Simplero Blog

The business of transforming lives, and life as a conscious entrepreneur

Deanna Buoniconti

How to connect your Product to a Space

If you are wondering how to connect your Product to a Space, we have a great short video here for you!

Brief Spaces video.mov

Merete Stenner

Reusing space content for new classes

Many of you may have evergreen courses, where you can just send your participants through the same material again and again and are not worried by time sensitive content or have turned off commenting by users. Many times these pages are auto-publish and therefore the pages must be released through automation or auto responses.

But what if your content changes a bit for each class based on the time of year or topics? Maybe you allow commenting on your content, and don't want the next class to see the previous class's comments? Then I recommend using a new set of pages for each new class. In the upper right hand corner of the Content page for the space admin, you have the "Duplicate" button:

You can use that to duplicate a page and it's subpages, either to the current space or to another one of your spaces (that's handy if you have a FAQ or something similar you want to use in several spaces)

When you structure your content, so that each class has parent page of it's own, and then their modules as subpages, you only have to copy the parent page, and the subpages will come along. You can then edit the content of the pages to fit the current class. If you both have content pages and blog or forum pages, you will have to make a parent blog or forum page along with the parent content page, and copy those as well

Blog posts and forum comments are not copied, when copying the forum or blog pages, only the settings and content blocks if any are copied. The same goes for comments on content pages, they are not copied, so the new class will start out with a clean slate.

If you do a lot of classes, you might want to order the pages, so you have the most recent on top, you can use the reorder function for that, and just grab and drag the parent page to where you want it to be.

Your participants will always only see the specific pages they have been given access to, so don't worry if the space looks a bit overcrowded when you look at it, if you want to see it from their point of view, make a freebie purchase of the product, with an email not used for the previous classes, then you can log in as that user (use an incognito window to make sure you are not logged in to your usual account) and see the space as the participants does (remember to release the relevant modules to this participant as well)

If your class gets all of its material at once, you can use normal publish, and restrict access to the parent page to the specific product, instead of releasing with autopublish, there is a guide on restricting access in spaces here https://help.simplero.com/categories/234012-restricting-access-within-a-space 

Have fun setting up your course.

Merete Stenner

Best practices to protect your material online

A common question from Simplero users is "How do I prevent customers from taking my content and sharing it elsewhere?" The very short answer is you can't, as long as something is put on the internet, even if it is on a closed site like Simplero, it can (with the right tools and mal intent) be downloaded and shared by those who have access to it. There is however a lot you can do to prevent this, and to make the damage less, if your content is shared anyways. 

In spaces, and when adding content like videos or audio directly to a product or list, there is a function to turn download of the material off. We generally don't recommend this, as it is a nuisance to your honest paying clients, and it is not foolproof anyways, since anything that can be played in the browser also can be downloaded one way or the other, even if we have removed the button to do so directly. Calvin did a great post on the subject a while back It can be found here make sure to read if you still want to disable downloads! Luckily there is much more effective ways of protecting your material without removing the handy ability for your customers, to store the content locally.

So, what can you do? There are 3 strategies, that I will recommend, they can be used independently, but work very well together.

The first strategy is to bond with your customers, tell them in a kind way, that the material is not to be shared, that you have poured a lot of effort and time into making it, and if you are to be able to continue to produce content like this, you need to sell your courses, not have others give them away. You can even put a link to a signup form for a great freebie related to the course in your space, so people can share that instead. Many people who share stuff actually do so, without thinking, because they think the material is great, not because they deliberately wants to steal it from you, with this strategy you can make them think before they share.

The other strategy is to make the material less attractive to share and to make it obvious where it came from if it's shared anyway. When uploading videos or pdf's always make sure to have your business name and logo, and maybe the name of the course on them, like you see in the picture of my video below. If you only have your info on a card at the beginning or end of the video, it's very easy to edit out, and even if it's not edited, people tend to forget what was on the intro frame. When you have clearly labeled your content, the person finding it online, if it should be shared, will know who to search for, to get more of your great teachings, and thus the sharing might end up working as an advertisement for your courses. I use OpenShot video editor for video editing, it's free, open source and runs on both Windows, Linux and Mac, Windows moviemaker should also be able to do the trick. 

The third strategy is to include value in your course, that is hard to share, like having a forum, where the participants can discuss and ask questions, have livesessions like webinars, zoom meetings or Facebook live session, where your participants can ask their questions live (access to these events are easier to protect), and make sure to mention the forum or the livesessions in your videos, audios or pdf's, so whoever might stumble on them if shared, will know they are missing out on stuff.

So to sum up:

  • Ask people to please not share, put emphasis on the material being the result of your hard work, that's usually a lot more effective than threatening them with lawsuits and such.
  • Clearly label your material with your brand, so people can trace it back to you should it be shared anyways
  • Make your courses more than just the premade content, give them livesessions or discussion groups, and make sure to mention those in your material.

Teaching online is a fabulous way to reach and help lots of people, don't let the fear of internet theft scare you off. 

Calvin Correli

How to Overcome Perfectionism and Get Started with Online Courses

I got a question about how to get started selling your online courses, particularly when you're a perfectionist, and I figured I'd take the opportunity to answer this here, because it's relevant to so many people that I talk to.

How to ... overcome perfectionism.m4v

Are you a perfectionist?

A recovering perfectionist?

Can you relate?

Share your thoughts in the comments.

Calvin Correli

How Do I Get Started with My Online Course Business?

This is a question I get asked a lot, and so I figured I'd spend a few minutes recording the answer to this. There's definitely a best way to get started, and I'll tell you in the video below.

The short answer is:

  • Go where the money is
  • Just do the sales page to begin with
  • Find one good affiliate

Boom! This method has generated people tens of thousands of dollars within weeks of starting their online business. There are no guarantees, of course, but this is how you maximize your chances.

Here's the detailed answer:

How to get started with your online course business.mp4

Calvin Correli

Why We Don't Do Discounts... And Why You Shouldn't Either

Everybody likes a good discount. But discounts have serious downsides.

For one, if you're going to have an on-going relationship with the customer, say they're a coaching client, part of a program with live interaction elements, or a software user, then you want to make sure you cater to the kind of customer that you want to have as a customer.

Generally speaking, the people who haggle over money almost always turn out to be a hassle in other instances. People who happily pay the price generally end up being your easiest, best customers.

This is what I've learned from others, and from my own experience, and I'm very conscious about not trying to cater to people who are going to be trouble. We've created a very successful business with a very small team, and minimal fuss and drama, and the only way that's possible, is by eliminating possible sources of drama and frustration and extra work everywhere it shows up.

And believe me, there's plenty of opportunity for small exceptions, discounts, tweaks, changes, that quickly mushroom into something that eats up way more energy than it's worth. Not our style.

The other things is that offering discounts tends to train your customers to expect discounts. Since getting into music myself, I've started to invest in a bunch of music software. Software synths, audio effects processors, sample packs, and on and on. And one thing I've learned is that these people love their discounts. And what it's trained me to do is to almost never buy anything except when there's a substantial discount.

So now you end up in a situation where a significant part of your revenue is coming in via the discount,  i.e. not at full price. And remember, your costs are the same, so the discount is coming entirely out of your profit.

And because your customers quickly come to expect that a sale will come up in the next few months, your habit of discounting is actively causing people to hold off on buying from you.

Also worth considering is that those that do pay full price might feel cheated. And now you have to possibly make exceptions for the people who bought just before the discount, or maybe just after, and it quickly ends up in a lot of hassle.

Discounting your product also tends to devalue the product in the minds of your customers. Another possibly lasting effect.

A lot of people love to do discounts, of course, and I'm assuming that at least some of them have done the math and the tests and thought things through and decided that, everything considered, it's worth it.

For us, though, it's not, and I'd strongly suggest that you consider going against the trends on this one, too, so that you can focus your energy on the bigger things in life and business.

One benefit is creating a sense of urgency which can get people to pull the trigger and hit buy. You can also effectively do this with a loss leader, where the point of the transaction is to acquire a customer, which then will buy other higher-priced products from you in the future. You just have to be careful about which products you discount.

I do like how Apple goes about this, though. They don't discount their products. Instead they'll offer a $150 gift certificate on top of certain products on Black Friday. That way they don't devalue their product, they don't lose revenue, and that $150 gift certificate is going to be spent on another product, which costs them less than $150, which means they're effectively only giving a discount of, say, $75. On top of that, a lot of customers are going to use that gift certificate to buy something a lot more expensive than $150, so probably end up with better net profit using this method.

I forget who said it, but the reality is that 99% of other people do not live a life that you want to copy. So you can be pretty sure that if you do the exact opposite of what most people do, you're right on track.

Calvin Correli

The Easiest Way to Build an Email List

We all know that the money's in the list. Your list of emails, that is.

Of course, it's not just about any old email addresses. It's about the email addresses of people that actively want what you have to offer, and that you have a relationship with.

But how do you build that list if you have nothing?

Facebook ads?

Google adwords?

Just put up a website or a blog and pray?

SEO?

Speaking engagements and blast out your opt-in from the stage?

Yes, you can do all of those things, and more, but the most effective way is this: Find someone else who already has a list of the peolpe that you're a match for, and get them to tell their list about you.

Sounds great. And if you already know that person, and have a great relationship with them, that's fantastic. Get to work making a deal with them.

But if you don't, you'll have to do some work seeking them out, and cultivating a relationship with them.

Generally, we're in the business of solving problems for people. That's what any business does, pretty much. Deli down on the corner solves the problem of people running out of cigarettes when they're drunk at 2am, or needing to stock up on eggs for their breakfast. Google solves the problem of needing to find some piece of information (and a few other problems).

So figure out who has a direct line to your audience, and what problem of theirs you can solve, and then talk to the person who has that email list. Ask them what their audience's biggest problems are, and identify one that you can solve with your information. Then get them to send out an email to their list with a link to you, where you solve their problem and capture their emails.

Specifically, in Simplero, you'd create up a list to capture the leads. Then for that list, create a full-page signup form where you explain what you're offering and why they should trade their email address for a solution to their problem.

What form will your solution take? A PDF? A video? An audio? An email sequence? A live webinar? An online course?

No matter what, you'll want to add that to your list:

  • Content > Freebie Content if it's a few videos, audios, PDFs, or similar
  • Auto-Responses if it's an email sequence
  • Content > Spaces if it's an online course

You can even do a multi-week drip course if you're feeling that.

That's it. Now you get your friend with the email list (called a "JV partner" or "joint-venture partner" or "affilliate" in industry jargon) to send an email to their list with a link to your full-page signup form, and watch the subscribers come in.

As they subscribe, they'll automatically get your free content, AND they'll be subscribed to your list.

If you want them to then also get on your newsletter (which you probably do), set up a trigger for your list that also adds them to your main newsletter list.

If you want to offer paid products down the line and offer your JV partner a commission on any sales, then you'll want to set up an affiliate program register them as an affiliate, and then have them use the affiliate link when they promote your page. That way they'll automatically be credited with any sales down the line.

That's it. That's the easy way to start building your email list. It's how I did it, and it's probably how most of the people in our community did it. It is simply the easiest, fastest, and win-winnest way to build you all-important email list.

Now get on with it. Build your list!

Raegan  Rivers

How to Write Effective Subject Lines That Get Your Email Opened

With billions of emails sent daily, how can you stand out in the crowd and not get clicked into the trash? The email subject line is by far the most important factor in a successful email campaign. It’s what determines whether people open and read the rest of your email or not. Here’s how you can make sure yours will get opened and read:   

1. Current Events

Newsworthy events can be a great resource to finding your next awesome subject line and boost engagement and open rates. Also, with so many random holidays “Happy National Cupcake Day” you can have fun integrating it into the subject line, as well as your content. I would caution to stay away from anything too controversial or political and use best practices to avoid alienating your audience or offending them.

2. Humor

Puns and fun play on words can prove to increase your open rate. If you can get someone to laugh, that’s memorable and curiosity will take over. This will help you stand out when people are scrolling through their inbox and guaranteed to brighten their day.

3. Super Short

The ideal subject line is 30-50 characters, but if everyone is using this as the rule, try keeping it very short. Example: “FYI” – using an acronym or shorter words has proven to be attention grabbing and escalate open rates.

4. Teaser

Using words that tease content and give a preview on what’s inside is an effective strategy to increase your open rate. Example: “And the winner is…”

5. Numbers

Putting a number with a list of the content inside an email is an oldie, but goodie. Example: “Top 10 Hot Destinations for Summer Travel” provides enough information to peak the recipient's interest and worthy of reading more.

6. Question

Posing a question in the subject line can be extremely successful. Example: “Want Twitter Hacks?” – if you do, you’re going to open and find out, right?

7. Personalize

Putting the recipients name in the subject line, can feel more intimate and help with engagement and are more than 20% more likely to get opened.

8. Multimedia

With Simplero, you can use video within email broadcasting to visually communicate with your audience. By informing the receiver of a video in the subject line it will boost your open rate by 19%.

9. No Subject Line

I wouldn’t recommend using this trick all the time, but emails with no words in the subject line are opened 8% more than emails with a subject line.

10. Reverse Psychology

Tell someone not to do something and what do they do? They want to do it. Same with email subject lines.

Another great reference to use when trying to craft an email subject line is from Alex Williams, the Creative Director & Strategy Director at Trendline Interactive “the C.U.R.V.E. formula”

  • Curiosity

  • Urgency

  • Relevancy

  • Value

  • Emotion

Optimize your email subject lines by using at least two of the five C.U.R.V.E elements and see your open rates soar! (use the link above to read more about the C.U.R.V.E methodology)

Stay tuned for more tips every week on the Simplero Blog. We would love to hear from our community. Let us know your tricks and email tips and if you’ve found any success with the recommendations above.

With love,

-Raegan

Head of Sales & Marketing, Simplero


*Statistics provided by Hubspot

Jim Shook

Tracking Signups with Google Analytics

If you’re sending traffic to your landing page from a variety of advertising channels, you’ll want to know which channels are working better than others. When you know your best traffic sources, you’ll have a better idea of where to spend your time and money.

The way to do this is to track signups through Google Analytics. Doing this allows you to answer questions like: which channels are sending the most traffic? What types of visitors are more likely to sign up than others? How long does the average visitor spend on your page?

Step 1: Create A Google Analytics Account

On Google Analytics, click ‘Sign In to Google Analytics’ at the top and follow the instructions to create your account. Make sure you set up a property in this account. The property is where you’ll get the reporting for your page.

Step 2: Add Google Analytics to Your Simplero Page

In Google Analytics, go to the ‘Admin’ tab and click on Tracking Info > Tracking Code. Copy the code provided, then navigate to your Simplero dashboard. In Settings > Colors & Graphics, scroll down to the ‘Advanced’ section and paste the code in the box for ‘Custom tracking code’.

Step 3: Use JQuery to Send An Event to Google Analytics

In order to track successful signups on your landing page, you’ll need to make use of events in Google Analytics. Events are basically interactions with your page that don’t necessarily correlate with pageviews: they could be clicks on a button, submissions of a form, etc. 

In the same box where you added your Google Analytics tracking code, you’ll want to insert a JQuery script that listens for a particular action performed by the user, and that then sends information about that event to Google Analytics. 

Analytics Blog Post Image 1png

For example, with this landing page, we wanted to track form submissions. 

To do this we needed to target the right element within our jquery code. The first step is to find the <div> containing your landing page and grab the landing_page_id. 

Right click on your page, click view source, find the <div> with id=“landing_page” and note the class: landing_page_40083. Importantly, this class (the number) will be different based on your particular landing page. 

Next, determine how you will be targeting the particular element that you want your event to be triggered by. For our example, we’re listening for a submission of the form within our landing page <div>. 

So, we used the following JQuery code to do this: 

<script>
  $(document).ready(function() {
    $(".landing_page_40083 form").on('submit', function() {
      ga('send', 'event', 'contact', 'submit', 'contactform');
    });
  });
</script>

It is important to know what specific event you want to track on your landing page. In this page it was a form submission, but in other situations it may be a click on a button or an <a> tag.

Step 4: Create A Goal In Google Analytics

Now that you’re tracking signups as an event, you’ll want to set it up as a metric in Google Analytics. This is done by creating a goal. In the Admin tab, click ‘Goals’ and then ‘+ New Goal’. 

Analytics Blog Post Image 2png


Analytics Blog Post Image 3png


Step 5: Add Parameters to Your URLs Within Each Advertising Platform

You’re all done with the setup in Google Analytics—now for some work on the side of the advertising channels. When you’re creating an ad, you’ll want to make sure that the link to your landing page has tracking parameters appended at the end. 

An example of such a link is:


https://123.simplero.com/page/40083-the-simple-fun-and-easy-way-to-become-an-information-marketing-g...

There are two types of parameters here. 

  1. “track=xxx” is used internally in Simplero, so you can see in your dashboard which traffic sources generated signups. Just replace ‘facebook’ in the example above with the name of your advertising channel. 

  2. The UTM parameters are for Google Analytics. You can use the URL builderto generate these parameters: the ones you’ll want to use are source, medium, content and campaign. 

Step 6: Start Analyzing Data in Google Analytics

Now you can just turn on your advertising channels and wait for the data to start flowing into Google Analytics!

To begin examining your conversion rates, go to the campaign report:

Analytics Blog Post Image 4png


There are many different ways that you can slice and dice the data in Google Analytics, so if you’d like to learn more about reading those reports, check out this great overview here.

With a robust analytics setup, you’ll be able to monitor the performance of your advertising campaigns much more effectively.

Calvin Correli

Alternative to Ontraport and Office Autopilot

Simplero is a great alternative to Ontraport or Office Autopilot for information entrepreneurs, coaches, mentors, trainers, teachers, consultants, and anyone else primarily selling information products and services.

You get all-in-one integrated email marketing, shopping cart, content delivery, membership site, and landing pages.

Our customers who come from Ontraport tell us they save not just on the monthly cost of the service itself, but also thousands of dollars on all the hired help they no longer need, because Simplero is so much simpler, easier, and more fun to use.

And it's not just the savings in dollars. It's also the speed with which you can move when you don't have to rely on several other people to make changes, it's the freedom of being able to change things yourself when you want it, it's the feeling of being in control, it's the creativity that happens when you can just try things out.

“A big thank-you to Simplero for making my week easy and profitable! Just did my first big online product push, and everything has worked perfectly in Simplero. And every time I found myself wishing for something specific, I'd dig a little deeper and find it was already there. Support has been fast, accurate, and kind.

I've been keeping my fingers in other pies (still have accounts with GetResponse, Wishlist, Vimeo, and a trial of Ontraport), and I'm closing them down one by one.

Really impressed, really pleased, and really glad that this product exists.”

Danno Sullivan
Ukulele Teacher

How does Simplero compare?

We like to say Simplero has everything you need, and none of what you don't.

Ontraport has some more advanced features in the marketing automation department than we do. But there's a pretty good chance we've got everything you need.

Here's an interview with Racheal Cook who switched from Ontraport to Simplero and never looked back:

Racheal Cook interviewm4v

When it comes to shopping cart functionality for information products, Simplero is unsurpassed. What we can do when it comes to pricing and the automation we've got built-in for handling purchases is the best you'll find.

Our membership sites are flexible and—most importantly—fully integrated with the rest of the platform. It's not another service that we've bought and are trying to integrate, you don't need a wordpress site to host your membership site. It's all just a seamless part of Simplero.

Here's Stacey Harris who was also briefly on Ontraport before switching to Simplero:

2015-01-06 Stacey Harrismov

And Tracy Raftl who recommends you go with Simplero from the very beginning:

tracy-raftl-calvin-correli-2014-12-09mov



And then join our incredible and supportive community and talk to some of the people who switched from Ontraport and never looked back.

The all-in-one solution for digital content and information sellers. 30-day free trial with no credit card required.