Marketing products for WooCommerce stores is a big challenge for many individuals and companies. Tavleen shares some of her secret sauce around content and learning what customers are looking for.
A Chat with Tavleen Kaur with WooFunnels
In epsiode 55, Brad Williams and I chat with Tavleen about:
- What you should do next after launching that online store.
- Starting with content as an initial marketing strategy.
- How to look at numbers and your target market.
- What decisions were behind starting the Funnel Academy.
- Creating videos and content that work.
- Cart abandonment and customers working the system.
- How to focus your content to both current and potential customers.
- When and where you should jump into the content creation.
Thanks to our sponsors
Tavleen came from writing reviews for cars to offering professional copywriting service and landing on her marketing position with WooCommerce products.
From there she dove into it head first. We asked her to give us some thoughts on first steps once your store is online. She shared thoughts on a good mix of spending money on advertising and taking advantage of free ways to get in front of your audience.
Next the discussion moved in the direction of creating content via both written and the video medium. How to find that sweet spot of what your potential customers are looking for and comparing numbers vs actual target marketing.
We then moved on to the reason they started Funnel Academy and later touched on how they built out their site separating documentation, the blog, their academy and “what’s new”. It was particularly interesting to hear why they pulled out the latter as a focused spot on their site.
We also revisit content again and talk more about ways you can start creating great content even if you have limited resources.
- Aero Checkout 2.0 comes out with new integration with Elementor
- WordCampUS Accepting Speaker Submissions for this Year’s Virtual Event
- ECom Service Summit starts May 25th with 20 eCommerce experts, shop owners, marketers and service providers.
Where to find Tavleen on the web
Yes, this the transcript. But not in the traditional sense, transcribed word for word. We do not speak as we write. Often the flow of transcribed content is hard to follow. So I have taken it a few steps further by seriously editing, at times, the conversation and even using my editorial freedom to clarify some points. So enjoy.
Brad: And welcome back to another episode of Do the Woo. Episode 55. I'm one half of your WooCommerce sandwich spread and I'm joined by the other half, Mr.Bob WP. Bob, how's it going over there?
Bob: I am doing very good, I believe so. You're off in the woods and I'm by the ocean, so ...
Brad: Yep. I'm up in the mountains in the Poconos, surviving lockdown day. I don't even know what month it is actually, but we're making it work and we're having fun talking about Woo today. So let's dive right in, Bob.
Brad: First, we want to thank our sponsors. First and foremost, WooCommerce.com. Maybe you've heard of them. That's what we talk about on the show. They're our Community Sponsor. We want to thank them for their ongoing support. We also want to thank MyWorks QuickBooks Sync for WooCommerce. Automatic sync between WooCommerce and QuickBooks. I'm sure anyone out there using QuickBooks or really any tool to track your financials understands the complexities that can be to keep all your data and transactions in sync. So a plugin service like this is really going to help you automate that process. You can check them out at MyWorks QuickBooks Sync for WooCommerce. They have a whole slew of products.
As well as WP Security Audit Log over at wpsecurityauditlog.com. A comprehensive activity log of the changes that shop managers and customers do within your site, as well as other things. Tracks any type of post and page or content modification, so you can debug and see what happens if something changes. It's always good to know why it changed. Well, this logs it for you and they also have free version. If you're interested in checking that out, head over to wpsecurityauditlog.com, check out the free version and the premium version as well.
So with that, I'm very excited about this show, because we're going to dig into some WooCommerce marketing or just eCommerce marketing in general. And we have a very special guest, Tavleen Kaur. So welcome to the show Tavleen.
Tavleen: Thank you so much for having me.
Meet Tavleen Kaur
Brad: We're very excited to have you on. Tavleen, why don't you give everyone a quick overview of who you are, what you do and the site that you work on? And specifically how that relates into WooCommerce and eCommerce in general.
Tavleen: Sure. Hi everyone. I'm Tavleen and I head marketing over at buildwoofunnels.com. So WooFunnels basically provides sales funnel solutions in the WooCommerce space for people who are looking to build their checkout pages, one click upsells, or set up their order bumps in the funnel on WooCommerce. We provide them the tools to help them do that. Most of our users sell physical products. A lot of them also sell digital products, which I am personally really passionate about.
Brad: Yeah. Obviously the first hurdle to getting the store online is launching. Step one, version, one, MVP, whatever you want to call it. But getting to the store online is the first hurdle. The second hurdle is actually getting people to come to your store and buy stuff, right? So you can have a beautiful store, but if people aren't actually buying, it doesn't really matter. I think that's when we start to peel back the topic of marketing. I've always found this an extremely intriguing topic because there's so much information out there, there's so much data you can collect. And trying to understand what to do and when to do it and get in the mindset of your customers and your visitors and how they're interacting with your site is fascinating to me.
Launching a New Online Store, What’s Next?
There's so many things that you could do. Some of it probably very simple, quick wins, if you will. Some of it much more complicated. So I'm excited to dig into some of this and these topics about what people could potentially be doing. I guess maybe we should just start at the start, right? I just launched a new store. I have some products out there. I'm super excited and my store is online. I'm ready to sell. What's next? What should I be looking at next? What can I do to drive traffic and actually get that traffic to convert? And I know it's the million dollar question, right? So how do we make money? Please tell us.
Tavleen: Sure. I think that's a great question. So I think the first thing is that you really have to decide whether you want to go to the paid ad route or you want to go the free route. And in my experience, you don't have to make a choice between one of them, but you must choose both the options. So you should be willing to spend a little bit of money to acquire new customers. Facebook ads are great. I'm running them. They're really great to put your offer in front of your audience and that really helps you quickly test out what people think about it and whether your offer is something which is appealing to them, it's something they'd be willing to put their money on. So I think it's just a great way to put your product out in front of your potential customers and yeah, that's definitely one thing that you should be doing.
And then you should always also work on that longterm aspect, which is where the blogging piece, the YouTubing piece, and all of that comes in because that really doesn't bring instant results, and that requires more patience. So you should always take the longterm and the short term perspective together. A lot of people who just go after the free traffic and they'd be like, "Okay, let me post on Quora, let me post on Reddit." But all of these things do work and they do help you just get your initial sales and break the ice.. But they really do not give you the kind of traction that you need with your business. I think it's important to spend some money and put some money out there and really test your product. Put your offer in front of the right people.
Start with the Content
Brad: Yeah. I love the dual pronged approach there. Because Bob, we've talked on this show a number of different times around content and it's really sweat marketing, right? Anyone can write content, good content, can put videos together. There's just so many amazing tools now. You don't need to be a master of video editing to put together a pretty decent YouTube video, a YouTube tutorial, for getting some traction there. And that stuff puts out dual footprints. One, you can feature it on your website, two, it's sitting on YouTube so people can find it on YouTube. You could share it out to other platforms. And it's really just putting the time in, so I think that's a great approach because many stores, probably most stores out there are running very lean and mean. They don't have massive funding behind them to launch, to spend a ton of money on Facebook and ads like that.
They might have some, and we'll dig into that in a minute, but one of those things you can start on day one and even really before day one is that content marketing side, whether it's blog posts on your site or video tutorials or webinars, or Quora. Like you said, get on there and answer questions and help people out. Or Reddit. Just getting your name out there, I think is such a smarter approach and it's just the time. It's putting the time in versus the dollars per se. So I think it's an easier lift for most people.
Tavleen: Yeah, definitely. That's exactly how we started off as well. Our first product, it was called Sales Triggers. So it's a collection of seven triggers, psychology-backed triggers that you can actually apply on your product page to make it convert higher, make it more persuasive. And that's exactly how I started off. So I created a slide deck and I would just put the microphone on and start doing a bit of storytelling Telling people why they should have a guarantee badge there, what's the importance of showing that best seller in X category on the product page itself. That's exactly what I was doing.
And initially those YouTube videos were really getting watched and the right people were discovering us through that. So that's exactly how we got our initial traction as well, and people started discovering us. So I think that's just one of the easiest ways to get started. All you need is as a microphone, put a slide deck together, do a bit of storytelling and that's good enough to get you started and give you that initial push
Numbers vs. Target Market
Brad: And I think just getting creative with it too, and depending on what you're selling, what your product is, who your target customer is. I always remember ... I don't know if you two will remember this or not, but there was a guy ... I'm assuming they're still doing this, but this was probably 15 years ago or so. And he was selling these high- powered blenders which, by itself, selling a blender isn't the most interesting thing, right? It's a blender. How much can you do with a blender?
Brad: So he came up with this idea of what will it blend, right? And he just started putting anything in this blender. I'm talking anything. He got the brand new iPhone when it came out. The first iPhone, when it was very hard to get. And he blended it. And guess what? It blended. It was so genius. And back then, I don't think we called everything viral, but it definitely was one of those early viral things. And I always go back to that when I think of marketing, because it was just an interesting idea that set that apart. It took something that really isn't that interesting, a blender and made it really interesting and fun and sales exploded, and it was all over the internet. So I think when you're coming up with marketing ideas and thoughts, think about that. Not only talking about your products and services, whatever it is you're pushing, but also try to think about how can you stand out from all the noise and all the content that's out there. I'm not saying necessarily you have to get gimmicky with it. But I think there's interesting angles you can take that could set yourself apart. And that's one that always stuck in my mind because he made blenders interesting, which I didn't know was possible.
Tavleen: That's right. Yes. I think there's this whole thing about going viral and everything. But I think that if the right set of people can watch your video, can discover you through your video, and they're discovering a product because of that video, I think that that's good enough. You don't need to go after millions of views because that's something which will not help you. I mean you're not here to be a YouTube influencer. So I think it's important to not to take your views as the metrics. It could just be a vanity metrics. If the right people are able to get help out of your videos, if they're able to drive value out of it, I think that's really good enough. I think you have a great technology, a great tool at your disposal today so just go ahead and use it.
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The Origins of the Funnel Academy
Bob: Speaking of videos, I was looking at your site and you have it broken up into components of your content. Most vendors I know, they'll have a blog and then they'll have their documentation. And you often need to search for it. It's not anything sexy. You usually have it down in the footer and people search from there. But you have things broken up. You have the documentation, you have a blog, you have your Funnel Academy, and then you have what's new. So first I want to talk about the Academy, the videos, because essentially they're learning material. So they can be play alongside the documentation. And of course, you've got the people that prefer video over the written documentation. So looking back, how did you evolve that particular piece, the Academy tutorials, on the website?
Tavleen: Yeah. I just want to tell you a little bit of backstory. I had literally nothing to do with WooCommerce and I was an automobile journalist and I was doing all these car reviews. So after I got married I started doing a little bit of copywriting work. It's just an interesting transition. It's also very hard for me to really say why I chose that. I cannot really go back and give reasons, but yeah, that's how it happened. So I took up some copywriting work for people and I was doing their sales pages and I was writing their email sequences. I was just picking up insights along the way and learning stuff from people who really knew their craft. So that's how my transition really happened.
What I realized through the course of building this business alongside with my husband, is that the skill of copywriting is really important, and knowing what to write and how to put things into words is actually very important. So with the funnel, the Academy, I think it was really important for us to not just give people the tools, but also tell them how to make the most of the tools.
Let's say, you have a tool and you can create checkout page with it, but how do you write your guarantee so that it really arrests people's fears? How do you put those in testimonials? What kind of testimonials should you really be highlighting? So all of those things, it's a very important part of it. Having the tool is just one thing, but really knowing what to do with it and how to best use it, I think that's where your winning edge really lies. I think that's where the thinking really came from. That we don't just want to sell the tools, but we also wanted to tell people how to make the most of it.
Brad: I love it. It's super smart because if someone gets your funnel, gets your tools, but doesn't really understand how to maximize potential, then they're very likely to come back and ask for a refund and say, "This didn't work for me. It's not doing what I was promised. We want something else." But you're giving them not just the bundle and the suite of tools, but also that helpful information and taking it to the next level with the Academy, specifically about how to use your suite of products and help increase conversion sales on the site.
Order Bumps and Cross-Sells
Tavleen: That's right.There's a video tutorial right now I'm working on, and it will be out shortly that teaches people how to write their order bump copy. So an order bump is a bump offer on the checkout page, it's a cross-sell. One can just tick the check box and that order bump gets added to their order. But how do you craft those four to five lines of copy so that it converts?
And what happened was one of our clients sent me his checkout page and he said, "Take a look at what I created with the arrow checkout," and I looked at, and I said, "Everything looks great, but your order bump copy actually isn't very desirable. It's not very enticing." Then I gave him another version of it and I said, "Do you want to use this instead?" And he said, "Oh yeah, your copy looks so much better." Then he just put it over there. And that order bump converted at 43% and he made $2,400 extra with just that little order bump. And those are just four to five lines.
That really inspired me. So I thought, "Okay, let me really tell people how they can write those four to five lines of order bump copy so that it can work for them." So, yeah, that's really the bigger plan here, teaching people how to use the tools in the best way possible.
Brad: I love the sales funnel, the specific items that you're highlighting. Order bumps being one of them and one-click upsells, I think many people are familiar with the automation engine. Taking that customer data, hook it into your CRM, automating those emails and responses that go out on occasion. I think these are things that a lot of people probably don't really understand, or maybe don't even think about when they first launch their store, but they can have a significant impact on conversions, on the life value of a client; them coming back in order, and again, and again and again. And just landing those sales. Maybe if they abandoned their cart or something, and you bringing them back with a discount.
So these are seriously great ways to level up your store that honestly, a lot of stores aren't doing. I'm sure all of us have been on our phones at night and end up on some page and probably buying something we don't need, but you get to it and you hit the checkout process and it's a mess. And you're just like, "You know what? This is too much work I'm done." But try to make it easy. Try to automate it as much as possible. Try to put these little things in that you can take a $20 order and make it $25, $30, or even recurring in some aspects, if that's the business you're in. So I love the topics and the tools that you're providing within your bundle, because I just feel like it's a serious level up that many, many stores, certainly small business stores, are not doing at all.
Tavleen: It's interesting that you talk about cart abandonment. So 70% of people actually abandon their carts and these are the average stats. That's what's really happening in the eCommerce world today. And when you think of cart abandonment, you want to really send out a discount to people, but here's what. There are a lot of solutions out there which actually lets you send a discount. But what if their cart total was just $50 and you don't want to offer them a discount of 30% or 15%, right? Or a cart total was just $50, you probably want to just offer them 10% off. And if their cart total was, let's say a $100, maybe you want to offer them 10, 20% off.
So based on what's the value of that customer, what kind of products they were buying, what was their cart total? You can use all these interesting rules and combinations to actually offer them a personalized coupon code with a discount value that matches if their cart total was above X dollars, it was above the threshold, then you can offer them more discounts. So you can put these interesting rules and combinations together to create an sequence.
Brad: That's cool.
Tavleen: Yeah, which is profitable and converts.
Working the System of Abandoning Carts
Brad: And if you think about that too, online shopping and consumers are getting smarter, right? So in some instances, and I'm not saying all, but in some instances people are actually abandoning a cart to see if they'll get a coupon or letting a free trial expire. Because of course they're going to email you and give you a deal if you let the free trial expire, right? And I do this too. I feel like online shoppers are getting a lot smarter and they're looking for some of these things, even if they don't necessarily exist.
Tavleen: Yes, that's happening and definitely a big issue for a lot of eCommerce stores out there. People are abandoning the cart just because they know that there is a deal which will come in after they abandon the cart and the email, it will be there. Shoppers have become really smart. So I think store owners need to get even smarter now.
The Art of Separating Your Content
Bob: Yep. They definitely are.
One of the things I want to swing back on is the content on your site and the Academy, which are in depth posts that, as you explained, teach people how to use your tools. Now you have your blog and your blog is also in depth posts as well. Not so much product specific, but they are extensive content, with screenshots. Then of course you have a video for that too.
And then you have the what's new, which is where you have taken product updates that normally are mixed within an entire blog on a lot of product sites, and you've made that a separate component as well. So you have all these different parts of your site. So I'm wondering how did this all come to be? All these different components on your site. And how did you decide to break them up? Was it way back when you first started or was it somewhere along the way?
Tavleen: I think what really happened was that usually people come on the website and they scroll through the homepage and then they go to a specific product and explore the product. Of course, the first interaction is never enough. They wanted to dig in and come back and come back again. There's a stat that says it takes about seven interactions for someone to finally buy the product. So we wanted to make sure that whenever they came, they discovered something new, something interesting, something which was important for them to make a decision about whether they want the product, whether it's the right thing for them or not.
Which is where I think it was important for us to really show them. The blog. Of course, is there and we've got the content on it, but it was also important to put a highlighter there and highlight what's actually new and what's changed since they last came. Because I think what happens with a software company is that people are really interested in seeing that this company is alive and kicking and they are updating consistently and providing new integrations and compatibilities. So they're rolling out new features.
I think that with a software company, it's very important for people to be sure that they're moving at a fast pace and they've not stagnated. I think that's where this what's new thing originated from, because this is what people really expect from a software company. They don't want a sleeping Tesla, so let's give them what they really need.
Brad: I see the gears are turning, Bob. He's ready to redo his entire website now.
Bob: Yeah, no. It fascinates me because it's how I've broken up my website, the news and different things. And I think sometimes software sites that do software, and they put a blog on there, it's easy to put the what's new in as blog posts because they're fairly simple to write. Here's a new release, here's three new features, here's other things we did to it. Done. Over with. But like you said, it's something I've never heard anybody take that approach or think of it from the way that we want people to know that we're constantly doing and how we are keeping things updated. We want them to see it visibly rather than buried in a blog that just is a mishmash of all kinds of posts.
Tavleen: Yes, that's right.
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Digging in Deeper. Where to Start with Your Content
Bob: There is another thing I wanted to touch on as far as content that we talked about in the beginning. Brad and I've talked with many guests about the importance of content and I think some of them are able to do it. They do it great. For some, it's a challenge. What would you recommend for that person that's just started selling products online? Let's say they're doing WooCommerce. Probably it doesn't really matter, but what's the recommendation that you give them as far as where they should start? Because they obviously can't do everything you're doing because you have a fairly good sized team, you're dedicated to this. Any recommendations or insights you can give there with a bit more details?
Tavleen: So yeah, again, a great question. I think where they can start is really digging out what kinds of questions people are asking and what kinds of problems people are dealing with. And I think they can go and check out some communities on Facebook and Quora. People are asking all sorts of questions. So I think knowing what questions you can answer and what problems your product can help solve, that's a great starting point. That's step one. Really find out what problems your product can solve.
And then step two is to find what kind of questions people are asking online. And step three would be start creating content around it. So there's this whole advice which floats on the internet that you should do a 3000 word blog post, write 500 word blog posts and so on
I think it's just important to answer those questions and it's not the number of words that matter, but really try and add value. Let me tell you something interesting. We sell Order Bump as well as One-Click Upsells and Order Bump is a small offer on the checkout page. And one-click Upsell is after the checkout page. And that's the offer which you see. You say, "Your card is tokenized," and after that you're asked whether you want to accept an upsell or not. And I think people have this question, like, "How should I differentiate between Order Bump and a One-Click Upsell?" What kind of offer is a good Order Bump and what kind of offers is a good One-Click Upsells? So I put together this post on Order Bump versus One-Click Upsell with three specific points telling them what the difference really is. That's just a great starting point to find out what are those questions people are asking.
And I think the same sort of things happened when we started out with Sales Triggers. That was our first product and that's when I really went on this voyage looking at what kind of questions people are asking. And people wanted to know how can I display estimated delivery details on my product page? So I just created a little video with that question and a simple PPT deck answering that question. Yeah, so if you were to ask me what's a starting point, seriously, just follow these three steps, really find out the FAQ in your niche, in your industry, related to your products. Jot them down and then start answering them one by one.
Brad: I love it. That's great advice.
Bob: Yep. I agree, Brad.
Well, let's go ahead and slide right into announcements. Tavleen, do you have anything new and exciting going on?
Aero Checkout 2.0 - A New Integration with Elementor
Tavleen: Oh yes. We recently launched the 2.0 version of Aero Checkout, which is our checkout page plugin. It now deeply integrates with Elementor. It allows you to create your checkout pages using Elementor. Now, Elementor is really growing and it's user friendly and a versatile plugin. I think it was very important for us to give that deep integration so that people can create one page checkouts and those sales funnel style checkouts like Shopify style checkouts.. That's what comes in with the deep integration with Elementor. Also, we've created some professionally designed checkout templates, which they can just import with one click and start using them.
So everything is done, keeping really the user, a beginner in mind. What do they need? Are you a time-strapped business owner? They're not there to learn how do I create beautiful checkout pages or how do I create a high converting checkout page? They're actually there to use the tools and get stuff done and they're really time-strapped. So keeping them in mind, we've created these templates for Elementor. We've also built widgets for Elementor. When you want to create your checkout pages from scratch you save a lot of time when you use those widgets to create your checkout page inside of Elementor.
That's really the big update there. And lots of things are in the pipeline for people who are looking to build their sales funnel.
Bob: Very cool. So what's new in the Poconos, Brad?
Brad: Well, not too much. I guess I'll throw out that I saw WordCampUS is accepting speaker applications now. And the event's going to be 100% virtual. So if anyone's interested in speaking and maybe presenting on some WooCommerce topics, start putting that plan together and get it submitted.
Ecom Service Summit
Bob: Speaking of events, there's a ECom Service Summit. It's a free virtual event coming May 25th through 29th. Twenty eCommerce experts, shop owners, marketers, and service providers giving presentations. It's not WooCommerce specific, but I know there probably are a couple people there that will be speaking that are in the space. But I think any WooCommerce shop owner will gleam some great information, because there's some very generic but helpful tips that are going to be shared. So I'll have a link in the show notes to that as well, and you can register for free and I believe you'll be able to pay for access later afterwards. So check that out.
It has been excellent having you on, Tavleen. I know we were able to chat a little bit earlier, I think last month. But it was great to learn more about yourself and going from writing care reviews to WooCommerce. That's quite a leap. I'm telling you. That's one we haven't heard yet, have we, Brad?
Brad: Yeah, but it's great. I love it.
Tavleen: I know. It’s interesting.
Bob: Well, everyone. Want to thank the sponsors again, WooCommerce.com. We love our Woo over there. And they're our Community Sponsor. And MyWorks QuickBooks Sync for WooCommerce. Check them out and WP Security Audit Log. And you can always subscribe to our podcast, sign up for Woo News or listen to the new podcast or become a Friend of Do the Woo.
Where to Find Tavleen on the Web
Tavleen, where can people find you on the web?
Tavleen: We have our YouTube channel and we are on Twitter. I'm @NotJustTavleen. And the YouTube channel, it's Build Woo Funnels. If you just go on YouTube and search, they'll be able to find us. And of course BuildWooFunnels.com, our website
Bob: Excellent. Well, I appreciate you taking the time. I know it's getting late for you over on the other side of the world, but I do appreciate you coming on the show.
Tavleen: I really enjoyed being a part of it. Thank you so much for having me. It was great chatting with you and Brad. I totally loved every part of this conversation that we had.
Brad: Thanks so much, Tavleen.
Bob: Thank you. So everyone, we'll talk to you next week on Do the Woo.