5 turns into $10, $15, then you take the $10, $15, and keep half, now you have $7 instead of $5. Turn it into $30. Now you have $30, and so on and so forth. Same applies here. You start off with smaller list mailings, and smaller pushes and last week we had 40,000 pieces go out.


Webpreneurmedia:

Wow.


Ryan Allaire:

So yeah, it just shows you how quick you can take off once you have the numbers dialled in, and full transparency, we've even had huge mailings where we actually had some challenges this pandemic. This election season. I know worldwide they're not having this issue in some countries, but in America, with election season came these huge blow ups at the US postal services, still to this day we're talking election season was in November, we're in April and there's still a backup in some of the mailings are taking days and additional weeks that used to take one, two days.


But the crazy part is it's still outperforming all of our digital ad spend and now instead of getting a first class letter across the country in two, three days, it's taking five, seven, eight days. So we're just accounting for the extra days for the direct mail to hit.

So you always have to bob and weave and funny is we've noticed an increase of people consuming the mail and our stuff converted even better just because I think people were around more and they had more time on their hands. So we had some pros and some cons with the pandemic, the mailings blow up, certainly the old saying, time is money, especially when we were testing these mailing lists and I made a huge mistake in a couple lead sources I thought were working well and I thought it was just slowed up and come to find out it wasn't just slowed up, the lead source was also not working as well, and it was 10s of thousands of dollars worth of mistakes and lost income.


Webpreneurmedia:

And how do you recover from that? Because that is I think a lot of people's worry is they're going to make a mistake and it's going to really impact them. Obviously you've got the economies of scale, you've done this a million times so you kind of know what to look out for but it's interesting to hear that even at this stage that mistakes can still happen.


Ryan Allaire:

100%, and it's all perspective, right? That's kind of the name of the game of business, because it's kind of funny, there's a little rap song, more money more problems.


Webpreneurmedia:

Yeah.


Ryan Allaire:

And it's true, right? The funny thing is you have more good days than bad days, and it's kind of funny because I even hear people, the case studies, you'll have 70 good days throughout the year, so technically you have more bad than good, so you can analyze that, I guess don't look too much into it, but how I kind of see all this and to answer your question is I use an acronym called FINO, failure is no option. And I love my acronyms, I also have one for direct mail called LESS, I'll share that after.


Webpreneurmedia:

Great.


Ryan Allaire:

But FINO is my marching beat, so to speak, my mindset when it comes to business comes to life, because failure will happen, right? Even to the start of my business, I had these ups and downs, at 13 I made a lot of, or had an awesome connection and a good mentor, and in my late teens, early 20s, was making six figures, life changing, was "rich". So then I lost it all, due to bad decisions and partying and the glitz and glamour, then I relaunched and had some money coming in and doing well, and then I get taken advantage of in a business deal. And oh man, then I relaunch again, have some success, so point is you always have those ups and those downs and even today, right? We had a mailing that cost me tens of thousands on mistakes. But how I rebound form that and I really focus on my mindset, two things, the mindset and the method behind what you're doing.


Now they say the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, expecting different results. So what I didn't do was I didn't mail the same list. But here's the stupid thing is I did it once before is okay I'm not going to do it a third time, because I thought it was held up, I thought the mail was lagging, I thought all these different things, so it was a large mailing that did very, very well for me about eight months prior. But the crazy part is what I realized is those leads were just kind of running it's course, it was kind of done. But I thought the mail was held up so I'd mail them again, and get a double push out of it, with my thinking it will all come in at once, right? We'll high five and we'll buy the yachts and the exotic cars and have fun. Sadly the mistaking, it didn't happen that way, and it all didn't come in at once, some came in but a fraction of what I spent.


I've had this happen, because now we've been blessed and we've ventured into supplements and we were in the top 1% sellers on Amazon. We have a software on a big affiliate platform, one of the biggest affiliate platforms out there and we were one of their top vendors and our launch did 7500 units sold in a matter of a month.


Webpreneurmedia:

Nice, nice.


Ryan Allaire:

Yeah. So even in these software businesses, and funny story, we do direct mail and we use direct mail with those businesses, but some of them are a lot of traffic online focus because they're software that help people with traffic tactics and traffic methods. So you have the message of market match, it's kind of foolish to send everyone a post card on doing a traffic tactic, which is funny, we actually do it and it works well, but point is we also know there's a pond to fish in online that we don't neglect and we can make money from, so we do that as well in conjunction.


And even in all these different businesses I just described, in our education series that's offline, our supplements on Amazon, our software on these affiliate networks, they've all had bumps in the road and issues, again, going back to you always will have issues. You always will have things happen. But what I do is I look at it and try to see what worked before and what was working at the time it was working and then where I'm pivoting and what's going wrong to get me back on track.


And for me, this is where the LESS acronym comes in. So FINO, failure is no option, is the mindset, but the methods and what I do is LESS, doing less to produce more, it's not a get rich quick scheme saying that you do nothing to make money, LESS is an acronym which is lead source which is where your data, where your traffic is coming in from, the envelope structure, because this is a direct mail campaign, so how your marketing is going out, you can use the analogy as well as digital, how is your emails going out? How's your marketing, your sales page, your VSL, your video, how is the appearance? And then the first S is the sales piece or the postcard or we even do a shock and awe kit so what comes in the mail which is your booklet, I mentioned Nick does an amazing job with his which is a mouse pad, USB, and entire product series people get. So that's the first S, and then the last S is your selling process, what you're doing on the back end after you acquire the sale.


So just to kind of recap, lead source if it's a direct mail campaign, is it internal data? Am I renting the list from a list broker? So at this case it was the data issue, because my envelope structure was fine, my sales piece was fine, the selling process was fine, just the lead source. I've had all of these issues where I've had some, even the envelope structure today is a nice, clean structure. We do handwritten font. Now to be crystal clear we do internal mailings and we'll skimp out on this because we have really good leads, so the thing is is the envelope structure needs to convert well to a cold list, the people that don't know you, like you, trust you. So we have pushed mailings out internally that have had labels on it and just maybe it's a bold font instead of handwritten font, but just to backtrack and talk about winning campaigns going to cold audiences, I noticed the envelope structure makes a big difference. Because if it's a generic, ugly piece that looks like junk mail, it will be treated like that.


Webpreneurmedia:

Yeah, I guess- I was going to say, as well if it looks like a bill.


Ryan Allaire:

Exactly. Right, right. And people will do that, they'll send checks, and what we do, I'll tell you our winning formula, is it looks like a card. It's like a six by nine colored envelope, so one was like a light green, a dark blue, and they're like what is this? It's a handwritten font and will have special notice enclosed. So oh is this a RSVP to a wedding? What is this? That's been our winning piece. What we'll do is we'll take it a step forward and spring time we'll put a bunny on it and maybe a flower, the wintertime rolls around, we'll have a snowflake on it or maybe a Christmas man or Merry Christmas, we'll do different things depending on the season with that letter, with the envelope structure. But for me, I found that was a big area of focus that can help convert cold traffic or colder than your internal lists. So that's what we focus on.


Then the selling, sales letter, is headline, step headline, your body, facts tell stories sell so have a lot of stories in the copy I've realized. And then a strong call to action which is the first S in the LESS acronym, your sales piece. And then the last S is your selling process. We love to bring people, we have more of a white glove service, so we call every person that spends $10 or $1000. We make sure they get our products, we make sure they're logged in. We follow up, we send out a followup letter series that are resources, help them use their product, but also promoting and offering the next offer, how we can help them even more.


Then we release our re targeting ads and emails and videos so that selling process, the last S, is equally as important as the first three letters, L-E-S-S is less, so L-E-S is pretty much your mailing process, so lead source, envelope, the sales piece, that's getting it mailbox ready, getting it sent out. Then the last S is what you're doing once the person comes into your organization.


So what I do no matter what, if it's an online business, an offline business, I focus on that LESS acronym. And again, just to I guess repeat myself, you sometimes have to customize it so your lead source isn't coming from a list broker at 14 cents each that you're mailing, maybe it's Facebook. Maybe it's YouTube, maybe it's solo ads, maybe it's radio. Wherever your traffic source, your eyeballs are coming in from. So I look at those methods, the FINO analogy, failure is no option, and that mindset, and I expect it to happen because it will. I've had huge things, so I realized, it used to tear me up, beat me up, so two categories, your mindset with the FINO mantra, failure is no option mindset for me has been key. Because I've been in these times where it could have been a speed bump in the road, and if I'm being full transparent, I've allowed it to be a pothole and a divet and create a flat tire because of my mindset for it. It just got me off kilter.


So really, really important now to say okay, issues are going to happen, failure will happen. I can't let it be the dictating factor and keep me in that spot, in this flat tire analogy, if it's a speed bump or a small divet, maybe you can go around it or avoid it. Maybe if you do hit it, how fast can you get out and put on the spare. Are you going to cry there for two hours or call AAA, put on the spare and take off again, right? So that's what I've realized is the failure will happen, but when it does I go back to my fundamental how and where and what do I need to fix? In this case, it was a lead source thing, I did a couple small things and went from less than a half percent conversion up to 6% conversion.


Webpreneurmedia:

Incredible.

Ryan Allaire:

Talk about night and day difference. We're talking about losing tonnes of money to now making tonnes of money.


Webpreneurmedia:

Yeah. I mean so many key takeaway points that you've just kind of gone through there including a lot of the messaging afterwards is the reinforcing, isn't it? You've got that down to a T in many ways, that once somebody has bought the product, you actually follow up with them as well to I guess in a way take away some of the buyers remorse that people sometimes have.


Ryan Allaire:

Right, 100%, right? Because the facts are, and I'm a consumer, so this is me, I have my boating stuff and I spend a bunch of money on my boating stuff. I don't even calculate it because I'd probably get out of boating. I'm like that myself. You have buyers remorse, we get gym memberships, we buy tonnes of stuff, and what's funny is what I look at is what keeps me engaged, right? Or people that maybe go the extra mile. It's very easy for me to unsubscribe and leave a service that's not serving me. So that's what I've realized. I've heard Dan Kennedy quote before is in order to be good, to sell a lot of products and a good seller, you must be a good buyer. And I've taken that quote literally. But it's kind of funny, because it's all perspective. But we're into RV'ing and camping, we're into our boating stuff, we have lots of other things we love and passions and my daughters art stuff and karate, and what's funny is we've bought tonnes of products, services, that have been very easy to have buyers remorse over and say, "You know what, this is not really what it was meant to be, it was an impulse buy and I'm done."


Now, do I say not to give refunds and obviously not at all. If it's not a super fit and it's not a match then you refund the client and you move on, you part ways. But what I've realized is you can be more of a service and more of an asset when you add in these factors where it's a white glove service and now they're getting resources in the mail, and then they think, "Wait a minute, those pesky competitors aren't doing this, or they're not giving me resources, so I'm going to stick with Ryan." Or maybe it's a phone call, maybe it's whatever the case may be, but those added touch points in our experience go a long way, a very long way. Even on services that I've purchased. I'm a huge consumer, and there's probably not a coaching program or a product I haven't purchased, just to be full transparent, I'm on everyone's buyer list and I love to buy products and I still do because in order to be a good seller you must be a good buyer.

But the point is, just like you said, there have been, if you buy something and you don't get an email from it and you can't access it, talk about a buyer remorse.


Webpreneurmedia:

Absolutely.


Ryan Allaire:

The sad part is, yeah, right? And the sad part is sometimes that stuff is accidental, because this has happened where email servers get crossed or whatever the case may be, but what I've realized is you fix those small issues, okay so the email stuff, you hear from some feedback, you hear from whatever the case may be, then you make those changes, those edits, and for us that's been a huge factor with keeping happy clients happy and keeping the ecosystem.


Webpreneurmedia:

Completely. It sounds to me as though over the years you've kind of almost put yourself in the position of the person receiving that direct mail piece so that you are treating your guys like the way you'd like to be treated yourself, is that fair to say?


Ryan Allaire:

100%. 100% right. So actually full transparency, so I sold this one service, it was a couple hundred bucks a month and it was a back end service and there was a lot of issues with it where people weren't getting emails, I was using a specific mail server which I won't name that was tied into a funnel builder that wasn't sending out and it still is a known issue, so it was just all these things, so what I did, I said well how can I make this better? Granted it was only like 20 people, right? So I personally called every single person and said, "You know what, this wasn't a coaching offer, this wasn't a one-on-one offer, but we've had some issues, I said you have access to the back end members area, there's an over the shoulder training, but also how can I serve you? How can I personally work with you?" And out of those 20 people, six or seven of them that I actually worked with personally, and I didn't get more money from them, I didn't sell them on stuff, I said you know what no, I just want to serve. And the crazy part about it was the conversions, people getting into my back end programs or back end stuff, was astronomical. Huge numbers.


Why? Because I went from, "Hey we did have an issue, we had a mistake, but here I'm going to over deliver and actually help out more and actually how can I make this better?" And people received that and out of those 20 people, we brought in 10s of thousands of dollars in back end services by not even trying to sell them at first. It wasn't even an option, we didn't even sell them. I just said, "You know what, I'm going to personally call them and message them." I put my staff on it to the people that didn't return a phone call, they would do follow up calls and we would get in contact with them, and the feedback on that one scenario has been worth multi millions to me, right?


Webpreneurmedia:

Yeah.


Ryan Allaire:

So that's one example, because stuff will happen, and again, failure is no option for a reason because failure will happen. It will have issues. But what I've realized is it's how you handle those issues, it's how you approach them and what you do next that will dictate the outcome overall.


Webpreneurmedia:

It's great advice you're sharing and such incredible kind of insights and behind the scenes about how you operate, Ryan. It's amazing to see and hear. How can we find out more about you and also your course, Mailbox Secrets?


Ryan Allaire:

Yeah. Thanks so much. So really simple, mailboxsecrets.com can get you access, it's a multi book series and we send out resources. If you even want to just hack the process and see the followups and all that fun stuff, that's one way of doing it for I think it's $89, the low price. And that will get you into my world. I'm on social media, The Ryan Allaire is Facebook, Instagram, we post tonnes of content, tonnes of case studies. So ideally just jump on Facebook or Instagram and just kind of see the stuff we produce daily, weekly, monthly. And then also mailboxsecrets.com, there's an option there if you don't want the product to just get on our resource list and our newsletter list and get updates. And yeah, I really do appreciate you having me. It's been a fun-


Webpreneurmedia:

It's been amazing. Can I just say as well, mailbox secrets comes so highly recommended. I know you mentioned that people may not want to actually grab the product, but it's one of those must reads. If this is an industry that interests you both online marketing and offline marketing or combination of the two, then Mailbox Secrets is possibly one of the pivotal products that you have to read so you get that depth of knowledge, and Ryan shared so much already in the time that we've spent together, you can imagine how much more you're going to learn if actually you immerse yourself in Ryan's world altogether. So definitely worth checking out, mailboxsecrets.com


Ryan, once again, thank you so much. We've covered so much ground here. Thank you for taking us on that journey.


Ryan Allaire:

Well thank you for having me. I know we have a lot of awesome things planned with you guys, Nick and Kate, we won't even talk about it right now, but just to be on the look out and to be in store for some fun stuff that we're discussing behind the scenes. Spoiler alert, it might include a live, in person interaction event. So I'm excited for that coming up when the pandemic stuff fades away and the vaccines and all that fun stuff has taken affect and people are communicating again in person. So I would say be on the look out for that. Anything I can do on the topics of direct mail, just let me know and I'd love to be a resource, help out wherever I can, and thanks again for having me here and looking forward to doing more with you guys in the near future.

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