I'm Dolly — a Nashville based branding photographer for small business owners & a systems + workflow educator (and Podcast Host) for creatives who want to be more streamlined and organized with Systems, Workflows & Dubsado. I'm here to help you look awesome (for your photos) & feel great about workflows!
Do you love having an engaged following on your social media accounts? Maybe social media is the only form of communicating with your audience which works for you. This episode is for you if you understand social media platforms are just borrowed land and want to learn how to dive into the magic of email marketing. In this episode, I share the third puzzle piece in automating your offers. Listen in if you are ready to engage with your community in their inbox!
The Systems and Workflow Magic Podcast is brought to you by Dolly DeLong Education. This podcast is for creative business owners who want to learn tangible steps to automate their business through workflows, systems, tools, and strategies to go from scattered to streamlined with purpose because even muggles can become automated wizards.
Are you ready to automate the backend of your lead magnets? I have put together the comprehensive checklist you need to ensure that all of your puzzle pieces are in place for your next opt-in, your next offer, or even your next bundle! Stop letting tech fears hold you back from automating and streamlining the backend of your amazing offers and opt-ins!
(Need more than a checklist? Sign up for the waitlist for the mini-course!)
The email marketing component (2:43)
The online borrowed land (3:10)
The intimate insights of email marketing (5:55)
Serving your subscribers (8:23)
Where to begin with email marketing (11:15)
Email marketing platforms that offer customization and specialization (12:09)
In-depth functionality over design (16:44)
A more affordable email marketing platform (21:20)
Doing your research at ground zero (23:21)
Being compliant when utilizing email marketing (25:06)
Listen to the series
Welcome to the Systems and Workflow Magic podcast where I help entrepreneurs go from scattered to streamlined in their creative businesses. I’m your host, Dolly DeLong, a wife, a mom, and a photographer turned systems educator. Join me every week as we have conversations centered around creating tactical workflows, and automation in your business. Now, let’s make some strategic workflow magic.
Hi, and welcome back to the systems and workflow magic podcast. I am your host, Dolly DeLong. And if this is your first time tuning in, I wanted to say welcome. And if you have been here a while, I want to say welcome to week three of how to automate the back end of your opt-ins offers and bundles of the mini-series. So if you missed out on episodes, one through two, aka episodes, 44 and 45, I would strongly recommend you check those episodes out, because each week is a puzzle piece designated to help you the creative business owner the listener out. And of course, I have a link to all of those episodes in the show notes for ease. So last week, we spoke about what a lead magnet is. And you probably guessed it, I created a lead magnet for the series called how to automate the back end of your opt-ins offers and bundles. I know some originals and I wanted to share them with you. So I hope that you have actually downloaded it. And because it does share more about the puzzle pieces, which are recommended to help you better streamline the process of let’s say you’re optimizing your lead magnet or your offer, or you’ve been asked to be a part of a bundle. So I wanted to share some insight and some puzzle pieces with you. So again, the link to that often will be in the show notes. So please, I want to help you out as much as possible. So please just check out the show notes. Or if you want to, you can simply hop on the waitlist and score my step-by-step mini-course, which will break down each step and each puzzle piece specifically for you. Again, both links are in the show notes. So this week’s puzzle piece, we are going to talk about a puzzle piece of actually collecting email addresses. And we are going to talk about email marketing platforms. And I know I have been hinting a lot about the importance of email marketing platforms, and why they are essential. But let’s break that down. Let’s peel it back even more. So first of all, I wanted to share with you why you should have an email service provider within your creative business. There are so many reasons, but I’m just gonna stick with three. And the first reason you might roll your eyes at me is, Oh, well. But here we go. You don’t own social media, at all. And I know we’ve all heard it. We’ve all heard the term it is all borrowed land. But it can literally be here one day and gone the next day. Or someone could maliciously report your account or spam your account. And I know we hear this every single day from other business owners on the daily. But you might be thinking, Oh, well, that can never happen to me. That only happens to people with huge media followings. But here’s the thing, it happens to everyone with various audience sizes. So yes, I think it’s perfectly fine to love social media. I love Instagram so much. But at the end of the day, I know I don’t own it. And I know I need something else to consistently communicate with the community that I’m building. Another reason why I share this specific point is that I actually received an email from somebody I follow on Instagram, and their account has been hacked and has been taken down and they have no idea why. And they did a little bit of digging and somebody I guess like duplicated their account to 10 other or 20 other spam accounts. And so Instagram didn’t know which one was a real one. And so they took off their account and so they were also talking in their email about The importance of email marketing and having an email community built out and they were just going to move on with their life without building out their Instagram following again. And so it just made me think, okay, maybe I need to include this point again in today’s podcast episode, because I know we hear about it happening. But do we actually know people that this has happened to yes, I know people to who this has happened. And so please take this point seriously. And, again, you don’t have to have millions of followers or 1000s of followers who follow you. But it is important to just count the cost for yourself and see how you can incorporate email marketing, even while you’re growing your Instagram following or social media following. Also, grow out your email list as well. All right. Another reason why email marketing is vital is this. So you can count on your message, your email being opened up in an email box format versus, let’s say, I’ve read the stat about two to 3% of your social media list actually seeing or engaging with your content. So people are actually checking their inboxes, believe it or not, and they love getting good quality content delivered to their inbox weekly or bi-weekly. And I have a handful of business owners I follow who I always open up their emails, and I look forward to their emails weekly, to name a few. All of these women, female entrepreneurs have been on my podcast, Megan Ward, Emily Conley, and Ashlyn Carter, again, just to name a few. But these are fellow business owners who I am on their email list, and I actually enjoy reading their emails, and I will engage with their emails. And so that’s something that you would want also, you would want your community to engage with their emails. And so that’s another reason why I am a huge supporter of email marketing.
Hey, creative business owner, definitely here. Finally, put together that opt-in, that lead magnet your ideal client has been begging you for. Now, you were excitedly wanting to publish it. But here’s one thing holding you back. It’s probably the fact that you don’t know how to have an effective follow-through system. And making sure the back end of your new opt-in or offer is optimized. stop sweating because the comprehensive checklist needs to ensure that all of your puzzle pieces are in place, where your next offer, or even the next bundle you’re a part of this year, stopped living tech fears hold you back from automating and streamlining the back end of your amazing options and offers and dive into this free checklist today, head on over to the show notes to get access to the link. And don’t forget, I am cheering you on.
The third reason I want to share with you is email marketing actually drives conversions. So what I mean by that is it actually helps your readers take action. So listen, you don’t have to be selling constantly, week in and week out. I know I certainly don’t do that. And when I do have offers, I always feel like I just don’t want to annoy my list. I just want to talk to them and let them know, I care about them. But you know what I love doing with my email community. I love letting them know weekly systems and workflow magic tips through my podcast. And occasionally, if I have an offer or a product I want them to learn about, I try to weave that into my copy. But mostly my email’s sole purpose 90% of the time is to serve, serve, serve, and then serve similar. This is my community. This is my group and this group is choosing to let me in their inboxes so I want to make it worth their time and even bring a smile to somebody’s face. Yes, I’ve had people unsubscribe this can happen all the time. And yes, occasionally. I have had someone write just a plain old mean message back I sometimes will take screenshots of people’s comments back who forget that I am also human with feelings on the other side. And I mostly screenshot it to laugh about it. And then I just unsubscribe them or delete them from my list because I can’t I want people on your list who genuinely want to be there, and who genuinely want to learn more about systems and Dubsado education with me. So my goal again is to drive conversions to positive conversations, conversions to education, and listening to my podcast, which is free education, and conversions to opting into any freebies I’m offering, again, another free offer. And then occasionally about 10% of the time conversions to any sales or affiliates I’m promoting. Either way, the whole goal of my email marketing is to just educate others about you guessed it, for me, systems and workflows for creative business owners and for creative business owners to know that they too can streamline and optimize the back end of their business. So those are just three reasons why I believe email marketing is essential. There are so many more reasons, but I wanted to give you the listener, just some thoughts to ponder as you continue to navigate the systems and workflows of email marketing yourself. Now, you may be wondering, okay, Dolly, I understand the power of email marketing. And I understand that it is important to build a community outside of social media and build up a community with others to serve them through my own business. But where should I even begin when I’m researching different email marketing platforms, I know there are so many email marketing platforms a creative business owner can look into. And it is overwhelming. There are hundreds of different email marketing platforms, and they all have their pros and cons. So for the sake of simplicity, and for the sake of time, I want to chat about three different platforms you could check out if you are brand new to email marketing, and you are wanting to set something up very soon. So the first platform is Flodesk, which is an email service provider, like MailChimp, or ConvertKit. But unlike other email service providers flow desk offers customization and specialization. So when I talked about customization, it is built to be a visually appealing Flodesk that makes it really really easy to use your brand colors and logo to create branded emails that are consistent. So all you need to do is to take a few minutes to set up your branding settings behind the scenes and flow desk and flow desk will create a beautifully branded form. And you can create everything branded, that is alignment with your business. So for all of us who aren’t necessarily designers like myself, Flodesk does make custom emails and forms that are professional and pretty. So in other words, they have templates that you can start off with. And you can also create gorgeous forms to embed on your website to collect email addresses and promote your lead magnets.
One of the building blocks of a series. So in other words, you can deliver your lead magnets, your opt-ins, and some of the offers and bundles you are part of in a very beautiful manner. So another reason I love Flodesk so much is due to specialization. My absolute favorite part of Flodesk is that they give me an unlimited number of audience segments. So with other email service providers, you have to pay for a certain amount of audience you will add flow desk not only lets you add on limited segments, but they make it super easy to keep track of who is in which audience. So an example is I like to embed my beautiful Flodesk creative forms on my website. And then when someone signs up for a specific lead magnet, they’re automatically added to that specific audience or segment. So, someone who signs up for let’s say, I do branding photography. They want my branding, and photography lead magnet, then they are added to my branding photography segment or audience. And let’s say someone signs up for my let’s go with the lead magnet idea that I have a lead magnet about lead magnets I know so meta. So let’s say someone signs up for that lead magnet about lead magnets. And guess what they’re added to that audience that segment called the lead magnet. Often, that’s what I named it. So this is really helpful for me because then I’m able to keep my email open and click rates high because I send unique and highly customized information to specific audience segments. And flow desk makes the entire process seamless and easy. And if you serve several specific audiences, like I do because remember, I am a branding photographer, and I am also a systems and workflow educator for creatives. So I’m not gonna send the same email that I would send out to, let’s say, I’m not going to send a systems and workflow email to a brand new client, and I want to send a branding email to my systems and workflows segment. So I like keeping them separate. And I like sending very specified email marketing, newsletters every week, or bi-weekly. A third reason I love Flodesk is they have incredible customer service. So they are a newer company, and they serve their clients very well. I contact them normally through their Facebook group or Instagram or email. They are super responsive, and they send amazing help articles, I would call them, and it walks you through troubleshooting any problems you may have. So for me, I’ve had really good luck with their customer service. So let’s talk about a second email marketing platform in another email service provider known as ConvertKit. Now ConvertKit is an email service provider with a little bit more in-depth functionality over float s. And I will say that they are definitely more in-depth. And I know that they were primarily created with bloggers in mind, I’ve heard that. But over the years, so many various types of business owners have taken the powerful tools that ConvertKit has to offer. And they have built incredible email marketing campaigns. So I’m not gonna lie, I wish that flow desk has the same capabilities which ConvertKit has. But here are some differences I have found while doing my research, alright, because I use Flow desk. So I’ve heard that ConvertKit has a completely free plan, which you can use for your first 1000 subscribers. I don’t know if that’s changed, but that is what I recently read. And I know that their paid plans with access to more features start as low as $9 a month. And with flow desk, you can have unlimited audiences or segments, whatever you want to call it for a flat rate cost of $38 a month, and access to all their features. So again, that’s one difference between ConvertKit and Flo desk. Something that I really am jealous that ConvertKit is that they include AB testing features. And Flodesk, unfortunately, not offer this. So if I wanted to test let’s say, headline. I know I could do that within ConvertKit and see which one has the better open rate. But Flodesk does not have this available right now. Unless they are changing that. I don’t know. Hopefully, they will. And then a third area is that flow desks only native integration right now is with Shopify. And you can use Zapier to connect with other tools. But ConvertKit, on the other hand, offers over 100 different native integrations, as well as Zapier and again, I think that is incredible, especially if you are more of an intermediate more advanced creative business owner with a bigger list, I think ConvertKit would be the best fit for you for sure.
Calling all creatives if you have an amazing opt-in offer. And you have been asked to be a part of a bundle with other creatives, which by the way is also awesome. But you feel stuck because you don’t know what steps to take to Automate, optimize and streamline the back end of said opt-in offer or bundle offer. Then listen up. You don’t have to hire an integrator because I have created a step-by-step mini-course to guide you through the process of putting together the puzzle pieces you need. In order to lay the groundwork for this back-end process. I have created the How to automate the back end of your often and offers mini course because as a systems and workflow educator for creatives, I want to help you succeed as a small business owner. And I really want you to feel confident in your systems. After listening to the podcast, don’t forget to head on over to the show notes. And click on the link for an in-depth look at what this mini-course entails. As always, stay magical with those systems you amazing Muggle, you.
So although ConvertKit is super robust, I am sticking with Flodesk, I know I’ve been back and forth for about a year now in my head. But I’ve already decided I’m going to stick with flow desk because their company is fairly new. And I do like that I don’t have to pay for my audience size as it grows. And I have had the best communication with customer support. And for me, customer support is very key and vital. As a small business owner, I want help with troubleshooting. And I like that about Flodesk. And it’s easier to use since I’m not an email marketing expert, but I do I love giving, like key differences so that you can see what’s best for you. Now a third option, I’m not going to go really into detail, but I did find a good option that I’ve heard a lot of other creative business owners talking about. And that is Mailer Light. So it’s another really popular email marketing platform, which allows you to have a free account for up to 1000 subscribers. Now again, I’m going to be completely transparent. I don’t know too much about this company, or its email marketing platform. But I know if I were starting out, I would probably consider using mailer light, because I like that they have that free plan, that you can grow your email list community of up to 1000 subscribers because that number is super significant. I have friends that use mailer light, and they have loved it so far, and their list continues to grow. So I just want to pause and reflect a little bit about this week’s puzzle piece of the series, how to automate the back end of your offers opt-ins, and even bundle, I really want to pause this week, for you to do some research on an email marketing platform, that would be the best fit for you and your creative business, you may discover that there is another email marketing platform, which is a better fit for you in the long run. And that’s great. But the whole purpose of this episode is to help you get started in committing already to an email marketing platform. And again, just get started. And later on, you might decide, oh, I want to switch to ConvertKit or I want to switch to you. That is totally fine. Did you guys know that people change their minds constantly? It’s okay to change your mind about your business. And yeah, you might have to integrate into another platform. And that may take time. But guess what, that’s normal. So give yourself plenty of space this week. Again, if you are starting from ground zero, and you want to start off with an email marketing platform, and do your research, check out those three different platforms I spoke about. And then ask around in your peer group in your community. Don’t even go over an hour, just do your research and then commit to something, and then, in the long run, you may discover something else that’s a better fit. And guess what you can switch over? It’ll take a little bit of time, but it’s okay. You don’t have to get it perfectly the first time. Okay. Okay, so going back to building out that email list. The reason why we’re talking about an email service provider is. All right. In order to build out your email list, you need an email marketing platform and email service, provider. And in order to deliver your lead magnets, you need an email marketing platform. In order to ask for a person’s name and email address in exchange for that lead magnet. You need to embed that email marketing code from your email marketing platform, your email service provider. So your only action item is to do this, start researching which email marketing platform would be a good fit for you and your creative business. And again, let me reiterate there is no one size fits all solution. Just you have to do the research for yourself. Now, if you do land on Flodesk, if you decide okay, I really I’ll just start with Flodesk and see what happens. I do have a 50% off coupon code for you to use today. And you get 50% off your first year. So snag that code in the show notes. Now, I do want to go back to my little tidbit about being compliant. When you collect those email addresses. I know I’ve been sharing this every single week, because if you do decide to create a landing page, and if you are collecting email addresses, I want to remind everyone to get your terms and conditions and privacy policies in place. So I have a link for you from the legal page that will point you in the right direction of getting your terms and conditions and privacy policies in place. So that you are being compliant when you’re collecting those email addresses. And growing out your email list. So look for that code in the show notes. Okay, so next week, I am going to introduce puzzle piece number four in the series. And again, I’m just always so pumped to help you see how fun it is to automate and optimize the back end of your offers and opt-ins and even your bundles. So until then, will you let me know if you are enjoying the series seriously, it would mean the world to me if you shoot me a DM on Instagram, and let me know what light bulb moments you have experienced so far, and what you are planning in applying to your own creative business. So until then, I hope you have a magical and streamlined week. And I will talk to you all next week.
Bye. Thank you so much for listening to the Systems and Workflow Magic Podcast. You can find full show notes from today’s episode at Dolly DeLong photography.com forward slash podcast. If you’re loving the podcast, I’d be so honored if you’d subscribe and leave a review on your favorite podcast player. Be sure to screenshot this episode, share it with your stories and tag me at Dolly DeLong Education over on Instagram. Until next time, go make some strategic workflow magic
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