Trackers don’t come out of the blue, as the developers should have an idea of how to work with traffic in order to track it. And my guest is just the person who is proficient at both.
David aka Zeno — Chief Everything Officer at FunnelFlux whom I’ve known from the days I myself worked with traffic is here to talk about juggling a multitude of daily tasks and making the tracker people actually like to use while striving to become a better person.
P.S. Do you remember that legendary 6-week Affiliate Mastery Challenge from Istack? Yep, it’s him – Zeno.
Sometimes you need to spend a lot of time getting things done and not worry too much about structure. Click To Tweet
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The daily routine for productive work
How is your day structured so you could complete the maximum amount of tasks?
I don’t have a specific workday structure, I put more time in depending on how many critical things are happening at the time, urgency, etc. But I tend to be a night owl and use a morning workout as a basic starting point. So my routine is often to wake up e.g. at 10 AM, get to a workout at 11 AM to wake me right up. Then lunch/distracting tasks and errands, then work for most of the day with frequent breaks. It’s the trap of juggling a lot of things, sometimes you need to spend a lot of time getting things done and not worry too much about structure. That being said, because my work is quite sedentary, the #1 priority for me (health-wise) is daily cardio. It sucks right now with the pandemic causing gym closures but I have been lucky with that in Thailand.We are creatures of habit and automated task lists free up mental energy used for remembering trivial things. Click To Tweet
What task management system do you utilize?
I have tested a lot of systems over the years… Trello, Todoist, Asana, etc. I have been a happy TickTick user for several years now. The important thing for me is to be able to prioritize tasks and write them down quickly to avoid forgetting things. I combine this with daily journaling where I list out 2-3 key things I want to achieve today and try to always hit those. The task list in TickTick is secondary. I also use this for recurring tasks to keep up habits and not forget things — like payments to staff or contracts, monthly reviews, weekly simple things like laundry, or booking a haircut. We are creatures of habit and automated task lists free up mental energy used for remembering trivial things.
What helps you to achieve maximum productivity throughout the week?
Honestly, I think the best things you can do are A) list down the day before what are the MOST important few things to handle tomorrow and B) fill your day with things that help your health like fitness, social interaction, etc. to limit the available work blocks, forcing you to focus on what matters in those blocks. If your entire day is open with time to work on things, you’ll always drift because you don’t have any urgency imposed on your time.The average person wastes a ridiculous amount of time just thinking about what they want to eat. Click To Tweet
You never spend time on..?
TikTok, lol. Couldn’t care less. I spend very little time on FB/IG as well, I have 10 min daily usage notice on IG and I just flick through friend’s feeds quickly. I use it more for messaging and am actually trying to consolidate to one platform, like Signal or Whatsapp, where there’s no social media addiction aspect — I dislike being dragged onto a social media platform to message someone just because that’s where they seem to be contactable.
I don’t spend much time thinking about food to eat. I order healthy meals for the entire week that go into my freezer (and previous ones that were delivered daily). They are super cheap, limit my snacking, and make it so I don’t think about food in the morning, there’s just something there. The average person wastes a ridiculous amount of time just thinking about what they want to eat, and in Thailand I order food delivery via Foodpanda, there’s an overwhelming array of choice — you can get addicted to searching through restaurants so I try to find ones I like and stick to them to waste less time.
Becoming a better person
What books have shaped you the way you are?
This is pretty lame but… I really don’t read much. Never have. I like non-fiction more than fiction (have never been into novels), though I am an avid sci-fi fan of some series that are based on great books. I have skimmed things for key takeaways when I know the book provides valuable lessons to me as an entrepreneur, e.g. The Innovator’s Dilemma, Lean Startup, etc. The most I engaged in reading recently was via Blinkist but after a while, the summaries were all repeating the same things from other books. I’ve spent a lot more time reading informative online articles, blog posts, etc. than I have books.
What do you watch on YouTube?
Now, Youtube, I shamelessly waste a lot more time on it. I watch some tech videos, SCMP videos to keep abridged of news, some gaming videos, and a few other fun things (I kinda like Korean prank videos lol). I have probably watched more random Youtube videos than I have Netflix.By helping with someone else’s problem you become better at figuring out your own problems Click To Tweet
What questions do you ask yourself or others to learn?
In this context, I am probably talking to other business owners, entrepreneurs, or customers I am trying to help. I like to ask what their biggest current challenges are and what they are trying to achieve.
I also like to question assumptions, like “Why do you think that will work?” and “How do you know that’s what people want?”. I have learned a lot from trying to manage FunnelFlux, particularly that you should never assume you know what your customer wants, needs, likes, or will find value in
I am pragmatic, good at problem-solving, and have a broad set of knowledge, so I like to probe people’s problems and move their thinking toward solutions or some realization they can take action on. It helps me learn too, as by helping with someone else’s problem you become better at figuring out your own problems.
What blogs or FB pages do you find useful?
I subscribe to Stacked Marketer (the email newsletter) and the Morning Brew just to keep up to date on current tech/marketing events, but that’s about it. I don’t like too much noise in my day with emails and things to check
I also follow South-china Morning Post on Youtube and skim through their videos to keep up to date on random things happening around the world
I don’t think I really read any specific blogs or monitor certain FB pages. Actually, the #1 on FB for me is an expat in Thailand who translates the Thai government announcements into English. He has a loyal following of foreigners because he’s a reliable source for knowing what the heck the government is doing amidst the pandemic!
Can you briefly tell us the story of FunnelFlux and your role behind it?
FunnelFlux was originally built by a marketer/developer who wasn’t happy with current trackers. He wanted something to track his own campaigns/funnels, so just started building it
After launch, it caught the eye of iStack (the company that owns STM Forum, Affiliate World Conferences etc.). This is back in 2015-2016 when we were hustling on many projects, finding ventures to collaborate with. We partnered with FunnelFlux to provide business guidance and expand it as it had huge potential
Eventually, I moved over to help manage the product (basically a Chief Everything Officer) given my tech expertise and push the development of a cloud-based version, hence FunnelFlux Pro which is now available.
Why would people need a visual tracker? What are the main points?
It’s not just about the visual aspect, but the underlying concept of being able to flexibly string “nodes” together to create almost any flow you can think of. Most trackers are very linear with lander > offer or (pre)lander > lander > offer. This isn’t helpful if you have a complicated site to track, a long sequence of pages, users able to go forward and backward, branching upsell/downsell paths, etc. FunnelFlux allows you to track these easily without much hassle.
The visual builder on the other hand is preferred by many people and does make it much easier to build and understand more complex funnels. For simple lander > offer flows you don’t need a visual builder. But as you increase detail/complexity or start wanting to do more tricky things that would require developers and coding, the funnel builder and our nodes provide more and more value return.
What are your main marketing channels? What is your user acquisition strategy?
We actually don’t do a lot of marketing at the moment, but I can say a lot of our customers come from our referral partners and general word-of-mouth, STM Forum, and so on.This is generally smart in any industry – if there’s a segment you can serve that your competitors can’t, they are lower-hanging fruits that will build your business value/revenue. Click To Tweet
If I was to highlight any source as ideal for acquiring users it’s Adwords since the context lets you focus on people actually looking for a tracker. This is why if you search for any tracker you almost always see ads from the other trackers trying to entice you with trials
Competing head-to-head with every other established SaaS tracker can become a feature or price war. But FunnelFlux can do things none of these can and track platforms that other trackers can’t either. So we focus on this edge where we can, and in particular the customers that are under-served. This is generally smart in any industry – if there’s a segment you can serve that your competitors can’t, they are lower-hanging fruits that will build your business value/revenue.
What do you consider as the main challenge for you on the market?
It is absolutely user onboarding and retention. Tracking is complex and the products are generally complex. Making them simpler and teaching users how to use the product > then retaining them. This is the hardest battle as a lot of people will join, not quite get it or be a bit overwhelmed and leave. This is one of the main things I am focusing on with UI/UX changes and features as it can make the biggest impact.We are missing out on a much bigger market because our products are too confusing and complex to use for many brands/product owners and agencies. Click To Tweet
Second to that, I think branching outside of the core affiliate market is a struggle. There are a lot of competing trackers and the feature set/UI is all very cookie-cutter and focused on the same performance-focused affiliates. It’s not a small industry, but we are missing out on a much bigger market because our products are too confusing and complex to use for many brands/product owners and agencies.
The most important metrics for you to look at?
I think user onboarding and activity metrics are the most important. How many people log in after starting a trial. How many people do X key initial actions. How many people are logging in 7 days later. How many are completing our onboarding tasks. Of course, things like activation rate of trial and ongoing retention matter, but they are the end result of good onboarding and instruction. After you have this under control, monthly retention is undoubtedly the critical KPI for most SaaS products. I would say customer satisfaction in the product is a key partner with this, they go hand-in-hand.
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