AskPat 205 Episode Transcript
Pat: What’s up, everybody? Thank you so much for joining me today. Hello to all of you who are regular listeners. Another week, another great set of questions, and if this is your first time listening, you're awesome. Thank you. I hope you enjoy the show. Before we get to today's question from Jeff, I do want to thank today's sponsor, which is AWeber.com.
This is the email service provider that I use, that helps me collect email addresses, and allows me to send broadcast emails to all of my subscribers, as well as autoresponder emails, meaning when people subscribe they get automatic emails that I've already pre-written over time. That allows me to continue to build a relationship with my audience through my email list over time, it allows me to stay in contact with them, so when I do send an important email, it doesn't seem spammy because they're used to hearing from me already, so if you'd like to get set up and try out AWeber for a month for $1, all you have to do is head to AWeber.com/askpat. Again, that's AWeber.com/askpat.
All right, now let's get to today's question from Jeff.
Jeff: Hey, Pat. My name's Jeff Jones, and I'm at CustomStix.com. I really appreciate what you do. You've really helped me out with a lot of tips, but I have a question. So I make custom graphic drumsticks, so if you can imagine it's actually like if you go to a show and you see a band. You go to their merch table, and they might have a drumstick with their actual faces printed on it, their artwork. I really love what I do, but the problem is I started this about five and a half years ago using my Yahoo Mail, and I'm still using a PC, but I started using Yahoo Mail, and I've got all these folders. I've got well over a hundred clients, and the problem is I never converted to any other form of email. I've got 29,000 emails in my Sent folder and a ton in the different folders for my different clients. Am I in trouble? Do I need to convert this? Do you recommend something else, because I really want to grow this business and continue to move things forward without staying in the dark ages. So what do you recommend for me? Thanks so much.
Pat: Jeff, thank you so much for your question today. I really appreciate it, and I appreciate your honesty here, because I think a lot of people can relate. They start a business and they do something, and it works, and they just continue to do it without really trying to figure out how to optimize it, or even knowing that something can be done better and more efficiently. Thank you for being honest, and I think it's really smart that now, with all the emails that you're sending out, and the point you're at with your business, sounds like things are going very well, and I hope they are, it's now time to upgrade.
How do you upgrade from running a business through Yahoo Mail, or even if you have a Gmail account, an account that ends with @gmail.com? I mean for one reason for doing this is because just professionally, and Jeff I don't know if you are using Yahoo, but you still have the .CustomStix or the @CustomStix.com tag on the end of your emails, because if you have Yahoo.com at the end of your emails or Gmail.com at the end of your emails, for example, like [email protected] or whatever the case may be, it just seems a little bit unprofessional. Even though it's just a little thing, when people get those emails, when they see it's coming from Yahoo or Gmail, no offense to you Yahoo users, but even Yahoo is even less professional than Gmail. I think people are more tuned with seeing Gmail.com emails nowadays. But Yahoo, I mean that's old school, and so it just seems a little bit less professional, and so if they are going to email you, they might see that, and it might make them think twice about it, or if they get an email from you from an @yahoo.com, they might think twice about that as well.
So how do you upgrade from there? What can you do? Well, first, I would recommend this. I would recommend getting Google Apps for Work. Now what this allows you to do, is use Gmail in a way that you can continue to have the @ and then your domain dot com, but using Gmail and their entire email system. It's what I use for SmartPassiveIncome.com, and a lot of other niche sites. It allows you to add team members really easily. The file systems, and the folders, and the tagging, and the spam control, and the ability to add other plugins and extensions on top of Gmail just make it so worth it, I feel. There's a lot of extensions that I use that I want to share with you all, but before that, I do want to mention that there was a Smart Passive Income podcast episode on email and email organization, and how my assistant helped me get over my 9,000 unread emails, which was just drowning. That episode was SmartPassiveIncome.com/session115. That was 115 with Jessica, my lovely executive assistant, who truly rescued me. So, check out that episode if you're learning how to manage your email.
If you're starting to get to a point where you feel like you're sort of drowning in your email. But beyond that, the reason why I love Google Apps, not only the folders and the way things are organized now, but because there are these extensions you can have on top of it, like Boomerang. Boomerang's pretty cool because what you can do is you can sort of schedule an email. You could write an email, and then you could schedule it to be sent out later. Perhaps you are doing work super late at night, and you want to make sure that people on the other end, when you send that email, are likely to see it. Well, you could save that email to be sent until and it will automatically be sent for you at 9 a.m. That way other emails that come in between then don't get lost, and people don't miss your email.
Another thing that Boomerang's cool at is when you get a reply, or even when you send an email, you can Boomerang it—meaning, and this is the true power of this particular piece of software here, is you can have Boomerang send you an email if you'd like to make sure you get a reply in a certain number of days. Let's say you get an important email, and then you reply, and you want to make sure that you get a response from that person, you can have Boomerang send you a reminder if a response has yet to be sent to you, to your inbox. You'll get a notification saying, “Hey, you asked to be replied to, and you haven't yet. Maybe you should follow up.” You could also have emails kind of sent back to you later, and things like that. There's just cool ways to organize it, and help your brain manage your email and your clients through that. Again, Google Apps for Work, so you could just look up Google Apps for Work on Google. That's probably the best way to do it, and how much does that cost? It's costs five bucks a month. Five bucks a month is nothing if you're running a business and you're looking to organize your time. I mean, how much is your time worth? I hope you feel that it's worth more than five bucks a month, at which case this would totally be worth it.
Some other plugins and extensions I use: Google Offline is a cool one. I think it runs on all of the browsers. It's sort of a browser extension for Gmail users. It allows you to answer emails offline. It sort of syncs with your Gmail online, and let's say you're going on a plane ride, for example. You're able to still tackle your inbox on the plane, and then as soon as you land or as soon as you connect on wifi or a network, it sort of sends all of those emails out at that moment and syncs everything up. It allows you to tackle your inbox offline, which is really cool.
Another one I use is called Rapportive, and this isn't anything about really sending emails, but it's sort of a built in CRM, or customer relationship management tool, within Gmail. Whenever anybody sends an email, or even when you type in anybody's email, if you hover over that email address, on the right hand side you'll see the person's picture, that person's social media accounts, and any sort of emails that they've previously corresponded with you with, and you can even write notes under each person, as well. It's called Rapportive, like rapport, like relationship, but Rapportive. It's super cool. It allows me to feel an even stronger connection with people who I'm having correspondence with through email, but also it gives me some information about them, as well. I can even see some of their latest tweets, for example, which is kind of a cool ninja way to say, you know something interesting in an email if perhaps it relates to whatever you guys are talking about.
Those are some cool things. Boomerang, Google Offline, and Rapportive. So those are some integrations with Google Apps for Work. That's the first thing I would recommend. This is to get your email looking more professional, if you still have an Yahoo or an Gmail or, god forbid, a Hotmail account, no offense to any of you out there. Maybe a little bit of offense. No, I'm just kidding.
The second thing you can do, beyond just having your home-based email be professional and within Google Apps or Google Apps for Work, is to get set up with some sort of email service provider. This would allow you to collect email addresses on your website or wherever else, and also be able to send those emails out to everybody at the same time, because Jeff, I'm pretty sure you have a lot of contacts, and it's not exactly easy to send an email out to everybody who has ever contacted you before, or even all your customers at the same time. Yes, you might have a spreadsheet of all your customers or some other CRM or relationship management tool that allows you to export all of your customers, but you can't, and you're really not allowed to. Gmail, Yahoo, Hotmail, whoever, they won't let you put more than just a few contacts and have you send out to everybody in your CC sort field in your emails. They're going to suspend your account if you do that. I have done that before, temporarily through even Gmail within Google Apps for Work. I sent 100 emails out within a span of, I think, 30 minutes, and it docked me because it thought I was a robot, and so I had to wait 24 hours to get back into email, which is super annoying.
If you want to email a lot of people at the same time in a very legal way, you can use a tool like AWeber, an email service provider. Again, you can try out AWeber for one month for $1 by going to AWeber.com/askpat. You can check it out. It's the email service provider I currently use. It's what I started with. I use it on multiple sites. I use it to collect emails on FoodTruckr.com, SecurityGuardTrainingHQ.com, GreenExamAcademy.com, and SmartPassiveIncome.com. It's all connected to AWeber. AWeber's great because I can collect those emails, I can create different lists based on where people are coming from, whether they're different businesses, or even within Smart Passive Income, I can collect different lists saying, “Oh, here are the people who subscribed on this page. They must be beginners. Here are the people who subscribed on this page. They must be interested in topic X, or topic Y, or topic Z.” Then I can send out mass emails to those people specifically based on where I know they are at. So it depends on what list they've entered. You can set rules to say, for example, if people joined one list, they exit another, and you can get pretty complicated with how you run your email and your funnels and things like that.
AWeber's great, but not only that, like I said in the intro when I mentioned them as a sponsor, you can also set up an autoresponder. So Jeff, when people come to your site, perhaps they subscribe to get a free something. Maybe a free video with somebody famous who you've done a stick for, and who talks about your service or something like that. Then you have that email address. But then, based on how many days you want, you can say, for example, the next day they get an email, and maybe it gives them another cool story of somebody using your service. Then three days later they get another email, and then maybe a week later they get an email with a special deal to get something that you offer. Again, that's all completely automated so those can be content emails. Those can be social proof type emails. Those can be promotional emails. Whatever you'd like to do, and you can obviously test those things out, but that is the way to go, and that's how you should be managing your email on your website. Then those are connected to your Google Apps or your CustomStix.com email, which is run through Google Apps and you'd be able to manage your replies and everything there. AWeber is just what you use to send mass emails out to everybody, and collect those email addresses as well.
Finally, there is one step above that, and that's using another tool that is more than just an email service provider, but there are a bunch of these tools out there that allow you to sort of combine the email service provider with a CRM and an action-based email service provider. So, meaning it's not just where people sign up, they get put into a list, and then X number of days they get these emails depending on when the subscribe. This is more sort of action-based type email, so you know that if somebody clicks this link, they get tagged this certain tag, and then you can send emails to people who are tagged in different ways. Then you can use a tool like InfusionSoft to do that. There are other ones out there, like Ontraport and other things like that, but InfusionSoft is the one that seems to be the one that most people use. I know, and you can tell, when you get those emails that have links if you hover over those links, if they say InfusionSoft, those people are using InfusionSoft, and that is a link that helps them keep track of who does what and what actions they take, and then puts them into different tags so that they can send more personalized -mails to those people, which is really cool. You can get really ninja with that sort of thing.
Now, AWeber costs $1 for the first month, if you go to AWeber.com/askpat, and then you pay based on the number of people on your list. It's very affordable, for sure. InfusionSoft, because it's more advance, because there's a lot more things going on, beginning there's a sort of set up fee, and then you're paying a little bit more than you would with AWeber.
Those are your options, Jeff. There's a lot of things you can do. I definitely think it's time to graduate from the Yahoo email account. Get a Google Apps for Work account and you can actually migrate from Yahoo to Gmail. There you can keep all your existing folders, all your existing contacts. Just look up on Google, “Transfer from Yahoo to Gmail,” and you'll discover the ways to do that. It doesn't look pretty hard based on what I've researched. It's nothing I can really tell you here on the podcast. It's more step by step. There's a lot of great tutorials out there with pictures and things like that, so I definitely recommend that. Then getting set up with an email service provider like AWeber, and then if you wanted to maybe down the road, once you start to really get ninja with your sales funnels and customers, using a tool like InfusionSoft could be pretty cool too.
So, Jeff, I hope that answers your question. Thank you so much for it. An AskPat t-shirt is going to be headed your way for having your question featured here on the show. For those of you listening, if you'd like to have your question potentially featured here on the show, just head on over to AskPat.com. You can ask right there on that page. Of course, I want to thank today's sponsor, which I've mentioned a few times here on this episode, AWeber. If you go to AWeber.com/askpat, see a little video of me with a little testimonial about how I use the service, and you can also get it for $1 for the first month, which is super cool. Again, it's the one I started with. It's the one I've used for over five years. It's great. They've done really good for me; I've definitely gotten my money back based on what I've been able to do with the email lists that I've been able to build. Again, you can check that out at AWeber.com/askpat.
As always, I like to end with a quote, and today's quote is from the great Zig Ziglar. “It's not how far you fall, but how high you bounce that counts.” Cheers. Take care, and I'll see you in the next episode of AskPat.
Create an email list with the email service provider that got my business started.