Charlene's Email Marketing Blog

Write better emails your subscribers will love in half the time – oh, and make sales while you’re at it!

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Here’s what it takes to get an organic 6-figure launch

I don’t know about you, but a ton of people I know steer clear of trying new things right before the year ends.

I’m kind of like that, too.

But there’s always something tempting about trying things organically to cut on business costs.

So I’ve been following another email marketing strategist on TikTok to learn about her methods (her name’s Hilary Krueger, she’s pretty awesome!)

Unlike me, she grows her email list 100% organically — and she uses social media to build an audience.

Then, she funnels that audience into a freebie so they can join her email list (or directly to a Work With Me application).

This year alone, she’s generated over six figures in sales from TikTok.

But recently she broke down exactly how she generated that much in sales.

Over the span of 10 months, she created somewhere between 800 and 900 short videos on TikTok.

That’s between 2 and 3 videos per day — every single day.

I know she batches her content, so she’s not ACTUALLY creating videos every day. But that’s still a TON of work.

Work that’s paid off, obviously.

I’m not sharing this with you to convince you to go out there and create 800 videos in the next 10 months to make a 6-figure launch.

All I want is to share some perspective.

Because there are endless ways to build an audience and grow your email list for your business.

Heck, you could even go door to door to ask people to opt in, if you’re inclined to do that sort of thing.

I don’t want you to get stuck where you are because you feel like you can’t do *INSERT WHATEVER TACTIC* here.

Play to your strengths. And whatever you do, stay consistent and keep doing that thing.

However, if you believe paid ads is the avenue you’d like to take — but the idea of playing around in the ads manager and coming up with your own copy gives you the heebie-jeebies…

… then I’d love to help you!

I’m still looking for ONE person who needs help growing their list on a tiny monthly budget before we wrap up 2022.

For only $300 (ad spend included), I guarantee an average of one new subscriber per day – 30 total per month – or more.

If I don’t make that for you, I invest my OWN ad spend to make it up to you.

Interested? Hit me up on messenger right here and we can chat to see if you’re a good fit.

The South Park method to writing better emails

I came across a video presentation this morning from Trey Parker that gave some really helpful advice for storytelling:

We can take these beats, which are basically the beats of your outline, and if the words “and then” belong between those beats…

… you’re fucked. Basically. You’ve got something pretty boring.

What should happen between every beat that you’ve written down is either the word “therefore”, or “but”.

This is a trick Trey uses when he gets stuck in the writing room for their weekly script, but it applies just as well to story-driven emails.

If you’re reading the email you just wrote and it seems to fall flat, look between your “beats”.

A story beat is just a moment or event that moves your story forward.

If the words “and then” belong in between those beats… it means your story is just a collection of anecdotes.

“Therefore” and “but” add causality to your story.

“I went to the grocery store, but I forgot my wallet at home. Therefore I was stuck at the cash register looking ridiculous and unable to pay.”

The words “therefore” and “but” are also great ways to make a segue to your offer.

You can use “therefore” to prove your offer makes sense…

… and you can use “but” to present your offer as a solution to the story’s conflict.

Whether you love or despise South Park, this ought to help you improve those emails.


PS: When you’re ready, here are two ways I can help you:

Get hands-on coaching to learn how to write your emails in my $9 membership (HINT – use code Joinfor1 at checkout to get your first month for JUST $1)

Want someone to just strategize AND write all those emails FOR you? Get on my calendar and we can chat about it!

I WON’T stand for this (I hope you don’t either)

Yesterday I clicked on someone’s sales page link and audibly gasped when I came across this sentence on their page:

“If you don’t have an engaged email list, you don’t have a business.”



While I agree that having an email list is one of the most efficient ways to run a business, it’s not mandatory.

And that kind of thinking really irks me. I won’t stand for it.

Our job as business owners is to convince our potential clients that they need us. But you don’t have to twist the truth to get there.

Marketers who claim their method is the “only” way to succeed are the reason so many people are wary of marketers in the first place.

In reality, I know SEVERAL successful business owners who either don’t have an email list at all, or BARELY use email to generate sales.

For instance, my mom in law ran a highly successful dog grooming business in my hometown for twenty years — and never had an online presence.

She made more clients by being REALLY good at what she did and by implementing a new call-back system no one else was using at the time.

But if you’re looking for an online example, my mentor Laurel Portie is living proof that you can build a 7-figure business without an engaged email list.

In Laurel’s case, she uses ads to get in front of more people and start conversations.

So there’s a cost to her method.

BUT – it works.

Am I trying to dissuade you from growing and nurturing an email list? Absolutely not.

But I do want you to know you have options when it comes to booking more clients.

Email happens to be my favorite method for the following reasons:

  • Once people are on your list, email is a virtually free method to build relationships with your subscribers
  • Compared to social media platforms, email has a bigger organic reach (unless you’re sending spam)
  • List-building is relatively easy (and cheap if you know what you’re doing)
  • Writing comes easily to me, unlike video (yet I still do video content because I know how valuable it can be)

That last point is a bit of an issue for a lot of people I know. Like most of my clients.

They KNOW how much email marketing can help them connect to their audience in a genuine, sustainable way…

… but they struggle to consistently show up and write emails their subscribers will love and resonate with.

Either because they don’t know how…

… or because writing just doesn’t come naturally to them.

If the latter applies to you, I’d love to help.

I’m taking on two new private email clients to strategize and build an evergreen welcome sequence before the end of 2022.

This nurture sequence will ensure your new subscribers learn to know and trust you when they land into your world.

Even if you rarely email your list, this evergreen sequence will warm up your new leads so they’re ready to buy before your next launch.

If you’re interested in grabbing a spot, send me a DM right here with “tell me more” and I’ll give you more info.


Are you vulnerable to this, too?

I have some friends I met while in college (back when I did video game design) who are developing their own video game.

A few weeks ago I mentioned their Kickstarter here, and I’m happy to say that they met (and exceeded) their goal!

But that’s not what I wanna talk about today.

Similarly to content creators and online business owners, indie video game developers THRIVE on social media.

These platforms allow them to build a community around their game and create some hype before their launch.

My friends at Lucid Tales are no exception. They’ve been thriving on several platforms, especially TikTok.

But one of my friends recently shared his fears about these platforms… and I 100% relate to what he said.

And this is important for you to hear, too.

Recently they started running ads. Mind you, these are WHOLESOME ads for a WHOLESAME game.

But their account got suspended for Facebook ads, as it so happens for many of us…

… and Twitter, as we all know right now, is kind of a shit show.

As for TikTok… they love the platform, but they’re definitely vulnerable to western governments banning the platform.

At the end of the day, social media can be a HUGE community builder and money maker.

But we don’t own them.

We have no true control.

Scary, right?

At a moment’s notice, people who’ve built their businesses on these platforms could lose everything.

You can probably see where I’m going with this.

Can you guess what I told my friend to do?

Build an email list.

When you’ve got an email list — as long as you’re consistently backing it up — you OWN your platform.

You don’t own Mailchimp, Convertkit, or whatever tool you use to send those emails…

… but you own the list.

If one of these goes down, you can take your list and migrate elsewhere.

You can’t do the same with a social media following.

That’s why I’m CONSISTENLY building my list, even during the months where I have other priorities for my marketing budget.

If you’d like some help building your list, I’ve got something in the works for you.

I’ve realized tons of people are NOT ready to pay thousands of dollars in ad spend (and ad management) to build an email list.

I certainly wasn’t when I got started.

That’s why I’m playing around with something new.

What if I told you that you could start building your email list, COMPLETELY hands-free, for as little as $300 a month?

Ad spend included?

Click this link and send me “300” in the chat to get more info.

The TRUE cost of “free” organic list-building methods

One thing I’ve learned (the hard way) as an online business owner is that there’s NO such thing as FREE traffic or marketing.

There’s organic, and then there’s paid. But “organic” doesn’t mean “free.”

Here’s how I calculate whether it’s worth doing organic marketing vs paid marketing to grow my email list:

First, I analyze my potential hourly rate if I were to get a part-time job.

For example, I could realistically get paid $20+ an hour as a lifeguard if I updated my certifications.

Okay, that’s not 100% true. I’m no longer in shape like I used to be. So I could work at the mall or something for minimum wage ($14.25 in Quebec, which is equivalent to $10.73 USD).

So let’s say I want at least 200 new subscribers per month on my email list.

To get there organically, I estimate I’d need to spend:

  • 5 hours per week on creating blog content
  • 5 hours per week working on organic Pinterest marketing
  • 5 hours per week of outreach and social media content creation

That’s about 60 hours per month in total.

How did I come up with those numbers? Based on my experience, I know how much content and how much work you need to do to average a certain amount of traffic.

So how does this compare to paid traffic?

To get 200 leads at my current cost-per-lead using Facebook ads ($3.75) , it would cost me $750 USD.

That’s 69 hours of minimum wage work for 200 leads.

I’d rather just do the organic work myself instead of spending on ads. 60 hours per month working on my own business is MUCH better than 69 hours of minimum wage work for some rando at the mall.

However, that’s no longer the case for me. I don’t HAVE to get a minimum wage job.

Instead, I can just take some extra email writing work, which gives me an average hourly rate of $100 USD per hour.

Now, if I want to afford those 200 new leads, I only need to work an extra 7.5 hours per month.

That’s WAY less than the 60 hours I’d need to invest if I wanted the same results organically.

In my case, I still plan on playing around with organic Pinterest marketing because I thoroughly enjoy blogging.

But instead of doing everything myself, I’m hiring someone on my team to help out.

It’ll be a bit more expensive than ads…

… but it’ll diversify my sources of traffic — AND it gives me an optional service to offer to clients who don’t want to run ads.

Do you see how you can apply the same logic for your own list-building efforts?

In short, you have more than just a few options.

Depending on your situation, it may make sense to start a side-gig to pay for your ad spend. OR, it may make more sense to do everything organically.

It all depends on:

  • Your skills and what type of work you can get with them
  • Your home situation (how much free time you have)
  • The availability of jobs near you
  • What your short-term and long-term goals look like

Let me know what you’re considering and if you’re debating the best option for you — and I can help guide you in the right direction!