AskPat 651 Episode Transcript
Pat Flynn: What's up, everybody? Pat Flynn here, and welcome to Episode 651 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.
We have an awesome question today from Mike, but before we get to that, I do want to thank today's sponsor, which is FreshBooks.com, an awesome site that you can use that has helped me save a ton of stress and headaches because it helps you manage your business finances from your expenses to your income. Actually, expenses can be done even automatically by connecting to your credit cards and things like that, your bank accounts. Also, they do invoicing which makes it really easy. Super professional invoicing, you can get it done in 30 seconds. It's by far one of the best pieces of software you can get if you're running a small business. You can join three million other small businesses by going to freshbooks.com/askpat and make sure you enter AskPat in the “how did you hear about us” section to check it out for 30 days for free.
So here we go, let's get to today's question from Mike.
Mike: Hey, Pat. This is Mike coming out of Lincoln, Nebraska. Just wanted to say thanks for everything you do first off. I've been a big fan for a couple years, and have listened to many of your tutorials. The most recent has been your podcasting tutorial. I've actually bought some equipment and started my own podcast and now a website. I've got AWeber set up, along with the website and the podcast. It's called TravelNursingClassroom.com. We basically provide unbiased information to travel nurses.
We're starting to get a bunch of signups, at least a few per day. I'm not exactly sure what to do with them. I know through AWeber I'm supposed to be sending some broadcast emails, maybe like a weekly subscription, kind of like you do. I also know there's an option to do an autoresponder as well. I'm not sure if I should be doing an autoresponder or weekly broadcast, or one or the other or both.
I know you've talked a lot about this. Any help or suggestions would be greatly appreciated. Thanks.
Pat Flynn: Hey, Mike, what's up? Thank you so much for your question, and kudos to you for getting your email list started, even before you know what to do with it. For me one of the biggest mistakes I made, and actually I made this mistake twice, was not starting my email list both on greenexamacademy.com, the site I used to help people pass an exam in the architecture industry, and even on smartpassiveincome.com. That started in 2008. I didn't start collecting emails until 2010. There's a number of things I wish I could do differently, and that's definitely one of them.
What do you do with this email list that you're building? You had mentioned a couple of terms there I want to make sure we all know what those mean, and what to do in those situations. First of all, you say “broadcast.” Broadcast is a message that you send to everybody at the same time. If you subdivide your list, if you have multiple lists. Say, for example, you have different posts that are specific towards different kinds of people in your niche. Then you can have separate lists for each of them if you like. That's getting into segmentation. What I used to use was AWeber and with AWeber, it's a little bit harder to do segmentation. Currently, I use ConvertKit. But don't let that stop you. Continue using AWeber right now, since you're using it, and just work on these basics. Broadcast is something that you send to an entire list. Your entire list all at the same time will get that message.
An autoresponder is something that you can create where you pre-write emails. These are emails that are still going out to everybody who signs up to your list, but they're not all sent to everybody at the same time. In a sense, they are. They're sent to everybody in a sequential manner. You might have an immediate follow up message that's in your autoresponder. Meaning the moment people subscribe, they get a message that you had already pre-written. You can set it to seven days later until the next one comes out, or five days later, or however many days later you want. You can have them coming out once a week. You can have some being one week from each other, some being twice a week in terms of the frequency. It's up to you. The autoresponder again, it's called the autoresponder because it automatically sends those emails out, depending on how much time they've been on your list and how much time between the last one that they got, and how much you set that time to be. What are those things used for? Broadcasts are great for things that are timely and things that require some sort of date or some announcement. Maybe there's a promotion going and it's a limited time promotion. Obviously, if you put that in an autoresponder, it's not going to work out because those things change over time, your promotions. That's what a broadcast would be used for. I've also used broadcasts for other things like keeping people up to date with news or certain books that I'm reading. That's in my book club list, for example. I've told people when my site was hacked. That's one of the benefits of having an email list: if something happens to your site, you can still email everybody and even if your site were to go away, you can then set up shop somewhere else because that's your list. That actually happened to me in March of 2013. So thankful I had my list at that point. That's how I continued to communicate with them about what was going on and when I was hopefully going to get the site back up.
I also use broadcast to announce very specific posts that I had just written or podcasts episodes. I don't do that for all of them. Some people do. Some people send a message out every time they come out with a new post and/or podcast episode or a video. But I save those broadcasts because my list is so large to send out ones that I know are some of the top ones that are getting a lot of momentum quite quickly that I want to continue to add to that momentum. That's what I'll send the broadcasts out for.
I will say that because I'm on ConvertKit now, I have these three different buckets, these three different segments of my audience. Depending on what I had just written if I still want that momentum to continue, if it seems like it's a hot post and I want to share it with everybody and make sure they get it in front of their eyes. Then I know that it's meant for one of those specific lists so that I'm not sending it to people who it doesn't really matter to. That's another benefit of the segmentation like I talked about earlier.
Those are examples of what you could use broadcast for. The frequency is really up to you. Some people send broadcasts once a week with different announcements, different news, also including some of those recent posts or podcasts episodes or videos that they've come out with and things like that. That's okay.
Autoresponders you could set to also weekly. Again, it's up to you. These are spaced out and typically they're spaced out in a very equal manner so that people get used to seeing them. These are tips that are evergreen. That's what I have in one of my first follow up emails is typically the best one. That's what you want to do. Make sure your first follow up email is one that really knocks them over the head with a lot of value. Why? Because when that happens, they're going to see that there is so much value there in that first email that they're going to open all other emails after that. Or they're going to be more likely to, at least. Both autoresponder emails and broadcast emails that you send out. Of course, we want people to open our email addresses. So some of those first emails you want to make sure that they're fantastic. Obviously, you want to make sure all of them are, but the first one especially.
One thing I would love to include in an autoresponder, or love have everybody else include in an autoresponder email is something like a small win, which by my definition is something that you can teach your audience to do through that email list on that particular email, the first one they get, and then see a result within five minutes. That's what I would recommend to do.
Autoresponders are also used for automations and sales funnels. Let's say that you have a product that you're going to offer and you know that you want to nurture this relationship for a period of time before you actually pitch that offer. What you could do is have it so that when people sign up for that particular list, they can then get five or six emails before the pitch comes. Again, those are all pre-written emails. What's cool is that the moment people enter your email list, they get put into a sales funnel. That's all automatic, so you can just focus on, because you've already pre-written these emails, including the pitch, including the one that clicks over to the sales page and whatnot, you can have them all pre-written. Then all you need to do is focus on growing that list, and the JV partnerships to do that, the guest posts to do that, the Facebook advertising to do that, the starting webinars to grow your email list, too, which is another great strategy. That's something you can do.
In terms of the frequency, that's again up to you. Typically, if you have a product to sell, there's a very specific sequence of emails that happen. I would recommend checking out the Crazy Eight Strategy. Look that up. It's by Teachable. Crazy Eight Strategy. You'll see that on Google. It shows you just a frequency of what happens if you are going to be launching something and you want to promote it pretty hard. They've tested it with a number of people who have promoted online courses and that seems to be one that works very well. They also have 14-day and 21-day and 30-day nurture sequences, and you can see just how frequent those emails come out and what typically is included in those emails, too. There is a lot of people out there who share their templates, who share their frequencies and things like that. That's just one example. That is, again, the Crazy Eight Email Strategy.
Autoresponders are also used for things like when people purchase an item, then they'll automatically get certain emails that say, for example, “Thank you for purchasing this item. Here's a link for your purchase.” Follow up emails on that particular list, again the customer list, might say a week later, “We hope you're enjoying it. Do you have any questions? Do you have any feedback?” or anything like that. You can have a number of different things. A lot of people also make those autoresponders courses. For example, you might have a seven week or an eight-week or four-week email course. You just pre-write those emails and you sent them to drip out and get sent to those people who subscribe after a certain amount of time to equal those weekly courses. You can have them click through to different things. There are a number of different ways that you could utilize email.
The last thing that I want to say is make sure that in your autoresponder you also include a way for people to reply to you. Obviously, they could reply to any email, but I love putting in every once in a while an email that says, “Hey, I would love your answer to this question,” and that way you're getting people to actually click reply and interact with you, which is something that a lot of people who have, especially, big email lists don't do. But that's a great way to build Raving Fans. It's a great way to show trust. It's a great way, especially if you reply after that, to show that you're a real human being and they're going to be more likely to and more quickly build a relationship with you, which obviously leads to purchases and transactions down the road because that trust is so important.
So Mike, hope that answers your question. Best of luck to you and congrats again for getting your email list started and your website. We're going to send you an AskPat t-shirt in a few weeks as a thank you for having your question featured here on the show. For everybody else listening, if you have a question that you'd like potentially featured here on the show, just head on over to askpat.com. You can ask right there on that page. Thank you so much. As always, I want to thank today's sponsor, which is FreshBooks. If you want to check it out for 30 days for free, head on over to freshbooks.com/askpat and make sure you enter AskPat in the “how did you hear about us” section.
All right, to finish off as I always do, here is a quote by Sandi Krakowski. She says, “Lead people with what they want. Lead with what they've already said. Lead people from where they're at. Lead them with all things that concern them.”
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