Infusionsoft Users: Advanced Behavioral Marketing & How To Mimic Amazon –

Infusionsoft Users: Advanced Behavioral Marketing & How To Mimic Amazon

The other day, I got a weird e-mail from Amazon titled "Bread Machines."

"That's weird... I have absolutely no interest in bread machines. Maybe Amazon's finally gotten it wrong," I thought.

Until I asked my wife.

And sure enough, unbeknownst to me, she was on her iphone logged in under our Amazon account shopping for bread machines the night before.

My guess is Amazon has one of several blank e-mail templates that simply prepopulate with items I'm predisposed to buy based on recency and behavioral data. What's more, they probably have a formula that determines how often to send me one of these prepopulated e-mails. Now that I've crossed over 170 transactions per year with them, that e-mail frequency is close to once per day. Their databases are filled with continents of data ready to be popped into millions of e-mails per day --- all personalized and customized to the specific needs and interests of millions of customers.

It's a dynamic system that allows Amazon to send out millions of different e-mails per day, populated with the items most recently viewed or historically purchased by each user. A system and supporting infrastructure they invested tens of millions in, if not hundreds, I'd estimate. But it raked in $48 billion last year.

But with Infusionsoft, do you know that you can create your own little "Amazon" follow up system?

You'll need some help from a custom-built plugin I made (which you'll get with my home study course) but it essentially lets you tag or run various actions when a person visits a certain page on your site from an e-mail. It also utilizes browser cookies, which remembers their contact id and allows you to track as many subsequent pages as you want... even when they aren't sent there from an e-mail. If you're using iMember360, it can do similarly once the user is logged in. I'll spare you the details but that takes care of knowing what your customer or prospect has seen.

Now that you can run an action set when a user views a page (or series of them), there's this secret little action hardly anyone uses called: "Set a contact field to a specific value." This is powerful and I use it all the time.

"Set a contact field to a specific value"

Let's be creative for a moment...

Say we had a custom field called "E-mail offer banner" which housed the url of an image that we could merge into an e-mail. Using a little creativity, this image could either look like a traditional banner or you could use snagit or skitch to take a photo of a paragraph of text and make it seem like a regular element of the e-mail. Whatever image url we put in this particular "E-mail offer banner" custom field would be what appears in the e-mail when we merge in the field. In other words, the e-mail has html code that includes the merge field. Something like: <img src="~Contact.Emailofferhtml~">.

It's essentially a dynamic image and what actually gets merged in depends on what each user record has stored in this particular custom field. Starting to make sense?

Because you are limited by the number of characters you can use with this action, you'll want to keep your image src links short:

If this was the image url stored in a user's contact record, <img src="~Contact.Emailofferhtml~"> would turn into:

<img src="">

There was a time when you could actually store real html in a custom field and output this html in an e-mail but this no longer works. These days, we have to resort to the image strategy. The good news is the image can be as tall or wide as you want. Heck, I once wrote an entire e-mail, took a screenshot of it and used it as one image.

So whether the image is 800 pixels tall or just 100 pixels, the structure of the line of code above won't change. Keep that in mind. <img src="~Contact.Emailofferhtml~">

Tip: When saving your image url, if it truncates any of it, rename your file something like "1.jpg" to save space.

(Can you see where I'm going with this? This is a very basic version of Amazon's blank template that can insert "bread machines" for me, but "iPhone adapters" for you. One e-mail template but a million dynamic possibilities.)

So here's how you put this together:

Create different banners, images, or even screenshots of entire e-mails promoting different products or offers.

Make yourself a chart that illustrates what banners they should get when they visit certain pages (mainly to stay organized)

Create action sets that use the "Set a contact field to a specific value" function to place these various banner images in the text-based custom field of your choice (just like the illustration above).

When a visitor clicks a link, visits a page (if you have my script or similar), or does practically ANY action, run this action set, which will populate the custom field with the appropriate banner. For example, if they click or view or watch my "Advanced Jazz" material, I can have a specific action set ready to change the "E-mail offer banner" custom field to the corresponding "Advanced Jazz" banner. What's more, in my next content based e-mail, I can merge the "E-mail offer banner" custom field at the top and bottom of the e-mail. That means, the very next e-mail they get, regardless of the nature of the content I'm sharing in the e-mail, can publicize the product they were LAST interested in.

How do I know they were LAST interested in the advanced jazz program? Because of the very nature of how the system is set up. The very last thing they do will override whatever is in the "E-mail offer banner" custom field with its own corresponding code. For example, if they click my Advanced gospel e-mail at 9am, the image url for the advanced gospel banner gets placed in the custom field using the "Set a contact field to a specific value" function. If they then watch my entire beginner jazz video at 11am (which is tracked by my custom-built wistia video plugin that runs actions down to the second), the custom field  that had the advanced gospel banner url in it previously will be overwritten with the beginner jazz banner url.

So it would behoove you to have as many banners as possible as to be able to update the custom field according to the very last major action the prospect or custom has taken. For me, that could mean almost 50 banners or image promotions, depending on how far I want to take this. Heck, Amazon seems to have figured it out for millions of products (and no, they aren't using Infusionsoft; they're technology is easily worth 8 or 9 figures and you've now got a tiny "makeshift" piece of it to use in your operations.)

5) Depending on how far you go with this, you could even have a follow up sequence that sends out the SAME promo every x days. What changes about it is the image content in the custom field. One e-mail, but different content every time by just changing the data inside the custom field that's merged into the e-mail. Brilliant!

This wasn't meant for everyone. If you're advanced, I would hope you've gotten the technique. If not, save this one for later.

Until next time.

  • Jim says:

    Good morning Jermaine.

    Since you follow the “product catalog” model, how do you manage your “new product launches” to the new users on your sequences when that produc may already be on your catalog?


    • J Griggs says:

      Great question.

      If you’re having an automated launch in your sequence, then you don’t include this product in your storefront.

      More commonly, I just introduce the product with some type of incentive (like discount and deadline). I don’t position it always as a “new product launch.” But a resource based on what they’ve told me and what they’ve done that I think will be helpful for them. And if they act now, they can get it at X % off (can even link to the storefront where the normal retail price is shown). That’s majority of my promotions.

      “Musician Transformation” is one of my courses that I “launch” as described above. And if you visit my store front, you will not find it.

      All the best,

  • jim says:

    Thanks Jermaine,

    Just to make sure I am following you:

    You have 2 different types of promotions:

    1) one that is an automatic launch which you never publish on your storefront
    2) Another one (the one you use more commonly) that is more like a resource which you offer with discounts and deadline…that one you DO publish, right?

    I ask you because above you said “they can get it at X % off (can even link to the storefront where the normal retail price is shown). That’s majority of my promotions.”..

    This one is the opposite of “Musician Transformation” which you do not publish.

    Am I getting it correctly?


  • J Griggs says:

    Yup, Musician Transformation, would fit under #1 as I never publish that in the storefront. I have a few others like this too that you won’t even know exist if you’re new.

    Majority of my promotions are for products that are easily available in the storefront at regular price. And I use their listings as proof that the limited time offer is a great opportunity.

    I don’t want to sound like there are ONLY two. There are tons of options in between. Automated live events that sell stuff (and is only advertised to people who don’t already have whatever is being sold) … and other things I’ll cover in the course.

    Hope this helps,

  • jim says:

    Perfect….thanks a lot.

    I have learned so much from you.

    Thanks again.

  • Jim says:

    Jermaine, sorry, but have been thinking about your answer and it begs another question.

    I have had situations where a subscriber changes his or her email, or simply, subscribe again using another email because the old one is no longer valid.

    Since for your system this is a brand new subscriber, from your experience, what is the best way to handle the fact that they may get the “new launch” again?

    Thanks Jermaine, I just want to make sure I cover all the bases 😉

    • J Griggs says:

      In our specific case, our sequence is so dynamic and depends on what the customer does (watches videos, buys something, downloads guides, doesn’t do anything) that they would get a different experience than the first… unless they take all the same actions as before.

      But in the case of most sequences, if they re-subscribe with a different e-mail, often times that is one of the harsh realities of automation. You could de-dupe by name and address (an option in Infusionsoft) but if someone’s name is John Smith, and another comes into the system, you may have some issues so I try to only de-dup and check duplicates by e-mail.

      You could be proactive about it and in the beginning, say something like “if you’ve signed up for lessons in the past and already received access to this in the past, click here.” You could create a task and then have a staff find their other account, and merge them or simply copy new e-mail over to existing account and remove the newer one. But I tend to only do that sort of thing if I think the problem is worth it. I don’t have hard numbers but I’d estimate the amount of people getting back on a list with a different e-mail, minimal. But if it happens, so be it.

      (You could position your automated launches as “We make this available to new members for a limited time” vs product is brand spankin brand new). Just stay away from it being new. Just go about launching and say it will be available to new members on this date (or in this many days). There are many ways to position it so that even if they get back on the list, it makes sense (i.e. – My new member orientation call… if they join under a new e-mail, they’ll get the call because “their new” to us.).

      Hope that helps a lil,

  • Jim says:

    Jermaine, your answer is extremely helpful.

    Makes a lot of sense to me. I will adhere to the advise of not saying is new, rather an offer we make it availabe to new members for a limited time.

    Thanks, Jermaine, you are great man!

  • Paul says:

    This is pretty genius and a great explanation of how to make it happen.

    Thanks for sharing!

  • Marc says:

    Hey Jermaine!

    I got excited about the possibilities of the banner ad, but it seems like Infusionsoft keeps removing the image URL from the emails that go out. I have it stored in the custom field, but this information never makes it to an email even if in just a plain merged field format.

    Any suggestions?


    • Jermaine Griggs says:

      Marc, just tested to make sure nothing has changed with Infusionsoft’s latest release and it works like a charm. Here are the steps:

      1) If using campaign builder, drag out the “HTML ELEMENTS” snippet. You can’t put code directly in the e-mail as regular text in a paragraph so this is a must.

      2) In the html snippet, put something like this:

      3) To test, go enter an image url in a contact’s custom field (the same one from step 2). In my test a minute ago, I entered:

      4) I sent e-mail to myself by adding my test contact to the sequence (don’t press the “SEND TEST” button as these are admin accounts that don’t have custom field data stored in them and it has taken many of my folks for a loop until they realized they need to test with real CONTACT record.)

      The end result is this e-mail I just sent to myself:


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  • Matt says:

    Hey Jermaine!

    Love this!!!

    So when you rotate different banners, how do you control where they go when clicking the banner? When you originally set the custom field URL to that image, do you set a 2nd field to most_interested_product_URL? And then merge in the URL so when they click that image, it takes them to your sales page for the corresponding banner?



    • J Griggs says:

      Yes Matt, there is ONE action set but inside this action set are two different actions. One to replace the banner image (which can be ANYTHING, btw — you can mimic a whole article but taking a snapshot of one). Another to replace the url. This is known as the “Personalized Ad Technique” in my program.

      All the best,

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