Ep. 137 – How can you leverage email to create more profitability in your business and in a way that’s sustainable? As profitable email marketing programs are quickly emerging as a heavy need in the marketplace, this a question that is being asked more commonly than ever. Chris has personally developed an automated email marketing framework, that has yet to be defeated, and is sharing a few of his biggest pointers to building a successful email program.
You’re listening to the all systems go podcast, the show that teaches you everything you need to know to put your business on autopilot. Learn how to deploy automated marketing and sales systems in your business the right way with your host, the professor of automation himself and founder of automation bridge, Chris Davis.
Chris Davis 0:31
Welcome to the all systems go podcast. I’m your host, Chris L. Davis, where we invite digital marketers, and founders of light to discuss software’s and strategies to scale your business. And what I want to talk to you about today, what I want to discuss on this podcast is, what does it take to build a successful email program in first, let me start off by defining what is the email program? Okay, this is not my terminology. This is the markets terminology. The more and more people have inquired or had issues, the language that seemed to be the most comprehensive, and comprehensible, was calling it an email program. Now, for those of us in the digital marketing space. That means how do you build an email marketing system that’s automated? And what does this email marketing system do? It sends emails consistently without your spam rate or unsubscribe rate, skyrocketing, deliver it without deliverability issues, and the emails actually produce a result. That’s what an emails an automated email marketing system is, right? But for the sake of understanding, and I don’t want to lose anybody in this on this episode, we’re going to refer to it as an e mail program. All right. And with that being said, I want to again, and again, this is this is sourcing from the reality that this is a heavy need in the marketplace right now, like an extremely heavy need in the marketplace. And the emergence of email and how it started as advanced with little features, to easy adopt with more features is really what I’m talking about. So what do I mean? In the beginning, I’m going to date myself as a marketer here, I would say maybe 15 years ago, 15 years ago, AWeber, MailChimp, eye contact, Constant Contact, were like some of the primary email providers, and at that time, they weren’t very advanced, are flexible. And if you were using those, it was like, wow, well, now it’s so low flexibility, low features, right, this was email marketing platforms. Now you look at it, just look at MailChimp. We’ll take MailChimp for an example. MailChimp, has e commerce, it has tagging, it has segmentation. It has all kinds of integrations, more flexibility, more features, right. However, like most technologies, it with most industries, the technology has evolved faster than the average acumen of the market. So 10-15 years ago, I’m learning email marketing and me I’m a I’m a Jeff Walker. graduate or alumni whatever you want to call it, Jeff Walker was the one that showed me through his Product Launch Formula. I think like 2.0 This was early that how email marketing worked, right. So with that being said 10 Fast Forward 10 to 15 years. I’m thinking it’s commonplace. It’s common knowledge this is just what we do. They you send emails, they land in people’s inbox, they open them you convert leads to customers, customers to more customers. It’s not the case. The acumen for email marketing in reality has just is just now starting to increase right. Now people want to email but they don’t know how to do it profitably in a way that’s sustainable. So the the journey prior to this was like educating the market that email marketing is a thing like hey, look, you guys should be sending emails this is this is what it can do this is join in and I don’t know if you all remember like
Chris Davis 4:36
Digital Marketer had the machine the book and it shows you your indoctrination out Now granted, I never read it and the reason why I never read it in full disclosure is because I want to author my own book on email marketing, marketing automation, and I just don’t want to be tainted. That’s all I don’t want to be influenced by anybody else’s tutelage or knowledge. But anyways, you have digital marketer, you had all All of these, like I said, Jeff Walker, you had all of these gurus talking about how email marketing can be profitable, how it should work, and why every entrepreneur should be building a list and things of that nature. And it’s taken time is taken time for the market to say, Okay, we trust this and maybe COVID, maybe COVID was a big push as well. But when I look at me, you know, as a marketing automation expert, the the epitome of an automation service provider, myself leading, leading that charge, creating the space, I realized something everybody as much as I love to automate systems and work with startups and put these fast scaling systems and solve problems with technology and strategize around marketing and sales, how to close quicker shorten sales cycle, expand Lifetime Customer Value, all with technology, right? I love that stuff. Sometimes you choose the work. And other times the work chooses you. And that’s what’s happened to me with email. I was asked maybe a few years ago, in the E commerce space to help and create a profitable email marketing program for a company that just marketed that just wanted to market to their customers. And I was able to do that. And it wasn’t like I was intentionally saying, Hey, I’m going to do this amazing thing. It was just using the proven practices. I knew from automation, I applied them. And they worked. Well, they worked so well. I guess recency bias, I started to hear more and more. And then of course, word gets out, I get more and more inquiries. Hey, can you help me with with my email program? Hey, can you help me with my email? My deliverability sucks, help.
Chris Davis 6:46
Right? These are all things. That what I mean is the industry chose me, I did not actively go and say, I’m going to be the email marketing guy. In fact, we had Adrian savage on the on the oscilloscope podcast, he has a platform dedicated to email deliverability. Somebody like him, I could see him being the champion of creating successful email marketing programs. And he may do that. I’m just saying, you have more intentional, I’m choosing to work and sometimes the work just chooses you because you respond to the call. That’s what happened with me. And I’ll tell you what, it takes intentionality. So for me, I’m no longer like, it’s a chance, I know how to do it because it takes intentionality. And it takes a framework. Okay? With those two, there’s you won’t find as a seasoned marketer, you won’t find yourself without results too often. Okay. So what I’ve done, and this is by the industry choosing me is I developed a framework that’s yet to be defeated. I think that it’s the foundation of every email marketing strategy. existent. By the way, if you’re listening, and you’re, you’ve gone, you’re in the automation service provider program, or you’ve gone through it in your alumni, all my certified people know this, there is a training, you already have access to this framework. The it’s the fixture funnel workshop in the academy. So as you’re listening, you’re like, I need to learn this. It’s there, the map, the the flowchart, all the logic is right there. That’s the the skeleton of the framework. But again, this framework is yet to be defeated. And it’s both a framework and an approach. Okay, so the framework only works with a certain approach. All right, so I want to share a little bit of both. And the reason being is because you know, I’m a human I you guys pulled on my heartstrings. And when I say you, you guys, I mean, you the startups, tech startups that are really trying to navigate this space, I’ll throw in some of the solopreneurs and entrepreneurs, but it’s really the tech startups, they’ve got funding, and they’re really trying to do the right thing, scale safely, sustainably, right? Scale the right way. And email often is a huge part of that, and they fall victim to just not knowing how to deploy it. Okay, so I want to talk through, I want to give you some pointers in there in no particular order, okay, I have them ordered in my program. Don’t get me wrong. And we walk through exactly why this step is what and how it produced. I’ve got various flowcharts to show different configurations of it, but it’s the same framework, right? It’s the same framework. So the first when I think about approach, you have to change your mindset. To to this to understanding this. You have to know the location of all of your leads all of the time. Okay, know the location of all of your leads all of the time. I teach lifecycle marketing, correlated to segmentation Okay, so I know you can go to HubSpot websites like that I think HubSpot is the leading marketing platform that teaches lifecycle marketing, where you have prospect leads MQL, SQL opportunities customers, right. And it may not be saying it verbatim, but I’m pretty close. And within those life cycles, they’re segments, right? Somebody is just not in that lifecycle, then they move to the next you could think that, but your email marketing efforts will be forwarded. So their segments within lifecycle so how do I know what’s lifecycle you’re in, and what segment you’re in, I have to plan that entire path out in advanced, right. So once I do that, I’m able to locate by looking at your record on in my CRM system, and seeing exactly where you’re at. And if I can locate you at all times, then that means I can ensure the messaging that you receive, whether it be manual or automated, is relevant. Okay. Now, in order to do this, again, you have to map out the journey prior. This is why I tell you, I teach this in effect in our weekly office hours calls. I’m usually showing a flowchart because flow charting. In the engineering space, they’re called schematics. And it just it takes skill, it takes repetition, and it just takes hours to really get a flow to flow pun intended.
Chris Davis 11:24
Of get your style, your identity. How do you coordinate? How do you display the boxes and arrows in a way that’s not not hard to follow? Right? So So you need to you this is a skill that you can’t be an automation service provider without and this skill needs to be learned ASAP, if you’re looking to have any kind of success, or if you’re looking for longevity as an automated marketer in the industry. Okay, so now the location of your leads are all the time this speaks to segmentation. You have to you have to be proactive with your segmentation for any form of expectation of success. Otherwise, you’re going to be scratching your head like I don’t know what’s going on. We are open rates used to be so great. They’ve tanked we migrated platforms. Oh, now the new platform doesn’t work. No, no, no, no, no. There’s even a strategy which I have with my list lists maintenance when you’re migrating. Right? How do you how do you keep engagement high, even though you migrate, there’s a way you can’t just import your leads. Now that’s a whole nother topic. And a whole nother course in the academy. Right. So that’s the first one no the leads, know your leads location, all the time be able to locate all your leads all the time. Next, don’t just dump them into mass mailings. Now I see this, I see this a lot. Um, and you need to have a strategic way to onboard leads.
Chris Davis 12:59
Long term leads you let me say this, you need to have a strategic way to onboard new leads, long term leads and customers. I said onboard, not send an email, you’re welcome. And then just start sending emails, you have to be very strategic and what that onboarding sequence looks like. And with e Commerce who there’s many variations, watch this my same framework it but it tweaks, it can be tweaked if you have a trial before you buy the product. And then if you have a trial, if it’s a mandate, or a static duration, or if it’s more dynamic, let’s say you have a 21 day trial, but they can purchase any any day of that 21 days, that’s going to tweak the onboarding, with respect to someone who has a 21 day trial that you can only purchase at the end of the 21 days. Same framework, but I got to have to tweak it a bit. Right, given those considerations. And the idea is, I’m not just going to you give me your email, and then I just dump you in and start sending emails. This is what happens. What happens is people do an additive approach. They do. I’m talking more of a serial sequential, they do more of a parallel all at once. And what happens, you opt in in there some sequence of emails that go out when you opt in because they now know Oh, I can set up an email autoresponder. But while they’re going through that original sequence, you’re also sending them weekly mailings, or promos or whatever you can think of, oh, let’s mail our list. It’s the fastest way to kill your list and burn out your leads. Because they’re confused. They’re getting messaging from all over the place, and they don’t know what to do. It’s not that they don’t want to take the action that you’re asking them to. If you weren’t asking to take one action, which is a sidebar, it’s not in my notes. Many of you are asking people to do too many things in one email. But again, another topic, another podcast, but you have to keep unfocused. You have to you have to treat leads in your email leads in email like children who have this shortest attention span. Right? You could be talking to them saying some good and then somebody’s over here with a sucker. Try to keep that child’s attention. Just Just try it. Try to keep that child’s attention with, with some cartoon playing in the background for my kids who was Backyardigans, my daughter Backyardigans, try try to get her attention, while Backyardigans is playing. And that is some of you. Your email is that back yard has that back yard again effect to an adult. They’re thinking, hey, I need to learn this one thing. And here you go hitting them with all these promos or these other newsletters. And then you wonder why is not working? Well, because it’s not sequential. It’s not sequential. It’s not strategically sequential. The all mailing list or database should be the last step after you strategically onboard them through various phases. Okay. And again, this is where most go wrong. And this was the genesis of my framework. I’ll tell you that it was the genesis of my framework. This framework started when I was at LeadPages. So this is about when I say framework, you when someone says they have a proven process, next time, ask them how old it is. This is at least 10 years, money behind it almost 100 million.
Chris Davis 16:28
This is a solid framework, right? And, and essentially what I’m saying when I’m talking about sequential and everything, it also involves segmentation. And here’s another one, here’s another s, suppression. Segmentation adn supression for success. Okay. And success is achieved through targeted sending. Alright, so I need to know the location of all my leads at all times, then I also need to make sure I’m sequentially taking them through phases, and then targeting my sent through their phases. And then at the appointed appropriate time, I’m done, I’ll drop them into my all mailing to stay on top of mind. Okay. And the last one, so I’ll end it with three, I give you all three, because this stuff is, as you can see, there’s a lot that goes into it, it may just seem like Oh, build an email list in mail? Not really, right. So the last one is build in a way that makes measurement easy. This is actually giving away. So my automation service provider program as part of the amplify my my automation package. It I have 10 commandments of automation building. And this if this is not one, it’s one, it may be a whole module where I talk about measurement. And my thing is you always want to build something so that it’s easy to measure, you will see the difference, you will see the difference in a seasoned marketer, and an a bland marketer, one who lacks seasoning by how difficult it is to measure what you’re doing. If you got to scratch your head, right? You’re trying to figure out how is this working? They need seasoning, your marketer needs seasoning. Okay. So I’ll say this. This is very similar to when I teach automation, build modular, okay, part of that modular approach is making sure that each piece is measurable. It’s just like an automobile. I used this analogy when I was active campaign. But you can go into certain parts of automobile, a car, the fuel system in check, I can check the temperature of my antifreeze in my oil in my engine block and I can go and look at the amount of oil that’s in my car. I have various gauges in ways of observing the the fitness, the maintenance, and the operation of that system. We have to build the same way. We have to build the same way to make it easier to measure because that’s that’s ultimately our guide of what’s working. Why right? copywriters, love this stuff. Go you want to make a copywriter happy, give them a bunch of data based on what’s working, not ideas, not theory, data. All my copywriter friend said said Amen. Thank me later. Matter of fact, go share this with your clients that don’t understand that you’re not a magician with words of magician with a pin. You need data. You have to have data to make a intelligent decision on what angles to use. How long form short form, call to action, what do I want to say is it first person third person, you get what I’m saying? Right. So effectively for the most part, these
Chris Davis 20:00
This is the over, these are the main pillars. Again, I didn’t, I didn’t intentionally like, list them out here, I’m just kinda, I have an idea when I sit down and record these, and I’ve done it so much that it’s very familiar to me, okay. But this is the these are good pillars, this is good foundation for you. But however, knowing what I just told you, you’re still going to need some stuff. All right, you’re still going to need a copywriter. We talked about that copywriting is key for successful email marketing. All right, you got to have a copywriter, you need to have graphic design, somebody to design nice graphics to put in your emails. If you’re using graphics, I’ll put an asterisk by this, some of you don’t need to be using graphics, just send all text emails, right, they tend to perform better anyway. Alright, you need to email email Platform Manager. That may be a new term that you haven’t heard. But this is somebody dedicated to managing your email platform, whether in this, this encompasses building, implementing right measurement, and all of the ancillary tasks, creating links with UTM parameters, right? coordinating with the web app dev or freelancer that’s building the landing pages, so that appropriate fields can be populated or hidden, and received to make sure measurement is accurate. This is what an email platform manager does. And along with strategize, they come to the meetings providing the data, this is the email platform managers, this is their job. Okay. On top of that, you’re going to need an email what I call an email revenue strategist. And this is often the role that I play. When I consult with with with companies. I’ll come in, and I’ll strategize, I’ll take my framework that I know. And I’ll see how it looks for that business. I’ll map it out, I’ll detail it, then the email Platform Manager, implements it, execute it manages it tells me how it’s working, we make the appropriate adjustments, right? This is a collective effort is what I’m telling you. So many of you have one person doing all of this, you also need a web developer, those emails, excuse me, those emails need to go need to be going to pages. Those pages should be on your website. Okay, if they’re not on your website, and you’ve listened to the all systems go, I’ve got a previous episode on all the numbers, sorry, but it’s called the marketing layer. You listen to that, and were able to get one up by yourself, send them to your marketing layer safest way, that way, you don’t need to involve a web developer at all. Okay, you need analytics, analytics, this is part of your email platform manager job. But depending on your strategy, you may be doing some advertising you may be doing, you know, social media paid SEO, whatever you do doesn’t matter. So you may need want somebody specific in those platform for analytics, or your email platform manager may be savvy enough to get those analytics for you. Okay. And lastly, lastly, but definitely not least, you need a a content calendar, you have to have a content calendar, you have to know what you’re sending when. And in this content calendar should also be organized by segment. Okay, what’s going out? When to who? If you’ve got multiple departments? Yes, you’ll you’ll need some cross communication. Hey, when are you guys sending some? Hey, when are you guys send it something? All right, now we’ve got our content calendar, then we’ve got everybody else’s so we can understand the journey. I’m not saying you’ll send less emails. I’m not saying that. I’m just saying make sure that you understand what that journey is going to be. All right, if you start getting high unsubscribe rates, you kind of know why then, right.
Chris Davis 24:07
You got a good indicator of what’s going on up too many emails. Now let me address this idea of too many emails. Well, how many emails are too many emails? Chris, how often should I be be emailing Chris? Two words? It depends. Okay, I’ve seen people email daily. I’ve seen him email weekly. I’ve seen him email monthly. With both results. It’s all about how you set the expectation and how you deliver the value. If right now, I’ve got friends who are deep into cryptocurrency. There are daily newsletters going out and that’s not even enough. They join discord and all kinds of other platforms because they need like hourly insight. Right? But then I’ve got other friends like in the education space, it just doesn’t move that fast. Go ahead and send me something every day if you want to. I don’t have time. Can’t look at it now. b2b, I’ve got my best friends in the construction industry, they’re out in the field, they don’t have time to be looking at email. So it depends. It depends. Now, the frequency may may be more correlative to your industry, but value is universal. If it’s not high value, if you don’t know what people actually want to hear from you, and there’s ways to extract it from email, there’s ways to use email to see what people are interested in and send them more of that. There are ways to do it. Listen, anything is anything can be figured out with the right amount of information for us digital marketers, what is that information? Data? The right amount of data and context? All right, I don’t want to I don’t want to be sloppy, and just say, if you got data, you can figure it out? No, no, no, because you get a lot of false positives. If you have data and context. There’s not much that a savvy marketer can’t figure out. It’s the first thing that I ask for data. Okay. Tell me about where this why you did what, what were you doing? What are you saying? Let me see, you know, let me let me see an email. Let me see this stuff, right. Most people want to just start emailing and making money. It’s the most naive approach I’m seeing, and it needs to stop. I’m here to help slow you down, and let you know that there’s more involved. So what you’re going to need to do is if you’re if you’re the implementer, if you’re serving as the email platform manager and beyond, sit down, this is required listening for your entire team, send it to the CEO, just, hey, there’s 2030 minutes, you can even listen to it on to x 15 minutes, just hear what this guy’s saying. Okay, I partner with marketers all the time, to help the founders understand and help give the marketer guidance to nobody wants to fire their freelancer or fire their employee or just split ways. Everybody wants it to work. And sometimes you need that mediator, you need that person to stand in the gap, and and be the interpreter. The wise interpreter, I play that role a lot. But I just want you want to know, sometimes you’re experiencing a frustration that you’ve created unintentionally, and you just don’t know how to fix it or solve it. It’s nobody is not necessarily any one person’s fault. But one person can help you solve it. They can, this is not a pitch for me, by the way, I can be that person. I’ve been that person to a lot of people. But I’m just trying to give you an understanding of what this journey looks like. So you can approach it realistically. Right?
Chris Davis 27:55
It’s, it’s needed now more than ever. And if you want to gain this skill set, I’ve already mentioned the resources that I have. Okay. Now, let me let me say something special. If you are looking to drive revenue, with email, and you’re having problems, getting your deliverability up, which means it’s reaching it may or may not be reaching the inbox, but your engagement is low. So let me separate deliverability from engagement because Adrian what what he needs this, go listen to the previous podcasts about deliver deliverability don’t know what issue it is, hopefully, you could just do a quick search in Apple or on my website. So deliverability is, is the email actually reaching the inbox, even if it’s spam, it was delivered? Engagement. That’s what we’re looking, I’ve got no engagement, I just really need to need help. I do have for one certified automation service providers, but I have a special intake form that you can fill out we’ll review what your current situation is. And we’ll let you know within a day or two if we can help. Okay, if you want to go if you want to access that form. Okay, it’s automation bridge.com delivery. Nope. I said delivery for i can’t i actually it’s not even delivered. It’s deliverability you talking about them? So rule number one is whenever you give a short URL, it should be easy to spell, and definitely easy to say. So the fact that I’m tripping up over it, I’m definitely breaking a rule. But it is automationbridge.com/deliverability. Deliver and then ability all one word, okay. deliverability and you’ll be able to submit your information we just you know, get what your performance is and see if we can helps against some of you, you just need that outside mind outside guidance to get you on the right path. Some of you could be sitting on millions, some of you could be sitting on 250 1000s. Some of you can be sitting on 50 1000s. So money it’s a sounds like all good money to me done doing this the right way. All right. So hopefully this was extremely helpful for you, and you have a better understanding of what it takes to build a successful email program so that you can navigate and operate in the marketplace more accurately. Thank you for tuning in to this episode of The all systems go podcast. If you enjoyed it, make sure that you’re subscribed at the time of recording the all systems go podcast is free to subscribe to, and it can be found in Apple podcast, Google podcasts, YouTube, or wherever you get your podcasts new episodes are released every Thursday, so make sure you’re subscribed so that you don’t miss out and while you’re at it, please leave us a five star rating and review to show some love but also to help future listeners more easily find the podcast so they can experience the value of goodness as well. We’ve compiled all resources mentioned on the podcast, as well as other resources that are extremely valuable and effective at helping you grow your marketing automation skills quickly. And you can access them all at allsystemsgopodcast.com Thanks again for listening and until next time, I see you online. Automate responsibly, my friends
- [1:01] Chris defines what an email program is
- [2:16] How email softwares have evolved over the last 10-15 years
- [7:11] “Sometimes you choose the work and sometimes the work chooses you because you respond to the call.”
- [9:51] The importance of knowing the location of all of your leads, all of the time
- [10:57] 1 skill that you must master to have success and longevity as an automated marketer
- [14:07] The fastest way to burn out your leads and email list
- [17:21] The difference between building an email program that is measurable and one that is not
- [20:22] Other key pieces to consider when fine tuning your email strategy
- [21:01] The role of Email Platform Managers and Email Revenue Strategists – and why you need them
- [23:15] Why you should be organizing your content calendar by segment
- [24:14] Chris explains how many emails are too many emails
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About the Show
On the show, Chris reveals all of his automated marketing strategies he has learned from working in fast growing marketing technology startups so you can put your business on autopilot quickly and without error.
Discover how to deploy automated marketing, sales, and delivery systems to scale your business without working long hours to do so.
Chris L. Davis
Chris is an Electrical Engineer turned entrepreneur who is the Founder of Automation Bridge, an international speaker and facilitator, and startup consultant