Discover the real power behind learning to monetize and leverage your own style as an email marketer. In this podcast, learn how you can effectively connect with your audience through emails.
01:32 – The unusual style of Andre Chaperon
02:45 – Email as the perfect platform
04:25 – Effective storytelling
06:22 – Learning from Hollywood’s storyboards
08:15 – How people’s viewing habits change
08:55 – Do you have to be a great writer?
09:35 – Should your emails be conversational?
10:10 – Autoresponders or broadcasts?
11:33 – Hybrid email strategies
12:18 – Follow-up sequence is the spinal cord
13:15 – Most popular solutions from Andre
14:00 – The introvert as entrepreneur
15:30 – Monetizing and leveraging your own style
16:05 – Common mistakes of email marketers
16:58 – Researching techniques
18:46 – Should you do segmentation?
20:40 – The power of the “from” address
21;22 – Subject lines that lead to more opens
22:25 – Why you need to set up filters in your email
23:11 – Tweaking messages
24:25 – Creating your email system
26:12 – Taking the stress away with autoresponders
27:27 – Email service provision
28:50 – Why James left Aweber
29:26 – Wrapping things up
Effective storytelling strategies. [Click To Tweet].
How should you write your emails? [Click To Tweet].
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How autoresponders help. [Click To Tweet].
James: James Schramko here, welcome back to SuperFastBusiness.com. And I’ve tracked down one of the earliest people who I can remember from when I went online who was publishing good stuff back then and flies pretty close to the radar, in fact a little bit under it. And you won’t hear too much from my next guest out there in the public, because he’s quietly just doing his thing, making good revenue, and I guess he’s built up quite a reputation for just a few products that have made it out publicly.
I’d love to welcome to the call, Andre Chaperon. How are you going, mate?
Andre: Hey, mate. Top of the world. I’m doing good. It’s a lovely sunny day here in Spain.
James: Yeah, it’s great that you’re in a different place than when you started out. I think, back in maybe 2006 you were in London?
Andre: Yeah, I was. I started this craziness in 2003 and I was in London, living just outside of London, so doing the whole commute. And then it all started in 2003. We moved to Spain in ‘07, so..
James: Gotcha. So I think I started around 2006 was my real sort of first year. And by then, you’d already figured out a lot of stuff. You had a pretty powerful WordPress blog.
The “Soap Opera” Technique
James: You had an unusual style. It was very different to the American style. You actually had well-written content, and you used to publish case studies of actual results, and I remember you were posting your campaigns and I’m pretty sure that’s where I got a hold of the idea that you should track the results. And you were using tracking IDs and ClickBank.
And I was very interested in what you were doing there. I picked up some ideas from that. I recall about that time was when I started messing around with WordPress and knew that I had to track stuff. And then you went on of course to be quite the specialist in email writing autoresponders and you had a very famous course, Autoresponder Madness, which again when I bought that the first time around, you used to email your list occasionally and say, oh, you know, there’s something coming, keep your eye out for it.
And you’d do this with affiliate offers from time to time, and then you’d do it with your own products. But you have this very seductive email technique, and I think you call it “soap opera.” But I’d love it if you could just give it a little bit of a window into how this style of email marketing works.
Andre: Sure. I’m a shy, reclusive dude, which is why I don’t do these things because it just scares the life out of me, so when I was trying all sorts of things in the very beginning because I didn’t know what I was doing and I didn’t know what to do, I was just trying all sorts of stuff. And one of the things that really clicked with me, it felt so comfortable and right, was emails. I guess it’s the perfect medium for someone like me to communicate with a massive audience with.
You know, I don’t have to jump on video or on an audio thing, I just have to write emails. So yeah, I started writing emails early on and out of all the different things I tried, it was the one thing that I really enjoyed doing. And I just used to write stories. It just seemed intuitive to me to – I mean, I wasn’t any good at them back then, but I noticed that when I was telling stories about what I was doing and my experiences and family and whatever and people were just bonding and connecting with that, so that’s how the whole story thing started.
James: Well, of course stories are extremely popular these days. A lot more people have figured out that storytelling is what’s it about, whether it’s the great fraud, Lance Armstrong.. and he had like the ultimate comeback story, and you know, it draws people in, they’re fascinated by it, everywhere from Hollywood through to your humble email marketer. And certainly, I’ve been toying with this a lot, dialling in more personality, behind the scenes stuff.
I think it’s super compelling. You did get onto it nice and early, but one of the specific techniques you seem to do is to hold back parts of the story for future episodes, much like a TV series, so that you create that maintained interest.
Andre: Yeah. I mean, over time, I grow better at creating the stories and putting them out there. As I was learning more about what I was doing and honing the skill and the more I was connecting with the right people and reading the right stuff and you know, there was also an element of I used to enjoy watching TV series like “Lost” and “24,” and it just seemed to make sense that you tell stories across multiple emails. So nothing’s written in isolation, so you know, typically marketers write emails and it’s just like, one email is essentially the whole story, and typically, it’s blind as well.
You know, they just want people to click on a link and then go somewhere. I just took a different approach, and yeah, telling stories across multiple emails just seems perfect, and I use some of the techniques that they use in Hollywood, using the open loops and…Through the day, people want to be teased and it builds tension and people will enjoy… when there’s no tension and anticipation, people lose interest.
I mean, that’s just human nature with everything. It’s the reason why those launches, that whole product launch stuff works so well. It’s because it teases and there’s tension and all the cool stuff that us humans get drawn to.
Multiple notepads for storyboards
James: So would you say that it’s a good technique for someone listening to this to start thinking about how they could tie their emails together more or their communication is, you said, not in isolation. I did hear someone credit you with a technique of opening up a whole bunch of different notes all at once, and then writing your email series across multiple notepads so you could then transfer the story, much like you would a book with chapters.
Andre: Yeah. In Hollywood they use these things called storyboards, so I just borrowed that technique. I mean I don’t necessarily do it any more, though I still teach it because when you’re still new to writing emails in a certain way, it’s just easier to stretch out a whole bunch of blank notepads across your computer screen and then you can just start writing and the story will just flow across those things and you can visually see and cut and paste different elements from the emails between all the different windows, each notepad representing an email.
So you can just visually see the whole thing. So yeah, that’s a technique that I used, and it’s the one I still teach, because people can visually see what they’re doing and it’s easy.
James: It does make sense. I guess at the very least, I’ve been thinking about how can I mention what’s coming in my next video, to at least think about more than just the one email, kind of like a game of snooker, where you’re thinking about the next shot after – where will the white ball be after this one, so that you can line up for the next one.
Andre: Right. Yeah, yeah. I mean, all the good TV shows do that. I don’t know if you get E! Entertainment over there…
James: No, we don’t. There’s no TV in Australia, I probably forgot to mention that, just prior to your trip here for SuperFastBusiness Live.
James: No. We get a lot of American and UK TV here, as well as local content. It’s quite a mixed bag, because we’re such a small country, we don’t really have huge resources.
Andre: Yeah. You’re still using CRT computer screens there, no doubt?
James: No doubt. Yeah. No, actually, we’re fairly early adapters for stuff, but we are a pretty small market, so things that cost a lot like television production, we’re not so big into. We steal content from other countries. We license it.
So we get all the famous American TV shows coming here, but on a little bit of a delay. And it’s really interesting watching how people change their viewing habits with the advent of things like Apple TV. And a lot of people here I think are now using proxy VPN sort of facilities to be able to get accounts with NetFlix and…
Andre: Yeah. We don’t have NetFlix in Spain and although we’re connected to the UK, there’s NetFlix UK, but it gets everything like ten years after the US, after the US NetFlix streams just perfectly.
Do you need to be a great writer?
James: So let’s just continue on, then. We’ve got the idea that we can loop stories around. Some of the things that come to mind are, do you have to be a great writer to be able to write great emails?
Andre: Well, one thing’s for damn sure, and that is I wasn’t a great writer when I started. I mean, English is my first language, but I still joke I can barely speak English. It was the one subject I almost failed back in school. I’m dyslexic, so I’m rigged not to be able to write really well.
James: So you don’t have to be an English major.
James: Would you say that your emails fall under the category of conversational? So they’re not like formal English, they’re more just the way that you would speak to a friend?
Andre: Oh yeah. I mean, if would show the way that I write now to any English teacher, they’d fail me on the spot. And the only way to write better is two things: is to read more and write more. It’s the only way to get better.
Autoresponders vs. Broadcast Emails
James: Well, I’ve noticed you do some cool stuff too, like you share book recommendations with your audience, and you involve people in… I remember you sold off some of your old info products. I remember these things, they’re really quite unusual compared to your typical affiliate blast. This leads me to a few sort of related questions.
Are you doing a lot of autoresponders for your house lists, or are you a broadcaster?
Andre: No, I don’t do broadcasts very much. Well, yeah. I mean, follow-up sequences just are perfect for the type of stuff I do. And also the way that I see it is, when I write an email, I want it to… I don’t want it just to be used once. It needs to be used over time, so every piece of asset, every asset that I create, there’s an evergreen element to it.
And it can be used forever, over time, so loading up all these emails into a follow-up sequence that are essentially going to be there for years if I choose to leave them there, it’s just perfect. And then, every single person that comes into my sphere of influence is going to be exposed to those emails, and obviously those emails are all sequenced out in a certain way so it tells a story and it moves people along a predefined line, and it’s all very predictable.
When you’re doing broadcast, I mean, Ben Settle does daily broadcast emails, and again there’s nothing wrong with the different methods that…they all work, it’s just for me, I don’t want to write an email and hit the Send button and it goes out to X thousand people and that’s it. You know, the person that gets added to my list or adds themselves to my list the next day wasn’t exposed to an email that was potentially a really good one or something that could move the needle for somebody.
James: Yeah, I guess in my boat I’m a hybrid, because I send broadcast emails every day or two, but I also have a bunch of behavioral-based autoresponders that are fired… you know, the trigger or the sequence will happen when someone visits a page on my site, or they purchase a product, then they will be added to a sequence where they start receiving information that has been leveraged and structured. I wish there was a way that I could leverage a lot of my broadcast stuff, but I guess it ties in with my fresh videos.
Andre: I mean the hybrid of both works really well as well. It’s not that I don’t send broadcasts; I do, but follow-up sequences basically is the spinal cord of everything. So like you said, when the people visit a certain page or they trigger a certain event, it can launch a series of emails and you can’t do that any other way. And obviously, things that are more time-sensitive, you can send a broadcast over the top, and that works good. That works well.
James: Why do you think you have been held up as such a great email marketer? What sort of qualities do you think people keep talking about when they come back to you? Anywhere you go, any Facebook group, any forum, when the topic of email marketing comes up, you get Andre Chaperon, Ben Settle, and then some of the proteges are coming through.
You know, like the people who study the material and get sort of public out there, like John McIntyre. What are the things that you think people really admire the most about the stuff you’ve been doing?
Andre: I think the stuff that I’m known for the most is the soap opera sequences. It’s just the name I gave to sequencing of emails. I just call them soap opera sequences, because that’s kind of what it feels like. I think that’s the thing that I’m most well-known for.
James: Yeah. So there’s really a lot to be said for naming a process in your industry.
James: Get in there early with your name. I do it too. You know, I’ve got Own The Racecourse, and people refer to that when I’m not around. And that’s really one of the goals, I guess.
An unusual introvert
James: But it is kind of remarkable to me, because you have been very under the radar. You hardly ever pop out. But then you do some unusual stuff for an introvert. Like you’ll tell people when you’re going to an event or wherever and encourage them to meet you and have drinks. So I think you’re really making an effort as a… maybe you’re reforming.
Andre: Yeah. I’m actually strange. I actually do enjoy meeting people. It’s not like I need to hide in a cupboard all day long. It’s just meeting people in a little setting in a bar setting or whatever, that’s great and I love chatting to people and helping them out like that. It’s just when there’s a setting like this, I guess, I’m doing OK at the moment but yeah, if I were to jump on stage I wouldn’t know where to start and I kind of, I don’t know.
For me, I can articulate my thoughts when I’m writing. And as I’m writing, I get this clarity that happens. And I can’t get that any other way, so when I‘m just talking and ad libbing, I don’t have that level of clarity. I can’t articulate my thoughts in the same way, so things come out a bit jumbled, which is why I love writing, because it just, yeah, it’s cool. It works well.
James: Well, I think the real message in that is this is probably very encouraging for someone who doesn’t feel like they want to be on camera and upfront and center like a lot of the marketers out there. I’ll put myself in that bucket. My preferred medium is to just create a video or an audio off the bat and record it and then just leverage it. That way, I tend not to write much at all.
I hardly write anything. The real takeaway is that it really doesn’t matter what your style is. There is a way to monetize that, and to leverage it, and I think when you combine a few of them, that‘s got some real power as well.
Andre: Yeah, absolutely.