Edgar Griggs

Mastering Email Marketing: Converting Prospects to Customers

Dallas Social Media Day Patty FarmerMastering E-Mail Marketing: Converting Prospects to Customers as presented by Patty Farmer

Close your eyes and imagine having all your contacts from Google, Twitter, and Facebook all on your e-mail list.

The thing is that you can have all your other accounts closed down, but NO ONE can take away your e-mail list.

“Conversation is the best content.” – one of the best quotes that Patty Farmer has ever heard.

Patty doesn’t really even blog, but still gets really good SEO in spite of that.

Not doing SEO, or having to work on SEO is not an excuse to not work on your e-mail list.

Patty Farmer’s Story about moving to Texas

  • When I moved to Dallas six years ago, I didn’t know anyone.  My husband went to work and I cried.
  • I didn’t know one single person. But then Patty put her “big girl panties” on because she realized something. Even though companies can be B2B or B2C, we are all people to people.
  • Patty wrote “100,000″ on her refrigerator in Sharpie (to her husband’s chagrin).
  • Her husband asked her about it, and she explained that she was going to have 100,000 connections within one year.
  • Patty considers Dallas to be a great place. Since she didn’t know anyone here, she thought that one of the best ways to meet people is to make connections. Now, six years later, her e-mail list is over 300,000.

But it’s not about the size of the list, it’s about the RESPONSIVENESS of the list. ~ Patty Farmer

Why Email?

There were many people in the audience who had between 2 to 7 different email lists. THAT’S why email.

Your challenge: “To quickly capture your prospect’s attention, pique their curiosity and prove your competence.” – Jill Konrath

People will retweet things from people that they know and trust WITHOUT EVEN READING THE TWEETS FIRST!

You have to know how to segment your list. You automatically do this on Twitter, but you also need to do this on Facebook. This is something that is SO important when you create an email list. You always want to send people things that are appropriate for each person that you have email contact with.

Questions to ask yourself:

  • What did they download when they were on your site?
  • How long were they on your site?

“Email subject lines are a form of headline. They perform the same function as a headline by attracting attention and getting your email content a chance to be read.” Brian Clark, Copyblogger – rates headlines for you.

Four “U” Approach to headline writing:

  • Useful: Is the promised message valuable to the reader?
  • Ultra-specific: Does the reader know what’s being promised?
  • Using the word “free” doesn’t work…..except when it does.
  • FREE is a very powerful motivator for action.

Vermont-based flour and baking resource company King Arthur Flour ran an A / B subject line test: 

  • In email A the subject line was Ends Thursday: FREE SHIPPING
  • In email B, a more creative subject line: The Secret is in the Crust

Conversion rate was much higher with the second headline.

There are various email companies you can use (Infusionsoft, MailChimp, Aweber, Constant Contact).

Patty is not a reseller of any of them, and can answer any questions that you have by getting some information from you. But at the very least, have Aweber.

Number 1 email marketing mistake: Not Asking Permission

If you exchange business cards with someone, it is not an implied permission that you can add that person to your email list. Be sure to directly ask for permission.

But while you are asking permission, also ask some questions to put them on the CORRECT email list.

However, as of July 1, 2014 there are some laws in Canada that went into effect to protect Canadians from spammers.

Having a double opt-in will cover you pretty well (although Patty is not a lawyer and cannot legally advise you on this). Do your own due diligence.

Ways to Build Your Email List

  1. Put a signup form in your sidebar of every blog post
  2. Use QR codes

Here are a few of Patty’s favorite ways to build an email list

  • Virtual Events
  • Live Events
  • Speaking
  • Podcasting / Radio Show
  • Digital Magazines
  • Joint Ventures – made some really good money with this one
  • Blogging / Guest Blogging
  • Article Marketing
  • Books

List courtesy of @pattyfarmer

If I could leave you with one “tweetable” email marketing strategy…

“Your list is your bank account, but if built on service and relationships you can build your retirement account.” – Patty Farmer

Question: You said to keep emails to 90 words?

Patty: In general, but it also depends upon the situation. When telling a story, or sending a newsletter, it would be much longer.

Question: Why did you suggest Aweber?

Patty: The one thing that I noticed is that Aweber is what I see most often. Also, there is no rule that says you can’t use more than one email list manager.

Question: I have people on my email list, but I have many customers that send me texts. What do you think?

Patty: I think that you need to communicate with your clients the way that they wish to be contacted. I do use email, but even I will put a message “for a faster response please send me a text. If you don’t have a lot of time, please text me a hint.”

Question: How do you feel about paying for email lists?

Patty: I actually got one of my lists in Las Vegas to be audited. Here a tip: scrub your list, copy and paste your list to a new list, and rename it so that the timer on the list has been restarted. (For some reason people on a list for several years will get you dinged faster than someone who has only been on your list for a year.)

For a client, you have a period of time you can market to that person versus a person who is just a prospect (someone who just signed up to your list). So, if you have done business with someone you do have permission to send them things; however, you do need to be careful when you take business cards and what you do with the email addresses on those cards.

Canada was the first to put into effect laws about spam, but soon other countries will probably fall into place.

Edgar Griggs

Edgar Griggs loves to learn about new technologies and high tech gadgets! You’ll find him at local events around the DFW Metroplex and sometimes blogging for websites like The Interestingly Cool Stuff Blog and his TrendHunter page at!

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