In this episode of Unsubscribed! hear from Jay Schwedelson, Founder of SubjectLine.com, Founder of GURU Events and President and CEO of Outcome Media. Learn about:
[00:00:00] Pierce Ujjainwalla:
I’m Pierce Ujjainwalla and you’re listening to Unsubscribed. Every episode, I sit down with business leaders to help you question everything you thought you knew about marketing. If you enjoy this show, please do subscribe and leave a review on YouTube or your favorite podcast player. Now, onto this episode.
My guest today is Jay Schwedelson. You might know him from his witty marketing posts you see on your LinkedIn feed or speaking at events like InBound or Marketing Profs. Jay is a marketing expert and entrepreneur and he’s got several businesses including subjectline. com where they have tested more than 15 million subject lines.
He’s the founder of the world’s largest email marketing event, the Guru Conference, and is currently the CEO of an agency called Outcome Media. Welcome to the Unsubscribe Podcast,
[00:01:05] Jay Schwedelson:
Jay. I am so fired up to be here. Pierce, you are like a rock star. So I appreciate the invite and I know we’re going to have fun today.
[00:01:14] Pierce Ujjainwalla: Yeah, I’m really excited for this episode as well because I just want to say out of everyone, today in business that I follow, you really bring the entertainment factor to, to what you do and your, your content stands out. It’s, it’s, it’s great. How do you do that and why? Do you think entertainment is important in marketing content?
[00:01:42] Jay Schwedelson:
You know, somewhere along the way, and I actually think it happened during the whole COVID thing, I was like, you know, I think everyone is so wanting to connect with other people on a real human level. And you know, you always hear, you know, B2B doesn’t mean boring to boring. And I kind of live by that and I think you see it almost in content out there.
Like if you made two videos and you were going to post them and one is like super designed with like a green screen or whatever. And one is just like your phone where you pointed at yourself and you posted both the one where you’re pointing out yourself is going to crush the other one. Cause everyone’s sick of like, just this like boring stuff.
We just want to be real. So that’s where I try to come at it, you know, every single day. I don’t know. It’s
[00:02:23] Pierce Ujjainwalla:
funny that you say that because, yeah, if I think back of all the LinkedIn posts that I’ve done, I think the one that got the most, engagement ever was a selfie I did of myself and my business partner at the Adobe Summit in a bar.
And like, I didn’t even think about it. I look the next day, like, wow, I did not think that content was going to blow up.
[00:02:50] Jay Schwedelson:
And it’s also about relating to what’s going on at this very moment, whether that’s, you know, in pop culture or in what we’re talking about it, people would just want to know, like, like real now, what are you thinking?
And, it’s hard to be transparent. It’s hard to be, you know, kind of out there and, and sort of vulnerable, but, you know, it makes you feel more connected and in this disconnected world, you know, that’s, that’s important.
[00:03:11] Pierce Ujjainwalla:
Yeah, I mean, that was going to be my next question. Why is it that marketers have such a hard time with this, you know, and you touched on it a little bit there.
Is it, is it the risk taking? Is it that, you know, stepping outside of the status quo, all of the above? Why, why can’t Everyone make entertaining content. I
[00:03:35] Jay Schwedelson:
think everyone posts things and emails things that, you know, fit in certain lanes. And they think that this is what you have to do. You know, you have to do a webinar, this way.
You have to have a boring e book. That nobody’s going to read, right? You have to, you have to put posts out there that are kind of in a certain tone. And those are the ones that nobody cares about, you know? So it’s, it’s getting comfortable with being, yourself. I think if I gave myself any business advice, I would tell myself earlier on in my life.
Be yourself as much as you can be and, and people gravitate, you know, towards that. Everybody’s got a fun story. Everybody’s interesting. Everyone’s got funny stuff going on in their lives. And it’s just a matter of getting comfortable and sharing that. And I think that that’s, that’s how you win. For me, at least.
[00:04:21] Pierce Ujjainwalla:
Yeah, I’d love to hear more about your process. Because, hey, I’ll be the first to admit, we have made boring content at Knak right? And I think that we can make it more entertaining. You know, I’ve seen some of the posts that you do on LinkedIn. One of them, you know, you posted about, the new Netflix show Wednesday.
I don’t know if this is your biggest post ever, but I think it had something insane, like 65, 000 likes. What is your process when it comes to LinkedIn or do you have one? Like how do these posts come up?
[00:05:00] Jay Schwedelson:
That’s a great question. So I’ll tell you, I’ll be totally real with what, what, what I found is that, um, Monday through kind of Wednesday, pretty much people are really focused on real work stuff, right?
They want to see, okay, content that is going to help them move the ball forward. So we try to post stuff that is a tip or a tactic. That, they could, somebody could try in their marketing efforts. As you get closer to the weekend, people’s minds start to shift and they’re, they’re more interested in kind of like entertainment type stuff.
And so what I generally do is I’ll be sitting on my couch and I’m like, okay, what’s the most, the biggest thing right now in pop culture, whatever it is. Right. So Wednesday Adams was a couple of weeks ago, the biggest thing in pop culture, I said, okay, what’s going on with the Wednesday Adam show.
And I literally sat on my couch in five minutes. I’m like, oh, wow. Promoting in a really cool way. Let’s post this or even, you know, the Grammys were just on and you see, you know, Ben, Ben Affleck and Jennifer being miserable. Right. And just knowing that everybody talked about that and you’re like, okay, he’s just sitting on my couch.
I’m like, let’s make a post, tie it to business and post that because when you can be in the moment, it seems to, to resonate, the most and don’t overthink it, you know, just, just get out there and do it. And the most important thing that I’ve. Concluded is with all, with all content, because eventually you want to, you want people to know about your business, what you do for a living.
You don’t want to be a clown. Right? So I live by and Gary V is promoted this a lot where you, you give, you give, you give, you give, and then you ask, like, you know, you, you give a lot for asking for nothing. You know, and then you kind of sift in a couple of this, by the way, this is what I do for a living.
Maybe we should work together. But primarily you’re just giving and that, that’s been a good path, you know, for me. I don’t know what you see out there. Yeah,
[00:06:47] Pierce Ujjainwalla:
no, I love, I love that idea of figuring out what is in the now, what are people talking about and how can you inject your own, you know, something interesting, something unique, something helpful, something funny.
And also what’s in the now, both from what’s popular. What are people talking about? And what are the, what is your audience doing? Cause to your point, maybe they’re not in the mood to laugh on a Monday morning. Maybe I gotta get some work done here. Well, I’ll
[00:07:21] Jay Schwedelson:
tell you an example. So I have a newsletter and so I always ask people, my newsletter, like what TV shows are they watching and all this stuff.
So I got flooded with people telling me they were watching a show that came about to say this called milf. And it was about this show where these moms go on a reality show and they don’t realize that their sons are on it and they all have to date each other’s sons. And so I ended up, I said, okay, I got to try it.
Cause I got like 50 emails about milk matter. It was the worst, most disturbing show I’ve ever seen. It’s on TLC, which is also weird. And it’s just like, you realize that everybody’s just kind of, you know, a human out there and we’re all sharing funny stuff and it makes it makes it a lot more enjoyable in terms of your work life.
I don’t recommend that show.
[00:08:03] Pierce Ujjainwalla:
Yeah, that’s it, right? We are all humans, marketers, marketing to humans, for sure. That’s exactly right. So we’ve been talking about social quite a bit here. You know, 2023 is, is What are the channels you’re seeing that are most effective? What, what kind of content is
[00:08:24] Jay Schwedelson:
You know, when we’re, we’re in a difficult economy, it might even get more difficult. And when we head into a difficult economy, what we see is that email becomes, the linchpin. And the reason being is… When marketers are like, Oh, we got to tighten budget, right? It costs a good deal of money to run a paid social campaign.
It costs a lot of money to run paid search campaigns or, or programmatic display campaigns or content syndication programs. But in order to scale up and do more of email. It’s really very nominal cost, right? So it becomes in a difficult economy becomes the channel that marketers do more with and send out more, which, of course, makes it harder to have our messaging stand out that we’re all sending out.
So, um, it is critical to up your game. You know, what can you do in the subject line that’s gonna make your emails get open? What type of content is resonating? You can’t just roll with the old stuff. So email in a difficult economy. Is the channel to focus on, but it’s more difficult than normal.
[00:09:28] Pierce Ujjainwalla:
And, you know, you, you may be like the world’s expert on subject lines.
Probably no one has looked at more subject lines than subject line. com. What would you say are, are kind of the biggest learnings that you’ve. Come across having analyzed all of these and maybe for people who might not know what subject line dot com is. Could you explain what that is?
[00:09:56] Jay Schwedelson:
Yeah, sure. Subject line dot com is 100% free site and tool.
It’s not incredibly complex. You go there, you put in a subject line and it runs it against hundreds of different rules based on the latest trends and data that we see about. What you may or may not want to try in your subject line to make sure that you get the best possible, the highest engagement, the most number of people opening up your emails and in your subject line, when we’re talking about offering them, so let’s put your newsletters to the side for a second.
Let’s put your, your transactional emails to the side. Let’s say you have an offer of some kind. Um, the two things that are the most important thing that you put in your subject line that dictate, more than anything else that will get open. The first is, some form of urgency, not the word urgent, but some sort of form of urgency, meaning human nature is we don’t want the thing that’s going to always be available.
We want the thing that may not be there, you know, in a couple of days, in a week or a month. And so when you could put in your subject line, some version, some, some. Form of time, two days left and today last chance. Okay. And even if let’s say your offer doesn’t end, you still want to have subtle urgency, like don’t miss out.
And it’s grabbing that millisecond of attention when somebody’s scrolling through, like, wait a minute, what is this? I don’t want to miss out if it’s something I’m interested in. So that, that sense of urgency is, is the number one thing. But the number two thing is this idea of, it being just for that person.
When you can tell the person very fast that this email is for them and not for everybody else. It resonates massively. What do I mean by that? So let’s say you are a business marketer. You put in the subject line, and it, let’s say you were marketing to HR professions, just for HR professions. What CFOs need to know just for email marketers.
When you, if I sent that email to you, Pearson, I said, just for email marketers. I, Whoa, that’s me. I’m an email marketer. You’re going to open it up, right? You can also personalize in the subject line with things besides for just, their job function or title. You could put their company name, right? Is Knak at risk with a question mark.
You get that email, you’re opening it up. Personalization goes well beyond the name and being able to tell the person who they are, whether it’s their company name, their job function. Maybe it’s a stage in life, right? Did you just start a new business? Are you a small business owner? Are are you a, a new homeowner?
When you tell the person who they are in that subject line, that is a massive determining factor to getting that engagement. I love those
[00:12:26] Pierce Ujjainwalla:
tips, urgency, personalization. I think, yeah, we definitely hear the same kind of things in our. Annual email benchmark study. And, um, one question we always get from every email marketer emojis in the subject line, what are your, what are your thoughts on that Jay?
[00:12:48] Jay Schwedelson:
I’m a huge believer in emojis in the subject line. And let’s break that down for one second. When you say the word emoji. Instantly, you think of like, you know, like my teenage kids and it being stupid and yeah, I don’t want to use emojis. That’s embarrassing. I’m gonna get fired. No, what you really need to take a step back.
Okay, this emoji is just a graphic symbol. That’s going to allow my email to stand out. When people are scrolling through their email on the consumer side, it’s a no brainer. Obviously use emojis. Test emojis. They work incredibly well. Avoid things like the eggplant and the peach. Don’t be an idiot, right?
On the business side, though, I can’t use emojis. Well, first of all, 94% of all receiving email clients now can render emojis fine, so they work great. And they perform really well. If we rename the emoji for business marketers, the business icon. Okay. And you looked at, forget about the smiley face. You looked at like the check Mark, okay.
Or the calendar emoji or things that are a little bit more kind of corporate. You would, and you test it, you would see a really strong rise. In performance. So you need to break out of we can’t do this and you always want it to be the first character. Don’t stick the emoji at the end because the end of your subject line is where engagement goes to die.
Nobody cares what happens at the end of your subject line. And then the other thing to consider for the emoji is use it in the preheader. The preheader is incredibly valuable real estate. And it’s another area that you could test it. So yeah, I’m on the emoji train. Are you on the emoji train is the question.
[00:14:18] Pierce Ujjainwalla:
Yeah, I personally, I am as well, for the reasons that you mentioned, you know, I think that the inbox is a busier than have you ever. Louder than ever, noisier than ever, you need to do things that help you stand out, and I do think, you know, it’s not about just putting random emojis in there, but when they really do tie into your subject line and really elevate, you know, using the, them in a creative way that elevates that subject line or makes it more real.
I do think that they can work well and in our testing we’ve also seen them outperform subject lines that don’t have them. Um, I, I’m curious about your research division. I, I read somewhere that you analyze 6 billion emails. Can you tell us a little bit more about how you do that? Where are those emails coming from and, and how you managed to distill that down into learnings that can help marketers?
[00:15:22] Jay Schwedelson:
Yeah. So, my agency outcome media, we, um, we don’t own any data. And we don’t just send out on on one platform. We work on behalf of both business and consumer clients, many of the biggest brands on the planet, and we help to manage their email campaigns, right? And so all these different marketers are constantly send out emails that we are responsible for helping them to execute on and to handle and.
The cool part about what we do for a living is we get, to look into all the different platforms. I mean, there’s so many different sending platforms, business and consumer platforms, and we’re looking at all these, you know, real world campaigns going out. So we’re seeing real stuff going out, real AB tests going out in real time.
And throughout the year, yeah, we’re, we’re able to see kind of real engagement on over 6 billion email messages. What’s cool is. is how things change all the time. You know, people talk about email marketing. Like, Oh, somebody will say it’s dead, right? It’s a legacy channel. It’s old. And the weirdest thing about email is that what we do today, is very different.
The way it did two years ago. Like, for example, webinar. Okay. Two years ago, you put webinar on the subject line, webinar, colon, latest trends in marketing, and you get a really good engagement. A lot of people to register. It’s going to be awesome. You do that today. You put webinar on the subject line. You might as well, right?
Do not open this email. This email is terrible, right? Webinar has become in the last few years a boat anchor word, even though we’re also using webinars to promote stuff. So, what we’ve learned is that through all this data, for example, and I know I just never shut up, but. When you, let’s say you’re promoting a webinar, the secret sauce right now is to promote the topic and not the vehicle to say, you know, the five latest trends in email marketing.
And then they open it up and it happens to be a webinar and it out. But to not use boat anchor words like webinar or ebook in the subject line, that’s something we learned, which is a new trend because we’re always looking at the latest data. So that’s what we’re trying to do is try to find the little nuggets that make a little bit of a difference.
[00:17:23] Pierce Ujjainwalla:
Yeah, I love that. It’s not, it’s not about how you’re delivering it. It’s what you are delivering to them, really focusing on the topic. It’s a great, I can’t have you on the unsubscribe podcast and not ask you about unsubscribes. I heard you recently say that, you know, marketers, they shouldn’t worry about unsubscribes and probably the nasty emails that come around.
Along with it, can you elaborate a little bit more on that?
[00:17:54] Jay Schwedelson:
Yeah. And I think, you know, from a 30, 000 foot view in general, when you hear about email best practices from so called email experts, of which I never proclaimed to be one, I would discount anything that you read or hear. This industry is flooded with, information that’s very old and also a lot of scare tactics that frankly just aren’t true, right?
So, you know. Things that you can’t put free in the subject line. You can’t use an emoji. You’ll get filtered. You go to the junk folder. Garbage like that is from the year of the flood and it’s total garbage. But along the same idea is, is unsubscribes. Unsubscribes are very different than spam complaints.
Spam complaints are bad. You get those, hurts deliverability, hurts your inbox, hurts your reputation, you’re probably doing something wrong. Unsubscribes are not bad. When somebody unsubscribes, usually they’re unsubscribing from four or five different emails at the same point. It’s like when you go on a diet, right?
You go on a diet, you go to your refrigerator, you’re like, all right, I’m throwing out everything. It’s the same idea, right? You go to your inbox like, Oh, my God, I can’t take it. I got too much of my inbox and then you’re describing four things. It’s not that you sent out that one more email and the person’s like, I hate this company, the worst company in America.
Take me off the list. There are a handful of those. Those people are weird and losers and that’s their problem. But the reason they’re not bad is number one, you’re cleaning up your list. They’re getting off your list. Ironically, in order for somebody to unsubscribe, what do they have to do? They have to open up a message and they have to click on your message.
It happens to be engagement Okay, and so it does not hurt your deliverability If you get unsubscribed you’re not going to go in the junk folder because of it And you should high five the person say thanks move on with your life Whatever, of course when you get the you know, the nasty unsubscribe the nasty grams.
Those people are total Losers, okay. It’s very important that you never let you know, two or three horrible people are having a bad day Dictate your marketing plans. I can’t tell you how many times we see our, you’ll see it, right? You get a nasty gram. It floats its way up to the CEO of the company or the senior vice president, whatever.
And what do marketers do? They go, Oh my God, stop. We’re sending too much. We got this one email from this lunatic. So we got to stop sending. That is the worst thing you could do. Okay. So don’t react to that unsubscribed or fine. That’s my soapbox.
[00:20:05] Pierce Ujjainwalla:
I love it. I love it so much. I think we might have to just change the intro of this podcast to that.
And, no, it’s just, it’s true. It’s funny though, how those things get in your head and you need to just like, just delete them, forget about them, move on with the rest.
[00:20:24] Jay Schwedelson:
Yeah. It’s like breaking up with somebody. It didn’t work. Okay. Or you know what? Life changes too, right? Like let’s say you were shopping for a new house.
And you signed up for all these lists, right? You signed up on Zillow and wherever, and then you buy a house and now you’re still stuck on all these lists. You’re unsubscribing because you own the house. You don’t need the info anymore. You change. It’s okay. Change is okay.
[00:20:47] Pierce Ujjainwalla:
I love it. I love it. All right.
Well, this is good. We’ve got lots of tips on email, email marketing, and, now. You have the biggest email marketing event in the world, I think, like give us the background on that. How did that come about? I know. I mean, there’s a lot of email conferences already. Where did you think, Hey, we need one more.
We need one to rule them all.
[00:21:15] Jay Schwedelson:
So, so first off, for those of you don’t know, you have to come to this year’s conference because Pierce right here will be on the virtual stage and he’ll be crushing it about email design. So the conference is called guru conference and not to plug it, but it’s, it’s guru conference.
com and it’s a hundred percent free. And why did we do this? We were super frustrated in the marketplace about really good quality. Marketing education that was available to the masses, right? There are some companies out there cost like a thousand bucks to go to, and it’s really hard to get that budget.
Maybe they’re in person. It’s hard to get the travel budget. And then they’re just big user conferences, which are great, but they’re user conferences put on by individual companies. And we said, no, we want to create something that is for everybody, that every market on the planet. Can benefit from, and we don’t just want to create another virtual market conference.
We’re going to make this thing fun. We’re going to make it something that you want to spend these two days at that. You’re going to be like, Oh my God, I just had a really. Good time. And we had no idea what we’re doing. So last year we launched this thing, literally never put on a conference before in our lives, virtual event.
And we said, screw it, let’s do it. And we launched guru conference and we were super stoked. We had over 13, 000 marketers that jumped on board. It was a two day event with over 30 speakers. Pierce was there and Hanley from Marketing Profs, Damon John was there and all these big brands were there. And people just, they enjoyed networking with each other, enjoyed meeting each other, learning about the latest tools, products, whatever.
And so, we’re going at it again. We’re going to do it again. Registration’s open now and I don’t have a hidden agenda. My agenda is to make, education available to as many people as possible from the best minds in the world. And that’s what we’re trying to do. So I appreciate you bringing it up and, hopefully, you know, the industry, you know, you know, get something out of it.
[00:23:04] Pierce Ujjainwalla:
I mean, I think the results really speak for themselves. There’s, from what I saw last year, a ton of interest, from marketers and, and I, and I love. To me, one of the reasons that, you know, I was really excited to participate in it and NAC as well is that you do bring a good mix of really amazing content from people like Anne Hanley, but also the fun, you know, we go back to the entertainment stuff that we talked about at the beginning.
I think that, yeah, like. People want to spend their time doing things that are enjoyable, and, and it’s great to learn, but it’s, it’s fun. It’s even better if you can have fun while you’re learning new things, and I think that combos. It’s pretty deadly.
[00:23:54] Jay Schwedelson:
Yeah, we’re trying right now, which you might be involved with.
They’re trying to test it out. I don’t know if you ever seen like on YouTube where they have the people eat the chicken wings, the celebrities, it’s really hot chicken wings. And then they try to like talk through it. So we have this idea of what if we send out like, you know, boxes of like wings. So like, you know, a bunch of speakers and we were all on one session and then we said, okay, now go and microwave them.
Come back. And we’re going to try to have a session where we’re all eating mega hot chicken wings. And I was like, this seems like a horribly great idea. So we’re, we’re going to test it out first internally and see if it works. Cause that’s, that’s what we got going on over here.
[00:24:30] Pierce Ujjainwalla:
Yeah. I, I literally just had Indian food last night with some friends and we were talking about those chips you can buy.
It’s like a chip with like the hottest. Ship in the world. Oh, I’m getting nervous already. Jay, you
[00:24:45] Jay Schwedelson:
should be, you’re like on the list that we made, right? All right, Pierce will definitely be in on this. He’ll do it. So you’re screwed.
[00:24:56] Pierce Ujjainwalla:
Um, yeah, no, it’s, it’s awesome. I’m really looking forward to the Guru event again this year.
Cool. Um, you know, just for the, a lot of marketers that they’re running events or virtual events. What would you say was kind of like your biggest learning from running your first event last year? Why do you think you got so much traction in that first year?
[00:25:23] Jay Schwedelson:
You know, that’s a good question. And I’m actually thinking about doing another event about virtual events for that very reason.
Some things worked and some things didn’t work. I would tell you that little things Make a big difference. I’ll give you one example, music. Okay. Um, I was, I, I hate when you go to a different events and there’s like background music and it’s just, who cares? And from the outset, I’m like, I want to play really fun, like ridiculous 80s music, like leading into my session, we played Milli Vanilli and you know, just ridiculous music, fun music.
And everyone’s like, no, no, no, you can’t do that. You need to have a music license with all the big music companies. I’m like, okay. What does that mean? I don’t know. So I stuck somebody on it and they were like, they investigated and then it costs like 500 bucks and you can get a music license to play whatever you want to play, you know, at your events, pretty much.
And so then we, we played all this stuff and I can’t tell you the feedback. I was like, we love the music. There was such great energy, the music, whatever. And to me, I learned that little stuff is actually a big deal. You know what I mean? It’s, it’s, you can’t, you can’t overlook any element of it because this is a human being that’s spending their time and it can’t just be about the content of the session.
It has, that’s really important. That’s paramount, but all the surrounding stuff has got to be fun. And, you know, that’s, that’s kind of where we, we try to look at every little thing.
[00:26:43] Pierce Ujjainwalla:
Okay. Now I’m curious about this music thing, because I feel, I know in the marketing departments I’ve worked at, I’ve had that exact conversation about 25 times, and it’s the same thing.
Every, everyone says, are we allowed to play it? And then someone says, You know, there’s always someone who’s really a risk taker. It’s like, let’s just do it. And then there’s someone else who’s like, no, I don’t want to get sued by Sony or whatever. So how, how does that work? You get a license from one of the record labels or how does it
[00:27:17] Jay Schwedelson:
Yeah. Yeah. So I’ve learned more about this than I want to know. So there’s two organizations. One’s called ASCAP, A S C A P, and the other one’s called BMI. And there are two different organizations and you apply with them. You fill out a form and you pay some nominal fee and you apply saying, Hey, I’m putting on an event, you know, we’re not like selling the music.
We’re using just like a few minutes of each song, whatever, whatever. And then they get back to say, okay, approved. And then they have a music library of, I don’t know, 30 million songs. It’s not every song, but the vast majority of music with all the big people on it. And then you can search, okay, we want to play this song.
And it’ll say yes or no, basically, if you can, and then you can play it. And, you know, it took us like a week or two to kind of figure that all out. But to your point, I feel like every virtual lens is like, oh, we want to do it. Oh, we don’t want to get sued. And then they move on to the next thing. Right.
[00:28:07] Pierce Ujjainwalla:
so I think. Oh, yeah, yeah. And then it’s like, Hey, let’s play some random royalty free beat that nobody likes.
[00:28:17] Jay Schwedelson:
[00:28:21] Pierce Ujjainwalla:
And it’s just super boring. Yeah. Yeah. Okay. I might be getting into the weeds here, but did you get a license from both of these companies so that you had more music available? Yeah. Okay, that’s
[00:28:29] Jay Schwedelson:
[00:28:33] Jay Schwedelson:
marketer. I might have to do it. No, you’re 100% right. Cause the little things really matter.
And then we did a cool partnership this year with this tool that we found called snap bar, which is pretty, it was pretty dope. What happened was, after you registered for guru conference, um, you, it said, To enter in to win a super swag box of like guru swag, you know, take a selfie of yourself using this thing called snap bar and, um, then post it online.
Okay. And then we made all these stickers and elements that you could add onto your selfie and you post it online. And we didn’t know anybody was going to do it. I don’t know. It was really random. Right. And we ended up having, we had to like turn it off because we bought a certain number of these snaps.
Right. And within like, I don’t know, the first few days, we had like 800 people that posted, um, a snap bar snap with our image and we couldn’t believe it. And it was cool because we didn’t have to spend any money on marketing. All these people post on social. So little things like that can actually. You know, take your event to the next level.
[00:29:31] Pierce Ujjainwalla:
Yeah, so funny story about that. I actually saw someone who did that. On my feed and then I was like, Oh, cool. I didn’t think that this was someone like she wasn’t really in email. So I was like, Oh, she’s thought she’s going to guru. That’s cool. And then when I registered, I saw that and I tried it out. And I, what I found worked really well about that was that the, the filters that you could put on your image were really cool.
Like, they were well done. Like, if you got to the end of that and they were not compelling, I feel like you wouldn’t do it, but because it made a really cool looking image, it was something that I, at least for me, I wanted to put that on my LinkedIn because, you know, it looked awesome. So I feel the execution is really important in that
[00:30:27] Jay Schwedelson:
Yeah, I agree with you 100%. I would say that across the board. And by the way, we are, I’m plugging NAC right now, but all of our emails are being designed on the NAC platform, which has been, and I’m not just saying this because I’m staring at you, which has been incredible for my team. We’re new users to the NAC platform, and it has radically simplified and actually improved our creative process.
Um, and, and, you know, it really goes to the point of execution, of anything. Thank you. I don’t believe there’s like a bunch of new ideas that you could just run around and come up with, and you’re going to hit on run. It’s really just more about in any aspect of business or life, just executing really well on whatever it is you’re going to do.
And I think you’ll be successful. And we say that in the NAC platform is a good example of that.
[00:31:13] Pierce Ujjainwalla:
Yeah. Thanks. Thanks. Um, all right. Shifting gears a little bit here. I noticed that you have a website for kind of your own personal brand. Um, you know, that has some information. You do a lot of speaking and it gives some context on how to book you.
I’m curious, you know, for myself, like I don’t have a personal website. Maybe other marketers out there don’t. Um, what, what led you to kind of build your own? When did you do that? And kind of what were your goals around building that? And, and do you feel like it’s worked and it’s doing what you want it to?
[00:31:56] Jay Schwedelson:
Yeah. So I do have a site, it’s my full name, jschwedelson. com, separate from my different companies or whatnot. Um, and the reason I did it was really, it really grew out of a newsletter that I send out called Scoop. Um, You know, I’m a big, big believer in this idea of, of rented land versus owned land, even though I do a lot of content, let’s say on LinkedIn, I call that rented land, um, because, you know, in any of the social media platforms.
You’re beholden to the algorithms. You know, you wake up one day and linkedin changes what they do, and you really can’t get the word out there as much as you used to. So I’m a big, big believer and push that you need to own your own land. And that is your email database and to have an email database.
That’s not just your brand’s voice. Right. Or your company’s voice, but it has to be your voice. So that way, when you have something important to say, you have an audience to say it to that’s, that’s the right group of people. So. I put a lot of energy behind growing my personal, newsletter, that I write myself that I try to put out myself my own content.
Because, I think it’s important. It’s important for everybody. And I think it’s also important to realize you don’t need to have. Thousands of subscribers. You could have 10, you could have a hundred, you could have 500. You grow that over time. You keep letting people know where to subscribe and you’ll find over time.
And it does. It is slow pace. It takes a long time. It will become the most valuable asset that you have in terms of being able to reach out to people. And then the other thing I’ll tell you, and I don’t like, I just go down rabbit holes, is. I think it’s really critical to always ask people if you have a newsletter like that, to, to reply to you and to reply to every message that you get, no matter how long that takes you, because that’s how you build up these connections over time.
So I love having my own website. It’s really about my own newsletter and anybody that doesn’t have one. Start now and just just do it. Yeah, I love
[00:33:53] Pierce Ujjainwalla:
that. I love that. I think, you know, there’s so many great marketers out there and they’re marketing for different companies and they might, you know, they’re building the brand of a company.
But to actually build your own brand where it doesn’t matter where you work, what company you’re in, you know, I even think for myself, if I’m at Knak or Revenue Pulse, what’s next, you know, to have that, that great continuity of your own brand too. So, and, and I
[00:34:24] Jay Schwedelson:
also… You don’t You know, yeah,
[00:34:26] Pierce Ujjainwalla:
who knows? Yeah, who knows what will happen tomorrow?
Um, yeah. And I do think that, you know, I, your newsletter, I like that you’re making it, very personal, right? It’s not like no reply. At Jay Schwedelson, you know, you have your actual, I think your actual email there and you encourage people, to reply to you very similar to what I’ve seen Anne Hanley does.
And I think there’s so many benefits to that.
[00:34:57] Jay Schwedelson:
Yeah, I know. 100%. And what I try to do in every newsletter and Anne Hanley’s newsletter is great. If you haven’t subscribed, you should. Um. Daniel Murray has a great one to like that. So there’s Ari Murray. There’s a bunch out there that are great. What I try to do is in my news, I put a bunch of, you know, tips and ideas to start at the bottom.
I literally talk about my personal life. Like I’ve written about my colonoscopy. I’ve gotten I’ll write about the TV shows. I’ll talk about the fact that every Tuesday night in my house, we eat salmon and I hate it. Um, I just try to share literally what’s going on in my life to have that connection with.
With the people that are receiving it.
[00:35:33] Pierce Ujjainwalla:
Nice. Nice. Not a big salmon guy.
[00:35:37] Jay Schwedelson:
I like salmon, but it’s literally my house. It’s every Tuesday night for the last, since my, my kids are 15 and 16, probably since they were like four and it’s just like, you know, I’m at work on Tuesday. I’m like, Oh, what’s for dinner? I’m like, Oh, you know.
I can’t take it, you know, it’s just too
[00:35:56] Pierce Ujjainwalla:
much. I get that, I feel you on that one. Alright, this next section, rapid fire, we ask everyone on the podcast these same questions. The first one you’ve alluded to actually already. Ask this to everyone is email dead.
[00:36:17] Jay Schwedelson:
Yes. Email’s dead. We should all quit and the industry is over.
This podcast is the last time it will ever be mentioned. It’s very sad. No email is dead for people that don’t want to try new things or that want to get stuck in the past. Yes. Email is dead for you. For everybody else. It’s actually a vibrant human being. That’s an actual marketer. Email is in a renaissance, it’s never done better, and it’s the ultimate channel as the cookie dies.
So, yeah, no, email’s not dead.
[00:36:48] Pierce Ujjainwalla:
What is one marketing trend that you would unsubscribe from?
[00:36:54] Jay Schwedelson:
Any, when you get an email, and I cannot believe that this is actually a marketing thing now, with the re colon, or fw colon, right, the fake reply, the fake forward, and you get that in your inbox, and they’re coming from major brands now, When I see that, I want to like throw my computer in the, in the toilet.
I just cannot believe that it’s like, okay, what should we put in the subject line? I go, I have a great idea. Let’s put, you know, a fake reply or fake forward. That’s our strategy is to completely, you know, fool people to opening, to think they’re in the middle of a conversation. If that’s what you do, I want you to block me, unfriend me, disconnect me, never talk to me, because you’re, you’re a loser.
You’re, you have no life. Don’t do that. So yeah, I don’t like that. I don’t know how you feel
[00:37:38] Pierce Ujjainwalla:
about that. I’m gonna admit that I have used that before. Oh no. So we’re no longer friends. No, no, please don’t block me though, Jay. I wanna stay in touch with you. Alright, fine. I’ll make an exception. I, I, I would say…
What I don’t like about it is the authenticity, and that’s why we don’t really do it anymore. Um, and yeah, I think that’s it, right? Like, I think honesty is very important, and that one did always feel like a little bit dishonest.
[00:38:11] Jay Schwedelson:
It’s not great, you know, um, yeah, I’m with you.
[00:38:17] Pierce Ujjainwalla:
All right. You talked about how you, you know, you talk about your personal life and your newsletter.
What do you do for fun?
[00:38:26] Jay Schwedelson:
That’s a good question. I’m not the most exciting person on the planet. So my kids are 15 and 16, so they’re playing, they’re both basketball players. So I’m always at a basketball game somewhere. I watch horrible reality television. I mean, when I say horrible. I’ve never missed a season or an episode of The Bachelor, Bachelet, or Bachelor in Paradise.
I love Love Island UK. U. S. edition is terrible. Um, so I spend a lot of time doing that, which is super embarrassing. Um, and that’s it. I go to bed by 10 o’clock every night. I’m super boring. What do you do? I don’t know.
[00:39:01] Pierce Ujjainwalla:
I, I also do enjoy bad reality TV, my wife and I like to watch below deck, which is a good show, but yeah, you know, it’s super, and the cruise and it just feels, I love it because it’s mindless.
I feel like I’m on vacation. There’s great food. That’s the problem though. I watched it at night and they’re always serving great food and then I eat. Yes, something that I should yes
[00:39:27] Jay Schwedelson:
that happens with diners drive ins and dives. I’ll put that on it’s like 830 or whatever and I just had salmon. So I’m starving because the salmon did nothing for me and my wife’s like You can’t watch that cuz you’re gonna wind up eating everything in the fridge and I’m like, I know I’m an idiot Nightly basis, especially Tuesday night
[00:39:49] Pierce Ujjainwalla:
Who is one person that you admire in the business community and why?
[00:39:56] Jay Schwedelson:
Well, you mentioned her before. I really, I’ve always really liked Anne Hanley. And I think that she’s one of the people that got me to break out of my shell and to kind of speak like myself, you know, in, in a certain way. So she’s somebody that I’ve read. I look, I’m not a copywriter. I, I did horrible in English, but I read her books about writing because, you know, they, they teach me so much.
So I’m a big fan. Um. Of hers, I’d probably put her at the top of the list. Who would you put at your list?
[00:40:30] Pierce Ujjainwalla:
Yeah, Ann is, Ann is awesome. Shout out to Ann. We, we have had Ann on the unsubscribe podcast for anybody who’s listening. So definitely check that episode out. One of my favorites. Yeah, no one has actually ever asked me that, Jay, but, since you do, he’s a little bit controversial right now, but I, I think for what he has actually accomplished, I, I think I would go with Elon Musk, just, I love what he has built.
Like, he’s one of these people who’s If he says he’s gonna do something, he does it, you know, even when it seems impossible, like, you know, launching rockets, or making electric cars, or, you know, now with the AI stuff, so, that’s someone who I like to
[00:41:21] Jay Schwedelson:
follow. 100%. No, I, I think Elon is amazing. I know he’s rubbed a lot of people the wrong way with some of his, you know, content and posts and all these different types of stuff, but his ability to, to do things is, it’s inspiring.
I mean, you can’t, anybody who says otherwise is, is just out of their mind. Cause like you said, he’s, I’m going to do this and they doesn’t. Yeah,
[00:41:45] Pierce Ujjainwalla:
it’s pretty wild. Anyone to university, like, two hours from where I am in Canada, which is pretty cool. Other than Elon, unless you have a connection with him, Jay, who else do you think we should have on the unsubscribed podcast?
[00:42:01] Jay Schwedelson:
Well, you should have Daniel Murray, who I mentioned before. He is the guy behind the marketing millennials, which is one of my favorite pages. Oh, I love that. LinkedIn. Yeah. LinkedIn pages is amazing. So I would have, I would definitely have him on, Chase Diamond. Has he been on?
[00:42:18] Pierce Ujjainwalla:
Not yet. No, we actually spoke at the same time at the Guru conference last year.
[00:42:24] Jay Schwedelson:
did you? Oh, yeah. He’s amazing. And he’s an animal on social media. I mean, you gotta follow Chase Diamond. It’s D I M O N D, not D I A or whatever. The guy is, he’s all about email content and he’s an… Animal. I don’t know how he posts as much as he does. He just has another kid, a newborn. I don’t know how he does it, but he’s an animal.
And so you should definitely have him on too.
Pierce Ujjainwalla: Nice. Awesome. Well, Jay, this, this was a ton of fun. I’m not surprised. You know, we, we really went all over the place about entertaining content, email tips. We talked a little bit about the Guru Conference, how you built your personal brand, and we even talked about salmon.
I think that’s the first for an unsubscribed episode, so thank you so much for doing this, and for all that you do. I personally love reading your tips and your content, so thank you so much for being
[00:43:21] Jay Schwedelson:
here. But yeah, I appreciate this was a blast. I mean, when you could squeeze in salmon colonoscopies and email that we’ve done something really important.
So, really appreciate it. Thank you so much for
[00:43:32] Pierce Ujjainwalla:
the piece. It’s great. You just made my life easier. All right. Have a good one, man.
[00:43:38] Jay Schwedelson:
Hi, man. Take it easy.
[00:43:44] Pierce Ujjainwalla:
Thanks for listening to Unsubscribed, a podcast created by Knak If you enjoyed this episode of Unsubscribe, be sure to subscribe to my podcast and leave a review on your favorite podcast player. If you have any feedback or wanna chat, feel free to reach out to me on LinkedIn or follow me on Twitter at Marketing 101.