Episode 255: Talking Mail Chimp For Lead Generation and All Things WordPress
Rob Cairns sits down with Simon Harper and talks all things Mail Chimp and WordPress.
Simon is a certified Mail Chimp expert and uses it to generate leads for clients. He is also an accomplished WordPress developer and we talk about trends with WordPress.
Hey everybody, Rob Cairns here and in today’s podcast I’m here with my good friend Simon Harper and we’re going to talk a little bit about Mail Chimp and a little bit around WordPress.
How are you today, Simon?
I’m very good, very pleased to be here.
I’ve been looking forward to this.
Yeah, it’s such a pleasure to have you, we we met, I guess really good.
We hang around in the same circles, but in a LinkedIn group and it’s been such a pleasure having you there and sharing your wisdom all the time.
So thank you for that.
So I’d like to always start off and ask.
I know it’s not to focus it today, but you’re you spend a lot of time with WordPress design and development as well as e-mail marketing.
And can you share with us your marketing slash WordPress origin story please?
I’ve got a blog about it on LinkedIn running at the minute and explaining to everyone about it.
But, uh, a quick sort of overview is that.
Uhm, I was in a job out of university and it was a job.
It was just.
Not great. Not what I wanted to do and dumb, I couldn’t get actually into the job from my university qualification, so I just thought you know what I’m going to turn a passion and a love into a business and set my own business in April 2009 in basic.
Website design and development and the marketing alongside that for myself and then everything sort of grew out of there, so I think it’s what.
Four year 14 of working with WordPress.
So you’re you’ve been, you’ve been at it for a while.
I think I’m going on about year 14 or year 15 IVUS counts.
And and it’s funny, as we’re recording this, and I normally don’t put dates in podcasts, but it’s actually WordPress his 19th birthday today.
So happy, happy birthday to WordPress.
So you spend a lot of time e-mail marketing.
Yes, you use MailChimp.
Primarily, I believe you’re a MailChimp part.
Is that correct?
Yep, MailChimp partner and a clavio partner and I sit on the inaugural customer Advisory Board for MailChimp as well.
Oh good, so one of the things I think is.
And we’ve all heard the phrase the money is in the list and I think a lot of people.
Don’t do e-mail marketing because they’re scared, uhm, I think everybody and every business should do some sort of e-mail marketing.
Do you have thoughts on that?
Yeah, I think, particularly with the.
The introduction of iOS 14 and what it’s done to ads and then obviously we’ve had iOS 15 since September that was.
Looking at the impact of e-mail marketing with regards to privacy and data tracking, and I think particularly it’s been a lot more easier to manage iOS 15 while also respecting user privacy, which is absolutely.
They’ve kind of really struggled to get round.
The correct reach attribution data and impact that adds used to have before, so there’s never been a better time to reinvest in your e-mail marketing, but it it can’t be done in isolation at every sort of.
Aspect of marketing forms part of a cycle that you know whatever touchpoints you have your brand would ever reach.
They should all link back to each other and work together and form each other in some way, particularly with all the privacy changes that we have coming in from this year and 2023 as well, we’re going to have to rely.
On all of our marketing channels.
Much more and e-mail is one of those ones that.
Is synonymous with our daily work, so it’s a it’s a very important thing to invest in and do it correctly.
’cause it’s very easy to do it wrong.
Yeah, it’s it’s so true.
I mean, you know it’s it’s funny when you say about privacy and now we’ve got browsers like brave and Vivaldi that actually.
Stop all the.
Tracking cookies so it makes it really harder to.
Retargeting ads is probably harder and harder today than ever before, and I find for clients and myself ad conversions are way down in certain sectors.
We were talking before you actually can’t run ads, so that’s a.
Bit of a problem.
And I actually think.
E-mail has kind of had a resurgence during the pandemic and what’s caused it is everybody is ordering online, so everybody is checking your e-mail.
More to find out the status of their orders, so it’s a great time to slip into that inbox and say here’s something of value.
Have a read.
Yeah, and that’s the thing that the pandemic I think.
Obviously it completely shifted our habits online, and particularly with ecommerce.
So whilst we became used to having our inbox is flooded even more, whenever it came to separating out those.
Transactional e-mail messages are like so if you know.
Your abandoned cart reminders your your receipts it it became in some ways harder to actually gain the attention of users with just a normal marketing e-mail.
So the I’m particularly with iOS 15 and open rates and what’s been as a real open or what’s a a bot open?
From Apple, it’s become even more paramount to plan out your emails.
Think about the the content and focus on your not just your subject lines, but also your preview text as well to try and grab that sort of initial attention.
’cause now, like ever.
Before and we’re competing.
Well, I’ve scared at how many emails I get a day.
I don’t count, and I certainly don’t look at the bubble on my phone of how many are unread.
It’s it’s terrifying.
Yeah, it’s so true.
I I actually I always joke with people I manage my inbox and all the stuff I subscribe to with a very convoluted set of rules so.
It basically means anything that’s not a client focused e-mail or a receipt.
So if it’s like a mailing list, something I’ve gotta read later, it’s going to go elsewhere, it disappears out of that inbox very quickly, and I don’t even I don’t even do it I I use Google Workspaces for e-mail and.
Uh, you know it’s just I have. I must have 250 rules set-up to manage that inbox and I just keep adding to it because it’s just.
Yes, filters and labels and subfolders are a godsend.
Easier and you understand.
I use workspace as well.
I love it.
Know that we we both would be dead without it, so that’s you know another story.
I wanted to share with you a little story and I don’t know if you saw it around e-mail marketing before.
We jump into specifics.
And there was a Republican senator wanted to be, so that’s part of the issue. Running for office in EU.
S and two weeks ago he made Gmail trending.
Yes, I saw that.
And the reason?
And the reason he made Gmail trending and I actually ranted about it on this podcast too was.
He was claiming that all his emails were going to spam.
Now I don’t know for sure.
But and he was accusing Gmail of election interference, which is a pretty.
High task when you wanna make laws and you don’t understand big tech, but that’s that’s another story altogether and.
I suspect what he was doing was he was CC ING or BCC ING all these potential voters and we all know that’s one of the reasons you should use in the e-mail program, because if you put too many people on ABC.
C or CC?
You’re going to spam.
Yeah, the e-mail deliverability is A is a.
Huge huge issue and.
And I think.
Nowadays ESP’s you know e-mail service providers, whoever you use for it.
Uhm, they’re probably the best route to go down.
Still not perfect, but you’ve sure got a good shot at doing it rather than using.
You’re not your standard e-mail address, or even worse, a personal e-mail address to do things.
And because it’s just not built for it, and I think spam filters are getting very smart, I think personally from my experience and certainly experience with clients and.
We all have our thoughts on Outlook and Microsoft Outlook so terrible e-mail client, although their their new outlook which is in beta at the minute is very exciting and actually looks like it’s they’re moving away from the word rendering engine.
Why they use word is is beyond me to a web-based rendering engine, so it will actually work with modern.
E-mail standards but.
Their spam filters are ridiculous, as in they’re they’re so strict and it just ruins everything. Gmail’s is incredibly smart and it’s very good, so it’s ironic that dumb.
He calls it Josh Hawley or whatever is the senator.
And yeah, I think you know picking a fight with probably one of the best and spam AI or span algorithms out there is an interesting one.
Plus I I tried to stay out of politics, but I would imagine that yes, he or his.
E-mail marketing team were doing something that they shouldn’t have been.
And doing whether it was intentional or unintentional.
Yeah, it’s so true.
I try to stay out of politics too, so uhm, e-mail open rates.
Yes, that’s a biggie and I know people get hung up on e-mail, open rates and.
I look at them I.
Should tell you I run a list of about 8000, not a MailChimp, just because for me. Uh Convertkit was the way to go. So and I’m not knocking mean tempered so I don’t. I don’t mean that at all.
And I’m running open rates anywhere from 60 to 80% on a list of 8000.
And that’s just incredible I. I think the typical open rates are probably 10 to 20%, I would think.
In our industry I could be wrong, but I think there’s somewhere in that neighborhood.
Uhm, open rates are all about trust.
Don’t you think?
Uh, yeah, certainly to to an extent.
Pretty much in the past.
Open rates were fairly reliable, mostly reliable.
It just depends what tech stack your e-mail service providers using.
I mean, convert kits is very good.
Nathan Barry has done a great job there and but I think just the biggest change that we’ve had.
And this is where it really comes in.
If if sort of who you’re using at the minute.
In terms of.
Your is is.
There’s 15 open rates so Gmail we know is automatically actually opening your emails.
It doesn’t a slightly different way and it does it to a lesser extent and we don’t really.
And fully how it works.
So I think we know, and that’s been going on for a while.
So you have two of the biggest e-mail providers.
Automatically opening your emails and clicking links on your behalf.
Freedom protection in your safety behind the scenes so it looks like you know.
You’ve opened e-mail whenever you haven’t, so you open your e-mail up and it’s there as an unread.
But as far as your your e-mail campaign is, where it has actually been.
It’s been opened and this is where the biggest thing is coming now of of how do we mitigate or how do we understand?
Apple users and all the various different versions of Apple Mail or even the Apple Mail app is the biggest issue ’cause you can throw any e-mail address in there and it automatically falls under the mail privacy protection rules.
If it’s if it’s enabled.
So I think open rates are.
It’s debatable among the e-mail industry and like whether they’re a vanity metric or not.
They’re certainly useful in in number of circumstances, and I don’t think they should be fully ignored, but they.
Definitely are not as important as they used to be and have to be taken.
I think in consideration with a whole load of other metrics as well, but not not to be completely ignored.
Either and if you do you have any that can accurately detect.
Whenever Apple is opening an e-mail or not, then open rates are still very important.
I I wouldn’t.
I would agree with you.
So let’s jump in to MailChimp, Joe.
Why do you? Why?
Do you like MailChimp Simon?
Why do I like MailChimp?
Here’s her questionable.
Yeah, there’s loads of reasons.
I mean, every ESP has its its positives and its negatives, and it’s it’s different people.
I mean for example.
Each one sort of works on their own advertising.
Nice, you’ve got convertkit.
Looking at creatives and bloggers and that sort of industry.
Clavio clavio wherever you are and how you want to pronounce it, focusing more on the e-commerce side of things, and even they’re shifting their focus more to.
And then obviously the worst kept secret in the world ever last year he goes nearly a year now that it’s happened in chat, but MailChimp out because MailChimp.
Essentially it’s it’s just so much more than a an e-mail platform, UM?
But I think I still don’t understand not to cut you off.
I don’t understand marriage into it’s a Canadian company.
It is they’re the biggest company in financial services, so they own like QuickBooks that’s Turb flagship product.
They own quick tax or TurboTax is it’s now called, which is Candy USA.
Their second flagship prod.
So I’m still when they made that buy I have to tell you I fell off my chair because I there was billions of dollars involved.
Yeah, and I don’t understand that marriage to you.
I I think dumb.
I think that they’ve they’ve bought and this is one of the reasons going sort of answering your question.
Originally, one of the reasons I.
Think is because.
MailChimp is so much more than just.
Any it’s you know it’s a full cream, you know you can pretty much do so much with it in terms of managing customer profiles within it client profiles.
However, you want to label them user profiles.
You can build your landing pages.
You can build websites, ecommerce, websites, you can do appointments now and you’ve even got snail mail with their postcards.
Feature, and you’ve got all the ecom built in.
They’ve I I believe, I think, and there’s definitely some SMS transactional stuff going on in relation to their events and appointment system.
But one of my favorite features with them is the AI in it for.
What they call the creative assistant and it recently got a big update as well to now include animations where basically if you know real graphic design skills or you’re a marketer and you are on a budget or you’re on a time scale, you can basically use the this creative assistant tool to input the brands you are.
And it’ll automatically pull fonts and colors from the website and some sample images.
And you can verify whether they’re correct or not, and then give some additional information about the tone of the business or the the messages and then off you go, you can generate a wealth of of automatically designed content to.
Fill your emails with your landing pages.
It’s it’s mind-blowing, and now they’ve added animations to it as well.
I can create animations, GIF animations for your.
For your website or for your emails and it’s having sort of all those tools in one place, just makes it a great choice.
That’s so cool.
That is actually a really cool feature.
I can see that being so useful, and I think they’re the only ones out there doing that.
I’m just kind of thinking through a pile of e-mail services I’ve used for clients, and I’ve probably used everything under discussion booting mode.
Jim and I I’m still in.
By the way, I mean the the popular ones are convertkit active campaign.
Uh, MailChimp I would say hate to say it.
Infusionsoft Keap is still pretty popular on some high end stuff and I don’t think any of those are doing anything close to that to be honest with.
You yeah, they.
I mean I think I said before they all have their their positive negatives and their own niches and some unique features.
But I think that sort of creative assistant AI technology for the creation of actual.
Content and is is not being used anywhere else yet you’re you’re right, and the great thing about it is, depending on what plan you’re on, you can export the data out of there as well and use it so you can.
It’s almost like a mini Canva in some ways as well, although it does integrate.
MailChimp does integrate with Canva, but you can export your creations and and.
Upload them to social media.
So create like Facebook Post Images, Twitter, Instagram, all those types.
It’s quite a rabbit hole.
You can go down and it’s one that most people don’t really sort of use or or know about.
And so yeah, it’s it’s definitely my favorite feature by far the creative assistant.
And I think debate one of the biggest attractions to MailChimp is they’re one of those providers that still have a lifetime free account to get people on the platform.
I personally find and I think you know it needs refined, that the the pricing page is very confusing and there’s two or three different sections within it, and then multiple tiers depending on what your needs are.
But it’s tailored towards obviously because MailChimp does so much more now than just e-mail that’s trying to tailor itself towards a number of users.
And price points and needs, but.
Ferry invested and this is what I can say has been great about being in the cab and its users and learning from them.
I mean, it gets the biggest ESP by far.
I mean it has 10s of 1,000,000 more users than any other ESP and then that doesn’t necessarily make it the best for everyone.
But it’s the amount of time that they’re.
Innovating and spending time learning from their users of what’s working. What’s not and that’s one of the best things I’ve experienced. Just going back to your original question, even of WordPress and Saa’s, MailChimp is.
Very much a bike community, and it’s this probably.
Even more so from a professional like not a user perspective, but from the other side.
Being an e-mail marketer, the thing that I value the most, the community that MailChimp is built around it to help us do our jobs better as well as use MailChimp and to the maximum is just being unreal.
And I know lots of other Esps trying to create that culture of community and.
I’m sure there’s great communities within there, but just for me I haven’t seen anything like mailchimp’s that’s even come close with the exception of WordPress, which is obviously a diverse but huge community.
But there’s a lot of similarities between them, and that’s probably why I feel so akin between the two.
Yeah, I’m I’m sure and I I would agree with the Community matters, I know.
Having spent a lot of time, uh, building out campaigns in Infusionsoft for a company that charges so much and for a company does so much, the two things they don’t do really well in my opinion is training people.
The community and that to me is an issue.
Went so far as to cut back to yearly conferences pre pandemic had nothing to do with the pandemic.
Started cutting back all this stuff and there’s a lot of partners that have actually.
Turned away from it because of that and we’re starting to see.
More and more of these SAS type products that run within WordPress because of.
That and the.
Other thing I will say is the only thing I’ve even found close to MailChimp community is probably convert kits.
It’s pretty strong, I know I’ve done a lot of work with active campaign over the years in their community.
You’re on your own.
Yeah, that’s I mean there’s nothing wrong and and the other part knock against him is they’re interfaces.
So 20 years ago it just dries.
Insane like we’re we’re in like 2022 we need a graphical interface we need to you you get what I’m saying, right? We we need an easy way to do things then.
Yeah, modern UI certainly makes things a lot easier, particularly now because so many people are used to.
Drag and drop e-mail builders and drag and drop website builders and it is very much the the thing and I don’t think we will ever go back to how it was before.
Which I don’t think sounds very bad thing.
I don’t think so either.
Uhm, the only argument is that brings in all the DIY people and my my argument to that is they still need help, so yeah.
You know you can.
You can be a hobbyist and do it, but unless you’ve sat down with a professional, they don’t know what works, what has to work.
You know etc.
Uhm, so let’s jump into emails in general.
Uhm, what really works in the types of emails that you send out I think.
One of the things people don’t do well is when somebody subscribes, they send him an e-mail saying thank you for subscribing, I think.
Personally, that’s a lost opportunity.
You should build yourself out in nature.
What we call a nurture sequence and showcase some of your good content or good products.
And I I really do.
And then I think the other praise people getting the problems with emails is are not consistent.
So what are your thoughts on those?
I can answer that. I’ll answer the second one first. The consistency thing 100% agree that.
People notice more often when you’re not there rather than when you are there, so you know if you’re going to say I’m going to send out a weekly e-mail and you do that, and then all of a sudden you don’t do it for three weeks off.
So if you’re like hey where did you go?
And they don’t really necessarily acknowledge you whenever you’re consistently sending those emails out.
Consistency is also actually.
Important for even this side of the pond as well whenever it comes to GDPR because.
You can do very simple things.
Why not on your website signup form saying by the way, I’m going to send you and I’m being a bit facetious here, but it still applies.
I’m going to send you one e-mail a week on the last Sunday of each month at 2:00 PM.
You know that that actually fulfills a lot of helpful criteria for GDPR and what people can expect.
But obviously I’m not going to start that GDPR conversation, and you can go down a big rabbit hole with that one, but consistency is by far the most important thing.
And to set expectations.
And if you do miss a week and that’s OK, you can miss a week, uh, or whatever your time period is.
But just communicate to your audience why but?
Is we have this unique opportunity with e-mail.
It’s different from other forms of marketing where people have chosen to sign up.
You know they’ve given us this great blessing of them actually wanting to hear from us, so we owe it to them to give them good content to be consistent, to be present, and I think.
If you build up a level of consistency as well from a writing perspective, it makes writing easier.
And if you’re if you’re regularly writing that content and you just you improve and you sharpen.
Each week and then your first question in terms of those sort of welcoming sequences, no matter what spews up.
They are gonna generally be your most highly engaged emails that are sent out and the biggest mistake I sort of see is what you’ve said as well.
If it’s just a quick, you know thank you or they use the the default welcome e-mail instead of creating.
A welcome e-mail or a series, depending on what you want to do or what you have to offer and.
Leaving it static, that’s what cracks me up.
Even more, they’ve gone down this route of going right.
I’m going to customize this.
I’m going to personalize it so that they’re getting the right content at the right time and I’m going to accelerate them through to wherever I wanted to go.
But then it’s left and forgotten about and those types of welcome campaigns.
Are Evergreen and they should be Evergreen, so you should be going back and I can go and look. Is it Father’s Day.
Is it Mother Day is at Christmas?
What season, what?
What is going on in the world around me at this time have?
We launched a.
New product or we speaking on a podcast or we doing web and R?
You know, is there something that’s going on that a user?
Because signing up at this point and they need to hear something even more personal?
Even more relevant and.
That’s the thing that cracks me up the most where I sit there going. Look at all these lost opportunities, particularly for e-commerce businesses and where they just have that bog standard welcome e-mail. And it’s just like that’s just. It’s just not good enough.
Ecommerce businesses are worst ever thank you page that says thank you for buying my product, not here’s an operator and to me that is the biggest missed opportunity in e-commerce use.
Those thank you pages use those.
Thank you emails for upsells to even to get people engaged to like use those pages.
Yeah, upsells cross sells everything like one of the.
There’s a a client that I have that we even use their review emails.
So whenever a customer purchases a a product, we’ll send them out, review reminder emails, and even those are designed.
In such a way in a non annoying spammy way, because it actually does work.
And to get them to to spend again.
So we we get them to actually leave a review, but also they have an opportunity then to go and buy something else as well.
Now it doesn’t work for everyone ’cause sometimes just you know standard product review emails or.
What should be done?
But even then?
Customizing your receipts and not just having a bog standard receipt and having even related products.
In there but not generic related products, related products that are personalized to that customer.
And they and they do work, so I’ll give you an example.
Iran, I spoke at the Adoram summit last month.
Yeah, we won’t even talk about to technology problems I had.
That’s another story, I.
Decided to lose my Internet connection in the middle of.
My talk yeah.
Yeah, that was fine.
It came back and we went back at it and I was talking about podcasting.
And one of the things I did was I have a podcast, mini course and anybody who attended to talk.
I gave it away.
I normally charge 49 Ford. I decided I’d give it away.
And I had.
A sequence so that to get the free course you had to go to a landing page, yet to sign up on an e-mail.
That’s where you got the link and the code to get it for free so you weren’t getting it unless you got in the mailing.
Just the way it goes.
And then I had a follow up sequence.
To sell some individualized train.
I had three people spend over $1000 each on individual strength, all because it was in the fault sequence.
I didn’t mention it anywhere else.
It’s not that particular.
Training is not even mentioned on a page on the website.
And because of the follow up sequences or reminders I had somebody emailed me last night saying I’ve been sitting on this for two weeks.
Where do I get signed up?
Nice so so they do work and and because it’s automated and you don’t have to do it manually.
And Evergreen, it’s easy to set-up. You set it up once.
And what I would say to anybody is do yourself a favor if you set-up automated sequences, test them.
Oh, we have many.
Too many people.
Don’t test them and they don’t test the content.
They don’t test it or responsive, they don’t test how they look like.
Don’t just set them up and go actually test them.
And go back and test them a while later as well. Don’t just test them at the start, ’cause sometimes things can break and sometimes things can go wrong, and that’s not necessarily your fault, but something could have changed in the platform and you’ve maybe missed it. Or uhm, maybe you’d change something and you didn’t even realize that you did it 100%.
Testing, testing, testing.
You can’t do enough of.
And if somebody reaches out here and says, hey, there’s a problem with your sequence.
Do something for them like I had.
I had a sequence had been running and my platform was a MailChimp.
Most convertkit, uh, it broke it ’cause something changed.
Somebody reached out to me and said there’s a problem with this sequence.
And what did I do? I took one of my $50.00 courses and I gave it to him.
For an image.
And said here you go here, here’s.
The thank you.
And that goes a long way.
Simon it just.
’cause then he feels like I’m responsive and he’s turned around the bot other stuff so you know you have to be appreciative and engage with your community like the biggest complaint I have in e-mail marketing is big box stores. Do not reply at oldnavy.com, that’s nice.
So you’re telling me you don’t wanna talk to me?
Don’t don’t get me started on.
Do not reply e-mail addresses.
Oh, I want you to get started please.
Do go ahead.
No, it’s you know.
Maybe in beta B.
Or maybe it works.
Sometimes there’s some.
Naomi West does come.
She’s done a brilliant UM talk on our blog post on Noreply e-mail addresses.
And dumb why you shouldn’t really use them.
She summarizes it very well.
It ties in sort of what you were alluding to, sort of there as well, and going back to community, and you know, big box stores.
And I was saying about personalization as well, is that?
We are unique in that we’ve got this subscriber who has.
And said look, I want to hear from you, and it is a it is an honor to have them in there.
So don’t just treat them like a number or a statistic.
It’s important to make your subscribers, as you say, feel like you actually care about them and the the information is important so.
What you, what people see as well and this is that this thing.
It comes down to deliver a building we we talked about it at the start with some subject lines and and preview text.
Sometimes the first thing that people see is is also the e-mail address that it’s come from, and as you say, if it’s a no reply or UM.
Something even more bland or generic of marketing at.
It’s kind of like oh, OK, so.
Am I going to get a response from this?
This is just going to go into a black hole and often these no replies are actually catch alls, so they do actually go somewhere.
So you can’t actually reply, even though it says that you can’t.
But I have seen a lot of.
Good traction buildup from protecting for SAS companies whereby the e-mail, even if it’s not actually coming from and it’s changed to the founders name or it’s changed one of that.
The marketing team name or support teams name.
And whenever somebody realizes that oh, hang on this is, this could be a real human.
The people open up a lot more and more.
Willing to then hit that reply button or continue the conversation on.
Yeah, the trick I use is.
I do 2 tricks I I brand all my emails with SDM in square brackets.
It’s a started e-mail so and the reason I do that is it teaches people to look for that.
I’ve trained people to look for that, and then the other thing I do is I send my emails not.
From my e-mail account, I take a different approach.
I send it from VIP at my domain name and the reason I do VIP at the words VIP make people feel important and I say right in the first paragraph.
If you ever want.
Reply to this e-mail that could come and hit reply and we’ll get back to you.
I say that in every e-mail I sent his squad action.
If you wanna throw something out, hit reply and we’ll talk to you and I’ve had conversations and I’ve generated business out of those replies, so I think the reason I use.
VIP added just makes people feel special.
Yeah, it’s it’s certainly, uhm.
It’s certainly a nice thing to to feel important.
I think we all like to to feel important and feel cared about, so it’s a nice.
That’s a nice idea.
I use my in 70s.
My company I might just use my.
I know you.
And your emails are pretty consistent, like you’ve got.
You’ve got the consistency factor down long time.
Yeah, tell me about it.
It’s three a week for nearly a year.
It’s a lot.
Now do you write?
Do you write those ahead of time?
At sometimes, uhm, but as you can tell, obviously from the podcast I like to talk so it’s easy for me to write as well.
But I do try to think during the week of of what might come, what might be coming up, but sometimes it’s just.
I’m just going to write about this today.
And that’s how it goes.
I’m quite ad hoc.
That way it doesn’t quite work like that with my clients.
There’s a lot more strategy and planning done for those, but normally my working week impacts then what I’m actually going to write as.
Well and what’s going on, so an example of that was in my emails, my.
I did Tuesday this week.
Because Monday I normally do Monday, but Monday was a Canadian holiday so we could ever publish on a Canadian.
And it was all reminders to my clients and my razors about the WordPress upgrades coming ’cause we know what happened last week.
Yeah, and then Thursday was a quick follow up and it it’s just that that was at state of mind.
But when I wrote my emails, it’s interesting.
I have a format I use, so I like to talk about.
Typically what’s important up at the top, then I’ll, I’ll talk about what podcasts I’ve released.
I’ll and I.
I also throw up business tips like links to some good tips.
They can either be productivity they can be.
Other stuff and dumb and I have the same format every week, ’cause I think format consistency matters for clients.
In measures too as well.
Yeah, and I think come ones I, I’m pretty much the same as you in terms of I use the same structure for my emails each week and one things that I liked in and I haven’t seen too many other places.
And it does quite well for me is uhm at the top of the e-mail I’ll talk.
About what was said last week, so it’s literally last the the words last week and they’re linked.
And then, uh, whatever we talked about last week in that particular letter and and then it’s it’s only a short line.
And then we we head onto this week.
Yeah, you know, as the next one.
I mean, it’s nice to remind people of maybe what was said before, particularly if there are new subscribers, they may.
It gives them a good opportunity to go back and read previous issues and and remind them what’s going on.
Give people some.
Context I suppose.
The other thing is, and I have a problem with this and I know being marketers sometimes we do.
I’m not a big fan of making my headlines too clickbaity.
I’m really not, and the reason I’m not.
I think headlines are important, but if you make them quick too quick baby, I think that erodes trust and for me that’s a big issue.
In normal growth.
Yeah, I mean.
There’s clickbaits have there.
Their place, yeah, I’m I’m not a massive fan either, but I think that you’re.
At dealing your subject line as a basic principle, should at least you can, you can go into it more in your preview text, ’cause depending on the the e-mail app that people are using or software you have a lot more characters to play around with.
But because you’re, you’re tide to a certain number of characters that you know are going to work in everything.
Whenever it comes to a subject line.
You have to do things short and succinctly, so I think it needs to summarize in an engaging way what the overall message is.
If you’re that particular issue or newsletter and what you’re trying to get across, but.
If you can avoid and this is the thing.
Whenever it comes to spam filters or the promotions folder in Gmail, which is the inbox and people like Harding style promotions folders like you, you can’t.
It’s still the inbox.
Stop worrying about the promotions folder and but your language certainly impacts where.
Your e-mail could potentially end up so if you do consistently use really clickbaity generic titles that a lot of people use.
As you say, it’s not.
Really going to stand out.
It’s not really going to to grab people.
You might get the odd hit, but.
And yeah, it just doesn’t work.
I think where you get good subject lines as well as as you learn and you understand your audience and you build that relationship up with them, so they’ll learn how you communicate and they’ll learn how.
You speak and you have this natural language together and you can.
Write a subject line that will appeal to them.
That’s where it comes back to what you said earlier on as well testing.
Whenever it comes to welcome series, so AB test your subject lines, test, test, test and see which works and some will hit someone miss, but eventually you’ll get a consistency where you know what works for your audience and depend on how many clients.
You work with.
Those audiences are going to speak a different language from each other, and it’s about figuring out which works for.
Yeah, and where N words.
Do matter, so I’ll give you an example of that, and it’s not really tide to mailing list budgets, tide to spam filters.
So my mother is a real estate agent and her office for a long time would put towards price in the subject line.
And every time you throw the word price in the subject line, yes where that e-mail goes into a spam filter.
So we all know and I used to say to my mum.
Tell your office to stop putting that word in the in the subject line.
I know what that’s how they do it.
Well then that’s how the spam filters work and you and I both know.
There’s certain words.
That they just train on and pick up and there’s nothing you can do about it.
Yeah, there’s certain trigger words for sure, yeah?
Yeah, that’s the thing I mean.
Oh sorry, go ahead.
No, no, you’re fine, go ahead.
I was just going to say it’s it would be.
Nice if we.
Knew, uhm, exactly what?
All the different?
Inbox providers uses their spam listen or spam criteria that would make things a lot easier.
But yeah, there’s there’s certain marketers who won’t be named, but, uh, more on Twitter who regularly post unbelievably terrible e-mail marketing subject line advice as well.
And The thing is, is that it gathers traction and.
Then everybody is all of a sudden using it and sending the same subject lines which has this knock on effect of making things even more spamming click baity than what they were before.
There you go.
Yeah it’s true. Uhm, Speaking of Twitter marketers, did you read the thread that was going on about how there were some local marketing agencies in the UK that were doing their clients a disservice ’cause they didn’t really know what they were doing? It they were high-priced?
I I think I saw something about this and possibly I saw it this morning.
Yeah, yeah they were talking about how there were some local agencies in the UK and I don’t remember who started it, but I did.
I did catch it ’cause Nathan Wrigley jumped in on it and they were saying how some of these agencies, despite charging thousands of pounds or doing an acquainted disservice.
Either what this was?
This was Mike Oliver started this and I jumped in and said yes we have certain agencies over here that do that and I did and I won’t name them on this podcast, but I did name one that is synonymously known over here.
I know you did.
And and mikes, a pretty sharp guy actually.
Yeah, I think that that’s the thing I mean.
Nowadays clients patience is quite short, rightly or wrongly, and so.
A lot of agencies don’t necessarily have a lot of client retention as well.
It’s hard to keep a client that if you don’t produce those results, they’re like right.
We’re gone and we’re moving on.
To another agency, so I think it’s really important whenever.
We’re on this this subject.
You cannot hear a train going by, possibly, but whenever we’re on this subject of.
Authenticity and actually being able to do what you say you can do that.
I think that’s really important in e-mail marketing as well.
So like, yes, I I can use other.
Epson they do, but MailChimp is sort of my niche and like I can work with Cavalini maclovio partner, but MailChimp is what I do ’cause I know that platform.
Inside and out and.
I would then niche down again a little bit further into that and say well I do normal traditional sort of e-mail marketing but I I love and I prefer doing ecommerce.
And I think the e-mail community, like everything it’s so big and there’s so much out there.
I mean, like you’ve got the guys over even at convert kit and one of their community side focuses.
Is deliverability defined which is one of the best podcasts?
Sort of that I think is out there and you have e-mail markers that focus just on.
Auditing and setting up accounts so they won’t necessarily create campaigns, but they’ll they’ll go in and make sure that your accounts are set-up in the right way and give you best practices and look for patterns or anything that’s going on that to help you solve issues, and I think.
That’s the thing. Uhm, if you’re gonna be hired by a prospective client and they want you to do XY and Z if you can only do a B&C, don’t.
Don’t waffle, don’t make it up ’cause you’re going to get find out you’re just going to hurt your own.
Reputation and I think for big companies like the one that I didn’t name, it’s not an issue ’cause they don’t really care.
They’ve been on it for years, but for smaller businesses like you know myself, we rely entirely on reputation and delivering for our clients and then then referring us onto.
To other ones, so it kind of comes down to I think, ethics as well.
And being an ethical marketer, ethical e-mail marketer then that’s another tangent with kakudo.
I would agree.
Yeah, I I I would agree with you.
So true and.
You know you were saying you’re a MailChimp partner and I appreciate that.
I think what people need to do.
Is use the tool that they know and stop jumping around tools.
It drives me nuts I.
I have a couple people I know.
They’ve used 5 e-mail tools in five months and it’s like guys.
How are you getting any work done?
What shiny object is sitting in front of your eyes?
Rise, are your emails getting delivered?
As while jumping all those platforms.
Properly then you.
Go over and and like stop jumping around.
Settle on a platform, MailChimp or something else and then determine what you can do with that platform.
And then use it up.
I was one of the reason I went to convert kit was because of the creative integration.
For me the integration with cast those the integration with a number of things because the creative makes my life.
Easy Caster is amazing.
Yeah, I’ve been using Catoss for over a year and a half.
You know, uh, shout out to those guys because they make delivering this podcast really easy to be honest with you.
And if you have a question there there.
It’s it’s easy peasy.
Yeah, I I think Mike.
Oliver also did their website.
Redesign as well, didn’t he?
I Mike redesign your website all in Gutenberg too.
Yeah my slider.
There’s a lot of big name podcasters using it.
There’s or it’s the creative spot.
It’s the creative spot as far as I’m concerned.
Yeah, I would agree.
And they just, and that’s kind of what I look for.
Whether it’s any ESP or anything else is how’s your level of support?
How’s your comfort level with support?
And I’m not one to go to support very often, but when I do, I got.
Yeah, and are they going to help?
And by the way, how long is it gonna take them to get back to you?
I can tell you stories.
When I was an Infusionsoft heavy user and I’m Infusionsoft keap certified.
Whereas Infusionsoft certified it would take them three days to.
Get back to me.
Right, I just don’t have three days to be honest.
I think it.
Especially when the client says I want to snap, yeah?
Yeah, I was gonna say clients can’t necessarily wait that long and either definitely not.
I’m kind of glad I’m glad it’s nice to have and like we we have a lot of.
Common, uh, anyway, but I I like that you’re you’re like me in the sense that.
Whenever you are choosing a product and it’s not necessarily an ESP, it could be any SAS product or or anything like that.
That support is one of the most important things.
’cause you say it’s fine until things go wrong, but then you know if there’s no support there whatsoever it there’s or it’s going to take too long.
It’s going to be an issue, and I think.
That’s for me more so actually and then neither be very close, but more so than than pricing support would be the most important thing for me.
Whenever I’m choosing a new tool.
Even if I.
I think too much.
I think too many people get caught on that price point and realizing it’s an investment in you.
And your business.
Simon, this conversation went great as somebody wants to talk to you about e-mail, marketing or anything else.
How’s the best way to get a hold of you?
Best way to get hold of me is my website – https://www.srhdesign.co.uk/
I’m good luck with my Northern Irish accent, but if you Google SRH Design or you can look me up Simon Harper on LinkedIn or @SRHDesign on Twitter.
I’m very active on LinkedIn and Twitter.
Need to work on my website.
Ironic being a website designer that you never have enough time.
To do your own.
So social is probably the best or obviously my my 3 emails a week.
Uhm, so e-mail marketing and sign up to my newsletter is a great place to do that to you.
And you can do that anywhere.
You can do that on on Twitter.
On LinkedIn or my website.
Yeah, and I would say get on Simons.
E-mail list ’cause it’s well worth to read this one I read every week, so get on it.
Have a read.
He puts out some really great tips out there and it’s pretty engaging.
Thanks for your time Simon.
Have a one.