Episode 210 What is GroundHogg?

Show Summary

Rob Cairns sits down with Groundhogg founder Adrian Tobey to talk about what is Groundhogg?

Show Highlights:

  1. What is Groundhogg?
  2. Why was Groundhogg developed?
  3. Why run a CRM inside WordPress?
  4. Why even use a CRM?
  5. Types of CRM funnels?

Show Notes

Everybody Rob Cairns.

Today I’m here with Adrian Tobey of Groundhogg fame.

How are you today, Adrian?

I’m doing great.

Thanks for having me on.

Now it’s a pleasure we’ve known each other. I don’t know. I was thinking before we went to record about six or seven years give or take back to when I was doing courses at your dad’s agent and mums agency, right? So?

It’s been a while, yeah.

It’s been a long time and we were kind of reminiscing the other day in a chat.

That it’s been a long time since we’ve seen each other, probably for I would think three or four years now.

At least with.

Well, in in person to events, kind of.

Took a dive.

So yeah, so So what?

I wanted to start with was how did you get into WordPress digital marketing and then come up with Groundhog?

And I want to preface this by saying.

A little bit I can remember being.

In the training business pros.

Officing you at one time showing me something you were working on which.

Sort of.

Now I realized morphed into Groundhogg after after the fact, so how did that all come about?

Yes, so as you mentioned, you used to swing by our office, which used to be at the corner of York Mills and Leslie in Toronto.

We had a we had a.

Fairly significant space.

We had like a.

5000 square foot.

Uhm, training room with like 20 foot ceilings or something. Big stage with TV’s on it and.

Uh, uh weekly nude hosts. What’s the business? Praise meeting the business Pros hour and and you you love to come to those and and we had a few other regulars as well, and we usually add maybe in anywhere between 10:20 people in the room on the Thursday morning. I think it was or Friday morning.

And the reason that we held.

Those events is because.

The our agency, the Family Business Agency was heavily invested into a CRM and marketing automation product called Infusionsoft which was rebranded a few years back to keep which is what’s now called.

And then we.

Have like Infusionsoft Pro and like keep pro and it’s a very confusing product product roster but I digress.

We worked a lot with with that.

Company and they were like you.

Know our agency partners of which we were the largest in Canada at the time.

The largest part our agency.

Partners we want you to host these in person events.

You can call it the business hour and basically you know during this hour you trade on Infusionsoft and you sell Infusionsoft to new people who might need.

It and that was.

Fairly effective, at least we think we think would factor.

We sold a lot of Infusionsoft and an and.

We showed people how to integrate it with WordPress.

I had a product called form lift.

I have a product called form lift.

Which it’s sole purpose is to enable small businesses to add forms to the WordPress site that actually integrate properly with Infusionsoft.

Because if you’re using WordPress and Infusionsoft, you might be familiar with the absolute pain in the, but it is to integrate those two products without.

Spending lots of money on.

Third party products like WP Fusion or like specialty.

The products that integrate WooCommerce like confused Woo and there’s a.

There’s a there’s a bunch of sort of like Infusionsoft specific product creators for WordPress and all of those products are are relatively expensive ’cause Infusionsoft is relatively expensive.

Fast forward a few a few years from us starting our journey with.

With that company we identified a number of deficiencies that existed in integrating word press and CRM and marketing.

Number one of those deficiencies.

Was the price.

And once you’re all in invested in Infusionsoft, it like the old Infusionsoft started around.

Maybe like $200 a month and then only scaled up from there rather exponentially depending on the size of your list and you then you had to invest.

In all of the like third-party add-ons to integrate it, so member Pratt or MEMBRILLO or like INFUSE, Drew or WP Fusion so you had all those different products that you had to invest in.

And and then. So at the end of the year, you know you’re like $3000 invested into using Infusionsoft.

And that was a large barrier to entry for a lot of small businesses who were.

Like, well, listen, you know?

I learned about marketing automation yesterday.

You want me?

To invest.

You need to invest like 3000.

Dollars like upfront like from.

The get go and say whoa.

On top of that, you also have you know you’re paying us the agency for a brand new website and the expertise and setting it all button everything right.

CRM and marketing automation can often take time like it’s not a it’s not a silver bullet to your business problems.

It’s not it can.

It takes time to set up, and it can often take time to see.

The results and effects of the things that.

You use it for.

Uhm, but when you’re spending that kind of money you know you’re kind of looking for that sort of instant gratification.

‘s like alright?

Well I pay all this money.

Where are my results at?

You know three or four or five months in?

And if you’re not seeing the results that you were expecting, then it just turns into a poor customer experience.

You experience we experience a lot of churn.

With them, with Infusionsoft because they’re paying, we’re seeing the monthly charge on their credit card. We had customers infusional pinks upwards of $700.00 a month, and they’re looking at the credit card and like, well, how much is it actually making me like how? What? What’s my ROI on this product?

Yeah, and a lot of times it was difficult to prove ROI too because this the tracking wasn’t there like the if you, especially when it came to like woo commerce, ecommerce stuff like the tracking just wasn’t there to so well.

This email generated how much revenue.

We don’t know.

And it’s kind of like well.

Well then what?

Am I paying for?

If you don’t know, like if it’s not producing any revenue or return on investment, what the?

Heck, am I paying for.

Yep, and that was that was a problem, so that was another deficiency.

So there’s the price, and obviously that sort of barrier to entry.

And then when when we were?

Able to get past the price, it was OK.

Well, how do I prove ROI?

And that was oftentimes.

Ethical we add.

Like these, I’m sure you remember.

We trained on these like super advanced tagging strategies.

I do.

Yeah, and that was.

Yes, and I still use them today, actually.

And but you’re a pro right?

By this point, for someone who’s new.

It’s like right over your head, right?

You have to be.

Sort of like.

Ingrained in the biz for a while to when it clicks and you get it and.

The so and the tracking just wasn’t built.

In so you.

Had to use these like complex strategies and set up your custom dashboards and everything.

And for again for.

Like a solopreneur or small business who’s like a.

Do it themselves or.

A DIY or it was just it was.

Too much to ask.

A lot of the time.

And they probably would.

Have been better off with like a simpler a simpler product, maybe like convertkit which now exists over.

Or there’s a.

There’s a bunch of them now.

I think convert.

Gets kind of.

Like probably like the easiest.

And in terms of like the SAS products that exist, I feel like convert.

It’s probably the easiest for like Solopreneurs creators to get into besides ground talk, obviously.

Well, I want to stop it ferment.

We talk about these tagging strategies and they go on a tangent.

The reason you need to and I still believe as a pro.

You need to have tagging strategies is you need to know where people are in your sequences and your and your automation and without building.

Advance tagging strategies.

How do you know and how do you?

Measure and I I kind of describe it to people like throwing darts at the dartboard blindfolded and going slack and saying, OK, I’ll pull a off the wall or I’ll put pull B off the wall and.

I think that’s a mistake for a lot of people.

They try and oversimplify CRM office automation and it’s a big mistake in my opinion.


Not you you.

Could be right, but.

I look at what you just said and like you have to have like these advanced tagging strategies and you have to have this custom.

Dashboard and when when.

We were thinking about, well, how can we?

How can we make this easier?

And it’s like, well, what if we just?

Got rid of that and.

We made it so that when you actually.

Built like a like a funnel.

Or campaign it would just recreate that reporting for you.

Yeah, so you wouldn’t have to know how to do it.

It would just be.

Readily available, and when we were building groundhogg like.

That was the at.

The forefront of my mind was like.

How can we show to people that when they’re paying for Groundhogg, they’re actually getting return on their investment and it all comes down to reporting?

So we spent.

A massive amount.

Of time working on our reporting dashboard.

So if you like created.

A funnel, let’s just say you have like.

Contact form

And then you had an automated follow up email and he.

Wanted to track if that.

Person turned into a lead.

Well, how would you do that, you know?

With a traditional CRM system that doesn’t have the kind of reporting that Groundhogg offers, you have to set up A tag, right?

So tell the tag that you know they submitted the contact form and then you have to tag they created.

Or it became a lead and then you’d have to remove the tag that they submit the contact form and and then you’d have to go and create a.

Custom widget in.

Your dashboard find those tags and then set that.

Up in there.

You go, yeah for me it’s like well I don’t.

Want to do any of that?

It’s like if I just create the funnel and I have it starts when someone submits this form.

We send an email and then when they become a lead the funnel is over and we can track that as a conversion and the system automatically knows that that’s a conversion or that’s the conversion action.

Then you just go to the specific report.

For that funnel.

And it says, you know.

15% of people who submit this form then became.

A lead, yeah?

And you just have to know the dashboard, pull up the funnel and it just generates that report.

You can see at each step where people are and the conversion rate in between each step in the.

Funnel as.

Well, so that.

The the whole like tagging thing and and having to know and understand how.

To do that was that was completely removed.

So that when people asked is this producing revenue?

Am I getting return on my investment?

We can just point to that report and say absolutely 100%.

Without any ambiguity, and it’s always like retroactive and everything, and and you know if you if you have a phone running for a month and then you set the tags you don’t, you don’t have that reporting like that.

That’s just lost to you now, and that was.

Also a.

Big problem and then we have automatic like if.

You’re using our WooCommerce integration or.

Integration or give WP integration.

There is an automatic correlation of like marketing activities to.

So when someone donates or someone buys a product, you know Groundhogg knows OK, they came from this funnel. They clicked on a link in this email and we can tell the person that this email generated $400.

Today or something like that.

And that was immensely important to me.

Again, all about just being able to prove ROI.

So that was our second sort of or reason behind building this kind of product.

Yeah, I I would agree.

How did you come up with the name Groundhogg?

There’s gotta be a story there, and I haven’t heard it.

I have to tell you, I love the name and I love the mascot and I want one.

But that’s another story.

Yeah so.

Uhm, my one of my all time favorite movies.

Is Groundhog Day Bill Murray?

It’s classic.

19 I want to say 93.

Uhm, and the story of Groundhog Day is it’s about a weatherman, and he’s sent to Puck Satani, Pennsylvania, where Groundhog Day on North American ritual, in which, uh, basically large rat.

Comes out of.

A hole and if he sees.

His shadow we have.

Six more weeks of winter and if he.

Doesn’t then we’re going to.

Have an early spring.

And that’s sort of the ritual.

And there’s a ton of origin stories of where Groundhog Day but.

It’s kind of like one of those.

Folklore, mysteries, and now we just do it just because it’s always been done.

And sometimes it’s accurate.

More often than not it’s inaccurate, but it’s a fun and 10s of thousands of people.

Pilgrim did make a pilgrimage.

To bucks Tony every year I have actually yet to go.

It’s on my bucket list considering I’m like so heavily invested the brand, but so the stories of a weatherman.

He goes to Pakistani and he’s an incredibly selfish.

Individual he thinks he’s tinger world.

And he’s very rude and lewd and.

So he’s just a generally like.

Poor example of.

A human being.

He does the he does the broadcast, he does.

It halfheartedly and you know his crew is kind of like peeved at him, and.

They have to.

Sleep in puxa Tony because there’s a big storm that he obviously predicted.

There wouldn’t be that the storm came anyway.

And they’re stuck there and have to sleep there.

And the next morning he wakes up and it’s a replay of Groundhog Day again.

And he thinks he’s just having a bad dream.

And then it keeps happening.

It keeps waking up and it’s always February 2nd.

It’s always Groundhog Day.

And then basically.

Over the the Times where he’s in this time.

Loop, he starts refocusing his life to being sort of like self centered and all about me and all about him.

And he’s wallowing in self pity and guilt and grief and a whole lot of things, and then sort of like.

It kind of.

Clicks that he.

Can actually use this time to be.

In service of others.

So he makes a transition from from being in service of himself to helping a homeless man.

Have you know a meal and trying to save him from dying in the alley when it’s like below freezing?

He helps 4 old women in their car who get a flat and changes their car tire.

For them, he saves a kid.

From falling out of a tree and breaking his leg and he goes kind of goes.

Through this whole.

Day where he spends every second of it just being in service of others, going from person to person and basically saving them from from utter catastrophe.

And then at the end of the day, he gets the girl and there’s a.

There’s a B plot of like him trying to woo.

This girl, this entire time and he gets the girl.

And when he wakes up, it’s finally February 3rd and he went through this whole spiritual journey of being in service of himself to being in service mothers.

So so Groundhog is, you know when?

We created this product.

The fact that.

It’s open source the.

Fact that it’s.

Kind of putting power into the hands of the owners rather than in our hands like.

Uh, you can’t pay.

It’s not a big deal you.

Just don’t get updates.

And but your everything still continues to work.

You’re in ownership of all of your.

Data you have full control.

Over the code ’cause it’s open source.

And we personally I’ve always been someone who’s who’s at least attempted to always be in service of.

And that’s just generally.

The vibe of Groundhog.

It’s just we’re here to be in service of, and we’re not necessarily here just to be in service of ourselves.

Although it’s nice to make money at the end of the day, our ultimate our ultimate goal is to make sure.

That our customers are 6.

Restful and not not it.

And we’re not making money at their expense right?

Which can’t be said of a lot of people in our market.

And then that’s kind of the big thing.

And there’s also themes in Groundhog Day.

The movie of sort of this awakening this understanding, this transition period, and Groundhog the company, and not necessarily the product, spends a lot of time on creating educate education.

On creating videos on fostering creativity to how?

Help entrepreneurs and small businesses experiences similar awakening so that the transition can be made from sort of focusing on the self and being in service of yourself to making that decision in service of others.

No I would.

And that’s where the name comes from.

I would agree.

With that and that, that’s an amazing story Adrian. Let’s talk CRM’s in general before we get into some specifics.

So I think one of.

The mistake that solopreneurs entrepreneurs small businesses make is they try and do everything.

Manually and we know one of the biggest things they don’t.

Do really well is follow.

Up how can a CRM help?

With all of that.

So the the reason why a small business would want to.

Procure or use a CRM and marketing automation tool is when you are no longer able.

To do everything by yourself manually.

So whenever we.

Start out a new project or a.

New venture or new business?

People will tell you.

Do things that don’t scale, and I think that’s a great piece of advice so.

Answer emails yourself.

Answer support tickets.

Do whatever you need to do and just do it manually for a while, because that’s going to help you learn a lot.

It’s going to help you connect with your audience, it’s going.

To enable you to.

Identify substantive processes that your business is missing, and then when you get to a point where you’re getting overwhelmed with the amount of.

Work, that is when you should begin to introduce things like automation into the mix in order to allow you to not do those things anymore, and that they’re just taken care of automatically and you can go focus to other things that don’t scale.

I think I’m just.

Going to, I’m just going to.

Go off on a tangent for a.

2nd uhm when people hear.

About CRM and marketing automation, a lot of the time and I just this is part of my like being in service of others and just letting you know what you’re in for and letting you know sort.

Of like you.

Know the the hard truth of it.

A lot of companies and a lot of people.

In our sector market.

CRM marketing automation is.

Sort of like the silver bullet to fix.

All your business problems.

And that’s just not true.

It really isn’t.

They say like.

You know, there’s they’re saying that money money amplifies.

Who you are?

Rather, you know, or they say money is the.

Root of all evil don’t actually believe.

That money is just an input money that allows or amplifies who you are as an individual and as being if you are a generous and and spiritually awakened person and you come into a lot of money, I imagine that you’re probably going to continue to be an incredibly generous and spiritually awakened person rather than you know if you’re not a great.

You know, or you don’t.

You’re not typically.

A generous person.

Or you choose to do certain things with your money, but aren’t necessarily in service of others.

If you get into a bunch of money.

I don’t think that will probably change.

And Sarah marketing automation is kind of like the same thing, but for your business.

If your business is doing really well and doing gangbusters, then CRM and marketing automation when implemented in your business will only amplify the amount of people that you’re able to serve at any given time.

If your business isn’t doing a whole lot of anything, adding CRM and marketing automation.

Isn’t going to help.

Your business do a lot more.

It’s just going to.

Continue to do a whole lot of nothing.

And that is a huge thing.

That that sort of like people who generally market this kind of product.

Don’t tell you so.

I just want to put that out.

There if you’re able, if you’re being.

Overwhelmed with the?

Amount of business that you’re doing right now?

Because I mean you don’t have CRM marketing.

Automation adding it to.

Your business is going to just allow you to help more.

People at the.

Same time and it’s going to allow you to do so much more, and it’s going to allow you to solve a lot of problems that you.

Have in your.

Business maybe with churn, maybe with following up with leads.

Maybe with with reporting and being able to analyze marketing efforts in your business.

But if you have any business adding.

This product is not going to get.

You business you have to.

Have you know people showing up?

You have to have people coming in the door.

You have to have people from the website.

You have to.

Be out there.

You have to be marketing.

You have to.

Be buying ads.

You have to be doing podcasts.

You have to be speaking with Rob, obviously.

Thank you.

Like that that that thing those things have to proceed.

Adding CRM and marketing automation.

Yeah, so if you are being overwhelmed, that’s when this is a.

Product that you need.

That’s a.

That’s a really interesting philosophy, but one I agree with, the products don’t fix the business problem, they just help it.

And I really believe that.

We’ll talk a little bit about types of CRM funnels, which is something you’re really good at.

What is the one or two typical funnels that a business agency should set up right out of the goal with they go?

To a product like ground.

Yeah, I really I.

Recently we had Groundhogg Day last month on February 2nd.

It was the first time we’d ever run, sort of like the kind of like full Bay.

Event I think it went pretty well and I actually had.

I had been training on this exact topic.

I put together 5 sort of just like blanket funnels that you need.

And are pretty much applicable to.

Do every kind of business and I’m.

Going to see if.

I can remember all of them from the top of my head I.

Let’s start off with.

Every every business can benefit.

From some kind of like onboarding funnel.

So so new customer onboarding funnel or new lead onboarding funnel and basically what that is is a lot of companies have it maybe in the footer of their website says subscribe here stay notified or you know they get a lead through their sign up process or you know they get an email address through the checkout.

It’s like, what do you do with that?

Right, so now you have their information.

How do you actually leverage that information in order to create more wealth or understanding or prevent churn or prevent refunds?

That’s a great reason why you should have an onboarding funnel.

You know people don’t necessarily.

Just get it after they buy.

A lot of people think that the customer journey ends the checkout page.

It does not, it’s.

Really, only the start of the.

Of the customer journey, there’s so much.

More work that you have.

To do in terms of communication with customers.

After the checkout page.

I digress, but.

For an onboarding funnel you might say hey listen now welcome to the Groundhog family.

It’s great to have you here.

I’m Adrian, and if you ever need any help, here are the resources that.

You have access to, you can.

Go join the Facebook group.

Scrap the YouTube channel, follow.

US on Twitter and all these different action items.

You know you have like 14 days to try out groundhogs in your trial or whatever, and basically it’s just an opportunity to introduce your organization beyond maybe the materials that they’ve already read on the website in your blog and and do it from a more personal, personal tone, right?

You’re emailing them.

That’s in their inbox, and whenever you’re.

Emailing someone in their box.

You should be initiating.

Some sort of conversation.

Because that’s just a lot more effective than sort of just email blasting and saying buy this product or else.

So having having a conversation, establishing trust that goes a long way and one of the best ways you can do that is through the inbox where people have conversations you know.

So you can send.

A few emails in your on.

Boarding funnel, maybe 3 / 3 days.

Or five over.

Seven days depending on your audience, the frequency of emails.

That you might want to send might differ.

But it’s an opportunity for you to establish a bond, stablished, trust and establish some sort of conversational relationship that is going to allow you to build future transactions on.

You know, if they want to renew, if they want to upgrade.

If they want to, you know, procure services for some time in the future.

That is your opportunity to.

Do that.

Another funnel that I think every business should have, especially the e-commerce businesses, is people are pretty savvy shoppers online these days, right people?

People you know.

Google Groundhog Discount right they?

They just do that.

And so there’s a couple ways that you know you can handle that.

So if someone Googles Groundhog discount, do you want them going to like a discount site?

Or do you want them going to your site?

Like where do you want them to go?

You want.

To go to your.

Site, and So what she did give them.

There’s a lot of.

There’s a lot.

Of businesses that I’ve met.

Over the years that are like well.

I’m not giving any discounts away.

And because you know.

Our product is worth full.

Price and blah blah blah.

And I’m like.

You know, that might be so, but like, would you rather have the business or would?

You rather not give them a.

Discount like just bake it into.

The price and then give him a discount like they don’t know.

And then you know, and then the old trick is to go to your shopping cart and buy something and let it sit in the cart for 24 hours to see if they could give you a discount to buy.

I see, but I.

Only I do I do that?

Thank you.

So I do that like.

If you I think I think our email sends within a few hours, not not 15 minutes.

We we, we let we let it.

Sit for a minute.

Maybe I maybe.

I should turn it down to 50 minutes.

I don’t know I should split test that at some point, but.

I mean if you go to the footer of Groundhog dot IO, there is a form.

And it literally says above the form.

Subscribe and get 50.

Percent off on every single page without fail.

And it’s always there, it’s perpetually.

There and that form turns around 1% of monthly site.

Visits into a lead.

And has around a 15% conversion rate.

And what I like what that form is there’s no false scarcity.

I mean, we all we all know in the digital product, the old day used to be throw up a timer and say you have two days to buy this or one day to buy.

This well I.

Think we’ve got to get past that?

I think that’s truthfully a tactic that was so.

Five or six years ago and not a current one.

Most descriptors online get it.

Especially in like the software bids like ’cause we know.

Like we know what we?

Know what it is like the.

Like the people who are buying ground hugger are pretty.

Aware of like the products that are offered that we.

Could use to kind of.

Drum up, fake scarcity and it’s just like we prefer to just be honest and be like hey listen. You know this form is here 24/7.

If you want 15% off.

All you gotta do is you.

Just gotta give us your email address.

And we’ll send you the discount.

Code like that’s.

It that’s it’s as easy as that.

And you’d be surprised about like the vast majority of sales.

In on Groundhog Day.

To still come through at full price.

But you’d be surprised like people just don’t.

They don’t some a lot of people don’t look.

They’ll just pay whatever.

You ask them to.

But the the the people who are.

Like the savvy shoppers and the discount.

Hunters, they Scroll down.

To the bottom of the website and they look for where it says discount code.

They do control left and they look for the discount code.

On the web page and.

If they’re doing that, why not give?

Them something that they can take.

Action on like why prevent that?

Like why?

Create an experience for them.

That is going to result in them not having a good customer experience.

I find it would be much better to.

Just give them what they’re looking for.

Give them a discount and you know eat it whatever or you know.

If that’s what you’re worried.

About work the discount into the margins.

I like that philosophy and and a company that does that so well off the digital space in Ontario is lobus you go into Loblaws you show your optimum card.


They they calculate your points and when you hit 10,000 points you have $10 to spend, no questions asked, no ifs, no ands nobody.

I mean, that’s the cost of admission. Is your email address, and that gets you a 15%.

With ground up.

And it’s incredibly effective. I mean, it’s hard to argue with we. I may get a lot of we get a lot of traffic, 1% one to 2% of all site visitors are turned into a lead, no questions asked. And 1510 to 15% of those people end up buying immediately.

After getting that discount code.

That’s good.

And we have a very low refund rate, it’s.

It’s hard to argue with those results, right?

So, so, anybody who’s thinking like?

I don’t want to give some code I don’t want to do that.

Just try it.

You can always take it away.

You can always turn it.

Off right anyway?

So that that’s something that’s just incredibly, incredibly effective, and really.

Easy to set up frankly with Groundhog.

And we don’t do like the like.

Some people want to do.

Like the the they.

Auto generate the discount code and Groundhog does that with like WooCommerce and where you can generate like a single use discount code that does expire to like build in that sort of scarcity.

And it’s like I don’t do that.

I just.

I have a different discount, the.

Way that I approach like discount.

Codes just on a tangent here.

Is I have a different discount code for where they get that discount code so I can track, you know in my reports like how where are people getting the code so I can sort of track the effect of this in my ecommerce reporting directly so.

That’s that’s a really smart move, actually, that that comes back to what we talked about.

Knowing your numbers and knowing where things are coming from.

Yep yeah.

So I love to use because if you.

Use the auto.

Generated discount code and you have a few areas where that discount code.

Is generated, you don’t know where it really came from.

Like a lot of a lot like woo commerce doesn’t.

Have that kind of reporting built into it so.

Or and using the.

Easy digital downloads.

Definitely just not.

So I have like I found 15 off is the 15% discount code that you get from the poor because they scroll to the bottom.

They found it so we called the iPhone 15 off and I thought that.

Was kind of cute and clever.

Uhm, then we have a pop up, so if you like a like an exit intent pop up on the checkout page.

So if you.

Go to the checkout page.

And like you try and leave the checkout page the you know the pop up comes up and like hey listen you know get 15% off like right now. Click here and that’s that code is 1 time get 15 off it.

Think and then there’s a whole host of other ones.

Those are the.

Two main ones.

Yeah, well really.

We have

And I’ll just as an aside, I have this last one and this this one is.

Kind of sneaky. OK so.

People will go to the checkout page and.

We’ll just enter random stuff in the discount area.

You know that we have we have.

We have heat maps. We can tell we know they enter enter like the most random test 100 to see if you know we left like a test 100% off discount code in there somewhere and and people people been around the block a few times so they try a few things.

Now, right?

And what are the chances that they’re actually going to?

Guess something correctly, it’s like.

Not a lot, but people try.

They try and if they do try and they hit in an invalid discount code, guess what?

We do 15%.

Even 15% off Hwy.

Right? Because because they.

Do that right?

They do that and then they see.

That they’re older.

Total change is like Oh my God I beat the system.

And then they go on by.

Where this is to beat you?

Yeah, we beat the.

System and I’m like yeah, that’s what you think and then it works great and I can see again and the discount code for that is invalid under score discount.

And it’s been.

50% off anyway and then I can see like in the reports. Like you know this many people tried to get away with a with a clever discount code.

And like that’s cool, and now I.

Know it’s amazing how many people do that it.

Really is an.

And I didn’t.

I didn’t actually come up with that.

That’s something that, uh.

Awesome motive does with all of all.

Of their products, yeah and.

They do, Yep.

They’re they’re pretty heavily heavily.

Invested in like the whole, like fake scarcity thing, but some of the some of their some of their strategies are worth their weight in gold like that one.

That one works really well.

I’m moving forward.

One of the things that’s always impressed me with Groundhog is the number of integrations that you have, and you have a.

Number and I.

Was even talking to mark up a WS forms lately who I’m sure you know.

Ah, Westmarch Westgaard is a is really one of those salt of the earth.

Yeah, talk about someone who.

Is also in service of other I I love to work.

We have a a fairly like.

Clickey WordPress developer community like surrounding.

We do.

Not surrounding Groundhog, but Groundhog we?

We were heavily.

Buddy buddy with like left rail mass and.

Mark W Garden WP Fusion and there’s.

Just there’s just people in.

The community that you just.

You just connect with yeah and and Merc.

Westgaard is definitely one one of those people.

Mark marks one of those and Chris is 1.

Of those, that’s.

Funny he did a talk at Word Fest.

The other day, and.

The first thing he said to me, you’re from Toronto.

Do you know Adrian?

I said, of course I do.

The community is is pretty small and people don’t understand that.

Yeah and marks got a Groundhog integration and you’ve got some other integrations.

What does Groundhog integrate with, really?

Pretty much any of like the top Echelon Word press plugins that businesses would use for ecommerce courses and communities and forms every every single form builder.

Like you have a form builder, we got an.

Integration for it.

And what what?

Is your number one used integration under?

The piles, do you have one?

It has to be WooCommerce.

Yeah, yeah, it’s it’s woo commerce.

Followed up by Learndash and then and then lifter.

LMS I think.

After that.

Yeah, ’cause it’s funny.

Loop commerce, actually about Mailpoet, which for those who don’t know is another email package and we really haven’t done anything with it.

To be honest with you like it’s the same old product it was two years ago and everybody.

It’s it, it is.

It’s a shame because acquisition is often the death of products like this because they are sort of products unto themselves and they are their own beasts.

And they require a certain amount of attention.

The market moves quickly.

Technology moves quickly.

Yeah, customer needs and demands move quickly and when when sort of like a larger organization you know purchases one of these and integrates the product into like the rest of their.

Team, it’s like.

You know no one.

Wants to work on it because it’s kind of like if you just.

If you start working on it, you won’t stop.

It’s true as as you well know yourself, right?

As I, as I well know, three years, 3 1/2 years in in we saw that with with one of our competitors.

So zero BS CRM used to be called got bought by jetpack automatics and got rebranded to Jetpack CRM and it hasn’t been updated in forever.

Received no no.

Loves received no nothing.

That is so not uncommon in this space.

In in terms of running Groundhog, Groundhog, Hog runs Insided WordPress dashboard, which means for small entrepreneur or small business have one place to go to the WordPress website to update everything.

The drawback, if you talk to a lot of people, is.

Do I want to run a Groundhog marketing automation?

Do I want to run a learning system?

Do I want to learn a helpdesk system in WordPress ’cause that will slow it down?

What is your answer to that?

That is, that is sort of the main.

Objection that I do get.

And there are so, so there’s a.

Few pros and cons to like self hosting.

Which is which is what?

You know, we in the biz kind of talked about when we when we run these our own systems and the pros are our number one is open source.

So if something goes wrong you can fix it or you can get.

Someone else to fix it?

Uhm, you are.

You know totally it is totally within your possibility to solve problems right?

Whereas with like a SAS company or like or you know software as a service company, you’re pretty much at the mercy of like.

Their development team for.

What happens?

Also, because it’s open source, you’re open to adding your own integrations and sort of like customizing dashboards and adding your own stuff.

And again, if you’re.

Using a SAS that’s just not possible.

You’re just you’re.

Not able to to add your own stuff.

Or tailor it to your specific needs.

It’s it’s you complete control over your data.

So data ownership and privacy has been a big reason why we’ve seen a lot of success over the last three and a half years, especially in in Europe and in Germany where the data protection laws are pretty strict.

You can spin up a Groundhog.

On a WordPress website and host it on.

A server in.

Germany and that just keeps you in complete compliance so you don’t need any like special lawyers who look over data protection agreements and your privacy policy and all of that stuff could.

Be skipped just.

By self hosting.

Yep, uhm.

They you if you stop paying right since you.

Are in control of the code it’s self hosted.

If for some reason you can’t.

Pay like the renewal bill, everything will still work.

It’s not, we don’t.

We don’t like shut off Groundhog for you.

We’re going to continue to experience basically the same system as when you last reviewed.

So if you you know can’t renew immediately, then you’re not at risk of losing all your data or having your email turned off from that again, the sync.

Same can’t be said for our softwares of service counterparts.

If you stop paying, you lose your account and that’s that.

Though they lock it until you, you pay up again.

And that could be, you know.

Like you gotta meet this big choice between CRM and.

Payroll, like what do you?

What do you pay?

And just generally speaking, like the reason that we serve.

The product way to.

Do is to making the captain.

Neuron ship?


Think think of like using Groundhog and this is analogy that I used with someone the other day while.

I was doing a sales call.

’cause I still do those do things that.

Don’t scale right.

So I was doing the sales call I think of.

Groundhog it’s like?

Being the captain of your own got right.

You have a.

You have a 40 foot.

Sailboat or something and.

You can choose where you.

Want to go right?

And but you know you’re on a yacht, right?

So they’re not sharing services with a whole bunch of other people.

If there is a problem you are like ultimately responsible.

And so on and so forth.

But you know, it feels good to be the captain every.

Ship versus if you decide to go with like a provider like HubSpot activecampaign keep Salesforce.

Think of it as being like a passenger on a cruise ship.

The cruise ship is going where the cruise ship.

Is going and you’re.

Just along.

For the ride.

Right, you can sort of like plan your activities within the confines of the the list of available activities, but beyond that you know it’s kind of.

Just like you’re given your you.

Get you get what you pay for.

Uhm, so it’s kind of like ownership and flexibility over.

Sort of like safety and.

Just kind of going with it, right?

So and the con when when choosing to be the captain of ship is like sometimes.

Stuff stuff does go wrong.

It happens, you know.

You update a plugin and WordPress breaks or whatever and or you know you’re messing around with the code and you messed with the wrong line and something happens and you know you forget to pay your.

Email service provider Bill and all of a sudden none of your emails are going out.

And that’s sort of like, you know, the captain being the captain.

Membership comes with responsibility, and some people don’t want that responsibility.

And I totally get that.

But if you’re OK with accepting that responsibility, there are significant cost savings to be had.

You solve a lot of privacy issues and it feels pretty good to be like in control, and that’s probably the main thing.

Well, to circle back to your original question, does.

It slow anything down.

And this has been sort of like a conflict within WordPress.

Naysayers and WordPress promoters for.

The last 15 years that WordPress is how many years has it been?

Rob you would know?

I don’t know, I I I was tracked, but I’ve been in the WordPress community.

You don’t know.

Now I’m going on about 17 years.

So, so it’s been.

It’s been a while and you know, adding plugins to.

My website slows it down, has kind of just.

Been like the.

You know the number one.

Thing that people like to point out when.

They say don’t, you don’t self host, right?

But the reality is.

That you know the.

Infrastructure for self hosting has vastly improved over the last 17 years.

Yeah, and I I.

Would agree with you in a big way.

The the newest versions of, like PHP’s or the underlying framework. A lot of the Java scripts that people are now using and just like the general building blocks of WordPress sites these days are much, much, much, much better than they used to be and developers.

In general, and certainly our team have.

Gotten a lot smarter.

About how to actually build these sort of behemoth platforms and basically just like these these big apps that you put on your WordPress website to run incredibly efficiently and to play nice with each other and not to just totally demolish.

A website speed right?

Honestly, plugins are probably like at this point in time the least.

Have the least amount of impact, at least while codeplug it’s at least amount of impact.

On on site speed, the big the big things that affect site speed are now the underlying infrastructure, you know.

What version of?

PHP are you on?

What version of?

Maria DB are you?

Using you know who do you host with?

Do you have caching?

Like is the?

Caching is not.

Set up correctly like there’s like, always sort of.

Like server or techie underlying infrastructure stuff that’s going to have a way bigger impact.

On your site speed then than the actual plugins that you’re.

Using and certainly Groundhog.

Is not not in.

The last three and a half years.

Have we ever received a review or.

Complaint that accused us of making someone websites slower.

Because they were running.

Groundhog we’ve just never we’ve never received that.

And the reason is is because plugins like this are are no longer a hindrance on website speed.

Just because a lot of that stuff has been solved, it’s not a problem anymore.

I think actually page builders are more of a hindrance.

Depending on which one you go or themes like avada, which has a built in Page builder more V hindrance than plugins like Groundhog in my opinion.

And what I would say to that is then anybody thinking about.

WordPress speed should really look at Gutenberg bots to be honest.

I want to migrate my site to like a full Gutenberg build so that I don’t my personal sites.

I I didn’t.

Beijing, Tokyo.

I did Adrian.

I took my agency site and I moved from a Nevada based site to Gutenberg.

We did.

I’m running Cadence framework, so cadence walks shout out to the guys over at stellar and Cadence and I added 15 points to my GT metric score.

Hi, Groundhog Day.

I mean we were using.

We’ve been using Elementor since since we started we built the original site using the Elementor page builder.

And you know, I love elementor don’t get.

Me wrong I think.

It’s I do 2 product but.

But it does.

Yeah, it does add.

A few points here, like I mean if.

You actually like?

Look at our GT mixture score.

And like our page like Speed score on Google, it’s atrocious.

It really is really terrible and honestly, I just can’t be bothered to like really spend any time there because at like as far as like our numbers go.

And our analytics people have to come to.

The site and the fact that it takes like an extra second to load doesn’t really seem to impact anything.

And if you look for Groundhog like on Google or WordPress CRM, we show.

Up anyway, so it’s like, ah.

Yeah, I I know it’s that it’s the which.

Which way do you want to go?

And it’s so funny because I’ve actually got on my front page.

I have an external HTML call that brings in a list of podcasts on my main page and that didn’t even shoot my GT metric score, which is unreal like I and and it’s.

You know it was an interesting experiment.

Leads me to my next question.

Is Groundhog Gootenberg ready?

Well, considering the fact that, like Groundhog is an administrative tool, it’s like.

Customer like it doesn’t have like.

The only block that it had like it does register a.

Block that registers or form block.

Which basically just allows you.

To embed the Groundhog form in a Gutenberg page.

And that’s the.

Only blocker registers, ’cause that’s the only thing.

That customers are ever really going to.

All of like the preference and center stuff and and all of that stuff is, as Groundhog has like a special like it takes over the entire page and and has its own like theme stuff to show a standardized like unsubscribe page and email preference Center for every single client.

So if you like you ever.

See like that kind of preference in center you.

Know they’re using Groundhog?

Uhm, and that’s the reason for that is.

Compliance, privacy laws and it’s just easier for us to be like this is the way that it is versus letting people.

Kind of like create their.

Own their own systems and and basically.

Getting themselves in legal trouble.

Yeah, yeah.

Yeah, but as far as.

Like being Gutenberg ready.

There’s there’s nothing for.

Us to really be ready for and you log into.

The admin and.

You you have your context there.

You have your emails, you have your deals, your pipeline, your funnels and your reports and your dashboard and all.

That stuff and basically.

Groundhog is for the administrator or the salesperson, not necess.

For the the site visitor until like they get an email which happens in their inbox, which we have a special email builder for because not all like Gutenberg blocks or like going to be email compatible an.

And like like most HTML and CSS like I get questions sometimes or I got one today. So we messaged me this morning like can you build an email with elementor? No you can’t. JavaScript, CSS and a lot of HTML5 markup just doesn’t work.

In an email client.

Especially in Microsoft Outlook, the bane of our existence.

Microsoft Outlook is.

Microsoft Outlook’s HTML renderer. Do you know what they actually use to render documents in outlook? They use the Microsoft Word processor.

I freaked.

Yeah, it’s awful.

And for I’m not even like the updated one like the ancient one from like Microsoft Vista.

It’s it was so awful I I did a contract to a long term with the with the company running running their email automation and I gotta tell you the games that had to be played because of Microsoft Outlook was ridiculous and trying to get.

To be outlook compatible and smartphone compatible, because half of our clients read emails on a smartphone was even worse than the mini deal with Outlook.

It is like the bane everybody existence in this game.

Yeah, so when when designing emails we.

Have a special builder to to make sure that it’s compatible across.

All email clients so.

Everybody gets to to see.

The same content and had it like properly formatted.

And you know, if you like, you can go to nuts or you can go nuts.

You can go to.

Town on a MailChimp on a male shot on the MailChimp email builder.

Then you can send it to someone in Outlook address and it’s just like oh that’s what they see that doesn’t.

That’s not what I see in like the builder and my.

My Chrome browser, right?

It’s it’s a totally different experience.

Yep, so true.

Adrian, thanks for joining me and talking about Groundhog.

I think it’s a a great alternative or a great product for small business units.

If somebody wants to check out the product to get a hold of you, how’s the best way?

So they can go to Groundhogg.io

Your journey can begin there. If you want to try out the product. We have a 14 day refund guarantee and you can get 15% off by just going to the footer.

And there’s a forum there.

Give us your email address and we’ll send you a discount.

Code unsubscribing anytime.

You want to learn more about me.

Personally, and see some of the other shows and podcasts that I’ve done over the years you.

Can go to https://adriantobey.com/

Thank you very much for joining me today.

Have a great day.

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