Building an Email List
The better a business can be at reaching their ideal audiences with relevant messaging the more successful they will be at email marketing.
Hosted by Kevin Dieny
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[00:00:00] Kevin Dieny: Hello, welcome to the Close The Loop podcast. Today, we’re going to be talking about how to build an email list. This is uhh one very popular question. I think for businesses who are just starting out, but it’s also a big deal for businesses who are asking…how can we, supercharge our sales in the next, 90 days or something, or how can we start emailing people? How can my business go from, I just interact with people when they come into my store or my shop or my business, or whatever it is and now we want to start emailing them. We want to open up that channel.
[00:00:34] Kevin Dieny: So that’s what we’re going to be talking about today. I’ve got my two fantastic guests. I’m going to be throwing it mostly over to Ronn Burner, who’s here with us. He’s our email specialist. So welcome Ronn!
[00:00:47] Ronn Burner: Thank you very much. Happy to be here.
[00:00:50] Kevin Dieny: And besides Ronn, I’ve also got my colleague, Matt Widmyer with us.
[00:00:53] Matt Widmyer: Thanks, Kevin. Good to see you guys. What’s up Ronn?
[00:00:56] Ronn Burner: Hey, bud.
[00:00:57] Kevin Dieny: Heh, so as you guys know, we’ve, all worked together. We’re all colleagues. We all know each other very well. This is also a topic that we’ve all worked on together. This is one of those interesting things where Matt has worked a lot with email in the past. I do a lot of email right now. Ronn is always entrenched in email it seems like.
[00:01:14] Kevin Dieny: And, it comes together for us, a lot of the times in the size of the list when we’re talking about and then why it’s important for a business to consider how big is my email list, how many people can I email?
[00:01:26] Kevin Dieny: Well, I just want to set the stage a little bit on this topic and say that having an email list really enables a lot and not only opens up the email channel for your business to be able to send out these messages. Which can be promotional emails, just reminder emails, notifications, it can be a lot of things.
[00:01:44] Kevin Dieny: It could be brand building. It could be, sales, offers, deals. There’s a lot of stuff you can do with email, but not only that, the email bit of information is also a really important, unique identifier. And by that, I mean, when you’re building up a database CRM, any kind of database like that, it’s hard to know one John Smith from another John Smith, I think.
[00:02:07] Kevin Dieny: How do you usually distinct these two things? And there’s usually two really important data points across every business. Obviously there’s social security numbers and stuff like that in some industries, but an email address and a phone number are both usually really unique to a person and they’re only usually assigned to one person at a time.
[00:02:26] Kevin Dieny: So that’s why they’re really important bits of information to have. So not only do they help you keep your database clean, you know, find out who’s a duplicate. But it also allows you and opens up the email channel. So we’re going to be talking a lot about how to build an email list, but mostly we’re going to focus this on building a legal consent driven email list.
[00:02:45] Kevin Dieny: So the white hat of the email world. So Ronn, we’ll throw it over to you. Why can’t a business just go buy lists of emails?
[00:02:56] Ronn Burner: Uh, they can, if they don’t want to be in the email business for very long. It’s just simply bad practice for a myriad of ways. Think about it for a second, if you are going to buy a list, do you think that they were holding that number of people and those number of email addresses simply for you to call?
[00:03:16] Ronn Burner: No, they’ve sold them many, many times over and then they pretend to specify they’re quality leads for your business and for your industry based on nothing whatsoever. I’m in the email marketing world, so I’m very, very anti, list purchasing. I think that there’s better ways to go about doing it, but the bottom line with purchasing a list is it’s effects.
[00:03:39] Ronn Burner: First of all, they haven’t opted-in explicitly or even implicitly. So what you’re doing is reaching out to people that are not even aware of who you are and blindly going through them. If they’re not spam traps already, which I would suspect the majority of them are, and the reason I say the majority of them are, is because the reason they get the volume of emails that they’re selling to you is because so many of them are spam traps.
[00:04:00] Ronn Burner: They’re not going to eliminate them, because it’s part of the volume. But what happens is if they are spam traps you are going immediately to spam, which is going to negatively affect your reputation and your sender score.
[00:04:11] Ronn Burner: And if not get you blacklisted altogether from sending emails. But even if they get through the people, receiving them, are going to spam you probably because they don’t know where you came from and it’s being had. And if their email is on one list, it’s probably on multiple lists.
[00:04:27] Ronn Burner: So they are aware of being caught up in that kind of storm. So they see it immediately and spam you. All of that is really, really bad for you as a business and digital marketing in terms of reputation score. Once you damage your reputation and once you get blacklisted, those type of things are really difficult to overcome.
[00:04:48] Kevin Dieny: So the audience is squared away on some of the terminology you used. What is opting in? What is consent? What is blacklist? You know what I mean? What are some of the terms that you’re using there? Ronn?
[00:05:00] Ronn Burner: Basically, if somebody goes to subscribe to your newsletter, subscribe to a piece of content that you have, they are voluntarily providing their email address to you that is essentially an opt in. You can then in GDPR and then I know in Canada and other countries, not in the United States, but there’s a double often required in, Canada, for example.
[00:05:21] Ronn Burner: So, if they subscribe to your newsletter or blog or any, any piece of content whatsoever, you would then be required to send them a follow-up to verify that they are in fact opting in. That would be the double opt-in and that’s complaint and that is them opting in, and now you are compliant with GDPR and the compliance of that is you’re doing it legally.
[00:05:43] Ronn Burner: And now you can reach out to them with marketing, because they’ve asked to receive that and it could be discounts. They could be opting in for discounts. They could be opting in for a weekly or monthly newsletter. Whatever it is that you’re offering they’re letting you know that they would like to receive it and follow along with you.
[00:05:59] Ronn Burner: The blacklisting is when you are no longer able to, it could be like a DNS, which is do not send, like it’s a distinction that happens to your IP where you’re not able to send you’re simply not allowed to send because you violated the compliance rules that are in effect legally to contact people and to reach people.
[00:06:22] Ronn Burner: You’ve breached that by going over why with too many dings, too many spams, too many non-compliance, which is not following the legal opt-in.
[00:06:30] Kevin Dieny: Yeah, that’s really, really good points there. ISP or service providers or email service providers like Gmail, AOL, Yahoo, they keep track of people who are sending emails into their consumers inboxes. There’s also networks that keep tabs on spam scam emails, and they keep track.
[00:06:51] Kevin Dieny: There’s blacklists out there that will mark businesses or companies or people sending fraudulent or too many emails in a certain succession of time or too many into spam traps, like you mentioned, Ronn. Which are, honeypots and to clarify are email addresses that are not used anymore.
[00:07:06] Kevin Dieny: They’re just sitting around. And these email providers and these reputation monitors, they know which ones aren’t sending emails because they see the emails coming in and emails going out. And anyone who’s not sending emails out anymore, those become traps and they keep track. They keep track of that.
[00:07:22] Kevin Dieny: And then companies that are consistently sending into inboxes that are not sending out stuff that are not opening and clicking on these emails, they start to think, hmm… This is probably lower reputation for this kind of business. And that means. You’re not going to go into the inbox anymore.
[00:07:35] Kevin Dieny: You’re going to start moving into the junk or spam or then even blacklisted, like Ronn mentioned altogether, which is sometimes like a temporary hand slap, but it could also be a permanent like no go anymore type of situation.
[00:07:47] Ronn Burner: Well, plus it has the residual effects of lowering in your sender score. Now you’re more susceptible to being screened or spam marshals because your reputation is so low. Now, you can’t get through it for that. The problems keep compiling.
[00:08:01] Kevin Dieny: Yeah, it can be really rough for a business who’s like, look, I don’t have the money to build up a list organically. I’m just going to go buy a list. So that will lead me to a question for you, Matt, should you trust vendors that claim to sell clean, great lists. Should businesses be trusting vendors like that all over the place? You have some experience there.
[00:08:21] Matt Widmyer: Yeah. I have some experience there and it’s not the greatest experience either. To answer your question, should they be doing it? That is a resounding no. And here’s why. Once upon a time, we were tasked with finding email lists and to me, by the way, a request like that, that comes in from somebody, that just shows impatience. Right?
[00:08:41] Matt Widmyer: Cause you want to just get quick results and quick, you don’t have this gigantic list without actually working to build it organically. I had vetted and I asked a lot of questions. We had a separate research SOP that we followed and asked them this, ask them about their methodology, ask them about what fields are included with the list and everything.
[00:08:59] Matt Widmyer: So, this one company I went to, won’t say the name of the company for this, even though I probably should. They checked all the boxes, right. So I was like, okay, cool. You guys, you guys remember this?
[00:09:11] Matt Widmyer: I forget what we paid it was $2,000 or $3,000 bucks. We put this thing in our email marketing machine and I think it was Ronn or Kevin, it was one of you guys came up to me and you’re like, what just happened?
[00:09:26] Matt Widmyer: There was like a 60% bounce rate. We’re probably still recovering from that, and that was probably three, at least three years ago. That is that’s one example of why you don’t. Now I’m sure there are reputable vendors for this, but they still are not opting in to your business.
[00:09:45] Matt Widmyer: So it still is a bad idea, any way you slice it. They’re not opting into hearing from you. It could potentially be a starting point for certain types of businesses, but I still think you’re better off just doing it organically.
[00:10:00] Kevin Dieny: Yeah. I second that. The feeling is I want to go, like you mentioned, it was impatience.
[00:10:07] Kevin Dieny: I want to go as fast as I possibly can. I want to start emailing. I want to start doing these things. So before a business really gets that far, let’s say before we get to the point of, okay, we want to build this list. Ronn, what are some of the things a business should be thinking about?
[00:10:20] Kevin Dieny: Like, what kind of audience they want, how are they going to acquire that? What are some of the things that a business should be thinking about before it gets to that?
[00:10:28] Ronn Burner: Well, value proposition is number one in my book. As far as segmenting the audience, if you have four different segments that you could just say, male, female, over 40, under 40. If you want to look at it like that.
[00:10:39] Ronn Burner: Whatever the value proposition is that speaks specifically to that demographic is very, very key because you want them to want what it is that you have and you do. And the best way to do organic is, make it easy, like always make it easy. So how they can subscribe or how they can provide their email to you is as easy as possible.
[00:11:02] Ronn Burner: And then it’s incentivized. So then it can be done at the same time. So you can incentivize it, I always think of this in terms of ads. There’s an ad with a specific thing, so you can have four different ads for each of those four demos.
[00:11:14] Ronn Burner: And whichever ad is hitting, is the ad that’s working. Specific ads at the places, the locations that you think that you can find your demographic. They click on it because there’s some sort of a promo code or some sort of incentive, some sort of an offering.
[00:11:31] Ronn Burner: So now they want that. They see the ad, they like it. They click it. I do this daily. I mean, my business is marketing. I literally, daily am downloading PDF files from there’s so many sources out there that are tremendous. I’m willingly offering my email address to them because what they’re going to provide to me is tremendous value for me and for my business.
[00:11:53] Ronn Burner: So I gladly do it. And that is that value prop right there is enough for me to then give them my email address. Now, how you move along with that and how you build a list of which we’re talking about specifically, that’s the lead gen. That’s how you got them, but how you build your list is that’s the volume coming in.
[00:12:13] Ronn Burner: Once they offer you their email it’s how do you treat them? How do you make sure that you’re continuously providing value to them? And now you want to nurture them. You want to be personalized. Once they gave you their first name, last name, email… if you can get that is really what you should be doing now.
[00:12:29] Ronn Burner: Now you’re personalizing it. Now you’re talking to them by name and you even know which ad source they came in from. You can get real dynamic with this. You can specify it down to what they were exactly looking at. There’s different ways to do that.
[00:12:41] Ronn Burner: A good tactic for that is if they go to your website, whether it’s through an ad or anyway, they scroll down halfway down your page, and then a quick pop-up comes up to ask them to have them subscribe for something or to give them that discount or promo.
[00:12:56] Ronn Burner: Another way is if they’re on your page for 10 seconds or longer, you can also have a little pop up that comes up. They’re there and they’ve invested 10 seconds or longer, or they’re scrolling down your page. So then it becomes like, okay, they’ve seen enough to stick around because by the way, 10 seconds on a page is good. Very good.
[00:13:13] Ronn Burner: So if somebody comes to your website and they are there for that long to then ask them if they would like to see more, obviously you want to dress it up in a way to incentivize to attract that email address, and then you just run them through. And let them profile themselves through the email nurture where whatever they were looking at.
[00:13:29] Ronn Burner: You’re again, providing value. You’re not talking about, all the cool features on your product. You’re talking about all the cool benefits and not only the benefits of it, you’re talking about what, not, what it does for people, what it will do for them.
[00:13:41] Ronn Burner: That is building a list that will down the road, as it builds, you’re going to get tremendous engagement, tremendous response, and tremendous hygiene in your database and money for your organization and the money is in the list!
[00:13:55] Kevin Dieny: Yeah. That’s like the most common term I’ve heard about it. And what Ronn’s talking about specifically is making sure that there’s really high relevance for your website, for your content that matches up with your audience. So a part of that equation is getting your content right. And that usually starts with understanding your audience really well.
[00:14:13] Kevin Dieny: Matt, do you have any ideas around, how do businesses research their audience? Like how do they even get started with researching their ideal audience target?
[00:14:22] Matt Widmyer: Yeah. So I think if you’ve been a business for a while, one of the exercises you can do is you can look for commonalities within your own client base.
[00:14:30] Matt Widmyer: That’s an exercise we did a few years ago. You can do some research and if there is something like there might be something that you aren’t necessarily capturing in a field. It’s just drawing commonalities or who do you want to target?
[00:14:42] Matt Widmyer: So you should think about these things before you even start trying to collect, because, it’s another question you can ask too. So I would say go in with an idea of what it is that you’re looking for.
[00:14:53] Kevin Dieny: Yeah, no, that’s really good audience building is tough. I would say a tip I have is to figure out, what is your audience, your consumer, your ideal audience, what are they trying to get done?
[00:15:03] Kevin Dieny: And how do they go about doing that and reducing the amount of steps they have to take, making it easy. Like Ronn said, throwing a pop-up. Obviously popups are one of the things that piss people off, but if you’re trying to be like, hey look, here’s something you might be looking for. And the person’s like, yeah, hey, I was looking for that.
[00:15:18] Kevin Dieny: And I was scrolling over the page to find how to contact you or where your number is. And they just missed it in the top of the header or whatever. That is something you can do to make it actually easier. That’s what they were intended to be for. Is putting the right information in the right place where it could be very relevant for someone. Someone who’s just planning on reading through whatever it is going to be like, oh, get this out of my way.
[00:15:38] Kevin Dieny: But one thing that is inherent in what you’re suggesting, Ronn there too was a website. So I had a question about that. Some businesses don’t really have websites, let’s say. Is a website paramount or important to building an email list?
[00:15:52] Ronn Burner: I do because SEO. Almost everything that is being said in your email, is being said or should be written somewhere, either in a blog post, or as part of the descriptions or any one of the pages even testimonials for that matter, on your website. So SEO will get organic traffic to you and that’s imperative.
[00:16:15] Ronn Burner: It’s just assumed that you would have a website because you’re not going to do email automation. You’re not going to be doing these types of things without a website. It all goes together. Same with social media, to try to just build a single email list for one off email blast, is just, in my opinion, the business model and strategy is really, really wrong. You might want to rethink that.
[00:16:35] Ronn Burner: The truth is the attractiveness of business is a low return. It’s just a, such a low return because you’re looking at less than one to 2% of your list of actually converting. Website is absolutely important its, I call it the mothership because everything, your social media, your landing pages, your incentives, your demand awareness, as well as your lead generation.
[00:17:00] Ronn Burner: Everything goes through the website and all the messaging and the brand. What your brand looks like in ads and in email headers is all based on what the website looks like. So the messaging is consistent. That theme, the tone, it’s really, really important.
[00:17:15] Ronn Burner: And to be successful, let’s put it this way, to be successful at lead generation, the website has to be probably number one on your list
[00:17:25] Kevin Dieny: Yeah, I think it’s, I would echo that and say that another reason why it’s so important is that there are a lot of indexing companies out there. A lot of listing companies, getting reviews, even to get an email marketing tool, they will give you a website if you don’t already have one, cause you have to have an opt-in, opt-out kind of a page.
[00:17:43] Kevin Dieny: You have to have some form of an interface for keeping track of your people being able to say, I want to unsubscribe from this. There is some sort of a need for a webpage to be the interface between that. So even if you were to say, I don’t need a webpage, I don’t want a webpage.
[00:17:57] Kevin Dieny: And I want a Facebook page, business page. Anything. If you get an email marketing tool, you’re sort of going to end up getting one. Go ahead, Ronn.
[00:18:04] Ronn Burner: No, I didn’t mean to cut you off, but it’s so funny because it’s a conversation I would have. This has not entered my brain in a hundred years because it’s just assumed you’d have a website, but you bring up really, really, really good points. The whole point of sending an email. Is a very specific, direct goal.
[00:18:20] Ronn Burner: If you’re not sending them anywhere, what does that direct goal to call you to call your cell phone? Like they don’t even know. There’s no way for them to order your product, except for simply calling you, which is not a call to action, which then goes back to sender score, sender reputation. Email analytics are really, really poor, which will send you into the spam box again.
[00:18:40] Kevin Dieny: Yeah. So let’s start talking a little bit about, the list building. Now Ronn, you already mentioned the basic setup that every business should be thinking about. You have some sort of an advertisement promotion. You have something driving people, driving traffic to a place where they can fill out a form.
[00:18:57] Kevin Dieny: It’s always some sort of a form or some sort of transference of their information in exchange for something else, like a newsletter, or an offer, a PDF. Those are usually the offer things. So the technology that we’re talking about is okay, you need to know who your audience is first.
[00:19:11] Kevin Dieny: Second, where does your audience go? Where are they? Are they on Facebook? Are they not online? Are they reading newspapers? Are they reading a specific type of magazine? Are they watching a certain type of video on YouTube? You can figure this out by throwing some money out there and seeing, okay, where am I getting a good return?
[00:19:28] Kevin Dieny: But you could also do some preliminary research or ask your current customers like Matt had mentioned, these are called placements? Where should I go to where my audience is? You know, is it just a local area? I should send mailers. Whatever it ends up being, you drive people to a place they can sign up or get in contact with you, right.
[00:19:47] Kevin Dieny: To move it along the path, along the way. But along that process, you should also consider how are you going to capture emails? How are you going to capture their information? What information is important to gather? And if email is part of that, if it isn’t already, it should be because when you got, when you’ve got the email now and unlocks that channel for you, right.
[00:20:06] Kevin Dieny: There’s another way. I was hoping to mention, I don’t know if you guys know anything about it. It’s called list rental. Do you guys know anything about that?
[00:20:14] Ronn Burner: Only what you told me, is this the swap, the swap game?
[00:20:18] Kevin Dieny: Yes. Do you want, did you want to highlight it, Ronn?
[00:20:21] Ronn Burner: You find a like-partner who has a quality list, and you guys basically do an exchange like trading baseball cards, except for, we’re doing it with a mailing list. Obviously you trust each other and we respect each other and you have a relationship with them, so that relationship can continue and can cycle.
[00:20:35] Kevin Dieny: Yeah, the basics are you find someone who has a list, let’s say you don’t, or it’s not big enough. You go find someone who does, and you ideally want to find like Ronn alluded to a partner. Someone who’s kept a good list hygiene, which we’ll talk about in a little bit here, but once you find a partner who’s willing to say, Hey, I’ll send an email to X amount of people for Y amount of dollars.
[00:20:57] Kevin Dieny: So let’s say they’re like, Hey, I’ll send an email to 15,000 people. The email will have links to your website to sign up for your stuff. You’ll get a bunch of these people to come to your website. And they’ll sign up there and that’s usually what’s called a list rental and you usually pay per send. You might pay per lead.
[00:21:15] Kevin Dieny: A lot of times an agency who is in your industry will have that kind of a hookup and then you’ll be able to grow… That’s pretty much the fastest way I know of to grow a list legitimately through consent, like overnight, and that’s not free, but it is a way, it is a method.
[00:21:32] Kevin Dieny: It is a really good alternative to just buying a list and this way, you know, boom, I’m getting legitimate people who are signing up, who are in the industry. Who are the audience I want and you’re getting all of that stuff. And sometimes if it’s an agency, they’ll even put the email together for you and the landing page. Depends on what kind of an agency it is, but they do exist and it is out there.
[00:21:53] Kevin Dieny: So that, that is an option. So I guess, since we mentioned it list hygiene, Matt, I think you’d be a good resource for this. What goes into list hygiene? Why is it so important?
[00:22:03] Matt Widmyer: Yeah, what goes into list hygiene. It is basically just making sure everything is maintained to a level of satisfaction. The best way to make sure your content is still relevant is make sure that all the information is still relevant to the person.
[00:22:15] Matt Widmyer: Any kind of data or lists or records of people or businesses are not static. They’re dynamic, they’re always changing. Right? People move, they typically keep the same email addresses and the phone numbers are typically the same, but people do leave and email addresses go bad and they usually bounce after that person leaves.
[00:22:34] Matt Widmyer: It might forward for a little bit, couple of weeks or whatever. But it’ll eventually just go bad and you’ll get a hard bounce there. The way we do it on the phone is we’ll verify some of the information that we have make sure it is still, up to date. You don’t have to verify every single thing.
[00:22:50] Matt Widmyer: Right. Verifying the email address you do have on record, if you do have one, and if you don’t have one, then good opportunity. Hey, can I send you a quick email? Now you just got another email address that, is now relevant to what you’re sending.
[00:23:03] Matt Widmyer: You need more than just an email address though, right? You need a little bit more information about that person to keep it up-to-date and relevant, but air to caution here, because the more information you have on somebody and the more information you’re gonna want to verify and collect about somebody, the more you’re going to have to maintain.
[00:23:20] Matt Widmyer: So it’s kind of like a double-edged sword. And it makes it a lot more difficult to maintain and you can have somebody whose full-time job is going through your whole database and verifying everything. But by the time they’re done, they’re going to have to do it all again anyway. That’s how quick stuff changes, as we all know.
[00:23:38] Kevin Dieny: The precursor things that Matt’s talking about help you maintain and think about, you know, how you’re going to store all this information. Another little tidbit here is just by sending an email out, the hard bounced emails, they don’t exist anymore. So you shouldn’t keep sending to them…. Having a process in place for doing that, it’s important.
[00:23:56] Kevin Dieny: Even the ones that soft bounce, those are a little bit like a yellow flag. Maybe not a full red flag, but like a, okay, something’s going on there. Maybe we should keep track of how many times these continue to soft bounce before we’re like, this is just going to keep bouncing forever.
[00:24:09] Kevin Dieny: There’s a lot of reasons for bouncing. A lot of things are involved in that. And when people opt out, I don’t think it’s a bad thing. Ronn, How do you look at, the whole unsubscribed, opt-out scenario?
[00:24:21] Ronn Burner: I say thank you for letting us know. And people think sometimes there is dirty words, I always say that accountability is not a dirty word. Well, neither is opt out. And the reason being is they’re explicitly letting us know that they’re not interested in our content. That’s important to know.
[00:24:38] Ronn Burner: What’s the difference of sending to that person versus sending to a spam trap? They don’t want to receive your content, so it’s better to know that they’re not a potential customer, for any number of reasons. So what you do is you remove them and can be debated whether you keep them in your database or not, and put them in a separate section.
[00:24:57] Ronn Burner: That’s a whole entire other conversation that each institution will have their own kind of thoughts on. The point is they’re not marketable. They’re marketing suspended at the very least, so they should not receive your content. And here’s another interesting point or at least the case for why you would keep them in your database.
[00:25:15] Ronn Burner: They can later become unsuspended. They can become marketable again. Whatever your product is and they don’t need it, well, a couple of years later, all of a sudden they need a new product because there’s crapped out already. Well, they might opt back into what it is for you while they’re shopping again.
[00:25:31] Ronn Burner: So the idea of an opt out is good information to have, because you do not want to be annoying and you do not want to send to people that do not want your content.
[00:25:41] Kevin Dieny: No, no, that was really good. I look at unsubscribe the same way. It’s a positive thing. Obviously extremely high unsubscribe rate should be telling you you’re sending the wrong content. That’s not relevant. So that leads me right to the next question for you, Ronn. What are lead magnets, what are offers and how, what is their purpose?
[00:26:02] Kevin Dieny: How you create them to make sure that they’re valuable and relevant for building the list. Now, these are people who are coming to the business for the first time. It could be a dentist website, could be a roofing website, and they’re going, they’re trying to figure out, okay, I want to know more about this business. And this business is going to offer them a lead magnet, an offer of some sort. Can you elaborate on what all of that is?
[00:26:23] Ronn Burner: Yes. I just remember what I was going to say previously was I would have built in cold suppression lists. So people are, I call it proof of life. So if you’re sending emails and it goes to the same email address over a 60 day period, and if say, they’ve received, six emails in 60 days and they haven’t even opened, it has been no engagement whatsoever.
[00:26:44] Ronn Burner: I would cold suppress them and also suspend them for awhile, which also will help with your list hygiene, because you need that proof of life to know there’s at least this person on the other end of it. Cause it doesn’t do any good for them to just constantly ignore you. You can still put them in a different bucket and you handle them differently in a drip campaign.
[00:27:00] Ronn Burner: As far as lead magnets go, the power of lead magnets are, and I love to say this is, I don’t want to tell people what I think they want. I want them to tell me what they want and the lead magnets do that. Ideally you have a number of them from a different point of view, if you will.
[00:27:18] Ronn Burner: And the reason for that is this now speaks to them in a way that’s different. Talking about a different pain point or talking about something in a very different way. Take them to a form to fill to a landing page to fill out the form, and then you would get more information on them based on their engagement.
[00:27:33] Ronn Burner: If that does not work, a different lead magnet altogether, still supporting the very same product, is just talking about it from a very different angle, with different analytics and a whole different perspective that if the first one didn’t work this one, oh, that’s interesting.
[00:27:47] Ronn Burner: I don’t need that value offering. But this see this product also does this now that is of interest to me. So the lead magnets, have a way of letting them tell you what it is that they’re interested in. And then ideally you would have, now you would have a different series of emails speaking to that specific point.
[00:28:06] Ronn Burner: Lead magnets are anything from, PDF, it could be an infographic, it can be a white paper. It depends on what your business is. B2C, obviously the buyer’s journey is much quicker. So you want to get right to the point right away and in a way that allows them to speak to somebody and B2C you often don’t, you can just go to a website and just buy right away without speaking to somebody.
[00:28:33] Ronn Burner: So that also changes how you would offer and what you would offer. But lead magnets are simply offering value. Like I mentioned earlier with emails. I’ll get a massive, massive, a hundred page PDF from like a Marketo or Eloqua or HubSpot, whatever it is, where it’s like, I want to see what the new 2021 analytics are.
[00:28:54] Ronn Burner: And they’ll give it to me for free, as long as I provide them with the information, because of course they want me to move over to their product. So that is tremendous value. And that’s the idea of a lead magnet is just find value specific to that audience. If you can’t be one-to-one ratio and that sort of specific, it can be more vague, but now it’s becoming specific based on which ones they are downloading.
[00:29:18] Kevin Dieny: Yeah, the formula for the lead magnet or the offer as Ronn was mentioning is know your audience. Your audience has pain points. They have things they’re trying to solve, trying to accomplish. What job are they trying to get done as soon as possible. There’s also a little bit of research in there around what’s that problem worth, what’s it worth to them to solve that problem?
[00:29:37] Kevin Dieny: What is that? What’s the value there. And so the offer, the lead magnet is created based on whatever problem they’re trying to solve, whatever pain they have. It’s attacking that. It’s giving people, Hey, look, you’ve got to solve this problem. That’s the truth. That’s what you need to do, you need to solve this.
[00:29:55] Kevin Dieny: There’s a couple ways to go about it. Here’s either some information, here’s some education, here’s a resource here’s a, maybe a 20% off because the values a little bit lower for you, here is video on this, here’s a free trial. Gosh, here’s a tool, here’s a calculator, here’s something to help you either do it yourself or get to the finish line yourself.
[00:30:17] Kevin Dieny: And there might be a little bit of branding and positioning and bias there because the company is giving it’s like, Hey. Obviously, we want you to come and buy from us, but you’re still at the end of the day that the aim of it is to help someone. It’s to help that audience with that problem.
[00:30:31] Kevin Dieny: And if that audience finds value, actual value there, they often will see it as, okay, I like this company. They get me, they get the problem I have, they’re willing to produce something for me. And sometimes lowers that threshold of, willing to pay and willing to buy.
[00:30:48] Kevin Dieny: It might be just that the audience has no idea that they need to get a new roof. It could be like, Hey, is there pots everywhere? Or leaking pots in the rain? Okay. He might need a new roof. You might need something, there might be something going on up there. It’s like, oh, okay.
[00:31:02] Kevin Dieny: Not, everyone’s a genius. Not everyone knows the product as well as you do. So helping people get there and get all the way there, helping people see what the process looks like. Okay, people are gonna arrive. It’s going to be painless and then they’re going to leave.
[00:31:14] Kevin Dieny: The dentist office may not be so scary if you can show people what it’s like. There’s a lot of fear around that kind of thing. So that’s what the offers, that’s what the lead magnets are, persuading. That’s what they’re trying to do there.
[00:31:25] Kevin Dieny: Which kind of goes right to the next thing. Something that facilitates the exchange of information, right? A form has a landing page. Some of that’s tied to your website. Sometimes you can go get a plugin for that. But sometimes the easiest way to do all of this is just to go buy an email marketing tool.
[00:31:40] Kevin Dieny: And you mentioned some of them Ronn, but I’m going to shoot over to Matt, do you think a business should invest in an email marketing tool, Matt?
[00:31:46] Matt Widmyer: Yeah, I think absolutely. Even if you don’t even have that list built up yet, I think you should have that thing primed and ready to go. I think that’s a very necessary, investment for a business. It depends, on what type of business, but if we’re talking about B2C, most B2C, it makes sense.
[00:32:04] Matt Widmyer: It’s made sense for me and some of the ventures that I’ve done off onto the side. If I did not have any kind of, email correspondence you’d have to do a lot of manual work. You have to look at the value of your time versus the value of whatever investment.
[00:32:18] Matt Widmyer: I know, like some of the names that get dropped out there, Marketo, HubSpot, stuff like that. Some of those are a little bit pricier but there are more cost effective solutions for people that are just getting off the ground.
[00:32:27] Matt Widmyer: You don’t have to start in the Cadillac. Right. You can start in the Geo Metro and work your way up to the Cadillac.
[00:32:35] Kevin Dieny: Oh I love the car metaphor. So, Ronn do you have anything else you want to add to that or anything else that we’ve missed in this conversation before we close out?
[00:32:43] Ronn Burner: So we’re talking about list building, not to be confused with your CRM or your database of some sort as well as your email marketing tool or solution, whatever that’s going to be. You can start with the CRM and some of them will allow you to send from them if it’s, it depends.
[00:32:58] Ronn Burner: If you’re brand new and you literally have virtually no list, you still need your database, you still need your CRM and you and I would venture that you would rather not do it in Excel. So just get the CRM, and then start building from that. Build, get the infrastructure set and then build on top of that.
[00:33:16] Ronn Burner: Something like Salesforce is a tremendous tool and it’s probably the most popular CRM. You can get it at a basic level to start building that this and that database. I think something we haven’t really touched on is, the fields. The questions or the fields in a form are very, very, very important to what it is that you do and what it is that you provide.
[00:33:37] Ronn Burner: So some companies doesn’t matter if you’re male or female, some companies it’s, ultimately important because it’s a female product, right. Or geography or however you want to do that. Those are the questions that go into the field, which is very key. So even for a lead magnet, they’ll tell you their age or not their age, but their gender or whatever it is.
[00:33:59] Ronn Burner: That’s very specific that it will help you profile them and move them through. So that data goes into the CRM and now we have it. And then the email marketing tool is getting the behavior, the engagement. So you’re getting all the analytics and all the data. So everything that they are doing for those from your website or from the email or both, or even social media for that matter, you are now tracking their movements and their engagement and what they’re interested in and where they’ve been and where they’re going next.
[00:34:25] Ronn Burner: That is important. That is what the email marketing system will get for you. And that will also allow you to clean up your data, which then keeps it pristine within your CRM. So they, the two tools work together and like Matt said, you can get pretty basic, or at least not the high dollar, the high spend, email tools that can manage you on, on a simple basis.
[00:34:48] Ronn Burner: But the idea is to get an infrastructure in place and then built on that rather than wholesale changes.
[00:34:54] Matt Widmyer: I did want to actually add to that. And that was great, by the way, I did want to add to that. I know the emphasis here is on building up an email list that also does include what Ronn mentioned, which is the suppression piece. That’s, that’s a piece that it’s a must have. It’s not like, oh, it would be nice to exclude certain people from my list.
[00:35:12] Matt Widmyer: No, because the quality of your list is going to go up if you pluck out the people that don’t really are not relevant to, whatever it is that you do. Perfect example that we always use is like this, the students downloading for information for the class project or whatever. They’re just getting information off the internet.
[00:35:27] Matt Widmyer: Right now it’s not relevant to them. So timing’s also a big thing too. That’s probably the most missed thing and it’s something that’ll drive a sales manager nuts too. Cause they’ll, they’ll want to message the entire world.
[00:35:39] Matt Widmyer: I got a list of 5,000 people let’s message these 5,000 and I can expect 10% from it. No, you can’t because you’re not going to want to send it to all those 5,000 people. Because sure fire every single time too, you started going through the list. Well, I thought you didn’t want the HR title.
[00:35:58] Matt Widmyer: Oh, that’s right. We don’t. Okay. Well, what else don’t you want before this thing goes in here? Let’s take care of it right now. Right? The point of consideration is who do you not want in here as well?
[00:36:09] Ronn Burner: Matt, that’s a perfect example of why an opt out is not a terrible thing. The class projects, I mean, that’s a perfect example. Like an opt out is not a bad thing, that’s a great, great example.
[00:36:23] Kevin Dieny: I think the big thing that we’re trying to get to here is sort of the undercurrent for this whole conversation is that emails are very valuable channel for a business. And it allows you to do a lot. You can really do a lot, but it does take a little bit of work.
[00:36:38] Kevin Dieny: Building an email list I wouldn’t say it’s the easiest thing in the world. You’re not just building a list of people. You’re building a list of ideal audiences that are showing you engagement that are opportunities for you to do business with in the future.
[00:36:51] Kevin Dieny: And to build that the right way does take the right set of tools, the right operations, process hygiene. You have to find your audience to get them in there. Then you have to craft the right relevant offers. You have to craft the right emails to keep them in there.
[00:37:05] Kevin Dieny: There’s a lot that goes on and all that. But if you can do all of that, and you can do it. You can, obviously you are not going to do it well right off the gate. Sometimes it takes people and it takes even the people who are doing this all the time.
[00:37:16] Kevin Dieny: Like Ronn and all of us have done it. It takes a lot of mistakes. Takes a lot of learning, takes a lot of experimentation to get right. It just, the subject line will make people’s brains explode about, well, how many different ways there are to try to craft the perfect one. It’s really not easy.
[00:37:30] Kevin Dieny: If you can unlock that channel for your business it unlocks a lot more opportunities for you to capture value. It unlocks that ability for you to interact with your audience in a different way.
[00:37:39] Kevin Dieny: And maybe you’ve never considered, my business type is not, having an email or having email blast, having email newsletters, not that common. Well, give it a try, give it a whirl and see what it can come of it. I would say there’s a lot of value there and a lot of potential in there to, to get it going.
[00:37:53] Kevin Dieny: You can build an email list and build one with consent, build one with following the rules of mass email marketing, and it’ll set you up for success down the road without the crazy nightmares and headaches of having to deal with all the blacklisting and everything else.
[00:38:08] Kevin Dieny: So, everybody, all our listeners, Ronn, Matt, thank you guys so much for coming on and talking about this.
[00:38:15] Matt Widmyer: Thanks for having us.
[00:38:16] Ronn Burner: No, thanks for having us. It’s awesome. Happy to be here.
[00:38:20] Kevin Dieny: All right, everybody. Get your emails going, build your lists, get your list going. A lot of money’s in the list like Ronn mentioned. So thank you.