ConvertKit, Email Maketing

Busting Email Marketing Myths with Nathan Barry of ConvertKit

Episode 013: Show Notes

Today we are talking a lot about email marketing! Nathan Barry and the team at ConvertKit have definitely been a lifesaver for our business. They’ve helped us see radical growth since we’ve switched over. ConvertKit is an email marketing service for professional bloggers. Nathan’s background in the blogging world led him to build a tool to help other bloggers and entrepreneurs successfully build their audiences and grow their businesses. Understanding his own needs as a blogger, he went out and built a tool designed specifically for what he needed in his own life.  

Today we are talking a lot about email marketing! Nathan Barry and the team at ConvertKit have definitely been a lifesaver for our business. They’ve helped us see radical growth since we’ve switched over. ConvertKit is an email marketing service for professional bloggers. Nathan’s background in the blogging world led him to build a tool to help other bloggers and entrepreneurs successfully build their audiences and grow their businesses. Understanding his own needs as a blogger, he went out and built a tool designed specifically for what he needed in his own life.     So what makes Nathan such an email expert? Well, at ConvertKit they send about 150 million emails every month! That is absolutely bananas, and you can certainly see where his expertise comes from. So, if you want to build a tribe and sell products to serve that audience, then this episode is perfect for you.  |  The Strategy Hour Podcast

So what makes Nathan such an email expert? Well, at ConvertKit they send about 150 million emails every month! That is absolutely bananas, and you can certainly see where his expertise comes from. So, if you want to build a tribe and sell products to serve that audience, then this episode is perfect for you. 

Email Marketing Trends

The biggest trend in email marketing is valuable and rich content. Everyone is looking for specific tactics or sending their emails out at a specific time, but it all comes back to the content. If you can teach great information by telling a great story, that is going to win every time. The most successful email marketers spend the majority of their time finding ways to weave a narrative into their teaching, rather than wasting their time on little tactics or tricks.  

Using Your Email List to Grow Your Business

When someone first starts blogging, a lot of people set up a simple website and start writing a few articles that mostly friends and family read. But, believe it or not, getting someone to read your blog once or twice does not mean that you have an audience. Nathan had his first big break when an article of his, How I Made $19,000 on the App Store While Learning to Code, absolutely took off and went viral and received the number one spot on Hacker News. However, it was just a flash in the pan, because once the hype was over, no one remembered to check back. This shows the importance of having an email list, so that you can capture that audience and engage with them every time new content comes out.  

Renting Versus Owning an Audience

The concept of renting your audience versus owning them becomes so crucial when selling products and growing your business. Your followers on Instagram or those who see you on Facebook only represent your rented audience. However, you do not rent them when they are on your email list. Once they are on your list, all of a sudden you own them. You own all that data, which is super powerful in continuing to grow that relationship. In the end, you need a way to push content to people. What if Instagram disappeared tomorrow?

Creating Effective Content

Oftentimes we see a bloggers creating really generic content. Good content is going to drive a good subject line. Using a title like How I Made $19,000 on the App Store While Learning to Code, you better believe that Nathan got amazingly good open rates. It’s compelling and it’s catchy, with a little bit of click bait to it. This comes back to the idea of “teach everything you know”. Too many bloggers and content creators are leaving out all the specifics and they are not willing to be vulnerable. You have to be able to share the details, because if people know that you bring them with every single piece of content you put out, they’re going to read all of it. 

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Teach everything you know.
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Who Is ConvertKit’s Ideal Client? 

One of the key characteristics of a ConvertKit client is that they are serious about building their audience, and are diligently working to grow it. There is an agreement between ConvertKit and its clients that if a client takes themselves seriously, the ConvertKit team will help them all day long. However, if you are only at the hobbyist level, just seeing whether or not blogging is the thing for you, then ConvertKit is not a great fit. They want people who have the desire to grow and the attitude to match, putting in the level of work required to become a successful blogger. And that is a true ConvertKit fit. 

Niching Down Your Audience

When it comes to email lists, one of the best ways to niche down your audience is to place them into different segments. A variety of people sign up for mailing lists, and if you write about various topics, you have to make sure you’re sending them to the relevant subscribers who are actually interested. Don’t bombard those who are not interested with content they do not find valuable. Another crucial step to niching down your audience is to remove people who are no longer interested. Yes, we know this can be tough to do, but it is an absolute must. Rather than focusing on the overall number of subscribers, focus on improving the open rates so that you can build an engaged audience instead. 

Steering Clear of Templates

A common question that Nathan gets is about the lack of email design templates available in ConvertKit. Although his background is entirely in design, Nathan believes that when it comes to building an email list, the content is much more important than the look of the email. Many people waste so much time trying to make their emails look beautiful that they leave the most important thing to the very end, and that is great content. Focusing on content encourages people to send emails that are focused, clear, and direct. 

Behind the Scenes of ConvertKit

Nathan and the team at ConvertKit believe that existing customers matter more than new customers. By focusing on this philosophy, they knew that their existing customers would take care of growth for them. As a business owner, this encourages you to focus on things like getting your customers to talk to each other in a Facebook group. There, people can interact and make the team aware of any issues that are going on. However, it is super important to keep on top of everything that is mentioned to prevent it from blowing completely out of proportion. This is also a great way to stay transparent on issues that arise, and keep your customers up-to-date on how you are working to solve them.  

Highlights

  • Discover the latest trends in email marketing. [0:02:19.1]  
  • Learn how you can use your email list to grow your business when it comes to building relationships and selling products. [0:03:43.1]  
  • Understand the difference between renting your audience and actually owning it and how this can make a huge impact on your business growth. [0:06:51.7]  
  • Find out what it means to create effective content, and why the key is in providing specific and actionable details. [0:09:08.8]  
  • Discover who ConvertKit’s ideal client is, and whether or not it is the right fit for you and your blogging goals. [0:13:16.2]  
  • Learn why niching down your audience can create much more effective messages and will prevent people from unsubscribing. [0:17:42.4]  
  • Find out why Nathan believes in steering clear of email templates and focusing on creating valuable content instead. [0:26:34.7]  
  • Take a look at the behind the scenes happenings of ConvertKit, and how the team is working to include their clients in the process. [0:34:32.0]

#TalkStrategyToMe [0:44:30.3] 

  1. Start writing content every single day. If you are serious about building anything online, you’ve got to create every day.  
  2. Be vulnerable. Share the details behind the story. 
  3. Write like a human. 
  4. Quit while you’re ahead. 

Today’sGuest

Nathan Barry  |  On the Strategy Hour Podcast

Nathan Barry

ConvertKit

Website  |  Instagram  |  Facebook

Nathan Barry is the founder of ConvertKit, an email marketing platform used by amazing people like Pat Flynn, Chris Guillebeau, and many other great bloggers around the world. In the past, Nathan worked on building iPhone apps, writing books, and coding websites. Nathan is the author of three books, The App Design Handbook, Designing Web Applications, and Authority. He has also launched two courses, Photoshop for Web Design and Building Profitable Audiences, and has built an email list of 37,000 subscribers. In October 2014, Nathan decided to walk away from the book and training business and focus full-time on ConvertKit. Since then, he has grown the company to 300 times its size, and has built an incredible team.  

KeyTopics

  • Email marketing trends.

  • Using your email list to grow your business.

  • Renting versus owning your audience.

  • Creating effective and specific content.

  • The ideal ConvertKit client.

  • Niching down your email list subscribers.  

  • Focusing on content creation rather than email templates.

  • Behind-the-scenes at ConvertKit.

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