10 Sep Entrepreneurial Hot Seat Episode 1: Email Marketing
Hello! This is Adrian Fleming and welcome to the first series of what we call Marketing or Entrepreneurial Hot Seat. The first one is about Email Marketing. One of the things that I really love to do when I’m sitting down with people either at an event or around the table is to do what I call a hot seat because I know it really helps people. One of the goals of a hot seat is not just to make something better, it’s also to teach at the same time.
Entrepreneurial Hot Seat Episode 1: Email Marketing
Now let me give you a few rules that is just generally there about email marketing. So we set out off to from where we start from, what makes something good or not.
Rule One: Know your desired outcome
Rule number 1 is know your desired outcome. When you are in business, know what you want to achieve at the end. That should be your desired outcome. You should think about what you want to do in your emails based on your desired outcome.
Rule Two: Know your desired next step and make it easy
Number two is you’ve got to know your desired next step; and by getting it to do as well. Most people think that they can create an email or sales campaign and get somebody to buy straight away. That’s a mistake. What you need to do is to think step by step. An email is a concrete example of that. You need to know what your desired next step. Think of the next step you like the prospect to take and you should make it really easy for them to take that step.
Rule Three: Focus on helping people, add value and remove risk
Number three, you’ve got to focus on helping people, add value and remove any risk by helping them too. That is really critical! Because an email is one of the areas people feel quite personal about. And quite frankly, there’s so much spam and rubbish in our emails today. So a lot of times, if you don’t help people and add value, your email is just going to go straight in the bin. And that’s a real mistake that so many people are making nowadays, even if sending across the email is totally genuine.
Rule Four: Focus and talk to great prospects because they’ll respond
Number four, I want you to focus on and talk to great prospects. And the reason why they’re great prospects is that they want what you’ve got to offer, they can afford it, and actually they’ll respond. Now chances are, you’re going to send your emails to people who are not great prospects. And that’s ok, but I want you to focus on the great prospects and not on anybody else.
And by the way, if for some reason somebody is not a good fit or not a great prospect, don’t waste your opportunity with them and don’t be carried away with helping them too much. Just help the right people at the right time. And if you can, get people to raise their hands and say ‘Yeah, I’m interested’ or ‘No, no, not.’ When somebody is undecided but interested, it’s ok to communicate with them on email because it’s not an expensive way to do it. But to be honest, they are not really helping you. So, focus on and talk to great prospects; and that leads us to number five.
Rule Five: Don’t compromise your communication
Don’t be afraid the way you word the things you say within your email. Focus only on what really are appealing to those great prospects. Other people, to be honest, don’t really matter; and so don’t be so afraid on to really tailor your communication in your emails to those ideal, really great prospects. And you know, if by so doing it makes a few people fall by the way side, so be it. It’s not the end of the world.
Rule Six: Know What Somebody Wants: Benefits, Results & Transformations
And when you do your email marketing make sure that you communicate by giving benefits, results and transformation. If you want to learn more about that, I’ve got a blog post on “blogpost link.”
Rule Seven: One-To- One Communication
One-To- One Communication is what you’re looking for, even if it’s not. I see so many people make a mistake of sending out blanket emails to us. You need to be communicating and talking to them as if they’re sitting there with you. And they’re the only persons there. Don’t talk to a group of people in an email because it is not a group you are talking to. You’re talking to one person. You need to communicate as best as you can through that screen whether it’s a mobile screen or a laptop, desktop or whatever. And make them feel as if it’s a one-to-one conversation.
Rule Eight: Ask for What You Want
Too many people are what you call ‘wishy-washy’ they don’t ask for things. I want you to make sure that you ask for what you want in your emails.
Rule Nine: Ask for what you need/ what you need to know
That’s critical too. If you’re missing some information or you want to find something out, you need to ask for it because sometimes you don’t get the answer you especially want, get something to take step before they take. But if you need some information you need to know something, also ask for that.
Rule Ten: Ask for the sale/next step
Get them to take actions because asking actions in email is a really great thing; and again as I said early on, work with a great prospect. They take action, they take the step you want them to take.
Rule Eleven: Automate/ Delegate/Systemize
That is important too. You don’t want to be doing email really on a one-to-one basis in terms of your time even though if that’s the way you want to communicate. So you need to wherever possible automate things, delegate things and systemize things so you can scale your result through email.
Rule Twelve: Follow up
You need to follow up and that’s really key. Most people are absolutely dreadful when it comes to following up with prospect. So I want to make sure particularly with email that you’ve built a follow up campaign or follow up strategy that you can apply.
So let’s go down to the actual hot seat now. What I have done, I’ve taken an email that came in to me. Now, first of all I don’t know who this person is. It had just arrived in my inbox. And for the sake of not embarrassing anybody or giving somebody credit, whether it’s due or not due, I’ve blank out certain information. They sent it to me even though I didn’t request it. So it’s pretty much spam as far as I’m concern. I think it’s a great thing to use as a hot seat because its shows a number of things that can really help you take something like this and really change it to what you need for your business so you can do a much better job.
So I got this email and it basically is from a company offering online services such as website design, content creation for news, social media, SEO and email campaign. You might be wondering why I picked them. It’s because they are offering email marketing campaigns. You’ll see as you go through this, there are some serious holes in what they are offering and good things as well, which we’re going to talk about. Fundamentally, I think there’s a lot of room for improvement in what you can do; and you don’t need to be an email marketing expert.
But on the bright side, number 1, they are actually doing something, which a lot of people don’t do when it comes to marketing and promoting themselves. They are using emails that say what they do and that’s great. I check the actual email on the phone. It looks fine. It works. It resizes correctly and it’s easy to read. So they’ve laid it out, they put lot of space in there. They’ve used the sans-serif font, which is very easy to read; and it worked well with any browser or with any mobile device.
So that’s great and a good starting point. Let’s dive deeper into it and start to dissect it to look at what’s good and what’s bad; and then moving into a version that actually will work for what you need.
Email Parts and Entrepreneurial Hot Seat Dissection
Email Dissection # 1 – Subject Line
So let’s start right on the top, which is the subject line: “Meeting.” They are saying meeting. Well, a lot of people use subject lines as a way to get somebody heads in and that’s absolutely right. You know it’s the right thing to do, but this is a suggestion that it’s a meeting. I’m a great believer in not trying to pull over somebody’s eye and do some supposedly clever headline.
I want people to create the right subject line that really draws me in, which we’re going to talk a little about that later.
Email Dissection # 2 – Salutation
They start their overall email with “Hi, there!” I don’t know this person so that’s a problem and it’s a little bit generic. To be honest a little bit informal to my liking but you know some markets are different so that’s fair enough.
Email Dissection # 3 – Opening Statement / Reason for writing
The first line says, “I’m arranging to meet with local businesses that need to review and update their website and online presence.” So let’s start with the first part of that sentence. “I’m arranging to meet with local businesses” now, here’s the thing and you could say it’s pretty funny and I would say it’s pretty silly, but they are in Chester and I’m here in the UK. UK is not the biggest country in the world but between where my office is, which is in North Hampton and where they are in, is somewhere between if the traffic is good according to Google Map, it is 2 ½ to 3 hours.
Now, that is not local, so all of a sudden they said we are looking for local people. I’m not local so they’ve already made me put off my guard up because they haven’t actually targeted me. They’ve just done something that’s completely an utterly generic. If they’re saying local, quite frankly, if it’s not within an hour and an easy hour, it’s not local, so why say it? It’s a big mistake!
Next, they are saying, “I’m arranging to meet local businesses that need to review and update their websites and online presence.” Now at no point do most companies or most people think you know what I need to review and update my website and online presence. This is an insinuation of what they said that I need to do something, and what I have is not very good. Now the other ironic thing is they actually send this for my attention to my business that does marketing. If I want to do websites and online things, I’m probably going to use my own people in my own building that I employ and pay every single month because that’s what I do and also for other people.
So for them to suggest to me that I need their information, their support, their help and I need to update my website and an online presence is a pretty silly thing to say. They fall over at the first hurdle. I am not somebody that needs their services. I’m not interested in their services for business reason. But Ironically, I’m actually using them for this particular hot seat and to dissect their email that they have sent. This email was sent to the wrong person and that is a major issue.
Let me also call the attention of those people who buy email list with no clue what they’re doing. They are literally:
- Just sending out bulk emails in the hope that somebody replies
- Not targeting the right recipients of their emails
- Not speaking to me as an individual
- Not certainly wording their emails as if they talking to me on one-to-one basis
Email Dissection # 4 – 2nd Line
As we move in to the 2nd line the company, a blurred out again, a design and build, award winning website that deliver better sales and lead generations.
Now, I do also have a video on award winning people and companies. I’m not a big fan, necessarily, and again I’m not going to that here. But you know saying that you are award winning and not justifying it is a pretty weak statement. Not only that, they are saying they deliver better sales in lead generations. Well trust me when I say this from what I’ve seen so far that’s not true either.
It says we work nationally with clients that need a digital agency with specialist experience in your marketplace. Now they’re not wrong to say that they work nationally and they’re a digital agency but first and foremost they haven’t really address my needs. What they have been doing is telling me how good they are, really boasting about what they do.
And here’s the real kicker with this line. They’ve got specialist experience in my market place. But in fact the message says that they have no idea what market place is. Otherwise, they wouldn’t have sent me the email. Now I do have multiple business interest but fundamentally I don’t think they got any experience in any of my market places that they could justify through this email. If they do, they haven’t done it. So if you going to say you’re a specialist in that area, make sure that you make your statement that really resonate with the person that’s getting the email. Otherwise, they’ll think you’re “bullshit artist” because they don’t and haven’t portrayed specialist experience in my market place and they certainly can’t with an email like this.
So you need to be thinking of not just sending one email to people sending the right email to the right person.
Email Dissection # 5 – Services / Main Points
They said to turn your website visitors into costumers, we can support you to continually improve your new website with: let me go through website design and development, content and news writing, social media management, design updates, email marketing campaign and SEO. Now generally that’s ok. They’ve been clear about what they do. And they have actually not said things that are out of the ordinary.
Couple of things there, if we’re going to say something to somebody this is what we do. I’m going to just suggest that SEO is a very common term, but I’ll put it like search engine optimization and put SEO in brackets because people don’t realize jargon and they like to know what’s going on. I would necessarily put bullet points in here because they have features rather than anything else. I got a video on feature and benefits of what to do; we’ll talk about it a little bit after that in a moment, but I’m going to complete different blog posts on, that will help you. But fundamentally, this is ok. It’s nice and clean and easy to read. They are saying turning visitors into costumers, not sure how they’ll do that. I’d like to learn a little bit more maybe that’s why they want me to call them or arrange a meeting so they can support me; and support is actually a pretty good word to use. People like support and so you know that’s ok but could still be improved.
Email Dissection # 6 – Closing
So let’s just go into this in to a little bit more on detail. As they finish off, they got what we believe in – high quality service and affordable price – and no problem with that. Then we got, “Please let me know the next date that you would be available to meet and explore how we can help.” That to be honest is a bit too wishy-washy for me. As I said earlier, you’ve got to be clear, you’ve got to know what steps you know. I would be much more concrete in saying this is what we should do, but they sent out a pretty generic email. I’m not really sure, but they might catch a few people depending on how many email they send out that are interested. Do they know you’re a good prospect, probably not! Do they know what they can do for you, probably not! So it’s a bit wishy-washy, but at least there are some sort of call to action there, that’s a good thing.
So then the closing part of the email where we got the sign off and the information there and that’s fine, kind regards, person’s name martin and he is the business development manager, then the company logo. I don’t mine company branding. In fact, I quite encourage people particularly in the business context to have some sort of corporate branding on their emails and whatever they do. I think that’s a really positive thing.
Then they got the contact details there, which is great. I’m not sure why giving out your mobile number in this sort of context, but you know that’s somebody’s individual preference. They’ve got the warning statement at the bottom and again I’m not sure you should say warning. They have put also a subscribe link, which is really important, particularly with this case, I don’t recall signing up for it. I would say, overall, the design and layout is quite simple, quite clean, and quite readable.
Email Suggestion # 1 – Don’t keep sending the same thing
But here’s the thing, I can’t swear to this. But I think I have the same email on more than one occasion from this person. One thing I would say, “Don’t keep sending the same thing.” I actually get this an awful lot. Forget about the real spam. I get people who, for example try to sell print to me and send the same email every week, or every 10 days. I guess somebody who wants to collect my computer for recycling sends me exactly the same email pretty much every month and a variety of other things. It is absolutely ridiculous and fundamentally lazy to send exactly the same thing time and time again.
Don’t do it! It makes you look like an amateur. You know email is a really critical step and a really great step that you can use in your business to generate interest and convert prospects into clients or costumers or partner or whatever you want to do.
So you shouldn’t just send it out because it’s free. You should really think about what you’re doing and why you’re doing it. Otherwise, it doesn’t really show you out as the best. And if you send one thing out hoping that when you send it out next time, being the same that will capture the attention is pretty naïve. Also, you must hit on or trickle the interest of a person and at least tailor it. For example, this person could send an email out about web design development. The next one could be about content and news writing. The next one could be about social media management. The next one could have been about search engine optimization. The next one could have been about email marketing. You know instead of just sending one email out trying to do everything in one place they could send multiple emails. It would give the person receiving the email, even if it is a spam and unrequested, a much better view of what you could do. It could also show somebody you are actually thinking and the chances are it would get a much better response rate.
So as I say follow up with people, but do it in a smart way. That’s really critical!
Let me give you a quick guide to a variation on that and example you can take, learn from model, adapt and use in your business because at the end of the day that is what hot seat is all about. And that’s what I’m here to do for you.
Email Suggestion # 2 – Subject Line Needs To Get The “Open”
When it comes to the subject line because it’s right on top, the subject line there is there to get to open email and to start reading it. That’s all it’s there for but as I say please, please, please don’t go down the road of using silly lines and tricks to get people to open it unless that’s your business. You know, I hear all sorts of information of what subject line should I use. Well, the fact that matters is, I’ll give you some ideas in a moment. It’s important that you put an honest subject line that gets people to take the next step is to provide a bit of intrigue.
That’s what we’ll get, somebody to open an email to start to read it. So here’s a few of such general things you can use in the subject line and words. So the word new or some variation of that is really great. The word free is great too, probably the best word when it comes to sort of marketing and advertising promotions. People like the latest things and they like the news too. Now numbers, specific numbers get attention because you are specifying a specific value which means that you’re talking to a factual position, it’s not made up. The word exclusive is great, people like exclusive things and opportunities. Questions, people love a question in a subject line. If you ask a question and it’s a virtually impossible for the person not to try to think about and answer it in their own mind and if the question is relevant to them, the chances of opening your email goes up significantly.
Other classic words like the word ‘sale’, that’s great. The word or connotation of secret or discover is great. And the other effective subject starts with “how to”. If you put it in your email how to do something, if that person receives your email, wants to do it. The chance of them opening your email is very, very high.
Email Suggestion # 3 – Be Friendly But Not Casual
So when it comes to the way your word things, be friendly but not casual. Now it’s a good idea, if you can put the person’s first name in, so instead of saying, “Hi there,” in example you can put “Hi Adrian”. You don’t need to but you know it’s good. I always think it’s good to be friendly. Emails that are quite friendly is a better way of communicating, it’s not too formal. To be honest, I’m quite formal. I’m from the UK, my upbringing and my education is quite formal and I have to work for it to a bit more casual. But I want to be friendly, helpful and opened. But I don’t want to be casual because the chances are unless I’m actually friends with you in person which I’m not and I shouldn’t assume that.
I don’t want to offend anybody and I want people to take me seriously. Because what I do in business for people is serious. I’m here to help the people I work with to make money and that’s a pretty serious thing. Yes, you can have a little bit of fun along the way, but fundamentally, its serious so don’t be too casual.
Email Suggestion # 4 – Give Them What They Want / Asked For
Next, I always suggest that just don’t send out blanket emails. Don’t go buying list of people unnecessarily or don’t go buying list of emails address place like eBay or any of the online classified section. To be honest that’s almost all rubbish and you shouldn’t go near it.
So what I suggest you to do is you get people to give you their details because they want something or they’ve ask for it. I want to go in to funnels or email funnels and online marketing. Overall, because it’s just about emails, but you know getting somebody to opt in, as I say, is a great thing.
For example, let’s say I’ve done something and I was offering a marketing checklist. The first line of my email should be something on a line of “Thank you for requesting your free copy of the 2016 Marketing Checklist. Please click here or on the image below to download it.” Now, I often say to people and I think this is good thing in general, put click links to download stuff not necessarily attached files to your email. It can make it rather large. It’s not great, if you’re in a mobile network, and certainly not great, there’s firewall or things like that. A download link is far better. It also means you can track things, so I highly recommend that. Other thing just in terms of copy.
I’m saying, “Thank you.” So I’m friendly but I’m acknowledging them and acknowledging that they have requested something. I’ve made it quite clear what to do. So there’s no gray area there. No messing about. You want something, here. It is just general in business if somebody puts a hand and says, “I want something,” whether that’s in marketing or sales or anything else. If you can give it to them, particularly, if you can charge for it, just do it.
Make your life easy. So here you are. You requested the free copy of the checklist. Click here or the image and download it. Simple, easy and then after that later on you can follow up and say, “How did you get on with the marketing checklist? Have you use it?” You can check something if they did download it because you know giving something to them to take away then use it at their leisure, then may be print out and leave on their desk, is far, far better for you than just sending an email, no content, no real value. Remember, we want to add value to everybody that gets the email. So if for example, you don’t have an opt-in and you send something, I want you to think about a simple process. The first part of that process is tell them what you’ve got. The next part is explain what it can do for them because what it can do for them is much more important than what you can do. People buy base on what they want. People are fundamentally selfish. They do not care about you, they care about themselves. So the second part is to explain what it can do for them or for their business. And next is tell them what to do next.
Email Suggestion # 5 – Explain What It Can Do For Them
Tell them clearly and simply what you expect them to do. Don’t say please do this, tell them what to do. People actually want to be told what to do, so in an email just tell them. That simple! Let me give you another example of this based on the marketing checklist. So what I’ve got here is just a bit of text. What I’ve done here is, “We’ve just updated our marketing Checklist to take account of the latest trend and what’s working now (and more importantly what’s not) so wanted to make sure you have a copy.
So there you are, I said this is what’s here, this is what we’ve got and have used things like latest. I’ve said what’s working now and what’s not. I actually incorporated that this is what we’ve got and this is what it would do for you. And supplement that in the next part that says, “We use the checklist with all our clients but even people who don’t use it, save time, money and effort when they apply what’s in it.” I said quite clearly this is what it would do for you. By using this marketing checklist, you even don’t use us because I want to help everybody not just the people who pay me. It will save you time, it will save you money, and it will save you effort.
So it’s in your interest to download and use it. What you do after that I can’t control, but if it’s good and you read what’s in there and there’s lot of part to that you will see its value. So if I’m giving you and it’s for free and helping you, I must know what I’m talking about. I could be the right person to work with at the point that I’m ready to work with you.
So then the third part, what to do next. Just click the link here and again the word HERE in blue and under line just as everybody expects in email links or the image below to download your free copy. Make sure that you put multiple links in there to get what somebody wants because, if you do any tracking of your emails in your website, you’ll see that people click pictures, and they click links and all sorts. So make sure the links are easy to spot and the download links are also in images too. So there’s a good example and you could take that and pretty much modify it for anything you do where you provided something to help somebody. So hopefully that’s really beneficial to you.
Any by the way the marketing checklist actually does exist. It’s on the website here and I’ll put another link below so you can get that. And it genuinely does help people save time, money and effort. And we genuinely use it with our clients. So it’s not just a fake piece of information or fake image, it really helps.
Do you want to be in the next “Hot Seat”?
Is this something that you got from a marketing perspective that you’d like me to do as a hot seat and go through critique, help with things like that. If you have, great! Love to hear from you. You know this is all about helping you and other people at the same time simultaneously. You know, I can anonymize you if you wish, but I love to hear from you.
If you want to be in the hot seat and your material is something you want me to go through, it’s completely free and I don’t charge for this. It’s here to help you, it’s here to help other people who watch the videos and who are part of the community here at my website. So, if you want to be in the hot seat, let me know. If you don’t want to be in it, but you have an interest that you’d like to know about something or a specific thing whether in marketing or entrepreneurship. Tell me what should be in the next entrepreneurial hot seat, because if I get feedback from you guys then I can deal with that and I can help as many people.
Even if you do something like, I’m really interested in direct mail or classified ads or videos or you know how to raise money as an entrepreneur or how to pitch what I do or how to build a sales pitch or anything else like that. You tell me what should be in the hot seat and I’ll do it for you. If there’s enough people who want it and hopefully I can help as much people as possible.
And remember get other people to watch this video and this post. Get other people to make suggestions too, because what it’s all about is community. And remember I want to focus on marketing and on entrepreneurship. And they’re pretty big subjects you know I’m not really the best person to talk about accountancy, I’m not an accountant or legal things I’m not a lawyer. I can help in every way possible. But my specialty is marketing and entrepreneurship. That’s what I’m really, really good at. I have been doing for over 20 years. So that’s where I can help you the most in the shortest possible time.
Just send me an email at Adrian.Fleming@AdrianFleming.com with who you are, what you’d like me to cover and why you’d like me to cover that and also what the problem is. What’s it that you really want to get out of it. I want to know what you want to get as an outcome. Specific goals you have, what specific challenges you have; and I can take that, do the hot seat and answer that for you and for other people. Because, you are asking the question, chances are other people are too. And that’s great because I want to help as many people as possible.
Just one last thing, I’ve got a couple of books you can get on Amazon and there’s other training that goes with them. The “Entrepreneur’s Book “and the “More Sales than You Can Handle” are available there in Amazon. When it comes to entrepreneurship, marketing, and sales, these are fantastic resources. Order it online as well, it really helps, too.
So, if you want more information about me, about what I do, a great way to find that is on the website here or go and buy the books. I really want to help as many people as I can and for as low amount of money as I can too. So thank you very much for your time. I really appreciate it you spending time with me. I hope you find this really helpful when it comes to email marketing and so you can see what to do and what not to do so that you can apply it on what you do and get far, far greater results without spending any more time, money or effort doing it. So thanks very much and I’ll see you soon.