The Definitive Guide To “Street Smart” Email Marketing

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Table of Contents

Chapter 1 – Why Email Marketing To Grow Your Sales & Revenue?


Isn’t Email Marketing Dead?

I’ll answer that in just a bit.

But first… there are lots of ways to grow your sales and revenue.

So why email marketing?

Because email marketing beats every other type of marketing activities in terms of ROI (return on investment).

We’re talking as much as 4400% ROI.

Yes that’s not a typo.

You get $44 back for every $1 spent on email marketing activities. Source

Now back to the question: “Isn’t email marketing dead? Who still read emails anyway?”

Here are some stats for you:

  • The number of email accounts continues to grow from over 4.1 billion in 2014 to 5.2 billion by end of 2018.
  • Email remains the most pervasive form of communication in the business world.
  • Business users send and receive on average 121 emails a day in 2014, and is expected to grow to 140 a day by 2018.number-emails


Why Email Marketing Is The Best Way To Sell Your (Intangible) Products & Services

Physical products is easier to sell than:

  • Digital/intangible products (online courses, membership sites)
  • Services (coaching, consulting, done for you services)

With physical products, it’s very clear what the customer is getting — laptops, cars, headphones, pens, TVs, gadgets, food, furniture, etc.

With digital/intangible products and services (which is what WE’RE selling) it’s not that obvious. You have to convince people you’re the expert in your industry when it comes to solving their problems.

They are not going to purchase your offer right off the bat at the first contact for this very reason — they don’t know if you really are an expert or not.

They don’t trust you. Maybe you’re just another scammer. Perhaps you’re one of those “pushy salesman” who only want to sell all the time.

That’s where email marketing comes in.

Email marketing, when done right, allows you to create and build relationships with your target audience (who don’t know you yet).

These relationships lead to belief (they believe you’re the expert and can solve their problems) and trust (they trust you’ll take care of them even after they’ve handed their money to you).

From there, you make sales.

Sales are made based on that relationship you’ve built with them, not made right off the bat.



Chapter 2 – How To Persuade People To Give You Their Email


Now that you know email marketing is THE way to grow your sales, how do you get the email addresses of your target audience in the first place?

I placed an emphasis on “target audience” for a reason.

We don’t want to just get the email addresses of anyone. If you cater to everybody, you lose. Big time. Every time.

We ONLY want to get the email addresses of those who are interested in our niche/industry.

Seriously, what good would it do if you have 1 million email addresses, but none of them are interested in your topic?

Next, should you buy email lists and then spamming the hell out of them?

Nah… that’s lame! Not to mention it’s illegal too. You’ll get caught and might end up in jail.

The correct and best way is to let your target audience voluntarily give you their email address own their own accord.

This is called permission-based marketing. You only send emails to folks who have given you permission to contact them.

But people won’t just give you their email address for no reason. They already have too many emails waiting to be read in their inbox.

So what to do?

The solution is to give away something valuable for free in exchange for their email address. This something that you give away for free is called a “lead magnet” or “freemium”.

A lead magnet, as the name suggests, is something that attracts a lead. This can be in the form of a free ebook, video, tutorial, checklist, discount coupon, etc. that your target audience find valuable.

Lead Magnet / Freemium Examples:

  • An ebook that teaches high school students how to excel at math.
  • A video showing moms who have just given birth how to lose their weight.
  • A checklist for insurance agents of what they should do when meeting prospects.

Because a lead magnet is created based on your expertise, and people only need access to an internet connection in order to view it, lead magnets do not incur any hard costs. Giving away to 1 or 10 or 100 or 1000 people won’t really cost you anything.

Lead Magnet Myth

Your lead magnet/freemium does NOT have to lengthy or huge or complex.

It just needs to help solve 1 specific problem with 1 specific solution with 1 specific segment of your market.

If your lead magnet can do it in 2 pdf pages, or 5 minutes of audio or video, then there’s nothing wrong with that as long as it’s delivering value and helping solve or alleviate the problem.

In fact, everyone is so busy these days that people will appreciate that you’re skipping the filler and fluff and just get straight to the point.

Permission-Based Mass Email Marketing

As we’re talking about permission-based mass email marketing, you need to understand that you don’t actually login to your email inbox and then manually sending emails from there.

You need to use an email automation tool to help you send and automate the sending of multiple emails to hundreds / thousands / tens of thousands / hundreds of thousands of your subscribers.

If you don’t use an email automation tool (sometimes also referred to as an “email autoresponder”), you’d have to record all email marketing activities inside an Excel spreadsheet:

  • You record how many subscribers you got each day
  • You keep track which subscribers are supposed to receive which email today
  • You send out all emails manually one by one
  • You repeat the process every single day
  • Imagine over the years when you’ve accumulated tens of thousands of subscribers. It would take you the whole day (most likely weeks) just to do one day’s worth of work. You’d have no time left for other important tasks in your business.
  • Not to mention you don’t have stats to keep track of how many subscribers open and click each specific email, and how much email revenue they bring in to your business. This means you can’t measure your performance.

The answer to this is to use tool/software to automate the whole process, from collecting subscribers… to sending out tens of thousands of correct emails to the correct subscribers… to keeping track of revenue and how much each subscriber is worth to you, on average.



Chapter 3 – What Topics Should Your Lead Magnet Cover?

In the last chapter, you’ve learned that you need to give away a lead magnet / freemium so that people want to give you their email address.

The 4 steps below will show you what topic/content to create for your lead magnet.


Step 1 – Determine WHO Is Your Perfect Customer


Everyone has a finite amount of time.

As small entrepreneurs, we also have a finite amount of money.

The 80/20 Pareto principle states:

“For many events, roughly 80% of the effects come from 20% of the causes.”

Taking this into the customer context, not every customer is equal. A small percentage will spend much, much more money with you than others.

This translates to: you should determine WHO your PERFECT customers are. These are the types of customers who would spend huge amounts of money with you, compared to the average customer.

This is not to say that you should ignore those who are not your perfect customers. This is to say that because our time and budget is limited, we should focus our efforts on those that would give us the biggest bang for our buck — our Perfect Customers.

We aim straight for the gold. Silver and bronze can come later.

E.g. The perfect customers for BirdSend are online content creators who understand email marketing can significantly grow their sales and at the same time want to know exactly how much revenue they’re making with email marketing.

A good way to determine your perfect customer is to create a perfect customer/buyer persona.

This means you should know things about your perfect customers, like their:

  • Occupation: what they do, their position, how much they earn
  • Gender
  • Age
  • Education
  • Hobbies: what they like to do
  • Goals / Aspirations: what they would like to achieve or get
  • Problems: the problems they face
  • Buying habits: where do they buy and when

Based on the above demographics, you then determine how you can best help your perfect customers.


Step 2 – WHERE Do Your Perfect Customers Hang out?


Now that you know who your perfect customers are, it’s time to go and find them.

The best place to start is to go to places they already hang out and engage with them there. It’s already crowded with the kind of people you’d want to sell to.

Enter the world of communities.

Offline, you can go to seminars, events, trade shows/exhibitions, meetups, etc.

Online, communities can be found via forums and Facebook groups.

But not just any forum or group in your niche. The forums and groups must already have active users who are actively participating.

It’s no use participating and trying to engage in a dead forum where there is little to no discussions.

It takes the same amount of time and effort in giving value to other members in a dead or busy forum. You might as well spend your time wisely and participate in places where there are already a lot of users and discussions going on.

BUT you can’t simply jump in and blatantly sell your offers. You’ll get kicked out of the group in no time… especially in popular communities where there are a lot of active discussions. The moderators are ready to pounce on you the moment you promote.

To find forums, simply go to Google and type in:

[keyword] forum


Golf niche — type in “golf forum” (if you’re in a sub-niche like golf swing [a pretty popular topic], most likely there is a sub-forum for that, and it’d be better to participate in the sub-forum instead of the general golf forum)


Pay attention to how popular the sub-forum is by looking at the number of topics and replies, and when the latest post was.

To find Facebook groups, login to your Facebook account and type in keywords related to golf and then selecting “Groups”:


The rule is always to help others first and contribute value before you sell anything. This goes not only for forum or group posting, but for everything you do in life, be it personal or business.

Here’s a good rule of thumb when participating in communities

  1. Help other members first by answering their questions if you know the answer (it’s pointless to answer something that you don’t know the answer to — you’ll damage your reputation as a result).
  2. Help other members or post valuable tips 4 times before promoting (4:1 ratio) — help them 4 times, promote 1 time.
  3. Make sure to read the forum/group rules regarding promotions. If they don’t allow, then don’t. In this case, you don’t have to worry because when you provide helpful advice and tips, even if you can’t promote, they’ll check out your profile. Make sure to polish up your profile.
  4. Ensure whatever you’re promoting is relevant to the conversation and can really help members solve their problems.


Step 3 – WHAT Are The problems They’re Trying To Solve?


If you’ve done Step 2 correctly, this step should be straightforward for you.

The more members you help, the better you understand them.

You’ll discover what their pain points and problems are. You’ll empathize with them more by reading their comments and participating in the discussion and asking them more questions, as you help more members.

The more urgent the problem, the better for you as the solution provider. Urgent means they want to solve the problem NOW, not later.

Note down the problems they’re trying to solve.


Step 4 – Flesh Out The Reverse CVM / Sales Funnel


Now that you know the various problems your target audience are facing, create your Customer Value Maximization (CVM) / sales funnel in reverse.


Start with the end in mind.

You want to strategically think about “the whole enchilada” of products/services you want to sell. You should always have different products/services that solve different specific problems that increase in value and price.

As can been in the diagram above, the flow is:

Traffic → Freemium / Lead Magnet → Slide → Essence → Profit Booster

Suppose you’re a swimming coach. You’d want to work your CVM backwards, like this:

  1. What is the highest value / most expensive offer you want to sell?
  1. What is the 2nd most expensive offer?
  1. What is the 3rd most expensive offer?
  1. etc until you reach your Freemium / lead magnet

Your reverse CVM could look like this:

  • Most expensive / Profit Booster — Video is cool, but if you want to learn how to swim better and faster, you can come to XYZ swimming pool and let me directly coach you. Nothing beats having a personal coach giving you direct feedback.
  • 2nd most expensive / Essence — Do you also want to master the fastest swimming style in the world — freestyle? If yes, I show you how in this training series.
  • Least expensive / Slide — Video series that teach you how to swim breaststroke
  • Freemium / Lead Magnet — Free video shows beginners how to learn the basics of swimming correctly and effectively, including breathing and treading water

In this example, your offers increase in value and price as you go deeper into your CVM — which also means that the number of people taking up your offer decreases as you go deeper.

This is to be expected.

As mentioned earlier, there will always be a small segment of your customers who are willing to and can afford to spend much, much more than others.

These are your Perfect Customers.

Of course, the more expensive your product is, the more value you must deliver.

Now that you know the entire product line you’ll be offering, you can create your Freemium / lead magnet — always keeping in mind the goal of the lead magnet is to create a slippery slide path towards your Slide so that a maximum number of leads become customers.

And from Slide -> slippery slide towards your Essence -> slippery slide towards your Profit Booster, etc.

Slippery slide means the connection between one offer and the next is tightly related, so that you achieve high conversions at each stage.

As you can see, fleshing out your CVM / Sales Funnel backwards like this allows you to make better judgments as to what kind of product/service/lead magnet to offer at each of the CVM stage.

Most people create their CVM in order from Freemium to Profit Booster, which is wrong. No wonder they don’t tend to sell many of their offers.

Because if you create your Freemium first, it might not be closely related to your Slide.

Then you create your Slide, which might not be closely related to your Essence, etc.

If you want to easily and quickly set up CVM / sales funnels to sell your digital offers, check out Zaxaa.



  • If you run out of ideas on what content to cover for your Freemium / lead magnet, create your Slide first and take the first chapter out and make it the Freemium / lead magnet. We call this splintering off your paid products.
  • In the swimming example above, you could sell swimming accessories and gear to your students. If you don’t want to carry inventory and skip the hassle of selling physical products, you can become an affiliate of a company and earn commissions by recommending these things. The idea here is to get you to think out of the box.


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Download the pdf version of this guide so that you can refer to it any time you like.

Plus I’ll throw in the high resolution, printable infographic too.

Click here to get both free.



Chapter 4 – Actually Creating Your Lead Magnet

Now that you know what content you’re going to cover in your lead magnet, the next step is to actually create it.


Types Of Lead Magnet

There a number of different types of lead magnet you could offer:

  1. Report / white paper / ebook / case study
  1. Podcast / audio mp3
  1. Video
  1. Cheatsheet
  1. Infographic
  1. Checklist
  1. Resource list
  1. Templates
  1. Discount vouchers
  1. Free trial (software)
  1. Survey
  1. Content upgrade

Report, Audio, Video

These 3 are very popular and pretty obvious. You deliver your lead magnet in the form of a report or audio or video, solving 1 of your target audience problems.

Reports, case studies, ebooks, and white papers as well as #4 through #7 are typically and easiest delivered in the form of a pdf. Write your content in Microsoft Word or Pages (Mac) or Google Docs (online and free). Then convert them to pdf.

Here’s how you do that in Google Docs:


For audio, you can use your built-in recording software on your computer or you can use a free app called Audacity.

For screen recording and video editing software, I personally have used both Camtasia and Screenflow (Mac) and found both of them to be good. If you have a built-in software that comes with your computer, feel free to use it.



This is basically a quick condensed version (summary) of how to do or achieve something. If you have a book covering “7 steps to increase your memory retention by 42% in 5 days”, your cheatsheet could offer a condensed version of the most important points to take away.



This is a piece of (usually) visually appealing graphic that contains important points about your topic. Be sure to provide the high resolution version of the graphic as well so that your leads can print them out if they want.

If you’re not a designer, you want to enlist the help of a good one. You can go to Fiverr and hire one or use your favorite designer.

This is what I’ve done for my CVM infographic:



This is a checklist of the steps required to achieve a desired result. In the “7 steps to increase your memory retention by 42% in 5 days” example, you could create a “bullet point” checklist that people can glance over it quickly to make sure the important steps are not missed.

This is also what I’ve done to entice visitors to opt in to get my checklist for more leads and sales… specifically for digital product creators:


Resource List

This is a list of the tools and resources required to do something.

This list would save you tremendous amount of time trying to search and review the different tools.

As an example, here are the tools I use to run my business.



If you could provide a “fill in the blank” kind of template that’s relevant to your topic, people are going to want to get a hold of it.


You target people who often do presentations who are looking for professional Powerpoint templates. If your lead magnet is a nice Powerpoint template giveaway they can simply “plug and play”, do you think these people want to get it?

All they need to do is then change out the logo and the text on the template.


Discount Vouchers

This works well for physical products, but not so well for digital products, unless you or your brand is already well-known.

Because if you’re not already popular, and you say to people “Enter your email and get a 50% discount on my amazing course on how to boost your memory” — not many will be interested, even though you’re targeting the right audience.

This is because you don’t have any credibility yet. You’re just another stranger to them.


Free Trial

This works well if you’re selling software. People can easily sign up for a free trial account and test drive your system first. If they like it, they’ll become your customers. If they don’t, they simply don’t upgrade.


Infopreneurs and service businesses who want to grow and track their email revenue can try BirdSend for free.

We also offer a free trial of Zaxaa for those who want to sell their digital offers.



When visitors land on your landing page, you ask them a few questions related to their topic of interest.

This is as if you’re there face-to-face “diagnosing” their problems and offering them solutions based on their unique situation.

At the end of the survey, people are asked to provide their email on the promise that their customized answers are sent to their email inbox.

Based on their answers, they get funneled to different segments of your list and start getting email follow ups based on which segments they’re on.

This makes the emails they get very targeted and specific to their condition and situation, which in turn leads to high engagement and sales conversions.

However, this is an advanced tactic which requires more work such as setting up multiple different email sequences based on their answers. I only recommend this method if you’re already familiar with email marketing.


Content Upgrade

This is basically providing something that’s very relevant to the content the visitor is viewing, and “that something” can only be gotten by opting in / subscribing.

If you’re just a blog reader and haven’t opted in/subscribed, you can’t have access to it.

In one my blog posts, I talk about the importance of Customer Value Maximization (CVM). My content upgrade offers people a high resolution (print-ready) CVM infographic plus more examples, so that they can gain a better understanding.



Chapter  5 – Achieving High Opt In Conversions

If you’ve followed the steps listed in the previous chapters, you should have at least created an in-demand Freemium / Lead Magnet — one that your target audience craves.

That alone should give you some decent opt in conversion numbers — i.e. the number of people giving you their email address versus the number of people who saw your lead magnet offer.

In this chapter, you’re going to learn how to boost this opt in conversion number even further.


2 Types Of Opt In

There are 2 types of opt in:

– Single opt in

– Double opt in

Single opt in means someone enters their email address into the opt in form and they’ll instantly be added to your email list.

Double opt in, also known as “Confirmed” opt in, means the person entering his email address will receive a “confirmation” email asking if he really wishes to be added to your list. If yes, he needs to click a “confirmation” link inside the email, before he is added to your list.

There are pros and cons to both single and double opt in.

Single Opt In

Double Opt In


More subscribers are added to your list, since there is no confirmation. They are added instantly to your list the minute they enter their email address and submit the form.

Higher quality subscribers and leads since they need to undergo a “2 step process” — enter email into form and click confirmation link — before they’re added to your list.


Lower quality subscribers and leads since it’s only a “1 step process”.

Less subscribers are added to your list because they have to complete the “2 step process”. Only around 40% – 60% of people confirm their subscription, which means if 1000 people enter their email address into the opt in form, only 400 – 600 are added to your list.

So should you be using Single or Double opt in?

If you want higher quality leads at the expense of less leads, go for double opt in. If you want more leads and don’t mind a lower quality lead flow, go for single opt in.


Achieving High Conversions

First things first… to get high opt in conversions, you need to use a dedicated web page known as a Lead Capture Page (LCP), to collect leads (email addresses).

On this page, you ONLY explain what your lead magnet is about and how people are going to benefit from it. Then you put an opt in form where they can enter their email address and opt in.

That’s it. There are no other content or links that distract people. The only thing they can do on the page is either to opt in or close the page.

Some time ago, I ran a few Facebook ads (targeting interests) and I got 143 opt ins out of 225 link clicks.


143 / 225 = 63.6% conversion

This is the ad:

So how did I manage to achieve such high opt in conversions?
Here are a few strategies you can use:


The Most Significant Conversion Improvement

The most significant conversion improvement you’ll get is by focusing on AOC.

A = Audience

O = Offer

C = Copy

Audience > Offer > Copy

This applies not only to lead capture pages, but to sales pages, emails, social media posts, and basically everything you do in your business.

The Audience is the most important aspect. This is why step #1 in creating your Freemium / lead magnet is to understand WHO you’re creating it for.

Next is the Offer, which in this case is your lead magnet.

Last is the Copy. Not “copy and paste”. Copy here means copywriting — which basically means using the power of persuasive words to persuade, influence, and entice people to do whatever you want them to do.

You can have the best copy done by the best copywriter in the world, but if you target the wrong audience with the wrong offer… puff! You’ll never sell even a single unit.

Your copy can be standard (just enough to get by), but if you target the right audience with the right offer at the right time, some will still buy/opt in.

Remember, the job of the “copy” is to facilitate and increase the likelihood that people convert — but in order to do that, the audience and offer has to be right first.


Find A Hook For Your Freemium/Lead Magnet

A hook is basically a unique angle (that contains benefits and curiosity) to present your Freemium so that your target audience are “hooked” and desperately want to get their hands on it, no matter what.

You can’t just say “Get my ebook for free”. Even though it’s free, you still need to persuade and entice people.

Everyone is overwhelmed with information these days. What makes your lead magnet any different than those that can be found with a simple Google search? You must make it stand out and increase its perceived value.

And a good way to do that is via your irresistible hook.

Using my ad example from earlier, my hook is “repeat customer purchase”. My lead magnet is about sales funnels for digital product creators. But if I were to offer it point-blank: “Get my sales funnel for digital product creators for free” — I don’t think I would have achieved 64.6% in conversion.

There are tons of email marketing courses out there. What makes Terry Dean’s Autoresponder Alchemy course stand out?

He uses the hook “model my proven collection of million dollar emails” and include it in his headline. He gives you 80 of his real emails that have been sent to subscribers and customers and turned them into templates that anyone can use and fill-in-the-blanks.



Do Everything With 80/20 In Mind

I’ve said this before…

Since we’re all limited with time and resources, we should do everything with 80/20 in mind — i.e. focusing the most important tasks that bring in the best results, and knowing and realizing that it’s okay to be imperfect.

Do you want to increase your profits or do you want to achieve perfection?

This means we’re not going to be talking about, for example, what color to use for the background of the lead capture page, or what color to use for the call to action button — as they return marginal improvement in conversions, at best.


Use Power Words


80/20 applies to EVERYTHING, both business and personal.

It applies to the use of words, too.

This post from Buffer shows these are the 5 most persuasive words:








Use “1” Instead of “One”

The use of numbers (as in the number itself instead of the number spelled-out) makes a sentence stands out:

  • How you can lose ten pounds in fourteen days without going on a diet
  • How you can lose 10 pounds in 14 days without going on a diet

This is because numbers in a sentence are the odd ones out — and odd ones out are always attention-getters.



Terry Dean’s lead capture page also utilizes this technique:



Use “Headlines” Instead of “Topics”

At first glance, topic and headline might look like they’re the same thing.

If you call yourself a marketer, then you definitely know they’re 2 different things.

Topic examples:

  • How to lose weight fast
  • Men dating tips
  • Tips and tricks to getting rid of acne
  • How to cook delicious food

Headline examples:

  • How you can lose 10 pounds in 14 days without going on a diet
  • 5 practical steps to instantly get ANY lady you want (including those who are married) without a single rejection, ever
  • How did this brand new formula discovered by dermatologists manage to totally get rid of acne in just 3 hours, for 1438 people?
  • How to cook delicious food like chef Gordon Ramsay in 4 short weeks

Can you spot the difference?

Topics are general. Headlines are specific.

The more specific you get… the more credible it becomes and the higher the conversion.

Headlines are very important because it’s the very first thing people see when they land on your page. According to Copyblogger, on average 8 out of 10 people will read the headline, but only 2 of out 10 will read the rest of your content (source).

The headline is the determining factor whether people want to to continue reading the rest of your content or not.


Headline That Matches What Was Clicked


A common mistake marketers make is not matching the headline of the lead capture page to what was promised before people clicked to get to that page.

The consequence of this is poor visitor-to-lead conversion, which in turn leads to increased costs.

If you say you’re going to show people how to play the guitar better, then you better repeat that on the landing page — especially the headline.

This is especially true for ads because you’re driving cold traffic to your lead capture page. These people haven’t had prior contact with you. They don’t know who you are. Be sure to match what your ad says and what your headline says.

Using the lose weight example, this is what you should be doing:


How you can lose 10 pounds in 14 days without going on a diet

Headline on lead capture page:

How you can lose 10 pounds in 14 days without going on a diet

Note: Many advertising platforms are very strict nowadays regarding promising to achieve a certain result. When claiming a result like this, always be sure you can substantiate your claim… if not you’ll jeopardize your account. I’m simply using the above as an example.

The ad and headline doesn’t have to be always 100% identical in the usage of words, but they better be very similar and congruent.

Let’s revisit my ad again:


This is where people are taken when they clicked on it:


Notice the ad content is very congruent to the landing page content, especially the headline? This is no accident.

 *** TIP ***

In the example above, my ad copy says “click here and enter your email to download…”. This means people who clicked on the ad already know that they have to enter their email to download… which also means the conversion is going to be high. Those who don’t want to enter their email won’t click — which is good.


Call Out Your Audience


Who are your audience? Don’t be shy to call them out.

This will disqualify people who are not interested in your topic, which is a good thing… since those who are not interested won’t buy anyway (however good your product or copy is).

You can then laser target your audience, or even better… your perfect customers.

They’ll think: “This person knows exactly what I want!”

You can call out your audience in your headline if space permits. If not, you can do so in your sub-headline.

My Facebook ad calls out to “Digital Product Creators”.

Spell Out The Benefits

Instead of just telling the features, you also need to tell EXACTLY how those features can benefit your target audience.

Will they make people’s lives easier? How much time and money would they save? Would they become healthier? What’s in it for the audience?

From o2 Aqua’s site, this is what I call “features”:

Spring and other bottled waters can have total dissolved solid (T.D.S.) readings of 300 and higher parts per million (P.P.M.).  Measuring T.D.S. is a standard procedure for testing impurities and the total amount of dissolved solids in water.  O2 Aqua has 0 to 5 P.P.M.

Do you even understand what all these mean?

These are the benefits that the average person can understand:

Our multiple steps of purification and filtration system removes 99% of all impurities and contaminants. Many consumers drinking O2 Aqua have seen tremendous health improvements over the years; Also people with certain health conditions especially with kidneys stones, gall bladder issues, liver issues, arthritis, asthma, heart conditions, migraines etc., have felt increased energy and overall increased health after drinking our water for a prolonged period of time.

What about HDD and SSD when we’re talking about computers?

When you say a SSD can write up to 654 MB/s or read up to 712 MB/s, while HDD can write up to 85 MB/s or read up to 87 MB/s… these don’t really provide much context to the average computer user.

The difference between HDD and SSD basically comes down to speed, though there are other differences.

A much better way to demonstrate the difference is to put it into context. With SSD the average boot time is 10 – 13 seconds while the HDD takes 30 – 40 seconds

The point is: you can tell your features, but more importantly, make sure to tell how those features can help your audience live better lives.


Create A Mini Skirt Experience

The human brain does not like an information gap or cliffhanger, and we can should use this to our advantage to get more people to optin.

I prefer to call this a “mini skirt” experience.

Like how a mini skirt teases guys (sorry gals, this example is for men only).

(okay, maybe this isn’t the best representation of a mini skirt, but…)

You want to make the skirt long enough to cover the bare essentials, but short enough to make it interesting and exciting.

Movie trailers are absolute experts at this. How many times have you watched a movie trailer with a cliffhanger ending? Why does Batman and Superman end up fighting each other? Aren’t they supposed to be the good guys joining forces?

If you’ll pardon my analogy, it’s like you’re having intercourse with your spouse and just at the moment of climax, your 2-year old comes into your room and you have to stop everything.

That’s the kind of emotions we’re talking about. You crave for the ending, but to get to the ending, you have to get access to my Freemium / Lead Magnet, and to do that, you’d have to give me your email address first.

When creating your lead capture page, take this into account and try to create emotions that lead to a “mini skirt” experience.

Let’s take an example from


Notice they promise:

  • Fast
  • Without ever having to write a single line of text
  • 5 steps to turn other people’s content into your own viral post (notice the numbers tactic I talked about earlier; also notice it says 5 steps without giving away what the 5 steps are — this is an information gap)
  • 12 must-have elements (miss just one and you’ll be sorry) — but which one? — screams “mini skirt”
  • A free tool to crank out posts fast — again, this is a mini skirt experience — you just have to know which free tool they’re talking about


Scanning Via Bullet Points

Everyone and his dog is competing for the attention of your audience, and your audience’s brain have to filter out information so as to keep themselves sane.

Only those that are important and interesting to them will get their attention.

The question is: “Will you be one of the ones they’ll keep their attention on?”

Online, people are scanning your content. They’re not reading word by word. This article by Nielsen Norman Group shows that people read in an F-shaped pattern.


Translate this to your lead capture page, and it means:

  • Your headline is the first thing they read (make sure they’re enticing and stand out than the rest of the text)
  • Then they read somewhere in the middle — which is the perfect place to use bullet points

(If you’re scanning this page, at least you stopped at the bullet points did you?)

The Digital Marketer lead capture page I mentioned earlier uses bullet points as well.

Also, since people scan for content, your copy should cover just enough to make people want to optin to get your Freemium. Most of the time, this means your copy should be short, concise, and to the point.


Use Trust Elements To Boost Conversions

These elements increase trust and will help with increasing your conversion:

  • Customer testimonials
  • Customer logos
  • Media mentions (if you’re featured on TV, radio, or the newspaper, be sure to include their logos)
  • Legal pages (privacy pages, terms of service, acceptable use policy, etc — these make you appear more legit)

Here are a few examples:

Terry Dean’s lead capture page:







Use An Irresistible Call To Action

A common mistake is to ask people to join your newsletter. Nobody wants to join another newsletter.

Saying “Join our newsletter where we’ll provide you with the latest tips on how to do XYZ” will not motivate people to sign up. What EXACTLY will I get if I enter my email? Latest tip is vague. What latest tip are you talking about? Will it solve my problem now?

And please don’t use the word “Sign Up” on your call-to-action button either — again, no one wants to “sign up”.

You’d be much better to use action and benefit words like “Show Me How” or “Instant Access Now” or “Start My 6-Packs Transformation”.


Should You Use Video?

I would suggest not to use a video if you’re just starting out, because creating a video would take far longer time.

With video, you still have to create the hook/angle. You still need to write out the entire script. Then you’d have to practice multiple times, shoot the video and edit it.

Unless you’re already gaining momentum in your business, I would suggest again using 80/20 to skip video and focus on other more important areas. You can split test using video later on when you have enough traffic.

What About Ecover?

The same goes for ecover. If you’re a beginner, there’s no need to design an ecover for now.

Don’t overcomplicate. Use 80/20.

Remember AOC (Audience > Offer > Copy)?

If you get your audience and offer right, your copy can be ordinary and you have no ecover design for your Freemium… and you still will get leads.

Once you’ve gained traction and momentum and have collected your first 1000 leads, then you can go ahead and have an ecover created.



Chapter 6 – How To Get High Email Open Rates
(NOT ONLY about subject lines)

Now that you have people opting in to your list… the next question is:

How do you get them to open your emails?

One of the most important metrics in email marketing is the email open rate.

Open rate is the % of subscribers opening your email. The higher the better.


You send emails to 100 subscribers.

20 open your emails.

Open rate = 20%.

Obviously if you can increase your open rate, you’d have more subscribers opening your emails.

To get good open rates, here are a few tips:

  1. Give subscribers the right expectations
  2. Educate, entertain, and engage in 2-way communication w/ subscribers to build relationship and trust
  3. Your “from name” and “from email address”
  4. Your subject line
  5. Good email delivery system

When talking about email open rates, most content cover only #4 (the subject line).

In reality, it takes more than just a great subject line to persuade people to open your emails.


#1 – Give Subscribers The Right Expectations

Are you going to send me emails on a daily basis? Weekly? Monthly?

On my opt in form, I mention they’re going to get daily emails from me. I also mention that they’re going to be added to my newsletter.

This eliminates any surprise — the subscriber doesn’t feel bombarded with my daily emails. If they don’t want daily emails, they wouldn’t have subscribed.


#2 Educate, Entertain, And Engage In 2-Way Communication w/ Subscribers To Build Relationship And Trust

How many times have you opted in to get a lead magnet, only to get bombarded with sales emails every day?

As the receiver of these emails, what do you think? Are you upset?

You might open the first few emails, but once you start seeing a pattern, you’d have realized that the sender doesn’t care about you. They only have their best interest at heart and just want to make a quick sale out of you.

You then stop opening their emails. You then unsubscribe.

You’re in the business of serving people with your services or courses. These are intangible products which require more effort to sell. These are not the typical physical products like smartphones, computers, TVs, shampoo, furniture, etc — where it’s easier to sell because it’s very clear what people are getting.

Selling in your first email would be akin to going to the mall and aggressively approached by a sales guy, like this…

(no one wants to play the actor for this, so it’s down to me…)

Would you feel comfortable? Would you want to buy from this guy?

You might say: “Nah… I provide great content in my emails to educate my subscribers, and then I soft sell”.

The thing is that… most emails are boring.

Even if you provide value to your subscribers by way of strategies, tips, and hacks… the way you deliver the content… the presentation style… is boring.

(we’ll talk more about content delivery and presentation style in the next chapter)

Boring = no one opens your emails.

There are already TONS of email newsletters providing great content to their subscribers, what make yours stand out? Is your content the best out there?

My guess is no.

The good news is that you don’t need to have the best content, you just need to stand out from the crowd… from your competitors.

And a good way to stand out is to ENTERTAIN your subscribers.

Most email newsletters are either about selling and selling all the time, or about giving content and content all the time. Very few are ENTERTAINING their audience.

Even if you do just the slightest bit of entertainment, you’ll stand out. You become interesting.

And you don’t need to be a comedian or even remotely come close to becoming a funny person to entertain.

Subscribe to my email newsletter and spy how I entertain my subscribers. Look at the style of how I write my emails. When you subscribe, I’ll also throw in my “Email Mahhhneeyy PRACcourse” + “Top 7 Email Mistakes Guide” free of charge.

Bottom line: you want to educate and entertain them so that they engage with you.

Engage means they open and read your emails… they click your links, they reply your emails (you do this by asking them questions), and you replying them back again… thereby creating a conversation → this is what a 2-way communication is all about.

(but what kind of questions should you ask — I also cover this in my “Top 7 Email Marketing Mistakes guide”)

It isn’t just reading your emails. They’re also actively participating by having meaningful conversations with you.

Over time… you’ll build great relationships with your subscribers, and they’ll eventually trust you. When they trust you, it’s much much easier to sell to them.


#3a – Your From Name

I still see people representing businesses who use their personal name as the “from name” when sending out emails.

I have no clue who these guys are. But when I opened their emails, they turned out to be employees of businesses that I recognize and have previously engaged with.

(I had some spare time so I opened the emails. I’d usually just delete emails from people that I don’t recognize).

Unless you’re using your personal name as the “storefront” of your business… this is a big mistake and definitely will lower your email open rate.

Imagine this scenario:

You are considering engaging in the services of a digital marketing agency — let’s just call this “SalesUpNow”.

You give them your email in order to get their lead magnet.

One of their sales rep followed up with you using their personal name — Kimberly Trevor.

When her email shows up in your inbox, do you have any idea who “Kimberly Trevor” is?

You probably thought it was just one of those spam emails and delete it immediately.

The personal name does not suggest or reflect anything close to SalesUpNow agency.

So should Kimberly use SalesUpNow as the from name instead?

That would be to “corporate-sy” and people are usually turned off and disinterested when they receive emails from corporations.

A better way is to use a combination of her personal name + company name.

1/ Kimberly from SalesUpNow


2/ Kimberly at SalesUpNow →

“Kimberly” sounds human and “SalesUpNow” → “ahhh this is the agency from which I’ve read the lead magnet report — great report with valuable strategies and tips” → more likely to get opened.

I like the 2nd example better because “at” is shorter than “from”, albeit only by a few characters. But these things matter as you have very limited space in the “from” field.

I’ve done a short FB Live training video about this topic in our FB Group:

If you’re interested, you can watch it here. You need to join the group first to view the content — joining is free. Make sure you answer the few simple questions — this let us know you’re a real human and not a spammer. We only want real, genuine folks like you in the community!


#3b – Your From Email Address

Never ever use a free email address (gmail, yahoo, hotmail, msn, etc.) to send out your emails.

If you’re using a free from email address to send out emails, your emails are more likely to end up in the spam/promotions folder.

Why? Because anyone (including spammers) can get their hands on a free email address effortlessly.

This means inbox providers can’t verify who the sender is — whether they’re a spammer or legit person.

Rather than taking risks, they’ll just mark your emails as spam.

You should instead use an email address from your domain to send out emails. Not only will it go well with spam filters, you’ll also look more professional in the eyes of your subscribers.




#4 – Subject Line

When it comes to increasing email open rates, most people only think of: “what should I write for my subject line so that I can get the highest email opens?”

I’ve laid out above it’s not only about the subject line. There are other factors at play too.

Nevertheless, below are 6 hacks to write irresistible subject lines that get opened:


Hack #1 – Widely Known Phrase


In the subject line, use a widely known phrase or undeniable truth, but break the phrase into 2 parts… 1 part for the subject line, and the other in the beginning body of the email.

E.g. 1

Subject: Apple VS…

Beginning body: Samsung

E.g. 2

Subject: All good things…

Beginning body: come to an end

E.g. 3

Subject: Jack of all trades means you’re a…

Beginning body: master of none

E.g. 4

Subject: Bill Gates is…

Beginning: the richest person on earth

Our brain hates incompleteness. Hence when we see part of a widely known phrase or undeniable truth, we’ll try to complete it in our internal mind.

And we want to verify that we’re indeed correct, and to do that we open the email.

Of course, make sure you tie in this phrase or truth with your content. Don’t just use this hack for the sake of getting more opens.



Hack #2 – Short


Short subject lines catch your attention because they’re easier to scan (remember people scan and not read), plus they just stand out from the others because most people use longer subject lines.

Don’t believe? Go check your inbox to verify.

If you do what most people do, you don’t stand out.

Also, when viewing your email inbox on a mobile device… if you have long subject lines, they’re going to get cut off.



Hack #3 – Benefits


Include benefits in the subject line (i.e. what’s in it for them)

But first, you must understand that benefit is not the same as feature.

Let me repeat:

Benefit is NOT the same as feature.

Some examples…



* Send sequence/Drip emails

* Send broadcast emails

* Collect email addresses using our forms



* Sequence emails enable you to automatically follow up and build relationships with your subscribers, even when you’re sleeping

* Broadcast emails is useful when you have a new offer or newsletter or blog post that you want your subscribers to be aware of

* No more manually copy-pasting emails from Excel to our system. Let our forms do the hard work and collect leads automatically for you


Features (computer):





* Fast loading and zero lag — open every app and your computer will still be running fast. No more waiting. No more frustrations.

Can you see the difference?

Combine short subject line + benefit and you’ll get more email opens.

E.g. Subject line: How to get more email opens

This is short and contains benefits (every email marketer wants to know how to get more email opens).



Hack #4 – Curiosity


We humans are social creatures. We want to know what’s happening with our family, friends, colleagues, partners, etc. Put it simply, we’re always curious about other people.

That’s why everyone is on social media posting status updates.

Here are some examples of curiosity-driven subject lines:

  • New subscribers not opening your email?
  • The overconfident copy
  • Weird culture in my country?
  • Don’t write another email until…
  • This person spammed me

All the above are actual subject lines I’ve used in my emails.

Weird culture in my country? Hmmm I wonder what that is.

Don’t write another email until… Hmmm until what? I need to know about this before writing my next email.

New subscribers not opening your email? I definitely got to find out why so that I can avoid this problem.



Hack #5 – Contrast


By contrasting/contradicting in a single subject line, people naturally want to open your emails because it doesn’t make sense. They want to find out what it’s all about (again, curiosity).

See sometimes when you use 1 hack/tactic, it creates/results in another hack.

In this case, contrast creates curiosity.

E.g. of contrast subject lines:

  • I’m coming back for poor food
    (normally you’d never come back if the food is poor)
  • Overweight beauty expert helps moms lose at least 20% of their weight
    (hmm… why is a beauty expert overweight? I’ve got to check this out)
  • The man with the woman voice
    (how come? What happened to him [or her]?)
  • How this Karate beginner became champion
    (how is it possible that a beginner becomes the champion?)

Try it out for yourself the next time you write another email. Use contrast in the subject line and you’ll see an increase in open rates.



Hack #6 – Cliffhanger/Mini Skirt


We already talked about this in the previous email.

This one is SO IMPORTANT that I’ve written an entire email just to talk about this.

When you leave a “mini skirt” at the end of your email, the chances that your email is going to be opened increases.


I know I’ve given you a lot in this email.

Your brain might already be buzzing around with tons of ideas.

My suggestion to you is to apply the subject line hack ONE EMAIL AT A TIME.

Pick ONE hack from above, write your next subject line, and send it.

After that, pick another hack.

Learn and apply ONE AT A TIME.


Don’t get overly ambitious.

Remember that success is not a one-shot thing. Success is MANY SMALL actions done CONSISTENTLY.




Use each of these hacks sparingly. Mix and match them. Don’t always use the same hack — e.g.  you keep using the curiosity hack successively for 10 emails.

As with anything, anything that gets repeated over and over again becomes predictable, and predictable is boring, and boring = no emails opened.


#5 – Good Email Delivery System

Imagine you subscribe to a paid physical newsletter that arrives in your mailbox every month.

Today is the end of the month and you haven’t received it yet.

Turns out it was the postman who got it wrong. Instead of delivering the newsletter to your mailbox, he unintentionally and unknowingly dropped it (the newsletter) while he was delivering other letters.

An email delivery system is like the postman.

An email delivery system’s job is to deliver your emails to the intended recipients’ inbox.

Not the spam/bulk folder, but the inbox — we call this “inbox placement”.

So as you can see… who you use for your email delivery system is going to impact your email open rates.

2 ways that can help in improving inbox placement is to install SPF (Sender Profile Record) and DKIM (DomainKeys Identified Mail) records into your domain host/server.

You don’t need to know the details of what these 2 “creatures” are. You just need to know that by installing SPF and DKIM, it’ll help in inbox placement.

For this very reason, BirdSend recommend all its users install SPF and DKIM into their host/server. We’ve also done all the hard and tedious programming work for our users… so that the installation is as easy as copying/pasting a few text.

In addition, we also employ the services of leading email delivery providers — like SparkPost, to deliver your emails. We let the experts do what they do best (email delivery) so that we can do what we do best, which are:

A/ Improving the BirdSend platform so that it’s easy and fast to use

B/ Introducing new “profit-getting” email functionalities for our users

[thrive_text_block color=”note” headline=”Want to get the pdf version of this guide?”]

Download the pdf version of this guide so that you can refer to it any time you like.

Plus I’ll throw in the high resolution, printable infographic too.

Click here to get both free.



Chapter 7 – Backtrack: Getting People To Open Your FIRST Email

The 1st email is THE MOST IMPORTANT email.

If the 1st email is not opened, chances are your other future emails are not going to get opened.

Because of this, you want to do everything in your power to get subscribers to open it.

Here’s how you do it…

Once people give you their email address and they click the “Get Free Guide” button, the next step is to redirect them to your “check email” page.

Many a time I see email marketers simply say something like this on this page:

“Please check your email.”

Maybe they’re just lazy or maybe they’re ignorant to provide more details as to what the new subscriber should do.

When your subscriber sees this, this is what might be going through in his mind: “Oow I forgot your name. So which email should I be looking for? Who will it be from? Why should I check open your email? What does it contain?“

This means you must be as clear as possible. Leave no ambiguity.

Tell them:

  • That you’ve just sent the lead magnet download link via email and they need to check it now
  • If it’s a confirmation email that contains a link that they need to click, tell them
  • The subject line of the email
  • The “from name”
  • The “from email”
  • If, after 10 minutes, the email still hasn’t arrived, ask them to check their spam folder as well

This is what my “check email” page looks like:



Chapter 8 – The Email Body


So people are opening your emails.

But that doesn’t really mean anything unless they actually READ the emails after opening them.

To make people read, you want to make sure your email body is interesting and exciting.

But it’s not just about “content”.

Yes the content itself matter, but the same content can be presented in multiple different ways.

A piece of content presented in one way may lead to disastrous results (boring, unappealing, unattractive) while that exact same piece of content presented in a different way could lead to completely opposite results (great, interesting, exciting).

So in this chapter, we’re going to take a look at what makes a great email body.


It should have these elements:

  • Great writing style and presentation
  • Big enough text to be easily read
  • Mobile responsive
  • Personal story
  • “Mini Skirt” experience
  • CTA (call to action)

Great Writing Style & Presentation

1/ Talk About THEM THEM THEM

Humans are selfish.

We only care about ourselves.

We want to have fun.

We want to enjoy life.

We want to eat.

We want to look great.

We want to have lots of money.

We want to look good in the eyes of others. Dave Ramsey said: “We buy things we don’t need with money we don’t have to impress people we don’t like”.

Now it’s time to switch your narcissistic mindset, and put the focus on THEM THEM THEM inside all your emails.

How can this email benefit them? Why should they read your article?

What’s the benefit (WIIFM) if they view your videos or buy your course?

Don’t just say: “Click here to take part in my survey”. Instead say: “I want to cater better to your needs, please tell me your preferences”.


2/ Use Short Sentences & Paragraphs

Many of my emails deliberately start with a short sentence.

No more than 10 words.

People don’t read. They scan.

This applies to emails, blog posts, lead capture pages, articles, books, and everything they read.


If, upon opening your email, they were greeted by this:

What do you think their reaction will be?

If it were me…


You want to make it easy for your subscribers to scan and digest your email.

Short sentences and paragraphs do the trick.

This is especially true for the opening sentence of an email.

I put extra effort in making sure the first sentence is ultra short.

When they see a short sentence, their brain inadvertently thinks: “Ha! This looks easy. I can glance through the first sentence in 2 seconds…”

Then their eyes continue down the next sentence, which is also short…

and down to the next, and to the next…

and before they know it, they’ve scanned the entire email.

It’s like a “snowball effect”… you want to make the first step for the reader so easy that they can’t help but continue to the next step, and the next step, and the next.

For the most part, I suggest making a sentence into a separate paragraph by itself.

To introduce variety, you can occasionally fit 2 sentences into a paragraph. Like what I’m doing here now with this paragraph.

Be sure to also use a bigger font size (h2 or h3) for your paragraph sub-headline. This helps scanners get an idea of what the main sections of your content are, and if they’re more interested in a specific point than another, they can easily explore further.

Last but not least… sprinkle bullet points in your emails for even better readability. Everyone loves these!


3/ Make Your Emails Personal

Next, you want to write your email as if you’re talking verbally to a friend, face-to-face and one-on-one.

That means you want to write in a personal and casual tone, like you would when talking to a friend.

You wouldn’t be formal with your friend, so don’t be formal with your subscribers (unless you’re in one of those industries that require you to wear a suit and tie).

You want to impersonate this “personal” feeling when writing emails.

We want to open emails from friends, but not necessarily from businesses.

Case in point, this was one of the emails I received from PayPal:

The tone of the email is too formal. You’d never write to a friend like that. Don’t ever write something like this to your subscribers.

This is also the reason why BirdSend provides a simple WYSIWYG email editor that feels “personal” without fancy “drag and drop” email templates you find in most email automation platforms.

This has an added benefit in that the html code for all our emails are cleaner and leaner, which helps in inbox placement.

Since BirdSend focuses on serving only Online Content Creators, most of the time these types of businesses place a heavy focus around content and not on fancy email templates.

Not to mention that using this kind of WYSIWYG simple editor allows you to crank out emails SUPER FAST, compared to traditional “drag and drop” emails.


4/ Make Your Emails Fun

Infuse humor into your emails.

I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again.

Using humor is a very very effective way of engaging with your subscribers.

Since most businesses and email marketers don’t use humor in their marketing and presentation, they are boring.

And then you come along and start to injecting humor into your edutainment emails.

Who do you think is going to stand out and get the attention of your subscribers?

To use humor in your edutainment emails, here are a few ideas:

– Use annotated images instead of just images

Annotated images, compared to non-annotated images, are more unique and appealing. This is especially true if you’re using stock images (that thousands of other people are also using).

You get to add your own comments and thoughts by using annotated images, too.

Here are a few examples I’ve used in my emails…


Be careful not to insert too many images inside an email can lower your email deliverability.

– Use interesting/funny stories or happenings and tie them to your emails

Like how I connect this post with David Beckham eating at Salt Bae’s steakhouse. The more “mainstream” the story, the better. Everyone knows who David Beckham is… and because he is so famous, we want to know what interesting thing happened when he visited the restaurant.

– Create your own funny/interesting slang

I created “email mahhhnneeyy” which plays on the word “email money”.

Quuu used “ThankQuuu” to replace “thank you”

– Purposely write broken English

What!?!? Is this some kind of joke?

Though you should be using proper English to write… once in a while (sparingly) try using “imperfect” English to “break the pattern”, stand out, and recapture your audience attention.

Try starting a sentence without proper capitalization, or using incorrect sentence structure, etc.

Like what I’ve done:

“me no like”

“what say you”

Starting a sentence without a capital letter.

Starting a sentence with “because”, “and”, “so”, “but”.


5/ Ask Them Questions

People want to feel appreciated and taken care of. They want to know that the host (you) care about them.

A great way to let subscribers know that you care about them is to ask them questions.

In my “Top 7 Email Mistakes” guide, I encourage email marketers to ask questions in their very first email.

The purpose is threefold:

1/ To show that you care about them.

2/ Depending on the questions asked, you get to know your subscribers better (e.g. Which specific area do you need help with email marketing? What is your #1 problem with trying to teach your child math? What are you hoping to achieve when you sign up to our newsletter?)

3/ To let inbox providers know that there is ongoing communication between you and the subscriber — this will increase the chance that your future emails land in their inbox.


6/ Use P.S.

In point #2, we’ve covered that people don’t read word for word.

People scan.

When they scan, the Postscript (P.S.) is almost always read.

They say that the Postscript is like a second headline.

That is why I almost always use a P.S in all my emails.

So what do you cover in this P.S section? Summarize the gist of the email and put another call-to-action (CTA) of what you want the reader to do. Always tie the P.S back to the goal of the email.

If you want them to check out your training video, remind them again the benefits of what they’ll learn/get when they checkout your video.

E.g. If you want to know how to correctly do these simple 5-minute exercises that can reduce your weight by 10lbs next month, click here to watch the workout video.


Big Enough Text To Be Easily Read

Make sure the text size you use in your email is big enough to be comfortably read, especially on mobile phones which have smaller screen than desktops and laptops.

16 pixels is a good size, not too big and not too small.

Here’s how it looks on my mobile:

And this is how the same email looks on desktop:

Also use a common and popular font type to make sure your emails render nice on the different devices.

Some common ones are: Arial, Helvetica, Verdana. Here is a list of the 15 best web safe fonts.


Mobile Responsive/Friendly

Mobile responsive means your email body content dynamically adjusts to the viewing screen of your subscriber, regardless of whatever device they are on.

This not only makes reading your email easier, it also makes your email look nice.

Image Source


Personal Story

For the longest period of time, I noticed most emails sent by email marketers are presented “as-is”.

What does that mean?

That means their email content is very ‘logical’ and ‘factual’. Okay, you can get your gift here. Then they give away free content, then more free content, and more free content.

We’re not at a shortage of content. Google your topic and there are thousands upon thousands of websites talking about your content.

This indirectly means your content is boring — it’s just like everyone else’s content.

I first heard this from Terry Dean, the ‘godfather of internet marketing’. He said ‘constipated content doesn’t sell’.

And boring breeds constipated content.

However it doesn’t mean you can’t talk about your content even though other websites may cover the same content as you.

What you need to do is to make consuming your content interesting and unique. This means you need to have a unique voice to present the content so that it’s not boring. And you do that by telling stories…

But not just any story…

You want to tell stories that relate to your offer/niche.

Why are stories important? Because humans have always been fascinated with stories since forever. We can’t get enough of stories.

It’s just plain curious and fun to listen to a good story. It’s what the entire movie industry is built around.

Plus, our minds also remember and learn better if lessons are connected to stories.

Don’t tell me you don’t have stories to tell. You always do. Everyone does. It doesn’t always have to be your story. You can also use other people’s story.

The important thing to make sure is that the story is real. Please don’t make up stories for the sake of telling stories. Your audience will see right through it immediately.

But what stories do I tell?

This is too long to list here, but it’s one of the topics I cover in my Free Email Mahhhneeyy PRACcourse. When you get the course, not only will you get the course itself… you’ll also be able to see and experience for yourself how I include stories into almost every email I write.


Create A Mini Skirt Experience

I’ve talked about this in Chapter 5.

To refresh your memory, let’s revisit this once again:

The human brain does not like an information gap or cliffhanger, and we can should use this to our advantage to get more people to opt in.

I prefer to call this a “mini skirt” experience.

You want to make the skirt long enough to cover the bare essentials, but short enough to induce curiosity and make it interesting.

Movie trailers are absolute experts at this. How many times have you watched a movie trailer with a cliffhanger ending? Why does Batman and Superman end up fighting each other? Aren’t they supposed to be the good guys joining forces?

If you’ll pardon my analogy, it’s like you’re having intercourse with your spouse and just at the moment of climax, your 2-year old comes into your room and you have to stop everything.

That’s the kind of emotions we’re talking about. You crave for the ending, but to get to the ending, you have to get access to my Freemium, and to do that, you’d have to give me your email address first.

When creating your lead capture page, take this into account and try to create emotions that lead to a “mini skirt” experience.



Chapter 9 – How To Write Compelling CTAs

This topic is so important that I’ve decided to make it into a chapter of its own.

Not to say the other topics aren’t important. They are.

It’s just that without the CTA, everything you do will be a waste of time, money, and energy.

CTA = Call To Action

Which basically means to persuade people to do what you want them to do — let’s call this your “goal”.

It could be asking them to:

  • Check out your latest blog post
  • Watch your latest video
  • Buy your brand new course
  • Try out your new service for free
  • Asking them for constructive feedback
  • Asking them for testimonials
  • Etc

No CTA = No clicks = No goal!

Here are a few best practices you want to follow when it comes to CTA inside emails:

  • Use a CTA button
  • There should only be “1 purpose/goal” CTA inside an email
  • You can have multiple repeats of the same “purpose/goal” CTA inside the email, as long as the objective of the CTA stays the same
  • The CTA text should be “motivating/enticing” and clear
  • Create a sense of urgency
  • Use a blue line to underline the CTA
  • Make the CTA into a separate line on its own
  • Use visual cues

Let’s break it down one by one…


CTA Button

A button is visual, like an image that immediately stands out from the sea of text/words inside your email.

It’s going to catch the reader’s attention more, and it’s going to catch their attention faster.

Hence there should at least be 1 CTA button in an email. But you also don’t want to overdo it. I recommend a maximum of 2 buttons.

And not just any kind of button, but a button that is EASILY NOTICEABLE and EYE CATCHING.

What this means is can you step 10 feet away from your computer screen and people can still quickly spot where to click?


1 “Purpose/Goal” CTA

There should only be 1 goal with every email you send.

No more. No less.

Having multiple goals means you’ll be asking subscribers to do different things.

Do you want me to check out your new video?

Or do you want me to follow you on Facebook?

Or do you want me to check out your brand new course?

This will confuse them.

And when they’re confused, they’ll just sit there and don’t take any action = No clicks = No goal!

With only 1 “purpose/goal” CTA — e.g. to buy your brand new course — it’s very clear what they should do — they should click the link to go to check out the course.


Multiple Repeats Of The Same “Purpose/Goal” CTA

You can have multiple repeats of the same “purpose/goal” CTA inside an email, as long as the objective of the CTA is the same.

So somewhere near the beginning of the email body, you could have a CTA text that says:

See how this course can help you get at least an A on your math exam

Then in the middle/end you can have another CTA text that says:

Claim your free trial of “Math Super Powers” now

And near the end or in the P.S you could throw in a CTA button also.


The CTA Text Should Be “Motivating/Enticing” & Clear

Instead of “click here” or “check this out”, you should be using a more “motivating/enticing” text, as shown in the previous section, like…

See how this course can help you get at least an A on your math exam

Claim your free trial of “Math Super Powers” now


Use A Blue Line To Underline The CTA

In the early phases of the internet, the majority of website links were underlined with the blue color.

That has been passed on for decades and even to this day, people are still accustomed to clicking on text that are underlined in blue.

So if possible, underline your CTA link in blue color, instead of using, say, orange or red or gray.


Make The CTA Into A Separate Line On Its Own

Instead of having the CTA text in the middle or end of a sentence, it’s better to make it into a separate line on its own.

When readers scan (not read) your email content, the CTA becomes more visible.

Example of CTA text in the middle of a sentence:

So if you really want to confidently speak in public without any fear, check out this course.

Example of CTA text in a separate line on its own:

So if you really want to up your presentation skills and earn the praise from your boss…

Check out this course and confidently speak in public without any fear

To create variety, you don’t always 100% have to do this for every single CTA. For instance if you have 2 CTA text in your email, you could have one in the middle of a sentence and another one in a separate line on its own.


Use Visual Cues

Visual cues like arrows and hand-pointing emojis help direct the eyes of the reader.

Use these wisely to direct their eyes and attention to your CTA.

Or you could also insert a picture that includes a person where the eyes of that person is looking at the direction of your CTA, like this:

When people see this, they’ll think “what is that person looking at?” Then they try to put themselves in that person’s perspective and look at whatever direction he is looking at… which, of course, is your CTA.

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Chapter 10 – The Email Sequence/Funnel

Let’s revisit what we’ve learned so far:

  • Understand why email marketing is so important to your business — 4400% ROI
  • How to persuade people to give their email address to you
  • How to create an irresistible lead magnet that people can’t wait to get their hands on
  • How to achieve high opt in conversions
  • Strategies for maximum email open rates
  • Important elements that should go into the email body
  • How to craft slick CTAs for maximum conversions

You’ve come a long way, Padawan! Lemme give you a pat on the back!

We’re almost done, but not done yet!

Next, you want to create an email sequence, sometimes also referred as an email funnel.

There are 2 types of email sequence:

  1. The simple email sequence
  2. The complex email sequence

The Simple Email Sequence

The simple email sequence is a series of emails that you preload into an email automation tool, to be sent to subscribers automatically… depending on when they joined your list.

This means once you’ve loaded the emails into the tool, the emails will be sent out like clockwork without any further input from you.

Whether you’re sleeping or taking a vacation with the family, emails will continue to be sent out on your behalf.

The number of emails in the series can be as much or as little as you like. To simplify things, let’s start with 7 emails. So these 7 emails are sent out over a period of 7 days (1 email per day).

Here’s an illustration of the workflow of a simple email sequence:

  • Today a new subscriber signs up (e.g. John). He’ll get email #1.
  • Tomorrow, another new subscriber (Mary) signs up. At this point:
  • Mary gets email #1
  • John gets email #2.
  • The day after… another new subscriber (Peter) signs up. At this point:
  • Peter gets email #1
  • Mary gets email #2
  • John gets email #3
  • Etc.

Here’s what a simple email sequence looks like:

As you can see, the flow of emails to the each subscriber is linear. They receive emails based on WHEN they join your list.


The Complex Email Sequence

A complex email sequence typically consists of visual workflows like this:

Image source

Instead of just a “linear-esque” email series like a simple sequence, a complex sequence gets a lot more complicated. Rules, if/then logic, and conditions are introduced into the workflow, which can get really messy and difficult to decipher and make sense of as your workflow gets more complicated.

Not to mention you can have nested if/then logic and questions.

This takes much more time and energy to set up compared to a simple sequence.

If you’re just starting out with email marketing, I highly highly recommend you go with a simple email sequence. If you really want to have some kind of “if/then” rules, you’re better off using a separate “rules” page, which most email automation platforms should support, like this:

Screenshot taken from inside BirdSend’s “Rules” Page

After 6 months or a year… when you’ve become familiar with how things work AND if you have more complex needs not met with a simple sequence and “rules”, then you can try out a complex sequence. It’s never too late.

I personally still use a simple email sequence + “rules” to this date.


How Many Emails Should I Load Into A Sequence?

For starters, I recommend 7 emails, with the frequency of 1 email per day to be sent to your subscribers.

If you have more experience in email marketing, feel free to increase that number.

Why 7 emails? Why not just 3 emails or lesser?

Because people receive tons of emails in their inbox, and it’s hard to get their attention. Every single email is vying for their attention, so if you send more emails rather than less (your name constantly show up in their inbox), you have more chance of getting their attention, more chance of building a good relationship with them so that they know you’re the expert in your field, trust you, and eventually buy from you.

Also, it takes 7 interactions with a prospect before he buys from you (source).

People don’t buy services, expertise, consultation, and courses from strangers. They buy from people they know, like, and trust.



Chapter 11 – What Do I Write About In My Emails?

The overarching principle when emailing people is to treat them how you want to be treated.

As simple as that. Stop looking for complicated theories or strategies!

Sadly most people can’t believe it. “This can’t be it. There has to be something else!” they exclaimed.

Let me ask you…

Do you like to receive emails where the emails are always trying to sell you something?

To refresh your memory, remember how I’d pester you to buy from me

Do you feel annoyed?

Do you want to delete these emails and unsubscribe from them?

Treat others how you want to be treated.

Keeping this principle in mind, this means when writing your emails:

  • Don’t always sell all the time.Yes sales is the end objective, but you can’t start a relationship with a stranger (you ARE a stranger to a new subscriber) by selling. This will scare them away. You must start a relationship by helping them move a step closer to their goals.
  • How do you move them closer to their goals? By educating them in a fun way — a.k.a. “Edutainment”.E.g. You specialize in helping business professionals speak confidently in public. To move them closer to their goals, you give them strategies, tips, and hacks (in a fun way) on how to overcome their fear and speak confidently.You don’t just give them the tip “as is”, you present them in a fun and engaging way (edutainment). I’ve already mentioned this a few times.
  • One of the best ways to present your emails in a fun and engaging way is to tell via stories (again, this has been mentioned multiple times already), and link the story to your email content.But how do you come up with what stories to tell?I’ve did a quick Facebook Live training in my FB group some time ago on this very subject, and you can watch it here:

If you wanna watch, you need to join the group first to view the content — joining is free. Make sure you answer the few simple questions — this let us know you’re a real human and not a spammer. We only want real, genuine folks like you in the community!

  • Drop the content inside the emails instead of linking over to an article/post.You can always link in later emails via broadcasts after the initial email sequence has ended.Reason: As a stranger to your new subscribers, it’s not going to be easy to impress them. Content inside the email is easier to be consumed once they’ve already opened the email. Asking for a link click is another level of obstacle.

The 7 Emails In Your Sequence

Here are some guidelines on what you could write about for your 7 emails in the sequence:

Email #1 — Welcome email (use story, no link dropping)

This is the most important email in the series.

It can either make or break you. Get this email wrong and they’ll never open your email again.

Immediately fulfill your promise by delivering your lead magnet in the first email. Never deliver your lead magnet on the thank you right after someone opts in. This is to train your subscribers to open your emails and to let email inbox providers know that your subscribers are opening your emails — which will help in future inbox placement.

Briefly tell how you can help them. Don’t tell them who you are — i.e. “My name is Casper Johnson and I’m a public speaking expert. I’ve been public speaking for 20 years now and I’m also the champion of bla bla bla. My past clients include bla bla bla.

No. Don’t do that. They’ll think: “Oh my! This person is so arrogant. I just can’t stand him.”

Instead you should reframe your words and say something like: “I’d love to help you increase your confidence and public speaking skills. No longer will you fear going up that stage delivering your speech. I’ve been successfully helping professionals like you for the past 20 years, and I can’t tell you how happy and proud I am seeing them conquer the stage.”

See the difference?

First one is all about ME ME ME.

The second one is about THEM THEM THEM.

No selling, no link dropping to sales page or website in this email. They’ll be surprised: “ehh how come this person is not trying to sell me anything, not even a website link” → this will leave a good impression on them since you’re different than 99% of email marketers. The only link you can drop in this email is the link to download your lead magnet.


Email #2 & 3 — Edutainment + subtle signature link (use story)

After your edutainment, you can drop sales page or website link in this email, but subtly — e.g. in the signature part, like this:


Email #4 & 5 — Edutainment + soft sell (use story)

After your edutainment, link to whatever you’ve just written to the product/service you’re trying to sell.


Email #6 — Hard sell (use story)

After you’ve built goodwill for the 5 emails for the past 5 consecutive days, you’ve now earned the right to hard sell your offer. As usual, come up with a story angle and then tie it to your offer. Make the transition as smooth as possible.


Email #7 — Edutainment + soft sell (use story)

After your edutainment, link to whatever you’ve just written to the product/service you’re trying to sell.

You might be asking why not hard sell in the last email in the sequence? Because after this last email, it might be a week or two before they get the next email from you via your regular broadcasts.

(Yes you continue to keep in touch with them via broadcasts even after the sequence has ended — more explained in just a bit…)

If you “hard sell” in your last sequence email and then they stop receiving your email for a week or two, they’ll think “See I knew it, he’s only interested in selling me his offer. Now that I haven’t bought, he is now ignoring me.”

But if your last email were to “leave” them on a good vibe (by continuing to provide edutainment instead of hard selling), they’ll think highly of you.


To see all these emails in action, I recommend subscribing to my newsletter to observe and experience firsthand how I write my emails. I’ll also throw in my “Top 7 Email Mistakes” and “Email Mahhhneeyy PRACcourse” as bonuses.


After The Email Sequence Has Ended

After the initial email sequence has ended, continue to send broadcast emails to them to provide even more value — edutainment emails, blog posts/articles, training videos, etc.

Reason: Some of them might not need your product/service now for whatever reason (not the right time, don’t have the budget now, busy with other things), but they might want/need it later.

By continually keeping in touch with them with edutainment emails, they’ll be grateful and see you as someone who truly care and know what he is talking about (expert status). The next time they want/need your product/service, who do you think they are going to contact?

They key to keeping in touch is to be consistent and stick to a schedule. It’s better to send broadcast emails once a month consistently rather than sending every day for the first week, only to stop for 3 months and then continuing to broadcast again.

  • Once in a while, tell your subscribers about your personal life/story. Maybe you just had a new born baby, or you’ve just celebrated the first year anniversary of your company with the team. Include pics too — they show the human side of you and your business. These things help in connecting and bonding with your subscribers.
  • When writing these emails, also ensure that you employ the “writing and presentation style” that we’ve talked about in chapter 8.



Chapter 12 – What About Clients? Do They Need An Email Sequence?

The past chapter covered what you should write to your new subscribers — who basically don’t know who you are yet.

After you’ve built a great relationship with them and they’ve bought your product/service, the emails don’t stop.

This means you should also set up a client/customer email sequence that cover these topics:

  • Immediately thank them for their purchase and let them know how much you appreciate their business
  • Let them know how to contact you or your team should they have questions or need help
  • Motivate them to consume your offer and implement what they’ve learned (if it’s a course or training)
  • Tell them exactly the steps needed to claim the service they’ve bought (if it’s a service)
  • In short, create a vibe that shows them you care about their success and that they’re not merely a “sales transaction”


After this initial client email sequence, drop them into another email sequence that:

  • Cross sell them to a different but relevant product/serviceE.g. Your target audience is young moms who want to lose weight. After they’ve bought your “Beginners guide for young moms to lose weight” course, you could cross sell them your “Healthy diet recipes for moms” book or even offer to have healthy meals prepared and delivered to their doorstep.
  • Up sell them to a higher package planStill using the same example as above, you could up sell them to a “private coaching program where you meet with them each week to provide personal 1-on-1 support”.

After the email sequence… as previously stated, you’d want to continue to build the great relationship that you now have with them (don’t take it for granted) — to extend it even further as time goes by. You do that by sending edutainment broadcast emails consistently to them, like you do to your free subscribers.

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Download the pdf version of this guide so that you can refer to it any time you like.

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Chapter 13 – Maintaining A Healthy Email List

After you’ve implemented email marketing in your business for some time (6 months), I’d highly recommend cleaning your list once every 6 months.

Cleaning your list means deleting those subscribers who do not open any of your emails in a 6-months period. We call this “inactive subscribers”.

Why do you need to clean your list?


  • People’s interest change quickly — today he is interested in your topic, but 6 months down the road, he might not be interested anymore.
  • He changed his email address or he doesn’t check his email address (the one that you have on file) anymore or his email inbox is full all the time.
  • He receives your emails but he just is not interested in your stuff anymore → translates to he doesn’t open your emails anymore.

We only want to email people who are still interested in what we have to say. So getting rid of inactive subscribers makes total sense.

Here are the benefits:

  • You save moneyEmail automation tools typically charge by the number of subscribers you have. By keeping only those who are interested in what you have to say, you’ll save money.
  • Easier management as your email list stay organized, tidy, healthy, and up to date.
  • You get less spam complaints (and headaches)Since you’re only keeping those subscribers who want to hear from you, you’ll get less spam complaints. This translates to less headaches.

BirdSend can also easily help you clean your list by removing inactive subscribers. It all happens with just a few clicks.

Click here for a bigger version of the image (compressed, non-printable)


What Next?

Alrighty, now that you’ve learned and understand why email marketing is THE best way to grow your sales and achieve the highest ROI… it’s time to implement what you’ve learned.

If you’re just getting started or have no experience with email marketing, go the easier way — which is to create a simple email sequence. Create your lead magnet, no need to use ecover or video, or hire a designer to create your fancy pdf. Just create your lead magnet in Google Docs and deliver your lead magnet inside the 1st email by linking over to the Google Doc.

If you’re already familiar with email marketing, go to the section on which you need help on, and implement the insights and lessons laid out there.

Here are a few tips to getting this done:

  • Don’t be a perfectionist and try to create the perfect sequence. There is no such thing as perfection. Strive for good enough and then slowly improve from there.
  • Implement 1 thing at a time. Don’t overwhelm yourself.
  • Doing nothing is bad. You might think that by doing nothing, you have nothing to lose. Sorry to spoil the party… by doing nothing you’re actually losing. Why? Because your competitors are not standing still and doing nothing. They’re working hard every day to advance forward. When you do nothing, your competitors will pass and leave you behind.

So go out there, write your emails, and set up your sequence.

I look forward to your success stories in the comments below. Or if you have any questions, feel free to ask them below in the comments too! I read each and every comment 🙂

Of course, if you’re looking for an email marketing tool, I’m biased with BirdSend. If you’re looking to switch providers, we also welcome you. We’ve had people switch over too!

Here are 2 examples:

You can watch Nora’s video review here


You can sign up for a FREE BirdSend account here


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About the Author

My customers send 30M emails/month combined. I write about using email marketing to boost sales. Founder of BirdSend - email marketing tool w/ high email opens that save Indie Creators 3 - 5X every month.

Welly Mulia

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