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As business owners, we can come up with a million reasons to do anything BUT focus on growing our email list. That’s why in episode 4 of my series on email marketing with Magan Ward, we’re diving into the most common objections to email marketing and how to navigate and overcome them. If you’re feeling stuck, held back, or confused by email marketing, this episode is for you!
Magan is an educator (with a strong southern accent) who knows 150% what the struggle is when creating an email list, the opt-in, the welcome sequence, and the millions of other details that we handle while doing all the things as we run this digital biz. She took her email list that was suffering, grew it by 77.9%, and increased her open rates to a consistent 35 – 55% and she helps others do the same.
Dolly DeLong: Hello and welcome back to another episode of the Systems and Workflow Magic Podcast. I am your Systems and Workflow Magic BFF and host Dolly DeLong, and today we are meeting again with Magan Ward, hi Magan!
Magan Ward: Hey, it’s me. I’m back again. I hope your audience is not tired of me yet.
Dolly DeLong: They are not, they love you so much. And just as a recap for those of you who are joining for the first time to the Systems and Workflow Magic podcast, welcome. Thank you so much for being here. I do want to encourage you to scroll back to, I believe it’s episode, Oh my goodness, episode 84 where Magan and I, have started this series about just how to grow your email list strategically, and we are talking about all angles of what stops people from growing their email list and diving into into email list growth, and so I would encourage you to start with episode 84 in this series because it all builds on top of each other. I don’t know Magan, what do you have to say about that?
Magan Ward: Yeah, I think that it does, and you’re talking about just navigating those objections and why someone wouldn’t want to, and I don’t think anybody doesn’t want to, but I think they just hit these, they hit a roadblock or they hit, we just said the word a few minutes ago, there’s gridlock. They just feel stuck and which brings us to the very first one on our list that we wanted to talk about today. But yeah, I don’t think anybody doesn’t want to. So we know you want to, we wanna help you get past what might be in your way to start growing your email list.
Dolly DeLong: Yeah, and what Magan shared, one, one of the first objections that we both know that creative business owners feel stuck at is they just don’t know where or how to start. And like what Magan said, that phrase, I feel gridlocked, I feel stuck. I feel like I cannot move. And I know Magan, you, and I both have examples of that with our businesses.
Magan Ward: Absolutely.
Dolly DeLong: So I’m gonna share my example, just because I was sharing with Magan right before we hit record. I was sharing with her, I feel gridlocked about something specifically when this episode airs, it’ll be post the Systems and Workflow Magic Summit, which is all about email marketing and the foundations of email marketing.
But right now, while we are recording, it’s before the summit is gonna go live and you all, I feel so stuck with the sales page about the summit. I have everything else mapped out, but I just can’t seem to hash out the time to do the sales page and I know it needs to be done and it’s going to be done. I’m telling myself that because it will post in June.
Magan Ward: It’s gonna be great though, but I know what you mean. It’s gonna be great. We all have those things. Like I just, my audience knows, and by the time you all are listening to this, my podcast will have been live for a couple of months, but it was supposed to go live in March and it doesn’t go live until May of 2023.
And I am just like, I was a mess for a minute. I got some of my recordings back and I was like, I do not like the sound of my voice. No one will wanna listen to that. My voice is annoying. And I got real and then I got, I started spiraling and I was like, who wants to listen to me? I’m not an authority on anything.
I don’t know anything. And I do know things, but we all run into whatever it is. So your sales page is holding you back for a minute. Apparently, my voice and my imposter syndrome were taking a toll on me but we do move past it. So yeah, we all deal with those kinds of things.
Dolly DeLong: I think something that we should hit up on before we go to the next objection that we want to discuss, but like, how, Magan, how did you get unstuck?
Magan Ward: Well Dolly, actually you are one of the reasons that I got unstuck because you kept asking me when my podcast was going to drop, so she kept encouraging me and there was another person, one of my business coaches, she also really helped me deal with all of that. And she gave me some tips and tricks and she goes, you are just getting in your way and you’re thinking too small.
And she said people do want to listen to this. And just like you told me, Dolly, so just some encouragement from some friends. So this is us, your friends inside your AirPods right now telling you, you can do this. You can build this email list. We don’t want you to continue to feel stuck.
Dolly DeLong: Yeah. And if there’s something very specific that you feel stuck about, this is something that had helped me get unstuck, because I currently feel like I’m stuck in the mud, but I’m getting out of the mud. I don’t know, metaphorically speaking, but I just had to take a lot of walks and just get moving and get all my thoughts out of my head, and that has helped me out tremendously in taking those first steps.
Magan Ward: And one of the things that my coach even recommended was she goes, I don’t know if you do yoga, or breathing exercises, she said, but just taking time for some quiet time and just breathing and just calming yourself down. And then so the same thing with the walking Dolly and just like getting that fresh air in and more oxygen to your brain does clear your mind and help you get past a lot of those things.
Dolly DeLong: Yeah, and sometimes just taking a nap helps you all.
Magan Ward: Oh yeah. Naps. I’m always about a nap.
Dolly DeLong: Yeah. So I just wanna encourage you all, for those of you who are listening and you’re like, okay, I know I wanna start an email list, but I feel stuck. I encourage you sometimes, even just taking a nap, taking a walk, or doing some breathing exercises, knowing why you are stuck or gridlocked will help you out tremendously.
Magan Ward: Absolutely. And I know too, you might feel stuck because you think it’s gonna be too hard, or maybe there’s just gonna be too much tech involved than you wanna deal with. And I’m here to tell you, there are providers out there that are super duper user-friendly. They don’t have a lot of bells and whistles if you will.
They keep it simple so that you don’t have 30,000 buttons to click and get confused. You have a very simple here’s where you click to write the email. Here’s where you click to add who receives it, and here’s where you click to hit send. And that’s kind of it. There’s not a whole lot, and I know Flodesk is very user-friendly, Dolly, and that’s what you’re using right now.
Dolly DeLong: Mm-hmm.
Magan Ward: And now ConvertKit, what I use is a little more robust, but they keep the interface very user-friendly so you can find what you need pretty quickly. And if you’re using, I know one of the other episodes we mentioned MailerLite, is also very user-friendly. So if you’re worried about the tech, this is me saying it’s not so bad, just rip off the bandaid and go.
Dolly DeLong: Another thing I wanna say with that is you may have heard another big business owner mention an email marketing platform and you heard that they use ActiveCampaign, and that is very robust.
Magan Ward: Yes. And I’m gonna tell you right now, there’s someone that I follow who has a massive email list, and she’s been using ActiveCampaign for years, and she’s leaving because she doesn’t have her team behind her anymore that she used to, that ran it for her, and she says it’s too, it is too much.
And that’s what she said. It is too much for me. So she’s going back to ConvertKit because it is more user-friendly and it’s gonna be easier for her to just pop in and write her emails.
Dolly DeLong: Yeah, and sometimes I feel like us as business owners, we overcomplicate a lot of things and we hear on for example, podcast episodes or we hear sound bites or we follow people on Instagram and they’re talking about all of these data points you have to know with your email marketing platform and how to read the stats and blah, blah, blah, blah blah.
Insert whatever, and it overcomplicates starting out with an email service provider so much because. You think, oh my gosh, what if I don’t choose the right one and then I miss out on all of these features? Oh, I can’t take that first step.
Magan Ward: And let me tell you this too. So first of all, you can always change. You can always change. There is no rule, there is no law that says if you get in there and you despise the provider that you chose, you can’t go anywhere. You can. You can move those emails and you can start over again if you want to.
It could be time-consuming, but especially in the beginning, it’s not that time-consuming because you don’t have everything all set up yet. And I know you mentioned the stats, Dolly, you’re not gonna have any stats to look at if you haven’t started yet, so don’t worry about that. You can look at those and start measuring those later.
You’ve just gotta get started.
Dolly DeLong: Yeah, that’s true. I love that you mentioned that it’s okay to switch platforms, and it’s okay to change your mind. I will share with you all that I used to put all of my education on Podium, which is a type, it’s like Kajabi or Teachable, or Thinkific, and I switched platforms last year to Thrive Cart Learn and yes, there was a time commitment of changing everything over to Thrive Cart, but it worked better for me. So like Magan said, it’s okay to change platforms.
Magan Ward: Absolutely. So I changed back in the day when I first got started, I was on MailChimp and it wasn’t long and I swapped to MailerLite and I had MailerLite for a couple of years and then I moved to ConvertKit. At some point, I tried Flodesk. I think I just created the account and tinkered around with it. I didn’t move in.
But, see, everybody moves around and I have a client who just moved from MailChimp to Convert Kit as well, and she’s had her email list for years, so you can move at any time if you decide to.
Dolly DeLong: Yeah, it’s totally fine. And I guess that brings me to the next point. Another objection is cost. How much are these email marketing service platforms gonna charge me, Magan, and Dolly? I don’t know if I can afford X, Y, and Z.
Magan Ward: Yeay. I wanna say it’s episode 86 that we just talked about Dolly and MailerLite has a free version. MailChimp used to have a free version. I don’t know if it’s limited or not. And ConvertKit does have a free version but don’t do it because then you can’t set up your automations with your welcome sequences.
All that to say, ConvertKits starts around $30 a month just to go ahead and give you an idea. So it’s not too bad. And of course, if you pay annually, there’s a discount for paying annually and I’m not sure what the cost right now for Flodesk is, $30-ish maybe.
Dolly DeLong: Yeah, and I have a 50% code for listeners.
And then, I’ll also include your ConvertKit link as well. But I just wanted to say that this is just the cost of doing business. I’m not trying to sound demeaning for this specific objection, but if you are planning on starting a business and you have long-term goals and long-term hopes for your business to grow, you also need to know that there are the growing pains of the cost of doing business. Things cost money to run a business, and that includes paying for an email service provider, and you can still do that at a pretty good rate.
Magan Ward: Yey. And if you are not at a point where you’re ready to shell out a few extra dollars a month yet, start with one of the free ones. It’s not going to be a big deal, and you’re gonna be able to do a lot of the same things in MailerLite with the automations and the tagging. Same. I was gonna say, the same in Flodesk, but they don’t have a free version.
If MailChimp does have its free version, you should be able to do some of those same things. So don’t let that hold you back. And if you’ve ever heard people talk about how expensive an email list can be, it can, but only because people have a hundred thousand subscribers on their email list.
I had a client back last fall and he had 90-something thousand people on his email list. It’s massive. It was wonderful. And that cost him, it was nearly a mortgage payment. Now my frame of reference for a mortgage payment is my parents’ house when I was growing up, I think it was like $400 a month. So I know no one, none of us are living that cheap these days.
And then I’m trying to think, our first townhouse that we ever had, this is, this is way back. This is gonna age me. 2010, no, 2006.
It was like $900 a month. So somewhere between four and $900 a month is what this individual was paying to have that many people on his email list. But I just want you to know that it only gets that high when you have that many people on your list when you’re first getting started. You’re not going to have that many people on your list.
And I’m gonna be honest, I don’t want that many people on my list and nothing to do with the cost of it all. But I prefer a smaller, more well-connected list.
And we’re gonna talk about that even more, I’m sure in another episode too. But, If you have ever heard, this goes back to the beginning here. If you have ever heard of someone talking about how much it costs, then they probably have a massive email list. If you just have a smaller list, it can be free up to $30 a month.
Dolly DeLong: Yeah, that’s a really good point. And so just don’t, again, don’t, when you hear these examples, from other podcast episodes or YouTube episodes, or you’re doing more research about email marketing platforms, don’t get overwhelmed when you hear examples like that, those normally people are being interviewed, they have those massive email lists, and so they’re sharing their own experiences.
Magan Ward: Right. So another thing that I know people get stuck on is thinking, my subscribers don’t know what… They don’t want to read what I’m gonna write or I don’t know what to write and I don’t wanna share my personal life and specifically, I can’t come up with stuff to write about. Those are things that people have told me and shared when I’ve done surveys asking, what is it that’s holding you back?
And you do know what to write, you do. I want you to think about it for a minute. Think about if you’ve already written a blog. You’ve already given tips and tricks out there, and I recently signed up for a newsletter and it’s a marketing one, and I thought it was gonna be very big and robust and have all this stuff.
It’s so simple. They share a new tech thing that they’re trying out, that they’re liking. They share a really funny business marketing meme, and then they just have a quick little blurb about what’s going on in their personal life. Like it’s that simple. Now, Back to not wanting to share your personal life.
I do know people who have no desire to share anything. They don’t wanna talk about their kids. They don’t wanna share pictures of their kids, and that’s fine. You don’t have to. You can keep it strictly business. So just because you might get an email from me and I’m sharing about something funny that happened over here with my family, you don’t have to do the same thing at all, and no one expects you to.
Dolly DeLong: You know what I do in my email to my specific systems and workflow group, and for those of you who are listening and you’re on my email list, you know this is true. I like to send out a quick five-minute loom video of myself talking to them about what is on the podcast for the week. Just like what is happening, what to expect in the newsletter, and how to take advantage of it, how to take the next steps within the podcast. And that gets a lot of engagement because people sometimes like to watch me talk through. Instead of just reading
Magan Ward: I love that idea. I love that idea. And I know you like to make room videos too, Dolly. But they do, people like, they like to see your face. So if you’re comfortable with that’s something else that you can do as well. Don’t feel obligated to do that, but that is another idea to just show up as you are and just talk to your audience.
Dolly DeLong: Yeah, and I have connected very well with my audience through that. And in full transparency, sometimes I don’t even have time to do my hair and makeup. I just pop in and I just say, hey guys, this is what you can expect in this week’s newsletter and podcast episode. And I still can connect very well.
And if people are offended that I didn’t do my hair and makeup, they can leave.
Magan Ward: No one’s offended by that. We’re all living the same life. We’re all probably in our pajamas watching your Loom video.
Dolly DeLong: Exactly. Exactly.
Just thought of another point that stopped me from truly diving into email marketing for a while, and it was this. I knew that there were people who had either grown up with me or had gone to school with me, and they were a part of my newsletter because they were just like curious to see what I was doing with my business.
So sometimes I would think, oh, no, what is she gonna think of me? What is she gonna think if I hit send on this? Not that I was sending a deep, dark secret, but I was sharing a part of my business that I had created, that I had grown and I was gridlocked in a way, and I was like, okay what will they think if I send this and what will their perception of me be?
And so sometimes we feel gridlocked because we’re worried about other people’s perception of us.
Magan Ward: That’s exactly right. I’m the same way. I know there are a few people on my list that I see each week and I’m like, are they gonna think less of me because I said a bad word in this email? And I don’t do that often. Only when it fits, so another thing that just came to my mind too, Dolly, is people want to feel okay selling to their list or they’re uncomfortable with selling to their list.
And I know that’s a big one too. And that kind of goes with, I don’t know what I’m gonna send to them because they’re typically afraid to sell to them. They don’t want people to just unsubscribe. Well, people are going to unsubscribe anyway, not everybody though. And when you sign up for someone’s email list, you fully expect to receive an email at some point of them selling you something because this is part of their business and you signed up for whatever it is that they do.
Maybe it’s home organization because your pantry’s a mess. You know there’s gonna be a point where that blogger or that person that is an expert at reorganizing closets and pantries, they’re going to have something for you. Is it a guide? Is it a quick workshop? Is it maybe just putting products in front of you from their Amazon storefront?
No matter what that looks like, they’re going to be selling to you, and everyone that gets on your list knows at some point you’re gonna be selling to them as well. So just get that one outta the way and just hit send.
Dolly DeLong: Yes. Yes. I love that reminder also. I have to remind myself a lot, that people’s opinions are not going to be paying the bills.
Magan Ward: And they’re not our business. They can think what they wanna think and that’s not for us to waste our time, our energy, and our emotions on, and let ’em think what they’re gonna think and don’t worry about it.
Dolly DeLong: Yeah, and if you’re so worried about somebody specifically who joined your email list, you can segment them out to not receive.
Magan Ward: Mm-hmm.
Dolly DeLong: So that’s another stressor that you can relieve right now.
Magan Ward: I’ve done that before. I don’t know if this person listens to your list, but there’s certain, there are certain groups of people too, and I’m like I don’t want them to see this. Or there’s an individual as well, and I’ve just been like she or he is just not going to receive this particular group of emails, and then they’ll go back to my weekly emails.
Dolly DeLong: Magan is talking about me. You all, I’m just kidding.
Magan Ward: Oh my goodness. That’s why I sent you the middle finger emoji thing.
Dolly DeLong: Yes. We have this inside joke, I don’t know why, but I always tell Magan, if you’re mad at me, just send me a middle finger emoji, because I think that’s funny.
Magan Ward: Or if I send a Voxer message and then I start rambling, I will stop and delete it. Recall it if you’ve used Voxer, you can just bring that message back and then she never sees it or hears it, but it will say, Magan Ward, recall this message and Dolly will almost always say, what did you do, send me a middle finger emoji? And because she asked so many times, I said, one day I’m just gonna send you one on a whim with no context around it at all and so I did and I was looking for it and my daughter said, what are you doing because she was in the car. I said I’m looking for the middle finger emoji.
And of course, she’s nine. So she was like, oh my goodness, mommy, that is horrible, why would you send that to someone? She was very upset about it. And I said it was a joke. It’s a joke. It’s a joke.
Dolly DeLong: but it gets even better. We amped it up even more. Magan found an actual middle finger, I don’t know, it’s a what? What is it?
Magan Ward: It’s like a little toy thing you had set on your desk, and it’s like made of rubber. Kayla Ruan, if you’re listening, she is the one who started that because she thought they were so funny. I don’t know where she found them. I don’t know how she had them, but she had a pack of them and sent them with her husband to work for him to put on everyone’s desk at work.
And he’s in the armed services. So I’m just imagining this government office and all these middle finger emoji things, sitting on everyone’s desks. She, when I saw her talking about that on her Instagram stories, it was so funny because she was just getting so tickled she couldn’t even talk.
She was laughing so much about it and thought it was so hilarious. And I’m like, oh my goodness, can I pay you to mail one of these to Dolly anonymously? And I think she wound up putting my name.
Dolly DeLong: And she did, and you all, it was mailed to me in a macaroni and cheese box and my husband was like, what is this? I opened it, thankfully, the boys were taking a nap, so they did not see it, and I opened it up.
I laughed so hard and Ty instantly was like you, you can’t let our son, especially Blaise, because Blaise will like model what he sees and he’s you have to hide this from Blaise. He doesn’t need to know about this right now.
So we hid it. It was funny. It made me laugh so hard. I don’t think my husband thought it was that funny because he doesn’t like it, I have a weird, dark sense of humor sometimes about things
Magan Ward: My husband would’ve thought it was weird too. He wouldn’t have got it.
Dolly DeLong: I thought it was funny. But anyways I guess to tie up this conversation, I would say point the middle finger at your objections.
Magan Ward: That’s the title of the episode. Now give your email objections the middle finger.
Dolly DeLong: Exactly, but seriously, y’all, I know we all, Magan and myself included, struggle and feel stuck in gridlock with certain things about our businesses. And so we want to help you out of the mud and feel unstuck with how to start your email list. It’s super simple. Just start and just start.
Magan Ward: Yes, just start.
Dolly DeLong: So Magan, thank you so much again for coming on the podcast, and for those of you who are listening in, I’d love to include everything in the show notes so that way you can continue to stay connected with Magan and myself in this series. And if you aren’t interested in ConvertKit, I made sure to include Magan’s link in the show notes.
And then if you’re interested in 50% off for Flodesk, I also included that link as well. And then Magan, do you have anything else to say before we do our final sign-off?
Magan Ward: Just, and I don’t wanna open the entire conversation to ChatGPT because I know everybody’s got mixed feelings. But just if you are feeling stuck right now about what the heck you’re gonna send to your list, you can utilize ChatGPT just to get your brain, go, get your ideas flowing, and you can just ask it a question.
It’ll start spitting out stuff and whether you agree with what it gave you or not, it gets your mind going and might remind you of things. You’re like, oh yeah, here are the main pain points I forgot about these that my audience has, and it gets the flow going. So while I don’t, obviously don’t ask ChatGPT to write your email and then copy and paste it. But it just gets your flow going, so that was just something else that came to mind.
I know in the next episode, which will be episode 88 that comes out next, we’re gonna talk a little more about the transformation when you grow your email list, what happens after you’ve got this all figured out, and what the other side begins to look like as you’re growing that list.
Dolly DeLong: Yeah, and I can’t wait to share just like my transformational story about in the last three years of seeing email list growth, what that’s done for my business. And I know, Magan, you have a lot to share as well.
Magan Ward: Oh, absolutely.
Dolly DeLong: Yeah, so anyways, I am so excited you all stuck with us to the end. Thank you so much and be sure to DM us on Instagram if you enjoyed this episode and let us know what points were very helpful for you to help you get unstuck with email marketing. And until next week, have a streamlined and magical week. You amazing muggle you. We will talk to you next week. Bye!
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