Rob And Kennedy: Sell More With Email Marketing That Works

Listen to our exclusive interview with Rob and Kennedy:


Is your email marketing actually working for you? What’s missing, what can you do better to help earn more sales? We got in touch with 2 high energy email marketing experts who share tons of gold nuggets that will change the game for you. Their names are Rob and Kennedy and they are known as the Email Marketing Heros.

More About Rob and Kennedy:

You might know them as hosts of the very entertaining podcast, The Email Marketing Show, or as the founders of the survey platform that makes you sales, ResponseSuite – my guests this week are fast becoming recognized as two of the most dynamic speakers in the world and for reshaping the way we think about email marketing…

Red-haired Rob is a comedy stage hypnotist, and platinum-haired Kennedy a psychological mind reader (or mentalist as they call it in the US), who have spent almost 18 years each relying on their skills of getting into other people’s heads to carve out successful careers in show-business.

Now as founders of, Rob and Kennedy’s mission is to save the world from that grubby old-fashioned email marketing we’ve all grown to loathe, and give others the tools to become the Email Marketing Heroes in their small businesses.

Wherever you happen to be in your relationship with email marketing, Rob and Kennedy are here to help you make more sales and grow your business by sending more emails that people love receiving.

Learn more about Rob and Kennedy and their work at >

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Transcription of Interview

(Transcribed by, there may be errors)

Adam G. Force 00:03

Welcome to the Change Creator podcast where entrepreneurs come to learn how to live their truth get rich and make a massive difference in the world. I’m your host Adam Force co founder, Change Creator and co creator of the captivate method. Each week we talk to experts about leadership digital marketing and sales strategies that you can implement in your business and life to go big. Visit us at Change big to grab awesome resources that will help drive your business forward. Hey, what’s up everybody, welcome back to the Change Creator podcast show. This is your host, Adam force. I hope you all are doing amazing today. So we have a really exciting and interesting conversation that is going to happen today, especially for all you email marketing enthusiasts. Now, before I get into that, if you missed the last episode, it was with David Meade. Now, David is a rock star, he was actually co author with Simon Sinek. For the book, finding your why. Famous book, you probably heard it, you probably seen Simon’s TEDx talk about the why and all that kind of stuff. And we talked about leadership that wins in today’s market. And you know, David has another book coming out. So we talked a little bit about that and kind of taking away the the curtain that people hide behind today. And what really is kind of the future of where businesses going and where transparency is going. So really important stuff and a lot of great insights. So don’t miss that conversation. Now, today, we’re gonna be talking with two people. So we kind of have this little mini roundtable discussion. Now their names are Rob and Kennedy, and they come from a very interesting background. So Rob is a… historically was a stage hypnotist, which really caught my attention. And, you know, Kennedy is a psychological mind reader or what some people call a mentalist. And so these two were out, you know, doing entertainment, and shows and all this kind of stuff for over, you know, 18 years relying on these skills that they have to get into people’s heads and carve out successful careers in show business, right? They had to get deals, get shows get gigs. And this is how they also use that psychology just like any marketer, right to get business. So now they are the founders and host of a show called the Email Marketing Show. And their website is email marketing heroes. Now, all their focus is email marketing, right? So this is such an important component to our businesses, for so many reasons, okay, whether it is getting a follow up sale, but also increasing the value of our advertising budgets, right, because we don’t always get somebody to buy in right off of our ads and our webinars. And we need those follow up sequences, because the emails take more time for some people to get acclimated and learn about your business. And all of a sudden, your advertising dollars goes much further, because you’re bringing in more of that original pool of leads into customer status, right? So we’re going to talk about the psychology and the insights that they have about making your emails work. So this is a great conversation that you don’t want to miss today. Alright, so two other things I want to bring up. Number one, we are opening doors, we’ve been doing a lot of work with our captivate owners, these are our members in our membership. And what happens is they’ve been learning a lot about storytelling. This is what we teach. We teach storytelling as the backbone of your marketing. And you’re going to hear me, we’re going to talk about this today with Rob and Kennedy because storytelling is a very critical part. Whether you’re Russell Brunson talking about the funnels, or your Rob and Kenny talking about your emails, we have to know how to tell our stories, because this is threaded throughout everything we do in our business. Okay. And this is what we teach in captivate. And we want to now have what we call a visual story, right? So we’ve been doing a lot of website design work to create a clear path to purchase and increase sales on our students websites. And this has been really exciting work that we’ve been doing, because that’s a specialty that we have is branding identity, bringing your story to the visual front, right, so now it’s connected, it’s cohesive, and it makes sense. And so we have opened up our brand studio, and we’re starting to take some people in. And so we have a page if you’re interested in applying, we take only up to four or five max per month. All right. And so this month is booked up April is has some openings. And if you’re interested in talking to us about getting your website professionally done, maybe you want your brand story done, your identity, you need a clear path to purchase, a sales funnel, things like that. This is what we specialize in is really making your impact brand shine so that you can build trust, earn more customers, but also reduce the friction and get more sales, right? That’s that clear path to purchase. So here’s where you go if you’re interested in applying and just talking to us to see if there might be a good fit. And if we can help you out. It’s this so that’s for our brand studio. So and we’re excited to talk to more of you see, kinda like where you’re at and if we can help you there’s a lot of different situations. We work with e commerce, we work with coaching, you know, you could be a consultant, you can be whatever service company, that’s fine. There’s a lot of things we can do. So it’s we will do brand story, identity, visual story, those types of things. So if this is something you’re in need of to start scaling your business, getting a more clear path to purchase, building your identity. This is what we’ll do for you. So let’s have that conversation. Again. It’s Studio Change, Creator calm. And guys, before we get into this conversation, stop by iTunes, leave us a review. We appreciate that support. It goes a long way. Alright, let’s get in and talk to Rob and Kennedy and see what they can share with us to help our email marketing game. Okay, show me the heat. Hey, what’s up, Rob and Kenny, welcome to the Change Creator podcast show how you guys doing today?

Rob 06:24


Kennedy 06:25

Hey, Adam.

Adam G. Force 06:26

Excellent, excellent. Um, I love email marketing. Some people say it’s a dying art. I say it’s a thriving art. And it’s just so important to any business. Right? So I was excited when I saw you guys come across my desk, basically. And I wanted to talk about what you’re doing because you’re focused on email marketing. So why do you guys if you don’t mind just pop in there and give people a little contacts like Rob and Kennedy? Just Who the heck are you? And why should I listen to you about email marketing?

Rob 07:00

That’s a great question. I wish I knew the answer. Hey, I’m Rob. I have red hair. So I’m going to be all for Rob average normal clothes, I’m going to be using this voice for the rest of the interview. Kennedy is the other one.

Kennedy 07:13

I’m going to be doing all comedy bits for the rest of the interview.

Rob 07:15

That’s what he thinks. So we have a really weird an interesting background. We are actually from the entertainment world. So I a comedy stage hypnotist. For the past almost 18 years I’ve been lucky enough to travel almost not quite but almost all over the world, performing my show hypnotizing people, making them do crazy things just for the fun of it. And Kennedy is a mind reader folks in the states would know that as a mentalist, a mentalist in the UK is something very different. But basically, that means he uses skills like psychology and understanding people and influencing them to make it look a lot like he can read their minds. Because basically, when you’ve got that skill set, you basically can. So with nearly 20 years, each of this psychological entertainment, getting inside people’s heads and fiddling around a little bit, we accidentally realized that we started a business, we started a business around doing the thing that we love, right, which is entertaining people. And so we had to learn about branding, positioning, marketing, charging more than other people, but still being busy, like, how did we get all of that stuff, right. And so one of the first things that we stumbled across independently, and by accident was email marketing, we realized we could use email to get client while to get inquiries, and then convert inquiries to clients and then clients to repeat clients. And before very long, we’d like swap notes and said, I’ve been doing this man, I’ve been doing this, this is cool. Look at this. And we were kind of doing similar things. And then we realized that we could apply the same stuff that we do on stage to get inside people’s heads and create influence and stuff in email to get better results without being salesy, without using gimmicks and a hype and the stuff that we see people doing that we that nobody wants. And so we just became obsessed with email marketing, and eventually, that they had a very narrow entertainers, you spend very little time on stage, and lots of time traveling. Yeah. And so we wanted something to do when we were traveling. And more and more people were coming to us and say, how are you doing this email marketing thing that started with other entertainers and eventually became other business owners from all walks of business. And so when we are traveling and or when we’re at home, with during a pandemic, we’ve been quite a lot. When we’re not on stage, we’re basically doing a business where we can coach other people to do our stuff with email.

Adam G. Force 09:24

Interesting, that sounds awesome. Yeah, I mean, so I guess as far as like, the email stuff goes, just I guess, tell me a little bit about I mean, you went from entertainers, which I think is really cool. And I love the fact that you guys have kind of mastered this craft of getting into the conversation that’s going on in someone’s brain, right? Not to be manipulative, right, but to to connect with them better, right to serve them better. So what I guess let me get more clarity on just how you start. started getting into using email as a device, I see the transition that you mentioned here. Is this, like, how does that become a product? Like, what does that look like right now just at a high level for you guys.

Kennedy 10:14

See, the one thing is that people are usually quite shocked to hear is that Rob and I are both introverts, which means we actually don’t like selling the idea of getting on a sales conversation, even though to try and overcome that we took some really expensive and intensive sales training. We hate selling, we’re not really well, we’re maybe All right, I guess, but we really hate doing it. So we don’t want to get any better. So we ended up literally figuring this stuff out. How do we book gigs, you know, when when you’re talking 1000s of pounds for a performance? Yeah, and an event? How do you do that without having to speak to another human being, we won’t be able to do because what’s really nice is with email, is it’s predictable. If you write a bunch of emails in a certain way, which are not manipulative, but instead are impactful, are having an impact upon people in a way that excites them ignites something inside of them, that shows them what they want, what can be possible. And you can use those skills in the emails to get them to book you for something as maybe trivial as an event, then that becomes really interesting. And here’s the really interesting thing. Over the past, who knows how many years, email has become a little bit manipulative, it’s like anything, marketers ruin everything, we get ahold of something, and we break it. And because what happens, they start doing all these dodgy tactics of creating these short term wins. They do all these things, which are like, I’ll make a quick buck if I if I do all these scary big, fancy scammy things. And they actually wonder why they have to keep perpetually inventing new scammy ways of doing things. That’s because you were manipulating people manipulation, differently. manipulation and influence. manipulation is about a short term win with no thought for the aftermath. influence is about having that impact. So you can help people to get what they want to get. And thinking about long term relationships. So when you buy some look, even if you listen to our podcast, Email Marketing Show, you don’t at the end of the thing, oh, I’ve just been sold to for 20 minutes. That’s not that’s not how you feel on this show, either. We don’t want to feel like we’re being sold to we want to feel like we’re connecting with people. We want to feel like we’re understanding ourselves. We’re understanding our problem more. And that’s opening up opportunities for us to want to think about solving those problems. So it’s above and we’re on a mission, Robert, I on a mission to talk talking to you all today. We’re on a mission to stop the manipulative use of email marketing, because how many times do we receive? One of the big reasons people don’t send email marketing? Is because they hate receiving email marketing, guess what? That’s because most email marketing is terrible.

Adam G. Force 12:59

Yeah. It’s true. I mean, it’s interesting, because I Well, now I connect the dots, like you mentioned, you know, maybe you’re trying to get an event pays $1,000. Like, you got to have a way to connect with these people in the emails for how you were kind of making that happen. And, and I feel like, you know, you get so many emails today, how do you actually, you know, be effective in what you’re doing and stand out? And maybe it kind of, is there a starting point in the sense, like, I know, if I have seen a few videos of somebody, and they kind of really can, I know, I feel like they can support me in some way with my business cycle a part of my business just like you guys, right? You can support us with email. Then if I get in touch with something that you’re offering me, I might be more inclined to continue to read your emails, because I’m already kind of like interested in what you have to say. But if those emails start, you know, coming off the wrong way to me, then you quickly check out right and you stop reading the email. So what would you say is one of the number one mistakes that people make? When it comes to having an email, like follow up series, right, I sign up for my lead magnet, or I do something and you know, yes, if I want to serve them more, I’m going to sell you a product that will help you more, but you don’t want to come off like the wrong way. So like, what’s the big mistake that people are making that might be hurting them?

Rob 14:26

So one of the things that we see all of the time, and everybody has experienced this is they do what you said they land on somebody’s website, they see a lead magnet or a webinar or something. They register for that. In fact, Kennedy and I were talking about this this morning, because it happened to him, they opt in for something that join your list, and then within hours or days, they receive an email from you. And that email lacks the one most important thing to make a long lasting email relationship and that’s context. Somebody lands in your in your list and then suddenly, they happen to get the next email that you have And to be sending out about whatever it is you happen to be doing at the time. So you might be on like, day four of this big launch or something, which is the case in in Canada.

Kennedy 15:09

Let me tell you like, literally, I have this guy’s list yesterday, right? This Hey, join my email list. Okay, email address in ready to go. The first email I get. And this sounds like an exaggeration, I promise you just beautiful timing. Adam, this is clever. Right? Great, great timing is that my first email from the guy is bonus number three ends and goes away and expires in one hour. bonus number three, I don’t know what the product is. And the product, I clicked on it the products three grand I can I ever? Can any of us buy that product? No, we can’t buy that product, because I’ve got no context.

Rob 15:53

And the worst part about that is it’s destroyed the relationship going forward. Now, Kennedy happened to have a little therapy session with me this morning by talking it out. But obviously most people are not in the game of email marketing. So most people just have this little panic in their head where they go, who is this person? What’s this about? What am I doing this is all unconscious thought like, none of this ever comes to the fore for most people, we’re just freaks. And then what happens is that that unconsciousness is blocking them from being able to do anything. So the best case scenario is that they’ll just sort of occasionally look at your emails and try to remember who you are. The worst case scenario is they’ll disengage, they’ll stop paying attention, which means now your emails are just in the slew of unread emails in their inbox, which is a different story. But that’s damaging your ability to get delivery to the people who do want to receive your emails. So for us, it’s not creating context, the minute somebody joins your list, one of the things that we created is something called the getting to know you sequence. It’s our version of the welcome sequence, this idea of bringing people on board. In our case, it’s four days worth of emails, one email each day for four days. And those emails are basically welcoming them to your world, telling them who you are and what they can expect going forward. And one of those things in our businesses, we’re going to email you every single day. And that’s good for you because and then why it’s good for them. We’re going to give you tips, hints, ideas, strategies, stories, fun stuff, all with the goal of leveling up your email marketing, we tell them how else they can engage with us, you can listen to our podcast, that Email Marketing Show, you can be in our Facebook group, the Email Marketing Show community, you can take part in our Twitter chat, email, our so all of this stuff that they can do. And it’s kind of like we think about it, like when somebody gets on the train, and they sit down and they get their seat and they’re all comfortable. And they put their laptop on the table. If they’ve got a table, and then suddenly you hear the tunnel announcement say welcome aboard the 1432 service. This is what happens in England anyway, the 1432 service to Bristol, in England. And then etc. And then you feel good because you know you’re on the right train or because you’re on the wrong train, right. And that’s okay to some people read that email and say, This is not for me and unsubscribe, that’s great. Because that we know that we don’t want them on our list and they don’t want to be there. That’s a win win. Yeah, so what that means now is every day going forward, your emails really quite naturally become part of their everyday life now, like so that sets up all of the context, it sets up all the win win framework for everybody. And that’s a that’s probably the biggest mistake we see.

Adam G. Force 18:19

Yeah, and that makes a lot of sense. And I think people get over anxious to just sell, sell, sell, which means they’re probably approaching the business with the wrong intentions to begin with. Right? You know, like, it’s just so many everyday life examples, you know, the classic relationship example you don’t go up to someone asked him to get married, like, you know, you got to get to know someone. And you know, like on our side, we’re all about storytelling because we believe that that form of communication is the best way to build a relationship and trust and and do what you guys say give context help people understand, you know, clearly what’s going on. So I love the first four days and I like the train analogy. I might steal that. That’s fine now I will say that I have you know, I used to travel from New York to Philly every day for when I was a co move Amtrak Yeah, baby. And there was a time multiple times but the worst time I got out, you know, you go down the stairs, right and you got to train on the left or train on the right now I’m in a routine I got my headphones on. I’m not fucking listening anymore. I’m just doing my thing. Get on the train. I get my laptop. Exactly. Like Rob said, put it up start working. an hour goes by and I’m looking over to the right and I’m like, that’s an interesting body of water. I really took notice of that. And I was pretty much like two hours by the time I asked somebody and I picked my head up from the computer away. The opposite way from Philadelphia and I had to go back is the worst nightmare ever had dinner plans with my wife that night that all fell apart. But you know, it’s Yeah, so the train analogy I like when you said the announcer lets you know you’re in the right place. Right great. way to think about the email. It’s like, you kind of have this curiosity, you sign up. Are you in the right place? What do you expect? Right? So, such a logical thing that a lot of people miss. And I hear that all the time. So, so I guess Tell me a little bit about what you find is, you know, we got into some of the basics there the introductory stuff, but it goes beyond that, right? What happens after four days, like, where do we make? How do we start making the sale? And I want to say, that means how do we serve people more like we got to, like, ease them in, put their toe in the water and let them know they’re in the right place? Where does it go from there? Like how, like you’re The Mentalist? You’re reading people, but you can’t do that over email as much? Or can you? I don’t know.

Kennedy 20:49

Can you totally can because, like, okay, so we talked about context, and we think about context a lot. There’s two things we talk about a lot. One of them is contact, the other one is beliefs. So the next thing we’re going to try and do is create context around beliefs. So you’ve got the getting to know your sequence. That’s the four day welcome sequence, which is that a build authority, build credibility, build, also some vulnerabilities and as trust and stuff going on there, lots of stuff going on, psychologically speaking in those four emails. The next thing we’re going to do is we have a thing called the overture sequence. And that’s like the beginning of a movie beginning of a musical in New York. On Broadway. There’s that Overture, which tells you kind of introduces you to the product. So this is what is really missing from this guy’s campaign that I mentioned, because I didn’t have context for the product now. So the first bit is context for you in your world. The second bit is context for the product. Because debt, you know, the third bonus is disappearing. The bonus of war. That’s it. Yeah, exactly. Like you kind of like what you’re talking about. So what we’re going to do at this point is we’re going to tell them what the product is. And we’re going to ask ourselves the question, what are the things this person needs to believe, before they could possibly buy one it is that I’m selling, whether that’s a donation, because I’m a charity, whether that’s they want to purchase something, whatever it is that we’re selling. So whatever beliefs they need to have before we could possibly do that. And the beliefs they need to have are? What do they need to believe about you the person offering this product or service? Secondly, what do they need to believe about the product or service than itself? Third, what do they need to believe about themselves before they can buy it? And finally, I missed the one that a lot of people, in fact, we’ve never heard anybody talk about this, and this is game changing is, what do they need to believe about the people around them? before they can buy it? Because when you buy something, whether it’s $5, or $5,000, somebody at some point is going to say, oh, what was that, and you’re gonna have to go, Oh, it was this thing, and that, and you know, they’re gonna have a reaction, either, that’s awesome. Or that sounds like bullshit, it’s gonna be somewhere on the, on the on that on that range of bullshit, too awesome. And if you couldn’t, if you’re gonna feel embarrassed about what that thing is, then you haven’t positioned it correctly. So we’re going to build up all those beliefs. And we’re going to do that over six different emails, which each in turn talk about, this is why this is important. This is why this is important. Now, this is what other people are saying, and so on, and so forth. So we’re going to create this complete context for the product. But here’s the really, really, really important thing. Most people email far too little. The number one reason that people unsubscribe from anyone’s email list, and we all feel a little bit sad inside when we see someone’s unsubscribe from our email list. We know the reason they do that is and they say, it’s because it’s not relevant. It’s not they sort of go unsubscribe, it’s not what I want. And it is because of relevance. And the reason that they say it’s not relevant is often because they forgotten who you are. And more importantly, they’ve forgotten why they’re on your email list. I got an email last week from some guy called Joe somebody or other and I’m like, I have no idea who Joe someone or other is. I’ve got no idea. You are Joe, how am I on your list? I mean, this is terrible. So I report them as spam. And then I think, I wonder. So I do a search for Joe’s email address. It turns out he hasn’t emailed me for a month. Well, a lot happens in a month. Think about how long a month is really how much happens in a month. So if you email more often, people remember who you are. So they don’t report you as a dirty rotten spammer. And secondly, it actually technically technologically giggly improves the delivery rate, if you email more often.

Adam G. Force 25:04

Yeah, I, you know, I am totally on board with that. And I, you see a lot of people call what I do once a month. And to your point, like I’ve been in the same boat, I get some email. I’m like, Who the heck is this signed up for something, you know, three, four months ago, and all of a sudden, you get this random email and you know, you unsubscribe and report it as spam and who knows what, but the daily email, if someone is interested in what you’re doing, right, is what you’re saying. It’s like, you’re now in this conversation. And you want to keep the conversation going, like they’re in your world, because they’re interested. So if you all a sudden go radio silent, they go to somewhere else. That’s it.

Kennedy 25:44

And here’s what’s great. When you show up every single day, which is what we do, we email 365 days a year, we made a sale on Christmas Day, like, we couldn’t believe it. We Rob and I like we’re texting each other going. You see Slack, we just made a sale. It’s pretty Christmas Day, how’s your turkey, by the way? Oh, yeah, we made a sale on Christmas Day. The reason that we can email every single day is because the way that email marketing is done now needs to change. And what it needs to be is we need to not email people, when we want to make a sale, we need to not email people or make us out, we need to email people with a value that they enjoy, they get value from so that at the time they’re ready to buy, where they’re, they know who we are, they understand us and they know where the link is to click and buy the thing. So we need to be there. So at the moment that they’re ready to buy, they were there we are showing up. And they’ve understood the context, the product, the need, the desire, the why they understand that they have all these beliefs, beliefs at that point. And the single best way to do that is to tell stories, it’s gonna be to tell stories, because I mean, I’m obsessed with looking at the psychology of story and actually, the physiology of stories. And there’s some awesome research being shown that, that stories physically take up more space in people’s brains, it lights up more more neurons. And what’s awesome, if you look at the psychology of a story is if you tell a story, people hearing that story, reading that story cannot help put themselves into that story in the first person, which means they have to emotionally connect with it. They have to start feeling things. You can’t feel anything about a list of five reasons you should listen to the Email Marketing Show podcast. What is it? I tell you a story about something funny that happened one day when we were recording the podcast, you’d be like, Oh, that’s so funny. I’ve got to hear that. Why? Because you suddenly felt something. Yeah, yeah, show up every single day with actual value, not just saying buy my stuff, then you can email every single day.

Adam G. Force 27:50

Yeah. And let’s define value. Because I think that can be misunderstood by some people. It’s not just giving away all your how to insights, right? It’s, it’s the what’s in the wise and and i think coming from your perspective, for both you guys, it’s entertaining people, like we don’t have to go super deep and spend three days creating a complex email, it could be, you know, 100 words of a little story about how you screwed up the day before recording a podcast. And that’s just you’re creating a connection, right? Is that kind of like, how do you define the value factor?

Rob 28:22

Yeah, totally. I mean, we break it down into a few different things. And that we’ve like we’ve we’ve gone so deep into this, not because we wanted to teach it, but just because we needed a really efficient and good way of doing it in the first year. But we realized that all the types of value in the world and there’s a bunch of them really fall into like two camps that you want people to the you’re going to express. And that’s basically stuff that you want to teach people stuff that they’re going to learn and they’re going to be able to go and do something with. And then stuff that they’re going to be able to like feel like it’s got an emotional value to it in some respects. So what we find is that a lot of the time, so every single day, we send emails, and between us, we send four emails every day for different businesses. So like, there’s no and we don’t work that hard. So there’s no like, it’ll take me too long excuse here. And so we deliver value in those emails. But it’s very rarely like a really hard solid lesson. Like we’re not like, for example, we share in loads of stuff on this podcast. We can’t take all of this and try and cram it into an email. Ordinarily, it’s one little tip, one little idea, one little story and even the story has value in it. So one of our favorite email strategies and email structures is to start every email with a little story. And those stories can be totally random things in the last few days, my emails to our email marketing heroes audience have included the fact that I finally took it upon myself to throw out some old socks that had holes in but I didn’t really want to, but I just chose to in the end, I found the inner strength to do it. What yesterday’s email was about the fact that I’ve fallen in love with is horrendous. Reality TV dating show called married at first sight, and I’ve been binge watching 41 episodes of that. So like, these are totally innocuous random things that appear to have nothing to do with what they do. And not that they don’t appear to have anything to do with email marketing, they don’t. But then what we do is we transition from that story into some kind of lesson. And so the way that we do that is we just in our heads, we just have this list of what we call our Maxim’s our rules, our principles, our concepts. And there’s probably I don’t know, we’ve never written them down, I would imagine, there’s probably a few dozen or a couple of 100 of these, like basic principles, they’re things like email more often deliver value, so in every email, all this stuff, and then basically what I do is I write them, I write the little story, and then transition into this little lesson. And you’re basically pulling the most relevant email marketing lesson you can find and sometimes it needs a shoe on and make it work. But you need to find the most relevant email marketing lesson or whatever it is that you’re whatever your industry is, and, and go from the story into that lesson, and then just transition from that lesson into a little offer. And that offer for us most of the time, it’s common, buy this thing, sometimes it would be listened to this podcast episode, or come register for this webinar, or buy the ticket for this event, or whatever. And effectively what that means is every single email we send out has a story, as Kennedy said, valuable and has lots of psychological benefits to them. The lesson that’s valuable too, but again, it’s a very soft teaching lesson into an offer. What it means is, if they’re ready to buy, the offer is great. It’s perfect for them. If they’re not ready to buy from you right now. That’s okay. The offer is almost invisible, not invisible in a bad way, like banner blindness, but like, they just don’t really notice. It doesn’t irritate them, because they got value from the rest of the email.

Adam G. Force 31:36

Right? Right. You don’t hammer them with it knocks honestly. Yeah. And I mean, the story, I think you made a great point, like, you can tell stories about your socks, or about, you know, these TV shows, and they can all be used to demonstrate a point, right, a lesson that you have. And, you know, like I mentioned, we are obsessed with stories here. This is our whole captivate program. So I love talking about this stuff. And, you know, there’s so many different ways to mine for stories. And I used to tell stories about the voice and all these different things when I was a wrestler when I was a kid, and no, it has no relevance to business. But it has a lesson that is relevant. So I think that’s a really important takeaway that you shared, for people to understand that you can have fun with this and still make a point that’s relevant to what you’re doing.

Kennedy 32:20

Totally. We have four different I think it’s for them to even be more I think there is more now because we’ve just extended basically, we’ve got a whole program called the complete daily email strategy. And one of the things we do is we talk about different ways of finding the stories. So I thought I’d share one with you right now. And I think you’ll find is really simple. All we do is ask ourselves, what is the least? What’s the least crap there? Or the least at least boring? What’s the least boring thing that happened in the last 24 hours? Now, the reason we’re not asking the question, what’s the most interesting thing is because psychologically in our heads that makes us go, oh, what was interesting, or nothing interesting ever happens to me, I was stuck at home. That was a pandemic, I couldn’t possibly, for whatever reason, think about something interesting. So if you ask yourself, what’s the least boring thing that happened in the last 24 hours? Okay, of all the boring things, what’s the least boring thing? Oh, my girlfriend had to go to the dentist for an emergency appointment this morning. So that’s the least boring thing. And I’m going to start writing the email. And here’s the thing, right, the start writing the story, write the email, before you know how it relates to your lesson, just start writing the story. And as those words come out of your fingertips, you will start thinking, Oh, that’s how it relates. Almost never, when I sit down, actually, I stand at my bench, I’m boiling the kettle in the morning to make my first cup of tea. So that’s how I literally write mine. By the way, in the morning, I literally put the kettle on to make a first cup of tea. And as it’s boiling, it takes about four minutes, I write this, I write the email, and I just write the story standing at the band at the bench in the morning. And I’ve got no idea what the lesson is gonna be I just write the story. She had a really sore mouth, he didn’t sleep at all last night, that’s going to be tomorrow’s email. I know it’s going to be and so I’m gonna I’m gonna write that out. And then I will transition into figuring out what the lesson is. And then Oh, and by the way, if you want I help implementing this lesson, we’ve got our membership program called the League of email marketing heroes. Oh, we’ve got this course or whatever, to your relevant offer, whether it’s paid or a free offer.

Adam G. Force 34:25

Yeah, yeah. I love that. Yeah. And I like the idea of the least boring and kind of just get it going because people get analysis paralysis. What, what is that lesson? You know, one of the ways that we talk about mining for stories is we do we teach something called the story vault, and it’s about so yeah. It’s like surrounding yourself, like putting yourself in the story mindset, right? Like you’re surrounded in a world of stories. So when you’re watching a movie, and you’re watching a TV show, and you see maybe something half.

Kennedy 35:00

And in an hour training. It’s funny though, because we’re all thinking about that same sort of thing.

Adam G. Force 35:06

And that’s the thing. Well, you take a note, put it in the vault be like, Oh, man, that was a great way to they made this point, right. And you’re like this story made this point, boom. I mean, you just start collecting, like all these frickin stories. Next thing, you know, you become a story marketer, like you’re no longer lost for content, you have all this shit built up. I love the way you approached it and just like, get the idea. Think about it, write it down. And then at the same time, you’ll be like building up this vault with all these ideas. But you won’t do that. Unless you’re looking for it. It’s like, Hey, I’m gonna buy this Range Rover. And you never noticed Range Rovers before. But now that you’re thinking about it, you see it everywhere. Right? So same thing is I guess the we’re, I think we’re on we’re diving on the same page with this stuff. Awesome. Yeah. So I want to talk a little bit, and we’ll we’ll wrap up here. But I wanted to touch on subject lines, open rates, right. What are you seeing as like, when it’s done, right? And it’s like, Hey, is the 15% open rate? Totally sucky, I maybe when people were interested like that welcome series, like we should be hammering 50% open rates, you know, like, so. Tell me a little bit about your thoughts on subject lines? Because I think people get stuck there. I have this. I have the story. I typed it up. It’s awesome. Wait, how do I get people to open this email? What’s the subject line? So maybe share a little bit about your thoughts on subject lines?

Rob 36:30

Yeah, so first of all, Kennedy, do you want to drop the open rate bombshell? And then after that?

Kennedy 36:36

Yeah, so open rates are not a not a good metric to to look at really, they’re not okay. Like, well, here’s the thing, right? open rates reporting is fundamentally completely flawed, like it is completely inaccurate. And the reason it’s inaccurate, and that’s not to do with which system you use or anything like that. It’s because of how it works. So a little bit of geekery for you, because nobody wants to have this for a pub quiz. In case you ever get asked this question, the way that open rate reporting works is your email marketing platform. So whether it’s MailChimp keep Active Campaign, whatever you’re using ConvertKit, many, what the way that they work, is they put a little invisible transparent, one pixel by one pixel image into your email. That’s how they work. And then when you open your email, and that image loads by going back to your server, that says to your email marketing love, oh, that person’s opened the email. The problem with that is that there are a lot and a growing number two of platforms, which now actively block that reporting, anybody opening an email on an Android phone, blocked, opening it on Mozilla, Thunderbird, blocked, PRI, it won’t be long, I don’t think until Apple block it as well. And what the reason for that is, they are increasing the security around emails, of course they are they have to write as they’re introducing more technologies, they have to increase EQ and other things. So the good news, the bad news is email open rate is a is not a good number to to really track as something that’s real. So that’s why one of the things when we teach our revival campaign, which is the campaign we use to reengage and get people back to, to, to, to opening your email system. We say to people don’t use the metric of open people who haven’t opened for 30 6090 days as a reason to put them back into your revival campaign. Because the truth is, you might be emailing people go and you have an open for a little while not be going, Yeah, have open every day, I love you, I think you’re wonderful. Look at your hand, some of you lovely had in your lovely beard, you’re lovely. They, they think you’re being a bit eager that. So don’t use open rates, because they’re not they’re not a very good indicator. What you can use, though, is click rates, because they are really accurate. Because when someone clicks on a link in your email actually goes via your email marketing system and then to the page you’re sending them through. So that’s a really good number. So what is the number we should be tracking? And then Rob is going to give you some ideas on on subject lines. And actually, why subject lines are not the number one reason that people open your emails, so often all that and the second, which is, again, no one’s talking about this stuff, and we’ve done a lot of testing on this right? So the, the metric we do look at so the the sort of Northstar metric for email marketing, we look at his earnings per subscriber per month, earnings per subscriber per month. And the way you calculate that is really easy. You just go your email system and go right back in January how many subscribers that I have on my list? I had 1000. Great. How much money did I make from selling to that list? I made $1,000. Divide one number by the other. That means I made $1 per subscriber on my list. That’s my earning personal job. I must do the same for February. And did you make $1? Did you make less? Oh, that’s a bad sign you did something effects? Or did you make more? Did you make $1.20 per subscriber on your list per month? What we’re looking for is the trend because email marketing, like the rest of your business, like your Instagram, like your Twitter following is a one player game. You are only playing against yourself. It doesn’t matter what my open rate is, it doesn’t matter what Adams open rate is, or Rob’s open rate is all that big internet gurus and open rate as that doesn’t matter. What does matter is, is yours improving? Or is it declining? If yours is improving, you’re moving forward. If it’s declining, don’t decline back to the gurus, open rate, oh, he’s only getting 12%. But I’m getting 60. But I’m getting close. And as cuz I’m down to 55. That’s a terrible metric. Instead, your open rate is a one player game and your earnings per subscriber per month is a one player game.

Adam G. Force 41:07

Interesting. Just before we jump in there, Rob wanted to just get clear on the small pixel picture they were mentioning, that’s something that is integrated into the code of the email, is that what I’m hearing and literally that get triggered through preview windows?

Kennedy 41:27

So no, it’s literally a such a tiny picture you can’t see. And it’s clear, literally all the way the open rate reporting works is it’s just looking for whether that pixel loaded or not, that’s literally how it works.

Adam G. Force 41:38

Okay. Okay. And now they’re blocking that pixel

Kennedy 41:41

They’re blocking that, they’re blocking that code from going back to the email system. God, oh, that picture loaded. It’s about you know, sometimes you open up an email, and the images haven’t loaded. Yeah, it’s similar sort of thing. But it’s also not going back there.

Adam G. Force 41:56

That’s really interesting.

Kennedy 41:57

But the good news, Adam, is that it’s consistently inaccurate, which means if your open rate is going up and down, that is reflective, because also last week, when you’re comparing it to last week, it was also inaccurate. So it’s relative to the other inaccuracies, if that makes sense.

Adam G. Force 42:14

Yeah, yeah, I got you. All right.

Kennedy 42:18

Rob, do you want to share about the subject line not being the number one reason?

Rob 42:24

Yeah, subject lines are obviously important. And we’ll cover some ideas for how you come up with good ones. But actually, the primary thing really comes down to and this is good news and bad news, the primary thing really comes down to a whole bunch of factors, things like the relationship you’ve got with the list, there are people who I’ve ended up subscribed to whose emails I will open. And it doesn’t matter what the subject line is, like, I don’t care, I’m not looking, it’s not going to catch me out with a clever subject line, and I’ll open it go Oh, so what’s actually happening here is I’m looking for the people I like to read from and I’ll open their emails if they put nothing in the subject line. And I think that’s a really interesting thing that people overlook, what people are looking for, is the clever subject line strategy, which we’ll get onto, don’t worry, the clever subject line strategy that’s going to get people to open their emails, because then because the relationship isn’t there. So it’s one of the things having like, are getting to know your sequence or something similar in place will really help with that. and maintaining, you know, all the other stuff. We’ve talked about, you know, high levels of engagement, maintaining the fact that you’re going to be relevant, and you’re going to, you know, talk to people about the stuff that’s interesting to them on a level that is interesting to them. But, I mean, there’s like 12, there’s 12 things we’ve identified as what we call subconscious triggers, to get your emails opened. If you if you join our free Facebook group, which we’ll talk about the Email Marketing Show community, there’s actually a training in there that talks about these 12, subconscious triggers. And the subject line is one of them. And then the others, the others are not. So there’s little nuclear, however, on to the question you asked, which is subject lines. You’re right, most people get stuck. And they get stuck for one of two reasons. either, because they sit down to write their email, and lots of email marketing platforms, say you want to send an email, click the Email button. So you click the Email button, and it says, What would you like to call the email and you give it a name? Like, you know, today’s email? And then it says, What’s the subject line going to be? And then go on? Well, how can they know they haven’t written anything yet? So what we suggest is if your email marketing platform does that, put anything you want in there, and then move on, we actually have a placeholder thing, which is just the merch…

Kennedy 44:24

Yeah, yeah, don’t put like any old shit here in case you accidentally press send. Because we have fiction, I say that I’ve out of send an email that said any old shit here.

Rob 44:36

Yeah, so we have, by default, our templates have just their first name in the subject line. So worst case scenario, you’ll accidentally send an email where the subject line is just their name, which by the way, is a great subject line, so you should give it a try sometime. Anyway. So just put, put whatever you want in there, and then get that you’d be happy to send by accident, and then get into your email, write the email, and most of the time I like most of our email Follow that story lesson offer structure. So what we tend to do is just say what’s interesting, what can I pull out of the story, and then work that around to be something that is interesting, curiosity driven, usually, in our case, nothing to do with email marketing, again, we tend to pull it from the story or something from the lesson. So like, an example I always give is the fact that at the age of 33, which I am now, I, for the first time have had to buy a mattress, because like, I originally, when I first moved out of my parents, I took the one that I had from there. And I’ve just had that ever since I think. So I’ve never ordered a mattress as a grown man. So I recently ordered this mattress. And when it arrived, there was a knock on the door, and I opened the door. And there’s one man stood with like a big box on his shoulder like that. And he put it down. And I clearly looked confused. And he said, Oh, it’s your mattress. And I clearly looked even more confused. Because I was expecting to man with a big box that were shaped like a mattress, I didn’t know they vacuum packed mattresses that was used to me. So this guy when he marrison, I looked confused. And he said, we’ve actually unpack them now. And I was like, Mind blown moment. And so that was going to be that was clearly going to be the story for my email that day. So I got to the computer, and I wrote it out. And it was about the fact this mystery box has appeared at my door. And I don’t know what it is, it doesn’t look like anything I’ve ordered, but it’s quite sizable. And that was the sort of point of it. So now that gives me a whole scope of different subject lines, things like mystery, deliver mystery parcel, what’s in this box, anything to do with that sort of story. And so I think the subject line ended up being what’s in this box, dot dot dot. Now, that brings me on to the other thing you want to do with this is you want to give that you want to leave them with a reason to open the email. What loads of people do is that they mess this up for one or two reasons, or two of two reasons. Number one, is they’ll say things like their subject line might be the number one, the number one strategy to grow your Instagram in 2021, or whatever. And then the problem with that is, if I’m not interested in Instagram, I’ve got no reason to open the email, even if even if the thing inside it would change my mind it would it would make me realize the benefits of it. I would watch the sales video the webinar, I think, Oh my god, I need to get this now. They’ve killed the sale with the subject line. Right. So first things first, that’s the first problem. The second problem is that if I’ve heard you teach your Instagram growth strategy before, I know what that is, now, I don’t need to open the email, even if you’ve changed your mind, the 2020 growth strategy might have been something different. And in 2021, you need to be doing this. So I’m now missing out on that, because I heard you talk about it, what feels like a week ago, but was last year. And I don’t know what the new one is. And the worst bit is when people see the word Instagram growth strategy, or whatever. And this applies in every nation, every industry and everything. And I don’t know what it is. And I’ve never heard you talk about it before. But I think I’ve probably got a good idea I’ve got that’s why in copy, you see a lot the number one way to get more traffic to your website in brackets. It’s not what you think that standard line of copy that loads of people use is there because people have their own opinion on what they think you’re you’re going to teach. So we always lead with things like if I put the subject line what’s in this box, and then a puzzled emoji that gets really good opens and it there’s nothing that none of that is there to stop somebody from opening it. That’s our approach to subject lines.

Adam G. Force 48:12

Right? So you build like, hey, as storytellers we’re building tension, right? So that curiosity factor that’s in there, you’re not being specific to something. So either being very curious, and maybe speaking to like a point of drama, The mystery box, that was like shocking, right? Or maybe and let me know if you guys agree with this, but you know, kind of leading into the ultimate. I guess Ben like I want to say benefit to them. Like, you know, it could be something instead of being like learn more Instagram crochet, or she says could just be like, how to sell more in 2021 minutes ago? Well, I want sales. And then I’m going to I’m going to tell you that you need to use this Instagram strategy. Right? So maybe that kind of is a better way to approach these things. Is that kind of fall in line with what you’re trying to say?

Kennedy 48:58

Sure. I mean, one of the things you don’t want to do as well with your subject line is Yeah, habits on the thing. I think I know what that’s gonna be. So if you have like, you know, what, I don’t know insert name of celebrity taught me about what I learned from watching the Queen’s speech about Instagram, or you know, whatever you want to be like, I don’t know what that is, what if I might know what my favorite thing for 2021 is? The other thing people tend to get wrong with with subject lines. Just to add on to what Rob was saying is they tend to answer the question in the subject line. So why Instagram is the number one way to grow your email list. Oh, I don’t need to open that email anymore. Cuz I know the answer to the question is Instagram. Like, there’s no reason we have a thing called the date test for subject lines, which is you’ve got to imagine somebody on a date but the hardest person ever, you know, like you want to date was only super hot, like Rob or somebody hot, right? So imagine you’re on a date with someone and their phone, or your phone. So you your phones face up on the table. And you’re you’re getting on Well, they’re laughing at your jokes, you’re laughing at their jokes, you touch their hand, they touch yours, you have a little giggle. It’s all lovely. And it’s all going so beautifully well, and your phone flashes up with just the subject line of that email. The question is, will the person go hang on a second? I’ve got to read this email if they will. It’s a really good subject line.

Adam G. Force 50:29

Yeah, that’s nice. Let’s wrap up on that. That’s good little note. So listen, if people want to learn more about email marketing connect with you guys see what you got going on? follow you, whatever tickles their fancy. How do they get in touch with you? where’s the best place for them to look?

Rob 50:48

Yeah, you can call Kennedy on 0772. I’m gonna be I don’t want to be presumptive, right. But I’m going to assume that you like podcasts. And if you do, then you could definitely check out our podcast. It’s called the Email Marketing Show. It’s every single week, one week, it’s me and Kennedy, then the next week, it’s me and Kennedy with a guest then the next week. It’s me and Kennedy, that it’s me and Kennedy when you get the idea. And basically we talk about all things email marketing related, everything you can possibly imagine. It’s a lot of fun, it has the world’s most annoying podcast theme tune that will be lodged firmly in your head for a long time to come. So if you like what you’ve heard so far, and you want to hear more ramblings and amusement like this, then definitely check out the Email Marketing Show on Spotify and all the podcast places.

Adam G. Force 51:31

Cool, cool, cool.

Kennedy 51:32

Yeah. And if you want to come and hang out in our community, we have a free Facebook group, which we created to chat about how do you implement this stuff? or Why do you get your questions answered? Because we understand that your business, your situation is different. You’re at a different stage, you’re thinking, Okay, this is great, guys. But how do I implement this for myself, we don’t want to leave you high and dry with that. So we create a community and we call it the Email Marketing Show community. It’s a free Facebook group. We’re really good at email marketing, but not very good at naming things. So we just put the word community on the end of the Email Marketing Show. So yeah, so so if you go to Facebook and look for the Email Marketing Show community and actually right on the way into the group, if you want to get our daily emails which are funny, inspirational, give you tips on the way into the group, one of the questions that you don’t have to answer but you can if you’d like is would you like to receive our daily emails, if you put your email address into that box, you’ll start receiving our daily emails, you’ll see our getting to know your sequence in action, and all the other stuff that that we that we do, but like I said, it’s not essential that you join our email list to join the group. We would just love to help you out any way that we possibly can.

Adam G. Force 52:39

Sweet, awesome guys, I appreciate both taking the time to be on the show and just share your insights I think the people listening will find a lot of value in it. So thanks again.

Kennedy 52:49

Thanks for having us

Rob 52:49

Thank you

Adam G. Force 52:55

Thanks for tuning into the Change Creator podcast. Visit us at Change forward slash go big to get access to free downloads and other great resources that will drive your business forward.

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