Results of My 30-Day Challenge: Publishing One Article A Day

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Today marks the last day of the 30-day challenge I took for myself. My goal was to publish an article a day—a simple yet very challenging task.

As I reviewed my bullet journal, I complained at least 3x in the first two weeks.

I was running out of stuff to write about. I also find that it was taking me quite a while to finish the final article as it involves me taking screenshots and making sure everything flows smoothly.

But by the 3rd week I was getting into a rhythm.

Writing seems to be a little bit easier. But time is still my enemy. It takes me between 1-4 hours to finalize an article, depending on how in-depth it is.

By the fourth week, i’ve started looking forward to my new routine. What I did, or tried to do most of the time, is wake up earlier than usual. Nothing too crazy like 5:30 am or whatever “billionaire” routines that you read on the internet. Just maybe 30 minutes earlier.

Then, this is something I noticed that helped a lot, I dont look at my phone or any notifications that appeared while i was sleeping. I don’t read any email. I don’t look at any social media apps.

The only thing I think of are two things: which method will I use to brew my coffee (I typically use a V60 but sometimes I opt for an Aeropress) and what do I write about.

Looking back, around 70% of the articles I published the last 30 days are all new. Meaning, i’ve had to go through the research, writing, editing, and adding the final touches to all of them. The 30% were either repurposed from other content I’ve written before, or some already have drafts so i just had to finalize them.

Writing Process

I follow a process that I read from one of the newsletters I received early last year. I can’t remember where it’s from but it goes something like this:

  1. Outline
  2. First draft
  3. Final touches
  4. Proofreading/publishing

The original article I read used those 4 distinct phases as a task you do each day. Let’s say on Monday, you simply write the outline to the article you want. Think about the title, which headers and subheaders you’ll be using. The next day, you write your first draft. Just write whatever comes to mind. No editing. Just put words to paper.

On Wednesday, you put the final touches on the article. You add some images, screenshots, etc. Then leave it once it’s done. The next day, that’s when you give it a final look. Adjust any copy or anything that needs to be finalized. Then, you publish and distribute.

I somewhat adopted that into my own workflow. Basically in Ulysses, I have different groups for that writing process and my own distribution process. It looks like this…

Ulysses Writing Workflow

Instead of following that process one day at a time, I took the concept and made it into my workflow. For example, whenever I’m in the mood to write some outlines, I do a couple in one sitting. Sometimes, when I’m at the grocery waiting in line to pay, I put out my phone and start outlining an article.

Then, whenever I get a chance to sit on my computer, I expand those into articles. That’ll be my first draft. Once I’m done with those, I move them over to the Final Touches stage. That’s then I add images and screenshots, maybe even record a video.

Then this is almost always the case— I do the publishing/scheduling at least 1 day after I finished the final touches. That way, I can look at the article with fresh eyes. I can spot stuff I missed more easily.

The only thing that I wasn’t able to do more during this 30 days is follow my own distribution process. The writing already takes a lot of time and the distribution process I had planned will probably involve an extra hour or two per article. So, that was something I needed to do better in the future.


Since I didn’t do much distribution elsewhere apart from basic sharing on social media, I’m focusing on organic traffic only.

My organic traffic grew by 4.93% from December. And that’s comparing 31 days in December with only 30 days in January. I’ll most likely update this again on the first week of February to reflect the same monthly comparison.

And as I’ve said in the past before, traffic by itself is useless. What matters is how that traffic affects your business as a whole. In my case, my website is not my primary source of income. So this is relatively okay. I know that from the start so I didn’t focus on generating leads.

But, having said that, I still got a 300% increase in leads from December.

Well, the number is a bit misleading since I only have two new leads last December, but got 8 new ones this month. All of these are newsletter subscribers, by the way.

Nothing too fancy. Just regular growth. Slow and steady.

For a long time, this website has been in the back burner. I didn’t spend a lot of time growing my traffic nor generating leads and revenues from it. I write and publish whenever i think of doing it. For example in 2019, I only published 16 articles last year (2019).

But that will all change this year. That’s why I took this 30-day challenge.

It’s a great starter project for 2020.

I honestly didn’t have expectations on traffic, much more on leads. All I wanted was to challenge myself to write more.

Plans for the Upcoming Months

Now that I’ve completed the 30-day challenge, I still plan to write more content, but would dial it back to once a week. Then, as I mentioned above, I’ll do better in the distribution aspect as that’s what’s going to affect the outcome and bring in the results.

I follow the OKR principle— so I have my own Q1 goals. I wrote them on Post-it’s and stuck them to my Bullet Journal. Underneath each post-it are my scores for the week. That way, I get to track my progress. So far, I have a score of 0.5.

If you’re familiar with OKRs, that’s a fairly okay number. If I have a 0.8-1 score, my goals are probably not stretched and way too easy to achieve. If my scores are lower, I could have set impossible goals. So, I think I’m right in the middle.

It’s a long road ahead. We’re one month down in this new year. I hope that whatever resolution or goals you wished to accomplish, you are close to hitting them.

3 Levels of Communication Everyone Needs to Know

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Communication is something that we all do every day. Young and old. With physical disabilities or not. We all communicate in one form or another.

Yet, in my experience, only a few people ever really think about communication.

I’ve given this a lot of thought lately and not just from a theoretical standpoint. You know, all those communication theories and models where they describe a message with a sender and receivers, etc.

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No, I’m talking about a practical level of communication that every one of us should understand, at a personal level and in business.

Allow me to illustrate:

When we communicate, either through writing or speaking or any form of medium like podcasts or videos, we have to go through three distinct stages:

  1. Be heard
  2. Be understood
  3. Be persuasive

Level 1: Be Heard

First, our message has to be heard (or read or consumed in any way). If what we say does not reach the other person physically, then we can’t expect them to understand nor do something about it.

When we call or FaceTime our friends and family, it is important to be heard first. You can’t expect them to understand your story, or follow your elaborate (or simple) instructions on where to find that item you left at home if they don’t hear you.

In the business setting, if your campaigns or ads don’t reach people — they don’t see nor hear it — then you can’t expect any kind of return or action.

And if you’re on the receiving end, provide feedback to the sender and say that you received or heard the message. This will convey to the other what they need to do next—if they either have to repeat it again or worry about the next stage.

This happened to me a few times. I have been fond of leaving audio messages to communicate with colleagues and clients. After recording my message, I went about my day. After 2 days, I was wondering why I wasn’t getting any replies. When I checked my message, apparently my voice note wasn’t sent. Now talk about an epic fail. Good thing I didn’t complain nor got angry.

Level 2: Be Understood

Once you get passed the first hurdle, which is a physical barrier, your message has to be understood. This is where the theories on communication come in—where feedback is necessary in order to make sure the message got across and was received as it was intended.

Taking from my personal story a couple of times, when I’m on a call, sometimes the network connection isn’t stable so even if I heard what the other person was saying, I couldn’t understand it. I can only understand every other 5 words they are saying.

This often lead to asking the other person to repeat it again, and for some reason, the other person raises their voice and gets pissed. And because of time constraints and trying to guess the context of the message, you just nod along as if you understood the entire message.

Look, if your message doesn’t get understood, don’t assume that they are not listening to what you’re saying. Make sure they really heard and understood your message. You can do this by asking them to repeat what you just said.

You can apply the same principle in your business.

Let’s say you crafted an awesome campaign. You run ads, distributed it via email, etc. You are getting traffic on your site, but not conversions.

Your message got heard (on in this case, people saw it physically), but they didn’t understand it. It didn’t resonate with them that’s why they didn’t take action.

If you are at this stage in the communication and you’re on the receiving end, make sure you provide feedback in the form of reiteration or paraphrasing. Re-state what they said to confirm if you understood it.

“Okay. So, if I understood you correctly, you want me to do 1-2-3, correct?”

Level 3: Be Persuasive

Look, at the end of the day, when we communicate, we want the other person to do something about it—no matter how small that is.

Whether we’re looking for approval, a nod, a complement, some form of feedback, or for them to download something or buy from us.

Again, this isn’t something that you usually don’t think of naturally.

When talking to your spouse, you want them to hear what you’re saying, understand what it’s about, and give some form of response. If you’re talking about your next vacation and you are sharing about some research you did about Europe, you’d want your spouse to pitch in or share some other ideas, not just say ‘okay’ or not do anything at all.

In business, this is the ultimate goal you want— have your audience take action as well:

  • In an email, the action you want them to do is to click on a link (your call-to-action).
  • On your website, you want them to browse through the site and learn more about you
  • On your blog, you want them to apply the stuff you’ve written, or comment, or share it to social media
  • On a product page, you want them to add the item to their cart, then eventually purchase it
  • In your ads and landing pages, you want them to perform whatever action you want them to do

These levels of communication aren’t ground-breaking. Heck, I thought of it so it’s not something special. But it is worth reflecting on every once in a while.

Have there been times when you wanted someone to take action but didn’t? Did they understand what you were trying to say in the first place?

Was there a time you complained that someone doesn’t understand you? Did you make sure that they heard the message first?

Always assume positive intent. Make sure you got heard, understood, and only then should you expect them to take action.

Email Marketing Metrics: What to Track, What They Mean, and How to Improve

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Email marketing is a marketing tactic that almost all businesses use—whether they are incorporating best practices, ineffective tactics, or even malpractices.

That’s only natural because it’s the most-used medium of communication in business. It’s something people expect and accept as a necessary evil.

But not a lot of businesses analyze their email marketing campaigns. And that’s not because they don’t care (well, some don’t), rather the reason they don’t analyze their campaigns is there are so many metrics available:

  • Delivery rate
  • Open rate
  • Hard bounce
  • Soft bounce
  • Number of clicks
  • Click-through rate
  • Unique opens
  • Number of opens
  • Open rate
  • Spam score
  • Unsubscribe rate

And a while lot more.

So, if you’re busy running your own business, who’d have time to analyze each of these metrics, right?

That’s what this article is about. I’m going to share the only 3 metrics you need to keep an eye on, why, and what they mean. I’ll also include how you can improve on them.

Preparatory Points

But first, let’s get this out of the way.

The only reason why I will look over the other metrics is you are building your email list the right way.

And that means you collect email addresses through a form on your site (or ads or through social media). You are doing it by exchanging something of value to them like a PDF download, an email course, a free consultation, or a sample product.

You are not buying lists, so that makes all the leads you capture interested in your brand (more or less). They are valid and explicitly gave their contact information.

If you do that, then you obviously don’t have to worry about delivery rates and spam traps among others.

Lastly, if you are applying proper segmentation and sending only relevant content to them, then you’re not at risk of having your content deemed irrelevant or marked as spam.

But if you are buying lists, or getting then from other sources apart from form submissions on your website (e.g. newsletter signup) or on your ads (e.g. Facebook Lead Ads), and if you aren’t segmenting your list and sending relevant content, then you definitely have to watch out for all those other metrics. Or, another approach is to stop doing that altogether and use email marketing properly.

This brings us to the next step—which metrics should you actually care about.

The Only 3 Email Marketing Metrics You Need to Track

Open Rate

Open rate is the percentage of people who opened your email. It is calculated by dividing the number of opens by the number of emails delivered. What that means is if there are bounces, like incorrect emails or email no longer exists, they are subtracted from the final number.

Email Open Rate = Number of Opens / Number of Delivered Emails x 100%

Here’s an example. Let’s say you have a list of 1,000 emails. You send an email campaign to them. 20 were recorded as bounced, making only 980 as delivered. Out of those, 500 opened their emails. Using the formula, 500/980, that’s a 51% open rate for that particular email campaign.

What It Means

High open rates indicate an engaged list. You can find averages for your industry from other email marketing software provider to benchmark if your open rates are good. But just remember that those are averages.

When people open your email, it means it’s relevant to them, or at least, the subject line is.

This is actually the first hurdle you need to overcome in email marketing— getting people to open your email.

And going back to my notes earlier, the reason for this is you don’t have to worry about delivery rates and high bounces because you got the email in your database ethically.

How to Improve

If you are starting out, benchmarking your open rate with the industry is good. But over time, the best way to determine if you’re email marketing is improving or not is by benchmarking with your own average open rates.

To improve your open rates, you can use the built-in A/B testing feature in your email marketing software. Normally, the way this works is you come up with two (or more) different subject lines. Then, the software automatically takes 20-30% of your list and send the different variations equally.

After 4 hours (or more depending on the setting), the variation with the better open rate gets sent to the rest of your list.

Some tips you can use to improve your open rates are as follows:

  • Add emojis 👌 where appropriate
  • Ask a question, instead of a statement
  • Lead them on and foster their curiosity

The best way to increase open rates is to make sure you are sending relevant content to each segment in your list. Also, practicing good list hygiene, like the one I described in the preparatory points, will definitely increase your open rates.

Important Notes About Open Rates

There is one thing you do need to remember about open rates—it’s only an estimate.

Open rates are calculated by your email marketing software when one of these two things happen:

  1. Your recipient enabled images to be viewed (manually or automatically)
  2. They clicked on a link in the email

The reason for #1 is that most email marketing software add an image in the email that get sent. If it’s downloaded, that marks as an open. So, if they have images blocked/not download by default (like Outlook), then even if they opened your email, it won’t count as an open. For that to happen, they have to click on a link in the email.

Open rates mean people deemed your subject worthy for their time. They open it and read it. So, once you get pas this barrier, your email contents (both copy and design) have to work to bring them to the next step that you want— a click.

Click-Through Rate

Click-through rate (CTR) is the percentage of people who click your email. It is calculated by dividing the total number of clicks by the total number of emails delivered.

CTR = Number of clicks / number of emails delivered x 100%

Some use another version of this which is the click-to-open rate (CTOR), where the clicks is divided by the number of people who opened your email.

CTOR = Number of clicks / number of emails opened

Continuing from the example earlier:

  • 1,000 emails sent
  • 20 bounced
  • 980 delivered
  • 500 opened (51% open rate)

Let’s say 75 people clicked on your email.

Using the formula, the CTR for this particular email is 7.6%. Then if you look into CTOR, it’s going to be 15%.

What It Means

Click-through rates (CTRs) indicate the highest level of engagement in your email campaigns because both your copy and design compelled the reader to take action — which is to click on a link.

If people are clicking on your email, that means your email is relevant to them. So, that higher this number is, the more engaged your audience is.

How to Improve

If you want to improve your CTRs, the first thing you need to do is check against benchmarks in your industry or your previous click-through rates.

Next, make sure that you are sending relevant email to your audience. Remember, proper segmentation is key here.

If you’re following all those best practices, and your CTRs are still low, then you can try following these tips:

  • Change the design of your email
  • Add more links (add a link to images, the copy, and some buttons)
  • Ask your list about different topics or frequency —> this will allow you more segmentation options.

Remember that you are not limited to linking to your website only. You can use this to link to other sources your reader will find valuable.

Let’s say you came across a particular forecast by an expert in the industry, or a new technology that might affect you or your customers. That is definitely something you would want to include in your email.

Important Notes About Click-Through Rates

There’s another way to measure CTRs — that’s using unique link clicks as opposed to total clicks. Normally, the total link clicks are used. But whatever you decide, make sure you keep it consistent so you know if you are improving.

CTRs mean people are taking action on your email. Once you get them to click, it’s up to the next part to do their thing. In the case of your website, you want them to take action. You want them to convert.

Which brings us to the final metric you should track in your email marketing campaigns…

Conversion Rate

Conversion rate is the ultimate email marketing metric you should be tracking. It represents the percentage of people who performed an action you want (a conversion). It is calculated by dividing the total number of people who performed the desired action by the number of emails delivered.

Conversion rate = Number of people who converted / Number of emails delivered

The conversion action can be different for different industries:

  • eCommerce — purchase
  • Agency — consultation or avail a package
  • Real estate — quotation or reservation

Regardless of what your conversion is, what matters is you don’t focus on this solely. Remember, that you should be sending multiple types of marketing email. If all you send is to drive a sale or a booking or something else, it will irritate your readers.

What It Means

Conversion rates matter because it is directly related to your business goals. The more people who take action, aka convert, the better it is for your business.

But, like I mentioned earlier, don’t make your every email focus on conversion. There are a lot of things you can do like share your company’s history, how you got started, what you think will happen in the next couple of years, etc.

Don’t over optimize for conversion. Focus on providing value.

How to Improve

The basic premise is to follow all the best practices for email marketing. Once you have that down, the next area you can look into is align your copy or call-to-action with the stage in the buyer’s journey.

If the person is still researching (consideration stage), then sending them to download a comparison or to watch a video detailing the comparison between product A and product B, then that would increase the likelihood of them converting. If you send them to a product page where they can buy, then most likely they won’t buy it because they are not yet ready.

Another area you can look into is to align your copy with the page you are sending them to (message match). For example, in your email, you want them to purchase an email course from you. If you direct them to your homepage, then there’s a high chance that they will not convert. But if you lead them to a specific landing page for that particular offer, then there’s a higher chance of them converting.


There are a lot of email marketing metrics that you can analyze. But if you are using email marketing best practices like segmenting your list and providing educational content via lead nurturing campaigns, then you only need to worry about improving your open rates, click-through rates, and conversion rates.

If you want to improve your email marketing, you can apply these 5 email marketing strategies and 9 different tactics that you can use ala carte or together.

What do you think? Are you tracking other metrics in your email marketing? Or do you think these three are enough? Let me know in the comments below.

Don’t Believe Everything You Read on the Internet—Including This One

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Here’s the truth.

There’s just too much content today that it’s impossible to consume them all. Even if you spend 24 hours each day trying to read, listen, or watch everything it is impossible. Not nearly impossible, but really impossible.

Here’s what happens in a single minute on the internet in 2020.

Internet Minute 2020 Infographic

That’s right.

In 60 seconds, everything you saw in that infographic takes place:

  • 19 million SMS sent
  • 190 million emails
  • 4.1 million searches on Google
  • 59 million messages sent on Messenger and WhatsApp

And a whole lot more.

That’s why it’s impossible to consume all those content even if you dedicate your whole life to it.

But the problem goes beyond the quantity of content. It’s the quality of these content that makes it a big issue, especially in the world of business.

And I’m not just talking about low quality content —you know, those poorly written, paraphrased, or worse an exact copy-pasted version of another content.

I’m talking about bad content. Those that get you into trouble if you follow them.

And there are plenty of them.

It’s easy to create a website and start posting about business, interviewing, retirement plans, digital marketing, and many more.

It’s even easier to create a social media account, be anonymous, and start spreading fake news.

And while they may not be that much of an issue most of the time, because you can ignore them or it doesn’t reach you, it can affect significant events in our lives. Remember the Facebook Cambridge Analytica controversy back in 2016?

The only way to avoid getting duped is to remain vigilant. Apply discretion. And test them out yourself, instead of blindly accepting them as truths.

The first thing you have to accept is that you don’t know everything. And that’s a good thing. We all benefit from gaining more knowledge to improve our lives. And that’s where “experts” come in.

They have spent the vast majority of their lives doing what they do. Perhaps even achieve greater results than most people do.

But the main problem is that their circumstances are 99.99% different than yours. So, whatever strategies and tactics they used to reach their success will most likely not work for you.

You also have to understand that it’s easy to claim something and make a lot of people believe in it simply because it’s something they want to hear. In short— bad advice. Or, advice that’s not grounded on reality.

I’ve seen these kinds of advice in all areas of life. One of the things that were popular back in the day is to use video resumes. Sure, they are cute. Unique. Makes you stand out.

But it doesn’t take into account the reality that hiring managers process hundreds if not thousands of applications in a single role. For them to switch to a different medium (from reading a pile of resumes) to watching a video that could easily be 10 minutes in length or over. That’s a lot of hurdles the hiring manager has to jump over, not to mention the time it takes just to get through one candidate. If you’re a rockstar like Elon Musk, sure, I’ll watch your video. But if you’re John Smith, it’s not worth it. As they say, you have to first know the rules before you can break the rules. These advice usually come from people who haven’t even hired nor managed people in their lives. They just appeal to something people want to hear.

And that’s where the problem lies.

Most people who go on the internet believe these “experts” blindly to the point that they seem like a follower of a cult.

The same goes with this post of mine.

Take everything you read on the internet with a grain of salt.

The next best thing you can do is apply the concepts and test it out yourself. But do it on a small scale first. That way, you reduce the risk to yourself and your brand especially if the advice or method or tactic was way off.

For example, I’m primarily in the digital marketing industry. So there are tons of experts out there who know more than me. But, their circumstances are different. They are in different countries. They have clout in their names. They do things at a bigger scale. They already have a ton of followers. And more importantly, they have money to soend on ads to grow and reach more people.

None of those are applicable to me.

So, if I blindly accept what they teach on their webinars, trainings, websites, and social media accounts, I could potentially lose any previous success I’ve had or completely wasted my time implementing them.

What do I do instead? (And what I encourage you to do as well)

Understand the rationale behind the strategy/tactic. Get into the why of it. From there, I let it simmer in my head. Maybe draw a mind map if it helps. But more importantly, I add my own experiences. Localize it to my situation and my understanding of my own clients or the market I operate in.

If I see it worthy to pursue, I conduct my own test. I apply those strategies and tactics on a small scale. Rather than implement them on my entire website or email campaigns, or social media networks, I pick one or two then try it out.

Of course, this would mean you’d need to have some sort of analytics in place and some benchmark scores. That way, whatever your experiment is, you’d know if it’s a success or not.

And that’s exactly what I did the last couple of days. I picked a few of these strategies and tactics that I find some merit in, then implemented them on my site. The tests are still running. It’ll probably take a few weeks to get significant results in those experiments.

In summary, don’t stop learning. There are tons of great and valuable content out there. You just have to know where to look for them. Then of course, continue applying discretion. Don’t believe blindly. Finally, test them out yourself to see if they are really valid and applicable to you and your specific situation.

9 Email Marketing Tactics You Can Implement Today

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If you want to be successful with email marketing, applying any one of these tactics will get you ahead of the curve immediately.

These tactics can be applied ala carte, but they work best when combined together with a holistic strategy as the foundation.

9 Tactics You Can Do Today to Improve Your Email Marketing Campaigns

1. Share Your Story

Developing relationships with your email list means one thing: thinking about what is best for them.

People don’t use products/services because they want it nor need it. They use them for the benefits. They use them because it solves a problem or a pain point.

Action point: don’t hit the send button in your next promotion disguised as a newsletter.

Share a story instead. Talk about industry trends. Share an insider opinion on a recent strategic move. Anything except mentioning your products/services.

If you used to send 1 promotional email a week, cut that down to once a month. Substitute the 3 emails with educational content.

If you want to stick with 1 promotional email a week, add in 3 to 4 more educational emails for the week.

Take note, however, that this frequency of email sends is already considered spammy behavior.

2. Apply Basic Segmentation

Segmenting your list is one of the easiest way to increase your engagement — opens and clicks.

Segmented email campaigns have an open rate that is 14.32% higher than non-segmented campaigns. Click-throughs are 100.95% higher in segmented email campaigns than non-segmented campaigns.

Action point: don’t reinvent the wheel. Start with these basic segmentation.

  1. Geographic
    • Address (e.g. city, barangay)
    • Language
    • Climate
    • Area
  2. Demographics
    • Birthdays
    • Age
    • Other Dates
    • Gender
    • Education
    • Social Status (e.g. single, married)
    • Family
    • Occupation
    • Role
    • Industry
    • Income
  3. Psychographics
    • Persona
    • Lifestyle
    • Concerns
    • Personality
    • Values
    • Attitudes
  4. Behavioral
    • Products/Services Availed
    • Products/Services Interested
    • Intent
    • Buyer Stage
    • Frequency of Purchase
    • Engagement Level
    • Content Topic Interests
    • Content Format
    • Buying Behavior

This is not an exhaustive list, but merely a starting point. Depending on the nature of your organization, some will be applicable while some won’t make sense. The important takeaway is to start segmenting right now.

3. Create Educational Content for Each Segment

Educational content is a type of content that doesn’t mention any product/service or prices.

The main objective of this type of content is to either generate awareness or inform. Generating awareness means making the reader realize they have a problem, need, or want. Informing means letting the reader know about a solution or a topic.

Still struggling? Use the 5 stages of awareness to help you create your next content.

Action point: think about the problems your product/service is solving, then create content about that problem without mentioning your product/service.

For example, you’re an accountant and you prepare tax returns. Create content about the different taxes, what they mean, what forms to use, and what the due dates are.

If you’re a cafe, instead of talking about your one-of-a-kind coffee or your delectable cakes, create content about coffee — everything from planting, sourcing, coffee cherries, processing of the beans, different types of grinds, etc.

In both examples, you’re talking about your industry and what you do without talking about yourself. You’re merely sharing your expertise. You’re telling the whole world that you know what you’re talking about.

4. Send Targeted Content

Generic content is ineffective. It’s the biggest reason why, despite a lot of content are created daily, only a few of them stand out.

Once you create educational content, the next logical step is to distribute it. This can be done in two ways: organically and through paid channels.

Action point: group your educational content together to create a series called a lead nurturing campaigns

Continuing from the previous example of a cafe, you can create a series called “from bean to cup.”

In this email series, you can start with the planting season, perfect altitudes for growing coffee, etc. Then the next email can be about taking care of the coffee tree and the time it takes for it to start bearing coffee cherries (around 5 years). Your next email can be about picking the cherries, the different methods of processing, etc.

5. Send from Your Email Address

Sending from your email address says a lot about your organization — whether you’re personable or not.

The biggest benefit of using this tactic is it increases your chance of engagement with your customers. Take note, though, that the biggest downside of this tactic is you’ll start receiving a lot of email replies from them — both good and bad.

Action point: Pick one person to represent the organization. Use his/her name in the “from name” in your email marketing software.

Most organizations have a hard time choosing a person to represent them publicly. For small businesses and startups, this is usually the founder. For others, choosing one might involve a couple of discussions.

One criteria that must be considered here is the risk of turnover. Sending from a “person” allows the recipients to develop a relationship with the organization. They can put a face behind your organization. If the sender keeps on changing, this will be difficult to achieve.

Lastly, it doesn’t really matter if the email was written by the sender (i.e. founder, or someone else). What matters more is the people behind it are aligned and aiming for a common goal.

6. Use Automation to Your Advantage

Most email marketing software have automation built in it. This allows you to do more with less.

The demands for the modern marketer is increasing. You simply can’t spend all your time in the office nor take your work home every day. It’s not sustainable.

The only option is to achieve the results you need by using technology to speed things up and perform the repetitive tasks.

Action point: Determine specific trigger actions and/or behaviors that would signify the start of your email automation series.

For example, you can create an email course about the different grinds of coffee. The specific trigger, i.e. the action that would start the automation, is a signup for the email course. So, once they filled-up a specific form and/or page on your website, the automation starts. They immediately receive email #1. After a predetermined time period, for example, after 3 days, they’d receive email #2, and the next email until they reach the end.

7. Get Content Ideas from Other Departments

Successful email marketers don’t create content by themselves. In fact, it’s far easier to get content from other departments.

In most cases, marketers aren’t the only ones who interact with their customers. So, it’s only natural that you get other people’s point of view — sales, IT, operations, etc.

Action point: Ask the other departments what customers say or complain about. Or, an even better option, is to spend time shadowing what they do so you get first-hand feedback on what’s really happening.

For example, you’re Starbucks. Instead of shutting yourself inside your office, go to one (or more) of the stores. Spend time behind the counter. Ask the customers themselves.

Are people asking or ordering the daily offerings? What are their comments about it? Is it too sweet? Just right? What about the tumblers, are people looking at them but not buying? Why?

You can’t find the answers to these questions with reports alone. Nor can you get them inside the office. Go out and engage with your customers and other departments.

8. Add Variety to Your Email Sends

There are 12 different types of marketing emails you can send from. Most organizations only use one — the promotional newsletter.

If you’re one of those organizations, you’re only harnessing less than 10% of email marketing’s full potential.

Action point: Learn the different types of marketing emails and start using them. One of the most powerful one was already tackled in a separate tactic — lead nurturing.

If you’re continuously creating content and publishing them on your blog, you can compile them into a real newsletter and send that out.

9. Use Marketing Offers

Marketing offers are significant pieces of content that people are willing to gain access to in exchange for their contact information. It’s also known as lead magnets, trip wires, and content upgrades. Regardless of what term you use, the most important thing to remember is that they are used to collect information that you can use later on.

Email marketing without a way to generate new leads is doomed to fail from the start. Email lists naturally decay at 22.5% per year. Without a way to replenish your list, you won’t get any significant results from your email marketing.

Creating marketing offers is the only proven way of generating new leads in today’s world.

Action point: The most common marketing offer is a newsletter signup. However, most organizations only have that as their sole offer — their only lead generation tactic. It’s simply not effective.

Marketing offers can be webinars, PDF reports, eBooks, email courses, brochure downloads, how-to guides, etc.

Think of how you can create different marketing offers for your organization. Use that to build your email list.


Email marketing remains one of the most effective activities marketers can implement. It has the highest ROI across other channels. It also is the most preferred medium of business communications.

I shared 9 different tactics you can apply today to grow your email list. You can. Use them ala carte, but you’ll get better results if you combine them together.

Now, you can implement an email marketing campaigns with a solid strategic foundation that brings in results.

Did I miss any email marketing tactics? If so, just let me know in the comments. I’d love to hear what you think of them as well.

4 Reasons Why Marketers Continue Implementing Ineffective Strategies

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Digital marketing is a relatively fast-paced industry. It’s continuously changing. Strategies and tactics that have worked 3-5 years ago will most likely not work today.

But there are ways to make sure everything you do today won’t go to waste tomorrow—focus on your customers. Unfortunately, that’s not what most marketers are doing.

They stick with their guns. They continue to use their old-school strategies and tactics that worked last decade, but the rest of the industry have moved on since.

Here are 4 primary reasons why marketers continue doing what they do despite knowing they are ineffective.

4 Reasons Marketers Continues Using Ineffective Tactics

1. Don’t Know Any Better

Digital marketing is a relatively new field. It is growing and constantly changing. Most marketers learn from schools and by observing other organizations.

However, the people teaching marketing in schools are used to the traditional ways of marketing. These are successful marketers in their time.

But the internet has changed the way people buy. The traditional way of marketing, which is to interrupt people, no longer works.

Yes, there is a movement for being “creative” and applying “experiential marketing,” but these are still a form of interruption. They catch people’s attention and that’s it. It’s also not sustainable.

Organizations no longer control the buying process. By the time people talk to your organization, they are already 70% done with the buying process.

The best way to approach modern marketing is to be part of that buying process organically. How?

Create content and address the different stages of the experience cycle. Use the 5 stages of awareness to come up with different content so you can target a bigger audience that those who are already familiar with you.

2. Use the Wrong Examples

One of the best attribute humans have is their ability to learn from others without experiencing/doing that same thing.

In digital marketing, this involves learning from other organizations. But, what they do does not necessarily mean it will be successful for you. Why?

Because of two primary reasons: first, that organization you’re looking up to probably also doesn’t know any better.

The other reason, and why they seem successful to you, is most of the time they are a known, bigger brand than you. That means they have immediate brand recognition and bigger budgets to execute these kinds of things.

You don’t have access to their internal data. So, you think that what they are doing is bringing in great results for them, but in reality, they are in the same boat as you — groping in the dark.

It just seems successful from your perspective because a big brand is doing it.

If you’re a small business or have limited budgets and you start thinking of doing all these grandiose things, you’ll just end up in frustration.

If you want to learn from other organizations, look at those in a similar industry and size and offering as you are. Don’t simply copy what big brands do.

3. Need to Increase Sales

Organizations that use email marketing are mostly B2C organizations. In recent years, they become mostly the eCommerce ones.

eCommerce organizations don’t have traditional sales teams. That business function is assumed by the marketing team.

So, on top of their regular “marketing” activities, they now need to meet sales quotas.

The added sales responsibilities is one of the biggest reasons why marketers only send out promotional emails disguised as newsletters in order to achieve their results.

In addition, managers in eCommerce roles do not spend time on the ground. They only want to increase revenues and don’t look at developing relationships as a viable strategy.

Developing relationships with customers is deemed as a long-term strategy only suitable for big brands with big budgets.

However, study after study have shown that taking care of your customers and nurturing a great relationship with them have great benefits — both short- and long-term.

It’s a known fact that it’s easier to get additional revenues from existing customers than from a new one. But a lot of organizations don’t spend time developing relationships with their existing customers.

Instead, they spend an enormous amount of time and money acquiring new customers yet they spend almost zero time with their existing ones. These new customers eventually leave the organization — resulting to a high customer churn rate — because they are taken for granted. According to a Bain and Company study, 60-80% of customers who describe themselves as satisfied do not go back to do more business with the company that initially satisfied them.

If you don’t spend time developing relationships with your customers, and continue sending promotional items, you’re only sending a signal that you don’t care about them. They’ll soon realize that all you care about is their money.

4. Don’t Know What Tools to Use

Most marketers enter their organizations and get handed down a set of usernames and passwords.

They don’t get the luxury to go-through the selection and buying process. For bigger organizations, IT (wrongly) does this for them.

This results to a lot of marketers not knowing what tools are available in the market.

If they do know, they are only familiar with the known-brands which cost an arm and a leg. They, then, remove it from their list since it is out of their budget.

But apart from the availability of tools, a bigger problem marketers face is they are not familiar with what to look for.

These features are very important to know since not all email marketing software are the same. Some offer automation while some don’t. Some have the ability to edit the code manually, while some don’t.

The only way to get through this hurdle is to stay updated with what is happening in the industry.

Over to You

Digital marketing is a fast-paced industry. The only way you can keep producing results is to always read up on what’s happening and the developments in the industry.

Also, make sure that you actually practice and test these strategies/tactics.

If you blindly implement them, you could end up wasting a lot of resources for your business or clients. Then again, as long as these are directed and focused towards end-users and customers, these strategies would most likely give you great results in the long-run.

So again, focus on your customers. Make sure you are adding value to their lives. That will ensure that whatever investments you make today will still matter tomorrow.

What strategies and tactics to you think will still work this decade? Which ones won’t? I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below.