How do you create a successful monthly recurring revenue model? By joining your members in their transformation instead of selling them a list of features.
In this episode, Robert Skrob, President and Owner of Membership Services Inc., explains how he creates MRR models for billion-dollar companies. He tells us how to stop overwhelming prospects, the most important retention points during the member journey, and the ultimate red flag of unhappy customers.
IN THIS EPISODE YOU’LL LEARN:
- How to know when it’s the right time to add a recurring revenue model to your business
- The common mistake businesses make when marketing their MRR model and how to avoid it
- Why the first 90 days of a member’s journey needs to be choreographed for increased retention
- The 3 key KPIs to track for MRR: member acquisition cost, 90-day retention rate, and lifetime customer value
LINKS AND RESOURCES MENTIONED IN THIS EPISODE:
Thanks so much for joining us this week. Want to subscribe to The DigitalMarketer Podcast? Have some feedback you’d like to share? Connect with us on iTunes and leave us a review!
(NOTE: Need a helping hand with your digital marketing efforts? Or maybe you just want proven, actionable marketing tools, tactics, and templates to implement in your business? Check out the latest deal from DigitalMarketer, and you will be on your way to helping your business grow.)
FULL EPISODE TRANSCRIPT
Darren Clark: This is Digital Marketing. This week it’s Robert Skrob. Robert is one of the foremost member retention specialists in the world, and this week we’re diving into the benefits of the subscription service as a business model.
Garrett Holmes: Robert Skrob, thank you so much for joining us on the Digital Marketer podcast. How are you?
Robert Skrob: I’m awesome. It’s my honor. I’ve been a friend of Ryan Deiss’s for many years. I remember meeting him at a Bill Glazer mastermind in I think 2004, so it’s an honor to be part of your program today.
Garrett Holmes: Absolutely. Well, thanks again for joining us, and we’ll just dive right in. We’ve been seeing this over the past few years, but subscription businesses have been around for a long time, but recently it seems like the new norm for almost every business category out there. Everyone is looking for this recurring revenue. You’ve been around this for a long time. In your eyes, how has the subscription economy involved over the past 10 years?
Robert Skrob: I think even in 2002, if you had suggested that somebody sign up for monthly payments for anything other than cable TV, they would have told you that it was against their religion do monthly payments. They would have vehemently been against it. There were some little thing-of-the-month clubs, a book-of-the-month club, or certainly BMG was big in terms of sending you the CDs. You probably got a few of those, and certainly AOL wasn’t shy about sending out CDs to try to get you to join their program.
Robert Skrob: Beyond that, the idea of one of my new clients, a car wash, having a subscription program, or even Amazon now getting in the game not only with Prime but with Prime Subscriptions for products, to completely the music industry has changed. We thought that a few years ago, iTunes had a hammerlock on the entire music industry. Now Spotify has come in and really replaced that to a large extent, by giving you access to the entire catalog for 15 bucks a month.
Robert Skrob: We’ve seen that consumers are ever more willing to subscribe to get access to a membership, whether it’s digital products or a community, or an information transformation for their own life, versus buying it. That today, really the membership is actually the choice that’s preferred, versus what it was a few years ago when it was just flatly rejected.
Garrett Holmes: Yeah. I couldn’t agree more, and it’s amazing. You know, I just recently downloaded a tool to help me track all of my recurring payments out to businesses, and it’s just funny that that exists because of all of these businesses shifting. As more and more of these businesses do shift over and try to get a piece of this recurring revenue pie, how do you know as a business, if you’re not involved in a subscription or membership program? How do you know if it’s the right move to introduce subscription-based products or services into your mix?
Robert Skrob: I heard it first from Bill Glazer back that same day that I met Ryan Deiss. He said, “Smart business owners get a transaction that sets up multiple transactions.” Rather than having an offer where you’re selling a one-off product or having an offer where you’re selling an event, instead make your offer to a series of subscription members, so that they’ve preapproved and authorized you to have an ongoing relationship with them. The way you know is really to ask your members what they want, what they’re looking for.
Robert Skrob: When you start having customers that are coming back to you over and over again, and that are buying multiple things from you, then you really know that it’s time to roll out a membership, because your customers already have that membership activity with you. Now you may as well formalize that. Rather than having to try to get them back in or to try to get them to come to your website and have a second transaction, just set it up as a membership. It’s happening anyway. It’ll just happen more when you do it on purpose, rather than letting it kind of happen by itself now.
Garrett Holmes: Totally. Well, let’s talk a little bit into the why behind that. Why is it so important for businesses to really start to incorporate memberships into their business, and really look towards this model as something for the long term? What are the benefits of making this change?
Robert Skrob: Well, let’s start with the benefits first to your customers. You’d think that, “Oh, man, they’re going to have a commitment and they’re going to be reluctant to be part of it,” and it is important to recognize that members are looking at the commitment. You probably are either subscribed to magazines or have in the past, and with a magazine, the price itself is really pretty inexpensive. The thing is, you don’t really want the magazine to show up at your house if you’re not going to read it, because great as it is, you not only are making the commitment of the money, but it’s really even a bigger commitment that you’re going to spend the time.
Robert Skrob: When you have a subscription with your customer, you’re showing your customer that you’re all in, that you’re committed to providing them the ongoing support they need in order to make the transformation that they have in their life. If you’re providing some sort of coaching or even material that may be self-improvement materials, it’s so much easier today to sell that as a membership than it is as a product. Because with a membership, one, the up-front cost is probably not quite as high as if you were making a product sale, but still, even if you’re selling a product for $1,000, selling it as a $500-a-month membership, maybe you’ll see just as much conversion because they see now that they have the ongoing support.
Robert Skrob: They’re not going to be left in a lurch. It’s not something where you’re trying to dump it and haul butt, and not be part of their actual transformation. By offering a membership, where you’re going to join them in the transformation they’re making, whether you’re helping them cut expenses in their business or you’re helping them get more customers in their company, or you’re helping them provide some sort of product or services, by selling as a membership, they are more assured that you’re all in.
Robert Skrob: For you, man, there is nothing nicer than having those continuity payments go through at the beginning of the month and knowing that the customers you get this month, you’ll be able to bill most of them again next month, and you’ll be able to bill most of those the following month, and that when you get new members this month and add to what you got last time, next month’s adds to this month, and so your revenue grows. It provides tremendous stability. It provides peace of mind, and when you do those product launches, they’re just as successful or even more so, because you have a group of members that are already dialed in and connected to you. The money you generate is on top of the monthly membership that you’re getting.
Robert Skrob: I know a lot of businesses that have the recurring revenue set to pay their expenses, so it’s kind of like the first goal is to make that continuity revenue pay your monthly nut. That way it’s like, ah, you can rest assured that now you’re playing with house money for the rest of the month. You made your money back on day one, and then you’ve got the other 29 to 30 days in order to have profit. It’s so much easier to run a business on that basis.
Garrett Holmes: That makes so much sense. It’s funny, that’s literally exactly how we’re looking at it here at Digital Marketer. For all the listeners out there, this may be a little bit of a peek behind the curtain, but we made a pretty big commitment to going all in on subscription this year and really focusing in on creating content and creating an experience for our subscribers, and weaning off of the launch/promotional model. It’s paid off tenfold for us, and it’s so cool to see how much more we’re able to create content for the community, for the people, based on what they want, based on what everyone’s asking. Just to echo the point that you just made, in reality, it’s something that we’re implementing here, and it works. It’s really, really cool to see.
Robert Skrob: It really de-stresses the entire business, because when you have this launch mentality or you make all your money at your events or what have you, you’re biting nails. You’re worried because, oh my gosh, it absolutely has to be perfect. We have one or two big revenue spikes a year, and by golly if something goes wrong and there’s a snafu, then our revenue is cut and no way to get it back.
Robert Skrob: Whereas with membership, instead of focused on yourself and your big home run payday, instead you’re focused on your member and helping them get what they need in their life, helping them be happy and successful. You’re really able to kind of get the money out of the way and instead be of service to the people that you want to be of service to. It’s just a so much better way to live.
Garrett Holmes: Yeah, no doubt. Robert, you’re worked with a ton of subscription businesses, some valued upwards of $100 million. What are some common mistakes that businesses make with their subscription programs? I know we’ve run into a few. We’ve actually had conversations about some of those mistakes, so I’m curious to hear some points here.
Robert Skrob: Well, I actually work with a couple of Fortune 500 companies …
Garrett Holmes: Nice.
Robert Skrob: … on membership, that they’re actually launching. We can’t talk about it yet because they haven’t come out, and then also billion-dollar companies that have a billion dollars’ worth of subscription revenue. One of the key things that I have seen just everywhere is … this is really the biggest mistake … is they make their offer all about what you get. It’s kind of like when the offer is this laundry list of stuff, “We’re going to send you this, and then you get this call and then you’re going to be able to get this session, and then you get access here,” it’s just this big laundry list of stuff.
Robert Skrob: What I see that converts better instead is to talk about the transformation that your member will get in their life when they have access to this membership, how they’re going to feel about themselves after they’re a member of this community. Make your bullet list of what you’re delivering all about the transformation that those items are going to have for that member when they are using it in their business or in their life.
Robert Skrob: What I find is that drastically improves conversion, because one of the biggest challenges … you know, I may as well make sure that it’s clear … the biggest problem with membership and the membership business is the cost to acquire a new customer is often more than a month, or two even, of membership. It can become difficult to scale membership and grow it because you’re spending … maybe you’re spending $100 to get a new member, but yet your membership is $50 and it takes you now two months to get that money back.
Robert Skrob: If you spend $10,000 on ads today or this month, it will take you two months to get that $10,000 back, and that assumes that none of your new members quit. If you have a high churn rate over the first 60 days, it could take you four or five months. The biggest secret is to make that offer all about the experience that the member has when they join, rather than this laundry list of benefits.
Garrett Holmes: Yeah. That speaks so much in line with, you know, we talk about the before-and-after grid here at Digital Marketer, and just talking about when you buy this product, when you buy this service, what is that after state that the person buying this is going to be in, and focusing in on that and marketing that. Not focusing on here’s all the features, you know. Nobody cares about the kind of metal that your iPhone’s made out of, but what does it actually make you feel?
Robert Skrob: The crazy thing is that a lot of people understand that, but then when you go and look at their actual offer, it’s just a list of their benefits. Or they might have a great VSL that sells membership and the experience, and then you go to the order page and it’s, “You get one newsletter.” Nobody wants a dang newsletter. What they want is the transformation that that newsletter will get them. What they want is the connection to the community that you have built. What they want is the experience of you and what you’re going to be able to offer them on an ongoing basis.
Robert Skrob: Nobody wants another newsletter or another email or another call or another anything. They’re already overwhelmed. There’s a billion hours on iTunes of podcasts every minute, and they don’t need it. What they want is connection. When you help them see that that’s what you’re all about from the beginning to the end, not just believe it in your head but actually communicate that in your sales message, in your order form and on your onboarding and connect back to that.
Robert Skrob: Because that’s the second mistake, is even when they get it right for the sales process, then when they actually deliver the product it becomes, “Boom, here’s what you get. Boom, boom, boom. We gave you this, we gave you that.” It’s like this company had a checklist and they’re going down the list sending you what you got, and it becomes overwhelming. Or even better, if it’s multiple departments, you have like six different people emailing this one member. “Hey, you got this, make sure you do this, hey,” and they don’t know who these people are and where this is coming from, and it becomes very overwhelming.
Robert Skrob: Instead, you want to make sure from the sales process all the way through at least 90 days, that’s choreographed, so that you can maximize member value. What we look at is certainly conversion and cost for acquisition, but also that 90-day retention and also 90-day customer value, if you’ve got any upsells that you want to incorporate into that onboarding process. Look at that number and maximize that 90-day customer value, and you’ll find that your lifetime value skyrockets, because I don’t know about with Digital Marketer, but for most membership programs, the most members drop out in the first 90 days. If you can focus only on the first 90 days and choreograph that, you’ll have a huge impact in the membership.
Robert Skrob: Very often I’ll look at numbers … and very few membership marketers know how to pull numbers and pull reports and look at it. That’s probably a call for another day. I pull numbers, and very often it’s the first time they’ve ever seen any of this stuff. What I will often find is that the churn rate, the number of members that are quitting in the first three months, is very high and then it will level off, and then you might see a whole bunch of members that have been members for one, two, three or more years.
Robert Skrob: What that tells me is that what they’re delivering on a monthly basis, people really like, once they start liking it. For some reason, the majority of people aren’t connecting and don’t have the opportunity to get to what I called in the book title the retention point. They don’t get to that retention point where people are really locked in until maybe many months. Not choreographing that first 90 days is the second mistake, and by doing that from start to finish, focusing on the outcome, it completely transforms the membership.
Garrett Holmes: Yeah. Well, let’s talk about the negative side. We all hate this word called “churn.” Nobody likes to lose members, so aside from credit card issues … we’ll get to that in a second … what are some common churn red flags, if you will, that you’ve seen or encountered, and how do you go about fixing those?
Robert Skrob: There’s two that are very, very common. Number one is to overwhelm. Your customer is already busy. Nobody that you’re selling to feels like they’ve got a bunch of free time and it’s like, “Man, every day I’ve got an hour, and I have no idea what to do with it. Let me find something to join so I’ve got something to look at for that hour.” No. There’s not a single customer has that. They all have way more than they can do. Very often when you are trying to onboard somebody, you really throw the kitchen sink at them. “We got this and we got that, we got this, and look at all this stuff that we have.”
Robert Skrob: I kind of think of it like a library, and a lot of people actually even use the term. “We’ve got a whole library of resources that are available to you.” Really, each of us has a library in our town, and when was the last time you were there? You don’t go to the library. Really the whole idea of a library isn’t motivating to you or your customer. What you want to focus on instead is the transformation, and helping them on a journey that can help improve their life. Give them products that will have a fast, quick win for them, so that they feel great about that.
Robert Skrob: We certainly get into that, and then let’s zoom ahead into a member that’s been around for a while and they kind of grow bored. Heck, you see this in coaching programs all the time where this person, they couldn’t find a website, much less create one, and now they’re creating great sites and shopping carts and creating copy, and boom. Now they feel like they don’t need you anymore and they quit, because they’ve become what Dan Kennedy called too smart for the room. I don’t know if you’ve experienced this, where members are like, “Oh, yeah, that’s so passe. I know all that. I don’t have to go to that conference anymore,” or, “I don’t have to go to that.”
Robert Skrob: The key for that … and this is really an advanced strategy, because this goes beyond that first 90 days into kind of the beyond. Members go through three stages. They come in, they’re kind of lost. They’re not sure that this is really for them. They’re kind of feeling their way out, and what you have to do at that point is give them very tactical, simple things to do that help them build their confidence. After they start using it, they kind of feel good about themselves and they become aggressive into the membership. They can’t top telling people about it. They’re proclaiming the joys of you, and then the next step is they’re like bored and they’re ready to quit.
Robert Skrob: Now, the way to get them from going to that bored, ready to quit, is to connect them with other members, and what happens is that your events and your communities and your board now become more about them sharing with each other and being part of a group of friends. Like the Digital Marketer event, there’s a thousand people or 3,000 people who are coming to that. They don’t care about the program. They don’t care if you had a single speaker. They’re coming because everybody else is going to be there, and they want to see their buddies.
Robert Skrob: They’re talking about, as much as the session they saw … which are awesome sessions and certainly everybody should go to Digital Marketer … certainly they’re talking about those, but they’re also talking about what they did last night with all their friends, and they’re so excited to see each other. Now they’re not just coming for your show, but they’re coming for everybody else, and every one of those connections becomes a retention point that allows you to hold onto your member for decades rather than a few months.
Robert Skrob: Seeing retention as a step-by-step process, and understanding that the member in the first 90 days needs something very different than the member from 90 to, you know, nine to twelve months, and that person that is twelve months and beyond needs something very different than that newbie does.
Garrett Holmes: Yeah. You know, it sounds so simple, but in reality it’s so hard to sit down and think about all of your members differently like that, but you have to. You really, really have to.
Robert Skrob: Well, the same as you would stratify a market and say, “Okay, well, we’ve got the price shoppers, we’ve got the high-end luxury buyer, we’ve got the person who wants it done fast, we’ve got the person who wants it done right, we’ve got the person who loves the images.” You would stratify and you have different messages for each and maybe sometimes even a different funnel for each, depending. You also want to stratify your membership.
Robert Skrob: You know what, it’s got a bigger ROI. Stratifying your membership and thinking about each group of your members differently has a much higher return on investment than stratifying your prospects, because it’s so much easier to keep a member than it is to get a brand-new customer. You’ve already got them. You’ve already got their credit card. You already got permission. Just do a little bit more to keep them, and you’ll be able to keep them much longer. It’s so much easier of a bar than it is to try to get somebody to pay for the first time.
Garrett Holmes: Yeah. What about credit card issues? I mean, declines, expired cards. I feel like the list goes on and on, with little or no direction on how to get these customers back or how to fix these issues. What are some of the best practices that you use to kind of approach these credit card issues and fix them from plaguing your membership program?
Robert Skrob: You know, there are a few very important tactical little details that go into making sure that these cards run on an ongoing basis. Certainly there’s a lot of CRMs out there that say, “Oh, yeah, we automate all that and take care of it,” and thank goodness, they do do a lot of the automation. If you just left it all to them, you’re leaving a whole lot of money on the table.
Robert Skrob: Number one, there are some merchant processors that are fabulous for selling products, or product launches or what have you, but they don’t specialize in membership. Membership is pretty unique because you’re running maybe 1,000 or 2,000 $49 transactions. I work with clients that have tens of thousands of single-amount transactions a day, and what will happen is the issuing credit card, your customer’s credit card company, will look at that and go, “Huh, that’s interesting. They’ve got a non-subscription-based merchant processor and they’re running 50 $49 transactions or 50 $499 transactions. No, we’re not going to accept those transactions.” The algorithms will kick them out, even though they may very well have available credit.
Robert Skrob: You would normally think that the credit card goes through every time unless there’s available credit. No. It can go through for any reason or no reason whatsoever, and then you retry. If you pay attention, you’ll see that your retry success rates are different on different days of the week and certainly different days of the month. If you just retry, retry, retry, one, you’re racking up a whole bunch more of that visibility where people are saying, “Wait a minute, this person just retries the same card,” and they will not accept your transactions or not accept them at a very high rate without you even understanding why.
Robert Skrob: You definitely want to be with a merchant processor that specializes in memberships and subscriptions, because not only are they better at working with the issuing credit card companies, but then you also get a lot of benefits like automatic credit card updater services. No, geez. I had somebody use my credit card for Grubhub in New York City in August and so, shoot, I had to change my credit card number. I’ve got one of those subscription logs, as you mentioned, and oh my gosh, I had two dozen people to go to to get the credit card.
Robert Skrob: There were still like six or eight of them that didn’t get the update, and so they were having to chase me down. Whereas with a credit card updater service, Visa gives them the new number or MasterCard gives you the new number, and you don’t have to chase the customer down because they changed their credit card expiration date or credit card number. Also they’re better at the retries, and then of course getting the customer.
Robert Skrob: If you call your customer because they have a credit card number problem or anything else and that customer doesn’t call you back, then you’ve got bigger problems than your merchant services processing, because if that customer got a call from their power company that says, “Hey, we’re going to shut your electricity off tomorrow, I need to you give me a call back,” I promise you your member is returning that call. If you’re not getting callbacks, that should be a four-alarm fire emergency in your business to fix your member relationship, so that they want to hear from your people, they’re excited that your people are calling, and they will do anything they need to do in order to keep their membership.
Robert Skrob: That is the ultimate solution to the problem. Yes, there are some technical things that you can do with updater services and looking at your retries and retrying strategically, maybe on Thursdays and Fridays instead of Mondays, Tuesdays and on the weekends, and then retrying at the first of the month and the 15th versus … for whatever reason, seven, eight, nine, ten just don’t go through as well. Having some of those strategies in place will certainly help, but my goodness, they ought to … if your members aren’t calling you back, you’ve got some big problems.
Garrett Holmes: Definitely. Well, we’ve talked about a lot today, and there’s one thing our listeners always ask when we introduce these new topics or new strategies that businesses are implementing, and that’s around what KPIs should I track. For subscription success, what are some of the most important KPIs that you recommend everyone pay attention to as they’re either launching their subscription side of their business or just improving their subscription business?
Robert Skrob: There’s really three key numbers that I’m looking at on an ongoing basis and that I think are really crucial. One is your member acquisition cost. What does it cost for you to get a new member with the advertising, and being able to watch and track that is crucial. The next is that 90-day retention rate. I’ve seen where, especially on a free trial offer, some people are keeping maybe 25% of their members at that 90th day. I would really like to see it more like 60 to 70%, and especially if you’re actually getting them to positive-option click in order to get the membership, or they’re just joining outright. If you’re not at 60, 70, 80%, then you’ve got a huge opportunity in your business to drastically increase your revenue.
Robert Skrob: Then beyond that, if you’ve got a lot of upsells in that first 90 days, then rather than that retention rate, I will look at the dollars, which from a retention standpoint is the same, because you can look at it by percentage or dollars. Very often … you know, I come from the business opportunity world, back when we were doing direct mail, and even in the ’90s you would get a new customer and then send them a series of mailings, after they became a customer, in order to maximize the value of them.
Robert Skrob: Today that can be, you know, digital, and with prerecorded webinars. You can do a little … you take your best product launches. One of my clients I work with that’s a billion-dollar company, we took their best launches from last year and choreographed them so that their new customers see them over the first 90 days of their membership.
Robert Skrob: One of the things that I’ve found is that when you offer upsells to your members, the people who buy the upsells stick at a much higher rate, which makes sense, right, because they’ve reinvested.
Garrett Holmes: Yeah, totally.
Robert Skrob: They’ve doubled down on their thing. They’re in, they’re lifers. What I’ve also found, Garrett, which is fascinating, is the people who see the upsell but don’t buy also stick at a higher rate.
Garrett Holmes: Interesting.
Robert Skrob: People are like, “Oh, man, I’m going to make my members angry.” Not really, because the upsells are normally positioned to help them accelerate whatever your transformation is, and they can look at that and go, “Yeah, that’s nice, that’s more expensive, but I think I like what I have just fine.” It builds the value of what you’re actually delivering, versus undermining it. When they do participate in that upsell funnel, they stick at a much higher rate, and really frankly they’re engaged, right? They’re paying attention, and so having those upsells I think is huge.
Robert Skrob: All right, so anyway, KPIs. Excuse me, Garrett. Then the third one I’m looking at is lifetime customer value. Sometimes that can back into the number of months on average that somebody is a member. Some of the other things that I’ll look at is, you know, how many members do we have in each 30-day period, so how many people do we have that are members at four months, members at five months, members at six months? How many people do we have that are members for a year to two years, or two to three or three or more? I want to look at that.
Robert Skrob: Then finally, I’ll pull some reports that show what’s called cohort analysis, so you can see how the retention rate is changing maybe based on the source of the customer. If you [inaudible 00:32:15] your customers as a upsell and a product launch, how did those stick versus people who come to your website and join, versus people who come and join because they’ve seen you speak versus maybe people that are coming through your telemarketing process, and also see how the cohorts change over time. The number of members who came in six months ago, how do those compare to the members that joined three months ago, and see if you’re actually improving your retention or if it’s actually declining.
Robert Skrob: Those are some things you won’t necessarily see if you’re just looking at the raw customer value, because often the lifetime customer value will increase because you’ve got a group of members that have been in for a long time, even if your retention is trending down, because you can see only on that cohort analysis. That’s a big rundown, but those are some of the critical reports that if you’ve got a membership, if you’re generating even 10 grand a month, you’re going to want to look at these things on a monthly basis and manage it.
Garrett Holmes: It’s funny because, you know, I’m listening to all of this, and this is my day-to-day. This is the type of stuff that I do on a regular basis, and it’s like, “Oh, my goodness, why didn’t I think of that?” It’s just really cool to hear. Two more quick questions for you. One question that we ask everybody who comes on the show, so knowing what you know today, through all the experiences, starting your own company … how many books have you written now?
Robert Skrob: Maybe six, something like that.
Garrett Holmes: Yeah, you’ve written six books. If you could go back in time to 25-year-old Robert, what would you tell him?
Robert Skrob: Behave as if it’s guaranteed to work. Behave as though whatever you’re doing is guaranteed to be successful. Many times I hesitate or I see others hesitate because like, “Oh, I don’t know if this is going to really work,” and so maybe they go like half in, or they go part of the way in order to kind of test the waters. They do all kinds of hedging because they’re afraid that if they go too far down the road, that it won’t work. The thing that I wish I really understood was you’ve got to go full out every time, or you’ve guaranteed yourself that it’s not going to work.
Robert Skrob: Focus on the who you’re helping, not as much as on the what you’re delivering. What I’ve found is that I get a lot of satisfaction from helping who I’m helping and working with them, even if my continuity programs, the numbers aren’t going off the charts, or even if other things aren’t going well. The gratification really comes from helping the people more than the other result, so pick your who carefully, who you’re working with, and then go all out, as if you know for a fact, you’re 100% guaranteed that this thing’s going to be successful. All in, every time.
Garrett Holmes: That’s really, really cool, and something that I struggle with. I always dip my toes in first, test the waters, but I hear you. I hear you. It makes a lot of sense.
Robert Skrob: There’s a lot out there with, you know, the lean startup, about the minimal viable product, and that’s essential to launch a product. When it’s quicker, you can test and iterate as you go, but my goodness, it needs to be viable number one, so it’s got to be a real product, and don’t do everything else minimally, a minimally viable product with a minimally viable VSL and a minimally viable sales page and a minimally viable CRM.
Robert Skrob: With the technology we have today, you’re able to build a business for hundreds of dollars or even a thousand or two, when the equivalent of what you’re doing was $50,000 or a $100,000 just a couple of years ago. Back in 1996, it used to cost a million dollars to send a few thousand emails, and now you can do it for, what, 49 bucks? The technology and the tools, yes, it costs a little bit of money, but if you go half in, you’re only guaranteeing your failure. All in, every time.
Garrett Holmes: Robert, thank you so much for joining us today. I know I got a lot out of this, and I know that everyone listening did as well. One last question. Where can people learn more about and you what you’ve got going on?
Robert Skrob: I think that the best place to begin is there’s a book out called “Retention Point: The Single Biggest Secret to Membership and Subscription Growth.” Absolutely check that out. It’s on Amazon. The Kindle version I think is maybe $4, and the paperback is $10. I created it as a training tool for my clients and their teams, because I found that I kept having to explain what we were all about. It’s something that somebody can read in an hour or two and get a lot of value out of it. Lots of people are telling me that that gives them what they’re need and they’re off and running and they’re having crazy success. Just because it’s short doesn’t mean that it isn’t awesome.
Garrett Holmes: Yeah. I read it. I’m a raving fan.
Robert Skrob: Oh, thank you. That’s very, very generous. That book I think is the best place to start, and you’ll be off and running.
Garrett Holmes: Cool. Well, Robert, thanks again. If you’re ever around here in Austin, Texas, swing on by and you can see the office in person.
Robert Skrob: Oh, my goodness. It’s very generous. I can’t wait to be there. Thank you.
Garrett Holmes: Awesome. Thanks, Robert.
Darren Clark: You’ve been listening to the Digital Marketer podcast. For show notes and other resources, go to digitalmarketer.com/podcast. If you’re enjoying the show, remember to subscribe on Apple podcasts. Thanks for listening.
(NOTE: Need a helping hand with your digital marketing efforts? Or maybe you just want proven, actionable marketing tools, tactics, and templates to implement in your business? Check out the latest deal from DigitalMarketer, and you will be on your way to helping your business grow.)