You’re about to see the notes from Session 6 of the Third Tribe notes I took on the internet marketing expert Sonia Simone’s presentation on email marketing strategies that get people to fall in love with, share your message far and wide, and joyfully buy when you ask them to
It’s Lewis a.k.a. Nerd #2.
Email is still about the most common activity done online right above search.
To not tap into one of the forms of online communication people trust most is insane.
A lot of gurus trying to sell you their “new 5.0 system” will say email is dead but you always want to make sure they’re not just speaking from their narrow 20 year old perspective.
My dad is 62 years old and the extent of what he can do online is type words into Google to search and forward shitty chain letter emails, Jesus saves messages (damn the person who taught him how to use the Forward button!) – all junk that’s just been forwarded to him.
Ask him to do anything else – social media, downloading, Skype, etc. and he freezes up and shuts down. I believe a lot of people are just like him even though they’re younger than 62 years old which is why email marketing just makes plain sense to use.
What are fundamentals of good email marketing?
1) List Building/Lead Generation
List Building Like A Boss-In-The-Making
List building really comes down to driving traffic and getting them to opt-in.
Well, what are some of best ways to get someone to your landing page so they can opt-in?
Paid traffic can be risky if you don’t know exactly what a customer is going to be worth to you. This means you need to know the precise math of your business to make buying traffic through adwords be a good move for you.
This is why free traffic, for a beginner, is the way to go.
You can get free leads through blogging, guest posting, Twitter, Facebook, or any of the other number of social media tools. When you’re doling out content combined with social media, you’re not paying out of your pocket to do so.
One thing that long time email marketer, Jeff Walker, recently started doing was blogging. He finally came to the conclusion that no one shares what’s hidden behind an opt-in wall but they share the hell out of free awesomeness.
In social media, you need to grab people’s attention and one of the best ways to do that is with something awesome that makes them look heroic for sharing with everyone who follows them.
The back bone of social media is sharing. So from this point you let people know that if they want more, they can mosey on over to this page (your opt-in page) and you’ll deliver even more awesomeness they wow their peers with to their inbox.
You make nice with people who like to share stuff and make sure you have awesome stuff to share.
One way this plays out in the Third Tribe and Teaching Sells forums is that the other members Tweet each other’s content, blog about each other and create links which is getting them in front of targeted people they’d have never reached otherwise.
So whatever kind of site you have should have some element of the cookie platter sitting out with free, valuable and easily sharable content to welcome people to your party.
Sonia started off having this cookie platter set out before she started guest posting on some Podunk blog. She ended up doing ok with this because guest posting can be extremely powerful.
Leo Babauta of Zen Habits launched himself into stardom with his guest posting streak he went on.
What’s awesome about doing a guest post is that it’s the same exact amount of work as if you were to do a post for your own site. When you guest post, you might be getting in front of 1,000 – 10,000 – 100,000 readers while on your site you’re only playing to 100. Guest posting lets you leverage what you’re doing so you can get yourself a ton of FREE attention.
Another very smart thing to do in connect with people like you who’re starting in a similar place who you think are poised to go big.
Sonia did this with Naomi Dunford when they were both starting and she brought up the point that even if the other person only has 100 readers now, you’ve pr0bably just doubled your audience – the amount of people who are rooting for you and think you’re cool.
You want to be strategic about what you link back to when you guest post
Wherever you put your backlink in a guest post whether it be in your byline in your author box or it’s in the body copy of the post, you want to be sending people from here to your opt-in page and have a kick ass ethical bribe set up for them to take advantage of.
Some people will guest post directly about the resource they’re giving away and then make it available to them instead of promoting the blog itself.
Combining Pay-Per-Click With Email Content Marketing
If you don’t know anything about pay-per-click – Adwords, do yourself a favor and invest $12 bucks in Perry Marshalls most current version of Ultimate Guide to Google Adwords.
Do this and you’ll be saving yourself a ton of money that you would’ve otherwise wasted because you made all kinds of rookies mistakes that Perry will easily steer you away from.
Follow the instructions on how to set up your campaigns and send people to a landing page instead of your blog. When people arrive at your landing page you want them to have a sense of who you are with no external links or other distractions.
Sonia’s page she tested had a picture of her on in it and was written in her voice and taught a little about what they came there to get which was learning how to do email marketing and create a good newsletter. And the climax of the page was telling them she was giving them a free email class on how to do email marketing.
This led to a 25-30% conversion rate. She was able to buy leads who were interested in creating email newsletters for around $5 bucks a pop simply by offering them a free email class.
The key question is, “Is this person worth $5.00 once you finally sell something to them?”
This is why you want to do pay per click after you’ve built something to sell to your list so that you can afford to buy traffic when all of your other competitors are only trying to scrounge free traffic.
Perry Marshall has also poured his own immense Adwords resources into testing sending this traffic to a direct sales page vs. opting into an auto-responder and found the auto-responder destroyed the sales letter every time.
So looking at Sonia’s example think about how you’re paying $5.00 for a lead. If you only converted 5% of people on a $100.00, this would lead to you breaking even. But why would you stop there when you’ve got a proven buyer?
And if you’re only a one product pony, there’s all kinds of cool stuff out there that relates to what you sell that you can offer to your audience as an affiliate. Let them buy if they like to buy.
What comes into play here is the fact that someone can trust you a hell of a lot more if they’ve opened up 10 messages from you and been wowed by them then if they just landed on a sales page that asked them for something before every them something.
Relationships make selling about a thousand times easier.
How To Sell Your Audience On Opting In For Your “Free” Stuff
Just because it’s free, doesn’t mean people are gonna be falling all over themselves to shove some of it into their pocket.
Free stuff is available everywhere online. But in this age people have been trained to watch for the catch.
So besides selling them on why your “Free” is the good kind of “Free” the other thing you’ve gotta do is sell them on is consuming your free. If someone gives you their email address but never reads your emails, what good does that do you?
This is why it’s so important to learning how to sell with words a.k.a copywriting.
You need to be able to paint mental pictures for people that show them how the info you’re giving them is getting them closer to being who they want to be and having what they want to have.
And you always have to give people a reason to act right now. When people act on what you say and tell them to do and get awesome results, this is the beginning of a great client relationship. If they don’t act on anything you say, even opting in, good luck with that.
You In This For The Long Haul or Not?
Now once someone has opted in, you can try to get money from them right away and get a few fast bucks and burning your list out, but what these guys’ approach has led to is you making a lot of money over a long time.
So what the hell is Cookie Content?
This is about treating your readers like dogs. You train dogs to do what you say by offering them rewards for doing what you asked them to do. Cookie content is designed to be the treat people get when they do what you want them to and open your emails.
You’re training people to feel good when they click and open messages you send them. The awesome treats waiting inside your emails prevent people from ignoring your name in their inbox.
When trained right people will stalk their inbox for you because you’re giving them stuff they can use and pass on to people like themselves.
You want to be a welcomed guest in people’s lives like they’re dogs are.
This is different than they guys who show up in your inbox with their hand out every time. This gets old – fast. This leads to your messages being ignored. Dead On Arrival.
A lot of people have trouble getting people to opt-in and because of this they don’t do a double opt-in because they lose too many leads. She doesn’t believe this is smart. Eben Pagan wasn’t using it though as of his Guru Blueprint course so to each their own.
Sonia believes that the only people you lose when someone doesn’t confirm they opted in on a double process are people you never had in the first place. If they aren’t inspired by you enough to open your email and click a link, they’re probably not the right person for you.
The best way to make sure your email is actually getting delivered is to make sure your readers are taking a couple of simple steps to make sure they get what you’re sending – Opting in and white listing your name. (See a kick ass strategy for getting people to do that in this post here)
How Do You Prime People To Buy?
One suggestion is to make a small offer early.
This makes it clear that this isn’t some charity project and prevents anyone from feeling like the wool was pulled over their eyes when you sell something down the road.
If you have gone ahead and sent them 20 messages with no hint that you’d like to offer them something, then one way to prep them is to hint that you’re going to be showing them something they can invest in a couple of times before you actually send the offer.
The other thing you can do is to make all the content in your auto-responder fuels the flame for a desire they have for a particular result.
You always want to be thinking about the purpose of your content outside of the realm of “just having content.” Where do you want your content to steer a person towards?
When it comes time to do an initial offer she likes to embed it into a heavy duty piece of content that has value on it’s own. So it’s not a stand alone sales presentation but it does spell out how the reader can avail themselves of the next level of what they’re seeing.
Copyblogger is giving away all kinds of free stuff that fuels their readers desires to have professional themes, SEO optimized content, and content that makes an impact. In the midst of this arousal, the products they offer make perfect sense for you to have because they’re synchronized with the content you’ve been loving.
Sonia says they take an approach of saying, “Hey, here’s a bunch of cool free stuff. Here’s some other stuff that let’s you do more with this free stuff if you want to. If you don’t want to do more, that’s cool.”
She’s aware that most of the people who read and comment faithfully on the blog will never buy but a lot of them still serve a purpose in that they profess to everyone else there how cool Sonia and Brian are and that makes it easier for the buyers in the crowd to know they’re making the right decision.
The reason auto-responders are a necessary evil is because if you try to send a ton of emails from your own server, you’re gonna have disappointing results.
Credible auto-responders have great relationships with major email services and this makes sure your emails get where they’re intended to.
Some people like Frank Kern use auto-responders to blast out custom, timely messages they just wrote. Some people have a scripted sequence that automatically gets sent to someone the second they opt-in.
Sonia doesn’t like services that don’t allow you to have a sequence of 10 or more messages. And both her and Brian like to use both sequences and customized messages for launches or JV offers.
She doesn’t like how exhausting launches can be and likes to let the seeds of an auto-responder sow a nice little consistent harvest so she’s not always dependent on hunting every time she wants to eat.
Frank Kern, Jeff Walker, Eben Pagan and other guys do massive events, get tons of attention, work a ton all at once and then veg out for a while and lay low.
Even if you did something like this she still believes it’s a smart idea to have an auto-responder set that keeps your list warm and receptive for you for when you do come out of hibernation.
Just dropped in to say “Hi!”
Jeff Walker teaches that in message two or three of your auto-responder you want to have a message go out that’s just a personal feeling message from you saying something to the tune of, “Hey, I’m glad that you decided to come along on this journey with me. It’s really cool to see you here . . .”
You want this to be as conversational as it would be if you were sending it to your friend who you were helping out. She doesn’t try to trick anyone by putting something in there like, “It was cool seeing you on Facebook last week,” or something like that.
Sonia uses it as a segue to get people to white-list her.
If she does get personal responses back from this message she sends back a quick message thanking them for getting in touch or whatever and this goes a long way with letting your prospect’s know you’re a real person and commits you to making a personal connection.
Be prepared because when you write your auto responders conversationally, you’re going to get people replying back. And you don’t have to answer in paragraphs. You can’t if you’re actually a one or two man show. You’ve gotta take the Seth Godin approach and write as few words as you can get away with.
Using Auto-responders To Make Money
Remember that the content of these babies should naturally steer people toward the conclusion that buying what you sell, when they eventually see it, is a great idea.
But the last thing you want to do is to present yourself as being so narrow minded that all you want to do is sell them something right when they show up.
People who do this aren’t thinking long term. They aren’t searching for ways to nurture a herd of customers. You’re trading dollars for pennies if you behave this way.
You need to be patient but when is the right time to present someone with something to buy?
You can do it in every message. The key is lead with great content that rewards people for showing up. Then, you can do like Sonia did and do a low key offer at the very end or in the PS.
Her messages were selling her copywriting services so she’d say “If you’d like my help with any of the strategies we covered today, go ahead and email me and we can talk about your project whether it be a salesletter, web page or auto-responder.”
Just a little reminder. No enormous yellow buy button. Just a little note from a friend.
If you’re gonna do this, make sure you’re doing it in every message because you never know when your reader is going to need your help. They could be reading your stuff for a year before they’d actually got the courage up to go out and do something and now they’re stuck and need whatever it is that offer.
And since you’ve been in their face for that entire year, you’re the one at the top of their mind and they don’t have to go shopping around, nor go through all the pages on your site trying to find out how to hire you.
One very important thing that Brian pointed out is that when he had his real estate website, he found that people would start looking at homes a year before they were going to actually move. This means most people weren’t ready to buy right away.
Your prospect might be the same. With laying in how to hire you in a low key way at the bottom of all your messages, they’re always armed with how to hire you exactly when they want to.
And you can do this with your products too.
If you’re going to launch or re-launch a product you can drop in the little notice that you’re doing so and let them know how to sign up to be on the early bird list so they can hear about it first.
An early bird list is a great idea because then you don’t end up hammering people who have no interest in your product or service. It’s also a way to segment a list who likes to hear about a specific topic which allows you blab on and on about it.
The one thing you never want to do when launching is under-estimate the amount of messages you need to send out to make sure everyone who’s interested gets the message. One email ain’t gonna cut it.
And for damn sure you blast the hell out of the Early Bird list because those people definitely want to know about it. It’s also a good idea to let these people into the shopping cart earlier than everyone else.
That’s it for Part 1. Bring your ass back for Part 2 where you’ll see the other half these notes that bring you more ninja strategies and tactics that allow you send emails that get people to fall in love with you, share your content far and wide, and buy when you ask them to.
Lewis LaLanne a.k.a. Note Taking Nerd #2 a.k.a. L.L. Cool Nerd
PS. If you want even more internet marketing experts insights from Sonia Simone, Brian Clark, Darren Rowse, Chris Brogan and others that are to be had in the full notes on the Third Tribe training, you definitely want to click here now <——