045: Software to Entice Engagement with Jenni Waldrop (MemberVault Series 3 of 5)

Remember back in Episode 43 with Mike Kelly, he mentioned that one of the most impressive accounts on MemberVault was a gal who teaches others how to be successful with Etsy shops?

Well… this episode is with that gal – Jenni Waldrop!

Jenni started her Etsy shop to try to make enough money so that she could quit her miserable job (the one where your boss treats you badly for doing good work!) It was more to create enough side income to quit the terrible job and give herself space to find a new one – but as you’ll see as you continue reading, the story unfolded quite differently.

In just 6 months, her Etsy sales outpaced the corporate job and she quit. Instead of taking time and finding a new job, she continued to build out her Etsy shop and build out Amazon shops and other online shopping spaces. From there, people wanted to know how she was doing it all with so much success.

Fast forward to where she is now:

  • Successful Etsy shop
  • A very active blog
  • A membership program

All this in just 4 years and as she says “Life is substantially better!”

Before we get into Jenni’s MemberVault, we discuss how she landing on Etsy…

"If I don't know how to get an audience, what if I started somewhere where the audience was built in?" Jenni Waldrop, Etsy Shop Owner, Fuzzy and Birch on the Tech of Business podcast episode 45 with Jaime Slutzky discussing MemberVault

Her background is actually in web design and logically, she decided to try that as a side-hustle. But when she wasn’t getting any traction, she realized that it was because she didn’t know how to drive traffic for a business that was just getting started…. With this, she said to herself “If I don’t know how to get an audience, what if I started somewhere where the audience was built in?”

She put her web design business on Etsy! And the business took off… so much so that within 3 months she was working 80 hour weeks and had to shut it down.

From there, she switched to physical products so that her sales were not tied directly to her time. The goal was to build up her savings account so she could leave her corporate job quickly.

Introducing Fuzzy and Birch a shop with Anti-Inspirational Gear! The whole idea came out of her job – the beautiful inspirational quotes on Instagram were just not working for her – don’t you just love innovation and taking ideas into your own hands?

Now it’s time to get to the meat of this conversation – the way Jenni is using MemberVault.

Jenni’s MemberVault traffic comes from Etsy, Pinterest and Google for the most part – and they end up on a freebie opt-in page which acts as the doorway to MemberVault. Using automation, Jenni is able to deliver a login username and password to her email signups and this gives them access to the freebie they signed up for and from there they can view her whole Binge And Buy marketplace.

On MemberVault she has been able to consolidate all her free content (which prior to this was scattered everywhere!)

It’s all geared towards Etsy sellers. There are three core free programs and with these free programs subscribers can access what they want and need for their own success.

Jenni points out that before MemberVault her subscribers may opt-in for more than one of these programs and then they would get two series of emails that would overlap and bump up against each other. This lead to rough edges and a less than optimal experience for both Jenni and her new subscriber.

Just like last episode with Jaclyn, Jenni is using the data to know which content is most likely to convert into purchases.

Jenni hosts two of her paid offers in MemberVault.

The first of which is an Etsy productivity planner. This product is a lower entry point and a great way for people who just find out about Jenni and her brand feel comfortable. She admits that not all businesses need a product that are less than $20, but for her audience it is a great balance between price and value and brand authority.

The second product is a Bonus where she shows people how she went from $1000 to $4500 a month on Etsy. This product is a bit of a teaser… when someone clicks on this they will be taken to a sales page for her membership program.

With Jenni’s offers, she is demonstrating that she understands her audience and what their needs are. Etsy shops are often started as a side-hustle and when someone is in some kind of transition and is looking to bring in additional funds for their family.

“When you’re starting a side-hustle, the likelihood that you’ve ever invested in your business before is low. So when people come to me, I’m their very first experience with entrepreneurship.” – Jenni Waldrop Click To Tweet

Jenni’s freebie programs are mini-courses. One is an Etsy traffic bootcamp which teaches people how to word their items, call their items and do the right things to get more traffic. The next one is The Ultimate Guide to Etsy which is essentially a huge article that they divided up into 8 segments. The final product is an Etsy Critique Challenge which is a self-critique.

They all used to be 5-day email challenges but Jenni was finding that the engagement would drop off – just as Mike mentioned in episode 43 (the first episode in the MemberVault series.)

If your email inbox is anything like mine or Jenni’s you know that a 5-day challenge is bound to get lost in the inbox and there is no guarantee of engagement. With MemberVault as the repository for the content, they are no longer seeing the drop off.

Inside the mini-courses, participants get access to all the material at once instead of in a drip format and the engagement went through the roof.

Jenni has a product called Product Boot Camp which users get access to one day after they sign into MemberVault for the first time. The purpose of this new content is to keep the engagement up and remind them the vault is there.

“… it’s been working so beautifully, we haven’t really felt a need to optimize it further.” – Jenny Waldrop

“You don’t need to continue to iterate if something is working!” –Jaime Slutzky Click To Tweet

Lately, Jenni has been doing what she’s calling Etsy Experiments where she tries something out inside her own Etsy shop (the ideas come from her students or subscribers asking her to try it out!) Now that the Fuzzy and Birch Etsy shop isn’t her primary income, it’s a great playground for experiments. If something fails, then great, now everyone knows. She uses MemberVault to host the videos for these experiments and gives everyone one- or two-days worth of access to these videos. These videos are teasers to the paid membership. It goes to show the value of the membership, where this type of content is always being added and provided to members.

And just like Jaclyn, Jenni is able to track the interest, participation and such with all the user data inside MemberVault. This is a double win, the data allows her to improve her product faster by truly understanding what resonates with the audience PLUS the content is a great marketing vehicle.

Jenni hosts the membership site on a WordPress because they have some features that are incompatible with just about every platform. It is completely custom so that it can evolve to what it needs to do without constraints. This is her one-and-only program and it was worth it to house it somewhere with completely free reign. Jenni was inspired to go down this path when she looked at people like Marie Forleo.

“I have one place where I can watch all my leads {MemberVault} so all my people who are watching my free stuff. And one place where I can watch all my people who are paid.” –Jenni Waldrop

With systems like MemberVault, you get the best of the best for it’s core function. For Jenni’s membership, the best right tool was a tool that gave her 100% freedom to do exactly what she wanted, which is why she divides up her leads and her members onto the two platforms – best of both worlds!

Going back to Jenni’s vault and the limited time content, here’s how she teases and then delivers that information to her subscribers:

On Monday: Email announcing the present and what it’s going to be about and what they are going to see. And let them know the present will only be available for 48 hours. She provides a link for them to mark their calendar as to when it’s going to be available (using AddEvent)

On Wednesday: Email announcing the present is now available. She includes the MemberVault login link. And she reminds them it’s limited time and to go nuts and watch it!

Based on activity in MemberVault, Jenni has the ability for them to get into the sales sequence in advance of the limited time access ending.

Jenni, like Jaclyn, uses a waitlist for her membership. In Jenni’s case it converts at nearly 5x over her full mailing list.

And Jenni uses two different sequences for the general list and the waitlist – because she knows the waitlist will convert that much better.

The membership launches are systematic at this point with the first email being templated and then the “goods” including the experiment and email are the only actual work! And the best part, she’s giving people what they want during this process – which entices them even more.

Erin from MemberVault personally convinced Jenni to switch from ConvertKit to ActiveCampaign. The level of detail that is available because of the ActiveCampaign and MemberVault integration is what won Jenni over.

As an aside, Mike has been working very hard to do more integration with more email providers, so if you’re interested in MemberVault but using an email tool other than ActiveCampaign, know that you don’t necessarily need to move to take advantage of the data that MemberVault provides to email marketing accounts.

When Jenni moved to ActiveCampaign, she did it long after she had decided on MemberVault. She didn’t do everything all at once. Nor did she do it in haste (it took Erin 2 weeks to convince her!) And, she determined that MemberVault was to be a base tool in her tech stack and that any new system she brought in had to work well with this software.

“I’m just really happy not having to constantly create free content anymore, to be honest!” – Jenni Waldrop

Jenni gushes about the emails that Erin Kelly creates for the MemberVault email distribution. She looks forward to them, seriously!

Connect with Jaime

Connect with Jenni

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