Intro (guest speaking): There’s one phrase that my grandfather used to tell me when I was a little kid. Now, I’m a baseball nut. I love, breathe, you know, like forget it, baseball year-round, I don’t care, even if, you know, it’s not US baseball. And my grandfather always used to say, “Watch the ball hit the bat,” and I didn’t really understand what that meant, until unfortunately, until he was passed. And I got a little older I was like, “You know what, that makes perfect sense.” For everything that I do, because I want to be able to then, go ahead and hit the ball out of the park.
Intro (host speaking): Welcome back or welcome to the Business in Boardshorts Podcast. Today’s guest is Jason Reznik from New York. He’s the founder of Nurture Kit, where he provides marketing and email automation services for clients who are looking to build a stronger relationship and make more sales from their email list.
Host: Jascon, how you doing?
Guest: Great. Thanks for having me.
Host: Yes, you’re welcome. Thanks for jumping on. So, have you lived in New York your whole life?
Guest: Yes, yes I have. I grew up on Long Island. As I got little older and into my 20s, I moved to the city and then as I got even older still, once I got married and had a kid, we moved back out to Long Island.
Host: What’s the vibe like there?
Guest: Outside of 2020, pretty chill, you know. Like it’s, like I, I mean I guess it’s chilly in New York standards, right? And so, one of the things that, that shocked me as a person was that I didn’t think that I would be attached to a place. Like that was just my perception of who I was or my own self-awareness. However, in the early 2000s when I was working for a consultant firm, and they were basically like farming us out as contractors to startups and dot coms and all the rest of it, to basically build their businesses, I traveled all over place. Chicago, Philly, Torrents, LA, like all over the place and whenever I was there, I missed home, alright. It was like this weird sort of like, gut thing that it was like, man. Like whether the place I was at wasn’t as populated, things were closing early, like it wasn’t as fast paced like I just missed it. And so yeah, I know New York is where I wanted, want to be. And you know for Long Island, I love the city, I’d much rather live there than Long Island, but for me just in the family life and having a backyard for the kids to run around and stuff like that like, you know, Long Island is great.
Host: It’s super interesting, you know, everybody has a vibe that they like and what works with them. So, somebody that may not like the fast pace, like they wouldn’t like New York, but in your case like, it’s the complete opposite, it totally works.
Guest: Yeah, absolutely. Yeah. I mean, I would love to (laughing). I joke because, I joke with my wife a lot, because I’m like look, you know, I have my own business, I run it from the house, we don’t have to live in this high quote, unquote rent area, right? Like we can go anywhere, but you know, we’re definitely family oriented so we’re close with our parents and you know, I don’t think the grandparents would like it very much if the grandkids were elsewhere, (laughing) so we’re here to stay.
Host: I totally understand that. So, let’s talk about the back story with your career. Like, when did you start your own business?
Guest: It’s funny. When I started, officially started my own business was about 10 years ago in 2010. However, I was always a side hustler, a freelancer, things like that. Where, you know, I knew at a very young age like, 14 I still remember the day, and where I was at, and how it is feeling. But I, I knew that I just wasn’t going to work for somebody else, like there was just some, something inside of me that said like, “Hey look, I don’t want to wake up every day dreading going to the job or feel like I have to ask for permission just to take off on a day,” you know things like that. Like as an adult, why can’t I just go do what I want to do? So, I knew very early on. Now, that’s pre-internet, so you know I was 14, I had no idea what, what my life would look like or what I wanted or anything like that. It was just this thing inside of me, but when the internet came in college, you know, I went to college in the late 90s. And so, when the internet came like, I was like, “Okay there’s this thing that I could do, code and like put up a website.” Like, that’s cool, you know? And I was learning all these other things like calculus. I went to an engineering school and you know, physics and all the rest of it and I’m like, I was even doing development there, but it was programming it wasn’t even really coding, right? Like, it was like you had to bottle everything up and deploy it and compile and like all this mess. So, I learned how to make a website and came out of college, I had an internship. I am basically browser testing at that point in time and it morphed into the career that I have now. Where I flocked towards E-Commerce as a developer, I love the challenge, it was pre-Amazon. The challenge was getting somebody to give their credit card online and like that was like to me, that was an interesting challenge. A little side note for me is human behavior, I love studying it and psychology and all of those things. And what happened was, about six, seven years ago I started to use a tool called drip. Where that was an email marketing platform that allowed you to actually tie your website to your email list. And so when somebody clicked on an email or opened an email or something like that, you could code to your website like their name whatever, whatever your heart desired, right? So, that made things super connected in a way, in my mind to say, “Hey look E-Commerce is all about trust right?” Like, people look at reviews, they look at social proofs, they ask their friends, “What did you buy? What do you think about it?”, and all that kind of thing. If you can develop the relationship with your customers or your subscribers on your email list, through email, because that’s essentially what that is used for, and then reflect it back on the website, and then connect that whole experience that you have with somebody, whew. I mean, you know, your conversion rates are going to go up, right? You going to get more customers, you’re going to get more repeat customers, and so on and so forth. So, about seven years ago is when I started really morphing from not just only a developer and developing websites, but more into automation, and marketing automation, and email automation, and tying the whole customer experience together with not just email, but also the website.
Host: What do you think makes a success, makes a successful email marketing campaign? Or to be able to use email to drive business when so many of us are just conditioned to getting the boat loads of spam.
Guest: (Laughs) Right, yeah. I mean, the key to any email marketing is segmentation and what that really means is, that’s a big word for understanding your subscriber at a level that they are listening to you. Meaning, why are they on your list? Why did they come there? What’s their intent, right? They have some problem; they have some question they want that answered. But then, the real key there is their motivation, right? And so, their motivation is the emotional trigger behind their intent. So, perfect example of this is, if you are a physical trainer and you do virtual training for people, right, somebody signs up to you, they want to lose weight, right? So, okay that’s their intent, but why do they want to lose weight? Well, they got a wedding to go to in 90 days, right, so they want to look good. Whether it’s their wedding or their friend’s wedding, or something of that nature. So, if you can get them, if you can understand their intent and their motivation, then at the same time when you connect those dots together and can convey that in an email, you have their attention. And that’s what’s going to basically, rise you to the top of your inbox, and they’re going to be looking for whatever it is that you’re sending to them.
Host: That makes perfect sense. How do you typically work with your clients in the email marketing space?
Guest: A number of different ways. A lot of retainer work, because a lot of this stuff that I work on with my clients are campaign based. You know, meaning that it evolves overtime, so I work with a lot of established online businesses. So, like course creators, coaches, consultants, you know, service-based agencies, those sorts of folks. More so than just the E-Commerce space, which is selling physical goods, which I do work some there, but that’s a different ball game so to speak. But what I do normally is, we work on strategy, we try to figure out what the goals of the business are, I want to understand that, I want to understand who the customers are, and we work out our strategy to figure out what that looks like. A lot of people come in with a lot of low hanging fruit that we can get an immediate ROI on because most people are just like, “Hey, I have an email list I haven’t emailed in in months.” Or I send them my blog post every week and there’s no real strategy behind the marketing, so there’s a lot of easy wins, so to speak, that you could do there. But at the same time, long term. like what’s it look like in 90 days? What does it look like for the seasonal type of things? Like end of year stuff, like Black Friday and Cyber Monday. If it’s a seasonal business, you know, like pools or something of that nature, okay, what are we doing in the winter time versus the summer time? And so, really just strategizing that and then I’m trying to figure out the best approach to get their list engaged and create that relationship building effect. So, that then the subscriber actually says, “Hey, I’m ready to buy something from you,” and that’s where the automation kicks in. Because we track what their intent, you know, the interests are based on what they click on and, you know, depending on the business, obviously. Let’s just say for the sake of example, somebody clicks on a product page three times and they haven’t bought yet. Well then let’s just send him another campaign, an automated campaign that says, “Hey, we’ve seen that you have some interest in this, what’s holding you back from buying it?” Paraphrasing obviously, but to kind of make it a little bit more smart in the automation and not as creepy like. But the person checked it out a whole bunch of times. So, maybe there’s just a question that we need to answer that will actually get them over the fence.
Host: And if we get back up a second for those that, that love the idea of this, but are very new to creating an email list or you know nurturing that list. Can you take us back to the beginning of that? Like, how do you recommend someone to start building that list?
Guest: I mean it’s as easy as, look at if you’re a business online, you, it’s a good chance that you have customer. What is that customer asking you? Questions, that they’re asking you. Why did they hire you in the first place? If it’s something where they’re buying from you on a repeated basis, why do they keep coming back? Knowing exactly what triggers your customer and then turning that back around into some value that you could put on the website as a lead magnet, right? This could either be a one-page thing, like top ten and questions that get asked about their pools, you know. It could be, you know, for my case it’s an email course, right, because part of the business that I, that I run is helping developers and designers run their business so they want to get clients. Well, it’s a five-day email course to get that and tips and tricks on that. So, whatever it is that the customer wants, that’s what you put out and you just collect their name and email address. However, the key here is, is that make sure that it aligns with the product or service that you’re running, because back to the case of that virtual trainer, if that virtual trainer puts up recipes on their website and gets opt-ins there. Well, while there’s some crossover and there’s some relationship to what they’re actually selling, which is working out, it’s not going to be as good of a conversion, right? Because they’re, the people that are opting in are actually looking to get healthier via nutrition, not working out. So, a better lead magnet might be, hey, a five day workout that you could do 10 minutes when you wake up in the morning to lose 2 pounds, right? Then, that translates to what they’re trying to sell. So, whatever it is that the client, the quick win that a customer can get, that’s what you would use as your lead magnet to start helping building your list.
Host: And so, what you’re saying is the deeper that you understand your own clients, then the better lead magnet you can create and then have a better conversion rate with it?
Guest: Yeah, absolutely. I mean, you have to really understand like, you know, the phrases “walk a mile in their shoes,” like understand your client or customer at that level. Like, I mean live and breathe what they do. If you don’t know exactly what they do or what, how they work and what challenges they are, just ask, right. Like, just call him up on, on and say, “Hey, I just have a couple of questions. You mind answering me?” And nine times out of ten, they’re going to say yes. So, yeah, the deeper, deeper understanding that you have of your customer, you’re just going to attract more of the same.
Host: What’s the best business advice you’ve ever received?
Guest: It’s a great question because, I mean, I’ve had some really great advice over the years, but I would say and ,I got to, got to kind of hedge my bet here. So, I’m going to say two things. One, it’s double your rates because early on in my, when I started my business, I was working on an hourly rate. And, you know, I had a conversation with a mentor of mine, virtual mentor of mine, I never met this person. And I, it was just like, he was where I wanted to be and so I, you know, he was bringing me onto a lot of things and I was just open and honest about everything. And he goes, “Well, what do you charge?” So, I told him what I charge and he goes, “Dude, double that and then maybe even add some.” He goes, “Because you could charge that. And I had no idea, because I was just kind of starting out and I didn’t want to lose work that was coming out and stuff like that, so that was probably the first. However, the second one, and it could be more relevant for, you know, the audience here is that I was encouraged by a business coach of mine to inject my personality into the business. Because ultimately, for what I do, you know, it’s commoditized, right. Like, you could go hire somebody else to write emails and build automations and things like that, but what, what’s going to happen is that the clients are actually going to come to me, because they, we vibe well together. I got to turn people away and got to attract other people and so I didn’t really think about it like that. And as an introvert, I was just like, what personality? (laughing) Like, I’d much rather just sit here. So, I, in twenty, 2014 that’s when I started doing that and it was like a complete shift in the business. Like, yes I was repelling certain people, but I was attracting people that I was actually enjoying working with and, and as they become clients of mine and customers and things, like it was great because it was like, you know, I didn’t feel like I was injecting myself into a corporate world where maybe I felt a little awkward. Or you know, injecting myself into maybe like a small team where I felt awkward. I mean, it was just I had no idea that just, you know, personal brand, right. Like that’s what it came to was like, okay what’s my personal brand? Well I’m, I’m a New Yorker, I’m a work from home dad, you know, I, you know, I like metal, I like old technology, you know. And so, just being able to inject some of that into the business, like it just, I mean I was attracting who I, who I wanted in as customers.
Host: You’re right in my head when you’re speaking that because I think I, I feel that transition here in this last six months or so. And, and very confident in what you said is just like to be you to, you’re going to repel people, but then you’re also going to gain people that are attracted to that vibe. And that’s always been super important whenever I’m working with clients is to make sure that we vibe well. So, I can totally see what you’re saying because it just, it makes perfect sense.
Guest: Yeah, yeah. I mean, it definitely, I mean it’s just you know, obviously you still have to be professional I am from New York, I’m pretty blunt. I mean, I tell people that too, like clients, and they appreciate that, but some people don’t. They like, hey, you know, I don’t mind a little sugar coating here and there, but I’m just not that type of guy. So, you know for me, it’s just who I am, and you know I’m, I’m cool with it. Like, I just, you know, I saw how it affected my business and as soon as I started realizing that it didn’t, I was repelling the people that I really didn’t enjoy working with, I was like okay that’s perfect, that’s what I want, right. I don’t even have to turn them away.
Host: What’s the best life advice you’ve ever received?
Guest: That’s a, that’s a great question too and I did see that you were going to ask that. And so, I was thinking like, and you know, I mean I’m 43, right. Still young in the grand scheme of things, but I feel like I’ve lived lifetimes already with certain phases of my life. And so, when, there’s two things because there’s one phrase that my grandfather used to tell me when I was a little kid. Now, I’m a baseball nut. I love, breathe, you know, like forget it, baseball year-round, I don’t care, even if, you know, it’s not US baseball. And my grandfather always used to say, “Watch the ball hit the bat.” And I was like, as a kid I was just like, “Alright, whatever,” you know, like it’s just something you say. And I got what he meant by that, just keep your head on the ball, “Watch the ball hit the bat.” However, as I got older and even, you know, when I got into college and he was still alive, you know, he would say that out of context to baseball. And I didn’t really understand what that meant, until unfortunately, until he was passed. And I got a little older I was like, “You know what, that makes perfect sense.” For everything that I do, because I want to be able to then, go ahead and hit the ball out of the park. Right, like, I want to able to, if I’m, you know, I started my own business. I wanted to get to a certain level where I could buy a house, and support a family, and so on and so forth. Like, “Watch the ball hit the bat,” you know, like keep going. And so that resonated with me a lot. And so, for me, like that phrase, like I, I don’t even have it up anywhere, it’s just something that’s in my head. That anytime, like, I coach Little League nowadays, like I might even say like, “Hey, watch the ball hit the bat.” You know, because I think if you stay on the target and you literally stay focused at what you’re doing, the hits will come.
Host: I love that. That is awesome. Where can I just check you out online?
Guest: Yeah. I mean I’m always open to any sort of conversation as you know. I’m @rezzz on Twitter, that’s with three Z’s, R-E-Z-Z-Z. Or you can check out my website, that nurturekit.co. Yeah and that’s .co not com, but yeah, I’ always open to a conversation.
Host: Awesome. Thank you very much for joining me.
Guest: Yeah, thanks for having me.
Overview: Jason Resnick founded NutureKit in 2010. He provides marketing and email automation services for clients who are looking to build a stronger relationship and make more sales from their email list.
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