Episode #79 – Corissa St. Lawrence on Empowering Business Owners With The Power of Email Marketing (insanely actionable tips to level up your game)
Are you focused on running your business,
…on doubling down on your main skill to give your clients what they want?
What if that main skill that grows your business isn’t marketing?
As a business owner, I’m sure you have some marketing chops,
But the truth is,
You have better stuff to focus on,
And like all smart business owners,
You see where you could improve…
…but instead of being a one man army,
You seek out someone with that specialized skill to teach you OR do it for you.
That’s where Corissa St. Lawrence comes in.
She’s the regional director for Constant Contact in Southern California,
And she KNOWS small business email marketing.
If there’s ANYONE you want in your business’ email marketing corner,
You’ll agree with me 100% after listening to this interview.
So to ALL business owners, whether you got those email marketing skills or not,
I GUARANTEE that you’ll be quite dang impressed.
From marketing staples and fundamentals,
..to detailed tips and impressive money-pulling, list-growing ideas,
Get ready to come away with TONS of ideas and a renewed energy to increase your business skills,
In this episode, you’ll discover:
- the number one thing small business owners mess up their marketing with (you think this is a good tactic, but it’s not… it’s hurting you)
- how making it about the audience as a B2B biz owner or expert will build up your cred and get you more clients
- must-know pro tips to get you a new clients when you must go through a gate keeper (impress the head honchos through communicating with non-decision makers)
- the vital importance behind knowing who you’re talking to (segment your audience, be empathetic, and then reap the rewards off those new intimate relationships)
- the power behind reframing within your email marketing to establish yourself as the GO TO (tell them, show them… reframing makes prospects look for you when they need that expert)
Intro and outro backing music: Forever More by CREO
John McIntyre: Hey, it’s John McIntyre here, the Autoresponder Guy and it’s time for episode 79 of the McMethod Email Marketing Podcast where you’ll discover one really simple thing. It’s pretty simple, right? How to make money every time you send an email to your list. Okay, now, today, we’ll be talking to Corissa St. Lawrence from Constant Contact, that’s one of the big email orderer of Responder Providers. So, it turns out Constant Contact does a lot of coaching with the new customers, so if you sign up, they’re going to teach you about your ***, about how to get people on to your list, about how to really engage them via email and build that audience, so why not get Corissa? She actually signs up to my email list. Wow! Let’s get Corissa since she’s from Constant Contact and find out what they’re doing with their customers because I’m sure she has a bunch of valuable stuff to share at that, so that’s why she’s here. We’re going to talk about ***, how to build that engagement, how do ***. This is somewhat email marketing basics, but even if you’re advance, nothing is still going to be helpful because there’s no time when you just stop learning fundamentals, okay? So, to get this show notes of this episode of the Email Marketing Podcast, go to www.themcmethod.com/79.
Now, before we get to the interview, I have one special review today. It’s from Smuthie, five stars, “Listen, learn, act. I love this Podcast. I’ve been listening to it for the last two months and I’m listening to the latest Podcast featuring Jesse Moskel and it’s so inspiring, hearing how he transforms his life makes me think about all the excuses we make.” Thank you Smuthie for the review. If you want to leave a review too, you will really make my day and these things really give me the juice to keep going, the motivation to keep going. Go to iTunes, search for the Podcast, leave me your review and just in case you’re wondering, this Podcast about Jesse Moskel, Jesse was in Thailand long time ago. I think when he’s 30 years old and he actually got caught. It’s quite an interesting story. He got caught by the police for a certain crime, ended up going to prison, actually got sentenced to a 100 years prison in Thailand, which is not way you want to be and while he’s in prison, he learned how to do Direct Response Marketing. His brother was sending him books. It’s just a really cool story and now, he’s back in the US. He’s out from prison. He didn’t have to stay in that for a 100 years and now, he’s building a great marketing and advertising agency, so if you’d like to listen to that episode, go back, it’s episode 78, that’s just last week, so I would go and listen to that if you want to know his story. It’s very inspiring and it really highlights the fact that our excuses, my excuses, your excuses, all of them then nothing. I’ve never gone in prison, chances that I might do. So, that’s the Podcast, go and listen to that. Other than that, let’s get on into this interview, this audio training with Corissa St. Lawrence from Constant Contact.
It’s John McIntyre here, the Autoresponder Guy. I’m here with Corissa St. Lawrence from Constant Contact. She’s the Director of Regional Development in Southern California. Now, Corissa signed up and then she came through my email list. It’s some point in the last three months or so and I saw that she’s from Constant Contact and I’m always looking for people from some of the email marketing service provider that are out there to get that perspective on email marketing and find that how they’re different and what they’re up to because they all have a unique perspective, a unique angle to add to the, I guess the marketing discussion or the email marketing discussions and today, we were just chatting – is that Constant Constant is a really good for people whose, say non marketers and they’re not amazing copywriters or amazing conversions specialists or anything like that, just small business and they understand they need to be marketing online with email, all that stuff, so that’s Constant Contact specializes in is helping those people, so we going to talk today about some of those stuff that Corissa and the team of Constant Contact, what they do to work with this non marketer in service, some of the stuff that they teach them and what they suggest and the actions that they give them because there’s a lot of coaching involved, which I thought was really cool, so to answer that, in just a minute. Corissa, how are you going today?
Corissa: I am going really well, John. So nice to be on the broadcast of this. Thank you so much for having me on.
John: It’s good to have you on. I mean, we went back and forth, for I say, a good month and a half trying to sort that time, that’s just what happens sometimes. You know what I heard, you just said you would come out to Thailand in couple of months.
Corissa: Yes, I cannot wait. It’s been on our list for a long time to come and visit, so it’s going to be awesome. Can’t wait.
John: Sounds a good place. Alright, so before we get into the content that I just mentioned, I’ve given you a little bit of background and maybe you can fill in the gap, so maybe just give yourself a bit more of an intro on who you are ***.
Corissa: Sure, I actually came to Constant Contact because I have a passion for helping small businesses and all profits grow, so before joining Constant Contact, I owned a marketing firm where I just did that. I help support the small non profits, as well as small businesses grow through the use of tools that they didn’t know about. I mean, they just didn’t have any access to this knowledge because they were busy cutting hair and changing tires and doing everything that a small business does. They weren’t in the business of marketing and so, for me, it was really.. I saw this need in my community to help these small businesses utilize these tools that I know about, as well as, even back then, utilizing methods that even the large corporations were using that they weren’t using. So, that’s how I came and actually prior to that, I owned an old different small business. It feels like a lifetime ago, but in a whole another industry and learned on the ground how to market myself and how to grow my business and so, for me, it’s just a continuation of that passion to help empower these businesses and helps them work smarter.
John: Okay. So, just to summarize that, you’re working with, sounds like the hair dresser or someone, the mechanic down the road, these are people who have no businesses who know customers, but *** about *** marketing or incident marketing and then it help with the, that’s your avatar role at your client, right?
Corissa: Yes, absolutely. So, really, it’s that 0-10 employee group. It is those people who are looking to and know that they have to do marketing. Everyone is hitting them over the heads saying, “Hey, you got to send out emails. You got to be on Facebook. You have to do these things and so, we get a lot of this host, so I, myself and my team here that I manage in Southern California, we go out and actually teach live seminars and teach people how to do go about doing online marketing, whether it’s an email or through Social Media. We talked to people about building their brand online and we actually teach people, we get so many folks, have it say, 90% of folks that come to our classes are the small business owner who doesn’t know *** about marketing.
John: Okay, interesting. So, tell me about that, like what happens or I guess, you say you bring them on *** sign up to Constant Contact until they come to one of your seminars, how about the start, what are some of the mistakes that you see these people make?
Corissa: Oh, gosh. There’s so many. I think, one of the biggest mistakes is not engaging with people through their content. They think that, “Okay, great. Now, I’ve got someone’s email. I just start sending them a bunch of information about my business.” and we say, “That’s a big no no. At the beginning, we really need to build a relationship with these people. They don’t necessarily want to immediately hear about who you are, what you do. Let’s lead them to the top if you will and certainly you know that best as far as leading people to take that call to action.” and so, we’re really more of that. We look at nurturing from the beginning, the relationship through sending great content that the audience wants and then, inserting calls to action that makes sense to the business. I guess the biggest mistake they make is not making a plan around that, not making a plan for what it is they really want out of their emails and even their social post. They just go, “Great. Okay, I’ve got this thing. Now, I’m just going to start writing and sending it out to their emails.” and becoming useless, either useless information that don’t even have calls to action or they’re useless because it’s all about them and all about calls to action, but developing a relationship, so we help them balance that.
John: Okay, interesting. So, it sounds like, I mean this is a class that they want people with they’ve never done sales and if they’ve never done marketing before, they think that making a sale or marketing a product, you just go at there and you talk all about your product, but one of the first things people have to learn is that before a sale, it’s really all about the prospect and before you can mention your product, you really have to figure out who is this prospect, what are their needs, what are their goals, what are their wants, what are they really trying to do in that business, so that when you introduce your product or service, is the solution, the person goes, “Wow! That’s profit. Where can I sign up?”
Corissa: Absolutely and I’ve read it in your emails and your posts that you send out. I’ve said this to my audiences all the time and finding out what the pain is for your prospect. What is it that they really need help with? What is that pains, so that you can become the best solution around that and also among the many mistakes that are made, I think by a novice email marketer, it’s really one not knowing what their end goal is, what is the end result they’re trying to get and to constantly always talking about themselves and not really helping, either solve the problem or describe things in the correct way and then the third thing is just not doing it, it’s not sending, so we have a lot of people who sign up and then they just get, either scared or busy and obviously, if you’re not sending stuff out, you’re not doing anything with the power that you have at your fingertips and so, that ends to becoming a big problem for small businesses who are juggling a lot.
John: Okay. So, how do you, I mean, you’ve said you work with these people, coaching them and helping them and telling them what to do, what are the some of the things you get to do to solve these problems or stop making these..
Corissa: Yes. I might see one of these folks or someone on my team has taught a class and they’ve signed up and that person is excited to go. Our coaches from Constant Contact call, these folks, so they actually reach out and I get so many people like come to seminars who are customers as well and they’ll just stand up and go, “I couldn’t believe how I got a call from a real person wanting to have me.” It’s so amazing. I’m from a software company and they just couldn’t believe it. I actually reach out to people right away when they sign up and say, “How can we help you?”, “Have you done this before?”, “What do you know about email marketing?”, “What are you scared of?” and just get to what their biggest pain are, so that we can help them in the best way. So, all that coaching is done either through the phone, through online chat or through email and it’s really not your typical serve text support. It really goes well beyond that into marketing coaching and empowerment coaching and all the things that we do to try to get our customers be successful.
John: Okay. So, what would you suggest? You said a lot of *** will come in there and then they think it’s just about mailing and crock pot, at least telling them all about the product, what do you see working with these small businesses in terms of, are we talking surveys or are they doing research or are they keep running orders. What stuff works for them?
Corissa: It’s going to depend of course, the business and what they’re trying to do with the beginning of what we meet them and see them or when they buy our product, but for a typical small business is just getting into marketing or starting marketing, we tell them, “Okay. Let’s gather the contacts certainly, load up your contact list, but segment it if we can, so we know that we’re going to be sending.. For example, we have a customer who is a rock climbing gym and they have members for their gym and then they’re people who just signed up for their email list and so, that’s a really simple way of *** segment and send out different content to two different audiences, so we’ll work with them to do some of that simple stuff at the beginning and then teach them about how to gather information that will help them further segment down the road, so it opens up the conversation for trigger segmenting where your clicking on the link and then that link will then be captured and that response will going to be captured so that someone can then put those folks on a specific list for follow up, specific way or specific author expander list and so, we teach them at the beginning very slowly because again, these are folks who – you say the word Autoresponder and they freak out. So, we work with them or wherever they’re at, wherever they’re coming into contact to see what would be best, so setting up certainly making sure their accounts ready to go, we within Constant Contact, there’s a welcome email that’s automatically generated when someone signs up for someone’s Constant Contact emails, so we will coach them around how to create a great welcome email, not just a default message, but a welcoming email that ***..
John: What is that great welcome email look like?
Corissa: So, I’ll give you an actual example. There’s a green good story of the Eco friendly products store that’s in ***, Massachussetts and I love what they were doing with their welcome email. They actually send: Hey! Welcome to our email list. We’re going to be sending out this type of information and if you come into the store and say, I forget what their actual phrase was, but they had a basic to their promo code that you could say when you come to the store and you got a breezable shopping ***. So, it was a way that to drive people directly into their store and to thank them for joining their email list. Really simple, it got them right at the beginning when people signed up and were excited and it drove people to their store. So, that’s a simple welcome email, welcome offer that we would recommend our audience to do and then from there, they can set up autoresponders that are based on obviously, different types of results they’re trying to get, different calls to action and certainly, you know better than me about that.
John: Yup. That’s interesting. So, if I’m a hairdresser or I’m a mechanic or I’m an organic health food store, that’s a really cool idea. When someone signs up and immediately, you give them something really cool. I mean, this is a local business, so I haven’t really done much of this, I work with a lot of them, *** with digital products or just consulting services. That’s certainly not so much a small business like this, so it’s interesting that you sort of what works and what’s the staff works for, but I like that idea, how making an author like that straight away with something really cool, like I come in for $10 off when you have your first hair cut or something like that, getting them right to the store because chances are they’re 10 minutes down the road.
Corissa: Exactly, right. We’re talking about people who are their immediate target audience right there on the corner and *** work with a lot of online businesses, as well as people who surf international markets, but certainly, good core, agroup of our customers are knocking up and they can just offer something great to start to engage right away. It may not be, “Hey, come into the store.” It could be, “Call us and you get this thing.” or it could be that they click on the link and they’re able to download an ebook or a white paper or series of videos that were created for them.
John: Okay, and what do you see working best? I just noticed on your website, like *** templates for these small businesses or like a text space email or a plan, what sort of email usually work?
Corissa: Before our client, again, depending on the type of business they are because we work with *** non profit, but typically, a nice little mix of, I would say mostly, text space, but with supported images. So, I would never recommend people to include an image that overpowers or overshadows the content, the text because that’s the most important part is getting people to believe what it is I am to say to hopefully to get them to do what you want them to do, so the images are great and nice eye catcher, but they really should just be supportive to the copy.
John: Yup. Okay. And you mentioned BTB (Business To Business Emails), I hear a lot of people would come to me and then like, “Why email marketing?” Maybe it works for BTC, but for Business To Business, probably doesn’t work, I think it’s different. It’s too difficult or businesses don’t respond to that stuff. Obviously, it does, I mean you said you got BTB customers, what’s working for them?
Corissa: Yes. It’s really being the expert and showing up to prove that extra cheese through great content and then you can move them to whatever next step that they need to take, so BTB similar, I would say, to a doctor in the sense of.. Someone’s not going to just click on a button to *** a doctor or necessarily just see something and then email, “I’m going to hire this company for $10,000 worth of consulting services.”, so this higher and not just higher and a price like, but just longer sales cycle types of businesses and they do really well with email because it’s that, if you’re providing great value as they sent content they’re building their relationship and then also prooving their expertise, so if you’re talking about selling our expertise, you want some of the higher *** from marketing or you want someone to book you as their surgeon, then you really need to prove to them that you’re the expert that they need. So, it’s about sharing expertise, and then also, giving people great calls action every time so that they *** the ones that are ready can take that next step.
John: It’s one of the cool things about the content, like I’ve noticed with that podcast of *** and the emails that I send, that really has a powerful effect or a powerful influence on the positioning in the way people see me and my business. It really creates an expert positioning and I didn’t really understand it before I started. When you just send out, it’s got to be valuable, it’s got to be good content and it’s relevant, all that stuff. If you just do that regularly, you start to be seeing this preeminent expert in the eyes of your customers and clients and prospects.
Corissa: Absolutely. You’re spending the time sharing that expertise and even if your the biggest expert in your field, the fact that you’re the one with the bull horn, you’re the one that actually making the connections and talking, it will put you in that seat as the preminent expert, so it’s really about making, not just the connection, but then nurturing that connection to all of that great valuable content.
John: Right. So, I’m interested, can you give me an example of say like, a Business To Business email or like an example of an email that business might send out to another business to get them to hire them?
Corissa: Well, I think it’s certainly not something is going to happen across one email, but in a series of emails, let’s say, it would be about sharing their possibly customer or starting out with talking about their expertise, but not telling people about their expertise, but illustrating their expertise whether case studying, customer store or through a series of tips and advice that they give, which *** they’re going to be giving advice around something that means, they obviously have expertise around it, so if you frame it in the: I’m teaching you something. I’m sharing something to help you because I know this stuff, then it’s all about the audience and I think anytime that an expert or a BTB can make it about the audience, they’re going to start winning over that audience and building up the credibility that they need with that audience, so that a person whose ready to hire whatever you do is going to look to you. So, it’s a reframing then you can easily tell people that, “Hey, we have expertise and excellency.” or you can just show them that you have that expertise by sharing information that helps them around that expertise.
John: Right. I like that. And so, I mean, one challenge to BTB is that I found some of the clients that I’ve got *** is you call to actions change a little bit because you’re right, people aren’t going to buy from just one email, often they might not even be the head of the company that might be working in the Marketing Department or any other department. So it’s like you got to, this comes back to the empathy thing or understanding what your ***, in the case, let’s say an employee, they’re going to be motivated to buy on a different, they want different benefits to, say someone at the head, they want to make money and they want to grow at the bottom line and that sort of thing. Someone in the middle, an employee wants to make mostly do a good job, making a good impression, maybe get a bonus, that sort of thing. So and then that changes the call to actions in the sense that this person in that department, maybe they can actually buy the product themselves, but they’re responsible for convincing their boss to buy the product. So when you take that into that *** call to action *** and instead of saying, “Buy now.”, maybe, you got some ideas that I’m assuming is going to be something like, “Reply to this email.” or “Give us a call or something this phone number.” or “Download this white paper.” and then the white paper has a call to action.
Corissa: Absolutely. So anything that they can share or ***, that happens a lot with us where it is a marketing person or even an administrator *** that signs up to come to our class and they’re coming to do this information gathering for their boss and so, if you can get them with some next step with you whether, it’s to a class that your teaching or to a webinar that you are holding or to your white paper or ebook. It’s just going to deepen the connection and get them a little bit closer to taking that steps so ultimately, one of the educating that person who can then pass along the education and the information and I think, if you know that you’re talking to a non decision maker who influences a decision maker then if you’ll empower them with information, knock down some objections as you go and if you could provide them, go as far as providing them infographics and reports that they could even print out and share with their boss or decision maker, you’re really empowering them and making them look good, so that’s pretty good strategy.
John: I love that idea of giving them what they need to be able to explain to their boss why they should buy the product or why they should buy the service. So, it’s cool to think, you even had an email like look, we know, you know that this is a useful thing, what we wanted to do, we know that it’s not really up to you to make the decision, so if *** special PDF or *** that outlines ten reasons why your boss buys this product or service, so that they can take it or you could say, “Use a PowerPoint Presentation *** to your boss.” You have a lot of fun with it.
Corissa: Absolutely right and then they’re going to love you for it because it’s going to make them look good and whether, they make the decision and to come over to you and make some look good the fact that they’re acting professionally and do diligence that they need to do to make the good decision.
John: And that really comes into the empathy of understanding that the employee usually, it depends on the company, but usually is more interested in doing a great job and getting respect within the company, maybe increasing his/her positioning for the next promotion or something like that and then you can start to tail the content, *** benefits of doing business with you. I have a conversation with a friend a while back, we talked about what benefits in *** benefits, it’s so important, always *** about the benefits of the product or service and that’s how really you saw it, which is true, but only to a point in the sense that you could still get the wrong benefits like if you’re selling to the employee, but you’re talking about how great it’s going to be on businesses automated or you can just disappear and you can take off and live in Thailand for example ***. It’s just not going to make sense because the benefit doesn’t relate to them. It’s not relevant and that’s not the benefit that isn’t really looking for and that’s not the benefit that’s going to get to enjoy. So, it’s like it’s great to talk about benefits, but you have to tail the benefits to the person you’re talking to.
Corissa: That’s so true. I’ve never looked it that way, but it goes back to what we’re talking about. I was *** segmentation and making sure that you know who you’re talking to and that you spend the time, whether it’s up front and certainly, as you go and grow these relationships to segment your audience so that you could have more intimate conversations with each of those audiences and tailer the conversation to them. They can only do that if you know who they are.
John: Right. It’s a one way to do this with BTB guys is that, you could say at the start, it depends on the marketing. Maybe, you go both people sign up, employees and business centers, so you’re not really sure how to talk to them, you could have one on your form, you just say, “Are you a business center or are you an employee of the company and then you just have two different Autoresponders, so you can *** those two different groups of people.
Corissa: Absolutely. So with Constant Contact, very simply when people are signing up for the email, they can indicate who they are within the contract system. You could send out a survey that has more director, questions that can more get into the *** of who they are and then you can go into each contact detail and tag those details with specific bits of information that will be helpful for you and in segmenting them so it’s all there, you have the capability to do it with our tool and with others that are out there, so it’s just taking the time to do it and when you do, yours going to get way better results so it’s important and smart to do it.
John: That’s cool. We were right on time before we go to that, we’ve been talking about Constant Contact a little bit through here, tell me a bit more of what someone gets when they sign up, obviously, they’re going to get a phone call, which I’m always tempted to sign up just to get that phone call. Tell me more about Constant Contact and what they get and where can people learn more about it.
Corissa: Yes, absolutely. So, signing up is pretty simple, you just go to www.constantcontact.com and you can sign up for a free trial. We offer 6 day free trail with no obligation within that 6 day period, just so everyone knows, you can import 10 contacts or up to 10 contacts, so really, the trial is more of a test drive, a test run of the products, rather than to really test out sending campaigns really look at reporting, much of that, out of 10 contacts. So when you’re ready and you feel like, “Okay, I get the product. I understand how it works and I just want to go.”, you can convert to buying. We charge a monthly subscription fee for that and based on the tools that you want to have access to the sides of your list, the pricing will vary.
John: Cool. And that’s all in www.constantcontact.com?
Corissa: It is. Yes.
John: I’ll have the links to that in the show notes in the www.mcmethod.com. So thank you for coming on the show, Corissa.
Corissa: You’re so welcome, John. Thank you so much for inviting me.