Adam Robinson: Alright. So, I'm really excited about today's episode. I got Chris Hall with me who is Head of Marketing at BRUCE BOLT, and we're going to talk about something that I have never even heard of but I'm wildly intrigued by personalized AI video ads, correct? They're ads you generate.
Chris Hall: They could be. They could be. Right now, we're using them in email and SMS.
Adam Robinson: Oh, great. I mean, that's even better, our wheelhouse.
Chris Hall: Exactly.
Adam Robinson: So, Chris, give us some background on you and, yeah, give us background on you first.
Chris Hall: Yeah. So, I have two lives, so to speak. One of them I used to be an athlete. I played football at the University of Texas. I was an all-American football player way back when. I weighed a lot more. Then I stopped that. I lost a bunch of weight. I got married, got into the business world, and then basically cut my teeth in e-commerce by having a small coffee company in town here, Forty Acres Coffee. Since then, just continued down the road and obviously love what we're doing at BRUCE BOLT now.
Adam Robinson: Great. So, tell us about BRUCE BOLT. Give us a little pitch or whatever.
Chris Hall: BRUCE BOLT, we make, now, this is coming from me, Adam. I'm biased. You know, I'm biased here but I think we make the best batting gloves in baseball. And that really comes from our founder at the age, the ripe old age of 16. He made an innovative, categorically innovative design that truly became the leader in its vertical. And since then, from his bedroom to the big leagues is really the story. In the past five years, he's gone from making prototypes to now having the center fielder for the New York Mets and the center fielder for the New York Yankees, wearing them every game, etcetera, etcetera. So, it's been a wild ride but it's a good one. It's a good rocket to be riding.
Adam Robinson: Yeah. Check out BruceBolt.com and the website just it pops, man. They're just like loud batting gloves. You know, I don't know anything about batting gloves but these are loud ones.
Chris Hall: Yeah, they are. The travel ball community, the kids that wear them, they dig them and obviously, we're happy to give them a good product.
Adam Robinson: Yeah, for sure. And are you guys in Austin or is it remote?
Chris Hall: We're in Austin. Austin, Texas. This is where everything was founded and has continued to grow from. Man, our team, literally, it's not unlike Retention, to be honest, but in the past year our team has literally gone from there, our founder and his parents to a pretty substantial size. Now, it's still a family business but it's exciting to be a part of.
Adam Robinson: Yeah, it's great. I mean, I've been a part of several different types of environments, some growing very quickly, some kind of flat-lined, and some shrinking. The ones growing quickly are always the most fun. Always. It's just you're like wired. We're wired for it as people. It's like raising a kid or it's like, you know, whatever. It's like we want to be in high-growth environments, so.
Chris Hall: Exactly.
Adam Robinson: Well, that's great, man. Let's just get right into this tactical stuff. So, what are we talking about here with these personalized AI videos?
Chris Hall: Personalized AI videos, a lot of conversation around artificial intelligence right now. Some of it is exciting. Some of it is scary. You know, sometimes I look at my Twitter timeline and I see what's happening and I go into doom or apocalypse mode. I think there's been a lot of developments that are exciting but not so many that are e-commerce specific, which is obviously the waters that I swim in on a daily basis. One of them that has been that has become, man, a real ingredient to our secret sauce that has been incredibly productive for us comes from this company called Maverick. Try Maverick personalized artificial intelligence videos. My man, Eitan, he's the founder. Him and his co-founder created an incredible product. What happens is essentially they help you make a base video from your founder. Let's just take abandoned cart as an example. Let's say, Adam, you're coming to buy batting gloves, man. You're joining.
Adam Robinson: Like I do.
Chris Hall: Exactly. You're joining the softball league down the street. You're going to crush it. You're going to become the all-time leading home run hitter in said beer softball league. You're coming to get some gloves but you abandon cart. You don't like the shipping. You don't like something. You get distracted. Wife pulls you away. What will happen is that you will receive a personalized video from our founder. And when you play click on that video, he will say, "Adam, man, saw that you came to the site. Love what you picked out in your cart. Man, just so you know we're a small family business. We can't hold on to your product forever but excited that you came to check us out. Why don't you go, go on back to the site? Let's check out. Would love to deliver you these gloves. Thanks so much." It's wild. It's wild, man.
Adam Robinson: So, like I just went to the website, TryMaverick.com. Just want to watch this real quick. What has to happen for this? So, I hit play on their little teaser or whatever and this woman sitting here and she's like, "Adrian, you just made the best decision of your life, blah, blah, blah." She's selling some. She's a baker or something like that. Did he literally have to just go in and shoot? Did he? How does this work?
Chris Hall: This is the incredible thing, bro, is that the process is I whip out my iPhone and I have him sit a few feet away. And then there's a standard list of things they need to have you recorded and say. I guess that becomes a kind of a model that AI can use. And then from there, you develop your own script and you say your script. And then within, you know, I would say, max, we're talking 45 minutes. That's the process. You send that back to Maverick and then they're ready to push out your videos and start sending them. And I would say this, Adam, if it was just a transactional play, obviously, we got to make money. We want to make numbers go up, right? That would be an awesome thing because the numbers are there. It's a good play. Okay. But the crazy thing is the goodwill that we generate with our audience. They get these videos and then we get replies and responses and thank yous and paragraphs and I'm shocked. I get an email every week with all the replies to that email. It's so impressive to me. This is one of the smartest applications of artificial intelligence that are out there for e-commerce businesses right now.
Adam Robinson: I mean, the wheels are turning right here. I wouldn't say that. So, I was proud of myself. I mean, if you're watching this, you probably follow me on LinkedIn. I actually am in an email conversation with someone who's ripping me about what I'm doing right now. I'm going to call his name out in case he's reading. So, this guy, Jonathan Dane, is like ripping me a new one because he's like, "All of the stuff you put out is just yelling about how you're making money in, like, whatever." I'm like, "Dude, go to my LinkedIn and look at the last five things I posted. Tell me if you think it's pompous, pretentious, and only about money." Long story short, what I'm trying to do with my content creation is show people what it is like to work at Retention.com and I can't do that because we're a remote company. I can't walk around with a camera. So, I'm trying to tell stories about what's going on right now and what has gone on in my past entrepreneurial experience to give them a sense for who I am and how I do things. So, I'm just providing a venue for people to get to know me. And like, people are watching 1,000 minutes of every one of these videos but like everyone's, well, I'm interested in these comments, right? He's like, "Well, this is nothing about Retention.com. I don't know what you guys do." But that's kind of not the point of this. It's not like a lead gen mechanism.
Chris Hall: Yeah.
Adam Robinson: And it is generating a huge amount of goodwill out there, right? And this is like, God bless her, Kelly, our Head of Finance, and all things sort of people. It's like you either get this part of it or you don't, right? And it's so valuable. Anyway, that was sort of a long aside. I thought that what I was doing was super-efficient because I'm figuring out how to put out like seven videos, two newsletters, and then seven LinkedIn posts and like 14 tweets. It takes 2 hours of my time.
Chris Hall: Wow.
Adam Robinson: Because I just got to. You know, it takes a lot of time for other people producing this stuff. But it's all derived off these 2 hours that I'm spending on it. You know, basically an hour and 15 is just writing the stories and then the other 45 is filming it. But like you know what I mean? It's like this... So, the funny thing is until this conversation and I have had this conversation with a lot of people, I'm like, first of all, I haven't created a single piece of content until October of last year. I was like, "We're doing a land grab. Big Shopify stores are the target. We need to use all paths to awareness possible." And this one's a big one. Apparently, LinkedIn has this like deficit of content creation. So, I'm like, I'm going to just start doing it. And I really love video as well because this thing happened to me one time with video where I fell into one of these info guy's funnels. Strangely, my last company was his example of what not to do in his like top of funnel webinar. So, I'm like, "Well, I'm going to just buy this guy's sh*t and see if I like it." So, I watched all of his courses. He had like ten courses that were probably, you know, so 30, 40 hours. And by the end of it, this guy actually was the founder of BigCommerce, so he wasn't a normal info guy. Yeah. Mitch Harper.
Chris Hall: Whoa.
Adam Robinson: Wasn't a normal info guy. And he made an upmarket play to Shopify and it was very successful. And at the time I had an email newsletter like a Klaviyo-type company. That was what I did and I thought the play was upmarket and I was like, "Well, this guy could probably help. I need him for like this once-a-month, super expensive one-on-one coaching." I get on the phone, I get on the f*cking Zoom with this guy and I have never felt this before. I felt like I knew everything about him. I felt like we had been friends for ten years and he was speaking to me as though I was a complete stranger.
Chris Hall: It's incredible.
Adam Robinson: From that moment, I was like, "I am not sure how I'm going to use this power in the future but I'm going to figure out how to use this power." It's like three years later, I'm in the situation where it's like, "Okay. I've got my head around creating content. I'm going to make a video angle to it because I can crank video out, right?" I'm decent at it, I have a fast system, I have like this teleprompter where I can like put a script up and flip it and people don't even know I'm like reading the script. So, I think I'm doing this the right way and I'm listening to you and it's like, "Holy sh*t, if I just had some really good writers."
Chris Hall: Yeah.
Adam Robinson: I mean, the possibility is literally. But my whole thing with the video was like the value of basically anything that's on Google and can be regurgitated into text is kind of borderline useless. I mean, not useless. It's still useful but it will not cut through the noise at all. This long-form SEO sh*t is like that's kind of like I'm not spending one second or one penny trying to create text SEO content. My view was me talking about my current experience is going to cut through on video, right? Literally my face, this is what I am doing. It will cut through the noise more than anything.
Chris Hall: That's right, man.
Adam Robinson: But then it's like, what if I had some killer storytellers just writing these scripts?
Chris Hall: Yeah, man.
Adam Robinson: Throw in my face up there, you know? Right? Literally, like the best in the world and these people are just creating the emotion in people. I mean, all this is to say it's like that's why this conversation is so exciting to me. It's like I had this assumption until this very moment when you were explaining to me how well this is working for you. And it's completely wrong. I'm just like maybe like a couple of months ahead of everyone doing that. Like, what I'm accomplishing manually is about to just be like, poof.
Chris Hall: I think that is how scarily quick the arc is taking place. I mean, the trajectory and the speed of how things are changing is so fast with AI. Of course, right now with Maverick, the personalization is mainly through the name. It's through the name but I know that the tech isn't that far away from doing exactly what you're talking about. And they've got Adam, they've got the base footage that's needed to generate videos and such of you delivering a genuine script and stories. And that's not far.
Adam Robinson: Yeah. I mean, this is a bit outrageous but like I'm also making a weekly docuseries on this whole madness that I'm in the middle of. Yeah, I'll send you the two episodes we have. Now, we're not going to launch it until next week I think when we have like...
Oh, bro, I want to watch, man.
Adam Robinson: Yeah, but it's just like, dude, we had six employees in October. Now, we have 50. I'm really going for it. My view was it's a lot of startup environments. People say we should make a TV show about this because it's crazy. It's just like what you come across and the whole ups and downs of it all. And then I thought just given the nature of how well our product was working, how easily it is for us to get to the Shopify world and how big that market is, I was like, "This is going to be a big company." What happens to the CEO of someone before they have started a big company and after just in terms of the way the world looks at them is very interesting, I think. So, kind of recording that as it all happens on this journey was something that I thought, look, I either do it and then you can look at it retroactively and have this like incredible experience of like, "Oh, episode one is like this dude's literally nobody." And then like episode 25, it's like everyone's treating this guy like he's some f*cking holier than thou like, whatever. I just thought that would be really interesting. You could just write that.
Chris Hall: That's a good point.
Adam Robinson: Yeah, it is. It's so weird to think about it. It's like you could just like take me for instance in this example and like put me in Bali and be like, "Well, I'm resting this week." And then you're going to fly me over to wherever. Walk me around a trade show.
Chris Hall: Crazy.
Adam Robinson: It's just so weird. So, I share an office with the Jasper AI guys.
Chris Hall: Oh, really? Okay, awesome.
Adam Robinson: Yeah. I've been sharing an office with them for four years, and they started that company two-and-a-half years ago. So, before that, they had this app called Proof. It was just like a social proof app. It was like Chris signed up for a $15 play in Austin. Like, Adam signed up for a $28 play in Boston. It was sort of...
Chris Hall: Right. One of those.
Adam Robinson: The pitch was improving your conversion rate. And like these guys, they went through Y Combinator, so they got like a kind of exclusive nine-month access to the long-form blog use case with open APIs or open AIs APIs. And I mean, it just exploded, obviously, because this type of stuff was possible, it exploded. But in my head up until this point, it hasn't been a video conversation. I mean, deep fakes are one thing but to me, they still feel a little bit like deep fakes. This is like the first commercial video. You've seen this. Like, when you listen to interviews with like Sam Altman, the OpenAI CEO, he's talking about discourse over text that's going on and how high quality it is and like whether or not it's conscious and all that sh*t. Man, incredible. So, literally, what is the technical implementation of one of these videos like where are you?
Chris Hall: Man, so basically what the process ends up looking like is Eitan and his team will have you record four, let's say, let's call it three-based videos. It probably takes 45 minutes total. And then depending on the use case, basically, what they'll do is they'll sit on top of your email service provider. They'll do something fancy with your flows. And then once somebody enters into your use case, say, an abandoned cart or it's in the welcome flow or it's on a thank you afterward, basically, that notification will get triggered and the video gets delivered. And then because, of course, they've got their own statistics they deliver to you, but because it's also involved with either Postscript or Klaviyo, I like the SMS aspect to it, which is brand new. They just worked that out for us and I love what we're seeing there. It's interesting for people to get SMS versus email. And then that's as simple as it is. So, they basically just sit on top of whatever service provider you use, and then they start sending and you get a weekly report.
Adam Robinson: Yeah. So, here's my question being an email person, does the video play in the email?
Chris Hall: You click. So, it shows up. It's got like an image with a play button. You click and then it goes to the page wherever it's hosted.
Adam Robinson: What landing page or are they drive? Is it their page or is it your page?
Chris Hall: It's theirs but it's nondescript. It doesn't show up as you know, "Hey, this is Maverick," or it's just a white page. It's got...
Adam Robinson: It's only a video.
Chris Hall: It's a video with some message like, "Hey, personal message from Bayer," and then you click it. It goes and then it plays it. And then you can write back, basically, and then basically will get a reply from them. That's how I end up having the 100-plus replies every week.
Adam Robinson: I mean, hearing that as a marketer-orient brain, man, it sounds like there's some optimization that can be done from a conversion standpoint, for sure, but like you said, life is not always about convergence, right?
Chris Hall: Well, sure. But I'll take them. You know, I'll pay them.
Adam Robinson: Yeah, yeah, yeah. All day long. All day long. All day long, for sure.
But you're right. It would be probably better if let's say their product that they abandoned on was they're sitting below or was on a specific landing page on our website. There's further optimizations to be had for sure.
Adam Robinson: Yeah. But this is like, you know, I understand why from someone who has built a couple of SaaS companies, why like V1 of that is what it is because there's still very, you know, getting a reply. Someone who watches that and takes the time to reply to you is, I mean, that's huge.
Chris Hall: Huge. And this is what I think V2 is. V2 is you're watching YouTube and let's say the best buy down the street from where you live is running a big sale on Apple products or whatever. And because Google's been tracking you, etcetera, etcetera, they know that you want the new iPhone. Okay. Ad pops up on your YouTube and it says, "Adam, we've got a big sale going on at the Best Buy on the corner of Slaughter and Menchaca right now. If you head down, you're going to be able to get X percentage off of this phone, off of this product. And picking out three or four personalization spots, location, name, product, etcetera, and delivered to you, and it's going to read different if it shows to somebody in North Austin. And what Best Buy is going to direct to them. So, I think that's V2, but V1 we're really happy with in regards to email and SMS.
Adam Robinson: Yeah. V2, people call what I do creepy.
Chris Hall: It's a little creepy. Oh, man.
Adam Robinson: Yeah. V2 is sounding like it's like on the border of creepy and hypnotic in a weird way. Like, could you imagine just the most beautiful woman in your exact wheelhouse, saying your name?
Chris Hall: Yeah.
Adam Robinson: Right? Just, you know.
Chris Hall: Yeah. I have to say Eitan, you know, he didn't give me that on his roadmap but I know that we've talked about it for sure. And for sure, they have competitors that are hidden, that are hidden down that way. So, what Maverick develops, I'm sure, will be good for them but you're right. You're right. It starts getting into like a crazy zone, you know? It's wild.
Adam Robinson: I mean, and there's nothing stopping it so it's going there. You just know, right?
Chris Hall: For sure, man.
Adam Robinson: Because it's going to deliver so much value.
Chris Hall: Yeah, for sure.
Adam Robinson: That's incredible, man. So, you don't have to give us exact numbers but like what's the type? You know, if a similar sort of D2C brand were to sort of AB test what they were doing and then in cart flow has this video, how much lift are you going to, you know, just they might see, right?
Chris Hall: Well, I can tell you what happened with us without specifically revealing, without a discount, without like, "Oh, hey, here's this video and take 50% off." No discount, no nothing. Just with the personalized video, conversion rate doubled instantly.
Adam Robinson: What?
Chris Hall: Yes, instantly. And we rarely discount. We rarely discount just because we have a high-end product, great niche, blah, blah, blah. So, we just added in the video. That's it. And we already had a good conversion rate. We ended the video and it doubled instantly.
Adam Robinson: That's bananas. How do these guys charge? Just like a monthly SaaS or...?
Chris Hall: It's a monthly and I will say it's very nice. It's very nice. Some might say almost too good of a deal, being honest with you.
Adam Robinson: Look, I think my view is that's how you start. That's how you grab. That's how you do a land grab, right? He's got you. The value of you on my podcast to anyone listening to this...
Chris Hall: Right. Exactly.
Adam Robinson: Is so much more valuable than he could ever do himself, right? Like, him sitting there saying how great it is, no one's going to give a sh*t. If being such a good deal that like you're on here talking about it, that's the kind of Alex Hormozi $100 million offer type thing that I think you need to really grow to like really get it going, right?
Chris Hall: I've told him, you know, of course, I've raved to him personally and I've said, "Man, you can probably charge multiple times what you're charging me but please keep me here." And I love it. I love it, But I think you're right. I think it's the smartest thing for him for a land grab to get the most amount of the market as possible. And I will say, hey, bro, when I met you, of course, I had heard about Retention. I heard about Retention, you know, little whisperings here or there, "Oh, there's this thing called Retention." But when I met you, it brought the same thing. Same thing. I was kind of like, "Oh, wait, really? I'm going to get this many emails. I'm going to pay this much. I'm going to get this much. This is a no-brainer, man. How do I get in the secret club?"
Adam Robinson: Yeah. I mean, my idea...
Chris Hall: How quickly can I get in there?
Adam Robinson: So, eventually, most companies get in a position where they're trying to maximize revenue for whatever reason but like in the beginning, I just think if you can use price to accelerate your sales cycle rather than add friction, then you have this added benefit of people are going to be talking about it behind your back in a favorable way too. And actually, my sales team without telling me, so like my whole thing was like I wanted this pricing. You know, in the sales demo, you'd hit the pricing page and it just made you feel a certain way. It's like, "Wow, I'm going to crush it with this. This is amazing." And there was this other magic benefit where we had this unlimited plan that was $5,000 a month, and our indirect competitor, Wunderkind, their entry-level plan, they had raised to 6,500. So, it just made such a statement to the market. This is who we are in the niche we're serving. We are under Wunderkind, we are self-served, we're light, we are fast, blah, blah, blah.
So, my sales team, they convinced me that for these huge guys, we needed to charge them $10,000 or like $20,000 or whatever. You know, if somebody is making $1 million a month on our tool, they shouldn't be paying $5,000. I'm like, "Okay. Whatever." Then what happened? They raised all of the prices by 100% without telling me. And I found out six weeks later. I'm like, "Guys," because salespeople, you know, it's like it feels really good to sell something for double the price you sold it yesterday and the customers are still happy. I'm like, "I don't care if they're happy at 5K. I want them to be happy at 2,500 and talking to people about it." And I also want the rumors circulating around the market that we're going for Wunderkind's throat with this unlimited plan.
Chris Hall: All right, man.
Adam Robinson: We're going to get inbound.
Chris Hall: I love it.
Adam Robinson: 60K CV deals, which is insane. No one has an inbound mid-five figure or whatever. So, yeah, that's how I look at it. How does that contrast to, oh, sort of like high-end, niche market pricing philosophy? It's just a different deal but like, I'm just curious.
Chris Hall: Yeah. Well, it's a different deal. It's a different deal and there's a reason that I'm happy and I'm eager to come on this podcast because of you've made me look like a smart man, Adam. Okay. So, I have to tell the story. I have to tell the story. So, I was going to this Triple Whale thing, and you got to get in those rooms, Adam, because that's where you find out so and so at such and such company, then, "Oh, man, this is what's working for us and blah, blah, blah." You got to get in those rooms. Okay, I'm there. My boss is telling me, "Hey, you got to get in those rooms." Okay. I'm there. I'm so early that hardly anybody else is there but you are there. You are there. You were talking or you were going to do something that day, you know?
Adam Robinson: Yeah.
Chris Hall: So, you're there and you're talking with somebody about what you all do. And I just, you know, I'm not eavesdropping but I overhear a little something and then, bro, I had to force my way into that conversation. "Oh, hey, excuse me." "Yeah, just go ahead." "You don't mind if I get in here? You know, I'm Chris, by the way." "Yeah. keep going. Keep going." Okay. And so, then I get the whole spiel and I'm just like, "Dang, my boss is going to think I'm the smartest marketer in America." I'm taking this home. I'm putting it in my back pocket and we are going to rage all of Q4. I mean, this is going to be incredible. Okay. So, fast forward, I got on the phone with Diana. We signed the thing. Okay. We doubled our email list in less than 40 days. We doubled our...
Adam Robinson: Which, by the way, that's probably about is, I mean, that's bordering on too fast.
Chris Hall: Yeah. I hear you.
Adam Robinson: And I have this new thing that I call the gangster implementation by the way. I don't know if Tyler had to do this or not because Klaviyo did say something about your deliverability, right?
Chris Hall: Yeah. We had to slow it down. We had to slow it down and reel it back.
Adam Robinson: So, the idea. So, here's the best way to do the top-of-funnel stuff. So, we have a way that we can have the new contacts. Here's why this all works. It's trickling in at a rate where you know they have high positive engagement. They also have high negative engagement. They're trickling in at a rate where the negative engagement metrics get hidden by the overall sense that are going out, right?
Chris Hall: Exactly.
Adam Robinson: So, we have a way where we can sit these in a segment and wait for a big newsletter to go out. So, first thing gets sent out on this big newsletter and then the people complain and then they're gone. They never get sent to again. People that unsubscribe, they're gone but they're unsubscribing against this huge denominator.
Chris Hall: Right.
Adam Robinson: So, it's totally hidden. And then you start your welcome series after it's been sent once and the welcome series is pristine. And then if they don't engage with that, you yank them out after two emails or something. Then only the people that engage with the pristine welcome series go back in the newsletter. And that is like that's what we're going to start implementing with everybody. It's like the safest of the safe way to do this. Even then, doubling the email list in 40 days.
Chris Hall: Yeah.
Adam Robinson: And that's not, you know.
Chris Hall: You know what? This is what it did, Adam. Number one, that process that you just described is what I've been working with Tyler on, and it's been gold for us ever since. Number two, it kind of lightened things on fire like that out of the gate. You know what it made me do? It made me talk to all of my founder friends that it made me say, "Hey, man, not only is this going to explode but the pricing is very reasonable, my friend, and you need to make this call." I mean, all the people I know that run agencies that work in brands, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. So, there's something to that pricing, man.
Adam Robinson: Totally. Hey, man, it is very easy because the problem is like it's not measurable but like I know it's happening. It's what I spend... I view my job now as trying to create excitement in our employees and customers in the marketing ecosystem but like within a very narrow band. Like, I can't get people too excited or it's going to be bad, right? But like, literally, my job is to get to raise their level of excitement up to this energy level where it's really working for us. And that's part of it. You know, it's like, holy sh*t, this thing works. Like, how could you not, whatever? That's great. So, I'm glad that it has worked so well for you. Did you guys do the bottom, the funnel stuff too, or you not get that stuff? Cart abandonment stuff?
Chris Hall: Yeah. No, we do. We do. Cart abandonment is great. Obviously, the biggest thing that I'm always excited about is how many people were getting inside that funnel, you know? But, yeah, cart abandonment is great. Obviously, we're making money on that. Yeah. I'm always just watching that top line. How many emails did we capture? Where are they moving down? I mean, to me, that's exciting to look at on a weekly basis.
Adam Robinson: I'm having like once or twice a week talking to people over at Klaviyo so we can actually get an approved implementation of this.
Chris Hall: Oh yeah. You should have it.
Adam Robinson: Which would be unbelievable. You know, it's kind of like there's the way Apple thinks about privacy and there's the way Google thinks about privacy. Klaviyo thinks about privacy the way Apple does. We think about privacy the way Google does. It just is what it is, you know? Our logo's never going to end up on their website. They're never going to buy us but like they have recognized the value of this, which is a huge win because previously all of them, you know, they have this ethos where they're like first-party content collection on the website is how you do this. All of their products are marketed that way. Explicit rather than implicit consent. However, in the U.S., implicit consent is legal. So, it's kind of like I don't think they're ever going to get fully behind us and be like, "Hey, we discovered this Retention.com thing and it's how you should do this now."
But like just so I think we're in the cross the chasm thing. There's your early adopters, which you hear this, you're an early adopter. You're like, "F*ck, yes." And then there's way more risk-averse people that are like, "I don't think Klaviyo is on board with this," because like you talked to some of their salespeople, they're like, "Don't do it." You talk to some of their salespeople, they're like, "Do it." Right? So, there's not a unified message coming out of that shop. If anything, it's biased towards don't do it when you ask them. If I can just flip that to a neutral stance, I think it's like lights out. It's like if we get these mutual training docs, it's like, "Here is the approved way of doing this." Like, I didn't need them to advocate for us. I just need them to say it is within your right to use this handgun carefully.
Chris Hall: Right.
Adam Robinson: And if you use it the wrong way, we're going to make you stop using it. That's totally fine with me. And I think we're close to there, which is great.
Chris Hall: That's good news, man.
Adam Robinson: It's going to be so amazing for us.
Chris Hall: Adam, bro, I think someday you're going to be a billionaire, man, and I think you will be the first billionaire that I have ever met, man. You're going on my list. Billionaires Chris ever met: Adam Robinson:. He's going right there, man. I'm telling you.
Adam Robinson: Hey, man, it's not a goal. You know, it's just an interesting discussion in general, right? I don't think I want my daughter to be looked at as a billionaire's daughter. Right? And I was talking to one of my buddies about it, like just because it's like you're in here building this stuff, it's like, "Oh, this thing could be huge." Well, I mean, that's a massive implication, right? Wait.
Chris Hall: Yeah.
Adam Robinson: I live in a small house. I drive a suburban. It's just like that is not anywhere close to how I live my life and like, I'm super happy with my life. But it's like one of my buddies is like, "Well, I mean, if you really don't like it, just give the money away." He's like, "We'll see if you're a man of your word."
Chris Hall: I love that.
Adam Robinson: Yeah. You know, but it's fun, man. I mean, getting something that really works that people are excited about, it's always been my dream as an entrepreneur to be in this situation where almost everyone that I speak to, they're like, "Dude, I'm killing it with your product." That's f*cking great validation.
Chris Hall: It's great.
Adam Robinson: It gives me so much energy to keep doing it and pushing harder and spreading the word, right? Like trying to make the megaphone louder.
Chris Hall: For sure, man.
Adam Robinson: And all that sh*t.
Chris Hall: Yeah. To me, the thing that I think that I love most about e-commerce is that it maximizes freedom. You can live nearly anywhere and sell nearly anything, and you can be your own boss and you can literally make money on the internet. Being an 80s and 90s kid, I mean, that's still magical to me, you know? And so, the fact that your tool, your product just allows people to thrive more in those lanes and avenues that they're already going down with e-commerce and building a life for themselves and building a business for themselves, to me, it's awesome, man. I love it. That's what I love about it.
Adam Robinson: Yeah. I mean, I'm the same way. I'm 42 and my first job, which I have for ten years, was I was a credit default swap trader at Lehman Brothers.
Chris Hall: All right.
Adam Robinson: Lived in Manhattan. And I got a tie on.
Chris Hall: Okay, man. Wow.
Adam Robinson: I took the subway and I was there from six in the morning until six at night at this one desk for the whole time. So, it all kind of crisis happened. I'd saved a little money and I was reading books like 4-Hour Workweek and 37signals' Rework like I don't know if you ever read that book.
Chris Hall: No, I didn't read that one.
Adam Robinson: Yeah. But it's extolling the virtues of this remote life in like kind of this bootstrap or whatever you want to call it. It's kind of solopreneur-ish and it's intoxicating for somebody who has been living the absolute, there's almost no farther position from that than living in downtown Manhattan.
Chris Hall: Oh, man, I believe it.
Adam Robinson: And working at an investment bank for the same one for ten years. Like, not many people make it that far.
Chris Hall: That's true.
Adam Robinson: This pyramid is like this. So, yeah, it's what I wanted. My first company, I had a bunch of employees and then like it kind of hit a wall, and like all the employees were in sales and we didn't have any more leads. So, we whacked everybody but like it was a stable business that was positive cash flow that had very few employees. And so, then I made it remote and like I had had this dream in my mind. I was like I want to live in a ski mountain. I'm going to go rent an apartment in Aspen for the winter. I did that five years in a row. I want to build a, I studied abroad in Argentina, in college. I really liked it. I want to go get some engineers overseas. I'm going to go live in Argentina for a year when I'm like, 38, right?
Chris Hall: I love it.
Adam Robinson: Learn Spanish again really well.
Chris Hall: I love it.
Adam Robinson: It's like I just thought it was so amazing that and like my career is definitely in a very different spot now than it was then, for sure. I'm just working on something that's better like the product is better and people like it more. But like I felt like I was accomplishing retirement-level goals while not taking steps back in my career. You know, I was still trying to push forward but I was getting to do all of this other stuff, which like you said, in a post-COVID world, that doesn't seem that abnormal.
Chris Hall: It was neat then, though. That was against the trend then.
Adam Robinson: I think it's still amazing. You know, it's like the first. So, kind of post-crisis, I was around for a couple of years in the finance world and there were these groups of traders that started being brokers, pre-technical conversation but like they kind of stopped working at the big banks and set up their own shops and like kind of connected the dots in the market and took a higher cut for themselves. And they got a house, they got an office in Montauk, and they all lived in Montauk.
Chris Hall: Okay. All right.
Adam Robinson: And this was when I was renting these Hamptons shares with my buddies and schlepping out on the train every weekend, like 16 weekends in a row or something for five years. And the idea of being out there the whole summer and it just killed me to even think about thinking about getting in the ocean in the morning before work. Like, running on the beach and jumping in the ocean to like cool off and then going to the office, which was two blocks away like it seemed impossible. You know, it was like, how would I ever get in that situation? And then, similar to what you said about e-commerce, somehow that turned into my life is this like bootstrapped small SaaS entrepreneur. It's very much not that now. And by design, like after wandering for like three years, I was like, "I want roots. I'm f*cking 40 years old. I want a family. I want to start taking my life seriously, whatever." But it was a really wonderful thing to experience for me. And I hope that everyone gets an opportunity to experience something like that, you know?
Chris Hall: Totally. Totally.
Adam Robinson: By the way, it wasn't like I was a f*cking billionaire. I was like making just enough money to do what I was doing, right? And I just kept chipping away at it and then eventually ended up in the middle of this thing.
Chris Hall: Man, I think the beautiful thing about it, too, is that once you settle down and you have kids, I've got three girls, I got three little girls myself, working in this niche, making money on the internet, etcetera, it allows you to be more present. Some jobs I've had, man, I was gone four nights a week. I was gone on every third weekend, things like that. Then to be able to be present with your family and watch your kids grow up, it's so meaningful. It's so meaningful. So, anyway, I appreciate what you all are doing to make that more doable.
Adam Robinson: Yep. Dude, awesome. Well, I think we can wrap it there.
Chris Hall: Let's wrap it, man.
Adam Robinson: Chris, we got to hang out, man. I'm in Austin, too. I mean, I think you know that.
Chris Hall: I'm here. I'm here. Actually, I want to invite you, man. I'm putting together a supper club of sorts of probably about 20 other brands and guys that live around here.
Adam Robinson: I would love that. I have had the idea to do this myself with this girl named Ari Murray. She works at Nik Sharma's brand. She's like incredible. She's so cool. I have wanted to do the same thing but it's just, you know, we were going to do it during South by Southwest, kicked it out and it was gone. But I'm in.
Chris Hall: Okay. I'll get you an invite, man.
Adam Robinson: I have done such a poor job networking within our customer and within this direct consumer world. There's a ton of it here. I just haven't put effort into making that part of my social life. It's mostly just people who I knew from New York and L.A. and then some people from high school who live in Austin now. I grew up in Houston.
Chris Hall: Oh, nice.
Adam Robinson: Yeah. But, dude, I'm in.
Chris Hall: Okay. I'll get you the invite.
Adam Robinson: Just let me know when and where.
Chris Hall: I want to do it once a month but anyway, we'll just get the first one going and see how it goes. I'll get you the invite.
Adam Robinson: Yeah. Sweet. Dude, rock on.
For eCommerce founders, the idea of doubling conversion rates without offering a discount sounds too good to be true. But for Chris Hall, it actually happened.
Chris is the Senior Marketing Manager at BRUCE BOLT, a batting glove company that went from the brainchild of its 16-year-old founder to outfitting big names in the MLB. One of the keys to BRUCE BOLT’s success? Adding AI to its marketing stack.
Today, Chris sits down with me to share a detailed look at the benefits of implementing AI marketing into eCommerce, including how he used Maverick’s AI personalized video technology to 2x his conversion rates.
You’ll also hear Chris talk about how Maverick’s technology earns him more than 100 email responses from customers each week, where he sees AI marketing going in the future, and how eCommerce success has helped him build a more meaningful lifestyle.
Key Takeaways with Chris Hall
- Chris Hall's background and the founding of BRUCE BOLT batting gloves.
- One of the most effective current applications of AI for eCommerce businesses.
- Using video content to cut through the noise to attract potential customers or employees.
- The potential for AI to move beyond text and produce fully customized marketing videos.
- How Maverick's AI videos can be implemented into eCommerce email flows.
- How Chris generates 100-plus weekly replies from customers via email.
- The eye-popping conversion rate numbers that Maverick's content can generate.
- Offering a product with pricing that's "almost too friendly" to help generate marketing buzz from satisfied customers.
- The email marketing metric Chris gets most excited about.
- The lifestyle opportunities that come on the back of a successful eCommerce business.
Chris Hall | How AI Is Revolutionizing the eCommerce Experience
Chris Hall Tweetables
- “The thing that I love most about e-commerce is that it maximizes freedom. You can live nearly anywhere and sell nearly anything, and you can be your own boss and you can literally make money on the internet.” – Chris Hall
- “Working in this niche, making money on the internet, it allows you to be more present. Some jobs I've had, I was gone four nights a week, I was gone on every third weekend … To be able to be present with your family and watch your kids grow up, it's so meaningful.” – Chris Hall
- “Most companies get in a position where they're trying to maximize revenue, but in the beginning, I think if you can use price to accelerate your sales cycle rather than add friction, then you have this added benefit that people are going to be talking about your product behind your back in a favorable way, too.” - Adam Robinson
- BRUCE BOLT
- Chris Hall on LinkedIn
- BRUCE BOLT on Instagram | Facebook
- Forty Acres Coffee
- Y Combinator
- Sam Altman
- Alex Hormozi
- Triple Whale
- The 4-Hour Workweek: Escape 9-5, Live Anywhere, and Join the New Rich by Timothy Ferriss
- Rework by Jason Fried and David Heinemeier Hansson
- Ari Murray
- Nik Sharma
- South by Southwest