Learn how Kevin De Vincenzi and Thomas Coolidge at Rapid Response Marketing help their agency clients grow their Pay Per Call Businesses.
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- Kevin De Vincenzi, CEO and Thomas Coolidge, VP of Business Development.
- Marketing Agencies are focused on creating a multi-channel marketing effort for their clients based on their specific needs and goals.
- Many campaigns fail because you don’t have enough information!
- Ensure you and your client are a good fit before you start working together.
- Many direct buyers run inefficient internal teams and need lots of training to understand how it works!
- Taking over old existing accounts that need to be fixed can be very challenging. Cleaning up someone else's mess wastes time. A fresh start is always better.
- RRM has a team that listens to every call for a new advertiser / publisher and reviews calls that are in question.
- Growing in the Tax Debt and Student Loan Consolidation space while building strong relationships with direct buyers.
- Businesses in the tax debt space have different goals and are looking for different types of customers.
- Businesses in the tax debt space have different goals and are looking for different types of customers.
- Make sure that you pick an vertical that you can a) monetize, b) refer to another business, or c) adapt to the market or customer’s needs.
- Changes in the marketing industry mean you have be smarter and work harder in order to be successful.
- RRM is moving closer towards an Agency business model and building bigger campaigns for direct buyers.
- Learn more at www.rapidresponseonline.com or www.rrm.llc
About Rapid Response Marketing
Rapid Response Marketing helps clients maximize conversions and minimize cost per acquisition. Founded in the great city of Las Vegas in 1998, Rapid Response Marketing has operated as a frontrunner in lead generation and affiliate marketing.
Kevin's LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/xy7com/
Thomas' LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/directresponsepros/
Welcome to the Pay Per Callers Show. My name is Adam Young, the founder of Ringba, and today I have two very special guests, Kevin De Vincenzi and Thomas Coolidge. Kevin is the CEO of Rapid Response Marketing, a growing agency in Las Vegas, Nevada and Thomas is his VP of Business Development. Thank you guys so much for joining me on the show today.
Kevin De Vincenzi:
Thank you Adam, it's a pleasure to be here.
Thanks Adam, we appreciate it.
So, you guys run an agency and that's a model that the industry for pay per call is rapidly moving towards so can you guys give me an overview of how agencies in the pay per call space actually function?
Kevin De Vincenzi:
Go ahead, Thomas.
Yup. As an agency our main goal is to come up with a multi channel marketing effort on behalf of the client that isn't necessarily hyper-focused on a cost per call scenario or a pay per call scenario. Obviously we have the goals that a client wants to hit so basically as a client comes aboard we start going into understanding what analytics they hopefully know which if you've been around the business long enough you've realized that a lot of people do not understand their cost for acquisitions. They usually only understand their top line stuff like I could tell you what I paid for a lead, what I paid for a call. I can tell you if I'm profitable maybe after 30 days but if you dive deep into the analytics, not surprising to me but it's surprising to many people, is they don't know the numbers. As an agency you're going, hey what's your goal, what's your cost per acquisition goal, what are you looking to accomplish and then as an agency we're going great. We start looking at all the different channels that we could combine to hit their goals with the understanding of okay, listen if you do Google only calls that's one channel.
That one channel is gonna represent x percentage of volume, it's gonna represent x percentage of sales and then you do the same thing with TV, radio, even straight through Google AdWords and you start looking at all of these channels and you start looking at the experience and you start looking at the analytics of all of 'em and I'm not tied to, I'm tied to threshold but not necessarily defined pay per call. If they said, hey ... I go listen, if your pay per call threshold is as high as x, are you happy with that as opposed to them coming to us and going I gotta hit a $65 call. It's gotta be two minutes long. I don't care where it comes from, no matter what I gotta hit that number. As an agency we're going we can't really help you there because you're gonna suffocate us and we're not gonna be able to do what we do best so we'll say, hey TV's gonna come in at this rate, radio's gonna come in at this rate, Google Call- Only is gonna come in at this rate.
We're gonna do Google Adwords, you're gonna get leads and calls off of that, it comes in here and then when we combine that all together we're going to hit their cost per acquisition goals and actually make them profitable and we're charging agency rates so we might do Google Adwords and charge a 25% agency fee. We might do TV and radio and only be at a 15% agency fee but I'm not beholden to certain numbers they hit but obviously I turn into an investment advisor and I'm spending your money like I would spend my money which is hey, you're gonna spend $10,000 a week or $5,000 a week or $100,000 a week. I know that I have to get you an ROI of two to three to one in order for you to keep spending with me so you have mutual incentivization and mutual destruction which is if they go away we lose out 'cause now we have no revenue. If I win, you win scenario.
Now this type of model gets you closer to the actual direct buyer, right, as opposed to the brokers?
We work only with the direct buyer so we try to create a high, high level of transparency where I'm really acting as your in house agency for all intents purposes. I wanna show you everything, right? I want you to tell me everything. Tell me this is shit, tell me this is good, tell me these calls worked, this didn't work, tell me what the ROI is on this because the more information you give me the more I could help you and as ... You've been around long enough to know that information is key and many, many, many campaigns fail because nobody gives you information. They're like, "Well that's just shit", and you're like, "Well, okay that doesn't tell me much. How can I fix it for you?" "Well, turn it off".
Okay well that's not the answer I was looking for but if that's all I can do then I'll turn it off but now I'm stuck whereas with a direct advertiser they can give you the ins and the outs because it may be minor tweaking that really can affect the campaign dramatically.
So ... no go ahead, Kevin.
Kevin De Vincenzi:
I was gonna say, I think a lot of what happens in a client set up is interviewing the client first and understanding if it is a good fit if they understand their metrics. If they don't understand what their cost requisitions should be, where they're spending their money, how they're backing out. If they don't understand any of that or if it's pay per call. If Thomas asked them, "What duration do you need to qualify a client?", and they go, "Oh I don't know. Just send me calls". Those are clients we normally shy away from because we know they can't meet and exceed their expectations because they don't even have any. They don't understand their business so that's quite a challenge in the marketplace. They might've found one thing that worked, one little niche that worked and now they think they can just expand it but it's not the way business works. Thomas, you hit the nail on the head when you said we're more business consultants in that standpoint to make sure that A, it's a good fit for us and B, they're getting the return that they're looking for on their traffic.
Do you typically see with direct buyers that they need a lot of education and that they don't fully understand all of their metrics?
Kevin De Vincenzi:
Absolutely. Especially ones ... Our best clients are the ones that have in house optimization teams because they're not really driving to a real number so they're driving their overall budget or they have a goal. We have to spend a half a million this month. That's great but they're not driving to an actually number so those are the clients we're looking for. The ones that are very inefficient on their internal teams and then you have to teach them the business and teach them how to right price traffic and teach 'em about the different traffic sources and everything. It's a very intimate process working directly with an advertiser but if you have the right one it's great for everybody because everything's controlled, you can scale at a certain rate and everybody's happy.
So what are some of the most painful lessons that you guys have experienced while working in the agency model and working with direct advertisers?
Kevin De Vincenzi:
I'd probably say, well there's a few. Taking over existing internal accounts 'cause I spoke about internal teams that are an absolute mess but they want you to fix that. They want you to fix their account as opposed to just building it fresh. I'd rather take a client, let's say I was advertising Ringba, I'd rather take you on fresh, make a new Google MCC and start building it out myself and get my learnings as opposed to taking somebody else's mess, not understanding the methodologies and trying to fix what wasn't working already. That's probably the biggest lesson so if we're getting a client that's like, oh just take this over, you clench your teeth and go oh boy, here we go.
As far as pay per call, I think the biggest lesson is understanding that you have to understand the qualification time. You saw it, Adam, a lot of guys would come up and be like just give me raw calls and they don't understand that the raw calls are gonna be absolute garbage but that's what they want because they think it's a lesser cost. I always say we're the steak and the lobster of the industry so if you want McDonald's go to McDonald's but then you're using your staff time, you're using your resources for data that doesn't work. I'd rather give you the exact data that you're looking for and the exact consumer than give you a bunch of garbage at a lower price and if it backs out, if they're transparent and you can look at their numbers. If they're backing out and they're hitting their goals then the price is not even relative at that point. It's just hitting that goal.
Now, Thomas, you've done a whole bunch of television advertising over the years in an agency model. What are some of the lessons that you've learned while driving television call traffic?
Yeah. To be frank, the kind of the digital pay per call scenario for me is a little newer because when you're dealing with TV and or radio calls you have a very high quality call so the intent of that call is very high. What I've noticed in the digital realm and why durations are important is because the quality and intent sucks. It really does. Really, if I were to take a hardcore TV/radio client and then I say, "Hey listen, I'm gonna get you these digital calls", and it kinda happened, it's transforming now. Early on they're like shit ... They're like all of a sudden in 2010, 2011 all my TV/radio guys are going, "Hey man listen. Your pricing is way too high for me on TV and radio", and I'm going, "Oh okay. Well what do you mean?" "Well I got all this digital stuff for this price with this two minute duration, 90 second duration", but what all buyers tend to do is look at top line numbers. What they do is they go man, that's a $50 call for two minutes and your TV [inaudible 00:09:40] $65 for two minutes so one of the big problems is you have is if you're not familiar with TV and radio you're going listen let's look at quality of call. What do I mean by that? I mean quality of call relative to staffing relative to conversion.
If you are running a call center which I have a lot of experience doing that as well. When you have a call center, and any call center guy will know what I'm talking about, there's a psychology to a call center. Let's just say you have five, ten reps on the phone, well those five and ten reps, there's a psychology. You gotta look at the call volume that they can ... so everybody looks at your concurrency right? So how many calls can I get at the same time with the reps that I have? But sometimes what they fail to do is you gotta look at your quantitative numbers so okay great all calls are not the same and this goes back to understanding you're really focusing on a cost per acquisition number 'cause at the end of the day if your cost per acquisition is 200 bucks and I told you, "Hey man, Adam, I'm gonna get you all the $200 conversions you can handle." You'd say, "I'll take that all day." You wouldn't care if the call cost you $200 or cost you $150 or $100, as long as it converts at $200 you're golden.
Conversely though, if I said, "Hey your cost per acquisition is $200. I'm gonna give you 200 $1 calls." You're going, that ... It's still gonna convert to your number but then you don't factor in your extra labor costs so there's a lot of opportunity cost that's not factored in and with TV and radio other areas of concern are timing which is why people like digital a little bit more 'cause you have more control so you kinda have to wait this out. Listen, I can get you radio calls or TV calls. Here's the deal. If I'm going on a big national spot like Price is Right or Wheel of Fortune or something like that where it has a very large viewership the spots can be very expensive.
You could spend ten, fifteen thousand dollars on one spot. Now in order to do that though you have to have the personnel to take this volume of calls. You have a lot of ebb and flow and you have valleys and peaks with TV which means that boom a spot goes off, maybe you're doing national and you have 20, 30, 40, 100, 1,000 calls all at once. Now you have to be staffed up to take this immense amount of calls in a short period of time but then guess what? Now you're not running anything for the rest of the day and so your call volume tails off and now you have staff sitting there doing nothing and this is why as an agency we always preach a multi-channeled effort. Listen, I'm gonna get you TV calls. The TV calls represent X. You're gonna get X number of calls per day but those are gonna be spread out, whatever. 30 calls a day, you're open from 8:00 AM to 8:00 PM. You're gonna get your 30 calls.
Now you gotta say well how much staff do you have and what am I doing with the staff the rest of the time? That's where, okay now we have to pepper in some digital calls that I can better control on an hour by hour basis because I need to keep your staff busy and now I may have to factor in leads so you might have some leads coming in as well so now this is where you start building up this multi-channeled event and you have to work this through with a potential direct advertiser if they're novice to just this business idea, if you will. Again, we always say business consulting 'cause boy it's more often than not we end up getting into and having to learn so much about your business just so we can be effective and it's a love/hate thing 'cause you're like, wow it's cool. I get to learn about your business but boy I really didn't wanna have to help you run your business to do your marketing but it really goes hand in hand and if you want long term clients you're gonna have to learn business and you're gonna have to suck it up because that's really what you ...
Just to sit there and say, "Hey man." You know back in the day you could, you could do this. Hey. I'm just gonna get you leads. You just want leads you're gonna pay this price and nobody gives a shit and you know what, you could run a campaign for three, six, nine months just doing that. They're just shipping you money, you're shipping them calls. No real communication. That was the early days. Well, guess what? The clients are a lot smarter now. They're a lot more educated so you have a lot of guys out there going, Hey dude. This is all the ways I've been screwed. This way, that way, fraud calls, bad calls, coached calls. There's a lot of fraud that's out there so this is why we're seeing and why we're transitioning back to this more full service agency model is so that we can build everything in house and then hey once we have it in house, now I can go out to our extended family, if you will, and treat them more as media buyers and say, hey here's all the metrics, here's all the data, I just need you as a media buyer and now there's a lot more value there than just saying, hey man I got a great offer. I'm gonna get 30 guys to run it and cross my fingers and hope it works out.
So I think that's a great segment into quality assurance. There's a lot of fraud and a lot of problems and issues that happen with calls because there's a real human on the phone, they happen in real time and it's not like a lead. What is your quality assurance process? What does it look like and what's the hardest part about managing quality assurance that you guys see?
Kevin De Vincenzi:
It's mostly, we have a team that listens to each and every call on a new advertiser until our publisher is proven out so it's just a time concern and then us, myself or Thomas, re-reviewing any calls that are in question. It's just vetting through, it's just the time. Going back to Thomas' last comments though in regards to knowing an advertiser's business. I feel so much more empowered though knowing the advertiser's business. Let's just say there's a client we just built up in the past eight months that we built everything for the client. His [inaudible 00:15:43] end system, his follow up system, literally everything but when I'm out there buying media like I was today for him, I know what all his costs are as well. I know if he gets bad data it's gonna cost him six fifty a box for his prepaid box to go out. It's gonna cost him his staff time. I got all his numbers so I can be a lot more empowered so when we are negotiating with a media buyer we're talking basically on the clients behalf as opposed to just being like exactly as Thomas said, I have a lead, I have a call. We understand the whole business of what we're looking for to get that quality.
And this is what the actual process of building a campaign looks like on the back end for affiliates that maybe are just driving traffic today but hope to eventually have their own direct advertisers. You really do need to understand their business and how it works and all the metrics so that you can get all of your payouts in place and all of the systems in place to actually take those calls.
Guys, what are some of your favorite big wins? Where have you seen a lot of success in pay per call and where do you hope to find success as your business grows?
Kevin De Vincenzi:
We're seeing a lot of success with tax debt and again direct clients that we're dealing with, working very closely with the clients on what type of consumer they're looking for, getting feedback from their phone room of what's working in regards to the calls. That's probably a big one. Student loan consolidation, we've been one of the guys that have survived for the past four or five years even with all the changes but again it's working with their rooms and understanding and listening. That's more, not even listening to the affiliate calls but listening to their phone room's calls and then going back to the CEO or the managing director and saying, "Listen, John is great but Sally's terrible. You gotta get rid of Sally because she's not doing a really good on the calls. She's not treating the calls properly", because it's very easy for somebody on top to be like, yeah, as Thomas said, they're all bad. Throw 'em all out as opposed to it could be something internal so that's where we have to put on the business manager hat and help them with their business so they can streamline and they can do things properly.
What does the business model behind tax debt actually look like?
Kevin De Vincenzi:
If you're a, again this will depend on the shop, the actual client because there ... I have done tax debt for a long time. Probably 10 years but you have the guys that are just looking for as much as they can get per client. They're looking for guys that have $10,000 or more in tax debt, money that they owe the IRS. They wanna get the highest amount of dollars that they can. $3500, $4500. They want the higher the tax debt, the more they're gonna charge. They don't always offer a lot of value there because they're just coming in. Hey do you owe the IRS $10,000 or more in back taxes? If the answer is no they're killing the call, they're getting them off the call so they leave a lot of money on the table because they're just focusing on very high debt owed and they wanna charge as much money for the debt owed as possible.
That's one model. That's a model that's gone on for a long time and if you've been around the game long enough those companies are not sustainable. They're there and gone. They might be around for a couple years but they're not [inaudible 00:19:01] a long term sustainable business model. The guys that are, what they do is every call works. This goes back to, are you gonna treat me as an agency or are you treating me just at a pay per call based on a fixed price and a fixed duration because a guy that can take every call and potentially monetize it, he's not only asking are you $10,000 or more in back taxes but he's going, hey do you have any other tax problems, can I do tax preparation for you, can I offer these additional services that in turn give me more revenue which will offset my marketing cost.
For example, in our offline stuff, the ROI can be five to six to one. It's really big ROI, very high intent and again, with the right sales center, sales floor, they can close these type of deals and then can churn the revenue out of 'em. Conversely, they're also take the guy, hey man I might only owe the IRS $5,000. Well a lot of companies say, I'm not gonna talk to you. Our guys would go, not a problem, let's see how we could actually help you and maybe they're not a big ticket client but from just a very customer centric point of view, I'm gonna charge you 800 bucks or 1,000 bucks. I could actually help you resolve the issue. I can actually make your money back meaning you owe $5,000. I could probably negotiate it down, maybe we get a payment plan and now you owe $2500. You pay us $1,000 or our fee but after you ad it all together you still came under your $5,000 but that's in all businesses.
In all business, what are you doing and what are you offering that consumer that A, you can monetize almost anything that comes through the door. B, if you can't monetize it you can refer it out to somebody that can help offset your marketing cost 'cause maybe they give you a referral fee, they give you something, a little something for the effort. C, are you smart enough to realize that when you have enough inquiries for a certain offering or a certain service or product the consumer wants that you adapt to the marketplace? That you actually go, oh they're all calling in for this product right here. Guys, why don't we create this offering. Let's come up with a pricing model and take advantage of this instead of your top line guy. This absolutely doesn't fit it and this is all we do and they're done.
I'll tell you what man, you're not gonna survive the marketplace. Listen, clients are smarter. Marketing's getting tighter. They're understanding that they can't afford to pay a huge ... They're understanding what it actually costs them to generate their own stuff in house versus going to a broker or even some of this affiliate networks and in essence for all intents purposes getting gouged in my mind, just know anybody out there that's in business, just understand that your client is getting smarter so it's not that you need to get smarter you just need to be wiser and just be like, okay well this is what the market's bearing and are you willing to do work for your client where maybe your margins aren't what they used to be but you gotta say, are you gonna say no or are you gonna take the margin that's there knowing listen if we take a smaller margin but your a client that I can grow and I can take you from $10,000 month spent and then after working six months with you now you're at 20, 30, 40, 50, 60. That's a really business.
That's taking a guy, building up their marketing dollars. Listen, we do a lot of legal advertising as well and I can't even tell you how many campaigns we've done where you slowly build up these marketing budgets and they start small but you're willing to work with them and next thing you know they're spending six figures a month and that's how you build a very long term sustainable business and I know Kevin can attest to this 'cause he's done it plenty of times with various clients over his years.
Kevin De Vincenzi:
Yeah, I think a lot of it Thomas, is let's take the tax clients, a great example. The tax client was so flexible that after ... Talking about one of our current clients. After the first week, if I recall, we were all excited when we're getting the half million in debt leads and the $200,000 debt leads and we're like oh this is great and then he was kind enough to share all his internal numbers with us and we found out his $7500 in debt and below made more bottom line revenue five to six X, right Thomas?
Kevin De Vincenzi:
Five to six X revenue as opposed to the bigger ones that he didn't close as many. By him having the, being an entrepreneur first and foremost understanding hey I want all these calls and then turning them all into opportunity and you can only do that managing a media by. You can't do that as an affiliate because I understand from a paper call standpoint, sure if I'm paying for a call I want the best. I only want the 20,000 or 10,000 and above in debt but if you're managing the whole campaign you'll take everything because you're paying for the spend. Even when the IRS shutdown happened, Adam, a lot of IRS calls were coming in and our clients we're like we'll take 'em. We'll take 'em 'cause we'll see what opportunity's on those calls. Keep sending those as well and you're not gonna have that if you're on a strict just performance basis in regards to calls 'cause they just don't want 'em. It's a great opportunity.
I have a bunch of clients that are either smaller agencies or affiliates that are growing their business and I see a lot of them attack this across many, many verticals. It's very prevalent in finance like tax and debt and other places but essentially where there's a qualifier for the call that the call center wants and they're unwilling to be flexible like that $10,000 mark. We have all these guys that are starting realize well we can just take all the calls they don't want and monetize them in various ways and then build their own IVR qualifiers and then split off the calls and still monetize what the unreasonable, we'll call it, call centers won't take. I actually have watched quite a few people over the last year build significant businesses by essentially just monetizing the garbage that no one else wants and I think that's a really key point and I'm glad we highlighted it.
You should never be giving away anything or throwing away anything. If there are lots of calls that just don't work for your advertiser and you have them you really need to figure out how to monetize those calls because that alone can be a business in itself and most people aren't willing to do the work. I always say that if you're willing to outwork everyone else and try a bunch of things as an affiliate you'll be successful because most of 'em are lazy and they're unwilling to do the work and I see this, what you just described as a massive opportunity.
There's a ... I cut my teeth in the call center industry and we would have no sale departments and no sale departments would eek out one to three percent in close rate on ... When I say no sale I mean these are beat up leads. They said no 10, 15, 20 times. You have a really good no sales department, they're like if they've only said no 20 times that's like a fresh lead. Let's get it. You take a no sale and you can turn out another one to three percent and I think another big issue facing actual clients is you're like listen, there's been a lot of changes in Google that have been affecting the ability to get call volume so now that's a very big channel for most everybody. Now changes are happening in the marketing space which means in turn you're gonna get less volume so what do you do? Guess what, you guys are gonna have to fucking work again.
You're gonna have to train your staff to work harder meaning that they're gonna have to take all of these calls that come in, do the qualifier, turn them into a lead and if they know sale you better put 'em in to some type of program, a drip program where you're emailing, texting and going back after those same people. Just touching bases, maybe giving 'em newsletters but you have to build up a program to reinsert yourself and become top of mind so that when that problem, issue, concern happens you'll be the first person they call and you have to get the most out of your leads 'cause I tell you what, there's a lot of verticals where because of compliance issues or because of just the networks if you will, not even allowing that type of advertising to happen.
You have a smaller pull of people you're gonna have access to. You're gonna have to start looking at these multi channel marketing scenarios and you're gonna have to really structure and really train your internal staff to pull the most dollars out of it 'cause if you're just sitting there going I'm gonna the ... I've seen this show already. It was called pre-2008. There was guys just living off the cream man. They could get calls from anywhere, do whatever, boom, they would burn so much. Can't help, can't help you close deal and making money. Recession hit now you actually have to work. You had no business model built up. You didn't realize you were living off the cream and some people legitimately that happens because if you've never failed in business or failed in life what do you do? You repeat the same thing over and over again. Actually it's called insanity but you go, well it's always been successful if I spent a million dollars a month on TV. Well guess what? That shits not working anymore, you haven't adapted, this is your first time failing, you don't know what it's like to fail so you didn't change anything and now you're not surviving.
I'll tell you this is happening right now. It's gonna happen especially over this next year. I think if you are an agency or a small agency, if you're an affiliate just get really good at understanding how to build and deliver your own traffic, understand where your traffic comes from. Obviously always be testing but you're gonna have to become a little wiser, a little smarter and guess what? You're gonna have to do a little bit more work and you better learn about the grind because the way to make real money in business is the grind? Yes, you hear about the success stories but that's all bullshit. Nobody tells you, hey man ten years ago I cleaned the toilets, I cleaned the shower, I lived off 99 cent of a hot dogs before I made $1.00 but all they see is oh man, you're ballin' it up. You've got a house a car and all of this. You're like yeah, mother fucker, you didn't see all the shit I had to do to get right here. Yeah, it looks great now but I promise you it took a lot to get here and then it takes even more to be very, very smart, put your ego in a little fucking box and now you have to take care of yourself personally and I see so many people fail because their personal finances absolutely slaughter them.
They're like, well I'm making money here. You're like, dude this money you're making here is what I'm gonna call your home run years. Your real average is probably down here. You adjusted your lifestyle to the top, now this happens, see that big gap right there? That's called debt and now you're eventually gonna be like this, upside down, because you didn't make adjustments and almost, 99% of the time I'm gonna say and be on record here, your personal life and your personal expenses will make your business fail. Not the other way, your business won't fail usually on it's own. It's 'cause what you're doing personally is what makes your business fail and it happens so many times and you try to tell young guys this and we've all been there. We think we know better. We're not saving any money, we're not prepared and then it happens and of course you've got the shell shocked face. This shit happened, yeah I've been trying to tell you that that's gonna happen.
Well, what you just said is entirely supported by the statistics of the affiliate industry. A six month affiliate is actually a dinosaur in the space. Most affiliates are in, they get a campaign that works and they're back out within six months. They either didn't save their money, they didn't plan, they didn't keep testing and grinding. They were like, ooh I made some money let me go have some fun and preach it brother. That right there I would say is the number one mistake over the last 15 years I've watched every single affiliate or person in performance marketing specifically make and then wash right out. They don't have the discipline or the normal business savvy to realize that they have to plan for the future and in a space like this it's not like owning a franchise. It's not so long term and sustainable. Campaigns will go up and down and up and down and that's why just like you framed that there, it's really important to manage your finances.
Just real quick on that. I've been mainly in the legal space for 10 years, generated over two billion dollars in consumer settlements on behalf of these attorneys and probably made attorneys at least 600 million in fees. I can tell you last year was probably the worst year ever. Just in the sense that there wasn't a lot of activity, there wasn't a lot of campaigns being ran compared to previous years. I was prepared. I thought it was gonna happen the year before so what did I do? What I did with ... What I suggested my partners do is really, really cut down all the personal finances, just really make this, make everything so you're living below your means which I kinda do anyway. I learned that, I think we've all learned that over time but I really prepared and you know what? I made probably the least amount of money I've ever made in the last 10 or 12 years last year and I had the best year ever.
I hung out with my son, I still traveled a little bit. I did everything at a lower level so maybe instead of the $400 hotel room, you have the $100 Airbnb. Who gives a shit, right? Big whoop. Maybe you bought the first class ticket, you buy the coach ticket and you're flying Spirit Airlines and you have a sore back when you get off the plane. Whatever, the point is is that you can still have these amazing ... You can still have an amazing life and you can still do all the things you wanna do you just don't have to spend at the level just 'cause you think it looks good. It can be done people. Sometimes you just can't give a shit about how it looks. You gotta do your thing but you definitely don't have to have that lavish lifestyle because I'll tell you one thing. Money will come and go, mostly go and it spends way faster than you'll ever earn in your whole life. You can make five million dollars today and spend 10 million, trust me, a lot faster.
Kevin De Vincenzi:
And Adam, I think a lot of it is, when you talked about the short term affiliates or the six month affiliates, it's not understanding what unique selling proposition is or understanding why you're even in the deal. Affiliates will come in, they'll copy something that works and it's like, yeah I'm making all this money but they've never even sat down to understand a business case as to why a deal is working and what they're value ad is so by the time that deal goes they have no idea how to replicate it. That's why we get people copying our ideas all the time. It's like it's okay they can copy that 'cause once that source runs out or once something runs out they're done. They can't evolve. You have to constantly evolve. That's my old saying, adapt or die. You have to keep on evolving in this business otherwise there's no longevity to it.
A lot of these affiliates that are doing pay per call, they really on the network for their tracking and that works in clicks. That's okay with clicks but in calls it just doesn't work. If you don't have your own third party tracking and you're not getting all your data and you can't route your phone calls to different buyers and have control over your business you're destined to wash out 'cause half the stuff that Thomas talked about that you guys are doing to help your partners monetize their back end business is all reliant on technology so if an affiliate is not using their own technology whether it's Ringba or somebody else, honestly I don't care, they need to use it otherwise they have no control over their destiny.
Kevin De Vincenzi:
That's a great point because now they're just putting all their trust into the either network or the advertiser so they have no idea any [inaudible 00:35:47] they're having on the backend, what filters are in place, what the, all these different things. If it was a web lead what the cookie life is, if it's a last click attribution, a first click attribution, there's so many different levels and believe it or not a lot of times that's to margin. That's a 20 to 30 percent margin sometimes on a call qualifying or not qualifying and if you're doing a sizeable number it could be your whole bottom line for the campaign. It's really, really important to understand how something tracks and track it all the way through and as Adam said, have your own tracking platform. Don't rely on a third party because then you pretty much, you're hostage to them so if you're running let's say a tax campaign with one advertiser and you're not using your own tracking if that advertiser goes out of business you might have this great campaign you can't even move it. At least if you set up, we're set up, if we lost one we could just move over to the next guy, move over to the next buyer, your never stop where you're married to that one partnership or that one opportunity so it's planning ahead of time.
Of course. Exactly. I think that ties into everything we've discussed. Planning ahead and thinking about your future, where the business is going, using the available resources to actually provide value to people. That's really what the agency model versus an affiliate actually is. It's about actually building something of value and providing it to your clients and that's why I like the call space a lot because it's a requirement. You have to provide that value to your client otherwise you lose 'em and so there's no nonsense whatsoever.
How do you guys think your business will change over the next few years?
Kevin De Vincenzi:
I think, not I think, I know that we're moving just into more the agency standard in regards to manage Google campaigns on pay per call and on leads and just dealing directly with building businesses out as opposed to any brokering deals like we don't broker deals anymore. We don't take anything from a third party 'cause it just doesn't make sense because we feel that even if we did a bang up job for a third party we're never gonna get the credit nor get the proper compensation for doing that 'cause it'll be mixed in with everybody else. So we'd much rather have that relationship direct and it works for us because there's a lot more money on the table, advertiser gets a lot more feedback and it's pretty much replaced their marketing team would be our goal for a lot of these guys and do it more efficiently.
Well, guys it was a pleasure to have on the show today. If people want to get in contact with Rapid Response Marketing and do business with you, how can they get a hold of you?
Kevin De Vincenzi:
Well, you have my cell phone hasn't change in 25 years so they can always call me on my cell phone and up on the sit rapidresponseonline.com or rrm.llc, probably easier to remember, that's our main site that'll have our contact information. Thomas' direct lines and everything else.
Yeah, we have live chat, call the phone number on the website, rapidresponseonline.com and we're pretty much twenty four seven.
Awesome, well thank you so much for being on the show today.
Kevin De Vincenzi:
Thank you Adam.
Thank you Adam.
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This episode of The Pay Per Callers Show is brought to you by Ringba Call Tracking and Analytics. See how Ringba is inventing the future of calls at Ringba.com.