Maintaining Momentum: What to Do if You Fall off the Wagon
Now the last thing I wanna talk about is maintaining momentum and what to do if you fall off the wagon because you might, and it's okay. Alright so first of all, is anyone feeling overwhelmed by everything on your email marketing to-do list? Do you feel like you have a lot or do you feel like you kind of have a handle on stuff? I see a little bit of unease and a little bit of like, "I think I got it." I wanna be clear about something. Your number one priority should always be regularly emailing the people on your list. If you have a busy week, priority number one is still getting that email out. It may mean you're not focusing on growing your list, you're not focusing on call to action, maybe adding that optimization has to wait until next week. But you should get in the habit of always making, connecting to your list your priority because the money is not in the list, the money is in the emails you send to the list. That's what actually makes it happen, so this should always be your n...
umber one priority. Then you can work on optimizing your opt-in and growing your list after you've sent your regular email. With those sorts of things, with the optimization stuff, with the list growth, you can give yourself permission to slowly check things off your list over time. You don't have to make your website fully optimized in order to start emailing your list. Caitlyn's gonna go home and she's gonna draft this week's email before she does anything else. Then you get to say, "Okay I have a little bit of "extra marketing time this week, "I'm gonna go in and move that opt-in form "where it needs to be on my website." Always email list first, email your list first, then deal with the other stuff. Remember that your email editorial calender is just a guide, and you know what? Sometimes life gets in the way. It's okay, it happens. We're all humans, we all have stuff going on. So it's a guide, but it's, you don't have to follow it to the letter. What you wanna think about is what happens if you put a product launch on your editorial calender and you realize you're not gonna make it? Because that could happen. First of all, I don't like to send a teaser email to my list more than a week out for a new product launch. With a week to go, you're gonna know whether you're gonna make it or not, right? You're either gonna get there or you're not. Generally, I actually usually go about four to five days out for a preview email, maybe even three to four depending what I'm doing. I'll tease it on social media earlier, but I'll wait 'til I know I'm gonna get there before I email my list. That's the first thing, is wait a little bit to get to your list. Then you can either make two choices. You can adjust your editorial calender or you can just push through. If you know you're not gonna make it, is there a different email on your calender, one that's featuring existing products that you can just swap in? Great, next week I was just gonna do an existing product, so I'm gonna bump that up to this week, I'm gonna move the launch back a week. Not a problem, no one sees your editorial calender but you, so they don't know that you moved stuff around. Or maybe you just use your launch date as motivation to push the collection through. People ask me how I launch so much stuff, it's because I set these ridiculous launch dates and then make myself do them. The conjure collection is the perfect example. I decided the year I launched this that I was gonna launch it on June fourth. I went to a conference on Memorial Day weekend, and when I got home from that conference, I had not even started making the collection yet. I was like, "Well I said June fourth, "so I better make some stuff." I made it, I shot it, I launched it, and I made money. If I hadn't given myself that ridiculous date, those stones would probably still be sitting on my work table waiting for me to do something with them. Sometimes the launch dates that you set might feel crazy, but sometimes it's okay to just go with the crazy. You work really hard, you get it out, and then you move forward. If you're one of those people who feels like you're not ever getting stuff done and you're not ever getting stuff out, give yourself some deadlines and stick to them. That's a good thing to let your email marketing do. So yeah, you can change your editorial calender, but you can also use it to really light a fire under your butt. Like, the editorial calender says June fourth, I better get it out there. Come hell or high water, it's happening. Now I don't do this all the time. There are occasions where I move things but I gotta tell you, this strategy works. The other thing that I will tell you works in here is scheduling a photo shoot with your model. I'm like, "Ah, Kailey's coming in two days, "I better make something." That's the other part of this strategy that makes it work. That's a whole topic for another class, but that can help you push things through. The other thing to think about is okay, what if you have something on your editorial calender and you just really don't feel like sending that email? Fine, send a different one. The most important thing is that you're sending something, that you're making the point to reach out to your list. Now the other question, what if you go weeks or even months without emailing your list? Or maybe some of you are sitting here now saying, "Okay that's great, but it's been "three months since I emailed my list." Annette, when was the last time you emailed your list?
Last fall, I think? (laughs)
Alright, so it's been a little while. I wanna talk about what to do if or when this happens. First of all, never apologize for not being around. Do not remind them that you fell off the face of the planet. They don't need reminded. Either they're going, "Who the heck is this person?" or they haven't actually noticed because they've been busy with their own lives, so don't point it out. Also, don't promise that you'll be better from now on. Just pretend like you've been doing this all along. (chuckling) Probably some of them will just think, "Oh, oh yeah right, okay, cool." So don't apologize, don't promise, just do the email, because remember our emails are one single idea with one call to action, so if you spend an email saying sorry I wasn't around, I'm gonna be better, that's it, that's your one thing. Who wants to waste an email on that? So just do it. Other thing is, don't try to cram a million things into a single email. Just pretend that the last six months since you emailed your list didn't happen. Just start with where you're at today. You probably have a lot of things you wanna share. Great, that's your next six, seven, eight, 10, 12 emails. One email, one idea, regardless of how long it's been since you've hit your list. You know what, expect you're gonna get more unsubscribes your first email back, That's just normal if you've been a slacker. People are gonna be like, "I don't remember this person," boom, off the list. It's fine, it happens, move on. Do not let it be a reason to not email your list, just move on with your life.
Question, if somebody didn't click the unsubscribe button, but just hit counted as spam, does that also get reported to?
It does get reported, and you might get a few, but you're probably not gonna get very many, especially if your first email is what I would say is an easy sell instead of a hard sell. If your first email is like, "Hey you know let me show you "these are our new pair of earrings that I love "and buy them," that's probably gonna be fine, but if your first email is like, "Two hours to go "before this sale ends and you must buy it," that's probably gonna get marked to spam. Just be careful with the tone and you should be okay. Again, the occasional spam complaint is not gonna kill your list. If you got like 50 spam complaints, that's really bad. That's why we just wanna pay attention to the tone. Great question. On top of that, we also actually wanna determine why you fell off the wagon. Those of you who were off the wagon before you came to this class today, we know it's because you probably either had list shame, didn't wanna bother people, or literally had no idea what you were supposed to be emailing about. Now we've solved those problems, right? You've got so many ideas that you're like, "Stop talking Megan, I need to get to work," so we're not gonna have that issue anymore. But if you fall off the wagon in the future, let's figure out why. Is it do you need to actually schedule email time on your calendar? If you don't block it off in your calendar, it might not happen. I'm a big fan of doing things like this in the morning before I go into the studio because then I know it's done. Even if you're not sending the email out until later in the day, I'm gonna schedule it in the morning. I'm either gonna do my email or my blog post, whatever marketing stuff happens on my computer, and then I get to go to the studio. It doesn't matter if I have a million orders to get out that day, I'm still gonna do this thing first and then I'm gonna go do my studio work. That's the way that I like to approach it. It may look different for you, but it's a strategy that I found really effective considering that, again, I emailed my list almost 60 times last year. Clearly something about it works. Maybe it's something where you need to switch to a strategy that's focused more on promoting old products instead of launching new ones. If you were like, "I'm gonna create this editorial calendar "because I'm gonna launch this collection, "and this collection, and this collection, "and this collection," and then those launches aren't happening, then that's probably not a strategy that's gonna work. Instead, think about, okay I'm gonna build it around promoting products that already exist. Most of us have a lot of products that could probably use a little extra promotion, right? So could you switch up your strategy? Maybe you need to revisit your process based goals. Or maybe you just need to get over your list shame and just do it. Just because you don't make money off the first email doesn't mean that you stop sending the emails. You keep trying, you keep experimenting, you keep moving forward. I want you guys to remember that you're not alone. Even those of us who know better sometimes fall off the email wagon. Even though I clearly email my list consistently, sometimes two or three weeks go by, I get busy, I come here, I email my other list instead of my jewelry list. Oh yeah, when I say I emailed 60 times, that was specific to the jewelry list, that was just that list, it had nothing to do with the designing and MBA list. But that said, it happens, so don't stress out, you are not alone, we've all been there. It's okay, you just send another email and you keep moving forward. Any questions? Because we are getting towards the end, so I wanna make sure that we have answered every burning question you possibly have about email marketing. Is there anything that we're missing? Annette.
Yeah that question, I think you touched on it earlier, but I wanna clarify with Instagram, for example, you've only got one link on there, and I know that's important. Now if I'm looking, let's say, to really build my list, would it be a bad idea to make that link go straight to a sign up page for the newsletter, or have it just go to my blog where they could find it?
I am not a fan of going straight to the email page just because if someone is trying to get to something else and they already are on your list, they can't get there. I have started experimenting with this program called Linktree, and you can actually see how it works if you go, if you follow me on Instagram, I'm @meganauman, and you'll see the link in my profile is now, it's like link dot tree or something like that, slash Megan Auman, when you click on that, I've actually got four links on there, so what you could do is you could use a service like that. One of the links could be your blog, and one of the links could be join my email list. That's a great little service that's making it a little easier to get around Instagram's one link rule, so that's probably what I would do in your case.
Okay great, thanks.
It seems like, from what I've noticed, it seems like people are actually using it. It doesn't seem like people are ignoring it. It's great because you can make a couple different calls to action, and they go on there. It's Linktree, it's totally free to use which is even better. Other questions?
Yeah I got one here online, this is, seems like a good problem to have but I'm curious to get your take on this, but Susan Ray posted this, "What do you do if you suddenly see "a huge amount of people signing up as new subscribers "and you're not sure why it's happening?" If there is like a surge, is that something that changes your mentality, do you do like emailing more frequently if you see a spike like that or do you just keep the same plan?
First of all, right, that is a great--
It's a good problem.
It's a good thing to have. The one thing that I would say about that is I would try to do a little bit of detective work to see where the surge came from. I would check your Google analytics or whatever your site analytics are to see if you got some kind of referral. Was it a press mention, was it something? I would look in there. The reason I would do that is because you do want to take a few seconds just to make sure that they're not getting suddenly bombarded with spam, because that it also just a thing to look at. I'm going to assume that you're amazing and awesome and that the link is coming from some great feature that you didn't even realize happened, and that's why you're getting all these sign ups. But you do also wanna make sure on the off chance that something funny happened with your list sign up and it's not a bunch of spam. That's the one thing I would check if you get an unexpected surge. But from there, business as usual. Now that said, if you figure out that they came from someplace cool and you wanna acknowledge it, you can create a segment just of your new subscribers. You can go into MailChimp and you can say, and if she knows, say, the surge happened on like May first, you could say okay I wanna make a segment of every subscriber that joined after April 30th and send out an email to them that says, "Hey I think you found me from such and such, "I am so excited you're here, "let me point you in the direction of," something you think that they think would be cool. Then you can do that, so that's how I would acknowledge it, I wouldn't flood your old email, like all your subscribers with that, but if you have a good sense of where the source is coming from, you could do a nice little email to that segment. We didn't really get into that in this class because again, simple email marketing, but at the end of the day, once you get comfortable with it, there's a lot of fancy stuff you can do with segments in MailChimp and playing with like campaign activity, when people purchased last, so that's a thing that you can dive into maybe in a year when you guys are like super good at email marketing, we'll come back and we can do a more advanced class. (laughter) Just put that bug in CreativeLive's ear now. (laughter) Other questions?
I've got another one here from online.
Let's do it.
This person says that they're selling mostly wedding rings which are hopefully a one time only purchase. Are email campaigns still relevant for our customers? Do you change things if it seems like a once in a lifetime purchase?
A couple of things to think about here is that even though the wedding rings are a once in a lifetime purchase, are they really and what else can you sell to people? First of all, I know a lot of people who buy a smaller wedding ring and a bigger investment later. That's very common, especially when people get married young and they don't have a lot of money, they might wanna upgrade later. If you have your list synced, I don't know how you're selling your rings through, but if you have some kind of way to sync up to know when, you can also hit people up in the future, right? If they bought a wedding ring, they might be looking for something to give on the first anniversary, or the second anniversary, or the third anniversary, or every anniversary in the future. I would think about how you can use it. The other thing that you can do in your email marketing is think about encouraging referrals. They're only gonna buy once, but they might have friends who are getting married, right? People tend to all kind of get married around the same age as their friends, it happens a lot. Suddenly you're like, "Ah, I have like four weddings "I have to go to this year." Same things happens, then suddenly everyone's having babies, right? It all happens at the same time. Think about how you can use email marketing to encourage referrals. It's also important because people plan their weddings for long chunks of time, so in your case, there is emails leading up to the purchase. You find a brand, you love it, you're trying to keep track of all this stuff in your head while you're planning your wedding. Being there and kind of reminding them that you exist is going to help with that process as well. Even though it feels like a one time purchase, there's a lot of ways to engage people through email. I wanna just remind you guys that email marketing isn't a one and done tactic. This is not one of those things that you're like, I'm gonna do it once and it's gonna make my business forever, right? It's not. But what I want you to think about it is is an ongoing opportunity to connect with your customers. Don't think about it as a chore, because that's a huge opportunity. I just wanna stop for a second because I think we take for granted how incredibly amazingly lucky we are that something like this exists. That with one push of a button, you get to connect with all of your customers and you get to connect with people who love your product on a regular basis. I know that sounds like a little hokey, but I think it's really important to say that this is actually, it's not a chore, it's not a burden, it is this incredible opportunity that you have for your business. When you think about it like that, that's a whole different mindset. It's not, "Ah crap, I gotta email my customers today." It's like, "Oh my gosh, this is another opportunity "to connect with people who love my brand "and who love my work and who love me and what I'm doing." that's so freaking cool, right? Like seriously, so excited, like it's just so amazing that we get to do this. Really at the end of the day, the only way to see results is to do the work. You're not gonna get results by sitting here listening to me talk. I'm gonna tell you everything I know, but at the end of the day, it's up to you to do the work. It's the only way to get results. I want you to think about, I mean really, what have you got to lose? If you're still scared of losing followers, I did not do my job, right? If you're scared of losing subscribers, we need to start over. You should just buy the class and watch it again if you're still worried about that at this point. Really at the end of the day, what do you have to lose by sending that email, by hitting send, by reaching out to your customers? More importantly, what have you got to gain? I started at the beginning by asking you guys how would your business be different if you committed to email marketing? I had you guys share but I wanna just bring this back to you because this is really what's gonna keep you going if you lose your momentum, if you fall off the wagon, is I want you to remember why you're doing this. I want you guys to share, how do you think your business is gonna be different if you're committing to this? Annette, what do you think is gonna be different about your business?
When I get feedback from my customers, I'm always so happy and this is a good way for me to just continue to be appreciative of you know, the fact that they bought from me, that they took the time to write a good review and I think, I'm really actually, that perspective is helping me be more excited about doing this.
Awesome. What difference is it gonna make in your business if you're suddenly emailing more and connecting with your customers more, what do you think is gonna happen?
It's gonna get more, it's gonna get better, yeah.
Well I think that, I mean, I think I'll Be more successful, I'll make more sales. But also I think it'll, if I'm doing this all the time, it'll just get easier.
Yes, it'll absolutely get easier. Michelle.
I'll actually have people know what I'm coming out with soon and follow me from the thing.
You have a huge opportunity because you haven't launched yet, so you get to build this momentum and build this energy before you even start which is, like I know everyone sitting here who has been running their business is wishing they did this earlier. You're like so smart to be here now thinking about this ahead of time. Gracie.
I think just the frequency will turn a list into a community and it'll feel like a more organic conversation.
Yes, I love that.
The time I'm spending writing these emails will now be much more effective. (laughs)
Yeah you were I'm guessing one who has probably taken a little while with them before.
Yeah, we're gonna cut that down. (laughs)
I think it's gonna be more of a consistent revenue stream for me and trying to not have to do very many shows any more, I think this may be a way to not have to do that.
Yeah we didn't talk about that so much, but yeah the consistent revenue stream and not having to do some of those other things in your business that you hate, that makes a big difference. Are we getting anything else from our online audience?
Well we had Donna who said, "I'm so glad that Megan gave us the advice "that we don't have to always have a special gift, "a PDF, et cetera, to start my email list, "because I've heard that on several other email courses." That really was an eye-opener for her.
Good, I am so glad I can dispel that method. It takes so much stress out to not have to create that. You're like, "Ah, I can just tell people to join my list." Any other ones?
Let's see. I think that's all we've got coming in right now.
Perfect. I am again, a big fan of taking action. That is the most important thing when it comes to this class. I want you to actually do the work because otherwise, we all just wasted our time, right? I've given you guys so many challenges today, but I want to kind of end with is I want you guys to really commit to one action you can take today, one concrete thing you can do today to commit to your email marketing strategy so that when you leave here, you know like this is the next thing that I'm doing, this is where I'm starting. Annette.
As soon as I get home I'm gonna craft, take one of my products that hasn't sold in a while and write an email blast promoting it.
I am gonna start a new Evernote file with brainstorming ideas for an editorial calendar.
Editorial calendar and MailChimp.
Yes. I would say for you, you're on, I know you've got an Instagram started, right? So you wanna be really clear with a call to action there, like "This is launching soon, "if you wanna know about it, join the list," so that you're getting people on there right from the beginning.
I'm probably gonna review my Shopify settings and then give my social media followers a clear call to action.
I'm going to take my sign up sheet to a trunk show that I'm doing this weekend.
New business cards with call to action on them. (laughs)
Nice, I love that. That's actually, it's funny because I gave you guys that advice, and I don't have those, so I'm like, I have to go design new business cards now. Why did I not think of that before? What about our online audience? Are we seeing any last thoughts from them?
Here's one that came in from A-werk-o-cart who says, "I'm definitely more excited "about emailing my customers now. "Having the editorial calendar really puts it in my face "so I can't ignore it or forget about it. "I've scheduled an email today to help build excitement "over an upcoming product launch. "Thank you so much for the class."
Yes, I love it that people are already starting to schedule emails, so exciting. Really at the end of the day, that's what I want you guys to come back to, is just do it. If you're not sure, if you don't know, once a week, pick the product, pick a type of email, throw a subject line in there, and just hit send. At the end of the day, at the end of the year, just doing that is gonna put you so much further ahead than any planning, any overthinking, anything like that. Does everyone feel good? Everyone ready to go? I think it's time to start email marketing. (laughter)