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Ep 76 Jeff Sawyer Lee eCommerce Podcast Image

Hosted by Richard Hill

Ep 76:
Jeff Sawyer Lee:
How to Scale Your Brand by Focusing on Performance Marketing

Unconventional thinker Jeff Sawyer Lee goes against the norm. He doesn’t focus his time on traditional brand-building campaigns to increase his sales. His secret? Focus on creating an insane product, relentlessly understand your customer then run performance marketing campaigns.

Jeff had a six-figure banking job. From the outside, that seems like a dream right? Wrong. He was left unfulfilled and decided to enter the rocky but rewarding field of entrepreneurship.

It was a pleasure having Jeff on the podcast. Tune in to find out how he found his purpose and scaled his eCommerce business.

eCom@One Presents:

Jeff Sawyer Lee

Jeff Sawyer Lee is the Co-Founder of FitTrack, a modern health management ecosystem. From the outside looking in, Jeff had a dream career. However, his six-figure banking job left him feeling unfulfilled so he decided to enter the world of entrepreneurship to find more purpose in his life. 

In this episode, he shares how he scaled his business without focusing his budget on brand marketing. He shares FitTrack’s mission and how he bounced back from failure. He discloses his secret for growth and why you need to A/B test everything to understand your customer.

Find out how Jeff creates SMS campaigns that sell more products than email marketing, with a staggering 65% open rate. He discusses the power of personalisation and how to truly delight your customers.

Jeff shares his positive outlook and how a growth mindset is pivotal for success in the fitness industry. This podcast is full of advice and implementable tips to make your business more customer-focused. Listen now! 

Topics Covered:

1:10: FitTrack’s mission

2:25: Why Jeff left his six-figure banking job for the world of entrepreneurship

6:10: Bouncing back from failure 

8:12: Understand your customer to scale your eCommerce store

10:18: Process of A/B testing

14:00: Is brand marketing dead? His split between brand and performance marketing

16:26: Build a product first

18:35: Personalisation in the customer journey

23:05 – Tools for building SMS campaigns

26:44: Always be relentlessly looking for what you don’t know

30:12: One piece of advice that has shaped Jeff’s outlook

31:07: Book recommendation 

 

Richard Hill:
Hi, there. I'm Richard Hill, the host of eCom@One. Welcome to our 76th episode. In this episode, I speak with Jeff Sawyer Lee, CEO and founder of FitTrack. Jeff quit his investment banking career to build FitTrack, a zero-to-a-hundred-million-dollar success story. In this episode, we talk scale, pure scale; how did Jeff scale, and the pinnacle moment that accelerated growth. If you enjoy this episode, please make sure you subscribe so you're always the first to know when a new episode is released. Now, let's head over to this fantastic episode.

Richard Hill:
Hi, and welcome to another episode of eCom@One. Today's guest is Jeff Sawyer Lee, CEO and founder of FitTrack. How are you doing, Jeff?

Jeff Sawyer Lee:
I'm good, Richard, how are you doing today?

Richard Hill:
I am pretty good. I'm a bit hot, actually. It's pretty crazy weather here in the UK. We always do a weather check, which we've already, we've done pre-episode, but yeah, I'm pretty good, but pretty hot. But, looking forward to this, Jeff. I think it would be great for you to kick off and just introduce yourself to our listeners.

Jeff Sawyer Lee:
Cool. So, I'm Jeff Sawyer Lee, the founder and CEO of FitTrack. FitTrack is a health management ecosystem, and our mission is really to help people live healthier lives by making health management simple, actionable, and sustainable, as well.

Richard Hill:
Yeah. Sounds great. Sounds great. I think that's on everyone's list, isn't it, I think? It's obviously that, I think it's going to be exciting because I think a lot of people that listen to this podcast, and probably a lot of people in general, that there's sort of... the health piece, quite often, comes secondary, doesn't it? I think running a busy e-commerce store, which a lot of our listeners are doing, or they're running the marketing side of a busy e-commerce store, and making sure that we're finding time for ourselves, is usually quite tricky, isn't it?

Richard Hill:
Now, I'm quite intrigued to hear about your story. I know you were sort of working in investment banking for many years and then you sort of are now very much sort of focused on the entrepreneurial and on your own business. So, sort of what was that moment like where you sort of decided to quit your high paying role? Because I think that will resonate with a lot of people that maybe are thinking about starting an e-commerce store, for example, listen to the eCom@One podcast. They've started thinking about that next big jump step, talk us through that.

Jeff Sawyer Lee:
Yeah. So, I think that was a very pivotal moment for me. As an investment banker, I was doing pretty well, making six-figure, but I started to feel unhappy, unfulfilled, and in the finance world, the culture was really all about who's making the most money, and it's almost like a bragging right.

Richard Hill:
Yeah.

Jeff Sawyer Lee:
And I was simply just chasing that and I just knew I needed to do something that has a bigger purpose.

Richard Hill:
Yeah.

Jeff Sawyer Lee:
At that time, I was very passionate about watches, so I thought that was a calling.

Richard Hill:
Yeah. Yeah.

Jeff Sawyer Lee:
And then I went entrepreneurial with my first company, which is Jeffrey Sawyer Watches, I didn't know anything about marketing at that time, but I was just very keen to start something of my own. So, I quit my job. I went to Hong Kong to learn about a manufacturing process-

Richard Hill:
Yeah.

Jeff Sawyer Lee:
And to learn about the art of watchmaking, and looking back now, I was more focused on starting a cool company, that I didn't do the work I needed to be successful. And, I know the concept of how much it costs to run a business. I had only about $30,000 saved at that time.

Richard Hill:
Yeah.

Jeff Sawyer Lee:
And two years later, I was $230,000 in debt.

Richard Hill:
Oh, okay. Yep.

Jeff Sawyer Lee:
And I thought that was really the moment that I felt like I've learned a lot that allowed me to scale the business, then that subsequent business, to where we are today.

Richard Hill:
Yeah.

Jeff Sawyer Lee:
Those were really some darkest moments of my life. Trying to think about how we can number one, a payback that debt. So, I had to work two jobs. And one thing I've also learned is that I didn't necessarily have the marketing skills, or money-making skills, as I like to call it, to really grow a business. And I think it's very important for any founders when they're trying to start an econ business, or whatever business, to really understand marketing before getting into that.

Richard Hill:
Yeah.

Jeff Sawyer Lee:
Because ultimately, that is the skill set that's going to make or break you when times are hard and you need money to keep going. If you do not have that skillset of how to generate revenue fast, that can be crucial.

Richard Hill:
Yeah. Marketing and sales. I think everything comes back to that, doesn't it? It's not everything, but if you've got by in your back pocket, and you've got that ability to be able to take a product, service, SKU if you're an e-commerce, and be able to run ads, or social, or whatever that may be, stands you in good standing. I think something that we say that a lot on a lot of different episodes, sort of like running an e-commerce store and having people around you that are having experts in the different fields, absolutely. You, obviously, want to grow from a one-man band to a, whatever it may be, depending on where that person is 10, 50, a 100 people. But so, I understand and have some serious sort of chops when it comes to some of the key skills, and obviously, marketing and sales being been right up there.

Richard Hill:
I think we could do it, we definitely should have a chat on watches. I'm a massive, massive watch fan, so that's a separate question. Maybe for off-camera, but I'm quite intrigued for you. Maybe we won't go there, actually, but I'm quite intrigued about the whole process of creating brands around watches, and I think, from what I see, there are some crazy margins to be had there in that industry. I know we represent a few watch manufacturers in our agency, but that's maybe for another day. So, obviously a lot of experience there to get to where you are today. What would you say has been the biggest challenge you've faced so far?

Jeff Sawyer Lee:
I think my biggest challenge is really accepting failure as a lesson and bouncing back. I'll touch on my first startup. I think that's where I learned the most. So, I think when I built Jeffrey Sawyer Watches, number one, you didn't really understand what product-market fit is. Number two, I didn't really understand growth marketing or how to go to business profitably. And that's how I got myself into $235,000 in debt, which I then had to work two jobs, and then start 12 hours a day, and then studying another four or five hours on everything I had to learn about marketing.

Jeff Sawyer Lee:
And I think, at that time, I kind of decided, "Okay, hey, maybe growing a business isn't for me," but instead of accepting that as a failure, I kind of look back and think about what I can improve on and what was lacking. So, I really do believe that failure is better than winning sometimes because failure comes with great lessons, and if you're able to walk away from that, then everything you went through would make you a lot stronger and smarter. And for FitTrack, I think is it definitely the accelerated growth part-

Richard Hill:
Yeah.

Jeff Sawyer Lee:
That is another big challenge that I've also faced with supply chain issues, customer service, as well.

Richard Hill:
Yeah, yeah, yeah. I think that's the thing. It's a message that we really do try. That Resonates a lot, there's not going to be one guest that comes on here that has had a completely fun ride all the way through. That's just not reality, is it? That's just not life, but it's obviously what we learned along the way and embracing those failures, as bizarre as it sounds. So, obviously, sitting here today, obviously, a lot of lessons, a lot of things learned and you've managed to scale now, several businesses, but FitTrack particularly, talk to me about that, how you've managed to scale that business.

Jeff Sawyer Lee:
I think if I have to put it down to a very simple way to explain that would be number one, understanding of customer very well and AB testing. I've always said, "The foundation of great marketing comes from great creative, and great creative comes from understanding your customer very well," so we always want to create a messaging journey that resonates very well without a customer-

Richard Hill:
Yeah.

Jeff Sawyer Lee:
And providing them value, as well, throughout their journey from pre-purchase to post-purchase. And that's really how you build your business. You increase the lifetime value of your customer, which I think is what most entrepreneurs measure that business with.

Richard Hill:
Yeah.

Jeff Sawyer Lee:
And the second part is AB testing and it seems simple, but I think speaking to a lot of founders, marketers, I find AB testing is often overlooked or not invested enough in.

Richard Hill:
Yep.

Jeff Sawyer Lee:
At the end of the day, we can all come up with ideas that we think could work, but until you it's proven by data, it's simply a hypothesis, right?

Richard Hill:
Yeah.

Jeff Sawyer Lee:
On a product marketing level, I've always said that product-market fit pre-revenue is it's a lie, it's always just a hypothesis.

Richard Hill:
Yeah. Yeah.

Jeff Sawyer Lee:
It's just one more piece for it. Then you can validate if that product is a pre-product market fit. So, the same theory applies to anything in doing marketing, as well. Always have a hypothesis and always be AB testing, as well.

Richard Hill:
Yeah. So, when we say AB testing, then if we were to drill into that for a little bit more, I think a lot of people throw sort of these words around, "Oh, we need to be AB testing," so maybe give me a specific. So, a lot of our listeners are e-comm stores, and they're selling a widget, or I've just spoken to a guy it's afternoon, he's got 10,000 SKUS on his website, but ultimately these stores are similar in that they are on the same or similar platforms, but what are you AB testing? What sort of things is your AB testing? What tools are you using to do AB testing?

Jeff Sawyer Lee:
So, everything should be AB tested, right? So, I'll start off with the performance marketing side. So, when you're at the level when you're creating ads, I'll give you an example where, so it's easy to illustrate it. So, FitTrack, for example, when we first started launching it, we were thinking, "Hey, this scale might be great for people who are going to the gym and they would love to measure the muscle mass."

Richard Hill:
Yeah.

Jeff Sawyer Lee:
And then that's another hypothesis of, "Maybe this would be better for people who are trying to lose weight and they'll be able to measure their body fat percentage." We could either go with, "Hey, I think the weight loss angle would do a lot better," and just run budget and run ads towards that, or we could have those two different messaging-

Richard Hill:
Yeah.

Jeff Sawyer Lee:
And then, we test them against each other.

Richard Hill:
Yeah.

Jeff Sawyer Lee:
And then, seeing which one performs better, and then, putting more budget towards that-

Richard Hill:
Yeah.

Jeff Sawyer Lee:
And constantly tweaking, as well, the messaging within like, "How are we going to position? Is it losing weight healthily, losing weight for good?"

Richard Hill:
Yep.

Jeff Sawyer Lee:
AB testing all the different messaging-

Richard Hill:
Yep.

Jeff Sawyer Lee:
All the different angles you possibly can.

Richard Hill:
Yep.

Jeff Sawyer Lee:
And the more granular you can go, the better.

Richard Hill:
Yep.

Jeff Sawyer Lee:
So, I would say that is just the performance marketing side of things on the website. I think we also, we constantly AB test our website, even a small change of like the colour of the button from green to orange-

Richard Hill:
Okay.

Jeff Sawyer Lee:
Have a very high improvement of conversion rate. The rate increased conversion rate by 25%, for example. So, a lot of times where we have an opinion of, "Hey, this might do better," always AB test that before you validate that as a fact.

Richard Hill:
Yeah.

Jeff Sawyer Lee:
So, I think that's just an example. And I think when we think about the product, as well, when we think about how we build the product, we use a very simple approach, as well, where a feature set where we might think, "Hey XYZ feature might do well and not a feature might do better," right? So, you never really know until you AB test that. So, I think, we take this approach on everything we build from the product side of things to the performance marketing side, to the website, to the messaging, everything, basically.

Richard Hill:
I think that's great. I think that's great. I think there's a lot of great takeaways there. I think it will resonate with a lot of... I think we got a lot of people that are running ads, listen to their podcasts, and I know we do because I know a lot of them personally, as well, but I think quite often you can get stuck on just sort of AB testing. And if we're talking, say Facebook ads or shopping search ads, for example. Split testing, and AB testing audiences, and creative and all the different breaking the campaigns down, rather the one campaign, you've maybe got 30 with all the different audience split out. But, I think a lot of people then don't then go and then split test other areas on the website, for example, so then it's all about the ads.

Richard Hill:
Well, obviously yes, you need to put the time into the ads and split testing the ads. Bopsy also split tests in the landing pages, split testing what that funnel. So, I think you touched on a few things there, so in terms of product-market fit, I think it's a similar thing, isn't it? But, in terms of your split and what advice would you give, should the focus be more on brand or performance marketing, what sort of split do you have in your business?

Jeff Sawyer Lee:
Yeah, that's a great question. And I have so many debates about this, but at FitTrack, we believe successful marketing is doing a few things, right? First, you need to have a great product that has a proven product-market fit, as we chatted about. And once you have that, you can start to think about your marketing strategy. Personally, I don't believe in traditional brand marketing. FitTrack's marketing budget, I would say it's 100% performance marketing. We don't currently spend money on the brand. And just because, for me, brand marketing is doing everything correctly. It's not about running a really top of funnel, beautiful campaign. It's about having a great product, having a great experience, having a great messaging mix, doing all of this consistently, correctly. That, for me, is what builds a brand. And for a lot of companies, this may feel unconventional, but for us, I don't see any value in investing in brand marketing until we hit at least 300 million in revenue.

Richard Hill:
Okay.

Jeff Sawyer Lee:
And our focus is really to build great products and build a strong performance marketing strategy to scale up growth responsibly, and then generating word of mouth through that.

Richard Hill:
Yeah.

Jeff Sawyer Lee:
Because at the end of the day, right, what's better for our brand than more people buying a product and raving about it to their friends and family.

Richard Hill:
Yeah.

Jeff Sawyer Lee:
And for me, it's what I see as building a brand versus-

Richard Hill:
Yeah.

Jeff Sawyer Lee:
When you think about people that, "Oh, Nike is doing this brand marketing and whatever," it's just a different way of thinking for me. And, I think, everything has to be measurable. We've done brand marketing, I would say a few years back, right? And that's one of the lessons where I've learned that "Hey, it might not be as impactful as people think of this."

Richard Hill:
So, I think if I've understood you right, it's very much, obviously, you're very much focused on performance 100% and getting to a point in your instance, 300 mil. And then, obviously, then you're looking at investing in the brand, but are you encouraging the people that are buying to sort of be super fans of the product and they asked, they're doing a brand marketing for you? Is that sort of what you're saying? They're obviously on social media sort of saying, "Hey, I've got my new... I've got the product. I'm a big believer in fit." So, they're doing, are you encouraging that? So, when they buy a product, you sort of asking them to share this, and that, and the other on social media that, is that sort of happening?

Jeff Sawyer Lee:
Yeah. So, I would say that would be a part of what brand marketing is. And the other part of it, is building a great product, a great experience.

Richard Hill:
Yeah.

Jeff Sawyer Lee:
And that comes down to understanding your customer very well, as well.

Richard Hill:
Yeah.

Jeff Sawyer Lee:
I think, as a marketer, a lot of times we really focus on the execution part of it, "Hey, how to optimize ad account, how to build the best creative," but I think we always need to go back to the foundation. Let's understand the customer first, and then let's focus on the product, the experience because when you have a great product and you have a great experience, selling something's so much easier because people will talk about it and that built up the word of mouth. And that, to me, is the most authentic type of marketing. Combining that with a cohesive performance market messaging mix, allows you to have a virality factor, right? You see omnipresent everywhere versus spending all your budget on building a beautiful ad campaign that traditional marketers would call a brand marketing campaign.

Richard Hill:
Yeah, no, understood. So, I think I'm keen to push on. When we talked about the AB testing, you talked about you've got people that are looking in your instance, looking to lose weight. You've got people that are looking to track muscle mass, maybe. Maybe, I think I maybe made that one up, but you've got these different areas of that, and that's obviously personalization. What would you say? I think personalization is a really interesting one, and I think in your business, particularly, clearly, obviously, very successful, but I think, recently, I was looking at subscribing to something. I won't go into the specifics, but and I had a various questionnaires, like five simple questions that made sure that I was getting the right thing, or I was signing up for the right subscription, so talk to me about the personalization side and how that ties into sort of the user experience on the site, and how important that's been.

Jeff Sawyer Lee:
So, personalize, to me, is one of the most important things when we start thinking about building the flow, the journey, and stuff, and

Richard Hill:
Yeah.

Jeff Sawyer Lee:
If your segmentation is spot on, your audience would get something that feels personalized and everyone likes when you send something that feels that you're adding value to their life-

Richard Hill:
Yeah.

Jeff Sawyer Lee:
And when they get something that is personalized, it feels almost like you're adding value versus simply just an ad, serving, or you're being sold to. And people are less annoyed with that. I think that's why segmentation is very critical for this, and if you aren't thinking through it, a different segment of your audience, then no one's going to get a personalized journey. And a result of that, everyone's going to get an un-personalised experience with very few resonating with the content.

Jeff Sawyer Lee:
And you're really not focused on building that value for the user journey. So how do we do this? It goes back down to research and understanding your customer very well. So, we have a consumer insights team here at FitTrack, where we would chat with customers every month, just to understand what are some of the pain points, what are some of the journeys?

Richard Hill:
Yeah.

Jeff Sawyer Lee:
And then we bucket them into different journeys based on our research-

Richard Hill:
Yeah.

Jeff Sawyer Lee:
And then, digging deeper, understanding how we can solve their pain point, what daily life looks like, and really building out a customized journey, a customized messaging based on all of that. How this comes to life, number one, in the CRM strategy on email, on your SMS, and Messenger, we're able to build them something that, for them, is a real value. And we see a much higher click-through rate because of that, we see a much higher conversion rate based on that, we see a much higher returning customer rate, based on all of that, as well.

Richard Hill:
Yeah.

Jeff Sawyer Lee:
And on the ad side of things, you'll be able to serve people at that... Have you ever seen ads on Facebook, YouTube? And you're like, "What the fuck? How did they know?" We want to have that experience when anyone sees an ad like, "Oh my God, this resonates so well with me."

Richard Hill:
Yeah.

Jeff Sawyer Lee:
"It's made specifically for me versus something that might be generic. And yeah, I think that improved performance, significantly. So, I think it's very important for everyone to think about personalization, as well, as segmentation of their users.

Richard Hill:
I think what it may think there, it's like, "Okay, you've got a product," just thinking of our list is you've got a product and you maybe do some basic personalization, but ultimately, if you're running ads, say Facebook ads, and you think, "Actually, we can target this type of person, which is actually a perfect fit for our product, but we don't actually even mention this demographic, it's a 45-year-old male that is interested in X, Y, Z. That's got an affinity with this, that, and the other," you go, "actually, we can target these people who are a perfect fit for our product, but that's not even a thing at the moment. We don't even mention that on our site." So, you can potentially create a brand new landing page. It's the same product, but you're just rewriting the whole copy based on targeting that you're finding in the Facebook ads.

Richard Hill:
So, obviously, it really maybe, "Right, okay. We've not built this product for these people, specifically, it's for these, and these, and these, but actually we found we can target this segment of people. So we can very much, very easily create a duplicate landing page and obviously reword that, et cetera, based on more targeting," because, I think, as we know, obviously, we run ads for a living and, obviously, targeting is key. Targets and message is key. Then, obviously, the broader they are, the harder they are to convert. Obviously, the tighter they are, the better. So, I think personalization, I think everyone's on board with it, but it's how people can bring it into their business. I think, obviously, you talked about SMS marketing, email marketing. I mean, SMS marketing is not something we've talked too much about on the podcast. What sort of, have you got any sort of, any sort of tech stack that you recommend for that? Any tools that you would recommend for that or any sort of insider tips on that?

Jeff Sawyer Lee:
Yes. So, we currently use a tool called Attentive, which allow us to really build a great SMS campaign. We started using them this year and right now, our SMS revenue is a lot higher than our email revenue, for the first time.

Richard Hill:
Okay. Yeah.

Jeff Sawyer Lee:
Yeah. Ultimately, I think for me, SMS, it just provides the user with a different channel for them to engage with the brand. We've seen a much higher open rate with SMS, a higher click-through rate with SMS-

Richard Hill:
Yeah.

Jeff Sawyer Lee:
Just because the nature of getting a text versus-

Richard Hill:
Yeah. Yeah. Yeah.

Jeff Sawyer Lee:
Emails or things. Messenger, as well, is another one-

Richard Hill:
Yes.

Jeff Sawyer Lee:
With a really high click-through rate, open rate, as well, which I would definitely recommend, when you're thinking of building a CRM strategy, to always have those both in versus just a traditional email. I think-

Richard Hill:
Yeah.

Jeff Sawyer Lee:
The usual open rate we have for email is around, I would say around 35%, whereas SMS or Messenger, it can go as high up to 65%, 75%.

Richard Hill:
So, have you got any tips around obviously getting those mobile numbers in the first place? Because, obviously, if we are trying to reach out to our perfect customers and we want to message them, but obviously we don't have their numbers. So, what sort of things have you been doing with that?

Jeff Sawyer Lee:
There are a few strategies that we use to build our SMS needs. So, one of the things that we usually like to do, is a giveaway campaign. So, let's say we're giving away an Ultimate Fitness Pack, with the FitTrack Smart Scale, with the FitTrack Watch, a TRX band-

Richard Hill:
Yeah.

Jeff Sawyer Lee:
We will run a giveaway to a landing page, for example, where it's like, "Hey, sign up here to get a chance of winning the Ultimate Fitness Pack."

Richard Hill:
Yeah.

Jeff Sawyer Lee:
And then, they would have to put their phone number in for them to be able to be entered into the giveaway.

Richard Hill:
Yeah.

Jeff Sawyer Lee:
So, that's one way we go about that. Another way we go about that, as well, is really using Messenger, as well as email to built-in within their marketing. "Hey, we're building a VIP list, give us your SMS right now to unlock X, Y, and Z stuff." So, there are different strategies that we use.

Richard Hill:
Yeah. Yeah.

Jeff Sawyer Lee:
So, basically, one is on the top of funnel wise. How can we grow leads? And traditionally, we grow leads through an email-

Richard Hill:
Yeah.

Jeff Sawyer Lee:
But, right now, we have a lead gen campaign specifically to grow our SMS list, to grow our Messenger. And then, we also have our email and Messenger within the current leads that we have.

Richard Hill:
Yeah.

Jeff Sawyer Lee:
We also have campaigns within there to collect the SMS, as well.

Richard Hill:
Brilliant. Brilliant. So exciting, isn't it? SMS, it's not something we've experimented with within our agencies, to be fair. I think the last time I was in the US, I was in Tennessee, the click funnels live. It seems like a lifetime ago now, but I was about two years ago. And there was a lot of talk about that there. So, I think what would be interesting is to also, have you got any specific strategies and ways that you keep on top of trends? Obviously, very fast-moving industry, econ full stop, but obviously fitness, as well. What advice would you give to our listeners about keeping on top of trends in their industries, and what do you do?

Jeff Sawyer Lee:
Yeah. So, I'm going to go with the concept. So, in Japanese Zen, there's a concept of not being constrained by what we already know, called the Beginner's Mind. And what I love about this, is an essence that we should always be relentlessly looking for what we do not know, not because humility is a virtue, but because until one adopts this mindset, the most striking breakthrough cannot occur. And because as our team, we have to always be a constant student of our craft, right? So, we spent every... I'll give you an example of myself, I would set time aside, end of the day, to research reading articles from other marketers out there on Twitter, on LinkedIn, there's plenty of courses out there.

Jeff Sawyer Lee:
Sometimes, that course that you might think that really well already. So, for example, how to run a Facebook ad or website conversion optimization tricks, always make it a purpose to always go through all of that because you might understand most of it, but there will always be one or two things that you can always gain out of a different perspective. So, I think I'm always out there learning new courses, seeing what connecting all the marketers, and brand founders outside, as well, understanding what they're talking about. What are some of the experiences, as well? I also use, I love to use the Facebook spy tool, as well, where I would go to a competitor-

Richard Hill:
Yeah, yeah, yeah.

Jeff Sawyer Lee:
Or a brand that's doing well and just kind of see what the messaging journey looks like-

Richard Hill:
Yeah.

Jeff Sawyer Lee:
What kind of ads that they're running-

Richard Hill:
Yeah.

Jeff Sawyer Lee:
And then reverse engineer and see what that funnel looks like, as well. What are some of the strategies? So, I think that's another way I go about to constantly learn and see what other people are doing, as well.

Richard Hill:
Yeah, that sounds great. I think we can all get quite busy in our day-to-day, and I think making sure that our point in time, and for our own personal development, personal progression, and obviously, the learning, is so key, isn't it? Before you know it, you go back to something that maybe you've been doing a certain way for 3, 6, 12 months, and then it's obviously, completely changed and you are really not doing a good job on that thing, maybe, whether that's Facebook ads or, I think, obviously, the Facebook Ads Library, I think as a spying tool, everyone's got free access to that. I think it still surprises me how many people aren't aware of that. I think if you listened to this episode, you're still with us, Facebook Ads Library go and type in your competitors into there and see, I think you have to click All Ads or you don't see any ads, they changed it a few months back, didn't they?

Richard Hill:
So, it's like, "Oh, they're not running any ads, but all ads," and you can see what who's running what, how long they've been running them for, which is always, obviously, if an ad's been running for six months, it's usually a good sign, but, or it could be a good sign they've got a lazy team behind it, so you have to factor in what's what, but I think factoring in time and consistency with that learning, I think, yeah, that's a great message, Jeff. So, I think we're coming to a close now, and I think the last couple of questions. So, if you could share one piece of advice, that's changed your sort of outlook on things, what would it be?

Jeff Sawyer Lee:
I think, for me, about my past experiences. Really understanding that we can all have an opinion, but it's really not a fact until it's proven by data. And that's really how, that's an approach that we should go by when we think about anything in life, be it performance marketing, be it building a product, it really goes so far beyond the day. Always let the data speak for itself.

Richard Hill:
Yeah. Yeah. I love that. I love that. I'm a massive, massive fan. That's the message we preach in our business is the data. The facts are the facts, aren't they? Opinions great. It's good to have an opinion and ideas but pursue it, but testing, testing, facts and numbers. Yeah. Brilliant. So, I always like to finish every episode, Jeff, with a book recommendation. Have you got a book that you would recommend to our listeners?

Jeff Sawyer Lee:
For founders, I would really recommend The Hard Things About Hard Things by Ben Horowitz.

Richard Hill:
Yeah.

Jeff Sawyer Lee:
And another book that is really, really great. It's called Playing to Win, as well, by Roger Martin.

Richard Hill:
Okay.

Jeff Sawyer Lee:
Yeah, definitely recommend those two books.

Richard Hill:
Brilliant. We'll put those up in the show notes, now. So, the guys that are listening want to find out more about you, Jeff, what's the best place, the best way to do that?

Jeff Sawyer Lee:
On my Instagram, Jeff L. Sawyer or Twitter, I tend to post some stuff about performance marketing from time to time, as well.

Richard Hill:
Yeah.

Jeff Sawyer Lee:
You can also find me on my LinkedIn, as well, which is, Jeff Sawyer Lee.

Richard Hill:
And to check out FitTrack, is it just fittrack.com?

Jeff Sawyer Lee:
Yes, that's correct.

Richard Hill:
Yep. Fantastic. Well, thank you so much, Jeff. You've been a guest on the eCom@One show and I look forward to catching up with you again.

Jeff Sawyer Lee:
Thanks a lot, Richard.

Richard Hill:
Thank you.

Jeff Sawyer Lee:
Thanks for you're time today.

Richard Hill:
Thanks a lot. Bye-bye.

Richard Hill:
Thank you for listening to the eCom@One e-commerce podcast. If you enjoyed today's show, please hit subscribe and don't forget to sign up to our e-commerce newsletter and leaves a review on iTunes. This podcast has been brought to you by our team here at eComOne, the E-commerce Marketing Agency.
Richard Hill:
Hi, there. I'm Richard Hill, the host of eCom@One. Welcome to our 76th episode. In this episode, I speak with Jeff Sawyer Lee, CEO and founder of FitTrack. Jeff quit his investment banking career to build FitTrack, a zero-to-a-hundred-million-dollar success story. In this episode, we talk scale, pure scale; how did Jeff scale, and the pinnacle moment that accelerated growth. If you enjoy this episode, please make sure you subscribe so you're always the first to know when a new episode is released. Now, let's head over to this fantastic episode.

Richard Hill:
Hi, and welcome to another episode of eCom@One. Today's guest is Jeff Sawyer Lee, CEO and founder of FitTrack. How are you doing, Jeff?

Jeff Sawyer Lee:
I'm good, Richard, how are you doing today?

Richard Hill:
I am pretty good. I'm a bit hot, actually. It's pretty crazy weather here in the UK. We always do a weather check, which we've already, we've done pre-episode, but yeah, I'm pretty good, but pretty hot. But, looking forward to this, Jeff. I think it would be great for you to kick off and just introduce yourself to our listeners.

Jeff Sawyer Lee:
Cool. So, I'm Jeff Sawyer Lee, the founder and CEO of FitTrack. FitTrack is a health management ecosystem, and our mission is really to help people live healthier lives by making health management simple, actionable, and sustainable, as well.

Richard Hill:
Yeah. Sounds great. Sounds great. I think that's on everyone's list, isn't it, I think? It's obviously that, I think it's going to be exciting because I think a lot of people that listen to this podcast, and probably a lot of people in general, that there's sort of... the health piece, quite often, comes secondary, doesn't it? I think running a busy e-commerce store, which a lot of our listeners are doing, or they're running the marketing side of a busy e-commerce store, and making sure that we're finding time for ourselves, is usually quite tricky, isn't it?

Richard Hill:
Now, I'm quite intrigued to hear about your story. I know you were sort of working in investment banking for many years and then you sort of are now very much sort of focused on the entrepreneurial and on your own business. So, sort of what was that moment like where you sort of decided to quit your high paying role? Because I think that will resonate with a lot of people that maybe are thinking about starting an e-commerce store, for example, listen to the eCom@One podcast. They've started thinking about that next big jump step, talk us through that.

Jeff Sawyer Lee:
Yeah. So, I think that was a very pivotal moment for me. As an investment banker, I was doing pretty well, making six-figure, but I started to feel unhappy, unfulfilled, and in the finance world, the culture was really all about who's making the most money, and it's almost like a bragging right.

Richard Hill:
Yeah.

Jeff Sawyer Lee:
And I was simply just chasing that and I just knew I needed to do something that has a bigger purpose.

Richard Hill:
Yeah.

Jeff Sawyer Lee:
At that time, I was very passionate about watches, so I thought that was a calling.

Richard Hill:
Yeah. Yeah.

Jeff Sawyer Lee:
And then I went entrepreneurial with my first company, which is Jeffrey Sawyer Watches, I didn't know anything about marketing at that time, but I was just very keen to start something of my own. So, I quit my job. I went to Hong Kong to learn about a manufacturing process-

Richard Hill:
Yeah.

Jeff Sawyer Lee:
And to learn about the art of watchmaking, and looking back now, I was more focused on starting a cool company, that I didn't do the work I needed to be successful. And, I know the concept of how much it costs to run a business. I had only about $30,000 saved at that time.

Richard Hill:
Yeah.

Jeff Sawyer Lee:
And two years later, I was $230,000 in debt.

Richard Hill:
Oh, okay. Yep.

Jeff Sawyer Lee:
And I thought that was really the moment that I felt like I've learned a lot that allowed me to scale the business, then that subsequent business, to where we are today.

Richard Hill:
Yeah.

Jeff Sawyer Lee:
Those were really some darkest moments of my life. Trying to think about how we can number one, a payback that debt. So, I had to work two jobs. And one thing I've also learned is that I didn't necessarily have the marketing skills, or money-making skills, as I like to call it, to really grow a business. And I think it's very important for any founders when they're trying to start an econ business, or whatever business, to really understand marketing before getting into that.

Richard Hill:
Yeah.

Jeff Sawyer Lee:
Because ultimately, that is the skill set that's going to make or break you when times are hard and you need money to keep going. If you do not have that skillset of how to generate revenue fast, that can be crucial.

Richard Hill:
Yeah. Marketing and sales. I think everything comes back to that, doesn't it? It's not everything, but if you've got by in your back pocket, and you've got that ability to be able to take a product, service, SKU if you're an e-commerce, and be able to run ads, or social, or whatever that may be, stands you in good standing. I think something that we say that a lot on a lot of different episodes, sort of like running an e-commerce store and having people around you that are having experts in the different fields, absolutely. You, obviously, want to grow from a one-man band to a, whatever it may be, depending on where that person is 10, 50, a 100 people. But so, I understand and have some serious sort of chops when it comes to some of the key skills, and obviously, marketing and sales being been right up there.

Richard Hill:
I think we could do it, we definitely should have a chat on watches. I'm a massive, massive watch fan, so that's a separate question. Maybe for off-camera, but I'm quite intrigued for you. Maybe we won't go there, actually, but I'm quite intrigued about the whole process of creating brands around watches, and I think, from what I see, there are some crazy margins to be had there in that industry. I know we represent a few watch manufacturers in our agency, but that's maybe for another day. So, obviously a lot of experience there to get to where you are today. What would you say has been the biggest challenge you've faced so far?

Jeff Sawyer Lee:
I think my biggest challenge is really accepting failure as a lesson and bouncing back. I'll touch on my first startup. I think that's where I learned the most. So, I think when I built Jeffrey Sawyer Watches, number one, you didn't really understand what product-market fit is. Number two, I didn't really understand growth marketing or how to go to business profitably. And that's how I got myself into $235,000 in debt, which I then had to work two jobs, and then start 12 hours a day, and then studying another four or five hours on everything I had to learn about marketing.

Jeff Sawyer Lee:
And I think, at that time, I kind of decided, "Okay, hey, maybe growing a business isn't for me," but instead of accepting that as a failure, I kind of look back and think about what I can improve on and what was lacking. So, I really do believe that failure is better than winning sometimes because failure comes with great lessons, and if you're able to walk away from that, then everything you went through would make you a lot stronger and smarter. And for FitTrack, I think is it definitely the accelerated growth part-

Richard Hill:
Yeah.

Jeff Sawyer Lee:
That is another big challenge that I've also faced with supply chain issues, customer service, as well.

Richard Hill:
Yeah, yeah, yeah. I think that's the thing. It's a message that we really do try. That Resonates a lot, there's not going to be one guest that comes on here that has had a completely fun ride all the way through. That's just not reality, is it? That's just not life, but it's obviously what we learned along the way and embracing those failures, as bizarre as it sounds. So, obviously, sitting here today, obviously, a lot of lessons, a lot of things learned and you've managed to scale now, several businesses, but FitTrack particularly, talk to me about that, how you've managed to scale that business.

Jeff Sawyer Lee:
I think if I have to put it down to a very simple way to explain that would be number one, understanding of customer very well and AB testing. I've always said, "The foundation of great marketing comes from great creative, and great creative comes from understanding your customer very well," so we always want to create a messaging journey that resonates very well without a customer-

Richard Hill:
Yeah.

Jeff Sawyer Lee:
And providing them value, as well, throughout their journey from pre-purchase to post-purchase. And that's really how you build your business. You increase the lifetime value of your customer, which I think is what most entrepreneurs measure that business with.

Richard Hill:
Yeah.

Jeff Sawyer Lee:
And the second part is AB testing and it seems simple, but I think speaking to a lot of founders, marketers, I find AB testing is often overlooked or not invested enough in.

Richard Hill:
Yep.

Jeff Sawyer Lee:
At the end of the day, we can all come up with ideas that we think could work, but until you it's proven by data, it's simply a hypothesis, right?

Richard Hill:
Yeah.

Jeff Sawyer Lee:
On a product marketing level, I've always said that product-market fit pre-revenue is it's a lie, it's always just a hypothesis.

Richard Hill:
Yeah. Yeah.

Jeff Sawyer Lee:
It's just one more piece for it. Then you can validate if that product is a pre-product market fit. So, the same theory applies to anything in doing marketing, as well. Always have a hypothesis and always be AB testing, as well.

Richard Hill:
Yeah. So, when we say AB testing, then if we were to drill into that for a little bit more, I think a lot of people throw sort of these words around, "Oh, we need to be AB testing," so maybe give me a specific. So, a lot of our listeners are e-comm stores, and they're selling a widget, or I've just spoken to a guy it's afternoon, he's got 10,000 SKUS on his website, but ultimately these stores are similar in that they are on the same or similar platforms, but what are you AB testing? What sort of things is your AB testing? What tools are you using to do AB testing?

Jeff Sawyer Lee:
So, everything should be AB tested, right? So, I'll start off with the performance marketing side. So, when you're at the level when you're creating ads, I'll give you an example where, so it's easy to illustrate it. So, FitTrack, for example, when we first started launching it, we were thinking, "Hey, this scale might be great for people who are going to the gym and they would love to measure the muscle mass."

Richard Hill:
Yeah.

Jeff Sawyer Lee:
And then that's another hypothesis of, "Maybe this would be better for people who are trying to lose weight and they'll be able to measure their body fat percentage." We could either go with, "Hey, I think the weight loss angle would do a lot better," and just run budget and run ads towards that, or we could have those two different messaging-

Richard Hill:
Yeah.

Jeff Sawyer Lee:
And then, we test them against each other.

Richard Hill:
Yeah.

Jeff Sawyer Lee:
And then, seeing which one performs better, and then, putting more budget towards that-

Richard Hill:
Yeah.

Jeff Sawyer Lee:
And constantly tweaking, as well, the messaging within like, "How are we going to position? Is it losing weight healthily, losing weight for good?"

Richard Hill:
Yep.

Jeff Sawyer Lee:
AB testing all the different messaging-

Richard Hill:
Yep.

Jeff Sawyer Lee:
All the different angles you possibly can.

Richard Hill:
Yep.

Jeff Sawyer Lee:
And the more granular you can go, the better.

Richard Hill:
Yep.

Jeff Sawyer Lee:
So, I would say that is just the performance marketing side of things on the website. I think we also, we constantly AB test our website, even a small change of like the colour of the button from green to orange-

Richard Hill:
Okay.

Jeff Sawyer Lee:
Have a very high improvement of conversion rate. The rate increased conversion rate by 25%, for example. So, a lot of times where we have an opinion of, "Hey, this might do better," always AB test that before you validate that as a fact.

Richard Hill:
Yeah.

Jeff Sawyer Lee:
So, I think that's just an example. And I think when we think about the product, as well, when we think about how we build the product, we use a very simple approach, as well, where a feature set where we might think, "Hey XYZ feature might do well and not a feature might do better," right? So, you never really know until you AB test that. So, I think, we take this approach on everything we build from the product side of things to the performance marketing side, to the website, to the messaging, everything, basically.

Richard Hill:
I think that's great. I think that's great. I think there's a lot of great takeaways there. I think it will resonate with a lot of... I think we got a lot of people that are running ads, listen to their podcasts, and I know we do because I know a lot of them personally, as well, but I think quite often you can get stuck on just sort of AB testing. And if we're talking, say Facebook ads or shopping search ads, for example. Split testing, and AB testing audiences, and creative and all the different breaking the campaigns down, rather the one campaign, you've maybe got 30 with all the different audience split out. But, I think a lot of people then don't then go and then split test other areas on the website, for example, so then it's all about the ads.

Richard Hill:
Well, obviously yes, you need to put the time into the ads and split testing the ads. Bopsy also split tests in the landing pages, split testing what that funnel. So, I think you touched on a few things there, so in terms of product-market fit, I think it's a similar thing, isn't it? But, in terms of your split and what advice would you give, should the focus be more on brand or performance marketing, what sort of split do you have in your business?

Jeff Sawyer Lee:
Yeah, that's a great question. And I have so many debates about this, but at FitTrack, we believe successful marketing is doing a few things, right? First, you need to have a great product that has a proven product-market fit, as we chatted about. And once you have that, you can start to think about your marketing strategy. Personally, I don't believe in traditional brand marketing. FitTrack's marketing budget, I would say it's 100% performance marketing. We don't currently spend money on the brand. And just because, for me, brand marketing is doing everything correctly. It's not about running a really top of funnel, beautiful campaign. It's about having a great product, having a great experience, having a great messaging mix, doing all of this consistently, correctly. That, for me, is what builds a brand. And for a lot of companies, this may feel unconventional, but for us, I don't see any value in investing in brand marketing until we hit at least 300 million in revenue.

Richard Hill:
Okay.

Jeff Sawyer Lee:
And our focus is really to build great products and build a strong performance marketing strategy to scale up growth responsibly, and then generating word of mouth through that.

Richard Hill:
Yeah.

Jeff Sawyer Lee:
Because at the end of the day, right, what's better for our brand than more people buying a product and raving about it to their friends and family.

Richard Hill:
Yeah.

Jeff Sawyer Lee:
And for me, it's what I see as building a brand versus-

Richard Hill:
Yeah.

Jeff Sawyer Lee:
When you think about people that, "Oh, Nike is doing this brand marketing and whatever," it's just a different way of thinking for me. And, I think, everything has to be measurable. We've done brand marketing, I would say a few years back, right? And that's one of the lessons where I've learned that "Hey, it might not be as impactful as people think of this."

Richard Hill:
So, I think if I've understood you right, it's very much, obviously, you're very much focused on performance 100% and getting to a point in your instance, 300 mil. And then, obviously, then you're looking at investing in the brand, but are you encouraging the people that are buying to sort of be super fans of the product and they asked, they're doing a brand marketing for you? Is that sort of what you're saying? They're obviously on social media sort of saying, "Hey, I've got my new... I've got the product. I'm a big believer in fit." So, they're doing, are you encouraging that? So, when they buy a product, you sort of asking them to share this, and that, and the other on social media that, is that sort of happening?

Jeff Sawyer Lee:
Yeah. So, I would say that would be a part of what brand marketing is. And the other part of it, is building a great product, a great experience.

Richard Hill:
Yeah.

Jeff Sawyer Lee:
And that comes down to understanding your customer very well, as well.

Richard Hill:
Yeah.

Jeff Sawyer Lee:
I think, as a marketer, a lot of times we really focus on the execution part of it, "Hey, how to optimize ad account, how to build the best creative," but I think we always need to go back to the foundation. Let's understand the customer first, and then let's focus on the product, the experience because when you have a great product and you have a great experience, selling something's so much easier because people will talk about it and that built up the word of mouth. And that, to me, is the most authentic type of marketing. Combining that with a cohesive performance market messaging mix, allows you to have a virality factor, right? You see omnipresent everywhere versus spending all your budget on building a beautiful ad campaign that traditional marketers would call a brand marketing campaign.

Richard Hill:
Yeah, no, understood. So, I think I'm keen to push on. When we talked about the AB testing, you talked about you've got people that are looking in your instance, looking to lose weight. You've got people that are looking to track muscle mass, maybe. Maybe, I think I maybe made that one up, but you've got these different areas of that, and that's obviously personalization. What would you say? I think personalization is a really interesting one, and I think in your business, particularly, clearly, obviously, very successful, but I think, recently, I was looking at subscribing to something. I won't go into the specifics, but and I had a various questionnaires, like five simple questions that made sure that I was getting the right thing, or I was signing up for the right subscription, so talk to me about the personalization side and how that ties into sort of the user experience on the site, and how important that's been.

Jeff Sawyer Lee:
So, personalize, to me, is one of the most important things when we start thinking about building the flow, the journey, and stuff, and

Richard Hill:
Yeah.

Jeff Sawyer Lee:
If your segmentation is spot on, your audience would get something that feels personalized and everyone likes when you send something that feels that you're adding value to their life-

Richard Hill:
Yeah.

Jeff Sawyer Lee:
And when they get something that is personalized, it feels almost like you're adding value versus simply just an ad, serving, or you're being sold to. And people are less annoyed with that. I think that's why segmentation is very critical for this, and if you aren't thinking through it, a different segment of your audience, then no one's going to get a personalized journey. And a result of that, everyone's going to get an un-personalised experience with very few resonating with the content.

Jeff Sawyer Lee:
And you're really not focused on building that value for the user journey. So how do we do this? It goes back down to research and understanding your customer very well. So, we have a consumer insights team here at FitTrack, where we would chat with customers every month, just to understand what are some of the pain points, what are some of the journeys?

Richard Hill:
Yeah.

Jeff Sawyer Lee:
And then we bucket them into different journeys based on our research-

Richard Hill:
Yeah.

Jeff Sawyer Lee:
And then, digging deeper, understanding how we can solve their pain point, what daily life looks like, and really building out a customized journey, a customized messaging based on all of that. How this comes to life, number one, in the CRM strategy on email, on your SMS, and Messenger, we're able to build them something that, for them, is a real value. And we see a much higher click-through rate because of that, we see a much higher conversion rate based on that, we see a much higher returning customer rate, based on all of that, as well.

Richard Hill:
Yeah.

Jeff Sawyer Lee:
And on the ad side of things, you'll be able to serve people at that... Have you ever seen ads on Facebook, YouTube? And you're like, "What the fuck? How did they know?" We want to have that experience when anyone sees an ad like, "Oh my God, this resonates so well with me."

Richard Hill:
Yeah.

Jeff Sawyer Lee:
"It's made specifically for me versus something that might be generic. And yeah, I think that improved performance, significantly. So, I think it's very important for everyone to think about personalization, as well, as segmentation of their users.

Richard Hill:
I think what it may think there, it's like, "Okay, you've got a product," just thinking of our list is you've got a product and you maybe do some basic personalization, but ultimately, if you're running ads, say Facebook ads, and you think, "Actually, we can target this type of person, which is actually a perfect fit for our product, but we don't actually even mention this demographic, it's a 45-year-old male that is interested in X, Y, Z. That's got an affinity with this, that, and the other," you go, "actually, we can target these people who are a perfect fit for our product, but that's not even a thing at the moment. We don't even mention that on our site." So, you can potentially create a brand new landing page. It's the same product, but you're just rewriting the whole copy based on targeting that you're finding in the Facebook ads.

Richard Hill:
So, obviously, it really maybe, "Right, okay. We've not built this product for these people, specifically, it's for these, and these, and these, but actually we found we can target this segment of people. So we can very much, very easily create a duplicate landing page and obviously reword that, et cetera, based on more targeting," because, I think, as we know, obviously, we run ads for a living and, obviously, targeting is key. Targets and message is key. Then, obviously, the broader they are, the harder they are to convert. Obviously, the tighter they are, the better. So, I think personalization, I think everyone's on board with it, but it's how people can bring it into their business. I think, obviously, you talked about SMS marketing, email marketing. I mean, SMS marketing is not something we've talked too much about on the podcast. What sort of, have you got any sort of, any sort of tech stack that you recommend for that? Any tools that you would recommend for that or any sort of insider tips on that?

Jeff Sawyer Lee:
Yes. So, we currently use a tool called Attentive, which allow us to really build a great SMS campaign. We started using them this year and right now, our SMS revenue is a lot higher than our email revenue, for the first time.

Richard Hill:
Okay. Yeah.

Jeff Sawyer Lee:
Yeah. Ultimately, I think for me, SMS, it just provides the user with a different channel for them to engage with the brand. We've seen a much higher open rate with SMS, a higher click-through rate with SMS-

Richard Hill:
Yeah.

Jeff Sawyer Lee:
Just because the nature of getting a text versus-

Richard Hill:
Yeah. Yeah. Yeah.

Jeff Sawyer Lee:
Emails or things. Messenger, as well, is another one-

Richard Hill:
Yes.

Jeff Sawyer Lee:
With a really high click-through rate, open rate, as well, which I would definitely recommend, when you're thinking of building a CRM strategy, to always have those both in versus just a traditional email. I think-

Richard Hill:
Yeah.

Jeff Sawyer Lee:
The usual open rate we have for email is around, I would say around 35%, whereas SMS or Messenger, it can go as high up to 65%, 75%.

Richard Hill:
So, have you got any tips around obviously getting those mobile numbers in the first place? Because, obviously, if we are trying to reach out to our perfect customers and we want to message them, but obviously we don't have their numbers. So, what sort of things have you been doing with that?

Jeff Sawyer Lee:
There are a few strategies that we use to build our SMS needs. So, one of the things that we usually like to do, is a giveaway campaign. So, let's say we're giving away an Ultimate Fitness Pack, with the FitTrack Smart Scale, with the FitTrack Watch, a TRX band-

Richard Hill:
Yeah.

Jeff Sawyer Lee:
We will run a giveaway to a landing page, for example, where it's like, "Hey, sign up here to get a chance of winning the Ultimate Fitness Pack."

Richard Hill:
Yeah.

Jeff Sawyer Lee:
And then, they would have to put their phone number in for them to be able to be entered into the giveaway.

Richard Hill:
Yeah.

Jeff Sawyer Lee:
So, that's one way we go about that. Another way we go about that, as well, is really using Messenger, as well as email to built-in within their marketing. "Hey, we're building a VIP list, give us your SMS right now to unlock X, Y, and Z stuff." So, there are different strategies that we use.

Richard Hill:
Yeah. Yeah.

Jeff Sawyer Lee:
So, basically, one is on the top of funnel wise. How can we grow leads? And traditionally, we grow leads through an email-

Richard Hill:
Yeah.

Jeff Sawyer Lee:
But, right now, we have a lead gen campaign specifically to grow our SMS list, to grow our Messenger. And then, we also have our email and Messenger within the current leads that we have.

Richard Hill:
Yeah.

Jeff Sawyer Lee:
We also have campaigns within there to collect the SMS, as well.

Richard Hill:
Brilliant. Brilliant. So exciting, isn't it? SMS, it's not something we've experimented with within our agencies, to be fair. I think the last time I was in the US, I was in Tennessee, the click funnels live. It seems like a lifetime ago now, but I was about two years ago. And there was a lot of talk about that there. So, I think what would be interesting is to also, have you got any specific strategies and ways that you keep on top of trends? Obviously, very fast-moving industry, econ full stop, but obviously fitness, as well. What advice would you give to our listeners about keeping on top of trends in their industries, and what do you do?

Jeff Sawyer Lee:
Yeah. So, I'm going to go with the concept. So, in Japanese Zen, there's a concept of not being constrained by what we already know, called the Beginner's Mind. And what I love about this, is an essence that we should always be relentlessly looking for what we do not know, not because humility is a virtue, but because until one adopts this mindset, the most striking breakthrough cannot occur. And because as our team, we have to always be a constant student of our craft, right? So, we spent every... I'll give you an example of myself, I would set time aside, end of the day, to research reading articles from other marketers out there on Twitter, on LinkedIn, there's plenty of courses out there.

Jeff Sawyer Lee:
Sometimes, that course that you might think that really well already. So, for example, how to run a Facebook ad or website conversion optimization tricks, always make it a purpose to always go through all of that because you might understand most of it, but there will always be one or two things that you can always gain out of a different perspective. So, I think I'm always out there learning new courses, seeing what connecting all the marketers, and brand founders outside, as well, understanding what they're talking about. What are some of the experiences, as well? I also use, I love to use the Facebook spy tool, as well, where I would go to a competitor-

Richard Hill:
Yeah, yeah, yeah.

Jeff Sawyer Lee:
Or a brand that's doing well and just kind of see what the messaging journey looks like-

Richard Hill:
Yeah.

Jeff Sawyer Lee:
What kind of ads that they're running-

Richard Hill:
Yeah.

Jeff Sawyer Lee:
And then reverse engineer and see what that funnel looks like, as well. What are some of the strategies? So, I think that's another way I go about to constantly learn and see what other people are doing, as well.

Richard Hill:
Yeah, that sounds great. I think we can all get quite busy in our day-to-day, and I think making sure that our point in time, and for our own personal development, personal progression, and obviously, the learning, is so key, isn't it? Before you know it, you go back to something that maybe you've been doing a certain way for 3, 6, 12 months, and then it's obviously, completely changed and you are really not doing a good job on that thing, maybe, whether that's Facebook ads or, I think, obviously, the Facebook Ads Library, I think as a spying tool, everyone's got free access to that. I think it still surprises me how many people aren't aware of that. I think if you listened to this episode, you're still with us, Facebook Ads Library go and type in your competitors into there and see, I think you have to click All Ads or you don't see any ads, they changed it a few months back, didn't they?

Richard Hill:
So, it's like, "Oh, they're not running any ads, but all ads," and you can see what who's running what, how long they've been running them for, which is always, obviously, if an ad's been running for six months, it's usually a good sign, but, or it could be a good sign they've got a lazy team behind it, so you have to factor in what's what, but I think factoring in time and consistency with that learning, I think, yeah, that's a great message, Jeff. So, I think we're coming to a close now, and I think the last couple of questions. So, if you could share one piece of advice, that's changed your sort of outlook on things, what would it be?

Jeff Sawyer Lee:
I think, for me, about my past experiences. Really understanding that we can all have an opinion, but it's really not a fact until it's proven by data. And that's really how, that's an approach that we should go by when we think about anything in life, be it performance marketing, be it building a product, it really goes so far beyond the day. Always let the data speak for itself.

Richard Hill:
Yeah. Yeah. I love that. I love that. I'm a massive, massive fan. That's the message we preach in our business is the data. The facts are the facts, aren't they? Opinions great. It's good to have an opinion and ideas but pursue it, but testing, testing, facts and numbers. Yeah. Brilliant. So, I always like to finish every episode, Jeff, with a book recommendation. Have you got a book that you would recommend to our listeners?

Jeff Sawyer Lee:
For founders, I would really recommend The Hard Things About Hard Things by Ben Horowitz.

Richard Hill:
Yeah.

Jeff Sawyer Lee:
And another book that is really, really great. It's called Playing to Win, as well, by Roger Martin.

Richard Hill:
Okay.

Jeff Sawyer Lee:
Yeah, definitely recommend those two books.

Richard Hill:
Brilliant. We'll put those up in the show notes, now. So, the guys that are listening want to find out more about you, Jeff, what's the best place, the best way to do that?

Jeff Sawyer Lee:
On my Instagram, Jeff L. Sawyer or Twitter, I tend to post some stuff about performance marketing from time to time, as well.

Richard Hill:
Yeah.

Jeff Sawyer Lee:
You can also find me on my LinkedIn, as well, which is, Jeff Sawyer Lee.

Richard Hill:
And to check out FitTrack, is it just fittrack.com?

Jeff Sawyer Lee:
Yes, that's correct.

Richard Hill:
Yep. Fantastic. Well, thank you so much, Jeff. You've been a guest on the eCom@One show and I look forward to catching up with you again.

Jeff Sawyer Lee:
Thanks a lot, Richard.

Richard Hill:
Thank you.

Jeff Sawyer Lee:
Thanks for you're time today.

Richard Hill:
Thanks a lot. Bye-bye.

Richard Hill:
Thank you for listening to the eCom@One e-commerce podcast. If you enjoyed today's show, please hit subscribe and don't forget to sign up to our e-commerce newsletter and leaves a review on iTunes. This podcast has been brought to you by our team here at eComOne, the E-commerce Marketing Agency.