Episode #27

Chris Orzechowski from The Email Copywriter

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In this episode, Sam takes a deep dive into the world of email marketing with renowned email copywriter Chris Orzechowski. Chris shares his insights on the changing landscape of email marketing, the importance of storytelling in email copy, and the metrics that matter most in measuring email marketing success.

Chris begins by discussing the evolution of email marketing, noting that while the basic principles remain the same, the tactics and strategies used have evolved over time. He emphasizes the importance of building personal connections with subscribers and creating engaging content that resonates with them. According to Chris, email marketing is all about building trust and establishing a personal connection with subscribers.

One of the key ways to do this is through storytelling. Chris explains that storytelling is a powerful tool in email marketing that helps to build a personal connection with subscribers. He encourages brands to tell stories in their emails that are intriguing and interesting to their subscribers. Even seemingly mundane events, such as a fishing trip, can be turned into compelling stories that engage subscribers and keep them coming back for more.

Chris also emphasizes the importance of metrics in measuring email marketing success. He recommends focusing on earnings per subscriber as the most important metric to track, as it takes into account all aspects of email marketing, including open rates, click-through rates, and sales. He also encourages brands to focus on placed order rates as a key metric for email automation.

Finally, Chris offers his thoughts on the role of artificial intelligence (AI) in email marketing. While he sees the potential benefits of AI, he cautions that it is not a replacement for human creativity and personal connection. He recommends using AI as a tool to enhance creativity and streamline processes, but not as a replacement for human connection and storytelling.

Overall, Chris provides a wealth of insights and practical advice for brands looking to improve their email marketing efforts. Whether it's through storytelling, metrics, or AI, Chris emphasizes the importance of building personal connections with subscribers and creating engaging content that resonates with them.

Show Notes

  • (0:00) Introduction
  • (0:57) Chris Orzechowski's background and journey as an email copywriter
  • (3:25) How email marketing has changed over the years
  • (6:22) The importance of storytelling in email marketing
  • (9:03) Using personal stories to connect with your audience
  • (11:22) The role of brand identity in email marketing
  • (13:28) The importance of personalization in email marketing
  • (15:04) Using characters and personalities in email marketing
  • (18:01) Writing compelling subject lines
  • (21:10) Metrics that matter in email marketing
  • (23:17) The role of AI in email marketing
  • (29:01) The limitations of AI in storytelling and email marketing
  • (30:03) Outro and where to learn more about Chris Orzechowski's work

Read the transcript:

Sam (00:01): Chris, welcome to be on the inbox. Thank you so much for taking the time to join us.

Chris (00:06): Thanks so much for having me, Sam. I'm excited to be here.

Sam (00:08): I wanna start by asking you to tell us a little bit about your background and how you became an an email marketer.

Chris (00:15): Yeah, so I actually started my career as a public school teacher. I I was a wrestler in college. I didn't really know what I wanted to do in my life, and I said, okay, I guess I'll be a teacher. I could coach wrestling, you know, in the winters. And I was like, I'll just do that. That'll be my life, my life path. And as soon as I started, I was like, oh, I really do not enjoy this profession that I have just spent six years in college pursuing. So I need to find something else to do. So I started like going down the rabbit hole of learning about like, you know, the internet and how people use the internet to make money. And I was like, you know, I'm sure you could figure this out if you spend enough time studying it. So what I did was I started a bunch of blogs and I started some websites and you know, just kind of cut my teeth, like learning all these things like, you know how to build websites and how to do a blog and how to do, I even had my own podcast, like when I was like 23 years old you know, experimenting with these things.

(01:08): And I had an email list and I was selling affiliate products. And this is before I even knew like what email marketing really was or what copywriting really was. And throughout that whole experience it was eventually somewhat harrowing because I was doing it for like, you know, you know, six hours a night. I was doing it on the weekend, I was working on all this stuff, but I wasn't really making any money. So I said, well, I gotta make money somehow. I'm really gonna do this. And then I said, what if I just focus on one aspect? And it became copywriting and eventually, like, as I started working with clients and started, you know, pursuing that as like my main career path learning how to write copy and said, I really like the email stuff. And so I just immersed myself in the world of email marketing. And that was kind of how I got my start. I was just very curious and I said, you know, there's a lot of people out there. I bet I'm smarter than some of those people. I bet I could figure it out. <Laugh>. So I just stumbled on the rabbit hole and here we are.

Sam (01:57): Who were some of your early influences?

Chris (02:01): Well, my earliest was this guy Zach Eesh, who was actually my strength coach. He was a guy who, like, I remember I bought an ebook off of him in 2003 back when I was in like eighth grade. And I, he was about 20 minutes from my house, but he was like one of these early guys who sold, you know, eBooks and digital courses and he had his gym. And I eventually, you know, became a tr I got coached to this gym, I became one of his coaches. I went through a certification process and I was like, man, this is wild. Like this dude, that was one of the initial people. And I was like, this is a po this thing is possible. Like you could actually have a business like this, right? So he was one of the early influences. I mean, there were a lot of people.

(02:41): You know, Ryan Lee was a guy who I consumed a lot of his stuff. All the Frank Kern stuff, Dan Kennedy, you know, I read all the Gary Halbert letters, you know, all the typical, I call it like the copywriters, Caden, like there's those books that you read, like the Victor Schwab book and the John Cap's book and all those things. But I, so I really immersed a lot in like the, you know, the early, you know, a hundred year old like copywriting books and those kind of things. And then started mixing that up with some people who were really savvy with the online stuff. You know, Frank Kern, Jeff Walker, those, those kind of guys.

Sam (03:11): So you get into email marketing. Talk about what happened between that realization that you wanted to focus on email marketing and the work that you're doing now.

Chris (03:21): Yeah, so for me, like it was a big, it was a math problem, just like everything else in business. It was like, I knew that when I got home from my teaching job and I was kind of tired because I'd spent, you know, an hour commuting each way. And, you know, eight or nine hours at the school, I was like, I don't have the bandwidth to write, you know, this 147 page agora level sales letter for a client. I was, but I could write an email. 'cause An email might be, you know, 400 words, it might be 800 words. Like it's very easy, it's manageable, it's kind of hard to screw up, right? So I started doing that. I said, if I could just do three of those a day and charge a hundred dollars each, I could make 300 a day. I could match my income for my day job.

(03:57): So I was like, oh, this will work, right? And then once I got momentum doing that, I started, you know, working with hundreds of different types of clients. And I said, the clients that I really like the most are e-commerce brands, because every time I do one of those projects, there's not a lot of stress. Like, I've done some large scale digital product launches for, you know, a thousand dollars, $2,000 $8,000, $35,000, like, you know, masterminds of coaching programs. And like, they're cool and it's fun when you put up big numbers, but there's, you know, two to three months worth of work of working like eight to 10 hour days and hoping the promo goes well, right? It's stress, it's just you're eating stress for an entire quarter. But with e-comm, it's like, Hey, cool, it's physical product. Like, Hey, do you like this?

(04:41): Do you like this supplement? You want it? You know, like it was very easy. And I never had any doubt in my mind like, Hey, you like this other bag? Here's how it's made. Like, it was fun, it was easy to write for, it was so many cool unique brands and just brands that were doing so many different things like, you know, with products and styles and things that you just couldn't find in like local stores. It was like this whole new like world. I just became enamored in it because I said, you know, instead of just being, you know, depending on where you live geographically, like, instead of just being like, Hey, what's in the local stores around me? Like, you have access to any kind of product in the world and you could deliver to your door, I thought that was so cool. So that's why I really started to focus on the e-commerce email stuff. And I said, you know, there's this whole like, obviously the world of marketing and digital marketing, like, it's a very big, big, you know it's a big umbrella term, but I said I could chisel out my little corner and e-commerce email, and that's where I really like to focus on.

Sam (05:29): How has e-commerce email marketing changed compared to when you started many years ago? What are some of the biggest changes?

Chris (05:38): That's a good question. I mean, there's a lot more, it's funny, there's definitely a lot more people doing email. You know, just in general, just maybe people on my side who are service providers, but even just brands who are starting up email programs. Like, it's, it's good to see because, but e even even this, like, despite that, there's still so many brands who don't have email strategy or who don't have any automations or who aren't really emailing regularly doing any of the right things. So it's, it's really a, a big, great, big world. But I think it's gotten a little bit easier. And I think that there's just a lot more innovation in terms of the way that like owned revenue happens because, you know, it's not just email anymore. Like, you also have, you can do direct mail, you could do ss m s like you could also add people to our targeted audiences.

(06:26): So it is interesting how it's kind of shifted to become like this more, like your email list is like the big important asset, but then there's a lot of different ways that you could reach the people there. So I, I've just seen like, there is that more of that push, like the omni-channel stuff, which is cool. But for me, like the, the thing that I like, you know, that I've noticed the most in the industry is that the fundamentals just keep on winning. You know what I mean? And sure there's innovations here and there, but like, really if you just get the, the fundamentals down, like you're gonna crush it and you're gonna do really, really well. And it's when people start trying to go with too many, like sexy bells and whistles with their email strategy, do like a lot of crazy things. It's, you know, you oftentimes are just spinning your wheels.

Sam (07:02): What are the fundamentals for you?

Chris (07:05): Two things, promo calendar lifecycle automations. If you just have those two things, your life is gonna be organized and it's gonna make sense. And your email strategy is gonna fall into place because, you know, lifecycle automations are all the things that you could do in drip, right? Like welcome sequence card abandonment, browse abandonment. You have your win back flows, you have your post-purchase flows, your cross-selling flows, your v i p flows, your in-stock, outta stock flows. You have all those core flows that you can build with drip, right? And then you also have promo calendar, which is essentially okay, you know, you're gonna have promos throughout the year, right? You're gonna have Black Friday, most likely. You're gonna have, you know, some holiday shopping things going on in the spring. You might have, you know, the whole Mother's Day, father's Day graduation. There's usually like a little, you know, kinda like mini, you know, sales period in the spring.

(07:47): And then there might be just unique promo periods that you run for your particular business throughout the year. So like what I do when I design a calendar is I just say, okay, those go on the calendar first. And I say, okay, what else is still open? Well, there's an opportunity to do like a weekly flagship nurture email, which is storytelling. I, I like to call these like behind the scenes of headquarters. Like for instance, one of my clients is Perennial Pastors Ranch, and they they are a cattle ranch, a regener excuse me, a regenerative agriculture ranch where they raise cows the right way and they, you know, the process is good for the land. It regenerates topsoil, sequesters carbon into the ground and it produces some of the best meat we call better than grass, better than grass fed because it truly is in terms of, you know, nutrient density and all those things.

(08:30): But you know, we say, Hey, here's what's going on the farm. Here's what's going on this weekend. We have a ranch store coming up, we have an event, we have a yoga retreat we got chicken in. You know what I mean? Like we are introducing new animals, we're expanding the operations, right? So like people like to see what's going on behind the brand because most people spend their days in a cubicle or they spend their days staring at a computer screen, like they never get out of their own little bubble. So if you could whisk them away with your emails and have fun, interesting stories that kind of take them on an adventure and take them with you as you're building the brand, like they feel like they're part of something, they feel like there's kind of that bond you know, with the brand that, that you're building.

(09:08): So, you know, can you do one of those a week and then one other day a week can you choose a product and just do kind of like a more sales forward approach to a specific segment of people of your list who are interested in that? Maybe they've viewed the product before, maybe they've indicated interest in some other way, right? But if you just do, you know, two emails a week like that, you have your lifecycle automations kicking at the right times, then you have your, you know, regular schedule promos through the year you're gonna crush. And if that's all, you know, people say You do sanitation, you can do all this other stuff. I'm like, yeah, you can do a lot of other stuff, but if you're not doing those fundamentals, none of that other stuff's really gonna matter much.

Sam (09:41): I love this. Let's unpack this a little. I love what you said about the behind the scenes headquarters approach. I was speaking to a founder recently, he was also in farming and he took Jeff Walker's product launch formula and he applied it to a promotion where they were selling this certain type of salmon that was only available every couple of years and they built this entire promotion around how the salmon is caught. And they really took the reader on the journey and he said it sold out like beyond anything they ever could have imagined. And I think it's so interesting because it's so easy for so many founders to write off something like that, but it is something that the reader wants to know more about.

Chris (10:21): Yeah, I mean that's the thing. Like with e-commerce, like the one, I think it's easier than most other, you know, types of products because there's the tangibility aspect. But the biggest thing that most people run up against when they're building the brand is what's gonna stop me from just getting my car and driving five minutes to a store and picking up the same thing I need versus going to your website, navigating through the website, finding what I need, adding to the cart, pulling out my credit card, finding my credit card. 'cause I can't find my wallet, right? Find swiping it and then waiting, you know, two to seven days or whatever it takes for it to arrive. Like that's a bit of buying resistance rather than, oh, I'm in the store right now, lemme just throw out the cart and grab it in in a physical location.

(10:57): So it's like, well, what's gonna be the difference maker there? Like, could it be price? Yeah, okay. Could be priced. But I don't think many brands win competing that way. I think the way that brands win is by telling a better story, by building better products, by having something that's truly unique and then expressing that through the copy, through the emails, through the lifecycle of the customer so that when they come onto the list for the first time, they understand who you are, why you're different, what you stand for, your u s P, your X factor, your social proof, the stories that go into making your brand what it is so they see who you are, who you're meant to serve. Because products will change, people will change, your audience will change. But like the brand and why it exists, that is like the core thing that will continue on.

(11:38): You know, so if people understand all those things, they develop an affinity. And when they develop an affinity, like for perennial pastures, like our big thing is like, how do we get someone who's in the supermarket and they're walking past the meat aisle to site, I'm gonna skip that and I'm gonna go home and I'm gonna grab my phone and I'm gonna order that way. Like, that is a lot of buying resistance to overcome. But when we share it, like the salmon launch you just mentioned like, yeah, you could get salmon at the grocery store, but what you don't know about that salmon is that salmon is these disgusting soy pellets and they inject dye into it so it looks pinkish enough just so they could sell it so someone would actually pull it off the shelf. It's garbage fish, right? Versus getting the best of the best. This rare vintage of salmon that only comes along however many years. Like, that's something that's gonna get people excited. And again, remember they're in cubicle world, right? Like, how do we get them excited and interested, give them something to talk about in their lives with their friends when they can say, oh, guess what, I just bought this thing and they got this salmon coming. It's really, you know what I mean? Like that's how brands kind of catch on, generate that word of mouth and generate that stickiness and generate that retention that they're looking for.

Sam (12:36): What would you say to someone that's listening to this and thinking, Chris, this all sounds great, I would love to get started with this, but my hands are tied. I'm on a free person team, I'm just focusing right now on getting sales in the door. How can someone get started on a very basic level with these fundamentals?

Chris (12:57): That's a great question. So I think that, you know, what I've seen like big obstacles is like people, they don't know what to say. Or sometimes maybe like they think, oh, I have to go the design route. Like those are usually the two biggest, they're not the only obstacles, but like usually those, those two obstacles, I'll address the second one first. So people think, oh, if I'm gonna start emailing the list, I have to have like a nice template and I have to have it all this design. I have to hire a designer. And I've worked, you know, at my agency, like we worked with brands who some, sometimes the brands insist on having the design, and I've talked to some of these founders say, how long does it take for you to get email out the door? They say, well, it takes one of our team members a full eight hour day to get one email out.

(13:33): I said, wow, that's crazy. And, and I've talked with a few people, they say, yeah, it takes that long. And I'm like, okay, that's cool. But the email, the story-based email where I just sit down and tell you something about what happened in my work and what I'm doing at in the business and how we're growing new products and things I'm excited about, and even stories from my own life, if I take half an hour to 45 minutes to type that out, that's gonna convert the same if not better. And, you know, we've split test this a lot of times. Oftentimes those usually do more often than not convert better than the design heavy emails, and it might've only taken me half of an hour or sometimes 10 minutes because they can be really that short, right? So I think one of the things is removing that that fear that people have, like, oh, this needs to be beautiful because my website has these colors and like, I need to make sure it looks like it's not really the most important thing in the world.

(14:22): Especially like if you're a a, a young lean organization and, and you're running a lean like that. So don't necessarily worry about the design. Like, is design important a hundred percent? Absolutely. If you have cool templates that you like, cool, but what's gonna get people leaning in and paying attention, opening and saying, I'm looking forward to the next email I get from this brand or the stories that you tell. And then the second thing is, is just learning how to take anything that happens in your life and turn it into a story and then have that story be a demonstration of why they should buy your products, right? So, you know, I'm just trying to think off the top of my head some recent ones that I've done. Of course now I'm drawing a blank. But you know, there's, there's always, there's always opportunities.

(15:04): Anything that goes on in your life like I just was in Arizona for a wedding, for a friend's wedding, right? So I could turn that story into an email to sell like anything I want, if it's one of my own courses or one of my books or what, like, you know, it doesn't really matter. There's always some kind of connection. You can make a lesson that you learned insight that you had something that you noticed while you were on the trip, right? Like, there's always opportunities. One of my clients, one of my one of my students who, who's done some coaching with me actually saw Salmon out of Alaska. It's funny you mention that. Her name is sena sena c.com, and she she's a fifth generation, comes from fifth generation fishing family. So like, her story-based emails will be like, Hey, we went on the boat this Saturday and like, here's what happened. And so just like, you know, we had this crazy like storm and blah blah blah and did this to the water, and then we were able to find these fish and like, it's cool, it's interesting. And then p and then it's like, by the way, if you need some salmon, here you go, here's some links. Like it doesn't have to be the most complex thing in the world, it just tell a story that's gonna be intriguing to someone and then make a subtle segue into a pitch.

Sam (16:01): There are a lot of brands, and I'm thinking of one now, I wrote an email about them today where they have such an amazing product and story, but they don't really have a face to the brand. Do you think more founders should stand up and be the face of their own brand so they can tell these types of stories?

Chris (16:19): So I think that I understand why people do that, and a lot of times it comes down to like, they wanna build a saleable asset. Whether they wanna hold onto it forever or not, they just wanna remove themselves. I don't blame people for that. I think it helps though, and it doesn't necessarily have to be you the founder, it could just be someone from the brand is the one sending the emails, right? So for instance, like at Perennial Pastors, like we kind of rotate who the emails are coming from, and I think people actually tend to like that because then they feel like they know multiple people at the brand, right? And it doesn't necessarily have to be the founder every single time. It could just be anyone who's in the marketing department. It could be people, you know, you could have different characters and create like a narrative, which you've done with some brands before too.

(16:57): So there's a lot of opportunities. Or sometimes people like to just essentially like make up like a, like a pen name and say, oh, you know, this is not my real name, but I'm gonna write emails coming from this person. I just don't wanna use my personal name for whatever reason, which is totally understandable. And then they just kind of have that personal relationship, but they just use that the, the pen name to, to kind of and do it. Can you gimme one second? Of course. Like, do you go upstairs? Okay, I'll get in a second. My second came down to visit <laugh>.

Sam (17:27): No worries at all. I love what you're saying there. And it's funny you mention characters because that's something we did a lot at Sleek Note before Drip acquired the company, I would write emails for leads and my colleague Reque would write emails for customers. And later <inaudible>, my other colleague would write emails for customers. And sometimes we would reference each other in the, and it didn't really matter if people didn't get the joke. If you didn't get the joke, you kind of wanted to get the joke. And I think there's so much value in doing that, and it's definitely something I would love to see more e-commerce brands doing.

Chris (18:01): Yeah, just fun, you know, it just makes you different. That's the thing because most companies put the bare minimum amount of effort into these things, right? So like I, one of my big you know, you asked about inspirations, like one of my big inspirations for like the e-commerce stuff specifically was, you know, Derek Sives with CD Baby. Like that one email that he wrote, everyone knows that email about, you know, we've taken your CD and removed it from the shelf with our, you know, white satin gloves and put it onto a soft pillow and it danced at the door. And we all had to pray through the town and celebrate. Like, I read that email and like, did something to me like changed me. I said, every email should be like this. And actually that was one of like the things that like, you know, every writer I said, you have to understand like this email and why it works.

(18:41): And then all of our emails that we do, whether it's a win back, whether it's an abandoned cart, like we try to infuse some of that fun or just some of that personality. If the brand's not like a fun, funny brand, we'll just have some kind of personalized touch so it feels like they're interacting with a person. Because like if you go to a store, there's an attendant there, there's someone behind the counter who could kind of help you and talk with you. And oftentimes, like, I don't, when I go to stores, people always like, Hey, so tell me about what you're looking for. Like, we kind of are involved in the conversation and I feel more comfortable and then I end up buying more stuff than they probably normally would've. So yeah, I think that's it's key and not like, you're right, not everyone's gonna pay attention, but the people who do pay attention are gonna become those loyal buyers who buy over and over again.

Sam (19:20): Yeah. And it's so interesting because those are the people that actually come up to you at conferences and say, Hey, I get your email every week. Now I can put a face to the name. And it's very strange in this day and age to meet people that know you from your writing before they've met you.

Chris (19:33): It's very weird. Like I, I'm not even like, you know, I'm not like big time guy or anything. I only have like 21,000 and change people on my list. But back when I started my list a couple years back before I did YouTube, before I even got on video before I ever like showed my face, essentially, I just had like my one headshot that was on my website. Like that's all people really knew of me. But I write my email every day and I tell my stories, they do all these things, and I would like go to conferences and people would like, oh my God, it's you, you're the guy. And I'm like, yeah, okay. You know, but it's funny because they do get to know you that way, and that's what you want. You want someone, like, people like buying from people, like they'll buy from companies, but they always feel more comfortable when they have that personal relationship, right? So the more of that that you could engineer and it's really not that hard. It's just essentially, like you said, it's just storytelling at the end of the day, the more that that you do, I think the better off you're, I don't think it ever is gonna hurt you. You know? I can't imagine ever hurting your brand.

Sam (20:25): Couldn't agree more. One thing I wanna ask you, Chris, is Subjections, I understand how competitive it is now for e-commerce brands. We have a Gmail swipe file internally here at Drip. We have 150,000 plus emails and going through that inbox, and it's an absolute minefield. My question for you is around how to write compelling subject lines that are on brands. Because I know some copywriters talk about, well, you need to be really shocking, or you need to do X, Y, and Z. And I understand that isn't always on brands for a lot of brands, so mm-hmm. <Affirmative>, what would you say is the most effective way to write subject lines?

Chris (21:10): I think what you need to do is well there's a, there's a few things. One is like, if you could write subject lines that look like they came from a human rather than a brand, I think that's always gonna help. So like, 'cause what a lot of brands do is they'll be like, now introducing new product, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. And like everything's title case, and they're like, oh, that's a sales email. Like you, it's almost like telegraph. They're like, eh, I know, I know what's inside there. And like sometimes, okay, if it's like Black Friday starts at like, okay, yeah, that makes sense, like tell 'em what you need to tell 'em. But with a lot of emails like, you know, again, going back to parental pastors, I just wrote one the other day that said in parenthesis, or sorry, in quotation marks if you only knew how bad things really were, dot, dot dot, which is kinda like a meme, you know, like maybe it's a meme you've seen floating around, right?

(21:49): But like people see that and they're like, whoa, this looks different, right? Because that's all that really matters is they just need to see, whoa, this is very different, right? And like, people have done different things over the years and they say, oh, well you gotta throw some emojis in. Like, yeah, okay, that might work if it makes sense, right? Like I've, I've experimented with this. I'm always running experiments on my own list. Like, you know, for Halloween a couple years back I just did you know, 50 pumpkin emojis in a row, so it just flooded the entire screen <laugh>. So like, so when people log in, they just see this line of pumpkins. Like, and I wouldn't recommend doing that, you know, every single email you send. 'cause Obviously like, it's kind of like a, a little bit of a gimmicky thing, but I have to keep people on their toes.

(22:27): Like I'll have voice of customer subject lines. I'll have subject lines that look like, like a person wrote them. Like, it might come from your company, but it might say like, well, I messed up. You know, like, and people be like, whoa, what happened? Like, there's a hint of a story there, right? And it looks like it, it's coming from a human, right? So as opposed to like something cheeky or something like, kind of like clever, like a lot of people do like the po the, the thing you gotta remember is you're always just gonna be mixing up and testing different things, but when they look personal, when they look like there's a hint of a story or something that gets people curious, that's always gonna work a little bit better.

Sam (23:00): We talked a lot about how email marketing has changed. I'm curious to get your take on what are the metrics that matter right now? Open rates, clickthrough rates, there's so much that is difficult to track, aside from sales, is there anything else that brands should be focusing on?

Chris (23:17): I really like earnings per subscriber, which is essentially just, you know, like how much money did you earn from email divided by the amount of subscribers? And that's like, it's not a perfect metric, but then again, no metric is a perfect metric, but I always like to say, you know, like if you just gave me that one number, I could tell you how well you're doing with your email marketing. Because there's a lot of calculations that go into that. Like what goes into that? Like obviously it's open to clicks and sales and top line. It might be average order value, it might be if you have any upsells, it might be if you have a lot of, and you're taking pe hitting people at the right point in the life cycle, so you're maximizing value that way. It could be the frequency of what you're sending, or could be like, sometimes the people are like, yeah, I have a, you know, 150,000 person list.

(23:54): But it's like, okay, well, you know, you make 10 cents per subscriber a month. Like, it doesn't matter how big a list is at that point. Like it would actually be better for you to clean the list, get rid of all the dead weight, and then have a smaller, more engaged list that's going to inbox better because now your deliverability is better and then your e p s goes up, your earnings per subscriber goes up. So like that's one metric that like, has a quick, you know, back of the cocktail napkin math that you could do and say, Hmm, am I hitting decent numbers? Because there's some brands and there's always that statistic that gets thrown around. People say, oh, well you need, you should be earning a dollar per subscriber per month. And like, I know with my own business, like if I only earned a dollar per subscriber per month, like I wouldn't be able to pay my bills, let alone my team let alone like lit.

(24:36): Like I wouldn't be able to do that if that was, if I was hitting quote unquote baseline, right? Like, we're way past that, right? But again, like every brand's gonna be a little bit different, obviously. But that is one really good metric that I like to look at. I think for automations, I like to look at placed order rate as a, as a really good metric. And that's always gonna differ. You know, like I've seen some brands where, you know, if we can go from like, you know, 0.04 to 0.09, that's like a huge enormous jump just because of the volume that they're doing or the, the nature of their business, right? And then I've had other brands where in the same flow, in the same email, you know, position one, email number one, whatever flow that is, like, we might take 'em from like eight to 12, right?

(25:12): And that's huge. And then I've seen other brands, like there was one brand, I can't mention who they were, but they had their first welcome email was like 33% place order rate. And I was like, it was a very large brand. Like everyone would probably know this company if I mentioned them. But I was like, wow, like that's what email I'm not gonna touch. We're gonna leave that. You know, like that's, that's pretty solid. Like, but it's obviously all relative. But place order rate earning per subscribers or super important. And then yeah, I mean, those are the two that I like to look at most besides just sales from an email.

Sam (25:41): Chris, I'm mindful of our time soon running out. One question I do wanna ask you is ai, what role does it play in email marketing? Where do you see AI in the future of e-commerce email marketing?

Chris (25:54): It's a good question. You know, I'm not like, I think it's gonna be useful in some regards. You know, there's, there's a wide spectrum of, of where people's feelings fall on ai. You know, I go on Twitter a lot and it's like these people, it's like insufferable or like every, no one's gonna have a job and you know, like everyone's gonna get replaced. You're, you know, you're not gonna need a marketing department. You're not gonna need a media buyer or a copywriter or an email marketer or a designer or, and like, okay, well maybe, but also maybe not, right? Because what I did was I went in the chat, BT and I said, I want you to build me a $10 million business. Did this whole prompt no human involvement, and they said, I'm an, I'm a language learning model. I can't actually do that.

(26:33): I said, okay, that's what I thought. And they actually said, I need human engagement at some point. What I think it will help with, I, I would, I personally, I hope it helps with like, design stuff just because I, I know from my own business, like it would be cool if it was so easy where I could just push a button and I get exactly what I need. But the thing is like, there's prompting, there's editing, there's always like that. Like if I give you a paintbrush and a canvas, it doesn't matter how good the paintbrush is. Like if you have no idea what you're doing in terms of making art, like you're not gonna produce something good. You know what I mean? My friend Sam Woods who's like a very high level, like he's been using AI to write copy for three years, like fortune 500 companies, like fly this guy in.

(27:13): Like he's legit. Like he is top of the top as far as I'm concerned. He calls it a thought processor, right? 'cause That's what it does. Like if you're an idiot, it's not gonna help you write better. Like if you are a terrible writer and you have no creativity, no originality as it is, and like you were never good at anything creative. Like, it's not gonna turn you into Superman. Like, it's not how it works, right? And people can argue, Michelle, you're raw. You don't get it, bro. Everyone says this to me. You don't get it, bro. You don't get it. You don't get it, man. You don't get it. Just give it 12 months. Okay, okay, well it's been six months. You know what I mean? And there are people saying, just wait six months and okay, here we are, we're at six months and I still have a job.

(27:46): I'm still getting clients every single day. But I think it can be useful. I think it can be an accelerant, but at the end of the day, like if you really wanna have standout copy, like for me personally, like when I write story-based emails, like if we go again back to perennial pastors, right? Like if there's something going on at the ranch that day and we write a story about what happened, we just had CrossFit Invictus, which is a very big CrossFit gym. They came out, they did a ranch tour you know, they had a great day. We cooked them some food and everything. It was really cool. We put some reels on Instagram and everything. So we want to tell about that story in an email. Could we go to chat b t and say, write a story about like, yeah, we could, but also chat b t wasn't there at the ranch that day, you know what I mean?

(28:24): So like, yes, it can theoretically write a story about that scenario, but it's not going to write the story, right? And okay, so I could take what it gave me and then I could edit it, I could rearrange, but I could also just sit down and write the thing because I was there, you know? Or no, not me, but like the team was there, you know what I mean? Like, if I was the one writing it, like I could just sit down and write what happened. And for me personally, maybe not everyone is this way, but for me personally, just bang out a story about what happened. I'm not creating anything. I'm just documenting something from my own life and my perspective and my feelings and my thoughts about it. So like, could I replicate that with an AI tool? Yeah, you can. But like if you do email marketing my way, it's very based on building that human to human connection.

(29:01): So it doesn't mean that you can't use these tools in some regard, it's just that, you know, I think they're better for some things but not better for everything. You know what I mean? So, I don't know. And people will debate me and they'll say this, this, and that, but at the end of the day, like, you know, if it helps, use it, if you could, like, I know it's never gonna write better than me, and I'll literally betting my career on that. You know what I mean? I'm not too worried. So like, you know, I, I bring this up with clients. I say, you know, why are you even on the phone with me? Like, why don't you just go use chat gcp t you say, well, you know, we like it, it's cool, but we, we want the copy to be good. I say, okay, we can talk, you know, but so I think it's useful. I think if it, if you're not a writer and you're horrible at writing and you hate it and like that's gonna be the one thing that always stops you, then just use it. Absolutely. Give it a shot. So you have to create something usable, edit it lightly, do whatever you need to do. But yeah, I think, I think if it helps, use it. If not, then just keep on doing what you're doing.

Sam (29:57): I think that's an amazing place to end. Chris, where can our listeners go to learn more about what you're doing?

Chris (30:03): Yeah, if you go to the emailcopywriter.com, that's my website. I have an email list. I give you a free copy of my book, make It Rain, which is kinda like my foundational principles of email marketing. And then I email just about every single day and try to make some jokes, make you laugh, and teach you some cool stuff about email making money online.

Sam (30:20): Perfect. Well, Chris, I've really enjoyed this conversation. I've learned so much from you today and wish you all the best of luck with everything in the future.

Chris (30:28): Thanks so much, Sam. Appreciate it.