Chris Raines: Hey there. Welcome to episode 28 of the Dodgeball Marketing Podcast. Hope you're doing well. My name is Chris, and this is Michael.
Michael Utley: Hey, Chris. I'm Michael.
Chris Raines: What's so funny, Michael?
Michael Utley: I just love you.
Chris Raines: I feel like you're making fun of my intro. And I'm really sensitive about my intros.
Michael Utley: No, you're doing great. Let's get to the main-
Chris Raines: Now it's just going to be a crappy episode because I'm so sensitive. No, I'm just kidding. Today, we're going to talk about "What Type of Email Marketing Should I Use?". And Michael, we were talking before we started recording. Your company does a lot of email marketing. I don't do so much. But, you get approached from people that get presented with buying email lists, which makes them think, "Oh, we've got to be doing email if all these lists are being sold."
Michael Utley: But, they also have the experience of receiving a lot of typical company newsletters.
Chris Raines: Newsletters.
Michael Utley: Yeah.
Chris Raines: And so a lot of people think only in context of the newsletter, especially if you're new to email. That's the thing that hits your inbox monthly and says, "Hey, this is the June newsletter." And we want to try to make this episode be about going beyond that and thinking about other ways to use email that are maybe a little more intelligent, a little more thoughtful, beyond that. And so the first thing we're going to talk about is using cold email sequences for prospecting. This is more of those bought lists or lists that maybe you've scraped with D7 Lead Finder or some of these other tools that you can go out and get email lists. The thing to think about with those is to be a lot more thoughtful with how you approach this cold person that's never, ever heard of you. The thing to not do, and the thing that will actually get you put on spam lists, is if you load those people into your newsletter and they suddenly get this email that has the company logo at the top and says, "Here's what's going on in August."
Michael Utley: Yeah. We've got two different worlds with email. It's good to think of these as two separate universes for email.
Chris Raines: Yeah. The newsletter, you think about that more as people who already know who you are and have opted in and said, "Yes, I want the newsletter." For cold email, it's not bad to buy lists, but you've got to be really careful about how you reach out to them. That means taking a little more time and don't put them on the mass email list. Think about who you're reaching out to, what matters to them, how what you do can be valuable to them. Make it short. Pay attention to the subject line. Maybe put their name in the subject line. Be a little more personal about it. If you're a sales rep, maybe put your picture in the bottom, if that's in your email signature. Make it feel really personal like you didn't go out and just scrape an email list and send the same thing out to everyone. Include something personal about their business, right?
Chris Raines: If you're reaching out, do five to 10 minutes of research on the business and say, "Hey, I noticed last year you released X product. I really think there's an opportunity for us to work together because X, Y, Z." Now, that takes a little more time, but it's so much more valuable. And you're going to get a higher response because, again, these people don't know about you, so you really need that context. Point number one here is only use cold email sequences for prospecting and be really intentional about how you're reaching out to them. Take the extra time. It's really easy to load them up in the email newsletter, but they're going to throw it off as spam and you're going to actually put your email account into jeopardy.
Michael Utley: Yeah. Don't think of email as one marketing channel; think of email as having two totally separate universes. And so, one of them you've just described: cold prospecting sequences. And yes, that's a valid way to reach out to people and connect. But then customers only, you can have a more polished, produced visual message that goes out that may be as part of a lead nurture strategy or an audience nurture or a customer cross-promotion. But, the thing that we hear as people are reaching out to us is, "Hey, we want to do email marketing, show us some examples of your newsletters. We've got this list broker who's after us." And I'm like, "Wait a second. These two things don't go together. Hold up." It's one word: "email", but it's two different universes.
Chris Raines: Yeah. Was that number two there?
Michael Utley: No, that was number one.
Chris Raines: Number two. Why don't you take number two here: nurture audiences and cross-promote with email newsletters.
Michael Utley: Yeah. Number two, nurture audiences, cross-promote with email newsletters. Once you do have a customer and they're somebody who knows you, they're sending you checks, or even some friends and family and folks who are real close to your universe and down with the mission, they understand what you're doing, whether it's just making sure that they are happy to receive something from you, if you have a conversation and you maybe say, "Hey, yeah, we'll stay in touch with you," or if it's an actual paying customer and you have maybe a platform and you're using email to make sure that they know all the features and benefits of the platform, those are appropriate uses of email newsletters. These can be a little bit more visual. And I would say the big thing for email newsletters is just make sure you deliver the goods.
Michael Utley: And don't think of it like this is some print piece. We still get a lot of conversations around, "Well, we want to restart the email newsletter. It was a lot of work, so we had to stop doing it." I'll say, "Well, show me one of them." And it's almost like a news digest of everything that's happened in that company over the last quarter. And I start breaking that down for them. And I say, "Would you read this?" And the answer is, "Well, no, but the CEO likes it. And it was really hard for us to agree on a format." And it's like, "Okay, that's all the wrong stuff." It's do you have something valuable people need and would benefit from it? And are you just giving them that little signal with email to let them connect with it? Removing all of the polish and all of the clutter and the complexity really lowers the threat level for the production requirements. And it's a better email.
Michael Utley: Yeah, making sure that you know how you're going to use email is really important and then taking away the overthinking. And what this does is it gives you an opportunity to accomplish two really big things. It lets you have a consistent, disciplined tool in place for staying in front of folks so that you have a way that you know they're hearing from you on a regular basis. And then, number two, cross-promotion, you may have a major part of your service set that's how people find you, how they know you, and have another service side that's an equally big opportunity. Well, email is a really good way to cross-promote, to say, "Hey, did you know, we painted the walls in your factory, but did you know that we also do concrete floors?"
Michael Utley: This is a really good use of email. And I don't think of email so much as being a sales tool as much as it is a nurture and reinforcing the brand. And so think about it as a long-term play. And I think of it as keeping your business card in their Rolodex. It's not so much something where you're expecting a lot of really high activity with every newsletter. You're making sure that they know that you're out there and that you're present and available. Well, let's do the next one. Chris, talk about this: what are some good ways to use email when we're starting to think about things like ecommerce or promoting products and services?
Chris Raines: Yeah. And this, again, goes back to that relevance issue. Think about how your message is going to appear based on what type of customer it is. This comes down to segmentation and every email software allows you to segment, add tags depending on what kind of customer it is. An example might be, you might have a commercial division and a residential division if you're a painting company. If you're a company that sells to businesses, you might have different industries. You might have education over here, healthcare over here, manufacturing, and so on. If you're an ecommerce store, back to your point, you might have men's wear, women's wear, right? Think about what it looks like for the customer to receive a message with you and what their past behavior is and segment accordingly. And this all goes back to this relevance question. Is it relevant?
Chris Raines: It's not relevant to send your healthcare focused. . . If you're selling a product or service that has healthcare application, well, only send that to your healthcare clients. Don't send that to your education clients. They don't want to hear it from you. An ecommerce example might be, let's say, you're having a sale for protein powder if you're an ecommerce store that sells protein powder. And the sale is get five months supply of protein powder for 25% off. You might want to only send that to people that have previously bought the protein powder. Why? Because it's a five month supply. And so if you're just signed up for the newsletter yesterday, or you bought the energy bar or something from the store, you're not going to buy five months. There's not a lot of reason to believe that you're going to buy five months.
Chris Raines: Same thing with male-female. If you've got somebody that's bought 10 to 12 female apparel items in the last six months, maybe don't send them-
Michael Utley: The new men's vests.
Chris Raines: Exactly. It's less relevant to them. They're more likely to hit spam. They're more likely to disengage and unsubscribe. Yeah, really think about who your customer is and how each message you send is going to come across to them and making sure that there's a match or relevancy match each time you send the message. And you're going to get higher engagement. You're going to get higher click-throughs. You're going to get lower spam clicks, people reporting you as spam, and lower unsubscribes.
Michael Utley: Yeah. Good. Next step: use email automation to close sales and orders. If you're doing any sort of cart on your website, there are a lot of great tools out there for recapturing folks by email, if you lost the cart. If you have an email address step where you're capturing an email address, you can actually automate the process to go and recapture that cart. This is a feature that's been around ecommerce for 10 years at least, but it's really powerful. And, of course, Amazon is so dominant that it's hard to sometimes even think about ecommerce without over-complicating the entire prospect of doing any sort of ecommerce. But, this is a tactic that's doable. Depending on what your checkout process is and what you're using, you can tag, essentially, that email address in your system with the products that they carted or were even looking at, and then go back to them after they have either abandoned cart or have just left the website.
Chris Raines: And the great thing about that, just to interject, is that this used to be really hard to do when all the ecommerce platforms were young, or you had to DIY your own shopping cart. But, all the major players, like Shopify, WooCommerce, actually have that functionality built right in. All you've got to do is link up your email marketing software to it, and just tell it if we capture an email then ... or if we capture an email during the cart process and they haven't checked out within a day, boom, send it out. And it's actually really easy to do.
Michael Utley: Yeah. Yeah. Thinking about your sales and your offers and your merchandising, you can use your offers as a tactic with this cart recapture. And so as you're thinking about your sales funnel and what happens before the purchase, there are actually some ways that you can save the sale.
Michael Utley: All right, Chris, let's move on to the next one. This is kind of a-
Chris Raines: Probably should have been number one, but-
Michael Utley: Yeah, this is a big topic.
Chris Raines: Because it involves how do you get emails—
Michael Utley: Tell us what the topic is, and then let's get in. . . And we actually want to hit a few points in here.
Chris Raines: Yeah. I call it just package your expertise and make it available as an option. This is how do you get emails to begin with. The most common one, like we said, is sign up for the newsletter. But, that's becoming less compelling over time. People get a lot of newsletters.
Michael Utley: Newsletter's not really a benefits-oriented word.
Chris Raines: Exactly. It's a newsletter, there's no ... Now, you could say, "Sign up to the newsletter to get weekly tips on X, Y, Z or weekly helpful info on X, Y, Z." And that makes it a little bit better, but I'm talking about creating assets based on your expertise, the value that you can bring, and making it available for free as an opt-in. And everyone knows what this kind of stuff looks like. It's an ebook. Ebooks were big back in the day. They're a little bit less so now. A video series, can you package up your expertise into a video series and make that available as an opt-in? A checklist, that's a really simple thing that people like to know exactly what to do and exactly how to accomplish something. Checklists are really great for that. And they're good fodder for opt-ins.
Chris Raines: Another thing that's gaining prominence is a challenge. You're seeing these pop up a lot. And this is just maybe a five-day challenge to ... They're really big in the fitness industry, but you can populate this across ... upgrade your LinkedIn posting in five days or something. And it would be a five email sequence on things to do each day to up your game. You could do a five email opt-in for upgrading your LinkedIn profile. You would just cover all the things, and you send an email every day. People really like that time-focused challenge thing. That's another thing you can do. You can do an industry report. Michael, I know you have clients that have-
Michael Utley: Yeah. This is one that I really like. I think that the ebook, as a concept, it falls into that category of a newsletter. It's like, "Get the ebook." "Well, do I want to really want an ebook?" It's a five-page PDF. I got it. Why didn't you just make it a blog post? You really have to. . . You have to bid a little bit higher these days and promise something. And so, yeah, we have some clients who do some really great content marketing. And one of the things that I really like that we've seen in recent years is an annual industry report. This is a client that is known as one of the leaders in their space. It's a really complex, sophisticated piece of content with some original research and some stats and some other pieces of information and it's updated each year.
Michael Utley: And so the good thing about doing an annual report is, number one, everybody's going to have to get it every year, but they tend to see a rise in website traffic and opt-ins ahead of this report and after they release it. And, of course, it creates an event. It turns content marketing from just being this evergreen best practice to being something where you can build a little bit of your year around it. And they do a really good job with the horizon report or the annual report. And I think that's a really good tactic.
Chris Raines: If your business is based around your expertise, certainly, that's a great way to do it. The last one we didn't include that I'll include, you see most ecommerce stores do this really simple way to collect email addresses, is offer a coupon at checkout or before checkout, a little slider that comes in. That's a great way to incentivize people that only really ecommerce stores can do that because they have a cart. But, offer a coupon, offer a one-time discount is a great way to build your email list if you're an ecommerce store.
Michael Utley: Awesome. This podcast is available on YouTube and lots of other places. All the places you can listen to podcasts. Subscribe or follow us anywhere that you engage with podcast content and like or subscribe. Thanks, guys. We'll see you on the next one.