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Chris Willow
Founder of SPP

A Simple Yet Effective Email Marketing Framework For Productized Agencies

If you aren’t sending regular emails to your leads and clients, you should get started now. It is an almost guaranteed way to increase your bottom line. Here’s a simple yet effective email marketing setup that you can put to work in just a few hours and expand as your business grows.

There’s so much you can do with modern email marketing automation, yet many agency owners end up getting overwhelmed and not doing anything at all. I’m hoping you won’t have that problem if you follow the ideas outlined here.

Let me start off with a quick preface on why SPP doesn’t support sending marketing emails.

Marketing emails in SPP

When you send an order update to your team or a client from SPP, it goes out via email. These important emails, along with receipts, password resets and welcome emails are considered “transactional”.

In other words, they are 1-on-1 emails triggered by some action in your client portal.

The other kind and the topic of today’s conversation is marketing email. These are your newsletters, automation sequences, product announcements and so on.

Why am I telling you all this?

Because inboxes like Gmail treat transactional emails and marketing emails differently. If we want our important stuff to get through we can’t send marketing emails from the same email server as our order updates, or we risk having high priority notifications lumped together with marketing.

For that reason, we haven’t built any mass email features into SPP.

Since you can’t send any bulk or marketing emails from SPP, you’ll need to get a dedicated tool for the job.

Choosing an email tool

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We’ve had success with ActiveCampaign and it’s pretty good overall. MailChimp is also nice. Coincidentally SPP integrates with both, but really you can connect any software with Zapier support.

What to look for when selecting email marketing software? Fancy features aside, it’s the meat and potatoes of email marketing:

  • Can you trigger emails based on a tag?

  • Can you send email sequences?

  • Can you send newsletters?

That’s all we need for now…

What emails to send?

We know by now how clients need multiple exposures to your brand before committing to buy from you.

Ideally, you should send just the right number of emails to provide value, while not annoying your potential future clients.

Based on that criteria, here’s a simple email sequence you can implement for people who’ve just signed up to your client portal or filled out an opt-in form on your website:

  • Day 0: Thanks for signing up, here are your details, click here to check out our services. This email is automatically sent from SPP, and can be adjusted to suit your preferences.

  • Day 1: Why they should choose you, what’s your story, what makes your agency awesome. Describe the process of how your service works.

  • Day 2: Time to address objections. A good place to start is “Are you going to deliver what you say you will?”. To address this and other objections you can include social proof, testimonials, and case studies. We’ve emailed three days in a row at this point.

  • Day 4: Helpful content. Tell them what to look for when outsourcing the service you provide. This is genuinely useful even if they don’t end up buying. Make sure your agency fits that criteria, it would be weird if it didn’t.

  • Day 6: Send a coupon or a special offer of some kind. For certain buyers, that’s enough to push them over the edge.

  • Days 8+: More tips and advice, whether they’re your best blog articles or unique content for that email. As we get farther from the signup date you can ease up on your email frequency.

This is a straightforward time-based sequence and we don’t take into account any user behaviors for simplicity’s sake. If they do convert at any point, they should be removed from the sequence.

Now comes the hard part – coming up with content for your emails.

Writing your emails

Here are some tips for writing your emails:

  • Keep your emails singularly focused. Each email in your sequence is responsible for one thing and one thing only. Whether it’s getting the reader to click a link, send a reply, address their objection, or establish your expertise. Don’t mix and match calls to action.

  • Put content in the actual email, not just a link to it. When sending content from your blog you can send it as a link, or include the gist of the piece in your email’s body, along with a link to the full post. The latter avoids an extra click and gives people some value in the email itself. If they want to share or save it for later they can still use the link.

  • Compose in your email client. Yes, we’re sending marketing emails, but we can still do our best to make it feel like a true 1-on-1 email, even if it has an unsubscribe link at the bottom. Open up your Gmail or Apple Mail and start writing as if you’re replying to a prospect. For me, it feels more natural to write emails this way, even if I end up sending them to many people.

  • Write all your emails, then copy them over. This keeps you out of the settings and makes it easy to make quick changes across emails. We’ll handle email templates next.

Styling your emails

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Weirdly, nicer looking emails aren’t always better, especially if we’re going to be sending educational and helpful content like I’m going to show you.

Above is an example of our simple template. To send simple emails like this, we’ve had to abandon any visual drag and drop editors thrown our way, and edit the raw HTML. Your mileage may vary.

Whichever style you go with, make a template and use it for all marketing emails you send.

Check out reallygoodemails.com for many examples of email copy and designs.

Putting it all together

Go to your SPP workspace and enable the email integration of your choice. Or select Zapier if your email service isn’t natively supported.

You’ll need just two rules for this to work:

  1. Add everyone who signs up to a list.

  2. Tag buyers with a “client” tag.

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Finally, in your email automation tool, you can begin setting up the automation.

  • The entry point should be all new subscribers.

  • The goal should be “client” tag added.

The specifics of adding your emails will vary from platform to platform. In general, make sure you use the same template, the same From header and Sender email throughout your campaign.

Bonus: Send a monthly newsletter

Your follow-up sequence will only last 2, maybe 4 weeks. It doesn’t have to be dead air after that.

Sending a monthly newsletter is a great way to keep in touch with your prospects and clients after the initial emails.

Talk about any new services you’ve added, process changes, new team members, featured clients, seasonal sales. It could even be a collection of relevant links for that month.

As you begin to get some data from your reports you can start adapting your emails, testing different variations, or implementing more advanced conditions.

Ready to give it a try?

You're in good company. SPP is helping agencies like yours sell millions of dollars in services every month.