This post was most recently updated on March 29th, 2017
My 3-Step Email Marketing Strategy requires one main thing.
Care about people.
That’s pretty much it.
I’m about to show you the structure of how I put together a promotional email campaign.
I’ve made money doing this.
You can make money doing this.
Anyone can make money doing this.
But nobody can build a business of loyal, repeat customers who want to buy everything you’ve got, who turn to your for help whenever they get stuck, who tell everyone in the world how great you and your service and your product and your training and your grandmother are (only if you’ve digitally introduced your grandmother to them, of course… not required, not necessary, not even recommended).
So, before you start patching together some kind of email “campaign,” you need to ask yourself a few things.
- Am I content to sell a few widgets to my “list” that will net me, oh I don’t know… let’s say $68.52 today.
- Or would I prefer to forget about how much commission I can earn today, and instead, start building a business that could potentially net me hundreds if not thousands of dollars every day for years to come?
- Do I care about the people on my list?
The above numbers are taken from thin air.
You could make more, less, nothing, a million a minute.
I have no idea how you will apply this information, I have no idea what your business is, or even if you have one.
But you should!
And knowing what kind of business you have, what products/services you sell, what your price points are and who your customers and prospects are… you can adjust the above numbers to fit your own business potential.
Ok, I might be rambling.
You’ll have to let me know when that happens… just raise your hand or tap on your computer screen, something to get my attention.
Back on track.
You want to put together a handful of emails.
Send them to your list.
What does your “list” want?
That’s right, your “list” is actually made of real human beings.
They have their own desires that may be different than yours.
They’re not looking for a handful of emails.
They’ve got more than enough in their inbox already, thank you very much.
I don’t want to shock you but, they don’t even care whether or not YOU make money.
It just doesn’t cause a big shift in their lives.
So, maybe you’re out of luck here.
Your “list” doesn’t care about you, your emails, your promotions, your products… none of it.
But there’s some good news that kind of suggests itself by looking at the bad.
If the “people” on your email list don’t care about you, that doesn’t mean they don’t care about anything.
They care about themselves.
They care if they are happy, healthy, fulfilled, excited, entertained, enriched and any number of other things that you need to make a list of.
Stop looking for great affiliate promotions you can run with.
Stop deciphering commission levels and profit breaks.
Stop rushing to the swipe files to copy and paste “campaigns” into your auto-responder as fast as your little fingers can fly.
Make a list.
You have permission to do it now, but please don’t close this tab while you do.
There’s more you need to know.
But for now, make a list of everything the folks in your targeted audience… what I usually call your “crowd” or your “peeps”… make a list of everything they want.
- What do they want to achieve?
- What problems do they want to overcome?
- What motivates and excites them?
- What fears hold them back?
- What challenges stop them in their tracks?
Make the list as long as you can and then, think of how you can help these folks.
What information could you put in an email that would actually help people live their dreams, avoid their nastiest little pitfalls, overcome all the obstacles that stand between where they are… and where they want to be?
Now, write an email than can help them.
That’s right… just write.
Hi Howard (or whatever name you want).
I know you’re struggling with ….
I know it really sucks to feel like ….
I understand all you want is to …
So, I thought I’d send you along a little story (or a tip) (or a link to a blog post)… that could really help you out.
I know, because it really helped me.
Now, you have an email that might actually help some of the people reading it.
But even more, you’ve let them know something really, really, really important.
1. You care about them.
You can care about yourself, too, that’s fine.
But what you’ve really impressed on people when you write emails like this, is that you care about them.
- You know what they want.
- You know what they fear.
- You understand them, because you are like them.
- You’ve walked in their shoes, felt their pains, dreamed their dreams.
2. You have a way to help them.
Now, we can talk about writing an email campaign that will do just that, help people to solve their problems, reach their goals, and have a better life.
Now, you’re ready to build a business instead of swipe a commission here and there.
Now, you’re build a loyal following.
Now, folks trust you.
Now, folks are ready to turn to you to get their problems solved.
Now, you’ve got a what some marketers call a “customer base” and what I call “a crowd of folks who trust you.”
It’s the ultimate “crowd sourcing” strategy because your “crowd” has faces and names, and they’re all listening to you because they’ve all learned they can actually trust you.
Everyone Else’s Email Marketing Strategy
I see what other people do that they refer to as their “email marketing strategy.”
My students and clients often ask me what’s wrong with their email campaigns.
The question itself indicates that they’re not getting the results they expected when they first started building an email list.
It’s easy to understand why.
They follow the same “expert recipe” that everyone follows, and while it may have worked in days of yore, it just doesn’t anymore.
Here’s some of what everyone else tells you about email marketing.
Get a squeeze page.
Offer a free thing.
Build “a List”.
Keep doing that so your list gets bigger and bigger.
Sign up for an auto-responder service, often referred to as an ESP or email service provider.
Automate a 3-day (or 5, 7, 30… pick a number) email sequence.
With every email you tell people to buy, buy, buy… and you make money.
Slick Alternative to Buy, Buy, Buy: Just give people free, valuable information to show them your nice, you’re cool, you know what you’re doing… and you make no money.
Super Trick Alternative: Mix up the Buy, Buy, Buy sequences with the “Pure Value” ones so that just when people thought you were just hangin’ out with ’em… you sell them something.
Send out “broadcast” emails as often as possible.
These are the emails that you didn’t write 5 months or years ago, that you write each day or several times a week.
More often than not, they’re just swipe emails that sound nothing like you, because they are NOT you.
They’re written by “teams of high paid copywriting pros” that put them together as swipes for some affiliate product you hope to score a quick commission with.
So there you have it.
The expert plan.
Get people to sign up for your list, put them through a series of emails to build “trust” and then hit ’em up with your endless stream of disconnected sales pitches.
What Every Email Strategy Must Have
Here’s a quick list of the most important aspects of any kind of email campaign.
I don’t care if it’s “everyone else’s” or yours or mine.
These are the rock solid, absolute essentials of anyone’s email marketing strategy.
These are critical items, and you MUST pay very careful attention to them if you hope to be successful and profitable with email marketing.
You need people to open your email in order to make money, so learn to write compelling subject headings.
Otherwise, nobody will open your emails.
That sucks when you’re doing email marketing.
Make sure your emails are getting delivered.
People won’t even see your subject headings if your messages are ending up in spam.
The best way to ensure high deliverability is to use a world-class auto-responder like my favorite, GetResponse.
If you try to cheap out on this aspect of your business by getting some second-rate service, all your hard work and advertising dollars will have been for nothing.
And the crazy thing is, that while GetResponse is one of the most reputable auto-responders on the planet, their pricing is pretty much in line with that of far less reliable services.
They even have a 30-day Free Trial offer that you can use by signing up with my affiliate link… GetResponse.
Do everything imaginable to get your emails opened.
This is the metric that tells you how good your subject heading is.
Now, usually, your emails contain a link for people to click on so they’ll see a sales page or maybe a blog post, etc… but usually a sales page.
It does you little good to get your emails delivered and opened if nobody is clicking through to your offers.
So, your email needs to do a really good job of convincing people to “click through.”
A good auto-responder, (I always recommend GetResponse) will keep track of all these essential metrics for you.
Every time I send an email via GetResponse, I can check back anytime to see how many of the emails I sent were delivered, what the Open Rate was for that email and what the Click Through Rate (CTR) was.
Not all ESPs (Email Service Providers) track this information.
That’s one of the reasons I always tell my students to use GetResponse.
But there are many other reasons, too.
GetResponse will show you exactly who has opened your emails, who has clicked through on your offer-links and it even gives you the one-click ability to re-send your emails to those folks who did not open them the first time around.
And if you ever have any questions, or need help, they’re just a phone call or live chat away… with hardly any wait time 🙂
My 3-Step Email Marketing Strategy
OK, here’s my much vaunted, long awaited, personal 3-Step Email Marketing Strategy.
A lot of this has been developed through personal trial and error over the years.
Hopefully, getting a glimpse of what I’ve found works really, really well, will help you avoid your own trial and error, fraught with pitfalls attempts to get this right.
My 3-Step Email Marketing Strategy – Step 1
Email sequences work.
It’s that simple.
If you don’t understand what an email sequence is, I’ll explain it first by telling you what it is not.
It is not what many email marketers do when they put together 5 days of “welcome to my list” emails, telling peopleneverything they can think of about their niche in hopes of impressing them with their knowledge and expertise.
People don’t want to hear everything about the niche or the topic.
They only want to know how to solve their most immediate problem.
Well, how are you supposed to know what that is?
Why did they sign up for your list?
Did you offer a free ebook promising “how I made money with banner ads?”
Now, you know your subscribers are people… always remember that… people who want to know how to make money with banner ads.
Sure, they care about how YOU did it, but only if it’s something they can see themselves doing, too.
Now, you know your opening sequence of emails better be information that will help them do exactly that.
You might give all free information, you might be selling your course or an affiliate program… those things don’t matter.
What DOES matter is that your opening sequence of emails helps your crowd to achieve what they signed up to achieve, or overcome the problem they told you they have (the one they “told you” about by signing up for your freebie).
Now, how are 5 emails about banner ads any different than a 5-day email sequence on the topic?
It’s all a matter of escalation.
If the first email in the sequence tells the reader, “here’s why this is important to do and I’ll show you 4 ways to do it in the next 4 days”… then you’ve begun a story.
Your reader/subscriber will say to himself/herself, “oh, I have to open tomorrow’s email to see what those 4 points are.”
In Day 2, you write “here’s the first thing you must do… tomorrow I’ll tell you the next.”
You see, your reader is now hanging on, day by day, to see what the 4 points are.
That’s a sequence.
You escalate the information, you connect the dots, you leave some things hinted at but undeveloped until “tomorrow”, etc.
You could just write 5 emails with the same information.
But if you don’t position each one as part of a larger story, then you lose the escalation factor.
Think of television shows.
Doesn’t a tv “series” of stories that are connected to the one before and after hold your attention more?
Isn’t it more engaging?
That’s because of the escalation factor.
It’s what made soap operas so popular.
It’s what makes the ongoing television “series” so popular.
Contrast that to just seeing one movie.
You were sold on seeing it, so you did.
You liked it, you hated it, whatever… you have to be convinced all over again to watch another movie even if it’s in the same genre.
But if you’re on episode 6, season 3 of a series you’re just loving, do you really think you’ll miss episode 7?
That’s the escalation of interest and engagement you want to build into a true email sequence.
People write 5 emails on the same topic and think it’s a “sequence.”
I won’t quibble over semantics, but in my mind, it’s not a sequence because it’s not sequential.
One email does not necessarily flow from the one before.
To cue people into the fact that the email they’re reading just part of a larger sequence, you must tell them!
“Now that you know how to put your video on YouTube, tomorrow I’ll show you how to get people to watch it.”
You can even tell them in your subject heading:
“YouTube video marketing, day 1 of 5”
“YouTube video marketing, day 2 of 5″… etc.
In fact, once you have your readers’ attention, as long as you’re giving them valuable information, and they knowyou CARE ABOUT THEM (remember that part?)… they’re going to want to open your next email.
Maybe they miss a day or two, but they WILL look for them when they get the chance, and then open them all.
They see them as improving their lives, not draining their time.
And the nice thing about involving people in a sequence is that you get to control the narrative.
People will learn what you show them, they’ll travel down the path you want them to.
That’s because you’re resonating with them, not trying to persuade them to take some action that’s good for you, but of questionable value to them.
What that means is that you can structure an email sequence to build up a frenzy of anticipation for what’s next… even if you’re leading your crowd to a sales page.
That’s because you’ve conditioned people to expecting that whatever you send their way, free or premium, will help them solve their problems and have a better life.
That’s all they want.
That’s all you should give them.
My 3-Step Email Marketing Strategy – Step 2
Not everybody will buy your product or service.
Yet, your email sequence goes on.
Why is it that some people won’t buy?
I learned this some time ago.
A certain percentage of people who sign up for your email list to get the free course on YouTube marketing, will cool off to the idea once they’re in your opening sequence or two.
There could be many reasons for this.
Maybe video is more difficult than they expected, or they try it out and it doesn’t feel right… or any of a million reasons that you’ll probably never know, and really don’t need to.
What you do need to know is that the people who back away from YouTube marketing are still excellent prospects for marketing.
If they joined your list to learn YouTube marketing it’s because they’re trying to sell stuff.
So what else might help them out?
- Facebook ads?
- Sales Page copywriting?
You don’t know, but you can find out.
Here’s the way to find folks that might want to veer off the path you’ve laid out for them.
Find other methods they can use to market their products (using the same example).
This means, in most cases, a high quality affiliate program that might be available to teach them Facebook ads, SEO or copywriting… just to name a few possibilities.
Now, this might seem to be getting dangerously close to the hard-sell, constant-sell email campaigns that send most folks into fits of nausea.
But it’s different.
Here’s how I do this.
I don’t look for the “product of the day” type of offering you’ll see on everybody’s email list.
I look for that occasional, big product launch that’s coming down the road a month or two.
I do my research, grab a review copy, talk to the product owner, etc., until I’m certain that this can really and truly solve the problems that people on my list are having.
Then I craft a whole new “launch sequence” of emails designed to introduce people to that idea.
But I don’t send it to everyone on my list.
I only send it to people who WANT it, and they must TELL ME they want it or they’ll never see that sequence of emails.
I’ll use the example of Facebook ads.
Half way through a sequence in which I’m selling my YouTube Marketing course or product, I send out an email to my list that says essentially this…
Hey, I hope you’re seeing how powerful video marketing can be. You’ll be learning a lot more about this in the next few days. Meanwhile, just about everybody knows how that Facebook marketing is another great way to promote your products.
Now, I don’t want you to get off track, but there is a special new course coming down the road in a few weeks that can really help you find your way with Facebook marketing.
IF you’re interested in learning more about this, please click this link and I’ll include you in my special 5-day Facebook ads training.
If you’re not interested, simply do not click the link and you’ll never hear about this again.
Now, those folks that click that link will begin a new sequence that runs parallel to the one they’re in.
Do you really think they’d click that link if they were not interested in Facebook ads?
Don’t you think they’re a pretty laser targeted prospect for that new product launch?
And they’ll become even more interested once they’re in my special Facebook ads sequence because again… just like in step 1 above, I get to control the narrative and create an escalation leading up to launch day.
Remember, I’ll write the narrative… no one-size-fits-all swipe that tells my readers “I don’t give a hoot about you, but I do love the commissions I can get by selling you this thing.”
Instead, I’ll be crafting a high quality email sequence that will in fact, be a valuable asset in and of itself.
And I’ll be inspired by the fact that I really and truly expect that people will benefit if they buy the product I’m promoting, but they’ll also benefit from what I teach them in the email sequence.
So the difference is this.
If you’re watching your favorite show and a commercial pops up with someone yelling about how great Pizza ABC is, do you really think they care about you?
And because you don’t think they do, are you interested in watching their boring, arm-twisting commercial?
Of course not.
Yet, if you’re watching the same show, and your best friend sends you a text message that reads “Hey, I’m at Pizza ABC… this stuff is great, should I bring you one?” … you’re far more likely to pull out your credit card.
Because the guy on the commercial doesn’t CARE about YOU.
Your best friend, though, does.
So you can trust him.
While everybody else is trying to convince folks to buy the new launch product, they’re coming across like the guy on the commercial.
You crowd will buy it from you because you care about them.
They know that.
They already trust you.
Now you’re simply showing them, in the special email sequence, how the new Facebook course can benefit them.
Quite a difference in approach and believe me… a big, big difference in the results you will get from your email marketing.
My 3-Step Email Marketing Strategy – Step 3
I want you to notice something.
In Step 1 and Step 2, I set up email sequences as autoresponders.
In Step 1, somebody signs up for my email list and gets and automatic roll of email sequences based on their original interest (example: video marketing).
In Step 2, people opt-in for an entirely new autoresponder sequence (example: Facebook marketing).
This is just a single-launch sequence.
When the product has launched, the sequence dies for people who did not make a purchase, but for those who did, they will automatically be rolled into a new email sequence that is relevant to, in this case Facebook marketing.
So, maybe a graphics package they can use in creating Facebook ads, and so forth.
So what’s happening is that you get more and more closely refined segments of your email list that continually tell you what they like.
This is not only valuable to keep promoting congruent products to them, but in also creating your own products where you see the greatest interest.
Now, Step 3 is the “Broadcast” aspect of your email marketing.
If you’ve ever been on one of my email lists, you may or may not know about my email sequences.
It depends on what you signed up for, what you’ve purchased, or what you’ve told me in a survey that you’d like to hear more about.
So as my customer, you may have seen some of my emails but not others.
If you never buy my products, you probably get very few emails because you’ve displayed a low-interest in what I’m doing.
The more you buy, the more serious I believe you are about blogging and internet marketing, so the more value-packed email sequences you’ll see from me.
However, you probably see all of my broadcast emails.
These are the emails I sit down and write every day (or I try to anyway).
These are emails that are really just relationship building.
You get to know me better, and if you reply to my emails as I always invite folks to do, I get to know you.
The broadcast emails are simply a way of keeping in touch.
Everyone gets them, in addition to any special sequences they’re getting.
If you hang out on my email list for a while and I see you’re not opening my emails, or clicking through on embedded links, or making purchases or replying to my emails… I’ll probably just deleted you from my list.
There’s no point in sending you even my broadcast, relationship building emails.
Most marketers think the more people they can send offers to, the more likely they are to make money.
The more money you’ll spend on monthly autoresponder fees, and the worse your delivery rates will get.
That’s because, when your autoresponder, or the email services you’re sending to like Gmail, Hotmail, Yahoo and the others… will all see that a very low percentage of people open your emails, so they must be mostly spam.
The result is that your emails end up in spam boxes more and more, and fewer people who really WANT to see your emails, will ever get to.
So, in Step 3, I maintain a fairly robust level of relationship building via broadcast emails in order to monitor who does and who does not want to be on my list.
You see, even though I really do care about you as my subscriber, if you never engage with my emails or buy products I promote, I assume you don’t really care about me being your teacher and leader in the great digital universe.
Since it’s my business, I make the decision to cut you off my list.
I can’t afford to expect you to take on the responsibility of unsubscribing, so I make it my responsibility to maintain a high level of list management, which means… keeping people on my list who have shown by their behavior that they want to be on it, and deleting the others after a certain amount of time.
So, now you know “My 3-Step Email Marketing Strategy.”
I hope it helps you make your own strategy more effective.
Please let me know how this might effect the way your implement your own email marketing strategy.
As usual, I encourage you to share this article with others on your social sites.