Recession-Proofing Your Business Part 5: Email Marketing with Ashley DeLuca
When it comes to email marketing, where do you stand?
Are you someone that:
- Hasn’t started building an email list yet preferring to connect on social media.
- Has started an email list that you email consistently.
- Is looking to scale your email marketing efforts.
In today’s episode with our guest and email marketing specialist, Ashley DeLuca, you’ll learn:
- Why email marketing is relevant
- Why every business (not just online businesses) needs an email list
- How to start today without the tech overwhelm
This interview was part of the Creativity & Resiliency in Small Business Summit Yong hosted back in March at the start of the pandemic. If you’d like to get access to the entire summit for free, get all the details at http://www.yongpratt.com/280
When you request to join our new community, Creators Landing by clicking on the image below, you’ll have the opportunity to get access to the entire Creativity & Resiliency in Small Business Summit – a series of 10 interviews with business owners of all types (online, brick and mortar, service-based, product-based) loaded with creative ideas you can use NOW in your business.
Yong Pratt 0:00
When it comes to email and using it to market your business, where do you stand? Are you someone that thinks....Email marketing. I don't need it. I have social media to connect with my clients, or are you someone that is actively building your list? You have a pretty healthy list, and you're fairly consistent with reaching out to them. Or are you someone who is looking to scale your email marketing efforts? You're staying consistent, your list is growing every day, and you're looking for ways to make it work harder for you, then you'll definitely want to stick around for today's episode.
Today on part number five of the recession-proofing your business series here on the podcast. We're talking to our special guest, Ashley DeLuca, who is an email marketing specialist. And in this episode, we're going to dive into why email marketing is relevant. Why every business no matter what kind of business you have, needs one, and how you can get started today without all the tech overwhelms deal.
Now, this interview is actually part of my Creativity and Resiliency Summit - a summit I hosted back in March at the beginning of this pandemic. At the time, I really felt compelled to reach out to lots of different business owners, whether they were online business owners, brick and mortar or service based businesses, because I was so sad to look around and see so many business owners, especially in my local area, kind of say, you know what, I'm going to close up shop. I'm going to wait this out and see what happens and they weren't doing any business. So I really wanted a way to help inspire them, to see the opportunities that were there for them, if they took the time to look at their business through new eyes and really lean into creativity. And the more creative we are in our businesses, the more resilient we actually are.
S at the end of this episode, stick around because I'm going to share with you how you can get access to the video interview with Ashley, along with all of the 10 interviews that I did with business owners that you definitely want to keep in your back pocket. The ideas that were shared on this summit alone can help you really start to expand your business, see your business in a new capacity, and even offer new products and services you may not have thought about. And at the end, I'm going to share with you where you can get access to all of those interviews for free. So stick around. And now my friends without further ado, I invite you to turn up the volume. Take a listen and take action on this episode. Once you've listened, definitely come over to our website where all the greatest conversations take place over at www.yongpratt.com/280. Tell us your biggest takeaways and most importantly, tell us your actions steps because this series, in particular, is about action taking. We're not able to make changes in our business without taking action and putting one foot in front of the other. So come on over, join the conversation www.yongpratt.com/280. And I will catch you after the episode. Enjoy.
It's day number four of the Creativity and Resiliency in Small Business Summit. I'm your host, Yong Pratt. And it's my great pleasure today to welcome Ashley DeLuca to the summit and we are going to talk all things email marketing. So if you haven't started an email list, or you kind of have one or you have no idea what we're talking about today is for you. Ashley, I'm so glad we connected through a mutual friend. I'm excited to have you here on the summit. Welcome.
Ashley K DeLuca 3:55
Oh my gosh, thank you so much for having me. I'm super pumped to be here.
Yong Pratt 4:00
So tell us a little bit more about what you do and how you serve the world.
Ashley K DeLuca 4:05
Oh my gosh, yes. So I mean, Hey, guys, hello. Oh my gosh. My name is Ashley DeLuca. And I am an email marketing strategist. So I help coaches and educators create a stream of pre-sold leads using powerful weekly emails that are really focused on being able to connect and convert your audience.
Yong Pratt 4:27
That is so great because I know that personally, I have gone through ups and downs with email marketing, some highs, where I really love it. And sometimes it's like, ehhh. I don't know what to write to my list this week. I am working on that, because it's definitely a skill like anything else in business. I mean, it's just something that we have to, to incorporate. So I want to take a step back and talk about what is email marketing and why do business owners not just online business owners, why do all this business owners need one?
Ashley K DeLuca 4:59
Definitely. So for me, I think of email marketing a little bit differently than most. But for me, email marketing is about having a conversation. Just like if you were to sit down and have a coffee chat with your ideal client. Something that's really important to me is the fact that you're building relationships and that also really helps with the feeling of not feeling really salesy and icky and gross and all the good stuff. And you know, the thing is, is that you know, we're on Facebook right now, and I absolutely love Facebook, Facebook's , my jam. But if Facebook goes away tomorrow, like especially with everything going on in the world as if even just today, you know, things have just drastically changed. And so you know, Facebook could be gone tomorrow. Instagram could pop off this world. Like, who knows what's going to happen. So we want to make sure that you have a way to connect with your audience, that you have a tangible way of having their information, which is through sharing their name and their email list.
Yong Pratt 5:53
Such a good point. And I think that a lot of people when it comes to email, I know I used to be one that was like, I don't want to be in their inbox. You know, I check my mail. I get a lot of mail. I don't want to be one of those people that shows up there. But I love that you said this idea of what if tomorrow, all your contacts go away on Facebook or you get locked out and put in jail. Or, you know, you can't access your Instagram page. It gets hacked. But what do you do? How do you stay in contact? So I love that email list is sort of one of those things like your website, it is your personal property, it is your home base, it is the way that you can connect. And what you also said is that it's about building relationships. And I can so agree with that. Because that's kind of how I feel with content creation. It's not about just selling things. It's really about taking anybody who joins you on this adventure and this journey and what is it that you can give them next to help them where they're at right now? And help them move forward with you in the future?
Ashley K DeLuca 6:58
Exactly, definitely. You know, and a lot of times, we get really stuck in the like, what to say category, you're just like, yeah, like that sounds great. I would love to have a conversation with them. And a lot of people are like, I just don't know, like, I sit down. I try to write it and it just comes up blank. Like, you know, and obviously at the end of the day, we're all business, you know, we're business owners, so like, we have to make money like we have to ask for the sale and honestly, it comes down to really just putting yourself in your own ideal client's shoes. You know, the thing is, is that regardless if you're a brick and mortar, if your online business, you are serving a pain point a need, I mean, I'm given no as simple as like a bar of soap, for example, for people who may make soap, right? You know, that may be something that you're just like, well, I don't really need my soap, but people need soap. And there's other reasons why they would buy soap from you, as opposed to just going and buying the green kind at the grocery store. Right? And so, you know, it's the little things that you have to really dive into, especially by your ideal client that's going to make it so much of a stronger connection with them. That's going to make it easier to convert into that sale.
Yong Pratt 8:05
Yeah, such great points there. I love that. That everyone who has a business number one, you're a business owner, so you need to own all the parts of your business, not just the parts that, you know, we might like a little more, right. There's lots of parts of being a business owner. Yeah and email is just one of those things and it's just another way another touch point that we have to connect with people and, and right now I'm actually loving writing emails because I'm really on this kick about storytelling, right? And what kind of story can we tell it's going to relate to the point we want to make? And it's a very different, you know, plan than I used to subscribe to. I used to just say, okay, hey, here's my new podcast episode. Here's my new blog post, you know, here's these four things. But then it really wasn't a conversation. It was very one-sided me telling them something. Whereas now I feel like okay, let me let me dig out a story like some embarrassing story where like, I'm kind of like, I don't know that I want to hit sent. However, I know that there's a good lesson. It's a parable of some sort, but there's something to be learned from that. And that's really, as a teacher and as someone who loves being in this space where I can help other people, I've discovered stories are really such a fun way to do email, especially. So let's talk about if someone's watching live or on the replay and they're thinking, Okay, okay, I want to have a conversation, I want to build a relationship. Where do I start with email marketing?
Ashley K DeLuca 9:37
Okay, so the first piece of this puzzle is, and everyone might be a little bit surprised. But the first piece is actually understanding your offer. You need to know exactly what you're an expert in. You need to know exactly what you're offering and what that looks like, and then match it with real clients. Now, a lot of people go the other way for like, figure out your ideal client. Making sure that you do your offering first makes it a lot easier for you to stay in your realm of your expertise. And even as someone who's done, that's the process that I use to figure out what my business coach like what is this need to look like for me? It made it so much easier for me to feel more fulfilled within like my career and what I do. So that's the first thing right? And then the second piece, as I mentioned, is digging in to your ideal client. So we're not even, we haven't wrote an email yet. We haven't set up a platform. We're doing those foundational pieces of figuring out, okay, so what are the things that make your ideal client like stay up at night? What are the pain points that you're doing? And not even just like the upper level of what I like to say is like for an example for like health coaches. Like everyone's like, my person wants to lose weight. And I was like, well, let's go deeper into that. Why do they want to lose weight? And really digging into those pain points is going to give you those foundational topics and those relations and that's going to trigger stories, as you're mentioning that are going to be like yeah, like, I know what it was like to feel XYZ certain way and being able to relate to them. So focusing on making sure that you have your pain points lined up, you have those topics, and then what you're going to do is you're going to obviously sign up for a platform which, you know, if you're looking for something basic, I always recommend Mailer Lite. It's really super, super, super easy to set up. It's free up to like 1000 subscribers, and it'll just get your, like toes dipped into the water. And then from there, you want to start your first sequence. A lot of times, you know, we get people into the list and you know, we're just like, they don't hear from us. And when we get a thank you, they're like, oh, here they are. So depending on how they're going it coming into the list, whether they're opting into a freebie, whether they're, you know, opting in for 20%, off coupon, whatever it is, making sure that you have a follow up email sequence is going to really help you, you know, stay engaged with them very early on, and help with that know, like and trust factor that you're trying to build with them.with them.
Yong Pratt 11:57
Oh, my goodness, oh, there's so many great things that you just said. And I love the idea of not starting with the platform first because a lot of people out there advocate, Hey, get this thing, get this thing. But there's really no context. It's like going to the grocery store and having to shop for somebody else and guessing what you're going to pick up for them but you just don't know right now. I love that you talk about, you know, it's it's this, this place where you just you just start away from email because email sometimes for some people can get a little overwhelming because a little bit tech involved not usually a ton. But I know a lot of people are thrown off by that and that causes them to stop. So if we can back up the train a little bit and say no, let's see, you know, what is it that you want them to do? What are you going to offer them? Where are you going to take them? And how are you going to build that relationship? What is it you want to get them to invest with you in the future with? There's so many different steps and then knowing who you're going to talk to you and and then what pain points they have. And I wanted to see if we can get some examples of pain points, because if someone's listening, this might be something that's maybe a new concept. So what does a pain point look like? Can you give us some examples?
Ashley K DeLuca 13:11
Of course definitely. So to kind of break down in terms of going back to the health coach because that's usually like the easiest and people can relate all those different pieces. So again like we're trying to figure out exactly what your offer solves for your ideal client. So for an example, back to the health coach. Let's say they do one on one coaching sessions. Or even still like let's say they have their own product line like they have their own fitness apparel. So in terms of with like going backwards so like if you were to map this out I would literally just take a printer, like I've used printer paper like nothing else and never in my printer. So you take like a printer piece of paper right up at the top. Okay, so here's what the offer is, right? And then narrow it down in terms of with okay, so the results that come from this and like using this apparel for an example, is you know, people have said it made them feel strong and made them feel confident and made them feel like all these different things, rightz? So these are like results of that and so then you kind of work backwards in terms of with okay, so they they wore the apparel. They felt strong and confident. So what did they feel like before they weren't right before they invested into my one on one coaching before they bought my product or service? Where were they at before that? And a lot of times, you know, it's a lot about taking a look at our own journey because I feel like we're our best advocates, right? Like, we're just a couple steps ahead of our ideal client. So taking a look at like, you know, I know before I got really good, like yoga pants, for example, you know, I just felt like, Oh my gosh, like having to pull them up all the time. They were see through like, all these different like, you know, I mean, like, you just think about those pieces of like, Okay, so what's going on in their head? Like, what are they thinking about? You know, you know, are they feeling frustrated because they can't fit? Are they feeling you know, overwhelmed because they have no idea what kind of diet plan they want, like, all of these different things, or even going back to the soap example, you know, what would make someone purchase soap? Well, I don't like for an example. I know my sister is like, super crazy, like sensitive to everything. So having soap that she could go to that, like doesn't have chemicals in it. That's like, really cure or clean and pure, like all those different things, those are pain points, right? So they're feeling like anxious when they go to the store and they need soap. Or they feel like a certain kind of way, or this is what you're solving. So a lot of what I help my clients with is really digging into that. But the best way like to go to like literally is go to your source, which is your ideal client. So if you have someone who's purchased in the past, talk to them, like go back through your conversations. Look back through like when they're explaining or, you know, when you do like a call with them, whatever that needs to look like. Really just dig into their own language. Because their language is exactly what's going on to attract other people just like them. And sometimes it's not even how we say it, right? It's a lot of times, you know, they say it in their own kind of way. We have to connect those pieces.
Yong Pratt 16:12
Yeah, and that bit of research about talking to people that have purchased from you before, and right now, especially when we're social distancing. It's a great time. If you're a hairdresser, if you have a brick and mortar business, and it's not working out full capacity right now, you probably have a little bit of time to pick up the phone and reconnect with those people. Ask them some questions. And I know some people come to me and they say, I don't really know what I'm good at. But then, you know, it's so easy for us on the outside is to get the gifts of other people. It's not so easy sometimes to see our own gifts. So even asking those questions and saying, Hey, you know, what, do you see that I'm good at? You know, there's a lot of people contemplating new businesses right now. Like, you know, I have this idea and, you know, I'm not doing work normal. So maybe now is the time, I'm getting the push from the universe saying, hey, well, here's what you need to go to take that next step. But it's really about re-engaging, talking. And it's no different than the email marketing that we're talking about in this conversation. It's all about steps in the relationship because you really do need to know where you can take them. I know with my students, when It comes to podcasting. You know, they're eager to get in and like record the episodes and, and do all these things and want to know how to connect all the pieces so we can automate stuff and do all the fun stuff, right? But the cool stuff. It's a different story, though, when I say okay, before we can get to all that, we do need to know, who is it like? Who are you talking to? Like, if you're talking to everybody, you know, the whole the whole phrase is, you know, if you're talking to everybody you're talking to no one sort of thing. And this is really, really, really so true with mail that you need to know who you're talking to, because an email you sent to your grandma is very different than the email that you send to a client, right? They probably wouldn't have the same tonality, they probably would not have the same content. So we just need to make sure that we really do know and, and figuring this out, like Ashley has said about what are the pain points? What are the things that you're helping them achieve, like the transformation people buy the transformation and what to know what's in it for them don't necessarily want to know the list of benefits, you know, 100%. I mean, they might want to know those things, but really, they want to know what's in it for them. And if your emails can solve that, guess who they're going to be calling?
Ashley K DeLuca 18:35
Exactly. And also to like, as we're thinking about, like market research and all that your email list is a huge resource to send out a survey. And, you know, especially if you're a brick and mortar business, now is the time to start tapping into your best resources, which is your clients there. I mean, I can't even tell you how many times I've gone to a salon or I've been like, man, it'd be really cool to have XYZ. But then I'm like, I don't know if they really want to hear my opinion. But like, you know, mean, like that gap and be like, hey, I want to know what is something else that we can offer you? Maybe it's as simple as like, Oh, I would love like scrunchies. Like carrying scrunchies would be amazing. Like I would definitely be interested in that like, little things like that that would be able to add on you know, it may not be thousands and thousands of revenue, but it could be something more than like the initial service. Or you know, you could serve another entrepreneur who makes scrunchies like, there's so many different things that you could really, you know, start to build connections with and make conversations with, you know, and just pair up. I mean, this is so incredibly important right now to do that collaboration, just like we are now. Right? And, you know, collaborating and going forward is going to be key, I think, as we move forward through all this.
Yong Pratt 19:43
Yeah, I couldn't agree more. And the idea of collaboration is definitely what sort of is the breeding ground for more ideas, right? This whole Summit is about creativity. The more creative we can get, the more resilient we are at the end of this, right. We're building stronger relationships. We're building stronger foundations. We're building a stronger business and now is the time to do that. I know some people are super stressed out and I understand that completely, about not knowing what I want to say to everyone is just to encourage you to reach out to somebody and maybe maybe they are in your same field. You know what, people aren't choosing to go to different places because they like the person. They have loyalties to people. You know, people choose to go different places because of a lot of reasons. And mainly they're coming to you because they like you, right? So worry about the collaboration that I know, I used to hold things so tightly. And, you know, it just felt like everything was so hard because I was so closed about it. And what I finally realized, no, it's, it's fine to me a lot of years, I have to say, like, I've been in this entrepreneurial game for, you know, 20 plus years now. And so I mean, for the great majority of that, I felt like no, I don't want to share my secrets. I don't want to collaborate because they migh steal my idea because that was my experience in several situations. Like, I don't want to say anything. But now it's like, you know what, it's time right now. People need each of us to show up because we each bring different things to the table. And yes, they might be similar to a person who has a business next door. That is okay. It's really just trying to, you know, put on that thinking, cap, get creative, and figure out and plan out this relationship you want to have with your clients, and then use email to facilitate that. Because people right now I know me, obviously for me personally, I'm spending more time, you know, looking at what my friends are doing, not looking at my news media, but we're looking to see, you know, if I can support them in some way. I'm also spending more time in my email because I requested extra emails right now from people who are doing things like this. They're doing summits. They're bringing people together, because I think, you know, the more ideas we have, you know, there's bound to be one idea in, you know, every conversation, but then in the summit, there's bound to be one thing everyone who watches this can take away and say, Yes, I love that. And Ashley, when you said that, you know, figuring out the relationship first then figuring out the tools Later, like that's such a good step. I want to know where people can find you to take that next step if they're ready to, you know, they've watched them, they said, Ashley, awesome. I love this conversation. I relate to this. I want to build relationships. I want to do the techie tool, not sure. Where can they go to find you for some support?
Ashley K DeLuca 22:42
Totally. Yeah. So you can definitely hop right on over to my website, which is Ashley K Deluca dot com.
Yong Pratt 22:50
Awesome. Well, that's an easy one. And when we're done with this interview, if you would come back and just pop back underneath this video, that way people can link out directly to you. Because my friend has all of you watching on play all of you watching live, it's time to start focusing on this email list because this is your own asset. It's not dependent upon any one platform. This is yours. People have raised their hand and said, Yes, I want to be part of this. And speaking of that, before we hopped on the call and asked about it getting permission to send people emails, what is the best practice or practices we can use as business owners to make sure people are signing up and getting the right things from us.
Ashley K DeLuca 23:35
Totally. So obviously, the very first thing is make sure you use an actual email marketing platforms do not use email. Don't use Outlook, actually use an email marketing platform because the thing is, is that we need to have an unsubscribe link down below for them to be able to unsubscribe at any time. So that's literally the first thing. The second piece is going to be making sure that you segment your list very well. So what's gonna end up happening is if you have you know, Sally Sue over here, who's in one stage of her business, and then you have Joey You over here, you know, like, you want to make sure that like they get the right kind of email based off of where they're at. That's a lot about sending out lots of emails, watching how they interact, asking questions, and then being able to really get to know who they are because everybody like, for the most part, right, every email has a look like a person behind the screen watching, looking, clicking all the things. And so making sure that you take the time to get to know them is really going to help make sure they're getting the right kind of content. And then lastly, making sure that you are using double-opt in is going to be key some people, you know. You can use single opt in still, but using double opt-in is usually a little bit more on the safer side. You would say, making sure that they you know, actually confirm into the subscription, they actually get exactly what they need and all of that good stuff.
Yong Pratt 24:55
That's a good point. I hadn't really thought about the single versus double opt-in for a lot of years and I haven't used double opt in, I'd say probably in about a dozen years so maybe it's time to reassess that. Because I do wonder sometimes when especially when you're leading with something like a freebie or giving a report or video series or something, and then people just get it delivered right away. You know, and they never check their email. Yeah, yeah, I always wonder about that, right. So, so yes, okay, I may have to go reconsider for myself. So I'm taking that away from my action item today. So I want everyone who is watching to come back and let us know what your one action step is from our conversation today, because this summit is not just about sharing a lot of ideas, which we have done that, you know, in these four days, it's really about, okay, I listened. Now the next step is taking action. Because if we're not putting that one foot in front of the other every day and moving forward in our businesses, we may not end up with businesses at the end of this, which breaks my heart. So let's work on some action together, you know, my actual step, I'm going to go work on my double opt-in. So if you request something from me in the future, look for that, because there'll be some directions on how to make that happen. But I'm excited to bring you actually to everyone today because this is such an important topic. That is, you know, as we're building relationships in this time that just looks different. It's more important than ever to know who we're talking to, how to talk to them, and share with them. The things that make us cool. And we can just share our awesome with more people. So I want to thank you so much for your time, so much, so much for us and raising your hand. This is the first time we're actually meeting, talking alive. So that's exciting. I love finding kindred spirits online, who are really all about showing up and serving and making sure that we're helping as many people as possible. So thank you so much for your time today Ashley.
Ashley K DeLuca 27:03
Yes, thank you so much for having me.
Yong Pratt 27:06
Thanks, everyone for tuning in live or catching the replay. I look forward to bringing you the next conversation in the Creativity and Resiliency in Small Business Summit.
So what'd you think? Are you ready to dive in full force into email marketing? If so, come on over to www.yongpratt.com/280 and share your biggest ahas, and your action steps so that we can help hold you accountable to building your email list, which is so, so important to your business. No matter if your business is online, offline, or you're a service-based or product-based business. Now as I promised, I want to let you know how you can get your hands on all 10 of the interviews in the Creativity and Resiliency in Small Business Summit. All you have to do is head over to the show notes for today, www.yongpratt.com/280. And right there on that page, there's going to be an image that says take me to creators landing. It is a brand new community we've put together and created on Facebook. So we can talk about content creation in its many forms, and how to do things like get your kiddos involved in the process. It is a group I'm so excited to bring you - a community of like-minded business owners who are looking for best practices and ways to make content creation easier, so that you can get your message out to more people. When you request to join Creators Landing, you'll have the option to leave your email address with us so that we can send you the details and instructions on how to access all 10 of the interviews in the Summit. Again, you can get all the details and join us inside of Creators Landing at www.yongpratt.com/280. We'll see you in the community. Cheers!
Catch up on the whole series
Part 1: Print on Demand with Nicole Thomspon
Part 2: Facebook Ads with Tammy Pereira
Part 3: Podcasting with Yong Pratt
Part 4: Audiobooks with Derek Doepker