Donald Miller Vol 2 (incl JJ Peterson) Marketing Made Simple

In this episode, I explore the work of Donald Miller and JJ Peterson in terms of their new book Marketing made simple. It really is an excellent and clear example of how to apply storytelling to create your website and email marketing campaigns. Worth a read!


Marketing should be easy and it should work.

The easiest and best marketing plans start with a sales funnel.

A sales funnel is a way to capture and convert leads.

If you have a clear message and no sales funnel, your business will not grow

Part 1

Chapter 1

The Three Stages Of A Relationship

A Five-Step Marketing Plan That Works;

  1. Create a Brandscript
  2. Create a one-liner
  3. Wire-frame a landing page
  4. Create a lead-generating PDF
  5. Create a email campaign

All relationships move through 3 stages.

  1. Curiosity (either/or) – pain points and relief… survive
  2. Enlightenment (start to trust) … how it works
  3. Commitment (invite journey… get decision)

Chapter 2

The Actual Stages Of A Relationship

Why People Have to Get Curious and Enlightened Before They Will Commit

  1. Curiosity
    • Without knowing it, what’s making you curious about this person is one thing: you sense they can help you survive or thrive.
    • The curiosity stage of a relationship is mostly about snap judgements. Scanning our environment is like sorting through a stack of mail.
  2. Enlightenment
    • You should enlighten your customers about how your product works to solve their problem
  3. Commitment
    • The two main reasons customers do not place orders are because:
      1. The brand never asked them for the sale, or
      2. The brand asked them for the sale too early

The key to marketing- and sales for that matter is invite the customer on a journey at the pace of a natural healthy relationship.

Chapter 3

An Introduction To The Marketing Made Simple Checklist

Good marketing is an exercise in memorization and successful brands know it.

Branding vs Marketing

Branding affects how a customer feels about your brand while marketing communicates your solution.

Ask yourself:

  1. What problem do you solve for customers?
  2. What will your customer’s life look like if they buy your solution?
  3. What consequences does your solution help customers avoid?
  4. What does your customer need to do to buy your product?

5 Pieces of Sales Funnel

  1. One-liner
  2. Website
  3. Lead Generator
  4. Nurture Campaign
  5. Sales Campaign

Start by building curiosity with one-liner and website wireframe.

Then take your customer to enlightenment phase using lead generators and nurture emails.

Finally ask them to commit with a sales email sequence. Each attempt will further engage your customer and lead toward a sale.

Part 2

Create Your Marketing Made Simple Sales Funnel

Chapter 4

Create Your One-Liner

The one-liner is composed of three parts- the problem, the solution, and the results.

Name only one problem

You want that result to be tangible. Make it something they can feel.

Using your one-liner

Use your one-liner on your website, emails, keynotes, elevator pitches. It should be the central component to your entire messaging campaign.

Sales Funnel #2 Website

A wireframe is a long piece of paper (or digital page) that includes the text in a rough-draft drawing of what the website might look like.

Few images work better than smiling, happy people enjoying your product.

The day you stop losing sleep about your own success and start losing sleep over your customers’ success is the day our business will start growing again.

Headline – People read websites in either a Z pattern or an F pattern.

Stakes – Stakes is the failure section.

Value Proposition – Value proposition invites customers into the value you provide.

Guide – All good guides in a story exhibit two crucial characteristics. They show empathy and authenticity.

Plan – Visually demonstrate the plan your customers need to take, they see how easy it is to work with you and identify the next steps.

Explanatory Paragraph – A long-form paragraph allows customers to feel like they’ve done due diligence in researching and their purchase decision.

Video – Many visitors scroll down to video section without reading much of anything. For this reason, your video simply needs to repeat what’s already been said. Keep it short and hook the viewer.

Price Choices – Value for money

Junk Drawer – The contact, FAQ, about, employment opportunities and so forth to the bottom of the page so that if people want to find them, they can.

Sales Funnel #3 Lead Generator

Give your customers a reason to give their email address or they won’t.

Ten lead-generating ideas to grow your email list

  1. Capture an interview with industry expert
  2. Create a checklist (50 items every well-stocked pantry needs)
  3. Make a worksheet your audience will use over and over
  4. Host an educational event
  5. The sampler
  6. Webinars
  7. Develop a keynote presentation (“how your shoes could be making you feel lazy!”)
  8. Scratch the curiosity itch
  9. Create a pitfall list (3 fatal mistakes managers make when coaching their teams)
  10. Open house (it doesn’t have to just be for real estate agents. Offer a free demo, cooking class, craft night…)

Crafting a lead-generating PDF

Section 1:
Paragraph 1: What’s a problem your customers are experiencing?

Paragraph 2: What is an empathetic statement you can make about their pain? And what have you accomplished that would elicit trust that you can solve their problems?

Section 2:

Paragraph 1: Agitate the problem a little further. Speak, perhaps, to the emotional frustration a person may experience, when dealing with the challenging you help solve.

Paragraph 2: Offer a solution to the problem.

 Section 3:

Spell out the solution in a step-by-step plan or in a list of tips. Offer the five tips, expert advice, worksheet that can help your customers overcome their problem. This is the main content of the PDF.

Step/Tip 1 _______________

Step/Tip 2 _______________

Step/Tip 3 _______________

 Section 4: Define the stakes

What’s at stake if they do or don’t’ heed your advice?

Paragraph 1: List the negative consequences that might happen if they don’t follow through.

Paragraph 2: Call them to action. What should they do next?

It’s a basic template for creating a lead-generating PDF, but it works quite well.

Placing a lead-generator

Create a section on your website to advertise. It’s also recommended to use a pop-up but give the visitor time to browse and know the pop-up rules. Let the visitors close the pop with a labelled button instead of an X.

Chapter 7

The Power Of Email

Sending them regular, valuable emails is your best opportunity to continue building a relationship and selling them a product that will solve their problem.

Use short words

Use short sentences

Use short paragraphs

Use active language

Chapter 8

Nurture Email Campaigns

The reason a nurture campaign is important is because most customers don’t want to buy your product right away.

Sales Funnel #4 Nurture Campaign

The whole point of a lead generator is to earn space in your customers’ inbox. Understand there are two types of email campaigns you should do:

  1. Nurture campaigns – keep in touch with a potential customer and build trust over time
  2. Sales campaigns – close the sale

Chapter 9

Sales Email Campaigns

While the nurture campaign is focussed on adding value and building trust, the sales campaign will focus on closing the deal. An email sales campaign is not about being shy, it’s about challenging your customer to take a step in solving their problem. Today.

Easy sales email sequence

Email 1 – Deliver the asset your lead signed up for (don’t dive into a pitch yet)

Email 2 – Problem + Solution

Email 3 – Customer testimonial

Email 4 – Overcome an objection

Email 5 – Paradigm shift

Email 6 – Sales (call to action with limited offer, urgency)

What gets measured gets managed

Questions to ask:

  1. Does one email seem to be working more than others?
  2. Can we duplicate what’s working in other emails by adding PS or similar language?
  3. What are customers responding to in terms of our message?
  4. What are customers not responding to in terms of our message?
  5. Are our calls to action strong enough?
  6. What’s the most confusing aspect of our campaign and how can we fix it?
  7. What emails are being opened?
  8. What percentage of people who come to landing page are making a purchase?
  9. What’s the open rate for each email?

 The same way a fisherman knows where his fish are, a good marketer is constantly on his toes to look out for potential prospects.


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