Be Cool Marketing 101: Introduce Yourself

Let me ask you a question… Have you ever signed up or bought something online and then un-expectantly, you get HAMMERED with emails?

I bought a light for my wife’s meditation room from Pottery Barn and without knowing it, I was automatically on the force feed diet of promo emails. I was getting daily (sometime multiple times per day) emails about lights, sofas and everything else I would need to deck out a room.

Normally I don’t mind getting emails from larger companies. I consider it to be research. I like to see what they put together – I like to see their offers, their frequency, their design, etc.

But these guys…it was even too much for me, so I unsubscribed!

This is what we’re trying to avoid! So, as soon as somebody opts in to our list, we’re going to be totally transparent and let them know exactly when and how we’re going to communicate with them.

Simple right…. but nobody does it.

This introduction campaign is quite possibly one of the easiest campaigns that we will ever put together because most of the time, it’s only one email – but the purpose is profound.

By being very clear up front we accomplish a few different things …

  1. We set the stage for the relationship.
  2. We in essence get their OK for this type and frequency of communication.
  3. We tell them what to do next.
  4. We start to build value.

Let me give you an example….

Here’s the one I use:

SUBJECT: Welcome to Black Dog Marketing! Here’s where to start…

Hey there … Mike Linville here and I’m the Founder & CEO of Black Dog Marketing. I wanted to take a second to say hello and welcome you to the family.

Seriously, on behalf of myself and the entire Black Dog Marketing team I want you to know that we’re truly excited and grateful that you decided to join us…

Here’s what you can expect from us…

We’ll publish fresh pet marketing content to our blog once per week on Thursday, then once it’s live we’ll send you an email with a short description of the new article, why we think it’s important for you and a link to read the full article.

We’ll also send you emails about new expert Black Dog Marketing courses, software and other cool premium resources from time to time BUT only once we’ve vetted them.

Sound fair?


Here’s what you need to do now to get started…

STEP 1: Make sure you’re getting our emails! 

Whitelist and prioritize all emails from “” and “Mike Linville”.

This is important!

If our emails aren’t getting through, you’ll miss all the important updates about what’s working in pet marketing right now (and you won’t receive the full benefit of being a Black Dog Marketing subscriber).

So please take the following simple actions to make sure nothing slips through the cracks:

1) Follow the whitelisting instructions for your email provider at this page:

Email Whitelisting

2) If you are a Gmail user or you use any other web-based email that filters broadcasts away from your main inbox, be sure to “drag” any emails from Black Dog Marketing or “Mike Linville” into your Priority Inbox. (Again, you don’t want to miss something.)

3) Create a special “Black Dog Marketing” folder where you can archive emails from BDM as well as “Mike Linville” AFTER you have read them. This is important…DO NOT setup filters to automatically direct our emails into these folders, or again, you are likely to miss something. Simply move them manually to the folder after the information in the email has been consumed.

STEP 2: Let’s get social …

Take two-seconds and join Black Dog Marketing on Facebook or Twitter, as these are our primary methods of communication outside of email updates, and again you won’t want to miss a thing:



Talk soon,

Mike Linville, CEO, Black Dog Marketing

P.S. Did you know there are actually 5 different reasons to market your pet business?… and building a big business in only one of them.

I’ll give you all 5 tomorrow, but for now spend a little time thinking about what it could be. If you’re anything like me, you’ll get more benefit from the “thought experiment” than from the answer itself.

Be cool, and introduce yourself when somebody opts in to your list. Let them know what they can expect and when to expect it. Being transparent will reduce the number of unsubscribes to your list drastically.

Now It’s Your Turn

Use the comments section below and tell me how do you introduce yourself to your subscribers?

Why You Need A Sales Funnel In Your Life …

Warning: This “F-bomb” Can Triple Your Business This Year

If you’re interested in growing your business and have been looking for a solution for any amount of time, you’ve most likely heard somebody drop the “F-bomb”.

That’s right … FUNNEL. (ha … see what I did there ;))

All kidding aside, if you aren’t using lead generation and sales funnels in your marketing – you’re throwing out a lot of time, energy and resources in your marketing efforts that most likely isn’t giving your much of a return on your investment … am I right?

What is a Funnel?


A funnel (aka marketing funnel, lead generation funnel, sales funnel, etc.) is nothing more than a graphical representation of the customer lifecycle as a customer travels from prospect to lead to customer in your business.

What Does a Funnel Look Like?

Funnels can be laid out vertically like a traditional funnel with prospects entering at the top and customers coming out the bottom or they can be laid out horizontally with prospect entering the funnel on the left and customers popping out on the right.

Whichever option you prefer … both will allow you to track your visitors journey.

Why Is This Important?

The reason funnels are so important is for one reason and one reason alone …

Gut feelings are great for choosing who to date or what lunch special you’d like to try today but for marketing … we want to make marketing decisions on actual, real-life data.

Let me give you an example:

Life Without A Marketing Funnel:

Statistically speaking – only 2-3% of people that visit your website will ever buy from you. If you run a retail location that mean that for every 100 people that walk in your front door – more than 97% of them will continue to walk out without breaking out their wallet.

I don’t know about you but for me … that is totally unacceptable. I’m going to market and advertise to get 100 people into my store and only two will buy? HORRIBLE.

The problem is .. without a funnel in place where we are gauging the customers interest along the way, we have no way of knowing why the 97% of the people won’t buy.

Maybe they’re just tire kickers.
Maybe they didn’t like my prices.
Maybe they didn’t like the re-heated fish I had for lunch

Nobody really knows for sure so any changes we make to our marketing strategy are going to be guesses based on gut feelings and nothing more.

That is NOT the way we want to run a professional business.

Now let’s take a look at life with a “general” marketing funnel and see what we can learn.

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Life With A Marketing Funnel

Let’s say you run a local pool supply company and you are trying to kick off some killer summer sales with a large display in the front of the store for oversized, inflatable rubber duckies (don’t ask me how I know about this)

Seems like a pretty good plan because as a pool supply company (or any other company as far as that goes) the hardest part is landing the new customer – once you have them you can always upsell and cross-sell them with additional/related products and services and just generally win them over with your spectacular customer service.

So let’s take a look at what that funnel might look like

New Customer Sales Funnel Example:

Step 1: Customer walks into the store (thanks to the 4’ tall rubber duck in your front window)
Step 2: Customer looks at the rubber duck display
Step 3: Customer grabs their own rubber duck and puts it in their shopping cart
Step 4: Customer heads over to the checkout line
Step 5: Customer completes the purchase and goes home to inflate their ridiculously oversized rubber duck.

To understand the magic of the sales funnel we aren’t going to look at the actual steps, we’re going to look at the gaps between the steps because this is where the customer is making their decisions. This is where they are deciding if they are going to continue the relationship.

Let’s say our numbers looked like this…

Step 1: 100 people
Step 2: 90 people
Step 3: 10 people
Step 4: 4 people
Step 5: 2 people

Here we still have the same 2% conversion rate from prospect in step 1 to customer in step 5 but now we have more data to understand what is happening in their heads.

Here are three useful elements that we can pull out of this example:

  1. 90% of the people that came in the door looked at the giant rubber duck display. That’s great! So it would appear the Giant Rubber Duck in the front of the store is doing a good job of gathering attention.
  2. Only 10 out of 90 people that saw the display actually put one of the products in their cart. This could be an indication that there is a disconnect between the user liking the product and wanting to purchase the product. The price could be too high. The quality may be low. Obviously if they’re in our store we can just ask them about it but even if we’re online only – this gives us two different options to test.
    1. Test 1: Lower the price and see if you can get more people to purchase.
    2. Test 2: Order a similar product from a different manufacturer and see if you can find one of better quality.
  3. Of the 10 people that put it into their cart … only 4 actually made it to the checkout line with it. Again, if it is a physical store you can just keep and eye out ad ask users. If not, we can come up with some additional things to test based on the reasons people would put something back after adding it to their cart.
    1. They talked themselves out of it
    2. They though it was too pricey
    3. etc.

So you see by having your funnel steps clearly identified, as long as you are tracking your numbers, your funnels (and sales), should always be increasing because there will always be additional items for you to test.

The really cool part is … when you track your data like this – there is no such thing as throwing marketing dollars away. Everything you do is a trackable test – your conversions either get better or worse and when you test one thing at a time – you know exactly what made the difference.

Now It’s Your Turn …

I’d love to know if you are already using sales funnels or marketing funnels in your business. Use the comments below and let me know if you’re currently using funnels and how they are working for you.