Ep. 126 – Ilan Missulawin: “ unless we have a million customers, I’m not happy!”
Ilan Missulawin Show notes
Ilan Missulawin is the co-founder of ClickCease, the leading click fraud protection software used by thousands of advertisers.
His background in marketing is diverse, from marketing campaigns for global retail companies to startup marketing.
He lives in Tel Aviv with his wife and two children.
Most passionate about
I’m a co-founder of ClickCease, which provides protection from click fraud to advertisers that use Google search.
At least 20% of the clicks that a Google advertiser gets will not convert.
In the beginning, I was on the phone all day, speaking to companies that were already aware of, and concerned about, click fraud. Then we started to advertise, especially through Google search, attracting these people to our site.
The breakthrough happened about a year after the launch, when we started to use chat software called Intercom. It supported people whom we brought to the website, answering their questions and helping to convert them into sales.
The next stage was to start building an awareness of potential customers. Then we started using the chat software in the online store. Next, we discovered the power of conferences in terms of meeting with advertising agencies that give services to SMBs.
The majority of our customers are SMBs (small-medium businesses) like plumbers, e-commerce stores, lawyers, dentists, or any service that needs to advertise on Google in order to be found. They will suffer negative consequences if someone clicks several times to harm their campaign and waste their money. We also have another kind of customer: enterprises that are very well-known brand names. With them, it’s more about bot fraud.
Ilan’s best advice about approaching customers
I learned these three stages from Keith Cunningham, a businessman from Austin, whom I had the pleasure of meeting in Denmark recently:
Keith Cunningham’s Formula for Success:
Find out what they want.
Go and get it.
Give it to them.
If I need to give more specific advice, I would say persistence. Visualize this: Underground are two tunnels and at the bottom of each tunnel is a big diamond. One group will dig, dig, dig and then, two digs away, will give up and leave. In the second tunnel is another group of people who will dig, dig, dig and, at exactly the same point as the other group, two digs away, will continue to dig.
My last bit of advice is about big changes. Many people and influencers believe in BIG changes. Tony Robbins, whom I love listening to, talks about massive action. However, I believe that habits are what, at the end of the day, result in massive action. Persistently changing one percentage here and one percentage there, and one percentage in a third place, will bring about major changes.
Biggest failure with a customer
I think that if you aren’t in the right place to help a customer, they won’t be there for you. There was a customer who was on our site chat all the time. But, really, he was asking tons of questions and he wasn’t even a customer yet. We kind of dismissed the guy because he was on the chat all the time.
We didn’t know that he represented a very well-known brand name. We thought, you know, Mr. X comes to us all the time only to ask questions. Like the guy who comes in every day to the car miller but never buys a car.
We lost the customer. We didn’t realize that the reason he was asking these endless questions, which nobody else ever asked, was because he was from an enterprise and he had to show his boss that he had done everything he could to ensure that he made the right decision. It was a very important lesson.
But mistakes happen all the time. I think that is inevitable and is always going to happen. The question is, what processes do you have in place that will enable you to fix it as soon as you can? That’s the difference between a company that is trying and those that aren’t.
Biggest success due to the right customer approach
Let me tell you, we aren’t sure that we’ve found the right balance between serving enterprises and SMBs. It’s something we are talking a lot about and there are so many questions. Many startups, especially SAAS (Software as a Service) startups, that reached a critical mass of customers very quickly dropped them and made a shift to enterprises.
Ilan’s most recommended tool
I already mentioned Intercom, which is a software program for chat that enables visitors on our site to talk with us, which is super important.
We also love to use Hotjar, which helps us understand what customers are doing on our site.
And I must talk about our tool, ClickCease, which protects advertisers from click fraud.
Another thing that is not a tool but is very, very important is that we hired a VP of Customer Success. He has made such a change in the way we look at how we work and how we communicate with our customers. It’s phenomenal. When you put yourself in the customer’s eyes, there are so many things you can optimize. So, a human tool is just as important as a digital tool.
Ilan’s key success factor
I have to return to the persistence thing. Honestly, I had failures before I discovered that if I was persistent with them, they would become successful companies. Because I see my competitors. We were all, as an industry, doing very poorly, and they are doing very well now.
Since we believe that the best way for entrepreneurs to get a fast, big, and sustainable success is by leading your (new) market category, and the entire entrepreneurial journey reminds me of mountaineering, or conquering the mountain; I want to ask you if there is a mountain you dream of climbing or a mountain you have already climbed.
My mountain is actually an island.
My dream is to get to a place where I have been able to optimize every part of the business to the point that it can be managed from anywhere in the world and specifically from an island in Thailand.
I believe that at the end of the day we are all working and building a business because we want more time, all I really want is to spend more time with my kids.
Intercom – We make customer messaging apps for sales, marketing, and support, connected on one platform. Our mission is to make business personal again.
HotJar – See how visitors are really using your website, collect user feedback and turn more visitors into customers.
ClickCease – ClickCease detects and blocks click fraud on your Adwords campaigns. Automatically block competitors and bots from wasting your PPC ads budget.