Emily McGuire – Aweber

Aug 15, 2022 | Assembling The Band, Gathering Fans, PodCast, Practice Makes Progress, Season 3

Season 3 / Episode #80 : Emily McGuire

by Work @ Home RockStar Podcast

The Back-Story

With lessons learned over a decade in tech, sending thousands of email campaigns, and working on email campaigns earning over $80 million in revenue, Emily loves sharing the mistakes and strategies of email marketing done well.

You’ll typically find her with a cup of coffee in hand because #momlife. When her head isn’t on her laptop; you can find her chasing her kid, reading a book, or binging trashy TV.

Show Notes

I love connecting with Work at Home RockStars! Reach out on LinkedIn, Instagram, or via email

Website 💻 https://workathomerockstar.com

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Email 💬 tim@workathomerockstar.com

LinkedIn ✍ https://www.linkedin.com/in/timmelanson/

In This Episode:
[0:00] Intro
[0:28] A story of business success
[2:39] What’s something that didn’t go as planned?
[4:37] How did Emily get good at what she does?
[10:46] How do you go about finding people to help you with Email Marketing?
[13:48] Anik Malenfant, the founder of Mastering Ascension, shares her wonderful experience with Tim Melanson
[16:17] How to grow your list to send Emails to?
[19:53] How much time should businesses spend on Email Marketing Campaigns?
[22:57] What’s exciting for Emily right now?
[28:09] How to learn more about Emily and AWeber?
[28:47] Outro


Read Transcript

Tim Melanson: Hello and welcome to today’s episode of the work at home rockstar podcast.

I’m very excited for today’s episode. We have someone with eight years of email marketing experience as a freelancer, and now she is a customer evangelist at AWeber very excited to be rocket out with Emily McGuire. She helps small businesses and entrepreneurs harness the power of email marketing to grow and scale their business.

Hey Emily, are you ready to rock?

Emily McGuire: I am absolutely.

Perfect. So we always start off here on a good note. So tell me a story of success in your business or in, uh AWeber.

Yeah, so, um, I have seen, um, well, one, one of the things that, uh, I felt was a real success in my business. I, I owned my own, like you said, freelancing consulting business for about four years.

I was an email marketer in house before then. And, um, You know, one of the things that really scared me because going out on my own was selling and promoting myself. And eventually I had to take a lot of tiny, scary steps to really put myself out there on social media. But the more. People I talk to encouraged me to be genuine, um, talk on social media.

Like I would talk to a normal person and share my knowledge about email marketing and experience, and also just, you know, Personal things too. About my life. I was comfortable sharing the more positive response I got from people on social media. So like, you know, LinkedIn is a big platform. I went all in on and I always had this idea that LinkedIn was full of, you know, the old guard of the corporate world, you know, stuffy people who were very impersonal, but the more I showed up as me, the more people commented on my post.

Slid into my DMS and the bigger of a community I built. And it was, I consider that a success cuz it was a very, very scary for me. And I got a lot. Positive feedback. And really I, if I feel like built a really strong community from that platform of people who were just trying to figure out email marketing and were refreshed to hear or felt it was refreshing to hear somebody who was open and honest about that experience.

Tim Melanson: Right on funny that you say that as soon as you said LinkedIn, I was like stuffy business people literally came into my head, but it isn’t, I’ve been on LinkedIn for a little while too. And it’s, it’s actually quite good. Yeah. Uh, but I’m very excited to get into how you did all this stuff. But before we do that, we always talk about the bad note as well.

So what’s something that didn’t go quite as well. And how do we recover

Emily McGuire: from. Yeah. So, I mean, I’ve done this, uh, well I think one of the biggest anxieties people have about email marketing is making mistake. And so like they, when they’re about to hit that sun button or schedule button, they’d get those butterflies in their stomach.

They’re like, oh God, what am I doing? Do they forget something? And you know, I’ve sent out emails with, um, You know, uh, to the wrong segment with a discount in it that wasn’t supposed to go to those people. I’ve sent out emails with typos or a wrong link, and that’s even, you know, being an email team of one and also working on a team where at least five people have reviewed an email before it went out.

So like, it doesn’t matter how many people are looking in that email mistakes happen. But the cool thing is, and obviously it feels terrible, right? You’re like, Ugh, I don’t wanna be that person who makes a mistake, but then sending out that follow up email, that what they call an oops email, where you explain the mistake and, you know, if you can be, you know, a little cheeky with it and, um, play it with some humor and some transparency.

Often there’s a really great response to oops, emails where people are like, I’ve done that too, you know, or you’re just human like me. Oh my God. You know? And, um, so really I feel like. It feel, it can feel like a disaster, but it’s actually a really great human moment that people enjoy.

Tim Melanson: Yeah. And it is those human moments that really connect with the audience as well.

They would rather see you make a mistake sometimes and own up to it than, uh, you know, be perfect all the time. Right.

Emily McGuire: Exactly. Yeah. Transparency and just being, yeah, a real life person. Who’s doing the thing. It’s not a robot making those emails. It’s a real person

Tim Melanson: right on. So the first step in the rockstar formula is practice makes perfect or practice makes progress.

And so. With email marketing. I would love to know about what your take is on, you know, practicing, getting good at what you do. Consistency, all those things like is this important in email marketing? How important is it and how can we make things a little bit easier on ourselves?

Emily McGuire: Yeah. So consistency in any digital marketing channel is, is crucial, right?

Being able to show up on a regular cadence, but you know, obviously you have to take into account the resources you have, you know, your own time and energy into putting that into, you know, email marketing and, uh, common mistake. I see people make is especially small business owners. They’ll come to me and be like, my newsletters don’t work.

I put in all this effort, all this great content, um, into this newsletter, I send out once a month and it’s, you know, I’m not getting sales. And so I get it. Like, that’s a lot of what feels like wasted energy. And so what I recommend to people. Monthly email is not consistent enough, especially again, in today’s digital marketing world.

Uh, that’s a very long time to go without making contact with people. So I recommend weekly. And you don’t even have to create extra emails or extra content. If you’re sending a monthly newsletter, you can easily break that content out into four emails and send that out on a weekly cadence, instead of all at once.

The other thing is just repeating content in emails, people think, oh, I already sent this content out. Um, so nobody’s. Why would I send it again? It’s gonna be redundant and it’s like, no, you know, a good open rate is 20%. That means 80% of your audience never saw the content to begin with. And people assume that just because somebody opened an email doesn’t mean that they read it or remember what they read.

So I find recycling content is also a really great way to refine what you. Um, what you’re talking about, you know, if you did have a popular email, go back, look at it, how can you improve it and just send it out again? Um, but really it just takes that consistency and finding your voice, um, and just getting comfortable with that channel, cuz you’re gonna make mistakes.

You’re gonna hate an email. You sent out five, you know, maybe five weeks ago because you’ve learned something new. How to improve it and it’s okay. It’s just gonna be messy for a while until you get comfortable with it.

Tim Melanson: So 80% of the people didn’t even see the typo .

Emily McGuire: Exactly. Exactly. Yeah. Yeah. They don’t care.

People don’t care as much as you think they do. .

Tim Melanson: Yeah. Well, and, and it’s interesting all the things that you’re saying there. So, I mean, you’re sending out these weekly emails and 80% of the people that aren’t. Looking at it actually more than 80% of people cuz 80% of the people aren’t even opening it.

And then there’s another, probably 80% that aren’t even reading it once they open it. So what’s the point? Why, why are we doing


Emily McGuire: weekly? Yeah. I mean, email is one or the email channel is one of the highest engaged marketing channels. Right. And these are people who have given you permission to market to them.

And yeah, not, everybody’s gonna be in a Bo in a state to buy right now. The point is to just keep showing up consistently. Um, so what, when they are ready to engage, you’re the first person they think of and they’re gonna be like, oh, I keep meaning to. Um, check this person up more. Thank God they emailed me.

Right. And so that’s the part of consistency is you have to be able to show up when somebody’s ready to buy or, you know, or work with you and you don’t always have that information to be able to capture that, that intent. Right. Um, so that’s the point of showing up consistently?

Tim Melanson: So what you’re saying is that it’s.

Really the content is less important than the fact that they are seeing your name regularly. So it’s, it’s, it’s more just the visibility. That’s more important than the actual content that you’re putting

Emily McGuire: out there. I mean, yeah, exactly. And, um, making sure that, you know, when they are ready that your emails.

When they are ready to engage with you, um, that your email content is relevant to your audience, um, that it speaks to their challenges and how your solutions can help them and make it really easy for them to become a customer. So I see people forget that part all the time. Um, you know, when they’re ready to become a customer, how do they do it?

You need to guide them to that next action. So making sure that those emails. Loaded and ready for when your audience is ready for.

Tim Melanson: Okay. So then, so then when you’re designing your email campaign, then what you’re focusing on is number one, it is just visibility. They’re just gonna keep on seeing your name and associating you with some sort of service or product that you have.

And then in that email, you just wanna make sure that the content is relevant to the problem that they have or to the business that you have. And also that it’s easy. Calls to action or something like that, that they can easily take action on that if they choose to

Emily McGuire: exactly. Yeah. Some people focus more on the content than the sale.

they forget about the sale part and because they’re afraid to sell. And, um, again, I get it, it, it can be really uncomfortable for people starting out, but if you’re not. Telling people how to become a customer. You’re putting the burden on them to go figure it out and that’s not helping. No. Um,

Tim Melanson: so no, nobody wants to do that.

Emily McGuire: exactly. So you have to help people become a customer when they’re ready to do that

Tim Melanson: right on. So now what about the band? So we talk about, you know, putting yourself around the right people, how important is it to have, or, or, or how would I even go about finding people to help me with this.

Emily McGuire: To help with email marketing.

Yeah. Yeah. I mean, that’s where, I mean, a lot of people ask their network, right? How do I get help with email marketing? But like, if you’re, if you’re a solo entrepreneur and you’re looking for just somebody to help you get your emails out, that was one way. When I, when I had my own business, that I got the, my emails out more consistently because you know, those details, um, or those tiny little tasks, right.

As an entrepreneur and solar entrepreneur can add up, they can be really draining. Um, so I got a virtual assistant who, you know, I taught how to do email marketing too, which was fun, cuz I like to do that. Um, They could take that piece off my plate. And so I got to focus on the fun part, which was putting together the content and the campaign ideas and all that kind of thing.

So, you know, usually, you know, most entrepreneurs have a network of. Or a group, maybe of people who are doing the type of work you’re doing to get support, you know, maybe you’re in a Facebook group or you’re on LinkedIn with, um, other community members or Twitter. And just asking other people, if they’ve worked with somebody who.

Um, knows your area knows your kind of business. And a lot of virtual assistants know email marketing because it’s the backbone of any business. Right. And it’s a really crucial skill to have in general. So a virtual assistant helped me so much get. Um, get those emails out regularly, cuz yeah. It’s, it’s a lot of tiny little tasks to take care of.

Tim Melanson: Yeah. Okay. So now let’s just say that that is the problem or, or maybe they’ve already got a virtual assistant, but maybe somebody is like, well I’m not a very good writer. Or, you know, how would they go about like, this is all writing so if they’re not, you know, maybe they’re, you know, their first language is in English or, you know, right.

What, how would they get about, go about finding someone to help them with the content itself?

Emily McGuire: Yeah, I mean, email copywriting is its own skill. It’s it’s a, I know a lot of email copywriters and I know a lot of email copywriters because I’m, you know, involved in the email marketing community. Right. Um, but you know, I, there, there are a lot of email copywriters who hang out on LinkedIn.

Um, I see a lot of them posting to that hashtag, um, even just finding the hashtag on LinkedIn or Twitter or whatever, you’ll start finding people who live in this world. Um, but you know, and you can go to other freelancing websites like Upwork or. Or whatever. Um, your preferred platform is just look for email copywriters and they, they are plentiful and there are a lot of really skilled ones out there.

Anik Malenfant: Hi, my name isfor from mastering Ascension, and I’ve been working with Tim Melanson and the creative crew agency for a number of years. Now, Tim is my go-to guy for all things technology and his team have helped me to really. Create the platform that I need that represents my brand, my message, and connects me directly to my ideal clients.

What I particularly love about Tim is before he starts to dive into the technology, he always makes sure that he understands what your global view is, what your ultimate goals are. So then that way you’re not wasting a lot of time back and forth. Switching around technology or platforms. He creates something from the get go that is scalable, which is highly, highly, um, beneficial for any business.

What I’ve experienced from Tim and his team is they’re highly responsive. They are a wealth of information, and they’re gonna offer you the tools that you need to really make the mark that you wanna make in the world. So that’s my recommendation for Tim. He’s awesome. You’re gonna love every. You won’t regret it.

Tim Melanson: So if I was getting ready to start my, uh, email marketing campaign and the components that I would need is somebody, you know, possibly a virtual assistant to make sure that everything goes out consistently. Mm-hmm and also someone to help me with the content. Is there anybody else that you might need in, in this

Emily McGuire: process?

I mean, if your brand is very design oriented, you know, if you, or if very visual, not every brand is, and you want a really pretty template, um, then you might wanna consider contracting that out as well. Most email service providers have that as, um, a service they offer for a small fee. I know a Weber does.

They’ll do. They’ll build your custom template for you. So if that’s something you really want polished and reflective of your visual brand, consider that as well. Um, and a, an email copywriter might also be able to help you with your strategy in general. So, um, you know, what kinds of email campaigns you wanna be sending out based on your goals for your email marketing?

Um, so. If an email copywriter can’t help you with strategy, then you might wanna go look for an email marketer or an email marketing freelancer who might be able to do all of those things for you. So they might be able to do the execution, copywriting and strategy. So that’s another option to think about too.

But they’re gonna be a little bit more expensive than, you know, virtual assistant, obviously.

Tim Melanson: Yeah. Cool. Okay. So now we’ve got our email content figured out we’ve sending out regular emails, but who are we sending it to? How do we, how do we build a list?

Emily McGuire: Yeah, I mean, that is always the most popular topic in email marketing.

How do you grow your list? And the main thing is, I mean, the number one tip I have is you have to tell people you have an. Newsletter or a list and you have to tell them consistently. And so that means, well, first of all, you need a, why people should sign up for your emails. Why should they care? Not just like, Hey, I send out newsletters.

They’re pretty cool. You should check ’em out. You know, what, what kind of content are you sending out? What’s really helpful for your ideal audience. Right? Um, and then, you know, taking it to a next level, you might have a lead magnet, that’s a guide or a workbook. That solves a specific challenge. Your ideal customers have, um, those two things.

Um, you need the why and maybe make a little bit juicier with some free content, right? In exchange for an email address. And then, you know, Anywhere you are, uh, whether that’s on social media, you should be posting regularly about your email, about your emails. That can be a, a preview of your next email.

You’re sending out. If you’ve got something super helpful that you think your audience would like, let them know it’s going exclusively to my email list. Sign. Uh, um, if you have a lead magnet post about it regularly, at least, you know, I tell people to post about their email list. At least once a week, you already have a captive audience.

If you are networking. or you’re at a speaking engagement. If you’re speaking in front of an audience or you’re just at a barbecue or on a podcast, tell people about your email list, cuz they’re gonna be like, how can I, how can I learn more about you? And so you can learn more about me by being on my email list.

Uh, so I think it’s. Again, being consistent and making sure you’re taking advantage of every opportunity you have in front of your ideal customers or people who wanna help you grow your audience, um, to get them on your email list. Those are the stickiest, um, followers you’ll have. Hmm.

Tim Melanson: So really there’s two sets of content that.

Coming up with and putting out there regularly, there’s the content that gets people on the list in the first place. And then there’s the content that goes out to the list once you’ve got them on the list.

Emily McGuire: Exactly. Exactly. How, how do those two differ? So, um, So they might not sometimes right. You can repurpose those things.

Right. Um, but, um, again, um, you just need to come up with the overall. Um, why, why should people care about being on your email list? You know, be on my email list, cuz you’re gonna receive these three things. Um, that’ll help you with your challenges or, um, if you have a lead magnet. And then creating, um, content that’s specific to your social channels.

I would say in that language and format that says, Hey, this is an email I’m sending out next week. Here’s a little preview or here’s an email I sent out last week. Make sure you don’t miss things like this. Next time, join my email list. Um, and you know, or here’s a little preview of my lead magnet. So I think it’s just adapting it to the social channel and the goal you have for that social channel and post.

Tim Melanson: Now, this might be a hard question to answer, but like how much time a week should a business be spending on their email marketing campaign?

Emily McGuire: Um, Well, yeah, that is a hard question because some people, um, you know, writing is really easy for them, you know, or setting up an email is just intuitive and easy for them, but you know, an email list you own.

That contact information. So if you’re depending on another social media channel to get the word out, um, about your business and you’re solely dependent on that, you know, a lot of things can happen with social media can get an account blocked or violate some community guidelines you didn’t know about, or the, it can go down, they can have outage, right?

So having an email list essentially is an insurance policy for. So I would say, you know, at least two to three hours a week to, as you’re getting started, right. And eventually it’ll get easier. It’ll take you less time. And you’re gonna build a bank of evergreen emails and social media posts that you can continue to recycle.

So that’ll get less time intensive the longer you go on. Um, and you know, if you outsource it as.

Tim Melanson: Love it. It’s funny that you say that. Cuz my Facebook page just got UN unpublished. I have no idea why. Yeah. It’s crazy. Right? Yeah. It’s and, and actually a whole bunch of my friends also got like notifications.

So Facebook must have done something, but it it’s crazy how many people rely on a social media channel to rub, run the business. I mean, I build websites. So that, that’s part of my thing as well. Is that if you lose your Facebook page, Where are you sending people?

Emily McGuire: exactly. Yeah.

Tim Melanson: So, so having a, you know, a website and an email marketing list would be basically ha owning your own business, right.

Instead of having Facebook now own your business.

Emily McGuire: Exactly. Yeah. And if one of those things goes down and you know, you lose your Facebook page. Now you have a way to get in contact with your audience and like, Hey, I just started a new page here. You can find me on Facebook. If that’s your place to hang out.

Tim Melanson: Yeah. You can send them to the new page. Cuz sometimes I know in my particular instance with this, I have no idea what to do. I, I there’s, no, I don’t know how to get a pack, like right. It might be gone forever. so. You know, in, in, in that case, if, if that was my only channel, I, I don’t even I don’t even know what I would do.

Right. So, yeah, having some sort of backup is probably a good idea, especially with everything that’s going on in social media. Right now there’s lots more channels that are opening up as well. I think there’s gonna be some diversification. So, you know, having some place where this that’s, your hub is probably the.

Move going forward. Right?

Emily McGuire: Exactly. Yeah. Like I said, it’s like an insurance policy for your audience in case something happens. Like yeah. Things happen. People get hacked. Yeah. Guidelines change. There are outages. You never know.

Tim Melanson: So it’s time for your guest solo. So tell me what’s exciting in your world right now?

Emily McGuire: Um, well, so like I said, I joined AWeber a few months ago and it’s really actually been awesome to see all. The changes they’ve made over even the past year. Um, they launched landing pages and we actually have some new, exciting, um, products coming out that help people, um, automatically send out newsletters.

Um, we’re calling it the auto newsletter. Um, so that it’ll pull from your, whatever your preferred social channel is. Let’s say your YouTuber, uh, even a podcaster it’ll pull from your. RSS feed and automatically send out updates to your, um, your email list with your latest content. So I’m really excited about that one.

I think it’s gonna make sending newsletters really easy for content creators and entrepreneurs, especially if, if you’re a blogger or whatever your preferred content channel is. Um, I think that’s gonna be a huge benefit to people.

Tim Melanson: Right on now, something that I didn’t know about until before this interview is that AWeber does offer free accounts to start with, right?

Yep. Yep. What is that all though? What do you get? What do you get for that? You

Emily McGuire: get, um, it’s actually astonishing how much you get, um, in terms of like you get almost all of the pro features with a few exceptions, you know, like advanced automations, you don’t get that. Um, you do have AWeber branding on the free account and you get up to five, 500 subscribers on the free account.

Um, but you do also get landing pages. We have really. Beautiful landing pages and landing page templates, sign up forms, um, tagging on your list. And we also launched, um, I think last year, an eCommerce feature where it’s like a payment processor. So you can set up landing pages and collect payment, right from your AWeber account, whether that’s a one time payment or reoccurring subscriptions or even payment plans.

Yeah, it’s pretty neat. Yeah, that’s really cool. And, and that’s in the free one. That’s in the free one.

Tim Melanson: So in your opinion, if I was, cause this is what I get all the time is someone’s just starting, right. They don’t have a list yet, or they have 10 people and they’re like, right, okay. I, I need to get this going and they don’t wanna go and start spending a bunch money, even a little bit of money.

They don’t wanna spend anything. They wanna grow that thing. Would they be able to start their business and do the bulk of what needs to happen in order to do email marketing with the free side and then upgrade

Emily McGuire: later? Yeah, absolutely. A hundred percent. Um, it, you know, it takes a while sometimes to build that email list, um, and like get your feet under you, you know, get your sea legs.

Uh, so yeah, that free account will let you do all of. Um, and until you’re ready to expand.

Tim Melanson: That’s amazing. Yeah. And the reason why I say that is cuz uh, you know, I’ve been doing this for quite a while now and AWeber was the only one that didn’t have the free, the free startup. And I think that gave a lot of the other companies that, uh, leg up, but I’ve always thought that AWeber had a very good platform.

It was very easy to use. Uh, it was just that you had to pay for it. And that’s what I would tell my clients is that, well, you have to pay for this one and this one’s free, but. It’s up to you. So now it’s great that you guys have kind of like gotten into the point where yeah. You’re gonna help these businesses get started and then they can upgrade later.

Cause eventually I think everybody is going to pay like you have to, once you get to, um, I think some of the other places is like a thousand people, but I mean 500, even once you have a list of 500, actually there’s a question for you. What what’s a list of 500 people. Is that a good list? Like what’s a good list.

Emily McGuire: Yeah, that’s a really good question. And I would say, like, I don’t think it matters the size of your list and matters more about the quality. And so if you are really speaking to your ideal audience, While you’re promoting your list. As long as you have people on there who are gonna be your people who can either refer you or buy from you.

Um, it, it doesn’t matter the size of the list. Uh, so I think, uh, and 500, obviously the more, the better, right? But sometimes people really get stuck on that number of like, I, I have to have my list at whatever a million contacts and my business is gonna take off. It’s like, you could have a million contacts.

Of people who do not care about you. yeah. So, yeah. Um, but yeah, that 500 mark I think is a huge achievement for everybody. Yeah.

Tim Melanson: So once you hit 500, you are, that’s a big list. Yep. Really? When it comes down to it, like you’re not, uh, you’re not going to, you’re probably going to be able to afford the monthly subscription once you hit a 500 person list.

Emily McGuire: Right? Exactly. You’re well, on your way,

Tim Melanson: assuming that you’ve followed all the steps that we’ve already talked about, exactly right. You, you you’ll have a decent list at 500, right?

Emily McGuire: Exactly. Exactly.

Tim Melanson: Awesome. Thank you so much. Now, how do we find out more about this? Or is there any type of specialty you guys have going on?

Emily McGuire: Yeah, so for podcast listeners, um, we offer free 30 day trial of our pro features. Like I said, it’ll remove the AWeber branding and, um, you’ll get more advanced segmentation and automation. Um, and you can do that by going to go.aweber.com/podcast.

Tim Melanson: Awesome. Well, thank you so much. Thank you so much for rocking out with me today.

This has been a lot of fun.

Emily McGuire: Thank you. It was a pleasure

Tim Melanson: to the listeners. Make sure you subscribe right in comment. We’ll see you next time on the work at home rockstar podcast.

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