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We’ve all heard the directive, the money is in the list! This is implying that growing your email list can pay off in the long run. But if you’re struggling to grow your list, or trying to figure out what to say to them once they’re there, Matt Molen has an inspiring message. Look at your email list as an investment. That changes everything. Matt is back on the show today, talking about creating a rewarding email newsletter. That means rewarding for your audience and for you!

A photo of man looking to one side. The text on the image indicates the man is Matt Molen of Email Crush. He's a guest on the Chopped Podcast.

More About Matt

Creating a Rewarding Email List

If you’ve heard the adage that there’s power and money in the list, they’re probably talking about email. And if that’s left you scratching your head because you don’t know how to make that happen, Matt Molen has some answers for you.

As you can see from above, he doesn’t do this by chance. He has his own business where he has demonstrated time and time again that outreach via email can be very rewarding for his businesses.

The trick? You have to make your newsletter rewarding for your audience. See, this is a symbiotic relationship. The more you can make your newsletter meaningful for your audience, the more you’ll have opportunities to step in and monetize your list.

How do you become meaningful? Matt suggests understanding your audience, knowing what their questions are, and answering them in your newsletters. Then when it comes time to promote an affiliate, your cookbook, or whatever is next, your audience will be more open.

In addition, Matt highly recommends segmenting your newsletter so you’ll know more specifically about their interests. Are they interested in gluten-free? Do they love easy recipes? Are they into desserts? If you have your audience segmented, it will help tremendously.

How to Communicate via Email in Times of Crisis

This year has had some struggles, including a pandemic, and important cultural movements resulting in riots. Events such as these are critical to be aware of. Should you mention them in your newsletters? Only you can know the answer to this, but it can show your community support and leadership as well.

Even though Matt suggests an “email on autopilot” approach (see the link below to Matt’s first interview on the podcast), there are times when autopilot needs to be put on hold.

Matt explains how to go about pausing your campaigns and ways to interject new content into the flow.

How to Sell to Your Email Newsletter List

It’s easy to look at your email newsletter list as a cost, because maintaining these lists can get very expensive! However, Matt encourages you to consider your email list an investment here’s why:

  • Your email list can send traffic to your site, and if you have an ad network, each visit results in revenue earned
  • You can sell to your email newsletter — Matt provides specific tips for how to sell to your audience via newsletter (see the transcript below or listen to this episode)
  • It’s possible to get sponsors for specific emails — read more about this in the transcript below or listen in as Matt talks about the specifics.

Be sure to use the discount code CHOPPED when signing up for Matt’s course Email on Autopilot to save $100 off the cost of the course! This offer is good through the end of summer 2020.

Show Notes

Here are important links from today’s conversation with Matt Molen on Creating a Rewarding Email Newsletter.

Podcast Interview Transcript

[00:00:00]Marly McMillen: Hey, everyone. I’m happy to have on the show today, Matt Mullen, he is with Email Crush. You might know him from his signature course, Email on Autopilot. He’s back on the show today. Hey Matt. Welcome to the Chopped Podcast.

Matt Molen: Marly. Thanks for having me back.

Marly McMillen: I’m so glad to have you back. I had so much fun talking with you on episode 183, and we talked about emails and all the good stuff. But you know, Matt , we barely skimmed the surface. There’s so much that we can talk about on emails. Don’t you think?

Matt Molen: Well, I’ve made a career out of it. So yes, I tend to think so. Yes.

Marly McMillen: Do you ever get tired of talking about emails?

Matt Molen: You know, I actually really enjoy it. And, I think that’s what drove me into this space  because I was, I was doing marketing for a daily deal site before I did this, and email was such a big part of what we were doing.

And then I started doing on my own side hustles and I started helping some other people out with it. And I saw what it can do to help people to create a brand, to engage in a very unique way that you can’t really do with any other [00:01:00] marketing medium and I fell in love. And so in terms of being able to build your brand, to sell products, to tell people about what you’ve got going on and to actually connect, it’s hard to beat email marketing.

Marly McMillen: Yeah. You know, it’s one of those things. I think that it’s, it’s like you have an area of expertise that it would be, it would have been so easy for you to, just to take that for granted, but somehow you saw the light that wow. Other people are struggling with us. I think. I could probably help them.

Matt Molen: Well, I fell into it on it kind of on accident because I was talking to some fellow bloggers. I, as I mentioned, I was side hustle, which is a, which is a travel blog. And I was talking to fellow bloggers and they were telling me, Oh yeah, we don’t do that. And I was like, what? Are you kidding me? And so I started helping a few people and they really got a lot of value out of it.

And then that allowed me to crystallize and formulize what has become my course or has become my strategy. And I’ve been able to help a lot of people over the last couple of years where they’ve seen significant growth, seeing incredible [00:02:00] ROI with it. And that’s given me a lot of confidence to just keep going.

So I it’s part of the joy of it too, is when you know, you’ve got something that helps and that works, you get pretty excited.

Marly McMillen: Yes. That whole concept of like,  just because you know it and it’s worked for you, but also getting in there and helping other people succeed has got to feel great. Yeah. I love that. And I was just going to say, I know that you’ve worked with a lot of very big bloggers or people who maybe have grown into being big, big bloggers as a result of working with you. So that’s gotta feel good.

Matt Molen: That’s been very, very rewarding. And as you know, especially in the blogging space, people help each other out. They talk when something works, they share it. And it’s so rewarding. That’s so different than a lot of other competitive environments that I’ve been in with my career. And it’s a, it’s quite a breath of fresh air for sure.

Marly McMillen: I totally agree. I have definitely noticed that. And by the way, just so you know, I don’t think that was as much, you know, when this all started, when right before, you know, like I’m talking about food blogging in [00:03:00] particular, I don’t think there was as much sharing going on, but over the years, I just love how people just like, Hey, this has worked for me. You should try this too. Isn’t that just so cool.

Matt Molen: It is cool. And it’s a recognition, I think. Well, number one, it comes from a place of humility. We all recognize where we started. We remember what that was like. And we know that there’s another corner for us to turn and we’re going to need help again. And so that, that pay it forward, helping mentality is just one of the things that really draws me to my clients.

Marly McMillen: So I’m gonna agree with you about 80% on that, Matt, but I’m also gonna, I want to add something to this because I think there’s something about having a female led audience, at least for food bloggers. I think we have a lot of female leaders and  women, I just think have a tendency to be more collaborative.

And I love that.

Matt Molen: I agree. Yes. I’ve definitely seen that and willing to reach out and put an arm around her shoulder to help lift somebody else up. It’s fantastic.

Marly McMillen: Yup. [00:04:00] I love that. Okay. So last time that you were here, we talked about something that I thought was just amazing. It got a lot of interest and, for me too, I was like, what in the world is this? And that was the Email on Autopilot course that you talk about. And just this whole concept of, email doesn’t have to be that hard.

You can put it on autopilot, but then in the meantime, some strange things have happened. Like we’re in the middle of a pandemic and I’m just dying to talk with you about this. Like is Email on Autopilot the same when you’re in such crazy times?

Matt Molen: Boy at the time that we’re recording this, we have the benefit of looking back on several months and weeks and months of very unique circumstances and not just a pandemic, but also. some social causes that have come to light and some other catastrophes that have taken place. And so it’s been an opportunity for us to kind of pause for a minute.

So when we’re looking at are our email marketing, when we’re looking at our automations, some of [00:05:00] the people that are listening here might have, something along the lines of a welcome series. Some might have introduced what I call a forever series, which is an ongoing automation where you’re sharing the best of your stuff over and over and over again.

And that those are usually evergreen series. They’re kind of set it and forget it a little bit. And the power of that going in normal circumstances is so fantastic because you can create your message and you can put it in front of the right people in the right order. And create kind of a journey for them.

Now, what happens when that, when that becomes tone deaf, we have to be cautious in those scenarios. And sometimes there’s just practical implications to your automations as well. For instance, I mentioned my side hustle. Well, we do a lot related to Disney vacations. And as you know, during the pandemic, nobody’s going on Disney cruises or going to Disney World. And so  it didn’t make [00:06:00] any sense for us to continue with our regular automations that were about how to enjoy Disney vacations, how to make the most of them. So that would silly for us to keep sending that out. And that’s just a, a pretty obvious example.  But there’s also, I mentioned being tone deaf. When we’re in the midst of really serious stuff, when people are scared, When they’re angry when they’re rising up to rally around a cause that’s might not be the time to be glib, to be robotic, to be automated. I’m not saying that you should be good robotic or automated in your messaging, but, but sometimes if you’re, if your automation goes out and it’s off topic, it can be considered very tone deaf.

So yeah, I think we just need to be sensitive to that. My advice. To all of the people I worked with during these times was to go back and take a look at your automation. Do they make sense right now? Can you turn them off for a little [00:07:00] bit? And  things tend to pass and we get back to, you know, normalcy. Or sometimes, and sometimes even for the better, you just need to change it.

Because of what you learned when you went through whatever that period was. So yes. The power of automation is fantastic. Definitely use it, but let’s be, let’s be smart about how we do so, so that we’re not, we’re not alienating anybody as we go.

Marly McMillen: Yeah. I mean, one example would be, there was a period of time there where it was hard to get certain ingredients. And so to be mindful of that and to send out an email, like I did one in the middle of all that, that said, you know, here are some recipes that you can make with limited ingredients.

Matt Molen: I saw a lot of that. Yeah. And I think that was a, that was a great way to address what’s going on right now. Yeah.

Marly McMillen: Right, right. Like people can’t get yeast, so we still can’t get yeast, and so if you were in the middle of all that, talking about your great yeast breads, that might’ve been a little bit, you know, not, not a good time for that.

[00:08:00] Matt Molen: Right. Exactly. And instead, what you can do is, is, is come up with a solution to the current problem. So if you’re having to turn off those automations, it might be time to increase the number of emails that you send that are specific to the, to the time specific to the environment. For instance, if you’re a deal site, you’re going to send more emails on black Friday.

That’s just how it is because people are buying and they want it from you. They want that content at that time. So you kind of have to ask yourself when you’re going through situations like that. Or any special circumstance, positive, negative or, or commercial or whatever it is, is this my black Friday, you know?

And then take that moment and help if you can. So I saw from food bloggers during the pandemic, a lot of people shifted, their tone, shifted their messages to the types of thing that you were talking about and actually increase the amount of emails that they were sending for [00:09:00] a time. Because it helped provide answers to the problems that people were going through.

Right. Then what do I make from my pantry? How do I keep my kids busy? What are some baking projects? And so things like that, those were really, well-received actually drove a lot of traffic back and helped build a brand that was stronger than ever.

Marly McMillen: Yeah. With more personal connection like that. That’s huge.  Matt, I was going to ask you a technical question.  Let’s say at the beginning of the year I’ve gone through and I’ve created my Forever Series and let’s just say it goes out once a month or something like that.

is it hard to get into that system and actually make a change?

Matt Molen: It’s gonna depend on your email service provider. but MailChimp Convert, Kit, Mailer Lite, those types of platforms are going to have a pause feature or, put it into draft mode. So it’s usually not very difficult. No.

Marly McMillen: Okay, good. I was wondering about that if it’s, you know, just as simple as going in there and clicking pause, and then maybe you create a couple [00:10:00] of new ones to go in place for, you know, like you say, kind of keeping your eye on what’s going on and you’ll know when is the right time to start the series back up again?

Matt Molen: Unless you use a, let’s use a, like a more normal type situation where you might do that. And so it was for food bloggers around the holidays. You can create additional automations. You know, that people, you have a ton of content related to entertaining what to make appetizers, Christmas cookies, whatever it is that you do during the holidays, you could create some automations that when people join your list, you turn on this holiday automation that runs from November through the end of December, instead of your general automation.

And so you could still use the power of automation. Maybe somebody is coming in November 1st, maybe they’re coming in December 1st. If they came in December 1st, they’re gonna miss out on what, four emails at the backend of the series that you made. So what, they still got the first four, which were more relevant to them at that time.

And you didn’t have to do anything [00:11:00] other than write it, turn it on and let it go in the order that you want it to be served. So that makes sense. If you’ve got any sort of longer period of time, summer might be something like that as an example, or getting back in shape at the beginning of the year, maybe you do a month or two long automation that you turn on for a while, and then you just turn off and go back to your other general automation when that time is up.

Marly McMillen: Holy cow. I love this because you know, now the summer months, I think we oftentimes talk about how there’s some more downtime during the summer months. So this would be a perfect time to be building up some, some short, short term automation series like that.

Matt Molen: Absolutely. Yep.

Marly McMillen: And, and then looking for opportunities in those emails, maybe to link to other content or to, you know, in other words, let’s say it’s a Christmas cookies or whatever that you’re going to be featuring, you could have a whole bunch of links that you could include in that email.

Matt Molen: Yeah, exactly.

Marly McMillen: Oh, I love it. Okay. So let’s talk about something else related to emails. Cause I feel like that was, [00:12:00] that was a pretty huge topic, but, you and I are also in a, a group on Facebook where  there’s been some discussions lately about selling to your email audience.

And there was quite a bit of controversy related to that. And I, I thought I want to talk to Matt about, about the ins and outs of selling to your email group. Can you talk about that?

Matt Molen: Sure. Well, I think, I think it’s interesting to kind of tell the story a little bit more about that got you and I talking here. So, in that group that you were referring to, somebody came on and said, look, I’m having a hard time selling my products to my list. I keep hearing that there’s money is in the list.

Why aren’t people buying? And this person actually tagged me and that led to a conversation. So I called her up and we were talking and she said, I’m trying to sell this thing. And I said, okay, look, I don’t, I don’t pretend to be an expert on the product that she was selling. It was something like a, you know, a, some sort of e-course or ebook or something along those lines.

And as we were, as we were going through, I said, well, so, [00:13:00] who are you sending it to? And she said, I’m sending it to my entire list. And I said, okay. So how big is your list? It has 500 people. Like, alright. Well, there’s your first challenge. Now we need to grow that list because, and the reason for that is probably obvious. Obviously the bigger a list that we have, the more people we have that are more likely to purchase from us. Okay. So that was, that was kind of an ephiphany to her number one, because she had not been focused on list growth at all. She was one of those people that, trust me, I meet so many and I was like this too, where the form on the box says, subscribe for updates.   When was the last time you ever wanted to subscribe for update who wants more emails in their life? Most people don’t. And so what I talk about, I think I’m on episode  183 was my, my favorite technique for list growth. And so if you go back and listen to that episode, you’ll hear all about that.

It’s still 100% [00:14:00] relevant, but so what I was doing is first, instilling the email growth mindset into this person, because that’s where it all starts. Now. Could we work on our messaging? Sure. Could we work on the product offer? Absolutely. Could we work on the, the funnel? Everybody loves the word funnel.

Can we work on the sales funnel? Yes. All those things we can work on, but if you don’t have a lot of people to sell to. Then your overall sales results are going to, they’re going to suffer. So now I imagine if somebody is out there listening and they’re like, well, I’m just getting started.

That’s okay. Even when you have a small list, you can still sell to them. And my point is not that you have to have a big list before you can start selling. That’s not it at all.  But what I am saying is that if you do have a product, all of a sudden the importance of your list growth becomes even bigger because that’s where the ROI is.

You’re going to really start seeing [00:15:00] significant leaps and gains because if you convert at a certain rate,  obviously it’s just math, you know, the bigger, the pool that you’re pulling from to get to convert at that rate, the more money you’ll make.

Marly McMillen: Well, I mean, I’ve often heard in marketing that 1% is a good response to, some campaigns. So, I mean, just right there if you get between 1 and 5% is a good response., then the larger, the list, the, the larger, the, you know, response.

Matt Molen: Yeah, absolutely. And I think that another thing that, that really helps is when you are targeting the right people, So, you know, we can obviously do visa card gift giveaways and get a ton of people on our list, yada, yada, yada. And I’m not saying that that’s it, that that’s an unviable strategy. It might work for you.

It might work for in some cases, but usually when we segment our list yes. And understand what it is that she is interested in, we’re much more likely to be able to sell her something. Now [00:16:00] to put it in perspective, learning number two, as I addressed this with that client, is that  most for traffic was coming to her website for comfort food, and she was selling a, healthy food related product. So there was an immediate disconnect right there. Now, I’m not saying that she needed to change products. That would’ve been my, you know, one of my early pieces of advice, but she already had this product that was created. Then she just needs to build a list of people  with whom it’s going to resonate.

So, so segmentation. Is a big opportunity within email as well. And there’s lots of ways you can segment your list. You can do it based on their behavior of what they open and click. You can do it based off of the lead magnet that you use to get them to sign up, or what form do they sign up or what page were they on when they signed up? Or do they click a link in your emails and a trigger or tag is set.

I’m getting [00:17:00] of the kind of into, you know, level 200 classes right now. But, but that’s the type of stuff you can do with today’s email marketing platforms.

Marly McMillen: I mean, if you think about it, Matt, that’s a little bit like, I’m sure you’ve got a, an email list that , corresponds with, you know, you’re talking about your Disney travels. It would be like, you know , the very common thought of what your email consists of is people who have kids that travel.

But what if you had this product that was how to go to Disney with your parents? Well, That might not apply to the majority of people. I don’t know. Maybe it would, but I’m just saying, it sounds to me like what you’re saying is you’ve got to have a way to differentiate your list so that if you’re selling a specific  product, you can sell to  that group only.

Matt Molen: It really helps in your overall conversion. It’s just basic marketingit’s matching a solution to a problem.

Marly McMillen: Yes.

Matt Molen: So the more relevant you are to that person who has that problem that makes your solution a perfect fit. The better you’re going to do. So [00:18:00] we’ve got, we’ve got the importance of growing your list.

We’ve got segmentation really helps, but there’s one other thing that she was not doing. And she had this list and she had the old subscribe for updates thing, and she had, RSS emails going out, which, you know, they’re, those are fine. You know, those tells people that your diehards, that you’ve updated your WordPress, basically. That’s what an RSS email says is, now I’ve got, you know, how the jalapeno muffins available.

Marly McMillen: Sounds good.

Matt Molen: Yeah. That might be why I’m not a food blogger, but anyway, so what could we be doing instead? Well, how about building trust? How about building subject matter expertise by using our email?

So the first time that  they hear from us is not, “Hey, buy this thing!” But instead, it’s over time, I’m solving this problem for you with this recipe. I’m solving this problem  for you, with these ideas and with these tips and these secrets and [00:19:00] value, it gets sent every week. So then when the time is right, and they know that, you know, this topic like the back of your hand, then it’s like, buh-bam, let me share my premium level thing.

That’s really gonna blow your mind. What they’re thinking is, Oh, if the free stuff was great, this thing must be next level. Awesome.

Marly McMillen: Right.

Matt Molen: And so building that trust, building that subject matter expertise is as simple as being regular with your emails and solve a problem with every email that you send.

Marly McMillen: And so that’s more than the RSS feed because the RSS is basically I publish a new post. It goes out, but that’s very impersonal. So I think what I’m hearing you say is our emails need to have a touch of personal to them.

Matt Molen: I think that you need to put yourself in the shoes of the reader.

Marly McMillen: Yes.

Matt Molen: What problem does this email solve for that reader? If you don’t know the answer to that, then [00:20:00] your reader probably doesn’t know the answer. Now, one of the challenges that my clients often come back to me cause I work with a lot of food bloggers and then, well, what problem does a bran muffin solve?

Well, I can think of one specific problem that it solves for me, but, but I think that you have to, yeah, you have to start thinking about, okay, why does anybody eat a bran muffin? Why does anybody want instant pot stew? Does anybody want lemon chicken?

Marly McMillen: Yes.

Matt Molen: Whatever those things are, and if you can identify how those solve problems, then your email is going to, it’s going to be much more impactful. Because otherwise they’re like, yeah, I don’t know if I’m in, you know, I’m getting this email at seven in the morning.

I’m not really in the mood for some cucumber salsa. Right. So, identify what problem.

Marly McMillen: That’s that sounds terrible.

Matt Molen: No, it’s a, it’s it’s really, really bad. and I don’t recommend anybody make that one, but you could probably rank number one on Google for it if you want it.

Marly McMillen: I bet you got it.

[00:21:00] Matt Molen: So, anyway, the other thing that I think is that people miss out on is what’s happening in people’s lives right now. What are they thinking about right now? Well, during quarantine, they had very specific things on their mind. As we talk about, if you’re headed into Memorial day weekend, Well, what problems can you solve for them for Memorial day or Easter or whatever holiday. Especially in the food world. My goodness, it’s, it’s so easy to do that and to, to provide a solution for our entertaining, for our healthy eating, for our, our, our cravings, you know, whatever it is I’m using that as our guide to help provide value and answer problems.

Marly McMillen: Yeah, that’s really great. I mean, we’re, we’re used to this conversation about what questions are our audience asking about. You know, whatever particular post that we’re talking about, because that’s kind of an OnPage SEO thing that we’ve been doing a lot lately. You know, what, what questions are people asking about [00:22:00] cucumber salsa and how can we answer that?

Like why, but, you know, to be able to do that in an email, then it’s just taking it another step further. I think it’s, it makes so much sense, but it does take a little bit of like higher level thinking, I guess.

Matt Molen: Absolutely. If you’ve already given it that thought  then it’s easy to present that in your emails. But let’s, let’s not do the whole thing of, okay guys, I put up cumber salsa on the, on the website today! Because I’m going to ask who cares.

Marly McMillen: Yes. Right,

Matt Molen: Why should I care?

Make me care!

Marly McMillen: Make me care. I love that. Yes, that’s really good. Okay. So I wanted to ask you a question about segmentation. I imagine that every, like you just kind of ticked off a few email service providers, such as MailChimp and MailerLite  all of those, are, I mean, is it your experience that some are better at segmentation than others?

Matt Molen: Well, I’m not an expert on every platform. I spend [00:23:00] most of my time in Convert Kit for this reason. So my, my history, when I started trying to implement my system, the one that I teach in my course, which eventually became my course. I really struggled to do it with the, with the platform that I was on originally.

And so which to Convert Kit, because it allowed me to easily create automations, trigger s , create segments, and do it all in a way that was intuitive to me that I could set up. Now I’m not here to, to shill for Convert Kit. I do really like them. I am an affiliate, but. I know that there’s a lot of platforms out there today that have this same level of, of, of, feature set.

And so, you know, it’s just understanding how to do it. It’s just like with any, any piece of software, is it possible? Usually it is. How do you do it? How hard is that? Do I understand it? That’s a whole different [00:24:00] discussion and, but that’s, that’s part of why I’m here is to help with some of the technical stuff too.

Marly McMillen: What I’m hearing you say is segmentation is so important that it’s worth  your while discovering how you, the particular service that you’re using, how it, it offers that service.

Matt Molen: Absolutely. Yeah. And I think that there’s more and more tools that are coming out to help us both on the front end with, you know, the whole concept of popups and opt in forms, as well as the backend, meaning the email service provider.

Marly McMillen: So they’re all starting to realize that, Hey, people find this kind of complicated, so maybe we need to make it simpler.

Matt Molen: Absolutely. So, you know, if you’re trying to segment the, the obvious place to segment is where your traffic is landing. So where’s your traffic coming right now. If they’re coming into a, you know, a section on your website, that’s all about gluten free recipes. Well, maybe that tells you something about that person and some sort of opt-in related to gluten-free, it’s probably gonna work better for that person [00:25:00] than a general, Hey, get dinner on the table  fast kind of thing. So that’s my, that’s my, a big part of what I do is to help people see what those segmentation opportunities are and then how to go, how to go get them, what lead magnet to create, what email hook to create, how to get them onto the list.

And then once they’re on the list, how to send them stuff that’s related to that segment in an automated fashion that doesn’t make your life super challenging and complicated. I know that for somebody that’s brand new to this, they’re probably listening, going. Yeah. Okay. That seems like that seems a little complicated.

It’s really not that bad. Okay. Go back and listen to 183 because I outlined kind of the whole program there. And then you’re ready for this segment stuff, because this is where the money is. This is where you’re going to see all of the opportunities. This is where your sponsors will pay you more.

This is where you’ll find affiliate opportunities. This is, this is where you’ll be able to say, you know what? [00:26:00] My  gluten-free readers. They’re more apt to want a gluten free cookbook and I can make it for them.

Marly McMillen: Yeah. So those people that have their hands on their hips, like, Oh Matt , I tried to sell him my list and it didn’t work. Well, okay, so I you, you really have to put a little bit more thought into it. It seems to me like you would want to plan a campaign that you’re going to sell to.

So in other words, I don’t just like plop a, an email out there and expect to get results. I have to kind of build up to that email.

Matt Molen: Absolutely. In fact,  there’s lots of different ways that you can do the traditional sales launch, but you guys have all seen it. We’ve all seen it. And what I’m about to do, describe to you is it is it’s really kind of a, a generic template and can be modified. But if you’re creating a sales launch, and this is, was going back to our friend that was struggling with her product sales, all she did was she sent one email out going, please buy my product.

And I already ticked off all the other things that I thought were wrong. But even if she, with that’s that list  size [00:27:00] that she had with a broad audience, maybe the product wasn’t on point, she probably could have gotten better results if she just followed a little bit smarter sales, launch sequence.

So here here’s a couple of things that you can do. I’m not saying by any stretch of the imagination, is this all you can do, but let me just give you a sample of what  a sales sequence might look like. Basically what we’re going to do is we’re going to lengthen the sales cycle. All right.

Instead of, Hey, I have this product, come check it out. We’re going to lengthen that. So what you might do is email number one might be, what’s your biggest struggle with X,  whatever problem, your product solves. I know I struggled with that. And I’ve come up with something and tomorrow I’m going share with you something I’m so excited that solves it.  In the meantime, hit reply, and tell me what your biggest struggle is with X. Then day two: launch the product. Okay, guys, I [00:28:00] heard you and it turns out everybody struggles with this same problem with X. I came up with the solution. Here’s what it looks like. Here are the outcomes. Here’s some testimonials, you know, in the big, long, this is the big, long sales pitch, right.

Or you’re going to click them and get them to the big, long sales pitch. But it’s the introduction

Marly McMillen: Could you ever see yourself first responding only to the people that responded to email number one? Or do you go ahead and just email number two goes out to everybody.

Matt Molen: Well, I’m always going to, especially if I’m selling a product, I’m always going to reply privately to anybody who responds to me. If I’m, especially if I’m selling a product,

Marly McMillen: Right.

Matt Molen: Because these are the people. If they raised their hand and said, yeah, you know what, me too.  Then you write them back and you go, I feel you. I think I had the same problem you did. And tomorrow I’m going to help you just hang on until tomorrow. And you’ll love the solution or whatever you’re going to say.

Marly McMillen: Right.

Matt Molen: Alright. So then you launch it. Then what? Well,  here’s a series of ideas of things that you can do to extend it over the next several days.

[00:29:00] And they don’t, you know, do you choose the order? Number one is focuse on the outcome. When people buy it, this product, they have these outcomes, they lose weight, they make things faster. They’re happier. They never have to eat cucumber salsa again. Whatever the outcome is that you’re promising you focus on that in that email.

That’s supporting email number one, supporting email. Number two is think of every single objection that you could possibly get.  This isn’t right for me because of blah. The price seems extravagant. I don’t like the color pink, whatever you want overcome, you give your answer. As if you were standing there selling it in a sales environment to somebody, you give your answer to those, to overcome those questions before they even ask it, because somebody out there is thinking it.

Yeah. Supporting email number three is my favorite. And it’s the [00:30:00] testimonials because yes, I’m hopeful that you have established subject matter expertise. I’m hopeful that people trust you and that they’re your super fans. But there is the chance that they still, I need a little more over the top kind of encouragement.

The testimonials can be your story. That’s okay. But you really want the stories of some other people. Does, what does that mean? Well, you know, a short video, a, they put it on site Jabber or trust pilot or an Amazon review, a Yelp review. I don’t know, whatever. It depends on what business you’re in. So. You want to, you want to collect testimonials so that you can share them here and then last but not least the final day, the final day is where you hit them with the sense of urgency.

And that is guys today’s the last day. And then you kind of repeat, you know, the [00:31:00] value that they’re going to get. Why they want it buy today, before it goes away or whatever.

By the way, I didn’t mention this, but it’s always helpful to have a bonus. Even if it’s an evergreen product that you always sell for a launch, it’s like this, it’s always good to have a bonus so that you have a thing that goes away and it could be something small.

It could be a bonus checklist that you’re throwing in there. It could be a, it could be a special extra chapter. It could be a special extra podcast episode, I don’t know. And so, so on that last day, you send them one in the morning. And then at least you send them one in the evening that says final hours, last chance.

And most of your sales will take place on that last day. Some people extend that out and do three or four emails on that day. You got to feel that out for you.

Marly McMillen: Yes, I’ve actually seen, I know we’ve all seen these series happen because I have had some people who’s like this final final hour. And then the next day I’ll get an email saying so many people responded saying they missed out or they wanted other chance. So we’re extending that just a little bit longer.

Matt Molen: Yeah. Yes. There’s [00:32:00] obviously those, those cliches and those tricks that people play, you have to decide where you fall and what, which tactics you’re going to use. But this formula think about what we’re doing here. People need, they need convincing. They need to see it the first time you sent it, they may not have even, they might not have absorbed that you even had it.

They didn’t get what it was. And so putting it in front of them multiple times is going to help with your overall sales of that particular product over that the course of that time. Now I will tell you that with this today’s technology again, and I love this, give them a chance to opt down. Give them a chance to get out of that sequence so they don’t get the sales anymore.

And the way that you do that is you at the bottom. You say, I’m not interested in this special offer, click here or not interested, click here to stop receiving emails about this special offer, or however you wanna phrase it, give them a chance to opt out. So it doesn’t, they don’t just sit there getting more and [00:33:00] more irritated because it’s not right for them.

Marly McMillen: That’s also because they’re still on your list. They just don’t get continue to receive those sales on that particular product, because you can imagine, you know, you know, I’m going to have Holly Homer on, she’s with Kids Activity blog, and she’s going to be on talking about her email strategies, which I think she’s worked with you in the past.

But to her point was, if she’s talking about potty training, your kids and this particular person doesn’t have any kids or maybe their kids just all  grew out of that phase. So they don’t want to see that anymore.

Matt Molen: That’s right. Yeah, exactly. You want it to as much as we possibly can, which is what it goes back to. The segmentation goes back to the relevance. But as much as we possibly can, we want to make sure this as relevant for them as possible so that they continue to get value from us as a trusted subject matter expert.

People don’t mind when somebody, they trust has something for sale. You know, if you’re a big Dave Ramsey fan and you listened to him on the radio and he comes out with [00:34:00] financial peace university, or it comes out with workbook or a class or something, and he mentions it. You’re not irritated by that. You know, that would probably solve some problems.

So we don’t need to be afraid of sharing the value here, especially when we’ve got the right people on our list. But sometimes it’s just not right for them at that time.

Marly McMillen: Yes. I think there is a common understanding that there’s a fear of sales. And so I think that’s, I’m glad that you said that don’t be afraid. Yes. Okay. Okay. So I just want to say to you that I have oftentimes heard from people, like, I think probably one of the number one complaints about growing your email list, which has been something you’ve talked about a lot, is that it gets really pricey.  And it gets very expensive because you know, the email list is not free. But I think what I’m hearing you say is one way to help monetize your email list is to sell to them. But I’m just curious, are there other ways that we could be looking at monetizing our email lists?

Matt Molen: There’s a lot of ways. And I, I’m glad that you brought that up because I think [00:35:00] a lot of people look at email as a cost instead of an investment. And for me, I look at it completely different. If this is just a cost to you, then you’re probably not seeing the whole picture of what’s possible.

So I’m just going to share my own particular story with my little side hustle. I’m not even gonna tap into the, into the businesses that made multimillions of dollars using email. I’m just gonna talk about my little tiny side hustle.  And, so in March, remember I have a Disney vacation related website. So around March 15th. The whole world stopped as it relates to Disney vacations, both in traffic and CPMs or RPMs from my ad network just gone. So my wife and I quickly pivoted and we released a bunch of fun Disney things you could do at home. Now, was I getting any Pinterest traffic, Instagram traffic, Google traffic?

No. The only traffic I had [00:36:00] was the ability to email that list that I’ve been nurturing. This is the prime example of when the whole world goes away for you. We sent out, we sent out a few more emails than we normally we do, but we sent out, content that was on point related to what was happening, Disney fun at home.  Our, our revenue from our ad network for March equaled that of February. Which, if you think about what happened to us and the, just the sheer drop off that happened in March, March 15th. Okay. I call that a win in fact that probably right there justified the cost of list for the entire a year because that revenue would have been gone and I would have had no way to recoup it.

Okay. So that’s, that’s, overly obvious. But a lot of people are like, could that really happen to me kind of scenario? Especially when many food bloggers saw a huge uptick during the quarantine period. But you did see, probably changes in the ad [00:37:00] spends. So having that as an insurance policy really helps.

Number two, as your list grows, as you serve people, as, as you increase your opens and clicks, your overall ad revenue is going to go up. Maybe that is a silly thing to even mention. Maybe that’s so obvious, but your overall ad revenue will go up as people engage with you more and come back over and over and over again.

Number three, as you segment and you start hearing back from people, you’re going to get a sense if you’re doing it right, you’re going to find out as they reply back to you, what their needs are right now. That gives you an opportunity to a create content or B create a product or find an affiliate partner.

I use affiliate partners. Obviously Amazon has changed the game just recently, but I still make quite a bit of money off of non-Amazon affiliates because I know the [00:38:00] segments and what they’re interested in, and I’m able to then share content related to affiliates that work well for them. This is all on my little side hustle and then last but not least sponsors, most of, most of my clients that do sponsor posts with brands are not doing anything with email.

They’re kind of throwing it in and the brand isn’t coming to them saying, yeah. Tell me about email. The reason for that is that most food bloggers suck at email. That didn’t sound very nice.

Marly McMillen: it just say what you think we want to hear from you, Matt

Matt Molen: But I mean, what it means is that the brands have not seen a model where they’re like, Oh, I could really do, you know, I could really tap into this, but if you think about it for a second as a brand want, and I’ve been in their shoes, I’ve been on their side.

I am willing to pay more for a more targeted set of eyeballs. I am willing to pay more  for [00:39:00] the increased chance that my product or service gets seen and, or purchased by the end user. Email does that in a way that almost no other sponsorship can. So going back again to my little side hustle, I actually sell email sponsorships.

No, this isn’t the, okay, give me your graphic and I’ll drop it in here. And then it looks like an ad. No, this is the same way that everybody does sponsored posts where it’s my content. It’s my words. And I put it in context for my readers, cause I know how it will help them. And I get paid every single month by one brand that loves what I’m doing because we are so narrowly focused on a certain audience that really helps them.

So what is that for you? How do you make money besides ads? And I think that that’s the question that you should be asking yourself, because if it’s any of those other things besides just [00:40:00] ads, then yeah. You have a big opportunity here to put your product service affiliate brand in front of somebody that is going to get it.

And that’s a great way to diversify your income.

Marly McMillen: I love this because I think we’re all constantly getting emails from people, companies that want to get their name out a lot. Oftentimes they want, you know, to get their name on our site. It’s some new product they’ve launched and they want us to talk about it on our blog. But you know, the idea of, of pitching them a sponsorship from my email is just huge because first of all, it doesn’t , cost me a link on my site and it, you know, you’re doing it by email, seems like it’d be a lot easier.

Matt Molen: So this is a little, little freebie. I’m going to take this type of stuff. And I’m gonna actually create a course out of this because this is, this is moneymaking gold right here, but I have, I was on the phone with, a client this last week. And I gave her this strategy. So she does a lot of sponsorships.

I said, go back to the sponsor that you had the most [00:41:00] successful sponsored post with most recently. This would be the brand should literally like you and they should be happy with you. Go back to them and say, I will do an email power boost where what I will do is for X dollars, I will send out another notice about our sponsored post one per month for the next quarter. So you’re going to get three bonus blasts for X amount of dollars. And then all I’m going to do is I’m going to drive them back to that post, but I’m going to do it. It’s not going to be the same email each time it’s going to be a slightly different take on it.

Marly McMillen: Nice.

Matt Molen: So it feels fresh and new to the subscriber and the brand went for it in a heartbeat. And so this client is so excited because she knows she’s just going to add email power boosts, nonstop as a bonus thing that she offers to make some money.

Marly McMillen: Oh, that’s great. That’s a great idea.  So in other [00:42:00] words,  the ideas that you have for monetizing your email list, I think what I heard you say is, first of all, just. Just traffic, you know, you know, how many people you have on your list and how many click through, that if you get certain RPMs that, you know, just the traffic value alone is worth some money. There’s affiliates and then sponsorships.

Matt Molen: Absolutely. And then, and I’m willing to use your own products, whatever those might be. Whatever you can think of if you have these segments. That’s another thing that occurs to me is that, so if I find out I’ve got a massive, you know, maybe I’ve got this website, my food as a, as my, my recipe website is, is pretty big and it covers a lot of categories, but I find out that my instant pot stuff is doing really, really well.

I could create an instant pot course and instant pot guide, an instant pot bonus. I could partner with some of those apps that are out there that, that cater to that audience and share my content related to instant pot or share their content to my [00:43:00] instant pot lovers, whatever.

Marly McMillen: Yes, that’s a great idea. I love that. So I think you did mention that too. In fact, some of the responses or some of the, if you get greater engagement on certain, emails, those are all little signals from your audience, telling you what you, what they want and that’s opportunities for you to create products or courses or some kind of support that people could pay for.

I love this because it just, like you say, it takes people away from looking at their email lists as a cost and more of an investment. And I think that’s a great way of doing it.

Matt Molen: Yeah, I think that it’s, it’s a mindset change. You need to adopt that email growth mindset first , and say, I’m going to do email marketing and I’m going to invest in email marketing in the same way that I invested in photography or video or tailwind for Pinterest or learning Facebook groups or doing Instagram stories  or Tick Tock.  At some point you  said to yourself, I’m going to go all in on this thing and that’s gonna be part of my business.  For many email is that health food that, you know, you should eat. [00:44:00] But it still sits over there because it’s it’s, it looks like celery when there’s a Cinnabon over here that I could just nibble Right. You know, it’s going to be good for you.

Marly McMillen: Yeah. It’s hard to say that SEOs or maybe social media or whatever, they it’s got a more sex appeal to it than emails.

Matt Molen: Right. Everything has more sex appeal to it. Then email, I, I can tell you that. but it, you know, that it’s going to be good for you in the long run.

Marly McMillen: Yes,

Matt Molen: But you’ve been putting it off and you’ve been putting it off and you’ve been putting it off. So I recently just as a little update on, on my business, because of that, I’ve understood that everything starts when you first start growing a list, people get excited when they first start seeing that little glimmer of hope of the list starting to grow.

So I am coming out. And I think this first place I’m sharing this, I’m coming out with a, a new course. That’s an entry level course called Email Quick Start. And the [00:45:00] whole point of it is short and sweet, but it’s my proven and tried and true method for how to grow your list fast.

Now, the charge for that course is going to be $150, but right now, right at the, as we’re going through this right now, I am creating a beta test group.

Cause I just need to work out a couple of the. A couple of the bugs, do the videos work, right? Do they explain what I want to say? So I’m offering that for free to anybody who’s listening right now. If they get in during the beta test period, if they want in, on that email, me, and I’ll hook you up.

If we’re still in the beta test period. Okay. So, if you want that, save yourself 150 bucks and get your email started right away and give me some feedback on my new thing would really help me out too

Marly McMillen: I love it. How long do you know? What, how long is that good for, do you know?


Matt Molen: well. yeah, so I, it’s going to depend a little bit on when this releases, but, yeah, I’m going to keep it open [00:46:00] for, probably a six to eight week period. And so there’s a good chance. That you’re going to be able to get in if you email me. So just email and I’ll and if, and if we’re closed, then we’re closed, but I’ll, I’ll, I’ll throw you some sort of bone probably.

Marly McMillen: But look, you know, it is the summer months. So again, this is a time of year where things kind of get slower for food blogs. And so why not take this opportunity to learn a new skill, especially one that’s going to pay off such huge dividends.

I couldn’t have

Matt Molen: said it better myself.

Marly McMillen: I like it. Okay. So Matt, you know, I love to ask these  fun questions at the end of the interview and we just went through all this. I can’t even remember. What was your favorite food? Do you remember?

Matt Molen: My favorite food. Well, maybe. Yeah. So I’m one of those where I hate being put on the spot like that, because I feel like if I said Thai food, that the big juicy burger would be offended and the big juicy cheeseburger, I really don’t want to offend that and lose that out of my life. So. so I’m, I’m, I’m gonna, I’m gonna punt on [00:47:00] that, but it’s probably between Thai food and the cheeseburger.

Marly McMillen: I feel like you did say burger last

Matt Molen: Okay. All right. So I have, I do have some consistent loyalty. All

Marly McMillen: right.

Exactly. But, so you’re for you it’s either between Thai food or, or the burger? Yeah. That’s a big, switch.

Matt Molen: How I’m feeling right now. Yes.

Marly McMillen: And I also love to ask what’s the favorite app on your phone? I don’t remember what you said last time, but I’m curious if you have a new favorite one.

Matt Molen: Well, okay. So I have, I don’t know what I said last time either, but right now I have been using Marco Polo a heck of a lot more. It took my kids to teach me and then get up and get, get on it. But, I’ve actually used it with my clients recently and it’s really fun. It’s a quick and easy way for me to give an update.

Without having to text something I can ramble for just a minute and explain something and then they can get it at their leisure. So I’ve actually been using Marco polo for business, along with keeping in touch with my, my aging father-in-law. So he gets the, he gets the videos. and that allows me to just say hello to him.

during [00:48:00] the day. He acts nice about it. you know, if your son in law, Marco polos you and I, I’m not really sure, but this is the guy that when I first met  his daughter, my wife  had been dating so many guys. He didn’t know which one I was. So he differentiated me by calling me long neck.

And so, so this is the guy that has forever referred to me as old, long neck.

Marly McMillen: I love it. That’s so good. Nothing better than sending a video to him then.

Matt Molen: Yeah, exactly.

Marly McMillen: Okay. Do you have any time for TV or reading at all? And if you do, do you have a recent favorite?

Matt Molen: I’ve been binge watching Brooklyn 99  That’s been my, that’s been my guilty little pleasure recently. I’ve enjoyed that.

Marly McMillen: What is, what, what is that on Netflix?

Matt Molen: It’s on Hulu. It’s an NBC show and I was I’m just late to the game on it.

Marly McMillen: I love it. Okay. I’m going to check that one out. I don’t, I don’t know anything about that one at all. Okay. So Matt, how can people find you online?

Matt Molen: The easiest thing is to check out If [00:49:00] you’re serious, go get email on That’s my signature course. That’s the one that’s going to change your game forever. If you’re serious about it, I’ll give a hundred dollars off to anybody who, enters the coupon code “chopped”  and, I’ll let that run through the end of the summer.

Go check that out. That’s or take me up on that beta test thing that I mentioned by just sending me an email.

Marly McMillen: I love it, Matt, I have had such a great time talking with you today, so thanks for joining me.

Matt Molen: Thanks for having me Marly.