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How would your marketing results change if you could achieve 90% open rates and 60% reply rates to your emails?
This week on The Inbound Success Podcast, 7 Figure Millennials podcast host Brandon Fong talks about the email marketing strategies he used to help SuperHuman Academy hit its ambitious growth goals, and how he's built on that experience to create the "Magic Connection Method" of email outreach.
Through his podcast and consulting services, Brandon is on a mission to change what success means for an entire generation of young entrepreneurs—and he's using all the marketing lessons he learned in his own career to help others achieve their goals.
Check out the full episode, or read the transcript below, for details.
Resources from this episode:
Visit BFo.ng/inbound to get a free copy of Brandon's training program on the Magic Connection Method
Kathleen (00:01): Welcome back to the inbound success podcast. I'm your host Kathleen Booth. And this week, my guest is Brandon Fong, who is the host of the seven figure millennials podcast. Welcome to the podcast, Brandon.
Brandon (00:26): Thank you so much for having me. I'm excited to be here.
Kathleen (00:29): I would love it if you could tell people your story, because I think you have such an interesting journey in terms of where you've worked and what you're doing now. So maybe you could talk a little bit about your background and then explain about seven figure millennials and some of the things that you've got kind of that you're working on at the moment.
Brandon (00:46): Yeah, absolutely would love that. So I always like to start my story at Wisconsin Hills middle school. So I know it was a little earlier than most people would start, but that's where my story started. And I remember very specifically, I'd be sitting in the classroom and the lunch bell would ring.
And like, if you remember from when you're in middle school, if you're listening to this right now, you know, whatever the environment of a middle school is with all the obnoxious sixth graders flooding into the hallways and stuff like that. And if you look closely, you'd see, I always carry this picture on my desk. So if you're listening as you can't hear it, but I have a picture of little nerdy Brandon.
Kathleen (01:17): As you're, as you're saying this, I'm actually going to screenshot it so that somebody is listening, then they can go to the show notes and see the picture of little Brandon. So here we go. All right, got it.
Brandon (01:29): Well, if you're listening, I had this big bugs bunny gap in my teeth. I had a, the, the, you know, these cute little glasses that I didn't really like that much, but so if you look closely at the halls of my middle school, you'd see little nerdy, Brandon hanging out behind everybody else, kind of procrastinating on his way to lunch.
And you may be wondering why the heck would any sixth grader procrastinate on like the one time of freedom that they have during their day. Right. And the reason why is because when I would go through the lunch checkout line, I'd have my plastic tray with the curly fries or the chicken nuggets or whatever was on sale for the day. I put it down next to the lunch lady, I type in my student ID. And then up on the screen, it would show the words, Brandon Fong, $0 and 0 cents.
Brandon (02:05): And the reason why it showed that is because I qualified for the free lunch program. And I was just so embarrassed. Like some days I would even hide out in the bathroom and try to distract my friends, or I would try to make some jokes. So they wouldn't see the screen or something like that. And I was super frustrated back then because I wished I had more resources.
I wish I had more money. Right. But what my incredible parents taught me from a very early age is that if you, if you want to be successful, it's not about the resources. It's about learning how to be resourceful. And so one of the number one things that they taught me from a very early age was the power of connection. And so they would actually let me skip school when I was 16 years old and go to local networking events.
Brandon (02:40): So I would be this 16 year old would probably be like oversized you know, dress clothes that didn't really fit me in that kind of stuff, but I'd be learning how to talk with these kinds of people. And so if you fast forward five years, I kind of kept practicing the skill of connection and learning how to connect with people. And so my senior year of college, I ended up reaching out to a really successful entrepreneur.
His name was Jonathan Levy. He was the host of the superhuman Academy podcast. And I just reached out to him and that turned into an incredible, it kind of felt like David versus Goliath though, you know, it was like, who was I, some college kid reaching out to the successful entrepreneur, but that turned into an incredible relationship where I ran his marketing for over three years helped I was on the team where we added over a hundred thousand students through the online courses, a 1.5 million downloads added to his podcast or his YouTube channel.
Brandon (03:26): And on top of that, Jonathan got into this really high level group called genius network. And if you're not familiar with it, it's a high end mastermind. It cost $25,000 a year to attend. You need to make at least seven figures to be in there. And Jonathan got accepted into this group and I got to go along with Jonathan and participate and engage with those meetings with people at incredibly high levels.
So it was crazy. Cause it's like here I was this little kid just wanting more money. And then I got catapulted. I was the youngest person in the room at genius network at age 22. And I had this opportunity to learn directly from some of the world's most successful people. And so all that to say, there's really two main things I'd like to share about why share that story. One. I learned the power of connection.
Brandon (04:05): I learned that you were just one connection away and it's been very true in my life that whenever I went to the next level, it's always been because of a connection with somebody. And so that's the key key lesson number one and key lesson. Number two is like, again, like I said, I had the opportunity to catapult into and see what success looked like. And if I went on the path I was on, I saw that there were incredibly successful people that seem like they approach success a little bit differently than other people.
They like, they prioritize their happiness, their health and their relationships, and they're still incredibly successful. But at the same time, Kathleen, you and I have both heard stories of entrepreneurs or people that are incredibly financially successful, but they're like miserable on the inside still. And so that, that was the inspiration behind the seven figure millennials brand is to inspire millennial entrepreneurs, to prioritize their happiness, health and relationships while achieving their biggest entrepreneurial and financial goals.
Brandon (04:54): So I'm on a mission right now to change the global conversation around what success means for an entire generation of entrepreneurs. Because I don't think that we can call someone successful if if they are still working on, you know, I mean, obviously there's, there's some elements to it, but I, I think that the true definition of success should definitely include the happiness perspective of it. So that's how I got my whole start and this whole stuff I've been working on some beer millennials since the I think it was September of this year. So it's all new I've, I've, I'm on my own since leaving Jonathan's company as a may of this year. So just over six months now. So it's been an incredible journey and I'm excited for diving into any aspect of that that you want to dive into.
Kathleen (05:30): Well, I just have to say that I wish I had half of your energy and enthusiasm when I was your age. My life would probably look completely different right now, but that's awesome. I love like just your hustle and your, you know, the drive you're putting into doing what you're doing. I was really interested when you and I first connected in some of the things that you were able to accomplish at superhuman.
As you said, you, during your time there, which was just a couple of years, you enrolled more than a hundred thousand students into the programs. There you increase podcast downloads by 1.5 million. You grew the YouTube channel by 15,000 subscribers through the Facebook community to more than 32,000 people, et cetera. And you were also primarily responsible for managing an email list that had more than a hundred thousand people on it.
Kathleen (06:20): And email I know was a key part of, of how you all accomplished what you did. So I wanted to just start by digging into the topic of email because we all do it. It's not going anywhere. Despite everybody always constantly, again and again, saying emails, dead emails, dead. It's not dead. I don't know that it's going to die anytime soon. And so it's definitely a skill that I think we all need to master. So let's, let's sort of break it down. Like what, talk to me a little bit about what you did at superhuman, the approach you took.
Brandon (06:50): So when it comes to email marketing, I think that it's really, I actually, with any marketing topic, it's really easy to go super complex and you want to do all this fancy pants, automations and that kind of stuff, but like sometimes automations can get in the way of you actually making money and helping people, right? If you make things too complicated.
So I think at the end of the day, simplicity is really key. And so I was really focused on lots of like the, the content that was going out on a weekly basis, how to send engaging content, get people to engage with those emails, make sure our deliverability was high, that, that people were responding and, you know, increasing our engagement score on those platforms. And I think that, you know, just at a high level, some really important things to talk about here.
Brandon (07:29): And I know you have some very advanced listeners, but I think for me, it's always been crazy to think about, you know, the fundamentals, like what are the fundamentals, the things that are always true that will continue to be true. And then how can we make sure that we're not forgetting that in, in, in all this crazy stuff that we're going on?
So whenever I was creating an email automation or a broadcast email, I think it's really hard. Or it's really easy to think, Oh, I'm writing to a hundred thousand people right now. Right? But like, to me, whenever I would sit down to write an email, it's always about how am I writing to one person? Cause it's like, your language is entirely different if you're trying to talk to masses and then nobody actually responds to it.
So I think in our world today with marketing, with lots of rooftop marketing is what I, what I've been calling it lately where people are just kind of screaming from a rooftop, but like how can you create engaging content that get people to lean in and make them really interested in engaging with what you're doing?
Brandon (08:15): So we can, we can talk a little bit more about that. We can also talk about, I think there's another interesting topic where it's like, people think that they have to create either content or promotions and they view them as two completely separate things. But there's some other ways that you can make sure that you're doing hybrids, that you're engaging people and also moving them forward through your funnel and that kind of stuff. So however you want to take it or we can dive into anything else. I said that before, too.
Kathleen (08:36): I'm really happy that you talked about writing as though you're writing to one person because that's, I so strongly believe in that that's something that I do. I think in, in the email marketing world, they call that the rule of one, like you should have one person in your head and you're writing that email to that one person. So talk me through like how that plays out as you're putting your email together.
Brandon (08:56): It's funny. Cause like, you know, sometimes I'll even go into Gmail and I'll write my email on Gmail, just because it's like, when you're sitting inside of your, you know, your ESP or your, you know, active campaign, you know, whatever you're using, it's like, it's easy to like kind of lose sight of what you're doing.
So sometimes if I'm stuck, if I'm like this doesn't sound right, I'll literally just pretend I'm writing an email inside of a Gmail. So I mean, I can take that in many ways. I mean, for me I'm a huge copy nerd, so I'm always studying copy. So like I'm always looking at creating what Joe Sugarman calls, the slippery slide effect where it's like, you read the first word and then you can't help or you read the first sentence, you can't help but read the next sentence.
Brandon (09:33): And then it leads to the next sentence and the, before the end, you pop out and you, you know, you're at the call to action or whatever it is. So for me, it's always about short, concise sentences. It's about very seeing, seeing, I'll usually write an email and then I'm like, what can I subtract here? How can I say this more concise? How can I cut out the fluff? And how can I really just get to the heart of the matter?
Maybe there's some, you know, explanations or things that just didn't belong there. So I'm always reading my emails out loud. I'm always you know, like I said, checking to see how I can make it more concise. And I'm looking at creating that, that slippery slide so that people pop out at the end and are really interested in engaging with whatever content was being sent.
Kathleen (10:09): I would love to get your take on subject lines because obviously with email marketing, it all starts there. If you can't get somebody to open your email, you're dead in the water. I have, I have certain opinions about this. And it, and it relates to this topic of writing. Like you're writing to a singular person because marketing subject lines are really, really different than the subject lines we write when we're just writing to connections or friends.
You know, oftentimes when we write to connections and friends, like we don't, we're not using title case in our subject lines, for example you know, in fact it may all be lowercase and we're not necessarily telling them like what what's in the email. It could be something simple like FYI, I thought you might be interested. I dunno, like how do you, how do you handle that?
Because there's a certain school of thought that like your subject line with marketing emails should, should tell people what they're going to find in the email. And then there's another school of thought that's like, no, it should just literally be something that grabs their attention and gets them to open it.
Brandon (11:10): It's a great question. Sometimes when I'm stuck with subject lines, like I studied lots of viral headlines. Like I have a spreadsheet that like I've went and I've researched like bunch of content that has done really, really well. So I'm always modeling what's working in this space. And another thing that I'll do is like, I have an email where I'm subscribed to dozens, hundreds.
I don't even know maybe at this point, thousands of different newsletters. And so sometimes I will scroll through and I can say, okay, if my email was competing with all these other emails and it was in this inbox right now, would I be compelled to click on it? And so those are some of the small tests that I do. I mean, there's, it's interesting.
Cause you brought up like the difference between sending a marketing email and an email to a friend because something that I do sometimes depending on the kind of engage, the automation that I'm running right now, but sometimes I will create an email that will look like it's an outreach.
Brandon (12:04): So like some, like it just has to do with the formatting too. So it's like, I'll create an email that will look like it's actually coming from somebody that's not in the marketing world. So I'll make sure that it's not centered. I'll make sure that, that it's, it's kind of like, I test it to make sure that if I want to open in Gmail, it actually looks like it's being sent by somebody.
So there's different things that you can do. There's this concept of a nine word email by Dean Jackson which I don't know if you've ever experimented with that personally, but like we found that to work really, really well when we were at superhuman and the concept of a nine word email is basically the fact that it's just, it's just, it's exactly what it is. It's a nine word email.
Brandon (12:39): So it's like you send the message and it's simply a question like, are you, are you in, are you interested in whatever the outcome that your company is working on right now? And that's it, it's just a question. And then it's kind of a strange thing to get in your email inbox because people are used to these really long emails, but then you get this nine word email, and it's just a question.
It looks like it's coming directly from the person and you can get incredible responses from that and then take that opportunity of those responses to engage with them and enroll them, or, you know, figure out a resource that you can provide them. But that's another thing that I've been really obsessed with now especially in today's world where we want real connection with people is how can I get people to reply to the email?
And then how can I just leverage customer service or, you know, another opportunity to just engage with them and really make them feel like they have a relationship with the brand. Because like I said, it's like, we feel like we're being yelled at all the time. At least sometimes I feel like that way. So it's just like, how can you get people to lean in and actually respond and engage and train, train that behavior of like somebody's actually interacting with you as if they would interact with somebody else.
Kathleen (13:39): So what is working for you to get people to engage?
Brandon (13:41): I think the easiest thing too, is like when, when you were sending an email that is designed to get somebody to engage, you have to make it easy for them to respond to it. So like you think about these two questions reply yes. To this email, you know, it's like easy for someone to copy it, copy and paste the word. Yes. Or tell me what the number one goal is that you're focused on right now.
And there's a time and a place for both. But if you're looking at simply just getting somebody to respond and open the door to a conversation, you want to make it super easy. So sometimes I found that to work where you just give them a prompt, like just say, Hey, respond with this specific phrase and then we can go. So like, those are obviously easier to get people to respond if you have something very specific like that.
But if you, if you're looking at a different kind of engagement where you're wanting people to signal and say, for example, you're validating a new product offer or something, you know, like you, you wouldn't want people as as many responses, but you'd be more interested in the quality of responses and people self segmenting based on their interest. Right. So then you could ask a more specific question that will lead to a less, a lower reply rate, but most likely higher qualified leads.
Kathleen (14:42): Yeah. That's, that's really interesting. What about, I mean, the other topic I'm always fascinated with, with email is just kind of list management, right? Like email it's so easy to abuse, email and send too much too frequently. Also keep people on your list who maybe aren't engaged. So it's kind of a big topic, but what's your approach to that?
Brandon (15:10): Huh? This is something that I was kind of learning a little bit more on the tail end of superhuman. It's like, how can you make sure that you're cleaning up your list appropriately? How can you make sure that you're unsubscribing people that aren't engaged?
So I mean, I guess I can kind of distill a little bit of, of, of what I've kind of taken as my approach, but I mean, right now it's like, I want to make sure that people are engaging with me and if they're not engaging with a certain amount, I have like automations that will track. If they've engaged within a certain amount of time, lots of ESPs will have standard automations to determine with tagging how often they are engaging with your content.
And then if they're, if they've been moved to the disengaged tag, which could be, you know, up to 90 days plus of disengagement, then you move them to a separate list, which you can then try to re-engage them.
Brandon (15:55): But another thing that I've been experimenting with that maybe this is kind of like a newer topic, but it's like, how can you completely move them from your ESP and move them to a different ESP because you're ruining your sender score if you're sending to unengaged people, but at the same time, they haven't told you that they didn't want to hear from you.
And so there's a chance they might re-engage. So that's something that I, I I'll just be completely transparent. Like I haven't really experimented with this as much, but like something I'm really excited to do potentially is moving to a different ESP, still continuing to send the, the content. And then when they re-engage moving them back to my primary ESP so that I can keep the engagement score high. So that was kind of just a riff, but hopefully I can,
Kathleen (16:31): It's really interesting that you bring that up because I always struggle with that. Like, and maybe I'm just an internal optimist, but I don't, I don't want to ever completely write off my disengaged people, but you're right there. There's such you risk a lot by constantly emailing them. So you do have to be very selective in how you choose to send things to those people. And that's an interesting approach that you just mentioned.
Brandon (16:54): Yeah. And I, Oh, sorry, go ahead. Go ahead. I was going to say too, I think something that I've, I've studied from and I've seen work really well too, is like, I think I mentioned it at a high level before. It's like, people will think that you have to do content and promotions and you view them as two kind of separate things at once.
But something that I've learned recently, I saw it being done in genius network. I saw it being done. I'm learning from this guy named Dan Kechele right now. And he uses this a lot right now, but there's this, there's this thing called the super PS. And so what, you may have the right offer, but it might not be the right timing, right. It may even be the right target market, but it's like, it's just not the right time for them.
Brandon (17:31): And so the number one thing you can do is make sure that you're giving more offered more frequently so that when it is the right timing, they're ready to move forward. So that's another thing that was kind of a switch for me recently. It's like, okay, I don't have to view this as, Oh, I'm only sending value based content. I'm only sending a promotion right now.
How can I, my podcast content or a YouTube video or any other kind of con content I'm creating. And then in the PS say, Hey, what PS, whenever you're ready, here are three ways that I can help add value to your business or, you know, whatever the topic is. And then it's like linked to the podcast link to a front end product, you know, or whatever, based on tagging. If you want to go more dance, you could or, you know, subscribe or check out other pieces of content.
So that's a, that's a way that you can easily add value to people while simultaneously providing them with next steps to move forward in the next step of the value letter and not view it as something that's completely separate from each other, but rather working together at the same time.
Kathleen (18:26): I am a huge fan of the PS. So I'm really glad that you mentioned it. I think it's, it's very underused by marketers and I've actually seen really good results. So that's interesting that you brought that up. Another question. So before you mentioned setting, sending emails that look as though they came from somebody's personal Gmail, another thing that I love that when do you use that approach versus when do you use like a more formatted email stuff?
Brandon (18:54): Good question. So I, I am taking the approach right now with my email list is I'm kind of starting fresh and have the opportunity to relearn from, from what I experienced with managing the email list with a hundred thousand people. So it's like when I'm starting a relationship with someone, I want to set the tone right away that I am just a human that they can respond to and interact with.
And so in those initial automations, I try to make it look more like it's coming from me. And, and so it'll be formatted more like a Gmail and asking them to reply to things frequently I'll even like follow up on an email that I sent. That's something that people don't do that much when it comes to sending, setting an email automation, but it's like, I'll send the first, you know, whatever they subscribed with and then I'll wait a day and then if they didn't open or apply to that, then I'll, I'll follow up and say, Hey, I'm just bumping this to the top of your email inbox.
Brandon (19:41): Like I copied and paste the message. Sometimes things get lost in cyberspace because especially when you're sending the first email you're dealing with, you know, the spam, spam, spam filters, and if you're getting lost in the, the promotions tab and that kind of stuff.
So that's, I mean, that's a really high level response to that is that in the initial automations, I'll be sending stuff that, that makes more look like I'm sending from them. If I'm sending out a podcast, maybe I make it, I make it more centered and it's kind of more of a broadcast email, but I kind of switch it up.
You know, I, I just, I don't want people to get used to one particular thing. So I'm always looking at like making it interesting and engaging. And depending on the context, if I want them to reply more, or if I want them to simply just click on something, then it might depend I'll switch the format. I think.
Kathleen (22:10): I'm glad you brought up that you resend things to people who haven't opened your emails, because I've always thought that that was a big missed opportunity also for marketers where, you know, you pour all this energy into creating a, what you think is a great email.
You could send it out to potentially a very large list and then some percentage, usually a fairly large percentage, because let's be honest, open rates, generally average somewhere between let's call it 12 and 25%. So 75% plus of your recipients don't even open it. A lot of marketers just sort of like say, Oh, well, right. But I like that approach. Or do you change your subject line when you do that? Like, how do you, what do you do to see if you can get somebody to open it when they didn't do it the first time?
Brandon (22:58): Yeah, you can switch the subject line around. That's like a really simple way of doing it, but I guess this doesn't directly answer your question, but another thing I'm really excited about right now that I've been experimenting with is this concept of trigger emails. And basically what that is.
It's like when somebody clicks or replies to an email, you can set up an automation that sends an email, the second that they opened or clicked. Cause you know, that they're in their email inbox already. And so say for example, you were sending out a piece of content that was related to a product that you have out, and it's just a piece of content. So you could send that out and then they, if they clicked on it, obviously they're interested on that topic. And then that can trigger an automation to go out, to send another email.
That would be like, Hey, I saw you're interested in this topic. Here's, you know, maybe a front end value ladder thing that you could add a that's more like a cheaper product, or maybe it's a book to a phone call. If you're, if you're doing that, that kind of another interesting thing that I'm like, how can you create an automation where they're, you know, they're already engaged because they just clicked on it or they just replied to it. And then you toss in the automation to follow up on the back.
Kathleen (24:08): Yeah. I love, I love that triggered sequence. That's really cool. I guess you have to have like a decent email platform or marketing automation platform in order to trigger it though. Right?
Brandon (24:17): I actually, you know what, I haven't experimented with different ESP. I'm an active campaign fan. So I know you can do an active campaign, but I know it's fairly common that inside of an ESP, you can click it and tag someone based on a click or tag someone based on a reply. And then typically on other ESPs, you can send another automation based on a tag being added or based on a click in an email. So those are some standard ways, but yeah, I wouldn't be able to comment on how to do that within different ESPs, outside of active campaign. Yeah.
Kathleen (24:47): So shifting gears for a second, you, you spent a lot of time at superhuman, really, you know, sharpening your email skills and now you've left and you're out on your own and you're refining kind of some new approaches to emailing. And I know you have one, you call the magic connection method and right now it's your number one marketing strategy. So I would love it if you could break down what that is and explain kind of how it works and how it's getting you such great results.
Brandon (25:15): Yeah. And I know we're talking about inbound here, so I want to make sure that this has relevance to the conversation here. So it's like, you know, if you're in SEO, you're getting back links. If you want to create YouTube, grow your YouTube channel for more inbound leads like you want to have partnerships, same with a podcast, you need to get gasser.
If you want to get featured on podcasts, you need to outreach. So like that's where or strategic partnerships for that, for that matter for any kind of content creation, that's where the magic connection method really comes into play because it is, it is a cold email process that I'm using right now. That's getting about 90% open rates, about 50% reply rates and, and, and opening the doors to incredible conversations that lead to relationships that can help, you know, any in any marketing activity for that matter.
Brandon (25:56): So I'd love to walk through the three steps, the three steps that people can use. Okay. So it's pretty simple. I'll give a high level overview. So there's three steps. The first part is the hook. The second part is the irresistible offer. And the third part is the no oriented question. And I will say before I dive into those three things, the whole goal of this magic connection method process is simply to get them to respond to the email.
That's it. And I see this like being an issue a lot in the marketing space, it's like, you'll send an email to develop a partnership relationship. And it's like, people will ask for a call right away, or they'll try to send to, you know, a website and say, get back to me or something like that. I just want to make it as simple as possible for someone to respond to my email so that then I can engage in the relationship and, and figure out if it's even a right fit.
Brandon (26:41): If there's a way that we can go else elsewhere. So that's the whole goal is to get them to respond. So the first part is this part that I call the hook and the biggest mistake that people make with the opening lines of an email. And you've seen this Kathleen and they make it all about them, right?
Like, hi, my name is Brandon Fong, and I've done blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. I've worked at this company and I own this cool thing. And you're kind of just like, Whoa, like, I don't like, I'm sorry, but I don't really care at this point, you know, or, or your email inbox, your LinkedIn inbox is a perfect example.
Kathleen (27:08): Oh God, don't get me started
Brandon (27:11): Like, Hey, you're a human. And we're both wearing a blue colored shirt. Like let's connect them
Kathleen (27:15): Or even worse. It's Hey, you're a human. I would like to sell you my SEO services proposal. How come you haven't called me back yet.
Brandon (27:24): Yeah, exactly. Yeah. So, so how can we stand out from the noise? It's very simple. It's just that we just have to show that we care about the person that we're reaching out to. Right? So the very first part, it's not something that you can copy and paste because you have to actually do the research on somebody to reach out to them.
So some of the most powerful things that you can use in this first part is if you have a mutual connection, that's like the strongest one. Otherwise if you've consumed their content and enjoy their content or got results from their content, you can share a compliment on that if you like their experience on a company.
So this, it depends on your ability to do research on the person that you're reaching out to. And I, somebody asked me the day when you use a magic connection method, email versus a non other kind of email, and I'm like, I'm sorry, it's black or white for me.
Brandon (28:06): It's either, I'm going to take the time to research somebody and like, actually make sure I'm developing a relationship or I'm not going to send the message at all. So, so that's kind of the first part. It's one to three sentences show that you are actually took the research time and time to research them. The other comments I'll make here.
And I don't think this is, as you know, maybe this isn't something that as irrelevant to your audience, but it's like, it's, it's one to three sentences. Sometimes I see people like they go from one to three sentences to like creeper and stalker status where it's like the way a book on you. And it's like, no, that's, that's getting weird. Let's just keep it to like one to three sentences show that you, you, you know, short, concise sentences that we cared about them.
Brandon (28:41): So that's, that's the hook. The next part is the irresistible offer. So I'll usually transition by saying something along the lines of like, besides wanting to share that with you. I do have a quick question for you and the irresistible offer. There's a big difference between a normal offer and an irresistible offer. And so the example that I actually heard, somebody brought it up the other day and I've been using this as an example, Kathleen, have you seen those companies that are doing mattress sales online, they're selling mattresses online. So I love this as an example for an irresistible offer, because it's like, think about the traditional way that you would buy a mattress before these online retailers is that you would have to go into a store. You would kind of awkwardly lay on this mattress in the middle of a department store with like your jacket on.
Brandon (29:24): And it's just like, you don't know if that's actually would be comfortable at night and then you have to make this decision, this purchase decision for something that you're gonna sleep on for however many years, are you gonna own that mattress? Right? So that's kind of a terrible, terrible user experience, I guess.
So these online retailers, what they've done is they've created an irresistible offer and they say, Hey, Kathleen, what we'll do is you take our quiz and we will ship you the mattress. You can try it for 100 nights, sleep it in your own home, your comfy, PJ's tested out drool on the pillow, what I say, you know, whatever you do at night, make sure it's a good fit for you. And then if you don't like it, you can send it back for a hundred percent money back guarantee.
So that's an example of an irresistible offer. You make it very easy for, for that person to say yes to it. You made it very they had a lot to gain from it and you minimize the risk right? The time and money risk is like you showed. So those are some of the keys of creating an irresistible offer.
Kathleen (30:13): I have to interrupt you for one second, because when you were describing the mattress buying experience, all I can think of in my head was what if we like put on our pajamas and went to the mattress store in our PJ's with blankets and pillows to try to mostly as possible experience.
Brandon (30:33): Yeah. Can I take a nap here?
Kathleen (30:36): No, I, that, that picture just came into my head really, really clearly. So I definitely think that the irresistible offer is much better.
Brandon (30:42): Yeah, yeah. I would say so. Yeah. And there's a, there's a quote by Dean Jackson and he was the guy that I mentioned earlier with a nine word email, incredible marketer. But he has this quote where it's like a compelling offer is 10 times more powerful than a convincing argument. So how can we create more compelling offers that get people to lean in instead of trying to argue with them, you know? And so like, that's, that's the point of this irresistible offer?
And I will say like the very first irresistible offer I ever created was the email that I sent to Jonathan that opened the door to that relationship with working with superhuman is because I had been listening to his podcast. I had been subscribed to his email newsletter. I had been following his content and I've been taking meticulous notes for months. And so I sent him a message and I was like, Hey, I've been following all this stuff.
Brandon (31:22): And I identified all these areas that I think could be improved. I have some suggestions for you. Here you go. Here they are. And if you want help implementing them, I'd be happy to do that a hundred percent for free. I don't want to be paid for it. And if you don't like my work, you can just, you know, no harm, no foul. We can just part our own ways.
And like, we can go off. So like that was my first year resistible offer that I ever made that opened the door to that relationship. There was no money risk. There was no, I mean, maybe some supervision, risks, I guess that's the risk you take when you bring on somebody like that position it. So he had a lot to gain and I made it easy for him to say yes, and that opened the door to that incredible relationship.
Brandon (31:54): So how can you create, what is the irresistible offer if you're listening right now in your, you know, whatever, whoever you're trying to outreach and I'll go, I want to share two specific things that I've said a lot that I found to work really, really well for that irresistible offer is if there's some kind of a component that you show that you did the work ahead of time for them, that's really important that, that you can show them that like, Oh, they've already invested in this that made it really easy.
And so I like to also do it with something very tangible, like a Google doc or a video, like, Hey, I put together a video for you that has this. Or I put together a Google doc that explains this irresistible offer that I've created. And so like, I like to reference that in the irresistible offer. So it shows that I've invested time and energy into it. So I've been going for a while. Is there any, anything you wanted? Yeah, I know. It's just,
Kathleen (32:40): I think it makes complete sense because like, if you are a student of some of the more like classical marketing texts, there's like CLD news persuasion where he talks about the concept of reciprocity. And I think that that has a lot to do with what you're talking about, where if you've done that work ahead of time and you've invested in getting to know the person and done your research on them, there's, there's a there what you're doing is you're showing that you've already put the time in.
So I think it does make someone feel so they need to at least give you a little of their time. And then it also reminds me of I don't know if you've ever read the book. I think it's called give and take by Adam Grant grant. Yeah. Oh, it's such a great book. And I mean, it's just like, everybody should read it regardless, like just for life, but it's an awesome book for marketers to read about, you know, you really need to give first. And so I think your examples are really fantastic illustrations of,
Brandon (33:32): Thank you. Yeah. I, you know, I've studied Joe Polish a lot from genius network and he has this quote life gives to the giver and takes from the taker. So, you know, how can you show up as somebody that's constantly looking at adding value and supporting somebody and again, even if they replied and if it didn't make sense for my irresistible offer, like I'd be looking for ways that I could connect them with resources or people that I could help them.
So it's like, I just, I love to just open doors to, to relationships and keep them in my lexicon of database of people that I can connect them to. So if you just take that approach and it's just like, Hey, even if it doesn't work out, like I have some connections potentially that could work out for you. Like, you know, somebody's going to respond just because they see that you're, you're genuinely invested and you want to care about the relationship that you're reaching out for.
Brandon (34:09): So, so anyways, so, so now we've, we've covered two of the three steps. So we've, we've got the hook, we've showed them, he cared about them. We showed that we have something incredibly valuable for them that that shows that they have a lot to gain. They, we did a work ahead of time for them, and it's very simple, tangible, tangible, like a Google doc or a video is what I've tested to work. The last part is now we just got to get them to respond to say, okay, let's let me tell, tell me more about this.
So in the past I tested yes questions. Like I would say, are you interested or something along those lines and those work, that's fine. But then I read this book, one of my favorite books of all time never split the difference by Chris Voss. And for those of you listening that I've never heard of it.
Brandon (34:49): Chris is an ex FBI hostage negotiator. So this is the guy that's on the phone when there's some lunatic in a basement of a bank with millions of dollars and 10 hostages. And he's about to blow up the place. Like, what do you say on the phone to make that the, you know, the, the, an unsub or I've been watching lots of criminal minds, like the unsung, what do you make him not, you know, not blow up the place.
And so one of the things that he teaches is this concept of a no oriented question. And the way I like to explain it is that every single day we have a finite amount of yeses that we can give, right? Because whenever you say yes, what does that mean? It means you're giving what your time. It means you're giving away your money. It means you're giving away your energy.
Brandon (35:29): You're giving away something, whenever you say yes to something. And so if you compare that to the exact opposite, it's a lot easier and a safer if we say no to something, right? Cause whenever you say, no, you feel like you're not being pressured. You feel like you're in control. And so the no oriented question is simply taking what would be a yes oriented question and just making it so that their response to do it is no.
So that means starting your question with, would it be a bad idea if dot.dot, or would it be ridiculous if dot.dot? So like, if we're going back to our example, show that we cared about them, we created this Google doc, would it be a bad idea if I sent this over for you to check out? So like that, that would be an example where now the person's got reaction is not you know, no, I'm not interested in it.
Brandon (36:15): Don't tell me more about it. It's more of like, no, it's not a bad idea. Let me know. I'd be curious to find out more information about it. So there's no worries. The questions are very, very powerful. You can use this. Not only here. I mean, Chris boss teaches it. I use it the other day. I was at actually I won't even go there, but like Chris boss's book is really, really good if you want to, if you want to go there. But so, so that's important. And I would experiment with no oriented questions in other areas as well. Because as an example, if somebody is not responding to your email after they've replied to you and you're supposed to work on a project together, the question that Chris teaches in the book, that's so good is like, have you given up on this?
Brandon (36:51): Like, and so now that person is like, Oh no, I haven't given up on this. Or another way that you could reach out to is like, are you not the right person to talk to about this? Because if they're not responding, they get that email. They read it and they're like, Oh, I am the right person. No, I am the right person. I will, I will respond to this. I'll tell you. Or if they actually weren't the right person, they'll say, no, here's my colleague that is responsible for this blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. So there's plenty of ways that you can toss in no oriented questions.
I would just encourage people listening though. It's like I had, I gave this presentation once and somebody responded with a magic connection method, email. Cause you know, it's always cool that when people take, take what I teach and they apply it, but somebody respondents, would it be inappropriate for me to blah, blah, blah. I'm like, I don't like the word inappropriate. Cause it's like, it's just like not I'm a copywriter. So it's like, it just didn't, it didn't land. Right. It's like inappropriate.
Kathleen (37:38): It has such a negative connotation.
Brandon (37:41): Exactly. So, so let's just put like some, some, some like bumpers up, like, you know, start with, would it be a bad idea? If, would it be ridiculous? If, and it's funny because my wife and I, even when we're grocery shopping, like Leah will be like, well, would it be a bad idea if? Because I use them all the time.
Kathleen (37:56): Would it be a bad idea if I bought this really great bottle of wine right now?
Brandon (38:01): So that's it, that's it, it's, it's very simple. The hook, the irresistible offer, and the no oriented question, opens the doors to these incredible relationships. And and then you can leverage that to form incredible friendships, strategic partnerships, collaborations for content, you know, whatever it is that you're looking at accomplishing it's, it's kind of a copy and pasting that you can use.
Kathleen (38:21): And tell me more about the results you've been getting from this. You mentioned it earlier, but I just wanted to like, come back to that for a second.
Brandon (38:27): Yeah, of course. So like, I mean, I'm seeing 90% open rates and I will say as an asterisk to that, the first email that when I ever send it usually gets about a 30 to 40% open rate, but I follow up like two to three times afterwards. So like that initial email that gets sent over time, it will get about a 90% open rate if you're doing things the right way. And then I'm typically getting about 50% of people to reply to these emails. And then, you know, you can engage, engage the relationship even more you know, you can send them, I'm, I'm talking with somebody right now. Who's, who's interested in, in leveraging this model to create individual workshops for companies to do sales and marketing training. And so, like, that's, that's something that we were using this kind of process where it's like getting them to respond, to attend this, this you know, education-based event. And so that's another context of that it's being used.
Kathleen (39:14): So you're getting 90% open rates. Do you have a particular subject line you use?
Brandon (39:19): Ah, great question. So so this is, again, it's actually funny, cause you mentioned Cialdini before he has another book called Pre-Suasion and it just, I'll be completely honest. I actually haven't read the book, but it's just like, I understand the topic, cause it's really important to understand what people are experiencing before they experience your content or your email or whatever it is.
And so some people will use a subject line, like quick question or something like that, but it's not a good pre-frame because it's like it could be click-baity, you know, people are using that kind of thing all the time, you know? So in the subject line, I'm usually what I do is I take a condensed version of the irresistible offer so I can show them that they have something that they can expect to gain as, as a result of opening this email. So that's usually how I suggest people to do it. It's nothing that you can, you can't steal the ones that I've been using. Cause it's like, it's, it's an irresistible offer that I'm creating for someone. So whenever you're
Kathleen (40:06): On the spot, but like what would be an example of that?
Brandon (40:09): Well, would it be okay if I, I mean, I'll be completely honest. Like I got on this podcast cause every time.
Kathleen (40:13): No, I was going to say, even if you didn't, you totally use this on me and it worked, so yeah, let's do it.
Brandon (40:18): Yes. So I think, I think the subject line for when I reach out to you is like the inbound success podcast, number one episode or something like that. And I referred to an episode that I listened to and then I also re referred to, you know, a bunch of topics that I think would be valuable to your audience. And I told you, I put together the document that, that showed all the different things that I could add to the audience. So that's an example of, of the subject line I was working for me.
Kathleen (40:40): Yeah, no, I mean, and I will give you kudos because you did very few people take the time to send me pitches and I get a lot of pitches. I probably get five a week. Very few people take the time to like say, Oh, I listened to this episode or that episode. And here's what I liked. In fact, very few people take the time to actually figure out what the podcast is about, which is my first filter.
Like if they pitched me on some topic having to do with sales or, you know, like starting your own business, I'm like, this is not what my podcast is about. So those are the obvious ones, but like people who've actually listened and can, can speak to what the podcast is about. That gets my attention. And then you did you put together, it was like a three page Google doc with long descriptions of like, here are some different things I could talk about. And I was like, wow, he really did his homework. Thank you. So it, it for sure worked. Yeah.
Brandon (41:30): Well thank you so much. And I think it's important to think too, like the person that you're reaching to, there's a concept in copywriting. It's like enter the conversation that's already happening in your prospect's mind. And so it's like when you're reaching out to them, that's another kind of filter. I always put it through.
It's like before I send an email, how would I feel if I was receiving this thing? Like, if I'm a podcaster, what are the things that I'm looking for? I like, like me as a podcast or now it's like, I want good guests that can provide valuable content to my audience.
And so like thinking about from the perspective of the person you're reaching out to like, what is valuable to them and how can you help assist and provide them with resources or connections or anything that can help support what they're looking for inherently. And if you, if you hit that correctly, then that's when you're really going to develop these relationships.
Kathleen (42:11): Yeah, for sure. Well, I could probably talk to you all day about email. We're coming up on the end of our time. So I want to change shift gears for a minute and ask you the two questions. I always ask all my guests. The first one is we obviously talk a lot about inbound marketing on the podcast. So is there a particular company or individual that you think is really knocking it out of the park when it comes to inbound these days?
Brandon (42:32): You know so I was thinking about this and I feel like there's like, there's probably people that you come up to that are being referenced all the time. But for me, one of my favorite inbound marketers, or just marketers in general is Russell Brunson and ClickFunnels. Like the content that they create is so phenomenal, the ecosystem that they have developed.
I mean, like it's, I'm a perfect example of me finally converting on Russell Brunson stuff after years, like I had been consuming as podcast. I wasn't a user until like four years after I'd been already getting value from the stuff that he was sharing. And so, but he just kept showing up, kept adding value. And so I love the content that he creates in the ecosystem he's built on, on just getting people results. And then he's just the natural by-product of wanting to work with him because he's done such a good job.
Kathleen (43:15): It's a great one. So how do you stay up to date? Like how do you keep yourself educated and stay ahead of the curve when it comes to like all the things that are changing so quickly with digital marketing?
Brandon (43:26): No, I think I'm going to give kind of a non-traditional answer here and then I'll give more of a traditional answer. Cause it's like somebody asked me the day, it's like, how did you learn about marketing? How'd you learn about entrepreneurship?
And I think that the best lessons come from simply observation of day to day experiences, because it's like, when you can understand the first principles of human behavior, what makes people do what they do? What makes, you know, it could be even a conversation where like I was having, what was the, I'm just a copy nerd.
So I was talking to somebody of the day and they're like I have this goal and it's interesting to me, but it's just like, I wants to make sure that my family is proud of what I do. And like when he said that I'm like, Oh, that's good copy.
Brandon (44:00): Because it's like that, that, that tied into what he was doing. Like what motivated him fundamentally. So it's like, I'm always observing conversations. It could be a billboard, it could be, you know, a sign in the grocery store. I think that's really where my best marketing knowledge comes from is just like observing and understanding what's working.
But for a more, you know like applicable thing that for a source of information, my best information always comes from conversations with people like high, high level people that are in, that are doing stuff in the marketing world, because like they have their fingers on the pulse. So, you know, anytime you can connect with like a high level mastermind or a strategic partnership group, I'm an incredible group right now called tribe for leaders.
And they do these, these pod, they put you in a pod with three to four other marketers and entrepreneurs and they just facilitate conversations. And there's this, there's this quote by Joe Polish. Again, it's like, you can't read the label from inside the jar, but everybody's sitting inside of a jar. Right?
And so it's like you have this incredible opportunity to learn from other people and what's working in their industries. And so that's super valuable for me. And how I kind of stay up to date is just like learning. What's working from other people that are doing stuff on a day-to-day basis in their particular industry.
Kathleen (45:05): That's such a great quote about the jar and the label because we are, we all are in our little bubbles and getting out of your bubble is like the best thing you could possibly do. So it's funny. My podcast is my mastermind. Yeah, that's how I get to talk to so many interesting people like yourself.
So if somebody is listening to this episode and they want to learn more about the magic connection method, or they want to listen to your podcast or connect with you and ask a question, what is the best way for them to get in touch with you online?
Brandon (45:33): Yeah, thanks so much. So I actually put together a special link for you guys if that's, if that's okay. I can share that. So I always like to explain beforehand, cause it's a short link that people aren't kind of like, they're like, I've never heard of this short and like it's cause I created it. I bought a Nigerian domain to make it happen and I'll explain. So my name is Brandon Fong. So I wanted the short link B F O dot N G. So that's what I, it's the.ng is Nigeria.
So that's the short link B F O dot N G slash inbound. And that will take you guys to some more goodies that you can get. If you want a training on how to leverage the magic connection method, more specifically, a hundred percent free. And I thought also what's the most valuable thing I could give to you guys.
Brandon (46:09): And I figured, well, what if I just gave you messages that have worked for me that you could just copy and paste? So, so that, so that's something that you guys can grab on there if you go to BFO dot N G slash inbound. And I give some of my automatic emails that I call. So you can just kind of model off of what's worked on there.
And then on there as well, also share my podcast, but, but you can check that out right now. It's at the seven figure millennials podcast. And like I said, that's all about entrepreneurs who are prioritizing their happiness, health and relationships well pursuing their biggest entrepreneurial and financial goals. But also just as a, as a final thing, if you want to get the magic connection method, you can just go to magic connection, method.com.
Brandon (46:44): And then the coupon code I give to my podcast listeners is seven FM. So I'll just give that here as well. You can use that coupon code and I'll unlock an extra $500 with the bonuses. So I do an interview with Joe Polish. I do an interview with Wayne Breitbart, who is one of the foremost experts on LinkedIn. He shows how to get a connection and then leverage that connection to connect with other people. So there's a whole bunch of other goodies that I added in there. So that's the coupon code seven FM. If you use that now unlock those extra bonuses.
Kathleen (47:11): All right, well there you have it. I will put all those links as always in the show notes. So head there, if you want to check out any of those resources or connect with Brandon and if you're listening and you enjoyed this episode, I would love it. If you would head to Apple podcasts and leave the podcast or review that's how other folks find out about us. And if you know somebody doing kick ass inbound marketing work, tweet me at @workmommywork because I would love to make them my next guest. That is it for this week. Thank you so much for joining me, Brandon.
Brandon (47:40): Thanks so much. I had a blast.
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