Why using FIRSTNAME is killing your sales (and what to do instead)

Why using FIRSTNAME is killing your sales (and what to do instead)

 

I’ve always said personalization is great – everybody LOVES a personal touch. And yes, you should definitely use it in your email sequences – just maybe not in a way that’s going to land you under a restraining order.

ie…

Hey FIRSTNAME, I’m weird and stalky and overly attached to the FIRSTNAME field. Buy now FIRSTNAME. You won’t regret it FIRSTNAME. I saw you clicked through, FIRSTNAME…

When you start throwing personalization around like a bad pickup line, you’re making a sprint across the line from friendly to creepy.

And creepy never sells.

Not in the coffee shop, media or politics and never, ever in a sales funnel.

 

What about a straight ‘Hi FIRSTNAME’?

Templates like the ones in Mailchimp think you should begin each email with Hi FIRSTNAME , but it’s not because they want you to make a personal connection. Authenticity like that isn’t even on their agenda. They give approximately zero f**s around that issue.

That’s your job.

Their job is purely logistical – taking your emails and getting them legally into destination inboxes.

They throw ‘Hi FIRSTNAME’ into the head of all their templates because it’s one of the ways to stand out from spam. And they’re right, if your email looks like spam, it will land in the promotions or spam folder.

Except…don’t pretty much all bulk emails begin with ‘Hi FIRSTNAME’??

Whether you signed up for a list or they’ve scraped your name and email, they’re all doing it.

So there goes that theory.

And really, who actually reads the greeting in an email?

I sure as hell don’t.

Our eyes glide past the greeting because it has no meaning or value; we go straight to the content when the sender gets to the damn point.

 

You know what ‘Hi FIRSTNAME’ really does? It trains people to ignore your words.

How to begin your emails so your subscribers KEEP reading

You pull a hook out of the air. One that makes the reader instinctively keep reading to the next line. And the next. And the next.

It doesn’t have to be on the same level as a muttering from the Dalai Lama, because you’re not aiming for posterity, just something…interesting…that you can use to lead into your content.

Examples:

  • A few months ago I made a major switch in my business.

Amy Porterfield

  • SUPA-BADASS!!

CopyHackers

  • Sometimes being a new mommy f*cking sucks.

Stephanie Nickolich

What do all 3 have in common? They ditched the spammy greeting and opened with a connection to their readers. They’re leading them to the next line to find out what the switch was, what was badass, what happened as a new mom.

Keep your hook short and give it a line all to itself. Let the connection you’re making stand out and sink in.

When is it okay to use FIRSTNAME?

Only personalize when you’re getting personal.

Pap smear personal.

Use it when you would normally use someone’s name in conversation – which when you think about it, is hardly ever.

Because that would be weird.

In a 1:1 conversation, you don’t need to use someone’s name, because they already know you’re talking to them.

And that’s what a high converting email is – a 1:1 conversation. Whether it’s a welcome, nurture or sales email… wherever it is in your funnel, it should always feel like a natural conversation. The fact that thousands of people are receiving the same email is irrelevant. Knowing how your audience thinks and what they desire, combined with effective segmentation, means that you can create a sense of exclusivity.

Because if everyone is saying the same thing, then nobody is saying anything.

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Is your money personality sabotaging your business success?

My personal money mentor stopped by to share this post as a wake-up call to all of us who let our money dramas get in the way of MAKING money. Denise DT is the best in the biz when it comes to money mindset and gentle bitch-slaps – all with one end goal: getting more money into your biz.  Read on to get first dibs on your own life-changing shift…

sabotaging business success

 

You know the feeling you get when you do “that thing” around money AGAIN?

Spend wildly on a new extravagance even though bills are due…

Hoard every penny even though you really want to splurge on a vacation…

Forgo a spa treatment because your daughter really wants that new pair of designer jeans…

Whatever you do with money, I bet you don’t just do it once. Most of us have habits with money — some of which serve us, and some which definitely do not.

So we do “that thing” again, and inside we feel unhappy. It’s not that we don’t want to treat ourselves, or save up money, or buy our loved ones special gifts.

It’s just that we feel like we’re making money decisions on autopilot. Like we’re not in control of the situation, and we’re not so sure we’re crazy about the results of our actions.

 

It’s not your fault – it’s your money DNA!

Even better, what if I told you that you could “crack the code” on your money DNA and start to leverage your money strengths, while compensating for your weaknesses — so you could stop repeating that same old money story and start living a new one?

You might wonder if it’s even possible to have a brand-new money story, especially if you feel like your habits are deeply ingrained.

If so, I hear you. I TOTALLY used to feel that way. I wasn’t born into any special privilege, and I didn’t have strong money models growing up.

 

My story

Today, I run a multi-million dollar business that’s touched the lives of tens of thousands of women around the world. There was a time, though, when I felt like maybe, despite the fact that I had big dreams and was putting a ton of hard work into them, I wasn’t cut out for the success I dreamed of.

When I started my business several years ago, I used to run goal-setting workshops around town. I’d print the flyers at home (that I designed myself on Powerpoint no less) and tack them up on café notice boards.

One day, while driving to give one of my workshops, the felt ceiling of my car fell down around my head. I was literally driving to a workshop to inspire others to have more, be more, and do more… and the roof of my car was sagging down around my ears.

I realized in that moment that my money life needed a reset. I already knew how to manifest lots of things and experiences, but when it came to money, things just weren’t going the way I’d planned. I started to think maybe I didn’t have it in me to create a thriving business from my passion — that maybe it was never going to be my turn.

All of that changed, though, when I discovered Sacred Money Archetypes®.

For the first time in my life, I got a glimpse of what was possible for me if I would just work toward my strengths, instead of battling my weaknesses.

And for the first time, I got answers about why I’d put so many seeming obstacles to success in my own path. Turns out they weren’t actually obstacles, but rather preferences that, with a few simple tweaks could be capitalized on in a BIG way.

 

What are Sacred Money Archetypes®?

Well, remember I mentioned “money DNA” a minute ago?

Sacred Money Archetypes® is the work (created by Kendall Summerhawk) that will help you unlock your unique DNA around money, so you can use it to your advantage instead of letting it silently sabotage you.

(And yes, I’m speaking figuratively here — I know this isn’t “the” DNA that makes up living things! It’s just as important, though — especially if you want wealth and success in your future.)

Within your unique money personality is the seed of a healthy relationship to money — a code just like “the other” DNA — with all the potential to create any level of wealth, freedom, and fulfillment you can imagine.

This means you are designed to succeed. You just have to know how to move forward with the right knowledge about how to take care of yourself based on how you naturally show up with money.

I’m SO thankful I discovered this about myself with the Sacred Money Archetype® work — because as soon as I knew how to work with my innate “money DNA” my business really started taking off, and I found that my old self-sabotaging habits fell away.

The change for me was so profound that I became a certified coach in Kendall Summerhawk’s Sacred Money Archetypes® method and for years, I’ve been teaching it only on private retreats and with my one-to-one clients.

(Totally secret!)

Until now.

 

Quick quiz = so many answers

For the first time ever, I’m bringing the Sacred Money Archetypes® training to YOU.

Best of all, you can get started absolutely FREE.

>> Take My Free Lucky Money Quiz Now to discover your unique Sacred Money Archetypes®

The Sacred Money Archetypes quiz and training series is a brand-NEW offering, and is the perfect complement to any entrepreneur’s journey.

Whether you’re just getting started or you’ve been building your business for years, the thing about your money personality is that it doesn’t change. Who you are at the start of your business is who you are 10 years in.

The key to breaking the habits that keep you from having ALL the success you really want, is understanding what makes you tick and knowing how to change it.

 

So, what about you? Are you still self-sabotaging around money?

Do you find yourself under-earning — or earning plenty but never knowing quite where it all went? Are you plagued with emotions like fear, guilt, or shame around money? Do you cringe when trying to decide how to spend it?

There are endless ways we sabotage ourselves with money, especially when it comes to growing our businesses. The truth is, though, YOUR way is simply related to your particular Archetype.

In fact, as part of the training, I’m revealing what MY primary Archetype is, as well as exactly how I’ve used this knowledge to work around my own imperfections (we’ve all got ‘em, gorgeous) and create a multi-million dollar business PLUS a relaxed lifestyle I love, with plenty of time for all the people and things that are most important to me.

You may be very interested to learn, for instance, that I have this ONE characteristic you’d probably never associate with being a successful, multi-millionaire entrepreneur!

(You’ll want to watch Video #2 in the series to see if you relate to this one.)

 

To get started, take the quiz HERE and discover how your money personality may be sabotaging you, and exactly what to do about it.

You’ll discover SO much about yourself and your unconscious money beliefs just by taking the quiz — but remember, I’m not stopping there, because after you get your results, you’ll automatically be enrolled in a free video training program to help you apply what you’ve learned straight away.

I know from experience how powerful it is to understand your unique ‘money DNA’ and leverage it in your life and business, so you can stop sabotaging yourself when it comes to money.

Honestly, it’s like pressing ‘reset’ on your money story! When you know what’s been holding you back, you can pave a brand-new path to a brighter future with the financial freedom and impact you really want (not to mention being able to manifest everything on your dream board).

 

I’m sooo thrilled to offer the Sacred Money Archetypes® training to you. I know it will be life-changing for you, and I can’t wait to see you “on the inside.”

It’s your time, and you’re ready for the next step.

Xx Denise

 

Shell says:  I took the test the moment Denise released it (as in, spilling my cuppa in my rush to click) and it seems I am a ‘connector’ – which makes perfect sense! What really stood out though, were my sabotages, the things I do that stop me making money in my business. Those gentle bitch slaps I talked about? Yup. Denise opened my eyes to my money habits and gave me the tools to reprogram myself, ever so gently. Highly recommended.

What you missed in May

The best Funnelry content always comes in email, so as part of a regular commitment to saying nyer nyer you missed out, here’s a new monthly series. It’s the whole newsletter/blog summary scenario in reverse.

What you missed in May

It’s a behind the scenes peek at real subject lines. Real hooks. And real value that only my subscribers get.

Note: To get these, you have to be in the newsletter segment which means you’ve either gone through the initial nurture sequence or opted in for pure newsletter in the footer.

 

SUBJECT: Crutches & wheelchairs for everyone!

Tales of my cruelty as I first reject my child, knock her into a puddle to badly sprain her ankle, then whack her against a door frame while trying to carry her heavy ass to the doctor.

That was the just the hook as a story intro. The actual content was about how long you can ignore your list before guilt sets in (and of course, what to do about it.)

*I’d like to say no children were harmed during the creation of this month’s content, but it would be a lie. All I can say it that it was all accidental, a comedy of wtf stacked on so-unfair, and she still loves me.

** Only one main nurture email this month, as all my time was spent lugging ice packs & getting chopped up (see below).

 

SUBJECT: Want a stack of new subscribers by morning?

I held a flash sale on a new Facebook ad workshop and as an intro saving, the Funnelry tribe was invited to save 75% for the weekend.

Segmenting: Those who clicked the link were tagged as interested.

The hook: Real quick… Is your opt-in page feeling a little lonely and only getting a couple clicks each day?

A very short email to warm subscribers to the idea of the workshop and raise interest.

 

SUBJECT:  [Time sensitive] Just 48 more hours to get 75% off

This email included a timer from motionmail, since many of my subscribers are in a different time zone.

Slightly longer email with more detail.

 

SUBJECT: Be a ‘get it done gal’

Last general follow up, and like the previous ones, it built on the pitch as a whole. Included the timer counting down.

The hook: I’m a get it done type of gal. (Someone who doesn’t wait for permission or planetary alignment to reach her goals). You probably are too.

 

SUBJECT: Yes, DO talk to strangers!

Only sent to those who were tagged as clicking the sales page link. Included the timer.

Hook (continuation of the subject line): Probably not that old guy with the candy though…

 

Skin cancer is a pain in the neck (not an email)

Went to get a spot on my neck checked and came out with 2 stitches after a biopsy. Went to get the stitches out and got told the sample was chock full of cancery badness – and they need to cut more. So much more. So many more stitches. Is it done yet? God I hope so!

Click the image to see my gnarly stitches (if you dare!). It’s been a weird month and now I’m FrankenFunnelry.

 

 

Get on the Funnelry list using the form below. Then get your skin checked.

The 9 stages of passive income

9 stages of passive income feels like

 

You’ve probably heard someone get their knickers in a knot about how passive income isn’t really passive, correcting you for your own good.

(Because there was a risk you honestly thought the fairies would do all the pre-work while you faffed about on a beach somewhere?)

In their rush to be a know-it-all, they left a few bits out.

Creating your first passive income product can be a massive head trip, starring our good friends Doubt, Self-Criticism and Wet Pants. But it’s all normal. The trick is knowing what’s coming so you can push past it and get to that glorious first sale!

Here’s what it really feels like to add your first  passive income stream.

 

The 9 stages of passive income

1. INSPIRATION

Oh man, everyone is going to love this. It’s exactly what they need to move forward, it answers all their questions and problems and they are going to go nuts over it. Holy crap, what if it goes viral? What if everyone buys it? I’ll be the go-to gal for my niche. I’m gonna be a ZILLIONAIRE!

2. DOUBT

But what if nobody buys it? Creating this is actually turning out to be a lot of work, maybe I should just make it free and see if people like it first…oh, but then I can’t charge for it afterwards without feeling bad. Arrrgh, I don’t have time to spend on something that might make me money eventually!

3. COMPARISON

I just saw someone else doing this, and they’re doing it better. Maybe I should tweak my messaging or something, just so I can compete. Or maybe drop the price. Oh no, what if they tell everyone how much I suck?! But I’m also WAY smarter than that other person I saw yesterday, and they’re doing just fine. Fame and followers for everyone!

4. IDENTITY CRISIS

Right, it’s all set up and ready to go. Now just to knock up a sales page and I’m done….oh crap, everything I wrote sounds so sleazy, I can’t use that. It also looks like a bit like a unicorn farted glitter all over it. Wtf? That’s not even remotely part of my brand. But maybe it should be? Hmm…

5. LAUNCH

It’s out there. I put together an email sequence, wrote all about the benefits and outcomes, gave the links…did the whole social media thing too. I’m so nervous, I’ve run to the loo 5 times already…where are my sales??! Maybe I left the payment thingy in test mode…

6. DISBELIEF

Is this for real? I mean, I was just testing my cart again, maybe this is a late test message. Wait, that’s not my name as buyer. Someone else bought my stuff? FOR REAL?

7. CELEBRATION

I am a GENIUS! I knew my stuff was great, and now other people know it too. I.am.a.super-freakin-star.

8: SUSPICION

Oh hell, but WHY did they buy it….is this a trap? OMG what if they’re just a competitor getting ready to steal my stuff. What if they ask for a refund? *clicks refresh on email* Only a few people have bought, maybe they were pity sales…

9: CONFIRMATION

They were real people who liked my stuff and told their friends! Yes! I even got sales while I was sleeping, like the internet said I would. My phone goes *cha-ching* and tells me I got a payment, on something I already created and don’t have to do anything else for. Passive income is suh-weeet, why didn’t I do this sooner?!

Hmmm…what should I create next?

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How to automatically segment your list in Convertkit (and roll in more sales)

how to automatically segment your list in convertkit

Everyone goes on about list segments, but besides separating buyers from not-yet-buyers, what’s the go?

Language.

You could have a trillion people on your list and still not make any sales, because chances are, you’re not speaking the same language.

And I don’t mean English.

I mean understanding.

Why segmenting your list makes it more profitable

All your niche jargon, special terms, pains and celebrations form a language that pretty much excludes anyone who has no idea what the hell you’re on about. Craft blog talking about hot glue techniques? I assume you put it in the microwave for some reason.  Fitness blog talking about beep tests? Not sure what noses have to do with fitness, but whatever.

Ask any book nerd, and they’ll tell you understanding goes beyond words.   Your connection with your subscribers depends on whether you’re both speaking the same language.

That’s what segmenting gives you – a common language.

Slightly important that your subscribers can actually understand what the hell you’re on about, maybe?

Here’s the thing: segmenting your list only feels hard because you’re trying to do it after the fact.

… After you’ve run a launch.

… After your sales weren’t up to scratch.

… And after you’ve already spent hours putting together your subscriber experience.

You end up basically running around sticky taping lists together and hoping for the best. No wonder segmenting gets a bad rap!

But what if you AUTOMATICALLY segmented up front?

Imagine how powerful pure customization can be!

Targeted emails to subscribers who clicked through to your sales page but didn’t buy (yet!). Beginner content to subscribers who need more help. Put simply,  you can send emails about cats to the crazy cat lady subscriber group, and emails about dogs to the men who like to run shirtless through the park.

Well, you get the idea. It just happens to have a 6-pack visual now.

And they’re all still in the same list. The only difference is they’re connecting with you so deep they can feel their wallets opening by magic.

You can get your subscribers to self-select almost anything, you’re really just tracking which links they click and actions they take. Today, I’m going to show you how to segment your list within the first days of a subscriber hopping on your list. The sooner you start speaking their language, the sooner your subscribers can say yes.

Automatic segmenting from the beginning

The easiest way is to add an email to your welcome sequence, with 3 options to choose from, and a rule that applies a tag based on what your subscribers click. Like this:

automatic segmenting in convertkit example

 

For me, each link goes to a separate page with a ‘thanks’ message. You could also send them to a blog post that suits their situation.

In the background of my email provider, ConvertKit (affiliate link), I’ve set it up so that when subscribers click an option, it adds a tag to the name.

For example, when Adele SuperSongstress clicks option 1, she’s tagged ‘new to biz’. Nothing exciting happens that she can see, it’s just a note attached to her email address.

Then, I can serve her like this:

*Receives emails about things that will help her get up and running

*DOESN’T receive emails about advanced optimization techniques

*Emails contain language she understands and problems she has

SO COOL.

How to set up automatic segmenting in Convertkit

Step 1:  Decide what you want to know

Maybe you want to know your subscriber ability level, their interest in different sub-niches, or even what they want to see in the future.

What information will help you speak to them more precisely and personally?

Draft it into 3 perfectly separate options – you want to avoid overlap, so that your subscriber can look at it and say “THAT’S ME!”

Step 2:  Create/choose link destinations

Your subscribers are going to click a link, so they’ll expect it to go somewhere! Use this as an opportunity to either add value to their experience or strengthen your know/like/trust.

Note down the links, matched up with your segment questions.

Step 3: Create the automations

Jump into Convertkit and follow these steps. You’re setting up a rule that says when a subscriber clicks this link, add this tag. Later, you can send emails just to subscribers with that tag.

a) Click Automations on the top tab

b) Click ‘Add Rule’

automatic segment in convertkit example

c) Click ‘Clicks a link’

automatic segment in convertkit create rule link trigger

d) Give your first segment a name. Make it meaningful

e) Enter the URL the link will go toautomatic segment in convertkit create rule link trigger

f) On the Action side of the panel, click ‘Add tag’

automatic segment in convertkit create rule link trigger

g) Click ‘Create a new tag’automatic segment in convertkit create rule link trigger

h) Give it a meaningful name

i) Save the rule

automatic segment in convertkit create rule link trigger

k) Repeat this process for all 3 of your segmenting links.

Step 4: Load up your self-segmenting email

a)Jump into the sequences tab and all the way into the email you want to put the links in

automatic segment in convertkit create rule link trigger

b) Highlight the text you want to link

c) Click to  ‘Insert a  link’

automatic segment in convertkit create rule link trigger

d) Click ‘Link Triggers’

e) Select the link you just created in Automations

f) Click ‘Insert’

automatic segment in convertkit create rule link trigger

 

g) Repeat this process for all 3 of your segmenting links

YOU DID IT!

Every subscriber who opens that email and clicks that link will now be tagged and sorted accordingly.

What’s next?

You can either leave them as tags and email subscribers based on that, or you can create a proper segment with them.

Tags are good for the nitty gritty, segments are good for combining a lot of tagged groups together.

You’ll find segments over on the Subscribers tab. Here’s one I created earlier.

automatic segment in convertkit create rule link trigger

automatic segment in convertkit create rule link trigger

 

You’ve just set up pro-level segmenting that will make your list much more valuable, and sales that much easier to get. Hit send and get those subscribers tagging!

Want to give Convertkit a try? Click here. There’s a reason it’s so popular!

 

How to read your email stats without feeling like a complete loser

how to read your email stats

Stats are a reasonably accurate record of how much your subscribers love you. Or hate you.

Isn’t that horrific?

What a way to bring yourself down. I kind of want to go back to picking petals off a flower, at least I could rig that system.

They love me…they love me not…they love me!

If your subscribers love you, they’ll open all your emails and click all your CTAs and buy all your stuff, right?

Well no. They’re not completely obsessed with you!

But your stats will indicate their acceptance of both and your message. And each time you hit send, each time a new subscriber enters your autoresponder sequence, you know the stats could go either way.

They could love you. Or hate you.

Or just sit on your list, using you as a live swipe file for their own inspiration.

The thing is, we don’t know the exact reason anyone gets on our lists.

We know how we’ve targeted them, what we’ve offered them, and what we hope they’ve come for…but their individual motives are unknown.

Which means seeing unsubscribes in your stats is a good thing.

Why unsubscribes are good for your business

With any email service like Mailchimp & ConvertKit, you pay per subscriber. The more subscribers you have, the more your service costs. Which makes sense, considering more emails have to be sent and take on more and more of the server processing power.

So if your list contains people who aren’t the right fit, you sure don’t want to pay to keep them. Especially if they never had any intention of working with you and were just sight-seeing!

Each email you send tells your subscribers more about you and your message. The people who open your emails are good leads. The people who open and click through are excellent leads. The people who don’t open your emails and haven’t done so for a long, long time? They’re not right for you.

You’ll feel much better if you ignore your unsubscribe stat.

So say it loud and say it proud – unsubscribes are awesome!

But what if you’re getting a LOT of unsubscribes?

Let’s look at it from another angle. Your stats are presented as a percentage – this many people out of 100.

So if during a sequence, 3 unsubscribed but 97 stayed – that’s actually pretty good.

If 20+ unsubscribed, that’s not so good.

Click deeper into your stats to find which email got the most unsubscribes and check its messaging and tone. You’ll probably conclude it wasn’t quite right or went too hard for a sale too early. Don’t stress, just edit for the next subscribers and keep an eye on it. That stat had nothing to do with you personally, it was just a heads-up for you to do some optimizing.

What’s a good open rate?

Personally, I get disappointed by anything less than 50%. It’s not a number to put pressure on you, it’s just a benchmark I’ve set for myself so I know when I need to go back and edit for the next round. But compared to a Facebook post where only a tiny number of people see it, half my list opening an email is pretty good. But still, it also means half said no.

Half rejected me 🙁

Or did they?

Email sendability problems

Email sendability flops can account for a whole bunch of those non-opens. This is when your email:

  • Lands in the spam box at server level and never reaches your subscriber inbox at all
  • Lands in the spam folder of the subscriber inbox
  • Is filtered to Promotions tab in Gmail
  • Arrives at stupid o’clock when your subscriber is sleeping/always crazy busy
  • Is lost in the Internet somewhere

You don’t have a whole lot of influence over these. Sometimes when someone who uses the same internet or mail provider has been naughty, everyone else gets penalised by global spam filters. It’s not fair, but it’s also not permanent. Always subscribe to your own list so you can see when things are going wonky.

You can avoid landing in the Promotions or Spam folder though by making sure your email looks and reads like one from a friend. Zero to no HTML images, not fully of spammy infomercial language, and careful use of the <firstname> tag. I prefer to send full plain text for this reason, and it works.

Just bad timing

People are busy. They’re checking their emails using their phone and sometimes they only have a moment to spare. They may intend to come back and read your email, but forgot.

It doesn’t mean they hate you.

It doesn’t mean they’re never going to buy from you.

It just wasn’t a good time for them. They’ll probably open your next email and not even realise you were ready to knock on their door and ask wtf. They still love you!

What’s a good click-through rate?

Click-through rate and conversion rate are often used interchangeably – because at a high level, they’re basically the same thing. Did your subscriber convert from reading an email to becoming a Facebook follower? Was that the goal of that email? Then it’s a conversion. It doesn’t always have to be cash – just a measure of whether they took the action you wanted.

*Don’t mix up your email conversion rate with your sales page conversion rate. Subscribers can click through an email but stop before buying – in that case, look to your sales page stats to troubleshoot.

Supposedly, a 1% conversion is good. Maybe for a sales page offering $20k coaching packages, sure. But for the lower end of the scale (ie reality) and thinking purely about email click-throughs? Be happy with around 10% and up. This means of the 50 people who opened your email, 5 did what you wanted – they clicked your CTA. You can definitely get higher really, really easily, but anything lower and it’s time to review.

Read through the problem email and try and identify the point where the subscriber chose not to continue. Maybe they’re already a Facebook follower? Maybe you lost them with some technical language? Maybe the CTA wasn’t clear, or you had more than one? Edit the things that are jumping out at you and watch the stat as it runs again.

Low click-throughs may also have nothing to do with what you wrote.

Maybe they’re holding out for the bonus to appear. Maybe they’re just a chronic procrastinator and you need to scoop them up with some urgency down the road. Maybe they’re more hesitant than most and need to get to know you more before taking the next step. If you’re happy with your email content, you can leave it for a bit and see how it goes with new subscribers, or even move it somewhere else in the sequence.

You can’t control everything your subscriber does, and sometimes they’ll surprise you. Like buying after years of lurking on your list, or recommending friends who then come straight to you with a yes. All you can control is what you put out there and how you choose to react. Your stats are there to guide improvements to the email content you already have,  as you refine and optimize your funnel. Your stats secretly know your subscribers love you, they just want to help you get the proof.

 

This post is part of the Funnel Happiness Boost series.

Part 1: Is your email list too small?

Part 2: How to nurture your list when you have nothing to sell (yet)

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How to nurture your list when you have nothing to sell (yet)

how to nurture your list

Remember when the main reason you signed up to someone’s list was to get their newsletter? I mean, you never read them, but still. They’d email you once a week or month with their blog headlines and a paragraph about their cat. Maybe they’d even automate it and have their latest blog posts sent directly to your inbox.

The internet has matured since then (thank goodness!) and newsletters are now considered a faux-pas in their own right. So if you can’t send a newsletter, and you have nothing to sell, what the hell do you send to your subscribers??

Most of the time – nothing.

Which is a huge mistake. Pretty Woman waltzing out of that fancy pants shop and giving the middle finger to the snobby assistant Huge.

Having nothing to sell your list is a fabulous thing. Not for your wallet of course, but for your relationship with the subscribers.

Because – and here’s a total duh comment – people don’t actually want to be sold to. They want their problems solved. They want their pain magicked away with the fairies. They want to be told it’s not their fault that X and this is why.

None of what your subscribers want to hear involves you selling anything.

Which means this is a great time to focus on adding value and solving their problems, little by little. The moment you start selling, the walls go up and their inner commentary starts saying things like “oh yeah, prove it”.

But while their walls are down you are primed to nurture their brains out. Form that relationship, get that loyalty built up and make it clear that yes, you DO have everything they want. It may not officially exist yet as a product, but damn it, when it does, it’s already the right one for them.

In purely mercenary terms (which is a great place to strategize from): Built the know, like, trust now so you can make the sale later.

Consider each email you send to your list – no matter how small the list or how brief the email – an investment in your business’ future.

As an added bonus, the more your subscribers engage with your brand and message, the more they tell you about what they really want from you. They’ll even let you know what shape they want it in. Video courses, not written. Audio, not video. A podcast. Heavier focus on instragram. More about this, less about that.

Your subscribers have a lot to tell you, but you need to start the conversation.

Use social media as a supplement, not the core

Limiting your early engagement to social media is easy, this is true. But your account could be closed at any time, your group deleted and your page blocked, without warning or reason. It happens more than we’d like to admit, which is why we call social media a ‘rented space’. You are entirely at their mercy, even to whether your followers see you at all. Social media is a super fun place to hang, but it will always leave most of your followers out.

Maybe they’re in a different time zone and have no hope of catching that discussion. Maybe they don’t love that same platforms you do. Or, I don’t know, maybe Facebook thinks they’re not cool enough to hang with you. The outcome is still the same though, you’re only nurturing a fraction of your audience if you keep it strictly on social.

How to structure an email nurture sequence

When your subscriber opted in to your list, they basically traded their email address for your freebie. They paid. And email addresses are now worth a lot, much more than ever before. You could say they paid handsomely for that ‘freebie’. But in that unwritten agreement is a second level of expectation: that you will follow up with them and help them some more.

That second level of the transaction kicks in immediately after they get their freebie. It’s a little like customer service, your job is to follow up and see how they went with it, and then stick around for a little bit while they put it into action.

A good way to plot a welcome nurture sequence is:

Day 0 (sign up day): Deliver freebie (or confirm link that they were already given on your website). Talk about what they can expect from your freebie and from being on your list.

Day 1: Introduce yourself a bit more, tell a story to establish authority/vulnerability/personality. Choose the key points you want your subscribers to know and essentially make friends with them.

Day 2: Check in how they went with their freebie, go into a little more detail regarding 1-2 points.

Day 3: Highlight a story or blog post, invite them to click through to a specific post or video.

Day 4, 7+ (send as often as you feel comfortable with): Continue as you did with day 3.

How long should your nurture sequence be?

Think of your nurture sequence as a communication between you and a pen friend. I know, old school, right? Once you’ve established yourself in the first 4 emails, you can taper off. Still email at least once per week though, just to keep it going. It’s okay to circle back and tackle something from a different angle. The important thing is to keep talking.

If you have no content to talk around and link to, that’s okay. You have a message, talk around that. It’s multi-layered, so peel off layers and introduce one in each email.

Eventually, you’ll want to sell something

You’re not running the business as a charity and while your subscribers don’t enjoy being sold to, they are expecting it. If you’ve spent some time nurturing them they won’t mind at all, in fact, they’ll welcome it.

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Is your email list too small?

what to do when your email list is small

Let’s just come out with it: We all have a massive case of list envy.

Newbies want a bigger list, seasoned entrepreneurs want a bigger list. Mega entrepreneurs are still working on growing their list.

Because BIGGER IS BETTER, right?

And if your list is small, why bother setting up a proper funnel? Why bother emailing a handful of people, one of whom is probably your mother?

Why bother trying to do anything with a small list?

I hate to be crude (I’m just saying that, I love being crude) but this is strictly a female-only problem. No man will hold back from trying to get laid because he has a teeny peeny. Hell, he will work even harder to make it happen. The same goes for his list. If he has 5 people on his list, he will muster every skill he possesses to make sure those 5 people are ready to buy.

Why can’t we women do the same? Because it’s not efficient. Because 5 subscribers means we’re still pretending to be business women. Because business is a numbers game and we need a bigger audience before anyone takes us seriously.

I feel those things so deeply that it’s crippling sometimes. I bet you do too. And then I wonder, what is the magic number of subscribers where I’m not just pretending to be an entrepreneur? 100? 1000? 10k?

How many people need to be listening before my message is worth sharing?

The size of your list is important, but not as important as what you say.

The way you say it.

And how often you say it.

The truth is, bigger is not always better. A large list gets unwieldy, impersonal and mercenary. Need a quick sale? Send out a blast to 30k subscribers and somebody will buy, the odds almost guarantee it. But you can’t invite them to hit reply and tell you about their problem. You can’t ask them to join you in a Facebook Live without your video being bombarded with comments you literally can’t answer individually.

BONUS resource: grow your list easily and quickly with these tips! Download now

A large list changes the communication dynamic.

Smaller lists are a whole different story. Anywhere under around 2000 subscribers and you have a community. Even those first 5 subscribers are a community. Leverage and strengthen the bond from the moment of sign-up with invitations to interact. With you.

What to do with your small list

Ask them to reply.

Invite them to virtual drinks.

Learn their names.

They subscribed because they want to hear your message, and to hold back because there aren’t many of them is unfair. The agreement was they give you their email address and you give them value – it was never conditional on them bringing a hundred friends along.

Your message is worth sharing – even to one subscriber.

And because you’re a plan ahead type of gal, you know every email you send to that small list can be re-purposed into new blog posts, podcasts, videos and workshops. Every email you take the time to write and send now is an investment in your business.

As new subscribers arrive, attracted by your awesome message, give them those early emails on automation. Nothing is wasted, it only grows with you.

So is your list really too small – or just sidelined?

Send them an email TODAY. Let them know what you’ve been up to, tell them about your latest blog post. Don’t sell them anything, just talk.

Because I guarantee, someone is listening…and they’re wondering where you went.

 

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Supercharge your open rate by changing this one teensy thing (and it’s NOT your subject line)

how to improve your open rate

Are your emails dying a slow and tragic death, all alone and unread forever?

This is the email you spent hours slaving over, breaking into a sweat every time the cursor flashed impatiently, before finally ramming it into a Mailchimp-shaped box while praying that this one – this email – would be the one to launch your sales into 5 figures.

That poor email.

Such responsibility, such torture!

Turns out you owe it an apology, because there’s one little thing that would have gotten it read and bouncing around your subscriber’s head like an inane viral earworm.

*Pen-pineapple-apple-pen…*

(Not sorry. I like to share the suffering.)

So. (Pinapple pen) You want to getting your email read.

Bomb #1: Your subscribers can’t buy if they don’t read, and they can’t read if they don’t open it.

Duh.

Bomb #2: Basically, people read emails from people they like.

More duh.

Bomb #3: People don’t read emails from businesses, because businesses are THE MAN.

The Man sends you reminders about traffic fines, The Man nags you to pay your kids school fees, The Man says ‘heads up, tax time is coming’…

The Man SUCKS.

And nobody can feel all nice and ready-to-buy if they’re on their guard from the moment their email goes ‘DING’.

improving your open rate is easy

It’s all about the FROM name.

Getting the reader all the way through to clicking a link is hard enough. Getting them to fork over some cold hard cash is waaaay more difficult. Every element in that email has to absolutely nail its purpose before you can file it away for re-use in your funnel and end up with a sexy slip’n slide system to checkout.

And there’s zero chance of any of that happening if they never open the email.

Because, you know…The Man is waiting.

You need to get past one yes/no question first. Just one.

Do I want to read an email from this person?

If the answer is no, it doesn’t matter what the subject line is. It could be the most important and personal email in the history of communication,  but if it comes from ‘Customer Support’…pass.

Screw you, Man.

Your clients have formed a relationship with your brand, true, but beyond that, it’s a relationship with YOU.

Freak, genius, introvert or frump..however you define yourself, this is the one moment when you gotta show the fuck up…

And own your part in this conversation.

 

Well, hello there!

An email from someone they like and enjoy communicating with, even if it’s only one sided, will always get opened before others.

Because people don’t open emails as they come in, they open them based on whether or not they damn well feel like it.

Trust me, I have over 17 THOUSAND unread emails right now.

(Don’t tell The Man)

Do I want to read an email from this person? Yes.

Then they’ll read the subject line.

It’s the ‘Rule of One’ – each element has one purpose, and that is purely to lead it to the next element.

Kind of like a dot-to-dot drawing, but without the juggling circus elephant at the end.

Get more opens on mobile devices

Mobile technology loves the FROM name.

I’m addicted to my phone, even more than chocolate and home reno shows. This also means I read most of my email on there – and a whopping 55% of the population is with me.

Like everything else, mail looks different on a small screen, but one thing stands out beyond everything else.

 

 

The subject line has shrunk into blah-blah obscurity, while the FROM name is screaming for attention.

BUY FROM ME!

(And no, I have no desire to read any of those emails. I’m not even interested enough to bother unsubscribing.)

Well wtf should my FROM name be?

Seriously, this is the easiest part. Because…yeah…. you probably should know your own name by now…

(Unless everyone calls you Baby and you’ve got something against corners.)

Use casual names the reader either knows or feels comfortable with. Unless you actually are a Dr and that’s vital to your branding (and ego), throw the titles away too.

  • Nathalie Lussier
  • Laura Husson
  • Mariah Coz

All very real online coaches who use their name as a FROM. Readers can visualize their face and immediately connect with their branding, which propels them to read the Subject Line. And open it. And read the hook…And so on.

For the less-known or members of a team, you can combine a name and the brand. Always choose the brand though, not the department or job title – people are much less likely to care what those guys have to say. They’re rather The Man flavoured.

Oh god.

Bad visual.

The point is, the emotional connection isn’t there, and everything becomes much harder to swallow.

  • Val from ConvertKit
  • James Gilbert, Hubspot

Why you should never use no-reply

Using a no-reply address has a few effects, and none of them good. Which is probably why banks and governments use it.

  1. It has a higher tendency to activate spam filters, so your email is a goner.
  2. It tells the receiver you’re not interested in a relationship.
  3. It tells the receiver that you don’t care if they open this email or not.

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The #1 rule for a successful opt-in form

1 rule for a successful optin form

It’s the age old drama – you’re out there hustling what God gave you and just when everything is about to go your way, something happens to block that glorious moment.

Load failure…fire alarm…insufficient funds …

You can try and resume where you left off but the moment has passed.

Bu-bye, see-ya, enjoy that solo time!

It’s the same in the digital world, your hot leads are moving away from your page at lightning speed, moments away from opting in and being your new BFF.

Call it bouncing, call it bad luck, maybe even a messaging issue.

 

But you might just be opt-blocking your own success.

They want your freebie – the lead has clicked through to your sign up form – they’re already sold. But do they all convert?

Nope.

Because you opt-blocked them by asking for too much information.

Hell, even Tinder dates ask for less info than some opt-ins I’ve seen lately.

There’s no doubt getting a phone number is great for following up (for both Tinder and digital marketing), but when I’ve been offered a free download, you know what I want?

A free download.

…Value I can consume on my own terms and process in my own way.

And there’s no way in hell I’m telling this random form on the internet where I work or what my job title is. That’s just madness.

How much info can you ask for?

As much as you require to deliver your opt-in. No more.

  • First name is nice to have, and it’s generally given, but it’s definitely not essential.
  • Email to communicate.
  • Website if you need to conduct a brief audit or review of some kind.
  • Address if you need to make a physical delivery.

If your opt-in IS a sales or discovery call, then sure, you need a Skype/number. But that’s what they’re signing up for, they’re expecting that request.

Because anytime a person finds themselves looking at an opt-in box, they’re thinking “is this freebie worth the price of…”

My name? Sure. Email? Sure.

Phone number, address, workplace and occupation? Ummmmmm….

Make the access barrier as low as possible, friction is the LAST thing you want in your funnel.

Then maybe, just maybe, they’ll swipe right and you’ll finally get that moment.

And it will be GLORIOUS.

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