How a Fight Over a Landing Page Almost Led To Getting Fired With David Melamed of Tenfold Traffic

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Dr. Jeremy Weisz 6:58

And really quickly, why were you so I mean, the purpose was like you weren’t being necessarily it wasn’t mean meant to be rude to the person. You were just passionate about running the test. What made you so passionate about running that particular test? Because you could have said, You know what, yeah, let’s change it around. But But you something about it, you wanted to really, you wanted to test it, you want to see how it played out?

David Melamed 7:31

So that’s a good question. The first thing is, I, I thought I knew everything. I was young and dumb, and was doing well. This was, you know, this is a client that hired me maybe three, four months earlier. And I went into a Google Ads account that just had a whole bunch of broad match keywords in one ad group. And just by reorganizing it and writing more targeted ads, managed to scale that spend, you know, from about 30,000 a month, up to about 300,000 a month eventually, at that point, it wasn’t as high as 300,000. But I already had a little bit of credibility. And when you’re behind my sales saying that, like, okay, David knows what he’s doing here. The reality is I was riding the coattails of something that actually the market wanted. And it wouldn’t really have mattered significantly. Why I was passionate about running that specific test. I think I I don’t recall. I think we use an outside company that I trusted. And they, they designed it and they thought it was a good idea. And I trusted them. I think also something about it’s not a very hard sell to convince somebody who has a car that’s like broken down that they’re getting tickets for for having sitting, you know, on their block or the HLS. Phone monitor. Yeah, and to pick up the phone and call and find out how much you’re going to get. It’s not a very hard sell these pages should convert Well, before this experiment, we were converting around 15% of visitors with a fairly basic message. So my instincts were that they’re, you know that this should work even with kind of this like kind of scammy looking code. Um, in the end, we ran the test and the corporate page converted around 20 to 23%. If I recall into phone calls, which is better than the control better than what we were running prior to that, but the spammy looking ditch converted a whopping 45% of visitors 45% of people that clicked on our ad, I picked up the phone and called us for a quote, and you know, ended up selling their car toss. There’s a lot of lessons we weren’t from that. But even at this point, I, you know, they, they wanted us to take it down. And the end, we ended up kind of compromising and rebuilding a new, larger site that was a little cleaner with a more professional, but still add the same headlines and the same core message, which is, you know, the person, a lot of people in this situation actually thought it wasn’t just found money, they thought they’d have to spend money to get their car towed. And then they suddenly found out not only do I not have to pay to get towed, I can actually get money for this and get a lot of money for it. And, you know, so I mean, they’ll call three, four people if they want, but whoever offers the most money, so the message get up to $10,000 for your junk car, which was a legit offer, if it was been worth it, um, made it just a very easy sell. But yeah, I, you know, one of the co founders really had to go to bat for me on that. But I worked a lot of lessons about that. But the most important lesson I learnt from this is the reason like, I can understand why the spammy page converted. But why didn’t the corporate enterprise professional wiki page convert? You think it would have more trust signals? People would trust them more, you would think? Why did that only convert about 22% or 23% of the visitors?

Dr. Jeremy Weisz 11:34

It’s similar messaging and everything just different?

David Melamed 11:38

Well, the the headline, or the message was, you know, something along the lines of like, you know, we’re one of the leading buyers of us, and junk cars and car fleets in the country, and we buy individual cars, you know, I don’t remember the exact language, I could probably find it in the archives, archives. But it was, I really believe what happened is, when someone’s searching on Google cache my junk car, they’re expecting a website from a junkyard. They’re not looking for IBM, they’re looking for a junkyard, and at this point of time, which is probably 2007, they were not expecting a junkyard to have a professional looking website. They weren’t even expecting many of them to have websites. So the fact that they had a website that had this message that looked kind of spammy, and the phone number was just big, and it didn’t really fit like that nothing about it looks super professional, it actually, it added credibility because it matched the expectations of the searcher. And that’s, that’s really the thing I want, that’s super important, which is, aside from the fact that the data and the market should tell you what to do and what works, it’s, you really have to understand the mindset of the person you’re trying to communicate with, and and bring them what they’re expecting. And I think this is a mistake a lot of companies make as they think they need to be polished, they think they need. So many times I go into a new company, for marketing or a company asked me for advice. And the recommendations they’re getting from everybody else is you need a website redesign. I’m working with a client now, the logo looks horrible on the site, it needs fixing, there’s so many things that that that we should fix. And you would think that like the first thing we would do is like, okay, let’s get the web developers, web designers, let’s go into a real redesign project, which could be a 1015 $20,000 project on the low end if you do it, right. And my instinct was, wait, the phone’s ringing, customers are coming in the door. They’re they’re showing up. If there’s a business here, that’s generating revenue, there’s a business machine that’s functional here. I don’t need to rebuild it from scratch. It’s kind of like the disaster in the call center. I don’t need to rip apart the call center. It’s functional, it’s working, I could try to get incremental improvements. I can prioritize it and say, you know, maybe my conversion rates will be even higher in the future. But if my, if my customers aren’t expecting perfection, if they’re not expecting a small mom and pop local business to have a website, or they have something really professional, that’s okay, you don’t need that. So you know, a lot of people have these mentalities of like, well, if you’re a professional, you need this, you need that, etc. And the reality is that all you really need to know is is the revenue coming into the business right now? Is there something that the market that customers have demonstrated to you by pulling out their wallets that they’re willing to pay for or if it’s healthcare related, that they’re willing to to use you for it? So I’m not saying trust isn’t important, but it’s important to understand what actually drives trust. Because in every situation, it’s different and it’s not just like having those trust signals under a logo or on a landing page. It’s about understanding what the expectations are, and and meeting that expectation. And as long as you’re within the ballpark of what they would expect for where you are in your business, you don’t have to make yourself look super professional. You don’t if you’re a consultant, you don’t have to make yourself look like you’re the biggest agency on the planet. That’s because it’s just not what people are expecting from you. In fact, with marketing, and this is a weird thing. So like, I’m not taking clients right now, one of the reasons why is because I, you know, I, I do better with with deals I could go really deep into, and I go and do that for a few clients. And so I want it to be really big opportunities. But I’m getting what’s a two to three referrals a week of people coming to me that they, you know, they want some help with, whether it’s Google ads, or SEO, or just generally, you know, analytics or digital marketing. And more often than not, I’m completely lost my train of thought there. But what I’m trying to get at is, they, they think that they need that the expert, they think that they need something more than they have, and that’s not necessarily what they need. And oh, what I remember, I was gonna Yeah, I don’t have a website for Tenfold Traffic. I have a blog at David Melamed dot com as an individual and but Tenfold Traffic right now I don’t have a website I did at one point, I took it down. It’s not like I never had a website, I took it down because it was very templating. And people told me that if you’re representing yourself, as someone that goes really deep, and does really custom work, you don’t want to show them a templated website. And I agree with that, because it doesn’t match what I’m trying to communicate. But in reality, the website didn’t matter. It, I do all my marketing for businesses, and I don’t have a website, and I got busy enough that I wouldn’t really shut my doors and won’t take any new any new clients, except for performance deals. What does that tell you about how important it is to project yourself as this like perfect company, like people, they want authenticity, they want to know what they’re getting, they want you to manage their expectations correctly. And that’s another thing you know, that’s probably the biggest trust killer. The reason why people find so hard to trust marketers and agencies is because the expectations that they’re sold are not what ends up happening in the market. And often it’s because they’re oversold and under deliver for all sorts of reasons. Um, but you know, part of that is the agencies are probably trying to project themselves as bigger and more polished than they actually are. And your customers just want you to be honest with them. People just want to know what they’re going to get. They want to know what to expect. That’s why I love 711 even though they’re open 24 hours, the idea of branding the hours, you know exactly like this is also I say consistency with podcasting is important for with blog posting, because he’ll know when they come back to your website to look for the next post. They know when to look for your latest podcast episode. Like there’s one podcast I really love. And he posts on an irregular schedule drives me nuts, I find myself like three times a week searching in my podcast player for his name to see like, you know, did he come out with an episode? Maybe he’s guessing on something else. But 711? Like, yeah, I know exactly what to show up. I don’t have to worry about I know, some of the loving, they’re open. So now 24 hours even better. But I love that kind of idea of just like, just let people know what to expect and try to understand what their expectations are. As long as you meet that. You should be fine. So that’s kind of the long rounded out lesson there. From the landing page that almost got me fired.

Dr. Jeremy Weisz 18:44

Take home, David is one of the biggest take homes besides don’t tell someone jump in a lake but it is message match.

David Melamed 18:55

Exactly. It’s a term that I guess it’s more market speak that, you know, the way that I think Dan Kennedy is the one that uses the words originally, but I’m sure you took it from somewhere else. the right message, the right market and the right media, he frames it like a triangle. So you need all of those to kind of meet up together. So if you’re gonna, you know, advertise on LinkedIn, you have to understand what’s the context of the user on LinkedIn? What’s their mindset, what’s going through their heads. And then you have to make sure that your message kind of matches that. That’s actually probably the biggest mistake I see marketers make is they focus on where to find their audience. Maybe they do like even person exercises. And they figure out okay, my audience reads this magazine, or is in this Facebook group, or uses this hashtag or consumes this type of media, but they don’t really think about the mindset of the user and when they actually have an acute need, like when’s that? That kind of trigger moment Which is a term from Caitlin I don’t know if pronounce last name. But Bergen, I think, by the kind of fan of her content, she talks a lot about trigger moments. But what’s that kind of moment that triggers an acute need and your consumers mind that they’re trying to solve that problem in that moment, I kind of view this as making a right turn or a left turn, or merging into traffic, or away from traffic, right. So to make a left turn, you have to cut off traffic, you have to see you have to find that opening. And you’re basically interrupting people, but to like make a right turn, or to merge into a Wayne, you just, it’s very smooth, you just have to find openings, you just have to know where the opening is know where that exit is nowhere that right turn is and you don’t have to worry about interrupting that it’s wide open for you. So looking for those windows and doors of opportunity that come from this is the moment that they’re actually looking to solve a problem. I like to take it a step further and look for in that moment that they’re trying to solve that problem. Who do they currently do business with that they trust? Who are the people that they already have a relationship with, that already built trust with them, that can refer you or partner with you? or open the doorway for you, um, directly, you know, inject you into that conversation in that moment? So one example, if someone goes to Google and ask the question, they’re searching for something, being able to advertising Google directly to that searcher on that keyword is one of those opportunities. I like it more along the lines of, I think wedding planning is probably a good example. There’s, you know, maybe when someone’s looking for engagement rings, that’s probably a good time for a wedding planner to be partnering with jewelry stores, and things like that, because like they’re building up the trust, very early in the process, when there’s going to start being an acute need to plan and, and etc. So the wedding hall would want to get with the the wedding planners, and things like that. But that’s what I like to think about is once there a cute need, and what’s the actual media that reaches them that already has that trust? And how can you piggyback off of that distribution channel, versus trying to build it from scratch?

Dr. Jeremy Weisz 22:19

I love it. David, I want to encourage people to check out more episodes of the podcast, you can go to David Melamed dot com will be linked up and or if you have questions, David Tenfold Traffic dot com My last question, David is, um, you know, we talked a lot about different topics, but what niches Are there any niches that you like to specialize in if someone knows of someone in these industries that you geek out on or that you consider working with? 

David Melamed 22:50

So that’s a great question. Yeah, the industry that I have the deepest expertise with is multi location healthcare brands. So usually, they’re private equity backed healthcare companies with multiple locations with plans to expand, or they’re trying to build a really big footprint in a specific market so they can get, you know, a better multiple on their exit. So if you think about an exit with a bigger multiple, if you can align your marketing spend and your strategy around that actual number, just as an example, maybe you normally sell your business for 5x, multiple and if you have the right amount of customers, you can sell it for 10x, multiple, the value of his customers basically doubles there. So those are the scenarios that I could bring and create the most value because I would know how to map that out and align the strategy with the end goal of that ultimate exit of getting that higher multiple. Not every situation works like this. And performance deals in healthcare are very difficult to do unless it’s like private pay. But if anybody’s getting compensated by Medicaid, Medicare, you can’t do performance deals. So when I work with those clients, I do what’s called an opposite performance deal, where I help them out, usually for free, giving them lots of advice, and get them set up. And then they fall in love with me and they desperately want me to help them. And I basically just work out a deal where they’re paying a premium to have access to me and my team. And I usually it’s mostly just helping them get set up with the vendors and giving them oversight and a measurement framework for optimizing that. The area I want the most clients of our online experiences that convert well. So things like FinTech, business, lending some of these other really key insurance really competitive industries, but you’d have to have a really unique angle because if you don’t have a reason why you become Better than others or build a bigger brand behind your efforts, you aren’t investing in PR and other ways to grow your brand credibility, I’m going to be somewhat limited in what I can do, what I can do is I can scale a machine that’s functional. But if you’re at ground zero, and you don’t have that converting experience, you’ll have that operational business that’s profitable, I can help you figure out how to solve it, but I’m not the one that’s going to solve it for you. The reality is the best type of client for me now they think about it as the client that hires the high end copywriter. If you’re spending a premium on a high end copywriter, and now you just need to scale your traffic to your offer. I’ve never met an offer that I couldn’t find a unique way or unique angle to scale or a smarter way to target people. I’m targeting strategy and really understanding the mindset of people and message match on a really going deep into that is really where myself and my my team of analysts shine.

Dr. Jeremy Weisz 26:00

Everyone check out more episodes I can’t wait to have you have a high end calculator on the podcast because I geek out on direct response. So everyone, check it out. Thanks for having me, David.

David Melamed 26:12

Awesome. Thanks so much. I really appreciate it. And, you know, this is David Melamed and the Fixing Incentives Podcast. We hope you enjoy.

Outro 26:22

Thanks for listening to the Fixing Incentives Podcast. We’ll see you again next time and be sure to click subscribe to get future episodes.

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About David Melamed

David Melamed is the Founder of Tenfold Traffic, a search and content marketing agency with over $50,000,000 of paid search experience and battle tested results in content development, premium content promotion and distribution, Link Profile Analysis, Multinational/Multilingual PPC and SEO, and Direct Response Copywriting.

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