Episode #46 – Rob Walling on Email “Mini-Courses” that Skyrocket Your Conversions

by John McIntyre

Rob Walling is the host of the wildly popular podcast Startups for the Rest of Us.

He’s also a serial entrepreneur and marketing BADASS who knows how to sell more with email.

Rob’s latest company, Drip, is an email service that gives you autoresponder blueprints

…and makes boosting your conversions DEAD simple.

His secret weapon?

Opt-in “mini-courses.”

Got a blog on your website?

An e-book?

KICK-ASS content you’ve ALREADY slaved over?

Then pay attention:

Because in this episode, Rob reveals a tested template for repurposing your content…

…and building a “Crash Course” that sells more, hands-free.

Think “Mad Libs” for autoreponders.

It’s ’bout time to wipe off that dusty content.

…and create a series that ignites your opt-ins and sales. 

In this episode, you’ll discover:

  • Rob’s tested # of emails to put in your mini-course
  • some surprising data on images vs. text-based emails
  • how to write mini-course subject lines that sell
  • the “Mad Libs” approach to writing autoresponders in Drip
  • how one Opt-In form headline hauls in a FIFTEEN-PERCENT opt-in rate
  • the best-performing headline Rob has ever seen
  • how to nab an ONGOING lift in your email conversions

Email Marketing Podcast Episode 1


Intro and outro backing music: Forever More by CREO

Raw transcript:

Download PDF transcript here.

It’s John McIntyre here, the Autoresponder Guy. I’m here with Rob Walling, a serial entrepreneur. He’s been building web applications for 12 years and the latest is nifty piece of software called Drip, which actually makes creating autoresponder sequences super, super easy. We’re just talking about it and I was trying to understand how can we talk about this in a way that’s going to appeal the most to you the listener. It’s basically a Drip and the content, and what we’re going to get into in a minute. Is how to create email courses, how to take the content you have on your site that you’ve already created and turn that into an autoresponder that sells your products. So you don’t need to go and spend hours and hours and hours obsessing of the details and writing all sorts of stuff.

I mean you’re going to create this yourself and go use the content on your site and you can attempt to Rob’s service, and they’ll do it for you. The idea today and what you’re going to get out of it by listening is that having an autoresponder that really sells stuff at your site is automatic sales machine. Doesn’t have to be hard, it can actually be really, really easy when you understand some of the principles that I’m sure Rob will share with us in just a minute. We’ll talk about that, how to put together an email mini course based on what they’ve learned with their customers. Also some of the trends they’re noticing in the industry which we haven’t talked about yet personally. I’m sure it will be very, I think that’s going to be really interesting.

We’ll get into that. How are you going today, Rob?                   

Rob: I’m doing great man, thanks for having me in the show.

John: Absolutely man, it’s good to have you here. Tell me about Drip, let’s start there.

Rob: All right as you said, Drip’s a piece of software it’s a web app and you might think about it like something similar to MailChimp or AWeber. Except for the angle that we took is that I wanted to make autoresponders our first class citizen. I wanted to make autoresponders as easy to setup as possible so we design it from the ground up with that in mind. Then we added stuff today, I was always kind of a pain in the butt for me and other services like we added split testing within sequences. I always want to split test subject lines of my autoresponder emails and no one seems to be able to do that, so we added that and we’re adding right now, we’re adding the split testing of opt in forms on the front end.

Even if you have embedded html opt in forms, we use Java Script and we can swap out your headline and tell you which one’s working better for you. It’s that kind of stuff, it’s you know what marketers and analytics and optimizers perspective rather than like another tool that just sends generic and newsletters.    

John: Okay. Now, I’m curious do you consider this being for beginners who just want to get a job done, real fast or could this be something that advance marketers could use to save time.

Rob: I hate to use the generic answer but it’s working for both right now. We have a lot of beginners who came on early and we built their course from them, from their existing content. That’s working well. We’ve been working on Drip for about a year. We’ve been publicly launched for just about 60 days and the feature set is being driven by these marketers who really know what they want. that they haven’t been able to get in other tools. We are adding to be honest, that big reveal is that we’re basically adding a bit of marketing automation where you can move people from one sequence to the next space on tagging.

Much like Infusionsoft and Office Autopilot do. We are in the middle of that now and it should be in the next two to four weeks, we’ll be re-launching that.  

John: Okay, I think that’s going to become more and more prominent this all choose your intervention autoresponder sequence, there’s more and more people understands that relevance is really the most important thing or one of the most important things with marketing. This marketing automation and software like Drip kind of realize you to do that.    

Rob: Right.

John: All right. Let’s start write this email mini course, when you’re telling me that Drip does, let’s start out what is an email mini course look like?

Rob: Yes so the idea of the email mini course, it’s been floating around for years of how do you A, encourage someone to give you their email. To one, opt in and then be how you engage them over an extended period of time without constantly being on a hamster wheel of creating new email. Right, having to create content every couple days and so the email mini course, it can run. I mean some people do month long email mini courses but what we focused on is this first step. I getting a five to seven day email mini course that is highly focused on educating someone and providing them with information that they can walk away from your service. They can use that information without buying anything from you.

That’s the key thing I like to think about. Is like I’m coming on this podcast, I want people to be able to take information away from this and never have to use Drip and still be successful. Right? It’s the same thing when you’re building your course, its how are you going to educate and show people that you are an authority.   

John: Okay.

Rob: Like I said, the idea is five to seven day course. That’s the thing that we’ve seen working really well and its one time setup. This becomes a fly wheel because you can write it once, create it once and it perpetually runs, right? Because it’s always being sent as an autoresponder and what we found, where we have a lot of success with is as you said at the top of the show. It’s capitalizing on existing content that you already have. If you have an e-book or you have a white paper or you have a slew of blog posts, it’s really easy to take those and put them into a mini course, just break it up.

By sub heading, if you have any e-book that’s 20 pages, it’s a slam dunk to pick out some of your top tips from that and put them into this autoresponder course. Not have to spend a bunch of time creating that yourself.

John: Okay, I’m curious how you … Because I wonder with problems like this that actually if you will create a whole bunch of great content with there is on a site, they take it and put it into an autoresponder. Too much for your information, I find the tracks the wrong type of prospects and leads. In the sense that it attracts freeloaders, if you’re always giving away lots of free how to information it can discourage go from going ahead with your service. Is they just can do it yourself, it gets the wrong kind of people attracted. So how do you deal with this?   

Rob: We do a couple of things, one is we escalate the call to action throughout the sequence. Like the first email it will just say, hey. Starts off with, “Hey, I’m Rob Walling. I’m the founder of whatever company and you signed up for this mini course. I’m going to be talking about this thing.” Then you go through it, you give them some information then at the bottom you say, “Tomorrow we’ll be covering this, but if you want to get ahead of the curve. Here’s our link, you can check out our free trial. Here’s a link and you can buy the whole e-book that discusses all of this.” Depending on what you’re selling.

Then the second day, we start escalating that call to action. We just make a little more prominent and by the last day, the last installment we say, “All right, that’s it, that’s all you’re getting. To really move forward with this, we know you can go do it yourself but if your time is more valuable to you than money. Get way out of the pack.” Then you kind of do your pitch on that last day. I always include something that says, “I will be in touch in the future with updates or blah, blah, blah.” I really kind to try to make it … I put day five of five in the subject line, so they know that it’s the end of the line.

If they kind of have to make a decision at this point on whether or not they’re going to move forward, that amount is going to continues and free info forever.   

John: Okay and what would you suggest to someone who’s kind of starting to list all of that. Listing this podcast, they probably have about daily emails and that an autoresponder should be long and all that sort of stuff. What if someone, they’ve got five emails, they’re sending that. They’re working well but they’ve got all of these leads that they want to keep mailing, what do they do after that?   

Rob: That’s a really good question now. Pretty common when we get, I’ve seen a couple of purchase this. The one that I like the most is that as I create new content. Let’s say you are a software company or a SAS company or maybe an info marketer and you have like a product blog that is … It’s not talking about your product but it is talking about stuff that would be interesting to them. You’re going to put it on the blog anyways, right? It’s not like you’re adding any extra time but you basically take a snippet of that, first couple of paragraphs of that blog post which is a teaser. You add it to the end of your autoresponder sequence.

You don’t just send a broadcast. In my opinion broadcast should only be used for launches, for time sensitive things that are not perpetually ever great. I add it to the end of that sequence because I do like long sequences. The conversion rate drops over time obviously. If you have a sequence that’s a hundred long versus five, you’re going to get a higher conversion rate in that five then you will and say the next five or the last five. But there still is that long tail of conversion that happen. That’s how I’ve done it and that’s where I seen the most successes, adding to the end of your sequence based on content that you’re already producing.  

John: Okay, that makes it simple. You’re doing much like selling it rather than just sending out blog posts and saying go check this out. Judy might say … I don’t know if you’re a my list or something like Ben Settles where there’s basically a story and then a pitch. I’m sure you’ve seen this kind of stuff.

Rob: Yup, absolutely.

John: But where there’s some sort of interesting, catchy hook, some sort of story. It’s usually a class copywriting thing.

Rob: Yup.

John: Then they slide into a pitch, what’s your opinion on that style?

Rob: I think that style works great and especially works great when your marketing information. If you’re selling e-books or courses or services, those are all, that’s the ideal pitch I would use for that. If you’re selling software or software as a service you tend to have to be a little more subtle with it or a little more nurturing and it takes a little more time. I do think that you should have pitches or some type of pretty hard call to action about every three to four emails, if you’re doing software stuff.

The interesting thing is if you’re sending blog posts and you just send the first two paragraphs, then you send them a link to get him to the blog. Now the blog should have a strong call to action to then get them to sign up for your trial. You don’t necessarily have to include it in the email when you’re taking that approach.  

John: Okay. The way I would probably do it is so you can either setup a site to the opt in and then the opt in then finals to the product. Or you can have site kind of funnel to the opt in or the product and then you can redirect pure from the email back to the site. Then if they want to take the next step and go to the product it’s very obvious that they can take the next step.

Rob: Exactly, hopefully that’s what I communicated. That’s how I would do it as well.

John: Yeah, yeah, okay, interesting. What about the format, I’m curious about this. When you talk about subject lines, hence if you have like a lesson one out of five or lesson one out of seven and then how you structuring this emails. Are you linking to a lesson on a website or you’re having the lesson in the email with some sort of here are your action steps for today. Go and do them, I’ll see you tomorrow.

Rob: Yeah. In the mini course I include all the content in the email. Included certain couple images, try to get people to click that view images button. Although I guess in Gmail, it doesn’t really matter anymore, does it? I structure, I include all the content in that first five to seven days. I don’t really want people have to come and click out and go to a website, especially because so many people are opening on mobile now, 33 to 45% or whatever it is. That first course I want to provide value without them having to click out. It’s after that, that I start and I should take that back.

When I do the call to action course, it’s come to the site and buy something. But when I’m just doing the education, I try to fit everything into the email. If there’s a video then of course I’ll have an image of the video they can click through and watch it. But that’s how we’re structuring them.  

John: Okay, interesting and it sounds a good start, text based emails for blogs.

Rob: That’s right and yup. I don’t know what your thoughts are on it but I’ve just had overwhelming success compared to when I use the fancy fixed whipped templates, I never get as good a results as just a personal plain text looking. Even if it’s html, but a plain text looking email that looks like it’s a personal email from the founder.

John: Right, right, right. I actually had a really interesting experience maybe seven or eight months ago. I was working with a startup and I actually messed up because I went into the thing, into the climb relationship thinking well, only text email all the way, it’s going to be great, it always works better. What I didn’t know at that time is that this startup, something like six or seven or eight different copywriters to test against everyone. I’ve gone into it thinking what we’re going to do is, is we’re going to do like a subject line and then a bit of a story or something.

200 word, 300 word email, it’s all going to be text and then it will be signed off with someone in the company. My email is that I wrote roughly the worst performing out of all the copy of everyone they tested. The emails that won because this was a startup and a very popular startup right now actually, the emails that won were basically two lines of something like “We haven’t seen you in a while, click here to go and do this.” Then I signed off from the founder and it also had company logo, it was small. It wasn’t a fancy html email but it was still obviously, it still was branded. It was a branded email that’s usually I would say a no, no for most people.

In this case, it seemed to work much, much, much better than the classic kind of text email. I think there’s something there where when you’re a big company, when you’re seen as a brand and not a one person or one man show. People need to know that you’re a brand and when they open your email or they’re going to think that it’s some sort of spam.   

Rob: Indeed, that’s a really good point. Actually I’ve seen subtle brandings, if you go to hittail.com and you sign up for our seven day email course it’s powered by Drip but I own HitTail and Drip, but I use Drip on HitTail. If you go to hittail.com, sign up for that, you’ll get the course. You’ll see we have subtle branding. It’s plain text but there is a header at the top with a  logo and it’s still a personal letter or semi-personal letter from me, “This is Rob Walling. Owner of HitTail,” or whatever, but we never test it against straight, plain text. I like subtle branding. I think it comes back to that info marketing kind of if you’re a one person show like you said, I would always lean towards plain text.

Even when I go to corporate, I would never, we don’t build email courses that have more than just a logo at the top and maybe some images in their first. We don’t do fix with and we don’t do any kind of catalog magazine looking, loose letter looking like all that stuff. In my experience and in my opinion this doesn’t work.

John: Right, okay. Last night I was reading your blog post and I just switched on my phone actually in bed. As I was scrolling through it there’s probably an image every hundred words or something. Say it was like that, and this parts was long, one or 2,000 words, it was a very long thing, it took a while to read. But I noticed I was reading all the words and every time I’d go to an image I’d barely look at it before scrolling on to the next part of the words. It just reminded me that we’re on the internet, if you take out the words there’s pretty much nothing there.

If you’re a photographer or you’re into design and all that, you’d probably still have it, you’d be very interested in it. The average person, the images illustrate what the words were already saying. The words, especially in the case of email which is just communication to all that images just on that big of a deal, it’s really what can you say is going to make a difference.       

Rob: Yeah, I’d agree with that but I had a lot of success when I was launching Drip. I built in an email list with a few thousand people and I sent, I did split test of emails of just sending pure text and then sending with images which were screenshots of the app which is what people wanted to see before I launched. The screenshots of the app got a lot more clicks because I linked all the screenshots up to click through to what just to a, like a tour page. The app wasn’t available. I mean that’s just one case. You can argue either way that all texts versus a lot of images could be successful.

I think it’s pretty easy to go, over do with the images. An image every hundred words sounds like a lot to me. I typically go over four or five hundred words. If your email’s only four or five hundred, having one image in there, and an image is not required obviously. If the image actually helps the process, if it’s a graph or if it’s truly a screenshot, there are certain things that you just can’t describe well enough in words that I do think that an image helps.  

John: Absolutely I mean the answer here is that’s why there’s a classic gains to that like marketing things, it’s like it depends. Because depending on the copy and the product and it’s really about the context. You don’t understand the context that’s going on in that email and going on inside this lead or this prospect head. Then understand maybe an image would support what you’re already saying, maybe it wouldn’t. There’s no one size fits all answer to the question.

Rob: Yeah that’s exactly right. It’s exactly right and then there’s complexity because it’s not just an image like in a blog post. It’s an image in an email, and so then you have to say, okay is this image going to fit a mobile format, is the image going to appear in Gmail or they can have to click the link that makes it appear, and how it look, how is that different and all that stuff. There are definitely things to think about and that’s of course what we try to just bake in to the product. That’s what we try to bake into Drip. Is that when you add an image, it’s just going to be the right size, it’s going to format into the right size and then it’s going to work as best as it can in an email.   

John: Okay. I’m really curious, heading towards the end soon. I’m really curious to know can you give me a rundown of what one of your emails look like. Either maybe read through an email or just kind of outline the basic format of email number one, or email number whatever. Just so the listener can see what exactly this type of emails look like.

Rob: Yeah, sure. What we did in Drip is if people, if someone comes and signs up and they already have existing content. We basically give them these blueprints and we call them sequence blueprints. We have like a five day email mini course blueprint which is five email templates. They’re all baked into the app and you just click a button and poof, you get five subject lines that just have you fill in this. They just have you fill in the subject line. There’s really not much there. The body of the email starts off and it’s just “Thanks for checking out my five day crash course on,” and then there’s a fill in things, it’s topic of the course.

It’s kind of like Mad Libs. You remember that old game Mad Libs where you had to just shout out a noun or a verb or something. Then the next sentence is “I’m” insert name, “the founder of company. My goal for this course is to provide you with new techniques and approaches for,” and then you fill in the stuff.      

John: Yeah.

Rob: That’s how it starts off and “Today we’re going to start looking at topic today’s email.” Then it says insert your content here. It’s kind of the scaffolding around that’s day one basically. Each day basically says, yesterday we talked about this, today we’re going to talk about this and then as I said they’re call to actions baked into the bottom of each one. Talk about if you’re head of the curve, feel free to learn about product name here and you can insert a link. That’s the gist.

There is an arc, I do see a pretty good. I do see click through rates early on. Open rates of the first email are always the highest, where have always been. Then we’re looking at hundreds of courses now that we’ve seen go. As you would expect them interested peaks at the highest, I’m sorry at the front. Then it slowly, open rates drop over time and then the last email or especially if you put day five of five or day seven of seven, that one picks back up. If you don’t put that of seven people don’t know it’s the last one. They don’t tend to open it as much. You can actually get this curve, yeah, it’s interesting.

The same with clicks, I mean getting your click through rate up is an hour on to itself. We’ll probably do a whole podcast on it but I’ve see that including images, if you have any type of image that is your product, that you have to link that to your sight. Because people just naturally want to click on images just to see what’s there. Linking images is a big deal but not requiring them to see the image. Because remember that in some email clients it’s kind of cumbersome, so that’s that. Out of five emails, we have two that have PSs. We don’t want to overdo the PS, we know it’s an overused copywriting thing but it still works.

I think its email to and email for, both have PSs at the end that talk a little about the product, give you a little extra tidbit and then link out.     

John: Okay.

Rob: Yeah, so those are the best practices that we found and are really kind of baking into the product.   

John: Right, right, right. What sort of opt in rates? I’m sure that you probably have all these data with your track.

Rob: Yup.

John: What sort of opt in rates you seeing people get with these courses?

Rob: Yeah, so what we’re seeing Drip offers a bunch of different ways to opt in. It’s not just having a static, you can do a static embeddable html form. But a real sweet spot is if you add Java Script, if you add our little snippet to every page at your site you instantly get this little pop up Drip widget that goes everywhere. Then the nice part about that is that you don’t have to go through and modify all the pages or you don’t have to go through and add a widget to a side bar. It’s kind of like one of those chat pop ups and it appears everywhere.

You can move it around, you can move it to the left side, right side, you can move it to the top whatever. What we’re seeing so, it’s a little less so it’s not, the optimum rates are not as high as a light box. It doesn’t block your view, it doesn’t keep you from seeing the site. It just kind of has a little bit of motion in the lower right. We’re seeing the entire range, we’re seeing as low as 2% of visitors who see the pop up, will opt in and as high as about 15%. The inner range, the more tight range where most people are sitting is between three and 8% of the traffic.

For something that isn’t obstructing views at all, I’m pretty pleased with that. Because it’s a base, it’s a list that you’re building without detracting from the site or without attracting from the experience of the site.

John: Right, absolutely. Okay, okay. I’m curious with the 15% is or with the upper ends, what are they doing definitely to the 2%? Is it just more focused traffic?

Rob: It’s couple things, one is the traffic is more focused, the second thing is, they have better headlines. The headlines are just that much better. The rewards tend to be, but you know some people are giving away like a PDF, like a tools list but most people are doing a mini course. The rewards are kind of the same across the board but it’s how you frame that and how you title that reward, that can be a huge swing in that opt in rate.

John: Okay, what’s an example then of a good headline that would work, that works really well? And then the one that hasn’t.

Rob: Yup, sure. One that’s worked really well is “Seven day long tail SEO crash course.”

John: Okay.

Rob: That’s what I use on HitTail and it’s one of the better performing headlines that we see in Drip. One that was really terrible the other day was “Twitter for business.” I saw that, that was actually the headline. I was like, “No,” and I went in and I emailed the customer. I said, “Look, I think I can probably double your opt in rate.” Because it’s an app for twitter, it’s kind of like a hood sweet type thing and it’s for businesses but it doesn’t talk about any benefits. It doesn’t talk about it, even the topic, so I changed it to something like “Dominate Twitter for your business.”

It was better written than that but I use the word dominate or like own or something like that. You got to get that emotion in there and I’ve already seen an uptick in his opt in rate.    

John: Okay, that’s awesome. What about conversion rates? I don’t know if this is revise more events tracking, but you have any idea if this crash course is …

Rob: Yup, we do have that.

John: Okay.

Rob: Yup so that’s the thing. Again I build Drip for me. I got validation that other people needed it before I built it but I was always miffed by the fact that I could never see the soup to nuts. What I wanted to see was someone so hit your website from this traffic source, they signed up for your mini course, they receive these emails, they open these ones, they click these ones. Here they convert it to a trial, that’s what I want to see. That’s why I built Drip to do. If you install the Java Script then you get conversion traffic so I can actually see that.

We’re seeing a range of depending on what you’re selling and of course it gets … Someone did a launch last week and then sold an e-book. That conversion rate was really high because it’s a onetime thing and you’re doing a time limited discount and all that stuff. That aside we are seeing conversion rates from mini course opt ins to some kind of purchase and sometimes that’s a $20 e-book. Sometimes that’s a $50 a month SAS SAP, so there’s a big range. Between 1% and 10% and a tighter range is about 2 to 5, 2 to 6% of people on the list are making some kind of purchase over the course of the five to seven days.

John: Okay.

Rob: It’s not a huge amount. I mean we’re not talking about 50% purchase rates but this isn’t a launch list, this isn’t a time sensitive thing. It’s something that you literally do want and it’s a perpetual lift to your conversion rates. It just perpetually does that, it just runs in the background. Even if you’re not adding emails to the end of this, it just runs and continues to that.  

John: Let’s talk about one of these marketing hacks where you can add revenue the bottom line without spending any more money on advertising or marketing. You just add, you spend a little money on creating your responder and then it just sits there and it runs, it’s amazing.

Rob: Exactly. That’s what we did with HitTail. I don’t want to pump it up too much but the reason I started building Drip is because we did this with HitTail. We built it manually, everything I’m describing we built in code on HitTail as a one off and it increased our conversion rate from visitor to trial by 30%. That’s a big deal for us.  

John: Okay.

Rob: Because we’re dealing in fur figures of customers. It was a big amount, everyone doesn’t get 30%, I don’t want to claim that but we are seeing no brain or people getting 10% increase in visitor to trial and visitor to purchase conversion rates. People getting up into the 30s as well, so definitely that’s the thing I like about is, I like since I’m basically a two person company. I like things that you can do once and don’t have to maintain them forever. You can kind of set it and forget it as much as you can with anything.

John: Right. I’m curious have you ever tested a different like have you tried, say more direct sales or more direct content or like if you tested different autoresponder approaches? Or just a crash course style?

Rob: To date, we’ve only done the crash course style. We have it on our feature list. Basically add more blueprints. I need to craft some more, hire someone or craft some more blueprints. The direct sales model I think could work really well. I’ll tell you what else we have, so I have a five day mini course blueprint. I have a four week email mini course blue print. I have a follow up sequence that’s after a post demo, and it starts up with saying “Hey, you saw a demo over software. Just checking in blah, blah, blah.” It’s pretty generic because how much can you really put in there but I think it’s a three email sequence. Then we also have a follow up after they downloaded a sample report.

Those are the basic blueprints. I’m intrigued at the thought of creating a direct sales one but to date have not and haven’t tested against it.     

John: Okay, because it would be really interesting, like I’m starting to find that every market has a different style that works for it. No matter if a crash course and wanting to mean e-commerce is a whole new ball game with the betterment, email sequences and all sorts of stuff. Then you get information marketing which is where you can talk all about, you can have a lot of fun with it. In different strategies, it sounds like SAS and startups, they need another style or another strategy and title as well.

Rob: Indeed, yeah that’s right.

John: Cool, okay this been great. I think the list has probably got an action plan right in front of them right now. They can do the setup, this crash course themselves or they can go to let’s getdrip.com, right?

Rob: That’s correct.

John: If people want to hear more about you, where should they go?

Rob: If folks like to listen to podcast I have my own, it’s a weekly podcast called Startups For The Rest Of Us. You can find it in iTunes or startupsfortherestofus.com. I talk about the stuff, I talk about launching Drip and other software products once a week on Tuesday mornings. It’s probably the best way to catch up with me.

John: Okay so you’re main thing is software products SAS and all that stuff, right?

Rob: That’s right, yup.

John: Okay, but then you touch on the marketing. You’re a bit of a marketing guy. Buddy of mine said that he thinks you’re an amazing marketer. This could be because you got the text side and then you have the marketing chops to back all that stuff up.

Rob: Wow, that’s very kind of him. Yeah, in my opinion one of the most dangerous things in the business world is a developer with marketing skills. When I see them, I know that they’re going to be pretty bad ass. Because mixing the two is a challenge because it’s different from parts of your brain and so people who know both I think have an advantage for sure.   

John: That’s interesting so you have coding skills that sounds you can go and do some PHP and hack around the press and do all that stuff. But you’ve also got an understanding of marketing strategies, it sounds like a bit of copywriting and all that stuff mixed in together.

Rob: Yeah and that came out a necessity because I started as a developer and then I wanted to launch my own products and of course you build something and launch it and no one gives a crap. You have to learn how to market it. You either learn or you fail. I’m not one that really failed lately. I read all the copywriting books you have on your shelf, I bet I have them on my shelf too. All that, that Ultimate Sales Letter and you have Dan Kennedy and all the guys, I forget their names all the time but I’ve read them and that’s how I learned it. I also hand wrote sales letters just like you’re told to do.   

John: Nice.

Rob: I’ve done exact thing.

John: I’m impressed, it’s cool man.

Rob: I came through that, it’s only about six or seven years back that I did it. I know guys like you and other have been doing it for longer but yeah, I think that’s the ticket man, is you got to know one or the other. Either tech or marketing but I think knowing both is a pretty good ticket.

John: I’d say absolutely man. I’ll ask you to execute a whole lot faster as well where I can, not really code it but I can get inside WordPress and do all sorts of html and CSS stuff and some basic PHP and allows me to test stuff and just add up my own sites so much faster. Saves so much time that I would spend go on Odesk, go messing around with developers that I have no idea how they work, all sorts of stuff.   

Rob: Yeah absolutely and it allows you to evaluate people, developers a lot easier. Because you at least have a sense of how long it should take someone to do something.

John: Yeah like get a bit of a feel for how to, I guess development coding is kind of like very different mindset instead of marketing. Marketing is very, I guess creative in a way. Coding can be creative too but there’s a difference kind of the way the brain works when you start setting up the code.  

Rob: Absolutely, yeah.

John: Cool, all right man we’re right at the end. Thank you for coming over to talk about the crash courses and Drip.

Rob: I had a great time John, thanks for having me.

John: Hi everybody, thanks for listening. If you want to discover more insider tips, tricks and secrets about writing sales with email marketing, sign up for daily email tips from Autoresponder Guy. Go to dropdeadcopy.com/podcast, sign up, confirm your email address and I’ll send you daily emails on how to recruit 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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