AskPat 52 Episode Transcript
Pat Flynn: Hey, what's up everybody? This is Pat Flynn and welcome to Episode 52 of AskPat. I'm here to help you answer your online business questions.
Before we get to today's question, I want to give a shout out to the company that is producing the AskPat t-shirt. As a reminder, if you get your question featured here on the show by asking at AskPat.com, I will send you a t-shirt. An AskPat.com teeshirt. It's awesome, it was designed by a guy in my team named Dustin and it's really cool. You can actually look at it right now at SuccessShirt.com. Greg over there at SuccessShirt.com has been taking great care of me and all of you guys. He's the one who's helping with production and sending them out and stuff. Again, you can actually buy the shirt if you'd like right now, if you want. But one is given to you for free, if your question gets featured. Again, that's SuccessShirt.com.
Now, let's head on over to today's question, which is by Dayvon. Now Dayvon asked a question about your email list and what happens if you haven't talked to them for a while? This is a great question because a lot of us, you know, we may not be emailing our list as much as we should and so what happens if you don't do it for a while? Here's the question from Dayvon.
Dayvon: Hey, Pat. How's it going buddy? It's Dayvon here from Virginia and I have a bit of a problem, so after reading your post “How to Launch a Brand New Website (with a Bang!),” I was inspired to have a pre-launch phase for my own upcoming website. I'm actually launching next month, but I've been building my email list since the end of December. Up to this point I have a total of 678 subscribers and most of those subscribers came from social media.
Here's my problem: I haven't emailed that list since the beginning of January. I just wanted to know how do I approach emailing them, being that they haven't heard from me in so long. What I'm afraid is, if I send an email, I may get a ton of unsubscribers, you know. They may start marking me down as spam. I'm just not sure . . . how should I approach an email list that hasn't been spoken to, by me? Hope you could help me out. I love your show. I love the Podcast. I love the blog. I've been following you for about two years now. I really appreciate what you're doing and I hope you can help me out. Thanks, Pat.
Pat Flynn: Dayvon, thank you so much for the question and also for being a loyalist. I really appreciate that. I love your question, because one of the struggles with email lists is that if you don't email your email list constantly, when you eventually email your email list, it's going to come out of nowhere. It's going to feel like a cold email and people are going to forget that they took that opportunity to subscribe to get messages from you, way back, when. That is a challenge, that is a challenge to first keep up with people, so I recommend using an autoresponder sequence if possible, whenever possible. For example, when people subscribe to my list, they go through about forty-five to fifty emails each week or each other week that on autopilot, allows me to keep in constant contact with my audience. Those emails go out typically on a Thursday or Friday. Then if I ever have a broadcast, I know to not send out on a Thursday or Friday, unless it's like an emergency or something, like my site went down and people want to know what's up. Typically, my broadcast emails, which were sent just one time to everybody, those are sent on Monday or Tuesday, typically. I never have a day where people are receiving two emails during one day, which can become a little bit overbearing for a lot of people.
Now, if you haven't taken advantage of your autoresponder and you do have a sizable list—which you do, Dayvon, you have a great size list of 678 people, plus you're adding more as we speak. If you don't talk to them for a while, yes, it will be difficult to sell them something right away, for example or to get them to take some sort of action right away. They're going to be like, “Hey, who's Dayvon? I don't remember signing up for this list,” or they might think, “Wow. I signed up for that three months ago, had never heard from him, and now he's asking me for stuff or now he's telling me to do stuff.”
If you want to sort of rekindle the relationship you have with your email subscribers, there's a few things I would recommend. The first thing I would recommend is to send an email. But I wouldn't ask for anything in that email, except to just use that email as a way to sort of re-introduce yourself. To get people to realize or remember what it is that you have to offer or why people subscribe in the first place. If you're coming up with launching a new website, you can . . . Or launching something new, you can talk about that and just start to create buzz for it. But again, not telling people to click on anything, not telling people to go somewhere or some landing page. I would try and provide as much value as you can. If you have something that you can give away, something, maybe a sneak peek of something you're working on. I would put that in there, too. But just, you want to give value and sort of remind people why they should continue to be on your list.
Now, the truth of the matter is, when you send this email out, you will get unsubscribes. You just . . . that's what going to happen. I mean, that's the consequence of doing this, but every email you send out is going to get unsubscribes. You know, what's good about these unsubscribes? Those are people you don't want on your list anyway. I wouldn't worry about the unsubscribes. The people who do stick around, and if you were to actually engage with your audience, with this email as well, “Hey, guys. I haven't talked to you for a while, I just want to ask you, what are you struggling with right now? Because right now I'm focusing on something that is going to help you. As a reminder, you subscribed to this list because you were interested in XYZ. Well, here I am, I'm back and I'm here for you. What is it?
Reply to this email.”
That's kind of the approach I would take. You know, the people that are sticking around and that do reply, those are people that are going to be, sort of rekindled, with that relationship that they have with you. Those are people who are going to be hot on your list and that you want on your list. I wouldn't worry about the unsubscribes.
Now, I would send a few emails before you start getting into any sort of call to actions or anything like that. Or just sort of standard, “Hey, I wrote a new blog post; come check it out,” type of emails. You want to, again, provide value and get very personal. That's how you sort of restart that relationship.
Now, hopefully that new list that you have, Dayvon, is separate from this one. Because the issue is, when you start to say, “Hey, guys. Sorry, it's been a while.” If these are people who are also recent subscribers, they're going to be like, “Wait. I just subscribe yesterday. Why are you saying this?” Hopefully you've divided the people who are in the past, the past subscribers with the new ones, so if . . . For those of you listening out there, if you haven't touched your email list for a while, I would actually create a new list. Just so you can segment that older list and perhaps get people to take some sort of action to get on to that new one, or at least start to, sort of whee down and filter through those people and get those unsubscribes that you do want.
You actually do want people to unsubscribe who don't want to be on that list, because you don't want them on your list. You don't want to have to pay for them on your list and things like that. But again, it will allow you to send messages specifically for the people who sort of need time to get back into the rhythm. Then another separate email for people who have just recently subscribed as well.
Dayvon, I hope that answers your question. This is a really important question. Again, I would just provide value. Start emailing now, or yesterday, if that makes sense and start providing value, so you can get people to really understand why they should be on there and continue to be on that list. Dayvon, thank you so much. An AskPat teeshirt is headed your way. I can't wait to see a picture of you wearing it and for any of you out there who has a question, if you'd like it answered here on the show, head on over to AskPat.com Again, I want to . . . Why did I say “I want to” like five times? So, that was weird. I want to just give a shout out to Greg over at SuccessShirt.com who was really hooking it up for us. He's got some great shirts from other successful entrepreneurs as well. SuccessShirt.com.
Today's quote of the day, which I always end with, is actually from Anthony J. D'Angelo and he says, “Treasure your relationships. Not your possessions.” The reason I said that here and to finish off is because . . . Now, we're talking about email list. We're talking about subscribers; 678 subscribers, which is great but you have to also remember that, that's 678 actual people. People that you should be building your relationship with, that you should be engaging with. Too many people talk about traffic and subscribers, as they're just numbers. Those are actual people and the more you could think about it that way, the better your emails are going to be, the better relationship you have with your audience and the more success you'll have down the road. Thank you so much for listening to this episode of AskPat and I'll see you in the next episode.
Success Shirt is a great place to order t-shirts for your audience.