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How often do you make use of email marketing? What are some benefits that your practice can enjoy by utilizing this form of email marketing? What are some common mistakes that people make when it comes to email marketing?
In this podcast episode, Sam Carvalho speaks with Jena Bagley about how email marketing can scale your business.
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Meet Jena Bagley
As the Advocate Manager for AWeber, a leading email service provider and the very first autoresponder, Jena Bagley works closely with content creators, podcasters, social media strategists and enthusiasts, coaches, entrepreneurs, and more.
Through email marketing, you can connect with your audience and drive them back to your podcast, blog, website, and more over and over again, keeping you top of mind. Having worked in several different industries over her career, Jena has acquired a wealth of knowledge about sales, marketing, and what it really means to build a relationship with your target audience.
Visit her website. Connect on Instagram and Facebook.
Email Jena at email@example.com
In This Podcast
- 3 important steps to create an email marketing campaign
- What should you constantly be providing to your subscribers?
- Common email marketing mistakes
3 important steps to create an email marketing campaign
These are the things you need to focus on, and once you get really good at those you can start adding in more things. There’s a lot you can do with email marketing, it’s super powerful and you can definitely go down the rabbit hole of cool things you can do with … email marketing but [first], just focus on these three things. (Jena Bagley)
1 – Make sure you have a way to capture email addresses:
If you have a website, make sure you have a sign-up form where people can put in their email addresses and information so that you can follow up with them.
2 – Make sure you send a welcome email:
Once a customer receives your freebie, make sure you email them quickly soon after they join. This welcome email should be sent automatically as soon as someone joins your email list. This email can include:
- What the kind of content will be that you send them,
- How often you will be emailing them,
- Introduce yourself,
- Get excited because you want them to be excited to open your next email
3 – Make sure to be emailing them on a regular basis:
By sending your customers’ regular emails you stay at the top of their mind, so when they need assistance or service provided, you will be one of the first – if not the first – option that they think of to consider.
Concentrate on filling up your email list with your ideal clients instead of trying to build the biggest email list in your field. You will lose some followers along the way, however, when you are building an email marketing list that centers itself around your ideal clients and their needs, that loss will become less and less.
What should you constantly be providing to your subscribers?
What you should always be providing in your emails is value … value is whatever your target audience or client perceives as valuable, what is helpful to them? When we really think of value, it is [the] outcome that your audience wants. (Jena Bagley)
The value that you provide to your audience is simply the transformation that they are seeking to achieve through your services.
When you make sure to curate your email marketing to cater to their needs, you are providing them with valuable content in your emails. Therefore, your emails always need to be giving and can often end with a question – ask your clients what they need so that you can build a relationship with them.
Jena’s pro tip: 80% of your email should be giving value and 20% should be an offering of a product or service.
Common email marketing mistakes
Being too salesy:
Make sure that you are helping and listening to your audience, not just trying to sell them products and services all the time.
Not asking questions:
You should ask your audience questions so that you can create content that is relevant to their needs.
Sending impersonal emails:
Structure the email so that it reads as if you are writing to one person even though you are writing and emailing the same email to the entire list. This will make it feel more personal and help your audience connect better to your words instead of feeling like they are one in a crowd of many.
Not staying on-brand:
Make sure that the email address you are sending your emails from comes from a custom domain because this shows that you are on-brand and that you take your business seriously enough to not be emailing everyone from your own personal Gmail account.
Not emailing frequently enough:
They signed up to your email list, which means that they want to hear from you. If you email them too infrequently, they will forget about you and will find someone who is more in touch with them.
Making your subject line too long:
Most emails are opened on cellphones, so make sure the subject lines are concise and catchy but not like clickbait. Tell people what to expect when they open the email and what the content will be centered around.
Not making use of the pre-header text:
This is essentially like a second subject line and you can use this space to further explain the contents of the email to attract a client’s attention.
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- Email Sam at firstname.lastname@example.org
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Meet Sam Carvalho
Sam Carvalho is a graphic designer living in Cape Town, South Africa, with over five years of experience in both design and marketing, with a special interest and experience in the start-up environment.
She has been working with Practice of the Practice since 2016 and has helped over 70 therapist entrepreneurs take their practices to the next level by enhancing their visual branding. She loves working with a variety of clients on design-intensive tasks and is always up for a challenge!
Follow Sam on Instagram to see some of her work. To work with Sam, head on over to www.practiceofthepractice.com/branding.
Thanks For Listening!
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Welcome to the Marketing a Practice podcast with me, Sam Carvalho where you’ll discover everything you need to know about marketing and branding your business. To find out more about how I can help you brand new business visit www.practiceofthepractice.com/branding. And if you’d like to see some examples of my design work, be sure to follow me on Instagram at Samantha Carvalho Design.
Thanks so much for joining me today on the Marketing a Practice podcast. Today, we are joined by Jena Bagley. As the advocate manager for Aweber, a leading email service provider, and the very first auto-responder, Jena works closely with content creators, podcasters, social media strategists and enthusiasts coaches, entrepreneurs, and more. Through email marketing, you can connect with your audience and drive them back to a podcast blog websites or social platforms over and over again, keeping you top of mind. Having worked in several different industries over her career, including restaurant, bridal, real estate, recruiting, direct sales, and software as a service, Jena has acquired a wealth of knowledge about sales, marketing, and what it really means to build a relationship with your target audience. Hi Jena. Thanks so much for joining us today.
[JENA BAGLEY] Hi. Thank you so much for having me. I’m really excited to talk to you.
[SAM] So nice. So it sounds like you’ve had a wealth of experience in a number of different fields. Do you want to kind of talk us through that and through your backstory and how you ended up where you are now?
[JENA] Yes, absolutely. So, yes, I’ve had a varied background and my road to get here to Aweber is definitely been twisty and turny, but it’s been amazing. I’ve been everything from a bartender to a bank teller, to a director of sales for a national company, I’ve worked in recruiting and real estate, and I’m now here at Aweber in email marketing. And even though they all sound like so different, there definitely was a common thread that kind of weaved them all together and that’s relationship building and trust building because when you’re working with brides, when you’re working with people who are buying new homes, they’re not going to buy from you unless they really trust you and there’s that emotional connection.
Email marketing is exactly the same way. And I’ve been doing email marketing for years long before I even knew that’s what it was called. The remarkable thing with email is that you can build relationships and build that trust. You’re just doing it through the inbox ad so that’s why and how I got to be where I am. With Aweber I’m so fortunate because I get to talk to so many different people from creators to entrepreneurs to small businesses and really teach them how they can use email marketing in their business and their brands to build those relationships, convert customers, and then ultimately create raving fans of you and your business. So that’s a little bit about my story.
[SAM] That’s awesome and it’s awesome how you managed to kind of find that common thread through it all.
[JENA] Yes, and I’ve done a lot of things in sales and marketing and I’ve done a lot of trainings and running seminars and speaking on stages. So this kind of all has come full circle for me back from when I graduated college to now. So it’s been a really amazing journey and really the people that I get to help and serve has been the highlight of it all.
[SAM] That’s awesome. So what would you say are three steps that everyone creating an email marketing campaign needs to take?
[JENA] Yes, well, first I’ll start by saying that a lot of people that I talk to who aren’t using email marketing for their business, oftentimes I hear a lot of the same things. Like they’re intimidated, they’re overwhelmed, they don’t know what to do. That’s pretty common because email marketing is a new skill for a lot of people. When someone starts their own business or their own practice, they don’t go into it saying, “I’m going to start this because I really want to start email marketing.” Like they have their passion, they have their gifts of the people that they want to serve and help, and usually email’s not first on their list of things that they want to do. But if you’re not telling people about your business, no one else will. So I like to keep things very simple, especially if you’re just starting out and you don’t know where to start.
So there’s three things that I like to say, like, these are the things that you need to focus on and once you get really good at those start adding in more things. There’s a lot you can do with email marketing. It’s super powerful and you can definitely go down the rabbit hole of cool things that you can do with Aweber and email marketing, but just focus on these three things. And that would be number one, make sure you have a way to capture email addresses. If you have a website, you should have a signup form, a way for people to put in their information so that you can follow up with them again and again, because here’s the reality of things. People may find your website, but they’re not ready. They’re not ready because their problem hasn’t grown enough to where they need to take action.
It’s like a seed that’s in their mind. They know that they need your solution, but they’re not ready. And so they can put in their email and you can follow up with them again and again, with useful information so that when is time you’re top of mind. So making sure that you have a way to collect emails and that can be done through a signup form on your website, or you could have a landing page, which is a standalone one, like single page where it can either be used for collecting email addresses, or it could be used to book consultations and calls. You could sell products, you could have registrations for events or workshops. What’s powerful about a landing page is that it’s, like I said, it’s a single page. There’s nowhere for them to get distracted or navigate away from. And so that’s a really great way to build your email list with a single landing page.
So that’s step one, make sure that you have a way to collect, and here’s a little pro tip before I move on to step two. Most people are not going to just join your email list. So your call to action has to be more than that. I see a lot of people that have a signup form and that’s great. That’s like part of it, but you want to make sure it’s compelling and that you’re giving benefits and people know what to expect, because here’s the thing. People don’t want to just give up their email address for anything. They’re very protective. So you need to have something compelling to entice them to join your list.
So maybe it’s a checklist or a PDF, or it could even be something that’s helpful to them, some sort of freebie or incentive. And it could be relevant to your niche as, as a therapist, as someone with a private practice. I think a checklist would be a great or like questions you want to ask when vetting practices. Like I don’t know what I should be asking and so I’m probably going to go and Google, like, what should I ask a therapist before I hire them. So just think of what’s useful to your audience.
And then once you have email subscribers, step two is you want to make sure that you send a welcome email and once they get your freebie, they want to hear from you right away. They want to get that incentive right away. They want instant gratification. That’s the world we live in. They subscribe, they want it in their inbox immediately. And this is really important because people are the most excited that they’re ever going to be when they first join your email list. So you need to make sure that you don’t disappoint them and get that welcome email. And this welcome email is sent automatically as soon as someone joins your list. This is the power of email. It’s working for you even when you’re not.
In this email, you want to tell people what to expect from you, what kind of content you’re sending, how often they can expect to hear from you, and then you want to give some additional value, introduce yourself, get excited because you want them to be excited to open your next email. So if you’re doing email and you’re not sending a welcome email automatically, that’s something that you should walk away from this after you’re done listening and implement right away, because your welcome email is going to have generally the highest opening rates that you’re ever going to see and it tells all of the outlooks and the Gmails and the Yahoos that your content is important because they’re opening that email. So that’s step two.
Then step three is you want to make sure that you are popping up into their inbox on a regular basis, because we talked about staying top of mind. I don’t know about you, but like I know on my social feeds, I see all the time, like, “Help, I need like a recommendation for fill in the blank.” And no one likes to do their own research, apparently because they’re always like sending out these like SOS of like, “Who do you use? Who do you recommend?” Email marketing and regularly being in their inbox is going to keep you top of mind. That’s important because like, if they decide they’re looking for a practice or they want to come back to you after a time away, or they want to refer you to their friends and family, they’re going to remember you because you’re popping into their inbox on a regular basis with helpful information. And so that’s part of that trust factor. They like you, they know you, they now trust you and you’re going to see not only repeat clients, but you’re also going to see referrals to their friends and family as a result of it as well.
[SAM] That’s awesome. Some really great tips. And I’m really glad that you started off with obviously naturally capturing email addresses, because I know that’s kind of front and center on a lot of people’s minds when starting with email marketing is how do they go about building an audience? And I think therapists in particular, and as you kind of mentioned, I was sitting on a wealth of knowledge that a lot of us want to know about. So that can quickly be put together into a great freebie, as you mentioned for somebody to opt into their email address. Something I did want to touch on with you mentioning in the second point about sending a welcome email automatically, is two factor authentication still a thing? Because I think it’s necessary that people need to mention again that they want to be a part of the email series by like kind of accepting another email before that welcome email is sent. Is that right?
[JENA] Yes. So we call that confirmed opt-in or you might also hear it called double opt-in, and that’s definitely an email best practice, and that’s going to help with your deliverability. So we want to make sure that we’re sending emails to people that really do want to hear from you. When you’re doing email marketing the right way, it’s going to be 100% permission-based, meaning they opted in, they said, yes, they raised their hand, “I want to hear from you in my inbox.” And sometimes people will sign up for your email and they’ll change their mind, or sometimes they’ll sign up by accident, or sometimes it’s bots signing up. So you want to protect yourself and make sure that you have that confirmed opt-in that, first of all, they’re confirming their email address and second of all, they’re saying, “Yes, I want to be on this list.”
You might lose some people along the way, but that’s okay. They’re not your people. If they’re not going to confirm into your list, then they’re not going to buy from you or book you or hire you. So I would concentrate more on attracting the right people that you are most likely able to serve then having like the biggest lists that you could possibly build. And people get caught up in numbers a lot with social media, with email. It’s so much more important to have a smaller engaged list of people who are opening your emails, they’re clicking your emails, they’re replying to your emails. That is really what’s important and what people should focus on. So yes, to kind of wrap up your question double opt-in or confirmed opt-in is definitely the way to go to make sure that you’re reaching the people that want to hear from you.
[SAM] Yes. It’s about quality over quantity.
[JENA] For sure.
[SAM] So kind of in line with what you mentioned in step three, about pumping into people’s inboxes on a regular basis, what would you say is the most important thing to constantly provide for your subscribers?
[JENA] Yes. I mean, the number one thing that you want to always provide in your emails is value. I know that that’s like a buzz word. Sometimes it’s overused and people are like, “Well, what’s value. Is it a discount? Is it free? Is it this?” And really value it’s whatever your audience, your target client perceives as valuable, what’s helpful to them. And really when we think of value it’s, what’s the outcome that your audience wants? Do they want to be entertained? Do they want to be inspired? Do they want to learn something new? Do they want to be informed? Basically what’s the transformation? What’s that promise of transformation and that’s really what people are looking for. And so your emails need to always be giving. You want to give, give, give, and then ask. A lot of times I see people, all of their emails are so promotional and almost like salesy and spammy, and that’s not the right way to do email.
It’s completely about building relationships, building trust, you’re giving, you’re giving, you’re giving, and then you’re asking, but by the time you ask, they already have it in their mind that they’re going to buy from you or hire you. So I would say a general golden rule would be 80% value, 20% of, I don’t even want to say sales, but of giving an offer to them. So you want to make sure that through your email, you are setting yourself up as the authority, as the expert, as someone that can give them that transformation that they’re looking for, or give them that solution to the problem that they’re struggling with right now. And that’s what email is all about. It’s about saying, “I am here to help you. This is about you. This is not about me.” And when you focus on your reader or your subscriber, your visitor, then they’re going to feel that. It’s going to come through those words in that email, for sure.
[SAM] And what would you say are some common email mistakes that get made and how can these be fixed?
[JENA] Well, I think we just touched on one, which is being too salesy. So making sure that you are serving and helping and you’re listening to your customer. It’s all about them. It shouldn’t be about you. And asking questions in your email. I think, I don’t think enough people do this. Asking your list for content ideas is a great idea that makes sure that you’re sending things that are relevant to them. Another thing I see too, is that people are sending this email and while they’re sending it at scale, really it should be sent to one person. You’re writing it for one person but you’re sending it to many. It shouldn’t be like, “Hey, everyone.” It should feel really personal. They probably know that this is your newsletter or your email that you’re probably not writing it specifically to them, but they should still evoke that feeling like, “Wow, you’re speaking right to me.” So writing to one person is a way to avoid the mistake of making it feel like someone’s writing to a stadium full of people.
In terms of deliverability things that you want to avoid making sure that you are sending from a custom email, from your custom domain. You don’t want to be, as a brand, as a practice, as a business, you don’t want to be sending from your Gmail or your Outlook or your Yahoo. You want to make sure that you’re staying on brand. This is going to help with that trustworthy factor that you’re taking your business seriously and that your email address reflects that. So definitely if you, aren’t sending from a custom domain that there’s room for improvement certainly in terms of your deliverability.
I would say another one is just not sending frequently enough. And so people are always like, well, I don’t want to annoy people, or I don’t want to send too much, or I don’t want to constantly be in their inbox, but here’s the thing, because email is permission-based, they signed up. They said, “Yes, I want you to be in my email.” They’ve given you permission. They’ve opened the door. Take it, run through it. Like they want to learn something from you and if you’re not emailing them on a regular basis, they’ll find someone else. They came to you because they have a problem and they think that you are a really good possibility for that solution. So making sure that you’re staying top of mind, like we talked about in the beginning and being in there in a regular basis.
If you send too infrequently, they’re going to forget about you and then all of that work that you’ve done to get them to subscribe to open and click and reply is going to be for nothing, because you fell off the face of the earth kind of thing. So I would say once a week, once every other week, certainly no less than once a month, because we want that familiarity, we want that top of mind, we want them to remember you. And you should be giving them helpful information on the regular and get into a routine where your subscribers can predict when they’re going to get like, “Oh, it’s Thursday. There’s that email from Sam again.” And so you want to get them in a routine of opening your emails as well.
[SAM] So something I actually always wondered about and I’ve had obviously different opinions on this is something you touched on about writing to one person and making it personal. There’s a lot of people who say that just including text in the email makes it more personalized because that’s obviously the kind of email that you would receive from a friend or a colleague whereas a lot of obviously emails that you’ll receive from a company will include images and we’ll have kind of a design layout. So what is your opinion on that?
[JENA] I think it’s definitely okay to include images, but they need to be relevant. They need to make sense. And really you don’t want to include an image just to include it. It should really evoke some sort of emotional response and if it doesn’t, then I would scrap it. There’s different types of emails that you can send. So you can send what we call campaigns or automations that are auto sent to someone on a predetermined schedule. So let’s take this welcome email as an example. That’s an automated email that goes out when someone joins your list and it could be one email, but it could be a series of emails. So let’s say someone subscribes, they get that first email, then it waits like a predetermined amount of time, like one or two days, and then another email comes out and then it waits another day or two and you get a third email.
That’s called a series. And in those, I definitely recommend making them feel more like that one-off email that you’re writing to someone. You can still include images, but again, make sure they’re intentional and thoughtful and really make sense to the content. But then there’s also your newsletter and that newsletter is going to be either a single digest style, what we call, where maybe you’re talking about one story, or it could be a digest style where it’s lots of different links and articles and things to all different places on the web. And that can look more like what you’re saying, like comes from a business. That’s like a newsletter style. So I think moderation and variety is definitely important in anyone’s email strategy and definitely test to see what resonates with your audience.
You know, the one thing that is definitely a blessing with email is that it’s not one size fits all. It really is going to be what your audience is attracted to, what your style, what your tone is. This is really your opportunity to show yourself as an expert, but also that you’re another human being. And here’s the thing. People want to do business with human beings. They want to do business with other people and so making sure that that’s coming through in your emails, whether it’s your automated campaigns or it’s your newsletters, making sure it’s coming from a human and not necessarily a brand or a company, because that’s who people want to interact with. It’s the people, the faces of the practice, the company, the brand, whatever.
[SAM] And in terms of subject lines, I know we’ve been speaking about mistakes that people make, so can you speak into a few mistakes that people maybe make with subject lines that will avoid the emails being delivered to the inbox and how they can kind of rectify that?
[JENA] Yes. I mean, there’s a few that you want to avoid. So making your subject line too long. You want to make sure that it’s direct and concise and to the point. Most people are opening emails on their mobile devices and so you only have a few words to really grab their attention. So you want to make sure it’s short and catchy, but it’s not like deceptive in any way. I see a lot of people try to get clever and they’re putting a subject line almost like clickbait, and then you open the email and it has nothing to do with that. You’re going to get marked as spam for that and you’re going to get people on subscribing. So making sure that you tell people exactly what to expect when they open that email. Short to the point or the best. You can use questions, you can use their name, you can use emojis.
I wouldn’t do them all at once. Definitely moderation is key with those, but also a mistake that I see people make a lot is they don’t take advantage of the pre-header or the preview text. And this is essentially like a second subject line. We’ve all seen this. If we’re in our inbox on our phone, we have the subject line in bold if we haven’t opened yet, and then there’s smaller font right after it. If you don’t put anything in that area, it’s going to default to that first line of text in your email. So you want to make sure that you’re using that because that is, like I said, your second opportunity to get someone to open your emails. This is a great place to put a call to. So maybe an example would be, “Here’s two more tips to help you fight imposter syndrome.”
Then your pre-header text could be, “Watch this two minute video for tips to help you today.” So it’s a call-to-action and you’re basically saying like, “Hey, inside is going to be a two-minute video.” I know exactly what to expect, how long it’s going to take me. Okay. That sounds quick. I’m going to open this, watch a two-minute video and it’s going to help me today. So yes, definitely make sure you’re using that preview text or pre-header text because that is going to sometimes get people to open more than even your subject line did.
[SAM] That’s awesome. That’s some really great tips again. So Jen, I believe you have a free gift for our audience today. Can you tell us a bit about that?
[JENA] Yes, so we have a 7-step guide to help you convert more leads into customers. And that’s the biggest marketing challenge we hear facing small businesses and so we put together this guide, but we also included pre-written email templates to really help turn your prospects into customers. And so with this guide, we talk about how to make more sales without selling, how to welcome brand new email subscribers the right way, so that welcome email, how to build trust with your readers and write content that’s really, really good. So like I said, it’s everything you need and it has seven templates, it has bonus templates to collect feedback and it gives you a secret of something that you’re probably not doing that can have a huge impact on your sales and booking new clients.
[SAM] That’s great. Thanks so much for that. And if people wanted to get in touch with you, what is the best way that they can do that?
[JENA] Yes. So you can personally reach out to me on Instagram or Clubhouse or LinkedIn at Jena Bagley on all those platforms. I definitely welcome connections. Just let me know that you found me here. You can also email me at email@example.com. And if you want more information about how to get started with email marketing, you can visit aweber.com.
[SAM] Awesome. And we’ll have all of those links available in the show notes. Jena, if every private practice owner in the world we’re listening right now, what would you want them to know?
[JENA] I would say the number one thing that’s going to help you scale your business is to get started with email marketing. It doesn’t have to be perfect, definitely progress over perfection, just get started, collect emails, send that first welcome email, and just dive in head first. There are a ton of resources to help you. Certainly we have a ton of resources and we’re here to help you succeed and serve more people. So I would say just jump head first in and get started.
[SAM] Awesome. Thanks so much for all the valuable information that you’ve provided today and for being a guest on the podcast.
[JENA] Yes, it’s my pleasure. I’m glad to be here. Thank you so much.
[SAM] Once again, thank you so much to Therapy Notes for sponsoring this show. It makes notes, billing, scheduling, and tele-health a whole lot easier. And if you’re coming from another EHR, they make the transition really easy. Therapy Notes will input your client’s demographic data free of charge during your trial so you can get going right away. Use the promo code, [JOE], that’s [J O E] to get two free months to try out Therapy Notes for free.
Thanks for listening to the Marketing a Practice podcast. If you need help with branding your business, whether it be a new logo, rebrand, or you simply want some print flyer designed head on over to www.practiceofthepractice.com/branding. And if you’d like to see some examples of my design work, be sure to follow me on Instagram at Samantha Carvalho Design. Finally, please subscribe, rate, and review this podcast on iTunes if you like what you’ve heard. Talk to you soon.
Marketing a Practice podcast is part of the Practice of the Practice podcast network, a network of podcasts seeking to help you market and grow your business and yourself. To hear other podcasts like Beta Male Revolution, Empowered and Unapologetic, Imperfect Thriving, or Faith in Practice, go to practiceofthepractice.com/network.
This podcast is designed to provide accurate and authoritative information in regards to the subject matter covered. It is given with the understanding that neither the host, the publisher, or the guests are rendering legal, accounting, clinical, or any other professional information. If you want a professional, you should find one.