How To Win Email Friends and Influence Inboxes

Posted on Aug 12, 2019

Episode: S2E19

Podcast Guest: Dave Charest
Role: Director of Content
Company: ConstantContact

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Email marketing.
With zero research and likely-misplaced confidence, I’m comfortable calling it one of the oldest but most successful forms of digital marketing.

Like a pterodactyl with lasers, it’s stayed on top by evolving. So in this episode of Marketers in Capes, we speak to Dave Charest, the Director of Content at ConstantContact, the marketing platform that’s been driving emailing marketing since back whenWindows 95 was the cutting edge. Good times.

We talk about how successful email automation works, the role of outstanding content in scaling, and one very big mistake that email marketers make. Once.

You can also check out an example of some of the awesome practical work Dave’s team puts out for small business owners here.

Episode Transcript

Eytan Buchman

When I want to remember something, I add it to my todo list. When I really want to remember something, I email it to myself. Cause email works…and because I haven’t marked myself as spam.

But there’s way too many people use email wrong. So today, we’re talking about how to use email to create a customer relationships, and how to make even email automations personal – it can be done. Finally, we’re going to talk about a huge mistake marketers do before they eveb write an email. But first, my name is Eytan Buchman, you’re listening to a very clickbaity introduction on Marketers in Capes, and my random and totally unverifiable internet statistic of the day is… that there are 5.9 billion active email accounts in the world.

And that’s why any marketer worth their coarse, bbq flavored salt would agree that email marketing is where it’s at.

And you know who really get email marketing? My guest from Constant Contact, the email marketing company that have been doing this since around when Windows 95 was released, and the guy who’s helped them scale to over five million customers –

Dave Charest

My name is Dave Charest, I am the director of content marketing at Constant Contact. For those of you who don’t know, Constant Contact is built to simplify the complex and confusing task of marketing your idea. Even if you’re a beginner, we offer powerful tools, marketing advice, and more to help you succeed. And of course, the tool that started it all for us is email marketing. My team specifically is responsible for providing practical step by step marketing advice to small businesses and nonprofits. So they can do more business and do more for their cause.


So let’s talk emails, right? Before we dive in to what the constant contact content carnival is all about, Dave spoke about what a good email campaign should look like.


But a company that I think is doing really well with all of the campaigns that they do is is Omaze. And Omaze. If you’re not familiar, they help nonprofits raise money by offering these kind of once in a lifetime experiences. And so they often partner with a lot of celebrities.


Nonprofits. Yay! it’s a great concept. But here’s where it gets out of the box.


And they use in their email campaigns, they, they’ll use the celebrities name in the front line for the from name, and so that really stands out of the inbox. And then those emails are actually written from the celebrity to the, you know, they feel like the celeb he’s writing specifically to you, and those emails. And so those are really fun. And they’re powerful. And they’re, they’re fun to read. And they, they really work really well. And so I think they’re really doing some really great work. And if you were to kind of take what they’re doing and applying it to your own business, it’s really about thinking about one making sure you’re using those recognizable from names. And then really making sure that you’re writing as if you’re speaking to your subscriber one on one versus kind of those big, you know, generic kind of emails,


This. One theme that keeps resurfacing in almost every episode is that today, we maintain relationships with people, not brands. Whether it’s in video marketing or email marketing, having a one-to-one conversation with your reader builds bridges. Omaze uses everything at their disposal – including the from line.

And trust Dave, having a personality is also one of the ways marketing automation can really shine.


One way to think about delighting your readers is to really just add some personality to your automated emails, right? You don’t want them to feel as if they’re automated. And so like an example of this would be think about like the wealth, welcome emails as an example, right. So when someone new subscribers to your list you really want to deliver on, you know, what you promised them in exchange for their email address in the beginning, you want to make them feel like they’ve made this great decision by subscribing to your list. And then you want to really set expectations for what they should expect from you in the future. And when you add personality to this message, it really starts to set the tone for how people may respond to future emails, and allows you to really get that experience off to a great start, right?


But stop for a second and think about what authenticity is really about -a conversation, not one person just talking.Which is another key automation win.


If there’s a formula for making automation stick, you know, from my point of view, I really think there’s power in letting your current subscribers really self segment themselves into receiving automated follow up messages from you….

So let’s say we have a customer that sells handmade jewelry online. And when she has a new line that she’s working on, she’ll send out an email to our whole list, offering a sneak peek to people who actually click a button in there, right. And so what that does is that, you know, people to the specific list with triggers that automation, and then she only sends those people kind of those Sneak Peek messages, right to get them excited about this new line that she has coming up. And so essentially, she’s allowing those customers or current subscribers to then again, opt in to receiving those automated emails. And so those emails start to feel more timely and relevant to them.


But that’s all about how you say things. What about what you say? The key to finding the right thing on that front is about knowing your customer well. Like, smell the cinnamon gum on their breath well.


…in order to stand out, your content really needs to serve the audience that you’re trying to reach in a in a really meaningful way. So that means you really need to understand your audience like no one else, so that you can create content that that resonates with them, and speaks to the reality of their situation. So for many small businesses, many of whom are business owners first, and marketers by necessity, you know, we found that practical step by step marketing advice is important, as they’re wearing many hats. And, you know, just really, they don’t have the luxury of time to figure out how to navigate the cluttered and often just noisy world of online marketing. And so our challenge is always to how do we create content that’s providing actual value to them, while being respectful their time.


I just want to pause dramatically here for a second. that last line – loving your users time – is so key. When you love your customer’s time, you work harder. You provide practical guidance. You kill the fluff, you kill the SEO keywords, and you make damn sure that what you say matters. That’s good content.

So we talked about content and we talked about delivery. And the polar opposite of both of those things is…drumroll….


So the biggest email marketing to me is actually something that happens just even before somebody even sent a message, right? And I’m sure you’ve heard the term, but it’s, it’s referring to email marketing as email blasts. Right. And I think that really just sets you off and starts you in this wrong place. Because the term blast itself really starts to invoke this message, just shooting out messages and that you hope we’re going to hit somebody right. And I think that’s just really the wrong way to start. Because it’s we’ve really moved beyond kind of that blast mentality, right? And, and people are expecting different things from the messages that they receive. And in particular, they’re expecting them the field timely and relevant to them and all of that, and, and so you’d be amazed though, how many people still kind of approach email this way with that blast mentality


Just to bring this home, good marketing is always about respecting your audience. As soon as you catch yourself writing for Google bots or for your product, you know you’re going off course. If you want other marketers to find this life-changing podcast, leave a review on iTunes. It really helps. And, because I love your time, I’m going to end this episode of Marketers in Capes right now, without saying anything clever at all. Namaste, my marketing friends.