Tarzan Kay is a launch strategist and copywriter who teaches women (and a few good men) how to sell bigger, so they can serve bigger. She also helps freelancers and service providers package up their magic and turn it into products that sell. She found her way to the online space through blogging and social media.Today, Tarzan calls herself the Empress of Email, and teaches other freelancers how to price their services, close higher ticket packages and attract the best clients using her signature method: Celebrity Marketing. Tarzan runs her business through email because she consistently writes really good emails. And she always position herself like a superstar…and when people come to hot, they are willing to pay because they want Tarzan. She currently lives in Niagara with her partner, 2 kids and the feisty furball, Cosmo.
How did you get into e-mail marketing?
Tarzan started out as a copywriter about 4 years ago. Early on in her business, she knew she wanted to focus on launching courses Joanna Wiebe from Copyhackers held a competition which Tarzan won. This helped put her on the map as someone who was really good at email and led to some incredible opportunities. It helped her realize what she was really good at.
What do you think makes you so good at writing emails?
The secret to being a great writer is simply to write. Tarzan has written thousands of emails, and although some of it comes naturally to her, consistent writing has really developed her skill. When Tarzan does emails for an online course this could include 7-8 emails to get someone to come to a webinar, another 8 show-up emails and then 10 or more promo emails. The more customization and tailoring, the more emails that will need to be written. A single course launch could include 30-40 emails. With so many emails involved in the process, Tarzan was able to really hone her writing skills by writing a lot of emails and seeing what worked.
My guess is you also have a natural genius?
Tarzan knows that she has a bit of a superpower when it comes to writing, but it is still a skill that you can learn. You don’t need to be born with a special talent, and it is mostly practice. What Tarzan sees in people doing really well at email is an ability to be open, vulnerable and really tell their story. That is something we can all learn how to do.
Email is so important. Is there a certain way to get somebody’s attention?
Tarzan talks about the 4 different personality types, which is based on DISC. It puts people into 4 color categories -blue, green, red or yellow. She likes to use Game of Throne characters to describe these 4 types of people.
The red personality is like Daenerys. They are leaders and super action orientated. They want what they want and want it yesterday. When Tarzan is writing for the reds, she wants to make sure there is very clear hotlink text. That they can skip to the bottom and see very clearly what is there. They love super short emails that are very to the point.
The yellows are like Tyrion. A deep sense of adventure, loves people and loves fun. They are the life of the party, they are always late, and we love them even though they are annoying. Tarzan likes to use makeagif.com to make something funny that will appeal to the yellows.
The blues are emotionally driven and love stories. They have the loyalty of John Snow. To appeal to blues you want to tell your story.
The greens are very detailed orientated. If you’ve ever wondered who reads long from sales pages – it is the greens. They will read the entire page and actually read very long emails. Tarzan will make sure to have an FAQ email that will have all the information in there for the greens.
You don’t have to make sure every email covers every personality type, but it’s worth thinking about how to include the key things that appeal to them. Have a clear action, share a story, add an element that’s fun and make them feel something.
Email marketing is something I would like to get better at. I have some resistance around email marketing that I’m aware of and sometimes it holds me back. It’s vulnerable to send email to somebody. What advice do you have for people who feel scared to email people or to ask for something they want?
Part of what makes email so magic is that it’s very personal. You can only get into someone’s inbox if they invited you in. It can feel scary to send email because you are infringing on their sacred space. But when someone signed up to your email list, they came to you with a problem, and they are hoping you have a the solution.
We’re all afraid of getting bad email replies, but great email is polarising. So you have to be brave, and you have to say what you think.
So much of doing well in business and life is being brave and vulnerable. How do you manage vulnerability within your own self?
She knows her business can only grow as much as she grows. She is always working on herself. Because that will allow her to do what she needs to do and make the bold moves. And ahe makes sure she has a community she can lean on to get through the hard times.
What kind of work on yourself do you do?
Her favorite thing in the last year or so is breathwork. You lay down on a yoga mat and breathe very deeply in an intentional way for an hour. You take deep inhales of breath fast and consecutively. This has been some of the most transformational work she has ever done.
I want to ask you about your upbringing and your mom. I know your parents got divorced when you were 15, and your mom went on a spiritual journey. Was that the beginning of your spiritual path too? And I know your mom went on a special kind of diet.
Tarzan’s mom heavily influenced her spiritual journey. 20 years ago, her mom went on this diet. She was cutting out gluten before it was trendy. Her mom cut out all wheat and all sugar, including fruit. She also cut out the vinegar and anything fermented. The purpose of the diet is to kill off all your internal flora so that it can regenerate from scratch.
That seems really challenging.
Tarzan did it in college for about 3 months and felt really good. She felt elated. Her mom did it for a year and felt so transformed by it.
Do you have a certain way that you prime yourself for writing?
Tarzan writes every day and it comes naturally to her. Because she is consistent, she doesn’t need to have rituals around it.
Do you have something you do have drama around?
Social media. Part of her story is about how she has built her business solely by using email. But she knows social media could also help build her business. Tarzan worries that using it will take time away from other parts of her life and that the platforms can change or disappear. She struggles to be consistent with it.
How do you recommend people grow their list?
It is possible to do it just through email. Tarzan has 5,000 people on her list which is considered quite small and is on target for earning 7 figures this year. The number of subscribers is mostly meaningless. It is all about your relationship with those subscribers. Are they opening those emails? Are they enraging with you? Do you know them? Do you have personal relationships with them? She doesn’t treat her emails subscribers as leads but as people. She goes out of her way to cultivate relationships with them. Tarzan recommends that as you build your email list, you really focus on building and nurturing the individuals that are joining your email list.
What do you think is the best frequency?
It’s highly dependant on your market. Some audiences are less tolerant than others. Once a week is the minimum. If you commit to once a week it will transform your business.
I really like your message here. You’re saying your email list doesn’t have to be that big for you to do really well.
If all you need is 5,000 subscribers. That isn’t hard to do organically by going on podcasts or going guest blogs. You can even just purchase 5,000 leads and nurture them.
What does a typical day look like for you?
Her business is in a transition right now, and she is busier than she normally is. She works a 4-day workweek, and it ends up being about 30 hours a week. Monday and Fridays are reserved just for her, and she doesn’t do client work. She may record training, outline future training or communicate with her contractors. On Tuesdays and Wednesdays, she does client work and delivers live training.
What is the best way to plant seeds in emails?
The biggest mistake people make when planting seeds is only to plant one. A lot of us aren’t clear about what our major mission is. When we get clear on that, it’s easier to plant seeds. We should be planting seeds all the time. But first, we need to be clear about what we’re selling and why people will want to buy it.
Is there a process for how people can get that clarity?
The biggest thing is to keep moving. It can often be a process of trial and error. One of the great determiners of success is the speed by which you can implement. Even if you implement the wrong thing. We spend so much time agonizing over making the right decision when really we should just keep moving.
How does spirituality play out in your life? Do you have spiritual practices?
She has practices she does on and off as needed. She struggles to have a consistent meditation practice and uses breathwork when she really needs it. She finds that for some things she just has to pay for it so that she actually shows up to the workshop. One of her most important spiritual practices is a gratitude practice that she does with her business associate. Every day they send each other a message of gratitude on Voxer.
Are there any organization tools or apps that you use to keep organized with email?
For launches, she uses a promo calendar that she has created in a google doc. It’s a table that she can add in webinars and the promo sequence. At a glance, she can see the entire promotion, and she finds this visual representation really useful.
What’s been your favorite email that you got the most replies on?
Tarzan is working on getting less attached to the business and seeing herself as the star that has to do everything. For a recent promotion, she hired a copywriter to write an email for her. That was difficult for her to do. She hired Alison wh had been through Tarzan’s email course. Fro one of the emails, Alsion did a ‘take-over’ and shared her story. It was a great email, and Tarzan got so many replies and so many sales.
What is an action step somebody can take to improve their email marketing?
Just show up consistently. Make a commitment to email your list weekly. Schedule yourself a half-hour each week. You don’t need more than that.
What is the best advice you’ve ever been given?
Tarzan’s mom is a financial planner and has her own business. She watched her mom develop herself and her business. When Tarzan didn’t have much money and was starting her business, she went shopping for some new clothes. When she showed her mom, she said ‘Beautiful clothes are one of the best investments you can make in your business.’
Anything else you’d like to share?
How can you let it be easy? Tarzan tries to find ways to let in more support in her life and when she comes across advice or a new idea, she thinks about how she could let it be easy.