Jillian Leslie 0:00
Hello, everyone. Welcome back to the show. So before we get into today’s episode, I wanted to announce that we have rolled out “sparkles” for your MiloTree pop-ups.
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You can find this. There’s a little toggle button when you’re editing your pop-ups. And you can turn it on and take a look and see what you think.
If you have not signed up for MiloTree yet, you can go to MiloTree. Connect one of your accounts. Turn on the Sparkles, and also see what you think. And then possibly, sign up and try it out. And remember, you get your first 30 days free.
Okay. So for today’s episode, I have Matt Molen back on the show. He is an email guru. He is from PersonalizedPaths.com. He teaches email marketing, but from a really hands-on sort of way. Today we’re talking advanced email strategies.
Again, he was a super popular guest the last time. People kept reaching out saying how much they learned from him. Well, we are going deeper this time. I’m asking him lots of specific questions about how to do things.
So, if you are doing email marketing, you’re going to love this episode. If you are not yet doing email marketing, I think this will give you the push to start because he is so good at making it doable. Okay. So without further ado, here is my interview with Matt Molen.
Matt, welcome back to the show. I’m excited for Part Two.
Matt Molen 1:42
Part Two. Here we go, Jillian. Let’s do this.
Jillian Leslie 1:44
I promised my audience that you would come back. And then, I hunted you. And then, here you are.
Matt Molen 1:50
Yeah. It didn’t take much convincing. It was a lot of fun for the first time. I expect this to be a whirlwind of good times as well.
Jillian Leslie 1:58
Awesome. Okay. What we did in the last episode was we really did the basics, right? We talked about your Quick Start Guide. And by the way, I will link to the first interview. So anybody who hasn’t listened to it can go back and listen to it.
What I really like about you is your advice is very doable and makes a lot of sense. It’s really practical. Like your Quick Start Guide.
Matt Molen 2:28
I’m glad to hear that. It has worked really well for me and for my clients. It was something that is one of those aha moments. I need to share this with people because this is different than what most people are doing out there. Hopefully, that continues to work for people that give it a try. So they really should pay attention to that quick start guide as an option.
Jillian Leslie 2:49
I know that that is a way to start accelerating your list. Do you have any other tips on how to really kind of light a fire under? If you want to grow your email list, boom, do these different things.
Matt Molen 3:04
Sure. And I think what you’re looking for is some specific tactics, but I want to talk high-level strategy first because much of this is mindset. Many of the people that will be listening to this podcast, if my experience is correct, don’t have a lot of experience in thinking about email marketing. And so, I want to talk about the mindset first that I try to instill to my clients. That is to become an email acquirer and be aggressive about it.
Jillian Leslie 3:32
What does that mean?
Matt Molen 3:33
So what I mean by that is that you add that into your strategy, make it an intentional part of what you’re doing. You hear all the time, “Yes, you need to build your list. Yes, you need to own your audience.” because who knows what’s going to happen with these algorithms?
It’s the one thing that you can own. All of that is absolutely true, but yet, people get stuck going, “Okay. How do I do that?” So, here’s my advice for people. High-Level advice, is I want you to put yourself in the shoes of your reader. How does she arrive on your site?
And by the way, your traffic is still your number one list building tool. Your web traffic or your social media traffic or whatever. That’s your number one list building tool.
Put yourself in her shoes. How did she get to you? Where does she land? Why is she there? And what does she want? What problem can you solve for her?
Let’s say you’re a food blogger. And somebody lands on instant pot meatballs. Okay? What do we know about that person? Well, number one, she’s probably cooking dinner. Or she needs to make a meal for a larger group. That’s why she’s making meatballs.
And she’s using this newfangled technology called an instant pot. She owns one. And, by golly, she probably wants to make other instant pot recipes as well at some point in her life. So just thinking about that for a second. And knowing that she’s there to get the recipe.
She doesn’t care about you. She doesn’t care about your domain name. She won’t remember it because Pinterest and Google will help her find you in the future if you’re the right one, or find somebody like you because it’s a very competitive space.
What can you do to get her to stop in her tracks and give you an email address? Give her something that is a killer value. Now, the Quick Start Guide, which you please refer back to the previous podcast is my go-to for that. This also makes sense for anything that you can think of that adds bonus value.
I’m not the inventor of lead magnets. What I am conveying right now is very very unoriginal. Okay. It’s tried and true checklists, principles, additional tips, content that is hidden that you have to unlock. All of these things still work, when you stop and you think about where the reader is and what she needs. And then, provide the solution.
You see people try to use lead magnets all the time. “Oh, I’ve got this eBook for you.” Or, “Sign up and get more recipes.” But is that really talking to what they’re thinking about in that transactional moment when they landed on your website?
If you can think about the journey, and how you can solve her problem, an instant pot… some people get confused, for instance, on what are all the instructions on an instant pot. What if you had something that helped them solve that? And you gave that as a bonus on the meatballs page? Or your secrets for how to get more out of your instant pot? Or your favorite accessories for an instant pot?
I’m just making stuff up. I don’t know. I’m a microwave burrito kind of guy so I don’t know much about this stuff. But I’m just giving you ideas if you start thinking that way.
Now, it could be seasonal. Maybe they’re landing on your page because you’ve got Halloween pumpkin stencils. All right? So you’re crafting. People only look for Halloween pumpkin stencils at one time of the year and that’s at Halloween. And my guess is that you could probably anticipate that and identify something to give in exchange for an email address that helps them with their Halloween.
Jillian Leslie 7:43
I love that.
Matt Molen 7:44
Just thinking that way, most people won’t do it. Here’s why they don’t do it. There’s a little bit of work involved. There’s a little bit of thinking. And they’re busy doing all the other stuff.
Let me give you some ideas about it. If I’m out there listening right now, okay, where do I start? Go to your Google Analytics. Do this in two different batches. Look at the last 30 days and look at the last year. Take your Top 10 posts.
Say, do this bucket into one category or a few categories. Maybe they’re all instant pot. Maybe they’re all Halloween. Or do I need to look at these as individual entities that I can think about? Like each individual post, for instance.
Then think about what do I already have that I could package up and give them as a bonus in exchange for their email address when they land on this page?
Jillian Leslie 8:51
Right. I love this. It’s funny because when you started and you said everybody knows that money’s in the list, and grow your list, and stuff like that. I feel like most people including myself, think first like, “Oh God, I gotta write another newsletter.” Do you know what I mean?
Like somehow to tell people I’m alive or to say, “Hey, remember us?” without any real intention. And instead of focusing on like, “Oh, my God, I gotta write another newsletter.” Because that’s kind of part of what I do. Not even questioning, like, what’s the purpose of it?
I think what you’re saying is “No. No. Don’t go there now.” Like, think in terms of providing value to your new potential audience to get them into it. And then you could deal with the newsletter thing later, but that isn’t even as important as really providing value upfront.
Matt Molen 9:48
Let me give you an example in your life, Jillian. If I went to CatchMyParty.com, and I came there because I was looking for baby shower themes. What do I know about that person that is there for a baby shower?
Well, we know about the age of their kids. We know some of the struggles. I mean before this recording, we were talking about parenting. We know about the struggles because we’ve been down that road. We know what they’re going to hit.
Heck, they might be looking for gift ideas. They might be looking for how to get through pregnancy. They might be looking for all sorts of different things. How can you package that up? How can you take some of that and give something bonus that hit somebody related to baby shower themes?
Jillian Leslie 10:39
Yup. No. Yes. Thank you. And we’re not doing that. So that is tremendous. That is it. And by the way, you saying it, it’s like “Duh. It’s absolutely…” So that makes a lot of sense.
Matt Molen 10:55
Just real quick to build on something you said. I want to talk about the mindset shift related to going forward now. I want to be an aggressive acquirer, but I also want to be a journey builder as I go forward.
Today’s technology with email allows us to simplify this whole concept of automation. So, if I know that I’m getting people into my website, that are interested in instant pot, I can take those people, and I can use today’s automation. I can create what I call a Forever Series. We talked a little bit about this, I think last time.
The gist of it is still true. I can create automated answers to their next problems. If I got somebody on my list that is interested in instant pot, and I got a ton of instant pot recipes, and advice, and tips, and articles, why am I not queuing those up to deliver those in the right order by solving their next problem?
Anticipate the next problem for them. Did I get somebody in my mailing list because they came through a baby shower, by golly, I’m thinking through what are the next things that she’s thinking about. It takes away all of the stress about, “Hey, let me send an email. I’m going to send an email out this week.”
Instead, you are creating a journey. In the corporate world, in the tech world, they call that onboarding. What I am suggesting is that bloggers simply do onboarding, but do it for a long time. It’s a long on board. Do it week over week over week.
Jillian Leslie 12:40
In that process, are you also serving up things so that you can monetize?
Matt Molen 12:47
Oh, absolutely. If that works. Every bloggers got different things. Some people have courses. Some people have affiliate links. Some people have sponsorship. I think any of that is all fair game. Again, it’s just thinking through the journey for that instant pot person.
Could I, three weeks from now, after I’ve served her with really great content for a little bit? Could I send her one that is my 15 Can’t Live Without Instant Pot Accessories that takes them to a post that is all Amazon affiliate links? Absolutely, because I’ve built that trust. I’ve built that domain expertise. They’re like, “Holy cow, Matt really knows instant pot.”
Jillian Leslie 13:26
Right. And that those 15, let’s say, tools or whatever, those things you need to buy actually will help this woman. Not, “Oh, this is just Matt trying to make money.”
Matt Molen 13:39
Right. Exactly. Because it’s all about establishing that credibility. The trust comes when you solve my problems over and over again. When you share with me baby shower themes, if you share with me some really good baby shower themes, I’m like, “Oh, that helped me out. That solved the problem for me.” And then you send me another email that solves my next problem unexpectedly. It’s like, “She’s in my head. These are gold.”
You get three emails in and you want to sell me a course about how to be the best mom or how to avoid postpartum depression, or I don’t know. I’m much more apt, much more likely to get into that to make a purchase and evaluate that than I would otherwise.
Jillian Leslie 14:25
Yeah, I think that is really powerful. So let’s talk then about the logistics. I know that you like ConvertKit, but you also are platform agnostic, right? Your courses and what you teach can work on MailChimp, or Active Campaign, or any of the drip or whatever.
Let’s talk about then you’re thinking in terms of segmenting your audience. So for example, like somebody is throwing a graduation party for Catch My Party is not interested in baby shower stuff.
Matt Molen 14:58
Right. Okay. This is a stumbling block for many people. They get stuck here because they feel like they’ve got to have all the answers all at once. Again, referring back to the previous podcast episode, go listen to the Quick Start Guide. That’s a generalist approach.
Obviously, the more segmented our audience, then better we can serve somebody based on her needs and what she’s thinking about. The more effective we will be. The better we will be at building a brand.
Jillian Leslie 15:30
Right. And helping and providing value.
Matt Molen 15:32
Yeah, and providing value. So if I came in… Let’s use it to illustrate the example further. I landed on a site, thanks to instant pot, but there are all sorts of other recipes. And because I don’t do anything specific for the instant pot, I do, “Here are my five favorite ways to get dinner on the table fast.” Okay, that’s good. That probably talks to me. But that’s not as good as, “Here are my five ways to get more out of your instant pot.”
So should you do one or the other or it depends? If I had a website and I was getting a ton of traffic in on the instant pot, and I knew how to build that right now, I would build that right now. I would bang out my opt in, my lead magnet, whatever it is to start acquiring those people.
And then I can create a segment for them, a sequence for them. Depending on the platform you use, you tag them, whatever you call them. And you can serve them differently. So, Sure. Is it overwhelming at first to think especially if you’re a lifestyle blogger, and you’ve got all these different segments?
I get it. Just pick one. We’re overthinking this, guys. I’m a little bit adamant about this because I hear it so often that people get so stuck because we’ve also heard, “You need to niche down. You need to figure out who you really serve.”
I tend to agree with that for the most part, but with what you have, I promise you, you can get more out of it than what you’re doing by simply providing a great hook. Get them onto the list and think through the next 10 emails you’re going to send them.
If you just did that, holy cow, wouldn’t that be the more amazing experience for that instant pot reader, for your baby shower reader, than what you’re doing today? And then if that worked, couldn’t you just go, “Well, you know what, I’m gonna go with these other.”
Remember I said the Google Analytics list? I’m gonna do another one on that list. I’m gonna do that. I guess what I’m telling people is don’t freak out that you don’t have the whole picture figured out.
I don’t have the whole thing figured out for my individual blogs, for my businesses. Sometimes I’m taking them segment at a time. Sometimes I’m in the shower, and I’m like, “Oh, my goodness. I could do XYZ. I could send these guys back.” And then I go build that thing.
Jillian Leslie 17:53
Right. Okay. So I would say this, which is I think that as entrepreneurs, we aren’t always gentle with ourselves. I think what you’re saying is “Be gentle with yourself because it can be overwhelming otherwise.”
Say, “I can tackle this small piece.” And do it. And then congratulate yourself on doing it rather than looking at this huge task ahead of you or these 500 tasks ahead of you, and say, “Oh my god, I’ll never do this.” So just go, “You know what? I’m going to go piece by piece, bit by bit.” And start there.
Matt Molen 18:29
Marketing is an art. Yes, there’s science to it but it is mostly an art. And I have found that most artists get better at their craft by experimenting. And so, I start with something broad, like a Quick Start Guide in my course and in my consulting.
But honest to goodness, just pick something that will start getting people onto your list because it’s going to open up a whole world of ideas. Most people are freaked out about the technology side of it too. How do I actually do that?
You know what? Take my course. Take somebody else’s course. Follow the help guides that are available in MailChimp, on Mad Mimi, on ActiveCampaign, whatever you use. Just go do the very basics and get started. I promise you it’s not as scary as you think.
If you’ve been blogging, been using WordPress, been using Pinterest, been using Instagram, been using Facebook, you can do email as well.
Jillian Leslie 19:31
Right. And in fact, I recommend just going to YouTube. That’s what I did. We use ActiveCampaign and I was reading their guides and stuff. And then I just found a guy on YouTube, and he just kind of walked me through it. And somehow that was just easier. There are ways. It’s not as complicated. At least that was helpful for me. Put it that way.
Matt Molen 19:55
If anybody ever gets stuck on something like email, no charge, just email me, I will point you in the direction to get you unstuck.
Jillian Leslie 20:06
Okay, what’s your email? What’s your email?
Matt Molen 20:08
Jillian Leslie 20:11
Matt Molen 20:14
It is easier than you think guys.
Jillian Leslie 20:18
That’s great. And I do think that email providers now like ConvertKit, or MailChimp, or any of them are really trying to make it easier.
Matt Molen 20:27
Absolutely. The technology is getting more powerful. Thus, some of it can get more complex. There are some platforms that I steer away from because, I call one confusion soft because it’s too confusing for most people, for beginners.
So, yes. I get it. Some of the terms, sometimes it’s jargon, but wasn’t WordPress kind of that way when you first used it? Wasn’t Pinterest that way the first time you use it? So, anyway. I feel like I’m beating this horse down but I do hear it all the time.
Jillian Leslie 21:00
I think as entrepreneurs, we know that we’re constantly having to learn. We are generalists. It’s like you know a little bit of this, and a little bit of this. And then Instagram comes out with a new feature and you’ve got to figure out how that works and whether you’re going to incorporate it. I mean I feel like of anybody who’s going to learn this, it’s like bloggers will figure this out because they figure everything out.
Matt Molen 21:05
Jillian Leslie 21:05
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Jillian Leslie 23:20
When did you start in into affiliate marketing? Because I know you have your own products.
Let’s talk then about the old way of thinking which is, “I gotta send my list an email every week.” Like a broadcast instead of doing what you’re saying, which is you want to be almost surgical about it.
Matt Molen 23:53
I believe that most prolific content creators can get away with sending multiple emails a week. Maybe that’s controversial. What I typically recommend people do is they set up their automated email sequences. Like for the instant pot people that’s based on Evergreen.
So that’s what I call the Forever Series. I go build that out as far as I can go. If that’s a year’s worth of content, awesome. I’ll write 52 emails if I have to. And so every week that just runs. For more information on the Forever Series, again, go back to the last podcast.
But the broadcast, the format is still the same. It’s just not Evergreen. It’s seasonal. So instead of it being about the latest thing that I just did, it’s more about the greatest way that I can serve you right now.
It’s Memorial Day weekend. You’re probably being invited to some parties. There’s some outdoor barbecues. Here’s how you can use instant pot to wow the crowd at your Memorial Day barbeque.
Jillian Leslie 25:02
Now, wait, let’s go back. So let’s say I’m a lifestyle blogger. I do fashion. I do food. And I do all this stuff. Do you recommend I send a broadcast email to every segment that I have? Or do I not worry about that and kind of go, “Well, the people who come to me for parenting advice might also be interested in fashion for summer.”
Matt Molen 25:26
The answer is like many things in marketing, it depends. If I’m a lifestyle blogger where the crossover is strong, meaning I know that there’s a certain age demo that follows my lifestyle stuff that also has similar fashion interests, so I can safely send out home decor and fashion things in a broadcast.
I might experiment with that. This week it was fashion. Was I on point? What was the engagement like for people? Do people like that? If people didn’t open it and click, then that tells me something.
But I’m also not afraid to go where my biggest audience is where I can make the most for me, meaning where I can… That sounded wrong. Where I can serve the most people is probably a better way to put it.
And you kind of do so unapologetically. I don’t know. Sometimes going through this process actually helps you hone in on your audience a little bit more.
Jillian Leslie 26:25
I like that that you send out something and then you go look and see what the open rate is.
Matt Molen 26:31
Oh, yeah. Absolutely. You have to do that.
Jillian Leslie 26:33
And you go, “Oh, they liked this, or they didn’t like that.” You know? I like that. I mean, again, I feel like I don’t do that enough but whenever I do, I gain insight into my audience. “Oh, they liked it when I shared this personal thing.” Or, “Oh, they liked this productivity hack.” Or, “They want tactical things.”
Matt Molen 26:53
Jillian Leslie 26:54
You know this is for MiloTree, that kind of thing. Now, what about then, connecting your email list to like an RSS feed? And would you explain what that is?
Matt Molen 27:05
Sure. For anybody who’s been online for a while now, we used to have these things called RSS readers, which would update us when our favorite blogs that we followed, whenever they had a new article or post added.
And so, they still exist today. Every WordPress account has a built-in feed, RSS feed, that you can just add into something like ConvertKit, MailChimp, Mad Mimi, whatever, and it will automatically send out your latest post, your latest recipe, your latest article.
Now, the problem I have with RSS feed emails is many people take that and make that their default. That’s all they’re sending. Which I don’t blame them. They’re like, “Okay. I can drop this into MailChimp. I pick this template, and off it goes. I’m done with my email.” Some people will click that and some people will come back.
Here’s the problem, though. What you’re doing there is you’re sending them the latest, not the greatest. You’re assuming that they’re a diehard that wants to know everything about you. But remember, they landed on that instant pot meatballs page thanks to Pinterest. They didn’t know who you were.
You get them on the list because of an instant pot secrets guide or a checklist of how to use the instant pot. Now all of a sudden you send them every little thing that you ever post. Now, think of that as a reader. I don’t want that. You don’t want that. Nobody really wants that. Except maybe your mom and your ex-boyfriend who are keeping tabs on you. Right? Those people do.
Again, with today’s technology being what it is, I usually recommend making that an option. Like, do you want instant alerts? Yeah. Yes, I do. Raise your hand and then get opted into it. And then give them the option to opt down not out. Like, “Hey, are you tired of receiving instant alerts? Click this andI’ll only send you my weekly whatever.”
Jillian Leslie 29:00
I like that because I find those RSS emails to feel impersonal. Again, not always relevant. So I will typically opt out of that. When I discover, “Oh, this is just their blog post.” It might be relevant. It might not be relevant to me.
Matt Molen 29:16
I might be posting right now an article about Halloween because I’m trying to get it out in front so that there’s SEO…
Jillian Leslie 29:22
So you can pin it and all that stuff.
Matt Molen 29:24
Yeah, that’s right. So I get out in front of the trend, but hitting them in August with Haloween pumpkin stencils is not really that interesting.
Jillian Leslie 29:34
I totally get that. That makes sense. That makes sense. We used to do that in Catch My Party and we stopped because again, I thought it felt too impersonal.
So that’s good. You just validated the way I was thinking about it. Now, if we were to talk tactics. Ready? How long should an email be typically?
Matt Molen 29:53
Okay. Well, again. Most people can empathize with this. How long do you want your emails to be on your phone?
Jillian Leslie 29:59
Matt Molen 30:01
You’re not checking your email to read these big long things. The function of an email, in my opinion, is to get me to a solution. Whatever that means. Sometimes that’s a little longer because you got to explain it a little bit more, but usually, less is more.
If you guys want to see super short emails in action, go sign up for Neil Patel’s email list. His are literally a sentence. And what he’s doing is he’s saying things like, “Want to see how your competitors get traffic? Click here, and I’ll show you how.”
Jillian Leslie 30:40
Right. And then it goes to like a video or a blog post.
Matt Molen 30:44
Blog posts where he is then able to really serve them. And also he benefits from the…
Jillian Leslie 30:49
Matt Molen 30:50
SEO. The ad, whatever ads he’s serving, whatever he’s selling, or whatever. It used to be that we had to have these beautiful newsletters that look like magazines. Number one that doesn’t work on your phone anymore. And 80% of us are reading emails on phones.
So that’s why less is more when it comes to your template. Less is more when it comes to your content. Get to the point. Don’t talk about your cats.
Nobody cares about you and your cat. Unless you’re Taylor Swift. And you’re probably not Taylor Swift. So, get it straight to the point as quickly as you can.
Jillian Leslie 31:30
Okay. And lots of space. Like period, you know, like…
Matt Molen 31:34
Yeah, as far as formatting use a button. Use a really big link. Go minimal on the number of links that you use. Remember the rule of thumbs is that most people are clicking with their thumbs on their phone. And so you want it to be like, seriously, if you’re not going to put a button in, at least make the link like really big font.
Jillian Leslie 31:53
And how about also like, I find that sometimes the text is really small on my phone. Do you recommend people use larger fonts?
Matt Molen 32:04
That’s what I do. I’m typically in like the Arial 17 to 18.
Jillian Leslie 32:09
Okay, that’s good to know.
Matt Molen 32:13
Because I’m getting a little bit up there. I can empathize now with reading something on my device.
Jillian Leslie 32:20
Right. There I am, like pinching to try it. And I go, “Oh, that’s too hard.” And that’s the other thing, which is when people are reading emails on their phones, they’re in line at Target. They’re not just sitting here going, “Oh, my God. Matt sent me an email. Let me sit down and digest this.”
They’re like, “What’s he say? I don’t… you know. Okay.” That’s how I respond to email on my phone.
Matt Molen 32:42
On our side, when we’re writing the email, usually, we are sitting at our desktop on our big monitors. We’re crafting these out on a desktop environment. So when you send yourself a preview, make sure you check it on your phone every single time.
Jillian Leslie 32:54
Yes. This is what I would say. Read it over and make sure it’s not about you.
Matt Molen 33:00
Jillian Leslie 33:01
Meaning make sure that the providing value is right there upfront.
Matt Molen 33:06
Right. What problem are you solving? What problem are you solving? Because if you’re not solving a problem, then what’s the point of sending the email?
Jillian Leslie 33:15
Absolutely. Okay. So now, let’s talk about subject line. People talk about that we don’t spend enough time on our subject lines. What is your thought about that?
Matt Molen 33:27
This is absolutely true. I’ve heard the same advice. I’ve heard people say things like, “You should spend as much time writing the subject line as you did the body of the email.” Now, maybe that’s overkill but I think that the spirit of that message is clear – that it is so important.
Because if they say no to the subject line, meaning they don’t open it, everything else you did is for nothing. My favorite subject line formula that I stumbled across, I think I found it specifically, I gotta give him credit, on Zumo’s website.
And this resonated with me as far as crystallizing it. And of course, there are a gazillion subject line formulas. I’m not saying that this is how you have to write subject line but this is what I think of when I’m writing one.
Curiosity + self interest. I’ll give you an example. “Five Ways the Instant Pot Helped My Love Life.” Which, true fact, I’m writing an article about how instant pot helped my love life, guys. So yeah, wait for that. You’re curious now, aren’t you?
Jillian Leslie 34:40
Matt Molen 34:43
Your self-interest is piqued because, well, love life. and instant pot, right? You’re like, “Okay. All right. I gotta see this. What is he talking about?” And then, you have to deliver the goods. I went a little silly there. If I did that too often, then they resolve, “He’s just click-baiting me.”
But if I legit had five recipes for Valentine’s Day for Instant Pot, that subject line would work. It might work. That’s what I might try. So, curiosity + self interest = opens.
Jillian Leslie 35:23
Interesting. Okay. I just wrote that down. I just wrote that down. And then, how long do you need to be aware of… I tend to be wordy in my headlines, or in my subject lines.
Matt Molen 35:33
There are lots of studies on length of subject line. Less is more. But I think people worry about it too much. I think it’s more of a feel thing. Read it. Look at it. Can I shorten this? Yes, I can.
And the same is true for all your content related to email. Write it. Get up. Walk around. Do the hokey pokey. Sit back down. And then, ask yourself, “How do I cut the word count in half?”
Jillian Leslie 36:02
Yes. By the way, before starting companies, I was a writer in Hollywood. I am ruthless at editing. I think it makes anyone a better writer if you just cut.
Matt Molen 36:20
Jillian Leslie 36:20
It’s shocking. We fall in love with our babies. In Hollywood, you write jokes, and you fall in love with your jokes. And you have to learn to cut them. And it’s painful.
But I feel like when people will say, “Wow, you’re such a pithy writer.” I’m thinking, “Oh, my God. Because I just cut the crap out of this.” It’s not like there’s any magic. It’s just take out all of those filler words, and all that stuff. And it reads so much better.
Matt Molen 36:57
I think this would apply. You could probably do a podcast just on copywriting for all sorts of things related to the internet. Obviously, there’s SEO writing, and there’s email writing, there’s writing for Facebook, for Pinterest, for Instagram.
I boil it down to what can I communicate? What problem am I solving? If I can do that, then I win because that’s what they care about on the other side. Anything else that obfuscates that problem…
Jillian Leslie 37:33
Yes. Good SAT word there.
Matt Molen 37:36
I hadn’t really think about that. I hope you edit it if I didn’t say that right.
Jillian Leslie 37:41
Yeah, I like it. Yes.
Matt Molen 37:43
Anyway, so that’s my two cents on it.
Jillian Leslie 37:45
Okay. Now, here’s one. Ready? Emojis versus no emojis. Or, GIFs? Tell me your thoughts.
Matt Molen 37:54
I love them. They get attention. Obviously, if you are anything overkill… Emojis are great because they don’t really count against the overall weight of the email.
Without getting too technical, one of the factors that ESP has looked at to determine if something should be promotional is how “heavy” is this in terms of file size? Does it have massive images in it? If it does, then it’s probably promotional because most of us don’t send small emails.
Jillian Leslie 38:29
Right. Like, think of your Banana Republic emails.
Matt Molen 38:33
Exactly. Right. But emojis are wonderful ways to just communicate either a feeling… I’m a big fan.
Jillian Leslie 38:41
Even in your subject lines?
Matt Molen 38:43
Sure. I’ve read studies on that too. It’s not massive differences in terms of open rates but when done right, it can influence for the better your open rate.
Jillian Leslie 38:57
Okay. Because I like it personally. Again, without having to use words, it just kind of gives an emotion. And it warms it up.
Matt Molen 39:08
It lightens it. It makes it fun. There’s a lot going for emojis, I think.
Jillian Leslie 39:14
Okay. Here’s another one of these kinds of tactical questions. Pruning your list. It’s weirdly painful because you feel like, “I’ve collected all these people, and now I have to let them go.” But it also saves you money. And it also kind of helps your stats in terms of open rates and stuff. Do you want to be carrying all this dead weight?
Matt Molen 39:39
How often they should prune is really an it-depends-question. Let me address the whole pruning psychology. One of the reasons it’s painful is because it was painful to acquire those subscribers. It’s painful to let them go.
I told you that I’m an aggresive email acquirer, so I’m also an aggressive pruner. If they don’t like my stuff, I don’t like them. Goodbye. I don’t want to pay for them. But I also know that I think about it differently. I’m coming up with new ways to get the right people onto my list.
The instant pot thing that we were talking about before. I’m gonna get a lot more of them onto my list. And I’m going to try to serve them. If I’m not serving them right, I don’t want to pay the cost of having them to linger and hang on.
So I prune regularly but usually, I give people a chance to see if they’re going to fog a mirror for me. And then, maybe two or three months later, then I prune. I prune once every two or three months. There are sometimes exceptions.
Exceptions might be I have a book coming out and I need to have a big list to show my publisher that I could send a lot of emails, that’s number one. Number two might be I have a course coming out. And I know that if I can get just a few of those guys to purchase off of my list. And the third is when I’m in transition of email strategies.
So I get a lot of new clients that have just been sending out RSS emails. Their open rates are kind of, “Nah”. And they’re like, “Well, should we just clean it all up?” I said, “Well, wait a second. Let’s try our new techniques first. To see, does this bring them back?” We’re going to win them back in action. And then, we prune.
Jillian Leslie 41:31
Yes. Yes. What would you say is a great open rate? What is a pretty good open rate? At what point are you like, “Whoa! We need a new strategy?”
Matt Molen 41:42
It’s all relative to the list. I don’t even want to give a number on that. I can give you some different examples. Let’s say that I am an attorney. I talk about trademark law.
And I have an email hook. I’m getting 50 email subscribers every two months. Now, I’m hoping that when I send out stuff related to trademark law, that that list has super ridiculously high open rates because it was a really small thing.
Let’s say that you give out a birthday sign on Pinterest that says, “Happy birthday.” And it’s really cute. And people have to give you their email address. Well, I’m sorry, but your open rates on any email to that list is going to be low.
But that might be okay because they were so cheap to acquire. Our overall total clicks went up. Our total overall engagement went up and I’m going to prune the heck out of that more aggressively.
So sorry, that’s not a – This percentage is great. This percentage is not. As in marketing, it depends. I know it when I see it but usually, it’s kind of like golf. You should just always be working to make yours better.
Jillian Leslie 42:59
That’s good. Oh, Matt. I feel like this has been such a wealth of knowledge. Such a wealth of information. You’ve inspired me to go back, especially with Catch My Party right now. You’ve got my wheels turning.
Matt Molen 43:17
Jillian Leslie 43:18
So do you have any parting advice for our audience trying to work their email list? And also, how can people reach out to you? I know we talked about it in the middle, but just in general.
Matt Molen 43:32
Yeah, no. So, just about me. I have a course called Email on Autopilot. You can get to it at EmailOnAutopilot.com. If you want a little sampling that’s free that you don’t have to pay for, you freeloaders, go to EmailJumpstart.com and you’ll see some actionable tips in video format. They are really short but those will really help you. So if you want to find me that way, it’s EmailOnAutopilot. EmailJumpstart is probably the best.
My last piece of wisdom is going to be the first piece that I gave you. It’s so important I want to reiterate it. And that is to adopt an email marketing mindset.
In your case Jillian, you’re going to write new content for MiloTree or for Catch My Party coming up. You’re writing that piece of content. Think about when you’re writing it.
What is the extra little bonus that I could give people that are going to land on this page that I can give them in exchange for an email? That is a complete change on how you’re thinking about email acquisition.
If you did that, I promise you, you will be days and weeks away from a thriving growing list because it’s the mindset more than anything. What problem can I solve for my reader? What can I give her in exchange for her email?
Jillian Leslie 44:58
Yeah, I think that makes perfect sense. And by the way, I’m in the midst of your course. And I highly recommend it.
Matt Molen 45:05
Oh, that’s wonderful. Thank you.
Jillian Leslie 45:07
So, Matt. Oh, I love this. Thank you so much for coming on the show, and being so generous with what you’re sharing. What was so interesting is in part one, so many people responded back to me to say how much they enjoyed it.
If you guys are liking this episode, please let me know and I’ll pass it on to Matt. Maybe you could come back for a part three.
Matt Molen 45:32
Jillian Leslie 45:34
Oh, great. Well, Matt, thank you so much for being on the show.
I hope you liked this episode as much as I did. I hope you learned a ton. If you are enjoying The Blogger Genius Podcast, please head to iTunes and rate us.
It helps get the podcast found. And then, I can continue to bring awesome guests on the show like Matt. So, I will see you here again next week.
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