5 Email Marketing Mistakes Derailing Your Agency’s Growth

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In today's episode, we dive into the world of email marketing and how it can be a game-changer for your agency's growth. Rob shares five common mistakes that agencies make when it comes to their email marketing strategy, from building their email lists organically to not segmenting their audience effectively. 

Join me as I uncover these mistakes and discover the keys to generating leads and converting them into loyal clients through email marketing. 

So grab your headphones and let's jump into the show!

Topics Covered In This Episode:

[00:00] Intro

[01:45] 5 mistakes agencies make with their email marketing

[01:55] Mistake 1: Not organically building your email list

[03:25] Mistake 2: Trying to cover too many topics in one email

[05:31] Mistake 3: Sending too many promotional emails

[07:10] Mistake 4: Not segmenting your email list

[08:19] Mistake 5: Not emailing frequently enough


“You are building a 1-2-1 relationship with your audience in your email marketing.” — Rob Da Costa
"Emailing quality content weekly is like watching your favourite weekly Netflix show” .— Rob Da Costa

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 Full Episode Transcription

Rob Da Costa [00:00:00]:

Hopefully. As you know, I run a fortnightly free live workshop called Agency Accelerator Live. And if you haven't attended one, well, why not make sure you have registered? Because in these workshops, we cover every single challenge that I know you are suffering from because these are challenges that my clients are suffering from as well. Now, in a recent workshop, we talked all about email marketing and why it should be at the top of your agenda when it comes to marketing. And we have some really interesting debates and also quite a few misconceptions I think. So in today's episode, I want to share with you five mistakes I see agencies making when it comes to their email marketing strategy to help them generate leads and then convert those leads into loyal clients. So that's what we're talking about today. And let's jump into the show.

Rob Da Costa [00:00:49]:

I'm Rob Costa, and this is the agency Accelerator Podcast. As someone who has stood in your shoes, having started, grown and sold my own agency, I know just how it feels in the ups and downs of agency life. So this podcast aims to ease your journey just a little by sharing mine and my guests experiences and advice as you navigate your way to growing a profitable, sustainable and enjoyable business. Now, I know I've spoken about email marketing in the past and I will put in the show notes links to other episodes where we've jumped into email marketing. The reason why I talk about it periodically is because it is the cornerstone of my marketing and it should be the cornerstone of your marketing as well. Indeed, it was one of the themes for my recent Agency Accelerator Live workshops, which we run every second Wednesday at 09:00 UK time. They are free and they are all value, so make sure you have signed up. Anyway, we had a great audience and lots of great debate and there were a bunch of misconceptions on there.

Rob Da Costa [00:01:47]:

So, taking a slightly different approach to talking about email marketing today, I want to share with you five mistakes that I see agencies making with their marketing. Now, stick with me, because mistake number five might really surprise you, but now mistake number one is not organically building your email list. Many agencies are kind of impatient to build their list and they're not prepared to put the work in to get people organically to sign up. And by that I mean, for example, they go to your website, you have a specific offer, like a lead magnet, a PDF, a free video lesson, a free closed podcast and so on. And for people to access that, they have to give you their email address. Now, when they have given you their email address, they're showing intent to buy, they're showing that they've got a need that you can solve, and most importantly, they're giving you permission to email them. So people are impatient and they don't want to spend time doing this. So instead they buy in a cold list.

Rob Da Costa [00:02:43]:

Now you can buy cold lists and it's not illegal but obviously, you're then emailing people who haven't actually opted into your list. They don't know you, they don't like you, they don't trust you. And so it's very likely that they may well unsubscribe, they may get kind of fed up with you and ask you to remove them or send you a much more angry email than that. Or they just ignore your email. So suddenly your open rates and your click-through rates go massively down. So you need to be patient and put the time in to create one really compelling value-added lead magnet like a template or a guide. That doesn't have to be long, but it does have to deliver value to your reader pretty quickly. And if you do that then they pay for it with their email address.

Rob Da Costa [00:03:23]:

And now you are building your list organically. So that's mistake number one, which is not organically, building your email list. So let's move on to mistake number two. And I think, again, this might be a bit of a controversial one, but it's trying to cover too many topics in one email. I am a massive fan of having a single topic in a single email and I think people that try to create newsletters just turn their readers off because let's face it, our clients are really busy. They haven't got time to read multiple-topic newsletters. Maybe they have one or two favourite newsletters they subscribe to, but unless you're one of them, you're not going to get very good engagement in your newsletter emails. So my advice is don't overload each email with multiple topics, ideas or promotions.

Rob Da Costa [00:04:10]:

This dilution of focus overwhelms the reader and makes your content hard to digest. And of course in the end, they leave. When you try and cram too many topics in, nothing kind of gets focused on the readers won't remember any of it, they won't remember your key point, they remember you and they won't remember your key calls to action. So instead my advice is to have a simple text-based email that sticks to one focused topic and provides value in that topic. So for example, you could provide five tips for optimising your website speed or three strategies for retaining clients longer if that was the topic of your email. And when you have this real focus on your single topic, your email comes across more clearly, you come across more authoritative, the reader can quickly grasp the core idea that you're promoting and most importantly, they'll walk away with some simple takeaway or action or something. They think ah yeah, that was useful. And suddenly you become an email that people look forward to receiving.

Rob Da Costa [00:05:13]:

So resist the urge to mention multiple things, even though you could make sure you only have one single call to action and that you don't mention multiple topics in an email because when you give people too many options, we don't do anything. So think of your email like a really simple menu where you're being very directive about what you want them to do next. So that is mistake number two, which is trying to cover too many topics in one email. Mistake number three is sending too many promotional emails. It's really easy to make every email a sales pitch, but subscribers will quickly tune that type of email out and indeed they'll unsubscribe to your list. So make sure you are getting this balance right of 80 20. So 80% of the time you're sending really value-added content and 20% of the time you are sending promotional content. And this balance is really important because if all you did was add value to your emails, then people would see you as a great email to receive, but they'd never have a mindset of buying from you.

Rob Da Costa [00:06:13]:

And of course, if all you do is send emails about sell, sell, sell, then they're going to get fed up and unsubscribe. Remember, email marketing is really supporting this journey of your subscribers, getting to know you, getting to like you, and getting to trust you. Because it's only when we know like and trust something that we will actually buy it. It doesn't matter whether it's a bottle of water or it's an agency service or it's my coaching services, you've got to build, know, like and trust. And part of the way you're going to do that through your email list is by applying this 80-20 rule. 80% value, 20% sell. So that is mistake number three, which is sending too many promotional emails. I mean, how many times have you, I don't know, connected with someone on LinkedIn or received an email that's straight away trying to sell you something and you're thinking, why on earth would I buy from you? I don't know anything about you, I don't trust you, so goodbye, you're just annoying me and then you unsubscribe.

Rob Da Costa [00:07:08]:

So that is why we need to get this 80-20 rule right and not send too many promotional emails. That's mistake number three. Mistake number four is not segmenting your email list and taking a kind of one-size-fits-all-all. So, for people who have subscribed to your email list, you're not segmenting them based on your customer personas. You might have two, three or four customer personas customer avatars or ideal target customers. And you should be segmenting your list according to those because each of those people will probably have different needs and different challenges that you as an agency can solve. And so you want to be able to segment your list so that you can send the right email to the right people. Now, I really encourage you to keep this simple and not overcomplicate it.

Rob Da Costa [00:07:54]:

So for example, in my list, I simply segment my list by whether you're a freelancer or a person agency or you have a team of people because obviously if I'm sending emails about a team, then it's probably not relevant to a freelancer who aspires to grow their agency. So I keep it fairly simple and then, of course, I can segment my list based on what you've downloaded. So that's mistake number four, which is not segmenting your list so that you can be really hyper-targeted in the content that you send. My only caveat with that is to keep it simple. Now, mistake number five is perhaps a surprising one and that is not sending an email enough. I think many people worry too much about sending too often and they don't want to bother people. And indeed you get spam from people that seem to email you every day, but you're not really interested in receiving it. But you are building a one-to-one relationship with your audience.

Rob Da Costa [00:08:46]:

Remember, they have opted in to receive your content and consistency builds habit and brand affinity. So as long as you are sending great value-added content, then you can continue to build that relationship, build that know like and trust with your audience and they will indeed look forward to receiving your email in their inbox every week. The best way to liken this is to think of it as your favourite Netflix show. And there's a reason why shows are released every single week. It's a really good rhythm, it's enough to keep you connected to their platform and anticipate the new episode. But it's not so far apart that you forget what's going on in the series and who they are. And the same is true with your email list. So think of your email list or your subscribers.

Rob Da Costa [00:09:29]:

Subscribing to their favourite Netflix show or in this case, their favourite email list. And you were going to email them regularly and you're going to send value-added content as we've been discussing. So that is mistake number five, which is not sending emails frequently enough. And that might surprise you, but I really challenge you on that. You should aim to send at a very minimum once a fortnight, but ideally once a week. And obviously, sometimes you will probably email your list more than that. And remember, if you're adding value-added content, you won't be upsetting them or bothering them because they will look forward to receiving your email as they look forward to watching their favourite Netflix show. So there you go.

Rob Da Costa [00:10:08]:

Those are five mistakes that I see agencies making. These topics came up in the agency Accelerator Live workshop, so I thought I would record a quick podcast to address those five points and make sure that when it comes to email marketing, you are not making those mistakes. I've got some great lead magnets on my website around email marketing, so I will put those links into today's show notes and actually you will not only get a great lead magnet, but you can also use it to see how I do the follow-up sequence of emails as well, so I hope you found that useful. Really quick episode today, but I want to make sure I'm adding value to you. And if you did find it, please, please leave a review on Apple podcasts. It's really quick to do, but it really helps me. And please do share this episode with your colleagues as well. We're trying to grow the podcast actively right now and you sharing the episode and leaving a review will really help with that.

Rob Da Costa [00:11:01]:

Other than that, have a fantastic rest of your week and I will see you next Thursday for the next episode of the Agency Accelerator Podcast.

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