How to Grow an Email List for Your Business

A woman sitting at a desk with a laptop and a notebook.

Wish you knew how to grow an email list for your business? If so, you’re not alone. In preparation for this episode, I Googled “How do I grow an email list?” And do you know how many results there were for that search?

1,170,000,000. Yes, friends. That’s over one billion results.

People know the value of email marketing. That’s for sure. They just don’t know exactly how to grow an email list.

Good news — you don’t have to search any longer. I invited Kate Doster, host of the Inbox Besties podcast, onto the show to talk all about list building with me.

We’ll cover how to grow an email list if you don’t have one, how to kickstart a stagnant list or address your list if your business is completely changing, and what type of lead magnets will help you actually grow your list.

Copy says: Listen in to this episode of the Talk Copy to Me podcast

Here’s Kate and Erin’s best advice on how to grow an email list

  • Why borrowing other people’s audience is the only one true way to build a list
  • How other forms of advertising, like SEO, sales copy for Facebook ads, and more also borrow other people’s audience
  • What type of partnerships you should consider if you’re looking to grow your list
  • How connecting with new-to-you business owners opens up a much wider potential network to introduce yourself to
  • How deleting people from your list can actually help you when you’re working on growing an email list
  • Why initiating a cold-subscriber sequence is so important before simply just deleting subscribers from your email list
  • The mindset you need when you’re learning how to grow an email list
quotes from this episode of the Talk Copy to Me copywriting podcast

Quotes about how to grow an email list from Kate and Erin

  • “If you default your brain to being like, ‘What’s the bravest thing I can do right now?’ That’s gonna get you the fastest growth.” – Kate Doster

  • “People love to create. They don’t necessarily love to promote.” – Kate Doster

  • “If you pitch a podcast, you get on a really great show, and you have a lead magnet for it, you could have huge results…if you just had that five minutes, and you really crafted a pitch that was honest, was direct was informative, like the podcast host will put you on. – Erin Ollila

  • “Lists growth stalls, and there’s going to be tactics that work really well when you’re smaller, that just aren’t going to necessarily work where you’re bigger.” – Kate Doster

  • “Everybody is telling you, ‘You need an email list. You gotta grow your email list. If you don’t have an email list, you’re gonna die penniless.'” – Kate Doster

  • “Fear is a is a big thing that holds us back from growing our business.” – Erin Ollila

  • “[Don’t] say ‘Join my newsletter’, because unless you’re Oprah or Beyonce, like nobody really cares about you. Like, we like to think that they care — and they probably will care after they’ve been on a list for a while or after they followed you on social — but at the very beginning, when it is a stone cold audience, they are not gonna care. No.” – Kate Doster

Other episodes mentioned:

A future episode on consistency in email marketing

Tools and programs mentioned in this episode

Summit in a Box
Up Viral
Convertkit as a potential email provider (This link will set you up with a FREE plan!)

Kate’s homework assignment for you is to ask for a promo swap

“This is going to test your ‘brave thing’ muscle,” Kate says, as she encourages listeners to reach out to someone in their network and ask if they’d be willing to do a promo swap by sharing each other’s lead magnets on email and social media.

Meet this episodes guest expert on Talk Coy to Me

Meet our guest expert, Kate Doster

Kate Doster is the host of the Inbox Besties Podcast, creator of the Love Your List 2.0 email marketing mega course and is dangerously obsessed with helping ethical entrepreneurs carve out their slice of the interwebs by wooing the hearts (and wallets) open of their small but mighty audiences thanks to fun email marketing and easy yes mini-offers.

She believes you don’t need to bleed the alphabet or be a dirty rotten spam face to write emails that jolt subscribers into taking action, gobbling up your paid offers like candy… or kale if that’s their thing.

Looking to connect? You can visit Kate’s website or find her on Instagram.

Kate’s programs mentioned in this episode
Collaboration Cash In
Freebies that Sell and Serve

If Kate could meet anyone, she’d meet:

Kate’s business crush is Paul Jarvis. She loves his book and misses his email newsletter (and if you haven’t previously signed up for his newsletter, you can do it at the bottom of this page).

(And Erin gave a shout-out to her crush, Trevor Noah, because, why not take an opportunity to mention how much she appreciates him!?)

Get to Know the Host of the Talk Copy to Me Podcast Erin Ollila

Learn more about your host, Erin Ollila

Erin Ollila believes in the power of words and how a message can inform – and even transform – its intended audience. She graduated from Fairfield University with an M.F.A. in Creative Writing, and went on to co-found Spry, an award-winning online literary journal.

When Erin’s not helping her clients understand their website data or improve their website copy, you can catch her hosting the Talk Copy to Me podcast and guesting on shows such as Profit is a Choice, The Driven Woman Entrepreneur, Go Pitch Yourself, and Counsel Cast.

  • Learn more about Erin’s VIP Day options if you’d like to learn more about how you can hire her to write emails for you
  • Reach out her on InstagramTwitter, Facebook or on LinkedIn to talk more about how to grow an email list

Want to know more about how to grow an email list? Here’s the transcript for episode 034 with Kate Doster

NOTE: This podcast was transcribed by Otter, which is an AI tool. Please forgive any typos or errors. SPEAKERS Erin Ollila Erin Ollila 00:45 hello friends today we are here with Kate doster and you know you are going to have an excellent conversation about email when I bring up her name. But one thing you may not know about Kay is that in 2005 She got to go to two tapings of the prices right now. I grew up on the prices right my grandmother lived with me my whole childhood so I pretty much spent all afternoons in her house watching prices Ray, daytime soaps and then later like Jeopardy and Wheel of Fortune. So the idea that you enter the price is right leaves me insanely jealous. Tell me did you get called down? Did you get to go on the stage? What was it like? 01:28 I did not get to get called down sadly enough. So when we had gone, they had been on Monday Holiday. And so we were there on Tuesday. So on Tuesdays, it’s a Monday Holiday, they do double taping so they can get all their tapings for the next couple of weeks out. So that was really fun. And when you mentioned your grandmother, the price is right was my nannies favorite show. So my grandmother and one of the things that began because Bob Barker was still the host at the time, which I feel is very important to distinguish everybody absolutely was still the host. And they would give away like his glossy headshots either. I mean, they claimed he signed I’m sure with an assistant signed it. So I gave my autographed picture of Bob Barker to my grandmother, so I could be the favorite grandchild ever. It worked. Fine. So the thing about the price is right. It’s the studio is a lot smaller than you would think. Like if they do some insane camera angles, but the one thing everyone that’s been to it and everyone that was like around us like the student is a lot smaller than I thought but it was just, it was so much fun. I’d follow my cousin, you got to see the big wheel. It was just a great time. A really great time. Erin Ollila 02:35 That is so cool. I personally love that you gave that to your grandmother as a gift because like this is totally going to the side but I always think with my grandparents like what the heck can I get these people for gifts? Right? Like they don’t need anything at all one because they can absolutely buy it themselves and two because they like they literally do not need a thing in their house. Like even when it comes to like gives them enjoy. It’s always the classic like boring gifts. Like let me get my grandmother my mama candle right like I mean, it’s boring. So the idea that you could give her something that was like so personalized and precious to your relationship. Growing up is like the nicest thing ever. I love them. 03:14 I pray that most people have those great sort of staying home sick grandparent members when it comes to the prices right but it was it was a blast. Like I said even just going it was a blast. Oh, that’s Erin Ollila 03:26 great. So we are here today to kick off our series on email, everything email. Last week we did an episode where we talked about a follow up to our quiz email, a quiz excuse me quiz episode, where we talked about how to email people after you’ve kind of created a list of guests as well just edit that part out. Last week, we talked about emails as it pertained to quizzes. But to start off this whole series, one thing I’d really like to kind of talk about is how do we actually build a list? I think this is one of the most easy and mysterious things that happened in this online business world. You know, everyone talks about list building as a thing that gets done. And then there’s a lot of information about what goes in emails. But I feel like there is a lot that’s unsaid about how to get out there. Build your first list. Make sure the list is really actually filled with ideal people kickstart lists that could be stagnant. So I think this episode is kind of great for anyone who’s listening regardless of where they are in their list Bill building journey, I guess let’s start with the people who are starting from scratch. What’s your advice for them for really just getting started when it comes to list building? 04:45 Sure. So first off, I love the quiz episodes. I think those are really great. So if you guys have not listened to them, go back and listen to them. I will be the first one to say I don’t necessarily think a quiz when you are brand new is the best way to go. Because as you know the most effective thing for or quiz is those after funnels those after sequences and so you’re going from I’ve never done any of this to now you’ve got to write four or five actual sequences in order for it to be effective. And sometimes when you’re brand new, you don’t even know what you’re gonna be selling yet. So, I think that quizzes are a little bit better off. When you’re a little bit further on down the line. I’m just gonna go ahead and say that they’re fantastic, fantastic. So I love that you guys talked about those. So when you are first starting out, you have to realize that, honestly, there’s only one real true way to build a list. And that is by borrowing somebody else’s audience. So I was like, oh, but like, What about like ads, you’re borrowing Facebook’s eyeballs, you’re raring Instagrams, eyeballs, you’re, you’re borrowing tiktoks audience, right? You’re paying to be there. But you’re there, right? You could do something like guest posting or being on podcast, look at your borrowing somebody else’s audience, people will talk about search engine optimization, guess what, you’re borrowing Google’s. So truly, there’s only one way to grow your email list. And that is when you are first starting out. That is to borrow somebody’s audience. So what I like to tell my students when they’re first starting out, you know, whether they are a service writer, of course, grader, obviously, if they’re a blogger to they’re going to be creating a lot of content on their own blog, I would say make sure you’ve got like, say, like five pieces of just like pillar content that you’ve got on your blog. And of course, you can do the, I like to call them sort of the slow burn, but you also need to do a mix of the Blitz strategy. Google’s not gonna fall in love with you, especially if you’re a new blog, it’s just not gonna happen. So like, boy, like I’m doing everything that people are talking about search engine optimization like that can take months 6789 What are you going to do in the interim? Right. Okay, so what you are going to do? Well, yes, definitely follow those best practices, get yourself out there as much as possible. So what I mean by that is, you know, if you are part of Facebook groups, look for people that are willing to do I call them freebie swaps. So a freebie a lead magnet, again, a quiz, we talked about being a great lead magnet, but a lead magnet that you have the PDF that you have created, maybe you made a little mini email course those sorts of things. Ask somebody like, hey, well, they share it with their audience, spend instead of a lot of time, you know, fooling around on your website and your blog, right, it’s almost like that referral model that we were talking about earlier, make sure that you are again, pitching podcast, maybe you are really ambitious, and you have time, and you’re gonna do what we call one of the two big collaborative events, you can do something like hosting a summit, which is a heck of a lot of work ever. Oh, and just so you know, if you don’t Kristen Miller in your life, she has some in a box that don’t even bother, I have to be honest with you, or you can do it I like to do because, honestly, it’s just easier for the summer, you can probably make more money on the front end. But I personally like to run either free or paid bundles. So that’s where you get people, if you’re gonna do a free one, you get people to give them I call them elevated freebies. So they could be a tripwire product, it could be a bonus that they pull from their main course, and you got, you know, like five or 10 other people that are also going to serve your ideal audience, which I love that you brought that up, we want the ideal audience, but in different ways, then you do. So like, I wouldn’t have somebody, especially in my free bundle, say if I’m trying to grow a lot of people that want to know how to do email marketing, I probably wouldn’t have another email marketer there, right? Like, unless they’re like one of my friends, maybe. But I’m going to make sure that I’m the email person. So then I’m going to go find a stock photo person, I’m going to find a lawyer, I’m going to find an Instagram person, I’m going to find out, you know, blogger person, you think about what else does your ideal person need help with? So if you’re like, Oh, well, I just target like busy moms. Okay. How do you help busy moms, maybe you’re into budgeting, you’re like, that’s the coolest ever, right? Go find somebody that does meal planning, go find someone that does organization go find someone that does self care? Again, it this does not have to be hard. And then you ask them like, hey, and I always like to make sure when I’m pitching people for those that I try to make it as personalized as possible. And I tried to, you know, scope out their website, they say, Hey, so I know that you have this amazing self care course, for moms on your website. And then you wouldn’t say the name, I’m actually running a free bundle where the whole goal is just to get MLS so we can actually fill your email list with people who’d love to be able to buy this course. Right. So again, you’re putting in a little bit of homework. So I know that was a very long answer, because there are a million ways to grow your email list. But I think, honestly, when it comes down to email list growth, if you just default your brain to being like, what’s the bravest thing I can do right now? That’s gonna get you the fastest growth, because there is nothing rave about spending an hour in Canva, creating 12 different graphics for one of your five blog posts that you have and scheduling it and tailwind. Again, it’s a slow burn and you can’t rely on morality of those things to necessarily get you there. What’s braver asking somebody be on their podcast, deciding to do ads? I mean, I’d probably hired out I wouldn’t do when you’re first starting out because you really do need to get your messaging and that’s why you listen to this part. I’d cast you to get your message DryLin first board put dollars behind it, that’s already always default to the bracing. If you’ve got no like top five minutes to do anything, what’s the bravest thing I can do right now and do that. Erin Ollila 10:10 That’s the best advice ever. I’ve just got to say that like Leila, I’m just gonna close down the podcast on this one, because I’m a big fan of the like, baby step business. Like, I hate that. It’s either sold to us or we just naturally believe that, like, if we try really hard, we can achieve this wonderful, huge successful business in minutes, right? Like, because it’s, it’s an imaginary story that’s told, like for me, I’ve been in business a long time now. And I can tell you that all not all right. I’m gonna preface this in a second. Well, I guess the opposite of preface, I can say that all of my growth has been coming from small baby steps. It’s the like you said getting out of Canva. I like to call Canva or like up splash like stock searches my like, productive procrastination. Like I do that. Only when I’m not doing what I know, I should be doing I could spend hours. And then when I’m done, though, but what happens is when you’re done, you’re like, What am I doing this for? Like, this was me trying not to do something that I know that I need to do. So just to backtrack again for a second. I really believe in baby steps. I will say like, you’re right. If you put in the effort, like when it comes to being brave, like you pitch a podcast, you get on a really great show, you have a lead magnet for it, you could have huge results. So yeah, it doesn’t feel like a baby step. But if you just had that five minutes, and you really crafted a pitch that was honest, was direct was informative, like the podcast host will put you on. So it’s a baby step that has a big lead, right? And that that was building I mean, you’re if you wait until like, you know, a Saturday Facebook group posts where it’s like, share your freebie. And 250 Other people put their link in there, you throw your link, and you think that’s really the effort that you need to do for list building, your list is never going to grow. The other thing I really wanted, you can happen I can see you your wants to say something here. 12:02 I was gonna say the way that you could do that, because I agree that’s a waste of time. However, you know that if somebody is posting their freebie and that link thing, you could probably be like, Hey, Susan, I saw your link to your lead magnet again, whatever it is, and I actually really liked it. Would you be willing to do a freebie swap? I’ll email my people and post on social media about your freebie and your landing page. And you do the same for me. So that could be for like, what where do I find people? There? Yeah, now you might not have huge list. And this is why I love you. And I love your show. Honest baby small steps, you’re not gonna promise them the sun and moon in the stars, but you’re gonna get them in front of some new people. Erin Ollila 12:43 Right? And you know, you’re jumping out of the same little pond that you’re in. And I say this all the time. Like I hear I see a lot of the people that I work with, like swimming in the same little ponds of the network’s. So they’re talking to like the same groups of people the same audiences all the time. And they’re wondering like, well, I’m working so hard. Why is Microsoft not harder? Well, a lot of it is that you need to jump out of the pond like swimming a little bit of a bigger ocean here. And it’s that’s sometimes I think, where we all have our own blinders. I don’t mean this in any like judging way to people, like I find myself doing this, sometimes I don’t notice that I am. But you find a random person, if you check out their freebie, it ends up being something you like, if you’re not connected at all, chances are even if their list is tiny, or your list is tiny, it’s all new people to you. Like it is a completely different pond that you’re swimming in. So I actually really think that’s a great idea. And I what I like about it is it goes back to like research, right? Like, we can’t just if we have these Facebook posts that were you know, dropping our links and and stuff we have to go in, we have to download people’s lead magnets. And that tells us a lot about who they are as a business, are they actually providing quality content. So I think that’s really a great first step for what you’re suggesting of doing like the bundles with people or a freebie swap. When you first mentioned bundles, my immediate thought was like, Oh, we bundles are also a lot of work because you said summits are a lot of work, like you really need to like, talk to somebody to get something in a box and just do your homework before you do it. And I agree. But when it comes to bundles, I at first I was like, Oh, I don’t know if people if they’re just starting their list are really going to be prepared for that. But the way that you described it, I thought at first was like such an aha moment for me that I hadn’t even considered a tiny bundle. Right. So like, again, you know, like you find 456 people in your niche. It does not have to be 45 people I mean, 14:34 it should not be right and even with a free one, especially free and paid are slightly different. We can talk about the difference, but with a free one in particular because you want everyone to get great results by only having I call it gift pillars to talk about it in my course like by only having like one person for that gift pillar. And by not having a million things for people to scroll to. You’re gonna get people more results. And if you’re wondering how people become friends with people, you get them great results. And again, you’re not gonna pry missed anything. And I have some students that they didn’t go like that the premium gift route, they literally just did, essentially a free bundle with all their normal freebies. They just like gave it like a summertime thing. And I think they like just raffled away something, just to be fun. And that worked super well. So they even took out the like, oh, no, we’ve got to create something bigger aspect of it, it can 100% work, never underestimate the power of you. And for other people. Erin Ollila 15:25 I love that. So let’s shift slightly, because I know another thing I hear a lot of my clients say is, you know, oh, they’ve been less building for a while maybe they’re at the point where they’re, you know, really struggling to know their own business, they are deciding to like uplevel their messaging and rebrand their website. So they might have a list of a few 100 Or sometimes over like 1000 more people on their list. But one, they’re not sure if it is filled with ideal clients and to where they find themselves struggling is that they haven’t had a lot of growth. It’s very lightly trickled in at this point. Do you have any advice for how to like kickstart a list? Yes. 16:03 So I think that I would actually go back to as you were talking about, like your little steps before, which I think is so smart, go back and actually kind of look at like, well, what have you been doing? What is making it stagnant? And how did you get those people in the first place? So say you’re about those people in the first place, because you were blogging twice a week, right? And you stopped blogging, and you stopped posting to Pinterest? Well, that’s why that revenue dried up, because you stopped doing the thing that was working. Or you go back and be like, You know what, I’ve been creating content every single week for the past, like do you know two times for all this. And we’ve talked about conversion style content in a second. Because it’s important, it’s conversion style content, as well. But my list isn’t growing. Well, guess what? Now you need to try something new, that you haven’t done before. And like you said, if you know your business, maybe you do want to dabble in ads, maybe you’re going to go on a on a podcast pitching spree, maybe and I always say, do the modality that feels the best to you. Because that’s really important. So if you are more of a talker than a typer, then go on the podcast, if you’re like, Kate, I can write a blog post in like 15 minutes, it’s the best than you are going to pitch every guest blog post thing that you can think of, so you can get there, you’re gonna make sure that’s relevant to their audience, you’re gonna put that link in there, and you’re gonna get out there. And that’s how you’re going to sort of do it. If you’re not quite sure if your list is the right list anymore, because I do know that people have pivoted, sometimes just need to tell people just lay it to them straight that you are pivoting. Right. So what was the freebie that you’d had that people got down there with or you’re not doing that anymore? Maybe before you were doing more Pinterest, and now you’ve decided that you want to switch to mindset because you’ve had your own breakthroughs that just let them know, like, hey, so I know that you came on here for Pinterest. And that’s how to expand your business. I want to let you know that that’s not actually going to be the focus of my business. Just like Pinterest change. I’ve changed and honestly, I found what’s made the biggest difference for me is this and this. And if you want to stay for the ride, that’s great. And if not, I’m going to welcome you to unsubscribe, because I would never want to be that thing that you’re like, Oh, who’s this Rando email you pay for right? So you can invite them to unsubscribe? Like there’s nothing wrong with it. Because you said we do want the right person. So we’re going to make sure that we have the proper lead magnet, opt in gift, whatever you want to call it to be attracting those right people. So again, what have you been doing? Hasn’t been working? And now you need to do something different? Erin Ollila 18:38 Yeah, that’s, that’s helpful. And you know, it brings me back to two things. One is I also am firm, a big firm believer is repelling is a wonderful thing for you and for your leads. And to you know, it’s really goes to our future episode that we’re going to do on consistency. Because if you’re not consistently emailing people are your they either don’t know who you are, right? Like there’s a confusion factor or there, there’s a different type of confusion like, Oh, I haven’t heard from that person, like, what are they up to? What are they doing? Now let’s say you are doing the Pinterest person that’s switching to mindset but you are actively consistent with your email list. They know you as the Pinterest person, you’ve developed a trust with them, like there’s the cadence of your messages that they come to expect, whether they’re reading them all the time or not. So if you tell them your business is shifting, that’s no big deal to them. They’re going to just take that with a grain of salt because you’ve been consistent and you’ve been showing up in their inbox. Now if you are the Pinterest person, and instead of like emailing weekly, let’s just say as an example, you email weekly for four months, and then like every other month and maybe like twice a month. It’s like that’s the worst place to start when you’re going to mention that you’re pivoting your business. So if it’s just that you are changing your business, maybe the first thing that you do is just be more consistent with your emails before you start to spring. A big change on them and wonder if they’re the right fit. People, if you can bring it back to being consistent, then that I think it’s a lot easier to get people to trust you, before you changing your business model. And that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t, I’m not suggesting you don’t change your business model, I’m just suggesting showing up more regularly talking to them about what’s going on behind the scenes, the things that you’re experiencing. And then you can really shift the content of the emails once that’s kind of been more set in stone. 20:24 Mm hmm. And again, hopefully, there’s some type our overlap, because if you’re, if you are doing Pinterest, then maybe you’re going to start talking about a little bit more of like general business concepts, ways that you have grown, and you can sort of like naturally sort of pivot that way. Now, one of my biggest hobbies is powerlifting, I’m going to have a very hard time converting that list into people that are now interested in powerlifting. And strength training, probably not going to happen. So in that particular case, if your business has completely like, there’s little to no layover, instead of inviting people to unsubscribe, you’re going to invite people to like resubscribe. So you can either send them to a landing page, or you can just be like, click here, and you’re going to learn all about how we are going to turn your entrepreneurial spirit into a fitness and active one again, why is the reason they should follow you, they’re gonna get tagged in your email service provider, after you know, a week or so whatever deadline you give people deli, all the people that don’t have the tag that they’re now interested in powerlifting, what I don’t want you doing is just deleting everybody and giving nobody a chance. Because maybe some people do want to hang out with you. Maybe they really did get some great information, maybe they are actually interested about this topic, even if they haven’t heard from you in a while. So give them the choice. At least try to. Yeah, there you go. Because again, I think that for everybody lists growth stalls, and there’s going to be tactics that work really well when you’re smaller, that just aren’t going to necessarily work where you’re bigger, or they do work when you’re bigger. But the ROI is not necessarily there. Because there’s a really big difference. One of my students for collaboration, cash, and this the bundle scores, she went from, like less than 5000 people to over 4000 people buy one free bundle, right? That is a huge shock, is that I’ve already got over 25,000 people on my list. So 4000, no offense to the fourth house, people I would still love them, that’s not going to be as big of a jump is business changing as it was for her. So you’re gonna have to think about it. This is why you’re gonna have to iterate. And again, ask yourself, have I really been doing the briefing with this building? Have I even truly been focusing on list building? And then again, what do we want to look, if they’ve been up there for a while, maybe SEO is something that they want to do, because they want more of a slow burn thing. But again, always put in some type of blitz strategy, right, a limited time thing, you could do that bundle, you could. And this isn’t really a limited time saying we technically do it whenever you wanted. You could because we talk a lot about referrals, there are systems out there where you can reward your current subscribers, for sharing out about your own lead magnet. So you could something like go viral, which is free. And it’s like if they post about on social and unlocks like this additional freebie that you create for somebody can be a discount code, it could be a little mini course on something. Or you can use something like up viral where the only way that they unlock the prize and up viral as paid is if they not only share the link, but they get somebody to actually sign up through their link. So essentially, it’s like creating a referral program without any payouts. But guess what, if you’ve got affiliates, because you have paid products, or you have a referral program, and your list hasn’t grown in a while, why don’t you revamp? Or do a special promotion for your affiliates? Have you actually emailed your affiliate slash referral network and a while and give them a reason to tell people about you? So again, I think it sometimes comes down to there’s a million different things you could do. So if there’s like, ah, which one do I do? Just pick one, I would not suggest that you give yourself a you know, 30 Day Challenge do like eight reels a day, if your accounts at zero at Instagram. Yeah, that would be fun. But I think I would rather you do something else instead. Because again, you’re still trying to grow Instagram, to then grow your email list. Don’t get me wrong. If you’ve got any type of social media presence at least once a week or twice a week minimum, you should be talking about freebies that you have, because not everyone’s going to sign up for it. Yeah, that’s Erin Ollila 24:20 super helpful. And it really like you said, it all comes back to just doing the thing, right and like embracing doing the brave thing. And you know, another thing you said I like to touch on, I was going to talk about it later, but you just mentioned it. So it’s helpful. It’s also doing the brave thing when it comes to deleting people from your list. Obviously this episode is about growing your list. But there’s something else to consider when it comes to growth. It’s the right people on there. So can we talk about like the bravery you need to actually ask your your email lists like do you want to be on here and I say that in a simple way. Obviously there’s a lot of different strategic approaches to how you can either segment your list or Ask them of their interests, things like that. Like you mentioned, if you are actually doing something more drastic, like changing careers, it’s like, Hey, do you want to be in this? powerlifting less that I’m building now? Okay, cool. See you later, right? But and then that’s great, too, if that’s the situation that you’re in, it’s a big change. But can we talk about like maybe like what you’d be saying to your audience before you decide to remove them from your list, or why you’d even want to remove people to start with. 25:27 I love that one. Actually, I consider a future episode. So make sure that you hit subscribe. And while you’re there, leave a rating and review, I’m not going to say five stars, but I feel like it should be five stone 25:38 about how great the podcast is. But again, I digress. So when you’re doing the brave thing, and it is coming down to deleting those people, as you’re talking about, in a future episode, you’re gonna be talking about consistency. If you have a mixed bag of people, your brain is gonna be like, Well, what do I send it that is relevant to everyone, because I’ve got some people that are in to budgeting. I’ve got some people that are in the home organization. And I’ve got some people that took, like my time management thing. What do all of these people have in common, right? So if you can’t, like broke them all under one umbrella, or it’s freaking out your brain, or all of a sudden, now you’re thinking that you have to do three newsletters every single week. But what if somebody subscribed to all three of those freebies, now they’re getting three things. Now they hate you. This is a reason to just like take a deep breath. Relax, right? If you are in that situation, where this is where you’re freaking out, and you can’t figure out like, how am I going to be able to just talk to these people? Which thing do you like the best? Like, I know that everyone is like, Oh, do that, like where all the money is, or this is more for bloggers, rather than service providers, and course creators because you separate the two, if they have a post that does happen to go viral, everyone be like, Oh, create a freebie based off of that post. Now, like, don’t, if you hate talking about cricket, or you just happen to throw together last minute places get free cricket printables. See if you can reach out to those cricket blogger people and get affiliate links to share their freebies, do not put people on your list that you do not want to talk to being on your email list is a privilege, right? So don’t split your attention. I don’t want everybody on my email list. And it’s nothing against them. But like you’d said, talking about rappelling, I make sure the way that I talk is on all my landing pages. We talk about spammer faces and misspellings and all that sort of stuff. So it’s like if you want somebody super professional, I’m not your girl. But my writing never showed you that girl. So you can move on, there are people who are much more straight laced than I am. And I really do want you to go to them, not for any other reason than I need good people to make money. So you need to go find the person that resonates with you. So deleting them, if you’re just not into that anymore, then delete them, you can let people know if say that you did have that sort of three favorite things. But you really have decided Time management is the thing that you want to talk about. But you’ve got those meal planning people and the organization people to deal with, send them an email, just like we had talked about and let them know that you’re pivoting, you’re going to be gearing more towards that. Or maybe you’re gonna be sending them an email because you segmented out your list about time saving tips for meal prep, and then towards the bottom, you’re let them know that time saving is really where you’re at. And that’s the thing that we’re going to be sort of talking about here. But if you’re not into that anymore, you can feel free to unsubscribe, it’s Hey, literally, like treat people like people. Hey, so I know we usually talk about meal planning, but I kind of figure you might be reading this on a toilet and you might need, you know, some other time management tips through some other stuff I do as a busy mom besides meal prep, right? So now all of a sudden you pivot in there, people aren’t into it, they’re gonna delete it. For other ways to be brave to delete your email list. And this, I don’t want to say that it has become trickier because I do think it’s a good thing. But email service providers, it was like remember the iOS update that came out? I think it was last year 2021 made it so when most people open up their emails on their iPhones or even on like the Macs, but definitely other iPhones, it will block the little pixel that says somebody opened up your email, which I think privacy is a good thing, right? So to just blanket delete everybody who hasn’t opened up your stuff in three months, six months, or in ConvertKit has that cold subscriber tag? I don’t think that that’s the smartest move, because they might be opening up your stuff and it’s just not registering. Right? So we have a cold subscriber sequence that we put people through before we delete our one. I always make sure y’all know like that one subject that one topic because you got a business rule while this point that like, people just lose their mind over right like for me, it’s like list building, right? Even though I talk way more about copy, we talk about sales, psychology and mindset. People, they just they always want more people to talk to you, right? So I have my first email that goes out talks a little bit about like list building and gives like a tip and I think that we might refer to a podcast episode in it. Then after that, if like, I can’t get it so register somebody who’s not clicking on something. Then I will kick off the rest of the code subscriber sequence right? Because that again, I always send a fan favorites because people love it. People love it. Then it kind of goes in into that, like, Hey, I know that it sounds really creepy right to okay, I know we’re shoving over my emails. So you try to approach it in a least creepiest way possible that, Hey, Susan. So I just want to check in and make sure that you are still interested in home decor design for cheap, because I realized that you know, your time might be spread thin, and I honest to god, I really hate getting emails, I just have to leave. So could you just reply back and let me know or click a spine that you still want to get these, and we’ll be good to go. Right. And then that last one can be like that breakup email, where you just kind of let people know like that you’ve got the hint. 30:33 Sometimes you can use as your subject line, like, Oh, I got the head right. Now Active Campaign can have it set up where you send all of those things, they still don’t open it or it still can’t register. And then I still have it wait for about a week or two, just in case. And then they’ll automatically like unsubscribe people from all of your list, right? ConvertKit, you can create the automation, where as soon as somebody gets a call subscriber tag, it’ll send them those emails, it’ll take off the quote, subscriber tag, if it can register any type of action. And that’s why for some people, you need to tell them, especially that last one, just reply back, give me a one, an exclamation point, anything if you want to keep talking to me, because technology is great, until it isn’t right, that sort of thing. And then after that sequence is run, basically, you’re gonna have to manually go in and dump out all the people who got to the bottom of that automation. So Erin Ollila 31:27 yeah, that was really great. So 31:33 it’s really tricky, because everyone, and everybody is telling you, you need an email list, you gotta grow your email list. If you have an email list, you’re gonna die penniless, in your giant loser face. So now when you’re going against all of that advice, it’s like, man, or like, well, what are these people want to buy? Again, if these people really want your stuff, they will resubscribe. And we most email service providers, if someone’s been deleted, they won’t allow them to get there. So they will email you and be like, hey, like, I tried to get this thing and it didn’t work. It’s okay, I can manually add you in there. And now it’s going to work again. So it is oh, K, it is okay. And as I know, you’re going to talk about in the rest of the series. You know, having a bunch of subscribers that don’t like they’re interested in you shows things like Google and Hotmail, and Outlook like, Hey, I don’t know if this is like the best subscriber, and you do want to have a good, you aren’t good reputation with those inboxes? Erin Ollila 32:28 Yeah, absolutely. And, you know, I think one time, one thing that it goes back to, I mean, I should probably just add the word brave into the title of this episode somehow. But it goes back to like, being brave enough to be able to like, look through these things, like you said, Follow the whole whole yellow brick road that you set out, but be brave, and get on those podcasts like write the blog post, because if you’re giving people a lot of opportunity to sign up, or multiple different like methods, like multiple different lead magnets, whatever it is, then they have that option, right? Sure, there may be some friction if they’ve been actually deleted from a list, but they have the option to come back to you at any point. They could do it even via social, right, you connect in like after like, you know, DMing someone and they’re like, oh, yeah, I used to be on your list. I’m an I cannot, I don’t think I’m getting your emails anymore. manually add him in, right, like, look for listening cues. So that way you can be able to pick up on these things. And you could invite people to be on your list. Like, I think fear is a is a big thing that holds us back from growing our business. You know, I have a course on testimonials. And when I did a lot of my research for the course, all I heard was really competent business owners that I recently did some research with, who were like, Oh, but I don’t want to bother people. I don’t want to like go back to my clients that didn’t respond to that one email, I sent them about a testimonial. And a lot of the questions I had, and these are people who are like killing it in their business, and they look great on the outside, and they are confident and I’m like, did you have a good experience with these people that like didn’t fill out your form? And they’re like, of course, yeah, the client experience was great. We still talk regularly. And I’m like, Guys, do you? Do you know how busy you are you if this was you, and you got one email that you accidentally forgot to fill out a testimonial, but you really like that person you’d want to, like, help them? Well, I’m getting sidetracked now. But the whole point is the same thing happens with email, right? Like, if you have to put yourself out there and be like, Hey, you want to join my list? Or, Hey, you want to do the freebie swap or you want to be my bundle, like all of these tiny little things that make you feel like oh, I shouldn’t do that. Or I can’t do that. Well, the people you’re talking to are actually like grateful that you’re including them or that you’re asking them for help or that you’re you know, inviting them to join your list like we all have a bit of anxiety or like annoyance with email list because we’ve been sold to in uncomfortable ways or not nurtured, but we also are all people who want to help the other people in our networks, right? So a lot of it’s just putting yourself out there and being Little bit brave when it comes to these things. 35:03 100% Like, I can’t Harken that enough and talk about something that we had talked about before, about, you know, the different types of freebies and a conversion style content, you’re gonna make sure that the blog posts that the podcast that the video ideas that you’re doing, you can relate back to one of the freebies in your ways. So like, I wouldn’t if I’m going to say Create a YouTube video or podcast episode about growing your list with social media, like, notice how it’s that slant and growing your email list, right. And so I could talk about things that you could post on social, right, but my freebie is going to be like, but none of this matters if you don’t have a freebie that people actually want. So make sure you sign up for my free course freebies, that sell and serve. So the way that it’s conversion style is that one of your freebies, and it doesn’t matter how many you have, I don’t want you creating a brand new freebie every single week, I do not want you because you’re not going to take the time to promote the ones that you have. So I think like, if you’ve got more than three, there needs to be a darn good reason why you’ve got more than three. And it needs to be against something bigger, right? If like, for example, we’ve got our auto webinar, we have a PDF of email ideas, we’ve got that mini course that we’re talking about. And we have a couple of others in the mix. Because I realize I’ve got paid products that don’t have any freebies for them. So we’ve probably those just ain’t not everyone’s perfect. But I don’t want you being like, oh, like I just created this quiz. And now I’m doing like this challenge. And I’ve got that No, quickly, a couple of three. So that way you always again, because their podcast hosts are going to ask you at the end, oh, where can people hang out with you. And you want to make sure that one of your freebies is that next step, or even that first step, it’s like, I know that we talked a lot about this. But again, if you don’t have a great freebie not to spend work for this thing, right. So that’s where you want to make sure it makes sense. And again, your website. Again, we still do want people going to it. So you’re going to make sure that your home base is optimized to be cool, right, you’re going to make sure that you’ve got great headlines, but you listen this podcast, so you should have that taken care of, you know, you’re gonna make sure that there’s one above the fold, you’re gonna make sure in those blog posts that sometimes it’s hyperlink, you’ve got an actual opt in form, maybe you’ve got a picture that goes through landing pages, you’re gonna get people different opportunities, you’re gonna have a million pop ups and slide ups and all that sort of stuff, you can pick one, a whole low bar, that’s fine. But again, just make sure that people are aware that they have it, and how cool it is not to say join my newsletter, because unless you’re Oprah or Beyonce, like nobody really cares about Trump to, like, we like to think that they care. And they probably will care after they’ve been on a list for a while, or after they followed you on social, but at the very beginning, when it is a stone cold audience, they are not gonna care. No. Erin Ollila 37:40 And I mean, I think about the people that I really like, like the people that I follow in the online business world, I do care about them. But I’m also not sitting there waiting for my, with their emails, right. And sometimes I get their emails, and I’m just you know, it’s like I delete because I might have 300 other emails sitting in my inbox that I don’t have time for. So it’s another reminder that like, just because you’re putting something out there once does not mean that one, everyone’s seeing it that they’re at the like, the level of readiness or awareness or, you know, emotional awareness to be able to take a step on this. So it’s just, you know, the reminder, you got to keep doing these things over and over and over. But I want to say one thing, because I feel like you are potentially a psychic here, because the final thing I wanted to talk about this episode was this idea of lead magnets, because I spend in this conversation in circles with every single new done for you client I get. And it goes back to my question about like those, well, it goes back to the what we were talking about about the kickstarting a stagnant list. A lot of my clients when they are having me do done for your websites, most of the time, it’s not their very first website, it’s usually someone who’s rebranding or just slight shift in their business, and they’ve already had a lead magnet or multiple. So when we talk about like, well, what’s happening on these pages, like what are your opt ins going to be like? Do you want to build a list because I do have some clients who are you know, work with very, like I have a very high priced service. They work with people locally and list buildings, not a big deal for them, but for the majority. They’re concerned about it. And a lot of what I hear and I understand why, you know, they’re coming to me for strategies, I don’t know, like, what should I do? And I think that there are, this is going to be another It depends. I need to get those two words into every single episode, because at this point, it’s just, it’s just an echo. But it really does. The sign 39:31 of a great expert, by the way, tells you a definitive answer. They’re lying. Absolutely. Brian knows what they’re doing. Their answer will always be it depends. Yeah, Erin Ollila 39:41 I mean, I’m this is I really do something sometimes I should just change the entire name of the podcast to that but you know, think about it like if you mentioned like your powerlifting before, let’s say you start a powerlifting business where you’re just teaching about it from like a newbie standpoint to someone who is becoming more of an expert in powerlifting because I know nothing about it. So I would be like, Oh, what is this thing, right? Or you have a landscaper, the two companies have very different needs they have, they might have one might have services, one might have products, like how can you give strategy to someone without knowing all of these different things that go into their business, but bring it back for a second to talk about lead magnets, because I could go and talk about this for the rest of that for days. So a lot of the times, like we’ll look at what their previous lead magnets were. But what I find when I analyze what’s happening with them is that they’re creating lead magnets for their own ideal clients. Right. So it will be like, for example, an interior designer who makes a lead magnet that’s like how to design the bedroom oasis of your dreams, when in reality, the interior designer actually wants to attract clients who will hire them to create the bedroom for the client. So do you have any, like suggestions on how to like, think about what the most strategic lead magnets are? Not necessarily because again, you can’t give a firm answer to our audience of exactly what they need. But if someone’s sitting here, and they don’t have a strategist to talk to one on one, and they’re trying to figure this out for themselves, what would you say to do on their own research analyzation to pick the lead magnets that they use in their business? 41:18 Sure, so again, just like everything, it depends on sometimes you’re gonna have to test out some ideas, but you’re gonna want to make sure that the ideas that you’re testing out, it’s like, well, I put it up on my website, it didn’t work. Well, how much traffic did you get there? Did you actually promote it? Are you talking to it as other people talking about it, like, you’ve got to give it some trance because people love to create, they don’t necessarily love to promote, which is still just for creating and all honesty, right. So it is always going to depend. But the phrase that I always come back to because I’m big on phrases, as I like to use the supermax a lot principle, just like he likes big butts, so does your email list and so does your wallet. So you need to think of a yeah bite that somebody would have from hiring you or how they think that they’re going to get the results. Now, it could be something simple like that landscaping business, right? It could be one of those, you’re going to default to what I would call an econ model, and it’s just gonna be like, you know, 25% off, you know, your first service, right? And then we’ll What are you gonna email them about, you can email them obviously, about, you know, what you’ve got going on, if you have any spaces, but talk about the time of the year about what’s going on, like, Oh, this is a time of the year your graph looks like this, this and this, you’re gonna need to see it, I understand this process is going to take your five minutes are going to take you so long. But guess what we’re offering that as a package service, right? So you can do those things inside of your newsletter as well. Right for that interior designer, like you’re talking about, if they had some type of inkling, like they wanted to have an interior design like membership, or people get to ask them like their q&a questions or like a redesign my space thing that by all means that freebie that you talked about, I think is a really great one, right? So you need to think to yourself, like why would somebody not want to hire an interior designer, right. And sometimes the ideas might be better as blog post, and some of the times it will be better as a freebie and sometimes just sort of have to test that out. So like what objections do we have oh, and a higher interior designer, but I don’t have the money. But what if I don’t like what they look like? But I’ve heard that you know, what always goes over. But I heard that the you know, budgeting and the time and this all of this sort of stuff, right? So if that’s your industry, you should know why people aren’t going to hire you. And again, right? Maybe it might just be the absolute aesthetic, right? Maybe they’re just not quite sure how it works. Maybe they’re a control freak. So maybe your freebie now that you want to necessarily track these clients, but as somebody to potentially think about could be like how to hire a designer, when you’re a control freak, right? Because again, no one necessarily wants those clients. Right. But it’s, again, trying to think of those ideal clients what Yeah, but are they going to have to hire you? And that’s some things to 100% Well look at. Again, the the hive design your bedroom one, it does show off their expertise, but like you said, you you kind of want to look and be like, Okay, well, you know, are people actually hiring you off of this? Are they just looking for, you know, DIY services, those types Erin Ollila 44:12 of things? Yeah. And I would just add to that, and I mean, I know this is something you’d say, but just make sure you’re adding value period, right. So like, a lot of it. It depends on also equals like you have to test things right. So like, you put up a lead magnet, you think it is a good one, you get some people to sign up. Well, you don’t give it just four weeks, right? Like, if you see traction, let’s say you might have to like let it live for a little while, do the brave thing, talk about it all the time, put it in places where people can see it. And then if it doesn’t work, recycle it right, like maybe make it a blog content like you’re saying if it was a previous lead magnet, but you can’t just look at a quick set of analytics to see if it’s working or it’s not you can’t mention it just a few times. And look at the people who come in through that lead magnet if they are the Write client. And I guess a lot of that goes back to the sum up what we’re saying throughout this whole thing is, you want to grow a list, I think you’re also going to have to be auditing all of the work that you did, where, like when you’re taking these brave steps, where’s it working? Right? Like, are people coming in? Because you’re talking in Facebook groups? Are they coming in because you’ve been a guest on podcasts, right? So look at the ways that it’s working, where it’s not working, and continuously just make shifts in your approach over time. So that you’re giving all of this effort a chance to kind of work for you and give you the information you need to make decisions. 45:36 I absolutely love all of them. Erin Ollila 45:38 Well, thank you. All right, Kate. So I will ask you our final questions here. If you could give our listeners a quick and easy homework assignment. Based on everything we talked about today, what would it be? 45:51 I wouldn’t say go to a freebie swap. I know that this is going to test your bracing muscle. And honestly after you do it once, even if the person says no, it’s not that bad anymore. So what I’m do again, if you are in those Facebook groups, maybe you have made some online buddies, hopefully, even if they’re just sort of acquaintances, or maybe they’re people that you guys like DM on Instagram, how’s them feel like, hey, next week, could you tell your email list about my freebie and his landing page, and I’ll feature yours as well. And we can sort of help cross pollinate our list. And they’ll go for it nine times out of 10. People will say yes, again, you’re not going to promise them any number of subscribers, but just go for it work on that flex muscle do for as well. Erin Ollila 46:33 All right, I’d love that. Now, if you could be introduced to anyone or any type of person or group of people in this online business world, right now, who would you like to be introduced and why? 46:44 So I love this question. And I only have one answer. I refer to him as my online crush. And that is Paul Jarvis. Like the coolest dude ever. He lives in Canada. He’s done online business for like, a million years. He stopped doing his newsletter, which I was very sad about. He had the seeds like Sunday Chronicle. We’re here just send it out. But he just had such an interesting technique. And he does SAS and he just seems like the coolest dude ever. I’m like, I just want to be your friend Paul. Erin Ollila 47:14 Yeah, I agree. He’s awesome. And I mean, Paul, obviously listening to this podcast right now. So you’re gonna have to get connected with it if we’re going to talk about our online crushes not so much my online crush, but if Trevor Noah is listening, you should probably contact me as well because I 47:32 right, we’re just saying Right. But he has a really great book that I don’t want to it’s not anti like it’s anti everything else you hear he talks about a company of one like Paul will talk about the enough. Not that you’ve got to scale to a million kajillion dollars. And you need to have all of this staff and you need to do this and all this and I don’t want to call any influencers. You don’t need to model your business after another giant influencer a giant podcast, I’m pretty sure we can all think of the lady that I’m taking up. She is amazing. But she’s got a staff of like 25 people, that makes her amazing. And that’s what her launches can literally last for three months, because she’s not the one doing it all. It’s just about a company one, making enough money helping some people like being a vegan. That’s why we love. Erin Ollila 48:20 I love that. Okay, now my final question, though, and I’m always nervous to ask because I don’t know what’s going to come out of my mouth. But it just came to me when you were answering that. If you could design your ideal company, it doesn’t have to be about your business, but like, what is the ideal work life for you? 48:37 The idea of work life for me? I am almost there, I have to say because I can you always sort of ask yourself, because we’ve both been in business for quite a while. And sometimes you’re like, am I burning this down because I’m bored. But I literally asked myself so for mine, it’s more of a feeling. I want my business to feel creative and inspiring. And it matters. I also really like the freedom no offense of not having one on one clients could have a cop or anything. I did one on one coaching as well. So I really like the business model that we have. Now we have like our bigger course that we have Liberalist all about email marketing, and the coaching aspect of that, like we do have a Facebook group. I show up a couple of times. I do coaching once a week. And I really do like that. So something that just sort of keeps me inspired, but allows me to have a life with somebody that has ADHD like myself, were very like go or not go so that’s why I had such a hard time like I needed the deadlines for the clients when I was a copywriter and obviously copywriter with the W right? You guys know what I’m talking about when I was a copywriter, right. So like I didn’t need those hard deadlines. But like sometimes I just need a couple of days just to like, be in my own little bubble. So that’s kind of like my ideal business. And again, I’ve really thought and I think struggle like most people have, do I want to have that You know, million dollar seven, you know, seven, eight figure business with that, you know, bigger team? Or is it like, Am I happy at a half a million? Like, why do I want the million? Is it to say that I did it, which probably because I do love to achieve goals. But like, I don’t want to have a staff bigger than six people, right? Or five because I don’t want to have to manage people like, hmm. And sometimes I miss my own deadlines. So then I was later, right. So I think that’s something like that, although I am looking at so you know, as much an entrepreneur, as an entrepreneur, I am always sort of looking at models that don’t rely on my brain, if that makes sense to be the central hub. So things like real estate investing, investing, everyone, you can flip brands, if you want to things like crypto or things of that nature, right? So things that I don’t want to say are passive because I hate that term passive income, but things that if I want to just like flip and sell, I could flip and sell whereas this particular business, I cannot do that because it is my name. Yeah, no. Erin Ollila 51:00 And I think that’s probably the smartest approach to business is having a diversified ish income. And that could be like a smaller percentage of your business’s overall business. Your efforts are diversified, but it is a smart approach. I love everything that you said. And I think that it’s really important to anyone who’s listening, regardless of whatever model it is that you have, you know, the key that I think you really hit is why am I setting these goals? Right? So we’re all looking at this for ourselves, like what makes you happy? Right? I think that’s the best way to approach it. Even when it comes to list building. You know, I think everyone wants this imaginary number, regardless of what that number is. For some people, it could be 500. For other people, it could be like 500,000, right? But why figure that out when you when you start to make these goals, and I think maybe ignore it even in the beginning, like take the brave steps. And let’s not even consider the number on your list because that number is arbitrary. Kay, I will not keep you any longer, you have been so helpful to us. If you are listening right now on this podcast, I say the next thing that you really need to do is just hop on over in your podcast player and listen to inbox besties, which is Kate’s podcast, it is awesome. And I you will learn if you’ve learned anything here today, which I’m sure you have learned a lot, you’re gonna learn even more by going over to her show. You can find her via her website, which is Kate And on Instagram, Kate underscore doster. And I will have all of those links in the show notes. But before you do anything else, besides listening to the podcast, make sure you also download her two years worth of email ideas lead magnet itself because then you don’t even have to think about what to send your list until the end of 2024. And I mean, if you don’t have to think about it, you know, you can just show up and create and send. And I think that’s the coolest thing that you could have shared with our audience. So thank you so much for that, Kate. 52:43 You are so welcome. And again, I really love the advice that you give and not worrying about the number because people don’t know if they’re one of five or one of 80 million. So don’t be a jerk to those five people because you haven’t hit some mystical magical number of 100 before you’re going to email them. Yeah. Erin Ollila 52:59 Oh, I love that. Okay, the episode is ending on this. Don’t be a jerk and have a wonderful day. Thanks for listening everyone.
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