AskPat 73 Episode Transcript
Pat Flynn: What's up, everybody? Pat Flynn here, and welcome to Episode 73 of AskPat. I'm here to help you by answering your online business questions five days a week. Thank you all so much for listening in.
Now, today's question has to do with email marketing, and it's from Eric. However, before we get to that, I want to mention a sponsor that actually Eric and I both use. This is AWeber. AWeber.com is the email service provider that we both use to help us build an email list and send emails out on broadcasts, real time, or on an autoresponder, meaning when people sign up, they get emails that we've already pre-written sequentially over time. That's really helpful for keeping the open rates up over time, especially when you send those broadcast emails later. So, check out AWeber. It's a great company I've been using for over five years. I love 'em. If you go to AWeber.com/askpat you'll get a trial for $1, and that'll let them know that you come from this show.
Now, let's get to Eric's question right now.
Eric: Hey, Pat. My name is Eric Vogel. My website is pillarsocialmedia.com. My question is related to newsletters. How often would you recommend setting up the follow-up sequence for? Once a week. . . twice a month? And then also for broadcasts, would you recommend doing once a month? I use AWeber, and I believe you do as well, so I'm very familiar, but I'm just curious to get your recommendation on how often for the frequency. Thanks, Pat.
Pat Flynn: Eric, thank you so much for your question. This is one of the most common questions I get when it comes to mail marketing. How often should we be sending emails to our email list? Now, when you think about your own inbox and the emails that you're getting from people or companies you're subscribed to, you might notice that there are different frequencies. There are sites like Groupon, which send emails every single day. I'm also subscribed to a site called “Help a Reporter Out,” which is also known as HARO, H-A-R-O, and that's where I'm subscribed to, where I get emails three times a day that are from journalists who are looking from potential stories or people to share information with them for mass-media–type stuff. That's three times a day. There's some emails lists that I'm subscribed to, like Derek Halpern's over at SocialTriggers.com, that are once a month. . . Glenn. . . Glenn from ViperChill.com, once a month. Ramit Sethi, once or twice a week. I send them out typically once every two weeks, or once a week sometimes.
What is the right answer? Well, I think the best thing to do is to make sure that beyond the actual number that the. . . the number matches the expectation of your audience. See, when I signed up for Groupon, I knew that I was going to get an email every single day. When I signed up for HARO, I knew I was going to get an email three times a day, and I'm okay with that. Now, if people sign up for my email list, my newsletter, and I said “I'm going to send you an email every one to two weeks” and they get an email three times a day, that expectation doesn't align the reality and that's where people stress out, that's where people get angry, and that's where people get upset, and you definitely don't want that to happen.
So, the correct answer as far as the quantity of emails for you or the frequency is, I can't tell you how often you should be sending to your email list. I think that it's largely based off of your audience, and I think the best thing you could do is to survey your audience. If you have any sizable audience, and maybe even take a sample of your audience, maybe 100 people, and send them a survey. You can use survey. . . SurveyMonkey.com to conduct a survey, and you can just simply ask a couple of questions. And one of the questions could be, “If you were to join an email list, how often would you like to receive these emails?” Or, “What would be to much?” or “How. . . ” and also, you can figure out what kinds of emails people would like. I mean, you can go beyond just the frequency, but actually what the content would be. If you have a social media presence, you could ask people on your social media accounts how often they prefer to get emails. Maybe not necessarily from you, but just in general, what is the perfect rate of emails coming in from a particular company or person that they feel comfortable with, and then you can kind of go along with that. Again, tailoring it specifically to your audience.
Now, you might not get it right the first time, Eric. And I think everybody should know that you're going to have to sorta bob and weave a little bit. You're going to have to test things out. So, I would start with personally once a week, and that's something I did, and then in my autoresponder sequence I kinda spaced it out to every two weeks, because I wanted to space out those emails and keep them ongoing long. So, that's my autoresponder sequence. As far as broadcasts, I also do that once a week or once every two weeks. Now, the thing is, the max amount of emails people are going to get a week is two. And I try to space them out, and that's if they are on an autoresponder or in my autoresponder sequence, and they get an email that week and I also send a broadcast. And I feel like that is the max for my particular audience based on surveys that I've conducted and questions that I've asked to people in my audience; that is the right rate. That's the most that they can get for the type of audience that I have on this particular site, this is smartpassiveincome.com. But I also make sure that I send my broadcasts out on specific days and that my autoresponder emails go out on other days of the week.
So, I make sure that any day, people don't get two emails in one day. That's when me, personally, gets kinda weird. When I'm subscribed to an email list and I maybe get an email once a week, but then all of a sudden I get two emails or three from them in one day. Then I know something's up and maybe they're not being smart or just not paying attention or. . . it's just annoying. Right? So, I have it personally. . . I have it set up so that my autoresponder emails are only sent on a Friday, actually. That's how it is right now. I've changed it around a little bit. I've had it every Wednesday, Thursday, Friday was my autoresponder, and then every Monday and Tuesday was a broadcast day. And yes, there's going to be exceptions, especially if there are time-sensitive things, like if your site goes down on a Wednesday and that's an autoresponder day, you still want to email your list and be like “Hey guys, my site's down. Sorry.” And that's an exception, of course. And I actually had to do that in March of 2013. But anyway, that's another issue.
But the point is, you can set up when your emails go out through your autoresponder. You could pick specific days of the week and then you want to make sure that your broadcasts aren't on the same days. Just be smart about when those emails are going out. And then again, in terms of frequency, Eric, you just want to make sure that it matches the expectation of your audience. And it's not too much, and so I would actually tap into your audience, ask people personally even. Just reach out to some people on Facebook or Twitter or LinkedIn or Google Plus, wherever you're at, and just see what the general consensus might be. What might be too much? And again, I don't know your particular audience, Eric, it could be once a day, and you could promote deals and make a lot of money that way. Or if you're using it for relationship building, maybe it's once a week or once every two weeks.
Again, I can't give you the answer. You'll have to figure that out on your own. But hopefully that answers your question and gives you some more insight on to kinda. . . how to figure that out.
So, Eric, thank you so much for your question. An “AskPat” t-shirt is going to be headed your way. For those of you listening, if you have a question you'd like featured here on the show, just head on over to AskPat. You can ask a question right there, right on the page using whatever mic, internal, external that you have at your desk or computer, or even your mobile device right now. And you can also see a list of the other episodes that've been live already. Thank you again so much for listening.
I want to also thank our sponsor for today, which is AWeber. AWeber is awesome. I've been using them for so long, and what I love about them, more than just how it easy it is to use, is that they're really friendly and they have great customer service. The live chat is open most of the time, and any time I've had any questions, I've just been able to get answers right away from AWeber, which is hugely important for any companies to have that. . . great customer service. So, that's AWeber.com/askpat. That's a referral link for you, and you can also get a $1 trial from there. Again, AWeber.com/askpat.
And, as always, I want to end with a quote, and this quote is from Seth Godin himself. And he's said, and I love this quote, he says: “Ideas in secret die. They need light and air or they starve to death.” And let me expand on this a little bit, because I love this quote a lot. And this doesn't mean just ideas that live in your brain, obviously, are just ideas. They don't serve anybody if they're just ideas and they aren't executed or not. I think that's one part of it. But I like the part about light and air, even before they're executed on; I think they need to be talked about.
This is something I had. . . there was a guy named John Saddington who was on Smart Passive Income Podcasts, and one interesting thing he said, because he has created and sold a lot of startups. . . one interesting tip he gave was, if you have an idea, you want to share it and talk about with other people, because that's how you get real feedback from people. That's how you could talk things through and see if it's actually viable. See what other ideas other people might have to bring to the table. Too many people worry about stealing ideas and things like that. I mean, if it's your idea and you really are going to go for it, nobody's going to steal it and do it before you. And so, I think that it is beneficial to share your ideas, especially. . . I mean, if you're worried about it, then I would only share it with people you trust. Perhaps in a mastermind group, for example. But I would share it with as many people as possible to try and get the real feedback from people that would help take it to the next level, beyond what just my brain can do.
So, again, that quote: “Ideas in secret die. They need light and air or they starve to death.” Thank you, Seth Godin. Thank you for all of you who listen. Thank you, Eric for the question. And I'll see you in the next episode of AskPat. Peace.
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