EPISODE 158: WHY YOUR EMAIL MARKETING CAMPAIGNS AREN'T CONVERTING INTO SALES WITH JENN MAYERS

Jenn Mayers

Jenn Mayers is a conversion copywriter and email specialist who has helped her clients generate over $14.1 million in sales with her copywriting and marketing strategy. She has helped coaches and healers get known online, fill live events, masterminds, grow their email lists, and sell their products and services.

Jenn has built marketing teams from scratch, written email campaigns that have reached millions of readers, and helped multi-million dollar companies streamline their messaging and zero in on their email game.

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"We've been led to believe that what is valuable online is something that people can put into action and get a result right away.

When it comes to creating connection online, what's more valuable is getting someone to feel something. And you're going to do that through micro stories."

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Topics Discussed In This Episode:

  • The email marketing campaign mistakes that are hurting your sales
  • The importance of using micro-stories in your emails and when to use them
  • Jenn's sales launch email marketing campaigns must-do for a successful launch
  • How one client increased their sales after sending 24 emails during their launch

Resources Discussed In This Episode:

On her entrepreneurial journey and becoming a conversion copywriter.

Never in my wildest dreams would have thought I would end up as a writer. I wanted to be a writer, but I had all these people telling me "you shouldn't be a writer. You're not very good at grammar or you're not really good at it". It turns out I am anyway.

So the way I ended up being a copywriter was I decided to become a coach. I was a personal trainer for four or five years and long story short, I put myself in the hospital. And a friend of mine said, "I really think you should look into this coaching thing. You'd still be able to help people, but you can make your own hours. You don't have to work at five in the morning until 9:00 PM at night."

And I'm like, yeah, that sounds great. So I became a coach and that was a ton of fun, but I couldn't explain. It just felt like something was missing.

And yet the first month I was a coach, I got clients in the niche I chose. And then the next month I was like, well, I want to try this other niche. And so I got clients in that niche. And then the third month I was like, oh, that's not really the niche for me either. So I've changed my niche again and got clients again.

So while that's happening, this coach community I'm a part of, they're like, who is this 24 year old girl going, hey, I don't really like this niche, so I'll go good clients in this other niche month after month after month.

So a couple of them are going okay, what did you do to do that? I was like, I don't know, just saying this and they're saying yes, I don't really know. Is that not working for you? Say that.

Ultimately it came down to this evening where I was crying on my parents' kitchen floor. I really thought I had to leave everything. I thought I was just a complete failure because on the outside it looks really successful.

I was making good money, but like we all do in our entrepreneurial journey, we're usually putting money back into the business especially those first couple of months or a year. I couldn't pay my rent that month.

And I was just like, God, this is it. Everyone's going to find out. I'm just a giant fraud. And so my dad... at the time, again, I'm like 24 years old, college dropout. So my dad's like, "get up".

I'm like, "I can't get up. I'm a mess."

He's like, "okay, don't get up. That's fine. Is there anybody you can reach out to ask for support?"

"I guess. Sure."

And he's like, "No, seriously, let's figure this out."

And so I was like, oh, you know what, I have been kind of helping people with their words. I didn't even know what copy was. I didn't know people got paid for words. I didn't know any of that. But I just had this idea like, oh, well people have been asking me about emails and sales pages. So I'll just send out this message saying, hey, yo, would anybody like to pay me for that?

But I didn't even know it was an actual thing yet. So I reached out to the community after I got up from the floor and wiped my face.

All I said was, all right, anything you need in exchange for a donation. I didn't even have like a price point. I just really wanted to pay my bills that month overnight.

I had 20 clients. I woke up the next day with 20 clients, including my mentor who rocked my world, because he had this million dollar business. What did he honestly want with my help?

But he had been watching what I was writing and helping people with, so overnight, that's how I became a copywriter and ultimately I ended up getting trained in copywriting after that.

On becoming a coach and using Facebook Groups to find clients.

I do this thing where if I have a nudge in my heart that I'm meant to do something, I don't need to know the how.

The nudge to become a coach, I was like, okay, I'll be a coach, so I got coach training. I don't even remember the name of that company, I don't remember much from that training, actually. It wasn't that great.

But then I was officially a coach. Then I realized I have no idea how to get clients, I don't know how coaches get clients because apparently no one knows what a coach is.

So I ended up joining Christian Mickelsen's sessions that sell. So I joined that group and that was the community that he was in, his Facebook group for free sessions that sell. But I was in there every day, just helping people, because I didn't know what else to do.

Growing her agency and getting more clients.

Full transparency, I didn't know what I was doing for six months. I didn't know any other copywriters around me, I only knew coaches and healers and some online marketers, but they weren't copywriters.

And so I kept trying all these business models that honestly were not fit for copywriters, but I tried them on.

And every strategy I tried, it worked a little bit, but then I would either get burnt out or I would get burnt out or I get burnt out. So I was like, okay, that's not the one that works for this. That I learned what not works, what didn't work for a really long time.

So that's what I did. But I started with let me get a bunch of retainer clients, which I quickly learned that's actually not the scalable model, even though it seems like the right model for a copywriter. It's where we all start out. Honestly, there's only so much time in the day and so much energy that I can words I can write.

On showing up authentically online to win clients.

Honestly, I don't have like a secret system or funnel or pill that I've taken. It's not the blue pill and red pill - that was a Matrix reference, not a political one.

It really is just sharing my unique perspective and voice online. No one can say, oh, I'm just like Jenn, and so I'll be a success. No, if you try and be like me, well, one, you will end up burning out. You'll end up feeling really unaligned with your messaging and you'll attract people that you don't like working with.

But I know that even though I'm not always as consistent as I could be - which is like another great pillar of marketing - but I've found that even when I'm not consistent, as long as I'm showing up authentically online in my blog posts or when I show up on podcasts, which is one of my favorite things to do, or even on social media posts, as long as I'm sharing my unique perspective, almost every time I get at least one person going, "hey, can we talk more about what you've got going on?"

Let's switch to email marketing ROI. What are the reasons why people struggle with making sales from their email marketing campaigns?

The reason why people struggle with standing out online is one - trying to be like everyone else.

I can't tell you how many times I read an email and I'm like, I know they didn't write this, or I know that someone said, oh, you should do this.

Kudos for them for trying. I'm not saying like, oh, don't try now because you don't know exactly what you're doing. It's just that give yourself the chance to be yourself, to be vulnerable, to share your unique perspective. Don't say it the way your mentor says it.

Number two is actually having what I call your email entourage. So there there's something... most people start out as the aimless emailer, right? Like we know we need email, but I don't really know why or what to send out or how to say what I need to say.

We want to move them to what I call inbox celebrity. And one of the ways that we do this is with your email entourage.

So this is with your automations. You have to have at least a basic welcome sequence so that you can be building trust and connection with your new reader without you actually having to be present, right? And it builds a connection with your reader.

There's other automations of course. You can build out a whole funnel evergreen system if you want. And then of course there's templates, but not in the template, like download my $47 email templates and get a thousand sales today.

So I help my clients create like, "oh, these are the systems we use." If someone comes to you, if you get a question asked three times in a row or a type of email three times in a row, you need a standard email template of how to reply to that.

You need a standard email template of how your company, your voice, your brand welcomes new clients to product or program you want to those systems and templates.

Then of course the other aspect of the email is your workflow process. How do you go from idea for the email to actually setting it up and sending it out? What's your process? So that one day, maybe you're not even the one writing it because you've gotten the system in place. Perhaps you have a style strategy guide in place so that someone else can go, oh, this is how, this is how Jenn sounds. So I can sound like Jenn, write that email and send it out.

An example of copying someone's voice in your emails.

There is a very big example that probably a lot of people know her. She has a very, very popular [unclear] products and a very popular TV YouTube channel, and she has a very distinct, powerful, confident voice.

And I know that a lot of women and even men really want to emulate those qualities in their copy, but as a result, because they're not quite sure why they like it, they're not taking the time to self reflect of: what is it about it that resonates with me? And how would I sit in my own unique way?

They're actually just sounding like her, and in that way they become watered down. Because the truth is, there's no way they have lived her life experience. They don't. They have completely different stories.

So we don't want to take her voice and then go, oh, now I need a story just like hers. No, we want to hear your unique story. How would you tell that story? You can obviously use the same confident, empowering position to come from, but you have to add your unique stories to it so that you're not actually copying someone else.

That's the challenge there is. I want to sound more like her - How do I do that? And it really comes down to knowing your stories, owning your stories, if you will. I'm not a big fan of that phrase actually, but that is what it is.

I'm going to kind of take a tangent here. So there are two big mistakes that people fall for around their voice and it leads them to copy other people, and that is what we have been led to believe is valuable and what we have believed about ourselves up until now.

So we've been led to believe that what is valuable online is something that people can put into action and get a result right away. But when it comes to creating connection online, what's more valuable is getting someone to feel something - and you're going to do that through micro stories.

No one else has your story. No one else woke up the same way you woke up, tripped over the dog like you tripped over the dog. Spilled your coffee or made the best cup of coffee you've ever made finally mastered the French press. No one's going to be able to tell that story anyway. So that's mistake number one.

And the other one is what we've been led to believe about ourselves, and that is, I don't have anything to say, my life is too boring. No one want to hear. But the truth is when we tell those boring aspects of ourselves, we become more human and people start to feel like, oh, I can relate to that person. I'm just as mundane as she is in some way.

How often to use micro-stories in your email marketing.

I don't have a hard and fast rule. So depending on what you need, the person on the receiving end, to do a story might actually get in the way of that.

So for instance, let's say you talked to a potential client on the phone and you need to follow up with them, not a good time to insert a micro story, right? Get straight to the point. Don't waste their time.

When it comes to writing a sales email throughout the whole sales sequence, there is an opportunity to write a micro story.

When you look at the sales sequence as a whole, however, if everything is a micro story and now you're just telling stories, you're actually going to end up eliminating some of the types of readers. They want you to jump right in real quick. So you actually do need a peppering of more straight to the point emails, especially in a sales sequence.

Tips on sales email marketing sequences.

Tip number one, send more emails than you're comfortable with.

I am not the first copywriter to ever say that, and I will not be the last actually. You asked, what do you do to start to create your sales sequence? The first thing I do is I run an audit, even on my own sales sequences. I'll look at what did I do before? What worked, what didn't work. I'll look at all my open rates. I'll look at my click-through rates. I'll ask myself, why, why did this work? Why didn't this work?

If you do the research, the rest of the work becomes a lot easier. So that's actually my second big tip - is understand the environment, the ecosystem that you're working with.

I was working with this client and I was doing the audit and they sent four sales emails and they want us to know why they weren't getting as many sales as they wanted. So I ended up creating a map for them of 22 emails, and they're like, our list is going to hate us. This is terrible.

What ended up happening was they tripled their sales. They went from a 0.5% click-through rate, which is when someone clicks a link in your email to a 3.5 click-through rate. That's a huge jump, especially if you're struggling to get even beforehand when you're not selling something, trying to get people to click on your emails.

So the power of sending more emails actually says, hey, remember me? You don't have to ask that anymore. They remember you, you're now Nike, just do it. Why do we all know that? It's said all the time, everywhere, every sports game.

Same with McDonald's. Same with Coca-Cola. So you want to keep showing up. Those are my two big tips - research and email more than you're comfortable with.

Do you ever apologize to your list for sending more emails during a sales launch?

I've not ever apologized, however, I've seen it done really tactfully.

It's not my voice to apologize for trying to grow my business, but I've seen people do it and it worked really well and it feels aligned for them. I'm not a hard and fast kind of gal, I'm not a black and white kind of gal.

It works for certain people, and so in that way I would say, go for it all the way. For me personally, for my brand, I wouldn't do it.

When I first launched my first email program three or four years ago, I sent out an email before the sales sequence saying, I'm about to send you 14 emails for the next four days. You can either ignore them or study them, it's up to you.

So for me, I wasn't apologizing, I was letting them know what was coming and encouraging them to actually read them and study them because it was an email program. So it felt like, hey, this is a good idea, especially if you can't afford the program or maybe it's not the right fit.

What can we do to increase our click-through rate? Talk about what was done with your client's campaign.

One, we made the emails longer, it was filled with good stuff. Their emails, when I looked at them, they weren't outwardly apologizing for sending an email, but you could tell by what they were saying that they were trying to get in and get out real quick.

They didn't take the time to relax the nervous system - let's just sit down and have a conversation in this email because this is important, which we can do in an email. It felt like, oh gosh, okay, let me get this out. Okay, I'm sorry. So we lengthened their emails.

Second thing we did was when I do my research, before we go to create the launch map, what we're going to talk about in the emails, I'm looking for, what is the buying friction? What are the big reasons why someone might buy for this audience?

There are main objections to buying: money, time, community, will this actually work for me because I'm different, like all these kinds of things. But each audience is going to have subtle nuances.

So understanding how are they saying what are they saying, and then catering an email to each. If they have a specific one around money, there's almost always a money talk email in the sequences that I help map out.

Because as much as people say money isn't the real objection in my experience, sometimes money really is the objection. I've been in a situation, I was crying on my parent's kitchen floor on my knees, because money was a problem. I couldn't pay my bills. I couldn't go get groceries.

If someone had told me, oh, your problem isn't money, I would have started bawling my eyes out, thinking they didn't understand me. Money talk email is so important for those people who are really weighing a heavy decision and going, does this make sense for me and explaining how the guaranteed would help. That helps remove friction.

If there's a payment plan, helping them again, relax their nervous system so that if this is the right fit for them, we're able to step into it, even with a little bit of fear.

Tips on improving our email open and read rate.

Micro stories is so important mainly because no one can copy your perspective and your experience. Absolutely no one. So when you start to share your stories, even if they're one or two sentences to open email, it's intriguing, it's exciting, and we want to read more along that thread. So that would be tip number one.

Tip number two, along that thread would be fall in love with learning how to craft a story. For example, I took an English class in college thinking I wanted to be an English major, and the English professor said, it's probably best that you don't pursue this.

So I was told that I wasn't going to be a good storyteller, even though I knew I had stories in me, I had things I wanted to share for a while. So I was like, I'll figure this out on my own. I want to do this.

So what I did was all the books that I like to read - fiction, specifically, fiction books - I just read the first line. The first line of a book carries a lot of weight. If I'm getting a book that's 300 pages, that first line has to make me want to read the next sentence, and then the next sentence, the next sentence, but it also has to make sure I don't put the book down.

So I would read first sentences of books and ask myself, especially ones I liked first. What is it about this first line that I really attracted to? Why does it make me want to know more?

And I discovered it was because it made me ask more questions. So I used like the easiest line I can think of that. I always share with my clients is - there she was.

Who was? Why? Where? What was she doing? There's more questions.

So do remember to fall in love with telling stories because that really is what keeps people captivated.

Tip number three is write as if you're your most confident self, even if you're feeling vulnerable, even if you're talking about your fear, even if you're talking about a loss or a "failure". It's as if you're confident about that failure, right? It's as if you're confident about being vulnerable, you're going to end up surprising yourself at how persuasive you naturally are, simply because you're coming from a place of owning your story.

Thanks For Listening, My Friend!

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