Author Archives: Michael

Rise of the transparent entrepreneur [part-1]

We live in the day of the con artist.

It’s not the information age anymore. It’s the day of manipulators and scammers.

Of hackers and rip-off artists.

That’s why TV shows can thrive on stories about construction-scams, rouge mechanics and white collar crimes.

They’ll NEVER run out of material because the world is full of liars and criminals.

Low-level criminals are everywhere. You walk past them every day on the street.

High level criminals are everywhere too. Usually in government or running a business or controlling the banks.

Why is this?

Because crime pays.

Crime brings power.

And criminals love power.

They’re hungry for it.

We live in a culture that thirsts for it. Even promotes it.

The message of “get ahead at any cost” is trumpeted from Hollywood … plastered all over social media … and ingrained in the social narrative.

There are more ways for scammers to pull the wool over your eyes today than ever before.

This is due — in part — to the rise and reliance on the greatest propaganda machine there ever was: the Internet and social media…

Plus …

Easy accessibility to paid advertising…

The complexity of technology…

And the general lack of time we have to fact check what we see and hear in the media.

But all this mistrust and skepticism creates a windfall opportunity for you because…

In the age of the con artist, the honest entrepreneur can stand out like a giraffe in a pack of wolves.

And thus the rise of the transparent entrepreneur.

The rise of the marketer who — instead of lying and deceiving — addresses skepticism head on.

The marketer who proves every claim.

The marketer who gives a basis for trust and believing before asking the prospect to risk a dime.

When done right …

New clients come running.

Past clients return.

And referrals flow like water from a tap.

What are you doing to increase transparency in your marketing?

You can start by subscribing to my free email newsletter. You’ll get 2-3 tips a week to help you become a more transparent email marketer.

Subscription is free. There’s an unsubscribe link in every email. And I never rent or sell your email address to anyone:

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Does email list size matter?

Short answer: Yes

Long answer: No

Here’s what I mean:

If you have an email list of 300 recent buyers, congratulations. You’ve got a hot list. You’ve got an email list of people who all share three important traits:

1) They trust you enough to give you money …

2) They all share a common desire for the specific problem-solving or life-changing solution you offer. And …

3) They’re buyers, not tire kickers. Meaning, they’re willing to dip their hand into their pocket to pay for solutions

That makes them good prospects for other products and services.

Products and service YOU can offer. Either yourself or through a joint venture. And continue to profit from the 300-name email list.

So no, in a case like this, overall list size does NOT matter – assuming you’re hitting your margins.

A list of buyers is what matters.

Of course, that doesn’t mean you should stop building your email list.

You should continue to do whatever got you those 300 buyers in the first place.

Now, let’s look at another scenario:

Let’s say you’ve got an email list of 300 email addresses that have NEVER bought from you.

They opted-in to your email list to get a free video, report, information pack, discount code, content upgrade or something else but…


(Sorry for shouting – just want to make sure you stay with me here.)

And let’s say each of those 300 people opted in for a different reason. For example …

Some opted-in to follow you, so they’ll know where to find you when they need you.

Others opted-in to get your content upgrade information to repurpose – or blatantly steal! – for their own business.

Others to spy on you.

And so on.

Does that sound like a valuable email list to you?

Does that sound like a list of responsive buyers?

If that describes (even loosely) the makeup of your email list, you’re gonna have a hard time converting them into buyers – no matter how good your copywriter is.

So, in this case, email list size DOES matter but … more importantly …


(Again, sorry for shouting. At least you’re still with me.)

Listen. It’s not the number of subscribers on your email list that matters…

It’s the number of people who share common traits and interests.

It’s the number of people with a common problem they want to solve … or …

… a common passion, love, hobby, or opportunity they want to pursue.

For example, an email list of 300 people itching to learn your closely-guarded secrets of wood turning …


managing staff,

buying antiques,

investing in real estate,

or raising lamas …

IS a valuable email list – assuming you’ve got the products or services that lead them closer and closer to their goals.

But an email list of 300 people with only a thin thread of commonality (or no commonality) connecting them is a bad list. And in that case, you’ve got to make up for lack of commonality with huge numbers.

It’s not efficient. But still might be effective.

And still better than some of the biz owners (or insta-fluencers) with 100,000 plus subscribers/followers and barely a buyer amongst them.

Do you see what I mean?

I hope this is making sense to you. If not, contact me to discuss your email list and how to make it more profitable.

We can also discuss how to identify the good subscribers and get the dead-wood off your list.

Of course, if you’re not ready to take the plunge into a world of increased profit, you can simply opt-in to my email list for 1-3 ideas a week to make your email list more valuable:

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Is this the reason you’re not making the sales you deserve?

I read an article today by Dr Greg Chapman over on the Australian Small Business blog.

He wrote about the importance of addressing customer concerns, fears or objections in your advertising.

If you’re NOT doing this in your marketing it could be creating a logjam in your sales pipeline.

And we ALL know how painful a logjam in your pipeline can be!

The basic idea is this:

If you figure out what scares, worries or keeps your potential customers awake at night …

… then show how your product or service addresses those concerns …

You’ll sell more product and make more money.

Dr Chapman used a recent iPhone ad as an example of doing it right.

Watch the ad here so you know what I’m talking about (it’s funny, so you’ll have a good laugh) —


Dr Chapman then admitted that although he thought the ad deserved the title of “AD of the Month,” — presumably as a model for how small businesses need to run ads to address their market’s biggest fears or concerns — he doesn’t actually believe the ad.

He said:

“Whether you accept these assurances from Apple, whose business model includes the monetizing your personal information, or not, is up to you. Personally, I would trust them just as far as I could throw an elephant.”

My thoughts:

Great advice, as far as addressing the concerns, fears, or objections of your market. But …

Seems to me there’s a deeper objection Apple are not tackling here.

Namely, although they offer data privacy, many people don’t believe them. Which is a problem because …

In advertising and marketing …

A benefit that is not believed is as good as not having a benefit.

My suggestion:

How about an ad and email campaign that says in essence:

If you’re one of the millions of iPhone users worldwide, you trust your personal data is kept safe when using your iPhone. But, with consumer skepticism over data security at an all-time high, we thought you’d appreciate it if we took a moment to explain the 6 steps and 5 precautions Apple takes to guarantee your data is kept away from prying eyes. First, we …

And so on.

Anyway, big takeaway is that Dr Greg Chapman runs an excellent blog for small business owners at

Go read some of his excellent articles today.

And …

If you need specific help with email marketing, subscribe to my email newsletter below or contact me here to start a conversation.

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Have you been sin binned? How to stop your emails landing in spam folder hell

Just occurred to me that a handful of my subscribers — possibly you included — don’t realise I don’t just write emails … but …

I also help you through the technical side of getting those emails set up in your email account if necessary.


I help you prevent your emails landing in spam folder hell!

As an example of this … today I set up (in mailchimp) a 5-email welcome series that I wrote for a client last week.

I didn’t just set it up … I created signature files for the client’s emails …

I also set up the timing for the automatic emails to go out — 

In this case we’re sending automated emails immediately after someone subscribes, then 3 hours, 24 hours, 48 hours later, and final 6 days after the first email goes out.

I won’t go into all the reasons for the timing of these emails. But suffice to say …

There’s method to my madness.

There’s ALWAYS method to my madness.

And, as one final step for this client, I set up email domain authentication to get his emails to land in the subscriber’s inbox instead of …

The dreaded spam folder.

Have you set up email domain authentication for your email address?

If not, you may be landing in the spam folder more often than you think.

And that’s not good. Because the fastest way to die a slow email death is to send all your emails to your subscribers spam folder.

And get this:

Some email services such as gmail send your emails to the spam folder automatically when you use an ESP like MailChimp or GetResponse or Active Campaign. And this WON’T change, no matter how compliant your email message, until you verify or authenticate your email domain.

It’s not enough to ask subscribers to whitelist your emails.

And it’s not enough to send emails that are spam compliant in every other respect.


Because these email services want to protect their own reputation. To do that they don’t want their uses receiving spam. So they block anything that could potentially be spam — starting with mass email from services like MailChimp .

Think of it like this.

If you’re a teenager holding a wild party while your parents are away, the last thing you want to do is tip your parents off that a party is going down.

So what do you do?

You do everything you can to convince your parents you’re having a sedate weekend at home. You tell them you’re probably going to hit the books all weekend and maybe watch a movie if you have time.

You DO NOT tell them you’re having the neighbours with a bad reputation for starting out-of-control house parties over for a few drinks.

This would drive your parents nuts.

And they’d be so on edge they’d either invite your uncle Ted over to keep an eye on you … or cancel their plans for the weekend so they can stay home to watch you themselves.

Basically you’ve been sin binned

If you don’t want that, you need to show your parents they can trust you.

In the same way, email readers like gmail, yahoo, outlook and so on want to know they can trust you before they allow you to have free reign over which of their customers you send emails to.

To gain these company’s trust you need to authenticate your email domain.

Make sense?

(Here’s how to set up email domain authentication if you use mailchimp)  

Just take my word for it.

Anyway, if you want automated emails written for your welcome series…

Or your abandoned cart series …

Or your product upsell series …

Or whatever …

And you also need help with the technical side of setting all this up ….

I can help.

Just reply to this email, tell me what you want (even if you don’t know what’s possible) and let’s chat.

Oh, and I also do broadcasts emails if you need those.

Hit my services tab at the top of the page to find out more …

Or subscribe to my email newsletter and I’ll tell you all the ways I can help, along with 2-3 helpful tips each week to improve your results with email marketing.

Subscribing is free, and you can do it here:

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What’s better — sending valuable content to your email list … or a barrage of product promotions?

If you have to write marketing emails you’ve probably sat at your computer at some point wondering what the right balance is between useful content and promotional emails.

And it’s a fair thing to wonder.

Thousands follow Gary V’s “Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook” methodology which advocates sending at least 3 “information only” emails to every promotional email you send.

But frankly, that’s an oversimplification. It may be true with social media, but email is different. As proof …

Many companies promote an offer in EVERY EMAIL THEY SEND … and get away with it just fine.

Still others send ONLY free content, with the assumption “They’ll contact us when they’re ready to buy, so we don’t need to pitch in our emails“.

Who’s right?

According to Hubspot, who have a few terabytes of data on such things:

The key to crafting a successful email marketing strategy lies in creating trust with contacts and building genuine, long-lasting relationships with them“.

The good news is …

You don’t need to compromise.

With the right approach — and a little thought — you can build long-lasting relationships … AND … promote your products or services in every email you send.

I’m using a couple of different approaches to help clients achieve this right now.

And I write about it occasionally in my 2-3 times a week email newsletter, which you can subscribe to below:

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