#109: What To Write To Your Email List About

You know that having a mailing list is important. Good. But what do you DO with that mailing list once you have it? How do you come up with something to write to them on a regular basis? In this episode, Michelle shares 2 of her approaches to this common conundrum.

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All right. Welcome everybody. So glad that you could be here today to tackle a very common and important question about what the heck to do with your email list. Crazy. Right? Like we know that we have to build an email list, but then what are you supposed to write about when you email these people? I know sometimes you're going to be selling something, so that's pretty obvious, right? You're going to write about that, but then there's all those times in between. That's what we call nurture emails. Cause those are meant to nurture your audience so that they are primed and they want to buy from you when the time is right. What are those all about? You they're meant to establish a relationship with your list. So they are incredibly important. And I don't think we talk about it enough. That's why we're going to hit it today.

Alright. By the way, if you are new to the group or if you're new to the podcast, hello, my name is Michelle Leotta. I've been a practicing health coach since 2009. And do you know what that means? I did the math. You guys I've been practicing for like 11 years, right? So if you kind of do the, uh, the arithmetic here, I generally email my list every week. And so that means that I have sent nearly 575 emails to my list. That's 575 topics. That's 575 times that I've had to sit down and look at my screen and go, huh, what the heck am I going to write about?

So I have been in your shoes many times and I do want to say that the good news is that it gets easier more. Does it get easier after like, I don't know, the first a hundred or so, I'm kidding, but it definitely does get easier. The more that you do it and the more consistent that you are today, I want to share my main two approaches to figuring out what the heck I'm going to write. And I do cover this more in depth, inside my course for new and aspiring health coaches, it's called healthy profit university. In fact, I give members a set of templates to work from for all different kinds of emails, because it is really important. And if you want to learn more about healthy profit university, you can go to healthcoachpower.com/earn E A R N sign up there for my free training and get some insight as to how you can turn health coaching into a real salary.

Again, that's health coach, power.com/earn. So let's move into the question that came in on this topic. Actually, this was just like yesterday. Boom. I see this question pop up in our Facebook group. And I'm like, that is what I need to talk about tomorrow. So, this came from Clara everybody says, thank you, Clara.

Clara said, I get the importance of building the email list. That's pretty clear where I get stuck is what to actually write in the emails, how to word and structure them, how to welcome them to the list and then how to continue providing value even when you're not offering or promoting services. So that's the part that I really want to focus on in this episode. It's so easy to like, sit and look at the blank screen and we go, Oh, like I'm a health coach. I'm supposed to write about something health related.

I know, drink more water. Okay. Water. I can write about drinking more water and how you should drink more water today. And when you do something like that, the risk that you've run is sounding like every other piece of advice that anyone has ever been given about their health. Right? It's just bland. It's vanilla. It's just like, yeah, yeah. I've heard this before and you've run the risk of somebody going, well, why am I on this email list? Like, what am I getting from this? This is boring. I've heard this before. Nothing new. It doesn't need to be in my inbox. Boom, unsubscribe. And when, if we work so hard to build our lists, we want to keep them there. Not only do we want to keep them there, but we want to convert them to paying clients. So a more useful way to think about the content that you might bring to your audience strictly if you're just like, I need to write about something and I want it to be something that they care about and I want it to be something they haven't heard before.

One way that I approach this is with a content mapping exercise. And you could actually do this on paper. There are apps that you can use to do this on a computer, but I'm sure you've done something like this before. Sometimes they're called like, um, what is it called? An idea map or an idea web or brainstorming map. You write something in the center and circle it. And then you create offshoots from that circle. So let's do an example. What goes in the middle of your circle though? And that middle of your content map, anybody know what goes in the middle? Is it health and wellness? Is it healthy eating? Is it nutrition? No. It's none of those things, all boring, all generic. You don't want that where you want to put in the middle of your content map is your target market and what their big problem is that way, anything that comes out of this content mapping exercise is going to be relevant to the person that you are trying to reach and build a relationship with and convert to a paying client down the road.

Okay. So start with this exact person and we will use my health coaching practice as an example. So I work with a high achieving type, a perfectionist type women in, you know, big careers. They're very busy, very stressed out, and I help them overcome chronic stress and burnout and all of the accompanying symptoms. So if I write in the middle of my content map, something like, you know, type a chronic stress. Now what are four or five, six different offshoots of that easy. I mean, I just kind of said it, right. They have all different symptoms that accompany the burnout. So that might be a good place to start. So the clients I work with, actually, I just signed a new client 10 minutes ago before I got on to record this. And her biggest concern is her weight, which no matter how many diets she tries, you know, the story, the weight just will not come off classic in my practice.

So we're going to put stubborn weight as one of the off shoots of my content map. A separate offshoot might be anxiety. Another offshoot might be fatigue. Another might be insomnia. Another might be digestive issues. And by the way, the client that I just signed moments ago, just in that quick conversation that we had already told me about all of those. So I know that the woman that I'm trying to reach and the woman that I really do my best work with have most or all of these symptoms. So those might be my main content areas. There could be other areas that are very relevant to the women that I work with. Like maybe I want to talk about career. Maybe I want to talk about, um, balancing work and family life. Maybe I want to talk about fashion. Um, because the women I work with tend to be quite fashionable and they love, you know, a good designer bag.

I know that about them. So it doesn't always have to be around like their symptoms and these health topics. Cause it could also be around life topics or things that are just very important to this group of people who have this specific problem. Okay. So once you create your offshoots, you're going to take each one of those off shoes and explode that into five or six or seven or however many offshoots come from that. So let's just tackle insomnia. So when I'm talking to my women about insomnia or sleep problems, it could be trouble falling asleep. It could be trouble staying asleep. It could be, um, tools and tricks and things that they use to help them sleep. It could be, um, well not natural tool first would be like natural tools or like non-invasive or whatever, you know, things like a sleep mask. And then another whole topic could be things like Ambien, drugs, pharmaceuticals to help you sleep.

Right? There's so many topics that come out of just this issue of sleep trouble, right? So you could,, you could just keep exploding all of your topics. And if you go to maybe like the third or fourth level of I'm going to call them explosions, you will end up with all of these very specific topics that relate to your target market. In like 30 minutes, you could have a year's worth of content just from this one exercise. So you just go, okay, so now we're talking about insomnia, okay. Now we're talking about trouble falling asleep. Okay. What's something that comes out of that. Maybe I want to talk about waking up at that three o'clock hour. Maybe I want to talk about what not to do when you wake up in the middle of the night. Maybe I want to talk about, um, a client story that relates to this, you know, like, so you can just keep expanding it.

So you go from a broad topic, more specific, more specific, more specific until you land on something that's so specific that it's actually going to make for a very interesting email. As opposed to just saying, um, today I'm going to write about insomnia. Let's start at the beginning. You know, insomnia is such a large topic. You will always have a more interesting story to tell if you break it down to something more specific and you will have a million different topics. If you do it that way, by the way, this also works for coming up with content for your blog or your podcast, or even your social media feed. Right? So, spend that 30 minutes go through that exercise, you know, just break out a big piece of paper and you will do yourself a great service in terms of knowing what to write about for like the next six to 12 months.

So this is one way to approach it. What am I going to write about? Let me come up with topics and let them be very, very, very tied to the person that I'm trying to reach. The person I'm trying to turn into a client. My, um, my target market, you're talking, this is targeting them. This is why we call them a target market. This is why it's a marketing tool because now you know how to reach them. You can actually target them with your topics. Whereas if somebody else read about these topics, they would go, Hey, doesn't apply to me. Who cares? And that's great because we're not targeting them. Okay. So that's content mapping. Um, if any of you who are here with me live by the way, have tried this before, or have any questions about anything that I'm talking about, feel free to throw those into the chat area.

I do have my eye on the chat so I can answer your questions or help you out. I'm particularly interested in how you've been going about writing your emails. So that's number one, coming up with new content, but there's an entirely other way of thinking about your emails. Like literally like flip it around. So I'm not thinking, Oh, what topic should I write about? But instead, and this is honestly how most of my emails get written. And I think it is a much, a much more strategic way to write your emails, right? Cause this is all part of your marketing. Your email marketing is not called email marketing or just for giggles, it's called email marketing because you are trying to achieve something with it. Right. We were trying eventually to make sales, to earn money, right? Because we are businesses. So, when I sit down to write an email, I think, what am I trying to make happen in my business right now?

So if I send out a weekly email, it's like, what do I need most to happen in my business this week? And sometimes it's going to be like, okay, I'm selling something. Or I have to remind everybody about that last day for whatever. Or I'm, I'm announcing a new such and such that I'm doing. Okay. Great. But sometimes it's less obvious. So I'll give you an example right now. I mean, it's June as I'm recording this and my podcast for my health coaching practice, not this podcast, but my She's Got Power Podcast. We're sort in a hiatus right now. Cause we do that podcast in seasons. So we did season one, we took a little break. We just did season two, taking a little break and then season three, we'll come back in a couple months. So in between I'm like thinking to myself, what do I need to achieve right now?

I actually have like a pretty full roster of clients. So I'm not really, really looking to sign a client on super quickly right now. So that's not my goal today, but this week, what I would really like, I don't want to lose momentum with the podcast because this is something I'm trying to build. So since there a break in between the seasons, it's easy to lose people during that time. So that's for me like this week, that's my business school. When I send out my email, the goal of the email is going to be keeping interest and enthusiasm and engagement. And maybe even adding subscribers to my she's got power podcasts. Then once you know what you want to happen, like the action that you want somebody to take when they read your email. So, for me, it's going to be like, I want them to go subscribe or I want them to go listen to some backup episodes or I want them to engage with the podcast in some way really.

Um, I thought to myself, all right, there's different ways to do that. What could I do? I could highlight a past episode. I could highlight like three or four episodes that all fall under one category. So maybe three or four episodes that are all about sleep, for example. And then the email can have something to do with sleep. And I can link to a couple episodes that are about that topic. So these would all be ways of keeping people engaged with my content, even though I'm on a break. Another thought I had is that I could email my list and actually survey them and say, Hey, we're on a break with a podcast right now. But when we come back in the fall, what topics would you like to hear about? Or actually I'll give you a hit and better way to get feedback is not to ask people what they want to hear about, but you ask them to complain.

So I might say something like today, I want to hear from you. What is one thing that you never want to experience again, when it comes to your health? And then I'm going to receive people telling me about all these terrible things that they're sick and tired of. And those are all going to be great topics for my podcast in the fall. Right? So anyway, those are just some different ideas that I had of ways that I could write an email this week for my business in order to accomplish something that I want to accomplish. Something that I want to happen and my goal for my business this week. And that can be extremely important because if we're just sort of sending out content Willy nilly like, Oh, here's a recipe or, Oh, here's some quick tips or, Oh, here's this or, Oh, here's that that can be fine, but your emails can work much harder for you.

If you start with what you want to achieve with the email and then you back out from there. Okay. I hope that makes sense. I did have another episode all about how to actually write the email itself. I believe it's episode number 41. If you want to go back in the archives and look for that as to how to structure the email and how to make it relevant and how to make it like interesting and not just sound like another blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, eat vegetables, drink more water piece of communication. Anyway, thank you for that. Great question, Clara. I'm really glad that you asked it and I hope that that was useful for all of you guys. I have a couple other questions here and of course, if you're with me live, go ahead and ask your questions in the comments now. And I will be happy to get to them. Let me just do a sip of water.

Okay. So here's one that came from Melissa. She said, how often do you follow up with a potential client after the call? If you don't sell your program right away. And I saw people starting to answer this like, Oh, I wait three days or I wait a week or, you know, whatever you think the prescribed amount of time should be. So we've all been there, right? You're on the phone with a client and they're interested. They're not giving you a hard, no, they're definitely interested in signing up to work with you, but they need to think about it. Right. Ah, I got to ask my husband like that kind of thing. So you can say, okay, great, thank you. Um, let's touch base, you know, and let me know, or you can leave it really open ended and then you will do it to think about like, gosh, how much time should I let pass before I follow up with this person?

But I suggest that you hold the reins a little bit tighter on these interactions. So if somebody says, I need to talk to my husband, you say, absolutely. You know, when do you think is going to be a good time to do that? Maybe you're talking to them on like a Friday. So they probably won't get a chance to talk to their husband about it until Monday or who knows, whatever, let them tell you and then say, okay, well then how about I give you a call next Tuesday to reconvene? Would that work for you? What time? And actually book a time to follow up. I know this might sound a little bit pushy, but it is more, I think, respectful to ask when is a good time to book it into somebody's calendar versus just sort of surprising them during the week, you know, and just kind of like, Hey, just checking in, wanted to see what you thought about our conversation last week. Did you want to sign up at it instead? You have an agreement with this person. Yes. You need time to think about it. That's fabulous. You should definitely do that. And I have time in my calendar on Wednesday. Would that be a good time for me to give you a call? Let's say two o'clock and they'll say, okay, I've never had anybody say no.

I have had people who will email me before that scheduled time and say, you know what? I checked into my finances or whatever. And I definitely can't make it happen. I'd be happy to talk to you on Wednesday, but I already know that I can't sign up. So that's and that's fine, right? Or I've had people who I will get on the phone with. And then they'll say, you know what? I really want to do this, but I can't right now also fine. But oftentimes giving somebody that space, like, you're like, I'm here for you. I'm going to hold the space for you. Now I'm going to hold it for you all week. I'm going to be here to talk to you again, face to face about this on whatever day it is next week, um, that can often give them a sense of security. And like, you really are there for them. And I find that more often than you would think people do end up saying, yeah, I really want to do this. Right. Or it forces them to think about it over the week instead of kind of forgetting about it. Cause they know they're going to be having that conversation with you. So give that a try, rather than you picking the schedule, you ask you book it, you get into agreement with it with your prospective client. I think it's the start of a better relationship that way.

Okay. What do I have here? I have one from Merly. She says if I wanted to offer chat or SMS, or I'm assuming like text messaging support for my program launch, how would I figure out the monetary value? Yes. So I haven't had packages where I offer clients unlimited tech support. Um, which sounds like then initially I thought, well, that's not very much, that's not worth very much for somebody to text me. I mean, I text message with people all day long and that doesn't even like add something to my calendar. Right. It's just like a little text message, no big deal. Um, no, it is a big deal because your text messages, this is like, somebody's direct connection to you. You know, it's going to set off a notification, right? When you're in the middle of like your kid's soccer game or whatever is important to you.

So it's, I think it's actually highly valuable to give somebody that kind of access to you. So I would put a higher price tag on that now than I did initially. There's no like straight up monetary value, you can assign to it like, well, I'm going to spend 30 minutes per week texting and I charge $150 an hour. Therefore that's where, you know, I would not do it that way. I would just think about like a fairly worst case scenario. Like, alright, I have a client and they're going to pay me my normal fee of let's say $1,500 for this package. But now I'm going to give them tech support. So imagine receiving and responding to text messages, let's say like a daily basis. How much is that worth to you? Like for what amount of money are you willing to do that? And that's going to really depend on like your lifestyle, because if you have a full-time job and all day long, you're not available to do that.

Or if you have like four kids that you're homeschooling right now, you might be like, if somebody wants tech support, like bats, that they would have to give me a lot of money to do that because that's going to really interfere with my life in a pretty big way. So then the monetary value be quite high. If you're somebody who's like, I don't know, you live on your own. You have no kids. Your schedule is really flexible then maybe for you, it would not be quite as valuable because you're well, what do I care if I'm text messaging somebody during the day, no big deal. So it really comes down to what is it worth to you Marley? And then that's the value that you would assign to it.

Moving right along here. I have a question. This one kind of made me laugh. This is from Amy. First I'll tell you why it made me laugh. It's is about her computer getting screwed up. And actually just like two weeks ago, you guys, I had my laptop on the counter, in my kitchen. I opened a cabinet, something fell out of the cabinet and bam, right in the middle of the keyboard of my laptop. It just hit it really hard, so much so that I was like, Oh no, that doesn't sound good. But everything seemed okay, so fine. But about 15 minutes later, the screen flickered and went out like this and the computer was no more. I couldn't use it. I had to order a brand new computer. Couldn't even bring it in to get it fixed. Cause all the Mac stores are closed right now because of COVID.

Oh my God, what a disaster? So backup your stuff. That's the moral of the story, everybody. And Amy's question was, she says I had a three day challenge coming up on Wednesday and then I sat down to the computer and it was wiped out. All files gone. Luckily I had them backed up and I worked the last 24 hours to restore it. But every time I reboot the computer, everything has gone again. Oh, I must have a virus. I'm realizing really quick that I don't have all my Facebook posts like the photos available to send my daily content. And I'm in panic mode. Now, as content is needed to start going out tomorrow, do I try and contact everybody and move the challenge to next Monday? What have you done in emergencies like this and happens? I was so happy that when I busted my computer, I was not in the middle of a launch.

It was not in the middle of a challenge. It was not in the middle of anything. However, if I had been in the middle of something, I think there's two ways to go about it. One is absolutely. You can definitely, especially if you're offering something for free, you can say, you know what, gang? Having a problem over here. Going to have to push it. And everybody's going to be just fine with that. It's cool. You know, they get it. Life happens. They would actually be like, huh, this is a real person. This isn't like some faceless entity that I'm interacting with. She has computer problems. You know, it makes you more like relatable that way. So I think that's fine if you pushed it until the next week. The other thing that I might do and I'd have to kind of weigh the pros and cons here is push ahead and just, don't worry about trying to make it perfect.

You know, same thing. Let everybody know, Hey, you know what? My computer got wiped. Like this is just this, this catastrophe that has happened to me this week. I know you guys have been there. Um, I don't want to have to push this until next week. So let's, let's go ahead. But please bear with me. Cause a lot of my materials are not to be what they would have been. And I would probably referenced that a couple of times, just kind of in a, like let's laugh about it together kind of way. And maybe run the challenge anyway in like a more bare bones manner. I've had to do that sometimes just in different capacities in my business. Um, like for example, one time I had a webinar and I had lost my voice and a very raspy voice. I had to keep stopping and sipping water and kind of, um, and I thought, Oh, it's going to be like the worst webinar, same thing.

I could have pushed it, you know, but I did it anyway. And actually, that webinar converted for me really, really well. And only thing I could chalk it up to was like, I appeared more human. Cause I was, I was being human, like in all my imperfections and just, yeah, my humanity was right out there. Right? So you'd be surprised how not being perfect and being like a little less polished and buttoned up can actually do wonders for you. But either way, I hope it worked out for you Amy, and way to go putting yourself out there either way. This is the kind of stuff that happens. You guys happens all the time.

Okay, let's do one more question. I've got a couple of minutes here and this one comes from Alana. She said, please help with some advice. What do you do with your clients who are not losing weight even after changing their diets, their exposure to toxins, et cetera. Oh, the classic health coach conundrum. I know Alana, this happens. It happens more often than we think it's going to happen. Right? I know when I started my practice, I figured, Oh, well this is pretty easy. If I can get someone to eat real food, instead of whatever stuff they're reading, now I can get them to move their body more. The way it's going to come off. Not always the case. It can be very frustrating. As a coach can be very, very frustrating as a client. Who's probably had this happen before. So, one thing that I like to do with my clients pre-emptively, and this is part of the revisit form that they do before our meeting each week is I have them rate themselves like from one to 10 and how they're feeling in different areas of their life.

So one area might be their energy. One might be the quality of their sleep. One might be their skin. One might be how their clothes are fitting. And so each week you can kind of track how it's going. You know, and typically, maybe they're putting like threes and fours and twos and fives. And then by the end of a program, they're putting like sevens and eights and nines and you know, higher numbers. So when someone's not losing weight, you can go back and you can actually quantify, like you could say, like, let's look at all the progress that you've made the first time you answered this question, you know, you rated your energy at a two. Now you've been reading your energy at an eight or a nine for the past few weeks. Isn't that amazing? And they're going to go, huh? You know what?

That is amazing. I do have a lot more energy, God, you know, and you can kind of go through, you want to all their wins. I would say that is more important than trying to do anything, to get them to lose the weight because sometimes it's just not going to happen right now. But if you can help them see the progress that they've made that will help keep them in like a good energy or like a good mindset to keep moving forward. And what I often tell my clients is like sometimes the weight of the last thing to change, but you have already changed this, this, this, and this. Can you see how you're moving forward? So that can be very, very powerful. Now on the other hand, um, when people come to you and they want to lose weight and they don't lose any weight, you know, ultimately that's what they were paying for.

You know, that's the big problem that they wanted to solve. So that can be hard when the weight loss does not happen. And some things have really helped me, um, approach weight differently. I actually did a functional medicine training with Dr. Aviva Romm a couple of years ago now. And I learned to look at weight as you know, not just a function of like calories in and calories out. And like, are you eating real food? And are you moving your body? But like inflammation, like why is there inflammation in the body? Right. So I, I try to really address that with my clients these days, what is causing this inflammation and that could be physical. It could be mental or emotional. Um, so that's something I do a lot more with my clients. These days, thyroid issues is something I do a lot more with my clients these days. And so I guess what I'm saying is that as I've grown as a practitioner, I'm better able to help my clients when they have stubborn weight and still it's not a 100% guarantee, but do the best with what you have and celebrate your clients' wins along the way.

All right, you guys that's it for today. Thank you so much for joining me for this episode of the health coach power community podcast. Keep asking great questions and I'll be back next week to answer them. Take care.