Modern Day “David vs. Goliath”

As an entrepreneur, “David vs. Goliath” is one of my most inspiring tales.  However, an even more inspiring one from real life is one I call “Jason vs. Sylvan Learning Center”. Jason is a private tutor who works from home (he is also my younger brother).  He has an “Increase your SAT Score” website for high school students looking to improve their SAT test scores.

Although his website is about as basic as it gets cosmetically – he gets plenty of organic traffic from Google because he has uploaded hundreds of helpful free videos that drive traffic to the site.

We were brainstorming a while back about capitalizing on the traffic to his site and I suggested an AdWords Remarketing campaign. He objected, saying “I don’t want to pay for traffic. I get tons of free traffic already.”  I said “Let’s spend $20 a month on remarketing & see what happens.”

The funny thing is – we struggled to even spend $20 a month. Most months only cost him $5 or $10. Nothing really happened for a couple months. No big deal though. He was only out $10 or $20 – tops in the two months we had been trying.  By the third or fourth month, something funny happened.

He got a call from a Mom & Dad who were trying to help their high school junior get into an Ivy League school…

Jason’s course is $1500, so it often involves a phone call. On that call, he is used to getting grilled with all sorts of qualifying questions before they decide to buy. You know the types of questions: “What are your qualifications?” “So and so has a cheaper program.” “How are you different from XYZ program?” Etc.  In this case, however, he was pleasantly surprised. The conversation went something like this:

Jason: “Hi, this is Jason – How can I help you?”

Parents: “Hi, we’re trying to help our child improve their SAT scores & we were going to go with Sylvan Learning Center, but we came across your videos, and you guys are everywhere!  We see that you ship physical DVDs, but we want to get started ASAP. If we gave you a credit card number over the phone, do you have the first DVD online so we could get started before they arrive in the mail?”

Although Jason was used to running through a whole list of questions, he didn’t have to answer any. He just needed to get to his computer so he could run their credit card ASAP.

  • Easiest $1500 sale he had ever received.
  • Sylvan is a nationwide company. Jason is a 1-man shop with a free wordpress site.
  • Sylvan’s marketing budget is… ummm… big. Jason’s marketing budget at the time: $7 a month.
  • Despite Sylvan’s who-knows-how-big marketing budget that involved TV, Radio, print publications, and who knows what else, they chose Jason.

How did Jason get the business over a multi-million dollar nationwide company? Having hundreds of helpful videos online certainly helped, but if that was the case, these folks would have bought a lot earlier when they visited his site in the first place.  What pushed these people over the edge was Jason’s $7 per month remarketing campaigns that continued for weeks after they first found his website.  They never opted in for any additional emails. They didn’t call him when they first found his site. They simply found the site, and left.

But… over the next few weeks:

  • When they visited the Wall Street Journal – he was advertising there.
  • When they read a blog post about study habits, a link to a helpful study video was there.
  • When they read USA Today online, they saw a testimonial from other parents who had taken guess-who’s course…

The best part is that Jason didn’t even pay for them to see all of those remarketing ads. He only paid on the rare occasion that they actually clicked on the ads. Even though he only paid for clicks,  every time they saw one of his ads, a subconscious seed was planted – telling them “this guy must be legit if he can afford to advertise in all of these places“.  By the time they had drawn that conclusion for themselves, the need to ask all sorts of other questions just went away. They were ready to buy.

Pretty cool, eh?

Whether or not you are using paid traffic on Facebook, AdWords, or anywhere else – Remarketing is an extremely powerful tool that will increase your conversion rate – no matter how many visitors you already have coming to your site.

Here’s how you can implement Remarketing for your website:

  1. Log into your AdWords Account
  2. In the left column, go to “Shared Library” > “Audiences”
  3. If you haven’t set up a Remarketing Campaign, Google will have a couple steps for you to create an “All Visitors” remarketing script.  Follow them & proceed to step 4.
  4. After setting up remarketing, click on the “tag” details button.
  5. Grab the script you created in step 3 & place on every page of your site.
  6. Wait for the magic to happen.
  7. Send Joel an email & share when you get your first “Man, you guys are everywhere!” comment from one of your paying customers.

Of course, there are a lot more sophisticated ways to use remarketing, but this basic use of remarketing is extremely powerful.

Have fun with it!


Want more sales for your company? Schedule a free consultation with Joel by emailing [email protected], or calling 303-906-8790.