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#263: How to Turn Email Subscribers Into Raving Fans

Today on The Blogger Genius Podcast, I’m interviewing email expert, Allea Grummert, on how to turn your email subscribers into your raving fans and evangelists.

In the episode, we talk about why creating a welcome series is so powerful at introducing yourself to your audience and sharing the value you provide. It’s a great way to set expectations and start building a deeper relationship.

We also talk about why you should create a nurture sequence—a short sequence of 5-10 emails where you share your best content and add some personality.

In addition, we talk about how there’s no better way to sell than through email. So if you’re thinking about creating products, this is your best audience of customers.

If you are ready to get more intentional about your email strategy, don’t miss this episode.

Why You Will Like This Episode

  • Find out how to turn your email subscribers into raving fans
  • Understand the difference between a welcome sequence, a nurture sequence, and broadcast emails
  • Find out whether you should add emojis or GIFs in your emails
  • Discover what you should be selling through email
  • Learn best practices on how many emails to send, how many links to include in each one, and how long your emails should be

Show Notes:

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Podcast Transcript

Intro 0:04
Welcome to the Blogger Genius Podcast brought to you by MiloTree. Here’s your host, Jillian Leslie.

Jillian Leslie 0:11
Hello, my friends. Welcome back to the Blogger Genius Podcast. I’m your host, Jillian Leslie, I’m so happy that you are here. I’m a blogger and a serial entrepreneur. I started my online career in 2009. When my husband and I built Catch My Party, go check it out, because we just posted some awesome classroom Valentines for your kids to take to school.

Jillian Leslie 0:35
Then in 2016, David and I launched MiloTree, which is our pop-up app that many of you use, and you can grow your social media followers on TikTok, Instagram, Pinterest, Facebook, YouTube, and your email subscribers. And now we’ve launched MiloTreeCart, which is the easiest way for you bloggers and creators to sell digital products to your audiences.

Jillian Leslie 1:00
This way, you don’t have to spend a ton of time hooking together complicated tech solutions, just use MiloTreeCart and then spend all of that time serving your audience building products.

Jillian Leslie 1:12
And in fact, if you have a blogging community, or you have an audience of people who could really benefit from MiloTreeCart, please join our affiliate program, go to milotreecart.com. Scroll to the bottom, and you’ll see a link that says “Affiliate Program” and you can use this affiliate program, both for MiloTreeCart and for our MiloTree pop-up.

Jillian Leslie 1:36
We pay $100 per sale for MiloTreeCart and $25 for our MiloTree pop-up app. If you want to reach out to me to come up with a way to strategize or if you’d like me to come into your group, I’d be happy to do that. You can reach me at Jillian@milotree.com.

Jillian Leslie 1:56
Now for today’s episode, I have Allea Grummert on the show. She is an email expert. She helps bloggers, coaches and creators set up their email sequences. And she has worked with some of the biggest food bloggers out there. She knows what she’s talking about.

Jillian Leslie 2:16
We get into the specifics of what kinds of emails you might want to be sending to your list so that they can get to know you, understand the value you provide. And take that relationship to a deeper level. I think you’re going to want to have your notes app open while you listen because I think there are a lot of great gems in the episode.

Jillian Leslie 2:39
So, without further delay, here is my interview with Allea Grummert.

Jillian Leslie 2:42
Allea, welcome to the Blogger Genius Podcast.

Allea Grummert 2:50
Hi, I’m so excited to be here. I’ve listened to so many episodes, I’m excited to chat.

Jillian Leslie 2:55
Oh, great. You are an email expert. So, what does that mean? What do you do? Can you share how you got to be where you are?

Allea Grummert 3:04
I specialize in email marketing, specifically, welcome and nurture sequences. So automated sequences for bloggers, the idea being that, as a blogger, you have so much valuable content to share with someone they’re usually coming looking for something.

How to Turn Your Email Subscribers Into Raving Fans

Allea Grummert 3:15
So, how can we share the content you have, answer the questions that your new subscribers have, really build them into the fold of your brand your community and make them raving fans share super valuable content.

Jillian Leslie 3:33
Before you go on, what is the difference between a welcome sequence and a nurture sequence?

Allea Grummert 3:41
I just classify those slightly different being that as you build out your automation, I want it to be able to move and grow with you.

How to Turn Email Subscribers Into Raving Fans | The Blogger Genius Podcast with Jillian Leslie

How to Create An Email Welcome Series

Allea Grummert 3:48
So, the idea of a welcome sequence is really more that it captures your brand, in a really clean and sustained way so that no matter where someone comes from whether they bought a product off your website, or they found you through a summit, however, they’re joining your email list, they get this introduction to your brand. That’s just super clear.

Allea Grummert 4:07
It’s not like creating a different welcome sequence for each different opt-in like, oh my goodness, no, that’s too much work. But really, it’s cool.

Allea Grummert 4:15
Because when you really do the hard work of figuring out what your brand is and what you offer for people how you’re going to solve their problems and where you want to send them. That’s what your welcome sequence is.

Allea Grummert 4:15
And it’s really powerful because it makes it really clear who you’re there to serve. And maybe who you’re there not to serve. And those people will bounce.

Jillian Leslie 4:33
How many emails for a welcome sequence?

Allea Grummert 4:40
If you’re just getting started, you can just do one email, just make it really clear. But I would say as you get more content and as you have more things to share like your story or you have freebies that you want to make sure they have or you have a store or you have top recipes you want to share I have mine expand as far as three to four I’ve emails.

Allea Grummert 5:01
But I would say if you’re just getting started, just write one. Even if you’re not sure of your niche, just say, “This is who I am, this is what I hope to do for you.” And then with time, you can always go and expand on that.

Jillian Leslie 5:11
Or let’s do this. In this first email. Let’s say I’m going to write one email; tell me the points I need to hit in this first welcome email. So, that somebody always feel it’s like a way to hopefully make a new friend.

Allea Grummert 5:27
Yes. And like I said, the goal is that people know who you are and who you’re serving, so they’ve come looking for something, thank goodness for search engine optimization, they have found your site for some reason, they’ve decided to join your email list.

Allea Grummert 5:41
So, instead of just saying like, “Hi, this is me,” it’s like, “Hi, this is me, if this is what you’re looking for, you’re in the right place. These are the problems I solve.” You don’t have to say it like that.

Allea Grummert 5:50
But like, “Hey, if you’re here, you’re going to find easy meals that you can make for families that don’t break the bank. And I’m going to help you do that through meal planning tips.”

Allea Grummert 5:50
Recipe breakdowns, and recipes that use a lot of veggies and not aren’t heavy on meat, whatever it is that it might be, that’s like, “Oh, this is my domain. This is what I talked about.”

Sell the Benefits of What you Offer in Your Welcome Series

Jillian Leslie 6:13
So, tell me if this is right. It’s a little intro about me and why I might be an expert at this, like meal planning or whatever. And then it is, here’s how I can help you. And here’s what to expect from me. And here are some services or products I provide. What am I making?

Allea Grummert 6:13
I would break that up even into a couple of different emails. So, the first one is like, “Hey, welcome, here’s how I want to help you.” And then give them the resources, send them to the blog, send them to your podcasts, send them to your YouTube channel.

Allea Grummert 6:51
Maybe just share like this is the one video I want to make sure everybody gets or the one resource that I think would be super helpful for you now that you’re here. I work with a lot of food bloggers.

Allea Grummert 7:01
So, I started out in personal finance, which has its own evolution as to how you teach things, you can’t hit everybody with all things, deductibles, or 401K’s in one email.

Allea Grummert 7:12
When it comes to food bloggers, it’s like people want the recipes and even if it’s your personal favorite five recipes, or these are the three most popular recipes on the site, or even introducing them to category pages on your site, like breakfast, entrees and desserts. Go have that egg, go browse, go see if something catches your eye.

Allea Grummert 7:34
And you’re welcoming them in by being really generous with what you know they would love.

Jillian Leslie 7:41
Let’s say that I’m sending them to my recipes, let’s say these are my top recipes most popular on my site, let’s say or my favorite. And then where am I going from there?

Ask your Email Subscribers to Reply Back to You

Allea Grummert 7:54
You can ask them to respond, reply back with like, what are you most excited about making or what’s one dish that your family would like, but you need to have it in gluten-free form or something like that. So, that’s a good way to engage with them.

Allea Grummert 8:09
I think having another email that’s just like, “Here are the ways you can engage with me. I’ve got a YouTube channel, I’ve got a shop with a handful of eBooks, where you can also follow me over on Instagram.” So, giving them the opportunity to engage with you on those other platforms.

Allea Grummert 8:25
I think one of the things that we misconstrue is that you think is, why is everybody following me on all those places, and they’re not. So, it’s cross selling to those other platforms, because you show up in different ways, and then tell them what’s happening on Instagram.

Allea Grummert 8:41
And then also, I always like to include, “And here’s why you should be opening your emails.” I always asked my clients and think of this, what do they get from your emails that they can’t get anywhere else?

Allea Grummert 8:52
And always sounds super dramatic, like what do I offer? But if you can’t really decide that, or define that, then how is your reader going to know that they should be opening your emails?

Jillian Leslie 9:01
Here’s a question. A lot of food blogs look similar. And I’ve heard people say this to me, I’ve shared this on the podcast in the past, which is somebody will say, I got this recipe on Pinterest. And it’s like, no, actually, you probably clicked on somebody’s blog that you’ve completely forgotten about. That looks like a lot of other people’s blogs that you will never go back to.

Jillian Leslie 9:29
So, I’ve gotten their email address, let’s say through my cookbook, or some other reason. How do I get them to go, “Oh, you’re not some pin on Pinterest. You’re Jillian or you’re Allea and I should pay attention to you,” rather than, “Oh, you’re just like a dime a dozen.”

Send your Best Blogs Posts in Your Welcome Series

Allea Grummert 9:54
Well, that’s why the welcome sequence is a tie, it’s an introduction, but it’s also giving them that low hanging fruit like, what are the recipes that are just like no brainers for people on your site? You know that people love them, they always turn out well.

Allea Grummert 10:09
Imagine, you make that beat low for your family, everyone raves about it, you’re going to keep opening Jason’s emails. And you want them to keep opening your emails. So, there’s that introduction.

Allea Grummert 10:21
And what else is in the welcome sequence? This could be when you segment your readers, you could say like, “Hey, are you a beginner home cook?” Or, “Have you been around the block, and you’re ready to just jump into some recipes?”

Allea Grummert 10:32
I did that for Pinch of Yum. So, if you join their list, you say I’m a beginner, you get these five additional emails that really introduce you to being a home cook. So, what are some of the tools you would need, there are other emails that are made up of little GIFs of like, how to cut up garlic, how to cut up an onion, and it takes you to YouTube.

Allea Grummert 10:51
So, you can learn how to do those things. Because they aren’t just for the elite blog, or home cooks. We want you to enjoy cooking, and we want you to have the confidence to cook for your family.

Allea Grummert 11:01
And how they’re living that out is through that nurture sequence that says, here’s a leg up. Here’s some back pocket recipes. Here’s some things you can make with food in the pantry, just to start building their confidence.

Jillian Leslie 11:13
And should you be adding a little bit of personality? I love hip-hop dancing, or I love whatever or just to share something beyond cooking, or do you think and nobody cares?

Try adding GIFs in Your Emails to Make them More Fun

Allea Grummert 11:31
My thoughts on that are you can be as fun as you want. I include GIFs all the time in my emails. My team will tell me they’re like, “Allea, this one doesn’t have a GIF, the one that came from you.” It’s like my signature basically.

Allea Grummert 11:47
Also, I think what’s really important to keeping people connected with who you are and remembering who you are, is to be really clear about what you offer, and being really consistent with that. So, why don’t you as a food blogger to also be sharing personal updates once a week, your kids soccer game.

Jillian Leslie 12:08
Nobody cares.

Allea Grummert 12:08
You can definitely include that in a PS of like, “Hey, if you want to see behind the scenes of us getting rained out at my son’s soccer game, click here and you can go over to Instagram.”

Allea Grummert 12:09
There’s something about showing that you’re a person, but keep the content focus on whatever that value proposition is that you promised them for the beginning, like, I’m going to provide you with 30-minute meals that are easy to make, and your whole family will love them.

Jillian Leslie 12:33
I like what you’re saying, which is this is a very good time to start segmenting your list. And I like that you’re saying here is what I provide for you. And then do you also want to give them a roadmap, like, here’s what you can expect from me, I will show up in your inbox on Mondays with a week’s worth of recipes, or those kinds of things.

Allea Grummert 13:03
At the end of the welcome sequence is usually when I’ll offer that up and say, “Hey, I’m so glad you’re here, just so you know you’re going to get new recipes from me twice a week. But on Sundays, you’re going to get some links back to some old favorites that I want to make sure you know about,” and that’s just one sentence at the end of an email.

Allea Grummert 13:21
And there’s a lot of other things you can do. I have a client who allows people to opt-in for her RSS feed emails, the ones that go out automatically, where I’ve other clients who just add people automatically.

Set the Expectations for What Your Subscribers with Get from You

Allea Grummert 13:27
And within the RSS emails, they can say nope, I just want the weekly digest option. So, this is where you can allow people to choose how much information they want. I think making a statement saying, this is what you get on Thursdays is what you get on Tuesdays, it doesn’t hurt, it helps just kind of set that expectation.

Allea Grummert 13:56
And then the reason why I separate welcome and nurture sequences is because of this, if you wanted to segment people, and send them into a different nurture sequence with different content and different topics, you would want to be able to do that in your email service platform.

Allea Grummert 14:13
So, if you’re building out an entire automation that has 18 emails, an active campaign or something, it would make it really hard to be able to parse people out and send them in different directions. So, I just set them up as two separate automations. One is for the welcome.

Allea Grummert 14:27
If they have this tag after a week, they go into this automation, they have this tag, they go into this automation.

What is an Email Nurture Sequence?

Jillian Leslie 14:34
Let’s talk about nurture sequences, and what your thoughts are about them. Should you have multiple nurture sequences? How many emails should there be in them? And where broadcast emails come in? And broadcaster emails that are not in a sequence they’re like, “Hey, I’m writing a Happy New Year email to everybody and I just want to send it out.”

Allea Grummert 15:01
Let’s start there. I think one of the ways that makes it so much simpler is to pick a day of the week that you send your broadcasts, one or two days, or, even more importantly, knowing what days your automations are going out.

Allea Grummert 15:14
Typically, right when you set it up, they’re like, this email goes out five days later, and this email goes out four days later, and this email goes out three days later, and then you’re like, I don’t know what days people are getting emails from me. And that makes me nervous to send an email because you don’t want to be a bother.

Allea Grummert 15:28
Hello, I’m raising my hand, I’m a woman and a little bit of bother. And so, this helps you get past that it keeps you from hiding your message, because you know, when your emails are being sent. For instance, I send my broadcast emails my newsletter, every Thursday, I have my nurture emails go out on Tuesdays.

Allea Grummert 15:50
I only have one general nurture sequence, we have options, you don’t have to have 16 different nurture sequences, or even two different ones. I have one part of it is my bandwidth to go separate that I just haven’t hit that in my business.

Allea Grummert 16:04
Whereas I know the information that I’ve sent out has been really helpful for people. And I want to make sure that’s continuing to be shared with them.

Allea Grummert 16:12
I have two different templates that I use in ConvertKit. So, on Tuesdays, those are my best of Duett emails, so my older content. And in there, they can say, I just want to hear from you, or I only want new content. And if they click that, it just removes them from the nurture sequence. And they’ll only hear from me on Thursdays with my brand-new content.

Allea Grummert 16:35
Even if I’m running a campaign, like Black Friday or something, I can pause my entire Tuesday sequence, or I can send emails every other day of the week, and just skip Tuesday if I want. But that just gives me more freedom to send my message when I want to.

Nurture Sequences Vs. Broadcast Emails

Jillian Leslie 16:53
I totally get the welcome. Explain to me the difference with the nurture sequence and the broadcasts. What am I trying?Let’s go back to the example A, Pinch of Yum, which I loved where you want to go deep into techniques for the beginning chef that I get as a nurture sequence.

Jillian Leslie 17:17
Like we’re going to go down this rabbit hole together, plus, you’re going to get our weekly updates. Other examples of where I’m running a nurture sequence. And I’m also giving you my newest recipes in my broadcast.

Allea Grummert 17:33
So, I guess a nurture sequence can really be anything, the idea is that it would be evergreen, and it would be helpful at anytime of year. It’s a little tricky with food bloggers who want to do seasonal content, that’s a whole other tech thing. But maybe that’s a great example.

Allea Grummert 17:50
So, your seasonal content should go out as a broadcast as a newsletter, it goes out once, it’s not automated, it’s not going to go out again in six months, without you knowing.

Allea Grummert 18:00
Whereas maybe that same food blogger does have some evergreen content, maybe on how to canned vegetables, or how to freeze herbs or Crockpot Soups or things you can pop in the oven in 45 minutes and be done. Things that are okay to be sending out all year long.

Allea Grummert 18:16
Those are things that you can set up in an automated nurture sequence, the value of that being, one they’re getting recipes from you, that are delicious, that will make their lives awesome, and easier to provide for their family. But it also sends back traffic to your site. So, it keeps you top of mind. It’s sending that traffic around year-round.

Allea Grummert 18:36
Even when I worked mostly with personal finance clients, when I first got started, a lot of people have this belief of like,” I created that two years ago. What help is that?” And I would go is a budget still helpful now as it was in 2016? And they say yes.

Jillian Leslie 18:50
It’s the chicken soup recipe.

Allea Grummert 18:54
And so, we somehow downgrade our content, for as awesome as it is, because we think it’s old and that everybody has already seen it. The thing is, tomorrow, you’re going to get a new subscriber who has no idea that chicken soup recipe even exists.

Make Sure Your Investment in an Email Service Provider is Making You Money

Jillian Leslie 19:09
I’m going to say something very controversial. Unless you are selling things, paying for ConvertKit paying $100 a month for ConvertKit to get traffic to your blog to just buy eyeballs doesn’t make sense financially.

Jillian Leslie 19:32
Now in certain ways, for example, I’ve got a sponsored post and I need to get eyeballs on that post that would make sense to be sending my email subscribers to that sponsored content so that I can go back to that brand and go oh my God, check out all the people.

Jillian Leslie 19:48
But if you are making pennies on the dollar for every pageview, you have to have an enormous list because email service providers are expensive. Which then leads me to this idea of if this is you start selling products, because that will make it worth it. Tell me your thoughts.

Allea Grummert 20:10
I think a lot of the clients that I work with, and that I’ve moved into ConvertKit, as well are people who’ve been blogging 5, 10, 15 years. So, they have the big audience, they have the big sponsors, they’re already qualified for Mediavine or AdThrive. And so, in their case, they just want a simpler tool to use.

Allea Grummert 20:35
And that’s part of it too, is that people will say, I want my email platform to pay for itself.

Jillian Leslie 20:39
It won’t in ad revenue.

Allea Grummert 20:42
It won’t ever, it’s a part of it, that’s an investment into running your business. That’s a storefront. That’s having someone at the front desk to welcome every new person who walks in your shop.

Allea Grummert 20:52
You have to weigh the benefits of that with the cost and if you’re comparing different platforms, ConvertKit moves a lot faster and a lot slicker. And it’s better organized than some others that I’ve seen on the market.

Allea Grummert 21:07
However, I think having a product that you can sell, that is your proprietary item, you’re going to make more money per purchase than you would per eyeball on an ad.

Join My Email List at BloggerGenius.com

Jillian Leslie 21:22
Because this episode is all about email, I’d be remiss not to invite you to join my email list, where I send an email on Sundays, where I highlight my four biggest takeaways from my most recent podcast episodes, I think of it as Cliff Notes or a Cheat Sheet so you can stay up-to-date on what’s going on in online business.

Jillian Leslie 21:45
Plus, I share a little bit about my life and living here in Austin, Texas. To join my list, go to bloggergenius.com. Again, bloggergenius.com, sign up, and you’ll hear from me on Sunday. And now back to the show.

Jillian Leslie 21:59
One thing I would say is, make sure that you have optimized those blog posts you are sending people to say in your welcome series, you’ve optimized them for revenue, I talk about this a lot. A blog post is not just a blog post, a blog post should be a sales page.

Think of Each Blog Post as a Sales Page

Jillian Leslie 22:19
There should be a goal attached to that blog post, it could be join my list, buy my affiliate product, buy my own products, maybe it’s sponsored content, go to this sponsor, check out this brand, whatever it is, but a blog post isn’t just like, hey, this was fun to write. I challenge you to think critically about how to optimize those pages for revenue.

Jillian Leslie 22:49
And then also make sure your emails are going to those posts where you make money and see if you can sell in your emails. And even if you’re not yet selling something, let people know you sell stuff that they won’t be so surprised when they’re getting all this free stuff.

Jillian Leslie 23:08
And then all of a sudden you go hey guys, buy my new eBook, my cookbook or whatever. And they go, “Wait a minute, you’re pulling a fast one on me. You always just give me stuff for free.”

Sell Products and Services to Your Email List

Allea Grummert 23:21
Oh, isn’t that’s the heartbreak of being a blogger. I think that the average reader doesn’t realize how much work goes into running a blog, the cost of it, the cost of testing those recipes, the software to make sure that the reader knows about those recipes and that you’re doing it.

Jillian Leslie 23:38
It’s not because you just love it, but because you’re hoping to make money from this. This isn’t just a labor of love.

Allea Grummert 23:48
I listened to Darren Rowse at a conference. He’s a pro-blogger out of Australia. I don’t know if you’re familiar with him. But he did a keynote and was talking about how if your passion is so high but you’re not making any money, you’re going to burn out. You’re like, “Oh, and now I’ve made no money.”

Allea Grummert 24:06
But if you’re doing it the other way, where all you’re doing is making money and you’re not having any passion, kind of like a teeter totter or something it’s called a seesaw. What is it called?

Jillian Leslie 24:16
A seesaw.

Allea Grummert 24:20
A seesaw. So, if you are making tons of money, but you don’t have any passion, then you’re going to not have the heart behind the work that you do. And so, my caution is if it’s a labor of love, you do need to be making money off of it so that you can keep doing it.

Jillian Leslie 24:36
Stay in the game.

Allea Grummert 24:36
I say that with new business owners, I was like, it is so much more fun when you’re actually making money. When you’re not worried about how to pay your bills.

Allea Grummert 24:45
It’s way more fun to offer services to your client, or to write those blog posts or to try out those new recipes or to create that eBook, because you’re not just digging from an empty well, I think you also need those things to survive.

Jillian Leslie 24:57
Absolutely and email it is one of the best ways to sell. So, if you have an email list, oh my God, there is money to be had. Your email list is so much more valuable than your Instagram followers. People are not on Instagram to necessarily buy from you. They’re there to browse.

Jillian Leslie 25:18
So, you have to get them out of the browsing mindset into wait, I really want this product, I have to go get my credit card, it’s a lot. Whereas if I have this personal relationship that I’ve developed with you where you do feel like oh, there’s Jillian again, that’s cool. I’m telling you like, hey, this is a cool thing, you’re more apt to purchase it through email.

Jillian Leslie 25:41
So, please don’t underestimate the value of email. And this is why I get a million emails from the Gap and Sephora, like they are hounding me. I think I’ve only bought one thing, but they know the power of me being on their list. Don’t underestimate that.

Allea Grummert 26:04
Even with a small list one of the greatest misconceptions of making money from email is that you just have to send one email. Or that’s all you feel like you have the gumption for is to send one sales email, and then you’re like, I’m scared to send more. What if people judge me, what if they unsubscribe? That’s part of the game too.

Allea Grummert 26:26
People have a right to unsubscribe, which means you need to be positioning your product or your solution in a way that is accurate. We’re not here to dupe people into buying things. But by sending more than one email, you really are catching the people who have questions, or they forgot.

When Selling Something Send More Emails

Allea Grummert 26:47
Like I said, even with a small list, I have a client that, we sent out four or five emails on a weekend promo, Thursday, I guess through Monday, end of day, and that last email is still like 30 to 40% of the people who end up buying coming in at the end.

Allea Grummert 27:02
And my clients are always so surprised, because in their world, they’re like, I would never send two emails in one day. And I was like, “This is a really good offer. And it’s expiring.” If we don’t tell them we’re also not doing them a service. I think when the emails leading up to that are presenting, here’s your problem. Here’s how we solve it with this.

Allea Grummert 27:24
Next question, what are your FAQs? What’s the success story? Those can be other emails as well. And then it’s like, “Hey, today is the last day to save $100 on this product.” Short and sweet. “This expires in four hours, grab it now.”

Jillian Leslie 27:40
I love that because what you’re saying is that you’re not selling snake oil, you believe in what you’re selling. And therefore, go shout it from the rooftops. It isn’t like, haha, I tricked you this is I’m going to make your life better. And I’ve been proving it week after week.

Jillian Leslie 28:01
I’ve put a little extra energy into this, let’s say, so you don’t have to go through my blog and find my best recipes. I’m going to bundle them up for Christmas. And it’s going to be all of my best cookies.

Jillian Leslie 28:14
And you’re like, whoa, how helpful would that be, or whatever kind of diet you’re on, these are my best tips, or this is my workshop I’m doing or this is my something where we can have a more personal relationship. First of all, again, I think it is about letting your audience know you are selling to them, and you will be selling to them. And that’s a good thing.

Jillian Leslie 28:41
Because the solutions that you turn into products are higher quality, or more specific. Maybe it’s faster, you want to do something I’m going to give you all my hacks or who knows what. But that is really valid, especially if you’re this expert wanting to help people.

To Create Products It’s Better to Niche Down

Allea Grummert 29:04
It’s interesting, the more you niche down, the more possibility there actually is for creating products that solve specific problems. That being like if you have Gluten-Free Recipes, you could have gluten-free desserts, and that’s pretty specific versus what they would find maybe on another blogger’s website.

Allea Grummert 29:23
It’s not just all desserts. I can go find all desserts on Pinterest. But what you’re offering me is really easy Gluten-Free Recipes that only require two flowers, and so you get to own that expertise. What I do for my clients is it will do audience research. And it is so mostly confined to hear from my clients’ audiences on what they love about them.

Jillian Leslie 29:48
Explain how you do this and explain what it means and explain your results.

Allea Grummert 29:53
So, it’s serving your list. What it was that you love about Danny that keeps you opening her emails?

Jillian Leslie 29:59
So, you’re sending an email with these questions?

Allea Grummert 30:03
With the survey. With the survey link. And so, they can submit it, we usually give them a timeframe and offer some incentive. Actually, I think Danny and another client offered an actual knife like you could win $150 knife for your kitchen. By completing the survey, you could get raffled off to win.

Allea Grummert 30:22
But what it does is it opens up, just as a content creator, you get so in the weeds. SEO tells me this. But when you actually ask your audience, what it is they come looking for, what solutions you’ve provided to them that they love. And they are probably telling their friends, that’s the stuff you can include in your welcome emails, in your nurture emails.

Allea Grummert 30:47
That’s that low hanging fruit that is just going to hit it out of the park, because you’ve asked. And if everyone’s coming for Gluten-Free Recipes, you can bet they’re probably going to want this pantry checklist to know exactly what’s in your pantry.

Allea Grummert 31:00
And it’s also going to add up to being what kind of products could these be? What specific problems can we solve with an eBook with a webinar? But I guess I say that because you might be sitting there thinking but what do I sell? And don’t be afraid to ask your list.

Use Your Email List to Get Customer Feedback

Allea Grummert 31:17
And you can include that survey link, if you want in your welcome sequence. Just say, “Hey, once a month, I raffle off a $20 Amazon gift card. So, if you don’t mind filling this out, you’d be entered to win.”

Jillian Leslie 31:27
How many questions do you ask?

Allea Grummert 31:31
Around 15 or so. Very little of it is actually demographic. It might be like, what dietary needs do you have? Or something like that. But a lot of it is asking, like, what have you tried before? What worked? What didn’t? Have you heard about my product? Or if you have and you haven’t bought it, what questions do you have?

Allea Grummert 31:53
Those are the kinds of questions we ask or this is more for people who’ve been on your list for a while. But what’s the number one thing that you’ve been able to do or accomplish since being on my email list that you weren’t able to do before?

Jillian Leslie 32:05
One thing I like about what you’re saying is, it’s a way to actively ask your audience because a lot of bloggers say to me, I send all these emails once a week religiously, and nobody emails me back. I say to be honest, not that many people respond back to my emails, even though I typically ask questions.

Jillian Leslie 32:25
So, either I love your idea of doing a quiz and incentivizing people with something, I recommend asking maybe five questions so that they can do it without really thinking. And if still, that’s not working, go into Facebook groups in your niche, and just read the comments.

Jillian Leslie 32:44
I don’t know if you’ve ever done this, but you will see the same thing show up over and over again. And that way, you can see how people are talking about what their problems are.

Allea Grummert 32:55
Exactly. Well, it is interesting, because even though our surveys tend to be long, we’ve literally had like 1,400 people respond to just one client survey before. And I’m like, what in the world, people are pretty motivated with some incentive.

Allea Grummert 33:08
So, if you’re not offering an incentive go for short questions too or maybe that’s something that you include in your welcome sequence, like what are the four questions you want to ask? Like, what’s the number one? What were you looking for when you came across my blog? What are you looking for more of?

Allea Grummert 33:24
And then what’s causing you anxiety when it comes to X, Y, or Z? Then call them.

Jillian Leslie 33:31

Allea Grummert 33:31
Just say something.

Jillian Leslie 33:32
Even being very straightforward. If I could help you with something, what would it be? What’s the one thing?

Allea Grummert 33:42
Sometimes that’s like, understanding flours, gluten-free flours, it’s great. That’s the stuff in a survey, when you ask your list, when I do it with clients, those things come up. And it’s like, my clients usually go, oh, I have a resource on that or I’d be willing to create a one-page resource on that or a video.

Allea Grummert 34:02
And so, it really spurs on these ideas, like how else can I help my readers? The people that are already super loyal to me and filled out the survey have these questions.

Allea Grummert 34:12
What if I was able to answer those questions for people in advance before they even have those questions? They’re going to feel more comfortable and more aligned with what we’re doing.

Jillian Leslie 34:23
And a lot of times, they’re the really basic questions that you think everybody knows.

Allea Grummert 34:29

Jillian Leslie 34:30
Oh, my God, they don’t know that. And it’s like, no, they don’t know that. So, a lot of times, we’ve progressed and we forget that the beginners have no idea what we’re talking about.

How to Turn Email Subscribers Into Raving Fans | The Blogger Genius Podcast with Jillian Leslie

Use Your Welcome Series to Get the Beginners Up to Speed

Allea Grummert 34:43
And so, by creating this welcome and nurture sequence, you get to make sure that that content, the stuff that you know, will make people feel super welcome and up to speed with the kind of content you’re creating. Part of it is like I had a Dominican food client recipe blogger.

Allea Grummert 35:01
And to be honest, I don’t know what food I would need in my pantry to make Dominican food, it is one email, and it’s going to solve a lot of problems. And then all of your emails coming forward, I actually have that sauce or I have that spice.

Jillian Leslie 35:14
Can I ask you some quick round questions?

Allea Grummert 35:19

How Many Emails in a Nurture Sequence?

Jillian Leslie 35:21
In a nurture sequence. How many emails do you typically write?

Allea Grummert 35:26
I would say at least five. But it can go on for as long as you want.

Jillian Leslie 35:30
How many of your clients are you creating more than one nurture sequence for?

Allea Grummert 35:36
Honestly, a small percentage.

Jillian Leslie 35:38
So, most people just have one nurture sequence of maybe five, if not more emails, but five is fine.

Allea Grummert 35:44
Five to 10 is usually what we do. And what we’ll do is because everybody on the list would benefit from the different kind of categories on the blog, we just make sure it goes to everyone.

Allea Grummert 35:57
In some cases, we’ll have like a how to make Italian pasta, as its own, mini course, which you can consider a nurture sequence in its own. That’s just really on that topic. And people opt in for it, versus everyone else who’s getting more of the general content that you’ll find elsewhere.

Jillian Leslie 36:15
GIFs in every email.

Allea Grummert 36:17
I would say probably not unless it’s really important to your brand. For me, it’s just like half of what I’m communicating is like how to make email more approachable. So, GIFs really make things much more lighthearted and fun. For someone like my food blogging, clients will use a GIF of them waving in a video.

Allea Grummert 36:36
And we’ll use that as an image in the welcome email, you’ll see that if you sign up for the Pinch of Yum list, you’ll see Lindsey waving. And so there’s that. There are videos of how to cut up strawberries. And it’s just the GIF of it.

Allea Grummert 36:50
So, when you click through, you can get to the whole video, or go through to the blog post. But it’s really fun to use those as teasers. You don’t need to include them in every email, though.

Should You Use Emojis in Your Emails?

Jillian Leslie 36:58
Emojis? What’s your thought?

Allea Grummert 37:01
I think it’s along the same lines, very branded, only if it feels good for you, even if it performs better if you’re like, “No, I’m not a person who uses emojis,” you don’t have to convert your entire brand to what’s popular necessarily. And you can always just test it out if it feels good for you.

Allea Grummert 37:18
So, I’ll use emojis in the body copy, sometimes, I’ll use it in the subject lines as well. So

Jillian Leslie 37:25
How long are your emails?

Allea Grummert 37:29
That depends. For clients, like our food blogging clients, because they’re broken up with a header and an image and a blurb and a button, it’s really easy to scroll by them.

Allea Grummert 37:42
And I’ve learned probably from being a blog fan myself, is that I want to know what all the options are. If you send me one email with one recipe, it’s like, okay, thanks. But if you give me five, and I can open up five tabs with five new recipes, I feel like I’m in heaven. And I didn’t have to go find it on Pinterest.

Allea Grummert 38:01
I’m going to say, we’ll share anywhere from three to five recipes like that. But I also have another client, what we’ll do is we’ll share the roundup post. And then we can share individual recipes below that, something like that that’s along the same lines, it can look a lot of different ways.

Allea Grummert 38:19
Whereas my emails for Duett, they get a little lengthy, because I’m mostly teaching or educating in some way. So, it can really vary.

Jillian Leslie 38:28
So, for your own emails, how many links? I get it, if it’s a recipe, I’m a recipe blogger, I’m going to showcase four of my recipes. Let’s say, I’ve got four links to all of my recipes, and maybe other links.

Allea Grummert 38:47
So, in my emails of Duett. For instance, I have an email going out soon. That’s basically three different sections of like, here’s what to be looking forward to in 2023 are things that you can implement. And each one is a different topic; I might link to the same resource twice in that tiny little section.

Jillian Leslie 39:03
That was my question just because from what I have found in my own kind of emails that aren’t related to Catch My Party, but are for MiloTree or MiloTreeCart. I usually link multiple times just to the same place because I don’t want to offer them a panoply of different options. I want them to be focused. What’s your thought?

Allea Grummert 39:31
I agree. There are cases where sometimes I’ll do a little roundup of podcasts from the last quarter like, this one’s for you if you’re looking to grow your list, this one’s for you if you’re curious about building relationships with readers. So, I’m not big on clickbait.

Allea Grummert 39:46
I’m just like, click here to find out more. It’s like, click here to listen to the episode with Leslie, where we talk about this. So, in those cases, I have some clients where we’ll do a little bulleted list, mostly because blog posts for food bloggers are so descriptive. So, it’s not clickbait, it’s just the name of the recipe.

Allea Grummert 40:07
And if you don’t like mushrooms, they’re just not going to click on that one. But you’re giving them options. So, if you’re going to do something like that, I would just do it sparingly. But in my case, with this upcoming email, I had these three sections, so I’m basically sending them to three different places, whichever one suits your fancy.

Allea Grummert 40:22
And if you want to open all three, great, but I try not to go overboard with too many links. That’s kind of asking people to invest. More than three pages feels like a lot to open up and learn about email marketing versus recipes.

Jillian Leslie 40:43
Allea, if people want to reach out to you learn more about what you offer, read your emails, where should they go? Yeah, so

Allea Grummert 40:53
My company is called Duett, it’s D-U-E-T-T.co. is the website. That’s where you can join my email list. I have a roundtable every month, it’s just a live opportunity to hop on a Zoom call with me and chat about email marketing. We have different topics, but we also do a little Q&A. That’s my way of helping you take the next step forward.

Allea Grummert 41:15
A lot of people I learned they’re being held back by one question like, can I use an emoji? Let’s answer those questions so, you can move forward. I want your emails going out to your list for their benefit and your own.

Allea Grummert 41:19
I have that roundtable, I also have a handful of resources on how to write your first welcome sequence, I’ve got it step- by-step laid out, you can find that on my resources page. That’s the best way to reach out to me and I do check my email replies.

Allea Grummert 41:43
S, if you ever have any question, in any of my emails, I’m the person, I’m right behind that inbox. And I will reply back to you.

Jillian Leslie 41:50
I love that. Well, Allea I have to say, you have validated so much for me about email marketing, I really like it, just because it’s a way that I feel I get to touch people in a more, an intimate sort of sounds kind of dirty. I don’t mean it that way. But it does take a deeper relationship.

Jillian Leslie 42:14
And I think it’s a very powerful, potentially intimidating way to do this. But I think it is so worth it. So, if you’re not doing email marketing in 2023, I highly recommend you do.

Allea Grummert 42:17
Absolutely, get your message out there. Don’t be afraid of what people will think, if they’re not a good fit, they’ll leave. How many bloggers are still around? How many people have found their bloggers that they want to follow and have found their audience who are interested in what they want to share?

Allea Grummert 42:46
Those people are out there for you too, go find them.

Jillian Leslie 42:48
Well, Allea, thank you so much for coming on the show.

Allea Grummert 42:52
Absolutely. Thank you for having me.

Jillian Leslie 42:53
I hope you guys liked this episode. If you’re not building your list, hopefully this episode inspired you to start but not just that, hopefully, it gave you a framework for how to think about introducing yourself to your new subscribers, so that you can build that relationship so that they’ll click on your links and buy your products.

Jillian Leslie 43:17
I think it is so much more powerful than building a following on Instagram because people who join your list are inviting you into their inbox. And that’s a privilege.

Jillian Leslie 43:33
And just to wrap up the episode, I invite you to join my email list by going to bloggergenius.com. If you want to join our MiloTreeCart affiliate program, just go to milotreecart.com scroll to the bottom and you’ll see a link for our affiliate program.

Jillian Leslie 43:55
And if you want to start selling digital products, but you don’t know where to start book a call with me. We’ll get on the phone for 15 minutes. Tell me your goals. I’ll give you some tips. And you can do that at milotree.com/meet so we can meet.

Jillian Leslie 44:10
And I will see you here again next week.

Other related Blogger Genius Podcast episodes you’ll enjoy:

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