In today’s Infusioncast interview, Joshua Millage talks with Dave Lee about PlusThis SaaS software for Infusionsoft, which lets you manage live events, workshops, and other situations where you need to sign in attendees quickly and accurately.
PlusThis solves real-world problems with registration and tracking, video and images, SMS and email messaging, split testing and more. It adds even more features to Infusionsoft and extends those capabilities even further.
Dave tells how one new feature has its roots in mixed martial arts. He knew dojo and gym owners needed a solution to track participants during classes and events. PlusThis developed Easy Check-In to handle large traffic and conversion challenges by tagging registrants, so you know their status when they check in at the event. You also get one-click, on-the-spot upsell capability. For classes or training sessions as well, members are assigned a QR code badge they can scan when they arrive. You can customize for single or multiple classes and check status for special services or payments required.
Dave reveals a new PlusThis tool called Countdown Timer that combines their Smart Links and What’s The Date apps into a single, powerful solution for time-bound and gated content. Customers who try a free introductory product are likely to buy it, but when given a time limit on access or special pricing, they are even more motivated to purchase. The conversion rate is dramatic – up to 80% buy-in for a limited offer. With Countdown Timer, the ability to increase perceived value through scarcity is even easier to implement.
PicSnippets is a revolutionary new feature that allows you to personalize marketing by modifying images. For example, you can embed a customer’s name into an image by defining an area on the image to insert data taken from a specified field in their contact record. This allows you to personalize images for an automated marketing campaign. You can also use it for web pages.
Dave has co-authored a book with Steve Forbes called Successonomics about using technology to expand your business and branding. Technology allows you to systematize every aspect of your operations for greater success and increase conversions through user personalization.
One of the deepest lessons Dave has learned is how people are constantly working, plugged into their devices, and missing out on many enriching aspects of their lives. This realization has made him that much more committed to helping people streamline their businesses, so they can spend less time working and more time doing things they love.
PlusThis gives you the tools to connect with your customers in meaningful ways, and Dave Lee practices what he preaches by taking action to realize his amazing ideas.
Thank you for joining us.
Connect with Dave Lee
Today, Dave and I jumped into all of the various new updates in PlusThis and how you can implement them into your business. Without further ado, let’s get into today’s episode.
Joshua: Hey, Everyone. Welcome back to another episode of Infusioncast. Today, I had the opportunity of interviewing Dave Lee. Dave is one of the most popular interviewees we’ve ever had on Infusioncast, so I had to have him come back and talk about some of the new developments with his company, PlusThis. PlusThis, in my mind, is an essential piece of software that every single Infusionsoft user needs to have, and it does so many things, all of which really help to turbo charge what you can do in your business.
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’s Joshua.
Joshua: Hello, everyone. Welcome back to another episode of Infusioncast, the only podcast where we teach you how to be an Infusionsoft expert. Today, I have with me Dave Lee, the overseer over at PlusThis, and I’m excited to have him back on the show. He actually is held one of the most listened to episodes of all time for the last few years here. We’re going to dive into his tool, PlusThis, and talk about some of the cool new things that he and the PlusThis team have been working on.
Dave, welcome back to the show.
Dave: Thanks, Josh. I appreciate it. Love being here, love being back on the show. I’m shocked that mine’s the most listened to. I’m not that good. I think these people have poor judgment.
Joshua: Hey, man. It was a jam-packed interview, and I’m going to link back to that one in the show notes because we had a lot of fun. PlusThis is a very valuable tool for anyone that has an Infusion application. I use it myself. I pretty much, if someone isn’t using it, I tell them that they’re crazy and that they should use it because it just makes things easier. There’s some really super powerful tools that you guys have created.
I’m curious because we’ve talked I think it was last June, I don’t know the exact date, but PlusThis has grown and matured like any good SaaS application does. I’m excited to learn about some of the new things that you have included in your application.
Dave: Yeah. I’m happy to talk about it. I can’t believe it’s been a year already. The company’s grown. We’ve more than doubled our customer base and revenue. The company keeps getting stronger, but we still like to have a lot of fun. We’re relatively a small group, so we like to have fun. We’ve got a new addition to the team, Amy Porter, who’s running our customer love team. She’s the one in the Facebook group, and answering tickets, and helping people get things implemented. So she’s a new addition to the team. We’re cranking along. I’m looking for a marketing manager now. Things are looking good, but yeah, we’ve added some stuff.
Joshua: Yeah, you have. One of the things I love that you do with PlusThis is you solve real problems that Infusionsoft users experience. For me personally, figuring out how to do video tracking, you guys just made that super painless, addition, subtraction, saving things to custom fields. I love the Implementer’s Toolkit. I love SmartLinks.
One of the things that I struggled with back in my old consulting company, I worked with online influencers, speakers, and authors, and when we do events, I mean, connecting Infusionsoft and any event tool was incredibly painful. So tell me a little bit about your newer feature, Easy Check-In because I think that anyone who’s doing live events or any sort of workshops could really benefit from this.
Dave: We saw a need in the marketplace. I mean, really, that tool, Easy Check-In originated actually from Mixed Martial Arts.
Dave: Yeah, believe it or not. I mean, we have these studio owners, gym owners who were using Infusionsoft, and their whole thing is based on continuity, subscriptions, and getting people actually come in and engage, and do classes, and show up. So we were building one-off things for them. Eventually, we’re like, “You know what? We’ve done this enough. Let’s turn this one into a product.” From there, it went to a lot of fitness owners, and then people that are doing events, anybody that’s doing a live, in-person event. It works really well.
The key things are number one, you … Let’s say that I’ve been registering people for an event that I’m having next week, and when they register through my Infusionsoft form, hopefully I’m tagging them as a registrant for the event. So we needed to build it in a way where we could just bolt it on last second. So that’s what it does. It cues off of whatever tag you use to register these people for your event.
There are two ways to actually check people in at the event whether it’s an outdoor boot camp or it’s a gym or a facility or if it’s a big event. For example, Ryan Deiss and the guys over at Digital Marketer, and I only say this because they say it too. Their event last year, the war room, I’m sorry, it wasn’t war room, their big San Diego event with 3,000 plus attendees.
Joshua: Yeah, Traffic and Conversion, I think it is.
Dave: Yeah, Traffic and Conversion last year check-in was a disaster, literally, a disaster. People were Facebooking and twitting about it, and just slamming them because the lines were so long, and it was so slow, and it was so painful for them. They needed a solution too. When they heard about Easy Check-In, they’re like, “Well, can it scale? Can it handle 3,000 check-ins over a couple of hours or faster?” The answer was yes.
So we’re able to connect to the existing tag there using that, and registered these 3,000 plus people, but they wanted an extra little something, something for check-in. Digital Marketer is really good at monetizing their list and their people. So at check-in, what they wanted to do was check to see if the person had already registered and paid for VIP, and if they had already paid for a recording of the event that would be delivered after.
So we’ve build that into Easy Check-In also, and it simply just displays, “Do they have that tag or not?” If not, it’s a one-click upsell at check-in. It goes and runs their card, and it does everything that needs to happen. They were able to at check-in with 3,000 plus people through lightning fast, and then upsell them right there at check-in to VIP and a recording of the event. Made a bunch of extra money. They looked like rockstars. So people that have used it that actually use it, they’re loving it.
Joshua: That’s amazing, and I love that used case too because we’ve all experienced some slow check-in out of a conference at some point. You’re like, “There’s got to be a better way.” Especially if you’re going to a conference that’s technical in nature, you’re like, “There really has to be a better way.” I love the intelligence there building off of the fact that you can look at people’s behavior and then speak to them.
So if they haven’t purchased a VIP ticket, then you can offer it to them at that moment whether they’re there, and it makes sense. They’re in that mind space of like, “Maybe VIP is a good idea.” I’ve never seen that happened. I think that’s an amazing opportunity.
So let’s rewind to the original used case too because I know a lot of Infusionsoft users who are listening to this show have a brick and mortar business or maybe a yoga studio or crossfit-style studio, or some sort of fitness studio. How would they use it in their scenario.
Dave: Yeah, you can set it up so that you got multiple classes or a single class or in most cases in those scenarios, all the front desk wants to do is see … they want to be proactive. If somebody walks in, they want to be able to check them in. In this case, they’re creating a QR code badge for the member. The member shows the badge, and they check them in just through a QR code scanner, a free scanner on their iPad or iPhone or their Android, or whatever device.
It’s telling them, “Are they current? When was the last time they came in? What’s their name? Any special preferences?” You can list custom field in the display, stuff like that. Things that are just letting the front desk know like, “All right. This person hasn’t been in for two months. Let’s take special care of them. Let’s be proactive here,” or “This person is past due. Let’s make sure we get their credit card out of them.” That kind of stuff is super helpful.
Then if you’ve got multiple classes, you can set it up to run multiple classes. Somebody buys a pack of 10 classes, let them attend those 10 events, and then it expires or something like that. There are a bunch of used cases you can use it for, but the whole point was that whole check-in process can be so much easier and faster. Let’s make that happen.
Joshua: I want people to know, I mean, this in it of itself seems like a … it’s an amazing tool, and when you join PlusThis, there’s so many other things that you have access to. It’s like the Swiss Army knife that I get to pull out of my pocket all the time. I mean, we’ve used it for split testing different pages, and e-mails, SMS text messaging. I got to be honest, you got me addicted to Go-To Webinar too.
I wanted to try and switch, and I realized that I can’t do all the cool things I can with other platform because of PlusThis. Basically, what I do is I tag people whether or not they attend to it or how long they attended PlusThis polls from Go-To Webinar. All of that data and tags people accordingly so that I can speak to people in a way that matters and is meaningful to them. So if they didn’t show up for the full webinar, and they missed my pitch at the end, I can say that in the e-mail or I can tell them, “Hey, you missed this hilarious story about my grandmother. You should have come back and watch the replay.”
I’ve seen … It’s like night and day difference for replays and for conversion overall. I got lazy one time and I just put up a campaign without doing that and using PlusThis, and well, let’s just say I didn’t do that again.
Dave: It makes a big difference.
Joshua: It makes a huge difference. I’m excited. I want to be conscious of your time, and you dropped a cool bomb on me in the pre-chat about something else that you’re working on. So let’s switch gears to your new … Are you calling it a product service? Is it a new company? Is it part of PlusThis?
Dave: It’s initially being launched under the PlusThis umbrella. It will be a separate company once it’s up and we’ve got customers and revenue. It’s in its infancy, so we’re in a pre-launch phase right now. We’ve had customers on it for about six months in Beta. Now, we’re releasing it to the early birds and the people that are friends, and people that knew about it. I’m happy to talk about it.
Let me mention one other thing on the PlusThis side that you probably aren’t aware of either. We’ve had a number of customers that are using SmartLinks and What’s The Date, those two features to time-bound or time or gate their content and offers. It’s a really cool concept that I hadn’t really thought about until Frank Kern, I was hanging out with him probably a couple of months ago, and he was talking about how he was able to dramatically increase his conversions by taking what used to be free content because … Let’s call what it is. Usually, 10% to 15% of people actually read your free content whether it’s a free report, an advisory, a video series, whatever, but the people that read that stuff or watch it, they’re more likely to convert, and buy something.
So a way that he was able to massively increase, like bump it from 15% to 80% plus was the time gate is free content, and say, “Okay. This free report is available.” It’s a normal opt-in, normal opt-in page, but the initial e-mail that you send, it says, “Great things dropping in from my free report. You’ve got three days to read this thing or to have access to it,” the video series, whatever it is.
After that, it goes way. By time bounding the access to the free stuff, the conversion rates went way, way, way high. In an effort to help him do that more and help other people do that, we created a new feature called Countdown Timer. It basically combines those two features, the SmartLinks and What’s The Date, so that you can control offers and free content, and access to that stuff.
After the time, it’s basically a time bomb, and once that time bomb goes off, when the person clicks on the link in the e-mail or on the page, they no longer have access. They go to a page that says, “Sorry.” The Countdown Timer simply meant to be put up on top of your page, your content page or your sales page order form, so that there’s an actual visual countdown if you want it.
Joshua: I love that. It’s increasing the perceived value of the content by implementing the concept of scarcity.
Dave: That’s right. That’s right.
Joshua: Wow! That is so powerful, and I think that … Just as you’re talking, I’m like, “I could use that with Infusioncast, some of the older interviews that I want people to really intake,” because you’re right. If you just send an e-mail, I mean, that’s showing up like Dan Kennedy says, “You got to show like no one else has or in a different way.” You show up differently when you’re telling people, “This is really valuable, and I don’t want everyone …”
I mean, you can message in a number of different ways but you don’t have this amount of time to read it, so make sure you start and consume that video or read that blog post or listen to that audio because a good friend of mine, Steve Gordon talks about how you want to put people through a series of free content so they build that no like and trust. This is a way to super charge that. I really, really like that.
Thank you for sharing that, Dave, because that wasn’t on my radar. So I’m glad you mentioned it.
Dave: Yeah, no problem. I’ve teased out and dragged down a little bit. So let’s talk about this tool. It’s called PicSnippets. Boy, how do I talk about PicSnippets?
Joshua: I’ve never seen anything like it. I mean, and that’s saying a lot because I’m pretty deep in the weeds with tech stuff, but this is taking what we do in Infusionsoft and making it visual. That’s how I would say it.
Dave: Yeah, and it’s going to be hard for us to actually market this thing because it’s like Apple. I mean, did we all know that we needed an iPhone, an iPod in our pocket at all times? They created the market, and I think that’s going to be our task here. So I’m happy to talk about it.
PicSnippets is in a nutshell, they are personalized images. Everybody here that’s listening knows the power of Infusionsoft and customized or personalized e-mails and content. Well, you can do that with Infusionsoft with Merge Fields, and the e-mails, and stuff like that. What we’re doing is that taking it a step further and allowing images to be personalized where you can take an image and define areas in that image and merge in contact fields from the Infusionsoft contact record.
If you want to see some examples, you can probably just … I’ll make sure this page stays up for permanently. It’s called picsnippets.com/prelaunch. On that page, there’s some examples of … For example, when people at Sixth Division, when clients sign up for their high-end ongoing coaching, they wanted to send something really unique.
In an e-mail that goes out after they sign up for this 2500 buck a month coaching program, they get an e-mail with a big image in it, and it has the entire team up at our front desk, and they’re holding a piece of paper that says, “Welcome, Michael,” or whatever their first name is. It’s on a white piece of paper, and it looks like it’s written with a black Sharpie, nice and big, but the truth is, it’s the same image, we’re just merging in the new customer’s first name into that image when we send the e-mail out, and it all happens automatically.
It’s a way of helping people visualize and so for existing customers, just doing something above and beyond what’s normal, and then if you go up the funnel with prospects, what we’re trying to do is use these personalized images to increase conversion rate, to get them to take the next step, to take note and whether it’s a book a consult or buy something online, using these personalized images to catch their attention, and help them visualize them.
Another example on that page is an image of a home with a For Sale sign on the front. In that For Sale sign, we’re merging in the contact’s address and their assigned sales rep or agent, their name and phone numbers. If they can visualize their home being sold with their address on it, and their agent listed in there and that one is to help convert from opt-in to book an appointment because these home agents are all about listings and getting a listing.
So that will be our challenges coming up with lots of really cool examples of how it could be used, but so far, we’ve got a handful. Like I said, it’s been on Beta for about six months. Guys like Frank Kern and a few others have been using it, and getting crazy good results on dead list, getting them to actually take action, really hot list, getting them to convert at a higher rate. So far, the data of what it’s supposed to do is looking really good in terms of conversion rates.
Joshua: It’s blowing my mind too because I wish this is a video podcast so we could do a screen capture, but I will put a link in the show notes over to this because I’m looking at this photo of you and the PlusThis team, and the best way to describe it is it’s Dave and his team in front of a whiteboard. Dave, it looks exactly like you wrote this on the whiteboard. It’s PlusThis minus John equals unhappiness. You were telling me earlier that’s at the end of a free trial, right?
Dave: Yeah, people that don’t convert in our free trial, we send them that e-mail, “This is a final …” like, “Hey, take note. Your free trial is up and we’d really like to have you join us.”
Joshua: I mean, it’s so good. What is merged by the way? Sorry to interrupt. I’m like, “Is the whole thing merged or did you actually write PlusThis with marker and then you’re just merging the name?” It looks amazing.
Dave: We’re only merging the first name. So PlusThis is fixed, and the line, and the funny face, and the minus sign, those are all fixed. All we’re merging is the first name, in this case, John.
Joshua: It’s insane. I would have never guessed that. I mean, it all looks perfect. Even the reflection on the board meshes in perfectly.
Dave: Yeah, because the reflection is real. It’s truly a static image that we took, a shot that we took, and then we just doctor it up with a PicSnippet. What it does is it spits out a piece of code that you insert into your Infusionsoft or on a page on your website. Anybody that hits that page that you have their contact data, it will automatically merge in their first name, and personalize it or in the home … It’s actually any contact field, custom field or contact, regular contact field, we can merge in.
Joshua: Wow! I’m frothing right now. How do I get a hold of this? Is it even possible? Are you letting people in or do I have to wait? What’s going on?
Dave: We’ve got about 150 people, friends and cool people that we like, and I’m sure you’re on the list, if not, I’ll add you right now because you definitely qualify.
Joshua: Please do.
Dave: We have this pre-launch page that people can go to, picsnippets.com/prelaunch, and that’s where they can get more info, and check out what the current pricing, and stuff like that is. We’re playing around with pricing, and just testing different things. As it becomes easier for us to set these up, the set up people will go down because it does take us some time to set up the code, and get everything hosted and taken care of, but it’s seamless for the customer. All they do is we spit out the code, and they take that and stick it in e-mails, on landing pages, and use it unlimited.
We don’t care if 100,000 people hit it, and we have to render 100,000 images or 10 people a week hit it. It doesn’t matter. Now, it’s just a matter of getting it in the hands of really good marketers, and letting them create the examples and the case studies, and stuff like that.
Joshua: Yeah, that’s amazing. Well, Dave, I want to be conscious of your time. I really appreciate you coming on the show. I’m excited because I end every episode with a success tip or idea or habit. Correct me if I’m wrong, but you’ve come out with a book in the last year.
Dave: I have.
Joshua: It is around the subject, if my memory serves me right.
Dave: Yeah, it’s called Successonomics. It’s coauthored with Steve Forbes. I talk about using technology to web. I love technology. I always have. Using it to your advantage to simplify things, to get your crap organized, and to look bigger than you really are because when you do that, what you’re really doing is systematizing the business. Michael Gerber and The E Myth, and lots of other books talk about that’s how you create a successful business is if you can systematize.
That’s what technology allows you to do. This is just yet another little tool that enables you to do more than you normally would, to get more attention, to reach prospects and customers a little bit deeper, increase conversion rates. Once it’s set up, it runs, it goes which is what I love. That type of technology that will allow you to spin it up, set it up once, and then it just runs ongoing as a little bot or machine there for you, there’s nothing better.
Joshua: Yeah, and that’s what I love about you, Dave, and you’ve been a great friend and mentor over the year. You practice what you preach. I mean, you write about success and all of this, and then you do it. You’re executing on new ideas too like the PicSnippet service that’s incredible. What have you learned since the last episode about success, and going through the process of writing a book and launching a new product here and growing your company so exponentially like you have, and also then advising the incredible team over at Sixth Division. Have you had any big ideas in the last year?
Dave: I have. It’s very personal though, but I’m happy to share it.
Joshua: I’m not going to push you, whatever you want to share.
Dave: No. I have come to realize that everybody’s very busy, busy working, busy pretending like they’re working, busy on their phones. I took my family out of that environment, and we lived on Oahu for about five weeks during this summer because Arizona heat, let’s face it. Sixty days of 115 plus is not fun. So we got out of here and we disconnected a bit, and got away from tech and TV and just unwound.
It was extremely eye-opening to realize how much we’re plugged in, and how much the day-to-day schedule, especially for families, how much the calendar really pulls at your family because you’ve got piano, and scouts, and troop stuff, and work, and school, and soccer, and all these things pulling at you. Whether you like it or not, it pulls at your family, that strains it.
So I’m learning to despite success or failure or anything, just really try to disconnect a little bit, and have a deeper, broader perspective on what really matters most. For me personally, it’s family. It’s being with my family and setting up my business to enable me to be with my family as much as possible. When I’m there with my family, to not be constantly checking my phone, checking for e-mail, checking text messages, having it visible in my car as I drive. I mean, it got ridiculous, and unplugging has helped me realize that most of that stuff just does not matter one bit.
So focus on the core, get your business systematized, and then you’re enabled to actually unplug a bit, and spend more time with the things that you love, whether that’s family or volunteering or whatever it is. I think that’s my big lesson learned in the past few months.
Joshua: I couldn’t agree more. This is the first episode I’ve done since getting back on the grid. I spent four days up in the high Sierra. I was doing the Sierra High Route. It’s a trail above 8,000. It runs parallel to the John Muir Trail. I couldn’t agree more. I mean, that time was a stress test on the systems that I had built in my business, and I also walked away going, “Wow! I had some of the most amazing thoughts, and creative thoughts, bigger thoughts.” Also just realizing when you get off the grid how little you need of all that stuff to actually be happy.
It is nice. It’s nice to be connected in some ways, but you don’t need it. I was thinking. I’m 28 years old. I’m probably the last generation to understand what the world was like pre-cellphone. I didn’t have a cellphone until I was 18. We think we have to have this stuff to be connected, to be happy or if we don’t, the world’s going to end. As we were coming off the trail, we were joking about that.
Walking down, we had a 4,000 foot descent and you’re getting a little bombed out because you’re like, “Oh, I got to get back to civilization,” but I would joke with my hiking partner, I said, “You know, the world could have ended and we wouldn’t even know.” He goes, “Yeah, and if it did, would you even want to have known? We got four more days of not knowing which is actually a blessing?” I’m like, “That’s a great point.”
Dave: I think having so much connectivity, it’s distracting us from living life. I was on a jog, I was in San Diego a couple of weeks ago on a jog. Jogged by a bus stop, and here it is gorgeous, gorgeous San Diego that I miss dearly. There was a bunch of people at a bus stop, probably 30, 35 people at a bus stop. All of them except for one was looking straight down at their device, standing there on the curb, just a row of birds on a wire looking down, standing. Nobody’s interacting, nobody’s looking up really enjoying just being.
I don’t know why it’s happening, and it’s happening in such a short period of time, but for me, this has been a lesson that keeps hitting me in the face the past quarter over and over and over again. It’s live life. Live life. Have fun building business but you got to live life.
Joshua: Yeah. That’s a great, great negative wisdom there. Thank you for sharing that. Well, Dave, if someone has any questions or want to connect with your or check out your various projects here, what’s the best way for them to do that?
Dave: Yeah, just hit a website, plusthis.com. You’re always welcome to e-mail me, dave@plusthis, and then I’m on Facebook every now and then, facebook.com/davelee.
Joshua: Great. Then the PicSnippet, is there a place on the PlusThis website for them to check that out or is there a different URL if people are interested?
Dave: Yeah, great question. Different URL, PicSnippets.com. It’s plural, picsnippets.com.
Joshua: Great, and I will link to all of that in the show notes at infusioncast.co/plusthis. Dave, thank you so much for coming on the show.
Dave: No, thank you. Thanks for all that you do for the community.
Joshua: Appreciate it.
Dave: All right. Take care.
Announcer: Thanks for joining us on this episode of Infusioncast. Struggling to embed Infusionsoft web forms in your WordPress website? Head over to infusioncast.co and download our free WordPress plugin FusionForms. FusionForms allows you to easily embed beautiful Infusionsoft forms into any WordPress website with a simple shortcode.
Today, Dave and I jumped into all of the various new updates in PlusThis and how you can implement them into your business. Without further ado, let’s get into today’s episode.