On this episode of The CEO Story, we have Troy Ericson, CEO of Email Paramedic. Troy Ericson is the owner of Email Paramedic, an Email Investment Firm that has generated over $50,000,000 for their clients since 2019 by improving email copy, automation, & deliverability – the 3 key pieces of Email List Management.
Troy has served clients like Traffic & Funnels, The Sales Mentor, Rich Schefren, REPP Sports, V-Shred, Joel Erway, Alex Cattoni, Ezra Firestone, SmartMarketer, Perry Belcher, 10X Advisor Network, David Meltzer, Sam Ovens, Jason Capital, Ryan Stewman, and hundreds more
He was also ranked as the #20 Copywriter in the world by Peter Tzemis from Traffic & Funnels. Troy & his team are based in St. Petersburg, FL. In his free time, he enjoys lifting, baseball, and Metallica concerts.
With weekly podcasts released, “The CEO Story” takes a deep dive into the success (and sometimes pitfalls) of being your own boss! We encourage each and every individual to candidly share their stories to help other entrepreneurs understand the highs and lows that come with the journey. As always be sure to check out more of our podcast episodes!
*Podcast Website – https://ceostory.buzzsprout.com
So welcome ladies and gentlemen, to another episode of the CEO story. We’ve got a great one
for you today. We’ve got Troy Erickson and he’s with a really unique company. He is the owner of email paramedic
and these guys. Specialize in not only increase in your open rates, but also your click throughs, all of those
emails, most of which usually go into junk. So try, thank you so much for taking the time to join us. How you
Troy Ericson 6:15
Hey, what’s going on, Casey. Appreciate you, man. I’m excited to be here.
Kc Chohan 6:19
Yeah, we’re really, really excited here. A story because you still relatively young guy, you’ve got a multi seven
figure business, so you’re already crushing it. And we’ve got a lot of really good nuggets that we’re going to
share with people. So why don’t you start by giving us a little bit of a recap about what email power dynamic is,
what they do, what makes you unique? And then we’ll backtrack into it from there.
Troy Ericson 6:41
Sure. Yeah. So email. Paramedic. It got its name because we revived dead email lists. So the, the phrase for this,
as far as like what our services called it’s called email was management. So that means that. We have clients. You
know, like when you go to a website and you opt in for somebodies list and they send you marketing emails.
Kc Chohan 6:59
Troy Ericson 6:59
so we right. And send those emails for our clients every single day. We also build out their sequences. So like
when you opt in. As opposed to like a daily broadcast. And then the last thing is we work on deliverability. So
getting people into the primary tab in the main inbox, as opposed to the promotions tab or the spam folder. So
when you combine, you know, writing awesome daily emails, You know, really thought out sequences and better
deliverability. Our clients make a lot more money. So, you know, we’re just pros at email marketing. If you had to
summarize in one sentence.
Kc Chohan 7:33
I love it. I love it. It’s really like we were just talking before we started recording the podcast about. Our own
company internally, we do a terrible job of all of that. So definitely looking forward to, to be a client of yours
and lead in on the other side of that. But you didn’t end up with a multimillion dollar business overnight. So why
don’t we dig into a bit of your past history? Let’s rewind the clock. And see your journey of getting there.
Troy Ericson 7:59
Yeah. So I actually wanted to make millions doing something else and that was playing baseball. Because ever since
I was probably 13 years old, that’s when I made the decision, like, Hey, I just want to play baseball. It’s only
want to do. And that’s all me and my dad did. I was only child it’s like every day after school, I go outside and
we’d play practicing, throw me batting practice, or I pitched too. So like he would catch for me. And it’s pretty
much all we did. And I took it very seriously in high school and I tore my UCL and the second day. And practice by
sophomore year, which is literally like the main thing that you need to throw baseball. So I. It was a year long
recovery. Like this is something that is not supposed to happen until you’re like a professional and you’re 30
something years old.
Unfortunately, it’s a little more common now, but you know, in high school it was kinda like. It was a blow to
what I wanted to do my whole life, but I didn’t give up. So I, it was, I sat out a year. I made it to college and
I ended up pitching at division two Cedar hill university. When something called the yips happened. And if
anybody’s familiar with that, that’s when you kind of lose. Basic motor skill. So for a baseball player, that’s
like throwing a baseball and. Like playing catch for a golfer that would be missing an easy putt. Things like
that. It’s a pretty rare thing, but it usually stems from some kind of like, Insecurity or a past injury. And for
me, you know, as an adult, I think it’s both, but long story short of it, I couldn’t throw a baseball anymore. And
I literally lost my identity. I got cut as a senior for my college team when you’re supposed to be a leader. I got
cut. Beat out by freshmen. And that pretty much just. I didn’t go outside for like two weeks after that happened,
because it was just, what do I do? Like, I guess.
Yeah. I can’t like go out and like try to remake the team because that was the whole point of the fall practice.
And there were times like the previous year where I was one of the best guys on the team. And then this thing just
like came. And just like dismantled me as a human and. The only thing that I had going for me, like, fortunately
it was that I also was watching a couple of people, one in particular named grant Cooper. Who talked about
entrepreneurship. And eventually after I watched this guy enough on his Snapchat story of all things, He was like,
Hey, if you want to learn to make money with Facebook ads. I’m putting out a new course is a thousand dollars and
I had to go beg my mom to help me pay for it at that point. But I went and I bought it and I started using what I
learned. Upwork got some Facebook clients. And I managed to start making like a thousand dollars a month for my
dorm room, which was cool. And college. You know, it was about to end. So my dad was like all over, like, Hey,
make sure you got a job. Like you can’t keep doing this internet thing. You know, my mom felt the same way. And
so. I went to one of my clients and I was like, Hey, we need to partner on something. Because I need to not get a
regular job after college. And he was like, cool, let’s start a little agency. So we did a little Facebook ads
agency and I managed to start making like three, four K a month and not have to get a regular job. And I had some
of my own clients as well. But the big problem came in. About, you know, 2019, like in the summer. And so I was
out of school. And I basically had to retainer clients on my own at this point. And one of them was like, Hey, we
need to fire you. And I was like, why? And I’m looking in Facebook ads manager and everything looked great. Like I
was getting leads for them to CPL was low. And I was like, I don’t really understand what’s going on here. And we
came to find out that their emails were not making any money. And even though they wanted to fire me, I literally
refused. And I told them I’m going to fix this problem. Even though it’s not Facebook ads, I’m going to sign in to
wherever you send your emails, because I have a little bit of experience with this now. And I’m going to fix this
problem. I don’t care what it takes. You don’t have to pay me until it’s fixed.
Kc Chohan 12:05
So, let me, let me stop you there then. So this is a really, really good key point, right? Is you’re not taking no
for an answer because you know that you performing well at the task that you’re hired to do because the metrics.
All show that the numbers, they don’t lie. Right. But then you went the extra mile and you were like, no, even
though I’m not an expert at that, I’m going to go fix it because I kind of fought to lose you as a client. Right.
And I’m going to show additional value. So you, rather than just accept in that defeat and walking away, you’re
like, no, I’m going to show you what I’m really worth and go fix the next problem. So go, sorry, con continue.
Troy Ericson 12:43
Yeah, a hundred percent of that. I think a lot of people are sometimes afraid to. Do something that’s a little bit
different and kind of push that other button, but, you know, I didn’t really have a choice, so I don’t want to
lose these guys. I had two clients, so it turned out that summer I fixed their problems and which were basically
a, they weren’t sending enough emails, B, they were really bad. And it was like, Hey, here’s this thing, go buy
it. And then see they were going to spam. And when you combine those three things, it’s a recipe for disaster. So
this is actually a decent sized company. They’re making about 13 K a month from email, and then over the course of
two or three months, that summer I got up to 51. K a month because I was the one taking over and fixing those
three problems for that.
Kc Chohan 13:29
Troy Ericson 13:30
Yeah, they were stoked. It was almost a Forex. And I was like, you know, why, why don’t I ask my other client
about this? And obviously I got them good results too. And then I was like, you know what? Why am I in this red
sea of Facebook marketers that was, you know, very prominent in like 2007. At 19 and. I just switched the email
because even to this day, there’s still not a lot of competition. And even if there is competition, it comes from
copywriters and copywriters. Do not understand email deliverability. They don’t really understand the strategy.
They don’t really understand a lot of things that you need to optimize how much you’re making from email. So my
company does email list management. It’s basically copywriting plus deliverability and strategy when it comes to
email. So I’ve been doing that ever since, and, you know, 2019. To 2020, I pretty much 10 X, how much I made. And
then 20, 20 to 2021, it was like a. Five X. And then this year we’re going to add about 50%. So not quite as much,
but still, you know, Dollar wise. Does it keep growing? I
Kc Chohan 14:37
didn’t the multiples as you grow in, it was seven figure plus business. That’s fantastic. So let’s talk about some
of the struggles that you had along the way. I’m sure it hasn’t all been an amazing trajectory going up and up. So
what are some of the problems that you fixed and more importantly, what did you then do to overcome those
Troy Ericson 14:56
Yeah. So outside of the initial problems of like, about to get fired by a client and, you know, Having an injury
in my previous life, I would say the toughest thing, man is just to like have a system in place that you can just.
Be really, really consistent with. And what I mean by that is when you run a business, The biggest thing that kind
of plagues me is like, okay, well I just set up. This method to acquire customers. And it’s only working for this
long. And then I have to find a new one and the new one and the new one, and consistently having to repeat those
things really kind of drives me nuts. So.
I got a lot of my initial clients by going to events and I still do to this day, you. You know, but back then it
was like really important to me now. Like a lot of people kind of know me and I was like, all right, so. After
2020 was over, I pretty much needed to find something new. So what I did is I broke off the like deliverability
piece of my knowledge and started selling that separately as like, Hey, I guarantee I can increase your open rates
by up to two X or you do not pay. And this was before everybody started copying out. That’s solid author right
there. Yeah. And we still have that. Do we have a pay on performance deal now, too? It’s like, we’re literally
just like constantly improving our offer. And that did really well. And then last Thanksgiving happened in the
ads, like the offers profitable, but not on Facebook. And we haven’t figured out YouTube. So then I was like, you
know what, another really good way to kind of get more clients in the door without doing all of it for them is we
have a certification program. So whether someone is a freelancer or it’s a business that wants to train their
team, we have a certification program that shows you what we do. And we launched that this year. And those are
some of the ways that we’ve been able to kind of like mold and shift with this constant problem of having to come
up with new ideas. And we’ve got a couple more exciting ones coming up for 20, 23, but for now that’s how I’ve
been dealing with that problem, because I think that’s the thing that plagues everybody is just constantly being
ahead of the curve.
Kc Chohan 17:06
Yeah, that’s funny that isn’t it. That you said that there’s not as much competition in email versus let’s say
platforms, whether it’s Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, I’ll take talk all, whatever. Because. Th it’s so surprising
that email’s been around longer than all of them. And that it still has, like you said, least amount of
competition. Can you talk to me a little bit about that and why you think that is.
Troy Ericson 17:31
Honestly, I think it’s because people have this addiction to newness, like new things, right. So
Kc Chohan 17:36
Yeah syndrome. At one time or another for a lot of people, it’s a new watch or a new car, but like when you’re a
marketer, it’s like, oh, that new ad, like show me that one ad, that’s going to make me all the money and people
focus on the front end.
Troy Ericson 17:50
And they just kind of discount email a little bit because somebody else is like, oh, you should be on Tik TOK. Oh,
you should be on whatever platform, but it just came out and people really get hypnotized by that. And like
acquisition is new and exciting is really hard to sit and focus on one thing. And don’t get me wrong. There’s a
lot of people who crush it with email and really understand it. And you know, I have a lot of friends who’ve done
well for it for 20 years before. You know, well, before I got into it, so it works super well, but it’s just a lot
of people, they, they just get distracted. I’m not saying that they shouldn’t do the things they’re doing, but
it’s like, One thing at a time, you should probably fix the backend first. So you can start like multiplying the
amount of money you’ve made from every customer that comes in and then go worry about getting new customers. Now,
obviously the balance is going to be a little different for everybody, but that’s my opinion on it.
Kc Chohan 18:42
Got it. No. I was really interested. And just specifically in that world, If you would give some tips on Pete to
people on how to increase that deliverability, could you just give like your top three tips for people?
Troy Ericson 18:55
Yeah. So the first one is you have to understand where you’re at right now. So when you could do is go to
literally just go to Google and type in, create new Gmail account. And literally create a new account. It takes
like one minute. And where are you going to do with this account? And you’re going to use this as a test account
or what a lot of marketers call a seed account, where you basically send your emails as a test to this account
before you actually go and send them to your entire list. Now you don’t want to use an account that you already
use because it’s influenced by your previous opening habits and so forth. So make a new account and I always keep
mine on different browser on my other screen. And I just check and see where the email lands first. So does it
land in the primary inbox? Does it land in the promotions tab? Does it land in the spam folder? So that’s the
first thing. Second thing is you’re going to want to check. Your technicals. So what I call the technicals, R D
Kim SPF and D mark. So I know this could get really tactical for some.
If you just go to like an email in Gmail in the top right corner, there’s three dots and you just have to click
the dots. And then click show original and then it will pop up on the screen and it’ll say DKM SPF DMARC, and they
will say pass. Or they will say fail. So obviously if it says fail or neutral or pretty much, if it says anything
except pass. Then that’s a sign that you need to like reach out to somebody like me and get that fixed. Unless you
have experience like inside of DNS. Or, you know, extensive email marketing expertise, because that can mess up a
lot of people. Not a lot of people I’d say maybe like, A third of the deliverability problems I see are caused by
that. And then two-thirds. Are caused by just going to the promo tab for too long, or like not sending relevant
Kc Chohan 20:45
content. After you send it before you send it, the technicals.
Troy Ericson 20:49
Oh, so you can only check that. On an email that you’ve received. So you would send the email to yourself. And
sure you see where it lands. And obviously if you’re in the main inbox, that’s great. But if you’re in promotions
or spam, that’s bad. Now, one of the reasons that you can end up there is because you’re failing the technicals.
Now that would be the second tip. So the third tip. Would be your content. And ultimately this is going to sound
really odd for a lot of people, but when you write emails, A lot of people don’t treat it as. They don’t treat it
like they do with social media content, because they think it’s different for some reason. But you know, there’s a
lot of people who like to read, there’s a lot of people who read social media posts. There’s a lot of people who
will read eBooks or regular books. Like people love reading.
Kc Chohan 21:38
I love reading. You can see all the books behind me right there. Right.
Troy Ericson 21:41
Yes exactly. So email’s just a different platform and it’s still reading. So when you write emails, don’t say
like, Hey, there’s a big sale today, 20% off. Or Hey, go buy this thing and like stop treating people like crap
when it comes to the email, it’s like a lot of people don’t realize they’re doing that, but they are. Like if
you’re on my email list, I literally tell really weird stories. Like my best email ever was about the day my
grandfather died. And the lessons that I learned from it has nothing to do with business, but people build a
relationship with me because they read that email or one time there was somebody who ripped off one of the offers
I told you about earlier the deliverability offer and they were selling the exact same thing. With the exact same
VSL that was ripped from mine. So what I did is I went and I booked a call with them, got on the phone with them
and they didn’t realize it was me until the end. And I basically kind of went off on them at the end and I sent an
email about it. That’s another email. People move me at events and be like, Hey dude. I saw that one email and
watch the video, or are you like. <unk>
Kc Chohan 22:41
and trolleys personality, right?
Troy Ericson 22:44
Yeah, it’s just being like weird, right? Like, those are things that you might tell on social media, but like, why
not tell them an email? And those are just two very extreme examples. But I tell stories like that all the time.
It’s like yesterday, I told story about this one weird infomercial I saw as a kid. And I finally bought the
product 15 years later because it was so good. And just like really interesting stories. And then I’ll probably
pitch like, Two or three times a week. And it’s just like, if you pitch all the time, people are going to, they’re
either going to unsubscribe or even worse. They’re going to stay subscribed, but stop reading and then your open
rates continue to drop and you. You have to kick those people off at some point. And it just really sucks to lose
people who are being. How often do you refresh the list of, let’s just say your open rate stock going down and
Kc Chohan 23:33
you realize in, let’s say 20% of the audience aren’t even open or engaging with you. At what point do you cycle
and totally off the list and just kind of. Keep re-engaging with new people.
Troy Ericson 23:46
I keep mine at about 90 days and it happens automatically based on an automation I have. So if they don’t open or
click in 30 days or sorry, 90 days. They get kicked off and put into a different pool. Now on occasion, what I’ll
do is I’ll send a little re-engagement email to those people that I kicked off for being inactive. And it
basically says, Hey, remember me? I’m Troy, the guy that talks about like email marketing and deliverability, by
the way, here’s a free thing, PS. Keep an eye out for my upcoming emails. And when they open that they get added
back to the active segments. I do recover some of them, but I keep my window with about 90 days. As long as you’re
getting like a minimum 20% open rate. You’re fine. So for example, if I’m at 90 days and I was only getting 15%, I
might cut that down to like 75 days and just see where my open rate is. And you just kind of like. Tweak it
Kc Chohan 24:42
Got it. Okay. So I’m going to summarize what you said. ’cause I wrote some good nuggets down. A lot of you are
talking. So number one, you got to know where you are. And not be worse than that. Not be better than that, but
just be clear on where your actual starting point is, because I’m guessing the strategy’s very different. If. You
are in the inbox versus a promotions versus a spam. And that also translates to business. Right? Is no way you are
in life in business. Don’t overthink it, make it better or worse, but. Get a very clear start in point. Number two
was the technicals as you phrased it. So know whether you’re passing and failing. Same with business. This could
be equated to KPIs in the business to see. Are you on track to meet your goals? Or are you not pass or fail? Let’s
let’s make sure that the numbers are not lying and then not being overly manipulated. And then the third thing was
the content you’ve got to make sure the content is key. You’re not over pitching. You’re not all the selling
people. And they’re actually getting to know you quite well. So like that. The examples that you gave make me feel
like you’re a pretty funny guy. And you do some, like you said, quirky things, but then you also document it and
share that with people so that when you are at events and you are meeting people that like, Hey, that was a super
funny story. I loved how you went through that whole process of the guy that tried to Jack you and. Ripped him a
new one. So that’s instantly icebreaker stuff. Then people get to know who you are as a person. So you want to be
able to portray that. When you’re a real person, you have real stuff that you’re dealing with. Good, bad, and
indifferent. And then also within that content, you kind of had a fourth one, which was to, to make sure the open
rates at 20% or more. And if the not. Review your lists and your agent of your list. Does that sound about right?
Troy Ericson 26:33
Yeah, that’s perfect. And then if you wanted to add a fifth one it’s on occasion, you can try to re-engage the
people that you kicked off, assuming that you’re hitting the main inbox. So
Kc Chohan 26:42
yeah. I mean, I could probably come up with a hundred things,
Troy Ericson 26:45
but those are the five that all.
Overwhelm people now, but those five I think is really good too.
Kc Chohan 26:52
And that’s in life as well, not just an email list. Like we’re trying to apply these principles. Talking about an
email specialist here, but the same principles apply to everyday life and everyday business as well. Let’s say you
lost a client a couple of years back. There’s no reason you can’t re-engage with that person and say, Hey, how are
you doing? Where are you? What’s going on? This is what I’m doing. And see if you can go for a lunch or dinner,
I’ll kind of. See if there’s another avenue to potential work in together. And I think a good example that you
used earlier was you went from the Facebook ads guy into the email list guy just by solving that additional
problem. I’ll add into that vertical. One of the things we did with our clients. One of our biggest success
stories was all about verticals. So the client was doing about 5 million a year. In revenue and we took him from 5
million again to 10 million a month. Within the space of six months. And that wasn’t because where genius is now
with smart, but it was all by, I didn’t know, the bud cologne at the end. He couldn’t see that at the point in
time, because he was so bogged down with his day-to-day business. But when we broke it down, step by step. We were
like, That’s what all the money is over here. What do we need to do to get there? And then we bridge the gap and
boom, where you go. You create a grit success. And it’s not that you have to be an expert in that. Other vertical
day one. But you, you learn the skills, right? You get better you shop and you tools and ultimately. Tracking
numbers and your KPIs and the numbers don’t lie. Right?
Troy Ericson 28:28
Absolutely. Yeah. Well said, there’s a lot of analogies. To other things and being able to just, you know, it’s
like you understand it at one point in your life and then it’s just. A lot of things apply to other places and it
just makes it faster and easier to comprehend.
Kc Chohan 28:44
Yeah, no, I always liked to do that because ultimately we have a lot of people listening from all over the world
as well. So we can tangibly give someone some actionable items, regardless of if it’s email lists, if it’s tax
related stuff. Just generally to help him get better and improve. That’s the main thing. So, so try as we look to
the future. Now you’ve scaled your company from inception. All the way up to multi seven figures. Where do you see
like the next three to five years going for you guys?