Check Out Our All New Podcast Resource Center!
April 28, 2023

The Key Steps Needed To Achieve Massive Online Growth with Andy Halko

Apple Podcasts podcast player badge
Spotify podcast player badge
Google Podcasts podcast player badge
Castro podcast player badge
RSS Feed podcast player badge

Podcast episode 145 of the Make Each Click Count Podcast features Andy Halko, the Chief Executive Officer of Insivia where they create amazing and powerful strategies, websites, videos, marketing programs, and more for fast-growing companies.

Andy discusses why he focuses on retention among the other market strategies. He shares how retention is crucial for achieving scale and maximizing customer lifetime value.

In this episode, Andy shares the importance of understanding the target audience for effective marketing, website creation, and redesign. He shares that his approach to acquisition is to create a customized strategy that aligns with the client's goals and budget and leverages a mix of channels and tactics to drive targeted traffic and leads.

Episode Action Items:

To find more information about Andy, go to:




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


Andy Splichal (00:00):

Welcome to the ake ach lick Count podcast, this is your host, Andy Splichal. We are happy to welcome this week's guest to discuss today's topic, which is the key steps needed to achieve massive online growth. Today's guest, started his first company, Insivia in 2002 at 22 years old. He has been featured on NBC Nightly News and received the 40 under 40 award. 25 under 35 award, distinguished sales and marketing award one to walk one to watch and Stashhower oung Visionary award. He has been a keynote speaker for various events. Sponsored by COSE, OHTech, Vistage, ntrepreneur's rganization, and igital Summit. A big welcome to Andy Halko. Hi Andy.


Andy Halko (00:47):

Hi. Andy, how are you today? I'm good. We were just saying it's always great to talk to another ndy.


Andy Splichal (00:53):

You know. I have no excuse if I forget your name.


Andy Halko (00:56):

That's right. Andy squared.


Speaker 1 (00:58):

Hey let's start. I was researching you coming on and on your home page. It says that you have dramatically scale with expertise and Market strategy, customer acquisition and user retention. So I'm curious out of these three marketing strategy customer acquisition our user retention which do you feel is the most important as far as scaling your business?


Andy Halko (01:28):

Well, first it's not a one word answer for that.


Andy Halko (01:32):

It's really a flywheel that, you know, to get moving and get momentum, you've really got to get all three. I think when you're a startup, having that product Market fit is just imperative and foundation with the success. Because you don't have the product Market, fit, you really going to struggle to acquire customers and gain traction from that perspective. But to answer your question, probably more directly retention is a little bit of my Holy Grail mainly because you can have product Market, fit you can acquire customers, but if you don't have that retention where you're keeping customers reducing churn, you really can't gain that scale and any acquisition that you do ends up just being expensive and a little bit pointless because those people are quickly turning out that lifetime value is really low and so I really focus a lot on retention because I think it means that you got product-market fit, right? It means you've gotten customer acquisition moving and then it gives you that foundation for really scaling.


Andy Splichal (02:42):

Yeah, no, I can see that, I mean, especially as customer, acquisition becomes more and more expensive. The user retention is key. How, how do you put that in place for your clients?


Andy Halko (02:53):

The retention side of things? Yeah. So retention to me is such a wide range of different pieces.


Andy Halko (03:02):

We talk a lot about it starts with product Market Fit that you've really identified a pain that a specific audience has. And so when they get Get in there they're able to solve that and find Value retention is for me a lot about onboarding. I talk with clients that that first hour, the first day, the first 7 days that you need to get to value for that person as quickly as possible because that sets the stage for Success.


Andy Halko (03:32):

You know I always think about like they talk about the psychology of you walk in a grocery store and if there's flowers right there they're trying to have that impression. Russian of freshness, the same thing with onboarding, your onboarding is got to get people excited. It's got to set the stage so that the rest ofthe experience is really successful. And then it's really about creating that great experience. That is constantly delivering value to that customer giving them a reason to stay. And so, we look at a lot of things in retention from the right fit,the right onboarding, the right experience, delivering value, all of those different pieces.


Andy Splichal (04:11):

Yeah. Yeah, those are some great points now. You also do web design service. Correct. That's right. And so let's jump into that for a moment, what goes into creating a website that will convert.


Andy Halko (04:25):

So for me, I think the biggest is understanding your target audience. I think the number one mistake, and this goes for marketing, goes for website, but Ijust see it over , the number one mistake, is that eople have bias in their decision-making and what they do and it's funny how many clients I go into and they're overconfident in their understanding of their target audience. And what I mean is I walk into someone that's had 20 years experience in an industry and they feel like they really know that audience but they only know the segment that they've engaged with. Especially a see this in companies where they've had massive success without any marketing and so their bias is on customers that have been referred to them. And so they think they understand what is the message and you know, what is the key points that are going to entice those people and they really don't, they don't understand it. And so for me with driving a website that converts its second step. Being back shedding all that bias. Looking at it from this very naive standpoint and it's funny that, you know, me and my team. I train them to kind of get into this naive mindset, like look at things like you're a little child and you know nothing about it and it's like I walk in here and you have to explain it to me.


Andy Halko (06:01):

You have to convince me, I have to understand it and I think that so many organizations go into that process being overcome Confident in how well they know their audience and how they then really, truly have to have the right message have the right, you know, visuals the right process and flow. And so for me, if you want to get conversion it's stepping back. And like realizing you are not your target audience.


Andy Splichal (06:33):

Yeah, those are. Those are Wise. Wise words, do you A/B test with a new design, or do you talk to customers. Where how do you get that design?


Andy Halko (06:47):

Yeah, Imean we've got a very structured strategic process where for us, it's really about leveraging, best practices understanding strategy, prioritizing ctas doing market research, but to your question, we do we, a lot of times in that design process, will identify a number of customers and go and get feedback from them in that process and come back and use that as part of the informed. Us. But it's also a big reason that I think a lot of these services are connected is that if you're not doing Market Research in the beginning and you're not defining, good personas, you're not understanding all these pieces. It's pointless to do awebsite. It's pointless to do marketing. If you haven't done those foundational, things really well.


Andy Splichal (07:41):

What tips would you give someone who is redesigning their website to increase conversion.


Andy Halko (07:50):

So I mean, besides looking at your target audience, I A lot of times like the think in conversions at different buying ycles so one other misnomer mistake that people make is they think that conversion of a form a phone call. A purchase is Everything. And so the reality is that only 1% 2% actually make that conversion. So, I talked about low commitment, conversions. Things like, sign up for a newsletter, a download, whatever. It might be, medium commitment conversions. Like a webinar, completing a calculator, or some sort of, sort of comparison tool. And then High commitment conversions, like a purchase a form, a phone call A Sign up. And I always say that it's really important to make sure that on every page that you're presenting conversion actions at low commitment, medium commitment and high commitment. So that if someone's early in their buying cycle and they're not ready to talk to sales or not, ready to make a purchase, they have options at that, low and medium level, but you're also capturing people that are further along in their buying cycle. So I think it's really important for folks, to realize that there's more than just that contact form. There's more than just that registration. And if you're not thinking from that perspective, there's a lion share of visitors that are just going to disappear and not take any action.


Andy Splichal (09:31):

Very interesting. So do you offer all three of those conversion options on most pages?


Andy Halko (09:38):

Yeah, I mean our goal is definitely when you're talking about Pages like paid advertising, landing pages, other ones but on most of our sites we really do try and look at how do we somehow incorporate at least two of those? If not all three on every page? The one challenge becomes is that, it's a, it's a big asset lift, if you want to do it right. You know, as an example, if you're talking about a specific Service. It's better to have three conversions that relate to that page and the content on it rather than you know one that you use on every page of your site. That is more generic because you're going to get higher conversions.


Andy Splichal (10:23):

So acquisition. Yeah. What, what are you offering is far as clients. How do you help them with their acquisition?


Andy Halko (10:32):

So, acquisition is a widespread. I'll tell you that my favorite Channel. I'm a sucker for organic search. Still, I love intent marketing. So the idea that people have real intent when they're coming in, we always talk about frictionless marketing and frictionless sales, how do you move people faster through that funnel and through that experience. And to me, if you could acquire customers with intent, you really move them through that process faster. I always talk about advertising and Outreach as like being very interruptive. You know, you're getting in front of people, you're sending them an email, you know, social and PR, they have influence but not always. Intent because social you're influencing people and it's referral-based but they may not have a need or an intent that they're filling. earch to me is I've got a pain. I've got a problem. I'm going to the search engine and I'm looking for a solution. I have intent. I need an answer. I need a product. Ineed a service, I need something. And so the reason that I get excited about search still is that it's the primary channel that really has this. High level of intent that then when you get them in oftentimes the rest of that funnel is very frictionless.


Andy Splichal (12:01):

So when you're talking search, are you talking you're talking SEO, or you talking PPC, or you talking both?


Andy Halko (12:09):

I'm talking both but I always probably prioritize organic. I still believe strongly that organic is the primary one statistics show that most people do click on organic before, they click on paid, but within search is paid advertising and those people that search have intent. So I think that sem and really understanding both organic and paid is important but I'm still a fan of organic as the Lion Share of that.


Andy Splichal (12:41):

How do you calculate ROI with the marketing channels especially for organic


Andy Halko (12:51):

Yeah, you know, this is one of those interesting ones that I think most agencies fight with is attribution. You talk about Roi. Where did it come from? Journeys or complex, right? And we see that alot with clients. More producing reports is how do we really understand that maybe someone did do a search on their phone but then later they went to their, you know, desktop computer and they typed in the domain. In or they emailed themselves, a link and then they click from that email and it's being attributed as this. That is a really tough piece of the marketing Roi equation is, how do you get a attribution, right? And I think every firm struggles with it and there's tools out there in GA for that are starting to help with that attribution equation. But for us, it's really looking at a mix of, you know, how do we First, and the hard kpi's, like a true conversion into a sale, a sign up, whatever it might be our leading indicators. Like, how much volume is coming from search? How big is our list, Etc? And really starting to try and make sure that we are piecing together, that journey to understand that attribution. So when it comes to ROI think the goal is Liz. You have to track everything, but you also have to give yourself some leeway to make sure that you're not turning things off, that you're not seeing results on. But at the end of the day, they're driving another Channel. And so we often look at that is specially, you do paid advertising. Someone comes to a page, then you do some remarketing but they emailed themselves, a link that's hard to Tribute to but what you don't want to do is shut off the paid adverising because you're not seeing the direct conversions, right? So it is a complex game to play.


Andy Splichal (14:58):

Now most search engine agencies don't offer nearly as many services you do. You guys you know you have website design SEO, PPC management. How did you get into offering so many different services.


Andy Halko (15:14):

So you know, transparently for me, I started the business 21 years ago so I've been doing it. Long time, I did it right out of college, right and I'm one of those people, I'm a super immersive learner. I in high school taught myself The Code. By the time I was 24, I knew like six different coding languages. I was like, it's funny. I started out with flash and actionscript which is completely gone. Now, half the people listening may not even know actionscript from flash days and then when I got into starting the agency, he really got in the design and then when search and paid came up, you know, Idug in and Ithink one of the reason I share that is I'm lucky enough to be surrounded Pete by people. And I really bring in folks that have this hunger to learn passion to dig in like wearing multiple hats, you know, are willing to fail as long as they learn something. And so for me, I think the reason that we've got into a lot is that We do really have this group of passionate hungry, Learners that want to understand how each of these pieces fit together. And Ithink we know that, you can't have great conversion if you didn't drive the right traffic and so making sure that you get both of those things. Right is so imperative and so it's just been this experience of like you have to get all these these links in the chain, right? And having a bunch of people around that, I mean, truly are hungry for this stuff.


Andy Splichal (16:56):

Yeah, no. I mean, that makes a lot of sense if you're doing just web development and the right track, It's not coming in. It's not right. It's not going to convert and it doesn't look like you did a good job even though I'm sure you do. So I can


Andy Halko (17:09):

one of the reasons and one of the reasons we got into we do a lot of positioning for folks. Like what makes you unique in the marketplace? And the reason was, is I was having a lot of folks do come to me and say, I want web design, it sit there. And we've talked about this and it was amazing to me how many people could not clearly articulate. Why someone should do business with them and transparently. I sat back myself and said I got to solve this for these clients. Like, we cannot get into this website process if they can't, you know, articulate like their differentiation and their key, you know, enticing points. And so I dug into it and built systems to like break clients through and say, let's break this apart. And really figure it out because I knew if I build a website where the client had a weak proposition or they didn't have the right messaging. You know who cares? Then like you're just putting out a website and it's not going to do anything.


Andy Splichal (18:11):

Yeah. No I mean that's a great question. I always like to ask the question is why should somebody do business with you versus a competitor versus doing nothing at all. And I think that's a great question to ask when looking at conversion. Now you said, you've been out this at this for 21 years. right? So I'm curious. Have there been any business books that you could attribute to your journey as an entrepreneur?


Andy Halko (18:38):

During that time, there's alot. I mean, I love reading. I love getting in, but there's probably a little joke, amongst alot of my entrepreneur friends, that Blue Ocean strategy. Idon't know if you know that book, but I reference it probably way too much and it does get back to that. What we just talked about with uniqueness and positioning. And if you're not familiar with the book in a red ocean, there's so much competition that there's blood in the water and it's about. How do you find a blue ocean? How do you reduce competition? And that book talks a lot about, you know, the strategy of the business. But I really think that the concept of, how do you reduce competition gets into your product strategy, your Market, who are you talking to that positioning and messaging you know all of these hings rive, less competition. And so I've actually used a lot of the things in Blue Ocean strategy, that develop the exercises that we do with people for positioning because even in your message, even if you don't change your offerings for a blue ocean, you can adapt your messaging to create a blue ocean to reduce competition so that when you walk in the room and you're competing with another company they should fall away because you are so well articulating. Why you're unique? And why someone should do business with you that the competitors seem like they're aliens in the room and they don't belong. And so I'm really big about like, how do you truly find a positional blue ocean, a scenario where you can articulate yourself so well, your differentiation your why that you have pushed your competitors out of the room?


Andy Splichal (20:29):

So what is your position on Blue Ocean? Who are the clients that you service?


Andy Halko (20:35):

Yeah, it's a great question. So for us, we've narrowed down on working with software entric companies and that's kind of become our blue. Ocean a little bit of that has evolved because like, I told you, when I was in high school, I taught myself to code and code. In a bunch of languages Tech has always been kind of in my blood since day one. I've launched a couple of roducts of our own and spun them out into their own companies. So I really love that, you know, scalable recurring, Revenue software business. And so, we really dived in and that's who we work with is companies that are either building and taking software products to Market, or take existing software products and help Implement those. In other organizations, those are all of the clients that we work with. And so, So that's why we become hyper focused on, not just the acquisition, but the retention because that's so imperative to software companies that are subscription-based or have recurring contracts, is that they've got to get those pieces, right? And so that's why it's such a big piece of what we talked about


Andy Splichal (21:47):

And do you have a favorite success story of when your clients you could share?


Andy Halko (21:53):

Yeah. There's so many you know again 21 years. I look back and Try and think of like, what did I love the most. But I'll actually just bring one up. That's a recent one. We just launched a new brand for a company called Bedrock. And the reason that I love it is that they came to us with an old name. They just grabbed some funding for their product, had a great growth trajectory, and our team was really able to come in from that blue ocean perspective and help them really apart their competitors, their arket, their product, and help them create true articulation of how their unique, develop them, a new name, anew brand website, the whole kit and caboodle into marketing and producing, you know, targeted sql's and pql is for them. And so for me a client that we can go in and be so instrumental for And we can help them really solve problems. That's the stuff that gets me like excited. And I walk away from those meetings going, man. This is why I'm here is the see, such Major Impact


Andy Splichal (23:11):

And are there any challenges that you struggle with and getting results for clients?


Andy Halko (23:17):

Well, you know, transparently. I think there's always challenges, right? I mean, we live in a world where people are constantly being inundated with that. Everything, you know, a couple of years ago, got really big into LinkedIn connection campaigns and we had found massive success with that of you know you can do you can Target down to very specific titles and specific Industries. You know, do a connection request and invite somebody to an event or invite them you know to meet you at a conference and we were having great success with it. And the challenge with the marketplace was It got flooded. And now, if you're listening to this, you probably within the last 20 minutes have had 10 connection request online that are spam. Right? Right. So I think the challenge that we face is that sometimes you find these really Innovative things and especially being in this 21 years, social media, when I started, you know, pay-per-click. When it first like was early, you find these tricks and you find these ways to optimize it and it eventually gets like inundated and overwhelmed to a point that it's hard to get in. So, part of this journey and part of the challenge, is always staying ahead, always being agile, always finding that next thing and not being stagnant


Andy Splichal (24:46):

And you'd mentioned your perfect client or SaaS companies. Yes do you work with any other verticals or who's out there? Maybe they're not as SAS company that you would work with.


Andy Halko (24:59):

We really don't, we are hyper-focused on anybody software. We get into devices because a lot of times devices are paired with software. So, but it is Hypertech focused and software isa big space, right? You know, we work with B2B SaaS where someone gets there and they're signing up for a monthly package. And we also work with Enterprise software where they're selling, you know, a six hundred thousand dollar a software license for four years to a hospital system. And so, you know, for us software is a wide space, but one where we want to have, youknow, deep expertise in and that's who we work with.


Andy Splichal (25:45):

Okay, well, you got to respect that. Yeah. Now, how about how does somebody get ahold of you? How can that interested listeners, learn more about working with you?


Andy Halko (25:53):

Well, I think the normal channels, Social media and Linkedin. I mentioned LinkedIn. I have a huge number of connections. I love connecting with people seeing what they have to say. I engage a lot on there, but definitely check out the website because we have tons of educational resources. We do our own shows, and podcasts were a lot about putting information and education out into the market. So you can just get access to tons and tons of stuff and then find us on LinkedIn.


Andy Splichal (26:29):

Well, this has been great. Is there anything else you'd like to add before we wrap it up today?


Andy Halko (26:33):

Well, I just want to say I really appreciate you taking the time to talk to me. I thought it was a great conversation. I love talking about marketing and Lead gen and all this stuff. So I really appreciate you taking the time to engage with me and both of us be able to reach out to the world a little bit more


Andy Splichal (26:52):

fantastic. Well, thanks again for joining us today.


Andy Halko (26:55):

Thank you, Andy


Andy Splichal (26:57):

For listeners. Remember if you liked this episode, please go to Apple podcast and leave us an honest review. And if you'relooking for more information Insivia or connecting with the end, you will find the links inthe show notes Below. In addition, if you're looking for more information on growing your business, check out our podcast Resource Center available at, we have compiled all of our different paths gas by show topic and include each of their contact information. In case youwould like more information on any of the topics I've discussed during previous episodes. Well, that's it for today. Remember to stay safe, keep healthy and happy marketing and I will talk to you in the next episode.