Choose one primary marketing objective.
And it should be email; the rest is just icing on the cake.
But, before we get into that…
One thing that has me really excited about the New Year and 2024, in general, is that there seems to be a broad desire in the marketing space for things to change.
A few things have contributed to this.
The last 3+ years have been a little nuts across the globe, which in turn has made people feel weary. Of course, it’s not all been gloom and doom, even if we have to make a conscious effort to seek out what’s good (which is totally worth it).
But I think we can all agree that it’s “been a lot.”
In terms of the digital marketing/creator space, the bottom line is that the space has matured.
People are more educated about how everything works; they’re burnt out from hype promises, big launches, and the idea that you have to strive towards millions (and no judgment if that’s what you want, ya’ girl does, but you won’t see me driving any lambos or posting pictures of mansions).
With a massive distrust of government and media, we’re learning to rely on ourselves.
Which is a beautiful thing because that’s where real strength comes from.
I’ve seen a lot of New Year’s posts about people wanting to remove things as opposed to “kicking ass and taking names” (something I’ve said myself on more than one occasion).
Every year, I choose a new word. I chose my word for 2024 in December of last year. This is something that’s sacred to me and isn’t something that I have any desire to share, but rest assured, it’s a positive word.
This year, I’ve also chosen a “money” word.
I was listening to a podcast episode with Kendall Summerhawk yesterday, and she explained how she does this and what her word is/has been. She suggested the first word that comes to mind (and it’s ONE word, not a phrase or sentence).
The first word that came to mind for me?
Which is something I want across all areas of my life.
You might be thinking that this is something most people want – and to a certain extent, I agree. Of course, most people want more ease.
But more often than not, they don’t want to change anything or do anything to achieve it.
My therapist said she read something that said that 90% of people don’t want to change. 🤯
Which is a little mind-blowing to me.
When you’re hardwired or have spent the last 30 years constantly learning and growing, it’s a hard concept to grasp.
At the same time, I get it. Unless you’ve realized there is another way to do things (to live, to be, to feel, to earn, etc.), how do you know what’s possible?
This is why I’ve started signing off my emails with “Stay curious.”
Most entrepreneurs I know are curious, they do want something different or they wouldn’t be in business for themselves. And now even the ‘different’ looks different.
Back to ease and how that translates to money.
For as long as I can remember, money has felt hard for me.
My parents raised my siblings and me with incredible work ethics (and were both hard workers their whole lives. My dad still has a hard time doing “nothing”).
I had no other concept of earning or having money other than you had to “work hard.”
No one taught us (or them) about compound interest, investments, and the role money played in our lives (and here I am, at 53, doing a deep dive on ALL of this).
It’s not that any of these are new concepts to me at this stage in my life, but I guess we don’t “get it” until we get it. 😉
When I had a job, I maxed my 401k and did “all the things” I was supposed to.
But unless you see that there’s another way to do things or have a strong enough “why” for making change, it’s probably not going to happen.
The two things that shifted everything for me were:
- When my therapist said I needed to stop being a victim when it comes to money (ouch! But also, AMEN!)
- Listening to Tori Dunlap’s “Financial Feminist” and hearing her say that the best way to fight the patriarchy was for women to be financially independent and earn LOTS of money
The Power of Reframing Things
Learning to reframe our thoughts and beliefs is one of the most powerful things you can do. It also comes back to taking complete and total responsibility for everything in your life, which I talked about in episode 125.
This is the ultimate freedom.
My first introduction to this was many years ago when I heard Dr. Wayne Dyer say, “Change your thoughts, change your life.”
Which is also an incredible book.
And there are TONS of books on Amazon that can help with this (or find an amazing mentor like I have). A quick Google search of “best book on reframing thoughts and beliefs,” and you’re off to the races.
So, how do you reframe your thoughts and beliefs in your business?
The simplest way to start is to take inventory.
Make a list of things you’d like to change. Things that you know, if you worked on, would make a difference.
One of the best examples, and one I’ve heard SO many times (or a variation thereof), is, “I’m not a good writer, I don’t like writing, I don’t want to write.”
And at the risk of sounding like a completely heartless human, if that’s a cross you’re willing to die on, then you probably shouldn’t have an online business.
I don’t care what niche or market you’re in or what your skill set is.
You can’t grow an online business without writing.
You have to do the difficult thing and practice. Start writing, take a course, create content, and pick a social platform where you can be consistent.
A belief I’ve had for far too long is I don’t like doing Facebook ads. Correction: I don’t like being the one to create, set up, and manage Facebook ads.
I LOVE Facebook ads because I know firsthand that they work. Maybe not on the first go, but they work.
So, I’ve had to make a conscious choice that I’m going to master them this year. As much as I love creating content (and will continue to do), paid traffic is like pouring gas on a fire.
This also means EASE.
The ease is the end goal, and paid traffic is the means to that goal.
Will it be easy while I’m doing it? It’s probably not as easy as I’d like, but eventually, it will be.
It also means having a well-oiled machine running in the background, driving traffic, leads, and sales.
OK., what does all of this have to do with picking ONE primary marketing objective that should be email?
Making Email Your One Primary Marketing Objective
Like I’ve said many times in the past, my biggest regret in my business is not starting email marketing sooner.
I started my business in 2008 and it wasn’t until 2016 that I made the decision that I was going to figure it out.
Best. Thing. Ever.
There are plenty of nuances and ways I can improve – so it’s always something I’m working on. I’ve also had different times in my life personally that affected the way I was able to show up. No biggie, life happens.
Once you have the skill and understand the power of email marketing you can pick up when you need to.
Do yourself that favor, and even if you’ve let it slide or been MIA – it’s OK. Get back at it.
All activities should lead to this one primary marketing objective.
Here’s what I mean:
Podcasting => Include a CTA for people to get on your list
YouTube => Include a CTA & link in the description
Social Profiles => ALL links should lead to your primary opt-in
Social content => Wherever you include a link to your own content, make sure that content has an opt-in
Blog posts/Medium/Substack/beehiiv => All should have a link to your primary opt-in
I’m probably missing something, but you get the point.
As I was writing this episode, I reached out to a dear friend who does social media (for clients, teaches it, etc.) and asked her if she had any sort of social media audit. This then led me to do a quick search and found a free one from Hootsuite (I haven’t looked at them in years).
I’m still hoping my friend has one I can share, but until then, here’s the article on Hootsuite: How to Run the Easiest Social Media Audit [FREE TEMPLATE].
This might be the scenario of “which came first, the chicken or the egg,” – but you should have a current lead magnet, follow-up sequence, and low front-end offer in place when you start this.
All of these should solve a problem for your ideal subscriber/customer, and the low front-end offer should be the next logical step for them to take after consuming your lead magnet.
That being said, if you have something you can use now (like a newsletter) that serves the same audience, don’t wait until you have all of this in place.
Start where you are with what you have.
There are a lot of factors that make up all of this, so don’t worry if it takes you longer than you’d like. Just commit to doing it (and ideally, set a deadline. I’m a huge fan of accountability, which is why I make announcements or share with people who will be direct with me.
The best way to start this is to keep it simple.
And then you have to be patient.
Create the process for ongoing sharing, publishing, and promoting, and pay attention to what’s working.
Even if you only have three people on your email list… start emailing.
Those three people gave you their name and email and they matter.
Be transparent; let them know you’re new-ish to email marketing and would love their feedback.
You’re going to make mistakes; links won’t work, and you’ll have misspellings or grammatical errors – no biggie. We all do it (also why it’s good to always send a test email to yourself first).
Wouldn’t you rather ‘learn as you go’ with a small list than a big list?
The Magic of Email Marketing and the Ease it Creates
There is nothing, and I mean nothing, that beats sending an email and making sales. Especially when you’re off doing other things.
Who doesn’t love seeing an email that says “notification of payment” in their inbox? 🤔
More ways to think about email marketing:
- It’s a relationship builder: Not every email has to sell. The more often you email (I’m a fan of “almost daily emails), the more your subscribers feel they know you.
- It’s also content: I’ve published plenty of broadcast emails (I call these story-based emails) as blog posts and then created a social campaign around that post.
- It keeps you top of mind: How many times have you unsubscribed from an email list because it’s been so long since you heard from the sender that you don’t know who they are or remember signing up? (and if you’ve been this sender, let it go and move on).
- It’s a great testing ground: Once you’ve found a consistent email rhythm that works for you and your list, start asking questions. Create polls, ask for feedback, etc. It’s also a great way to test the content your subscribers like most.
Email marketing is the traffic you control (unlike paid traffic – I think Russell Brunson originally said this).
Unlike the social media platforms, which, quite frankly, all suck and have issues (in terms of who owns them, how they’re run, privacy issues, etc.), YOU get to control the narrative and relevancy with email.
We’re entering an election year in the US, so we’ll probably see an increase in paid traffic costs at some point (at least based on previous years), so do everything you can now to make sure you’ve built a solid foundation for your business.
Email marketing needs to be a part of that.
My Email Marketing Plan for 2024:
I don’t have an exact plan on what this looks like – meaning, I’m not stopping everything I’m doing to implement everything immediately.
I’ve got three phases for moving to beehiiv (and, of course, with technology, you never know), and I’m finishing up the new Everything Is Content lead magnet.
If you’re new to email marketing, instead of creating a massive plan, how about creating a “Starting Plan?”
Pick three things that you know will make a difference and start.
With the changes and focus in my own business, I know there will be things I’m doing this year that are tests, and ideally, one by one, I’ll remove the things I don’t enjoy and/or aren’t bringing me the ROI I had hoped for.
Regardless of what I remove, email marketing will always be my primary marketing objective.