04: Evolved Email Marketing

Email marketing, like all digital marketing, has evolved in the past decade. Gone are the days where you could just send out a weekly newsletter and call your email marketing program a winner. Today, you need to target your emails to meet consumers and customers right where they are on their customer journey — and move with them as they step forward from potential lead to sale and follow through so they become loyal customers.>

Our Big 3 Takeaways

Email marketing is About Customer Experience

If you’re using email marketing for sales pitches only, you’re missing the mark! It’s time to choose quality of quantity and highly consider the value you bring to your customers at every step of their journey.

Engagement Matters in Email Marketing

Email service providers are now using algorithms similar to social media to determine which emails get delivered to the mailbox and which “inbox” they go to when they arrive based on how that particular recipient has engaged with your emails in the past.

List Maintenance is Important

Because engagement is now key in email marketing, list maintenance has moved up on your to-do list. Removing recipients with email that bounce and subscribers who no longer open your emails is necessary to maintain your reputation as a valued sender.

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Show Notes

On this episode, Kim and Cara take a deep dive into the world of Evolved Email Marketing, giving you tips and techniques that will raise your email marketing IQ and how-to. You will learn:

How to use the stages of consumer awareness and the steps of the customer journey to elevate your email marketing response;
Why you should be focusing your email campaigns on engagement versus sales;
The first steps you should take to evolve your email marketing program;
Considerations for good list hygiene practices.

During the episode, Kim talks about The Five Stages of Consumer Awareness by Eugene Schwartz (Breakthrough Advertising, 1966)

The Five Stages of Awareness are:

Unaware (you can’t reach them bc they don’t even know they need you)
Problem Aware (knows there is something want but not quite clear about it yet)
Solution Aware (has figured out that there is a solution to what they want)
Your Solution Aware (knows your business exists and has started to consider you)
Most Aware (moving into the customer journey with your business.)

The Four Steps of the Customer Journey:

Connection (Has made a connection with your brand (Most Aware above)
Consideration (Actively thinking of purchasing, research competition, etc.)
Conversion (In the purchasing process)
Loyalty (Review, return, referral)

In Evolved Email Marketing, you should write nurture sequences to the last two stages of awareness and all four stages of the customer journey. These should be deployed when the customer moves from one phase to the next.

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Transcripts are autogenerated and may contain typographical and grammar errors. This transcript is copyright©2021 Kimberly Beer and Cara Taylor Swift. DO NOT COPY in whole or part without written permission.

Open the Transcript
Jaz 0:01
Welcome to The Business Animal podcast. saddle up for a gallop to the top of the animal industry, where you’ll learn how to tame your wild business beast with tips, techniques, and tools that will take overwhelm to obedience school, and have you wagging your tail with joy. And now your hosts, Kim Beer and Cara Taylor Swift

Kimberly Beer 0:23
Hi there business animals. It’s Kim with Be More Business

Cara Taylor Swift 0:27
and this is Cara with Fast Horse Photography.

Kimberly Beer 0:29
And welcome to The Business Animal. Today we want to talk to you about Evolved Email Marketing. So this is a this is a term I came up with when we were working on this episode and I got so excited about it that I reserved a domain so I now own evolvedemailmarketing.com that’s how much I love it. Yeah,

Cara Taylor Swift 0:49
But you’re a domainaholic.

Kimberly Beer 0:50
I am, I am addicted. I have a bad addiction. It’s an expensive addiction to I have to buy all these domains.

Cara Taylor Swift 0:58
There’s people out there right now going: “That’s why I couldn’t get the domain name that I wanted. Kim has them all.”

Kimberly Beer 1:03
That’s exactly right. Kim has it already. Anyway, I love this concept about Evolved Email Marketing, because I am such a geek. I love email marketing, I absolutely love talking about it. I love doing it. I love helping my customers set it up. And when I propose to this topic, Cara was like,

Cara Taylor Swift 1:24
are you sure this is what you want to talk about right off the bat. But the truth is for me, and my guess is for a lot of people out there working their animal based, their equine based businesses email Marketing, for me has been something that I’ve struggled with, throughout the entire years that I’ve been working my business, the big thing that I want to do is I want to send the right message to the right people at the right time. But I have this huge fear of sending unwanted emails into people’s inboxes. I mean, does that even make sense?

Kimberly Beer 1:53
It does. It does. That’s because you’ve received unwanted emails.

Cara Taylor Swift 1:57
Yeah, I’ve received a ton of them.

Kimberly Beer 1:59
Yeah, we look at our inbox and go, I don’t want to be that person that I get agitated with and delete.

Cara Taylor Swift 2:05
Yeah, I mean, I’m looking at my phone right now just to see how many unanswered emails I have in between three inboxes. I have over 30,000 emails sitting here that have never been opened. And I guarantee they are emails from companies and they’re unwanted emails. So that’s a fear for me, Kim.

Kimberly Beer 2:20
It is and you beat me I have 23,000 we should have. So if you’re listening to this, and you’re one of those people who has all of these emails, you should let us know how many emails you have unopened in your your email box on your phone. I envy people who don’t even have a number on their email little icon. So but you’re not alone in that you’re also not alone in not understanding how email marketing works. You’re not alone in being afraid of communicating, you are not alone in completely not understanding how to even get started with this whole process, which you’ve expressed to me is something that you struggle with. All of those things are things I talk to customers about every single day, you’re definitely not alone in that. What I would like to do is get you excited about sending emails, when you look at your emails in the morning, get excited about what responses you might have in your inbox that are coming from customers that mean sales. And that’s the bottom line of what email marketing should really do. It should bring you conversions and sales, it shouldn’t be something you fear or avoid, it should be something that you go wow, this is the most valuable thing that I found in marketing my business. And it just is a little bit of one of mindset shift and two understanding how to structure this in a way that it works. Email marketing has evolved, like everything else. And for most of us, when we started email marketing, it started out being a newsletter we send out every week or every month, I even have one client who sends out an email every single day, those days have kind of moved away, there are times that we want to communicate with our entire list and that we want to do something newsletter-like but by and large email marketing has evolved to be a communication system that does exactly what you said, meet your client, right where they are right in their steps on the buyers journey, on their consumer awareness and addresses that in a way that invites them – doesn’t tell them – invites them to work with your company and allows them the opportunity to do that in a very easy way. That’s what email marketing should be about. And no one should be afraid of email marketing. So let me go over our big three takeaways from this episode. Number one, email marketing is about customer experience. And it is about quality over quantity, engagement matters. Email has moved into the realm of social media in that there’s an algorithm that determines what shows up in your inbox and what goes to your spam box. And it’s not always controllable by the person sending the email. So engagement is important. So we have to think carefully about how we write our emails. And then finally listed maintenance, it’s important to maintain your list to build it and then to also cull from that list so that you’re sending to people that have an interest in what you are saying.

Cara Taylor Swift 5:11
I think when I think about the types of email marketing that I’ve done in the past, it always tended to be around things like special deals coming up. I’ve got an announcement to make the holidays are coming up, you know, I have a sale going on. I think that this is really interesting that we’re talking about it in a whole we’re like totally shifting away from that salesy sales pitchy type language. So I see where you’re going with this, I think right here in those big three,

Kimberly Beer 5:38
Yeah, and the shift happens from salesy. You’re not being salesy, you’re building a relationship, and good relationships, speak and listen, both. You have to communicate with your client, and then you are inviting your client to respond to that communication. That is a huge mindset shift, you’re not pushing information out in front of them, what you’re doing is you’re providing a resource, and you’re providing an avenue for further discussion. The other thing that is really shifted with what you just said, is sending out an email to your entire list. Modern email marketing, or Evolved Email Marketing, I got to use my domain name right. evolved email marketing concentrates on where that customer is in the consumer awareness experience, and then where they are in the customer journey. So that first one about this being about customer experience our first of the Big Three, I want to talk really briefly about five stages of awareness, and then four stages of the customer journey, because these are steps that as a business owner, you need to consider what is my best communication avenue for each stage or step of that consumer customer journey? And then where can email marketing fit into that to help facilitate that conversation. So the five stages of awareness were actually developed by a gentleman named Eugene Swartz, and he put this out in a book in 1966, called breakthrough advertising. And I think it’s probably more appropriate now than it was in 1966, because it flows right into what we talk about when we talk about social media and relationship marketing. What he proposed is consumers go through five stages of awareness and around a problem which your business is going to solve. So all of us provide a solution of some sort with our business. And those five stages are unaware — people don’t even know that they have a problem or want to find a solution or want to work with your business. It’s completely outside of their awareness. There are people who are aware they have a problem, but they’re not aware there is a solution, they haven’t started to seek an answer yet. There are people that are solution aware, they’ve figured out that now there’s a solution to whatever it is that they’re seeking, and they’re actively looking for that solution. Then the fourth stage is your solution aware, so they’re aware your business exists, and that you provide that solution and they can look to you as a possible answer. And then finally most aware, which is where they step off into the customer journey, and say, Now I want to make a connection with this business to see if I want to continue down the path of becoming a customer. And that’s where they step into the customer journey, which is starts with connection getting to know you finding out about you and your business, then consideration actively thinking about purchasing, researching the competition, and then conversion, the actual buying process. And finally, loyalty, which is reviews, returns and referrals. So those stages are each stages where we can communicate with our customers. Now in the awareness stages, unaware problem aware people really aren’t on our radar for email marketing, problem aware people start to become people who would Google us or who would Google a problem. So they type in the problem. These are people you reach with your blog, or your podcast, or any other serialized programming, right, then there are solution aware. So they know that there’s something out there’s a solution. And they’re also very good to find on search. Where you start to use email marketing is when people become your solution aware where they know you’re the person who provides that because this is where they’re going to start comparing you to your competition, they’re going to look to see if your brand fits them. They’re basically trying to make an evaluation of who you are in relationship to what they need. And this is the perfect time to use email as a communication tool. So what we want to do here is we want to introduce ourselves, tell people about our resources that we have to offer them, provide them contact information, provide them an easy way to get in touch with us to make an exploratory call or to book an appointment or to go to our website and go shopping. We also want to give them information about our brand and experience where we set ourselves apart from our competition and from other solutions.

Cara Taylor Swift 10:00
So this is like the education stage, basically,

Kimberly Beer 10:03
Yeah, we call it nurture. So in the sales and marketing and automation and email marketing world, we tend to talk about this as nurturing. So in the beginning, if we want to apply an agricultural metaphor, we plant the proverbial seed with them, once they know that, that we could be a solution. And then we water it and fertilize it and provide it with love and sunshine, and encourage it to grow into a bigger customer relationship. So this is where you start interjecting email. And this is why quality is important, because we need to understand which of those customers are coming into our business where they are in this process. And we need to send them emails that are appropriate for where they are in their awareness, or in their customer journey. What are your questions to me, Karen, when we started with this topic was, I don’t even know where to start having these conversations. And one of the best places that you can start is by start having the conversation with Hi, it’s good to meet you. You know, it’s nice to meet you a potential customer here is where you can find me. So those conversations can happen right away in a welcome email, if you have a email marketing software, where you’re collecting emails off your website, or some other place that you’re building your database, that’s your welcome email, this is who I am. And this is where you find me. And this is how you can get in touch with me you’re making it easy for that consumer to get to know you.

Cara Taylor Swift 11:34
It’s reassuring that it can be that simple. I mean, in the beginning, when you just need to get it out there as someone who’s like I said, I don’t want to send an email that somebody doesn’t want to get. It’s just reassuring that it can be that simple that you can just send out an email saying welcome.

Kimberly Beer 11:47
Yes, welcome. And then if they don’t want to receive any more, you don’t want to send emails to people who don’t want them just because you’re going to annoy that person, but that person is not your person, they’re not going to have a good opportunity to become a sale. And as a business owner, you have a limited amount of time and energy. So you want to concentrate on the people that are most likely to become a sale. And so those are people who have opted in or asked to receive emails from you, again, by signing up on your website, or by meeting you at a networking event or dropping their information in a fishbowl in an expo, there’s hundreds of ways that you can meet them, but they’re going to have said I want to hear from you. And when somebody says, Hey, Cara, I want to hear from you. Is it not rude not to respond to them, just to flip that around a little bit?

Cara Taylor Swift 12:34
Well, that’s an easy place to drop the ball right off the bat, you know, when you’re collecting business cards, and you’re shaking hands, and you’re talking to people, and it’s an easy first connection that I think gets forgotten or lost or just never happened sometimes in small businesses.

Kimberly Beer 12:48
Absolutely, how many of us have a pile of business cards sitting on our desk with people that we have met, and that we meant to email or meant to reach out to but didn’t.

Cara Taylor Swift 12:57
Yeah, I’m sitting here raising my hand, I have a couple sitting right here. It’s one of those things where you’re always like, I’ll get to that, I’ll get to that. So having a plan in place is going to be huge.

Kimberly Beer 13:07
So that’s where I am going to provide a free resource to our listeners. And it’ll be on our website, it’s the five emails that you should already have written for your business. So five emails that every business needs. And that introduction email is actually two of the five. One of them is for people you’ve just met. And then the other one that you’re going to pre write is one for those business cards that are on your desk where you need to reconnect. And I have some interesting strategies to help you be able to compose those emails. And that’s another piece of this puzzle. Here’s what I found out about entrepreneurs after years of coaching and consulting with them about doing email marketing, if it’s not already kind of done for them, they will not do it. Even then it’s a struggle, even if the email is pre written and you’re able to click a button and send it some people still have difficulty making that pull. If you have to compose the email completely from scratch, there’s even less of a chance you’re going to get it done pre writing them taking the time sitting down figuring out what you want to say in that introduction, email, gathering all the links that you want to provide to people. If you have that all done in advance, even if it’s on a Word document and you’re cutting and pasting it into your own basic email program and using a spreadsheet to track who you’ve sent it to. That’s a win situation. Let’s not make this so you have to learn a really complicated software system which CRM and email marketing software systems tend to be. I’ve done that for the last decade. I have set those up for entrepreneurs, worked with them, trained them how to use them, and it is a learning curve. I know you and I talked about the program that you use and I made an analogy I think is really appropriate. You have a Ferrari that you use to drive to the end of your very short driveway to pick up your mail. And then you go park it back in the garage again.

Cara Taylor Swift 15:01
it’s 100% true. And I have a couple points there. One of them is that, you know, we’re working our animal based businesses, which means that a lot of times we’re working from the barn, we’re working from the fields, we’re working from the client’s location. And if it’s not automated, if it’s not done for you, it’s going to be very challenging to make it a routine thing that happens. And I have found when I do sit down, and I pre write standard emails that I can then personalize later that the likelihood that I will maintain a system through my CRM has been a lot more successful.

Kimberly Beer 15:30
Actually, yes, and you’re decidedly not alone in that, where you see yourself what you consider failing in your business, oftentimes, that’s an indication that a good system is not in place. And if you really examine it, and place a system in there for you to be able to do it, you stop that failure, you say, you actually complete what you need to complete. The bottom line to this. And probably the most important point to make is, these are sales. This is dollars that you’re leaving on the table. These are people that are decidedly interested in what you have to offer. And when you don’t take the time to communicate back to them, they move on, they hire your competitor. One of the saddest things in my entire business before I got involved with email marketing, and this sort of philosophy was when I would meet somebody in an expo, and I would talk to them about whatever it is that I had to sell at the time and explain it and get them all convinced. And they’d be like, well, I’m just not ready to buy that yet. And then two expos later, they’d walk past the booth, and I’d see them with a competitor’s product. And I’d ask, you know, why did you choose that one? Well, they’re the ones who got back to me. You know, it’s money on the table, when you do the sales work, collect your payment, and this is the way that you’re going to do it. Email is a huge piece of that, and phone calls. And yes, there’s lots of other avenues. But most of us communicate by email these days. And it’s important that you take this piece of it seriously, because it’s money. And I love when I get people set up with an email software system, and they start sending out emails, and then they get a sale. And they’re like, I just sold x, hundreds of dollars worth of stuff off of an email. And I’m like, yeah, that happens all the time. You just have to push send.

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So let’s move on to our second of the Big Three. And that’s the engagement piece of this. The truth is, is that algorithms have started to really overrun all of our lives. And most email service providers, which most of us use one of three or four large email service providers in the US, they’ve really determined that we get too much email and a lot of irrelevant email, because there’s a lot of people that really don’t play by the rules when it comes to spam. So they start looking at how you behave in your email box. Very much like the social media channels, look at what it is that you interact with and feed you more of that. Your email box looks at what you delete, and removes things that are like that out of your awareness. And it doesn’t announce this to you. It doesn’t say hey, Cara, you have deleted Kim’s email for the last 10 emails and now it’s gonna go to spam. It doesn’t do that. It just simply start sending those emails to spam when you don’t open them regularly, or when you constantly delete them immediately when you get them. So algorithms are starting to become present in that.

Cara Taylor Swift 19:04
So like social media, it’s becoming intuitive around your behavior.

Kimberly Beer 19:09
Very much so very much so. From an email marketers perspective, that means that we need to be more cognizant of the emails that we send out and that they get opened. So that old philosophy of sending the email newsletter every week, that kind of has sort of not valuable information to the customer, but sometimes might have valuable information doesn’t work as well anymore, because we really need people to open those emails. That’s why when you match your email marketing, to the customer’s journey and where they are within your business, then you are much more likely to get those emails opened because it’s in that moment that that customer is the most likely to interact with the email. So you get open rates and after the customer opens the emails, then those emails get prioritized and not sent off to spam So it’s important to look at that engagement factor as well. deliverability ins from the email marketing professional email marketing tool provider, like Constant Contact, MailChimp, Keap, 17 Hats, all of those their responsibility ends. When the email is delivered into the inbox, your responsibility as the marketer begins at that point to get your email open, and to make sure it appears in the correct box and that the customer find some type of a reason to engage with it, there are some things that you can do to improve your open rates with email marketing. One has to do with the from line, we open emails based on who they are from, before we read the subject line, we’ll see who sent it. And if we don’t recognize it, we have a tendency to delete them. Or if it’s not something or somebody that we perceive having sent us inane emails, like you were talking about those bothersome ones, those get deleted. So we delete those relatively quickly without opening them. If the from has a name that’s recognizable, and we associate that name with something that holds value to us, then we move on to the subject line. And after that, we open an email, we determine is this an email that I want to open, so when you’re not getting good opens on your emails, and if you’re using an email marketing tool, it’ll tell you how many people have opened that email. If your open numbers are considered low, which just to give you a benchmark, if you’re using something like Constant Contact, Keap, or MailChimp and you look at your analytics, the average company gets between an eight and 20% open rate, which a lot of people think is low,

Cara Taylor Swift 21:41
That does feel low. But it kind of makes sense when I think about all the emails in my inbox right now.

Kimberly Beer 21:47
Because you’re not the only one with 30,000 emails a year unread. So, so anyway, from a consumer’s perspective, you may want to look at that inbox and go from the people you want to keep receiving emails from because this is common, we subscribe to lists, and it’s maybe we don’t want to use that provider right now. But we want to use them in the future. So we want to keep getting that reminder, I work with a lot of people who deal with personal growth. So their personal growth coaches, life coaches, that kind of stuff. And we tend to want to procrastinate, personal growth, right.

Cara Taylor Swift 22:19
So that after this party this next weekend, or I’ll get to that after that I have coming up.

Kimberly Beer 22:26
Yep, yep. And so I’ll sign up for that person’s email list. So it keeps showing up in my inbox. And pretty soon I’ll be ready for personal growth. Well, if that’s the case, from a consumer perspective, you better be opening those emails. Otherwise, they’re going to get shifted to spam. from a marketing perspective, you want to provide value to the customer where they are. So here’s a perfect example, you’ve got to hold with them through the process of them making the decision, so you got to hang with them. I think that I also work with integrative animal practitioners. And I think this is another place where people have a decision process, when they’re moving into what you would consider alternative therapies for their animals. They have to learn about the therapy, they need to know testimonials, they need to get information. And they spend a lot of time in that gathering phase before they make a decision. And in that case, as a marketer, you’ve got to hold in that phase. So you’ve got to provide them information until they’re actually ready to pull the trigger and make a purchase. That’s where those nurture sequences really come in handy.

Cara Taylor Swift 23:26
Or like the example you gave earlier of people at an event and they walked by, and they’ve got your competitor’s product and means that they’ve learned about it, they’ve been learning about it, but you weren’t in front of them when they were ready to make the sale. So it makes sense that are the purchase. So it makes sense that you would want to continue the education process continue to be in front of them so that when that decision is made, they’re not randomly googling for the right person, they already know they’ve already built a relationship in quotation marks with you.

Kimberly Beer 23:52
Exactly. And they know your brand and how you’re going to provide the solution for them. And they’ve recognized that as valuable to them and their choice. And that you know, what’s funny is that those customers end up being your good ones, they come to you pre sold because the email has done the work. Yeah. And so there’s no sales pitch, there’s no nothing they just call you and book their photography appointment or book, their business consultation or book their massage or animal therapy consultation. If there’s not any big decision making process in there, and there’s not a lot of discussion, they’re already a done deal. So engagement is crucial. I also want to give one more example for that. So I had a client years ago, we were doing email marketing and she was getting a product out in the world. That was pretty pricey. People would have to do a lot of thinking before they purchased it. She also traveled with a dog. Now we all know this was an equine based product. So we all know horses and dogs go together like peanut butter and jelly, right. So she would send her emails out from her dog. The dog emails got open because people recognized his name. They remembered him better than they remembered her So they would associate once they got the email open, but who can’t open an email from a dog, you know, so use that stuff to your advantage.

Cara Taylor Swift 25:11
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Kimberly Beer 25:57
Okay, so let’s move on and talk about list maintenance. This is another really important piece of the puzzle. And I think it’s something that most email marketers avoid, because we feel like there’s comfort in numbers, right? The more people that are on our list, the better we’re doing in business, the more people have opted in, the larger that database is, the more likely it is that we are being successful with what we’re doing with email marketing. And the truth is, is that you want to have a really honed well called list. First, you only want people who have given you permission to email them on that list. Second, you want to get rid of all of the people whose emails have bounced off of that list. Third, you want to make sure that people on that list are engaging, because believe it or not, you are being judged by entities that determine the flow of email there, it’s called domain authority, they look at your domain. And if lots of people delete the email from your domain, then your domain gets kind of blacklisted with the email service providers and they’ll automatically move all of the emails that come from that domain off on to spam. You want to be careful with who you’re sending your emails to make sure that those are people that want to receive your emails, and that are going to engage with them. And the way that you do that is you cull out people who routinely do not open or don’t interact with your emails, who have bad email addresses, and they bounce or people who have marked you off of their email list as as somebody they don’t want to talk to. So they’ve opted out. You don’t want to continue to communicate to them. One, it’s against spam regulations. And two, it’s not good for good list hygiene, you just want to keep that list cleaned up.

Cara Taylor Swift 27:46
So what if you’re someone that has like a huge stack of contacts that you’ve been collecting? And you’re maybe you’re ready to start putting together your email list? Can you just take all of those contacts and dump them into your whatever program you choose to send your emails from? And then get going with your email marketing like you started with permission based? So what what does that look like in terms of your big stack of contacts that you want to create your email list with.

Kimberly Beer 28:12
So if there’s somebody who has handed you a card in connection with knowing what it is that you do, and basically given you permission to email them, for one reason or another, it’s okay, if they’ve handed you the card at an expo and said, get in touch with me or I want to know more about what it is that you’re doing. They’ve basically opted in, if they’ve done business with you and willingly provided their email address to you they have opted into your list. What you don’t want to do is go to one of those boards that you see where everybody posts up their business cards and just start ripping random business cards off the board and come back home and add them to your list. That’s a No, no. You don’t want to take a list that an expo gives you that has everyone that attended the Expo. That’s a No, no. You only want the people who stopped by your booth and talk to you. So you have an email signup sheet right there at the Expo expos have learned this, by the way, and a lot of the more modern ones had this little deal where you would scan people’s badges. So you would know because part of what they used to sell you on to bring you to the expo was you get this list of people that came to the Expo. But that’s great, but you can’t use it for anything. So they got this deal where you can scan people’s badges and it tells you who stopped by your booth. So you do want people that have given permission. So the stack of business cards if they are people that have handed you those cards wanting to know more I say email them if they are people that hand that you went out and collected the business cards from somewhere else. No, that’s a no no send them a private email and say, hey, would you like to be on and I hate calling it an email list or an email database, I like to call it my VIP list. If you’d like to be on my VIP list. It sounds better, right? I want to be on email marketing.

Cara Taylor Swift 30:00
I Think so — it sounds more like something I’d want to be a part of. So what about past clients, like maybe you have contact from past clients that have willingly giving you their emails, but you’ve never done anything with it?

Kimberly Beer 30:12
Yeah, they’re legal. Now, I’m going to tell you that the US if you’re listening to this in the United Kingdom, or in Australia, you guys have a whole different set of rules. As a matter of fact, California is also different as well. So if you’re listening in California, there are, and Canada, Canada has a whole nother level of spam protection than most of the US does. So if you’re in one of those countries, like the United Kingdom, and Europe have something called GDPR, which is where you have to provide people the ability to erase all of their information from your records. So not only do you have to take them off your email list, but you have to discard and remove their information from that list and not send it out, they also have to double opt in. So it’s a good practice here in the US to do to like if you have a collection form on your website to have people check a box, now the box can’t be checked, when they fill out the form, they have to actually make an action that says I want to be on your email list. And if they check the box and send their email in to you, then they have opted in, Some email marketing service providers like MailChimp build in something called double opt in so they send an email to you, I’m sure you’ve had this happen to you, you sign up for an email list, it sends you an email and you have to click a link in the email to verify that you want to continue to receive email from that company. All of these things stop you from getting unwanted email. From an email marketers perspective, the person on the other end really wants to get email from you. So that absolves your fear that you had Cara of not wanting to email people that didn’t want to hear from you or becoming overwhelming in somebody’s inbox. And people can send unsubscribe, when you use a professional strength email marketing tool, you’re allowing them to unsubscribe anytime that they want. If you’re not, you need to be really aware of who no longer wants to hear from you. So and people will tell you, they will email you back and say, Do not email me again. Don’t take that personally, by the way, bless and release them. They unsubscribe, they are not your customer, and it is all good. Now you have an open space to meet somebody new. Alright, so shall we repeat our big three? Or do you have any other questions?

Cara Taylor Swift 32:34
I would love just briefly to talk a little bit about the personalization side of it again, in relation to what’s going on in the world. Right now with that pandemic, it seems like I’ve seen in my inbox, a lot of companies making a big attempt to show empathy, to show a way that they’re relating and using that in their marketing. And I think that’s been really interesting. Do you feel like in terms of this Evolved Email marketing that the personalization piece of it in terms of what’s going on in the world around us and businesses trying to be more part of the community, I feel like that’s part of this, in a lot of ways.

Kimberly Beer 33:10
I do, I feel like we’re evolving into micro communities that we feel connected with. And that is part of it. Because we do feel disconnected on a larger level. So we’re connecting on a smaller level with more people that are closer to us and in smaller groups. So I think that is part of it. I also think that the personalization, that means two things in the email marketing world, by the way, one means that you add people’s names to things. So even mass communications go out with a name associated with it. And I always think that is a good practice, right. So when you collect email addresses, collect at least a first name with them so that you can do the merge field kind of thing. If you remember back in the days when we did mail merge and documents that email marketing does that really well. So it adds that level of personalization. But I think the personalization, you’re really getting at is what I was talking about is meeting you at the place that you’re at, and really making an effort to have a good relationship with you at that place. And then moving with you as you move forward through it. And I think that that was already starting to manifest to before COVID. But I think COVID also, yeah, quickly ramped up the timeline on a lot of things because it ceased our ability to keep doing things in an old way. And really said, Okay, you guys have the tools to do this. Now you need to get down on it and actually do it. And so I think that it did spur a lot of email marketers to be more aware of where their customers are in awareness and where they are on their customer journey and communicate with them more effectively at the place that they’re at.

Cara Taylor Swift 34:51
That makes a lot of sense. I have another question for you, too. In terms of mobile. I mean, I know as an animal based business owner, I tend to be out and about all time I spend probably as much time out in the field as I do sitting behind the desk most days, How important would you say the mobile experiences?

Kimberly Beer 35:08
I think for all businesses, it’s extremely critical. Over half of emails now are consumed on a device. I think it’s actually up to 70% was the last statistic I saw was 70% of emails are read on a mobile phone. And if your email is not readable on a mobile phone, it’s going to get dumped in the trash. Luckily, almost all of the email marketing service providers that I know of automatically provide mobile responsive templates and mobile responsive emails, so they’ve already taken care of that for you. But mobile experience is also important in the fact people can’t read as long of an email on a mobile phone comfortably as they can on a desktop, there’s a tendency or has been recently, within the last year or two to send really long emails, I think people tend to ignore the really, really short ones. So there’s kind of a happy medium, and it also depends on your audience. Okay, so people are going to not tolerate as long of an email from an equine photographer as they are from a integrative animal practitioner. So if you’re talking about their dog’s health, they’re going to give you a lot more leeway, and read a lot more than if you’re talking about taking their dogs portrait. I think it depends on what the level of information is not that either is not important. It’s just the one seems like it would be a longer conversation and people will tolerate it better. So you got to look at what you’re doing, what you’re delivering to people, a dog groomer, keep your emails short, a massage therapist, you can probably get away with more.

Cara Taylor Swift 36:45
As someone like you who’s been doing this a long time and you’ve been educating small business owners a long time on this subject and helping them move forward in it. What advice would you give for those folks out there in equine pet animal based businesses that really want to get started can you just say one actionable thing we could do today,

Kimberly Beer 37:04
I actually have two — and I’m going to give you two I know you said one, but I’m going to give you two to one, right? Those introduction, emails, The reconnection and the introduction, that is number one on the list, because those are really important. The second one is right, that review referral thank you email that you need to send out your best source of new businesses, is always the customer, you just had. Sending them an email in a timely manner that says thank you for your business and here’s the link for you to go review. Leave me a review somewhere social proof is huge right now. And I can tell you a lot of animal based small businesses do not have enough social proof out in the world. They’re great businesses.

Cara Taylor Swift 37:45
And that’s a whole nother episode, we’ve got

Kimberly Beer 37:47
Yes another episode we have coming up. But that’s the thing to ask for. Because those are the things that are going to build your business the fastest follow up with people who have already expressed an interest in what you have to offer. And then the people that you’ve already made happy and satisfied, utilizing that success to get your next success. And that templates that I’ve got the little workbook thing I’m going to put into the show notes that has those emails already kind of halfway written for you, you’re gonna have to plug your own information until I can’t do the whole thing. But I can get you at least well enough started. In order to do that. I do have one caveat for those of you who are going to kind of go on and go, I’m going to go write that review email right now only ask for one review link. In other words only provide one place for them to go give you a review. If you go giving them every single outlet that they can leave a review on, they aren’t going to do it because there’s too many choices. People suffer from choice paralysis really, really bad. A statistic that I’ve learned in email marketing is if you have more than one link in your email, you cut yourself down 50% have a chance to get somebody to click on that link by adding another one, pick one and you just got to pick the place that you think is the best. The common ones are Google reviews, LinkedIn recommendations, and Facebook reviews. For most of you, it’s going to be one of those three, if you have somewhere that people can travel to it’s TripAdvisor. And if you serve food somehow, this group it’ll be Yelp. But in general, those are those are the places you’re going to send.

Cara Taylor Swift 39:21
So that’s two things that we can do right now is we can start writing our welcome intro letter and our email and our referral thank you email and that’s a great way for us to get started.

Kimberly Beer 39:30
Yeah, referral, thank you reviews. Excellent. Yeah, get those reviews.

Cara Taylor Swift 39:34
Awesome Kim

Kimberly Beer 39:35
That’s it. Well, let me repeat our big three again from this episode, just so you have that to kind of put in your pocket and take on to the rest of your day. One email is more about customer experience. It is about quality over quantity. Two engagement matters in email marketing, for your deliverability and to get customers obviously and then finally, it’s important to maintain your list and to cull and also make sure that list is permission based and people have actually opted in before you start sending them emails, and more caveats if you’re outside of the US. As always look for us on social media. Don’t forget, I always record and Cara as well. We record three tips to go with each episode. Those are free business tips, they’re usually under five minutes. So it’s a really good use of your time. Check those out on IGTV and YouTube and connect with us. We want to hear from you. I’m even open to listening to your obstacles around email marketing, and hearing how you feel about it. Even if you hate it.

Cara Taylor Swift 40:33
We’ll have some good conversation starters about this over on Instagram and Facebook. Are you like Kim and you’re a guru and you have lots of information to put out into the world? Or are you a little more like me who is got a long ways to grow still and evolve in my email marketing? Thanks, everybody. It’s been great.

Jaz 40:52
Thanks for listening to this episode of The Business Animal. Be sure to subscribe so you never miss an episode. And if you learned something today, leave us a review. To learn more, find us at The Business animal.com we’d love to hear from you. Until next time, keep your business well trained with The Business Animal.

Transcribed by https://otter.ai

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