We have all been to networking events where we’ve had a shallow interaction with a prospect, exchanged business cards, and promise to be in touch. The truth is, we never pick up the phone, never connect with them on social media, and never email them.
So why is it, when clients are the life blood of any business, we don’t go out of our way to reconnect with these potentially willing to buy clients? Sure, we tell ourselves, “It is because it was only a quick introduction,” or perhaps you think they gave you their card “just to be nice.” Maybe you just don’t feel “comfortable,” but the reality is: you just don’t know where to start.
This is exactly why today on Better Business Coach podcast I have asked a close personal friend and iTunes top 100 podcaster, John McIntyre, to offer some advice on how he would re-engage with these prospects with emails that sell.Show Transcript
Forget about hacks – Writing emails that engage and sell isn’t about the perfect subject line, the perfect email, or the perfect pitch. It’s about understanding who you’re trying to talk to, what their problems are, and what you need to say to move them on to the next step.
John says, “There is no magic to it; just be cool about it.”
The 5 steps to getting started
- Create your elevator pitch, as discussed in session two – Not just to have one (we have already discussed the benefit of that), but to understand who you’re trying to talk to, what you’re helping them with, and what the most common objections are.
- Find the need – When you go out to networking events, don’t have shallow conversations. Establish a problem they have that you can help with. If they don’t have a problem you can help with, don’t feel bad, remember you don’t need to (and can’t) sell to everyone.
- Take their card – Ask if they have a business card and request one.
- Take good notes – Before you talk to someone else, write the prospect’s problem down on their business card with any additional information you think pertinent. This is vital as most people speak to 5-10 people at each event, but remember very little about any by the time they leave; they just blur together.
- Write an email like you’re talking to your friend – Instead of being fancy, and “being a salesperson,” just try sending them an email like you would a friend. A good basic example of an email to a friend would read as follows:
Subject: Just touching base with you about (your problem)
Body – Hey <Name>, what’s up?
I wanted to touch base about (the problem) you discussed at (event).
Call to action – Do you want to catch up this week to have a quick chat about it?
Don’t people just delete these emails? – There are a lot of articles out there that suggest email is dead and social media is the new hot thing in town. But ask yourself, what is the first thing you do in the morning? That’s right, you check your email and so does everyone else. Sure social media is highly powerful, but your message is also avoidable. Nothing beats an email sitting there in your prospect’s inbox demanding attention. Be honest with yourself: Don’t you read a few unsolicited emails every now and then?
Take action – Email is just like all other things; it’s not an art form, you just need to take action.
How long should my emails be?
In business there is a communication process. From the point where they don’t know who you are, to the point that they are a customer, there is a certain amount of communication and rapport that has to happen. An email can’t be used in isolation; it is part of that process. It’s best not to get caught up in the nitty gritty, it’s just another tool in the arsenal and for many the first step to engaging prospects they would have otherwise never seen again.
Long term email relationships
It’s time to stop thinking day to day. Let’s say you meet, or your sales team meets, 18 people a week. Perhaps you sell to eight, and ten say, “Not right now.” Without an email system to maintain that relationship, even to the people that you sold to, that’s 520 lost relationships per year with people that might buy from you really soon, and 416 lost relationships per year that might take their business elsewhere next time.
How many years have you been losing this yearly marketing opportunity?
If you’re like me and got out your calculator, these are some very big numbers, but don’t get upset; fix it now and forever!
How would you write an email to long term recipients?
Subject: Attention grabber. Not just any attention grabber, but one that obtains targeted, specific and relevant attention. Remember: think about their problems. The people you engage will most often have similar ones.
Line 1: This line has to get their attention, as well as make them interested enough to read the next line.
After they have read the first two or three lines, they will probably read the whole thing.
Last few lines: Finish with a call to action. Tell them to do something, like check out your website or hit reply and say that they’re interested.
About John McIntyre:
John McIntyre is the star of the Autoresponder Guy Podcast and creator of The McMethod email marketer’s community. He’s a skilled email marketer, online business automation pro and marketing thought leader.
How can I find out more about John McIntyre?
Check out http://www.themcmethod.com/
Also find him on his social media:
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To find out more about me or the show, feel free to check out:
My profile – http://matthewpollard.com/aboutmatthewpollard
The full show write-up – http://betterbusinesscoachpodcast.com
Better Business Coach Transcript
This is Better Business Coach, session number 22.
Matt: Hello everyone, and welcome back to Better Business Coach Podcast. My name is Matthew Pollard, and as always, I'm your rapid growth guy. Today I'm super excited. I have with me John McIntyre. And for those people that want to learn about email marketing, he is your absolute go to guy. So John, welcome to the show.
John: Matthew, it's good to be here with another Aussie.
Matt: Yeah, I know it's good fun having an Aussie on the show, and I love to promote people that are Aussies, but you're good at what you do. So, do you want to give me a little bit of a summary just for the listeners at home, about what you do? Just so that they can understand exactly why you're on my podcast today.
John: So, so what I do. My name is John McIntyre. I live in, I actually live in Thailand of all places. A lot of people find that interesting. And what I do is - let me try and do this. 'Cause we just did a podcast on the elevator speech. So basically I help businesses get a lot of leads, and the need to - need to convert more of those leads into customers. Do so with automated marketing campaigns, even if they've got no idea how to write an email.
Matt: There you go mate, you did that well. For those that haven't listened to session 2 of Better Business Coach, that's exactly what, what John just did. And we just, we just did a session for his listeners on that as well. So I hope you've taken the opportunity, as I said, to spend some time really learning how to do that. Because if you're not marketing for your business, no one else is. So, let's step into the world of email marketing. The scary world of email marketing for people that haven't done it before. What do you think the main reason why a lot of people - everybody's seen it, the collection of business cards on the desk that never seem to get entered anywhere, and they just go into this death drawer in a lot of cases.
Email Marketing Basics
John: I think a lot of people they, I mean - with most things in life, people just don't know where to start. And they don't sorta get, they don't get the fundamental ideas behind some of this stuff. For me, I find personally as a copywriter, a lot of people come to me thinking that, "I need the perfect subject line, or the perfect email or the perfect pitch." And like we just talked about in the other podcast, it's not really about all these little hacks and things like that. It often comes back to just understanding who you're trying to talk to, and what you need to say to move them onto the next step. So when it comes to giving email marketing advice or telling people how to convert more customers or more clients. There's not really any magic trick to it, despite what a lot of people think. It's really just about, take some time to understand what they want, what their problems are. And be cool about it, send them an email, just like you'd send an email to your friend. Say, "Hey, what's up? Wanted to touch base. Let's talk more about x, y, z if you're interested."
Matt: That's kind of the same message I've been saying. Email marketing is just one of those extra things that - to be successful, you actually just need to take action, and you need to do something. And people kind of avoid it. It goes in the drawer like the sales and marketing strategy, or like creating a coaching template to actually deliver to your clients. It's not that difficult, but you've got to allocate time to it, and you have to understand it. And then obviously go about doing it. And for a lot of people, their best email experience is hopping on Gmail and sending a quick email. It would seem that there's a lot of things that they need to understand. But it's one of those things they just need to start doing.
John: I mean a big part of this is, one thing I've noticed about business is often, like people want a blue print or a map that they can just follow and be successful - no matter what they're in. And the reality of it is that it's not like that. For every single person and every single business, there's gonna be a different strategy that's gonna suit them at any given time. Because there's different, there's different market conditions, different-- Some person might have 100 business cards that they should really be contacting. Someone else might not have any business cards, 'cause they can't afford to go to conferences. But they can go and do cold emailing for example. And another person, maybe doesn't even have a website, doesn't even have email software - but's extremely good at face to face sales, so maybe should go and do some cold sales calls. And so, the right strategy really depends a lot on who the person is, and what their personality is. And what their - the context or their personal situation is. So it's a little bit hard sometimes. People come to me thinking email's gonna be the bees knees, think that's gonna save them. 'Cause they've heard these guys doing big launches and making 6 figures or 7 figures with different nifty email strategies. And it's just not as simple as that.
Matt: Well I know a lot of the listeners are gonna either be coaching clients that are interested in email marketing, or not at all interested in email marketing. And they, may be themselves. Let's cover off on whether or not email marketing's actually worth it? It's a lot of effort to go to, and don't people just delete every time that they get an email that's a marketing email?
Email Marketing Mistakes
John: This is a really funny question, 'cause there's a lot of articles out there going on about, "So email is dead. Email marketing's dead. Social media's the new thing." And social media is big. So that's a different story. But as for email, email's a funny thing. It's been around for - probably as early, since as long as the internet's been around. And at least for now, it's not going anywhere. Because we might be all on Facebook. We were on MySpace before. And we're using these social media sites. But at the end of the day, the bulk of online communication, especially serious communication is happening via email.
Matt: I agree with you, because for me, the first thing I do when I get up in the morning is I check my email to make sure that there's nothing urgent. And every second day, I would say I get caught by one of these email marketing campaigns. Because the title is just interesting. I got one from Kirwin Ray the other day. And it said, "This is the email." And I'm like, "Well what is in the email? What do you mean, 'this is the email?' This is the email I should read or is this the one that I'm gonna decide to unsubscribe?" Either way, I opened it. And all of a sudden, this person was top of mind again, and now I'm talking about him on a podcast, and he's getting all this extra media. So, it is one of those things that you just go to, and it's portable too. Because you can have a bunch of people listening to your podcast, like I do and like you do. But it doesn't get you people's email addresses that you can notify. They have to tune in.
Matt: So an email is like having somebody's mail box that you can send them whatever you want for free, all the time - as opposed to all of these others, even like social media. It doesn't work unless they engage with you.
John: Exactly. I mean, one way that I try and explain it to people is they think they've gotta have - how many, what's the best length of an automated email sequence, or an email campaign? Or how long should the emails be? What's the perfect subject line? And the way I frame it up is just that in business, there's a communication process. From that point where someone doesn't know who you are, to the point where they're a client or a customer. There's a certain amount of communication and rapport that, rapport building that has to happen. And email, it's not really - you can't use it in isolation, it's just part of that process. You can use, you can do a face to face sales call and close the deal like that. All email allows you to do, is just do something like that at scale. By that I mean, do it with a lot of people at the same time. And I think that's really the way to think about it. People get caught up too much on the little stuff, the little nitty gritty, the tactics - that kind of thing. The main way to think about it is that it's just another tool in the arsenal for building a relationship with someone you've networked with at a conference. Or it could be a list of 10 000 people that you've bought or built with Facebook ads. But the fundamental idea is, you're building a relationship with people.
Matt: The thing is that this comes down to you know what you know, but you don't know what you don't know. And when I'd just turned 19, I built my first business. And within - period of a year, I had 20 sales consultants out, going seeing 4 or 5 people a day. And they were doing presentations, and we were building the brand. And I never got one email address. Not even the clients that we signed up, and we had over three and a half thousand clients. I didn't get one email address. And to this day, I still regret that I didn't know it back then. And the fact that you haven't done it yet, don't let it hold you back from doing it in the future. You didn't know about it, you didn't know the necessity to do it. However, imagine if I had have kept a relationship with these, not the three and a half thousand people that we ended up signing over, but all of the clients that we spoke to. And just send them an email every now and then reminding. Eventually, they may have had another mobile they needed to change, or a landline. Or maybe they had a disagreement with their provider or a contract. I'd have to continually call them to ask them how things were going. And my sales staff did, as opposed to just physically emailing them all the time, keeping that relationship. People can always unsubscribe. And because they don't it means that they're genuinely interested in the information. So, let's get our hands dirty, John, and let's talk about the bare bones, 5 basics that we need to know about email marketing. How do we get started?
John: I think the way to get started is to not to write and email, and not even to write a subject line. Not even to think about any of that yet. One of the first things people should do, is do what you mentioned. You talked about it in episode 2. The, figure out that differentiation. Figure out that statement, "I help x people do y, even if z." Because really what that's about, it's not even about that exercise so much. Is the thing you've got to do, is step 1 in any kind of business, is to understand who the hell you're trying to talk to. And so that's - email marketing, there's not like - it's not this unique thing. It's just another marketing channel or a distribution channel. So you still need, the same rules need to apply. You need to figure out who you're trying to talk to, what you're helping them with, and what the objections are. And once you've got that, you use that information. You're gonna know what's the best subject line? How are you gonna get someone's attention? Well, you're gonna know that their objection is, whatever it happens to be. And you can use that in the email.
Matt: That's brilliant, because all that I keep saying, is "You have to have a system and a process." Whatever you do has to be well thought out and directioned to make sure that it works. And what you're really saying is that with an email campaign, you've gotta do the exact same thing. So grab the people's email addresses, and work out - based on what, the core benefit that you provide. What your email title should be, and what you're gonna talk about in your email. And you constantly just drill back into that message, reminding people that that's what you do.
John: Right. One thing that's worth pointing out here is, I'm just bringing up one of the campaigns I've got running right now. 'Cause I think some people are gonna be interested in what does the email actually say, right? Or some sort of structure.
Email Marketing Templates
John: 'Cause once you've got this stuff nailed down, once you've got the fundamentals, you need to have some sort of - it's gonna help if you have a system for creating those emails. So, I'm just bringing up a sequence here. So an example is, I've got a list of people who use Infusionsoft on their website. Infusionsoft has an email marketing platform, and what I'm trying to do, is trying to find the people who have Infusionsoft, but aren't satisfied with it. So they need help getting more out of it, or creating a better campaign. Which is where I come in, which is where I can add value for them as a coach, creating the campaign for them. So, I've got the list, and then I've got the emails.
Now, before I tell you what the email says, the idea is that the subject line is - step number 1 in any marketing game, is you have to get their attention. So your subject line has to get their attention. And not any kind of attention, it needs to get targeted, specific, relevant attention. So and then what happens is, well the first line of your email's gonna be - this is like the first line of a sales letter. 'Cause 1 email is really just a very short sales letter. And you might say - the first line is, it has to get their attention as well, and make them interested enough to read the second line. Once they've read the first 2 or 3 lines, they're probably gonna read the whole thing. And then at the end, you want to give them some sort - what's called a "call to action." Tell them to do something, which just might be - visit your coaching page on your website. Hit reply and say, "I'm interested." I use that a lot with my own list. It's amazing how many people will actually reply and say the exact words you tell them to say. And then you reply, you set up a time to have a call.
So, here's what an email like this looks like. I've got, so basically with this data, this database that I'm using - I know then their first name, I know their company name, and I know the website, and I know they're using Infusionsoft. So I've been able to use that in this email, which makes it more relevant. So the subject is, "How's Infusionsoft working out for you?" So the idea here is just to explain that is, number 1, it's got Infusionsoft in the subject line. So if they're using Infusionsoft, they're gonna look it. They're gonna think, "Well, okay." And I'm also asking them a question. And when you ask anyone a question, the first instinct is to want to reply. And especially if then - if Infusionsoft isn't working out for them, they're very likely to kinda think, "Oh well not really. I mean, have you got something to say about it?" So they're gonna open the email. And then I say, "Hey Matthew, I wanted to touch base with you, as I saw you're using Infusionsoft on the Better Business Coach website, betterbusinesscoach.com, right?
And so the idea here is the, "wanted to touch base," comes across as so - that's something I'd say to a friend, right? It's just very, it's very casual. And that's the idea, it's designed to create this very - very non salesy, non-pitchy, non-confrontational intro. So they think, "Oh yeah this guy's not trying to sell me, he's just checking and he's just saying, 'hey.' It's a normal person. And then I mentioned Infusionsoft again on their website, so the Better Business Coach Podcast. And then I give them the domain as well. So I'm triggering, "Yeah he knows Infusionsoft, he knows the company, he knows the website." So it's like, "Ah okay, he really knows a lot about me. This isn't just a form email," which it actually is, which is funny.
Then I said, "How's it working out for you? I'm curious about your experience, because most people simply aren't converting as many customers as they could be with Infusionsoft. I might be able to help, but I just want to know if there's a problem? Are you converting enough customers, or do you want more? John McIntyre." And then there's a link to my site. So if they're interested, they'll probably go and check out the site to see if I'm the real deal, if I'm interesting. And if I am, they'll probably reply, or they'll reply to one of the next - I've got 6 emails, and this is a cold email software that I'm using. Where you load a database, and it sends it all out. And like, email number 2, to show you how easy this can be. Is email number 2 is, "RE." So, for reply. "How's Infusionsoft working out for you?" And then the email says, "Did you get my email regarding Infusionsoft on betterbusinesscoachpodcast.com, Matthew?" Just like that. "John."
Matt: That's a wonderful sequence, and the one thing I really like about the way you've done that - it is, it's a conversation. So many people will send out a newsletter. And what do you do with newsletters? You delete them, it's confronting, it's a huge amount of information. There doesn't seem to be a call to action anywhere, they don't speak to you. They're just showing you the last 3 things they've published, or the things that they've done. There's no real interest level gathered there. Here you've spoken about what they specifically use, the fact that you're not trying to bother them if they don't have a problem. But if they do, you'd love to help. Which means, A - you know you've got an easy customer to get. It really does break down into a very simple, followed by "click here, do this." Which is a great way to do it. But bringing it into the perspective of a business coach for instance. Let's say I met a person at a networking event a month ago, what should I write to them?
John: It starts with this conversation. In the sense that, if you just, if you bump into someone and have a quick cup of tea, and he's like, "Well what do you do?" And I'm, "I'm a business coach, I help these people do x, y, z." And then you give them a business card and you leave, or you get his business card and leave. It's not much of a relationship then. It's gonna be quite hard to reestablish some kind of connection later on.
Matt: It's basically a cold lead at that point still.
John: Yeah, but I'd be thinking more strategically. If you're gonna go into a networking event, and you really want to get those leads, I'd be thinking - have a conversation with them. And really try and find out who they are, what they do, what they're problem is. So you're not going in cold. You're not just sending them some email where you know very little about them, except their name. Try and find out a specific problem that they're having in their own business. And when you leave them, get a pen and write it down on their business card. And then when you go back to your email, you're home from the event. Send an email and say something similar like this, alright? "How's - just wanted to touch base with you regarding," whatever their problem was. "Just want to touch base with you regarding how to get your sales people performing better." Something like that. "So basically, just want to touch base with you regarding the problem you mentioned when we had this conversation. Do you want to have a quick chat this week about it?" That's it.
Matt: It's so simple, but it's also so right. Because back when I was 19, I remember door to door selling. And it was 93 doors before my first sale. However once I figured out how to sell, I went back. And all the business cards that I'd had, I scribbled on them what telecommunications products they had, who they were, what they were having issues with. And it was so easy for me to go back and sell to them later. So the simple - collecting that information. I know people that go to networking events, and they say to me, “I did really well at this networking event. I got talking to everybody. I walked out with 25 business cards.” I'm like, "Cool, tell me about them." Oh I can't, I don't know anything. I guess this one I can remember a story about, but I don't have any - I don't really remember enough about any of them. So having that written on the back of a business card is a phenomenal thing to help you then reconnect with them later. So it's great advice John.
John: And this goes back to another thing, a fundamental idea. Which is where - instead of going in thinking, "I'm a business coach, I want to get more clients." You really need to flip it and kind of think, "Well how can I add more value?" And that's not really about you being a business coach, it's about looking for specific problems that you can solve. And if you've got someone, and you don't even know what their problem is. Then you have no idea if you can actually help them. And in a lot of cases, you're not going to be able to help them, because their problem is - for whatever reason, it's just not something that you work with. It's not your area of expertise. And that's fine, there's nothing wrong with that. The idea here isn't to be, "I'm such a great salesman," that you can sell to someone who doesn't actually need what you want. The idea is to become such a good salesman that you're helping people who actually need what you want, and that requires you to - surprise, surprise - figure out what they need.
Matt: The whole idea is that you want to make sure that the people that do need your service and appreciate what you do, become your clients. And the one's that aren't, well you weren't gonna be able to help them anyway. So if they unsubscribe, if they don't reply - you don't have to have your feelings hurt, that's the way you do business. And a good email will have somebody send back, "Look thanks for your email, but everything's fine." A bad email may not get a reply. But that's what you do. You trial, you test, and that's how we move forward.
John: Yeah, I mean it's one of these things too. If you've got 25 business cards, probably at least 50% of them aren't gonna turn into-- At least 50% of them aren't gonna turn into anything. It's just the nature of it. But if you get a couple of clients like at an event. If you go to an event and you spend $2000 to go to some marketing event or business coach event - or whatever the event happens to be. You get 10 business cards, depending on what you're charging for the coaching services - but usually it's gonna be at least a couple of thousand dollars. You're gonna make that back pretty quick. If you can get 10 and convert 1 or 2 of them, well it was worth going.
Matt: Exactly right. And this is a good segue to how we, I guess get to find you. Because your podcast is really quite awesome in a way, I like to think of it more - it's an internet marketing or email marketing mastermind group. Every single episode's giving you new information on how to go about getting those clients interested. And you've had some really good stars on it recently. So do you want to take a second, 'cause we're getting close to the 20 minute mark now. Obviously our show, we try to keep it at that sort of size. So, do you want to tell people a little bit about how they can find you and about your show, that I've become a bit of a fan of?
John: It's, I mean the show is at themcmethod.com. You can put a forward slash there and add podcast if you want to go directly to the podcast. I've just put out the 95th episode. Which was with Neil Patel - no 96 sorry, not-- Neil Patel, a big, big content marketing guy. And from the feedback that I've gotten from the listeners is that what people like about it, is it's not just an internet marketing podcast. It's not just, "Here's how to make a squeeze page or a landing page, or a sales funnel." I think what I like to do, 'cause I have to bring a lot of that, what's in my personality to it. Where I get sick of talking about the same thing every week. So I'm not gonna talk about split testing or email marketing every single week, 'cause it - you just get-- Talking about the same thing, it gets boring.
So what I do, is I kinda mix it up. I've had conversations about - what did I do last night? I think I did one last night and it was on like - we were talking about like money, wealth management. How to - is it worth continuing to hustle and hustle and hustle and hustle forever? Or, is it worth just kind of saying, "Well no, I only want to - I want to make a little bit less money. But have more time, to spend time with my family or travel around. 'Cause there's always a sacrifice. I've talked about other things about how do you find that purpose? How do you get that thing when you wake up in the morning and you're like, "Yeah, let's go do something." And it doesn't have to be business. 'Cause one thing I've been wrestling with lately, and I think this has been coming through on the episodes on the podcast. Is this challenge of, especially in the entrepreneur online and offline. I feel like there's this glorification of, "I'm a hustler, I'm a grinder." And after a while, you kind of get past it, and you kinda realize that life's too short. You really want to do what you really enjoy doing most days. You don't want to be going about doing stuff just because it's, it's like a - you get, people think you're cool because you're working 12, 14 hours a day. If you're gonna-- Do that, but do it 'cause you enjoy it.
So anyway, back to the podcast. What I like about it and why I think a lot of other people are getting a lot of it is it's got a lot of marketing stuff on there. All sorts of stuff. Mainly around email marketing. But tons of different angles, and lots of great actionable information. But there's also that added side of it. Call it motivation or inspiration. And sometimes just that general mindset stuff. 'Cause I find that, I find that kind of thing really, really fun to talk about. So, that's at themcmethod.com podcast.
Matt: That's awesome John, and you're gonna be in Austin to share some time with me around SouthBite time. So I'm really looking forward to seeing you face to face finally.
John: Yeah that will be good man, let's have a beer.
Matt: Definitely mate, let's--
John: It's like 2 Aussies.
Matt: Let's, let's do it mate. Let's do it. But look, thanks very much for coming on the show. I know that the listeners definitely do appreciate it. One of the things I love about John is -especially his podcast is, it's all about giving value. Very similar to mine. It's all about giving you takeaways that you can implement straight into your business. So make sure you check it out at themcmethod.com. And again, thank you very much for listening to Better Business Coach Podcast. And make sure if you haven't already, please subscribe to the audio podcast found on iTunes. Thanks very much, and I'll see you next time.