How to Avoid Email Marketing Mistakes

Multiple streams of income bring more value to your business. One stream of income people often forget about is email marketing. Today’s guest Ken Mahar, founder of Email Broadcast, has been in the sales and email marketing arena for many years. Business owners nowadays are quick to find an expert in other media marketing channels, but when it comes to email marketing, they often implement it unprofessionally, ignoring the potential for campaigns to generate income. Ken’s company sets about optimizing your email marketing strategies by carefully preparing them months ahead and sticking with them, therefore nurturing that ongoing relationship with the buyer.

Email marketing is the dinosaur of digital marketing tactics, yet remains one of the best. Ken has over 18 years of email marketing experience, going back almost to the dawn of the online space. Ken’s experience, along with the expertise of his team, helps clients launch and maintain successful email marketing campaigns. Today he’s sharing some of the mistakes people make and valuable ways to avoid those mistakes.

Episode Highlights:

  • Common mistakes people often commit with their email marketing strategies.
  • What content planning takes place between the firm and a client before starting a campaign.
  • How Ken helps clients bring a lead through the funnel.
  • How often he refines the client’s automation processes and tracks the campaign’s performance.
  • The importance of segmenting your audience.
  • How personalization is important – to a degree.
  • Tips for learning how to implement the technical side of an email campaign.
  • Why outsourcing the email marketing side of your business can pay off.
  • The importance of grabbing that email address!
  • Why business should always offer something that people want (and not something they don’t).

Transcription:

Joe: Multiple streams of income bring more value, right Mark?

Mark: Absolutely.

Joe: All right. One stream of income so many people forget about because it’s hard, you have to learn things and it seems so old school is email marketing. But I understand you just had Ken from Email Broadcast on the podcast and he talked a lot about the benefits of email marketing.

Mark: Yeah. One of the things he started out with in the call which I find to be just really poignant to so many entrepreneurs is we are really quick to hire people that are specialists in Facebook marketing or AdWords or different paid media but when it comes to email marketing a lot of us just say I’ll take care of it. And then we make it like this after thought, right? It’s kind of out there or is like okay we’re going to send out a couple of broadcasts e-mails. In fact, the number of people I talked to that own businesses and we talk about their different marketing mix they tell me oh yeah you know if we would be using our email list that would be a huge opportunity for growth but we just haven’t really done that yet. It’s staggering the number of people that are doing this. And I think the reason why we are not necessarily using our email lists the way we should is because it’s actually kind of tough to do. It’s easy to send out a broadcast to our list of potential clients or customers that are signed up for email notifications. But it’s really hard to actually sit down and say okay I’m going to segment that list. I’m going to set up automation sequences. I’m going to set up follow up sequences to these people. And I’m actually going to be intelligent about how I’m emailing my list. And so much of us just kind of give it this kind of head nod of like okay we’re doing something with our email but it’s not really optimized. And Ken from EmailBroadcast.com, that’s what his group does entirely. They help people set up an email automation sequence, email broadcast like editorial calendar months in advance so that you’re intelligently talking to your customers and your newsletter subscribers in a way that could actually nurture those relationships. One of the tidbits that he gave me which I absolutely loved was this idea of going to a conference. How many of us collect just dozens of contact cards at conferences and then what would we do with those? Maybe we send out an email after … maybe; most of us don’t,  saying it was nice to meet you but what Ken does is he takes all of those and he drops them into a sequence with his email system. And so we talked a lot about these ways that we can look at email marketing in probably a more sophisticated way than most of us are doing. And if nothing else this is a pitch to saying you have an email list but you probably aren’t using it the right way. And so I thought it’d be good to have him on since this is all his firm does to talk about some of the mistakes that they see in how entrepreneurs are running their email lists and what we can do to start to actually implement a few changes today and actually start utilizing that email list more appropriately.

Joe: Yeah, I think people that are running their own internet businesses or buying one and wanting to grow it should seriously look at this. You know I’ve probably done a thousand valuations over the last six years and there are only a few … a tiny little handful, a fraction of a percent of people that focus on that and it makes a difference. Michael Jackness is one of them and he now travels around the country, actually sometimes the world giving presentations on his email marketing campaign that he does for one of his coloring books. It really is something that you can and should do and the customers actually when it’s done right they appreciate it. When it’s done wrong it’s a problem. We are imperfect ourselves in this regard Mark. I think you’ve sent out some emails in the last few weeks where I get it and it says that it’s … it’s to me, to [email protected] and still says it’s dangerous, right? So doing it on your own even though it’s coming from Quiet Light to a Quiet Light email address stuff like that can still happen so I think doing it on your own is … it’s a gamble. So hiring somebody like Ken unless you’ve got the resources to really study it up and do it is a pretty smart idea.

Mark: Yeah I mean just to bring it up into different sections; you have the technical side which is what we were running into. I had to setup the SPF and the DKIM records-

Joe: What?

Mark: Yeah right.

Joe: I’m so glad you do that and not me.

Mark: Exactly. So we had to go there but then you look at okay you have an email list but you don’t just treat it as one big blob of people that you’re talking to. You need to actually set up and start to segment that list. And then how are you actually interacting with these people. These things multiply. So if you segment your list into four segments which isn’t that much. And then you would consider okay these four segments are going to get distinct emails and there’s going to be an eight email sequence between this four segments. Now you have to write 32 emails in order to get all of these sequences in place. And then you have to measure and go back and do these and continually improve. It’s a lot of work and honestly the fact that we’re doing a lot of this on our own as entrepreneurs, is it a good idea? Maybe … maybe not; maybe it’s the time to hire somebody out but I think if nothing else think about it. Think about what you’re doing and how you’re using your email list. Are you treating this audience as one big blob of people and sending them all the same message? If so you’re leaving a lot of money on the table.

Joe: I agree. If you can get a 2 or 3% lift in your discretionary earnings because of email marketing as long as it’s a profitable lift; it’s important. That adds a lot of value to your company. Jackness I believe you a little 50% of his revenue for his website comes from his email marketing campaign so that’s something serious to consider for people that have the right type of product. So let’s go to it, let’s see what Ken has to say.

Mark: Sounds great.

Mark: All right Ken thanks so much for having me. This is Ken Mahar. Did I pronounce that right Ken?

Ken: Yup.

Mark: Awesome. Thanks for joining me. You come from EmailBroadcast.com so this is going to be an episode really focusing on email habits, some of the mistakes people make with email marketing, and we’ll also wrap into this episode hopefully things that maybe what you should do from sell side to be able to prepare for selling your business and making sure that that part of the business has good opportunity and is well set up. But let’s start out real quick, Ken, if you can provide everyone just a background or a bio on you.

Ken: How much time do we have? I’ll try to keep it short I guess. I’m Ken Mahar. I’m the founder and CEO of Email Broadcast. I’ve been running this company for 18 years so back before email marketing was really even a thing was when I got started. I actually have a sales background and I used email marketing for my own sales efforts. I found it to be tremendously helpful and successful. Itched it to some other businesses that I had worked for before, I’m saying you should guys really do this and then they’re like we don’t know how to do it so I started serving them. So yeah my background in sales is everything from retail to business to business. And then I got into inside sales for a high tech firm, I took over a territory. It was 11 states. We sold direct and through the channel. So I’ve kind of done everything there is in the sales arena. And the reason that I am still running Email Broadcast is because I found that email marketing is one of the best channels to impact sales. And so I kind of combined my expertise in the sales arena along with delivering email marketing from my entire team. We have the technical aspect; the writer’s, the operations and all that stuff and then I do my part on the sales and the strategy part. So I guess that’s a quick background on me.

Mark: You’ve had the company for 18 years?

Ken: Yeah.

Mark: Holy cow man that’s ancient in the world of internet businesses. You’ve seen a lot.

Ken: Yeah. In fact I thought about naming my business Constant Contact or they ever existed and I just thought that sounds a little too aggressive so I didn’t do that. But Email Broadcast is a pretty good name.

Mark: Constant Contact aka we’re always going to be in your inbox is really really what we’re saying.

Ken: Exactly.

Mark: All right; pretty cool. You’ve seen a lot, 18 years is a long time. I’ve been online for about 20 years myself … actually, 2018; 20 years. I’ve been online for 20 years. I started my first site back in 1998 so that’s a really long time; cool. All right, email marketing; there is a lot that goes on with email marketing and I want to get from you some of the common mistakes that you see people do with email marketing. Everybody knows that you should be doing it. I know here at Quiet Light we recommend pretty heavily that people establish a good list and use this as a channel to acquire more customers. Primarily because out of all the things, all the customer acquisition channels that are available out there email is one of the only ones that you actually own and have the ability to control. Google you can’t control. AdWords you can’t control. Facebook you can’t control. Amazon you definitely can’t control. Email you can, so let’s sort out some of the common mistakes that you see people make with their email marketing strategies.

Ken: Sure. Yeah, I think strategy is a good place to start. I think the big picture that I see people make mistakes around is thinking that email is about them. And what I mean by that is they look at email as just another channel for them to promote and to use their sales messages. When in my mind email is more of a relationship builder and a two way communication channel. And so I see a lot of people these people do a lot of mistakes made … in a strategy where people say okay let’s talk about what we want to do in our next sale and our next promotion and us, us, us, us, us, and it just becomes a channel for commercials. And if you think about it email is a media channel. And in media channels you should have content that people are interested and excited to hear; whether it’s educational or inspirational or whatever. And then you might have a commercial message every now and then. But if you are only commercials how long would you listen to that radio station? And people treat their email like that. They just promote, promote, promote, and they don’t add any value to their audience’s lives. So one of the big paradigm shifts that our clients go through is to realize this isn’t about you, this is about your audience. What do they want to learn? What are they into? What inspires them and to get them to think in that perspective. So I think that’s a pretty big mistake. What else? I think the second biggest strategy mistake I see is that people think that copy writing is email marketing. And they say oh yeah we need to get an email out, we haven’t had one for a while. Let’s get one out today and let’s make it really good. And that’s just a terrible, terrible strategy because the chances you’d be coming up with a great idea, creating great, well written, well researched content; actually having something so valuable to your audience that they’re willing to forward it to someone … you know one of their friends, getting your … making sure that every single link works, making sure that it’s grammatically perfect all like in 24 hours is just a recipe for disaster. So we look at it and go you should be planning this stuff out weeks or months ahead. My team is already done with November and we’re scheduling December messages right now. And we’ve been working on the November stuff for a while already. So planning ahead and having like an overarching strategy is a big mistake that people make.

Mark: Let me go back actually to your first point.

Mark: Yeah.

Mark: We had Mike Jackness on the podcast several episodes ago and he talked a little bit about their email marketing that they do. They see crazy open rates of 30% plus on their stuff and they’re emailing their members almost every single day. So it’s a pretty heavy and intense email marketing strategy but really the key behind what he’s doing really isn’t a surprise. And he’s trying to offer ridiculous value with every single email so that people look forward to it. And your point about making it all about you, there’s a great BuzzSumo article where they analyzed 100 million headlines to see what got shared the most. I love this blog post. I actually go to it once every few months just to revisit some of the concepts in this. But one of the big things that they do there and I found that these headlines is that headlines that get shared, the headlines they get opened, the emails that get opened are the ones that promise something to the user. Who is the person that’s actually opening this? Is there a promise in that headline? And when you decide with this headline I’m going to promise something to the user that’s a much better reason to open it up. Nobody really cares about your big news for the day all that much but they do care about what they’re going to get if they’re going to open that email.

Ken: Yeah, it’s funny when people put on their email marketing hat they’re like … they disconnect from their own mind about what do I want in my own inbox, right?

Mark: Right.

Ken: It’s something that I would really appreciate in value and go wow that was really good. And in fact, that’s kind of our litmus test where we ask ourselves is this so good that you would forward it to a friend? And if that’s a yes then you’re probably on the right track.

Mark: Right, so you got to start with that value prop, make it into something about the other person and let your subscriber know what are you going to get from this is email. If you take the time to open it if you’re going to take the time to click it if there’s a link in there you’ve got to get something in return and you got to make that promise up front. I’m sorry to step all over what you’re saying.

Ken: No, it’s okay, and I think … and this is a really important point. So it’s you take a page out of Gary Vaynerchuk’s book right? Jab, jab, jab, right hook. Of course you’re doing email because you have a strategy in mind and the strategy is you want a return on your investment right? But you need to think about the ratio, and 3:1 is a good ratio. Do you give, give, give between each ask or are you ask, ask, ask, ask, ask and maybe give once in a while, right?

Mark: Right. Let’s talk about that strategy of you guys just finished November and for a reference, for people that … because this probably won’t actually air until maybe first day of November, it’s October 25th today. So we’re not even done with October. You guys have finished out your planning for your clients all the way through November. When you’re planning that out are you looking at sort of like this rhythm to the emails as far as … like you said give, give, give, sell, give, give, give, ask, or is it also kind of moving along with holidays? What sort of planning are you doing on behalf of your customers to plan that far out in advance?

Ken: Right. Yeah, so that actually opens up another great strategy idea that I think people blow it on. One of the first things we do when we onboard a client is we come up with … in fact I got a meeting in about an hour on this where we come up with 50 to 100 different content ideas before we even get this campaign started. So we have this giant treasure trove of content ideas. Once we learned about the audience we think we know who they are. We think about what would be important to them. And we come up with a lot of ideas. Some of them are just plain nuts but we document everything; we put it in a document. And so as we work with our clients, the November emails aren’t just planned, they’re actually planned, executed and already scheduled. So they’re in the can just waiting for the days to tick by until they get released. So we actually started working in November last month. So yeah probably another big mistake that people make beyond if like not thinking of content ideas ahead is not planning for email work. And it is weird people will just kind of go oh dude I tried to sneak it in between something else because that is blocking out real time and saying this is an important part of my business, it’s a huge channel for me. I’ve got to schedule time for this and they continuously under estimate how long it takes to write brilliant copy, have a copy edited, come up with great images, get it scheduled, think about how they can enhance it. And it’s one of those things that if you put it aside for a second and then you come back to it you have fresh new ideas, a fresh perspective and you can always make it a little bit better. So scheduling that time, getting on a rhythm, and doing it ahead of time is big paradigm shift for a lot of people.

Mark: Yeah let me ask you, I don’t want to divert too much from kind of the thread we have going here but in the world of email marketing, we have a couple of different concepts as far as when people receive emails. Well if you start off at the very first contact with somebody who just joins your email list they might automatically be put into a campaign where they’re going to get different emails at certain times versus your … maybe your entire block of subscribers where you might just be sending out broadcast to those subscribers on a regular basis. I want to ask you a little bit about that. How much emphasis do you like to put on one versus the other? In other words if I come to EmailBroadcast.com and you have a lead magnet there and downloadable resource or something else, how long are you going to put me in a pre-defined process where you’re going to lead me through an arc and trying I guess funnel marketing right here but bringing you down that funnel to a certain point versus taking me out of that campaign where I’ve got this ready written emails that everybody else has received earlier and now I’m in your general kind of flow into your general broadcasts.

Ken: Yeah well, I’ll speak to exactly what’s happening right now on our campaign. So we have a year-long champion going on right now that is a story format. We have some brilliant writers … in fact actual published and award winning authors and so we’ve tapped that and we’ve written out a fictional story about a guy who owns an RV lot and has a huge competitor move into town and is trying to figure out how to handle it with his marketing. And so right now when you sign up on our email list we kind of thought of it as kind of a Netflix situation where you binge on episodes until you get caught up. So right now when you sign up you get an email from us once a week until you’re caught up and then we do a monthly broadcast. So I’m not sure that completely answers your question but it still kind of depends on when you join but I think we’re in episode eight or nine right now. So for seven weeks in a row, you would get the next chapter of the story and then once you’re caught up it comes out monthly.

Mark: Yeah, that makes sense. So it sounds like again when you’re planning out your broadcast schedule here for November and December as you go get into those months you really need to think about the fact the person that’s been with you now through that time they’ve already been through that. In this case a year-long journey, that’s pretty significant and they’ve already had that exposure to your company. And so you’re going to write and create that general broadcast strategy with that in mind that these are not people completely new to who you are.

Ken: Right and then what we’ve done is we did have an interruption in the story, like a commercial interruption like the old school radio shows or something. But we had a message on like July that was like hey here are a couple of things you might think about and there were something promotional. There was a blog post. There was a different value ad but it was just kind of a little interruption in the normal sequence. So if you think about it we actually planned … the emails that are going out on November and December we planned last year; last fall when we outlined our storyline and figured out what chapters were going to go when. And so right now we’re working on our 2019 campaign which is going to be all different. We’ve been working on it for a month and a half or so and we’re kind of finalizing our strategy around that and so we hit the ground running in January.

Mark: Yeah so much of marketing and I don’t think really matters what the format is whether it’s AdWords or Amazon Ads or email marketing, so much marketing seems to be this idea of measuring, refining, repeating. So you’re going back and you’re taking a look at what worked, what didn’t work, you’re testing things against each other. How often is your team if you have a client on board and you’ve drafted this this kind of initial sequence that people are going to get when they enter into one of the many different funnels that you have set up. How often are you going back and refining that for them?

Ken: Well, we look at it monthly. It’s part of our process where … it’s on our checklist to go and review the automation for instance. So if we’ve built an onboarding series or a welcome series for a client we look at it monthly and we kind of track the numbers and we start and we look at it. If it’s not performing to our expectations then we’ll think about tweaking it. And so we’ll dig in in the messages and think okay what are people on the activity that we are getting what are people most interested in? Which of these has the best open rate? What clicks are … what things are people clicking on and maybe we should refine the message a little bit. So we look at it once a month. There’s a danger at looking at it too much. It’s like looking at your stocks every single two hour period, things go up and down and so you want to avoid the small sample bias and look at it over time but we look at it monthly.

Mark: Okay. Let’s talk a little bit more about some of the mistakes people make. I’m going to throw one in and then you tell me if I’m spot on or if I’m off base here. I would say one mistake that I see is people taking a one size fits all approach to their email list. So everybody gets the exact same emails regardless where they came from.

Ken: Yeah and a good example of that is we are on boarding a new client in the cosmetic medicine practice which serves 90% females but we are … and so part of our strategy is that we’re going to ask people to identify their gender when they sign up for our email list. And if they do say that they’re male we’re going to have a completely different first message for them making them feel very welcomed as a man in what is otherwise a woman dominated consumer market. And we think that’s going to be a big deal. It’s going to grow their practice through male audience without much effort at all. So yeah not segmenting your audiences is … you’re right it’s another big mistake. People think oh I’m just going to broadcast to everybody. Okay well, there are certain messages that are good for that and that maybe most of the time but really you should be thinking about your email lists thinking about what segments can I target. For instance, another example we have a large furniture retailer in Louisiana, Arkansas in Texas and we came up with this idea that we should target the people who have their private label credit card. And we also identified another sub market of people who are on their … so private label credit card is for people with pretty good credit and then they also have a kind of a buy here pay here market. So we get a different message to each of those segments. It turned out combined they were only 7.8% of the list but in one message to each of them we ended up driving $430,000 in new sales for the weekend for just that one segment. So by targeting a message just specifically to them with a specific offer that was really relevant; that we had huge response.

Mark: That personalization is a huge issue right now. I saw one thing that was really cool. It was somebody who is qualifying their email subscribers before they signed up through a quiz. And the quiz was kind of fun and it was actually in the cosmetics field. So it was what’s the shape of your face? And it just had cartoon characters. It wasn’t offensive or anything like that. What’s the shape of your face? What’s the tone of your skin? And they went through probably about six, seven questions but then you were able to break out into this really cool like super segmented this is a female with this skin tone with this shape of face with this size of eyes this sort of thing and you can really cater the messaging. And this was more than … they were doing email marketing but also some other recommendations that is super super cool.

Ken: Yeah, the danger around that … well, not the danger but the recommendation is don’t ask for anything you’re not actually going to use. So a couple of things around like I see a blast for last name in their email sign up forms and I think that’s like one step too far of getting a little too personal a little too quickly off the bat. And unless you’d actually have a use for somebody’s last name why are you asking for it? Even … but also people take that in the wrong direction as they say here sign up for our email list and all they ask for is the email address. Okay well, that’s not enough, right? It’s like at least get their first name because if you don’t you’re giving up on a huge personalization opportunity with putting peoples name in the subject line and addressing them by name and actually creating a relationship. When you’re saying give me your email address what you’re really saying is I’m going to blast you like I do everybody else on my list and I don’t really care who you are or anything about you. So there’s a check for your listeners if you’re only collecting email address you’re doing it wrong.

Mark: Yeah and I’m going to make a plea here as well, this is turning into my great show here but one of the things I can’t stand with email marketers when they’re … when I get on a list is the hey buddy buddy sort of approach that comes without me even knowing who you are. Like there’s a point where you got one of the so corporate and stiff to the point where it just feels stale and separate. But if you come in and pretend like we went to college together that’s equally off putting to me. I want to have somewhere in the middle where I can get to know you a little bit and again kind of test out to see do you have value to offer. But I guess that’s where that copywriter comes in, having a copywriter who’s done thousands of these emails before.

Ken: Yeah, and I would actually say that I would rather somebody do that if that’s really their authentic voice and that’s really who they are where they want to be buddies with you and if you’re not ready for that then fine get the hell off my list. I think that’s a better approach than trying to please everybody. You know I’d dig into authenticity around email marketing, it’s one of the things that we really drive home with our clients is to say I want people to know who you really are not who you’re pretending to be. So if you’ve only got six people on your team let’s celebrate that. You’re feisty and small and responsive and adaptive versus trying to pretend like you’re some mega-corporation. But yeah everybody’s different and you have to realize that. So really you should concentrate on attracting the people that you want to attract.

Mark: Yeah.

Ken: So if that’s important to somebody that they’d be buddies with you and you didn’t like that then maybe they did themselves a favor by not winning your business; who knows.

Mark: Yeah, absolutely the authenticity is definite. I see sometimes with these people also lack of authenticity trying to win me over by being a little hokey. But if it is authentic to me then well so be it. The rest of the people buy me dinner first. So I want to shift gears really heavily here because I want to get to this before our time is up and I want to talk about the technical side of this.

Ken: Yeah.

Mark: This is just the hairy issue. There’s a lot of systems out there. We use drip marketing at Quiet Light Brokerage. I like the system but we also have an external CRM which means we need to get these two things to talk to each other. What tips would you have for people on that technical side? I know that’s really an open ended question but I’m going to have to throw it in your part as far as just the tips of working with the technical side. How much effort should people be putting into that sort of that technical side setup?

Ken: Yeah, this will tie back into the strategy question too. One of the most under-utilized aspects of email marketing is the use of automation. When you can define what your sales process is and know where people are falling out of your funnel or use an automation series to take people from not step A to step B but from step D to step E. You know there are all kinds of opportunities to use email to kind of leverage your time. Basically having the platform do what you would do if you had a million hours in the day and all you did was write emails all day. Setting up the platform to do that is important. But you’re right that does take some technical integration stuff. So my tips, I would say work with the bigger players in the market is probably a good tip because they’ve been around for a while. They likely have the integrations for some of the bigger … so if you’re trying to choose an email marking platform and a CRM go … I wouldn’t go with a guy that’s brand new yesterday because he probably doesn’t have a very well developed API and it’s not a plug and play situation. So if you’re trying to save yourself some headaches go with bigger players in the market that have been established that have an API that already potentially connect. Look at the integration possibilities. But I’d also say that it’s generally worth it, right? There may be some pain involved in trying to figure it out but don’t give up. Get help, hire somebody and figure out how to get those things integrated because it can really make a big difference for you. You mentioned the CRM right? So we’ve got ours dialed in so I can fill out a single form and it populates both my email marketing to start a drip series but it also sends that exact same data to my CRM to save me from double entry. So yeah integration is the key. There is a lot to integrate; getting your sign up forms cracked on your website, getting the email thing dialed in, connecting your CRM. We’re going to be connecting in a medical records system for this latest client that we did and getting an API expert on that and we have that in house so we do not have that problem but it’s important.

Mark: Yeah, so when we get into the actual set up of these things … I have another company that I own, I know those folks that listen regularly probably know about it but we use a lot of automation on our email side there. And even with that I mean you talked about the multiplying effect here, right? Let’s say that what you are going to segment your audience into just three different segments and then you’re going to set up automation sequences with a series of 10 emails in each. Well now you’re writing out 30 different emails with different email copy and on top of that you have your broadcast emails that are going to go out. And on top that may be some other campaigns and you have to try to make sure that these things don’t duplicate where people are receiving multiple emails because they’re accidentally subscribed to two different campaigns within our system and then figuring out how to make all the technology work together. So this is the part where I’m going to just make this quick pitch for the stuff that you guys do over at EmailBroadcast.com which is you guys do all of this. You are the full service sort of provider for this email automation of marketing right?

Ken: Yeah, I have a team of people and I think that’s the key thing because each of my team members is a specialist. So I have an engineer that thinks in bits and bytes. I have copywriters. I have a sales strategist which is me. I have an operations manager to help keep things on track and then an account coordinator. We designated an account coordinator for each account so they truly understand who our client is, what their business is, what their goals are, what they’re trying to accomplish, and can really feel like a member of their team. So in effect, we are an email marketing department. Imagine a Fortune500 firm that had an entire department to handle email marketing. Well, we are that but for much smaller businesses who can get us for the cost of a part time employee. So yeah we handle everything from strategy to the copy writing, to the design, to the engineering, the mobile optimization, integrating it with the CRM, integrating it with medical record systems, setting up all the automation. Making sure things aren’t overlapping and you have people getting multiple stuff and somebody looking at it; somebody thinking about your campaign a month in advance. Thinking about the seasonal stuff like Q4 for us is heavy so we’ve been thinking about Q4 since July about how we’re going to get ready, which of our clients are going to want to do extra messages. That’s the value we add. We’re the people that you wish you had an entire department … and I think this is a different … I think this is an important point because some people go okay great this email something I’m going to outsource and I’m going to look for that one guy. Well, I’ve been doing this for 18 years and I’m not even that one guy. I’m not … I can’t be the best copywriter, the greatest sales strategist, the engineer to integrate everything, the operations manager to get it all done. I mean maybe that person is out there but you’re certainly not going to get them for a song. And so I think dividing the labor … you know divide and conquer and having each person in a team that’s used to working together is a great solution. And a lot of people don’t realize that this kind of solution is out there. They think that email marketing is something they have to do on their own even though they struggle. They’ve written the messages a bit inconsistent, the branding is not where they like it, they’re doing stuff last minute, they know they’re abusing their audience’s trust, they have low engagement, they’re like hell and they know there weren’t any other options. So we are out there.

Mark: Yeah, fantastic. Regardless of whether or not somebody is going to use an outsource solution like what you guys offer which would be like an outsourced email department as you said it is something that I think people need to really pay attention to that aspect of the business. And you’re right, I look at a lot of businesses … I look at the health of a lot of businesses and see where they’re putting their time and efforts. And sometimes I see this really just beautifully built out Facebook campaigns, this really beautifully optimized Ad-words accounts, but it’s only been on a rare occasion where I see that applied in the email world. And when I do see it applied though it tends to be sort of a cash machine, right? All these other customer acquisition strategies are able to just funnel in there. And once they funnel in there those people are in because the systems are set up and ready to go. It does take time to plan. It does take time to refine. It does take time to go back there but this can be one of the biggest customer acquisition channels for pretty much any business that’s out there. So I think the work that you guys are doing is awesome. I love some of the tips that you had in there. I know that there are a lot more tips that we didn’t cover. I mean on one of our conversations you talked about hey what are you doing with the conference cards that you get? Do you actually follow up with them and is it just kind of one quick follow up or do you drop them into a sequence of some sort where they end up getting a series of emails; that’s brilliant. There you go, look at that you-

Ken: I just attended a conference so I’m holding up a fan of contacts that I have and I … you know we walk or talk. I put these people into a segment in our email list and we’ve already emailed them twice which is more than anybody else who went to that conference has done. We have a third message already scheduled so yeah that and we advise people about their offline activities. Like we have customers … I had this customer one time, he literally interrupted my … our phone call to take a call. I only heard his part of the conversation. He sat there for five minutes helping this person out, they sell this rooftop tent deals and I’m like how many conversations like that do you have a day and he’s like I don’t know 15, 20. I go how many people are you getting emails from? Zero. I’m like wow okay huge opportunity for you. Ask for their email address after you just spent five minutes helping somebody. They’re going to give it to you. Put them on your list and now you’ve got a chance to market to them and then they’ll buy a tent. So yeah there’s a lot to email marketing and I hope your audience takes it to heart and really goes after it and figures out how can I add value? How can I make this amazing? And don’t worry about the immediate payoff. Trust me it’ll it will pay off in the end. What can I offer people that come to my website to actually get on my email list? If you’re saying sign up for my email okay you need to rethink that. What value is there? People don’t know what your email is. They probably haven’t defined how often it goes out. They don’t know what they’re going to get in return and so sign up for our newsletter you know who wants to do that? But if you can give me the top five tips in selling my business in the next year oh okay yeah that’s why I came to your website, that’s what I want to know about. So that’s the kind of thing you need to offer.

Mark: Awesome so if people have questions about this or just want to bounce ideas off with you how can they reach you?

Ken: Yeah, [email protected] the phone number is 805-316-3201. And if you want a little branding tip or just have some fun call that number just to listen to our auto-responder. It’s pretty funny that we put together. You could go to our website at EmailBroadcast.com and on there there’s a pretty easy to find that you can schedule a 20 minute call with me free of charge just to be asked about your email. I can give you a couple of ideas, find out if … work out something that might be right for you but kind of get your head in the right direction. So hopefully that helps.

Mark: Yeah absolutely. I’m actually going to call that number because that’s a pretty good tease to get them to call the number. Well put links to that on the show notes page so feel free to go to the show notes page and you’ll be able to see those links as well as contact information for you Ken. Thank you so much for coming on. I really appreciate it.

Ken: Thank you, Mark, it’s been a pleasure and I hope everybody here is reinvigorated to do great email marketing. That’s why I exist in the world, to get people to up their game around email marketing. Good luck.

Links and Resources:

Email Ken Mahar

Email Broadcast Website

Call Email broadcast @ 805.316.3201

 

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