1813 – Funnel Marketing with John Ainsworth of Data Driven Marketing

In this episode of the Thoughtful Entrepreneur, your host Josh Elledge speaks to the Founder & CEO of Data Driven Marketing, John Ainsworth.

Ainsworth Wide

John Ainsworth is a maestro when it comes to email marketing, and he laid out exactly why it's such a powerful tool. Unlike fleeting social media platforms, email allows for consistent and direct communication with your audience.

This consistency fosters a stronger, more long-term relationship with your subscribers. It's about building trust through regular, valuable interactions that make your audience feel seen and understood.

Transitioning from initial awareness to nurturing your audience is an art form. John highlighted the importance of providing value through your email promotions. It's not just about selling; it's about giving your audience content that enriches their lives.

Whether it's insightful information, helpful tips, or exclusive offers, the content you provide should incentivize your audience to not only join your email list but to stay engaged over time.

For service-based businesses, John discussed the strategic use of tripwire products. These are low-cost, high-value items that serve as an entry point for potential customers.

They're a taste of what you have to offer, which can lead to more substantial purchases down the line. It's a method that gives immediate value to your audience and also introduces them to your other services or products.

John uses email marketing as the core of his strategy but also recognizes the effectiveness of platforms like YouTube and podcasts in building relationships. These mediums allow you to offer valuable content for free, which can sometimes raise objections.

John is a prominent figure in digital marketing, contributing directly to annual earnings of several million. audience into subscribers.

Key Points from the Episode:

  • Importance of email marketing in driving sales
  • Consistent communication with the audience through email marketing
  • Providing valuable content and offers as incentives for audience members to join an email list
  • Transition from initial awareness to nurturing the audience and making offers
  • Strategies for service-based businesses
  • Role of tripwire products in the sales process
  • Effectiveness of platforms like YouTube and podcasts in building relationships with the audience
  • Addressing objections related to offering content for free on platforms like YouTube

About John Ainsworth:

John Ainsworth, a visionary CEO and founder, has left an indelible mark on the landscape of online marketing. As the driving force behind Data Driven Marketing, he has become a game-changer, catalyzing substantial growth for numerous online course creators, multiplying their revenue by 2x to 5x.

A trailblazer in the industry, Ainsworth's innovative marketing strategies have garnered recognition, earning him features in esteemed publications such as Forbes. His impact extends beyond business success; Ainsworth shares his expertise as a guest lecturer at the esteemed Greenwich Business School.

With a hands-on approach that directly contributes to several million in annual earnings, John Ainsworth stands as a luminary figure in the dynamic world of digital marketing.

About Data Driven Marketing:

Data Driven Marketing is a catalyst for business growth, empowering clients to establish efficient sales funnels and scale their enterprises by automating course sales.

With a global reach spanning three continents, the company has successfully assisted 53 clients in optimizing their operations. The impact is tangible, as clients, on average, experience remarkable revenue growth ranging from 25% to an impressive 300% after the implementation of tailored funnels.

This transformative approach streamlines processes and facilitates autopilot sales, allowing businesses to flourish. Data Driven Marketing is a proven partner in navigating the complexities of online commerce, providing a roadmap for clients to survive and thrive in the competitive digital landscape.

Links Mentioned in this Episode:

Want to learn more? Check out Data Driven Marketing website at

Check out Data Driven Marketing on LinkedIn at

Check out Data Driven Marketing on Twitter at

Check out John Ainsworth on LinkedIn at

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Josh (00:00:04) - Hey there, thoughtful listener. Would you like consistent and predictable sales activity with no spam and no ads? I'll teach you step by step how to do this, particularly if you're an agency owner, consultant, coach, or B2B service provider. What I teach has worked for me for more than 15 years and has helped me create more than $10 million in revenue. Just head to up my and watch my free class on how to create endless high ticket sales appointments. You can even chat with me live and I'll see and reply to your messages. Also, don't forget the thoughtful entrepreneur is always looking for guests. Go to up my and click on podcast. We'd love to have you. With us right now, it's the CEO of Data Driven marketing and fellow bass player John Ainsworth. John, thank you so much for joining us.

John (00:01:08) - Oh my pleasure. Glad to be here.

Josh (00:01:09) - Yes. Your website is data driven marketing SEO. So, John, tell me about the work that you do, who you work with and what you do.

John (00:01:20) - Yeah, we work with online course creators, people who've already got a big audience. They've already got courses, but we do the email marketing and funnels part. So somebody has got like a million views a month on YouTube. They've already got a bunch of courses, and they're not making as much money as they should be doing. And we come along and we help them get more of their audience into that email list. We send great email promotions so that they're people on their email list are delighted to receive them. And then some of those people will go ahead and buy the courses, and then people who buy stuff, we do upsells. So those people are buying more. And on average we normally about five times our client's revenue. So I kind of jokingly say we make people millionaires. It's kind of a quite, quite common habit of ours.

Josh (00:01:59) - Yeah. Uh, why is emails so important? I know a lot of people may, um, you know, they may spend most of their time on YouTube and their content creator, and that's where they've got, you know, kind of connection, engagement with their audience.

Josh (00:02:12) - What's so special about email?

John (00:02:14) - It's where people buy from. It just happens to work that way still. I don't even know for definite exactly why like to be able to say that. But I tell you that my my ideas about why it works that way. Because even though you might feel like you've got a really good relationship with your audience on YouTube, what actually happens is if you have somebody's email, then they're getting all of these messages from you on a consistent basis, whereas most people will only see, let's say, 3 to 5 of your videos on YouTube. So if you get someone's email address, you can send them out regular useful content, and somebody will build up a longer term relationship with you and then they're more likely to buy. Second thing is you're in control of it. So you've got the ability to say, right, I've got these, whatever, 30,000, 50,000 people on my email list. Um, I'm going to send out the email to them and nobody else can control it.

John (00:03:01) - It's not down to YouTube whether that message goes out and the algorithm catches it and it goes out and everybody sees it or whatever. You get to decide who that goes out to. So when you've got a promotion, you can send out a series of emails in a controlled, timed way about that specific product rather than mentioning it in one of your videos. And maybe just everybody sees that video and maybe they don't. So you get to control how many times that that goes out to people. So that seems to be the reasons for it. What I know for definite is it's what drives sales like absolutely. No, no question about it. Most people are leaving about 80% of their potential revenue on the table if they're not doing promotions through email.

Josh (00:03:39) - Yeah, yeah, I believe it. Okay, so let's say that someone's got great content. Um, what are some examples or ways that you could encourage your audience to join your email list?

John (00:03:52) - So it starts with a great lead magnet. And so you have something that you're giving away for free that encourages people to come and join your email list.

John (00:03:58) - What do you give away for free? A lot of people will do an e-book or a short course or something like that. I'm in the course space, so people will tend to do that. The things though that work really, really well is something that is incredibly useful that people can get value from in less than 15 minutes. Um, and they have to do almost no work to actually get that result from it. It doesn't have to be a big result, but they have to get something from it really, really quickly. So swipe files, templates. They've got a client who is in the painting space, digital painting space. And he gives away free digital paint brushes. So so someone just downloads them and now they've got them. That's brilliant. They don't have to do anything. They've got them. Uh, we've got a client in the in the Airbnb space. Um, so he is teaching people how to make money from renting out properties on Airbnb. And so he gives away a free spreadsheet.

John (00:04:44) - And in the spreadsheet you can put in your location, and it's going to tell you this is how much demand there is for Airbnb properties in your area. This is how much you can rent the properties for, and therefore you get an idea of is this worth doing? Um, we've got a client in the spirituality space and they give away five free meditations. So they this is people who are already meditating, but now they get to have this free meditation and they get to meditate along with it like a guided meditation. So they tend to be things that are like almost no effort to use. And you can get a result from straight away.

Josh (00:05:17) - Yeah, I like it. So obviously there's the incentive to join the email list. And then, you know, you want to then work in that user journey so that now you're starting to expose them to, you know, we could take this relationship to the next level. Can you tell me a bit about that transition and you know how you present? Well, let me ask you this.

Josh (00:05:41) - You know, can you get to the offer straight away, or do you expect to kind of nurture that? You know, tell me a bit about that part of the journey. Yeah.

John (00:05:52) - It's both. And rather than either or. So you do make an offer straightaway. So when somebody signs up to your email list, the very first thing that you want to do is show them on the confirmation page and offer of something. This is actually one of the times that people are most likely to buy. So someone has just signed up to your email list. Between 3 and 10% of people will buy something straight away. If you make an amazing offer to them, you want to give a big discount. Give something small so they don't feel like an idiot if they buy from you, and then it turns out to be no good. So they feel like, oh, it's an impulse decision. I can just get something in the course space. That tends to be, especially in the B2C, like a hobby space, learning the base, spirituality, learning a language, that kind of thing.

John (00:06:29) - It'll tend to be something around the 17 to $47 price point. So something that normally you might sell for 2 or 3 times that and you give a massive reduction in price if they get it straight away. And about 3 to 10% of people will buy straight away. Now for those people who don't, you now got a welcoming sequence. You warm them up, you give them useful content, you give them some of your best content. You tell them what kind of things are going to be receiving from you. And then over time, what you'll do is you'll send out these great email promotions that are promoting that you have something on sale and giving away great content at the same time, like interlinked, interwoven, so that those people who don't want to buy that course, who aren't interested in that product or whatever service you're offering, they're still getting value from those emails. And over time, what happens there is you're providing so much value through these emails. People are getting finding it so useful that even if they're not interested in buying that particular product, they now feel better about you.

John (00:07:20) - They trust you more, they see you have more authority, they like you more, and then when they are ready to buy, they're much more likely to buy from you.

Josh (00:07:28) - Yeah. And John, what? What about if someone offer. Maybe they offer services. I don't know if there's application here or what you'd recommend in terms of the path or the the nurture, but let's say they just offer like a, you know, 2500, $3,000 a month professional services. It might be an SEO or design agency or something like that. What would you recommend in terms of a path there?

John (00:07:51) - Yeah. So and this is what we do. Right. So we've got a service that we offer for people. It's paid what we've done to make this so that the offer that you make immediately is called a tripwire product. So you want something that you've broken out. This is at least the approach that we've found to work best, something that you've broken out that's much cheaper. So instead of 3000 a month, maybe you're offering an audit or a roadmap session up front for like 500 or $1000, something in that kind of help.

John (00:08:14) - And you probably aren't going to sell that directly. That's a probably a bit much for someone to buy directly online. It could work. Maybe it won't. Um, so most people will start off with a sales call. So what you have is someone signs up to your email list and confirmation page is encouraging people to book a call. And so it might be that you don't not everybody qualifies to have a call with you. You don't want to have a call with everybody. So you might have the lead magnet into a survey. And the survey is going to qualify them. So you could have it in type form, for example. And you ask a series of questions most people will fill in a survey. About 70% of people will do a survey if it's on the confirmation page after a lead magnet. And those questions might say, you know, what size is your business or whatever your qualifying questions are, you know, do you have a need for this kind of service or something in order to find out? Could they be a good fit to have a call with you? And if they are, you would point them to your calendly so they could go and book a 15 minute call to have a quick chat with you, or you point them to something else, some other useful resources.

John (00:09:15) - If they're not a good fit, if they don't qualify to actually kind of to work with you. And then on that call you would offer them, well, the way we do, at least we have a 15 minute call to double check. They're a good fit. And then we have a 45 minute call where we actually go through and explain our service, which is where we're selling our audit. And then at the end of the audit, somebody could buy our main service. So that's the kind of the funnel, the process that I'd recommend for a service business.

Speaker 3 (00:09:38) - Yeah. Yeah. And going way.

Josh (00:09:41) - Back to the beginning again, I wanted to ask you just a bit more about where you see kind of that initial awareness or the initial relationship, kind of top of the funnel build being done. Well, YouTube obviously social, but any anything in particular you see working quite well right now and especially as we're into 2024.

John (00:10:03) - I mean for us we YouTube is is fantastic. You know we see that clients who are using YouTube, who are putting out videos consistently, who are building up a good, um, good quality videos that people really loving, they convert really, really well into making sales.

John (00:10:20) - Data on podcasts are absolutely fantastic. People really build up a relationship with, uh, podcasts they listen to because they tend to not just watch some of them, but they'll what? They'll listen every single episode, you know, not not everybody, but a lot of people will listen to every single episode. So I have I have people who I talk to, they're getting a call with me and they'll say, um, I heard about you on such and such podcast. And then I listen to your podcast, the Art of Selling Online Courses, and I listen to every single episode, and I'm like, all of them really? Like that seems excessive. I don't know if they were all like gold. I might have skipped a couple, you know, if I was you, if they weren't, like perfectly relevant. But people have they've listened to every single episode. They're like, I know your voice, I know your face. And they are just ready to talk. That builds up a huge amount of trust.

Josh (00:11:07) - And how do you handle the objection if someone says, well, I don't understand why someone would buy an online course for me because I teach and give it all away for free on YouTube.

John (00:11:16) - Yeah. I mean, if you if you're giving everything away on YouTube, what you're tending to be giving away is everything in bite sized chunks. You know, a long form video on YouTube is is 20 minutes around the topic. And it's not structured. It's not organized. When you deliver a course, what you're doing is you're taking all of the information that you've got, all of those useful tips, and you're structuring them in the exact steps that someone needs to go through to get from point A to point B. So like point A being where they are now on point B being they've actually got the result that they need to have. And there's like a real art of putting together a course. It's a lot of work to do it really, really well. You need to figure out what resources go with it.

John (00:11:53) - What do you need to have a community that goes alongside it to help someone achieve the result? What kind of templates and swipe files are you giving away within that? What are all the steps to make sure someone achieves that outcome? And people don't get that. I mean, they can get that from YouTube videos, but they've got to do an enormous amount of work to to go through all of your videos and like pull out and go, right, I need to do this first, and then I have to do this and then I have to do that. Whereas most videos are either entertaining or they are, they're educational about one specific point without giving the full context of that. So that's why people get courses, is to save time on it in order to really make sure they're going to get the result.

Speaker 3 (00:12:29) - Yeah.

Josh (00:12:30) - Uh, I can say so. I recently kind of funny you and I both last. I think you got your base course last year. So, uh, I found a YouTuber, was searching around, uh, found a video that was answered exactly the question I was looking for in terms of, like, you know, should I learn the base and found Josh from base? Buzz, you found a base teacher as well on YouTube, right? And then what was your journey?

John (00:12:55) - Yeah.

John (00:12:55) - So I'd watch some of this guy's videos and I'd heard about him. I actually heard about him through a friend as well who plays bass. And, uh, he'd said to me, this was like a great place to be learning from. So I just signed up to their to their membership. It's like 19 bucks a month or something. Scott. Space lessons. And that was just so. It was so simple, you know, it's like, oh, I don't have to make any long term commitment. It's $19. If I don't like it I'll just cancel. Again. It was like great, easy. Simples.

Josh (00:13:21) - Yeah. Love it.

John (00:13:22) - I didn't I didn't go through the full funnel. I didn't sign up to get all the emails from them and all of that. I just had heard from a friend, so I went straight ahead with it.

Josh (00:13:30) - I bought when I opted in at Josh's website I bought that same day as well. I was highly motivated, right? And I was like, I already kind of knew, yeah, I want to find a cause.

Josh (00:13:42) - I started searching on YouTube, looking for, you know, who are the great teachers out there? And, uh, you know, just kind of found a YouTuber that I clicked with and then, sure enough, had a course. Yeah. So yeah, I guess what does engagement look like for you or with you? Like, who would who would kind of be really ready for you? Um, you know, if they're listening to our conversation or maybe they know someone who is like, oh, man, you know, who would be perfect would be so-and-so? What kind of things do you typically look for in a customer?

John (00:14:14) - So in order to qualify to work with us, someone needs to have an email list of typically about 30,000 people can be a little bit smaller if they're in the B2B space, where the prices tend to be a bit higher. Normally, there's somebody who's got a big YouTube audience that's normally around a million views a month. Um, can be a bit smaller again, if it's in the the B2B space or something else, and they've already got courses and people are already buying the courses and they're making at least 20,000 a.

Speaker 4 (00:14:37) - Month.

John (00:14:38) - But they haven't got this whole email marketing and funnels malarkey all sorted out. And so, for example, we work with somebody recently. He's in the architecture space and he teaches people how to run an architecture practice. He came to us, he was making about 20, 25,000 a month. And in his I think second month, we helped him hit 128,000 because he had all of the raw materials in place, but he didn't have the bit that we do. And so we're able to then help him to make, you know, astronomically more money.

Speaker 3 (00:15:06) - Yeah. Very cool.

Josh (00:15:07) - John Ainsworth, your website is data driven marketing SEO. When somebody goes there, I believe you've got some resources, you've got training, you've got great content as well.

John (00:15:21) - Yeah, there's obviously there's a blog, there's a free webinar that teaches our whole process. We've got a podcast that's linked to from there. You can get there from data driven marketing podcast. It's called the Art of Selling Online Courses. Got a YouTube channel that's linked from our site where again, we're giving away all of this content as much as we can for free.

John (00:15:39) - Um, loads of, uh, loads of videos. We're pumping them out all the time to, to try and help people who, who maybe don't qualify to work with us to be able to learn what they need to do.

Josh (00:15:49) - I love it. All right. John Ainsworth again, CEO of Data Driven Marketing. Your website data driven marketing. John, thank you so much for joining us.

John (00:15:58) - That was brilliant. Thank you very.

Speaker 4 (00:15:59) - Much.

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