Today’s conversation fits under the 6th P, the P of Promotion. I’m talking to Ruth Poundwhite, my new go-to person for all things email marketing. This conversation focused on doing email marketing with ease.
Ruth is a mega introvert – and proud of it! She is a certified coach, NLP practitioner & feminist marketer who supports highly sensitive humans to scale their businesses without sacrificing who they are. She is particularly passionate about helping women to trust in themselves to build businesses that prioritize both their physical and mental wellbeing. Her book, Quietly Ambitious, is scheduled for release later this year."If we can get into the mindset shift that sales content isn't that different from regular content and that sales, the thing we're selling is valuable and telling people about it is valuable. Then I think that's a really good… Click To Tweet
In this episode, you’ll learn about doing email marketing with ease and…
- How she built her entire business using email marketing
- Whether we really need a big list
- Specific examples to get more subscribers, the gentle way
- How to write ‘nice’ sales emails
- How to bring your values into your emails
- The power of the P.S.
- and much more…
Connect with Ruth on:
Watch this episode on Youtube
Marketing Like We’re Human – Sarah’s book
Email Sarah at firstname.lastname@example.org
Thanks for listening!
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Imperfect Transcript of the show
I will provide a transcript of the show whenever I can, but please be informed that this is non-edited, so far from perfect. On the positive side you might get a chuckle from reading it, because these robot transcripts are often quite funny 🙂
[00:00:00] Sarah: Hi, Ruth, how are you?
[00:00:05] Ruth: Oh, I’m good. Thank you. I’m very excited to talk to you for your podcast.
[00:00:10] Sarah: Yeah. Likewise, we’ve been in touch for a while. I’ve been on your email list. As I said in the intro, I I’m quite picky with whose email list I’m on. And so yeah, yours is one of the ones that I’m still. You know, enjoying.
[00:00:27] So I thought I’d have you on our show and kind of talk about email marketing. Is it still like a focus in your business as well?
[00:00:36] Ruth: Yeah, definitely. It’s a focus in terms of my strategy behind the scenes. Well, I have one of the pots, one of the pods of the whole business stuff that I help people with as well.
[00:00:48] Sarah: Excellent. Yeah. So I saw on your podcast, not on your podcast, on your website, that you actually built your business around your list. Like. Yeah, this is how I started. I didn’t even have any social media presence. So that’s what I’d like to start and kind of unpack how, how you did that, how you built your list, how you built an engaged list, because I think, yes, we can have a huge list, which was my case.
[00:01:17] Back in the days, have a huge list, but. In the end, you know, if people don’t engage, if people don’t buy from you, what’s the point. So take us into that. It’s I guess it’s kind of two separate questions. One is like, how did you build the list? And the other thing is like, well, how did you build an engaged list?
[00:01:38] Yeah. So
[00:01:39] Ruth: I, this is, I’ve had two different business. This one that I’m doing now is my second business. The first business I started as a freelance copywriter. And so I was working for individual clients writing copy for their websites, and I gradually built it up over time to work with other writers and to work with more and more clients.
[00:02:01] And. I did that business purely basically through email marketing. Now there was a social side to it in the sense that I did go in like business forums and engage with people. I don’t even know if business forums are still a thing, cause this is 2008, I guess the equivalent, but the more common now would be Facebook groups, but it was like I went in the business forums and charge people.
[00:02:24] And I also got subscribers through organic traffic to my website. And yeah, I didn’t have a massive list, I think by the end. And this is literally by the end that I run that business for over 10 years, I had like 3000 subscribers. So it was not huge by any means, but you know, it was more than enough for.
[00:02:47] The sales I needed to make and the communication I needed to put out there with my audience. And I also need to just say that actually the reason I focus more on email marketing at the time wasn’t as strategic as it might sound. I was basically very afraid of showing my face and I didn’t want to put it out there on social media.
[00:03:10] Like I was just terrified. So it was a deliberate. Hiding. And I felt safe basically through, through email. Like I felt safe sending my words to a contained group of people. So email marketing was really my preferred method of communication now. I know that we need to talk about like the engaged less, but I just, I’m going to just fast forward a bit to the business I run.
[00:03:38] Now I do show up on social media. I have built a following on social media, not huge by any means, but definitely. And engage one that, you know, that has an impact in the sales of my business, but in my marketing is still a focus for me. So even though I faced my fears of visibility showing my face, I still email, I still feel very safe sending because.
[00:04:06] A lot of my emails are quite related to how I feel, what I’m going through. I mean, they vary sometimes they’re more practical, but it’s really the behind the scenes journey of this whole like business thing and doing it your way as, as a sensitive person. And I feel very safe to, to send, you know, my inner thoughts to, like I said, a contained group of people So, yeah, it’s still very much important to me strategically and personally, and what I enjoy.
[00:04:40] But that’s the journey I’ve been on over time. How I built an engaged list, you know, when you asked that I was like, oh, What made it engage? I think I just did it in a natural, like, I kind of want to say slow. It doesn’t have to be slow, but I didn’t take any shortcuts to trick people into joining my list or to, I mean, that’s like a bit of a extreme, but.
[00:05:10] I think, you know, I just, I had a very specific thing that people were signing up for. And I emailed about that specific thing. I mean, it sounds so basic, but I know, I don’t know what it’s like now, but I know back then, you know, I started in 2008, there were all sorts of things you could do all sorts of ways.
[00:05:27] You could get exposure and grow your list and stuff. But some of that stuff was very, very non-specific to what you do if you saw. I mean, like it might be. Getting like so low ads in other people’s email newsletters and stuff like that. And yeah, I didn’t focus on that stuff. It was very much people signed up for, so I did create like freebies related to I did, but they were very specifically related to what I did.
[00:05:51] And the other part of it is I regularly cleaned up my lesson, just deleted people. So like I said, I ended up with a list of about 3000, which is actually pretty small. I probably would have had a lot more people, but I regularly clear, cleaned out the list of people who weren’t engaging and that’s something that I still do now.
[00:06:11] But like probably every six or 12 months. So yeah, it feels like kind of a basic answer, but I feel like if you’re, if you know who you’re talking to, if you know what they want. Yeah. You can experiment and test the boundaries, but ultimately they’re signing up for something. You provide that thing.
[00:06:28] And that’s what helped people engage. Obviously there’s other parts to it. Like for example, being a human in your emails, like having a personality, you’re helping people get to know you, that kind of thing. But yeah, I think that’s what it comes down to. And it’s most, yeah. The most basic answer.
[00:06:45] Sarah: Yeah. A few thoughts on that.
[00:06:47] When you, first of all, when you said, you know, I feel safe in that container. I think that, yeah, it’s the same for me. And it’s probably the same for a lot of listeners who are more introverted because. These are people who opted into our little world, right? So we are not exposing ourselves to like everybody.
[00:07:09] And the rest of our world who has, who is maybe not aligned, but our values, these people who have already seen. Our website or our, you know, listen to our podcast or whatever it is. And they’re like now in our little kingdom or in our little world. And so, yeah, it feels much safer to put thoughts or maybe more personal information in the email rather than to share this on Facebook or Instagram or LinkedIn.
[00:07:40] So, totally agree with that. The other thing you mentioned. Maybe it’s so funny because you’re living it, you’re in it so much that you find it difficult to, you know, to explain, well, what is it that made it engage? I can tell you very easily from, you know, being on your list. It’s like, because you’re being you, it’s not like.
[00:08:05] Th th there’s descript of, you know, here’s how email marketing works and that’s what you’re following. And that’s what the rest of them I’ll do a, it’s like, oh, this is how you D do a newsletter. You know, talk about this. Talk about no, for being a reader or a subscriber of your list. You could just tell them.
[00:08:27] You’re just being you and, and that’s what makes it engaged at least that’s what I,
[00:08:34] Ruth: yeah. Yeah. I agree with that. You know, and I think that one of it’s really interesting because this whole safety thing, I feel safe to email my list. I get, I get, I work with a lot of, I worked with sensitive people. I worked with a lot of introverts and sensitive humans and a large proportion of that.
[00:08:53] Feel nervous about emailing. And I think it’s because they think they have to do it a certain way. They think they have to follow a formula. They think they have to do all the things to maximize all the numbers and the conversion rates, the open rates, the click rates, and you know what numbers are useful information, but not, not when they’re like paralyzing or not.
[00:09:15] When they’re making you think you have to be something completely different and they stop you from doing. Altogether. And that honestly is my best, like the advice that I give everyone who’s like struggling to either start or to find consistency and that kind of level of comfort with email marketing.
[00:09:35] It’s literally okay. Just to show up and be yourself and do it your way and do it imperfect. It really is. It doesn’t have to be a certain way.
[00:09:45] Sarah: I think that’s, that’s exactly it. It’s like w when we want to learn how to do email marketing, most of the time we, you know, we go take a course and it’s all about the opening rates and the, and the how big your list is supposed to be.
[00:10:03] So it’s all about the analytics and the stats and the numbers. And so that then only. Kind of triggers our left brain. And so we start writing with our left brain and, and, and so the whole personality and human side doesn’t come out in the, in the email, I think, I think that’s totally it. And. In a way. So what you did is maybe at the beginning, didn’t worry about the numbers and just kind of let it flow and show showed up as yourself.
[00:10:37] And then the numbers came after. Is that fair to
[00:10:41] Ruth: say? Yes. Yeah. I would say that I would say that like now behind the scenes, I’ve got, you know, sequences going and things like that. And that, and I do look at the numbers and I try to improve or can, but I. I wouldn’t start with that. I absolutely wouldn’t start with that because it’s, I mean, it’s just too much, actually.
[00:11:02] I think there’s so many things for us to focus on as business owners. When you’re trying to get everything right from the beginning. I mean, why should we expect that everything’s going to be perfect, like from the first try, like, let’s just get used to it. Let’s allow ourselves scan a rhythm before we start aiming for higher standards with ourselves, you know, give ourselves permission to experiment.
[00:11:28] Sarah: Yeah. You know, just to kind of wrap up the, the, the numbers. Thing, because I think that’s a big struggle for people. They, they, you know, like, for example, when, when I’m being invited as a speaker on the summit, and I’m sure it’s the same for you, people still ask or they kind of make it into the conditions.
[00:11:49] You know, you have to have a list of so many people. And I started kind of challenging the summit organizer and say, well, you know what? If my list is smaller, but my list is way more engaged. Isn’t that more important than having a big list with 10,000 people and nobody, you know, engages or buys your stuff.
[00:12:12] So it’s interesting that in the industry and this online marketing industry, it, we’re still very much oriented towards numbers. You know, if we were. Caring so much about the numbers. Well, shouldn’t we care about how many people buy, not so much about how many people are
[00:12:30] Ruth: on your list. Yeah, absolutely.
[00:12:33] Cause it looks good and it’s good for the ego. Isn’t it like, especially for sensitive business owners where you, you know, every business owner goes through like. Moments where they question themselves and how good they are or what they do. And your mind tries to cling on to concrete stuff like the numbers.
[00:12:55] How many followers do I have? How many email subscribers do I have that validates me? That shows that I’m worth what I do, but there are so many ways to build an email list or build a social media following of a large number that won’t result in engaged. And engaged subscribers or followers. Absolutely.
[00:13:16] And I know so many people who have tiny email lists who do really well with their business. They have the right offers to match their audience size. They have, they are a human in their emails and people are really connected to them and they want to work with them. And. Yeah, I do think it’s natural to cling on to like the hard evidence of the numbers, but it’s absolutely like, I mean, you can literally use numbers to illustrate why the numbers aren’t like the thing to work on.
[00:13:44] Like, you know, if you’ve got like 10,000 people on your list and you sell to like 1% of them versus you’ve got like a thousand people in it, ASP, it sounded like 25% of them. I mean, I can’t, I’m not going to do the math, but you know what I mean? Like, yeah. There’s a huge difference in. It could be worth focusing at women.
[00:14:03] It is worth absolutely worth focusing on the quality over quantity. Absolutely.
[00:14:08] Sarah: Yeah. Yeah. Still let’s talk about the sales aspect because I think that’s really what we’re saying here is like, Yeah, obviously you want to build a list, but not just, you know, spend years and years building a giant list and never make a sale from the list.
[00:14:26] I mean, you still want to run a business and, and I do think that you’re actually really good at selling through your list. Like it’s almost to the point where, yeah, there’s a lot of selling going on in your emails and yet it’s not like. Icky, you know, I open, I open your emails. I’m like, ah, there she is again.
[00:14:51] Wow. You know, like how does she do it? And I think it’s also because a lot of the more sensitive people, they, they struggle really to. You know, also ask for the sale in these emails. So it’s a lot more oriented towards value creation, but then when it comes to asking for the sale, it’s like, can’t do it
[00:15:14] Ruth: when you do it.
[00:15:15] The first thing I want to say is that selling is a, can be valuable. So we can, we. We have a, in our mind we have a rule like, okay, value equals free sales is sales, and it’s not like the same, but sales is absolutely valuable for two reasons. Like firstly, our sales content like there too. I mean, this is really.
[00:15:39] Generalizing, but there are two kind of ways of selling. There’s like you can sell, just sell, send an email, purely sales. And I do do that by the way. Or you can send a kind of value content based email, maybe a story, maybe some useful information and sell off the back of that. And. The kind of the latter one, it doesn’t have to be really any different to your normal content.
[00:16:02] Like what is really the difference apart from the fact that you’ve got a sales link in there, when you’re sending an email or posting whatever, any kind of content, that’s a story or useful information and you happen to sell at the end of it, it really isn’t that different from your normal content. So I think it’s a bit of a mindset shift now.
[00:16:22] The first kind of email, I mentioned where it’s like purely sales. So like here’s my offer. Here’s what’s included. Here’s how you can buy it. I get that. People might struggle to see that as, as valuable, but here’s where I think the important mindset shift comes in is that the people who need that and the people who want the thing you’re selling, they want to know about it.
[00:16:44] They need to hear about it and they don’t have to buy it. I mean, Like we all know that there are shady ways of selling. We all know that people use like triggers and shaming and all of this stuff. That’s not what you have to do to sell. If you’re literally just inviting people into offer the people who it’s not right for get to either, you know, ignore that email.
[00:17:09] Sometimes they’re self interested in if they don’t buy it, they can unsubscribe. If they really don’t like it. Or if it’s right for them, they’ll be happy. They’ll be excited. And when they pay you money, they’re not just giving you their money. You’re like taking their money away from them. They’re giving it to you in exchange for something that they get.
[00:17:27] So that’s why I think that the mindset shift here really needs to be that sales are valuable. Sales are valuable, and I know that. We all have experiences in the past of how we’ve been sold to and all of that. So I get it. I get why people feel icky about things. We also have stories about potentially annoying people.
[00:17:53] All of that stuff. But if we can get into the mindset shift that sales content isn’t that different from regular content and that sales, the thing we’re selling is valuable and telling people about it is valuable. Then I think that’s a really good starting point.
[00:18:08] Sarah: Yeah. And it just really demonstrates how, you know, sales and marketing are just overlapping so much.
[00:18:17] It’s, it’s not like, you know, one. Starts when the other one ends, they’re all kind of intertwined and you’re so right. That in a way you’re always selling, even if you’re just marketing or if you’re just telling a story, well, you’re selling yourself still. And that’s why I say it’s so important to bring more of you to your marketing because you’re constantly selling or marketing yourself.
[00:18:47] As you’re sharing your stories and the behind the scenes and things like, like what you’re doing as well. And I think that that is super key and it brings me to the question of, of values. You know, like again, maybe some people are like, just so opposed to selling because they feel like that’s not in alignment with their values.
[00:19:13] W w which to what extent do you think, like some in their work is important to get to that mindset shift that you just explained that, you know, sales is valuable as well?
[00:19:27] Ruth: I think it is really important. And I think the inner work that I would start with, because if you’re a business owner and you feel like you can’t sell, like, obviously that’s difficult.
[00:19:38] And I guess there are some business owners who work purely on like referrals or something like that, but that’s still some kind of someone else selling for you. I would start with, what is it specifically like sales is a broad thing. What is it specifically about selling that is against your values?
[00:19:58] Like get really specific about that? It could be, like I mentioned the kind of shaming that goes on, or it could be. Maybe you don’t like it when people send you a certain number of sales emails, maybe you just want to know about, like, everyone has their own, like some, some stuff is kind of an ethical thing, but some of it’s really just a preference, like get really clear on what it is.
[00:20:20] And I would also invite you to. Sit down with a journal or sit down with a trusted business friend or coach or whatever, and talk about what, what the words selling brings up for you. Like what does it mean? What rules do you have about selling? Who do you think you have to be to be a sales person? I mean, the worst sales person does feel a bit.
[00:20:42] Right. And that’s it. That’s what we need to dig into. Yeah. And then an exercise that I asked people to do in, in my work as a whole, and especially in the email marketing stuff is to rewrite those rules. Like, what do you, what kind of sales person do you get to be? How do you get to redefine what it means to sell?
[00:21:01] I do want you to show up and sell your thing. I mean, I, I will. I think that there is a level of like stretching your comfort zone if you find selling really hard, but it can absolutely be done in a way that matches your values. The other side of it though, is I don’t think it’s necessarily all about actually what’s selling is.
[00:21:24] I think it’s sometimes about how we feel ourselves and like something that’s very common in my world is for people to say like, oh, I sold my thing in my email. And then I’ll like, okay. They’re like, if I didn’t get any clicks or whatever, I’m like, oh, well send me an email. Let me have a look. And it’s like totally buried and hidden.
[00:21:42] And they’ve got like one tiny little link and it’s like, No, right. It’s okay to include sales in an overall, you know, content like it’s okay to include it in a story or whatever, but make it obvious. Like you have something, make it obvious, make it easy to, for people to see, make it easy for people to click on it.
[00:22:01] And it’s like totally buried. And I think, I mean, there could be all sorts of reasons for doing that, but one of them I think is that people are kind of like. Oh, here’s my thing, but I don’t want to bother you with it. And I’m not sure if it’s that good and I’m not sure if I’m worth it. And I do think a lot of it actually, as a kind of self-worth am I good enough?
[00:22:21] Do I believe in my program or product or service that I’m selling enough? I think we all struggle with that. I know that I do. And. The inner work required there. I mean, so, I mean, it’s, it’s the ongoing journey of any business owner, actually, that kind of thing, but getting behind the transformation of what I do.
[00:22:42] So asking myself, why is it actually a disservice for why would it be a disservice to my right people for me not to sell them. Like, why do they need to hear this from me? And, you know, I know you mentioned how I sell a lot and I agree. I sell, I say this to my clients. I sell basically all the time I sell in basically all of my emails I sell in, basically all of my social media posts.
[00:23:05] I have had a lot of factors. I’m really used to it. But I still have to do this work myself. I still have to do this work to get behind my offers. Like why, why is the way I’m doing it? The thing that people need. Why would it be wrong for me not to sell this and to sell it more than once? Cause people don’t read every single email people don’t see every single post you need to say, you need to give them the link, you know, more than once.
[00:23:32] So there’s the inner work involved in like the value of what you do as well.
[00:23:37] Sarah: Yeah, it’s a, it’s a number ending thing, right? It’s like, yeah, you have to just keep going back to it. Yeah, couldn’t agree more. And, and, and really, I always say being an entrepreneur is this dance between the being and the doing.
[00:23:54] And so. If you only focus on the doing meaning, you know, the, the, how do I write these emails? How do I get more opening? How, how do I get more followers, et cetera, et cetera. Well, then you forget the being. And I just don’t think you can reach your goals by only focusing on the doing. You cannot become that person who reaches those goals.
[00:24:18] So it’s just so important to that in work as well.
[00:24:22] Ruth: I love the way you put that. I really do. Yeah.
[00:24:27] Sarah: But so yeah, now we danced in the being zone. So let’s go into the doing zone a bit more, and maybe you can give us some really specific examples of what people could put in into their email lists, because I think that’s also.
[00:24:44] A struggle. They’re like, well, what do I write about, you mentioned stories, but like, yeah. What kind of stories, like, give us some examples of what you shared like this past month, for example.
[00:24:56] Ruth: Okay. What have I shared? So I’ve been off. I took time off in August and I literally came back and I was like, what should I write to my newsletter?
[00:25:04] Because I have a weekly newsletter and. It’s supposed to be every Monday is totally not every Monday anyway, which is just a lesson in itself. But yeah, I just came back and I’m like, I’m just going to share things that have come up for me. I did it just shared a bullet point list of here’s what’s been on my mind in the two weeks.
[00:25:20] I’ve been off. Like it’s as simple as that. And I always say to people, like a lot of people come to me and they’re like, right, I’m okay with Instagram, but I just can’t do email. Like, well, if you can do Instagram, you can do email. You can literally write the same kind of thing. I mean, obviously, yeah.
[00:25:36] Some people use Instagram just for the photos, but most of my people are about the captions. So yeah, you can do, you can do the same kind of thing, honestly. It can be, it can be the same as your social media content. In fact, sometimes I do repurpose my content because you know, my capacity and that is helpful for me.
[00:25:56] So while that, that is quite, maybe not. Ultra useful example of what to write that people might want. It is so true. You can just write whatever you want to write. Now I will say in my newsletter, I do have a bit of a structure to it, so it can actually help sometimes there’s freedom within creating a bit of a structure for yourself.
[00:26:16] Isn’t there. So like my news that’s a, usually has a bit of a personal, like mini. So at the start then I’ll just like, I have like a box in there where I’ll put whatever my current offer is. And then I just put whatever. I have like a list of links at the bottom. Recently I’ve started to include a journal prompt or an affirmation in my newsletters, and that’s kind of fun for me cause I’ve got tons of them written up.
[00:26:39] So it’s just an easy way for me to include a little bit extra for people, but I don’t really have to do any extra work. So you could create some sort of format for yourself for your emails. You could also create. Series of emails, like a five day series about whatever topic you want to talk about, something like that.
[00:26:56] But in terms of what, like the most important things to write, like what I really just want to say to people is two things like first is your welcome email is going to be the most read email that you will ever send. So the email that people automatically get. After they’ve subscribed to your list.
[00:27:15] Now I know that’s kind of a one-off thing. But it’s, it would be really beneficial for everyone listening to put together something for their welcome email. So usually, I mean, I have like templates and stuff for it and like, And by template, like the templates I do are not like super prescriptive they’re like ideas.
[00:27:36] But yeah, basically the most important thing is you want, you want people to get to know like, why it’s worth like staying on your email list and what they can expect going forward. Like that could be the most, the most basic way of doing a welcome email. And I think a lot of people get. It can be overwhelming to think, oh God, would you welcome me?
[00:27:51] Or then I’ve got to do welcome series. And it’s like, no, you don’t have to do it all at once. Just start with one email that goes out automatically when. People first sign up because it will be the most open email that you’ll get the most read email that you will have and just think about what’s the next step.
[00:28:08] What is the next step that you want people to take with you? Would you like them to go and listen to your podcasts? Because that’s where you really shine and build relationships with people. Would you like them to go follow you on Instagram? Would you like them to go and check out, you know, a low cost paid offer that you have to think about the next step that you want people to take and direct?
[00:28:26] To that in the welcoming route as well. But the other thing that I really want to challenge people to do is just send out a sales email, like what we’ve talked about. Honestly, if you have something to sell. And you’re usually when I talk about burying the link, there’s a lot of people who are kind of like, oh yeah, that’s what I do.
[00:28:44] So if you’re resonate with that, I feel like, yes, put my hand up. That’s what I do. I challenge you to send out a sales email. It doesn’t have to be pure sales or they were absolutely. But make the link obvious, make it obvious what you’re doing. Spend five minutes journaling beforehand on the transformation of your offer of why you’re right.
[00:29:04] People need it and send out a sales email, and it doesn’t have to be a specific way that you wrote it or in a specific format. It just has to be clear and obvious what you’re selling and what you have to offer
[00:29:16] Sarah: taking notes. Yeah, definitely raise my hand with the, maybe not. That hidden, but I’m still very subtle about things.
[00:29:27] So yeah, taking notes here. I also want to go back to the welcome email because yeah, it really is obviously the most opened email. If you have some kind of download or welcome series, and I agree with what you said and I would add, and you probably agree is that. Your personality in there because there’s a lot of people who just, you know, sign up to X number of these email download lists, and then you need to really stand out and be different and dealing with.
[00:30:02] W w well, besides what you’re offering you know, there’s thousands of other people who offer the same thing. So make your email very different by adding you into it. So it’s not just about your offering, but it’s really also about how you are different.
[00:30:19] Ruth: Yeah, absolutely. Absolutely. I agree with that. And thanks for adding that.
[00:30:24] Sarah: Another thing I wanted to talk about two more things I wanted to talk about. One is the PS because I see you use that very strategically, I think. So I want you to tell us about the power of the PS at the bottom of the, of the email.
[00:30:41] Ruth: So the way people tend to read emails, I kind of, it’s kind of similar to the way people read a lot of content on the internet.
[00:30:48] Is that you will get people who read it fully and you will get people who skim read. So I definitely encourage. Throughout the email to, you know, break up large blocks of texts, like have subheadings use bullet points, sometimes use kind of feature boxes sometimes. Although you can do that later, if you’re not techie and you don’t know how to figure it out, that’s fine.
[00:31:08] You can leave that till later, as we said earlier, but the PS is basically another. Doing that. And the, the most simple advice I can give about the PS is literally what is the one thing, if people could, if you could direct people to do one thing after reading your email, what would you want that to be and put that in the PS?
[00:31:27] So for example, I will, I will prob probably almost always use my PS for the thing that I’m selling. If I’m selling something at any given time, it’s just another way of making sure that that link isn’t buried. And yeah, there will be people who read the whole email, but a lot of people will skim read.
[00:31:44] So it’s really, really useful. And sometimes I use a Prius, which is something I saw Paul Jarvis doing. And by the way, he has like a really great, he he’s, his business is really built on email marketing and. He’s been sending these messages for years and it’s something that I saw him doing. And it’s basically like a PS it’s just at the top.
[00:32:03] So if you really want people to see it put out the top, but yeah. That’s, it’s basically as simple as that, what’s the number one thing that you want people to.
[00:32:13] Sarah: I love that I’m writing it down Prius. Yeah. And I love Paul Jarvis stone. Yeah. We’ll link to his book again. Yeah, that’s great. And, and you’re so right.
[00:32:23] It’s, you know, even if you’re not selling in that specific email, maybe you’re just linking again to the blog post or, you know, just it’s like a further next step, right? Like you said, Yeah. Yeah. Great. The other thing that I wanted to make sure to ask you about is discounts. This is a conversation that we recently had on, on our humane marketing circle where I brought up this topic of, you know, is it gentle and humane to use discounts to sell more in.
[00:32:59] There was different opinions. And what we came to the clinic collusion to is, is really that it depends on the intention of the seller. So I want to hear how you are using discounts and whether you recommend using them or not. What’s your take on
[00:33:16] Ruth: that? I think that I agree that yeah, people have different opinions on this and it, and it depends, but personally.
[00:33:26] I used to use discounts a lot, and I realized that it was coming from a place of. My own like trust in myself and the worth of what I did and it was devaluing my work. And so I decided to stop using them so much. But I do think, I mean, I definitely use them. I like, so here’s the thing. Let’s talk about it in the context of email marketing.
[00:33:52] I think I like the idea of, for example, if you’re launching something like give the people who are on your email list. You can give them a discount. I’m not saying always give them a discount, but you can because they’re the people who are, you know, really like, you know, they’re following you in this intimate way.
[00:34:09] And I do see him on marketing as an intimate way to connect with people. I think that that is a valid way to you. To encourage people to subscribe to your email list and they get a potential reward for doing so. It’s kind of like an early
[00:34:23] Sarah: bird for, for their subscribers.
[00:34:25] Ruth: Yeah. And I think that there’s always, so when it comes to like, you know, values-based marketing and, you know, thinking really carefully about the intentions behind things, there’s always a dance isn’t there between like, Wanting to do what’s right over all and wanting to be kind to your people and wanting to be kind to yourself and making your job easier as a business owner.
[00:34:54] And I think that using discounts or limited time offers or things like that is a way to get people, to make decisions. I think that personally, I’m fine with it. But I won’t use I’m. I tr I mean, I think that, I think that the way that marketing has been done for so long, it’s very easy to end up using like shaming language or triggering people and stuff.
[00:35:19] So it, I think it’s understandable if we do it by accident, but I’m intentional about unlearning this way of marketing and trying to focus it on, on value, shared values that I have with my people on the vision they have for themselves, rather than. The the things that they don’t like about themselves, you know, things like that.
[00:35:37] So coupling it with stuff like that. Like I just, we’ve all seen these things where people are like, oh, you’ve got like 10 minutes to make a decision. And if you don’t, you know, it says like, no thanks. I don’t want to improve my life or something like that. And it’s just like, come on. Like just not choosing to fight off.
[00:35:53] It is not me not choosing to improve my life or whatever. However it is, they put it. So I think there’s a way to use it. And I also think it depends like. If I had a very low cost thing, I would be more comfortable with offering a discount for a lesser period of time, because I don’t think there’s as much thinking and consideration that needs to go in.
[00:36:11] Now, obviously that is a blanket statement because what what’s low cost for one person could be a lot of money for another, but when the investment gets higher and higher, I want to give people more time to think about it. So, yeah, I think
[00:36:23] Sarah: it’s not on an easy subject because on one hand your attention really also.
[00:36:30] Well to make it available and maybe more affordable for your people, because you really know that this thing would help them. And on the other hand, it could be perceived as you wanting to just make the sale. So it’s, again, I think it’s about the intention. It’s about how you present it. Like you said, obviously if you’re using shaming or, or, or yeah.
[00:36:54] Blaming or whatever, all these techniques. Then the intention is clearly just to make the sale and run away with it. But if you’re, you know, gently inviting people and telling them, look, I have a special offer, then I think there’s nothing wrong with that. I would also say though because I made the mistake myself.
[00:37:16] Don’t. Discounts too often is you’re actually training your list only to buy when you have a discount. Yeah. So I think it needs to be still perceived as something
[00:37:27] Ruth: special. Exactly. And that’s what I found in early days when I used them too much. I just, I, I think that you can tell if you, if you really notice, like how you feel like, do you really want to discount this?
[00:37:39] Is this really what you want to sell it at? Or are you just doing it because you think that’s the only way you can make a sale. Exactly.
[00:37:48] Sarah: Yeah, I think that’s that’s the key line is, is that, is that what’s really going on. Yeah. And it takes so much surrendering into those feelings and say, what is it really here?
[00:38:03] Where is this, you know, intention coming from?
[00:38:08] Ruth: I will add. So probably this is, this would be a whole other conversation, so I won’t go into like massive detail, but one of the things I think so sensitive business owners or introverts, or people with like limited energy people with health issues or whatever who need to build a business that’s sustainable.
[00:38:25] And on their own terms, I am a big fan of. Using automation to do that. And I know that people have a lot of mixed feelings about this. And one of the ways in which that works with email marketing is to build a funnel. And again, it’s kind of like the word say lots of different connotations. People have different experiences of being in funnels, but basically at its core, a funnel is simply.
[00:38:53] Funneling people from one step to the next step, to the next step. And you can do that in a pushy way and you, or a manipulative way. And you can do that in a less pushy way. So I, I, I am personally happy to use discounts as part of a funnel that is automated. Like if people wouldn’t at first in my world, they might get presented with an offer.
[00:39:13] They have a limited time in which to decide to buy it. I know that other people might have mixed feelings about that, but I honestly believe that. As long as the marketing that surrounds it is done in accordance with your values. I just think. It’s it’s a lot to be showing up, creating new content all the time, creating new offers all the time.
[00:39:33] I think that we need to do what we can to make our lives easier as sensitive business owners. And that is definitely part of my strategy.
[00:39:41] Sarah: Yeah. I talk about the funnel versus path in the gentle marketing book and yeah, I kind of offered. Path instead of a funnel because it gives people power. It gives them the power back and in the funnel, it’s like, well, the only way you can go is down the funnel where in the past, well, you always have the option to exit this path.
[00:40:06] And I think that gifts Yeah, that empowers people. And again, it’s how it’s presented. It’s all in the language. If you’re using the hype-y techniques and say, you know, buy this now because you’ll never get the chance again. Well, then it feels like you’re taking the power away from me. If on the other hand you empower me and, you know, you kind of go into a more slower approach.
[00:40:31] Well, that empowers the client. So I think we have a separate conversation
[00:40:36] Ruth: there. Yeah, definitely a whole other conversation, but yeah, I like the word empower, like empowering people and I, I see it that way with sales as well, just to go back to that quickly, like you’re empowering people, you’re giving them the information so that people can make an empowered decision either way.
[00:40:51] Sarah: Exactly. Wow. So beautiful. Thank you so much for this conversation. If you had to add anything to someone who’s just starting out with email marketing, where would you tell them to start? Could be doing or being probably both
[00:41:11] Ruth: do it. So doing a lot of people get put off by all the tech and all the moving parts, or they might get started.
[00:41:20] And then. Not keep up with it. It gets to be as simple as signing up for an email service provider, creating a form and putting that on your website. You don’t have to have a freebie. You don’t have to have a strategy. You don’t even have to have a welcome email at first, although I would suggest you try and do.
[00:41:37] Soon, you just start talking to them. You can talk to them in the same way. You’ve used your words in other places like, you know, social media or whatever, you just start talking to them. And if you’ve, if you’ve had a break and you haven’t spoken to them for a while, be a human, like literally just be a human say, hello.
[00:41:54] Tell him you’ve had a break. You don’t need to give all the ins and outs of whatever’s happened or whatever you’ve been doing, but just be a human and say, look, I know it’s been a while. I’m going to start emailing again and, you know, feel free to unsubscribe if it’s not for you anymore. So I would say that’s the doing, it can be quite simple.
[00:42:12] You don’t have to have any fancy templates or graphics you can do, but you don’t have to the being. It’s just like asking yourself, what rules are you creating around email? What do you think email marketing has to be? What do you think selling has to be there? Just dig into that. And, and I guess, you know what, and I haven’t said this throughout, listen to people.
[00:42:34] I just want to say like, I don’t believe anyone has to do any kind of marketing thing. Like everyone can focus on different areas. Like some people might just thrive with the podcast and that’s their main marketing thing. Other people might do the email marketing. The one thing I do want to say on that, though, is if you’re building your business primarily on social media, That is a risk that the algorithm can change all that your account can get deleted.
[00:43:00] And more than that, social media can be very exhausting, especially for sensitive humans. There’s a lot of information coming at you. And as much as we try to avoid it, the numbers can get to you. Email marketing is something that you have more control over. It’s something that, although there are numbers involved that can get to you, they are private numbers.
[00:43:24] Like no one else can see them. And it is something you have control over. So you can back up your email list. You can take it to a different service provider if you ever needed to. It’s an asset that you control. And I do think that. That is one reason why I would encourage people to think about email marketing.
[00:43:42] But, like I said, I don’t believe anyone has to do any specific marketing strategy, but I do think that’s an important part of the conversation.
[00:43:49] Sarah: It is. And it’s so much about making your own rules and that’s what we’re all about here. It’s like, like you said, first of all, you decide whether you want to do email marketing or not, whether it is in your marketing superpowers.
[00:44:02] And then no need to say, oh, I have to commit to two emails per week, or even just one email per week or even one email. You make your own rules, but you own the asset. Where on LinkedIn was where I mainly hang out. Well, I haven’t been on there in like six months writing the second book. All of a sudden my reach dropped to like, you know, significantly.
[00:44:30] No, I cannot make my own rules because all of a sudden I don’t have that reach anymore. So, so yeah, I totally agree with you. It’s, it’s just worth investing in and and, and really bringing your whole self to it. So this has been amazing. Thank you so much, Ruth, for coming on here and sharing with everybody.
[00:44:52] I’d like to invite you to share you have a bunch of resources on your website. So please go ahead and share your website and the link and every everything else you
[00:45:02] Ruth: want to share. Thank you. So if you go to Ruth lb, white.com forward slash email. On that page is a collection of all the resources I have.
[00:45:12] So I have quite a few like free guides. I have some free ideas of what you can send your list. I also have a few podcasts episodes actually from my podcast where I talked about it, I do have an email marketing course as well. If anyone wants to go deeper, but yeah, Ruth lb white.com/email. And you can just see all the resources I have about.
[00:45:30] Sarah: Wonderful. And are you mainly hanging out on Instagram or Facebook?
[00:45:35] Ruth: It’s mainly Instagram at Ruth lb white. Although, interestingly at the moment, at the time of recording, I’m on. A break from Instagram. I’m not sure when I’m going back. I have a, yeah, that would be a whole other conversation,
[00:45:49] Sarah: but yeah, we’ll have to
[00:45:50] Ruth: have that one.
[00:45:51] My email is definitely the place that I am. Yeah. I’m showing up
[00:45:56] Sarah: because the times that we’re in, right. There’s just a lot of distraction. Maybe we didn’t bring that up, but just a distraction that you’ll have on all the other networks. Which you don’t have on your email account. You just go in there and you focus on doing your thing, where if you’re active on any of the platforms as well, you get bombarded by all the other things that are gone going on in the world.
[00:46:22] Ruth: Sometimes I go on Instagram to post something. I totally forget that I went on there to do that. And I ended up scrolling. Yeah, it’s very interesting. Yeah.
[00:46:32] Sarah: Yeah. I have one last question that I ask all my guests. What are you grateful for today or this week, Ruth?
[00:46:40] Ruth: What am I grateful for this week? I mean, I’ve so having this chat with you today, I also did a conversation for my own podcast yesterday and I’ve actually been, yeah.
[00:46:52] Okay. I’ve been on a break from my podcast for a few months now it’s for the longest break I’ve had, but I’m actually really grateful for having these conversations. Like I love, I just love getting philosophical about business that you could have. We could have had a whole episode about email marketing.
[00:47:07] That was all about the doing and the practical stuff, but actually it was a very philosophical conversation and I’m grateful for that right now. So thank you. Thank you.
[00:47:16] Sarah: Thanks so much for coming on here and. Yeah. Talking about the being and the doing
[00:47:23] Ruth: thanks for having me.