Episode 13

Growing Your Email List and Getting Started with Email Marketing

by | Oct 8, 2020 | Podcast | 0 comments

Did you know, on average, email marketing contributes to more revenue per dollar than any other form of digital marketing? It is an extremely important form of marketing for ANY business. Today, we are chatting with Rahul Choudhary to discuss how to start growing your list and how you can get started with email marketing today!

Nick (00:00): Email marketing drives more revenue than any other form of digital marketing. On average, across all industries, email marketing results in 4400% ROI. That means for every $1 you spend on email marketing, you're getting $44 back. Where else are you going to get that kind of return? That is why I've been spending a lot of time lately focusing on growing my email list and trying to improve my own email marketing. And that is also why I decided to bring on today's guest Rahul, or also known as RC. As you'll hear in this episode, RC has built up his list, lost his lists, and then rebuilt his list back up. So he has a lot of experience in email marketing and actually growing an email list. In this episode, we cover how to grow your list, create lead magnets, and we also cover some tips for improving your email marketing efforts. So I'm really excited to get into this interview with you. So let's get right into it with RC.

Nick (01:00): This is the Nine-Five Podcast and I'm your host Nick Nalbach where we get into the minds of entrepreneurs and people just like you. So you can start, build, and grow your own online business.

Nick (01:17): Okay. Welcome to the Nine-Five Podcast. Today, I'm really excited to be talking about email marketing. Email marketing is something I'm getting into very heavily, and I'm super excited to bring in Rahul to talk to us about email marketing. So Rahul, welcome to the Nine-Five Podcast.

Rahul (01:32): Nick, thank you for having me, man. And thanks to everyone who listens to this episode. You have no idea how much you guys mean to us.

Nick (01:39): Yeah, so like a lot of the guests that I've actually had featured on here, Rahul and I met on Twitter and Twitter has, I don't know, I've made so many great connections on Twitter and I know the same is for Rahul, but we just kind of really hit it off on that platform. And we've been kind of helping each other grow just through communicating on the platform. I mean, we're thousands and thousands of miles away, but Twitter is able to bring us together and kind of make this whole thing happen.

Rahul (02:17): Yeah, I absolutely love Twitter. It has the ability to actually help you build relationships with people in a very unique way. It's different from all the other social media platforms, right?

Nick (02:17): I completely agree. I've been able to make a lot better connections on Twitter than any other social media platform. I know I've said that on other episodes, but it's so true. Twitter is, I don't know. I can actually build relationships with people on that platform.

Rahul (02:30): Yeah, same goes for me as well. I'm actually addicted to Twitter.

Nick (02:35): Why don't we get everything kind of kicked off and started, why don't you give everybody a little bit of an idea of who you are and what it is you're doing in the online, entrepreneurial space.

Rahul (02:59): Yeah, sure. So, I'm Rahul Choudhary, but many people aren't able to pronounce my name, so you can call me RC. I'm the creator and owner of Blog2Brand.com.

Rahul (02:59): I'm a simple guy who shares simple and actionable blogging, affiliate, and email marketing tips to help you grow and monetize your online presence. So a blog, actually, and if you visit my website, you would see all these forms and landing pages, which are just meant to collect emails from my audience. And then I recently started a creative agency as well, but I haven't been focusing much on it due to the pandemic because I wanted it to be focused towards helping small businesses. So I put a break on it and I'll get back to it, soon I guess. So, yeah, that's all there is to know about me.

Nick (03:30): You were talking about. Email marketing, you have several courses, eBooks, all that in email marketing, which we'll get into a little bit later down in the later part of the episode, but I'm really excited to talk about email marketing because it is becoming a big part of my strategy. And it's something that I've been putting a lot of time and focus into for anybody listening. I purchased Rahul's email marketing bundle and he does an awesome job. Um, it's very well put together very detailed information. So anybody who's interested in it, there will be show notes and their links to those email courses and eBooks and bundles and all this stuff in the show notes. But we'll get into exactly what that course is a little bit later in the episode. So make sure you stick around. Okay. I guess following up from who you are, something I like to ask, a lot of my guests are, what is your superpower? And by superpower, I mean, what is something that you do or that you think you do better than anybody else?

Rahul (04:25): Yeah, I was waiting for this question actually. So my superpower would be that I'm a huge risk taker. For example, I took a huge risk when I decided to drop out of college or when I decided to borrow money from a friend to trade it in the stock market. More than that, I know how to manage risks and patience and comments are my strong suit. I'm not afraid of trying new things and I don't panic when things start going in the wrong direction. That's why I'm always messing up with one or the other thing. There's no website or business, and even when things are running smoothly. So just like I told you, once that I almost lost all of my email subscribers, just because I wanted you to try a new email marketing tool. So yeah, my superpower would be around taking risks and messing up.

Nick (05:12): Well, that's a really cool, super power. I mean, I think that is, it's something a lot of people are afraid to do. Um, people are afraid to get outside of that comfort zone and risk something that they potentially already have. In the online business space. I see that as your nine to five job, a lot of people want to, or claim that they want to start their own online businesses. But at the same time, they're comfortable in their nine to five job. They're not willing to take that risk and step outside and actually bet on themselves. So I think that's a really cool risk. And in the online business world, you're obviously testing all kinds of new things and I want to get into your story about the email subscribers and how all that went down. But I mean, as entrepreneurs, we have to kind of continue to grow and shape and develop. And a lot of that involves taking that risk. So I think that's awesome that you are so comfortable with doing that. I don't think a lot of people are like that.

Rahul (06:06): Yeah, yeah. Yeah. I think taking risks are a huge part of my life and I think everybody should give a thought thought, thought about it, because if you want to grow as an entrepreneur, you have to take risks.

Nick (06:18): Let's get into email marketing. I'm really excited to talk about it, man.

Rahul (06:23): Yeah, me too. Me too.

Nick (06:24): For anybody listening, can you give anybody who's not quite sure what email marketing is. Can you give the listeners a little bit of an idea of actually what email marketing is, what that all entails?

Rahul (06:34): Yeah, yeah, sure. So email marketing it's exactly what it sounds like. You market your products and services by sending emails to a list of email addresses or prospective customers. But it's actually more than that, how you build your email list or how you write your emails, how are you using your emails to build relationships and connect with your subscribers and how you actually make them buy your products and services. This is all part of email marketing. It's a large subject on it's own, and you can make a real career out of it as well. But, yet I don't see many people taking it seriously, even in our blogging space.

Nick (07:08): What do you say to the people that say email marketing's dead. I see that one a lot.

Rahul (07:12): No, actually, no, it's not dead at all. Because I think email marketing is something that brings revenue for most of the businesses. Email marketing is the major revenue source for me as well. I don't think it's dead at all, but if you are not willing to give it or try it then yeah, you can believe what you want.

Nick (07:34): That's I've been doing a lot of research as I've been getting into it. I eventually want to start releasing some courses and more information around email marketing. So I've been loading myself up with a bunch of different information. And it is consistently the people who take email marketing seriously are the ones that see massive growth in their businesses or they see massive revenue increases. So it's, there's something to be said about it. It's just a matter of finding the right resources to make sure that you, I guess, take full advantage or putting in the time to do it. You said email marketing is a big part. How, how big of a part is email marketing in your overall marketing strategy?

Rahul (08:13): I think it consists for 60% of my marketing strategy and 30% goes to my blog and 10% to social media. I don't pay much attention to social media at all. I try to bring my audience from my blog to my email list. Then I send my products to them there. So yeah.

Nick (08:32): I do kind of want to dive into right away. You and I were talking on Twitter and we were, I was, I think I was just asking you questions about maybe it was Convertkit or some other tool. And you had talked about recently switching to a different email service provider. And in doing that, you ended up losing most or all of your subscribers. I can't remember how many said many subscribers. Did you have, how many did you lose?

Rahul (08:59): Around 500.

Nick (08:59): Okay. So I mean, wow. How long did it take you to build up that subscriber list in the first place?

Rahul (09:03): It took me around six to seven months, at least.

Nick (09:09): So, but now, okay. I guess explain what all happened there. It was just a new software or what happened?

Rahul (09:17): Yeah, it was a very helpless incident, indeed. So there's this new email marketing tool with a very enticing lifetime offer that everybody was talking about in all these Facebook groups. And I thought what's all this fuss about. I need to give this a try because I have a duty towards my audience and I need to keep them updated with all these trends and tools and stuff. So I'm not going to take the name because it's just my personal experience and I wouldn't want it to be the reason why a business fails. So yeah, I chose to give it a try. I created my account forms, automations and checks and everything was just fine. The next day when I went live with that, I saw that I got, I got almost double the number of subscribers I used to get with my old tool, that was ConvertKit. And I was like, Whoa, why didn't I do this before.

Rahul (10:02): So the next day, same thing happened. And the day after that, and then on a regular Tuesday when I usually send my broadcast, I send my broadcasts on Tuesdays. So I sent an email and when I checked the stats on the first day, I noticed that my open rates are higher than usual as well. I was so happy as men who just won the lottery, yeah. So everything was fine. And then after month I saw someone posting in one of the Facebook groups that the email marketing tool that I was using, was actually fabricating the open rates. So I got suspicious and I added three of my own email accounts to my list to see if what she was saying was actually true or not. And yeah, it was true. So I was devastated.

Rahul (10:47): Yeah, I wasn't even sure who was opening my emails or who wasn't. So I completely switched back to Convertkit again. That's when the real problem started when I sent my first broadcast after switching back to Convertkit, my open rate was nearly 5%, like 5%, seriously, 5%. And 35% of the emails bounced. The reason why those emails bounced was that most of the new subscribers that I gained on that new tool were mostly spam or bots. And my open rate was so low because the majority of my actual subscribers didn't receive any of my emails for the past two months. And eventually they turned cold. With the new tool all my emails were going straight into the spam folder, not even the promotion tab. Directly into the spam folder. So I tried sending the engagement emails as well, but that didn't create much difference either. So unfortunately I had to clean my list and get rid of spam as well as my real cold subscribers. Because I wasn't going to pay for them to stay on my list and I don't think anybody in my position would. At that time, my email list was my biggest source of revenue. Even though I wasn't selling any products of my own, it was mostly from affiliate products. And then I had to almost start from scratch, but, I knew everything and what I was supposed to do. So it wasn't that hard for me, but it's just that I lost my subscribers, which took me months to collect and nurture. Yeah. That's what happened.

Nick (12:14): Yikes, man. That's rough. So now after all that's happened, have you recouped everything or are you still kind of building it now? Or where, where are you sitting now?

Rahul (12:25): Yeah, I think I have recovered.

Nick (12:30): Okay. Wow. I can't imagine. I can picture, as you were telling me that how excited I would have been seen those subscriber numbers, just jump and jump and jump. And I would have been like freaking out.

Rahul (12:41): Yeah. It took me like five months, around five months to get back on track, but yeah, I did it.

Nick (12:47): Wow. So, okay. What was the, what was the key to getting all that back? Okay. Hold on. Before we get there, I do have a question with all of your emails going to spam. I know it's very difficult to get to kind of reverse that and get your emails showing back up in a normal inbox. How did you actually go about getting out of the spam folder and back into everyone's primary inbox?

Rahul (13:11): Yeah, actually the problem was with that new tool. So all of my emails are going to the spam folder with that new tool. But when I switched back to ConverKit, they started going back to the primary inbox or the promotions tab. Most of your emails as an email marketer go to the promotions tab or the primary inbox. That's not a problem. People check those promotion tabs sometimes. So yeah, it was problem with the new tool.

Nick (13:35): So once you switched over to ConvertKit and started going back to the primary or promotions. Okay. Yeah. Did, I'd be curious? Cause I had heard if your open rates are extremely low, that that can actually affect where your emails end up going. So if you have a super low open rate ConvertKit, I guess I don't even know if it's ConvertKit that does it, but your emails start going to that person's either promotion or junk mail or whatever it is. Is there any truth to that? Do you know?

Rahul (14:03): I don't think that that will be possible because the delivery of the email depends on multiple factors, but it does not depend on the tool you're using because the open rates are checked by that tool that you're using and it has no control over where your email is going to be delivered in the promotions tab or spam folder or primary inbox. The delivery depends on the email service provider that subscriber is using like Gmail, Hotmail. And what are the alerts in place, your spam filters? It depends on them.

Nick (14:37): I gotcha. Well, and I guess kind of, as I was thinking about that, I guess I would more kind of be like, I've noticed if I don't open emails from somebody for a long time Gmail or whatever it is automatically starts trying to throw it into a clutter folder or a spam folder. It's that's just a product of the, the email. Yeah. The app that I'm using, I guess, tracking the open rates. What kind of give you a good idea though? Maybe if this person hasn't opened in three months, maybe they're not even seeing the emails anymore because it has started sending it to their spam folder, but really wouldn't have too much of an idea on it. Interesting.

Rahul (15:13): So yeah, that's why you need to keep cleaning your email list frequently, like every three months or six months, or you have to get rid of the cold subscribers.

Nick (15:21): Cleaning your email list. That was an important thing I wanted to touch on. How, how often did you say you should do that?

Rahul (15:27): Three months? Every three months. If a person is not opening your emails for the three months, I think you're starting to get rid of them.

Nick (15:33): I've seen, through a lot of the research that I've done, when you talk about cleaning your email list, first off, for the listeners, it is something very important that everyone should do. If people aren't opening your emails, if they're not wanting to receive your emails, like we were just talking about, it could be that they started going to spam now and they're probably never going to see them. Really, all that is doing is eating up real estate in your email service provider. So a lot of times if you haven't already gotten started yet, when you sign up for an email service provider, you get so many subscribers for free or you're basically paying per subscriber in a way. So if you have a list of a thousand people and none of them are opening your emails, you're really just wasting money and time. So what Rahul is talking about here is going through every three months and completely vetting through the subscribers and seeing who is not opening your stuff at all and actually removing them from your list.

Nick (16:23): When you do that, are you, do you kind of send out like one last email? I've seen it. It's happened to me a couple of times from people that I haven't been opening, their emails, I'll get like one last email and it's, I don't know, try to kind of try to hook you in obviously to open it and say, Hey, just to let you know, we're about to clean you out. If you don't click this button, you're getting removed from the list. Do you send anything out like that? Or do you just kinda cut the ties?

Rahul (16:48): Yeah. Yeah. I actually send an email first to let them know. And I apologize that I did something wrong. That's why maybe they are not opening my emails. If they want to stay on the list, then they don't have to do anything. But if they want to unsubscribe, they can click the unsubscribe button at the bottom of the email and actually ConvertKit has a very good feature, which allows you to keep track of cold subscribers. So you can delete them from directly from there as well.

Nick (17:19): You can keep track of cold subscribers?

Rahul (17:21): Yeah. In ConvertKit there's a feature. Yeah, yeah. On your dashboard.

Nick (17:30): Okay. I guess before we dive into the next topic, which I want to get into list building now as well, I kind of want to talk about, we've mentioned them a couple of times, email service providers or ESPs. Do you want to talk a little bit about what those are and then we can actually talk a little bit about ConvertKit because I know both you and I use ConvertKit. You're a little bit more experienced with it, but why don't we give everybody an idea of what an ESP or an email service provider actually is?

Rahul (17:57): Yeah. And email service provider, or even a, it's basically an email marketing tool. A tool in which you use to collect email subscribers from your website and then send mass emails to them. So that's what that is, what a email service provider is. And nowadays they have a lot of features. Like you can create signup forms into them as well. You can create automations and sequences. You can create landing pages. So yeah, they are getting more robust and robust nowadays. The tool which Nick and I use is ConvertKit and I absolutely love it and recommend it to everyone who want to start with email marketing. And all of my courses, eBooks mention it. And yeah.

Nick (18:39): So I will, I will end up putting a link in the show notes to ConvertKit. Um, and just so the listeners know I am an affiliate for ConvertKit. So if you choose to purchase that tool through my link, I will get a little bit of a commission on that, but it comes at no additional cost to you. And if you do use that link, I would love you for it. But you've used ConvertKit. You use that one that you were kind of testing out. Have you tried any others prior to using ConvertKit?

Rahul (19:07): Yeah, I have. I have tried MailChimp. I have tried a MailerLite and I've tried GetResponse. Mailchimp sucks. So yeah, MailerLite has a really strict policy for new accounts. Like they approve them manually. So my account get rejected like twice with MailerLite. And with GetResponse, GetResponse is a really great tool but it's more focused with small businesses and it's very robust. It has so many features that you can get confused and it's quite expensive as well. If you are looking to get more features. So, yeah.

Nick (19:45): Okay. And I know for a fact ConvertKit, MailerLite, and MailChimp, they all have free versions to start. I'm not sure on the GetResponse. I've not used that one.

Rahul (19:57): Yeah. It doesn't have any free plans.

Nick (19:59): Yeah. It's funny you say that about MailerLite. I actually, in another business that I'm running with my dad and my brother, we actually started we're on MailerLite for that business. And we had no issues getting on. I think initially we submitted it and they said no. And I replied to appeal it and said, well, why not? And they're like, Oh, sorry. It must've been a mistake. And then they approved it and we barely had a website up. And then I got used to using it. So when I started Nine-Five To Freedom and I was getting that all set up, I was like, well, I'm just going to use MailerLite. I understand it. I know it. And they denied me. So I was like, okay. They it's obviously an automated thing. All I'll have to do is appeal. And they're going to send me through and it'll be good. Well, I appealed it and they're like, yeah, sorry. Decision's final. It's like, Oh yeah. So then I tried a couple months later I tried a couple of months later and they're like, yeah, no, we're not approving you. It's like, okay. I guess I'll go. That's when I switched over to MailChimp and I use that, but MailChimp confused the hell out of me.

Rahul (20:59): Yeah. That's why Mailchimp sucks.

Nick (21:02): Yeah. I could not navigate. I know a lot of people love MailChimp and they like preach about it and talk about how great it is. I could not, I could never find the stuff I needed to find. I was always clicking around. It would take me a half hour to figure out where I put that last email that I created, because I didn't know if I put it over here. You're over here. And ConvertKit makes that all just super freaking simple.

Rahul (21:25): Yeah. You actually enjoy email marketing with ConvertKit.

Nick (21:28): Yeah. That was the first thing. When I switched everything over to ConvertKit, I did it super fast and I was having fun doing it. And I don't know why, because it's not like I have a bunch of subscribers. I was just playing with that. I was like, this is so much fun.

Rahul (21:42): Yeah. The tech part of ConvertKit is like very easy because the founder named Nathan Barry is actually a blogger himself. So he created ConvertKit for himself to make his life easier. Yeah. It's more focused towards content creators.

Nick (22:03): Very cool. Okay. So flipping from an email service provider, one of the first things that you need to do, if you're trying to get into email marketing is to start building that list and everyone hears it. The money's in the list. No one really knows how to start building that list. We already talked about the email service providers. That is where, when you start building that list, that is basically where your list is going to live. That's where all your email subscribers are going to be at. That's how we're going to get in contact with them. But how do we actually start building the list?

Rahul (22:34): Yeah. So for building an email list, the first thing you need to you need is an audience or traffic because without them, everything else is just useless. Once you have a flow of traffic, then you need an email marketing tool or ESP, just like we talked about to collect subscribers and send emails to them. Since we are talking about ConvertKit, you can pay and go with them, use Nick's link in from the show notes. And actually the principles and process is generally the same for all of the tools and platforms. So after setting up your account, you need an incentive or an offer because something that your audience actually wants, and nowadays you can get away with like sign up for our newsletter or join an email list. You need to do more than that. And that's where an incentive comes into play. It can be anything like a guide, worksheet, cheatsheet, software, anything at all, as long as it's useful for your audience.

Rahul (23:25): And they going to join your email list, just for getting the incentive. So after figuring out what that incentive is going to be, you create a signup form or a landing page, through an email marketing platform. And if it's a form, then you can embed it into your blog. And if it's a landing page, then you just share your link with your audience and then set up a welcome email sequence to an automation to deliver your incentive and nurture your email subscribers. And eventually sell something to them. If you're planning to at the end of the sequence, and this is also the idea or concept of a basic sales funnel. So you'll hook a subscriber with an offer. You nurture them. And then at the end of the funnel, sell something to them. If you're planning to. That way, then just keep building your email list until you launch something. Now, if you want to get more and more email subscribers, then just one incentive is not going to do it. You need to create and use as many incentives as possible. And that's just the whole process of how you start building an email list.

Nick (24:23): Sorry, I'm taking notes here as you're talking. Okay. So you start with that incentive, that offer, which would be your lead magnet. If you ever hear the term lead magnet, that's what they're referring to is like a free giveaway, or maybe it's download my free ebook or download this free checklist. And you're basically giving them your email to get that lead magnet. How do you come up with ideas for lead magnets? Like what are, what are some things people can do to actually create a lead magnet that they can ultimately give for free or in exchange for people's emails?

Rahul (24:57): Yeah. So a lead magnet is just a form of incentive you use to get, for getting the leads or customers or in simple language subscribers. The reason why it's called a magnet lead magnet, because it's supposed to attract subscribers. If something that can add value to your subscribers, something that they can't resist, plus a lead magnet works independently, as opposed to a content upgrade. Content upgrade Is another type of incentive that you use to build your email list. A content upgrade Is supposed to compliment a piece of content or is associated with it. For example, I have a blog post about things to check before launching your blog. And along with it, I offer a content upgrade that is a blog launch checklist. Now I cannot offer the checklist with other blog posts because it wouldn't make any sense. A blog launch checklists should always be given with the blog launch posts. So on the other hand, a lead magnet can be offered in any blog, post or content, or you can even promote it separately. So for example, it can be an ebook or a guide, email series or email course, video series, anything. But it just needs to be valuable enough for your subscribers who sign up for your email list. Now, coming up with the idea. It depends on you. You already know about your niche. You can run a survey, you can ask your audience on social media, like what they want to learn about. And then you can simply create a course, a guide, whatever you want. Just, you have to make sure that it's valuable for your audience.

Nick (26:20): Another thing I like to do. And when I was setting my sights on email marketing and I knew the lead magnet was a big part of that, I actually went to other blog posts, other bloggers and podcasters, and I went to their websites and I looked to see what types of things they were offering for free. Doing that research up front is a very good way to see what, like, especially if they're a successful blogger or successful podcaster or whatever your niche, I guess, entails, there's someone successful and you see them giving away the stuff, you know, people are, I guess, giving up their email for this thing, this incentive or this lead magnet, whatever it is. So it can kind of give you a good idea, like, okay, well, in my niche, people love checklists. I'm thinking maybe in like a travel niche where you're constantly moving, you're going from country to country or city to city, whatever it is, packing lists or food lists or best things to do in this country. Like checklists like that might do really well for you. Whereas someone that's in, I dunno, that's trying to grow on social media, maybe a free ebook or a guide to getting started on Twitter would do better. So really take a look at what's working in your niche before you just jump right in and start creating a bunch of stuff. Cause you could be wasting time, but at the same time, I mean, really you just have to feel out your audience.

Rahul (27:38): Yeah. For example, like food bloggers, food bloggers, you can give recipes or you can give in PDF checklist. So yeah, there's, there are a lot of options. It depends on what your audience actually wants.

Nick (27:50): When it comes down to actually creating the lead magnet. And I'm I guess, first of all, I mean, like we said, there's checklists, there's eBooks, there's guides. I've seen email courses that I've actually signed up for like free email courses where you get thrown into an email sequence. And I think you also have a couple of those as well.

Rahul (28:06): Yeah. I have like five of them.

Nick (28:09): Oh wow. That's awesome. That's obviously a pretty simple process to set up. But when it comes to actually creating the eBooks and the checklists and the guides and all that stuff, how do you actually end up creating those of you use any tools or software to help you create that?

Rahul (28:21): Yeah. Yeah. Actually, uh, after we figured out which lead magnet you want to create and what's going to be the purpose behind it? Are you creating a lead magnet to just to gain subscribers or is it for a product launch or an evergreen sales funnel? So if you're creating a lead magnet just for getting subscribers, then you don't have to worry about anything at all. But if it's a product, if it's for a product launch or evergreen content, you want to make sure that it's highly limited to your paid product. Otherwise it's not going to work by then. It's going to get you subscribers, but no sales or no subscribers at all. So then you decide the topic, obviously you would want to do in your niche. And it's just like writing a blog post or creating any other form of content. You have to go more in depth. And for eBooks and guides so you can use Canva.

Rahul (29:06): I use Canva and I love it because now they allow individual links in PDF files as well. And it very very easy to use. If you're not familiar with Canva, you can use Google docs as well. You can simply write your eBook or guide in the Google docs, add images, then you can export it as a PDF. And you can create the cover through Canva or any design that you'd like use. But if you're creating an email course or an email series, then you just have to divide your topic into five to seven different emails, then your done. You also want to make sure that each email is related to the previous email in some way. So this helps in building curiosity among subscribers and the same goes for the users as well.

Nick (29:44): So the sequences are something that I've been kind of messing with. When you build an email course, you are essentially creating like a mini sequence in a way. And for the listeners, a sequence is basically a series of emails that you send. So when someone signs up through your lead magnet or they sign up to be a part of your list, you'll most likely end up sending them maybe a welcome email with the incentive attached, and then you can have emails prewritten and set up so that when that person subscribes, they end up getting those emails automatically. And you don't have to remember to come back and okay, I need to follow up with this person and send them an email this week. They just get kind of dropped into that funnel and they'll receive the weekend or the emails on intervals that you predetermined. I'm curious with yours, like when you bring people over with like a lead magnet or an content upgrade, do you have a, a welcome sequence? Like, do you have a series of emails that you come like bringing them on or do you kind of get them right into the content based on the lead magnet they get?

Rahul (30:44): Yeah, actually I have divided my lead magnets or content upgrades into two parts. For example, if it's a course, the email course, which I have one affiliate marketing, email marketing, et cetera. So those subscribers directly get those course emails. But if they're subscribing for checklists or cheatsheets, et cetera, the content upgrades. Then they go to a welcome sequence. So I send them emails every two days and I think there are four day intervals as well. And I make them familiar with me. I send them emails with tips and stuff. I promote some of my affiliate products as well. It's a very good way to make affiliate sales to your welcome sequence. So yeah, I have a five, a five-day email sequence for my five email sequence for my content upgrade. And the courses, are like five-day courses in which emails are delivered at one day interval.

Nick (31:36): Very cool. Now what happens, You said it's a five, five email sequence for your content upgrades typically. What do you do, what happens to those subscribers after they finish that sequence?

Rahul (31:46): The last email, I actually give them an option if they want to subscribe to a course. It automatically adds them to a funnel because I promote my products through email courses, not through content upgrades. So I give them an option if they want to subscribe to a course. So if they subscribe, they go through that funnel, the course funnel. And if they don't, then they go into the main list. Then I send weekly emails to my mailing list.

Nick (32:10): That'd be like your newsletter, like your weekly newsletter.

Rahul (32:12): Yeah. Yeah.

Nick (32:14): Okay. Yeah. No, that all makes sense. I like the idea of sending people to your email course first. Then I guess you're kind of, you're gauging, who's a little bit warmer of a lead versus someone else. That's a really good idea. And one, one really cool thing that we didn't really talk about with the softwares, like the email service providers that we're talking about, ConvertKit, MailChimp, all those its really cool because you can automatically segment and separate out your audience. So, what RC was talking about right there, he said at the, in the last email, he gives them an option that says, Hey, are you interested in taking my course? Probably, if not, no big deal. When they click to say yes, they're interested in it, ConvertKit will automatically throw them into that email sequence when they click on that link. It's like ConvertKit just says, okay, drop them into that email course. And now the emails are automatically getting sent out. You don't have to actually manually move them around. It's really cool. It's a great way to segment your audience. And like, if you have different pockets within your audience or different niches inside your audience, it's a really good way to kind of keep them separate and give them the content that they want to see. I love how easy it is to segment in all the email services providers.

Rahul (33:23): Yeah, yeah, exactly. Even my email list is segmented into like three main categories, actually four main categories, blogging, email marketing, affiliate marketing, and SEO. There are four different segments and four different audiences for each of the topics. Then there are two other segments which include buyers and non-buyers, people who have already bought my product. So I make sure that I don't send promotional emails again and again to them. So it's really easy with ConvertKit to do this kind of stuff.

Nick (33:51): Something that I started doing, because when I, right, when I got into it, I was kind of overwhelming myself thinking like, okay, I have to create all these very elaborate sequences and funnels. And if I want to create a lead magnet, I need to have like a 10, 15 email sequence. And I was kind of like struggling to actually get started because of that. And recently what I started doing. So I just released a productivity workbook. Can it help people? Yeah. It kind of helps people get on track prioritize and I guess complete a project is what the main goal of it is. And as I'm building that whole sequence, I'm actually doing it as I go, but it's going to be there for when new people, new subscribers come on. So every week I'll write one or two emails to add to that sequence.

Nick (34:38): And I'm always ahead of that first person that subscribed, but each week I'll add one or two until I want to end that sequence, I guess. But now those emails that I've added are going to be there for every single subscriber that I get from now on. So I could build it up to 10, 15 emails if I wanted it to. And the moral of what I'm trying to say is you don't have to sit down and write out your entire email sequence all in one day. If you don't want to, you can write emails over the course of each day and they're going to stay there for the long run.

Rahul (35:06): Yeah, this is what I did too. Uh, I never wrote all of my emails in a single day. I choose to write one email per day, like today I wrote my first email and I put the course live. So when a subscriber signs up for the post today, he is going to only receive the first email. So now, tomorrow I'm going to write the second email before, uh, before the time comes, when he's supposed to receive the second email. So like if he subscribed today at 6:00 PM and he gets the first email at 6:00 PM, then he is going to get the second email tomorrow, 6:00 PM. So I make sure I write that second email before 6:00 PM tomorrow and third email the next day before 6:00 PM. So he gets them.

Nick (35:46): I definitely overwhelmed myself at the beginning when I got started because of that. And then it was just recently, I was like, this is actually really easy. I write emails every day for my nine to five job. And I'm doing the same thing only like I'm usually my intervals are weekly. So about every six, seven days. So it's like, I just have to at least write one email within seven day span. And as long as I can keep that up, I'm going to constantly stay ahead of that first person that subscribed. That's not that much work.

Nick (36:13): I wanted to talk about. So there's two main things that I want to do yet today. I want to talk about your eBooks and your courses, the stuff that you have, we can talk about what you have for email marketing and affiliate marketing and all that. And then you were a part of, I was asking people what their email marketing questions were. So I do want to get to those as well. I guess, why don't we start with that? Why don't we start with the Twitter questions that we have.

Nick (36:38): Now, I apologize if I butcher anybody's name, but here is the first question and it is from Ron VJ or on Twitter. His handle is @moneytric, M O N E Y T R I C. And his question is, "What type of mistakes should you avoid while doing email marketing?"

Rahul (37:01): Yeah. So the very first mistake that many people make is not being consistent, not maintaining the schedule. Like for example, if you are sending weekly emails, then you have to stick to it. If you are planning to send an email on Tuesday then send that email every Tuesday. You cannot skip any Tuesday at all. And the other mistake that people make often make is sending too many emails. Like they're sending an email each day. So imagine how frustrating it's going to be. Like, if you're receiving an email each day from a person or, and it's just promotion emails. So yeah, the other mistake people make is not maintaining a perfect ratio of tips, like useful content and promotional content. This goes for social media as well. Like you have to maintain a ratio. So for email, like if you're sending four emails per month, you make sure that you sned emails with the usual content and one email for promotional content and yeah.

Rahul (38:02): And the biggest mistake, I think the biggest mistake, or email marketers or bloggers often make is that they go with the wrong email marketing tool. You already heard my story. What happens when you go with the wrong email marketing tool, So you have to make sure that you are choosing a trustworthy and reliable tool for email marketing for your business, because it's gonna make a huge impact. It's going to be your, it can be your biggest source of revenue for your business and you don't want to risk it. So yeah, that's pretty much it. That's the only mistakes I can think of right now.

Nick (38:36): No, I think those are all very good, very good things to keep in mind. I know that ratio thing is something I'm kinda messing around with. I think kind of like how you're doing your selling email or affiliate marketing through your email sequences. I think that's eventually where I'm going to get to, but I haven't gotten there yet. I'm still kind of feeling it out and playing with the software and everything, but the tool, the tool is a big one. Once I switched to ConvertKit, I like we said, I mean, it's fun. I enjoy doing it. When I get into ConvertKit, I have fun writing the emails now. And I mean, that can make a huge difference in the success of it. Now our next question is from Shraddha and that's @souloutpourings on Twitter and she wanted to ask, "is there any formula for increasing your subscribers or audience through email marketing?" Is there a specific formula?

Rahul (39:26): Yeah. Uh, I don't think there's any formula, but yeah. I have a few tips in mind. So for people who already have a list or who know how to build a list, have already taken the first step. Now, all you need to figure out is how to increase the subscriber amount or gain more and more subscribers. I actually have a few tips that work really well, the first thing would be A/B testing. Now, A/B testing means you test two different origins of something or two completely different things to see which one gets you better results. And then you keep using the winner. So for email marketing, you need to test your incentives before using them. Like, create two similar incentives and use each one for 15 days? And notice which one is getting you the most subscribers. And then you keep using those winning incentives. And if you're going to perform A/B testing on headlines too. Headlines for your forms and CTAs or calls to action, instead of using "sign-up" or "download now" try using CTAs like, "download your freebie here"

Rahul (40:19): Or "I want this freebie" and you'll see a significant change in your subscriber growth. And one thing that I would like to say is that don't change everything at once. Like you don't want to be changing headlines, CTA, incentive everything altogether, but rather change them one by one. I know it's a time consuming process, but you need to be patient. And if you want to get results. And the next thing would be opt-in form placement. Just placing the opt-in form at the bottom of your blog post is not going to do the job. You need to do more than that. You need to add your form at least twice in your blog posts. And what works for me is that sometimes I put the form at the top of my post, just above the first heading and the one at the bottom, just above the last heading, not everybody is going to read your whole blog post.

Rahul (41:02): So if they just read the introduction and see your form, there are chances that they might sign up for your list. And you can also try adding the form or link of your landing page into your sidebar or your homepage. I have done that and it works really well. The next thing you need to do is that you need to share your landing pages on your social media frequently as well. And if you're using Pinterest to drive traffic to your blog, then you can share your landing pages there as well. You could create a few fresh pins each week for your landing pages and pin them, along with your blog post. The second thing you can do is instead of linking to your homepage in your social media bio links, link to one of your landing pages. That can work well. So this will definitely get you a few extra subscribers because people click on the link in your bio.

Rahul (41:52): So there are chances that they might subscribe for your email list as well. And the last thing I would like to say is that you can try PPC ads. Like after A/B testing, you already know which of your landing pages or blog posts are converting better or getting you the most subscribers. So you can try running Facebook ads to them and you can gain a huge number of subscribers in less time. And this works really well if you are planning for a product launch, because you already know your landing page is converting because you have already done the test, A/B testing. So you can do this a month or two before your launch and then nurture them until the launch. So these are a few things that if you do well, you'll see a significant increase in your subscriber count. Yeah. So that's not a fixed formula, but there are just tiny steps. You need to take one by one.

Nick (42:40): Absolutely, man, that was all really good stuff. I love the PPC preparing for the launch idea. That's that's really good. Do you, you said Facebook ads that you use for that?

Rahul (42:50): Yeah. Yeah. I tried physical goods and it works really well because Google ads, I don't think Google ads are going to work for landing pages or for your opt-in forms for getting subscribers. So Facebook ads really work well because they show ads on Instagram as well. Instagram stories there's an option when you're running Facebook ads, they give you an option if you wanna run that ad on Instagram as well. So they showed up, they showed the ad on both platforms. So yeah,

Nick (43:17): Let's talk about your eBooks. Let's talk about the eBooks and courses that you got going on around email marketing. So if anybody's interested in trying to improve their email marketing, or maybe they're trying to get started in email marketing, what do you actually offer up for them?

Rahul (43:31): Yeah. So actually, if you are an absolute beginner or don't want to spend any money, then you can grab my quick start guide. The link will be in the show notes and you're going to find it quite useful. It's free and it's 30 pages long, and it has absolutely everything you need to get started. And I think it will definitely give you a headstart. But if you're really serious about making email marketing work for you and you are willing to invest a few bucks, then you can also get my email marketing bundle from the link in the show notes. And Nick will add his affiliate link. And it has everything from an in depth, ebook to cheatsheets and templates. There's a subject line workbook. I think that if you should just follow the link to know more about it and grab it, you will absolutely love it. Yeah.

Nick (44:16): Yeah. And so that email marketing bundle, I got, I have that one obviously, and I am affiliate, like you said, I'm affiliate for that product. That one, I thought the ebook was fricking awesome. It was so detailed. And a lot of stuff you were talking about, I was like, Oh yeah, that's a good idea. Yeah. I should really start thinking about doing that because I'm not currently doing that, but even the extras. So you have your main email marketing book, like the ebook, the actual guide to email marketing. And then like you were talking about the headline ideas and all the extras that you have included in that bundle. I thought those, those blew my mind. When I was looking at that, I was like, Oh wow, that is that's genius. So really that whole bundle is awesome.

Rahul (44:55): Yeah. They're actually worth more than the ebook itself.

Nick (44:58): I believe it, those, I was impressed with the ebook and then the little extras on the side there, I was really impressed. Anybody that is interested in email marketing. I mean, you go through the whole setup process from start to finish. I mean, even, even if you are a beginner trying to get into it, I think that is a very helpful book for anybody. So like RC said, those links to all that stuff will be in the show notes. So make sure you go hop over there and grab your copy. Okay, man, let's get wrapped up here. What would be some final words of wisdom, some advice some tip, some tips for anybody wanting to get started or grow their list.

Rahul (45:37): I would say that don't worry too much on the numbers in the beginning. You're not going to build an email list of tens of thousands of subscribers overnight. It takes time, patience, trial and error to figure out some stuff. And email marketing is less about numbers and more about relationships. And an engaged list of thousand subscribers is much, much, much more valuable than a cold email list of 10,000 subscribers, which is this going to cost you money. So once you figure this out, your email list is going to be your biggest asset or more like an ATM machine. So you need some cash? Send an email. You are going to be scared and nervous when you send your first broadcast. I know I was. But it gets easier with time. And when you send your 50th broadcast, you're going to be confident as hell. So in this, in the beginning, you're going to worry about things to send to your email list, to what to talk about.

Rahul (46:28): What if people are going to read your emails or not, and what if they unsubscribe? What if you get hate email replies? So don't let the limiting beliefs stop you and be personal with your list and talk about stuff you and your email subscribers have in common. Talk about your week. What happened with you and anything new you tried or new lesson you learned. You have a lot of ideas. If you actually think carefully and you don't feel the unsubscribers or haters. They're doing your fever by keeping your list clean and saving you a lot of money because yeah, keeping you subscribers costs you money. You are going to be paying for your email list. So if they want to go, let them go and embrace them. So yeah, I think that's pretty much it. I would like to say because, we have already covered everything else. So yeah.

Nick (47:13): Perfect man. I thought that was awesome. That was great. Okay. Last but not least. Where do you want people to go to either reach out to you about email marketing questions or maybe they want to check out what you're doing in the blogging space? What kind of links? Social media, where do you people to find you at?

Rahul (47:41): You can find all of my content related to blogging, email marketing, or affiliate marketing on Blog2Brand.com. Where 2 is a number. Blog2Brand.com and 2 is a number. And I'm mostly active on Twitter so you can follow me there. And my username is @itsrahulc. And my DMs are always open for all kinds of questions you have. I reply to each one of them. And, don't send me "Hi". Just jump straight to the point.

Nick (47:59): And like all the other links that we discussed in this, we talked about a lot of them. So don't feel like you have to go back and listen and find that link in the episode. Every single one of those will be in the show notes for this episode. So, alright, Rahul, man, that was an awesome episode. I thought we covered a lot of really good stuff there.

Rahul (48:16): Thank you, Nick. Thank you so much for having me. It was a pleasure being here and I hope I provided as much value as I could. So thank you very much.

Nick (48:23): Absolutely man. Yes. Thank you.

Nick (48:26): Okay. I hope you enjoyed that episode with RC. Make sure you go follow him on Twitter and check out his freebies as well as his courses on his website Blog2Brand. And that's blog two, As in the number 2 brand. You can find all the links to RC's website and social media accounts along with every other link tool and resource. We discussed this episode by heading over to this episode's show notes. The show notes for this episode can be found over at ninefivepodcasts.com/episode13. And don't forget nine five is all spelled out. That's N I N E F I V E podcast.com forward slash episode 13. And that is the number 13.

Nick (49:07): I hope you were able to get some value from this episode and this interview. If you did, please make sure you head over to iTunes or wherever you listen to the podcast and leave a rating and review of the podcast. Your love and support for the show really make it fun and enjoyable for me. And hopefully it's been informative and beneficial to you at this point as well. So that's it for this week. Thanks for tuning in and I will catch you guys on next week's episode.

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Hosts & Guests

Host – Nick Nalbach

Guest – Rahul Choudhary (R.C.)

Show Notes

Email marketing is a major source of revenue for many businesses. When done correctly, email marketing can be THE main source of revenue for your business or brand.

In addition to being a great source of revenue for your business, email marketing is one way in which you have complete control over your subscribers and contacts.

With social media, for example, you don’t own anything that you share on the platform. Facebook can decide to ban you, block you, or prevent your content from being seen.

On the other hand, when you are growing your email list, YOU OWN YOUR LIST. You will always have a way to reach the subscribers on your list.

 

How Do I Create an Email List?

 

You can no longer get people to sign up for your email list by simply putting a form on your website that says, “Join the Mailing List.” We all get far too many emails each day for anyone to willingly give you their email address.

Instead, you need to provide some kind of incentive so people will give you their email. This is done in the form of content upgrades and lead magnets. By creating high-quality, premium resources such as checklists, quick start guides, or email courses, followers are much more likely to give you their email in exchange for your awesome resource.

 

Content Upgrades

 

A content upgrade is a free checklist, guide, or additional content/information that you create to supplement a blog post or information page on your website.

A content upgrade should be related to the content it is “upgrading” and most likely wouldn’t make sense to with any other piece of content or page on your website.

 

Lead Magnets

 

A lead magnet is typically a guide, email course, or workbook (among many other options) that is evergreen. This is usually a more premium option vs a content upgrade but can be shared or viewed as its own piece of content.

A lead magnet can be shared with any blog post, webpage, or even shared directly to your followers.

 

The important thing to remember with both content upgrades and lead magnets is that they need to be valuable.

“Would you give someone your email for this [insert free product here]?”

Obviously, the more value you can provide in your incentive, the more likely people are to give you their email to receive that incentive.

 

What are the Best Email Service Providers?

 

Now, I am a little biased on this front, but there are many well known ESPs (Email Service Providers) out there.

As you’ll hear in this episode, both Rahul and I prefer ConvertKit.

Full Disclosure: I am an affiliate for ConvertKit, so if you choose to purchase through the link provided I will receive a small commission. This comes at no additional cost to you.

 

I have tried several other ESPs in the past, including Mailchimp and MailerLite, but none of them have been nearly as simple or intuitive as ConvertKit.

If you do happen to sign up for a ConvertKit account (with or without my affiliate link), feel free to reach out with any questions. I personally love the software and would love to help you get started.


Here are some of the top ESPs that are popular among other email marketers:

 

  • ConvertKit (free & paid options)
  • Mailchimp (free & paid options)
  • MailerLite (free & paid options)
  • GetResponse (paid options only)
  • Aweber (free & paid options)

 

These are just some of the high-level topics that we cover in this episode. To get all the juicy stuff, make sure you listen to the full episode!

You can find all the links we discussed in this episode below.

Links & Resources

Note: Some of the links listed below may be affiliate links. This means I will receive a small commission (at no extra cost to you) if you choose to purchase through them.

  • Follow Rahul on Twitter: @itsrahulc
  • Check out what Rahul is doing on his blog and website, Blog2Brand.com
  • Get your copy of the Email Marketing Bundle – I’ve gone through all of the content in the bundle and have gotten TON of value from it!
  • ConvertKit is my go-to ESP. I absolutely love it and will be happy to help anyone looking to get started!
  • We briefly mentioned my free productivity workbook. Grab your copy of Increase Productivity and Get More Done
  • If you haven’t done this already, you can leave a review of the Nine-Five Podcast over on iTunes

Thank You!

I hope you enjoyed this episode of the Nine-Five Podcast. Thank you so much for listening!

 

If you enjoyed this episode, please head over to iTunes and leave a review. Your reviews are what help get this podcast in front of more people!

 

Have you started building your email list yet?

 

Let me know in the comments below!

 

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