Host 0:03
Welcome to The Blogger Genius Podcast brought to you by MiloTree. Here’s your host, Jillian Leslie.

Jillian Leslie 0:11
Hello everyone, welcome back to The Blogger Genius. Today, my guest is Matt Molen, and he is the founder of Personalized Paths. He is an email marketing expert.

We’re not just going to touch on the cursory stuff; we are going to delve deep. We talk about not just how to grow your list, but why you need to grow your list.

And then once you have a list, what to do with it, how to sell to your list, and really, how to monetize, how to keep your community close.

I think you’re going to really like this episode, I think you’re going to really like Matt. So without further ado, my interview with Matt Molen.

Matt, welcome to the show.

Matt Molen 0:58
Thank you so much. It’s awesome to be here.

Jillian Leslie 1:00
Okay. So we got connected through a mutual friend, Lindy Hawes, who said, “Jill, you have to get him on the show.”

Matt Molen 1:09
Yes. She’s fantastic. We’ve been working together a little bit, and she’s doing amazing things.

Jillian Leslie 1:15
Alright, let’s talk about this. Okay, so you are an email marketing specialist, I would say. Or how would you describe yourself?

Matt Molen 1:25
Yeah, I’ve been working with startups and small businesses for most of my career, over 20 years now. And I actually happened into the world of blogging almost on accident.

I was the chief marketing officer for an e-commerce website for it was one of those daily deal sites, and I was there for about 10 years. And we were 100% bootstrapped, we had no money, so we had to figure out ways to create, you know, sales and create awareness about our products and our deals.

And so I learned a lot about affiliate marketing, I learned a lot about email marketing, and because I had to. So over the course of that 10 years, email was a huge, huge part of what we did to drive sales.

So as I started doing my own blogging, and then started talking with some friends in this space, they invited me to come speak at these different things. And then that led to, you know, side hustle consulting and my techniques seemed to work.

And what we did was a little bit different than what most bloggers have heard about as far as email marketing. And I’ll get into that a little bit, I’m sure. But the gist of it is to really identify the path that you want your readers to go down.

And so that’s why I created this business called Personalized Paths. I have a course that I’ve, you know, created. But I do some consulting with the best bloggers in the world. And it’s been very exciting to see how they’ve changed their businesses using email marketing of all things.

Interview with Matt Molen on How to Crush Email Marketing to Grow Your Business |

Jillian Leslie 3:09
Right. I would say, so we’re like old school. We started a site called Catch My Party with a blog back 10 years ago. And in the beginning, the thinking was, what you’re going to do with your blog is you’re going to grow it and you’re going to monetize via ads, right? The dvertising model.

And over time, that has become less lucrative. So bloggers have really had to figure out, Okay, how am I going to make money at this? Not that ads don’t add to the pie, but it’s become like a piece of the pie, not the whole thing.

And I think that more sophisticated bloggers have figured out that it’s not just about growth for growth’s sake. It’s really being very intentional about selling to your audience, finding ways to solve their problems, that kind of thing. And I think that I would argue the best way to do that is through email.

Matt Molen 4:04
Well, and I’m right there with you. And you said something that you’ll hear me harp on over and over and over again, marketing is ultimately about solving your customer’s problems. That’s all it is.

Whether we’re running a blog, whether we’re running an e-commerce business, or you’re an influencer, it doesn’t matter. What you’re doing is you’re actually solving your customer’s problems, and that’s what attracts them to you.

And so email is a fantastic tool to extend that experience, to explain how you solve their problems. And there’s so much automation that you can do today, where you can take your great content that solves a reader’s problem.

And put it in front of your readers over and over and over again in the order that you want, in the perfect order for them, because you understand what journey that they’re going through. And ultimately, that’s how brands are built, is by solving problems over and over again. I like that.

Jillian Leslie 5:04
I like that. Because everybody knows these words: grow your list, grow your list. And I feel like people don’t quite know what to do with their lists once they’ve grown them. So can we start at the beginning, which is why should you grow your list and how should you grow your list?

Matt Molen 5:22
Sure. Well, the “why” is really important, and I think that there’s a lot of very recent events that have caused many of us to pause and go, Okay, wait a second. For instance, Google’s recent updates, they’re constantly doing updates with their indexing.

But many of us have been hit by that, you know. Whether it’s up or down, our search engine results, our position in our rankings have changed, which means our traffic changes. And it just reminds us, hey, we don’t own this traffic source.

Second, did anyone get impacted by that Facebook and Instagram outage recently? I know a lot of people did. And that it wasn’t just another call to reminder of, Hey, you know what, they’re going to do what they’re going to do, and if they go down, they go down. And it impacts us.

Pinterest — just one more piece. You know, they’re constantly changing and evolving their feed and there’s lots of reasons to believe that they’re going to continue to change, which will impact us and our traffic going forward.

So number one is, dang, let’s own our audience as best as we can. What do you own? You own your website, and you own your email list. So that’s a great reason number one.

Number two is I think a lot of people miss out on this piece, and that is, email is actually a fairly intimate marketing arrangement. It’s a fairly intimate form of communication. I have direct access to your inbox. and so when I type something up and I hit send, it’s going to show up in your inbox.

Now, of course, you can block me and you can kick me out and all that, but if we build and do that right, we can create real engagement between ourselves and our readers through email. And that’s, again, going back to solving their problem.

Jillian Leslie 7:05
It’s funny, I used to be a writer in Hollywood, and we would talk a lot about the difference between movie stars and TV stars. And this was like, during the height of Friends, and somebody said this to me, and I thought, Oh, my God, that makes so much sense, which is, you invite the friends into your living room.

You have to go out, you know, at the time like go out to the movies. And now with Netflix and stuff, it gets blurrier. But I remember thinking, I do invite the friends into my living room.

And in a weird way, email is similar, which is when you sign up for somebody’s list, I’m inviting them into my inbox, and my inbox is kind of private.

Matt Molen 7:42
Absolutely. And a lot of people will protect it religiously and rightfully so. You know, one of the things where it falls down, which I believe is the ultimate opportunity for us, is that, you know, so many companies know that you have to have an email address in order to interact with them and get your email confrmations for work, for whatever purposes.

But those that can do it like a real friend, can really build engagement. Those are the ones that are going to build a brand.

If you think about, like we talked about just a few minutes ago, brand building, if you’re in my inbox, solving my problem over and over again, you go from being, say, an online cookbook, or an online DIY, or just this thing I found on Pinterest, to being a personality that knows a little bit about what I am thinking about, and can help me solve that very next challenge.

And so that’s where you become a brand to me. And ultimately, that’s how email can help create superfans. If you can do that over and over and over again, man, they’re going to open your stuff, they’re going to tell their friends, they’re going to click through, they’re going to buy your products.

Jillian Leslie 8:48

Matt Molen 8:49
That’s a super fan. And that’s what we’re all going for. Now, it’s a long play, I get it. Email is a longer play. But ultimately, it’s one that is totally worth the build.

Jillian Leslie 9:00
Okay, so let’s say now, the first step is I need an email address. And, you know, back in the day, it was lead magnets and those kinds of things. Do those still work? Is that what you recommend — giving something in return for your email address?

Matt Molen 9:14
Yes. The short answer is yes, but with a twist. So I think what makes me a little bit different is, well, let’s start with how most people do. They try to do list building. The ones that aren’t really doing anything at all but they have good intentions is they throw up “Hey, subscribe to my list, I’ll send you a free recipe.”

I’m googling, you know, instant pot ribs. That’s going to give me a result, I’m going to land on the result, I’m going to get the recipe and then what do I most likely do? I most likely go on my merry way. I bounce.

Right? That kind of thing. We see that everywhere. So I’ll send you updates. Most of us are like, who cares? I don’t even know who you are. I googled and I landed here. And I’m just in a transaction right now where, you know, a food blog is a great example.

Eighty to 90 percent bounce rates are not uncommon. So, what we want to do is we want to get them to stop in their tracks.

And the reason that they do that, even if they love the ribs, is they know that they can just google any old time. They can go to Pinterest, they can find recipes on Facebook. And because online cookbooks are everywhere. That’s how they view us, right?

So what we need to do is we need to make them stop in their tracks, and that’s the concept of a lead magnet. So there are lots of different types of lead magnets out there. There’s checklists and principles and courses.

I have one that I have developed that I like the best because, A, you can build it super fast if you have existing content; and B, it’ll help you stand out in a way that’s a little bit different. I call it a ‘quick start guide.’

And so the gist of this is, let’s say that that person is… let’s go back to our instant pot ribs example for a minute. We know a few things about that person when they land on our instant pot ribs web page, on the recipe page. We know that have an instant pot, they’re meat eaters.

They’re probably making dinner for more than one person. You know, we can assume a whole bunch of things. What if we said, Look, I’ve got a quick start guide for you that’ll help you make more of your instant pot. Five secrets to getting more out of your instant pot tonight. Something along those lines.

Now, then what we do is with this quick start guide hook, we get them onto the list and we fulfill that problem, like delivering them three to five emails in a row separated by a day. So every day for five days, they’re receiving a new “lesson” from us that goes with this quick start guide.

Lesson number one of… see, I can’t even fake instant pot because I’ve never really used it. But whatever, technique number one is that you know about which if you’re writing about it, you know about it. That’s lesson number one. And you link them back to your site.

Jillian Leslie 12:04
To a blog post with that?

Matt Molen 12:05
Back to a blog post that already talks about that. Hey, with instant pot, did you know that you can make super tender meats in just 30 minutes? Here’s how you do it. You add a little bit of water and you do this thing. And here are three recipes for the super tender meats.

Jillian Leslie 12:21
Got it, okay. So I give the information in the email, but then I link to kind of supportive posts or ancillary posts. So I’m not linking to the post that says here’s how to make tender meat.

Matt Molen 12:37
Right, exactly. Well, I mean, you could be. If you have a post that talks about how to do that, then it might be a very short email that says, “Hey, your lesson today is, you know, the problem we have with meat and cooking it quick, is it dries out quickly with all the fast techniques that we use. I’ve discovered a brand new way with my instant pot to keep that tenderness and make it super juicy. Click here to get it.”

Jillian Leslie 12:56
Got it.

Matt Molen 12:58
So that’s my lesson number one. Lesson number two, lesson number three, lesson number four, and up to five, those are all related to this topic of instant pot secrets of my quick start guide to making the most of an instant pot.

Now, the power of this, Jillian, is that you are answering their problems, you’re giving them really meaty content that helps them to get to know you as not just an online cookbook, or an online DIY reference site or inspiration site, but as a brand, as a subject matter expert, someone who knows that.

Jillian Leslie 13:35
I like this for a variety of reasons. One, it’s not just a PDF that I’m never going to open or use. Right? Because a lot of times as I get my PDF, and in the moment, I’m like, “yeah, I’ll get your PDF,” and then literally it shows up even if it shows up instantaneously, it’s like there’s so much friction.

I have so much in my inbox that like, am I really going to download the PDF? Am I really going to print it out? Chances are, and then I think oh, it’s just staying in my inbox somewhere. But I don’t necessarily revisit it.

So I like also the fact that by sending these quick tips, it’s like you’re continually reminding me, “oh, hey, you’re showing up again. Oh, there you are again, there you are again.” So that you can really build that trust and relationship.

Matt Molen 14:20
Exactly. A quick example, personal, and one of the reasons that I stumbled onto this, my wife and I, my wife Alicia, we have a blog that is devoted to Disney cruises. So Disney cruising is a once-in-a-lifetime activity for many people.

And if it’s your first time cruising because it’s expensive, you want it to be super magical. A lot of people get stressed out because cruising is a different type of vacation. And, you know, Disney does cruising even more different.

So our quick start guide, our hook is what to expect on your first Disney Cruise. So for, like you said, several days in a row, they went from Pinterest landing them on a tips page by to Alicia, who is the writer of the email, being an expert.

And she gets questions back that leads us to content ideas that just allows us to help and possibly connects them to sponsors or partners where we make a little bit of money. So this engagement starts to happen when they see her as a real person that has identified what they are thinking about before they even knew to think about it, right? And then answering that problem.

Jillian Leslie 15:33
Okay, so now we’ve gone through the… what happens on day five?

Matt Molen 15:36
Okay, so on day five, you give them that last lesson and you simply say, Hey, I hope you’ve enjoyed this quick start guide, these secrets, these tips, whatever. While this is the end of this little mini-course, it’s not Goodbye. I’m back in your inbox with more ideas, strategies, whatever, that I found really work in this particular topic. See you soon.

Jillian Leslie 16:00
Okay, so let’s say that I’m the food blogger, and you’ve gone through my series on instapots. But you know, I don’t just do instapots, I make lots of different recipes.

So am I then going to give them, you know, I know that certain people will put up like kind of a, what is it, where you choose like I’m interested in desserts or I’m, you know, what are you interested in, you can get people to segment themselves.

Matt Molen 16:28
You can do that, absolutely. But I think that’s maybe a class or two down the road. Most people, most people are not doing what I would suggest they do next, which is to think through the most common journey.

Okay, I’m talking today to people who have not built out this level of sophistication with their email yet. Okay, so they’re looking for a quick start guide. What I do with my clients is we pick a general one.

Ultimately, if you’re a recipe blogger, why not have a quick start guide about Mexican food and about desserts and about instant pot, and deliver that to people as pop-ups or sidebars, or embedded posts or whatever, for people that are coming to those sections.

But for most of us, we need just something to start with. So start with something general, something that will serve most of the people that are coming to your site right now. We just want to cast a net,to get as many people in as possible.

Then, this is where it gets really cool. I love sending them stuff that is automated, and they don’t know it.

My next thing that I send, I call it the “forever series”. What most of us are doing is we are sending the most recent stuff that we have published, not our best stuff. If you’ve been blogging for any amount of time, you probably started with some stuff that you really knew well and you have some cornerstone content that has served you well over the years.

But that stuff is buried to somebody who’s just happened to cross instant pot ribs. Because thank you Google, they happen to be searching for that. We want to get the very best of your blog in front of your readers, because the best means that you’ve learned how to solve that reader’s problems.

Now we’ll continue with food but it also works for DIY, and it works for fashion, it works for everything. But come up with your very best email and the first three to five emails. If you were to craft out the journey for once somebody is on your list, what could you tell them as if you were putting your arm around their shoulder and you said, Hey, I know I’ve got this big old website full of stuff.

But because I have a sense of who you are, I know that you’re going to have this next question. Let me point you to that answer.

Now, a real example of this. I’ll go back to, which is the Disney Cruise site. Once they’re on the list, we know that these are Disney cruisers, right?

We also know the Disney Cruise vacation you booked 18 to 24 months out. Email number one is always, always, always the most powerful Disney Cruise tip I ever learned. Now this email gets sent, whether it is January, June or Halloween, it does not matter, we send that first because that’s our very best content.

Legit. It’s legit good stuff, you’re not going to find it anywhere else. And when they read that as their first email from us, they’re like, Okay, I’m even more in love.

Now, the next week, they’re getting the packing list. And the week after that, they’re getting how to tip, and the week after that, what to do on the private island and the week… and we thought through this journey because these are the most common questions that people have.

By the time you get to week 10, we can send them an email that says, Hey, do you need travel insurance for a Disney Cruise? Yes or no.

And then there’s a whole article on our blog that talks about the pros and cons of getting trip insurance. And of course, it’s an affiliate play. And of course, the recommendations is yeah, you should probably get it.

If you sent that as the very first thing, that would be a little jarring. But by week 10, they’ve been receiving 10 weeks of amazing content from us. It performs really, really well.

Jillian Leslie 20:19
Sorry, so the first five weeks are the quick start guide. And then five more, or this is now email 15?

Matt Molen 20:29
I’m glad that you asked that. So, the first five emails, the quick start guide are five days in a row. Because they’ve given you permission to answer this quick start guide. So you can send them five days in a row.

Then after that, I send a weekly email. So this trip insurance is like week 10, so it’s email number 10 in that series. So by that time, they’re like, Okay, Alicia and Matt, they are really good at this Disney Cruise stuff, and if they say I need trip insurance, man, I better get trip insurance.

And so that’s why it converts so much better. We built the trust and built the brain.

Jillian Leslie 21:03
So are you selling anything or advising any products until week 10?

Matt Molen 21:09
Well, this is a very specific example, everybody’s going to be different. Some people can sell right after the quick start guide or during the quick start guide for that matter.

I’ve got clients that have products that it just makes total sense to offer it then. Again, all I’m saying is think about the reader’s journey. If you were to put your arm around their shoulder when they walked into your website, if it was a store, and you were to guide them from thing to thing to thing, where would you take them?

At what point would you show them the thing that from the samples to the thing to purchase, right? So that’s the glory of today’s email marketing, is we can do all that with automation.

Many people are killing themselves trying to come up with exclusive new content or they’re doing it the other way, which is they don’t bother at all, and they they set it on the automatic dreaded RSS feed emails.

Jillian Leslie 22:03
Which means that you’re just sending your most recent blog post to your subscribers.

Matt Molen 22:09
Think about what an RSS feed driven email is. I don’t think most people know, but it’s probably good to clarify. An RSS feed allows, you know, just the website then is able to tell the email system that hey, a new post was created and then it generates an email with the title of that post.

So if you made a post called asparagus salad, and you get an email that says asparagus salad, and then it’s got a picture of asparagus salad and recipe, I don’t care. That’s most people’s reaction. I don’t care what’s in that for me. Because that asparagus salad did not bother to try to explain to me how it was going to solve my problems.

If I want asparagus salad at the moment for that to be effective, I have to be in the mood for asparagus salad. I can’t remember the last time I was in the mood for asparagus salad. I’m in the mood for a chocolate chip cookies quite often.

But if you told me “Are you looking for a light, fast lunch that that will help you stick to your keto?” Yeah, I am. Well, let’s stop, right? So it’s little bit different.

That’s why I don’t love the RSS driven emails. It’s a machine telling another machine that that previous machine was updated.

Jillian Leslie 23:22
And then it’s kind of a crapshoot, whether the recipient cares.

Matt Molen 23:26

Jillian Leslie 23:27
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Now here’s a question. So people are told to send a newsletter once a week to your audience. And so people scramble to send a newsletter. But what you’re saying is that that strategy doesn’t quite make sense unless there is a “why” to that.

Matt Molen 26:14
The way that I think about newsletters today is, you know, and again, when I describe a newsletter, I’m talking about the one that says “Okay, guys, so I had these three updates this week. And by the way, I went to Paris too and it was fantastic. And oh, let me show you a picture of my cats.”

First of all, nobody cares about your cats, right? Unless you’re Taylor Swift. If you’re Taylor Swift listening to this, hit me up, I want to talk.

But if you’re not, then nobody cares about your cats until you’re at a certain level where you have solved their problems so much that they now care about you individually. We might care about Martha Stewart’s cats because we want to get to know her better.

So as far as newsletters are concerned, the way I think about it is, what problem can you solve right now? We got Mother’s Day around the corner. We have a Cinco de Mayo, we’ve got Memorial Day. What is your audience thinking about right now?

And you probably have existing content or new content that caters to that. Don’t send an email unless you know what problem you’re solving for your reader.

Jillian Leslie 27:25
Got it. So, okay.

Matt Molen 27:30
If I’m consulting to somebody that says, okay, and you’re doing a newsletter, my concepts are typically about, okay, if we’re going to create a calendar for broadcasts, that’s my term for a newsletter, that’s one that’s not automated.

That’s one that because it’s Memorial Day, it’s got to go out now. What we’re doing is we’re thinking through, What problem am I solving for my readers? That’s it. That’s what the content calendar looks like for me.

That’s what the broadcast calendar looks like for me. I don’t care about what happened last year. Until you’re at a certain level, I don’t care what happened, what you posted this week, unless it is couched inside that problem-solving discussion.

Jillian Leslie 28:20
So when you think about your business or like your Disney Cruise business, now you’re up to we’ve gotten to email 10, you’re talking about insurance. And then, do you continue on in an automated sequence and at what point would you be doing broadcast newsletters to this audience, or maybe never.

Matt Molen 28:49
I do both. If I’m a prolific, most of my clients are prolific content creators and they have big audiences. But even if you’re starting out small, the rule of thumb is that if you solve my problems, it’s not spam.

If you’re providing me value, it’s not spam. The minute that you’re just sending me fluff, we start to unsubscribe. What I do with that automated side, that’s evergreen stuff.

Build that out as far as you can. I call that the forever series. The reason I call it forever series is because it could go on forever. Now, Picture the Magic, it’s 25 deep because we haven’t written that much content about Disney Cruise.

But we also have broadcasts. Were like, holy cow, Avengers just came out or whatever, the Disney World tickets are at their all-time low or which is… okay I made that up, but you get the idea.

Jillian Leslie 29:49
I was like, ooh. Yeah.

Matt Molen 29:50
Yeah, you’re in. So from that perspective, I do a forever series once a week, and if I can get away with it, I do a broadcast once a week.

Because if you’re a prolific blogger and your readers are following you, they are into that, especially if you are continuing to solve their problems. You stop doing that, then people don’t want it.

That’s where people are worried about being too spammy, is because they haven’t known what to send, right? They haven’t known how to couch the conversation, how to phrase it in a way that really impacts their readers so that you’re solving their problems.

I’m telling you, I’m a broken record on this, but this is the big difference that I see.

Jillian Leslie 30:36
It’s funny because I do a forever series, right? And really what it is, is it’s for people who sign up for MiloTree, I have a business background and I think about business all the time. And really, it’s just evergreen tips and tricks.

And I just sent one out yesterday, actually. And there’s one question to ask your audience and that is, what are you struggling with?

So that is the constant, you know, constantly, that is the real only question you need to keep asking them.

Matt Molen 31:11
And if you are constantly solving those existing problems, they’re going to ask you, Hey, yeah, but what about this? Right? And what about that, because they you have proven to be reliable source, a reliable brand that answers that.

I get questions on my email business all the time, I get questions on the Disney website all the time of, “Hey, what about this? Have you thought about? How do you get from the airport to…”

I mean, stuff like that because they’re like, well, she was willing to answer my question on this other thing, I bet she’s willing to answer or she might know the answer to this other thing.

And so when that happens, you’re like, bingo, that’s my next piece of content or my niche product to sell.

Jillian Leslie 31:52
Totally. Yes, absolutely. Absolutely. And I think there is something to it coming from my inbox, like my email to you that you feel more like there’s an opening to email me back.

Matt Molen 32:07
Right, exactly. Basically, I know how to reach them. I just hit reply.

Jillian Leslie 32:12
Right. Now, is it true that if, for example, you’re sending your forever series, like how much does it matter when people will say like, I’m going to show up in your inbox every Monday? And like do audiences really sit there going, “It’s Monday. Where’s my email?”

Because you were saying, you do your once-a-week email and then you’ll do your broadcast, like, does that confuse your audience? Do we have to care so much about consistency?

Matt Molen 32:43
Consistency is comforting. Consistency gives the reader… it sets their expectations. It allows them to get a sense of how often are you going to be here and when you’re not, meaning you come more often than that, then okay, wait a minute, I’m not sure I agree to this.

So we have talked in some fairly general terms here. If I’m building out these individual campaigns, these individual sequences, I do want to be very careful about when I send them and to whom.

You can do a lot of segmentation if you want to get into next level type of email stuff. For most people, if you’re sending, you know, these automated emails, just go, and you have a broadcast, they get used to say every Tuesday and every Friday or every Saturday and every Monday. Or whatever it is for you. And they’ll get used to that.

And you’ll maintain your subscription rates and your open rates if you are consistent. When you get outside of that and you’re all sporadic, you’re going to find that A, they’re not used from hearing from you if you take a long time to email them. They’re like, Who are you again?

And then B, when you overdo it, you’ll start to see it when you watch your stats. So yes, I do believe that consistency is important, and setting expectations is always great.

Jillian Leslie 34:11
Okay, and do you think that email is a viable way to grow traffic? Because it’s an expensive way, you know, when you do the math, and you think about email service providers are expensive.

Matt Molen 34:27
The first thing that I would advise people to do is to be aggressive about growing your list but also be aggressive about pruning your list.

Jillian Leslie 34:34
Okay, let’s talk about that.

Matt Molen 34:35
Yeah, there’s no need to carry dead weight on your subscriber list. What I mean by pruning your list is that over time, this is just natural. People will stop opening, they’ll stop clicking, right? Those folks need to go.

And don’t take it personally. Email subscriber count is nothing but a vanity metric. Who cares? So we want the people that are opening and clicking. So I have a process that I use personally that, you know, every 60 days, I’m cleaning out people who haven’t opened or clicked in the last 90 days or more.

And the reason for that, and there are different ways you can do that, you can do win-back campaigns saying “is this really goodbye?” Or if you click this, stay on the list. You know, that sort of thing.

But the reason we do that is because like you said, it costs money to keep those subscribers on and it impacts your deliverability with our ISP such as Yahoo, Hotmail, Gmail. So you want as highly engaged a list as you possibly can have. I forgot the second part of your question.

Jillian Leslie 35:39
What kind of open rates then are you looking at?

Matt Molen 35:43
I get that question quite often, and it really depends. For instance, if you’re offering a free coloring page as your lead magnet, I would expect your open rates for the rest of your stuff is going to be much, much lower.

Because the barrier to entry for the looky-loos was very low. So I can get in there, they can check it out, so your open rates are going to be lower. The higher the list grows, the lower the open rate as well. That’s natural, that’s fine.

The metric I really care about, is I really care about how frequently does somebody engage? Like if they are just haven’t engaged in the last three to six months, then they’re gone.

And second, I want total raw clicks, unique clicks. I want people clicking back to my website. I remember your question. Your question was can it drive traffic. And the answer is yes, absolutely.

My formula for writing an email is, state the problem that you know that the reader is having, explain that you have the solution and why you have the solution, and then give them the link back to your blog that has the solution.

So it’s really simple, it’s short. People think they need to write these big, long emails. Please don’t. I don’t want to read your big blocks of text.

Jillian Leslie 37:06
I don’t either.

Matt Molen 37:08
So get to the point. State the problem that you’re solving, tell me you have the solution and why I should believe you, and then click through to it. It’s that typical tease, of course.

But when you deliver on it over and over and over again, you are building a brand, and you’re saving them time, and you’re getting them back to your website.

When they’re back to your website, they start to identify with your logo, with your face, with your pictures. They click around, they find the products, they find other content.

For me, it’s a no-brainer for building a lasting loyal impact or loyal following,

Jillian Leslie 37:45
Got. Now what email service providers are you liking right now?

Matt Molen 37:49
The great news is that there’s a lot of choices out there and they all do a very decent job. Today’s email technology is very solid.

Personally, for most of my clients, Convert Kit is what I recommend. And it’s what I built my course around simply because I had to choose at some point. I’ve used quite a few of them. And you know, I’ve moved lists around.

I eventually settled on Convert Kit because it was a nice balance of the automation and the features of kind of this program that I’ve been telling you about.

Plus, you know, the simplicity of use, which many of my clients care about. So, yeah, that’s what I use. But I will also tell you, there’s a lot of other great ones out there,

Jillian Leslie 38:32
We use Active Campaign.

Matt Molen 38:34
Sure, yeah. Active Campaign is very reputable, well known. And I don’t know all their features, but I know they get it too about what’s possible, what you can do today with email.

Jillian Leslie 38:47
Got it. Let’s say because you work with bloggers, if somebody has not… a lot of times people say I need to grow my list. But if you had one piece of advice for what to do like how to just kind of jump in and start creating these automations, what would it be?

Matt Molen 39:09
Okay, so buckle up. Here we go.

Jillian Leslie 39:11
All right, I’m ready.

Matt Molen 39:13
Number one, identify the biggest problem that you can solve for your reader with your existing content. Take three to five pieces of content that you already have on your site, lump them together in a theme. You’re creative, you can do it.

We were talking about Instant Pot, for example, and create what I call a quick start guide. With that quick start guide, you send them the answer, you create a form on your website that says, “Hey, guys, I just made this quick start guide that answers such and such problem, sign up for it free here.” It’s five secrets to whatever.

They sign up, then one email per day for five days. Then they’re going to be on your list.

And if you’ve done it right, you will have a much more interested subscriber for the next stuff that is to come of what you’re going to send them once they’re on your list. But it’s that simple.

And if you’re really stuck, go look at Google Analytics and find your top five posts, what’s getting traffic today, because obviously that’s solving a problem.

Jillian Leslie 40:24
I love this. Okay, Matt, how can people learn more about you, reach out to you, see what you’re doing, sign up for your free course, all of that stuff?

Matt Molen 40:24
Can you mash them together in some sort of theme. My guess is you probably can. And then boom, you’ve got something that you could create in a matter of just a couple hours and you could be done with it.

Sure. So I’ve got three levels with which I work with bloggers and influencers. The first one is a free program. It’s three videos. And it’s super short, really digestible, actionable, show some examples. It’s called Email Jumpstart. So that’s If you want the free thing, go there.

If you’re serious about getting this done and making this change, finally, with your email list, I have a course that has 20+ video modules that tell you what to do and how to do it technically. The technical side always scares people. So I take care of that. And that is

Jillian Leslie 41:29

Matt Molen 41:30
Sorry, Email on I better get my own URL.

And so if you are more established and you’re looking for somebody to help you with your own individual strategy, then just hit me up on my website. I do have some consulting services, where I might be able to help you out.

Jillian Leslie 41:52
Okay, and your regular website is

Matt Molen 41:56

Jillian Leslie 41:59
Perfect. Well, I have to say, what I love about what you have just taught me and told us is how it’s not hard, you know, like it doesn’t have to be super complicated.

Matt Molen 42:14
I think for me, this was a big aha moment. Because what most of the hard part, Jillian, is that people will not take the time to think through the journey. That’s the hard part.

If you’ll grab your notebook and you’ll turn off your phone, and you’ll turn off everything else and just go to a quiet place and go, if somebody was coming to my website today, what could I do with them, what would be the ideal path for them?

And think through the content that you have. You’re probably going to create something pretty dang awesome. Even if you can’t do it forever and ever, you can probably do 10, and that would be better than what you’ve done today. So yeah, today’s email automation makes it all possible and I love it.

Jillian Leslie 43:03
Well, thank you. Well, I have to say this was such a pleasure and I’d love to have you back on the show to kind of go even to the next level.

Matt Molen 43:11
Sure, anytime.

Jillian Leslie 43:12
Awesome. Well, thank you.

Matt Molen 43:14
Alright, thanks, Jillian.

Jillian Leslie 43:15
I have a new thing. If you want to get the four biggest takeaways from this episode and every episode to come head to, just add your name and email address, and you’ll be added to the list so that it’s kind of like Cliff Notes.

If you’re too busy, but you just want to know what we’re talking about, definitely head to and subscribe. And I will see you here again next week.

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