What we cover:
More About Yvette
As a dietitian and nutrition entrepreneur, Yvette is passionate about inspiring and connecting people to live and work with purpose.
With over 20 years of experience, she’s combined her creativity and education with her natural (or savvy) business and people skills to create products that enhance the productivity and brand of dietitians, health coaches, and other wellness professionals.
As the founder of Customized Nutrition Newsletters and Foodspirations, she is passionate about creating products designed to connect, educate, and inspire so everyone can thrive.
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Episode 025 Show Notes
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Read the Transcript
Welcome to The Unconventional RD podcast, where we inspire dietitians to think outside of the traditional employment box and create their own unconventional income stream. We’ll talk all things online business to help you start, grow, and scale your own digital empire.
What to Expect From This Episode
Have you ever wondered why having an email list is important for your business? Maybe you thought about getting started with email, but aren’t really convinced that it will have a positive return on your investment.
In today’s episode, I chat with Yvette Quantz, a dietitian and founder of two businesses: Customized Nutrition Newsletters, which offers email newsletters for dietitians, and Foodspirations, which offers inspirational cards to share with your clients. The underlying purpose of Yvette’s businesses is to help dietitians connect with their clients and deepen their relationships.
In this interview, Yvette explains why connection with our audience is so important and how email, in particular, can be an incredible way to foster this connection.
Yvette has been in the email newsletter and marketing world since the early 2000’s and has lots of wisdom to share. So I sincerely hope you enjoy this episode and get lots of actionable advice to use in your own practice. Let’s dive into the interview.
Yvette’s Background in Dietetics
Erica: Hi Yvette. Thank you so much for being here today. I am stoked to talk with you about the connection factor and how connection can really help people grow their business and keep it going long term. So thank you for being here and giving us your time today.
Yvette: Thank you for having me. I’m excited to be here.
Erica: Well, I like to start just by getting a little bit of an introduction with my guests before we dive into the tactical stuff. So can you tell us like how long you’ve been an RD and about the work that you’re doing today?
Yvette: Yes. So I’ve been a registered dietitian since 2003, so almost about 18 years, 17 years. I started in the field, I actually have a degree in kinesiology and I started in the field of sports nutrition. So that’s where I built a lot of my foundation. I worked at a fitness center, first fitness center in Mandeville, built the nutrition practice there.
Then we moved to Dallas once I got married and built a nutrition practice there. I still love sports nutrition. I love the sport of performance training and all of that.
As I was there, I observed all of the other professionals (this is around 2000, between 2005 and 2008) all the other professionals in the health and wellness industry and the levels and the connections.
I worked at a place that was very service-oriented, so I loved our method of working with our clients. It was very service driven. So everyone had a connection touchpoint. As a dietitian, we don’t have them as frequently as the other professionals.
So I noticed that that was a barrier because as a dietitian, you come in so many times, but for a personal trainer, it might be two or three times a week. The same with massage therapists, more frequently.
And that’s when we moved in 2008. I saw this idea and opportunity to create products and tools and services to help dietitians connect with their clients.
I think that’s the core of what we want to do, in the sense that we want to help, we want to serve. That’s a lot of the reasons why we go into this industry, but we get overwhelmed with the business marketing to-dos.
And how can I also have a very creative side? I love creating, I love writing. So how can I use some of those skills, gifts, and talents to help my profession?
And along the way, I met so many wonderful professionals who are so smart and know so much, but the whole branding and the messaging that they would do or deliver wasn’t always the most eye-catching. So that’s kind of how the idea, with where I’ve been and where things are going.
Erica: Awesome. So are you still running a private practice?
Yvetter: So two and a half, almost three years ago, I took a position with a nonprofit, um, Eat Fit Acadiana. It was a three year grant position. I don’t really run my private practice right now. Um, the three year grant position is, I’m out in the community, working with restaurants.
More About Customized Nutrition Newsletters
Erica: Oh, cool. Yeah, That’s exciting. All right. So for today’s purpose, I kind of wanted to focus in on the services you provide with your Customized Nutrition Newsletters. So what exactly do you offer in that business? Like, what type of dietitians do you serve? What are the benefits and all that?
Yvette: So, um, I provide a content solution for dietitians, for health experts, who want to share educational inspirational content, want to share on a regular basis, but don’t have the time to always do it. Maybe they don’t love writing. I have a solution that’s very easy. You can build your newsletter in less than 15 minutes, 10, 15 minutes and send it to your list. Um, so that’s, that’s the premise of what I did.
The why behind it was, I started all of this before the world of email marketing blew up. Um, and I started it when I was again, back working in the gym and noticing some big-name people who are not dietitians, who might be just selling their supplement or their workout programs, they started email marketing more.
And my thought always was this isn’t going anywhere. Meaning, people reaching out to clients/consumers through emails is not going to go anywhere. But I also don’t believe the need for that one on one, that individualized approach, that service that dietitians are trained to do, I don’t think that’s going anywhere either.
So how do we…. not necessarily compete, but how do we stand out? How do we add that value? How do we be that go-to expert when our clients are getting information overload from their trainers, physicians, and anything they sign up for online? And I thought, uh, email newsletter. It was a simple touchpoint to help build that connection, that gentle reminder, and where you’re sharing educational and inspirational content, something of value.
Erica: I love that you were like really on the cutting edge of all of this stuff. Like, you’re talking about like 2005, 2008. Email marketing was in its infancy, really, around that time.
Yvette: Really, my vision always was just providing that content solution. Email marketing has just exploded and all of that. And it’s even hurt my head at times.
I think you have incredible course on that, but it’s still… we need, and you say this and you agree, we have to provide that connection piece and add that values, so then we can then also nurture. And so that’s, those are the things I like to do. Help to provide those connection tools.
Erica: Cause everyone’s different in their business and what they excel at and what they have time to do. And like you said, not everyone likes writing, or maybe their newsletter is something that’s literally been sitting on their to-do list for a year or more. And I like that you provide this like middle-ground option of like at least get something out there.
Yvette: Yeah. When I dove into this project, I really didn’t know what I was getting into with the business I had this vision for. I started building it by hand. So I was basically copying and pasting like content from my library into iContact. We were with iContact at the time, and we’ll go into all of those things, but I was copying and pasting. And as I was growing (and growing my family as well) I was in the hospital, copying and pasting newsletters, and like having baby number two, I was like, I cannot keep this pace up.
The vision always was, I always wanted the service to be branded for the professional. So I wanted it to represent… I didn’t want the brand to be known as Customized Nutrition Newsletters or Yvette Quantz. I wanted the businesses using the service to be able to include their logos their headers, their colors, their styles. And ultimately if they don’t agree with my words, be able to edit it. That doesn’t offend me. Everyone has their own flair, their own style, if they have that option. So that was always my big one. How do I get there?
So it went down the deep dive of software development, and that was a journey. And after much trial and error, we have developed the system we have today to where our users come in and we can customize the templates with their brand. They can select the content that they want every month. I produce two new pieces of content, and that content includes an intro letter, a main article, a mini article, a recipe, and a quote. So two new of those are added every month and they can select it, it goes into their template brand, and then it goes into their email service provider and then they can make the edits and send it out like this from that.
Is there any concern you’d send the same newsletter as someone else?
Erica: So my thoughts are, some people are going to be like, “Oh my gosh, this is everything I’m looking for.” Cause they’re like, “I do not have the time to put all this together.” And then what about the other people who are like, “Oh no, but what if I’m sending the same thing as someone else?” Like what are the chances someone would notice?
Yvette: And that’s a valid concern. I know who uses our service. I know the reach. And I think currently the biggest cross-promotional you might see is dietitians being on each other’s list.
Um, but there’s a lot of options to customize. So you have your brand colors, you have your template style colors. And we also have these template image styles that you can change as well, beyond the content that you can customize. So if you want to guarantee you’re not using the same one that might be the most popular, don’t use a new release.
We have a very… I’ve been releasing two new pieces of content since 2010, adding two new pieces of content every month. Um, so we have got a vast variety of content in that database that you can then go and select what you want your readers to read, as a touch point.
You’re using it to stay in front. You’re using it to, to remind your people you’re their nutrition go-to expert.
Erica: Yup. And like you said, even just taking out that mental load of figuring out what to share, just having a database of stuff to pull from, even if you’re almost completely rewriting it, that is valuable.
Yvette: It really is.
What drew Yvette to email newsletters
Erica: I feel like you were on the cutting edge of email, but was there something that drew you to email? Where you were like, “Oh, this is going to be something”?
Yvette: That’s an interesting question because I would probably say no. I mean, at the time the newsletter options that were available were print. And the customization in print was very limited.
Like, you could put your logo, but it still had represented the brand of where that was from. And I actually toyed with doing them like this. So before 2010, I was actually hand-building and one of my clients, she is still with me today, she was with the PDF hand-building newsletters version. It wasn’t even Customized Nutrition Newsletters back then.
But anyway, printing a newsletter, I just never thought it would be economical enough for our field. I wanted something that was affordable for small practice dietitians. I know myself, I started a private practice. I paid my rent. I managed all these expenses as well. So I understand those, those factors that come in.
So email seemed a very easy touch point. And it made sense with where things were going.
Erica: Yeah. That’s a really good point. It’s incredible the value you get by sending these emails and it’s, it’s really cheap.
Yvette: And that was when I was working in the gym and whenever I did the newsletter, I always got someone coming by my office saying thank you so much. I loved it. I forwarded it along. And that’s, I guess those all things started planting the seed.
But back then I was doing a PDF version (this is 2007), um, the company I worked for was using Constant Contact, but I wasn’t, and I was blind carbon copy copying (I probably didn’t even do that all the time, I probably like, um, CC’d people once or twice and realized that was a big no, no). And then I realized, well, my carbon copying everyone is a big no, no.
Um, so anyway, that’s how, kind of how it all started. But when I did it, I always got thank yous from the clients that I did serve.
And they asked questions, they referred someone, they came back, saying I need help, I need to schedule that appointment, and as dietitians, we know that first visit, that’s really the start of our relationship.
It’s what happens after, and if we can’t nurture and connect with our clients, they’re not going to seek the change. Because we can’t… we are not fairies. It is not going to be a light switch. What I say is, “If there was a magic pill, Oprah would have found it and there’s not.” And when you think of it like that, it’s like, okay, you’re right. So it’s a journey.
And we know that as professionals, but to get that message to our clients, we have to gain their trust. And we do things for that. And so that’s where the newsletter service came in and then the foodspiration cards and prints also came in at that time as additional touch points and connection pieces.
Foodspiration prints and cards for additional touchpoints
Erica: Yeah. Can you just like briefly tell us about that?
Yvette: Yeah. Foodspiration started as my touch points of little words I would share with clients.
I’d send daily emails, little tips, and then realized the value in it. I’m a card geek. Like if I could do anything, I would go work for Hallmark and I would write cards and make people smile. So I loved searching for the perfect holiday card for my clients, every holiday, and I could never find it. So I wrote my own. My first one was “Savor”
And when I wrote it and shared it, it was like, the feedback was just incredible. And then a friend of mine created it into a design, a beautiful design. If I had one I’d show you, but, um, which we then offered to dietitians to offer as holiday cards. And then it just evolved from there. But it’s one of those things that always made me smile.
Email marketing is great and it’s needed and it’s affordable and it’s something you can do on a regular basis. But if you can add in other thing… it’s not the only touch point. And I want people to know that, um, that there’s multiple levels of touch points that we want to share and do to engage and to connect with our clients.
Erica: Yes, that’s so good. Um, weirdly I, sometimes I go on and off with like listening to different people’s podcasts and I used to listen to Gary V a lot. And then just for whatever reason, kind of like fell off. And then this week I was listening again and he’s doing something really similar where he has stuff that you can send to your clients during this time. Like just little cards or flowers or whatever. So it’s so funny, like the synchronicity of everything.
Yvette: I’d actually written a book and I need to, I do plan to reproduce it, but it was called The Little Black Book of Foodspirations, and it was designed to be a gift book. So it was really small, tiny, and, um, the intention behind it was, it was a gift you would give your clients and you would write your name. And it was all my little foodspiration tips, but it was from you to send maybe after they bought a package from you or something. And so, um, I self published them and I sold out of those and, um, anyway, never reprinted them, but it is on my goal list.
Additional ways to connect with your clients
Erica: So in terms of how you can connect with your people… ee talked about email, we talked about, you know, little thoughtful gestures, like a gift or something. Do you have any other ways that you think people can connect?
Yvette: I mean, remembering the little things. I remember my boss, who was a trainer at the gym, he talked about the importance of writing down little notes about your clients, those personal factors, because then you’re building beyond the food police. And, um, please laugh when I say food police, but help them to break that barrier so where they can trust and know that it’s more than just that too. If you ask questions you can understand the full picture and remember those things.
Erica: Yeah. Like remember their favorite sports team or something, you know?
Yvette: Yeah. Find little ways to connect. Eye contact, smiles, just little things like that really do matter. And your clients will remember the way they feel when they left your office. And then your newsletter arrives in their inbox along with a million other newsletters, but they remember the way they felt in your office. So they want to open it.
Erica: That is such a good point. Like it’s not just one thing in isolation ever, you know? Everything contributes. I talk about that too, even in the context of, you know, running a Facebook group, for example. Like, I do think that having that community and that engagement there leads to more people opening the emails for that exact reason.
Yvette: Yeah. And when I thought about it, like, okay, if I get a newsletter from my dermatologist, he probably sends too many, but you know what? I like him and I like his staff. They’re selling their products, but I still like him and like his staff. So I get them. I don’t always read them, but he comes up in my inbox because I know him.
And that’s when, back to that question of what if someone else is sending a similar newsletter, it comes back to that connection. Because it’s about you being that touchpoint, that connection, that voice that someone else resonates with.
Why is email marketing worth doing?
Erica: I mean, do you have any examples that you could share of how sending emails maybe led to more clients or sales or like, why it’s worth doing?
Yvette: Oh lots of examples.
Being able to move from Dallas to Lafayette and start everything I did was because of my list I had and how I nurtured it. Now I don’t offer all the virtual things I did back then, but back then I was doing online coaching programs. I was doing lots of stuff from the small list. I think my list started with 30 people.
And with that being said, when do you start a list? If you say, well, it’s too little, it’s too little. You, you don’t ever start it. So you start with what you have and you move forward from there. So without a doubt, my list helped propel me into being able to start my own practice, being able to start Customized Nutrition Newsletters, and create the relationships.
I hear from the dietitians who use the service, “Thank you, you know, so and so responds and they want to come back and they appreciate it.” And it’s constant gratitude if it’s being sent out with intention and education.
Do you really need an email list if you’re on social media?
Erica: And what do you say to the people who are like, “Oh, I don’t need an email list cause I’m on social media and I connect with people there.”
Yvette: Very good question. So your email list… you own your email list, whereas on social media, yes, that is a connection point and you need to be there, but what happens when Facebook goes down or any of that? You won’t have the emails to send that little personal touch or to sell your new course that you’re going to launch.
And I know I’ve purchased courses from people who I got their email, I saw them on social media, then I got another email that triggered it. It’s the full relationship of how you get it.
Erica: Couldn’t agree more. Yeah, definitely, in my own experience, I am on social media (I mean, mostly in my Facebook group, I could probably do a better job expanding that presence, which is on my to do list). But regardless, when I look at the data, most of my sales actually come off the back of my emails, rather than my social media posts.
Like you said, they’re complimentary. And I do think that being on social media helps me make the sales via email. But I think email is just a little more structured and you can control the flow and the conversation a little bit better. Um, and it’s, it’s intimate. You can speak to one person.
Yeah. So I agree that I think email is one of the most important pieces to get set up in your business.
Yvette: There are a lot of things out there, like, “email marketing is dead”, and that’s not true. The way it used to be done, spamming people, is dead, but email marketing and email (I prefer to use the word connection… I realized that I’m more of a connector) is not dead.
What type of content to include in a newsletter
Erica: So in your opinion, like what type of content should people be putting in a newsletter?
Yvette: Something educational. An email newsletter is going to be different than an email marketing campaign.
Erica: Yeah can you explain the difference?
Yvette: Yeah. So an email newsletter… what I tell people using my service is you’re using this as a touchpoint, as a relationship builder, as a value add. You can include like a link to my store and things like that… You’re probably not going to get a lot of sales from that, but you can include it, but you don’t want everything you send to be constantly “buy this from me, buy this from me, buy this from me.”
I will never forget the time I did something like that in 2009. I had just been launching my Foodspiration stuff and was so excited. I had no idea about email marketing. I’m totally going to expose myself here. I sent out an email, like a complete sales email of like, this is the new Foodspiration shop. And didn’t introduce it. It was terrible. And I had the most unsubscribes ever. I was mortified. Cause some of them were like clients that I had really good relationships with.
And I realized, I mean, we live and learn, but that we cannot send emails like that. Thankfully, that was a long time ago.
Erica: I similarly have done some things where I look back and I’m like, “Oh, that’s so cringy.”
Like when I first launched my business and joined, B-School, a lot of the people in the B-school Facebook group would be like, “Hey, I’m looking for beta testers. Come join my thing.” And then they would send you a message and then be like, “Hey, it’s a hundred dollars to join the beta.” And it seemed like it worked.
And so my first ever thing that I ever launched (with a partner) we tried that strategy and, oh my gosh, it was the worst idea ever. It was so spammy and gross.
Yvette: When you went through that, did you feel weird doing it?
Erica: Yes. But we felt desperate at the same time.
Yvette: I’m going to share this for your listeners, because I think that there’s a lot to be said about it. In the early days, it was people saying you gotta do it this way or that way, and I didn’t feel comfortable doing it, but it’s like, these experts told me this is how you’re supposed to do it and this is what you’d need to do.
And it felt so uncomfortable. And yes, growing is uncomfortable, but there’s a difference. And so… You know what I’m talking about? And listening to this, I’m hoping that you can kind of at least start questioning – Is it an uncomfortable that I should lean into? Or is it an uncomfortable because it’s wrong for me.
Erica: Yup. And don’t feel bad. I mean, I’m sure so many people have learned the hard way through these things because when you’re new, sometimes, you know, you get distracted. But the relationships that you have with people are a thousand times more valuable than like a $97 sale. You know what I mean? So that’s one of the things, if I could go back and like take that off of my history book, I would. Even though, I mean, in the end, it was like five people that we did that to. But still…
Yvette: When I launched my first online coaching program, I was working with a coach who told me to do this. And one of the guys, he knew it said it was going to be renewing, but it didn’t feel right to me. I knew him personally. And she’s like, well just do it, if it renews, you know, don’t worry about it. If it renews it’s on him. And then he had to call me, and his kids and my kid go to the same school, and 10 years later, I still like… of course I refunded them the money, but I just, it was so embarrassing because that’s not how I do business.
Just do business how it feels right to you. You’re the one who’s going to have to show up in your business every day.
Erica: Yes. Thank you for saying that. I have goosebumps right now. I know it was like a side tangent, but it’s so important.
Does the format of the newsletter matter?
Erica: So anyway. Yeah. So the point of the newsletter is to be, you know, educational and provide value and connection. Does the format matter? Can it be just words? Do you need any pictures? Does it need some fancy design?
Yvette: Um, it varies, you know, everyone’s varies. The way that we do ours is, it is going to be graphically appealing.
Um, again, when you’re differentiating newsletters and then email marketing content, I think there’s a difference. So all of the customized nutrition newsletters are going to be have nice images, graphically appealing, nice content, and be actionable like a good recipe.
Some will have it where you can link out to another blog or to your website, which I think is a fantastic idea. Our system doesn’t work like that because it’s, we can’t link to your blog in that way. But if you can have ways that you have images that also inspire action, which could be reading or linking. I think the cleaner messaging is for more of your email marketing campaigns, talking to your clients, your readers.
Erica: And then I always, and I think I mentioned this in my course, I actually like study people’s emails, you know? I have a spammy email that I don’t really actually use, and I’ll just sign up for everything with that email. And then you can learn so much just by watching what comes in, and what other people’s newsletters or just regular emails look like. And then you can see what you’re drawn to and try to replicate the general framework in your own emails, too.
Yvette: This journey of creating this software has been a long one. It’s been in the clients who have stayed with me, they have been with me on some of the hard tech issues and have known some of the issues. But now when I get emails from them like, I’m on a lot of the list of people who use my service and I get their emails, first, everyone really does look different between the colors and the pictures represents the brand, but it always makes me so happy because it, it pops color and it stands out.
How often should you send a newsletter?
Erica: How often do you think people should send newsletters?
Yvette: I think a newsletter, at least once a month, maybe twice a month. I think the other stuff should be smaller snippets.
Erica: And that makes it seem, you know, not super overwhelming. You could do that. You can do weekly of something.
Yvette: That would be ideal. I don’t think it needs to be a full on newsletter weekly. I think a once a month newsletter where you’re giving a recap of everything.
Erica: I think Pat Flynn does something like that. I can’t remember if it’s weekly or monthly, but he does something like that. Where like on a regular basis, he sends out a recap of like, these are the blog posts, and the podcast episodes, and the webinars, and like, you know, just a recap of what he’s put out.
Yvette: You can send weekly something as well. That would be awesome. But a lot of people are just getting started and monthly or doing it twice a month is incredible.
How do you start an email list from scratch?
Erica: What are some of the ways that people could go about building an email list if they’re at square zero?
Yvette: Yes. Great. So creating a lead magnet. So a lead magnet, I know Erica has talked about this, a lead magnet is something that you’re going to give as a gift. It’ll be your giveaway where you are basically asking for an exchange, someone to give you their email for you to give them something. You want that to be of value. You want to add value to their life with that giveaway. Cause they are giving you their email.
That’s one way. So you can put that lead magnet on social media. You can put that lead magnet on your website. You can put it on every blog post you do.
You can also invite your clients to sign up for your newsletter. So you can send out an email, if you’re using an electronic medical record system, you can send it to them, inviting them to join from there.
Erica: I used to do private practice and I just had like a little checkbox on my intake forms where they could check that they consent and then leave their email if they want and then I would just add them manually. I think the key is like, you have to have proof that they gave you permission.
Yvette: Yeah. You need permission. And you don’t want to send out a mass email and blind carbon copy everywhere.
Erica: Yes. Which is inherently something you can’t really do if you’re using an email service provider. So that’s good. Like MailChimp or ConvertKit or there’s so many.
And then just the people who are really at square zero, there’s some confusion about, “Okay, I made this thing that I want people to sign up for in exchange for giving their email.” But then like, can you walk people through how those things are connected?
Yvette: Your email service provider, whatever that is you choose… Um, MailChimp’s a great one, ConvertKit, and Customized Nutrition Newsletters. We actually just partnered and that was the newest integration where it’s an all in one solution. We offer the email marketing management service as well.
So any email provider, whatever one you use, they will have it where you are going in and you create a list. So you’re going to create your newsletter list and then you’re going to create your signup form.
So that sign up form you’re going to embed on your website. That sign-up form usually has a link that you will then share if you wanted to share it on social media. But that sign up form is where you would have your offer. You can make it pretty. You can doctor it up how you want. You can make it as simple as you want.
But when they sign up, they will get put on your list. But here’s the kicker. Now we’re asking for double opt-ins. And a lot of people don’t necessarily love that, but double opt-in confirms that the people on your list are really wanting to hear from you.
So your subscribers are probably going to sign up for something this morning and then get an email to please confirm, confirm it. Then they can get the nurturing series when it’s confirmed. Then that person will be added to your list in your system. You won’t have to do anything manually. I think that’s the question you were asking. Long way around. Sorry.
Erica: Yeah, I know in ConvertKit you can combo the confirmation email with the download of the thing that they’re looking for so they’ll simultaneously click the button and it will act as the confirmation and the download of the item, which is nice. So yeah, like you said, it’s not like you’re having to send it out to everyone manually every single time they join your list.
Yvetter: It’s all automated. You do it on the back end of your email service provider and you basically just hook the file up and you say, when this happens, send this person this email.
Yeah. So it keeps it very streamlined. Um, I brought up this morning, to my developers about looking into integrating with Convert Kit as well.
Erica: Yeah. That’s my favorite one, but I mean there are so many, so many and they all work. It’s just preference.
Don’t worry about unsubscribes
Yvette: Yes. Get started with something and sharing and building your list and don’t stress about the unsubscribes. Yes, They will happen and they can teach you. It can be either not your right clients or maybe you sent a spammy email selling your new coffee mugs, but you can learn from those unsubscribes, but we can’t stress over them.
Erica: True story – every single time I send an email, people unsubscribe. So it’s not like a rare occurrence. It’s every single time at least like five people unsubscribe. And that is normal.
Yvette: It is normal. It is not your ideal client at this moment. You might have another free gift down the line that they want to opt into when they get back into your system. It’s okay. Just let them go and focus on the people and the list you can serve and develop.
Erica: That’s a great point. Cause that has definitely happened as well, where people are just like, okay, I don’t have time for this right now. These emails don’t apply to me. Maybe, like in my example, I thought I want to start a blog, but I’ve decided it’s not for me right now. And then they maybe unsubscribe, cause my emails, aren’t addressing a need that they have right now. But then, you know, maybe a year later they see, Oh, Erica is doing a webinar and I want to go to it, and they sign up and then they’re back on my list.
And then maybe they don’t unsubscribe because they’ve decided to refocus on it at that time. So just because someone unsubscribes doesn’t mean they’ll never be back. Like I’ve definitely done that personally as well.
Yvette: Exactly. And don’t set it up so that you get notified via email every time someone unsubscribes. I did that in the early days. Oh, that was terrible. My husband would be like why are you in a grumpy mood? Oh, I saw someone unsubscribe. Like, your sanity, your gifts that you have to share, are worth so much more than that.
Erica: Yeah. And it’s really not personal. It’s really not.
Yvette: Yeah. But once, a trainer who loves everything I do, I saw that she unsubscribed. So I was really upset. And I actually contacted her because I was like, did I do something that offended you? No, this is what happened. She sent her newsletter, or my newsletter, she forwarded it to her mass list and someone unsubscribed from that.
Erica: Wow. I didn’t even think of that. Wow.
Yvette: That was a few years ago, but I remember it was someone else unsubscribed because she had sent it.
Erica: That’s so interesting. Huh.
Yvette: What that taught me was, reading into it, you never know really what’s going on. And I’m sensitive. I acknowledge that, more by nature. So I can’t take offense because maybe Kelly didn’t really unsubscribe.
Erica: Yeah. That’s a really good point. That’s so true.
Why can’t people just use gmail for email marketing?
Erica: Circling back around…. Um, we talked about email service providers like MailChimp, ConvertKit. I think a lot of people used to start with MailChimp because they were one of the only ones where it was like truly free to start out. Although in the last few months, ConvertKit now has a free starter option, which is amazing. I’m so glad they came around on that front, because it was, the price was a little bit of a barrier for some people.
But why do people need to use one? Why can’t they just use their Gmail address?
Yvette: All the reasons we just talked about. So really, to help manage and keep everyone who’s on your list safe and that you’re sending to them safely. You can read your reports this way, you are ensuring that you’re not spamming people. And I know anyone listening to your show does not want to be spamming people. Um, it’s not the intention. So if you are not using an email service provider and you want to send mass emails, you’re spamming.
Erica: Yeah. Yeah. And isn’t there a sending limit too?
Yvette: There is a limit. Yes, absolutely. There’s a limit. You can’t read reports. You can’t see the trends. You can’t, there’s so many.
Erica: And the last thing that you want is your personal business email, that you use for probably critical communications in your business, to be marked as spam and not arriving in people’s inboxes. Right? That could be a nightmare.
What holds people back from getting started?
Erica: So what do you think, having all this experience in email marketing, what do you think are the biggest factors that hold people back from even getting started?
Yvette: Overwhelm of where to get started. Um, because you can go down the rabbit holes of learning all the different levels of email marketing, and it can be paralyzing.
Trying to bounce between service providers, thinking that one is going to be magically better than another. I have studied and researched a lot of them. And I spent a lot of time exploring. Um, they all have their pros and cons. So finding something that you feel comfortable and confident with and just get started.
And as you go and as you grow, you can then evolve and add more bells and whistles and increase the sales funnel. If that’s one of your goals. Just start slow and simple. Yeah. And like you said, once a month, even that will bring value. And then from there you’ll get ideas of other things you want to add. So you keep your monthly newsletter going, but then you can add other touch points.
Erica: Yup. And just so people feel better…. I know sales funnels are amazing, but I didn’t even set up my automated sales funnel until like a month or two ago and am I on year, what, almost six of being an entrepreneur?
Yvette: Yeah. I hired someone years ago to do it and he totally took advantage of everything and never I finished it and I have been learning and studying them and full, true confession. I do not have one set up.
Erica: Yeah, there’s a lot you can do manually to be quite honest.
Yvette: It’s ultimately continuing to show up in your business for your clients and for your work so it will continue to grow and evolve from there.
Erica: Exactly. Bottom line is, I guess what I’m trying to say is, most people don’t start with a sales funnel. Like it’s something that you grow into. And you can’t even really have one until you’ve really pinned down who your ideal client is, how you serve them, what your main core offerings are and have those be available in an automated fashion. Which that alone takes time, you know?
Yvette: A lot of time! Yeah.
Erica: Yup. But I will say the one that I have set up right now, I think only, I don’t know, maybe like a hundred people have gone through it and it’s converting at 8%, which is like so good. Which might sound so low to people, but um, yeah. That’s really good.
Yvette: That’s really good.
Erica: Yeah. Like usually just a couple percent conversion rate is good online. So it’s been worth it. Um, I think the biggest hurdle was just carving out the time to just sit there and write it all and set up all the automations.
Yvette: Yes, our new system, which we call Kiwi Connect is our email marketing system that’s within Customized Nutrition Newsletters, we actually do have the sales funnel system. Um, I haven’t set up my own personal yet, but uh, having it is a goal to have out soon. I have been helping a client set up hers.
Erica: Yeah, Yeah. It’s just time-consuming. Like the welcome sequence I’ve had for a really long time. That wasn’t so intimidating, but something about the sales funnel, specifically. And then hooking it up to integrate with my sales platform so that when someone buys, then they stop getting the emails. Like it’s just all those little things, you know?
Yvette: That’s a whole nother topic!
Recommended resources for learning about email marketing
Erica: So what’s your favorite place for people to like learn about email marketing? Or resource? What do you recommend?
Yvette: To learn? So, I’m a huge fan of Seth Godin. I know it’s not all email marketing, but his marketing philosophies and principles. I, that is what forever ago really hooked me on marketing because it’s, it’s about marketing with intention and being service driven. And we need to market. It’s figuring out how to do it authentically and real and not be cheesy. So I love that.
I love Ryan Deiss with his digital marketer. It’s a lot, it’s overwhelming in some ways though, but I do think he has great stuff. I think your content is great. Your email marketing system is, is great. So those are, I guess, starting places.
At Customized Nutrition Newsletters I do offer a few resources. A lot of, again, if you’ve been listening to this, you know, it’s really connection driven, providing you tools and resources that help you connect to your clients so then you can grow and do these other things that you need. But pre-done, white-labeled connection marketing tools, whether it’s the newsletter content, whether it’s the Foodspiration cards, whether it’s, every now and then I’ll release social media memes that you can use and buy and download. They’re all designed to help you connect with your audience.
Erica: I think that is such a genius business idea. And I’m glad that we got to talk today because now I have more clarity around how your overarching theme is connection. That’s cool.
Yvette: Um, I’ll share this then. When I get frustrated or overwhelmed with some business things, and I think any business owner gets that, um, I come back to the why. And my why is that connection piece. And that why can drive me, and make me show up, and face the hard stuff, and the tech issues, and to work through it.
Because I truly believe that we as professionals, and me too, we want to connect with our clients. That is what’s going to make us stand apart. We can have all the education in the world, but if we cannot connect and get our message out to them, then we’re not able to help.
And then also how do we stand out from the crowd? How do we stand out from the noise? Those connections help. And creating things to do that. Are you chasing the dollar or are you chasing the meaning of the work? And if you’re chasing the dollar, you’re always going to be chasing it. But when you’re working with intention and purpose, you’re going to grow a business that you’re proud of.
And you’re going to have clients that you serve and the financial part will come because you’re doing the work with those reasons.
Erica: I think that’s part of why it took me longer to find success, because I was being a little picky. Like sure, I could have started a private practice, but it didn’t feel right. So I never put my all into it. And it just took me a lot of falling on my face and trying a bunch of stuff.
But like, what’s better than having that freedom to do whatever you want with your day and your time and your schedule? Like that’s priceless. That’s worth way more than any dollar amount. So I like your messaging of like, try to create a business and a life that just feels good and is helping the world, rather than just like making X dollars.
Yvette: You know, that is my message. I mean, that’s what I feel. I know everyone wants to make money. Everyone needs to make money. We don’t survive without that and I’m not living in LA LA land, but you can do it. There’s ways to do it where you’re doing it intentionally, purposefully. If you’re doing it where you’re just constantly chasing it, then that’s how you’re going to be. It’s always gonna be the next thing. And you’re going to forget about the clients you serve and they’ll feel that.
How to tell if your marketing is working
Erica: Yeah, that’s so true. Um, so when someone is trying to build their business through consistently connecting and providing value for their audience, what should they be looking at to tell whether it’s working or it’s not working? And how soon should it be working?
Yvette: I mean, looking at your reports and email marketing standards. Like when they say around 20%, that’s a pretty good open rate. And I know a lot of people when they see that it doesn’t feel like it, but that’s a good open rate. So looking at your reports and seeing, that’s one way.
Also, this might not be exactly the question you asked, but I want to share this – By varying the content, if you are a nutrition professional who is providing private practice type services and you do more than just one niche service, having a variety of content in your newsletter.
So that way you’re showcasing that your practice can help people with diabetes, and sports nutrition, and eating disorders. You can focus on sharing that content, varying the months, like not always on weight loss. I think that’s an important part, to showcase the variety of ways you can help your clients, if you offer that. You have to be authentic and real with it.
Erica: And then do you think, I think I already know the answer, but is this something where you send out like one email and like your whole business changes?
Yvette: Oh my goodness no. And I will never forget building Customized Nutrition Newsletters, like on the backend, and my husband and I mean, we were working with a tech team and all this stuff we were working on. We thought we were going to launch it and I thought it was just gonna like take off. And that did not happen.
We have to, it is putting ourselves out there. It is learning. It is growing. It is continuing to share. And it is believing in what you’re doing so much that you’re willing to keep going and to get back up and do it again. I don’t know one successful entrepreneur who does not share that message.
And I was listening to someone’s, I signed up for his newsletter this morning, it’s Creative On Purpose. It’s his site and first I went to his first podcast. He starts it with, he’s like drumming, and no one shows up. And this is someone that he’s now had like a ton, but I think maybe one or two people showed up for this first podcast. It was a video. And I’m like, wow, what a great lesson that he kept at it. And he kept going. And that’s how he grew. And all too often, we look at that end product someone’s doing in front of us and forget all the work they’ve put in to get there.
So when you start your newsletter, find a system that works. If you need a pre-done content solution, you know where to come, Customized Nutrition Newsletters. You are smart enough to also do it yourself. But if you don’t have the time to do it or interest in doing it, then outsource. That’s where it gets helpful, cause it helps you stay consistent.
Erica: Yup. That was going to be my next question. How much time is too much time to be spending yourself? But I mean, I guess it depends on your business.
Yvette: It depends on your business. I know when I was doing private practice and before launching Customized, it was like the amount of time that goes into a newsletter, the way that I like, with images and really good, it takes, all day, at least. And then editing. I mean, it’s, it’s a time-consuming process. So we have all that with a click of a finger. You can get that all ready to go.
No, no, it’s not for everyone. I’m going to say that. Like part of the journey in growing in your business is knowing your services designed to solve a problem. It’s not for everyone. And there are some people who’ve used my service years ago and they outgrew it to where now they’re their own brand. And they thank me for giving them the push to get started and be consistent and to get it going. And then they were ready to take it on their own and that’s okay.
But you need to start. Start going for what you believe in.
Erica: Definitely. That’s a really good message to remind people. And everyone starts at zero, just putting that out there.
Yvette’s Free Download
Erica: So I think you have a free download for people?
Yvette: On the Customized Nutrition Newsletters website I have a download for three steps to create a list that thrives. Also, if you email me, uh, [email protected], I will send you some social media memes that you can use.
And then we have a code for a hundred dollars off the set up fee for it if you want to get started with the service, um, content that connects.
Erica: Amazing. Yeah. I will put the links to all of this stuff in the show notes for everyone who is maybe driving or something and can’t write this down right now, but yeah. So if you just go to theunconventionalrd.com and then go to the podcast section, this is going to be episode 25. So, uh, you should be able to find that there and, um, just click the links and head straight to Yvette’s website.
Connect with Yvette
Erica: And then is there a certain social media channel that you like to hang out on?
Yvette: Okay. Yvette Perrier Quantz on Instagram, that’s probably where I’m the most active. I do share on Customized Nutrition Newsletters, peeks of our content, as well as my food puns. I really love creating my food puns. COVID has a little decrease my creativity with them, but I do create them on a regular basis. So if you want some fun inspiration, Customized Nutrition Newsletters, and then foodspirations.com is where you will find more about me and the different services and products and things that expand beyond just the newsletter that help you connect.
Erica: Cool. Well Thank you again for being on here. It was nice to connect with you. I know we’ve connected pretty much just through like email and social media, so it was great to see your face.
Yvette: Yeah. Yeah. Thanks for letting me share and connect with your audience.
Erica: That’s it for today’s episode. I hope you enjoyed it.
And in case you’re not familiar with my courses, I actually have an entire course on email marketing. It’s called Email Marketing Magic, and you can also check that out at theunconventionalrd.com. Just click on the courses tab and you can find all the information there.
I walk you through exactly how to set up an email marketing list, how to grow your list, how to create lead magnets and offer them to your audience, how to segment your audience so that you’re communicating to each type of person in your audience specifically, and even how to set up automated sales funnels so that you can consistently pitch your products to your audience on sort of an ongoing routine basis without having to do live launches all year long.
So if you’re interested in getting started in email marketing, definitely check it out. Um, it’s available year round and we’ll be doing another live round of that course in September. And the price is going to go up at that point. So check it out. There’s continuing education units as well. And I just think it’s a fabulous, fabulous opportunity. All RDs really should be learning and implementing email marketing if they have an online business.
So thanks again. And I hope you enjoyed this week’s episode.
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Erica Julson is a registered dietitian turned digital marketing pro. She has over 12 years of experience blogging and building online businesses and has taught over 900 wellness professionals inside her signature program, SEO Made Simple.