Understanding Email Tech to Improve Your Email Marketing
November 15, 2022
Let’s be honest with each other for a moment. How well do you “get” email tech? Are you comfortable in your email software platform? I bet if you asked a few of your online biz buddies, the majority of your group would agree that they’re not as confident as they’d like to be in their email platforms.
And I’ll be honest with you, I too would like to understand my email provider better so that I can improve my subscriber experience. I mean, I get it, but email tech isn’t really my specialty. I like to stay in my lane and focus on email strategy and messaging.
Which is exactly why I invited Bev Feldman, who you might know as your personal tech fairy, to come on the show and talk about all things email tech: from a 101 perspective of understanding things like email tags and sequences, to a higher-level look at why automations and delivery can be so helpful — and important for a stress-free email experience from both the subscriber and business owner perspective.
Here is what Bev and Erin discussed about email tech
Understanding the difference between a broadcast and a sequence
What is a segment versus what is a tag (or groups or lists)
How much organization is too much (or too little) in an email platform
The types of common sequences people might use
How many welcome sequences someone needs
How to exclude people in your welcome sequence from also receiving your regular email newsletter or sales sequence
How to link and automate your email platform with other business tools that you use
The old way of collecting information from people when they join your list versus the new way of list building
Vanity metrics and why they don’t matter in your business
What email deliverability is and why it’s important when you’re emailing a list
Whether you should auto confirm people on your list or use a double opt in
Why repelling is a good thing and unsubscribing is not a bad thing
How email size ain’t nothing but a number
Resourcesand other episodes mentioned during the conversation:
Quotes about understanding email tech from Bev and Erin
“I think a lot of the time, people set things up with their fingers crossed. It works well for a little while until it doesn’t. And then, it’s kind of a lot of scrambling. So [if this is you] you’re not alone. It’s totally normal. Totally.” – Erin Ollila
“I don’t know why there’s just no industry standard and what to call these things (tags, segments, broadcasts, etc), because that would certainly ease up some of the confusion.” – Bev Feldman
“I’m of the opinion that the the least amount of information identifying information in there the better.” – Bev Feldman
“In my opinion, you want to try to automate this stuff as much as possible. You’re less likely to miss things when it’s automated.” – Bev Feldman
“I’m 100% with you on that. Like, just because because I can do all these complicated things doesn’t mean that I would ever suggest to someone that you should do that. Do what’s going to work for you and your business.” – Bev Feldman
“When it comes to email marketing, the customer journey is more than just the copy within the message.” – Erin Ollila
“The strategy informs the customer journey, which informs the client or lead experience. And I am huge on making sure that the only way people will understand if copy is successful is if you are informing your leads – or your completely new audience or your actual clients – that there is a route for them to take.” – Erin Ollila
“Having a smaller, more engaged list is way more important than having this huge list of people who don’t actually engage with your emails, meaning they don’t open or read.” – Bev Feldman
“You want to make sure that the most important thing isn’t the size of your email list, but the ability to use it to connect with your audience. Because you own that information. We don’t own Instagram, Facebook, – like we don’t own that information…It’s not going to do any good though, if you’re not showing up in people’s inboxes. And that is where deliverability comes in. You want to make sure that you’re doing everything you can to keep your list healthy and clean to send a signal to the platforms like Gmail and Yahoo mail and with all the other platforms people use to read their email. You want to be sending that signal that you are not spam, that you should be showing up in people’s inboxes. That’s what deliverability is — it’s showing up in people’s inboxes.” – Bev Feldman
…to test your own email sequences.
“Go opt in to your opt in and see what happens.”
What a great suggestion! Bev encourages you to sign up for your own email list to test your sequence and look for any ways you could make improvements to the messaging or overall user experience. And Erin jumps in to share that this is probably a great idea to schedule in your calendar every 6 months or so.
Meet our guest expert, Bev Feldman
Love your business but hate dealing with your email marketing platform? Then you need Bev Feldman at Your Personal Tech Fairy! Your Personal Tech Fairy is the only done-for-you email marketing service that humanizes tech and automation for socially conscious coaches & service-based solopreneurs who want a seamless system on ConvertKit. One that treats your audience with trust and respect, in a world that too often prioritizes profit over people & the planet, using her Automate with H.E.A.R.T. Framework.
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.
Stay in touch with Erin Ollila, SEO website copywriter:
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 or audit your overall marketing
Want to understand email tech better? Here’s the transcript for episode 038 with Your Tech Fairy, Bev Feldman
NOTE: This podcast was transcribed by an AI tool. Please forgive any typos or errors.
Bev Feldman, Erin Ollila
Erin Ollila 00:04
Hey friends. Welcome to the top coffee Timmy podcast. Here we empower small business owners to step into the spotlight with their marketing and messaging. I’m your host, Erin Ollila. Let’s get started and talk coffee hello friends today I am here with Bev Feldman. And you may know her as your personal tech fairy. But what you may not know about her is that once she and her husband lost a herd of sheep on a farm in Argentina, so let’s just jump right into this Bev, what happened with this eve?
Bev Feldman 00:46
So my husband and I, after we got married, but quit our jobs and backpacked around South America for five and a half months, and I don’t know if you’re familiar with wolfing, it’s like some worldwide organization of organic farmers or something like that. I don’t quite remember what the acronym stands for. But basically, you go and you volunteer on a farm. So we’re like, Hey, we’re gonna volunteer on a farm outside of Buenos Aires, and there is this herd of sheep, it wasn’t really clear the purpose of these sheep because they just kind of roamed around. And apparently, we were supposed to just keep our eyes on them, even though we weren’t actively working with them. And one day we he was immersed in his job. And I was tending to the garden, which was my job. And the wave command, she goes, where’s where are the sheep? And we’re like, and somehow the sheep had just wandered out without either one of us noticing. This was like 20 sheep and really great, we should go figure out where the sheep went.
Erin Ollila 01:43
Did you guys ever find the sheep? Yeah, they
Bev Feldman 01:45
had wandered up the road. And so if you don’t know anything about sheep, because I honestly knew very little, apparently they’re lemmings. So if one starts to move, then they all just follow suit. So I guess one wandered out, and then they all just followed and wandered up to a neighboring parcel of land to to graze,
Erin Ollila 02:01
oh, my gosh, and you were you’re able to get them back in a timely manner. Like this wasn’t like a sheep catastrophe, or
Bev Feldman 02:08
is totally fine, I think. I don’t think we ended up bringing them back. But someone brought them back. And it was totally fine.
Erin Ollila 02:13
So thanks for being here. Today. I am really excited to have this episode. It’s kind of closing out our series on email in general. And you know, we’ve talked about how to grow your list, we’ve talked about what the welcome series should be, what to say in your sales, email strategy, how to actually be consistent, but the big like question mark is, well, how do you actually use your email platforms in a way that is going to help you potentially automate things or organize things, and just make your job a heck of a lot easier. And I really realized that there’s a lot of either misinformation out there on email tech, or not enough clear and easy information. So I really wanted to end this series by really doing a one on one on 101, I should say, on tech, one on one and a one on one on tech, let’s kind of start with some definitions just to kind of get people understanding what we’re talking about, what are some of the few things that you hear often that people don’t understand? The words or the phrases? What they mean, when it comes to the email platforms? Yeah, well,
Bev Feldman 03:18
so the one thing we were chatting about this earlier is like, you know, we’re talking about ConvertKit, because use ConvertKit and I specializing ConvertKit. So this is a little bit ConvertKit specific, but it’s something that comes up constantly is what is a broadcast versus what isn’t a sequence. I love ConvertKit. And they think sometimes the terms, not just ConvertKit. But all of these platforms use are so jargony that a lot of times people are just like what, what does that actually mean? In this case, a broadcast is just an email that you send to a select group of people, and they all get it at the same time versus a sequence is more automated. So everyone will get those emails that you designated, but they might not be getting them at the same time. It just depends on when what triggers that that email automation, and then therefore when they get them.
Erin Ollila 04:04
Yeah, that’s a great point. And I’ve had that question myself. Let me ask a question. So in my mind, I hear you say that and I think okay, well, when I happen to my ConvertKit, and I write an email, let’s say it’s a weekly email that’s going to go out, I automatically click the broadcast, get it all set, ready and gone. Now what if someone maybe this is a little higher level for the like, first couple of minutes of the podcast? But what if someone wants to write something that’s going to be going out like every year at the same time? You know, they have like a standard like fall offer? Do they set that up as a sequence? Or are they still kind of writing them all as broadcast and just saving them so that they can reuse them later?
Bev Feldman 04:42
So my opinion on this would be just to simplify things. So if you have something that goes at the exact same date every year, it’s a little tedious, but just I would send that out as a broadcast because you have a little more control over it. It is possible to have emails and convert can’t go out on specific dates that are automated. But especially if you need to repeat it over and over again, it can be a little tricky. Other email marketing platforms make that in some ways making a little bit easier, I think. But in this case, it’s so easy, in my opinion to duplicate a broadcast you’ve already sent out, they might as well just like, schedule those things out when when you have the time and then you know, they’re gonna get sent out on the right date.
Erin Ollila 05:23
Yeah, no, that makes the best. I mean, that’s what my perspective was on it as well. But again, we’re coming into this conversation thinking the Aaron is not an expert on this topic. Like, I don’t know if we mentioned that even on this episode yet. But I, I go into convert cares telling about this right before we started, I go in and I look at it, I will manually write things up as they come to me, I definitely have some sequences in there. But in the grand scheme of things, I am such a beginner when it comes to tech. So if there’s anything I can say to start this episode is if you have been in I’ve been in business now almost seven years for myself. So I like to think of myself as an expert sometimes. But when I recognize that, you know, we have to wear all different hats of small business owner like this is a hat that I don’t wear well. So if you’re listening to this, and you go into your email platforms, and you’re looking at them, and you’re like, oh, question mark, question mark, question mark, and like, what are these things? Have I even done it correctly? Just know you’re not alone. And it’s totally normal. And I honestly hear this all the time that I talked to my clients about email, is I think a lot of the times people set things up with their fingers crossed, it works well for a little while until it doesn’t. And then it’s kind of a lot of scrambling. So you’re not alone. Totally normal. Totally. Okay, I think we can just take some teeny tiny baby steps to learn about our systems, besides broadcasts and sequences, are there any other phrases, words, types of tools and tech that people get confused about?
Bev Feldman 06:52
I noticed people get very tripped up over like, what is a segment versus what is a tag? And, you know, I know a lot of platforms will use tags, some call them a mailer light calls them groups, I think Active Campaign calls a segment a list that I think that’s also a little confusing if you’re switching between platforms, if you decide, okay, I’ve been on this platform. And now I’m going to switch over here. And suddenly, you’re like, well, now they don’t have that feature. And it might not be that they don’t have that feature. It might be they just call it something else. I don’t know why there’s just no industry standard and what to call these things, because that would certainly ease up some of the confusion, in my opinion, but those are, you know, I think it’s basically like how we organize subscribers on the back end can sometimes trip people up like both between what the terms are called and when to actually use them.
Erin Ollila 07:43
Yeah, no, absolutely. And I actually had moved in throughout the course of running my business I first started on MailChimp. Then I went to mailer light because I wasn’t actively doing much with my email list, I ran a mostly service based business and luckily, through referrals, I didn’t have to, let’s just throw some air quotes on that I didn’t have to grow my list because I worked with all my clients. The more you learn in your business, the more you recognize you really should be marketing all of the time. You know, Mark, when I say marketing, it could be very light marketing, if you like to work with the same type of people or you don’t need a lot of clients. But it is important to you know, grow your list and in doing that you mail MailChimp to Miller Lite to now ConvertKit you’re so right they’d some things do the same thing. I remember moving I think I think you’re right is groups in mailer light, I don’t remember exactly. To ConvertKit and being like, where the groups of people, right. And I’m like, well, at this point, I’m just throwing them in there. Like I don’t I don’t know what I don’t know. But yeah, so let’s let’s just kind of stick with some of these terms. Like what is a tag when it comes to emails? Because I do I’ll see people saying these things on social media is like, I’m tagging my clients and sometimes the way that I interpret them is like, I don’t think you need this many tags. Like I think you might be overwhelming yourself. But then again, I don’t know I don’t know and I could be underwhelming myself at this point.
Bev Feldman 09:06
I’m of the opinion that the the least amount of information identifying information in there the better because and I include myself in this that a lot with my clients and myself come in with these long lists of tags know like what to half of these things mean now like, the fewer identifying information you can get away with in my opinion is the better so can actually I came up recently with a better analogy for tags versus like segments, I would look at tags like okay, you say you have a school that’s kindergarten through fifth grade. So you might have tags might be the name of the teacher and any kid with a tag of that teacher you know, that’s their teacher, you might have a segment however, of first graders and that means everyone who has like Mr. Smith as their teacher and Mrs. Jones as like so they have the Mr. Smith tag and the Mrs. Jones tag that those are the tags and then the segment would be anyone With those two tags is in a first grade segment tags are more like smaller information. And then segments are kind of how you group those tags together. So for example, you might have a tag of people who are signed up for maybe one program that you offer and another program, but all of those people together all your clients, so you might have the tag for each of those programs, but a client segment, that’s everyone with either or both of those tags.
Erin Ollila 10:25
Yeah, that’s super helpful, actually, to me, because I’ve never heard it described that way. And it makes just so much more sense to me like why you would tag them, especially because I think one thing I’ve always been confused about is, if you are creating products or offers, and you have clients coming in through multiple different products, you might have different types of sequences that you’re sending them that is based on the actual product that you send. So you might want to send like an offer to someone who has already purchased from you before, which the way I’m assuming it is what you’re saying would be the segment, right? So if it’s already purchased clients, they would be under that segment versus people who have joined your email list by freebies or things like that. Exactly. Few. Oh, my goodness, would it be something like manually that you’re doing on the back end that you’re having them also placed under the sequence? Or could you automate it so they get both a tag and a sequence?
Bev Feldman 11:18
Yes, I, in my opinion, you want to try to automate this stuff as much as possible, you’re less likely to miss things when it’s automated. And that helps you kind of guide people on the customer journey the way you want it to happen. So whether using ConvertKit, or another platform, if you can integrate other platforms you’re using. So if you have a course platform, for example, and you want to get in, people sign up, and they are also added to your email list, you want to make sure those things are integrated, a lot of platforms like ConvertKit will natively integrate, sometimes you might need to use a third party platform like Zapier to do that for you. But basically, then on your email marketing platform, I highly recommend, okay, person takes this action, they buy this thing, you want to have that tag added that identifies that they did that as well as the automated email sequence that goes as a follow up. So it’s all happening, you don’t have to think about it, you know that they’re all getting the information that they need, and that they’re being identified properly. So that say you want to, you’re running like a flash sale, if you sell a digital product, you can make sure that the people that you can exclude those people who’ve already made the purchase, so you’re not trying to sell someone something that they’ve already bought.
Erin Ollila 12:28
And so that I understand what you’re saying you would do that basically exclude them, you would exclude them when you sent that. Now I don’t I hope I’m not putting you on the spot with this. But I’m still trying to wrap my own head around sequences. Is there a specific so that you don’t over organized, let’s say, Are there common sequences people will have in their email providers?
Bev Feldman 12:47
Yeah, well, I think I mean, you mentioned it earlier, you’ve talked about you know, welcome sequences, so I highly recommend having some sort of sequence whatever you call it, nurture onboarding, welcome, that when someone comes onto your email list, I think, no matter what they’re getting these emails from you. So you know, say you typically do like a weekly newsletter, but something you know, life happens. And it’s been a month, you know, at least those people when they come onto your email list will be hearing from you in a timely fashion so that you continue. You’re working on building up that relationship, and they’re remembering who you are, and you help stay front of mind. Yeah, so
Erin Ollila 13:23
a couple episodes ago, we talked to Liz Wilcox, and she was the one who spoke about welcome sequences. And I think if you know her, you just love her. If you don’t like you need to go back to that episode immediately following this because it was so JAM PACKED of wonderfulness. But one question I thought of after we finished recording that I was like, you know, I probably should have I think it would have fit well in that episode, but based on what you just said, I was like, hmm, maybe Bev can take this one. Because I think you both have your own points of knowledge here that would really kind of help so and you see it from different people that you’re working with all the time. We think about welcome sequences in this marketing world, or at least I think we’ve talked about them as this like one set and forget type of product, which I think is actually an untruth. I think that in some ways you need multiple welcome sequences. What do you see most with your clients? Like, for example, if they have courses that are offers, that they’re selling similar products? Are they customizing their welcome sequences for each of those products? And using the same one or are they creating different types of sequences and having like an overarching arching welcome sequence with tinier ones underneath?
Bev Feldman 14:37
That’s a great question. Yeah, I mean, so a lot of the times what I see and part of it I will say depends on what products or services you’re offering, but generally I see kind of a general welcome sequence and then if someone makes if they hire you, they purchase something from you then you usually see some kind of sequence specific to that product or service. Again, though, if you have you know, some people have a hundreds of tiny digital products, which probably could become very cumbersome and time intensive to build all of that out. In which case, I think having something, though that maybe ties all of that together, and this is a little higher level, but there’s some fun things you can do with general, more generally, it’s called conditional messaging and ConvertKit. It’s called liquid, where you can customize the message in an email, depending on what say, for example, what tags someone has, so you can have like the same email go out, but the message might appear slightly different depending on like, what they bought,
Erin Ollila 15:36
as much as I am not necessarily like the most initial tech understand or once I get it, I get it. And I’ve just gone through like the past a year or so like completely setting up dubsado. So I’m like, Oh, wow, that’s exciting. Because I’m like imagining all those little like special tags you can do to use the same email to like, talk to a client in different ways share a different type of form. So I am on Team automating for that. 100%. Yeah, and like, I think if I could put my two cents on about like, what we say for the the welcome series of like tiny our products, especially if you have a bigger suite, I think like using Liz’s for email method to keep it as simple as you can for yourself, all you really have to do in this instance, is slightly adjust the first one. So whether you are a little nervous about automations, or you don’t want to do the tech yourself, because you want someone to set it up for you. Maybe you’re just literally copying the same automation. And changing that little slight details in the first email is a manual approach for the beginning. And then you know, you bring someone on like Beth who can help you set this like liquid approach up to how to use the you know, your tool in a more dynamic way. So all of that you don’t have to do, you don’t have to make sure you are really going in there and putting things together that just takes a little bit more work for yourself. But I don’t want you to get overwhelmed because I don’t think that you need to write so many different things. And these is really just that first email where you’re saying like, Hey, thanks for purchasing, here’s your product, maybe there’s one point you stay after, like the delivery of like, this is what this product can do for you. That’s the only thing you really have to change in email number one. So yes, you can get wild and crazy yes, you could really make some dynamic, different welcome sequences. But if email marketing is newer to you, if you’re a smaller business, if you haven’t really invested in having someone do this for you do the easiest approach for you to make the clients or leads who, depending on how they’re coming in, feel welcomed, and not overwhelm yourself with it.
Bev Feldman 17:35
Yes, I mean, I’m 100% with you on that like just because because I can do all these complicated things doesn’t mean that I would ever suggest to someone that you do that, like do what’s going to work for you and your business. And if that means just setting up like getting, you know, figuring it out and get it a simple welcome sequence setup that goes out to everyone. That’s amazing. Just do that. And then you can always work yourself up, or work up to adding more things later. But I’m of the opinion, you want to feel good at what you’re doing, and confident and know that it’s going out correctly. And also to your point earlier about, like you know, set it and run I do think it’s important to periodically check in. And, you know, look at your stats, for example. I mean, at this point, you have to kind of take open rates with a grain of salt, but I like to look at them in comparison to each other. So instead of looking at your overall open rates, like look at each email in comparison to the other, and also your click through rates, like if you see that no one’s clicking on your emails, or clicking on links in your emails. What can you do like what kind of how can you adjust the call to action so you’re getting more engagement and hopefully people are booking calls with you or or hiring you or buying your products?
Erin Ollila 18:48
Yeah, that’s such a good point. Because you know, one thing you had said that I thought was just spot on as like okay, we have to discuss this as you had said like when it comes to email marketing, the customer journey is more than just the copy within the message and there is nothing more I think I could agree with and let’s we could take up the word email of marketing, how you described it, because I think when people think of copywriting one, it’s often an afterthought, but to it’s also assumed that the copywriting does everything right? So sometimes I’ll have new leads come to me and they’ll be like, Oh, do you write sales pages, I hired someone I spent $3,000 To have them write my sales page and it failed. But what I’ll say to them as well, let’s take a look at the copy like you might not need to have new copy because there are a million things that go into marketing and whether things are good or bad or fail or succeed. Specifically like what type of like data did you have before your your approach? Did you do ads? Are you targeting the right people like did you warm people up which yes is related to copy but like what was the strategy behind warming them up? Because I would say for the most part strategy is what influences success or failures when it comes to thing. But to get back to the point that I’m really trying to make is, the strategy informs the customer journey, which informs the client or lead experience. And I am huge on making sure that the only way people will understand if copy is successful is if you are informing your leads, or your completely new audience or your actual clients that there is a route for them to take, like, you’re not like throwing it out there. Like we need to think about talking to the people where they’re at. How do you know who is on your list that falls under these categories of need for you. So to bring it back to what you are saying, I really think that we should talk about like, how to understand your client journey when it comes to email marketing, like what factors play into that, you know, I said, the sales page as an example. But are there certain things that influence email marketing client journey that more than others?
Bev Feldman 20:57
That’s really great question. I mean, so here’s the thing with, like a website, you’ve just got people, you, you can track that, you know, through analytics, but then you’re not really capturing that much information about people just kind of don’t, I don’t know enough about analytics to dive into that one. But from an email perspective, and this is something that I’ve been toying with a little bit more like, what information can you capture from someone when they sign up for your email list? I think the standard now is just like, you know, at the bare minimum email address. Sometimes people ask for their name, sometimes now last name as well. And I think in the past, it’s been like, you know, you want to ask for the least amount of information only because like that will cause the least friction. But we’re no longer in the days of email list for vent like sighs for vanity sake. Like, I think having a smaller, more engaged list is way more important than having this huge list of people who don’t actually engage with your emails, meaning they don’t open or read. But total side note, because we were talking about before what it is like things I want to talk about, I would love to talk about deliverability, because that’s something I think people don’t understand. Yeah, sorry. But back to my earlier point, I think now, we’re at a point where like, Okay, what other information can I capture from people as they come on to my email list? And like, for example, I’m experimenting with different questions, both like, I’ve experimented with asking people what email platform they use, and there’s a drop down menu. And in order to proceed, they have to choose something, even if it’s like other. I’ve also been experimenting with, especially when I’ve given away things like ConvertKit automations, I’m operating under the assumption that they have ConvertKit Otherwise, there’d be no point in signing up for an automation that I’m giving away. So in that case, like I can I ask questions like that kind of assesses where they’re at with their email marketing, like oh, yeah, I’ve got like when I gave them ConvertKit personalities, and there’s like perplex Petra has no idea what she’s doing and minimalist, Mildred is all set, like, either way, if there’s no, that’s, that’s so
Erin Ollila 23:03
smart, because I think in some ways, I’m just gonna jump for a second like everywhere, except, like, who’s my ideal client. And there’s such generic and I love ideal client work. I mean, way back in the day and my last traditional traditional job over 10 years ago, like, about 10 years ago, I’d say it was that’s what I was doing. And it was so fun to like, really pull out these like psychographics really, of what people are like, but then you enter this online marketing world, and people are like, what does Sally drink for? For her morning drink? Is it tea or coffee, hot water with lemon and I’m like, maybe maybe in like a nutritionist type like world, that would be a good thing to look for. But like, I’m a website copywriter, like the only reason that would help me and is to have these little quirky facts about my clients. And there’s nothing wrong with that, like, so I can say like, oh my gosh, I’m also a coffee drinker, right, like a kind of an icebreaker. But when we talk about personas, there’s no need for that. But what I’m hearing you say is, in some ways, segmenting the the people who are coming on your list is helping you know how to best work with them, right? Like, you’re going to potentially speak to them in different ways. So it’s helping you as the business owner, because it’s giving you information about your clients, which is the ideal client work, but it’s really helping that the customer journey in the client experience because you’re giving them the best value. And this is the perfect example of why ideal clients are so important for both the business and for the client experience because everyone is getting a win here in a way that feels really authentic. So one, I’m just gonna give you a little clap for that. But two, I think if everything if anyone’s thinking, Well, how could I get more information, you know, like, then we talked about the old way of doing things is as little friction, this new way as potentially getting more information from people as they join your list. This could be a really great method for many types of service providers, specifically, but also all different types of online businesses is do to figure out a way you can, I don’t know if I’m using the word correctly here. I don’t know if this is segmenting, but figuring out a way that you can kind of actually segment the list and be able to pry them the most value.
Bev Feldman 25:12
Exactly, exactly. And that’s, that’s what it’s all about. It’s about providing people with value. And understanding that people have different needs, depending on how they you know how they self identify. And that’s not to say that someone, for example, who identifies as a DIY or might not later decide, You know what, I’d rather just hand this off to bed, but like, it still helps give me like a more robust understanding of who is on my list and kind of what their needs are and how I might adjust and tweak the messaging.
Erin Ollila 25:42
It’s super helpful. And I’m sorry, I’m super sorry, if I pulled you away from the point that you’re making. Because no server journey, I think you made it, but I do it. Certainly it is my ADD being like must share this relevant piece of information and perfect, give them some street cred here for the good job she’s doing with her ideal clients. I’m jumping way back again, this is add totally influencing this. But there was one question that was on the top of my mind based again, on the conversation with Liz and what we were just talking about when it came to sequences, and it hit me after our call. But one thing I’m not doing and I realized it was like a lightbulb moment that I was like whatever. And this is pretty easy to have thought to do this. And you didn’t, we were talking about at the end of our call how after the sequence when a new product is delivered, or lead magnet if you don’t want them to also get your regular email. So you’re not bombarding them with a lot, especially if your sequences a little longer, you can pause them getting the rest of your content. And I was like, oh, man, I’m definitely not doing that. Which is it seems like kindergarten to me, because of course you’d want that. Can we quickly, especially because we were just talking about that in the previous episode of how important that was, and how it also adds to the client journey and making sure that like we’re giving them a good experience. How How does one go about doing that? Yeah,
Bev Feldman 27:02
I’m actually really glad you asked me because I am 100%. With with Liz on that if you’re especially if you know people are going through a long email sequence, make sure that they’re not also getting your, like your other emails. And that’s where you know, segments come in. So I generally recommend having, you know, in the case of ConvertKit, a tag or something that identifies when someone is in some kind of welcome or neutral sequence. And you can do this on any on pretty much any platform you’re on that has automation capabilities. So you have something that identifies them as being in it. And then when they’re done, it might be removing that tag or whatever it is that your platform calls it. So now they’re no longer identified as being in it. And then you create an email, a segment, maybe you call it your newsletter segment, if you send out a weekly newsletter, and that includes everyone, except for people with these specific tags in this case. So for example, my own emails, what I do is I have an email section, I have a newsletter segment. So if anyone’s currently within my welcome sequence, and they’re identified as such, I have the newsletter segment excludes them, and then they’ll automatically be added back in to that segment, once they finish it. I also have a few other automations that they might end up in, in which case, again, I want them to focus on the follow up emails and not also get my weekly new newsletter. So that’s just a great example of how you would use a segment.
Erin Ollila 28:31
So earlier, you had talked about wanting to talk about deliverability. And I don’t want to forget to do that. What do you want to tell us about?
Bev Feldman 28:39
Yeah, because I think it’s one of those things that you’re like I you know, it’s a term that gets thrown out a lot. And I feel like it’s not fully understood. And I will, you know, just put a disclaimer that I’m I personally am not an expert on deliverability. But I think it is still something that’s important to think about and to talk about. Especially, you know, for as it relates to email, automations and just tech in general. So, you know, we’ve seen in the past people using email lists, like for a vanity number, but the thing is, again, you want to make sure that the most important thing isn’t as a business owner isn’t the size of your email list. But the ability to use it to connect with your audience because you own that information. We don’t own Instagram, Facebook, like we don’t own that information. And this is like your baby like this is one of the most important things you’ve got as the business owner is that email list. It’s not going to do any good though, if you’re not showing up in people’s inboxes. And that is where deliverability comes in. And you want to make sure that you’re doing everything you can to keep your list healthy and clean to send a signal to the Platner like Gmail and Yahoo mail and with all the other platforms people use to read their email. You want to be sending that signal that you are not spam, that you should be showing up in people’s inboxes and that’s what deliverability is is showing up in people’s inboxes like making it into that space. That’s where it’s important to do things like lists, cleanups, like I think people worry like, oh, like, you know, what if like, someone’s reading my email, but they might read it in a year. And that’s fine. That could happen. But chances are if they’re not, if it’s been months and months, since they’ve opened your emails, that they’re probably not going to open your email. So maybe they look at it. And they’re like, oh, yeah, there’s Bob’s email. I like her, maybe one day, I’ll hire her and your brain as a reminder. But the thing is, if too many people stop opening your emails, then that starts to send a signal over time that your emails might not be worth it. And that’s why it’s important to keep your email list clean. To make sure and I’ve actually started to switch back towards using a double opt in for this reason, because I realized having participated in summits and bundles that I was getting, been getting people onto my email list who are engaged, but I’ve also had people come on who have not opened a single email. And while like participating in these things are great for less growth, it’s not going to do me any good if then suddenly, you know, Gmail decides, oh, that’s emails must suck, because all these people are opening up.
Erin Ollila 31:15
Now, that’s super important. And I would say I, you know, it’s so funny. I have this written down as a question I wanted to ask you. Because one thing I’ve also found myself in the past year of being in summits and bundles, or just speaking in larger audiences is tons of people come on your list, they get your products, they want to stay connected with you. But the meat well, especially product base, they are immediately unsubscribing. And at first I was like, Well, what is happening here, right? But then, you know, I think from an outsider’s perspective, I’ve always been on the the point of believing that it’s better to repel than trying to attract, right, so I’m on Team, it doesn’t make a difference what your list size is, it doesn’t make a difference with any anything sizes here, people, let’s just say that, okay? Yes. When it comes to your email list, like you would rather have, I would rather have an email list of 200 people who actively responded, if I’m asking them questions, who actively purchased if I’m giving them offers, then 2000 20,000 people who didn’t open my emails at all, for the very specific reason, like you just mentioned, of wanting your deliverability rate to be good and having a healthy list. But also because you’re putting so much work in to speak to such a large group that you’re not giving them the the experience you have when you have segmented it and like just using the example about your ideal clients that you had said before, right? If you’re giving a great customer journey and a great experience, but a list size means nothing. But looking at the example I shared, we both shared about summits and bundles as so many people are entering your world. And it’s kind of like a souped up lead magnet, if you want to think about it. And I don’t. I know people don’t like to think that because you know, a lot of the times you build courses or products, even if they’re tiny little things, you put a lot of yourself into them. So it feels like well, you must love my thing. Okay, let’s let’s detach ourselves from the work that we do, like you are not your business, you are not your product and look at how if you do do this as a summit person or a bundle person, you know, all of these people come on, they’re not even going through your product, potentially for a while, right. So you don’t want to keep growing these vanity metrics where you’re not actually being able to help that end user. And if people are unsubscribing, right away, that has absolutely no effect on you, as the business owner, they’re helping you because they’re telling you from that get go that first email, a second email, whatever during your sequence where they start to drop off, they’re not really interested in learning more. Now, let’s say later, they go through your course because now they own it. It’s in their little course platform. And they’re like, Wow, BEVs awesome. Wow, Aaron’s great. This is why we have so many touchpoints in business where people can come into our world, right? I mean, if you are using social, they might just find you on social and kind of interact with you there. If you are doing, like having lead magnets on your website, or you’re offering things on podcasts, like that’s when they’ll come into your world as well. So just know that there are opportunities for people to rejoin your world if they opt out. And it’s better for you and your email deliverability to be a healthier option, where we are giving them the information they want and not taking it personally when people come off because, again, you really do want to have the option that you have people who are there because they want to be there. Alright, but we have covered so much here. I feel like in some grand scheme thing, people are going to be like, Okay, I’m just gonna pause this, I’m gonna go in minutes because I’m gonna have to, like do these things that they’re saying. Now, before we get off, I do have a couple of questions for you. If you could give a homework assignment to anyone listening, something that they could complete in a short amount of time to make their list building or their list or organization better for them as their as a business? What would it be?
Bev Feldman 35:04
I would say go opt into your your opt in and see what happens, especially if it’s been a while because you want to have a really clear picture of what that journey looks like, like what happens right after you sign up does it redirect to a thank you page or you’re getting like like that generic thanks for signing up. And because I feel good to you,
Erin Ollila 35:21
I do this for all of my clients when I start working with them, even if it’s not completely related to like exactly the project, what we’re doing. And I cannot tell you how many times that I have found that lead magnets didn’t work or like whether they touch things they shouldn’t have touched later on. So I would like to jump in here and say Do this at least every six months, because you would be shocked on how a little touch here a little touch there could potentially mess with it, especially if you’re DIY. And usually, I mean, that shouldn’t be the case, if you’re having someone do this for you. But definitely check out your own products that you’re offering. If you could be connected with anyone in the online business world, who would it be and why?
Bev Feldman 35:58
So I would actually love to be connected with Nathan Berry, he is the founder of ConvertKit. Because I have to say a big reason why I like ConvertKit, like, in addition to just being a really great platform is the more I learn about like the platform, it’s because of the behind the scenes platform. And I also read about Nathan Berry and what he does, and like I think he seems like a really interesting guy. And like, I really admire the work he’s doing.
Erin Ollila 36:24
All right. Final question for you, as someone who has, I’m sure, subscribe to many email lists before is there something that you’ve seen that’s really wowed you that people have done? And I mean, this could be anything. It doesn’t have to be an automation or a tech thing. But what, what as a, quote unquote, email consumer, do you like? Oh,
Bev Feldman 36:42
that’s such a good question. I think the one thing that really stands out to me, so Lizzie Goddard, if she had she actually I was on her list years ago and then rejoined because back when I was starting ConvertKit, like she was the ConvertKit person. And she’s since changed her business model. But I remember re signing up again for her email list a few years ago when I started this business. And I saw that her welcome. Email was really funny. It was just like, you’re not entering into a 10 email, welcome series. Like it was basically, this is the only automated email you’re getting from me as a welcome email. And I just, even though I do longer ones, and I think that you know, you do what works for you, I just thought the which I just liked how she kind of called it out, which I thought it was amusing.
Erin Ollila 37:28
I love that. And I think this is the very first episode that I haven’t yet. So these two words on the podcast. So I will just end by saying this. That is a perfect example of how your approach to marketing depends. So it depends on your business goals, who you are, what type of way you’d like to talk to your clients, your needs all of those things. Again, when we come to marketing, you don’t need I mean, Liz’s gave us a great example of four emails, someone else could be doing 10. And that could be the right choice for them. Using this example of previous times, you’ve gone through Liz’s list, it was one and it worked. Right. And you liked that. So if you need help with strategy, definitely work with a marketer work with a tech person who does these things all the time for other people’s emails. But once you’ve decided what’s work works for you, just own it and love it. So yeah, thank you, Bev, you have been so helpful. I appreciate all of your time. Is there any better way for people to find you on the internet so they can get to know more about you and your business?
Bev Feldman 38:24
Yeah, so I mean, definitely come check me out at your personal tech fairy.com I checked my Instagram messages, but I have to admit, I have not been very active on Instagram. But that’s not to say I don’t like I do enjoy connecting with people there. So that’s your that personal tech fairy and you know, shoot me a DM and told me tell me that you heard me on the podcast.
Erin Ollila 38:44
Yeah, report back. Actually, we both want to know if you’ve actually done the work so we can celebrate?
Bev Feldman 38:48
Yeah. Oh, yeah. Let me know in that message if you did that, and what you found.
Erin Ollila 38:52
All right. Well, thank you so much. Love you have a wonderful day.
Bev Feldman 38:55
Thank you, Erin.
Erin Ollila 39:00
Thank you so much for listening to this episode of Talk copy to me. If you enjoyed spending your time with me today. I would be so honored if you could subscribe to the show and leave a review. Want to continue the conversation? Head on over to Instagram and follow me at @@ErinOllila. Until next time, friends!
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