Nathalie Lussier is has created a unique, powerful LMS plugin for WordPress that people seem to love. That’s because Nathalie, on top of using the product herself, listens to her customers. In this episode, she’ll give us lots of great advice for how to grow our business and improve customer relationships.
Intro: Hello, and welcome to episode 109 of How I Built It. Today I have Nathalie Lussier from AccessAlly and we’re going to be talking about a lot of things. Nathalie started out making her own online courses. She built her own LMS basically from scratch, built on top of WordPress, and then people started asking her for it. They wanted to know what she was using, and like any enterprising young person, she decided to make it a product. But my favorite part of the conversation is actually when Nathalie and I started talking about talking to your customer, and getting the right features, and building the right message for your customers. I want you to pay extra attention to that part. There’s a little bit for everybody, and a lot if you are looking to improve your relationship with your customers. So, we’ll get into all that and more, but first I want to tell you about a new podcast I have, it’s a relatively new podcast called Creator toolkit. You can find it over at CreatorToolkit.com. It is around 15 minutes of me telling you about a particular toolkit to accomplish a specific job online. Recently, we talked about the toolkit you need to start your podcast. In another episode, we talked about the toolkit you need to build your mailing list and we looked at popular mailing list solutions. It comes out about every two weeks, and we’re about 10 episodes in now, so definitely check it out. It’s called Creator Toolkit and you can find it over at CreatorToolkit.com, or wherever you listen to podcasts. Now, I want to tell you a little bit about our sponsors.
Break: This season is brought to you by Plesk. Do you spend too much time doing server admin work, and not enough time building websites? Plesk helps you manage servers, websites, and customers in one dashboard. Helping you do those tasks up to 10 times faster than manually coding everything. As someone who just spent a bunch of time finding the right tools and automations to save myself time, I can tell you that Plesk is invaluable. You can try Plesk for free today at Plesk.com/build.
Joe Casabona: Hey, everybody. Welcome to another episode of How I Built It, the podcast that asks, “How did you build that?” Today my guest is Nathalie Lussier, the founder of AccessAlly. Nathalie, how are you today.
Nathalie Lussier: I am awesome, Joe. Thanks for having me on the show.
Joe: Thank you for joining me. Nathalie and I met at CaboPress 2018 and she builds a tool, I’ll let you talk about it of course, but it was of great interest to me as I sell online courses. I feel like this is going to be a very helpful conversation for me, personally. But Nathalie, why don’t you tell us a little bit about who you are and what to do?
Nathalie: Absolutely. I am a software engineer. I started making websites when I was twelve years old, and when I graduated from college after I got my degree I had this job offer on Wall Street that I turned down to start my first business. Obviously my parents were like, “What are you doing?” And my friends were like, “Are you sure?” The first business I started was not a software company, it was actually a business where I started selling online courses, and that’s how I got started in the online courses space. At the time there were just a couple of tools– This is almost 10 years ago. To build courses on WordPress over time I kept upgrading as I found new things and integrating different ideas together, and then I ran into a roadblock at some point where the two I was using integrated with my CRM, which was Infusionsoft, but it kept crashing my host because we were trying to do a free course or free challenge and we had a lot of people visiting the site. That’s basically when I realized, “OK. We have a problem and there doesn’t seem to be a tool that does what I want to do on the market, so why don’t we build it?” And when I say “We,” I mean my husband and I. Because we are both software people. So, that is the beginning of what has become AccessAlly. AccessAlly does membership, it does online courses, LMS, as well as taking payments and running affiliate systems. All of that is integrated with high powered CRMs, like Infusionsoft, ONTRAPORT, ConvertKit, Drip and ActiveCampaign.
Joe: It does like, the whole kit and caboodle. If somebody is looking for a one-stop shop for everything related to online courses and memberships, they should check out AccessAlly. Is that about right?
Nathalie: Yeah, exactly. The way I think about it is, when you’re starting your business AccessAlly might not be the right tool for you. But if you have tried a bunch of different things and you’re ready for your forever solution, if you will, I think AccessAlly does everything you might need. And also does it in a way so that you can really scale as well, so I think that’s been big for our clients too.
Joe: I really like that saying, it sounds like you really know your audience. Because a lot of people just starting out probably aren’t too keen on shelling out the money they need to shell out to do things right. You said, “Forever solution.” I’m in the process of buying my wife and I our first house, and we’re looking for our starter home. We don’t quite have the equity to buy the “Forever home.” So when you said that, I drew that parallel there.
Nathalie: That’s a great analogy. It’s like when you’re starting your business, you need to hit the ground running and make some revenue. Sell some courses or some programs and then you can reinvest, and then you’ll have the capital to build something that’s a little bit more long-term that you’ll really grow into as your business grows. I think that’s a great analogy, I love that.
Joe: That’s fantastic. You built this tool essentially out of a need, and you said that you were using things and evolving your process over the course of a couple of years. When it came to doing the research it sounds like what you needed. What did you do to figure out nothing like this exists?
Nathalie: I had been around the block, I had used a bunch of plugins and I just kept running into different issues. A lot of times what I wanted to do required a lot of custom coding, and obviously I was fine with that, but then I felt like “I have to maintain this, and what if something changes?” Whether it’s in WordPress or other plugins or integrations that I have going on, I just felt like it was a little bit risky thing to do. I also realized that if we were going to create something ourselves, why not create something that was ready off the shelf for other people who are not capable of doing custom coding, or integrations, and stuff like that? So that was a big pain point that we saw in our marketplace, that people would ask us “What tools are you using to do this?” And my answer was always, “I coded that.” I didn’t have a solution for them, and so I knew that there was demand for it and I knew that if I could make it easy enough for them to use it if they were not developers and coders, and it would be a really good option for them and they could hit the ground, customize it, and not have to get their hands dirty with too much coding.
Joe: That’s great. I feel like that’s a programmer’s dilemma, or maybe missed opportunities. Because people ask me that, “How did you do that?” “I built a plugin.” “Is it available?” “No. It’s not really ready for primetime. It’s very me-oriented.” So, that was really good foresight on your part to make something that was sellable.
Nathalie: We knew that we wanted to do that, but we also realized, we were like “OK. Wait. Can we actually be good at selling software, supporting it and support tickets, and all that stuff?” We actually did a smaller product first that we released before AccessAlly, and that’s called PopupAlly. We released a free version on the WordPress directory and we got, I think, 10,000 people to download it fairly quickly and we were like “OK. There’s demand for this. People like it.” Then people started asking us for additional features, so we’re like “All right. Let’s make a pro version, sell that, and then see how we handle the support on that, and selling it, and making sure that we have all our ducks in a row.” Because we knew that AccessAlly would be a higher priced offering and we knew it would be a bigger beast to support, so we wanted to bootstrap our way there. I think that worked out really well. So we released PopupAlly in 2014, and then AccessAlly in 2015. That gave us a little bit of time, a little bit of money to reinvest into the product and the marketing of it.
Joe: That’s really cool. I was actually going to ask you, were there challenges moving from selling courses to selling plugins? Or selling a digital product? Because I moved from the services industry. I’m sure you are probably familiar with the story, I’ve moved from the services industry to trying to sell courses and that was way different than what I was expecting.
Nathalie: Yeah, absolutely. Each pivot required digging in and learning a new different way to sell. So, courses. I was also in the services industry too, and I used to sell one on one. That was very easy for me because you could just get on the phone, talk to someone, you know exactly what they want and what they need and whether you can do it for them. When you switch to an online model where you’re doing one to many, like a course or program, you don’t speak to each person individually so you don’t know if you’re speaking to them exactly the way that makes sense, or if your course is going to be the right fit for them. So you have to communicate that, usually in a video or written format. Then when we switched to plugins I was still very focused on the benefits and the copywriting that I used to have for courses and programs, like “Are you going to wake up tomorrow with more opt-ins?” Or that kind of thing. So I had to reorient towards features a little bit, because people do want to know “Can this do this kind of quiz? Can this do this kind of certificate?” People have very specific needs that they’re looking for software, that for a course they don’t have a checklist that they’re comparing against. There’s definitely some differences and some readjustments each time that we’ve changed what we’re offering.
Joe: That’s so funny, because I am experiencing the exact opposite of that right now. I’m focused on features of the course and the checklist of what you’ll learn, and nobody– People taking the cause aren’t like “I’m going to spend all these hours trying to learn this,” They’re like, “This course is going to solve my problem.”
Joe: That switch has helped me change my copy for the better, hopefully. We’ll see. Awesome. I want to dig in on a feature that you mentioned in the pre-call, which is the concept of the log in opt-in. Right. You have at this point a lot of experience selling both plugins and courses, and I feel like that is something insanely helpful for your customers.
Nathalie: Absolutely. We started off, and what necessitated creating AccessAlly was this free challenge that we did called The 30 Day List Building Challenge. It was the first time we did what I call the log in opt-in strategy, so people would opt-in by putting in their name and email and they would get a log in to our members area. Then every day they would get a video, for 30 days, walking them through how to build their email list and how to increase their reach and their exposure online. So that was a big project, and at first it was literally just emails. I didn’t have videos and the membership site area. But once we added that the whole thing really took off. A lot of people were sharing it on social media with their friends, even at conferences, saying “You should check out this 30 day list building challenge.” So far we’ve had I think about 60,000 people go through that and it has just been transformational for our business. But the interesting thing is that when we put it inside of our members area, people could log in and on the dashboard they could basically see “OK, 30 Day List Building Challenge. I have access to this,” and then they could also see our paid courses, and then eventually our paid plugins alongside that. That taps into this, “Got to collect them all,” Pokémon thing, where we want to like unlock the stuff that we don’t have access to. So we started seeing people buying things like immediately within an hour or two after they opted into the challenge, and we were like “Wow. This is actually working.” Being that it was like, “That’ll look good,” but I didn’t expect to actually see sales from it. So it was really cool because it’s not pushy, you’re not doing a big launch, you’re not sending a ton of emails. You’re just showing the menu of what’s available, and if people want it, they can take you up on that.
Joe: That’s fantastic. That’s a little bit of a spin on conventional pre-selling courses wisdom, which is get people on your list and drip them out a lesson for a free course every day, and then hit them with the pitch at the end of the last video and say “By the way, in a week this course is going to go on sale. Just for you, you get $100 off,” or whatever.
Nathalie: Absolutely. What we found, especially with the 30 day challenge, is that it’s a long time to keep people engaged. If you’re doing a free course, even if it’s 7 days or 10 days, by the time we get to the end they may or may not have consumed everything in the free course. So they might not feel ready to invest in the paid version or the next step with you. If you give them the option ahead of time, some people are super keen. They just want to dive into the real meat of whatever it is you’re teaching so they’re willing to invest right away, and they’re willing to fast track into the paid program. Just giving them the option so that they don’t have to wait is really important, and then also what you mentioned about giving them a special price. You can definitely do that within the membership site. After they opt-in you could say, “This person just joined. Have a special coupon that expires within X number of days,” and then you can still show that within the member’s area too.
Joe: That’s great. It’s so funny that we’re talking about this, because yesterday I was listening to an episode of Smart Passive Income by Pat Flynn and it was an older one about doing a three day course like we’ve just been talking about. I was like, “How am I going to do this? Am I just going to send people videos via email? It would make way more sense for them to sign up on my WordPress log in page, and then they have access to a course that’s dripped out.” I mean, what you’re talking about reinforces some of those ideas and then reinforces the implementation that I was thinking of. For those keeping track at home, this episode has already been way more valuable to me than a lot of conversations I’ve had. Or, just thoughts in my head. Thank you for that, I really appreciate your thoughts. So, let’s get to the title question. We’ve got AccessAlly, and then we’ve got specifically this feature called the log in opt-in. That sounds like it’s a pretty in-depth feature. Maybe we could just talk about how you built that, and some of the features that you knew you wanted?
Nathalie: Yes. There’s a couple of different ways you can implement it with AccessAlly, and that’s the thing with WordPress usually is that you might want to do it one way, but maybe there is a slightly different way you might want to consider too. One way that people do is that they’ll just create a regular opt-in form on their CRM, whether that’s ActiveCampaign or Drip, or whatever you’re using, so you can put that on your website and style it however you want it to be. It’s just like a regular opt-in, and then it can just be where people opt-in and then you send them an email right after they confirm their email address for example. Then from there it’s an auto log in that immediately takes them to the logged in members area, so they don’t have to remember their password or fiddle around, or any of that kind of thing. That makes it a really smooth user experience. But they’ll still realize that they’re in a logged in area, and then also you could have them reset their password if you want to do that as well. That’s one implementation, the other implementation is what we have called an on-demand log in. Basically, a similar concept, you create your opt-in form. But then instead of taking them to a regular thank you page, we basically take them to an AccessAlly page that redirects to any page you want. But by doing that, it’ll automatically create them and then log them in right after they opt-in. You don’t have to even wait for that welcome email, you’re basically logged in as soon as you put in your name and email. That’s another interesting way to do it. So you’re taken to the first video or taken to the first piece of content right away, and that’s also very flexible for tracking affiliate opt-ins as well. If you are using an affiliate link, we can basically say “OK. This person came from an affiliate. Let’s add that information to their contact inside of the CRM or inside of AccessAlly so that when they make a purchase down the line we’ll be able to track that back to the person who referred them.”
Joe: That is fantastic. Because again, the thing that I was thinking through in doing this was having them use an auto generated password or having– That creates friction, and you want to create as much of a frictionless process as possible, because the more steps there are– There’s the theory that people will feel the need to complete something they start. But if something is too many steps they’ll give up. The number of steps has to be relative to the reward you’re getting, so I love that. I’m going to see if there’s something that I can get now for my LMS that’ll just automatically log in users through a link that I email them, because that is so much smoother than the alternative.
Nathalie: That came from us doing it the other way, where we would send people a password and say “Good luck,” and then we would get a lot of support requests saying, “My password is not working. How do I reset my password?” And we’re like, “There must be a better way.” That’s why we built that.
Joe: That’s great. That’s the number one support request that I get from my students. It’s not like, “This isn’t working,” it’s like, “I forgot my password,” or, “The password I thought I set isn’t working.” So I love that. When somebody gets into the log in screen, is this a custom design–? If I’m the user, let’s say. The AccessAlly user. Do I have a lot of flexibility in how I can design that? Do you make recommendations for the way the content should be laid out?
Nathalie: We do have some short codes that pre-style things. You basically can just pick a couple different colors, maybe change some wording. What we’ve seen that works really well too is on a log in page, for people who are returning. Maybe they do know their password. We’ll have on one side the log in area, and then on the other side a little bit more information about what’s behind the log in screen if they’re not a member, and if you do have a free log in opt-in how they can sign up for that. Basically, if you get to the log in page you can just go right away yourself, or register if you’re not a member yet. That has also helped increase conversions and opt-ins for people who may be heard about it and maybe clicked through, or just landed there. It gives them another option to join.
Joe: That makes sense. People might just see this course, copy the link to that and send it to someone who’s not logged in and they’re not going to be able to see that content. That’s really cool.
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Joe: You said that for you specifically, you had this 30 day challenge where each day a new piece of it was dripped out over 30 days. Is that right?
Nathalie: Yes, that’s right.
Joe: And is that something that– Do you find that dripping out content works a bit better than just giving it to them all Netflix-style?
Nathalie: That’s a great question. I think it really depends on the content and also on the audience. For the way that we had done the challenge, it was like one small action step per day for 30 days. We didn’t want to overwhelm them with, “Here’s 50 things you can do to grow your list.” We just wanted it to be like, “OK. First start with your bio, then maybe think about a couple places to guest post, then maybe come up with a couple of topics.” We really wanted to make it doable, and I think that has worked really well for the 30 day challenge. Then also the way that we set it up was with progress tracking, so people can check things off. Even if they are ahead or behind, they at least know when they come back where they left off. That’s really good for something that’s a little bit longer like that. So that also gives us interesting stats about where people get stuck and where the more difficult aspects of the course, or of the challenge, are. But I think it also depends. If somebody is super eager, we actually had people ask us if they could just pay a little extra, because it was free. So, could they pay to just get everything unlocked immediately, because they were ready to go. I do feel like there is definitely that “Got to have it now, I’m excited right now, I need to get moving.” I think it really depends, and then also there’s another alternative, which is sort of progress tracking related. You could basically have things unlock as people finish. That’s the other way to do it, too. It’s another interesting way. We actually did test that with a different offering that we had, and we actually found that having people have to complete something before they move on to the next thing actually slowed down their progress. I think doing dripped, or giving them everything, tends to work a little bit better. That’s just from our small tests with that.
Joe: Interesting. I’m actually going to anecdotally say that I found the same thing, I’ve gotten requests that– Because I always designed my courses in such a way that you need to know lesson one before you move on to lesson two, so it makes sense that you can’t get to listen two until you finish lesson one. And I have people who want to just jump around the course and say, “I want to know exactly how this works right now.” I think that makes a lot of sense. I used to lock down my courses so that it was progress based. Now, for me, it’s all open Netflix-style. But again, I like what you said about depending on the content. You’re not going to go into a college classroom on day one and you’ll get the syllabus and you’ll see what’s coming, but it’s not like the teacher is going to say, “Here’s all the homework that you’re going to get. Complete it whenever you can.”
Nathalie: There are also studies, and I think it depends on the topic like you said, but there are studies that show that if you learn material over time you actually retain it better. Depending on what you’re trying to learn, like maybe you’re trying to learn a new language or you’re trying to learn a musical instrument or something, in that case those courses might be better dripped over time. Versus something where it’s technical, or something where you want to just be able to figure it out and get it going. Which might be a little bit of a different topic.
Joe: Yeah, right. Just-in-time learning, I think is what Christ Badgett from Lifter has talked about.
Joe: You need something now, versus– Because again, if you– Just to talk education for a little bit, I love this. If you do drip things out over time you can now reinforce previous lessons over time, and that’s going to be really important because students retain 5% of what they learn just hearing it once, versus maybe hearing it over time, versus actually doing it where they retain like 95% of what they’ve learned. So again, I really like your approach. I think it’s very helpful and it’s definitely something that I’m going to be able to apply to my own courses.
Joe: Cool. So, we talked a little bit about– First of all, I’m sorry if I missed this. Is this built on top of WordPress, or is this–?
Nathalie: Yes, it is.
Joe: OK, cool. So actually let’s talk about that for a minute, because this is a seemingly pretty big platform, and WordPress gets knocked for things like performance and feature bloat. Can you talk about some of the things that you did to make sure that users have a snappy experience?
Nathalie: Absolutely. We have a very– I think part of it is because we are using it ourselves, so because we were using it ourselves and we had a lot of people visiting the website it had to be fast. Some of the things that we did that we saw other plugins were, they would check the CRM every time the page loaded to check if they had permissions. With AccessAlly we basically store all of the tags that this person has locally on WordPress. We know exactly what they have permissions for, we know exactly all of the information that we need that’s relevant from the CRM. Then we also pass it back to the CRM only when required. So when there is an update, then we’ll send it back, but we don’t basically try to maintain this always-on connection between the CRM and WordPress. That definitely reduced any issues that we had with site loading and speed, and then the other thing is a lot of it happens under the hood. We do have some interface elements and some beautiful things that load code, but for the most part it is underpinning everything so that we can optimize and make sure that’s running smoothly, for sure.
Joe: Awesome. I love that. Making sure that you’re only making outside requests when you need to, because that does slow things down a bit. So, very cool. You were able to build this really– For the listeners, I’m not saying that WordPress is inefficient, I’m saying this is a common critique of WordPress. AccessAlly is proving that it’s not necessarily the case that it’s WordPress’ fault.
Nathalie: I think another thing about that too is if you are installing a lot of different plugins and themes and things, sometimes developers might load different libraries and different things when they don’t need to across different pages or even on the back end of WordPress. With AccessAlly we try to stay within our box and within our little area, so that we’re not calling a bunch of things or loading extra code that we don’t need to. Sometimes we do see those issues with other plugins and things, so we try to keep our code as clean as we can.
Joe: That’s great, and that’s a big benefit of coding it yourself. Because with Creator Courses decided I wasn’t going to write– I was going to write as little code as possible. I wanted to focus on the content. I did a performance test last week, as we record this, last week. I got an F. I’m like, “What in the world is happening here?” on GT metrics, so not just Google page speed, like this other one. I got an outside opinion, or a second opinion. I looked and it was making over 100 HTTP requests for different libraries, the image sizes were too big. I thought they were being optimized. I know it’s not my host, because I use Liquid Web. So I did some digging and I was like, “All of these plugins are calling things when they shouldn’t, loading stuff when they shouldn’t.” I was able to do a couple of things to get it down to a B, and now my my weekend “side project” is going to be building a plugin to basically DQ scripts on pages where I don’t need those scripts.
Nathalie: Sounds awesome.
Joe: I have the ability to do that, because I’m a programmer, but it’s frustrating like you said that other plugins maybe won’t stay in their lane or won’t check to see if jQuery is a loaded first before they load their own version of jQuery. Like that’s–
Nathalie: Exactly, yeah.
Joe: So, cool. That’s Joe’s lament for today. So, we talked a little bit about how AccessAlly started. You have a lot of great features for that person who needs the all in one platform. What are your plans for the future?
Nathalie: We have some very specific upcoming releases that are just adding more internationalization, so we have a lot more global customers than we expected. We have to have tax compliance for different countries, like the EU, and so that’s coming out really soon. Then also just translation options as well, that’s coming on the horizon. Then we’re just working to continuously improve the UI and UX, especially when it comes to the checkout experience. Because I think that is the point where people make money, so we want to make sure that it’s optimized, that it’s beautiful, that people have different options for that. Especially using what we’ve learned as the last couple of years have evolved to keep improving the product. Those are the big things I would say, and then we are actually growing the team too. So there’s a lot just behind the scenes, and not just software, but as the team continues to grow too.
Joe: That’s great. Congratulations on growing the team, that’s always a hard thing to do.
Nathalie: Thank you.
Joe: And more internationalization, I want to touch on this. Because I also didn’t really prepare my website for any international customers. Then someone was like, “I need this for VAT tax.” And I’m like, “Oh my God. Should I be doing something for VAT? I don’t understand.” So, that’s just another reason to go to a platform where you have the experts working on that stuff and handling it for you. I should ask about– Maybe I shouldn’t ask, but I will anyway, about GDPR. Is that something that was or that is of concern for you? Assuming that both of us are not lawyers, and so nobody should take what we’re saying as legal advice.
Nathalie: Absolutely. That was a really big thing when it first started to bubble up in our space, and I think that there’s definitely a lot of different ways to handle it. I think it comes down to some different CRMs. Basically the way that AccessAlly works, especially around passwords, is that the passwords are stored obviously on WordPress so you can log in, but then also in the CRM so you could do those auto log in links and stuff like that. Some CRMs have more GDPR friendly encryption for passwords, whereas others don’t. So that tended to be where we saw a big change in people. Like, “OK. Maybe ActiveCampaign was better, and vice versa,” different companies reacted differently to the GDPR. That was interesting. Then we try to store as little data as we can about customers and clients, and obviously people can delete users, they can remove information that we’re storing so that’s not a problem. But yeah, obviously we think about GDPR and we want to make sure that people have a good experience. Then along that, we do have payment processing, and people can come in and update their credit card on file. If somebody logs into their account, we always say “They can update a credit card but they can’t see past– Like they can’t actually see the full number and credit card details, so they can just update but not view all the information that might be private.” We thought about some of that ahead of time, too.
Joe: Awesome. So that brings me to another question then that I’m pretty interested about. You’re doing the credit card processing on your side, are you– Did you have to go through PCI compliance for that? Or are you using a third party that is PCI compliant?
Nathalie: Yeah. We integrate with Stripe and PayPal, and then also with CRMs like Infusionsoft and ONTRAPORT, we basically integrate with their CRM e-commerce systems. Basically, if you have authorized.net or something integrated with those tools, we would basically process it through the API but using the Infusionsoft system. We’re not actually running the payment, so that keeps our hands clean and in another way too.
Joe: That’s great. Because I will, especially new web developers out there. That’s a cautionary tale. I’ve had clients who were like, “Just email us the credit card information.” And I’m like, “That makes all of us liable. And also, that’s an insane thing.” If you’re going to be working with payments, definitely use something like Stripe or PayPal, or make sure that the thing that you are using has what’s called PCI compliance to make sure that they are doing everything the right way.
Joe: Cool. One more note on the GDPR thing, what you were saying about the CRMs is so right. ConvertKit, comparing ConvertKit to MailChimp. MailChimp was like per month, “Here’s everything we’re doing for GDPR.” With ConvertKit the day before GDPR like went into effect they were like, “We talked to two lawyers, and I don’t know. It’s pretty like–”
Nathalie: It’ll be fine.
Joe: “So here’s a way that you could tag EU people. Have at.” and then I’m like, “I guess. If they’re–” I don’t know. It’s all very confusing. I suspect that the EU is probably not going to sue me, but again, not a lawyer. We have covered a lot. I have a lot of notes here. A lot of really good stuff. But I still need to ask, do you have any trade secrets for us?
Nathalie: I was trying to think of what my trade secrets would be. I would say, really listening to our people has been probably the way that we’ve grown. Then also listening to directly to our customers, and then also not listening to people who might not be as connected to our markets. We’ve had a lot of people tell us that our pricing is too high, that we should lower our pricing. Or, especially in the beginning, we had a lot of pink on the website and it was not very male friendly, so we had that feedback as well. Some of that, we definitely listened and made sure that it landed. We were like, “OK. There was too much pink.” So now we have more blue. But at the same time, we realized our pricing was fair for what we provide and we knew that we are continuing to improve the product, and our customers who are the right fit absolutely love it and appreciate it. So, just sticking to your guns and then listening to the customers themselves when they have a concern or when they have a feature request, that has been huge for us too.
Joe: That’s great. So you’re listening to the people who are putting their money where their mouth is, and not the people who just like to give out their opinions like candy.
Joe: I like that. We’re recording on Halloween, everybody. So that’s top of mind for me. I will say that I couldn’t wear pink, like I’ve got a darker– I’ve got that Southern Italian complexion. But I’ve been seeing more pink on websites and I’ve been digging it. I think it’s a nice color. That said, you clearly know you’re doing, but most people who said that pink is not masculine enough. I don’t buy that. And again, what you said reminded me of how I go to Disney World a lot and I will hear people who are like, “You know what Disney should do?” And then just like whatever is good for them at the time. And I’m like, “Disney probably thought about this for more than like the two minutes that you just thought about it.” I always I always find that funny, people are like “I’m immediately the expert in the situation.”
Joe: Awesome. Well Nathalie, thank you so much for your time. This was great. If people want to learn more, where can they find you?
Nathalie: Absolutely. Come over to AccessAlly.com, or if you want to go check out the 30 Day List Building Challenge, that’s still available at 30DayListBuildingChallenge.com. You’ll actually experience AccessAlly, because it’s built on the platform, so you can play with it and see what it looks like. Obviously, if you have a business and you want to build your e-mail list, that’s perfect too.
Joe: That’s awesome. I’m going to link both of those in the show notes, but I’m just saying. 30DayListBuildingChallenge.com, you learn how to build your list and also you get to trial this product. Brilliant. Nathalie, thanks so much for joining me. I really appreciate it.
Nathalie: Yeah, this was great. Thank you, Joe.
Outro: Thanks so much Nathalie for joining me today. I really appreciate her taking the time and offering her fantastic advice about building out a product, and listening to your customer. My question of the week for you is how are you going to connect better with your customers? I for one am going to actually reach out to them and make phone calls, and talk to them voice to voice, person to person, and get the temperature of the courses that I’m offering so that I can offer a better product to them. Let me know, how are you going to connect your customers? You can e-mail me Joe@HowIBuilt.it or you can find me over on Twitter @jcasabona. All of the show notes for this episode will be over at HowIBuilt.it/109. I again want to thank our sponsors for this week, Pantheon and Plesk. Make sure to check both of them out. They are fantastic and great supporters of the show. If you want to support the show, and you liked this episode, head over to Apple podcast and leave us a rating and review. It really helps people discover the show. Until next time, get out there and build something.