Fun & Profitable Email Marketing – feat. Kate Doster of Inbox Besties

July 20, 2021

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If you’ve been in the business world for a minute, you’ve heard this dreaded statement before ….” You must have an email list or you’re an idiot sandwich!” Okay, so hopefully nobody actually called you an idiot sandwich, but my guess is you’ve probably heard a ton of conversations about why it’s so important to build a mailing list. But, how often do you hear people talking about HOW to actually go about building and nurturing an email list? Well, probably not often enough. That’s why today, we’re bringing our gal, Kate Doster, host of the “Inbox Besties” Podcast and the creator of the Love Your List 2.0 email marketing mega course on the show to give us an email marketing crash course! Listen in as she  uncovers the ‘must-have’ emails for a fun and profitable email marketing plan. 

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More about Kate:

Kate Doster is the host of the “Inbox Besties” Podcast, creator of the Love Your List 2.0 email marketing mega course and is dangerously obsessed with helping ethical entrepreneurs carve out their slice of the interwebs. She helps her students woo open the hearts (and wallets) of their small but mighty audiences thanks to fun email marketing and easy yes mini-offers.

She believes you don’t need to bleed the alphabet or be a dirty rotten spam face to write emails that jolt subscribers into taking action, gobbling up your paid offers like candy… or kale if that’s their thing.

Connect with Kate:

Get two years worth of strategically planned weekly newsletter ideas that work for any niche —>

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When did you get your start in email marketing and how did this become your passion?

Kate 3:11

I started off as a blogger and then I turned into a copywriter. So, I’m a copywriter with a ‘w’ and that means that I got paid lots of money to make people hit buttons on the internet in particular. And when you are a copywriter with the ‘w’ you can write lots of things. So copy just refers to words for the record. And so as a copywriter, I wrote everything from about pages to home pages, sales pages, landing pages, which I absolutely love.

And the things that I absolutely loved the most were launch copy. And even just like weekly newsletters for people, because one, the return on time for emails is ridiculously high. And two is like, you get to have this fun, personal connection with people. So what I found is that some clients in particular and like even myself and definitely now my students, like they wouldn’t necessarily be so bold as to share some stuff, you know, on Instagram or even on Facebook, you know, back when you can get reach, but they would be fine sharing a story on their email or chatting about their day or being more like themselves because it felt like a safe container for them. And it was just great because I got to talk to people like people, like I’m writing to my best friend. And I’m just like, yeah, this is for me. 

Who is email marketing “for” and why should everyone be using it?

Kate 8:11

So email marketing is really for anyone, but especially people that want to have personal brands. I think that it is one of the best use of our time because we haven’t even gotten to talk about the different types of emails. But even if you just look at our good old buddy Instagram, like we all love IG, it’s the best. But if you go and look at your analytics, if you have a creator or business account in particular, you’re going to realize it’s like, oh, I’ve got 2000 followers. And like, 50 people got to see this post. Yeah. But like, if you send an email to that same 2000 people, hopefully your open rates are a little bit higher than that.You’re going to have much higher reach on your newsletter.

Also, no, one’s going to shut down the world of email. Gmail is not going to be like, we don’t do email anymore. Think about platforms like vine, myspace, etc. that just one day up and vanished. That is not happening with email. 

Lastly,  you want to be in a place where it’s like, oh, you know, I want people that are really engaged. And, think about it, people are pretty protective of their email address. Like, let’s be real. I think if I look on my Instagram, I’ve just been getting active over there, but I might be following like 500 people. I’m not on 500 people’s mailing lists. If I am on your news list, then I care about what you have to say. 

Tell us about your 6-figure launch with less than 2K email subscribers. What’s your secret?

Kate 48:05

So this particular launch, and this is again, I think what made it a little bit different than how people typically are launching courses, they’ll usually attempt to send all of their sales emails and all of their launch emails to their whole list.

That makes absolutely no sense because if somebody hasn’t proven to me, like by putting a hand up like, oh, I want to be in your webinar. Oh, I want to be in your challenge. Or, oh, I even signed up for the freebie that directly correlates with this. I’m not going to send them all 11 emails. It makes no sense.

So you’ve got to make sure that the only people that you’re truly launching to, and this is how we had over a hundred thousand dollar launch and the launch list was less than two K. Because no, it wasn’t my whole email list. My whole email list got a couple of emails about my launch trigger, which in this particular case was a webinar that they could come to.

And then they got one other email. If they didn’t sign up for any of the launch triggers, it’s just like, Hey, so I know you didn’t set it for this. Cause like not everyone’s a webinar person, but I know you signed up to my email list because, and then I talked about a concept. I call it moments because you want a, B, C and D, because you want to make money from sending an email before your coffee gets cold, because you want to be able to slap down your debit card at whole foods without worrying about how much it costs.

Right. Which is why I felt like a jerk, not telling you that my course is open, but since just show no interest, I’m not going to send you a million emails about it. So it’s there. So we have that. And I think that people can really sort of appreciate this because sometimes people will just sign up to your list, brand new, and it’s just like, oh, so you want to make sure that the only people that you’re truly launching to are the ones that have shown actual interest.

And then everyone else who hasn’t shown actual interest, they get like an email or two in case if they have questions and you’ll actually be surprised at how many people will buy off of that one again. And like, sometimes I’ll resend it like four days later. Um, depending on how long the launches, because I’m aware, not everyone’s gonna read all of my emails and like a lot of people could have emailed them at like Thursday at three it’s just an arbitrary time.

So that’s, it, it is by truly knowing your people, making sure that it is the right group of people that you are actually reaching out to and not being afraid to shake things up. So like without particularly, yeah. I mean, how do emails be written? But it was like, I don’t, I think it was like the last day before the launch and I just got like this download from the universe because Kate’s pretty woo-hoo and it was just like, give them the best lesson.

So I’m like, all right. I gave them everyone’s favorite lesson from the course for free. And I’m like, it’s fine. You can go ahead, show it to them. And then they saw like how great it was and we got more people to buy from there. 

Elisabeth 50:33

So it’s all about knowing your people, don’t launch your whole list. If they’re not interested, send one or two to the people that haven’t shown any interest and give them something that’s truly valuable, which you did.

Any common email marketing mistakes people should avoid?

Kate 53:18

I think making it ‘a me show’ [making it all about yourself and not the reader}.  Now I know, but you’re like Kate, “We’re makers and you  literally just talked about how I should share my own process. 

But the thing is, you always want to think of it through the lens ofHow can I make this interesting for people? What would they actually be able to get out of it? Maybe they, the feeling that they’re getting out of it is, oh my goodness, I’m supporting an artist.Like I’m a good person. So that sort of what you’re thinking about as you’re writing it for people that are launching courses and things of that nature, you’re like, yeah, sure. 

You want to share about how you weren’t always perfect and how you’ve made some mistakes, but you always want to bring it back to that ‘you’ statement, how can you make it about them? Same thing with like, when the courses open that email, like, I literally say like this isn’t the Kate show. Like you’ve been at this. And then I talk about very concrete, like the things that I know that they have been doing to get to this point and then why things aren’t working out.

And then it’s how my course is going to help them. It’s not like doors over to love your list, idiots, get your wallets. Like, no, that’s not what we’re going for here. So making it about them. It’s okay to share your personal stories. People like to see that and just have fun with it

What are your best tips for growing an email list?

Kate 21:06

I always say first and foremost, that you need to make sure that your list building strategy follows the sir Mix-a-Lot principle, because just like he likes big butts and so does your audience, and so does your wallet. 

Because you want people, again that are serious about the stuff that you talk about, right? That are like really into personal finance are really into wellness. And the only people that, you know, you can tell a really into that is if they’re already thinking of excuses, because if I was like, I’m going to invest in stocks, I can just sit on my couch and do nothing. But if I was like, I’m going to listen stocks, but like, I don’t lose money or I don’t know what stocks to pick.

I don’t know what an ETF is. Like I got nothing if I’m actually thinking of those. Yeah. Buts in there. That means that I could be a great subscriber because if you now have an incentive that answers one of those ‘yeah butts.” For instance, you could create a lead magnet titled, “how to start investing. Even if you only have a hundred dollars or even if you’re afraid of losing money, or even if you don’t know any of the terms or something like that, people are going to be like, she gets me, he gets me, I’m going to sign up and give them my email address.

So that’s really, the first thing is you want to start with actually having a good incentive that is going to attract the right type of people. And then once you have that, it’s kind of the sky’s the limit. And sometimes with incentives, people just aren’t logical. I mean, like if there were smoking, it wouldn’t be a thing drinking, wouldn’t be a thing like who would be like, I’m going to start a hobby.

That’s only going to kill me faster and cost me thousands of dollars. Nobody, but smoking is a thing. So humans aren’t logical, so you might get the wrong, but the first time it happens. But once you actually find one that like, yep, people are really interested in that topic. This is really a thing that’s holding them back.

You can, my favorite way to do things is collaborative. Personally. So like being on podcasts like this one and talking about the freebies that you have doing something, we’ll call it like a freebie swap. So you’d find somebody who helps your same type of people, but in a different way. Because I talk about email marketing and we’ve been talking about Instagram.

I could find somebody who primarily teaches about Instagram and be like, Hey, so I will share your amazing free mini course that you have all about getting your first 1000 followers on Instagram. Would you share to your list? My, you know, two years worth of email ideas, because we all know on Instagram, you want to get people on your email list, but what do your people do after it?

And I can help them with that. And so then it’s like, oh, it’s this very nice symbiotic relationship. So you send a newsletter talking about this great freebie you find to the landing page. They do the same thing for your landing page ruins. Um, you can do bigger things like summits or free bundles that sort of taking it to the next level with collaborations, being a guest in somebody’s course, doing a live stream.

And of course you can do. Ads. I’m not going to say that’s not a method. Um, with ads, I would definitely start with some collaboration first. So that way you can actually tell, like, is this freebie like really enticing? Do people like it is my messaging. Good. Because if it’ll work with those chances are it’ll work with, when you do, you know, a Facebook ad or a Pinterest ad or Instagram ads or YouTube ads or all that sort of stuff.

So before you put money behind it, try doing some personal builders first and yeah, I mean, there’s always going to be things that work in the background too as well. Like things like SEO, uh, Pinterest, but I always say that if you want to grow fast, you or your new default has to be, do the brave. Because it’s a lot easier to create 40 pins or five pins in Canva that go to your landing page and shove them on Pinterest than it is to be like, he came to me.

Will you share my freebie with your newsletter list or to, to be like, Hey mark Zuckerberg, here’s a hundred dollars. Go find me some subscribers. Right? So you always default every day to what’s the most brave thing that I can do. If you do that your list is going to grow exponentially.

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