One subject that produces more online nonsense then almost anything else, must be be connected to effective email marketing.

However, with Angie Meeker you just get straight forward effective advice that works.

Marketing wasn’t Angie’s first career. 12 years ago, she was a pastor, helping guests get connected to the people and programs of the church. When she suddenly started having seizures and couldn’t drive to those same programs, she realized she needed a new job working from home. She found she could apply the same exact skills she used to help grow churches’ membership to helping small businesses build relationships with their customers online, and to grow their revenue.

She is also an organizer of WordCamp Columbus, an annual conference for users and developers of WordPress, with over 200 attendees and thirty speakers. She has taught over 600 entrepreneurs and business owners how to get started using WordPress to share their stories online.

She enjoys hanging out with her husband, Robert, and nine year old daughter in Columbus, OH-io. She is the biggest fan of America’s Funniest Videos and in case you’re wondering, yes, she did break her addiction to sweet tea.

The 10x Rule by Grant Cardone
Closer’s Survival Guide by Grant Cardone
Right now I’m reading/listening to The Miracle Morning by Hal Elrod

Somewhere along the way, I’ve realized that while I may need to SKILL UP (and read a lot of books to that end), the real issue isn’t in the skill, it’s in the mind… so I’m working on that now.

Love God. Love others.
Start with your customers’ goals and you’ll never go wrong.
I tell my daughter and husband all the time, “We’re a family of cans.” Whether you think you can or you can’t. you’re right.

Special Promotion: For The WP-Tonic Tribe

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Full Show Transcript

JD: Hi there, folks. We’ve got a fantastic guest today, folks. I say it every time, but our guests are always fantastic. And we’ve got an especially angelic guest. Angie Meeker’s joining us.

And Angie’s going to be talking about, all about e-mail marketing and how it should be done right.

That wasn’t too bad of an introduction, Angie, wasn’t it? Would you like to pan it out a bit more and tell the listeners a little bit more about yourself?

AM: Sure, thank you. Thanks for having me today. So, I’m Angie Meeker, like you said, and I have been working in the WordPress space for about 12 years now, and prior to that, I used to be a pastor.

And really, just in the past year or so, I have begun to transition to really helping businesses with their content and even more specifically, with their e-mail marketing to help drive their revenue, rather than simply just building websites.

Because what I found was people would, they’d say, “I need a website,” when really, that was just kind of a symptom of what they really needed. And so, that’s how I kind of got where I am.

JD: Yeah, I wish I could say that. John, my beloved co-host, like to introduce yourself? He’s gone Kojak, folks, as well.

JL: Sure thing. My name is John Locke, and I run a small WordPress consultancy and web design company in Sacramento called Lockedown SEO.

JD: Have you just decided to disguise yourself, John, or is it just an impulse?

JL: It was just an impulse; I’m not hiding from the law or anything like that.

JD: Oh, just thought I’d ask. Right, Angie, so let’s start off with e-mail marketing. So, the good, the bad, and the ugly.

Where do you think people – initially to start this conversation off, Angie, where do you think people go down, start to go down the wrong path?

AM: You know, I think what, and I tell customers and folks this all the time, is that I feel like people, they don’t really start with their customers’ goals in mind. They start with, what do I need to sell? Or, what’s my pitch? What do I need people to do?

And instead, they need to start with, what’s my customer’s goal in – Not in life, that sounds kind of cheesy, even though in some ways that’s true. Finding out, like, what is it that my customer is really trying to accomplish, and how can I help them meet those goals? And when you begin to really help your customers understand that, number one, you understand them, and you understand their problems, and you understand how to solve those problems, then you can start really planning some e-mail marketing strategies that work.

But most people, they throw a form up on their site, and they’ll e-mail to their list when they have a sale going on, and that’s it. That’s the end of it.

JD: Yeah, that’s a great point, Angie. God did give us two ears and one mouth for a reason.

AM: (laughs) Right.

JD: And what I mean by that folks, is that you should really listen to the wants and needs of your client base, and then give them information that they would find useful, appealing, and they might keep on receiving your e-mail. But it’s the volume.

I do kind of clean [my inbox] every four or five months, but it’s just the volume of e-mail, and I think people think, well, I should just not bother with this anymore. But the facts don’t seem to support it. Can you give us any insights –

AM: They don’t, they really don’t!

JD: Give us some insights about what still supports e-mail as a pretty effective platform of communication?

AM: I think the challenge is that I think most people who attempt e-mail marketing, they either do it way too much or they don’t do it enough. So they never, they never really experience the sweet spot where customers are really engaging with your content because they’re not expecting [your emails], you sent too few, too little, too little. And so they’re not expecting you.

You don’t stay on top in their mind, and so you’re not doing this thing where you’re building this relationship with them. Or you just send too many times, in which case, they just get annoyed with you.

But that’s, that number between too little and too much, it’s somewhere between and most people wouldn’t think that. Most people would think, well, too much is definitely going to be like maybe four times a month, when really, if you’re not staying in touch more than that, you’re falling out of their radar, really, off their radar.

And you’ll see that reflected in your open rates and your click-through rates if you’re not keeping in touch often enough, because you don’t become important to them. You don’t become valuable to them if you’re not sending enough.

JD: That’s fascinating, Angie, really, because I do try and send one really quality e-mail [a month], which John also receives. Hopefully, he thinks it’s reasonable.

But I only do it once a month, so number one suggestion is, you know, think about maybe sending out more regularly.

AM: Even if it’s, even if what you send is not as full as what you might send once a month, breaking it up into four times a month, you would end up with something more valuable to your readers than if you just waited and sent it all at once.

JD: So, shall we go on to Google and the marketing folder [in GMail], and how they’ve kind of [changed things], you see a lot of hard-core marketers, they’ve really got rid of, all kind of, apart from maybe one image, they’ve really gone back to really very plain text messaging to try and avoid the dreaded marketing folder in Google Gmail.

Can you maybe explain how e-mail marketing has changed and your views about all this, Angie?

AM: So I think you’re right. I think you do see a lot of marketers moving just to the simple plain-text e-mails for that reason, but I think you, I also see the really effective e-mail marketers not giving up on the image-based e-mails, and instead, just plain educating their people about how to go over to the Promotions tab and drag it in the inbox, so that they still get to view it that way.

It’s like they don’t want to give up the powerful medium that is images, just because it takes a little more work to educate people on how to go into the Promotions tab and grab it.

And so you see people on their thank-you pages and their confirmation pages, and even a follow-up e-mail saying, you know…I think the best ones to me, or the best converting ones I’ve seen to me actually have little GIFs where you see the mouse go over to the Promotions tab and drag it over to where it needs to be and that sort of thing.

But it is, it’s changing quickly. I know even recently, I know MailChimp and several others [have changed this], AWeber I know has done it, and I think Constant Contact too. If you’re sending from a Gmail address, if your e-mail marketing is sending from a Gmail address, they’re not letting it go through.

They are requiring, basically, that you have a top-level domain, and your e-mail address – verified top-level domain, and that you’re sending from that. And again, that’s really just branding and to combat spam, all that together.

So, I guess that’s my [observation]. Like I said, the effective e-mail marketers I see, they’re not giving it up. They’re not going to say so quickly, just we’re only going to send plain-text e-mails. Instead, they’re working on educating people on how to continue grabbing their e-mails out of Promotions.

JD: Yeah, I think that’s great information. Now, Angie, let’s get to the meat of this. You know…getting your people to sign up. You know, do you have any insights, because I’m trying on the WP-Tonic, and me and John are going to revamp things.

It’s pretty hard to get these people to sign up for the great e-mail that I will send to them and the knowledge that I’m going to give them for free, Angie. But they just don’t seem to be interested at the present moment.

Got any tips, insights, knowledge?

AM: Yeah, and I think in a lot of ways, it continues to just come back to starting with your customers’ goals in mind. And for the longest time, you could just throw up an opt-in that said, “Subscribe for the latest news and tips”, and people would subscribe to that.

But it seems like that is, it can still be really effective, but the more specific you can get with the offer that you’re giving people, the better off you’ll be. So, for example, if you guys are doing a podcast with a guest who’s going to talk all about SEO, then even prior to the podcast, [have an] offering, [that says] “hey, subscribe, on the post for that week’s podcast that’s going to be about SEO”, subscribe and we’ll send you an SEO checklist.

The more specific you can make your offers for the type of content that your reader is reading, the better your conversion rates will be. And so, and really great examples of this, and I do work with OptinMonster, so I’m not [misrepresenting], I just have to say that ahead of time, but the examples on the blog, whether you’re a fan of pop-ups or lightboxes and that sort of thing or not, the examples of how you can increase your subscribers by offering what they call content upgrades.

LeadPages calls them, I think, Leadboxes or Leadlinks or something like that. What I’m seeing right now is that’s the sweet spot right now in e-mail marketing.

The companies who are taking advantage, who are really drilling down to the piece of content that their customers are reading, and offering a content-based, they’re offering value-based subscription, in that post specific to that piece of content, that’s the people who we’re seeing their conversion rates go to 450%, 550%, 1600% increases.

JD: Wow!

AM: When you’re offering that specific content, and you have to do it often. Like we’ll have people say, “How can we increase our conversions?” and I look and they have one opt-in on their whole site. It’s like over in their sidebar and that’s it.

And I’m like, well, let’s get you up to seven, and then we’ll talk. So you need one here, maybe a slide-in at the bottom, one of those floating bars at the top, an exit opt-in, a full-screen when they first come, you know.

Most people [need to realize], this is a sales cycle. Most people have to be offered something seven times before they’re educated enough and before that offer is top-of-mind enough for them to make a decision.

So if you’re offering one opt-in over in a sidebar, it’s just not going to happen. It’s psychology, it’s not going to happen. They’re not going to subscribe when it’s just one little offer.

JD: I’m sad, Angie.

AM: (laughs) Don’t be, because I mean –

JD: That’s why we can’t filter them, pop-up boxes everywhere. It’s going to be like a tank trap, folks. So that’s why we keep going.

AM: Well, the good thing is if you do it right, it doesn’t have to, it doesn’t have to feel like the visitor came to your site and as soon as they hit your site. If you do it right, within the content…You’re like…

JD: I don’t even care! There are going to be pop-ups everywhere, Angie!


– [Angie] That’s great.

JD: We tend to think, you know, it’s like a bad craftsman with the best tools, but do you actually think, you know, you’ve got to have some strategy in the things that we’ve just discussed, but having something like OptinMonster or ConvertKit, or Thrive Themes, something that’s designed to put it, you know, your conversions on a bit of a steroids, do you think it really helps to invest a little bit of money in a tool like that?

AM: Yeah, I do. So years ago, this was probably six or, I don’t know, maybe even Back when Pop-up Domination was new to WordPress… Do you guys remember that, a long time ago?

I saw that on one of my own sites, and I saw, years ago, this was before these other services even existed, I saw my own subscriptions because of this one little pop-up. And I was like, that is nuts!

I thought people hated pop-ups, why are they [signing up?], you know? And I just thought from that point on, I thought, you know what? In the WordPress space, and with developers, we hate pop-ups, so we think everyone else hates them, but the numbers just don’t prove that out. And especially with the way that each one of those services you mentioned are able to offer pop-ups now. They can do it with, you know, you clicking on a link or an image within the content and that’s what opens up the offer, so you’re not seeing these pop-ups all over the site, though, certainly you should have those too, but the real power is with the offers right in the middle of the content.

JD: Just to kind of finish off before we go for our break, Angie, it’s a bit like the advice that OptinMonster gives. You know, you get a lot of sites where, as soon as you’re into the home page, the pop-up appears, and I did that for a while, but at least now, it actually comes up, the pop-up. It doesn’t convert, Angie.

That’s why my whole weekend’s going to be taken up with this. But at least it pops up when you’re leaving the page, just doesn’t pop up as soon as you hit, because that really doesn’t work, does it Angie?

AM: Well, not when it first, I mean, it’s true. The average person, if you set a pop-up as soon as they get to your site, they’re just going to click out of it, because they came there for a reason. They have something they were intending to do, so get out of their way and let them do it.

But those exit pop-ups, they work. And they work really well. They should work. If your copy is written well, if the offer is good, they should work really well. And that’s true, I would say, across platforms, like that’s not specific to OptinMonster, but a lot of other services, you can see the same thing bearing out in their case studies.

Oh dang, I had something I wanted to tell you, and I forgot what it was.

JD: I have that every minute almost, Angie, but there we go. We’re going to go for our first break, folks, but before we go there, remember, folks: WP-Tonic, we’re a maintenance company, and we’ll sort out all this stuff for you. We do the maintenance, we do small fixes, we’ve got unlimited packages it’s not exactly going to break the bank, folks. And you get the delightful services of myself and my humor, so keep that in mind.

So we’re going to go for our first break, folks, and John’s going to take over and we’re going to delve deeper into the world of e-mail marketing. Be back in a second, folks.

We’re coming back, folks. My beloved co-host is going to take over for a while. Off you go, John.

JL: Thanks, Jonathan. So Angie, I want to come back to something you said previously when you were talking about hitting the sweet spot with how often you’re sending e-mail. Because I encounter that myself.

If an e-mail list that I’m on, if they haven’t e-mailed me for six months, and suddenly I get an e-mail from them, I’m like, “I don’t even remember subscribing to this”. I’m going to unsubscribe.

AM: That’s right.

JL: And if you bombard people every day, that can get old, too. How do businesses find that sweet spot? And why is that important as far as building a relationship?

AM: Yeah. Really, they just have to try it. There’s no way to know really before you start out…I mean, you can look at industry averages for your particular industry and see what are the average number [of emails] other marketers are sending, and your e-mail marketing platform typically can help you get some of that information, get some of those stats, but really, you just have to try it.

You have to start with four per month and then go from there and try going up from there and when your open rates and your click-through rates really start decreasing, it can mean one of two things. Either that’s too much, or you’re finally sending enough information that you’re beginning to weed out the people who are not interested in buying.

So your open rates and your click-through rates decreasing, it’s not necessarily a bad thing. Your e-mail marketing, obviously it has to be connected to whatever your end conversion, your end goal, was. And so you should see, with any sort of sales funnel, and your e-mail marketing obviously feeds into that, you should see those open rates and click-through rates decreasing a bit as you are moving that person through your sales funnel.

But at the same time that’s decreasing, you should begin to see your sales increasing, because the people who are sticking around as you send more should be converting. But again, without testing, you don’t know.

I mean, that’s the thing I think a lot of businesses, they’re afraid to just try. They think, “I’m going to screw it up! If I start with four, I’m going to screw it up. And if I go up to five, the world’s going to end.”

And it’s not going to end. You might lose some subscribers along the way, but you have to do it. You have to go through that process to figure out what works and what doesn’t work.

JL: No, absolutely, I agree with you that the people that do stick around, you’re going to convert a certain number of them. Not all of them, but you’re going to convert some of them into paying customers. So, you know, we all work with smaller businesses and one of the things that you probably run into is a lot of these businesses, it’s a challenge for you to get them to embrace tools like e-mail marketing, social media, anything like that that’s new.

How do you get businesses to overcome that inertia when it comes to learning new tools for online marketing and e-mail marketing?

AM: That’s a really good question, isn’t it?

I think two things: I think there are a lot of businesses that, they think they want to learn to do it themselves, when really, they don’t need to be doing it themselves. They need to understand that they need a partner to come along and do those technical things for them, because that’s not their business. It’s not their primary business.

They sell shoes, and they need to be about selling or making shoes. They don’t need to be spending hours a week trying to figure out how to set up an autoresponder campaign. And I think there are of lot of businesses that are kind of on that edge, where the owner or maybe a small team of people are transitioning to [the idea that], “maybe I can trust a partner in e-mail marketing. Maybe I want to continue to do it myself.”

And really helping them understand that passing that work off to someone else, who knows it better than they do, will increase revenue for them in the long run. But that’s a trust thing, and that’s kind of hard for businesses. That’s hard for business owners a lot of times who are used to just doing everything themselves.

As far as how do you get them to see the value in it, I think that case studies are probably the best thing that you can do to help them. Again, going back to various types of options and things on your site, it’s one thing to tell a business, you should be e-mail marketing and you should be doing x, y, and z with e-mail marketing, but to show them, this business that is in a similar niche to you did these things and increased their subscribers, which increased their sales, it’s proof people are looking for.

Proof, and being able to see a clear path to how that’s going to impact their bottom line. If you just tell them, you know, I think people do this a lot with social media, they just say, business, you need to be doing it. You have to be on all the socials. And without showing them a clear path to how that’s going to increase their revenue, businesses think it’s snake oil.

And I think e-mail marketing can be the same way, but it’s easier to prove e-mail marketing, I think, than it is to prove social in a lot of ways.

JL: No, I totally agree with a lot of that, too. I think that [when it comes to] e-mail marketing, there’s a reason why it’s still around. It is a lot easier to show the correlation between e-mail marketing and sales. And I think it’s a little more unquantifiable with social media. In both things you’re trying to establish relationship with the customer, to where they’re familiar with you.

So it’s interesting that you said with case studies is the best way to get people to try these new tools. Because I did look at your site and I noticed some of the case studies that you were talking about. And one of the things that you were talking about is businesses developing their own voice. And in some cases people try and be something that they’re not, because they see other people being successful with it.

AM: Right.

JL: How can people discover what their voice should be when they’re sending out e-mails or any type of marketing?

AM: We have a quick process that we run through with clients, where we ask them…

I want to tell you the process without giving it all away.


JL: Yeah, just don’t give me the secret sauce.

AM: Yeah, I know. So in general we have a process that we work through where we ask people, describe to us who you say you are. What’s the tone that you speak to each other within your company with? What’s the tone that you speak to your customers with? How do you want your customers to feel when they’ve interacted with you?

And it’s interesting, one of those case studies that we mention on the site is with a law firm, and they wanted to be like the law firm that was all up in your face. “We’re going to grind the plaintiff!” or, I don’t know what the words are now, I guess grind the plaintiff, into the ground. Because they were defense attorneys.

But when we talked to them, that didn’t match who they said they wanted to be at all. They wanted to be like the loving uncle who kind of came along the defendant and said, everything’s going to be okay and that sort of thing. And it wasn’t until we really began to ask them, who do you want to be?

How do you want people to feel when they’ve interacted with you, that that even began to come out. And we said, “You can’t be that in-your-face law firm, because that’s not who you are. You can pretend to be that, but it’s not going to work. Your marketing’s going to fall flat, because that’s not who you say you are.”

So I think for us, those are powerful questions to ask. Who do other people say you are? What tone do you communicate with internally? What tone do you communicate to your customers? And how do you want people to feel once they’ve interacted with you? And when you begin to look at those, then you can begin to really craft what’s the tone that you’re going to talk with, what’s the tone you’re going to speak with in your e-mails.

JL: I totally get that. When you understand better who you are as a business, it’s easier for you to put out that voice, the authentic voice that you should be representing, instead of what you think you should be representing. And how important is it for businesses to feel confident in what their unique offering is and how they’re expressing that to the world?

AM: How important is it for them to feel confident?

It’s in many ways everything, because if they’re not…Here’s what I think happens.

When you don’t really own who you are and how you are going to interact with your people, and I hate to say “your tribe,” but your people, I always say “your people,” how you’re going to interact with your people.

When you don’t own it, it just comes out like you’re just trying another thing. Like you think you should be doing this e-mail marketing thing, and so you’re just going to try it. And there’s no real personality in it, there’s nothing to really reach out and grab people. And you don’t have to be the showstopper in order to do that.

If you’re a nerdy shoe cobbler, and you get really geeked out about being a shoe cobbler, do it. Own that, be that nerdy shoe cobbler. And be willing to really go deep down into that hole as you communicate with your people. Don’t try to fancy it up if that’s not who you are. So that’s I guess what I have to say about that.

JL: No, that makes total sense. So I’m going to switch it up. This is something we always ask our spotlight guests. We always ask them, what are your favorite motivation business books, and three of the books that you mentioned The 10x Rule and The Closer’s Survival Guide, by Grant Cardone, and Miracle Morning by Hal Elrod. So just tell me a little bit about each of those.

AM: So The 10x Rule, I had first kind of came across this book probably two and a half years ago in my Mastermind with Curtis McHale and some other folks. Curtis mentioned it at the time, he was reading it and I wish I would have paid more attention to it at the time, because there are some really important truths in that book that I think the majority, and I really mean the majority, of folks in the WordPress space totally miss.

And so a few weeks ago at work at NorthEast Ohio, the WordCamp up there, I talked about this a little bit.

I said, “You know what? We talk about in the WordPress space that if we can make it to six figures as freelancers, we are sailing. That’s smooth sailing from there.”

“But really, when you think about taxes and insurance and Social Security and retirement and business profits, that money’s gone.”

“I mean, there’s still money left, but it’s not anything you’re going to get rich on. And I don’t mean to say ‘rich,’ but you’re not going to grow wealthy from it. And you’re not going to have money to grow your business with. Not if you’re planning to hit 100[thousand dollars in revenue per year].”

So you look at that, if you look at the principles in the 10x book, which are not…this isn’t specific. I’m sorry, it’s not limited only to money, but that’s what I’m talking about right now.

But thinking about the 10x stuff, if you plan for 100[k], if you’re trying to hit 100k, first of all, maybe you hit 100k. That’s like hitting all of your goals the entire year. So you’re down back to basically the same salary that you would make if you worked a job for someone else.

But if you plan for 300,000 or 400, 000 or 500,000 or even a million, the processes and systems you have to put in place look very different than what you have to put in place to get to that look very different than what you have to put in place to get to 100,000.

And if you fail trying to get to a million, you’re in a much better place, aren’t you, than if you failed trying to get to 100,000. You’ll have more to work with along the way.

And surely, and I’ve seen this is true in my own life, when you aim for something much bigger than you think you can get, you end up further along than where you thought you could get in the first place.

And so those principles, it’s like even when I was in the Mastermind with this group and thinking, “Wow, I’m doing really great”, I look back on it now and I think, “What was I doing?” Like I was just playing. I was just playing.

Even though looking back, I still come out ahead of most freelancers in the WordPress space and certainly most women, I still come out ahead, and still I look back and I go, “Gosh. It was never going to be very successful with what I was planning.” Because it wasn’t big enough. So that was The 10x Rule.

And The Closer’s Survival Guide is like it in that…I think the majority of folks in our space never really learned how to sell.

We never really learned how to move a customer from totally being unaware of us to being really ready to understand the value that we’re offering, and how that’s going to impact their business. The Closer’s Survival Guide, it goes through every objection that someone could give to working with you, and helps you understand the psychology of what they’re really saying when they say that.

Like for example, and I’m sure many of us have heard people say these two things…someone might say after you tell them your price, “Well, that’s expensive.”

“Yeah, it is. Yeah, that is expensive.”

And a lot of times what we hear when someone says that’s expensive, we immediately come back with, “Okay, let me discount my rate for you”, when you don’t have to do that.

That’s not something that has to be overcome, it’s just a statement. It’s just a fact.

That’s expensive.

Yes, it is.

Things that are valuable are expensive. You can agree and move on. Yes, it’s expensive, and move on.

Or like if you’re talking to someone and they say, “Well, okay I need to go and talk to my business partner”, or, “I need to go talk to my husband or wife”. It’s not really that they need to go talk to them, because they wouldn’t be talking to you if they didn’t have the authority to make that decision themselves.

More likely what they’re saying is, “I don’t yet trust you and I need to find a way out of this conversation, so I can go and tell someone else how I’m not ready to make this decision yet.”

So instead of just saying, “Okay, well, talk to them and give me a call back tomorrow”, you can just say, “Well, I’m sure your husband or wife trust you to make business decisions or you wouldn’t have gotten to where you are.”

And so, beginning to really sort of call out those objections…It’s been really powerful for me [to listen to].

Well, I’ve been listening to on audiobook, but I also have it on print. So when I say listen, it’s an audiobook.

JL: Sure.

Angie: So listen to that.

JD: That’s great points, Angie. We’re going to wrap up the audio part, but hopefully Angie will agree to spend another 10 minutes, which you’ll be able to watch on our YouTube channel, folks. And please subscribe or go to the WP-Tonic website, where there’ll be extensive notes and links of all the things that we’ve discussed in this fascinating interview.

Just to finish, folks, just a little bit of business. Please go to iTunes and subscribe to the show, it really helps. And if you’re really pumped up by all the fascinating information you’ve heard from Angie, go ahead and subscribe as well and write a really interesting micro e-mail to us in your subscription.

The more funnier it is, I might even mention it on the show, folks. You never know, do you?

So Angie, which we record on video, how can people get hold of you if they’re just listening to the WP-Tonic podcast?

AM: So you can e-mail me at, you can find my website at and I’m @AngieMeeker on Twitter, and pretty much everywhere else, also.

JD: Now, John Locke, Mr. Kojak, how can people get a hold of you, John?

JL: Well, you can find me at my site, which is, and you could follow me on Twitter, @LockedownSEO.

Jonathan, how do people get a hold of you?

JD: We’ve actually started a @WPTonicPodcast Twitter, which John is managing and I’ve been hopeless at.

Or you can go to mine, @jonathandenwood, and I do respond. Even hardcore marketers have been astounded by the quickness of my response. Or they can go to the website, and we’ll be posting a lot more content over the coming months, all about marketing, all our marketing and WordPress folks.

So we’re ending this great discussion, but we’re continuing for the YouTube channel, or you can go to the website, and you’ll find even more insightful information about e-mail marketing from Angie.

See you later, folks.

So we’ve finished the audio part of this recording, but we’re going to go on with the discussion.

So Angie, I think that was fascinating, but I really think the last part was fantastic. But have you gotten a look reflecting back, so many freelancers basically financially and psychologically, just get burnt out after two to three years and they just end up working for somebody.

And there’s been a lot of discussion on Twitter, a few voices raising some concerns at the WordPress ecosystem, just that it’s really very hard to make a decent living out of it at the present moment. Got any thoughts, insights, of what I’ve said?

AM: I think you’re right. I think even last year for our family was a very hard year.

And we got sort of got to the end of last year, and I thought, “I’m not even going to do this anymore.” I thought, I’m just done, and I’ll go work for someone else.

And to be honest, and if you follow me on Twitter, you know this, I have been working for Syed [Balkhi] at OptinMonster now part-time for some number of months.

JD: Oh, Angie, can I… I’m being a little bit rude, but I just have ask, what’s it like to work with the great Syed?

AM: I know, right? So I’ve always said–

JD: What’s he now? It’s just awful, really.

AM: No, he was alright. I met him years ago at this point, at the time at our WordCamp. He came up and spoke at our WordCamp and the next year we had him come up and keynote at our WordCamp. And I just always remember thinking, there’s only a few companies in the WordPress space that I could see myself totally leaving my own business to go to work for, and Syed was one of them.

And it’s because if you’ve ever met him, he’s one of the most genuine, driven, and smart people I think not just in the WordPress space, but I really think in internet marketing. He has accomplished things in internet marketing that you just would not know about him unless you really take some time to follow him and see what he does.

But the thing I think is really outstanding about Syed and his companies that he oversees is that he is an executing genius. The stuff he does is…I don’t mean to say it’s textbook, because I feel like that makes it sound really basic, but he executes every single day.

Every single day he does the right stuff every single day to get him to his goals. And I think that that’s not maybe as normal in the WordPress space as you might think it is.

So that was Syed, all the praise. All goodness to Syed.

No. (laughs) He is really great to work for, and Tom is also, who is the co-founder of OptinMonster, he is really great also.

JD: Oh, Thomas is great. He was going to come on the show again. I’m going to have to Twitter him again and rustle him up to join us again.

AM: Yes, do it!

JD: A fantastic developer, isn’t he?

AM: He is, really.

As far as people getting burnt out as they work in this space and things like that, I think now, looking back, that there’s plenty of room for people to grow in the WordPress space and become really wealthy. And I think that the success lies on getting out of the WordPress space.

I think when you get stuck in the mine…especially as marketers who come in to WordPress, we get stuck marketing to other WordPress people and it’s when you remove yourself from that bubble and really begin focusing back on the brick-and-mortar businesses in our world, or the other internet marketing…

Or, not internet marketing, but the businesses that NEED internet marketing, that’s where the success lies.

Otherwise, you’re marketing to the 1%. And hopefully I don’t mean only 1% liked us.


I wish you’d been saying that, right?

JL: Yeah.

JD: I think it was a great point, but on the other hand, there has been, and we’ve discussed it on our insightful roundtables on Saturday, which hopefully at some time you would consider joining us, Angie, but over the past few Saturdays, there’s been discussion about news stories about some substantially impressive individuals in the WordPress community saying that they have got the concerns about Automattic becoming the Walmart of WordPress, just kind of sucking up all the energy and buying all the companies up. And who else have you got to sell to?

And there has come from a few voices that…You know, they have credibility in the community. So that being said, have you got any reflections about that, or do you think you understand it but you don’t totally agree with it?

AM: I think that…

I think I understand it but I don’t totally agree with it. The average business in your neighborhood…And when I say average, I don’t even mean the little tiny ones. I mean the small to medium sized ones that have very substantial marketing budgets, they don’t care one bit about Automattic. They don’t know who Automattic is, they don’t care.

What they want is a relationship with us. They want a relationship with you, you, and me.

There’s a place in the world I think for the large enterprise businesses that need an Automattic, but it’s not even the majority of businesses. And I think the companies that get wrapped up in Automattic, you know what?

Get your head out of your butt.

Like, go get some business and stop whining about how Automattic’s taking all of it, because they’re not.

If you’re in the publishing news space, I can understand. If that’s your niche, if that’s the thing that you do, I can understand being a little bit scared by Automattic. But you know what? There’s nothing stopping your business from going out and doing the same thing.

You have all of this, you know, it’s like… It’s funny how [in the] Hal Elrod Miracle Morning book…

JL: Mm-hmm.

AM: And I have never really been one to do morning affirmations or anything like that. But there’s a really great piece in there, in the affirmations that he says, that he offers, which basically say something like, I have every ability within me to do and be the thing that I think only other people can do and be.

There’s just nothing stopping another company from rising up and doing great work and bringing in the same sort of revenue that Automattic does, but it’s easier to sit around and complain about it than it is to go and do the level of work that Matt’s put into Automattic.

Or even Jake [Goldman]. You know, you want to look at 10up and WebDev Studios and Alley {Interactive] and all of these big companies…you know, it’s easier to complain about it than it is to go do the work.

JD: True, one is a bit –

AM: And I say that as like little, little me compared to –

JL: You say that out of love.


AM: I say it out of love.

JD: The great philosopher Ludwig Wittgenstein once said, Angie, what comes out your mouth, your language will become what you are. And I think there’s a lot of truth there.

The words that you express regularly will become what you are. So be careful what you express.

That was a quite good thing, I was quite impressed with myself there a bit. A little bit of Wittgenstein. Do you think most of the audience even knows what Ludwig Wittgenstein was, actually, Angie?

[Angie]: Nope.

JD: Good, I always like to tease my American guests. It’s kind of perversion of mine, Angie, but I just can’t resist it. I do love my American cousins. I am an American of dual citizenship, I just can’t resist it, Angie.

So I’m going to leave the last question to the intellectual part of this show, to my co-host John.

Got a final question, John?

JD: Yeah, I’ve got a final question, and then after that I want Angie to tell us about her special promotion before we sign off.

Last question: You were talking about in the WordPress space, or any space, not even just in the WordPress space. There’s room for everyone. And you talked about it’s a lot of retraining your thoughts to reach higher and to expect more.

What do you think limits people when it comes to [getting] what they’re trying to achieve? Is it things like jealousy, envy? Is it things like being used to working for somebody else? What are the things that limit us?

AM: Dang, that’s a good question. You know, I can only speak–

JD: You’ve got one second to answer, Angie.


AM: Oh my gosh. Okay, for myself, it is really just…I’m having to retrain myself that when I get to a blocker where I think I [get stuck, I have] to really understand what’s behind it.

So for myself, in the past, I have said, “I don’t want to own an agency because I don’t like managing people.”

And so for me, I’m having to turn that around and say, “Do I really not like managing people, or do I not think I can manage people?” I’ve done it before, and I was good at it, but it was hard. So what was hard about it in the past? That I can learn from that past and move on though that, so that my growth doesn’t get stopped by me thinking I can’t do that?

Because a lot of times we stop ourselves at I can’t or I don’t want to, when really, all of that is driven by something that you can get over, that you can get through.

But until you stop and say, “Okay, my goal is bigger than my can’ts”, you’ll never try to get through it. You’ll never try to figure out what’s behind that thing that’s blocking you.

I hope that made sense to someone listening.

JL: Made sense to me.

AM: Okay.

JD: Sounded pretty good to me, Angie,

So…[regarding your offer], which we will make sure is prevalent on the post, Angie, what is the special offer that you can offer to the listeners?

AM: Sure. So we’re going into the holiday season. And so we’re doing e-mail marketing campaigns September through December to help drive revenue for businesses and for listeners of WP-Tonic.

If you would like to get started, or you’d even like information about that, e-mail me,, and if you decide to do a project with us, we will offer you $500 off of your first month for just WP-Tonic listeners.

JD: That’s fantastic. We’ll even give it a plug on Saturday, Angie, on the show.

JL: Yeah, that’s a totally generous offer. I think everybody would be, they should take you up on that offer. Definitely.

JD: Sounds great.

[Angie]: Thanks.

Do you like how my microphone is now casting a red glow on my face?

JD: Do you think that would suit me, Angie? I need horns, really, don’t I? If I had a glow, I’d be a werewolf, wouldn’t I? I’d be superb, wouldn’t I? I’ve decided to go full-blown English satire on these shows. It’s going to get worse, actually.

It’s been mellow, but I’ve decided after listening to you they’re going to get the full English personality, Angie.

AM: (laughs) Great.

JD: It’s going to be hardcore BBC.


Hello listeners, it’s Jackanory here! You don’t know what the hell I’m talking about, do you, or Blue Peter?

[Angie]: No, that part I missed. I got everything up to that.

[Jonathan]: Blue Peter, Jackanory. This is radio for our listeners. It’s the children hour on WP-Tonic. Jackanory and Blue Peter. Please join us.


AM: Well, I checked out right here.

JD: Angie, this will be your new YouTube channel. Actually, I think the more perverse and entertaining we become, the more…we are actually getting some subscribers on the YouTube channel with John’s help. Aren’t we, John?

JL: A few, yeah. We’ve done okay.

JD: A few lost souls. We’ve got a big virtual hook that hooks them in. You know, we actually persuade them to subscribe to the YouTube channel. It’s like crickets sometimes, isn’t it?

[Angie]: It is hard.

JD: You wonder if there’s anybody out there listening to this.

JL: Yeah, you know what? We’re on the rebound. We’re grinding it out much like you are. We’re just not quitting. We’re just…

JD: We’re not quitting.

JL: Going to keep coming through it. You know?

AM: Yep.

JD: We’re gonna bombard them, bombard them, with our materials, Angie.

AM: Do it.


JD: I do like the glow, though. You do as well, Angie, don’t you? Actually, I think you get the English humor as well, don’t you?

AM: A little bit. My husband listens, he only listens to like…Or he only watches British TV. I don’t know why. He wants to live in London again.

JD: We had Captain Bob on the show, as well. I call him Captain Bob, BobWP. He seemed to like the humor, didn’t he, John? He seemed to get it. He did know what I was talking about at the end. There was a Captain Birdseye, and I see Bob as a kind of friendly ship’s captain with a bottle of Scotch in his pocket and always a glass or two ready for anybody that comes on board the schooner, if you understand.

AM: That was funny.

JD: He seemed to understand my humor, but I’ve had some interviews where the eyes just… They’re just like, yeah.

JD: They’re eyes just getting larger and larger and larger. And the larger the eyes get, the more English, the more hardcore I get. I just can’t resist it.

AM: That just encourages you.

JD: It does, really. To actually shock Americans is delicious, actually.


I’ll be wearing this, actually. Angie, you been a great sport. It’s been a fascinating conversation. We’ve actually become rather intellectual with your assistance. John is, but I’m not too sure about me, though. But there we go. But thank you.

[John]: It’s been fun.

[Jonathan]: Thank you so much, and please consider in the next months coming on our Saturday roundtable and intellectualize it a little bit– Not intellize, there’s not such a word.

JL: Yeah, definitely. We have a lot of good people that kind of…We have kind of like a rotating panel, just whoever’s there. You know, Sallie Goetsch, Kim Shivler, Jackie D’Elia, Morten. Morton shows up sometimes. David Laietta.

JD: Brian Jackson.

JL: Yes, I mean, yeah. Yeah, show up. Bridget was on last week, Bridget Willard. So definitely, just…

[Angie]: I’ll do it.

JD: Do you think she understood my humor? I think her eyes were widening a bit. Weren’t they, John?

AM: Mine?

JD: No, Bridget’s.

AM: Oh, Bridget.

JD: Yeah, they kept widening.

JL: I think she did understand your humor.

JD: I think she just enjoys it, doesn’t she? The more hardcore I get, there’s a kind of naughty side to her, isn’t there?

JL: No, no, no.


AM: Right.


JL: Alright, man.

[John] Thank you.

JD: See you later, folks.

[John]: Thanks so much, Angie.

JD: Bye, Angie.

AM: You’re welcome. Have a good day, guys.

AM: Alright, thanks.

JD: Can you just pop off, Angie?

I just want a quick word with John.

AM: Yes, I’ll leave.

JD: You can leave. I sound like the Queen, don’t I? I sound like the bloody Queen. You can leave now. You are dismissed.


That was okay, wasn’t it?

JL: That wasn’t too bad. Pretty good.

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