Episode 13 – Email Marketing with Connie Regan Green

Connie dropped additional nuggets of sales and marketing goodness in the EXTENDED Interview. Be sure to click here to access all of our great extended interviews, transcripts and more within our Insider's Club.

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Connie is an online marketing strategist, bestselling author, speaker and marketing mentor living in Southern California. For twenty years, she worked as a teacher, teaching Kindergarten through high school, as well as working in real estate as a broker and residential appraiser. In 2006, after surviving cancer multiple times, as well as a serious work injury, Connie decided to leave that life behind. She went online to build a business she could do from home or from wherever there was an internet connection.

Podcast Transcription

Brian Basilico: All right folks, I am extremely pumped to have today's guest, Connie Regan Green, and she is an expert in a lot of the things that we do in internet marketing. The thing that I know her most for is her Huge Profits Tiny List which is kind of her moniker. So, Connie, welcome and can you tell us a little bit about yourself, and how you got into internet marketing, and that kind of stuff?

Connie Regan Green: Well, thanks for having me, Brian. I'm excited to be here and connect with you, and your people further.

Yes, I am a former classroom teacher and while I was teaching which was a 20-year period, I joked that in my spare time – it's funny because teachers don't have spare time – I also worked in real estate so I worked as a broker and I'm still a broker, I'm still a teacher actually and I decided in 2005 I wanted to leave that life behind, find out what new adventures were out there, and by the beginning of 2006 I had started my internet marketing business.

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Brian: Cool. When you first started your business, what kind of things were you doing? How did you get started?
Connie: Well, in the beginning, article marketing was still very, very big. So, I was writing a lot of articles. Actually, I had about a dozen blogs because I thought that that made sense to try to have your finger in all of the pies, and I learn pretty quickly that was not a good strategy but nonetheless I did explore that and I learned quite a bit through doing that.
Brian: Yes. I listened to your podcast a lot and they're great podcasts by the way, and you have so many great tips and tricks that you give, is make sure that every product that you have is on its own website and those kinds of things, but how did you get into the whole email marketing side of things with your Huge Profits Tiny List? I mean, how did that all come about?
Connie: Well, I've always believed in working with mentors and so my mentor at that time convinced me that it would be a good idea for me to learn how to market with email, that no matter what people would say over the years, that email would always be the very best way for us to connect with people and that ended up to be very, very true, and I was so glad then that I had taken his advice and move forward in that way.
Brian: So, what kind of advice did he give you when you're first starting out?
Connie: Not to give up because it's a business where usually you don't have success overnight and people tend to give up because they feel like success should be coming more quickly and also to create assets, which means products create things that you own and control so not to be dependent upon affiliate marketing or any other single form of revenue, that wasn't going to be a good idea in the long term.
Brian: How did you get started building your list? What kind of things did you do?
Connie: Well, back then it was a little bit different. Teleseminars were just getting started and so I would attend every teleseminar I possibly could. Sometimes that was three, four, five during a day. At the beginning, they always let you introduce yourself so you would say your name and where you are from, and your website. The site that I was giving out back then went to one of my opt-in pages and people could go there, I made it easy to remember and easy to spell, that kind of thing. People could go there and then they could decide if I was interesting enough to join my list or not. That really did work. It was time consuming to do it that way but it really was very effective.
Brian: Yes, because you're reaching out to a whole bunch of people that are not in your media tribe, so to speak or your media reach. That's one of the challenges I think a lot of people have is how did they grow their reach beyond the people that they already know, like and trust or know, like and trust them.
Connie: Right, and I think that comes in over time because finally, I learned that by attending the live events, that was going to give me greater bang for the buck so to speak because even though I had to travel somewhere, I might connect with a hundred people or so over the weekend specially if it there were a thousand people there, that I would connect with quite a few people and those were very good connections with me. Many of those people are still in business with to this day.
Brian: That's awesome. Well, that's how we met. We met at NAMS, and I've talked about NAMS numerous times in a lot of my podcast which is one of my favorites at this point. So, you wrote, is it a book? It's Huge Profits Tiny List? Is that correct?
Connie: That's my first book.
Brian: When you're writing that book, can you explain some of the principles that you talk about in that book? And how do you make huge profits with a tiny list?
Connie: Well, the idea is releasable relationship. So the subtitle of that book is, “50 ways to increase your bottom line” by really reaching out to people, building those relationships and that's what I still do so what I was teaching back then is still very, very effective. The idea is to let people know who you are, what you have to offer, get your name out there any way you possibly can and I then go into detail. I talk about teleseminars and how I got started with that. I talk about blogging and article marketing, all of the things that are the tried-and-true methods that still work today.
Brian: That's amazing. One of the other things that I've learned from your podcast is how many website URLs do you have?
Connie: As of today, let me see, 562.
Brian: That's crazy amazing.
Connie: [Inaudible].
Brian: Yes, some are coming, some are going and I know that you have people help you manage that, but is that kind of a way that you use email marketing? Are they niched out to different groups, get different emails based on the list that they're on? How does that work?
Connie: Well, there are just so many ways and actually, last night I was looking through some of the domains to see what I might not renew. There was one that I thought, “Geez, I think I put something there. I'm not sure.” And when I went over to it, I forgot a strategy I used to do. I used to record a teleseminar live with people, so it's a free call and then I use the Instant Teleseminar service so with that they create a really professionally looking page for you, you just fill in the blanks. I would purchase a domain and then forward it to the link for the replay for that call, so people would go to that page, that call is there, they can listen through their computer or they can download it as an MP3 and you have two or three links on there to things that you're talking about during the call that you can then promote. I forgot that I was doing that because I haven't done that now for a couple of years but it's still very effective.
Brian: That's awesome. With 500 URLs, I can imagine you can't name every single one of them, could you?
Connie: No, but I usually can remember if it's mine or not. If somebody says something, I say, “No, no, I think I own that already.”
Brian: That's awesome.
So, Connie I know you're big in all kinds of online marketing, and you do a lot with products, and you do a lot with teleseminars, and you do your own summits. Right? You have classes where people get together. How do you suggest that people go about growing their list? What are some of your best practices?
Connie: Well, there are different ways. You really want to connect with people that can be your affiliates. So creating a simple product, as something that's $20 or even a less and then offering it for sale through an affiliate link can be a way for people to really know who you are so you get their attention because you have a product, you give them a copy of the product without any obligation or anything and then if they want to promote it then you can give them any percentage you want to. I recommend a 75%, sometimes even 90%. That way, they're motivated to mail for you because that's nice little chunk of change for them but then also, you're building your list by doing that. I think another good thing about this is that it forces you to really get it together and create something that's going to be valuable for other people in your niche, so I love that as a method to list-build.
Brian: That's awesome. So you're creating – is it a print product? Is it an audio product? It's obviously an informational product. What kind of products are you doing?
Connie: Well, it can be anything. I mean, I think the best way to create a product is to do a webinar. So you do a one-hour webinar where you teach that topic and that becomes your product. You could have it transcribed if you wanted to, you can strip out the MP3 – I always do that so people could listen to it or watch it, either one or both – but I like to do it that way or you can do the tried-and-true method of writing things.
Brian: So you're giving them…
Connie: It's okay as a PDF, yes.
Brian: Yes. Okay. So you're creating audio, video, PDFs, those kinds of things and you're putting them out there and then each one of those has an independent URL. Is that how that works?
Connie: Well, yes. Anytime that you have a new idea, new product, it needs to go on its own domain. I just was going through this with one of my students who for some reason was testing something out by adding it to her regular site and next thing you know it never gets moved and then it's a big mess so you don't want to have a big mess. You want to make sure that everything has its own domains. Good for searches and optimization as well.
Brian: Good point.
So, what are some of your mailing list best practices. I mean, a lot of times people just have one email list and they just keep throwing everybody in there. Do you break them into segments? Do you mail them at different times? How do you look at managing all those people?
Connie: I don't like to segment because what you're saying when you segment is that certain people are only interested in certain things. Where that could be true, I think that the very best way to do it is to email people and let them soft-select what they want to be a part of or what they don't want to be a part of because all us change overtime and I don't want to be excluded from something that somebody may be offering that I may now be interested in. So I think it's just another way of thinking of it but that works very well for me.
Brian: That's great. Not every program out there has the ability to let people subscribe or unsubscribe from certain list. Is there certain email programs that you like and recommend that allow people to do that?
Connie: I use both Aweber and 1ShoppingCart, I still do to this day and both of those allow you to segment anyway that you choose to.
Brian: Got you. So in using Aweber, you're bringing everybody into one pool. You're not breaking them into separate list and you're letting them pick and choose what it is they want to get.
So, when you start people to get interested in your email, how often do you email to them? Are they accessible once a day, once a week? What's your best practices there?
Connie: I email seven to 10 times a week every week and I have more than five years now. If it's too many emails that's why we have something called the “delete” key. So I tell people they can delete something if it's too much for them. But typically, people that are interested in what you're doing, they really are interested in what you're doing. They want to know and if they're busy, they just put it the folder and they delete it. So I think that it really does work very, very well and the way you do it on both Aweber and 1ShoppingCart, you probably know, is that you can have as many list as you want. So I have about 200 different lists. They are segmented but then when I do a mailing, then I'm selecting all of them. The only that I don't include is people that are my affiliates. I don't send them everything.
Brian: Makes good sense. So yes, you're broadcasting. You still have them segmented, but you're broadcasting to everybody. Now, when you do these broadcast, do you have high unsubscribes when people first get on? Or are they pretty much just saying, “Hey, this is great stuff, let's keep going.”
Connie: Yes, every time you mail you're going to have people that unsubscribe so every time I mail, I have one or two people that unsubscribe. That's fine, that's just how it works.
Brian: Yes, chances are, if they're unsubscribing, they're not going to buy anything anyways, they're not interested in your product anymore. Like you say, things change, people evolve and so does business. So, do you do autoresponders for each one of your products? Is that something that something that you setup or how does that work?
Connie: Yes, it's nice to do that and to do it before selling the product if possible. You can always add it later on. But when you have a good sequence of emails that people receive starting when they bought something from you, then that will really ensure that they consume what they have purchased because that's important. We don't want people to buy things and then never take a look at it again. Instead you want to encourage them to go through it and you can do that in the autoresponder sequence. Also, it gives you an opportunity to tell them about other things that you have, to tell them about other people that you want to recommend. I use it as a reason to show them that I have two blogs, two podcast, a YouTube channel, quite a few books, like 20 books or more at this point.
Brian: Wow.
Connie: So it really works well to educate them as to who you are and what you're doing.
Brian: So when people purchase products, do you ever go back and touch them and say, “What do you think?” Do you get feedback from them? Do they engage with you from that point?
Connie: No, they took me if they choose to come and join me in a product or something like that. But I think with social media, we're all pretty accessible. People can contact us. I have two assistants that help me with social media and they always let me know if somebody is trying to reach me. I think they're reaching me by messaging me there or they're not, but I always get that and within 24 hours, I've reach back to them so you can do it that way and I don't think you really need to ask your list what they think because then, they feel obligated to think of something that they think. I think it's too much of an obligation because people will write you. People know with me, they can hit reply and I get those emails. That comes directly to me. I love to connect with them.
Brian: That's awesome. So when you send out these broadcast emails, people are responding directly back to you when they hit reply?
Brian: What I love about the way that you're doing things is – and I'm in the same boat as you, my book is It's Not About You, It's About Bacon but the subtitle is Relationship Marketing in a Social Media World, and the thing that I love about what you're doing is you really are living the relationship side of things as supposed to just marketing, marketing, marketing. I love that.
Connie: Thanks. Yes, I think it just make sense and I think being online, we really have that benefit of being very social without being very social. So in my day to day life, I'm not connecting with very many people at all but online, then people can reach out to me and we get to know each other and it's fabulous.
Brian: Yes, it is. So you have a system that will help people along the way with better marketing online? Can you tell us a little bit about that?
Connie: Well, I believe that affiliate marketing is really the way for everybody to get started with an online business because in the beginning you don't have your own products. So as a result I've gone on to went quite a few contest in a big, big way. So I have a training that teaches people about that process of becoming an affiliate, choosing who to be an affiliate for and then going for those contest with those big prizes. It's very, very up to date and helpful. You can do it if you're at the beginning or if you've been online 10 years – it doesn't matter and I conclude my autoresponder sequences right in there, the actual emails that I sent with particular specific promotions. So it's very, very helpful. I get great feedback on it regularly.
Brian: That's fabulous. I've seen the pictures of you with your new TV and stereo system and all that stuff. I mean, that's encouraging. A lot of people don't realize you can actually win prizes through affiliate marketing which I think is so cool.
Connie: Right. So for the holiday season typically I'm using gift cards from Amazon that I've won overtime and I have a credit card on file with Amazon but I've never used it in all these years because I have so much affiliate gift cards there, so I love that part.
Brian: That's outstanding. So Connie, what is the best way for people to get a hold of you?
Connie: The very best way is to go over to Hugeprofitstinylist.com. In that way they can see what I'm blogging about, and what I have to offer there. Also, on social media, Twitter is a good one. I'm @Conniegreen on Twitter.
Brian: Awesome. Well, thanks so much for joining us. This has been fabulous stuff, Connie. I really appreciate it and I'm sure my audience will too.
Connie: Thank you.
Brian: Wow! I hope you enjoyed that as much as I did. I learned a lot of things from Connie. She's got some great stuff and some great tips, and I hope you join us next because we're going to dig a little deeper inside the world of email marketing with autoresponders. Till then. Rock on.

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