Episode 100: Evergreen email automations are your business bestie. Here’s why…

Key Highlights [00:01:00] The life changing moment Brittany’s career went

Jody Milward

Key Highlights

[00:01:00] The life changing moment Brittany’s career went from middle school science teacher to becoming the Queen of Evergreen

[00:05:03] Why evergreen emails are needed to create ‘space’ in your business

[00:06:29] The non-negotiable boundaries Brittany has in place so she can take every Friday off

[00:11:41] 3 evergreen email automations to easily nurture potential clients for your ad management services

[00:17:05] Brittany’s 5 step framework to craft engaging emails

[00:22:39] 10 tips for creating a click-worthy subject lines

Jody: Welcome to this week’s episode of Online Confidential, where we go behind the scenes to talk about Secret Ad Manager business.

I’m very excited with our guest today who’s going to help us go from beyond the click and nurture our clients with some amazing automated email sequences. So welcome to the show, Brittany Long, the Queen of Evergreen. So Brittany, welcome to the show.

Brittany: Thanks! I’m so excited to be here!

Jody:  It’s great to have you because this is one of the things, not just ad managers, but a lot of our clients also have this problem as well where they’ll start building a list, but then they might just have like a seven day automation that follows on with that and then crickets.

They don’t send anything to their list until they want to sell something or promote something. Which is obviously a bit of an issue. So, let’s take a step back first though, and tell us how did you get into this world of emails and automations and discover the magic that comes with them.

Brittany: So if you had asked me a decade ago if I was going to be emailing people for a living , I probably would’ve said ‘that’s not a real job’. At the time I was teaching, I was teaching middle school science, and I thought, well, this is what I’m going to do the rest of my life. And then two years into teaching, I had a cancer scare where, I genuinely thought like this was it for me.

Because that’s kind of how the doctor said it. And so, I just was like, oh my gosh. So for a solid two weeks I thought, this is it. Am I okay with what I’m doing? And the answer that came back to me was a resounding no. And I’ll never forget the day that I was in the doctor’s office, you know, sitting on this like sticky vinyl with the paper that’s crinkly underneath.

And she was like, ‘Mrs. Long, I’m sorry, it’s aggressive. We found it in multiple places’. And for two weeks I felt so much regret over the things that I hadn’t done. I always thought, there’s something else I want to do, I want to write for a living. But I thought I don’t know anybody that does that, so that’s not a real thing.

And when that happened, I realized I had to find a way to find my path, the path that wasn’t necessarily safe for me, but was what made me feel alive. And so two weeks later I went to a specialist who told me they were wrong. It was a rollercoaster. I’m so thankful for it, both that they were wrong, of course, and also that it happened in the first place because it really helped me put the rest of my life in perspective.

So from there I started working in the online world. I figured if I can talk students into doing their homework, I can talk anybody into doing anything that will help them. And so that’s how it started.

I started with funnel building, and with doing some VA work. But as things continued, I started to dabble in email marketing and writing and found that I absolutely loved it. Not so much even because of the writing, but because of how I got to help people realize their dreams and reach more people.

I felt like I was still making an impact, which is what I liked about teaching, but now on a much bigger scale, because I was impacting my clients, but then also the people they were talking to as well.

Jody: Awesome. Wow. So that’s such an amazing story. And what a crazy two weeks that would’ve been for you. But like you say, while absolutely awful, it gave you that realization that maybe a lot of us never get to actually face, which in some way, is kind of good because you don’t want to have that reality check.

But then to be able to look at it just on our own accord, like maybe even listening to this show, you’ll go ‘actually go what do I want to do? Am I happy doing what I’m doing?’ And you can do that course correct, like you said, however many years ago, you would’ve thought nobody gets paid to do this.

Yeah, they do, and this is the world that we live in. No one gets paid to just play on Facebook all day. Well, no, we’re not playing. But there are opportunities all around us. So that was your wake up call to go into writing and all the rest of it.

What made you really land on evergreen email automations?

Brittany: So I had a few clients that I was working with and one took me to a conference and I got to hear somebody talk about these automated emails. And she was going through a time in her life where she had a setback from her business.

One of her family members had some severe health issues, and so she literally could not show up for her business because almost all of her mental and emotional energy was spent taking care of that person. And so the person I was working with was like, h, maybe we should add these in.

And so I started dabbling with it. I started thinking, yeah, let’s see what this looks like. And then from there we were able to create a really, really long sequence for them that they actually used later on when they needed to step back from their business. They were able to use ads and these emails to step back for more than a year and still have sales coming in, which is pretty incredible.

I saw that happen and then I saw my need to step back from my business a little bit, with a brand that we had started a while ago. I was having a baby and things were just very chaotic. So I knew I needed to step back. That was in the middle of the pandemic, so I needed some space.

And having seen my own email sell for me, even when I wasn’t fully present, and then seeing how it worked for a few other clients I had worked with, I thought, oh my gosh, everyone needs to have this little business insurance policy so that when they need to step back they have that opportunity to.

I think it’s great to do what we love. It’s great to make money, but everybody goes through something at some point in their life they’re going to go through something where they think, I just need a break. Whether it’s a vacation, whether it’s taking time away, whether it’s, do I still want to do this business? Something’s going to come up, and having that buffer room, that means they don’t have to show up and be a hundred percent on all the time, is just exactly what we all need from time to time.

Jody: We certainly do. I know you’ve got a little club now. What’s it called?

Brittany: It’s called the Friday Off Club.

Jody: Which is so great. So tell us a bit about that.

Brittany: So in probably the most chaotic time of my life,I had just had the baby and I was doing contract work for a client. I had one main client that I was doing contract work for, and there was just a lot to do there.

Plus having the baby, and being in the middle of the pandemic, we didn’t have people around all the time, like I thought we would. And so it all felt very…interesting…and heavy, and all of that. And so, we decided, my husband and I decided we were going to start taking time off. At the time I was working super early, super late, all day long, not really taking care of myself at all.

We thought, well, this can’t continue. And so, we said we’re going to take Fridays off from now on.

I didn’t know how I was going to make it happen because I was working 60, 70 hours and still not having enough time for everything. But I said it has to become a priority because nothing’s going to change if nothing changes.

And so we took that first Friday off and it was so hard. I didn’t want to leave my phone at home. I tried to be glued to it, but I was like, no. We said we weren’t going to. And so I left my phone and it was the most transformative day, even though it was uncomfortable to not be working that day.

It was very transformative and I realized, there has to be more to life than just me working all the time. From there, we’ve taken almost every Friday off for the last, I think two and a half years now. It’s completely changed how I view the role of work in my life and how I want to pass on how I view work to my kiddo.

Jody: Love that. And so before we dive into emails on automations, again, without your Friday off Club, having your Fridays off, how do you communicate with your clients? How do you let them know that you’re not around on a Friday? What do you do if an emergency comes up?

Brittany: So I was really nervous about this because I thought, oh my gosh, everybody’s going to hate me.

Nobody’s going to want to work with me. But it’s really been the opposite. So the first thing I did was to let my clients know, Hey, I’ll be out on Friday. And then I set up an out-of-office reply and it says something like, Hey, thanks for emailing me. Just so you know, I’m out every Friday for a phone free, work free day.

You can’t reach me by phone, by text, by Voxer, by email, or by carrier pigeon, just to make it feel a little more fun. Then, I’ll respond to your email as soon as I get back. I think the thing I did right before that too, for about a month was I changed my autoresponder so that it said something about it being a calm inbox where I only check my emails twice a day.

Now it’s kind of evolved. So it says the Friday off thing, but also says I only check my email, I think twice a week. And I normally do more than that, but it gives me a little bit of buffer room. So that was the first thing that we did. And then from there I actually, along the way I kind of made a few mistakes.

So the first mistake I made was, I was working with one client and they always seem to have emergencies on Fridays. And because I’m a recovering people pleaser, I was like, I’ll do it this one time. I’ll do it this one time. I’ll do it this one time. And then before I knew it, this one time had turned into I think four or five different Fridays where I wasn’t working all day, but I was working a few hours here and there and I realized, well, Britney, nothing’s going to change until you set those expectations and actually follow through.

And so then I eventually said, Hey, just a reminder, tomorrow I’m going to be out. And then I didn’t respond. There was still an emergency. I didn’t respond. And yet I’ve still worked with that person moving forward. And so I think the biggest part of that was setting those boundaries and then actually keeping them.

Because if you don’t respect your own boundaries, nobody else is going to. And then as far as emergencies, there was that one that happened and I did feel bad about that, but again, I made it really clear we had set things up ahead of time.

The other thing that I’ve changed since then is I only do work and emails that there won’t be an emergency for. For example, there’s not really going to be a time where there’s an emergency around automated emails. hat’s something that we set up ahead of time. We check throughout the week, throughout the month, throughout the year. It’s not something that I need to be sitting at my computer, with my eyes glued to every single moment of every day.

I do have people on my team though that can help just in case something crazy weird does happen.

Jody: Love that. And I know a lot of my people can relate because a lot of us are people pleasers. We want to make sure everyone’s happy all the time, and we’ll do whatever we can to do that, even if it is checking in at 10:00 PM on a Sunday night or whatever it may be.

So that’s ad manager life. It’s a bit different in that, an ad account could get shut down when you’re in the middle of the launch. But it comes back to, like you said, having boundaries and communicating that. So that’s one of those things that I loved that you had that email you have at the footer of your email when you’re available, when you’re not available.

Setting those expectations of, I check my emails at X, Y, Z. That also takes the pressure off us. Like you said, you can go and check it three times a day, whatever you like, but at least we’re not feeling like we’re absolutely chained to it and having to respond all the time. So you can turn off your notifications for your Gmail or whatever it is, so when something comes on, you don’t have to immediately respond to it.

And that can just take that pressure off. Love all of that. That’s amazing.

So, emails and automations. Like you were saying before, it’s like getting these automations in place because a lot of us, we’re busy, we’re service providers. We’re working with our clients. We’re running campaigns.

So getting these automations in place for us and for our business is so essential because as an ad manager we need to get leads in. Referrals are great, we love referrals, but being able to bring in leads at any time and be able to nurture them is such a key point because someone’s going to hire us to run their ads, they need to trust us.

The way we earn that trust is by communicating with them and getting an automation, because I’ve heard time and time again from ad managers, ‘oh, I’ve got a list. I don’t email them, I don’t do whatever’.

What would you recommend? Where is a great place for them to start? If they’ll go, okay, I need to get an automation underway, is there a certain framework that you would look at to go, okay, so for the next 12 weeks, you know, how do we pick those topics?

Where do we start?

Brittany: When we’re doing automations, I want to look at the ones that are going to be costing me the most money right away, or giving me the most money right away. So like an abandon cart sequence, that’s always the automated emails that I start with because those are the ones where you can recover sales the fastest, and see any kind of return that you want to see more quickly than all the rest.

So I start there, usually it’s four emails. Typically I send one email 15 minutes after, then the next day, next day, and then a few days after that last one. And those emails, sometimes when I talk to people about abandoned cart emails, they say, well, I don’t want to send those because I feel bad. They didn’t checkout or they walked away from the cart. I feel like I’m harassing them because if I was in a store and following someone around saying, ‘Hey, you didn’t buy’, then it’d be really weird.

But the thing is, and you and all the ad managers know this, buying online is extremely different than buying in person. If I’m shopping in person in a store, I don’t usually my kiddo either with me or I don’t have her with me throwing a tantrum on the floor.

Whereas I might have that when I’m at the house because she wants the strawberry yogurt instead of the peach yogurt. And we don’t have any. And so for me, there’s a lot more distractions at home.

So when I’m shopping at home, from a client or a customer standpoint, I expect there to be an ab abandoned cart sequence. Often I’ll actually put my name and email address in if I’m going out to do something or if I know I’m going to get distracted expecting them to send me those emails.

And so I think that’s a little bit of a shift that we can start to have is these are there to help them get what they want or to answer a question that maybe was still lingering for them. So usually that’s the first one that I recommend doing. And if you have a welcome sequence, or if you don’t have a welcome sequence, that’s a really good one to start next because then they get to know you a little bit better and see how you can help them, the different resources you have for them.

After that, I usually do a nurture and sell sequence, and that’s where you are nurturing them, giving them resources, giving them help, advice so they can see that you know what you’re talking about and they can trust that what you’re saying makes sense and that it works and all of that. And then from there, we make offers to you, whether it’s an offer to work with you as a service provider, or maybe you have a digital product that goes along with it as well.

Having that kind of sequence, the sooner you get that, the better because then while you’re actually doing the service providing, you have your emails that are selling for you, so you’re not in this constant cycle of, cool, I have enough clients. Oh crap, I don’t have enough clients. Now I have to market and do my fulfillment.

And then, continuing that cycle. So it helps you get out of that always marketing and working and exhausted all the time cycle.

Jody: A hundred percent. Having those leads that are coming in, being nurtured, having that pipeline that’s full and ready to go, even if you are full at the moment, at least you could have a wait list of people are keen and waiting to work with you.

Now with that abandoned cart sequence. Love it. That’s awesome. Just thinking of how that can also apply to ad managers because it’s great if you have a product, a shameless plug for ADvisory. You could be an ADvisory reseller and selling that program.

But if you’re doing an application funnel, where people are applying to work with you, you can have a calendar first and then it goes into the application form that they fill out, or the form if you’re pre-qualifying, and then to the calendar. So for a service provider, that is a great place for your abandoned cart sequence.

So if they have scheduled a time but not filled in the form, then you’ve got your own abandoned cart that’s saying, ‘Hey, by the way, noticed you haven’t filled out this form. Here it is X, Y, Z’. Or if it’s the other way around, they filled in the form but haven’t completed a time, ‘Hey, notice you haven’t filled in the time’.

So that’s where we can apply that in an application funnel, which is so essential. Especially if you’re running ads, you don’t want to leave any stone unturned. So you want to see what’s happening after the click. And if people have opted in, where you can optimize these steps to be able to eventually convert that person.

So abandoned carts, those nurturers providing valuable information. PS at the bottom, say ‘I have three spots available, or one spot available this month. Click a link and apply here. Such a great thing, so important to do.

I was at an event where you kind of went through a bit of a framework of how to craft an email.

So would you mind sharing that here? Too bad if you don’t, because I put you on the spot, .

Brittany: No, I’d love to. I’d love to. We call it the ATMRN model. I need to start off by saying that I’m terrible at coming up with acronyms, so that’s why it’s such a terrible acronym, but it works. So let me kind of go through what it it stands for.

So the A, I’ll say what all of them are and then we’ll come back and talk about them. But the A stands for Attention, and that’s your hook. T is Tell your story. So whether it’s your story, a client’s story, something that you saw happening. I remember someone telling me about a client that lost a bunch of email addresses because their account got shut down.

So that could be a story that I could tell, even though it didn’t happen to me, it happened to somebody that I know, that knows somebody. That’s an example of telling your story or someone else’s. The M is Make it mean something. So that’s taking the story that you just shared and helping your reader apply it to their life.

The R stands for Reflex, so what objections or questions are coming up for them? You want to address those there. And N is Next step. So that’s the call to action, the thing you want them to do next.

So the A, the attention is going to be something that draws them in, gets them curious enough to keep reading.

If it’s not curiosity driven enough for them to keep reading, then you’ve lost them already. The T is  thinking about what kind of story is going to resonate with them. So for example, one of the brands we have works with teachers who want to leave that field of education.

And so for me, I could tell a story about how I went shopping in Target after I left teaching. I went shopping in Target. I went down every single aisle. I’m painting the picture. I want you to be able to picture it in your head. But if I just left it there, I said, yeah, I went shopping in Target. I went down every aisle.

Nobody really cares about that. But if I follow it up with the M, then make it mean something, and I say something like for the first time in four years, I didn’t feel guilty about spending my Saturday not at home grading. I didn’t feel guilty because I wasn’t creating lesson plans instead of living my life. I was doing what I wanted to do and not worrying about 127 students that were relying on me to X, Y, and Z.

And so you want to think about what are they feeling, thinking, hearing, for the Tell the story, you want to really bring in all those senses. And then the Make it mean something, we want to bring it to the heart. What are they feeling? What’s their gut telling them?

Then the R, that’s the Reflex. So some of the objections I might hear is, ‘Oh, well it must be nice for you that you get to do that. Your husband must have insurance and that’s why, or your husband must have a well paying job. And I know that’s some of the things that they think because I’ve seen that on my ads when we are running ads for that particular brand.

And so I could say something like, I know you may be thinking it’s great that I got to leave teaching because my spouse must have a great paying job, but the truth is I left to run my own business.

Then the N is next step. What’s the call to action? Maybe it’s learn how I left teaching to start my own business in this free workshop here.

And so that’s how we do it. A T M R N.

Jody: Awesome. A T M R N, I wrote all that down, so that’s awesome. I loved that part of bringing it back and giving it meaning because it’s easier for some than others to tell the story. But it’s being aware of then not just telling the story for the sake of telling a story and it’s all about you.

But bringing it back to that meaning and what’s going to touch the heart of the people that you are talking to. That you want to inspire and share your story with, that’s going to really resonate with them and go, oh man, you know, I would love to not have to grade 800 or 80 reports on a, feels like 800 on a Saturday.

Like my father and my sister were teachers, so I certainly know all that goes into being a teacher and all the work. Then the same can apply with ad managers as well.

For example, an angle that an ad manager take is with the algorithms. People go to all this effort to create a reel, or create something that’s organic where they’re spending so much time creating all these bits and pieces.

Whereas if you just launch some ads and you put some ad spend behind them and use reach campaigns and whatever that’s doing it all for you, and that’s freed up so much of your time so that you’re not having to dance and jiggle in front of the camera and point at things at the screen. I’m so glad that’s all behind us a bit more than it used to be.

Brittany: Me too.

Jody: Showing people that’s the kind of freedom they can have when running ads. So great in illustration and I love that. And I think that framework can be applied to a lot of things. And if you’re an ad manager and you don’t have maybe some stories or case studies that you could be sharing, you can go to the Facebook success stories.

If you just Google it, that’s a place on Facebook and it’ll tell you about all these businesses, what they’re doing with ads and the results that they get. So if you want to come in and show evidence of other businesses that are doing some great things on Facebook.

So, awesome. Thank you for that Brittany, A T M R N.

Brittany: I know it’s the worst acronym.

Jody: I’ve heard worse. Yes, Stu McLaren, who’s founding member, launched the FML, which if you’ve got teenage children, know what that means. Oh, you know what that means! Yeah, okay, so that’s all we’ll say on that one.

So now you might have great automations. You’ve done the work, you’ve done emails. You’ve loaded them all up. They’re all ready to go for 12 weeks, but it’s no good if nobody opens them. So what tips do you have for us about creating a great subject line?

Brittany: All right, I’m going to give you some, and some of them are weird, so get ready to write these down.

The first thing we want to focus on is curiosity. Is it interesting?

If you don’t make one that’s interesting, but you follow all these other suggestions that I’m going to give you, you’re still not going to have as high of open rates as you want. So the first thing is to make it interesting. Make people stop and think, I want to know more.

So, for example, I sent an email this morning that said I almost set my classroom on fire, which is a true story. I accidentally, not accidentally. I set off a rocket in the classroom. This was a terrible idea. Let me just start, right? This was a terrible idea, but it was cold outside.

We were setting off rockets. It was part of the curriculum. I don’t know why I thought it’d be a good idea to do it inside. It caught on fire. Bad, just bad idea all around. But I included that first part in my subject line because that is interesting and something you won’t hear every day.

Another one that I used was, ‘I’m going streaking, are you in?’

And again, that’s something that makes you think. Okay, what’s actually happening here, because this is weird. Is Brittany actually going streaking? And I was talking about how I’m doing a streak of keeping habits. And so those are the kind of subject lines we want to think of when we’re thinking of curiosity.

So some other tips that generally work, are using the word ‘you’ or ‘your’ usually does really well for subject lines. Capitalizing the first letter of the first word, having only one capitalized word. Not more than one. Using emojis, but not more than two. Using the ellipses…, usually does better than any other punctuation.

The next best one would be question marks. Typically, if you have a double punctuation of any kind, you’re going to have a higher open rate, which again, that’s super weird, but that’s what seems to work best.

Using power words. So where is it elicit an image or an emotion?

So for example, instead of saying ‘amazing’, I might say ‘jaw dropping’. We want to have something that brings up a picture or a feeling for you. Then not using commas, that’s another really weird one. Typically, if you use a comma, it’s going to lower the chances of it being opened.

Including the person’s name. So usually your email service provider will have a code you can put in to generate their personalized name for every email.

Those are the biggest ones. There’s a lot of them. They’re weird, but that’s what seems to work best based on the data that we’ve seen. And we also use the tool which I’d highly recommend.

Jody: Awesome. Okay, so just on that one with the first name being used, does that increase or decrease open rates?

Brittany: That increases them.

Jody: Okay, great. Awesome. And are there any ones that you should be aware of or definitely not do because you know of issues that for deliverability, like they get flagged as spam.

Brittany: So typically, anytime you’re talking about making money online, that’s going to get flagged as spam.

Anything that alludes to adult themes, that’s usually going to get flagged as spam. Anything that talks about, often cryptocurrency, anything really in the money making space. Often that will get flagged as spam.

You can usually do numbers in there and that does pretty well with subject lines but if you have a lot of numbers throughout, if you are talking about, you can ‘make this much money’, and the words ‘make money online’ usually gets flagged as spam.

Ironically saying the word spam often gets flagged as spam, which is super weird.

Those are a few that I would avoid especially. Let’s say you help people do something online, make money, make kind of some kind of money, maybe it’s through the ADvisory that they can promote that. So instead of saying make money online, you can say something else like you can talk about how somebody else earned X, Y, and Z.

Those words ‘make money online’ is one of the phrases that you want to avoid.

Jody: So just coming to mind there, it could be something like, if you’ve got a client that’s made $53,678, for example, instead of saying she made this much or that much, having the dollar sign the amount in a weekend or whatever it is, just say 53,678 reasons why businesses need Facebook ads or something like that.

Brittany: That’s a great example.

Jody: You’re avoiding the dollar signs in there and those potential flags. So Brittany, tell us, you work with service providers, you work with companies, coaches, course creators, a lot of businesses to help them with their email automation. So tell us a bit about that.

Brittany: We have a lot of ways that we can help people because we know people are at different levels of what they want. Some people love writing their own emails, but they’re like, ‘I have no idea where to start’ and find it overwhelming. And then other people are like, ‘please, I don’t want to ever think about writing an email again. Just do it all for me’.

So we do a broad range of those kind of things. We do help people write it themselves, and we do the strategy. If you’re thinking, okay, I need to do automations, but what do I say each time? We do that with our Cash Map Strategy. And then for those who want to learn how to do it we have something called Payday Every Day, which shows you how to set up that evergreen system so that it’s selling for you all the time.

Jody: Awesome. And so where can people go to learn more about you?

Brittany: You can find me, or on TikTok and Instagram and YouTube, under the Queen of Evergreen.

Jody: The Queen of Evergreen. Awesome. Well thank you Brittany. That has been great. Now, hopefully it’s inspired some people to go, I need to have an evergreen system in place, because you do.

We love automations, we love when things are set up. Yes, there’s a bit of work initially to be able to write those emails, but I mean, even if you were to just plug away and do one a week and you just add it into an automated sequence, then you know you get it done so then people can come in and they can go through it.

So that’s fantastic. Thank you so much Brittany, and remember guys, I need to look at my notes, A T M R N .

Brittany: That’s right. That’s right. Thank you for having me.

Jody: Thanks, Brittany. Thanks for joining us today, guys. We’ll see you next time. Bye for now.


I love to share practical information to help you improve your skills, learn something new or help you avoid the mistakes that many Ad Managers and I have made to help fast-track you on your journey as a well-paid and in-demand Ad Manager.