Mark: I am very excited. For years I have been around this guy, I have heard about this guy, my friends are friends with this guy, but I’ve never actually talked to the Terry Dean. I have him on the phone today.
Good morning, Terry. How in the world are you?
Terry: I am doing great. It’s fun to be here and I’m sure we’re going to have a lot of fun on this call.
Mark: I’m really excited. We have a lot of mutual friends in Lynn Terry, Nicole Dean, and guys that have worked around NAMS and other projects online. It’s really exciting to me because you are truly one of the guys that has been working this freedom lifestyle business and working online to build wealth and help people for more than a couple of decades. How long have you been doing this?
Terry: This year will make 21 years now.
Mark: That’s absolutely crazy. If I remember correctly from the folklore, people actually sit around campfires and songs about you are passed down through the generations, I think it’s actually true that at one point you were kind of delivering pizza and you said, “There has to be a better way. There has to be a way I can do something I love to do and spend time with my family.”
Can you take us through that a little bit?
Terry: We’re going back into the stone ages of the internet, back when dinosaurs roamed the internet. We’re talking days of CompuServe and things like that, which younger people online wouldn’t even know what a CompuServe is. It was the internet provider that came even before AOL passed discs around to everyone.
Mark: Oh my gosh, I remember the disks. I had stacks of those.
Terry: When I first started online, basically I was delivering pizzas for Little Caesar’s for $8.00 an hour.
Mark: Pizza, pizza. Those guys?
Terry: Yes, those guys. At the time they actually charged a delivery fee, which means we almost never got any tips. So that wasn’t all that much fun. They paid us minimum wage plus tips, or $8.00 an hour minimum. I don’t think I ever got the tips higher than $8.00 an hour, so I always got the minimum of $8.00 while delivering pizzas.
I tried a lot of things. I was like, “I can’t live like this,” because I was in debt. We had over $50,000 in debt and most of those were credit card debts at the time. I had tried a lot of failed business opportunities up until then, too. I had tried network marketing, I had tried direct mail, I had tried a lot of different things.
I had even done some door-to-door sales for a satellite dish company before the pizza job. I lasted a whole grand total of two weeks before they let me go, because I sold zero satellite dishes and that meant they had to pay me minimum wage, which they weren’t happy about.
Mark: I’ve never actually heard of a door-to-door salesman getting fired like that. That’s amazing. Congratulations.
Terry: That was my accomplishment in selling. If anyone comes online and says, “I can’t do online because I can’t sell,” I could not sell at all when I started online. Feel freedom in the fact that that’s where I started also, not being able to sell anything. The same reason I failed at network marketing companies. All these network marketing companies said there’s no selling required. Guess what? They lied every time, there was always selling required and I sucked at it, so we had a whole bunch of junk in the basement.
I heard about the internet, I heard, even back then in 1996, some people were succeeding online. I thought, “This is something I could probably do. I’m an introvert. I liked to stay home. I’m not an in-person salesperson.” So I went out and bought my first PC. It was $2,500 at BestBuy for a monitor, a PC, a printer. We’re talking about 75 megahertz, that’s a huge paper weight today.
I taught myself how to use the PC. I went online and I used one of the last credit cards we had to buy licenses to a couple of VHS video self-help type videos; Mark Victor Hanson type of things. I put up an ugly website, we’re talking flashing GIFs, all these different things, an ugly webpage.
Mark: I remember those.
Terry: I went over to CompuServe and started to participate in some of their message boards. You could imagine, if we move it all the way to today that would be going over and participating on Facebook groups.
Mark: This was essentially your last dollar, in some sense. You had all of this debt and you had tried all of these things and failed, but you weren’t quitting. This was the next thing in a list of things. Do you remember what that felt like? Was it starting to feel a little desperate or what was that like?
Terry: That’s an understatement, feeling desperate at the time. Because we were behind on all of those bills, they were calling all of the time. I remember one time they even called my dad. We lived in the same city as my parents at the time. One of the creditors called my dad, which this is illegal for them to do, and told him that if I didn’t hurry up and pay the credit card bill they were going to put me in jail.
Mark: Somehow I remember that your dad was kind of a self-made man and worked his way up working for the city or something like that. Is that right?
Terry: He definitely was. He started at the bottom, working for the city. He worked his way up and he was second or third to the mayor on what he was doing in his department. He was definitely somebody who worked hard. He was at the job for like 40 or 45 years.
Mark: I bet he was really impressed when your creditors started calling his house, right?
Terry: Very much so. Basically I had dropped out of college up until then and I had been trying all of these different businesses that I kept failing at, and then he has the creditors calling. Yes, that’s a desperate situation, a very bad situation.
The one advantage I had was my wife through it all somehow still had confidence that I could do it and she told me that I could do this. I imagine a lot of spouses at that point in time would be like, “You’re just crazy. We can’t stand this anymore.” She still said she had confidence that I would make this work.
Mark: I was just talking online with Michael Hyatt’s wife, Gail Hyatt. We decided (Gail and I) that behind every great man there is always some really strong woman that is really making things work. I guess this is another case in point.
Terry: She supported me and I started online. I live that lifestyle, but in the very beginning it takes a lot of momentum to get that moving, which basically meant when I wasn’t delivering pizzas I was either learning my PC or working online.
Mark: How did you move forward from there? This is the fledgling days of the internet, it’s still dial-up modems and stuff. How did you go forward from there?
Terry: Back then I made a few sales here or there. One of the smartest things I did was I picked up some lower cost products that I found from Gary Halbert and Jay Abraham. Again, spending more money that I didn’t have to learn from information. It’s funny, I always tell people not to go into debt to buy my products, but I went into debt to buy the products, even further into debt. So I’m a little bit of a hypocrite when I tell people not to go into debt, because it wasn’t what I did.
I bought Jay Abraham and Gary Halbert products and my strategy there was to see what do they say that they’re teaching that I could apply to the internet. One of the things that they constantly talked about was your list, about having a list. I said, “I could do this online with email.”
Back then we didn’t have autoresponder systems like Aweber, GetResponse, ConstantContact, and all the tools we have today. I actually had to buy software. The software I used was specifically used by people for spamming. It went on your own computer and you sent out emails, but I built an opt-in list using that software.
What I did was I put up the same thing that you would see today, I put up opt-ins on my page, “If you sign up for my free list I’ll give you this freebie,” it was like a self-help inspirational type of bonus I gave away, just a free report that I put together based off of what I learned from these VHS videos I was selling.
I got people on the list and started sending out emails to the list. I tried and tested a lot of things when I was sending out those emails. It took me about six months to realize this, but I was able to go full time within about three months of starting online. Full time doesn’t mean doctor income; that meant pizza delivery driver income. There’s a difference there, just so you understand where I’m at.
Within about six months I realized that the size of my list was directly proportional to the income I was earning each month, because my income had increased every single month. It went right along with my list, it was almost an exact percentage. I’m glad that percentage was so close, because it made me realize just how well that was working.
I’m one of the first people who ever said that you should earn a dollar per subscriber per month, and people still use that stat today. It applied in the very beginning, it’s what I saw in the beginning. Now I have clients working in all different industries and some people earn as little as $0.10 per subscriber and I have other clients who earn more than $10 per subscriber per month, so that varies all over the chart. That was the number I was seeing in the very beginning.
Mark: That’s a rule of thumb that is still used today. I didn’t realize you were one of the first to say that.
The money then truly is in the list. That was your actual experience almost two decades ago. I guess you would say that’s still true today.
Terry: It definitely is still true today. Every one of my clients, when we work better with their list, when we send out more emails, when we send out the right kinds of emails to the list, we are always to jump start their income, we’re always able to boost their income.
When clients come to me that’s one of the first things we apply. We look at their list, we look at the emails they’ve been sending out to their list, and how we can increase the profits from them. As you could imagine, over two decades I’ve come up with a lot of little techniques that we use to boost the profits from an email list.
Mark: My audience on this show is generally an audience of people who are working online trying to duplicate some of the success that you’ve had online, doing a lot of affiliate marketing. I’m generally teaching them that they should be capturing leads from traffic that arrives at their website, offering those leads something of value in exchange for their email address, delivering value in those email autoresponders.
What I thought about today with two decades of email experience, because you’ve literally been working on this direct response marketing by email thing for over two decades, I was wondering if we could go through some things that you think would be valuable for that audience.
Terry: Yes, let’s do so. We could talk about what they should be sending, especially when they’re getting started, to get the first emails that they send out to basically have it going with sending out the right kinds of emails to their list.
Mark: Let’s start with that. We’re getting started. What are the fundamental core things that you’re teaching your clients, the heavy-hitting high leverage things that are just fundamental to the email philosophy that you teach and that you’ve seen work over the last two decades?
Terry: We’ll move to the very beginning. To build a list we’re always going to focus on the audience first. Everything we do is always focused on the audience. The first thing that we’re going to have is some type of lead magnet. The lead magnet means a freebie that we give away to get people to subscribe to our list. I learned this years back, that is if you just put a note on your website, “Hey, join my free email list,” and give them a link to sign up, not very many people are going to sign up for it. Pretty much nobody gets up in the morning and says, “You know what I need? I need to get on some more email lists.”
Mark: Right, exactly.
Terry: That’s not what they’re thinking. The first thing you think about is who is my audience, what are their desperate problems that they want to have solved or what are their strongest desires, and how can I help them at least get the first step towards that by giving them some type of freebie.
I don’t just call it a lead magnet, I’ve started calling it lately a free preview. What I mean by that is I think about the gift that I give as almost like a bridge to whatever I’m offering next.
If I have a client that is, let’s say, showing you how to improve your tennis game, he’ll have courses about improving your tennis game, clinics and things like that. We’ll come up with some type of free preview. Maybe we’ll give a free video to improve your serve, for example.
Mark: Very good.
Terry: So if you opt in you’re going to get this free video that is going to start you at the very beginning how to improve your toss for your serve.
When I do this with clients, here’s another little tip, if you’re offering something that is lower cost, let’s say you’re promoting an affiliate product that is under $100 or an information product that you have that’s under $100, or even perhaps you do coaching and consulting and you have a free or low cost first session that’s under $100, a lot of times my system is like this. We’ll give away that freebie, whatever it is, and then we’ll give a link to the next step in the system.
In the case with the tennis client, I would have him give away this free video when you opt into the list and then right underneath the free video we’ll have a link over to his first product for sale. Since that video would be about the serve, we would then sell a product about the serve. You would get to the opt-in page, here’s the video, there would be a link over to the sales page where we’re offering basically the next step after.
That’s the reason I call it a free preview, we’re trying to take the next step over. I’ve done this with a lot of clients and in many cases we’ve immediately bumped the results from any of their marketing. It’s kind of interesting, in a couple of clients we’ve tracked it with their paid advertising, for the front end (the first two weeks to four weeks) we’ll get somewhere between 30–50% of their front end sales within about 24 hours with a simple system like that.
Mark: Wow. That really is a simple system. You’re talking about getting the conversion right after they’ve made the commitment to be on your email list.
Terry: Exactly. With a lower cost product. Think about this way. A lot of people will say, “We just need to warm our prospect up first. We shouldn’t sell anything, we should warm them up.” Imagine this aspect. I’m online and I’m searching for a subject. You attract my attention by offering me something of value that I want and I make the decision to come to your website. I put my name and email, or just my email address in, and I choose, “Yes, I want this freebie.” You then give me what you promised, the freebie. At this point in time we have this person who has just clicked on ad, or they clicked on a blog, or whatever we’re doing, they went to your site and said yes they want this, they opted in, and they watched your freebie – so they’ve just taken three steps in a row – why would we then stop them and say, “We’re not going to offer this person anything for a week or two.”
Mark: Right, you’re basically killing the momentum and in some sense starting over.
Terry: Exactly. If you’re promoting an affiliate product, I’ve actually had a couple of clients who did this when they’re starting up because I recommend the same thing that you do, which is if somebody is starting from scratch the easiest thing to do is to promote affiliate products in the market they want to be in.
Let’s say they want to create an information business, or consulting, or anything else in the future. They sell affiliate products in that same market to start with so that they build a list in that market. I’ve had clients where we’ve given away the freebie and we then have a link over, and make it so the link talks about the primary benefit but it’s not real specific to the next landing page, and we’ve even rotated affiliate landing pages after that. So we’ve actually split tested three different affiliate offers on the next page to see which one sold best.
Mark: That’s a super pro tip. A lot of times I find that when people are starting out in marketing they’re a little afraid of split testing. They view it as an advanced technique, but it doesn’t have to be that complicated. You can have three different offers that you switch out and just see which one resonates best with the kind of traffic that you’re driving to that landing page.
Terry: Yes. Sometimes we’re really shocked. Most of those times if you have three totally separate offers from three different affiliate programs, I could almost predict that you’re going to get at least one of those that is going to do twice as good as the others.
Terry: It’s hard to predict which one it is in the beginning.
Mark: I get those questions a lot of times. People will write me and say, “Should I do A or B?” and a lot of times the real answer, not just the I’m too busy to think about it answer, but the real answer is you don’t know until you test.
Terry: Yes. People don’t test nearly as often as they talk about it. We’ll say it that way.
Mark: That’s true.
Terry: That’s my experience after working with clients in tons of markets, there’s a lot of lip service paid to testing but there isn’t usually a whole lot of testing really being done behind the scenes.
You’ll hear some people talk about they tested the button color, or they tested the background color. Don’t even worry about any of that stuff in the beginning, because it takes so much traffic to test those kinds of things.
You want to test big things when you test. I’m kind of getting off subject a little bit. Test main headlines on a website. Test offers like which affiliate offer to promote. Test those really big things.
A lot of my clients some of our best tests aren’t even the headline, it’s we’re selling this product for $47, let’s test it for selling it $1.00 trial and $46 in 10 days and let’s see how that works. That type of offer often will double our response or more. That’s a test that we’ve done many times, an offer test. Offer tests, headline tests, that’s what you should be testing
Mark: One of the things that I love about talking to you is a lot of people that we talk to in this space are people that are primarily focused on teaching something that they might not even actually be doing. What you’re talking about is your actual clients, you’re actually working with people and getting into the numbers behind the scenes of other people’s businesses, and doing it. Do you like doing that kind of work?
Terry: Definitely. I love looking at the numbers. I was talking to a client yesterday over the phone and we were looking at the exact numbers from a recent heavy paid Facebook promotion that they just did. I say a heavy promotion, I think their spend was somewhere around $50,000 over a couple of weeks.
Mark: That’s heavy.
Terry: I looked at all of the numbers that came back from it and it even confirmed other things that I teach with other clients. You get used to looking at these numbers, “This number is normal. This number is normal. This number is not normal, we should fix this over here because this is wrong.” You can look at all of these numbers and see where things line up and where they should line up.
I’ll throw in another tip right here that came off of his stats, which I knew but it confirmed again as the test results came up the same again. What we were testing in this case was he used a video sales letter for his product and we had long copy under the video sales letter as one of the versions, the other version was the video sales letter and the long copy didn’t show up until we actually made the offer, so it was 12 or 13 minutes in when the rest of the copy showed up on the page.
We split tested those and this confirmed what I had tested and seen from previous tests, that was the video sales letter with the rest of the text hidden worked better for the cold traffic coming in from Facebook. We didn’t want to spring that we were selling until later on in the video to the cold traffic coming in. To his email list the one with the actual text right under the video from the very beginning sold much better to his current email list.
That actually confirms what I’ve seen multiple times. The reason for that is when you’re sending out to your own email list many of them aren’t even going to watch the whole video, they’re just going to buy within the first few minutes, because you’ve built a relationship that the sales copy isn’t even all that important at times.
Mark: Absolutely, they’ve already decided. They know, like, and trust you, so they’ve already decided that if what you’re selling is remotely overlapping with what they need they’re going to buy it because they know it’s going to be good. Whereas, this cold traffic may not even want to be sold to, so when you throw up that long copy sales letter that’s essentially a red flag to cold traffic and they’ll punch out of the sales letter.
I guess you saw bounce rates go way down and video engagement went way up when you delayed presentation of the sales letter to cold traffic, right?
Terry: Exactly. It’s interesting that it produced so much higher to the email list when you actually had the sales copy underneath the video.
Mark: I would not have guessed that. It’s very interesting and it underscores the importance of split testing. One thing that is really cool, from my perspective, is these things that were virtually impossible before, like delayed appearance of website elements, that’s just a simple CSS setting now. That’s like one line of code to make that thing come in at various times. All of these things are possible now, you just have to imagine what to do and go do the work.
Terry: Exactly. We have so many tools for building websites. There’s LeadPages, ClickFunnels, and OptimizePress. All of them have that built into the software, so they all make it really easy to create those types of pages.
Mark: Back to our email list. We have this prospect, we did some of outside of the box thinking and maybe made them an entry level offer the moment they opted in to take advantage of the momentum that we had with the sign up. We’ve delivered them a lead magnet with some value, or as you said a preview of our awesome content that generates an enormous amount of value.
Now we have this subscriber on this email list and we don’t know what to do. What do we do?
Terry: At this point we’re going to want to start sending out emails. In the very beginning, let’s divide it into two separate pieces.
We have what we call autoresponders, which are automatically programmed and everybody gets these on a specific schedule. Somebody might get one on day one, they might get one two days after they’ve been subscribed, things like this. Then we also have broadcasts. Broadcasts are emails you write right now and you send out to everybody on the list in many cases.
Even for brand new beginners I like doing at least a few autoresponders up front, because I like to establish a little bit of a relationship, who you are and what makes you different from everyone else.
There are two big mistakes that a lot of people make and they’re both the wrong side of the ditch. One mistake is to send a whole bunch of promos. I’ve been on lists where they send me four promotions a day every day. That’s like insane, it’s crazy and it’s going to burn your list out really fast.
The other mistake, which often is almost as big of a mistake and I’ve been brought in to fix this problem many times, is they just send content and don’t promote anything. That’s a humungous mistake also. When I say I’ve been called in for it, I’ve had clients who’ve done that for years to their list, they have people who are opening all of their emails but any time they try to sell anything people throw a fit and they don’t buy. I’ve been called in to fix those. Sometimes that situation is kind of hard to fix.
The issue is content as we think of it, “I’m going to send content, I’m going to give a whole bunch of tips, I’m going to give a whole bunch of value,” that’s good but it’s not going to build a relationship. It’s not going to build a list that buys from you if that’s what you’re sending, especially if you’re not doing it correctly.
I’m diverting again, because this is so important for the autoresponders and for the broadcasts. What you really want to do is give content, give value, but let’s add an extra word to that, it needs to be contrarian content, especially in the beginning. Contrarian content means everybody is saying X but I say the problem is Y instead. Everybody else is talking about this, so I’m going to talk about something that in one way or another is totally contrarian. I’ll give an example from a client and a friend.
Glenn Livingston sells a book on Never Binge Again and he has a whole back end business that goes along with Never Binge Again. In that market, basically it’s emotional eating that is the problem he’s solving, most people will tell you that you need to love yourself thin. Glenn says that’s totally wrong and what you need to do instead is imagine you have a pig inside you and you need to punish the pig and not let the pig eat these foods. Just like you choose not to walk off a perfectly good cliff, you can choose not to eat these foods and you can make rules, very specific hard rules, and your pig is going to scream about it, this pig inside you is going to be screaming and squealing and doing everything else.
You see how contrarian that is of information. He has people loving him. If you go to Amazon you’ll see he has over 600 reviews of his book at the time we’re doing this interview. The vast majority of them are 4 and 5 star reviews of how much they love his system, how well it is working for them. Then you’re going to see a whole bunch of 1 star reviews because they’re angry that he told them that there’s a pig inside of them and they don’t like that theme.
Mark: The big example that pops into my head when you’re talking about this contrarian message is Dave Ramsey. When everybody else is saying go ask for a raise and make more money, Dave Ramsey is screaming “sell the car.” That was a contrarian message when he started. Very interesting.
Terry: You have to think about what is your message, how is it contrarian. If you’re just starting off you might say, “I don’t know how to be contrarian. I don’t know what my message is.” Here’s a little tip to move us along.
Eventually I want your front end to be very contrarian, very different than what others will mention, but to start off there’s an email I call the rant style. I want you to think about something that is going on in your industry that makes you angry. I want you to just write a quick email about something going on in your industry that makes you angry and why it makes you angry. What’s wrong with it? Why is it hurting people in your market? That’s a starting point for you to pull it out and rant.
Some of my best emails have been written when I am emotional in one way or another, when I’m angry, I’m sad, I’m extremely happy about something. I kind of like the angry ones.
Mark: Maybe it’s a little bit contrary, we’ve all been told don’t write emails when you’re angry and that’s not really what you’re talking about. Channeling that emotional energy into something that gets noticed in a noisy marketplace is sort of what you’re going after here, right?
Terry: Exactly. It’s also part of we don’t just want to give content. I’ll go back to that point. If you’re just giving content, you’re just giving value, “Here’s my five tips to do this,” I could go out and I could hire writers to do that for me. I could go out and hire, in many cases, a low cost writer to create content, these tip articles, those are a dime a dozen. There’s no lack of content online.
People will say that, “How do you run an information business?” I run an information business in a market that is full of free content. You build a relationship, not just content, content is a dime a dozen. What people are really looking for is someone they can connect into, somebody that they can plug into, someone that will guide them and direct them, someone who has a personality.
Sometimes a good way to think about this, just as imagery to give you, is think about superheroes. Superheroes like Batman and Superman. Superman has been around for over 80 years. How many movies have been made about Superman? How many more movies will be made about Superman? How many times will they tell the same origins story for Superman? He’s an enduring character who inspires us.
I want you to become a superhero in your market. You might be mild-mannered in your own personal life, but online you’re going to be a superhero. The superhero that you’re going to be is you’re going to be someone that’s going to inspire people in your market. You’re going to have an origins story. You’re going to have villains that you fight.
A villain is what I was just talking about, we do a rant, we do something contrarian because there are villains that might not be specific individuals. If we take the example I mentioned of Glenn Livingston, he doesn’t have a specific individual, he doesn’t say that any of those coaches are wrong or anything of that nature. He just says that’s not the approach he found worked for him and clients that he worked with.
This is the right approach. The villain here is that message that you have to love yourself thin, that’s his villain, not a specific individual. It could be the same thing for you. The villain in your market is often a message that is wrong thinking. It could even be common wisdom that’s wrong. That’s your villain.
Then you have an origin story. How did you get started in this? How did you learn this? I like your first couple of emails to have something contrarian that we’re talking about, we’re also going to give an origin story of how you got started and why this became so important to you.
Mark: When you teach people email marketing, who is your villain? Is it these guys that are over-emailing or something like that?
Terry: The villain for email marketing, I wouldn’t say it’s over-emailing because if you’re sending the right kind of emails you can send emails daily if you wanted to. That can work quite well as long as they’re the right kind of emails.
The right kind of emails have a mixture of personality, contrarian content, and connecting into your offers that you’re making. That’s the right kind of email to be sending, you could send those daily if you wanted to. You should be sending at least once a week, just to give a minimum for it, up to daily.
So those aren’t really my villain. My villain for a long time has really been the hypesters, the “make a million dollars super easy online pushing a few buttons.”
Mark: Yes, we share that villain. We could have a Super Friends thing where we go attack that villain together.
Terry: As I’m sitting here teaching you this about email marketing, for the affiliate marketing that you’re teaching how many of your competitors would tell people to just take the emails that the affiliate programs gave them and plug those in?
Mark: We see that all the time. They’ll take the swipe copy and email it out to their list.
Terry: That’s not going to work. That’s a villain. That is the wrong strategy. It will not work, because you’re saying the exact same thing as two dozen other people. Why in the world would I respond if you told me the exact same thing everybody else just told me? There’s no connection with you.
I’ll give a quick tip for affiliates, since we have a lot of affiliates listening. The absolute best email you can send to promote any affiliate program is a case study for their product. That means you buy their product, you use their product, you tell us the results. That’s how you sell an affiliate product by email.
Mark: That’s an outstanding tip. I think one of the things that is underneath that that makes that great is that’s real value. Would you agree that these emails that you’re sending have to have value? As you’re building out an autoresponder that maybe is going to run for days, or weeks, or months, how do you approach that sort of content creation thing? You’re saying it has to have voice, what’s the importance of value in those?
Terry: Think about value as more than just content. Value is direction and guidance from someone you trust. That’s what value is, specific actions they can take from someone they trust.
If someone joins my email list they would see that I’m giving a lot of tips. There is a constant mixture of me telling stories, inspiring stories, case studies mentioning elements from clients. I can’t always tell the markets that they’re in, but they’re from dozens of different markets. I’m giving stories from them, I’m talking about what works, little tips here and there. I’m giving little pieces of the puzzle, constant little tips that they can immediately use. That’s something you can think about.
This is a model that I say works really well for it. Think about three pieces to every email. I’m giving you a rule here that doesn’t apply 100% of the time, but I’ll say of my emails at least 80% fall into this basket.
The first piece of the email is a hook or story. There’s some kind of story I’m going to tell, and that could be as simple as, “A subscriber sent me this question,” that’s a mini story, or, “I was working with a client who was doing this,” or it could be a “my 16 week old puppy keeps biting me” story, which I did recently when I talked about my landshark German Shepherd puppy.
Terry: Those are stories. That’s piece number one of the email.
The second piece of the email is a value. I want you to give at least one good tip that somebody can take and immediately use. The big mistake we make a lot of times is we give too many tips, which gets confusing. Email is a short medium, so one good tip they can use.
If we went back to the cartoons I watched when I was a kid, near the end of the cartoon they always had the moral of today’s story is _____. That’s almost what I’m thinking about with this piece here. The value of this story is _____.
I’m going to transition this. The story about my little landshark kept biting me and me constantly telling him no is that I know from previous dogs that there is going to be a moment that he is all of a sudden going to get it and he’s going to be like, “Oh, you don’t like me biting you.” That point is going to happen all the same. For online marketers it’s you’re going to keep working, you’re going to keep doing this, and sometimes it seems like you’re beating your head against the wall, until all of a sudden you hit the momentum and it seems like you’re an overnight success.
I’ve seen that time and time again with clients and in businesses that there is a big struggle in the beginning. You keep busting up against that wall. People are saying you can’t do it, you start thinking you can’t do it, then all of a sudden it seems like the light comes on and things start flowing for you. Another way to describe it is perhaps we were rolling up the hill on the rollercoaster that whole time and then all of a sudden it takes off for us. It’s the same thing.
More than a specific content, that was an inspirational message that came in the middle there, and it’s a true message. I’ve seen it bunches of times. So that’s second piece, some piece of content, some piece of inspiration, some piece of value.
The third piece of the email is going to be connecting that over to your offer or something that you’re offering. Pretty much the majority of my emails, 98-99% of my emails, have a link over to one of my offers at the end of them. I’m always selling, it’s just a pretty soft sell.
With that email talking about the dog, at the very end I just linked over and say, “This is a reason that you would want to join the Monthly Mentor Club, because the Monthly Mentor Club is month after month I’m going to send you exactly what’s working for me and my clients in a print newsletter so you can build that momentum up in your business.” I’m just connecting it lightly to the message and then I link over to my club that they can join.
Mark: Almost more of a top of mind marketing approach, just real soft and helpful.
Terry: Exactly. So those are the three pieces that you can look for, pretty much every email hits those three pieces.
Mark: The hook, the value, and the connection to an offer.
Mark: Awesome. I feel like if we were allowed we could talk for six or seven hours, but I want to be respectful of your time. What I want from you for my audience is the big thing, the most important thing, the thing that you’ve seen that you really wish everyone could understand about email marketing, that if you had the world’s largest billboard you would plaster this message on the billboard because darn it this is the thing that people truly need to understand about email marketing. What is it?
Terry: It’s going to sound super simple, but usually the biggest truths are super simple when you come down to them. That is; have fun and be yourself.
Have fun and be yourself, which I’ll explain out a little bit. That means that if you’re stressing out about the email it seems to come through. You should be having fun with these emails, you should be having fun with the story. You’re just sitting down speaking to a friend at the table, you’re speaking to your spouse, or you’re speaking to a friend going out to lunch. You’re just having fun writing them a quick message.
Be yourself means don’t try to be me, don’t try to be anyone else, but be a bolder outgoing version of yourself. Again, it’s almost that little superhero that you come off with. It’s still yourself. Be who you are.
I focus on the internet lifestyle, I share things about my dogs. I don’t have children, so I can’t talk about children, but I talk about my dogs and I talk about things that go in my life, I talk about my clients. I talk about my life and where I’m at. You need to share those types of things to build that audience and to build that relationship.
It’s really interesting, when I first spoke at a couple of conferences I had people who came up to me with a three-ring binder that they had collected my emails that I had been sending out to them before then and they asked me to sign that binder. People came up to me and starting having conversations about a story I told months before. I had to stand there for a minute as I’m listening to them until I catch on to the story, which story it was that really resonated with them. Maybe it wasn’t every story, but one of the stories really resonated with them and they kept it.
It’s kind of funny, my email becomes a test bed for other things. I’ll send out emails all the time, little stories, and some resonate really big, people love them, they buy a lot of products from them. Other people get angry about something, which from a big list that I had (I actually sold this list previously), some people get scared because they get complaints, I received over 50 complaints to one email before. Not spam complaints, but these were people that were angry because I sent the email.
Mark: They replied to the email and said, “Terry, I’m mad at you for sending this and here’s why.”
Terry: Yes, but they used a lot worse language than that. Language we’re not going to repeat on our audio here.
Mark: Wow. Yeah, it’s a family show.
Terry: We’re not going to repeat the language they had. You’ll think this is funny, though. That email is how I was railing on the no work business opportunity and I had made a statement in there that there is no place that you’re going to give somebody $2,000 and they’re going to hand you a done-for-you business that you don’t have to lift a finger. That’s the line everybody got angry about in that email.
Mark: That’s because you were shattering their false hopes.
Terry: I was shattering the false hopes in the email, so they got angry and sent that back. I’m going to warn you, when you start giving personality there’s going to be some people who get angry at you, there’s going to be some people who don’t like you. Surprise, surprise, there are people who don’t like me out there.
By sharing stories, sharing personality, and having fun doing it, you’re going to attract the right people to you.
For example, I do one-on-one clients and I don’t even use applications or things like that, because I have clients pay for it up front. I haven’t had a bad client come in for years and that’s because they would have been sifted off my list earlier on. They wouldn’t have stayed with me to become a client. The ones who become clients already know what I’m going to be doing.
That’s my big tip. Have fun, be yourself, and be willing to be open with people on the internet, knowing some will love and some will hate you. The absolute worst thing that they can do is just ignore you.
Mark: Right. You don’t need all one billion people with access to the internet as clients, you only need a handful. It’s safe to expose your personality to people and down-select to the people who really want to know, like, and trust you. They’re a lot more fun to work with.
Terry: They are. Go after the clients you want, especially if you’re building a smaller group. I work primarily with internet lifestyle businesses, which means my clients are anywhere from six figures up into the eight figure range. My biggest client is up around the $50,000,000 range, still a lifestyle business that he’s running. Even at that level, we’re not talking huge corporate level that he needs everybody to like him. In his market there’s a lot of people who don’t like him, which his fine. You don’t get to that ‘everybody needs to like me’ unless you’re running for public office, and even then half of them aren’t going to like you.
Mark: I’m from Texas and everything is bigger in Texas, but even in Texas $50,000,000 is a lot of revenue.
Terry: It is a lot of revenue, especially for a lifestyle type business. But even at that point in a business, all of these rules still apply. If we talk about an Apple company, maybe some of the rules will change a little bit once you get that big, but once you get that big I’m sure you can test a whole lot of things.
Mark: Absolutely. Terry Dean, this has been chock full of amazing value, but I know you’re kind of a like an online iceberg, we’ve only seen the tip of the surface of the value that comes from you. If my listeners, and I certainly want to encourage them to do this, want more Terry, if they’re the ones that have resonated with your personality and they really want to hear about your dogs and stuff, where do they go?
Terry: As you could expect, I have a free gift if you come over and sign up for my email list. The free gift is basically the email conversion kit and I give you a free report 7 Unique Ways to Create Profitable Emails Even If You’re Not a Writer. That specifically focuses really heavily on the seven stories that everybody should be telling, the seven different ways to tell stories. It also comes with several cheat sheets, including 64 story shortcuts, which are essentially me asking you questions to help you come up with the right stories for your emails, five proven templates for attention grabbing email subject lines, and the same system I use for email. You get all of that for free and all you have to do is go over to MyMarketingCoach.com/free.
Mark: I want to encourage people to do that. What you’re talking about is email copywriting. Copywriting in general is a super important topic. We’re going to be talking about copywriting on this show more later this month and into early March, but that is an awesome place to get started. I know about this opt-in gift, it’s totally worth it. And your email list is fun, so I want to encourage people. Give me the URL one more time to head over to.
Terry: It’s MyMarketingCoach.com/free.
Mark: Terry Dean, I really appreciate your time today. Thank you so much for dropping value bombs on my audience. I look forward to talking to you again soon. I’d love to have you back on the show some time in the future to talk some more, I know you have a lot more things to tell us. Maybe we can set that up some time in the future.
Terry: Hopefully we can. It was a lot of fun. Hopefully everything that we shared will help your listeners.
Mark: Thanks, Terry. Take care.
Wrapping Things Up….
That was fantastic. I guess you can tell, Terry is a fantastic guy. He’s helped a lot of people over the last 20 years to really take their businesses to the next level.
If you just take one of the tips that you heard Terry Dean offer today and implement that in your business before you hear my voice again next week, you will be in a much better place and you’ll like the results.
Go ahead, pick something out of the interview today and take some action. Just listening to the podcast is not quite enough. You really need to pick something and go do it. This interview is the perfect opportunity for you to do a little something extra in your internet business this week.
If you’re looking for another extra push, if you’re listening to this around February 16th, there’s the ConvertKit email challenge over at LateNightIM.com/ckchallenge.
Until next week, I hope you have a fantastic week.