Email marketing is probably considered the least sexy digital channel out there. But the opposite is true.
Savvy marketers know there is no better way to win the hearts of new customers on The Web than through email.
Email gives you a direct, 1-to-1 connection with people who have opted to engage with you. You can take subscribers by the hand and nurture a relationship of trust. You can develop that relationship into enduring customer loyalty and ongoing sales. Now THAT’S sexy!
But mastering the art of email marketing seduction takes patience and a plan. A critical part of that plan is to build lead funnels that consummate the sales relationship. In this episode we show you how to do that.
- The 5 fundamental stages of a lead funnel autoresponder series
- The best kind of lead magnet to get subscribers into your funnel
- How to use ‘micro-commitments’ to set up future sales
- Build anticipation for your emails by opening curiosity loops
- How to stack email messages to boost conversion rates
- Five ways to add on to your first sale
035: Build Email Marketing Lead Funnels that Coax Subscribers into Buying
Show notes and resources
Invisible Selling Machine by Ryan Deiss
John: Greetings, fellow Heart Marketers. Thank you for joining us today. I am John Gregory Olson with my rock hot co-host, Jayme Soulati.
Jayme: My middle name is gonna be called "Giggle." Jayme "Giggle" Soulati. I can't resist. John, for some reason you make me laugh, which is a good thing.
John: Well, yes, it's better than the opposite.
Jayme: Absolutely. How are you today?
John: I am good. It's been a really busy and productive week and I am just happy to be here doing this today. It's almost a break for me.
Jayme: Perfect. We're having some great fun. I wanna thank our listeners for downloading and listening. We hope you're listening and not just downloading only, but we do hope you're listening. We're having great fun with our topics and believe me, we need you to weigh in if you have a topic suggestion because we're all ears for that. John's got this great little app on his website, JGOdigital.com, where you can go in and add an audio question and we will answer on a future episode.
John: That's right.
Jayme: Oh my gosh. I felt like a radio broadcaster right there.
John: When I said that, it was like, "That's right, Jayme." I put my hand behind my ear and everything.
Jayme: Oh, my gosh. Hey, what's on tap today? We've got something really good.
John: We do and it all started with another one of your stories, which happens a lot with us.
Jayme: I know. I guess I have this vast experience, a plethora of examples.
John: Oh, there you go with your big words.
Jayme: I'm so edifying.
John: Ohhh. Hey. Hold on a second.
[sound effect, ringing bell]
Jayme: Ding, ding, ding.
John: Okay, we have to clue in the listeners, here, with what we're doing.
John: Yesterday, we were chatting about the show and how Jayme likes to throw out her big words every now and then.
Jayme: I only have five.
John: And I tease her about her thesaurus. I gave her an assignment. I said, "Okay, tomorrow you have to use the word 'edify' or 'edification.'
Jayme: And I said, "What does that mean, John? I have to look that up."
John: Anyways, for your edification, dear listeners, we are going to talk about something that I think will be of benefit to you and is something that Jayme has some direct experience with in her work with HubSpot. And that is all around the area of sales funnels and developing them for your business to generate leads and sales. Jayme, what was your story about the HubSpot inbound marketing program?
Jayme: You know, I've really never told this story, for reals, just say it like that. For reals, I haven't told this story because I have been so bludgering which side of the fence am I on, as far as pro-HubSpot, anti-HubSpot? Well, you know, I'm right in the middle of the fence. I'm neutral right now. About three years ago, I made this investment at HubSpot and I'm gonna tell you what. I knew I had to take my small business to another level and I knew it had to be online. I really didn't know how to do that and coming from the PR realm, where everything is disrupted and everything's morphing and I have to change and flex and grow, well, the digital marketing arena, which wasn't really called "digital" then. Well, I mean I guess it was, but more inbound from HubSpot. They kinda coined the term inbound marketing, lead generation through a funnel.
So, I decided to make the investment. I have to tell you, John, it was a massive investment for my small business. It was $10,000 and, at the time, I needed something to boost me. And I think, John, on our last episode, the neuromarketing episode, which was phenomenal. Frankly, I love that episode. I hope you guys listened. I shared another about I buy on hope. I'm one of those people who wants to have all the cool gizmos and gadgets and courses and workshops and, automated marketing software... blah, blah, blah.
John: Jayme, it's people like you that keep our economy humming.
Jayme: I know.
John: I want to thank you.
Jayme: I keep the banks happy. The banks are very happy with me, very happy with me. They send me so much credit. So, I made the jump and I'll tell you what, the sales teams. Okay, I know I'm skipping around here, but if you're in social media, you will see HubSpot everywhere. They're on Facebook ads, they're in Twitter, they're blogging, they're giving away freebies right and left and up and down. It's astonishing. You can't miss them.
They are things that you want to tap into. As soon as you start tapping into the funnel of HubSpot, your name, your business, your activity and engagement and how you've engaged all come into their funnel and they record that in their software and it's behind the scenes, but your picture goes in there, they find all your contact information. It's pretty astonishing. So, I didn't know that, of course, but because I had clicked into Facebook with their calls to action, I was a hot lead for them. So, they wouldn't leave me alone. They were relentless.
And, of course, I relented. And then I said, "Okay, I'll buy." So, HubSpot for one person, a solo, don't recommend it. I don't recommend it. It's too much. It's an amazing, amazing platform. There are others as well, Acton Software, Infusion soft as well and I think HubSpot is the main leader and it's an astonishing program. They have all the workshops and trainings and teachings and an account executive who's yours to teach you. All of those you want and it's still a whole new realm of doing marketing and it's behind the scenes.
So, it was the best and worst investment for my business ever and it taught me that I really couldn't do it all, frankly. But, I didn't know what a funnel was, John. I was very embarrassed at the time. So, I was taught what a funnel was and I still did not do it well. So, I'm hoping that you can shed some light today, John.
John: Well, I think that there are a lot of people out there like you, Jayme, that are not sure what a funnel is and how to build one and why you might need one for your business. You shouldn't feel ashamed about that, at all.
Jayme: It was just a big investment.
John: Maybe other things but not. . .
Jayme: Oh, no, no, we're not going there today. That's another episode. "Why is Jayme Ashamed?"
John: But I thought that kinda sets the stage for what we could focus on today, which is what is the anatomy of a sales funnel, what do you need to know about sales funnels for your business?
Jayme: Before we do that, John, let me jump in really quick. The definition of digital marketing, inbound marketing, they're kinda similar. I mean, HubSpot coined inbound, which just means lead generation coming into your sites. It's all digital marketing. So, what we're really talking about today is, these are aspects of digital marketing that you can use to develop your leads for your business.
John: So, let's jump right in, Jayme. Let's start with a few basic things. Let's define funnel. When we say funnel, what we're really talking about are the steps that a prospect takes along the way to their purchase decision. And you want to take them through those steps with your marketing communication. And, in this case, we'll be talking primarily about email marketing today.
One of the important things to remember about email marketing is that not everyone on your list should be getting the same message at the same time from you, because people are at different stages in their decision process. So they're going to need a different message and different motivations behind those messages.
One of the things that's really cool about our capabilities with email marketing is you can use what's called auto-responders, which are automated emails that you can write ahead of time and schedule them out and really streamline your funnel process with automation. And we're gonna spend most of time talking about how you can do that, how you can build a funnel with an autoresponder series. I've been reading a lot about this lately 'cuz we are trying to develop our own ideas for the Heart of Marketing enterprise and how we are going to be approaching this, too.
And I'm going to be sharing some ideas from one of those books that I've read from a guy named Ryan Deiss and he outlines five stages of a sales funnel. This is a good roadmap, one that you can adapt to your business and to your selling situation. It's not the only funnel out there, of course, but it'll give you an idea of how a funnel works.
Jayme: So, John, [inaudible 00:09:12] time to ask a question because you're on a roll, but what type of business should use a funnel? All types, all sizes?
John: I'm not sure how to answer that, exactly. I think any size business can use a sales funnel in an email campaign and they will have to adapt it to their audience and the selling and decision process that goes into purchasing whatever the product is. If it's a high priced ticket item or if it's something that does not require a lot of multiple levels of decision makers--
Jayme: Well, what if we say, John, that it's any business that wants to increase its online sales?
John: Yes, definitely. That's really what it's all about. It's a direct order of business.
John: Yes. You took me off track here, Jayme.
Jayme: I love that.
John: I forgot where I was going here. But one of the things that we aren't gonna spend a whole lot of time talking about in this episode, but perhaps in a future episode, is that, at the very top of the funnel, you have to start with a lead magnet. That is something that you offer, a small chunk of content that you offer up that solves a specific problem with your target audience. The purpose of that is to get them to opt in to your email list.
Jayme: So, let me give an example. HubSpot is the king of lead magnets. They give away 150 free photographs for your blog. Who doesn't want that, right? And then they give away 10 free WordPress templates or the ebook on email list building. It's just astonishing items in the very front end that you can't not click and there you are. You're in their funnel.
John: That is a perfect example, Jayme, of delivering incredible value upfront, for free, to capture that email address, because that's gold. Once you have that address. the person is basically giving you permission to continue to communicate with them through email.
Jayme: Yeah, you're opting it.
John: That's exactly what you want from a lead magnet.
Jayme: And another example is a webinar. I'm on the list of quite a few of my colleagues and peers in my space, which is obviously marketing and I don't often click on what they're offering me, but sometimes I can't resist and I'm just deeper in their funnel. Will I ever buy from them? I don't know. It's more of a lot of our peers, peers to peers. They often kinda look and see what everyone is doing, but if you have a company where you are very interested in buying from them or you're not sure you want to buy from them, then if you click deeper and deeper each time they offer something, or if there's a webinar. I meant to say webinar. A webinar is a great opportunity to be front and center, voice to ears, if you will. And you can see what these people are made of. And you click in, you opt in for the big workshop or something at the end.
John: Right. So let's go to that first step, Jayme. We've talked about the lead magnet that draws people into your list to subscribe. They've opted in. So now we can look at the five steps that a funnel might take them through.
Jayme: Okay. I can't wait to hear it. Yay.
John: Woo. Yay. The first step is what Ryan Deiss calls the indoctrination series or it's like a welcome series. The emails, it might be one, it may be two or three, that go into this series, but the purpose is to introduce yourself and your company and your brand and who you are, what you stand for and that kind of a thing, and to set expectations for what they can anticipate getting from you. How frequently will you be emailing them and what kind of emails might they be expecting to get?
And then a very important part of that introduction series also is to really explain thoroughly what the benefits are of being a subscriber to the email list. You don't wanna ever take your subscribers for granted. Once they opt in, give you permission to contact them, that's a very personal thing, so you don't want to abuse that. You want to make sure that they understand the value, the benefit, of being a subscriber.
And there are two other elements to this indoctrination phase that are very important to set things up for going forward and one of those is to get what is called a "micro-commitments" from your new subscriber.
Jayme: What is that?
John: That is just a small action you are asking them to take at the very beginning. For example, you might ask them, "Hey, make sure you go check your email filter and white list our address so that you are sure to get the messages that we email you and that they don't get filtered into another folder."
Jayme: I have one. Well, here's a very simple one. Did you see my blog post today? It's on this topic. You might click here if you'd like to read it. It's really full of tips. Blah, blah, blah. Very simple.
John: Exactly. That's perfectly right on, Jayme. Those kinds of small, little actions, follow us on Twitter. Check out our Facebook page, just some small, little action like that. There's some psychology that happens there, Jayme. Just by taking a small, micro-commitment, you're establishing a pattern of compliance with the subscriber so that, down the road, when you're asking them to make a purchase, human nature is to be consistent with actions you've already taken.
Jayme: Well, too, John, I want to also mention that, on the flip side, the person receiving those emails, I don't want to be reading 8 to 10 paragraphs of an email every week from one list. I want those simple, micro-opportunities to click or do or just stay involved. It builds trust, on my end, that I'm not gonna be spammed or scammed or that it's not gonna take my time.
John: Right. Yup.
Jayme: So, there you go. Think, too, of your audience, of your subscriber and what kind of action do you want from them and what kind of trust are you building?
John: Yup. The other, last part of that I wanted to emphasize for the indoctrination series is something that we will probably spend more time on, maybe an entire episode on this topic in the future, and that is open a curiosity loop.
Jayme: Oh, gosh.
John: Now this is a really cool concept, not only for email marketing, but for other kinds of content marketing, as well. What that does is it builds anticipation for your next email, for your next message, for the next content. And it's just something like leaving a cliffhanger out there. Hey, make sure you watch out for the next message. I've got a really special tip I'm gonna share.
John: A special sales offer I'm gonna share. A freebie I'm gonna give away.
Jayme: Something new being offered.
John: For you to download, but make sure you tune in next week, kids. That type of thing. So those are the critical parts of the welcome series, the introduction series, what we call The Indoctrination Series. That sounds kinda negative to me, but it's getting your subscribers oriented to the program.
Jayme: Sounds like we should change the word to "nurturing." It's the nurturing aspect. I hate "The Indoctrination." It's terrible.
John: Yeah, I'm not totally comfortable with it, either, but this whole funnel series is about nurturing and The Indoctrination is the first step towards nurturing that. The second step, let's go into that because this one's interesting, too. And this is where it gets into the real heart, should I say heart of the matter? No, we're not gonna go there, yet.
But the step number two is "engagement." The primary goal of the engagement step is to make an initial sale. So, you brought your new subscriber through the orientation and the whole point is "We're gonna build on that trust and we're gonna get them to make a purchase." The duration of that series, sometimes you wonder how many emails do I need to send in this engagement series in order to convert a sale? What would you say, Jayme?
Jayme: Oh, gosh. You know, advertising has that 9 and 27 rule. You've see it 9 times before you make an impression and then 27 times before they make a purchase. So, as far as this goes, would it be five times, John?
John: The answer is there's not definitive number.
Jayme: Oh, you're kidding.
John: What it's going to depend on though, you need to look at the price point of what you're selling. If it's a big-ticket item and it's a complex product, if it's something that's maybe a piece of software or something that involves a lot more explanation in order for them to understand it and understand the value of it, then obviously you're going to need to take them through a longer duration of messages. So, your series might go from a three-email series to five to seven to ten, depending upon what those factors are.
Jayme: Well, let me jump in here because one of my peers in our space, John, offered a workshop. It must've been a workshop or a course, a whole entire course on something, right? How to Be a Better Writer. I don't know, something like that. He actually engaged peer bloggers and, at the very same time, one morning, these four or five bloggers that I happened to notice, at the same time, were announcing this bait course. So, I started clicking around and I got to the source and where I was gonna find the price and the price is never visible, up front. You gotta click in deeper, like two or three times before you get the price, right? Oh, this price is like $2,300. I'm like, "Oh, my gosh!"
John: There's using micro-commitments there, by the way, Jayme, getting you to click in deeper and deeper.
Jayme: Well, all I wanted to do was know the price. I'm like, "What the heck is this gonna teach me?" They gave me the list of what I was gonna get, the value of what I was gonna get and I was like "Oh, this sounds really good. Blah, blah, blah." You know, knowing me, that I would never do it, but I clicked and saw the price and I'm like, "Wow, that's amazing. Good for them. Are they gonna get anybody to buy that?" And I thought, "Gosh, we should be doing that too, John." $2,000 for whatever we're gonna sell.
John: Here's the other thing about that, Jayme, is when you do have a big-ticket item like that that's your marquis product, you don't start by pitching that right off the bat. I think the smart thing to do is to take them through a stepped purchase process, where you sell maybe a piece of the marquis product so that they get a taste for the value of it and they are satisfied with that purchase and are comfortable with that price point. And then, after they make that commitment, then you take them further on up the sale's cycle until they buy that big marquis.
Jayme: Well, this person, I won't say his name, but he's been around for a long time doing this work and so this is not anything that should be a surprise for his community, because they probably were being trained to get ready for it. And the thing is, as you said, marquis products are not birthed right away out of the gate. I bet they spend three, four, five years in the making. As this digital marketer has grown and realized his potential, that's why he's able now to bill out for that kind of a product and so that should be stated.
Digital marketing, inbound marketing, you start out with baby steps, and you have to build credibility and your reputation before people buy from you on a consistent basis. And your stuff has to sing. You can't just put out slop work. Don't think that people aren't smart. They're gonna not keep buying your material and content unless it's valuable.
[sound effect, dumb man laughing]
Jayme: That was not funny.
John: That's not your average buyer, by the way. People that Jayme was talking about. People are not stupid.
Jayme: People are smart.
John: That's right.
Jayme: I should go into the sound bite business, that's all I'm saying. Sell sound bites. That would be my first tickler. Micro opt-in, Jayme's Sound Bites. Okay, good.
John: There you go. Yes. Well, to finish out this section here on engagement, I think one of the questions that people have about writing email series and, Jayme, I know you struggled with this for a while because you were sharing that with me. That is to figure out what do you write in a series? How do you take your subscribers through a series of emails and what should they say?
There are a lot of really cool ways you can approach this. We aren't gonna dig real deep into all of them, because there's just no time for it, but I'll give you one example of one that would work for the engagement series, where you're trying to get that initial sale. That is to use three primary motivators behind a message. So, three messages, three motivators and that's called The Gain, Logic, Fear Series.
John: And basically, it follows a textbook direct marketing approach to persuading people to buy and that is based on the idea that the first message focuses on gain, based on the principle that we move towards the things that we want. It's basically a benefit-driven message. So that first email will be all about the benefit that they are going to receive from your offer.
The second email, then, would be logic. That's based on the principle that we move towards what makes logical sense. And the third message in the series would be based on fear. That's a universal tactic that advertising and branding and direct marketers have used for decades, that's based on we move away from things that cause pain, loss or harm.
And there's a real good reason why these three elements are in the sequence that I have presented them in and are usually used that way in a series and that is, you start out with gain. Benefit is usually the first thing a person looks for in any product decision. What's in it for me? What am I gonna get? So, you hit 'em with that message first.
As we've talked about in previous episodes, the decision-making process for choosing a brand or product is not based on the rational mind. We make a decision about anything that we buy based on emotion first and then we go back and rationalize it with logic. So, putting logic in the middle of the series makes sense because, if they don't buy it from you after the first message where you lay on the benefits and what they gain from it, the second message comes at them and gives them a logical reason why it makes sense that you should do this. The third approach is okay, they resisted the first two pitches. Third approach is fear. Fear is like, "What am I gonna lose if I let this pass by?"
John: So, they build on each other. It's a logical sequence. It's an example of how you can put together an auto-responder series for that stage of engagement. This is where the art and the science of marketing come together, because you can stack your email messages this way and you can add to them and expand on them however you need, to in order to convert the sales. And you learn things through the responses that you get to the previous messages and, based on what you learn, you can add to your auto-responder series.
Jayme: John, take a breath.
Jayme: I have to put a plug in for our neuromarketing episode that we just published, episode 32. What you're saying is exactly what goes on in neuromarketing and we talkied very in-depth about what is neuromarketing? Is it a crock of bull? I think it's a crock, but listen to John. He's been talking and waxing and waning for, oh, I don't know. How long have you been talking without a breath now, John? Five minutes? Yeah. Probably.
John: Hey, I got so much to say. I don't have time to breathe.
Jayme: I know. I can't get a word in edgewise. Darn it. Episode 32 on neuromarketing, really, and this episode, here, about how funnels are built and how emails [inaudible 00:25:59] really kind of tap into that emotional aspect of consumers and the marketers who are smart marketers will really understand the best way to write that kind of email.
John: Great point.
Jayme: Carry on.
John: Thank you for bringing that up, Jayme, because I was going to mention it myself, but I was too busy--
Jayme: You had to take a breath. I thought you needed a sip of water or something.
John: Yes, I probably did. Let me go to that third step now, because we covered that engagement pretty thoroughly. The next step is also really critical for your business development because this is where the real fun happens. It's called the Ascension step. Basically what you're doing is you're adding on. You get a subscriber to make an initial purchase. And, once that happens, there's all kinds of opportunity to grow that sale and that's what the Ascension stage is, is you develop a series of messages for recent purchasers with the intention of adding on to the sale. You make add-on offers.
Here's the principle at stake here. For every offer that you make, there's always a percentage of buyers who will buy more from you. They get on a roll and you get excited about a product and whoever's offering the product and you come back and they offer you something else and it's like, "Yeah, that sounds great, too." So, it's silly not to come back to a recent purchaser and not offer them something else. You're missing opportunity, if you don't.
Jayme: And here's the thing, the psychology of that purchase decision, 'cuz I know because I do it all the time, is there's that fear factor. What if this offer is going away? What if it's gonna be twice the amount tomorrow? What if, by midnight tonight, when they have a clock counting down on their darn website where I can see that damn clock counting down, what if that price goes up $400 or $500, which it always does, and they tell me it's going to. Then I've gotta make that purchase, even if I won't read it, do it, take it, see it or learn it, right?
John: Exactly. Yes. I'm just gonna share a few ideas for how you can approach this for add-on offers. Maybe you've already done some of these things, but you maybe have not thought about it in context of email marketing. The first one is real obvious, the immediate upsale. Offer the next higher-up item that you have in your product line right away. Oh, you bought this? How would you like the premium model of that?
Another one is doing a cross-sell, where you just say, "Hey, this product is a perfect complement to this product. It's related." And you offer them an opportunity to buy the complementary product. You can also bundle like-minded products or related products into a kit type of a thing that is a bigger ticket item and offer that to them.
There are affiliate products that you can offer, as well. If you don't have a lot of products in your bag right now, you can still look for affiliates to team up with and bundle an affiliate product with your product. And, of course, you can get into the subscription model and offer a premium subscription on top of what they purchase, a subscription to a mastermind group that they can get into. Jayme, what else? Can you think of another example of a subscription?
Jayme: Yeah, there's--
John: You can get behind gated content on a website, something like that.
Jayme: Password protected. Yeah. I think that, as you're talking I'm thinking how does the service business engage in something like this? And I think we, in the service business, either you have to create your own products, which would be content, or books or value ad tip sheets or how-to manuals, number one, but number two, that affiliate marketing thing is very alive and well and that means that you go to a company, like a Host Gator, which is like a web host or an Amazon and you market their products under your banner and then you get a cut from them when you make a sale with a call to action or a link into their product sale site. Then, you get a cut on it and that's how you can do a little bit of selling. It's not 100% yours, but, nonetheless, you're offering something in your pipeline and in your funnel to keep people actively engaged.
John: Good point. I would like to quickly go to the next one, Jayme, here and that is the fourth step. It's Segmentation. Segmentation is when you are looking at your subscription list and you realize that there are a number of people that have not responded at all to any of your emails in the series and you need to take action at a certain point, because there are ramification for a low engagement rate and that we'll talk about that a little bit more in number five. You want to activate those non-responders. You want to have a dedicated series, in place, to really go after them and bring them into an engagement funnel.
So, what you will do is you segment those subscribers out. You kinda start the process over again. You get them to opt in again. Send them a lead magnet. What this does is it effectively re-consummates the relationship. You might think, "Well, they already opted in to my email list. Why would I have to do this again?" Well, that's why. It's kinda like a restart and, with the restart, it gives them a sense that they might wanna plug into your offers if they're presented in a different way.
So, there are some things that you can do to try to engage them and move them into a relevant engagement series on your funnel. I'm gonna give you a couple of ideas here. One of them is like a goodwill campaign. You start them off with high-value content that you give away. You take them to a landing page, call to action in your email and to a landing page. All of that is getting them to take a little micro-commitment step, what we talked about earlier. Other ways that you can engage them would be to get them to participate in a survey of some sort, whether it's an interest in a product or if it's an industry-related survey. Just get them engaged.
Jayme: Well, I have something that's even simpler than that, John. I'm on, as I said, many list of peers in the market and I haven't clicked on one guy's stuff in forever and he wrote me an email and he said, "I see you haven't engaged or you haven't clicked on any of my offers in three months. We're in the process of cleaning our list. If you'd like to stay involved, click here." Blah, blah, blah. Something like that.
John: What you've just described, Jayme, is what you do in step number five.
Jayme: Oh, okay. Sorry.
John: But you're on the exact right path. That's kinda your last-ditch effort, the Hail Mary pass. But the idea is there. You want to trigger some sort of engagement. So, another idea, I mentioned participating in a survey. You coujld get them to sign up for a webinar. Jayme's talked about that already and she's also mentioned another good one and that is to drive them to a blog content series that you might have that has a lot of value to it. Give them a link, say "here, go check this out. I think you could really benefit from it." Get them to go there. And, of course, there's always the tried and true severe discount sale offer.
Jayme: Like free?
John: Bargain basement.
Jayme: Almost free now?
John: Well, sometimes a super-cheap product that they buy, there's more perceived value in it and you might get more of a response if it's a $9.99 download versus a free download. That's something to test, though. But, the last stage, number five, is the re-engagement series it's called and that's what Jayme started us down with, but it's for totally disengaged subscribers, people that have opted in early on, but every single message that you have sent has gone unopened, there's been no clicks.
There's basically five engagement measures that internet service providers look at for email and that is your open rates, your click rates, so if nobody's opening, nobody is clicking, nobody's forwarding or sharing the email, if they have unsubscribed to the list, obviously that's a bad sign. All of those things affect your deliverability over time. So, if you have these hardcore disengaged subscribers in your list and they're just not engaging at all, eventually you want to get them off your list or do whatever it takes to get them to engage because, if they don't engage, you're going to be hit with deliverability penalties. Your emails are gonna start going straight to the spam folders. All kinds of bad things happen. Even the good email addresses will get diverted.
So, there's a good reason to pay attention to who is not engaging and make sure that, at the right time, you decide, "Hey, we better just get these names off of our list to keep our list clean," and that's what Jayme was talking about. One of the things you can do is say, "Hey, we noticed you haven't been opening our emails and we don't wanna be a pest and we're cleaning up our list and, unless you wanna stop hearing from us, click on this link and go and let us know." That's a really good way to get them back in the fold.
Jayme: So, John, have you gone through all five steps of that book?
John: Yes. I have. That's all five steps.
Jayme: So, who does this work, John? Who is this person on your team who does all this work?
John: Depends on how big your team is.
Jayme: That's what I'm talking about. Oh my gosh. My head is spinning, buddy. Oh, my gosh. So, seriously, this is why I failed as a small business owner, because I really couldn't do it all. I couldn't learn all this. I still don't know all the nuances of a funnel. I mean, I can create a funnel, but, gosh, what do I do with it? And then you've gotta get your email software built in, your Constant Contact, your Infusionsoft, your Aweber, your MailChimp. One of those has to be part of your ability to manage your email list. Then, somebody's got to monitor that email list. There's just so many filters you can put, but we have to start somewhere.
John: You do, and here's the silver lining, Jayme, is that, you're right. It is a lot of work upfront to set all this up, get your email service in place, get your funnel figured out and write up your messages for your email funnels, but once you get up to a certain point, so much of it you can automate that it really makes is easy for smaller people, smaller business, to operate like a much larger organization, because your auto-responder series, once it's written and it's working, you just put it on the shelf and it's automatic. Somebody opts in on day one, day two, they get the beginning of the Introduction series and, depending upon the actions they take, it operates like a machine.
You go through the different auto-responder series and all you have to do is occasionally look at your analytics, which you'll get those automatically from the email service. And you can monitor the list activity and you can monitor what you're doing for lead maintenance to get new people into the funnel. And you can focus on those things and focus on creating the products and getting more products, but it becomes increasingly easier to manage once you launch but you need people who are gonna be focused on what products to develop and offer. You need people who are gonna be looking at the analytics and you probably need some technical people and sometimes they're all the same person.
Jayme: Yeah, unfortunately like Jayme Soulati, who fails. But, no, I think what you said is exactly spot on. You hire the consultants you need to implement and get the text set up and then it runs itself, but that email list management is a hummer. You have to be diligent about managing that list. And I'll tell you what. Here's one tip. Are we going to the heart of the matter, John, or?
John: Let's do go to the heart of the matter, Jayme, 'cuz I think you were just ramping up for that.
Jayme: So, one tip is then. You get emotional about your list. Do not get emotional about your list. When someone whom you may know unsubscribes from your list, don't get all huffy and hissy about it, because it's not personal. I feel bad when I opt out of someone's list. I just don't have time to read everything that I subscribe to and when I see the content as not being relevant to my day and my needs, then I'm gonna opt out. But I always try to give a reason why I'm leaving, especially if it's somebody I know, but you as an email marketer, as a digitial marketer, it's just business. People opt in and out all the time. They can't find something they need. They don't want to buy from you. Whatever it is, just don't get emotional about it. Don't get mad.
John: Yeah, the thing that I would add to that is if it's happening a lot, if you're seeing a trend, that's the time to step back and start looking at why it might be the case.
Jayme: That's a great point. Yeah.
John: Is there a lack of value coming through? Are your messages just not resonating? Are they not relevant? That's the time to start tweaking things.
Jayme: Well, here's another really easy. I would expect everybody to get off my list because I'm dormant. When you're dormant, forget about it. When you send nothing out and someone's on your list and all of a sudden here comes one thing, "Hi. I've been dormant for six months or a year. Gosh, you wanna re-opt in with me?" Well, you know what? That's just stabds for "Okay, this woman doesn't know what the heck she's doing. I should get off this list. Whatever." Or, they'll stay on to see, be curious. Maybe she's serious this time.
Jayme: I mean, as a small-business owner or a mid-tier business owner, if you've never done this before, you do have to be vigilant about learning the ropes and getting the right team in place. So we did talk about that and that's a great tip here on The Heart of the Matter is to have your content strategist and someone to develop that content for you, as well as your IT dude and someone to manager your list and the overall marketer. I don't think it's going to be the same person, John. I just can't see that happening, in this day and age. I don't think one person can do it anymore.
John: No, unless, you're a solo-preneur and that's all you got going on.
Jayme: Yeah, that's not even the case.
John: But that's a lot. It's a lot.
jayme: Yeah, that's not even the case. Here's the other thing. I represent clients. I am, in my virtual agency, Soulati Media, I work for clients. I attempted to build my own brand and business online beyond just being a blogger and influencer. I attempted to go that digital route as a solo and that's when I miserably failed, John, because I did not have the time to represent my clients and build my hours for them versus working solely for myself and building my funnel, etc. So, I have to just draw the line there. The people doing it very well out there, right now, and the ones making six figures in digital marketing are those who are truly working for themselves.
John: And, they probably have a virtual team, as well.
Jayme: They do. I've heard it.
John: They've got virtual assistants and other help that they can team up with.
Jayme: The stories are still very solid, from the get-go. Out of the gate, these people struggled, as well. They didn't have income for a year as they built their teams and funnels and sales cycles. So, this isn't an easy endeavor, digital marketing, but you can try a couple of things and I think the first thing, John, we'll have to get into this another time but email list-building and the importance of that in order to have your funnel and your auto-responders and your email marketing work.
John: Yup. You gotta have somebody to mail to.
Jayme: What tips do you have?
John: I would add to or maybe just reiterate a couple of things with regard to building your funnel. And that is: be thinking about your add-on possibilities. That's where you can really make money with your email marketing funnel. Don't think about one transaction and then done. And we talked about that in the Ascension step, about how to make more offers and expand the offerings that you have.
So, that's a really important success factor. Another one is to use that whole idea of micro-commitments throughout your auto-responder series. Keep people engaged in your messages. Get them to commit a little bit here, a little bit there, a little bit there until they're comfortable with you. It helps to build a relationship, build trust. What else was I going to say? There's one other item I forgot now. I will leave that as a cliffhanger for next time. So, tune in. So, anyways, Jayme, I think we really covered a lot here today.
Jayme: We did. There's so many more questions I have and I think though, that the final tip we'll leave the audience with is this, is that this digital marketing stuff is just not about the one-off engagement with customers. This is about you, as a brand, building trust with your customer and having that loyal, long-term engagement strategy.
John: And that is our show for today.
Jayme: Go be rock hot, guys. Thanks for listening.
John: And remember, go for the heart. You won't go wrong.
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