The Octopus Method: Amanda Dobson’s 8 Channels to Explode Your List Revenue

The digital marketing world has put hyper-focus on email marketing—and with good reason.

Email marketing creates great results for businesses across almost every industry. With our inboxes sending notifications right to our phones, we’re able to find out about a sale our favorite retailer is having pretty quickly. On average, it takes somebody 48 hours to open a new email. That’s not a bad turnaround time, but… what if we could turn that into 4 minutes?

As Agora Financial’s Amanda Dobson has figured out—SMS texts are the way to turn that 48-hour open time into a 4 minute one.

Amanda uses this open time to her advantage by strategically placing it into her Octopus Method, a marketing strategy that has helped her 3x–10x revenue from her email list.

The Octopus Method uses 8 marketing channels to reach email list subscribers:

  1. Email
  2. Push notifications
  3. SMS texts
  4. Ringless voicemail
  5. Facebook groups
  6. Messenger bots
  7. Ad retargeting
  8. Direct mail

Using these 8 channels, Amanda creates integrative marketing campaigns that look like this (M for Monday, T for Tuesday, etc.):

She leverages the different communication channels to drive traffic back to her initial offer that’s sitting inside the subscriber’s inbox. And one huge part of the Octopus Method is SMS texts.

SMS Is a Biiiig Deal

As of 2020, SMS texts are the most engaging marketing method available.

When done right, it’s possible to sustain and monetize this channel just like Amanda has. For example, coupons sent via SMS text have a 10x higher redemption rate than those sent through email.

Here are a few more statistics that’ll make you realize it’s time to start taking SMS texting seriously:

  • 3x to 5x earnings per click compared to email
  • Up to 6x earning per SMS subscriber vs. email subscriber
  • 97% open rates on SMS
  • 27–50% click-through rate on SMS
  • Nearly 100% deliverability

With people touching their phones 85 times a day, SMS is becoming the easiest way to reach your customers and drive traffic back to your initial offers.

Texting initially feels like a challenging way to get your marketing message across—but Amanda’s done the hard work of figuring out what works and what doesn’t. Using SMS texts, she’s able to talk to subscribers in funnels like:

  • Product fulfillment
  • Cart abandonment
  • Traffic (cold & affiliate) monetization
  • Content distribution
  • Back-end monetization
  • Launch monetization

How to Get Started with SMS Lead Generation

The first step to creating a successful Octopus Method strategy is SMS lead capture. You’ve probably seen a few online forms asking for your phone number by now—you can bet these companies are interested in putting you into their SMS funnel (and maybe even their own Octopus Method!).

So, how are they doing it?

There are 2 methods to SMS lead capture.

Method One: Keyword Opt-In

The keyword opt-in method asks somebody to text a certain keyword to a number. Here’s an example of an ad asking for a keyword opt-in:

For this ad, the keyword opt-in is CIRCLE and the number to text is 90421. Notice that they’ve included a sweet deal of free cookie dough for whoever opts-in? That’s because just like your email opt-in—you need a lead magnet that makes it worth this person’s time to text you.

(And cookie dough is always worth it).

Method Two: Webform Opt-in

A webform opt-in for SMS texts is pretty similar to that for an email opt-in. The website visitor will enter their phone number into a form on the website and give permissions to receive SMS texts (just like giving permission to receive emails).

Here’s what that form might look like:

As soon as this prospect sends in the keyword or opts-in to the webform, you’ll send them an automated text response with:

  • Business/program name
  • Frequency of texts
  • Terms and conditions
  • Help instructions
  • Stop instructions
  • Msg and data rate disclaimer

This all goes into the initial message so that an SMS subscriber always has access to this information just by scrolling up in their text history with your company.

Here are a few of Amanda’s big tips around SMS lead capture:

  • Keep the keyword simple, short, and relevant to the opt-in
  • Don’t use acronyms as your keyword because auto-correct will change the spelling
  • Don’t use fancy spelling for your keyword
  • Make your keyword one word
  • Make sure you offer a compelling reason for someone to opt-in to SMS texts
  • Make sure you’re being compliant
    • Here’s who you have to be compliant of: CTIA, TCPA, FCC, Mobile Marketing Association

How to Start Implementing Your SMS Marketing

The Octopus Method requires you to have the mobile phone numbers of your email subscribers, putting your opt-in forms in the easiest-to-see places on your website, emails, and social channels is going to be an important part of this strategy.

Here are the difference touchpoints where you can put your SMS opt-in form:

  • Top of site banner
  • Exit Pop
  • Onboarding auto-responder series
  • Content emails (banner etc.)
  • Contests on social
  • Receipt emails
  • Order forms

It’s also safe to assume that a lot of these opt-ins are going to be coming from mobile devices—so you’ll want these places to be mobile optimized. This means that you’re optimizing images, minimizing code to improve page load time, reducing redirects, and making sure your website looks great on mobile and desktop.

With your opt-in forms poised and ready—it’s time to figure out what platform will host your SMS efforts. Amanda’s suggestion is to choose a platform based on your goals, what you’re selling, the type of content you’re sending, and the specifics of your strategy.

Once you’ve nailed down your platform, you’re ready to start sending messages and creating an Octopus Method that utilizes 8 marketing channels to promote your offers.

Just remember these few tips, courtesy of Amanda, for creating a successful SMS marketing strategy:

  • Give value in return for opting-in AND staying opted-in
  • Send content to keep subscribers engaged
  • Keep your messages short
  • Use URL shorteners
  • Have a clear call to action on each message
  • Use insights to see what time your audience is most active online
  • Have your call forwarding number go to your sales team

Want to learn more?

Traffic & Conversion Summit 2020 is happening December 15 – 17 in San Diego. In 3 content-packed days, you’re not only going to get expert sessions from Ryan Deiss but also marketing legends like Marcus Lemonis, Roland Frasier, Billy Gene Shaw, Ezra Firestone, Mari Smith, Rachel Bell, Kevin Harrington, Kristen Bryant, Richard Lindner, Goldie Chan, Chalene Johnson and many more.

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