You've Got Mail
As developing a successful strategy for your digital marketing efforts can be a game changer for every business owner, correctly utilizing email marketing continues to be an essential component to your strategy. Simply knowing when, how and who to send your marketing newsletter to can make a massive difference in the impact email marketing can have on your business.
Recently our CEO, Stacy Jones got to sit down and chat with an expert in the field and the discussed the myth that e-mail marketing is dead and the importance of building an e-mail list. In this blog post, Hollywood Branded examines how effective and tailored email marketing strategies can lead to an increase in brand awareness and sales from the expertise of Savvy Simple Marketing's Lakisha Sarbah.
A Little Background on Lakisha
Lakisha Sarbah is founder of Savvy Simple Marketing, consults entrepreneurs and small business owners on e-mail marketing automation, including list building strategies and sale funnel hacks. With 10 years of online entrepreneurial experience, Lakisha typically works with service space business owners to teach them how to execute effected e-mail marketing and sales funnel strategies that drive sales and build lasting customer relationships. Lakisha's passionate about empowering women in business and dedicated to helping small business owners master online marketing automation.
Interview Transcript Highlights
Question: Can you give all of our listeners a little background on who you are and what got you to where you are today?
Answer: Yes, I'd love to, and I'm so happy to be here as well. Well for me, about 10 years ago I walked out of Corporate America, well actually a little over 10 years to be exact. March of 2009 I walked out, anxiety, just really anxious. My last position was director of training and development, and it was just really stressful at the time.
So, I decided I needed to do something else. What that something else was I didn't know, and then I stumbled upon the online world. I started out as a virtual assistant and did that for about three to four years, got completely burned out, but what that did help me to do was, I had to build my own business from scratch. So that taught me a lot about online marketing, e-mail marketing, and things like that.
I knew that for the next part of my entrepreneurial journey, I wanted to do something more that I love and to use skills that I had developed, and that's where the e-mail marketing comes in.
Question: So, what are the fundamentals? What do people need to know about e-mail marketing?
Answer: The first thing they need to know is that it's not dead, because I get so many people say, "Well e-mail marketing is a thing of the past," but it's really not. The thing that you want to remember when it comes to e-mail marketing is just to start. So many people think they have to have all these amazing funnels built out, it would be great if you could start that way, but a lot of people don't start.
You can start small, with a newsletter even, or something, like you said, you do a weekly roundup with all of the interviews and things like that you've done, or your blog posts, that's even a great way. The idea is just to kind of start from somewhere so that you can then start communicating and start building that value so you can build it over time.
It's all about the customer journey, it's all about the long game. So I would say start. The most important thing is to start and start from somewhere and that would be starting with some type of e-mail automation software.
You can't do this with your Google account or your Outlook account, you have to make sure that you have the right tools in place in order to do it as well. They don't have to be expensive, a lot of people think you have to have infusion soft or something really expensive to get started, and you don't, you really don't.
Question: So for companies who are out there, and entrepreneurs, and coaches, and small businesses, and medium sized businesses, haven't really done an e-mail list before, and they're not doing blogs, if they're not doing podcasts like this, they've been trying to advertise and get out there. What are some of the things that they could include in an e-mail that they're sending out, in general?
Answer: There are a few different things that you can include in an e-mail in general. You can do a lot how tos, or sharing the behind the scenes of your business even. Let people know what you're doing in the day-to-day. I built a lot of my audience based on a teaching model, so I'm really big on teaching, and tutorials, and different things like that.
Just providing value or any type of information you can provide. Updates, if you have a new website coming out, you want to let people know about that. If you do offline events, that's a great way to let people know about that. So you can meet face-to-face. So anything that you can think about that's going to really provide value.
One thing that I want to steer people against is just e-mailing to e-mail. You don't have to e-mail every day. So it's not important that you send an e-mail out every day. The most important thing is that you have some type of touch points so that you are reaching out so that they do know that you're still in business and that you're still available.
So think about just different things that you can do. You don't have to have a blog yet, you don't have to have a podcast or anything like that, but think of ways or different things that you can share value with your audience. Giving how to tips, you can share small short videos even.
I get a lot of clients that say, "Well I'm not really a big writer, I don't really want to write a whole e-mail." Then you don't have to, you can introduce a video and then you put a link into a video and send them to another page, like a YouTube if you're building that up, for your videos. The idea is just to keep in touch and to provide some type of value.
Question: We actually do everything on kind of a teaching model, and it's much easier to provide things that you think will help people versus providing something where you're asking them for money, or asking them to become a client, or asking them pretty much anything to do. So you recommend this approach?
Answer: Exactly, and that's all the time. It is important to make sure that you also teach your list or your audience, your leads on your list, teach them to engage with your e-mail as well. A lot of people think they just send e-mails out, and you just send what I call a dead e-mail, it doesn't have an end to it. Provide some type of call to action in your e-mail, join my Facebook group, look at this video, check out this thing that I have for you, download this list.
You want to start implementing little breadcrumbs for them to take action, so that when you are asking for them to do something like, "Hey, buy this thing or check this out," when you're really leading to the sell, then they will follow your lead because they're so used to you providing them with great stuff, they're going to want to check it out.
Question: Going into something you mentioned before, you said that you can do e-mail marketing and you don't need funnels. Can you explain what a funnel is, and how it works, and why some people actually might want funnels?
Answer: So a funnel is pretty much when you think about how you are getting your leads into your business. There are several different areas or places within your business where your leads may come from. The funnel is really the thing that brings or it's really at the top of your business model even. So even when you think of a funnel like an oil funnel, the thing that you change oil in?
So that funnel, you're pouring the oil in, so it's really wide so you can get the oil in and not spill it everywhere, and then as you go into the car it goes thinner, it kind of thins out a bit. So that's pretty much what your funnel is, right? So at the top it opens up and you're bringing in your leads, so people are coming into your business in that way.
As they filter through your funnel, they come through the funnel and that's when they're actually inside of your actual system, so that's the e-mail systems. So inside of your funnel there is your lead capture, which would be something like a downloadable of some sort, like your freebie offer. I've heard it called several different types of things.
When someone signs up for something like that, your newsletter, your freebie offer, it's an exchange, that permission that we talk about as far as the e-mail. So they're now entering into your funnel. Once they're in, and they're into your e-mail, then they go through a series of what we call e-mail sequences, and those e-mail sequences will then lead them to some type of an offer, okay?
They have an option to take that offer or not, if they take the offer, great, then they go into that offer funnel. They buy that thing, they go through that program, they're in that funnel. If they don't, then you put them into a whole nother funnel, right? That could be maybe a nurture sequence where you're kind of getting to know them a little bit more before you offer them something else.
So that's pretty much what a funnel is, and what it does, and it just kind of moves your customer from one journey, to the next journey, to the next journey, to the next journey.
Want to check out the rest of the email and learn more about how you can improve your email marketing efforts? Listen to it on our podcast!
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