They’re all a little different with little tidbits from different perspectives. Here’s a few tidbits from a podcast called Everything Email with email guru Ken Countess.
Note: Oh my gosh. There are so many takeaways from this short podcast! I meant to pick a couple from this one and all the other podcasts I’ve done lately, but I found (at least) 8 takeaways from this one alone! If you find these helpful, I’ll do more of them.
Feeting and Product Hunt
Ken: I don’t stalk you, but I do every time I get an email from you and I say, okay, what’s Beth up to? What has she found now? How’d you find [them]?
Beth Z: So one of my secret weapon places is called Product Hunt. And that is also in the book.
Beth Z: Product Hunt. And you know, Reddit. Right? A lot of people know what Reddit is. It’s that forum where people write things and people upvote things. Well, Product Hunt is like Reddit for new technologies.
There’s a lot of really heavy duty coding things on there that most of my people, you know, development things, most of my people don’t care about. But then there are all these really cool tools. Like I discovered one the other day called Feeting.
Beth Z: F E E T I N G. It’s like meeting with an F.
Beth Z: And it’s an app that coordinates a walking meeting with your team.
Ken: Oh, how cool.
Beth Z: Fascinating. And while you’re walking and talking, it’s using artificial intelligence to pick up the action items, to pick up the follow up questions, to pick up, uh, who talks the most, it’ll even analyze.
Beth Z: And it’ll tell you all these different things about it, but you’re having a meeting where everybody has on headphones, they’re outside, or they’re somewhere… they’re walking.
It gives you the statistics about how much. You know, you did. And it changes that dynamic for us being in these little squares. Like we are now, you know, on, on zoom or even going to the conference room and sitting there with your phone on your lap, underneath the table, uh, checking out Facebook. It just changes that dynamic.
And, um, right now it’s free. So Those are the kind of things I run across and I’m like, what? That is so cool. I love to share it with people.
Ken: Tell me about a little bit about how you are using email marketing in your business.
Beth Z: Well, I have a newsletter that comes out more or less every week.
Ken: Uh, I look forward to receiving it by the way.
Ken and Beth: Oh, thank you. It’s called NerdWords. [I am] on your list. Yeah. Yay.
Beth Z: One of the neatest things I have been integrating into my newsletter is something called Nifty Images. Have you heard of it?
Ken: I have.
Beth Z: NiftyImages is a way to personalize individual graphics for every single person on your email list and personalize all kinds of different things. I did one where I was promoting. When I write my books, I give people the opportunity to pre-order and when they pre-order, they get their name in the book.
Beth Z: So I was able to take all of my subscribers and say, you want your name here in a mock up of my book and a blank space for their name, and then NiftyImages personalized each one with their name. And it was, uh, it was easy and it had a great, great ROI.
Beth Z: As I’m sure your, your listeners know and where, where our focus is today is on personalization.
Beth Z: It’s one thing to have a really nice newsletter or really nice copy. But if you’re of a certain age, you may know Burger King: “Have It Your Way.” We need to have it their way, like the 97th degree of their way. So anything you can do to personalize something that goes directly to somebody is critical.
And I found NiftyImages. I don’t do enough personalization, but I thought NiftyImages was one way immediately to have that connection with people.
Ken: Absolutely. Personalization means so much. I see it in the stats of the emails I send out. On the ones that have personalization, particularly in the subject line, the opens are higher, the engagement, more clicks. I mean, that’s you’re so right on the money.
Jasper (THE BEST!)
I stumbled across that not very long ago and I used it all the time for my email campaigns.
It’s got, what? 50 last time I looked, 53 different templates. You can use it for. I’m so glad to see that you have it in your book.
Beth Z: For your listeners with your emails, with anything you are writing, this is mind blowing technology.
Ken: It is mind blowing for sure.
Beth Z: What it does is it’s an artificial intelligence writing assistant. You put in a few facts about something you wanna say, and then you say, I would like it to be witty or funny, or sound like Tony Stark or whatever. And it will spit out actual copy that most of the time is 87.3% there. You’re gonna have to tweak it. If there are any facts in there, you’re gonna have to double check ’em cuz it lies like you would not believe.
I actually went to the company.
Ken: Oh, you did.
Beth Z: And I met with them because, uh, what happened was in, in may of 2020, when all of us were really focused on the pandemic and that’s where our minds were, this platform for artificial intelligence was released upon the world. It’s called GPT-3. You don’t have to know that it’s not on the test, but GPT-3 was released upon the world .
Jasper was one of the first five companies to use it.
And that was by January of 2021. Now we are doing this in 2022 in the summer of 2022, there are probably a hundred companies that are using that technology. Facebook just released their version of it as a beta for academics, something they’ve been investing in. And Google has one. Now I may be confused about Google and Facebook who just released that one, but they’re all working on this artificial intelligence writing tool.
The cool thing about it is it’s not plagiarism. Right. You’re writing a original text. What it does is it looks at the facts, looks at what you wanna do, whether you wanna write something persuasive, informative, bullet points, video, script, whatever.
And then it, it takes that information. And then looks at the patterns of things like this that were written, and spits out copy in that format. So it’s not plagiarized, it’s not just cutting and pasting things that were said. It is creating original copy that you can use right away. And you’re using now in your emails. This is such a help for creating content for emails and social media.
I was just using it myself this very minute, right before we got on this audio to. Write some copy for some of the consulting that I’m doing now. Yeah. It’s I think it’s a first draft.
Ken: It amazes me the quality of a copy that it generates. And for the copywriters who may be listening to this, know your job’s not going away.
It’s not perfect, but it might even inspire you as a copywriter on ways that you can improve the copy. You write yourself.
Why You Shouldn’t Use the BCC Field
Ken: I had a conversation with someone I’ve known for a long time earlier today, and he tried to take the freebie way out and it produced zero results for him.
In his case, he tried to send emails out using the BCC. You know what the result was, right?
No opens, no clicks, no sales, a lot of people who are upset.
I said, you know, for 50 bucks a month, 20 bucks a month, pick a number, you’ll establish yourself as a legitimate business. You’ve been in business a long time, but you’ll be able to use these tools. Yeah. There’s a free version, but you get so much more if you just pay a little bit of money each month. And I said, for if even, even if you pay $50 a month, that’s $600 a year for what someone pays for one of your services, you’ll more than triple your money.
So he was like, you know what? I hadn’t really thought of it that way.
Beth Z: Oh gosh, you should have seen my face listeners at home when he said the BCC field. Don’t just, don’t. Such a bad practice.
I’m not trying to be judgey, but I guess this sounds judgey. I, I just want people to be beyond that in 2022.
Beth Z: We are not there anymore.
And when people send me a BCC, that is, is really a, a newsletter or an advertisement or a solicitation, even when my friends do BCCs and they say, Hey everybody, could you come over and comment on my book? And you know, and I’d love your help. I, it’s not personal. Right. And I’m not connected. Even if you just write me one sentence and then cut and paste, I’m connected.
But if you BCC, it’s so easy to ignore and you’re just taste in your mouth.
How Beth Z Shapes Her Email Marketing
How I Shape My Email Marketing
Ken: Tell me how you think email marketing has actually helped your business. If at all?
Beth Z: Oof. I wouldn’t be here without email marketing. Sincerely. I started off with Constant Contact for a while.
And then I went to MailChimp.
Beth Z: And I was on the free version of MailChimp, cuz I didn’t have that many subscribers.
Beth Z: And I slowly have ramped up. I actually stay about the same number of subscribers, cuz I’m pretty picky about keeping people active.
Beth Z: Plus, at 10,000 people. I’m gonna have to jump pricewise a lot.
Beth Z: And it goes like from 10,000 to 15,000. So unless I have 14,999, I’d rather keep 999 or 9,009. Anyway. I’d like to be just right under that cuff. So I clean out my list quite a bit.
I always have content. Hardcore content. I always have something funny. I always am looking at the arrangement of things.
I do A/B tests, which I know you’ve talked about as well. Yes. Uh, I do regular A/B tests. I’m always looking at what topics people like, what did they miss? Things that I didn’t word well enough that they’re gonna need to know and I’ll need to send it again in a different way. I look at, you know, I, I, I live on my statistics, but at the end I always have, Hey, hire Beth Z.
And I have a little bit of a promo and it’s it’s standard. Right? It’s always there. And so when people are ready, they will click on that and make that move.
Ken: Sure. So much of email marketing is about relationship building and, and you just hit on that. People have to know, like, and trust you. We all, we’ve all heard that phrase and, and you’re right. Down at the bottom where it’s, uh, Hey, if you’re ready to have me come in and engage your audience I’m here.
Right. And what better way to do that than with email?
My (Surprising) Advice for Growing Your Business
Ken: What’s one piece of advice you’d wanna give someone who wants to grow their business?
Beth Z: Pay for stuff.
There’s a lot of free stuff out there. And I specialize in finding the free stuff, the freemiums. You know, you get a little bit for free and then, uh, you get the extra features. I want people to consider what is value and what they need, and go ahead and pay for things that they need and not just try to do all the free stuff.
I have done so much time wasting trying to make sure I didn’t have to pay for something.
Beth Z: And. If I’m investing in my business. I’m investing my time, my expertise. I’m sacrificing other things in my life for that time and expertise. Right. So if I’m having to jump through 75 hoops, because I don’t wanna pay for something where if I just paid for it and got the extra features, I could shortcut a lot of the crazy things I was trying to do.
I, I just wasted a lot of time because I didn’t invest in some things that would’ve really helped me. Instead, I just said, “Oh, well, I’m new. I don’t have any money. I shouldn’t pay.” And it would’ve cost me less in the long run had I paid.
Ken: Yeah, 100%.
My Big Mistake When I Started My Business
Ken: What, um, what’s one thing you wish you had known before you began your business? Uh, and what’s one thing you wish you had known when you began your business? I should ask.
Beth Z: Ooh, that’s a good question. I think when I began, especially with email marketing…
Beth Z: Uh, you know, at the very beginning I did, I did bad.
I had a list. I was leaving a company that I worked for. And, uh, you mentioned, you know, somebody who quit his job and didn’t have another one. Well, I did that.
Beth Z: I left the door with about 2000 contacts, and I just put them on the list.
Beth Z: And I had relationships with them. You know, I had been emailing them through the company in different ways over the years.
So it wasn’t a cold list, but I, I should have done more with permission. Right. Uh, and just said, Hey, I’m building this list. Do you wanna be on it?
But we all know sometimes how hard it is to get people, even if they like ya, even if they wanna be on it, to actually click the button to be on it.
Beth Z: But I wish I had at the very beginning, I mean, it helped me build where I am, cuz a lot of those people have hired me.
I just wish I had been more cognizant and respectful of opt in and permission.
Ken: And it’s even more important these days than oh yes. Than before. For sure.
Bonus: How I Became Your Nerdy Best Friend
Ken Countess: What inspired you to start Your Nerdy BFF?
Beth Z: It was a total accident how I got started speaking. I’ve always been Your Nerdy BFF, even though I didn’t have a title of Your Nerdy BFF or whatever. I was the chick who spent recess in middle school grading papers for my teachers, and that is not an exaggeration.
So I’ve always been kind of interested in technology. I can’t take a computer apart and put it back together, but I love the things that run on it. And I always have. I can remember being in middle school or high school or something and they had programming.
Ken Countess: Mm-hmm right.
Beth Z: They’re trying to teach us programming. They’re like, you can do this and make the ball spin around the page. Well, I’m like, I don’t really care cuz all these other people have already made the ball spin around the page and done all these other things. So I’d rather discover what they have, then try to figure out how to do it myself.
So I’ve always been that person. And I just kind of fell into speaking. I couldn’t believe that people wanted to hear about all the stuff that I love doing. And they do.