Seymour Segnit, Founder & CEO of MAGFAST LLC
"We’ve used automated webinars to bring in $14m in sales so far. We don’t use any other acquisition channels. "
Why MAGFAST switched to eWebinar after a 10+ year search and why they think you should automate your sales machine
It takes more than a good product to succeed in the online marketplace. Standing out against the competition is a big part of thriving as a retailer, and MAGFAST Founder & CEO Seymour Segnit says that automated webinars are what help his company do exactly that.
He spoke with us about how he uses eWebinar as a lead generation platform, and how it’s the only webinar solution that worked for him after more than a decade of searching for something that would meet his needs.
Seymour says that once he found eWebinar, he stopped searching and ditched the in-house webinar solution that he had created for his company. Today, automated webinars are the only way that MAGFAST drives leads – a move which has resulted in $14 million in sales for the company.
Hi, Seymour! Thank you for joining me today. Can you begin by telling me all about MAGFAST?
MAGFAST is a company that makes the next generation of chargers for mobile devices – for smartphones, tablets, readers, etc. We’ve come up with a technology which is very simple in principle, a technology which is snap-to-charge, where any of our two chargers can be snapped together using magnets – and whilst it’s not terribly often that you want to boost one charger from another, it is fairly often that you want to come home at the end of a long, tiring day and take the charger you’ve been using and stick it on the wall to charge.
When you came to us, you said you had built your own webinar automation solution over a decade ago because you couldn’t find a solution to fit your needs. Can you tell me a little more about that?
The very first time I did an automated webinar was probably 12 or 13 years ago. Originally we used some rather clunky software that you could download and mount on your own server. It was all terribly complicated and it wasn’t very well written. We were trying to get it to do what we wanted it to do, and it was very challenging. That particular software didn’t work out, but I fell in love with the methodology of creating a great introduction to a company and then making it available in an evergreen format so we built our own in-house webinar solution.
We all know it’s amazing when you can sit and watch someone who is passionate about an idea or a company conveying it live, but actually delivering live is really tough. And yes, you can gather a few people together for a live broadcast but I’ve said for over a decade that the ideal setup is to have an incredible experience for people that feels live but is essentially available on demand.
“I wanted to provide evergreen webinars, but every platform fell short – until I found eWebinar.”
We’ve used this method for two or three different enterprises now, and with MAGFAST it has essentially been our only method of customer acquisition. We’ve done about $14 million in pre-orders! The format has been to run some ads on Facebook and YouTube, and the ads say “hey, we’ve invented this really cool thing and we’d love to show it to you. If you can join me later today or tomorrow I’ll put you in a drawing to win some nice electronics. We’d also love to hear your opinion on our product.”
We’ve crafted a very long-form presentation, it’s actually over an hour long. We studied the original iPhone launch to see the narrative arc of the greatest product launch of all time. And whilst our humble chargers are a modest technological leap compared to the iPhone, they are nevertheless trying to be completely different and better than what the market is offering – which is also what the iPhone was doing when it was launched.
I had been wanting to stop using our homegrown solution because it was so hard to maintain. I would find different programs and get a trial account and get excited. But then within an hour or so, for one reason or another, I realized they weren’t going to work for what I needed. So we were using a homegrown solution, but that was difficult to maintain and didn’t have the potential to constantly improve like an out-of-the-box solution. Then I finally found eWebinar.
We’ve found that with eWebinar, the core package is incredibly thoughtful. It really feels like you guys sat down and asked what a salesperson or an entrepreneur – or anyone who is trying to convey their message in a passionate, engaging, repeated, and automated way – needs in order to provide a great experience for the viewer. I think eWebinar has struck the balance between live and not-live very well.
“eWebinar has struck a great balance between live and not live.”
We have people sign up for the webinar, which we run three times a day – at 10am, 3pm, and 8pm. It feels live because people are signing up for a time, and we send them emails and texts reminding them that it’s starting soon, but we don’t say it’s live because it isn't. We like to play it straight. But when you arrive it feels live, and we try to make it as engaging as possible.
eWebinar lets us have the vibrant feeling of live interaction going on the entire time. This is partly preprogrammed and partly provided by our customer care team who are logged in and responding to live chats through eWebinar.
You mentioned that you rejected other webinar solutions before finding eWebinar. What was wrong with those solutions?
There’s a sort of global answer to that, which is a lack of love. There was a sense that there was a company that thought, “well, we should have a webinar solution, just go build something.” I could feel there was just something different going on with eWebinar, and I realize that might be a soft or fluffy answer for some people, but the truth of the matter is the products that we most respect and enjoy have had a lot of thought and love go into them.
For instance, some of eWebinar’s competitors have a chat function, which nods to the fact that during the presentation a conversation might be going on. But eWebinar has sat down and said, “what does this really mean?” and you’ve put together a great looking set of interaction modules. You can have a little quiz or you can have a “buy now” button if you want to, etc. And that can be up and running the whole time for everyone to engage with, but simultaneously there’s a chat function which can run in an automatic fashion, so when you get to a certain point in the presentation something can happen there.
“Companies can’t do live events several times a day. It’s simply not possible. That’s where eWebinar comes in.”
What we did was take a pre-existing presentation and in the course of that presentation, Kate – my colleague and co-host for live presentations – comes in at the beginning and speaks with me and the audience and then comes back later for a Q&A session. So we said it would be natural for her to also be the host of the sidebar and interactions.
So together with Kate we’ve built up a way that she’s having a conversation with the audience and it’s fantastic. You see the chats coming in and people are super engaged and enjoying it.
A thoughtful feature that eWebinar has is that sometimes a person isn’t available to do chats or can’t answer quickly enough. So after a few minutes, if a human hasn’t answered, it’s possible to put up an automated reply that speaks to the person by their first name and says something like “it’s super busy here today but I promise to get back to you via email.” People really appreciate that. So it’s really a collection of thoughtful touches and the absence of those touches in eWebinar’s competitors.
We were also able to upload our presentation into eWebinar in no time at all, with all the captions. Everything worked great. We’ve all had the experience of having some new technology introduced into a company, and very often there’s internal resistance, people take one look at it and don’t want to be part of it. That hasn’t been the case at all with our company and eWebinar. Everyone who looks at it loves it, there’s been great pick-up internally.
So what specific problems did you encounter with your in-house webinar solution?
As I mentioned earlier, we originally started out using a software that doesn’t even exist anymore. Then we essentially built our own and we used that for the past five years or so. We started out with a page with a video on it and we made it so that the video played on the hour. And then we added a box for people to register, and it sounds really simple but it took our guys weeks and weeks to make. And if you think about a team spending weeks on something, it is many thousands – maybe tens of thousands – of dollars to build and you can get started with eWebinar for just $99 bucks a month if you’re running one webinar.
“I think the eWebinar pricing is phenomenal.”
So I think the pricing is phenomenal – but it wasn’t the pricing that drew us in. It was the fact that we could do a great deal more by using eWebinar. The delivery is fantastic and consistent.
As someone who has used webinar automation for 12 or 13 years and brought in $14 million in sales strictly through this channel, what would you say to someone who says that being live is better than automation or on demand?
I would say that it’s difficult to create a system that is going to run automatically and continuously to bring money into your company. We do occasional special events that are live because we think a big live event is an amazing thing to do, but you can’t do them several times a day or several times a week – it’s not possible and it’s too hard. So make a great recording, do all the preparation and record one live event or put a slideshow together and record it wherever you want. Take some care with putting the presentation together and make it available continuously so people can watch it when they want to. I promise you this is the way to create something that runs continuously and brings money in.
I would tell people to do all the live events they want – and they’ll find that they can’t do that many unless they've got a very substantial organization. The reason we’ve sold $14 million in products is that for several years now, on the hour, every hour, someone in the world has watched our carefully created presentation and an hour later they’ve said, “this is really great, I’m going to support these guys with a pre-order.” You just couldn’t do that with a live webinar. If we had been relying on live presentations, we’d maybe have one-fifth of the pre-orders we have today.
“If we had to rely on live presentations, we’d probably have one-fifth of the pre-orders we have today.”
Another really great thing about eWebinar is that in the period between a person signing up for a webinar and actually attending, there’s a lot of opportunity to remind them about the event – for instance putting them in a Facebook audience, so as they’re going around the web they’ll see the upcoming webinar reminders and see that they’re getting closer and closer to the event. That makes it feel like there’s really something special that’s about to happen.
“Everyone on our team loves using eWebinar.”
At the end of the day, nobody really cares if a webinar is live or not. They’d much rather watch something really good and not live, than something that’s live and “meh.”
There’s a lot of misconception that live is better for customers, and that if the customer doesn’t see or hear a person live, then they’re not going to buy. What would you say to someone who believes that?
I would say that the quality of what people see is far more important than it being live. We all know what most live webinars are like – they’re pretty awful! But with our carefully created presentation, we have seen through the eWebinar dashboard that two-thirds of the attendees are still there one hour later! We’ve managed to do this because we make sure we have an intelligent structure to the presentation – we have some background, a few stories, some humor, some videos…so you’re never more than a few minutes away from something that’s a little bit different. We try to honor people’s time by having thoughtful slides.
What other benefits have you seen from using eWebinar?
Because we’re not running the system ourselves, it’s going to run better than anything maintained by us. It’s also going to get better all the time. It already has. I can probably think of half a dozen ways that it’s improved just during the short time that we’ve been using eWebinar.
“The quality of the presentation is far more important than it being live.”
It’s also about data, eWebinar has charts and graphs that give us insight. We now get a much better idea of what percentage of people are turning up to our webinars, how long they’re staying, and how many of them are buying. It’s also about the chance to integrate into other systems. We’ve used your HubSpot integration and we’ve added a couple of extra bells and whistles to it ourselves.
eWebinar also has its own email follow-up system which covers all of the basics.
What do you love most about the eWebinar platform?
I love the care and the attention to detail with which it has been put together. I love the ease with which you can get it up and running. It doesn’t feel like hard work. It feels like it was made by people who are on my side.
Intrigued by the next generation of chargers? Be sure to check out all of the amazing things offered by MAGFAST!
…And if you’re a business leader looking to offer sales presentations, training, and onboarding around the clock – all while offering a personalized interactive experience – click here to get started with eWebinar!