Email marketing is an incredibly important part of business, especially if you want to grow and scale. As essential as this aspect of business is, not enough people seem to be talking about it.
In this episode of Art of Online Business, I invited Bobby Klinck to come and chat with us about email marketing and how to write emails that people actually want to read.
Bobby has an excellent relationship with his email list because of the types of emails that he writes. He has a very engaging and unique approach to writing emails that I respect a lot.
Bobby is a Harvard Law Grad turned entrepreneur who built a thriving multiple six-figure business selling the most boring thing ever (legal templates) primarily through email. In the process, his emails have built a cult following because they’re actually fun to read.
Bobby has distilled his email wisdom into a snark-filled book titled Email Marketing That Doesn’t Suck: Have Fun Writing Emails Your Subscribers Will Want To Read (And That Will Actually Make You Money!). His book reads like his emails… his personality jumps off the page as he makes an otherwise dry subject entertaining to learn.
Creating a relationship with your audience honestly and authentically is the best way to improve the efficacy of your email marketing and grow your business, and Bobby is joining me to teach you how.
In this episode, you’ll learn:
- Why email marketing isn’t dead
- How to build a relationship with your email list
- How to use storytelling in your email marketing
- The framework that Bobby uses when he writes an email
- Why templates won’t connect with people
- Why long-term subject lines don’t matter
- How to measure the success of your emails
- What you can expect from Bobby’s book
Links & Resources:
- The Art of Online Business website
- DM me on Instagram
- Visit my YouTube channel
- The Art of Online Business clips on YouTube
- Full episodes of The Art of Online Business Podcast on YouTube
- The Art of Online Business Podcast website
- Check out my Accelerator coaching program
*Disclosure: I only recommend products I use and love and all opinions expressed here are my own. This post may contain affiliate links that at no additional cost to you, I may earn a small commission.
Bobby Klinck’s Links:
- Visit Bobby’s website
- Check out Bobby’s resource page
- Get a copy of Bobby’s book
- Follow Bobby on Instagram
- Connect with Bobby on Facebook
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Hey my friend, welcome to the Art of Online Business Podcast. My name is Rick Mulready and I’m an online business coach. I’m an ad’s expert, and most importantly, I’m a dad. And this show is where we help established online course creators and coaches create more profit, more impact with less hustle. All right, let’s get into it. Hey, my friend Rick. Here on today’s episode, we’re going to be talking about a subject I don’t think gets talked about enough yet. It’s super, super important as you grow and scale your business. And that is email marketing. And I’ve asked Bobby Clink, who is somebody I met years ago? And you’ll hear his story here in just a minute as we get into it. But he has written a book called Email Marketing that doesn’t suck. Have fun writing emails your subscribers will want to read and that will actually make you money. And Bobby has a really, really, really good relationship with his email list because of the types of emails that he writes. They’re really, really engaging. And he just has a very unique perspective, one that I respect a lot in how he approaches emails. And by the way, if you want to check out the book, you can get on Amazon or Barnes and Noble online or what have you, or you can go over to his website and I am a proud affiliate of the book if you want to go check it out.
Rick Walmart.com forward for Bobby Bob why you can get the get the book. He also has a free email course over on his website. He talks about that later on in the interview here. But what’s funny is and and kind of sad to at the time recording this, which is late June, I’ve had several people recently say to me, Rick, am I still like, did I get remove from your email list? Because I’m not getting your emails and I’m like, No, you’re still on there. I just have an emailed and I, you know, this is more about do as I say, not as I do. Well, that is changing for me personally. I have not done a good job of building a relationship with those of you on my email list. And that is something I am I’m changing. And a lot of what Bobby talks about is are things that I’m starting to do. And so without further ado, let’s go learn some email marketing that doesn’t suck. Okay, let’s go hang out with Bobby Clink. Bobby, welcome to the podcast. I’m really excited to dive into this whole topic of email marketing and. Especially. Because I’ve had multiple people. A mutual friend of ours recently, Jamie Sears.
But I’ve had numerous people ask me recently, did you remove me from your email list? Because I don’t get your emails. And I was like, No, no, no, you’re still on there. I just do a terrible job of emailing my list, and it’s because it’s a painful process for me. Yeah, you do this very, very well and you’ve written a book about it. And so I want to dive into all that here with you today. So before we dive into all that, you are are you still are you still technically an attorney?
I’m technically an attorney. I have my law license still. But but I don’t practice.
So I. I quit practicing a couple of years ago.
How does one go from attorney practicing attorney to where you are right now, running a successful online business and now being a published author about email marketing?
That’s not clear. I mean, come on. I would I would think that’s a straight line that everyone gets. I blame a life coach is what it comes down to. I was I was working I had spent 15 years as a lawyer in a very I don’t want to say traditional, since I’d done some nontraditional things. But a lawyer who was who handled lawsuits, I was a litigator. So I was the one who stood up for you in court or whatever. And I was doing that. And I had my own firm starting in 2014. And in 2016, I think was when I was in my late thirties, I was just kind of feeling a and I didn’t really know why whatever mid-life crisis, I guess, whatever we want to call it. And I started working with a life coach and we talked about relationships, friends, my wife, my daughter, all that stuff. And then about six months in, she said, Do you like what you do for a living? And I stammer. And for the first time I admitted to someone other than my life wife that I did. I just didn’t like it. I loved the law. I love kind of the the intellectual side about thinking about law. I could have some fun discussions with my friends about legal issues, but the actual practice of law kind of sucked. I mean, it meant first of all, it meant I was dealing with lawyers all the time. And lawyers are not a lot of fun.
But also it meant that I was fighting with people all day, every day. And just as importantly in that life, any time like my phone pinged, like I just had a sense of dread because there was probably a 5050 chance that either the judge had done something or opposing counsel had done something that was going to ruin my day, ruin my week, ruined my weekend. I didn’t know what. And so that’s kind of how I was feeling. And life coaches, being life coaches, she said, okay, what are we going to do about that? And she and I then talked it through and she was the one who said she could see me going on to podcasts and radio shows and talking to entrepreneurs about the legal stuff. And I said, Huh, that’s interesting. So this was sometime in the spring of 2017 and in the spring of 2017, I said, Okay, you know what? She told me to do it. I’m going to do it by the by my next call with her. I had booked a podcast booking agency to get me booked on podcast. I started making appearances at the time wearing my headshot, had me in a suit with in the lawyer pose kind of off to the side with a crooked head. And that was what I did. And I had no business, didn’t know what the business was going to be, but I was like, Yeah, I’m taking action.
And so I started doing that and, and I first kind of came whatever to prominence in the online space as a legal guy. Eventually I made it work. 2017 was my horrible year. That sucked. I was 50 grand in the hole that year with without making much money. But 2018 I found my stride and I started really selling selling legal templates and making progress. I don’t remember when you had me on your podcast, you had me on your podcast before to talk about the legal stuff. I promise this will be more fun than that discussion, but sometime along the way, I think it was in 2019, people started asking me how it was that I managed to build a connection with people that felt more like an in-person connection if people had never met. And so that was the beginning of kind of a business coaching, marketing, coaching exploit for me. So in 2019, I first launched a membership called the Fans First Society, which was about finding your 1000 raving fans. And since then I’ve kind of gone through different iterations, but email has been one of the constants. Blame it on my age. I don’t know. I blame it on whatever. But email is one of the things that I’ve always felt is one of the most powerful tools for us to really connect with our audiences and our core audiences in a deep way. And so I started doing it and then people started asking me how to do email.
I wrote that.
Email marketing is dead.
Yeah, well, of course it is. I mean, people say that and look, I can give you stats. Everybody, everybody likes email wants to spout the stat about like the ROI being 40 something time, you know, I don’t know where that number comes from personally. Yeah, I’ve tried to run it to ground and I don’t know what they’re counting as a cost, but. But look, there’s no question. Email can work. And I prove that in 2019 because and as I was building my business, I had planned to go all in on my business at that point and not do. My law firm. Yeah. Problem was I’d had a couple of cases come back to life and they were, I call them zombie cases. So I couldn’t actually go all in, I couldn’t do launches, I couldn’t do any of the other stuff. And I said, You know what? In my mastermind group they say, Well, what could you do? That would be kind of minimum effort? I said, Well, I could send some emails. That’s okay, well, let’s do that. And so I started doing at the time email only promotions or launches of my 1000 legal product.
And I would send some emails over four days, I’d make 50 grand, send some emails over four days, make 50 grand. And it just became this kind of consistent pattern. And I always like to tell people at the time I was emailing 5000 people about legal templates. Yeah. And I could make people want to buy them with email alone. And so I said, huh, there’s something to this email stuff and, and I’ve continued it. I’m not someone who’s into superlative statements, so I’m not going to say it’s better than anything else. I’m just going to say it’s my favorite way to mark it personally. And there are unique things about it. Like we have a direct route into people’s inbox. We can choose the order that they see certain messages from us. Now they might not read them all, but we at least get to curate it. Whereas with social media you don’t really know. I mean, someone might randomly see the fifth message and they were never even shown the first, second, third or fourth message. And so it is powerful that way as well.
Yeah, I say that. I say that in jest, you know, because people are always like, oh yeah, email marketing is dead. And I’m like, well, you know, and I’m not one to speak like, oh, it work super well because I don’t do a very good job of it. It’s like, you know, do what I say. Not as I, not as I do, but I can, I can, I can, I can say a whole bunch of people that I’m well aware of who do very, very well with their email marketing, yourself included. And it’s the thing about like this is, you know, for lack of a better way to say it, it’s kind of weird to say it, but like we do own quote unquote, our email list. Yep, right. We don’t own our Facebook group or we don’t own, you know, our Instagram followers or what have you. We do like we can take the email list from place to place to place if for whatever reason, something, you know, collapses. And what you just shared is a perfect example of you’re like. I have you know, these cases came back up. I didn’t have a ton of time to be doing launches or what have you. So let’s send some emails out about a thousand, you know, legal template package and oh, by the way, I sent four emails over four days and I’m making 50 grand.
So people listening right now want to know what is your secret to writing emails that create that sort of relationship where people are like, Oh yeah, I want to buy from you?
So look, I think the big problem is people fixate on the wrong thing. They fixate on the sales emails, and so maybe they got hire a copywriter who can write amazing sales copy. If that’s the only time you’re emailing people or that’s the only time you’re really putting effort into emails, it’s not going to work. And that was kind of one of the things that I figured out early. The magic of of email for me was that I focused from the get go, not on that stuff as much, but on the stuff that that happens week in and week out of just connecting with my audience. And I said, How can I use my email to let them into my life to connect with them so that they’ll want to buy from me? And when you do that, what happens is when it comes time to sell, you don’t need to hire a fancy copywriter. You don’t even need to really write great sales emails, right? If you’ve built a connection with your audience and you’re offering them something they need, guess what? They’re going to buy it. And they’re not even going to look at someone else. They’re not going to. In my case, they don’t go look and see. Well, could I get legal templates cheaper somewhere else? Yeah. No, because I’m the guy that they’re going to buy from when they need it.
Because you’ve built that relationship with them.
Exactly. And part of it is about thinking of the people on your email list as people, not as numbers, not as a wallet, not as subscribers, not as leads, not as that, but as people.
It’s a concept, right, Bobby? What? It’s a concept, right.
I know. And and so again, I said for a long time that I’m I’m an analog marketer in a digital world. I have viewed building my online business very much like a small like the owner of the general store in a small town would would look at building their business. And that is I get involved, I try to understand my people, I connect with them, I talk with them. When they email me, I’m emailing back now. I don’t do it 100% of the time. As you grow, that gets hard. But I do my best and doing those little things shows that we care about people. And again, look, if you’re selling $20 products, you can’t really do that. But if you’re a coach selling a course, running a membership where your average value of a customer is 1000 multiple thousands of dollars, guess what? You can do that, too, because you don’t have to sell 10,000 products. If you can sell 100 a year, you’re probably doing pretty good. Yeah. And you can do that by investing and by showing that you care about people and they will feel it, they will sense it, and then you will kind of build that relationship where they’ll want to buy from you. And by the way, that’s not just about email, it’s email. It’s everything you do in marketing. Yeah, I like to say email marketing. It’s just marketing via email. So you need to understand what marketing is and how to do these things more broadly and then apply it to email.
Everything’s become so. Transactional.
And, you know, I’ve been talking about a lot here in the podcast for the past year and a half or so. Like now more than ever, people are craving that connection there. They’re craving that community. They’re craving that somebody who understands them and takes the time to understand them. Yeah. And it’s about building that relationship that you’re talking about.
Yeah. I mean, look, everybody wants to feel like people care about them. Yeah, that’s just human nature. And so it’s one of those things. And you’re right, I mean, I think the pandemic and the disconnection that happened as part of that, I think really heightened people’s craving of a connection. Yeah. And, and they just said, look, I want this connection. And Rick, I know you’re you’re an introvert, if I remember correctly. Like a big introvert.
And I’m an extrovert, but I’m not I’m not a very kind of exuberant extrovert. Like if I’m around people I don’t know, I’m often quiet in the corner, kind of waiting things out. But I’ll just tell you that the pandemic was rough on me. Yeah, I was like, I need that connection. And so I think other people felt it too. And it also it simply becomes this big differentiator. If you’re willing to do it where someone else isn’t, guess what? People will remember you. And yeah, the reason why I love email for it is I can tell stories and people then remember me for some random fact that I have people who remember emails. I said that I’m like, Huh, I’m confused because there’s been a couple of years, but they remember the email because that’s the fact about me that’s stuck in their mind. Yeah. And it’s those little moments that I’m like, Oh, cool. You know, I forgot I wrote about that, but. But that’s cool. And so people feel like they know me when they meet me.
How do you keep track of the stories that you use in your emails? Now I know you just mentioned like. I’m using email to kind of communicate like what’s going on in my life, you know, week to week or weekend to weekend. And I recently had Jude Charles on the podcast here, and we talked all about storytelling and we talked about, you know, his methodology for collecting stories. What is, you know, where do you how do you collect the stories that you have? And then how do you decide, oh, I’m going to I’m going to tell this story today.
So. Okay, I have to give you a confession here. I actually don’t collect stories in advance and I’m weird, but it’s because my strengths, when you look at kind of one of my superpowers, it’s I can pull the stories from memory. And I say that that’s a superpower, not in the sense of I’m being being full of myself. When I took the gallop strength when I was Clifton strengths whatever it is the Gallup strengths test. When you actually read some of my, you know, the actual like description of it, one of the things it says is you naturally tell stories from your personal life in your business life. I mean, it literally says that. And so it’s just something that I can do. But what I tell people to do, because most people don’t. So I give kind of a framework for to do it. But first you have to figure out forget stories. You got to figure out what are the messages or lessons that you are going to want to communicate to your audience on a regular basis, because that’s where it starts. The point of the story now, part of it is to connect with you. But the real value and what makes a story really great for an email is when it’s a parable. Just a mini little thing that can teach a lesson through the story itself. And so you’re looking for those. But to figure out which kinds of stories you want to tell, you have to figure out what are the kinds of lessons I want to tell? What are the kinds of ideas and messages I’m going to want to get across to my audience? So you start there and you can start by saying, What are the pillars of content I create? But this is outside of email.
What are those things that I’m going to be talking about a lot like with you? Rick I mean, some of it could be, you know, about the optimizing and things like that. The things you talk about a lot. You create a bucket and you say, okay, I’m going to need stories that I can use that will bring these messages across. And so I don’t know how many. If you come up with five buckets, great. If you come up with ten buckets. But whatever it is, you come up with those buckets. And then a suggestion that that I got from who gave me this. But rather than just trying to think generically for stories, whether it’s every day or every week, but on a regular basis, you want to ask yourself some specific questions. Who did I talk to this week? Where did I go this week? What did I eat this week? Like those kinds of specific questions. Those will spark memories. And then you just kind of go down the list to say, okay, is there a story there that I could use for one of my buckets? And so you add it to your list.
Yeah. And so that’s kind of the real world or kind of the modern day work you’re doing. Yeah. But separately, you want to look back and this actually when I’m talking to our mutual friend Colin Boyd, it came through, he kind of said you should also talk about stories. And I said, Yeah, I do this naturally from times of your life. So go back and think about your stories from college, like what are the stories you talk about with your friends all the time or your stories from high school? The important parts of your life go back and figure out are there stories from there that you can bring in to? Because part of what you’re wanting to do is let people in to the overall kind of person that you are. And a lot of us have great stories from way back when. Probably some of our most fun stories are are not the most recent ones that are the older ones, but you just want to do that and start cataloging them. But what I’ll tell you is once you start doing it, everybody I’ve worked with or who’s worked with me on this, they’ll tell you that it’s hard at first, but eventually it’s like a muscle. You kind of build up a muscle and you’ll start to be able to come up with stories pretty quickly. Yeah, to tell or to deliver the message you’re looking for.
Yeah, because a lot of people, it doesn’t it doesn’t come easy. And myself included. It’s weird, Bobby, because in the past two weeks. I you know, I’ve had people, like I said, at the top of the top of the interview, I’ve had a lot of people saying, like, ah, you know, like, am I still on your email list? Like, Yes, you are. I just don’t I haven’t I haven’t been emailing. And that’s prompted me that it’s not that I don’t want to, it’s I’ve had a block around it to be completely honest and transparent around it. And you know, no one else writes my emails like I write them. And to be honest, it doesn’t come easy to me. And so for that reason I haven’t. But then recently I’m like, No, no, no. This is something I really, truly want to start doing to create the kind of connection that you’re talking about. Bobby And once I sort of made that sort of mental decision, I’ve had stories start popping up in my mind and I’m like, Ooh, I’ve got to capture those. And I’m in the middle of writing one right now based on a story that happened to me. I was in elementary school, but it’s completely relevant to like the types of things that I talk about. Yeah. And so once I made that decision, now they’re starting to pop up, right?
And once you do and again, I think a lot of people have a block because they think that there are regular weekly emails, like they think of them as this monumental task. And I say, What if you just think of it as, Hey, I’m going to tell a story to a friend. Yeah, and get a lesson across. And if you look at it that way, I think it can make it easier. But to give people ideas. I also like to say these are Seinfeld type of stories, not Game of Thrones. Now, every once in a while you might want to tell an epic story, but for the most part, there are these little tidbits. And it’s not just, by the way, for weekly emails, like for a long time when I did webinars my last my ten minute morning or whatever, my last basically reminder email that it was about to start was I told the story. I said like literally the subject line was the best advice I ever got. And then in parentheses, ten minute warning. And I told the story about when I was at a in a friend’s wedding, the friend and I were about to walk out and his dad looked at us and said, Go to the bathroom. We said, We don’t need to go to the bathroom. He said, You never pass up an opportunity to the bathroom. That’s the whole story. Literally, that was the story. But I use that and said, I’m telling you that because it’s powerful advice and now is the time for you to go to the bathroom so you don’t have to do it in the middle of the webinar. Yeah, like literally that’s it. It’s you’re looking for some little idea spark moment that you can bring in to tie into whatever you want. You’re actually emailing them about.
So do you have a, like a, do you have like a framework that you work from like, you know, story this, this, you know, because a lot of people who teach copywriting have this framework and it’s more sort of like plug and play. And I think when you do that sometimes, not all the time, it kind of removes that sort of personal connection, if you will. It’s more sort of, again, transactional. So how do you approach that?
So I have a framework, but it is not plug and play. So it is hook story. Lessen her message called action. So there’s four parts of the element. And by the way, the hook is your subject line. So yeah, you know, and by the way, you’re generally going to write the write it backwards. Either the call to action or the lesson or the message are the first things you’ve got to figure out. So if it if it is a conversion based email, if it’s a sales email, if it’s an invitation to a webinar, if it’s something like that, the call to action is the first thing you figure out. If it’s an email inviting people to check out your podcast, hey, that’s your call to action. So we know what your call to action is. Then you have to say, okay, what is what is a message or lesson that I want to pull out and deliver to people? And this is especially helpful to people who don’t have weekly content. If you’re not creating a podcast every week or a blog post every week, people say, Well, what I always most email about, okay, find a lesson, a message, something you want to deliver to your people for them to be thinking about.
Yeah. And it could be as simple as a piece of advice. It could be all kinds of things, but the idea is just get them thinking about something. So last week, the message that I wanted to deliver to my list was, you’ve got to take chances. You’ve got to be willing to take risks to get rewards. And that was the idea. And I use the fact that I the story I told and I said, okay, what’s a story about that? And by the way, this one was different. I wrote differently, but. I had submitted my book to be reviewed by these reviewers who are known for being very brutal in their reviews. You’re more likely to get a bad review than a good review. But as it turned out, I got a good review. I got a star to review. And I made the point that when you search the business genre, start reviews only the first five books that show up. It’s a Nobel Prize winner, a Pulitzer Prize winner. Someone listed as Time’s 100 Most Influential People, a French economist who’s won all kinds of awards, and then me. And I kind of said, you know the company.
Exactly. I don’t. I have a big head. I don’t think I belong in that company. But I said, Look, if I hadn’t been willing to take the risk, I couldn’t have gotten that reward. And so I just use that little thing. And by the way, obviously, it gave me a chance to plug my book. Yeah. So, you know, win, win, win. But sure, that’s kind of the process and then the hook, then you pull something out of the story. So my hook, my subject line last week was a Nobel winner, a Pulitzer winner, and me question mark. And it was just like people like what in the world this had to do with Bob? And they want to read it. They want to understand what the story is. So that’s the process now. It’s not a framework like a lot of people want. A lot of people want a template. Yeah, just fill in the blanks. And like you said, you can’t do that, right? It won’t connect with people.
I like this because I mean, I’m always talking about simplicity. Mm hmm. There’s. I just wrote, like, hook story message called Action like simplicity.
And the call to action, by the way, I mean, it can be simple. It doesn’t always have to be related to you. Your call to action like so last week’s call to action. Yes, I had links in there, but really my call to action was I said and so my call to action to you this week is to be bold, whatever it is that you haven’t been doing because you’re scared, do it today. Just go out and do it instead of stopping. And that’s you just want to train your people to expect that you’re going to ask them to do something that way. When you ask them to click a link to go buy from you, it’s not. That’s the only time you’re asking them to take action.
Right? Are you in that type of email? They’re, are you asking them to like hit reply and let you know, like what they did or something like that, or is it just more of like go, go do something like that?
So I did I asked him, I said, hey, my call to action to you is this. And by the way, if you’re so bold, hit reply and let me know what you’re going to do. Yeah, but I don’t really you know, that’s fine. I have a couple of things like in my welcome sequence where people come in, I tell one epic story and I ask them to just email me back, telling them that, telling me that they’re committed because I’m basically the point of that story is that your life is going to get in the way and there are going to be problems in building your business, and you’re going to have to be committed if you really want to build a business. And I’ll tell them, you know, just email me back. I said, I will read it and some people will send me long responses. Some people just say I’m committed, but just doing that kind of thing can be valuable. It’s as much about them as it is about you. Obviously, it’s about spurring them to do something, spurring them into action, and then they’ll remember that you spurred them into action.
Yeah. Now everyone always gets hung up on. And I honestly don’t consider myself very good at this is the is the subject line of the email. How? Rather like because everyone has a different thought about this right now. How relevant does it need to be? Let’s make question. About the message that you’re trying to convey versus the story. Does that make sense?
To me, it’s always about the story. I mean, again, except in conversion emails, conversion emails will be different. Like in a sales sequence it’s different. But in my weekly emails it’s almost always about the story. It’s basically a climactic moment or some moment of curiosity and all of those things. That’s how I hook it. I mean, some of my famous ones are in quotes, Why are you sending me pictures of you with random women? Which was like a text my wife sent me and like, long story. That was my first good email I ever sent. You know, another one was, I don’t like Sweet Baby Jesus because it’s about a beer from around D.C. that I think is an abomination. But those are the kinds of things I’m doing. It’s really just to get people saying. What the heck is he talking about? I’ve got to read this one. One email that actually had a very high open rate. How did that get me in trouble with that in all caps? Because my audience knows that I kind of get myself in trouble a lot. And so they saw that and they’re like, okay, what did he do now? And so those are the kinds of things I’m just trying to get some kind of curiosity related to the story. But I also want to give a caveat. Long term subject lines don’t matter. This makes me a pariah among, you know, people to get to.
Explain yourself on this one.
Because ultimately people will be opening the email because it’s from you, not because of the subject line. But you got to get to that point.
Correct. Right. So so especially in your sequences up front, it’s important. And I’m not saying you don’t put effort into it. Sure. But I want everybody to think about how do you approach your email inbox whenever you go to check it? If you if you check it all the time, fine. Or if you check it, you know, at periodic times, what you probably do is you kind of scan down through the list of of of emails and you’re looking at what’s front. Yeah, that’s the first thing you look at and that’s what is going to be that’s what’s going to decide for the most part with you, open it immediately or not. And for people who you’ve built a relationship with, like you don’t care what the subject is, you’re like, Oh, okay, let me just see what they have to say. That’s what you should be trying to build with your audience. And that’s why I say long term, the subject lines are not going to be the determining factor. My subject lines have very little to do with my buy open rates, although open rates in and of themselves are problematic now. But right even from what you can tell, you can compare one open rate to another. And I don’t see big fluctuations. Because people are opening because they want to read my emails. Yeah. Not because of what my subject.
Line is at this point. It’s a great point. And you I was going to mention what you just what you just brought up there is like email, open rates, click rates. They they’ve sort of been like, quote unquote, gold standard of how how successful, quote unquote email marketing has been or your emails have been. That is becoming not in the not so distant future. That is going to be sort of like take it where the grain of salt, basically. So how are you measuring the success quote unquote of emails?
Yeah. So first of all, here’s what I would say. One of the things I would say is that. I think that is very much the digital marketers perspective is to think that way because we have been trained to think in terms of direct response. Like we said it, we want to see the direct response. I think long term we need to be thinking more like big brands of brand equity, brand loyalty and those types of things. And so I think that’s part of it. And for for listeners who don’t know, part of the reason click through rates are still pretty good and pretty clean numbers. But your open rate is not the reason there have been issues and for a long time, the way that your email service provider figures out whether there’s been an open is there is a a picture like a one pixel picture image that is loaded into every email. Well. Traditionally, your systems don’t open or don’t download images until you open the email. That’s how it did it. So email service providers tracked. Okay. What percentage of those emails had the picture downloaded? There was always problems with that because like, I don’t know. I mean, maybe you remember, but I think when I had Outlook and like a law firm, its default setting is that it doesn’t download pictures unless you click on something. Yeah, exactly. So those were undercounting your opens. Yeah. But the iOS change recently with Apple, if someone is using an iPhone, the not Apple mail but I’m saying literally the mail the bill ten mail app or a mail app on a mac or an iPad.
Guess what? 100% of the emails you send to those people are going to show up as opens. So it’s just going to show up. You may have seen this. People have been emailing. Yeah, open rates have gone up for me, probably 15 to 20% for the last year since this iOS went in. Now maybe I’m just getting really good at email, but I think it’s probably iOS is part of it too. So to me, and this is again where people don’t like me, there’s a feel you kind of have to feel like what’s happening with your email. And the most important thing for me is getting those replies and not when I ask for replies. Hmm. Yes. Asking for replies is great, but week in and week out people reply to my email because something in the story that I told resonated with them. Yeah, and that’s what’s telling me that I’m doing things right, because I’m telling a story that resonates with my people, which connects with my people. And and again, ultimately, ultimately, what matters is can you sell with email? And if you can’t sell with email, your email is not working. Now, there might be other problems, right? I mean, it might be that your offer is wrong, you might have the wrong messaging. But for the most part, if you understand your audience and you’re emailing them on a regular basis, you should be able to send emails and people should buy. And you’re not seeing that. There’s probably something wrong, and that’s when you need to diagnose something.
What is regular emails for you? Because everyone always asks that question, right?
How? How often?
Yeah. Everyone. Everyone wants to know that, like, there’s a special secret sauce to that.
I mean, there’s not. Yeah. So there are some people who email daily. I think that’s too much. There are very few people who I’d want to hear from every day. Yeah. And I think the people who do that have a very transactional approach, like, hey, if they want to hear from me, it’s because they don’t want to buy from me. Fine, they can leave. I think the normal cadence for most people will be weekly. Now, there’s times, Rick, we talked about this before he hit record. I’m in the middle of like selling my house and moving. So there have been some weeks, you know, multiple weeks in a row where I have an email recently because I’ve just had a lot going on.
Do you hear from people when you don’t? Yes.
Yes, I do. People people get worried. People will say, you know, did I get knocked off the list or whatever? Again, it doesn’t happen when I miss one week, sir. But if I miss two, I’ll start. We’ll start hearing things. But weekly, a lot of people worry that if you send people an email every week, they’re going to be annoyed. Now, first of all, I could give you some stats on this. I think it was HubSpot who did a survey, but there have been lots of studies and people have basically said that weekly is what they want. For the most part, that’s the highest percentage of people. That’s number one. Number two. If you write good emails, people want to get them. Yeah, because it doesn’t feel like a transaction. It feels like they’re hearing from a friend. And again, this was one of those things that I had. I’d been teaching email for a while and I’d been teaching this this story based email structure. And I thought the reason why that was better than a newsletter structure was just because you could make it add more personality and add some more fun to it. Yeah, of course. At some point I started a a newsletter called Smart Ass Marketing, which was basically my personality through and through with a rant with all the stuff.
And people love that too. But what I realized is the reason why the story based emails work is because it’s, it’s we love stories and all of a sudden we become a character in our audience’s lives, kind of like their favorite TV show. We’re just that person. They want to know what happened to Bobby, what’s happening in Bobby’s world? What what is he going on with him? What are the high jinks he’s gotten into this week? And so those are the reasons why if you do it right, people love to get the emails and people will actually enjoy it. Now, again, some people won’t like it and that’s okay and they can unsubscribe. But for the most part, your core fans actually will enjoy the emails if you do them right, and then they’re not going to be mad. I mean, I have people when I go to sell and send sales emails who have the product already but ask me to send them the emails because they want to get my emails, even though normally they would be excluded because I already have the product. Right. Well, that’s not everybody. Yeah, but there are some people who in my audience who just like Your emails are so good, I just want to know what they’re what you say.
Oh, don’t take me off this list here.
So we’ve been talking about your your book earlier. Email marketing. That doesn’t suck. What can people expect in the book when they buy it?
So the book reads very much like my emails. It’s conversational, it’s meant to be fun, snarky, amusing. You know, I take some stands on things. I have some views that are very different than much of the digital marketing, online marketing world about things. Yeah. And I set those out so people know it and understand it. But I basically part one of the book is, is, and I don’t like using mindset because it’s not really mindset. It’s maybe approach is the way to think about it or how you think about email and how should you think about email. That’s kind of what part one is about. And then part two gets tactical and talks about the different phases of the first email you send to people. And that one I give, I give a structure that I think helps. I did that because I heard people for a long time say, Hey, your first email to people shouldn’t suck, but they didn’t really tell me what I was supposed to do. And so thanks. That’s I created a framework for that because I thought it was helpful for me but for other people. But then I walk through other things like nurture sequences, welcome sequences, your weekly emails, and then how to sell with email and, and how to think about it and how to do and execute each one of those things.
I love it. I love it. Where can people get the book? It’s on Amazon.
Yeah, it’s on Amazon. It’s on it’s Barnes and Noble online. I think it’s on. I think there’s like. Apple Books or I know, but basically all of the online places where you should be able to buy books, you should be able to get it. It’s probably not in your local bookstore. If you want to go down there and request it, go ahead, feel free.
Buy a bunch of them. Put them on the shelf.
Yeah. I’ve heard people say that they’re going to go they’re going to go put some on a shelf and just take a picture of it. It’s like, oh, sure, go ahead. But yeah, but yeah, it’s it’s available online. There’s an e-book. There’s the print copy. People have said, I have to do the audiobook. I will at some point. But that is a daunting task because again, the footnotes in the book, they are the comedy. There’s like three serious footnotes. All the other footnotes are asides and thoughts and humor and figuring out how to do those when you’re reading a book. Yeah, for an audiobook is really hard and everybody said, you can’t hire someone, you have to do it yourself. Yeah, said, okay, fine. One of these days I will, but I’m not sure when that’s happening.
And they can get it on your website.
Yes. So Bobby Telecom, ports email, it’ll have links to everything. But here’s the other thing. I also have a course about email that’s 100% free. We talked about this before, Rick. I do things bass ackwards sometimes. Yeah. Like most people who write a book, they write a book and then they invite you to to buy a course from them. I don’t have a course anybody can buy from me, but I have my course about email. That’s that’s free. And if you go to the the Bobby claim dot com forward slash email you can you’ll find out how to get that. I also did a whole like a podcast series it’s 11 episodes that I kind of thought of as like an audio mini course. And of course I did it after the book was already published. So I’d had some new thoughts about things. And so, you know, there’s a lot of great stuff in there too. And so there’s a ton of info there for free if people just want to start there. But I’d love for him to buy the book too.
Yeah. You all go out and buy Bobby’s book? Email marketing. That doesn’t suck. Have fun writing emails your subscribers will want to read and that will actually make you money. I will link. I’ll have links up on the show notes for today’s episode, for the book, and Where to Connect With Bobby and so forth. Over at my website, Rick Radio.com go to the podcast section. You can check it out there. Bobby This is great man. Thanks so much for coming on here and sharing this. Congratulations on the book. I have two copies, actually. I have the one that you sent me and I have the Kindle version because I like to highlight a lot of things and take notes and go through. Reid wise. Reid wise. I don’t know. I’m blanking on it, but where I can look up the notes and study them and so forth. So thank you for sending the book. It’s really, really good. I there’s so much that I agree with you on and how this relationship of leveraging your for lack of a better way to say it. Well, I will say it differently. As you said, Bobby, creating the relationship with the people on your email list in an honest and authentic way through connecting with them and not always trying to sell them. And the point about, look, yes, you have to get people, train people, for lack of a better way to say it, to open up your emails. But it’s it becomes less about the subject line and more about who it’s, you know, who’s sending it. So thank you, my friend, for coming on here. Really appreciate it.
Thanks. It’s been a lot of fun.
Hey, my friend, if you would like my eyes on your business, if you want me to help you grow and scale your business while working no more, no more than 25 hours a week or less. Then I want to invite you to shoot me an email Rick at Rick Radio, or you can go over to our accelerator coaching program page at Rick Mulroy Forward slash accelerator. We work with established online course creators, coaches. Maybe we’ve got a membership program and you’re looking to grow and scale your online business and your impact. You want to help more people in the world through your business, but do it in a way where you’re working way fewer hours. That is exactly what we help you do through. Optimizing your systems and processes, optimizing your team, optimizing your sales and marketing, optimizing your mindset and a whole lot more. This is a mastermind experience unlike anything that you have experienced or maybe you haven’t experience. So again, shoot me an email. Rick at Rick Walmart.com, we can start a conversation right there so I can learn a little bit more about your business, or you can go over to the accelerator page and learn more about the program there. Hear from current and past students right there. Rick Muller, Forward slash accelerator. Thank you, my friend, as always for tuning in today. Super, super. Appreciate you. I do not take your attention lightly. So when you subscribe to this podcast, when you follow this podcast, my goal is to deliver for you each and every week, both episodes each week, and means the world to me that you that you tune in each and every week. So thank you again. Until next time, be well. And I’ll talk to you soon.