AskPat 706 Episode Transcript
Pat Flynn: What's up, everybody? Pat Flynn here and welcome to Episode 706 of AskPat. Thank you so much for joining me today. As always I'm here to help you by answering your online business questions, five days a week.
All right, now here's today's question from Adriaan.
Adriaan: Hi Pat, hope you're doing well. This is Adriaan from South Africa. I would just like to know, when you provide clients with a lot information on a quarterly basis for example, I mean health and safety advising field, where I provide legal compliance advice to clients and I publish a newsletter on a quarterly basis. What programs or software can you suggest that can brighten up a newsletter, make it interesting, so that we can provide valuable service to our clients that is not only interesting, but adds value to their life? Please help, appreciate your answer. I want to make it exciting, and thank you. Thank you for who you are, thank you for the information. I'm learning so much from you. You're awesome, bye.
Pat Flynn: Hey Adriaan, thank you so much for the question. Spicing up or brightening up your newsletter, that can mean a number of different things. I just want to mention really quick up front, that doesn't necessarily mean that you have to add a lot more color, or embellishments, or templates, or graphics, or images into your newsletter. A newsletter is best brightened up by having inedibly useful and relevant content in it. You need to set those expectations of what is going to be in those emails up front, so that when people subscribe they know what they're going to get. You don't want to tell people that, “You're never going to sell them anything, it's just all pure content,” and then the first couple emails you're selling them stuff, right? As you can see, it's all about the expectation, it's not about how pretty it looks.
I'm sorry if I misunderstood that that's not what you meant, but I'm just mentioning that not just for you Adriaan, but for everybody else out there. A lot of emails that are most effective don't have any graphics, it just goes straight to the point and its very much how emails are written from a friend to a friend, just text only. When those emails are sent, they actually have a higher rate of being found in the primary tab in Gmail. I would say out of all of my own subscribers, 170,000 subscribers at this point, I'd say 30 to 40% of them, could be more actually, are using Gmail in some way shape or form as the client tool to answer those emails, which means they get my emails and they're either put into the primary tab, the promotional tab, or the social tab. I want them to be in the primary tab, because that's the one that opens up first, and people have to take an extra step to click over to the other ones, and sometimes nobody does that.
If you remove all the images in your emails, if you remove hundreds of links that are also in your emails, if you make it look less corporate, if you make it look less like you would get from a Target corporation, or a Pottery Barn, or one of those kinds of emails, the more likely it is going to show up in the primary tab. Gmail, they have algorithms to check all those things, and they will help you get your emails seen, which is the first part. Then you need to get your emails opened. That goes and ties directly into the subject line.
Even before the content of the emails, you have to understand that people are going to see a whole bunch of other emails alongside yours. You have to ask yourself, “Well what's going to make people open this?” You don't want to be click-baity, you don't want to create these Buzzfeed type of headlines that only drive curiosity enough to open it, but then you don't give them what they had expected based on the subject line. You really want the subject line to share what it is you're going to be talking about. It doesn't have to be bland, it can be interesting, it could be curiosity driven, but it should be relevant to the content of course.
There's a lot of tricks and tools that people use to discover awesome subject lines, and every niche is different in terms of what people will respond to. Really, all what it comes down to is testing. You want to test, see what works for you. Brightening up your newsletters, really it's just, for me personally, it's about putting my personality into my newsletters so when people read it, they feel that is me talking to them on the other end. Another aspect of brightening up my newsletter is understanding who exactly I'm sending these emails to. I actually use a tool called ConvertKit, and this is the one I would recommend for people who are just starting out in their journey, and are building their email list and want to send great broadcast newsletters, great autoresponder follow up newsletters that are automatically sent after you write them the first time. They get sent out to subscribers after a certain amount of time they've been subscribed.
You can divide your list, and tag certain people based on certain actions that they've taken, on certain questions that they've answered, on certain aspects of where they are on your list. You're able to send them different things. I have three different buckets based on the kinds of people I know who are in my audience. That's all based on a survey actually. That helps me deliver content that is very relevant to each of those different groups of people. That increases my open rate a crazy amount, and it also helps me get through to my audience, and have them take action on whatever my call to actions are in those emails.
Really speaking to your audience, and understanding who they are, and being yourself, and sharing that personality, and really delivering valuable content. That means a lot more than just fancy images and graphics. I would say that if you really wanted to include an image, one at most, and I would include an image of your face if it was going to be in every one. For example, at the bottom of your email in your signature, just so people could see you there. That's one idea, or you can have one image related to the content that is something that people would then be curious about, so they'll click through to that blog post, or that piece of content that you're writing.
Anyway, hopefully that's helpful to you Adriaan. Again, that tool that I would recommend is ConvertKit. If you go to AskPat.com/ConvertKit you can go ahead and check it out there. I'm actually an advisor to the company. I've tried several other kinds of email service providers in the past, and for what most people are doing who follow me, ConvertKit is the answer. That's www.AskPat.com/ConvertKit.
Adriaan, thank you so much, I appreciate you, I appreciate your question. We're going to get your address in a couple weeks. My assistant will reach out to you within a couple weeks, and we'll collect your address to send you an AskPat t-Shirt, because everybody who gets their question featured here on the show gets an AskPat t-shirt. If you have a question to ask me, just head on over to www.AskPat.com. You can ask right there on that page.
As always, I like to end with a quote here. Today's quote comes from Christopher Morley. He says, “Big shots are only little shots who keep shooting.”
Take care, thanks so much and I'll see you in the next episode of AskPat. Bye now.