It’s no secret that email marketing is a pillar of my business success. It was through growing an email list and learning how to leverage its power that I was able to build my business so quickly. 


I never set out to become an email marketing expert, but having seen its power, I fell in love with the potential behind it and now love learning more about it!


Recently, I attended a day-long study hall with my email service provider, ActiveCampaign. I can’t say enough good things about the software and wanted to share some of the day’s biggest learnings.


Tune into this episode to hear:


  • The biggest mistake you could be making with your automated emails
  • How to treat email in comparison with social media in modern marketing
  • The one thing you need to STOP focusing on today
  • 3 simple but powerful actions you can take today to improve your email marketing
Tune in to episode 56 to hear Leah's 5 most helpful tips on email marketing success and how you can utilize email to facilitate business growth.
Podcast Episode  

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Transcript of Episode

Leah Gervais: 

Hey visionaries, welcome back to the Your Biggest Vision show. I’m your host, Leah. It is a glorious, beautiful Monday. I am in the best mood. If you guys are watching this live, I highly recommend having a shot of coffee or something because I’m feeling very high on life today and on opportunity. And I really love Mondays and I think part of what makes me so giddy is just realizing that I love Mondays. I used to not love Mondays. I used to get the Sunday scaries. I used to feel like Monday was something that I dreaded and I am feeling just so grateful today that that is not my reality anymore. You know, life is not meant for us to wish away any of it. And just knowing that I used to do that every Monday makes me kind of sad now, but it makes me feel really grateful that I’m not in that place anymore. 


And so if you are trying to cook, quit your job or you’re in a situation that you don’t really want to be in, just keep working to get out of it because it is so, so worth it to, to know that you know you’re in a place that you’re really excited about and that you’re not wishing away. And I think with, with Monday, even when you do love your job or you love your business, if you’re an entrepreneur, which I’m guessing you are, if you’re listening to this, it still can get kind of muddy. You still can feel like, oh, I have so much to do this week. Where are my next client’s gonna come from? Am I gonna make enough money this month? All this sort of chatter. Mondays are a really great time for us to step back and remember how much true possibility is at our fingertips this week. 


You have the power no matter what situation you’re in right now to make this week what it is that you want it to be. You have the power to spend your time, the way you want to, to act the way you want to, to think the way you want to, to be the kind of friend that you want to be, to be the kind of business owner that you want to be, to make the kind of money that you want to make. You truly have that all you have this week you have this fresh slate. So it’s a really exciting day and I’m feeling extra Monday magic today as well and I’m very excited for today’s episode. So a little bit of background, I’m not sure how much you guys know about me, but I am Leah and I am a founder of a business called Urban 20 Something and I work with um, female entrepreneurs and online business owners who are trying to get their income up and who are trying to get their big visions going and alive and well. 


And this podcast is where I do a lot of the mindset work for it. That’s why it’s called your biggest vision. But a lot of what I do in my actual programs has more to do with the business strategy side of it. In particular, I am an email marketing expert and I know that for me my email marketing skills and strategy is what really boosted my income and my business and really what got it going while I was still at my nine to five job and to this day it is still the driving force behind my multiple six figure business. So I’m hugely passionate about email marketing. I love teaching it, I love learning it, I love exploring it and testing it. It’s just a really great and powerful part of business yet I often find that a lot of people shy away from it because it can be over complicated and things like that. 


All that said, I went last week to an all day conference with Active Campaign. Active Campaign is my email marketing service provider, my CRM and it’s my absolute favorite CRM out there. I highly recommend it. I recommend it to all my clients. If you are interested in joining Active Campaign, maybe you want to switch up the email service provider you use or maybe you’re just getting started, then please reach out to me. I’m happy to set up a free half hour call with you where I can help you go over what Active Campaign could look like in your business. Um, and we can, you know, kind of do it together. I don’t want you to feel alone in it, but it’s wonderful. So they did an all day study hall here in New York City. They had some of their success team fly out. They’re based out of Chicago and I went to it and I wanted to share with you some of the top five most profound lessons I learned from it. 


And it was interesting because I would say that most of the people in the audience were maybe a year or under into their active campaign journey. Whereas I have been on active campaign for nearly two years now. So I was, I guess what you would say a bit more advanced than a lot of the people in the audience for many reasons. Actually not just because I had used active campaign by myself but also because I run my own business and I’ve done all my email marketing strategy on my own. A lot of the people, there were representatives for their bigger companies so they did like little bits and pieces of email marketing and and active campaign at their business but not necessarily the whole thing. And so the point I’m trying to make is that because I do feel like I have a pretty good background and understanding of what active campaign is meant for having these takeaways was really about understanding what works right now and that’s why I really wanted to share it with you guys because just like every other online marketing strategy or marketing in general, it’s always developing based on consumer trends and based on technology and it’s up to us to stay up to date with what’s working right now and what’s going to work best for our business and that’s what I’m hoping to shed some light on for you guys today with these five really powerful either takeaways or reminders about the power of email marketing.


And just before we go into this, this is not a beginning episode. If you are brand new to email marketing and you like have no clue what I’m talking about, please email us at We’re happy to chat with you. I have tons of resources about how to get started with email marketing that I’d love to send you and then you might want to come back to this episode once you have an understanding of what you need set up because these are going to be a bit more high level tips. So let’s do, let’s do this. Let’s dive right in. I’m going to take a sip of water. Just let me know where you guys are tuning in from and if you use email marketing or not. 


Feel free to message me if you want to have me help you set that up or anything. I also can help set you up with a call from one of the representatives. I have great relationships with them. I’m like obsessed with active campaign. I’m having lunch with one of their success team next week. So, I’m here to bridge that for you. Jackie! I love Mondays here. I love your energy. So glad that you’re here. Me and Jackie had a really fun adventure on Friday. I’m going to tell you guys about that in another episode in a in a week or so. 

Okay, let’s do this. So take away from a day with my CRM, my customer relations manager. One number one is that emails are not dead. So maybe you have been told or maybe you think that because social media is such a big phenomenon that it is trumping email marketing and that so long as you have a big social media platform, you don’t need to pay attention to email so much. As the representative put email marketing is not dead. Bad email marketing is dead. So if you are feeling like you’re not having a whole lot of luck with sending emails, sending sales emails, building your email list, if it’s just kind of like not coming out naturally, that does not mean that you don’t have potential there. You definitely do. It just might mean that you need to refine your strategy a little bit more. Or maybe hire someone who knows email marketing well to help you implement something a bit more sophisticated. But the power behind email marketing still is by far stronger than the power of selling on social media. By far. I cannot understate it enough and it’s not just that, you know, sending an email what kid will convert better than on social media, which usually it will, but it’s also about the relationships you can build with your email list, which is very difficult to do on social media in the same way it’s about the data you can get about what they’re opening, what they’re clicking on, what they like, what they don’t. 


You can truly talk to them, you can survey them, you can get information that you can then run ads to them. These are all possibilities at your fingertips from email marketing that social media doesn’t have. So I just want us all to go into this remembering that it really is a whole different ball game to pay attention to your email than it is to have social media. In fact, I don’t even see the two as competing. Marketing on social media is a means to get people on my email list. So it’s like sort of a top level, then email lists, then converting, buying, selling, et cetera. It is not like maybe someone will find me on Instagram or maybe they’ll find me on my email list. It’s they don’t even really compete because email marketing is that much more powerful and essential. Look, if someone ends up buying from you on Instagram or Facebook, great. 


That’s not a bad thing at all and I still want you to remember that bigger picture. Those are people that you still want to get on your email list and you still want to have be part of your audience and you still want to use the email marketing strategies. You can with them the same way that you are. You know anyone else, even if they haven’t bought from you or if they have bought from you already. So that’s the first thing we all need to remember is that email marketing is alive and well. And if it’s not quite working for you, please for the love of everything. Reach out to someone that knows how to do email marketing so that you can really get it going in your business. You will be so thrilled with the results that you can see when you’re using this in a way that’s really tailored to you. 


And now I’m going to talk about some of the mistakes you might be making an email marketing. So I want to get specific to what you know that could be, if you’re feeling like you are listening to experts telling you to have an email list, but you’re not really seeing the results. Some of the mistakes you’re making are gonna be next in these four takeaways. So the second takeaway is that automations are meant to more so keep track of your email list than they are to send emails. So I’m going to get a little granular here. Um, active campaign is known for its automations. That is what in my opinion, makes it better than any other CRM out there. It’s triggers, sophistication with automations, ability to, to segment context, ability to keep track of different details about contacts is unparalleled in any other CRM I’ve ever seen. 


And I’ve done trials with nearly all of them. However, because that is something that is so known for and so good at, a lot of people go into active campaign wanting to more or less automate their whole business. And what this ends up looking like is they will create these very, very complicated automations about who on their email list is opening an email or clicking on an email or not clicking on an email. And what does that mean for them? And I think their hope is that eventually everything in their business will be automatic. And based on who clicks or opens an email, you’ll eventually get enough data to see if they’re ready to buy from you. And I believe this is a mistake. And that’s not to say that you can’t automate a lot of your business. And that’s also not to say that you can’t get really great data based on who’s clicking and who’s opening things. 


But at the end of the day, business always has been and always will be about you solving problems for your customers. Who are your customers? They’re people. They’re not just as deep or complex as what they’re clicking on and what they’re reading. There could be a million different reasons why someone is or isn’t clicking on or reading a specific email. Maybe they’re reading it because they want to get an idea of your email sequencing and they don’t want to ever buy anything from you. Maybe they’re not reading it because it went to spam or because they’re busy or because they’re sick or because they forgot, not because they necessarily don’t want to. So while I do think it’s valuable to have automations that are tracking who’s clicking what, what I encourage you to do and what I encourage you to track is not having an email be sent to them based on what they do or don’t open. 


 So let me give you an example because I feel like this is a little bit abstract and hard to follow when I’m just talking about like the word click and open all the time. So let’s say that you, um, have a welcome sequence, which most businesses do, right? When someone comes onto your email list, you’re going to send them a few emails about what it is that you do, who you know you serve, what kind of company you run, maybe your background, et Cetera. And it can be really tempting to set off automations based on people’s behavior in that welcome sequence. So for example, if someone opens every single email and maybe they click on a few links in the emails, you could draw the conclusion that they’re very interested in your business and therefore you can automate automatically send them a sales email and sell them something because they have clicked on all these links. 


However, I would encourage you to instead use the automation to just track that they’ve opened that many things and do some personal outreach with that data. So coming back to that human element here, we are not just like going to be robotic about this. So there’s a couple of different things you can do in that situation. But for example, maybe once a month you go and you look at who has been tagged as having opened everything in your welcome sequence and you reach out to them and you say, thank you so much for having joined our email list this month. We hope you’ve enjoyed being on it. Do you want to hop on a phone call? Do you have a question for me? Do you want to, you know, answer a specific question that you have for them? It will vary depending on what you’re selling, what price point you’re selling at, and if you’re ready to sell to them and if they’re ready to buy from you, but doing something like that keeps that human element in your business while still benefiting from the power of automation. 


So I hope this makes sense because I don’t want anyone to think that I’m saying don’t automate things. I definitely want you to automate as much as you can, but it’s important to automate through the lens of that human connection. Not so much through the lens of passiveness. It’s just not going to work, especially in the earlier days. You can do passive income in different areas of business and sometimes you can even build out full email funnels that are passive and we can talk about that at a later date. If you guys want me to do an episode on that, let me know. But in terms of automating every single thing that a consumer subscriber or whatever does, you’re going to lose that human connection and it’s not going to be sustainable for your business overall. 


What I love about active campaign is they have so many different ways for you to categorize people that are doing certain things in your email list. So you can either add tags to them based on if they looked at a sales page, you can send them another email if they looked at a sales page more than once. You can add points to them if you want to give them quote “scores” on how active of a contact they are after they’ve reached a certain amount of scores, you can send them specific Facebook ads or send them a personalized email if they are being untagged because they’re not clicking anything, you can unsubscribe them. So you’re not paying for them. So you see what I mean? There’s so many possibilities and this is why it’s really helpful to work with someone one-on-one like me to implement things that work in your business on this. But I hope you’re still seeing what I mean more about using them to automate the human experience, not just your sales. 


Okay. Let’s go ahead and dive into takeaway number three. Let me have a sip of water. I am like on it. Maybe am I talking too loud? Maybe that’s why my voice is tired. 


Okay. Take away number four is that email marketing really is for all businesses. So, I’ve always thought this, but it’s helpful to have the proof and the reminder. Um, at that study hall, there were businesses that were like me that were cell phones and that were, you know, small, just a few people on the team. There were businesses that sold software to other businesses, which is like what active campaign does. There were businesses that sell directly directly to consumers. There were ecommerce businesses, there were podcasters, there were, um, physical, you know, brick and mortar businesses, people that sell products. There were coaching businesses, there were consulting businesses, there were blogs. So, I just want to remind everyone, if you’re listening to this and you’re thinking, uh, email is not really what makes the most sense for my business. I have a podcast or I have a blog or I have 


a brick and mortar business. Do I really need email? The answer is heck yes. You really, really need email. 


And the reason is because it goes back to what we’ve talked about from the beginning, which is that it helps more than anything, more than any other medium with that fundamental of business, which is that you are helping a human solve a problem. Nothing else will help you connect with the humans in your world and your tribe, quite like email. It’s where you can personally send an email to someone. It’s where you can ask them questions. It’s where you can keep track of their demographics. It’s where you can keep track of their patterns. It’s where you can look at what they’re opening, what they’re not opening, what they’re clicking, what they’re not clicking. You just can’t do this stuff with social media. Um, I just had a wonderful phone call with, um, a client of mine on Friday who was talking about how she has built this podcast and she really has loved podcasting, but she feels like she’s not really getting as much information back from her audience as she would like. 


And it’s no wonder, right, because you’re talking at the end of the day to a screen, um, and you can hope people will email in or that they will chat to you or whatever kind of way you’re letting them connect with you. But it’s a heck of a lot harder. So this is again where email is going to be her saving grace because she can get her podcast listeners on her email list. She also can get her email list to listen to her podcast and she’ll be able to get so much more information about her podcasts, including what people like about the podcast, what they don’t like, what are they listening to, what are they not listening to, what questions do they have, what feedback do they have? All that kind of stuff from the email list. So no matter what niche you’re in, I cannot understate enough that I would, I encourage you to start your email list as soon as soon as possible. 


It is going to just transform your potential for you and just remember that your email is can and will grow with you. So I also don’t want you to be listening to this and think that maybe you’re unclear about your niche so far or that you don’t want to pigeonhole yourself in. So you don’t want to have an email list that’s just based off of one people or one person, one client Avatar. Your list will grow, your mission will grow. It’s just part of business evolution and development. Look at how much Amazon has grown, like it didn’t start like this. No business does and it shouldn’t. So just start with the list. Know that actually you’ll have more room to grow if you have a good email list because your subscribers will be more likely to ebb and flow with you to learn with you and to, you know, go on the journey with you because you’ve taken them on it because you’re sending them emails, which is the most personal way to communicate with people online. 


Okay, takeaway number four is to chill out on the open rate obsession. So this is getting a little more specific, again, but for those of you that have already started with email marketing, one of the questions I hear from my clients the most is they always want to know how they can increase their open rates. And just to be clear and open rate is how many… the percentage of people on your email list that open each email you send. So if you have a thousand people on your email list, then you’re going to hope that about 200 to 300 of them open it. Uh, the industry standard is typically 20% to 30%. So while it is nice to have that benchmark and while we do want it to, while we do want as many people on our list to open every email as possible, of course, that’s why you write them and why you send them. 


At the end of the day, an open rate is really only telling you how good your subject line is and if your email is or isn’t getting into spam, it has no indication on the quality of your email. It also doesn’t really have an indication on the quality of your products and services. So I would focus more on your conversions from your emails. How many people based on how many opened them actually either click or buy or email back or whatever the call to action is versus how many people simply open them. This is something that I really can see people get in their heads about. Same with unsubscribes. I’ve talked about that a lot, so I didn’t even include this on this list, but that should be another big lesson is do not worry about unsubscribes at all. And don’t worry too much about open rates. It’s just about your subject line. 


It of course is helpful if you can think, you know of a good subject line and if you can spend an extra few minutes on it. But frankly, what I found is if you are just consistent with your emails, then people get used to seeing your emails in their inbox and they will just open your emails when you send them. If they’re a fan of yours, if they like your emails and if they know who you are and they want to hear from you. That is just branding. That’s just good content. Um, so don’t drive yourself nuts with their open rates. Do Track your conversions. And in fact, I think that, um, that kind of leads me to my final takeaway, which is that from all of this, I might have said some things that helped. I might’ve said some things that made you feel like you have more on your to-do list than not- which is not my intention. But at the end of the day, email marketing doesn’t need to be as complicated as it might feel like it is. 


If you’re listening to this and you’re really motivated about implementing some new strategies into your business, but then you kind of get off of this episode and you’re like, where do I actually start? Just start with one thing. So if you’re starting from zero, just start with a welcome sequence. Look at that welcome sequence. Do that welcome sequence for the month. See that people are opening it, see that people are signing up for it, understand that sequence. And then next month you can start adding small automations off of that welcome sequence. Things that track who opens what, how often they opened them, et cetera. And then maybe the next month you can add an unsubscribed sequence so that you’re having people leave your email list if they’re not opening. But just do one thing at a time. Don’t overwhelm yourself. Don’t make it too complicated, but do not put this on hold you guys. 


Email marketing is so important and it’s so powerful and your future self will thank you. If you start implementing this type of thing today and something you can do to just make this a bit more simpler and digestible, uh, but still, you know, push yourself to do it is make a simple spreadsheet in your Google drive or on your computer called email marketing. And then just start keeping track of the emails you send and the automations you have going and once a month enter in there how many people opened them or went through them, what the open rate was, what the click through rate was, and after a few months without having to sort of go in the weeds with them, you’ll have information right there about things that you might need to improve on or might not. And that’s so much easier than feeling like you’re going to have to dig through active campaign and go through every email and analyze the conversions and analyze the clicks and analyze the subject lines. 


Like all that stuff can get really muddy and just sort of overwhelming. So I recommend just starting with a simple spreadsheet, writing down the automations that you have going or writing down the campaigns that you typically send, track a few numbers and then every few months check back and see what is and isn’t working and build out from there. But don’t delay. So I guess if that’s one thing that I would suggest doing today or even if there’s one thing I would suggest doing today, that would be it. That said, I have three quick actionable tips for you. Um, actually that was one of them. So I have two more that I’m going to give you and these are just actionable email marketing tips you can do today based on what we talked about. 


So tip number one was to make a spreadsheet and track your automations instead of relying on yourself to go through the data within your CRM, which can be complicated, a bit overwhelming. And honestly, only half of the information is actually helpful to you. Like I just mentioned, things like unsubscribes or open rates will probably drive you crazy for reasons that aren’t entirely helpful. Uh, the second thing you could do if you kind of listened to this and you’re like, Leah, I got that all, you know, I’m so on it. I got the, um, I’ve got the welcome sequence. I’m tracking people. Bladdy, bladdy, Blah. Then what you can do today is start with an abandoned cart sequence. So what this would be is basically tracking people that click on a sales page or a sales link or a book-a-call calling, but then they don’t actually do it. And you could do a couple of things from there. You could either send yourself a little note automatically through a good CRM, like active campaign you can do this. You yourself will get a little note that says someone tried to book a call and they didn’t go through with it. 


Maybe you should reach out to them or you can have a follow up email with them. That’s kind of saying, you know, are you sure you didn’t want to book a call. Please book a call. I’m really fun to talk to. Here’s five reasons why you should book a call. Um, but that kind of followup is really what CRM’s are made for. That kind of followup as well automations are made for. People need to be followed up with so many times. 


And then the third thing you can do if you are wanting to take action is to simplify your automation today. So maybe go through and see, do you have three different welcome sequences going? Do you have a bunch of different, you know, emails that people get when they get an opt in? Can you put them all into one sequence? How can you make this simple so that you can really fine tune the few automations you do have going out to your list and really manage it and keep track of it in a streamlined way? 


All right, you guys, those are my takeaways from a day with active campaign. I hope that you guys found this helpful. If anyone has any questions, let me know. If you also want to share where you’re at with your email marketing journey, then let me know as well. But I hope that this was useful. And like I mentioned, if you ever want to join active campaign or have any questions about email marketing, all you need to do is email us at and we’d be happy to walk you through, set up a free appointment with you to walk you through the onboarding of active campaign. I’m also happy to connect you with a representative from active campaign for you to chat with and they can help you too. There’s lots of support at your fingertips here for this and you’re not alone. And I know that if you start implementing this, it can really transform your business and take it to a new level. All right, everyone, I hope you have an amazing day and week. Happy emailing and I will talk to you soon.

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