Podcasts are one of the most efficient platforms to integrate your product promotions into. But if you do this in an unnatural and annoying way, you will bore your audience to death and push them away from getting your offers. Tom Hazzard and Tracy Hazzard share practical tips on making effective product promotions without actually selling from your podcast. They discuss how to present your offers in the most enticing manner, whether you’re selling a tangible product or service, without turning your show into a boring webinar or a glorified advertisement.
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Build A Brand: Podcast Marketing Strategies To Promote A New Product
In this episode, we’re going to talk about how you can use your podcast to effectively promote a product. I want to state right off the bat that this could be an information product or a physical product. Before everybody tunes out and says, “I don’t have a product,” I’m not necessarily talking about a physical thing you’d ship to somebody.
I also want to insert, a product could also mean a webinar or an event. This still applies to something you might think about. When we look at products or something you are buying from it, like an event ticket, an info product, or a course, that type of view of it is when we are looking at a thing that you’re buying in some kind of way, shape, or form. The tendency in podcasting is to go too salesy or too promo. A podcast is not a webinar. A podcast is not a sales channel. It’s an opportunity for you to let people know about these things and know about the benefits, but you have to do it in a more informational and content-driven way. That’s the switch that we want to make in your mind.
If it’s going to be effective, it’s not a sales message. The minute podcasts get too salesy, the audience will unsubscribe from your entire show. The minute you do it on one episode, they start to think, “They’ve switched the whole thing.” If you’re going to do something like that, you better announce it. You went from having a wonderful web series to, all of a sudden, having an infomercial.
Having said that, I do want to emphasize that having a product, whether it is a digital product, info product, event, physical product, or otherwise, does represent a huge opportunity for you as a podcast host because it can be the driver of a lot of organic, authentic, and valuable content. If you do it right, it also promotes that product through your podcast.
One of the three ways that we want to talk about is this idea of where the offer happens and what that might be. An infomercial model means you want to have an entire episode that’s focused on this thing. You might want to take the webinar that you’re selling your course on and put it into your podcast. We want to make sure that you’re being clear about it and marking it for what it is, a glorified commercial.
If you are going to do that as an entire episode, make sure you’re making it in addition. Make it an extra episode for the month. It could be a bonus episode or an additional episode. Make sure that you’re making an announcement about why you’re sharing it. You don’t throw your bumpers on it and then run into this webinar you’ve aired as your episode. Make sure you’re putting in an introduction to it that is understandable as to why it’s there.
Remember, in the Podetize system, we’re lucky that we can put on different intros and outros to any episode because you can add them on. You can create a special intro and outro. You can use the ad mixing system to put the ads on like an introduction that’s different for this special episode or special infomercial that you’re going to have. It is this webinar-style episode. Mark that and make it differentiated. Don’t try to lump it in and pass it off like a regular episode. It will not go over well. It will be an opportunity to unsubscribe.
You want to avoid that.
With that, I want to also mention that we do recognize that if you’re going to offer up your product, whether it is your info product, course, event, or physical product, not recording it within your episode in its entirety as a part of the content of the episode is a better path. Treating it like a separate promotional piece is critically important. The reason why may be surprising to you.
The reason why we recommend not recording it within the content of the episode but recording it as a separate piece and adding it into the right place within the episode is great. It is because when you’re introducing a new product, a new event, or a new course, your message is not dialed in yet. You may very well want to change that. Treating it like a separate commercial, ad, or promotion is why we built the system that we built. It is so that you can drop it in, change it, and replace it when you realize, “This is the best way for me to introduce this product. This is the best way for me to get sales conversion on this product.”
Sometimes, when you’re doing that in emails, you call that AB testing, or you’re doing that in ads on Facebook or LinkedIn. Wherever you’re selling the product itself or selling the course itself, you would do this in an AB testing way until you got it dialed in and right. Yet, most people won’t do that on their podcasts. They are like, “Here’s my episode. I’ve got this new course, and I want to tell you all about it,” and they spend five minutes talking about it. It’s built into this episode, and yet it wasn’t the most effective way to sell it.
Our model here is for you not to do it within your regular content. Create a space for it where you want to talk about it and where you’re going to drop it in. Create a natural space for it. That’s great to do that. Make sure you do the promo of it in its own separate recording piece and treat it like an advertisement promotion that you drop in so that you can refine that promotion of it, change it later, and update it.
Anyone who’s worked with anyone in a real direct marketing campaign forgets the context of a podcast. Even on social media or email campaigns, you always come up with so many different messages. You put them out there because you don’t know which ones are going to resonate, which ones are going be effective, and which ones are going to kill the sale. A lot of times, the message sent is not the message received the way you hope it’s going to be. You’ve got to test many different things. That’s the best reason when you’re doing it in a podcast, and you have not just one promotion but multiple.
Also, when you have multiple, you want to make sure your call-to-action, which is where people are going to go and do that, that there’s a way you can track which one of those ads they responded to and came from. That may mean even if you have the same info product or the same physical product that you’re marketing, you want to have a different landing page that you’re sending people to or a different promotion code. It is something that’s going to be different, so you know when they convert, which message they heard. You’ve got to have a way to evaluate and understand that.
If you’re not using Podetize and not using our ad mixing system for you to drop in these promotions, then you should think about doing them as a separate segment so that you can re-edit them very easily for yourself. We built our system so that it would be so simple to update these messaging and promotions. All you have to do is fix them on the backend and click update, and it updates in all the episodes. You’re changing your ad, and it’s updating everywhere.
We made this simple in our system. Why we did it is because we understand promoting products. We have huge product experience. If we didn’t mention that already, we ought to step up and say that. Mostly, we have physical product experience, but we do have product experience in courses, events, and all of those other things. We’re selling those and promoting those.
We come out of the product design and development world. We’ve sold products in every format possible in physical stores through old-school catalogs, mailers, websites, eCommerce, or through Amazon. We’ve done every which way you can sell a product. We’ve been involved in the process of designing the product, launching the product, selling the product, and marketing the product through that process. We’ve supported it, given information to it, and helped build it. All of that, we have experience in.
What we know is that this messaging changes. Since we know it, we built a system to be able to handle that on our podcast side. We’ve used it ourselves. It’s exactly what we did. We would run a course and then decide it didn’t work out. We didn’t want that course anymore. The last thing we wanted was to re-edit our show to remove it. That’s why we’re recommending that you keep it separated in either how you deploy it or the fact that you have it and you know that it’s here.
You’ve marked this section for yourself so that if you need to remove it later, you’re going to go back, fix, and edit your show to remove that later. It’s more work on that side if you’re not utilizing a system like ours, but you still should think about doing it because it creates a much more relevant and current experience for the new audience that is coming into those episodes and your show.
The other thing I want to mention is we talked about having a separate infomercial. It is that if you drop the course, it makes it easy for you to take that episode out of your feed. What we do recommend is delisting it in the feed, but because many of you sent out emails, probably did website promotions, did other things that may track, maybe got some publicity or outside PR, or had an affiliate sell it, do not discontinue it from your blog. You can remove the page or make it a delisted page, so it’s not in the general blog or in its pages within your website, but we tend not to delete it. That’s not our process there. We delist it from all of those things.
However, in the podcast feed, if you are discontinuing it, we delete it from the podcast. This is extremely important because if you’ve got something old and you’re not selling it anymore, the last thing you want is for it to be there. Make sure you’re removing those infomercial episodes if you no longer are selling the product in the future or its promotion period is over, and whatever offer you made at the end of that infomercial or special episode is removed or replaced. That’s our way. That’s the most common way. We’re taking off the sales pieces first. What are some cool alternative ideas? Let’s go into some of these two alternative ideas we have for effective ways to sell without selling from your podcast.
I would say it does end up being selling. It’s just not how you might think. Keep this in mind. If you’ve got a show out there, you’ve got listenership. You’ve been providing them value. You’ve now created some products you think they might be interested in. You should use your platform or podcast to raise awareness for it. What if you make some content out of it? What’s the backstory behind this product? Why did you create it? What was the need? What’s the reason for being with a good reason why you spent all this time and effort creating this product? Saying, “I’ve got it. Don’t you want to buy it?” is sales.
Let’s look at this backstory development or documentary about the product itself and think about some of those things. What stories do you want to tell about the product that is going to help people understand why it’s there, how they can benefit from it, and how much work you put into it? We did this with Hewlett-Packard. Hewlett-Packard came to us as a sponsor. We said, “That’s great. We can put ads across our show. We’ll be happy to do it.”
If we created this partnership to create a 25-episode series and developed 10 of those episodes, are these unusual interviews into how a printer was created, why you have this sustainability model for the filament and the way that you make your parts, and what you do? We’re like, “Let’s tell all these stories about it. Let’s interview some people who’ve never been on camera or behind the mic before and get the back understanding.” In that, we did give them the option to edit out anything that was untrue. That’s something that was a mistake or maybe something that the lawyers would’ve flipped out at because it’s proprietary information.
We had one small edit out of all ten episodes. They were happy that they had the opportunity to do that. You might be happy. If you’re going to interview your engineer where you’re developing a SaaS product that you’re going to launch with the software engineer, and maybe he or she is not the most eloquent behind the mic because they’re not used to being in that position, you want the opportunity to edit that. Use it, but use it lightly. People like to hear the authenticity of who that person is, what they care about, and why they developed it.
Hearing their story is great. Use it so that you are not revealing something you want to keep a secret or something you shouldn’t say. It may be a client you shouldn’t mention that might be using it or some way that it was used that is proprietary information. Use it that way to edit. Tell these stories with these great backstories and these great people who don’t necessarily come out and get to tell their story on your team. It’s fantastic to have them there.
I want to make it clear here that for most of you reading this, you’re not going to have a third-party sponsor you’re doing this with, but it’s your own product. It’s something you’ve developed, whether it is your course or an event you’re going to put on, why you do your own event, or why you are partnering with somebody on their event. There’s got to be some backstory behind it, a reason why you did it that’s not just, “I need to make some money. I got to create some stuff I can sell.” Hopefully, there’s quite a bit more behind it. You can tell that story as a great piece of content in your podcast.
It’s not the development of the product, but if you’ve got a course, is somebody else teaching this with you? Is there somebody else who has a piece of the content you’re going to be doing? Are you using excerpts from a book? Maybe that author can be on with you. Maybe there are some things that you can do. If your book is the product you’re launching, which it could very well be, if you have a co-author or different people featured within the chapters, those would be great co-interviews to do and co-episodes to share the information on.If you have an old product you're not selling anymore, the last thing you want is for it to remain on your podcast. Don’t forget to replace those outdated infomercials with new ones. Click To Tweet
Let’s say you do have an online course. You could talk about your online course and raise awareness for it, but your focus of that episode could be the online course platform you’re using. Most people are using a third-party product to help pace people through the course. It may even be where people pay for it. There may be all sorts of other things. You could be focusing on, “I wanted to let you all know. To any of you that may be considering an online course, there are lots of different platforms you can use. I want to share with you the one I used and why I did.” You can seemingly make it about that, but at the same time, you’re going to be talking about, “For my course, which is about this, I had these needs.” You’re talking about it.
You’re like, “I didn’t call these modules. I decided to call them this, even though that’s what they are in the system. This is how I renamed them.” You’re revealing some of the aspects of your course and the process. I love that idea. That’s great. This reminds me of the story of how Pat Flynn came to being a podcast coach.
Pat Flynn was a blogger. He started his podcast. His podcast was all about smart passive income. That’s what he was talking about. It was all about ways in which you do affiliate programs. You do all of those things, and that’s what he was talking about on the show originally. The episode that he did about the creation of the podcast itself became one of his most popular episodes. Remember, back then, when he did this, no one was podcasting or teaching podcasting except maybe John Lee Dumas at that time. It wasn’t as crowded as it was at this time.
It was podcasting 1.0, and we’re probably at least 3.0.
There was a whole lot more complication on how you start a podcast that he needed to go into. That one episode turned into five episodes. It turned into 50 episodes. Before you know it, that was the entire focus of his business. That is also something to think about. Revealing the behind-the-scenes of how you built something could be a side business you didn’t even know you were going to be an expert in. We do hear that one a lot as well. They can become some of your most popular episodes by doing what John proposed. It is this idea of revealing the platform or the process by which you developed your course, info product, or book. Invite your publisher in and talk to them. You never know how you might want to go about the process.
In fact, one of the things I’ve learned about sales in the last couple of years is when you inject some uncertainty into the process, that usually makes people want it more. It is when you’re talking about whatever this other tool is that you used. In your case, people might say, “Your videos in your course are so good,” and they don’t know you’ve got a serious, heavy-duty, not-your-average webcam. It’s a serious digital camera that is connected to your computer.
My point is you can talk about something like that and say, “I did this because I developed my course to do this. I’m not going to go deep into my course right now.” It will end up seeming like, “He buried the lead. The camera’s great, but what about that course?” You’ll get people intrigued and wanting to know more about it. They pull themselves into reaching out to you to find out or looking into or searching on your website or wherever it is about your course.
On those episodes, and this is what we learned from doing this with HP, you can have a special outro where it’s not your normal outro that you put with your regular episodes. In that outro, it could be your voice instead of a voiceover artist for a change. It’s like, “In this episode, I realized I was talking about my course. I want to make sure you know how to find it and know how to access it because I realized I left that hanging there for you. I’d like to tell you all about it now. Here’s where you can find it. Here’s what it holds. There’s this video on the site that tells you all about it. Please use the link Podetize.com/Bootcamp to go to it.” You’ve given that.
That’s a real URL. That’s our course on how to podcast. You’re like, “If you haven’t started your show yet, go check it out. It’s free. If you have started your show, share it and pay it forward.” That’s also something you could say on your outro that helps. It’s like, “If you’ve already taken my course or done this before, that’s great. Pay it forward to somebody who needs it and let them know about it. That would help me the most if you got good content today.” Inviting them into the opportunity in your outro is also another way to put a commercial on it.
An outro is easy to take off later if you’ve changed your mind and put your regular outro back on. On our system at Podetize, you can put on intros and outros. They’re replaceable. Those are easy for you to update, change, and fix as you move forward. You can do it per episode, or you can do it across all the episodes, depending on what you’d like to do at the time. That’s an opportunity as well.
That is a nice example of selling our platform without selling it. I’m emphasizing it only because this is an episode about doing that. That, otherwise, would have been something you slipped in as an aside that some people are going to be like, “Even if I don’t have to re-edit or change all that,” and check it out.
It’s a great way to do that. This backstory content-driven model is something to seriously think about. It’s like, “What’s going to interest people? How am I going to engage them? How am I going to tell them about things?” Also, remember that if you’ve got an event or your product is not your product, and you’re an affiliate selling it for somebody else, you have somebody to interview. Make sure you’re taking advantage of those opportunities for interviews with your events. Maybe it’s all the speakers on it. You’re giving them an opportunity. You probably got ten episodes you could create.
The other thing is don’t overwhelm your feed with it. Remember that you do also have an obligation to deliver the podcast. If this is slightly separated and not within the content topic, make it a special series. Make it a bonus episode. Add a second episode per week. Especially if you’re trying to, in a consolidated period of time, launch the product, promote it, and try and get a lot of sales within a time period, having some extra episodes during that time is a good idea. You’re able to also continue to have your regular episodes as well, so you don’t alienate your audience base from the topics that you’re normally covering every single week.
A common product a lot of people might have who are podcasters that are trying to promote is a book they have published. That’s another obvious example where there could be a backstory for why’d you create your book. You can use excerpts from your book as topics, and then you can mention, “I wanted to share this topic with you today. I go into this in much more depth in my book, which you can find on my website here.” It’s a casual mention. It doesn’t necessarily have to be a whole separate ad, although it could be. It depends more on what you’re using your book for, if you’re selling it for a revenue stream or if a book is more of something you’re putting out there.For some people, the book is a lost leader. You’re not charging for it, but it helps people understand you better and work with you more. Click To Tweet
It’s like the info product. It’s like an eBook.
It’s a prelude to people signing up to have you consult one-on-one with them or with them through your course. It depends. For some people, the book is a lost leader. You’re not charging for it, but it gets people to understand you better and then want to work with you more. Books are a pretty common thing.
A book is a great thing because it will continue to move forward. Typically, you’re not going to discontinue your book. Rarely does somebody do that if you’ve published it. It’s still available in eBook. You might discontinue the hardcover, but you’re not going to discontinue the eBook. It’s super easy to continue to have that in. Putting that in and discussing that on your episode or interviewing someone who was featured in the book, doing some of those things are great models that can continue to go forward and have an evergreen content model for you because the book will still be there in the future, whereas the course or the product might get discontinued. The book rarely does. That’s always a great model.
The third way we typically like to talk about is this slight twist on what we were talking about. We were talking about the development, the people involved, the back stories behind it, and all those things about this. What about the people who have taken it, used it, read it, and are now implementing it in some way, shape, or form? We want to get to those case studies of success stories out of using our info products or reading our book and what they accomplished with it. These stories might not be some of the first things you do in the launch, but they might be some monthly follow-up you do to continue to boost sales and visibility to your course that is ongoing or to the book you’ve been selling. You might want to squeeze in one of these every single month.
It’s this story of someone who’s been utilizing it successfully. It’s not a 100% testimonial video. A testimonial video is short and to the point, and they’ll rave about it. Testimonials will happen because they’ll be talking about specific actions they took on their own side to implement what you told them about. They’re hearing about what the wonderful nuggets are in your book, course, programs, and products. They’re talking about how they’re using it on the other side, what that looks like, and what that is.
We have a couple of great examples before I let Tom tell us some more about his ideas here. We did a little podcast as a test called The Next Little Thing. It is still live, but we did do some product reviews. These are our uses, but it’s as if we were the use case story. That’s what we were talking about here. When I looked at the statistics, one of our most popular episodes is the use of this mouthwash.
Is that the most popular one?
There are two, but that’s the second most popular. It is simply this honesty about Tom talking about it. It was about how he struggled with his breath and started using this thing and about how it was like a little miracle. We’ll make sure that you can see that episode and read about how we talked about it because we told a story. We didn’t just rave about the product. That’s the kind of thing you want to get out. We are talking about it and using it ourselves, so that’s a little bit different. I’m not a user of it, so I was asking Tom some questions there. It’s probably the best model to use if you’re thinking about doing these use case success story testimonial-style podcast episodes as a part of the promotion of your product.
With case studies, if it were my product, before I even launch it, I’ll have someone use it and experience it so that I could talk about the case study as I launch it. That may not be able to happen for everybody. It may come later on. If you focus on the story of the outcome that was achieved, the need that was met, or the benefit that was achieved by whoever used this product and focused more on them, then it will be obvious they achieved it through you making use of your product. Social proof is what that is at the end of the day. It’s proof of others that have used it and gotten value. People love to listen to stories in podcasts. In fact, one of our podcasters has a book somehow about storytelling. Better Selling through Storytelling is what it is.
You’re talking about John Livesay’s book.
He has The Successful Pitch Podcast. He’s another good example of doing part of this. In fact, what he is selling is himself. He’s a paid professional speaker. All these things are social proof of that. Testimonials come out of these case studies and stories, too. That’s huge. With the successes and the wins, you’ve got to have some people to take it.
Here’s something that I also want you to be aware of. The titling of those episodes is so key. Too often, when people title testimonials and do things like that in these kinds of stories, they go, “Tom Hazzard On TheraBreath Mouthwash.” You want the name of the product and the person’s name. It could also be like, “So-and-so raves about,” instead of a title that is going to get more people to click on it. They don’t know who Tom Hazzard is at this point that they’re reading this, and they don’t know what this mouthwash brand is or whatever the thing is that you’re selling. They don’t know the name of your book. They don’t care about that. They care about the thing that they want, which is the result.
If you look at the episode I was talking about, we called it This Powerful Mouthwash Will Boost Your Confidence and Really Works. Don’t you want to click that? That makes you think about something. It didn’t name TheraBreath. It didn’t tell you who said it. It tells you why this is worth reading about. We had a couple of other episode titles that would be cool. Remember, we were testing out a couple of different things. We had We Found the Absolutely Best Healthy Gift for that Hard to Buy For Friend. We used that title. Maybe that’s the story of why they bought this or why they gifted this. That could be a story that’s being told.
We then did a tool. Here’s an example if your info tool might be an app or your SaaS product is an app. It is How Can an Internet Speed Test App Make Our High Use App List? We talked about that in that case. You’re saying how this can do this for you or how it can do something great. Making the best of lists is a good way to promote a product, but it usually shouldn’t be your own list. It should be somebody else’s. That’s outside product promotion. That’s not what we’re talking about here. We’re talking about inside product promotion within your own content, podcast, and video cast.Having genuine social proof of how people got value from your products is what matters when promoting them on your podcasts. Click To Tweet
In fact, we do have a new podcaster we’re supporting at Podetize who already has developed an app. It’s in the approval process with the Apple app Store and the Android app store. It’s going to be an interesting case study to see how he uses his podcast that’s already established and out there to raise awareness of the app. It is in alignment with what his podcast is about.
Not a lot of podcasters go to the effort and significant cost of developing their own mobile app that’s distributed through those app stores. That’s rare. It’s not an app for listening to a podcast. It has nothing to do with that. It’s a different community app. He’s going to do this. I’m very excited to track and see how that works over time and how he uses his podcast to raise awareness.
Some podcasters create their entire show around supporting the community for their course. For those of you who already have a podcast that maybe isn’t quite the right fit for that, that’s also something where you could create a spinoff show. It’s an opportunity for you to create a little special show that’s for the users of the course or the people who came through it. Maybe it’s a private podcast. Maybe it’s a public one. I always like the public idea because it gets people in that are like, “I didn’t take the course,” and look how far ahead they are.
There are always so many wonderful stories and opportunities in this testimonial side for you to only interview members of the course. Anybody who tries to solicit you to be a guest on your show, you be like, “You’re not a paying member of my community, and you didn’t take my course. I won’t interview you. If you did that, then we could have a conversation when you’ve been successful.” It allows you to be exclusive about how you’re serving that community and promoting them within it as well. That always works well because they’ll share it. If they’ve taken this course and it’s created a more successful business for them, they’re going to share it. It’s a promotion for their business, not just for you and the course at that point.
Keep this in mind. These success stories are the approach model mindset rather than testimonials. Testimonials might be little clips that come from the show. It’s an opportunity to record testimonials without asking your clients, which are your users and consumers of the products, to give you a testimonial which can be hard to get them to do. You can take a clip from that show, use it on your testimonial page on your website, and you’ve done it all at once.
You gave them a promotion, a success story that’s wonderful content for you to promote the product, and a little testimonial clip for you to put on your website at the end of the day. You can use it in video, audio, or print. Use a quotation that comes out of it. You’ve got every format possible all ready for you. It’s one of the best ways to do it. It’s how we created all of the ones for Podetize. All of them came out of interviews that we did with success stories with podcasters who were our clients.
Not for the lack of trying to do it the other way of requesting a testimonial, I just want to share a little tip for what not to do. Your suggestion is excellent to have as a part of a podcast case study episode or whatever. You, as the host, can guide that conversation and bring out of the person those sound bites you’d want to use as a testimonial. It will end up being a lot more something than you want it to be. It’s something that’s going to be effective for you. Those times when we’ve asked for people to record a testimonial, they get a little in front of that camera wanting to do it, and then it becomes hard for them to do. They record a bunch of things they’re not happy with.
Hopefully, they will still give it to you. It can be awkward and not so effective unless somebody is a seasoned speaker, is self-motivated and self-sufficient, has some marketing skills, and knows how to get to the point. If they don’t, and most people probably don’t, what you suggested of conducting that discussion with them, highlighting the case study, and you leading them and bringing out of them those excellent quotes are much easier than just saying, “Would you give me a testimonial?”
We did a whole episode on that somewhere.
Testimonials? We might have.
We did a whole coaching class on that, for sure. Whether it made it into the show or not, it might have pre-dated us using the coaching program for when we do the coaching program separate from the show. It might have pre-dated that, but I’m pretty sure it exists somewhere. If not, we have a whole class on referrals. I know that’s a part of a masterclass on that.
I can’t believe we had as much stuff to talk about on this topic. Before we started this episode, I was like, “This will be a pretty quick one.” It has been quite a while. There was a lot to talk about. I certainly hope that our audience gets some value, especially if this is something that they have a need to do to promote their own products or they aspire to. Either way, hopefully, you’ve got some new ideas, if not a roadmap, for how you can do it.
I’m so glad everyone was here with us. As always, we take solicitation for ideas from our community. Thanks, everyone, for reading. We will be back next time with another episode.
- The Next Little Thing
- Better Selling through Storytelling
- The Successful Pitch Podcast
- This Powerful Mouthwash Will Boost Your Confidence and Really Works – Previous Episode
- We Found the Absolutely Best Healthy Gift for that Hard to Buy for Friend – Previous Episode
- How Can an Internet Speed Test App Make Our High Use App List? – Previous Episode