Hello everyone, I’m Jillian Leslie, your host for The Blogger Genius Podcast. In today’s episode, I’m interviewing Kyle Stout, an email marketing expert. We had an interesting discussion about the challenges of selling digital products, the power of email marketing, and the importance of having a creative mindset. Let’s dive in!
Table of Contents
The Power of Email Marketing
In the podcast, we address the misconception that email marketing is not a sexy or effective sales channel. Contrary to this belief, we both agree that email is a highly converting channel and can contribute significantly to monthly sales. This is especially true for bloggers and businesses with a substantial email list but are not actively selling anything.
Overcoming the Fear of Spamming
One of the main concerns people have about email marketing is the fear of annoying their subscribers or spamming their list. Kyle advises that having a creative mindset and providing valuable content can overcome these concerns. He suggested focusing on topics that resonate with your audience and connecting them with the products or services you sell.
For instance, I shared an example of a food blogger who hesitated to promote her paid workshop to her email list, fearing she would be spamming them. Kyle emphasized that promoting valuable offers to the list is not spamming.
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The Importance of Segmenting Your Email List
Kyle emphasized the importance of segmenting your email list based on engagement metrics. By segmenting your list, you can target those who have shown engagement by opening, clicking, or visiting your site within a specific time frame.
Building an Email List and Driving Traffic
We discussed the importance of building an email list and different strategies for driving traffic to it. We highlighted the value of using multiple platforms, such as YouTube and Instagram, to connect with potential subscribers and customers.
Kyle introduced a new tool called Eboov, an in-video opt-in form that interrupts a video and requires viewers to opt in to continue watching. This strategy proved effective in a case study where a client’s opt-in rate increased from 10% to 30%.
The Role of AI in Email Marketing
Kyle shared his thoughts on how AI can help with email marketing. He believes that AI can make email marketing more efficient, particularly in initial market research and generating topic ideas. However, he emphasized that AI is currently a tool that can help marketers be more strategic and thoughtful in their email marketing efforts.
Crafting Effective Subject Lines and Content
Kyle shared his insights on subject lines and content in emails. He suggested keeping subject lines shorter and using emojis to grab attention. However, he advised against clickbait and emphasized the importance of delivering on the subject line’s promise in the email content.
Creating an Effective Email Welcome Series
Kyle shared his insights on creating an effective email welcome series. He suggested that the first email in the series should provide a brief background about your blog or business, highlighting your credentials and social proof to establish authority. Additionally, it should offer access to a free content or resource to engage the audience.
In conclusion, our conversation emphasized the need for businesses to experiment and find the right strategies for building their email lists. Whether it’s through social media, AI, or crafting effective content, the key is to provide value and build trust with your audience.
Other related Blogger Genius Podcast episodes you’ll enjoy:
- Secret Truths About Selling – Part 2 (Insider Tips on 6 Best Ways to Sell) with Jillian Leslie
- The 13 Superpowers of the Most Successful Entrepreneurs with Jillian Leslie
- The Future of Blogging: AI, Email Marketing, and Legal Compliance with Elizabeth Stapletone
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Transcript: “Skyrocket Your Income: The Blogger’s Guide to Cutting-Edge Email Marketing”
Jillian Leslie (00:00:00) – My name is Jillian and I’m hosting The Blogger Genius Podcast. Before we get into today’s interview, let me ask you a question. Are you wishing you could sell digital products like digital downloads or workshops, memberships, coaching mini courses, but you don’t know where to start?
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Jillian Leslie (00:01:08) – And if you purchase before the end of October as a bonus, I will send you my special. I promise to help you come up with your first digital product in minutes. So head to military.com to sign up.
Announcer (00:01:29) – Welcome to the Blogger Genius podcast brought to you by MiloTreeCart. Here’s your host, Jillian Leslie.
Jillian Leslie (00:01:37) – Hello, friends. It is Jillian, and I’m super psyched that you are here. If you have not listened to my last four episodes where I did an entire series on selling, I recommend you do. I really tried to demystify the whole art of selling, and I’ve gotten amazing feedback from many of you saying that it inspired you. I talk about why selling is so awkward. I talk about the best places to sell. I talk about psychological tricks to sell, and I talk about the importance of your customer journey. Even as a blogger, you have a customer journey. And so in light of those episodes, I’m excited for today’s, which is all about email marketing. I’ve got Kyle Stout on the show.
Jillian Leslie (00:02:31) – His company is Elevate and Scale, and he is an email marketing expert. As I talk about a lot, email is powerful for selling, so if you sell products and services or if you’re thinking about selling products and services, understanding how to use email will take your business to a whole new level. We talk about things like what’s working in email today, how to use AI in your email. We get really granular. What should you do when composing your subject line? Should you use emojis? How should you structure your welcome series? This is the episode for you if you are ready to scale and make money. So without further delay, here is my episode with Kyle Stout. Kyle, welcome to the Blogger Genius podcast.
Kyle Stout (00:03:27) – Thanks for having me.
Jillian Leslie (00:03:28) – You are an email guy, so your people reached out to me and said, Hey, would you be interested in Kyle coming on the show? And all you had to say was he’s like an email expert. And I said, Absolutely yes, because I think email is underrated.
Jillian Leslie (00:03:46) – And we talked about this before I pressed record. So before we get into that, Kyle, will you tell me how you are the email expert, how you got started, how you fell in love with email marketing and where you are today.
Kyle Stout (00:04:02) – Okay. Yeah. So I started out as a freelance copywriter, and originally I wasn’t doing anything with email. I was actually just writing sales copy for businesses, websites, doing a lot of blogging, doing a lot of blogging and SEO. And really it was just one of those things where clients would ask if, you know, can you write emails, can you write ad copy? And I would just take on, you know, whatever they needed. And after a couple of years I noticed that one. I was just really enjoying email marketing. I liked coming up with the strategies for the different email automations and all of that. But I also noticed that that was the one area where I was seeing the most consistent results for my clients. It was just a really great sales channel.
Kyle Stout (00:04:44) – So then later, whenever I wanted to go, you know, go beyond just being a freelancer and start an agency, I knew that email was going to be the main thing that I was offering. So I did initially actually try to to try to do like the all in one, you know, all services. And I quickly realized because I was not truly an expert on the other things and and had issues hiring other people that you know what I want to stick with what I really know best and what I enjoy. And so that’s what I’ve done. So starting in 2019, I launched Elevate and Scale, and now we work. We still work with some service businesses and some info product creators. We work with a lot of ecommerce businesses at this point.
Jillian Leslie (00:05:27) – So it’s funny because we were both talking about how email isn’t sexy. And there are I think everybody is after where the sexiness is, what’s new, what’s happening. But I will say for me and our businesses and we’ve been doing this a long time.
Jillian Leslie (00:05:47) – Email is our highest converting channel for creating sales. Is that crazy or is that what you see?
Kyle Stout (00:05:58) – That’s not crazy at all. So, I mean, you know, for the businesses we work with consistently, they see 30 to upwards of 60% of their monthly sales come from email every single month. So it’s a very strong sales channel. And I can’t tell you how often I see people where maybe I’m having my first introduction to them and they’re interested in email marketing where they have a great business and they have a really cool brand, they have great products, their customers love their products. They’re generating consistent sales through either organic or paid social, and they’re not doing any email marketing. And it’s just crazy because they have this, you know, extremely valuable sales channel they haven’t even tapped into. And for a lot of businesses, they don’t really see a lot of success without having tapped into that. So it’s like if you’re already doing well and you’re not doing any email marketing, then it’s going to only get better for you from.
Jillian Leslie (00:06:54) – Here’s something that I see because bloggers, let’s see your food blogger, craft blogger, parenting blogger or whatever, you know, to grow your list. So you are growing your list. You’re just not selling anything. So you’re writing weekly emails. Maybe you’re hoping to get traffic. So you’re putting in your most recent blog posts. You maybe are doing some affiliate stuff through email or you’re working with brands and you want to go, Hey, pay attention to what I did with this brand. But I find it so strange. People will be like, Yeah, I have an email list of 4000 people and I say, What are you selling? And they say, What do you mean selling? So that’s like this other flip side where I think you could just turn that on. That’s a that’s a piece of money right there.
Kyle Stout (00:07:47) – Yeah, definitely. And you know, I see this. I think that one of the issues is that a lot of people have a negative perception of email. So maybe they think that emails, they think it’s annoying to get emails and they think they’re going to annoy their list by sending emails.
Kyle Stout (00:08:05) – And if you have that attitude, then you’re not going to get into the creative space to write emails people actually want to receive. You’re going to be thinking you’re going to be stuck in this thing where it’s like, Oh, I have to always have a discount in every email or no one’s going to buy. And that’s just simply not true. In fact, if you just you don’t even have to offer discounts that much. I mean, you can just, you know, or not at all if you don’t want to, you can just stick with like holiday sales and you don’t have to go beyond that if you don’t want to. And in fact, I usually recommend people don’t overly discount because you train people to only buy with a discount and instead to focus more on just topics that you know your audience cares about. And if you’re a blogger, you know that world more than most business owners do. Most business owners really struggle with that whole piece of coming up with topics. But if you already are having or you know, coming up with blog topics on a consistent basis, then you already know how to find out what topics people are interested in, what they care about.
Kyle Stout (00:09:03) – You have real data to look at which things they’ve cared about, and now you can even just take some of those old blogs and repurpose those topics into emails, and then you’ve just got to connect it to what you’re selling.
Jillian Leslie (00:09:13) – Exactly. I find that and that finding a product is not that. And now you’ve got ChatGPT. Like it’s not that hard and it’s not that hard to test different products, especially in email. I was interviewing a food blogger and she had this new offer that I think she was she was doing, I don’t know, a paid workshop and she wasn’t getting a lot of sales. And I said, Well, have you been emailing your list? Oh, no, no. She had done like a workshop and then she was going to launch another one and she said, Hmm, I need to wait because I don’t want to keep spamming my list. And I said, You’re not spamming your list. If you have something else that’s awesome to offer, go put it out there.
Jillian Leslie (00:10:01) – So that’s the mindset spamming my list, especially as somebody predominantly women because, you know, selling is weird for us and we don’t want to offend anybody. So talk to me about this concept of spamming my list.
Kyle Stout (00:10:20) – Yeah, that’s that’s exactly what I was referring to. And like when people use that language, it just shows that, okay. I mean, the truth is, some people just don’t like being advertised to it. All right? Or a lot of us, we have preferences as far as where we like being able to advertise to or whatever. And I can tell you in my personal life, whenever I meet people and they ask what I do and I tell them about email marketing, one of the first things a lot of people will say is that, Oh, I hate getting those emails. But then the very next thing that they always say is that I buy from them all the time. And that’s that’s that’s something that you have to also consider with the whole spamming thing is that a lot of times people, they might jokingly be annoyed with emails, but they really want what you have to offer.
Kyle Stout (00:11:06) – And that’s like that’s, you know, worst case or almost worst case, right? But a lot of those people actually want your emails and they want what you have to offer. So if they signed up for something in the past, you should take that as a sign that everyone knows at this point when they sign up for your list, they know they’re going to be getting marketing emails. No one thinks that that no one thinks for a second that you’re not going to try to sell them something whenever they sign up for your list. It’s not like it was 20 years ago or people thought they were only going to get some kind of free piece of content or whatever. So they’ve already given you permission, right? And if they’ve showed up to your workshop in the past, then that again is showing you, okay, these people are interested in what you have to offer. So you should absolutely follow up to those people. And you know, I look at just engagement metrics. When people are clicking, those people are really interested.
Kyle Stout (00:11:50) – I don’t think opens are as important as, you know, clicks and conversions and whenever they reply to the email. So you know, that’s another thing is if someone’s just really conservative about about emailing, you can segment out people who have engaged in some way beyond opening. Like let’s just say if you just really are hesitant and email those people most often because again, if these people are taking action on your emails, that’s a sign that they want more of what you have to say and what you have to offer. So you should definitely give them what they’re asking for.
Jillian Leslie (00:12:22) – So you’re saying go into your analytics and your email service and you can then target people who have clicked on links and then send emails only to those people or like your I don’t know, your offers continue to send them to those people and maybe send your offers less frequently to your whole list. So you’re you like this idea of segmenting your list?
Kyle Stout (00:12:49) – Yes, definitely. So to give you an example of how to a type of segment like this that you can create.
Kyle Stout (00:12:55) – This is something that I use very often, especially with all of our e-commerce businesses. Now, one caveat here is that if you have never sent out emails to your list, you’re not going to be able to do this because you won’t have any of that engagement data. Right. But assuming you have sent out some, what you can do is you can create a segment and this type of segment would call an engage an engagement segment. So you can be and I like to create them in time frame. So it could be a 30 day engaged group, 60 day engaged, 90 day engaged and any other time frames you want. And what that the rules for that segment are that they’ve opened clicked or visited the site in the last 30 days 60 days and so on so open the email or click the email or they visited the site. Now you can change your rules for what you consider someone engaging with your brand. Where do I.
Jillian Leslie (00:13:41) – Set this up? Like in I know email service providers are different, but like let’s say I’m in MailChimp or Active campaign or something like that.
Jillian Leslie (00:13:53) – How hard is this to set up?
Kyle Stout (00:13:55) – So some of them are a little easier than others in most of them, like Active Campaign, MailChimp and others, you can use tags. So, so that’s one way to create segments. I the one that I use most often is Klaviyo and it’s super like they have a whole segmentation feature of creating segments. I’d have to look in active campaign to see if they have a, you know, like something that actually has a name for a lot of them. They have things that are called smart lists or you want to look for something like that, look for anything that says segmentation or smart lists or anything like that where you can create smaller lists within your big list. And that’s where you can create these rules. And if they don’t have that feature, then use tags. And so that could be where now you’re having to add rules to emails that when someone clicks on a certain link, it tags them if they they’ve clicked on a link for this particular product.
Kyle Stout (00:14:45) – And so it’s a little bit of extra effort up front. But this stuff becomes extremely valuable later on because the people who are engaging are the ones you do want to be a little bit more aggressive with. So going back to this whole concept of are you spamming or not? Well, you don’t have to email everyone as often. In fact, I usually recommend not to email your entire list every time you send emails out, but you do want to email your most engaged people way more often. So going back to those like 30, 60, 90 day engagement groups, for someone who’s doing email marketing, a 30 day engage group, meaning that these people have engaged in the last month, I would send them depending on how many emails you’re doing. Let’s say you’re doing like one email a week. I’d send them everything now to people that haven’t engaged in the last three, six, nine months. I would wait for a new product, launch the the Black Friday sale or any of the really big deal stuff then, yeah, you want to let everyone know because a lot of people there’s just a million reasons why someone might stop engaging, but it doesn’t mean that they’re not.
Kyle Stout (00:15:46) – They’re just permanently not interested. It just means I mean, there’s just it could be anything. It could be that they weren’t in the market for a little bit. It could be that they changed email addresses and they just haven’t even opened that one. So they won’t see it. But there’s there’s a lot of reasons why someone, you know, has stopped engaging. But it doesn’t mean they won’t come back for something new or something exciting. So that’s why I definitely include those wider groups for those things. But for your your regular emails that you’re sending out all the time, definitely send those to your engaged people as much as you want.
Jillian Leslie (00:16:15) – That’s interesting. I’m going to start doing that. I haven’t been doing that. Segmenting the people who are right there ready to purchase even like a one off email, like a personal email could seal that deal.
Kyle Stout (00:16:28) – Yeah, exactly. And one way you can do this, like say you’re going to start doing this now and you want to try to find that sweet spot.
Kyle Stout (00:16:35) – So is it, is it 30 days, 60 days, whatever for you is first send an email to the 30 day engaged group and then the next one go a little wider to 60 than 90. Oh, interesting. And yeah, so then when you see a big drop off in the clicks and the opens, that’s where you know, you’ve kind of hit that limit of okay, that’s where people you find that for your particular business, that’s where the people really are. Just have have lost interest, at least for now. And so that’s where you know, your limit is. So it might be that the 60 day engaged group, this is the group that you’re sending most of your stuff to. And then maybe, you know, if you want to be a little bit more aggressive, you’re only going to like the 30 day people. And then the big announcements, you’re taking that out to 90 day engaged.
Jillian Leslie (00:17:20) – Got it. That’s super smart. Now, let’s talk about growing your list, because we before we press record, you said the problem with a lot of businesses and people who want to be growing their businesses, they don’t they don’t have a list.
Jillian Leslie (00:17:35) – So it’s like, well, in fact, I was talking to a guy who was like, I want to sell, but I don’t have a list. So I don’t, you know, So my whole thing is just Instagram and I’m like, okay, but you could use something like Instagram to grow your list. Like I think of social media top, top, top of your funnel, super light. Like, not really. They don’t know who you are, they don’t know what you offer. But if you can convert those people and get them on your list, all of a sudden they become more valuable. So I don’t think it’s super easy unless you’ve got some awesome reels or tiktoks that convert like crazy. Like I think it’s hard to convert on social media and it’s much easier to if I can get that person on social media, get their attention, get them on my list. No, nurture them, get them to know me, and then put an offer in front of them that tends to be most successful for me.
Jillian Leslie (00:18:37) – And what about you? Is that is that smart? Is that not smart? Is that too narrow in my thinking?
Kyle Stout (00:18:45) – No. I mean, I completely agree. If you think about it, when you’re on social media, your attention span is even shorter than it normally is. You’ve just got so many things fighting for your attention as the consumer. Now as the business, you have so much more competition, you’re just competing. You’re not even just competing against other businesses. You’re competing against family and friends and and just all kinds of crazy attention grabbing things versus competing for their attention in the inbox, which, yes, there’s going to be a lot of other businesses and random people in the inbox as well. But the competition is a lot smaller. And by the time someone has signed up and they’ve given you permission to email them, they’re a lot more interested, they’re more engaged and you can have a direct line of communication with them now versus on social media. They’re not always going to see every post that you put out.
Kyle Stout (00:19:33) – Now, a lot of times your own following, they only see a certain percentage of your posts, But assuming you have good email deliverability, they’re going to get all of your emails. So yeah, it’s definitely like that to me is is problem number one to solve for building your email list. And unfortunately, it’s not even an email thing. It’s a, it’s a traffic thing. You first have to have some sort of steady source of traffic or attention online to to even offer them something to get them on your email list. So that is step number one. But if you’re only let’s just say you’ve gotten to the point where now you have a little traction on social media or whatever channel you’re using, like you said, you can you could just stop there and say, Hey, I’m going to keep trying to get as many sales as I can from this right here. Or you can take it another step further. Now, if you start getting people onto your list, yes, you can start getting sales straight from Instagram to your site that that’s going to happen.
Kyle Stout (00:20:27) – But at the same time, you can also be getting people on your list where the percentage of people who are buying is going to go way up. So now you’ve just you’re accomplishing more for the same effort because you’re still putting out all the Instagram content. It’s just that now you have multiple ways for to market to people. They can either move down the funnel or they can go straight and buy, which we know a low percentage of people are going to go and buy right on the spot. Right.
Jillian Leslie (00:20:49) – In fact, it’s funny, a long time ago, I interviewed a woman who has a big YouTube subscriber base and she mapped out her funnel to me and it was like it like blew me away. So it was you watch a video of mine on YouTube and I’m going to tell you to go follow me on Instagram where I post. So, so YouTube is just providing like specific tutorials, like you want to know how to set up, you know, ConvertKit, right? Here’s the video. Like it’s not personal.
Jillian Leslie (00:21:24) – It’s do this, do this, do this. And she’s cute and she’s fun, but. She’s not cracking jokes. She’s not like doing a lot. She’s literally teaching you a specific skill. Then she says, Go follow me on Instagram, because on Instagram she shows her personality. In her stories, she’s showing the back of, you know, all the behind the scenes of her business, of her family life, all that. So you go, Oh, I like you. Then she gets you on her list by offering, like opt ins. And yes, she could be offering those on YouTube. But she found that when there was more of a personal connection on Instagram then asking them to join her list, she found much more success that way. And then she sells them products and services from email, and that blew me away. Now I have this podcast and I yes, sell my card on the podcast and we have a pop up app. I do that, but I’m also offering freebies on the podcast so that you, you know, you want to get this checklist or our e-book or whatever it is.
Jillian Leslie (00:22:39) – You will then go to this URL and sign up. So my podcast is a way also to drive people to my list.
Kyle Stout (00:22:48) – Yeah. So does she have a link in the description to opt in directly or is it to.
Jillian Leslie (00:22:53) – Wear to her email To her email list? I think what she does, I think she does like in her link in bio and she’s offering checklists and just little things to help you in your in your life and your business. But it was so interesting how each like her discoverability is YouTube. But she’s she she needed people to get a taste of her beyond YouTube to build that connection. And as she built that connection, then she could get you on her list. Then you, you know, you’re invested in her life and what she’s doing and the value she’s providing, but she’s like a full fledged human. Yeah. And by doing that, then she could speak to you through email where you’re like, I like her.
Kyle Stout (00:23:44) – Yeah, that is interesting. And that is one of the challenging things where every business does kind of have to go through this trial and error of figuring out the right way to get people on their list.
Kyle Stout (00:23:56) – So it could mean just testing different lead magnet type of offers. But then that’s also an interesting one is, you know, just she recognized that, okay, people aren’t going directly from YouTube to my email, but when I take them to IG and then email, all of a sudden I’m seeing a huge boost. And it’s interesting because, you know, we’ve run AB tests with different types of pop ups and things like that, and it is it’s crazy how little changes can make a big difference in how people sign up. And you can see a huge, a huge jump or decrease in conversion rates. So yeah, that is that is definitely interesting to see that she’s got that all mapped out like that.
Jillian Leslie (00:24:35) – Yeah. Now let’s talk about opt ins. I know for ecommerce brands, a lot of times it is discounts or some sort of special some offer, but in general, like let’s say for bloggers or other kinds of businesses, what do you see working right now?
Kyle Stout (00:24:53) – Yeah. So really, I would say it’s kind of the classic stuff of the classic lead magnets of, you know, PDFs, free trainings.
Kyle Stout (00:25:03) – I think the free training videos seem to be doing a lot better, more so now than the PDFs. Like if you just do a little mini course or a little little masterclass and but there’s something that has just come to my attention just recently that’s been really effective. It’s this thing called Ebov Ebov. I have no affiliation with them. This is a it’s an in video optin form. So let’s just say you had a landing page where you were going to get them to opt in to a free training or whatever. You can put the free training video on that page and then what will happen is they they get to start watching the beginning of the video. Then you have the pop up will just pop up and interrupt the video where to continue watching. They have to opt in. And so one of our clients just started using this and his opt in rate went from 10% to 30%, which 10% was already good. So 30% is crazy, right? So and he’s running paid traffic to this. So like, again, this is like I don’t ever see this, you know, so and this was the only change he made.
Kyle Stout (00:26:07) – We we had a funnel where people were opting in a landing page and then going to the free training. And the only change we made and he actually found this tool, by the way. So but I want to share it with people because it’s not often you see something like this that’s that makes that big of a difference. But what I think is interesting and what I think is working is the fact that we’re so used to hitting a landing page and having to opt in first before we even get to see anything where in this case, you get to get a little sneak peek of the free training, you see how the person communicates, you see the content they’re talking about, and then, you know, you can plan it just right to where like right before you’re about to give away some really enticing thing. They have to they have to opt in, right? So it’s like they’ve already committed a little bit of time to this to watching. So, so yeah, that’s something that I’m pretty excited about and I definitely want to start implementing that more with other clients as well.
Jillian Leslie (00:27:01) – That makes sense because I do think with all the how many eBooks have you downloaded or checklists, have you downloaded that you never go back and look at? Or how many times do you I don’t know, Like I was searching for something on YouTube and I’m like, you know, I get on to somebody’s thing and I’m like popping off because I’m like, Do I like you? Do do I trust you? Whatever. Whereas here you get to get a flavor. It like it creates that trust factor quicker to go, Oh, I will give you my email address because oh, you are providing like, that’s it. I guess you’re always wondering when you like give your email address. Like is there real value here or is this kind of BS? And a lot of the times you end up with like, I know this already or this is dumb or this isn’t, I feel like kind of suckered. Whereas here you get to go, Here’s real content, let’s put this in front of you. And then, oh yeah, that’s valuable.
Jillian Leslie (00:28:00) – I feel like in our, in our society where we are trusting less, that’s a really, you know, feeling like, Oh, am I being scammed? That’s a really interesting strategy.
Kyle Stout (00:28:12) – Yeah. And so one thing I want to add to that based on what you’re saying there. So one thing I find with lead magnets, especially when it comes to services and, you know, anything that’s basically not physical products where you’re doing lead magnets, where it’s free trainings and that kind of stuff, I find that in the past people would try to have the most over the top, extremely value valuable, comprehensive thing that you get for free and just blow you away with value. And like you said, we’ve seen so many of those and a lot of times you you download or sign up for one of those and it ends up kind of just being a rinse and repeat version of a of another one you’ve you’ve seen before. Right? And what I think is actually what I know is working better now for a lot of businesses is to go the opposite direction and to be very to the point and actionable.
Kyle Stout (00:29:01) – So it’s very specific. So now when for you, the lead, who sees this, you know, right away if you know this thing or not because it’s so specific, it’s not like it’s not this whole comprehensive course. It’s it’s just solving one particular problem. And if you can have something that’s quick and easy to digest, it’s immediately actionable. So they get that quick win, right? That they can just, you know, put this to use right away and have a feel good feeling associated with you because you’ve already helped them out. But then especially if this thing is tied to your offer, meaning that it doesn’t completely solve the problem, but it moves them forward. Right? Right. So right. So if you for example, if you did online fitness coaching and you had a guide that was like, you know, tips and tricks to use my fitness pal or, you know, how to like, you know, a really quick actionable thing to help them start tracking their diet or to start shopping for healthier foods on a budget.
Kyle Stout (00:29:57) – You know, something very specific. Right? And so now they’re taking action towards and they’re starting to see a little progress towards their goals. But they you haven’t solved the issue of they still need a coach to help design their programming and their their diet plan and all that kind of stuff. So that’s what I would look for for businesses in those categories is how can I give them something that’s quick, actionable? It moves them toward my offer but doesn’t solve what my offer does. Yeah, you know, don’t try to be this all in one thing.
Jillian Leslie (00:30:28) – I’m going to call it a teaser win.
Kyle Stout (00:30:30) – Yeah, that’s great.
Jillian Leslie (00:30:32) – That’s what you need to offer. Like, get a little taste. I’ll. I’ll. I’ll give you a success. Small. But if you want the big. The whole thing, you get to pay me for that. But I’m worth it. And I’ve shown you I’m worth it. I want to take a short break to talk about opt ins, because I have one that you might be interested in.
Jillian Leslie (00:30:59) – It is my i e book. This is my most popular opt in, and it has helped so many of you use I to create an e-book in under three hours. You can grab this at Milotree.com/aiebook that’s a i e b o. Okay go check it out. Go see what I’m using as my opt in to maybe inspire you. Go write your e-book again, Military.com slash I e-book. And now back to the show. Let’s talk about the thing that is changing everything I and talk to me about how you think I can help you with email marketing where you potentially see some, I don’t know roadblocks or challenges with. I like what what is your vibe about AI and email marketing?
Kyle Stout (00:31:57) – Okay. Overall, I’m a big fan, so I know a lot of people in my position might feel like, Oh, it’s going to take our jobs, it’s going to replace us, and it might it might replace us eventually, but we’re not we’re not there yet. And I definitely feel like at least right now and in the near future, it’s a tool that can help us be way more efficient.
Kyle Stout (00:32:18) – And that’s what it’s actually doing for my team. It’s just helping us be more efficient. And I’ll talk about that. And then but really quickly, just spoiler alert, it doesn’t replace everything. So the big downside that I would say is that people going into it thinking that I can just write all my email copy for me and you could do that, but it’s not going to work as well as you might think. It’s not quite that simple or it’s not quite that good yet. But so some of the areas where I really like it is the initial market research. So this is something where I normally spend a lot of time whenever onboarding a new client. It’s just doing market research, coming up with the messaging strategy for that business. So sometimes you may have heard people refer to it as like creating a buyer persona or a customer avatar or ideal customer profile. There’s all these terms for this kind of process, and this is something that usually takes hours to do. And now using I can I can get this done way faster.
Kyle Stout (00:33:20) – And it’s really detailed now. Again, it doesn’t mean it’s perfect, right? So it’s like I’ll go through a series of inputs asking it. I’ll put in the information about the business, about their target market. I still need to know a little bit of stuff up front about their target market. Obviously, I’m going to take as much as I can get from the client as far as the knowledge that they have and use that, but then it can spit out. It’ll help you come up with all those, you know, wants, needs, desires, the fears, worries, pain points, all of those things. Objections, the demographics. Yeah, sales objections, all of that stuff. So now you have this huge list of all these different things that are potential topics for emails or also just how do we even craft the strategy for how we talk about this business and these products in the first place in a way that this type of person is going to care about? So that’s the first thing, is just doing that alone.
Kyle Stout (00:34:12) – So we’re not even writing copy. That’s just helping us be more strategic and be more thoughtful with our copy and with our strategy. And then so along those same lines, I also find to be pretty useful for topic ideas. So you can really, if you if you don’t accept the first answer and you kind of drill down and drill down, you can get really detailed and unique ideas for topics. So for example, let’s just say you’ve got this this ideal customer profile document that you’ve created.
Jillian Leslie (00:34:43) – Now can you can you give a real world example so we can kind of ground it?
Kyle Stout (00:34:49) – Yeah. So. So going back to the fitness thing, you know, you might put in an input of saying, you know, create an ideal customer profile for an online coaching business that sells to or focuses on women after they’ve had a baby, something like that, something very specific. And you could put in some details of like the details of the program. It’s only online, you know, this is what we offer, that sort of thing.
Kyle Stout (00:35:16) – And then it will actually give you that alone, that particular prompt. Creating an ideal customer profile is a pretty detailed answer type of prompt because it knows what that is. Normally, you have to give a lot more details to get that. So then once you get and it’s all right, one thing I would add to that is actually I would say I would say list ten examples for each of the following and I would list the wants, needs, desires and the different types of pain points that you want to have, as well as throw in demographics in there as well. And you can throw in your own whatever stuff you’re looking for. That’s what’s going to give you that. Now you’ve got a full breakdown of the demographics and then you’ve got lists of these of ten items or ten examples for each one of those major the psychology stuff that marketers really care about, right? So now you’ve got those. Now you can take one of those pain points and like I know a common pain point for in the fitness space is, you know, shopping for healthy food on a budget.
Kyle Stout (00:36:14) – So now you can go back to ChatGPT and let’s just say that was one of the pain point examples and say, okay, I’m interested in this topic. And then you put that topic in brackets so that way it knows what you’re talking about. And then you say, you know, please suggest ten. It could be, I could be email topics related to this, it could be social media post, it could be blog posts. You can really ask it for any kind of topics you want. You know, in our case, we’d be doing emails and it could and you can ask for ideas of, okay, what’s basically you’re looking for an angle to start the conversation about this. So now we’ll give you ten ways you could talk about that topic. And then within those ten, you can even break that down further. It could even like you could take one of those examples and get ten more examples. So you’re going from like strategy down to tactical. So the more refined you go, the very the more specific and tactical you’re getting.
Kyle Stout (00:37:05) – So you’re getting to like as opposed to so like let’s just say it’s high level and you know, we’re thinking about, okay, shopping for groceries on a budget. So a high level would be things like shop at these kinds of stores and look for these categories of food. Right? But then as you drill down more, it’s like, okay, now you’re focusing specifically on like gluten free options only and like, what are the ten best gluten free options for someone who has these taste preferences or whatever? Right? So you see how it’s like you can go very, very wide or very narrow, right? And that’s what’s cool is you can just keep doing these iterations to go down further and further depending on how tactically you want to get. And that’s when you get down to that tactical level. That’s how you have an unending list of topics to write emails about, because now you have very specific things. Now not everyone on your list is going to it’s not going to be the right thing for every single person but the people that that is the right thing for them.
Kyle Stout (00:38:02) – They’re going to love it because you’re speaking very specifically to them and you’re solving a very specific problem. And if you’re emailing your list often enough and you’re showing up with these things that are highly personalized to your list interests and you know, and concerns and and solving very, very specific problems. Now you have really stood out from everyone else who’s just doing the same old, you know, ten ways to get a six pack in 30 days or whatever, like the same old, you know, top surface level stuff that everyone else is doing.
Jillian Leslie (00:38:31) – Right now when you’re writing emails. Do you in on average feel like emails should be long, should be short, should be one sentence, a paragraph like what are your your inside strategies that you know that I might not know when you’re crafting an email.
Kyle Stout (00:38:52) – So it’s interesting because the answer I’m going to give is a little different than what we do. So in general, I would say lean towards shorter emails. And the reason why is because people just don’t have a big attention span.
Kyle Stout (00:39:05) – And so in general, I’d say, you know, keep paragraphs short, keep sentences short, break up the lines of copy so you don’t want to have more than 2 or 3 sentences in each paragraph. And the reason why it’s that way, it’s just super easy for someone to skim the whole email and and get what you’re talking about. Because if they see the bill, especially on mobile, so if they see this essay, yeah, they’re just not going to read it, right? Yeah. And now I say that and that’s, that’s my general recommendation. But then if you were to look at our emails we’re doing for our clients, they’re usually longer than average. And the reason why is because we have really good copywriters and everything is just it’s really well planned out where each section is thoughtful and, and you know, of course we’ve got sub headers and we’re breaking it up using design, we’re breaking it up to where it’s guiding the eye down, right? So it’s like you don’t have to start there, right? You can get there.
Kyle Stout (00:40:00) – But if you’re just getting started and if you don’t have a strong copywriting background, I would lean on keeping it shorter and to the point and being conversational and friendly. And you don’t have to go. You don’t have to like use a bunch of crazy copywriting formulas or, you know, all the you can you can learn that stuff over time and learn the different psychology techniques to use. But you don’t you don’t have to start there. Email should just it should be more personable, should feel like you’re writing to a friend that’s going to go way further than someone trying to do this really long, really detailed, you know, logical argument for why someone should buy, right? Instead, I would say take that long thing and break it up into multiple emails and just send those multiple emails over the course of a week or so. That way people are actually because you want to make sure they actually read it. If they don’t read it, then it just wastes the whole effort. Right? Right. Like defeats the purpose.
Jillian Leslie (00:40:55) – Tips on subject line. Subject line science to this.
Kyle Stout (00:41:00) – Yeah. Yeah. And subject lines. So I would say definitely keep them shorter. Um, a lot of people are kind of, you know, one way or the other when it comes to emojis. I think emojis are great. They, they grab attention. You know, using curiosity, using urgency, using the person’s name. These are all, like little tricks you can do. The one thing is, though, is you don’t want to do clickbait so you can get creative and create curiosity and all of that, but make sure you deliver on it in the email. Because what I have found is that the yes, subject lines are important for open rates, but they’re not as important for overall performance from email, meaning getting clicks and getting purchases and the content of the email does a lot more. You have to do it. Exactly. So if you’re consistently sending out great content, it doesn’t matter as much what you say in the subject line because people are going to open because it’s from you versus as if the emails suck and you’re always relying on tricks to get them to open.
Kyle Stout (00:42:03) – You’ll get a spike in opens in the short term, but people will stop opening because they just don’t like being tricked like that.
Jillian Leslie (00:42:09) – Right? One pet peeve I have because I. I read subject lines like with this critical eye looking at their business strategy, not just like, oh, um. And I find that we are so inside our own businesses that we lose sight of the fact that nobody cares about you or nobody knows what you’re up to in your business. So it’s almost like the subject line will be as if I am intimately involved in your business, in your life, and therefore I should click it. Whereas I go, This is coming out of nowhere. Even you might have sent me an email yesterday as part of this, but it’s like I talk about this a lot on my podcast, which is I think that we, you know, I’m inside me, so I’m like obsessed with me and you’re obsessed with you and I’m obsessed with my business and know it intimately and you’re obsessed with yours.
Jillian Leslie (00:43:05) – So stepping out of ourselves is so freaking hard. And it’s hard in emails like I read emails and it’s all about the person. And I’m like, I don’t even know who you are. I don’t even remember when I signed up for your list. You’ve got to earn my attention. Provide me value that’s relevant to me because remember, I’m a number one to me. And so even with subject lines or content, it’s like all about them, all about their business, all of that. And I’m going, Oh my God. Like, no, we have to police ourselves to get out of ourselves so that we can see it from the person who doesn’t care about us.
Kyle Stout (00:43:44) – Yeah. So that is that to me is the single most important thing when it comes to content in general, especially for email, is that you should focus more on who you’re selling to than what you’re selling. And you’ve always got to connect it back to them, right? So it’s like you said. There’s going to be a different level of, you know, people remembering why they signed up or what you’ve been talking about recently or any of that.
Kyle Stout (00:44:09) – So sometimes it can feel like you’re being a little redundant or maybe you’re dumbing it down too much, but that’s actually a good thing because it’s better to be simple and be understood than to be complicated or to just totally miss the mark. And they just don’t even know what you’re talking about at all because they just have totally forgotten or they never even knew in the first place. Like, you know, sometimes people just they’re going to miss an email. And so if you’re saying something, assuming they read the last one.
Jillian Leslie (00:44:37) – Like you get like a subject line that says one more thing. And I’m like, I don’t know who you are. I don’t even know what the previous thing was, let alone one more thing, because you’re so inside this. Do you think I’m waiting? Oh, my God. You have one more thing to say.
Kyle Stout (00:44:52) – Yeah, it’s funny. So that’s a that’s actually just a classic like sales funnel strategy with emails, especially for selling info products and things like that where, you know, the idea is to take them on this whole journey and each mail, each email connects to the next one.
Kyle Stout (00:45:09) – And this is actually like a strategy that used to work. And I think that now that there’s there’s just so much more fighting for our attention that it’s harder to remember emails from day to day than it was in the past. Like we just we just consume so much more digital content now than we did five, ten years ago even. Right. And so I and I noticed this all the time with people who email me the exact same thing you’re talking about, where a lot of times like, I just didn’t open the last I saw them, but I didn’t open the last three. And now this email is I happen to open this one and you’re referencing that offer, but you don’t give me any details about the offer, right? So I’m like, I’m not going to go back and look if I’m, unless I’m just super interested. But, you know, they haven’t given me anything to be interested in because they’ll say stuff like What? You’re exactly what you’re saying. It’s like they kind of vaguely reference it, right?
Jillian Leslie (00:45:59) – But I remember being at a conference a couple of years ago.
Jillian Leslie (00:46:03) – I thought, this now is very prescient where a guy was talking about funnels and we all kind of thought, it’s like, and then you go from this step to this step to this step. And he said, You have to think about people are entering and exiting your funnels all over the place. They might come back, they might start maybe at step two and then end up at step six and then come back to step three. And so it all has to make sense when you pull it apart because most people don’t just go like follow your the path that you’ve set up.
Kyle Stout (00:46:35) – Yeah, exactly. So one thing I like to do when it comes to this is so let’s just say you’ve got six main points that you want to get across in this funnel. And that’s how a lot of times people would do it, where they would start with one, go to the next one. It would be very conversational and one email picks up where the last one left off. I like to still do the hit those six points, but have each email be an email that could stand on its own, meaning that you introduce the offer as if you were introducing it for the first time, or at least give them the information they would need if it was the first time they were seeing it.
Kyle Stout (00:47:09) – And you’re not writing the email picking up from where the last one picked off or left off, It’s more like you just know that this is an area of interest for them. So you’re just starting another conversation with them about that. So it’s like, yes, you are kind of continuing the conversation, but it’s a conversation on the grounds that you’re in the market. You’re you this is an area that is of interest to you, but not not the conversation, the specific conversation from yesterday. Right. It’s like we’re talking about the same subject matter, but we’re not talking about exactly what I said in line three of email yesterday.
Jillian Leslie (00:47:42) – Got it. Now, best words for selling. When you have that link by now, check it out. You need this. I need this. Like what? What do you what is your go to?
Kyle Stout (00:47:56) – I like things that are tied to whatever it is. So if it was, you know, a free training like let’s let’s think here. So like let’s just say it’s a business training about, you know, how to build out a funnel or whatever the CTA would be.
Kyle Stout (00:48:12) – Build your first funnel or build your next funnel, something like that, right? As opposed to now, don’t get me wrong, we still use we use shop now we use all those, you know, the classic ones regularly, right? We mix them. We just it just depends on what the offer is. Right. And the context of the email. So I’m not saying that you can never do those and they’re so boring. They still it’s fine, right? But we do like to make it more fun. And I find that when you make it more fun and when you tie it to the action that they’re taking or the benefit that they’re going to be receiving from buying that product, it’s just it’s a little bit more of a fun experience to receive that kind of email. Right. And that’s part of making your emails stand out without having to be super salesy. It’s just doing little things just a little bit, just a little bit more fun and friendly and a little bit more branded than what the next business is doing.
Jillian Leslie (00:49:02) – Got it. So let’s say I am this health or this health coach, let’s say, and somebody joins my list and I’m going to send them my welcome series. Just talk very briefly, high level, what does that look like? How many emails, how much value, how much about me? How much about you? And am I selling in those emails?
Kyle Stout (00:49:26) – Okay, so this is one area where I disagree with what is kind of the commonly accepted thing where I think you should be selling right away. So the conventional thing is you have this whole long, drawn out series of building value, building value, and then you finally sell. For me, it’s not so much being aggressive with selling, but they did sign up. They’ve shown interest in this thing, make sure that they that the solution to their problem is available to them right away. So this is usually going to be like it just depends on the business like 4 to 8 emails. First one is going to be high level introduction to you or your business.
Kyle Stout (00:50:05) – You know, whatever the case is for, for whatever or sorry, I guess if it’s a coach should be to the coach. Yeah. So this is where it’s like, okay, brief background about the coach. Some, you know, some credentials or some social proof, something to build up their authority brief offer into the main coaching program or whatever it is and allow them to get access to that right away. Let’s just say they signed up and they got some kind of free, free training or whatever. I would definitely reference that in the email. Like hope you’re, you know, hope you’re enjoying this. And here’s another tip of how you can get more out of that. That would be part of the email as well. So to make the people who don’t aren’t ready to buy now feel like it’s okay if I’m not ready to buy now. Email to is where I typically go deeper into the brand story for the coach or the business or whatever. This is where it’s going to be more emotional, more storytelling based.
Kyle Stout (00:50:57) – Now they’re really getting to know you. So kind of going back to what you were saying earlier about that one woman, what she’s doing with Instagram, this is where you’re really personalizing it and and really humanizing the business and the offer and the why behind the offer. And then now you’re getting into the offer. Email three is where I like to do a lot of social proof. So this is like showing off testimonials, reviews, UGC, that kind of stuff. So it’s kind of just.
Jillian Leslie (00:51:20) – UGC, it’s user generated content just for my audience. Okay. Yeah.
Speaker 4 (00:51:24) – Okay.
Kyle Stout (00:51:25) – And you know, addressing skepticism. So it’s like, okay, they’ve got an introduction to you. They hear this story and at this point, they’re like, Good, okay, Yeah. Sounds good, but yeah, then that’s where I like to hit them with, with the social proof and everything. And then that’s where things will will differ from business to business as far as where do I take it from there. So at some point in this welcome flow, if they don’t buy, I am going to push them towards the whatever the big community is for this business.
Kyle Stout (00:51:58) – So whatever they’re like, if they have a Facebook group or wherever they’re most active on social, I want to make sure because a lot of times people are getting these leads from ads and I want to get them on the company’s social because if they’re not going to buy right now, we want to make sure they’re at least seeing this business everywhere beyond the emails. Right? So that will usually come later in the Welcome series. But after those initial ones, a lot of times it’s a cadence of every other one where one is going to be all value. Just short call to action at the end for the offer. The next one is going to be straight selling and then the next one will be all value call to action at the bottom of the next one. Straight selling. And I’ll usually do that cadence like that for, you know, the first like from email four through 6 or 7, we’ll throw in that community emails pushing them to social, something like that. And again, this is something where we’re just testing, we’re testing all of this and we’re looking at the analytics of what’s working and we’ll go in and we will replace the emails that are performing the lowest in this.
Jillian Leslie (00:53:00) – Flow and testing. So you’re always going back and checking to see how they’re performing.
Kyle Stout (00:53:06) – Exactly. So we never accept, you know, you never just set it and forget it. With these flows, especially the Welcome series, this is like this is the most important one. You’ve got people constantly coming into this thing. And if if you’re getting sales from email one, email two, no sales from email three, you get sales from email four. Something’s wrong with email three, you know? So that’s how we look at we want to see sales coming from every email in the flow all the way to the end.
Speaker 5 (00:53:31) – Right, Right.
Jillian Leslie (00:53:32) – I think that is, that’s, that makes a lot of sense. And okay, just before we wrap up, when you look at open rates, what’s your target? When you look at, you know, clicks on links like what do you what’s good?
Kyle Stout (00:53:50) – Okay, Open rates can be tricky because of the whole iOS thing. So they’re they’re inflated now. They’re a lot higher than they used to be.
Kyle Stout (00:53:56) – So I’d say usually we’re, you know, it’s pretty average is like 40% is what we’re seeing, which, you know, in the past 20% was the gold standard. Like you just want to be at 20% and above. But again, because they’re being over reported from iOS, it’s all over the place. But so I wouldn’t like, you know, get too excited if you see these crazy high open rates these days. What’s more important I think, is click rates. And that’s where we like to see, you know, 2 to 3% and above on click rates with campaigns. Now, if it’s automations, these can be much higher. So it depends on which type of automation, if it’s a welcome series or if it’s an abandonment flow. I mean, you can see eight, ten, 15, even higher percentage click rates in those flows just because they’re very targeted flows where the people are very interested. It’s not it’s not like you’re sending out a campaign to a list of people where there’s just a broad mix of people.
Kyle Stout (00:54:50) – So you have to consider context and don’t always think about don’t always worry about what the industry standard is or whatever. Track your metrics every single month, track month to month changes and just be looking to improve on yours because a lot of businesses, they just they honestly they get their click rates are a lot lower than the standard and they generate a ton of revenue from their email marketing like it’s okay it doesn’t everything doesn’t have to always be perfect. So that’s something I want people to know is that, you know, you got to look at the big picture. If people are happy with the emails, if they’re not complaining, if they’re buying what your click rates are a little bit lower than you’d like them to be. It’s not that like you don’t have to now start, you know, I mean, yes, try to improve them, but it doesn’t mean you have to try to do a bunch of like tricky stuff in the email constantly thinking that like, this one metric is so important.
Jillian Leslie (00:55:39) – Got it.
Jillian Leslie (00:55:39) – Well, I think you have been so generous with what you’re sharing and very I feel like there are so many takeaways in this episode. Like I’m taking notes over here, so I want to say how much I appreciate that. So, Kyle, if people want to reach out to you, find you, see what you’re doing, ask you questions, where should they go?
Kyle Stout (00:56:02) – Okay. Yeah. If you want to connect with me and elevate and scale is the best place to do that. Otherwise, if you just want to get more content about email marketing, my favorite platform is YouTube. It’s elevate and scale.
Speaker 5 (00:56:14) – Wonderful.
Jillian Leslie (00:56:15) – Well, I just have to say I would love to have you back for a part two where we could go maybe deeper into one of these topics. But I just want to say thank you so much for coming on the show.
Kyle Stout (00:56:25) – Okay. Thank you so much for having me.
Jillian Leslie (00:56:27) – I hope you guys like this episode. I continue to find email to be super powerful. I’m going to take some of Kyle’s suggestions about segmenting my list.
Jillian Leslie (00:56:37) – I think that is a very smart idea. If you are ready to sell digital products that could be digital downloads, paid workshops, memberships, coaching courses, get on a call with me. I would love to talk to you. Go to Milotree.com/meet. It’s a free call. I’ll hear about your business. I’ll be honest with you to tell you if I think digital products would work for you, I’ll give you some ideas of products you might be able to sell. I’ll share some of the strategies other MiloTreeCart customers are using to find success. So again, Milotree.com/meet and I will see you here again next week.