I am STOKED for you to meet today’s guest, Adam Robinson.

Once a Credit Default Swap trader at Lehman Brothers, Adam bootstrapped Robly Email Marketing, an Email Marketing SaaS company to an 8 figure exit as CEO.

He knows his stuff.

Currently the CEO of Retention.com, Adam shared all of his tactics that propelled him to becoming a Marketing Executive on The Marketing Millennials Podcast.

Grab your caramel macchiato (2 pumps of caramel) and see what he had to say, in his own liiiightly edited words.

1. Set yourself up for success doing this:

“You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with. 

(I LOVE this.)

If you want to be successful, hang out with people more successful than you. If you want to be happy, hang out with people less successful than you.

That’s true about human nature, we just can’t help but compare ourselves. 

There are two pieces of content on this topic that are excellent. Number one is the book, “Wanting” by Louis Burgess. 

It talks about how Peter Thiel had a professor at Stanford that talked about mimetic desire.

Mimetic desire is the idea that if we’re peers, you actually teach me what I want. No one else teaches me what I want. 

Advertising is effective because it presents content in a way where you see somebody that you can connect with and it teaches you what you want. 

Peter Thiel was so excited about Facebook because he saw the endgame being mimetic desire. 

A bunch of people who are peers, connecting to each other trying to show their life in an unauthentic positive way.

His ambition turned out to be true. By being around someone interested in mimetic desire, Peter Thiel took a huge bet, and won. 

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If you’re around peers that are trying to make more of themselves, that will inspire you to make more of yourself.

The second piece of content is Mr. Beast. 

If anybody is curious about how to be successful at anything, they should listen to Mr. Beast in his story about becoming a YouTuber. 

Malcolm Gladwell has the idea that 10,000 hours of something creates mastery. 

Mr. Beast would sit there 12 hours a day with 2 other people and look at 10,000 thumbnails to determine what worked and what didn’t (now THAT is dedication).

They would analyze virality with such grit. Mr. Beast says, without a doubt it is not luck, he knows how to create viral content, period.

He understands this better than anyone. 

2. A different perspective:

My journey into marketing started at Robly. We grew it with an outbound cold calling strategy. 

If you’re building a boiler room, you need to get people’s attention with something bold.

There’s definitely copywriting concepts, but the story of Robly was that we ran out of leads and got rid of the boiler room.

Then I was like, I have to grow this thing somehow. I have to learn how to do marketing.

So I went to digital marketer.com. 

I remember very vividly, it was over Thanksgiving holiday and I was at my brother’s house in California and I was watching Ryan Deiss talk about marketing in very fundamental philosophical principles.

He was holding up this statement of value card and he asked us to identify the problems we are solving for our customers.

Then he says if you can’t fill this out, you don’t have a marketing problem.

You need to step back and figure out who you’re helping and what problem you’re solving for them (THIS).

3. Being a student of the game:

One of the failures I made was trying to make a different email marketing app that was above MailChimp. 

I wanted to do what MailChimp wasn’t, creating a more sophisticated feature set than their customers had.

Then I went to this trade show. Everyone that we would talk to would roll their eyes.

They already had an email app, they didn’t want to switch, and didn’t care about our features.

Then I asked, what if I could get you email addresses on your website from people that didn’t fill out forms? Their faces would light up.

So I realized you need to be making something remarkable, both from a product standpoint and marketing standpoint. It’s much easier to build marketing around a product that is remarkable and exciting.

(Marketers Marketing the non-flashy products, we SEE you and are proud.)

Construct a proposition for what you’re doing, so that if the right people see what you’re offering, they would be stupid not to do it. 

Amazon Prime is the perfect example. They put so much value into Prime that it would be irresponsible for somebody to not do it for $15/mo.

Sell something magical and create magical experiences, that’s what makes good marketing.

(Moral of the story: be a student of the game. Learn and watch people that are playing way bigger than you.)

4. Don’t create your category:

Category creation is a very ambitious idea. 

The more effective choice is to be the best in the world at one individual thing. 

This stems from the book “22 Immutable Laws of Marketing” (highly recommend this book).

Show up the firstest with the mostest (quite literally my new life motto). Be the best and you don’t have to reinvest.

At Retention.com we know, for a very small sliver of Shopify stores, we are without question the best option in the world.

We do not have any competition in this tiny segment because there’s no other alternatives anywhere close below it. 

You shouldn’t just play the violin. You should be the best jazz violinist in Virginia. 

Niche down super hard, internalize that identity, and go as hard as possible.

5. You’ll thank Adam for this advice:

Until I had to live through creating products in full, from warming up a cold audience to dealing with a customer through their cancellation, I didn’t appreciate the importance of understanding in depth how the whole machine works.

As quickly as possible, understand more about your job than anyone around you. 

Not just understanding the process of you answering the emails, but how all of the systems work that determine what your bosses are telling you to do. 

Then keep trying to understand more about how this machine works, because that’s what is going to allow you to be better than everybody else who is too lazy to do that.

Eventually you’re going to be in a position where you’re building the machines.


If you’re creating crappy content, get better friends who are more honest with you and will let you know what sucks about your content.”

Daniel Murray
Daniel Murray
Level up your marketing game

Zero BS. Just fun, unfiltered, industry insights with the game-changers behind some of the coolest companies from around the globe.

This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

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