Email Marketing Isn’t Just for Selling

Building a community makes a business more sustainable and powerful, which means that it’s important to have goals for your email list beyond making sales. In fact, you might find that your open rates suffer and your unsubscribe rates soar when your email list feels that all they ever receive is communication prompting them to buy something.

Check out this sneak peak of an interview between our Growth Hacker in Residence, Maja Voje, and Stella Korošec of EQUA Products, a lifestyle brand that has raised over $1,000,000 to launch two different physical products. Stella feels strongly that email marketing should not be used only to reach sales targets.

You can see more of this interview and learn more about email marketing in our Growth Hacking Masterclass update. You can enroll in the course now and receive the update next week when we launch the new material.

So, if your email lists aren’t just for advertising products, what other reasons are there to reach out to your customers?

There are a ton of reasons to reach out to your email list, but here are just a few of our favorites:

1. Company Update / What You’ve Been Working On
This is a way to plug future products and services and build excitement around them without selling anything. Give your list an update on what’s been going on and make it feel personal…almost like a letter you would write to a friend. It’s best to use plain text emails for these purposes and sign with an image of your signature.

2. Images from Social Media
Pick a platform where you’d like to increase engagement and send a few of your best and latest images with links to the original posts. Don’t take for granted that your customers are aware of the awesome content you share on social media. Some may have never considered looking you up on Instagram but would love to follow you there.

3. Blog Post Digest
If your blog is full of useful and unique content that you post regularly, don’t forget to send out a digest of all of your latest content regularly. Pick a few posts to feature and include the main post image, the title, and a bit of the copy that will lead them to click through and read the whole post.

4. Best Of
Best Of lists are a fun way to promote your content at the end of each year. Pick your top ten blog posts, videos, or social media posts based on engagement, traffic, and quality and send out before the new year. This is one of my favorite ways to repurpose content!

5. Questionnaire / Survey / Call for Opinions
If there is one thing humans love to do, it’s talk about themselves and share their opinions. Give your audience an opportunity to communicate with you by taking a quick survey, asking for advice, polling to see what kinds of future products they would like to see, etc. This is a great way to make customers feel more connected to you and your company and for you to better know your customer.

6. Contest / Raffle
Giveaways are a great way to increase engagement around your brand online and bring in potential new customers. Create a contest to be held on social media and use your emails lists to spread the word.

7. Feedback
Hopefully you’ve been segmenting your lists based on which products or services a customer has purchased. Send out a call for feedback from recent purchasers. This will show your customers that they are cared for and give you the information you need to improve your products and services.

8. Thank You / Appreciation
Sometimes we get so caught up in trying to bring in more new customers that we forget to ever say thank you beyond the standard email after someone has purchased something or signed up for the list. Think of a heartfelt way to show appreciation that your customers chose you.

Do you have any favorite non-salesy email campaign ideas that I didn’t include here? I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below OR you can Tweet at me.

Hard Ham Selling: A Holiday Email Marketing Lesson


For Thanksgiving this year, my mother-in-law sent us a honey baked ham, which was delivered the day before our feast. We might not have known our ham was waiting for us outside in the elements without the timely email from the company, notifying us that there was, indeed, a ham waiting to be collected on our front porch.

We were impressed by the use of technology, to say the least, by a company that provides such a simple service.

For the second time in our family’s history, I was on cook-the-whole-meal duty…willingly, of course. Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday.

Everything was delicious (except the sweet potatoes…timing got away from me) and the ham was especially delicious, prompting me to locate the maker’s website online and sign up for their email list.

This was a big deal for me because I am typically disgusted by ham. If someone makes a version of something I usually don’t like and it’s a hit, they’ve got my ear. Or my email address.

What followed was the most committed email marketing I think I’ve ever experienced.

holiday email marketing


In 21 days, HoneyBaked Ham sent me 11 emails that prompted me to take some kind of ham related action.

Despite the barrage of emails, which I can’t blame them for because the holidays are really their time to shine, I haven’t unsubscribed because 1) I’m interested in sharing their automation and timing with you and 2) the ham was just that damn good.

Here’s HoneyBaked Ham’s email sign up and holiday email strategy, which you can use as a general guide for your own email marketing automation:

  1. Two-Part Welcome Email Series
    After signing up, I received an email immediately after and an additional welcome email a few days later. The welcome series might have been longer had it not been for holiday promotion season.

Day 1- November 28
First, HoneyBaked sent me a thank you and a 10% discount for signing up for their list.

Headline: Welcome To HoneyBaked Ham! Save 10% off Now!

eazl holiday email marketing


They also gave me a reason to stay subscribed by mentioning that future emails would include discounts. Not sure how I feel about the “new news” wording or how news about ham would possibly appeal to anyone, but the discounts are enough to keep me hooked.

Hey, you never know when you might need a ham on the cheap.

Day 3- December 1
Next, HoneyBaked gave me a little taste of the history of the company with some storytelling.

Wow, they’ve been around since the 50s!

*mission accomplished*

Headline: See What HoneyBaked Has To Offer

holiday email marketing


  1. Nine-Part Holiday Marketing Campaign
    My address was then moved into a multi-part Christmas campaign as their big push of the second part of the holiday season.

Day 4- December 2
HoneyBaked urged me to start thinking about Christmas dinner, whether I was hosting or attending someone else’s dinner. They added a 15% discount to encourage a purchase.

Headline: Make Any Holiday Party a Hit!

holiday email marketing

holiday email marketing


Day 7- December 5
HoneyBaked suggested giving a ham as a gift, whether by physical form or gift card. And they included that 15% discount again.

Smart because, statistically, there will always be more guests than hosts on Christmas.

Headline: Looking for the Perfect Gift?

holiday email marketing



Day 9- December 7
They reiterated their gift suggestion and included some specific proteins for purchase in case ham wasn’t interesting to the the subscriber. Perhaps turkey or brisket is more your style? Coupon included again.

Headline: It’s Here! 🎁

(Credit given for the use of emojis in a headline)

holiday email marketing


Day 11- December 9
HoneyBaked plugs their sides and desserts in case you’re set on protein but aren’t a baker or you’re looking to fill in the gaps on your menu. 15% coupon included again.

Headline: 2 Simple Steps for the Best-Tasting Holiday.

holiday email marketing


Day 15- December 13
Christmas countdown with 12 days of deals. There was never an email countdown. They just wanted to take advantage of the 12 Days of Christmas reference. An email a day would have been entirely too much and would probably result in a high unsubscribe rate.

Headline: The Countdown Begins with 12 Days of Deals!

holiday email marketing


Day 16- December 14
HoneyBaked urges me to share this sweet 15% discount with a call to action to forward the email to a friend. Even ham peddlers growth hack!

Headline: Share the Love this Holiday Season

holiday email marketing


Day 19- December 17
You are running out of time to buy a ham and have it delivered for Christmas dinner!

Headline: Hurry, 8 Days ‘til Christmas!

holiday email marketing


Day 21- December 19
On the last day, they emailed twice.

Email 1- Last chance to purchase for Christmas dinner delivery. This email included a countdown timer to add a sense of urgency.

Headline: Last Chance! Order Now for Guaranteed Standard Delivery for Christmas.

holiday email marketing


Email 2- 20% “today only” discount..their last ditch effort to get me to ham it up this holiday.

Headline: 20% Off Your Shipping Purchase! Today Only! 🎁

holiday email marketing


Now for the important question: Did I buy a ham?

No. But I’m impressed with their email game and I’m curious to observe the frequency and content of future emails outside the holiday season.

Use the progression that HoneyBaked followed to model your own email automation for website sign ups.

How the CAN-SPAM Act is Creating Foul Play in Digital Marketing

In this week’s Brain Boost, how the CAN-SPAM Act is creating foul play in digital marketing.

You’re going to learn about a disturbing new practice in black hat digital marketing that’s being used by bad actors to bring down the email list of small and medium-sized businesses in the US and abroad.

The CAN-SPAM act was signed into law in 2003 and it’s designed to regulate the use of commercial email. So think: email marketing in the US. Since then, similar laws have been put into place in almost all major economies.

So, now email marketing services that many of us know about (like MailChimp) are forced to take action when any company sends an email campaign that’s considered especially spammy. However, it’s worth noting that this really isn’t working with real spammers who are responsible for sending the bulk of spam emails.

So, those emails that tell you that you have a hundred thousand dollars in a bank account in some foreign land -about 90 billion of which are sent every day- are usually coming from software located in countries with poor law enforcement -not services like MailChimp.

To comply with these laws, services like MailChimp have adopted a .1% rule. What this means for small and medium-sized businesses is that, if one out of every thousand people that the small business emails reports the campaign as spam, then MailChimp will flag the account of that small business.

While this is well-intentioned, Black Hat digital marketers, ex-employees that are mad at the business, and things like that have a crippling arrow in their quiver. For example, let’s say that a small business has an email list with 10,000 people on it. If an ex-employee with just ten fake email addresses was to report an email that that business sent spam, then the business would have their 10,000 persons email list rendered worthless after a few infractions with their mail list provider like MailChimp.

Any business person knows -probably you reading here- that these businesses spend years of investment going to events, providing free value online, running blogs, etc. to build those email lists.

There aren’t a lot of great solutions. However, there are a couple that you might try. First of all, you can have people register for an email list through their social logins. What this will do is it will make them verify that they have a social login associated with the email address.The only problem here is that some people would be happy to give you their email address but not their social profile information.

You can also try the double opt-in method. When people sign up for your email list, they get an email that says, “Hey, did you really sign up?” And while this adds one extra step to the process, somebody committed to bringing down your email list will still be able to say “Yes, I signed up,” and then report your email as spam.

What are your thoughts about these restricting laws that hurt a lot of small and medium sized businesses? Leave us a comment below!

Lenny Letter’s Open Rate, Digital News Initiative, CEO Fraud, and This Week in AI

The Lenny Letter
This is a project from Lena Dunham and her partner, Jenni Konner, and is essentially just an email newsletter, but it has become very popular. It offers perspective on politics and society for a mostly female audience and it is attracted over 400,000 subscribers in six months.

Lenny Letter
The Lenny Letter has attracted over 400,000 subscribers in six months.

What’s most important about the Lenny Letter is that it has a 65% open rate and advertisers are taking notice. In tech and growth hacking, engagement is still what matters most in marketing. You can check out the Lenny Letter at

Google’s Digital News Initiative
Google has committed thirty million dollars of funding to all sorts of startups in journalism and digital media in Europe. If you have an idea or know somebody who does, you should check it out and apply to the digital news initiative.

CEO Fraud
Let take a look at a very powerful email scam that is starting to spread across the globe. In 2015, companies lost more than 1.2 billion dollars to a very simple scam. The frauds send an email from what appears to be the CEO and it orders a wire transfer to be made to an offshore bank account.

CEO fraud
In this new and trending scam, frauds send an email from what appears to be the CEO.

Additionally, other companies are reporting that fraudsters are intercepting invoices from suppliers, changing bank account numbers on the invoice, and then accepting payments from companies on behalf of legitimate suppliers to fraudulent bank accounts.  If you’re in the corporate world, watch out for this very simple but effective type of email fraud.

This Week in AI
Artificial Intelligence is no doubt going to be a tremendous impact on our future going forward. So, This Week in AI, we’re going to talk about Norwich-based AI startup, Rainbird,which has been hired by MasterCard to help frontline sales people receive documented experiences from senior level people from Mastercard at the right time.

They basically assert that decision trees for things like customer service are no longer relevant and they’re using an artificial intelligence product to solve this. Check out the story here.


Tune in next week at 10 a.m. Pacific time for next week’s Brain Boost. If you haven’t yet subscribe to the Eazl channel on YouTube, do that now.


From Raphael Paulin-Daigle: The Essential and Complete Guide to Drip Marketing

email drip campaign

“In this guide you’ll learn how a SaaS company increased revenue by 30%, how a blogger made over $200,000 in two weeks, and how other companies are making millions in monthly revenue – all automatically – simply by implementing a well-oiled drip marketing system.”

Raphael’s guide covers:

  • Understanding segmentation
  • Using autoresponders
  • Case studies
  • Creating your own drip campaign
  • Mixing mediums for powerful marketing campaigns

email drip campaign guide

Tesla Model S & Consumer Reports, Sanford Wallace, and Donald Trump Persuades

In this week’s Brain Boost, Tesla breaks the test, the Spam King, and Donald Trump on persuasion. Let’s start with Tesla.

1. Tesla’s New Model S
Tesla’s New Model S received 103 out of 100 on Consumer Report’s review of the car. What I want to bring your attention to is the Model S landing page. When you get there, you’ll find that there are really only two places where you can take action and they’re both the same action: “order yours”.

Tesla Model S broke the Consumer Reports rating system.

For those of you in the Growth Hacking Masterclass, you might check out Joy Schoffler’s interview on how to use great attention from the press to flow people through your funnel and capture that attention. For example, if you wanted to stay updated on the Model S, but you can’t afford one now, how could you do that? From their landing page, you couldn’t.

Is this landing page already good or could it be better? How could it be better?

2. The Spam King
The second topic: the spam king. This dude, Sanford Wallace, is famous for spamming everybody. In the case of Facebook, he sent 27 million spam messages that resulted in five hundred thousand hacked accounts and now he’s looking at jail time.

I want to bring your attention to how you can send relevant content to people. For those of you in the Growth Hacking Masterclass, check out the Side By Side on email list segmentation. Using the techniques in your email marketing server, you can actually segment your email list and then send the right types of content to people on the basis of some segmentation technique.

What could you do to send a targeted email that’s probably going to have a higher engagement rate?

3. Donald Trump Persuades
Third is Donald Trump’s persuasion techniques. I have to admit you guys that I have been a little bit impressed by Donald Trump.When he’s speaking on the national media to everybody, he usually uses these very associative persuasion techniques.

donald trump
Trump uses different persuasion techniques depending on the sophistication of his audience.

Basically what he’ll do is say things like, “Well, I’m worth 10 billion dollars and I’ve built 97 story buildings.” He’s just trying to build his credibility so that people who are less sophisticated will associate him with success. But then, when Donald Trump is speaking to a sophisticated audience, he tends to use logical presentation.

For those of you in the Advanced Management Training course, next week we’re going to launch the Communication and Persuasion in the Digital Age section. We’re going to cover the Elaboration Likelihood Model. You’re going to see how it might be smart for Donald Trump to use associative techniques to the general public and then more logical presentation techniques to a more sophisticated audience.

So now, here’s my question to you: what stories are you following this week what product launches are grabbing your attention? Share links in the comments.