What comes to mind when you think of marketing? Do you think of flashy advertisements on TV, in the mail, or maybe even popups? It seems that “Marketing” is a dirty word in today’s business climate. But there is NOTHING dirty about it. It’s simply storytelling. On this episode of The Amazing Seller, Scott interviews email marketing rockstar Ryan Lee. They discuss the usefulness of email marketing, dealing with haters, and telling a compelling story. Most importantly they talk about building a relationship with your clients and how to avoid coming off as a JERK! Both Scott and Ryan are fired up and ready to GO! Are you?
Is email DEAD?
The trend right now in internet marketing is to gather an audience on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and other social media platforms. Email is dead, or at least that is what some might have you believe. Ryan Lee is convinced that this isn’t true. He explains that people are still drawn to the email inbox for business communication, file sharing, and more! Ryan has witnessed and continues to see the power behind email marketing. Don’t buy the hype and put all your eggs into the social media basket! Learn how to use email marketing effectively from Ryan on this episode of The Amazing Seller!
Email Marketing, Strategy trumps Tactics
When it comes time to start building your email marketing list, where do you start? How do you begin the relationship with your clients? Ryan Lee is an expert in creating compelling email marketing content. His advice is to stay away from gimmicks and “Tactics.” Ryan says that a relational approach is the key to success when it comes to email marketing. If you can get people interested in not only your product but in YOU by telling interesting and relatable stories, clients will keep coming back for more. Listen to this episode of The Amazing Seller to hear more about how you can optimize your email marketing strategy for success!
Dealing with the naysayers and haters
How do you deal with hostile feedback? Most professionals in the business world understand the value of listening to and learning from reasonable critical feedback. But what do you do with the aggressive and persistent negative responses to your business? Ryan Lee has learned that the approach that works best for him is simply ignoring it. That sounds simple but Ryan has had to be intentional about this. He doesn’t even let the negative feedback come across his desk. He has an assistant who keeps that sort of feedback away from him. You might not have the resources for an assistant at this point on your journey – so find what will work for you. Don’t get bogged down with negative and unhelpful feedback.
Marketing as Storytelling
Don’t you love it when you get to hear a good story? The best is when you hear it in person from someone close to you. How can leaders in the business world capture this sense of interest and intimacy in their storytelling? After all, that’s what marketing is; storytelling. Ryan Lee has built great success around his ability to communicate to strangers via email marketing in a way that resonates with them. He says that the key lesson he has learned in his success is being true to who he is. He has found that being honest and authentic is attractive to his client base. To hear Ryan expand on this concept and much more – don’t miss this episode of The Amazing Seller!
OUTLINE OF THIS EPISODE OF THE AMAZING SELLER
- [1:10] Scott’s introduction to this episode of the podcast!
- [5:50] Ryan Lee joins the show today.
- [7:30] Ryan’s background.
- [16:15] Diversify, diversify, diversify.
- [17:30] Email Marketing
- [18:40] Who is the “Face” of the company? Who is sending the email?
- [21:00] Scott and Ryan breakdown a product example.
- [33:45] Is email dead?
- [38:00] How do you utilize an email list?
- [45:00] How do you deal with the haters?
- [53:00] Play to your strengths. Don’t try to be something you aren’t.
- [54:20] Who does Ryan market to?
- [56:40] How do you tell a story without boring people?
- [1:06:00] How to connect with Ryan.
TRANSCRIPT TAS 318
TAS 318: How to Use Email Marketing to Sell Your Products without Being a JERK with Ryan Lee
[00:00:03] Scott: Well hey, hey what’s up everyone! Welcome back to another episode of The Amazing Seller Podcast. This is episode number 318 and I am excited today because we're going to talk about something that you guys have heard me really start to mention
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…more and more. And the reason is is because it's more and more important now than ever. Now email marketing, that's what we're going to be talking about and how to sell your products without being a jerk because a lot of people think that number one, when you email market, you're a marketer.
Let me just kind of let you guys in on a little secret here. We're all marketers. Whether you're a kid trying to sell your parents to take you to the movies, they're a salesman in a sense. They're a marketer and they're good at it so you should pay attention to your kids, I've always said that. But email marketing a lot of times gets a bad name and the reason is because marketers do ruin it. All they do is they just pound you over the head with offer after offer after offer, and that's not the way that we want to do this.
I really do want to dig into this and the guy that I wanted to have come on and talk about this is Ryan Lee. Now, if you have not heard of Ryan, Ryan has been online for, oh gosh, over probably 18 years now and he has really done it all. He's had his own membership site where he was teaching fitness experts how to take their expertise and bring it to other fitness coaches or to start their own businesses.
He's been in that space for a very long time, all the way back to when he started. He also got into supplements. He grew them to a multi-million dollar business and then all of a sudden, a big old change happened and he'll talk about that. He'll talk about why you can't have all your eggs in one basket and all that stuff. But then he did another pivot but it's always come back to email marketing and messaging to the people that you are eventually going to be selling to.
[00:01:57] Scott: He even says, if you can master this, if you can even just start just by dabbling in it, you're going to see there's so much value that you can, number one, provide to your customers but then also you can learn a lot about them. He has a really great way of doing this. I'm a big follower of Ryan as far as his emails. I read them every single day because he sends out an email every day and some people would say, “Wow, that's crazy. That's overkill.”
And to some people it may be but his emails really do provide value and that's the key. You can kind of weave in value and then a slight little offer and it's okay because as long as you're getting the value, we're okay with that. I just really, really want him to break this down and that's why I invited him on again just to kind of free fly with him a little bit too. He's a ball of energy. I told him when him and I get on, we may start a fire here because we're both high energy and he's just really, really high strung.
I'm really excited for you guys to hear this. Now if you guys are just launching a product, this will still pertain to you. Now it doesn't you have to get all overwhelmed with this, just understand what we're talking about when we say things like when you're building an email list you're really building that asset so this way here you can communicate with your customers or future customers. You don't have to do it now but it is something that I say as soon as you can, I would make that part of my thing that I would do after I launched or even before you launch because that can help you launch your products easier now.
A lot of people are saying, “Well Scott, how do I launch my products now without being able to do a review group or someone else's list? How do I do it?” Well you can build your own, again knowing that this is how we need to launch products now and that will give you an edge because when you go to launch products, you'll already have this list of people that you know are your target market.
[00:03:59:] Scott: Now I did a workshop on this and if you want to go and watch the replay of that or if at the time it may be a streaming one, I'm not quite sure depending on when you listen to this. But I really did give a deep dive and a visual of exactly how to build that list, and then also I did a case study of how we built a list of over, at the time it was 3,000. Now it's up over 15,000 but that list is a targeted list. It's not just people raising their hand for a discount for a variety of products. It's in a specific market and now we can communicate with that list and that's really where this conversation with Ryan Lee will come in handy. Because once you start building that list, you have to say to yourself, “What do I say to them? What do I deliver to them? How do I speak to them? Am I the face of the company? Am I not the face of the company?” And all of those questions.
But that workshop can be found at theamazingseller.com/buildlist. Again that's themazingseller.com/buildlist. When you do that you'll be able to watch that entire workshop and Chris and I do a really deep dive in that and I believe we even give some handouts there, some resources, so definitely go check that out. But before you do that, you're definitely going to want to listen to this or you may even want to take the two together because this conversation will really, really allow you to see the big picture of how you communicate with that list once you have it.
I'm going to also link everything up in the show notes as usual and the transcripts will be there for you so theamazingseller.com/318 and you can find all of the resources and all of the links we talk about inside of this episode. I'm going to stop talking now so you can listen to this high energy deep dive into email marketing and how you can communicate with those people on your list and really take your business to the next level. Enjoy this interview that I did with my good friend Mr. Ryan Lee.
[00:05:52] Scott: Alright. Mr. Lee. What is up? How are you doing? This is really an exciting day. How you doing, man?
[00:06:00] Ryan: I am doing okay… I’m just kidding. Come one, Scott.
[00:06:06] Scott: You and I are going to start a fire together today because we're both very, very high strung as I said earlier.
[00:06:11] Ryan: Scotty V and Ryan Lee, how are we going to be stopped?
[00:06:14] Scott: It's going to be insane.
[00:06:17] Ryan: 30 minutes of fluff and like a minute of content. This is zero content hour.
[00:06:22] Scott: You are the no BS guy and I know that just from reading your emails. I enjoy reading your emails just to see how you're writing your emails. I read your emails. I think they're very good, and I've learned a lot through just reading your emails and kind of how you can be real but then still have a little bit of a pitch in there and get away with it in a way because you're adding value.
I just got to say I'm definitely a student of your email and that's really why I wanted to have you on today. I know you have a lot of history in the online space and you do have some experience, specifically like a supplement company, a really large supplement company. I really wanted to dig into some email marketing tips and tricks and stuff that you can kind of share around physical products and even digital products for that matter. Maybe we can just kind of dig into that, but before we do, anyone that doesn't know who Ryan is, Ryan Lee that is, maybe you can give them a little bit of a background and get them caught up and then we can kind of dig in.
[00:07:27] Ryan: Sure. Man, where do I start? In 1972. I've been online for a long time, my first site was back in 1999. I was working full time in a children's rehab hospital and on the side, I had a personal training company. I mostly specialized in training young athletes. I was an athlete in college and I ran track, I was a sprinter. I loved training so I'm like, “You know what? This internet thing is looks like it's going to be a thing so let me maybe have a little website built for my sports training company,” because I was doing clinics and I was working with skaters and tennis players.
I was trying to get my site up myself. I was using Frontpage 98, depending on anyone remembers that. I gave my neighbor Jonathan, he was 12 years old, I gave him 20 bucks. I said, “Help me get this damn thing up because I can't even publish it,” and that's when domain names cost like 70 bucks. I remember even the domain name like oh my god. I just started writing articles because that was also before YouTube, everyone was on dialup.
There was no video, there was no audio, not even pictures because the images would take 10 minutes to download. It was just a lot of text and articles and it just kind of kept going and people started to ask me questions. I started selling training equipment, medicine balls and kind of messed around for a few years. Then basically took all this content and said, “You know what, now you're going to have pay for it. Now it's a paid membership site.” It was the first one at the time for sports training.
Things really took off in a good way. Fast forward a few years, I had all these fitness professionals on my list and I was teaching them. They were like, “Ryan, you're an idiot and if you could make money online, could you teach me?” I'm like, “Sure.” So I had all these trainers and they didn't have any supplements. The only thing you could sell at the time was some cheesy network marketing stuff and they didn't want to join network marketing. I know there was one affiliate program you got a 3% commission. It wasn't even worth it. So we created this whole supplement company from scratch entirely on supporting fitness professionals.
[00:09:29] Ryan: For years any time any fitness professionals sold products online, books, DVDs, ebooks, anything when they sold supplements on the backend, there was a 99% chance they were selling our stuff. It was a really, really successful company and it was a multiple seven figure a month business and then…
[00:09:50] Scott: Then from there, Ryan, let me just did into that real quick. So on the supplement side of things, I'm just curious because back in the day, basically you were just private labeling your supplements back then, correct? They were yours, your formulations and stuff but it's really you were making them and then you were branding them to your own supplements? I'm just trying to understand how you were able to do it.
[00:10:11] Ryan: They were our supplement company name. The trainers didn't use their own… It was all business. It was essentially a really powerful affiliate program. Essentially what it was. The difference was we knew fitness professionals were very picky on what they sold, so we spent a lot of money… We spent over $223,000 on one clinical study for a fat burner to prove it actually worked and it was published in the journal of sports nutrition. It's a legit product.
Now with supplement companies, a lot of guys find the cheapest shit possible, cheapest stuff. Like, “Oh, it's $1.50 a bottle. Okay, I'll throw my label on it. Super duper,” “Get rid of AIDS virus.” And then they jack it up and they sell it. Ours was the complete opposite. It was like really high quality good stuff and that's why our customers stuck around for a long time. That was the whole model. It's got to be really, really good stuff. And even though I've just insulted everyone selling supplements…
[00:11:17] Scott: No, no. No, because you're right though. There's people that just find something off the shelf and slap their logo on it or they actually have someone that knows about that business, whether it's a nutritionist or whatever and they formulate something that they want, that they don't have on the shelf.
[00:11:33] Ryan: I bet it's different stuff. That's the only thing that pisses me off. You get people getting into the supplement game purely for the money and make outrageous claims and it's not like an ebook where someone could just get their money back. We're talking about stuff that people are ingesting and things that can hurt people. They are getting the cheapest price, they don't know what's in it, they don't know what kind of fillers they're using and I just say, if you wouldn't want your own mother or father, your own kids or wife or husband to take it, then you shouldn't be selling it.
[00:12:08] Scott: Yeah. That's a good one.
[00:12:09] Ryan: And I stand by that. I would never sell anything that’s going to hurt people. Just know your stuff.
[00:12:16] Scott: Yeah. Absolutely, 100% agree. Now I know there's going to be a lot of people and again we're going to get to this email stuff but I really wanted to hear your story on this and I know a lot of it but I want you to catch other people up. Now people would be like, “Okay, Ryan. That was great. You had a supplement company. What happened? Did you sell it off or did you just close it? What happened there?”
And the reason I want to share this too is because a lot of people, they have success and then that success leads them to other places and I'm just curious to see what was the pivot there. Why was the change in direction?
[00:12:48] Ryan: Everything was going great. Here was the big pivot. It was probably about 95% of our business revenue was dependent on our affiliates. We were an affiliate driven business. That was the model, which is great because you don't have to spend anything to acquire a customer. The affiliate goes out and promotes. If they send 1000 people to our site, 100 buy, we get them all for free. We pay commission but we don't have to pay to acquire the customer.
What happened was one of our top affiliates… And you know how it is, a very, very small percentage like maybe 10 affiliates were really driving everything. One of our top affiliates, he's the number one or two guy, left and basically started a competing business. They made promises that we couldn't make and created products we wouldn't create and stuff like that, so essentially… And he was buddy buddy with all the other people so they are all like, “Yeah, let's promote our friend.” Because they didn't care.
[00:13:53] Scott: It kind of goes back to what I've said all along. The supplement business can be a dirty business.
[00:14:00] Ryan: It could be the… With margins and again, and I'm not saying against this company. I'm saying but in general, we spent two hundred something thousand dollars on that one clinical study. People could just basically rip it off and take one ingredient and say, “Hey, ours is clinically proven.” No, it’s not A-hole. You’ve one ingredient that was in one study but you don’t even have the same formulation as us. But they don't care and no one checks on them and our product costs could be $20 a bottle, theirs could be $3. They could beat us because they can give more commissions and they can say things and do things that we wouldn't do or say.
That was kind of the beginning of the end. I look at everything like a learning lesson. The learning lesson is you must build a business where you have the means to acquire your own customer and that goes for affiliates. If you build the business using affiliates, we're just going to be an affiliate business, you're relying on other people to do it for you, which is nice if it works, but with the good comes the bad. Because if they leave, you're done. You're screwed.
The same thing with Amazon. I know you're a master at Amazon and you have all these freaking crazy algorithms and I don't know if you’ve got Jeff Bezos on the phone? I don't know what the hell you do, Scott.
[00:15:20] Scott: Yeah, right.
[00:15:21] Ryan: You've got some shit going on. But a lot it is, I'm assuming besides the algorithms, you know more than I do, but I'm assuming a lot of it is kind of passive, you're hoping for the best. You're hoping that you get the good link and all that stuff, which can be nice but if it doesn't work out or all of a sudden Amazon moves you down to the third page of results it affects you.
[00:15:42] Scott: Everything changes.
[00:15:43] Ryan: Right.
[00:15:45] Scott: No, it's the same with Google. There's a lot of people that have built their businesses on Google and they're getting ranked and that's their only source of traffic. Then all of a sudden, they do a major update and because you had someone that used a private… Yeah, they got smacked because of the links that they used to drive to your site and all of a sudden you get de-indexed and now you lose all your traffic overnight and all your business goes away.
[00:16:03] Ryan: The number one is the worst number in any business. Whether it's just one product or just one traffic source or just one distribution or just affiliates. If you rely on just one thing, you're in trouble, so you've got to diversify your income, diversify traffic, diversify revenue streams. All the different things, you need to start thinking a little bit smarter and a little bit more strategic. That was the big learning lesson for us. From then on it's like every business I do and run has to be able to generate our own customers otherwise we're not doing it.
[00:16:41] Scott: No, that's huge. I love it that you went back and kind of told us a story like, when you were riding the wave, the high wave, you probably were thinking to yourself, “Man, I made it. This is awesome. This is great.”
[00:16:54] Ryan: Oh, yeah. At the pace we were growing, it was going to be $150 million company within a couple of years and that, in a day basically just completely changed. Which is also why you have to… I know this is not a finance thing, you have to be smart with your money. You see these young guys, they get one hit, they get a hit on Amazon, “Oh, we're the top product for whatever.” They go out, they made 100 grand and they just put $85,000 down on like a sports car. “Idiot. No, don't do that.” Put it all away. Put it back in your business. Be smart.
[00:17:28] Scott: No, I agree. I agree. Alright, that's awesome. So now to get to the topic at hand here is really email and email marketing. It does actually lend itself to what you were saying because if you do build a business and if you are smart enough in my opinion to build again your own traffic which could be in an email list, I believe that that's a huge leverage point that you have. Because if the Amazon boots you, if Google boots you, you can still drive people to wherever you want to drive them to.
With that all being said, let's dig in a little bit to some email marketing and I know you have a lot of expertise in this. You've been doing it for years. You actually taught a… It was a workshop that you did in your area which talks all about it. I really want to dig into… People think business, they think how does email marketing come into business. I want to be a company. I might not want to be the face of the company.
I want to talk a little bit about some of that, is the face of the company and then some that is not the face company and kind of like what we could do to whether it's message them or send them offers or maybe we could talk about email subject lines. If someone is just starting out in their business and they have a product based business, what would be your first step? What would Ryan be thinking in his head?
[00:18:46] Ryan: Well the first thing is, you kind alluded to it, who's writing the email? Who's it coming from? When you're signing it, is it from a person or kind of from a company? Now I will say that even our company when it was at its biggest, we still had each email come from a person's name. We still had a face of it. It wasn't me. Actually it was funny because a lot of people in the industry didn't even know I started the company. But we hired a nutritionist and he was the face of the company. Every email came from him.
Because to me email is a very personal thing and I think you have to look at it like it's I'm sending this email to you, to one person. I started to think of okay, who's writing the email and why should I listen to you? Why should I be on your list? If your email is only about nutritional products, and you're selling me the products and you're just telling me different ingredients, I'm going to get bored pretty quickly. What else is there? What's the reason I'm listening to you? What's the emotional impact? What's the story behind you? Why should I know, like and trust you? Because that's truly what it comes down to, trust.
You've got to get into that frame of mind, who am I? What am I going to talk about and what are the things, what are those lines in the sand that I'm drawing? Whatever it is. Scott, give me a product. We'll kind of brainstorm here.
[00:20:21] Scott: Okay. Actually I just interviewed Pat Flynn and we were talking about how to validate a product before you can actually launch it and kind of listen to you market. I have a young daughter who's nine, I've got two other ones who are older, but she's nine and she's into volleyball. We went to volleyball and you probably know this from soccer and stuff. It's just mayhem. These girls, the volleyball, it's just nuts. Again being an entrepreneur, you're like there's a market here. There's people that need products, they need training. You could do a hybrid model, all these things are crossing my head, so I said to Pat Flynn, I go, “Let's just brainstorm on this topic.” So maybe that's what we could do. Maybe we can brainstorm in that field.
Let's just say that it is, again we've got to know who the market is, but let's just say that it's that market. It's girls' volleyball and it could range from age 9 to 18 and they need volleyballs, they need socks, they need training assistants, they need different devices for the training. Let's run down that road. If we're going to say a product, there was actually a training aid that I think you hook it to your waist and it's got a rope on it, so when you hit the ball, it doesn't go further than 10 feet and then it comes back. So as a volleyball player, you're not chasing the ball.
[00:21:40] Ryan: Right. Same thing. They have that in tennis and baseball.
[00:21:43] Scott: That would be interesting.
[00:21:45] Ryan: Then the first question is what's your position in the marketplace, your USP? What's the differentiator? Are you just purely about price? Are you like, “Hey, you can get these doohickeys anywhere, you can get this ball on a rope anywhere but no one's going to beat our in our house.” If that's your thing, then that's your thing. You're going to talk a lot about the price stuff.
Then there's a lot of the middle of the road companies that are just kind of play it safe. There'll be a little bit of everything for everybody and, “Here's our new product. It's $29.95. You can get the same price. You'll find the same thing in Amazon. You'll find it in your local sporting goods store.” There's no real reason for them to buy from you in that world.
Again Amazon really has changed the game, because pretty much you can get anything there. I don't care how sophisticated, how cool this volleyball training aid is or the socks or the kneepads. You can probably find that on Amazon and you can probably find it cheaper there and you get free shipping and you trust them. It's really hard to beat them. Or unless you say, “We're all about helping volleyball teams, so you could get them with your name on it and your…”
[00:23:04] Scott: Yeah, now you're doing customization.
[00:23:06] Ryan: Yeah, exactly. That's a whole different story. So it's okay. How are we find the niche? What are we going to do? What are we going to say that's a little bit different? If it's 9 to 18 year olds, so the kids are from late middle school to high school and you're most likely talking to the parents.
[00:23:23] Scott: Exactly, yup.
[00:23:24] Ryan: You're talking to the parents, what do the parents want with the kids with volleyball? Are these for serious players? There's a good chance they're probably serious players. Maybe your whole company, your emails are all about serious volleyball training. Like how to raise serious volleyball athletes. If you're a volleyball player and your kid wants to play volleyball, what's the thing? What's happening in the industry now that you don't agree with? Maybe in the industry, everyone is about vertical jump training and do this advanced jump training stuff because everything is about the vertical in volleyball and getting high. Maybe yours like, if you are under 17 you shouldn't be doing any volleyball training and anyone that's telling you that is wrong. And I'm just kind of making this up obviously.
[00:24:13] Scott: No, no, no. Of course, yeah.
[00:24:14] Ryan: You find your stuff. Or your kid shouldn't be playing more than an hour a week or they need to do cross training or they should do swimming. Whatever the things are, whatever those two or three things are, that's what you've got to talk about. Not our socks are 100% cotton and you don't sweat. It's got to be the emotional thing where like, “Yes, I get it. I'm in.” It's going to attract certain people and it's going to repel others, and you have to be okay with that.
When I started off in the fitness industry when I did more general fitness stuff, my whole thing was I was a sprinter in college, so it's like, “If you're going to train for fat loss and fitness and all this stuff and even anti-aging, you've got to do high intensity sprint training or high intensity interval training. That's what I'm for and I'm against the long slow boring distance stuff.” That was kind of the lane I picked and I'm like, “This is what I'm for and this is what I'm against.”
[00:25:10] Scott: I like that.
[00:25:11] Ryan: Yeah. I would do the same thing in volleyball. This is what we're for, this is what we're against. Other people are going, “Oh, there's tactics and interview and expert and bla bla bla.” That's bullshit. You have to say something that's going to standout and it's going to get people noticing and at the end, what's the result they want?
Well if the kids are 16, 17 maybe their parents are looking at volleyball scholarships. You could talk a little bit about that and “Hey, here's the reality. There's x number of volleyball scholarships and x number of markets and if you want to do it, here are the kind of tournaments.” Then you could start giving some more information and more content. “Oh by the way, don't forget our socks are on sale at 25% off.” You think it's not related but… People, if they trust you and you already had their ear, they're like, “Oh man. Scott Voelker recommended… Alright, let me go check this out.”
[00:25:59] Scott: I think what I'm hearing though it's a lot of what you do right now personally, it's like you kind of give this lesson… Well you give a little story and then you talk about where they are or something that you learned that's going to relate to them. You teach a little bit in the email in a sense, maybe add some curiosity if there's something you want to drive people to. But then in the very end, in your UPS, that's kind of like your pitch area where you're able to do that. People that would get mad at that, they don't belong in your list anyway.
[00:26:27] Ryan: Right. And they'll leave and that's fine. That's the biggest challenge I think most people have, Scott. It took me a while at the beginning too. It’ like we want to please people, we want everyone to like us, and when you see an unsubscribe, you feel like you've been stabbed in the heart. You're like, “How could they not like me?”
You just have to think of, “I'm just not right for them.” Or, “I'm not right for them right now.” I have people like that all the time. They're like, “Ryan, I was on your list for a while. I got off and I'm back on and I love it and I missed it.” It happens and it's cool, but you're much, much better off building a list, having a list of a thousand people who love you and your tribe versus 10,000 people who are like, “Yeah, he's okay.” Then they don't buy.
You talk about the big companies, I remember when we did our first book launch 10 years ago. We had all these big magazines lined up, these big business magazines with, “Oh, we have 500,000 on our list and bla bla bla.” We had one guy with a list of 1500 people just destroy them, because there's no relationship. It's big dumb corporate stuff and it's just not the businesses I build and the people that I help.
[00:27:40] Scott: No, no. I agree. It's funny because in the beginning like you said, when you're first building your email list, you see an unsubscribe, you're like, “Oh my gosh. I better slow down my email communication.” Then when you start to go through it, you start to also… Like me now personally, I'm thanking them. Because then it allows me to communicate with people that want me to communicate with them. You know what I mean?
It's almost like, “Oh, I got 10 unsubscribes today. Okay, cool.” I email the one extra email this week and I got 10 new unsubscribes. Okay, who cares because now I to rid of those people that don't want me to communicate with them and I'm only communicating with the ones that want me to, which I think is pretty powerful stuff.
[00:28:18] Ryan: Yeah, and it helps you hone in on your messaging too.
[00:28:21] Scott: Yeah, for sure. Now let's flip it. I think the volleyball thing was too easy to be honest with you, because there's so much content we could create around that niche.
[00:28:31] Ryan: I don't know if it was that easy because I don't think most people think like this. I think most people think of I've got to do an email and it's got to be just like here's what's on sale and here's the product. But okay. You want to make it harder? Bring it on.
[00:28:43] Scott: I am. I do want to make it a little harder. I got one. This is one that we used…
[00:28:47] Ryan: Give me softballs that you give at Pat Flynn first.
[00:28:52] Scott: This one here is really unsexy, and I think I know what road you can go down with it but let's just kind of throw it at you. What about a nice stainless steel garlic press? A stainless steel garlic press that maybe someone's searching for because they were just in the kitchen, they broke it. They were crushing garlic. “Damn it. I just broke my garlic press. I got to go to Amazon and find a new one. Or maybe I just go on Google and try to find a new stainless steel garlic press.” How do we communicate with that person? Like it's just kind of a thing… Or do we try to find the niche market of the professional chef or whatever?
[00:29:26] Ryan: Well yeah, that is much more challenging. Well the first thing, it kind of goes back to what I said about 10 minutes ago, is that the worst number in your business is one. If your entire business is you're just selling one garlic press, you're in trouble. Let's say you do a good job and you sell it and they buy the one, then what? There's nothing else to sell them. That to me is not a business and I would touch that with a 10 foot pole.
If this was my client, I'd say the first thing we need to do is let's fill this out with five or six different products. Let's figure out from there which niche we're going to be in. Let's we're just going after single guys who want to impress their dates or guys who want to learn how to cook better or we got down the market of this is high end so just for professional chefs or people who love watching the food network and want to be like that. Or we go down the angle of this is for busy moms and let's create all our products…
Even though the products would probably be the same for all these different markets, maybe the professional chef the quality might be a little higher, but give or take, it's all going to be the same products. It's only how you position it. Here's what we did with one of our supplement companies, we started a secondary supplement company.
Let's say you have five products, and you have a garlic press, a food processor, a can opener, whatever. Five or six products. You can say, this is called big boy kitchen and we're for guys and single guys and man cave and cooking and all that stuff. You could have the exact same products, create a second website that's called big girl… And it's the same products. Now it's just for a different market. You'd be shocked how many people do that in the supplement world.
[00:31:19] Ryan: I would say it just depends on which angle you go down. Yeah, you could say with the garlic press, oh it's for this and something with bad breath. Who the hell knows? There's a million ways to take it but I would say we've got to round out the product mix first because I would tell the person straight up, you're not going to be able to build the business because depending on your customer acquisition cost and how much you're selling it for, you're not going to be able to sell a garlic press for enough money so that there's enough money to buy the customer because it's a one-time purchase. How many garlic presses do people buy?
I have no idea how much garlic presses cost but let's say it's 30 bucks and let's say your cost of goods is 10 bucks so you've got $20. It might cost you 20 just to get the customer or more. Now you're at zero if you have nothing else the sell them then you're done. I think a lot of time, Scott, most people don't think of this as a business. I'm not saying this as an insult, but they're not sophisticated about it, they don't think down the road. They just think, “Oh this is a cool garlic press. I can get it for 10 bucks. Let me just sell this thing.”
Instead of doing a hundred different products, a hundred different categories, I think strategically and in terms of email, it's much easier to pick one vertical and go really deep. I'm going to go for the vertical of guys in their 20s and 30s who are young and want to be a home cook and impress the girls and impress their girlfriend and we'll have books and we'll write books that are going to talk about that. Maybe we can even affiliate and join venture with some people that have products about dating and relationships or picking up women, whatever. But own that market as opposed to, “I have a shiny new garlic press.”
[00:32:59] Scott: Yeah, it sounds like, and I like this model, is where you're really going out and identifying a market and seeing what products you'll serve to the market and then creating the content around the market that also then lends itself to the product.
[00:33:14] Ryan: Absolutely. As opposed to, “I have a garlic press, now how the hell do I sell?”
[00:33:19] Scott: Yeah, exactly.
[00:33:20] Ryan: Which is what most people do.
[00:33:22:] Scott: No, I agree. Again when we're coming into email marketing, which that's really why I wanted to have you come on, but really we got really into kind of like market, like how do we position ourselves in that same product, which I think is great. But now my next question would be okay, now let's say we go down that road, we go on maybe the volleyball niche, something like that like we did. We could go a whole bunch of different directions like you said, however we wanted to do that and some people are like, “Well email is dead, isn't it, Ryan?”
[00:33:53] Ryan: Then they're wrong. First of all anyone who says email is dead, the reason they're are saying it, I guarantee you if they have an opt-in or whatever, they're going to do a webinar or they're going to sell a course about how to get traffic with Twitter, with LinkedIn, with Pinterest, with Instagram. They have something to sell you. But the funny thing is, they're going to sell you through email. But how are they getting you on the webinar?
And watch what they're doing because the first thing they're going to do is have you opt in to something. They're not saying, “Hey, email is dead. To find out more, go here and like our Facebook page.” They're not doing that because it doesn't convert. What are they doing? They send you to an opt-in page and they're getting your email. It's like, “Oh yeah.”
Email is where the sale happen and anyone who says that is completely misinformed. They're so wrong. The other thing is you don't own… If you have a thousand Facebook followers, Facebook fans you don't own that. As Obama said, “You didn't build that.” I don't know why, because I said you don't own it, it just sounded like that. You don't own that, Facebook does and Facebook and the way those companies make money is through ads and sponsorships and boosting things.
With Facebook, if you had a thousand fans and you used to post something, you used to reach 300/400 of them, now you reach like two people because they want you to boost it. With an email, it's your list and you can reach them anytime you want. So I think focus on building your list and then from there you can say, “Oh by the way, and you can follow us on Facebook, and you can follow us on Twitter.” But get them on your list first. I'm telling you right now, you can have a list of 10,000 people and a Facebook following of 10,000 people, do a test. Don't even listen to me. Send the promotion to your email, do the exact same promotion on Facebook, the same 10,000 people and you'll see which one makes more sales and gets more clicks.
[00:35:49] Scott: I'm going to totally agree with you because I've done this now for well over eight years in different markets too and it's always the same. When Facebook was good, I should say or when it was allowing you to reach those people, it was decent, but it still wasn't as good as email. But it was better than it is now. Now, like you said, you have to run ads to that post and then boost it. I think Facebook live is probably the best thing now, but that's again going to go the other way as soon as they…
[00:36:19] Ryan: It'll change.
[00:36:20] Scott: Yeah, it'll change but for now, but then what are you doing with the Facebook Live? Well you're saying, “Hey, cool. If you want this free thing, go here and get on my list.”
[00:36:28] Ryan: I look at social media and all the other stuff, I look at it purely as a way to get from there to get people onto my list. The list is the real issue. Then there's this whole email's dead, kids don't check email and bla bla bla, that's BS because every single person listening to this, I guarantee you've checked your email at least a few times already today. My kids are… My oldest is 13, I got 11… I've got four kids. My 11 and my 13-year-olds have email and they check it every day. People still check email. It's not going anywhere.
[00:37:01] Scott: No, I 100% agree. But again I think the people just starting, I think they get a little overwhelmed with that but again, I like it…
[00:37:09] Ryan: Everyone's trying to sell them stuff. Everyone's trying to distract them and they make it more confusing and they say you've got to be everywhere. You don't have to be everywhere. No, no. You've got to find your little niche, your little area and go in there, build your list, develop relationships, build trust. It's pretty simple. It may not be so easy, and there's a difference between easy and simple but it's pretty damn simple. It really is and everyone is going to try to distract you and they're going to try and sell you more courses and all that other crap but you just have to put your blinders on and say, “This is my market, I'm building a list. I'm building relationships and I'm going to sell some stuff that offer value.”
[00:37:47] Scott: Okay, before we wrap this up, this has been awesome but-
[00:37:49] Ryan: Oh, we're just getting started, Scott.
[00:37:51] Scott: I know. Well we can keep running. I was trying to be respectful of your time. But the one thing that I know people ask all the time is okay, I have this email list now. Number one, what do I send them? But again like you said, you've got to kind of start to understand your market and then from there deliver those solutions to those problems because usually that's…
[00:38:14] Ryan: Strategy trumps tactics.
[00:38:17] Scott: I agree with that. Why don't you explain what that actually means to people…
[00:38:20] Ryan: I don't know. It just sounded good.
[00:38:21] Scott: That sounds really good. But I know you know what that means.
[00:38:25] Ryan: Strategy is taking a step back. It's asking those tough questions, “Who's my market? What's my place in the market? What do I have to say? What are they listening to me for? What's my objective in this?” That's strategy. Tactics are the aholes going, “Put this little countdown box in the email to get people to click with false scarcity and it’ll cookie their…” That's a tactic. Everyone's focus is on that because that's as you said before, there's the non-sexy stuff, that's the sexy stuff. The reality is it's about the relationships and you've got to think more strategic. That's what I meant by that.
[00:39:04] Scott: Yeah, okay. Cool. Then the other thing is people say, “How often do I email them?” I know you've changed your strategy here moving forward and I'm not sure that's for every single person, especially in like maybe a business. But maybe you can talk a little bit about that. Like someone that's selling the volleyball accessories stuff, let's say, into that market, if you were the face of that business, I guess you could deliver emails as frequently as you are. But in the same breath, for some people that's overwhelming, so what would you say would be a good pace? Because you want to stay relevant. You want to stay also in their stream of email, so maybe you can speak to that a little bit.
[00:39:44] Ryan: Well here's what I say. Let me give you an example to show you why the infrequent emails, why it's going to scare you right now and you're going to start sending more. Let's say the average open rate is about 25% give or take, sometimes more, sometimes less.
If that’s the case the average person that means… Again on averages, the average is opening maybe one out of every four emails. If you send an email and most people in a product category, the guy selling volleyball, treadmill all of that stuff, you know how many emails are sent? They’ll send one a month. If you send one a month and the average person opens one every four, how many emails are they opening a year?
They’re opening like three, they’re only seeing three of your messages. No wonder why you’re not making a lot of sales. If you do one email a week now they’re opening let’s say one about every month almost. Now we’re getting there. It is kind of test and you have to see your market and what the response is and how big the content is and the open… You have to look at all of that stuff.
I would say cutting across the board, at minimum you should be doing at least one email a week. Anything less it’s, not that it’s not worth it but you really got to do at least once a week, preferably two to three. I’m up to once a day. If I don’t email for a day or two we get emails to my assistant, to my team like, “Where’s Ryan, is he okay, we miss his emails?” We get emails all the time people saying, “I love your emails.
I look forward to it. It’s the first thing I do when I wake up in the morning. I can’t wait to open your email and read it.” That’s where you want to get to because when you get there business changes. We’re doing a workshop in a couple of weeks and I sent one email. I didn’t have a sales page, I didn’t have a video sales letter, I didn’t use the hype-y headline ‘Who else wants to make a million dollars… None of that crap.
[00:41:44] Ryan: It was literally, “Here’s the workshop, here’re the dates, here’re the times, we have a 100 spots, click here if you want to take it.” All we did was took them to the checkout page form that. That’s it. Here you go, here’s the checkout page. We sold every single spot because we have trust and we have a relationship and I’m there all the time. I’m not going anywhere.
You’ve got to be consistent, you have to be prolific and you can’t stop. You can’t go away for two months. It drives me crazy in the internet marketing world where these guys come on, they’ll hit you hard for like two, three weeks while they’re launching and then they disappear. They got your money, they counting their money, they’re on vacation then they blow it all on coke and whores. They come back three months later, “Hey we got some great news. We’re coming back with version two.” It’s like, “You don’t really care about me.”
[00:42:40] Scott: That drives me actually crazy. It recently happened, again I’m not mentioning anybody or calling anybody out because that’s not how I roll, but…
[00:42:46] Ryan: Screw you Pat Flynn.
[00:42:47] Scott: Right, not Pat. Pat’s cool. Actually someone in our industry here and in our community, it kills me that… We’ve got a close date. I’m okay with the close date, that’s fine but when you come back the next day and go, “Oh we’re going to reopen because I’ve got a ton of emails of people saying that they couldn’t get in or their cart got broken,” that drives me absolutely insane.
[00:43:14] Ryan: That’s old, that’s 2007 hack stuff. A guy just did that to me, I was on his list and he did that whole thing, “We’re closing, we’re closing, we’re done. I got three more people, everyone’s emailing me, can you open it again?” No one’s emailing you jackass, no they’re not. No one’s emailing you. It just makes me…
[00:43:31] Scott: Don’t go down that road.
[00:43:32] Ryan: That’s short sighted. You might make a couple of extra sales but you’ve blown all the integrity you have. I look at this and I have all my students look at their business as a long term. It’s the reason why I’m still doing this. What year is it now? I don’t even know what year it is.
[00:43:48] Scott: It’s 2017, come on man.
[00:43:50] Ryan: I was trying to think of a number, how long I’ve been on, so this is now my 18th year online. When I used to speak as “guru” 10 years ago, it didn’t start off that way. Almost every person I shared the stage with they’re all gone. Not gone because they’ve made millions and retired, gone because they have no more trust, they have no more integrity; people don’t believe them anymore. I love doing this. I love coming on. When I saw on the calendar you’re going to interview, I look forward to this stuff. This is fun for me.
[00:44:23] Scott: Exactly, for me I get the privilege of doing this now and being able to have… I always look at it almost like I’m able to just talk with friends now but also just learn through that process and kind of dig through and ask the questions that I want answered as well not just the audience but then when the audience gets it, to me it’s a win-win for everyone. I could talk about this stuff whether we’re on a podcast or not. This is a personal question here and this one here…
[00:44:50] Ryan: The answer is yes I do look as good in person.
[00:44:50] Scott: You do, I know that.
[00:44:53] Ryan: That was the question. If it wasn’t the question, yes I am smarter than a Flynn. What’s the third?
[00:44:59] Scott: The third question would be haters because as your email you are going to get haters, you are going to get people that are going to say, “You’re just like the rest, stop emailing me. I didn’t ask for this,” or… How do you handle those people? Some are more graphic than others. I’ve gotten okay with it now but in the beginning it’s like holy cow, this person really, really hates me and thinks I’m a really bad person. For anyone that’s got any type of morals it does affect you where you think to yourself… You’re like, wait a minute, am I doing something wrong? I thought I was helping. How do you get through that?
[00:45:40] Ryan: Anyone says love your haters or it’s just a reflection on you, I get that but it’s still… I’m from New York. My first reaction is to punch back. That’s my first reaction, it’s like, “You want to go? Let’s go.”
[00:45:58] Scott: You want to step outside?
[00:45:59] Ryan: Of course I stop, I take a breath. I do try to set up systems where I don’t see most of that stuff. Even every email we send is from email@example.com. If they hit reply it actually goes to one of my assistants. She knows, she even said, my number one job is to protect you. I just don’t need to see that not that I’m not living in reality because I know people unsubscribe.
If someone says, ‘You’re an a-hole get me off,” There’s nothing positive, no constructive criticism, there’s nothing. There’s nothing positive that can come out of it, so why the heck do I even have to see it? She’ll just delete them or unsubscribe, say, “Hey sorry, good bye.” And that’s it. Sometimes things get elevated to me where someone is threatened.
Thankfully it really doesn’t happen that often because I just try to… I’m very upfront. I’m like, this is me, this is my positioning, this is what I do, if you like it great and if not that’s cool too. I really try to be nice and respectful to everybody. We really don’t get it that often. Every once in awhile you get some. You know what is mostly and I don’t mean this like trying to sound arrogant but it is like jealousy.
It’s not that I’m a perfect guy but they see you and they see all this stuff, like “screw you. You’re ripping people off.” I think if you can setup some type of system where whatever they reply to it goes to an assistant so they can protect you from some of the negativity.
If it’s on Facebook I’ll just delete it because we’ve so many positive emails and so many testimonials. I’ve a whole separate folder in my Gmail that’s just called Testimonials. If I feel like I’m not making progress or I feel like I’m getting beat down I’ll just look in there and see all the lives I’ve changed. I’m like, “All right, I feel pretty good.”
[00:47:48] Scott: That’s actually a big one. I’ve done the same thing because you’re right, it’s kind of my motivational folder of the people that say, “Scott, I don’t know where I would have been. The things that I’m struggling with where I would have been if it wasn’t for you just putting out the content.” Just that stuff there is just so… I had a guy actually literally, it’s in my inbox. Right now I was going to dig in with the headline was like Scott you’ve changed my life. How do you like?
[00:48:19] Ryan: Is that from Pat Flynn?
[00:48:20] Scott: That was not from Pat.
[00:48:21] Ryan: That was for Pat, that son of a bitch.
[00:48:21] Scott: No, it wasn’t from him.
[00:48:28] Ryan: It was Flynn, it’s okay. Pat I know you’re listening. I forgot what I was going to say because I’m so excited to rank on Pat.
[00:48:38] Scott: I know, again, coming down to if what you’re doing you believe in 100% and you feel as though you are honestly doing this from the right place, I don’t think anyone can say a damn thing. If they do well then whatever.
[00:48:55] Ryan: Everyone asked about, how do you become a leader because in college I won the leadership award? I was captain of my track team in college. I was in these leadership positions and when I look back and I think of it. What was so different about me, nothing. I wasn’t the fastest on my track team in college one but I wasn’t beat.
My program in college I didn’t have the best grades but I think what I had… It just sounds like common sense like integrity. People want to know that they can trust you and I think they need to have that feeling like you got their back. I think when you hit people with… When all you’re doing is trying to sell, when you’re offering no value, when every sale you make is all about 17 upsells to try to squeeze every dollar out of them they’re like, okay this person really doesn’t care about me. I’ve no problem making money. It’s not about that. I’m a capitalist, I believe in making money. It’s great, you could do a lot of great things with money. I’m not saying you shouldn’t make money, I’m not saying that at all.
But when you just truly care about people and you try to put their best interest in and you’re not just trying to sell shit, things change. You’re going to get less haters, you’re going to get more people who are fans of you and you’re going to get more people talking about you. You’re going to get invited to speak on podcasts like this. You’re going to get on shows. There’s a lot of great things that happen if you think long term and you be like I’m going to put up the best products for my people and do the right thing. It’s stuff we learned in kindergarten but it still holds true.
It just gets me crazy the whole everyone’s trying to ninja this and all these tricks and this persuasion. Stop being a jackass, just be you instead of doing a hard sale all the time. PS, this is the new volleyball training system we have, if you’re interested in getting it click here and if not that’s cool too. Just a little thing that if not, that’s all right. It’s okay, we can still be friends. You don’t have to buy it now. It’s not like it’s only on sale for the next two hours. You could buy tomorrow, you could buy it next week, buy when you need it. I’ve people in my list they’re three, four years and they’re like, “I finally joined your membership.” I’m like, “All right. Cool, welcome aboard. We’ll make you feel comfortable.” It’s great. I can talk about this stuff for days and days.
[00:51:21] Scott: To me it’s very simple but the problem is… The big problem for people that are just starting too is that it is the money. I get that, you want to get out of your current situation. I understand that but you have to be able to try to figure out a way to get out there and add value whether it’s with physical products, digital products, whatever it is. Understand who you’re serving and then do you best to just be… Again we’ll talk about Pat Flynn a little bit more here, how he says go out there and create the best resource online in your market.
By doing that it could just be the best resource page. It could be the best set of lessons or content around that because that’s going to bring people in and that’s going to get people to be educated and then get people to know, like and trust you, whether it’s through content or whether it’s through email. I truly do believe that but it’s hard in the beginning because we’re all trying to make money so we can have that freedom lifestyle that we all think that we want. It’s just the way it is but it’s hard. It’s a hard balance. It’s hard for us to sit here and say that because we’re both doing okay. We do have…
[00:52:30] Ryan: Do it predominantly.
[00:52:30] Scott: We’re doing well.
[00:52:32] Ryan: Here’s the thing, I’ll kind of add a little thing onto what Pat said. I agree but I’ll disagree a little bit. Yes, create the best resource but what happens? How do we define the best and then does that put too much pressure on us where we’re like the guys at the greatest.com they did this 200 of the best fitness professionals online, how am I ever going to top that? Look at the research they’ve all these resources, how am I going to beat that?
I’m not saying don’t try to be great, try to be great. However, I still think there’s something to be said about being the best you. I’m not using this as like eight year old psychology, be the best everyone gets a trophy. No, not that all but play into your strengths. I’m well aware of my strengths, I’m well aware of my weakness and don’t be afraid to talk about your weaknesses.
Whatever it is you’re doing, whatever it is you’re saying, be the best you. Even going back to volleyball don’t say your volleyball training system is the best if it’s not. Don’t say your socks are the best if they’re not. Be honest with them. Say, “Look, these are the socks we make them. Yes you could spend 30% more and get the Under Armour or socks because they have so much money and so many resources their socks are going to be a little bit better.
If you want to save 10 bucks ours are good and you won’t tell the difference.” As opposed to saying, “These are the best and then people are like they’re not, they’re not better than the other Under Armour ones.” That’s okay, you don’t have to be necessarily the best. I think when you connect to people on a real level, like when you write emails imagine you’re sitting next to someone at a restaurant or bar having a conversation. That’s what you want to get it to. You get there and the selling becomes much easier.
[00:54:22] Scott: Do you have… I’m just curious too now that you’ve brought that up, do you have your avatar in your head like precisely on who you’re talking to when you write your daily emails? I’m just curious.
[00:54:34] Ryan: I have…
[00:54:35] Scott: Is it general idea. Is it me? Are you writing to me?
[00:54:40] Ryan: I am writing to not you, you know who I’m writing to?
[00:54:43] Scott: Who are you writing to?
[00:54:44] Ryan: Pat Flynn. No, I am writing to… I know my exact market because I was my market. I know exactly whom I’m talking to. The thing is, my group is pretty diverse. In the internet marketing space they tend to skew a little bit older. I’m not necessarily… Like Gary Vaynerchuk is getting all the Millennial 20 year olds. Mine isn’t really that much, it’s probably more men and women like me. They have kids, they’re a little bit older, so I know exactly what they want and where they are in life. I’m pretty good at talking to them and even if not, because I have people in the 80s and I have people in their 20s, so how do you talk to everybody? You tell stories.
[00:55:36] Scott: I think that’s a big one. Maybe you can just touch on that real quick before we wrap up how important stories are and how we can weave those stories into an email to really allow them, without boring them. Some people don’t want to hear about all of the things that we did before 9:00 A.M. How do you balance that? I think it’s interesting because obviously you tell a very quick little story about something that happened funny this morning and then you lead that into your thing. By the way, your writing to me it flows so nice. It’s seamless.
[00:56:13] Ryan: It’s the best in the world!
[00:56:15] Scott: I’m not even going to try to suck up to you Ryan but it is good. I’m a little jealous because sometimes it takes me an hour and a half to craft a really good email that I feel good about because number one I hate typing and I’ve never been that good in school. I’ve gotten better but it doesn’t come natural to me so I have to go back and read it a couple of times and make sure that if flows good, and make sure I don’t sound stupid here or here. I still try to be real. I let people know I don’t like to type, I let them know that so if I messed up here and I got fat fingers I apologize. What’s with these stories? How can people weave a story and without boring them?
[00:56:55] Ryan: I think first it comes back to strategic like what’s your brand? What are you about? Mine is about, for my freedom, it’s about lifestyle entrepreneurship and what’s my back story? My back story is I’m a former wreck therapist and a gym teacher and a trainer. Now I have four kids but I built this all while still working from a coffee shop.
I talk a lot about that. I kind of weave those stories in. It’s 7:00 o’clock in the morning, I’m here at my favorite coffee shop. I talk about this a lot. We spend so much time on the internet we don’t live. People just aren’t living and even when they’re out their heads are in their damn phones. Leave your phone at home and get out and leave because everything you do is a story.
Even when we hang up here, I’m going over… My wife volunteers for everything which means I volunteer, she drags through all these. One of my kids is in 3rd grade, they’re doing their big talent show. Of course I did all their audio editing and I’m not good at audio editing. I am going to be for the next two days there from 4:00 o’clock to 7:00 o’clock at night keeping all the kids in line and I came up with an idea for this.
I’m actually doing choreography for the MCs or something. Who the hell knows what they’re saying completely? I’m going to be worn out. I wrote some jokes for the MCs for the kids. That’s a lot of fodder for me to write about now. It doesn’t have to do with making money it’s about living.
I told the story about the guy who delivers pizza who I became friends with, I loved the guy. I talked about it was his first vacation in 13 years. Live more, tell stories but make sure the stories will relate to you and your brand because, it’s funny, people try to copy me Scott. Their whole thing could be about fitness or Crossfit or whatever and they’re like I’m at my coffee shop taking a latte. No, you’re not, that’s me and even if you are, what the hell does it have to do with fitness?
[00:59:00] Ryan: Make sure it relates to you, I’ve had people steal my emails. I had a guy copy email so much word for word we went to my wife’s family for the holidays. I’m Jewish she’s catholic, we went down for Christmas. Her family are from El Salvador and we’re doing karaoke at midnight. It’s so much fun. It’s always such a blast. My family would not like that at all. I felt telling that story and we did karaoke till midnight and when someone forwards me this guy’s email like oh guy has copied you.
He literally, when I say word for word, down to, “And we were doing karaoke till midnight with my mother in law.” Are you fucking kidding me? You’re literally stealing that? Live, tell stories… My basic outline for the emails is the first couple of lines are usually something personal story whether it’s at the coffee shop or I was just doing choreography for 30 kids, 38 year olds. I think to shoot myself.
If I never send an email again it’s because I shot myself. I’ll kind of transition into what the lesson of the day is, little education, I always try to do edutainment words; educating and entertaining. I’ll wrap it a little bit and a lot of times I’ll do a sale on a soft PS. PS if you’re interested, if it was volleyball and today we’re talking a little bit about vertical jumper, we’re talking about speed or agility.
Maybe there was a volleyball thing and USA volleyball and the person won and here’s why they won, was it their mindset? PS if you’re having issues with your feet, to relate to your email, here are the socks we have for 20% off today use this coupon. I think that’s cool too. That’s the basic, basic template for what an email looks like.
[01:00:49] Scott: I would tell anyone just get on your list to read your emails because there’s literally an education in just that. I read most of your emails. I could tell you about the pizza guy, I read that email.
[01:01:04] Ryan: Willy!
[01:01:05] Scott: What’s that?
[01:01:07] Ryan: His name is Willy.
[01:01:08] Scott: Yeah Willy. I literally could tell your story through the emails that you deliver. Whether I knew you or not I wouldn’t be annoyed with the email because number one you are bringing it back to what you’re talking about. The other thing is, and I think that people need to understand and you brought it up but I want to bring it up again, is really where do you stand? In your case what I know that you stand for because in your emails you talk about it, you rant about it is that it’s us against them.
You’ve picked that angle which is a good angle which is like I don’t want to be those guys who are those internet guru guys who are telling me they can make money tomorrow if you just do this one thing that’s BS. If you believe that I’m here to tell you that that’s not true and it’s not going to happen. This is what we believe in, hard work and actually just taking action and things will happen and then again you start to position yourself as that guy. That’s how I see you through those emails and then those little stories that you weave in there.
It’s so great because you tell that story quickly but you explain it in detail so people understand it. I’ve struggled with that a little bit. I’m like, wait a little minute, this story’s gone a little bit too long here. I don’t think people need to know about this.
[01:02:21] Ryan: You just kind of have to edit yourself. I’ll sit down and I truly do. It’s so funny, they’ll say, “Did that really happen?” Even once a while, my dad, my sister, everyone’s on my list. My sister she’ll call me she’ll be like, “Hey Ryan did that thing really happen?” I’m like, “Of course it did. I’m not that creative. I just tell stories about what happened.” I sit down and every email I do is in real time… We can talk about this for days.
Where I sit I’ve my whole system, I go to the same coffee shop. I put a song on, I put my headset on, I get a latte. I get in my zone and that’s the first thing I do when I open up, I use Aweber for most of my emails. Open up Aweber and I literally just start typing. I just start writing and writing. It might go off into one direction and then into another direction and then after I’m done writing then I just cut some stuff out that doesn’t make sense. I read it over once again see if I need to spice it up or tone it down or whatever it is and then I hit send.
That’s it. That’s why it feels so real in real time because it is. It is happening in real time. I’m sitting there like in real time. Everyone is obsessed with automation and auto responders. Even if you’re really, really good in auto responders it can never feel 100% real. First of all you can’t reference stuff. You can’t say, there’s a snow storm today and they’re bee like, “What are you talking about? It’s August. No it’s not.” You can reference a movie that was on or a TV show or an election or a sports thing. It just feels more real, like a real conversation from a friend. A friend is not going to put you on an auto responder.
[01:03:57] Scott: That’s 100%.
[01:03:59] Ryan: It’s getting in that zone.
[01:04:01] Scott: I think the one thing that I like using the auto responder for especially in the beginning is reaching out to them and saying what’s your sticking point and then let me know and I want to hear and I’ll definitely reply back to you. Then I do reply back to those people. If they send me something… Again, it gets the conversation started but then they’re like, “Holy Crap Scott just actually emailed me, that’s pretty cool.”
I’ll automatically now connect it with them on another level. I just think that like you said, if you start doing out these 100 day email sequences it’s tough to reference to current events in a sense or your story that just happened. I’ll let you go here in a second. I had one email that I wrote and it was inspired about how you were writing it at the time. I’m like I’m just going to try this. I normally might not do this but I’m going to do it anyway.
We were having coffee in the morning, my nine year old, they have coffee once a year in this little courtyard with the police officers of our town. It’s pretty nice, they kind of get together. My headline was why I had coffee with the cops this morning. It got great open rate and then people were like, “Scott I couldn’t believe it, I thought you got pulled over. I thought you were writing that in Jail,” and it was just great.
I got so many replies to that email and people were laughing and they had a good time with it and so did I. It was cool.
[01:05:18] Ryan: It works really well especially for headlines like curiosity as opposed to, the seven best ways to blah, blah, blah or the three way and every email’s like that. Three ways to improve your vertical jump in volleyball. It’s just mindless dreck. This was fun.
[01:05:39] Scott: This was awesome and we could probably go another hour but we can’t because you have to go do some talent show thing tonight.
[01:05:46] Ryan: Choreography.
[01:05:47] Scott: Choreography.
[01:05:49] Ryan: Again, I wish I could make this up. I wish I could make up the fact that I’m going tonight for three hours for a concert.
[01:05:56] Scott: I can’t wait for the email tomorrow.
[01:06:01] Ryan: Again, I got to do it again on Thursday.
[01:06:02] Scott: That’s beautiful. Do me a favor, let people know where they can get in touch with you and learn more about… Obviously where they can sign up to just go through your emails because I think they’re brilliant. Maybe just let people know where they can get in touch with you.
[01:06:15] Ryan: The best place is freedym.com. Go there and we have an opt in, a free list, the giveaway and you’ll get on my list and you’ll see all the craziness that happens. You’ll see all my choreography.
[01:06:30] Scott: The shenanigans.
[01:06:31] Scott: All the shenanigans. You’ll get some good ideas for emails and headlines. Listen, please don’t steal my… If you’re not doing karaoke with your in-laws at midnight in Christmas in North Carolina then don’t say you are. Be you. You is good enough. You is perfect. Just be you.
[01:06:55] Scott: That’s awesome. I was going to ask for some last little bits or tips there but I think just being you is probably a good one.
[01:07:02] Ryan: Be you or Pat Flynn it’s one or the other.
[01:07:06] Scott: I’m going to have to reach out to Pat and just tell him that he’s been mentioned probably the most than any other guest in this episode just because of you.
[01:07:15] Ryan: Tell him I was busting his balls.
[01:07:18] Scott: All right Ryan, I want to say thank you once again. I appreciate you and everything you’ve done and I continue to learn from you as well and I plan on having you back on the show. We could do another hour show on just some random business stuff I guess.
[01:07:30] Ryan: Absolutely. We were not even scratching the surface on emails like how to come up with what the topic’s going to be. There’s a lot more that we can talk. We didn’t even talk about recurring revenue or membership, nothing.
[01:07:42] Scott: We’ll get you back on for sure. We can definitely dig into that stuff and it’s just fun talking with you anyway. We’ll definitely do that. Go and have fun at the choreography party that you’re going to be hanging out at and directing.
[01:07:56] Ryan: I think I’m going to go spam Pat Flynn right now. That will relax me.
[01:08:01] Scott: All right Ryan I appreciate it.
[01:08:02] Ryan: See you Scott.
[01:08:03] Scott: All right bye.
[01:08:03] Ryan: Thanks man, all right bye.
[01:08:06] Scott: That was amazing even listening to that back. There was just a ton of nuggets in there. It’s like when I wrote the title of this episode so you guys knew what we were going to be talking about. How do I throw everything that we just discussed into a title? That was a challenge in itself because we talked about physical product, we talked about how he had a supplement company, what happened there.
Then we talked about how we can message an audience in an example of a garlic press or a volleyball. There was a ton of, to me personally just going back and listening, a ton of value there. You really probably will need to re-listen to that. Ryan is a great guy, he’s fun. Someone that I am really, really happy to know now, a little bit more personally now that him and I were able to hang out a little bit here but also a little bit privately too.
We do talk every now and then. It’s just really, really cool to be able to have him share some of that wisdom with all of us and again it’s experience. He’s been through different changes here not just Amazon, not just email marketing, not just supplements. He’s done a lot of different things. I think when you do a lot of things, even going back to my story episode 300. If you haven’t heard that listen to that episode and you’ll hear that there’s all of these different things that give me the experience that can help me get to that next place.
It’s really, really important and really powerful. One thing that I want you to understand is with email marketing, like Ryan said, email is not going anywhere. It is going to be still used. It’s going to be still one of the more powerful ways to eventually get a sale but yes you’re going to create value through those emails. I’m not going to sit here and rehash what we just talked about because it was really good and you just go back and listen or download the show notes, the transcripts because it is to me that valuable.
[01:10:07] Scott: This is an asset and it’s also an art that will take time to start to learn and start to maybe create your own voice or maybe the face of your business’s voice or maybe just your business’s voice, maybe your mission. Those are the things that you’ll need to kind of come up with on your own but you can use this framework.
That’s pretty much going to wrap this up. I could have talked to Ryan for another hour or two and just kept riffing on this because it’s just a great topic and a great thing to really dig into. If you guys want to download the show notes to this episode which I really think you should, head over to theamazingseller.com/318. I would also recommend checking out Ryan Lee over at Freedym. You can just find that in the show notes and there’ll be a link there heading over to him.
Even if you just sign up to his email list to just see how he writes his emails to me that’s a course in itself just to sit there and read his daily emails. It’s just really awesome to see how it all works and how he’s doing it. It’s funny because after I recorded this we were talking all about him doing that choreography and all of that with his kids, well the next day in the email it was exactly about that event which was really, really funny and cool at the same time.
That’s going to pretty much wrap it up guys, I want to remind you that I am here for you and I believe in you and I am rooting for you but you have to, do what? What do you have to do? If you’re not fired up after this episode you need to go back and listen to it again but what you have to do is take action. Have an awesome amazing day guys and I’ll see you right back here on the next episode.
LINKS MENTIONED IN THIS EPISODE
- Build List Workshop
- Ryan’s website: freedym.com
- Ryan’s Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/ryanleefan/
- Ryan’s Twitter Page: https://twitter.com/_ryanlee
- TAS 314: How To Validate Your Business and … – The Amazing Seller
- Pat Flynn
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