I'm Dolly — a Nashville based family & branding photographer AND a systems + workflow educator (and Podcast Host) for creatives who want to be more streamlined and organized with Systems, Workflows & SOPS to better impact the backend of their businesses. I'm here to help you look awesome (for your photos) & feel great about workflows!
It’s true that growing your email list can completely transform your business. It’s also true that coordinating and launching a bundle can transform your email list growth. Email marketing expert Magan Ward is back for another episode, and this week we’re diving into how a bundle can change everything for your business.
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 the Systems and Workflow Magic Podcast. It is your BFF, Dolly DeLong. I am so excited you’re back here today, and you all, I have a special guest on the podcast. It’s Magan Ward.
Magan Ward: Surprise, I’ve only been here a few weeks.
Dolly DeLong: I only say that jokingly because if you’ve been listening in to the last several weeks, you know that Magan and I have been doing a series about the importance of email marketing for your business and growing your brand through growing your email list. So today we are going to talk about just some fun things about how to grow your email list through a bundle and just the transformation that both of us have experienced as business owners from doing bundles in our business.
Magan Ward: Yeah. So as you all know, by this point, Dolly has hosted two bundles. One was free in 2022, and then one was paid in 2023. And I have been in countless amounts of bundles as a contributor and have benefited from them. So I’ve got lots of experience from that side as well.
Dolly DeLong: Yeah. And I just wrapped up my third, it’s not a bundle, I just wrapped up my third iteration of the systems and workflow brand magic brand in a summit. And I can’t wait to discuss with you, Magan, just like the outcome of the summit and a couple, maybe like we can do an episode about that, but yeah, it’s, it, both the summit and bundles have been so transformational for my own business.
Magan Ward: Yes. And I know that they’ve taught us a lot of lessons along the way of what to do, what not to do, what worked, what didn’t work. But I have to say of all the bundles that I’ve been in Dolly, the biggest transformations that I have seen have come from your bundles. So let’s toot your horn because they were put together really well and very thorough.
And I think that is what contributed to the success of your bundles.
Dolly DeLong: Well, Thank you so much. And I’ll be paying you for saying that after this. Just kidding. Thank you. I do want to say on Magan’s behalf, I did not prompt her to say that. That means a lot to me, Magan.
Magan Ward: Well, the payment I will accept is to be in future bundles. That’s all I, that’s all I ask.
Dolly DeLong: Deal. You’re awesome. You’re awesome. Yeah, I have experienced a lot of transformations since doing, leading my first bundle and then changing it up and iterating up every year. But, I guess I’ll share the origin story of why I started the Systems and Workflow Magic Bundle.
So as you all may or may not know, if you’re listening into this podcast, you know that I love teaching creative business owners about the systems and workflows and SOPs like the different processes behind their business. What makes your business run? How to automate it, how to streamline it, how to make it very clear and succinct for you, how to make it easy for you as a creative business owner.
And so I had this idea in fall of 2021 to create a free resource for creative business owners to teach them about systems, workflows, and processes, and just like a resource, but I didn’t know what type of resource to create. And I have been learning from Kate Doster, who has her own podcast is called Do the Brave Thing Podcast, you should go and subscribe to that.
It’s an amazing, incredible podcast. So shout out to Kate Doster, but she taught me about the power of collaborations through bundles. And so I learned this original concept from her. I will give her credit for that. And, I learned that I could collaborate with different business owners to create a bundle. Essentially, like a lead magnet of some sorts to give my ideal client, which is a creative business owner, give them access to systems and workflow related products to help them automate and streamline the back end of their business. So that was the first iteration of, and I called it the Systems and Workflow Magic Bundle since I run the Systems and Workflow Magic Podcast.
And essentially I just wanted to create a great free resource for creative business owners to learn about systems and workflows in an easy and tangible way. And I did not know that it would be, I knew it was going to be successful. I, because I knew in my gut this is what business owners need. But the outcome.
The transformation. I was not expecting the outcome to be a little under 4, 000 subscribers, Magan. I was expecting maybe 500 people, but not 4,000.
Magan Ward: Yeah, I will say I did think that you would probably hit 1,000. So my, my idea there was a little bit higher than what you had in mind, but yeah, I was blown away. And I know that you kept having to upgrade your Zapier for all the additional subscribers and everything coming through which is a good problem to have.
And I was trying to look, you guys, I just went and I have ConvertKit as my email marketing provider and I went back to look and I don’t know where I’ve written it down somewhere, what the exact number was, but I do know that it was somewhere between 2,500 and 3,200 subscribers that came in from Dolly’s first bundle.
Dolly DeLong: Yeah, that’s incredible. I was not expecting that at, again, that number at all. It blew me away. And again, my, the whole goal of that bundle was just like to put a free resource out there to help creative business owners, like just step into systems and workflows and start taking baby steps to start applying it to the back end of their business.
And so that first bundle, it didn’t really have a theme except the theme was systems and workflows, but that’s not really niche. So the second, I’ll be talking more along the lines, the transformation for me from bundle one to leading a second bundle was just learning the power of niching down to a specific theme for every bundle, I would lead from let’s say the origin was 2021 from 2021, 2022 onwards.
So the second bundle, which you were a part of Magan, the theme was all centered around digital funnels. So it was the systems and workflows of digital funnels. And so it was more niche down. I knew exactly what type of products. And resources I wanted to present to a potential viewer subscriber, and I wanted to make it again very strategic and intentional and helpful for a creative business owner to actually apply digital funnels to their business.
Magan Ward: Yes. And I wanted to go back cause I had a thought that crossed my mind. We were talking about your first bundle. And the way it was just put together with such good intention and some of the people that came to my list from that bundle have been just absolutely wonderful additions to my little corner of the internet over here.
Cause they’ve asked me to collaborate on things with them. They’ve asked me to come on their podcast, or if I have, and they’ll even ask,
Hey, are you planning to have this specific product in the email template shop? And they’ve been such huge supporters of me as I launched my own podcast. So there was a lot more goodness than it wasn’t just subscriber counts going up. Yes, that was, that’s a benefit, but it was the quality of people that were coming into the list because Dolly put this bundle together so well with intention and had such amazing contributors who had well connected quality email lists that they were using.
Dolly DeLong: I’m glad you brought it back to that original transformation. Yeah I should also second what you just said the transformation was just not the the uptick of subscribers for my email list. The transformation also was the… the relationships I built with the other contributors. I cold pitched, I will be honest with you, I cold pitched a lot of the contributors.
I cold pitched some bigger names that I was like, they’re going to say no to me. Cause who am I, who is Dolly DeLong? Nobody knows who I am. And, but they said, yes I don’t know why I still I’m like, I don’t know why they said yes, but I’m very grateful. They said yes. And I’m still like, I’m still friends with them today, like online friends.
Like we obviously haven’t met yet, but I love, I respect them. I love following them. I love, I’ve been able to collaborate with more people just because it gave me more confidence to reach out and to pitch myself. It gave me a lot of pitching skills. The transformation for me also gave me some confidence to reach out to other business owners, to work with them.
I know this is a weird transformation to be excited about, but I was rejected, like when I pitched myself. And so my transformation was like, Hey it’s okay to be rejected for when I pitched something to someone and to get a no. Like how do I handle that now? How do I handle the no’s? And that was transformational for me as well.
Magan Ward: That’s a really good lesson. And I’m going to tell you right now, you’re a bigger fish in this pond than you think you Dolly.
But you really are, and I know you said like, Why are these people saying yes to me? They’re saying yes to you because you’re a bigger deal than you think you are. And we’re all, even, everybody listening, you are, you’re a bigger deal than you think you are. We all go through those things and we’re like, I don’t know if this person will collaborate with me.
They will. They absolutely will, but there will be some no’s and sometimes it’s just because they can’t fit it into their marketing schedule. But that is a good way to grow. It is I love you sharing that Dolly about how it helped you learn how to pitch. It gave you some really good tips because I know you have great tips on how you pitch now and what you recommend people to do.
Not just sending an email. You have a little bit of a special sauce, if you will, your secret sauce of pitching. But it does give you maybe a little bit thicker skin in this industry, too, when somebody does say no, or if somebody just doesn’t respond to you. So it really does help when you’re putting together a bundle, it helps with all of those things.
Dolly DeLong: yeah, and another transformation that I’ve experienced again, stemming from that first bundle that I created for the Systems and Workflow Magic brand was the transformation of just like being intention. I know this sounds really broad, but stick with me listeners. The transformation of intentionality.
What do I mean by that? Like being intentional with your products. Like, where do they like, starting from where did the freebies lead to? Where do your offers lead to? How can you like make a connecting point with new subscribers and how can you leave them on a customer journey? And so when Magan and I talk about being a part of different bundles or even summits that there was, we, we both cause Magan, you and I talk to each other we’ll text each other, we’ll voxer for each other, we’re like, Oh my gosh I’m a part of this bundle, or I’m a part of this summit, and this makes absolutely no sense, and I’ve sent screenshots to Magan, and we’re like laughing about something.
But, if there is no intentionality of serving both the consumer and the contributors in either. Let’s use bundle. In a bundle. For example, that is going to fall flat on its face. Like how? How can it serve both the user and the consumer at the same time? And I’ve definitely learned there is importance in being intentional for the customer journey throughout the entire process.
And what do I mean by that? Also, digging deeper okay what type of content am I creating? Like, how… How do I present this bundle like early on in the pre launch plan? Or how do I present it to a person who may already know about my brand and why they need it? Or how do I present it in a way to a person who’s brand new to my brand?
And I definitely learned a lot throughout that first bundle creation process and I’ve been applying it to so many different aspects of my business And it’s been and you all know I’m not just a online educator systems and workflow educator. I also am a branding and a family photographer So I’ve been applying a lot of those concepts into my service based business as well.
Magan Ward: And I want to go back as well to something that you just said a minute ago, when we’re talking about things that we’ve been in and we’re sending screenshots, we’re not making fun of anybody at all. But what we are doing is saying, okay, that’s probably not a good idea.
So we need to make sure, when we do a bundle or when we participate in something, let’s avoid that. Or that really wasn’t a bad idea that this person had that the execution was a little off and we’re learning what can we do differently?
Dolly DeLong: Yes
Magan Ward: As we’re putting things together. So I just wanted to clarify that too, but yeah, just the intentionality of all of it, putting it together from A to Z, from the beginning to the end, being intentional about what.
Is going into this and how it’s all gonna work together, and I think that’s why yours was so successful, Dolly. Especially the second bundle.
Dolly DeLong: Yeah, so the second bundle is for those of you who purchased, you might have purchased the bundle or seen me talk about the bundle earlier this year. It was a paid bundle. So I definitely saw there was a huge difference. First of all, it did not get under 4,000 subscribers like the first one because there was that gate of having to pay for the actual bundle.
So I noticed that the leads that came in, they were very warm to the specific theme. Like they wanted to learn about the theme of the systems and workloads of digital funnels. And they wanted to like, They had raised their hand weeks in advance to wanting to learn about that theme. And that was like a huge a big difference for me to see from Bundle 1 being free versus Bundle 2 having a paid version.
That definitely taught me like, okay, to see How key it is to have a specific theme and how I don’t know how to put it into words like the value of the warmer leads that came in were, they still want to learn from me and they have taught me so much about what type of content to create going, moving forward.
Magan Ward: I’ve noticed that too, Dolly, with everyone that came into my list from that second bundle, that paid bundle, it is a much warmer audience. But I want to shift a little bit because I know we’re talking about the transformation throughout this episode and you’ve had a prior episode where you talked about the numbers and the revenue that it brought in and I think that’s something good to talk about here. Because that was very transformational for you because you hit a milestone with the revenue that came in from that bundle. And I think people would really like to hear that if they had missed that episode where you talked about that.
Dolly DeLong: Yeah. And I can even send you that episode for the, Oh wait, this is, I’m going to keep this in you all. Magan also has a podcast. And so for a split second, I was like, Oh we’re interviewing on her podcast. So no, this is my podcast. I’ll put the, I’ll put the podcast link in the show notes, but you all please laugh alongside me, please.
So going back to, yeah, so the transformation of earning an income through a bundle. That was big for me. Yeah, Magan, I hit, I’d never hit a five figure launch before, and that was my first five figure launch with no paid ads. It was all through the power of collaborating with very specific contributors who were actual experts like in the different parts of the digital funnel, like with their products.
And I, again kinda going back to that theme of imposter syndrome. When I was planning the paid version, I will be honest, I was, and Magan can attest to this, I would like text her and be like, Magan, what if this fails? What, I, nobody knows who I am, like, nobody people know me but I, people don’t know me and don’t know my name, I’m not like a household name, like, why would they trust me with this?
And so it did, Magan, Magan and I had a lot of a voxer chats with each other, her encouraging me you’re doing a great job. It was, but it was like, when I opened up the cart for the second bundle, it was so affirming, just like to see the sales come in, because I had listened to my voice of customer very well. I knew what they wanted to learn in the theme that year was the systems and workflows of digital funnels and they wanted to learn about it and they were buying and so it was that transformation for me obviously was the financial side, but also like actually honing in and listening to my customers that was transformational for me. And there is, again, power in email marketing, like actually sending out surveys, actually listening to what your subscribers are asking you for. That was huge for me, Magan.
Magan Ward: Yeah and I think it attests as well to the contributors that you had in there, because they are not going to put that in front of their audience. They might contribute, but they, if they thought that bundle was not worth anything, they’re not going to promote it. And they’re not going to put it in front of their audience, but then putting it in front of their audience.
That tells their audience, Hey, they think this is worth something because they’re taking their time out of their day to talk about it on Instagram or send emails about it to me. And so they already know and and trust that person and then putting that in front of them, that helps get that traction going and get that train moving forward. About your imposter syndrome, yes, we had a lot of Voxer chats about that. There were a lot of therapy sessions held inside the Voxer app during that time, I remember, and I was like Dolly, get out of your head. And, and I think there’s a lot of growth that comes with that too. We all go through it. I just went through it launching my podcast.
It was supposed to go out in March. It didn’t go out until May because I was like, no one wants to listen to me. I have the most annoying voice. No one wants to hear it. Apparently I do not. So I’ve gotten a lot of really good feedback and it’s been really nice to finally rip off that bandaid and just to do it.
So I think there’s growth that, you know, for yourself individually, as you go through those types of things, but.
Dolly DeLong: I just thought of this Magan. I know you have a, another point you want to share, but I just thought of this too. Another huge transformation, this sounds really silly, but sometimes like just taking the step, taking that, like the next step and the next step and the next step and the next step. And built like in this theme, in this case, building out your email list, like just taking the step of being bold and gave me a little bit more confidence along the way and just doing the action. Because sometimes we can sit and listen to these podcasts like we’re hosting right now, and we can listen to a presentation we can buy a product, but if we don’t actually take the action steps that the person is talking about, nothing’s gonna happen.
And so I did a lot of things. And I did them scared and uncertain. And oof, I was very uncertain along the way. Not because of the theme. I was confident of the theme. It was just like, me. I was like who am I to do this? Somebody else could teach about this. I am, I’m Dolly. I’m silly. I’m goofy.
I like, I’m a nerd. Who wants to learn this from me? But it was very affirming. And that really helped transform my, the business side of my heart to be a little bit more confident and to take that next step, and to take that next step. So I am still taking those steps, people. So if you’re worried
Oh, I don’t I don’t know how to,
Just begin. Just start and take those steps. And the transformation will come slowly over time.
Magan Ward: So there’s been so many transformations. I know we’ve talked about throughout this episode, obviously email list growth, but then those personal transformations and then the transformation of, new revenue coming in and new worm leads coming in that are future revenue. And I think, I feel like this episode has been, it’s been helpful for me just to listen to you talk about all of this, Dolly but I know that we have some news to share, too. Because next week, we have something happening, don’t we, Dolly?
Dolly DeLong: We do. I wish we had a drumroll. Invisible drumroll.
Okay, the special announcement is this. Magan and I are going to be opening up this program, group program called the Bundle Intensive.
Magan Ward: Yes. We’re so excited about the Bundle Intensive. It’s a group program. It’s the first time ever that we’re opening the doors to it. And it is to help anyone who wants to do a bundle. On their own, and they don’t know really where to start, but they know they want to be very intentional about it.
And they need somebody to help walk them through every single step. And I think through all of Dolly’s experience with these very successful bundles, me having participated in all of them, and also knowing the whole email side of everything and how many emails there are and how those need to fire off and just, so we’ve been working on this since,
Dolly DeLong: We’ve been talking about this for a while.
Magan Ward: Talking about for a very long time, maybe even before your second bundle, I think. But we’ve had like sessions where we just sit all day in my dining room and work, or we meet on zoom for a while and work together on this. And of course you’ve been hearing all of these episodes, all of them were designed for this Bundle Intensive too.
We’ve been working really hard to make sure that we’re putting together a really good program for anybody that wants to put together their own bundle. And I know in the next episode, we’re going to dive into a whole lot more of what is specifically inside the Bundle Intensive But you definitely want to be on the list when those doors open,
Dolly DeLong: Yeah, and we will, I will be sure to put a link to the wait list in the show notes and hopefully by the time this episode airs, we will have our sales page for the Bundle Intensive live so you can read more about it and see if it’s a good fit for you. But the whole goal of it is to help you strategically plan out a bundle to exponentially grow out your email list in a short period of time. Whether it be unpaid or paid. And now there, and we will talk about the differences between the two and like in next week’s episode and we’ll give you more information in the sales page as well, but we just want to work with the business owner who is serious about growing out their email list strategically and not just through a traditional PDF. There’s nothing wrong with a PDF, but if you’re looking for fast action steps to take in the next several months for your email list, then consider the Bundle Intensive. And also if you know you want strategy, if you know you want to have a specific launch plan for yourself, if you know you want to have like very strategic email, but you don’t know where all the puzzle pieces fit.
You, you don’t know okay how do I even start? Then that is another reason why we’re creating this program to actually hold your hand through this entire program from start to finish and to help you launch with. more confidence and to take that like again that transformational step of leaning in and doing the scary thing but feeling more confident about growing your email list.
Magan Ward: And I know we’ll talk more about this next week too, but this is not just a course and you’re not going to just get videos and then we disappear. This is a true group program where we are going to have calls and we’re going to have ways for you to ask us questions and we’re going to be accessible to you.
So while there will be videos and lessons for you to watch in the normal course style, we’re going to be talking about it on zoom calls, and we’re going to be diving in deeper with you and holding your hand as you go through it and helping you sort things out and answer those questions that come up along the way.
Dolly DeLong: And we know since this is going to be a group program that means spots are limited and I’m not saying that Magan’s not saying that to make a bunch of people scared to take action to purchase now no literally spots are limited because Magan and I both will be working with the group and because there will be Voxer access will be coaching access to us and we will have those like live calls every other week.
We’ll have a specific schedule for this group program. And so Magan and I, we really want to help every business owner out who chooses to be a part of this program. We want there to be intention to be strategy and for real email list growth. And so that’s why there’s going to be limited access, like through the spots.
Magan Ward: Yeah, we just want to watch our capacity so that we can show up fully for each person inside of the intensive because if we wind up having a hundred people in there and we have a hundred people asking questions, there’s no way that we can give the attention and the detail to each of those answers that we provide to all one hundred people because there’s only two of us.
And we have lives outside of it, too but that is why that we decided to put a limit on how many people are inside the Bundle Intensive. Especially this first go around.
Dolly DeLong: Yeah. And this will be, and again, we’ll talk about this next week when we dive into details about the Bundle Intensive, but just in full transparency, it’s going to run from August until the beginning of December of this year of 2023. And so we know that fall traditionally is a very busy season for a lot of business owners, but we have set up the program to be like, to be strategically consumable and like we will walk you through this group program, but again, I’ll share, we’ll share more details next week
Magan Ward: Yeah I’m really excited to start finally getting this out there and sharing everything that we’ve worked on. I was just looking at our Google doc of notes. It’s way over 30 pages. It’s going to grow. It’s about to grow a whole lot as I start finalizing some lessons and putting all of our modules and lessons and our calls call topics together.
Dolly DeLong: And if you’re like interested and you’re reading through this and you’re listening to this and you’re like, okay I have very specific questions just to see if this applies to my business, which is in XYZ field, then either DM me or Magan and let us know because we want to make sure it’s a good fit for you and we don’t want you to join out of fear or out of scare.
I don’t know sometimes people join programs out of fear or out of some other issue, and then they realize, oh this is not a good fit, because we’ve all been there. Magan and I have purchased things, and we’re like, why did we purchase this? Why are we in this?
Magan Ward: Yeah, we don’t want that to happen to you. So yeah, definitely show up in our DMs, send us an email. I know DMs are easily, they’re, are more easily accessible. Sometimes they just feel a little more easy to hit send on. So send us a voice memo in DMs or just shoot us a quick note. We’d be happy to talk to you there about that.
Dolly DeLong: yeah, exactly. But, awesome. Magan, do you have anything else to say?
Magan Ward: I don’t think so. I’m just ready for the next episode.
Dolly DeLong: Me too. We, y’all, we have been planning this for what seems like it has been months. I almost said for what seems like years. It hasn’t been years, but it’s been almost a year.
Magan Ward: Yeah, I was going to say we’re almost at one year.
Dolly DeLong: Yeah. I’m so excited about this. And Magan I’m so excited about collaborating with you in a group program and just like learning, I’m going to be learning from you about email marketing.
So I’m excited.
Magan Ward: And well, and I’m, I know I’m ready to see like people get more intentional bundles put out there, more quality stuff out there for people so that we, so we can help you go forth to help others, right?
Dolly DeLong: Exactly. Exactly. Cause this is a long, another thing I wanted to mention, this is a long game. Like email list growth is a long game. So when you hear it say like strategically and intentionally and exponentially growing out your email list, it’s not like for short term benefits. It’s for the long game for you to grow your business for the long term.
And that’s another, I should add that another transformation of email list growth through bundles. This is like the long game of really getting,
Magan Ward: Sustainability that comes. Yeah.
Dolly DeLong: Yeah
Magan Ward: There you go. Add that to the list. If you were taking notes, there’s another transformation, the sustainability through building your email list with intention. Does that sound good enough?
Dolly DeLong: That sounds good to me. Thank you again Magan for coming on and I can’t wait until next week’s episode where we talk more about the Bundle Intensive. And until then, I hope that you, the listener, have a streamlined and magical week, you amazing muggle you.
Now for episode show notes, check out either the blog that comes along with this podcast episode or head straight to the show notes and check it out there.
And don’t forget to DM me and Magan. If you have any questions about the Bundle Intensive. Until then, I will talk to you later. Bye.
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