If you’re just joining me for the very first time, I’m Mark Mason coming to you from a little studio in Dallas and this is the show where we talk about all of the things that you need to know to make your internet business absolutely fantastic. I do my work on the side, I have a day job and I do my internet marketing late at night.
One of the most fundamental pieces of almost any online business, but really in this day and age almost any business in the world, is email marketing. I wanted to take this opportunity to pull together a bunch of information that I have over the next several episodes to really give you a fantastic crash course in email marketing. Everything that you need to know to take your email marketing to the next level, to get things going. If you’ve been thinking about email marketing or if you’ve been doing a little but you’re not doing a great job, you signed up for that email marketing account and put your opt-in out there, but you really haven’t done much with it, I want to talk to you about how to take that whole thing to the next level.
The motivation for this came from two very good places.
One is I think that you guys know I spoke at Podcast Dallas, which is a pretty large and impressive podcasting group here in the Dallas area that meets monthly. I talked to them about affiliate marketing with your podcast.
The interesting thing in that hour long presentation was that almost all of the fundamental information about how to do email marketing correctly if you have a podcast and how to monetize that email marketing is directly applicable. I consider it a fundamental idea that you can use in any kind of online business.
Whether you’ve got an ecommerce store, a podcast, a blog, you’re an affiliate marketer, you sell info products, you sell courses, whatever it is that you do, the things that I was teaching that group a couple of months ago apply directly to guys like you right here. If you’re listening to this podcast, this will almost certainly apply to you.
My goal is that I will either take you from zero to hero with these next few episodes on email marketing or, if you’re already pretty close to hero you’ll pick out a few things from the advanced techniques that I’m going to offer you that will help you in your email marketing efforts.
When I listen to things like this myself, personally, one of the things that I always hope for is to take away at least one thing that I can go do. I challenge you to see if you can figure out what that one thing is for you, pick that out from this content and go do that in your internet business, with your online marketing efforts, with your email marketing.
The other thing that is motivating is, as most of you know, I use ConvertKit. Right now (at the time of this actual recording) ConvertKit is running a special promotion that you can take advantage of and it only happens very rarely, and that is a free trial that you can use to test out ConvertKit. You can find that at LateNightIM.com/convertkit.
If you’re interested in that, you can certainly go check it out, but you don’t have to do that. Everything that I’m going to talk about over these email marketing episodes is going to be applicable to almost any email marketing tool that you have or might want to use.
Some tools make it really easy to do the kind of stuff that I think you need to do. Some it’s a lot harder. In AWeber, for example, the kind of things that I like to do are considerably harder. But, it’s always all possible, some version of it will be possible. Don’t sweat it if you’ve already invested in an email provider. If you want to check out ConvertKit, head over to LateNightIM.com/convertkit and if that free trial offer is still going on then I highly recommend that you check it out.
Now, here’s the other thing. Because I had done this work to prepare slides for this presentation that I did at Podcast Dallas, I actually have some slides that you can check out with this episode. You can find those in the show notes for this episode if you want the slides to follow along with as I’m talking. You don’t have to have them. If you’re in your car, don’t panic, everything is going to be just fine. If you want to get the slides later to follow along, you can do that.
You’ll find that those slides are available as a content upgrade, you have to opt-in to get those slides. That is an example of one of the things that I’m going to talk about, so you might want to do that just to see what that looks like and how it’s implemented.
Let’s Get Started…
My goal for this is to leave you at the end of these two or three episodes with a clearer picture of what it actually takes to make money from your internet business regularly and repeatedly, an automated system, a infrastructure that you can build that will provide reliable and repeatable ways for you to make money with your internet business.
It sort of doesn’t matter what your internet business is. This works for podcasting, it works for bloggers, it works for people who create YouTube videos, it works for people who do online courses, it works for ecommerce, it works for just all manner of things, particularly where you’re creating some kind of information.
Particularly in the case of ecommerce, I definitely recommend that you have an information strategy to go along with your ecommerce store. Just about any business. If you have a local lawn and garden business, if you’ve got an internet business where you’re selling your book, whatever it is, these kind of strategies are going to apply to you.
My goal for this is that you have a kind of blueprint and to turn on some light bulbs for you for exactly how you might want to implement these strategies around email marketing.
Why spend the time on this?
A lot of people talk about email marketing and they say, “The money is in the list,” and they kind of leave it at that. “You should have some email marketing.” A lot of times we’ve been on lists where we sign up and we sometimes get what we signed up, sometimes we don’t. We get that free download and then it’s just pitch after pitch, email after email of stuff that we don’t really care about. We end up unsubscribing and it leaves a bad taste in our mouth about email marketing.
To those people, I say fundamentals are really important. I think if you do email marketing fundamentally right it is still incredibly powerful. In fact, maybe it’s the most powerful tool that I can see out there for internet marketing in general.
Yes, there’s Facebook and LinkedIn. Yes, there’s blogging and video, and all this kind of stuff. The thing that still really is standing the test of time and is still shown to be incredibly effective is email marketing. That is still how a lot of people communicate when there is important information to communicate beyond what flavor of cereal I had for breakfast. They’re sending an email to get that information out.
The thing that I think of when I think of fundamentals in business mattering is a Barry Larkin quote. If you don’t know Barry Larkin, he was the shortstop for the Cincinnati Reds for a long time and is widely regarded as one of the best shortstops to ever play baseball. He played shortstop for the Reds in the late ‘80s and early ‘90s. When the Reds won the World Series in 1990, Barry Larkin was their shortstop. He’s amazing. He also is in the Baseball Hall of Fame, so he’s one of the best shortstops to ever play baseball.
You guys know that I love baseball, but if you’re not familiar with baseball, shortstop is one of the most demanding and difficult positions that you can play. You have to be incredibly fast, you have to be rangey, as we say in baseball, you have to be able to cover a lot of ground so you have to be quick, you have to be able to throw the ball. Barry wasn’t just an amazing defensive player at shortstop, he could also hit the ball. He won Golden Gloves, he won Silver Slugger awards, and now he is in the Baseball Hall of Fame.
What he says about fundamentals is that what people don’t realize is that professionals are sensational because of the fundamentals. The sensationalism sometimes takes over the professionalism.
I see this in internet business all the time. We see these people, like Pat Flynn, and all you see is the, “Wow, gee whiz.” If you look underneath what Pay Flynn is doing, you see tremendous fundamental execution. One of the places that Pat executes incredibly well is email marketing.
He has a fantastic email marketing engine underneath his business and that delivers him listeners, readers, and revenue month after month, day after day, week after week, because he has executed that so well. By the way, Pat uses ConvertKit. That’s why I’m encouraging you, especially if the free trial is still out there, to check out LateNightIM.convertkit.
The fundamentals are totally key to your internet business and email marketing is one of the key fundamentals.
Once you know that you need to have fundamentals locked down, one of the most important things that you need to understand is why you’re doing what you’re doing. What is your internet business?
A lot of times I talk to people and say, “Why are you starting your internet business? What is it that you want to achieve?” and they say, “I want financial freedom. I want to make my own hours,” and things like that. All of that is great and I think you should that, that’s awesome, but that’s not what I mean here.
What I’m talking about is what is the purpose of your business. What are you trying to accomplish? What value are you going to create to exchange for money? That’s really what business is about. You’re going to do something that is valuable and in exchange for that value you’re going to get some money. Underneath that is some kind of business model.
We mentioned some of them before. Maybe you’re a blogger and you want to create valuable, entertaining, or fantastic information that people will read and you want to trade their eyeball power for ads or you want to sell your product. Maybe you’re consultant and you’re going to create valuable information, and based on that valuable information you’re going to get people into a funnel and get these large consulting contracts, or speaking contracts, or get people to buy your book. Somehow you need to know what your business model is.
In the case of affiliate marketing our business model is usually creating fantastic information and converting that traffic that comes to see that information into affiliate revenue by recommending products and so forth. Maybe we buy traffic and we use that purchased traffic and we convert it.
Somehow, the bottom line with your business model is it needs to do the one fundamental thing that all businesses must do. I know you’re thinking, “What is it? Tell me the one fundamental thing that all businesses must do.”
This is something I learned from Jimmy Brown, an ultra-marathon runner, I think he’s in Tennessee now, I’m not sure, but he has taught a ton of internet marketing. What Jimmy says is that the most fundamental thing in business is you have to match offers with buyers.
Those buyers might be your readers, they might be traffic that you paid for, they might be people that came from Google. In the case of online marketing, you have to match those buyers to offers. That offer might be a product that you’re selling, it might be a product that you are recommending and you’re going to get an affiliate commission.
Fundamentally, your business model has to be that eventually you match buyers with some offer. The offer might be that you want them to buy your book, or you want them to sign up for consulting contract, or you want them to buy your little gadget off of a Shopify store. Whatever it is, that is the fundamental key that you are trying to accomplish. That’s the one thing in business that you really have to accomplish.
In the case of my buddy Cliff Ravenscraft, he has this fantastic product called Podcasting A to Z. For that part of his business, the fundamental thing that he has to accomplish is to find those people who want to have a podcast and he has to match them with his amazing offer of Podcasting A to Z. That’s the fundamental key to that business.
Yes, he has to deliver amazing value. Yes, he has to service those people and give them way more value. In Cliff’s case, he charges for the course, which he does each and every time. He has like 100% customer satisfaction rating with Podcasting A to Z. What’s up with that? Who has 100% customer satisfaction rating? Maybe that is something for another podcast. But, fundamentally, for that business he has to match offers with buyers. You do, too.
You need to know what your offer is. What is your offer? I say a lot of times the best offers that I see are offers that lift people up, offers that do something to help somebody.
Maybe you’re going to help somebody by teaching them something. Maybe you’re going to help somebody by giving them a product that is going to make their life better. Maybe you’re going to help them by entertaining them.
Ultimately, you are going to need to do something that people value. That’s what your offer has to do. The key then is to find those people and match them together with something that is going to make their life better in some way, something that they need that relieves a pain or whatever it is. That’s the fundamental thing that you need to do in your business.
That’s sort of the Barry Larkin, fundamentals matter, this is what we’re trying to do. The truth of the matter is your internet business infrastructure, the thing that you build, whether it’s a podcast, or a blog, or email marketing, or a YouTube channel, or whatever it is, that’s a tool that you can use to match offers with buyers.
It’s a tool that I use. This podcast is a tool that I use to match offers with buyers. Right now, ConvertKit – I told you about LateNightIM.com/convertkit – has an offer right now that’s out there that is kind of an amazing offer, they have this free trial. They never offer free trials, it’s very rare, once or twice a year.
One of the goals of this show, in complete transparency, is to find some people out there that need that, that really are looking for that strong recommendation of what email provider to use. You’re sitting there right now and you’re listening, you don’t know exactly what you want to do, you wish you had a great recommendation, you’d like to use something that other people are using and having success with, and so matching you with that offer, that’s sort of a fundamental part of business.
You can do that. The problem is you can’t just do that by throwing out a bunch of offers. I think this is one of the places where people fall down and this is another fundamental idea behind email marketing. The reason that I mention it is that I think it is absolutely critical that you deliver what I call lopsided value.
My fundamental theory behind email marketing is that your email marketing has to live in at the intersection of Give Street and Take Street. If you download the slides at LateNightIM.com/148, you will see I have a slide in there with a big van full of content headed down Give Street and a little bitty side street with a bicycle on it called Take Street.
My idea is that in order to be successful with my email marketing and other kinds of matching offers with buyers, I have to be delivering massive amounts of content and value that way overwhelms the taking part, the “go to LateNightIM.com/convertkit and sign up for the offer.” In order to be successful, my value needs to strongly overwhelm the taking that I do.
Here’s a pro tip. Even when I take, the value of the take itself overwhelms the price that you pay all by itself. My belief is if you buy ConvertKit, or whatever it is that I mention, one of my tests for promoting a product is that the product has to stand alone as being amazingly valuable all by itself.
Forget the fact that I’m going to do a two or three hour long episode around email marketing, and that’s great value, and then I’m going to offer you ConvertKit. In addition to that, even without that, the product that I’m offering is so awesome that it stands alone all by itself. It’s its own value. It’s give overwhelms its take all by itself.
That’s another kind of key pro tip, you want to make sure that the value is just absolutely massive.
Before we break this back down into affiliate marketing and email marketing, the bottom line takeaway is that you want to focus on the fundamentals. Email marketing is fundamental. When you do email marketing, or any kind of business, you really need to give, give, give way more than you take.
On top of that, you really need to understand your business model and what it is that you’re trying to accomplish. How is it that you’re trying to help people? What is it that you’re trying to really accomplish?
Is it brand awareness for another business model? Is it lead generation for some client based model? Are you trying to do product marketing for a product that you have? Are you trying to generate ad revenue, do you have an Adsense type of business model or are you selling banner ads on your site? Are you doing affiliate marketing?
Maybe you’re doing affiliate marketing. That’s what we talk about a lot. One of the questions that I get from people, and maybe this is the first time that you’re listening to this show, people ask me, “What is affiliate marketing?” When you’ve been doing something for such a long time, you tend to overlook the fundamentals. I think that “What is affiliate marketing?” is a fundamental question.
The short answer is that you have the ear of some audience and you recommend or review a product or service on your website, on your blog, in your podcast, in your content in some way, and you provide a person with a link to check that out – like, LateNightIM.com/convertkit.
When someone clicks on the link and buys something then their presence on that target website – on the ConvertKit website in this case – is tracked. If their visit converts into a sale, then you get a commission. They get a great product and you get a commission. That’s the value thing that I was talking about. Then the cycle repeats.
There’s a cool graphic in the slides for this discussion that you can check out, but the bottom line is that affiliate marketing is huge, it’s everywhere, and there are huge companies out there doing affiliate marketing on the physical products side, like Amazon.com, Commission Junction, Share-a-Sale. On the electronic information product side there’s Clickbank, JVzoo, and lots of them. There’s lots of stuff going on in affiliate marketing. We know that and that’s a thing that I’ve been talking about for the last several years.
If you wonder if that works, we can look at Pat again. Pat publishes all of his information about how successful his affiliate marketing is. I have his report for April in the slides, but his affiliate earnings were $71,000 in the month. Just for one month, his affiliate earnings were $71,000.
To Be Continued…
What’s going to happen here is because of the length of this episode, we’re going to break it into two. Don’t worry, these two episodes are going to come out within a day or so of each other and the content will be available. This first episode that you’re listening to now is Episode 148 and the second part of this will be Episode 149.