Email marketing is one of the most classic and effective way of engaging with your potential and existing customers. In this episode, a Customer Evangelist of AWeber, Emily McGuire, talks about email marketing and how it could help you start and retain your relationship with your customers.
Emily also explains how AWeber works, the benefits of using it, how you can integrate it to your existing website, and how easy for it to use and access. She also shares the hallmarks of a successful email marketing, explains how landing pages could help you get more emails, and some types of lead magnets you could use. And, of course how they, with over 300,000 entrepreneurs and business using their platform, are doing PR to get more noticed.
You could also sign up at AWeber for free here.
Post-production, transcript and show notes by XCD Virtual Assistants
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Hello, and welcome to this episode of The UnNoticed Entrepreneur. Today, I'm with Emily McGuire, who's all the way in Michigan. Now, she's just outside Detroit, and we're going to talk about email marketing. And she's a customer evangelist over at AWeber, which is an amazing email platform with over 300,000 entrepreneurs and businesses enrolled. Emily, welcome to the show.Emily McGuire:
Thanks so much for having me. I'm happy to be here.Jim James:
It's wonderful to have you here. Now, Email marketing sometimes seems like a bit of a black art. Can you tell us how can email marketing help an entrepreneur get noticed and retain the relationships with those people that has the customer relationships with?Emily McGuire:
Yeah, absolutely. So, you know, one thing about email and having an email list is that these are contacts you own. Instead, you know, if you rely on a particular social media platform, or a specific way in getting in front of your audience, you might not always have a way to follow up with folks. So if you have an email list, you own that information in order to be able to follow up with people in a timely way, frequently, and when you have offers that you want to present to people to get them to convert. So, email is a really great way to, essentially, follow up with your audience as you're going out there and meeting folks through whatever channel is your preferred way, email lets you stay in contact with people in the inbox as opposed to being at the whim of social media algorithms.Jim James:
So you make it sound absolutely essential. And I know some people think that really email marketing and your mailing list is often the asset in the company - those relationships. What would be the hallmarks, Emily, of successful email marketing?Emily McGuire:
Yeah, so, first of all, just focusing on engagement, right? Relevant engagement with your audience. So sending them content or offers that they really care about, not just making it about you and your business all the time, right? So first, like thinking about that content, what are your audience's challenges? And how can you offer them information and solutions to help them solve those challenges? The second part of that is consistency. So not sending random emails just when you feel like doing it, which, you know, as you're starting, that's definitely a part of it, right? You've got to work that muscle out and build it. But I recommend sending an email weekly to your audience. It doesn't have to be fancy, it doesn't have to be super polished. It just has to be again, relevant and personable, too, right? And then the third thing is using automation to send people really um, relevant messaging to where they are with your brand. So in that case, that might look like a welcome series. So when somebody signs up for your emails, this is one of their highest engaged periods with your email list. They're very interested in you. They just took an action with you. So, sending at least one welcome email to introduce yourself and your business and how you help people solve their challenges is crucial. And to make it even better, creating a series and dripping that information out over the course of three to five emails can really set that relationship off on the right foot.Jim James:
So you've made it sound really logical, and I love the engagement and the consistency there, and the frequency. But how difficult is it, Emily, for people that are not technical to manage this? We're used to use Microsoft Outlook to send emails and they got blocked. What help does AWeber give or the tools that are on AWeber that would help a non-technical entrepreneur and their team to retain this engagement over time?Emily McGuire:
Yeah, so, you know, that's one of the things that we've really focused on is keeping our tools simple so that people can take advantage of them, right? If it's too complicated, you're not going to do it, right? It's going to take too much work. So, like most things in the tech world or in marketing tech, we have drag and drop builders for your emails, we have lots of email templates, we have 24/7 customer support that walks people through how to do some of these things, and really simple landing pages. So people often forget about landing pages, but a landing page can be a fantastic and a simple way to create an email signup form that you can easily share with your audience. And it makes really easy for them to give you their email address. So, that's something that people have a hard time with this, "How do I build my list?" And it's like, well, you've got to make it easy on yourself and for your audience to sign up, and landing pages is a really great way to do that.Jim James:
So you mentioned landing pages. Most people have got a website, Emily. How does, for example, an AWeber landing page fit into the website that maybe someone already has got, for example, in WordPress? Because people have a website, often. They don't necessarily have an email platform within the host that they have for their website. So how do you integrate that, Emily?Emily McGuire:
Yeah, so depending on your website, you know, we have over 700 integrations. But you can integrate your website forms so that people automatically get imported into your AWeber account without you having to think about it. But a landing page would fit into that, if let's say, you just want to create a really simple landing page for, again, email sign up that you can share to your social audiences. Or let's say, for example, you're on a podcast and you want people to join your list, instead of sending them to your homepage and saying, "Yeah, just find the sign up form on my homepage somewhere and sign up for my emails." You can go to this very specific page where the only purpose, the only thing you can do on that page is fill out the signup form. It clarifies the action you want your audience to take, and, again, it's something super simple to set up. And if you maybe have a web designer that's working on higher priority projects for your website, or you're just not super comfortable with doing anything on your website. Some people call that "knowing enough to be dangerous on a website," right? Using a simple landing page builder like AWeber has... again, it's very low risk, nothing is going to break on your site, and it's very easy to do and flexible. So you have the ability to make changes depending on whatever campaign you're trying to run.Jim James:
Great, Emily. And I'm assuming that I would be able to use my own domain name within AWeber for a specific landing page. So I basically leave my main website without touching it. Personally, I find WordPress much too complicated. I'm along that category of people that are, you know, I know too little to be dangerous, really, but I would be able to have my own domain name within the AWeber platform to have a landing page so that the customer's not confused by the URL. Is that right?Emily McGuire:
Exactly. Yep. You can have a custom domain specifically for landing pages in the AWeber. So it's still branded, it still looks like it's your business, your domain name. So people still have that trust factor.Jim James:
Okay. Now, what about the issue of mobile and online forms that need to go across with, for example, a mobile app where people are perhaps shopping or scanning? How are you helping entrepreneurs to go across platforms?Emily McGuire:
Yeah, I mean, we know that most digital traffic, over half of it. The last time I checked, was over half, it is probably more now, is mobile. And so everything we've built our emails, our email templates, our drag and drop builder, our landing pages, our sign up forms are all mobile responsive. So it's something you don't really have to think about.Jim James:
So that's wonderful. And it could work in any app, I guess, as well on any browser. Emily, some solely only need to do email marketing. What makes a good lead magnet? People talk about the lead magnet for the top of the funnel. You've had experience and I think over $80 million worth of revenue generated using email marketing. What's the holy grail, when it comes to lead magnets?Emily McGuire:
Yeah, so, essentially, offering something for free in exchange for an email address. So that can be a number of things depending on your business and what makes sense for you. So all it has to do though is provide value to your ideal customers. So, you know, for an e-commerce business that might be a discount off your first order. That's a really easy and quick way to gain new subscribers and have a lead magnet. Quizzes are great or assessments are great lead magnets where you're helping somebody figure out a specific challenge or a next step they might need to take. There are a ton of quiz builders out there, like Typeform has them. It's one of the more popular ones. And you can integrate that with AWeber. Guides. So if you can create a PDF guide on how to solve a specific challenge. A workbook, or even a worksheet to help people work out any thoughts, or strategies they might be dealing with. Or checklists. All of those are really powerful lead magnets. Again, the main thing is it has to help solve a common challenge for your ideal customer. Not just any customer, but the customer you're really trying to speak to. And you can know what that is based on like your most frequently asked questions. What are people asking you the most about - that would be a great lead magnet on how to solve that question. What do you hear people talking about in your industry the most? What challenges are they having? Can you provide a solution around that? So, yeah, those are the main ways to create a really great lead magnet.Jim James:
Yeah, that's fantastic, Emily. That's really comprehensive. And what about video? You've mentioned mainly sort of print format. There are companies like VideoAsk, which is actually owned by Typeform. I believe that has, you know, asking a question on a video. What's your view on the impact and importance of the ability to embed video within an AWeber email campaign?Emily McGuire:
Yeah, video is super powerful across any digital channel. The engagement is through the roof. The problem with the video and email, or not the problem, the challenge with video and email is that you cannot play a video in an email. I know one tool that lets you do that, but it's very expensive. So what I often recommend is creating, you know, the thumbnail of the video and it'll click through to wherever your video is hosted, like on YouTube, but that takes them away from where you want them to end up. Like, if you want them to go to your website to view more information, or schedule a call, or buy something. So what I actually recommend doing is if you plan on sending a video out to your email list, which again is a great idea, people love it. Create a landing page for that video that you want to send out, embed the video there, and then put any other relevant content on that landing page. Like contact us, or schedule a call, or view our pricing, whatever that next step is, you want somebody to take with your brand so that you are continuing to help guide people down your sales funnel.Jim James:
Okay, so that's wonderful. So I know that, people like VidYard are enabling some watching inside, I think. And there's you, otherwise you enter an animated GIF, don't you, from a few frames into the email and then get to come to your landing page.Emily McGuire:
Yeah, GIF is a great idea from a video. If you have those resources available to you to create that, or just the thumbnail version of the videos are good.Jim James:
Yeah, okay, that's wonderful. And you mentioned about the landing page having video. What other integrations could someone have within an AWeber landing page?Emily McGuire:
Yeah, so we also have an eCommerce feature where you can embed blog, your blog RSS feed into your landing page. So it'll dynamically populate your most recent blog post, if you want to do that, or your social feeds. You can also collect payments. So you can integrate PayPal or Stripe and essentially have a little shopping cart on your landing page so that you can do recurring subscriptions, one-time payments, or payment plans. So if that's something that you are looking to try to do and you don't have an easy solution to do that with right now, that's something else you can do on your landing page.Jim James:
And Emily, you talked about landing pages, are there any of the eCommerce platforms that AWeber integrates with?Emily McGuire:
Yeah, so on the landing pages itself, we do have payment processors that we integrate with that you can collect payments right on the landing page. But we also integrate separately from landing pages with themajor eCommerce players:
Shopify, WooCommerce, and BigCommerce. And then we also integrate, we are the preferred email marketing platform for Etsy. So we do have a deep integration with Etsy where you can automate, pulling in your Etsy customers into your AWeber account. You don't have to download any spreadsheets and re-upload them separately. So yeah, we are the preferred platform for Etsy.Jim James:
Right. Understood. Okay, Emily, can you give us a couple of case studies of AWeber clients that have really leveraged the platform for growth?Emily McGuire:
Yeah. You know, we have so many different kinds of customers. It's really fascinating to see what people are doing in their entrepreneurship journeys. We've got a photographer who came to AWeber and was able to grow his list over 300% using our tools like the landing page feature, the forms, those kinds of things. And then bloggers are still popular, and we have several of those content creators, in general, who we're able to dramatically increase their list sizes by using not only the features, the signup forms, the landing pages, the automations, but harnessing, you know, we have so much content on our blog about how to grow your list and how to do email marketing effectively. And so we're one of the oldest email service providers out there and we've been creating content around email marketing for a long time. So we have a lot of educational content to share.Jim James:
Right, yeah, you mentioned over 300,000 customers using AWeber around the world. So that's pretty tremendous. Emily, how has AWeber been doing its own PR and marketing?Emily McGuire:
Yeah, so it's been an evolution, right? The company is 25 years old, and I only started this year, but you know, as the PR world evolves as the world evolves, things change. And so one of the things we do is just trying to get in front of our ideal customers to talk to them about who we are, what we value, and how we help. And so one of those ways is podcast interviews. Podcasting is... I personally love it because it's just a conversation you're having, you know. It's very organic, it doesn't feel forced. And that's what we are. We're human beings, right, who are trying to help other human beings in their entrepreneurship journey. So really focusing on that human connection through podcast interviews, speaking events, going to creator events where we get to talk to people face to face, because that is the best way to learn how we are helping people and how we can do better doing that.Jim James:
Wonderful, Emily, and I'm very grateful to you for coming on this show. What do you think about the future of email marketing? Where do you see it going next?Emily McGuire:
I think the future of email marketing is more adoption of it. I saw a huge uptick in adoption over the pandemic. And I think as the world's rapidly became so much more digital over the last two years, I think, it's going to continue to be heavily relied on. The challenge is articulating its value, measuring its value, because as the digital world expands, there are so many digital touchpoints now, and I think it's going to diversify even more. And so, tracking all of that and how people are converting or becoming customers and attributing that to the appropriate channel is going to be the main challenge and the evolution of email marketing.Jim James:
Okay, that's wonderful. Emily, thank you so much. And that's very insightful, I think as well. The growing adoption of mobile, as you have pointed out, that there's over half a searches done on mobile and location specific marketing, as well, is going to make a difference, which I'm sure AWeber will be on top of. If people want to find out more about you, Emily, and AWeber, where can they find you?Emily McGuire:
Well, you can find me on LinkedIn. That's where I hang out. They gave me a free account, so I'm pretty cool.Jim James:
I know I'm a big deal.Jim James:
You have a LinkedIn account You are, you're an influencer.Emily McGuire:
Right. And I share email marketing insights there all the time. You can also check out AWeber at aweber.com and create a free account, if you'd like. We also offer a free Pro trial. Free 30 day Pro trial for podcast listeners. If you go to go.aweber.com/podcast, you can sign up there and get a free 30 day trial.Jim James:
Perfect. And we'll put that in the show notes as well. Emily McGuire joining me from Detroit from Motor City. In fact, Jay Geils band was from over there. Thank you so much for joining me on The UnNoticed Entrepreneur show today to talk about email marketing.Emily McGuire:
Thank you. It's a pleasure.Jim James:
It's been all mine. You'll be listening to Emily McGuire. And obviously, we'll put all the details about AWeber and email marketing in the show notes. So thank you for joining me, Jim James, on this episode of The UnNoticed Entrepreneur.