This episode features Nora Sudduth, the Chief Revenue Officer and co-founder of Hello Audio. She is a leading marketing and conversion strategist who has helped businesses sell over 5 million of products and services online.
Find out why Nora believes it's important for a company to establish a clear marketing message and the best ways a company can do this.
Listen as Nora explains how Hello Audio can help businesses achieve the three things any campaign need to be successful and why would an ecommerce company should consider launching a podcast.
If you don't have a podcast yet, then you may want to listen as Nora shares how podcast can help with your business on differentiating your brand, enhancing the client experience, and connecting with the customers.
Find out what Nora predicts on the future of podcast, the dynamic content and personalized service that Hello Audio have to offer.
Episode Action Items:
To find more information about Hello Audio, go to: helloaudio.fm
ABOUT THE HOST:
Andy Splichal is the World's Foremost Expert on Ecommerce Growth Strategies. He is the acclaimed author of the Make Each Click Count Book Series, the Founder & Managing Partner of True Online Presence and the Founder of Make Each Click Count University. Andy was named to The Best of Los Angeles Award's Most Fascinating 100 List in both 2020 and 2021.
New episodes of the Make Each Click Count Podcast, are released each Friday and can be found on Apple Podcast, iHeart Radio, iTunes, Spotify, Stitcher, Amazon Music, Google Podcasts and www.makeeachclickcount.com.
Welcome to the Make Each Click Count podcast, this is your host Andy Splichal. And today we are happy to welcome our next guest to discuss today's topic, which is "Would a podcast boost sales for an Ecommerce store?". This week's guest is the co founder of Hello audio. She is a leading marketing and conversion strategist who has helped businesses sell over 500 million of products and services online. She also designed several courses, coaching and certification programs that have generated millions more. A big hello to Nora Sudduth. Hi, Nora.
Nora Sudduth 1:22
Hey, Andy, how are you?
Andy Splichal 1:23
I'm great. Thanks for joining us.
Nora Sudduth 1:26
Thanks for having me.
Andy Splichal 1:27
So let's start with this. Why do you believe that it's important for a company to establish a clear marketing message and what are some of the best ways that company can do this?
Nora Sudduth 1:38
Oh, so messaging is key right? We all work in currencies. So every single company out there, it's a currency exchange right your customers are giving you cash hopefully and you are either helping increase or decrease something in their life or in their business. So you know whether your product is helping them reduce their stress because it's helping their home stay cleaner longer or it's helping them sleep better at night whatever that is. We work in currencies and to be really clear about the primary currencies that we work in will absolutely affect your conversions on your marketing.
Andy Splichal 2:16
Well, I noticed on your resume that you worked at ClickFunnels between October 2015 and January '18. Now ClickFunnels of course made the news recently acquiring and magnetic marketing, which I'm a big follower of and if if you're not familiar with ClickFunnels, it's owned by Russell Brunson, and it specializes in building funnels. I'm curious, what were some of your biggest takeaways from working a click funnels?
Nora Sudduth 2:40
Oh, my experience at ClickFunnels was was great. So Russell is amazing. The team is amazing. You know, with with ClickFunnels, I was there pretty early in the early days. So I created the certification program for ClickFunnels along with one of their other coaching programs, it was the Click Start program. And I think one of the biggest takeaways, so I got to interact with thousands of business owners selling everything you could possibly imagine, right, from Ecommerce, physical products to information products to, you know, high ticket, high ticket kind of events or things like that experiences. So I think one of the biggest takeaways is is that, you know, there are three, as I started to work with all of these folks, there are three, three things that any marketing campaign needs to be successful, right? And it really it does boil down to three things and I use the acronym RPM, right? So I know I'm not really a car person, but I do understand RPM. And it makes engines go right. So if you think about your sales engine, it really comes down to three things R is for reach, right? You need to have a market, you need to have your ideal customer kind of narrowed in and know who you're talking to, you need to understand your market positioning. The second one is a P for promotion, right? Yes, that includes your offer, but it goes beyond just the offer. It's also your sales strategy. So what how are you actually settling that offer? And then third, and final is your message. So that yeah, we talk about copywriting. But it's beyond that. It's about the customer conversation you're having from the very start when they when you're first having that introduction conversation, how do people getting to know you to the point where you're nurturing them after they've had a successful purchase, or they're going on to ascend to something else that you offer? So I think about RPM, really, the clarity came after working with thousands of business owners and working on thousands of marketing campaigns. It really does come down to those three things.
Andy Splichal 4:34
So RPM, where does Hello Audio come into that?
Nora Sudduth 4:39
So Hello Audio is a way to reach with relevancy. So, you know, a lot of times when I was working with with clients at ClickFunnels and clients and in private consulting, they would they would be struggling to stand out from the noise, right? They're spending it and I know I'm not the only one that is that is experienced this or heard this, they're spending so much time creating content. So they're focused so much on content marketing, we hear all the time content is king, right? And if you can create all this amazing content, but it doesn't matter if it's not being consumed. And so the last several years, we've seen a huge shift and an uptick in audio. Right. So you've seen, you saw what happened with clubhouse we're now seeing all these is Spotify is is making a ton of different acquisitions in the podcast space in in the audio audio space. And why why is that is because audio makes it convenient and easy for people to consume information, it unlocks all of the hours where people are not sitting at this screen right at this little window that we sit at all day in unlocks all the hours where they're still consuming content, but they're walking their dog or they're doing the dishes, or they're sitting in the carpool lane. And so with Hello Audio really is we worked with all of these amazing business owners that were selling all different types of things. And they were struggling to break through all of this digital noise and really get their content consumed, whether they were selling courses, whether they were selling physical products, right, it's still the same problem. People need to be able to pay attention in order for them to pay you for what you do. So hello, audio really came out of a need for consumption and really taking advantage of this trend in audio. And the convenience primarily of something that is, is called private podcast. So podcasting, private podcasts are pretty much that, you know, they look and feel just like your typical public podcast that you're probably used to. And, you know, all the wonderful shows and like this one right that's out there in the market, private podcasts allow you to control who gets access to it and for how long so it's kind of a gated podcast, if you will. And so this private podcast now allow you to take your premium content, so not just your shows, your your public podcast, and that kind of stuff, but things like you know, ditch that that 50 page PDF, lead magnet that you have, and and maybe turn that into a much more value add you know, private podcast where people get to hear you and get to know you and and kind of develop more of a relationship and a connection with you by hearing your voice in their ears. So now it unlocks all of the opportunities, you have to turn your content marketing into these private podcasts which provide these kinds of exclusive audio experiences. It helps create stronger connections and ultimately that leads to better conversions.
Andy Splichal 7:37
Interesting. You know, I've had two previous guests on the show that have talked about reasons to have podcasts and you know, those episodes, to be honest, fell a bit flat given that my listenership is mostly ecommerce, business owners and marketers. However, I checked out your website and one of the reasons I decided to have you on the show was because you recommended launching a podcast if you're an Ecommerce company, you know, in short, why would an Ecommerce company consider launching a podcast?
Nora Sudduth 8:10
Absolutely. So I want you to so let's think about I want to reimagine what it means to have a podcast. So what we really specialize in are these private podcast. So let me give you two examples of why we so we have some e commerce businesses that use private podcast is a way to reach their customers. So you know, we and I'm sure you have amazing listeners that are there selling amazing products. And we they want to continue the conversation, they don't just want to have a relationship with the physical product, you really were some great advantages come in from a business building standpoint is making sure you're also able to connect with your customers digitally, right, connecting with them online. And so something like a private podcast where you don't have to create a weekly show, it's not like you have to interview folks and coordinate everything, it can be a supplement to your physical products. So let me give you two examples. For one of our customers sells candles, they I think she also has has gotten into room sprays and other kind of relaxing kind of products. And so one of the things that she has done is by putting a QR code on the back of her physical products, her customers can now scan that QR code. And she offers them meditations as a supplement to her her physical products. But that way, not only is she connecting with them physically by shipping them things to their home, and they can physically feel them and have them you know in their lives. Now they actually are able to connect with them digitally, which opens up more opportunity for to build stronger relationships with your customers.
Andy Splichal 9:42
Interesting. And you said there was a second example as well.
Nora Sudduth 9:45
Yeah, so we have folks that also sell products that require instruction, right or walkthroughs or that kind of a thing. So we have one customer that sells workbooks like physical workbooks that they ship to people's homes. And so what she has done is she's used a supplementary private podcast. So they're able to actually listen to this private podcast and go through this workbook. And it's a guided experience. So now they're actually able to connect with the owner, the the product owner, and really kind of enhance their experience with the workbook itself. If they didn't have the audio, you know, would they have really logged into like a video to watch it? Maybe not. But whether it's a guided workbook, or just instructions on how to set it up, or instructions on use, it's a lot easier and more convenient for folks to listen to that on their phone, versus trying to watch a YouTube video especially...
Andy Splichal 10:40
I was just going to ask that I was gonna say, what what is the advantage of doing that opposed to uploading a YouTube video, just convenience?
Nora Sudduth 10:48
It's just convenience. Like I'm we're definitely not anti video for sure. But really, if you look at the number of hours that people are consuming, so recent studies are showing that people are can the number of hours that people are consuming podcasts actually rival the number of hours that people are watching Netflix, right, so the amount of audio consumption is skyrocketing. And so why not meet your customers where they're already at. So the other advantage of this is that you take up a square on the podcast app that they're already using whatever their favorite podcast app is, and you're actually opening up another channel of communication. So it's not just we do have customers that sell jewelry and some other things like on Etsy or on Amazon, and they don't always have a direct line, you know, communication when you buy physical products. You don't necessarily think about the nurture sequence or like continuing that relationship over email. But now having a private podcast, it opens up kind of another communication channel for you to reach those those customers.
Andy Splichal 11:52
Have any of these customers of yours your clients shared what doing a private podcast has done for their bottom line? How they've been able to measure the ROI on that?
Nora Sudduth 12:05
Yeah, you know, I think. So yes. In terms of upsells, they've seen upticks and upsells and repeat buyers, and I think that has a lot to do with the customer experience. Right? So you know, I'll go back to like the, the candles with meditation or the room spray with meditation, you're just enhancing that customer experiences, you know, the product is amazing in and of itself, right? It's a fantastic handle, it's a fantastic run through otherwise it wouldn't be selling as well as it did. But now you're taking that to a different level. And you're actually connecting with that company, which helps develop brand loyalty. Right? That's, I mean, I think that's one of the biggest things that a lot of our Ecommerce clients really look at is there's a lot of alternatives or maybe they're they're worried about commoditization, right, so as we look at how can we differentiate our brand, and really focusing on elevating our brand, it comes through enhancing that client experience and developing a stronger connection with their clients. So that's what we're seeing. And as a result of, of really connecting more with their customers and developing that relationship or that connection with them, they are seeing people that stick around longer if they're on subscription based models, and they're also seeing potential upsells or repeat buyers increase as well.
Andy Splichal 14:23
If you had a crystal ball, how would you see the podcast industry changing in the next 12 - 18 months?
Nora Sudduth 14:39
Hmm, that's a great question. I you know, I do think we'll see private podcasts have kind of been a little known secret. You know, some people kind of know that they exist. And I don't think that they've been as widely promoted. And now I see, you know, especially with subscription models, I think Apple and Spotify went in a different direction in terms of offering premium podcasts or gated podcasts in it, they kind of still were catering to podcasters, right, I think it's going, what we're going to see is it's going to be a change in what it really means to be a podcaster. And using podcasts as a communication channel, versus really just thinking, Oh, well, I'm not a podcaster. I don't want to launch a podcast. Now it's going to we're going to see it flipped to leveraging the communication channel of these private podcast just as a way of connecting with our audience, not as a way of starting a show.
Andy Splichal 15:35
Have there been any struggles that you have had to overcome, and some of the services that you're providing to your clients?
Nora Sudduth 15:43
You know, I think, because this is so new. It's not something that people know that they need yet. Right? And after you have the conversation, like, Oh, that's really great that that's really interesting. And then you go a step further, and you're like, oh, but you can also personalize, Hello, Audio is the only private podcast company that allows you to tailor the episodes based on tags. So it's kind of like the world's first audio CRM. And once you kind of open that you're like, Oh, my goodness, this opens a lot of possibilities. But backing up, not many companies are going out and saying, I need to go get a private podcast, what they are saying is, I need to reach my people, I need to reach my audience, I need my audience to consume this amazing content. Because if they don't consume the content, their beliefs don't shift, or we're not able to, you know, persuade or convince them that we're the best solution for them, and they don't buy. So this consumption of content is the problem. Whereas not many people understand that this solution exists yet. So we've really had to do more education and awareness building in terms of some of the companies and some of the clients that we serve, because it's just not something that they're out there looking for. But once they do discover it, they realize the benefits of using audio is a great communication channel to reach their audience with relevancy.
Andy Splichal 17:04
So personalized, so is it like Hello, Nora, welcome to the Make Each Click Count podcast, because it puts in listener’s names. What do you mean by personalized?
Nora Sudduth 17:13
so we can use dynamic content that is personalized with the tag. So you can if you wanted to, you could actually have one feed for each person, because it's a unique link for that that person. So it's actually tied, the access link for the private podcast is tied to their email. So unlike conventional public podcasts, where you, you can see downloads, you could probably see where they're at in the world and what device they're listening on. But with private podcast, you're actually able to zero in on individual emails. So you can actually see who your super listeners are, or who is the most engaged and be able to follow up on the marketing side. So that's really fascinating. And then for personalization, you could drop specific episodes for people with a specific tag. So let's say you, you came up with a private podcast, that was, you know, your meditations and you realize, you apply to tag because you knew that their subscription should be running out. So they you know, subscription almost ending, because they have that tag, you could you could actually throw in an episode specifically for those folks that would say, hey, don't forget, you know, to renew, here's a promotional code or something like that you could differentiate buyers and non buyers or prospects and buyers, or long term buyer, VIP clients or all of those things and based on their tags, you could drop specific episodes, we do allow you to customize podcast title names, as well, or episode title names. So you could say, hey, Nora, how's the candle? Or how you know, hey, Nora, how's it going? Or what was your experience like? So it does feel a lot more personal than just what you would consider a normal conventional podcast, which is everybody gets the same content at the same time. This is a little bit different.
Andy Splichal 18:55
And you said that you're struggling a bit with people not knowing about the service? Are you not putting in place some Russell Brunson funnels?
Nora Sudduth 19:04
Oh, we are. We are, it's more the awareness of the opportunity. Right. So our marketing a lot of our marketing is focused on really creating awareness that this is an opportunity that they can leverage right again, they're not looking for private podcasts or looking to reach their audience. They're not looking for private podcast, they're looking for a way to to convert more people or to get more buyers of their products. So really, what we we've, it's all content and really creating that awareness and social proof. So one of the things that we did we actually used our own product to deliver success stories. So this is also something that you can do both internal for your own team. For those of you that have a team that are producing your products and services, you can create your create an internal private podcast that shares customer success stories with your team because that helps with morale and it helps to build culture also helps with communication And you can also provide those stories in those success stories or those use cases to your clients to help maybe get them off the fence or to help them realize that, you know, if you're selling a specific ecom product that can be used in various ways, it gives them ideas and how they can potentially use it in their situation as to so we actually have a customer success podcast where we shared, I think, now it's up to over 40 different success stories about how people are using private podcasts, in their business and in their life.
Andy Splichal 20:29
Now, personally, this is one of my favorite questions, personally, are there any business books out there that you can attribute to your journey as an entrepreneur?
Nora Sudduth 20:37
Oh, my goodness, that is so challenging to come up with just one I have probably consumed more books that I could even possibly remember. You know, I would say, one of the biggest things for me, is I take bits and pieces of books. So obviously, when Russell published all of his books, I've read all of those I've read almost just a lot of marketing and sales. But really going back to having the it's about people, right, it's about so I've read actually a lot of psychology books. Because really, at the end of the day, we all sell to human beings, and understanding what really motivates buyers, and why people buy. There's been too many there probably named just one. But those books have been absolutely critical to being able to help other companies with their market positioning in their messaging.
Andy Splichal 21:34
So private podcast, are there many competitors in your space?
Nora Sudduth 21:40
There's a few, you know, and there are, there are public podcast hosting companies that have that are primarily public that are now starting to offer private just because of the opportunity that are there. Hello Audio is the only one that allows for personalization. And for the tailoring of the content to kind of match the tags or the the the listener itself. So we have very, we have listener specific content, we also are we're the only ones that do actions. So listener based triggers. So for example, if I sent you a private podcast, and you activated it and loaded it on your phone, that action, that listener action, I would know that that happened. And I could trigger something in my CRM to then either send you an email or to send you a text message or something like that, if you downloaded a specific episode or a specific episode was downloaded on your phone, that could also be a trigger to let me know that you've consumed some piece of content. And I can take actions on that. So we do have some differentiator, different features that that other companies don't. And I think that's primarily because you know, at the end of the day, we've helped, you know, from a marketing standpoint, we can see the value of not only being the the reach of the value of being able to reach someone with audio, but it's not just about reach. It's about relevancy. And we look at that as well.
Andy Splichal 23:05
So let's talk more about your services. You offer all these different customizations. But what what services are you offering? I mean, does the client put together everything themselves is a, I mean, where does your service starting in?
Nora Sudduth 23:21
Absolutely. So Hello Audio itself is primarily a self serve platform. And you know, for those folks that are worried, I know most everyone's like, Oh, it's it's another complicated tech one, it's going to take me forever, it's usually the biggest objection people have from from, you know, investing in a platform, it's actually so easy. If you don't have to take our word for it. We have testimonials and all that, go to the private podcast and listen to the success stories, over 70% of our users launched their first feed in less than 24 hours. And so if you think about normal, I guess the average SaaS company and how long it typically takes someone to get value out of that SaaS product, that's almost unheard of. Not many SaaS products are where people are able to get value out of it within the first 24 hours until launch, you know, get an outcome. So that was really important to us, because I come from a tech background. And while I'm very technical, not many people are and it shouldn't texture it and slow you down. And what you really want to do in terms of connecting with your audience. So we made that that's something that was really important to us. So primarily a self serve, but we do offer services. So if it's something that you didn't want to do, and you wanted either some strict strategic guidance on which content would be the most beneficial for your audience, or how to supplement your product, what are the types of digital content you could potentially leverage? That's something that we also do in addition to audio VA types of services will help create your your feeds for you as well.
Andy Splichal 24:52
So where do you think most companies get it wrong? We're looking to start a podcast?
Nora Sudduth 24:58
You know, I would say If it really just goes back to the customer conversation, it goes back to what's the content that your customers care about? And really thinking about that. So not not everyone, everyone's like, Oh, for people that sell, you know, public podcasts, everyone should have a podcast. You know, maybe not everyone should have a public podcast, that's a show, right? Maybe that doesn't really fit your business model or your content creation strategy. But from what I've seen, and what I've experienced, working with all of our members that Hello Audio, and then also with private clients, there's typically there's typically content that people could create a private podcast, again, it's it's a little bit of a different game, it's not a weekly show. It's not interview based doesn't have to be, but when when you really start to think what is that content? It's all about what would help improve your relationship improve your what, what gives the most value? It's not necessarily what you want to talk about. But what is the content that's going to help move the needle for your customers,
Andy Splichal 26:01
Who makes your perfect client? Who if they're listening right now, she should say, you need to check this out.
Nora Sudduth 26:07
It's really anyone who is creating content, and is struggling to break through that digital noise and get it consumed. So you know, yes, creators that are, whether they're creating blog posts, we have folks that are amazing, they're writing blog posts to try to get their products and services sold. But not many people are reading their blog posts. And it's not because they're bad, it's just because people don't necessarily sit down and take the time. So we have folks that read their blog posts into a private podcast, because people would rather listen to it on the go, than sit down at their computer and read blog posts. We have folks that write email newsletters every week, to their clients, or they write that, you know, nurture sequences to stay in touch, they've actually just taken those and turn them into spoken word. So they could hear their voice and make more of a connection with them. And they turn them into a private podcast. So it doesn't necessarily have to be a course creator or a coach or someone that has information products. It's someone that either either wants to supplement a physical product with a digital side of things, and they want to be able to connect and open that channel of communication, or someone that has been creating content and just wants their people to consume it.
Andy Splichal 27:23
So how can an interested listener learn more about working with you?
Nora Sudduth 27:27
Absolutely, you can just go to helloaudio.fm, we actually offer a seven day trial, no credit card required. So we're removing all the friction, you can just try it out without any sort of, you know, obligation or worrying about any of those monthly charges. So you could do that. And if you have questions about marketing or marketing strategy, you can find me at norasudduth.com.
Andy Splichal 27:49
And if someone was thinking about launching a podcast, what are a few action steps that they should take right away?
Nora Sudduth 27:57
Always mapping out the customer conversation and your strategy. So the what's the purpose? What's the intent of this? What do I want people to do? So think about the action that you want people to take. I mean, if you're just wanting to entertain people, and that's, that's just part of your business strategy, then that's great. But I would sit down and think about, you know, if you're going to invest the time to create this content, and to really leverage the the channel, the audio channel to reach your customers, you want that content to be impactful and meaningful, not only just to them, but also to your business. That's what I would do is the first step.
Andy Splichal 28:34
Well, this has been great. Is there anything else you'd like to add before we wrap it up today?
Nora Sudduth 28:38
No, thank you so much for having me.
Andy Splichal 28:41
Well, thank you for joining us. That's it for today. Remember, if you liked this episode, please go to Apple podcasts and leave us an honest review. And if you're looking for more information, connecting with Nora or Hello Audio FM you will find the links in the show notes below. In addition, if you're looking for more information on growing your business, check out our all new podcasts resource center available at www.makeeachclickcount.com we have compiled all the different past guests by show topic and included each of their contact information in case you would like more information on any of the services I have discussed during previous episodes. Remember to stay safe, keep healthy and happy marketing and I will talk to you in the next episode.
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