Mark Stern: How this entrepreneur gamifies boxes.
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Steve Werner: what’s going on everyone welcome back to grow your impact income and influence the number one show on the Internet for reaching tons of people selling one too many, and today we are talking about gamification.
00:00:17.430 –> 00:00:23.550
Steve Werner: boxes, specifically, how you can engage your audience double to triple your close rate.
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Steve Werner: and make more money while reaching more people and having a greater impact, my friend mark stern is joining us one of my closest friends in entrepreneurship.
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Steve Werner: He used to be a consultant for one of the head consulting firms in the world has an MBA from Duke mark, welcome to the show how are you doing today.
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Mark Stern: doing well see it’s always good, yes, you know so happy to be here.
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Steve Werner: awesome so take us back to where this started, because you actually didn’t start with boxes at all, like all our entrepreneurial journeys.
00:00:57.180 –> 00:01:08.940
Steve Werner: started somewhere completely different, you were kind of doing summits and then you were bouncing around with image design and gamification take us back to like where this started and like how you got so interested in this.
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Mark Stern: it’s a good question it’s funny because it’s a complete accidental businesses was never intended to be the business, but so much of it was.
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Mark Stern: You know, I was the guy who follow the path you know to happiness, that I was born and raised with which is go to college graduate high school or go to get the dream job after college, then you know go back and get your jd or MBA and then.
00:01:35.790 –> 00:01:46.500
Mark Stern: You know, have the big job after you get that Grad degree and picket fences and life is great, and I followed that to a TEE that’s all I knew that’s all anyone that I knew knew and.
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Mark Stern: You know I you know talked about a lot about this, it was I think 2010 I got my hands on four hour workweek and it kind of tease this idea of a nomadic lifestyle and like introducing the world of.
00:02:01.650 –> 00:02:14.700
Mark Stern: You know kind of digital nomads and digital marketing and every time I read this book from TIM ferriss I was like it was so much fun to dream, but I never like I didn’t know these people existed, because no one I knew was like these people.
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Mark Stern: So once I started to delve a little bit deeper into it completely unveiled this whole digital marketing game which is so different than corporate America.
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Mark Stern: That, I think that a lot of it was just curiosity it’s like you ask yourself when you’re introduced to this new realm where do I began, I began with virtual events.
00:02:36.630 –> 00:02:44.490
Mark Stern: And that was simply because I loved going to conferences and the idea of creating my own digital conference.
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Mark Stern: It was just one of those things that it seems like a good challenge and it seemed like a good way to force myself to really put myself out there on on the Internet.
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Mark Stern: And that’s really where a lot of this started the first time that we launched a digital Conference, it was called the quick printer summit, you spoke on it back in 2018.
00:03:04.170 –> 00:03:14.400
Mark Stern: And we had a physical product that I had created that we introduced with that called entrepreneur elements, so this was all like a publication around.
00:03:16.140 –> 00:03:27.810
Mark Stern: How to make the transition from corporate America to becoming an entrepreneur, and that I think really was like the first step of like dipping my feet into sending someone a physical product.
00:03:28.260 –> 00:03:34.500
Mark Stern: And really just became this thing that anytime I did a digital or virtual events, I sent a physical product.
00:03:34.980 –> 00:03:42.870
Mark Stern: With it, and then just to see the reactions what was happening in the marketplace that’s kind of where this whole journey started it was never meant to be.
00:03:43.200 –> 00:03:54.720
Mark Stern: The core focus business was meant to be the supplemental thing to these virtual events that we were creating so that like really is where the started, and then you know we can get into what happened there but.
00:03:55.260 –> 00:04:05.130
Mark Stern: To see how the market reacted when they would receive these physical things that’s when you start to say Okay, maybe there’s a little bit more to this equation than what meets the eye.
00:04:06.120 –> 00:04:17.760
Steve Werner: that’s I mean that is awesome I know like when we met you were you were starting to get going with entrepreneur summit and like you were it was really interesting to listen to your journey, because you were.
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Steve Werner: Really excited about doing a virtual summit, which at the time seemed to me to be like.
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Steve Werner: Like so much stuff to handle and do, but you handled it really well, I mean how many people did you have on that first summit like 4045.
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Mark Stern: yeah somewhere in that range, I think it may have been 4243 but yeah right there 4045 which is nuts and I would never it’s one of those things that like virtual summits was like What was it, I mean you’ve been in the game for a long time to you Steve so.
00:04:42.750 –> 00:04:50.130
Mark Stern: Virtual summits became huge at virtual summits and telus summits and at some point, they were like phone so much were you calling on like one 800 number and.
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Steve Werner: Listen listen.
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Mark Stern: I can’t imagine that, like it, I think it worked with the Internet marketing trends of like the early 2000s 10s and mid 2000 10s.
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Mark Stern: Because people valued that like this is kind of where you see these bloated offers and people just assume if all these things are in an offer, it must be a good offer.
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Mark Stern: So, like someone’s for being pumped out with 20 3050 100 speakers and people were looking at that as value, today I look at that as overwhelm.
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Mark Stern: And it’s interesting to see how fast that model has evolved, but, at the time like this is before coven before like a new virtual Summit was like every other week or multiple times a day.
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Mark Stern: The model has changed so much, since when I did, even in 2018 it still was considered like a.
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Mark Stern: A big undertaking, and you know there wasn’t a lot of people in our realm that had really put them out there that much so it was still kind of in the early timeframe of.
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Mark Stern: That but, again, you flash forward to the age of coven it’s amazing to see like that model to me is such a model of the past.
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Mark Stern: And it’s really hard for that model to work beyond getting a couple of leads, but I mean so much of what we do as entrepreneurs is we’re trying to grow a business in order to grow business, you need to have.
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Mark Stern: You know your Avatar you need to have a solid offer you need to be the right attractive character deliver to deliver the message it’s amazing to see how quickly just the concept of a virtual event has evolved since 2018.
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Steve Werner: I mean that’s 100% correct, I mean you went from doing those that large event to then doing smaller I don’t know if you want to call it, micro summits or.
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Steve Werner: Virtual you were calling them virtual events versus a summit, but there were five or six speakers really targeted in, but what came out of that was you started shipping these boxes, I remember the high ticket box and then you did a box for us on our summit.
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Steve Werner: Live event launch pad you started putting out these boxes and people started noticing the boxes and you also started noticing that more and more people are getting really engaged.
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Steve Werner: Because of the boxes so talk a little bit about that and gamification I mean first time I went over to mark’s house he had.
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Steve Werner: If you guys remember back in the age of like Nintendo and super Nintendo he had the game books that were like the cheat.
00:07:04.290 –> 00:07:15.930
Steve Werner: Codes they were like 300 pages thick of how you work through something and I thought that was really interesting and you said, while i’m doing that because it helps with the boxes, which to me was like a light bulb moment i’ll let you take it from there, though.
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Mark Stern: yeah so there’s two parts of this because I do want to get into that gamification to me, is something that we can nerd out on for hours.
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Mark Stern: But high ticket online we this is, I think, when the role of a box really evolved so high ticket online.
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Mark Stern: The problem that I was trying to solve with this product was that people in the digital marketing space someone would be like oh I just close $250,000 with the sales.
00:07:37.590 –> 00:07:46.140
Mark Stern: With my high ticket product, so if everyone would flock over to them and, like be like Why am I not get the same results, because not all business models are created equal.
00:07:46.440 –> 00:07:55.320
Mark Stern: Not all offers make the same sense for every single market, so this whole event was my interview, I think it was literally 11 people I did these interviews.
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Mark Stern: And like over the course of two to three days and they’re each about an hour long, but I was really intentional with how we structure these these interviews for high ticket online, because the goal was my spotlight.
00:08:07.890 –> 00:08:17.700
Mark Stern: 12 different models, including myself, of how people structure their high ticket programs and then through that can I, create a box, they could live beyond the summit so.
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Mark Stern: When we launched the summit we had this branded box that had the 12 experts pictures on it, we turned all of our experts into trading cards like literal think of baseball cards.
00:08:27.570 –> 00:08:33.570
Mark Stern: Trading cards that broke down their session and how to make it like be actionable with what they taught.
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Mark Stern: So we did all these really cool things and I really want to have a box, it was just designed to give you tools and resources to make it.
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Mark Stern: easy for you to like replicate a high ticket program that made sense for your business model and be like listen to this is what you and I, we really we created an assessment that was part of the box that people fill it out.
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Mark Stern: To them, be able to say Okay, which interview said I listened to that makes sense for my business models were really intentional with this, but what happened was when these boxes landed in market.
00:09:04.290 –> 00:09:12.870
Mark Stern: All the speakers started taking ownership of their box they started authentically posting pictures they start taking pictures with their trading card.
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Mark Stern: And then, all of a sudden their audiences were like how do I get my hands on these boxes so then when they got their boxes, they started doing the same thing, so all the sudden.
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Mark Stern: You know, I was looking at this as like holy geez this is better than Facebook ads like everyone’s getting a box and they’re posting videos and they’re posting pictures with the contents.
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Mark Stern: And they’re selling my product for me and that’s What was really powerful, because then you can take all of that social proof.
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Mark Stern: And repurpose it again and again and again to activate your community in a really powerful way, so I think that’s kind of when the light bulb moment went off to say.
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Mark Stern: If we just look at a boxes swag in a box and putting stuff in a box you completely missed the opportunity of how to leverage boxes, for your business and.
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Mark Stern: What it really comes down to is, if you look at the digital marketing space, when we talk about truly creating an experience, and this is like when we say experience it’s hyper relevant and the age of code.
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Mark Stern: Especially when we were trapped in quarantine experience is is through your senses you experience the world through the sense of sight sound touch taste smell when you go to Disney world.
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Mark Stern: It is so powerful because Disney knows how to activate every sense, all the way to what you smell when you’re walking through the park same thing with the movie theater the smell a popcorn.
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Mark Stern: Digital only products everyone billions of pieces of data get uploaded every single day is competing for just what you see.
00:10:39.600 –> 00:10:47.820
Mark Stern: And what you hear two of the five senses the cool thing about a box is I can bring this multi dimensional element to the digital experience.
00:10:48.060 –> 00:10:56.670
Mark Stern: By giving you something physical that you can hold that you can navigate through that activates different senses that complements what you’re going through digitally.
00:10:56.940 –> 00:11:02.310
Mark Stern: So that’s kind of what we started to see, and it was interesting to see how our point of view, started to evolve, but.
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Mark Stern: With all these boxes, we were launching everyone just started reaching out to me being like how are you doing this and I was just getting on these calls and just telling them how to do it.
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Mark Stern: and, eventually, I was like I need to buy back my time because so many people are asking me for this, I was so focused on building a business on virtual events.
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Mark Stern: Like building a business on boxes never just seemed like an opportunity for me.
00:11:24.090 –> 00:11:35.160
Mark Stern: And finally, I was like i’m going to launch a challenge it was like a $37 challenge the custom box challenge anyone who wants to learn how to do a box go by the challenge and honestly that’s the rest was history.
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Mark Stern: People started going through the challenge the challenge still converts all I don’t even put any I never promote it and it converts like none other and.
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Mark Stern: What ends up happening is people go through the challenge and then said say to me like we just want you to build our boxes, for us, so we launched an agency to support more people.
00:11:54.330 –> 00:12:03.270
Mark Stern: And then we just started gobbling up more and more of the value ladder for that we became a distributor so we’re a vendor we have our own storefront where you can get promotion swag.
00:12:03.540 –> 00:12:13.920
Mark Stern: We have our full team of designers we have a warehouse in Austin Texas, so it was just crazy to see how quickly, like the thing that was supposed to support virtual events.
00:12:14.340 –> 00:12:20.580
Mark Stern: All the sudden became the new opportunity that when coven hit and everyone became an expert in virtual events overnight.
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Mark Stern: I now went from competing with other people who did virtual events to being able to collaborate with them and show them a point of view of how boxes can be their strategic.
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Mark Stern: advantage, with what they’re doing so that is like kind of where this all just like kind of went crazy a little bit.
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Steve Werner: Well, I want to unpack a couple different things you said in there, the first one is like a box is not just swag right there’s all kinds of.
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Steve Werner: cool it’s great to get a T shirt in the mail you you sign up for click funnels you’re there for a little bit they send you a T shirt.
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Steve Werner: You do somebody program they send you something in the mail, but you get it in you know, like one of those Amazon bags like a plastic bag you open it up it’s a shirt stuffed in a bag no note no nothing.
00:13:01.440 –> 00:13:09.930
Steve Werner: On what you did that was really cool to watch was you were like, how can we actually build the experience you started.
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Steve Werner: Your stuff with experience started actually in college when you applied to Grad school, I want you to tell that story, because this is like, for me, this is where the experience started like you learned how to build an experience for the people to beat everybody to get into business school.
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Mark Stern: Oh, my gosh that story well there’s a there’s a there’s a step before that story to which is.
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Mark Stern: I went to undergrad in DC thinking i’d go to law school I didn’t go to law school, I think there was one day that I was just like.
00:13:40.890 –> 00:13:44.100
Mark Stern: Nobody looks happy in law school, so I don’t know why I would ever go to law school and.
00:13:44.760 –> 00:13:58.020
Mark Stern: Somehow got exposed to this sector of marketing that’s not event marketing, it was called experiential marketing and that’s when I moved to Chicago so Stephen is here like a fun fact that we lived in the exact same building.
00:13:58.800 –> 00:14:03.960
Mark Stern: in Chicago I don’t know if we overlapped I feel like we missed each other by months.
00:14:04.110 –> 00:14:09.000
Mark Stern: We didn’t know it, but like later on when we became buddies and Steve live in Chicago I think we were just talking, I was like.
00:14:09.150 –> 00:14:13.920
Mark Stern: Where did you live, and when you told me that you lived in what was the honorary is that one.
00:14:14.490 –> 00:14:16.470
Steve Werner: Entry towers for 40 years.
00:14:16.710 –> 00:14:23.610
Mark Stern: All world like the fact that you and I love her So when I lived there I did experience with marketing for the beverage realm so.
00:14:24.090 –> 00:14:34.770
Mark Stern: are like my client was printer card so absolute jamison malibu ship is going live it we developed all their national marketing on premise campaign so if you went into a bar.
00:14:35.070 –> 00:14:49.320
Mark Stern: And it was completely decked out with the whole experience around like a jamison bottle like we would design those experiences and then i’d fly over the United States to see it, it was like the perfect job when you’re 2223 years old, to go to bars all over America.
00:14:50.370 –> 00:14:55.560
Mark Stern: But it was all about the experience so when I applied to business school and I love that you’re bringing this up by the way.
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Mark Stern: I didn’t know that that story resonated with you too.
00:15:00.270 –> 00:15:09.300
Mark Stern: I filled out the Business School application for like what they wanted me to fill out, so I went to Duke and got my MBA dude i’m a blue devil I love Duke.
00:15:10.230 –> 00:15:17.370
Mark Stern: But their application process, I went through it and was just like I still don’t feel like this represents me.
00:15:18.180 –> 00:15:29.850
Mark Stern: And they really can’t with just words on a page like really understand me and then also how much I want this experience and if you know the absolute brand absolut vodka.
00:15:30.780 –> 00:15:46.560
Mark Stern: Had a whole series of products and they sold it right now that it’s they always have a name that’s like absolute blank so absolute Barry ice absolute Citroen it’s always like a different flavor and the classic bottles of absolute have the name.
00:15:47.640 –> 00:15:52.800
Mark Stern: And script under it so if you look at a traditional bottle I think they’ve changed the bottle to be more of a.
00:15:53.760 –> 00:16:07.110
Mark Stern: Traditional design, but if you see it, it used to be kind of a script that talked about the vodka or talked about the flavor of the vodka and we were launching new flavors of absolute this was it there was a big trend in vodka, the late.
00:16:08.040 –> 00:16:17.880
Mark Stern: 2000s early 2000s 10s that they were like cranking out a new flavor like every six months, so these flavored vodkas were a huge trend.
00:16:18.840 –> 00:16:25.590
Mark Stern: So, because I was applying to Business School at the same time, I was like i’m going to create a bottle of absolute and i’m calling absolute few.
00:16:26.190 –> 00:16:36.540
Mark Stern: Few was the name of the Business School and I literally like got a clean skin bottle of absolute that was just completely blank and completely replicated.
00:16:36.870 –> 00:16:40.770
Mark Stern: On a transparency, this whole story of absolute few who uh.
00:16:41.160 –> 00:16:52.680
Mark Stern: And during a time of you know, when I applied to business school was right after the economic burst where like people were losing their job left and right so applications were up 30% to go to business school.
00:16:53.160 –> 00:16:57.120
Mark Stern: And i’m just like a white dude from Chicago like.
00:16:57.930 –> 00:17:08.850
Mark Stern: I have to compete against all the other people who have my profile, because every Business School likes to have a good diversity mix so it’s like How does this white dude from a big city in America stand out and I sent them.
00:17:09.720 –> 00:17:26.610
Mark Stern: a bottle of vodka that was absolute fuca and you know you kind of just like look to the stars and pray to the gods to say I just sent an admissions committee a bottle of vodka let’s just see how this pans out but deep down inside it felt like the right thing to do and.
00:17:28.170 –> 00:17:28.500
Steve Werner: Did you.
00:17:29.010 –> 00:17:29.250
Mark Stern: Like.
00:17:30.150 –> 00:17:36.060
Steve Werner: To do go to the post office or the ups store to mail it and you were like Should I be doing this, I don’t know, should I should.
00:17:36.930 –> 00:17:52.560
Mark Stern: dude every every second of this like it’s like one of those things that you just said, are like okay my dream school that I want to get into this happens to be right after the worst economic times in the 2000s, and now I am like in a position of.
00:17:53.610 –> 00:17:59.460
Mark Stern: Sending a bottle of vodka to you know Duke to show them like like.
00:18:00.750 –> 00:18:02.010
Mark Stern: Oh it’s about going there.
00:18:02.340 –> 00:18:11.280
Steve Werner: I mean they’re not going to forget for better for worse they’re going to get that in the mail and they’re going to attach that to your name and they’re either they’re going to love it or they’re going to hate it it’s polarizing.
00:18:11.490 –> 00:18:16.080
Steve Werner: A little bit, it has a chance to be so finish the story what happened with this, I mean.
00:18:16.170 –> 00:18:23.640
Mark Stern: yeah I mean new Business School admissions they do round, so they tell you, you will find out, and I don’t know I think colleges are like this that.
00:18:23.970 –> 00:18:35.880
Mark Stern: it’d be like march 18 you know you can log into this place and see if you got it and so before it had to be weeks of waiting to get a like a letter in the mail and it was thick you knew it was going to be an acceptance of its thing you know rejection.
00:18:36.510 –> 00:18:47.730
Mark Stern: And this model like like sending them a bottle I need to be a call out of ground to get admitted to the school, and so it was like one of those things that like.
00:18:48.330 –> 00:18:55.440
Mark Stern: It did exactly what I wanted it to do, and it was truly life changing because it was one of those things that.
00:18:55.950 –> 00:19:06.540
Mark Stern: You know you go through life and there’s these preset roles and you know I think this is a good cool lesson was is that application, this is the application you fill out to get in and I kind of broke the rules.
00:19:07.920 –> 00:19:13.410
Mark Stern: Just because I didn’t feel like I was representing myself to my best ability and the outcome of that is.
00:19:15.660 –> 00:19:16.290
Mark Stern: It worked.
00:19:16.860 –> 00:19:17.460
Mark Stern: And that we.
00:19:17.490 –> 00:19:26.280
Mark Stern: Brits that like I mean it was one of the best decisions I could have ever made it was it was a I think that this bottle that I sent to Duke.
00:19:26.970 –> 00:19:37.410
Mark Stern: What is the key reason why I did get admitted, which then put me on this trajectory of you know, getting to work for a top five consulting firm because Duke is a big.
00:19:38.370 –> 00:19:46.710
Mark Stern: recruiter for them all the way down to you know the experiences I have while I was at that consulting firm working with my dream mentor Peter diamandis an x prize, but.
00:19:47.010 –> 00:19:52.440
Mark Stern: it’s so many things that were this event that I think stem from this bold decision of sitting in the post office saying.
00:19:53.040 –> 00:20:01.500
Mark Stern: Do I mailed this bottle of vodka, to the admissions committee and here’s the fun fact is that the admissions director had that bottle on her desk for.
00:20:02.190 –> 00:20:15.690
Mark Stern: years until you know she was like you know people come in and see a bottle of vodka on my desk they may get the wrong impression, and I think she ended up taking it down, but like it was still one of those things that was like.
00:20:16.890 –> 00:20:24.420
Mark Stern: You know i’m so glad I made that bold move, because I do think it was a big decision in my life.
00:20:24.690 –> 00:20:44.190
Steve Werner: Well, I think I mean, I want to, I want to highlight like what I see in that is you built an experience for them that made yourself stand out they looked at it as dude this person cared enough to do the research to make this to send us something to go out on a limb and.
00:20:45.240 –> 00:20:55.620
Steve Werner: Now I just anyone that’s listening to this it’s in digital marketing or entrepreneurship, think about what your business does 99% of entrepreneurs are lazy not lazy and.
00:20:55.890 –> 00:20:58.770
Steve Werner: They don’t work they work all the time, but.
00:20:58.860 –> 00:21:07.560
Steve Werner: Oh, when it comes to customers i’m not going to go the extra mile I can barely get myself to answer support email like I don’t know how many times, if you’re in this realm you’ve had that happen right.
00:21:07.770 –> 00:21:15.660
Steve Werner: Like their processes are falling apart their websites falling apart and their customer journey is falling apart what mark.
00:21:16.140 –> 00:21:25.560
Steve Werner: Did in custom boxes is the same thing he did with that bottle of vodka he built an experience that shows that he cared about the people that were attending his summit.
00:21:26.040 –> 00:21:38.310
Steve Werner: Speakers and attendees the speakers, then, in turn, did all of his promotion for him got him thousands of dollars worth of sales and pushed his brand up.
00:21:38.820 –> 00:21:48.420
Steve Werner: So when you are looking for ways to stand out in the marketplace building an experience showing somebody that you’re willing to go the extra mile and care a little bit I talked to an influencer that.
00:21:48.900 –> 00:22:01.080
Steve Werner: Last year, her branded $3 million and I asked her if she was doing a box and her cold reply was no I don’t need to spend money on that that i’ll get who I get i’m not going to waste that money.
00:22:01.740 –> 00:22:15.270
Steve Werner: And like we’re talking about like somewhere between like 20 to $50 a person and my my response to her was you are missing out majorly if you’re doing 3 million right now with a box your event would probably do for on.
00:22:16.050 –> 00:22:21.450
Steve Werner: But i’ll leave that the reason, this is so passionate for me, I came from fine dining where it was all about building experience.
00:22:21.780 –> 00:22:28.860
Steve Werner: you’re charging somebody $500 for dinner it had better be epic and you’ve got to go the extra mile and I love doing that because you see the results.
00:22:29.070 –> 00:22:45.570
Steve Werner: So mark, I want to kind of turn the discussion a little bit, and I want to talk about what are the things that really separate your box and experience box from a swag box and I know you have you have like four or five different case uses for boxes, so I want to kind of go in that.
00:22:46.110 –> 00:22:50.730
Mark Stern: yeah we so we like to call them transformation boxes because, especially in the digital marketing game.
00:22:51.090 –> 00:22:55.650
Mark Stern: A lot of people talk about this idea of the two avatars the Avatar of the person who enters your Program.
00:22:56.070 –> 00:23:08.130
Mark Stern: And the Avatar of who they’re going to become through the transformation they’re going to have on your program so here’s where we differentiate versus anyone else is really in this game, because I don’t see anyone doing what we’re doing the way we’re doing it.
00:23:09.660 –> 00:23:12.960
Mark Stern: It starts with strategy first everything is about strategy.
00:23:14.160 –> 00:23:24.660
Mark Stern: I can put swag in a box, but so what here’s another T shirt here’s another water bottle there’s things that you can do to make those so much more valuable than just being a T shirt i’d rather you earn the T shirt.
00:23:24.930 –> 00:23:36.090
Mark Stern: You hit a certain milestone, and we send you the shirt but the core goals of how we see things is your customer lifecycle three phases you acquire a customer so acquisitions phase one.
00:23:36.630 –> 00:23:42.570
Mark Stern: You fulfill with your products and services, and now i’ve acquired them now i’m fulfilling my products and services phase two.
00:23:42.990 –> 00:23:52.950
Mark Stern: And then phase three is retention, how do I retain and ascend these clients up so depending on what your goal is, am I trying to get new client tells or am I trying to acquire new jv partners.
00:23:53.190 –> 00:24:03.000
Mark Stern: The story that i’m going to form with the box and how to leverage a box strategically is very different than okay you bought my product or service now I need to fulfill upon it.
00:24:03.360 –> 00:24:13.920
Mark Stern: versus Okay, how do I incentivize you end game a Phi the experience to keep you engaged to keep you a part of this community to make you feel more connected and to serve you at a higher level.
00:24:14.220 –> 00:24:23.010
Mark Stern: Very different strategies on boxes so that’s kind of where we worked with clients to say like what is, if you just want to do a box that as a T shirt we’re not your people.
00:24:23.550 –> 00:24:33.240
Mark Stern: were not the things that we’re able to do with clients is the clients are seeing massive conversions and massive returns, because they are creating an experience that.
00:24:33.900 –> 00:24:40.830
Mark Stern: You know what if you if, like we have so many frameworks are different things, but when we talk about what does a good box do it does three things.
00:24:41.490 –> 00:24:46.980
Mark Stern: reduces barriers to success, meaning a perfect example is, I have a.
00:24:47.460 –> 00:24:58.320
Mark Stern: friend who’s going through a program right now that you have to download and print out every single worksheet which means you got to download the worksheets you got to make sure you have a printer.
00:24:58.590 –> 00:25:03.540
Mark Stern: which most people don’t use a printer anymore, I think, in this day and age it’s just like it’s just another hassle.
00:25:04.170 –> 00:25:08.760
Mark Stern: You have to have paper in the printer you have to have it in the printer the printer is got to be set up to your computer.
00:25:09.060 –> 00:25:16.290
Mark Stern: there’s too many things that can go on that could prevent you from getting to the point, and then you got to be organized you get to organize all the papers that you’re printing out.
00:25:16.680 –> 00:25:27.210
Mark Stern: Too many things can happen that prevents you from do they get you, to the point to say oh i’ll get to it later i’ll get to it at some point so everything that we look at when we say, reducing barriers to success is.
00:25:27.990 –> 00:25:32.640
Mark Stern: How do we make it easier for people to get the result put that in the box.
00:25:33.030 –> 00:25:39.840
Mark Stern: increase engagement it’s The second thing I want to see things that they can interact with so they can engage, especially if they can engage live.
00:25:40.110 –> 00:25:43.770
Mark Stern: We love like one of our whole products is called a virtual social box.
00:25:44.010 –> 00:25:52.410
Mark Stern: Which is all about like creating these virtual social experience experiences like happy hours and networking events that bring people together, but a wine glass.
00:25:52.680 –> 00:25:59.550
Mark Stern: If we send those out to people then it’s coming like join our happy hour poor glass of wine and virtually let it be an engagement tool.
00:26:00.240 –> 00:26:04.650
Mark Stern: With that experience and then the other one is to inspire connection and community.
00:26:04.890 –> 00:26:13.410
Mark Stern: I think a lot of us are looking for ways to really like we’re not doing what we’re doing for a one off sale we’re trying to create a movement, and we want to build a whole community around it, so we can.
00:26:13.620 –> 00:26:21.750
Mark Stern: grow the Community and serve the intended impact of why we’re doing what we’re doing in the first place, so that whole community and connection pieces and other thing that I want to see a box to.
00:26:22.200 –> 00:26:32.550
Mark Stern: And there’s so many ways to do it so that’s kind of where it’s just you know everything is strategy first a box is not going to solve all your problems if you don’t know who your Avatar is, if you don’t have a good.
00:26:33.120 –> 00:26:39.450
Mark Stern: offer and you don’t know how to really position your product in the marketplace, but if you do know how to do that.
00:26:39.870 –> 00:26:52.320
Mark Stern: A box is going to be your best amplifier it is incredible to see how people go from a good level of exposure to just blowing up as a result of bringing in that physical element that truly just amplifies.
00:26:52.710 –> 00:26:55.890
Steve Werner: Well that’s so talk to me about, because I think a lot of people out there they’re like.
00:26:56.520 –> 00:27:07.080
Steve Werner: box okay cool I just remember when we got we were in a program together they shipped us a surprise box it arrived, it was nicely done it had the logos on the outside.
00:27:07.290 –> 00:27:17.130
Steve Werner: You opened it it had a big like laminated card in it, then it had books and then it had a letter and I just remember being like Oh, they these guys actually cared.
00:27:18.240 –> 00:27:32.730
Steve Werner: versus just sending me a T shirt but you go way beyond that, so I guess, I want to go a little bit deeper, what are the mistakes that you see people make with a swag box versus what you do differently, like I want I want some nitty gritty specifics.
00:27:33.000 –> 00:27:42.450
Mark Stern: yeah so what people do is they put a lot of what what we just call crap in a box it’s it’s stuff that just has no meaning behind it.
00:27:43.650 –> 00:27:51.510
Mark Stern: That like you get in it’s another shirt you get it and it’s another water bottle one of the biggest mistakes, I see a lot of people do when I say like what I want to see in a box.
00:27:52.080 –> 00:27:58.530
Mark Stern: Minimum I want to see a welcome note in a box, depending on what your goals are usually I like to see some type of what we call support item.
00:27:58.890 –> 00:28:12.300
Mark Stern: Which is making it easier for you to be successful, with the products or services, a lot of boxes are missing those because they keep it simple let’s just put a bunch of stuff in a box let’s not give people the tools that they actually need to be successful, with this program.
00:28:13.350 –> 00:28:26.160
Mark Stern: And, like the other thing that that is, to me, a huge Mrs the power of introducing in seeding your value ladder early on, like I like to see what we call a call to action piece.
00:28:26.550 –> 00:28:31.740
Mark Stern: And the call to action pieces just designed to like kind of start this evening process that.
00:28:32.100 –> 00:28:41.190
Mark Stern: The movement that you’re creating is so much more than just this one off event too many people I see do virtual events or do courses or coaching programs that.
00:28:41.460 –> 00:28:51.390
Mark Stern: They don’t start to lay the groundwork for the what’s next so there’s so much power and seating so that’s kind of why I want to see something like I want you to put something in the box.
00:28:51.600 –> 00:29:02.460
Mark Stern: that’s going to get me to at least take an action, whether it be today or be in the future, but you’re already laying the groundwork for that so Those are the things that I usually don’t say usually with the swag boxes it’s just.
00:29:03.030 –> 00:29:07.710
Mark Stern: it’s just a bunch of stuff that like you’re missing out on those opportunities to.
00:29:08.190 –> 00:29:17.550
Mark Stern: Warm people up get them to do something, making it easier for them to share the contents of your box create something that’s like a wow experience we do a lot of ribbon reveals.
00:29:17.820 –> 00:29:24.300
Mark Stern: Which is like part of the experience you go through the experience you don’t open an envelope till you hit a junction you earn the right to open the envelope.
00:29:24.600 –> 00:29:34.740
Mark Stern: that’s all part of the experience that you’re creating it’s not as flat, as you know, here’s just a bunch of random stuff so I like to say, like when you think about the story in the box you got one thing about the attractive character.
00:29:35.850 –> 00:29:42.570
Mark Stern: You know, it means and attractive character if people work with me I wear a hat, I always have a hat guess what I put in my box.
00:29:42.810 –> 00:29:50.250
Mark Stern: I put a hat I put a hat in there just because that’s something that’s really unique to me and what happens is I get on these coaching calls and all my.
00:29:50.580 –> 00:29:58.140
Mark Stern: mentees or all the students in the program they’re all wearing my hat because they’re part of that experience, this is a connection piece to me it’s so much more than a hat.
00:29:58.410 –> 00:30:05.670
Mark Stern: it’s a part of my identity that i’m sharing with them and there’s a story, I will tell behind it it’s so much more powerful than just random thing inbox.
00:30:06.540 –> 00:30:11.130
Steve Werner: Well that’s I mean it is, it is way way more powerful so on that note um.
00:30:11.430 –> 00:30:21.960
Steve Werner: I know, like you, shared with me some results you had one guy that I thought, like the box you’ve worked in boxes like across so many different industries, not just coaching and consulting but some SAS products.
00:30:22.350 –> 00:30:32.220
Steve Werner: You had that one one product, where the you literally almost doubled the guys revenue and I want to hear you can share whatever you feel comfortable with because I know you don’t want to give away.
00:30:32.760 –> 00:30:41.190
Steve Werner: Too much but tell me a little bit of the results that you’ve seen across a couple different industries because you’ve worked in so many of the different digital.
00:30:42.540 –> 00:30:45.870
Steve Werner: realm industries like go ahead i’ll let you share from there.
00:30:46.080 –> 00:30:53.220
Mark Stern: yeah I mean we have seen, six and seven figure launches with boxes and the cool thing about it is.
00:30:54.510 –> 00:31:00.600
Mark Stern: there’s so many different parts of that value ladder or that you can introduce the box like with high ticket online.
00:31:01.740 –> 00:31:13.230
Mark Stern: We sold those boxes for $100 each I think our hard costs, including shipping was $35 for a box that was packed it was a packed box and for anyone who affiliates that Program.
00:31:13.860 –> 00:31:22.740
Mark Stern: We gave 100% of the Commission to people, so I mean one of the things that it’s interesting to think about is a lot of people are like i’m just starting out.
00:31:24.810 –> 00:31:33.810
Mark Stern: Am I ready for box and probably not ready for box and they’re looking at like a low ticket to me a low ticket offer unless you can sell a massive amount of it.
00:31:34.800 –> 00:31:44.190
Mark Stern: And when we say low ticket we’re talking like seven to $97 it’s hard to make a big profit margin on a low ticket product so.
00:31:44.820 –> 00:31:50.430
Mark Stern: What we try and show clients is sometimes you know you may associate it with the small ticket product on the front end.
00:31:50.970 –> 00:31:57.510
Mark Stern: But it’s not about the for me it wasn’t about the hundred dollar box, it was about the higher ticket program on the back of it.
00:31:57.750 –> 00:32:04.380
Mark Stern: that’s what I wanted people to do so, I don’t mind giving you 100% Commission and taking a loss in the box and here’s the reality.
00:32:04.620 –> 00:32:12.660
Mark Stern: knowing your numbers became so powerful because I gave people under percent Commission on the box, but not on my bump or my to and my bump is like.
00:32:12.930 –> 00:32:21.900
Mark Stern: When you’re checking out of a card, you may have a little box at the bottom that says, do you want this additional item people attribute it as like you’re at the grocery store to buy milk and eggs.
00:32:22.290 –> 00:32:27.990
Mark Stern: And you’re at the checkout and he decided to go for the GM like the gums like the bump the thing you weren’t intending to get but you added on at the last second.
00:32:29.160 –> 00:32:40.440
Mark Stern: We were never in the red, and so I didn’t mind leveraging a box on the front end is a bit breakeven offer because the money is not going to come from the low ticket offer the money is going to come from a 2000 $10,000 Program.
00:32:41.520 –> 00:32:48.060
Mark Stern: With I I with like virtual social box as another example, just because I think it’s such a cool story.
00:32:49.230 –> 00:32:59.340
Mark Stern: We wanted to test this concept of Ken would people be interested in participating in a virtual social event of virtual happy hour of virtual networking event.
00:33:00.480 –> 00:33:11.130
Mark Stern: And so what we did was a you know I built out this concept, this is, I think June of 2020 so during coven and just put it out there to say.
00:33:11.730 –> 00:33:22.110
Mark Stern: You know, we have this concept of a virtual social box, I think I paid 20 bucks to get three custom boxes printed small I think they were super ugly boxes.
00:33:22.680 –> 00:33:32.250
Mark Stern: But the whole concept was could I, is there a market interest in a box that only has a wine glass rocks glass or coffee mug and got the boxes in.
00:33:33.240 –> 00:33:38.550
Mark Stern: took three glasses out of my pantry had a stimulus wine, glass and a rocks glass unbranded.
00:33:38.940 –> 00:33:49.830
Mark Stern: took the three boxes went outside and took a picture of the three boxes kind of stacked like a triangle, with the glassware just around it and that one picture I just posted on Facebook and said.
00:33:50.280 –> 00:33:54.150
Mark Stern: You know i’m launching this founder circle for anyone who wants to.
00:33:54.630 –> 00:34:01.020
Mark Stern: get a set of and I don’t know if we offered 50 or 100 virtual social boxes for them, but just made this offer out there.
00:34:01.320 –> 00:34:09.060
Mark Stern: And within the first three weeks, this one little offer from I think to Facebook posts and i’m not like I don’t have a massive Facebook following.
00:34:09.960 –> 00:34:17.130
Mark Stern: Steve can attest to the fact that I don’t do good about being consistent on social media at all my instagram is like two pictures of my dog.
00:34:18.240 –> 00:34:30.120
Mark Stern: and ended up making 35 K on a box that cost me $20 to get printed to test a concept nothing existed, with it, it was a story and a Facebook post.
00:34:30.570 –> 00:34:34.260
Mark Stern: And you flash forward to three months later that 35 K and sells.
00:34:34.530 –> 00:34:46.320
Mark Stern: Now i’m up to over six figures in sales from a $20 empty box, so this is kind of where it’s, just like the power of a box, you know the product didn’t exist, it wasn’t like I was an established brand.
00:34:46.620 –> 00:34:50.700
Mark Stern: That had all these things I was just someone who was testing out a new concept.
00:34:51.000 –> 00:34:58.950
Mark Stern: And the concept resonated with the marketplace so you know there’s going to be a lot of people in the digital marketing and we spent a lot more than $20 to get you know the validity that they need, but.
00:34:59.220 –> 00:35:09.630
Mark Stern: With that now that’s a whole product line that we’re about to launch her and build a bear website, as a result, so those are some examples with us, I can get into client examples.
00:35:11.040 –> 00:35:14.370
Mark Stern: But we’ve had clients and so many different verticals that.
00:35:14.790 –> 00:35:15.120
Mark Stern: I mean.
00:35:15.150 –> 00:35:23.130
Steve Werner: Just I want to hear numbers like because that’s the most powerful thing right you had one guy who came to you, his average cart value was X and it went to.
00:35:24.180 –> 00:35:25.320
Steve Werner: Like yes double.
00:35:25.440 –> 00:35:27.360
Mark Stern: We had one got one person who’s.
00:35:28.830 –> 00:35:43.830
Mark Stern: He averaged out in terms of sales for what he did on his challenge his challenge usually I think he hits usually about 100 sales each time he does it and then the conversion for the back end high ticket offer usually averages out to about.
00:35:44.910 –> 00:35:55.230
Mark Stern: 25% of those who go through the challenge when we introduced the box that number double he had 200 people go through the challenge and close to 50%.
00:35:55.800 –> 00:36:05.790
Mark Stern: Take the back end offer So you see, like you’re almost three or four axing the entire value of that experience what was the other, what was the only thing that was different about it, what was different about it was.
00:36:06.150 –> 00:36:12.510
Mark Stern: rather than it being a traditional challenge we created a whole experience out of this challenge, we turned it into this whole theme.
00:36:12.900 –> 00:36:19.770
Mark Stern: So this client wanted to do something that felt like a detective theme and you’re a detective going and building out your business and his space.
00:36:20.070 –> 00:36:29.490
Mark Stern: And in literally guiding you through this journey, step by step, we have this full fledge experience so if you see our boxes it’s not just a fun little branded box usually there’s a theme around it.
00:36:29.940 –> 00:36:38.880
Mark Stern: And there’s a whole element to it that things through like Well, this is what we do with our clients we get into what is it you’re trying to achieve what does that journey look like.
00:36:39.150 –> 00:36:47.790
Mark Stern: And then, how do we mirror a box experience that aligns with that journey and the cool thing about it is every step of the way for this product.
00:36:48.270 –> 00:37:03.390
Mark Stern: He had these feedback loops to get people to take pictures with different assets inside the box and post it so by the end of just the first time of doing this, I mean the amount of social proof was insane.
00:37:04.050 –> 00:37:10.830
Mark Stern: Hundreds of people posting different pictures of completing their homework or interacting with different assets of the boxes are doing in boxing videos.
00:37:11.100 –> 00:37:23.130
Mark Stern: It was just remarkable to see the power of a box that and I want to say these boxes probably averaged anywhere from 20 to 25 bucks each nothing for the impact that he’s able to have with it and he’s just getting started.
00:37:23.370 –> 00:37:29.070
Steve Werner: Well, I mean the impact and for those of you who missed it it almost doubled his back.
00:37:29.160 –> 00:37:32.010
Mark Stern: and high to do is hitting more lower than.
00:37:32.940 –> 00:37:35.910
Mark Stern: So either tripled or quadrupled his back end.
00:37:35.970 –> 00:37:37.920
Steve Werner: And how much was his back end just a ballpark.
00:37:38.970 –> 00:37:42.360
Mark Stern: I want to say it was an offer between 500 to 1000.
00:37:43.080 –> 00:37:56.850
Steve Werner: I mean, if you take the low end of that, I just want you guys to grasp this a $500 offer he was probably converting off of a challenge somewhere around 20% he converted, I think you said, better than 70% or something.
00:37:56.910 –> 00:37:59.580
Mark Stern: Something really somewhere, but I would say about 50.
00:37:59.730 –> 00:38:06.120
Mark Stern: So, but still like blew out of the water, where he had from any challenge you’ve done previously.
00:38:06.540 –> 00:38:07.650
Steve Werner: So, so the the.
00:38:07.770 –> 00:38:15.540
Mark Stern: Even if that 500 I think you’d be looking at roughly going from like maybe 25 to 30 up to 70 to $80,000 like that.
00:38:16.020 –> 00:38:23.160
Steve Werner: So my good friend who had the we talked about the beginning of this episode that had a couple million dollar launch.
00:38:24.210 –> 00:38:28.920
Steve Werner: Was she was kind of sketched out about she’s like I don’t want to spend 25 or $50.
00:38:29.190 –> 00:38:37.350
Steve Werner: On each one of the people I don’t think i’m really going to see the return everyone that you’ve done a box, for you have seen rock solid returns, the difference guys between a cost.
00:38:37.560 –> 00:38:44.130
Steve Werner: And an investment cost is money that you spend that you never see come back to you an investment, something you put in and you get a multiple return.
00:38:44.550 –> 00:38:55.170
Steve Werner: Which mark has been able to replicate over and over again, because it builds The experience I think her problem was that she saw it more as the swag box right Why am I sending somebody a T shirt that’s i’m going to do anything.
00:38:55.650 –> 00:39:04.350
Steve Werner: missing the strategy piece, which is what you have in spades mark if people wanted to find you if they wanted to do the custom box challenge where can they go check this stuff out.
00:39:04.470 –> 00:39:15.750
Mark Stern: Totally yeah a couple places feel free to go to custom box agency COM custom box challenges custom box challenge COM, we have a Facebook group that is custom box central.
00:39:16.770 –> 00:39:24.330
Mark Stern: So we have a lot of good stuff that happens in there, so there’s lots of ways, and you can always Ping me on on Facebook so lots of places to do, and one thing I do want to say come.
00:39:25.800 –> 00:39:26.490
Mark Stern: Stephen.
00:39:29.130 –> 00:39:40.950
Mark Stern: The box is not going to be your savior it will not, you could have if you do not know who your Avatar is and you do not know.
00:39:42.600 –> 00:39:48.810
Mark Stern: You know what their pain points are and you do not have a good quality offer like just a Boxer the sake of box isn’t going to solve your problems.
00:39:49.080 –> 00:39:56.250
Mark Stern: I mean this the fundamentals of the game are just so important, but exactly like Steve said, you know.
00:39:56.850 –> 00:40:02.850
Mark Stern: It when you see something like, and this is exactly why with high ticket online we give 100% of the box costs.
00:40:03.510 –> 00:40:11.040
Mark Stern: To affiliates because it wasn’t about that it was about really establishing ourselves as the trusted mentor to help our clientele.
00:40:11.850 –> 00:40:21.270
Mark Stern: get to the next level or solve the pain point as to why they bought her products in the first place so that’s where you can serve them at an even higher level, and I would do that, day and night, again and again.
00:40:23.010 –> 00:40:23.490
Steve Werner: awesome.
00:40:24.750 –> 00:40:26.430
Steve Werner: There is a there’s marks.
00:40:26.460 –> 00:40:31.050
Steve Werner: friend addy the dog goes everywhere, with him i’m.
00:40:31.980 –> 00:40:38.340
Steve Werner: If you guys are listening to this and you have any interest in a box i’m telling you to do the custom box challenge it will change your mind on what’s possible.
00:40:38.520 –> 00:40:50.370
Steve Werner: reach out to mark, everything is in the show notes so we’re going to have the custom box agency link for you we’re going to have the custom box challenge link we’re going to have marks Facebook, because you can reach out to him direct in messenger.
00:40:51.060 –> 00:40:58.170
Steve Werner: he’d be happy to talk to you boxes will change the way you do your business, I am a huge fan of direct mail.
00:40:58.380 –> 00:41:00.840
Steve Werner: And of building the experience for people.
00:41:00.990 –> 00:41:08.400
Steve Werner: Because it that’s what makes you stand out in the digital age, if you’re if you’re listening to this and you’re like well I just need to do more, sales.
00:41:09.300 –> 00:41:12.510
Steve Werner: it’s not about having crazy amounts of leads.
00:41:13.050 –> 00:41:25.380
Steve Werner: really good friend of mine has less than 600 people on our email list, she has a $250,000 a year business because she knows how to engage the people that are there, build the experience for them.
00:41:25.620 –> 00:41:36.900
Steve Werner: And then have she becomes the known like trusted advisor and they buy from them boxes will do that for you so mark, I just want to say thank you so much for coming on joining us sharing your journey with us.
00:41:38.370 –> 00:41:40.410
Mark Stern: always a pleasure Steve so thank you.
00:41:40.890 –> 00:41:45.480
Steve Werner: No problem to everyone else out there until next time take action change lives.
00:41:45.540 –> 00:41:46.230
Steve Werner: and make money.
00:41:46.290 –> 00:41:47.100
Steve Werner: we’ll see you soon.
00:41:49.170 –> 00:41:49.860
Mark Stern: sorry about my dog.