6+ Figures from SMS Campaigns: Ben Vandal on Creating Urgency, Testing Offers, And Ad Types That Work

Zach Johnson

Dylan Carpenter

Ben Vandal


Ben Vandal



Constantly Varied Gear
Apple PodcastsGoogle PodcastsLive on SpotifyLive on Youtube

Ben Vandal is the CMO at Constantly Varied Gear, a socially conscious fitness apparel brand also offering fitness programming, a health and wellness podcast, and a community of badass supportive women.

Episode Summary


  • SMS campaigns that have generated well over 6-figures
  • How to fail fast and learn fast with new offers
  • Creating a sense of urgency to reduce conversion windows and maximize sales FASTER




Ben (00:01):

We do a lot of launches. So, um, on launch days, when we initially launched the product, we'll see a huge spike and we'll let it die down to one of the low points in the day and send out an SMS and see equal or higher spikes later in the day than when we initially launched a product, just because all those people get it and they immediately take action. We actually have a client who just made over, over a million dollars this year in sales and their average response time from text to purchase is 20 minutes. So I mean, these people are not playing around. I mean, just think about how you communicate with everybody that, you know, if somebody writes you an email, you'll get to it when you get to it. But the text message, you either look at it and respond or you don't.

Speaker 2 (00:55):


Carson (00:57):

Welcome to another episode of the rich add poor add podcast. Today, we have been vandalized the CMO at constantly varied gear. You'll want to hear about how his SMS campaigns have generated well over six figures and you'll learn how he fails fast and correct faster with new offers. My favorite part is how he details, how he utilizes urgency to maximize sales faster. Sit back, relax, and enjoy the show. But before we begin, if you are an agency owner or media buyer, head over to funneldash.com to learn how you can scale your ads with just a click that's funneldash.com. Now without further ado here is your host Dylan Carpenter. All right.

Dylan (01:48):

Y'all we're back in business with another episode of the rich dad, poor dad podcast. I'm your host today? Dylan Carpenter. And I am amped for this one because I'm all about communities. Now, today we have a very special guest Ben Vandal, the CMO of constantly varied gear, as well as a partner in messenger mastermind. Now these guys, they easily manage mid seven figures yearly for their clients and they kill it at it. So while the hype is real Ben, what's up, man. Thanks for coming

Ben (02:15):

On. Yeah, thanks for having me, Dylan.

Dylan (02:17):

Yeah, yeah. Not a problem at all. So give everybody a little idea of kind of who you are, just so Bascom kind of context. Yeah.

Ben (02:23):

Um, I am Ben Vandal constantly varied gears CMO. Uh, we do ladies apparel for fitness brands and we specialize in community really. And I am also a partner at messenger mastermind. We started as a podcast, turned into a conversational marketing agency where we really just help people conquer their own channels and, um, get the most out of the customers that they have.

Dylan (02:49):

How long have you been in that for so far? We've

Ben (02:51):

Done that, uh, coming up on two years now, podcasts almost at a hundred episodes. And we've gone through between six to 10. Now over the two years, it's been really fun, worked with some great brands and learned a lot along the way too.

Dylan (03:05):

It's kinda cool how you reverse the roles from podcasts to that versus that to the podcast. You know what I mean? Yeah.

Ben (03:11):

I mean, we started as e-comm marketers in six figure brands and we've grown along the way now CVG is in eight figures and, uh, Jeremy who's the host of the podcast worked at Lummi who is a high eight figure brand now. So, um, yeah, we've, we've really come a long way and kind of met each other at, um, a couple of conferences. And then we just got together and were like, we should start a podcast about marketing. And then it turned into a lot of people listening and being like, Hey, could you help me with this? And then we organically turned into an agency. So it was kind of cool

Dylan (03:44):

Then super near yeah. Build that following and they will come, you know?

Ben (03:48):

Yeah. If you can help people, they, they appreciate it.

Dylan (03:52):

Definitely. So what all platforms are kind of running ads on these days?

Ben (03:55):

Yeah, so we, um, mainly focused just like every company is in Facebook. Um, but we go to some ancillary platforms for our big specialty at messenger mastermind is a SMS marketing. So we work with a lot of SMS platforms like attentive, SMS, balm, postscript, and really try to get people to maximize the most out of that platform that we think is going to be kind of the new frontier. You know, it's going to take over or you serve email eventually. That's the way we look at it. And we've just seen unbelievable stats as far as response times response to buy, um, open in deliverability is just unbelievable in the platform. So that's really what we've been focused on. And we were big into messenger when we first started a couple of years ago. Um, kind of, or like, yeah, yeah. Big into chat bots and that kind of evolved into, it's basically the same strategy just with a better platform in SMS. So that's where we've taken it to now.

Dylan (04:56):

Now I don't know what your rich hat is, but I'm kind of curious on the SMS side, what's your biggest win?

Ben (05:02):

Yeah. So as far as, um, I don't know why I didn't see this question coming, but, uh, one, one big one, we have an SMS is, um, a customer win-back program. So basically after a customer makes a purchase, we text them between 15 and 30 minutes after and we make them an offer. And we say, we can add this to your existing order for no additional shipping costs. If you have the logistical ability to do that. And a lot of times you can do it too, depending on your product, it can be a warranty, it can be an informational product, it can be a digital download and it's just you capitalizing on the buyer's high and it, the deliverability and, you know, the customer is going to see that offer. It really is unbelievable.

Dylan (05:47):

That is super interesting. I've tried a little bit of the SMS in my day, but nothing executed too much, but I saw somebody on Twitter and the digital marketing world on Twitter. It's just up, it's kind of wild, but there was one guy in the first seven minutes of his campaign. He launched out, he had 1800 sales and I was just like all through SMS, like, oh my God, that's huge.

Ben (06:06):

Yeah, we, we have, um, we do a lot of launches. So, um, on launch days, when we initially launched the product, we'll see a huge spike and we'll let it die down to one of the low points in the day and send out an SMS and see equal or higher spikes later in the day than when we initially launched the product. Just because all those people get it and they immediately take action. We actually have a client who just made over, over a million dollars this year in sales. And their average response time from text to purchase is 20 minutes. So I mean, these people are not playing around. I mean, just think about how you communicate with everybody that, you know, if somebody writes you an email, you'll get to it when you get to it. But the text message, you either look at it and respond or you don't, but you're seeing that text message no matter what. So it's extremely valuable if you don't abuse it. And, uh, you're clear. And to the point it's really is one of the best platforms out now.

Dylan (07:04):

Oh my gosh. That's some worthy highlights snippets right there, man. Cause yeah, I remember that was my whole concept with the chat bot side of things is when people get a message on Facebook, they're a hundred percent going to look at that. So those open rates and click through rates were just super bomb, but we just found issues with convert, you know, conversion rates and whatnot, but I'm sure, you know, with that real-time data, you can really see some good trends and, you know, optimize based off that.

Ben (07:27):

Yeah. I think a lot of people just get nervous in the beginning that it is a little spammy, um, or feels spammy and that's kind of the, uh, the stigma around it. But if you do it right, I think people and the way technology is evolving, I think people are more and more comfortable being marketed to in text message if it's done properly. I mean, we just saw unbelievable political campaigns run through text message. I mean, I think that really brought it to the forefront for everybody, but brands do it right. I mean, they make such big wins. I mean, Kylie Jenner has done unbelievable campaigns through marketing. Um, and it it's just really taking over the younger demographic.

Dylan (08:08):

Now million-dollar question here, have you fallen into your own trap and got an SMS marketing text and converted from it? Yeah.

Ben (08:17):

That's a great question. Actually, I am on so many because you just sign up for every less trying to get tips and tricks. Um, yeah, I I've definitely, I've gotten into pretty much converted through every ad platform at risk. That's the, that just tells you how well, uh, people are targeting now is that like, I can convert through anything now because I'm seeing everything that pertains to me. So if I need it and it comes up to me in that, uh, form, I'm going to buy it that way.

Dylan (08:46):

Oh yeah. I fell into my first trap of it. This black Friday, cyber Monday, I got some new shirts and I'm like, man, I usually hate these, but they got me this time.

Ben (08:54):

Yeah. I'm always a tougher customer too. So I'll end up clicking something and then buy it down the road through a retargeting ad on Facebook or something like that. Oh. And it takes a couple of touch points to get me. I feel like a hard sell.

Dylan (09:07):

Oh, I wait 29 days just cause I know the attribution, you know?

Ben (09:12):

Yeah. Wait for those abandoned cart emails. Yeah. Oh, it's fun.

Dylan (09:16):

Well, let's get to the actual structure of the show here. I love going on tangents, but in this scenario we love to kind of dive into what's working for you at this kind of point in time. So what's your rich ad.

Ben (09:31):

Yes. So really a couple of things that we've gotten into here in Q4. I mean we're at the tail end of Q4 now and ads have gotten extremely expensive. So something that we've done is really transferred all of our prospecting, um, spend into the best offer that we can provide. So we call it our trip buyer and it is usually something that the customer perceives as the best offer. So 50% is something that we see extremely, uh, high take rate on or buy one, get one is another popular one. We've done all kinds of research on this 30%, 40%, 60%. It seems like 50% is the win. I think people just look at it and see half off and it immediately pops into their mind that I need to get this. And if you can put it, put some urgency in the ad with a limited time offer or there's, won't be a wrong, uh, over, around for long, excuse me, or a limited inventory while supplies last, that always works well too. Um, and we've seen just about every account have success with this 50%

Dylan (10:42):

Offering. Have you ever tried some sort of monetary value or maybe the average order value is 75 bucks? So you kind of milk them in to get $15 off something that's

Ben (10:52):

Yeah. Yeah. So we've definitely tested that exact thing. Let's say it's a $50, right? And we've done this item just $25. We've done this item just $25 off. We've done 50% off. It always seems that percentage. I don't know if people like doing the math on their own, but the 50% off or the buy one get one has worked relatively well too, which is just still a 50% off offer. Uh, but it seems like that percentage off, I don't know if it's a wow factor of seeing that and knowing that that is an enticing offer regardless of the original price. But that, that seems to be the winner for us over the past month.

Dylan (11:29):

Now, how do you go on board with clients for this to say, Hey bro, you want to test some different offers? Do you have them bump the price up to make it reasonable for them to have that 50% off? Or is that just kind of part of the game there?

Ben (11:39):

Yeah, we have done that a lot of times what we do is their highest margin product and ensure them. I mean, a lot of what we do at messenger mastermind is grooming products for repeat purchases. So we try to take the loyal customers, give them the best opportunity to buy out full price because they trust your brand. So the way we really frame it is we want people to people who don't know who you are to take your product and build trust with you. Right? First they're they're, um, hesitant about buying online, right? They don't know if they're going to receive the product on time. They don't know what the quality of the product is. So if you can lead with your highest margin product that we feel like represents your brand at a really good offer and the customer gets it, they're going to fall in love. And then if we hit them continuously with one content, two great offers through email and SMS and any other channels that we have the ability to they're going to come back and you'll eventually regain that money on the front end. If you're not taking too bad of a loss, we really go at it and we try to make them break even on that top line and knowing that we'll make money on the backend with our strategies

Dylan (12:52):

Oh, big time. And it sounds like you all are pretty involved from start to finish even on the back end side of things. So I feel like you have a lot of control on how that system works. Cause I know, I know a ton of individuals who just don't get involved in the back end to where they need to kind of really kill it on the front end, in order to make it worthwhile when it's be probably an easier fix for some backend optimization or some sort.

Ben (13:13):

Yeah. Kind of the way the industry has gone is everyone's like a slave to Roaz. So we completely understand like when, you know, you can't bring things to your clients without having a full explanation and full data behind it because it's a, it's kind of a big leap of faith. But if you can just get that customer in the door the first time and then hit them, you have opportunities for cross sells with upsells, with post purchase, sells the customer, went back, text message. Like we just mentioned, you can kind of break that top line a lot quicker and um, just report back to your client and have them build trust in you too. I mean, that's ultimately the case.

Dylan (13:54):

Oh, big time. Now, when it comes to an offer like 50% off, how do you all kind of test that out of curiosity? Is it, you know, a bunch of different creatives to see what kind of hits and you know, when something does hit, does that get the majority of the budget or are there a bunch of this 50% off ads that you kind of have at, you know, active at one time?

Ben (14:09):

Yeah. So we've tested this a bunch too. So dynamic creatives have worked well, but what really seems to work well from this offer on the Facebook side of things has been static images of the product, uh, in use. And it seems to what happens is 50% off a customer sees that they tag a friend, then that friend starts a conversation. Facebook shows that to more and more people that do that. And suddenly you have not only the spend that you're putting behind it, but you have organic spend on an ad, which is unbelievable, organic virality, almost of people who not only want to buy it now, but they want to buy it in groups, which is much more powerful. And when they buy it in groups that feeds into our community theme, or did they tag a friend and they're like, yeah, I got this one last week. You know, I love this. And then it really perpetuates itself down the line. So we've seen for some reason, static images get the best engagement on Facebook and non-dynamic static ads seem to perpetuate that engagement over and over. If you can just put that spin. And I get the alert of, of doing a dynamic ad because it offers so many varieties, but if you can really pick one, pick a winner, pick your best creative, simple headline to the point where the direct CTA that seems to work for us, that we've seen with our clients.

Dylan (15:37):

So it will be a lone ad that could easily take up, you know, the majority of the budget versus having five or six that are spread out or even we'll get, take dynamic creative out of the equation. Cause that's just like thousands of variables there, but you're pretty much just testing, you know, one specific combo role [inaudible] gauges and putting most spin behind that besides having, you know, four or five different static images and kind of, you know, expand that budget across all of those.

Ben (15:58):

Yeah. Especially since our kind of whole business model is around community purchasing. Uh, we found just like, uh, we, we found that your customers turn into your customer service, right? So they go onto this ad. They find a great offer. They comment, they say, yes, this is a great offer. They're answering questions for you about sizing, about product description, about benefits. And then all of a sudden your comments have turned into the thousands to spend and you just got all these free eyeballs on it. Um, and people that it's your best offer. I mean, if you can't win with your best offer in front of thousands of free organic feeds, then you need to go back to the drawing board on the offer.

Dylan (16:44):

Oh yeah, man, I'm enjoying this one while that is fricking awesome. Right there. Let's talk about some nightmares. Stebbins are a poor ad segment. What's something that would kill it. It just kind of flop. Yeah, yeah,

Ben (16:57):

Yeah. So that the nightmare segment for me is kind of testing to find this offer, right? So we go into the weeds and I think he gets so involved. And so in love with your own products that you think people will like this for 30% off and you put it up and uh, it flops, you know, you spend a couple thousand dollars and you're like, I can't even give this away. You know? And then you'll try a different thing that something, or work really well in your mind, a buy one, get one collection and it just doesn't pan out. And you start spending all these thousands of dollars. And the worst part is when you find a winner, like the 50% off offer and you still try to improve on it and you're just spending money on something that doesn't work. That's that's, what's the really frustrating thing is marketers.

Ben (17:44):

For some reason, can't just take a win. They have to kind of get most out of it. They have to find something better or find the new big thing. And a lot of times it's not selling vanilla ice cream to people that want chocolate ice cream. You know, you can't shove products down people's throats. You have to make the best offer and let the people who are going to buy, come to you and you can't just make them buy. If they buy leggings, you can't force them to buy sweatshirts because they might not want to do that. Just put out your best product and the best offer you can that represents your brand and then groom them along the way and to something that they might like,

Dylan (18:24):

Man, with what you mentioned, if they're into leggings and you have a sweat shirt, you know, that could just not work out. And that's kind of funny, you mentioned that because one of the first guests we had was the exact that scenario. They wanted to test out a new product side of, you know, their normal leggings and pants and it just flopped completely mad.

Ben (18:40):

Yeah. That stuff always, always works. Uh, it always seems to work well with community, but not at the top line, if that makes sense. And it's kind of, I think people always, you know, a big phrase with celebrity interviews is don't forget where you came from. Right? And this the same thing with a lot of companies like the product that got you there, the product that got you over six figures, over seven figures, it's, what's going to keep you going. So just don't abandon that and give the people what they want. You know, maybe that's more variety of that. Maybe it's more variants on that. Maybe it's something different and you can build, you can build a whole ancillary catalog of amazing offers off of one hero product. I mean, we've seen thousands and thousands of companies, some of the best companies in the world have done that. So, um, it's stick with what got you there and kind of, you know, what your bread and butter is and stick with that. Especially during Q4 and times when ads get so, so expensive, it's not the time to test it, you know, test with your own channels. It's, you know, spend on your hero products and get them to make you the best offer. That's what it comes down to.

Dylan (19:51):

I love this. And the fact you've been able to kind of portray it to where it will take that hero product with the best margins. And it kind of pushed out to 50%. I'm literally going to go test that this weekend and I'm a static now. So yeah, that's a good little actionable takeaway. All right.

Ben (20:04):

Yeah. I mean, we've done, we've done it too with other products that are the higher margin, lower, uh, lower value products. So like, it might seem better to get a customer in the door with a $10 product. But if you're, if it's not your hero product and it doesn't represent what your brand does well, then it's so much harder to make them take the transition because they trusted you with this $10 item. It doesn't represent your $50 item. So then they're like, okay, well it's not the quality. I thought I took a chance that it didn't work so lead with what you want them to buy. It's like when you go into a optimize a campaign, you, you optimize for the event that you want to happen. You know, so lead with the product you want them to buy.

Speaker 6 (20:45):

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Dylan (21:49):

Man, I'm loving this now of course, we're in the poor ed segment, kind of some kind of curious with the different offers you've tested, which ones crashed the most and how much media spend that you put behind it before you realized, oh gosh, this is not, this is not working. Yeah.

Ben (22:07):

Yeah. So I think the real problem, uh, when you, when you do something or go with a client who wants to do an offer that is similar to a lead capture, like a 10% off offer, and they are insistent that it will work because they never discount their products. And then you go in and you put money behind it. And then they're like, well, maybe they just don't like that product, that version of the product. So we'll try the other product and 10% off. And you're like 10% off is the issue. It's not the product. So you need to keep trying. And I mean, spent, we've spent 50% of monthly budgets trying on an offer that doesn't work. I mean, and that can be really bad depending on the time of year. So, um, yeah, I mean the, the thing we try to take away the most from that is micro wins, right?

Ben (22:57):

If we can get emails off of that or SMS numbers, even engagements and page views that we can retarget them on, then at least we can salvage it on the backend. But, um, you know, so I know that's, the failure part is we're not getting the conversions, but if you can perpetuate with different KPIs that you can reach back out to that customer with, you can ultimately save it in the end, but it doesn't look great. You know, when you're, when you're insisting that you have a winning strategy and the offer that they bring, or isn't the best, or maybe, maybe it's an offer that you like to, and it just didn't work. And, um, you spend a lot of budget behind that. So salvaging any KPI you can out of that, and then trying to make them most and get any money in the door after that is really the best way to go

Dylan (23:45):

To love it. So the final piece of the pie, we love to kind of, you know, find the crossroads of marketing and the financial side of things, hence the name of the podcast. So what kind of financial tip or principle can you share with the audience based on your kind of expertise over there?

Ben (24:01):

Yeah, so I think the thing you should do financially on the marketing side of things is find the channel that works best for you. That's most cost efficient and put all your money into that or not all of it, but 80% of your money into that, what we do as marketers is exploit things that work is. So if the 50% offer is working, don't spread your money out over a bunch of different offers, flooded into that 50% offer. And if you find that a post-purchase text messages working well, put all your eggs in that basket. I mean, it's, when you look at investors like Warren buffet, right? How he got there, he didn't get there by diversifying his portfolio. He went all in on things that he thought was going to work and when they hit he skyrockets and that's what you do. And you can pick it up as a marketer. If you're in the ads platform, you can tell what's working right away. So shifting budget away from what isn't and into what is, I mean, it sounds super simple, but that sometimes can take swallowing your pride and putting all your money into that. And it really that's what we do as marketers is just exploit those, um, exploit the things that are working until they don't work anymore. And then find something else that does.

Dylan (25:18):

And with this being the topic, do you have any tips or tricks for people with this shiny object syndrome who see a new chat bot offering or something we're like, oh, this could be huge for my audience, but I don't know if it works. What kind of, you know, how would you combat that? It's a relevant, um,

Ben (25:36):

The thing that we do with that is just kind of fail fast. I mean, I, I'm all about trying new things and you really should as marketers because you never know what's going to be the next big thing, but it's think of all the time that you're going to spend learning and optimizing this tool, not to mention the money that it needs to learn and then make a budget for it and fail fast. I mean, if it doesn't work, move on to the next thing, you can always go back to it. Um, but like we said, find what's working and just flood it.

Dylan (26:11):

Ooh, I'm loving this man. Well, we covered some good stuff here, so Ben let everybody know, you know, how can we support you? Any cool projects in the works? Yeah.

Ben (26:23):

Yeah. So, uh, we have a podcast, the messenger mastermind every Tuesday on every platform that you consume podcasts on iTunes, Spotify, Google podcast. And we also have, um, a website messenger mastermind.co. You can check it out. We have a lot of tips and tricks on there. And if you're looking for free SMS audit, you can email us@hiatmessengermasterminddotcohiatmessengermastermind.co. And we'll see where we think that we can make you some money on SMS.

Dylan (26:57):

Hell yeah. And Ben, what's the best way for everybody to get in touch with the man himself? Yeah.

Ben (27:02):

Uh, I have a LinkedIn profile, uh, Benjamin van DeLong, LinkedIn. You can find me there, um, on just about every social platform under my name, but I'm not that interesting. So LinkedIn might be the best.

Dylan (27:15):

Well, the man, thanks for jumping on. I've absolutely loved this one. Yeah, Dylan, thanks so much. Thanks for having me.

Speaker 6 (27:26):

Thanks so much for listening to another episode of the rich ed or ed podcasts. If you're like me and listen to podcasts on the go, go ahead and subscribe on apple podcasts, Spotify, YouTube, and rich ed [inaudible] dot com slash podcast. And if you absolutely love the show, go ahead and leave a review and a comment share with a friend. If you do take a copy screenshot of it, email me zach@funneldash.com. Show me you left a review. I'll give you a free copy of the rich add or ed book. Learn more about the book. Go to rich ed for a.com to leave a review that a rich ed or ed.com/review. Thanks again.

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About The Podcast

Jason Hornung is the founder and Creative Director at JH Media LLC, the world’s #1 direct response advertising agency focusing exclusively on the Facebook ads platform. Jason’s proprietary methods for ad creation, audience selection and scaling are responsible for producing $20 million + of profitable sales for his clients EVERY YEAR

Zach Johnson

Zach Johnson is Founder of FunnelDash, the Agency Growth and Finance Company, with their legendary Clients Like Clockwork solutions. Under Zach’s leadership, FunnelDash has grown to over 5,000+ agency customers managing over $1 Billion in ad spend across 41,000 ad accounts on. Zach’s private clients have included influencers such as Dr. Axe, Marie Forleo, Dan Kennedy, Dean Graziozi to name a few. Zach is also a noted keynote speaker and industry leader who’s now on a mission to partner with agencies to fund $1 Billion in ad spend over the next 5 years.

Dylan Carpenter

Dylan Carpenter

Dylan Carpenter will be diving into what he and his team are seeing in 200+ accounts on Google and Facebook when it comes to trends, new offerings, and new opportunities. With over $10 million in Facebook/Instagram ad spend, Dylan Carpenter had the pleasure to work with Fortune 500 companies, high investment start-ups, non-profits, and local businesses advertising everything from local services to physical and digital products. Having worked at Facebook as an Account Manager and now with 5+ years of additional Facebook Advertising under my belt, I’ve worked alongside 60+ agencies and over 500+ businesses. I work with a team of Facebook, Google, and LinkedIn experts to continue to help companies and small businesses leverage the power of digital marketing.

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