15 sage polaris

You know what’s better than an email list of thousands? An engaged email list with a 70-80% open rate! “That’s possible?” you ask! Sis, don’t let me tell ya’. Let the fabulous, daring, and sexy woman Sage Polaris herself do that! In today’s podcast she’s gonna cover why most people don’t make money from their email list and the three magic emails you need to send to your list TODAY to go from a field of *crickets* to a filled auditorium waiting for your next offer.


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Today Sage Polaris is taking the mic with me to talk all things email list, including the who, how, and when to unsubscribe your own subscribers, how to 3Xs your open rates, and what you need to do to make consistent high-ticket conversions.



Whether or not email marketing is dead (does anybody even read emails anymore?)

The life-changing magic some people find in rebelling against their own name 

Why you’re not making any sales when you pitch an offer to your list (and how to change that) 

The three magic emails you need to send your list ASAP to revive it and increase open rates 

What you need to be on the lookout for if your business is surviving on referrals (which is awesome, btw) 

How many social media platforms you should be on if you’re a newbie entrepreneur 

Why you can hire the best copywriter in the world to write your emails and sales pages and still not make any money (and what you need to do to make sure that NEVER happens)


How to revive a dead email list and start making bank

Have you ever walked into a party where the people there just get you? Like, you instantly don’t feel like a weirdo anymore. (And I’m super weird. “Zany” my man calls me. My therapist says “Quirky.” Either way, it adds up to weird!! Also -- mental health note. Therapists are awesome, and everyone should have one.)

This is the sort of party we all dream about attending. Where you can roll up to some chick named Zara and be like, “So….have you ever seen a ghost?” And they’re like, “GIRL, YES. What happened was…” And inside you scream, “I’VE FOUND MY PEOPLE!!” And then you proceed to get drunk on Dirty Shirleys and dish on the undead. Or, something like that...

That kind of feeling welcomed. Have you felt it?

I felt it when I finally took the leap into the online business world as a copywriter. Sage Polaris, today’s podcast guest, felt it then too, and to this day, that’s why she’s rocking her online business.

Before then, I was the odd woman out in a day job who had to hide her nose ring and do pink hair ON THE BOTTOM OF HER HAIR instead of all over like she wanted to. And don’t get me started on having to wear a button-down. But when I started a business, suddenly I found my rebellious soul sister who would rather dance naked on the beach or sit in a circle and talk about money than have to attend one more breakroom birthday party.

Like I’m happy you stayed alive for another year or whatever, but every time there’s cake in here, I have to pretend like I’m excited, when, let’s face it, I don’t even really KNOW YOU, LINDA. And we’d definitely never hang out if it wasn’t for that once a year Christmas party we’re “encouraged to attend.” (Read: required.)

So anyway.

How great would it be to be able to give your subscribers the feeling of “you belong here with all your crazy ass ideas...and I’m gonna help you bring them to life, you strange strange duck!!! YOU’RE WEIRD, AND I LIKE IT. AND I’M WEIRD TOO. HERE’S A GIF OF A MAN HULA HOOPING IN AN ONION RING.”??

What a mind-boggling gift to the world that would be!

But here’s the kicker:

Why your email list isn’t making money (and how to change it)

Why you need to unsubscribe your own subscribers (and the exact emails to send)

Still, most entrepreneurs treat it like it’s another boring-as-heck to-do that they somehow never get around to actually doing in the first place...instead of treating it like the opportunity to PARTY WITH YOUR FAVORITE PEOPLE, LIKE IT REALLY IS!

You have an email list, don’t you?! (Psychic much, Lauren!!!! I know, I know. Don’t get me started. Actuallllllllly I’m just making an educated guess based on the fact that you had to read the title of this post to get the content. See, super chill!)

If you’re the “I haven’t emailed my list in a million years” person or the “I email my list consistently but my open rates and conversions suck” person, chances are you’re trying to connect with your audience via assumptions.

Like...assuming they don’t really like you.
Or assuming they don’t really want to hear from you.
Or assuming they don’t actually want to buy your stuff.

As a result, you’re not speaking the language of your kindred clients. You’re not connecting with your audience and making them feel welcomed. You’re not being your full self.

So they’re not opening, not responding, and not buying.

But you can change that — even if you haven’t emailed your list in a million years.

If you apply the insider tips (Sage and I have a cumulative billion years in copywriting experience and millllllllllllllllllllllllllllions of dollars earned for our clients between us — talk about some epic insider tips) and send the three magic emails we’re spilling in today’s post, you’ll be well on your way to higher open rates and more conversions. Like a LOT more!

Plus, you might even be inspired to change your name. (And honestly, if we get you to do that, my work on the planet will be done.)


Your email list can look however you want it to. 


If you really want to make money with your business — and all the benefits that come with having money — you need to know your kindred clients so well you can almost read their minds.

Because here’s the truth: it doesn’t matter how good your copy, web design, or branding is. You can even hire the BEST copywriter in the world to write your sales page, website copy, or email sequence and still not make a dime. (Seriously. We are smart, but we are not magical elven creatures who can point our magic wand at your bank account and make it fill up.)

If you want to make money, you have to know what your audience DESIRES. And you can’t FULFILL THEIR DESIRES until YOU KNOW WHAT THEY ARE.

That’d be like if someone served me an ad for golf clubs. I’d be like...I’m never gonna buy those. Even if their marketing team was all, “No, trust us, you want golf clubs. They’re cool. We love golf clubs. We think you should love golf clubs too.” No. I don’t want them. You don’t know me!! A golf club killed my grandma!!!

(That’s not true, but wouldn’t that be a plot twist?)

Still, this is what most entrepreneurs do. They assume their audiences wants the golf clubs.

I don’t offer them ANYTHING until my audience tells me what they want.

And guessing isn’t good enough. Trust me. Remember, I’m psychic! But you know what the ONE thing I never compromise on? Asking my audience exactly what they want.

After they tell me what they want, I offer it to them, and they give me their money for it.

Boom. Conversions!

Money in my bank account. Value in the hands about my audience!

So, how do you find out what your audience wants?

That’s the right question, sis!

Ask. It’s that simple.

The three places I ask are:

1, Email.

Ask a specific question (you can modify the examples in the following section of this blog post) and enter all responses into a drawing for a free one hour coaching session (or something related to what you do).

2. Instagram stories.

Share a quick video with an idea or two and use the poll feature so that your viewers can easily vote. I even do this with dumb stuff. Love Is Blind versus Tiger King. Hard liquor versus White Claw. Lady Gaga versus Beyonce. (The correct answer to that is, of course, “How dare you!!”) And then I sneak in the shit I really want to know. Like, what’s harder to write? A sales page or website copy? What’s the best investment you ever made in your business and why? Do you use ClickFunnels? (It helps me gauge my affiliate marketing methods.) Are you in a mastermind? How much money do you make? Are you selling courses on evergreen? QUESTION. QUESTION. QUESTION. QUESTION. Someone once gave me a stat on this. Apparently the week I launched, I asked 250 questions of my audience. Bet you’ve never done that before. Oh, is it a coincidence THAT WAS ALSO OUR BIGGEST LAUNCH EVER? NO, MA’AM, IT’S NOT. IT’S NOT A COINCIDENCE. ARE YOU LISTENING? ASK YOUR DAMN AUDIENCE STUFF.

3. A quick phone call.

Send a message to a few kindred clients and ask if you can ask them a few questions via zoom. Ask them about what they’re struggling with, what an ideal solution would be, and what their desired outcome is. While these calls take time, they are super valuable because you can write down the exact phrasing your kindred clients use to describe their challenges, ideal solutions, and desired outcome. (Now that I’m at this level, I can do this via Instagram voice memo and usually get great answers. Zoom is awesome if you’re less than 6 figures though. That’s because less than 6 figures usually means you’re still figuring out your offers.)

Now, debrief the answers you received from your audience and create the offer that exactly matches the data. No guessing. Just straight serving and fulfilling a need.

Then you offer it to your list.

ATTENTION COACHES: In our experience, coaches tend to have TOO many offers. Gather this same data and simplify your offers based on the feedback from your kindred clients. Then go make sales, baby!

Ask. It’s that simple.

Start with:

1-1 coaching.
Always. Because it’s consistent. Because there’s no better way to get to know your people.
Then a beta launch of a course live with a group so you can refine it.
Then launch it again.
Then evergreen it and launch it live every 6-12 months.
Then try a mastermind or group program so you can get recurring revenue and scale.
THEN DO THE SMALL OFFERS. (This includes low-cost membership sites.)
But ONLY if those small offers lead up into a BIGGER OFFER.
Otherwise it’s just a dumb weird small offer that doesn’t lead your audience anywhere and confuses your product suite and takes you a lot of time to create for NO REASON AT ALL EXCEPT YOU THOUGHT IT WOULD BE FUN, BUT NOW YOU’VE PUT IT OUT AND MAYBE YOU MADE A FEW SALES, BUT FOR WHAT PURPOSE?! ARE THOSE SALES GONNA TURN INTO BIGGER SALES? IF NOT, YOUR BUSINESS ISN’T GONNA GROW, JEN.

Did you know that it’s possible to buy “likes” on Instagram? An account owner can literally buy “likes” to make their posts look more popular. So the real metric you want to be looking for to determine whether or not the account owner is slaying it with their content are the comments.

Similarly, open rates and click rates aren’t the real metric to determine whether or not your content is touching the hearts of your kindred clients. The real metric is response rate.

Don’t get me wrong, open rate and click rates are suuuuuuper valuable. Don’t ditch them because of this post. But know that responses are the evidence of you speaking your audience's language and moving them to action (which is exactly what you need - action - if you want to make sales with your email list).

Turns out your email platform can actually classify your emails as potential spam if you’re not getting good open rates and responses. What?!

So, if you’re not speaking your audience's language and moving them to take action, your email provider can just decide your list won’t ever see your emails! WE DEMAND JUSTICE.

Besides, sending emails that get bucket loads of opens and responses feels UH-MAZING!!! Like, watching bad Nicolas Cage movies with the love of your life on a Tuesday night amazing.

So if you feel like you have a “dead” list — you know, 800 subscribers but only 45 opened emails — OR you killed your own list by not emailing them in more than 90 days (oops), here are the three magic emails Sage Polaris has designed to resurrect your dead AF email list:

SUBJECT: I have a quick question…

You can also use “I’m doing a giveaway” as the subject line. However Sage said this is hit or miss with audiences.

The body of the email should go over the problem you want to ask your audience about

We suggest leading with a question like: “What’s the one thing holding you back from _______?”.

And insert the specific challenge you want to help solve with the offer you create (ie, writing your website copy, launching your course, getting your book published…).

Then, give them three examples of what might be holding them back. This is important because people are more likely to answer if you give them suggestions. You’re doing a bit of the work for them so they don’t have to use brain power or creativity to come up with their struggles, but you’re also giving them suggestions so they know whatever answer they give won’t seem silly. As silly as it sounds, no one wants to give the wrong answer, even to an open ended question with no wrong answer.

Finally, tell them exactly what to do and what’s in it for them.

WHAT TO DO: Tell them to reply by a specific time and day.
WHAT’S IN IT FOR THEM: And that if they do they’ll be entered to win a free one hour coaching call with you (or industry related incentive).


You’ll be collecting two things with this email:

    1.Who is actually engaged and interested in what you do.
    2.What your followers want, need, and are struggling with.


This is where you give an ultimatum.

SUBJECT: You okay?

The body of the email should say something like, “You didn’t reply to my last email, I still want you to answer this question...if you do by such-and-such time and date you can still be entered to win. If not I’ll assume that you no longer want to receive these emails, and I’ll unsubscribe you from the list.”

Your goal with this email is to take another stab at collecting that data but also clearly communicating, “I want you to be around here and I want you to be engaged.”


SUBJECT: maybe you missed this…

The body of the email should give your readers one last chance to respond to your question and be entered for the drawing while kindly and clearly reminding them if they don’t respond in time they will not long be on the list.

Anyone who doesn’t respond to this final email gets removed. You can delete them completely. However you might consider just unsubscribing them so that you have their contact information saved in case you want to reach out at a later date.

Quick reminder, Sage only sends this email sequence to subscribers who have NOT engaged in the last 90 days. Unless YOU are the one who hasn’t emailed your list in 90 days, don’t send this sequence to your WHOLE list.

There’s a party and loads of cash waiting for you via words and an inbox. There’s a party and life-changing magic waiting for your kindred client via words and an inbox.

Both of the parties are waiting on YOU.

Waiting on you to scrub your email list from any bystanders who aren’t going to be engaged and take action.

Waiting you to get crystal clear on what your audience wants and needs.

Waiting on you to create the offer that is the exact fit and tell them about it.

So, how ‘bout it? On a scale of 1-10 (1 being NOT EXCITED and 10 being OVER THE MOON EXCITED), where do you stand on resurrecting your list and making bank? And what day are you committing to send that first email?

Sage Polaris AKA the artist formerly known as Sarah Grear has written high converting copy for more than 350 clients earning them millions of dollars. She helps personal brands and service providers sell more of their service or offer with the words on their website.

She has worked with Crisette Michele, Hillary Rushford, James Wedmore, Rick Mulready, and Amber McCue. Basically, she makes money for the “internet famous” people we all look up to.

Follow her on Instagram 

Visit her website

about our guest

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Lauren Vanessa Zink helps rebels with big hearts and big shit to do in the world find their voice, nail their messaging, and write incredible, sales-making copy. Armed with a B.A. and red lipstick, she’s taken tens of thousands of coaches, consultants, and creatives from “Who are you?” to “Holy cow, where have you been all my life?” When she isn’t working on a client launch or writing about herself in the third person, you can find her playing at one of San Diego’s awesome dog beaches with her fur baby Sphinx.

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