Episode #177 – Vince Palko On Cartooning Your Way To Unbelievable Conversions

by John McIntyre

His parents provided the distinct foundation for what he does today.

His mother was an art teacher.

In college, his father took him to client meetings.

When he claimed boredom as a kid, his mother pointed him to the crayons and stacks of paper.

Later, in the corporate world, his skills grew while surrounded by other great artists.

Rising tide lifts all ships as they say.

When he left the corporate world at first it seemed like it was going to be a much tougher road…

until a FedX package from Dan Kennedy landed on his doorstep.

Email legend Matt Furey became his coach and Vince spoke at several Kennedy events.

Everything was humming along untilt he recession years of ’08-10.

Creditors were calling…

Tax man wanted his money…

He was in arrears for child support…

So he contacted a former client and proposed something radical.

A professional wager of sorts agreed.

Neither Vince nor his client were expecting what was to happen next.

It was magical…

In this episode, you’ll discover:

  • The incredible “nothing to lose” conversion wager betwen Mike and his client. (And the amazing results!)
  • Two big reasons Vince leveraged involvement with “mentors” to get his business booming. (Besides getting actual coaching).
  • Why it’s important to test, test, test. (The tweaking that led to a staggering bump over and above the orginal results).
  • How to earn “big profits” using so-called plain or “ugly” graphics.
  • How to manipulate your presentation when you can’t afford to do the whole thing “Vince’s way”.

Email Marketing Podcast Episode 152


Intro and outro backing music: Forever More by CREO

David Allan: Hey everybody welcome to another edition of the podcast- I have an exciting guests here today because when I was young I was really into cartooning and writing comics and actually I had a babysitter are mine who sort of got me into that because he’d written a graphic novel. And of course now we’re talking about marketing and we have Vicne Palko on the show today how are you doing Vince?

Vince Palko: Doing awesome David, thanks for having me.

David Allan: I can already tell it’s going to be interesting conversation given the technical difficulties of trying to put me in some kind of chokehold here already this morning.

Let me take us back Vince because I don’t really know that much about you.

I mean I see your website of course about a little research on you but maybe take us back to before you got into marketing what you were up to and sort of how you snuck your way into this. This varied and vast enterprise.

Vince Palko: Sure sure. So I’ll take you all the way back to the beginning when I was a young kid. I had two passions to love loves the first being sports and second being Aardman mother was an art teacher. She taught me everything I know. The beautiful thing about having a mom who is an art teacher is she brings back pamphlets and history and things about different art to choose always sharing all kinds of different things like check out this sculpture artist. Check out this person. He wraps giant buildings. And so I was just exposed in the early age to a lot of different forms of art. In illustration. On top of

that she was a tremendous those straighter and she would always illustrate her kids because she took off for a while raising kids and went back to school and in order to go back to school. She. Was certified so she had to draw a bunch of things and I just remember watching her illustrate my brother my older sister is laying out you know hanging out in the backyard and then just impressed upon me with what could be you know. And so I think as a foundational element she was huge in that. I also think my father played a big role because he and she

sold Shaklee and my father was in refrigeration sales. So you know the whole selling and then watching him in college he would take me on these client meetings who are over lunch and I just got to see him interact with people. So that to really impress upon me what I’m doing now. And it’s it’s really really amazing that they both had influences on me and my life and my career.

So of that answer gives you a little backstory or yeah that’s very interesting that you had such a strong influence on both sort of disparate levels like that. I think that’s very exciting. So when did you begin to draw or to delve yourself into art.

Yeah great question so you know when we were little I would always complain to my mom already. I mean she didn’t say that just like a computer paper thing or she would have a big stack computer paper next to our printer and that was. And those holes along the side seat into the printer and she said see those you know Crans over there markers. You know you can create whatever you want and you can create your own little world if you want. And so I again drawing at an early age. You know I don’t know six seven maybe even earlier than that. I think that’s where it all started but I

worked with a company that design like Fortune 500 learning tools for corporate education that their talent just escalated because I was in a room with eight other talented artists and you know all boats rise. You’re drawing 24/7. And I think that’s where kind of my my level skill level kind of ratcheted up. That was back in 99 and you are a ton from just other talented individuals.

So yeah that’s very interesting to sort of have a collaborative effort and everyone is like an immersion situation is often something that produces really good results. So you went from there to When did you discover sort of direct marketing and you know who who was your first sort of outlet into that world.

Yeah. So. So back in 2004.

2005 it happened concurrently. But I remember you know getting somebody in Kennedy’s information I can’t remember where or when I was introduced to that world and immediately began you know became transfixed with direct response and right around that same time my mentor met Hillary. I had been tracking him and following him with his fitness stuff. I’m big into fitness as well. And he offered a coaching program that overarching program on fitness and marketing. You know I learned from them as well they are the most amazing part was

when I left the corporate rat race the first day I laughed my way back home I go you know I had his magnetic Dan Kennedy make it Mark he told a story of this guy who down on his luck he’s trying to make all these sales and you just can’t make a sale and you know he goes back home and he tries to back out as he doesn’t have a sale yet. And so I thought no. Wow it’s free I’m finally free and I have the opportunity to drive into like a strip mall walked up to a fitness guy that had no alternate outlet or told him so my books tried to explain.

So that’s what I was doing. He looked at me half nods goes back a cartoon marketing trick. I just remember going back to my car a little dejected. Oh you know this is going to be tougher than I thought. But I pulled back into my weight go up to the front stoop there on my doorstep is FedEx and UPS from somewhere out in Arizona and I open and it’s third from Bandi inviting me to illustrate his next book. I know the management of people and profits. And we want to lead to several thousands of

dollars and bought a great ocean and relationship. We worked together since then.

And here’s my mother standing on my front doorstep Rocky post in the sky like this is the sign that I made the right decision. And so that’s kind of how I got into the whole marketing stuff and kind of that background.

That’s interesting you know that you’re following Matt Furey remember how you heard about him. You know a friend of mine.

That I consider a mentor. He came back from a fury event and he was never forget the company I was working with he came in and he’s showing us all these Hindu squats Hindu pushups. I remember going what’s this all about. So I think I got an email list from there. And then you know you offer coaching programs from there.

Right. Right. Awesome awesome.

So I bet I talk quite a bit now which is really fun and cool in so we stay connected that way and he’s a great friend and mentor still.

Yeah it’s funny. You know the first sort of Internet marketing thing I had come across was his original email course which I think was called like Emperor or email or something to that effect. Yeah. And that’s where I first learned to write emails.

So I’ll be on his list on his. So that’s interesting. Yeah.

We’re dating ourselves perhaps a little but it’s interesting that you started that way as well and of course like people like to say all roads lead to Dan Kennedy one way or another. And so you’ve been working with them ever since those are your cartoons on those no B.S. books.

Yes. And then you know we just finished up another round of cartoon comic cartoons for the upcoming event. So yeah we stay connected.

It’s cool. So once you sort of you had the Dan Kennedy opportunities sort of volunteer your lab be a Fed-X to your front porch. What other things were you doing. Did you start doing what did you do any local stuff from there.

You know kind of like you said you walked up in the sky and it’s going to be harder. Or did you just use that down outlet to sort of further your business.

Yeah. Great question. So essentially one engine joined man mass group coaching group. I. This is really where things stand and everyone found out about me but I had done. He wanted to reduce like a Charles Atlas theme but more modern with his brand and his style. That became the first entertainment strip that he used in ads and used in his books and things like that. And so from there it was you know he just introduced me to everyone in his coaching. And that became a main source of the business. And then you know then it spread from

there. But it was really through fury and then I just opened it a few Kennedys events that you know that was another form of income coming in along with you know just building my list slowly but surely. Know. So that’s kind of how it all took off. But just like any good story still.

So I set that up for you. And here comes the drama people buckle she belts to tear that one up.

Yes. So this was awesome Celene long term. And then business 0 8 0 9 and 10. It.

Got real challenging at least that was the excuse I used. Now this was a recession thing kind of dumb idea.

Yeah yeah I think it was the end for whatever reason. You know the business hadn’t really changed so it was time for a change and you know right around that time I worked with another guy called his name is Mike theory if anyone has heard of him. He’s got a pretty successful Web site called truth about abs. And. We had done some cartoon headers for him where he saw a bump in sales based on taking down a sexy pair of a woman’s abs in a male abs. We put up the silly cartoon of him holding a couple bottle dumping out pill bottles and saying you know here’s an alternative to that

he saw like eleven point five percent by just replacing his head or twice why it had his attention. And I went back to him. I don’t know like a year later. This was early 2011 and said Mike we can visualize your whole sales presentation because at that time David I don’t know if you know if you’ve ever experienced a cycle in your business but it got horrible. And you know I had creditors call in the house I was in arrears with back child support.

The tax man was after me but the pitchforks were at the door so to speak.

Yeah. Yeah. In having an irate ex-wife is not a pleasant thing to experience for anyone really.

Yes specially when you go into business and you want to take care of your kids you want them take care of your family that’s the driving source. I it. It was a pretty challenging time. The big ole monkey on my back and that’s when I went to Mike and I said hey we can visualize your whole 50 minute sales presentation. And he said well your time out like cartoons and a PowerPoint. I said no we can actually you know me and you know everyone wants to know where the influence came from. There’s a little bit of the U.P.S. guy or a few them. Yes. Yes. Those ads I mean. Yeah. And then if I am true to myself and

everyone else you got to give them good props to the company that was overseas they were doing like ted talks and things of that nature. No one was in marketing and advertising doing what we were doing like. Right. So you know I brought it into that with Mike Eury and essentially since no one else had done it. We had no basis for its value. He he said I don’t want to pay about whether you want to charge me. And I told him I don’t want to do it for what you’re asking. So we agreed on some upfront development costs and he said If beat my control by 10 percent or give you a large chunk change by 20 I’ll double it.

Q Is there a game on the one that point to your really had nothing to lose and nothing to lose.

You know in the end really. Exactly. I you know not a ton of business coming in. And you know so I said let’s do it. So it’s just me my crappy camera behind me with my crappy little easel that my parents give my case for Christmas one year and just do all I can do where I was and so I filmed this in this film and it brought it into a movie and two days a week we had something up and ready but it was so magical What happened next. I mean it was one of those things where

you never would have guessed what might happen. And I always like to play this game David with folks we didn’t need 10 percent we didn’t write 20.

What do you think we beat up by a guy.

Obviously it’s more than those so I’m going to say Twenty nine percent bang and Mike wouldn’t be happy as a clam with 29 percent because he’s driving major amounts of eyeballs on these pages.

Right. So just so everyone knows the control is a PowerPoint presentation with narration. So you’ve seen the bouncing ball over the text of thing. Right. We stripped out the audio put it into Nanteuil we didn’t do it by telling me by 20 to be by 40. We beat it by Eighty five percent in that first swo rush then my being like meaning me we split test and we did it in some work. He saw another 268 person. All three times his whole campaign so you

know he was making I think you’re your audience. Audience I don’t believe it well you say making over a million a mark somehow. $49 PTF with ourselves crazy and the rest as they say from their history make a bunch of different industries and a bunch of different countries and places all over the world.

So. So that’s a very interesting hearing. Those are massive massive results. I mean 268 percent bump on such a low priced product too it just was crazy.

You know he must have been super happy obviously you got paid. Yes. Nice chunk of change after all that.

I was reading that I would get a royal is actually less alert here. That’s it. That’s amazing.

That is a very like you said a very magical outcome. That’s right. You know you see rarely rarely.

So I said What do you think.

You know I’m looking back now of course we’re in a different time now where the advent of video and video sales letters and webinars and so forth are sort of like I guess it’s commonplace but it’s certainly more popular. And back then of course nobody was really like you said nobody’s really doing that yet.

What are sort of the things you think you know animating it. And you know what what does that bring.

Why why did it create such a such a furor. If you want to call it then.

So I have my beliefs around this and essentially you know along with the Kennedy fury and Russell Brunson and all these guys taking coaching from I’ve also studied copywriting and you know become a student of bad loans every other direct response marketing principle. What I’ve learned in those early classes is you know the headline creates curiosity drives people to read the first sentence you get to read the first sentence you read all the bullets and read all the bullets. Guillory one or two sections and before they make a decision an order button curiosity is huge. And so

with our ad tools the hand telling the story they hand taking it from a wire blade windscreen pulling it in. Curious to see how the scene is going to build out. What is going on. You know it’s just like watching someone build a sandcastle in fast motion and you want to see how it turns out. Right. That becomes the vehicle for sharing any message with share. So they kind of drop their guard down so to me and you can fill in whatever message you want to do with that. The real interesting thing there David is we tried when when colorizing seen it was

you know the buzz around coloring animation and sorry I come Saturday morning cartoons in animation. Right. Yeah. We did a similar thing we did the split test kind of like we did with some of our own work in our own promotional videos. I mean you know straight out audio put it into a color and two and which do you think converted better in three fourths of the test that we ran.

Well it sounds like the gist. Given the way you set it up it sounds like the black and white one one.

Yeah yeah. For whatever reason we get higher resolution scores we get more people sharing more people liking to get more leads come through. Then the caller intimation that I’ve got a belief of why that is as well.

Yeah let’s hear that. I’d love to hear that because it’s very interesting.

So we go back to the guard that people have up so you know it’s out on one of the polished videos that are slick and they have all color you’ve got all this stuff going to feel like that where they hand telling the story and coming across the screen. It could be and we’ve had people say clients of our clients have said to them hey we thought you were just that you know we were drawing this out. We did.

Right. That was a person.

Yeah. So it’s a little more intimate little more. I would say the less the fashion look is the stuff that we do. It’s all custom and it’s all detail to the story that we’re telling. But they’re not as high gloss if you will as other information wish it was a good thing because if we get highroads scores on Facebook more people sharing them. Obviously users get higher or lower cost. We have to put out there too. Right. So now what we’ll do from time to time is you know you know if someone can’t afford the entire 20 30

minutes be all done and tunes will break it up so that you know part of it is Powerpoint and the other art is animation. Gotcha. Because you know pattern interruptor the pattern of this cartoon is to see think you’ll be surprised. I mean there are so many industries that have never heard of this before we go to trade shows and I’ve never seen this or Yet people in direct response seem right ears. But you know it’s still pretty new and novel to all of the niches that are out there.

That’s great. Now people want to get a hold of you personally maybe they’re interested maybe have a company out here that’s Listen to this and think Wow that you know that might Gary 268 bumpa I can just get a fraction of that I’d be on my road to riches. How can they get a hold of you where should they go.

Yes. If you go over to the dot.com ADT Oh and this dot.com and essentially click on the consultation tab in the upper right. That’s probably the best way. It helps me see who you are and see if we’re a good fit or not. There’s a few questions answer there. You know like I said before we don’t take everyone in there. We were looking for a good fit on our end just as well as I’m sure your audience is looking for a good fit on your list. And you know that’s the best way you can also call our number 4 1 9 8 4 1 3 0 3 0. And you know get in contact with us that way then we can line up time to chat and

talk about your business brainstorm you know potential stories and then get the writer on the phone and take it to the next level. It’s really a fun fun process when they goes through it. Loves it. They know it’s fun to kind of get yourself out of that mode of OK here are qualifications here’s all our success through the years and really get at the meat of what is it that our prospects want. What are the pain points. What are there. You know what’s going to keep them up at night. If we could put that into a story that grabs their attention pulls them out of their daily routine and gives us their undivided attention for two or

three minutes. People give you all the time in the world if you’d rather tension that first you know 30 to one to two minutes and take it from there.

So awesome. That’s great. Whether that is true and such as I really want to thank you for taking the time to come on the show today. It’s been a real pleasure hearing about your success and hearing about the stories that have led to that success.

Yeah. Yeah thanks so much for having me. David this was really really fun. Appreciate it.

Awesome. And for somebody else listening now will back hopefully with a technical glitch free edition next week. That would be great for my end. And we’ll talk to everybody.

Leave a Comment