Are you losing customers due to your checkout page? The look of your checkout page and the customer experience it provides can have a huge impact on conversion rates. In today’s Infusioncast episode, Joshua Millage talks with SamCart founder Brian Moran about how he went from losing over 80% of his site’s visitors to cart abandonment to creating his own checkout page software solution that integrates with Infusionsoft and creates beautiful checkout pages that convert.
Brian Moran decided to become an entrepreneur, because he was miserable at his day job. He played baseball in college, and his first website was TrainBaseball.com, where Brian sells digital training courses to young baseball players, their parents, and their coaches. It took over a year for him to make the first sale, which shows the importance of choosing a market that you love and will stick with!
While he was working on growing his baseball training website, he met Paul Reddick, who also runs a baseball site. Paul was impressed with what Brian was doing to get a lot of Facebook fans, and he suggested that Brian teach that to people. And that’s how Brian’s second business Get 10,000 Fans was born. In the first month of Get 10,000 Fans Brian did $10,000, and within a year he was doing over six figures a month.
With the business booming, Brian realized that over 80% of visitors that went to the checkout page were abandoning their cart, because it didn’t look very good. He decided right then and there to build SamCart, a tool that has templates for creating checkout pages that convert. With SamCart you can create beautiful order forms for your sales funnels and eCommerce websites, and the checkout pages also allow you to do one-click upsells. SamCart integrates with Infusionsoft, as well as with other email marketing platforms.
To get in a good frame of mind every morning, Brian uses the Five Minute Journal app where it asks for three things you’re grateful for, three things that would make today great, and has your daily affirmations.
Connect with Brian Moran
You can connect with Brian Moran through live chat on SamCart.com. You can also call the phone number listed on SamCart.com and ask to speak with Brian. On Facebook you can connect with Brian at Facebook.com/samcartapp.
Joshua: Hi Everyone, welcome back to another episode of Infusioncast. Today I had the opportunity of interviewing Brian Moran. Brian is the CEO of SamCart, which is a wonderful software tool that allows you to create beautiful order forms for your sales funnels and eCommerce websites. It integrates with Infusionsoft, which of course is one of my favorite features. If you’ve been an Infusionsoft user for any amount of time, you probably know that Infusionsoft order forms aren’t exactly the most beautiful things under the sun. SamCart helps us make them beautiful, effective, and increase the conversions. I think that it’s something that a lot of us should look into, because if we look at our sales funnels, we’ll probably see that when people get to those order forms, there is some drop offs, and SamCart helps us solve that issue.
Brian and I talk about a number of things; his previous companies around baseball training, online baseball training, as well as his very popular Facebook advertising training product called Get 10,000 Fans. Some of you might know him from that company. We’ll talk about some of the things he’s learned along the way of building multiple successful companies. Without further ado, let’s get into it.
Announcer: How the heck do you use Infusionsoft? How do you make it work for you? Welcome to Infusioncast, the only Podcast that shows you the tricks of the trade and teaches you how to be an Infusionsoft expert. Join your host, Joshua Millage, as he sits down with Infusionsoft pros to hear their stories and experiences making Infusionsoft work for them. Ready? Here is Joshua.
Joshua: Hello Everyone, welcome back to another episode of Infusioncast. My guest today is Brian Moran. Brian is the co-founder of SamCart, which is an absolutely fantastic piece of software that helps you make beautiful order forms in your Infusionsoft application. Brian, thank you so much for coming on Infusioncast.
Brian: Yeah, thanks for having me.
Joshua: I’m curious, before we go into Infusionsoft and SamCart, I want to know how you got started as an entrepreneur. I’ve heard some things, I’ve listened to some podcasts, read some blog posts, but I want to hear it from your lips, Sir. Tell me, where did you start way back in the day?
Brian: Man, it’s crazy. Every time I tell a story, I feel I’m getting older and older. I graduated college in late 2008 and had nothing on my mind in my entire life up until that point other than baseball. I grew up playing baseball, played in high school, got recruited to play in college. I went to college, studied marketing, went to as few classes as possible and spent all my time on the baseball field in the weight rooms. Long story short, when I got out of school, I thought I was going to get drafted and go play major league baseball. Through injuries and a whole bunch of other stuff, my career kind of got cut short. I was on my way home, had been dating a girl for a while, and I just had asked her to marry me. I was kind of at that point where I was thinking, “Look, the baseball career is sort of coming to an end, so I need to find a way to make some money for this new wife I’m going to have in under a year.”
Like most college grads I started putting job applications everywhere and landed a really great job here in the Baltimore/DC area where I’m from, where I grew up. Long story short, it didn’t take a whole long time, probably like just over a year, before I was just absolutely miserable. I was getting up before the sun came up, I was coming home after the sun went down. I was barely seeing my new wife, and I was miserable. I was spending no time at home, I was doing a job that I hated doing, I was at a desk all day, and I was just tired. Anyway I had, like I said, I studied marketing in school. I always knew since I was little, I kind of grew up watching my dad be an entrepreneur and never working for anybody else, so I knew that was kind of my end goal. I didn’t think I would start doing it as soon as I did, but it was literally just one summer afternoon, I was hanging out at my parents’ house, and I just started looking online for, “how can I make money on my own?”
Can I start a website? I did a little bit of graphic design, kind of web development stuff in college. I wasn’t really a techie at all, but just was familiar with the internet and putting up websites and things like that. Long story short, I started my first site. At the time, again baseball was all I could think about, even having my career been ended. I figured, why don’t I start a baseball site and create some videos or write a couple of eBooks and sell them to young baseball players who are trying to become better at the game of baseball?
That was the birth of my first site which was called trainbaseball.com. It’s still live today, but we don’t really work on it a whole lot, because we have some much bigger projects going on. That was kind of how I first got started. It’s how I learned how to put up a WordPress site. It’s how I learned what email marketing was, what an info product was, because that was kind of the industry we were in. It was creating digital content like training courses to sell these young baseball players or their parents and coaches. One thing kind of led to another, and I got that thing up and running. It took a long time, I think over a year before I made my first sale. I just fell in love with the marketing side. I was fortunate, because I was teaching something I loved to do, which, I guess one piece of advice I would tell anybody else who is just starting out is make sure you love what you are doing. I was lucky enough that I picked something that I really liked to do.
Joshua: Real quick Brian, I’m curious. It takes a year and a half with this business to generate a sale. Is that the key to staying motivated through that? That season, I guess you could say of launching this first business, is really just loving what you do? I know a lot of people, it’s like it seems like they don’t stick with something for more than two weeks before like, “Oh, I don’t know,” and they move on the next. How did you kind of dig in on that?
Brian: I think it’s a combination. It definitely helped that I loved what I was doing. If I had a dog training site, which, I love dogs and everything, but I’m not a dog trainer. If I just thought that was the hot niche to get into, and I could make a lot of money, I wouldn’t have lasted a month. Creating content, writing copy, creating products about something that you don’t really care about can probably only last so long in my opinion. It was a combination of I had to make this work. I was so miserable at my job that there was no option, at least for me. That’s kind of the mindset I’ve always had playing sports and business and everything is, “I’m not going to fail.” One way or another I’ll figure this thing out. I think it was a combination, doing something I really loved doing and just deciding before I even got started that I was going to make it work one way or another.
Joshua: That’s fantastic. I love that and that tenacity and kind of that mentality of burning the boats and so we can only go ahead. It’s really important I think, especially in those early days when you are really figuring things out. I always joke my first business was really similar. I was selling fitness products online, but same model. I just loved testing and kind of being a guinea pig for different supplements and then writing about them. It was about the same amount of time. It took about a year to generate the first sale, but I joke, I was like, that was so valuable. I wasn’t getting paid monetarily but I was getting a really good education, which in my mind was more valuable than my MBA, so I think it was an important phase to walk through.
Brian: Yeah, I completely agree.
Joshua: Yeah, keep going I’m curious, how did this turn into 10,000 Fans?
Brian: Yeah, I got my site, I was making a couple of grand a month. It wasn’t enough to quit my job or anything crazy, but I knew I needed to find a mentor. I had no friends or family who even knew what internet marketing was or how to put up a website, let alone a website that actually generates a lot of revenue. I just started reaching out to anyone I could find in the baseball world who their site looked like it was bigger than mine. Through a chain of events I ended up meeting a guy named Paul Reddick who runs a site called 90mphclub. He is a pitching coach, teaches guys how to throw harder off the mount.
He is based up in New Jersey, so not so far from me. Anyway we became pretty fast friends and he’s been one of my biggest mentors to date really. He kind of took me under his wing and taught me a lot of stuff I didn’t know, and it was actually at an event of his. He was putting on actually a fitness event. One of his passions is helping guys that own their own gym. I went up to New Jersey to meet him and to kind of see who he is all about and see if there is any way he could help me. He started asking about my business, because he saw me doing a lot of stuff on Facebook to promote my Train Baseball business.
I was creating a fan page, I had over 10,000 fans, which at the time, this was 2010, was pretty uncommon. I was running a lot of Facebook ads and this was stuff that he hadn’t really kind of delved into at all. He’s more old school. He got started in the 90s, so he was doing a lot of Google AdWords and SEO. I kind of brought something else to the table that he could learn from, and I started showing him what I was doing. He was so impressed that his advice to me was, “Get out of the baseball world, because there is only so much money to be made there, and jump into basically the business consulting arena. Go teach people what you are doing on Facebook to promote and succeed in your baseball business.”
He’s actually the one that on the spot came up with the name Get 10,000 Fans. Long story short, I drove home, this was the fall of 2010, and six weeks later I launched my new site, my second site which was get10000fans.com. That is the one that just through good timing, a little bit of luck, and a lot of hard work, like I said my baseball site hadn’t really made over I think like $5,000 a month up until that point. In our first month with Get 10,000 Fans, again it was just me. My little brother was helping me out a little bit from college, but it was just me. The first month we did $10,000, then $20,000, then $40,000, and within the year we were up over six figures a month.
It was just one of those crazy roller-coaster rides that just kind of took off, and like I said, I was at the right place at the right time teaching a subject that a lot of people at that time were really curious about. Yeah, that’s kind of what got my name out there in the marketing world as someone who knew how to monetize Facebook.
Joshua: Yeah, and it is a brilliant program. I was at a company a while back. It was an agency in LA that actually bought your training.
Joshua: They were like, “This is what we all need to learn.” That was probably right around the same time as you were launching it to be honest, but …
Brian: Yeah, that was a while ago now.
Joshua: Indeed, it’s fantastic. I love the story of listening to mentors. I think that’s a key thing that people can take away from this, is like getting out of our own bubble and getting perspective can really show and illuminate opportunities that are out there. Sometimes it’s things that we are already doing that we don’t know are really valuable, and so I love that part of your story. Does that kind of tie in to SamCart too, because …
Brian: Yeah, it definitely does. As Get 10,000 Fans started to grow, and our first year we did a million bucks, and it doubled the year after that. We were just on this crazy kind of growth stage, and trainbaseball.com is still doing well. As most people listening to this know, as your business grows you start looking for tons of new tools. Whether it’s a shopping cart or a split testing software or some analytics software, a landing page builder, everyone listening to this knows how many tools there are available to marketers, especially online marketers. It’s endless. One of the things that I kept going back to was that whatever shopping cart we were using, which at the time was 1ShoppingCart, number one, it looks like it was built in the 60’s, and I don’t think anyone supports it anymore. We finally moved over. We had a couple of products on ClickBank, which was not a good experience. We finally kind of chopped it up and got an Infusionsoft account, and we loved it. We could do all kinds of stuff obviously with email, I don’t need to tell the listeners here what you can do with Infusionsoft, you all know.
I was really excited because of the opportunity we had marketing-wise, but what really was slowing us down was creating checkout pages. We wanted them to look really nice. We would spend all this time on our website, on our sales pages, on our logos and designs, and then someone would come to our order page which is the last step before someone gives you their money. The page just looked horrendous and I knew it was converting bad. We were losing. I think over 80% of our visitors that hit that page were abandoning their cart, because they just were probably nervous because it just didn’t look that legit. That was it. That was probably late 2012, and so we were quite a few years away from that, but that was like the first day that I kind of decided that. I didn’t really decide that I was going to be a software guy, but we decided right then and there that we had to build our own tool. We couldn’t just wait for Infusionsoft to do it or wait for someone else to come out with something, it was too important.
We needed to know our stats, where our sales were coming from. We needed to be able to create one-click upsells, we needed to be able to split-test our checkout page designs and actually have them look good, and the list goes on and on. We really built it so that it didn’t have to be a replacement for Infusion, because I didn’t want to get in … Our goal is not to be a marketing tool or really like an analytics tool, it’s just to let people create checkout pages and one-click upsells.
Joshua: It’s so important to you. You bring up a great point. I think we are in the midst of this funnel craze and in the process of like hearing about, “okay, yeah, opt-in page and this page, that page.” It’s almost like order page kind of flies under the radar and they’re like, “And then you just send them to the order page” and there you go. It’s like, “whoa, whoa, whoa!” I’ve seen the exact same thing, and in our pre-chat I mentioned that we are going to be switching to SamCart here in this next quarter for our product LifterLMS. I love it. It solves a major pain point that I’m experiencing with, I’m using a WooCommerce checkout process, but the designs are always off. It seems like it’s pulling teeth to do a one-click upsell, or you’ve got to pay someone else like a ton of money for his app, and that just feels kind of weird.
You could hack it with Infusionsoft, and I know we’ve talked about that on previous episodes, but then again there are some really huge cons. You are coming in, and you are just making it easy. I did a trial, and it was literally like feeling like I was breathing really thin air for the longest time. Like I couldn’t get a good breath, and then I saw the back end of your software, I was like, “Oh God, this is exactly what I was looking for.” I want to ask you a couple of questions about SamCart for Infusionsoft users. It’s really easy to connect the app to your software, but you have some, I would call them like advanced features, like the ability to apply and remove tags. What are some of the things that Infusionsoft users can do with SamCart?
Brian: Our goal, again, because we are Infusionsoft users. Our goal was that we want to integrate with almost every other tool out there, whether it’s an email marketing tool, or an analytics tool, or a billing, like a merchant account, or a payment processor. But Infusion was honestly really our focus, because we use it. We wanted to be able to do everything that we could normally do and not really have to go back and do much in Infusionsoft except all of our email.
Number one, you can import all of your products from Infusion. If you are worried about duplicating all your products, we just have a one click import where it will bring in all your products, the names, descriptions, prices, all that stuff. You can sell one-time products, subscriptions, limited recurring subscriptions, free trials, any kind of pricing strategy you have, you can pull it off with us. What’s nice, I don’t think, you probably know better than I do, but we were built on Stripe. You can use NMI, Easy Page Direct and Braintree and PayPal and all that stuff. I’m not sure if there is an easy way to use Stripe yet, but we would be …
Joshua: No, that actually is amazing because that saves another service cost, whether people are doing that through … There is a number of different little add-ons to use Stripe. I didn’t realize that, that’s really cool, so we can integrate Stripe into SamCart connected to Infusionsoft. Wow, that’s huge.
Brian: Yeah, and the main thing for us, we saw LeadPages come out, I’m sure a lot of people are familiar with LeadPages or ClickFunnels or any of the landing page software out there. We wanted to be kind of the same thing, but for checkout pages. We have a library of templates, and we are adding more to it every week. I’ve just pre-designed really nice, clean-looking checkout pages that you can customize to match your brand, but you don’t have to do all the design work on your own.
In the next probably 8 or 12 weeks we’ll be releasing a new, actually like a builder. You can drag and drop different elements around, or if you want to add a headline or a video or a testimonial or bullets points or whatever you want. You’ll be able to design your checkout page just like you would inside of ClickFunnels or LeadPages or any other landing page builder that you are using and have it be real easy, and then you can split test between all of them. Specifically for Infusionsoft users, if someone buys through a SamCart checkout page, all of that order information will reflect as if it happened inside of Infusion using one of their forms.
The customer’s info will come over, everything will come over there I think, except the credit card information, because that stays with us, but it will be sent over your merchant account. You can do all your one-click upsells through us, you can set off any amount of tags when someone buys or when they refund or when they see an upsell. You can do all kinds of really advanced kind of triggering of marketing campaigns inside of Infusion without the hassles of setting it all up through them.
Joshua: Wow, so even a tag applied on refund. That is really useful.
Brian: Yeah, we want to add as many action sets as we can. In SamCart, a user could see a checkout page, make a purchase, they could refund a purchase, they could buy a subscription, cancel a subscription, pause a subscription, see an upsell, all of those little steps along the way. We want to let you be able to add or remove tags back in Infusion so you can really kind of treat people individually based on what they are doing inside of your checkout process. That is kind of the idea.
Joshua: Yeah, I could hear the audience already just saying, “Yes, Thank you Brian.” That’s so amazing. One of the things that I just want to add too is that I love the fact that in the design, you have all the best practices for an order page like ready to go with social proof and trust icons and things, at least the few templates I looked at. It was like already there. I didn’t have to even go through a checklist and modify things like I normally do with order forms or whatever else. It’s like, “oh, it’s already done, like ready to go.” That just saves so much time knowing that you guys have gone through and looked at it from a conversion standpoint, which is really huge. Thank you for doing that for all of us out here who are trying to make the best shopping cart experience possible. I’m curious too, the name SamCart, where did that come from?
Brian: People ask us that all the time. I wish I had a better answer but like I said, my mentor Paul came up with the name Get 10,000 Fans a while ago, and me and him were trying to come up with names. You would not believe how many URLs with the word ‘cart’ in them are not available on, whether it’s GoDaddy or wherever you are buying URLs. I knew from the beginning we wanted something short because most of our other businesses, trainbaseball.com, get10000fans.com, there was a lot of typing. We knew we wanted ‘cart’ in the name because it was kind of a common word people were looking for when they were looking for a billing system or a shopping cart.
I think we just started putting a bunch of names in there. We had this huge Excel spreadsheet of all these names and SamCart was one of the shortest ones that was available. I could claim that we are using it as an acronym for Sales And Marketing, but it’s really not, it wasn’t really our idea. It just so happens to be the same three letters. I don’t know anyone really named Sam. I don’t have a dog named Sam, so it currently isn’t a good story. I wish it was.
Joshua: No, it’s okay, I mean it’s friendly though. SamCart, it’s humanizing the name, so that’s great. Brian, we are coming into the end of the show here, and I love to always ask if you have a success habit or quote or ritual that you perform on a weekly or daily basis to get yourself ready for the day and ready to attack everything that’s ahead of you.
Brian: Yeah, it’s kind of funny you ask because I’ve changed my morning routine over the last couple of weeks. I’m in a mastermind group that meets a couple of times a year and one of the things that at our last meeting, someone had brought up the idea of journaling in the morning. I do that pretty frequently, but there was a little app that they actually recommended that I’ve since downloaded and been using almost every day for the past two or three weeks, and it’s been really, really awesome.
It’s called the Five Minute Journal and it simply just asks three questions in the morning. It’s just an app I have in my iPhone or you could write it on a note card or just think about the three questions. The three questions are, #1: what are three things that I’m grateful for, so like this morning. I just had my first child, a little daughter six months ago, so her name pops up here a lot. My wife’s name pops up a lot. It just kind of makes me pause each morning and think of three things that I’m grateful for, whether it’s something simple like, I’m healthy today, or the sun’s out, or something big like we just had a big successful product launch or promotion, or just bought a house, whatever would be personal or professional.
The first one is just, “What am I grateful for?” The second one that the app asks is, “What are three things that would make today great?” Three things I could do today that would make today be a great day. The last one is your daily affirmations. It’s just a sentence that starts with, ‘I am’ and then it’s obviously hopefully a positive sentence. I kind of grew up, my dad was always a preacher of self talk to me. I always had note cards on the baseball field, whether it was academic stuff or business stuff now that just kind of reinforced my belief in myself, probably one of the reasons, like I said before, that I tried to display tenacity early on when business was tough, but it just gets me to pause each morning and think about, “what am I thankful for today? What can I do to make today great?” and then just reminding myself things that I want to believe in myself.
Again, at 28 years old I don’t have the wisdom that a lot of other guys probably on this podcast would have or someone who has been on earth twice as long as I have might have. That’s just something that I’ve been doing the last couple of weeks that has really, really helped and just kind of put my mind in the right mindset, kind of just starting the day off, anyway.
Joshua: No, that’s a fantastic tip. I love the combination of like gratitude and affirmations and then also setting the intention of like, if these things get done it’s a good day, because it’s too easy to get distracted. I want to take a moment to talk, just to say something about self talk, because it’s something that I’ve been really becoming more and more conscious of, of like, we become our own self fulfilling prophesies. If we tell ourselves like, “I’m poor, and I can never become rich.” That’s just a really blatant one but it’s like we start to believe that.
Joshua: That’s really cool that your father instilled that at a young age in the baseball field and you’ve kind of taken that through into business. What’s the impact of being conscious and changing that for you? I guess that’s kind of an open-ended question, but I’m really curious, because I think a lot of times we can get so focused on tactical things. Like, “If I learn the marketing strategy, then I’ll become successful.” But I think it all starts inside of us. Would you agree?
Brian: Yeah, 110% I would agree. There is a cool saying, a book I read, one of the first books my dad gave me, I think I was like 13 or 14 years old. I was kind of struggling at playing baseball that summer or whatever it was. My dad gave me, which now looking back is a pretty heavy book for a 14-year-old, but it’s a book by Shad Helmstetter. It’s called, What to Say When You Talk to Yourself, I think. It’s kind of my first exposure to self talk. I always remember the one line that he had, I think it was right at the beginning and it’s basically five things. It’s, “Programming creates beliefs.” Programming meaning your self talk, what do you say when no one else is listening or what are the thoughts going on in your head? “Programming creates beliefs, beliefs create attitudes. Your attitude creates your feelings. Your feelings determine your actions, and your actions create your results.”
Yeah, I think if you are saying negative crap to yourself all day or having pity parties or whatever, and trust me, I have plenty days like that, but those are never good days. The things going in your head is directly, like you said self fulfilling prophesies. That is normally what results you get. That is one of the things I think my last couple of weeks have been really good, both personally and professionally, just because that little, the app or whatever right now, whatever the trigger is for you. For me it’s this little app right now, but it’s just getting me to start the day off in thinking about what I’m grateful for. What else really is there? It’s great to have a successful business and all that, but if your personal life is a mess, and you are not really thankful for anything, you are going to be a pretty miserable human being.
Joshua: Absolutely, yeah. I had a friend and mentor give me a knowledge product from the Strategic Coach Group, and it’s The Gratitude Principle. That was the exact point made in there. It’s like, you can be as successful as you want but if you are not grateful for the journey and grateful for these milestones along the way, you are just going to be kind of this empty hole that can never really be filled. I love that you prime your mind in the morning to be grateful before anything else. That is a huge takeaway, and I think the listeners can gather a lot of wisdom from that.
Brian, this has been a fantastic interview. I’m really excited to help spread the word about SamCart and really everything that you’ve created, because 10,000 Fans was a great training program, too. You do great work, my friend, and I’m really happy to share that with the community. I’m going to put a bunch of links at www.infusioncast.com/brianmoran for listeners who want to go and check out your software as well as, what was the name of this book again? I want to put a link to that, too.
Brian: It was by Shad Helmstetter, and I think it’s called, What to Say When You Talk to Yourself.
Joshua: Great, I’ll look that up too, because I think that it could be a really valuable resource. If someone wants to get in contact with you or your team, what’s the best way for them to do that?
Brian: SamCart.com really. There is live chat all over the site, so a lot of times I’m manning it up. People sometimes don’t believe that it’s me. On our site there is a phone line, so if you wanted to call and chat, I might not be the one who picks it up, but I’m sure you can get me if you need me. I’d say probably the website and that phone number or our fan page, I think it’s Facebook.com/samcartapp. We are pretty active on there so there are plenty of ways to find us.
Joshua: Fantastic. Well, Brian, thank you so much for coming on Infusioncast.
Brian: No problem, thanks so much for having me.
Announcer: Thanks for joining us on this episode of Infusioncast. Struggling to embed Infusionsoft web forms in your WordPress website? Head on to Infusioncast.com and download our free WordPress plugin, FusionForms. FusionForms allows you to easily embed beautiful Infusionsoft forms into any WordPress website with a simple shortcode. Thanks again for listening, and we’ll talk to you in the next episode.