#292: The #1 Way to Make Writing Emails Easier

The Number 1 Way to Make Writing Emails Easier
In a world full of social media and text messaging, email still works best for getting potential coaching clients to take action and work with you. In this episode, Michelle is joined by copywriter Daniel Jones to help make those emails easier to write (and more effective!) Need to grow your list? Join this June’s upcoming FREE training at: HealthCoachPower.com/email


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The #1 Way to Make Writing Emails Easier

Despite the rise of social media and other digital platforms, email remains the most effective tool for driving conversions. (That means turning your followers into paying health coaching clients!)

Let’s just say – if I had to choose only one marketing channel to rely on, it would be my email list hands down. It’s been the backbone of my business since I started health coaching in 2009.

And this June 2024, I’m offering my list-building system in a new free training for health coaches called “Your Next 100 Email Contacts.” Click here to register free

“But emails…they’re such a pain!”

Did I read your mind?

One major challenge health coaches face is the “curse of knowledge.” We have so much knowledge and want to teach everything we know. But we struggle to deliver it in a digestible way that our readers actually, er, care about.

Our emails come out dull and boring or…we just stare at a blank screen and get nowhere.

Tip: Focus less on passing along knowledge to your email subscribers. Focus more on letting them know you totally understand their health challenges and struggles they’re facing…and that you can help.

“I need ideas for what to write.”

As a health coach, you’ve likely experienced your own health issues. Yes? Sharing your struggles and victories can create a strong connection with your audience. 

But it helps tremendously to know exactly who you’re writing to. 

Let’s face it, millennial young women have a whole different set of concerns than, say, retired men. It’s super helpful to attract a homogeneous audience that shares similar struggles and interests. 

“Can I use done-for-you templates?”

Using templates or getting inspiration from successful copy can be immensely helpful. Even the pros get ideas from others’ writing…it’s much easier than starting with a blank page!

Our most recent Fast Track cohort loooooved using the provided email templates for this reason. Coaches sent their first emails and kept it up, week after week. Amazing!

Now, while templates provide guidance on what to write and offer a proven structure to keep you on track…you’ve got to customize and make them your own. Replace generic content with your own stories, experiences, and calls to action to ensure they align with your unique voice and audience.

So don’t let the fear of writing emails hold you back. 

And remember…

Even imperfect emails are sure to get better results for your health coaching business than zero emails.

If you’re interested in learning more about list building and enhancing your email marketing strategy, join our free training, “Your Next 100 Email Contacts,” happening June 2024.

Full transcript:

Hello there. Health coaches today we are going to talk about writing emails to your list, and I know that that can be a total drag and we're going to talk about that, but it's really, really important because even in a world of social media and text messaging and dms, email still works best for getting people to take action, not just think about signing up for your workshop or for your cooking class, but actually clicking the link and doing the thing and signing up, and not just thinking about hiring you as their coach, but actually booking a call. I have lots and lots of marketing channels in my business. I mean, I've been a health coach for 15 years, but if I could only keep one, I had to get rid of everything else. What do you think I would keep my podcast? Would I keep my Instagram?

Would I keep my Facebook group? I mean you guys, we have like 14,000 people in the Facebook group that's very valuable. No, I would keep my email list. That's how I would stay afloat in my business with only one marketing channel, like hands down. And in my experience, just recent experience, I've seen that I can offer something like a free training or a free download or whatever on social media for weeks and weeks and weeks, and I will get 10 times more of a response from an email in three hours. So I want you to stick with me today because this is one area of running your health coaching practice that I do not want you to overlook. And whether you already have an email list or not, I want to show you the best way to build your list in my new training happening this June.

It's called your Next 100 Email Contacts. And what we're going to do in this free training is I'm going to share the exact list building system that I've been using for 15 years. So definitely join us for this entirely free training. It's at healthcoachpower.com/email. I've actually never offered anything that's this focused before on list building for health coaches. So let's do it. Let's add 100 email contacts to your new or growing list. Again, that URL is healthcoachpower.com/email. As for today on the show, I've invited my copywriter, Daniel Jonas, to help us out and talk about making it easier to write those darn emails. Thank you for being here Daniel.

Thanks for inviting me, Michelle.

So I'm sure some of my listeners are going to be surprised to know that you've been working behind the scenes writing some of the copy that goes on around here. So we're going to talk about that. You've done lots of different copywriting projects, one in particular that we'll get in a bit, but just so all my listeners know, my regular weekly emails that land in your inbox, those always come from me, just in case you were wondering. Those are always coming from my own fingertips, so I know what it's like. Again, 15 years of doing this, I know what it's like to look at a blank screen and go, ah, what exactly am I going to write here? And I think that's a really common problem that keeps health coaches from sending any emails at all. So Daniel, you've worked with various businesses, not just mine and a lot about our health coaches. Why do you think writing emails is so challenging?

Yeah, so I think we're all used to writing emails, but I think the emails that we're usually writing are just for a different purpose. So they're trying to convey information and it's not about persuading people into, as you said, taking action, signing out, booking a call, and I'm not sure if it's actually part of any program like health coaching program or certification program. I think copywriting isn't taught really outside, not even in university. So nobody really knows how to write effective copy. And I think you've touched upon a really important thing, which is I think it usually starts with what should I actually write? That's a huge problem. What should I write that people actually care about that? Would people make them open my list and then actually go through with it? Click typically call. And the other thing is how do I actually take that idea that I have and structure it into an email so that people raise their hand?

I think these are the two most common issues, not just health coaches, but people who don't write copy on the daily actually are struggling with. And I think one thing in particular is it is what's called the curse of knowledge because probably many people who in your audience, they came from health coaching school, so they've learned a lot about health. They have several certifications. So it's really hard to imagine how it feels like without having that knowledge. And that's a real issue to cope up with ideas because your reader doesn't want to hear, they don't want to get taught things in email. They want to hear about you, they want to hear about their struggles, they want to be heard and seen or feel heard and seen. And I think that's a big thing because of knowledge, because now you have this amazing knowledge, you want to get it out, but people, they want to have it bit by bit and don't get overwhelmed with too much coaching and too much knowledge.

Basically we have coaches who've maybe gone through a hormone certification course or a gut health course and they just want to tell you everything they know. You might find yourself writing like this, you guys, you're writing to your list and it's almost like you're lecturing to a college lecture hall. You're just sharing information. But I think what you're saying, Daniel, is are we writing in a way that somebody actually wants to read it and finds it applicable to them? And also we want them to be able to do something with that, not just read and learn, but take that next step. Right.

Exactly. Yeah, that's an important thing. So very well summarized. I think that's the main thing. So people don't care about, so they don't want, usually you don't want to give to have the background information. Why you having that problem until that it's certain homeowner that's causing the issue. You want to get actionable advice like how to get rid of it. And I think that's the main reason. So I think also to summarize it is to coming up with ideas while having the reader in mind. I think that's the main issue.

Yes, we're going to talk more about that, but you said that it's not just health coaches who have this problem. So tell us a little bit more about different people and brands and industries that you've written emails for and please tell us that everyone has this problem.

I can confirm that everyone has their problem. So as I said, probably marketing coaches are a little bit better off. I mean, you have a strong marketing background, so a little how things are run. But yeah, I've been working in several industries from personal development. I've worked for Tony Bin's team with Darren Hardy, so that's more in the business space, but also with bestselling authors like Anna David especially, which is interesting because that one is a writer, she writes for a living.

Yes, I was just going to say that. How funny.

But writing copy and writing books and novels and even nonfiction books is a completely different ball game. So obviously she knows how to write, but how to write to persuade people to write persuasively, that's been a challenge as well. So yeah, it's not just health coaches who had that problem.

Alright, so we can feel better you guys, this would happen in any industry basically anywhere that you're running your own business because even and then even larger businesses, I remember when I was working in advertising and if you ever got yourself on Royal Caribbean's email list recently, they send a bajillion emails, somebody's writing those. That was my ad agency at least at the time. And they do it because it works, right? They do it and they hire people to do it often because it's hard to get it right. So anyway, if you're brand new to health coaching or even if you've been doing it for a while and you're finding this difficult, of course it's like a whole specialty area, but we want to make it easier for you. I know you're probably not going to hire a copywriter like tomorrow. That's okay. I still write my own emails. You can write yours too, Daniel. We had talked about the idea that adding the right names to your mailing list in the first place makes it easier to write emails and I thought maybe you could give us some examples of that.

Yeah, that's actually a good point because I mean there's one of many rules in copywriting is if you're trying to talk to everyone, you're actually talking to no one. So the thing is if you attract people from too many different backgrounds with different problems, it can easily get out of hand because effective copy or copy that really resonates with the audience usually is centered around their problems or their state that their benefits, their aspiring state, what they want to achieve, what they want to get rid of. And if you have people on your list who probably are suffering from side effects from menopause or if they're close to burning out, these are completely different people who want to hear completely different things in your email and they would respond differently to the emails you've sent. So the best way to write effective emails is to have a really close, more like a fan club of people who have the same issue usually.

And that's really great when you're a health coach, these are usually the past use. So most health coaches, as I've learned, usually had health issues in the past. We have, and that's kind of triggered their interest for health coaching. So usually you're writing to your past your 20, what was it, 2020 2009, Michelle, for example. So yeah, that really helps and that's key just to have a really homogeneous audience on your list. But I also think that it also comes to having the people with the right mindset on the list because you can have a list of a hundred thousand people, but if they're all just tire kickers or just here for the free stuff or just browsing around, not really ready to take action, they don't have to be ready to book private coaching with you right now, but they should have the intent and to book some or join a course in the future because I think that's a pretty common saying that a list of a thousand people or a thousand genuine fans so is worth more than a million followers on Instagram for example, because they want to hear from you, they're interested in your special specific advice, your specific methodology, and they're ready to take some action when the time's right.

And I think that's key and that's also, you should keep that in mind when it comes to figuring out ways how to get people on your list so you don't attract the people you don't want to work with who can't afford you and who never really actually wants to work with you.

Yes, and we do that a lot as health coaches because we'll set up a table at some free event like the town fair or at the library where people go for free to get free stuff and then maybe they take our free energy balls or something that we're giving away and maybe we get their name on our email list, but they're not really people who are ever going to take action with us and they can come from all walks of life. I'm thinking right now of a health coach I know who was saying I'm still not sure if I should target men or if I should target women and if it really matters, and I remember this email I wrote one time, it was all about this designer bag that I just bought because I knew all the women on my list would drool over this bag.

Literally people wrote me back being like, can you send me a picture? Send me a link. I want to know what bag you got. They were really into this. And of course it tied into health because it was the idea that the bag always fits, whereas these women had clothing in their closet every size up and down as their weight changed, so they understood the value of a good bag. But had I sent that same email to a list that was mixed, not only men and women, but let's say women who were 18 years old and 20 years old, could never afford a bag like that. It just wouldn't land. So it helps so much to really specifically know if you told your audience about this one really cool thing that you just did, would they care? Would they want to see a picture?

Exactly. And I think, I know it's tough, especially in the beginning when you're trying to grow your list to just think about it, but repelling people you don't really want to work with is as powerful as attracting the right people. So you, I mean you kind of satisfy a feeling that you get like a hundred subscribers, 200 subscribers, maybe even a sales of subscribers. But in the beginning, and I think even not just in the beginning, I think in general quality matters more when it comes to attracting the right kind of subscribers. And for that, if you say, Hey, I'll talk about the bags I've bought once in a while and I don't have a problem with that, but some people do, but they kind of like you don't connect with 'em anyway. So if they don't like your personality, they're never going to hire you for any kind of service anyway.

Well that picks up a good point. I know we probably have some coaches who are thinking, well, I kind of have this mishmash on my list right now, so do I write something that kind of applies to everybody who I have right now? And I always say, and I think you would agree with me, write for the list you want, write for the client you want, write about the handbag, write about religion, write about whatever it is that's important to you that you think is a thing that your ideal client would also resonate with. And the others, you know what they got that little link on the bottom, it says unsubscribe and we want them to use it. We don't want to be afraid of that because if they don't like what you have to say, they're not going to hire you anyway. So we want to just get them off your list. As your list grows, you're paying for everybody that's on your list. I know it's free in the beginning with most email services, but these days I'm psyched if somebody unsubscribes because I don't want to be paying for them to sit on my list if they're not interested in what I have to say or what I have to offer.

Exactly. And if they're not opening your emails, if your list grows, they actually heard your deliverability. So the people actually want to read your emails going to have a harder time finding them because you might end up in spam with too many people complain about your emails. So yeah, it's super powerful to have the right people on your list and taking care of the people on your list and grooming them into super fans.

So when I said let's add 100 new email contacts to your list, you guys, I wasn't just talking about any old 100 email contacts, I was talking about the right email contacts. And again, we're going to be going through that training this June and you can sign up for free at healthcoachpower.com/email. Now let's say we've got that list, we've got, I don't know, dads in their forties like sports and they got that dad bod going on. Maybe that's our list and we have a couple hundred of them still. We're going to sit down, look at the blank screen and go, what am I going to write to them about today? Michelle said that I should be communicating with my list. So okay, I want to do it Daniel, you do this for a living. So what's an easy way to find email ideas?

So the easiest way is to figure out what people actually like and are or what they want to hear from you. And there are several ways to do that. As I said, I think I've dropped the hint somewhere like 10 minutes ago was that usually as a health coach you have the advantage that you're writing to your past sales. So you've been in their shoes, literally been in their shoes, which makes it so much easier because you know how it feels like when the symptoms hit, you probably have a or two to tell when I think I love what your stories, what you said you passed out in the subway. I think that's a very powerful story because and people can relate who suffer from the same things. They can relate because that's it all about. People want to actually relate to you, to your stories, to your problems because the better you can actually describe what you've gone through.
So what they're probably going through, the more they're going to trust you and the more they're going to think you have the offer or the solution to their problems. So a really easy way is to think of how was it 1, 2, 3, 5 years back, the pains really how your day was like how did you feel throughout the day? What were some anecdotes you could tell, personal stories you could tell around that and tie them to what you're offering. That's one thing. Another thing which is really powerful and super easy and nobody thinks about that because I think it was Ryan eis who's very famous marketer, he said email was the first social media platform, so to say, it's not just a one-way street, but as marketers or people who work with email lists, we usually kind of forget that there's another person on the other end on the receiving end.

So what you can do to find ideas to write about, actually just simply ask them, just write an email and say like, Hey, what's going on in your life? What's the number one thing you are currently struggling with? Or if you had a magic wand, you can be creative with that. If you had a magic wand, what would you want to get rid of immediately? And people usually respond and the responses are gone because you actually know what your audience wants to hear from you and you can take these answers and find a story or actually do a little bit of soft teaching, not too much. So people don't want to hear why those hormones are acting up. They want to get actual advice on how to get rid of it. What are the next steps? And ideally the final step is always reaching out to you getting professional help, so to say.

Well, you just said reminded me, yes, you can ask your list. What do they want to hear about? What topics are interesting to them? And I remember getting that advice at some point early in my career and asking my list and I didn't really get too many answers and the answers I got were all kind of the same. But you said this, ask them what they would want to get rid of. Ask them to complain. So if they had a magic wand, what would they go, poof, I could get rid of this problem, I could get rid of this symptom, I could get rid of this person who knows, asking someone to complain. I found to be so much more effective. So if you guys try that, it can feel like negative. And I know health coaches, we want to be positive, but it's just people are more likely to tell you more interesting things and useful things that they're struggling with. If you give them a space to kind of vent a little bit, tell me about that thing that you never want to experience again. Boom, they're going to write back a paragraph helpful, right.

Exactly. And again, tapping into your own experience is super powerful as well. So because you should picture the reader to go through your story and say, that's so me, or Oh yeah, I can definitely relate or that's exactly what I'm going through. So you want to trigger these moments because then they're open to say, Hey, I think Michelle or whoever's listening might have a solution for me. She can show me how to do it, how to get rid of it, how to feel better in a short period of time.

One of the projects that you have helped me with recently is writing these templated done for you style emails. We did this for all the health coaches inside our spring 2024 fast track group. And I got to tell you, we're about halfway a little bit more than halfway through Fast Track right now. They love using your templates. Just last week here on the show, I was sharing about how our coaches have gone from feeling too scared to write anything or just getting stumped, just feeling overwhelmed to really consistently, we're going to week nine now consistently getting those emails out because they're starting with a template and they're gaining confidence every time that somebody replies to them or clicks the link and signs up for their webinar or whatever it is, they're taking an action based on that email and they're like, oh, I can do this, I can do it.
I started with a template, but I can do this. So I'm thinking it's got to be pretty hard to write an email like what you did, you wrote emails that worked for so many of our fast trackers. I mean they can customize it. Of course I've seen our coaches actually making just small tweaks here and there for the most part. What was that like for you not being a health coach yourself? Also most health coaches are women. So as a man just being not at all us sitting down to write these emails, what was that like for you?

I actually kind of like it. I think that's one of the upsides of my job to really get into the head of other people, how people think, what they're struggling with. Obviously this is usually secondary research, but yeah, it's a lot of fun because I was a stranger to health coaching anything have coaching rate. I know that eating healthy and regular exercise is good for us and stuff, but that's where it ended. So yeah, it was super exciting. And also, I don't know, I think it's a copywriter thing when you really dig out great stories or that's actually something you can do as well if you're stuck with not knowing what to write, what people are experiencing to actually just Google it looking forums and then just see what people are complaining about. And then these are usually because a lot of people who are in a lot of pain or have been in pain for so long, they really share their stories and this really gives you a complete picture of the people who are on your list. And that helped to come up with templates to see because after some time you see the same responses that just with different words but the same meaning. And then you can get a clear picture of five, maybe six top struggles, pain points, however you want to call it, those people are going through.

So you like the challenge?

I do. It's also a challenge to write, to write in the female voice.

And English, by the way. So you guys, Daniel tell everybody, I mean you're not a, English is not your first language.

No, it's not.

So every health coach listening who's like, I can't write an email. I know Daniel's a professional copywriter, but come on, he's a man. He knows nothing about health, really. Sorry. I mean he knows a little and English is not his first language, so if he can write emails for health coaches to send out, I think you have a pretty good shot. You guys come on.


No, I love what you've done with all those templates and health coaches get things like this from various sources where there's some sort of generic or templated copy. So in the case of these emails, I wondered if you could just share a little bit about how we can best use something like that to be effective. I mean obviously just copy and pasting somebody else's words, it's a little bit weird to do that. So what would you recommend?

Yeah, so actually using templates or getting inspiration from previously written copy is something that's really popular. I think that's a common thing in copywriting is called swiping. So when you start a new project, you usually look for things that have worked in the market quite well and get inspiration from that. And I think that's where templates are come. And they're really handy for two reasons because post they give you an idea of what to write about basically. So they've done the hard part of giving you an idea you can run with and roll with and make it your own and they give you a proven structure that helps you to not get off track and write too much and forget the call to action stuff like that. But again, this is about usually, I mean for you're done for your templates, you can do that obviously you should always try to make it your own because for example, I think we've given you a story or two in the Done for You templates.

If you have a similar story, replace it with yours just to make it your own. If for example, one Call to Action was maybe signing up for a wait list and you don't have wait lists or you don't have one-on-one coaching slots open, just use it, exchange the call to action. It's more, it's like a guideline. It's more like something that gives you a little bit of direction, but it's nothing set in stone. You can do with it what you want as long as you follow the structure. And if there are words or sentences in it that feel unnatural to you, that might even bug you because I dunno if it's the right thing, but I don't use particular words. You don't use words. I think your listeners, everyone's got some words that trigger some negative emotion or that make them just feel icky or yeah, that's the things that you should exchange to make them feel like your own. Use the structure, use the idea. Sometimes even use the structure and maybe this idea is fucked, another idea you can take and make it about a completely different topic, but just use the structure because it works. I think that's the main advice.

I got it. You guys, you know what it's exactly like, it's like when we give suggested meal plans to our clients, we are not allowed to prescribe things or tell people what to eat, but we can give them an idea of like, Hey, your meal plan might look something like this. And then you know what you do when you see something like that is you're like, well, I hate fish so I'm not going to make that recipe, but I'll make something else with lemon and coconut and I'm allergic to that food right there, but I'll swap something out and before it becomes your own. So that's very similar to what you can do with Done for You Copy. And Danielle, I love the way that you have also given us in those templates little instructions like come up with your own story about something that happened at this point in your life or whatever.

So in those are the areas where the health coaches are able to bring some of their own personality forward. So I just wanted to share that with everyone because I know there are lots of different done for you materials out there. And it doesn't mean that you're doing a bad job. It's actually, like you said, totally normal in copywriting to use something as a template, something as a inspiration to kick off your own ideas. So that's another way to just make it a little bit easier. And whether you guys are starting your list from scratch or you already have a list going, let's add more email contacts to that list. With my signature List Building System. It happens this June, 2024 and it's entirely free. You can go sign up right now at healthcoachpower.com/email. And Daniel, thank you so much for joining us today.

Thanks for having me, Michelle. See you soon. Really enjoyed it. See you soon. Bye Bye.