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How I Create Products That Sell (and Sales Pages That Convert)
Last Updated October 25th, 2012

There will come a time when people tell you:

“Wow! It’s like you read my mind!”

Now imagine how easy it is to convince these same people to buy what you sell?

Real easy πŸ˜€

Because when you know what goes on inside the mind of your ideal customers, creating products that sell and sales pages that convert is a cinch.

The question is how can you crack the code that encrypts their mind?

Here’s how I do it…

Why You Must Eavesdrop On Your Customers (and How to Do It)

If you’re looking to create – and sell – online courses. You should join me for this FREE TRAINING SERIES. It’s available now. And it starts on March 16th, 2015. Get all the details right here

What Do You Do With This New Found Insight?

Once you begin using the strategies I shared in the video to collect data from your customers, you’ve got to start using it.


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  • The market for online courses hit $56.2 billion in 2014 – and it’s expected to double in 2015. You’ll see how to get a piece.
  • The HUGE mistake people make when they create and sell their online course (Hint: Forget, BIG, 8 week long courses. Think SMALL).
  • The TRUTH about how much you should sell your course for… and why.
  • The math behind an online course business that generates 1k per month, 10k per month, and 100k per month.
  • What to do RIGHT NOW to start creating – and selling – online courses.
  • And more.

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155 comments Leave a comment

Amazing as always. Thanks!

Sarfraz Khan

Derek is my No. 1 icon entrepreneur. Because of him only I got the idea of earning money with an online course and I am working very hard right now.

Zak Mustapha

I have to say, that was a great video Derek. I sure will share this with my friend.

I have found success in eavesdropping myself. I wanted to write an ebook to give out to my visitors. I didn’t know what to write it about, so I thought let me just ask them right?

I asked my followers on instagram the typical “What are you guys struggling with?” and most of the replies I got were “time management” so that’s what I wrote the book about.

I’ve realized you don’t have instagram or periscope. I could be wrong…but I can’t find you. Those two are the best places to find engaged fans.

Keep up the great tips Derek.

Deb Carr

Love your energy Derek. Do you (or other readers) have a preferred autoresponder and email marketing tool?


Hi Derek!

Thanks for this informative video! Implementing these tips will really help me stand out from my competition!!

I may have missed it, but have you done a video for Time Management?

Thanks again! You’re the best!

Laura M.
PS- Forwarded video!


Hi Derek,

There was an article you did about pricing (or maybe it was a video), but I can’t find it now. But it prompted a question I’ve been struggling with for awhile and wondered if you would share your insight.

I sell business guide info products. Periodically, I will do a teleclass on a topic that one of my business guides covers. When I do these classes, attendees get the live instruction and then they get the info product guide on that topic along with whatever other materials are included.

I have never really known how to price these. Should they be priced higher or lower than the info guide? I have tended to price them the same because I wasn’t sure which way to go, so attendees end up getting my time in instructing them plus the info product package. And they end up getting this for less than they’d pay for the info product because they seem to only sign up during the early bird offer. So I end up not only putting forth more time, energy and value, but earn less in the process.

Thoughts that might help me get on a better track?

Susan Harrison

Hello just wanted to say thanks for the great video, I have been making my way through all of them on you tube and taking notes, I watch a lot of videos on marketing and most of them are good but dull yours are like the last lesson on a Friday with your favourite teacher you learn something and have fun.

I have been researching feedback on Internet marketing books on amazon for a while now and I found that people tell you exactly what they want and don’t want from a product in those reviews .I am using the data I have found to create the best product possible for people looking to start an online business . The market is so crammed with useless push button systems and instant cash products most people give up after a while.
I will use the data to create a product that gives the customer what they actually want and help them achieve great results without any fluff or overnight night riches claim (the only thing that happens overnight with these products is the decimation of your bank account) .


Wow, Derek. The whole concept of social triggers is blowing my mind. You are a genius my man.


I’ve always been a numbers kindof guy and listening in on customers seems like a natural progression (as long as it isn’t too creepy and used for the purpose of creating better value for them…I’m look at you facebook and instagram!)

As I’m in the startup phase we have used small focus groups in the past to get information from people. Simply asking open ended questions via email and in person. We also have a survey developed to judge sentiment of individuals whether they are positively oriented or negatively oriented towards our industry niche.

The “what is your struggle” question is actually a great way to ask people. Its a better way to say you do care about them and it helps you create more value. I plan to use that (we are launching our blog in the next few weeks and starting to build our email list– with that being said- augmenting our email auto-responder to say such will be interesting to see how much social connection you need from individuals)

I also read a comment from someone saying that 1 person is not the majority of the customers and that is correct. You have a power of one if you are speaking statistically which isn’t much power πŸ˜› but the point being is you get to hear squeaky wheel and then combine some of these solutions together like making a survey or testing if that issue is as big as it really is. If you get hundreds of emails saying the same thing then you know its not just a little power of 0 anymore.

Just my 1 penny (I lost the other one).

Peggy The Doctor's Wife

Thanks Derek, I’m just getting started in writing and marketing my book on YOUR COMMON COLD: The World’s Best advice for how to slash your next cold from 10 days to 2

I like writing and researching, but learning how to confabulate my blog and website is onerous to me, so I’ll need to learn how to set up an auto responder asking “What Are You Struggling With” for cold sufferers and an anonymous email survey (when and how do I send that?
More work, but it sounds like it will be worth it.

Thanks, from Peggy The Doctor’s Wife

Stephen from FreeDPT

Your information is gold!

I am definitely going to incorporate your idea on asking new subscribers to tell me something they are struggling with in my auto responder.

Here’s why…

a month ago, I sent an email to my current subscribers asking them what type of tutorials/information they want to learn in the new year (since my site is to serve their needs). I got an overwhelming response! Instead of coming up with ideas out of thin air, my subscribers told me exactly what they want to learn! Taking the guesswork out of it.

Adding that simple sentence to my auto responder asking what the person is struggling with should return even more results. Thanks Derek!

BUT, I do have a question…

I get plenty good traffic to my blog and at the end of each post I write “We hope you enjoyed this article on… Please leave a comment telling us your favorite tip and/or ways in which you uses these techniques.” But, it is not working. I don’t get many comments… Any idea how I can fix that?

Louise Boylen

Hi Derek, I find your videos and other material both interesting and useful. We have holiday cottages and find that Facebook offers eavesdropping opportunities in that we can track which posts prompt a reaction. Not terribly detailed or scientific but it’s useful feedback to guide our marketing which has an emphasis on the attractions of our region.

Alan | Life's Too Good

Hey Derek,

Another great video – I’m loving Social Triggers TV. I’m struggling to keep up though! Did you increase your publishing schedule (or am I behind?) πŸ˜‰

Great points in this vid – I strongly believe that whilst listening to your customers & great customer service has always been important, it’s easier than ever and these days listening to customers is now non-optional, it’s imperative for any successful business,

take care, best wishes & thanks for another great post/video,



Good tip. I think I like the “not tolerating” comments meant just so they can put their link on your site/ blog. It’s like sending someone to a competing restaurant and giving all the diners the flyers to your own restaurant. Very douchey.

Simon Stapleton

Thanks for sharing these insights Derek. I’m gonna give the eavesdropping technique more attention on my blog. I don’t spend enough time responding to comments, which I know I gotta do, but this has been a great kick up the butt!


Matt Walker


Thanks so much for this video and the “rub off” video. You always have amazing stuff, bro, and I appreciate your willingness to share it with all of us. If you don’t mind, I’d like to ask you one question, though (not sure if you’ve put this in a different post or not). What program do you use for your Opt-in Form? I’ve considered Opt-in Skin, but yours seems much more streamlined. Thanks, man!


Derek – interesting content and I can see how it works for you but do you think this can be applied to a B to C company? I’ve just launched a gifting service and my first challenge is getting adopters to register on the site – I have a few who are doing it, but not a lot.

I don’t know that asking for survey responses or asking what they are struggling with (it’s sort of a broad question that could go well beyond the scope of my business) is the best idea right now until they are using my service. What do you think?

Marcus Grip

Hey man! Thanks for the quick tips. I actually paused the video and changed my “thank you for signing up” message to include a question like “what are you struggling with?”

I also sent out a broadcast/email to the existing subscribers and asked too.

JP Borges

Hi Derek! Thanks for the video! Actually, being Ramit’s student, i usually create the “avatar” before crafting my offers – i’m a lawyer by the way – although i usually struggle with adapting those principles/techniques to my specific market and the way i’ve chosen to market my self. Latelly i’ve working my positioning/credibility – also watched your rubb-off effect video – through associations with older and wiser lawyers/professors from different countries. The eavesdropping part, not so much latelly as it is a bit specific, although i already had a pair of “tools” thought out to those who feel the need to follow the legal work more closelly. Will give you feedback on this, since i guess this could prove a good test case. Thanks again JP

Coach Comeback

aww man if you ever see this…. my last comment was supposed to go on your post “how to be famous”. Your little efficient “recommended for you” pop up has me with so many freakin tabs open I put my comment on the wrong page!!! lol


I always thank my new subscribers, but I just rewrote my welcome email to ask a question.

Many folks are thinking, but what question do I ask?

Next year I plan to sell e-books of the stories I publish on my site – Yes, I’m a storyteller. So, I’m now asking my new reader, “What type of stories do you want to see on BOBB?”

Every service or product website can find The Question that will engage their audience.

If you were a new customer / client what question would you want to be asked?


thank you again Derek. I sent my sister your link and she is now a devoted reader / watcher.

Srinivas Venkataraman

Just love these tactics…

Lennart Hiemstra

I am getting the most unobtrusive popup-feedback form for my sites right away! Any internet marketeer needs to know what his customers are thinking. Thanks for pointing in the right direction again

Lennart Hiemstra

Amanda Alexander


I didn’t think it would work! But it does!
I watched your video, changed my 1st autoresponder last week and have had 3 long emails back from new subscribers in direct response to the newly worded AR! In my AR I said that I will reply to each and every email – and that’s what I’ve done. I’m going to get my VA to collate all of the emails I get from new subscribers so that I can plan my blog posts to directly respond to their issues – in their own words.

Thank you very much!

Tash Hughes (@TashWord)

Great video and post, Derek – thank you.

I like your written ideas of eavesdropping so you can learn your customers’ language – it is so important o use the language that people can relate to rather than being precious about your own way of speaking/writing.

What am I going to do? Well, auto responders were already on my to do list. And using an anonymous survey in the emails was also there, but the struggling question wasn’t so I am adding it right now…

And I’m going to share this link in a blog post soon and follow up with some results from these ideas.

Donna Moritz

Hi Derek

Brilliant! You are so right about strategic eavesdropping. We have a chiropractic wellness practice (in my offline world) and our staff are also trained to listen, as well as the chiros, and we get great feedback, but the biggest thing is also making them feel comfortable to give it face to face too…which is awesome. I think your “comments” section is an online version of this – making people feel comfortable to say what they think, be honest and open and give great feedback and detailed at that. I too have had a “tell me about your business and what your challenge is” on my autoresponder and it has been a great way to know if I am on the right track with content. You just reminded me of some tweaking that I will do to it as I like what you have included in yours, like the fact that you say you read every email that you get back. I saw Chris Guillebeau speak at Problogger a few weeks ago in Melbourne and he said that he replied to each and every of his first 10,000 subscribers. Such dedication but he is getting it back 1000-fold I am sure. And he still replies personally many tens of thousands after that, as I sent his admin team an email the other day and Chris emailed me back! You both do a great job of that. Brilliant video. Thanks!


Loved this informative video! Great tips on eavesdropping – I’m going to implement the anonymous survey on my website right away. Thanks for providing such great insight on how to capitalize on the way people think. Keep up the good work!
xo -Rebecca


Derek + Michael Fischman podcast the bomb –

nuff said



All so new. word cloud… hmm…

thank you, Derek

I don’t have much to say yet. I’ll be sharing more in the months to come. Right now, I’m getting a handle on how to communicate and broadcast my goods. This is SUCH an education, but I realize that putting it to practice is the key. Rock n Roll




Awesome vid thanks for that, i’ve just implement so much of your tactics and it really worked. The new episodes are top notch, and i’ll keep watching you.



Melanie Duncan

I couldn’t agree more. After taking your advice I put a survey into my funnel and the information is GOLD!

Thanks Derek!



Hey Derek, You are Awesome man!!! Your advice is great man, thanks a lot.

Well, i am from Colombia, and i have a blog about how to help people with General Anxiety Disorder, i help people from mexico, cause i advertise in google in Mexico.

Well the history goes about this, i have more than 1000 suscribers in my email list, and a few months ago, i sent them a survey, anonymous of course, in this moment, i am selling an affiliate product very famous in the USA and now is in spanish, the metod calls panicaway, and man, is awesome, i use it when i suffered of panick attacks, so i proved that product, and now i recomend it to these people, mexican people.

Well, i made this survey, because, i wanted to know why this people dont buy it, of course, there is people how buy it… but you know what? I want More!!!! More Sales!!!

In this survey i ask people: Why is preventing you of buying this product…

And, can you imagine what is the majority answer???

I have no money…

So, Man!!! Fuck…ing lost it, if people tell you “i have no money” you are doomed, you can do anything, people wont have money.

Sometimes i think this could be an excuse, but i dont know yet what could be the answer, the real answer of this thing.

That is the reason i get tired of making surveys, if people tell you:

“Man you are awesome, thanks for all the help you give us but… I have no money”

What else can i do.

Derek, thanks for your time, and for some advice you can give to solve this.

Greetings from Colombia and thanks a lot.


Camilo R

Adam Dukes


One word: Twitter

Check out what your followers are talking about, jump in the conversation, show them you care. They followed you for a reason, they are interested in what you have to say.

I love doing it and am planning on mailing out some thank you cards to my followers to show them I appreciate them following me.

Just an idea.

Alan Smith

I like this idea, but I’m not getting comments. I get a small amount of traffic to my site but no comments. It is hard to eavesdrop when there’s no conversation.



We use the “what are you struggling with” welcome email strategy and we get a ton of responses from this.

Question though, we do send out anonymous surveys and ask questions at the end of posts, but don’t really get as many responses as we’d like. Do you have any recommendations on how to get people more engaged? I realize that we’re always keeping for their attention, and I really do think our content is a fit for our target market (we’ve done the customer avatar exercise) but still struggle with engagement.

Thanks for another great post/video!

israel GarcΓ­a

Hi Derek.
Simply brilliant these ideas, it is very important to have information from your customers.
I’ll put it into practice in my blog.


Excellent! I realized I do this all the time, without thinking about it on facebook and sometimes my blog. I am in the hand-dyed yarn business and I ask people questions like, “What is your biggest struggle with knitting or crocheting?”
What types of projects do you normally make? Hats? Scarves? Mittens, etc?

And other types of questions. I get literally hundreds of responses sometimes and it’s amazing. It helps me to HELP them and that is what it’s all about.

THANK YOU for everything. Your information is excellent and has helped me in SO MANY WAYS!


Hi Derek,

Dude, loving your stuff. I just started following you and have started implementing a lot of what you’re talking about. I’m already having people respond to my question in the autoresponder.

I’m also creating youtube videos like yours (not quite as professional yet), but it’s a start.

Thanks for the inspiration.


Primoz Borovnik

Derek you are awesome. I have listen and read your blog over and over and have to say, you really know how to give visitors what they wanted. This show that you have exeptional insight into visitors soul.



Shane Francescut

Hi Derek,

Thanks for putting this video together, I work in the non-profit sector and I firmly believe that listening to donors, volunteers and program beneficiaries is a key component of organizational success. Your video was passed on to me by the good folks at @IT_for_change.

I have experienced working with an organization that rarely listened to its stakeholders, and when it did, it weeded out any negative/constructive criticism and focused solely on the few positives it received. Needless to say, that group is still spinning its wheels today, and I couldn’t see myself sticking with such a close-minded organization… so I left.

On the flip side, after running a relatively successful event for the first time, I decided that I wanted to hear from the participants so that I could make it better. The response was overwhelmingly positive, but I also got a tone of tremendous ideas to improve the event the following year.

Thanks again for your amazing video and site.


Rachel Strisik

Thanks so much for this video. I am planning to implement the reply to this email part (#1) for my email subscription. In addition, I am looking forward to putting together an survey (#2). Right now, I ask for people’s names and any referrals they have and truly haven’t gotten many back. I am going to take off the name part! I will let you know how it goes.

Rochelle | The Single Status

People just want a chance to be heard… what you’re doing with the whole “what are you struggling with ” question is actually giving people an opportunity to express themselves. I love it. Doing it now. Like right now. OK bye πŸ™‚

claire stone

Brilliant points – thank you sooo much for sharing them! I can’t believe how many great opportunities to listen to my potential clients I have missed – doh! But, I have now written a cool little email to fire out each time someone signs up to my newsletter – only about 1 or 2 per week, but at least it’ll give me an instant insight into who/what/why etc.
Massive big up to you!


Hi Derek;
In my field (selling music albums online – from bands with no tour), we always try to reach to people who listen to music online or download a free track and of course, we use surveys, social media, …, but the problem is there is no feedback. People say good, great music, like it man, keep going, but they do not actually go to buy the music or even register to the musician website. Do you know why? To be honest, I do not know where the problem is. Do you?

Michael Yardney

A great message as always – I particularly like the concept of using the words your clients use in your marketing – speak in their language.
I also like your little message at the end asking for “payment” by passing the message on to others – I’m going to use this also

Lester Lim

Lovely content Derek!

Agree totally with you on the survey and sending question + asking for answers part. I have used surveys before but for some reasons I don’t use them on a more consistent basis (facepalm). There’s no doubt that this method works and it’s always more advisable to send the questions or surveys to your new subscribers while they just subscribed and are still new, because the response rate will be much higher.

Giving them a good first impression and experience will keep them coming back. Just like what you did exactly – It kept me following you and your content every single time. It works, period. πŸ™‚



I almost had to scroll down so far I got lost, perhaps move the comment box to the top?

Solid content as usual, felt the need to reply. It’s for the reasons you outline why building relationships and being crystal clear on what users you attract and who they are is so important.

The clearer the picture, the more easily you can build, market, give things that are ideal for them.

It’s like how you can likely order dinner for your girlfriend and she’d be happy, you know exactly what she likes, and even she doesn’t you know you can make it up with dessert anyway.

Date your users, it always comes back to customer service.


Hey Derek,

Great timing. I just launched my first product. Here’s what I took away from this video:

I’m using Survey Monkey to incorporate specific frustrations that my readers have voiced into the sales page for the product. Very specific. I want people to feel like I’m talking just to them…because I am.

Also, I just changed my “welcome” email for my mailing list to a simpler, more straightforward version that asks multiple times for an immediate response (to tell me about their biggest frustration, etc.).

I’ll split test the sales page changes to see if the stuff I learned from the survey results has an impact. I’m thinking it will.



Loved this. As a blogger, I use Twitter heavily to eavesdrop on my followers and to watch the general pulse world-wide. Retweeting and coordinating my tweets with what’s trending always yield new followers.

Niveen Salem

Hi Derek!

Great information as always. I actually have been implementing the first technique in my first auto repsonder thank you email. However, I don’t get a lot of feedback. Any advice on that?

Was just thinking about the survey again as I applied one to one of my blog posts but my blog is new and still building traffic but perhaps it could be a good idea to implement in a separate page or in my daily email as you suggested.

Thanks again!


Love it Derek! You crack me up!
More importantly, you always open me up to new perspectives that are so blindingly obvious you wonder why you didn’t think of it yourself. That, makes it seem do-able, and for that I thank you!
Now Jocelyne- go and do it!!!

Adam Dukes

As always, great video! Love the case study of Lulu Lemon as well. They “get it”.

Gary Vaynerchuk recently said in a speech, “Listen to your customers, but don’t listen to your customers”

What he meant was, eavesdrop on them more so than ask (survey) them. he said if Henry Ford listened to his customers, he would have created a faster horse.

Something to think about

Laura Forte

Hi Derek,

Awesome video, thank you!

I recently heard you speak at the Ryan Lee event and I loved what you had to say about promoting your blog posts. I had quite a few ‘a-ha’ moments when you talked about promoting material to the same people over and over again.. which is exactly what I was doing.

I’ve already started promoting my blog posts to different audiences and I’m seeing a much greater response, so thank you! I love the tactics you mentioned above, so I’ll start on encouraging more ‘smart comments’ as well.

Thank you!!

Rich Russell

Hi Derek,

I was intrigued by the idea of you creating products that sell. I am on your list, I read your blog, listen to your podcasts, watch socialtriggers.tv and still… I have no idea what you sell!

You give away a ton of great info but what do you sell? I have never found anything I can buy. Is this site covered in banners that I can’t see because of my ad blocking plug in? I don’t think you would be doing that.

Before posting this I have scrolled up the page a couple times to make sure I am not missing anything obvious. It’s not obvious is it?

Come on – Sell me something!


    Arnout (from europe)

    I think Derek sells his consultancy services and entrance fees for Social Trigger meetups,no? But first: let ‘s gather a big crowd! But I could be wrong

Janice Masters, The Everyday Joy Coach

Hey Derek, thanks for this great video! I’ve been sitting here kinda dead in the water and wondering what to do the amp things up. I will def adopt your email/reply to me suggestion. Such an easy one! I haven’t done a survey in a while, so that’s next! and I think I’ll routinely post a comment after each new blog I post stating that I encourage thoughtful, ‘smart’ comments and not trolling for leads. You ROCK! Thanks, Jan


Hmm, its nice idea to get subscribers, to make them subscribe and let them ask questions. I wonder how much of them get replies. And the video is what I was looking for. πŸ™‚

Not really, though its useful.

Linda Ursin

I already have a couple of surveys going, but I’m definitely adding that reply request to my “thanks for the subscription” emails.

Jafar Dhada

Hey Derek, I’m a big fan of you but I’ve an complaint that you are now posting videos only.

I like to read text posts. I am an Indian so I can’t understand your fast English and I’m missing the awesome tips from you since you started the ST Tv.

So Please if you can, Also post a text-version of your posts.



The “what are you struggling with?” question absolutely works for me. When people reply to the “struggling” question and I write back, they are THRILLED to get some personalized tips from a real-life English teacher. It shows that my site isn’t run by a faceless, uncaring corporation. Most of the people who later become customers (and repeat customers) are those with whom I’ve corresponded directly.


Thank God Lululemon eavesdropps on their customers. As a woman who loves to shop, I shake my head at some of the ‘so called’ fashions that department stores and ‘niche’ stores stock. Sometimes I think, “The 1960s and 1970s called and they want their clothing back.” Anyway…

I do ask people to respond to my emails, but I may need to revise it to attract writing clients.

An anonymous survey is a great idea. I’m asked to fill out surveys all of the time, but I’m not thrilled about giving out my personal information. I’d feel more comfortable filling out a survey if I could do it anonymously.

Finally, most people leave lengthy comments on my website. I use Askimet spam and most ‘bogus’ comments are collected and deleted.


As always, a great post Derek!

I don’t like the concept of “ease-dropping” (and neither do customers), but I do like the idea of listening to each and every interaction (given that the user gave it up willingly), remembering this interaction, and acting according to it in the future (or present).

The company I work for actually has a great big-data solution for Saas businesses that want to do just that (out motto is “Listen. Understand. Engage”). This field is called customer engagement. if you want, contact be by email and I can explain how we do this on a larger scale.

P.S. Love your blog! Every time I have a debate with someone about UX, your blog seems to have the answer.

Arnout (From Europe)

Great video Derek. Good work but the title is somewhat misleading. You are 100% right but the tips you give are more suitable for making existing products/ webpages/video’s better rather than creating products from scratch.

Kevin Rape

Hey Derek, I plan on getting more social with my customers (or future customers) in specific groups on Facebook. Many people just post a link and don’t actually engage their prospects.

Topic specific blogs and forums are also an easy way to eavesdrop. A person could post “What is your biggest STRUGGLE with X?” in a topic specific forum or community and get feedback as well.

I’ve already implemented your strategy on asking a similar question in the first email my newsletter subscribers get when signing up.

Jessica Suranyi

Hi Derek,

Another great, helpful video- thanks.

We have helped clients use feedback survey with their end customers, but not our own! We usually just ask for testimonials at the end of a project, but don’t ask for feedback while working with the client (we just assumed if they had an issue it would come up while working with them- not a good thing to assume!). One of my co-workers is in the middle of doing a marketing qualification and as part of this she created a survey for our customers- we didn’t know who would respond (if anyone). We were pleasantly surprised about the feedback and our customers told us some things that we honestly didn’t know and wouldn’t have found out otherwise. We will look at incorporating more ways for feedback throughout working with our clients. Thanks for the nudge in this direction!

Sheila Bergquist

Your “what are you struggling with” is not only a great way to get ideas, but also makes people feel you really care about them, so it’s brilliant on two levels! I am another one who doesn’t have many comments yet on my site, so I plan to gear more of my posts to include a question at the end, hoping it will encourage people to comment and tell me what they are needing. Love the video and your sense of humor!

Kieran Given

Hi Derek,
I think this principle can be used on a micro- or macro scale. What I mean is, it’s useful for small ‘Mom and Pop’ businesses, but also for businesses on a huge scale like Apple / Dell / whoever. We as an agency also listen to the ‘market needs’ meaning, we listen to where the customers are wanting to go and we then provide the ‘transportation’ to get them there. We facilitate their dreams/visions/goals, so staying close to the customer is vital and eavesdropping on them is one way, but having a regular conversation with them is also vital to keeping the relationship intact and hearing where they currently itch. If they stop itching, we’re missing something or doing everything right. πŸ™‚ Thanks for your enthusiasm and passion on these subjects.


Thanks Derek, useful video. Yep, I’ll plan to have an anonymous survey, asking some questions like “You’ve read the title and description of my blog, what do you expect to see?” This will give me some insight, I think.
I already shared your post with all my twitter followers. Cheers.

Shanika Journey

Hey Derek,

I was about to go to sleep about an hour ago, but I was staring at the ceiling thinking about where I could begin generating leads for two sites I’m working on.

I laid there just staring at the fan just spinning over my head.
And that’s when the thoughts came to me:

What are the problems the people I wanna write to are having the sites can help them with?
What are they laughing about when they talk about it?
Who do some of them talk about when the subject pops up?
Do I even know what they’re saying RIGHT NOW before I write one more word???

That last question made me jump out of bed and start digging for the past 30 minutes.

That’s when I stumbled on this video from one of my friends sharing it on Facebook.

And you confirmed what dawned on me just moments before I even looked at it – alot of people don’t listen in on what their ideal audience is saying before they try to sell anything.

That was spot on.
I’m refocusing some of my research in that direction.
I agree with you on something else when doing that –
If you listen to people long enough…
and pay attention to what they say…
alot of times they will tell you what to write just from talking about the subjects with others.

It definitely cuts the amount of time down in writing the copy.
Kudos for the confirmation and small reminder to keep doing this.


Good video! Content-wise and I also like the format on the white background – really makes it look like you are “in” your website. As always, nice to see another fabulous LaCoste shirt! πŸ˜‰

Trying to think of a way to do anonymous surveys that are a very low time commitment for people. Does anyone feel that poll widgets have much value here?


Hi Derek!

I just did the anonymous survey earlier this week, and I’m thrilled with the market research! I can’t wait to redesign my sales page using their terminology. Next step: I’m adding “what are you struggling with” to my auto-responder. Thank you!

Jeffery Lam

By the way Derek, do you respond to them after they submitted their feedbacks? Do you send them another email saying thank you?

Jeffery Lam

Hi Derek,

Thanks for this great video! Fantastic!

Yesterday, before you publish this post, I actually did the similar strategy you mentioned.

I am actually organising a seminar, and someone just signed up for that course.

So this is part of the content that I wrote in my email to congratulate them on the enrolment and payment status.

I written some “Call to action” sentences……see the below:-

Before the workshop begins on 3rd November, I’ve got to tell you about two things.

Thing #1
Please let us know a little bit more about you and why are you decided to join this workshop? By filling out the below quick survey:-

Ok, let’s CLICK the Quick Survey page here (which link to a GoogleDoc Survey Form)

(This helps us understand where you’re at in your land investment and development journey).

Thing #2
Connect with us in the Facebook community, so that we can interact through Social Media Channel in the near future. Add us into your Facebook here:

Guess what! It works! I received the desire feedback in my GoogleDoc. And, they added me into their facebook, and I do received a few “Likes” on my FB status.

This is a great strategy! I got inspired and learnt so much from Derek’s BlogThatConverts Course.

May I know how do you guys integrate the auto responder and survey monkey to make this strategy to even bigger success? As currently, I am sending out email individually. And, all the feedbacks collected in the GoogleDoc Speadsheet. Need expert advise πŸ™‚

Thank you.

Lawrence Fox


Great video. The Spousal Overunit (who is a regular Lulu customer) watched part of the video with me and said “Oh that’s why the change table is where it is at the store near us! I thought it was an accident of design!) (But she asked “Are the staff then trained to pass along what they hear?”).

You’ve got great advice. I’ve already made a change to our Association’s website (based on your earlier episode where you talked about placement of subscription forms) (we added them in several places they hadn’t been before) and have seen an uptick in signups over the past two weeks. Now I’ve added your question to our autoresponder for new subscribers and members.

Thanks for the advice! I’ll certainly be using it when I start making improvements to my OWN website later this year!


Rose Marie James

Thank you Derek,

This is just what I needed as I am getting my own info products up and running.

~Rose Marie


Brilliant suggestion on eavesdropping. I used to do this technique when thinking of strategy for promos in ecommerce. I didn’t rely on the marketing department I listened to the sales team. They had direct discussions on what products worked.



Thanks for the reminder Derek! I had forgotten about the what are you struggling with question.
Also now I know why people dont do my surveys even if they have a free gift- they arent anonymous Duh!

Thanks brilliant help as usual


Wow, I have included the question in my email last night and currently getting 50 replies and counting. It does work perfectly πŸ™‚ And I can’t wait to see ideas keep coming through these emails.

Thank you so much Derek


Perfect timing πŸ™‚

I am just working on changing my opt-in & auto responder, I am so going to use the ‘What are you struggling with’ in the new set up.

I do use surveys both anon and named ones. I’d like to add that the wording of your questions in the survey can make a HUGE amount of difference to the information that you get back. And that having questions that require sentences rather than check boxes are more beneficial – that way you are not guessing what their response may be and you are more likely to hit responses that hadn’t even crossed your mind.

Also, I know Survey Monkey is popular but there are limits to it, you can set up surveys using Goolge drive with no limits!

jane gardner

As tweeted, this is great -love to hear about Lululemon. Taking your blog that converts workshop now so …hmm.. not sure if I’ve done eavesdropping on it but you gave me like 7 ideas for content so now just need to create the blog! Great class

Adam Price

Hey Derek,

I really like what you’ve said in your video here, I used to work with a well known global sales coach on trust based mindsets and his process was also amazing for eves dropping on clients.

He would then be very fast to implement anything he learnt that we hadn’t already put in place as part of the marketing funnel.

One of the key pieces of intelligence we used was a program like “Live Person” which is normally recognized as a live chat tool.

However, in this tool (and many others like it) you can see where your customers land on your website, what keywords they come in from, where they’re referred from (if it’s another website etc)… This allows you to then go and strengthen relationships with other web owners if they’re affiliates or colleauges.

As well as bid on those little slithers of keywords that end up making you a lot of money from very little bids, that you otherwise wouldn’t have thought to bid on.

The most powerful part and the “eves dropping” part however, is in the use of creating what you termed “What Are You STRUGGLING With?” question, and we put this in our opt-in form, we called “what’s your biggest sales challenge?”

They would opt-in and as you said absolutely POUR their hearts out to us in this challenge box, some of the stories were so sad and heartfelt, but this is what we could use to create our product to really HELP these people with.

From here, we would watch them in Live Person come from a keyword search, or other website, go to our homepage, read the thousands of testimonials, opt-in, and then begin listening to the first of a series of 10 or so short audio coachings on a page we created.


So we could “Eves Drop” on what they were thinking…

The key to this whole process and the clincher I guess you could say were 2 very important things…

1. We added a phone number to the form, the ones who were REALLY HURTING and wanted help badly, put their phone number in for a 15 minute consult with a sales coach… NO selling was allowed on this call only a focus to HELP them think differently!

We could identify the HOT leads by the above form and what they wrote in their challenge, as we had some very specific variables which when a prospect wrote them in, we KNEW that they were ready to make a change and open to be helped, a lot of them were on their last legs, ready to lose their house, wives, children and job in their sales career and we were their “Last Hope” so much so that when we called them they cried and laughed at the same time in dis-belief, they actually told us they didn’t think we would call them, let alone within 5 minutes (that’s right, our phones were manned 24×7).

2. If they didn’t have a specific problem enough to call them and they might have written, “we’re curios to see what you’re doing” etc… we would watch them in Live Person and then “ENGAGE” them in a low-pressure conversation in chat, we wouldn’t wait for them to click chat from their end, we knew the audio’s they were listening to that they opted in for were only 3 to 4 minutes long… So after 2.30 minutes, we would drop them a quick chat engagement asking if it all made sense and if they had any questions…

The response…

They LOVED it, 3 out of 5 of them talked to us and one out of those 5 would openly tell us the KEY variable that allowed us to gently move them from the chat to a phone call, where they indeed opened their hearts out to us and sold themselves eventually, and quite often instantly at the end of the conversation, without us selling anything to them.

So because we KNEW what our clients wanted (we eves dropped) they ended up in a better place, and it was SCARY just how many times they would say to us before we even really dug into a deep conversation “Hey, it’s like you READ-MY-MIND”…

So what you’re saying today in this post is so VERY, VERY important for anyone in a business, online or off, you really need to workout a way to listen to your clients, prospects etc…

Just thought I would share this story and hope that it helps some of your readers, keep up the GREAT work mate.

Warm Regards,
Adam from Australia πŸ™‚


Great Vid!!!
I’ve been “eavesdropping” on my “customers” for years now.
I have a small boutique style venture where I recruit international working holiday makers visiting Australia, for jobs across Western Australia. I only have a handful of employers who I recruit for (literally I only have like 15 employers) and I have waiting lists for positions because of the excellent reputation myself and my employers have.
I couldn’t have done this without “eavesdropping” on the backpackers.
You see I run it entirely through Facebook, because genY just cant live without Facebook, even when they travel! And these days your Facebook profile is essentially you. I have an account as opposed to a page as it enables me to look into their lives through my newsfeed and follow them on their travels and see what they get up to whilst they are working for my employers.
Thanks to all their status updates and photos they post, I know when they are enjoying themselves and loving it, when they are hating it and have clashes with my employers. This has allowed me over the years to let go of the dodgy employers and keep only the best of the best!
Its been a win, win situation, the backpacker gets a great short term job and the employer knows they are getting the pick of the bunch of excellent workers.
Because of the success I have with it, its now a non negotiable in all my ventures to “eavesdrop” (I’m also a travel photographer & publisher) and I use this Facebook account for most of my market research for other ventures, thoughts and ideas I might have.
The information I get from it is simply to precious to ignore.


Hi Derek, thanks so much for more great insight. I’m going to reword my auto-responder and try and get more feedback to my newsletter. Something else I discovered recently about listening in is going to my ideal customer/prospect’s fave forums. I’ve been picking up a few issues some have with my competitors and so I’m working out how to use that info.

I also have an online store and an Etsy store having turned a much loved hobby into a business. Oh and I’m a Marie Forleo RHHB-School graduate who loved your video content there.

Thanks again

Mike Mintz

Hi Derek:

Thank you for sharing these strategies. I now have a new piece of material to share with my internet marketing students on market research and listening. My favorite tactic you shared was the auto responder asking what your subscribers are struggling with. It’s been a while since I subscribed to your site, but I think I even responded to that with a bit of detail (remember?) πŸ˜›

At what point do you think it is prudent to act on the things you hear? In the LuLu Lemon story it seemed she made a choice right away. Not all of us are that quick to implement. Can you share anything else on the process that happens after you gather visceral feedback? Maybe it’s another video?

Thanks again.



Derek, I love you! (LOL)

I also feel like such a dumbass for not thinking about my visitors comments as crucial feedback on what to help them out with. DUH!

I love the eavesdropping idea, in my sign up form I already ask what they wanna learn more about but I’m also gonna put that in the welcome email as well to provoke more in-depth replies from them. BRILLIANT!

I’m definitely gonna try the anonymous survey as well. People loves surveys! Haha

Thank you!

Maurice Lindsay

Yea I remember when I first subscribed to social triggers and got the “what are you struggling with” email…I was shocked to see that another blogger actually cared enough to ask, as a result I answered. And you definitely responded back…Great Marketing tactic

Enjoyed your video…Keep it coming Derek…I need more tips lol

Michael Shook

I had heard this advice but never really “heard” it before. I am adding when I get done here with this comment, the “what are you struggling with” question to my autoresponder sequence.

It is like the light clicked on today. Thank you. I hated being in the dark and hated more not even knowing it. πŸ™‚

Lise Halskov

I have proof that your suggestion works! I used to follow your advice but for a while went with a different method. One week after sign-up, I asked for the same response via a form on the blog. Even though the answers were only visible to me, only a few people reacted. Only a week ago, I went back to asking for a response in the first autoreply e-mail, and it works like a charm. I now get answers popping up in my mailbox every day, so I think it not only lies in the question but also in the timing.

So thanks, Derek!


Derek, this video was outstanding…I really have liked your new video series, great job man!

I will start asking for anonymous feedback, I have a growing audience and do get some feedback but think if I allow them to ask an anonymous question it may help them to express what they really need. Thanks!

Susan Beane

I am going to go out and start eavesdropping on some of my customers. I am going to look for some blogs/websites that talk about repairing cars. We sell automotive electrical supplies and some of our customers are current customers and others are finding us through search, but I need to have more people finding us because someone has said we have good stuff at good prices.

Steven Davis

Derek –

Does the “Zap Bad Comment but leave it there” strategy work with multiple “SEO helper” messages that I get on my blog? I’ve been simply deleting these guys.

(Sounds like a great WordPress plugin… “Polite Comment Delinker” or some such πŸ™‚ ).

Keep ’em coming.



This is a great tip, and I hadn’t thought of using the autoresponder as a way to get information (like most of us, I used it to broadcast my own information).

One great place to eavesdrop on your clients is on forums. By participating, in a non-spammy way, on forums that feature your (future) clientele, you can see a lot of what they talk about, struggle with, what is important to them, etc. By being a part of the conversation there in a way that does not put people off, you can really get some good, solid feedback, and even get some new clients/customers along the way.


I just posted your video on my FB πŸ™‚

The first tip is really great – I’ll do that right away!
Always very usefull insights you share with us. Video is such a smart thing, and yours are always encouraging.

Jacqui Olliver - Relations Strategist

Hi Derek,

I just mentioned on my Facebook ‘Like’ that your emails are the ones I always look forward to receiving πŸ™‚ You gave a perfect example of this lesson in the email you sent us – after I laughed at your expression in the video freeze frame, I thought about a gallery of those images!

Another way to get insights from your customers – especially for consulting sessions – is to have them fill out a short questionnaire directly after their session with you.

I have an in-depth questionnaire which a client fills in at the start of their session – so I can get inside their brain and determine the ‘triggers’ for their personal problems. At the end of the questionnaire it says: After your session… (when they get to there, I make a humorous comment “that’s when you decide if I was any good”, which lightens the situation and helps the client feel more relaxed.)

– How was the session different from what you expected?
– I always want to improve on my sessions. What changes would you suggest? Your honesty is appreciated.
– In what way/s do you think this session has benefited you?
– If you were to recommend my services, what specifically would you say to someone?
– Your comments may help someone else decide to invest in a session. What name do you prefer me to use?

Now, because I deal specifically with ending personal problems, I understand the client’s desire for privacy (none of us like admitting we have problems – especially men). So I offer them an alternate name to use, so they can share their comments.

Hope this helps,

    Jacqui Olliver - Relations Strategist

    Oh – I forgot to mention that I use these comments on my Reviews page which starts like this:

    Many of my clients appreciate the fact that their experience may influence your decision to invest in a session with me.

    I recently began asking my clients for feedback after their session and I thought I’d share their session reviews:

    – How clients felt leading up to the session (prior to their appointment)
    – How different the session was, compared to what the client expected
    – How the client felt my session was of personal benefit to them
    – What specifically, the client would tell you when recommending me…

    In respect to clients who wanted to share their experience with you (but also remain anonymous) surnames have been omitted and some names changed.


I remember that autoresponder and it blew me away then as a great idea! It can be hard to get people to be honest, but that seemed so personal somehow. Do you have a favorite way to deliver your surveys?

Bridget Willard

Sometimes, though, I just comment so that they know that this “hit” was an actual read. Sometimes blog statistics are empty.

I think your videos are encouraging. Twitter is a great way to “eaves drop.”

I tweeted it.


Awesome video. I really enjoy them!

I already do surveys, but I’m definitely going to try the first method you suggested. I really like that.

Amber Jalink

Hey Derek – love the video! This is my first time posting here, but I have followed some of your other videos. Interesting the way you mentioned eavesdropping – I’ve used surveys for literally most of the past 15 years I’ve been online, and have *always* found them to be useful.

Plus I’ve also suggested almost this exact thing to my kindle author’s lists, that all you need to do is look around, listen to other conversations. Sometimes even in a grocery store line, you’ll overhear people talking about something that can trigger either a situation (for a book) or an idea to enhance your current products.

Love your videos, keep them coming! I’ve flagged you as being one of the few I care to actually watch for the emails.


Sheila McCann

You rock Derek! I’ve noticed a shift in my focus since reading your blog. I usually focus on creativity but now one word keeps popping into my mind, actionable. My blog is new because I’ve been spending so much time on creativity…it is time for action.
1. I plan to ask what was the biggest challenge for them in terms of transformation in the past? Was it perspective, application, technique, motivation?
2. Incorporate their words into my product and address the need.
3. Add some humor into my posts and videos…loving the energy of your videos πŸ™‚

Lee Drozak

I love to eavesdrop at events because if it doesn’t help my business it could help my clients. I also do the anonymous surveys but not β€œwhat are you struggling with” responder which will be changing soon. Great tips as usual!

Catherine Just

Derek, I just adore the way you share information. You crack me up, keep me engaged the entire time and give me really useful tools I can implement right away. Thank you!

I plan to change my autoresponder message asking my new peeps to send me exactly what you said AND I’m going to do an anonymous survey for my list

AND I’m going to post a few new product ideas inside some of my FB groups that I run and see what they say in there as well.

Thank you!

Question: Do you respond to any of the replies you get from the ” tell me the one thing you are struggling with” question? Do you let them know you will be using their emailed to help create content that directly serves them? How do you let them know what it’s for?

Desiree Fawn

Thanks for the video — I own a clothing shop & I’m always taking care to listen in on my customers. Getting them talking means I can get to know them, get to know their needs and can make recommendations from there. It’s the little things that keep customers coming back!

Molly Patrick

Thank you Derek!
This came at just the right time.
I am just starting to build my email list and I am going to implement tactic #1 today!
What an easy way to get great feedback.
If there is one thing people like talking about, it is themselves.

Thanks again.



Thank! I just changed my follow up message asking suscribers what they’re struggling with. Great tips!


Serita Diana

Love the “what are you struggling with” in the subscribe email. Adding it to my newsletter sign ups now! Thanks so much for the awesome tips because I’m watching and implementing:) and always waiting for the next one!


Hello Derek

Great idea as always.
I have a question, I am selling cake baking tins in different shapand sizes.
1. how do i find out who my target market is? At the moment I am guessing it is female 30+ with children.
2. Should i do a survey of existing customers, but what should i ask them

thanks for your great insights.


Great info. I will apply to create my free PDF.


Scott Lovingood

Love the idea of the anonymous surveys. We do phone surveys every year and get great results. The problem is they aren’t reflected in customer retention.

What is the best way you have found to do a survey ?

nancy fox

Great content once again Derek. You address the very issue so many of us want assistance with – sales and conversions.
I immediately took you up on your advice with the “what are you struggling with” question.
I’d love to say I’ve been getting answers – not really.
Any suggestions for upping the response?
Thanks again!


Hi Derek – Nigel here from Zenologue

This came at just the right time!

Last week I posted a note in a private Facebook group that I’ve been a member of for some time, asking new pro photographers what they’re really struggling with in business, and to feel free to vent off steam…

Guess what?

I got 60 replies to that, totaling almost 3000 words, all in their language, explaining their problems the way they see them, and opening so many doors for future training programs that I just couldn’t believe it.

So, yes, you are totally right and on the money yet again!

Thanks for sharing so much with us, I love what you’re doing, and looking forward to the next installment πŸ™‚

Tyson Freer

Thanks Derek for all the great insight. I’m a newb in the online realm, I’ve only been up and running for about a month. It seems like with each new video there is a new tweak. I’ve coined this term with John Dumas about you:

Halpernomics or Halpern-onmics – the act of replicating and tweaking your site for ethical and RAPID growth, through a comprehensive study of human interaction.

Thought you might like it πŸ™‚

Randall Wilburn


Another great video! Thanks for sharing these tips on eavesdropping on our customers. I never thought about it that way but your process makes perfect sense. I hear people all of the time talk about certain challenges that they are facing and my ears usually “perk up,” when I hear them referring to issues in my area of expertise – small business startups. It’s always easier if you have a product or service but for those of us out there doing Consulting or Coaching there are ways to take that unfiltered information and turn it into gold…

Keep up the great work and I can’t wait for another podcast from you.


Randall Wilburn

Piers | KickstartersHQ

Thanks Derek, this information is just what I needed.


One of the challenges we face, is that contrary to the standard advice of having one small demographic as your customers, that our clients really can be just about anyone (ok granted there’s more men and more people in their 30’s than teens). This makes it kind of tough for us to know where to “listen in”. We have an autoresponder similar to yours that has gotten some results. We also ask people to leave comments and ask questions at the end of almost everything we put out. We’re still getting very little feedback though. We get a tiny bit on Facebook, but virtually none on our site, on YouTube, on Twitter, by email etc.

I guess we could implement an anonymous survey, but I hesitate to split our focus away from just asking for en email signup (where we then ask for that feedback). The only solution I can think of off hand would be to also offer an anonymous survey in the signup autoresponder, so we’re still primarily aiming for an optin first, but there’s still anonymity on giving feedback.

I’d be curious to hear any opinions.

Robin Bright

This is awesome advice, Derek. I find myself honing in on conversations that business owners have with each other about independent contractors. When they call me to “fix” things other contractors don’t finish, I ask them to elaborate. Sometimes their expectations were not in line with the independent contractor’s skills. Once I realize this, I further research this skill, find out if it’s what even more people are looking for. Once I determine if this is a real problem (even if it’s a lack of communication between the two) I put together a plan of action to solve or avoid this problem in my own business.
For instance…One client felt that a WordPress business site builder dropped the ball (after an awesome site design) because he didn’t help the client hook up their Google Analytics and get their RSS feed working. This showed me that this small task is actually overwhelming to some business owners and it’s so important to get these “behind the scenes” things done as well. Business owners are reading more and they understand that a pretty site alone doesn’t bring in traffic. They want to be able to measure their reach, see what’s working, which pages and posts are visited most, and where site visitors are going after they finish with one page. This led me further to include other plugins which provide even more detailed methods of site evaluation than Google Analytics. By doing this, BAM…I’m ahead of the game and leave my competition in the dust.
Great video, Derek! (Also, we just connected on FB and I’m psyched about that!)



I literally was changing my final welcome email for my mailing list. Thanks for that tip! I’ll let you know how it works out. πŸ™‚


    Derek Halpern


David Hamilton | Everlution

After I saw you speak at BlogWorld, I implemented the reply with a struggle autoresponder, and it’s been so great.

I currently have comments disabled because I’m taking your advice on not having many subscribers yet (only about 100) but I love the lead by example in the comments, by leaving that dude’s comment who was just basically spamming you.

Also, your Blog That Converts course is NO JOKE. As a current student, there’s lots of work, lots of learning, and I’m finally starting to put the picture together. I’ll be implementing my favorite strategies in the next month and I’d love to be a successful case study, who wouldn’t?!?!

    Derek Halpern

    Glad you signed up for the course, and more important, glad you’re digging it. Make sure you pop into the private facebook group to share info about your upcoming blog launch too.

Joe Peck

Derek! Awesome content again! I had already seen your “what are you struggling with” question but the other 2 tactics are fantastic as well. I can see value in all three for my blog so you know I’ll be implementing them when I launch!


    Derek Halpern

    Awesome Joe. Do let me know how it works out.

TJ Loftus

Another great way to eavesdrop on customers is to use call tracking on all marketing and advertising campaigns. Whether it is PPC ads, direct mail, TV ads or any other advertising medium add a call tracking number and listen to the calls.

Ever hear “this call can be recorded for quality assurance”?

It’s not just for quality, its for refining sales processes and learning how convert more sales.


One of our clients had customers say their quotes are higher than the other quotes they were getting. But the sales person quoting didn’t really build up the value of their product before quoting their price.

Also, while on hold waiting for quotes you can hear the customers getting impatient with long hold times… and sometimes hanging up before a quote can be given…


Better sales quote process to increase value being offered and shorter hold times to give quotes.. = more $$$

Luis R Silva

That’s a must for my to use this techniques!
I usually think that people want to hear what I say or write in my blog, but the true is that people want to identify with they’re reading (or watching) in their own language. The best way is to hear our audience, their language and their needs.
Thanks Dereck to open my eyes (again).


Hi Derek,

I’ve been using the “struggle question” for a while now with good results. People replies. Always. The thing is how to make good use of that. I’m working on it.

I’m not good at creating surveys. But it’s in my To Do list. You could share some info on that, may be…

And comments… well. I’ve been practicing that for years and it works great. I have the readers and commentators I want. The wall of shame is a great practice.


    Derek Halpern

    Wall of shame. Ha.


Brilliant as usual, Derek. I already implemented a new autoresponder based on your video. I love it! Thanks so much.

    Derek Halpern

    Thanks for watching!

Coach Comeback

Yes! Just added the “What are you struggling with” question to my email followup and I am already amazed at the detailed stories I am getting back. I started a google spreadsheet like you said with all of the answers, my reply, date, time and email.

Good stuff. I already have ideas for 3 new products from that!

    Derek Halpern

    Amazing how simple it is, right?

Caroline J

Derek – in fact I’m going to do 2 things after watching this helpful video.

1. I’m going to ask our subscribers to hit the Reply button on the first email they get from us and ask them to tell us what they struggle with most in graphics. Such a simple idea (& aren’t they the best ones)
2. I’m going to change our business logo on Youtube (from the InVideo Prog) to ‘Click to Subscribe to our channel’ – i.e. a Call to action. Another simple, but much more effective plan. Thank you.

    Derek Halpern

    You’re welcome!

Joe Cassandra

Since I just started out, I don’t have a large subscriber list, so I can take the time to e-mail them individually to see what they wish to learn etc.

Hey, they may share the site since I took the time out…

Love the creepy cup

Cheers Derek

    Derek Halpern

    Can never take yourself too seriously when doing this type of stuff. That’s why I always try to find the worst freeze frames, ha ha.


I spent several hours talking to golfers at my facility and asked: if money was no object what type of lessons would want?

Found out to a person that people wanted video and on the course lessons.

Guess what? You put together…charge premium prices and they come on back.

Good job D

    Derek Halpern



I love your video! I have a couple of craft shows coming up and usually do that perfunctory, obligatory introduce-yourself-to-the-other-vendors walk through the aisles. This time, though, I have a PLAN!! Listen listen and talk to the customers, not the other vendors so much.

I really appreciate what you’re doing. Sometimes I have a little trouble translating your comments to work for my online Etsy shop, though.

Thanks tons, young man — from your old lady fan,

    Derek Halpern

    You’re welcome, and it appears I’ve got a lot of people here who run Etsy shops. Something I need to keep in mind.

      Aaron Helman

      I see what you did there, Derek. You eavesdropped in the comments and found out that you have lots of people run Etsy shops.


      This is for real, I am actually doing this in my jewelry booth. I listen and sometimes even get more information off them. I go home and make the stuff. I love new product and this method accounts for about 10 percent of brand new product and more than that for alterations of exhisting products. I have seen people take offense to the comments, but it’s free even if some of it is lame. But do ease drop on the other vendor’s, this is exactly how I find all the great money making shows. And, you nailed Derek, thanks for airing my own dirty little secret…haha

Aaron Helman


You come up with these ideas that are so elegant and simple, I can’t believe I didn’t think of them yet. I’m going to make a word cloud of the comments that people leave me and figure out which key words are the ones my readers use the most.

Then I’ll start using those words more. Thanks.

    Derek Halpern


    Remember I’ve been doing this stuff for like 7 years now.

Nicole Moore

Thanks Derek. After watching this video, I am definitely going to include a “what are you struggling with” in my opt in email. I’ve been thinking of doing a survey too so this is a great reminder.

    Derek Halpern

    When you do it, I’d love to hear how it works out. Make sure you come back and share the results.

Stacy Spensley

Great points, Derek. I ask for replies to my newsletters and have been getting good feedback there, but I’m going to add a stronger call-to-action to my autoresponder.

I wish I’d seen this 2 weeks ago since I just got a bump in subscribers. I’ll look into sending an anonymous survey to just that segment to see if I can still harness their feedback!

    Derek Halpern

    It’s never too late to get started, though.

Jessica Weagle

Again you are having me do a faceplant (-: I just did a video for my auto reply for those who just sign up for my newsletter.

    Derek Halpern

    My information knocks you off your fee apparently ha ha

Seth Ellsworth

Derek, I love this.

I added that “what are you struggling with” email as the first email they get after subscribing… I got an email this morning that rocked my world. Best piece of intel I’ve ever received.

So I applied that to my supplement business… again, I got back a flood of emails with so many comments and perspectives I’d never heard of.

Smart comments fo sho.


    Seth, the problem there is you’re applying something you learnt from one single customer.

    One customer isn’t a statistically significant sample, and the changes you make based on that one persons feedback might well have negative effects on your future conversion rates.

      Seth Ellsworth

      Actually got back hundreds of responses Jacques. There is no problem there. I referred to one email of hundreds.

      Not my first dance.

      Laura @MOMables @SuperGluemom

      Derek – I’m totally implementing the “what are you struggling with”
      thank you!!

    Derek Halpern

    Now I’d love to hear how you implement this insight. And how it direclty affects your business πŸ˜€


Hey Derek

Great video. Clearly the first commentator didn’t watch or read as they just did what you were talking about! Did you plan that?

I really like the concept of finding out more about your customers as the more you know the more you can deliver great content + products. Understanding more about my clients makes create content easier which is less stress as a business owner.

I’m not yet ready to do a survey and don’t have lots (or any comments) on my blog but I love the idea about using your first auto responder to ask people what their biggest struggle is.

I’m going to implement that on my site.

Thanks again


    Johnn Four

    Hi Natalie,

    I suggest it’s never too early to do your survey. A service like Survey Monkey gives you 100 free responses per survey. So it won’t cost you anything.

    And you can queue the survey up in your autoresponder just like your welcome message.

    Why not start getting data right away?

    At the least, you discover sooner rather than later what questions produce poor answers. Improve your survey over time to get the exact feedback you want.



    Please ignore my comment about the link in the comments above.

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