Skip to main content

Why Email?

Lesson 2 from: Effective E-mail and Newsletter Marketing

Jeff Goins

buy this class


Sale Ends Soon!

starting under


Unlock this classplus 2000+ more >

Lesson Info

2. Why Email?

Lesson Info

Why Email?

So first, I want to talk about why email? Why email? Um, like many of you, I didn't really understand the importance of an email newsletter. I thought it was one more thing that I had to add to that to the pot. And during this year of starting my blawg, I I really wanted to publish a book like that was my ten year goal. Remember about eight months into the process, I'd sort of this email list that was still figuring out what to do with these thousand people and that number kept growing. During that process, a publisher contacted me now, typically with the book publishing process with the traditional publisher, you have to get an agent. That agent then has to connect you with a bunch of publishers. You guys write a proposal, you shop it out for eighteen to twenty four months, usually. And then once you get the contract, takes another eighteen to twenty four months to publish the book that a four year process, it can take less than that, but it meant in many cases, takes longer s so it i...

s a long term process. So eight months into starting, my blawg publisher contacted me, and the first question that they asked me was how big is your email list? They had seen some of the activity that I was doing online they had seen my blawg they had subscribed the millis but they wanted to know how big is this asset that you have if you publish a book with us because this is all that publishers care about is how many people can you reach because it's not our job to market your book it's your job to get people to read your book this is how publishing works nowadays and I understood this, but I didn't really appreciate how important this one marketing metric wass email how they get your email list and I've talked to lots of publishers for those you're considering writing a book I've talked to him about numbers and you know there's no like golden number but everybody agrees that once you get to around a thousand subscribers active engaged readers things get exciting things change on dso whether you're starting a business whether you just want to reach more people, you want to spread the love as somebody said or you want tio you have a message that the world needs to hear and what's exciting about talking all of you guys is you all have something that the world needs, you have a product of a service, you have a message, you have a passion that you want to share and this is why I get excited I don't get excited about metrics and numbers and spreadsheets I'm not good at that stuff I'm a writer I'm teaching my son who's twenty months account and you know, once they get past ten eleven I I what number are we on? I mean, english is weird, right? Like, uh you know, eleven right? Why is it that one team twelve and then it goes to thirteen it's weird like let's be honest anyway, math is not my strong suit. I don't get excited about these things. What I get excited about is stories that need to be heard messages that need to be shared and frankly, products that the world needs that's going to make the world a better place services that are going to improve people's lives. I could excited about that and I get excited about working with people like you guys who have something important you're not just looking to make another book you want to make the world a better place and I get excited about that and I think that the world needs your message it needs your product and if you're not actively trying to reach those people than there are people who are missing out and I get kind of like angry about that, you know good righteous anger I want to help you reach more people and email is the way to do it so here's some quick stats about email I didn't know all of this before started doing some research is really interesting. There are over three point nine billion email accounts in two thousand thirteen that statistic is a year old the study was done last year and they're estimating about four point nine billion this year. So that's a conservative number it's over half of the world's population now I just got back from a trip tow africa it's pretty amazing to think about in all areas of the world, not just the developed world in all areas of the world people are getting online, they're connecting, they're communicating their spreading ideas three point nine billion email accounts the average person receives over eleven thousand six hundred eighty emails pre here that's like thirty over thirty messages a day, forty two percent of all email that people read is considered essential or critical. This kind of surprised me because I think when we think of email we think of a bunch of junk mail but your spam, eh? So what? I want you guys to dio those of you who are you know with us here is if you have like a smartphone or some sort of internet checking device if you can without turning it on kind of if you have email, um pull up your inbox and look at the kind of messages that are coming in are they non essential boring e mails I mean I get I get a lot of newsletters and different things that aren't necessarily urgent but I'm just looking at the past five or ten messages one is for my assistant who had a message that I need to respond to another's from another writer who's a friend who I'm working on a project with another one is a reminder to go by my wife something for valentine's day another one is a reminder from creative lives that this is happening right now which is good to know those are just a few of the messages that I'm getting you know what is what is your inbox say what kind of messages are coming in are they non essential non critical or the important message is what did you guys see anybody have anything that came up yes first thing in the morning a whole bunch of jump comes in so I kill that okay and then everything else throughout the day is yeah yeah it was interesting to me because I think I thought I believe in this stuff you know I believe it in as a communicator like I know that I want to get into people's in boxes but I try to protect my own in bucks there's a little bit of irony there but when I actually went through my email inbox I saw a lot of important messages messages that I wasn't getting anywhere else. These were essential messages so there is, you know, a good amount of junk, but forty two percent of all email is considered essential or critical. Lots of people are saving those e mails. Seventy six percent of people in this study that was done by the harvard business review said that they use email to exchange documents now that's. Interesting with all of the amazing technology, dropbox, all of these different, you know, document sharing devices and tools. Most people are still using email three quarters and that's true, because it's easy and it's easy to drop something into the body of the message and send it to people, and half of the people surveyed use it to archive important messages. They save stuff there. It is like a repository of information. So the guy who conducted the study, berry gill, he says email is not dead, like a lot of people say it is it's, just evolving, it's becoming a searchable archive, a manager's accountability source, a document career. And for all the love social media get email is still a worker's, most effective collaboration tool. It's. Interesting that with all of the amazing technology that we have all of the tools most people are most comfortable with, using one of the oldest communication communication tools that we that the internet has fascinating, and so the question is do you want to be in that mix of information and that repository of information do you want to be is one of those messages that is archived what I send email newsletters to people short little messages of inspiration kind of like the content that I'm sharing with you practical ways that people can help their message spread I often hear people say I printed this out I save this I came I come back to and I read it it's humbling to think that this is something that I wrote like twenty minutes on my couch while my son was you know, watching tv or something and these are messages that your audience will treasure her and cherish and will hold on to so you can make a difference if you end up in that inbox and if you don't you're gonna be for gotten and actually jeff, we have some comments coming online that are actually three teen media says they have a separate email for all of their newsletter so you're not just competing against the inbox you're actually competing against the other messages that are coming out and might might be right beside them. So that's that's something that people are experiencing tio their inbox interesting it's good to know so all of this to say there is competition you know there is I mean we have crowded in boxes I'm not going to say that there isn't junk out there and I'm not going to say that there is lots of important messages that were all receiving and trying to compete with, but I think that the numbers speak for themselves, that email is still a very important, if not the most important way to communicate online. I've seen that with my business, I've seen that with my writing career with just wanting a message to spread, and I've seen that with building a brand. And so one of the things that I learned working for a nonprofit for seven years was we had to compete with a lot of other causes, you know, and in this age, philanthropy and charity work is a big thing, but there's a lot of skepticism to when there is an abundance of causes and opportunities to give and and when you know, your money isn't used in the right way, and those are the kinds of things that get news people are skeptical, and we had to compete with that, and I found that the best way for us to build trust wasn't just by using twitter or facebook or even blog's, which we used, we love that stuff. We love social media, it was by getting into people's in boxes because we found that that's where the greatest connection and relationship and trust was built. And so what I want to share with you is three reasons why I think email is theme most important way to communicate with your audience, to build your business and to get people to trust you. First reason is this email is personal, so I want I want you to think about that inbox that you just looked at, um what who were those messages from one was from somebody that works with me. Another was from a good friend of mine, another one wasn't was wasn't from anybody I knew, but it was about somebody I knew my wife, um, all very personal stuff it's hard to get that with any sort of mass communication tool, and I think people sometimes misunderstanding well, they think it's a one too many kind of tool where I'm standing on a stage and I'm speaking to all these different people email is not like what we're doing right now e mails like I'm having a one on one conversation with you and you and you because it all depends on the receiver, not the center. When I open that email from so and so is a personal experience, it's just the two of us, the second reason is that email is direct I don't have to go through any middlemen, it goes directly to you. It doesn't it doesn't go to some sort of service that you've got to go log into, you know, a lot of people get their messages pushed straight to their phone or their computer. A lot of people download their email messages, even if you do log in there's there's no other middleman that you have to go through it. It's a it's, a direct connection and communication medium the third reason is email is private. I have seen this, uh, so much with my blawg, all right, a blogger post and then we'll send out an email and the kind of comments that people leave on the block posts are great and they're often personal and nice, but they're not super you know, that private stuff that people talk about, they don't leave that they don't leave that vulnerable information to comment on a block, but they do say that to me in an email. People tell me I lost my spouse last year, and when you said this, it spoke right to me and encouraged me. It changed the way I looked at this, this I have really been struggling and you read my mind and here's my struggle and here's one hundred words, five hundred words about my struggle thank you for listening thank you for saying what needed to be said it's amazing, the kind of private experience that people have with your content when you write from the heart when you write in a way that's going to connect with your audience, which is something we're going to talk about later today so if you're feeling like I don't know what to say and how to make these connections, we'll talk about that in a minute but it's the medium this connection tool that allows for that intimacy that allows for that privacy it's it's really incredible so just to review email is personal it's direct and it's private those sounds me like great adjectives for building trust for getting people on board with whatever vision, whatever cause whatever business venture you have and then ultimately getting them to do something to make a decision I don't know why or how you buy things, but I usually only by things that I trust you know from sources that I trust usually that comes from friends referring or through some kind of relationship where I'm buying a product or service from somebody cause I know them or a friend knows them and email makes this possible where you become that friend you become that person that you're that their friends have referred them teo on and all of a sudden you have this amazing connection what I have found is once you have that connection you can lead them wherever you want to go you can say let's go do this this thing together let's go run a marathon together I know people who who do this bloggers who invite their communities to go do service projects together or you could say I want to do a marriage retreat and I want twenty of you to be there hear the details you're going to have people wanting to come because they've made a connection with you or here's this service that we've spent years building this product that we're really excited about it because we've been telling you about it the whole way and you've been following the journey well and invite you to buy into this process it's really exciting the potential that you have when you do this when you deliver something that is personal, direct and private as I mentioned before if the technology of her changes the's techniques still work so my friend derek halpern who taught a creative life class not to make a year ago uh by the way, I wanted to add some pictures to this and I didn't know of a uh you know a good way to do that. So there's a stupid picture of made a great picture of my wife took but it's silly because it's me and it's sort of like inception or something my friend derek says, uh, if you're building an email list, you're an idiot s o those are strong words, but I think that you know the data speaks for itself you know this powerful information I think for a reason to at least consider trying trying it to not do it I think would be silly you'd be kind of a dummy and I don't want you to be dummy I want your messages to spread I want you to reach the people that need to hear what you have to say that need to buy what you have to sell because it's not going to just help you it's going to help them so what I want to ask again is everybody here and here and there is are you in are you excited about trying this about giving it a start? Some of you have email list you're not quite sure what to do with them some of you just started some of you are on the cusp of starting and you're not quite sure what to do what I want from you is a commitment to do it to at least trying we do that we need like a cool cheer something holla do people still say holiday e I dio so this is basically the half way part of this session I want to check in with everybody to have any questions or anything the next segment we're going to talk about the framework for how you actually get people on your list how you get them to trust you thes air still techniques that were going toe connect with the technology and a bit. But any questions? That's point yeah, troy, I talked tio ministry leader in england, patrick reagan, you talked about this idea of two four, and with you do things to people for them with the best intentions are with them, and it sounds like that's the message that you're really trying to communicate with us is you're partnering with someone when you send that email out. Yeah, I think it depends. Obviously it depends on the service, the product, the message I have found great power and we language, I am among you, I'm with you, I'm figuring this out in the midst of this, even here, I want to be we with you guys, I'm not some elevated expert. I've learned some of this stuff through pain and struggle and failure on I'm still learning some of it and that's why I'm bringing in people like tim, people who have areas of expertise that I don't have but what I cannot deny is the power of this and of the messages that I share. And so I find it's a powerful way to communicate a message by saying, I'm with you on dh here's what we're dealing with together, I'm not I'm not preaching at you, I'm empathizing with you, and here is what I'm learning through this process, I think that's really powerful, especially if you've got some sort of self improvement message. If you've got ah service, you know whether you're selling coaching lessons or you're a consultant or you want tio, you know, be an adviser and andi think if you're doing something like e commerce, you know you've got a product scaleable product that you're trying to sell? I think what you want to do is kind of like what creative live is doing where you are educating and informing your four you know, the people that are trying to help and you're delivering lots of content that helps them reach their goals and it's sort of an oh, by the way, if you need help achieving those goals, we have this great tool or this service that's going to get you there. That seems to be especially now where people are very skeptical about advertising in the days of starting an email list and just pummeling people with ands and opportunities and bye bye bye if they aren't over there quickly becoming extinct and that is becoming less and less effective because, well, you know we're all not in our heads we talked about why we buy things we don't buy things because we get pummeled with ads because we see a dozen billboards because you see hundreds of those messages every day we don't know which ones to believe so the people that I'm going to trust or the people that seem like they're for me, whether or not I buy from them at all, and I think one of the most powerful ways to get people on board with your message with your business is to not just project that's kind of, you know, perception, but to really mean it to really well, yeah, if you don't buy this, I'm still going to help you. This content is still going to add value to your life, jeff. We actually had a question come in from online from suresh, who says they're just starting an online sales business, says I'd like to think that there's a free item for me to give away to get an email address, but I don't think this kind of speaks to what you're talking about. Maybe you can give suresh some tips or advice, he says. How do you build such a list where my main focus is selling? But people move away when someone tries to sell them something so he's trying to find a way to still offer them? Something of value and so he can keep them on his list absolutely yeah this is a challenge, right? I don't think that the only way to get people on your list is to say here's something for free and I think have to be careful with that because you don't want to undervalue a product or a service but you do want is you do want a piece of debate something to kind of sweeten the deal and we'll talk about that more in a second to talk about the framework but there are lots of creative ways to offer somebody something that is sort of taste of the other stuff that you do that you offer and when you do that it's adds value to people's lives it kind of diminishes their sense of I don't if I can trust you and I think that you don't have to bait switch people we go here's all this free stuff now by this what you can do is you can talk about your product you can talk about the things that you do but do it in a non sales the way do it in a way that helps people understand the value I'm all about selling but as we'll talk about in the very last segment selling is serving its helping people get where they already want to go it's not convincing them of doing something that they don't want to do that doesn't work s so what we want to do when we get people on our list and ultimately get them to buy whatever it is we have to sell is we want them to connect with people that are on their way somewhere we say I can help you get there in the first step is maybe this free download or this resource list or it's, just all of the value that you're gonna get from my newsletter, the next step is the message is that I'm going to deliver to you they're going to help you move in that direction, and then the final step and its many steps actually is used this great product, the service, this thing that I've designed that's going to help you realize the school, we have another question, just a clarification from rick, why use email instead of just a blogged? So, uh, we're going to talk a little bit about how these technologies can work together because there is some question about I've got a block and like that sends out e mails and then I've got a newsletter and that sends out e mails and then, you know, and there's lots of different moving parts, I think it's fine to have, depending on what you do, it's fine to have a blawg. And then you connect that with an email newsletter that sends those same messages out to your audience. If that's what they want, if that's what they find value in. And I'll share some of my experience about that how I've gone, from sending unique messages through newsletter and also blogging to combining those and experimenting with different things. The real question is what people value and how could I make this newsletter a unique asset that people are gonna want a piece of that if they don't subscribe to this, they're missing out on something so blog's air great because they archive content. But they're not always a great distribution method because you've got to get people to come to your website, you've got to get people to log into an r s s feed to see, you know, even that. So I think the best way to get people to subscribe to your blawg, to get your content to hear from you regularly is through email. But those two technologies can work well together, and I recommend that.

Class Materials

bonus material with purchase

13 Subject Lines
Keynote Part 1
Keynote Part 2
Workbook Part 1
Workbook Part 2
You Are a Writer
MailChimp Tutorial Bonus Video
Bonus Video Table of Contents

Ratings and Reviews

a Creativelive Student

I really enjoyed this course. Jeff did and does a great job. Very nice flow and interaction with participants and questions, great content, relaxed yet authoritative. Jeff has a nice presence and his humility makes him easy to receive from. I was equally impressed with the general flow through the program. You could tell Jeff was well prepared, comfortable and believed in what he shared. I also want to give kudos to the CL team for being top shelf hosts and creating an environment conducive to this type of learning program. A great big thank you to the hosts, the team, Jeff, and the chat room facilitators! WELL DONE!! Kurt Poole

William Emmons

This is a wonderful course and enjoyed it very much. Covers so much material in an interesting and easy to understand way. Great for both the person just starting out and a great review for those more experienced. Definitely cover the A-Z of getting started and maintaining your mailings. Love the resources they talk about and recommend for getting started. Loved the interaction with the live inhouse group and also on the chat room. Great response. To sum it up in a few words.... RICH AND FULFILLING! Thanks to Jeff and CreativeLIVE for a job well done. William Emmons @

Jemma Pollari

I love Jeff's teaching style and applicable information and this course was no exception. For me, the set-up information was longer and more detailed than necessary, as I already have a list set up. The "effective" part of the course was much more useful at my level. I was able to get some good strategies to implement for my email marketing. This is definitely a great course to go with if you have no idea where to start with on email marketing because of the focus on getting set up from absolutely nothing. If you are looking for a more extensive pathway to success reaching beyond simply starting the email list and getting it going, I would recommend Jeff's course on here "Starving to successful: how to become a full-time writer." Even though the name talks about being a writer it's excellent info for anyone in the content creation space. Ryan Deiss' "Launch a profitable digital marketing plan" (also on CreativeLive) is another one I'd recommend as an excellent follow-on to more advanced concepts from this course.

Student Work