Episode 312

Part 2: Is Email Marketing Dead? with Mark Fisher

In this episode, Mark Fisher joins me again to talk about the question “Is Email Marketing Dead?”

[00:00:00] Hello, my friends on this episode, I am speaking with Mark Fisher, and this is part two of our podcast series on email marketing. So you haven’t listened to part one, go take a listen. And that way we, in that one, we cover the importance of email marketing, all the foundational principles you should follow for email marketing and how to get your list.

Up and running in this episode, we continue with that thread and we talk all about how to keep your email marketing machine running longterm to help it, uh, to use it, to help grow your gym. So if you really want to level up your ability to do email marketing, this is a great episode for you. Get your pen and paper, paper ready.

If you still write with pen and paper and let’s dive in.

Welcome to the Business for Unicorns podcast, where we help gym owners unleash the full potential of their business. I’m your host, Michael Keeler. Join me each week for actionable advice, expert insights, and the [00:01:00] inside scoop on what it really takes to level up your gym. Get ready to unlock your potential.

And become a real unicorn in the fitness industry. Let’s begin

one more thing before we jump into today’s episode for the first time ever We at business unicorns have teamed up with our friends at perform better to create something called the gym owner master class And during this live workshop mark and pete are going to be giving gym owners an inside sneak peek At over 30 years combined experience running kresi sports performance and mark fisher fitness a real Peek behind the curtain, but not only that mark and Pete will be joined by Ben, who you all know from this podcast, Phillip is a unicorns coach and our COO.

And he’ll, they’ll be sharing what’s working right now with gym owners that we work with from all over the world and how we are helping them to create more impact, more income and more freedom, which is what we know you all want. This workshop is going to sell out quickly. There’s a very limited [00:02:00] capacity and we think you should get your tickets soon because we are just announcing it now.

And early bird. And March 22nd, the most important thing I’ll say here is this is crazy cheap. It’s only 149 for this, this workshop. You’ll never see anything this valuable, this cheap again. And so click the link below in the show notes to see if you can make it. If you can, it’ll be so worth your time. If you do it before March 22nd, you’ll save big bucks.

So, um, that way I hope that our team will see you there and let’s go on with the podcast. Hello, fitness business nerds. What’s up? Welcome to another episode of the business unicorns podcast. I’m back with Mr. Fisher. Hello, sir. Hello. We’re doing part two of our email marketing, uh, to help you all level up your email marketing game.

So many of you are sitting on lots of emails, but you’re not making them work for you or help you grow your business. And we’re here to change that today. For sure. Let’s dive in where we left off. And dear listeners, if you didn’t listen to part one of this, Go listen to that. Cause we cover some basics of [00:03:00] email marketing, how to get started.

But in this podcast, we’re going to jump into assuming you already have a list of people who know you exist, and we’re going to talk about how to regularly touch base with that list. So when you think about ongoing forever email marketing Fisher, what are some of the kind of key touch points for keeping this engine running?

Wow. The main thing is. Just being consistent is the most important thing that a lot of people miss. And we’ll give you some very specific strategies to make that doable because I think that’s where the rubber meets the road is a lot of people just, they’re not sure how to write consistently. They’re not sure what to write about and we’ll cover all of that.

But I think the big idea here is the main thing to do if you’re not doing it is. Email your database. And thankfully, after our last episode, you’ve gotten really clear on that. It’s really good, comprehensive version of all the people that already know you and can trust you. And then commit to a frequency that you can do consistently in a vacuum.

We strongly prefer at least once per week. I think every other week [00:04:00] can be okay. If that’s all you can do logistically based on bandwidth. I know that’s an issue, but understand. Every time you have the opportunity to reach out to people, you’re only reminding them you exist, but you’re also, and we’ll give you some details on how to do this, creating some soft sell opportunity to make it crystal clear to your audience if they want more help and they want to work with you in a more substantial way.

Do this thing and then they can start to move down that path. So if you’re only emailing twice per month, first 12 times per month, I think it stands to reason that you’re not going to do a successful over the course of a one to three year period. The last thing I’ll share briefly about. I think frequency is if every other week or really once a week, I do think as your bare minimum, I think you can handle once per week, your other, on the other end, I don’t think in most cases for an in person brick and mortar gym, you’re usually going to need or want to do more than three, maybe four.

I’ll say this, listen, if you are really awesome at email marketing and you love it. And you’re a content machine and it’s a real superpower of yours. [00:05:00] Listen, if, if the numbers are there and you’re not getting blasted by unsubscribes and you’re able to keep your list robust, it could make sense. But it is true.

Every time you send out an email, even if it, the email is good and welcome to your audience loves it, you’re going to get some. Unsubscribes. So again, to be clear, we’re going to reiterate. It’s okay to get unsubscribes. That is just the cost of doing business. You don’t want people on your list that don’t want to be there, but in practice, unless you want your list to shrink over time, if you are hypothetically, let’s say you get five unsubscribes every time, if you start losing 35 emails per week.

If you’re losing, let’s say 150 emails per month, then you’re going to have to keep refilling those. And again, that might make sense for you, but I would just keep a real careful eye on your unsubscribe rates if you are emailing quite that often. I think it works great in the online digital marketing world.

And I think it’s one of the places where people try to pull from what works with online marketing and use it for brick and mortar. And it doesn’t always translate [00:06:00] unless you’re uniquely gifted at email marketing. And you know who you are if you are. You’re not listening to this product because you’re like, I could do this podcast.

Totally. Yeah. So I think tip one for all of you listeners is really to be consistent. If there’s nothing else you take away from this episode is the consistency with which you show up really makes a difference to the kind of engagement you get. You’re trying to build a habit with your readers. They need to know when to expect you so they can fit you into their life.

And so I think the consistency is huge and as a good benchmark to get started is just email your whole list once a week. Once every other week is a good place to start if you have to, but that’s our first kind of recommendation here. Let’s talk about the content parks. I think where a lot of folks get stuck here is they, my email is going out tomorrow at 8am and I sat down right now to decide what am I going to put in that email and I have no idea.

So how do you, how do we recommend people get ahead of the content and organize their thoughts more clearly here? I think the best way to start creating content is to think about [00:07:00] your prospect, your avatar, And identify what are the problems that they have in the words that they would articulate those problems in their own head.

And what are the questions that they’re asking? In the words that they would ask them, right? So this is sometimes called the Robert Collier effect. You want to enter the conversation already going on your prospect’s minds. So I really want to highlight this because I think I missed the opportunity for a lot of people in the gym space is you love gym stuff.

And you like to say gym words. And listen, there’s a balance to be struck here because I’m certainly I don’t want you to be inauthentic. But if your clients are referring to things like weight loss and toning, and you only want to talk about single leg explosive performance, that’s going to potentially be like a missed opportunity there.

Uh, and again, I’m not saying you should give away who you are or not be. The full version of yourself. I am saying you really need to consider the words the clients are using, right? But I think even beyond the specific of the verbiage, which does matter, the actual content itself is based on where do [00:08:00] they need solutions.

And I think that’s another thing to understand. You’re starting with a problem and then you’re going to be offering a solution and it wants to be simple because here’s another thing too to help you out. You get overwhelmed. Email marketing, you’re looking for 300 or 500 words. You’re not trying to write the great American novel.

You’re not trying to write like Hemingway. If we have time, maybe we can talk a little bit about writing techniques. I do think you have to communicate well. And certainly that does become a barrier for some of you. Cause I think another thing that we can’t help with you via podcast is we do need to map a little bit on your skillset and.

With love, some of you are just breathtakingly terrible writers. You’re just horrible writing, and that means you’re not going to be able to go as hard. Some of you are secret nerds, and you like to write in your journal, and you wrote science fiction stories when you were lonely in high school by yourself, when you really loved writing class.

So for you nerds, this could be like a really fun opportunity to intersect that alt love with this. But regardless of how it’s written, again, we should dig into more. That’s your thing. And another thing, another pro tip for you, [00:09:00] curate a list of this. So you want to curate a list of the problems and the questions.

And if you want to top off that list, you can actually, and I do this regularly for those who subscribe to business unicorns or Mark Fisher fitness. You can just ask, you just literally ask your list. Like what are some problems you’re running into? What are some questions you have about fitness? I’m looking for ideas of.

Valuable content to share for you. Some things I can do to hopefully get you some solution in advance, right? Because that’s part of the game of content marketing is ideally you’re helping people already take some steps and see some results even before they work with you, which is going to make them very credible and more likely to give you money.

And then the next step. Yeah, 100%. I plus one to all of that. I’ll say one more tip here, which is a lot of unicorn study members that I talked to on a regular basis, they get real kind of writer’s block when they’re looking at a blank page. They really, when they open up a blank document or a blank email, and they got to start from scratch, that’s really tough.

But the minute they have something that they’re working off of or responding to, they can really sprint. So my, my maybe pro tip here is [00:10:00] use, let the robots help you. Go into chat GPT or any of the other proliferation of AI piece of software, feed them a detailed description of who your avatar is and ask them to come up with 50 to a hundred questions or pain points or email lists.

They can, the first draft of the emails for you, you can spend time making it your own, may put it in your language, but for many of you, it’ll help you get over that fear of the blank page. And you’ll be able to respond to something that the robots have written for you and learn to make it your own. But to Mark’s point, we’re not looking, we’re not writing a book here.

here. Each post is just a couple hundred words, which is not nothing, but it also can be short and pithy and should represent like a single idea. So let the robots help you with the first draft and for many of you, it’ll help you over that hump. Yeah. A hundred percent chat. I’ll also say this life is way too short for.

Chat GPT 3. 5, 20 bucks a month. Just get it. Just get it. It’s infinitely better. Just spend the 20 bucks per month. Right. Make Sam ultimate richer. Give it to [00:11:00] Microsoft. Not sponsored. Yeah, it’s not sponsored. No, we were actually, we’re not getting any affiliate cut for this. There’s no cookies on your computer.

Any of that stuff, but truly that will help so much. Oh, and I was going to say another thing that I use another, like a little micro pro tip for my more advanced listeners. One specific thing I will use it for is I will, when I find studies that are interesting, I I will tell chat GPT, please summarize this study for me in under 150 words at a second grade reading level.

And then from there I can markify it a little bit, but it’s annoying and time consuming to look through the study and read it. Now you do have to give it a glance because chat GPT does hallucinate. So sometimes it’ll say crazy things. It’s like ice cream helps you lose fat. You’re like, that’s not what it says.

Chat GPT idiot. So you do need to, you know, vet it, but ultimately it is like having an incredible, awesome intern and. Over time, this is the other time management argument for chat GPT is you’re going to save, even if you’re only saving five minutes, 10 minutes every time you sit down to write. Well, that’ll really compound if you’re writing even [00:12:00] one email per week for a year or five.

Yeah. Makes a big difference. That brings us to the next step in this process, right? So once you’ve decided on the frequency of when you’re sending your emails, you’ve created a giant list of all the problems you can solve for your avatar and topic ideas, then what’s next for sure. So two, two things I’ll put on your radar.

The first is that you’ll want some kind of obvious next step in every single email. So for most emails, if they are content forward and you’re just giving value and solving a solution of some kind, you then want some sort of PS. You want some kind of PS. That lets them know. And whenever you’re ready to take the next step or whatever, right?

You can figure out how your frame is. I’m not sure there’s any magical combination of words there, but you want to make clear in the PS, which by the way, is going to be the most red part of an email that is skimmed. Whenever you’re ready to take the next step, if you’re interested to come in for Mark Fisher fitness, do this.

So it’s some clear call to action. It’s usually to [00:13:00] be some kind of low bear offer for a lot of people listening. That’s either going to be a free class. It’s maybe going to be a sales page. If you have some very affordable low bear offer. my favorite these days for a lot of you is writing to some kind of sales conversation to either sell them into.

Either a low barrier offer or like a mid ticket or something, but whatever you decide that is for your business, remember, you have to make it clear to people that don’t make them then go to your website and look on the website, even though they could do that, make it friction free. So if the email really hits and really is valuable for them, you want to make it easy on them, just click one button and go do the next thing and express interest in taking the next step to work with you.

So that’s certainly one piece. And remember, that’s going to be an. Every email with the exception of I think about one out of every 10 email, you can do a direct sales email where it’s really focused on getting them to take action and work with you. The other thing I want to briefly touch on quickly is subject lines, right?

So Dean Jackson, who to my mind is one of the smartest email markers in history, always says that subject lines should be like a magic spell [00:14:00] that has one job and that just to open me. Open me, read this email and it’s interesting because there’s two different approaches to this. And I’ll let you like noodle on this and hopefully we’re not getting too much into marketing nerdery, but classically we would say, and for the most part, I would say in email subject line to create some kind of curiosity that creates an itch to be open is valuable, right?

You want some kind of hook. In the subject line that you’re like, Oh, I want to open that up. And sometimes you’re doing that through creating mystery and curiosity. Now you don’t want to go too far. If you are doing things that are attempting to create curiosity or outrage or something, and they open up the email and then it doesn’t have anything to do with what the subject line was again, that’s poor form, pull a full on pizza, as we say in the movie hook.

So you wouldn’t want to do that. That wouldn’t be good. And I’ll just give you a counterpoint to that. Dean Jackson, I actually is opposite that Dean Jackson actually says you should. have subject lines that are like a label, like a Dewey decimal label system where it’s so obvious what the thing is that’s going to be in the email or maybe if [00:15:00] there’s some sort of soft invite in there.

And I share both with you because I think they’re interesting perspective in a vacuum for most of you. I think you didn’t create curiosity again. The game is getting it opened, but I do think that’s an interesting, different perspective. I’ve heard recently that I’m going on myself. Great. So always have a call to action.

Think about your strategy for your subject lines, because if they’re not going to open them, then nothing else matters. So great start. So I know we only have a minute or two before we have to jump off here. Let’s wrap it up by talking a little bit about. So we hammered home how important consistency is.

And I’ll just say this, that all too often when people are getting started, their email marketing, I really encourage them to sit down and pick like an hour or two to create at least a handful of content upfront. Your first four to six. Emails up front so you can get ahead. So I think one of the things that really stymies creativity and consistency is that feeling of I’m behind it’s due tomorrow.

Oh crap. What am I going to write about? Even if you have a list. So I think [00:16:00] spending an upfront investment of a few hours to get a few posts. Up and ready to go means that you’ll always be, hopefully a few weeks ahead. You’ll never get pulled down by shame and stress and just not do it. And so then once you’ve done it, once you’ve gotten ahead by a few weeks, then I think for most of you spending like 30 to 60 minutes a week is probably enough to keep the engine running.

What would you add to that for sure? Not much, honestly. I personally try to stay at least four to eight weeks ahead. Most of you will not have this problem. I actually have the opposite problem sometimes where I get too far ahead and then I’m like, oh shit, things change now. I have to change it. And I would say just briefly, one of the constraints you’re gonna have with this is like anything you’re doing in the gym, Which is the foundational skill set of how are you managing your time?

So a gentle pitch here is you can now access, as you might know, Time Ninja, which is our time management course for gym owners. And we’ll make sure Rosemary puts the link in the show note. I think it will well be worth your investment if this [00:17:00] is something you really struggle with. The bigger issue might just be how you’re managing time in general.

But to Kira’s point, this is a thing you just have to get in the calendar and do on the record basis. And it’s a good best practice to try to give yourself some breathing room to sprint up to get some momentum in the first place, and then just keep the ball in the air and have some margin for error if life happens.

That’s it, my friends. We’re going to leave it there. I think we’ll go take a look in the show notes if you want to learn more about getting access to our Time Ninja course. I also mentioned in the episode, we have the GYM on Report Card, which is a free tool, also down in the show notes. So go grab those.

Hopefully these two back to back episodes have given you some really great ideas for how to make your email marketing work for growing your gym. So go do all those things and let us know how it goes. Thanks for a great conversation, Fisher. I’ll see you on the next one. Bye.