Do not put these two words in your offers

While back I sent my client their email promo.

I’d crafted a fine offer.

Put some “muscle” on it (iii eee spiced it up with a few psychological triggers to help folks buy).

Then, I entrusted them with its care.

When it landed in my inbox, they’d added a bunch of words without telling me.

Where I’d made a point of emphasizing this was an exclusive offer to our subscribers…tacked on was the statement please share this with anyone you think would benefit.

In our next meeting I queried, “so…who added this bit?”

The business owner cautiously admitted “that might have been me”.

I said, “yeah…don’t do that.”

The two words not to put in your offers?

Please share.

Here’s why:

One, exclusivity is one of said ‘psychological triggers that help folks buy’.  Humans are enticed by access.  And our nervous systems are wired to think of what is rare as valuable.  If just about anyone can have your offers, there’s a good chance no one will want them.

Two, it can come off as needy and hurt your positioning with your prospect.

In fact, using please DON’T share often packs more punch.

Finally, to paraphrase Perry Marshall, every time you hit ‘send’ you are training people to read your next email.  You do this mainly by keeping your content interesting, relevant, or entertaining in some way.  But bigging up the exclusivity of your offers doesn’t hurt either.

Who wants to miss out on a great deal?

The only time asking readers to forward your emails can work is if you frame it as “I’m on a mission to help” as I did once with a client who did magnesium infusions to cure headaches and migraines.  The treatment is (a) ridiculously effective (one woman got rid of a 17-year headache her first go), and (b) everyone knows at least one person with this problem.

Such was my logic.

Most offers aren’t like that.

Anyway, take it for what it’s worth – the psychology of this works everywhere, not just in email.

Heed my cautionary tale today.

People like exclusivity.

Why not give it to them?

Happy Excluding,

Conor Kelly

The Muscle @Marketing Muscle

P.S.  I have great news for those who have been asking.  I recently freed up time in my schedule to take on one more local business.  If you’d be interested, just reply “interested” in the comments and I’ll get you all the details.

#1 reason to build an email list so loyal they’ll eat sheep’s testicles for you

I’ll be honest…

Yours Muscularly is of the mind that many small biz owners have been “conned” by social media companies promising the moon.

For most, it’s naught more than time and energy quicksand that sucks in the helpless and spits out their weary remains.

While Facebook claims 2 Billion accounts…a full 25% of those are fake.  Email, on the other hand, boasts a hefty 6.32 Billion active accounts, making it 5x bigger than Facebook.

I could also point out that many people go days without checking their social media, yet the average person checks their email multiple times per day.

If I really wanted to make a statement I could add that 60% of business owners rate email as their most profitable marketing channel, more than all the various social media sites combined.

All that would be 100% true.

But the #1 reason to build a thriving email list?

You OWN your list.

It’s yours.

You can download that sucker and re-upload it somewhere else.  You can communicate with your list in the manner of your choosing.  There’s no one who can tell you otherwise.  And there’s no one who can take your list away from you.

You don’t own your social media followers.

If that’s all you’ve got – you’re one policy update away from dead.

Case in point, five years ago I was getting most of the leads for my personal training biz from Google Adwords.  One fine day, Google up and suspended my account.  In order to reactivate it, I needed to add an asterisk with the words “results may vary” under each of the dozens of REAL before-and-after pics and testimonials displayed on my site.

Not only did this make my site look silly…

It sent my conversion rate spiraling down the drain.

And the leads all but dried up.

De-platforming is happening with frightening regularity.  What’s to stop Instagram from following Google’s lead and saying e.g. “we don’t like weight loss products – too scammy,” then make the rules harder for an entire category of health-related marketers?

An email list – especially a responsive one – is an asset.

Arguably the best asset you can have.

Enter my Evergreen List Builder

I created this custom product a couple of months ago to help my clients with the problem of consistently adding high-quality new leads to your subscriber list.  And it’s quickly become my most popular offering.  It’s not hard to see why.

This is my answer to the moving target that is online marketing.

I’ll be honest, it’s not the fastest way to build your list, but the leads are the highest quality.

Also, because my list builder is centered on free traffic, there’s some sweat equity required on your part.  Such is life.  But if you’re willing to put in a little leg work, the tools I’m going to provide you could be nothing less than a blueprint to double your business this year.

My clients and me are using them to generate 50-200 new subscribers per month, for free.

If you’d like to consistently add top quality leads to your database without dancing to Google’s or Facebook’s ever-changing tune, let’s jump on a stress-free brainstorm call and find out if you qualify:

https://calendly.com/conorkel/emailincome/

Happy List-Building,

Conor Kelly

a.k.a The Muscle @ Marketing Muscle

 

A cheeky way to create content on the fly

Watch this.

If you’re ever pressed for time or short on ideas, here’s an easy way to drum up great content lickety-split.

What is it?

You simply quote an expert in your niche or industry and add your comments.

On that note, here’s something CBC Radio Host Terry O’Reilly wrote in Marketing Lessons from Under the Influence which I think sums up the power of email marketing quite nicely:

“A well-timed nudge is a sophisticated aspect of marketing that is usually the exclusive domain of big advertisers.  But small to medium marketers can also take advantage of nudges if you recalibrate your thinking to look for opportunities.  There are endless reasons people don’t buy an item, even though they are teetering on the edge of making a purchase.  Often, I’ve said if the dealership had just called me one more time, I would have bought that car.  Or if a store had thrown in the speaker wire for free, I would have bought that stereo.  Or if the salesperson had spent five more minutes with me, I would have bought two shirts instead of one.”

OR [my words now]…

What if the restaurant, spa, yoga studio, chiropractor, or real estate agent had followed up with me in a format I find both useful and enjoyable – that I had chosen to receive – and enticed me to do business with them more often, when the time is right for me?  If I liked the place would it make me a more active, loyal, and engaged customer?

You betcha.

There’s simply no better way to do this than with the “drip marketing” of monthly, weekly, or daily emails.

Did you catch what I just did there?

Hehe.

Cheeky indeed.

Here’s the best part…

Not only are you providing valuable insight, but your reader’s brain unconsciously registers the idea as coming from you.  In that sense, as long as you give credit you can legally and ethically borrow this great mind’s credibility while riding shotgun on his/her illustrious coattails.

Good tip.

Use it.

If you’d like done-for-you emails that nudge your prospects and customers to do a lot more business with you, get your stress-free brainstorm call to find out if you’re a fit:

http://calendly.com/conorkel/emailincome

Happy Quoting,

Conor Kelly

a.k.a. The Muscle @Marketing Muscle

Drug dealing for fun and profit

True story:

My subject line today was the original title of Tim Ferris’ famous book, The Four Hour Work Week.

Not surprisingly, the publisher said “no way”.

So Tim took it to the court of public opinion.

He used Google Adwords to split test book titles, and thus landed on the phrase that would ultimately brand the book’s cover.

And, sho ‘nuff, the book was a runaway best-seller.

Similarly, here’s a little-known way to probe and uncover your customers’ most fervent appetites.

Watch your open rates.

I don’t mean obsess over them, like some folks do.

I’m well aware there are those who would cast doubt on the accuracy of open rates (Android phones have HTML turned off by default, they say).

And your open rates will vary with the tides.  If you add a lot of new subscribers, or start emailing more frequently, they’ll most likely go down.

I don’t care about all that.

I do think they’re useful as a relative measurement.

Other things being equal, when a subject line gets a higher-than-usual number of opens, there’s something to it.  It may even be the smoke that hints at a wildfire of hot, flaming desire in your market.  Not only can you reuse or recycle it, but it can help inform other marketing decisions as well.

Allow me to demonstrate.

I had a client in the women’s fitness niche who told me her highest ever open rate was for Do You Want to Look like a Fitness Model?

So I said, “Run it again”.

And guess what?

Same result.

Sky-high opens.

In theory, what could she do with said knowledge?

Just off the top of my head (and this all should be tested)…

*Add “Look like a fitness model” as a slogan to her business cards

*Use that same question on flyers, postcards, and in other print advertising

*Test variations of the same in her Facebook or Google ads

*Say these words when talking to prospects on the phone or when meeting people face to face at a luncheon

*Take it a step further and create an 8-week program called Look Like A Fitness Model and sell it to her subscriber list

*And more

The point is open rates can be valuable intel.

When you know the words that make your market’s eyes light up and their mouths water, your messaging becomes tighter and more impactful.  You’ve got the right “drug” to get ‘em hooked on you.

This all can sound a little complicated if you’re new to it.

Would you like me to handle this “marketing stuff” for you?

Book your stress-free brainstorm call to see if you’re a fit:

http://calendly.com/conorkel/emailincome

Discover your fun and profit (although perhaps not your 4-hour work week)….

Happy Drug Dealing,

Conor Kelly
“The Muscle” @ Marketing Muscle

16 Things everybody should know about email marketing

I was recently interviewed for a podcast.

The interviewer was the lovely Corine La Font of Between The Lines.

(Who was also a tad sweet on The Muscle I might add).

The topic was “How To Build An Audience Using Simple Emails”, and once the little red light flashed “recording”, the value bombs began to drop.

Peep the highlights:

*Why the old marketing adage “the money’s in the list” is only half true (6:33)

*Is email dead? (7:54)

*Email is more personal than social media (12:40)

*The #1 reason to build a responsive email list (13:30)

*How to have more loyal subscribers and customers (15:15)

*Why “unsubscribes” are GOOD (16:24)

*The truth about the best frequency for emails and why you should never worry about “bothering” people (20:55)

*A simple way to segment your subscribers (22:43)

*What metrics actually matter to your success (25:55)

*A sneaky way to use subject lines to identify new marketing and product avenues (27:08)

*How we made a health clinic an additional 14K in the first month (30:16)

*How I use email to grow my business (31:21)

*The power of “soft” offers in every email (32:24)

*Why Marvel movies do better at the box office than DC Comics movies, and how you can use their secret sauce to grow your business (34:00)

*How in 15 minutes and with 6 simple questions you can discover a new way to make a lot more profit in your business (36:07)

*Keys to success (38:16)

Enjoy them a la carte or watch the full interview here:

 

 

Happy emailing,

Conor Kelly

P.S.  Want me to take care of all of this “marketing stuff” for you?  Get your stress-free brainstorm call to find out all that is possible for your biz by booking here:

http://calendly.com/conorkel/emailincome

Use this Marvel Superhero secret sauce to Thanos your competition

“Hear me and rejoice.  You have had the privilege of being saved by The Great Titan.  You may think this is suffering.  No.  It is salvation.  Smile, for even in death you have become children of Thanos.” – Ebony Maw in Avengers: Infinity War

A few months ago, I took my daughter to see Aquaman.

I love superhero movies.

But lately I’ve felt a clear preference for ones produced by Marvel (e.g. The Avengers, Thor, Ironman, Black Panther) vs. the other of the big two comic book legacies: DC Comics.

Aquaman is a DC Comics character.

The movie was OK, but I kept thinking, “why is this just not as good as a Marvel movie?”

Fast-forward a few days.  We hit the play button on Avengers: Infinity War which had recently come on Netflix.  I knew the second I heard the first few lines of script what the difference is…

WRITING.

Marvel has superior writing.

(Quoted above are those opening sentences, which in the scene are pronounced magnanimously by the sorcerer Ebony Maw, as he steps over bodies in the wake of Thanos’ attack.)

It’s not even that DC’s writing is bad.  It’s not.  But Marvel’s writers have that slight edge that, when repeated throughout the film delivers a better experience.  The jokes are just that little bit funnier.   The story lines, just that little bit more imaginative.  The dialogue, just that little bit cleverer.

These are big, blockbuster movies.

And even though, in my opinion, anyone who enters the theater is under an implied contract to suspend disbelief, the challenge for the writers (especially over several movies) is to keep one-upping themselves without it getting too…well, wacky.

One way Marvel’s writers get around this is by poking fun at the genre, as seen in this brief exchange:

Dr. Strange: “If Thanos gets his hands on all six Infinity Stones he’ll be able to wipe out life on a scale hitherto undreamt of.”

Tony Stark: “Did you seriously just say ‘hitherto undreamt of’?”

It lets the tension out of the big scenes and keeps the audience on side with the characters.

Let’s go to the scorecard.

Here’s Marvel vs. DC by the numbers (domestically):

*Average gross revenue per release: $247M to $224M in favor of Marvel (keep in mind Marvel has produced almost double the number of movies DC has.  Thus, higher output AND higher average.)

*Percentage of releases grossing over $200M: %58 to %48, again in favor of Marvel

*Opening weekends: Marvel, 6 of the top 15 (and 3 of the top 6), DC, 5 of the top 15 (highest at #5)

*Critically, Marvel movies tend to have many more favourable reviews than DC movies (with the exception of the three Batman movies directed by Christopher Nolan, those are truly special)

All this is despite DC having, arguably, more iconic characters – Superman, Batman, and Wonder Woman.

Internationally, Marvel is more popular as well.

What does this all mean for you?

Words matter.

If you had even slightly higher-converting words throughout your business (in your email newsletters, in your print ads, on your social media, in selling situations, in the scripts you give your employees – you do give them scripts, don’t you?) not only would you be more popular in your niche, but you’d steal market share faster than a bandit in a Bugatti.

That’s where I come in.

If you’d like to find out how email helps you convert more leads and sell more to your existing customers, go here to request your stress-free brainstorm call:

http://calendly.com/conorkel/emailincome

Wipe out your competition on a scale hitherto undreamt of.

Then, rest and watch the sun rise on a grateful universe.

Happy Thanos’ing,

Conor Kelly

P.S.  If you have an interest in writing and story-telling, I urge you to study what Marvel’s writers do.  I’d start with Thor: Ragnarok, followed by Avengers: Infinity War.

3 ways to get your emails opened faster than a vegetarian pizza at Al Gore’s house

She’s a doozie of a post today.

I’m going to share with you three subject lines that got high open rates and the psychology behind why they worked.

Here’s why you should care:

One client, a fitness boot camp, saw their average open rate go from 14% to 25% when I took over.  On a 3K subscriber list, that’s 300+ additional peeps reading your offers – without any new marketing.

No time to waste then…

  1. Is Your Health Preventing You From Losing Fat?

I’ve used this one twice now and both times it was money.  Whenever you can put contrasting ideas together it provokes a lot of curiosity.  And curiosity is one of the marketer’s most jealously guarded tools.

(If you look carefully, you’ll notice ALL of my examples today have an element of curiosity to them.)

Back to contrast for a second.  Jay Abraham likes to say, “Paradoxes excite interest.”

In this case I certainly mean ‘lack of health’.  But at a glance the phrase still does its job.

How could health prevent you from losing fat?

Read on…

  1. Try this unusual health tip

Again, curiosity: what’s so unusual about it?  Also, anytime you can say ‘try this’ or hint at a tip of some kind, by implication there’s actionable content inside.

It’s therefore perceived to be valuable.

Once you have a proven winner, rip off or recycle that sucker with gluttonous zeal, as I did this one.

“Try this unusual healing method” is a variation which also pulled an above average open rate for the client.

  1. PRIVATE PHOTO: How to feel beautiful, right now

This one is admittedly tactical.

And stealthy.

People are voyeurs.  And we naturally yearn to be on the inside.  That’s one reason tabloids sell so well even though they’re light on substance.

Anything with the words *private* or *personal* will generally outperform most openers.

So will adding *do not share* or *for your eyes only*.

I wouldn’t use these types of subject lines very often.  And make sure whatever the hook is, it’s paid off early in the body of the email.  Don’t leave ‘em hanging, wondering where that dang private pic is.  That’ll erode trust.  Other things being equal, sprinkling in a tactic here and there spices things up and keeps the interest high.

Alright, a lot of meat here.

Go back and read this one a second time to let it sink in.

There’s a lesson to be found between the lines.

Did you catch it?

What am I doing here?  I’m sharing valuable content, to be sure.  But while doing so, am I demonstrating my expertise?  Yes siree Bob.  And by using client examples I’m invoking proof of my wordsmithing prowess.  Unconsciously, you’ve accepted (a) that I have clients I do this for (which makes me credible) and (b) that they’ve gotten results, notably the instant, profit-boosting hit of more eyeballs on their emails.

I know, very “meta”.

The lesson inside the lesson.

Model what I’ve done here, Grasshopper.

Happy Enticing,

Conor “Sensei” Kelly

a.k.a  The Muscle @ Marketing Muscle

P.S.  I’m looking for one more case study to add to the collection.  If you’d like me to do all this marketing stuff for you, reply with “Case Study” in the comments, and I’ll get you the details. 🙂