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25 min read

Answers To The Top Email Marketing Questions Asked By Solopreneurs

top email marketing questions asked by solopreneurs


Watch the Episode on YouTube

Aspiring solopreneurs. 

Stop whatever it is you're doing and listen to this episode right now!

OK, so maybe that's a little dramatic, but seriously, after recording nearly 100 episodes, trust me when I say this is absolutely one of the most important episodes you need to listen to.

We all have questions about email, whether it be for mass marketing campaigns or just one-on-one communication with clients or customers.

So, the fact that we got Jay Schwedelson, I repeat, JAY SCHWEDELSON, to answer these questions is basically just the coolest thing ever. He addresses topics like:

  • If email marketing is actually necessary for solopreneurs (his answer surprised us)
  • The biggest mistakes people make when it comes to email
  • Common myths about email marketing
  • How to create a subject line that increases open rates
  • Where solopreneurs should focus their email efforts given they have limited time and resources
  • How to grow email lists 
  • Email marketing predictions for 2024 (and why you need to think about the election even if your business has nothing to do with politics)

And so much more!

In the episode, we describe Jay as a cup of coffee. His enthusiasm and upbeat personality are so contagious and we can't wait for you to listen to this episode!

Connect with Jay Schwedelson

Favorite Quote About Success:

"Stupider people than you have been able to do it." - Jay's grandfather

Going solo in business doesn't mean you're alone! Join our thriving Facebook community group exclusively designed for solopreneurs!  Connect with like-minded individuals who understand the unique challenges and triumphs of running a business single-handedly. Gain valuable insights, discover proven strategies, and unlock the power of networking as you engage in lively discussions and receive expert advice. We hope to see you there!

About Jay Schwedelson

Jay Schwedelson is one of the top marketing experts in the U.S. His guiding philosophy centers on providing the latest, research-backed knowledge and best practices to marketers of all sizes and industries. His podcast “Do This, Not That!: For Marketers” is among the most popular in the United States and has been ranked in the top 10 out of over 50,000 marketing podcasts in in the entire country.

Like this show? Click on over and give us a review on Apple Podcasts Thanks!


Full Episode Transcript

Jay Schwedelson (00:00):

I would never walk out of anywhere and say I'm an email expert, and I don't think anybody that calls themselves an expert in any market category actually is an expert. The reason I say that is everything is moving so fast and within your own company, your own business, you always have to be testing those.

Intro (00:14):

Welcome to Solopreneur: The One-Person Business podcast for professionals ready to take charge of their company of one and reclaim their freedom. Join us as we bring you inspiring stories, invaluable insights and practical strategies from successful solopreneurs and industry experts. Get ready to feel empowered to create a thriving business that aligns with your unique goals and allows you to live life on your own terms. Here are your hosts, Joe Rando and Carly Ries.

Carly Ries (00:46):

Welcome to Solopreneur: The One-Person Business podcast. I'm one of your hosts, Carly Ries.

Joe Rando (00:51):

And I'm Joe Rando.

Carly Ries (00:53):

Our guest today needs no introduction. If you are in the marketing world, you know who this guy is. He is one of the leading voices in it. He is also one of the top experts in email marketing, which is what we are going to get to today. Joe and I follow him. We listen to his podcast, LinkedIn, we've attended his events. He is wonderful, and if you don't just want it for the content, tune into everything he says just for his personality. Jay Schwedelson our guest is just like a cup of coffee. Anytime you consume any of his content, whether it's listening to him speak or whatever, he is just a jolt of energy. We can't get enough of what he produces, so we are so excited to have him on the show. So much so that Joe is wearing one of his sweatshirts. And Jay, we'll let you talk about that. Pink is not usually your color, Joe, and you can totally pull it off. You're rocking it. And Jay, welcome to the show.

Jay Schwedelson (01:47):

I've got to tell you, I'm going to take this. I'm going to make my kids watch that intro because they might actually think I'm remotely cool. Probably not, but I can't thank you enough. I'm super stoked to be here. We're going to have a lot of fun. Yes, Joe is wearing a very bright pink sweatshirt from our Guru Conference event. I appreciate you repping the brand. That's a super large free virtual event and you rock and Carly rocks and we all rock and we're going to fun

Carly Ries (02:09):

And we're all parents and we're all going to look cool today on this podcast. Jay, let's just start from the beginning. For people that don't know, basically your background. We're going to talk about email marketing. We're talking about guru events, so I'm going to call you a guru for marketing. You are well-versed in so many areas of it, but today we're going to focus on email specifically. So what led you to become the authority in that field?

Jay Schwedelson (02:40):

I don't know if I'm that, but I grew up in a marketing family. My mom was a school teacher. My dad worked at a magazine and they decided in the seventies that hey, they didn't like their jobs and they decided to try to start what was then a direct mail business in my garage. I was very young. I was very short. I was like five and that's what they did. Our garage was this business, this direct mail business. And every night at dinner, that's what we talked about at the dinner table was marketing and return on investment and you spend a dollar, you try to make $2 and that's what I learned. In college I tried to start up an internet business. It went sort of well, sort of not great. That was in the early nineties. Then coming out of that, email was just starting to get going, now it seems ridiculous, but it was just starting to get going.


People are like a prodigy account and a copy server account, all this stuff. I was like this, this is exciting. This is interesting. This is for me direct mail, but it's now digital. I decided to go full steam on that. Fast forward, I have this agency called Outcome Media where we're with business and consumer clients. We don't just do email. We do direct mail, we do podcast advertising, digital media, all that stuff. But the thing that really catapulted me in the email space was that, about 15 years ago, so many of our clients were coming to us and saying, "how do you write a subject line for the emails that we're doing with you all?" Our team would be like, "well do this or do that." I'm like, this is annoying. We need to do something better than just say do this or do that.


I'm like, why don't we make a tool? So I was sitting on my couch one night and I go on GoDaddy and I register the url subject line .com. I'm like, let's make a tool around writing subject lines, which seemed ridiculous at the time. We put this tool up that used all of our data. So any marketer can go to this website, which they still can today, put in their subject line and it would give you a score of how good or bad it was and would help you to improve your campaigns. That really got some heavy usage. We've checked over 15 million subject lines now and that kind of put me more and more into the email space and trying to come out with best practices and information. One thing led to the other. I've never done anything different than just be around marketing, so I'm passionate about it. I think anybody can do it, and I think it's just fun to test stuff.

Carly Ries (05:00):

Your passion is so contagious. I know you have opinions on a lot of things when it comes to email subject lines and everything these days. So let's actually start there. What are people doing wrong in the world of subject lines and as of today, January 15th, 2024, what do they need to be focusing on?

Jay Schwedelson (05:21):

I would say there are two things that people are doing wrong. One is listening to people like me. I would never walk out of anywhere and say I'm an email expert, and I don't think anybody that calls themselves an expert in any marketing category actually is an expert. The reason I say that is everything is moving so fast and within your own company, your own business, you always have to be testing those. But one of the things that email experts still put out there is this big myth that what you write in your subject line can cause you to go to the junk folder or the spam folder . 10 or 15 years ago, if you put the word free in your subject line, if you capitalize the word in your subject line, if you used a question mark or an exclamation point in your subject line 10, 15 years ago, all of those things would cause you to go to the junk folder because the receiving email systems were looking out for capitalization and sort of words like the word free and question marks and dollar signs and all this stuff.


You are getting filtered because of content. That has changed. You don't get filtered anymore. You don't go to the junk folder, the spam folder because of content. If you went online right now and you Googled "things to avoid in the subject line", you'd see all these lists of spam trigger words. It's painting words to avoid and it's not reality. You don't get filtered for that reason. You get filtered for people not opening up your emails and clicking on them and whatnot. So the first thing that I think people are doing wrong is unfortunately relying on best practice information that they're finding online, which is usually outdated even though it has today's date on it. The second most important thing in your subject line that you always want to be thinking about is the number one thing that drives performance to your subject line is having some form of urgency. Always.


If you have an offer, if it's a newsletter, that's different, but if you're sending out something, you're trying to get something sold, whether you're a business or consumer marketer, you need to have some form of urgency because people don't react to subject lines that are just static. We want to see something that says two days left, last chance, only 24 hours. Whatever your offer is. You want to include urgency. Even if you don't have something that's expiring, let's say you're promoting a tip sheet or a guide or whatever, and that's always going to be there, you still want to say things like, "don't miss out or hurry," because we do not react. We do not open up messages that do not have some form of urgency in that subject. Those are the two things in my mind that I think are most important.

Carly Ries (07:49):

What would you say drives you the craziest these days when do you see it in a subject line?

Jay Schwedelson (07:55):

I think the thing that drives me bananas is thinking that people will read your whole subject line. Anything in the second half of your subject line is irrelevant. You could literally write in the second half of your subject line, you're a loser and it won't matter because no one will actually read it. No one's going to get to the second half of the subject line. The reason I say that is that a lot of times marketers make the mistake of putting the most important thing in their subject line at the end. The 20% off discount or the webinar registration ends today, whatever it is, they put it in the second half. Nobody reads the whole subject line. So what you do in those first few characters are all that matter. If you capitalize the first word of your subject line, you'll see an increase in your open rate. If you start your subject line with a number, you see an increase open rate. When you do these things at the beginning of your subject line, they stand out, they get the person's attention, and that's how you win. And don't put stuff in that second half of your subject line because that is where responses go to die.

Carly Ries (08:56):

That is such a great point. I think some people just want to be catchy, especially these days with chat GPT. They're like, well chat GPT said delve into blah, blah, blah, emoji, emoji emoji, everything that I think they're kind of taking it from AI and putting it in there thinking that that's accurate and it's just not.

Joe Rando (09:15):

But emoji wise, I know I've made fun of chat GPT for overdoing it with the emojis, but you were a believer in emojis in subject line, right? You think emojis can be powerful in subject lines, correct?

Jay Schwedelson (09:27):

150,000%. And I'll tell you why. For both business and consumer marketers. Look, it's a little obvious for a consumer marketer like, "oh yeah, why wouldn't I have a nice little fun graphical symbol?" If it's Valentine's Day coming up, I'm not going to put a heart in it. Why wouldn't you do that? First of all, you should. It 100% increases open rate performance, the percentage of people opening up your emails. It's proven a million times over that it does. On the business side, marketers think, "oh, I wouldn't use an emoji. I promote to a regulated industry. I promote to healthcare, I promote to legal. I can't use an emoji. That's embarrassing." That's not reality because we are all just humans. And when we do the social scroll in our inbox, what we're trying to do is, what can we do as a marketer to get our message to stand out against everybody elses. We have to stop.


Emoji has a ridiculous name. It's almost got bad PR. If it had a different name, if on the business side it was called a business icon, you would use it like, "oh, I want to put a business icon in my subject line." You could start your subject line with a calendar emoji. Let's say you're promoting an event or just a check mark and it stands out and it works. So emojis are super powerful, and if you're not testing them, you should. You shouldn't use them on all your emails, then you'd become wallpaper. But if it's not part of your arsenal, I think you're leaving a really valuable tool on the table.

Joe Rando (10:58):

Great. I'm working on an email right now, right before we started this, and now I'm changing the whole thing.

Jay Schwedelson (11:07):

It's all my fault. It's all about testing. We have about 10 different ideas and listeners' like, "oh, I'm going to go try all that stuff." Some of them work and some dont. You can't be like, "oh, it didn't work." Those three people, they have no idea what they're talking about. That's not marketing. It's always about testing and what you test today, if it works or didn't work, test it again in three, six months because literally it's always changing.

Carly Ries (11:29):

It's so funny that you said that Joe because I sent you five emails or so to review last night that I wanted to sent to you tomorrow, and I'm like, "hold that thought. I'll send you an edited version in a few hours, all five of them". So let's say people nail the subject line. They go to your tool, they typed it in, got rave reviews, let's do this. What are you seeing people doing wrong within the email itself? It's one thing to click through to the email, it's another thing to get them to convert on whatever your CTA is. What are your thoughts there? Again, early January, 2024.

Jay Schwedelson (12:08):

Yeah, I would say the first thing I would think about is how visually boring your message looks. What I mean by that is, let's say you're promoting something and you have copy in there. You're writing something you won't be able to take advantage of. We just did this whole study where we looked at literally the number of lines of text in a paragraph in an email. So if you open up an email and there's a little paragraph in there, if it has three lines of text versus five lines of text, just visually we see the three lines of text lead to over a 20% increase in click-through rate versus five lines of text visually. It's like when you get a text message from a friend or a relative and it's got a big block of text, I can't look at that right now. You put it off to the side, you're like, "I'm going to come back to this later. I don't know what that drama is, I just don't have a time for it."


And that's somebody that you care about, your friend or relative. But when you get an email that you barely care about, that you barely open, and then visually you see a big block of text, you're immediately like, "Ugh". And you just don't even read it and you move on. It doesn't matter what it says could say you won the lottery. It's irrelevant. So visually you want to think about how can you be more concise? Because having that three lines of text with maybe a few bullets, that is how you win. I think marketers are so excited to share whatever it's, they want to say, they don't realize that nobody actually cares. They're just trying to move along really quickly. So that's the body copy. Then we talk about CTAs and all sorts of other stuff. The body copy to me is really important.

Carly Ries (13:40):

Well, let's do talk about CTAs. Actually before we get to the body copy, where do you stand with videos and emails and GIFs and all that? Are you thinking as minimal as you can get the better?

Jay Schwedelson (13:55):

That's an interesting question. First of all, if it's a consumer email, love GIFs. As many GIFs for the win, no deliverability problems. That is not a video. An anime GIF is really just three or four images that are tied together. You'll have no deliverability problems, and it's really fun to have stuff moving around on a consumer oriented email. On a business email, especially if you're trying to get video consumed, you have an on-demand video, you have a short form video, you have a webinar, whatever it is you want to get people to digest, you have this video, you want people to watch it. There is one way that works better than any other way using email to get people to watch a video. And it is not trying to embed a video in email. Don't embed a video into email. That's weird.


You're going to have deliverability problems. I don't care what anybody says. It's strange. The other tactic that people do that I don't think is the best tactic is they make an animated GIF of the start of the video and they make it look like you open up the video, this business email, it looks like the video's getting going and marketers are like we'll do that and that way people will click on it and they'll want to see more. That's kind of a go-to move that a lot of business marketers do. That's not the one that we see work the best. We see what works the best is you take a screenshot, an image screenshot of the start of your video, and then you take a big red play button and you stick it on top of that image, and then you send out the email with the picture.


It's literally one image with the big red play button on it. What do we do when we see a big image with the big play button on it? We cannot stop ourselves, right? We are trained. It's like Pavlov, we are trained to click that button. We click the button, takes you to a destination page of that same image, same play button, and we just hit the button again and we watch it and replay. When you follow that path, we see that to be exponential increase in terms of video consumption that you're promoting via email. So that to me is the number one way to go.

Carly Ries (15:57):

I love that. It makes so much sense. It's funny, we do just do it mindlessly. It's amazing how much autopilot we get to with these kinds of things.

Joe Rando (16:07):

"Must watch video"!

Jay Schwedelson (16:10):

It's so true thougjh. We don't even realize what we're trained to do.

Joe Rando (16:14):

It's weird, "but there was an arrow on it?"

Carly Ries (16:19):

So let's get into the CTA because I feel like at one point, and I'm going back, gosh, 2016 at this point. You need to put a hyperlink to your CTA in the top paragraph. You need to include the CTA at the bottom, you need to do this, blah, blah, blah. I feel like for years people follow that, and I still see that to this day. I'm just curious, what is working in CTAs? How often do you have to put it in there? What format?

Jay Schwedelson (16:47):

Yeah, for sure. Listen, you want to have more, not less. The key thing about your call to action buttons, the actual buttons that people click in order to take advantage of the offer is, I think the biggest mistake marketers make is the words on the buttons. The actual words on the buttons. Let's say you are promoting a webinar. You send out your email and you have your button in the email. What does the button say? Nine times out of 10 it says register. That's what it says. That's garbage. What we see is that when a call to action button is written in the first person, we actually see click-through rates increase over 25%. What I mean by that is let's say you get a webinar promotion. One webinar promotion says "register". The other webinar promotion says, "save my seat". Or it says, "I want in", or it says "yes, I can't wait".


What are you going to click on first? Register or save my seat? It gets you excited. It's that action of you getting involved. And the same thing on the consumer side. Is it a buy now, which is a benefit to the sender or save now, which is a benefit to me, the recipient. Thinking about the language on those buttons, and by the way, it could be really long. Your call action button doesn't need to just be two words. It could be 10 words, doesn't matter. The language on those buttons can have a huge impact on your overall performance and it costs you nothing. It takes three seconds and it's like, why not? I'm a big fan of testing everything with those call to action buttons.

Carly Ries (18:23):

That is a great point, and I want to take a step back for a second. I feel like all this is such useful information, provided you have a list to send to. If you send an email to one person, it's like, well, who really cares if you get really in the weeds with this? For entrepreneurs, they're a one man show, they're doing this all by themselves. How would you recommend they start building and growing their list so that they can be effective with email?

Jay Schwedelson (18:52):

I really love that question because I feel that pain. A lot of times you'll hear stuff like "go grow your list". Okay, how? Literally, how do we do that? Here's what I would do. If I'm starting from literally zero and nobody knows who I am, here's what I do. I would create a piece of content, at least one that is really compelling. Give away the store. Whatever it is that you've got in your brain or whatever that piece of content that's going to be the most useful out there. You make this two page thing about it. For me, we started with this thing that we have an email calendar, the best worst days to send out emails. It's this calendar that we send out. We use the that to really drive a lot of list building. So you get a piece of content that you think is really exciting to people, you make it sound really cool too.


And you have to share that everywhere, on every social you possibly can. Then most important thing you can do is make sure that you have a pop-up contact capture on your website. Somebody comes to your website and that pop-up pops up and says, "Hey, do you want the latest guide to blah, blah, blah? " Or "do you want the 10% off discount, blah, blah, blah". And you say, put in your email address and we're going to give it to you. That pop-up contact capture, you'll be shocked at how fast you'll grow your list. Out there, somebody listening is like, "Ooh, those are annoying. I don't like those. I would never fill that out". Well, guess what? About 10% of everyone that sees it actually does fill it out. And what never happens, is people just abandon your website. What they do is when they see the popup and they don't like it, they click that little X on the top right hand corner and they go onto your site. But what you get is you get the person's email address and that's the most valuable asset in your company. So create that piece of content, share it everywhere, everywhere you possibly can, and do the pop-up contact capture and you will grow your list.

Carly Ries (20:59):

I have a question for you on that. You said that collecting email address is the most valuable asset for your company. So the audience that we're talking to today, they are running every aspect of their business. They're doing operations, they're doing marketing, sales, everything. What emphasis should they be putting on email marketing from a priority standpoint versus the rest of their business? Is that a huge deal for growing their whole business or can they focus on other areas and kind of put email as a secondary thing?

Jay Schwedelson (21:30):

That's a good question. It's not that you should be focusing on email marketing, but what you have to have everything focused on is collecting the email address. No matter what you're doing, you have to be collecting and always be asking for an email address. When you're sleeping and when you wake up, there should be some mechanisms that are going on in your business that are out there trying to get more email addresses for your business. It is absolutely going to be the linchpin to everything that you do. People try to be everywhere like, okay, well, we need to be on Facebook or we need to be on X and we need to be on TikTok. We need to be on LinkedIn, or we need to be all. No you don't, it's irrelevant. That's irrelevant. Yeah, okay. Maybe pick one platform, be on LinkedIn. Great, focus on that. But more importantly than any of that is you must always be collecting, always be asking. So when you are ready to do email marketing, you have somewhere to market to. Iit's not that you should be focused on email marketing, but you must be focused on collecting.

Carly Ries (22:34):

Yep, that's a great point and great differentiator there. To piggyback off of that, solopreneurs, they don't have a lot of time. They're spread thin, but a lot of the ones that we talked to, they want to keep learning. They want to keep growing. So with email marketing, if they reach that point after building that list, they should be looking at analytics. You're so great on analytics with email marketing for your company. You guys are doing it all the time. How much focus should they put on that and how often to get better results?

Jay Schwedelson (23:07):

Analytics is an interesting thing. One thing I would think about, especially as a solepreneur, is don't worry about industry averages. Don't worry about what you read online. Who cares what the random industry averages, whatever industry. And that's in terms of marketing metrics, all that matters is beating yourself. It's like being a swimmer. You want to beat your time, you want to get faster, you want to beat your time. And what I mean by that is, and it's not just relegated, it's email. It could be anything you want to benchmark yourself. Okay, so today I sent out my email newsletter. I got a 30% open rate and got a 1% click through rate. Okay, next week we sent out the news order again, what am I going to do to get that open rate up? I want to beat myself. I want to get it to 34% and 2%.


What you want to do is benchmark yourself, not just email in general. Marketers make the mistake to go, "our email marketing gets a 25% open rate, a 3% click-through rate" or whatever. That's not the way you want to look at it. You want to take your different types of emails you send out. You send emails out, that's your newsletter. You send out offer emails, you send out transactional emails of some kind. You want to bucket each of them. And then you want to benchmark for yourself, how are we doing in each of these buckets? And then every time you hit said, how am I going to do a little bit better? What am I going to test to do a little bit better? I wouldn't get caught up in, "oh wow, I'm in the automotive sector and I read the industry average is of 40% open rate. I'm at 20%. I'm going to have a nervous breakdown." That's irrelevant. First of all, industry averages are garbage. It only matters if you're doing better in your own organization.

Carly Ries (24:46):

That's a great point. I want to ask you there, you talked about those buckets, types of emails, where do you stand on promotional versus educational? I think for a while it was like 75% of the time do educational and then ask for the other. Where do you stand?

Jay Schwedelson (25:04):

I think that, and we all struggle with this. Everybody always has stuff they want to promote. And we do. I mean I do, right? Everybody does. It's also with your social posts as well. You have to go into a chunk of your marketing with no agenda whatsoever. I'm going to send out this email, this piece of content because it's valuable to my database. I'm going to put this social post on LinkedIn or whatever because it's valuable to people I'm connected with. You have to do that probably at least 50% of the time where you are just giving. I like Gary V, he says, "give, give, give and then ask". You're giving out content, you're giving out content, giving out content. And then you ask. Because when you do that, you build up that credibility with whoever it is you are communicating with and you're not going to be wallpaper to them.


They are going to want to see what you have to say. Then over time they're like, "wow, you know what? I'm going to do this company a solid because they give me so much stuff for free. I'm going to check out whatever it is that they're kind of selling or promoting." I see with my own business, we put on these really big events that are all free. We share a lot of content that's free. Then once in a blue moon I'm like, "Hey, does anybody want to work with me?" I'll get a lot of people saying, "yeah, I want to talk to you because you give out so much free stuff" So that give, give and then ask, I think is a real path to success.

Joe Rando (26:32):

I just want to make sure we don't miss something. We've talked about the email and everything, but the actual body, you said don't make the paragraphs too big. I get that, three lines, not five, not four. What about the number of words? We tend to write emails and feel like we have to say a lot of stuff in order to make it an actual communication. What's your take on the number of words we're using in emails typically versus what they should be?

Jay Schwedelson (27:03):

We actually just did some research on that and what you really want to think about in terms of how many words are in your email is you want to think about, first off, who you're marketing to. Are you marketing to existing customers or prospects or people that you want to have become paying customers? The reason those are two different buckets, and the reason you have to think about this in terms of the volume of words that you're using is existing customers sort of like you, care about you and prospects could care less about you pretty much. What we see is the secret sauce number is a roughly 75 words, especially to prospects. If you have more than 75 words in an email to non-current customers to prospects and more than 75 words, you see click to read rating performance fall off into the garbage can. So you've got to keep it really, really short. When you go to existing customers, you can go over a hundred words. Right around that mark is about right. I mean we are not talking about newsletters. These are offer related emails. Newsletters are a whole other game. But the moral to the story is you've got to keep it really short because people barely want to read what you're putting together. So it's a great question.

Carly Ries (28:09):

If you saw me looking off screen and seemingly typing, it's because I was literally just typing those notes into my phone for those emails that I need to resend to you, Joe, to review before tomorrow. So your company, you guys do such a great job staying on top of all these things. What are your predictions for email in 2024?

Jay Schwedelson (28:34):

Well, unfortunately, there are two things that are going to make all of our jobs harder. The economy, while it's doing probably better than some expected, it's still going to be somewhat of a rough year for the economy. Why do I bring that up? Marketing budgets will likely be cut this year, that's the nature of the beast. And when marketing budgets are cut, you look to the channels that give you the greatest reach at the lowest cost. So you can't run more search ads when you don't have the budget. If you post on social, on your organic social, that's great, but only reach about 15% of your network. You can't do direct mail because that's real expensive. So what's the one channel that costs you very, very little in order to reach your entire population? That is email. In any down economy, we see email being more heavily used, which means, the reason I said it's difficult for all of us is that the inbox is going to be even more saturated, which means we're going to have to do even more tactics with the subject line and all this other stuff to stand out.


So be on the lookout for that. Then the other thing, in the second half of the year that I don't think marketers really have factored into their plans is that we are in a presidential election cycle. Starting in about August, all the way through till November, all of us going to be inundated with marketing from every angle. I don't care who you like or don't like, doesn't matter. We're all going to be inundated. And what tends to happen in a presidential election cycle is that we start to tune out marketing in general because we're like, oh, I can't take it. I can't look in my inbox, I can't go on social media. I can't look at the tv. So marketing performance starts to gets kind of lessened as you get closer and closer to the election. So I think that we're in for some headwinds that marketers are going to really do some fancy footwork to stay ahead of it all, unfortunately.

Carly Ries (30:42):

Wow, those are such great points. I am a marketer and I hadn't even factored in the election, which I think I'm also just in denial that it's already back around. So maybe that's why I haven't thought about it. But those are great points and definitely take note audience because that will be, like you said, a headwind coming towards us. Jay, I feel like I could talk to you forever. Honestly, I was thinking about the questions that we have for you today, and the list goes on and on and on, and it's just primarily selfishly driven because we just want to keep you on the line. But we do want to be respectful of your time today. So we want to end on a question that we ask all of our guests. What is your favorite quote about success?

Jay Schwedelson (31:30):

Well, there was one quote, and it wasn't the quote, it was advice that I got that probably changed my business life more than any other. I think that we all have, at least I do, serious imposter syndrome every day. Can I really be doing whatever it is I'm doing? Am I qualified to do whatever? Early on in my career, my grandfather saw me and I had my hands on my head. I was stressed. I didn't know what I was doing. And I remember saying to him, "I don't think I can do this. I don't think I'm smart enough to do this." He put his arm around me and he said, "Jay, stupider people than you have been able to do it." And I was like, wow, that's amazing. I feel like that's true. There's going to be somebody out there that is stupider than me that was able to do it. And every time I feel inadequate or whatever, that's what I think of. And I'm like, "I'm going to do it." So that's the motivational quote that I use almost every single time.

Carly Ries (32:30):

And now we'll print it out and put it on our wall.

Joe Rando (32:34):

That is not only brilliant, it's hysterical. That's just really amazing.

Jay Schwedelson (32:38):

It's sad. But, it's true.

Carly Ries (32:42):

Jay, you know that we are huge fans of yours. Hopefully our listeners have become fans of yours today if they haven't already. So where can they find you, your companies, if they want to learn more?

Jay Schwedelson (32:53):

Oh, so nice. So please connect me on LinkedIn. I share a lot of nonsense on LinkedIn. If you go to my full name, you'll find links to my podcast. I put out stuff every single week on "Do This, Not That", My podcast. I guess the two other things, We have, which is free and fun. and also is our big free virtual email marketing event. But if you go to, you'll find all of it. I really appreciate you all. I love what you guys are doing. I love being here and can't wait to listen to all the future episodes.

Carly Ries (33:27):

Well, thank you. The feeling is very mutual with your show. And Joe, if you want to just lift up your sweatshirt a little bit for anybody watching on YouTube, browse sharing..


Well, Jay, thank you. Listeners, thank you so much for tuning in. We would love it if you would give us a five star review. Subscribe on YouTube, anywhere you listen to your show, and tell all of your friends. We love helping you out. We want to continue doing it forever. So leave us those reviews, and Jay, we'll talk to you soon. See you next week everybody.

Jay Schwedelson (33:59):


Closing (34:04):

You may be going solo in business, but that doesn't mean you're alone. In fact, millions of people are in your shoes running a one person business and figuring it out as they go. So why not connect with them and learn from each other's successes and failures. At Lifestarr, we're creating a one-person business community where you can go to meet and get advice from other solopreneurs. Be sure to join in on the conversations at