Maxwell Finn is one of the most sought after digital marketing experts in the game today. He specializes in customer acquisition through paid ads and is known for routinely taking startups from zero to seven-figures in months. Maxwell co-founded Quantum Media where he ran Facebook Ads and sales funnels for some of the biggest companies in the world. He has since left the company and started Unicorn Innovations, where he helps top-flight businesses and entrepreneurs profit from millions of dollars in ad spend campaigns.
In this episode, Maxwell shares the concepts and strategies that have allowed him to build multiple seven-figure businesses. From Facebook ads fundamentals to post-purchase retargeting, Maxwell brings a lot of valuable insights on how to maximize your revenue stream through paid traffic.
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Joe: 00:05 Hey guys, it's Joe Troyer from digital triggers and show me the
nuggets. And today we've got none other than Maxwell Finn with us in the house. So I'm super excited to bring Maxwell on. This podcast a couple of weeks ago, actually a couple of months ago now, I met Maxwell at an event and the things that we was talking about with Facebook and specifically the things he was talking about with retargeting just just blew my mind. You guys know that we go super duper, super deep with retargeting. And we take it to the next level. I'm super excited to have Maxwell on really talking about some crazy campaigns that he runs with retargeting. For those of you guys that don't know, Maxwell Maxwell runs a training company, a completely focused on online paid traffic called unicorn innovations. He's also the co founder of quantum media and also start up drugz. So without further ado Maxwell, welcome to the podcast, man.
Maxwell: 00:58 What's up Joe? It's good to be here. And just a quick quick
amendment there, the so we sold startup drugs recently and and quantum media we also did that. So it's a unicorn full steam ahead.
Joe: 01:14 All right, awesome. So a hundred percent focus these days on
unicorn, which is all about a training and paid traffic right at the end of the day.
Maxwell: 01:22 Yeah. So we do training. We also have a consulting side of the
business and then we also build our own assets internally. So we have unicorn politics, unicorn wealth, so we have internal PR properties that are our kind of hybrid content, community commerce place. So kind of three, three parts of the business.
Joe: 01:40 Yeah. Yeah. So I think at the event we talked about some, some
crazy things that you are doing with like the election market and also the investing market stuff that you were talking about with, with ClickFunnels. And I know you, obviously you're a two comma club awardee as we can see in the background there. And and I know that you've been in a lot of different verticals. But before we kinda dive, dive into today's interview can you give us a little bit of a, of a catch up? The, the two minute here. Here's my story if you will, that, that we got to ask to set this up.
Maxwell: 02:10 Yeah, of course. So quick story. I grew up in an entrepreneurial
family. My grandpa was a real estate developer, came up with the idea of a planned community, built most of the town homes in New Jersey and Pennsylvania. Sold that company. And I'm going to put my little, my little Yorkie down cause she's, she likes to get up here when I do lives, but but she gets a little in the, in the way sometimes. So my my dad then kinda grew a
commercial real estate company called NAI global. Basically the largest private commercial real estate company in the world. Sold it in 2012 with about 375 offices in 55 countries, about 5,000 brokers. I knew I didn't want to do real estate but it was interested in the marketing component of it. Started teaching a little bit in marketing in 2007, 2008, to commercial real estate brokers back when it was kind of web 2.0 an SEO is really the, the sexy terms in the early days of social media.
Maxwell: 03:02 And started my first company in college called the daily a
hundred. We raised, you know, venture capital funding, millions dollars venture capital funding. We built a mobile platform that connected brands with long-tail influencers. We're kind of ahead of the curve with mobile or mobile first before that became a thing. We were focused on long term influencers before that was a thing we had native advertising for. That was really thing. Grew to about half a million users, made a lot of mistakes but learned a lot of things at the end of that sort of my first eCommerce store, startup drugs, which we just sold recently, which was my first foray into like Facebook advertising, e-com, print on demand, that whole world. I thought I was, it was fascinating to me coming from a you know, years of running a venture back company where you're just told, you know, growth, growth, growth features, features, features don't care about, you know, revenue or business models.
Maxwell: 03:50 We'll figure that out. That this is now a business where like,
Hey, I can make money today and in all the touch anything and I don't need any capital. It was a pretty revolutionary for me at the time. Grew that met my partner, Jeremy Adams, a business partner at Jeremy Adams and we had a third party in the time we started, a little thing on the side. He had met Kevin Harrington from shark tank. We found Kevin like, Hey, you know, he was doing a lot of amazing things. Obviously buddy didn't have a big online presence, probably big of a name. He was. So he said, Hey, let us help you out with your online presence. No charge. We'll just do it. And he said yes, because most of those big guys that people think they don't need things, they do need things.
Maxwell: 04:31 And eventually said, why don't we just start a company? Got it.
Right. You're doing so many great services. People ask me for digital all the time. Let's start an agency that was quantum grew that you know, we had multiple offices, we had a big team, we had dozens of clients and you know, things went really well working with big companies. We kinda got to the end and we, we just had a differing viewpoints in goals, right. Where Kevin's
on his career is very different than where Jeremy and I are at in our careers. So so yeah, we, we started unicorn about two years ago and I mean it's been a wild ride. So unicorn, we have our, our info business where we do trainings, courses, all that good stuff. We have a consulting business where we actually run traffic, but it's much more premium, higher end.
Maxwell: 05:10 And then we have the kind of a side of our business where
we're building assets, investing in stuff, acquiring companies. And so that, that's three minutes, maybe four minutes of a my life in the last decade on the business side of things.
Joe: 05:24 Awesome man. Thank you for that. So in quantum, when you're
talking about higher end clients, if we got some of those listening to the podcast and are interested in working with you, max, like what, what's that start at?
Maxwell: 05:35 Sure. So quantum, we, you know, we have to work with big
companies because of Kevin. So we have to work with companies like three men in massive fortune 500. But the mistake we made there, in my opinion, and we don't have to go down this, this rabbit hole of you know, the, the perfect agency model, cause that's, that's a long conversation. I think a lot of agencies are there race to the bottom.
Maxwell: 05:54 They're trying to offer a lot of services and they're to compete
on price and set of like being very, very focused on being the best at something and and not being a premium option, just charging the lower end of spectrum and take on any client. Those are the worst clients. They have the most unrealistic expectations. They're the least patient they had. The less they more free time there in the ad account. Everyday looking at things are bugging you, they there's a lot of work for what they pay you. So with unicorn we decided like we're only going to start at a certain number. If it's not there, it's not worth it. And so for us, like if they get involved in any project, we need to be making at least 10,000 a month guaranteed. At a minimum. And, and again that doesn't have to be like straight percent of ad spend. That can be a rev share. There could be a lot of deal structures with you there. But for us, we found that that's kind of the sweet spot and anything below that if it's not a good fit and anything above that you're getting clients that they know they're doing other stuff, figured out the, the chance of success is a lot higher, the retention rates a lot higher. So that, that's kind of the, the number for us.
Joe: 06:59 So it sounds like a, these days you're all about building a
specialist agency. If an agency owner is asking for advice, they're just getting started, what would you tell them?
Maxwell: 07:07 So what I would tell a new agency owner is specialize. That's
important. But more importantly, diversify. So again, this is my opinion, right? So, so there's people out there running. I have friends that run very large agencies and make a ton of money. I think going all in an agency without any diversification. When I say diversification, I'm talking about like doubling down and building some of your own stuff. Like if you have skills and you can grow econ businesses where you can grow local businesses, whatever it might be, like, grow something on your own, right? Like grow your own business, build your own assets. Mainly because like if a recession hits or something, paid traffic is one of the first thing that gets, that gets hit, right? So company, all of a sudden recession hits there, they're losing money. They're going to look at their expenses, they're going to see this four, five, 10,000 a month expense, and they're gonna pull the plug there. So, you know, you have your own business, you have your own asset, your own store, whatever it might be. You're in control of that. So mitigate some of your risk. It maximizes your upside. So yeah, I would say specialize, but I would also say, you know, start building some of your own stuffs. You know, tinkering on the side building side project is great for re risk mitigation, maximizing upside, and also testing some of your skills and developing skills.
Joe: 08:21 100%. Yeah, I mean, I think that you should be the biggest
advocate of, of your company, right? Like if you build a process, like why wouldn't you be using it for yourself in every single way that you possibly can? And if it's so great and you're selling it to the world, like why, why wouldn't you use it? I love the phrase, you know, you got to eat your own dog food. And I find that obviously most people these days really are
Maxwell: 08:45 That's very true. Yeah, I think you have, it's a lot easier to try to find the best way to say this without being being offensive. And usually I end up saying something I might might be controversial or upsetting or offensive. And by the way, I'm getting a little bit of feedback on your end. It might just be because I the microphone like that, just like, you know so I think it's, it's easy, right? So if you're not really good at what you do, you're kind of average. The easy path is to spend somebody else's money. So it's obviously doing something on your own, building our own store, building your own business, that's a much bigger risk. And if you're not really confident in your skills, you don't really, you're not really competent in getting that high reward. And so I
think that's probably, it's the most people not going down that path because it's, you know, it's a safer bet.
Maxwell: 09:35 But at the end of the day, like I didn't decide to be an
entrepreneur nor to have safety nets and security, right. That, that's kinda the, the deal you make when you become an entrepreneur. Right. And I've never had a nine to five job outside of, you know, shitty jobs in high school and stuff. But like once I got to college I never had nine to five jobs, so for the last 12 plus years, every paycheck, every bill, it's been earned by me. Right. no one else has any control over that. And that comes with a lot of fear and, and, and risk and uncertainty and stress and years where it's really terrible. But you know, I'm confident in what I do and I know the upsides there. I, it's begun to pay off a lot. But yeah, I think that that's really something that's an internal discussion.
Maxwell: 10:17 Like you need to understand, Hey, am I doing this because I
want to go all in as an entrepreneur. I'm confident what I can do. I'm willing to take the risk for the reward. Or are you just trying to, you know, make a little money on the side, kind of play it safe, in which case you're, you're kind of more like an employee then than an entrepreneur.
Joe: 10:34 100% agree. When it comes to, to paid traffic, would you say
Facebook's definitely your specialty or are you playing with other things these days too?
Maxwell: 10:41 So we definitely play with a lot of other things. I, you know, I
would say our specialty is acquiring customers, right? And, and when I say our specialty, I'm talking about our network, right? Nobody out there is the, the best at multiple things. You know, it's hard not to be the best are in the top percent, top 2% of one thing, let alone multiple things.
Maxwell: 11:04 So what you really do is build a network. You have to build
relationships, you have to identify who are those top players and everything. And usually you're not going to hire those people, right? The people that are the best are not going to come work for you. And so that's why we have a lot of partnerships. So a lot of referral deals. We do some white label stuff because we know, Hey listen, you can come to us and we could hire people to do your job for you, but you're not gonna get the best. So come to us and we'll bring the network in, we'll bring all the a players. So bringing the best player here or the best player here, we'll bring him into our Slack community, we'll manage the project, everything will be going through unicorn.
But you're going to get the best quality, you know the, it's going to be a premium but you're getting the best.
Maxwell: 11:41 So yeah, I mean customer acquisition is really our specialty. For
me personally, you know, Facebook is kind of what I, I started with and it's what I've kind of become more known for. But at the same time in last year I really been taking a step back is the wrong word. I guess like up in terms of looking at the actual big picture strategy. I think if you look at the success stories right now, brand wise, company wise, so the fastest growing companies that you see, none of them are there because of Facebook ads they run Facebook ads, but it's because they just have brilliant products, they have brilliant offers, they brilliant brands and messaging and the whole brand is incredible. Every touch points personalize the packaging, the experience, all of that matters so much more nowadays than your manual bidding strategy on Facebook. Right? And so we've tried to incorporate more of those elements into our training, into what we bring to our clients and to our students.
Joe: 12:39 Yeah, that's a really good point, right? So when you have a
customer that comes in or a prospective customer that comes in max, and they're like, here's my product, and you look at it and you're like, man, like this has got a lot of work packaging's all wrong customer experiences, horrible. The customer value journey is, you know, awful is not existent and you're coming in as the person to bring in customers. Do you even, do you just say no? How do you deal with that?
Maxwell: 13:01 Yeah. We just say no, and I think that's yeah, that's the short
answer is we just say no. It's, that's a really tough thing for business owners, especially younger business owners are not by age, but just like experience-wise to do is to say no because you work so hard to build something to get people to come to you and give you money, right? That's your whole thing. It's like I'm building something working really hard. So people come to me and they [inaudible] pay me for my services and my products and it's not in our nature to fight against that. Right? We want money. You want to grow. You don't want to say no. The way I look at it though is saying yes to the wrong deals can actually lose you money. Right? And so it's about what's the true cost, what's the true opportunity and every deal you take, so sure, this company might be willing to pay you five K today to take them on it.
Maxwell: 13:51 People only have a 10 K right? Somebody come to us and say,
Hey, we're gonna pay you. Money's on an issue. We want to work with you, we're gonna pay you $20,000 a month to work
with us. But they're product. I mean, everything would be a mess, right? They could have a lot of cash. It's going to require such a time investment to get it to where it needs to be. That time can be spent on a dozen other projects. It can be spent building our own business, our own asset, which maybe not making us $20,000 today but could make it, it's a lot more money in the long run. Right. A client you're kind of capped in terms of your true earnings potential of that client. You know, building something you own, you have more uncapped gains and opportunity there. S
Joe: 14:28 So in most of the deals that you're doing today, is it mostly like
joint venture and profit sharing type of deals or more just straight up, here's my fee. Monthly fee to get started.
Maxwell: 14:37 Yeah. So we don't have a set model. And the reason we don't is
because every business is different. Their needs are different. The industry they're in is different. You know, it's a lot easier if you're doing info product to do profit share deals than it is if selling a, you know, a high cost, low margin physical product. Right? And but I would say is that we definitely try to structure deals where we're more partners than vendor Vendee right? Cause if you're just a vendor to a business, every check they write, everything you do is they view it as an expense, right? You're expendable. They can just cut you off at any moment. Obviously you have contracts and stuff, but we found that contracts and agreements get voided very easily. And even if it's enforceable, right? It's like, let's say you have a six month contract with a client and they're paying you, you know, $5,000 a month and three months in they say, Hey, we don't want to work at anymore.
Maxwell: 15:35 Right? So you have $15,000 left on the table. By the time you
pay your lawyers, by the time you, you, you know, the back and forth and everything, you're going to walk away with nothing. You're going to be, you know, in the hole pretty much. So most people know that and they call that bluff. Right? And so yeah, I mean most of them we do now it's partnership. Cause again it, when you're a partner with somebody, it's not as easy to just fire them, right? It's a different relationship, different dynamic. The is significantly higher for both parties and it aligns your goals. I think that's the biggest thing, right? If you're a traditional agency where you charge just percent of ad spend, your goal is different than your client's goal, right? Their goals, they want to make money. They want to make profit, right?
Maxwell: 16:18 Your goal is to spend money, your profits tie to spending
money, their profits tied to how profitable and money's spent.
And that can diverge as you begin to scale. The client might actually be making the same amount of money each month, even though the spends going up because the costs go up. So the revenue's higher, but their profits the same. But they're writing you as the agency a much bigger check every month. So they're actually losing money. The more money they make revenue wise. And and that's why I think a lot of agencies have short, you know, short retention retention rates with with clients.
Joe: 16:52 A hundred percent. That makes total sense. So you look at, I'm
sure a boatload of Facebook accounts, Google ads accounts, right? Youtube campaigns, all these paid traffic campaigns that other agencies or in house marketers are running for businesses. What do you think are the kind of the big, top three, four mistakes that you see? Like just over and over again? Like the ones you're just like, seriously, like why are we even having this conversation ?
Maxwell: 17:18 I mean, it's a, it's a long list of mistakes. Right, and let me also
preface this by saying that I guarantee you if, and you know, some other media buyers took over ad accounts we ran, they would find problems, right? So there's a difference between like different ideas and differing opinions and strategies cause everyone's different strategies, right? So I might look at somebody's account and not agree with their strategy. It doesn't mean it's necessarily wrong or bad. It might've worked for them. However, there are definitely things that are just flat out bad, wrong. One of the, and this is not, most people kind of laugh at this, I wouldn't say laugh, but like they just shrug this one off because it doesn't seem important, especially early on. But it's really, really important when you're growing and scaling and have a lot of people now working on the business is your naming conventions, right?
Maxwell: 18:08 So I see so many ad accounts where you'll opt in and you have
no idea what anything stands for, right? Just random keywords like, you know, sale December blue is the campaign and the ad sets are, you know, interests like, so, you know, just, just as interest, right? And, and, and so me coming in, I have, if I'm trying to review an ad account and let's say the account spent hundreds of thousands or millions of dollars, that can take a ton of time to review the, the info and get a quick feel, right? So we have the consistent naming convention we use for every single ad account. That is very, very clear. It's very easy to understand it's uniform. And once you tell people, Hey, these are what the, you know, the acronyms are, you can look at a campaign really
quick and look at the adsets and know, okay, this is what this is, this is a look alike.
Maxwell: 18:58 This is a custom audience. This is the interest in here, this is the placement, the bid. And you can get that really quickly. So that, that's a big one is just sloppy naming convention, sloppy organization. I think another big one is a lack of any type of post-purchase followup. You know, I, I've been talking about post purchase re targeting for years now and and still I see very, very few ad accounts actually implementing post-purchase retargeting, which just blows my mind because it's literally the easiest money you can make. It's literally like, people think abandoned cart retargeting is the easiest you can make. That's still somebody hasn't bought from you, right? You worked so hard as a marketer, a business owner, to convince that person to stop in their Facebook feed, pay attention to your ad, click the ad, go through the steps to buy a product, take their credit card out, input their credit card information and trust you and click buy.
Maxwell: 19:53 It takes so much work for that to happen, especially nowadays, once they're in there, now it's easy time to make money, right? The, the repeat purchasers rate is, or just the, the conversion rate on a customer versus a prospect significantly higher. What I think a lot of people will assume, and this is also a dangerous assumption, is that once I sold them, like one time, they're across, they're an Apple fan boy, right? They're going to line up and buy my crap, whatever. You know, and I'm, I'm guilty of Apple puts out anything I buy, right? I spent tens of thousands dollars with Apple over the years. But the truth is it doesn't happen on the first purchase, right? The repeat purchase rate for our first time customers, about 30% sometimes less than that. So that means for every hundred customers you're getting, you know, less than 30, I'm actually coming back and buying it jumps up to almost 70% once they buy a second time.
Maxwell: 20:44 So your work's not really done until you get second purchase, a
second purchase, in my opinion, way more important than the first purchase. And there's just so much stuff you can do, cross selling, upselling, you can move from a straight sell to a continuity. There's a lot of things you can do with existing first time buyers to get them to be second time customers and then move them deeper into your, your ecosystem. Right. so that, that's, that's one. And I think the, the third one if I had to pick another really important one would be just a lack of, of any type of consistent testing, right? So when I see a lot of people do is they throw a few, you know, a few ad sets, a few different interests and look like you're there and they throw a few ads in
there and they kind of turn things off that aren't working and they just double down.
Maxwell: 21:31 And double down and double down on the one or two things
that are working. Meanwhile, they're not testing anything new. They're not trying to create any new copy, any new audiences. And what always happens is that [inaudible] that was killing it stops working, right? That is there. There's a a guarantee in life, right? Yeah. You're, you're going to die. You're going to pay taxes and your ads are gonna stop working. That that's just a fact, right? But consistently I see it, right? We had a client bout two years ago, now it's two black Fridays ago, who he was a farmer. He was a CPA for a family farm, took a course on drop shipping and he was a miracle success story. He launched a store for STEM toys. So at the right, right place at the right time, hot market two years ago, specially, he launched it Q three.
Maxwell: 22:19 So right before Q four, perfect timing. He actually invested in building a beautiful store. The store looked awesome, and he had great products. He sold about two and a half million dollars worth of STEM toys and his first quarter in business. And he did it all with a single boosted post. He put up one page post with a copy and a slideshow of the product. No call to action, no headline. He spent about $850,000 on that boosted post. But during that time he wasn't testing anything else. And when it happened, when and happening is all of a sudden Q4 ended, the results went to crap and now he was losing money. And the money he had made during that season, he already allocated the places he bought inventory. He distributed. Right? So now you're coming out of pocket to test, which is a lot more painful. Right? It's a lot easier when you're making money to allocate a percent.
Maxwell: 23:09 Right. It's like, it's like when you, you know, I don't know this
anymore, which is, which sucks because it's, tax season sucks. But like when you're indebted to your employee, your taxes come right out of your paycheck. Right? And so you don't even know, you don't notice it. Right. It's the taxes come out when you're not taking the taxes out. Like for, you know, self employed people and you have to pay that at the end of the year or quarterly, you're like, Holy crap, I gotta write a big check. But it's the same amount of money you pay if it was W2 but you just weren't, weren't doing it, you know, you have every two weeks. And so now it's just a large amount. It seems unreasonable. So you know, testing while you're, you're generating profits instead of waiting for the thing that generating profits is so important. I think. One of my, my good friend and mentor Ezra Firestone, he told me this like almost
four years ago, that you should always be taking, these are like 15% to 30% of your daily profits and reinvesting those into testing.
Maxwell: 24:03 And that can be testing new copy, new creative can be tested,
see new platforms, right? Maybe you take, you know, 30% of your profits every day and you put, you know, 15% into testing new audiences and ads, but 50% of the testing new channels, you try Pinterest, you try to Twitter, you try YouTube, you try native, right? Because you're inevitably going to find something else that works. And so now you have two winners instead of one winner, and now you can take more profits and test more things. You're gonna find more winners, right? That's how you really achieve success. The last thing I'll say here is the, the Trump campaign in 2016, [inaudible] there's a few reasons why they, they won, right? And we can talk about Russian meddling and stuff like that, but I'm just talking purely from a marketing standpoint. They, won the marketing they just out tested by a massive, massive, massive margin.
Maxwell: 24:53 The Clinton campaign, they tested, and I have to pull up the
exact metric, but it's like you know, let me pull this up. Trump campaign Facebook testing verse Clinton, they spent like a similar amount of money, but the, the amount that he he tested was, was absolutely insane. So let's say I'm pulling this up right now. So even just like little, little things, guy. So the Trump campaigns spent 44 million on ads. The Clinton campaign spent 28 million, so he spent more money. 84% of Trump's budget went to actual directions. Mom's asking people on Facebook to take action donating compared to Clinton's 56,000. This is the big one one. So he ran 5.9 million variations of ads during the campaign. The Clinton campaign did 66,000. Think about that for a second. The Trump marketing team tested 5.9 million different ad format at some versions and variations. The Clinton campaign tested 66,000, right? It's insane the difference there. And again, I'm not going to say that that's the one reason why he won, but it definitely is a key reason, right? The person who tests the most, the person who is throwing the most stuff at the wall is going to find more things that work and the person who's just, you know, kind of half asking it
Joe: 26:18 One hundred percent love that. So those are the three big, big takeaways for sure. Yeah, that's great. So you talked a little bit about post-purchase re-targeting. I'd love to dive into that a little bit more max. At the event that, that I saw you speak at, you were talking about that in great detail and it just floored me. I know that you, I think you call this your triple threat re-
targeting method. Can you kind of break that down little bit for us?
Maxwell: 26:44 Sure. So so the triple that we're talking about that does, let me,
I talked about it's, this is going back a little ways. My first Facebook course I, I still think that it's highly applicable but basically it looks at, you know, kind of pre-purchase and post- purchase and, and breaks down, you know, into different buckets. Right. And so we'll, we'll, we'll get away from that naming convention just cause it has evolved since then. But what I think is really important when you talk about retargeting is understanding that people are at different points in the journey. Yeah. So, you know, talking about mistakes we will make, we can add a fourth one there that ties into this, this discussion, which is a lot of businesses treat all of their prospects the same, right? So they, the way they retarget is identical. Whether you're a first time page viewer or you visited the site 10 times, you've added two products to the cart and you still haven't bought, right?
Maxwell: 27:44 Those are two very different people. The objections they've
overcome for the second person, way more in depth than the first person, right? The first person, they're still, they don't even know the product's right for them, right? They don't even know if like the problem that your product solves or the second person they know, Hey, I have this problem. I need a solution for it. This solution sounds really interesting. They might still have a few lingering objections, right? Maybe it's like, Hey, you know, there's a lot of competitors out there. What is, what makes this unique from the competitors? Right? How does this have any doctors that have, you know, or celebrities or authority figures that have endorsed at CNET? Does it have, you know, great unboxing videos and UGC, things like that. And so retargeting really needs to be looked at as a journey instead of just a one size fits all.
Maxwell: 28:29 Hey, anybody that triggers a custom audience or enters custom
audience, we're going to hit him with the same testimonial at [inaudible]. You're not going to get results that way. Right? You may get some results that that's, that is the, the challenging thing sometimes with success is that if you started doing better than you've ever done before, you get this false sense of confidence that you're doing everything right. It's like, Hey, I'm making more money today than I've ever made before, so why would I change things up? But what you don't see is that you could be making a lot more money, right? Like just like you didn't see it if a few months ago when you weren't making by that point you thought you were making as much money as
possible, but you've grown from there because you've tried new things. And so success can be a dangerous, a dangerous problem for a lot of marketers and entrepreneurs just because of that gives them the false sense of confidence.
Maxwell: 29:23 Right? And so, yeah, I think breaking up, you know, people that
have just viewed 25% of the video, people that have engaged with your pages, people that have visited any page on a website, people that have visited key pages on their website, people who have spent the most time on your website, people that have added to the cart, people initiate checkout. People that have bought, people that have bought more than once. People that have bought and spent two times more than the average order value, right? There are so many segments. And the message for each one of the segments needs to be different, right? And not only that, it's not just about the objection blocking, it's also about personalization, right? So maybe you have, you know, two people that are both at the abandoned cart phase, but one's a man, one's a woman, right? And I don't know what product I got here, but your product could be used very differently for a man or a woman, right?
Maxwell: 30:16 Like, let's say you're selling a you know, a, a female product.
Let's say you're selling like a Dyson hairdryer, really expensive, bad-ass hairdryer, right? And you have men that have abandoned the cart right? Chances are that guy's probably buying as a gift for his wife, for his daughter, for somebody, right? So the retargeting ads should be focused. Maybe you should have a video of one of your women customers opening a present and getting it, and then the surprise and happiness on her face, that's a powerful ad for a guy thinking, Hey, what's the perfect gift to get my wife [inaudible] for Christmas? Whereas for the woman, it should be about, you know, the product, the benefits, the features, right? There are women that you can relate with. So something as simple as that could dramatically increase their conversion rates. And just by segmenting by gender, right? And then you have age, you have placement, you have location, there's so many other variables that you can filter by at each step. So it's funnel steps, and then it's also personalization with any, each funnel step.
Joe: 31:14 So where do you think in terms of of retargeting, like where,
where do you stop and then what's the longterm vision, right? Because obviously you can't build out all of these campaigns like overnight. So where, what do you start and then like where do you kind of transition and go to, right? I mean, how would you break that?
Maxwell: 31:33 You should work backwards. It's like this is what I tell a lot of
people, a lot of students is instead of starting with cold traffic, right? Cause I'll, unless you were a brand new store that opened its doors today, right? Right. The chances are that you already have some traffic coming to your store. You're already have people out into the cart. If people are visiting, people engage with your Facebook page, right? Those people you should focus on converting first, right before you send more people into the ecosystem, you should perfect your ability to convert those people.
Maxwell: 32:02 Otherwise you're just burning cash sending more people into a
machine that's not really built. So if you start from the, the bottom of the funnel and work your way up to the top of the funnel, by the time you turn on the faucet and 10 people into it, you're going to have a machine that's going to dramatically increase your [inaudible] as your ROI on that funnel, right? And so that's the way I look at it is, Hey, let's start at the end. Let's work our way to the front. Now you're obviously not going to have every little detail and nuance from day one you're going to build and build and build on it. But you need to have the core blocks there, right? You need to have the post-purchase retargeting. You need to have the abandoned cart retargeting, you need to have the, you know, lead retargeting, neither the page view retargeting, right?
Maxwell: 32:44 Some core buckets need to be in place before really turning on
cold traffic. And last thing I'll say there is this is a crazy question that I still get a lot, is like, when should I start retargeting? Right? People have this, this idea that I need to be spending a stir amount of money or have a certain amount people in my audience before I can re target. Like I don't care whether you've sent one person or a million people, that's still one person who you've spent money to send somewhere without fully optimizing the follow up. Right? And in my view, I don't care whether it's one or a million, you should have something in place. Your Facebook is not going to spend unless you're running impression based campaigns where you're just paying for impressions. Facebook's not going to spend your whole budget every day on a small audience, right? So a lot of the times your audience can grow into your budget without needing to increase your budget to start. And then you could always increase budgets as you really start to scale and get larger audiences. But even you start it, you know, 10, 20 bucks a day for your retargeting campaigns and you only have a few people in it. Facebook might only spend, you know, 50 cents a dollar each day, but I at least it's there so you can get those sales
Joe: 33:58 100%. It's crazy. Like how often I see I'm not a big Facebook ads
guy, right? Like we run some Facebook ads but not a ton. And it's crazy for me how many I see that like we get a customer that comes to us or a prospect and I'm like, we're, we want to scale our Facebook ads and they're not running any retargeting or doing anything to maximize customer value and everything else. And so I love what you said, like work, work backwards, right? And start there. Make the most of every customer so that you can, you know, so that you can afford to spend more than everybody else on ads and you have that budget for testing and you're not running on razor thin margins. So absolutely fantastic. When it comes to, I guess just diving into one of those, when it comes to like abandoned cart retargeting I see some people going right for the money. Like no reminder, no. Like, Hey, you forgot just immediate deep discount. What are your thoughts on kind of that, that sequence or that progression, if you will?
Maxwell: 34:52 Yeah, I mean I think, listen, whatever works for you works for
you, right? So there, there are certain products or in businesses, certain times of year where it makes sense to bypass a lot of the nurturing and the, you know, the traditional things that I recommend doing. Like this time of year I go into the queue for, people just want to buy stuff, right? And so, so the need to nurture and, and have communications and conversations with prospects and, and all that stuff is less important during November and December than it is the rest of the year. You should be doing that stuff now, right? So this, the time to be doing it. So come November, December, you can just turn on the floodgates with retargeting, bring those people in with all your deals and specials and stuff. But most of the year, I think like, people forget that the reason people don't buy is not the same for everybody.
Maxwell: 35:47 Right? And so if you're a business owner or a marketer, you
have this assumption that everybody thinks the same way you do. Right? Like this is why I went and by this point therefore everyone must be thinking the same thing. The reality is that people are different. They're at different points in the life. They have different needs, different challenges, different problems and different circumstances and so the reason they didn't complete the next action can be very different than the one you assume. And so for abandoned cart retargeting for example, most people assume it's because of the price. Yes, that's their go to thing. Hey, they didn't buy but they added to the cart so they must be really, really eager to buy. So I need him with a giant discount and they'll come back and buy. There are so many reasons why somebody would do that.
Maxwell: 36:33 Right. There are people like my wife, we just love to window
shop. She'll be on and she'll be, if you're adding stuff to our card because maybe the holidays are coming up, gift ideas and stuff like that. Doesn't mean she does want to pay full price. It doesn't mean that she doesn't want somebody to get it for a gift to pay full price. But it's, it's not, that's not the objection that's going to get over the hump. Right. You hit her with the discount things. It's not gonna matter cause she wasn't doing that to shop now anyway. Okay. You also have people that are just busy, right? So like for us, every day, every man, every day I'm preoccupied with my business and my stores and everything we have. So that's all I'm thinking about. Right? And we like to think that our customers must be thinking the same thing, right?
Maxwell: 37:13 When they come to our store, they must be so enthralled and
so they care. So much about our business that the reason they left is because of the price. But the reasons they would've laughed is they had something to do, right? Like you're a parent and you're on store X at two 30 in the afternoon and you're like, Oh crap, the kids just got out of school, I gotta run. Right? They left to go pick the kids up. It doesn't mean they didn't want to pay full price. Right? So there's a lot of things that can happen that can lead to somebody abandoned the car that again have no nothing to do with price. And so something as simple as a reminder just will be saved. Your car can drive a lot of full-price sales. It makes no sense to dilute your, your margins unnecessarily. Right? You can always hit him two days later with a discount. Right. But at least give him a chance to come back and buy full price.
Joe: 37:59 [Inaudible] That's awesome. One of the campaigns that you
talked about that, that I really loved was the idea of a thank you video parsed post-purchase. Can you talk about kind of what you do with those and why and how they work for you?
Maxwell: 38:13 Yeah, I mean, the simple reason why is, you know, you look at a
great email open rate nowadays you're talking, yeah, purchase open rates, not regular open rates. You know, maybe 30, 40%, maybe 50%. Right? So, you know, at scale, if you have, you know, a thousand customers that have bought your product, you're talking about, you know, 700 to 500 of those customers not seeing any type of appreciation from you, right? They're not seeing a thank you. They're not saying anything, right? So for them, they just feel like they gave you money. They're ghosted, right? That's not a good feeling, right? You want to feel appreciated. And and so the thank you video ad, it's really about maximizing reach and maximizing the likelihood that every
person who bought is going to see that thank you message from you. Right? and it just stands out, right?
Maxwell: 39:08 Again, we're dealing with a unprecedented time in history
where it is so easy to start a business. It's never been easier to start a business. You can basically buy a domain name, start on Shopify, get a drop shipping account, and you can start selling stuff today in an hour, right? And so you need to be able to stand out. You need to be able to be noticed in the crowd. And so any thing you can do, especially things that don't cost you a lot. You should be doing. So the thank you video ad and you can put a, you know, two to $5 a day budget on that, right? Just run video view ads and you're going to reach everyone. Your customers run it for two to three days post-purchase and it they're going to notice. Right. And especially if it's the founder of the company, again, video seeing the actual owner of the company talking to you on your phone, way more impactful than an a text email that feels very cookie cutter. Very generic, doesn't have personality. Right. When you see a video from a company, it says, these people care about me right now. They, I'm sure the same video for everybody. People know that, but it still says more about them than any other company because most companies aren't doing that. So they're benchmarking you against everybody else.
Joe: 40:17 Yeah. That's awesome. I thought it was really a fantastic idea
and then you were like, Oh yeah. By the way, like every one of these has a great [inaudible]. I'm like, wait a second. What? Like people buy from the thank you video.
Maxwell: 40:30 Yeah, I mean [inaudible] it sounds crazy too at first to think
about that because it's not optimized for purchases, but at the end of the day, people respond well to positive experiences, right? Like a positive experience has a [inaudible] tangible impact on your business. And that's why many of the biggest brands in the world invest so much into the customer experience. Right? That's why the zappos has written the Bible for it. Like Zappos wasn't revolutionary from a product standpoint. They just created a revolutionary model on how they communicate with customers and customer experience can make or break your business, right? Like I had a terrible customer experience last week with ups.
Maxwell: 41:13 They, they shipped our I-phones to a wrong address or you
know, Verizon old address and ups wouldn't change. It, couldn't change it. They said, Hey, this other company handles the actual shipping, but we don't have their phone number. We have no way of connecting you with them and, you know, ask, speak
with a manager. I got the phone tag game and you know, basically the, the person I spoke to last like curse me off on the phone and it's like, aye, I'm going to go out of my way to make sure I spread as much bad word of mouth about ups as possible. Now for company like ups, I'm going to have no impact on their bottom line. Right. But you know, enough people start getting pissed off. It can have an impact. Like, I mean, Facebook and a lot of big tech, they're seeing that firsthand, right? They're, they're pissing off a lot of people. You know, tens of millions of people both on the user side and the customer side. And that does start to have an impact on your business no matter how big you are, you lose trust in customers. You have a bad reputation that can destroy a business. Did you know the biggest companies were that went down?
Joe: 42:19 Yup. 100% yeah. I love that idea. Such an outside of the box kind of campaign for retargeting and the customer experience I think is super important. I was at a workshop two weeks ago with Roland Frasier from digital marketing, right? And he's talking about building companies and scaling and exiting companies. And he said that one of the biggest factors that everybody's looking at now is NPS as a, as a, as a metric and a metric before they start getting into all the due diligence. It's just like, what's the NPS or the customers happy because I don't care about the books and I don't care about everything else at the NPS is bad. Even if the books look good and six months, 12 months is can be a very different scenario.
Maxwell: 42:58 Nope, you can have, you know, you're going to have 20, $50
million in annual revenue, but it's all first time buyers and you buy the company, you're buying a company that's, you know, pretty much worthless, right? If they're going to do $0 million next year because nobody's buying again. Now that's an extreme example. But but yeah, that's why I mean net promoter score and stuff is really important. People look at it because it, it is a good indicator on repeat purchase rate of retention. And those numbers.
Joe: 43:25 100% So one of the other things that I find a lot of my
customers as agency owners and, and, and marketing people that work for different businesses is that they're always wanting to know like, what the trick is today,
Joe: 43:37 Right? What's, what's the little tweak that I can make today?
And I try to push against that instead. I tried to talk to them about fundamentals, right? And learning the fundamentals because that's gonna get you, you're much further than a little trick. That's where we're working right now. And you talked
about this earlier with, with always split testing and always testing things so that when something does change, you know where to go next. So what do you think in terms of today what do you think the, the fundamentals are with Facebook that somebody has to learn? If it's like you're gonna learn five things or four things, like this is what you got to learn in order to survive.
Joe: 44:09 And the count doesn't matter. But what are those fundamental wise they got to learn.
Maxwell: 44:15 Ironically, a lot of them don't have to do with, with Facebook
specifically. I think offer brand messaging creative are the four things that every business needs to, to be successful. In general, but also on Facebook, right? If you don't have a offer that people resonate with that converts, if you don't have an actual brand that people can, can relate to, that people can feel like they're a part of, that differentiates you from the crowd. If you don't have a message that again, people can rally behind that people can resonate with. If you don't have creative that actually stops people in the feed, grabs their attention and retains their attention, pulls them in, nothing else matters. Right? I could tell you, Hey, you need to learn how to master CVO and you need to learn costs, cap bidding and you need to learn how to, how to properly scale and set up automation rules and all those things.
Maxwell: 45:10 And yeah, those things are important. But what I have found is
there are a lot of examples of companies that have none of that knowledge and they, they're terrible at that. But have the four things I just talked about that are worth tens, hundreds, millions of dollars. There are not many companies that don't have those four things, but have the, you know, the mastery of the platform that are worth that. And I, I think that's telling, right? And again, we see that a lot when we're on the consulting side where companies come to work with us and we see a lot of really innovative product companies that are growing very fast and their ad accounts are a mess. They're not doing anything like a lot of these companies, some of them are just running like a single campaign and with like one ads, you know, one audience look alike and a video they produced, but it's like an incredible video.
Maxwell: 45:59 Their website's incredible, their offers amazing and they're just
crushing it. And then again on the flip side, we see companies in the chat, a terrible offer or they have no brand. It's a generic Shopify store with a generic general store. And and they're tanking. Because again, what I look at is if you are trying to
compete and just be a product, right? You're trying to pick a product from China or somewhere and sell it and you're just trying to, you know, compete on price or value or whatever it might be at that point that you are basically competing at Amazon and you will never beat Amazon. That that is the reality. Nobody will ever beat Amazon ever. The only person that could beat Amazon is the U S government. That is the only player that'll ever D D crown, Amazon when it comes to that, right?
Maxwell: 46:49 They just have too much money, too many resources. They have
too much, you know, infrastructure. And so what that means is you need to think about, okay, if I can't compete on price and I can't just throw a product up there that everyone else is selling and expect to make money, I need to differentiate on brand and message and my hook and entertainment and engagement. And that's why you look at companies like purple and Casper and, and you know, William painter and all of these brands that have just exploded. None of them are selling revolutionary products, right? Like there aren't many kind of B to C e-com brands that I see nowadays that are truly revolutionary, right? Like that invented the iPod, right? Or the iPhone, Apple, and they revolutionize product categories. A lot are selling products, razors, mattresses, so cosmetics, they're selling products and very crowded marketplaces that nobody in their right mind would want to enter, but they're exploding and growth because they found a, a segment of the audience that nobody was speaking to, right?
Maxwell: 47:53 And they've created a brand, a message and identity, a creative
for that audience. And that's the only audience they speak to, right? Everyone else is trying to do, like I see a lot of these general stores, people just selling products, they're trying to get everybody there, their audiences, every man, woman and child on the planet. And I can't be your audience, right? You can build a massive, massive company with a million customers. You know, with a few hundred thousand customers, if the repeat customers, I want to know, you can build a very, very large company. So I would rather create a company that has, you know, a million customers, but they're very, very focused and have a great brand than a company trying to go after. You know, a billion customers that never gets any traction because my message is diluted. There's actually no message, right? So companies like Peloton, I like Peloton.
Maxwell: 48:41 They've sold 400,000 bikes, right through a $4 billion company.
They sold 400 to 500,000 bikes. That's not, I, you know, they even told million names on tens of millions of customers. They
sold to about half a million people. They have a million members in their community, $4 billion company and, and they're in they entered a market that nobody would enter the treadmill market. They've the elliptical bike market, but they said, Hey, we're going to create a really cool brand, a brand for millennials, people that love their I-phones, their gadgets and be super premium. So he very expensive, right? So it's an upper income, upper middle income. We're going to get, you know, a big display touchscreen. We're gonna make it all fancy. Yeah. How long is the cool tech stuff, live content, live coaching. And they built a brand for the demographic that resonate with that and all their creative, all their copy of their messaging, their offer is for that demo. Anybody outside the demo they're not talking to and they built a very, very loyal tribe that way.
Joe: 49:36 Yeah, I think that's great. That's a, that's awesome. That nailed my question. That's all fundamentals that everybody should be thinking about. And as you said, all too many people aren't even having that conversation vision in their head ever. They haven't taken the time to slow down and to think through those things and then their entire business reflects that as well. Oftentimes in like a general store type of scenario, like you said. Awesome. All right man. So I want to be super respectful of your time. We are hitting the top of the hour here. So I want to wrap this thing up by asking one question that gets asked on podcasts a lot, but I take a little slight tilt with it. So instead of asking you to recommend your three favorite books, I always ask at the end of podcasts, like, what's the one book where if you look at your business, you can say, this has had the biggest impact on my business. Not like this was a great book and there's a bunch of theory that I liked and I remember that. But when you look at your business, like what's the one or two books that's made the biggest actual impact?
Maxwell: 50:33 Yeah, so, and I looked at this question when you sent it over and
you know, the, the answer I give you may not like, but it's going to be the, the answer. So what I would say is I, I honestly can't pick, I, I the, there's not a single book because I like to read about so many different things, like any, a lot of people pick like a very specific business book, write a Jim Collins book or something like that. You know, Harvard business review type book. And but then I also, I love history. You know, D days when I favorite books about Normandy. Like I'm a big history buff, a big world war [inaudible] both. So instead I would say like from an author perspective, I think one author has probably like, Mo hasn't driven my business world, but has had probably the greatest impact in the way I think about things.
Maxwell: 51:24 And that's Malcolm Gladwell. I think like every book Malcolm
Gladwell puts out and his newest one just can out talking to strangers, which I read in like two days. It was one of his best. I absolutely loved it. Our are just so incredibly well written and entertaining, right? So from tipping point all the way to, to talking to strangers, like he's able to educate through entertainment, right? So he has a clear thesis through each of his books and like talking to strangers is all about why us as humans, right? We're all humans. So terrible at talking to people we don't know, essentially. Right? Judging people we don't know and talks about, you know, Bernie Madoff talks about Amanda Knox talks about all these big events that have happened where it showcases that. But it does, it teaches that central thesis through really engaging stories. And I think from a marketing perspective and way we've grown our agency being able to entertain and engage is like the most effective way to sell. Right? If you can get somebody's attention and you can suck them in and get them hooked, you can, you can really sell. Right? And so from Malcolm Gladwell it's like him selling his, his thesis, his viewpoint. And I think that's something we've, we've done with a lot of our businesses. So yeah, I would say as an, from an author perspective his books are probably entertaining, gauge and educated me the most throughout my career.
Joe: 52:49 Love it. Yeah, I definitely got a lot of value at a tipping point and
I haven't read talking to strangers, so definitely will check that out. So audible, just, just want to say thank you for coming on. This has been great. I know that a bunch of the takeaways I left that event with we'll be able to give our audience. And so that was the goal. A, you did a great job delivering on that. I just want to say thank you. We'll make sure to link you up in unicorn innovations in the chat. Is there anywhere else man, that we should link up for you?
Maxwell: 53:18 Sure, yeah. Yeah, you do corn innovations.com is a good place
to start. That is pretty much everything we do. And then just Maxwell fund.com. So between those two sites that has everything, instead of giving you like 30 links, those two are good. Awesome man. Fantastic. Thank you so much for jumping on and sharing with us. You definitely shared a ton and I know my audience is gonna love this, so thanks so much max.
Maxwell: 53:40 Of course. Anytime