Episode 001 – How to Setup an Email Newsletter System for your Local Clients
Welcome to Episode #001 of Digital Agency Insider – How to Setup an Email Newsletter System for your Local Clients. I am your host, Ben Adkins and with me today is my co-host, Tabitha Thomas.
Tabitha is the Director of Human Resources at Fearless Social. We run a lot of online businesses, but the Digital Agency side is what Tabitha helps me with the most. Prepare to get a good behind-the-scenes sense of how a Digital Agency works in the real world, and much more!
Here’s just a taste of what we talked about today:
- So today, we’re talking about E-mail Marketing and how we do Newsletters for local clients! Whether you happen to be a chiropractor, a dentist, a real estate agent–whatever it happens to be, E-mail is a HUGE way to stay top-of-mind with your existing clients, and get them to come back and do business with you!
- How to pick the right kind of clients. If you want to offer this service, it will be very lucrative because it brings money in, right away! We’re painting a picture of the right clients to bring this service to.
- The number one mistake that first-time agency owners make is–before they even know that they have an agency–they go after these people who are not doing anything right. Look for people who have a lot going for them already–people who are already doing great things. What they actually need is for someone to take things off of their plate!
- How do you write Newsletters? We discuss in detail what an autoresponder really is and how you should use it. And then, get paid to do this and also upsell your high-ticket stuff!
- Writing your copy as if you are writing to a friend. You don’t have to be freaked out about writing emails!
How To Stay Connected With Tab and Ben
Stay connected with Tabitha and Ben through their social profiles below.
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Also, we mentioned these helpful tools on the show.
- https://www.samcart.com/ – A super easy web-based checkout platform that we use to help with recurring billing/payments. It automatically sends bills to our clients every single month.
- https://www.activecampaign.com/ – A CRM system that allows us to see all our clients’ accounts. It makes it easy for our team to jump in and fix things if there are problems.
– Today we’re going to be talking about how to set up an email newsletter system for your local clients, and how to get paid really well to do that, every single time that you send out a newsletter, but without having to be present all the time to actually do it but let software run it. So this is a system that we use in our agency to make a lot of money every month, and it’s something that I want to show you how to do. Let’s dive in. Let’s do it.
– All right, so today we are talking about E-mail and how we do newsletters for our local clients, whether you happen to be a chiropractor, a dentist, a real estate agent, whatever it happens to be. E-mail is a huge, huge way to stay top of mind with your existing clients, and to get them to come back and do business with you. So like I said, if you are listening for the first time, welcome, we’re glad to have you. This is the Digital Agency Insiders Podcast, and we talk about all the kinds of things that you can do to build your Digital Agency and to build a business that you can run from a coffee shop. That’s really the whole point of this, is the freedom to work anywhere. Today joining me is Tabitha Thomas, and hi Tabitha, how’re you doing?
– For those of you not in the know, Tabitha works with me in our Digital Agency. We run a lot of online businesses, but the Digital Agency side is what Tabitha helps me probably the most with. And we have been on plenty of road trip, to plenty of events together and, basically in the trenches. So you’re kinda going get a good behind the scenes sense of how this all sort of works in the real world, and that’s kind of the thing. So, Tab, E-mail. This is a big one. I think that, I look back at when I was in my chiropractic office. And this is before I got into this whole digital world. I was in the chiropractic office, and I had been a study of digital marketing for a while but didn’t have an E-mail list, I had all these customers coming in, didn’t have an E-mail list, and then one day I decided, you know what, we should take all these E-mail addresses that are sitting in this system, and we should put them into an E-mail autoresponder and we should let people know what we’ve got going. Like, not, no pitches to you, what’s going on?
– But, we should let people know, and I think it was something that the first time I did it, we sent out this E-mail. I click, I just wrote something about, I think it was probably around October, I think I wrote something about it’s Fall, it’s Halloween and this is what we’re doing in the office. And I hit send and the phone starts ringing.
– Like almost immediately.
– I didn’t believe I was on that E-mail list.
– Nice, nice! So, you know it’s one of those things that as a chiropractor, right away I solved that, turned into something that was powerful. And really took it into the Digital Agency side really quickly, because it was one of the easiest ways that I could show people how to make money. And that was absolutely huge. It’s we sign you and we get you going and how do you make money in your business with us within the first week of signing up with us. And so, whether we’re doing Facebook ads, whether we’re doing social postings which is a big one for us. Whatever we’re doing SEO, this is something I could take into any business and right away they were making money and our fees were paid for. So it was a big deal.
– So, what are we going to be talking about today? First thing is picking the right kinds of clients. If you’re wanting to offer this service, it’s something that’s very lucrative because it does bring money in right away, but what are the right clients to actually bring this into? How do you write these newsletters? How do you use an autoresponder? What is an autoresponder? If you aren’t hip to that yet. And then how do you get paid to do this, but also to upsell your high ticket stuff. Like, if this is your foot in the door, which oh my gosh, this should be your foot in the door. How do you turn this into you know something else, which is maybe your core service, and so that’s what we’re going to be covering today. Let’s start with picking the right clients, I think this is where you sort of excel because this is, you are always… I remember when I was in the chiropractic office the first thing that you were doing, you were in an agency at the time. And you were one of the first people that really was on my radar. There was a lot of people coming in to get our money.
– Yeah, but none were as nice as me.
– No, no absolutely not. And so let’s talk about, I’m gonna let you talk about like, what is kind of the vibe that you go through when you’re really looking for a particular kind of client. What really stands out to you.
– Well for me, they’ve got to be somebody that actually is trying to market their business, they’re wanting to bring customers in, they’ve got a website, they’ve got a Facebook page, they may be posting a few times. You can tell that they’re actually trying to get out there But maybe they just don’t have the time to do what they really need to be doing, ’cause they’re busy working on the actual business. So that’s one of the big ones for me.
– Exactly, yeah.
– I think a lot of people when they first get into this, they go after people that don’t have anything. And it’s the number one mistake that agency owners, first time agency owners, before they even know that they have an agency, I think make is, they go after these people that are just, they’re not doing anything right. And honestly you can’t save those people most of the time. 90% of the time, there’s no saving those people, because they just don’t have what it takes to stay in business.
– Well and then you’re fighting an uphill battle the whole time because you’re trying to train them on things that they don’t understand, so you’re working twice as hard to get that client and to get them successful.
– Right, and so I think that the number one thing that I look for, and I think you too, ’cause you just said it is, you’re looking for people that have a lot going for them already. They’re already doing great things, and what they’re actually needing is, they’re needing to take some things off of their plate It’s not like you need to add things, that they’re not doing, but like, how do you take some of the stuff that maybe they’re already doing off their plate or how do you take some of the things that they’re doing and make them easier. Getting a little more into then really specifics of this, I think the success for me with doing this, but really doing anything with an agency is picking one niche. Picking one niche to start. When I first got started I was taking clients from everywhere. I was still in the chiropractic office but I was like, you know what? I had this agency, that’s a whole other story as to how that agency started. But it was saying I was taking all these different clients and every time I took on a client I was having to sort of relearn what I was doing in that niche. And it really distracted me a lot. when I got a little more professional with this, and really wanting to turn it into a business I focused on one niche. Now, I do multiple niches now, but it’s only after I dominated one that I started even thinking about the other. So, pick one niche and the reason is, is because everything that you do for one client you can turn around and take that stuff and recycle it for the other client. So what else, we’ve got? what else do we have on the list?
– So for me I, when you’re going out and trying to find the right clients you needed to numbers. It’s a numbers game. You got to go out there and talk to at least 20, to know you’re gonna close at least five. It’s a numbers game. You’re not gonna close every single one of them. But you got to go out there and get in front of multiple.
– I think that’s a good point. When I go out I’m thinking okay, today is sort of client day. Because I think a lot of people try to mix and match their tasks and activities. We’re big on batching things all in one thing, and so going out and just saying hey, it’s a Tuesday afternoon, or it’s a Tuesday morning and I’m gonna take Tuesday morning and Tuesday afternoon and I’m gonna go out and I’m gonna see 20 businesses today and mapping that out, and that just being like your whole day. If you don’t have that amount of time, because maybe you’ve got another gig right now. Taking your lunch break, or taking after work. But finding one day where you can actually go see a chunk of people at once. So, for me it’s goal looks like this; in a week or a day, I try to see 20 businesses. 20 is sort of our magic number. If you can only get 10, only get 10, that’s okay. But like, we try and hit 20 because of the numbers, but the idea here is, you got to think sale cycle. So many people that we’ve trained over the years, we’ve been training people to do Digital Agency stuff, and to help other businesses with online marketing for a long time. But so many people when they first start, what ends up happening is they’ll go see five to 10 businesses, maybe a few converts within that first week and they get frustrated. And they’re like well this isn’t worth my time. But sort of how this flows down, you take those 20 businesses, maybe you get five that will convert within the first couple weeks but you got to think, everybody’s a little different in where they are, and kinda how they react to people coming in the first time. So our big thing is, of those 20, maybe we only convert five within the first couple weeks, the first month. But overtime those first 20 turn into more business down the road and it’s just sort of you planting these seeds.
– Well and that’s how you, successful versus failure. If you stop after the first contact, you are never going to be successful at this. You’ve got to keep going in there, you got to stay top of my– I mean how many months did it take me to actually land you as a client, Ben when you were in the chiropractic office. I mean, it was a while.
– Yeah, it was a while. It was just like I said at first, I had 80 million other things going and like I said you were someone I really enjoyed being around, but we had to get to know each other, and I think that’s the thing. You got to treat it like a relationship.
– And it’s not, if you treat like I’m going in and either I get the date or I’m done, it’s over you know. It’s you got to go in and you got to act like, hey this is somebody I want to get to know.
– Well and what I was selling at that moment did not work for your business in that moment. But when it did, you were the first person that, I was the first person that you called, because I had been there saying hey this is what I do, this is what I wanna help you with. That kinda thing, so.
– Yeah, and that’s the thing. I think that me personally doing business I absolutely have converted after the first call. But I’ve always been the person that converts after the you know fifth call. And that’s the thing, it’s nice to know that somebody’s there, because if you show someone that you’re there, and it’s you’re not going anywhere they’re much more likely to do business with you than if you’re the person that came in one time. Very rarely did someone come in one time and, If I didn’t sign up with them that first time, if they only come in that one time very rarely do I ever do business with them. If it was just that one visit. The other interesting thing is this. Is, I think that we focus on that one niche, we go to a lot of people but, a lot of people– with something like newsletters you don’t realize, you can work with the same, you can work with competitors with this. This is not something that’s going out on Facebook as a Facebook ad and you’re running the same Facebook ad side by side. This is internal to their existing people. Like I said with chiropractic offices, with dentist office, real estate agents; A lot of times we’ll just sort of, we’ll have two sets of newsletters, or we’ll have even one. Sending out a newsletter is not something that is going to really hit the radar of too many people as oh my gosh they’re doing the exact same thing.
– Well yeah, client A is going to have a certain list and client B is going to have a certain list, and they usually don’t interact and overlap each other.
– Yeah, and like I said, if there is any overlap it’s not something that typically people get too overly concerned about, because it doesn’t come off as a sales message. It comes off as hey, this is what we’re doing in our business this month. And this is something we want you to be concerned about, and this is what’s so interesting. I always have so many people that are new to this saying. Well, I don’t think it’s a good thing that I’m offering two of the same things to the different people. Have you ever gone and watched the local news? And seeing the same stories popping up. Have you ever actually gone to like literally, if you’ve got a news station’s website that’s in your town, but then you got one a town over. It’s literally carbon copies of the same national stories that come over and over, and a lot of times the same regional stories that have hit over and over. And so like I said, people get overly concerned about this stuff when it just, it’s sort of the way it works. And the people who are doing massive business, they figured out a way to duplicate what they’re doing. We been talking a lot about the right kinds of clients for this. Let’s actually get into this what this newsletter is. Because I think that’s something that a lot of people don’t think about. So how do you write these newsletters? The first thing is, you got to think all this newsletter is for every business that we do this for, is a piece of content that has something to do with the time that it came out. Let’s say it’s October, maybe we throw in some fall, some Halloween stuff if that’s what’s going on in that particular area. Then we kinda get into what’s something that’s around this business that relates to that time. So if it’s getting cold, we know that, and we’re working with maybe a restaurant? Then we can start throwing out certain things about the kind of food that maybe is good around times of being cold.
– It’s soup season.
– Yeah, you know. If we’re working with a chiropractic office, when it gets cold people start hurting more. And so we start going to that, but there’s lots of things that you can throw in here. So we start off and we just thinking, hey how do I put something together that’s maybe 500 words, that is going to be topical, but it’s going to inform them on something. And at the same time when we do that subject line, and the person that it’s from is gonna show up as the business and something that they want to read. So, I think that’s the first thing. The first thing is highly relevant subject line. That is topical, that they’re gonna say ho, that’s interesting, I do wanna read this. So, that’s the start. What else do we got Tab?
– Like you said talking about topical and date based but also you wanna bullet list your tips and have everything be date based. Teach them something. You don’t wanna just, we’re not this, newsletter has nothing to do with selling them whatsoever. You’re there to teach them how to do something. So like you said, if it’s they’re starting to have aches and pains for a chiropractic office. What’s some things they can do to help alleviate those pains, and bullet list those things out.
– Yeah, and I think that’s a lot of times people get really freaked out about E-mails, like writing emails, writing things, and it’s really just hey, I’m gonna teach you today to do this. Like I said as a chiropractic office right around this time of year it was really about hey, how do you get up this early in the morning because it’s colder, your bodies not gonna be working as good in the morning. How do you get up and do a set of stretches that is gonna get you rocking throughout the day? And it’s like five tips, five little bullet points and we walk them through step one, step two, step three, step four, step five. And so it’s that simple. And then, go ahead.
– And the key thing too is to, when you’re writing these, you’re writing them like you’re talking to your friend. Say your friend called you up and said, hey! Oh my gosh, I’m hurting, what can I do? Write the newsletter as if you’re talking to your best friend. You’re not again, not trying to sell them anything. It’s got to be like a conversation type thing.
– Yeah, and that’s the thing. If you can teach somebody something and they’ve already raised their hand and said they like remember. Everybody this newsletter is going out to with these businesses is an existing customer. It’s already somebody they’ve won over. All we’re trying to do is remind them that this building is still there, they still exist, and how much they like them. That’s when you give them some tip like that, this business becomes useful again to somebody that already likes them. And so from there we just, it’s a quick close. We just call the action; hey if you need anything, call us. If you need anything, stop by. It’s not, I mean it’s literally a sentence, we’re here at the office, you can call us here, have a great day. That’s it, it’s nothing too crazy. But yeah, we remind them how to actually get back in touch with us. And that’s the whole thing. 500 words, something that’s a step by step that’s helpful, it’s time based, but it’s related to the business so that it’s a tip that relates back to the expertise of the owner of the business, and we go from there. And I think that something that’s really interesting here is, we need to show people how we do this. Like, we need to really teach people, we’re gonna go to the autoresponder, but I think that the thing is with an auto responder, if you don’t know what auto responder is, it’s a way that you can write out an email and schedule it. Now an autoresponder just in a main sense of it is somebody can sign up for something and then it will auto send out something automatically. But the way we’re gonna be using this is, we’re gonna be scheduling broadcast E-mails out to a big group of people, and you add people to this list at any time. But we’re gonna be scheduling them in advance, so how we actually do it is this. We set this service up from anywhere from $99 to $300 a month typically. So somebody’s paying us to write their newsletters, to brand their newsletters for them, and to actually send them out to this big list of people. Right?
– And so, what we do is, we will set up this autoresponder, we will pre-write the entire year. And it’s super easy to do and that’s the thing. That’s one other reason that we’re so invested in one niche. Because if you are one niche, you can literally take the same group of newsletters to any town, to anybody in that industry and you can use that. So you’re not having to write 12 different newsletters for every new client that you take on. So what we’ll end up doing is, we’ll write these down, we will pre-schedule them in this autoresponder, which we’re gonna go through next, and then our entire year’s worth of work is pretty much done. Yet we keep getting paid month after month from our clients. And so you take something that could actually be quite annoying to have to do every month.
– Yeah, very true. This is why this is such a high selling point. That they don’t have to do this.
– Yeah, exactly right. That’s exactly why we can sell this, ’cause they don’t wanna do it, but they see value in it. But it’s something that we get paid for every month. We sit down as soon as we put a client and it’s part of our onboarding process. We go through, okay what are you, you know what has to be in this. And we take all the personal stuff, we put it into each of these things that we’ve already have pre-written. And then we set this up once. And really they’re not paying us to do this every month. They’re paying it, for it to work for them every month. And so throughout the year, without fail, all of our clients, it took us maybe with the templates, maybe two, three hours to set every client up. And we’re getting paid $99 to $2-300 a month for this to go out. So how we actually set this autoresponder up, we use something called ActiveCampaign for all of our clients. It’s highly, highly affordable and ActiveCampaign has, what they called a partner program. And this allows us to have a top level dashboard that we can see all our clients. Basically their account. And we can get into each of their accounts. We can program in if there’s ever any problems. Anything, we don’t have to have their login, we have our master login. And then we just jump in and we do it from there. Pretty simple, what do we add to the E-mails Tab?
– So, it’s super, super easy. So you’ve got the header that’s got the business logo on the very top. And once you’ve set this up one time, you don’t ever have to do it again. So this is the greatest part. So you got the header that’s got the logo. At the bottom of the footer you’re gonna have a picture of probably the owner and business address. Maybe the logo again, just smaller. And then the middle section of it you’re gonna actually have the newsletter part. And that’s the only part that has to change very single month. So once you’ve got the header and footer in place, you duplicate that and you have it for the entire year. Just one and done. That’s what we like.
– Yeah, and it’s like I said, the first time that you set one of these up for a client, you may be thinking oh my gosh this is work, but keep in mind you are getting paid decently well for, to use something that’s templated. Like I said if you have to write these the first time, that’s fine. You get that done, and then this becomes a template that you use over and over and over for clients all over. So what we’ll do is, we come towards the end of the year and we get in sort of a hustle. This one’s a big one for me at the end of the year because we’ve got people that are saying how am I gonna make next year better for me? I keep in mind. I sell this throughout the year to get my foot in the door because it’s something people easily understand. But at the end of the year I get even more of a hustle. Because I’m like, how many clients can I accumulate to this service and then set them all up before the end of the year and then the next year everything just runs and we get paid month after month. And so like I said. You do this once, you have this done for one client and then every other client you take on after that, is basically using the same stuff. And I even, sometimes I’ll even tell my first client listen, we want to use this template with others, so I’m gonna give a break on your monthly pricing if we can do that. And of course they have no problem with us giving a discount.
– None whatsoever.
– Yeah, and so as we were saying, this is something that is a service that is an easy foot in the door because all we have to tell people is; hey, would you like to get the same clients that you’ve already got, back in to spend more money with you. And would you like to do that for $100 to $3-400 a month tops? But like typically this slides between $100 and $300 a month for us. And it’s an easy one. From there we typically use this as a foot in the door, but then we sort of get into, how do we take this into, getting paid for this in the first place. How do we do the reoccurring billing? But how do we take it ticket services. So let’s talk about that. Number one, how do we get paid? We use, go ahead.
– We use SamCart, it’s super easy to set up, works with our bank, and we can do those reoccurring payments. So once the credit card is in that system one time, it automatically bills them out the same date every month. So it’s not something we have to go in and do every single month. Or we don’t have to mail out an invoice or anything like that, it’s just, it’s done. One time, one and done, we like those.
– Yeah, it’s super big for us to have everything sort of on this schedule of, once we get the client taken care of, everything happens. Now if anything comes up, and the credit card has maybe has expired, or something like that. SamCart actually sends out and, yeah we’ll alert them, but it’ll also alert us. And so we have this nice dashboard, we have this nice set of stats that shows us how much reoccurring income we have every month. How much we can expect the next month. And it’s nice to have that in your agency. So SamCart’s been big for us. So one of the big things that I know you’re also big on every single month, and this takes like no time at all. But you’re big on picking the phone up, and just being like hey, how are things going? Just to touch base.
– And so this is interesting. This is interesting. A lot people think that this phone call that we do, when we talk about it is just a– hey making sure the client’s happy. Well, of course it’s making sure the client’s happy. But a lot of it is getting on a schedule with them so that they understand that we call and check on them every so often. And the what happens is you get two, three months into this. Then you start saying hey, we’ve got this other thing too that we think might be a great fit. And so, what you don’t want to establish is that every time you call a client to check on them, that you’re gonna pitch them.
– Yeah, exactly.
– But if you call and just say how are things going? Oh things are going great! That’s good. Well awesome, if you need anything call us back. That’s the call a lot of the times. Just a real quick hello, how you doing, how are things going, awesome, take care, call us if you need anything. But then you get, like I said, two-three months in, and you say hey, I wanna talk to so and so about this new thing that we’ve got going. Is there a time that we can meet up and talk?
– Simple. Or is there a time we can get on the phone and talk about that? And so it becomes this real, fluid process. And like I said, we’re acting more like we’re in a relationship with these people. Other than we’re just trying to sell them. And so what we’ll do is, we’ll get this going. After a few months with any business, sending out to their existing customers, they start having people come in and say well I got your E-mail. Or they call, I got your E-mail. And it’s funny, I was thinking about you the other day, but when the E-mail came in, that’s when I knew I should call. And so, once you start establishing months of that happening in the business, and you’re calling to check on them. They’re happy, it’s super easy to pitch your service which maybe is a little more high ticket, which could be SEO, which could be building a them a new website, which could be Facebook ads, which could be anything under the sun that you actually wanted to sell them now, on in the first place. But maybe it was too expensive to be like the first thing that you let out. So once you have that trust in place, and you’ve got them resolved with something like this. It gets much, much easier. A lot of times like I said, that’s what we’ll do. We’ll call in and we’ll get a few months under our belts. And the that third-fourth month is when we’ll sort of bring up this other stuff. And man like I said, we also have them on an E-mail list. And we should talk about this every client of ours, we put on an E-mail list too. And so what do we do with the E-mail list Tab?
– And yeah, about once a month, we’ll E-mail out about what we’ve got going on. So maybe we’ve called the office, and we can’t seem to land a meeting with them. They’re busy, things are happening but at least you’ve got an E-mail out that explains a little bit about what your new services or the high ticket services. And gives another opportunity to just to show what you can do. And the when you do call back, say you haven’t gotten a hold of them, You wait two weeks, you call back. Hey I sent an E-mail over. Just wanted to see if you saw it. I’d love to talk to you more about it.
– Yeah, it’s amazing how many people when you, especially if you send it in the form of a case study. Like you have a case study for another client that’s been using a high ticket service, and you tell that story in one of your monthly E-mails. It comes out from your agency to all of your clients, that maybe the only thing that they’re buying from you right now is the newsletter service. But you’ve got them on an E-mail, they read this case study and they think that’s really interesting. We’ve gotten calls just from that E-mail. But like I said, if you’re doing your follow up calls every so often, it’s also another talking point that you can bring up down the road, which is absolutely huge. So did we miss anything? I think we covered.
– I think we’ve covered it all.
– I think we covered the gambit of what we’re doing here. If have any questions about this service, feel free to ask us. Like I said, you can go to DigitalAgencyInsiders.com. You can leave us a comment. We’re gonna have show notes of course for this one. Feel free to jump in the comments, leave us something there. Also, if you’re listening to us in iTunes, shoot us a review. That’s always awesome. We always love knowing what you think, if this helps you. The idea behind this whole podcast is to give you things that are actual, that you can use quickly, that you can go make money with. But, also I think the most important part of this whole thing of having a Digital Agency is serving. And how are you doing things that yeah, you’re getting paid for, but you are serving your clients in a way where they’re getting big results from it. And this is one of the ones that’s huge for us because we’re using this to market to people that are already fans of what we’re doing. I think that’s it. If you have any questions, jump over to Digital Agency Insiders. Let us know and we will see you next time.