In the hyper-competitive fitness market, there are few who stand above Athlean-X.
With almost 4 million Youtube subscribers, it’s one of the most popular channels on all of Youtube, while also being the #1 channel for men who want to train and look like an athlete.
But in a world where some famous Youtuber’s can still be dirt-poor, Athlean-X has stood above the crowd and learned how to monetize their audience to generate over $10,000,000 per year.
The good news?
You can learn exactly how they do it today. That’s because inside of this post, I will reverse-engineer their entire conversion strategy so you can use them for yourself to explode your business or your client’s businesses.
So with that said, here we go…
Tip #1: The New-School, “Direct Response Quiz” Strategy That Builds A List Of Thousands Of Happy Paying Customers Instead Of Freebie-Seeking Email Subscribers
The first rule of digital marketing for information marketers is to always collect email addresses before trying to sell any of your products. At least, that’s what most people are taught to do.
It’s a great piece of advice.
However, Athlean-X decided to do the opposite by promoting their “direct response quiz” instead of the typical free lead magnet. As you can see, they use the very first line of their video descriptions to do this.
If you don’t know what a “direct response quiz” is, it’s basically a questionnaire that visitors can fill out to direct them to the specific product they need based on their answers.
This is game-changing for website visitors because it gives them a level of “artificial” customization since the quiz helps them nail down which product is best for them in their particular situation.
It’s also a game-changer for the business because it delivers the right product to the right prospect at the right time, automatically. This is the holy grail of marketing.
That combination of customization and automation boosts conversion rates enough to the point that it and allows for Athlean-X to build a large list of paying customers directly from Youtube instead of having to go the long way around by trying to acquire free email subscribers first and then selling later.
- Less freebie-seekers to deal with
- Faster influxes of cash from new customers
In other words, it’s a direct response marketer’s dream.
Keep in mind though, that his traffic source consists of Youtube subscribers who already know, like and trust him. Furthermore, all of his products cost under $100. This combination of attention, trust, and low barrier to entry offers makes selling upfront possible and worthwhile.
Tip #2: The Product Trailer Strategy Proven By Multi-Million Dollar Infomercial Brands To Out-Convert Text-Based Sales Messages
The simplest and quickest way to making a ton of sales is to model after the big boys in your space. In Athlean-X’s case, this means modeling after the Beachbody’s of the world with their own unique, heart-pumping product trailer.
It’s a strategy they use in every landing page, regardless of the product they sell. And it serves as the main sales message on all them as well. These trailers cover the fundamental sales points you would expect in any infomercial-like trailer…
- A clear, understandable promise
- A straightforward USP
- Lots of compelling proof
- Stacking of features & benefits
- Emotion stimulating images & audio
No need for a huge long-form sales letter when a great trailer does most of the work.
In fact, in a visual market like fitness, it would be dumb to do anything that was only text-based. In every case, it’s better to be show than it is to tell. It’s also always better to be exciting than it is to be boring.
Athlean-X obviously knows this and executes on it flawlessly.
Tip #3: The “Greedy Value Stack” Technique That Transforms Regular Offers Into Must Have Bargains Without Massive Discounting
One infomercial secret that’s been proven to work every time is positioning your offer as an amazing bargain.
The most popular way to do this is with big, Macy’s-like discounts.
However, Athlean-X found another way to achieve the same results by focusing on extreme or “greedy’ value stacking. They use it throughout their landing pages and put a ton of emphasis on those sections as well.
One big example is the sheer number of workouts they put in a plan…
The truth is, no one really needs 60 workouts in a single program.
However, the fact that they get 60 workout when most other workout program may promise anywhere between 10-15 workouts for the same price sounds like an incredible deal. It also covers the “what if I get bored” objection most workout programs face. On paper, it’s not logical to think you to think you could get bored with that many different type of workouts.
The craziest part?
They apply the same strategy to their actual bonuses as well.
Over 105 meal options?
30 additional exercises?
6 weeks of targeted ab workouts?
That’s a lot of stuff, especially when you consider the fact that bonus packages from many other similar products tend to only include maybe 2-4 extra workouts and a nutrition calendar at best.
When you combine a core product that goes to extreme lengths to literally out-deliver their competitors with a sweet, exclusive “bonus package” that also out-delivers competitors bonuses, Athlean-X successfully triggers one of the primary triggers in human persuasion…
At least in the context of getting a lot more than you usually do for the same price.
Tip #4: The “Info-Physical” Upsell Sequence That Easily Out-Converts Traditional Information Product Funnels While Optimizing Your Customer’s Checkout Experience
Years ago when I bought my first Athlean-X training program, I got an upsell I wasn’t expecting.
In most information product funnels, you usually go from one information product to the next. In the Athlean-X funnel though, you go from buying a workout program to being offered supplements.
That was the best upsell sequence I’ve seen from any information product company at the time and ever since.
It just makes so much sense.
If you just bought a workout program, why do you need another one within seconds of adding in your credit card information? It’s just not optimal. The best upsell sequences will always go from front end product to upsells that improve the experience of what you just bought.
Technically, you can find a way to do this with certain types of workout programs.
However, the most effective way to do this in fitness is to couple workout programs with supplements. Just about every person understands and assumes that adding in supplements to a workout program can help them achieve even better results, faster.
It’s also takes just minutes a day while barely lifting a finger to apply.
So that’s exactly what Athlean-X did in the upsell sequence I was in.
I went from purchasing a $79 workout program to being offered a $120+ supplement stack. The awesome part about this funnel is the escalation in price from $79 to $120+.
That’s $200+ in potential revenue from just 1 upsell.
And it was only possible because they went outside of the information product box and started to act more like a regular ecommerce business by offering real, physical products to take their workouts to the next level.
Tip #5: The “Productized Feature” Trick That Turns Boring Product Details Into Exciting Features Worth 10X Its Original Value
Another “trick” infomercials use all the time, especially with workout programs, is elevating the value of every individual workout you get in their programs. So it’s not just getting 20 workouts, but getting 20 exclusive workouts you won’t find anywhere else.
The questions is, how do you do this?
The answer is productization.
There is a huge difference between fat loss workout #2 versus the Rapid Fire Workout, which is the first…and only… 100 RPM (reps per minute) workout from Athlean-X. As you can see, doing this instantly 10X’s the original value of what would normally be just another boring product feature.
Here’s an example of how Athlean-X uses this same concept to sell their Athlean-Xero program.
The coolest part is that this concept can be applied to any feature.
All that is required is giving that particular feature a good name and a description. In the case of workouts, that description just needs to contain an emotionally compelling pitch of what you’ll be doing in the workout.
The more special and exciting it sounds, the better.
Tip #6: The Instant “VIP Welcome Email” That Practically Doubles Your Revenue Earned Per Customer Without Being Salesy Or Pushy
In a world where everyone is afraid to send more sales emails to their subscribers, Athlean-X does the opposite both ruthlessly and flawlessly.
The moment you buy a workout program from Athlean-X, they will automatically put you on a “VIP” list and instantly send you an email with the goal to immediately cross-sell you.
The best part about this email though is the way they actually do it. You see, it’s not just a “go buy more relevant stuff” email. Instead, they use the subject line and lead of the email to position it as a “special bonus”/special “benefits” email that only “Team Athlean” customers get.
This sneaky positioning move, combined with the choosing the perfect add-on offers, makes what would normally be an annoying sales pitch actually feel like a valuable announcement that would help me get better and faster results with what I just bought.
And because of the way it’s positioned, there’s no need to wait to send this.
Your customers will actually want to get this type of email sooner rather than later. How do I know? Imagine, paying almost $100 for a 6 week fat loss program only to find out on week 4 that you could of gotten even better results if you had the supplements that could be added to the program.
In a situation like that, waiting to sell actually becomes a disservice to your customers. So don’t wait. Just sell as soon as possible.
That is an example of email marketing at its finest.
Tip #7: The “Catalog Home Page” That Turns Your Highest Visited Page Into A Cash Cow
Most content-driven businesses use the home page as a glorified opt-in page to build their email list.
Instead, they treat themselves more like a traditional e-commerce business would by using the home page to display all of their products up front.
From that page, you can then click “Learn More” to go to each product’s landing page or you can go straight to the shopping cart if you click on “Buy Now”.
This is yet another example of their push for building a customer list instead of free subscriber list whenever possible. And even though I don’t have their exact sales numbers here, I’m pretty confident that this move delivers big time profits for them.
That’s because the home page will almost always become your site’s most popular page.
So with sub-$100 offers that convert, even though the page probably won’t have highest conversion rate, the sheer amount of traffic their home page would convert enough prospects into paid customers to the point it’s way more valuable than giving away a free lead magnet.
With that said, if you look above the fold…
You will notice that there’s a very important pattern…
The above-the-fold section is dedicated to promoting Athlean-X’s best selling products. This includes his Athlean-X series, his membership site (Athlean-NXT), and his supplements on the top right, sticking out.
In other words, this is not just a catalog on a home page.
They took the time to optimize it by setting up their direct response quiz up first, followed by their best selling products in order.
Tip #8: How To 10X Your Sales By Using The Same Secret The World’s Greatest Living Copywriter Personally Used To Beat Controls Almost Every Single Time
Athlean-X’s landing pages are short.
However, just because it’s short, doesn’t mean you can leave out the #1 most important part of your sales page… proof. Which is why Athlean-X didn’t just make sure to stock up on testimonials, but also physically putting it near the top of their main landing page.
This is key because the act of having proof as high as possible on your landing page creates a much higher possibility for your prospect to see if before they get the urge to leave the page.
Notice that it’s not just 1 type of proof, but 2.
The first is the obvious before/after testimonials that fitness companies are known for. You can’t tell from here, but that’s actually a slide-show with multiple testimonials. In addition, there is also a link to a page dedicated to proof.
The second type is a celebrity endorsement. In this case, David Wright of the New York Mets, which Jeff Cavalier (founder of Athlean-X) was a trainer for. This particular endorsement especially made sense because of his company’s “train like an athlete, look like an athlete” message.
Tip #9: The Low-Hanging, Multi-Channel Retargeting Strategy That Converts Lost Sales Into BIG Profits
Athlean-X is an aggressive direct response business, so it makes sense why they wouldn’t let a single easy sale go. Hence why they have a retargeting strategy just for the low hanging fruit sales.
This retargeting strategy involves 2 basic principles…
- Retarget people who’ve been to the landing page, but have not bought.
- Follow them on multiple channels so that they always see you
This is an example of one of their Facebook retargeting ads on mobile.
And here’s one from Instagram…
And here are a couple from Google’s Display Network…
As you can see, it’s nothing magical….
It’s just a simple retargeting strategy that converts. And considering Athlean-X is not known for their media buying savvy, it just means how easy of an opportunity this is for most people.
Tip #10: The “The One Problem, One Solution” Product Creation Strategy That Turns One-Time Buyers Into Loyal, Multi-Purchasers
Athlean-X flawlessly executes on one of the simplest catalog creating principles…
Find 1 specific problem and create 1 solution for it…
Take these for example…
Athlean Xero = No-Equipment Workouts
Max/Shred = 100% Fat Loss Workout
Max/Size = 100% Muscle Building Workout
Ultimate Arms = Arm Building Workouts
Athlean-XX For Women = Body Transformation For Women
Athlean TNT = BodyPart Add-On’s To Existing Workouts
All of them follow that one basic rule.
This allows Athlean-X to create an exhaustive catalog of workout programs, which in turns means more total revenue because the average customer will eventually run into each problem and will want to buy the solution for each.
Tip #11: The “ABC Portal Page” Strategy That Boosts Revenue Earned Per Customer Without Your Customer’s Even Noticing
So once you buy a product from Athlean-X, that doesn’t mean you won’t be seeing anymore promotions. If fact, you’ll actually be sold even harder.
Here’s what I mean…
That’s a picture of all the offers you can buy INSIDE the login portal for the product you just bought. Hence why I’m going to call this an “ABC Portal Page” since they follow the “Always Be Closing” rule used by salesmen to the T.
On the left, you can purchase any of their other workout programs.
On the right, you get an ad that promotes their supplements.
So these are not full fledged sales pitches. Instead, they just strategically placed their other offers to integrate with your online portal experience.
Tip #12: The “Anti-Unisex” Technique That Can Drive Your Sales Through The Roof Without Having To Build Completely New Products
In most businesses, the goal is to get sales from both men and women.
The problem with this though is that it can water down the message, especially if you’re in a market like fitness where there can be extremes. Men tend to want very masculine messages, while women need a message that lets them know something was specifically made for them.
Enter, Athlean-XX For Women.
This is landing page specifically targeting the Athlean-X training system for women.
As you can see, everything is different. There is no mention of athletes, gone is all the masculine messaging, and there’s even a new host!
In other words, instead of trying to make the original Athlean-X training system for both men and women, they created one landing page specifically for women and one landing page specifically for men.
This gives them the chance to maximize sales from both gender’s without alienating Athlean-X’s regular hardcore messaging.
To take this a step further though, they’ve even build a separate 317k subscriber Youtube channel to funnel traffic to the segmented landing page.
Tip #13: The Simple, Low-Maintenance Email Marketing Strategy That Builds Goodwill With Your Subscribers AND Boosts Sales At The Same Time
If you’re a content creator, this is the email strategy for you.
Jeff Cavalier uploads about 3 videos a week to the Athlean-X channel. Sometimes even more depending on the situation. This gives them more than enough content to keep his base happy.
So instead of trying to complicate their email marketing efforts by creating exclusive email content, they focus promoting their videos to their email list.
By consistently promoting their Youtube videos to their email list, they build goodwill with them without having to use up any resources to create new content. This means more resources to grow their number #1 channel, Youtube.
However, don’t be fooled.
Athlean-X will never not sell if they can help it.
So at the end of every email, they will pitch something. This happens in the P.S. section after they’ve already the free video they wanted to promote. Now while this won’t exactly lead to a flood of sales, it does allow them to sell without losing any of the goodwill they’ve built up.
The Key Takeaways
Athlean-X is a little known powerhouse in the fitness market that’s quietly raking in millions because they know what they’re doing.
And now, you can leap-frog your success by borrowing, modifying, and adopt their strategies into your business or your client’s businesses.
So with that said, here are the 13 key takeaways
- If you have a large source of traffic and your product is under $100, go directly for the sale instead of trying to build an email list filled with free subscribers. Ideally, you will use a quiz for this so you can offer the right product to the right prospect.
- Whenever possible, use an emotionally compelling product trailer to do the heavy selling on your landing pages instead of relying on just text. Never tell when you can show. Never be boring when you can be exciting.
- Boost the “bargain value” of your products by offering way more than the industry norm. Take it to the absolute edge and focus a section of your landing page of it so you can make it a big selling point.
- Combine information products and physical products into the same funnel sequence. The goal is to offer products that go hand-in-hand so that it becomes a no-brainer upgrade.
- Take the core features of your product and productize them. Give them their own individual names, positioning, and benefits. Hype up the feature to make it feel like a huge bonus when you buy the product.
- Once someone buys a product, take the chance during your welcome email to cross-sell them something else. Make sure the cross-sells are logical next-steps or upgrades for the product they just bought.
- Turn your home page into a catalog page like you would a regular, physical product ecommerce store. You’ll instantly get more sales since your home page will most likely be the highest visited page on your site.
- Always lead with your strongest pieces of proof. Bonus points if you can stack them on your landing pages so that there’s no way a visitor wouldn’t believe your claims. Unquestionable proof is the key to making sales, period.
- Even if you’re not a media buying guru, always re-target visitors who visited your landing pages, but did not buy. Make sure to re-target them in multiple channels, not just one. These are the easiest and simplest sales you will ever make anywhere.
- By creating one solution to solve one problem, you will build a catalog of products that will compel your visitors to eventually buy all of your products. That’s because you’ll be creating hyper-targeted products that all connect with each other and solve the problems most your customers will end up having on their journey.
- Offer your customers more cross-sells on the pages where you deliver your actual product. This will give your customers a chance to upgrade whenever they wish. And since they are already customers, they will not need long marketing sequences to buy your other products.
- Create a landing page for men and a separate landing page for women. This will lead to a hyper-targeted message that will maximize conversions for both markets, while also expanding your market when you would only have normally targeted just men or women.
- Use email to promote all the long-form content you create on other channels, while also including a P.S. that contains a call to action to a product at the same time. These emails can be sent to both your free subscriber and paid customer lists at the same time since they will be relevant to both.
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