🥷 Funnel Breakdowns #21: Drum Beats Online

Published 3 months ago • 8 min read

The Internet is a wonderful thing.

No matter what it is you’re interested in…

If you’re really passionate about it (and you know how to build good sales & marketing funnels), you can make a great living online—even in a niche that most people would think is “too small.”

That’s exactly what this week’s creator has been able to achieve.

Meet Gabe Helguera.

Gabe is a drummer.

But not just any drummer.

He’s a 2-time Grammy nominee with his band I Prevail.

He’s also the founder of Drum Beats Online, a YouTube channel with over 700,000 subscribers, and Drum Beats Online Academy, one of the Internet’s leading drumming schools.

Fun fact: We stumbled upon Gabe thanks to a tip-off from Dave Major, one of you guys. And after taking a look at some of his funnels, we found ourselves taking notes. So, we figured we might as well share them with you!

Here’s a sneak peek of what you can expect to learn by the end of this email:

  • The most effective way to start any lead magnet email series
  • How to use video to make your landing pages more compelling
  • The #1 “pitching” mistake most creators make in their email funnels
  • And tons more!

So let’s dive in, shall we?

Funnel Piece #1: The Landing Page

First, let’s break down Gabe’s free course landing page.

Here are 4 things he’s doing well:

  • He explains the value proposition of his free course using video (instead of just text). This is very smart for 2 reasons: 1) video allows you say more (without taking up that much landing page real estate) and 2) video allows you to build trust and rapport faster (it’s much harder to fake you’re legit on video).
  • He has a “sneak peek” section breaking down everything you’re going to learn inside the course. This is a great way to give the reader more context about the specific topics you’re going to cover in your freebie—and seal the deal for those who might be on the fence about opting in.
  • He included several opt-in forms throughout the page. This is a nice way to reduce friction and make it easier for the reader to opt-in for your freebie. If someone scrolled down to read the rest of your landing page copy, you want to avoid making them scroll all the way back to the top to give you their email.
  • He has a nice “graphic” where he visually explains how simple it is to improve your drumming skills with his course. I love this tactic because in a very subtle way it makes the “opt-in” decision feel like a no-brainer: “Why would I not sign up for this thing if it’ll make it so easy?” Although he could make this image even more powerful if he added a quick blurb contrasting this “path” to the “alternative path”: Sitting through hours of YouTube videos with conflicting drumming advice.

That being said, there’s also a few upgrades he could make here to boost his opt-in rates:

  • Adding an “outcome-driven” headline. Right now, Gabe is using his free course name as the main headline of his landing page. And even though it is nice to “name” your lead magnet something (so it feels like a product), you might not want to lead with that as your main headline. To fix this, he could either make the name of the course smaller and increase the size of the current sub-headline… Or he could combine both his current headline and sub-headline into one big (and more outcome-focused) headline.
  • Removing the links to check out his other free courses. At the bottom of the landing page, Gabe has 2 CTAs to check out his other free courses. And even though this is 10x better than what most creators typically do (like giving you access to their entire newsletter archive before you even opt in), I’d still remove these CTAs and “promote” his other courses inside the first one instead (once he’s captured your email).
  • Beefing up his social proof. Lastly, I’d improve Gabe’s “credibility” section by making it more concrete and specific. For example: I’d mention how many years he’s been playing the drums for, how many students he’s helped inside his online drumming academy, and how big his YouTube channel is (plus the fact that he’s part of a 2-time Grammy-nominated band, which is super cool).

Funnel Piece #2: The “Surprise Sales Page”

After opting in for Gabe’s free course, you’re not redirected to a classic Thank You Page.

Instead, he sends you to a sales page pitching you on joining his membership, Drum Beats Online Academy, right away:

Personally, I’m not a big fan of this tactic.

I’m all about selling… but IMO, it’s 10x easier to make the sale if you’re willing to wait a tad and give absurd amounts of value upfront.

However, that doesn’t mean this tactic doesn’t work.

It can work—but you have to execute it well.

Now, is Gabe doing it right?

He’s close—but he missed one key part.

But, let’s dig into what’s he’s doing well first:

There are 3 things working well on this “Surprise Sales Page”:

  • He offers you a limited-time special discount. This is a great way to create urgency for the reader to take action immediately (instead of just clicking away and postponing the decision). He could do a slightly better job “framing” this and explaining why he’s giving you the discount in the first place. But nevertheless, he’s the first creator we cover that actually executes this tactic. So, shoutout to him!
  • He does a great job showing you the features & benefits of the course (instead of just telling you). At the top of the sales page, he has a quick video sales letter explaining who the program is for and giving you a “tour” inside the Academy. On top of that, he has tons of graphics where you can *see* what the course looks (and feels) like.
  • Lastly, he includes a series of bonuses that you only get if you grab this special, limited-offer. In addition to the discount he mentions at first, you also get 8 special bonuses when you sign up for Gabe’s membership within the 24-hour period. This is a very effective way to create even more urgency and FOMO for the reader—and boost conversion rates.

Now, there’s one small (but crucial) upgrade he should make to this sales page:

  • Introducing the paid offer with more finesse. Let me explain. Right now, there’s really no transition from “congrats, you signed up for the free course” to “hey, buy my thing!” And this can feel both confusing and a little pushy. So instead, I’d add some additional copy at the top of the page explaining everything the free course will help the reader do again, frame that as the first step to the “ultimate outcome” they’re aiming for, and then introduce the paid offer as the shortcut to get there exponentially faster. Night and day difference.

Funnel Piece #3: The Welcome Email

Okay, last but not least, let’s dig into Gabe’s Welcome Email.

So… a quick caveat here is that he doesn’t really have a Welcome Email.

Instead, he sends you the first lesson of the free course series right away.

Personally, I think that’s a mistake.

But before we dive into the upgrades he could make to this email, let’s see what we can learn from what he’s doing well.

  • Even though this is a free video course, he delivers each lesson via email. This is smart for 2 reasons: 1) it makes the course more digestible for the reader (instead of overwhelming you with an entire video course, he’s only sending you one quick lesson per day) and 2) this helps his readers build the habit of opening his emails (which is exactly what we all want!).
  • Instead of sending you to YouTube to watch the video lesson there, he embeds it in a custom page where he also talks about his paid offer. A big mistake creators make when including video in their emails is sending people directly to YouTube. This is a problem because YouTube is, by definition, an incredibly distracting place. So by sending your readers to a dedicated page with your video embedded, you remove all the distractions (so they can actually watch the video)—and have more freedom and real estate to “plug” other CTAs or encourage your reader to take the next step in your funnel.
  • The content of the free course is actually great. This is easy to take for granted, which is why I wanted to flag it for you. No matter how great your funnels are if your content sucks. Don’t forget that!

That being said, here are 3 easy upgrades he could make to this email (to boost engagement and conversions):

  • Including an overview of everything he’s going to cover throughout the free course series. Even though he mentions this on the free course landing page, I like to always start my free video or email course series by reminding the reader of what they’re going to learn throughout. This way, you can get them excited about the journey ahead—and they know exactly what to expect. (But I wouldn’t do this in the “first lesson” email. Instead, I’d add a “lesson 0” email that acts as an introduction to the series.)
  • Adding more social proof. Another thing I always like to do in the very first email of any series is to find ways to immediately build trust and authority. So if he had this introductory email I mentioned in the previous bullet, Gabe could also include an “in case you’re not familiar” section sharing his background and some “tangible social proof” to make sure there isn’t a “trust problem” before people dive into the course.
  • Including a “fast-forward” link so people can binge read/watch the whole series in one sitting if they want. That can help create a better user experience for those readers who’re eager to go through the course faster than everyone else. Plus, it allows you to identify who your super-consumers are. (If someone flies through your entire email course in a single day, there’s a good chance they’re enjoying your emails and they’ll buy something from you later!)

Recap

And that’s a wrap!

As usual, we covered a lot and there are a bunch of tactical golden nuggets in this Breakdown.

So I’m going to quickly recap them all below so you can get a quick refresher and decide which one of these nuggets you’re going implement in your own funnels this week.

Tactics Worth Stealing From Gabe’s Funnel

  • Add a quick video sales letter to your lead magnet landing page to explain the value proposition of your freebie in the most compelling way possible.
  • If you’re pitching new subscribers on a paid offer early in your funnel, make sure to use deadlines and bonus incentives to create urgency and give people a good reason to take action.
  • Deliver your free video courses as an email series so you can make the content more digestible for your readers and ensure they actually go through it and get value from it.

Potential Upgrades He Could Make (That You Can Learn From)

  • Always start your landing page copy with an outcome-focused headline.
  • Include “tangible social proof” all over your lead magnet welcome flow so you can instantly build trust with new readers.
  • If you’re going to send your readers to a Surprise Sales Page, make sure to always do it with finesse and include some “bridge copy” that connects your freebie with the paid offer you’re going to pitch them on.

Boom—now the ball is on your court!

Which of these are you going to implement over the next week?

Hit reply and let me know!

Also, if you have any follow-up questions after reading this issue, be sure to let me know too!

I’m here to help :-)

Until next week,

~The Email Marketing Ninja

I spend 20+ hours/week analyzing the email funnels of 6 & 7 figure creators—so you can steal their money-making tactics in 10 minutes or less.

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