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How To Start An Email List

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Hi, everyone. It's Jen Kilbourne Obermeier - this chat topic today was requested by Veronica, so as soon as she is here, Veronica, please say hello.

I am excited to see you're already taking action on the things that I have been talking about this week, so if you are just joining the party, we are talking about all kinds of basic online business topics, tips and tricks, and there she is.

Hey, Veronica.

Tips and tricks and things to help you get moving and not get hung up on the massive amount of information over there, that is likely designed to confuse you, and eventually take your money.

I'm literally just teaching this stuff for free.

Today, we are talking about how to set up your first email list and how to build it from there, and why you even need to do that.

That is a topic that really stacks well on top of what we talked about yesterday, which is, "How do you create a content plan of what to talk about and what to teach, and what to share when you're just starting out in an online business?"

I touched lightly on going into an email list as part of your plan, which I do think is really important, so we'll talk about that.

I would love to know what questions you guys have.

Do you already have an email list that has started for a current business?

If this online business represents a pivot in what you're doing currently, let me know what experience you do have with email lists and why you need one, because maybe you find yourself in a situation where you have an email list, but they're not really the people that you want necessarily to drive towards this new coaching business course or what have you.

Veronica says she doesn't have one yet.

Perfect, so we're going to be starting from square one, which really is ideal because it's not as complicated or as time-consuming actually to set up some of these things as some of the other things we've been talking about, so ideally, if you could just set this up and let it be running in automated in the background.

It doesn't become your passive income, but it can become your passive mechanism for having people sign up to you, hear more from you, and then that way down the road, you do have the opportunity to serve them in some other way.

I was saying yesterday that you don't have to know exactly where you're going when you start creating your content in order to - Hey, Rob. I'm so glad that you're there. Three days in a row is really good!

I have my own little mastermind group, which I'm pretty excited about right now.

I was saying yesterday was you don't have to know exactly what you're going to end up offering to the audience that you're building.

It is a, "If you build it, they will come" situation.

Hopefully, what you want though is to build the right email list of people, and not the wrong email list of people.

Meaning, are you building an audience of people that are interested in what you really want to be sharing and teaching, and making content around because obviously, if your lead magnet - we're going to talk about what that means because it's a online business buzzword.

If that is not in alignment with what ultimately you want to be doing coaching about - let me give an example.

Veronica is transitioning a virtual assistant business into a true business consulting business, where she's able to help businesses with their systems, organization and that type of thing, so if Veronica starts talking all the time, and let's just say that pretend I know what her long-term goal is.

I don't, but if Veronica starts talking all the time about virtual assistant topics, where it's "Here's how you set up social media posts, and here's how you DIY your Instagram planning and content and feed," instead of hiring out a social media manager, if she starts talking about that a lot, and the people who sign up to her email list are really looking for Instagram marketing tips, then eventually, when she is wanting to offer a service that's really about business consulting, efficiency, any system stuff behind the scenes, when she offers that to her email list, it's less likely that people will just jump and say, "Oh, heck yes... THIS is what I've been waiting for her to make for me." What you want is to be talking about the topics that eventually, you want to be hired either one-on-one to consult and coach on, or that you want to create a course around and become known in that area "This is what I do," "This is what I'm really great at," "This is my thought leadership around these topics," so think about that.

Think about that as you are working through the video yesterday.

We talked about that Content Snowball you build off of the questions from your audience, but you do want to plant the seed that you actually want to grow, if that makes sense.

Rob said he's looking to understand email lists, why they are powerful, how to use them.

Rob, I want to tell you something.

This is - I'm always giving you guys just my example as - not because my personal story is all that outstanding or amazing.

It's just it's what I obviously have a lot of experience with.

The thing about my business is that even though I have been - I've been primarily selling one thing.

The primary money-maker for the business and how I pay all the business expenses, and my employee and myself is through one product, and that is an online course program.

The thing though is, that Rob and I were in our coaching certification grad school adventure last year together, and the thing that is pretty cool about the fact that I have this - huge...

Huge is so relative by the way.

I have a large enough email list of people that one, some of them, yes, are going to be eventually interested in buying my course and my program, and that's great.

Some of them may never will, and that's fine, but for whatever reason, I've always hovered between four and 5,000 people on my email list, and so if I wanted to, if I wanted to get more into working with one-on-one coaching, which would be in alignment with what Rob and I were trained to do last year, all I would have to do is email that out to my list, not just once, but make that an evergreen promotion saying "hey there, I have this many coaching spots available for this quarter, and here's how you can sign up and here's how we can start working together." If I wanted to do more of that, I have that as an option.

I want to share a quote that really stuck with me at some point in my - I've learned from - a lot of people I've bought their courses and a lot of people I haven't.

I'm just on their email list because they share really good content.

There's a guy named Mike Dillard, and he's good.

I really like his style.

There's a lot of gold chains, bro-marketers out there that teach internet marketing, and some of them, for better or for worse have that fast, easy money overnight vibe, and so you have to cut through the good and the bad.

Mike, I think is one of the good ones, even though I think he definitely appeals to the men out there.

I don't know why that is.

Just side comment, but anyway, Mike, I've never bought one of his programs, but he said once in an email, and he was probably selling a course about email marketing, he said, "If you can build an email list of 100,000 people..." Veronica knows what I'm talking about, bro-marketers, so it's such a thing.

He said, "If you can build an email list of 100,000 people, your financial worries have disappeared for the rest of your life." I want to say that the reason why he said that is because now, you have your people, one, who know you, two, are interested in what you teach, three, like you - even though I said, I've primarily always sold one thing.

If I had pivoted multiple times in my business or if I had offered a lot of different types of products or launched certain, I don't know, group coaching.

I have done two in-person retreats in my business and was able to sell those through just email.

You have a lot of opportunities to offer different types of experiences for those people, and so therefore, it's not just as easy as sending out an email, and then money hits your bank account, but it couldn't be a lot simpler than that, if you have something that you know is really good and it's what people are asking for.

I said, my email list has only ever been around four or 5,000 people.

It hovers in that area because we regularly remove people who don't open emails because we want a highly-engaged email list, but people who have email list of 100,000 people, they're good to go for the rest of their life, but I said, I have had a full-time business just in a very small niche because of that.

The idea with this is it's not - this is actually probably an unpopular opinion.

I actually don't think it's the end of the world if you don't build an email list, and there's a couple of reasons why.

One is because you actually do have the opportunity to reach back out to your audience that has watched you on YouTube and watched you on Facebook, through Facebook and YouTube's tools themselves.

They basically build audiences behind the scenes of people who've actually engaged with your content, and so if you chose to, you could run Facebook ads or run YouTube ads back to those people if you didn't somehow have them captured in some other way, meaning, you don't have them on an email list to email them directly.

Does that cost money?

Sure, yes, but it's not the end of the world if you didn't start from exactly day one on building your email list.

Since I'm talking to you two at least, so now I'm talking to Veronica and Rob.

Can't see who else is here, but if you guys are starting from the beginning with this, it's definitely a good - it does not hurt, and it's definitely a good thing to set this up.

Let's talk about how easy it can be to set this up and what exactly I meant when I was talking about a lead magnet.

Definitely continue. Let me know what your questions are, guys.

A lead magnet is something that you guys have probably seen a million times, things that people are offering that are free, but you just have to enter in your email to get it.

It could be a downloadable free eBook, a template, a checklist, a video series, anything where you have to opt in to receive it, and then now you're on the person's email list for better or for worse.

You might want to manage this as you see fit because you've probably seen and experienced this a lot as a consumer, so once you become the person who is creating the content and keeping in touch with people that way, sometimes it's hard because you're thinking, "I don't want to annoy people."

"I don't want to email them all the time. I don't want to bug them," but - here's the thing though, is that for people who have signed up for your stuff, they have the right and the responsibility, and they will unsubscribe if they don't want to get your emails anymore, so don't email them every day, three times a day, but having a weekly newsletter or a monthly newsletter - I actually think a little more than weekly is good.

I think just monthly is probably a little bit too infrequent, just so that you stay top of mind and they're not "Who is this Rob guy again?", You can have some type of regular check-in even if all you do is send out a, "Hey, here's what you missed this week," and you just link them back to your Facebook page content that you've been doing, your new YouTube videos, and every email does not have to be full of new things.

You can just remind them "Hey, here's some of our most popular content, and here's what's new. If you've been enjoying this, I've also been posting blog posts and blah, blah, blah." Whatever you can do to just keep them engaged and keep them coming back because you have already identified them, or they have actually already identified themselves to you as, "Not only am I interested in your topic, but I care enough about it to give you my email address," and likely, you have the opportunity to serve them to find out more about what they want.

I want to tell you how I approached this when I started my online business, Pro Organizer Studio.

In a nutshell, I had been running my own organizing business and decided that I had opinions that were very strong, and that I was going to put them into an online format.

As we talked about yesterday, I started my Content Snowball by talking and doing live videos, just this one inside a Facebook group, uploaded the content to YouTube, and then I mentioned, I didn't go into detail about this yesterday, but I said that became its own snowball because people were searching for the topics on YouTube, back to the Facebook group to engage and be there for live videos and to ask me questions and talk to me, and I actually answered.

Surprise, surprise.

Not everybody does that, but when you actually answer, it blows people away.

Then, I was saying that's how I built my audience.

To add in another step to that, what I had - I had a very, basic website at that time, but you don't even have to have a website built out for this to work.

I'll get back to that in a second, but this is - I just want to tell you here was the scenario.

My initial lead magnet for what I had people sign up for an email list with me to get was a seven-day free email series.

It was an auto responder series, so once they signed up for it, was a seven-day - I called it a free course.

It was about starting your own organizing business, and I put out my, just my basic things that I was already talking about in pretty much every video.

I put that into a structured seven-day format.

Then, on the seventh day, it was saying, "I am creating an online program about this," going way more in-depth.

"If you're interested, please sign up for the waiting list here." If you already - if you don't know what your thing is that you're selling, you could say, "Hey, is there something I can help you with?" Your call to action after that seventh day could be something like "Is there something that I can help you with, or is there a way that you would like to work together? Just hit reply and contact me." In fact, in my seven-day email course, on the very first day, I asked people - because that's when you get somebody who opens the email immediately because that's day one, they just signed up, they haven't forgotten who you are yet, and I would say, "Hey, hit reply and tell me what is your why?"

"Why are you looking at this topic right now, just where are you in life and why is this a big deal to you?" Eventually, after several months, I removed that from the email itself.

I mentioned the automation thing, and I'll come back and explain that.

It was all automated based on when they signed up for it, so no matter what day you signed up for it, you get day one on YOUR day one, and then everything would come after that.

On day one, people would be "Oh my God, I'm so excited I found this. I like your videos. This is really cool," and they would reply to the email because I asked them to, and I replied to every single person.

Every single person, and that helps me build relationships that to this day, I remember things people told me.

I remember people saying "This is my time to do this." I've been looking for somebody who would break down the information just in a simpler way getting started.

That was my thing, is the information out there is over-complicated and it's way too overwhelming.

I want to make it simple and break it down and help you get going and making money now.

That was my whole premise, and so they're excited to find me.

We engaged personally on email.

I built the relationships that way, and I also actually kept a running spreadsheet of actual sentences pulled out of what people wrote back to me because I was looking for the commonalities in what people were saying.

For example, what careers were they currently in that they were unhappy with?

How long had they been thinking, or how long had they even known that professional organizing was an actual business, because it is kind of an unknown niche thing?

How did they find out about it in the first place?

What were the other things?

I probably still have these spreadsheets somewhere, but that was very valuable to me just in terms of not only getting to know people one-on-one, which I definitely did.

I would make sure that they were never the last one to reply to the email chain.

I always replied.


I would ask more questions.

It was basically I would keep talking to them until they stop talking back to me.

Now, I said, after this grew to a certain point, I took that, "Hey, hit reply and talk to me" out of that initial email so that I didn't have hundreds of emails in my box, but that was really special at the beginning.

Not only getting to know them, but you're also doing market research about, "What are their problems?"

What are their pain points?

What do they want to know more about?

This is another place that you're going to get content for your videos that you're continuing to put out on Facebook per what we talked about yesterday, the Content Snowball.

The free seven-day email course was, that idea really - this is a really ninja tip, so this is really good.

I came across a free seven-day email course template on Pinterest that a blogger who specialized in, who knows what, building email list probably or marketing online, and her lead magnet was a  - this is very "meta"...

Her lead magnet for her email list was, "When you sign up, you get this free seven-day email template, and you can customize it and use it as your own lead magnet." Does that make sense?

Shout out to Summer. I know who she is.

She doesn't know who I am, but anyway, I literally took that template and I customized it with everything that I wanted to say, and then I put those seven automated emails, so I'm coming back to the automation part, put those seven automated emails in a sequence, and the initial email list provider that I used was called Convert Kit.

It does costs money off the bat.

It is one of the ones that costs money off the bat.

MailChimp is one that is free off the bat, up until you get to 1,000 subscribers.

However, at this exact point in time, I did see an email recently that said Convert Kit is doing a free 30-day trial for people who are like you guys.

They're trying to get their ish together and launch an online business or finally start their email list because they have seen the necessity of doing that.

Convert Kit is definitely great.

MailChimp is another free one that is going to help keep your expenses down while you're launching all this stuff.

By the way, pretty much everything that I've talked about so far is very low-cost.

The Kajabi course platform is a bigger investment, but we haven't even really gotten into that yet.

We're just talking about creating the content, having your social media channels, having an easy place for people to opt in, and the good thing about Convert Kit, and I don't know somebody might have to jump in at some point, and correct me if I'm wrong, however, with Convert Kit, they have a feature where you can create a landing page, and a landing page is just a super simple - it's not even a full website.

It's just literally a page.

On that page, you can have your opt-in for your lead magnet, so you can say, I'm just making this up, "Rob Stogsdill, expert in blah, blah, blah. So glad you're here."

"Enter your email to download my free eBook about leadership and humor." I'm sure it'll be better than that, but it'll be really good, and so inside your email list provider itself  - Convert Kit has that feature in it, so that you do not have to pay to have somewhere where people are opting in, because we're not even talking about you guys creating a website right now.

We're talking about having the content, and then having somewhere where people are on your email list.

That is a basic way to just build the online business step-by-step without way over investing and spending too much money on stuff you don't need right now, because you're just, we said, you're not at that level.

Once you have 1,000 subscribers in MailChimp or whatever, it's worth it to pay the $10 or $20 a month to have your email list.

Just in case you guys are wondering, I used Convert Kit for a long time.

I mentioned that I am a Kajabi user for my courses, and Kajabi also has an all-in-one solution in terms of you can have your email list in there, you have your website in there, you have your course content in there, you can have landing pages where people sign up for stuff, you can have webinar pages.

The thing about Kajabi, and we'll talk about this on another day, is that not all of the aspects of their all-in-one solution are ideal for everybody, so I actually use a separate email list provider now because it offers more functionality that I really need, and that one is ActiveCampaign.

That's the one that I use today.

I said though, when you're just starting out, you just start with what you have, and then build from there.

Plenty of other options out there.

If you already have a website for another business and you have something integrated, Squarespace, I believe has their own email lists forms now that you can integrate for free with MailChimp so you could create a separate back-in page on an existing website and have your list opt-in there, so you don't even have to pay something extra if you're already using some other tool that.

The ninja tip, I promised I would say this.

The ninja tip is I've found - I didn't overthink what my lead magnet thing was going to be, and if you already have a lot of content, maybe you haven't gotten it out yet verbally or on video, but you already have a lot of expertise in the field or you already have a lot of thoughts on helping form the direction or thoughts on the future of a particular industry, that might be something that makes a great lead magnet because people don't want information that feels old.

They want  "hey, here's the future of leadership development in 2020 in the midst of the changing paradigm about remote work in companies with remote teams." That just seems like a topic.

That's a hot topic.

That seems something where people would say, "Yeah!

Would I buy the book?

I don't know, but would I put in my email list for free?


Why not?

I like this guy."

That's the thing you want to think about, but you can look for, and you can literally Google a lead magnet template or a free eBook template, something where the work of figuring out what to make and how to lay it out has already been done for you.

I said, I found this free email course template on Pinterest, and I thought, "Hey, that looks good, and I like her style. I like the way that she created it," and I went and personalized it for what I wanted to say, but the email titles that you actually see when you get an email from someone, the title is part of what makes people open it because it needs to be interesting and click-worthy, and I liked her email titles, and I just ran with it.

Don't be afraid to Google what your free resources are because there are so many people at this point who have put together free resources, that if you're out there thinking you have to pay for an eBook template or some other fancy lead magnet template, that is just not so.

Even if you're putting your top 10 tips for this or that, whatever it is - let's get back to Veronica.

Veronica, if you wanted to start really talking about business systems and efficiency or organization, or if there's even a special industry but you want to talk about those topics for, then that should be your lead magnet - it's not a full book explaining everything that you think about it or know about it, but top 10 tips for getting started.

What is their very next step that they have to do?

You don't have to give them for free every possible thing that they ever need to know because you want to keep driving them back to your content that you're continuing to put out so that they'll ask those questions and keep getting that engagement with you.

The whole idea is just that the lead magnet is just interesting enough that they give you their email address, and then if they have questions as they're going through it, you can have a follow-up email that says, "Hey, what did you think?"

"Like what are the big question marks that are still out there for you?" Then, ask them.

Ask them.

If they're just "You know what? I really love your content, but I hated this ebook that you wrote," then guess what?

You can just update it or put in more information or clarify.

We always have the opportunity, everything that you're putting out there is always a draft, always, so you always have the opportunity to edit it, improve it, continuously improve everything that you do in your business, but that's why it's so important to just start because you don't start getting that feedback until you're putting it out there.

Let me talk a little bit more about the automation thing.

When I said that setting up an email list was something you could  spend some time doing now, and then it could just run in the background, what I mean is that you'll still always have to drive people to that page of where they opt in for your lead magnet or whatever it is that you have.

Maybe even you create some videos that are just for people who subscribed.

Maybe you have some super special things that you want to share or do a training on, and you don't mind it being free, but you want to use that to attract people deeper and just raise their hands and say, "Yes, I'm that person."

"I'm your ideal target client or target audience member." That's a really good idea too.

I've never done the free training.

I've never done the free video series, but I think those are really smart.

Once you spend some time, then what you have the ability to do with things like Convert Kit and MailChimp is - it's not just about you getting in there, and then sending out email blast every single week.


You don't have to do that.

Especially with your lead magnet that they opt in for, you're going to set it up because I know you guys are smart and you're going to go and do the research on this because every email provider has their own training on it, and so there's no way that I'm going to attempt to do that because there's so many email providers, and they've already done that hard work for me, so I'm just sending you on your way.

They will instruct you "Here's how to attach. " let's say you have an eBook and it's a PDF, and you need to send it to your subscribers.

They will explain how to set that up so that every time somebody does that, it's automated, so they get the content that they opted in for no matter what you are out there doing in your life, and you don't necessarily have to start - like I said, coming up with a weekly email where you just say, "Hey, here's the content you missed this week." You don't have to start becoming a writer or becoming a pen pal with every single person.

However, just keeping in touch and keeping top of mind so that one day when you are sending out an email that's more of a sales email, or at least an interest you want to - maybe at some point, you're gauging interest because you have enough people who've been following you and talking to you and working with you in this Content Snowball that you finally know: "All right, I'm doing it."

"I'm doing a group coaching program.

It's going to be 12 weeks long.

It's going to be this cost.

I'm going to send out an email to my list" of like - let's say at this point, you have 1,000 people because that would be great, and so attainable, not unattainable.

That would be very attainable for pretty much any topic out there.

You send an email out to your email list, and you don't want that to go to a list of people who have totally forgotten about you because it was six months ago when they opted in for your eBook.

That's why you want to continue just staying top of mind, sending them out "Here's the weekly, what you missed. Here's my thoughts on this or that that's happening."

Don't over complicate that, but just plan to continue to stay in touch with them.

Don't worry about annoying them because they're grown adults, and if they want to, they'll unsubscribe, and if they want to file your emails away, they don't want to unsubscribe it, they just want to file them away until a later date.

They don't necessarily open them, but they didn't unsubscribe.

That still means they're interested, so you still keep emailing them, even though I did say we take email subscribers off our list if they have not opened any email in three months or more.

I'm talking they have really not opened an email in three months or more.

Yes, your email providers do have the ability to measure that and track that, which is great.

It's great for us.

Where was I? The automation.

If you do something the seven-day series I was talking about, what would happen is for example, I had this set-up in Convert Kit when I first started.

You set up an email sequence, and it's literally, you put day one, day two and so on, however long it is.

It can be 30 days if you want it to be, where people are really getting something from you every day for 30 days, and then after that, it's "hey, how can we continue working together? Let's open up the conversation." Every day at 11:00 AM  -  This is very much up to you.

This is what I chose to do.

I set each individual email to go out.

You say one day after the previous email.

It's setting up a recurring event in your Google Calendar or any other calendar you use.

It's not anymore complicated than that, but you set it up so that each email goes out 24 hours after the last one, and each one went out at about 11:00 AM every day.

Mine was seven days long, and at the end, I was driving them towards interest list for the course, and then once I had the course open, it drove them towards the website for the sales page for the course.

In a nutshell, that's how an email list makes you money, because as you can imagine, more people  -  The people who do open all your emails and stay engaged with you are going to - (Oh my, oh my. There's more comments that I wasn't seeing. I'm so sorry. I want to catch up on them) - But the people who are opening your emails - let's say you were selling a course program or a coaching offer.

The more people who engage with your emails and open them on a regular basis, and do open that email when you finally are selling something, they're more likely to really, first of all, see it, and second of all, to be interested and be thinking, "Yeah, I was waiting for something this."

"Thank you for finally sending this email." They're going to be more likely to do that versus when you think, "Oh, I'm going to sell something now, so I'll just post it on my Facebook page or make a video about it." Well, those are not bad things to do either.

It's just that if you don't have the direct access to them in their email box, there's a likelihood that they might not ever see that content on Facebook, even if they have been showing up every once in a while for your Facebook Live videos or even engaging and commenting on your page.

They're just not necessarily going to see those, unless you are spending money on Facebook ads.

I'm not hating Facebook ads.

I love Facebook ads.

However, if you have to spend money to reach your list versus just emailing them and continuing that relationship that you've been nurturing, then it is going to - it'll be an investment to do that.

That's why from day one, this is a great thing to do and it's lovely.

I really mean it.

You might feel so silly because your mom is a subscriber, and then you have two people, and you're just "What am I doing?"

"I don't know why I thought I could have an online business." Here's the thing though, is when you just have those three people, or even subtract out your mom because you already know her, when you just have those two people, you have the opportunity to know everything about those two people.

"Hey. Hey there, it's Jen."

People are shocked when you reach out to them.

I don't know, maybe there's something about being on video that automatically makes you seem an authority or seem this unreachable person, and that really isn't true, but they'll think that, and so when you write to them or when you actually respond to their emails, they're going to be "Oh my God, I feel I'm famous," or, "I feel I'm talking to a famous person." You're laughing because you're just "Hey, I just wanted to get to know person number seven on my email list," but don't feel silly because if you have already shown that you have put out content that people are interested in, and you have a lead magnet that people actually opted in for, maybe your numbers of people who have been visiting you is not that higher, or your percentage of people who have opted in is not that great, but now you know.

You, we said, putting data out there, or putting things out there, getting data about what's working and what's not, and now you know what you can improve.

That's the really cool part about this, is you have that opportunity when your list is really tiny and you're ashamed because you don't even want to tell anybody what you're doing.

You have that opportunity to get to know every single one of them, and those relationships will take you a long way because you'll learn enough about those 10 people that will inform you as to what the next hundred or thousand people are going to probably also be thinking, be going through, be looking for, and nothing could be more valuable than really getting inside the minds of your target market and understanding what is driving them right now, because it does not make a whole lot of sense to work on a paid product that is literally just a stab in the dark of what they're willing to pay for or what they're willing to commit to, so talk to them.

Talk to them.

I'm going to read comments now.

Dana said she's listening away. Thank you for your time and talents. Dana, that means the world to me that you showed up.

Pavla said she's been using MailChimp, and do you like it? How's it going?

Suzanne is here, and she said, how did she miss this, but she hasn't missed it because we're still going.

Veronica said, "Advertising email subscription best on Facebook, Pinterest, YouTube." Veronica, give me more information about exactly what you're asking for that question, because I'm sure I have an answer.

I'm just not clear on what the question is.

You guys have not been getting notifications for these live videos?

I'm going to look into that, just because I know it's possible.

I'm just not sure what is going on.

Rob. Okay, Rob has a good question.

He said, "Why would I call my herd?" Yes.

He said, "Does it cost more for more subscribers?" No.


Well, okay, sorry. That's a lie.

Yes, but that's not why I do it.

Every - oh, God - we have our windows open, so little, tiny baby bugs want to come in here.

Every email list provider has slightly different levels of what their paid subscriptions are, so it does not cost you the same amount.

For example, I'm on ActiveCampaign now.

I think that your first 500, up to your first 500 people, then your first 2,500 people, and then the next level is 5,000 people, so yes, it does increase the more people you have on your list.

It is more expensive the more people you have on your list, but that's not my problem.

My problem is when people do not open your emails consistently, it affects your email deliverability, meaning that you know in Gmail - you guys probably are all somewhat familiar with Gmail, but you guys know how they have different tabs for Primary versus Promotions versus things that they mark as Spam automatically.

What you want, ideally, you want to be in that Promotions tab because it's not a personal email.

They're on an email list.

You want to be in the Promotions tab.

You don't want to be in the Spam tab.

When not a lot of people actually open your emails, that information gets fed back to your email provider, and they rate you.

They don't tell you what they're rating you, but they have an internal ranking system for how trustworthy you are, that you're not a spammer, that you're not sending them to awful pop-up virus sites or whatever.

When people do not open your emails consistently, it hurts your deliverability rate.

It makes it more likely that your email goes to spam, and that they never see it in the first place.

That's why you wouldn't, for example want, I mentioned in the beginning, when you have an email list that is off-topic, and you're sending emails that are on a new topic, and people aren't opening them and they're just deleting them, and they're not even taking the time to unsubscribe because they're not even opening them.

You guys know you can unsubscribe from an email list, but you have to actually open it to do that, or typically you do.

That is the scenario that you avoid when you every once in a while do a list cleanup, and ActiveCampaign makes that very easy, and I know that Convert Kit definitely gives you statistics on your subscribers in general, how many are opening emails, and then they'll mark a particular subscriber as cold when they haven't engaged.

Engaged means in opening an email at all.

They don't have to click through an email to be engaged, but they do have to open an email to be engaged.

They'll mark a subscriber as cold, and if you have a really high percentage of your list that is cold, you can go into Convert Kit and just say, "Okay, let's just remove all these people," so that your list is considered warm and engaged and is all good.

I don't know anything about - I am 100% positive that MailChimp does all that.

I don't have any experience with them beyond that basic level when you only have 10 or 20 people.

Rob's mom is all that matters, and I know that she would sign up for your email list, and she'd probably sign up for mine, and Suzanne's, and Pavla, so send her on over.

Okay, Pavla said when she learned to use MailChimp, she loves sending campaigns through that, plus it corresponds well with her Squarespace website.

An email campaign (or broadcast) is generally a name for a one-time email, whereas a sequence or auto responder is what I was talking about with how you have people opt in, and then they're automatically delivered something.

They're either delivered a link for your file that they download or they're delivered your automatic email series, that thing.

Oh, I didn't even say it. These days, I am back to having - I have a free PDF roadmap type of thing.

It's just an email - it's an instant delivery, you click on the email, and you get the PDF, and then you can just read it online or you can download it.

If you guys want to test mine, you're welcome to, just to see what I'm talking about, so you go to, and when you scroll all the way down, it says, "Get the roadmap," and it says "Hey, this is free." "Get our free roadmap for how to launch and grow your business," and so you click on a button and a - now, this is fancy.

You don't have to get fancy at all, but you click on a button, and a pop-up comes up and it says, "Hey, where should we send this?" You just put in your email address, and then it redirects you to a new page where you can click a button and download it, and at the same time, an email is sent back to you to confirm your subscription and for you to download the PDF there as well in case you just X'd out of your browser or didn't click the button on that redirect link if that makes sense.

Suzanne said, "How do you know if you're in the promotion spot?"

Oh, oh, oh,

I'm going back.

Suzanne, asking the hard questions.

Your ranking - well, first of all, test it with yourself.

You can sign up for your own email list and see, you can confirm that your emails are coming through.

I'm going to stop myself from talking because I don't think that I 100% know the answer to that question, however, I do think that your email list provider will tell you if you have a very bad score, your emails are being marked as spam.

Your deliverability is bad.

You can get statistics inside there, which will say, "Maybe not."

You might even have to look at individual emails or email series to see how they're doing in terms of deliverability, but the other thing about the paid email providers is that their deliverability is better than MailChimp, so you do have a trade-off when you're just starting out and growing.

With MailChimp, when you get to a certain level, and we're talking in the thousands, it would be a big deal if by a few percentage points ActiveCampaign or Convert Kit had better deliverability than MailChimp.

I do mean that in some cases, even though you assume that when you send out an email, that everybody on your list got it because it sent it to everybody.

Their email address can refuse to accept your emails because they have marked it as spam so many times, so it gets sent, but it doesn't actually get delivered.

I feel we're going technical with that question, but this, I think that the real point of the story is, whatever email list provider that you're using, really get comfortable with it and look into its FAQ and their, what they guarantee as far as deliverability and how to find out how your emails, if there's a lot of your emails being marked as spam.

I really feel this is a very rare problem, because if you're actually sending out real actual content, then this is likely not going to be an issue for you guys.

Okay, Veronica said - oh, I think I understand your question now.

She said, "I think I know the answer."

"I'm just trying to make sure I'm advertising my email list in the proper places, but I think that's just for me to figure out where my target market is. Scratch that question."

No, I don't want to scratch that question.

That was a really good question.

I think I just didn't understand it.

Yeah, when you say advertise, I think you just meant promote your lead magnet, "Hey, here's my free seven-day course on this," or, "Here's my free video series on that," or, "Here's my free eBook."

You can put that everywhere, and you want to make sure that you're putting that out like this:

When we're talking about that Content Snowball yesterday, put it as your - talk about it in your videos, even at the beginning.

Don't wait until the end because most people don't watch until the end of your videos, and I know this because I talk a long time, and most people don't hang in with me, so if you're going to say something really important, "Hey, I have a free ebook that sums up my top 10 tips about whatever, and you can get it by visiting blah, blah, blah, dot com, or just click the link in my profile or whatever," say that at the beginning.

Say it in your videos, put it in the captions of anything you do your captions of your Facebook videos, your captions of your YouTube videos, definitely on Pinterest.

That's a really good tip, especially if you have something that is reaching women at all.

A lot of women business owners get resources from Pinterest, so that's really, good, and even if you have - you all are going to find out in about five minutes that I don't really ever want to talk about Instagram as part of an online business because it's one of my things that I don't enjoy doing that a lot of other people really like to do.

If you Instagram and if that is a part of your strategy, especially if you're in that coach field, you're in the home decor, maybe starting a home decor blog, every single thing I've talked about by the way with email list also applies to the people out there who are not trying to start a coaching business, not trying to have a course, but they want to have a blog that has an email list that they can continue to nurture and potentially sell things in the future.

Definitely applies to those things too.

Maybe for an Instagram, for example, you'd have home organizing content or home decor content, it's not about you coaching them, but you're just putting it out there.

In your bio in Instagram, you can link to your lead magnet and say, "Don't miss this. Hey, I got this free thing," and seeing what other people are doing too.

It doesn't hurt to do some quick research and just type in to Google or type in to Pinterest "free eBook about blank," whatever your topic is, and see what people are giving away for free.

If you can just improve on their content - I'm not saying steal their content at all, I'm just saying if you can do what they're doing but do it even better and make it even more valuable, I think people would say, "Wow." People said this to me, if you give this much away for free, imagine how good your paid product is?

A lot of people who didn't know me from a hole in the wall, because I was still building out my reputation in the beginning, that was one of the things I consistently heard was, "I knew that I wanted to invest and become a student in your course and enroll in your program because you give so much away for free and I love the way that you teach." That's a way that you build your credibility at the beginning too, is just by giving more than what other people give, and that's another ninja tip.

Rob, Pavla, Dana.

Oh, Dana said she found me through Lisa, @neatfreakmckinney.

Love her, and her Instagram Story when she post the screenshot of your podcast.

Yes, so Instagram - we do use Instagram for certain things.

I just try not to spend a lot of time on it on a personal level, and I don't really do the personal types of posts that other people are so good at.

I love reading other people's Instagram posts.

I just try to keep mine focused on business.

And not just business tips, but what Pro Organizer Studio is doing as a business, not just as me as a person where I'm just talking about my day or whatever.

We to use it as a community-building tool.

I talked the other day about creating community online, because we share a lot on our Instagram feed of other organizers, what the cool things that they're doing.

We're not making it all about, I don't want it to be the Jen show.

I genuinely enjoy being the behind the scenes person, and so that is how we have chosen to use Instagram.

Another thing, I'll just mention as a side note, this is definitely another topic, but our podcast in itself is a lead magnet, and the way that we -t he strategy for that is we put out free content all - we've been doing it since last May.

It's almost a year old.

It's another little baby project of mine.

It's free content that is shared throughout the organizing industry.

It's on all kinds of topics.

It's on really, the business side of professional organizers, but you don't have to sign up for anything in order to get that content because it is wherever you get Apple iTunes, Google Podcast.

We put all that content for free out on our blog, but in every episode, we have a light call to action -  I don't sell my program through that at all.

In fact, we mentioned it in passing, but I never - I'm not saying "Oh, by the way, you should enroll in my course." I know that when people are ready, they will enroll.

I'm not stressed about that, but we promote our free lead magnet in every single podcast.

I had a professional voice-over actress record an intro and an outro for the podcast, so it's very -  it's so cute because it's so much better than me recording my own obviously, but we send her the script, and she at the beginning - at the beginning of every episode, I do an intro about what the episode is going to be about.

Then, we insert the clip that she recorded for me about, "Hey, this is the Pro Organizer Studio Podcast with Jen Obermeier," so we say that, because every episode might be somebody's first episode that they've ever heard, so I assume nothing.

I never assume that anybody knows who I am.

Then, at the end of every episode, there's an outro that she recorded that says, "If you want to learn more, visit to learn more about our services or go directly to to" - I don't know how she says it, but, "...get the roadmap to building your business." If you are just listening to our podcast, you don't even have to go to our website, but if you can just remember "po roadmap", then you type that in to your browser, and then that's where people can opt in to the lead magnet there.

That is one way or one reason why people do podcasts, is because it's just another way to reach people who don't watch videos and who don't read blogs, unfortunately - I'm a big reader.

I like to just read content quickly, but I think in this day and age, people like to multitask a little bit, so podcasts have really emerged as a bigger medium for sharing your thoughts.

Veronica said she thinks she has my intro and outro memorized.

Next time we do an update, I'll have you just record it.

That's hilarious.

Okay, Pavla asked, "Does your podcast drive a lot of traffic to my course?" That's a really good question because I don't exactly have a way to really measure it.

I should.

If I were a really, good business owner, I would measure it, and I would have a separate sales page or something for people who - there are ways that you could do that.

I don't have that set up, and I wish I did.

I have noticed, Pavla that more people - certainly.

We launched it last May, but I would say it wasn't until about six months ago that I would notice consistently that when new people joined, that they would say, "Hey, I've been listening to your podcast episodes and I just..." Not that they love me, but they're just "I love your style."

"I love listening to you and your guests," and/or, "I've been thinking about joining this Inspired Organizer forever."

"I've been listening to the podcast and I finally made the leap," so yes, I will say that I've noticed people mention that, but we don't ask.

We don't force them to tell us how they found us.

Then, in some cases, people can't even remember how they first came across it, so - Suzanne says she doesn't even know how she found me, and look where we are now, girl!

Suzanne has been to one of my retreats, and she is just very, dear to me.

Pavla says she's multitasking right now. Dana said she's one of my podcast conversations.

Not only does that make me feel good, but I hope that you guys see it's a little bit behind the scenes of how all of this works, and you can make it work for you.

I swear to you, if I can do this, anybody else can do this on pretty much any topic.

There are people I know that are selling courses about organizing their homes, it's not even a - nobody has said this in this chat, but I don't know if somebody is wondering if they're "Oh, well, is this easier for selling a business program?" No, it probably isn't because I am in such a super small niche, that my entire universe of potential leads is so tiny.

Imagine if I was doing what I do in a bigger niche.

It probably would be easier.

Then, the other thing is, there's a lot more people in the world who just want to get organized.

For example, you create a course about organizing or do virtual organizing coaching, and there would be a lot more people who are potentially interested in that, and I'm talking about in the millions.

When you're looking at Facebook audiences of people who meet certain criteria, which we can talk about that on another day about analytics in Facebook, and how you figure out where your people are.

If you're selling a course about organizing or about home systems or about how to adjust from work to working from home because Lord knows how many people are going through that right now, your potential world is just massive, so go do that.

Okay, Rob said, "Are my podcasts on my main website?" I'll do another day. I'll do another separate whole day where we talk about podcasts.

In fact, I don't even have that on my list yet.

You upload your audio to a podcast host, and the one that we use is called... I don't know.

It just escaped me, but I'll follow up and I'll tell you.

There's several different podcast hosting services, and we upload - when I say we, I know how to do it, but I have an assistant now who helps me with all this stuff.

I do not do everything that I - it takes much more than me to run my business at this point.

Brie uploads audio to the podcast host, and then from there - yeah, Rob wants to know more about podcasts.

We'll definitely do another day, because I feel it's one of the best things that I ever chose to do.

Other than just start my business, doing the podcast was a really, good move.

Once you - I'm still trying to think of the name of ours (*Libsyn), but it doesn't matter.

Once you upload the audio, then you can share, for example, if you go on, if you go on the blog, we have blog posts that are just written posts, and then we have podcast blog posts that actually have the audio embedded in the post for that episode, so that's one way that people can listen to it, and that, of course, helps people find us too, because people don't search in the podcast app for topics, but they search on Google for topics, so they'll come across our website and see that we have a podcast or come across that specific podcast blog post.

I'm trying not to make it too complicated, but we want it to be very searchable.

We want it to be findable, so we're not just talking about - even if we talk about vague topics, we always make sure that our title is very search-friendly for what people would actually be looking for, and so they go through that way and become subscribers of the podcast, and maybe they just listen for a while, and then finally, one day, they're "Oh, yeah. I think I should go back to the website and opt in for that lead magnet." The journey to becoming a customer can be very different for everybody.

They can find us immediately and sign up for a webinar that I teach and buy my program that way, or they can be in that long, nurturing stage where they're "I'm not just trusting anybody with my business," which I completely understand.

I would want to get to know me too, I think.

I think I would.

Sometimes I do come across people that I'm just "I'm buying whatever she's selling. Where can I give you my money?" But I don't assume that people feel that way about me, so we do a lot of nurturing and giving and giving content so that when, then later, we do an email opportunity to join the program that they'll be "Yes, I am ready and I trust you, and this feels the right next step." That's, again, is personal to me.

That's my strategy.

That's what feels good to me to do, so that was the podcast.


Rob, just to answer your question one more time, yeah, you can find  -  we have a podcast page just to  have one place where people can see, "Where do I go to subscribe to it?", because we know not everybody even listens to podcasts, yeah, so we try to make it easy.

All right?

I'm going to hang out for just a minute and see if you guys pushed through any last-minute questions.

I will follow up in the comments or in the description for this video just to recap, hey, here are the resources I mentioned in this video blog episode.

I don't know what this is. I guess this is a video show.


Also I'll make sure that I confirm with you guys how you can get live video notifications so that that's working, but until then, watch out on my page.

I've been deciding day by day what time works and what topic works for this Online Business 101.

Totally free.

Please share it with somebody.

That would be amazing.

Somebody else might need this or want this, and I'm here for that too.


I will say I'm having a busy week.

I wonder how you guys are doing.

For me, this feels an additional outlet just to feel I'm being helpful and useful, but I've spent a lot of time on communications with my current students and helping them adapt to everything that's going on this week.

I'm curious how your regular jobs are going.

I think a lot of you have regular jobs and other businesses obviously.

This particular audience is more than just organizers, so I do care about that stuff.

I really want to know where you guys are at in life right now, and just know that I'm thinking about you, and whatever I can do to help make the path look clear moving forward, I would be more than happy to do what I can, okay?

All right, I'll hang out.

I'll hang in one more second.

Thank you, guys again for showing up.

Tomorrow is Sunday. We'll do something casual tomorrow.

I don't know why.

Just because it's Sunday? We'll do a shorter - oh, Rob said he's been busier than a one-legged man at a butt-kicking contest.

That's how I feel too!

Every day I'm exhausted because I've feel I've squeezed myself out a sponge, trying to just get things done, but I feel very invigorated every day because I have new ideas.

Maybe tomorrow, we'll just do the podcast  - we'll do the podcast topic tomorrow, because I think that was a really good segue and it won't be hours and hours long.

Dana, I'm thankful for you guys too, and I'll see you guys tomorrow.

Talk to you later. Have a good night!

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