Before Michael Port became a highly sought after professional speaking expert, he needed a way to convert his website visitors into customers. That’s when he discovered the power of email marketing.
“Email marketing launched my career,” Port said. “Very rarely does anyone ever buy anything just because they went to our website. It doesn’t work like that, especially when you’re selling services.”
Michael Port is the co-founder of Heroic Public Speaking, a speaker development and coaching company helping new and established speakers. He is the author of the six books, including bestsellers Book Yourself Solid and Steal the Show. He is also the host of the most popular podcast on public speaking and performance, Steal the Show with Michael Port.
Since his entrepreneurial start in 2003, Port has leveraged the power of email marketing to nurture and convert business prospects into clients.
During a recent interview with Port, I asked him to share the email marketing blueprint he and his team uses to turn subscribers into customers.
4 keys to the Heroic Public Speaking email strategy
For the Heroic Public Speaking team, an effective email strategy comes down to four key pillars:
1. Determine an audience and goal for every email.
Every email you send should have a goal. The Heroic Public Speaking team’s goal is to get their email subscribers to visit and watch the videos on their website. And the goal of these videos is to convert them into clients.
Ports team uses a very simple checklist of 3 questions to evaluate the purpose and audience for each email and landing page:
- Who is our audience?
- What do we want them to do?
- How are we going to get them to do it?
They run every single email through this checklist. If they can’t run it through that framework, they cut or revise it.
2. Use pattern interruption to grab attention
Port is a firm believer in well-designed emails that adhere to your brand identity. Yet, he says you should sometimes stray from using designed email to leverage a psychological cue known as “pattern interruption.” Pattern interruption is when you intentionally disrupt an established pattern to grab your audience’s attention.
That’s why he occasionally sends text-only emails. Since he regularly sends templated and branded emails, text-only emails interrupt the pattern and stand out. This increases his click-through rates and engagement.
“Design matters. Yes, we still do text-only emails, because sometimes the pattern interrupt feels more personal and will create a quick, direct response from the recipient. But because we’re an organization, not just an individual, there needs to be consistent visual brand identity in addition to consistent written brand identity.”
If it feels like a personal email from an individual, subscribers pay attention and are more likely to respond in the way you would like.
Pro tip: AWeber’s email templates support beautifully designed templates as well as text-only templates, all of which are mobile responsive. Log in now to try them out. Don’t have an AWeber account? Try AWeber free for 30 days.
3. Tailor your message to your audience with segmentation.
The Heroic Public Speaking team targets two types of customers: individual consumers and corporate businesses. Since these audiences have different pain points and goals, Port’s team communicates with them in different ways.
With their corporate funnel, Port’s team uses more one-to-one outreach for these prospects at the top of the marketing funnel, and then use automated systems to move these leads through the sales cycle.
With their consumer funnel, they use email automation throughout the entire buying process to move prospects through the funnel.
Their consumer group contains 4 different types of individuals:
- People who are already very successful professional speakers
- People who want to be professional speakers but are just getting started
- People who speak to help spread their message/brand
- Professionals who want to get better at presenting because it’s a big part of their job
Because these groups have unique goals, Port’s team sends a customized automation series to each one.
To automatically add the right person to the correct customized automation series, Port relies on his sign up flow. Here’s how it works:
First, Port shows site visitors a simple signup form that offers lead magnets in exchange for subscribing. By minimizing the fields on this form, Port can get more people to complete it.
Once subscribers sign up, they arrive on the “thank you” page. This is where they can self-select the segment that best fits them. After selecting an answer, they’re automatically added to the corresponding automated email series. This allows the Heroic Public Speaking team to provide each unique segment with content that’s relevant to their needs.
If subscribers don’t select on option on the thank-you page, they have additional opportunities to self-select within the email series.
Pro tip: You can use AWeber’s tagging and behavioral-automations to allow your subscribers to self-select their segments. Simply assign tags to the custom field selections on your sign up form or add/remove tags when subscribers click a link within your welcome email. Then you can start them on targeted automated email campaigns, or save them for future broadcasts.
4. Choose the right email marketing platform.
According to Port, it’s easy to choose the wrong email platform when you’re just getting started.
“Small business owners get sucked into all of the bells and whistles of these massive platforms that they do not need. It just gets too complicated,” he said.
Instead, Port suggests choosing a platform that fits three qualifications:
- It’s easy to use.
- It fits your current business needs.
- It can scale with your business as it grows.
By using a simple, user-friendly platform, it’s easier to see fast results from your email marketing efforts.
Try AWeber free for 30-days
Port recommends AWeber because of its ease of use and ability to turn leads into customers.
“Without a tool like AWeber, it’s very difficult to do the work you need to do to get someone to say ‘Yes’ once they become aware of you.”
Ready to start getting clients to say “Yes” to your services or products? Start your free 30-day trial of AWeber today.