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March 10, 2022

Engage and Grow Your Audience With Email Marketing

Engage and Grow Your Audience With Email Marketing

Engage and Grow Your Audience With Email Marketing

Today we're going to be talking about using email marketing in your efforts to connect with your audience and to grow that audience as well. 

But first, we want to mention our newest book is on Amazon: Women In Podcasting. We're very proud of it. We interviewed all these people and created a book out of those interviews. If you're interested in doing the same thing, we can teach you. If you want to know how we did it, read the book and we share all that information with you. Go to http://books.agkmedia.studio/ and that takes you to all our books including A Gypsy's Kiss

That's a really good way to learn how to compile and publish a book. We had a lot of fun with it and there's a lot of great stuff in there about podcasting and why people do it and why they stay with it. They also talk about podfade and how they come back from that. Some admitted to us that they had podfaded and were looking for ways to come back. One of those people who had podfaded due to being busy with the rest of their business was Jen McFarland of Women Conquer Business. That is why Jen and Shelley decided to work together and collaborate on her Podcast, Women Conquer Business, which they shoot live from the studio on Thursday mornings.

Toby: That's a really good partnership because although I'm not going to say that you really enjoy that post-production work, none of us enjoy the post-production work, but you're very good at it. You're very efficient at it.

Shelley: I enjoy it because it feels productive. It's like doing the laundry. You can see that the results are adding up.

Toby: On Videotero live on YouTube, Videotero live on Facebook, I'll be doing my one o'clock mountain standard time show on Thursday and we have a new shot and we're going to talk about small set photography. https://www.youtube.com/c/videoterolive 

Shelley: Now we're going to be talking about how to engage and grow your audience with email marketing. There are many kinds of digital marketing. There's email marketing and content marketing. Those are the ones that we focus on. What else?

Toby: Social media marketing.

Shelley: Influencer marketing and relationship marketing. There's a lot of them out there. If you just Google digital marketing you’ll find 15 different kinds of things.

How does email marketing fit in with content marketing? We talk to you a lot about content marketing, but email is a piece that we need to incorporate because content marketing should just be a piece of your entire marketing strategy.

Toby: In our case, content marketing is the tip of our proverbial spear. But there are more tactics behind that to take advantage of and one of them is email marketing. The reason I like email marketing is that it's a lot easier and safer to do than it was years ago.

The companies providing email marketing services are now very much in line with what the spam rules and regulations are. That means they're very protective of you because they're required by law to ensure that you don't make spam mistakes.

When I first started email marketing in the early two-thousands, it was really bad. It was a regular Wild West between the applications themselves, the behaviors of the individuals who were using those applications, and the email list sellers. That's why email ended up with such a bad reputation.

Shelley: It was akin to telemarketing and carried that undesirable reputation that went along with it. But since quality email marketing companies have professionalized it and made a lot of rules, everything's in place now to keep it very high quality and not spammy. It doesn't have that unpleasant reputation anymore that people are just bothering you at dinnertime.

Toby: I've done both telemarketing and email marketing in my long career.

Shelley: What are the benefits of email marketing? Why should I spend time on it? Why is it important to my small business? 

With email marketing, you have control.

You get to say when the email goes out, what it says, and to whom it's sent. Whereas with social media, it doesn't matter how many followers you have on Facebook. When you put a post up, not everybody who follows you will see that post. Facebook gets to control it. It's their platform. They control it and that’s how they make money.

With email, you control it so there's a huge advantage to having your own email marketing list. You get to send it to a targeted audience. These are people you want on your list because you have defined what service you're providing them, what information you're giving out, who is going to want that information and who is going to engage with you on that information.

You can continue to perfect your list. If you go into it every quarter and weed out the people who aren't opening your emails then you only have your targeted audience on that list. 

Top of mind awareness is enhanced when you're sending out a weekly email. “Hey, remember us? We do livestreaming, podcasting, blogging, and coaching. If you need these services this week give us a call.” If you’re on our list, we tell you every week, “we've got this great free training. Have you checked it out yet?” Maybe you say, “I'm not interested in that.” But then somebody you run into through networking says to you, “I wish I had more information about live streaming, it’s something I might want to do.” You could say, “let me tell you about these people I know who have this free training. Then you could learn if it is something you want.” You could direct them to that because we are top of mind and you get to be the hero with the help that person needed. 

The automated functions of an email provider mean if you have somebody onboarding into a program or just coming onto your list, you can set up a few emails that come out at an automated pace that welcome them, let them know what's going on, keep them informed and give them any information that you want them to have. Those emails are set up so they take care of that onboarding automatically so you're not constantly having to follow up with everybody one at a time or missing opportunities to build rapport.

Toby: With email marketing, there is a spectrum of utilization and application. That spectrum runs from “I bought an email list from a scammer and I sent it out on Google to everybody.” That's one end of this horrendous potential spectrum.

The other end of that spectrum is “I'm using an email application services provider who's well known. I'm sending emails out to people who have agreed to be on my email list, by going through the process of downloading something. I'm sending those emails to people who have become accustomed to the idea that once a week or so, they're going to get an email from me. That email is going to talk about us. It's going to tell you stories about our week, what our plans are, what shows we have, and that we have a new book out.” 

You're developing a relationship with this individual in the same way that content marketing does. The people that accept your email every week are the same people who will listen to your podcast. It's a very personalized relationship. Email is about connection, visibility, credibility, and trust, and you're providing information that they would not otherwise have.

I have a very small number of Facebook contacts. I don't have anybody on my Facebook friends list that I haven't engaged with or I haven't met. Email becomes very much like that. My email list features people who agree that we have some sort of relationship. They're happy with what we do and they like the freebies we give. They're ready to move forward into whatever process we offer them and they feel safe about it.

The benefits of email marketing for online business

Shelley: Number one, it's personal. A personalized email will make readers more comfortable. If our readers get an email from us, it announces it's from Toby and Shelley. We talk about ourselves, we talk about what we're up to and they know who we are. We send some pictures so they see what we look like. Even if they've never met us face to face, they've seen our content and they get to know us that way.

Toby: Another benefit is that it saves time. You can set up email automation practices that include your weekly email and follow-ups. If they reach out to you, you can set up email sequences that start the engagement process.

You'll have an opt-in download. They download it. You let them know the next day that there's another opportunity for another download and you start the engagement process. The reason it's time-saving is you can build that process once and it engages automatically with their first download.

It's fast and practical.

Shelley: It's easily accepted everywhere and can reach your customers quickly. If for instance, you came up with an offer and you want everybody to know about it, or you have some kind of announcement, you can write an email and send it off to the people who need to know that. It can go out to a segment of five people or it can go out to all your list. It depends on what it is and how many people you feel need to know about it. It is easy to send those emails out to the correct people.

Toby: It's ultimately about building community. Everything in social media and digital marketing is about building a community. There's a process of building visibility, credibility, trust, and transformation. That's on the individual scale because that's what you're trying to do with each one of the people reading your emails. 

Those same people are going to visit your Facebook group page or your Facebook business page. They're going to be gratified to find that there are other people with similar interests that may have engaged in the same way, because the objective of all this marketing is to build a tribe. I really like that word because tribe to me implies that the people who are in this group have a common set of interests, goals, and objectives. They're all working in common with one another to achieve those goals and objectives. 

Shelley: What's the ROI, the return on investment? Email marketing on average sees a 4300% return on investment for businesses in the United States, according to the Direct Marketing Association. In other words, you cannot beat this method of marketing.

Every small business owner needs to be building an email list from day one. Email marketing, building their list, and growing their audience are totally worth the effort. Remember the Pareto Principle, where 20% of the things that you do bring you 80% of your return?

Email marketing is one of those 20% activities.

Toby: To put that in perspective, 4300% ROI means that for every dollar you invest in email marketing, you're going to get $43 in return. For every hundred dollars you invest in email marketing, you're going to get $4,300 in return for that investment. There are very few marketing investments that produce that level of return.

How does email marketing fit into content marketing?

Shelley: Number one, we start off with our live show, the podcast, or blog. That’s how people usually find us first. Within this content, we offer information and valuable tips, tools, and advice that are pointing toward our unique solution. The solution we offer starts with a free lead magnet that you can receive when you give us an email address.

A call to action (CTA) like this is something that we always include, and the show flows easily into that CTA because it was made to fit in with the topic.

Toby: We'll ask you to do something that creates a response mechanism. When you want to download one of our freebies, we're going to ask for your name and email address. That leads us into the rest of the process of developing that relationship with you.

We offer value and each viewer, listener, or reader feels compelled to reciprocate that value. The payment is your name and email address. You offer that knowing we're trying to build a relationship with you. 

Shelley: Once you've signed up, then you’ll be on our email list and you're going to receive a weekly newsletter from us. Within the contents of the newsletter, you get to know us and we become a part of your world. We build a relationship so that every Tuesday you expect to get an email from Toby and Shelley, and it's going to tell you what's going on in our world. You’re going to open it to see what's new because you look forward to the good feelings brought about by our relationship.

Toby: The advantage of building that relationship is we get the opportunity to share additional content with you. You're going to get the opportunity to see what other things we're doing. The shows that we're doing with each other. The shows Shelley's doing with Jen. The shows that I'm doing on my own. My Instagram feed, where I'm posting my photographs. You have another alternative to engage with us. 

Suddenly you're not only looking at our additional content, but you're joining us on our Facebook page or you're subscribing to one of our other YouTube channels to see the other shows. It's a loop of live show, viewer response, newsletter, reader response, and back to the top with another show. It could be live video, but it could be our podcast or blog. You get to choose the type of content you prefer to consume.

It's a process and an important part of the process is capturing that email so you can start this development of the relationship.

Shelley: Content marketing is not an island, it is fitted into your entire marketing strategy. 

What are some email marketing tips for small businesses?

Number one, know your ideal subscribers. Who do you want to reach out to? Who do you want to work with? Who should be getting your information and who is going to find it valuable? 

Toby: Number two, build your email list organically by allowing people to opt-in to that email list.

We do not recommend buying email lists. Not only is it dangerous in terms of adhering to the spam laws, but most email marketing service providers also will not let you upload lists like that without going through a follow-up process that sends an email to the people on those lists, asking them if they want to be on your list. It's a multi-step process that they have to perform to protect themselves by following government regulations. 

Build your list with the opt-in. Find out what you can offer for free. I have a friend whose free offering is a 15-minute video where he talks extemporaneously about his experience in photography. Once you are on his email list you find out he has a dozen courses. He directs you from the video to the email list, to his other offerings. He built it organically via opt-in, rather than sending it out in a spray and pray fashion.

Shelley: The opt-in could be anything from your area of expertise. It could be a checklist, infographic, or ebook. It could be a popular blog post that you wrote. It doesn't have to take you weeks to put together. I've made lead magnets in a couple of hours that are high quality. It's not difficult to do. Just think of something that people ask you a lot and answer that. Provide that simple solution in an opt-in product and people will want that enough to give you their email address.

Then create unique email content. Our newsletter is fresh and different every week. I create communication that's personalized. I talk about what we're doing this week, and what I'm feeling. I ask, what are you feeling? I might mention what's going on in the world so it's timely and thoughtful. 

It's okay to have a few things in there that you have every week, like join my Facebook group, or here's a free download. Maybe you have that same feature in there for a month or two before you change it to a different download. Balance it out between new and opportune and something that you leave in there because maybe they missed it the first couple of times you sent it out. 

Toby: What I love about Shelley’s writing in our email is she starts off with an interesting combination of digital marketing advice and recommendations combined with her expertise as a coach. It works two ways to advise you what you should be doing in terms of digital marketing and why this is a healthy way to approach it from her personalized coaching perspective. 

Once you've got this wonderful content, set it up on a regular schedule. A regular schedule for us is once a week on Tuesdays. Yours can be more often. I have emails that I get from individuals on a daily basis and they're much shorter. They're not as detailed as the one that Shelley produces. I also get one that appears once a month and it's the classic old-style newsletter with a lot of information about what's happened with a particular market segment. 

With email marketing, it’s important to keep it regularly scheduled and consistent.

8 Ways to Optimize Your Emails

  1. Create eye-catching subject lines. 
  2. Evaluate the receiver and sender names. 
  3. Develop personalized messaging. 
  4. Write compelling content. 
  5. Provide clear CTAs. 
  6. Offer a variety of shareable links. 
  7. Design for mobile applications. 
  8. Provide an unsubscribe link.

 

Shelley: We have eight email optimization strategies. Number one, create eye-catching subject lines. This can be challenging. You want to stand out. You don't want it to say the same thing that everybody else is saying on that day. 

For instance, back in September, all the Facebook products went down for a day. On that day, everybody decided to write an email about Facebook going down and this is why you need email. That's great if you get it from one person who you look forward to hearing from, but if you're getting it from 15 different people and it's the same subject line, it's too much. I deleted them all en masse. 

Write something unique that stands out and catches their eye that's going to make them want to click on it.

It’s a good idea to go through your list and check that people have filled in their information coherently. Sometimes they've put something in there that causes strange characters or gibberish to appear. If you're using a personalized “Dear Shelley, blah, blah, blah,” which we do in our newsletters, you want it to say the correct name. So you want to keep an eye on that and make sure that when you use their name, it appears properly in the email.

Toby: The other thing that you have to consider is what name your recipient will see when they get that email. An email that comes from AGK Media Studio is a lot less personal than an email that's coming from Shelley and Toby. 

If I see an email coming from my friend, Dr. Ty Belknap, I recognize him. He's been on our show several times. We’ve had conversations. I've been on his show. I see that email from Ty and I'm always interested in what he has to say, so I open and read it.

Consider both the recipient’s name as well as what they're going to see as the sender's name.

Personalized Messaging

Shelley: You have developed an audience that expects certain things from you so make sure that you're providing that content. For instance, in my email, I always have industry news updates. I will pull in a couple of blog posts, podcasts, or videos that other people have done with leading-edge information about digital marketing. I'll stick those in there knowing that I have put an audience together that is interested in that content. 

I'll also make sure that I say personal things about myself, so they know what's going on and they feel closer to me. Write compelling content, things that people want to see. 

Provide a clear call to action.

Tell them what you want from them. I do that in just about every paragraph in my email. I'll say, “this YouTube show is coming up and it's about this topic, click here to set a reminder.” I make it a link so all they have to do is click it if they want to see it.

If they're reading it on their phone, they can click it on their phone. They just touch it and it opens up that page.

Offer a variety of shareable links. 

Every time I write an introduction to a recommended blog that is really good, I share a piece of it our readers can scan. But if you want to read the whole thing, I provide the link at the end so you can go read more. That's very helpful to the people who are reading the email. Make sure your links work, they're not broken and they go to the place that you say it's going to go to. People want to know if they click one of your links, they will be safe and it's not going to be some scammy thing.

Design your email for mobile applications. 

That's another good thing about using these bulk email providers, they have it set up for mobile. Whenever you design your email, it's almost always automatically going to look good on mobile and it’s easy to check how it will look on a phone or tablet.

Provide an unsubscribe link. 

This is something that is automatic if you're using an email service provider like MailChimp or Get Response. They always have at the bottom of the email, a link where you can unsubscribe. It's a clickable link. If you decide you don't want to be on that email list anymore, you can click on the link. Often, it'll take you to a page that says you're unsubscribed and might ask you to provide feedback. “Why are you unsubscribing? Is it because you get too many emails or this or that?” You can provide that feedback if you want to, but all you really have to do is click that unsubscribe button and it unsubscribes you right away. That is always something that people should be providing for their readers just to give them that option. Then if they feel like they're getting too many emails from you, or they just lost interest in that topic, they can easily unsubscribe.

That's going to help you in the long run because people are self-selecting if they want that information or not. You don’t want to send emails to people who don’t want it because that doesn’t help your business. The size of your email list is a vanity number that doesn’t help you if people are not opening and reading your content.

Toby: Most credible and responsible email service providers don't even ask you whether you want an unsubscribe button, they automatically provide one. You can always tell the quality of the email provider by whether or not there's an unsubscribe button at the bottom of the page. If there isn't, I automatically click spam. 

I recommend this with caution, check your spam folder. Each one of us has a spam folder that collects all the spam that comes into your email every day. I use Gmail. It does a really good job of sorting out the spam. Occasionally one gets in there that shouldn't be, but it does a really good job.

Go through your spam and take a look at several of the emails. Just take a sampling of the emails in there, and you'll see why Google decided to put that, without even asking, into your spam folder. It could be too many images, the links are uncertain, or no unsubscribe button. Go through them and you'll find out how not to write an email. The artificial intelligence that is embedded in Gmail and other email providers already has the software engineering necessary to sort those out for you.

Look at them and find out what ends up there so you know what not to do.

Shelley: You want to entice people to opt-in by giving them a lead magnet, free download, or PDF, by promising them information that they actually want.

If people are watching our show, they're into digital marketing. They're an entrepreneur. They're going to want something related to that. Maybe they want the Top 10 Interview Tips Guide because they're starting a podcast and they want to know the best way to interview people to get the most useful information.

So promise them the information that they truly want.

Toby: Give them an enticing cover as well. You don't have to be a graphics genius to do this. There are enough free products out there, like Book Brush, Canva, or Snappa that enable you to use one of their designs. Modify the text on it, perhaps choose a different image. The advantage to using the templates that they provide is they have professionals who design these eye-catching graphics. You can adjust them to your needs. 

Once we had the photograph for our book, we used a product called Book Brush to design the cover. We didn't do much in terms of design. We just fed it things like the photograph, our names, the title of the book, and the back cover description. You don't have to be a graphics genius in order to do a quality design when you have these products. 

Shelley: Canva has a lot of templates and a lot of applicable graphics that you're free to use and customize.

Toby: There's a free version that has limitations on it. We always use these products as free versions for two weeks to a month before we subscribe. 

Shelley: For free opt-in products, you want to make sure that it's easy for people to consume quickly. Something like a one-page checklist, or an infographic. People enjoy those because they're easier to consume and remember.

If you send people to a link to get a free download, all you want on that landing page is a description of that free download and the form to fill in a name and email. Don't put any other information on there. If it's something that's on your website, make sure it's on a page by itself that doesn't have any other navigation tools so that when people go there, they don't get distracted.

They just put in their information and they get their freebie. They're happy and they are added to your email list. 

5 Ways to Boost Email Conversions 

  1. Understand the Needs of Your Audience
  2. Highlight and Deliver the Value Proposition
  3. Write Headlines that Evoke Emotion
  4. Ensure the Form is Short and Sweet
  5. Include Trust Signals

What is a conversion? It is how to entice those people to sign up with you.

First off, understand the needs of your audience. What do they need, what do they want? What are they looking for? 

Toby: Highlight your value proposition, let them know in the fewest words possible what result they will get from your free offer. Your value proposition is what you do to help people and what results they can expect. We call it transformation. Simply said, it's how are you going to change their lives? Why should they do business with you? How is their life going to be different and better as a result? In everything you do, your value proposition is out there in front. 

I'm not suggesting it has to be a headline or even a sub-headline. They need to know how engaging with you leads to the potential that their life will be made better as a result.

If they don't know how to livestream, but they have a business and they want to learn how to livestream, I’ll show them the steps and their life will be different as a result.

Shelley: Write a headline that evokes emotion. Aim it at the pain point or the result that people are looking for, and use a couple of keywords in that title as well.

Toby: Ensure that the form is short and easy and then it sends you to a thank you page. It does exactly what it's supposed to do, collect an email address and name in exchange for a free download.

Shelley: The trust signals on the landing page may include links to your privacy policy, terms and conditions, and your company name and address in the footer.

It's what's required on every website and you need those accessible in some way to people. So if they came from Facebook, they know that you are a real person and a legitimate business. You're not trying to scam them and you're not going to spam their emails. Sometimes people will write, “We hate spam and never sell your information.” These trust signals assure those who sign up that they will only hear from the person they just connected with to get their free opt-in. 

What to Look for In a Good Email Marketing Tool

We're talking about apps like MailChimp, Get Response, or Active Campaign. What you're looking for, if you have not already picked one out, is an easy user interface. Look for something that is understandable to you. You should look at it and think this is set up in a familiar pattern. I know what to do here. It's a simple drag and drop. I understand how to use it.

Toby: Check that it includes some level of marketing automation. Not only can you automate the process of sending out your newsletter, but you can automate the follow on process as well.

If your newsletter asks them to do something and they do it, then there's a second email that goes out, supporting them and asking them to do something else. The average for follow on emails in terms of automation is three. Sometimes it takes more than that, but by that third one, you're offering them your free video course, as an example. The free video course will include three videos on how to livestream. That invites them to the paid course or your masterclass or mastermind group. The tool should allow you to automate that email process, helping you compose the emails in the order that would best be suited for your prospective client. 

Email automation is the biggest time-saver that comes out of the development of these email marketing applications.

Shelley: That also includes funnels or workflows. So when one action happens, the next step in the sequence is triggered.

If you're doing a workflow, you have choices to keep people engaged according to their actions, such as if they purchase or not. 

You want your contact list to be easy to manage. You want to be able to go in whenever you need to and clear out people who are not opening your emails anymore. The app we use has a scale for each person. If they're shown over at one side, they're not opening any of our emails. If they're over at the other side, they're opening all our emails or they could fall anywhere in between. I recommend you go in once a quarter and take out everybody who's not opening your emails. That will raise your open rates and improve the quality of your entire email list. 

Toby: One of the advantages of using these services is they have a lot more capability in interpreting what's happening to each one of your emails. When I send an email to someone from my personal email account, I don't know when it's arrived or whether they've read it. But the email marketing service providers have the ability to sample what's happening with that email. They can provide analytics for each step like the person has seen the email, opened the email, and clicked on one or more of the links that you provided. They can sample that individual's behavior and it provides you with their level of engagement.

That's very important in terms of you developing your relationship with that individual and providing the information you need to decide who to interact with. 

These email marketing tools ensure whatever you do in terms of emails, they don't end up in the spam folder. Spam is defined as unsolicited bulk email. Federal government regulation controls the behavior of email marketing service providers and email providers. They're ensuring you're doing everything to keep your emails from ending up in the spam folder.

Sometimes it's unavoidable. When we invite an individual to join our show, they get an email from “your friends at Streamyard.” More than once it has occurred that we send an invitation but we don't get a response. We have to call the individual coming on the show and they say I didn't get the invitation. It's in the spam folder. There's something about it that causes it to go there. 

If you're not getting a response from an individual, you can always ask them to go into the spam folder. If your email has ended up there, when they click on your email, they'll get an option to whitelist it. In the case of Gmail, it has a big yellow button at the top that says “This email is not spam.” If you click on that button, it moves that email back to the inbox and should do so from that point forward. These email service providers are protecting you from spamming behavior. 

I recently received an email from an individual who I did not recognize that ended up in my inbox, and it was a piece of spam. They were pitching me on a product that had a spurious link. But what really upset me was you can tell they used a list because they copied all of the names and put them in the “To” field. What that means is the hundreds of people that received that email now have my email address. A good email marketing service provider would never let you do that.

A good email marketing service provider is going to send an email to the individual and not to a group. It helps you not make those kinds of mistakes. I did two things. I reported them as spam, but before I did that, I responded to the individual. I told them how I felt about sharing my email address with hundreds of strangers. That's a mistake you don't want to make that will end your email campaign quickly.

Shelley: If somebody gives you a temporary email address that they just created so they could get your free download, then you start sending them a newsletter and that box closes, what you'll get is a hard bounce. If you're using a good email marketing provider, then that hard bounce will send that address out of circulation. That means you won't be sending any more emails to that email address. It will recognize that box has been closed.

The Best Email Marketing Services for Small Businesses 

There are many. We're only going to go over a few of them that are the most prevalent. They've been around a long time and they have a good reputation. But that does not mean that what you are currently using or other apps that you may come across are not as good. They may be a better fit for you. We're going to give you some that have a good reputation and they've been around a long time.

The first one is Constant Contact. A lot of people have been using this for many years and it's recommended because of their support and their pricing.

They have a free version that you can get started with and they have a good support system built in to help you learn the product, and learn how to do email marketing.

Toby: I have experience with Constant Contact. There's a free version for up to 500 subscribers. It's very adaptable. It has a landing page tool that's very easy to use, so you don't have to buy another product to help you with landing pages. It is a reliable and certifiable email application that you can trust. 

The experience I have with Constant Contact actually comes from one of my clients that I started with back in the mid-1980s, and they used Constant Contact for their email marketing. When I became a marketing consultant for them, I had to figure out what it did best. It is a very good tool.

Shelley: MailChimp is easily integrated so any other app that you're using that integrates with email marketing services will have MailChimp listed as one of the quick and easy ways to integrate.

Convert Kit is easy to use. It has advanced segmentation and funnels and it's got a free version that you can get started with so you can learn to use it. They have a lot of support. They have a community where you can post your questions so you can get many different answers. If you want to take a poll, you can put it in their community and get several helpful answers or ideas.

Active Campaign has been around a long time. It is very popular. It also is easy to integrate. It's another one of those that you're going to see as a one-click button for integration purposes. It includes a CRM, that’s a customer relationship management tool, which is a little more extensive than the other ones.

Toby: The advantage to having your email application integrated with your customer relationship management tool comes from the CRM side of the business. Salesforce.com, which started as a customer relationship management tool has a contact component and an email automation component. So it came from that side.

But Active Campaign came from the email side and decided to incorporate the CRM. The advantage to that is your customer list is all in one place. It also means that you may have to get additional information from your customers, but that's an optional thing.

You've probably seen when you go to a website for a download, they'll ask if you want to add yourself to their contact customer list and they'll ask you for more information like what type or size business you own. That’s fine if you want to develop an even further relationship with them. If you buy something from a seller on Etsy, they already have your email address, but then they ask you for additional information so they can direct you to other items you might like to know about. That Etsy seller has your customer information versus just your email address. 

We use Get Response as our email marketing app. I made the decision to invest in the monthly subscription because it is a very comprehensive tool. It has all the features from landing pages to email segmentation to funnels. They offer a free drag and drop website creation tool that we used for http://agkmedia.studio/. You can even upgrade to use their webinar features if that is a part of your marketing strategy. It is very comprehensive. If you use Get Response, you'll have everything you need to manage your marketing campaigns. But make sure you take the time to learn it because it can be confusing. I have to go back every time I use it and watch the videos to make sense of it. They have a landing page feature with lots of templates, multiple layers, active campaigns, and active automated campaigns. 

Get Response also has a 24-hour chat feature, so if you have a problem and you hit the chat button, somebody comes on within 60 seconds and starts a conversation with you to help you. It's not an automated chat, it's a person and they're very good at what they do. It's the best thing in the world because at two o'clock in the morning when you're trying to get something out by the next morning and you forgot how to do it, there's somebody there to walk you through it.

Shelley: With Get Response, we get really good deliverability and our email open rate is usually in the high thirties or low forties, which is very good for email marketing.

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Toby: Shelley is the one responsible for producing our email every week and I called her last night and told her how well-written it was. It's really a pleasure to read and very informative and keeps you up to date on exactly what we're doing and how we're moving forward. So it's a lot of fun. 

Shelley: That's it. We thank you all for being with us today. This was episode number 10 in our Livecast Life series. There's one more episode to go and we'll put it together as a book and publish it on Amazon, hopefully sometime in the next few months.

Toby: How many books do we have planned for this year? 

Shelley: Four books are planned for 2022. We published Women In Podcasting on February 1 and we have three to go. Livecast Life is one of those.

Then we've got the Digital Marketing interview book and you're going to do a small set photography book and a How-to Interview book. 

Shelley: We may get the last episode done for Livecast Life next week unless we book a guest soon. So we may finish this and be able to finish the book this month.

Look for a newsletter on Tuesdays and we will see you again next week. Thank you for joining Messages and Methods: Livecast Life 2.0. If you or someone you know is a digital marketing expert and you would like to be a guest on our show, please register at https://www.livecast.life/guests/intake/