Episode 238: More Email Marketing


Show Highlights

Rob Cairns and Ryan Waterbury sit down and talk more email marketing.

Show Highlights:

  1. Tips to help your email marketing.
  2. Formatting your newsletter.
  3. Why content marketing matters.
  4. Consistency matters.

Show Notes

Hey everybody, Rob Cairns here.

Today I’m here with my good friend Ryan Waterbury and we’re gonna talk about more email marketing.

How are you today, Ryan?

I’m doing fantastic.

How are you doing, Rob?

No, not bad for Tuesday after a long weekend at the time of this record, you know I probably shouldn’t say that in the podcast ’cause we like the Evergreen things.

But you know?

That’s the way it is.

Uhm, so we were talking beforehand and we thought we talked a little bit about sales funnels some time ago and we thought we jumped back into email marketing and kind of do a bit of a Part 2.

So what are your thoughts on the email marketing and marketing automation?

I yeah.

I mean you brought up the perfect segue, where the funnel that we talk about gets people you know with their with their their lead magnet.

You know that that ticket item, that that’s the that’s the first.

Email that they get from you, that’s a.

Hey, you wanted this.

Here’s your download link.

Oh, and by the way, we’re going to follow up with a couple of emails maybe every day, maybe every other day or.

My personal preference is to space it out, but the.

The drip campaigns.

When we talk about very simple funnels are important and you know slowly sending out emails to someone that has opted into.

List, uh, you know the most simple form of email marketing automation and so yeah, and in my opinion, those are sometimes the most effective email marketing campaigns.

Yeah, I’ve even seen some creative uses.

For example, I had a client once who wanted his 15 week course set up, not in an LMS, but in a drip email campaign if he could believe it or not.

So you know I’ve seen creative uses all the time and I think.

One of the things that sort of stops people is they don’t segment or sort of specifically.

Note what people are interested in in email and what they’re not.

And when we start talking about automation and this is one of the first things that causes me to unsubscribe, sending me too many emails and sending me emails with content that isn’t relevant to me.

Now I in my agency do web development web design.

Seo work and paid ad management for both social media platforms and Google search engine marketing.

If if I send you something about PPC advertising and you’re an SEO client, are you going to stay subscribed on my list?

It depends maybe.

Maybe it’s.

If the content is completely irrelevant to you, you’re going to lose subscribers.

Now, that’s not necessarily a bad thing, but proper list segmentation with interest.

And here’s where the other part of the automation comes in is.

E-commerce stores can make.

Really good use of that segmentation and you can start remarketing through email campaigns if someone bought a product in a particular category.

You may follow up a month later when you add a new product and give him an offer of maybe 10% off of this new product.

But you’re not going to show it to your entire list, just just that segment that purchase in that category.

And why do we do that?

Well, it’s relevant.

So we know that that person was already interested in a particular item within a particular category, so it’s likely that they may be interested in an additional item within that category.

I and it it’s funny because I even go so far on my website at the bottom of every page I have a.

Jump here for free console now where I think a lot of people missed the boat is they, uh.

They send the console to a.

Page where they can just book time and I’m actually in the process of getting away from that.

What I’m doing is sending.

Them to an email list and then emailing him back a link where they can book time.

Frankly, the reason for that at the end of day is and they’re on your email list and you don’t have to do anything, and you know exactly what they were interested in because they opted in on a certain page.

So then you can tag that page appropriate that record appropriately.

Oh, you know exactly and you know part of drip campaign, proper drip campaign management is when somebody takes an action that I always include that that link to that page.

Within my campaign.

You know, a couple of times after we’ve nurtured, and if they click the link.

To book a consultation, I’m not going to send them two more emails.

They’ve already booked the link, so part of that automation says hey, take them out of this list.

They’re done, they’re they’re done with this cycle and I subscribe to my newsletter list at that point.

That’s also part of the OPT in process and disclaimer that hey, you’re signing up to get communications from us.

In addition to getting your lead magnet.

That’s another thing that I want to talk about at some point during during our session.

Here is how to properly opt people into your life.

Just because.

A lot of clients don’t necessarily understand how and why you should do it.

Yeah, let’s go.

There I I think that you need top people in your list.

I still think double opt in is a must even though it’s not a legal requirement people assume.

That for consent, uhm, you need double opt in in candidate. That’s not true. In the US is certainly not true.

I think part of it is there’s a couple ways to get people in the list.

One them to opt in and double opt in.

Two, you are allowed in Canada and the US to put somebody on the list. If they bought something from you, but then if they opt out, you have to let them opt in.

And three and you and I both deal with political parties.

Certainly in Canada, a political party or somebody running for political office control you on that list.

Actually, with no consent, believe it or not, I don’t think it’s a good way to do it, but people do it you’re.

They do and you know that interesting that you brought that up with adding people to lists from political sources.

Now a lot of that data you know we can get from from our from our government.

And if you’ve registered to vote and you voted, that’s publicly available information and you know you can use that data to upload to a list.

Now that information.

Changes and you and I both know that the government’s not very efficient. So the email addresses on those lists isn’t always accurate.

Uhm, so if you’re going to upload a list and you haven’t asked someone to provide a proper email.

You need to clean that list and.

One of the main reasons that you need to do that is to lower your bounce rate now.

Sending to a lot of bad email addresses that actually don’t exist anymore or that immediately mark your email as spam.

Not only hurt your domain sending reputation, but everyone that send from that server, any other accounts that are tide to that and sending a reputation is really important because it’s what keeps your mail out of the promotions box and at the top of their inbox.

How often do you go to your promotions?

Box and justice.

Mass delete everything.

Way too many.

His answer to that question I mean.

I’ve actually got.

The A tag.

So the way I manage my inbox and I.

Think I’ve I?

Don’t know if I’ve shared it on this podcast, but certainly shared it with you.

I have a convoluted set at Gmail rules. There’s probably 120 rules that basically says if this email comes in, tag it and put it here. So I cleaned my inbox up right away, I don’t.

Use the promotions inbox.

I just use a convert set of rules and I can tell you I’ve got this big one called retail stores and quite often I go into that and just do a mass delete and don’t even read what’s in there.

Unless I’m looking for something so.

Oh exactly.

Good evening.

Yeah, and I I think that’s normal behavior and what some of our customers don’t realize.

And this has happened a couple of times and recently I had had to go back and look at a list that these clients

Captain, we save the IP address and the time that they opt into the list because as a legal requirement, people can complain and then your provider may come back and say you need to provide proof of.

Opt in the IP address that they signed up from.

Name, email and time to to verify that they’re a legit person that opted in.

If you’re uploading a list and you have it run through a service.

To verify the email addresses.

You can get yourself in some pretty hot water pretty quick.

It’s true, and the other thing to do too is is you know, we’re talking about this, but I think it’s worth mentioning and I I sort of mentioned it on this podcast in the last couple weeks.

Don’t use Gmail or any other mail provider.

Instead of getting proper mailing software, there was a a political.

Uhm Republican, who was running for office and he was.

Meaning that Gmail was interfering in the US election because all his emails were going this.

And it’s worth mentioning again, and I feel like I’m beating the drum on this one.

Is that in Gmail, spam filters are often crowd sourced, so for enough people push that spam button up at the top, your emails are going to go to spam.

So and the other thing Gmail does is if you put too many people in the CC or the BCC.

They’re going to spam as well, so please guys if you’re gonna do a list, UM, get some proper software in to do it.

For you.

I mean there are a number of ways to do it both.

Uhm, well I’m going to say free and paid but you and I both know that the even the freemium solutions out there are an absolute must.

Uhm, now what’s a?

You send your newsletter out with convert kit.

Right now I’m I’m in the process of migrating to fluent CRM, but what are some of the other softwares that that you’ve used and like in the past?

Uhm, I’ve used MailChimp at times.

I’ve used mayora light at times.

I’ve used active campaign at times.

The big issue with active campaign is deliverability is really good, but the interface is antiquated and not been updated.

I’ve even used keep slash confusion soft Infusionsoft at times.

I’m actually Infusionsoft certified and that’s a product I try to stay away from.

I just find it’s so expensive.

For what you get.

Personally, I really like to drag and drop interface and convert.

Uhm, what else have I used to have you send them bloom?

I’ve used campaign monitor which is out of Australia before I’ve probably used like most of the big ones and the key is I’ve even used constant contact.

If you can believe that.

Before they were bought so.

It is pretty well the who’s who are mailing packages personally and mailpoet which runs into the WordPress dashboard.

Yeah, a lot of my customers are using mail poet.

We have an agency license for mail poet.

I’ve been using mail poet for quite a while and.

One of the things that I like and also dislike about mail poet is the fact that they have a zero BS policy for spam and they require your subscribers to be opted in. They have just I think it’s like 3/10 of a.

Percent lower spam filter rate than Google and Microsoft Exchange, which I think it’s great.

Their deliverability is fantastic when they do that because you’re going to get in the inbox and stay out of the promotions box for everyday people.

But that comes at an expense that those rules can get pretty strict.

Uhm, pretty quick.

So it can, you know also also hurt you a little bit, but if you’re managing your list properly, you’re segmenting to keep your you’re sending to proper interest groups and you’re also doing email validation.

Uh, then you shouldn’t have any problems with that and people unsubscribing your list from your list is actually not a.

Bad thing you want the the more that people open your emails and engage with their content and a higher percentage the better off you are as far as the sender score, you become more trusted so when someone hits unsubscribe I’m going to tell everyone right now.

That’s not always a bad thing.

That just means that.

They the content wasn’t for them and and that’s just fine.

Yeah I would also suggest to anybody and I think I said this in part one, but it’s worth mentioning again, if somebody had.

Open any of emails in a time that you decide to appropriate.

You should move them and tag them into a long term nurture sequence and not your standard emails.

And by a long term nurture sequence, all that is is a a touch base every so many months to sort of, say, are you alive?

Kind of deal and don’t send them your regular.

Emails because you’ll actually impact your deliverability scores if you keep sending them emails that are not opening.

Believe it or not.

Right?

Right and and some some people and some businesses are very cyclical and they they get busy.

And they’re not.

They want the content, but they’re.

They don’t necessarily have time to interact with it, and so a good rule of thumb to pull somebody out of that active, engaged subscriber role is 6 months.

If you’re sending on a weekly basis.

Now, if you’re only sending monthly or even quarterly, you can start looking at a a 12 to 18 month cycle where you you pull them back into that.

Not not engage subscriber, and that it’s absolutely important to.

You have that nurturing and re engagement cycle that you know marketing automation and all all the email platforms that you mentioned are capable of it, but it takes time and knowledge to set up and also you need to know what to say to your clients in that that nurturing segment that hey we still have great content.

And you ask them to.

Uh, you know, open newsletters or ask him a question on you know what they want to see in the newsletters during that nurturing cycle.

But it’s important to re engage with them.

Yeah, I I.

Actually, you say six months.

It’s funny because I actually go even shorter than that for me.

I am.

I’m kind of into the two to three month period and but you also gotta find out what works for you and that’s the important thing and not every business is a once it fits all.

Uh model, as far as I’m concerned, so that’s the the other thing to think about.

Yeah, not at all.

I mean, that’s a good point.

That re engagement with somebody you know within a month or two, or even sooner.

It depends on your sent cycle.

So if you send daily and somebody dropped off, I give him a couple of weeks and then get him in that that re engagement.

Uhm campaign or just a single email drop that’s different from your regular sending cycle.

It all depends on how often you send, and that’s that’s another thing that for me I don’t want to hear from you every day, even if I care about your content and it’s something that had two every day.

My preferences are not to get emails from you every day.

That’s just me and my preferences, so that’s the the other thing you need to find a cadence that your audience is comfortable with that they enjoy, and then also that you can maintain.

Writing a daily email it it’s a tough thing and.

Not, it’s not a cadence that every business owner can keep up with.

It’s so true, I come.

I typically do myself.

I’m usually like twice a week if at all possible, and then some weeks I’ll throw a third one in.

Like at the time it is record word Press 6.0 just came out so I’ll probably throw in.

A quickie tomorrow, just to remind people it’s out in here’s release notes, but I won’t do much more.

Than that I mean I.

Think honestly if you’re doing any more than that, I think you’re you’re pushing your luck, so to speak, and I don’t think that’s a good idea so.

That’s just my opinion.

Yeah, and it’s something that you you can either test or.

Uhm, go with your gut feeling I’ve I’ve done testing with my audience and.

For a while I was doing monthly and.

I saw OK open rates into the 40% range.

As soon as I went to weekly I saw drop that was too often, but by weekly I see people open well above 50% on my list and my list isn’t very big, but my subscribers are engaged and that’s what you want you. If you have a list of 50,000 people and less than 10.

Percent open your email.

Well, you’re still talking to a big audience, but that’s a whole chunk of your list that’s not reading anything that you’re saying, so it’s time to.

And and.

They’re paying for it too, probably.

If you’re using a third party providers.

Yeah no, absolutely.

So that’s interesting that you know when we talk about these different services, they have different billing models and some of them are, you know, per subscriber.

And that could mean someone that’s just in your your list.

So they could not even be engaged.

They could be off your sending profile and you’re still being billed.

You know, for them as a subscriber.

So a good list.

Maintenance is an absolute must if you want to get serious about email marketing.

Yeah so.

The other reason I I I was.

Kind of chomping at the bit with email marketing, you know after we talked about funnels is email marketing. Has you know that magical 4000% ROI if you do it correctly you don’t see that with any other any other of the marketing channels.

Yeah, that’s true.

We’ve been talking a little bit about mechanics.

What kind of content?

Uh, do you think should?

Go in your emails.

So that all kind of depends in on my landing page to sign up, it’s pretty pretty.

No nonsense.

I explain exactly what I’m going to write about, and I have a little bit of state of you know what my business is doing to improve.

And then we pick some topics that land in our inbox and other realms around the web and do a roundup of you know, relevant content for the small business owner and things that are happening in the digital world that they might not be aware of that affect them and.

I specifically tell people when they opt in.

This is what you’re going to get, so it’s important when.

You have an opt in Page or someone comes in that you’re still providing them content that they’ve asked to to read and learn about.

No, I I would agree with that philosophy Ryan so heartedly.

And do yourself a favor.

I think the biggest mistake that mailing list.

People that use email lists make is they make them emails to salesy.

And I know for me I probably throw out a cell sequence or sales offer in an email.

That’s really, say, Lizzie maybe.

A month

I think it’s more important to present yourself as an expert, build the relationship, and then talk about the sales side.

Oh absolutely, you know recently it was something that I’ve been toying with and I’m always, you know, want to have a little more granular control.

Uhm, we took email sending in house and we’re managing our own SMTP servers and a couple of different data Centers for redundancy.

Part of the reason was you know, not just in the WordPress space, but.

Email companies are being purchased and their rates are changing.

So in one of our last emails from my agency, we talked about that process and why we did it and.

We looked at it as not only a cost savings initiative for our clients, but also a as a way to improve deliverability.

And you know, when we ran through the sending test.

We weren’t seeing a 10 out of 10 with any of the other services, mailgun, Amazon, you name it.

There was just something funky that you know we couldn’t.

Get a perfect.

Score as soon as we were managing our own servers and and tweaking some things when we go to mail tester.

We have a 10 out of 10 and so.

I think that was an opportunity to, you know, throw that light, pitch out that hey, we’re we’re doing some things for our own list and also for our clients.

You know that that hard sales pitch is just not one that I ever do, but.

Providing content on why we do things and how it benefits our customers.

And the results that they can see.

Those are the pitches that I like to include in my newsletters.

No, I I would agree with him and give him the benefits.

Things like that.

Uhm, do you have any other good tips on running a newsletter that are worth mentioning?

Consistency, and this is something that I struggle with too. Uh, you know, I. I was kind of waiting for word Press 6.0 my newsletters biweekly and comes out on Monday.

Mondays and Fridays.

You know, I found I got the highest open rates on those two days.

So you know, I like to stick to that schedule, and when you start being more consistent and you have a good user base, they’re actually waiting for your newsletter and they know it’s going to come in, and they’re more likely to open it when it’s it comes at that prescribed time.

So again, just with.

Any kind of content marketing, whether it’s a blog or a newsletter, consistency is really one of the one of the things that I see a lot of people fall down on.

They may have great content, but it’s you know at different times.

Of the day.

Uh, you know it’s not on a regular schedule, so that’s one of the the biggest improvements that I can see and that I would recommend that anybody that’s running a newsletter.

Do you have to start somewhere?

No I.

I agree I’m with any type of content, I know I do, typically Mondays and Thursdays unless Mondays, uh, long weekend, and I’ll do Tuesdays and Thursdays.

The other thing that’s worth mentioning is to format.

The format should be consistent as well, so typically the way I do newsletters and.

As you know, is I usually write.

Of quick blurb.

Then I’ll uhm share some tips and tricks and interesting articles from the web.

And before that I’ll even share my podcasts.

But it’s always the same order every time and then on Thursdays I typically do what I call one or two hot topics and.

Then I’m done.

But people know that the podcasts are gonna be in the in the Monday newsletter.

The Thursday is going to be more a hot topic, and I think that makes a difference too as well.

Oh absolutely formatting’s a big thing and how you deliver that information.

I I’m I’m not one for reading, you know long emails every day that’s just you know how I like to consume content.

So the newsletters that I like hit those highlights.

Maybe have a link to read in more for a blog post on their own site or somebody elses and hit topics.

That I like, so I think that’s a a great formula.

Yeah, it just takes time to develop it.

I’ve kind of tinkered with it a little bit over the last while and.

You know, that’s how you find out is actually ask your list what they want to.

Yeah, absolutely.

Uhm so favorite newsletter that’s not mine or yours.

WordPress weekly by Devender syncing.

You know that’s my favorite as well.

I think he does a really good job of hitting the highlights in a nice, concise manner and on a dime it comes out exactly at the same time every week.

He’s he does a really great job.

Yeah, he’s a little different.

I find were again I struggle with his mine comes out on Monday, but is it noon or is it 2:00 o’clock and?

Yeah, that’s a bit of an issue, but when I’m working on so that kind of helps, but I’m also not a big fan truly of putting up my newsletter first thing in the morning because so does everybody else.

And we always read all these stats that say optimally, a newsletter should go out of five.

Or 5:30 AM. Well, my response to that is.

No, because then I get lost in the shuffle and marketing is all about disruption and doing something different.

And if you do the same things that your competitors do, what’s the point?

And anybody doesn’t believe me, I direct him.

No book by Robert Boom that out, called the inside advantage.

And and say go read that book and then come back to me.

I I’ve done a lot of testing with a lot of newsletters that I’ve managed for myself and for clients and.

You really have to find that time that works and and it’s not an exact science, but you can tell when you have a higher open rate and you see that percentage you know grow consistently when you send it that that slot.

That’s ironically how I found that.

Mondays at noon.

Central time gave me the highest open rate.

A lot of my clients are in central time and you know I started noticing, you know, like you said the the first thing in the morning.

Inbox email while everybody is doing that.

And so I scroll by those the next slot is 9:00 AM now.

So I’m starting to see emails pile up at 9:00 AM because that’s a, you know, a regular work day start when people are opening their work emails.

But that that noontime email is what I found that got me my highest open rate and highest engagement rate from links and any offers that I put in.

But it took some time and testing on what day, what time.

And that’s with all marketing.

It’s it’s all about testing and finding out what your customers really like.

No, I I think so. And it’s about I hate to say it. It’s about disruption. Marketing is 100% about disruption.

And if what they’re doing is checking the older email at 9:00 o’clock, and that’s their cycle, you’re really not disrupting that cycle, so to speak.

And most people don’t get that.

Yeah, I’ve I found people that were casually reading their email over the news hour or over the noon hour.

Did well for me.

I work with a lot of smaller nonprofits and entrepreneurs.

Others that may not be running their business as their you know, full time job yet and they’re looking for advice and tips.

You know, maybe on their break times and that slot worked well for me even for my corporate clients.

They they read more of my emails at at noon than they do at 9:00 AM or.

You know 5:00 PM.

It’s one of the reasons in my newsletter and I know you read it I.

Include tips.

Like for mental health, for business owners I include tips for productivity for business owners or links because I think that’s just as as important as what we do every day.

And I’m so, uh.

Mindset type of guy that I actually think that’s really important for.

A small business owner.

Yeah, and I think our our newsletters are geared towards our customers and you know the the stuff that.

The stuff that they come and ask me questions about it.

It gives me content ideas to put in newsletter because if one customer is having an issue.

Uh, yeah, and like you said it may not be a technical issue, it might be.

Uh, how to manage your time so you can be a little more stress free during the day?

Or how to organize your business.

You know, with your local Secretary of State and how you file that.

It’s all about, you know, reading your audience and giving back to them help.

It’s so it’s so true.

Do you have any other or tips or what your number one tip is for somebody starting a newsletter?

Uh, you know number one.

Make sure your clients are actually opted in and want to receive content from you and then give them stuff that they want to they want to read about on a consistent basis.

Those if you found those two things, everything else gets easier.

So true right?

Thanks for joining me.

We’re going to keep this monthly series going so you know, if you’re looking for.

The stuff that Ryan and I do together.

It comes out the first Friday of every month, so thanks for listening and Ryan.

Thank you and if somebody wants to get a hold of you, how’s the best way?

Best ways are at one dog solutions on any of the major social media platforms.

Onedog.solutions is my website and also where you can sign up for my newsletter or Ryan.waterbury@onedog.solutions, email me if you want to have a chat and learn more about what we’re talking about.

Thanks Ryan.

Have a great day.

Thank you.

 


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