Ep 436: Become A Better Copywriter Using AI with Kyle Stout

AJV (00:02):
Hi everybody. Welcome to the influential Personal Brand podcast, AJ Vaden here. Super excited to have a conversation around something that everyone is talking about and continues to talk about. And so we’re gonna continue that conversation here today on the topic of AI and your personal brand. And so, before I introduce my awesome guest, Kyle Stout, I wanna tell you guys just a couple of reasons why you wanna stick around for today’s interview. So here are some things to ask yourself. And if you have the answer is yes to any of these questions, then this is an interview custom designed for you. Number one, do you want to use AI better? If you answer yes to that, stick around for this interview. Do you want to figure out better questions, better prompts to be putting into AI to get what you actually want? The answer is yes.
AJV (00:57):
Then you wanna stick around. And if you wanna talk about how AI can improve your email marketing, content marketing, or anything else that you’re doing online, then this is probably the conversation that you wanna stick around and listen to. So without further ado let me introduce you to our guest who’s going to make us better not only at using ai, but also becoming better email marketers for everything that we’re doing in our business. So Kyle Kyle Stout is the founder of Elevate and Scale, which is a marketing agency that helps with direct to consumer brands improve their revenue and put their sales on autopilot. Who does not want that ? He’s also an expert on using email marketing to increase revenue and leverage AI to help you scale production. Kyle, welcome to the show.
KS (01:52):
Thank you for having me.
AJV (01:54):
Yeah, this is gonna be a great conversation. I know everyone’s been talking about it. Everyone Conti continues to talk about it, and I feel like the same questions continually get asked from everyone in our community, everyone in our audience, which is, how do I become better at using ai? And so I would love to hear a little bit of your backstory about how you got to where you are and how have you learned so much about using AI in the most efficient and effective way?
KS (02:25):
Okay. So my background is in copywriting, and there have been a lot of these AI copywriting tools that have been out prior to what everyone now knows as like chat, G P T and that level of, of ai. And honestly, they weren’t really very good. I had, you know, but I was always kind of keeping an eye on it just because I thought, well, it would be really useful if it was really good someday. And then chat G p t, of course has changed everything and all of the new you know, technology that’s come about since then has changed everything to where now you can actually get really good copy. But what I have found to be the most important thing for getting, not just copy, but the best outputs in general from the AI tools that you’re using, is the detail in the prompts that you give it. And being specific with what you’re looking for in an answer as opposed to just asking a very broad question. Because you have to think that, okay, while this AI is very smart, it’s considering so many different possibilities of answers like way beyond the what we would ever consider in our mind. And it’s trying to come up with this, you know, generalized response that will cater to all those things instead of honing in on the specific, you know, variables that you really care about.
AJV (03:39):
Yeah, I love that. And I think that’s, well, one, I love that you have such a, a strong background in copywriting because I feel like you still have to be a copy editor to use ai. Well, and I still, I just know from our community at Brand Builders Group, we’ve got, you know, 750 monthly members and one of the biggest struggles that people still have is copywriting. And most of the use cases that we’re encountering from our community and even just increase from this podcast is, man, where do you find good copy? How do you write good copy? Who can, who can do it affordable and make it quality? And so I’d love to hear your take on just the AI generated copy as a copywriter, because I think what a lot of people think is, oh, this is going to solve this problem I have, or it’s gonna replace, you know, all of these people. And it’s like, I don’t agree with that. So I would love to hear your take on being a copywriter and using ai.
KS (04:39):
Yeah, so it’s definitely not as good as a, as a trained copywriter. And you know, I still have copywriters on my team who are writing the copy for our clients, but it is, I mean, it’s honestly pretty good to where in a lot of cases you can get copy that’s good enough to where you just need to go in, make some tweaks, of course, add in the personal language that fits your brand, that that’s the biggest piece is you want to mm-hmm. actually humanize it and, and, you know, use language you would actually use and phrases you would use, things like that. And I find I, a lot of times I’m changing the order of the copy, so I might have it say I wanted to write you know, if it was like a video script or an email or something, I might ask for three different variations and I might mix different pieces from the different variations together to get one that I really like in the order that I like.
KS (05:31):
So yeah, I think that you, it, again, it’s not as good as the copywriter, but you don’t have to have a copywriting background to use it. One thing about great copy is that it is very conversational. Mm-Hmm. . So if it just, if it seems off to you, then that’s a sign. It’s probably gonna sound kind of off to your target buyers. So, you know, it might be a case of the copy’s just nowhere near usable yet, and you need to have it, you need to follow up with details of saying, Hey, can you use more humor or can you exclude, you know, and give a specific example of what they said in there that you, you don’t wanna exclude. Like a lot of times, for example, a lot of times with emails, it always wants to throw in a discount, you know, and so I’ll have to tell it in the prompt, you know, don’t mention any discounts ’cause we don’t wanna have a discount in this email.
KS (06:17):
So things like that. So you’ll learn just by practicing little tricks of like your go-to things that you always include in the prompts, but really it’s gonna get you the, the base level of information you’re trying to convey. It’s pretty good at getting that. Then you just need to kind of massage it and humanize it to your brand. And that’s where you can really save a lot of time and money and you know, be able to produce really good copy without having to go hire a full-time copywriter if you’re, you know, not in a position to do so.
AJV (06:47):
Yeah. No, I love that. And I think you kind of nailed it on the head and a part of our conversation today is you have to know what you want in order to put in the right prompts so you get the right outputs. So let’s talk about that for a minute. Like, how do you get the best outputs? Like what’s the key to putting in successful prompts and like, how do you get better at telling it what you want so you actually get something that’s more usable?
KS (07:16):
So there’s a couple of pieces here. So before jumping to like, having this really detailed prompt, I think it helps to actually train the AI a little bit for, so let’s say for example, you’re using chat G P T and you open a new chat thread if I, for any business, any whatever it is, if it’s your personal brand, whatever, you keep all the conversation in that one chat thread. And I initially like to start off by having it do some research on creating an ideal customer profile for that business. Mm-Hmm. . So then it, so this is just like a prompt where you can, you can put in just like ask it to you know, so I’ll tell you word for word one that I use is provide a detailed example of an ideal customer profile for a and you fill in a little bit of details about your business.
KS (08:01):
So you know, a business that sells t-shirts online or, you know, whatever your business is. And then I put including information on demographics, psychographics, behavioral patterns, and customer needs and pain points. And that will give you a really detailed output of all of these demographics. And like, especially the really important stuff are like the big pain points, the, the wants, needs, desires, all of that of your ideal customers. So now the AI is familiar with, okay, the prompts you give, it’s going forward, it’s going to take into consideration this profile that you’re targeting. And then not only that, but you can take that output you just got from it, and then you can copy and paste that back into a prompt and say, now give me, you know, 10 topic ideas for videos or for emails or for whatever it is. And then that will usually give you 10 kind of broad ideas for your category where whatever, you know, industry you’re in, and then those broad ideas, you can actually go back and have it give you 10 more or even more than that.
KS (09:00):
But I like 10, you know, 10 more specific pieces of content. So now you have 10 different kind of angles to take to talk about that broader topic. And that’s how you can scale up the, or or solve the problem of, okay, what do I, what do I say in my content? So at, at this point now, there’s unlimited ideas for topics. And when you drill down to those specific subtopics and then you have the AI write the email or write the video script or whatever about that, now it’s gonna be a lot more refined. And so you can copy and paste in your ideal customer profile, in your prompt, you can copy and paste in the specific smaller, more refined topic that you wanted to write about. And then below that I would give it some details of like what, what type of content this specifically is.
KS (09:46):
So if it’s a, if it’s a sales email, if it’s a nurturing email, if it’s a, a video that’s, you know, and I tell it what objective I have for the video, and then I’ll, that’s at the end of that I’ll put in my little personal notes. So for example, I always tell it to use active voice because I find that a lot of times it uses passive voice, which is just not good copywriting. I might tell it to use a specific copywriting formula, and you can Google these if you don’t know any copywriting formulas that you might like. Little details like that. So other, other things would be like, don’t mention this, you know, ’cause you find that it kind of gets into patterns where it does certain things you like and does certain things you don’t like. So I always tell it not to do the things I don’t like. And with that kind of prompt, that’s how you’re able to get a really good rough draft of copy that now it only requires a little bit of editing and you don’t, you, it is not just completely off the mark to where you feel like you’re having to start from scratch each time.
AJV (10:39):
How long are your prompts ?
KS (10:43):
So here’s the thing, if you do this upfront as you go, because it remembers all your, your chat history, you don’t have to do that every single time. So for a while I was doing that every single time because I, because I was getting such good outputs, I started to think, oh, I guess I have to do these really long, detailed prompts every single time. What I have found is that if you take it through that journey of doing some customer research, then doing some topic research and then having it write specific types of content for you from that point on, I can say, Hey, write an email about this, this particular product or whatever. And it’s, it’s already on point. It remembers all the stuff I told it before, so I don’t have to be that detailed every time. So yeah.
KS (11:22):
But it does help to at, at some point be that detailed and to give it feedback of, I don’t like, you know, use less humor, use more humor, you know, be more concise, like whatever. And it, it just kind of picks up on on your preferences. And then from that point on, that’s where, that’s honestly, I think is the biggest difference where some people have a really bad experience with AI and some people have a really great experience and the people who are having a great experience, they maybe didn’t know this is why it happened, or they aren’t sharing that because they just spent so much time practicing and doing all these iterations that they’re, the, the AI is just working more effectively for them than for someone who just starts and they try to jump right into write a script for this video right from the very first prompt without a lot of detail of, you know, considerations of your brand and your target customers and all that.
AJV (12:13):
Oh, that’s so good. But it’s, you know, it’s like the more specific and the more detailed you are in the beginning, it’s gonna remember that and it’s, you’re gonna have to be less and less of that over the course of time.
KS (12:24):
Exactly. So I always, on my in chat, G P t I have like all my saved chats. So for whatever it is, whether I’m planning my YouTube videos, I have a chat that I only use for that. Or if I you know, for certain clients, you know, stuff I’m, if I’m researching ideas for emails, I have a certain chat for each one of them. So, and then that way I don’t have to go through that whole learning curve again. I just save it and go back and just pick up where we left off. And it’s, it’s super easy.
AJV (12:49):
Oh, love that. Super, super insightful. And although I’ve heard tons of people talk about you gotta just ask better prompts, you gotta have this, you gotta have that. No one has made some of the comments that you just did, which I think is really helpful because you have a copywriting background such as use more humor, be more concise, use an active voice, like those are all the things that I’m like, yes, that right there would even help. Like, you know, it’s like we do a ton of copy and we’ve been using custom G P T to kind of like train our own copywriting, like bot mm-hmm. . And, but even some of those things I’m like, we need to go back in there and be like, for these you use active voice. And for these it’s like, be concise for these do do, like, all of that is so helpful when you look at it through the lens of like true copywriting. And I think most people aren’t doing that, which is why they’re like, you can read, you know, when it’s a chat g p t copy text, like, you know, I’m like, yeah,
AJV (13:52):
You know, it’s like, but it’s because people aren’t using these type of nuanced just little tips. That’s awesome. So, so, so, so, so super helpful. So that kind of like leads me to my next questions, which would be, what do you think are some of the, the strengths and weaknesses of using AI to generate, you know, content and, you know, and I would say just content in general, but then super specific to email marketing content.
KS (14:22):
Yeah. So the biggest strengths and the things that I really love about it the most are doing the initial ideal customer profile type of research. Because when I first am am working with a client, that’s a, that’s a big time consuming task that we do. Before we write any copy, we need to nail down the messaging strategy. And a lot of that is just really dialing in on what are the big wants and needs and pain points, because that’s what’s gonna drive all of the topics we write about. ’cause Even if we’re, you know, if we’re selling supplements or, or t-shirts or whatever, it doesn’t matter what it is. If it’s a an online course, whatever, we’ve got to write the message in a way where the person who’s receiving the email feels like you care about them. They wanna know what’s in it for me.
KS (15:02):
And so you always wanna frame it around those things that, those desires and those problems that never go away for them. So that’s the first part, just saves a ton of time and helps us be, you know, really thoughtful and strategic with that. Then coming up with, you know, sometimes you just, especially if you’ve done a lot of emails for, you know, for your business or for a particular business, you get to where you’re like, okay, now you know, how do we find another way to talk about the same things? And that’s where chat PT is really mm-hmm. creative. It’s like you can ask it you know, come up with email campaign topics based around the time of year that we’re in, or based around something that’s going on in the world or based on a, a recent promotion they had or were targeting certain types of customers of theirs, people who have never purchased or v i p buyers.
KS (15:48):
So adding in those little, ’cause at first, if you just ask it for topics, it’ll give you a bunch of topics, but then you’ll run through those. So that’s where you start. You have to start throwing in extra things like, you know, I need topic ideas with this extra little detail to, you know, narrow down the list of topics. So that’s a, those are the two best things. I really like it to, to get alternative headlines, subject lines, things like that. So copy we’ve written, but we’re like it’s good, but we don’t love it. Let’s get some ideas. And it doesn’t always mean that we’re gonna use what chat p t gives us verbatim, but it will give us ideas. I’m like, oh, I like that thing. I didn’t even think of taking that angle and I’ll write my own version of it based on what I got from chat p t, but I would’ve never got the idea in the first place if it wasn’t for chat p t.
KS (16:35):
So those are the things I, I use, if those are the things I would say are the biggest strengths that I have found personally. And also just saving time and, and all the processes, actually, I guess that’s the biggest strength. The weakness would be that the copy is still not to the level that you can just copy and paste it in and, and send it off and, and be good to go. Like you, you’ve, you do need to, like you said, not everyone can, but every, all marketers can, you know, they can tell whenever it’s AI copy and it is a little bit more generic. And so it’s not like, it’s not a matter of will your customers know it’s AI or not, it’s just not going to resonate with them in the same way as if you personalize it more and you add in your personal touch and your own signature phrases and how you say things, that’s what’s going to take it from just okay copy that explains what you’re trying to communicate to copy that really connects with the person and forms that emotional connection where now they wanna do business with you over the other coaches who offer the exact same service you do, but they just like you better.
KS (17:38):
Right? So that’s what we wanna do with our copy. So that has been I would say that’s not a huge weakness. It’s, but that’s something to keep in mind. A weakness, another weakness just for me personally is there are some tools that are great for creating original art, but for creating the kind of graphic design I need. So designing really nice emails and I just haven’t seen one yet. There are some that are kind of, you know, testing the waters right now, but I have not seen any that come close. I mean, just, it’s just nowhere close to what a good graphic designer would do on our team. And so that would be a huge
KS (18:20):
Time and money saver if, if we had that. So, you know, hopefully in the near future. But that’s definitely something where, I mean, if you’re just, if you just need original artwork, mid journey is amazing.
AJV (18:31):
KS (18:31):
But again, it’s like there’s a learning curve of how do you even put the prompts in to get the output the same way that I know copywriting and I know the little nuances to ask it. If you’re not a photographer and you don’t really know the nuances of a lens and different colors and aperture and all that kind of stuff, which I don’t know anything about, then you won’t be able to get as good of a prompt as someone who does have that background.
AJV (18:54):
Yeah. Like one of the things, and I’m so glad that you brought that up too our team plays around with Mid Journey a lot with just like, like we’re, we’ve been making, like taking all of our clients’ photos and turning them into like superheroes mm-hmm. , right? It’s like great for little things like that, but like real graphic design. No, not so much.
KS (19:11):
AJV (19:12):
But one of the things that you kind of said, it’s like, and this is what I heard anyway, so tell me if I’m wrong, but it’s like, almost like you already have to be an expert in your field and then AI can just help save you time. But if you don’t know some of these nuanced things, it’s not gonna give you what you want. So instead of, you know, you don’t have to be a copywriter, but you still have to be able to copy edit, right? It’s like,
KS (19:36):
Yeah. You
AJV (19:37):
KS (19:38):
That, that’s exactly how I feel about it. So a lot of people, they, they feel threatened by ai and I’m not saying it won’t completely eliminate marketers, right? So it’s, it’s possible. But for the time being and, and in the near future, what it looks like is it’s just gonna make us way more efficient and effective at what we do. And like you said, so a a good copywriter with AI is gonna be way better than someone who is has no copywriting background using ai and they’re gonna be way faster than a great copywriter who is not using AI ’cause they’re just not saving as much time, right. So mm-hmm. , it’s definitely a tool to be used. And I, I would say though, I think that, I think copy is a little bit easier for someone to pick up with no training in copywriting versus the visual side of, of graphic design. ’cause It is like most people, I mean, we talk every day, so, you know, like yeah,
AJV (20:32):
KS (20:32):
Have an idea of how we would like our company to communicate to us and how we would like to be communicated to versus you know, photography and graphic design is a lot more technical in nature. And if you just have, if you’ve never had any experience with it, you would just never even even learn the terminology. So I definitely think it’s easier for the average person to pick up the copy side of ai.
AJV (20:53):
Yeah. And I love that too, where it’s well I have a question. Do you think that using like chat G P T and other AI sources is going to allow copywriters to lower their prices because now they can do more volume?
KS (21:10):
I def Well, so yeah, I think it’s gonna affect different parts of the market. So you definitely will have a lot of those people, you’ll have a lot of those services where it’s gonna be high volume, low cost. Mm-Hmm. , they’re, you know, because of, because of the, that price point, they’re not gonna be able to put as much time into editing it. Right. And, and the same thing on, I think there’s gonna be probably a higher premium for the truly artistic copywriters who don’t use any AI at all. And there’s gonna be the rest of us in the middle, which is some combination of both. And it’s really for, what I find with clients is they, they care about the quality of the output. Yeah.
AJV (21:46):
KS (21:46):
Don’t, they’re not really, I, I thought people would not like the idea of us using ai. I found that they kind of, their attitude is, well, if you’re not using ai, you’re like, are you really even keeping up? Are you gonna be able to, you know, keep, are you, are you gonna be innovative and be able to help us keep up with everyone else? And they don’t seem to be like bothered by it at all as long as the final output, which is the emails we’re creating for them. As long as they like those mm-hmm. They like how it represents their brand, they’re performing well. They never really ask questions about about that.
AJV (22:19):
Yeah. No, that’s interesting. I think our response has been right nor wrong is yeah, I’m still happy to pay your full prices, but can you get it done faster? , it’s like ai, can you just get it done faster? It’s like, instead of it taking, you know, three weeks, I’m like, how about like next week? You know maybe unrealistic. But I think those are some of the expectations that we’re seeing in the marketplace too, of like, it’s requiring people to speed up and that’s not always a good thing. I don’t always agree with that, but it’s definitely creating that higher level of responsiveness and speed potentially at a lower quality product potentially. But I just, I still think, yes, it’s gonna be a huge time saver and for the people who can’t afford that, it’s, if you learn how to ask the right prompts, you’re gonna get something that’s usable, which I think is the end goal here for people as they’re, you know, trying to get all the things done.
AJV (23:11):
And they’re on a limited budget, which most of us have budgets. So super helpful. So I wanna kind of expand beyond AI before we went outta time. ’cause I could talk about this for a really long time ’cause I find it fascinating. But I would love to just talk about email marketing in general of, I think this is one of those things that over the last few years, at least in our circle in our community, that people have kind of stopped talking about. I think there has been such a unbelievably heavy focus and emphasis on social media that people have stopped talking about the value and the importance of your email list and email marketing. And at least for us, we find that we would much rather have a bigger email list than a big than a big social following. I care much more about our email marketing than a do just having a new, you know, social media campaign. I’m not saying it’s not important, I’m just saying I think there is, I there has been a devaluing on the importance of your email list and email marketing in the digital landscape. And I would love to kind of just be like, let’s, let’s talk about the importance of your email list and the importance of email marketing and let’s bring it back to, hey, don’t forget all this other stuff is not yours, but your list that’s yours.
KS (24:28):
Exactly. That, that’s really what it comes down to or comes back to for me, is that your email list is really the only channel that you own and control where you can directly communicate with your leads and customers versus social media. And so to your point, the, the two things I see the most often as far as, you know, why do people neglect email marketing is one, they’re just, you know, there’s so many new and sexy things out there with social media and AI and all this stuff that they know like, email’s always been there, it’s always gonna be there. I’ll get to it at some point. And so they think that, and they haven’t actually personally seen firsthand how valuable it can be. So it’s, it’s a lower priority for them. And then for other people, I think that it’s, it’s just kind of taken for granted. Like they maybe they have been doing it, but they didn’t realize that they haven’t been strategic about it. So maybe they do a monthly newsletter and so they’re like, yeah, we have a list and you know, we don’t really generate very many sales from it. So they’ve kind of written it off, but they, they never really did the deep dive into, okay, what can I actually do with email mm-hmm.
AJV (25:34):
, whereas
KS (25:35):
They did that with everything they did on social media. They were just a sponge and they wanted to learn everything and they didn’t take that same attitude with email. So they haven’t gotten the same results out of it. And you know, I mean, truthfully, social media is awesome and a lot of businesses have have built their businesses off of social media and they get almost all of their sales from there, if not all of their sales. And so they might be thinking, why do I need email? But I can tell you on the other side, so like with the types of businesses we work with, email typically generates 30 to 60% of their total revenue.
AJV (26:09):
Hmm. And
KS (26:09):
It’s a lot easier to do than social media. It’s a, it’s a lot cheaper to do than social media and it’s a lot more reliable month to month. And you don’t have to worry about, you know, all of a sudden they make a change in the algorithm and now your people aren’t, aren’t getting your content as much, or you have to pay more for them to see your content. You don’t have those issues that you have on social media. Yeah,
AJV (26:31):
No, I love that. And you said something that I wanna dive into is people don’t know what they can do with their email marketing. So what can people do with their email marketing? I would, would, I would love to kind of bring this back to the focus of, you know, what we talk about at Brain Builders Group because it’s a huge part of our business. Like, I think less than 1% of all of our clients come from social. It’s like we track all of that so super diligently, not most of ours come from podcasts, but it’s, it’s so interesting of how we’re tracking it, but if we were to go to our email engagement and our email, it’s like, so monumentally more significant to us. So what can people be doing in their email list with email marketing? Like, what are some of the things that are really working?
KS (27:18):
So the first place every business should start is, I call it optimizing your sales process, which is really just creating all of the automated email sequences that make sense for your business to get someone to go from being a stranger to being a customer. Mm-Hmm. . So what you can do is just first audit your sales process. So if it’s, say you’re a coaching business and people typically they land on your site, they maybe they sign up for some sort of lead magnet or maybe you don’t even have that. Maybe the process for them to, to become a client is they have to first do a sales call and then maybe there’s, you know, follow up where they make a decision on the call and they sign up. Or maybe you have a webinar that they have to go to before they get to the sales call.
KS (27:59):
Whatever your sales process is, map it out step by step. And in your analytics, look at how many people make it to each step. And then there’s gonna be typically at least one area where there’s a major drop off where lots of people make it to the webinar, but very few sign up for the call on the webinar. That’s gonna be the first place where if you put in an automated sequence to do follow up right there, where you’re gonna get the, the most immediate return on your effort because there’s just a lot of low hanging fruit. But ideally you won’t wanna have that follow up in place in between every single step in your sales process. And what it does is, is just more follow, you’re giving them relevant information for where they’re at in the sales journey. So depending on the software you’re using, for example, if you, if you have a webinar or a free training, typically there’s, you’re gonna have a pitch at the end.
KS (28:47):
You might have some value content for most of it, and you have a pitch at the end. And if the, so if you’re using the right software, you can see if people make it to the end or not. So if people don’t make it to the end, you can send them follow up information to send ’em the information that would’ve been in the pitch that they didn’t see. So a lot of times we assume, oh, when no one signed up, we assume they weren’t interested. Well maybe they didn’t even see the offer in the first place. So yeah, that’s, that’s the first place and that’s really where, I mean, to me that’s the, not only the highest priority, but you’re gonna get the most return for your effort. ’cause Once you set it all up, it’s just running 24 7. Beyond that, you wanna look at, okay, now how are we gonna start doing email campaigns on a regular basis to the different people on your list?
AJV (29:31):
Yeah. No, I love starting with the sales process because at the end of the day, most of this is for some sort of conversion. It’s nurturing, conversion, nurturing, conversion. So I love, love starting there. What would you say for the people who are going, okay, I have something in place, but it’s not really working, what would be some of the best things to put in the emails as you’re thinking of like, okay, maybe you have a webinar and they didn’t show up. Or maybe you have an application that people have to fill out and maybe they have to schedule a call and like all the things. And if they didn’t buy, what’s the follow up? What, what would you say for the people who are going, yeah, I have that, but it’s not really doing it, it’s not working. What would you say to go back and look at in terms of like, the actual words and content in the emails?
KS (30:19):
Okay, so let’s say if you had the webinar people sign up, but no one’s really responding afterwards. First thing is, ’cause you might need to, there’s multiple tests you might have to do here. But first let’s just assume that they like the webinar. And we, and we’re just gonna try to change the outcome with the emails, is I would look at, okay, at this stage, what information do they really need? Mm-Hmm. , if these are people who have signed up that aren’t really very familiar with you, or maybe they’ve, maybe they’ve, you know, followed you on social a little bit, then you want to have an introduction to your brand. Tell a brand story. If you don’t have one, I would create one. There’s a, a great book called Building a StoryBrand, which should walk you through this framework of like, how do I talk about my brand in a way that’s interesting to people?
KS (31:01):
Let them know about all of the, you know, unique value props of your business. But really you also want to make sure you are addressing questions and objections. So all of the big questions people have, all of the sales objections address those early and often in those emails because a lot of times you won’t get the opportunity, they won’t give you the opportunity to a, to answer those questions, right? So you’re not gonna hear them ask, but they still have those questions. So all of that stuff needs to be given to them early. So it’s very easy for them to make a decision to move forward. And then the, the overarching thing here is that all of the emails should be framed around them. Mm-Hmm. So even though I said you wanna introduce your brand, tell your brand story all that, I don’t mean you just go on and on about yourself and how great you are.
KS (31:43):
It’s all about what you bring to the table and what that means for them. What, what they are going to get out of it, what they are going to experience. So talk about the, you know, before and after of this, of their scenario. So if you offer some sort of you know, service, whether it’s coaching or professional service or whatever, know people are paying for outcomes. They’re not just paying for the service. So you wanna tell stories and you know, and involve the emotions of what someone is experiencing in this before state, before they have the results they want and what they’re going to feel and experience after they have those results. And so that’s gonna make, that’s just gonna resonate a lot more with people and it’s gonna make your, your marketing a lot more powerful. And then if that, if all of that doesn’t work, maybe it’s the offer, maybe you just need to try a different offer on the front end and the people who already signed up and didn’t engage with the first one, they’re not lost.
KS (32:35):
You can always just try to, you can pitch them on a new free offer and then get them involved in a new sequence. And you can bring of course, other new, new leads into that as well. But that’s a great way. Sometimes it might take two or three offers before you find the one that really resonates. And so if you keep testing these emails and nothing’s working, it’s not always the emails. Sometimes it’s just the, the way you started the relationship with them in the first place was either targeting the wrong people or it just positioned you with the wrong offer for what they’re looking for.
AJV (33:06):
Yeah. Super insightful. And I subscribe to all kinds of weird offers just so I can watch the email sequences , just so I can read them. This is the business that we’re in. And one of the things that I find is that the people who focus so much on what problem am I solving for you and what is life gonna look like after, even if I’m not interested in buying, I’m kind of like, oh, I like that. Or that is me. Mm-Hmm. versus the people who just talk about, you know, and here’s the great, you know, things that we do and here’s who we work with. And I’m like, I don’t care. Like I want to know what you’re gonna do for me. And even if I, you know, I subscribe to so many of these just to audit them. But it’s interesting how often I’ll find myself going, yeah, tell me more .
AJV (33:49):
Yeah, tell me more. It’s like, I’m not a prospect, but yet I’m interested and it’s really easy. And I would just say like, for anyone listening, if you don’t do that, do that. Right. Be a study of this process. There are plenty of people who do this well and plenty of people who don’t do it well. So just start kind of like testing things out out there and just, you know, kind of like put yourself in a bunch of funnels. ’cause You’ll see really quickly like how many are they sending? How long are they? Which I have a question for you about that. But also just reading like the meat of the emails is so insightful. And I love what you said. It’s like you can’t make it about you, you gotta make it about them. And that’s where looking at the analytics makes a big, big difference.
KS (34:32):
Yeah, definitely.
AJV (34:34):
Okay, so here’s the this is an ongoing debate in our company about email link. And there’s two schools of thought on this and I’m probably much more into tell ’em exactly what they need to know, what they need to hear and nothing else. And my husband, my business partner loves to tell them all the things. And so I’m gonna use you as our tiebreaker here. What would you say that you’re seeing in terms of trends when it’s like, how long should the email be?
KS (35:04):
So I would, I would say is the rule of thumb is to be concise. Like more often than not, lean towards keeping the emails short and to the point. But I will say the emails we do tend to be longer. On average, they tend to be a little longer. And, but it’s more challenging to have a really effective longer email ’cause you have to hold their attention. Mm-Hmm.
AJV (35:27):
KS (35:28):
So it depends on what you’re selling. So for people, for a personal brand, I actually prefer just text only shorter emails, keep ’em brief, keep ’em specific around a specific topic. One call to action and, and keep it pretty simple. And, you know, if you, if you don’t get to cover everything you wanted to just send another email later to, to take that other angle. Just because again, people have short attention spans in the personal branding space. Whether you’re a coach, consultant, whatever it is they really, really wanna know about you and like they want to, it’s not just about your service because you probably have, you know, insane competition, whatever you’re offering. There’s just, there’s a ton of coaches and consultants. So it’s not always just about your unique mechanism. They have to relate to you. And, and so if you can keep these emails, you know, if they’re, if they’re not reading the emails, they’re not gonna relate to you.
KS (36:20):
So you want, if you keep ’em shorter, keep ’em specific, keep ’em friendly, conversational, that’s a great way. But just, just to throw it out there. And maybe this will give your husband some fuels. I will say a lot of our emails are longer and, but a lot of times it’s because for example, if we’re, ’cause we work with a lot of product-based businesses, so a lot of times we’re doing a combination of having educational content in the email with an offer, with a relevant offer at the end. So for example, if we’re selling supplements, there’s a million, you know, angles we can take for topics around, you know, you could, it could be as general as, you know, fat loss or building muscle, but we like to get specific into things like, you know, how to shop for healthy groceries on a budget, you know, those kind of things.
KS (37:03):
Mm-Hmm. . So the email will have an intro, it’s gonna catch their retention resonate with them. It will have maybe, you know, three to five tips. And because we do a lot of heavy graphic design with our e-comm emails, you know, the copy is broken up, so it’s very easy to scan the content. But if you were to actually see the copy written out on a blank page, you would think, wow, that’s a lot of copy. It just doesn’t seem that way whenever it’s designed out because it, it flows seamlessly. There’s graphics to point their eyes into each direction. There’s subheaders to where they don’t need to read each paragraph. They can get all the information for the most part by just skimming it. So that’s the thing I would say is that the longer the email is, the more there’s a burden on you for every line to be really good to keep moving them forward or to use some graphic design to assist in the readability of the email. ’cause Ultimately, again, if they don’t read it, you’re not getting your message across, you would be better off just keeping it short and making sure they actually get the information you want them to get rather than knowing that you’re holding a little bit back that you’d love for them to have. But if you know they’re not going to, they’re not gonna consume it, then you might as well just save the space.
AJV (38:12):
No, those are super great. I think one of the things that I’ve noticed I don’t know if this is accurate or not, but the higher the price point, the more the coffee.
KS (38:22):
So that’s definitely, that’s all, that’s been a, a long time thing with copywriting. So like the, the really, you know, if you go to a long sales page for a big offer especially if it’s like, you know, multiple thousands or 10,000 plus. Yes. So you’re expecting this super long sales page with a, maybe a really long video sales letter on the sales page. But what’s interesting is that that doesn’t have to always be the case with the emails. In fact, I actually learned this from Frank Kern. I I did this program with Frank Kern and it was a huge investment and his, his emails were all very brief, but of course it was Frank Kern. He is, he is a legend in the marketing space and the copywriting space. So, so I was already pre-sold based on that, but he kind of taught us this format of, you have the, the offer section of the email stays pretty consistent from email to email when you’re selling these high ticket services.
KS (39:17):
Meaning that you’ll say like, you know, in this program you’ll, you’ll get, and then you list off like four or five bullets of the, the benefits, but it’s the copy that goes before that where you’re having a different conversation each time. So you’re trying to target a specific pain point specific benefit each time, then you lead to the offer. But really the email itself is pretty short, but he is having you do a high frequency of emails. So as opposed to it being one long email or maybe five long emails, it’s like 10 shorter emails Yeah.
AJV (39:46):
You know,
KS (39:46):
Within a certain timeframe. So yeah, I definitely feel like that, while that is the rule of thumb, you don’t have to go, you don’t have to feel the pressure of doing really long copy if you’re selling something high ticket.
AJV (39:59):
No, I love that. And I think in general, I, I find myself anyway preferring, I’d rather get a higher frequency and keep it short if I can. We follow the, the window pane policy, right? It’s like if I have to scroll, I’m probably gonna come back to it later, but if I can get the gist of it and just like what you see as you’re pulling up your outlook it’s like that’s gonna give me the gist of, oh, I do wanna read that. Versus my goodness if I see some of these emails where I’m like, I’m scrolling, I’m scrolling, I’m like, I’ll get to it later and then eventually I just end up deleting it. But that’s just me. That’s just, no,
KS (40:34):
No. I mean, that’s,
AJV (40:35):
You find
KS (40:36):
That that’s pretty normal. And I, I think really it’s like you have to have a, usually there’s a sales call involved with a high ticket offer mm-hmm.
AJV (40:42):
. And
KS (40:43):
I think that that’s where you need to have a really good sales script and, and sales call, you know, experience dialed in for people and those short emails. It’s just, it’s not so much selling the full high ticket program. It’s like, we’re just trying to sell the call right now in those shorter emails and then let the sales call do its thing. Right. So, ’cause people will try to do too much in email and like you said, if you don’t read it, then the whole purpose was defeated.
AJV (41:09):
Mm-Hmm. . Good, good, good tips. Okay. I’ve got two last questions for you. Okay. What would you say is the number one, or even number two, like number one and two, but what are the top biggest mistakes that you are seeing right now when it comes to email marketing?
KS (41:25):
The, probably the most common mistake is relying too much on discounts and emails. A lot of people have this idea that if I’m, like, they think that they’re going to be annoying their list by sending an email. So they think if I’m going to email them, I have to make it really good, I have to make it special for them, or they’re not gonna buy, which is not true at all. But, you know, if you have that preconceived notion, you’re gonna, you can see that play out because that’s will, that will frame how you write your copy. But a lot of times, you know, people get addicted to the spikes in sales that come with offering a big discounted promotion, and then you end up training your list to only buy when there’s a discount when you do that. And so I see this, I mean, I see this all the time over and over where it’s, it is difficult to wean people off of those discounts. So you’re better off not getting to that place in the first place if you haven’t already done that yet. So that’s that’s probably the most common one. Another one, which is maybe a little bit lesser known would be that not sending every email to everyone on your list. Hmm.
AJV (42:25):
KS (42:25):
I, it is another assumption people, people make, which, you know, I can’t fault them because if, if you don’t, if this isn’t your world and you’re not nerding out on email marketing stuff, then you would just assume, well, I have this really valuable asset, which is my email list, and so I’m gonna get the most value I can out of this. So every time I send an email, I want it to go to everyone that can possibly reach it, because that’s how I’m gonna get the most amount of sales.
AJV (42:47):
KS (42:47):
And again, that’s, that’s actually not true. What would be better is to segment your list and create different segments of groups of buyers so you can segment them based on how recently they’ve engaged with you, based on their past purchase history, based on where they live, their gender, all kinds of things. And then you craft the content of the email more specifically to that group. And now you can actually send out more frequent emails, but not everyone is getting every email and the emails they are getting are a lot more personalized to them. So that’s a way to not only get more sales per email send, but have a way to scale up the volume of emails you send without annoying your list. Because not everyone in your list is going to be getting all of those emails.
AJV (43:30):
Love that. I love, just don’t try to make it so general that applies to everyone, but cater to the different segments of your list so you can make it more personable. Love that. Such a good tip. And all right, here’s my last question. So I love those, those are really good. What would you say that you would tell someone who’s asking, okay, but what kind of emails do I send to my list now that I have all these people on the list? Let’s say they’re not in like a sales funnel, but I just have a large list. Like, or even if I have a small list, what do people want? Like what do people want when it comes to emails today?
KS (44:08):
Okay, so you first have to have the attitude of, i I call it always be testing. Kinda like salespeople say, always be closing, where you have to be willing to have some emails just not perform well. Mm-Hmm. And know that you’re, you’re testing new topics. So if you’ve done the initial research of, you know, defining your ideal customer profile, you have some idea of the big wants and needs and pain points they care about, then first just start with the big ones and start crafting some content around a specific pain point or a specific benefit that ties to what you’re selling. And just first start with those. So keep it more like evergreen. These are, these are emails that would be relevant today and a year from today, and they would always be true. So first just start testing those to get an idea of, okay, of the big topics, what does my list care about the most?
KS (44:59):
And you’ll know, because you can’t judge the first email because if you haven’t sent an email in a long time, or if it’s the first one you’re sending, you have nothing to compare it to. So send one email a week for a month at the end of the month, look at, out of those four emails, okay, which one performed the best? What, what was said in that email? What was the offer if it was different? And then the next month, keep that same type of topic in rotation, but try talking about it from a different angle and then maybe mix in a couple of other, you know, slightly related topics. And then try something completely, you know, brand new left field as another one to test. And as you go on, you’re gonna start narrowing it down to certain benefits or certain things about your service that they care about most.
KS (45:41):
And there are a lot of times it’s surprising a lot of times the things that you think are most important are not really what they care about. And so that’s where a lot of times we have to give them what they want mm-hmm. before we can give them what they need. ’cause Like again, if you’re selling a service, you know what they need, but a lot of times people don’t want what they need. They want what they want. And that’s usually like, you know, faster results than are what are realistic or mm-hmm. , you know, whatever it’s like. So those emails, especially if you can give them tips that give them quick wins, that’s a great way to, to win them over. But just to give you something specific to use, I, I call it having a conversation starter. So it’s just, you start the email around a specific topic.
KS (46:20):
So I’ll, again, I’ll go with, you know, I always use supplements as a, as examples. So well, let’s just say jewelry for, for example. If say you’re selling jewelry, a specific pain point might be that people have a hard time defining their style. Mm-Hmm. So you just write an email, just give them a little few tips about how they could define their personal style. And then at the end of the email, you share some jewelry options that are great for matching with different outfits or different styles or whatever. They’re very versatile. And so now you have a very, it’s a non-salesy, very relevant offer for them. And if they’re not in the market to buy today, they at least got those tips and hopefully they learn something interesting. So they’ll keep coming back to open future emails. And if you, if you just take that, that framework and that attitude and just test different topics each time, after two or three months, you’ll have a pretty good idea of what works for your list and what doesn’t
AJV (47:14):
Love that. I just, even like, as you were talking, thinking about fun and creative ways that just thinking about our list, even at Brand Builders group of, you know, we cater so super specifically to people who are trying to build their personal brand to increase brand awareness for lead generation or speaking or writing a book of even doing something that would be super heavy incentivized for just people who are in the book stages of wanna know how to sell this many books. Here are the 10 things you can do right now. And that would be a super easy thing just as you were just even talking about that, about how to reengage people that we’re not doing. And so again, it’s just those little reminders of like, oh yeah, like we should do that.
KS (48:00):
Yeah. That’s and that’s exactly what I’m talking about, where the, the tendency is to, oh, we need to tell them every single time about the book part and about the public speaking part and about everything else. And what I always tell people is, well, you can do that sometimes, but hone in on one specific thing at a time. And when you see the reaction to it, you start to learn which aspects of your offer they really care about most. And you, then you can just lean into that more.
AJV (48:23):
Love that. So awesome. What an amazing conversation. Thank you so much. This has been so helpful and so insightful. And for everyone listening I will put all of this in the show notes, but also there is an awesome free resource that Kyle has provided if you go to when before you send.com. So when before you send.com, you can download a really awesome checklist that you can go through before you launch your next email marketing campaign. So go grab that resource. It’s going to be what we covered today and so much more, but win before you send.com. Grab that resource. And also if you wanna learn more about Kyle and his business, go to elevate and scale.com. And Kyle, if people just wanna follow you on social media, where should they go?
KS (49:18):
Yeah, the best place would be my YouTube channel, which is Elevate and Scale.
AJV (49:22):
Elevate and Scale. You got it. Kyle, thank you so much. This was so awesome. So many awesome tips. And for everybody else, stick around for the recap episode and we will see you next time on the influential personal brand.