The Newsletter Pro March 2019

#120 in the 2015 and #343 in the 2016 INC. 500 | 2016, 2017, & 2018 Best Place to Work in Idaho | Marketer of the Year | 24K Club Winner

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Lessons Learned Client Success Cold Marketing vs. Relationship Marketing ‘Rookie Mistakes’


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The Adventures of Karli McNamee Clif Bar: Business Done Right



Would you rather deal with the pain of discipline or the pain of regret? The choice is yours.

long game. True wealth and long-lasting success are only achieved by playing for the long term.

enough? How many books have you read this year? Yeah, I know it’s only March. What is the next seminar you’ll be attending? If you don’t have a good one, or you want to make sure you end up at one that will crush it , I have another bootcamp being held at my office on May 13 and 14. Go to for more details.

In Las Vegas a few weeks ago, I took a Lyft from one venue to the next. As I typically do, I asked the driver how she liked driving for Lyft. She said she liked being able to set her own hours and work more or less depending on her needs at any given time. While we were talking, I noticed that she had bottles of water in the cup holders for customers to grab. I asked her if she thought the water bottles in the back increased her tips. She told me she didn’t know either way, but other drivers had said it helped, so she began doing it as well. I then suggested she split-test it. I laid out a simple plan to run the test over a four-week period, and when I was done, she said that it seemed like too much work.

Jim Rhone once said that there are two types of pain in life: the pain of discipline and the pain of regret.

Think about how smart the above statement is for a minute. As entrepreneurs, we have a tendency to fall into the instant gratification trap like everyone else. We also love “easy buttons” and shortcuts, which is why it is so easy to sell shiny objects to all of us, even when the last three we bought didn’t work. If you’re like me and would rather have the pain of discipline, then you’ll have to take a hard look at how you operate your business. If you’re like many entrepreneurs I’ve met, you can probably benefit by addressing these three lagging areas. Do something TODAY that your future self will thank you for. LACK OF ONGOING BUSINESS EDUCATION If you think this is harsh, don’t — it is true. Many entrepreneurs don’t study business, marketing, sales, or money. That is just a fact. You’re reading this, which tells me you’re likely better than the average entrepreneur, but are you studying

LACK OF MONEY KNOWLEDGE How can you make money decisions if you don’t understand money? As the rapper Cardi B would say, “I was born to flex/ Diamonds on my neck/ I Continued on Page 2 ...

What? Isn’t driving all over Las Vegas for 6–8 hours a day already a lot of work?

One of the major problems for many people — including entrepreneurs — is that they don’t play the





paying it off literally gave me an extra 4.5 percent return on that investment … guaranteed.

being selfish and greedy, only talking about what you want and how they should pay you money?

like boardin’ jets/ I like mornin’ sex/ But nothing in this world that I like more than checks (Money)!” Except for the “diamonds on my neck” part, Cardi and I agree on these points. But it’s hard to get large checks if you don’t understand money. Now, the question is this: Where do you start? There is a ton of info on finance but, at a minimum, you need to know how to read a P&L statement and balance sheet. Recently, I came close to buying a new company, and I would have made a terrible mistake had I not understood a P&L statement and balance sheet. You need to understand good debt and bad debt and realize that some of the information out there about which is which is just B.S. For example, I paid my house off years ago. So many financial experts told me that was dumb, but was it? This house is where my kids sleep at night. I was paying 4.5 percent interest, which means “How can you make MONEY DECISIONS if you DON’T UNDERSTAND MONEY?”

I don’t need to hope the market goes up; I’ll get my return every year for 28 years or until I sell the house. I also now have an asset that is paid for.

Don’t misunderstand me: I want you to promote and make offers. I did it in this article when I told you to attend my bootcamp, but I also added value while I was doing it by explaining why it is important. Just to show you I’m not against offers … If you don’t have a newsletter, we have a killer promo for March. You should sign up for one as part of your foundational marketing strategy. Another foundational issue that plagues many is the front desk. How are your phones answered? Are your employees polite, or are they short with callers? Do they say “please” and “thank you,” or do they treat callers like pests? This matters. This is a foundational part of customer service in your company. Do you want the big boat, nice house, fancy car, dream vacations, and fat checks? Start with these three areas. Dig deep and put in the discipline of a few extra hours a week now so the future is brighter tomorrow. Plan on doing and learning what others won’t. This is the key to your future. It really is up to you to put the key in the door, turn the handle, walk through, and get to work.

If the crap hits the fan in the economy, I don’t have any bills to speak of and can simply coast.

I can look at my own business’s P&L and find areas that are out of alignment and adjust those, saving money that would otherwise be lost.

You have to know the numbers. You have to understand money math to make big money moves.

LACK OF FOUNDATION If you’re playing the long game, you are building a foundation for your business. You must capture and nurture leads. As I mentioned above, I dodged a bullet on the purchase of a business recently. One of the business’s assets was a list of 28,000 names and emails. When I scrubbed that list, it dropped by over 70 percent . Some of the people hadn’t been contacted in 15 years. Only a few hundred had been contacted in the last 12 months. It’s not good enough to simply have a list; you also need to nurture it with online and offline marketing.


How often do you communicate with your customers and prospects? Do you add any value, or are you

P.S. You may have noticed that I’ve been focused on relationship marketing and nurture campaigns for the last few months in many of my articles and emails. This is because we are heading toward a downturn in the economy soon.

This relationship marketing stuff will blunt the blow, but only if you start now.





Successes and Failures From Promoting Our Marketing Bootcamp

We’ve been holding events at The Newsletter Pro for a while now, and we’re starting to find our rhythm. But the marketing strategy for the first event didn’t go as planned. Even if you haven’t begun holding your own live events yet, there are a ton of good marketing nuggets in this article, including the almost unbelievable way four people registered for one of our events — but more on that in a minute. Hopefully, you’ve seen some of the marketing we’re putting out for our bootcamps. These bootcamps are small training sessions I hold at my office in Boise, where I spend two days teaching advanced sales, marketing, and operations tactics to help entrepreneurs grow smarter and faster than ever before. This is stuff I’ve learned over the last 20 years of buying, selling, and growing businesses. Our second bootcamp will be finished by the time you get this newsletter, and our third bootcamp, scheduled for May 13 and 14, is already half full.

This is good news, but let’s back up to the story of filling the first bootcamp. Let’s just say it didn’t go as expected. To be honest, since we only have 25 seats in my conference room, I thought filling the first bootcamp would be easy. It wasn’t. We tried to fill it by sending a few emails and dropping a couple of mentions in the newsletter. We did pretty well, but it didn’t look like we’d get the full 25 people, which was fine, but I was frustrated with myself for not creating a better marketing strategy. The only thing left to do was to sit down with my team and figure out how to fill those last few seats. The only things we felt we had time for were phone calls, emails, and inviting people who were at least semilocal via phone and direct mail, so we created a script and started calling. Lo and behold, we filled the event even though we never got to the direct-mail portion of the marketing plan. I was happy the event was full, but it took way longer and took way more work for my team to do than it should have.

For the second bootcamp, I was determined to focus on the marketing strategy more and make sure we reached our goal without having to do extra work. This time, we added multimedia marketing to the campaign.

We added inserts into the newsletters and mentioned the event several times throughout the content.

We looked at our contacts, created a targeted list of people to market to, and used Facebook ads to target as many of those people as possible. The goal was not so much conversion as it was awareness.

We also sent the same number of emails as last time.

Finally, we mailed a direct-mail letter and postcard. Shortly before we sent the sales letters out, we decided to make one change to the letter, and the results of that change surprised me. We decided to add a fax-back form to see if we’d get any response. We got four clients to register via fax-back! With this strategy, we filled the 25 seats we had for February as well as just under half the seats for the bootcamp on May 13 and 14. The campaign was a success, but there is a good lesson in here for everyone. It takes a full-on multimedia campaign these days to have a successful event turnout. You have to hit people up multiple times on multiple platforms. Had we just used emails again, we’d likely have struggled to fill the event, and I doubt we’d have anyone registered for the next event. Even a fax — a method that many would say is old and outdated — yielded four registrations, which tells you it doesn’t matter how you feel about a communication method or media platform. It only matters how your prospect feels and how they respond. –Shaun P.S. Make sure you grab a seat for our bootcamp on May 13 and 14 before they sell out. Go to to register today.







Dear Shaun,

I wanted to take this opportunity to express our sincere gratitude to your team working on our campaign. As a new client of one entire week, Scott and I are blown away by the level of professionalism, commitment, and such strong work ethics. Your team’s level of superior customer service is very rare to find these days. We started behind schedule with a goal for our first mailing to be in January 2019, but your team has worked diligently to keep us on track for our mailing date of Jan. 5. Additionally, I am more than pleased with your team’s follow-up to my phone calls and emails. Kudos to Lo, David, Scott, and your lead writer, Joe, just to name a few among others working on our campaign.


Again, we have the utmost gratitude for an excellent product and excellent staff!


Faith London, Distasio Law Firm





Mike McHargue Details 5 Critical Mistakes Leaders Make

Let’s face it: We all mess up. Making mistakes is what makes us human but, far too often, we’re embarrassed, ashamed, or too prideful to admit we messed up. This can be especially hard for leaders who are faced with constant pressure to make snap decisions and juggle many different tasks. Instead of shying away from mistakes, author Mike McHargue has collected a series of 25 different stories from business leaders, and in them, each leader describes a leadership or management mistake they have made in their role or in previous positions. McHargue has compiled these stories together in “Rookie Mistakes: Advice From Top Executives on 5 Critical Leadership Errors.” In this quick, simple read, McHargue takes theoretical concepts and

shows the real-life applications, failures, and lessons that can be derived from the experiences top executives have shared with him. He highlights five big mistakes:

Allowing confusion

Hiring too fast and firing too slow Failing to give and receive feedback

Failing to connect with your team

Running truly awful meetings

Despite their mistakes, the executives McHargue has written about have fostered strong careers as business leaders and trailblazers. Through their




I often find that people misunderstand cold marketing versus relationship marketing. Entrepreneurs typically try to apply principles that are valid for cold marketing to relationship marketing, and it is a massive mistake. Let’s get clear on the definitions first. Cold marketing targets prospects who don’t know who you are, what you do, or that you’re even in business. Relationship marketing is designed to create customer loyalty and long-term customer engagement rather than just achieving short-term goals like customer acquisition and individual sales. The goal of relationship marketing is to create strong, emotional customer connections to a brand or individual that can lead to ongoing business, free word- of-mouth promotion, referrals, and other resources from customers that generate leads. With cold marketing, you must have a clearly defined goal, such as “I want to send a targeted campaign to these 5,000 people to get webinar registrants and make sales through the webinar.” Once all the sales are counted, you can clearly check your campaign’s return on investment. This type of marketing clearly falls into the direct-response marketing category. However, if you don’t have a clear call to action saying, “Sign up for the webinar,” this is no longer direct-response marketing. For example, if you send a campaign to 5,000 people and simply tell them who you are and what you do, and provide them with no reason to respond, you now have a branding piece. The easiest way to spot a brand-based piece is to look at the mailing list. The people receiving the pieces have never purchased from your brand before.

Now, on the flip side, we have relationship marketing. These are pieces designed to play the long game by building a relationship with your customer or prospect. These pieces also allow you to add value and promote products, services, or specials. Relationship pieces allow your customers to get a glimpse behind the curtain of your business and maybe even gain some insight on you personally. Done correctly, relationship marketing builds trust, authority, loyalty, and long-term leads to get more sales, more referrals, and an increased customer lifetime value. My tool of choice for relationship marketing is newsletters. Relationship marketing also works well for nurturing your leads. A lead is trying to make a number of choices. Do they want or need your product or service? Which vendor should they buy from? Who is going to take care of them after the sale? By using multimedia content (newsletters, emails, videos, etc.) to build a relationship with your prospect, you drastically increase your odds of closing the deal because people like to do business with people they know, like, and trust. Prospects in many cases will even pay more to do business with a trusted source, such as choosing Apple products over PCs. Apple has spent decades building a trusted brand, providing free tech support in stores and focusing on customer experience, and they’ve reaped the rewards of doing that. There are times when a call to action in relationship marketing is both warranted and needed. The above statement is even more true when talking about prospects, but expecting to get a 100 percent ROI for every relationship-marketing piece is crazy town. That is just playing the short game with your marketing. Continued on Page 6 ...

experiences, these CEOs, presidents, managers, and even a judge provide readers with an intimate look at the thinking and humility they possess. McHargue and the leaders then explain and elaborate on the lessons they have learned from these experiences to help up-and-coming leaders, managers, and business owners avoid making costly errors. McHargue himself doesn’t shy away from learning from his mistakes. He even invites readers to Tweet at him about mistakes and omissions he made in the book using the hashtag #RookieMistakesBook! McHargue serves as a principal consultant with Patrick Lencioni’s Table Group. He focuses on bringing organizational health into the workplace and has partnered with leaders across the globe to foster this worldwide movement. He currently lives in Boise, Idaho, with his wife and three kids. Learn more about him online at Mike-, and find “Rookie Mistakes: Advice From Top Executives on 5 Critical Leadership Errors” on Amazon.

Have You Heard the Good News?

Romans 11:36 — ”For from him and through him and for him are all things. To him be the glory forever! Amen.” Mark 10:27 — “Jesus looked at them and said, ‘With man it is impossible, but not with God. For all things are possible with God.’” John 16:33 — “I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.” Philippians 4:19 — “And my God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus.”





It is important to note that understanding the numbers before you launch a campaign is one of the best determining factors of success or failure of the campaign. For example, I was chatting with a friend who was planning to send out 8,000 emails via a cold list he was renting, but the price of the list was high and he wanted a second set of eyes on it. So I asked him for the numbers. On average, these 8,000 names had a 12 percent open rate, so only 960 people would even see the email. Of those 960, this list averaged a 2.5 percent click-through rate. That means just 24 people would click on the product he’d priced at $47. If 30 percent (which would be a high percentage) of the people who clicked bought, he would sell seven units. The customer lifetime value didn’t justify the ad spend. Regardless of whether you’re doing relationship marketing or cold marketing, you have to look at the numbers to set your expectations and see if the campaign makes sense. Now that you understand cold versus relationship marketing and how to have a framework for calculating return on investment, make sure you use this newfound knowledge before you engage in your next campaign. –Shaun


HAVE A REVOLUTIONARY EMAIL EXPERIENCE If you were tasked with capturing a portrait of the modern American family, you might observe parents who look frantic, stressed, and utterly exhausted. According to a new Pew Research Center survey, children are much more Rollup — Swipe up to add an email to your daily “Rollup” — a daily digest designed to take some of the strain off your inbox (and you!). You can then pick a time of day to have all of your emails delivered to you at once. WITH JUST ONE SINGLE SWIPE!

likely to grow up in a household with working parents, and in nearly half of all two-parent families, both parents work full time — a sharp increase from previous decades. What hasn’t changed is the difficulty of balancing

Keep — Swipe right to keep an email in your inbox for later viewing.

it all. In fact, 56 percent of working parents say the balancing act is difficult, and they are more likely to say that parenting is tiring and stressful. Because the structure of the modern American family drastically reduces the amount of individual free time, people are tasked with finding ways to eliminate time- wasters from their schedule. ENTER UNROLL.ME Unroll.Me is an app that can give you the free time you need and deserve. Once downloaded, it starts decluttering your inbox by prompting you to unsubscribe from unwanted emails. It then consolidates important emails into a daily digest. You can:

All the features associated with Unroll.Me work to not only declutter your inbox quickly but also help you organize your emails the moment they are sent to you. Think of using this app like spring-cleaning — unsubscribing would be akin to throwing out the unnecessary junk you’ve accumulated over time while keeping the information you actually need. Unroll.Me currently supports (including Hotmail, MSN, and Windows Live), Gmail, Google Apps, Yahoo! Mail, AOL Mail,

and iCloud. With its ability to interface with all these email clients, Unroll.Me can help you organize your personal and professional inboxes.

While an app can’t change the portrait of the modern American family, it can help you get back some rare but much-deserved free time.

Unsubscribe — Swipe left to unsubscribe from the email subscriptions you don’t want anymore and keep them out of your inbox for good.

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Karli’s McNamee’s Amazing Superpowers THE CAN-DO CHAMELEON IN THE SPOTLIGHT

Not every company can say they have a superhero working in their midst. But when you see what Karli McNamee — our resident chameleon — does in a single day, you will have no doubt that she’s superhuman. Karli describes her superpower as “a cog in a group that helps everything run.” As our executive assistant, Karli’s main job is making sure our fearless leader doesn’t take on 42 hours of projects in a 24-hour day, but a lot of the amazing work Karli does at The Newsletter Pro is behind the scenes. At any given time, Karli could be researching insurance companies, tracking down people for W-9s, ordering office furniture, or putting together agendas for a meeting she won’t even attend! She’s a chameleon, leaping into action wherever she’s needed. Like any good superhero, Karli’s origin story involves some unexpected turns. When she first applied to work at The Newsletter Pro, she had

her eyes on an editing position. As someone who loves words, Karli would have been an invaluable resource helping our writing team improve content for our clients. Unfortunately, the day Karli applied also happened to be the day the position was filled by someone else. Never one to be discouraged by something as trivial as a rejection letter, Karli waited for another opportunity to join the company she knew she would love. It wasn’t long before an ad went up for the executive assistant position. With Karli’s positive attitude and can-do drive, it was really no contest. When Karli first took the executive assistant position, she vowed to do an excellent job but also made it clear than when an editing position became available, she wanted first dibs. Sure enough, it wasn’t long before we needed to bring more editors on to the team. But when presented with the opportunity to switch gears, Karli changed her mind.

“I realized I’d fallen in love with the job,” Karli says, explaining why she ultimately turned down the editing position. “The way I see it, one of the best things I can do for the company I love is to take things off Shaun’s shoulders so that he can be the leader. I like being helpful; I like being the one people turn to with projects that don’t fit anyone else’s job description. I like being a chameleon!” If you’re at The Newsletter Pro headquarters and you need help working with a contractor, answering emails in Shaun’s voice, or you discover that your computer is suffering from the blue screen of death, never fear! Karli McNamee is here!



If you’re looking for more great content — like what you’re reading in this newsletter — to drive your business forward, take a look at these articles on our blog. Never Doubt Your Creativity Down and Dirty Copy Critique and Tips Lessons From ‘Thinking in Bets’ in-bets/ What Apple Stores Teach Us About Retention




208.297.5700 391 N Ancestor Pl, Boise, ID 83704 Keep up with our latest office news, blogs, and promos at!

BUSINESS PROFILE BUSINESS DONE RIGHT How Clif Bar Stuck to Its Gut and Built a Happy Company

the company was a certified Great Place to Work, a testament to the positive culture and strong sense of community Erickson has built. Clif Bar offers matching funds, and employees get PTO for volunteering — something that is encouraged as part of the company’s emphasis on giving back. Of course, Clif Bar wasn’t an overnight success. Erickson and his mom experimented and tested their initial product, returning to the kitchen time and again to adjust the recipe. They brought their bars to bike races and passed them out to friends. Then they went back to the kitchen until everyone’s taste buds were satisfied. The company faced an early lawsuit (fortunately, insurance covered it), and other hurdles presented themselves in the formative years. The grit and determination that it took to build Clif Bar from scratch are two of the qualities that explain how Erickson has created a company that sticks to its gut. The unique culture encourages a healthy and active lifestyle, plenty of community involvement, and a good work-life balance. Guided by the five aspirations that sustain their business, brands, people, communities, and the planet, Clif Bar puts people’s well-being at the forefront of its decision making. Employees are passionate about the company’s values and how they guide what they do every day, and it’s one of the main factors that ensures their contentment at work. As one employee shares about their values, “Clif Bar goes one step (or 10 steps) farther with the aspirations. They give life to everything we do and serve as a barometer for the success and decision criteria for everything we undertake as a company. Never before have I seen a company operate with such a higher purpose.” It hasn’t been easy, but whenever these values have been tested, Erickson has always returned to the “why” of Clif Bar. In 2000, eight years after Clif Bar launched — and amid the offer of a tantalizing buyout — Erickson was tormented by the decision to sell. At the crucial moment, he remembered what

it all stood for. “This is my life,” he realized. “It’s our employees, it’s my family. It’s named after my dad.”

Kit Crawford, co-owner of Clif Bar and Erickson’s wife, sums up the reasoning behind the choice perfectly: “The power of a lot of money can do good, but business done the right way is way more powerful,” Kit says. Making the conscious decision to turn down a lot of money, Erickson realized he would much rather continue the challenge of “business done right” than have money in his pocket. Governed by the five aspirations, he’s stepped up to the challenge. In 1999, Clif Bar lived out their core aspiration of Sustaining Our Brands by launching Luna Bar and later LunaFest, which is a response to women’s requests for a nutrition bar. It was the first of its kind in the industry and a clear winner. In 2003, Clif Bar began to use organic ingredients in their products, adhering to their aspiration to Sustain the Planet. Following the lead of companies like Patagonia, Clif Bar has onsite child care for employees’ kids, and it’s all part of their LEED Platinum-certified “green” headquarters in California, which shows their commitment to Sustaining Our Communities. In 2010, Erickson and Crawford gave 28 percent of Clif Bar ownership to their employees, demonstrating their core aspiration of Sustaining Our Business. Employee- owners enjoy perks like six-week paid sabbaticals after their 10th year with the company, onsite trainers, workout space, and paid gym time, clearly showing their dedication to Sustaining Our People. Reflecting on the journey and where Clif is today, Erickson thinks of the “happy nervous” feelings he experiences during an outdoor climb, like the intense one he did with friends up the side of Half Dome: “I never once thought I wasn’t going to make it,” Erickson says. “It’s the same way I feel about Clif Bar.” Erickson has brought that focus, determination, and optimism from his climbs and athletic pursuits to Clif Bar, and it looks like he got the recipe just right.

“This is really terrible. I can make it better.”

So begins many a great entrepreneurial journey. Some 100 miles into a grueling 175-mile bike ride, these also happened to be the exact words Gary Erickson spoke. Long before he became the founder and CEO of Clif Bar & Company, he was about to eat his sixth bland, dry, tooth-achingly hard energy bar, and he’d had enough. At the time, Erickson worked at a bike seat factory and moonlighted as a baker. Growing up, his Greek mother and grandmother taught him how to make delectable pastries, and those skills matured well, lending themselves to a burgeoning business Erickson named Callie’s Sweets and Savories, after his grandmother. Following the “terrible energy bar incident,” Erickson brought his experience as an athlete, his frustration at the lack of tasty energy bars, and his mom’s baking skills to the kitchen to create a bar that people would actually enjoy. Today, Clif Bar employs over 1,000 people and has given away over $8 million in philanthropic donations. Last year,




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