Do You Know Your Conversion Checkpoints – Alyson Lex

In this week’s episode, we have Alyson Lex, our favorite copywriter, join us in an elaborate discussion of how we can measure the effectiveness of a particular marketing strategy. She mentioned sales as the common display of marketing success. However, more important than the sales is the actual process of getting it. Understanding the buyer’s journey from the lead capture stage to the actual buying of the product or services.

This episode is gold so if you’re itching to get better with your marketing this 2022, don’t miss out on today’s conversation.

Alyson’s website:

System To Thrive:



Katie Brinkley 0:02

Hi friends. I’m Katie Brinkley and you’re listening to Rocky Mountain marketing. This podcast is all about helping Colorado based small business owners, entrepreneurs, realtors and professionals discover the strategies and systems that take their marketing to all new heights. Let’s dive into today’s episode. Welcome back to this week’s episode of Rocky Mountain marketing. My guest this week is Alison lacs, and she’s just the bestest copywriter ever. She’s also the former Director of Marketing at the Glaser Kennedy insider circle. Allison has been on the podcast before and it’s one of the most downloaded episodes. So I had to bring her back to talk more things with us share some of her marketing insights. Allison, thank you so much for coming on the show today.

Alyson Lex 0:50

I’m really one of the most downloaded episodes like yes, you want to talk, we can talk more about that?

Katie Brinkley 0:58

Well, it as you say, if you haven’t listened to Allison’s past episode, obviously, it’s time to hit the back button and go check it out. Look for the next the last episode with Miss Allison on it because we talk all things copy. And that’s what she does. Now. She is an amazing copywriter, I’ve had the opportunity to work with her on a couple projects. And so I’ve seen her in action. And I wanted to bring her back on to talk some more with us just about marketing, and some marketing tips. But Allison, before we get into that, go ahead and give us a brief introduction about to you and how long you’ve been in this business and where you’re from.

Alyson Lex 1:35

Alright, we’re gonna make this super brief. And I’m going to do it by probably not taking a breath. So my name is Allison. I’m from Baltimore, Maryland. I am a crazy cat lady, I have a five year old son, I’ve been writing copy since 2007. And I was once bitten by a giraffe.

Katie Brinkley 1:48

I live the ones bitten by a giraffe thing.

Alyson Lex 1:50

I have a new thing to add, I also have stolen a George Washington statue.

Katie Brinkley 1:56

Well, that sounds like a podcast episode all with itself. And you’re you live in Baltimore now. And I know I tried to bring in some of the best digital marketing entrepreneurs in the space worldwide. And like I said, the fact that you’ve been on this podcast twice now just goes to show how much I think of you. But I want to talk a little bit about marketing today. And you do copywriting, but you can talk to us about a lot of different aspects of how to make sure that your marketing is even working. Because I think that is one of the hardest things to figure out in a world of social media and, and likes and follows and DMS and comments and everything else? How do you find out if your marketing is really working?

Alyson Lex 2:40

So I could really go with the facetious answer and like, are you making money? But that’s even really hard to tell, right? Because you don’t know. Am I making the kind of money I should be making? Am I making a return on my investment? Am I getting paid for the time that I’m spending? So there’s a lot of factors that go into even just that one simple thing? Are you making money. But that’s really the first place to start. And I’m not trying to be glib, but I see so many people that are like, oh, you know, I’ve been in business for about a year and I haven’t made any money. But I have all these likes on Facebook or Instagram or whatever. And it’s, and I know that you have talked about this on my podcast. And we’ve talked about this just together before that vanity metrics idea of likes, even comments, followers to a certain degree. All of that is vanity. It’s the Look at me, look how great I am the blue checkmark, the blue checkmark, like, look, I admit freely that I notice the blue checkmark. But when I noticed the blue checkmark, I noticed it more on tick tock now because that’s why I’m spending some time. But when I noticed it, it’s not about Oh, this must be a very important person. It’s Oh, who is this? How did they get one of those? Like, I don’t care. So there’s a lot about the vanity stuff. And I get how easy it is to fall into it because I do too. I’m like, oh, I need followers. Oh, look how many likes this has. But the engagement, the likes and the comments on a post is not the goal here. Okay, that is a tool that you use to get to your goal. Your goal is the number of leads, prospects and sales that you have. Okay, that’s from social from ads from email, from a flyer, put under the windshield wipers of cars in the parking lot. I do not care leads, prospects and sales. So we can break each of those pieces down.

Katie Brinkley 4:57

Let’s do it.

Alyson Lex 4:59

And I’m going to Alright, so when you’re generating leads from your marketing, again, social ads speaking, podcasting, anything that you’re using as a traffic source, okay, you then have to decide how they’re going to best get into your world. Now when we talk about social media, and I know we’re probably going to center around that a lot, because of the obvious, you’re the social media amazing, Katie

Katie Brinkley 5:31

Brinkley, I am the host of the show,

Alyson Lex 5:33

and the host of the show and all of that stuff, I guess we should probably talk about social. But when you’re on social media, there’s a couple of different ways that you’re going to get leads. And one of them is downloads of your lead magnet or signups to your list, to go through your automated email newsletter stuff. The other one is going to be those conversations and that relationship part, that whole social in social media thing, because you may get sales, especially if you follow Katie, you’re going to get sales from those conversations. So really looking at how people interact with you and enter your world, because there can be multiple doors into the house of you. Alright, so now we’ve got your house, you got a front door, you got a side door, you got a porch, door, whatever, all these different doors, that’s how your new friends come into your house. Once they’re in your house, they’re your prospects, they have the potential to buy from you, before they get into your house, they’re not your prospects. They’re your leads, right? Now they’re your prospects. Now, we look at everything we’re doing to encourage that sale. And again, social media plays a part just because they got on your list doesn’t mean they stopped following you on Instagram, you engage them there, too. And that’s where those engagement metrics will really show how strong of a following you have. So one of the things that I do when I look at people online, and I, my clients will say, Oh, I have X number of followers, I will go and I will look at their number of followers. And then I’ll check out their pictures. And I’ll see how many likes those pictures have. I saw somebody yesterday, like 212,000 Instagram followers, oh my gosh, 63 likes on a picture. Take from that what you will, okay, but that is real data. And so if your marketing isn’t working, you’re going to look for those pieces of data. What does that data tell you? Well, the audience not very engaged, which means either the audience is wrong, or the content is wrong. And that’s when you can start to make your tweaks. The same is going to hold true for your email newsletter. Let’s say your open rate sucks. Subject line is wrong.

Katie Brinkley 7:56

What do you think a good open rate is so and it looks like you’re ready for me to ask that question. But because I think that of course, we all would like to have 100% open rates, I think, in a perfect world. Oh, here’s another email from Katie, I can’t wait to open it. That’s what we would all like to see from our email marketing plans, but from what you do on a regular basis, and I know I’ve I interrupted you here. But what do you think a good open rate is? So if someone’s like, well, I’m getting like 23% open rate? Is my marketing working? Or I’m getting about 6% open rate. Is that industry average? Or should it be better at 23%?

Alyson Lex 8:31

So funnily enough, I just researched this, like six days ago. No. And so I just pulled up that research. While you were talking just I went on mute. MailChimp, has put out a report. And if you Google MailChimp, open rate benchmarks or something along those lines, you’ll find this page with these numbers, they average open rate across all industries, according to MailChimp. So this is on MailChimp platform of their users is 21.33%. That means one in five people on your email list should be opening your email if you’re a little lower. Okay, if you’re a little higher, okay, check your individual industry, word stream word stream. You can also look for their industry benchmarks because they do a broad survey every year for a bunch of different things Facebook ads, Google ads, they may have email open rates too. So one in five people are going to open your email if you want to increase that then it’s time to work on subject lines, because that’s what gets them opened. The average click through rate, which is the number of people who click any link in your email whether it’s a social link in the footer or the actual call to action link you want them to take let’s see is 2.62% is what 2.62%

Katie Brinkley 9:54

Two, okay, not not 22?

Alyson Lex 9:58

tears. Here’s this About click through rates and how they’re calculated, click through rates. And I’m going to dive in. But this this is a soap box moment for Allison right now, click through rates are calculated by dividing the number of clicks by the number of total emails sent. So if you send 100 emails, remember, only one in five are going to open it. So 20 People have opened it, then you have, let’s say, one click, okay, most of us would say, oh, one in 20 clicked, because 20 people opened and had the opportunity to click, one person did click through rates are not calculated that way through your email marketing provider, they are calculated one divided by that 100 emails you sent. Okay? So what they’re saying is that two, or two and a half out of every 100 emails you send, will have a link click, regardless of how many people open them. That drives me crazy, the stupidest way to calculate anything I’ve ever heard. Why am I going to penalize my rate on the 80? People who didn’t open this? Okay? The thing is, your numbers are your numbers. Okay, so worrying so much about what other people are doing or getting is not helpful at this stage of the game. Because let’s say your open rate, remember, the average is 21.33%. Let’s say your open rates 35%. What are you going to do now that you know the industry average is 21, you’re going to relax? Right? I don’t want you to relax, I don’t want you to because you’re killing it. Okay, so keep going. And let’s say your open rates 10%. Against that 21.33. Now you’re going to get all discouraged. But guess what, all you have to do is keep testing and you can get up to 11 or 12 or 13. Because you are only in competition with yourself. At this juncture, when it comes to improving your results.

Katie Brinkley 12:16

Well, and especially to with your with your email list, these people signed up to be in your inner circle. So I mean, you really are just competing with yourself was okay, what? How can I be better with my subjects, and you brought this up subject lines, headers, talk to us a little bit about that. I know we touched on it a little bit in your previous episode. But it’s such an important part of getting those emails open. And then I promise we’ll get back into figuring out if your marketing is working. We’re deep diving into email here. But

Alyson Lex 12:49

yeah, well, it’s part of it. Subject Lines, it’s huge subject lines, really, I mean, I get asked about this all the time is the sub, how do you write a good subject line. So there are a couple of ways that I’m going to talk about, and one of them I am shamelessly swiping from an old friend of mine who she’s no longer in the coffee business, she started her own business. And she has given me carte blanche to just do her stuff. So she I really like what she has done here. So let’s say you have a landing page, and it’s got copy on it. And it’s you know, headline, and they’ve opted in. So now what I want you to do is go and pull phrases, and the ideas and concepts from that landing page, here’s why they opt in, they’re interested in what that landing page has to say. They’ve already shown that they resonate with that copy. So using that copy in the subject lines, it would make sense that they’re going to resonate, want to open and continue the relationship, because the language is the same. So that’s a really short way to teach her a little trick. I think she did like a whole video on it. But it’s awesome. I love that. Well. So

Katie Brinkley 14:05

you know, I think that the subject line, I know I’ve tried to around a lot. And I’ve listened to a whole lot of different podcasts and spoken on clubhouse stages about the subject line and how it it really is such an important part of your email. And it’s it’s very similar with social media. What’s the hook? What’s the hook, you know, why does somebody want to swipe through the carousel? Why does somebody want to watch this real? Why does somebody want to read this caption that you’ve written? And it’s the same with emails like that, that subject line that hook that’s what is the most important part of I feel like of your your entire online social email strategy is that headline.

Alyson Lex 14:46

They are going to read if you give them a compelling enough reason. And I know that that sounds really big. So I’m sorry for that, but let’s break it down. There are two reasons that You are going to swipe or open one. You’re so dang curious that you can’t help yourself. That’s where all those click Beatty titles used to come in. Right? The 15 most haunted houses in America, you’ll never believe what happened when I went to number seven. There was a reason.

Katie Brinkley 15:18

I can’t believe he thought of that, like right off the top of your head like that, because I was like, I remember seeing this on Facebook, you know, like the BuzzFeed articles. It was all clickbait. All of them were clickbait. And I remember I clicked on one and I was like, This article is two years old.

Alyson Lex 15:30

And it sucks, right? So that’s the whole, we’ll talk about click through rate in just a second. I promise this whole episode will not be about emails, we will get to the rest of this. Okay, so you want them to be curious. So curious, they can’t help themselves. The second reason that people are going to swipe or click or read or whatever is that you’ve shown them the path to what they want, or what they want to avoid. Okay, and this is basically like, I’m showing you the big benefit. Okay, so discover how to craft a subject line that doubles industry average for email opens. I don’t know I made that up. Right. I don’t know how to do that. But I probably do. But right, so you want that, man, I just listened to Allison ramble for 25 bajillion minutes about emails, subject lines, and now she’s gonna show me the secret? Yes, I want that. Those are the two reasons that people are going to open or swipe. So short, you know. And that’s where your subject lines are going to come from. Now. I want to talk about click rate really quick. Because if the content below the read more on the next image, in your email, 35 seconds into your tick tock, what ever if the content doesn’t back up and fulfill what you’re promising, your click through rate is going to plummet your unsubscribe or unfollow rate is going to skyrocket because you’re letting your people down. Alright, I have an example. I saw somebody who sent an email that was from this person’s account, I’m trying to remove identifying, I’m going to change the situation they talked about, because I want to remove any identification. But they said so and so dies in car accident, and it was this person, like so it was sent from so and so’s account. And it said so and so. And you open it up. And it was a sales email spun about how if this person had seen, you know, if this had actually happened, would they have regrets blah, blah, blah, basically joined my webinar. Wow,

Katie Brinkley 17:48

that’s, that’s going for the home run right there. Okay,

Alyson Lex 17:53

so, I tell you the story to illustrate, in a very dramatic way, the open rate on that email was probably fan frickin tastic

Katie Brinkley 18:06

the unsubscribe rate was probably unbelievable, too. He lost a

Alyson Lex 18:11

lot of trust, with his audience unsubscribe rate went through the roof. It was not well done. Okay, Curiosity has a limit. Okay, so make sure that what you put in your email is going to pay off for your people that you’re gonna give them the answer to the question that you’re making them ask basically, what’s going on here? answer that in your email. How can I get that magical formula answered in your email? Don’t leave them hanging.

Katie Brinkley 18:45

Wow. Yeah, that’s awesome example as to

Alyson Lex 18:49

when to what not to do

Katie Brinkley 18:50

what not to do. So we’ve talked about social media, what metrics not to look at what metrics to look at. We talked about email. How is your email marketing working for your business? How else can we tell if our online marketing is working for our business?

Alyson Lex 19:08

Okay, so I want to introduce, and I know that we’re coming up probably toward the end of our time, but I want to introduce the idea of conversion checkpoints. Okay. So think of the journey from somebody who’s just not on your list to somebody who’s now a customer, okay, think of that journey. And you have gas stations along the way. Those are your conversion checkpoints. So whatever those gas stations are, we’re going to stop there and we’re going to take stock. Alright, so let’s say conversion checkpoint. Number one is my landing page, right? Well, no, it’s not. It’s the most on social media that drives them to my landing page, or it’s the ad that gets them to my landing page. Okay. So really break it down and get super detailed about every single decision step that your people have to make. On the way to the sale, I have posted on social media, I have said, my thing is awesome. I have said go download it. Well, they now have the option to click or not click, that’s checkpoint number one, they click, they go to my landing page, they have the option to enter their email or not. That’s checkpoint number two, then I want them to open the Delivery Email that’s conversion checkpoint number three, then I want them to read the PDF, and click the link there. That’s conversion checkpoint number four. So you see how every single part of that has a decision that I want them to make. Are you going to do this yes or no? I want to know how many people are saying yes. Because that’s going to tell me where my problems are. All right, I have. Remember, I’m going to tell another story. I was on a potential client discovery call with someone who said, I’m not making enough sales from my course. I said, Okay, let’s talk about that. I said, let me see your numbers. And she opened up her dashboard. And we saw the numbers. And I said, Well, your sales page is converting it like 40%. That’s insane. She was gonna hire me to write a sales page. And I said, I’m going to shoot myself in the foot and tell you no, I’m not going to rewrite this because I don’t think I can beat that. I can try, but I don’t think I can. So then we went back and looked at our landing page, because she was sending all kinds of traffic, people weren’t opting in. So she wasn’t making sales because she didn’t see the sales page because they didn’t get past the landing page conversion checkpoint. But had we not done that dive into the numbers, she would have spent my price for a sales page has a comma in it, Katie, she would have spent a lot of money for me to potentially reduce the success that she did have. And so really understanding every possible drop off opportunity that people have on the journey from coast to coast of working with you, we got to figure out where every Sunoco, Texaco, Exxon, all of them BPR, we got to know where those gas stations are? Because we need to check in.

Katie Brinkley 22:08

Yeah. I, you know, and over time, well, and I think that that’s too, like, there’s so much that goes in to knowing the data. And while it isn’t the sexiest part of our business, it really is a very important part. I’ve had to have conversations with my clients, about followers and followers comments, what’s converting? And? Well, the reason that this isn’t happening is because this, you know, I’m directing them to this website and look at all the clicks, look at the traffic that’s going to the website, I can’t help it if the website is not converting, that’s when we need to bring in somebody else to come in and write the better copy. So I mean, all of these online tools have a purpose. And they all need to work together to have your marketing work for you. And when you take that step back, you have someone that can sit down and look at the insights, look at the data and say, Well, look at here, this sales page is doing awesome. But this is where we’re losing them or you’re wasting your time on Twitter. You know, we’re not getting any engagement. We’re not doing enough posts. We’re not creating the content. That’s right for Twitter. Let’s just stop. There’s no reason for us to be on every single social media platform is it’s doing nothing for us. So yeah, absolutely love that.

Alyson Lex 23:33

And it may be that, Katie, you’re the expert when it comes to understanding what’s appropriate. On social, like, you know, I get report, full disclaimer disclosure here. Katie works on my social media because I suck at consistency. So Katie knows that, hey, Alison, XYZ on Instagram this month, this is doing really well. Even if Alison has no idea what she’s looking at. She’s just like, Oh, pretty comments, right? dopamine hit Katie knows the backend. Whereas I’m like, hey, this conversion rate here is killing it. This is a great email, open rate, whatever. So you may find that you need to learn a couple of different disciplines to understand the data from the different platforms, but it is all Google.

Katie Brinkley 24:28

Yeah, absolutely. When I listen, I remember to one time I sent you a screenshot said hey, congrats. Your hashtag it rains and you’re like, I don’t know what that means. I was like, Well, what’s that? Yeah. But for me, I was like, Yes, we did it. And that’s where having, having, like you said, the insight, the knowledge and being willing to look at your entire online strategy as to what is working, what metrics you should look at is extremely important. So well Allison, like you said this episode from I really fast in our time is up. How can people reach out to you to learn more from you to hear your podcast and if they have, if you have any ways that people can work directly with your download that free headline generator,

Alyson Lex 25:15

yeah, so my headline generator is available at Allison And Allison is my home on the web. From there you can click through to my Instagram which has beautifully consistent posts. Every once in a while crazy dance party IG story. You can also find out how to work with me, which is one on one and things like that, contact me there and click through to my website, which are my podcast website, which is the system to thrive. So yeah, Allison is a ly S O n le x because my mom doesn’t spell things normally.

Katie Brinkley 25:54

Well, it makes you very gullible. Does it makes you very easy to find. Whereas Katie Brinkley is pretty. You know I have that’s why on Instagram. I am Katie Brinkley instead of just Katie Brinkley.

Alyson Lex 26:07

I am Alison Lux on every platform that I can. And fun factoid number three so in addition to the giraffe biting statute stealing self I was named after I believe it was a Rick Springfield song about a groupie. My

Katie Brinkley 26:27

now I’m gonna do which Rick Springfield song was it, Alyson? Oh.

Alyson Lex 26:35

So my joke is that my mom had high hopes.

Katie Brinkley 26:41

Well, Alyson, thank you again so much for coming on the show today. I appreciate all the insight you had. And if you haven’t listened to Allison’s previous episodes, be sure to go and check them out because we talk all things copy in her other episode. Thank you again, Alison, so much for coming on the show today. Thanks so much for listening to this episode of Rocky Mountain marketing. As always, I’d love to hear from you. You can visit my website at Connect with me on LinkedIn or check me out on Instagram. Let’s keep taking your marketing to new heights.