Andy Fletcher Interview

Andy Fletcher MWM Interview

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Editor: Today we’re chatting with someone who I guess you could call a disruptor, as together with his business partner, he’s become one of the major players in the field of lead generation and funnel pages. In fact, you may have heard of Andy’s company already, because it’s rather well respected in its field, it’s called Convertri. And it’s well worth checking out if you plan on having your own online business. Andy founded Convertri because he thought landing page platforms could do things better. So, I think this is going to be a fascinating conversation. Andy Fletcher, welcome.

Andy Fletcher: Hey, thank you so much for having me today. Editor: It’s great to have you here. I think we should start in the time honoured tradition though, of going back a little while and finding out more about you and what got you involved in the online marketplace. Andy Fletcher: Yeah, sure. So, my background is all technology. I have a computer science degree for my sins and after university I worked in a couple of tech jobs, and at one of them I worked at this absolutely terrible startup where we did all manner of things that never worked. We burned through a lot of venture capital while I worked there. I’d like to add this, that wasn’t my fault. And one of the things we did was celebrity websites. So, my stupidest claim to fame is that I worked on the official website for Ant and Dec. And a mate of mine there bought an SEO book, because he knew I would read anything put on my desk. He bought it at lunchtime, he left it on my desk knowing that I would pick it up when the senior managers were coming around looking for somebody to be the, can I swear on your show?

Editor: Of course. Go right ahead.

Andy Fletcher: I was politely referred to as the SEO bitch. And they were coming around looking to see who to make the SEO bitch. And sure enough, I was sat there reading this book on SEO and the guy was like, “Ah, Andy, you know all about this. Fantastic. You get this new job.” And I was like, “Wait, what?” So that was the big setup. That’s how I got started with online digital marketing, got into the idea of it. And at that point learned some SEO skills, learned how to rank websites, learned about OnPage, doing all the typical stuff for getting stuff ranked in Google. And then when that startup went belly up and they decided that paying us was optional, I went into business with myself doing SEO for clients and then making SEO products.

Editor: Great. So, in terms of online, it’s been one of those things, I guess it’s in your blood in many ways, right? Andy Fletcher: Yeah, definitely. I’m definitely a child of the internet. I grew up with it. I had my first computer when I was about 15, I think? And an internet connection at 16. Which I still am, I was then, but just the biggest nerd in the world. I can still remember my parents going away, when I was 16 years old, for the weekend and I was super excited, where all my contemporaries were super excited to get rid of their parents and have parties, I was super excited because it gave me unfettered access to the computer for 48 hours so I could learn HTML.

Editor: And then fast-forward, you started Convertri, which has really established itself as one of the major players in, how would you describe it? Landing pages, funnel building?

Andy Fletcher: Yeah, definitely both I would say. We have a lot of people that use us specifically for landing pages and then plug in other best in class tools. And then there’s a lot of people who use this as a full stack funnel builder.

Editor: Right. So, for anybody who’s maybe not come across Convertri before, maybe you could just give us a bit of a background as to first of all how it came about, but secondly how it’s evolved since it started.

Andy Fletcher: Certainly. So, Convertri is actually the punchline to a joke, a really bad joke from an internet marketing conference in summer 2015, something like that? I was on a panel of digital marketers, more tech-focused digital marketers, answering questions about how software gets built and things like that. And my mate, Jay, who was sat at the back and sorry, before I tell this story I would like to point out that alcohol was involved in this event, because of course it was.

Editor: All the best stories are, aren’t they?

Andy Fletcher: And it will make me sound like slightly less of a jerk when I tell you the punchline. So anyway, my mate Jay, sticks his hand up and he is like, “Andy, you’re a developer. It’s 2015, why when I get my developer to, say I want to move my logo to the other side of the page. I want to move the sign-up button a bit to the right. Why does it take him so long? Why is it so expensive? Et cetera, et cetera.” And at the time, my answer was, “Jay, speaking as the kind of developer that has to do it for the kind of people like you? Off.” And I got a laugh from the crowd and it was funny, but that thought really nagged at me. Why, at the time, was it so hard to get pages live?

There was all kinds of page builders that promised the earth, but if you wanted to do anything that was slightly off-piste, certainly if you wanted to take advantage of breakthroughs in [inaudible] technology or anything like that, you just couldn’t. It was really hard, you had to custom code stuff, you had to hire developers. And that was pretty wild given the number of page builders that were already on the market. So, that’s when we started putting together the first version.

At the same time, my business partner Neil, was reading all of the page feed reports coming out of Amazon and Google where they were talking about how you lose, at the time it was 40% of your traffic, if your pages didn’t load in three seconds. It’s now up north of 50%. And we realised we could combine these concepts of, you put a thing on a page, you hit publish, and where you put it is where it appears. That’s it. You don’t have to understand responsive technology and rows and columns and all of this complicated stuff. It’s a simple thing. If you can use Word, you can use Convertri to make a page, and then that page will load really, really, really fast. And that makes such a big difference to ad spend, to any landing page.

Editor: It’s one of those things, isn’t it, that I guess once you’ve set up a website using something like WordPress, you know how much of a challenge it can be to actually set up a page. So was that part of the thinking behind Convertri, as in we just want to make this super simple for the end user?

Andy Fletcher: Very much so. The goal was as simple as it can possibly be. We made all of the developers working on it print out the words “just like Word” and stick it up on the wall.

Note from the editor:

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