Customer Journey and Email Marketing


The right message at the right time to the right customer.

That’s how email marketing has been positioned for YEARS.

Somehow, magically show up in the inbox RIGHT when your customer needs another reminder you’re there to help with their first purchase, next purchase, or renewal.

But how and when and (most importantly) WHY?

Joi Brooks, host of Email and Coffee, and 20+ year veteran in the email marketing industry, interviewed myself, Emily McGuire, Founder & Chief Email Marketer here at Flourish & Grit, and Ada Barlatt, Founder and Chief Analytics Officer of Operations Ally.

In this 14 part series (don’t worry the videos are between 3 and 7 minutes each), we talk through everything you need to know to start targeting customers at their specific point in their customer journey with email marketing.

Soon enough, you’ll have the details ready to tackle the challenge of scooping up your customers before they go elsewhere.

Table of Contents

Part 1: Why Customer Journey in Email Marketing

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00:00:08.160 – Joi Brooks
A few statistics about what we’re talking about, that’s the consumer or customer journey. For people who come from the Show-Me state, here are some numbers.

00:00:20.560 – Joi Brooks
According to HubSpot, a 2020 report, 20 percent of marketers are automating email marketing campaigns and 68 percent use Martech automation in some way.

00:00:32.970 – Joi Brooks
According to Liana Technologies in a 2017 report, 55 percent of companies admit their lack of expertise, and 48 percent their lack of resources.

00:00:44.680 – Joi Brooks
And 2018 report from Kinetic Digital Marketing, 25 percent said they don’t really know what marketing automation is. And a lot of social media posting is automated, 83 percent according to a 2019 Social Media Today report.

00:01:01.330 – Joi Brooks
Email marketing around 75 percent in that report. And on the consumer end, Neil Patel cites that 74 percent of consumers expect a welcome campaign when they subscribe to a brand newsletter.

Part 2: What is a Customer Journey in Email Marketing?

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00:00:06.210 – Joi Brooks
So what is a consumer journey? A customer journey, a drip, [inaudible 00:00:13], a trigger? What are these things? Ada, what are your thoughts?

00:00:17.550 – Ada Barlatt
I feel like there are lots of different things and they really depend specifically on what your needs are in your business but if I were to characterize it at a high level, this is an experience that you want your subscribers to go through to achieve some sort of goal.

00:00:37.140 – Ada Barlatt
That goal may be to learn about your business, that goal may be to promote a particular product or service that you’re selling, but it’s an experience that you’ve crafted before someone has subscribed and by taking that action of subscribing, this person has opened the door to walk through this experience that you crafted for them.

00:00:55.980 – Ada Barlatt
I think we’ll talk about monitoring and metrics, which I love to do a little bit later, but there’s all that information that you can gather to help you understand how you’re doing. [crosstalk 00:01:05]

00:01:05.880 – Joi Brooks
What I like what you said was it’s about the customer.

00:01:10.000 – Ada Barlatt
Yes. It is a 100 percent. Well, obviously, like any organization that’s crafting these, you have an intention when you set one of these up, but really being very focused on the experience that you want your new subscriber to have by entering this journey, or starting this organization, or triggering this automation is really, in my view, one of the most important part.

00:01:37.990 – Joi Brooks
Emily, what are your thoughts?

00:01:40.030 – Emily McGuire
Very similar to what Ada said. To me, it’s the entire relationship. That’s how I view marketing coming at it from a place of building relationships and how would you talk to people based on where they are with their relationship with them.

00:01:58.480 – Emily McGuire
And so the customer journey starts with brand awareness and then how do you get them engaged with you, which in our world is email. Like it’s the highest ROI marketing channel.

00:02:12.870 – Emily McGuire
So how are people getting on your list? How are you nurturing that relationship once they get on your list and whatever goal you have for them, how are you following up with them every step of the way to keep nurturing and nudging them down that journey or like some people call their sales cycle.

00:02:34.150 – Emily McGuire
So how do they become a customer? How do you get them to that point? Once they become a customer, how are you onboarding them? Because that’s a really critical time in the customer journey is they’ve just said yes to you.

00:02:50.170 – Emily McGuire
And now how are you nurturing that relationship? And then once maybe they’re done with a project they have with you or some other potential off-boarding phase, how are you guiding them through that, too? And then how are you engaging inactive contacts or clients?

00:03:14.200 – Emily McGuire
So it’s that whole from they don’t know about you to they know you really well and maybe they aren’t so into you anymore. Or that relationship is going to part ways, so how do you keep it clean and tidy?

00:03:33.520 – Joi Brooks
What I like what all of you said here is that you’ve grouped all the different types that we hear in marketing, all the different types of journeys; the win back, the cart abandonment, the browser abandonment, the welcome, the sunset, the purchase, the lead nurture, the birthday, all of them, and you’ve grouped them all into a journey.

00:03:58.590 – Joi Brooks
So it’s a relationship that you have with your customer. There are different phases during that relationship. You’ve got a hello, you’ve got it’s a birthday, congratulations, you’ve got a purchase, you’ve got I don’t know you, I’m learning about you.

00:04:16.110 – Joi Brooks
All the different businesses have different needs and you’ve taken the journey itself and you’ve basically used it as an envelope for all of those different relationships.

00:04:26.760 – Joi Brooks
And so therefore, there’s many different types of journeys that a company can have depending upon their business and also the point and relationship that they’re at, the status of that relationship.

00:04:42.120 – Emily McGuire
Right. And what I talk to people about this all the time because people mention, like personalization being a big deal. And I think when people think about personalization, they think about content and an intent of interest in a particular product category or whatever, but what people aren’t doing that I think makes the biggest impact with personalization is customer journey. Where are they in their relationship with you? And how are you personalizing your content for that point in their journey?

00:05:16.980 – Emily McGuire
Coz to me, you have more… most people have that data to be able to make those conclusions but like intent of interest is a little bit trickier and most people don’t have the tools to be able to do that.

00:05:35.940 – Emily McGuire
So yeah, I think a personalization is like, where are you in your journey? Because that’s a much easier strategy to execute.

00:05:44.490 – Ada Barlatt
I love what you’re saying there, Emily and it makes me think about this idea of action and response. For me, I find that the whole, this whole idea of journeys with all the different names people call it because there’s so many different words people use.

00:06:00.660 – Ada Barlatt
For me, I think at its core, it’s really looking at people’s actions, subscriber’s actions, the action to subscribe, the action to click, the action to fill in a chat message, there are some actions… The action of not opening your emails for a certain amount of time and identifying what your responses will be to those actions.

00:06:22.560 – Ada Barlatt
And I feel like there is a lot of wiggle room and options that you have, to your point, Emily, from personalizing content in terms of sending particular messages based on people’s actions all the way up to inferring or identifying potential interests based on a combination or a simple action.

00:06:44.430 – Ada Barlatt
So there’s lots of different opportunities. But for me, I feel like the whole concept becomes more simplified when I think about this in terms of, and when I pose it to my clients in terms of, what actions are people taking and how we want to respond to those actions.

00:06:57.480 – Emily McGuire
That’s beautiful. Way simpler than I just said.

00:07:01.510 – Ada Barlatt
I feel like every perspective is good and probably my engineering background and my experience… I come to email from experience in looking at workflow and a variety of different organizations, large and small and so I apply that task step-oriented mindset to email and that’s probably where it comes from.

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Part 3: Develop Your Email Marketing Customer Journey Strategy

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00:00:05.960 – Joi Brooks
How do you work with a team on strategy and goals? I mean, obviously, it’s important, but tell me a little bit about that experience that you’ve had. Emily, go first.

00:00:20.240 – Emily McGuire
Well, it’s shocking to talk to people who come to me because they want to help with their email program. And I ask them, what are your goals? What are you hoping to get out of this? And most of the time it’s like, oh. I mean, well, it’s surprising that it happens more often than I think it would, right?

00:00:44.420 – Emily McGuire
And so when I lead people through, I’m like, okay, well, we’re going to talk high level goals. Is that revenue? Is that users? Is it booking calls, whatever that is. And then we break that down into goal micro actions that can be measured in email campaigns, right?

00:01:13.160 – Emily McGuire
And so it’s basically like, okay, pie in the sky. What do you want? What can we accomplish right now? And what can we accomplish within a certain time frame? And then how do we break that down into the micro actions I want people to take in an email.

00:01:29.660 – Joi Brooks
Yeah, it’s it seems that even today, so many people are still throwing it at the wall, but they don’t strategise. And it’s so much easier, as I said before, because she comes from that engineering background that sit your tasks. It’s not so difficult to do what you need to do once you have step one, step two, step three, step four.

00:01:55.030 – Joi Brooks
So Ada, how do you help your customers build a program when they basically come to you with nothing?

00:02:06.700 – Ada Barlatt
Yeah. Yeah, well, I think I love Emily’s points. And I am 100 percent in agreement with those. For me, I like to sit down with my clients and do what I refer to as map out their process. So that question starts off with, how has it worked in the past? So tell me, how did people discover who you are? How do people identify your services? And how does that process go?

00:02:32.010 – Ada Barlatt
And depending on the business, that could be a completely online experience, that could include a sales call, that could include a presentation, or demo. It really depends. But understanding what’s worked for you in the past. And for those people that may be fresh and starting from new, it’s like, how do you want it to work, and identifying where are your best clients coming from and where would you like your best clients to come from, and what is the experience that they’ve had or you wish for them to have.

00:02:59.440 – Ada Barlatt
And then once you can articulate that, then you can move into dividing all that up and steps. And as Emily so obviously put, taking those steps, mapping them to email, and identifying how we measure progress towards those things.

00:03:15.460 – Joi Brooks
Often identifying pain points can help you, well, you can try to resolve pain points or stop pain points so you go backwards. And the best place to find pain points is if you’re a large company, you’ve got a customer service. You just sit there with customer service and say, can you just tell me? Give me a day. Give me a day on the phone.

00:03:35.500 – Ada Barlatt
Yeah, I’ve done that.

00:03:36.610 – Joi Brooks
And if you do that, you have literally all of the problems that you can solve in a journey for your customers. And these are real time problems.

00:03:47.800 – Emily McGuire
Well, yeah, and sometimes the goal of email marketing, which goes into customer success becomes how do we help our customer service department? That might be a goal to reduce customer service tickets. So yeah, when you mentioned that. And yeah, sitting down with a customer service person and being able to listen in on their calls, I’ve done that before and it is very enlightening.

00:04:17.590 – Ada Barlatt
Yeah, exactly. You can learn so much. What I love about what we’re talking about right now is there’s this recognition on both sides of the perspective in terms of, how would youfor a tour? What’s working really well? What’s worked for you in the past? But also where are the frustrations? What do you wish was change?

00:04:34.480 – Ada Barlatt
And both sides, you can apply and you can make progress in reducing your frustrations or promoting what’s working through these automated tools. So you have the opportunities on both ends.

00:04:48.430 – Joi Brooks
It’s pretty amazing that email marketing can do so much more than just a commercial.

00:04:53.650 – Ada Barlatt
Oh, my gosh. Yes, for sure.

00:04:55.600 – Emily McGuire
Yeah, it’s more than marketing. It’s much more marketing, for sure.

Part 4: When is a business ready for a Customer Journey?

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00:00:06.060 – Joi Brooks
Let’s talk a little bit about when a business is ready.

00:00:11.270 – Ada Barlatt
Yeah, I really feel like most of the answers to the questions you pose, Joi, it depends. But if I were, in terms of time frame, in terms of where particular businesses are when they start this, when they go down this path, but one thing that comes to mind for me is being ready to invest.

00:00:32.970 – Ada Barlatt
Now, that investment may be with an external consultant like any one of us, or it may be even internally, to have some capacity within your staff, to have some funds to hire an external expert, if you found necessary.

00:00:48.600 – Ada Barlatt
But I have identified this as something that you want to invest energy into, because I find that, and I would love to hear both of your thoughts on this, sometimes organizations start this process and they’re not fully in the mindset of, this is an investment that I’ll put a little bit of time in now and it will pay off, many, many, many times over as they go forward.

00:01:13.410 – Ada Barlatt
If you’re not interested in putting that time and energy in upfront, then it really will end up being an exercise that is not helpful at all.

00:01:25.170 – Ada Barlatt
And so for me, the big thing is the mindset and the preparation to invest and to learn as well, because there lots of new lingo, there’s lots of new features, there’s lots of new aspects to these experiences that you’re crafting for your subscribers. And so being ready to invest and ready to learn, I think are the two big things for me.

00:01:48.660 – Joi Brooks
So I understand what you’re saying. So basically a company is ready when honestly, when they can invest their time and energy into it. If they’re just willing to jump into it, but they have no resources, they’re half ready?

00:02:02.910 – Ada Barlatt

00:02:03.600 – Joi Brooks
They’re ready to read about it, but they’re not ready to roll it out.

00:02:09.010 – Ada Barlatt

00:02:09.230 – Joi Brooks
Emily, do you have any thoughts on that? Or [crosstalk 00:02:11]

00:02:12.240 – Emily McGuire
Yeah, I mean, usually what I find is very similar to Ada has said. And mean I should just be like, what Ada said.

00:02:25.530 – Ada Barlatt
No. [inaudible 00:02:25].

00:02:25.780 – Joi Brooks
But how long do you feel that this type of a process should take? Because, assuming that they say, well, we a staff. We’re ready to go. We have resources. How long is this going to take? It could take a long time.

00:02:45.600 – Emily McGuire
Yeah. Well, I mean, when somebody-

00:02:48.130 – Joi Brooks
Who’s got the drawing board?

00:02:49.770 – Emily McGuire
Oh, yeah. Basically what I find is when people are ready to start this process, is when they say, “We have some email going and we know we could be doing more.” And then like Ada said, well, then they have to decide, are they ready to invest in doing more? And is that allocating internal resources to this? Because it takes a lot of time to research and it takes a lot of time to build these things, and then it takes a lot of time to tweak and optimize for your audience.

00:03:30.660 – Emily McGuire
And so yeah. So then you have to decide, do you have the expertise in-house, or are you willing to allocate the time and resources for somebody to get that expertise? Or do you go outside of the organization and hire somebody to help you at least get it started?

00:03:47.190 – Emily McGuire
And I do something very similar to Ada. We map out an email program. And it doesn’t all have to be done right now. Like, ideally, yes, it would be great.

00:03:57.210 – Emily McGuire
But having at least one thing checked off on your customer journey with email, is better than having nothing. And then that stuff needs to be tweaked and edited over time for your audience.

00:04:13.410 – Emily McGuire
You can make all of the assumptions and do all the research about an audience ahead of time and look at all the best practices. So best practices are very general and they need to be tailored to your audience, your company, because, I mean, everybody is different. Every business is different. Every audience is different.

00:04:37.110 – Joi Brooks

00:04:38.610 – Ada Barlatt

00:04:38.610 – Joi Brooks
I’ve seen welcome campaigns that take a month and it ends up, it’s one campaign. But I’ve seen win-back campaigns that are branched. So yes and no, with conditionals, and they go off and do different things, specifically different things. And those can take two, three months. That includes testing because you do want to test it before it goes out to prove that, okay, are they able to go to the survey? What happens when they go to the survey? Are they getting that confirmation when they hit the [inaudible 00:05:14].

00:05:14.630 – Joi Brooks
I mean, all of the different things that can go on during any type of a journey, you want to test it out and you want to test out what happens if they do this? What happens if they don’t do this?

00:05:27.010 – Joi Brooks
So yes, it’s investment. It’s not to be taken lightly. Unfortunately, most people will. Actually, they hear this, they’ll throw it at the wall again. But you will get so much more out of an invested journey than just throwing it at the wall.

00:05:45.910 – Emily McGuire

00:05:46.030 – Joi Brooks
You won’t get any data out of just sending out campaigns.

00:05:50.650 – Emily McGuire

00:05:50.860 – Joi Brooks
You will get… not only will you get data, but you’ll also be able to identify personas in your list that… perhaps VIPs, perhaps are those engaged, perhaps need more nurturing.

00:06:05.350 – Joi Brooks
Whatever the situation is, after the journey is done, and you do have some strategy, some benchmarks and some goals, they’re able to then segment on that journey, given that you’ve strategized each and every email and not just throw it at the wall.

Part 5: ESPs – Which do you recommend for building Customer Journeys?

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00:00:05.930 – Joi Brooks
What do you guys recommend tool-wise, software tools, at ESPs? What experiences have you had, good, bad and ugly?

00:00:17.380 – Ada Barlatt
Oh, wow. Okay. Are you going first, Emily?

00:00:21.070 – Emily McGuire
Are you going to name names, Ada?

00:00:22.260 – Ada Barlatt
[inaudible 00:00:22] I’ll leave out the bad and ugly, but I’ll start the conversation on tools with this, because one analogy that I’ve given colleagues and clients that seems to resonate really well is to think of these email marketing tools, like tools. If you’ve ever done any sort of… I love DIY home projects, and so if I am going to use a screwdriver, or let’s say a power tool or whatever, there are different benefits to the investment to a higher-powered tool. If you’re going to do something once, and I feel like sometimes this is where organizations get frustrated, where they may either have the effectiveness of a regular manual screwdriver and want it to do fancy-schmancy things and want to do things super fast that it just can’t do. And likewise, if they have invested in this power tool, this power screwdriver, but they only have one screw to drive in, then they may get frustrated because they’ve wasted that financial investment.

00:01:32.020 – Ada Barlatt
So the big thing for me when it comes to tools is to think about the work that needs to get done. And so now we’re talking about journeys and I find that I’m curious on [inaudible 00:01:43] but journeys, for me, are a very highly automated, frequently used investment.

00:01:52.610 – Ada Barlatt
So investing in higher powered tools, using the screwdriver analogy, investing in that awesome fancy-schmancy screwdriver really does help in setting everything up as well as getting things done over and over and over again moving forward. Right? No one wants to screw in a thousand nails manually, or –

00:02:10.500 – Joi Brooks
You’re talking mid to high level ESPs here.

00:02:13.690 – Ada Barlatt
Yeah. So at a high level, it really can depend on the level of business that you’re in. I tend to work exclusively with Active Campaign. I love it because I find it to be this beautiful middle ground between… in terms of price point, as well as in terms of flexibility. It has I think over 40 triggers. I might be quoting it wrong, but it has a bunch of different triggers, has a bunch of different actions, and it’s just truly flexible. You can have someone go through an automation once.

00:02:45.580 – Ada Barlatt
You can go have them go through multiple times. There’s lots of different ways that you can set up the tool in order for it to be really flexible and adapt with your company’s needs.

00:02:57.340 – Ada Barlatt
There are other tools and I’m not going to name names, but either they have much fewer options in terms of what you can automate in terms of triggers or actions, like how these journeys start and what you can do within a journey, and some of them have limitations in how often someone can experience a particular sequence, and just the different ways you can apply them. So I find having a mindset upfront about what you won’t need done, and in some ways, it’s almost nice to have an idea of what this journey will be, before you go off and find the tool or you look for a new tool, because then you know fully what you need and then you can identify what will fulfil those needs. Sorry for my long rant about screwdrivers. Hopefully it made sense, but –

00:03:48.460 – Emily McGuire
That’s beautiful.

00:03:49.420 – Joi Brooks
I like that.

00:03:50.350 – Ada Barlatt
Okay, great.

Part 6: Advanced ESP Features For Customer Journeys

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00:00:05.930 – Emily McGuire
No, that’s a great analogy. I’m going to steal that one.

00:00:09.860 – Ada Barlatt
Power tools of all kinds, yes.

00:00:10.940 – Emily McGuire
The power tools. Yeah, I’m on the ActiveCampaign bandwagon with Ada. I tell everybody it’s the biggest bang for your buck. And yeah, it just does so much.

00:00:24.500 – Emily McGuire
So like, the problem I run into is I do these big, beautiful roadmaps for clients and I’m like, look at all the things we could be doing to keep nurturing these relationships.

00:00:35.570 – Emily McGuire
And then they tell me what ESP they’re using and then it’s like, uh. But I get it. You have to start somewhere.

00:00:45.800 – Emily McGuire
You have to start somewhere, and with whatever resources you have available at the time when you’re starting. A tool like MailChimp or MailerLite might make sense.

00:00:57.830 – Emily McGuire
But when you’re ready to really amp up your email, that’s not going to make a lot of sense anymore. And so in the B2B world, especially, ActiveCampaign is awesome because they do have a built in CRM.

00:01:12.470 – Emily McGuire
So there’s a lot of back and forth with sales and marketing. It’s a really great competitor to HubSpot and much more affordable.

00:01:22.880 – Emily McGuire
And B2C, e-commerce, I love Klaviyo. They do… yeah, their predictive analytics are amazing and have highly targeted segments. That’s another thing. I get into some of these ESPs and I’m like, “You can’t segment anything.” And it’s holy crap. Yeah, painful is the right word. Yeah.

00:01:48.590 – Emily McGuire
And so Klaviyo. And then Drip is also a really good one in e-commerce. I think I told you guys about this. I tried it out a couple of years ago, I wasn’t super impressed, but recently got a client who’s in it and I’m like, “Oh, my mind is blown with all the things that they’ve invested into it.”

00:02:04.990 – Emily McGuire
But it also depends too, on what’s your list size? If you’re dealing with hundreds of thousands, if not millions of contacts, you might need to go to an enterprise level ESP because they can handle that kind of send volume. And in that case, that’s a much more tailored selection process.

00:02:29.550 – Joi Brooks

00:02:31.400 – Emily McGuire
Yeah. So that’s a whole other world of figuring out your needs.

00:02:38.640 – Joi Brooks
I think that a business, when you’re ready to invest and they are looking for tools as far as an ESP goes, they really do need to know that the ESP can hook into webhooks or some sort of way that they can talk with and get information from their store.

00:03:07.690 – Emily McGuire

00:03:08.400 – Ada Barlatt
Because knowing that an email address is constantly browsing the website and what they’re browsing-

00:03:18.550 – Ada Barlatt

00:03:18.950 – Joi Brooks
-is gold.

00:03:20.230 – Ada Barlatt

00:03:21.220 – Joi Brooks
And that information may seem, “Oh well, I can get that in Google Analytics.” Well, you’re never going to be able to take that information and do this to it. And getting it right in your email, your email service provider, getting all that traffic information is ultimately gold.

00:03:38.330 – Joi Brooks
And a lot of the ESPs are doing that these days. But it’s very important to get… When you’re talking to ESPs and you’re trying to decide which ESP that you want to sign a contract with, one thing is that you want to do it monthly or are they going to make you do it annually, obviously.

00:03:55.510 – Joi Brooks
But budget-wise, is it based upon how many emails you’re sending or how many email clients you have? You need to figure out all those things.

00:04:04.090 – Joi Brooks
But you really do need to understand, especially if you’re planning to do a journey, you really want to talk a lot about how they interplay with each other. Your website and the tools and the ESPs, how to get them syncing together so you can get as much data as you possibly can, because that’s going to help you in your journey.

00:04:27.390 – Joi Brooks
And that’s part of the journey to identify what’s going on with that customer silently. Are they going to Facebook?

00:04:38.300 – Joi Brooks
These days, the ESPs can bolt in with Facebook, with Twitter, with Instagram. So you’re able to see, not only maybe they’re silent on email, but you’ve got their email address. They got the welcome campaign. Maybe they’re not opening, but they’re always on Facebook and they’re always on our Facebook.

00:04:55.280 – Joi Brooks
So interesting things can happen. And there are so many channels that some ESPs actually bolt into. It’s important to get all of that information if you’re ready for the journey.

Part 7: Integration with Website Analytics

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00:00:06.080 – Emily McGuire
Yeah, so that’s a whole other world of figuring out your needs.

00:00:13.800 – Joi Brooks
A business, when they’re ready to invest and they are looking for tools as far as an ESP goes, they really do need to know that ESP can hook into web hooks or some of way that it can talk with and get information from their store. Because knowing that an email address is constantly browsing the website and what they are browsing is gold.

00:00:56.410 – Joi Brooks
And that information may seem, oh, I can get that on Google Analytics tool. You’re never going to be able to take that information and do this to it. And getting it right in your email service provider, getting all of that traffic information is is ultimately gold. And a lot of the ESPs are doing that these days.

00:01:15.550 – Joi Brooks
But it’s very important to get when you’re talking to ESPs and you’re trying to decide which ESP that you want to sign a contract with. One thing is that you want to do it monthly or are they going to make you do it annually, obviously?Budget wise, is it based upon how many emails you’re sending or how many email clients you have? You need to figure out all those things.

00:01:39.250 – Joi Brooks
But you really do need to understand, especially if you’re planning to do a journey, you really want to talk a lot about how they interplay with each other, your website, and the tool, and the tools in the ESPs, how to get them syncing together so you can get as much data as you possibly can.

00:02:01.110 – Joi Brooks
Because that’s going to help you in your journey and that’s part of the journey to identify what’s going on with that customer silently. Are they going to Facebook? These days, the ESPs can bolt in with Facebook, with Twitter, with Instagram?

00:02:18.860 – Joi Brooks
So you’re able to see not only maybe they’re silent on email, but you’ve got their email address. They’ve got the welcome campaign. Maybe they’re not opening, but they’re always on Facebook. And they’re always on our Facebook. So it’s interesting things can happen.

00:02:32.510 – Joi Brooks
And there are so many channels thatsome ESPs actually bolt in to. It’s important to get all of that information if you’re ready for the journey.

Part 8: The Decision Making Process

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00:00:06.090 – Joi Brooks
If you’re not ready for the journey, you go to constant contact. But if you’re talking about journeys, you don’t start at the lowest level. You’re already mid market.

00:00:20.100 – Emily McGuire
So that’s a really great point, Joi is like, what do you need to integrate with? That’s something that I also like, every time I talk to new client, okay, what are the tools you’re using? What your website built on? If you’re in e-commerce, what’s your e-commerce shop built on? And all the other things that you normally need to plug in to an email service provider in order to trigger things to customer journeys.

00:00:48.180 – Emily McGuire
And some people are using in-house built e-commerce solutions, which are good for you, that you got that built in-house. But trying to integrate that with anything else is going to take way more resources than they probably have, right?

00:01:08.340 – Emily McGuire
And so when somebody tells me what tools they’re using or the POS system they’re using, if they have a brick and mortar store, it’s like, okay, well, what does that integrate with? What tool? And that’s part of that decision making process as well.

Part 9: The Right Tools Matter for Email Marketing and Customer Journey

Read the Transcript

00:00:05.970 – Joi Brooks
You may have to spend a little extra money to get that integration at least open, whether or not in talks, it’s open for you to hire somebody that can actually pull and push information to and from

00:00:23.800 – Ada Barlatt
For sure. For sure. I don’t know if I ever shared this with you ladies, but I actually built a free guy, a software selection guy that’s on my website.

00:00:32.920 – Emily McGuire
Oh, nice.

00:00:33.130 – Ada Barlatt
Yeah, so I’ve broken down the process into two steps, really understanding your needs, which we’ve been talking about at length figuring out what do you want short term, what you want long term, because lots of businesses, they maybe where they are right now, but they have visions and plans of being in a different place in the future. So understanding where you are in both of those.

00:00:54.190 – Ada Barlatt
And then definitely thinking about integrations and customisations, innovative, built into the product through APIs directly that a developer, or someone can select, or through a third party tool like Zapier, or, and [inaudible 00:01:09], and all these other things that you can sync tools.

00:01:12.610 – Ada Barlatt
One thing that’s on my list in terms of what I look for when I’m helping people select software that become big for ESPs is data import and export. And there are some tools that make it very easy to get things in and out. And there are some tools that it is painful.

00:01:33.040 – Ada Barlatt
And I’ve had clients even move from a tool into active campaign and there are previous issues like, yeah, you can’t export that. And I’m like, but it’s my client data. What do you mean they can’t export it? And so there are ways to work around that stuff. But it’s really interesting what they allow you to do.

00:01:56.140 – Ada Barlatt
And then the other big pieces for me, in addition to cost, because everyone starts with costs. I tend to think about cost at the end. After you really fully understand what you need, then you can really apply value to it. But documentation and support, there are so many different ways that you can get documentation.

00:02:14.380 – Ada Barlatt
Can you chat with somebody?

00:02:15.490 – Joi Brooks
That’s important, too.

00:02:17.500 – Ada Barlatt
[inaudible 00:02:17] build an up to date knowledge base? Is there email only? Some tools, depending on what level you’re in, you don’t even get email support. So you can’t even communicate with someone. So what kind of support do you have available and matching that with your internal resources we talked at the beginning about what capacity you have?

00:02:36.310 – Ada Barlatt
And then implementation, right? What is the onboarding process? Some tools offer you free migration or consultants will do that migration for you. Some you’re on your own, and really understanding what your needs are and then been doing the research to map what your needs are and how these different tools map.

00:02:57.850 – Ada Barlatt
I find that, at least with the people that I’ve had these conversations with, sometimes they make comment like, okay, we’re only going to spend this. And then we go through this whole process and they realise, oh my gosh, this is a huge opportunity for my business. If you do this well, it can completely shatter our revenue goals. It’s actually worth it to get a tool that does it right.

00:03:20.650 – Ada Barlatt
It’s worth it to invest in the power screwdriver than sitting and screwing in each nail, so it’s helpful. And sometimes it first happens, right? You’re like, okay, I’m not ready for this. I don’t need anything super fancy. So then you can pick a tool that meets your needs as well. And you can counteract the fomo that happens.

00:03:38.560 – Ada Barlatt
Sometimes with ESPs and other tools, they’re just like, I’m using this. What are you using? And there’s a little bit of like, oh my gosh, do I need this tool? But the the clearer you are with your needs and how well you know your needs, the easier it will be like, no, I’m good. I’m good at what I’ve got it. It does everything that I need.

Part 10: How to Measure Success in Email Marketing

Read the Transcript

00:00:05.940 – Joi Brooks
How will you measure it? How do you know it’s working? How do you watch it? What are you watching? So what are we talking about? What metrics are we watching here?

00:00:18.680 – Joi Brooks
First of all, what tools will help us understand a conversion? What metrics will do that for us? Because depending on the business, depending on your goals, it’s different.

00:00:30.650 – Emily McGuire
Yes. Well, and a conversion can be different for every business too. A conversion can be email sign. A conversion can be booking a call, a discovery call or an appointment or something. Yeah, a conversion can be a free trial sign up. So all of that depends, right?

00:00:52.070 – Joi Brooks
It all depends.

00:00:52.710 – Emily McGuire
Yes. And so I am going to say the nice part about active campaign is now you can set up custom conversions in it, and you can assign a monetary value to that conversion. So then you can start tracking those things.

00:01:07.790 – Emily McGuire
But what I find that a lot of people really obsess about are open rates. That is the primary metric that they look at to view the success of their email campaigns. And it’s problematic for a lot of reasons because just because somebody opens your email doesn’t mean they’re going to buy from you, it doesn’t mean they’re going to engage with your content.

00:01:34.310 – Emily McGuire
And if your email program is solely for the purpose of brand awareness and engagement, then sure, open rate, look at that. If that’s all you care about, are people reading your emails, go for it.

00:01:49.970 – Emily McGuire
But that’s usually not why people are sending out emails. They’re in business, they’re trying to make money.

00:01:56.210 – Emily McGuire
So looking at how even the metrics within an email play with each other is going to be important. Did somebody open but they didn’t click? Or my open rate is low but my click rates were high. All those things. What did they click on? Did they complete a conversion?

00:02:19.820 – Emily McGuire
And then you sometimes have to take those statistics within the totality of a series of emails. And then it gets super complicated pretty quickly.

00:02:37.070 – Emily McGuire
Yeah, but it depends on your goals. And then it might look different from email 1 to email 10 and you might be measuring different things along that path.

00:02:48.650 – Joi Brooks
How often do you watch the stats? Because I’ll be very honest, once I launch a journey, I look at it at least three times a week.

00:03:00.680 – Emily McGuire

00:03:01.580 – Joi Brooks

00:03:01.970 – Emily McGuire

00:03:02.810 – Joi Brooks
Well, first I do it technically, did I do this right? [crosstalk 00:03:08] And I may create tools that not only are monitoring the wingback, or the welcome, or the [inaudible 00:03:19], specific tools that are monitoring perhaps clicks or things like that. But I’m also seeing who’s entering because. So I just want to make sure that my logic is correct.

00:03:32.120 – Joi Brooks
So I’m watching it technically, and then for content. And then also if a customer comes and says, “Is it working?” I need to at least have an idea of what’s going on.

00:03:46.310 – Emily McGuire
Right, yeah.

00:03:46.820 – Ada Barlatt
I think it all depends, which it’s hard just to keep saying that it depends, but it’s really true. It depends on where you are and the experience that you have with setting things up versus if it’s something that’s been ongoing for a long time.

00:04:02.630 – Ada Barlatt
It depends on what you’re looking for. Like to Joi’s point, are you looking to ensure that it’s working? Like technically, are all of the pieces tied together technically? And then are you looking towards if it’s working in terms of indicators to meet conversion?

Part 11: Email Marketing Analytics as Workflow

Read the Transcript

00:00:05.990 – Ada Barlatt
But probably because my viewpoint is, I’m coming at this from not a full year in email. And I’m looking at it more in terms of just workflow analysis in general. I like to think of it as a production process. So if the conversion on the end, let’s say, is the car rolling off the line, what are the key points that we need to note working backwards in order for us to know that things are rolling through the process well?

00:00:36.470 – Ada Barlatt
And so for me and my clients, that monthly reporting is stuff that is completely not standard within an ESP, right? I might be looking at click rates over 10 emails for a particular person or how certain segments of people based on information that we know are behaving over that entire process.

00:00:59.910 – Ada Barlatt
But for me, the important part when it comes to the metrics are a two parts. First to Joi’s, which is, is it working? Are people better in it? Is the logic branching correctly or people moving through it well? And then where is the production process working and where is it being [inaudible 00:01:18] up?

00:01:19.020 – Ada Barlatt
Are people moving throughout the entire process? Are people becoming more engaged or less engaged throughout that process? And what does it mean in terms of all of those different options of conversion that Emily mentioned? Are we actually seeing revenue on the other end? Are we actually seeing conversion or whatever way that you you’re looking for a conversion?

00:01:40.080 – Ada Barlatt
Because it’s amazing and it’s fun personally to get really involved in the technical, like, oh, we can have an F branch, and we can do this, and we can have this trigger. And let’s have a form that does this, that triggers that. But as to Emily’s point, we’re all in this or at least my clients are in it to grow their business and to grow their revenues and profits.

00:02:01.980 – Ada Barlatt
So identifying how this process is taking taking people through that process is really important.

Part 12: Find Your Right Fit

Read the Transcript

00:00:06.150 – Joi Brooks
There are so many different ways of managing this, not only do they have to think about their ESP, but now they’re trying to figure out ,how do we get this done? We just identified that we have the money, but we’ve only got a marketing person and a designer. We don’t have a writer. We don’t have an email person. We have somebody in marketing, but they’re handling brochures.

00:00:28.050 – Joi Brooks
So I know you think you’ve all been contacted by different people to do different things. Can we talk a little bit about how business manages this and what resources we have to sort out some companies problems?

00:00:52.450 – Ada Barlatt
Go ahead, Emily. I would love to hear your answer.

00:00:56.230 – Emily McGuire
I mean, I’m going to steal Ada’s. It depends.

00:01:00.310 – Ada Barlatt
That’s what I was going to say [inaudible 00:01:02].

00:01:06.400 – Emily McGuire
Yeah, I mean, some agencies, some freelancers, some consultants only do one thing. And a lot of people I talk to come to me, so I could do all of it, righ? I can do the technical, the the design of the copywriting, the building, the testing strategy, all that stuff, right?

00:01:27.520 – Emily McGuire
But some people come to me and they only help with the tech part. They just have no idea. No clue and they don’t have anybody in house who has any idea of how to do it either. Some people need copywriters because they just don’t have a writer on staff that can do email, right?

00:01:44.230 – Emily McGuire
Because email and copywriting is different than blogging. It’s different than writing website copy. It’s different than social media copy. So, yeah, some people need help with the design. Some people just need help with strategy, right? It depends on, like you said Joi, what resources do you have available?

00:02:07.720 – Emily McGuire
Are those resources coachable? Are they malleable? And can you bring in a consultant or whoever to guide you and your team through it? Or do you need somebody to come in and do all of it or other small pieces of it? So it’s a matter of finding that right fit, which is like finding an employee, right? You just got to find the right fit.

Part 13: Invest in Experts

Read the Transcript

00:00:06.090 – Joi Brooks
They are also well worth their money.

00:00:07.920 – Emily McGuire
It depends on what you mean.

00:00:09.750 – Joi Brooks
It depends. [inaudible 00:00:10] if it depends, Ada?

00:00:12.700 – Ada Barlatt
Yeah. No, I definitely fall into that bucket of specialists, so I really love at going deep in the analytics. That’s one of the things I love to do and help people understand and get a different take on their numbers than the default reports that their ESPs are providing them.

00:00:29.550 – Ada Barlatt
And then I love the technical back and in terms of building out these automated sequences. And those are my specialties and that is what I do. And so I work in conjunction with people’s internal copywriters or are their subcontracted copywriters.

00:00:48.240 – Ada Barlatt
So I fall into that bucket of, like, this is what I do. This is my lane. You don’t want me writing your email. You don’t want me doing certain things. But these are the things I do really well. And that’s why people come to me to get that level of expertise.

00:01:05.760 – Ada Barlatt
And I find that the great thing about this email world is that there are so many people and there are so many different agencies and so many different freelancers. And I truly look at it not as a bad thing. Oh, my gosh, there’s so much competition in the market, but there are so many options for organisations.

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Part 14: Progress Over Perfection

Read the Transcript

00:00:06.100 – Joi Brooks
We’ve had fun over the past, gosh, hour.

00:00:10.490 – Ada Barlatt
Oh my goodness.

00:00:12.800 – Joi Brooks
Talking about the journey, and it’s been a journey for us as well. I enjoyed talking with you ladies, as always.

00:00:21.760 – Ada Barlatt

00:00:22.210 – Joi Brooks
Is there anything else you’d like to leave the audience with? Let them know about something specific? Any good word?

00:00:29.380 – Ada Barlatt
Yeah, there’s one thing that we’ve hinted at, but I want to sort of hit it home that –

00:00:34.790 – Joi Brooks
With a power tool?

00:00:35.170 – Ada Barlatt
Yeah, with a power tool. You know, the journey is a journey. Right? So if you are wanting to go on to this and introduce these journeys, these automations, to your subscribers and the people that you serve, is a journey for you as well. It’s not a “said it and forget it.” You can’t make a journey in 2020 and never look at it again, ever. It doesn’t work that way. And to go into that clearly, with that mindset of, “Okay, this is how we’re approaching our business.

00:01:06.890 – Ada Barlatt
This is how we want to engage with our audience, and this is a commitment that we’re making to facilitate this type of engagement in the long term.” That doesn’t mean that it’s going to be full on every minute, all the time, but it does mean like a car or anything else, things require maintenance and keeping up with them. So I want to make sure that we hit that explicitly here.

00:01:31.580 – Joi Brooks
Emily, any good word?

00:01:34.960 – Emily McGuire
I know a lot of good words.

00:01:39.770 – Joi Brooks
Your best word.

00:01:41.680 – Emily McGuire
My best word. So something I tell all my clients is something is better than nothing, right? So if you have nothing now, or you have some things now, having some things is better than having nothing. So don’t beat yourself up. Don’t feel bad about it.

5 Steps on How to Warm an Old Email List

Whether you have an email list you’ve never sent to or have been on a break, it’s scary to start sending emails to people who haven’t heard from you in a bit.

I’ve got a few tips on how to warm that audience back up. Check it out!

Watch and Learn

Read the Transcript

Hi there, it’s Emily McGuire here of Flourish & Grit, an email marketing and automation studio, but you know that because you’re watching this video, right? You already know who I am. It’s your email BFF.

So today I want to talk to you about how to warm up an old email list. I have talked to a few people recently about this, it’s somehow coming up lately, who have email lists that either, they have never sent to them at all and their business has been around for a few years, well, quite a lot of years, or they used to email their lists, and for whatever reason, life happened and they stopped emailing and they’re trying to get back in.

So I’m going to give you five tips on how to warm up that old list, so you’re not just scaring people with emails and they’re like, what, who’s this? Who’s this in my inbox? How did they get here?

So the first one, that leads me to my first one, right? The first step is, put yourself in your subscriber’s shoes. So if you haven’t had contact with them in this context in quite a long time, it’s like having a friend from high school you haven’t seen in quite a lot of years, we won’t talk about how long high school has been, but suddenly they send you an email and they’re like, hey. I’m in your inbox, haven’t talked to you in a while. But look at all these cool things, come buy from me.

It’s a little weird, right? Immediately your red flags are going to go off like, okay, this is odd. So put yourself in their shoes. What would they want to hear? How would they want to experience your emails in the inbox if they haven’t heard from you in this way in a while?

Which brings me to my second point, which is, make sure they know who the email is from. We often neglect the sender name in our email campaigns. So if you’re sending it from first name, last name, president of your company, and nobody knows who that is, or your marketing manager, first name, last name, who is that? I don’t recognize that name immediately. So how am I going to know I want to open this email?

So make sure they know that the email is from your business, your brand name and the name that they recognize. So make sure they know, so they’ll open it, or when they open it, they’re not upset that they thought it was somebody else that they wanted to hear from. And, oh, it’s from this person I haven’t talked to in years.

So that brings me to number three, reintroduce your brand to them in the email. A lot of things have probably been going on with your business since the last time you sent them an email. Make sure that they know who you are, what you’ve been up to, what’s been going on with their brand.

How are you delivering value to your customers and clients today, as opposed to maybe how you were two, three, ten years ago? Make sure that you let them know who your brand is today, and just reintroduce yourself to them, so they are up to date with how you can offer them value.

Which brings me to my next point, which is offer value. That’s the beauty of email marketing, is that we can offer immediate value to our subscribers to keep them engaged with our emails, and have them really excited about getting our emails weekly, biweekly, whatever it is for your brand.

So delivering value today with a freebie, a checklist, a really great article, or some tips, tricks or tools that they might love to hear about. Well, get them excited about your emails and say, oh, these are going to be the emails I’m going to be getting from them from now on. They’re going to be valuable. I can’t wait to get the next one.

So tell them how, offer them value today in your email contact with a freebie, a checklist, a tool, like I said, some kind of recommendation or tips, tools or tricks that they might love and get excited about for your brand.

So those are my tips. The first one is putting yourself in their shoes. The second one is make sure they know who the email is coming from. Reintroduce yourself, and then tell them how you are delivering value to your customers and then deliver that value in that email.

Those are my tips on how to warm up that old list, get back in those inboxes, so you can start making that money. So hope this helps. If you’re looking for more tools like this, or tips and tricks, more email fun, because that’s what I love to talk about, then head over to and you can sign up for emails just like this, that’ll show up in your inbox on the weekly-ish.

So that’s it for today. Happy emailing. Bye.

3 Email Design Mistakes and How to Avoid Them

3 Email Design Mistakes and How to Avoid Them

When it comes to email marketing, learning how to design an email can be tricky.

Sometimes it’s easier to learn from others’ mistakes to learn what to avoid.

That’s why I put together this handy video: Three Email Design Mistakes and How to Avoid Them


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Hi there. When it comes to email design, having something that is visually easy to read and understand is crucial for your subscribers to take the next action with your brand. I often see emails where it’s difficult to read the text or fully understand what action I need to take from that email to take advantage of the message or the offer. So I put together the top three mistakes I see brands make with the design in their emails and how to avoid them.

No one is mobile responsiveness.

Over 60 percent of emails are read on phones. So if you’re not designing an email for a phone and only on desktop, you’re going to be missing that experience. I see emails that were clearly designed for desktop, and when the email is shrunk down onto a phone, the text becomes difficult to read images sighs Weird. And then it just becomes very confusing on what needs to happen in order for the subscriber to take the action they need to take with your brand.

The solution to that is most email service providers like MailChimp, Active Campaign, HubSpot, whatever it is you use, usually have a preview window so you can see what the email looks like, not only on desktop, but on a mobile device.

So make sure you’re utilizing that feature and making any adjustments necessary so that your emails look amazing. On mobile. Number two is all images. I see emails designed with only images and images are great. They grab your attention visually to bring you into the content.

But designing the entire email and Kenber or Photoshop and then slicing it up into your email service provider can provide a couple of challenges.

Number one, being, again, mobile responsiveness. If you have a large graphic and it it shrinks down onto your mobile device, you have to make sure that the copy is still legible.

The second thing is not all email clients have images auto enabled so they won’t see anything at first when your email comes in. The other issue is for accessibility.

If somebody uses a text to speech app to access their emails, then that text to speech app cannot read the copy on the image. So make sure you are putting alt text on your images in your emails for that purpose. The last thing with all images is the more images you have in an email, the slower it takes for your email to load in an email client. So if somebody has a slow Internet connection, it’s going to take a long time for that email to load and they might not want to wait that long, right?

Those are the mistakes I see made when people use all images in their emails.

The last mistake I see people make is what I call smushed font. Right. It’s font that is so cramped on the email it looks visually overwhelming. And if people look at an email and think that’s too much to read, they’re not going to read it. So making sure you have plenty of space between the lines of your copy is crucial.

If you’re looking for more confidence in your email marketing, go ahead and sign up for my free email makeover. Mini course flourish. Great dotcom slash makeover. See you in the inbox.