This week, Darrell interviews Brennan Dunn, the founder of the popular online course Double Your Freelancing Rate, and the software RightMessage.
In this conversation, Brennan talks about how we naturally use segmentation and personalization in our everyday lives, and how we can use simple tools to create a better connection and build trust with our audience.
In this episode, Darrell and Brennan talked about:
- How Brennan got his start as an online entrepreneur
- Why you may not be doing as much segmentation and personalization as you need to be
- How vertical and horizontal tweaks to your funnel can help you build a better relationship with your list
- Why RightMessage is like MadLibs for your email marketing
- The staggering difference personalized content can make for your brand
- Tips and tricks on how and where to get started
- Why personalization is so much more than email
- And more …
The Show Notes
- Follow Brennan On Twitter
- Read Brennan’s Blog
- Take Brennan’s Courses at Double Your Freelancing
- Sign-up for RightMessage
- Why You Shouldn’t Use Tags To Segment
Other Tools We Talked About:
Read the Transcript
Today, I have the distinct privilege of chatting with Brennan Dunn, the founder of RightMessage and the creator of several courses. We’ll dive into that a little bit, double your freelancing, mastering convert kit. Both of which I have taken in the past. And I’m really excited to talk to Brennan today because not only is he building this amazing company called RightMessage, which I believe holds the keys to some of the future of how content marketing will work for the copyblogger world and the world at large, actually.
On top of it, Brennan’s, in my opinion, a certified genius and he’s really smart. One of the smartest guys I know, and I always appreciate when I get a chance to talk to him. So Brennan, welcome to the show today.
Well, Darrell Vesterfelt, thank you for that. I wouldn’t go as far as genius, but I do geek out on this stuff, which is all that matters.
I always want to ask you what it feels like to be the smartest guy in the room, because I feel like most of the time, you’re the smartest guy in the room that you sit in. And I’ve sat under teachings and workshops that you’ve done in the past before. And I’m always amazed at the dedication you have to the work that you do and the dedication to understanding how we can communicate with people in a different way.
So, before we dive into the RightMessage and personalization and segmentation, which I’m really excited to do that on a little bit of a tactical level. Tell me a little bit about the background and how you got to this point because I think it’s really easy for a lot of the people in the Copyblogger audience to identify with where you’ve been and how you got here and why this is so important to you.
All right. So, I’m going to go 15 years back in time. So I was just getting out of college and the very first kind of entrepreneurial thing that I did was I started a real estate legion company with a friend of mine. And what we did was we bought adspend on Google AdWords, back when you could actually afford stuff for like refinance and first time home buyer and stuff like that. So we ran these big ad campaigns for our clients. And what we did was we had a bunch of small clients that would be buying leads from us individually. So they were sick of the lending tree, kind of shared lead model. They wanted exclusive branded leads. So people who saw their company names, saw their photo and stuff. And what we did is we just ran these nationwide campaigns and then I would personalize the landing page dynamically using a bunch of really crappy PHB to show this person’s photo, their company logo. Stuff about, hey refinance your Norfolk Virginia House or whatever.
And that was kind of my first venture, if you will, into customization or personalization. So basically somebody from a qualified area, shows up on this one landing page and it would change in real time based on the person we matched them up with. So in retrospect, that’s where it all started. But from there, the mortgage bubble kind of burst. So I was out of that company and the later 2000’s. And then I started an agency doing just web app development for people. So my background is software, we built web apps and websites and stuff for people. And then in 2011 I started my first software company called Planscope. Which was a project management tool for freelancers. Did that realized very quickly it’s very hard to sell software online.
I explored the whole content marketing thing and realized few people were searching for like freelance project management software, but a lot of people were typing into Google, how do I get clients or how do I raise my rates or how do I write a proposal? So I just shared everything I learned during the agency stuff for the Planscope blog, thinking people would read these articles from Google and then sign up for Planscope. That kind of sort of worked but it really did mostly into building a great email list of people. I quickly realized that a lot of people wanted more content and less software. I started doing courses on freelancing and that became double your freelancing. Which we’ve done conferences around the world, we’ve done podcast 50,000 plus listed at the moment. And that’s kind of where I got started seriously with segmentation and personalization.
I realized designers have different needs than developers. Even though they kind of all need clients, they all need to write proposals, they want to see people like them, they want to see how people like them have benefited from certain courses or whatever else. I heavily invested time into building out a lot of custom code to personalize double your freelancing depending on what stage your business is at. Have you already bought, are you already on our email list if so don’t show opt in forums instead show the thing you haven’t bought yet. Things like that. That was kind of the origin story of what became RightMessage. Which was basically a reaction to people saying, “Hey that thing you’re doing is pretty cool, but I’m a marketer, I’m not a coder, I want it, but I don’t want to hire a coder, can you help?” So about two years ago now, I partnered with my friend [Shai 00:05:33] started this company and yeah, that’s what we’ve been doing ever since.
All right. So I think it’d be important to define a couple of things here. Personalization, segmentation because I think that’s a wide ranging scope of what that means specifically because you could say, “yep I’m going to turn this podcast off. I know all about segmentation and personalization. I do tagging in convert kit or I do tagging in my email service provider.” Define that a little bit and what exactly you mean by personalization and segmentation.
Okay. So when I talk about personalization. I do not mean putting somebody’s first name in an email. And I think a lot of people think that’s what they’re doing by personalizing their emails. They’re saying, “Hey Darryl” at the beginning of an email. Likewise, I think a lot of people or I know I don’t think, because I’ve done a lot of deep surveying. Most people are doing a segmentation around what people have bought. So you’re a customer, you bought this, you bought that but beyond that in terms of who somebody actually is, how they identify and what it is they need from you. Few of us are doing anything around that. I mean some are with like link triggers and stuff like that, but for the most part people aren’t doing as much as they should with being able to say, “I have stuff to offer and I have people who need this stuff. And if I can find out a bit about who they are and what they’re looking for, I can better position what I’ve got to make more sense to them.”
That’s all personalization is in a nutshell. We’ve been doing it since the Dawn of civilization with whether we’re trying to convince somebody to marry us or sell somebody something. We kind of naturally read between the lines and figure out, all right, so how’s Darrell Vesterfelt acting? What I know about him, what if any background and photo I have and how can I better explain what I’ve got to make more sense to who I’m speaking with? That’s all personalization is. And when we talk about it on an online context, it’s just basically saying how do we get away from static, one size fits all emails and sales pages. And kind of do that same thing we would do one on one with somebody but finding that kind of middle ground between one size fits all and highly personal, highly relevant messaging I guess.
I love that you said that because we do this intuitively every second of every day that we’re communicating with somebody. We use either shared language that we have if it’s a relationship. We use understanding of past context. We talk to a business relationship differently than we do to a friendship differently than we do to a family relationship. And I think this is so important because one of the things that I think it really important for us to understand is that marketing is just human connection and relationship and understanding that dynamic of trust.
And what I love about this is you’re a part of a movement that’s building tools to help us do this better. Things that we do intuitively, things that we do often without thinking, unless we have this kind of reflective moment of being Oh, I guess I do, do that. To realize that this is a really important of how we communicate through our businesses via marketing. So tell me a little bit about how this happens practically. I think double your freelancing was the area where you were doing this yourself first before you started RightMessage. So what did this look like for you beyond just tagging them as purchase the product or not purchase the product?
Yeah. I think anyone who’s a content marketer will sympathize with this. It was really the understanding that I’m building up an email list and I’m doing that because I have long firm content that people opt into thing at the end of it. And those people get on my email list and then when I write new content, I email that list and drive them back to the blog. The thing that really frustrated me early on was and it was more of a personal frustration but I think we’re so used to it that no one really mentions it, but it was the issue that I would send out an email to a bunch of people. They’d click on a link that goes back to my website and then there’d be a bunch of things asking for their email address. Which to me it was a bad user experience, but I also felt like, Hey wouldn’t be better to instead of ask for the thing I already have of theirs, to instead get them to buy thing or something.
Right. I already had their email, so let’s push them to the thing they haven’t bought yet. I call this now vertical segmentation, which is where they are in the relationship with me and my brand. So if they’re anonymous, I want them on my list. If they’re on my list, I want them to buy the entry level thing. If they’ve bought that, buy the premium thing, so on and so forth. So that’s where I started. And you can do a ton with that. I mean a lot of us, we might not think we have a product funnel, but we’d generally do.
Even if it’s as simple as just like say a coach, you want step one to be getting on your list. Step two is to apply to work with you. Step three is to become a coaching client. Step four is to refer people to come to you as future coaching clients or whatever. So coming up with that initial funnel was the first thing that I started personalizing around. And that was really just changing calls to action to reflect where they were in the funnel with me. Starting with that, and then later on it became more sophisticated where I was thinking, well, I want to get somebody who’s anonymous on my email list. But if they’re anonymous and they came from a web design blog that linked to my site. I’m going to assume they’re a designer. So I’m going to position my newsletter, position my lead magnet in a way that makes more sense to designers. And then I would do the same for further down the funnel too, with like my courses and stuff like that.
I kind of see these two layers of personalization, if that makes sense. One of which is a vertical segmentation layer. Where we’re looking at where they are in relation to us. You could call it that awareness. You could call that a what they’ve tangibly bought or haven’t bought or registered for or haven’t registered for. And then there’s this horizontal layer, which is who are they and what is it they’re looking for? Whether they’ve told you that directly or they’re exhibiting behavioral cues, like they’re reading content about sales and marketing. They most likely have a sales marketing issue if that’s what they’re binging on. And then using that to better position or better describe the thing that I want them to do next, whether it be opting in or buying a course or whatever else.
I love it. Okay, so horizontal, vertical. This makes a lot of sense to me. This is starting to sound really complicated. And what I love about this is it’s not as complicated as it sounds, but kind of break this down a little bit because where you writing different newsletters to designers or developers or freelancers or writers. Were you writing like four or five newsletters or four or five different funnels? Tell me how that all worked because it seems like this could be a ton of work. It can be really complicated and I don’t feel equipped to be able to create something like this.
Yeah. So funny story. I just released an email course for RightMessage. And one of the things I mentioned in the first lesson of the course is how many variations of that course there are and it’s something like 84,000 or something. And it seems like a lot. It seems like you think in terms of monoliths, you think in terms of your newsletter, you think in terms of your sales page. But really what’s happening is it’s almost like if you’ve ever done Madlibs back in grade school. Where you’d have like a story thing and there’d be placeholders to put in like this city or the thing or dog, cat, whatever. What we’re doing is we’re just substituting out content. Just like you would for, Hey first name, but we’re doing it more for entire sentences or paragraphs or even just a few words like freelance designer instead of freelancer.
So what we’re doing is I’m using the templating built into things like convert kit. To make it so I can have a single stock email, like a newsletter or an email course lesson. And I just substitute out different bits of it, so that when somebody is reading it, instead of me saying, “Hey you’re going to want to use your email marketing tool to blah, blah, blah, blah, blah.” Instead it’s going to say, “Hey, you’re going to want to use convert kit to blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, or Infusionsoft or HubSpot or whatever else. So it just makes it so the emails that they’re getting are bit more individually relevant to them and yeah, so I mean that’s it.
I actually tallied up how much time it took me to personalize a seven email, email course that I just put together. And the overhead was about 10% of additional time to just go and set up the little fill in the blank tweaking stuff. So the majority of the time was still writing the thing that everyone gets. But then I just refined parts of it in the subject lines and different bits and pieces based on the underlying segmentation data.
Okay, so two follow up questions to that. First one is, this seems like you’re just splitting hairs. Why is it important to mention convert kit versus drip versus MailChimp or to mention that there are designer versus developer? Does that extra work really matter? Does it make a difference in the end?
Yeah, I mean at the end of the day, I look at numbers and in terms of generally speaking, we have a lot of data now with RightMessage. Personalized content, whether it be a pitch email that leads to a sales page or a personalized pitch and a personalized sales speech. Typically, see upwards of 20%. Sometimes in the three figure percent increases in terms of results. And really at the end of the day, what’s rooted in it is people have natural objections to continuing reading an email on pitch email or continuing to scroll further down in sales page. Now they’re always thinking, maybe this isn’t apply to me. I have a course on marketing with convert kit and somebody who’s just starting out with ConvertKit. If they’re seeing a lot of more advanced level social feedback like testimonials and stuff. They might be put off. They might think well this actually isn’t for me.
And where this actually came from originally was, I have a course called Double Your Freelancing Rate and it helps any type of freelancer learn how to put together a sales system. I got an email one day from somebody who said, “Hey, a friend of mine recommended this course, but it looks like it’s geared towards developers and designers. I’m a copywriter, can this help me?” And I was able to save the sale over email by just saying, “yeah, it’s not specific in any way. It just happens to be that a lot of the first people who bought it, were people like me who are developers and sometimes designers and stuff.” So what I realized was if she took the time to write in, I mean there are probably other people who have thought that and bailed. So what I thought was, well what if I could just say like if you’re a copywriter make you feel at home. Show other copywriters who have benefited from this thing. Show language.
Copywriters often use fee instead of rate. Designers use fee, developers used a rate. I had this whole like thing that I put together of realizing that different people speak differently about the same thing. How you get paid. So just little things like that to make people feel more at home to do things like I have email courses that lead to sales pages. When joining the email course, I ask them, what do you need this email course to help you achieve? What’s the big issue that you’re struggling with right now? If they say “Oh, I’m struggling with writing or closing proposals” and they get this email course and then at the end of it, I pitch them on a paid product.
When they get to the paid product the focus of the headline, front and center, is on helping them close more proposals and how this course will help them do exactly that. Which is fundamentally different to somebody who does not have that problem but wants to start pricing on value. And both people, both needs can be solved with the same product, but people want to have a better signal to noise ratio. I guess is a good way of putting it.
They want to see less mixed messaging and more specific language. And again, any good salesperson knows this intrinsically. We all know like if I go to the car dealership, and not to stereotype or anything, but I’m there and I’m dressed in kind of what somebody who is very into racing and stuff would be wearing and acting like and so on. They’re not going to be showing me minivans and touting up the safety qualifications of this SUV or whatever. They’re going to talk about speed and stuff like that because they’re probably profiling me. Right. So it’s the same thing. It’s just how do you focus in on what you think somebody needs based on what they’ve told you or how they’ve acted.
Okay. If I’m sold on this right now. How do I know which parts of my content should be personalized? Because you mentioned bits of sentences or full sentences or the horizontal line, the vertical line. How should I know where to begin with what I should be personalizing in my messaging?
Yeah. So the biggest thing I think would be step one and that I tell most people is just to start. By doing something as simple as…this is especially true if you’re driving your list back to your website. Which a lot of us who do content marketing is just making it so returning subscribers who never see another option for them. And even if it’s just a link to your product catalog or something like that or a call out or something. that would be significantly better than the alternative, which is only focusing on anonymous traffic. It’s especially bad if I’m on your email list and I click through and you’re hitting me with like immediate welcome mats or popups or anything else, that are trying to get my email when you literally just emailed me.
So I’d start there for most people but in terms of practically what content should be changed on sales pages, whether it be a website sales page or a sales email. What the biggest things that make the most impact would be…and this is assuming you have the correct segmentation in place. So you can’t personalize without segmentation. But if you understand what somebody needs, why they’re here, and you can capture this through link triggers through hosted surveys, through behavior even. Change the headline in it and the way you position the offers. So the call to action based off that. So if you’re struggling with X, reiterate X in the headline, reiterate X when it comes to closing out and trying to get them to click add to cart.
And then the other dimension, which is who they are. So what industry they’re in, what sport they train in. For instance, that was something we did recently for a customer. Changing out key testimonials. It could be all the testimonials, but it could just be a focus testimonial or a few main testimonials to reflect who they are. So other people in their industry who have benefited from this or something like that. And those are the two things that we’re seeing have the biggest impact. And the benefit of that is if you have like five industries you target and three core needs. That’s going to leave you with 15 variations of a single sales page, which is nice. And then you can do all the fun stuff like doing AB testing of it all and seeing what the impact is almost always,
We haven’t seen anyone who’s done this correctly not net a positive return. And the big thing is just, is it worth the effort? Most people can do this and about…honestly, the hardest part is the copywriting element. It’s figuring out how do I speak differently in this sentence or this headline to a designer versus a developer. Technically, doing its pretty straightforward and easy, but thinking through, all right, I want to have five variations of this headline that can be obviously a little more intensive, but if you have enough volume it will almost always be worth it in the long run to do that.
Okay, I have two questions I want to ask, but I want to go back to segmentation because you just said something about without segmentation, personalization is kind of a move point. So if I have a list, a thousand people, 2000 people, 10,000 people, and I haven’t done any type of segmentation, where do I begin with that?
Yeah. So the easiest thing to do would be to basically do a mass survey to your audience in one go. A lot of people do this. It’ll link to a type form or something where it’s like, “Hey, I want to find out what I can do to help you better or whatever else.” But typically what I encourage people to do would be if you can…so say you’re using type form, you email your list and say, “Hey it’s 2020 I want to make sure that you’re getting exactly what I need from you and to do that I want to ensure that I know who you are and what you need.” It’ll take you a few minutes to do the survey or even less, if it’s multiple choice, like 30 seconds to do the survey or something. They click that link.
What a lot of people do is they’ll use tools like survey monkey or something that is aggregating data, not individualizing data. So what I mean by that is, you’d link people to a survey and you get this aggregate data, but you don’t get that individually placed on the subscribers who did that. So what you want to do is you want to make sure whatever you’re using to capture this information. You’re sending over the email address to the person in the URL and then they complete the survey. So say it’s two questions. “Hey, What do you best identify as? What industry are you and what kind of work do you do? Or what stage is your business.” Just starting out or growing and scaling or whatever else. And then what is the number one thing you’d like me to help you accomplish with your business this year?
And you have three or four different options. So when that gets submitted. That data then gets sent right back up to ConvertKit or whatever you’re using. And then it’s stored against their contact record. So then you can start to progressively at that port…that’s an example of a very batch segmenting effort but you can do that. You can set up an automation that will send that out every few months like clockwork, or you can make that part of your list onboarding. So you’re getting this information when people opt in. That’s a really good way to just get that kind of information out of the gate early on.
Okay. That’s great. So I’m getting the clearer idea here understanding our audience a little bit better. But you mentioned something about changing content on a sales page too. So talk to me about the cross medium, because we’re not just talking about email here. We’re actually talking about potentially changing our website too.
Yes. That’s where things get fun. We kind of have this opinion at RightMessage that your email database is your single source of truth. So anytime a purchase happens, the data gets sent up to ConvertKit. Anytime they answer a survey question, that data is sent up there too. So that you can use a contact record and an email database, a bit like a user record. So when you log into Facebook, if you’re on your phone or your desktop or someone else’s computer, it’s all pulling from that same user record that has Darryl’s friends and then it creates the feed. You’re a personalized feed group in Facebook. So it’s kind of that same idea where if we can say, “well Darryl’s record in ConvertKit tracks things like what he’s bought, what webinars he’s attended, what lead magnets, he’s opted into, survey, segment data, stuff like that.
What we can obviously then use ConvertKit, or whatever the email marketing tool we’re using, to look at who’s going to get this email and then pulling that data into that context and use liquid templating to change bits and pieces. But then if we’re sending them back to our website, which we typically are you might send pitch emails, but typically you’re linking people to a sales page. So if we can continue that conversation on a sales page, we then can create this kind of cross medium experience.
So what we do is we recommend people do… And this where it got started was saying if I can pass along to my website Darryl’s contact ID and then we basically cookie that and then pull his tags and custom fields when he visits our site, we can then do the same thing. We can use templating to change out images or headlines or whatever else and that that is frankly where things get a little more tricky because the options are either use a software product like RightMessage or code it yourself but that does create the ultimate I think end user experience because you’re not having a really personalized pitch email sequence that then leads to a very generic sales page. Instead, there’s continuity across both email and the website.
That’s huge. When I start thinking about what’s possible with that type of thing. It’s crazy to think about and we see this kind of stuff happen with all kinds of websites who serve up different ads. It’s just become normalized to us. But the fact that you’ve created a tool that allows us to do this is pretty amazing. So tell me about how RightMessage then…I can do this with my WordPress site today with RightMessage.
Yeah, so I mean basically what we’ve created…again this came from people saying “I don’t want to hire a coder”, was we basically created an inability for people to be able to set up for a RightMessage count. You drop our script on your site, so where you put your Google analytics code or Facebook pixel or whatever else, you put it there. And then whenever somebody from your email list visits your site, we know who they are. We can then change any content based on tag or custom field data. Can even inject custom field data directly onto a page like greet people with, “hey Darryl”, if you want it to. I typically don’t recommend that because then it’s a little too overt, but you can do more minor, more subtle things, Oh what we do now on the RightMessage marketing site is if you come back and you’re not on our list, we’re trying to get you to join our email course or set up for a trial.
If you already are in a trial. We swap out all the calls to action that try to get you to start a trial and instead push basically getting you a trading. Helping you succeed and get up and running and even having a call out saying, Hey if you need some help just reach out. We’re doing a little things like that. And we’re also doing things like if you’re using ConvertKit, you’re on our site. Let’s say you come from convertkit.com where you’ve done our email course, you’ve told us you use ConvertKit, and then later on a month later, you’re back on our site. When you’re on the pricing page, it’s going to talk about how great it integrates with the ConvertKit. And that’s the kind of thing where people start thinking, wow this is built for me.
I mean that’s basically what RightMessage does. Is it allows you to easily have a bi-directional relationship between your website and your email marketing database like ConvertKit. And then we can push data up to ConvertKit. Like what’s the most popular type of content that this person is reading? it’s articles about branding. Cool we’re going to push the data up to ConvertKit. So if you want to email everyone who cares a lot about branding, that’s now doable. We can push data up, we can also pull data back down and RightMessage itself has two kinds of user facing things that it can do. The first is we have a form tool or a form replacement tool I should say, that allows you to set up dynamic personalized forms and opt-ins and calls to action based on the data that you already have about somebody.
If you’ve ever used like ConvertKits visual automations is similar to that. Or I can say like if they’re anonymous, go down this path and then ask them two questions and then show them a personalized offer or opt in offer based [inaudible 00:29:15] answered. They said, “Hey I’m in retail and I want to start a business”. “Cool, hey join our email list and learn how to build a great retail business in 2020.” Bam. That’s the opt in for them. And then otherwise, if they’re returning subscriber, maybe pitch them on the product that they haven’t bought. And it’s just a very easy way to map out a customer journey visually and then show different offers. That’s one component.
And the other one is the full site personalization where you can literally click on any content on your site and say change this image right here to the dog if they’re segmented as a dog owner, easy. That’s what RightMessage does in a nutshell. Along with a bunch of cool reporting stuff, showing you your daily opt-ins, but broken down by segment. Cool you get 30 people a day joining your list but tell me about these 30 people. How many of them care about this or how many of them own dogs or cats or whatever else? We do all that too.
Every time I think about this two things come to mind. First of all it’s wow, this is obviously the future of how content marketing is moving for people like us, for creators, content marketers, copywriters, freelancers. This is the future of how we communicate on the internet. Second is this could be a rabbit hole that I dive into for a really long time. Tell me Copyblogger is going to be implementing some of this stuff on their site this year and we’re really excited about that. But tell us where to start. If we’re getting started today, where we’re hearing this, we’re really excited about it.
What is the next steps for us? If, if we want to use RightMessage as the tool. Where do we start today because I feel like some of this has really advanced understanding of segmentation and personalization. And you and I could probably sit here for hours and hours and hours talking through some of these strategies, but we don’t have time for that. You have a busy life and a family and so do I. But like where do I go more to dive down this rabbit hole of, I’m wanting to understand this on a deeper level. I’m wanting to watch how this happens. An example, either your site or other sites. Where can I go to dive down this rabbit hole even more?
One of the things we’re working on this year is producing a lot of free content. On the RightMessage blog, along with my personal YouTube channel, print and done, I’ve got a lot of videos and articles on just everything from like beginner’s guide to segmentation. A new thing we just pushed out on why you should not use tags for segmentation, which for a lot of people seems to be the thing that they treat as gospel because all the email marketing apps, I’m going to say mistakenly, tell their people to segment with tags, which is a big issue. And so we’re trying to fix that because there’s a lot of kind of foundational work that we’re needing to do to get people to best use this new technology, this new opportunity. I check out the right messenger blog or that YouTube channel.
We also have a crash course that I mentioned. If you’ve got a personalized.marketing. That’s the URL. It’s a seven lesson email course. That’s just a crash course on this stuff that can go a little further. But you know one thing I’d say though is, what I typically tell most, because the overwhelming aspect is a very common reaction that we get because it is new. I can imagine, it’s a bit like trying to tell businesses that they should email people back in like the early two thousands when no one was doing it. Everyone now knows businesses should be doing email marketing, but there was a time where people didn’t know how to do marketing. So what I typically recommend people do is two things.
First thing would be go and send an email right now to your entire list. If you don’t know how to come up with these different segments. Go and email your list right now saying, “Hey, happy 2020. I’d love to find out a bit about who you are and what you’re looking for, for me in the next coming years, so I can create better content, articles, podcasts, whatever for you. Could you just reply to this email with a sentence or two description of what it is you’re looking for and what you’re doing? Like so what kind of business do you run or what your health goals are or whatever else. And just see what comes back and just see what people are saying and try to read between the lines to figure out. What are a few core fundamental reasons that people have for being on my email list or what are the few core identities that people have…shared identities?
And that’ll be your starting point. And then what you could do once you get that data would be you use something like RightMessage, you can go and get rid of all the forms that you’re currently using. So if you’re using like ConvertKit forms, put our forms in and then precede the pitching of an offer with those two things you found out. Who are you and what are you looking for from us? So instead of just going straight to a join our email newsletter instead, it’s “Hey, I’d love to hear a bit about what are you looking forward today? I’m on our website.” “Oh, I want to start a business.” “Cool. What kind of business do you want to start?” “I want to start a course business.” “Awesome. Join our mail email newsletter and learn how to start a great course business in 2020.” That’ll take you 20-25 minutes to do.
And then you’ll start to get this data in and then over time when you start to see which ones are really getting a lot of volume. So maybe like one of your identities like e-commerce, starting an eCommerce business, maybe like 3% of people are saying that. Don’t even focus on them. Focus on the people who are getting 50% of people who are saying, this is my struggle or this is how I identify. Start with them and then slowly add more complexity over time. But I think all of this should be a work in progress. I think the mistake that people make, is they see this as being like a big website redesign. And think, I need to have all my ducks in order before I even start this. No. It should just be a incremental kind of stair step approach to basically saying, “how can I make the experience that people have with me, a lot better than it is right now?” And that just means giving people exactly what they want and maybe nothing more and letting people know that they’re in the right place.
Awesome. That’s a perfect note to end on front. Brennan, thank you so much. I am going to talk you into coming back in and talking more about the tagging versus custom fields because I think that’s a really interesting conversation and I think that’d be a fun follow up conversation for us in a couple of months. But thanks so much for being so generous with your time and insight. All of the links that we’ve talked about today will be in the show notes. Check out, RightMessage, check out Brennan’s blog. And thanks so much for being with us today, Brennan.
Thanks Darrell Vesterfelt. Thanks for having me.
Editor’s note: Copyblogger is an affiliate for RightMessage.
Reader Comments (3)
Jennifer T says
I basically research my users using google analytics data and other tools a lot before writing any piece of marketing content, usually put about few hours into just research.
Great article though, thanks
Brennan Dunn says
Thanks so much for having me, Darrell!
Hi, That’s really informative! For newbie freelancers like me working hard to build a place in the robust content arena, such useful tips and ideas seem too helpful. “Personalization” and “segmentation”, I have marked these two words, I’ll surely keep them in mind while moving ahead in my content writing and marketing journey. Thanks!
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