Badass Is The New Black (Season 3) Episode #30 Monetizing Your Newsletters To Build Great Online Relationships With Liz WilcoxAug 03, 2021
We need email marketing strategies to attract subscribers to our email list. Join Krissy Chin and guest Liz Wilcox as they dive into content creation for your newsletters, time-saving techniques, and how often we should send to our email list to build good online relationships with our consumers to eventually monetize. Liz is an email strategist for bloggers, freelancers, and online business owners, helping them master their sales. Most of us worry about emailing too much because it might be boring, and no one will read it, or worse, people would unsubscribe from our list. In this episode, Liz shares valuable insights about managing situations where we get people who unsubscribe from us and how we could deal with it most positively.
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Monetizing Your Newsletters To Build Great Online Relationships With Liz Wilcox
Email Marketing Strategist
How would you feel if you had a 100% conversion rate from your email list? My guest had 141 people click that they were interested in her new product from her email. When she finally pitched it, she had 141 people buy it. How did she do it? She's going to tell you in this episode. If you cringe at the thought of sending out emails and you want to know how to get people to open your email and how to make money off of your email list, then this episode is for you. Before we dive in, a special announcement, I want to invite you to join the waitlist for my coaching community. The doors will open. This community is for course creators and membership site owners that want my support in growing and scaling their business.
When you join the waitlist, you're going to be the first to know when the doors open, you're going to get access to the founding partner’s price for life. You are going to get exclusive access to the community, live trainings from me, live Q&A’s and a whole network of other digital creators. Together we want to help you scale your digital products business to multi 6 to 7 figures. Why the heck not? If you want to be a part of this community of other digital creators and want to be able to ask me specific questions about growing and scaling your business, hop over to my website. Join the waitlist at TheKrissyChin.com/membership. I cannot wait to see you over there.
Let's welcome Liz Wilcox. She is an email strategist serving bloggers, freelancers, and online business owners. She helps them build online relationships, package up their magic, and turn it into emails that people want to read and most importantly, purchase from. Liz helps her clients master their sales. We're talking 5 and 6 figure launches by leveraging the power of strategic email. Liz lives in Florida, loves to run, and is a walking ‘90s pop culture encyclopedia. I have a big surprise at the end since you put that out there, so it's going to be fun. Are you ready for it?
I'm ready and I'm so excited to talk about email. I live and breathe email, so thanks for having me on.
This is awesome. Thank you for being here. I'm excited to dive into this topic. It's a much-needed topic. Email scares a lot of us. We're worried about emailing too much, they're boring, and no one will read it, or worse, that they'll unsubscribe from our list and that was the last thing that we want. We all want to sell from our email list as well. I can't wait to dive into this. I know we're going to cover all of those little facets that I mentioned there. First, I'd love to open up the floor and let you share how you got into this space of writing email.
I want to recognize the reader when Krissy said, “Email is scary,” and you’re like, “Yes,” I want you to know that you're not alone. I have a sticky note that says, “Email is emotional for your people list.” I try to create everything when it comes to email marketing, whether it's a show like this or I'm creating a product with that in mind. I'm here to ease your fears. Get out your comfy blanket and settle in. We're about to make this simple. Going back to Krissy’s question about how I got into it, I did things a lot differently than most email marketers. Most of them that you'll find started out as copywriters. They were hired by people like Krissy and myself to write, launch emails and sales pages. They studied the psychology of copy, the research behind email marketing and best practices.
Once they made enough money, they said, “Maybe I should create a product and create a course like Krissy teaches. Maybe I've got a membership,” and they go that route. I did the exact opposite. I started off as a blogger where I was an RV travel blogger. Depending on where you're at in the world, you might call it a caravan. I basically lived in a box on wheels and I was stationary. I was married at the time. I had a toddler. I looked at my husband and I'm googling RV things. We were doing it to save money. I said, “People move around in these things. This thing has wheels. Did you know this?”
He was in the military and he's like, “Yeah, but we can't travel. I’ve got this job.” I said, “I'm going to figure it out. I want to travel. I'm so geeked out about this. I'm going to figure it out.” I started a blog and I started it as a business. A lot of travel bloggers start off like it’s a diary, a journal, or it's like, “Mom, I'm still alive,” type of situation. I knew I wanted to start it as a business. I was like, “I'm going to start this blog. Listen to people like Krissy and it's going to work.” I'm going to create some digital products. I don't know what I'm going to do, but I'm going to do it.
I was listening to podcasts and going to webinars. The second you type, “How to start a blog on Google,” Facebook starts feeding you all the things you need. I wanted these webinars and every single “guru” was saying, “I wish I would have taken my email list more seriously. My biggest regret is not starting an email list sooner.” Mama didn't raise a fool, so I'm like, “I’m going to start this email list.” Immediately, the day that I launched my blog and shared it on Facebook, was the day that I also shared, “Sign up for my email newsletter.”
I started learning more and I launched my first digital product after about 6 or 7 months. It was an eBook for $10. It got picked up by an international sponsor. I ended up making $7,000 in the first three months on this little book, and for inspirational purposes, this book was about poop. It was a book about crappy RV stories. When you live in a box on wheels, crap is bound to hit the fan. That's an inspirational note. Whatever your ideas for a membership or any product, it's way better than mine and mine works, so yours is going to, too. I realized, “People bought from my email list. Let me keep emailing them.” I kept emailing and putting off or putting out offers. After a couple of years, I launched my first course and I had 141 people on the email list click, “Yes, I'm interested.” It's one of those emails, “Click here. If you're interested in X.”
I had 141 people click. It took me about 100 days to launch the course and on the last day of cart open, the cart close day, I had 141 people purchase. It worked well for me. I started telling my friends, “Krissy, I had 141 sales.” It turns out, that was a 100% conversion rate and everyone basically had to pick up their jaw off the floor. “How did you do that?” Fast forward, I decided to sell that blog. I knew I didn't want to talk about RV-ing forever. I went all-in on email marketing because I got so tired of all my friends spending months creating a course and making no sales when I was like, “I'm sure I know exactly how to do this.” Now I teach people a three-step framework to get people from that brand new follower into a customer.
I have a few people on. I'm not an RV person. We would probably rent one to do a long trip. My husband would much rather be in an RV than a tent but I have a few people on Instagram that I follow that are RV people, and they live in their RV full-time. I know there's a community for it. That’s cool that you’re like, “I'm going to take what I have right now. This is what I teach and preach. Take what's relevant right now in your life, something that you enjoy doing, and create a business out of it.” Most importantly, you weren't scared to evolve and say, “I'm not interested in that anymore. I'm going to pivot. I have a podcast coming out. I have notes. It's okay to pivot and you should, too.” That's the title. You have the courage to be like, “I'm going to let go of that thing to explore this new thing.” Kudos to you. That’s super exciting.
Thank you. Folks at home, write this down, “Always be firm on your vision of where what you want in life and what you want out of your business but it's so important to be flexible on the details.” I always tell people, “I'm on a five-year plan to be a millionaire.” “How are you going to do it?” “I have no idea.” When I realized it wasn't going to be with the RV-ing, I was like, “I'm going to sell that and I'm going to go all-in on what clearly is something I'm good at and I love to talk about.”
That's definitely something we have in common and why we are vibing so well. I have this vision but I have no idea what those steps are going to be to get there but I have to put one foot forward and I'll figure it out. If I hit a roadblock, I'll figure out how to get around it or jump over it, or whatever. You had 100% conversion. That's bonkers statistics.
Every time I say it, I get nervous because people aren't going to believe it but it's true. I’ve got the screenshots. It's on my homepage. You can check it out. I have the receipts, folks.
A disclaimer, “This is not typical.”
It’s not typical but it is possible if you put in the effort and the strategy, which I know we're going to get to.
I'm huge on creating an email list. People that have been reading for a while know my story. For people that are new, I created a Facebook event. I held it in a Facebook group. It grew to 40,000 plus people in a matter of a few weeks and I didn't collect a single email. There were no intentions to leverage that as a business. I was trying to create something that didn't exist to serve my community. It was an act of service but then when I had the idea of GROworkspace, my other business, I have this community of people, but how do I connect with them? Do I just post in the group? No. You need an email list. I was like, “Shoot. I missed the memo on that one.”
Customer research makes it much easier to understand what your people need.
I have to go backward and figure out a white-pager, a freebie, or whatever to collect these emails. I was able to grab about 8,000 emails pretty quickly from that group, which funneled people in. I understand the power of collaboration to build an email list and how an email list can lead to people purchasing things. It’s the same thing. When this brand launched for coaching, I was like, “I need an email list and I have to grow that list.” I was hosting a virtual summit to grow my list but I will be totally honest and transparent that because of life situations, I didn't leverage my email list after I built it up with thousands of people. Now I'm at the point where I'm like, “How do I reconnect with my people?” I'm like, “Crickets.” Also, if you're someone who has not done much with your email list, and you want to get back into it, keep reading this episode. Let's dive in. How often should we be emailing our list?
That's a great segue. If you’re like Krissy, “I built my list.” Even if you only have ten people or you have 10,000 and you haven't emailed in a while, this is what I don't want you to do. I don't want you to finish up this show, click over to ConvertKit or whatever you use, and start an email that says, “It's been a while. Sorry.” No. Don't do that. Don't apologize. First of all, they probably didn't notice because they have lives. Especially with COVID, how much more time do we spend on the internet? How many more email lists did we sign up for while bingeing Pinterest?
If they are going to open up this new email, you don't want the first thing to remind them about you is an apology or you didn't do something you said you were going to do. That's not cool. Say, “Krissy here,” and segue into a regular newsletter, “I just got off a podcast interview with Liz.” It's not a big deal. As far as how many times a month you should send emails, it depends. Honestly, I used to tell people once a week, “Once a week. You've got to stay top of mind.” I mentioned my framework. It's called the Email Staircase. First, you've got a follower, a friend and you have a customer. In order to be a friend, you've got to stay top of mind.
If Krissy and I meet at a conference, we follow each other on Instagram and I never follow up with her and I try to get her to do something for me six months later, she's like, “You're somebody I met, six months ago.” If I'm sending her fun memes, reels, and TikToks and we've developed a friendship, when I need her help, “I know you know so and so.” That relationship is more likely to happen just like in the inbox. They're more likely to buy if you've built that rapport and you've stayed top of mind.
Linking in with the fact that 2020 was crazy and everyone spent so much time on the internet. At the time of this episode in the summer of 2021, we're still in this recovery mode. Also, we as a society have become more savvy. Not only are we overloaded with everything on the internet, but we're also more savvy, so when we get emails, it's like, “I'll get to that later.” “I know she's going to tell me a story.” We always hear that email advice to tell stories in your newsletters. I'll talk about that more, but I don't recommend it all the time.
You have this combination. Unless you're someone like me, I'm a business-to-business. I work with online business folks and we are used to that once-a-week thing. That is the norm. Go ahead. Write your newsletter once a week. You’ve got to stay top of mind. It is a saturated area. That's okay. Let's say you have an Etsy shop, you're a coach that’s getting started or you work with a lot of business to consumers. For me, with my RV blog, it was people in their 60s who didn't want to pay for electricity. They're not like you and me. I want you to take everything that I say and put on your critical thinking cap and what it makes sense for your people.
If you're working with busy moms that aren't as internet savvy, they don't know you're supposed to send a newsletter every week, especially in the summer when we're all busy. We're doing this right now and my daughter's upstairs. I'm holding on half a lung hoping she doesn't come down. If those are your people, maybe spread it out, especially in the summer and you be upfront. It’s like, “I know I normally send a newsletter once a week. I'm going to go down to bi-monthly because I know you have summer plans and so do I. Let's love on each other and not send so many emails.”
If you're an Etsy shop, it doesn't make sense to send a newsletter once a week. You can't buy earrings every week but it does make sense to stay top of mind and turn into a friend by maybe sending a monthly newsletter. That's like, “Here are some of my favorite things that I'm creating. Here are some of my best sellers.” Also, give a little personal touch like, “I went to Michaels and I was looking at new stuff.” I'm not a jewelry maker. I'm assuming that's where you buy stuff. I'm sure there are nicer places. It’s like, “I found new hooks. My daughter got into jewelry making, too. Here's a picture.” It’s something that gives a little quick personal touch.
You're not telling a story but you are in those few sentences and getting into the content. Talking about your new coaching package, your new jewelry, your new blog post, or whatever. I want you to think about who your ideal person is critically. What are they doing when they open up that Gmail app, Outlook, or go to their Apple Mail? What are they doing? In general, at least once a month. If they are used to the once-a-week thing, then that is totally fine. I send a newsletter every Tuesday around 1:00 PM. I'm not saying, don't do that. I want you to think critically about it.
I like that because there's never one right answer. Your business and people are different. With everything, take in these thoughts and recommendations but then apply them to what you're specifically doing. That's great advice. I would agree and I would err on the side of email more than less because your less was probably way too less like once a quarter.
Don't let it lapse that long. You want people to remember who you are. Part of becoming a friend is staying top of mind but it's also sharing in a relatable belay and being consistent. I'm bleeding even into the next question, but staying consistent is going to help you build that friendship. You've got to share in a relatable way, stay top of mind, and that's going to help you build that friendship, so they don't forget about you whether you do it once a month or once a week.
I sign up for a lot of free things to get on people's email lists, see what they're doing, see what's going on, and the people that I know, and remember, are the ones that show up every week. Am I opening their emails? No, not necessarily, but I'm not unsubscribing because when I need them, they're going to be there. Because it's weekly and I'm seeing their name, I'm remembering who they are as opposed to there are definitely days where I open up my email inbox and I'm like, “Who is this person? How did they get my email address? Is this because I don't recognize it?” The reality is, I probably did sign up for something of theirs, but then it was so long until they emailed again. I didn't know them that well so since I didn't see their name again, for forever I totally forgot who they were. We don't want you to be that person.
That's such a good point. In your welcome sequence, when you're welcoming people into your universe and they sign up for your freebie, I always recommend sending an email that gives out expectations. One of those expectations should be telling them how often you're going to email them and that's going to help you get your butt in the chair and write once a week if you tell them you're going to write once a week. In mine, you sign up for my newsletter and the third email you're going to get it's going to say, “I'm going to send you a newsletter every Tuesday afternoon.” That way, when Tuesday afternoon comes along, Liz Wilcox pops up, “She said that.” It becomes part of their email routine. Like Krissy said, even if they can't open it right then in there, “I know. Liz is sending me an email tip. It's Tuesday. I can get to that later. Holy crap. I've been waiting for this all week. I can't wait to hear what she says.” That’s important.
What is the most effective way to write a captivating newsletter that will help you connect with your audience and maybe even increase engagement?
I've already talked about the email staircase, follower, friend and customer. First, you've got a follower. Somebody sees you on Instagram, you get them on your list and you turn them into a friend. I like to follow what I call the twenty-minute newsletter outline routine or whatever you want to call it. If you are spending more than twenty minutes on your newsletter, you are doing it wrong. “Did that sound harsh? That came out harsh. I love you. It's okay to do it wrong. I'm here now.”
With the twenty-minute newsletter, I mentioned already about a lot of email and digital marketers will tell you to tell stories and that's true. We started the podcast with my story. People connect through stories. That is true. I'm not denying that but just like you don't have time to write a story every single week or twice a month, it takes a lot of time. Chances are, you're probably not a professional storyteller like a lot of copywriters like me are.
Always be yourself, and the more likely you’ll attract the right customers for you.
I want you to stop trying to write a story and I want you to basically give a personal update. I hinted at this already. A personal update is 2 to 3 sentences about whatever the heck you've done in the last week, two weeks, or whatever since you last sent your email. I sent out my newsletter. The personal update was, “The weather's awesome here. We went to the pool last night. I've got a podcast interview coming up in a couple of hours. I want to make sure I get the set out before.” I segued into my new services page and that was it.
Think about what you did. You send it out every Tuesday as well. What did you do in the last seven days that you can talk about in 2 to 3 sentences and you can segue into the main content? By segue, I mean it can be as simple as this, “ANYWAY… what I wanted to talk to you about is my new services page, my new podcast, my new jewelry line,” or whatever the heck you want to segue into. Somebody else's content, it doesn't even have to be yours. It's summertime, let's use whatever is already out there on the internet. Love yourself. Use someone else's content. It's a good thing. The call to action, “Click here for that blog post. Click here for whatever. Hit reply and let me know what your summer plans are,” whatever it is.
That should take you twenty minutes or less. The personal update is where it gets so simple. I don't want you to write anything more than 2 to 3 sentences unless something awesome happens and you have a story to tell like, “I went on vacation for the first time in six years. Here are all my pictures.” “My husband fell into the pool and it was hilarious.” Unless you have something like that, don't stress. You don't need it but here's your permission slip. Get rid of the stories. If you don't have time to write them, your people don't have time to read them. When Krissy was talking about, “I see Liz's email in my inbox. I might not have time to open it but I'm seeing her name.” She's got a great point but it also made my eye twitch, “Open it.”
Part of the reason why Krissy probably doesn't open half of those emails is because she knows somebody spent three hours writing a story that segues into their $2,000 program, book a call, or whatever and she doesn't have time for that right now. I love Liz. I love her emails. I'm not going to unsubscribe as she said. It’s the perfect case study right here, “I'm not going to unsubscribe because I know, Liz, I like her. I know that she's got valuable stuff and maybe one day, I'll have time for it.” When you transition from that storytelling format into, “I got off a call with Liz. We got a new podcast coming out. ANYWAY… I posted a funny Instagram reel. Check it out here or I wanted to know what your summer plans are. Hit reply and let me know.”
I wrote her newsletter and that took five seconds or maybe seven. It did not take long. On the reverse side of that, flip it, that doesn't take long to read. If you follow that format, week after week, month after month, however long you're emailing your folks, they are trained to know, “That's a quick read. I'm going to open it.” Instead of what Krissy said, “I don't have time to read that right now. I'm not going to open it.” We want people to open our emails.
There are definitely people on my list that write long emails. I’m like, “It's too long for me,” but then there's someone that I follow and it's their podcast every week, which that's typically what I end up emailing out when I have a podcast episode. If I don't have time to watch that episode, I'm like, “I'll get to that when I have time to do it.” I loved that example of that super short and sweet email. If you're doing weekly newsletters or emails, they don't have to be some miraculous thing or a super plan and whatever. I love that quick little update. Here's that little new thing. You directed them to Instagram and maybe to increase engagement over there. I wrote down a little note, so I didn't forget to ask you. Call to action every single email. Are you a stickler on that?
Every email has three jobs. The first job is to get it seen. Make sure somebody sees it. The second get it opened. The third is to get someone to take action on it. That action could be to get to the bottom where I sign off, where I say, “I hope you have a great week.” When I say call to action, it can be all sorts of different things. It doesn't have to be an outbound link. It could be a hit reply and tell me. It could be, “Know that I'm thinking about you.”
That's not everyone's personality but if you're one of those people that wants to encourage your folks, do that. I'm thinking if you're a crochet blogger or something, “I hope you get out your knitting or your crochet needles this week. Send me a picture, if you do.” That could be the call to action. It doesn't have to be that typical, “I'm sending an outbound link because I was told that every email has to have value.” Value to me means teaching. Value does not mean educating. It doesn’t mean that you have to be this grand maestro. It means that the value could be like, “She encouraged me to journal this week. She encouraged me to crochet. She encouraged me to couch surf or channel surf if that's what I want to do.” That's what I mean by a call to action.
You mentioned one of the goals is getting them to open it. What is your advice on subject lines?
I love subject lines. My favorite part of the week is coming up with a subject line for my email.
That's my worst. That’s my least favorite thing. I’ll write the email and I’m like, “What am I going to say to make them want to open this without being clickbaity but getting them to want to finish the thought and learn more?” I want to hear your tips and I'm going to be taking notes over here.
First of all, if we write a blog post, we are writing it for Google. If we're scrolling on Facebook and we see articles and we see the headlines like Krissy mentioned clickbaity. That's written for Google like, “Ten Ways to Get People to Open Your Emails, Five Ways to Get More Listeners to Your Podcast.” That's SEO-driven. We're not going to write like that in the inbox for emails. Think about when you go to your actual mailbox. We’re looking for something from someone we are expecting. It’s usually junk. If you’re reading, you can’t see me but I’m pretending to rummage through the mail for anything of actual freaking substance.
Another credit card invitation.
I was like, “It’s the IRS. I better open that one.” If you ever got something from Krissy, it would be like, “I'm so excited.” When you sit down to write your subject line and whenever you sit down to write and think about email, how can you be that person who’s like, “Krissy emailed me. I’ve got to open this. I've got to hear what she's up to this week.” We want to write that subject line for a friend. We're doing followers, friends, and customers. Let's write to a friend. If I was writing to Krissy after this, my subject line would be, “Thanks for having me on,” or something like that.
Instead of writing, “Three Ways to Get More Podcast Listeners,” if Krissy was writing to me, personally, I had asked her that question, and she was like, “I'm going to give you the answers now.” That could be the subject line, “I'm Going to Give You the Answers to this Podcast Question.” Some people might think, “That's clickbaity.” If you give them the answers to the podcast question, it's not clickbait. You are delivering what you said you were going to deliver. Think about it. If you're on a three-story beach house. Your friend is on the first floor. She's doing her thing. She's watching TV and you're upstairs lying in bed, looking at Facebook or whatever.
You want to show her something but you don't want to go all the way down to the first floor so you’re like, “I'm going to shoot her an email.” What's the subject line? Is it, “I saw this on Facebook and thought of you,” or something like that? Instead of, “Article about XYZ.” That's boring. Think about when you're writing to your people, write to a friend. That's pretty common advice but write the subject line to a friend, too. Write the newsletter first. Get it out there, get that personal update, transition into whatever the heck you want to talk about that week, and read it out loud.
I recommend that because it helps you with your voice, but it's going to help you pick out what you're talking about, so you can go back up to the top and put in that subject line. Don't be afraid to experiment. The more you do it, it's going to feel rusty and, “I don't know what Liz is talking about. This will work.” You hit the button, you're shaking like a leaf on a tree going, “I hope somebody opens it today.” The more you do it, the more refined and the more you'll understand what I'm talking about.
Any other time-saving tips you want to share? We got into time-saving a little bit. Was there anything else you wanted to share about that?
Sure. Once you start writing to your list, after a year, I'm looking around like this is a big secret, you can repurpose your newsletters. You can send the same newsletter you sent last summer. You can totally do it. Do it. Try it. It will save you so much time. I do it all the time. I've had this newsletter and whenever I feel blank, even following the twenty-minute newsletter, sometimes you're like, “I don't know what content to put out or what to ask but I know I want to connect this week.” I click that all the way back to the first newsletter.
If I don't use the exact same newsletter, it at least gives me a framework of, “I haven't talked about this. I haven't talked about open rates in a while. Let me send out that video I made 1.5 years ago.” Hopefully, this is an incentive to get going if you haven't yet. The more you do it in a year's time, you're going to be able to use all that content. It's all archived. It's beautiful. It's got the metrics right there, “This one got a lot of clicks. Let me see if I can use that same content for this newsletter.” That's a big, big one that I see and I don't see a lot of people doing it.
Have the courage to pivot and let go of that thing that doesn’t work anymore to explore new things.
Before we get into talking about monetizing our newsletter, for the person out there that starts emailing more and starts seeing more people unsubscribe, what do you want to say to that person?
Have your pity party and realize that you don't need them. They are not for you. The more you email, yes, the more unsubscribers you're going to get. That is something you're going to have to swallow. You're probably going to gag on it a few times before you get a big gulp and you're fine with it but here's the thing and here's what I want you to do. When you're online, I want you to be yourself. I am myself. The more that I email people and the more I become myself, the more I attract the right folks and the more I repel a lot more folks. A lot more people don't like me than do like me. If you're a Backstreet Boys fan right now, I'm sorry. I love NSYNC. It's the way it is.
The more unsubscribes you get, I hope that it becomes this thing of, “They were never going to buy from me.” I know Krissy wants this, I want this and you want this. You want to make money from your email list. That's the purpose of it. If they unsubscribe, that is them telling you, “I'm not going to buy from you. You are not right. You are not the right offer for me.” That's okay. It's not personal when you walk into Macy's and you walk out with nothing. It wasn't right for you at that time. They might come back to your list, they might not. For me, every time someone unsubscribes, I'm like, “They must like the Backstreet Boys.” Maybe come up with something like, “They must like X instead of me.” Make light of it and the more unsubscribes you get, the stronger your email list becomes because it becomes people who like you and who will buy from you.
That was perfect what you said because it's true. When I see I'm like, “Some people unsubscribed from a list.” I'm like, “Great. Thank you. You removed yourself from a space that you don't need to be in because if you're not going to take action, if you're not going to purchase, then we don't need you taking up space here on this email list and pay for it.” If people aren't opening it, it will affect how your email gets delivered. Think of them as doing you a service by removing themselves. They weren't for you.
If you're not repelling people, then you're not having a clear enough message. You're cleaning up your list. If they’ve ever thought they wanted to get your information, but then they're like, “Krissy’s talking about creating courses and membership sites. That's not my thing, so I'm going to route myself.” That’s great because when I come out with the course to help you create a course or my membership to support you in scaling your course or membership, you're not going to purchase, so it's okay. That advice is good. Let's talk a little bit. We are getting close on time and we need to do this thing at the end. Monetizing our newsletter. How do we monetize on a regular newsletter?
In the beginning, I mentioned my story about, “Are you interested in this course? Click here,” and 141 people clicked. You've got to take that friend to a customer. When you're dealing with your friends and emailing regularly, whatever that looks for you, you're sending out those personal updates. Krissy mentioned, “I know they're getting a podcast, but I don't have time to listen, so I'm not going to open that email.” If you do the personal updates, chances are they're going to open it even if they know they're not going to do the podcast because they're like, “I want to hear what Krissy is up to this week.”
If you're doing that on a regular basis, you can start to ask people about themselves, “Hit reply and let me know.” Those things start working. People will hit reply and let you know. You can do a lot of customer research. I keep mentioning this, “What are your summer plans?” That's customer research. If everybody is going on vacation, don't launch something. If everyone replies saying, “Yes, I've got summer plans.” If everyone says they're staying at home and they're bored, maybe you do live training. That's research. It makes it much easier to understand what your people need.
Because they're your friends, they trust you and they want to help you. Also, the more transparent you can be about your business, for example, I sent an email and said, “I'm thinking about creating this Products page. I have no idea what to put on it, though. If you could hire me for something for less than $400, what would it be?” I got emails back, “Homepage, landing page, or whatever.” A week after, I was like, “Here's the button.” It was easy for me. I didn't have to guess or play mind games saying, “This is a gap in the market.” I know because I'm constantly talking to my people. Keep up that consistency. Make sure you're doing the subject line and writing emails for a friend. You're giving those personal updates.
When you have an offer, putting it out there and saying, “Are you interested,” is an easy way in your newsletter without having to do a big launch to say, “I created this quick thing. Do you want it?” Also, pricing it appropriately. Get to know your people. Are they busy moms who are on a budget? Maybe don't go with a $500 price point. Are they new business owners or are they seasoned business owners? That's going to affect the price as well. In general, making money with your newsletter, I find that I can put out lots of different offers all the time. What you're going to do first of all, in your welcome sequence, that newsletter expectation I talked about, you're going to tell people, “In this newsletter, if you learn nothing else from Liz Wilcox, this is what I want you to know.”
In that newsletter expectations are put, “I am going to offer you free and paid resources, services, and products,” or whatever word you want to use. That way, it flips the switch in the back of their head like, “Krissy is a business. Christina is a business. Justin is a business.” If they don't like it, they'll unsubscribe. “You're paying for your lists. Get out of here.” That way, when you start putting offers out in front of them, it's not a surprise. You told them that this is what I'm going to do with this newsletter. If you're into affiliate marketing, you can put something out once a month or once a newsletter going, “This is my affiliate product of the month.” “This is my friend Melody. This is her thing this week.”
You can get on a summit for visibility and pitch the all-access pass instead of trying to get them to sign up for free because they know you're a business. You told them that first welcome sequence, whether it's in the 1st email, the 3rd, or whatever, you told them. “I'm a business. I'm going to offer you paid stuff.” You can be freer like, “I'm going to try out a paid live training. I'm going to ask my audience.” You can ask them, “I'm going to create a course. Click here if you're interested,” and then as I did, you spend the next 90 days telling them every aspect of this course. “I just bought the camera. I outlined the course. I filmed the first module. It's for sale, buy it,” because you told them upfront. That makes it so much easier to sell in your newsletter.
I've been doing some of these little things. I keep talking about the course I'm creating. I keep talking about the membership that I'll be launching and I've certainly dropped things. People know that it's coming. I keep asking questions, “What do you need help with?” I include it in that thing so that I'm giving the people what they want so that when it comes out, they're like, “This is what I've been looking for?” Yes, because I've been asking and I've been listening. It’s super solid advice. Do you have a freebie for us?
Yeah, I've been talking about having a proper welcome sequence, subject lines, and newsletter and my freebie will give you all of that. I know I throw a lot out at you. I talk fast. I'm a woman on a freaking mission to make sure you use email marketing. For the freebie, if you go to LizWilcox.com, there's a hot pink button in the top right corner, it says, “Free Email Swipes.” Swipes are things that I've already written that you can take and make your own, like an ad-lib situation. I give you an entire welcome sequence.
If you don't have one or if you're reading this, and now you think, “Maybe I'm missing some elements,” like that free and paid resources, that newsletter expectations, I've got it already written for you. You can take it, make it your own. Also, I give three newsletter examples where you see that personal update, you see that outline I gave you right there in action, and then I give you 52 subject lines that have given me a 40% open rate or higher. That way, if you're like, “Liz, I don't have a year's worth of content where I can go back,” just go to those and use them as prompts so that you can, “I'm going to give a personal update about this. I'm going to link to some content having to do with that.” That's all for free.
I love swipe files, which by the way, I learned why it's called a swipe file. I've said swipe files because that's the industry lingo. They give you what you need and you finesse it a little bit. They call it a swipe file because you're swiping someone else's stuff.
“Swiper, no swiping.”
I'm reading a book called Steal Like an Artist. I was like, “That's why it's called a swipe file,” either that was obvious or I was today years old when I learned what a swipe file was. We don't need to know all the things. I know what a swipe file is, I didn't know why it was called a swipe file.
Now, everyone knows the how and the why, and I'm going to give it to you.
Get on Liz's email. I imagine that they'll be joining your newsletter when they get the swipe file?
Yeah. Everything that I send, I want you to use as a swipe. Set up a separate folder in your inbox or get a Gmail folder. I want you to swipe every single email. Nothing brings me more joy than to sign up for a newsletter and to see something that I wrote with the adjectives taken out and the nouns taken out and somebody else put their stuff in there. That brings me so much freaking joy. Get on my newsletter, steal shamelessly everything that I write. That's what I was put in the world for.
I was listening to Steal Like An Artist and you gave everyone permission to steal like an artist. Take the best pieces and use them. We have time for a little game.
Let's do it.
Let's tell everyone how to find you, where the party's at, Instagram or Facebook. We don't want anyone to leave like, “I don't want to be a part of this party game thing.” How can they find you? Where can we hang out with you aside from the email inbox?
Go to LizWilcox.com. I share a lot more about that email staircase framework. It's right there on the homepage. If you love the ‘90s as much as me and you need more email tips, follow me on Instagram, @TheLizWilcox. I share a ton of email tips, business strategies, and only the best late ‘90s and early 2000s memes.
If you're on YouTube and you're struggling with your email, put something in the comments. Let us know what you're struggling with or maybe like that one thing that Liz said that you were mind blown lightbulb moment. I would love to know in the comments over on YouTube. Let's dive into this quick little game. I'm going to ask you questions about the ‘90s and we're going to see if you know the answer because you said you're an encyclopedia. I hope I picked good questions. I knew most of these and I'm not a ‘90s encyclopedia. Who is the lead vocalist of the American band No Doubt?
What are the first names of the Spice Girls?
Geri, Emma, Mel B, Mel C, and Victoria.
Which American girl group released the hit song in 1999 called No Scrubs?
What does AOL stand for?
Take something you enjoy doing and relevant in your life now, and then create a business out of it.
What was the most popular cell phone on the market in 1999? I didn't know this one. I had to guess.
In 1999, a Nokia.
Yes. You're so good. What country was Power Rangers band?
New Zealand, for violence. Who came up with the name NSYNC?
Justin Timberlake’s Mom.
Yes. What was the most-watched television episode of the decade, the ‘90s?
I'm going to guess Seinfeld.
It’s the Cheers’ finale. It has 84.4 million viewers. Which TV character was so popular in the ‘90s he got his serial?
It was Urkel. What ‘90s teen movie was retitled after a Britney Spears song?
Drive Me Crazy. The last one, how old was Mandy Moore when she released her first single Candy?
I was singing that at the top of my lungs. I'm going to guess she was 15.
Yes. You are so good.
I got two wrong but now I know. I have more in my arsenal. Thank you, Krissy. This was a blast.
Thank you for sharing your wisdom and nuggets. I'm excited to dive back into my email. You guys are going to be excited to open my emails now that I'm taking Liz's nuggets and applying them. By the time you read, you're going to be like, “I've been seeing Krissy do some of these things.” Thank you, Liz, for being here. You guys, hop over to Liz's website. You can use the links in the show notes and connect with her more. She's awesome.
- Liz Wilcox
- Liz's Email Marketing Membership $9mo
- 20 Minute Newsletter
- Facebook - The Liz Wilcox
- Steal Like an Artist
- @TheLizWilcox - Instagram
- YouTube - The Krissy Chin
- Liz Swipe Files
About Liz Wilcox
Aside from late 90s pop culture trivia, I know a lot about two things:
1) how to write a newsletter real quick.
2) how to get people on your list to buy your stuff.
In 2010, I got fired from my fried chicken job. After hours of blasting Cry Me A River in my VW Jetta, I hardened up and realized I never wanted to put my fate in someone else’s hands again.
I started freelancing on Craigslist. On Craigslist, I did it all.
- Event help
- Wine sales
And I followed that pattern into blogging in 2016.
- Virtual summits
You name a type of digital product, I’ve created and sold it.
But after three years of blogging, I realized something. Just like *NSYNC is the only boy band for me, email marketing makes my heart go pitter-patter.
So I sold my blog to teach other online entrepreneurs just how fun (and profitable) emailing can be.
Because here’s the thing:
The first product I ever sold was a book about poop.
And now? I sell access to Google Docs.
So whatever you’re struggling with to sell to your list…I promise it’s more helpful than my first product and 100% better put together than my Docs. And I know you can see success.
You just need some emails with a proven methodology behind them. That’s what I want to give you.