Daniel Faggella

Former Jujitsu gym owner and champion discovers email segmentation strategy as a means to survive but now applies it to bigger companies to thrive

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Most Popular to Share on Google+ and LinkedIN:


Physical to Online Business Commonalities

“The commonalities from my physical business to what I do in consulting is a relatively straight-line. I wish I could have gotten good at everything like design and even telemarketing. But my big talent is e-mail marketing.”


Grouping for Success

“Segmenting your website visitors on the front-end leads to better conversions and better relationships.”


E-mail segmenting = long-term success

“E-mail segmenting — it’s not just about the impact that week. It’s about how much more relevant your entire relationship and communications will be with those folks.”


When winning SEO doesn’t…

“If you win the SEO game for martial arts in Los Angeles your phone rings a lot. If you win the SEO game for martial arts in Wakefield Rhode Island, your phone still doesn’t ring that much.”


Where 1/50th effort leads to massive gain

“If there was a tiny effort, I mean 1/50th of what L.L. Bean puts into segmenting, we could see much better ROI. I mean simple stuff like segmenting customers from prospects or segmenting by industry.”


Focus yet Violate

“I’m definitely on the focused side, I just sin against my own business principles from time to time.”

In the audio, Dan Faggella shares:

— The common mistake where 1/50th more effort to correct it leads to big lifts in your sales

— When 1% conversion is good and times when it’s bad

— What stealth segmenting is and why your website guests will love it

— How to avoid the “initial success, overeager expansion” mistake

— 3 big business concepts he applies to all areas of life

— His e-mail segmentation strategy to get an immediate revenue boost of 30% or more

— A specific strategy where asking a web visitor for more information leads to higher conversion

— His technique to double or triple conversions in your e-mail campaign while building a stronger relationship with subscribers who buy and those who don’t buy

— Big revenue boost – how one or two data points plus an additional $.20 or $.30 per subscriber per month over 12 months adds up to huge gains

Daniel Faggella is a recognized email marketing expert, entrepreneur, and speaker. Starting his first business in his undergraduate years, Dan began with his second business while attending the University of Pennsylvania’s prestigious Master of Applied Positive Psychology program.

Selling his first business at age 25 and moving from Rhode Island to Boston, Dan’s passion lies in helping startup and existing businesses use marketing automation technology to drastically increase their Customer Lifetime Value (CLV), and drive business metrics that matter.

Dan’s expertise has been recognized not only by the many companies he’s helped directly, but by major media sites such as the Boston Business Journal, MarketingProfs, Direct Marketing News, and more. He has been interviewed on popular shows such as MIXERGY, GrowthHacker.tv, Entrepreneur on Fire, and many others. He also speaks around the country on successful marketing strategy and business, including the eMarketing Association’s national conference, Bryant University, the Cambridge Innovation Center, and more.

He dedicated close to a decade to Brazilian jujitsu. He won the no Gi Pan Ams competition three years back.

He’s always been fascinated with human potential both mentally and physically so he studied sports psychology for his undergrad at the University of Pennsylvania. He paid for all of it by running a jujitsu gym. He got it up to 100 students before he sold it. Now he sells jujitsu programs online. He’s got that up to a little over $50,000 per month now.

He’s been in really small towns and small niches so has had to make the most of a few leads. A lot of that has to do with e-mail segmentation and database marketing.

Today, Daniel works with a select group of companies ranging from software, hard products, eCommerce, service businesses and beyond.

Some Shareables from Daniel Faggella in this episode…

#1 Path to Growth

“I started in a physical gym. I would have kept the fighting to be a lot more fun and just had a little warehouse space. I would have focused right away on the online marketing and appealing to a global market, rather than staying in my little town of 8,000 people. It took a really long time to get past the 70 student mark when you’re in a town where that’s like 1% of the human population there.

I would have gone right online with all of the SEO emphasis and e-mail emphasis. If I could kick my 20 year old self in the shin and yell at him, I’d tell him to go online where there are vaster lead sources and revenue opportunities.”

Biggest negative incident

“I had a borderline roof collapse in my martial arts gym. We were shoveling out gargantuan buckets of slush after a blizzard.”

Biggest Mistake

“This goes back to my brick-and-mortar experience not my various online businesses. I expanded my gym’s physical space faster than made sense. We expanded before the absolute bursting at the seams necessity demanded it. We took our floorspace from 2,500 sq. ft. to 4,500 sq. ft., almost doubling it. We had additional staff and rent expenses.

We suspected the upcoming school year would get us where we needed to be but it ended up taking closer to two years before we got our student base up to the level to support these additional expenses. We got overeager due to some initial success.”

Favorite part of Entrepreneur’s Journey

“I really like finding concepts I can apply to life in general which is fulfilling to me. Just finding business lessons in general that apply in other areas. I’ve had multiple LLC’s since I was a pretty young guy spinning lots of different plates. One concept that stuck and led to the founding of CLV Boost was the segmentation strategy.

This is breaking down who is in our database in terms of subscribers, leads and customers. We know what their age groups, interests, goals and industries are so we can send them the most relevant e-mails possible.

Some hiring procedures and some firing procedures were two other concepts that stuck long-term. I can take these things into my next venture, someone I’m consulting with, or a business I’m looking to invest in.”

Weirdest thing and Lesson Learned

“I was in the very early days of my martial arts gym. I was in like a 300 sq. ft. space with no windows. We had multiple dehumidifiers, otherwise everybody would get ringworm because it would get super drippy and horrible all the time. I had two of my paid instructors who got into a fistfight in the middle of teaching a jujitsu class.

They were rolling live and grappling and apparently it got personal. There was swearing and students freaking out. That was one fun and strange experience of personal dynamics in the business world.”


“The commonalities from my physical business to what I do in consulting is a relatively straight line. I wish I could have gotten good at everything like design and even telemarketing. But my big talent is e-mail marketing.

Generic Advice – when you’re collecting leads you don’t want to ask for more information on the front end. Make things really simple and just get the e-mail. From there you can e-mail them because it’s a really low barrier of entry to communicate with.

Instead, what I’ve done for about four years that’s counterintuitive and was the only reason I was able to sell my business, and I’ll be selling my online business for a significantly higher number, is because we have segmented our leads on the front end in a couple of different ways.

Number one we like to allow folks, depending on the service or the major goal they have, to select that in a drop-down while we are collecting either name, e-mail and/or phone number when it’s applicable. You have to test, but on the aggregate it converts higher.

Let’s say we’re getting conversion of 15% on a landing page. We’ll sometimes see a 17% conversion, or 13%, with the addition of one drop-down. There was this big ranting, raving fear around more information. But we found some times it had the opposite affect or it was negligible in terms of statistical significance.

The e-mail follow up being calibrated by the individual’s goals allows for much better down funnel conversions and e-mail marketing down the line because instead of getting a vanilla newsletter, now all the people interested in e-commerce, I can just send them a piece I did for Marketing Land on e-commerce. I don’t have to send the piece I did on building organic engagement. I can save that for the subset of my subscribers who are interested in that particular tactic.

Down funnel it’s a better relationship, better conversion. Upfront, it’s relatively similar conversion to a lead and sometimes even higher conversion. That’s been counterintuitive to what’s generally recommended with e-mail opt in and e-mail marketing.”

Stealth segmenting

“Sometimes segmenting can be done behind the scenes so none of your website guests even see it. For example, if you went to the page on my website about the kids martial arts program, all you’d see on the sidebar is name, e-mail and phone number. But when you entered your info, that form would send you into my communication campaign for the kids program. I can get another data field without the website visitor having to do anything. Then later during the communication process I send them topic specific newsletters… no vanilla newsletters.”

Bad Conventional Wisdom

“There is a lot here. Gun to my head, if there’s one thing I see people doing wrong time and time again, it’s the philosophy that “Bland is okay” for certain kinds of messaging. E-mail is treated as if it’s free because it’s basically free-ish. Until your list reaches a certain size it doesn’t cost you money each time you press the send button. Because it’s treated as a free channel, the effort put into it is often junk or throwaway effort.

Instead let’s look at L.L. Bean.

They sell nationally and I believe internationally as well. I believe their revenues were in excess of $1.5 billion in 2013. These guys are in the game. They use a print catalog. If you think they send the same print catalog to everybody on their list you are gravely mistaken.

Print catalogs aren’t free. You’ve got to kill trees for that. This costs ink and shipping. The way they segment their messages is dead serious… it’s calibrated toward return on investment. This contrasts to what most of us do for e-mail with our one-size-fits-all seven day campaign.

We think they’re bad leads but we probably just freaked them out with bland messaging. You’ve also probably received the bland ‘We’re still alive’ newsletter. I call them ‘Red button e-mails’. It’s as if you have your entire e-mail list and one big red button that just says ‘Blast’. You just slam this thing like Whack-a-mole.

This is despite the fact that if you were mailing in print or calling people individually, you wouldn’t treat them all the same. Not only because you don’t want them to have an experience that breaks your relationship, but because you really want to sell.

If there was a tiny effort, I mean 1/50th of what L.L. Bean puts into segmenting, we could see much better ROI. I mean simple stuff like segmenting customers from prospects or segmenting by industry.”

Learn more about Daniel Faggella:

CLVBoost.com — here they blog and write about e-mail marketing segmentation and marketing automation. Right now they have a “5 plug and play strategies” white paper you can download.