Content Challenges

Ep. 16 Takeaways from COVID Culture

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Let’s dive into the strategies and methods used in the Tailwind onboarding email, featured in Episode 15.

Ideas you don’t want to miss

(01:36) Takeaway #1: Keep your content goal-oriented

(06:17) Takeaway #2: Keep your content action-oriented

(07:12) Takeaway #3: Don’t forget that sender name reputation is worth more than subject line click-ability

Links from this episode

Take a look at the email we featured in Episode 15

Balance your content and promos better with my Promo and Launches Playbook or with my Campaign Ideation Masterclass

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Nikki Elbaz: I always say that if my mom sends me an email with no subject, I’m still
going to open it.
Nikki Elbaz: Welcome to email swipes, where we peek behind the scenes at the emails
that catch your attention and earn their place in your swipe file. Every other week we’ll
talk to an email expert about an experiment they ran, and in the following episode we’ll
dive into the strategies and methods used in the email so you can inform and inspire
your own email work. I’m Nikki Elbas, the copywriter behind winning emails for eight
and nine figure SaaS and ecommerce brands like Shopify, Four, Sigmatic, and Sprout
social. And I know that hearing the background stories to these emails will help you turn
pie in the sky insights into plug and play actions. Ready to make inspiration tactical?
Vietnam turns all the Covid-19 prevention guidelines into a song
Nikki Elbaz: Let’s go.
Nikki Elbaz: First, a quick recap of the email we discussed last week that we’ll be.
Nikki Elbaz: Digging into today clean to this club.
Nikki Elbaz: Banger you’ve been singing while you wash your hands, but Vietnam
turned all the Covid-19 prevention guidelines into a musical psa that John Oliver called
a genuine club banker.
Nikki Elbaz: Give a listen to the viral virus.
Nikki Elbaz: Song, and then mix up a quick, all natural disinfectant for your home. Just
pour the following into a dark spray bottle. Half a cup 3% peroxide, one cup water ten
drops of your fave essential oil. Ours is orange. Voila. Fewer, uh, toxins in your home
from just one small action you took. Spread the impact. Share on, um, Facebook,
Instagram, Pinterest do something small bed Earth Day 2020 will be life changing in a
great way.
Nikki Elbaz: Every day.
Nikki Elbaz: Awara plants ten fruit trees for every mattress purchased. But starting on
April 16, we’re doing something massive, something life changing, for Earth Day. Stay
tuned to find out what it is.
Many brands will hear that they need to provide value in content
Nikki Elbaz: Let’s start with a big pet peeve of content emails. So often, brands will hear
that they need to, quote unquote, provide value. So they create newsletters or roundups
or other content emails, and they sprinkle these emails into their content calendar.
They’ll run a newsletter. One week they’ll run a sale. The next week they’ll send some
content. The next week they’ll run a sale. The next week they’ll send more content.
Which is okay, this works ish. But there are two main problems to this approach. The
first is more theoretical, the second, more practical. The more theoretical reason that
this is less effective is that this strategy gives you the feeling that you are unlocking
permission in order to sell by providing separate standalone content because you’ve
sent something quote unquote valuable. You now have permission to sell. This mentality
is going to affect your sales strategy. You are always going to feel a little tiptoeish
around selling. Did you send enough content to warrant a sale? Do you need more
content before a big sale like Black Friday? Should you discount more so you’re less
annoying? It’s just not a good space to be in. And the second more practical reason is
that it’s less effective because you’re breaking the relationship into two parts, the
content consumption part and the product consumption part, when ideally they should
meld together. There’s a reason that there is a, uh, provide value best practice. There’s
a reason we’re trained to send content and not just sale emails. Our customers buy
from us when they know, like and trust us. One of the easiest ways to get someone to
know like and trust you is to give them great content. But it is not the only way. And it’s
also only there to get to that final goal of purchase and advocacy. Were not just media
companies who are paid to produce content. The content production needs to be paid
off by purchases. Worse, when we break content and conversions apart from each
other, our leads actually cool down. When they like the content and start to trust us. We
need to give them the opportunity to convert the whole seven touches until people trust
us thing. It’s not so clear cut. Sometimes waiting until they have seven touch points with
our brand can actually be too late. Usually that is the case. Another issue with this
strategy is that it assumes that selling is not valuable when in fact providing great
products and great services is of value. Yes, they have to pay for it. Yes, it’s not free, but
actually sometimes. Usually people value things that they pay for. When they put their
money where their mouth is, they actually enjoy it and use it more. Breaking down value
into content versus product means very clearly that you are not valuing your product
enough and understanding that it in itself provides value for the customer. Clearly there
are some brands that do promos way too often and all they do is throw the product
down the people’s throats. Clearly this strategy works because they continue to do it,
but clearly it doesn’t build a brand. So obviously, like most things in life, there’s a
balance. But just the same way that we don’t only want to be sending product emails,
we also don’t only want to be sending content emails. Even when we’re sending content
and product, we don’t want to be content first. In our mentality of this is where the value
comes from. And it’s annoying when we sell. So should you do content? Absolutely. And
make sure that it fits into your strategy. Must you do content? Well, actually, if people
love your products and love hearing about them, that’s value in and of itself. And the
very, very best way to do tie it together with conversions. Write an email with an
eyeshadow application demo that sells the eyeshadow down the scroll. Send an email
with team management tips that lead to an upgrade button for team features. Send a
series of challenge emails that lead to an earth Day sale. Wink, wink. Now, by the way,
you could argue that each challenge email in the Awara challenge should have had a
promo at the bottom instead of leading up to a sale that’s kind of separate. It’s kind of
challenge, then sale. Why not make it challenge sale? Challenge sale. Challenge sale.
Challenge sale. After all, the first challenge, then sale cadence feels a whole lot like the
content sale content sale cycle that I first mentioned. Many feel that they need to do.
And you’re right, that strategy of, uh, challenge sale tied directly together could work. In
this case, though, the content was tied to the sale just a little more indirectly. It was like
a tease, but with a lot more value. Listen in on episode two, takeaways from budget
breakthrough to hear why most teas emails are a waste of time. Also, like I mentioned,
it was a lead up. It got people in the earth day mood, especially when they were so
distracted by what was going on across the globe. So takeaway number one, work to
keep your content directly tied to conversions. Don’t just give value for the sake of
giving value.
Tease emails are often dead end emails because there’s nothing to do
Now back to the topic of most tease emails being a waste of time. Tease emails are
often dead end emails. They tease and there’s nothing for the reader to do but absorb
that information. That’s a no no. We always want to move a reader somewhere. So you’ll
notice in this email that we didn’t just ask them to make the cleaning solution. Which
yes, is an action, but it’s an action that most won’t take the minute that they read the
email. We also asked them to share on social. This is obviously great word of mouth for
the brand, but it’s also something that the reader is interested in doing. They feel great
about the challenge, they want to share the good that they’re doing. Sharing on social is
usually a great default for teased emails, and in this case, it was a perfect fit for the
reader too. So takeaway number two, when sharing content, make sure it’s not aimless
content. Catch the reader with an action.
If you want to start your own email list, I have an offer for you
Okay, now let’s talk about the big surprise of this email, that it didn’t do any better or
worse than the other emails in the series.
Nikki Elbaz: We’re about to take an ad break, but I’m not just going to give you an ad
that wants to sell you something. I’m going to give you an ad that, yes, will hopefully sell
you something, but will also educate you on something email related. So don’t go
anywhere. If you want to start your own email list, I have an offer for you. Sign up to
Convertkit using the affiliate link youll find in the show notes and ill give you a 30
minutes consult. Free now free consults are nice and all, but theyre not exactly a reason
to tie yourself to an email platform youre not in love with. So let me tell you why I think
you should use Convertkit to build your email list. ConvertKit calls themselves the only
marketing platform built for creators by creators, and its not just a cute slogan, they
actually live up to this. There are countless examples of how they serve our particular
niche better than anyone else, and it makes all the difference. Let me just give you one
Google just announced some new anti spam sending requirements that threw the email
world into a tizzy, and one of the recommendations to keep our emails out of spam was
to verify your email sending domain. Sounds techie. Yeah, it was. It was another techie
admin task that was really annoying to deal with. Most email platforms slapped up
some help docs and called it a day. Convertkit partnered with the software that did the
job in the convertkit dashboard in a few clicks. It was so helpful and it was so proactive.
They know we don’t have it teams. They know we have too many tasks on our plate.
They know that tech can feel really overwhelming for a solopreneur, so they figured out
a solution. That’s just one tiny example I could go on, but we’ve got to get back to our
Sender name versus subject line is key to successful email marketing
Meanwhile, if you’re interested, head down to the show notes, check out the affiliate link
and earn yourself a free consult.
Nikki Elbaz: I told you, my theory is that the subscribers were all opted in. They were
looking out for the emails. And this comes down to sender name versus subject line. I
always say that if my mom sends me an email with no subject, I’m still going to open it.
We put so much emphasis on subject lines, and rightly so, but our real emphasis
should be on sendername. This is much harder to do. Building that sender name
reputation is a long game. Writing a good subject line can be done in a couple of
minutes, but still, it’s a good thing to keep in the forefront, and sometimes the situation
calls for sender name distinctions, like Nikki from email swipes on podcast updates
versus my regular Niki on typical newsletter emails. So takeaway number three, don’t
forget your sender name. Don’t forget in your long game email strategy, and try to
experiment with them whenever you can, just on your day to day.
Nikki Elbaz: Thanks for geeking out with me about that email story. If you enjoyed either
of these episodes, you’ll probably enjoy getting my emails. Plus, you’ll never m miss
another episode. Sign dot subscribe and yes, that link is in the
show notes.

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