How Dan Greef Made £9k in just 1 Day, Sending Simple Emails
We're joined today by one of our members, Dan Greef. Dan runs a gluten-free, keto, low carb, low sugar (or rather, no sugar) bakery. They make cakes and sweet treats that won’t spike your blood sugar levels. Today, Dan shares his experience with email marketing and tells the story of how he made a whopping £9k in just ONE day, sending simple emails and using the strategies we teach inside our membership, The League.
We had a few mic-drop moments in this interview. Are you ready to find out how Dan made awesomeness happen from his email list?
SOME EPISODE HIGHLIGHTS: (0:09) Want to get more sales from your email marketing? Grab our Click Tricks. (3:26) Fancy a 14-day FREE trial with Keap? (4:37) How Dan got started with email marketing. (7:18) What did Dan's email marketing look like before he joined The League? (11:20) What happened when Dan joined The League? (15:36) What impact did email marketing have on Dan's business? (19:40) How does Dan feel about his email marketing now? (24:04) Dan's future plans for his email marketing. (26:14) Does Dan's email marketing take up too much of his time? (31:33) Subject line of the week.
How Dan got started with email marketing
While Dan started his business from his kitchen table a few years ago, things drastically changed for him during the lockdown, when orders started coming in thick and fast. Dan now has dedicated premises and staff. Like Kennedy, Dan is dyslexic and finds public writing terrifying. So email marketing was the last thing Dan ever wanted to do!
Before he got started with email marketing, Dan used to do frequent Facebook lives and in January 2021 he'd started running paid ads. But with a fairly low-priced product (the average spending per order being around £27), Dan realised this model wasn't sustainable for him.
With regards to his email marketing, Dan would do what most people do – send out broadcasting emails. They'd be full of pictures and offers and not have much in there other than a big flashy BUY button. But when he found our podcast and then started learning our techniques, everything changed. That's when Dan realised he loves email marketing!
What did Dan’s email marketing look like before he joined The League?
Every Friday Dan does a special restock sale, so he sends out an email to tell his list what’s in the restock. Like many others, Dan wasn't keen on emailing more than once a week – he was worried people might unsubscribe. He had a fairly big list, and he didn’t want to lose what he calls his 'email collection'.
And Dan admits that back then, he would have lost a lot of people if he'd started emailing more. Because all he was sending out were sales emails, where he'd say what new flavours were coming out. Dan had nothing else to say. But now he does – and not because his life has changed, but because he realised he can say things. Email marketing has given him a voice.
Before he joined The League, Dan had a few automations set up, but (to his admission), they were salesy. Now his emails allow him to build rapport with subscribers and have conversations. And people are more likely to buy from him because they’re no longer just buying a product – they’re buying from a person.
Marketing, Dan tells us, shouldn't be about asking people to buy things. That's what Dan was doing, and that's why his email marketing wasn't working. But Dan later realised that in order to be successful, he needed to change his mindset. Because email isn’t a marketing technique – it’s a communication technique and a community builder.
Pretty awesome stuff, right?
What happened when Dan joined The League?
Dan joined The League in the summer of 2021 and spent the first few months watching our videos and learning. Soon enough, he started to experiment with sending out emails twice a week and adding some personality into them. His early emails didn’t do much, he says, but they helped him learn the way.
When Dan decided to put his prices up, he was terrified. He thought his list wouldn't react well. But after getting some advice in one of our coaching calls, he decided to use one of our campaigns to approach the price increase. Instead of apologising and being on the defensive, the campaign allowed Dan to bring his customers with him.
Dan explained why the prices were going up (to pay for the ingredients), and customers loved his honesty and the respect he showed them. That's why they went with him. Dan's sales increased because the campaigns allowed him to build trust, rapport, and honesty. And these are the basis of any relationship, which is why his campaigns were so successful.
We have to remember that email marketing is not us vs them – it's about taking the subscribers on a journey with you. We don't need to convince people to buy what we sell. It’s not some sort of arm wrestle where the business needs to convince the customer to give them money. As business owners, we're on a journey. And we need to take our customers with us, just like Dan did. The sooner we realise that, the better.
People are on Dan's list because they want to enjoy sweet treats but also continue with their lifestyle and healthier eating. Dan is providing the solution to their problem while being completely transparent. In our business, for example, we use the idea of radical transparency. It's about telling people the truth. It’s selling by telling the truth. And in a world where levels of trust are so low, it’s an idea that works.
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What impact did email marketing have on Dan’s business?
After joining The League, over time, Dan implemented our Getting To Know You sequence and then our Time Lord campaign and made a whopping £8,809 in 13 days! Also, in November 2021, when he increased his prices, Dan made £9k in one day!!!
Of course, it wasn’t just the one email that made the money. It was the fact that for about a month and a half, Dan had been building to that point. By implementing a few key campaigns, Dan made almost £20k in one month.
And we love Dan’s success story because cakes (and food in general) are traditionally sold through smell – you attract your customers into your shop from the street with the amazing aromas of your food. This is one of the fundamentals of selling food, and you can't do that on the internet!
So if Dan can sell cakes that people can't smell by sending simple emails, we know that the same strategies will work for others. And on top of that, Dan sells low-priced products, which shows you don't need to be selling some super expensive product or service for email marketing to work for your business.
Whatever you're selling, you can do that through email marketing by building rapport, showing your personality, and emailing a little bit more often. We don't teach anything that's technically difficult. It's all about understanding the psychology of email and building on that.
How does Dan feel about his email marketing now?
At first, Dan used to think that what sold his products were the photos of his cakes, so that's what he put in his emails. But now, Dan is using his emails to talk about personal urgency. Can his customers wait any longer to make the changes they need to make in their lives?
Dan has now reframed what he does in his mind – he's not just selling cakes. He’s giving people the option to have a better future. So his emails are no longer full of pictures of cakes. Instead, they ask people where they want to be in life. And that subtle change has made all the difference.
So if you're selling a course and no one’s buying, Dan says, that’s your fault. Because what you need to be doing to sell is to tell people how you'll take them from where they are now to where they want to be. And email is the perfect medium to do that. It has allowed Dan to change the way he's communicating with people.
The action that had the most impact on Dan’s results and email marketing
Dan’s one piece of advice when it comes to email marketing is to think about the things that happened to you in the last 24 hours, break them down, and then share them with your list in your daily emails.
This simple process will be transformative, Dan says. It certainly was for him because email marketing now accounts for 55% of Dan's business. He recommends you talk about a story (something that happened to you) and be authentic and genuine.
Dan's future plans for his email marketing
At the moment, Dan only emails his list once a day and not as often as he'd like. So he's now working towards starting a campaign to integrate storytelling from his customers and share their success stories (just like we're doing with his story here!)
Also, Dan plans on segmenting his list in the future, in order to be able to send a more varied message. In a room full of different people (from friends and family to complete strangers), you wouldn’t talk to them in the same way, Dan says. So segmenting his list will help Dan have more authentic conversations with his subscribers.
Does Dan's email marketing take up too much of his time?
Is email marketing a burden for Dan? Quite the opposite, in fact! At first, Dan says, the thought of doing anything is quite hard. But Dan’s timetable is based around his children, so quite often, instead of sitting down for an hour pondering about what he’s going to write, he’ll find himself utilising the small pockets of time in between other responsibilities.
So typically Dan will think about what happened to him in the last 24 hours to find inspiration for an email. If that doesn’t work, he’ll use our template for generating ideas, and that will often give him a story to tell. Dan has a Google Doc where he first writes the story down. He then puts it in his email sender, and only at the end of the process, he adds a first line to the email and a subject line.
Don't be scared of losing subscribers
Dan’s top tip is to just do it. When we first start emailing, he says, we have this idea that we’re somehow in front of a big panel of judges. But nobody really cares about your emails or if you’re doing them badly! So just try new things. You won't make a fool out of yourself.
Dan had quite a big list, and he was worried about changing tack and losing people. And he did – he lost about 200 subscribers in a week, but then he gained 600 in the following two weeks. You get the right people coming in, and the ones who don't like you much will leave. And that's okay.
Dan took the stance that this is his email list, so he’ll share whatever he wants to talk about – if people don’t like it, they can join someone else’s list. And this works. Because people who like you will stay, and they'll become loyal.
Will email marketing work for you?
If you're still wondering whether email marketing will work for you, this is the little gem Dan left us with. He told us that he's not actually selling cake at all.
(Wait for it).
Cake is what pays the bills, Dan says. What he's selling is a movement that changes our take on sugar. He’s trying to change the way we see the world by providing “diet cake”. In essence, Dan helps people make a change in their lives.
And once he was able to switch his mindset to this, his marketing changed. Now Dan is focusing on what he’s trying to achieve for the individual, for society, and for the bigger picture. And once you change that perspective, the cake is actually way bigger than an actual piece of cake!
The key is to see what you sell as the solution to the vision, the dream, and the idea. And suddenly you're changing things at a massive level. But if you only think about the product you sell, then you'll always limit your vision for what you’re trying to achieve.
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Subject line of the week
This week’s subject line is simply the merge field for the first name the subscriber registered with (whatever that might be). This is so simple, but it works. We always teach about something we call “the seed email”. It’s a very short, sharp, to-the-point email that goes out first in a campaign to grab your hyper responders and send them in the direction you want to send them to. So it’s about saying something like, “We’re doing a training. Go check it out!”
And if you’ve come across us talking about the one essential email template that everybody needs to have in their business (which is the one that goes out by accident if you forget to fill it in), this is the subject line for that email too. And it’s good because it just sits there – it doesn’t mean anything. Interesting, right?
Useful Episode Resources
If you want to connect with Dan, you can find him on his website. Dan also hosts a podcast where he talks to people about cutting back on sugar and carbs.
Using Email Marketing to Build a Profitable Business – a Success Story from a Member of The League.
How Sheila Went from the Starting Blocks to Total Clarity – an Email Marketing Case Study.
Product Launch Emails – Success Story with Kay Peacey.
FREE list of the top 10 books to improve your email marketing
If you want to write better emails, come up with better content, and move your readers to click and buy, here's how. We put together this list of our Top 10 most highly recommended books that will improve all areas of your email marketing (including some underground treasures that we happened upon, which have been game-changing for us). Grab your FREE list here.
Join our FREE Facebook group
If you want to chat about how you can maximise the value of your email list and make more money from every subscriber, we can help! We know your business is different, so come and hang out in our FREE Facebook group, the Email Marketing Show Community for Course Creators and Coaches. We share a lot of training and resources, and you can talk about what you're up to.
Try ResponseSuite for $1
This week's episode is sponsored by ResponseSuite.com, the survey quiz and application form tool that we created specifically for small businesses like you to integrate with your marketing systems to segment your subscribers and make more sales. Try it out for 14 days for just $1.
Join The League Membership
Not sick of us yet? Every day we hang out in our amazing community of Email Marketing Heroes. We share all of our training and campaigns and a whole bunch of other stuff. If you're looking to learn how to use psychology-driven marketing to level up your email campaigns, come and check out The League Membership. It's the number one place to hang out and grow your email marketing. Best news yet? You can apply everything we talk about in this show.
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