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The Blogger Genius Podcast with Jillian Leslie

May 29, 2019

If you’re an online marketer, you know the importance of your email list. As they say, the money is in your email list.

Our guest this week is Matt Molen, the founder of Personalized Paths. Matt is an email marketing expert. He's here to show us all the strategy you need to crush email marketing.

We talk about not only how to grow your email list, but why you need to grow your email list.

Then once you have a list, what to do to monetize it, and keep your community close.

What Is Email Marketing?

When we first began Catch My Party, we thought we would grow our audience and then monetize our site via ads. Over time that has become less lucrative.

Bloggers have to figure out other ways to make money. Ads are only a piece of the money-making pie.

Sophisticated bloggers have figured out that they shouldn’t value growth merely for growth’s sake. It’s about being very intentional and selling to your audience, learning how to solve their problems.

One of the best ways to do that is through email.

Whether you’re running a blog, an e-commerce business, or you’re an influencer, what you’re doing is solving someone’s problem is what attracts them to you.

Email is a great way to explain how you solve their problems.

Brands are built by solving problems over and over again.

Bloggers all know they need to grow their lists but sometimes they aren’t sure what to do once they’ve grown it.

Why Grow Your Email List?

Google’s latest update has hit many bloggers, as their position in Google search ranking has changed. That means that their blog traffic has also changed.  

Many people were dramatically affected by the recent Facebook and Instagram outage.

This is another reminder that they are going to do what they want to do, and if they go down, they go down. It will impact you.

Pinterest is constantly changing and evolving their algorithm. Our traffic has changed many times when Pinterest updates.

The reason you need a list is to have as much control over your audience as you can.

You own your blog, you own your website, and you own your email list.

That is a great reason to grow your email list, number one.

The second reason that many people tend to miss out on is that email is a fairly intimate form of marketing communication.

If you do it right, you can create real engagement between yourself and your readers.

When you sign up to someone’s email list, you are inviting them into your inbox. You are inviting them to be your friend.

The businesses that use email to build a relationship, to make friends; those are the ones that are going to have a brand.

If you are able to make your audience feel known and solve their problems time and again, they are going to share you with others, and your list is going to grow.

They are going to buy your products, and you’re going to have a loyal audience.

Email lists are a long game but ultimately, it’s one that is worth the bill.

Give To Get

When you offer something generic like a free recipe in return for an email, you are not earning a loyal audience. People get what they want, and then they drift away.

What you need to do is stop the viewer in their tracks.

There are lots of types of lead magnets, like checklists, printables, and courses.

Matt has developed his own lead magnet that helps you stand out, and keep your audience.

It’s called a Quick Start Guide.

We know a few things about the person who lands on our page based on what they’re searching for. We can assume a lot of things.

You can then offer that person more content along those lines.

Using your hook, you get them on your list and you fulfill that problem through 3-5 emails separated by a day.

Every day for five days they’re receiving a new “lesson" from you. You link your lessons back to your site, to your content, in each email.

Those first five emails should all stay related to the original search topic.

The power behind this is that you’re answering their problems and you’re giving them meaty content that helps them get to know you as a brand.

Matt has a blog devoted to Disney cruises, and his Quick Start hook is, “What to Expect On Your First Cruise.”

The engagement starts to happen when we answer questions our audience hasn’t even thought to ask yet.

Following Up with Your Audience

In your final email, you can say that you hope they’ve enjoyed your content and you are going to continue sending relevant material to their inbox to help them with that particular problem.

Think through the most common journey that people face and deliver solutions and suggestions to your people.

Start with something general that will catch as many people who cross your site as possible.

Most bloggers send their most recent content, not focusing on their best content.

All of your old content is buried to the person who crosses your site, thanks to Google. You want to get the best of your blog in front of your reader.

Pick out the best of your content, and present it to your audience as if you know them. You know the content they are going to want to see next.

Over the course of emails, use your content as a journey to build trust and friendship with your reader.

Why You Want to Send Weekly Newsletters

Matt describes a newsletter as a story of the person’s week.

No one cares about that stuff until you’re at a level where they care about you so much they want to know those things.

With newsletters, what problems can you solve right now? What is your audience thinking about right now? You probably have existing or new content that caters to that.

Do not send an email unless you know what problem you’re solving for your reader.

Solving Problems for your Newsletter Readers

After ten weeks of emails presenting his best content and solving problems, Matt does a mixture of automated emails and scheduled broadcasts.

The rule is that if you’re solving problems, it is not spam.

The automated side is evergreen content. He builds it out as long as he can.

Matt also has "broadcasts, "that are for very specific content important at the moment.

He does a "forever series" email once per week, and if he can, a broadcast once per week.

If you’re solving their existing problems, they will come to you with new problems, and you will have new content to create.

Is Consistency Key for Email?

Consistency is important because it lets your reader know when to expect you.

If you’re sending a "forever series" on Tuesdays and a broadcast on Fridays, your audience gets used to getting your emails every Tuesday and Friday.

You will maintain your subscribers if you are consistent.

When you go outside of that and are sporadic, then they will not be used to hearing from you.

Growing Traffic Through Email

Be aggressive about growing your list, but also be aggressive about pruning your list.

You do not need to carry dead weight on your subscriber list.

The people who, over time, stop opening your emails, stop caring... it’s time to stop sending them content.

The number of subscribers is not your be-all, end-all.

You want to keep the people who are opening your content.

Every thirty days, Matt goes through his list and gets rid of any subscribers who haven’t opened their email in thirty to ninety days.

The reasons Matt does this is because it costs money to keep those subscribers and it impacts your deliverability.

Matt looks to see how often someone has engaged with his content. If someone hasn’t engaged in three to six months, they’re off the list.

Matt also wants unique clicks. He wants people clicking back to his site.

Matt has a formula for all the emails he writes:

  • State the problem you are solving
  • Explain that you have the solution and why you have the solution
  • Give a link back to your blog that has the solution

It is a short and simple email. No one wants to read a long, wordy email. It seems so typical, but when you keep delivering on it, you are building a brand.

When they keep ending up back on your site, they learn your face, your brand, your business.

Matt’s Favorite Email Services

Matt likes to use Convert Kit for most of his clients. It has a balance of automated features and simplicity of use.

I use Active Campaign for my email services.

How To Start Sending Emails to Your List

The first thing to do is to identify the biggest problem you can solve with your existing content.

Take three to five pieces of content and lump them into a theme.

With that "quick start" guide to answer that problem, you send people one email per day for five days.

If you do it right, you will have a much more interested subscriber for what’s coming next.

If you’re stuck, go look at your Google analytics and see which posts are doing the best.

Contacting Matt

Matt has three levels for working with bloggers.

The first one is a free program of three videos. It’s called Email Jump Start.

If you are serious about getting your Email List changed, Matt has a course of 20+ video modules on what to do and how to do it. That is called Email On Autopilot.

If you’re more established and looking to get help with individual strategies, you can look on the website for consulting services at Personalized Paths.

What Type of Online Entrepreneur is MiloTree Right For?

Are you serious about growing your online business (advanced beginner and above)? Have you got some traffic but you know you need more?

Let your MiloTree pop-ups help you get to that next level by converting your visitors into email subscribers and social media followers on Instagram, Pinterest, Facebook and YouTube. Sign up today!

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  •  Intro
  •  3:10 What Is Email Marketing?
  •  5:16 Why Grow Your List?
  •  8:02 Give To Get
  • 15:36 Following Up with Your Audience
  • 25:25 Weekly Newsletters
  • 28:21 Solving Problems
  • 32:15 Is Consistency Key?
  • 34:14 Growing Traffic Through Email
  • 37:36 Matt’s Favorite Email Service Providers
  • 38:49 How To Start
  • 40:39 Contacting Matt

Read the podcast transcript HERE:



  1. You can’t control social media algorithms, but you can control your email list because you own it.
  2. Use your email to explain how you can solve the reader’s problems.
  3. Develop a lead magnet that creates a loyal audience and leaves them wanting more. Then direct them to your blog for more content related to their problem.
  4. Be consistent. Email your audience on the same day(s) every week so that they come to expect your emails and look forward to them.


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