Aaron Weiche of Leadferno Headshot

Aaron Weiche: Converting Web Visitors Through SMS Text

In this episode, Aaron Weiche of Leadferno explains how we can convert website visitors using text messaging to increase conversions.

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If you drive traffic to a product or service page on your website, you ultimately want a call to action for users to reach out to you. For many websites, this means opening a line of communication with your sales team.

  • Does your website use old fashion forms, or does it use click-to-call or a listed email?
  • What happens to these website leads when your business is closed?
  • Do your form emails go into oblivion?
  • How fast are you getting back to these potential customers?

As an SEO, I love it when I can drive relevant traffic to the website I am working on. However, if there is a hole in the conversion bucket, how much traffic I drive to the website will not matter.

That’s where today’s guest Aaron Weiche of Leadferno, comes in.  Aaron is going to show us how we can convert more website leads. This is an important episode on how to grow your business with the traffic you already have.

It is my pleasure to welcome Aaron to the show.


Aaron Weiche is the co-founder and CEO of Leadferno, a conversion platform for businesses to close more leads faster with text messaging. Aaron is an entrepreneur, founding and leading multiple software companies and digital marketing agencies over the past 20 years. 

Before Leadferno, he was CEO of GatherUp, growing it to serve over 25,000 businesses and appearing in the INC 5000. Aaron led GatherUp to an acquisition in 2019. Aaron speaks internationally on digital marketing, customer experience, conversion, and messaging.


Leadferno https://leadferno.com/





Questions For Aaron

  1. Aaron, can you talk about your aha moment that led to the idea of Leadferno?
  • Can you tell us how Leadferno helps businesses generate more sales and achieve higher ROI?
  • Can you talk about any major breakthroughs you had as you developed your SaaS software?
  • Can you tell us what differentiates Leadferno from other solutions for connecting website users to the website business?
  • Why is SMS better than live chat?
  • Could you talk about your shortcut feature to request reviews?
  • Could you talk about lead conversion rates for SMS text messages vs traditional website communication tools?
  • Can you talk about how Leadferno connects to CRM’s and why that is critical?
  • What is on the horizon for Leadferno in 2023? Are there updates of new features that are rolling out?
  • How can listeners reach out to watch a demo or just get started?

Check out more episodes of our SEO podcast.

[00:07] Matt Hepburn: If you're driving traffic to a product or service page on your website, you ultimately want to have a call to action for users to reach out to you. And for many websites, this means opening up a line of communication with your sales team. Does your website use old fashioned forms or does it use click to call or listed email? And what happens to these website leads when your business is closed? And do these forms go into email oblivion? And how fast are you getting back to these potential customers? As an SEO, I love it when I can drive relevant traffic to a website that I'm working on. However, if there's a hole in the conversion bucket, it's not really going to matter how much traffic that I drive. That's where today's guest Aaron wiki of lead furnace comes in. Aaron's going to show us how we can convert more website leads. And this is a really important episode because it talks about how we can grow our business with the traffic that we already have coming to our website. It's my pleasure to welcome Aaron to the show. Hi, Aaron. Welcome to the show.

[01:15] Aaron Weiche: Hey, Matt. Thank you so much for having me.

[01:17] Matt Hepburn: Absolutely. So I was wondering if you could tell the listeners a little bit about Lead Furnace and what it does and what actually gave you the idea to create Lead Furnace.

[01:32] Aaron Weiche: Yeah. Lead Furnace is a messaging platform that is focused on conversion, helping turn lurkers on your websites into leads while helping the business improve communication through this area. We've all gravitated towards in our personal communication of text messaging, but then also taking advantage of popular messaging channels like Facebook Messenger and Google Business messages to quickly synopsize how this came together. It's kind of a culmination of different elements of my experience. So for 15 plus years, I ran digital agencies, building hundreds of websites for small businesses. And one thing I always craved when I was building these websites was kind of an all-in-one type contact solution. You're building sites and you're having to use different elements to create a form and plug in things and whatever else. Then the next part of it is when I used to run a company called GatherUp, which is focused on online reviews, and I just saw how much in working with tens of thousands of businesses, how much communication mattered in the experience for the customer, both positive and negative. It truly was such a main factor in a five star or a one star experience.

[02:58] Matt Hepburn: Sure.

[02:59] Aaron Weiche: And then the third part was just seeing text messaging in being in this for so long, jeez, 25 plus years now you see these kind of waves and these small evolutions of what take place. And I just really started to see a handful of years ago that text messaging especially was changing the way we communicate and some of the style and the ease we communicate with. And so I just kind of figured it was going to make its way into the business world and be much more acceptable, not just a personal channel. So all of those things kind of combined into lead furnace happening.

[03:40] Matt Hepburn: Sure. I can certainly see on a review side, if you're getting back to the user faster right. That they're going to have a much more positive experience. That makes a lot of sense. At the same point, though, I would have to think that this helps you close sales faster and achieve a higher ROI on the leads that are coming through. Can you talk a little bit about that?

[04:05] Aaron Weiche: Yeah. When you look at the communication cycle and this was also it's kind of a funny story, my last straw, where I was finally like, all right, I'm building this. I was interested in a boat. I was literally lakeside at the cabin. We have a boat, it is about 15 years old. It's done a ton of work dragging kids around in tubes and skis and everything else, right? And I was browsing a local boat dealership website and there was a boat there and a typical squeeze page for them, right. Call for price. They're not going to list the price. They want you to contact them to get into their funnel. So, I filled out that form. It was a Sunday, so they didn't email me back until Monday, asked some questions, I emailed them back, then they emailed me back a reply Tuesday. It took four days for me to get a quote on this boat. I was no longer at the cabin, no longer close to coming in to see it. I had cooled on that and I was like, this literally could have been a ten minute text message conversation on that Sunday or Monday morning instead of so drawn out. So when I look at that, I think a ton of businesses suffer from this. The communication cycle is very static. It's very drawn out. It's in a channel that's overcrowded and really doesn't work for communication styles that have evolved with email. And the other thing that I point out is companies seem to do, especially small businesses, do such a poor job with online forms. I've worked with companies that they don't even know where their lead form goes to, right. It was set up and it goes to an email of someone no longer at the company. No one bothered to worry about it because their other lead channels are working just fine, but they're leaving all of these other people filling it out. And maybe you've had this experience, but I've filled out these forms and I've never heard from the business one peep at all who's answering this, right?

[05:57] Matt Hepburn: Especially if it's tied into the website management, whether it's WordPress or whatever it might be, it's in the back end of that site. Right. And if the admin email, depending upon who that is on the site, has been updated. When somebody leaves, then it's going over to that person's email. And if that email is a company email and it's been removed because that person no longer works at the website, then it's going into a complete black hole. So this makes all perfect sense that you're doing it this way. And there's a lot of businesses that have a very small or a very short buyer's journey, I think of lawyers right away. Right. So somebody wants them, if they cannot connect with them very quickly, they're just going down the line to whoever else is showing up. So I'm sure there's a lot of businesses that are like that where the connection needs to happen very quickly. And not everybody's looking at their email, they're busy in their business. So this is actually connecting them faster. I love that. Can you talk a little bit about your major breakthroughs that you had while you would develop the software? That would be wonderful. I'm sure there were some AHA moments besides the boat saying that you have need for this, but there had to be some struggles on as you were building the tech stack and how you're putting this together and how you ended up marketing it. It's probably a little bit different from what your original thought was your pain point.

[07:35] Aaron Weiche: Yeah. Oh boy, how do I stack these in an order that makes sense? I think one thing was just really highlighting and understanding and I think this is kind of a business principle, especially in software as a service, that's so important is understanding what your vision is and then staying true to aligning with that. And even though when I have these kinds of conversations on podcasts or other things, we gravitate towards text messaging because it's like the top feature that is part of it and introduces something for a lot of businesses they're not taking advantage of. But really our vision is to make conversion happen. And that being like the one thing that I think through our discovery as we're going through that's, where that really kind of took flight with us and we started to understand more than anything. Because even when you think longer term, there's probably something next than text messaging. Super hard for us to imagine that right now, but that could continue to evolve. But a problem that will always be there is for decades now we've been driving people to this digital asset. We control our website, but the ways we allow them to move from website to being a known lead, to engaging with us, to having a conversation, things there just really haven't changed that much. Most small businesses are still just using that contact form that we talked about that can be unreliable, broken, janky, slow, all of those things. Some businesses have maybe played around with live chat and we can get to that. There's some pitfalls and challenges for small businesses there. And then phone calls and overwhelmingly. What we've seen too is where email addresses used to be blatantly displayed on websites. Most businesses have gone away from that because they already have such a high spam problem and they're tired of things coming across that they don't want to deal with. So you actually sometimes have to hunt down email addresses to communicate with people, which can be very frustrating as a consumer when we often want one to one personal help. So that overall vision was definitely one that we saw. A couple of other things is just like how much the small things matter even when you're trying to solve something larger, it's the very small things on the reliability, the notifications that they get and how fast they get them. When we initially launched our kind of, I don't know, not beta but early version one, we were a desktop only app so you could read and reply to text messages logging into our web app and we didn't offer any connection routes into other pieces of software like CRMs or email marketing, things like that. And very quickly we heard from our users like this is great, but I want it on my phone. Like texting feels like a mobile thing and we had started that process already but just realized how important that is to people. So quickly following up with our Android and iOS apps to make that work. As mobile as we all are these days, and then just freeing up, we all expect as much freedom as we can possibly get, moving data from one piece of software to another just so we can keep things consistent and build process around it and everything else. So those are probably some of the learnings and some of the things that we saw within it. One other small thing is just the importance of immediate response. So that same problem we were talking about, you fill out a contact form, you have no idea if they received it, did it go to someone, when are they going to reply, any of those things? We quickly built in an auto reply so within seconds of sending in your message, you're automatically hearing back from that business with a text message. We parse it two different ways. One during your business hours so that might read hey, we're going to get to you shortly, or within the hour or as soon as we're not helping a client and another one is outside your business hours or your availability hours you set. So when someone is inquiring or asking a question or texting you at midnight, 02:00 A.m., 03:00 A.m., they're getting a reply that says, hey, we're currently not in the office but we'll start replying and it automatically grabs your next availability at 08:00 a.m. Tomorrow or 09:00 a.m Tomorrow if you need emergency help, here's our 24 hours hotline. So just giving them an immediate response and closure so that they don't say, oh, I need to keep finding something because I have no idea if this business is going to reach back to me. So that's just some there's probably a lot more.

[12:15] Matt Hepburn: So that is pretty awesome just for myself that I forget to text back people. Does it give you a reminder that eight or 09:00 to text back to this person or is that in a future version?

[12:31] Aaron Weiche: Yeah. So what it does when you come into it, we have different states of what that message is in. So a brand new lead that you haven't interacted with as a human is orange and anchored to the top of your message threads. So any of those new leads, you're going to see them front and center. They're orange, they have a flame by them. You know that these have not been answered even though the system has automatically sent that auto reply. And then open messages, open conversations are in blue. If they have a reply, there's a red dot on them. So we use both visual cues and kind of the hierarchy of where they're placed top to bottom to do that. And then the user can also set physical reminders at any point in time too to take a conversation and it will color code it into green and bring it all the way up to the top. So if you talk with someone in there like, I need to table this to next week, can you get back to me then? Now you can just quickly set a reminder for next Monday at 10:00 a.m. And then even if you have 50 open conversations, it's going to pop to the top.

[13:30] Matt Hepburn: That's great. That's fantastic. I was hoping you could tell us a little bit what sets it apart from other SMX or text message systems that are out there.

[13:43] Aaron Weiche: Yes. So while we're rooted and we find that SMS and texting is like a number one tool in your conversion toolbox, we still believe in all the other methods. So the most visual piece of our product is we place what we call a lead box. It's a web detect, it's a widget. It's basically a conversion widget that we place on your website. And what it does is it puts a couple of floating buttons that are always available on the screen for the user to see. Mobile, tablet, desktop. And this helps communicate to them like, hey, here's where you can contact us. Texting is an option. Different elements. You can say how quick you reply, you can put your reputation in there, you can put that you offer like simple free quotes or it's a quick, easy process. It's kind of really using a few different elements within those settings to how do you let people know you're approachable, you welcome questions you're trustworthy to work with and you have options to communicate with you. We say marketing text is one of those is the best way to increase those conversions. So when they click to open that there's a number of tools that immediately will start you into a text conversation. What's your name, what's your number, and what's your first message? When you fill that out, everything from there moves into their SMS app and text conversation. Not only do we allow texting, but we allow you other conversion methods as well. So you can link still to your free estimate form. You can link to your phone number and have Click to Call. We integrate with call tracking software like Call Rail and call tracking metrics as well. So you can still do your Click to Call through it. If you had a newsletter sign up, you can link to that. If you had a gift card page, you could link to buy gift cards. We're just finishing a new feature for a call request. So we did some testing and found out, and maybe not surprising to businesses or if we think about ourselves as consumers, last thing we want to do is play phone tag. So what we found people like is just to go to the business and they still prefer a phone call to accomplish business or pre sales questions, things like that. But they saying like, you call me. I want you to call me. Instead of me reaching out and I get a call tree, I leave a voicemail somewhere. I don't know who to ask for, whatever that might be. This is an easy way for me to start behind a keyboard, whether it's on a computer or phone, and ask you to call me morning, afternoon, night, ASAP, whatever that looks like. So we're just releasing a real quick and easy process to say call me either morning or afternoons, here's my number. Then we ask them. Great, tell us a little bit about what your question or why you'd like us to call. They're able to submit that and then we also send them an auto reply text to that that says, we got your request for a call in the morning. We will be calling you then. But if you want to ask questions immediately here over text, we can help you here too. So that's just another example of now we're kind of combining things of a user that wants a phone call. They think they want a phone call? Great, let's let them request it. Let's again get the conversation started, but then again, let's give them text on their phone to maybe ask those questions right here and right now. So that's definitely one area. Our lead box widget is more flexible. You control the conversion points you want to put in there. And our customers feel like it's extremely well designed. The call to action options are great. So we really focus there. Again, we want to start more conversations for you than anything else you're using.

[17:10] Matt Hepburn: Yeah, I think that's really key starting conversations. So, let's pivot a little bit. So can you tell me a little bit and I think we've already done that. But why? This is better than chat. That's on everybody's website.

[17:28] Aaron Weiche: Matt I have a folder on my desktop that's called Bad Chat Experiences and I usually get to upload a screenshot to that every couple of weeks, just about every time I engage with a chat. So this being said, chat can be a good thing. Definitely has its purposes. I think it's great for ecommerce sites and it still is very relevant in B to B, where people might not want to give up their personal cell phone to interact and things like that. But for most small businesses and consumers, it presents a number of challenges. So on the consumer side, most of us can identify with this. We go, we see a live chat call to action, we click on it, we start a live chat and they let us know, hey, it's going to be a little bit until we can get you connected to an agent. And after a few minutes go by, our focus shifts, we have to do something else. We move to another tab. We completely forget we had a live chat going and then we remember 15 minutes later, we go back to that window and then we see this string of messages. Hi, I'm Sam, I'm here to help you. Hey, it looks like you're not there. Okay, try us again or send us an email. And now you have to reenter that painful queue again or you start a live chat and you're waiting and now you're in a time crunch, right? You had something else you were going to do. You have a meeting to get to, you're going to go to lunch, whatever that might be, but now you're stuck in this live chat window, right? It doesn't default to anything else. It defaults back to email. So now you're back in a channel you didn't want to be in. So that's definitely one, right? Live chat is not a portable conversation. It's not wired into our normal communication patterns at all. So that becomes very difficult. The difference with text, you start a text messaging conversation, you can go wherever you want with your phone the same way we live our lives and interact with friends, family, coworkers, hobbies, whatever that might be. You get a notification on the app you use the most, a push notification when they've replied to you. You didn't have to download any additional software or learn how it works or anything else. You're using your most well known, trusted, easy to use, full of notifications app to interact with that business. So high confidence level, super easy to use and you know when they've answered you. So that's just some of those pieces. Now when we look on the business side, and this is something I've experienced firsthand in running companies, when you start with live chat and you plug it in because of the nature and feeling that immediacy and some of the things within the control panel and turning yourself live or offline. We see companies really only trust like one or two people in their company to man live chat. So you'll have times if that one person is on vacation you don't offer live chat that week, right? Coverage is a lot harder, helping people is a lot harder. Everything else because it's very condensed. On that side we're texting. Anyone on your team knows how to text, right? The training and getting up to speed. Our app that you use on Lead Furnace is just like texting but it has this great layer of business features with auto replies and saved messages and reminders and scheduled messages and all these other things that just make it even more efficient for you to use. So on that side we see people come into it. Instead of one or two live chat people, they now have their whole sales team of 3510 25 all on the platform, able to grab leads, pass conversations to each other, do all those kinds of things. And then the last two things that I'll point out one, consumer expectations are much lower in reply time frame. So we did a survey and we found like 50% of users when they start a live chat the expectation that's acceptable to them in a reply is within minutes. So now you have within minutes to meet their expectation or delight them with text messaging. We found over 50% said same day reply or greater is fine to them with text messaging. So now you have hours, if not more to meet their expectations or delight that customer. And as we all know, our employees and ourselves and our company are super busy. We're not looking for more to do, we're looking at how do we do more with less. So this absolutely fits into it. And then the last piece that I think is super important, we've all gone to a chat, we click to open it and then the message is like live chats offline, no agent available. Our survey found that over 57% of users leave the site at that point. The thing that you are marketing like hey, it's easy and quick to answer, ask a question, you can do it right now. And then you're like psych, that's not available, it's not live chat. You can send us an email if you want. That's super discouraging for people. And with ours it's always on and available. We're just using those auto replies and how you to respond and you're in a trusted channel and they know they're going to get notified. It just lessens that burden. One of the big things our customers tell us is their after hours and weekend conversions have just gone up significantly and people enjoy the experience, right?

[22:26] Matt Hepburn: So we just tie that back to the buyer's journey, to a short term search where people do not have a high attention span and this totally connects with that versus Chat does not fit in that literally. I've seen people just within minutes. I didn't get a reply. I'm going down to the next person within the search engine results and that's it. They're already moved on. So this makes perfect sense to a higher conversion rate. You're getting more people across the plate where you're talking with them. So the more people you can do that, the higher chance you have of connecting. So Sales has to love this.

[23:09] Aaron Weiche: Yeah, absolutely. We get a number. We're constantly requesting feedback from our users, and I just got one yesterday where they're like, our new problem is growth, and we're trying to manage that the right way. It's really been a game changer, and we see a number of those, which is really rewarding to be able to impact small businesses that way. And ultimately a golden rule of business that I've really adopted in working with so many businesses and running my own is like, you just need to be easy to work with. Right. And that's where people should focus. There's so many things that are on even planes these days. Your services, the products you use, everything else. Consumers have so many choices as you alluded to before. It's so easy for us to research things on our own and get up to speed with what should we be asking? What should matter? We can read reviews on companies. We can compare multiple companies out of the search results, but really that last mile to get them across the finish line is like, how easy do you make the process? Do you make it easy for me to ask the one or two small questions I have before I'm ready to commit? If you don't make it easy, I'm going to the next one that will. Because if you don't make that easy, are you going to make scheduling easy or the process easy, or following up with you if things go bad easy. So if you can set that precedent early, we're the easiest to work with. You're going to win so many more.

[24:40] Matt Hepburn: Of those to that point. So once you actually have somebody who's in that honeymoon feeling because they've worked with you, they've gotten the communication, they've gone through the sale for whatever the business is. You have a feature here that I think is actually fantastic. It's the shortcut feature to request a review. And what I found doing this for years is that a lot of businesses don't ask in a timely fashion for reviews. They're asking after that honeymoon, after the clients moved on. So, the customer is not happy anymore. It's more of a pain in the butt for them to fill out a review and they're being asked when they're doing other things. Could you talk a little bit about this feature? Because I think it's key to somebody growing their local business online with local SEO.

[25:30] Aaron Weiche: Yeah, definitely. And I'll also touch on the point there's some human and psychological things here that really wrap into this extremely well too, right? And again, keep in mind my history of gather up. I was privy to millions of review requests, millions of reviews across all kinds of businesses. So you see how these things take shape. Number one shortcuts is a feature of ours that allows you to build like a library of saved messages. Messages. These could be questions, answers, links, all these various things that allow you to call up that library in just a tap or two and grab the message that you want to send or the question or the link that you want to send without having to type it all out. So one great efficiency, this is probably our number one power feature. People can create dozens or even hundreds of these. There's no limit. There's some other nuances and features inside of the feature that make it even more usable that I won't break down today. But it saves you a ton of time. And obviously, as you pointed out, a key one to be able to build in is like a request for a Google Business profile review, right? That's one that's extremely valuable to all types of businesses that are out there. So this makes it easy. Within just two taps, you're able to send off a message that you already have created that's like, hey, as you might understand, getting reviews to help us market our business and let others know about your experience is really important to us. If you take a minute and leave us a Google review, just click this link. So you've made that personal request, you help them understand that it's important to your business and you're putting that link right in front of them. So they just tap it from their phone and they're often going to be able to write you a review. Now, the other things that are already in play here are one, you've already established text messaging as a trusted channel with them. You've communicated, you've helped them, you've done a good job of making it a delightful experience using text messaging. So when you ask that for that review, it's not coming out of nowhere. It's not a surprise. You've already been communicating back and forth on this channel. It's very different than they come in. You did business, you talked, you interacted. It was only via phone calls or emails and then I'll send you randomly set a text out of nowhere asking for a review. So from that side, it definitely plays in and it feels very natural. The second is one of the beauties about SMS is it is a personal communication channel, right? That's where it came from, is us first communicating via text message with our friends and with our family. So when businesses do this right, this is one of the big comments I get from a lot of people is like, we form relationships faster with our leads over text. Messaging than over any of the other channels. There is a personality leak into text messaging because it is a personal channel. It feels more personal. It's how we operate with it as personally that the other channels just don't have as much. So when you have that, you start to feel that personal connection and responsibility. More people leave you reviews when they feel like, oh, this is Matt and I've been working with him and he's been super helpful. I owe it to Matt to leave a review or I want to leave a review and I want to mention Matt. So those are all like characteristics that greatly fuel capturing more reviews separately than just the ask. Right. The ask for itself might help you convert 5%, 10%, 15% of people you ask willing to leave you a review. But if you want to get that to 2020 5%, even as high as 50%, that comes from were you easy to work with? Were you great at communicating? The review request is not coming as a surprise. You mentioned it at some other point. Hey, at the end of this, I will ask you for a review and then having just that personal connection with the customer that you've had so that it totally feels part of the relationship. You've given them great service, so they totally feel like, yeah, of course I'm going to leave a review for you. You've done great and you've made this easy for me. So yeah, those things combine to really create a formula where capturing positive reviews becomes much more likely for you.

[29:39] Matt Hepburn: It sounds like also, because you've had this relationship being texting, you're going to understand through their purchase whether they're happy or not very clearly. So you're probably not going to send these requests off to the people that are upset. If you do have them, you'd be focusing more on how do you fix why they're upset, what can you do to make amends and have a better relationship with them?

[30:07] Aaron Weiche: Yeah, I think one of the worst things for businesses is when a bad review is a surprise, right, when you had no idea. And those can still happen because there's plenty of times you work with a customer and you might ask them, is there anything else we can do for you? Whatever else? And it's one small thing that really struck the wrong chord with them and whatever else. But for the most part, most businesses, if you're listening, you're communicating well. You understand if customers expectations are being met and how they feel about things. So there really shouldn't be a surprise out of left field with a review like that when you're engaging and interacting the right way.

[30:48] Matt Hepburn: Yeah, I'm going to pivot a little bit. I'm still stuck on such a great feature. Could you talk a little bit about your integrations and CRMs and kind of a lot of other local tools have their own proprietary CRM and really about the flexibility about your integration into other CRMs.

[31:08] Aaron Weiche: Yeah, so the main way people integrate us is using Zapier. Hopefully most people are familiar with Zapier. It's a no code integration app that allows you to connect two or more pieces of software in order to automate information flow between them. So it's really kind of interesting for us. Some businesses, based on how they're built or constructed or how mature they are, they actually might use Lead Furnace almost as a light CRM. We might be the first time they're organizing customer information because we do create a contact profile, the customer's name and their number. You can add in their email. We keep an archive of any of the conversations that you've had with that customer at any time. So you always understand the customer history when you're engaging with them. But obviously, in the last ten years, companies and small businesses especially have gotten a lot smarter. And right from the start, they're utilizing a CRM to house all of their customer contacts and what goes on and more. So nowadays, people really realize their CRM probably likely needs to be what they would call their single source of truth with the customer. So when you're using tools like Lead Furnace for lead capture and on the very front end of a relationship, you want those to be able to sync with your single source of truth. So that when a brand new lead is created and that contact file is created, you want to make sure that that is then created in your HubSpot account, your Salesforce account, your Keep account, your pipe drive, again, whatever CRM that you're using. So being able to have flexibility with a tool like Zapier, so you don't need to go get a developer. We have an API and it can be used to make those integrations, but it's going to cost you money. It's a technical thing if you need changes to it or something goes wrong with it. Software is living and breathing to a certain extent. You don't create once and it never breaks or fails. You're going to need to have that developer either on staff or reachable, or you have to find someone else to pick up and run with it. So these no cold connection tools, zapier being one of the first and the biggest in the marketplace is really important to be able to do that. So that's a common one that we see is right. Creating a new lead and lead funnel within seconds is then a new lead within that, and then updating threads and conversations. You can push that. So, we have a number of different ways. What's called in the Zapier world is a trigger. When this happens, then this action happens. So being able to create those is definitely important. And we see ones with other pieces. It might be marketing software, it might be your accounting or invoicing software to be integrated with. I get people that often ask me all the time, like, oh, hey, we're considering new CRMs. What's important? And almost my number one thing is like, what can it connect to? Do they have a Zapier app, and we see it a lot, especially when we're working in specific verticals, like real estate or construction or legal, where they're using a highly verticalized CRM, which is great, but it's also very closed off, where they haven't built a Zapier connection. They don't have an API you can work with, so you kind of end up trapped. You have this great little bottle that you have all your customer information in, but you have no easy ways to bring new information in or have it cycle between two pieces of software. So I think that's such an important thing for people to look at, how do I make my life easier and make sure I'm not doing, like, manual entry from one piece of software over to another, over to another, when these things can be automated?

[34:50] Matt Hepburn: Absolutely. I love the fact that you're talking about your single form of truth right. And being able to update those conversations, and then later on you're saying, well, did this convert to a sale? And then you're able to see connect everything as saying, how many of these conversations came through? What was the conversion rate of that? And tie that through to Cost, too, if you're doing advertising. Right. I think that's been a real struggle a lot with whether it's paid SEM or SEO or whatever source that was coming in, is to be able to say how much of this actually converted into a sale. In small business, in enterprise companies, yeah, they have a lot more resources that are doing like Last Touch and things like that, where they have it. But for small businesses, they don't have that type of resource. To be able to find out what the conversion rate is, understanding performance of.

[35:52] Aaron Weiche: That stuff is so important, right? And we see it. I've marveled at this. Part of the reason for creating this tool is 100% of the focus goes top of funnel for people, right? Like, how do I do SEO, how do I buy ads, how do I drive? More traffic, how do I get more followers, more likes on my posts, more retweets. We're looking for that top of funnel exposure all the time. That is everything to key to us with having a good business. We don't spend any time looking at conversion. We're doing all this work to drive, and we're not looking at how do we squeeze more juice out of all the fruit that we have already that we're trying to harvest? And when you compare, like, to increase leads this much, this is what we'd have to spend top of funnel. And you look at what little you might have to spend bottom of funnel to make you easier to work with, to add new channels like text messaging, or other messaging channels that people can reach out to have more visible, vibrant, relatable calls to action that pick up your leads. 510, 15, 20% within the month. It's so much more cost effective. It's so easier, and it's the traffic you already have. That way, if you still decide to spend more, you're making sure you're maximizing instead of, all right, we're going to increase spend 30% or 50%. Don't you want that same 1020 percent lift on the bottom? So you're making the most of that?

[37:15] Matt Hepburn: Yeah, absolutely. It's kind of funny how and not in a funny ha ha way, where business owners will concentrate on just the spend of what they're putting on versus what is that source or that channel actually creating in sales. Right. And how can we increase that with the traffic that we have versus just going out and getting more traffic?

[37:40] Aaron Weiche: Right.

[37:41] Matt Hepburn: So that's really what we're talking about. So what is on for 2023? Where is Lead Furnace going? Are you having new releases? Do you have anything or updates? What's on the horizon?

[37:57] Aaron Weiche: Yeah, so we do release updates almost monthly already. To start this year, we released our integration with Ga Four, which might make some people smile, makes most people frown, that change from Google Analytics Not Loved By Everyone. So we were already integrated with Universal Analytics, and so now integrated with Ga Four. So everything our lead box does fires off an event. So you can do we have internal reports, but now you can see it in Google Analytics lead box. The button showed on the page, they click to open it. What did they select in it? Did they send a text message? Through all that, conversion type data can be tracked in Ga Four now, which is really helpful for businesses and especially their digital marketing partners. Just as we were talking about in Attribution and ROI, we're just releasing language versions of the lead box. So we'll have both Spanish and French. Within the next week or two, I mentioned Callback, so being able to request a call and get a text auto reply, that's releasing shortly. And then longer term, some of the things that we're working on. One is a round robin feature so that you can route leads specific to certain people based on a number of different rules. And then creating we allow you to do schedule messages so you could set up manual kind of drips to reach out. Say a prospect has gone cold. Well, you might send a text to reach out to them in a couple of days, and then a couple of days after that, another one, and a couple of days after that, another one. If they do reach out, you can go one click and turn those scheduled messages off. But we want to build some kind of I definitely don't have a name for it, but Light Funnels set up a small series of requests. We don't want to be full automation. We don't want to be a bot. We don't want to be AI driven. Our goal is to connect a human with a human expert on the business that can help them. But we think there's some efficiency things where our tool can help ask a few questions, get a few more details out of them, make the customer feel taken care of, to make that connection even more impactful when the human connects. So that's one of the other things that we'll be working on this year.

[40:09] Matt Hepburn: That sounds amazing. So how can listeners reach out to you to get a demo or to get started? What should they do?

[40:17] Aaron Weiche: Yeah, head to leadferno.com. If you look in the lower right of the screen, you'll see our own lead box buttons. You can click and text and ask a question. Might be me answering, might be another member of our team. But we love to get questions over text. It allows you to see just how easy the product is. You can also schedule a demo on there. We have automatic demos, so you can watch a scheduled recording of a demo within seconds. You just have to fill out a short form on your name and your contact info, and it's a little over 20 minutes. Demo that's right there, and then that you can watch. You also have the ability to schedule a one to one demo or a call to ask questions after that within those prompts, too. So we love that. Visit our blog page. We have over 50 articles that break down our features and what's going on within the industry and some of the things that we've talked about here on the podcast today and some of the surveys and data that we've done. If you just need to get a little more familiar with what's there. So, yeah, head to leadernal.com, and that branches off into all kinds of other ways you can take in more info and see what we're up to.

[41:24] Matt Hepburn: All right, sounds wonderful. All right, well, thank you so much for coming to the show today. We really appreciate it.

[41:31] Aaron Weiche: Matt, my pleasure. Great conversation.

[41:33] Matt Hepburn: All right, fantastic. Are you ready to break through and accelerate? How you learn SEO. Then please don't forget to subscribe to the podcast so you never miss an episode. You can subscribe on the podcast platform of your choice or join our email list athttps://podcast.focusvisibility.com so we can keep you up to date. This is the EMJ SEO podcast with Matt Hepburn. And we'll see you next time.


  • Matt Hepburn

    Matt is the founder of The Focus Visibility Podcast. Matt has over 14 years of experience in search engine optimization. Matt has worked with various enterprise businesses, including Mend.io formerly (White Source Software), John Hancock USA, SEMrush, Commvault, and iCIMS. Matt has also worked in large and small agency environments, including Martindale Hubble, WebROI, and Search Interactions. Additionally, Matt brings 14 years of consulting on organic traffic issues that affect businesses.

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