Simple Kickstart Strategy for Local Business Email Marketing with Jody Underhill

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Interview Transcript

Jack:      Hey, everybody. It’s Jack Mize here and today I’m really excited because we have Jody Underhill. Jody is a local Internet marketing expert. He’s also a speaker and a trainer not just serving local and small businesses (local geographic areas) but he’s also a respected expert and trainer to local marketing consultants – people that are actually out there helping you.

One of the things you’re going to get out of today is not only learning some great stuff and I think some very important things that you can put into immediate action, but also you are going to learn some of the questions to ask when you may be interviewing a local marketing consultant around particularly today’s topic which is Email Marketing. You’ll know some questions to ask to make sure that they are on the same page and they have that marketing mindset not just the technical side of it.

So Jody, welcome. Glad you could be here.

Jody:      Thanks, Jack. I’m glad to be here. I’m really looking forward to sharing with the audience and finding out what’s going on and what your questions are and then helping people be able to go out and really take their email marketing to another level. I’m excited to be here with you today.

Jack:      Yeah. What I really like today is we’re not just talking about email marketing. We’re talking about some very specific problems that local businesses are facing…not just obstacles but just the pure neglect. They’re completely neglecting and ignoring one of the most powerful assets they have which is an email list.

If they don’t have an email list they’re really ignoring one of the most powerful opportunities they have. So let’s get started.

First of all, tell us a little bit about you, what you do, and how you got started in this.

Jody:      Sure. I’m actually fairly new to the marketing space online. I worked for the power company for 26 years, and about 7 years ago I decided it was time to go and do something else. When I left the power company I didn’t go straight into online marketing.

I actually bought a coaching franchise and was a certified business coach working with from half million up type clients. I worked with them in their business and after about a year I kind of got dismayed with it…#1 because I didn’t really agree with the actual model of the franchise that I had bought. When I bought it I didn’t know what I didn’t know kind of thing

Jack:      That’s a unique situation, huh?

Jody:      Yeah, really. Absolutely. You fork over about 50 grand and then you decide that you don’t like it. What I found was…I had a lot of great results.

People really liked the program I was running but what a lot of the people really needed (a lot of the people I met with)…This program was really meant to help them act more like a CEO of their business. It’s really hard to get people to focus on acting like a CEO of their business when their biggest concern is trying to keep the lights on and keep the doors open.

A lot of these people I was meeting with what I found is what they needed instead of a business coach to help them act like a CEO, what they really needed was more business.

I really started digging into how I could help these people get more business. What are the marketing aspects out there that are available to them? How can I maybe help them with their biggest need?

That’s when I actually stumbled onto helping local businesses with their online marketing because there are enough people out there trying to do offline stuff. I wanted to know how I could help them get more business because people were looking more and more for businesses online. That’s how I actually started studying this and got very successful very quickly because of putting the right things in place to actually help people start to see business coming in the door.

I had a vested interest with these people. I wasn’t just to begin with selling them local marketing. I was also helping them with other aspects and I got so engrained in it and got so passionate about it I actually stopped doing the business coaching and actually gave the franchise back to the corporation that I bought it from so I could focus specifically on helping businesses with their marketing. That’s how passionate I got with it. Today it still drives me.

Jack:      I find that a case that really happens a lot when I talk to a lot of business owners. A lot of times they’re doing the right things but at the wrong time in the wrong order.

So it sounds like you discovered that going in there with their coaching that you needed to work ON their business rather than IN their business. But what you discovered was they may not be at that point yet. They’re just trying to get people in. Let’s actually get some cash flow going.

Yeah, I find that often and usually that’s what businesses are doing. They need cash flow but they’re being sold branding. They’re not doing direct marketing. They’re doing more things that ‘Well, I really want people to get and know my brand.’

I’m all for branding but first things first. Let’s get payroll done and let’s get some leads generated.

Jody:      Right.

Jack:      One of the ways you do this which I really really have a passion for and love talking about is through email. You’ve heard people say: Aw, email is dead. Well, you know what? To me social media, video marketing, just about any marketing you do leads back to getting someone on the email list so you can build that relationship and continue that relationship. To me it’s still the core. If I had to pick one thing to do it would be the email.

What you’ve discovered and I see all the time are businesses that collect emails and then do what with them?

Jody:      Nothing. They don’t do anything with them. They have the best intentions. It’s not their fault. They’re just busy running their business.

What I’ve found is when you go in there…A classic example is a restaurant where you drop you business card in the fishbowl to win a free lunch. The reason behind that thought process is if they drop a business card in and they win a free lunch they’re not going to come by themselves. They’re going to bring some friends with them probably. If I get them back in the door again then they’ll come back more often. That’s their thought process and it’s fine.

That is a good thought process. They just don’t do anything other than maybe give away that free lunch every week or couple of weeks, if they even remember to do it.

If you can just help a business like that that has a “fishbowl” in sending out a message systematically to those people who have already been there, they already know, like and trust the restaurant enough that they’ve dropped their business card in to win the free lunch, then you’ll be able to systematically put that message in front of them then you can bring more business back in the door.

Notice I didn’t say new business. It’s more business. You’re bringing those people back.

Jack:      That’s one of the most powerful things – especially restaurants that you mentioned. Just about any business one of the quickest ways to get that ROI is not necessarily with the new customers but get your current customers to come back (1) more often, (2) spend more money, (3) tell their friends/family and potentially even strangers about what you have to offer.

I’ve got to say I’ve seen that. I’ve seen fishbowls full of business cards that – just like you said- the only email address that they use is that one that they draw out to let them know or they call them.

I think about how many businesses that I walk into that has the classic clipboard on the counter. Here…put your email down. Sign up for our email list. Sign up for our newsletter….that kind of thing. Then they do the exact same thing.

I see old yellow curled pages underneath that they’ve been collecting that for years and have done absolutely nothing with them.

There’s a sports memorabilia place that I went to that he lost his lease. His landlord was selling the building. He moved 1500 feet…been in the same address for 20 years…moved 1500 feet away into a new building and nearly had to close his business down because his customers didn’t know where he was, couldn’t find him, thought he was closed. When I walked in there do you know what was sitting on his counter?

Jody:      Clipboard.

Jack:      A clipboard full of email listings over the years. I said: What do you do with that? I don’t know. I just collect them. Somebody told me to collect them a long time ago.

That right there could save his business just by letting people know that: Hey, I moved 1500 feet away.

Jody:      It made sense for him. He was a collector, right? This is the way to do it. He’s a collector. You collect email addresses? What am I going to do with them? I don’t know but I’m collecting email addresses.

The only problem is when you collect an email address it does not increase in value. It decreases in value every day that goes by that you’re not sending them a message it decreases instead of increases in value.

Jack:      Let’s break through some myths about this. Let’s start with a business like we talked about. They’ve been collecting the cards in their fishbowls. They have clipboards with email addresses on there. So let’s get down to it mechanically.

What is it that your suggestion is that they would do with this?

Jody:      The easiest thing to do is obviously to take that list and put it into a simple email auto responder. There are a number of them out there. The ones I happen to like are very easy to utilize. The other one is Constant Contact. They let you import emails without going through a lot of hassle of having to opt people in.

The thing is if they’ve written their name down or if they’ve dropped a business card in a fishbowl or whatever they’ve given implied permission because they’ve given you their information.

Jack:      You’ve made an important point. I want to make sure we don’t skip over this. The email program that you use is very important to pick. The two that you mentioned (iContact and Constant Contact®) I know will allow you import emails from an offline list – from fishbowl collection.

A lot of the other ones that are popular like AWeber and things like that, even though they are very powerful and great auto responder and email management systems, that’s the one thing that you’re going to run into a big obstacle in importing those offline lists. That’s something that folks need to take into consideration.

Jody:      Right. I personally like iContact better than Constant Contact® because there are some limitations with Constant Contact® as far as far as how many auto responders you can have and creating the lead capture form which we’ll talk about a little bit more. iContact for me is just a very well rounded program for doing that.

The thing is it’s not just fishbowls and clipboards with emails. The other thing is almost every business out there that you can think of has a fishbowl. It just doesn’t look like a fishbowl.

There may be business owners who are thinking: Well, I don’t have a fishbowl. Let me give you some examples of some.

For instance, if you ever go into a doctor’s or dentist’s or chiropractor’s office they have a fishbowl. It just doesn’t look like a fishbowl. Instead, it’s in the shape and form of all those folders that are behind the receptionist with those colored tabs on them. I don’t want the colored tabs mean but I know they’re always there.

I don’t know as much for a medical doctor, but the types of businesses where people are coming back and spending their discretionary income those are very good. You can bring those people back in who have already been there because if you have their information, they’ve already been to your business, they’ve already had your services, and they already know what to expect.

Whenever you send them a communication offering them a discount or offering them a special or just saying: Hey, we just haven’t heard form you in awhile….Whatever communication you’re going to send, they know who it is that they’re getting it from. It’s not a shock to them. It’s not like it came out of the blue for them.

A case in point…My wife also owns a marketing business. She actually works with a cosmetic surgeon who happens to be a Vein Clinic. He had over 2,000 people that he had emails he had collected over the 8 years he had been in business…some from networking events but mostly from people who had been in his office and had gotten their information.

Notice I said 2,000 emails. He did not have an email list. What we did was we took those and imported them into iContact like we talked about, and sent out one promotion per month based on the time of year, based on whatever kind of special he could run. That one email a month brings him in an additional $20,000 a month…just from one email.

He doesn’t send 4, 5, or 6…one email. It may be: Buy Botox® vials at his cost and you only have to pay for the injections…or…It may be a percentage off SmartLipo…or…A percentage off of SkinMedica Skin Care whatever.

He has all these different things and because his price points appeal to different people who have come in for different things he doesn’t send the same thing out every time.

He had been in business about 8 years whenever we started working with him and the best year he ever had was a little over a half million dollars. Started working with him towards the end of 2011, and in 2012 he broke a million dollars.

Jack:      That’s incredible. If he was doing a half million dollars and then $20,000 additional revenue from one email a month, I’m not great with the digits but that’s another quarter of a million dollars almost just from one single email.

Jody:      Right.

Jack:      For one thing, let’s clear up what that email list costs. People think: Well, what does the software cost? What does it take to get into….?

Jody:      Oh, it’s terrible. It’s expensive. You can’t afford this. Don’t tell them, Jack. They’ll get sticker shock.

Jack:      Yeah. So what does a typical account with 2,000 email addresses cost?

Jody:      It’s around 50 bucks.

Jack:      Fifty bucks for $20,000 additional revenue for this business. I’d have to think about it for awhile but I think that adds up.

Jody:      ROI will almost cover it.

Jack:      Yeah. That’s incredible. You made another very important point. You said he sent one email a month.

A lot of businesses I talk to about their email marketing one of the first things they say is: Well, I don’t want to send out junk mail. I’m afraid. I don’t want to be a spammer. That’s what they think that people send emails but people don’t read emails. That’s really not true.

You’re not going to get everyone on your email list to open those emails and read them, but you don’t need them to.

People worry about unsubscribes. The fact is people that unsubscribe aren’t going to be your best customers anyway.

So talk a little bit about that and the myth or notion that you’re sending junk mail and to get over that implied worry (or to me) obstacle of ‘What if people unsubscribe?’

Jody:      Sure. The first one is you don’t want to be a spammer. Well, put it this way. If you’re worried about being a spammer – Would your content only be considered beneficial to you? If that’s the case then it may not be received very well. But if you’re offering and providing them with great content that they can utilize whether they choose to do business with you or not…

Don’t just send out: Here’s a special. What we do with the special with the cosmetic surgeon is we send out a tip that has to do with that season of the year and it also blends into ‘If that’s something of interest, here’s the offer.’

You want to give them information that they’ll find you whether they choose to do business with you or not and when you do that they look forward to seeing what the next thing’s going to be. They look forward to opening the next email.

If all you do is send: Buy my stuff. Buy my stuff…with very blatant promotion, then it might not be received as well. But as long as you can send out something they find quality and believe me…The people that come into the Vein Clinic are excited when they come in there because it’s something they probably were going to do anyway and now they’re getting it at a discount.

Whenever he sends out a promotion to buy the Botox® vials for his cost he sells out within 48 hours of pushing the send button on that email. They are not looking at that as spam. They’re looking at that as value added to promotion.

Jack:      Yeah, and particularly for businesses that obtain these emails through a fishbowl or through a clipboard. Those people have actually made an effort ‘Yes, send me something. Yes, I’m interested in what you have to say.’

So you already have the people that have given you permission. That’s really what it comes down to…permission based marketing.

Jody:      If they unsubscribe they’re doing you a favor. If they unsubscribe they didn’t want to get your message anyway.

I used to be concerned about those. Oh, they unsubscribed. What did I do wrong? Nothing.

People will unsubscribe  because of a number of reasons. They may have gotten 3 emails that day from different things and they’ve just gone through and need to clean out how many emails they get. It’s not personal when they unsubscribe. They’re just saying they don’t want to get this anymore.

The way I look at that and the way I explain it to people is if you’ve ever been to a restaurant – and I’m sure most people on here have probably been to a restaurant- and the waitress is walking around with the coffee…I just ate at Cracker Barrel. I was on my way back from Raleigh yesterday and had coffee. The waitress would come around and bring the coffee.

Two times she came around and asked me if I wanted more coffee and I said: No, thank you. I don’t want anymore coffee. She came around again. I said: No, thank you. I don’t want anymore coffee.

She did not go back in the backroom and go: Oh, my gosh! He didn’t want anymore coffee. I wonder if I did something wrong? I guess I’m not a good enough coffee server. I didn’t ask the right...No. I just didn’t want anymore coffee.

If they unsubscribe they don’t want the information. They’re not mad at you. It’s not a personal attack. They just said: No, thank you. You’re giving them the option to do that.

If you’re putting unsubscribe button down there don’t be surprised if some people unsubscribe, of course.

Here’s the way I look at this. Here’s everybody on your email list. Here’s the people that wouldn’t open the email no matter if they signed up for it and got the first one. Then there’s the people who open a few emails and then probably ‘Yeah, I kind of like it…don’t like it.’ They could take it or leave it. Then there’s this little circle. These are the people who are waiting for your next email. Market to those people because that’s where the money is.

Those people that open those emails all the time…Like I said, it’s a big pie and it gets smaller and smaller until you get to that little circle in the middle and that’s where your money is.

It’s the 80/20 rule. Eighty percent of your income from your email list is going to come from 20% of the people that are on it.

So if they unsubscribed it’s the people who weren’t going to buy anything else anyway. Just don’t sweat it.

Jack:      Yeah, now I’m going to have an issue with your analogy of the waitress there because you’re from South Carolina, right?

Jody:      Yeah. Well, I live in South Carolina now.

Jack:      I’m in Texas. I can tell you there’s some cooks out here that when you turn away thirds…’Oh, you didn’t like it?’ So that’s why you can’t think like that. You’re exactly right.

Now let’s go to the other side of the extreme and those are the people…There’s the businesses that worry about: I don’t want to offend anyone. I don’t want to send too much email. I don’t want to be a junk mail or spammer.

Now let’s go to the other side and talk about the things you should avoid doing with email. I’ve known people that: Oh, that’s great! I know this big email list that I could just start importing…or…I saw someone who was selling an email list. I could put that in.

Let’s talk about the other side of that and what not to do as far as stuffing your email program with a bunch of emails of people that didn’t sign up for it and have no relationship at all with you but you just happened to come across this big email list.

Jody:      My advice when people asked me that is: Don’t do it. For one if you have a big email list importing a big email list is a red flag anyway. No matter how lenient the service that you’re using is the bigger the list the more of a red flag it raises…Where did this come from? And if they didn’t opt in and you’re sending a message and they don’t know you, then they’re probably not going to open it anyway or they’re going to mark it inappropriate.

I always tell people that they’re better off to utilize a list that they grow themselves. You’ll always get much higher conversion and you’ll always have people that know, like, and trust you and are looking forward to receiving it.

I can promise you that anybody that says: I’m going to take care of the list. The bigger the list the better.

A case in point…I manage a couple of lists for some very big lists. They kind of merged lists together. It went from 30,000 people to 150,000 people on a list. Both lists were opted in lists but one was for one segment and another was for another segment that was similar.

Merging those 2 lists together the open rate actually went down significantly because one list that merged just didn’t work as well. The opens were about the same as it was for 150 as it was for 30,000, so the open rate plummeted. Not that many people on the new list were even opening it.

To me it’s a waste of your money and it’s an annoyance to the people who didn’t sign up to get your stuff. You’re much better off…

I recently did a little promotion for somebody who only had a list of 100 people but that 100 people were really waiting for the information that that person sent. That person sent out a promotion and did as well as someone I know with a 1,000 person list that had not done anything with it and had not kept the list warm. They probably hadn’t sent anything for 6 months.

They made basically the same with that 1,000 person list as the person with the very warm list that was anticipating the message did with 100 people.

The other thing is yeah, you have this list when you put it in you want to be consistent with how you deliver the information. You want to make sure that if you’re sending something once a month you don’t skip a month or you very quickly become not top of mind.

If you’re sending something once a week always send something once a week until something dictates that you should send it more or less often, but don’t skip it.

I’ve done this myself when I first got started. I would leave a list alone for a few months and come back and think: Hey, I’ve got something really great…and send it out to them and they’re like: Naw..

Jack:      Yeah, it’s like consistency.

Jody:      I had not stayed in touch with them.

Jack:      Creatures of habit and also even if it’s your own list…Obviously if you bring in a list that is not familiar with you it’s going to be very cold You’re not going to get very much traction off of it but also I want to talk about the importance of the message to market to make sure that the lists that you do cultivate and generate maintain that message to market and make sure that you’re sending stuff that’s consistent with what they signed up for.

For example, if you’re a personal trainer you don’t all of a sudden want to send out to your list: Oh, hey, by the way, I’m always part of this UFO hunting group so come and watch or do this. That’s a surefire recipe for people to unsubscribe because they’re getting something that’s not consistent with what they expected with what they signed up for.

Can you talk to us about what you’ve seen as far as what your leeway is in there and kind of what your guidelines are for that message to market?

For instance, let’s pick someone. Let’s say you have a personal trainer that’s sending something out. What do you think is the latitude that personal trainer has on the type of information that they’re sending out?

Jody:      Obviously they’re going to send out information about personal training but I think they have the leeway where if they find something that’s really beneficial when it comes to possibly supplementation I think they could probably share with them. Hey, I found this new product. I think it’s really great. It helps you with your recovery…that type of thing. They can share that type of information, or if there’s something that they need…some type of apparatus that can help them with…

For instance, CrossFit is really big. There are CrossFit Shoes. There are shoes that people wear for crossfit. There are different weight belts and different straps that they use for lifting their kettlebells and things like that.

As long as it has to do with what it is that he is the expert at and what he has earned the right to share information with them from that level of perceived expert…Now if he started teaching/talking to them about how to do self defense…I think that’s a stretch.

Jack:      Far out…yeah.

Jody:      He’s a personal trainer. He may be a black belt in Brazilian jiu-jitsu but if that’s not what he does I would say sharing this tip is borderline of becoming off the charts of people not really being interested. He needs to stay focused on why they came to him in the first place.

Supplementation – possibly because he wants to help them with recovery or help give them the best of what they’re doing with him and the types of things that can be utilized, but I think if you start doing anything outside of that…whether it be about self protection or if it’s about an event…Hey, I’m a member of this charitable organization. Would you please come support this event?  As great as it may be, I think that’s pushing his view and his values on the people that are coming to look for information from him.

Jack:      Exactly.

Jody:      They want information about his topic. They don’t care about his views on other things.

Jack:      Right. You know, one thing I saw where a charity thing did work and I think it’s probably in the way you present it…is a restaurant. They didn’t send it out as a ‘Come participate or give to this charitable organization’…but he sent it out as a ‘by the way news item’ in his newsletter saying: Oh, by the way, we are participating in the golf tournament. Especially if it has to do with the community…this happened to do with a community thing. The ‘oh, by the way’ versus just one email saying: Hey, come do this completely different thing.

You brought up the self defense and the jiu-jitsu. I once knew a person that owned a Tai Kwan Do studio and also owned a dry cleaners next door. Those probably aren’t two things to mix and market. Keep your message to market.

Jody:      The only way he might be able to do that is…I guess the suit they wear is called a gi. If you need to have a great place to get your gi cleaned go next door. But that would be a stretch at that, obviously.

Jack:      So the other thing that people see…let’s talk about this…different types of messages. A lot of people think in terms of newsletters. You know, I really don’t have time to send out a newsletter. Also, incidentally, we could talk about how the sign up for our newsletter, that bait to opt in. I want to make sure we cover that. It’s very important and needs to be a very purposeful message, but what is it that someone needs to send?

I always like to talk in terms of minimum effective dose. What’s the minimum effective dose? A lot of people don’t want to start up an email campaign ‘because I don’t have time to write emails… I don’t have to write emails. I don’t know what to write.

Let’s talk about some good pieces of content and how deep it has to be. How many layers does it have to be? Does it have to be a full blown newsletter versus just a quick maybe 300-word email about something very specific? What are you seeing content wise and what’s the range and the most effective that you see?

Jody:      Sure. It sort of depends on what the business is, but the thing about putting a newsletter together and not having the time to do it is that most people don’t really have time to read a big long newsletter either. They’ll get it and they always want to get around to reading it but do they ever do that?

To me I think the shorter more concise the message is the more likely they are to read it. It’s kind of like with the video. If you go on YouTube and there are videos 15 minutes long you probably aren’t going to watch because you don’t have 15 minutes to watch that.

So you want to keep the market to message very concise and very to the point so they get the value out it without saying ‘Hey, by the way. Here’s a special. Come buy this.’ You want to give the benefits of what that’s about.

I would say 300 words for me is probably a little bit long. I usually put it into a couple of paragraphs with a link to then send them to whatever that next thing is.

I make sure the email has contained ‘here’s a couple of paragraphs about the value…here’s the information if it’s going to be a discount or a coupon…here it is right here on the email.’

For instance, a lot of them (like the cosmetic surgeon) you have to print that out and bring it in for validation. Also, like if we’re doing work with a car repair center that specializes in very specific cars and we’re talking about giveaway…he does give away for people to win free oil changes for a year. If they win that they call them up. If he sends a discount it’s not automated so they print the email to bring it in for the discount.

You want to get to the point. What he does is gives them a tip on car care based on the time of year it is and then a discount that will help them get that thing taken care of.

Keeping it concise…a couple of paragraphs. Paragraphs don’t have to be long.

Another thing is they don’t have to be like…you don’t have to follow the rules of paragraph segmentation to make them….Grammar doesn’t match. It’s not as critical. You want to make sure that they can read it quick and read it the way you would say it. That’s more important than trying to make it read like a book.

Jack:      Make it conversational.

Jody:      Exactly. Hey, just a quick minute. I wanted to share some really important information with you about this…Let them know what it is you’re going to do to begin with…what you’re going to tell them about…so that gets them to read the rest of the message.

If you look at a financial planner…With that he probably wants to send out something like a tip or something to look at. It doesn’t necessarily have to be about their portfolio but something that has be very quick that has to do with whatever is relevant at that time of year.

Like for instance if school is about to start or college is starting up…Here’s a money-saving tip for you whenever you go to buy this year’s school clothes or school supplies.

At tax time little tips that maybe people might not think about…because whenever we own a business one of the things that we cannot get away from is there are questions that people frequently ask us. So that’s a real easy way for us to come up with information that you can share with people. What are some of those frequently asked questions?

Also as professionals there are also things we know that a lot of our clients or patrons should ask that they don’t know to ask. So we can share that type of information with them as well. It gives them that: Oh! I didn’t know that…and it makes your information that much more valuable to them.

Jack:      Exactly and it positions yourself as that educator and advocate for their success which in turn instead of saying: Me, me, me….Look at me and how great we are...When you position yourself as that educator and advocate for their success then all of a sudden you’re the expert and they want to do business with you.

I think that’s very powerful. I think you just wiped out an obstacle that a lot of folks have that’s they think that engaging in an email campaign or email marketing requires a full blown newsletter and it doesn’t…not even close. There’s no reason if you think of minimum effective dose just a couple of sentences and a link to your offer…

So the next thing I think is a perfect segue into the newsletter. One thing I see (1) most businesses completely neglect or ignore the opportunities with building an email list especially on their website.

So we’ve talked about the fishbowls. We’ve talked about the clipboards. But then actually on the website….and the businesses that I actually see do go and the more progressive businesses that have a way to join their email list, unfortunately, that’s almost the verbiage they use: Join my email list. There really is no incentive.

Who wants to be on another email list, right? Who wants to join another newsletter? Talk a little bit about the bait, if you will, that you need to put out there to get someone to opt in to your list, and what needs to be given out in the exchange and the value of that?

Jody:          Sure. I’m sure anybody watching this who’s been watching you knows the story of Cheese and Whiskers but I’ll tell it real quick.

The story of Cheese and Whiskers is a mouse will chew through a 3-foot concrete wall to get to cheese that it likes but it will run away at the flick of a cat’s whisker at 20 yards away.

You want to make sure that what it is that you’re offering them is more cheese than it is whiskers. You want to make sure that they see it as valuable information that they want because ‘sign up for my email list’ to me reads: Sign up so I can send you messages to buy my stuff.

Jack:          Yeah.

Jody:          You want to make it so that you’re giving them something that they see the perceived value is great enough for them to give you their email in exchange for it or what we call the ethical bribe.

Make sure that the thing you provide to them that they can utilize and find useful whether they ever do business with you or not.

Sometimes people step back and go: I’m going to give away the best stuff to people before I know whether or not they’re going to be a client? Absolutely. That’s exactly when you need to give away your best stuff.

For instance, we mentioned the financial planner that the opt in for that might be ‘The 7 Insider Secrets to Insuring Your Retirement Plan is Protected When You’re Ready.’ That’s kind of lengthy but ‘The 7 Insider’s Secrets’ or ‘Things the Insiders Won’t Tell You’ or ‘How to Do This, This, and This’. It’s how to get that result that you’re looking for.

It’s kind of like the old example they talk about with golfers. Golfers are passionate about what they do. One of the best selling ebooks ever for golfers was ‘7 Stretches to Add 7 Yards to Your Drive and Shave 7 Strokes Off Your Score’.

Jack:          Yep. You have to give them something of value in exchange. It’s not just ‘Give me. Give me your email list.’ It’s like: I’m going to give you this great thing.

Let’s rattle off a few. If it’s a restaurant…Sign up for the Birthday Club. (That’s a good one.) and get a free dessert. A fitness trainer can say: Sign up and get a free report on whatever it is. What are a couple of other ones you may have used with the local business?

Jody:          One of them I put together a campaign for a fitness center that was specifically for women and was in La Jolla, California. It was ‘Sign up to get a free month membership.’ No strings attached free month membership.

Their goal was…It was a grand opener and they wanted that place full of women who were coming in there that first month for free. They did it willingly because they knew once they got them in there they would be able to sign them up moving forward.

With restaurants the thing that gets people is they like discounts but they also want to belong to something. They want to be part of a membership or a club. The ‘Join our VIP Club to receive exclusive specials and discounts from the restaurant.’ You only get it if you’re part of the VIP Club.

You mentioned the Birthday Club. I did some work with a restaurant marketer a few years back and one of the things that he did was giving away a 3 pound lobster on your birthday. He did this for a restaurant campaign. The guys that owned the chained were like ‘That’s crazy. You’ll bankrupt us.’ He’s like: Let’s just try it. If you lose money I’ll pay the difference on what you lose.

So they did that 3-pound lobster birthday campaign and the next year when it came time to review it the business owner was still thinking about doing away with it and the restaurant owners almost revolted because they said it had brought them in more money than any single campaign they’d ever done.

If you give someone a 3-pound lobster they don’t come in by themselves and sit down and eat a 3-pound lobster. They bring their spouse and some other family members with them. Since they’re not paying for the lobster they buy a bottle of wine to go with it.

They’re more likely to come back because they had a great enjoyable meal.

So  look at what it is that you can do that has a high perceived value that’s going to give them benefit yet it’s not going to send you into the poor house.

You want to make sure and look that it is valuable. For instance, with the cosmetic surgeon basically what he does is give away for the opt in a $50 bottle of skincare solution that costs him $8 and he sells it for $50. The perceived value of it is $50 and a consultation to go along with that.

They come to the consultation and they get the free bottle of skincare lotion that they would have to pay $50 for and they opt in for that like crazy.

For instance, the car repair center that we’re talking about…the opt in for that is to win a free year of oil changes. How many times do you have to change the oil in the car a year? Every 3 months so he has to do 4 oil changes…his cost, labor, and product are about 15 bucks, so for 60 bucks he has a perceived value of oil changes for a year. That sounds like it’s got to be a thousand dollars but for 60 bucks he’s got all these people opting in.

The other thing he does is very smart…He gives away one a month and he takes a picture of the person coming into the shop who won the oil changes and sends that out with the email. Hey! Meet Becky. She’s the latest winner of one year of free oil changes for her Honda or for her Acura. So that gives that social proof that people are winning so the people stay connected because they want to continue to get the information.

The more you can show that social proof the better.

You mentioned about capturing it on the website. One of the things that any business owner even if you’re doing this yourself but if you’re looking at hiring a professional to help you or hiring a local marketer, one of the questions you need to ask them is what is their list building strategy for your business. That’s what a lot of people will walk in your door and tell you all about getting you on the first page of Google and do all this stuff with you…I want to do all your SEO. (I don’t even use that term when I talk to business owners because they’ve heard enough of it. They get 6 emails a day from someone who can help them with their SEO.)

You want to ask them: What is your strategy for helping me build a list of clients who want my information?

Internet marketing itself has always been about building a list and a lot of local marketers miss that but that’s still the most important thing. That’s where the follow up is.

I went back and bought a car. I had an Isuzu Rodeo back in ’97. I went back two years later and bought another Isuzu Rodeo from there. I went back and bought my mother a Nissan Sentra about 6 months later.

I went back 4 times and bought those cars. Do you know why? The salesperson sent me a card on my birthday every year and sent me a card at Christmas every year and he stayed in contact and sent me a card on the anniversary of my buying the car and asked me if I’d brought it in to make sure that it had had the maintenance done that it needed to.

He did it the old school way of sending out in the U.S. mail. It wasn’t as prevalent in ’97 as it is today. I went back again and again and again because I felt like I had that connection.

By doing this and sending them valuable information and staying in touch with them it keeps you top of mind. That’s the most important thing because just because they’ve been in one time if you don’t continue to provide them valuable content/valuable information they can forget about you very quickly.

I use a point when people are talking about ‘yeah, but everybody’s been here and knows about me. They think about me all the time.’ Here’s the question I ask them. If those business owners are on here that are listening to this….Here’s the question I’ll ask you: (If you think that all those people that have been there remember you or the people that are driving by see you and everyone knows where you’re here, here’s the question I’ll ask you. It’s very simple and has absolutely nothing to do with business…very simply, very easily, very quickly…) What color is a yield sign?

Just think about that. What color is a yield sign?

Jack:          You’re going to stump me here, aren’t you?

Jody:          What color do you think it is?

Jack:          I think yield, I think yellow.

Jody:          That’s what we think but a yield sign is red and white. It’s a red triangle with a white triangle in the middle with the word ‘yield’ in red. It used to be yellow all the way back in 1972. The thing is, and you’ve seen them, people see them every day when they’re getting on the Interstate or when they’re going anywhere there’s a yield sign, but we think it’s yellow because it used to be. That’s what we think it is.

The same thing can happen with those people that you think remember you or you think know that you’re there. You think they see you. We’re creatures of deletion. If we don’t need it and it’s not top of the mind we don’t think about it.

So you need to continue to stay so that they recognize that. I guarantee you you won’t ever see a yield sign as yellow again. No one listening this will ever see this. All the time I’ve ever done this I’ve only had 2 people out of several thousand that I’ve ever done this with that have gotten it right. It’s because it’s just what we think about. We think caution…yield…We think of caution red light but we delete it because we didn’t see it.

Same thing happens with people who have been to your business that you haven’t stayed in touch with. They don’t need you they’re not thinking.

Jack:          I tell business owners all the time that they think about their customers way more than they think about you. That’s a battle. You have to get in front of them a lot more than you think. So you’re thinking about them far more than they think about you.

I got to tell you this has really been some powerful stuff and I think that any business owners looking at this that have a fishbowl in their business whether they’re collecting business cards…any business owner that has that clipboard on their counter, you need to see that you have an incredibly effective and valuable asset just sitting there if you are not taking it to the next step of communicating and building that relationship with your customers.

I want to make sure we get your one last tip in here before we run out of time and then I want to find out a little bit about what you’re up to or have coming up.

What would you leave a business owner with right now, especially those that have that email list sitting there just collecting dust?

Jody:          Well, one is it’s an old Chinese proverb and it’s funny. I had a young lady I was talking to last week who is from China and she’s like: I didn’t realize that was a Chinese proverb. She went and looked and it is.

The best time to have planted a tree is 20 years ago. The second best time is today. So the best time to take that email list and put it to use is right now. Don’t wait until tomorrow but do it now…this day. It doesn’t take long to sign up with an account with an auto responder and put that in there and send out a ‘Hey! Just wanted to touch base with you type email.’ Do something today.

The other thing I want to share with you is also when it comes to collecting those names do it in a way that is convenient for the people you do business with. Put it where it’s conspicuous in your place of business to make them want to do it.

Give them several options to be able to opt in. One of the things you, Jack, have on your shirt is you have a QR code. That’s great. That’s QR codes.

The other thing is a lot of people that look like Jack and I don’t use QR codes. They don’t have a smartphone. They have a dumb phone. Know what? Let them text in if they want to text in. Give them the option to email in. Give them the number. Give them 3 or 4 ways. They can even call the number and opt in if they want to and get a text message.

Give them the option that’s the most comfortable for them.

Typically, like I talked about the gym in La Jolla, it gave them 4 different ways to opt in on a big 4×8 foot sign right in the window. They could call in and leave their information. They could text in. They could scan a QR code. They could go to a website. They had 4 different ways to make it so it was convenient for them.

Make it easy. Don’t put barriers in front of them. Make it easy for them to join your list and give them a great reason to do so and you’ll start to see that thing grow exponentially.

Jack:          I think that right there is perfect. You summed it up. Make it simple. Give them an easy way to opt in. Give them a great reason to opt in. Then start communicating with them. Pretty much that’s the recipe for a successful email campaign. That’s fantastic.

Jody, I want to find out what’s up for you. I know that you are getting really involved in Local Marketer News and building up and you’re training more local consultants.

One thing that’s really great is to find a consultant that understands marketing. Underscore marketing. Jody is a guy that understands marketing and the folks he trains understand marketing and the folks I train understand marketing.

It’s more than just the mechanics of being able to put an opt in code or to program on your website. I think you said it best when you said to ask that consultant: What’s your email marketing strategy? What’s your email list building strategy? I think that’s key.

So tell us what you’re up to and what you have coming up.

Jody:          Sure. I have Local Marketer News. It’s What it is is a site where we put a ton of information          for local marketers. There’s also great relevant information for business owners there as well.

We talk about the different aspects of how to utilize local marketing for business. There’s stuff there for sale for local consultants and that type of thing, but there’s also great nuggets and great information for business owners to go and find different aspects of local marketing that they may not have known.

Also it can arm you better for whenever you are hiring someone to help you so that you ask them the right questions.

I run Local Marketer News. I continue to run my own local marketing business and I train local marketers as well in helping them to go out.

One of the things that’s very important for me is it’s not just about a local marketer making money. It’s about a local marketer making a difference for the businesses that they talk to, making a difference for the businesses that they’re working with and making sure that anyone they talk to when they leave them they’re better served from having taken the time to speak with them.

The other thing I tell people is it’s producing the results and doing the things you say you’re going to do. That will make you more in the long run than anything else you can do whether you’re a local business owner with a local marketing consultant…delivering on what you say you’re going to do is the key. If you don’t do that you might as well…everything else is a moot point.

Really that’s the main thing I’m focusing on right now is helping and giving the right information, putting the right information out there so people can take it and utilize it for the best result and the best benefit for the business owner. That’s really what I’m devoted to at this point.

Jack:          Yeah. That’s fantastic. I think it goes a long way. People get hit every single day with the ‘I can get you on the front page of Google for $99.’ I call it the front page of Google peddlers, you know.

Finding people who really understand marketing is going to give you a tremendous advantage over using those type of folks and over your competition for sure.

One thing I like to ask every guest is what book should be on the top of every local business owner’s reading list right now?

Jody:          The top of every local business owner’s reading list right now I would say is a book by Grant Cardone called 10x Rule because we get really busy. We think we’re busy doing stuff. We think we’re giving our all.

I would say instead of buying the book get the download and listen to it because Grant’s an interesting character. Love him or hate him he’s an interesting character. He is passionate. His passion comes through on that 10x Rule and it’s probably made more of a difference for me in the last year than anything.

I’ve read a lot of stuff. I could turn this camera around and look at my bookcase back here above me and it’s full of stuff. As a matter of fact, somebody sent me a blog post awhile back on  the Top 10 Sales Books in my bookcase. All I had to do is take a picture right up above my head.

But that 10x Rule will really stop and make you look at are you doing everything. Are you really productive or are you just busy? It can really help pull back the curtain and look at what you’re really doing for your business and it’s made a great difference in the amount of productivity that I’m able to do.

It’s not a productivity book. It’s a ‘how you look at things’. It’s a different perspective.

Jack:          A fantastic suggestion. That right there, folks, is what this is all about. It’s giving you that X-Factor in taking your business and becoming the local guru in your industry and making people want to do business with you.

I think just putting into place what you learned today is going to take you leaps and bounds in that direction.

Jody, I want to thank you very much for coming on today. Looking forward to seeing what you’re up to in the future. We’ll see you next time to get your Online X-Factor.

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