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SPI 406: The 7 DOs and DON’Ts of Email Marketing Success

We have a lot of guests on SPI, but one thing that I’ve been hearing time and time again from you is that you want to hear from me. What strategies am I using? What’s working? What’s not? That’s why for today’s episode, I want to focus on the dos and don’ts of email marketing that I’ve learned from years of trial and error.

In this episode, we’ll focus on what to do—and what not to do—to drastically improve your open rates and make email marketing that works. We’ll talk about subject lines, and why you need to be spending way more time on them than you think. We’ll also cover why I think most of you aren’t sending enough emails, while also going over that all-important question: How much is too much? For all of this, ConvertKit is a great tool that I recommend that makes everything easier. [Full disclosure: I am a compensated advisor and affiliate for ConvertKit.]

One other thing from this episode that I want to make sure you don’t miss is the new course I’m launching to help you master the finer points of email marketing. It’s called Email Marketing Magic, and the goal is to give you everything you need to not only get started but also get more out of what you’ve already built. This has been one of our most-requested courses, so check it out and start doing more.

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Pat Flynn: Hey, what’s up, Team Flynn? I’ve been getting a lot of comments from the listeners—that’s you—that although you love the guests that I have on the show, several have helped you out in so many different ways, you still often want to hear from me. And you just want me to just tell you what’s working, what’s not, in certain different arenas within the online business space. You just want to get into my brain, and that’s exactly what I’m going to give you today. Today you’re going to hear the seven email marketing dos and don’ts.

We just started 2020, a brand new decade. Email is going to be more important than ever as a result of social media and a number of other companies that we use for exposure; just putting algorithms in the way. Our emails, we can control. However, we’re battling against the noise of other people also using emails. So, how do we fight through that? How do we maximize this effort? How do we actually get paid back in a hundredfold for the cost of a good email marketing software?

Now, of course, many of you know that I use ConvertKit. I’m a big, big fan of ConvertKit. I’m an affiliate, as well as an advisor for the company. [Full Disclaimer: As an affiliate, I receive compensation if you purchase through this link.] However, this particular episode, it will not matter what email service provider you use. Depending on the one that you do use, or if you haven’t gotten one yet, definitely start with ConvertKit if you want, SmartPassiveIncome.com/convertkit for a free trial. Some of these things, in order to implement them, it’s going to be a little bit harder in some programs than others. If you are with ConvertKit, then a lot of this stuff is just kind of built right in.

So, here’s what we’re going to be talking about today. We’re just going to start off right after the intro music with the biggest mistake, the number one mistake that I’m seeing a number of my students and other entrepreneurs make, and the quick and easy thing we can do to solve that. Next, we’re going to talk about the most important part of the email. Do you know what it is? We’ll see. Number three: it actually starts with a question. Why do people subscribe? And how can we take advantage of that reason to get more people on our email list?

Then we’re going to talk about the one thing that I did to increase my open rates kind of instantly, really. And then we’re going to talk about the way that I was able to increase my open rates from twenty-five to sixty percent. It’s not an easy thing but it is definitely worth the effort. Then, I’m going to talk about some email marketing magic, and then finally, something that you can do to save money and get more honest numbers in your email service provider. So, if that all sounds good to you, make sure you stick around, and I’ll see you on the other side of the intro. Let’s do this!

Announcer: Welcome to the Smart Passive Income Podcast, where it’s all about working hard now so you can sit back and reap the benefits later. Now, your host, Pat Flynn.

Pat: What’s up, everybody? Pat Flynn here, here to help you make more money, save more time, and help more people, too. Today we’re talking about email marketing dos and don’ts, the seven that I am just really, really wanting to lay down right now so that you can have the best and most profitable year in your business. And hopefully, email is a part of that. And to start out, I’m just going to start with, like I said earlier, the biggest mistake that most people are making . . . you know, you have an email service provider, you’re getting your things going, but you’re not sending as many emails as you should. That’s number one.

Do send more emails. Do not send more irrelevant emails, or too many emails where it would just upset people. But in most cases, many of my students are not communicating enough with their subscribers. Most are just too afraid. What are they afraid of? What are you afraid of? Maybe you’re afraid of annoying your subscribers. Maybe you’re afraid of people unsubscribing. Maybe you’re afraid of somebody replying and being upset at you. Well, that’s not going to happen if you follow some simple and basic rules.

Number one: hopefully, you realize that not all emails should be about selling something. I think a lot of people equate email marketing, because marketing is a part of that, to selling, but no, I think marketing is relationship-building. So there’s a number of different things you can do to quote-unquote “market” that is not selling, but building a deeper relationship with your audience.

Number one: you can ask questions. You can ask questions like, “What are you struggling with right now?” or, “What’s the number one biggest challenge you have related to blank?”. You can also provide help and surprise people, and offer advice, and tell stories. Telling stories in your emails are great. And what happens is when you begin to communicate with your email subscribers more, you will, then in turn, as a byproduct, train your subscribers to learn you have amazing stuff.

Imagine you send an email every two months. Unless that email is mind-blowing, which even if it is, actually, people are not going to think about you. They’re not going to remember that email every single day. However, if you chime in every single week, for example, you’re going to be on top of people’s minds, especially if you continue to surprise people. Especially if you continue to show relevance. Especially if you continue to get people results.

So, do send more emails. I think most of you know that you need to send emails, and if you’re sending zero, again, you need to get started. But even if you are sending emails, likely you’re not sending as many as you probably could because you’re afraid. But why don’t you get excited about communicating with your audience more? Just do not send more irrelevant emails or too many. So, that’s do/do not number one.

Alright, so next, we’re going to talk about the most important part of the email. I challenged you earlier to see if you would get this right. You have any ideas on what the most important part of an email is? It is the subject line. So, do spend more time on subject lines; don’t let people down after they open that email.

Like a YouTube thumbnail—YouTube is a very, very finicky platform. The thumbnail is the most important part of the video. It’s a still frame, but it is the most important thing because it is what captures people’s attention amongst all the other noise out there, and guess what? There’s a ton of noise in people’s inboxes, more than ever. It’s the first thing people see, though, which is why we need to spend most of our time on it. Sometimes I spend more time on the subject line than I do actually writing the email itself.

And I remember going to a video conference, for example, and there was a couple talks, a couple breakout sessions, that were an hour and a half each, all about the thumbnail alone. And I know that you don’t spend as much time on the subject line of your email as you should. There’s thing called POFD. P-O-F-D. I want you to keep that in mind. POFD. Doesn’t really work that way, but POFD: Point Of First Decision. Point Of First Decision. This is the moment people decide amongst the other noise out there who is going to get that click.

And I want you to imagine . . . you have a bunch of emails in your inbox. What do you see first before you even read the body of the email or download that thing that’s inside, or hear about that offer? You see the subject line and who it’s from. So, do spend more time on subject lines. I would recommend exploring the idea of being a little bit more curiosity-driven within those subject lines so that people will click through them. However, do not let people down. Do not bait and switch. “Inside this email, the number one thing you need to get rich,” and then all of a sudden, you’re asking for people’s credit cards. That’s a classic bait-and-switch, and nobody feels good on the other end of that.

You don’t want to send emails that are a waste of time. Maybe the subject line was the best thing in the world, and then they open it, they get all excited, and then they go, “Oh, well, that was kind of a letdown.” You need to follow up. You need to deliver on the promise of the subject line. And you have to also pay attention to what’s irrelevant and working in your niche. If I were to include some Buzzfeed-like subject lines on my blog, on podcast episodes, or especially in email, it just wouldn’t get a good response because this market, the entrepreneurial market, is very, very oversaturated and just tired of, “Top ten lists: number six will blow your mind,” which is I didn’t say that.

“Number seven is the best one of all these.” No, I’m just kidding, I’m not going to do that. Actually, they’re all great, so stick around, please. So, do spend more time on subject lines. Do not let people down. And hopefully, I’m not letting you down in this episode. Hope that even if you have to go work already and you want to continue this later, you’re already getting a lot of value. Your gears are spinning in your brain. I’ve maybe caught you a little lazy with your email. Well, that’s good, because I think that you all know that you need to step it up, and don’t worry, I was right there, too. And when you do, life on the other end is amazing. You’re able to make your customers, your students, your audience, your subscribers happy. You’re able to get thanked for the emails that you send. And if you have campaigns built into them and you do it right, you can make more money, too, and everybody can win, and that’s what I want for you, too.

So, make sure you keep listening. Hopefully, you’re enjoying this. If you happen to be somewhere in a spot where you can just shoot me an Instagram message, @patflynn, let me know you’re in the middle of this and you’re loving it. Anyway, let’s keep going here. I appreciate you.

Do and don’t number three. And I want to start with a question. The question is: why do people subscribe in the first place? Why would people give you their email address? Is it because they want more emails? No, nobody wakes up in the morning and says, “I can’t wait to give my email address so that I get more emails back.” Nobody says that. But people have problems, pains, needs, wants, concerns, and if in exchange for an email address, they can get those things solved, or have something that they didn’t have before, well, then, guess what? They’re more likely to subscribe.

So do offer a lead magnet. That’s the lesson here. Do offer a lead magnet, some incentive to convince a person that it’s worth exchanging their very private email address with you, and that could be a number of different things. I have a YouTube video that we’ll link to in the show notes with 17 different lead magnet ideas, everything from a checklist to videos and all those kinds of things. I’ll link to that, or if you want, you could type in “17 Lead Magnet Ideas,” and you can put my name in there, Pat Flynn, for good measure, just to make sure you find it. You’ll watch that video. I think it’s ten, fifteen minutes long? But it’ll go over some quick ideas for you.

But here’s the do not: do offer a lead magnet; do not offer a fifty-page ebook. Why? Well, first of all, that’s a big lead magnet. It’s almost overwhelming. It’s almost going to stop me from subscribing to your list because I don’t want to have to read fifty pages. Now, there are exceptions to the rule, obviously. If you are the industry leader and people just want every single word that you say, and you have a lot to say, then I think it doesn’t really matter how many pages your lead magnet is—people want to hear from you. Although, perhaps, you might be able to repurpose that or turn it into something a little bit more authoritative. Rather than a PDF, for example, maybe it becomes a book on Amazon or what have you.

But do not offer a fifty-page ebook. People’s time matters. I think that you could do just as well with a single-page PDF file that gives something of value and relevance to your target audience. So, knowing what they need and what they are struggling with can be a big help. If you can understand what their first steps might need to be or what those big objections are at the start of their journey with you, then perhaps an answer for that could be an amazing lead magnet idea.

A quick win is something fantastic. “Download this and within ten minutes, you’re going to save fifteen percent on your cable bill.” That’s a made up lead magnet, however, you could probably go to Ramit Sethi’s site, IWillTeachYouToBeRich.com, and actually find that very thing, because that’s what turned me on to him. Quick wins matter.

And what the beauty of this is, is your lead magnet should support where people are eventually going to go in the email sequence that you offer them, or in the follow-ups that you have, or in the further future communication that you have with them. So, if it’s a lead magnet about, I don’t know, podcasting, but then you get put into a funnel where I sell you into my course about starting a business from scratch, Smart From Scratch, it doesn’t really make sense. However, if you download the Podcast Cheat Sheet, and then you’re getting some value, but then you see an offer for something that goes a little bit more deeper like Power-Up Podcasting, which is my course, then it makes sense. And that lead magnet that we have, the Podcast Cheat Sheet, is doing awesome. And it is doing just that, leading people in a perfect conversation through a number of emails and through experience, into if people want to go deeper, an offer into Power-Up Podcasting. And it works because it’s relevant, so make the lead magnet relevant to where you know people are going.

Next, we have email marketing do and don’t number four. This is the one thing that I do in my emails that just increases the percentages almost instantly. On average, this tactic allows you to likely get a three to five percent bump in your open rate. However, I’ve seen upwards of ten percent, and there’s different strategies revolving around this, and that strategy is do resend to unopens; do not send the exact same email to an unopen.

Well, what do I mean by that? Well, let’s talk about this a little bit. Resending to an unopen means sending an email, basically the same email, back to a person who did not open the initial email they got. And if you’re using a tool like ConvertKit, it’s very simple to do. Almost a single click of a button to create a second version of that email that you can actually edit and then resend, and it only sends to people who did not register an open on that initial email that you sent. And like I said, it’ll give you an immediate increase in your average open rate, and ConvertKit will show you the combined percentage for those two emails together. Yeah, some words I just can’t say.

But what I can say is that you should definitely not send the exact same email. You could just hit a button and it’ll send it out, but I would recommend changing the subject line a little bit. Perhaps maybe if you . . . and a lot of people ask, “Pat, how soon after I send that initial email should I resend to unopens?” I would say two days, forty-eight hours, at least, and that way people have time to catch up and they’re not seeing double email. But one thing I do to help make it a little bit better is I redo the subject line, I change it around a little bit, and then I also change the intro or add a little bit of an intro in that second version that says, “Hey, in case you missed this, I really wanted to make sure it got in front of you because, XYZ,” and have it be a very, very clear and very obvious, but also very direct reason why you really wanted to make sure this person opened it.

And what this does is it captures those people who may have been busy when they saw that email come through, or maybe they were too busy, they didn’t see your initial email come through. There’s a lot of noise, like I said. Or maybe they saw your email come through and they just didn’t think it was very serious, or it wasn’t something that important, but, hey, wow, you’re resending it again? This must be something I need to really look at. And if you just frame it as, “Hey, by the way, I’m resending you the email that I sent a couple days out to a number of people, and I just wanted to make sure it got in front of you,” then it’s never going to go, “Hey, you just resent me the same exact email.” It’s, “Oh, no, I’m actually thankful you did that, because I missed it the first time, and this was really helpful.”

As they often say, the fortune is in the follow-up. There’s some nuances there. Wait a couple days. Send it out. Try it out. There are times, just so you know, and this is another reason why we change up the second email before we send it out to those unopens, is there are times when a person will still be able to read your email and it doesn’t register as a click. Not hugely common, but it’s common in most broadcast emails that one or two people will be able to read it without actually opening it. Maybe it’s a preview or something like that, and it doesn’t fire out a ping to ConvertKit to say, “Oh, this person actually opened it,” so then you send them the second one again. And then, you can even sort of soften that email, that second one, by just going, “Hey, and if you already saw this email, no worries. Sorry. I just really wanted to make sure it got in front of you.” So, that’s email marketing do number four: do resend to unopens.

Try it once. If you’ve never tried it before, I promise you you’re going to see some results, and I’ve even had people thank me, saying, “Hey, thanks for resending this to me. I missed it the first time,” or, “I meant to get back to it. I appreciate the follow-up reminder.”

Do and do not number five. And this is actually something that, when I did this—and again, it wasn’t easy to do, but when I did this, and I’ll tell you the steps—it allowed me to increase my open rates from twenty-five percent to an average of sixty percent. That is a huge jump. That’s . . . what is that? For every hundred emails, twenty-five get opened, versus for every hundred emails, sixty get opened? That’s a dramatic difference, and if you’re talking about conversion rates and click-through rates and all that stuff, I mean, that’s huge.

So what did I do? What do you do? Do tag and segment your list. What does that mean? That means learn about the sub-niches within your email subscriber base. There are a number of things you can do using questions, and I learned this from a book called Ask (Amazon link), from Ryan Levesque, one of my favorite books of all time. [Full Disclaimer: As an affiliate, I receive compensation if you purchase through this link.] It’s had a dramatic and massive difference on my business and how I deliver emails to my audience, and the response that I get, and obviously, like I said, the open rate.

But by asking certain questions, you can understand the different buckets that are in your audience. And so, for example, when I did this research, I found out that there were a large number of people in my audience who didn’t even lift a finger to ever even start their own business yet. They were following me because they were motivated; they always wanted to get started, but they never started yet.

Another bucket was people who had started, they’re getting some results in their online business, but they’re just struggling. They just don’t have the time or the know-how to learn how to scale the little success they’ve had, and that’s a second large part of my audience. And then the third large part of my audience are people who are established online business owners who are doing good, but they’re at that point where they’re just, “Okay, I need to learn how to hire a team. I need to learn how to scale. I need to learn how to say no.”

What’s beautiful about this is I’ve learned that each of these different buckets, just like in your audience, have different needs. They have different wants. They have different solutions. They each also speak differently, as well. Bucket one, the people who have yet to start a business, their fears might be like, “I’m afraid I’m going to fail. I’m afraid I don’t even know where to start. What if I just waste my time? What if I just waste my money?” By the way, tagline of my book, Will It Fly: How to Test Your Next Business Idea So You Don’t Waste Your Time and Money (Amazon link).

This research did much more than just help me with my email. It helped me with what books to write, and the language that these buckets will respond with should end up in the material that you give to them. And the beauty of this is this just removes all the guesswork. This is why I love—like I mentioned earlier, and let me flip back my notes here . . . I can’t remember which tip I mentioned it, but I had mentioned questions that you could your send your email list. Oh, this was actually number one, I think. It was the idea of asking, “Well, what are your biggest challenges right now?” And the bucket ones would say, “My biggest challenge is just . . . overwhelmed with where to even start, with being afraid of what my spouse and my loved ones are going to say when I try to do this, or I’m afraid what my boss is going to say when he sees that I’m trying something new.”

Those are all very different challenges than people who have already started, but aren’t seeing results like they wanted to. “I’m afraid the work I put in is all for nothing. I’m afraid that I’m going to grow too slowly, and I’m afraid that I’m going to upset my email list. I’m afraid that the work that I put into building this online business, this online course, or that these products that I’m working on are just going to fail. I’m afraid of success,” is another one.

And then bucket number three, those are at that level, are just, “I’m afraid I’m going to be overworked. I’m afraid I’m spending too much time away from my family. I’m afraid I’m not going to find the right team members. I’m afraid I’m not going to be a good leader.” All different, completely different sections of my audience. Should they all be receiving the same emails? No, not always, and most of the time, they shouldn’t. If I write an advanced SEO guide, do you think somebody who’s just starting out in their business who hasn’t lifted a finger yet is going to appreciate that article? Is going to find it relevant? No, they’re going to find it overwhelming and scary, and what are they going to say to themselves? They’re going to say, “Okay, I must be on the wrong list.”

However, if you do tag and segment your list, for example—understand the different buckets, like I said—then you’re going to understand what emails to send to different segments because that’s the power of what you can do in tools like ConvertKit or these other higher-level email marketing programs. I can say, “Okay, I’ve got an advanced SEO guide coming out. I only want to send to people who I know who already have a business.” And now the people who are on my list who don’t have a business yet, they’re not bothered by it. They don’t need to see it and they shouldn’t see it, but it’s there when they start to graduate and dive into the more advanced segments of my audience.

So, do tag and segment your list. Another great resource for this is Brennan Dunn from RightMessage, it’s another tool that I use. [Full Disclaimer: As an affiliate, I receive compensation if you purchase through this link.] If you actually go to the website SmartPassiveIncome.com, if you haven’t noticed, on the little right-hand corner, I’m using that tool RightMessage to actually segment my audience as they come to my website. And I’m asking questions like, “Have you started a business yet?” Or, “Have you started a podcast yet?” I mean, if I was in the photography niche, I would want to know what cameras people are using. Are you using a Canon or a Nikon, or a Sony? And now, you’re in that bucket, and now when I get a coupon from Canon, I don’t even half to bother the Nikon and Sony and Samsung people. I could just give it, because it is of value, to the Canon users. That’s the power of tagging and segmenting. A little bit more complicated, obviously, like I said earlier, and this is why I’ve been developing some more information and tools and resources, of course, about email marketing—which I’ll talk about at the end here—because this is the kind of stuff that people need. It can be the difference between twenty-five percent and sixty percent open rate. It can be the difference between twenty-five dollars a month and a hundred dollars a month, or more. Two hundred fifty dollars and ten thousand dollars a month, depending on the audience and how well you go with it.

But what’s the do not? The do not is, do not overcomplicate your tagging and your segmentation. It can get a little crazy, and trust me, I know from my own personal experience, and I got some really good advice from a mentor of mine to say, “Keep it to three buckets or less.” If you can do that, things are going to be still complicated. Two is better and easier to manage. However, if there is a third sort of bucket in your audience, then that’s okay, you can add that in. But it starts to become this web of communication, and it can be easy to lose control. It can be easy to forget where people are at, and how to communicate with them, and how do we combine our auto-responders and these sequences that are already pre-written with the broadcast emails that we have, and how do we put a evergreen funnel situation into place, but then do a live launch on the same product on top of that? It can start to be really complicated.

However, if you wanted to start out from scratch, hopefully, if you all already have products, you are tagging and segmenting customers versus non-customers. Or students versus soon-to-be students, or warm leads versus cold leads, those sorts of things. So do tag and segment your list, do not overcomplicate.

If it is helpful for you, and it would make or break your business to know these things, then do it. But it’s not important to know for most cases. I mean, for me, for example, I could segment by gender, but there’s no really reason for me to do that. I could segment by state of the United States. I could segment by women, fifty, who live in California who have a golden retriever if I wanted to. And it would be pretty darn amazing when a person gets an email and says, “Hey, I hope you and your golden retriever are doing well.” That’s a little scary, actually, but as you can see, you can get really deep with this. But I don’t think you have to go that deep to have really impactful results for you. So do tag and segment your list, do not overcomplicate or go too deep. Start simple, please.

Alright, number six, we’re going to talk about some magic, some email marketing magic. You want to create automated campaigns, so do create automated campaigns, do not set and forget them forever. So, automated campaigns are, especially in ConvertKit, you can see you can actually create a visual representation of, “Here’s the form people come in,” and after that, they get tagged with this tag, and after that, if they get that tag, then they go into this seven-day email course; and if after that, they aren’t yet a customer, then you send them this other seven-day sort of follow-up sequence, but if they become a customer, then they get removed from that, and they get put into the customer or student list, and then they get a certain series of welcome emails . . . and all these things can be beautifully automated.

Whether it’s a sales funnel from point of entry, to a series of emails, to then an offer, or simply just a nurture list that you pre-write these emails, so that there’s just some emails already going out after people subscribe to your general list. I love automated emails. I love series and things that—especially if I, for example, note that a person is just starting out in their business journey—I know I can send them beautiful emails upfront to help make them feel more comfortable, to help make them feel welcome, to understand that I know what they’re going through, and to have them feel more connected to my brand.

What does that do? Another reason why we tag and segment, and this is why the email rates were so high, because people feel like you’re writing emails just for them. Because your audience is going to feel you’re writing emails just for them, and sometimes that can only happen when you know at the tag level. However, what we’re talking about here is creating automated campaigns, and they should also be for these specific tag levels, as well, and these different journeys. So, you’re going to have to eventually create like a map or a diagram of some kind, and the beauty of ConvertKit, again, is you kind of create the diagram as you go, and you create these sequences.

But you don’t want to set them and forget them, because the beauty of automation is you can see how things are working, and then you can go and change things and improve things over time. The hard thing about live launches is like, for example, okay, you do a live launch and maybe you’ll be able to do the same thing again, but probably not right away. After a break and after some time for your list to cool down a bit, then you bring it back another three months or six months later, and then it’s like, “Well, we only have two data points now within a year to learn from,” versus, these automated series and these automated sequences that are happening daily. Every day a person subscribes is a new person who is then going to give you data over time to see what works and what doesn’t.

So over time, you’re going to see—and this is why you don’t want to sit on it—you’re going to see some emails perform much better than others. And what do you do with those? You don’t just keep them there forever. You improve them. And this is another reason why having a few more emails upfront makes the most sense because you can see which ones people will respond to the most.

You need to have a purpose with these automated campaigns, though, so that you know if there’s a goal that’s actually working or not. If you have fourteen emails in a series that basically just lead to nothing . . . I mean, that’s cool, you’re developing a relationship, you’re nurturing your audience, and that’s fantastic. You can make some educated guesses on where they’re at and how they’re doing, or the success of that email marketing campaign. But where are they going, and why? You can make some inferred decisions based on which ones are getting more open rates, which ones have more click-through rates to your blog articles or podcast episodes. But honestly, if you don’t have a set goal for the automated campaign that you have, then why is it there in the first place? It’s just adding more noise.

So, number one: you need to have a purpose. Number two: you need to look at the stats. I would look at the stats at least once a week so that you can see, “Okay, three emails around this one, they’re all getting a fifty percent open rate, but this one has a twenty percent open rate. Why? What is going on here? It must be the subject line,” right? Or, “the click-through rate’s very low. Let me see how I set up this call to action here in this email.” Or, you might find, “Okay, all these emails around here are about forty, fifty percent average open rate, but this one has an eighty percent open rate. What is going on here? Let me investigate that. Oh, my gosh!”

What happens is I give away something in this email, and that’s what people want, and I mentioned that in the subject line. So guess what I’m going to add more of? That, because it’s working, right? You could change things if needed. If you have that goal, you can ultimately see if that’s even working or not. So, do create automated campaigns; do not set it and forget it. Cool? Cool.

Alright, and finally . . . man, this is a jam-packed episode. Hopefully, you are getting a lot of value out of this. Again, if you’re in a spot—not while driving a car, maybe you’re pumping weights right now or something like that, but either way, don’t message me unless it’s convenient but shoot me a message, @patflynn on Instagram. I often say hi or give a fist bump back, or a quick message and a hello. I just like to communicate with you. It makes me happy to know that you’re listening on the other end, and I’m just super appreciative of you and your time.

I’m going to go over number seven here, then I’m going to talk about something we’re doing special in the SPI brand right now. We’re launching a beta program for a new course. I’m going to tell you about that in just a minute. Probably no surprise what it’s about, but small limited-time opportunity to get in if this is something you want. If not, we’re going to reopen it again later in the year. However, you do get special access to me, special price point, and all that good stuff, but more on that in a second.

So let’s finish off here. Email marketing do and do not number seven: do purge your list. Yes, purge. Do purge your list. You save money. You have more honest numbers on the other end. Your fifteen percent open rate, it’s actually twenty-five percent because ten percent of your audience was not there anymore. However, do not purge first without an ultimatum, without one or two messages in your own voice, in your own style. I’m not going to give you the template, because it’s different for everybody. Some people are very aggressive. Some people are kind and gently ask for, “Hey, if you are still on my list, reply to this email.” Or you can be all bold and caps in the subject line, “IF YOU DON’T OPEN THIS EMAIL, YOU’RE OUT!” “What? Okay. I’m here. Yes.” It’s up to you.

But essentially, you want to give people a final chance to respond or even open an email before you just delete them off your list. A lot of people worry about doing that. A lot of people have pride in that number on their list. A lot of people feel like it’s cutting an appendage off, even though those emails are gone, even though nobody’s opening your emails that you send out with those email addresses. It still feels not good to let go of them, right? But I think we have to understand what the purpose of email marketing is. It doesn’t matter how big your list is. You could have a billion people on your list and nobody open your emails, and you’d be paying a lot for that, because you pay your email service provider on, typically, a number of subscribers you have.

So, you can narrow down the number of subscribers. The percentage of just the strength of your audience and your email list is going to grow. Your open rates are going to climb, and those are the numbers that really matter. Who cares if you have a thousand extra people on your list, but they’re not opening your emails? That’s just dead weight. You can get rid of them. But, not everybody’s going to open every email. Some people are on a break, or some people just are on a sabbatical from email, and that’s very common.

And the other thing I like to think about is, “Well, if a person really wanted my emails, and they’re a fan, and I let them go because they weren’t able to open an email in the last two to three months, which is often the . . .” you know, if you’re sending an email a week and people aren’t opening two, three months, that’s a sign that, “Okay, something’s going on there,” and you can give them that ultimatum, again, in your own voice.

But if they really wanted to come back, they can. It’s not like they’re out for good. You’re not blocking them. It’s just, “Hey, I’m going to kindly remove you from the list, and if you want to come back, awesome. There’s lead magnets and other ways that you can get back in. But for right now, I would love to just escort you out kindly, because I have people to take care of. And if you want to be taken care of, then don’t go anywhere. But if you want me to take care of you, stick around. If not, then see your way out.” And that’s it.

So, the beauty of this, also, is as your numbers get stronger—yes, they can be lower, but stronger—you’re also going to see more clearly what is working and what’s not. No longer are the open rates sort of diluted by just the plethora of dead emails on your list. They are now going to be responsive in the way that your audience actually responds to your subject lines. The click-through rates are going to be more responsive to how your audience actually responds, and not diluted by the loads of people who are just quiet or used the junk email, but download your lead magnet, or anything like that.

So, do purge your list. Don’t do it without first letting people have a final one or two chances to interact with you. And be okay with it. Be proud that you are growing your tribe, and if people aren’t contributing to the tribe, they don’t belong in there, right?

So, that’s that. Now, I wanted to take a few moments here to . . . actually, let me do a recap really quick, in case you missed it, or you can be reminded of, perhaps, the one that was most relevant to you.

Number one: do send more emails. Do not send more irrelevant emails or too many. Number two: do spend time on subject lines. Do not let people down, though. You need to fulfill that promise of the subject line if you want to get a little fancy with it. Number three: do offer a lead magnet. Do not offer a fifty-page ebook. Be mindful of people’s time and try to get them to that quick win sooner.

Number four: do resend to unopens. Do not send the exact same email. Change it a little bit. It goes a long way. Number five: do tag and segment your list. Number five do not: do not overcomplicate it. Do not have fifty different buckets, just three or less. Start easy, please. Start easy, but you will see results, I promise.

Number six: create email marketing magic by creating automated campaigns that do things for you with a goal. But do not set and forget it—pay attention to them. See what needs improvement and then go and make those changes. It’s always going to be growing and changing. Number seven: do purge your list. Do not purge your list, however, without an ultimatum first.

Now, speaking of email marketing magic, that’s actually the name of our upcoming course. And the beauty of this is, this has already been validated. We have—even though we’re running a beta—we’re running a beta because we want to make sure the content in there is everything you need. So the students who get access during the beta period, which is going to be a short period of time, it’s actually open and available later this month, very soon. If you go to the landing page SmartPassiveIncome.com/magic, one more time, SmartPassiveIncome.com/magic, you can see where we’re at with that. If we’re still leading up to it, you’ll likely see a countdown timer or a date, or if we’re past it, it’ll either be like a waitlist or maybe it’ll be live, I don’t know, we’ll see how it goes in the future.

But the whole purpose of a beta launch is to get a limited number of people in there that I can have high contact with so that, number one, they can all feel like they’re getting taken care of. Because at the same time, this is a brand new course and I am essentially relying on them to tell me, “Well, what isn’t working for you? Okay, let me go build that. Let me go create that. Let me go fill in those gaps.” So, it’s almost like a handholding through email marketing, email marketing magic.

It’s not just about how to grow your list, how to create lead magnets that convert, or anything like that. I mean, that stuff is in there, but that’s in part one. That’s the foundational stuff. “Hey, you want to grow your list? Okay, make sure you have these things—not these things—these things. Okay, you want to get a higher open rate. You want to have more click-throughs on your emails. Okay, here are the foundational things you need to do that.”

But after you get all that stuff in place . . . so, it is for beginners, as well, but also those who are more advanced. Because part two is where the magic happens. That’s where, now you’ve gotten all the foundational items done. Now we’re going to segment and tag our list, and we’re going to create automated email campaigns with purpose that convert with a goal behind them. The goal would be to get you to a point where, for example, you’re going to create a seven-day email course series, and you want to have it lead into an offer. You go into that part of the course, and you go, “Pat, okay, how do I create a seven-day email series, or an email series, in general, that leads into an offer? What do those emails look like? What’s the sequence? How often do I send them? What do I say?” It’s in there.

Or if you’re going to be doing a launch for a product, and you want it to be a big launch, like a three-day video series launch, and how to implement that. And what are the emails like leading up to the launch date, leading up to a webinar registration, for example. How do you follow-up after a webinar? That’s another separate campaign. What happens during the launch? How many emails do you send out, and when? How about on the last day, how many emails do you send out? What do you say? How do you actually do this without actually upsetting people? These are the kinds of things that will be included because we’ve done the research.

This is exactly what people are asking for. They’re asking for two things. Part one, the beginners are asking for, “Okay, how do we even get started? How do I grow my list? How do I do best practices to make sure I set myself up for success?” That is a refresher for those who—or, essentially, an audit or checklist for those who already have a business—and then part two is where the magic happens. Email marketing magic. Here’s the tagline: Grow your list. Make more money. Automate like magic. Alright?

So, I know you’ve created your business, you’ve got your website up or you’re about to do that. I don’t want to get crickets anymore. We need people to open them, but we also want to use email marketing to our advantage to offer the things that we know will help our audience. If you’re afraid of annoying your audience, guess what? That’s not what I teach. I teach you how to send emails that can have you be thanked for sending information. A simple and effective online course and framework to help you not just grow your list, but help you generate more revenue, too, even if you’re not good at writing, or you’re afraid of selling. That’s who this is for, and if that’s not something you’re interested in, don’t worry.

But if that’s something that’s right up your alley and you want to be a part of this beta launch, if it is still open and available, or you can see when it is open and available, go to SmartPassiveIncome.com/magic, and check it out there. So, that is email marketing. Very important here in 2020. So important that I’ve taken all the questions that many people have been asking over the years. Actually, this is the number one course that we’ve been asked to create lately. It was after the podcasting course, actually, but then I’ve created a couple of other ones that were also important, like affiliate marketing and the secondary podcasting course, the more advanced one. This is the one that people have been waiting for.

So I’m excited to test it out with a group of students, a limited number of students. We’re going to walk through it. I’m going to make sure it works for you. And the beauty of this is, if I know I can help people, I know I’m going to get amazing testimonials on the other end, and when we launch this thing publicly later in the year, it’s going to have real-life case studies of real-life people doing exactly what it needs to do. And if it doesn’t get there, that probably means it didn’t work, and this is why we run a beta. But if you want to be a part of this, I know it’s going to work, because this is my jam, this is what we’re doing, and I want you to be a part of it. SmartPassiveIncome.com/magic.

Hey, thanks so much for listening to this episode. I appreciate you and I hope that you got a lot of value out of it. I hope that email marketing is exciting for you. I hope it doesn’t become a drag. I hope it becomes something that you can see can be of benefit to not just you and your business, but to your audience, as well. And I love business when everybody can win, and using tools like this is definitely a plus. So, email marketing for the win, for sure.

If you want to get the links and everything mentioned in this episode, go to the show notes page at SmartPassiveIncome.com/session406. One more time, SmartPassiveIncome.com/session406. I also mentioned ConvertKit earlier in the episode, as well. If you go to SmartPassiveIncome.com/convertkit, that’ll give you a special free trial offer to check it out, and they help with migrations, as well. You can move from other ones very simply. [Full Disclaimer: As an affiliate, I receive compensation if you purchase through this link.]

And yeah, Team Flynn, you’re amazing. Thank you so much. I appreciate you. Here is to your success in 2020. Thanks to everybody who is going to be joining the beta program, or who has perhaps already joined the beta program. And again, SmartPassiveIncome.com/magic if you want to see where we’re at with that particular course. And cheers! Thanks so much, and as always, Team Flynn for the win. Peace.

Announcer: Thanks for listening to the Smart Passive Income Podcast, at www.smartpassiveincome.com.


Smart Passive Income Podcast

with Pat Flynn

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