Hey people, Today I have an insight-filled interview with Rob Rammuny of RobsWebTips. He is a young entrepreneur taking action and seeing results. In this interview, he takes some time off from launching his new site design to talk to me about email marketing.
James: Alright. So, I’m here today on the call with Rob. He makes a full-time income online. He’s a very young entrepreneur, really, really young and that’s actually very, very impressive, very down to earth and easy-to-talk-to kind of guy. And you can see he has a lot of interviews with big names like Neil Patel, Rob Sutton and the likes. And he has also worked with Aweber one on one, so, I’m sure he has a lot of good tips to share with us today about email marketing. So, Rob, once again, thank you very much for joining me on this call. I know you’re in the middle of a launch. So, thank you for that
Rob Rammuny: Thanks for having me.
James: Yeah. Alright. So, just give us a round up on what you do online, like, what do you do as a business online?
Rob Rammuny: Well, I’m an internet marketer, an affiliate marketer and also an email marketer. I teach people how to make money online and escape the traditional 9 to 5, to live the internet lifestyle which is creating a lifestyle which you make money from doing what you love, and you can work whenever you want, however long you want. And I do that all in my site Robswebstips.com. I do a lot of studying in internet marketing industry, product launches, specifically email marketing. I’m very knowledgeable with that. Like you said, I’ve worked with Aweber and many knowledgeable people, so I definitely know my stuff.
James: Well, that’s good. That’s good. Kindly give us, like, a maybe some information on what you do with Aweber, like, I mean, how do you get to work with Aweber one on one, for example?
Rob Rammuny: Personally, I just talk to the CEO, Tom Kulzer. He’s a great friend of mine, and Justin. Justin, pretty meek, cool, he’s the person who has helped me with the Robswebtips pre-launch and pretty much, why did I approach him mean how we’ve known each other for a long time. I approached him for the Robswebtips pre-launch, and I said, “Hey, Justin, this is what I got so far. Can you give me a rundown, give me some tips. And pretty much, he exchanged some advice, and we went from there. And I learned a lot from Justin and Tom from founding Aweber. And also, Ron Givens who’s the affiliate manager of Aweber has helped me a lot in the affiliate side of things.
James: Well, that’s good. That’s good. You know, like just talking about that, right you know, people think that when you want to approach a big name, he’s just actually very hard to talk to, right? So, basically, It’s just about asking, you know, I mean, landing an interview with a big name like, I don’t know, Gideon Shalwick, for example, right? I mean, I’m guessing all you just basically needed to do is ask them for the interview, right? What does it take to, you know, get to talk to these kind of guys?
Rob Rammuny: Well, there’s no one trick that works for this kind of thing but usually, the simple answer is just to ask. So many people are afraid. They’re like, okay, you know, I don’t have much followers online. I’m not that popular. You’re going to say ‘no’ to me. That’s not the truth because when I first started off online, when I first started Robswebtips, I was receiving probably not even 200, 300 visitors per day. I was still landing top interviews with people like Michael Dunlop, Lisa Irby, to create a website. Neil Patel came on down on line when I still wasn’t such a big name. So, all of this is just asking people, and you’re going to get an answer.
James: That’s good. That’s good. That’s good to know. So, let’s talk about email marketing, right? So, you know what, we always hear building an email list is important, you know. But some people may actually not know why that is important. So, can you give us some information on why do you think having an email list or building one is going to be important for your business?
Rob Rammuny: Simply put because email marketing is pretty much I consider the essential foundation of your business and it’s like the rock. Because say, one day, you have your site and it gets hacked or goes down or something, you no longer have no essential communication to your audience. You can’t say, “Hey my site went down, blah, blah, blah.” You have no direct communication to them. So, if prior to that happening, which I really hope it doesn’t, but say it did, you have a list, right away, where you can go in and log in Aweber or whatever your email provider is, type or pick to create many email, and click send. And automatically, your email has been sent to everybody who subscribed to your list, and they’re going to know, okay, your site’s down, it’ll be back up shortly.
James: Nice. So, it’s all about connecting, being able to connect with your audience, right? If Twitter goes down, for example, I mean, you lost all those followers So, I mean, with email addresses, you still have their contact details. That’s what you mean, right?
Rob Rammuny: Right. Yeah, and most importantly, you have direct contact with them, like, email, I consider online is like one of the most personal things. So, once you have the person’s email, you have essentially direct communication. Having someone’s email is like having someone’s phone number. You have direct communication to them.
James: Yeah. Definitely. Exactly. In this day and age, you know, the email is actually one of the most guarded pieces of information sometimes, you know. So, yeah, that’s good.
Rob Rammuny: Yeah.
James: That’s good. That’s good. Right, thanks for that. So, yeah, you know, we always hear these phrases, the money is in the list. So, how would you, I mean, where does that phrase come from? Why would you say there is money in the list?
Rob Rammuny: Simply put, the people say the money is in the list, because email marketing has been proven over and over again and all niche is across the web that it performs to have the best conversions. So, either you’re promoting your own product or affiliate product, or whatever, it tends to have the best conversions. So, say, you have a list of 10,000 people on it, and you’re in a gardening niche, and you decided to launch your own “How to Grow a Beautiful Garden in Seven Days” product. You’re sending it out to 10,000 people. Let’s assume you have a very good opening rate 40% or 50%, while at the back you have 5,000 people opening up your email. Let’s say, you have a good 2% to 3% or 4% conversion rate, and 300 or 400 people buy your product, like $97 per product, right there, opening day is a $4,000 launch.
James: Well, so I mean, that boils down to the fact that, you know, you have access to these people. They are reading their email inboxes everyday and you have access to that basically. That piece of their time to get to them and make that offer, right, when they need it the most.
Rob Rammuny: Exactly.
James: Nice. Nice. That was good. That’s good. So, okay, let’s just say, you know what, I’ve been convinced to do an email list, and I actually want to get setup. I want to start working on that right now. What are the three things that you would say I have to do to actually get setup building an email list?
Rob Rammuny: Number 1: Have a good email marketing provider. Don’t use a free WordPress plug in. Don’t resort to some custom-made plug-in or whatever. Just invest your money into email marketing provider like Aweber, MailChimp. I think there’s Infusionsoft, iContact. There’s so many out there. They’re all great, reputable providers and they’re cheap. So, definitely, the first thing is be willing to make that investment. Second thing is to have a solid idea. Make sure you know what’s your idea going to be for your list. Are you going to opt for a free ebook, free video, free report, free webinar. What’re you going to do? What is your course going to be about, and how do you plan on getting people to your list? Which brings me to the third thing: Have a strong marketing plan. You’re going to have the best idea for an email course but if you don’t have a strong marketing plan, and if you don’t know how to drive people to your list, it’s not going to mean anything.
James: Okay. That’s good. So, yeah. So, I mean, you said the three things that we need to basically set up is a strong email marketing provider, and ideas of what we can give away for free to get people to sign up for that list, and then, strong marketing plan. Coming back to your first point, right, a good email marketing provider, right? Why wouldn’t I want to get like a free, you know, plug-in, that works off the back of Wordpress, do I need to shell out, I don’t know, $19 a month every time to, you know, to Aweber, for example to manage my email list? Why would I want to do that?
Rob Rammuny: Because one, Aweber has, or the good email marketing providers have one: You can easily track how your emails are doing. You can set up follow ups. You can have the ability to grow and expand your list without worrying about crashing one day because if we, like I said, back to my point, if you’re relying everything to be in your blog, then your blog crashes one day, so that’s all your email subscribers.
James: I understand what you mean. Yeah. That sounds interesting. Yeah, go ahead.
Rob Rammuny: I also say that start off with a good email marketing provider instead of self hosting one, like you would do it in your Wordpress blog. Because say, one day, your list does get big and you decide to switch your email list from self hosting to Aweber, or some email marketing provider, it’s going to be a hassle because you have some cheap programs. And you’re just losing all your subscribers right now because you don’t want to make that initial investment.
James: Exactly. Then, later, when you want to go Aweber, Aweber wants you to basically get those people to opt in again. And then, if they don’t opt in, you’ve lost them basically, right?
Rob Rammuny: Correct.
James: That’s it. That’s it. That’s good. That’s good. So, you talked about having a true marketing plan, what would you say, is a true marketing plan to get people on the list or your true marketing plan to get, like, after the sign up, what do you send to them? What is your best true marketing plan, is it…
Rob Rammuny: A strong marketing plan is getting people on the list and keeping them on the list. So, I’ll just go ahead and knock them both out. First thing, you have to get them on the list if you’re going to keep them on the list. So, what I recommend is having a sidebar opt-in, having a dedicated landing page because if you have a dedicated landing page, you’re able to include all the information about your ecourse, or your product or whatever you’re offering to get them to opt in and get us more information. And also say, you have people who like your course and they want to promote it. Because you have a landing page, they can send them directly to their friends, say, “Hey, this is a cool course I checked out. I recommend checking it out.” If you don’t have a landing page, that’s not going to happen.
James: So basically, the conversions you get on that sign up or the opt-ins are actually higher when you have a landing page, right?
Rob Rammuny: Yes, it is higher if you have a landing page.
James: Yeah, that’s good. That’s good. So, having the opt-in form on your sidebar. You know, people always talk about banner blindness. You know, like almost every blogger these days has an opt-in form on the sidebar saying you know, sign up for this seven-part free report, you know. If everybody starts doing it, after a while, it loses its effectiveness. Do you have an idea of, you know, what could do maybe integrate the form in your content or something just to get peopl to actually stop losing these kind of conversions.
Rob Rammuny: Oh. of course. Yeah, definitely just to get back to the banner blindness or whatever it’s called. One way just to quickly draw attention to your sidebar is write a good headline, something that’s really draws your readers in. And also, if you put like your ecover graphic on there, that’s going to lure. Adding an e-cover graphic, first of all increases conversions, and it does that because it draws more attention into your opt-in form. That’s definitely just one tip for people who are struggling with the sidebar area in the banner blindness. And I do definitely recommend adding opt-in forms to your content. As you know that I added one for the Rob’s web’s prelaunch,because I add it at the end of the content. I recommend everybody add it end of the content that is because after they get down reading your article, chances are, they’re going to enjoy what you have and build that initial credibility, say, “Okay, this dude has some good content. Let me find out more. Oh, there’s a free ecourse. Let me enter my information and get started.”
James: Yeah, yeah. That’s nice. That’s nice. So basically, you want to, you know, ask them for their opt-in when they have basically had some information about what, like, they read your post and like what you’ve written down there. So, yeah, it’s more about talking to them exactly after the content has been read.
Rob Rammuny: Yeah, because you’re striking them while they’re hot. They just got done reading the blog.
James: That’s it. Let’s just strike them while its hot. That’s nice. You said very well in those words. So, what would you say about the lightboxes or the popup like? You know, there’s always this, you know, debate like it’s scammy, doesn’t look nice or it’s maybe… I don’t know. But it does come. What would you say? What’s your take on that?
Rob Rammuny: There’s such controversy on this topic but the back of the matter is lightboxes convert hands down. They will increase your conversions.
James: It does, I see it as well. Yeah.
Rob Rammuny: I have lightboxes on my site and just to avoid, you know, being called a spammer or whatever, people call, you know, lightboxes spamming because it’s not because the lightbox in itself. It’s just because how people use them. You know. People always set their lightboxes to appear only once. So, like every time you click a link the lightbox, reappears, reappears. So…
James: That’s so nasty. That was very kind of disturbing, right? Yeah.
Rob Rammuny: Yup. So, if you have a lightbox on your site, just make sure it appears once per visitor, and you can set to appear once every seven days. In that way, it’s not intrusive to your readers, remember that. And it really takes away a spammy approach. And also there’s definitely a plug in called PopUp Domination which if you’re looking a clean-cut lightbox, that’s definitely a good resource to check out. If you‘re a designer, Aweber definitely has, you know, you can really customize your forms just a bit. So…
James: Yes, I actually own PopUp Domination and I use on other blog I actually run. And yeah, it’s a very good tool. I mean, why I like PopUp Domination is it’s not your usual lightbox. It’s a very nice, designed lightbox. It doesn’t look like all the scammy ones that you see out there, right. So that basically sets you apart already from the rest of the people that use lightboxes, if you know what I mean.
Rob Rammuny: Right.
James: Yeah. That was good. That was good. People set opt-in forms, you know, in their blogs and, you know, basically they get the promise that you know just build it and they’re coming along, and people don’t subscribe, you know. What are the tried and true tactics of getting people to sign up for your email list like, you know, getting people to join your email list?
Rob Rammuny: The tried and true tactics are 1…
James: Let’s not say tactics, because that may sound very… You know. I don’t know, but, like, strategies. Strategies.
Rob Rammuny: Okay, we’ll use strategies, then. So, the tried and true strategies to get people on your list is 1: Do something unique. Have a unique selling position. So, it’s like having a blog and a saturated niche. If you blog about the same thing everybody else blogs about and you do nothing different, what’s going to make your blog at noise?
Rob Rammuny: The same thing applies to an email list. Create a course that somebody has never done before. Do it better. Okay? So, really give them that reason. And to promote your email list and really get on the tried and true strategies, it has been proven over and over again that the more information you provide, you have a stronger chance of building a better relationship and increasing the quality of your email list. And also, one thing I see so many people do is they have like a million forms to fill out.
James: Yeah. That does not help at all, right.
Rob Rammuny: Right. Only get the information you need. If you only need the name and email address, only the name and email address. If you only need their email address, only need their email address. The less forms you have, the higher conversion is going to be.
James: Okay. Alright. That’s good. You actually give us four tactics, but I asked for three. No, no, that’s good. So, that’s basically do something unique you know, do something better than the other guy you know who will deliver. That’s what we’re talking about, right? And also, the more information you provide. Talking about the autoresponder at the end, when to sign up, give them more information, more useful information on the back end of that. Is it how I took…
Rob Rammuny: Because we’re talking about actually getting them subscribed, just let them know what’s going to be in your course.
James: Alright. Alright.
Rob Rammuny: Yeah, the more you reveal the higher chances you have that they will get into your list.
James: Okay. So you tell them, “Okay you’re going to receive a course, a seven part course in this, one email every day.” Stuff like that, you know, like telling them how often the emails would come in their…
Rob Rammuny: Yeah, exactly.
James: Yeah. That’s nice. That’s nice. So, now let’s say we got people on our list now. Like I mean they all signed up to our list, what are the ways of keeping these guys engaged? You know what, getting them to stay on the list because, you know, the longer they’re on the list, the more valuable they become, right? So, how do you do that?
Rob Rammuny: Continue to provide more content than you do promotion. I have personally been on lists and I have personally heard people complain to me about lists they’ve been on that they opt in, they get the free report whatever, and after that, all the emails they get after that is affiliate email, affiliate email, affiliate email. Promotion, promotion, promotion, blah, blah, blah.
James: Yeah. I know. What’s the deal with that? I’m subscribed to, like, tons of email lists, you know, just basically for the education as well, right? And there’s this guy, I don’t know. I’m not going to mention his name, right. When I actually did a search for his name in my inbox, like, basically all the emails from him, it’s all promotions, you know. I mean, I don’t hear from him for like two months and the next thing I hear is that, you know, what the offer is there’s this new course coming out. You know, go buy it. I mean how does that work? People actually buy from his cart. I don’t know. I don’t know how that works for him, though. But, yeah. It’s alright. Go ahead.
Rob Rammuny: For the big named people, it’s going to pull off but for smaller named people, definitely, do more content than you do promotion. And a method I like to think about is called the Incubator Method. I learned this from a guy named Brian. And pretty much with the incubator method is, just thinking about like this. Think about email marketing like a game. For each email you send that’s pure content, you add one point to your list. And for each affiliate email you send out, you got 4 points. So, pretty much, the goal of the game is to never make sure you go below zero.
James: Alright. Alright.
Rob Rammuny: So, now, four content emails and one affiliate email, then you‘ll be back to zero. Then send four, then, back to zero. That way, you’re not necessarily making money so fast in a short term because you’re providing more call than promotion. You are going to make more money in the long run and, that’s definitely what matters.
James: Yeah. That was good information right there. Like you know, you go to a bank, right. I mean, if you withdraw money from the bank every time, you’re going to get bankrupt, right. So basically, sending them content emails like depositing money in that bank. And then, when you have the affiliate email, you’re withdrawing up money from your account. So that’s a good stuff right there.
Rob Rammuny: Correct.
James: Nice, nice. Alright. So what would you say, To grow in number of people in the list, How does word of mouth play a role in getting people to sign up for your list? How do you get, I mean, is word of mouth important? And also, how would you make it happen if it is important?
Rob Rammuny: Social proof is probably one of the most strongest marketing tactics that anybody can use. So definitely, I agree that a few word to social proof definitely do it. So, what you can do is either know people who generally like your course, who will just go ahead and promote it, or one day, you can send an email or something and say, “Hey, if you like this course, can do you me a favor and write a review on the blog for me? And give me your honest thoughts of the course, and how you like it.” And by just doing that alone, you’re going to get some subscribers. Or what you can do is something that’s called list exchange and pretty much what you do is you find a friend who’s in your niche, who is part of the same size list as you. You say, “Hey, I’ll send the email to my list about your list, telling them about how I like your list, and you send the email to your list telling them about how you like my list and that way is just a good way to exchange subscribers, and it really works out.
James: So, it’s kind of like cross promotion, right. Basically for two lists. Nice. Nice. So the first point you’ve made of, you know, getting people to write about you or like, just, you know, send out or tweet about the information you have received on your list, right? Just to tell you before, you know, what if you actually give them an incentive and said, you know what, like a contest for example, you know what, write this post and I’ll give the first three winners of free ebook. Like, do you think that’s a valid way of getting people to, you know, actually do the deed of actually promoting your list?
Rob Rammuny: I definitely think it is a good way to get people on your list but it definitely depends on what type of reviews you want. I personally strive for pure honest reviews because those are reviews that convert the best and if you do it in a contest, chances are, you’re not going to get that one person who’s going to write about review about you because they’re going to think you know, if I write my review, I’m not going to win a contest so, I’m going to overhype this email or overhype this blog or we’ll always fluff about this course and it’s thrilling out the honest truth.
James: Okay, so definitely, you know, done for content. I can’t imagine because in the end if you get like lots of I don’t know swarming, crazy, this is a very great product reviews. That also starts to sound too unbelievable, right? So, maybe somebody is actually is helpful also, you know, to get like what side of the story. Not bad reviews, but you know, the honest, down to earth reviews.
Rob Rammuny: Exactly.
James: Yes, yes, nice. That’s good. That’s good. So, yeah, last question. I’m not sure if you’ve been expecting this one, right? But this is… So, how do you make money from the people on your list, like I mean, you’ve probably spoken about that earlier, right? So, how would you, what would you promote for example, to people on that list?
Rob Rammuny: How do I make… Okay, I make money on my list from several different ways: One, I have, I mean, get on my list, you’re going to receive a workbook. And within that workbook, I have a couple of affiliate links, and they’re only affiliate links because they correlate with the book. So, that’s definitely one way I make money with my list. If any email I send out that are pure content, they might have an affiliate link in there if it’s relevant. And I
send out affiliate emails, promotions to products that are irrelevant to my list, I send probably one or two a month. And I also… One technique I use is I send out free reports. And pretty much with these reports, for example, one whom is called a dotcom business guy. And pretty much, I list all the tools and resources that I use to build and run my online business, and probably 75% of the links are affiliate links.
James: Okay, I understand what you mean.
Rob Rammuny: But it’s an indirect way of promotion because I’m promoting new products that I used, and I’m sending you content the same time. So, those are just some of the ways that will really monetize my list.
James: Those are kind of the best of both worlds, right? Giving content at the same time, promoting affiliate links as well.
Rob Rammuny: Yup.
James: Nice. Good stuff. Good stuff. Thanks Rob. I mean, I think in this interview, we’ll have a lot of really, really interesting and useful markets from that. So, before I close, you know, can you give us, like, you know, everyone down of what you’re up to, what’s next for you. I know you’re coming up with a new launch of Robswebtips, so, just give us an idea of what’s to come from you.
Rob Rammuny: What’s to come from me? Let’s see.
Rob Rammuny: A lot. Let’s see. I’ve partnered with my buddy, Alex, from Blogussion who designed Robswebtips. So, me and him are releasing a network later on this year which is going to be massive, and we have a contest coming. I’m planning some workshops for the entrepreneurs project and I definitely plan on expanding the entrepreneurs project. So, keep an eye on that. And also, I do have an email marketing project coming out early 2011. So, stay tuned for that.
James: What’s it going to be called? Do you know what’s it going to be called already or?
Rob Rammuny: No, it’s still in development stages. No.
James: Yeah. So, we’ll keep in touch. Thank you very much. Have a nice evening.
Rob Rammuny: Thanks. You, too.