Episode 39: How to Make Your Marketing Smarter with Erin Kelly

Learn how one marketer uses a combination of reporting and engagement tracking to take the guesswork out of marketing.


In last week’s episode (Episode 38), Mike Kelly of Member Vault shared how he uses automated engagement to help course providers strengthen their targeted marketing efforts. Now, Member Vault co-founder Erin Kelly joins the podcast to discuss the marketing strategy behind Member Vault’s success.
Erin is an online business manager who helps her clients form a marketing strategy and manage the technology and tools to execute it. In addition to talking strategy in this episode, she shares her top tips for promoting your content, as well as her favorite ActiveCampaign features.
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Chris Davis: Welcome to another episode of The ActiveCampaign Podcast. I am your host, the director [00:00:30] of education, Chris Davis, and we have a follow-up podcast from the previous podcast. I got to sit down with Mike from Member Vault, and he really went over what the platform is, some of the amazing things that they’re doing as far as increasing, well, let’s start with as far as adding value to their audience and increasing engagement with that value given.

When I sat down [00:01:00] with Mike, he gave a really interesting and deep perspective of everything that was involved with building such a platform. I thought, and even mentioned to it, if you haven’t listened to it, make sure you go and listen to it, activecampaign.com/podcast, and I thought, I said, “You know what? What about the marketing, the strategy behind the product?” That’s where he introduced Erin, who is the co-founder of Member Vault, so today I have with me Erin, and [00:01:30] we’re going to get into the nuts and bolts of the marketing and strategy behind Member Vault.

Erin, welcome. How are you doing?

Erin Kelly: I’m doing great. I’m so excited to talk about automation. Let’s geek out, right?

Chris Davis: Yes, this makes two of us. I have to tell all of our listeners right now. I talked to Erin like five minutes beforehand, and within that five minutes, we both got fired up, so this podcast is the result of that quick ignition of [00:02:00] our excitement around marketing automation. Erin, tell us a little bit about your background in the current capacity that you’re operating in in the business.

Erin Kelly: Awesome. Like you said, I am the co-founder of Member Vault, and it actually came about because of the work that I’ve done previously as an online business manager with a variety of different entrepreneur clients. We saw a need for a little bit more power in the course platforms that were out in the marketplace, [00:02:30] and so it has really evolved, and it has definitely taken over a lot more of my day-to-day efforts. I’ve really scaled back my online business management clients. It’s just, Member Vault, it’s a force. It’s a force to be reckoned with. It pretty much takes up marketing, sales leads, all the crazy stuff we do inside of ActiveCampaign. I mean, I’m always looking to the future and how we can improve the platform, and then also how our existing users are using the platform.

Chris Davis: [00:03:00] Great, great. Now, online business managers, I am very familiar with, but what I’ve been finding over time, Erin, is that a lot of people don’t know they exist. Just really quick, let me tell you on online business managers is essentially someone who aids you in the online portion of your business. Even if it’s brick and mortar, it doesn’t have to be online only, but all of those things with the multiple tools and making sure that everything is in place, that’s what an online [00:03:30] business manager does. Erin, how did you get into that space?

Erin Kelly: I have a background in corporate and a business major with a communications background. I’m fascinated by all of the technology that you can do, all the marketing, and really bringing those two pieces together, and so when I entered the online space, I was like, “Hey, I can really help these clients with both the strategy mind but also the implementation,” which I think is a place where a lot [00:04:00] of people struggle because they love the ideas that they hear, but then they don’t know how to put them into practice with the tools that they have.

Chris Davis: This is correct. I love that. I love that. A lot of our users are in exactly that position. They can see the value of ActiveCampaign, and they can see the value of the various tools that integrate with ActiveCampaign, but a lot of times, they just have troubles piecing it all together. That’s why I will always have a high level of respect for [00:04:30] OBMs that can not only manage but implement because it really is very rare, which it all makes sense, Erin, since you were very effective at being an online business manager. That means you probably didn’t have many times where you didn’t have clients, which puts you in a position to continually serve a specific audience and really get in tune with their needs, pain points, and what was missing. Is that [00:05:00] accurate to say that’s really where the inception of Member Vault came from is just your years of experience?

Erin Kelly: Oh, absolutely. Absolutely. Really, I mean, it came about because I was an OBM, and my husband Mike is a developer, and he got tired of listening to me gripe about the tools I was using. He’s like, “I can create something better,” and so it really has evolved from those early dinner conversation where I was complaining and venting, and he was like, “This is silly. We can create something that’s so much [00:05:30] more powerful.”

Chris Davis: Beautiful. You take him up on his offer. He builds it out, as he mentioned in the previous podcast, and now you’re seeing something, though, right? You’re seeing this two-fold benefit. It’s like, you know what? People are really loving the aspect of course ware, I can creates courses in here as well as content, and not just paid content but free content too because Mike was mentioning how you [00:06:00] can track engagement across all of them. Since then, you’ve made a shift as well. What was that shift?

Erin Kelly: That’s fantastic. Along the lines of really getting inside the brains of your customers, what we were seeing is that because we were offering unlimited courses inside the original, we called ourself a course platform, and we said unlimited courses. What we saw is that our users were taking advantage of that, and they were putting their free content in there as well, and they were putting things that weren’t really traditionally a [00:06:30] course, like they’re one-on-one intensives, live programs, using as a resource hub before their one-on-one clients, just all kinds of really cool things. It had us thinking, we actually, we’re not really course platform, we’re a content platform, and you can put all of your content inside of Member Vault.

Chris Davis: Nice, nice.

Erin Kelly: Yes, yes, and you can really track your content consumption. You can see what’s your most popular, you can see what’s going on with your different opt-ins and all that good stuff, [00:07:00] and of course, I know we’re going to go into this, but you can trigger automated emails based on that content consumption, which is this is where we can really geek out, right?

Chris Davis: That, Erin, that is so huge because I can’t tell you how many business owners I run across, and they’ve got like 10 or 15 or more free offers or lead magnets on their website, and they can’t tell you how any of them are performing. All they know is that, “Hey, I figured out how to create an eBook [00:07:30] with Google Drive and create some fancy graphics with Canva,” and they just start pumping out all of these free offers, and in their mind, they’re thinking, “The more free offers I have, the more leads I’ll get,” and there’s no way for them to track the effectiveness of any one of them.

Erin Kelly: Exactly, and what I’ve seen with a lot of my OBM clients in the last two years is that all that content that they’ve been pumping out, it gets outdated, they don’t know where it lives, so it’s really hard for them to update it or to [00:08:00] share it. I mean, it’s really, it’s not a good use of their energy or their time.

Chris Davis: Yes, absolutely. When you have this platform, you’re starting to see the benefits of it. Let’s rewind just a little bit. Where did ActiveCampaign come into the picture? Was this a tool that you grew to love or learn when you were doing the online business management for clients, or were you brought into the world [00:08:30] of ActiveCampaigns another way?

Erin Kelly: Well, you are going to love my answer. I have been an ActiveCampaign fan girl for probably a little over two years now. I have done ActiveCampaign trainings to get other people on your platform. I really just, as soon as I found it, I fell in love with all the possibilities, and you guys are just continuing to add to all the amazing features and functions that you can do like being able to split-test an automation. I mean, that’s just, [00:09:00] that’s bananas. It’s so cool for a nerd brain like me.

Chris Davis: Yeah, and what’s special about you is you’ve seen so many use cases or need cases, I should say. By serving all of the clients, you can see the value immediately. Your story is like mine. I can’t remember exactly how, it may have been on Twitter. I can’t remember how I found ActiveCampaign, but I just remember when I found it I was like, “Oh my gosh. I’ll be able to do this, I’ll be able to do this.” [00:09:30] No.

Erin Kelly: Yes, exactly.

Chris Davis: I had a list of everything that I wanted to do and essentially checked all those boxes. I would imagine you’re using ActiveCampaign the right way, and by the right way, I mean you’ve got a front end and a back end, and you’re using ActiveCampaign across both. Let’s talk about that a little bit. In what capacity are you using ActiveCampaign on the front end to generate leads and do some nurturing, and then what are some of the [00:10:00] back end automation that you’re doing after you’ve captured them as a customer?

Erin Kelly: I would start with … I mean, because, like you said, I worked with so many different clients that I’ve used ActiveCampaign in a bunch of different ways but in specific for Member Vaults, we actually, we have a free mini course that we run people through because we’ve discovered people want to see what it looks like as a user, and we have a completion discount or the completion bonus [00:10:30] that when they actually go through the entire course that they are then able to get not only our free trial, but also some additional bonuses. We really use a lot of tagging in that, automations.

We have not gotten into lead scoring, although it is on my agenda to really flush that out, but as you know, it’s so hard when you don’t really have enough time to do everything. We haven’t put that into place yet, but I absolutely love your lead scoring. That is one of the starting [00:11:00] points of our conversions with future clients and really seeing what they’re doing inside of our Member Vault. Like I said, you can really see how they’re consuming your content. We have a few other free things that are inside our Member Vault account, and we also have a tripwire product, and it’s so cool to be able to see how they come in through that free course, and then they start clicking around and looking at our free trial, they look at our tripwire, all these things, and it’s all happening by [00:11:30] automatic tagging inside of Member Vault that then goes over to ActiveCampaign.

Chris Davis: It really is priceless when we’re talking about marketing to be able to effectively track all interaction after the point of conversion from prospect to lead. What it does is it puts you in position, let’s say you get 200 leads from Facebook and 180 leads from Pinterest, let’s [00:12:00] just say. Now, you’re able to say, “You know what? My Pinterest leads, believe it or not, they’re lower, but they are way more engaged. I mean, look at the consumption rate. They go through this free course in the average of two days.”

Erin Kelly: Which would make them a star student, and they would be tagged with that, so it’s fantastic.

Chris Davis: Oh my gosh, so I love that. Now, you’re able to make smarter decisions in your marketing, like now you’ve got a thousand dollars of ad [00:12:30] spend, we’ll say, that you want to place it on, and you have your options. You say, “Hey, these Facebook leads, I get more leads, but they’re a lot slower. It’s the beginning of the month, maybe I want a cash injection for the month. I want to put my money where I know it’s going to give me the highest engagement and most immediate return.” It’s taken the guesswork out of marketing, which is the most expensive price you’re going to pay is guessing what somebody will do or how profitable [00:13:00] it is.

Erin Kelly: Exactly.

Chris Davis: I love it.

Erin Kelly: Exactly. Yeah, and I mean, the really cool thing is we’re building out a reporting that’s really great already, but you can see inside of any kind of content that you put inside there, what are the lessons that people are hitting really hard, which are the lessons that they’re clearly avoiding. That gives you a lot of informed information, like what should you be putting in your ad copy, what should you be putting in your social media copy, your email marketing? What are the types of lessons that are really grabbing people and getting them excited?

Chris Davis: [00:13:30] Yeah, and oh my goodness, every time I have these podcasts and you all talk with your expertise that you have, it always, like light bulbs always go off. One that just went off was I never thought of it, and I’m listening to you Erin, and I never realized it, but retargeting is like a two-fold effort. One, it’s staying in front of a lead that you already have, but you can [00:14:00] also use retargeting, or I should say like-audiences, that’s not really retargeting, but like-audiences to go find people that look like those good leads.

Erin Kelly: Yes, yes.

Chris Davis: That’s the common strategy with ads, but what you just helped me realized that a membership site is another level for you to be able to go find more people who are engaging because like you said, you see what they’re skipping over, you see what they’re consuming the most, and that, now, informs what content [00:14:30] you put out in front of others to attract them so that when they do come, they’re attracted by action that you observed in your members.

Erin Kelly: Oh, yeah.

Chris Davis: Wow.

Erin Kelly: Oh, yeah. It can build and build and build until it creates this whole amazing strategy for your business

Chris Davis: I love it. I love it. What’s being unsaid, which we’re just kind of just talking over, is the fact that none of this power [00:15:00] is good for anybody who’s not going to do their due diligence want to set it up and to look at it, like analyze what is happening, what story are the tags telling you, looking at your analytics and reporting, which when Mike mentioned it, I was so excited to hear about the analytics and reporting because I feel like that’s the shallowest part of a lot of course and membership platforms. [inaudible 00:15:27]-

Erin Kelly: It’s kind of the most important part.

Chris Davis: [00:15:30] Right?

Erin Kelly: Right?

Chris Davis: I mean, for marketers, you have to understand, this is like marketing crack for us. We can’t get enough of analytics and reporting. We have to know what’s going on. It’s amazing how we are going through withdrawal. Nobody is giving it to us as marketers.

Erin Kelly: Right, right. I mean, it’s very energizing seeing an immediate graph pop up for your efforts. For example, one [00:16:00] of my clients, what we did is we gave all of her subscribers, the entire base of subscribers, we gave them access to a core piece of free content. We emailed them, and we said, “Hey, here’s your free gift. I want to reward you for being an amazing subscriber. You can log in here and get this free gift that I’ve created for you.” It was so cool to see all these people popping into her Member Vault, and not only consuming the free content, but then looking at all of her paid content that she has available and her other free content that they haven’t opted [00:16:30] into yet. It was so fun to see all that data just start pouring in.

Chris Davis: I love it, and to make things simple for everybody, it’s not like, one thing that you did not hear Erin say is that, “And she built out hundreds of courses.” You don’t even have to built out a whole lot. If you have an idea, and you’re trying to vet the idea, like, “Hmm, I wonder if my audience would like this, this, and that,” if you’ve got a members’ area where you can easily [00:17:00] see what they’re clicking on and what pages they’re visiting, all it takes is really a graphic that says coming soon-

Erin Kelly: Oh, yes.

Chris Davis: … such and such course and see who’s clicked. If over half of the people are clicking, that’s a pretty good indication I should probably build this course.

Erin Kelly: Right, oh my gosh. I love that you brought that up, and that was one of the things that we did is that we created an option to have teaser content for any offer that you have that they don’t have access to, so they can click on the teaser content. It’s like the equivalent to a Kindle [00:17:30] eBook preview. They can get a taste of it. You could use that for anything. Like you said, it doesn’t even need to be something that exists yet. It could totally be something that you’re pre-validating. Just put some teaser content in there, throw together a cover in Canva, it’ll take you two seconds, and then you can have a wait list link so that they can join the wait list or they can put down a deposit or whatever you want to do with your particular strategy.

Chris Davis: Yes, and this is just one reason why I really love membership [00:18:00] sites, or what I like to call it is membership marketing, is because it really allows you to strengthen the relationship. At the end of the day, that’s what we’re doing, Erin, we’re strengthening the relationship, and if I’m more in tune with what you like and what you’re looking for, I can better meet your needs, not for the sake of making more money. That’s a byproduct. More money is going to be the byproduct, and money will always be the result [00:18:30] of value. My members area-

Erin Kelly: I came to the table-

Chris Davis: Go ahead.

Erin Kelly: I came to the table with some fun statistics-

Chris Davis: All right. Here we go.

Erin Kelly: … for you I thought you would enjoy. Over 75% of email revenue is generated by triggered campaigns rather than one-size-fits-all campaigns.

Chris Davis: Wow.

Erin Kelly: Automated email campaigns account for 21% of email marketing revenue, which is pretty mind-boggling. We’re giving you the opportunity … Right, you love that. Yeah, I mean, [00:19:00] so we’re giving you the opportunity to really create some robust automation campaigns that are based on actual content consumption inside of Member Vault, which is just, there’s so much power. Like you said, really getting to know what people are doing. Are they completing free content? Are they completing paid content? Are they passing quizzes? Are they viewing that teaser content because that’s another tag that we have, so you can actually create like a abandoned shopping cart kind of automation. There’s just, there’s all these possibilities, but you’re making it very specific [00:19:30] based on their individual user experience.

Chris Davis: Yeah, I love the word triggered emails, and the reason why I love it is because a triggered email means that that content, they met a specific criteria, and if they met a specific criteria to receive that email, that means it’s a targeted email.

Erin Kelly: Exactly.

Chris Davis: Right, and we all know, that the more targeted you can get in [00:20:00] your marketing, the higher your rates are going to be across the board. Speaking of some of the triggered emails, what have you seen, specific to Member Vault, in terms of triggered emails that have worked the best for you, like what time is it when they’ve completed their first lesson or when they’ve downloaded our resources. What are some trigger events that you’ve seen show like the highest indication of intention for the next step?

Erin Kelly: [00:20:30] I would say that a triggered email sent after they complete the entire chunk of free content, so an opt-in that they have consumed inside of Member Vault, that is a fantastic time to send them an email saying, “Here is what your next step should be,” like you just finished this. Awesome. Celebrate. Yay. Now, let’s do this, and this is what’s going to be relevant to you now that you’ve learned whatever that topic is. That’s really a fantastic … We’ve seen a huge amount of engagement and sales on that.

Chris Davis: Great.

Erin Kelly: The other thing is we [00:21:00] have a client right now that’s running a live program where every week they have homework, and they need to complete the homework to be able to get some extra bonuses in the next week. She actually has the homework set up inside of our quiz function, and so she’s able to send automated, previously-scheduled emails to people that haven’t completed the homework for that week saying, “Hey-“

Chris Davis: Oh, yeah.

Erin Kelly: Yeah, saying, “Hey, it’s due tomorrow. If you don’t do this you’re not going to be able to get this [00:21:30] other thing,” and so they’ve seen amazing … It’s a three-month program, and they have seen engagement really stay stable all the way through because of those touches saying, “Hey, I know what’s going on, that accountability.” Even though it’s completely scheduled and automated on her end, the people that are getting those emails are feeling like, “Uh oh. I need to do my homework so I can get that other bonus.”

Chris Davis: I … Oh my goodness, this is so good. I could only imagine because I’m trying to make things easy for the listener [00:22:00] because a lot of times, here’s what happens. Erin, you can explain it so well. You’re integrated with your business. You know how it’s working and this and that, but a lot of times, what they don’t see are the steps beforehand, and I’m just projecting on to you, so correct me if I’m right or wrong, you didn’t know the events that you wanted to trigger off of, but you had a platform that allowed you to trigger off multiple events. Then when you went back and looked at, “Okay, how effective was this [00:22:30] event? How effective was that event?” you were then able to determine which ones we need to focus on.

Erin Kelly: Absolutely. No, it’s definitely an evolution. I think that’s where a lot of people in their businesses, they get so overwhelmed, and ActiveCampaign’s a great example because ActiveCampaign has so many features that you can use and so much potential that you can get really overwhelmed that you need to have this massively built-out sales funnel and all these triggered emails and all of this stuff, and really, it’s start from where you are, do a few things, see how they work, [00:23:00] and then you’re going to be inspired for where you can put more energy and what’s working well, what’s not.

Chris Davis: Yeah, and it’s focused energy, educated and focused energy. One thing, everybody, I just want to note, I did not, this was not a leading question. Erin explained this on her own. When I asked her some of the front-end marketing, did you all pay attention that she didn’t have five or ten things upfront? There was the course, right? There’s a course, [00:23:30] and then you’ve got a tripwire offer, and those two are working extremely effectively. Why? Because Erin is going back and looking at the data collected. Her platform is providing deeper analytics, so she is very well educated on what to do next. I say all that to say what I’ve been saying: You don’t need 50 lead magnets.

Erin Kelly: I’m so glad you said that.

Chris Davis: Oh my goodness.

Erin Kelly: I’m so glad. I think that it really does, it shows you how old [00:24:00] in business years someone is by how many opt-ins are creating because I feel like when you first start out, you are. You’re just trying … It really is kind of a product of learning what sticks, and so you’re creating a bunch of content to see what is getting a bunch of leads, but the problem is, is people are constantly flip flopping, and they’re always creating new content, and they’re never going back and really improving any one piece. I would say that’s probably my biggest advice to anyone that joins Member Vault is that they should choose their best [00:24:30] content, their best free content, and their tripwires, their best paid offers and keep it really streamlined so that people don’t get confused because that is what happens. When you throw a bunch of content at them, they’re going to be like, “I don’t know. Which one should I sign up for?” I’m already overwhelmed in my day-to-day. I want a streamlined ladder of experiences.

Chris Davis: Yup, absolutely. What I’ve seen is if they do end up opting in, they opt-in for everything because they don’t want to be left out, and then they don’t consumed any of it.

Erin Kelly: Right, because they get [00:25:00] overwhelmed.

Chris Davis: Yeah, they get overwhelmed. Great, Erin, oh my goodness. I knew it was going to be like this. We could talk for days about this stuff, but okay, so we’ve got the front end course that leads them to the consumption area and places us in position to do our membership marketing. We’re smart marketers, we’re looking at what they’re doing, what links they’re clicking, where their interest is so [00:25:30] we can determine what next to put in front of them, and now they’re in the system. They’re going along, they’re getting triggered emails from us. They’re buying courses, they’re doing everything that we anticipated because we did our due diligence of mapping out the journey. What are some, in building this out, what are some areas that you’ve been able to use ActiveCampaign and automate that weren’t necessarily on your list upfront. You’re like, “Oh, wait a minute. Let’s use ActiveCampaign for that,” or, “You know, hey, we can [00:26:00] automate that.”

Erin Kelly: Right, right. No, that happens all the time, actually. I’m not plugging you guys. I promise. I’m not paid, but yeah, no, I think it’s fantastic because there’s always new opportunities like with the goals. One of the things that we’ve really been using a lot in our back end automations is the notification trigger so that if someone cancels their free trial that we’re able to automatically notify Mike, who is [00:26:30] our developer, so that he can close out their subdomain. It sends an automated email to the user saying, “Hey, you’re about to lose your subdomain, and we really want to work with you,” and yaddy yada. We’re so evolving that email, as you know, it is, it’s all about open rates, click rates, is it converting, are they coming back, that kind of thing.

The thing that we are exploring now is splitting that automation and testing [00:27:00] some additional nurture campaigns for those people that do cancel their free trial because typically, especially when we are putting ourselves out there as a course platform, what we ran into is that people were really excited about Member Vault, but they didn’t have their course content ready yet. As they came to the end of their 14-day free trial, they were like, “I love Member Vault, but I’m not ready yet because I don’t have my content,” so we really need to have a strong lead nurturer follow-up process, and it really is, it’s just me and my husband, we have a one-year-old. We’re really busy, just [00:27:30] like everyone else is, and so we really need to have it be automated as much as possible so that things don’t fall though the cracks. I think that that really is what I’m exploring right now that’s super power is those notifications to the team members of actions that they need to take, and then I’m really excited about split testing the automation for, it’s a lead nurture for people that have canceled their free trials.

Chris Davis: Yeah, it’s one of my unsung hero actions in ActiveCampaign is the internal notification, [00:28:00] and I love them because you can use personalization tags. You can put any information you have on the contact in it, even if it’s a notification to yourself.

Erin Kelly: Right, exactly. No, it’s magical. It really is. It’s like, it’s so cool once you start using it.

Chris Davis: Absolutely. What I found, Erin, is when I’m, I used to just write like a sentence in those internal notifications because I figured I would remember. All I need is a sentence, [00:28:30] and I was like, “Oh my gosh. No, I won’t.” After I built an automation, like two days have passed, I forgot about it. It’s not even on my mind, so-

Erin Kelly: Exactly.

Chris Davis: … the internal notifications now, they’re like paragraphs that I wrote to myself.

Erin Kelly: Yeah, yeah, absolutely. I would say to the people that haven’t really ford this yet, it would be a fantastic way to set up your follow-ups. You can put a copy-and-paste email in your notification that says, “Contact this person. Follow up with them,” and this is the email they’ll just copy [00:29:00] and paste and send to them.

Chris Davis: Oh, I love it. Now, I hadn’t thought of that, Erin, I will admit. I hadn’t thought of that. That is, that’s amazing because what it does is now, even if it’s to you, because now we’re talking about true systems in place for our business and being able to scale by potentially bringing on somebody, and if we did want to bring somebody on, we need processes in place, and we need to make sure that we don’t overload that person with [00:29:30] stuff to do if we want to continue our growth trajectory. What that does is maybe those internal notifications are coming to you, but you’ve drafted them, especially by including that email copy to just with the switch of an email, they can go to someone else, and you can anticipate the same level of quality. Right?

Erin Kelly: Yes.

Chris Davis: That, oh, I love it. I absolutely love it. Honestly, I think that’s a pillar to [00:30:00] when you’re growing your business is to make sure that when you do have this internal synchronization between team members using technology that you make sure that you over-communicate in those messages and make it as easy as possible for the recipient to respond because it’s automation. It’s free. You do the, you do-

Erin Kelly: Yeah, you should use it.

Chris Davis: Yeah, you do the work once, and you continually get the benefit from it.

Erin Kelly: [00:30:30] That sounded like a marketing tagline right there. I loved it.

Chris Davis: I may have to go back and listen to it and take it out because a lot of times on these podcasts, it’s just talking, and just a quick side, I get all kind of emails, sometimes I make up words. I do, or I’ll mispronounce a word, and then somebody on the team, they’re like, “Chris, I don’t think that’s a word,” or, “I think you’re saying that word wrong.”

Erin Kelly: It’s a word now.

Chris Davis: But hey, this is what it is. This is not pre-scripted, and I think that’s what people really enjoy about the podcast. [00:31:00] Erin, I absolutely … If I had a stamp of approval that I could just put on you right now, just put it all over the place, you and Mike, because you’re do so many things right, and it’s not that the reason why is because I say so. It’s because look at the results. Look at the results and the practice that you’ve put in place. From the co-founder’s point of view, what are the next set [00:31:30] of challenges that Member Vault faces that you’re excited about tackling?

Erin Kelly: I would say that our biggest challenge coming down the pike is scaling. We need to be prepared. Right now, we’ve been doing manageable growth where Mike and I can really handle the customer support. We have intercom so our users are able to access us pretty much, not quite 24/7, but pretty close because we do have a little kid, so we’re up at all hours [00:32:00] and great at answering the intercom.

We’re really looking to what happens when we bring on 200 users, 300 users? We want to be able to continue to support them in the same fashion that we’ve been thus far, so we’re going to be looking at probably bringing on a customer support person, and like you said, making sure that the quality of service stays the same. That’s definitely going to be a challenge. As we all know, hiring someone and making sure that they get as much of a download of our brain as possible and [00:32:30] are really supported in doing their job, so that would be a challenge. In terms of what’s exciting us, we are implementing a lot of gamification in the platform-

Chris Davis: Oh, nice.

Erin Kelly: … and future pushes. Yes, very exciting. I think you’ll love this. We are really building out the engagement points that we give both the content, so you can see the engagement points in your best content, but also your users that are getting the highest engagement points based on the content that they’re consuming which will marry very nicely with lead scoring.

Chris Davis: [00:33:00] That is … You’re right on it. You’re right on it, and it doesn’t surprise me because most of the people who are building platforms or are marketing to a specific audience are strongly accurate because they’re still, in some capacity, doing it. They’re still integrated with the lives of their users. They’re not so disconnected that they’re still, they’ve gone from knowing to guessing. I think [00:33:30] that because we just finished up with the membership series, and one of the things that stood out towards the end, we had a bonus podcast in there with another platform, and they were talking about gamification, I’ve been looking gamification for a while and have been a recipient of it. I found that the courses that I do engage with the most are the ones that give me some form of acknowledgement and recognition whether it’s a badge or stars or my name [00:34:00] changes, from start to advanced, we’re all right.

Erin Kelly: Yeah, we all like to be acknowledged. I mean, that’s across the board for any learner.

Chris Davis: Yup, yup. I think you’re right where you need to be. I can’t wait to see the gamification, honestly.

Erin Kelly: Yay.

Chris Davis: My only gripe is that it’s been too hard because it’s like a second thought for a lot of membership and course sites right now. A lot of the course platforms don’t even have it native. Isn’t that crazy?

Erin Kelly: Mm-hmm (affirmative). [00:34:30] I mean, I get it from their end, but yeah, I mean, it really does have to be easy if people are going to use it.

Chris Davis: I remember, I mean, it brings me back to way before we even had the ability to create courses as entrepreneurs. You would go into forums, and you’re reading a response that maybe somebody else asked, I mean, you’re reading a question, the responses to a question that somebody else asked that you wish you would’ve asked. I always remember paying attention to the responses of the people who had like five [00:35:00] stars next to their name.

Erin Kelly: Right, yup. Absolutely, absolutely. I mean, for me, I’m a super competitive person, so gamification totally works on me. Like you said, if I get a star or a badge or my name changes, I mean, I will do all kinds of things to achieve that, and that’s not even looking at the possibilities of giving discounts or bonuses or other incentives to your top performers, your top consumers.

Chris Davis: Yup, yup. Well, great. Great. Erin, this has been an absolute pleasure [00:35:30] sitting down and talking to you. I’ve enjoyed talking to the both of you, and the biggest part is I get to inform our audience on exactly who it is behind the software because that matters. They’re entrusting, they’re marketing it to you. It’s good for them to know like, “Oh my gosh, I really … She is so sharp. Oh my God. They really get it. Not only do I want to get their platform, but I want to learn from them.” I [00:36:00] think everybody deserves that ability or that opportunity so thank you. Thank you, thank you for-

Erin Kelly: Thank you.

Chris Davis: … providing that for us today and our users. Best of wishes to you and Mike with Member Vault. I will be keeping a close eye, close eye and cheering from the sideline with everything you do. We appreciate it here at ActiveCampaign, the service that you’re providing, the platform that you’re providing. With that being said, as for [00:36:30] our closing words, what would you give to somebody just getting started with ActiveCampaign? They have the excitement of a child in a candy store, and you want to keep that momentum going, what’s one bit of sage advice you would give that person getting started?

Erin Kelly: I would say just get started, just try something. Don’t be scared or overwhelmed. Just put something out there, and then you’re going to be so excited [00:37:00] by what happens that it’s going to make you learn a little bit more, try something else, and before you know, you’ll be an expert.

Chris Davis: Yeah, there’s nothing like putting some skin in the game.

Erin Kelly: Yeah, just do it.

Chris Davis: Just do it. All right with that being said, signing off here. Erin, again, thank you so much. Everybody listening, membervault.com or dot co, I can’t …

Erin Kelly: Dot co.

Chris Davis: Dot co. Membervault.co, the link will be the show notes. Erin, again, thank you so much for the time. Thank you for the transparency. [00:37:30] It was a pleasure having you on the podcast.

Erin Kelly: Thank you.

Chris Davis: Thank you for taking the time to listen to this episode of The ActiveCampaign Podcast. This was a joy and a true pleasure because there’s … I tell people all the time. You’d be surprised that how many people stumble into success, and you ask them how they did it, and [00:38:00] they can’t recollect. They can’t tell you exactly how they did it, and they give you these lofty answers that leave you more confused than anything, so it’s always refreshing to see somebody who’s successful because they’re successful at what they’re doing.

That’s what we saw today in the podcast with Erin is somebody who started, wasn’t afraid to just get started, put something down, and then analyze its performance. That reiterative process of execution, analyze, execution, [00:38:30] analyze provides you all of the information, not just a little bit, but all of the information you need to be intelligent with your marketing and execute effectively on your inbound and outbound marketing.

With that being said, if you are not a subscriber to the podcast, do you not see the value? Activecampaign.com/podcast, you can listen to all of the previous episodes, or you can just subscribe and get a notification [00:39:00] every Friday when a new episode comes out. We’re in iTunes, Google Play, Stitcher Radio, SoundCloud, any of those platforms. Use your mobile device, use your desktop device and subscribe. Please, in addition to that, leave a five-star rating and comment in iTunes or Google Play, wherever you’re subscribed to let people know about the podcast and how positively it’s impacting your life.

If any of this was confusing [00:39:30] or if you’re stuck at any point with your ActiveCampaign account whether it’s a trial or a paid, I invite you to schedule a one-on-one. Don’t stay stuck. You have no reason to. We have resources available for you. We have people that you can talk to one-on-one to help move the needle in your business. That is available at activecampaign.com/training.

Last but not least, yours truly is responsible for the education center where we create [00:40:00] guided content to help you in your ActiveCampaign and marketing automation journey. All of that content is available, activecampaign.com/learn. This is The ActiveCampaign Podcast, the small-business podcast to help you scale and propel your business with automation. I’ll see you on the next episode.