Bright & Early Podcast
Writing Better Onboarding Emails with Val Geisler
Brian: Hey everyone and welcome to bright and early the podcast for people building early-stage startups.
I'm your host Brian Rhea.
I talk to entrepreneurs, product people, designers, and marketing pros to learn what works, what doesn't, and why; giving you at least one thing to apply to your business first thing tomorrow.
my guest today is Val Geisler val is the good kind of email marketer she helps companies write emails that people actually want to read and respond to if email onboarding is an important part of your business you don't want to miss this episode Sal welcome to the show hey thanks for having me Brian it's totally totally my pleasure I've been been really impressed with your work have been doing some some research for getting ready for this episode and I am so glad to have been introduced to you I can't wait to hear everything you have to share today hear that well so yeah just for folks who who may not know you can you give us a real quick like here's what I've been up to over the last few years yeah I am an email marketer like you said I focus on email marketing for companies that are primarily interested in monthly recurring revenue so typically that works out to be software companies some ecommerce subscription-based and consumable ecommerce or on people who set up on a subscription-based ecommerce and then sometimes some membership sites so this is people that have more service these businesses and and work with other people on like a membership type basis I'll occasionally work with people like that but mostly it's like if you can recognize the the world of software understands marketing and how to to work with people and how to communicate to people then I that's just the kind of person I like to work with so I've been doing that for and specifically email marketing for several years now he's fork in house for an email service provider and then I when I left my in-house job I was kind of more of a generalist marketer but then I within a few months of doing that I started to specialize an email and I am very passionate about specializing your service if you're a service base if you're a service provider or service based business owner and want to talk about specialization I almost talked to you all day about that because it revolutionized the way that I work I'm gonna make a note to have you on yeah it's also been great for my for my clients because I um I know everything there is to know I don't know what to say everything but I you know I stay up on an email almost exclusively so I don't know anything about Facebook Ads I can't tell you how to run a you know it's high top of funnel content strategy and you know all those things there's all different places in the funnel where I live is really kind of at the bottom of the funnel and then I also like to say I live below the bottom which is email and constantly communicating with an engaging the customers who've already attracted because ultimately it's about 60% 60% more expensive or more costly to bring in new customers than it is to retain the customers who's already attracted so to me it seems like a no-brainer and that's what I'm trying to get people to understand is that it is a no-brainer to to do for most whereas you've already attracted right definitely something to it's important to internalize there you've also picked a really great time to specialize in email marketing really kind of seems like email and email addresses are having this having this resurgence right where I mean email has been around for decades but then social social networks came along and that was all the rage and now you have really influential people saying oh you know what I would trade a thousand Twitter followers for a single email address yeah and you know it's great to have five hundred thousand subscribers on your YouTube channel but if those it's the only way they're finding out that you have new videos is through you know push notifications but everyone's turning their push notifications off so yeah I always think an inbox is kind of like your digital living room it's it's the one thing that everyone can agree on have it we all have too much email but we can't stop checking their emails so you know that's it it is becoming a little bit of a sacred space where people are less likely to give up their email address but the beautiful thing about running a software business or any commerce businesses that have having your email addresses par for the course that's how they can tell you you can tell your customers about your the product that they paid for and then you can do so much more than just talk about the product I like the way you describe the the email address or the sorry the inbox is like a digital living room provides a great segue to if people were to go to Val geyser com slashed edps or just actually Val geyser calm and it's your your main area that they can sign up for you offer this dinner-party strategy mm-hmm as a framework for for how you should think about your your email campaigns and are you just talk a little bit about that yeah for sure the dinner party strategy is a way of using a metaphor to explain something that's maybe a little bit more complicated if without it and I love metaphors and analogies so it's essentially you know when you're you bring a new customer into your business that that person is it's like they're coming to your house and when someone comes to your house for dinner it most of us have had either been to a dinner party or house one in some capacity and I you know you typically have the front porch light on and meet them at the door and take their coat and you know show them around here's where the bathroom is can I get you a drink those kinds of things and so there's a nice warm welcome and and they way to help them feel at ease when they arrive you're not greeting someone at the door with a plate of lasagna in your hand ask them to could buy it immediately you know so I a dinner prays really builds around those milestones as those seven points that so welcome and the you know the small talk and the appetizers that go with the main course and the dessert and and hopefully if everyone enjoyed the evening inviting them to come back or you know picking another host for the next time so all those things happen in a traditional dinner party and the Jennifer a strategy ties those things into an email onboarding sequence so you can very quickly spin up an onboarding sequence based on the examples that I give you in that download and and some of the ways to start thinking about each email in that sequence and so you can apply it I know you've given this talk at various different places and I get tweets right after saying like hey I'm actually implementing that this afternoon or you know the the next couple of days that people have gotten onboarding in place because of the dinner party strategy so so if you have nothing it's a great place to start and if you have onboarding in place already it's a good place to to take a look and see like mmm where am I shoving lasagna in their faces home they walk in the door yeah yeah I love the metaphor and I'm one of those people so that is read through this and I'm kind of now going back and auditing my own onboarding flow it's just it's a perfect metaphor that we can either you can completely late - we've all hosted or been to a dinner party and you have that experience of if it was kind of awkward cuz there wasn't much of a welcome or that that sort of things so again listeners Val Geisler comm /t DPS the dinner party strategy is I mean it's 36 pages it is a it is extensive it's a great great guide lastly can we can we talk a little bit about because because you have kind of the six parts that you talked about welcome appetizers main course side dish dessert invite back can we talk about the welcome and the appetizers in a little bit more detail what are the what are the components of those practically speaking on the sass business in the sass business world yeah yeah yeah so I'm the welcome email first I'll tell you that the big secret which feels to me like not so much of a secret because I look at email all day is that welcome to X company is the most overused welcome subject line so if you do nothing else that change the subject line on your welcome email it probably says you know welcome to Facebook if you work at Facebook yeah alright or whatever your company is it probably says that in your subject line and if it does I want you to change it immediately kind of it would anything more compelling so so that statement is a it's a closed statement it says everything it needs to say in one sentence and so the subject line tells me as a reader if I have a very busy day and I'm scanning my inbox that subject line says everything I need to know welcome okay got it I'm welcomed and here's this email that I can reference later if I want to yeah I'm sure I probably probably have my account info great I have that saved in my last pass automatically anyways you know there's the it feels like why should I care this email and so that's what that's what you need to think about is why should I care why should I open this welcome email I just put my information in your software and then I popped over here in my inbox and here's this welcome email and it probably doesn't really contain anything very compelling and so change the subject line to something that is more compelling that tells them what they're gonna find on the inside of that email and and then deliver on that so on the inside of the email and you know sure if you need to deliver you know username password stuff that's fine don't make that the the core of the message then you know if you need to have those like here's where you reset everything link save this kind of email great and maybe even that's a whole separate email and the subject line on that is save this email so pulling all of those more account specific things out potentially or I'm putting them in but not making them the focus and the focus of the email is welcoming them actually making them feel at home and that II brought the dinner party you know again it's not just not shoving a plate of lasagna in someone's face the second they walk in but also not telling your life story about your you know the the way you've renovated your kitchen or like do you love the painting in my living room I just painted it last week you know that kind of thing is that's so off-putting if you walked into a dinner party and somebody first off wants you to compliment the paint color and their living room and they're standing there waiting for you to do so and so it you want to think about how is it going to feel to them and when I walk into a home I'm the first thing I'm not I maybe I'm looking at the paint color but I'm just trying to get my bearings and see who all's here and is the person that opened the door the host of this party or they busy doing something else and I do have to go to the bathroom so where is that I'm so thinking about it from a software standpoint of you know they want to know who is behind this product you know using these onboarding emails to actually build a relationship have them come from a person at the company and the email from the CEO or founder goes a really long way and a welcome to say hey welcome to my home and I'm these are the kinds of people that we are you know here's Bob and Jennifer and over there's Louise and you know that kind of thing that you do at a dinner party do that in your welcome email and even the appetizer email the appetizers are you know things that go along with the the meal that's about to be served so typically at a dinner party there's some kind of appetizer or snacks and you can do the same thing with your onboarding emails you don't need to dive into talking about the product and these great features that you just built nobody cares yes you need to give them a reason care remind them why they signed up in the first place don't remind them what the product can do they know that they just signed up remind them why they made a good decision in doing so okay it is it is it fair enough in that sort of email to to say something like this is where most people get started and here's a little video or is that is is even that to feature or that is to feature and said yeah I I think I you know doing a little video is great if it's like hey here's a little bit about us like here's a video of our team if you do I know a lot of companies do like team retreats or you know events if you want to do a video that shows them that even one of my favorites that's actually in that download is from drift and it's the CEO of drift and he's sitting in this like nondescript room you know wearing a drift baseball hat there's nothing special about his setup you don't have to have like a beautiful video production studio to make videos in fact it's almost better if you don't because it's very much feels like this is Dave from drift reaching out to me he may be this little video and he's like hey what's up you know I'm so glad you're here here's what matters to us here's why we think this you know we felt this solution for you and we'd love to get to know you better my welcome email and you join my email list tells you five random things about me and I ask you to do the same if you feel up to it tell me about you and that's how I learn a lot about who's on my email list they reply to my emails I learn about random things about them like I know a lot of people who played clarinet in high school and and I now I also know the problems that they struggle with email and so how how can I help them and that's really what you want to find out so what's the what's the main course so the main course finally is your product now you can talk about your product how that you have you know introduce them to you and remind them of why they made the purchase and then you know read set up some things that are related to the product that's the appetizers so maybe you have some kind of a lot of software companies will have like a video series that is education based so if you run a social media software maybe you have a video series about you know writing great social posts or something so you you would use that in the appetizer email so you're relating to the product and teaching them what they need to know to be successful in the product and now in the third email you can finally start talking about the product itself and you can tell them the key features that and and really dial in here because I think a lot of people get carried away with we need to tell them about every feature because you never know what's going to be relevant well you do know what's going to be relevant and you're tracking data on the back end and can say hey our most successful customers do these three things but within the first month and so you know knowing and those data pieces on the back end and pulling them into the emails about your products so helping them be those most success customers once you've done those other elements to build the trust and to keep them in engaged okay again I just I love the metaphor it's just it's so personal it forces you to think personally and something that I think just I experienced it on the other side of these kinds of emails as well that they don't feel like they're written to a person it just it feels like very like here's the information that we think that we want to convey as a boat that's that's not how you talk to your guests it's what are you looking for what do you need to feel comfortable we want you to feel at home yeah I'm loving this yeah I think the other thing that's important to remember about email is that everybody reads email in really weird places so we like over 60 percent of emails are read on phones so we know that from a data standpoint and then where those phones are with people is you know it's hard to get data on but I've seen some studies with that you know people report an accurate report but they're reading emails on the toilet in bed you know before they've had any coffee um well driving or on public transportation so to me email isn't about take this action and go into the app right now and do this thing because they're most likely not in a place where they're ready to do that it to me email especially onboarding is about relationship building and staying top of mind we're building a new habit here asking someone to log into a piece of software when again if you'd like if you have a social media scheduling app maybe they've never used a scheduling out before so they're used to just their their mo is to just log on to Twitter and post whenever they are to open the Twitter app and now you're asking them to go to your app and schedule things in advance on if they never hear from you they're not gonna remember people will sign up for your app never hear from you because you're not sending an onboarding sequence and then they forget and then their trials up and you send them at oh no your trial is up do you want to pay us and then they say no no I never used it and that's where people get into like oh we must just mean new customers no you just need to take care of that customer that literally forgot that they'd find out for your app yeah yeah exactly hey friends this is a great time to pause and let you know that bright and early is brought to you by transistor dot FM transistor offers you professional podcast hosting and analytics they host this very podcast that you're listening to right now and my friends I got to tell you it could not be easier I can tell you from personal experience as you also probably know podcasting is becoming one of the best ways to develop a closer relationship with your audience and so if you're thinking about starting a podcast trust me look no further just visit transistor dot FM and if you decide to sign up let him know that Brian sent you so then what are examples of side dishes and desserts that that come along after the the main course of finally getting in it or none I shouldn't say finally but you know eventually digging into the product what then follows that up yeah it feels like finally to my finances they're always like that long we're gonna wait that yes you're gonna wait that long so it does feel a little bit like finally but the side dishes and desserts come in the form of you know more of that education so just like we don't want to go radio silent and then say hey are you gonna pay us I'm that is just obviously like a money grab as consumers we have become savvy and have realized you know I have a lot of choice as a consumer and I'm not interested in putting my money behind the company that just wants my money if they don't care about me as a person if they don't understand what I'm struggling with I'm less likely to want to spend money with them then if I have a company that says hey I know we told you all about our product last week here's this thing this you know this free guide on no we wrote the most epic ebook about whatever topic and so here it is for you we're doing free webinars or or open office hours or you know some of those elements that I think it's all in a copy thing to like a lot of a lot of my clients are saying like well we do send emails about our onboarding like let's get let's get you on boarded for onboarding sessions well do your customers want to schedule an onboarding session or they just want to have like office hours where they can talk to somebody about the problem they're facing in more business because it it's not that they want to get on boarded into your software it's they have a problem that they can to your software to try to solve and that's what you want to understand is what is that problem they're trying to solve and what resources can be it gives them that solve that problem of course it all ties back into this into the software one of the examples I given in the download is Co schedule has this massive ebook the guide that they give on you know social media campaigns and and content campaigns and they do a beautiful job of talking about using Co schedule within their content but the content is super relevant to you no matter if you're using Co schedule or not so they're always referencing their products but they're not saying like here inside the product you do this in this and this it's just here's how we can help you with this particular technique yeah yeah that's interesting I'm hearing like even in the onboarding of your own product we should still be you should still be using the the good advice which leads up to it before they even sign up which is just be a great educator teach everything that you know offer a bunch of things that are relevant to the domain help them be better in their domain is that am I hear that right I hundred percent because if again you know if I have a invoicing software how many of them are there out there and if I'm the the real problem that my customers are trying to solve is that I'm they aren't getting paid on time they forget to send their invoices then can you teach them you know project management techniques or time management techniques or um client management like how to have difficult conversations with your clients that's the problems they're trying to solve behind signing up for an invoicing software it's not like look at we have you know this extra big button that your clients can click and pay their invoices you know those things come secondary the features come secondary to the benefits so you want to continue talking about that after you've talked about features all of that and then bonuses that the bonuses is that the desert and that's where you know a desert is a bonus to any dinner and the the bonuses free for you it could be maybe the the free trial is running out and you want to offer to extend it or you know you let them know about an affiliate program that you have where they can actually earn three months of the software by referring as other people I you know it depends on what you offer and how long your trial is if you have one those kinds of things but um bonuses that serve them dessert dessert it was a pretty self-serving kind of thing so you want to make sure that your bonuses do the same thing I knew I knew within the first five minutes of talking to you that I was definitely not going to be able to cover everything that I wanted to not so what but one thing I really do want to ask we we started off this conversation talking about the subject line of your welcome email something that I struggle with so much is writing a good subject line where you do not want to be like clickbait tea you know insults your audience's intelligence etc etc but but you do want to write something that's compelling so how do you what what advice can you give in striking that balance of writing something that is going to pique their interest but doesn't fall into the you know the well-trodden path at this point of you won't believe what they said next yeah so one don't be clicked ad right so make sure that the content of the email connects to the subject line and so you know free puppies insides and there's no puppies is very disappointing so make sure that your content always can expect I actually was it oh there's a t-shirt company on call headline shirts and they have great emails and they have it they sell a t-shirt that's like you know Rocky and Bullwinkle and it's Bullwinkle he's riding a bike and one day had a subject line that said here's a moose riding a bike I was like what and I clicked it open right and there there's a picture of the t-shirt of Bullwinkle riding a bike um so you know you just want to make sure you deliver on the content and and I think that the other elements of not being clicked baby not you know mmm giving people a reason to be mad at you is always being of service to them and providing providing relationship and not it's that benefits and not just features like I know I keep saying it but um you know when you build a relationship with people through an onboarding sequence and through is using something like that dinner party strategy to get you there it's it's actually okay to write maybe a little bit more kind of well I don't say click baby but um quick grabs kind of subject lines I felt a relationship with my audience over time and I consistently email them I stay in touch I ask for their feedback I I talk like a person not a brand I I do sell to them that's a part of how I make a living but I also provide a ton of value and so I can write subject lines like one of my most most open subject lines which open rates are notoriously inaccurate measures for success but one of my most successful subject lines was what are you doing for lunch tomorrow and it was because I had a like lunch and learn you know kind of 1:00 p.m. Eastern a webinar going on and so I wanted to invite them to that and if I didn't webinar 1:00 p.m. you know that's not very compelling but I think well this is around lunch and maybe early for West Coasters but I you know it's lunch ish and so it's a you know I didn't give us I mean maybe people who weren't angry and deleted my email but I didn't get a single like angry reply or anything and that webinar I got it son interaction so I'm you can do things like that when you have built up trust over time so know that you know I didn't do that to trick anyone and obviously the content still related to the subject line but it definitely was a little more personal and attention-grabbing then then maybe like a new onboarding teardown or something like that yeah yeah like that I at this point you you could send me an email with any subject line and chances are good I would interpret it as compelling and not not quick babies contests that I should rip my nasty mouth like this is a subject line as if I so if I had zero budget to invest in email marketing in the early stages of my of my business mmm-hmm of my company zero budget how would you recommend I start spending my time download the dinner party strategy it's free it's the cost of an email address and no seriously I mean that does walk you through it like I said people have told me in an afternoon they've put together an email campaign based on the dinner party strategies so you can save yourself several thousands of dollars and hiring someone and I just put together that way and I do think that onboarding is the best place to focus if you have zero budget and very little time to dedicate to your to your email marketing on a regular ongoing newsletter campaign is nice but not incredibly necessary retention emails emails that go out to your existing customers super cool and very relevant but getting an onboarding sequence in place so that the people you're attracting your brand feel welcome for the second they get there and it just makes so much sense I mean you know when you think about marketing as a funnel and you have your top of funnel all your Facebook ads and you're running different campaigns and you trickle down to the bottom of the funnel where now they're getting onboarding emails and you know yeah it's less people down in that bottom of the funnel but if you've done all that work up high you know why are you going to run a Facebook out and spend thousands of dollars or have a joint-venture webinar campaign with you know someone who has a twenty thousand subscriber readership and they're gonna bring all those people to their webinar and you know why bring 20,000 people into your software or 2,000 people in when you have no way of welcoming them making sure that they feel like they're in the right place have done a good thing and it just doesn't seem to make sense to me to go super high gross top of funnel when the bottom of the funnel is in place it's like building a house on sand and so make sure your foundation is there with onboarding sequence and then you can play around with the other other elements there's so much more in email marketing than onboarding but if you can get onboarding strong and showing you a good return on your time investment since we're not investing any dollars then maybe that'll show you well hey if I retained 10% more customers from an onboarding campaign that I wrote myself well now we have that extra revenue that we can invest in email marketing think old hire foul or anybody else that focuses on email you know to to really improve the ongoing retention and various campaigns that need that that attention from a lifecycle standpoint yeah so let's let's say we do we do let me talk to us a bit about those specifics then let's say that I do have a budget of you know five to 10 K because those those other efforts have gone well and I want to I want to put a little bit of put some money into this thing how would you recommend investing an email marketing yeah the very first thing I do after I do it I do an overall audit of the email campaigns that are already in place so you've done your dinner party strategy you have something in place I want to see how it's running what the data looks like behind it what the copy is where it's focused so that's the first thing I do but then there's the next thing that I do before I ever write anything Joanna Wiebe is Ron's copy hackers says 90% of conversion copywriting isn't writing at all and that's very true before I write a single email I do customer interviews and that's where I would put the majority of your focus if again if you're doing it yourself or you're hiring someone on spend time and money on doing customer interviews and doing them the right way I to many founders are too close to their product and so when they go into customer interviews they're focused on the product itself the different features that are there how it looks the design colors all those things are personal choices that they've made and when you hire someone to run interviews for you they are running interviews probably a little bit differently than you would and then obviously not connected to the end result so or to the product so I use a framework called jobs to be done for my interviews when I talk to customers I like to talk to the customers about themselves and they always love to give me product feedback and it's great because I'm since I'm an external point of view I get to say that's awesome I'm gonna pass that on to the team but I want to talk about you and I steer them back into the conversation and I don't get dug into those conversations about the product itself so I doing customer interviews will give you language that you can use I've used exact words from customers in subject lines and body copy and cost action and then my clients use the report that I give them on their marketing site in sales documents in demo side decks all over the place because it's exact words from the customers coming back at them and there's nothing more valuable that you can do than that customer interviews are becoming a recurring theme on this podcast already so that is that is sound sound advice thanks for that yeah final final thought here I'm sure you're you're intimately aware of this that working on startups can make you feel bit nuts from time to time if you're not actively working on maintaining your own peace of mind calmness and sanity but any practices that you have found personally helpful that you would like to share yeah therapy I think everyone should go to therapy and I wish that it was more accessible I know there are people trying to make it that way but I go at least once a month sometimes more often and I think it's just really invaluable there's all different kinds and I will say that it took me several tries to find the right person so if you go to a therapist and don't love it maybe it's just not a good fit and just keep trying because I you know I finally found someone and she's never allowed to retire because I want to work with her forever but you know and everyone's different we all go for different reasons and in connect with different people and so there's that and then you know getting away from the computer I I work out every morning and I do not love waking up at five o'clock in the morning to go to a 5:30 class but I do it because it sets my day up for success mentally and physically and so you know and just setting that alarm in doing it even if it's a couple of days a week and I pay way more than I want to to a gym where it was group classes so that I had there's accountability if I don't go I get charged for it I set myself up so that I have to go and that's really the only way I would do it so figure out what your kind of trigger devices already get you to places and and do it for me it's money if I pay them money and tell them I'm gonna be there and I get charged more if I don't definitely showing up so but yes they are being exercised I think are two crucial components and and the other thing is that I will say that are especially in the software world is a world full of coffee and alcohol and I think we could all do with a little less of those so I you know I'm not saying quit your quit your regular coffee routine or your you know weekly beer with friends but the startup culture is largely gathered around coffee meetings and happy hours and I would just encourage you to just think think about how that impacts your day to day I know that cutting out coffee entirely and I have had a handful of drinks in the last year it's changed everything for me so those are things that I'm pretty passionate about - oh very well said thank you for the are the honesty and vulnerability there again resonate with all of those things my guest today has been Val Geisler Val thank you so much for everything that you've shared all right thanks for having me thanks for asking me to be here it's been a pure pleasure [Music] well there were a number of things there that I'd love to I think they're a little bit here and share with you and some closing thoughts I love that phrase where am i shoving lasagna in someone's face I just think that's a great way to think about it something to be asking yourself along the way certainly something I'm asking myself along the way and I think we there's I'll try to find a funny example of a tweet that I saw but I mean you'd think you just kind of know this you'll know this example when I describe it but like you know the experience if when you land on somebody's blog or a marketing page and you've been there for two seconds and the little pop-up flies up in the bottom row hey sign up for my newsletter or even - I'm just I'm getting super fed up with all of the intercom integrations I feel like the numbers just have to bear it out that that it's effective or that it it helps people but my goodness it's just that that whole experience generally to me feels like somebody's shoving lasagna in my face hey I I just got here okay I don't I don't need intercom flying up and taking up the entire you know full right third of my screen with somebody's friendly face at least at least it's like a person sure okay fine trying to ask me what what I'm looking for or certainly if I land on an article and I've been there for you know I'm like a paragraph and a half in and it's you know it slides up and asked me to subscribe I I don't love I don't love that and it I think that the metaphor of the analogy I guess of shoving lasagna and someone's face resonates there and and kind of I think demonstrates that what else what an interesting thing for for Val to say if you're if you're welcome email says welcome to insert company then you should change it I think that's I think that's advice we should take but just because it's not memorable for sure that is them that's the message like you get into it and and yeah what I mean what was even Val's advice is to get in there and say hey you know we're glad you're here welcome to our thing and and move on from there but but for sure of the subject line of welcome to fill in the blank just is not memorable and and should be it should be a bit more engaging so I felt like I feel like that was super immediate actionable advice that we could all take right now open up your email service provider platform what is your welcome email look like all so well and also because as she said it's a closed statement there's no there's no reason to open the email and and that that was interesting if heard you know people in storytelling talk about and the the idea of opening a loop and who was talking about this I think of Janelle Janelle Allen not on not on this part not on the interview that she and I did I was listening to another one of another one of hers but I think it was like the soap opera method if this is ring if you know exactly what I'm trying to think of here then then shoot me a message on twitter @ BR hea and remind me what it is that I'm trying to think of it is basically like you to keep somebody interested and engaged and wanting to know what comes next then you need to continue to open a loop or you need to keep loops open it's like having multiple plot lines in a in a book or in a TV show where you're with your with a certain you're you're on a certain plot line and the scene ends with an open loop and you hop over to a different you know a different storyline where Loup had been opened prior and now you get the satisfaction of having that loop resolved probably another one opens up and then you hop back to where you were before and so that that when when she was saying you know that that was helpful to me in thinking about oh okay subject lines need to be intriguing you should deliver with inside of the email that the content should close the loop to a degree and that was her distinction between what is clickbait and what is not but yeah I I I that gave me a lot to think about and a lot to apply and more on the yeah more on the things to apply side thinking about desserts after the main course keep to keep the value flowing after the after the main course after you've after you have gotten somebody ideally you know activated and and using your your product and they are they're a regular member now to continue to educate and to teach first about their domain not about your right not about your product not continuing to just push features hey use this feature you're not doing this but just making them better at their job it is a competitive advantage to be able to help someone get more out of your service than just the features that you provide and what better way to do that then than by being a source of wisdom and expertise not just facts and knowledge that that approach feels encouraging and and inspiring and not a real big surprise to hear Val you know say if you if you got got ty spit spend your time and energy and if you have budget spend your money on doing some customer interviews to get to know your people understand where they're at where they want to go and and I think she even you know mentioned being able to it's got a practical you know some practical applications there at being able to use their own words in your marketing and in your emails but just just more more than that just remaining in touch with who who's your customer and who is your audience who are you talking to you and the the message is resoundingly clear at this point that this is just that a super important thing that that company's early-stage companies companies at all stages frankly need you know should be doing plenty of and should be doing more often question is why why don't why don't we why don't I do companies tend to put this off it feels like to me it's if if you're familiar with the Eisenhower decision matrix where like the x-axis from left to right is urgent over to non urgent and then the y-axis from the bottom not important up to important you know creates the you know your classic 2x2 grid and important and non urgent things those are like long distant you know think things that are that things that are important over time they often get pushed to the side from important and urgent things and so as yes from from time to time you just like you procrastinate or you don't have the energy or whatever and so you do urgent and non important things or non important non urgent things like reddit or infinite scroll on Twitter that kind of thing usually though in the day-to-day operations of a business you the the important non urgent things just get over righted by the important and urgent things that's like that that's the number one thing that I often hear from potential clients and from peers is I totally know I need to be doing that but like I'm spinning plates here you know and if I don't get these I don't get these handful of fires put out then whatever insights we get from those customer interviews is just not going to matter and and then the other the other thing is just a feeling like inadequacy is not right just like being ill-equipped to to do customer interviews maybe it just doesn't come naturally to some people which is which is totally fair or you know just feeling uneducated on the process you can you can for sure get bad insights bad data from customer interviews done wrong you can lead the lead the witness so to speak and you know get them accidentally get them to encourage you to build a feature that nobody's ever going to need or use or want and so those those are the handful of things there there's there's a good amount of information on this out there at this point there's a there's a really good book that I've came across recently called the mom test it's a it's a pretty brief read that that one can be helpful if you're interested you can go to Brian recom /apbd as in jobs to be done and you can find some of my resources there you can refer back to the episode with Claire Suellentrop episode number to Brighton early podcast.com slash to Claire goes into this a good bit is so if all that's resonating for you and you you want to find a way to get to work on that right away that that's those are three places I would I would encourage you to begin find the mom test and get that book get some stuff for me at Bryan Raycom /jt BD or go to bright and early podcast.com slash two and listen to that conversation with with Claire hopefully has some great places to begin I think that yeah that plenty more I could talk about here but I'll go and keep this episode to a standard reasonable time and knock it out there I would love to hear what you think though tell me you can find me on Twitter I am bewray that's BR h EA as in let's do banquet reception hootenanny of and a fair and yes hootenanny is a synonym for party don't at me on that actually but yeah actually yes please do at me that's the whole it's the whole point right
If you enjoyed this podcast, you would probably like my newsletter. Every Thursday morning, you'll get a “just long enough” email with my thoughts on startups, bootstrapping, remote work, and mental fitness.