ClickFunnels School of List Building

Igor interviews Dave Woodward, head honcho at ClickFunnels as he reveals the lessons from building one of the largest email lists our industry has ever seen.


Igor Kheifets: I'm Igor Kheifets and this is the List Building Lifestyle a podcast for anyone who wants to build a wildly profitable email list working from home. If you'd like to make six figures, travel the world and help people improve their lives in the process then this podcast is for you. I also invite you to attend a free workshop at where I'm teaching how I made $21,779.45 In affiliate commissions by sending just 481 clicks to my affiliate link in one day.

I'm also explaining why I walked away from ClickBank and I don't promote ClickBank offers anymore as well as the five things I look for in the perfect affiliate offer. I'm even going to show you the one page website that I used to make over half a million dollars in affiliate commissions this year and I'll even bribe you to attend this workshop by giving you a $497 value course that it shows you how to cherry pick high converting affiliate offers for your next affiliate promotion. In addition, I'll even give you the three offers I'm promoting right now that are making me money as we speak, all that and more at And now it's time to claim your List Building Lifestyle.

Welcome back to another edition of the List Building Lifestyle with your host Igor Kheifets. Once upon a time there was a direct response marketer, Dave, who owned a successful marketing agency and a mortgage business. The mortgage industry was booming. Dave rode the wave up and soon rode it all the way down when the market crashed in '08. Since then, he was equipped with direct response marketing super powers. He didn't give up, he didn't starve. He actually started another business and soon sold it for a hefty profit. Looking for the next challenge. David decided to look into this whole affiliate marketing thing because he always felt there was more to the internet marketing scene than meets the eye. So he decides to attend a marketing seminar where Russell Brunson offers an opportunity to pay to have lunch with him and pick his brain. Dave knows you can only work your way up or buy your way up.

So he proceeds to buy out Russell's entire dinner calendar that weekend and they quickly become friends for life. Several years down the road. Russell has this crazy idea of building the world's number one sales funnel software and invites Dave to partner up. Today, Dave Woodward is the chief revenue officer of ClickFunnels and the host of the ClickFunnels radio where he interviews world's top thought leaders on direct response marketing. Today I'm going to be picking Dave's brain on list building and email marketing, specifically one of the world's largest internet marketing companies.

How one of the world's largest internet marketing companies manages their email list. Dave, thank you so much for being on the show.

Dave Woodward: I'm excited, this'll be a lot of fun.

Igor Kheifets: Yes, so just like you've heard, I've been kind of spying on you guys and I know you do well with email and you do have quite a list. If there's anyone who's got a big responsive email, it's probably ClickFunnels with all the great work that you guys do. So I would love to hear a little bit about the overarching strategy that you use to manage your email list.

Dave Woodward: So for us, building out our list has been a huge, huge focus. All of our front end offers are typically either free plus shipping offers. The most part they're that. We have a couple that are there just to as your typical lead grab. But most of them, what we really look for on our email list is we want buyers. And there's a huge difference between just opt-ins versus buyers. So our primary focus from ClickFunnels standpoint has been to go out and acquire as large of a list of buyers, even if it's only a dollar, we want someone taking their credit card out and doing something with it.

So we have a large host of different front end offers. Russell's two books currently, Dotcom Secrets, Expert Secrets. Traffic Secrets to release next March or next May. Our perfect webinar, our one funnel link challenge has been a huge, huge offering for us. So all of that is what leads into ClickFunnels. And then once they actually start a free trial, we have our free trial is a step in a two step order process where they enter in their email address, they select a password, and then from there they actually go in and at that point then put in their credit card information to start their free trial. So that's what we currently are doing right now to build our list.

Igor Kheifets: Right? So the focus is to create as many legion offers as possible to qualify the buyers. Even if it's just here's the free book, just pay the shipping or it's a dollar trial, whatever that is. And put buyers on the list, which is a smart strategy because I'll tell you, I've been in a position where I've had a list into the millions, but they were not buyers. And first off it's really hard to mail that list because you need some massive service structure. You can't just go to AWeber and be like, Hey guys, can you import my a million lists? They don't want to be friends with you at that point. So having a quality list, and I would assume that your list is probably in the couple of hundred thousand maybe 100,000 people, but buyers, it's really, really powerful because my experience has been that just 200 maybe 300 buyers can actually carry you to six figures, so if we're talking 10,000 buyers at 20 or 30 or 50 we're talking about huge business here.

Dave Woodward: Absolutely. Absolutely. One of the things we've noticed just recently in the last month or two, I was looking at our email list and wondering why we didn't have more, especially... So with our ClickFunnels, as they come into ClickFunnels, we have, as I mentioned, they can enter their email address and password before they enter the credit card. I'm like, where is that list? I want the list of the people who didn't enter the credit card. And so we started going through, so right now, just to give you the numbers, typically we have about 1700 to 1800 people a day hit that page and enter in their email address. And roughly 600 to 700 people enter in their credit card information to start a trial. So we have about a thousand people a day who come in and don't do anything. So I'm like, I want to start talking to those people.

We need to find a way of basically working with them and come to find out, we have never sent an email out to any of those people.

Igor Kheifets: Oh my God.

Dave Woodward: So I said, all right, just go back to the first of the year. How large is that? And it was 250,000 people since the first of the year that we'd missed.

Igor Kheifets: Oh my God. Knife right to the rib, right.

Dave Woodward: Oh my gosh. Russell was like, find out who screwed that one up and fire him. I'm like, well it doesn't matter at this point. Firing him doesn't matter. The main issue actually for us was realizing there's a massive opportunity. And again, whether your list is that large or if it's smaller, I think too often a lot of people when they're looking at their list, they think, ah, that person really doesn't matter, doesn't qualify. They just kind of fall through the cracks.

And so for us, we've literally spent the last week at our traffic meeting here, kind of going through and saying, let's identify where everybody is in the funnel. Let's identify what is the messaging that needs to happen to them. And then more importantly, let's make sure that that's a custom message that goes out to them to help us send them to whatever that next step might be. And so I think for when you look at list building, it's all about ascension and helping them, put a different offers in front of them, finding ways to communicate with them. That's some of the stuff we've seen just recently.

Igor Kheifets: Yes. And a lot of people don't get that when they drive cold traffic, they kind of see it as a one shot deal. So they click on an ad, they see your page, they don't sign up. Well that's it. Or they sign up. But didn't buy ah, that's it. And you know, teaching people email marketing, not a question. The very common question I get, which is again, speaks from that position of a belief that it needs to happen in this short period of time or it doesn't happen at all. Is that Igor, how long does the followup sequence need to be? And they're like, should it be seven days or 10 days or 14 days? Well, it doesn't actually end. Because for as long as they're on your list and they're interested in what you're sending out and they still haven't purchased anything you have to continue and you have to find the right angle, have to put that sexy proposition in front of them, the one that gets them going.

And we've seen that in our business because we have two major portions. One is a traffic agency where we sell email traffic and the other one is where we help people by teaching them how to do fud marketing. And what happened was we noticed that out of the 40% of people who become first time buyers in our traffic business, about 42% of them proceed to buy additional products. So we were able to actually increase that number as a result. By figuring out what are the other problems or challenges they're experiencing and focusing on those angles. And we started bringing that percentage up.

So rather than giving up on them, like you said, right, we just had to figure out the right angle for that particular portion of the market. And that's beautiful. I'm so happy you brought that up because so many people don't get that they spend money, but they don't, they don't realize how much money they also kind of flush down the drain. So, another thing that I want to compliment you guys on is how you structured your process every step of the way. You just mentioned the phrase, let's talk to them. Right? And it's truly how it all feels. It feels like ClickFunnels almost predicts my thoughts or my actions before I'm about to execute on them. So walk us through that. How do you even conceived that and then execute it?

Dave Woodward: I love that question. As you mentioned, it's probably one of the things that we try to spend the most time on is really trying to make sure that we're in their brain. We know where they're at, what are they thinking, what are their false beliefs, what are the limiting beliefs that's preventing them from going to that next level? We have, I think there's, you made mention as far as the, the followup, we look at follow up in two different ways. One is Russell refers to it as a soap opera sequence. It's an indoctrination sequence, so when a person opts in, they're expecting to hear something about that product or that service or whatever it might be. And that soap opera sequence. I think the main idea behind that as far as the length of it is it needs to be as long as it takes where the people are still engaged.

And then from that, once that soap opera sequence ends, they then fall down to what we refer to as our Seinfeld list. And on our Seinfeld list just vary similar to our daily Seinfeld's that you would see on Seinfeld shows. Sometimes it's just about nothing. It's continuing the conversation. A lot of those Seinfeld emails aren't pitching, they're more educational, they're more, this is the next thing you might need. One of the things we were just talking about yesterday was trying to, and again the nice thing about ClickFunnels itself is the software allows us to see where they are in those processes. So take for example, the person logs into ClickFunnels. We know that three of the main things that makes them sticky and really they get success with is when they create their first page when they set up their SMTP, when they set up a payment gateway, when they set up a domain.

So we can see those things if they haven't. It's like, you know, Igor, some of our most successful ClickFunnels users, one of the things they've found that works the best for them is to make sure that they get their first page built. Their first funnel. And here's some of the tips and tricks that we find works for that. Or setting up your payment gateway and here those things. So it's not necessarily pitching them as much as it is, we're trying to help them consume content. And I think no matter what product or service you have, the consumption of that product is really super key. And those Seinfeld emails really help them get through that. And whether it's a, I remember Perry Belcher talking about he was sitting there struggling cause he was biting his fingernails all the time and he opted into this thing and this program basically how to stop biting your fingernails.

And every single day he kept getting an email, the same subject line. Still biting your nails, still biting your nails. And it literally it was, he says he felt like the sequence went on forever. And the reality was that was his biggest pain point was he still wasn't... Finally, he was like, yes, yes, I'm still biting my nails. Fine. What do I need to do? And that's what engaged him. And so I think the main thing for you is you made mention Igor, to really identify what is the pain point that they have and put yourself in that situation. If you had that pain point again, you mentioned as far as affiliate marketing, if you're new to affiliate marketing, man, you've got a whole bunch of pain points, a lot of it's limiting beliefs. And then once you make that first dollar, it's like, Oh my gosh, this actually might work.

And then you have new pain points and you've got to get through those. And so I think the real key there is to make sure that you understand your avatar, whoever that is. So, well, I mean, John Lee Dumas, I was talking to him a while back and he has little, I mean down to the every minute the person's thinking what's going through their head, he knows his client that well and I think that's the main secret we find for our ClickFunnels, customers and users is if we know who they are and we've, our whole focus is I'm trying to have them have success, then it's really easy to get into their head.

Igor Kheifets: Yeah. That's really the number one job of any good direct response marketer. And especially again, same thing applies to affiliate marketers is knowing your customer. Because when you know their fears, their frustrations, their concerns, their dreams or desires and especially, and not the one that people don't really talk about is that who their enemies are.

Dave Woodward: Oh, absolutely.

Igor Kheifets: What their enemies are so you can sell against those. It creates a powerful conversation and you said it keeps the conversation going. I think that's the exact term that we all need to use because a great marketing campaign does not feel like one person shouting at a million people at a stadium. It feels like a conversation that's secretly taking place in my brain between whoever's preaching the message and me, because whatever that person is saying, there's an internal response happening all the time and being able to predict those responses, which is a skill.

It's truly a talent. Because unlike the door to door sales people, when we market in a form of one to many, we don't have the privilege of knowing what they say, think, feel. We don't read their facial expression. So we oftentimes just guess. Or a golf of some data if we can kind of decipher the data. But what you're saying is absolutely correct. If you don't know your target market, if you don't know intimately, if you're not familiar with that person, you're not going to do a good job of getting them to consume your content, which is another amazing point, because if they're not consuming the content, they're not buying the product.

Dave Woodward: No, totally. Totally agreed.

Igor Kheifets: Yeah.

Dave Woodward: Or they're going to churn. If they bought the product, they'll leave just cause they're like, oh I'm not using anymore and I'll leave.

Igor Kheifets: Yes, and you're right. I mean if any of you guys ever sold continuity products, you know how hard it is to keep the customer even though keeping one is probably going to make you more money than trying to get a new one because to get a new customer is like the most difficult thing you can ever try and achieve. So that's amazing.

Yo, it's Igor. If you're loving the content, hop on over to listbuildinglifestyleshow.comm for more free training and a free transcript of this episode. Oh and I'd really appreciate if you logged into iTunes and rated the show. It really helps. Thanks.

There's so many different questions that run through my mind and you guys have so much data and you've tested so many different things and you're like a big giant machine that's just pumping out marketing stuff. But I guess what I want to focus on is your email marketing. Now you mentioned that you have the soap opera sequence happening first, then you move into the Seinfeld sequence or also known as the infotainment emails where it's a little bit information, it's a little bit of entertainment, and then you tell them where to go and that's great. Now I also noticed that you guys now send out these FOMO emails, so at the end of the week there's like a recap email, here's everything you've missed this week. So who came up with that idea?

Dave Woodward: Oh, it's actually one of the things we've been talking about for probably three years and we've just never have done it, so I can't, I don't even know. I'm sure it originally started with Russell. I don't even know at this point who gets credit for it, so I'll give credit to him on that one. But it was one of the things we thought, gosh, we have so much content and it's one of the things we hear from people all the time. I don't even know what to consume. You're just bombarding me with all this stuff. And so we thought, why not just send a summary at the end of the week and just say, you know what? And again, FOMO, fear of missing out. We want to basically let them know these are all the things we talked about this week. And it basically goes through and it has on Marketing Secrets, Russell's podcasts, these are all the things he talked about on ClickFunnels Radio, my podcast, these are all things I talked about.

On the other emails, if there was something we were promoting, we did this last week was Jim Edwards released his Funnel Scripts book, his Copywriting Secrets. And so we said, hey, you know what Jim Edwards released Copywriting Secrets and maybe you want to see it and follow up on that. We just now have with our new Funnel Flicks launch with our birthday list last week, we now have a whole new section that has a forum and it's our funnel hacker form.

And so these are the main topics inside of our funnel hacker form. We do the same thing as far as these are the top three or four posts inside of our Facebook community. The idea behind that email is really to help them consume more content and so really ever is there a pitch in that? It's almost always a, we're here and we're here and we're here and you can get content here for our community. We love being able to refer to people who create a content, so our Facebook community, we want to make sure, hey, these are the top three posts with the most user generated content. These are the top three inside of our funnel hacker forum. Just because we want to reward people for providing content and driving other people to them.

Igor Kheifets: Yeah. It sounds like you're creating this conversation. At least that's how it feels to me. That there's things going on. There's something going on over there. There's something going on over there. There's new thing that's coming out over there and if you're not there, you almost like, missing out.

Dave Woodward: And that's why it's called FOMO.

Igor Kheifets: Yes, definitely. It's 100% FOMO. That's awesome. Now, the one more thing that I want to touch on before I let you go, because knowing it's a busy day for you today is, in order to send out as many emails and as many launches and as many basically communication messages, you also need to be able to produce a ton of different stuff. Because you can't be emailing them with the exact same thing every day. And the one thing that really, in my opinion, sets ClickFunnels apart from most other companies, especially technological companies, software companies, or SAS companies, is the fact that ClickFunnels, is almost like an info marketing crew that also happens to own a software. Because information, even though there's like a healthy amount of information and courses that you guys are selling, which is awesome because that's how you self fund a fricking tycoon of a software like that.

But you also produce a lot. And of course, most of us see Russell, right? His name's on the book, his name's on the other book and he's for teaching this class or this class. But is there anything that you can suggest, any tips to our listeners regarding creating so much content in such a short time span?

Dave Woodward: Oh absolutely. I think the hardest part for a lot of people is they feel like they just don't know what to say. And so we started years ago, a little bit before ClickFunnels even started, starting to document the process. And documenting your process, whether you do it, Russell started off the, it was originally for his Marketing Secrets podcast. It was marketing in your car.

Igor Kheifets: Yeah.

Dave Woodward: Whole business. He was losing his business. He thought, you know, I'm just going to start talking through this thing. And so the documentation of that process has created a ton. I mean we have taken so many things out of what he said in that podcast for email copy and for other things. We've done the same thing as far as video. We have a lot of video that gets shot. And I think the problem for most people is it's like, gosh I don't even know where to start.

I don't know what to even say or do. And so for us, the first thing I would say is document the process. The second thing I would say is pay attention to your listeners. Who's ever following you at, whether it's on Facebook or anywhere else. They have comments, they have questions. And so for us, one of the things we've always done is try to take a look.

What are the biggest comments? What are the biggest concerns? What are the biggest questions? It's the easiest way of getting into the mind and the head of your customers to see what are they saying? You made mention earlier Igor, as far as who are they throwing rocks at? What are the enemies they're throwing rocks at? Why are they throwing rocks at him? Steve Larson talks about it all the time, where you go, you're in this red ocean and you go to this blue ocean to hopefully some relief, but you're throwing rocks back to that red ocean. So what are the problems they have over there? What are the issues? And those are the people, you're going to try to pull out, are the people who aren't satisfied in other areas.

Igor Kheifets: Yeah, absolutely. And, those will be the most receptive customers to the message because when they're emotional be it angry or whatever, they're much more likely to buy because they can feel that emotion and, purchase or any other emotions actually. Any other buying decision is always pure emotion. Even the decision not to be emotional is an emotional decision. Which is...

Dave Woodward: It is.

Igor Kheifets: Really, it's...

Dave Woodward: No, it is.

Igor Kheifets: Yeah, it messes with you a little bit when you think about it. All right, well we're almost done and before we let you go, anything you can share with people. Like you said, most of our listeners are just getting started, so they're just getting started building a list. What would be the number one thing that you would want them to know?

Dave Woodward: I think the main thing is you have to become the attractive character. You have to, I think too often people, they come across and they approach things as this business and it's very stale. And don't be afraid to let people know about your weaknesses. I mean let people into your life and help them understand, you know, where they're coming from. I was in your same shoes. This is what I was going through. And so becoming that attractive character is... People will buy,

you just made mention, Igor, they buy on emotion because they fall in love with a character. That's who they want. I mean, Steve jobs was phenomenal at doing that and throwing rocks the entire PC world. And because of that, he drew this huge amount of people to him. They were the rebels, they were the people who, the misfits, those who didn't fit in the same box, everyone else. And because of that, this attractive character of Steve jobs, people, literally millions and millions of people followed him because of that. And I think the main thing I would tell people is you have to become the attractive character. Study the people who you follow, why do you follow them? There's something about it that you like. Find or maybe something you hate, whatever it might be, but become that attractive character and that helps you then get into state much easier when you start to write.

Igor Kheifets: Yes. Yes. That's a great advice. Most people of course, will reject it, I think. And because they, I mean no, not because the advice is bad. The advice is perfectly spot on. It's just most people are... Don't want to put themselves out there. They just don't. They just, they're so afraid of it. But here's what just like you said, what they don't realize is that when the purchase from someone, they purchase, because they buy into this character and then they turnaround and they do the complete opposite. They don't show the character to the people who they want to buy from them. But that's human nature I guess. And that's a great point to end the podcast. Dave, thank you so much.

Dave Woodward: Real quick, I'm going to take one more second here real quick. I was talking to Natalie Hodson about that. She follows Bernie Brown and one of the things she made mention of, and I think this is, it's the whole idea as far as becoming much more vulnerable. Is too often people are trying to tell the story of the open wound and that's too painful and it's hard for your listeners. Instead tell the story of the scar. So once it's been healed, now go back and tell the story about the scar. People understand there has been an end to this story and they're not as concerned and worried about you and then you can actually take it from a side of being extremely vulnerable and saying, I know exactly what it was like. I was there and let me tell you what it was like for me there, but more important, let me tell you what I went through to get to where I'm at now and by doing that it just allows people to really engage and connect with you more.

Igor Kheifets: Yeah, that's a good point. I never heard that saying don't talk about the wound. Talk about the scar. Wow. Okay. I'm going to write this one down. Well thank you very much Dave, for investing the time. I appreciate all the insights.

Dave Woodward: My Pleasure.

Igor Kheifets: And til next time we chat have a good one. Thank you for listening to the List Building Lifestyle. Get access to previous episodes, the transcription of today's show as well as other exclusive content at Also don't forget to claim your free seat at the workshop I'm hosting this week where I show the two step system that made me the top affiliate for people like Matt [Basak 00:23:18] John Christani, Richard Legg, Michael Cheney, and many, many others. In fact, on this workshop, I'm going to show you the exact approach I take whenever I promote an affiliate offer, the exact offers I promote, as well as how I was able to make over half a million dollars in commissions using my small list of just 18,000 people promoting a weird type of product that almost no one else promotes. All that is yours at So go ahead, claim your seat right now and I'll see you there.

Who Is Igor Kheifets

Igor Kheifets is the 3rd highest-earning super-affiliate in the internet marketing niche.

Igor’s 2-step system has helped him consistently rank as the highest-earning and the highest-converting (measured in commissions earned per click) for industry’s leading vendors including but not limited to Matt Bacak, John Crestani and Anthony Morrison.

Igor boiled down success in affiliate marketing to a set of predictable easy steps anyone can take to generate commissions.


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