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Email Marketing Expert Emily McGuire on Getting More Results from Your Emails: The ROI Online Podcast Ep. 57

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Do you feel like your marketing emails don’t deliver anything but unsubscribes and spam flags? On this episode of the ROI Online Podcast, email marketing guru Emily McGuire shares the key elements of an effective email marketing strategy and practical tips to help you create one now.

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Emily McGuire was in the talk and e-commerce space for 10 years. She started out as a marketing generalist digital marketing generalist with social media, and she was already doing digital marketing. Her boss asked her to put together an email campaign. She quickly realized that email is much more complicated than she previously imagined.

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Creating effective marketing emails involves more than just a catchy subject line. It requires a thoroughly researched strategy, trial and error, and plenty of hard work. But the results it can deliver make it worth the investment.

Email combines the creativity of copywriting and design with the technical aspect of research and strategy. Emily explains that there’s no more satisfying feeling than when all the backend systems work together to drive a totally personalized email experience.

In this episode, Emily and Steve discuss:

  • The no. 1 ingredient you need to truly flourish in any role
  • How to create an effective email marketing strategy
  • The resources you need to maintain that strategy
  • Common mistakes business owners make with their marketing
  • And more!


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You can learn more about Emily McGuire here:

Flourishgrit.com
Follow Emily on LinkedIn
Follow Emily on Instagram
Follow Emily on Twitter

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e QuickStart Academy today to learn how to develop and implement a proven growth strategy that grows your ROI, your business, and your confidence. Learn more HERE.

 

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Topics: Marketing, Podcasts

Emily McGuire: 

If you haven't established a reputation with them before as being an email they want to open, then they're gonna ignore you. So I say this because some people, one of the strategies I hear people talk about is, the sender name should be a personal name because it increases open rates. I've tested that. And yes, open rates will go up, but so do unsubscribe rates. So if they don't immediately identify that name, if they don't have a personal relationship with you already, and they open it up, and they say, Oh, I don't remember this person, or I don't know why I signed up for these emails to begin with. They're gonna unsubscribe. So making sure that sender name is super clear is the first thing.

Steve Brown: 

Hi, everybody. Welcome to the ROI online podcast where we believe you, the courageous entrepreneurs of our day, are the invisible heroes of our economy. You not only improve our world with your ideas, your grit and your passion, but you make our world better. I'm Steve Brown. And this is a place where we have great conversations with winners just like you while we laugh and learn together. Emily McGuire, welcome to the ROI online podcast.

Emily McGuire: 

Thanks for having me.

Steve Brown: 

So the folks that are listening, obviously, in the first few seconds of an episode, and they're going Why in the world, Should I continue listening to this episode of ROI online podcast? Emily, you are like a marketing guru in the email marketing world? Tell us a little bit why. Why would you stake your flag in that part of the marketing world?

Emily McGuire: 

Sure. That's great question. So yeah, I have been, you know, in the talk and e commerce space for over 10 years. And I started out as a marketing generalist digital marketing generalist with social media, and I was already doing digital marketing. And they were the company I was working for at the time. They were like a specialty food store. And they had like a cooking school and restaurants and all kind of stuff. And they were like, Oh, you do digital, you can do email, right? Here you go. And, yeah, and that was that. And I realized I loved email so much more, because it was more about well, a it combined. You know, the creative piece of copywriting and design and strategy, and messaging with the technical aspect of you know, coding and email and automation and all the backend systems that work together to drive a totally personalized email experience. And, and I realized, I love that. And so I got my next job only doing email for a very large e commerce company. And I was on a team of like six people who were only focused on email marketing. And it was just a fascinating world to take a deep dive into. And, and in that role, I, I was able to see the exact power of email we met team, we generated over $20 million in revenue annually. And then I got to work on an abandoned cart campaign and test it and optimize it. And that campaign made a million dollars annually. And so I saw I was a direct witness to the power of email. So I was hooked. And when my husband I was in North Carolina at the time, and my husband, I moved back to Michigan after we had our side, and I was looking for the perfect job. I only wanted to do email. I didn't want to be a generalist again. And I wasn't finding it. So I created my own. Yeah, I'm doing the whole thing by myself.

Steve Brown: 

So your company's flourishing grid.

Emily McGuire: 

Yes. Yeah, flourishing grit, I focus on email marketing and automation.

Steve Brown: 

So where what's behind the word flourish and grit.

Emily McGuire: 

So for me, it's like two ends of the spectrum, right. Like a lot of business owners I meet and a lot of marketing directors, I mean, they have a lot of grit, right? They, they our heads down and what they do and they're trying to pull together every resource possible to make things happen. And I those are the type of people I love to work with. And, but at a certain point you get you get to a point where the grid is doing it right, you just can't do it on your own anymore. And one of my hardest lessons I've learned is to truly flourish. To truly grow, you have to ask for help. So it's pulling those pieces two together, like, you have to be able to do the hard work to get your hands dirty. But at a certain point, you have to ask for help, or you're just going to keep spinning in the same old mud. You know,

Steve Brown: 

I love that. So I think first of all, a lot of the marketing directors are the people in charge. They're relating with you, the folks that listen to this, they're relating with you, because they were just handed something you you know, social media, right? You've got a Facebook out, don't you hear? You're in charge of this?

Emily McGuire: 

Yeah, do the Facebook ads, that's the same thing, right?

Steve Brown: 

So when that happened to you, how did you feel?

Emily McGuire: 

Um, well, I love a new challenge. So I was excited. But until you get into it, and then it's overwhelming, right? And Google and I became best friends. And just really gave my keyboard a workout trying to figure things out. And I've made so many mistakes. And that's a hard one to write is being okay with making mistakes in the beginning.

Steve Brown: 

And the the folks that you're trying to help, they need to be okay with you not knowing everything and making mistakes as well. Right.

Emily McGuire: 

Right. Well, and that's the thing is like, no marketing solution is one size fits all. And, you know, I've I've learned a lot of lessons that applied to very specific industries and audiences, but every business is different. And every ideal client for a business is different. So it's a lot of setting a baseline, and then experimenting from there.

Steve Brown: 

Yeah. So what, um, what an opportunity to get to go to a company that had the resources, and had acknowledged the importance of setting up a really good strong email game. So getting to work with all those folks. Tell us some of the big epiphanies that came from that experience for you.

Emily McGuire: 

Oh, yeah, I mean, really, you know, having the right resources and tools is everything, right? It's really hard to admit when, you know, because personally, I like to think I can do it, all right, until you get to a point where you're just like, Oh, wait, I can't it's, it's impossible, it's humanly impossible to do it all on your own. So it's really fascinating to be able to work with a team of people and have the resources at hand. The complication, there is the operations piece, right? marketing operations is its own thing. And so like figuring out how to work with a team of people, you know, multiple stakeholders, including copywriters, designers, developers, learning how to speak their language, I think was the hardest hurdle to come to get over. And then also just being organized to be able to pull all the pieces together and let an entire team know what's going on. That has profoundly benefited. My current business is being able to say, okay, we need all these pieces, I need to be able to tell somebody exactly what I need in a way that they'll get it. So actually learned copywriting and design and coding, just so I could talk to all of the people who would help me and again, that has helped me tremendously because now I know copywriting design and coding, but then it was only to learn how to talk to people very clearly so we can get things done quickly.

Steve Brown: 

That's such a struggle did Where did strategy become apparent to you and that in that organization, because you have all these people with all these agendas? Okay, coders, they have their their agenda and their expertise. And they exactly, they see things a certain way, usually not the same way that a marketer or our content person. How did how did you start to learn how strategy impacted all of that?

Emily McGuire: 

Yeah, that's a really great question. So strategy itself. Um, you know, it can be really difficult to explain the intricacies of email marketing to people who are only focused on one piece of a puzzle, right? They don't see the entire thing and So what was really beneficial was having weekly reviews of our data, we would do weekly and monthly reporting. And we would be able to see like, look at all of our emails and see, okay, did this email achieve our goal, and then back into why it might not have. And that piece, that strategy piece, and being able to read the data, and then explain it to other people, I think, was, again, really valuable. Because you know, everybody's got their opinions, everybody's got their methods. And so when people start questioning your strategy, behind, you know, really guiding people out of the inbox, and to conversion, having the numbers to back that up, was really powerful. And then like, also being open to suggestions from people who might not be in this data, day to day. So that's where ABX testing really came into play. So when somebody would say, Hey, I have this idea, I really want to do this. And maybe it's not something you've done before. And you're skeptical about ABX testing, it is a surefire way to help people feel like they're contributing, and also be open to new ideas. And then you have, you know, somewhat concrete evidence. Okay, this is why we don't do that. Or maybe we should explore this more, because it made a difference kind of thing. Yeah.

Steve Brown: 

So AB testing is an excellent example of being able to take out the subjective opinions of things. But also, it reveals that you have to have an aptitude for technology and taking advantage of, of things that technology offer us. Hmm, but not it be the only thing because you do have to have a creative side, you have to have a strategy side, but you need to be able to take advantage of technology, it's very confusing for most people to put all those things together.

Emily McGuire: 

Exactly, exactly. There's so many components at play, that, you know, when you're looking at some sort of digital media, or digital campaign like email, you know, it takes you what, two minutes to skim an email. And you think, oh, that clearly only took two minutes to put together, right. But the complexity of all the back end systems, all the creative components, the planning, the brainstorming, the editing, it's, it's a lot. And so like being able to pull all those pieces together, can get really complicated really quickly.

Steve Brown: 

So true. You know, the people that I believe are the invisible heroes of our American economy, are entrepreneurs that have companies with 20 or less employees. That means you have to wear all these different hats, including marketing and sales. And it's like, I was shocked to find out that 98% of the come the business, the businesses and US have 20 or less employees. And when we were sitting here talking and and so the luxury of a company with 100 employees is that they have an army of folks to do this for them and a budget literally in house. And that's who you're competing against.

Emily McGuire: 

Right?

Steve Brown: 

And so do you find that most of the folks that you work with their email is like an area that they could really be killing it, but it's like the most neglected aspect of really good marketing? Absolutely. I

Emily McGuire: 

mean, it's one of those taken for granted channels, because people don't understand. I mean, because everybody uses email every day, right? I mean, most everybody uses email every day. And so like if you're in it daily, it's one of those again, taken for granted things like It can't be that complicated, right? But when you're starting to deal with, you know, 100 subscribers, 505,000, a million subscribers, it gets really complicated. And you also have to be able to invest the resources into that channel, in order to really see it take off. So like, if you have one marketing person on your team, or none at all, who's trying to manage the website, the social media, if you're doing print campaigns, you know, whatever it is you're doing there, they don't have the bandwidth to not only practically or tangibly do these things, but invest the time to strategize, or learn more about At. So yeah, especially, I mean, an email is the highest ROI marketing channel for a lot of reasons. So the potential is there, and some people there, they don't have the resources to invest or they're not willing to allocate the resources.

Steve Brown: 

So what are those resources?

Emily McGuire: 

So, strategy, right. So usually, you know, some sort of thought behind email, instead of just like, oh, let's just send an email, which, you know, is a great starting point, sometimes, you know, sometimes you just have to get into it and get a little dirty with it. Um, but yeah, it's a it's a strategy, and then people are doing it. And I'm just throwing emails out there. Like, why isn't this working? And that's when you either have to invest in an internal person to go learn more about email marketing through, I mean, maybe not a conference right now, but some sort of virtual learning or certification, or you look outside the company and and get a consultant to help you with strategy. But yeah, then there's copywriting specifically for email, that's a whole thing. Design specific specifically for email, the right tool, email, they call those email service providers. I think your company is probably more familiar with HubSpot, you know, like you have an email marketing tool like that. And all of the other things that go along with that it's a lot of manpower, it's in its tech, too.

Steve Brown: 

Yeah. So it's, there's a problem with this, because you have to tear up in technology. And all of a sudden, Alright, so we're designing this email, we're gonna send it out to this list. Okay. But, so we're gonna, let's say it's a list of 1000 people. So we've got this one to many message going out. But what's our desire here, that someone is going to start to engage one to one? And if you're not prepared to follow through on the one to one conversation, that's another big, big deal.

Emily McGuire: 

Exactly, exactly. So exactly what you just said, being able to? Well, a being able to know what your goal is, for an email is its own thing. You know, when I, when I talk to new clients, my first question is, you know, so what are your goals for your email program, or all of the email campaigns you've been sending out? And usually, I get a very long pause, I'm so like, being able to identify that and articulate it is its own thing. And I always start there, because it helps focus you. And so you know, exactly why you're designing the email, what you're trying to design the copy, and most importantly, the metrics afterwards to determine if it was successful enough for you. So, um, I've already forgotten your question.

Steve Brown: 

But then you go from one to many to one, yes, one.

Emily McGuire: 

Yeah. And then you have to be able to deliver on that, right. So when you are, is, you know, say your goals for your email campaigns are, I don't know, booking a call of some kind like booking an appointment. If you don't have that back end piece in place to make it easy for somebody to book an appointment, or you're not directing them to the right person to book that appointment? Or you don't have the people to book that appointment, then, you know, what's the point of even putting that email out. So you have to be able to deliver on what you're promising. And in addition to making it super easy for people to accomplish that goal,

Steve Brown: 

right, you have to have all the foundation and the backside prepared and ready to harvest all this activity that hopefully you're gonna generate.

Emily McGuire: 

Yes, exactly. And having a tool that helps you look at that, too. So some email service providers, they only give you, you know, metrics like open rates, or click through rates or unsubscribes. Like that's all the data they give you. Other emails or other email subscribers. Nope, that's not it. Other emails, service providers.

Steve Brown: 

For you to say,

Emily McGuire: 

like HubSpot, they'll tell you what pages people are visiting, if they're subscribed to your list. If they visited a page and didn't complete the action, you know, like, all that data is super beneficial to have about your email service or email subscribers. So you can go back and look at Okay, where are people falling off? You know, if I'm trying to get them from an email to booking an appointment, did they just click through to the website and then maybe go to a couple other pages and not complete the action? How do I follow up with those people? So yeah, having that data, and the tool to allow you to capitalize on that data is just as important.

Steve Brown: 

So there's all these compliance issues that go with this email stuff. You know, you tee up this beautiful email you spent all this time on there, you send it out. And the first one that replies is someone like really just rebuking you for being so rude as to send them an email?

Emily McGuire: 

Yeah, exactly. Well, I mean, there's compliance issues, and then there's like user experience issues. So you know, the United States, we have the can spam Act, which, you know, is an FTC regulation, that of many things. And what it particularly pertains to for email marketers is that, you know, you don't have to somebody doesn't have to explicitly give you permission to email them. But you are required by law to include a way for them to opt out. So usually, that's an unsubscribe link. And almost every email service provider will require that of you. Because again, it's compliance, it's a regulation. In Europe, they have GDPR, which requires explicit permission to market to somebody. So that means in the US, that means any EU citizen, whether or not they are in the currently in the EU, has to give you explicit permission. So where this comes into play is, so that's the you know, that's the legal piece, when you send people emails that they don't, they didn't sign up for, right? So if you went out and found a list of emails, or bought one or scrape to them from the internet in some way, just randomly sending somebody an email that's like, hey, buy this thing can be really off putting to somebody like, Who are you? How do I know you? How did you get my information? And so like, those sort of cold email campaigns have to be very strategic, and focused around building the relationship, otherwise, people are going to get upset.

Steve Brown: 

Yeah, so I'm struggling with this conversation with someone who goes, why can't I just send it from my Gmail? Why do I need this tool? And it's because you don't have the subscribe option on there.

Emily McGuire: 

Right? Well, yes, there's that factor, and like the back end piece of that world. So you know, we all if you're sending emails, you have a sender reputation, right? So everything obviously is tracked online, including who is sending emails, and where they're sending them from and who they're sending them to. So if you don't have the unsubscribe link, in your email, as you mentioned, you know, what are people going to do when they get that email, and they might be upset that somehow you got their information? Well, they're gonna mark you as spam. And that's tracked, right. So the server you're sending emails from is the or the IP address is going to start getting dings on it, right? And when email clients are looking at your IP address to determine where they're going to serve your email, and they're gonna send it to the inbox to a spam folder, or not deliver at all, they're going to look at that sender reputation, if you get too many dings, they can you can get what they call, you know, blacklisted, and none of your emails will get delivered. So your personal emails, your emails to your clients, to your customers that you're regularly corresponding with daily, you could they could be rejected. And that is a whole other nightmare to clean up. I've had to do it for I've done over people and it is like I said it's a mess. So I I recommend being very careful with that and very strategic about it.

Steve Brown: 

That's why you want to use one of these email services.

Emily McGuire: 

Exactly. Exactly. And like and just being very conscientious of, of people potentially marking you as spam. It could hurt your ability to send emails in the future.

Steve Brown: 

You know, I get I get 150 200 emails a day. If I don't check my email, like over the weekend or something, I swear I take 30 minutes just hitting delete all of these emails. What are what are some stats How do you? How do you stand out and actually get read? And when people like open it up, they see all these emails and they just start deleting? What's going on there? And how can you get your email to actually be accepted, opened and read and responded to?

Emily McGuire: 

Um, yeah, so. So the first thing people look at in the inbox is the sender name. So if they aren't, if they don't immediately identify who you are, and if you haven't established a reputation with them before as being an email they want to open, then they're gonna ignore you. So I say this, because some people, one of the strategies I hear people talk about is, the sender name should be a personal name, because it increases open rates. I've tested that. And yes, open rates will go up, but so do unsubscribe rates. So if they don't immediately identify that name, if they don't have a personal relationship with you already, and they open it up, and they say, Oh, I don't remember this person, or I don't know why I signed up for these emails to begin with, they're gonna unsubscribe. So making sure that sender name is super clear as the first thing, you can add some visual interest to that. So that it stands out in the inbox, you can put emojis in a sender name or a special character, so that it stands out a little bit. subject lines, and you want to make it catchy, right, and you want it to to be something really tantalizing. And so one thing I see people do a lot with subject lines, that's not super helpful is making about the brand. Putting the word you in a subject line is going to obviously speak to your audience, but testing around this as shown account increase open rates. So and it just reframes it in your mind, so that you're speaking to your audience, and you are telling them what's in it for them when they open the email. So that's what I usually ask when I'm trying to when I'm writing a subject line is, why would somebody want to open this email? What's in it for them? And that will, obviously speak to the benefits that you're offering them instead of like, hey, this email has something in it, you know, being specific and talking to your audience, like they're real people gets better responses.

Steve Brown: 

So then we get it opened, what's going on next? What's the next hurdle, or the audition, you have to pass?

Emily McGuire: 

Well, um, so another mistake I see a lot of people make in their emails is they just jam it with a ton of content. And it's fine. I mean, that could be okay, depending on your audience, but it's overwhelming, you know, people skim emails on the skim digital content. And so if you're just putting article after article after article that all has the same sort of weight and focus to it, people are just going to glaze over the same thing that that is also the same thing with text, right? If you're just putting a glob of text in an email, people are going to just glaze over right big blocks of paragraphs. So what I recommend as one having one primary focus to your email, so having one theme that you are focusing people on and having one primary call to action. So again, it helps people focus on what it is you want them to do. And then you can have maybe some supplemental content underneath it. And I wouldn't do more than two or three things, right. So if you have, for example, you know, you have a new service you're offering and you want to note that having that your primary focus, making sure your call to action is clear and specific about what they need to do next to take advantage of that. And then, you know, maybe having a couple blocks of, you know, here's our portfolio, here's some testimonials. Here's what, here's some additional supplemental content you might find interesting, or products. So, again, really making it helping people focus and understand what's the next action they need to take to to become a customer or a repeat customer.

Steve Brown: 

On a positive pause here just for a moment and talk to you about a program that we have just released called ROI quickstart Academy for authors. Every Day I talk to business owners just like you who struggle with quickly getting their fundamentals in place. We want to create a great foundation, and we want to grow our business. But the things that are in our way, our lack of knowledge about the specifics, we should put in place, what kind of technology, what kind of messaging and what kind of campaigns, and that problem exists for authors as well. And we just chill so good with authors because, well, I'm an author, and I understand everything that you struggle with, you have a great idea, you have a great book, but what do you want to do, you want to get your book in front of more people, you want to make it easy for them to find you learn how they can schedule a time to talk with you hire you for a conference, or maybe sign up for the services that your book promotes. So what is the Quickstart Academy for authors? Imagine working with a small group of like minded authors, and the experts from the ROI quickstart. Team, it's a great way to get your messaging clear to be confident with the technology in your marketing automation, and how to run a strategic campaign to get you more of what you want from the investment of your book. To learn more about the Quickstart Academy for authors, you can visit ROI online.com or click in the link in the show notes below. And now, back to this episode. So where does creative fall in this? Yeah,

Emily McGuire: 

yeah, yeah, so that has a lot to do with layout. So like I mentioned, first of all the fonts, I'm breaking up your copy. So it's not giant blocks of text, again, like eyes glaze over it, and people just sort of skim right through. So breaking up that copy, adding visual variety to that copy, whether it's bullet or bulleting, lists, bolding, certain things, changing font colors, to really emphasize certain portions are highlighting those pieces of text, that kind of thing. And then, you know, having some kind of visuals, to add a visual interest, like a header image minimum, will really visually capture the attention of people and help them keep scrolling. And then also, making sure your call to action is actually visible, that it's not some random hyperlink buried somewhere that people are expected to hunt for. So either a big bold button, or just if, if your users are primarily or your audience's primary outlook users, that having like a big bolded hyperlink text.

Steve Brown: 

So there's, there seems to be kind of this conversation about just a, an email looks like a personal email with no creative, just a quick message, as opposed to a very well developed out creative, you know, with everything, what's your opinion, what are you seeing as far as data?

Emily McGuire: 

So I, so I've tested this, and it depends on your business, it depends on your audience. And it Yeah, and it depends on your offerings. But what I would say is, having a variety, like mixing those kinds of emails up, really helps. Um, so like, having that letter from a real person definitely adds personalization and personality to the email makes it seem like it's coming from an actual human, instead of, you know, a team of faceless, nameless people. And that can be very effective, that that straight letter format, but again, when I see people do is just like big, chunky paragraphs that are it's too much copy. Again, it all blends together. And it's really hard for me to see where I need to focus. So you can do that letter format and still add visual variety to the font. But also, like having a very well designed or a pretty email, quote unquote, can be a really effective tool to show if you are doing if you have like a high end service or you have a very visual brand. So what I do is I mix those things up for myself and my clients, depending on the campaign and the campaign goal. I see having a mix it like a couple of templates of that kind are really beneficial.

Steve Brown: 

So what do you what do you see? I see videos now there tools, such as Vidyard, and others, where you can quickly quickly spin up a video version of an email where it's not the text that's not be created, but it actually has a personalized video from you. Mm hmm. What is your experience with that?

Emily McGuire: 

So I've seen this used, again, that has, that takes a lot of resources, right to be able to pause and do a one to one or at least load up the information so that it looks personalized. That's another tactic. So if you're already have a good email program foundation under you, it's definitely something worth exploring videos are powerful in any digital marketing channel. They allow you to, again, show people tell a story, visually, and especially if you're like an entrepreneur, and you're a solopreneur, maybe just starting out super powerful, right? Because you're really selling yourself, literally, you're selling your time. So yeah, videos are really powerful. The only thing about email is that eat videos will not play in an email, most of the time, you have to click through to see the email or see the video, there are tools that will let you play an video in an email. But those are very expensive. So those are more like for major enterprise brands. Or that kind of budgeting is. So yeah, I recommend videos all the time. But you have to have the resources to do that,

Steve Brown: 

as it is it could serve as well as a supplemental component of your traditional email that we discussed, you can have a video option, should they want to consume just the video aspect? Or if they wanted to go on and read the rest of the email, then you would have both bases covered?

Emily McGuire: 

Exactly, yeah, that's a that's a really great tactic. I also do that, especially in welcome series, or, you know, if you have like an email funnel sequence, then having a video in one of those emails is really powerful, because your your subscribers are most engaged right out the gate as soon as they subscribe with you. And so like having that, like your brand story, in video format as one of your first emails and your welcome sequence is really powerful. People love that.

Steve Brown: 

So what is your data show? As far as like the number of emails, let's say you signed up. And so I'm gonna, my goal is to get you to schedule a time to talk to me. How many emails should I have planned over time? to expect that you're actually going to take that action? You're not going to do it the first time? A few May. But most of all, right? What's proper expectations?

Emily McGuire: 

So it depends on, you know, how expensive your offering is, right? Some people have very long sales cycles, because they're selling these huge programs or offerings or products that cost you know, hundreds of 1000s of dollars. So, or if you're a you know, selling some, you know, in the e commerce world, people send a ton of emails because that buying cycle is so short, people make those decisions very quickly. So, it depends, you know, on how many? Do your ideal clients have additional decision makers, they need to talk to right, how many people are involved in this decision buying process. So what I've seen with email sequences is that, you know, generally the first two or three have higher engagement, right, people are opening them or they're clicking them more and then people start to trickle out. And so those people who are the most engaged in those emails are worth sending extra emails to right then you start segmenting your list based on how warm your subscribers are, are your leads are. And then that can take you know, an additional three to 10 touch points, depending on the customer. So usually where I start with baseline is five emails to enough to talk through storebrand kind of things and to start collecting data on people on how actually They're being. And then from there, I start pinpointing who are the most engaged, and start sending follow up emails to those people, specifically.

Steve Brown: 

So you have to have a certain baseline of contacts to really begin an effective email campaign. Because I, there are folks that go, I'm just starting, I don't, I just have a list of 20 or 30 people, there's people that have 30,000 out Where's like a good area to start to diligently grow that list over time.

Emily McGuire: 

I mean, everybody starts from zero, right? Everybody starts at zero. And so the thing is really just being consistent, consistently sending emails to people, whether that's, you know, once a month, once a week, whatever that is, so that people start to, you know, expect your emails. So and then the beautiful thing too, is, as you're starting to produce emails to a small audience, once you start getting above 100, contacts, you have all this backlog of email campaigns, you only sent to the first 20. And so you can recycle those easily, as your subscribers keep coming in. Right. Um, so to me, for me, especially, and especially, you know, very small businesses, it can be very hard to make that email campaign, a regular part of your marketing practice. And I think at that point, when you have a small audience, you get to experiment more, you get to start coming up with new routines and strategies more, and it feels much more low stakes and low pressure for you to just to start getting your cadence and your feet under you, because that's part of it, too, is just coming up with your processes, your habits, your routines, around putting out digital marketing campaigns in general. But getting used to email is one other channel you have to get used to. And having the smallest is the best playground, because it is low stakes. So yeah, it's worth just getting a routine in.

Steve Brown: 

So what does it look like working with you? Let's say that you were going to come in and start working with ROI online, right? Describe what that engagement looks like, and what do you what do you do?

Emily McGuire: 

So this varies from, so what I usually do with people is I look at their lifecycle, so their customer lifecycle, and we start mapping out each digital touch point, based on the analytics you have, and where are people falling off in their funnel. And then how, what campaigns are the highest priority for bringing people back into your funnel and keeping them there. So that's a roadmap, I do a roadmap with every customer. And so it's basically an audit of what's going on. And then we come up with, you know, an ideal template for your campaigns, content to start pushing out and a calendar. Because again, that's another place that's so hard to manage are those content calendars. And so we just start getting those processes in place if they're not already there. And because to me, that's the foundational piece. And that's where getting organized and having your feet under you is where, where you're really going to start seeing things take off, because then you can focus on the creative pieces, and the experimentation and the testing

Steve Brown: 

from there. That's the hard work that takes the longest.

Emily McGuire: 

Yeah, I mean, yeah, getting that base down the right template for your business, the right segments, the right opt ins, and the sequences that follow up with that. Because it's it's so hard to go back again, when somebody signs up for your list. It's the most engaged they'll ever be. And so you really want to capitalize on those contact contacts. As soon as they get on your list. start warming them to your brand and your services and your offerings. So they know exactly who you are instead of having to like instead of expecting them to go hang out on your website and figure it out on them on their own right.

Steve Brown: 

Let's talk about your brand you. Obviously your glasses are unique and a very memorable aspect of your brand. Why? Why the glasses

Emily McGuire: 

Well, it's funny because I, um, I had designed my own logo when I started my business and I was not in love with it. And I had. So it was one of those things, I was like, I need another person to help me because I'm, you know, when you're so in it, it's so hard to see from the outside. And when I told when I hired a logo designer to help me with it. That's immediately where she went. She's like, your glasses are unique and memorable. And everybody says this about you. They remember your glasses, and I'm like, oh, okay, let's go with that, that and so like, having that recognition, that brand recognition. Um, you know, this has just been what it's been for me so far. Which is funny, because I've always enjoyed funky eyewear. So now it's like, oh, well, that that's a part of me, and people like it weird. And so and so part of that, too, is just, you know, having that vision like being able to. So what I tell people I do is uncover hidden revenue in their email list. And part of that is having a discerning eye. So being able to see that is what I do, then fits in with the eyewear.

Steve Brown: 

I love that. So in the beginning, you said, you have to ask for help. What did you say exactly? You

Emily McGuire: 

had to? You have to get to a point where you're ready to ask for help. Yeah.

Steve Brown: 

So the trap is if I asked the wrong person for help, that's a setback. That's a common dilemma. How do we how do we discern who's going to help in this area?

Emily McGuire: 

That's a great, great question. So sometimes, if you don't know what you're looking for making the wrong decision helps you find out what you're not looking for email. So I've learned that lesson a few times as well. Um, and sometimes that's just as helpful. But what you are looking for are, who fits in your industry? Like, do they have industry experience? Because email marketing, the strategy of varies widely, depending on like, and I'm thinking like b2c companies versus b2b, that email marketing strategy is very different. So being clear on, you know, what your industry is? what your goals are for email. So like, is it specific? Like, do you want it to only drive revenue? And, and what does that look like for you? So you can ask those questions? And do you have a designer in house? Do you have a copywriter you can use? And what specific tasks Do you need help with? Because some people, some email marketers, they only focus on copywriting, some only focus on execution of emails, some only focus on design, and some only do strategy. So if you need help with all of those things, yeah, exactly. finding somebody who either can do all those things, or has the resources to help plug those things in. And because what people and you know, if you need help with all of those things, budget is obviously another piece to consider. People just starting out are obviously gonna charge less, because they don't have the experience. And it might take them longer to do. People who've been doing it for a long time are going to charge more because they've learned all of these lessons already. So just being aware of that, and how having a number in mind of what you're willing to spend to invest in, this is going to really help you out.

Steve Brown: 

Emily, what's the one question you never get the answer that you would like to answer about what you do?

Emily McGuire: 

Oh, about what I do. Oh, no. That's a really good one. What's the one question? Um, I think. Ah, so this is not gonna be great, but like, what's the biggest mistake you've ever made with email marketing? Yeah. Because like the thing is, so I have clients who, you know, I'll come in and train a team member on how to do this thing. Like I might set up everything for them, and then train somebody to pass it off onto and that poor little email newbie gets terrified, right? They get so anxious, that they're going to break something or screw it up. up. And what I always tell them is, well, your first mistake when you send the email at the wrong time or to the wrong audience, you're officially an email marketer. Because Because we've all done it right, like, and it sucks, and it's so awful and you feel terrible. And But hey, I feel like it's a rite of passage. Every every email marketer goes through, like, maybe they have a typo in the subject line or something like that. And I think, yeah, that biggest mistake is a

Steve Brown: 

is a big one. Welcome to the club. Right,

Emily McGuire: 

exactly. Right. Like, and I think it's, it's impossible to think somebody can do everything perfectly 100% of the time we don't. We're human and

Steve Brown: 

why. Best that's done.

Emily McGuire: 

I know, you're human. I know. I'll just go I'll go over here now and hang out in my human corner. My shame human corner. But yeah, we all do it, and nobody's perfect.

Steve Brown: 

Emily, what's if someone's been listening, they want to reach out to you connect with you talk to you a little bit, learn maybe how you can support him or help him what's

Emily McGuire: 

So I hang out on LinkedIn a lot. I like to post a the best way? lot on there about my thoughts and feelings about email. And so you can find me on there Feel free to connect with me. And I also have, one of the biggest questions I get from people is, you know, what's a good open rate on emails. So I have a free action guide on how to boost your email open rates. It's at flourishgrit.com/open. And that'll walk you through how to look at your open rates and write a better subject line.

Steve Brown: 

So that's flourish, grit or flourish and grit,

Emily McGuire: 

just flourishgrit.com/open

Steve Brown: 

slash open. Emily McGuire, you've been awesome guest on the ROI online podcast. I really appreciate your time and have enjoyed you and I love your brand.

Emily McGuire: 

Thank you.

Steve Brown: 

Yeah.

Emily McGuire: 

Thanks for having me. I love to talk about email. So I got that hour out of my day to just talk about email.

Steve Brown: 

All right, that's a wrap.

Emily McGuire: 

All right. Thank you.

Steve Brown: 

Thanks for listening to another fun episode of the ROI online podcast. For more, be sure to check out the show notes of this episode. And feel free to connect with me on LinkedIn where we can chat and I can help direct you to the resources you're searching for. To learn more about how you can grow your business better. Be sure to pick up your copy of my book, The Golden toilet at surprise, that goldentoilet.com I'm Steve Brown, and we'll see you next week on another fun episode of the ROI online podcast.