Why you should get your new subscribers to hit that 'reply' button.

Published about 1 year ago • 5 min read

Tip: Get your new subscribers to hit that 'reply' button.

There's an ongoing battle between your EMP/ESP (Email Marketing Platform/Email Service Provider) and your subscribers' ISPs (Internet Service Providers - btw, that is an outdated term, but one that sticks).

You see, the job of your email marketing platform (e.g. ConvertKit) is to make your emails arrive in the inboxes of your subscribers. Sounds like a simple task, right? Just hit the 'Send' button and "Voila!" - emails get delivered!

Unfortunately, it ain't as simple or straightforward as that. Instead, the ISPs are always suspicious of incoming traffic... sniffing it out to see what it makes of it.

The ISPs employ their own internal checks to see what they think of your 'domain'; i.e. the bit of your email that is probably the same as your website - mine is 'provenflows.com'. If they don't like its reputation much, they'll probably chuck it in the 'Spam/Junk' folder.

In addition to that, there are 3rd party companies who track dodgy email addresses on their hosted checklists that ISPs can access (for a fee). If you're on any of those lists (e.g. for spamming people), then you can kiss your deliverability goodbye until you get it fixed.

Whenever your subscribers join your email list, it's always a good idea (where possible) to ask them to send you a quick reply from their email address; this sends a clear message to the ISPs that you probably trust this email address, otherwise you'd be unlikely to have engaged with it.

How Susan grew to £7k/month by chunking down her revenue goals.

A lot of the one-to-one clients that I work with have a pretty common goal - to create a regular monthly income of between £5k-£10k. That may seem like an insignificant amount to you, or perhaps one that you've yet to reach - but it's a common request I hear (and for context, I work mostly with solopreneurs).

Case Study: "Susan" the service provider

One recent client (let's call her 'Susan', not her real name) had an even more specific request - she wanted to make £7,000 per month. Not £8k, £9k, or £10k... just £7k. You may think that strange, but it's because Susan didn't want the "hassle" of registering for, and collecting, VAT payments.

The threshold for mandatory VAT registration in the UK is £85k (it may have gone up slightly, but the last I looked it was this) - so generating just £7k/month would put her exactly where she wants to be - just under the limit.

She was feeling a bit daunted by the prospect of figuring out how to achieve this - she was making an average of £1,900 per month when she came to me - based on the previous 12 months.

Susan and I spent time breaking the targets down into more manageable chunks that she could deal with. Here's what it looked like after a session of evaluating what she wanted to sell, and for how much; (I've replaced the actual product/service names with generic names to protect her identity)

Sales targets she wanted to reach within next 12 months

Susan's in the service-space, providing her expertise to other businesses (mostly SMEs in the UK). She already had all the products and services in her business, with the exception of the 'Membership' option, but wanted to introduce an element of residual income in her business, rather than having to reset the counter to zero at the start of each month.

We also reviewed her pricing and determined that she hadn't increased them in almost 4 years - so implemented price increases at the same time as launching the marketing plans.

We spent a couple of months getting really deep into her product/service offer matrix, making sure that they flowed into each other - something she didn't have before (they were more disjointed and unrelated).

We then designed and executed a plan for how to achieve each line item - thereby removing the sense of complete overwhelm she felt when looking at the £7k number.

So, what about you and your targets? Have you got them broken down into manageable targets like this?

🏆 P.S. Susan actually achieved her targets in just over 9 months, and also had an unexpected beneficial consequence - she recruited 48 members to her new subscription product (initial target was 25), and was able to reduce her 'Core Level' target from 4 down to 3 per month. Below, is her revenue tracked from month 1, through month 10 of our time together:

💡Tip: To go through this process for your own business, start by reverse-engineering your desired outcome and then build a plan for how you'll deliver on each line of your sales projections.

P.P.S. If you're interested in getting your numbers figured out, and a marketing plan in place to deliver on them, book a call with me now and let's have a chat to see if I can help you get there.

You're never too old to grow a fantastic business... here's proof!

Unless you've been raised by wolves in some remote jungle, you've definitely heard of, and probably visited, his phenomenal restaurant business. There are more than 38,000 locations across 100 countries.

I am, of course, talking about Ray Kroc and McDonald's.

Kroc was born in 1902 in Illinois, USA to Czech-American parents. He lied about his age when he was just 15 years old so that he could join the Red Cross as an ambulance driver to aid service during World War I.

Interestingly, during this period he would meet and befriend a certain Mr Walt Disney who, himself, went on to grow a pretty decent business of his own. What were the chances?!

Anyway, Ray would manage to hold down a range of fairly mundane jobs including piano player, paper cup salesman, and milkshake mixer salesman until he reached the ripe old age of 52.

It was selling milkshake mixers that would serendipitously bring him upon two brothers, (the McDonald brothers) who would make such an impression on him that it transformed, not only he, but how the world now experiences fast food.

The two brothers had devised a new system that meant customers could be served their food as quickly as within 30 secs of ordering - this blew Kroc's mind.

After much debate and negotiation, Kroc would buy the rights from The McDonald brothers in 1961, for $2.7million (equivalent of approx. $27million in today's market), to franchise the business and leave them to run their single location in San Bernardino, California.

By the time of Kroc's death in 1984, the chain had 7,500 outlets in the USA and in 31 other countries. At that time, the total system-wide sales of its restaurants were more than $8 billion, and his personal fortune amounted to some $600 million (approx. $1.8bn in today's market).

In more recent years, the McDonald's company annual turnover has been in excess of $23 billion and has a market capitalisation of just over $176 billion.

None of this would have ever happened, had it not been for the resilience, doggedness, and the visionary abilities of Mr Raymond Albert Kroc.


If we're not already connected on LinkedIn, then let's fix that now!

If you're new around here, let me give you a brief intro to who I am and what I do;

👋 Hi, I'm John, a freelancer with 30+ years of experience in software development, business start-up and growth strategies, and digital marketing, specialising in email marketing.

I help service-based freelancers grow their businesses by showing them how to effectively implement an email marketing system that'll bring them leads, prospects, and new clients, complemented with proven success strategies for solopreneur-type businesses.

Get regular tips that are easy to implement and perfect for freelancers. Discover the secrets of attracting your ideal leads and turning them into loyal paying clients, using the power of ConvertKit.

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