Interview With the Email Marketing Heroes on Effective Emails for Jewelry BrandsLaryssa
In episode #187 of the Joy Joya Jewelry Marketing Podcast, I share my interview with two very special guests who are masters at email marketing. But you’ll be very surprised by how they acquired and developed their marketing expertise over the years.
The Email Marketing Heroes are Rob and Kennedy – the former is a comedy stage hypnotist, and the latter is a psychological mind reader or mentalist. They found that their experience in performing and getting into people’s heads made them perfectly suited to be experts at marketing, more specifically email marketing.
Now as founders of EmailMarketingHeroes.com, Rob and Kennedy’s mission is to save the world from that boring, old-fashioned email marketing we’ve all grown to loathe and give others the tools to become the Email Marketing Heroes in their small businesses. They’re also the hosts of the Email Marketing Show Podcast.
In this episode, we answer these questions:
- Why is email marketing so misunderstood, and what can jewelry brands do differently?
- What makes an email marketing strategy effective and successful? What are the key ingredients?
- What makes subscribers stop opening emails, and what are the qualities of an email that subscribers LOVE to open?
- How should jewelry brands specifically think about email marketing?
- What are the different types of emails that jewelry brands should be sending and how often?
- …and more!
Check out the transcript below.
Laryssa Wirstiuk 00:08
Welcome to the Joy Joya podcast, where “jewelry is joy” and everyone is encouraged to add more polish and sparkle to the world with topics ranging from marketing tips to business development, best practices, and beyond. This is the go-to podcast for ambitious jewelry industry dreamers like you.
Hi, I’m your host, Laryssa Wirstiuk. Through this podcast, I aim to empower and inspire jewelry entrepreneurs and professionals so they can thrive while adding more beauty to the world. I’m passionate about digital marketing for jewelry brands, and I’m excited to share my passion with you. As we all know, “jewelry is joy,” and I will gladly seize any opportunity to talk about it.
This is episode 187, and today I’ll be sharing my interview with two very special guests who are true masters of email marketing. But you’ll be very surprised by how they acquired and developed their marketing expertise over the years. One’s a hypnotist and the other one’s a mentalist. Don’t worry, we won’t be trying to hypnotize you in this episode, but you will leave with the confidence that you can tackle email marketing for your jewelry business. Are you curious to know how they channeled their expertise in the performing arts to digital marketing? Stay tuned to learn more about these guys and the answers to these questions:
- Why is email marketing so misunderstood, and what can jewelry brands be doing differently?
- What makes an email marketing strategy successful and effective, and what are those key ingredients?
- What makes subscribers stop opening emails, and on the other side of that, what are the qualities of an email that subscribers love to open?
- How should jewelry brands specifically be approaching and thinking about email marketing?
- What are the different types of emails that jewelry brands should be sending and how often?
And much more.
But before we get to the solid gold of this episode, I’d like to remind you that this podcast has both an audio and video component. So you can either listen on your favorite podcast platform or check out the video on YouTube by searching “Joy Joya”.
I love creating this content as my active service to you, my awesome listeners and viewers. You can always support the podcast for free by taking the time not only to subscribe but also to leave a rating and review on Apple Podcasts, which helps other jewelry dreamers find it too.
I want to read and share my favorite review of the week. And if you leave a review, there’s a good chance I’ll read it in a future episode. So this one comes from NYC Jewelry Designer and this person says about episode 181: “This was a nice interview with Oliver Maroney about NFTs, and it was helpful in clarifying the potential for jewelry to enter this space of NFTs and metaverse.” If you want to check out that episode, 181, I’ll leave that link in the show notes so you can hear exactly what NYC Jewelry Designer is talking about.
In this segment of the podcast, I give out my Sparkle Award for the week. During this segment, I highlight a jewelry brand that’s impressing me with their marketing. The Sparkle Award is also interactive, so you can visit sparkleaward.com to nominate a jewelry brand that’s inspiring you these days, and I might feature your submission on a future podcast episode.
So I actually found out about this indie brand through an article on azcentral.com. It’s like super local news, but I thought it was very cool. The headline that caught my eye: “A Nike designer comes from a long line of Native artists. She’s about much more than sneakers”. So this week’s Sparkle Award goes to Tracie Jackson, a Native American artist and a lead footwear designer at Nike’s N7 line of shoes and apparel, a line that’s aimed at native and indigenous communities.
But what I really want to highlight today is the fact that Tracie is also the founder of Rezilient Soles, an online store that sells handmade beaded sneaker-themed jewelry, and I just absolutely love that she is meshing and kind of mashing up sneaker culture with jewelry and adornment and really finding her niche within the industry, finding her own voice and not just copying what everyone else is doing.
Tracie learned how to make beaded jewelry from her grandmother at a very young age, and it has stuck with her ever since. She also has a love for basketball, and from there she grew her appreciation for sneaker culture. Tracie says on her website, “I created Rezilient Soles to express my love for art, my Diné culture, and how I imagine indigenous art and fashion coming together.”
She also designs ornamental shoelace tags, or what the sneaker community would call dubraes, or just sneaker jewelry. These dubraes are quite innovative since they help her reach new customers, perhaps people who wouldn’t normally purchase jewelry but are still really interested in sneaker culture and adornment. So you don’t have to be a sneakerhead who likes earrings or necklaces to support Rezilient Soles. If those aren’t your thing, she’s got you covered with a shoe accessory. Again, this is a niche that hasn’t—at least not that I know—been tapped into. And I feel that Tracie is doing a really good job at reaching it.
As I mentioned, you can visit sparkleaward.com to nominate a jewelry brand that’s inspiring you these days, and I might feature your submission on a future podcast episode.
Let’s discuss some recent news related to jewelry or marketing. Each week I share my thoughts about three relevant articles, and you can get the links to explore for yourself in the show notes if you’re interested in learning more.
The first article comes from JCK and it’s called, “Permanent Jewelry Has Evolved From a Trend to a Permanent Business”. So if you pay attention to the industry and what other brands are doing, you may have seen more and more brands, especially jewelry retailers/stores, offering this “Permanent jewelry,” as they call it. Typically they’re referring to bracelets that are soldered onto a person’s wrist, so they don’t have a typical clasp. And then basically, the person wears it for as long as they want. I mean, I’m sure they could cut it off. But it’s meant to be a long-term jewelry piece.
This trend started off as a fun one-and-done fad that was kind of a novelty, but jewelers and designers are definitely starting to implement it into their permanent business plans. It now encompasses everything from anklets to bracelets to necklaces in many different types of metals. Buying jewelry—I don’t have to tell you this, you all know—it’s an intimate experience. But this edition of permanent jewelry as a year-round service really adds another level of intimacy and brings a sense of permanency, a sense of celebrating a moment, and a sense of incorporating something into your daily life as a long-lasting piece of adornment.
The experience is really unlike any other. It gets customers talking to their friends and family. And that, in turn, can be great for business because it can bring referrals to your store or to your brand. Even companies like Stuller are now pushing or advertising their permanent jewelry equipment. This is a quote from the JCK article: “If you check the hashtags around permanent jewelry on Instagram and other platforms, you’ll find more than 20,000 hits, including people sharing their experience of getting their pieces welded onto their arms and ankles.”
I’m a little bit torn on this. I think it is great for getting word-of-mouth business for a jewelry store, especially if someone’s really excited about their piece. It can be a conversation starter if a friend or family member is curious about their new piece of jewelry. But where I am feeling a little bit hesitant about it is that this is definitely a marketing thing. It’s a way to expand your services and, again, to get people talking about your business. But my belief is that once something kind of becomes a trend—people are calling it a trend—it’s already a little bit too saturated.
Perhaps in your local market, no one is really doing this yet, and in that way, it could be positive for your marketing because it could really help you stand out. But once everyone’s doing it, it kind of loses its novelty and it’s no longer a differentiating factor for your business. So I would say definitely, before you decide to adopt this for your own business, think about it strategically. Why are you doing it? Does it make sense for your target customer? Are you just doing it because JCK says it’s a trend? These are all really great things to think about.
The next article comes from TechCrunch and it’s called: “TikTok to overtake Facebook in influencer marketing spend this year, YouTube by 2024”. I don’t have to tell you again, I feel like I say this a lot and you probably hear it a lot, you probably even experienced it: all of Instagram’s latest updates have consumers really feeling as though it is worried about TikTok’s growth. Instagram is slowly morphing into TikTok’s cousin, changing their feed layouts and pushing content from people you don’t even know or follow. And Instagram definitely seems to be worried about TikTok’s threat. But right now, it’s still ahead when it comes to where businesses are spending their influencer marketing dollars.
According to a recent analyst report, Instagram is on track to capture nearly three times the amount of influencer marketing spend compared to TikTok this year. So that’s $2.23 billion on Instagram compared to $774 million spent on TikTok. But here’s why Instagram is probably worried: TikTok is now on track to overtake Facebook and Instagram in terms of influencer marketing spend next year and eventually even overtake YouTube. So it makes sense why Instagram is making all these adjustments, because they’re seeing the writing on the wall on how brands are shifting their marketing budgets. So it’s really important to think about as you choose where to invest your time and energy as a brand on social media.
Speaking of TikTok, the last article comes from Social Media Today, and it’s called “TikTok Shares Marketing Tips and Advice in New Video Overview”. So if you’ve been thinking about dipping your toe into TikTok, let’s say, and you just want to learn about it, you want to understand some tips and best practices, well, the platform itself just published a new video overview that analyzes different marketing tactics taking place on the platform. They’re especially focused on how brands can partner with creators on the platform to help maximize their messaging. This video is called “Do You Speak TikTok?” and it’s hosted by a TikTok creator named Francis Bourgeois.
I’ll just summarize the four key tips that Francis shares in this video. Number one, let them express what makes them them. And again, they’re talking about creator partnerships and how to navigate them. Two, collaborate but never dictate. Three, tap into their own style and strength of content. Four, TikTok users come to be entertained. I think that if you are looking for ways to explore partnerships with creators, or looking to get into influencer marketing, or even brand collabs, these four tips that I just shared are applicable universally. I think it’s important to work with creators, influencers, partners and brands, where there’s a sense of trust—that you don’t feel like you’re micromanaging the output that they’re creating for you. And let them shine at the things that they do well, so they can represent your brand authentically and creatively.
Francis, the host of this video, really gives power back to the creator by reminding brands to treat creators as an equal in that production process. Really, the key selling point of TikTok—and I would say any sort of social media platform—is uniqueness and content. You need a really creative, interesting take to help drive more engagement and better performance on whatever platform you choose.
For more information about the three articles I shared, all you have to do is check out the show notes and you’ll get the links to all of those articles.
As I mentioned right at the beginning of this episode, my guests today have a very interesting and surprising background in the performing arts. The Email Marketing Heroes are Rob and Kennedy. The former is a comedy stage hypnotist, and the latter is a psychological mind reader or mentalist. They found that their experience in performing and getting into people’s heads made them perfectly suited to be experts at marketing and, more specifically, email marketing.
Now, as the founders of emailmarketingheroes.com, Rob and Kennedy’s mission is to save the world from boring old fashion email marketing we’ve all grown to loathe and give others, namely small business owners, the tools to become email marketing heroes in their own businesses. They’re also the hosts of the Email Marketing Show Podcast.
Without further delay, let’s dive into my interview with these vibrant and talented guys. Hi, Rob and Kennedy, the Email Marketing Heroes as you call yourselves. I’m very excited for you to come save the day today on my show, so thank you so much for coming.
Rob Temple 15:32
Hey, thanks for having us!
Laryssa Wirstiuk 15:35
So I’m sure that all the listeners and viewers want to know, first and foremost, how did you guys transition from being a comedy hypnotist and a mind reader to email marketing experts? So what’s the story there?
Rob Temple 15:50
So it makes a lot more sense once you listen through it. Basically, for the last 18 years, we’ve both been performing independently as entertainers, like you said, for me straight out of school, for Kennedy straight out of university. And we both set off on our own paths and started these businesses as entertainers.
Rob Temple 16:07
We hadn’t realized, I don’t think, that we were going to end up running a business. We just wanted to get up on stage and do our thing. We didn’t want to have to do all of the other stuff that becomes associated with that, like accounts and marketing and branding and positioning and pricing and all of that stuff, let alone cold calling or any of those things that business owners sometimes have to do.
Rob Temple 16:25
And so we suddenly found that we had accidentally started a business, and that’s not what we wanted. All we wanted to do was to perform. And so we had to find the lowest resistance way for us to start selling stuff and getting booked to go into gigs—and then getting referred and then getting rebooked. And we both, independently, just fell in love with email marketing as our thing.
Rob Temple 16:44
I’m quite introverted, Kennedy’s quite introverted—we didn’t want to have to do the sales call thing or sell face-to-face even. And so, we just found that email was a really great way to, at some scale, be able to deploy cloneable marketing campaigns. You can write it once and it can just run forever, unlike every time you do a sales pitch to somebody or every time you talk to a potential customer and you try to sell them a thing, the delivery of that pitch is slightly different. And so, this allows us to make it already consistent. It allowed us to build relationships over time.
Rob Temple 17:13
A lot has changed in 18 years. If you think about email marketing 18 years ago, you could build a list, you could merge somebody’s name into an email, and that was like witchcraft. And that was about as much as it could do. You could have a sequence of emails pre-automated to go out in advance, but that was really it. And a lot has changed since then. A lot more is possible now. And so we are simplifying all of the really complicated advanced stuff to make it really actionable and easy to do, but we’re also making it something that people enjoy receiving so that you can feel good when you send an email instead of feeling a bit icky about it.
Let’s be honest, when people come and see one of our shows, they don’t see Rob as a hypnotist, or they see me reading people’s minds or influencing their decisions. There are a whole bunch of communication strategies and a whole bunch of skills that we use that are the same skills that we need to use when we’re doing any kind of marketing. And we specifically apply it to email marketing from, “How do you get people’s attention so that they want to stop and even listen to your lead magnet or your free way onto your email list? And how do you get their attention once they’re on your email list? How do you keep people’s attention?”
People often obsess about this idea of getting people’s attention. Hey, if I start on the street, and I’m completely butt naked, one, I get arrested. Two, I’ll get lots of attention. But I’m not going to keep their attention that long. So keeping people’s attention is really, really important. And I think it’s not easy, but it’s certainly something that people can really easily research how to get people onto their email list. It’s how you get them that way. How do you keep them engaged? How do you get them excited [about] opening your emails?
And then, how do you influence people’s behavior? And I don’t mean that in a shady [way]—”the dark arts, ooh terrible stuff”—influence people to do nasty things. At the end of the day, we are always influencing people. We can’t not [be]—you’re always influencing them, right? You’re either influencing them towards stuff you want them to do or away from stuff you want them to do, because if it’s not towards, then you’re basically distracting them, which means you’re putting them in the other direction. So we may as well become much more cognizant, much more conscious of what we’re saying so we can have the best possible impact when we are seen by people in our email inboxes.
So we take those skills that we’ve had to put on the line night after night when we’re on stage when all eyes are on us. Never mind sending an email to people that you can’t even see. If we get this stuff wrong, we don’t just not make the sale that day, we don’t have a career. [If] we have a room of 1000 people booing us, we don’t get the next gig and we can’t pay the bills. The stakes are pretty high when you’re on stage. When you send your next email, they’re not as high. So when you can take the concentrate of those skills and put them into email when the pressure is not on as much, it’s really, really impactful.
Laryssa Wirstiuk 20:00
Yes, that’s so well said. I love the parallels that you made between the two. It makes me wonder if I should maybe pursue mind reading or something because it seems like, as a marketer, I have the natural skills to do so. [laughing] On your website, one thing that really stood out to me was that you mentioned that email marketing is misunderstood. And I was like, “Oh, I think that’s probably true, but I would love to know why they believe that.” So why do you think it is misunderstood?
I think [this is] because when people hear “email marketing,” they go, “Email marketing, I’ve heard of that,” but then what they do is email selling. And that’s what they’ve done forever. If you look at what most marketing is, it usually starts in entertainment. The best ads you can remember, the Superbowl ads, those really big ads, are entertaining first. So if that’s marketing, what are most people doing in their emails? They’re doing email selling. And the truth is, most people’s email selling doesn’t work because email is not the best way to do selling, right?
Email is the best place to show up, give value, deepen relationships, create desire, and create an understanding of the products that you’ve got. So what we want to do is—instead of thinking of it as email selling, a place where you go when you show up to sell—we want it to become a valuable content channel. The way people consume emails right now is not by opening up Outlook on their computer. Most people are consuming their emails on their phone—on their mobile device. So what that means is that, basically, email is another app that’s just snuggled in between TikTok and Tinder because that’s where people are actually checking it out. So if you want people to consume your email, it has to be valuable.
If you checked our Rob and Kennedy Instagram, it was just like: here’s a product you can buy; here’s another product you can buy. Would you follow that account? No. You’d be like, “Rob and Kennedy, unfollow.” That’s what you would do. And it’s the same with anybody. Whereas the stuff you put out on your Instagram right now—because most of you are visual brands, right? You’ve got all this beautiful jewelry and all this amazing stuff, right? You put valuable stuff on there that people care about. They care about what goes into the jewelry. What’s the story behind it? Where did they cut—like all of the amazing stories behind the jewelry. Well, if you can do it on Instagram, that’s the same content people want to consume by email because that’s what they care about. People can emote with that. They can’t get emotional, they can’t get excited, they can’t have any emotion from: “I’ve got a 10% sale on…” Who cares?—so does everybody else. Nobody cares!
Laryssa Wirstiuk 22:57
It’s so true. What a great point. And I love that you call that misunderstanding because I think many people do have that misconception that the email channel is just about selling. So it’s a really great point. So, as the Email Marketing Heroes, what programs do you offer your clients, and what are you doing with email marketing to help your clients specifically?
Rob Temple 23:20
So our stuff really comes down to a few different things. The first thing is, as Kennedy said, making it all about being a content channel instead. So we want to think about this as a content channel, but also the highest converting content channel for sales. And this is what’s really interesting and unique about it, unlike anything else: you can deliver amazing content that people love receiving as often as every day. We mail our list every day. We recommend most businesses email that list at least three or four times a week, preferably every day if possible. And that sounds terrifying, I know.
Rob Temple 23:47
And we’ll break that all down if you’d like. But effectively, to use it to tell stories, to take people behind the scenes, to give them better insight, and to campaignify what you’re doing. Generally speaking, you move somebody from being a cool new subscriber who’s just come into your world, maybe they’ve seen you on Instagram, and then they’ve gone ahead and opted into your email list, because that’s what you really want to use your socials for.
Rob Temple 24:10
We talk a lot about, “Build your audience on social media, but build your business by email.” Use social media to build an audience. As Kennedy said, we’ve got an Instagram account, and we do occasionally mention something we’ve got for sale on it, but most of the time, the job of Instagram is to move people to our email list, and the sales conversion will happen there once we can deepen that relationship. So if we can build our audience on Instagram, move them across to email, and then have campaigns that are designed to turn that person into a customer as quickly as possible, then that’s going to become our goal. Because every day that somebody waits on your email list and sits there and just sort of festers without being made into a customer, it’s less and less likely that they’re ever going to buy from you ever. And so we’ve got to kick the process of selling to them up the path.
Rob Temple 24:53
Just recently, a member of our membership, the League of Email Marketing Heroes, came and said: “I’ve got this email campaign. I’m sending it out. I’m going to do my welcome sequence,” which is how we recommend everybody start, with a little welcome sequence that welcomes them into your world. It’s four emails. We call it the ‘Getting to Know You’ sequence. And it basically says: this is who we are; this is who you are; let’s get to know each other; here’s why you should be in my world and here’s why it’s good. And then from there, we always go into a sales sequence.
Rob Temple 25:25
And this member was going from that into another value-driven sequence—where you just sort of give three days’ worth of value—and then was going into the sales sequence. And her rationale for that, and it makes total sense, was, “Well, if I just build up a bit more goodwill with people, then they’re more likely to buy from me from the sales campaign.” But actually, that’s not really true. This idea of reciprocity as one of the key drivers of psychology and influence is true, but only to a point. The idea that we’ve given somebody so much free value that now they’re going to feel compelled to buy from us doesn’t exist. That’s an absolute myth. Somebody’s taken the concept—because it was originally put together—and then sort of butchered it into something that makes us feel fuzzy as business owners. What we actually have to do is to get somebody intrigued, somebody’s curiosity piqued, and somebody interested in us, and then get the sale as quickly as possible in the right way.
Rob Temple 26:09
So what we always recommend—and the thing we primarily teach through our membership and through our content—is you can use emails in a way that both gives value and sells almost all of the time. You don’t have to do loads of value-building so that you can creep in and suddenly punch them in the gut for a sale. You can build value and do selling all at the same time in almost all of your emails. The only exception is that we don’t sell in most of our ‘Getting to Know You’ sequence. We mentioned our product in the first one, and then we don’t sell for a few days, and then we go into pure sales sequences.
Rob Temple 26:39
And basically, every email we send either has a direct sale in it, or it moves people through a piece of content that’s designed to move them slightly closer to the sale very, very quickly. And so that’s the big movement that we’re trying to create, the fact that you can deliver tons of value and sell all at the same time seamlessly in email. And that removes one bit of that cognitive load, that worry about, “Oh, is today a day that I’m supposed to send a value-driven email, or is today I’m supposed to send a pitch email?”—because every day is both, and then that makes everything really simple.
Laryssa Wirstiuk 27:08
Yes, that does simplify it a lot. Were you going to say something, Kennedy?
Yes, I was just thinking about the different types of people who we help with this, and it seems simple. But yes, we’ve got a membership. We’ve helped a bunch of people who have an online course who maybe teach people how to make their own jewelry or that kind of thing—and that sounds like it’s a really simple thing to do—actually, a lot of the members of our membership, the league that Rob mentioned. But we also have an email writing agency where we write people’s emails for them. And we have people who have products as well as services, as well as courses and stuff like that.
One of our clients is all about jewelry making, actually, for our writing agency. And the real key to this is really having a systemized way of moving people. What we’ve got to understand—this is a better way of putting it, I guess—is [that] none of us buys for all the same reasons. There’s a point in your life for everything that we learn and everything that we do in our lives, where you go: “I don’t get it. I don’t get it. Why should I pay attention to that thing? I don’t get why everyone’s watching that TV show.” You know, that Stranger Things that everyone’s watching, right? I still haven’t heard somebody say something that makes me go: “Oh, now I’ve got to watch it because it’s about that. That’s good.” And we’re doing the same thing with your products and with your services. And whether we’re writing people’s emails for them, or teaching them how to write these emails in our membership, the whole idea is [that] you’ve got to have multiple ways of presenting the same one thing.
I know it sounds crazy because you might have 20, 30, 100, or 1000 different products. But honestly, if you could just say: “This week I’m going to only talk about this amazing new ring,” or “…this amazing new watch strap that I’ve designed,” or whatever it’s going to be, if you just talked about that from seven different angles, and you make each of the emails shorter, more people will actually consume them and get to the bottom of that [particular] email. Secondly, it’ll be faster for you to write it. And thirdly, by doing it each day, you get more people opening those emails. And that means people get to hear the angle they really care about.
The first email might be about the quality of the materials. But you know what, some people don’t give a stuff about that, so many people don’t care about that. The next email might be about how it affects your perceived status, while somebody else who didn’t give a heck about the quality of the materials might care about how it makes them look in the eyes of their friends or their family, whereas this other third person might not care about either of those things. They might care about something else, [like] the fact that this celebrity once wore that thing and it has this celebrity association, right? So there are different angles to it. And those were just three that I made up from the top of my head right now, but you can see this idea that at some point, the penny is going to drop for somebody and go, “Oh, God, that’s really what I want Now! That’s really the thing that I want!”
Rob Temple 30:09
If you give it a weird, bizarre example as an analogy of this: if you imagine trying to sell somebody an apple who’s never seen an apple before. What most businesses try to do with their jewelry, their houses, their cars, or anything else they sell is to say: “This is an apple. You can eat it. Would you like it?” And most people say “No,” and they wander off. And you go, “Oh well, never mind.” You wait for the next person to come along, and you say: “Hi, this is an apple. Would you like it?” And they say, “No.” And they wander along, and you keep doing it until somebody says, “Yes.”
Rob Temple 30:39
What we really need to do is to say, “Well, you might like this apple, because it tastes really nice,” and that will be enough to get some people over the edge. Some people won’t really care about that. If you say to them: “It tastes really nice and it’s good for you; it’s got these things in it,” then that will be enough to get some people over the hook. If you say, “This is one of your five a day that you’re supposed to have according to all the medical people,” that might be the thing that gets people over the edge. And what most people do is they say: “This is the thing. Would you like it?” And when somebody says “No,” they go, “Oh, never mind,” and either wait for the next person or pick up the banana and say, “Hey, would you like to buy this instead?—it’s a different color.” And that’s just not giving anyone a chance.
So the key to this is to have a sequence of emails. We call them a ‘campaign,’ but it’s basically an email. Then you tell your system to wait for a day, or a couple of days, or whatever, and then send another email—a series of emails which basically present your offer, your thing, your product, your whatever, from these different angles. One campaign is made up of a series of emails. But then you multiply the effect of that and this is the really key bit that I think a lot of people don’t get right, which is why they hear about these amazing results everybody else is getting from email. Everybody’s talking about: it’s the highest return, the highest sales. Then you give it a shot and go: “Well, that kind of sucked. What’s everyone so excited about?—because it’s not very good for me.” It’s because you’ve got one campaign or one sequence, which is made up of multiple emails, but that might be you saying: “Hey, go get this amazing bracelet. It’s $150. You should go and get it.” You’re talking about that bracelet from five different angles; the properties of it, the status of it, da-dara-da, and at the end of that, they go, “Whoa, right, okay.” We’ll try and sell a different angle and sell this ring now. But imagine if you didn’t do that, because we don’t do that, right? So let me tell you how we do it in our business to give you a sort of peek behind the curtain as to how in Email Marketing Heroes we actually do this. Our first campaign is six emails. It tells you about our core thing, our membership, the league—awesome.
Our next campaign is made up of 18 emails. Guess what those 18 emails are selling? The same thing, they’re selling the same thing, but from a different angle. And the angle those ones might be taking it from—we’ll apply this to the jewelry world now—might be that you get something free with it. So it might be that discounting is another thing you could do, because actually on the second campaign, “I’m going to do a little discount or give them a voucher or a coupon code.” Fine. Cool. Do that. Or it could be, “If you buy this week, you’re going to also receive the matching earrings.” Or, “You’re going to receive a little booklet which helps you…” It doesn’t have to be a physical thing that’s for free, right? It could be a booklet that helps you. It’s like, “a style guide of eight amazing outfits you could wear with this great bracelet when you buy it, and that’s only available this week.”
So what we’ve now got is two completely different campaigns made up of their own sequence of emails, which are all selling the same thing. But you don’t have to stop there because you could do a third one and a fourth one. And I realized this sounds like, “Wow, when should I start?” Or, “How do I even get started?” You just get started with one thing at a time. You write the first one, you send it out, and that’s great. And then you can chill out for a bit and write your next one whenever you want to. We’re at the point now where we have, I think, nine different campaigns in our sequences. The business is 30 months old at this point, so we’ve been doing this for 30 months and we’re at eight. So you can work up to that. That’s great. Just get your first one done.
Laryssa Wirstiuk 34:22
Yes. That’s a really good point, not being overwhelmed by this campaign or sequence that you’re trying to build and just start with whatever you can get done. I want to go back to something that Rob said. I’m going a little bit off track, but it was in my head and I’m like, “I need to know more about this.” So you mentioned, Rob, about building an audience on say a social media platform like Instagram, but then the ultimate goal is winning them over to your email list because you can have more control over that conversation and have more regular cadence with outreach. Do you have tips about moving people from a social media audience that you’ve built to an email list?
Rob Temple 35:03
Yes. The first thing with this is to make sure you put the link to your landing page everywhere. So there are a couple of things we do. The first thing is that you want to have a couple of different good reasons for somebody to come in and join your list. Now, obviously, you’ll have heard of lead magnets and that kind of thing like style guides or whatever else you can give away as a free thing to get people to join your list. With jewelry and stuff, you could offer a discount if you wanted to.
Rob Temple 35:25
The other thing you can have, and this is our favorite thing in the world, it’s the highest converting list building thing, is just to throw up a really simple page that says: “Hey, would you like to get a daily”—or whatever, three times a week, four times a week, five times a week, whatever you can do—”would you like to get a daily email with a hint, story, tip, idea or piece of inspiration to help you always feel tip-top with the jewelry choices and your fashion outfit and that kind of thing? Put your name and email address here. We do that.” So, “Would you like a free daily hint, tip, story idea, or piece of inspiration to help you with your email marketing every day?” That’s our highest converting thing without giving them something away for free, other than the emails themselves, [which] are the thing they’re getting for free. And not only that, but those people then go on to become our most engaged subscribers because they’re actually opting in to receive our emails.
Rob Temple 36:10
Most people build a list because somebody finds you and they buy a ring from you today. And now they’re on your email list, despite the fact they didn’t technically ask to be in those circumstances, but you bought something from me, so haha, you’re in. And you might buy something else, I’m going to email you until you do. Or they opted in for some free report, PDF, video, or something. And again, they didn’t really expect to be on your list; they just expected to opt-in for that thing. I’m not saying you shouldn’t do those things; you definitely should. However, there’s also a lot to be said for building a list of people who definitely want to hear from you.
Rob Temple 36:41
What we do is [that] all of our Instagram content is more or less designed to point people in the direction of one of these things. So we’ll make an Instagram reel where—so one of our lead magnets is our list of the top 10 books to read if you’re interested in email marketing. And they’re not email marketing books; they’re like books that will help you up your skills with storytelling and writing short stories, that kind of thing. And so we might do a short reel where I’ll stand out with one of the books and say, “Hey, this is Storyworthy by Matthew Dicks.” Spoiler alert: that’s one of the books. “This is really good; we really like it because… because… because… If you want to know the other nine books we recommend to help you with your email marketing, then go and check out the link in my bio or in the caption below, and you can go and join our list.” And so a bunch of our reels are things like that. And so we make sure that we use our content to build curiosity and then drive people across to the list, which is ultimately what your emails do. Your emails do the next bit of that journey.
Rob Temple 37:35
We talk about this as being like a relay race, like one person handing the baton to the next. Your ad, say on Facebook, is designed to show somebody a piece of content on your Instagram Reels or whatever gets them to go ahead and opt-in. The emails that you send out are designed to pique their curiosity and then hand them over to the page that does the selling, the page on your website that sells them that particular ring or that necklace or that bracelet. And then, ultimately, they buy something, and the loop continues. They’ve become a customer now. Great! The next job is to use email to make that person become a repeat customer or to refer their friend, or something along those lines. And so we have a few different ways that people can join our list, and we just flood our social media with them and use them a lot.
Laryssa Wirstiuk 38:16
I love, love, love that analogy of the relay race. I think it’s such a perfect way to describe this movement from one point to another and getting them through the marketing funnel.
Rob Temple 38:28
It’s important because people get overwhelmed with all the stuff they’ve got to do. What they know is that there’s a huge market of people out there for their product, and they’ve got a bunch of products to sell. And that’s such an overwhelming thing because you’re trying to think of what is probably five steps in one go. But actually, if you think about it, all I need to do is get a really refined thing that builds an audience and gets them on my social media. That’s all I’ve got to do and focus on—great. And once you’ve got that, and it’s kind of working, obviously, it’s always a bit of a work in progress.
Rob Temple 38:52
But you get to the point where you’re sort of happy with it and you go, “That is actually working. Great!” The next bit is to get that person from that social media platform onto my email list. So it’s a really short little jump to make. I’ve just got to find some lead magnets and put them out there, and then make sure I remember to keep linking back to them from my content, from my stories, and everywhere else. Great. The next one, just get them from being a subscriber to being a customer. If you just think about these little steps, it makes the whole thing much easier.
It really simplifies your whole marketing journey, because one of the things that I think people are often surprised with when they come into our world is [that,] although our thing is email marketing, of course, we want to make sure that our customers and our members get incredible results. So, it’s about how it sort of beats out into the rest of it. We often think and we talk about [how] each piece of your marketing has to just do one thing. And if it can just do one thing, you do a few amazing things for yourself. One, you free your mind from thinking: “Right, I’ve got to get all these links from this email and do this,” and “What should I do?” and “What’s happening?”—that’s disappeared. It’s got to do one thing. Secondly, you will get better results. If you just tell people: “Hey, here’s a door. Do you want to come through it?” And people go, “Oh, yes, I’ll go through that door.” Whereas if you go, “Here’s 20 doors,” they’re going to stand there and go, “Right, which one’s the best door? Ooh, is there a big paddling pool? I’m going to fall through it. Is it like that terrible TV show?—I’d be running around and fall into the thing.” So you really simplify it if it’s just one thing.
Here’s what’s really nice about this, is if something’s not working, if you’re not getting people joining your list, if you’re not getting sales from something, you can look at each step and go, “Well, which step is broken?”—because each step only does one thing. “Is my audience on Facebook”—or Facebook or Instagram or wherever, Twitter—”not big enough? Am I not attracting enough new followers?” Great. If that’s the only thing I’m doing on that platform, I can fix that one thing. Whereas if I’m also trying to sell and I’m also trying to move people on my list and do all these other things on the platform, you don’t know what’s not working. Whereas if you know, “Okay, I’m using my Instagram just to build an audience.” Great. And then you’re going to use your emails to drive clicks to your website. People make the mistake of trying to sell in the email. That’s not what your email’s job is. The job of your email is to pass the baton to your website, and your website’s job is to convert. Therefore, if you’re not making sales, just go and check: “Have I got people joining my email list? Yes, I have. Awesome. Are my emails getting clicks to my website? No, they’re not.” Well, my website is standing there going: I’d like to make some sales, please, I’d like to make some sales, please. But everyone’s not visiting it. It’s like a guy standing at the gate of a concert, but there’s nobody going to the concert, right? So you want to make sure that each piece is doing its job.
But if you’re getting lots of clicks from your emails to your website, and your website is still not making sales, guess what? Your website needs optimizing. It needs some configuration; it needs some of your help, right? So we can really easily break down: “Where is the problem?” Because look, you don’t want to spend more time doing marketing, you don’t want to spend more time writing emails, and neither do we. Because we’ve all got accounts to do, we’ve got products to make, we’ve got to deliver our products and services, we’ve got to have meetings and do all the things that we’ve all got to do in our businesses. So we want to make sure that we take up as little time [as possible] doing social media, email marketing, and website optimization so we can do the stuff we love doing and the reason we started doing this in the first place! And the only way to take up less time is to make each thing easy to identify where the problem is. You don’t want to spend a week going, “I don’t know what’s broken. I’m going to have to try changing it all.” Which sucks, it takes loads of time! Instead, you go up, “It’s not working, I can fix that one bit.” And you can get back to doing the stuff you love doing.
Laryssa Wirstiuk 42:38
Yes. And it really emphasizes the importance of getting comfortable with your numbers and understanding data too, because you can’t really diagnose the problems at each step if you don’t know how to read click-through rates or website traffic or something like that. So, embracing that data side of marketing, I think, too, is really important to shorten this process.
Yes, it is. I remember years and years ago somebody once said, “People think of their marketing as the pretty pictures department. Well, it’s not.” Basically, marketing should sit next to finance because it’s much more data-related, which for all of us creative people here, can be daunting. But actually, what’s really nice about getting with the numbers is [that] once the numbers are simplified—that’s what we’re about, simplifying the numbers because we don’t enjoy them—if we know them, we can rest easy and relax, which means we can be more creative. It’s very hard to be creative when you’re stressed and worried about the numbers. If the numbers are taken care of, you’ll be more creative than ever.
Laryssa Wirstiuk 43:42
It’s so true. I have to admit, I think that the pretty pictures department was what first attracted me to marketing many, many years ago. But I soon learned that I needed to embrace and love numbers if I was going to do this successfully.
Laryssa Wirstiuk 43:58
So, can you share any really inspiring or amazing client success stories with us and how they were able to achieve that success?
Rob Temple 44:07
It’s really interesting. So first of all, I’ll give you some generic ideas first, and then Kennedy will give you some specific people. But basically, one of the things that’s really interesting is what happens when people start doing email marketing differently and when they start taking it seriously. Because what doesn’t typically happen is that you take your existing list of people, whether it’s 100, 500, 1000, 10,000, or whatever, start sending different emails to them, and suddenly make a billion dollars by the next day, right? And sorry, folks, that’s not what’s going to happen. And it’s one of these things where it’s like email marketing is the reason why–
Dude, dude, we’re supposed to be here selling the dream man. You’re going to look at an email and the computer is going to spit out $100 bills. That’s what’s going to happen, folks! [laughing]
Rob Temple 44:49
What actually happens is different but interesting. And it’s because what happens is people start sending emails, and the first thing that happens when they start taking our approach is they start getting replies. And those replies don’t say mean and nasty things and four-letter words. Those replies say: “Oh my God, thank you.” “This has made my day.” “This is really inspiring.”
Rob Temple 45:10
Just yesterday, one of our members posted in our Facebook group for members a screenshot of a reply that somebody had replied to the email and said, “For every unsubscribe I get, there’s a reply like this from somebody who says, ‘Whoa, this is amazing!'” And what happens is that the relationship with email marketing changes. It changes from being a thing where you send an email—and then you run away and put your fingers in your ears, and you hope that not too many people unsubscribe or report it as spam, and if you’re really lucky, somebody might buy—to being in a relationship where you think: “Actually, I’m going to send emails. Some people are going to love them; it’s going to draw them closer. Some people are going to think this is too much, and they’re going to leave that. Okay, unsubscribes are fine, they’re going to unsubscribe because they probably weren’t going to buy anything anyway.” And there’s no point in having a list of a million people you’re too frightened to email. That’s a completely worthless thing. And so instead, you want to have a small list of people that you’re happy to email, and they’re happy to receive emails from you.
Rob Temple 45:58
The first thing that people notice is that they get massively higher engagement. And that’s the first thing we’re actually looking for. And what people do is they come and join our world thinking, “I want to make more sales with email,” and then they find that, actually, the warm and fuzzies that they get from getting these amazing replies is the first win. And then that makes them feel more comfortable sending more emails and selling more, so that’s great. The next step from getting more engagement is more unsubscribes. More people do go: “Okay, actually, this is not for me. I’m out.” And that’s perfectly fine. Like I said, we only want to build a list of people who are really interested in our stuff.
Rob Temple 46:29
And then the next stage is that they start to notice that they make more sales. And when, of course, you make more sales and get nice replies, that inspires you to want to send more emails and do even more of this stuff. So the first thing that they notice in terms of wins is that you get more replies and engagement from people saying, “This is great!” So we send emails, and a lot of the time we tell stories, like I said. And a lot of the time, the stories you tell will be about jewelry. A lot of the time, they won’t be about the ring or the bracelet or the necklace. Sometimes they will, but a lot of the time, they’ll be about the stuff that’s going on in your life as a busy jeweler, or a seller of jewelry, or whatever.
Rob Temple 47:03
What we do is tell stories that impact our audience. Our audience is typically small business owners, people who sell stuff on the Internet, whether that’s handmade jewelry, whether that’s courses, memberships, coaching, that kind of thing, cakes, or anything in between. And so that’s our audience. So we have to tell stories that are relevant and valuable and emotionally charged to our audience. So we tell stories about everything that comes from working at home because that’s what they care about, because most of them work from home or a small unit somewhere.
Rob Temple 47:29
And so we’ll talk about things like, you get on a Zoom call to have a sales call with a supplier, and suddenly the Amazon man turns up at the door with a delivery. People can relate to that. We talk about getting to the end of the year, and your accountant tells you what your tax liability is, and you haven’t planned for it all, and you haven’t put any money away, and now you have to panic and think, “Oh, what do I do?”—because our audience can relate to that. So you have to tell stories that your audience can relate to, find interesting, and find that they bring you closer together. And again, when you do all of that, it drives that engagement higher because people feel like they’re emotionally charged. In terms of results, though, Kennedy.
Yes, the first one that comes to my mind is something that happened this week. There [were] member[s] of the league who were really struggling with their business partnership. They’re coaches, and they were really struggling. They hadn’t said they were ready to pack it in, but they were really close numbers-wise to having to call it a day. And they ran one of our campaigns. All of our email sequences—campaigns—have names, which are like metaphors for what’s involved to jolt people’s memories. This one’s called the ‘Time Lord’ campaign. And this ‘Time Lord’ campaign—is it five days, Rob?—I can’t remember how long it is.
Rob Temple 48:41
It can be four or five, depending.
Yes, so it’s a four or five-day campaign. They went from having not made any sales in the previous three months of their programs to making £8,500—so like $12,000-ish—in four or five days just by activating this one thing.
One of the things I’m really passionate about is also a bit of a cheat. Like, we kind of cheat in what we teach in our membership, because honestly, people say, “How do you produce so much content?” And the answer is that we don’t produce anything new. We copy and paste the stuff that we’re running and our other businesses and we put it into our membership on the stuff that works. Obviously, we don’t share the stuff that doesn’t work because we do test a lot of stuff that just sucks and doesn’t work. “Theoretically lovely, in reality, sucks,” right? So this ‘Time Lord’ campaign that we ran a couple of years ago as a four-day sort of sale event with a very unusual structure, and we put it into our membership because our members get a brand new campaign every month as well as the library of the past 30 months of campaigns.
So these guys, Aiden and Ashley, grabbed this campaign, they ran it off their list, and they were like, “Guys, we just made 8,500 pounds. We just made twelve grand, $12,000!” and were like, “Oh my goodness, this is incredible!” So that’s an online business where they have online coaches and have a course and stuff. There’s a guy in the UK called Dan, and he sells gluten-free cakes. Rob, do you remember any of Dan’s numbers from that campaign?
Rob Temple 50:14
Yes. So it was something like $12,000/$13,000 in a day. So here’s a really good example: this specific one was Black Friday was coming up, and he was like, “Okay, great, I’m going to give that a go.” He took our Black Friday campaign, because we’ve got one that’s like on the shelf, you just go through it, replace the words with your words, and then send it, and it was like $12,000/$13,000 in a day.
Rob Temple 50:35
And he had [gotten to] a point where he was getting like 20 or 30% growth in sales every month. Every month was significantly higher than the month before. Whereas previous to taking this approach, he was paying an agency somewhere to write generic emails without any real approach. And it was just sort of flatlining. And he’s just come to be in our world for a year. Not in our membership for a year but in our world for a year because he posted about it in our free Facebook group, The Email Marketing Show Community, the other day. And he commented on his original, “Hi, I’m new here” post that bumped it up to the top. And it said: “I’m Dan. I sell cakes. I’ve got an agency writing my emails, but I’ve just sacked them. And so now I’m here. And I’m going to try and do this the Rob and Kennedy way.” Fast forward a year and the growth is unbelievable.
Laryssa Wirstiuk 51:20
That’s so exciting! I love hearing that.
Yes, it’s amazing to see people’s success using these things that in the past, I guess we took for granted, unfortunately. And now to be able to share it with people so they can plug it in, send it out, it’s that thing that’s in the background that gets sales.
Rob Temple 51:41
Just this morning, we were wrapping up one of our coaching calls and a guy in South Africa called Brad, who sells weight loss stuff, jumped on the comments and said, “Hey, can I just hop on and share a quick win?” And we were like, “Yes, sure.” And he came on and basically said, he’s been on a live webinar for a while, like selling stuff through a webinar, standard thing, and he switched to our evergreen ones, where you have a webinar that’s permanently running in the background. And normally they don’t perform so well. And he was like, “I’m using your evergreen webinar campaign instead of the live one I’ve been doing for a while before I joined, and it’s made $22,000 in less than a month.” And he was like, “This is performing better than my live webinar campaign did.”
Rob Temple 52:21
It’s not because we’re geniuses, it’s just because we’ve applied the psychology of what makes people engage with emails. Because if you send emails that nobody’s enjoying, so few people are opening them. If they are opening them, it’s only so that they can mark them as read and then folder them or delete them. And if you send emails that nobody loves receiving, that means they’re not really paying their full attention. You’re just playing a numbers game. You just sort of spray a bunch of emails out and pray that somebody opens them. Whereas if you send emails that people love and engage and look forward to every day, then those emails become part of their day. Like they sit down with a cup of tea in the morning and have their morning cup of tea or coffee and read your email, it’s that much a part of their life. If you didn’t send the email, they would get in touch and say, “Hey, where’s the email? Am I unsubscribed? Is everything okay?” When you send emails like that, which is not hard to do, just simple little frameworks to follow and tell stories and take people behind the scenes, that means you’re now sending emails that have a much higher chance of being opened even if you’re not the best copywriter in the world. We’re not the best copywriters in the world because email marketing is a different skill. But it drives people to engage more and get to your sales pages more. And then that’s what the clever copy can sell on.
Laryssa Wirstiuk 53:27
I kind of want to get on these lists of your clients because, I have to admit, I don’t have very many emails I’ve subscribed to that I truly look forward to receiving more. It’s like, “Oh, God, I have to keep up with this! Delete, delete, delete, delete.”
It’s tricky. It’s also like, what do you use as your measure of success? One of the things you all need to do is just remember that the open rate that you’re being told by your email platform [is] completely inaccurate. Email platforms don’t know anymore who has opened and who hasn’t opened, because Apple now is marking everything as opened even if they haven’t, and some Android devices are marking them as unopened even if they have. So if you’re doing anything based on “did the person open this email or not?”—stop doing that straightaway, because you’re definitely emailing people with the wrong stuff. But the big thing we really have to be doing is that measure of success, looking at how many replies am I getting? But remember, sending a reply to you is a lot of effort for somebody. So actually, a much better metric to look at is, are people clicking? Are people getting my emails and just going to check out my thing?
So here’s a thing I want to challenge you to do, and this sounds terrifying for what you guys do: stop putting photos in your emails. I know you’re like, “What?—but I sell visual stuff!” Let your website do that bit. Your email is going to get a click to the website. The reason why I do this is that they can’t buy from the email, so why don’t we tease them in the email, and send some value in the email? And if they want to go and see the bracelet, the ring, the thing, they can click a link and go and check it out on a place where they can actually make a purchase.
And secondly, here’s a really cool thing: one of the really important things that we have to do to make sure our emails get delivered. Because if they’re not entering people’s inboxes, it doesn’t matter how good your emails are—you could be using our amazing emails or somebody [else’s], you can be the best email writer in the world—if people don’t see those emails because your reputation as a sender is not good, that was a total waste of time. So a really good signal to Gmail, Google, and Yahoo, and to all of these services, to say [basically]: “This person, when they send emails, put them in that primary inbox.” [This is when] when people click your links. So if every time you send an email out, Gmail sees loads of them because it’s the biggest email service provider in the world, if it sees that [basically], “Heck, when this person sends an email, loads of people click the links, that means they’re sending to real human beings who will like their stuff,” that’s a really good signal. And a really good way of doing that is don’t put the videos, don’t put the demos, don’t put the images, don’t put the stuff in the email. Get them to click to go look at it, which improves your sender reputation, because your engagement is high on that email. Clicking is a really good indicator of engagement. And secondly, they’re now on a page where they can impulse, emotionally go, “I can buy that,” and they can buy it right there without that additional click.
Rob Temple 56:37
Imagine sending an email as a jeweler to a list of people that was telling a story about how you were designing this particular piece of jewelry and you got really stuck. You couldn’t figure out how to do this last bit and you’re just really frustrated. Every time you did it, you scrabbled up the paper, threw it out. You just hated it, right? You just couldn’t figure out what it was going to be. And then I went for a walk in a park, and I got my little girl and put her in a pram. I took her for a walk around the park, and she saw a bird. She’d never seen this type of bird before, and this happened. And when the bird made this noise, the baby reacted like this, and it was really cute. And I suddenly had this amazing idea of inspiration on how to finish the jewelry. I finished the walk, I rushed home, put the baby down to play with things, and I got straight down to the paper and I finished the jewelry.
Rob Temple 57:13
Now the email can go in one of two directions. You can either now include a picture of the finished jewelry, or you can say, “Click here to see what the jewelry looks like now that I’ve finished it.” The one that leaves it blind and says, “Click here to see, I finished it,” that’s going to get loads of people clicking because you’ve taken—obviously, it has to be true—an emotionally charged, engaging story, and then you’ve left it blind and curious as to what that thing could be. “Go and check out how the finished jewelry looked.” Or you can say, “here’s what the jewelry looks like,” and the only people who are going to click on that are the people who like what the jewelry looks like, which means that they don’t really have a chance to get into it, they don’t have a chance to find out more, they don’t have a chance to say: “Oh, I don’t like that one, but there’s this one in the sidebar and I do like that. I’m going to go there instead.” And so you’re reducing the number of people who can click by giving them too much information in the email. You’re allowing them to make a decision before they’ve really had a chance. And obviously, on websites, you can do the thing where you hover over the image and it zooms in, you can see it from different angles, but you can’t do any of that stuff in email yet. And so it’s just better to give them the best service possible.
And it goes back to that whole thing of saying, “What’s the job of the email?” It’s not to convert. The job of the picture is part of the conversion thing because they can’t buy without that. Put the conversion mechanisms at the conversion location. So put the image on the website, and that means they’re in the right place to make that purchase as that emotional knee-jerk reaction.
Laryssa Wirstiuk 58:33
I think you just blew everyone’s minds because I’ve subscribed to like a zillion jewelry brand emails, because I like to kind of see the trends and what people are doing, and I’ve never seen an email without photos in it.
But you know what? This is your biggest opportunity because if you’re the one who does this, you stand out a mile, a mile! Because if you’re going to tell stories in your emails—everybody else is telling you the history of the piece of jewelry and all that usual boring stuff, right?—but if you start talking about your life, not only are they buying the jewelry, they’re buying you. They’re buying the story. It’s like if you walk around Camden Market in London, you don’t just buy that piece off of that guy. You hear the story about why he used those lyrics and those things and the background of that thing, and that’s why it’s this picture, and it’s made out of this stuff, it’s from China and… You buy the story of any piece of art. And what we’ve got to remember is—I mean, you’ve said this a million times on your show—we’re not selling pieces of jewelry, we’re selling an emotion. We’re selling a feeling. We’re selling a status. We’re selling the stories that we tell other people and we tell ourselves. That’s what we do. We sell the stories that we tell other people that we tell ourselves. And we can only do that by telling the stories in the emails and then moving them to that next step. And let the website do its job by letting your email do its job.
Laryssa Wirstiuk 1:00:01
One hundred percent. So I’m going to change directions a little bit, and we’re talking about the storytelling, and not everyone has a copywriter handy, not everyone has writing skills or storytelling skills. In a recent episode that you guys did on your podcast—I didn’t even mention that you guys have a podcast—you talked about writing emails using AI. And I talked recently also about AI tools in a recent episode. So I would love to hear more about that. I think it’s a topic people are confused about. They’re not sure if that’s really the right way to go. How does that play a role in the storytelling in email marketing?
You don’t need to be confused, is the first thing. Don’t worry. Artificial intelligence, if you’re not a good copywriter, if you’re not confident—it’s mostly a confidence thing. For a start, I’m dyslexic, so writing is difficult for me anyway. So I was like: “AI, great! I can push a button, and words will fly out of the computer. That turns into money and I’ll just be in Barbados. I’ll see you next week.” But we tested a bunch of AI-writing tools. And it was just embarrassing. These systems are just not ready to do the job yet. It’s a bit like if somebody launched a new car and you bought the new car and it didn’t move, they’d be like, “Yes, but it’s early days.” And you’re like, “No, it’s just not a car.” That’s how I feel about AI right now, it’s not there. Will it get there? It probably will get there. The problem that AI has is that it can never go beyond the features and benefits of your product or service. It can only be features and benefits, which means it can never tell stories. It can never do the emotional engagement stuff that buying a piece of art [or] buying some jewelry needs. It needs a story. And that’s what it really, really needs.
So yes, on our podcast, the Email Marketing Show, we did a whole episode where we put in the name of our podcast or something like that. Can’t remember. We recorded it ages ago now, but we asked her to spit out a bunch of stuff. And we tried two or three, maybe more of these tools, and we read them out. I mean, there was one really funny bit, which we laughed about for like 20 minutes before we started recording. I’m telling you, you’ve got to go listen to it. It’s really funny. We put it in something and it came out with, “Now I haven’t got any money, and that’s where you come in.” That was like some of the copy that this thing spit out.
Rob Temple 1:02:42
I think if you want your emails to be really boring and bland, if you want them just to say, “This is what I’ve got, here’s why you should buy it, go and buy it now,” you could probably just about scrape through with some of those platforms.
You’d still have a lot of rewriting though, wouldn’t you?
Rob Temple 1:02:56
You would have to do lots of rewriting just to make it sound a bit more human. But it would really be taking a step backward into what email marketing used to be, just sort of bombarding people with messages about why your stuff is good, as opposed to what you want to do.
Rob Temple 1:03:10
Earlier on [when] I just got in the shower, suddenly there’s a buzzing bumblebee around me and I’m terrified of those. So I’m leaping about like a lunatic trying not to get shampoo in my eyes. That’s a story that I would send in an email while also selling email marketing training or jewelry. I would tell that story while I’m selling jewelry because I just would. Because you want to build deep emotional connections with people that make them see you as a human. No AI tool in the world can ever tell that story and make it a cohesive, logical argument to buy some jewelry. But you can if you’re doing that manually, and it doesn’t take very long.
Rob Temple 1:03:45
So our techniques of telling stories are actually partly there to make the writing simpler. So you can think of a story. We always say, “Think of the least boring thing that happened during the last 24 hours,” not the most exciting thing, because that triggers thoughts of, “Nothing exciting ever happens to me.” Well, what’s the least boring thing? Well, the least boring, fun thing for me in the last 24 hours is the bumblebee in the shower, right? That’s the least boring thing. So I tell that story in an email the way I would tell it–
[crosstalk] with a mental image of a bumblebee there with a big thing doing his act up in the shower. De-dee-dee in the shower.
Rob Temple 1:04:19
I would tell that story the way that I would tell it to my parents when I speak to them tomorrow, or to my girlfriend when she gets home from work, or if you’ve got kids, to your kids when they get them from school. You tell the story exactly the way you would tell it to them—that informal. Short sentences, keep it punchy. I screamed and jumped out of the shower. Not because I’d had a eureka moment, but because there was a bumblebee buzzing around. Those are the stories we’ve been telling our entire lives. And so, if you tell the story out loud, “I lept out of the shower.” Full stop. Next sentence. Oh, it wasn’t [like] when people jump out of the bath because of a eureka thing. Okay, great. “It wasn’t because I had a eureka moment.” That’s not hard to write, even if you’re a terrible writer.
Rob Temple 1:05:04
We know somebody who never has a capital letter at the start of a sentence. It’s always like a little, ‘i,’ you know, “the fridge” but little ‘t’, it’s always lowercase. Too many paragraphs, never more than one line in a paragraph. He sells millions and millions and millions of dollars’ worth of stuff every year because people go, “Oh, that’s how Alex writes, so that’s fine.”
Laryssa Wirstiuk 1:05:27
I love that!
Here’s a little trick to make your stories a bit more compelling. It’s a trick we stole off journalists. Basically, what’s really nice about email compared to doing a live on any platform is [that] what you write isn’t necessarily what you have to send. You get to edit before you go, right? So I don’t edit for typos. In fact, in some of my businesses, the opt-in page says: “I’m dyslexic, there’s going to be typos, deal with it or don’t join,” because if I’m going to email every day, I want to write fast.
Here’s a really cool trick that I use pretty much every day, and that is you write the story, and what you’ll usually find is your first paragraph or two, usually two for me, you’ll find that it’s just you sort of warming up and getting into the story and finding your feet with how you want to tell it. But if you just highlight and delete the first two paragraphs, paragraph three is usually when it starts getting interesting. And that’s basically like when you go and see the new Fast and Furious or James Bond or whatever movie, usually they start off in the action. You don’t start off with James Bond sitting on the sofa at home watching Stranger Things and then his phone rings and it’s M and they’re like, “Oh, the world’s going to end.” “Oh, I’ll just get my slippers off and put my shoes on.” Like, that’s not how a James Bond movie starts, right? It’s not how any action movie starts. It starts off with zoom, zoom, bam, bam, bam, bam! We’re in the action already because all they’ve done is deleted the first two paragraphs of the story. We’re in motion. And when humans are already in motion, they can’t help but be pulled into the gravitational pull of the thing that’s already happening. So the trick—journalists use this a lot—is to write it, then see if you can delete the first two paragraphs. You might have to tidy up the start of paragraph three, but just get straight into it.
Basically, you want to be straight into the action. Bam! And then, “Whoa!—what’s happening?”—straight into it. And the good news is, if you’re just getting started with this, and you’ve got a small list, you might fill it. You’ve got a small list? I promise you, we know people who’ve got lists of 72 people that are making $100,000 a year. The size of the list does not matter, right? But the good news is, whatever size your list is, you [can] start now, and your list is going to grow over time. Well, you may as well start and be the worst you’re ever going to be when you’ve got a small audience. You never want your first gig to be at a stadium. You want your first gig to be in the backroom of a dirty pub in front of three people. That’s what you want. So that’s what you get to do. If you start now, you get to do the dirty backroom pub gig now and get better over time. And you know what? Your audience, your subscribers, will love going on that journey with you. They will lean in. That will build more rapport with them, more trust, and that, in and of itself, creates more sales.
Laryssa Wirstiuk 1:08:16
So many great points. Actually, in my past life before I was a marketer, I was a writing instructor at a university. And so I have read so many students’ stories and essays. And like, I don’t know, 90% of the time, the biggest comment or feedback that I gave is “Your story actually starts on page two.” You can literally delete the whole first page because it’s so true, you’re warming up. And the same is true in marketing. You kind of have to get past the other stuff before you get to the heart of what you’re trying to say.
And that’s okay, you’ve got to warm up. The acrobat at the circus doesn’t just go out on stage and start swinging about and risking their life. No, they stretch and they do all their stuff behind the curtain. You can do the same thing. You can do that in that email thing but just delete it. They don’t come out in front of the curtain and stretch most of the time, right? Unless it’s for artsy reasons. But again, you want to just delete that.
Rob Temple 1:09:16
And the email equivalent is getting rid of the “Hi,” first name, “I hope you’re well. Did you have a good weekend?” “I did until this morning. I got up like any other morning and I got in the shower” as opposed to “I lept out of the shower and screamed” as the first line of the email.
Do you remember when everyone was like, “In these unprecedented times…” ? Oh, come on!—those kinds of phrases… And here’s another really interesting tip: anytime you use a cliche phrase, a catchphrase, [or] a regular expression, that phrase is invisible, which means it has zero value. It’s not having any impact. People are just reading straight past it, which means it’s not having an impact. You might as well not say that thing.
Rob Temple 1:10:00
And that counts in your transactional emails as well. If you’re just emailing back and forth with your accountant, it’s rare if ever that I’ll say, “Hi, how are you? Did you have a good weekend?” Not because I’m impolite, just because I know they’re going to skim over it, not read it. And they’re not going to reply to it. That first line will not be, “I had a lovely weekend. I went out with my grandchildren. What did you do?” They’re not. They’re going to reply: “Send your accounts through attached. Thanks.” Because that’s what the actual email was about. So, again, we want to apply this to all of our communication really.
Laryssa Wirstiuk 1:10:25
Yes, those are so many great points. I feel like I could talk to you guys forever. I think we need to have a part two of this episode. I don’t want to completely bombard and overwhelm the listeners and viewers with so much information. So I think maybe let’s digest the information here and I’ll have to have you guys on for a second episode.
That sounds fun!
Laryssa Wirstiuk 1:10:48
Yes, this has been awesome! Thanks so much for coming and saving the day as the Email Marketing Heroes. I really appreciated listening to everything you had to say!
Oh, you’re totally, totally welcome. In fact, if it’s okay, we’ve got a little resource that we could give people if you find it useful.
Laryssa Wirstiuk 1:11:01
Because I know one of the things we talked about earlier was [that] it’s really important to get people to click the links in your emails because it gets people onto your website. But also, it’s good proof to Gmail that you’re a good sender. The problem is, I don’t know about you, but when I get a lot of emails, which everybody does, if it just says “Click here to look at it,” and it’s just like text every single time, it says the same sort of thing, you become less compelled, less excited about going to click on that thing. It’s what we call ‘link blindness.’ It’s a real thing.
So one of the things we’ve created is 12 different ways of dressing up those links to make them really stand out, make them really compelling, really exciting for people to want to click, so that they never get that link blindness. And we created a little booklet called ‘Click Tricks’, which is 12 different ways of dressing up those links so you can get more clicks from the next email that you actually send, whether that’s today, tomorrow, or whenever. So if you go over to emailmarketingheroes.com/joy, you’ll be able to download it totally free because you’re listening to this podcast, and you’re obviously a lovely person for doing that. You’ll also able to get on our email list and see the kinds of emails that we send, get some inspiration from that, and all that sort of good stuff as well. And if you like podcasts, which I think you probably do, we do have a witty, irreverent podcast about email marketing, as you know, called the Email Marketing Show, which you can find wherever you get your podcasts.
Laryssa Wirstiuk 1:12:29
That’s so generous of you. Thank you, gentlemen, for offering that to people who listen and watch this Podcast.
You are so welcome.
Laryssa Wirstiuk 1:12:38
What did you think? What thoughts and takeaways do you have about this episode? Let me know in a review on Apple Podcasts. I would love to hear your feedback. If you want to learn more about Rob and Kennedy, visit emailmarketingheroes.com. You can also always email me, Laryssa, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Laryssa Wirstiuk 1:13:02
If you love this Podcast, please subscribe and share it with a friend you know would appreciate it. If you want to learn more about my book, Jewelry Marketing Joy, I would also love to share that with you. Visit joyjoya.com/book for more information.
Laryssa Wirstiuk 1:13:18
Thanks for listening. Remember to subscribe so you never miss an episode. For more information about working with Joy Joya, visit joyjoya.com, where you can sign up to download our free eBooks about various topics in jewelry marketing.