It’s the only thing I regret not putting time and energy into sooner, but as they say, there’s no point crying over spilled milk.
Here’s my intention with this episode:
Not only will you be fully vested in making email marketing a priority in your business, but you’ll also have a solid understanding of why (this is more important than you think) and exactly what you should do to get started.
From the first moment I began in this amazingly crazy, wonderful, and frustrating world of internet marketing (I know you all know what I’m talking about), the message that the “money is in the list” has been as consistent as gravity.
The problem with this message is that even though we “get it”… we don’t really “get it” until we dig in (how’s that for an ambiguous statement).
There are 3 different phases in the online marketing space:
Everything I’ve done along the way to get to where I am today has been invaluable, but who you become at the mastery level is an entirely different ballgame.
And to make sure we’re all on the same page with mastery, the definition and explanation I’m using is: “comprehensive knowledge or skill in a subject or accomplishment.”
I think of mastery as ongoing learning and a desire to consistently improve.
The second phase (knows enough) is the most dangerous because you can end up stuck there.
There will always be people who know less than you, and you can serve them with integrity and truly help them at this level. However, there will always be people who know more than you.
If you feel like you’re stuck in the “knows enough” phase my challenge to you is to go deeper. Find someone who knows more than you and show up like an excited 5-year-old on the first day of kindergarten.
Back to Email Marketing…
With so much changing online in terms of privacy and tracking, paid traffic is becoming more challenging (particularly if you’re just getting started with it) and more expensive. It will always work and when you can you should definitely invest in it, but until then, you need a reliable source of traffic.
Which is your email list.
Think of email as a marketing channel you own where you get to create and control the conversation.
Here are a few statistics from Hubspot’s annual “Ultimate List of Email Marketing Statistics for 2022”:
I’ve linked to the full article above and if you’re listening, you can just search for Hubspot’s email marketing statistics and you’ll find the article.
Everything I do on social and with my content is to drive people to get on my email list.
End of story.
Once they’re on my list I can focus on creating a relationship with them. Some people may jump in and want to work with me right away and other people may subscribe and spend years on my list before purchasing.
That’s O.K., I’m in this for the long haul.
None of this means you don’t sell to people in the early stages, because you do.
You simply need to do it in a way that even if they choose not to buy from you, they still want to stay on your list.
There are all kinds of reasons people choose not to buy, it doesn’t mean your offer isn’t right. It’s simply not right at this moment.
It’s probably safe to say that the majority of people on my list or listening to the podcast understand the basics of email marketing (the ‘knows enough’ phase).
If your front-end offer (lead magnet), isn’t converting very well then you need to look at what you’re offering.
The challenge here is understanding the factors that go into whether or not it’s converting, especially if you don’t have something for sale at any point of this campaign (think of your opt-in offer and follow-up sequence as a campaign).
Things to look at:
These are the basics, but it’s enough to get you started.
Recently I tested using Revue to get people to sign up for my #FtheHUSTLE newsletter via my Twitter profile. It was a weird sign-up in that it used Revue but I write my newsletter in ConvertKit and publish it to my site. The tool I used took people to Revue, which then showed that I had zero newsletters published there.
I started clicking through to view the subscriber record when people were unsubscribing and 90% of the time they had come in through that Revue sign up.
Needless to say, I removed it.
These subscribers didn’t convert into long-term subscribers.
Spend WAY more time on your lead magnet than you think you should.
I remember when I had connected with an ‘old school’ internet marketer years ago and she told me to change my lead magnet to something like “the 3 biggest mistakes you’re making with ‘X’.”
She was coming from a place of a better hook and in this case, using a pain point to entice people to sign up. I did it, and it worked pretty well, but it lacked one thing.
There was no depth.
Which in turn means no real value.
There are a lot of lead magnets out there that are cheat sheets, tips, checklists, etc. ALL are completely valid front-end offers (top-of-funnel) – but how does it leave your new subscribers feeling after they consumed the material?
The goal of your lead magnet is to solve a problem for people, just like your products and services should be doing. Always come back to the transformation (result) that you’re promising.
Some people might tell you not to spend this much time on a lead magnet, but the higher quality your front end offer is the higher the likelihood that subscriber sticks around and becomes a customer.
Fortunately, the days of regurgitating crap are coming to an end. Your customers are smarter and there’s only so much time in the day.
Don’t take that for granted.
When you think about what to create for your lead magnet you want to think about the customer journey. The program I’m in talks about the “client continuum.”
What this means is that you have ONE ideal client but they’re at different points on the client continuum.
Here’s the down and dirty quick explanation of this.
My ideal client (the image uses the term ‘champagne client’ – but that’s from the program I’m using so until I come up with a better name, I’ll use ideal client) not only knows email marketing should be their priority, but they’re committed to making it work.
The four different stages on the client continuum are:
Knowing this makes it a thousand times easier to look at what I should create at the front end to help people build this foundation and take them on this journey.
With this clarity, I created “Easy Email Marketing.”
It’s an email course that directly teaches email marketing in a unique way. I used a framework from Brennan Dunn called “Lesson Bridge Pitch Survey” and it’s working brilliantly.
This wasn’t something I whipped out in Canva one afternoon.
I spent a lot of time outlining this email course, writing the emails, and setting everything up to make this the primary lead magnet on my site (and am still switching it out. I also have my newsletter on my site…we’ll see which one converts better 😉).
In my case (compared to the visual), I have 15 emails total in the follow-up sequence. But remember,
the lead magnet itself is an email course.
Your follow-up sequence doesn’t have to be this long.
I know you might be thinking this is a LOT of work and you’re right.
But wouldn’t you rather create something really valuable once and focus on refining it as opposed to creating a bunch of crappy lead magnets that don’t bring in your ideal customers???
THIS is the work that leads to mastery.
After the Lead Magnet is Done
You need to start emailing your list consistently.
Novel idea, right?
I get that it can be a little daunting if you’re not comfortable doing this or don’t feel like you have the writing chops to get this to work.
Do it anyway.
Pick ONE type of email you can send weekly and send it without fail.
My personal favorite is a newsletter, but you don’t have to start there. You can simply do a weekly update with one call to action.
Once you’re emailing consistently and have a trusting relationship with your subscribers you can send emails with a call to action, but the goal is to get people in the habit of clicking links in your email.
It doesn’t have to be something for sale (if you can great, but do what feels right for you).
What I LOVE about newsletters is that you can treat it more like a publication, you can curate content, and it’s simply a value add. You can also get great data based on what people click on and how they respond (confession: I get a little bummed when I get zero responses to a newsletter 🤣).
Don’t overthink this.
The goal is to write and send an email consistently!
You create a better relationship with your subscribers and it starts getting easier and easier as you do it.
The other piece of this is that you need to be promoting your lead magnet. Over, and over, and over again.
Share it on social, ask your subscribers to share it, make sure it’s the link in your bio on your social profiles, and add a link to any additional platforms you publish on (Medium as an example). Go ALL in. Give the thing you created a chance to shine.
In other words, the best lead magnet won’t convert without traffic.
Put the time and energy into promoting it, just like you did with creating it.
To wrap this up, I want to point out one thing I DIDN’T mention, which was very intentional.
You’ll notice I didn’t get into any of the more advanced strategies and things some people will tell you you have to start with.
To name a few…
ALL of these things are valuable and work.
But you do NOT need them to get started.
If you’re using not understanding these things as a reason not to do email marketing then I’m telling you right now you don’t need them.
You simply need to know WHO you’re talking to (ideal client), a quality lead magnet that solves a problem for them, a good follow-up sequence (ideally with an offer at the end), and a commitment to start emailing consistently: minimum of once a week.
Get that working and then you can step into the next phase of creating your Email Engine.