12 Email Marketing Hacks

12 Email Marketing Hacks

HACK #1 – Talk To The Right Audience


Because owning someones attention isn’t free.
There is a misconception that clicking send to thousands of subscribers doesn’t cost anything (over and above the cost of the service you use to send email).
Nothing could be more wrong.
Attention isn’t free at all.
It’s earned, over time.

But it can literally vanish overnight if you abuse that (temporary) trust you’ve earned.
There is an invisible trust metric when someone who doesn’t yet know or trust you, first enters your sphere of influence.
I call this trust equity.
It starts at zero. Or near zero, depending what you did to get them onto your list.

When you send that person a relevant email, that invisible trust equity increases by a few points.
Send another relevant email…
And another badass email…

The number isn’t linear. As you earn that trust over time, the positive increments get larger.
After a month worth of relevant emails (say 15 emails in total) your trust equity could be sitting at +50, for example.
Then you do a promotion to your entire list. But it’s not really in line or congruent with the reason why they subscribed in the first place…


Do it again, and you would have almost lost the trust and attention of that person.
Trust and attention are two of the most scarce elements of our economy.
Trust is incredibly fragile. And attention is scarce because it doesn’t scale (we can’t do more than one thing at a time, and everyone is competing for it).

For those reasons, when we lose the trust and attention of a person, it’s lost for good. Because they move on.
This is why we need to be careful and protective about what we send to our audience.

Be relevant.

HACK #2 – Be Interesting (Worth Reading)

Have you ever read a corporate email?
It’ll put you to sleep.
It’s as interesting as watching paint dry. If you make it to the end, before falling asleep (or cutting your wrists), you’ve done well, sunshine.
Being interesting is a dance…
A dance of being entertaining, relevant, preeminent, teasing, flirty and giving value (but not giving it all away).
NEVER give it all away btw…
Because lust ends when craving ends. There needs to always be the sense of something else, even better, behind the
Do that, and you’ll not only be interesting, but you’ll also increase your trust equity (the trust and attention you own).
I’ve not found an easier way to be interesting than to use storytelling as the delivery vehicle for my message.
(More on that later.)

HACK #3 – Segment!

This isn’t optional (hence the only hack title that comes sporting an exclamation mark).
You don’t get a choice of not doing this.
What? … you don’t segment your email subscribers!?
You’re going to want to fix that pretty damn pronto then, tiger.
Here’s why…

Everyone on your email list has some shared core needs, wants and desires. But only very broadly.
Like I want to make money (get more of it). I want to be pain free. I want to play better golf. I want to run a half marathon in under 2 hours…. yada yada yada.

But as your audience’s level of sophistication increases, so will their needs and desires.
They become more specific as they progress.
Your email lists are made up of these cohorts with very specific deeper desires that have a need to be satisfied.
I wanna earn money online can break down into more specific sub-categories, like … traffic (paid/free/social) conversion (copy/funnels), product (solutions to problems), affiliate marketing, e-commerce…… and that’s just scratching the surface.

For this reason you constantly need to be “grouping” (categorizing) people within the email service you use.
If it’s old school list-based services like AWeber, MailChimp, iContact, GetResponse, Constant Contact, ShoppingCart, MailChimp, etc, then you have to create new lists for each category.
Infusionsoft, Ontraport & Mailfluence handles this task far more elegantly (intelligently), using tags.
But regardless of how you “tag” or “categorize” or “group” people in your email database, you need to do it.

It’s critical.
It’s impossible to always be relevant (HACK #1) without constantly segmenting your email list.
Relevance is achieved through segmenting.

HACK #4 – Only Promote Badass Products

I know this seems … well, like “Dah!” … of course we should only promote badass products.
Yet I see marketers peddling shit products every day. Thanks to the lure of the big commission check. Or because of a “back cratching” favor (ever heard of the Syndicate?).
I wouldn’t “burn” my list for any commission. It’s not worth it.

Never is.
I follow a philosophy I learnt from Jay Abraham a million years ago — called the Strategy of Preeminence.
In it Jay says that our job is to be a fiduciary (most trusted adviser) to our prospects, customers and clients. Which
fosters a relationship of trust and confidence.
And as such, we are never allowed to promote a product or service that doesn’t help move our audience towards their desired end goals.

Anything less is a breach of our responsibility (moral obligation) as their trusted advisor.
When we promote a product that isn’t a perfect fit with the needs, wants and desires of a segment we’re addressing, it negatively affects our trust equity with that segment.

Choose products to promote that you would want to purchase if you were in the shoes of your audience segment.
It’s a long game approach. Which is the only way to play if you want to be around long into the future.

HACK #5 – Use Storytelling as The Emotional Delivery Vehicle For Your Marketing Message

This short report isn’t the place where I can give you an education on how to tell stories that connect, persuade and

Instead, I’ll tell you why telling stories is so much better as a delivery vehicle for your marketing message.
… so much better than the typical lame “buy my shit” sale-ezy promo crap that’s so common.
Stories have a unique power to move people’s hearts, minds, feet, and wallets in the story teller’s intended direction.
Stories teach, unite, and motivate by transporting audiences emotionally.

Great storytelling is a game-changer. Because you don’t have to “sell” (you’ll see how I do this shortly).
Stories put all the key facts into an emotional context. That when done well, sucks the reader in and builds SUSPENSE and ANTICIPATION for more…

The basic building blocks of all compelling stories are simple:

You’ll see this same framework in almost every Hollywood blockbuster. And every great novel.
First … get your listeners’ attention with an unexpected challenge or question.
Next … give your listeners an emotional experience by narrating the struggle to overcome that challenge or to find
the answer to the opening question. Finally … galvanize your listeners’ response with an eyeopening
resolution that CALLS THEM TO ACTION.

Listeners are rarely hooked if they don’t sense some compelling CHALLENGE in the beginning.
They won’t stay engaged if they’re not excited by the STRUGGLE of the middle.
And they won’t remember or act on the story unless they feel galvanized by its final RESOLUTION.
Stories don’t have to be long or involved. But they do have to surprise us.

You’ve heard of the story of the Trojan Horse, right? The tale from the Trojan War about the subterfuge that the Greeks used to enter the city of Troy and win the conflict.

Well … purposeful stories are just like that Trojan Horse. They cleverly contain information, ideas, emotional prompts,
and value propositions that the teller wants to sneak inside the reader’s heart and mind.
Thanks to their magical construction and appeal, stories emotionally transport the audience so they don’t even realize they’re receiving a hidden message.

I’ll expose you to what I call a “soap opera sequence” in HACK #12. Which is where I first use story as a vehicle to “connect” with my readers.
Of course, it should go without saying, use the art of storytelling for good, not bad.
It’s powerful beyond words. So use this power ethically.
The easiest way to leverage a story in one email is using this quick framework:

1. Story (as the lead-in or metaphor for our message).
2. Segue (from story to your marketing message, ideally connecting the story to the message in some way- metaphors are great for this).
3. CTA (that one thing you want the reader to do).

HACK #6 – Build Tension & The Desire For More

NOTHING grabs our attention faster than the need to know WHAT HAPPENS NEXT?

Ever watched Game of Thrones?
Every episode ends in a cliffhanger. And that’s not counting all the “sub-plots” that open up all the time and keep you constantly guessing as to what’s going to happen next.
It keeps you glued to the damn screen.

Great writers do this even better. Stieg Larsson’s Millennium trilogy? Or Lee Child’s Jack Reacher series?
You can do the same with email.
It’s an advanced technique. It’s easy to understand. But requires some skill to implement well.
This is achieved through the use of open loops (also called story loops).

I’ve said this already (HACK #2), and I’ll say it again. Tease and flirt with your readers. It builds attraction. But NEVER
give it all away…


I tease my readers all the time through the subtle use of open loops.

HACK #7 – Treat Your Customers Like You Would Expect To Be Treated

It’s really easy to think of people as just numbers… Metrics. Stats.
I got 1,332 unique hits to my lead capture page. And 493 signups. That’s a 37% opt-in rate.
I sent an email to 12,965 subscribers. I generated 123 sales.
Earned $8,300.

This is why so many marketers see the people on their email lists as just a commodity. Not as real people with feelings, emotions, needs, wants and desires.

And when you fall into that trap, like many do, it becomes easy to burn an email list to the ground.
But they don’t care. Easy come easy go. It’s a “machine” and it needs to be worked, hard.
Is that how you would want to be treated if you were in their shoes, looking at the world through their lenses?

Your customers and clients are the lifeblood of your business.
Without them you have nothing.

Like Littlefinger in Game of Thrones, play the long game.
Nurture that relationship over time between yourself and the people on your email lists.
That relationship is the most important asset you have in business.

HACK #8 – No Need To Sell

Hard selling is for amateurs.

There’s really no need to “sell” when you already know the product fits their needs like a glove.
Your job is simply to bring the product to their attention and then demonstrate to them why it’s a perfect fit for them.
Once you have the “perfect it” part nailed, building desire through your emails is easy.

HACK #9 – ONE Action

This one is simple, yet so many people screw it up.
Have ONE desired end result per email. ONE thing that you want the reader to do.
I’m tempted to include some examples I’ve seen that completely violate this rule. But that’s probably not a cool
thing to do.

Don’t ask the reader to do many different things. They almost never will. Stick to one thing.
I don’t always stick to this rule, but then I always have a deeper reason for doing so (it’s a little more advanced).
As a rule of thumb, almost always have just one call-toaction.

That one thing that you want your reader to do.
More than one CTA creates choice, which typically results in confusion for many.
Remember, attention is scarce. Respect that.

HACK #10 – Use (Part 1) and (Part 2) In The Subject Line

When I’m writing a series of linked emails, I like to append (Part 1) and (Part 2) to the subject line, like this:
[ARM] Email Serials (Part 1)
[ARM] Email Serials (Part 2)
######## Method (Part 1)
######## Method (Part 2)

It sets the expectation for more to come.
And because people hate missing out on anything, you can be sure they’ll let you know if they think they’ve missed an email in the series.

Lemme ask you … have you ever had a prospect or customer email you to ask you to resend an email?
I have. All the time. Even when I’m promoting a product.
Think about that.

HACK #11 – Use a Story To Call Out The Best People To Expose To a Promotion

This is tightly linked to HACK #1.
I segment a lot (HACK #3). So I typically have a great idea of which people would be the best to target for a particular promotion.
(I never send a promotion to everyone.)

But sometimes I will hit up everyone to call out any extra people who are interested in being exposed to the promotion.
Notice how the dynamics are completely different to the blind emails a lot of marketers send.
They want clicks. The more the better.

I don’t. I only want to talk to people who have raised their hand and specifically said they’re interested.
Think about that for a second…

I get people telling me, “yes, I want you to promote to me because I’m interested in what you have to say.”

HACK #12 – Soap Opera Sequence

I’ll quickly explain to you why using automated follow-up (autoresponder) sequences is the foundation to everything I do.
The “how to” is way beyond the scope of this free training session. That said, I have no doubt that a few “ah-ha!”
moments will happen here. You can take the concept and use it.

The problem with only sending out broadcast emails is that:
1. it’s a manual process.
2. only your current target audience will receive the email blast.
3. emails are therefore (almost always) sent in isolation (there’s no serialized continuity between past, current,
and future emails).
4. requires a lot of commitment (because the onus is on you to send the emails).
5. it doesn’t leverage automation.
6. it’s not scalable.

Listen … I’m the first one to say that there is no right or wrong way to do things. Email marketing is no different.
My good friend Ben Settle is a daily broadcast guy. He has the unwavering commitment to write an email every day, then manually send it out.

Works for him. And it works for his clients.
I prefer a slightly different approach. Because it allows me to completely control the sequencing, and framing, and path I send new subscribers on to.
Remember when Lost (Season 1, Episode 1) hit the TV screen?
It was the beginning of a premeditated sequence of episodes that we were carefully lead down, bit by bit, all the time
sucking us in deeper and deeper.

That’s what I do will all my email funnels.
The first week, or month, or months (whatever) are made up of a pre-written sequence of emails.
I control everything.
It moves them along a path, in my direction. It’s how I can bond with my audience so quickly and connect with them
(from their perspective) so deeply.

CREDITS: André Chaperon

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