The Most Important Marketing Skill
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Today I’m going to talk about how you can sell a wide variety of products and collect the profits and royalties on what sells, and all you have to do is upload the design. This is gonna be a great one that will open some income possibilities that you may not have even known were out there.
What if I told you there was one technique you could use to market your business to up to 4 billion people?
What if I told you that using this technique, for every dollar you invested, you could make back $42?
What if I said that this one strategy is so powerful that many people have based their entire business around it, essentially using no other marketing techniques?
Sounds like a magic bullet, huh?
Well, not quite, but it is likely the most important tool to have in your arsenal.
That’s what we’re gonna be talking about today on Touring Freedom.
Hey, y’all I’m Jason and I’m here to help you on your journey to your journey. My goal is to help you build a completely mobile income, so you can enjoy a location, independent lifestyle.
I know that was a pretty hefty intro and by now you’re probably wondering one of two things… either what the heck am I talking about, or what the heck have I been smoking, right?
Well, I called this episode the most important marketing skill for a reason. I firmly believe that for most businesses it is the most important thing you can do.
The best part is that what I’m talking about here isn’t rocket surgery. It’s simple email marketing.
It really is the most important marketing skill you can have. And that goes for pretty much any business, so if you think I’m just talking to people who want to create a blog and offer a newsletter a la 2002, you’d be wrong.
In my own marketing business when I first started taking on clients, one of the first services I offered was email marketing. I explained to small business owners the concept of being able to contact their customers and showed how that had immense value.
You know what? When the COVID thing hit and I lost several clients, I had to reinvent my current service offering. The new strategy I came up with was based around email marketing.
It’s been used for decades and It’s still “ol’ reliable”.
And then there’s this: if you’re in the online marketing world, the generally accepted rule of thumb is that you can make an average of $1 per subscriber per on your email list per month. But let me tell you, if you do it right, it could actually be more than that!
So, let’s think about it another way. If you had 10,000 subscribers on an email list, you could turn that into $10,000 per month profit. What could that kind of income do for you? Would it change your life? For most people, it sure would!
Now, I know when we start talking about email marketing, you’re likely to think of that 4-letter S-word…
No, I’m not talking about THAT dirty word. I’m talking about spam.
That’s what email marketing is, right? It’s spam.
Actually, no. Not at all.
Spam is unwanted email. Emails the recipient never asked for. Emails they can’t get rid of.
What I’m talking about are emails the recipient asked for. Emails they want because they provide them value. Emails that they can always opt out of because there is always an unsubscribe link at the bottom of each email.
When all those requirements are met, you aren’t sending spam. You’re providing a service.
So let’s look at a few ways you can use email marketing in different business scenarios.
As I was writing this episode, I came up with 5 different ways, but I’ll probably come up with another 5 as soon as I get done recording.
First, it can be used to distribute content. These could either contain the content in question or it could simply notify the recipient that the content has been published. This is good to use for a news site, a blog, YouTube, and yes even a podcast.
And by the way, if you want to be on my email list and receive that awesome example of text-based goodness, head over to tourfree.me/sub. Really, I put a lot of great content into it and you might actually be able to learn by watching, hint, hint.
When using an email list to distribute content, the profit usually comes in a more indirect fashion. The sales are happening on the back end somewhere and you are just using the email list to increase traffic to the content.
The content is to bring in the audience and the emails are to keep them engaged and build a relationship so they are more likely to make that purchase.
A more direct way you might to profit using an email list is if you are selling products, you would want to use email to promote new products, give coupons to old products you’ve been having trouble moving, and to publicize special sales like Black Friday for example.
If you are in this situation, it is much easier to track return on investment because the profit is usually directly tied to a specific email. You could even use this information to improve your email marketing skills over time.
Another great use of email is recovering abandoned shopping carts. I’m sure you’ve shopped at an online merchant, added some things to your cart, then never bothered to check out.
Well, if they know what they are doing, you will get a series of “did you forget something” emails in your inbox. This is called the abandoned cart sequence. It won’t just be one email, either. Studies show that a series of 3 abandoned cart emails will recover 69% of abandoned carts.
I don’t know about you, but if I had the choice of missing out on making a whole $100 or to be able to recover $69 of that 100 just by sending a few emails, I’m sending the emails.
Email can also be used to provide some kind of coaching or guidance on a subject. After a relationship is built, some products or services could be recommended that could be yours or you could simply be an affiliate for them.
This is very commonly used in the affiliate marketing space and it’s just as commonly done wrong. The vast majority of people who THINK they are using this strategy simply aren’t. What they are doing is sending out promotional email after promotional email and they never provide any real value.
Remember, if the customer doesn’t have a reason to open your emails, they won’t, and sending out emails that don’t get opened is pretty useless. Not only does this cause dead weight on your list, but it could get you perceived as a spammer.
Now the last reason I have for using email marketing is for a backup plan. You could be using Facebook, YouTube, or another similar platform for most of your traffic, but as we discussed in episode 3, these aren’t reliable. They can shut you down at any time without warning for no reason and that gravy train comes to a screeching halt.
I told you the story of the guy who had around 260k subscribers on YouTube when they shut him down for violations of terms of service. He created another channel and was able to notify his email list what had happened. Using his email list, he was able to grow that new channel up to 96k in a matter of a couple months. No, it doesn’t compare to where he was, but it beats the heck out of starting over from scratch!
Five months later YouTube finally investigated the matter and found that he actually was never in violation of the terms. They reinstated his account. The point here is that he lost a significant portion of his income for no reason whatsoever and if it weren’t for having an email list, he would have been starting over from scratch.
So, email is not just important. I would go as far as to say that email is the most important marketing activity most businesses could do.
If you think that somehow you are an exception to this rule, I’d love to hear it. Shoot me a message at firstname.lastname@example.org and tell me why you don’t think you need to use email marketing. In most cases, I bet I tell you why you do.
By now you may be saying, ok, Jason. I get it. I need an email list. But how do I start one?
Well, as you’ve probably guessed, I’m fixin to tell you.
But a little bit of a warning first. This is going to get a little meaty. If you’re not familiar with these concepts you may want to take notes. If that’s you and you’re driving or otherwise distracted, you can go ahead and listen to get the ideas in your head. I would just recommend that you go back and listen again when you can really sink your teeth in.
To effectively grow your email list, you’ll need 6 things and I’m going to go over those one at a time.
• Clarity on exactly who your ideal subscriber is
• An email marketing platform. This is a service you will use to collect your subscriber’s contact information and send emails to your list
• A reason for people to share their email
• An opt-in page where people can sign up
• Consistent, valuable, and relevant content to develop that relationship with your subscribers
• A source of traffic to your opt-in form
As you probably can guess, that’s a lot of information to dive into in a podcast so I’m going to expand on each one enough to explain the idea but I’m not going to have time to really go in depth. If I did, this episode would be 3 hours long and I wouldn’t have any content for future shows!
I have created a cheatsheet for you to reference back to. It will help you review and get a better grasp on some of the concepts. You can pic that up by going to tourfree.me/list
So first of all, let’s go over your ideal subscriber. There’s an old saying in marketing, “if you’re talking to everyone, you’re not going to reach anyone.” I’ve seen similar quotes be attributed to Meredith Hill, Seth Godin, among others.
Point is, you need to make sure you are speaking directly to those people that you can help best with your product or service.
The best way to do this is to create an avatar. Just like it sounds, an avatar is a fictional persona that has all the qualities and attributes you see in your ideal customer or client. It’s best to create this avatar, imagine they are a real person, and speak directly to them.
By doing this, you will be able to speak to your audience in a way they are used to being spoken to and in a language, they are accustomed to using. It allows you to speak directly to the problems they may be facing because you can relate to the problems you see in your avatar.
Creating an imaginary friend may sound like the actions of a madman, but I’m telling you it works.
Heck, I create entire personalities for mine. They become a complete person I can have a conversation with. They even have names. I even go as far as to find pictures on google of what I think they would look like and save them so that I can better imagine myself speaking directly to that person.
Don’t make the mistake of assuming everyone is a part of your target audience. There’s no point in going through the trouble to build an email list if it isn’t targeted directly to your ideal customer. You’ll be wasting your time talking to the wrong people who are uninterested in what you have to offer.
The next thing you’re going to need is an email marketing platform. These are commonly referred to as autoresponders because in the old days of email marketing, that’s basically all they did was send out automated timed emails. They are much more complex nowadays with much more functionality.
I used to recommend a service called ActiveCampaign and I still think they are the best service out there. But recently they went through some changes where they increased prices and also moved some of the more powerful functionalities to higher levels of subscription that of course cost more money. The end result is that while ActiveCampaign is still a great service, I just don’t think the price is reasonable for newbies anymore.
Well, I learned my lesson and I will no longer recommend an email service by name. As services change, my recommendation will change. I try my best to stay on top of the best email services out there so I can always recommend the one with the best features at the best prices. If you want to see my current recommendation for an email marketing platform, go to tourfree.me/email.
There are a few features that all autoresponders have. Those are:
• The ability to capture email addresses and create customer lists
• Store customer data
• Segment customers based on certain actions or characteristics of particular group of subscribers
• Provide templates to create attractive, standardized emails. This is mainly relevant to those who want to be viewed as a big professional company. If you want to seem more personal, I recommend simply using plain text emails.
• Of course, they all have the ability to send an email or even a series of emails to your subscribers based on the criteria that you specify
• They also provide statistics on the success of your emails by reporting analytics
• And of course, they all need to have good access to customer support, especially for newbies.
Those are pretty much standard features you will find in almost every autoresponder, but there are a few more requirements that I find fairly indispensable that I also require of my autoresponder service. While more and more platforms are offering these features, but they haven’t all caught up yet so you should really keep a look out for these features. Those are:
• Visual flow chart automation this makes it easier to create automated email sequences to go out at specific times based on specific events.
• These flows also need to have conditions. This allows you to split off the audience and send them different emails based on specific criteria. For instance, if a customer has already made a certain purchase, you may want to talk to them differently than the rest of your audience.
• I also require the service I use to provide me a code to install on my website that will trigger certain automations based on certain actions like visiting specific pages. This is very useful for segmenting your audience by interests
The service I recommend offers all of these features for a reasonable price. You can check that out at tourfree.me/email.
The next thing you’re going to need is a reason for someone to give you their email. This is often called a lead magnet.
Back 20 years ago or so, you could just drop a newsletter signup form on your website and people would join. That’s simply not the case anymore. I would even strongly recommend you delete the word newsletter from your vocabulary. People have become more protective of their inboxes and aren’t interested in newsletters anymore. Nowadays you gotta provide something of value in exchange for that email address.
What you offer is going to differ depending on what kind of business you have. It could be a list of resources, a checklist or cheatsheet that solves a specific problem your ideal customer is facing. If you have a product-based business, it could be a coupon or even something like a loyalty program. You can even run a contest to win a prize and collect emails of the entrants.
Most importantly, your lead magnet has to be something your avatar actually wants. It has to solve some sort of problem for them or they won’t sign up. The flip side of that is that if it’s too widely appealing, you will attract people that are not in your target audience. This is a waste of time because these people will never buy from you anyway.
Next, you will need to have a way for people to sign up for your list. Many times, this is done on what’s called an opt-in page. That’s a simple page that gives a summary of what they will get, has an obvious call-to-action, and provides a form to fill out.
Once the form is filled out, the lead magnet is commonly delivered through email using automation functionality of the autoresponder.
If you’re going with an opt-in page, you will need to do some testing to optimize it. Changing the design and wording can increase the percentage of visitors that actually sign up. Trial and error is needed here to ensure your opt-in page is optimized to convert the most visitors into subscribers as possible.
If you are doing more of an in-person business, you’ll have to get creative. Obviously, you could print out a sign-up sheet and have people fill it out, but then you are stuck manually entering data using handwriting that is impossible to read.
It’s much better to still use an opt-in page. You just have to be more creative as to how you get them there. For instance, my business cards have a QR code on back that people can scan and it takes them to the opt-in page.
With my wife’s crafting business, I’ve even used chatbots for this purpose. In fact, chatbots are one of my favorite tools. I’ll just create a sign to put on the table that offers a coupon or enters them in a contest if they scan the QR code. That code will lead them into the chatbot to collect their email address. Many times, I find this will increase conversion rates higher than any opt-in page. Maybe it’s because it seems more personal.
I’m definitely going to have to do an entire episode on chatbots.
At this point, people have started to join your list. Now you need to nurture the relationship and keep them on your list. Remember, they have the ability to opt out of your list at any time.
I see a lot of newbies stressing out over their unsubscribe numbers. If you properly welcome them onto your list and build a relationship with them unsubscribes are nothing to worry about.
If this is correctly and people do opt out or unsubscribe, don’t feel bad about it. They weren’t your ideal customer to begin with and it’s better to not have them on your list since most autoresponders will charge based on the number of subscribers you have. In that way, unsubscribes are actually a good thing.
Let’s talk about some of the things you might want to do to develop this relationship in the beginning.
First, you want to send a warm welcome email. This single email will be the most opened email of any you send, so make it count. Since this email is so frequently opened, you may find it tempting to try to sell in this email. In most cases, I would discourage you from doing so. You really want to focus on building the relationship and it’s likely too soon to ask for a sale. Of course there are some exceptions to this rule.
After the welcome email, you might want to share a story about your brand. This serves to help the customer feel more connected and a part of what you are doing.
Next, you could give a list of resources or websites you recommend. Don’t be afraid of sending potential customers away. If what you are sharing is valuable, you will be remembered as the source of that information, even if it’s subconsciously.
This is also a good time to share your best blog posts or other content you have produced. These people are likely just finding you and aren’t familiar with how much value you can provide. Impress them by providing a quick rundown of the most important pieces of content.
Make sure you give bonuses. They joined for a specific lead magnet, but you can really make an impression by sending them some sort of unexpected extras.
Just remember that in this welcome sequence, as with all email marketing, it’s always quality over quantity. Make sure they see your emails as valuable and you could make a customer for life.
As a general rule, the better you build the relationship with a new prospect, the longer that relationship will be. This welcome sequence is a very effective way of achieving that.
Of course, you’re going to need to find people who would actually WANT to join your list and may be interested in what you have to offer.
Now I know it comes as a great surprise that “if you build it, they will come” doesn’t apply here. Once you have a way for people to opt-in, you’re going to have to figure out how to get a steady flow of traffic to that page.
Think about where your ideal avatar hangs out. Go there and find them. Once there, interact with them. When I first started, this meant surfing different targeted forums on specific topics and building relationships there. Nowadays it usually means social media. Places like Facebook groups have taken the place of the old forums and message boards, but the strategy is the same. Don’t just show up and spam your links. Be helpful. Provide value. Build relationships.
Some of the things you want to make sure not to overlook are
1. Website viewers. Provide signup forms EVERYWHERE. Not just on the opt-in page.
2. Social media followers. Facebook, Insta, YouTube, it doesn’t matter what platform it is. Get them on your email list. This is not only your safety blanket, but also a much more effective way to reach your audience since social sites have severely limited reach.
3. Offline meetings. This is why my business cards have a QR code. If I happen to strike up a conversation with someone who I think could be a good prospect, I hand them a card and explain how to scan the code and what they will get if they do.
4. Create valuable content that you can share with relevant audiences to attract them into your tribe. This goes back to finding where they hang out. If you’re going to be valuable to the community, you’re going to have to have plenty of content to share. Someone asks a question; your response should be a quick synopsis of the solution along with a link to a blog post or something similar where they can find more information. This means having a plethora of content to choose from so that you can find something relevant to numerous situations.
Really, there are dozens of tactics you can use. I’ve covered some of the best free methods here, but there are plenty more both free and paid. Just make sure you focus on one strategy until you have mastered it and can automate it. Trying to do it all will cause you to be spread too thin. You want to put forth your best effort and be consistent with driving traffic.
Don’t be afraid to experiment. Some trial and error will be needed to get a better understanding of what works best for your audience. That one strategy you chose may not be the one you should stick with. Just try out different strategies to see what works best, then focus.
Just make sure that everything you produce includes some sort of call to action to join your list. A potential customer or client that is interested in your services, but does not see a call to action is an opportunity lost.
There. I think I’ve been able to cover the important points of email marketing and list building while keeping it at a reasonable time for a podcast episode. Remember, you can pick up the cheatsheet I created to help you through this process over at tourfree.me/list. If you’re new to these concepts, I believe this is going to be an invaluable resource for you. This episode, along with the cheatsheet will go a long way to helping you build your business.
And you know, do me a favor and rate and review the podcast on your favorite podcast platform. If you can find a second to do that, it would be greatly appreciated!
Of course, if you like the show, tell a friend. If you don’t like the show, tell an enemy. Just tell somebody!
That’s all for now. I’m Jason Wyatt and I’ll see you on the road.