Using Email Marketing to Build a Profitable Business – a Success Story from a Member of The League
In today's episode, we do something a little bit different and share a success story from one of the members of The League – Gisele St. Hilaire. Gisele is a certified FeldenkraisⓇ practitioner and Assistant Trainer and the founder of Sunyata Movement Studio Inc. In other words, she helps people overcome pain and injury! Isn't that awesome? But what's even more awesome is that Gisele has been using email marketing to build a profitable business. And in today's chat, she tells us exactly how!
We talk about how Gisele was using email marketing before joining our membership, what amazing results she's been getting since, how much she spends weekly on her email marketing, and more of this kind of incredible stuff.
Ready to see what you could do, too?
SOME EPISODE HIGHLIGHTS: (2:59) How Gisele used email marketing before joining The League. (5:35) Gisele's biggest barrier to email marketing. (8:10) A look into Gisele's systems and automations. (9:09) How Gisele cleaned up her list. (12:48) How Gisele increased Earnings Per Subscriber Per Month (EPSPM). (14:45) How email marketing has changed for Gisele's business since she joined The League. (18:20) The activity that had the most impact on Gisele's email marketing. (19:37) What's next when it comes to Gisele's email marketing? (20:42) How much time does email marketing really take? (23:46) Subject line of the week.
How Gisele used email marketing before joining The League
Gisele explained that most of her work used to be hands-on with clients. She offers a service called Functional Integration, which happens face-to-face. But she teaches Awareness Through Movement classes, where she verbally guides people through lessons. When her clients started asking her for the chance to re-watch her sessions again and again through a recording, she saw an opportunity to package her workshops into online products.
So how does email marketing fit in? Gisele had given it a go a few years ago. But, to her own admission, she wasn't leveraging her list as much as she could have been. Her biggest barrier was the fact she'd email her list only when she had something to sell. So she wasn't emailing very often, and when she was, she was asking for a sale.
Before joining our membership, Gisele had a trickle of new people regularly joining her list. She had a freebie in the shape of a lead magnet, and that had helped her build a list of about 1,000 subscribers. She'd email them 3-5 times in the lead up to a sale and then go quiet for about 3 months. In other words, her email marketing was driven by the things she wanted to sell at the time, rather than on where her subscribers were in their journey with her or what problem they were trying to fix. But Gisele wasn't sure how to meet them where they were. And, like many other business owners who are new to email marketing, she was afraid to email her list more often.
A look into Gisele's systems and automation
We asked Gisele a bit more about her systems, and she told us she's using ConvertKit as her email marketing platform. At the start, she was just broadcasting. But over time she got more sophisticated and started embracing automation to create an onboarding sequence and then a welcome sequence. And because she sells a handful of small products as well as providing free content, those sequences consist of 2-4 emails.
And that's when things start to get interesting…
How Gisele cleaned up her list
You see, one of the first things we encourage our members to do is to give their list a bit of a clean-up. We help our members do that through a specific campaign, which Gisele eventually used, but she also did something pretty amazing to clean up her list.
And here it goes…
Gisele decided to email her subscribers to let them know she'd be emailing them 3 times a week going forward. Why 3 times a week? Because she was scared of completely obliterating her list had she started sending out emails more frequently. But also, 3 times a week felt like something she could be consistent with in the long run.
So in those initial emails, Gisele gave people the option to opt-out. But she also explained, very transparently, what people could do with her emails. They could read and delete or they could store and get back to them whenever they wanted. In the space of about 3-4 months, about 300 people unsubscribed.
But something else also happened. A lot of people actually started to reply back to her, i.e. engage with her emails! So after she gave the option for people to leave if they wanted to, she ran our Cold Subscriber Campaign, and that's where she found the cold subscribers who hadn't engaged for three months and actively removed those people from her list. By that point, that only cut her list by a further 30-40 subscribers.
So over time and by emailing more often, Gisele gave the opportunity to those less-interested subscribers to leave quietly through the back door. Her list shrunk by about 300 people, but it also became more engaged.
And that's a good thing because…
How Gisele's increased her Earning Per Subscriber Per Month (EPSPM)
One of the metrics we encourage our members to look at is the Earnings per Subscriber per Month (or EPSPM). And that's pretty much what it says on the tin. It's how much money you earn every month for every subscriber that's on your list.
Before joining The League, Gisele was making a mega respectable $1.30 per subscriber. But after cleaning up her list and implementing some of the strategies we teach, Gisele is now making an amazing $4.10 per subscriber! Isn't she awesome?!
How email marketing has changed for Gisele's business since she joined The League
Gisele tells us she feels way better about her email marketing now. Her customers aren't leaving her list (despite her emailing more regularly and often), and they're more engaged. But also, Gisele can tell she's getting better at the whole thing. Admitting she struggles with the writing side of things, she can see how she's improving and getting quicker at composing her emails as time goes on.
Gisele also talked about running another one of our campaigns – the Time Lord campaign – to promote one of her standalone online products. The campaign runs over 5 days, and Gisele was hoping to get 10 sales at $79 per product. Do you know what happened? She sold 6 on day one and by day 5 she'd sold a total of 40! Plus, she also received lots of lovely comments and even some great testimonials without even having to ask for them!
So let's re-cap what Gisele did right. She took her list and tidied it up first – making it smaller and narrowing it down to those people who were super engaged. She then started running campaigns and getting email marketing right by setting up processes to build a profitable business. Now Gisele is in a position to start focusing on building her list because she knows that if she was to drive hundreds or even thousands more subscribers through that her list, it's proven to work. She's tested the system, made it work, and now she's ready to add to that list.
The activity that had the most impact on Gisele's email marketing
Hands down, the one thing Gisele started doing that had the most impact on her email marketing, she says, is producing video. It's not always Gisele speaking on camera though – she also produces slideshows. But embracing video has been key for her – a huge step up that proved really beneficial.
What's next when it comes to Gisele's email marketing?
Gisele told us two things are on her to-do list when it comes to her email marketing. The first thing she wants to do is to grow her list. In the past, Gisele hadn't been comfortable with social media or putting money behind ads. But that's all about to change because she's now super confident that growing her list is going to work for her business.
The second thing Gisele wants to do is to set up the right campaigns to feed into what we call The Master Controller, or her main product. And in Gisele's case, that's the membership she's launching. So she has a few email campaigns she's excited to set up and write. Cool beans!
How much time does email marketing really take?
To reassure anyone who thinks they don't have time to do email marketing because they have a business to run, we asked Gisele whether embracing email marketing has taken over her life. And her answer is that it's becoming a more and more natural part of running her business. It's the one thing she now knows she's not going to give up because she can see how foundational and essential email is. Nothing is going to beat it.
Gisele admits that creating and setting up campaigns took a bit of time, initially. But it's an asset that she now has in her business and can go back and improve on at any time. Writing emails can take Gisele anything between 15 minutes and half an hour, and for her, that happens 3 times a week. She then spends another couple of hours a week learning and creating campaigns and envisages needing to spend 3-4 hours a month on getting to where she wants to be, over the next couple of months. But after that, she reckons one hour a week will be plenty. And isn't that music to your ears?
Subject line of the week
We hope you enjoyed Gisele's story and how she is using email marketing to build a profitable business. But let's now move on to this week's subject line of the week, which is is “Kennedy's fired”. And it's one we sent out recently during one of our events. It has to do with the fact that Kennedy dropped the ball and forgot to upgrade our Zoom account, so we had people kicked out of the event because we didn't have enough space for all our participants. Oh, dear.
Why did the subject line work though? Because it implies there's been some sort of dispute between us. The truth is that we've been friends for over 18 years, so something like this is unlikely to really affect us. But creating comedic tension with your subject lines definitely works. Try it out!
Useful Episode Resources
If you enjoyed Gisele's story on how she's using email marketing to build a profitable business and would like to connect with her, you can find her on her website Sunyata Movement Studio.
FREE list of the top 10 books to improve your email marketing
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Join The League Membership
Not sick of us yet? Every day we hang out in our amazing community of Email Marketing Heroes, where we get to 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 by applying everything we talk about in this show.
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