Episode #2 – Kyle Tully’s Unconventional Guide To Email Marketing

by John McIntyre

If you think email marketing is about writing emails, prepare to have your worldview shaken.

According to Kyle Tully, the magic of email marketing happens before you begin writing. If you can get the initial steps right, writing the emails will be easy (and profitable).

Kyle Tully is an copywriter, consultant and internet marketer. He shares his email marketing strategies and tips in this Email Marketing Podcast episode.

In this episode, you’ll discover:

  • Are you only collecting names and email addresses? You’re missing out. Find out why Kyle gets WAY more than just the name and email (plus, how to do it without pissing people off and boosting sales).
  • Use this laser-focused question that elicits prospects’ deepest dreams and desires (and discover the simple strategy for turning valuable research into emails that drive sales).
  • Kyle’s 80/20 approach to collecting data (aside from the obvious “name and email address”, what’s worth collecting?).
  • The stone cold secret to kick-ass copywriting that the gurus would NEVER tell you (trust me, it’s not what you think.
  • How to kick writer’s block in the butt and have more ideas for emails than you could use in a YEAR (this ain’t no woo-woo strategy… this is an actionable process for eliminating writer’s block).

Email Marketing Podcast Episode 1


Intro and outro backing music: Forever More by CREO

Raw transcript:

Kyle: Information and content is great, but you’re only going to keep people interested in your content for a couple of minutes at most.
John: Hey podcast listener. You’re about to discover insider tips, tricks, and secrets for making more sales and converting more prospects into customers with email marketing. For more information about the email marketing podcast or the Autoresponder Guy, go to themcmethod.com/podcast.

Hey everybody. It’s John McIntyre here, The Autoresponder Guy, and it’s time for episode two of the email marketing podcast where we talk about the top tips, tricks, and secrets for making more sales and growing your revenue with email marketing. It’s episode two, the second episode, and today I’ll be talking to Kyle Tully, a copywriter, consultant, and internet marketer, about the most important thing in email marketing. Here’s a hint: It’s not about writing emails. More about that in just a moment. To get the show notes for this episode of the email marketing podcast, go to themcmethod.com/ep2.

I want to make you a deal. This is the second episode of the EMP, that’s the email marketing podcast, and of course I need some reviews. In exchange for a review, I’ll make you famous by reading out your review on next week’s episode. Here’s how it’s going to work: Step one, listen to this episode. Step two, go to themcmethod.com/podcast and click on the review link. It will take you the EMP page in iTunes where you can leave a review and become famous. Simple, fun, and like I said you’re going to be famous. You’re going to be a rock star. Anyway, it’s time to get started. Let’s go talk to Kyle Tully.

It’s John McIntyre here, The Autoresponder Guy. I’m here with Kyle Tully, a copywriter, consultant, and internet marketer. Kyle is the creator of Consulting Tycoon, a product that teaches people how to start there own six figure internet marketing consulting business. They get flooded with clients and make money than most doctors. I have been on his list for awhile. I have purchased one of his products before, and he is doing some really great stuff. Kyle, how are you doing today?

Kyle: I’m really good, mate. Thanks for the intro. I love it.

John: No worries, man. Let’s start off as we always do and tell us a bit about who is Kyle Tully, and what does he do?

Kyle: Yeah, sure. I mean you kind of said it first. I’m best known as a copywriter and a consultant, and over the past couple of years I’ve been building up my Consulting Tycoon business basically teaching other people how I get my clients, how I structure the whole business, how I manage clients, and all that kind of stuff, and that’s really been my focus for the last couple of years just teaching other people how to do what it is I do, and email marketing has certainly been a really big part of that.

John: Fantastic. You do range of things, and we’ll get into that in a moment, but we were just talking before we hit record about how you believe that before you start sending emails half the battle happens before that. Let’s start there, and tell us a bit about how do you email marketing, and what’s the most important thing?

Kyle: Sure. I think one of the mistakes a lot of people make, and it especially goes from my niche being a consultant and marketing to regular business owners, the mistake people make is they’re only getting name and email addresses of people. As I said to you before, I kind of view it like buying real estate. You make your money when you buy not necessarily when you sell. With an email list, you make your money off the list when you’re building that list, the data you get from the list. I’m really big on capturing full leads. Name, email, address, phone number, Skype contact number, mailing address, all that kind of stuff, and then even deeper than that getting survey information and some much deeper sort of psychographic and demographic type of data out of that list, and I think that’s where a huge opportunity is, especially with a lot of the new software that’s available these days. There’s a ton of stuff we can do completely automated, and that’s really half the battle. Sending out automated emails is fantastic. Being a great email copywriter is a massive leg up, but the other half of it is kind of the technical and functional aspect of how you build the list and how you set that side of it up.

John: Do you find that when you ask for information your conversion rate goes down?

Kyle: Yeah, it does. Obviously, if you ask for a name, email address, son’s birth date, grandmother’s maiden name, all that kind of stuff, conversion rates will go down, and the flipside of that is that the value of that list goes up. the funny thing is, for example if you collect name and email address plus postal address, even if you have no plans of ever sending a letter to that person or a postcard or any kind of direct mail or using that data at all, the simple fact that they gave it to you will make them a lot more valuable to you over the course of a lifetime. I’ve seen that happen in at least three or four little businesses I’ve been involved.

The other part of that is doing a multistep process. Stage one might be just asking for name and email or sometimes just email, and then the thank you page for that will be a second survey form where they can enter postal address, and then the next form might some survey data like what’s the biggest challenge in your business or what’s you current revenue, those kind of questions. We build it out like that so that everyone’s going to enter their name and email address just like they would on regular forms. The people who are more interested and more qualified and want to find out more are going to give you their postal address and so on. It naturally starts to segment people based on how interested they are and really makes knowing who to follow up with first and who to spend the most time and effort on much, much clearer. Whereas if you’ve just name and email address, everyone’s in the same bucket. You’ve kind of just got to go with brut force and try and figure out who’s going to buy based on just sending as many emails of possible kind of thing.

John: You’re suggesting that people collect data like the postcodes and the address and those things even if they’re not going to use them?

Kyle: Yeah. I’ve seen it so many times where I’ve had the best intentions and I’ve meant to send direct mail in various business things, and we just never got around to it. however, when we look at the data a year later, the people who gave us their postal address have bought anywhere from two to 10 time more products than those who just gave name and email. My best guess is simply that they were more qualified. They were more interested. If they’re willing to give me their postal address, they probably trust me and like me a bit more than other people, believing me, and all that kind of stuff. It’s really valuable information to get out even if you have no plans to do anything fancy with it. Although, there is a ton of money in all that fancy stuff.

John: I know you work with small businesses and things like that. Is this type of strategy, do you it’s applicable to everyone across the board, or is it only for businesses that are selling hard goods and products or something like that.

Kyle: No. I think it certainly can be used for just about any type of business. It’s like everything where you’ve got to have an actual strategy in mind. You’ve got to sort of have a point to what you’re doing and everything. I can’t really think of business where you couldn’t utilize this type of strategy.

John: Tell me about what’s the best data to collect. There’s probably tons of different things you can do, but if you had to 80/20 it and pick the top few things, aside from name and email, what would they be and why?

Kyle: Great question. I think the first one has got to be direct mail, like postal address, simply because it allows you to send direct mail. It allows you to segment based on different areas and everything like that, and if you are doing direct mail and marketing that has a higher cost, you’ll quickly find out that certain postcodes and suburbs and even whole states just don’t buy anywhere near as much as other states, and so you can, for example, cut your costs very quickly just by not sending direct mail to certain states and postcodes that you’ve proven not to work. That’s definitely the first thing I would look at. After you’ve got name and email address, start to get postal addresses, and then from there, if you’re doing any kind of phone followup, obviously a phone number is really handy. If you are doing SMS marketing it gives you a lot of other avenues like that.

I said the next thing is going to unique for every business, and that’s the survey type of data, and that really comes down to figuring out what other criteria in my business? Who are my ideal clients? What do they have in common, and what questions can I ask of people to help identify who our ideal clients are?

I was just modeling someone else’s biz the other day, and they sell, basically, vending machines. It’s a vending machine business opportunity, and one of their survey questions on their survey form is what liquid assets do you have available to you, and the options go from everything from like $3,000 up to a million dollars or more. That’s obviously one of their big criteria is how much money you’ve got to invest, and obviously the people who say a million dollars are more are going to get routed to their best salespeople. They’re going to get the most attention. They’re probably going to get the most in terms of followup in terms of trying to get them as a client because they are going to be worth the most over the long haul. The key is to figure out what data would be most valuable for you to get from your prospects, and then go about actively trying to collect it.

John: How would go about finding that data? How do you figure that stuff out.

Kyle: I guess one way is, if you’ve got an existing business, is to look at your current ideal clients and figure out what do they have in common. For my consulting business, for example, I found almost every single one of my best clients were in the $2-10 million gross sales range. We found anything below that and they were just too messy. They didn’t have sales systems in place. They didn’t have sales teams. It was just too chaotic. Anything above that, and there were too many levels of management and bureaucracy and all that kind of stuff. $2-10 million gross revenue was one of my big criteria.

Whether they were spending money on marketing was another big criteria. How many employees? If they had about two to 10 employees seemed to be the sweet spot. They’re the things I figured out, and that’s part of what I’ve taught my Consulting Tycoons students as well as to look for things, and you can certainly ask those type of questions at various stages in your process.

John: That’s really good. You mentioned doing surveys before you ask them what the most painful problem in their business is. Do you a set of go-to questions that you use when you’re surveying prospects or customers about that type of thing?

Kyle: Yeah. My absolute favorite one is very similar to what you just said. It’s what’s the biggest challenge in your business right now? I’ve asked that question so many times in so many different contexts. You can ask if your selling weight loss, what’s your biggest challenge in losing weight right now. That type of a question, it gets you such good data because we’re in the business of solving problems. almost any business you’re in, your really in the business of solving people’s problems and the marketing of that, and so that question really gets to the heart of what it is that people are struggling with and gives you really great insights into how you can help them. That’s certainly my big go-to question.

John: What sort of answers do you get to that type of question? Give me some examples.

Kyle: Yeah, sure. It’s really funny. You’ll get answers everything from one word or two words, getting clients or productivity type of things, to like three hundred, four hundred word kind of mini essays about people’s failed business experience and how they invested $50,000 in the stock market and lost it all and have been email marketing for three years and haven’t made a cent. That’s paraphrased from one I got just last week. Obviously, the people who write the most in there, they’re generally the most qualified because they’ve got the biggest pain. They’re sharing it with you. They’re seeing you as an outlet and as someone who can potentially help them. You get a really big range of answers, and I find them all useful in one way or another, but some of them certainly highlight who the people with the bigger problems and pains really are.

John: Right. I have some amazing results doing that with email. Someone signs up to the list, and you probably just got this email because you just signed up, and it comes out, and it will ask you a couple of questions. I have done this in a bunch of different markets where it says what is your ideal transformation, and what is the biggest fear you have in relation to that? Then they talk about their goal they want to lose 50 pounds, and then they tell you why they feel they can’t because they’re afraid of it. They’re afraid of success, or vegetables or disgusting, or whatever the case is, and you’re absolutely right. Some people will give you these huge responses that show they’re really desperate for a solution, and then what happens is that there is so much info in these responses that you can go and create endless content to help them solve those problems.

Kyle: That’s exactly what I do. Every survey I get, whether I’m using that data directly or not, it always come back as email fodder, and I get this pretty much every single week. someone will respond, and their response is something along the lines of I can’t believe how much you’re talking directly to me, how closely everything you’re talking about matches my experience, and it’s because I’m just feeding back to the market what they’re telling me. They tell me their biggest problem is X, I write an email about how the biggest problem in the market is X, and they’re like, wow, how do you know this stuff kind of thing. It’s like, you guys told me what the problems are. I’m just repeating it.

John: Right. It’s amazing. I got that whole email thing from, I think, Clay Collins and then Andre Chaperon. They both do versions of it. After doing that, it made me realize that great copy is about understanding the customer. If you’re going to do a ton of research, you’re going to have great copy even if you’re not a copywriter. I’ve heard things where Ramit Sethi does 50-60 percent of his time on research, same thing with Eugene Schwartz, and I think this is what people really need to understand, that good emails and good company and good sales letters, it’s really just really good research and that’s it.

Kyle: Yeah, it’s funny you say that. I’m doing a persuasive writing program at the moment, and we’re into the third week, and we haven’t mentioned copywriting or any kind of tactics of even copywriting strategies. It’s all been gathering research. It’s been figuring out who our ideal clients are. It’s been going into forums and doing surveys and figuring out the language they use. It’s going into looking at our USP and the features and advantages and benefits and transformation our products and services provide because that is copywriting. I think there are a lot of great copywriting courses out there, but unless you’re planning to be like an A-player ninja copywriter, I think a lot of them do more harm than good because they break things down into so many different layers and categories and put so many different names on things that it’s a full-time job just to try and learn what copywriting is.

Seriously, it does people’s head in, and if you take more than one copywriting course, you’ll find that at least half the course contradicts the other one, and people have come to me and they’re like, “Man, I’ve tried to learn copywriting for the past three years, and I just can’t do it.” The real secret, like you said, is just doing that research and knowing your prospects, knowing them better than they know themselves, and you can do that because when you ask 10 people or 100 people what’s your biggest problem, why haven’t you solved it right now, and what would your ideal solution look like, and you can compile them into a customer avatar of the average of all that stuff. you’re now communicating to people 80% to exactly what their current situation is and the 20% that they couldn’t quite articulate for themselves, and that’s what copywriting is, and Andre, I think, has said this himself that he hasn’t taken a single copywriting course. yet, he is one of the best email copywriters I’ve seen out there, and it’s simply because he knows, and I’ve mostly seen he’s working the internet marketing niche, and he knows that market so well because he’s surveyed them, and he’s been in the market, and he was one of them kind of thing. That’s all copywriting is, is being able to empathize with people and talk on their level. That’s 80% or 90% of it right there.

John: Right. Right, and it’s funny when people finally understand it, it’s like oh that’s really simple. All I got to do is go out and do some surveys, and then I’m going to have a good email or a good sales letter.

Kyle: Yeah, and that’s why we’ve got all these copywriting formulas and structures and everything, and a lot of the time they’re more confusing than helpful, but once you’ve got all these surveys done and you’ve literally copied and pasted people’s pains and frustrations from an Amazon review or from a blog or from a forum or whatever and you look through all these stuff and then start to hang it off one of these AIDA type formulas, it all starts to make sense because you’re not trying to just make up words. You’re not trying to be a copywriter and use a technique or use a tactic or anything. You’re just repeating to the market what they said they’re problems, what would get their attention, and what they would be interested in. I get frustrated with people because it should be so easy, and everyone’s trying to complicate it to be something that it really isn’t.

John: Yeah, totally. After they’re signed up, you’ve done the survey, you’ve collected the address and all that things, what do you start sending them via email? What’s your advice there?

Kyle: The first thing to be would actually send emails. It sounds silly, but man, when I first got my Aweber account, it was probably six months before I even started building a list and probably another six months before I started mailing that list. I’ve heard of people who have been paying $300 a month for software and still haven’t sent a single email to their list. The very first thing is just start sending anything. It almost doesn’t matter what it is. You’re probably not going to send out great stuff right from the start because it takes practice to get good. Just start sending anything. That would be my very first piece of advice.

The second piece of advice is start repeating back to the market what you’ve learned from your research like we’ve just been talking about. My favorite strategy at the moment is basically just telling my story, either talking about stuff that happened to me in terms of how I got to where I am now or stuff that happened to me today and just drawing analogies and metaphors about my everyday life and turning that into a business lesson and having the email linked to my sales letter, and that works like crazy. It’s just so powerful; it’s not funny.

John: It’s funny you mentioned that. That’s what Ben Settle does. That’s what another guy, John McCulloch does and Jay white, all of them. It’s all about their stories. You pick up anything, anything that happened today, and then if you’re creative enough, you can kind of turn it into like a parable or like Aesop’s Fables, like a litter story that ties into something, and then it’s here’s the reason you should by my product, and it sounds simple, but it’s so easy and so powerful.

Kyle: That’s it. I’ve been talking about this a lot in my course at the moment, the fact that information and content is great, but you’re only going to keep people interested in your content a couple of minutes at most in most cases. What people are drawn to are other people. We’ve been passing on information via stories for 100s, if not 1,000s, of years, and it is literally hardwired into us to pay attention when people tell a story to bond with people when they story. It flies under the sales radar a lot of the time. Even when people kind of know you’re selling in your emails, they give you a lot of leeway when you’re telling a story because it’s interesting and it’s fascinating, and people generally aren’t going to buy from you unless they kind of like you, unless they trust you, and stories let you do that. I did this early on. I tried to teach in my emails, and I gave great content, and I couldn’t sell a single thing by doing that because the wrong people were interested. The buyers got bored because they’d heard all the content before. The time sucking vampires who just wanted to get every piece of information out of your brain loved it, but they just wouldn’t buy a thing, and the moment I started switching over to a more story-based approach, like Ben does, like Matt Furey does, sales absolute skyrocketed. The better buyers are much more interested, and the freebee seekers get off your list a lot quicker, which is fantastic.

John: Reminds me of content marketing is all the rage lately with everybody just saying content and put out great blog posts and great emails and teach and teach and teach. I think Ben says it really well when he says that teachers in our society, none of them are rich.

Kyle: Exactly.

John: I think that says it all. It’s like teachers, they teach, but they don’t sell, and if you want to be rich, you have to learn how to sell, and that’s where all this story stuff comes in.

Kyle: Yeah. You can get content any way. You go onto Google you type your problem. You type what you’re looking for. You can find 1,000 people who are teaching it. teaching is something, unless you’ve got something just so amazing that no one else has it or it’s such a breakthrough idea that it kind of differentiates, unless you have that, you’re just sounding like anyone else. If you’re talking about email marketing, and you’re talking about autoresponders and what the steps are, that’s really a tough sell, but if you wrap that in a story, that’s going to connect you with people. Even if they don’t really care about the actual technical thing of what you’re talking about, the fact that you wrapped it in a story will keep them interested and, most importantly, get them opening your next email as well because that’s also the battle. It’s not just about getting one email open and read. It’s about keeping people engaged and interested and reading your emails and buying from them consistently.

John: Absolutely right. There is one last thing I want to ask, and we’ll have to wrap it up in a minute and that is like when I send things, I’m copywriter too, so when I write an email, there are times when I don’t know what to write, basically writer’s block, and I’m sitting there, and I’m staring at the cursor, and I write a sentence. Then, I delete it. Then, I write another one, and I delete it, and it’s really, really hard going, and I think a lot of people have this problem. They’re all excited about these ideas. They go and take a course like Autoresponder Madness or something like that, and then they sit down, and they can’t execute. How do you help your consultants that you train? How do help them get back those roadblocks, writer’s block?

Kyle: There are two kind of level to my answer. The first one is a lot of that sort of writer’s block and not knowing what to write, in my experience, a lot of it comes down to the fact that you haven’t done enough research. You haven’t done the research to the point where you know the market better than they do. You’ve got ideas spilling out of your head. It’s not about you don’t know what to write, it’s about choosing which thing to write. That’s often the biggest thing is that if you haven’t done the research, you’re not going to know what to write, and you’re going to stare at the blank page, and a lot of that also comes with practice, writing everyday, making writing a habit. Like I said before, you’re not going to write a great email the very first time you sit down to write one. Unless you’re naturally gifted and you just haven’t figured it out yet, it’s not going to happen. Most people, it takes practice. I look back at emails I used to write, and I’m embarrassed. I look back at emails I wrote a month ago, and I’m like, man, I can’t believe I sent that, but it probably got me a bunch of sales, and it worked. That’s the first part of my answer.

The second part is there’s nothing wrong with swiping. Don’t go and steal someone else’s exact email, but go and look what 10 other people are doing and get an idea of the structure they’ve used, and take that same structure, but just use your own story, and use your own introduction, but be very strict in terms of following the structure. I’ve swiped sales letters and emails and lots of other things from people and showed it to the copywriter who I swiped, and they haven’t picked that I swiped their stuff because I only swiped the structure. If you kind of break a sales letter or an email down, there are only so many effective structures out there, and so once you have changed all the actual words, there’s not too much to actually show that you swiped any one particular piece. I try to teach that to my students. I teach them how to swipe, and people still get caught up on trying to be too creative and trying to do everything themselves, and that will come in time once you’ve gotten to a point where you’ve been writing emails for awhile, you’ll get to the point where you can just sit down and write an email, and you’ll have this structure sort of naturally come out. You’ll kind of know what to say. You’ll know how the flow goes. Frankly, I just feel like I’m getting into that point in the last couple of months. At the start, there is nothing wrong with swiping a structure and swiping the template of what someone else has done, and that will give you a massive leg up.

John: That’s great advice. Fantastic, Kyle. Thank you. Thanks for coming on the show, on the Email Marketing Podcast. Before we go, give yourself a plug and tell everyone where they can find you and where they can buy your stuff.

Kyle: Check out consultingtycoon.com. You can see I write a daily email there, my Daily Secrets Club. I do a weekly video sort of podcasty-type thing as well, and you can check out all the different products and services I’ve got on there, but get on my list of emails. You’ll learn a lot from the meeting if you don’t decide to buy anything.

John: Fantastic. I’ll have links to your site down in the show notes there. Thanks again.

Kyle: My pleasure, mate. Thanks for having. Me.

John: Hey everybody. Thanks for listening. If you want to discover more insider tips, tricks, and secrets about driving sales in email marketing, sign up for daily email tips from The Autoresponder Guy. Go to themcmethod.com/podcast. Sign up, confirm your email address, and I’ll send you daily emails on how to improve your email marketing and make more sales via email. You’ll find out why open rates don’t matter and the seven letter word that underlies all effective marketing and much more.

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