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Ep. 125 Kay Peacey from Slick Business

By August 14, 2023August 16th, 2023No Comments

Episode Guide

Episode #125 with Kay Peacy from Slick Business

Episode #124 with Marc Toews from Gateway Web AR

Episode #123 with Sherry Pratt from Sherry Pratt Health Coaching

Episode #122 with Aaron Strauss from Cache Tactical Supply

Episode #121 with Cedric Delavaud from Ludoland Regina

Episode #120 with Jasmine Patterson from BDC

Episode #119 with Jeff Harmel from Realty Executives Diversified Realty

Episode #118 with Shahzad Khoja from IBITS

Episode #117 with Kathy Sabo from QC Gifts

Episode #116 with Andrea Lo from the Toronto Dating Hub

Episode #115 with Karey Kapell from Next Level Coaching

Episode #114 with Joel Sopp from Socially Acceptable Marketing

Episode #113 with Annabel Townsend from The Penny University

Episode #112 with Cathlyn Melvin about her Tedx Coaching

Episode #111 with Corey Liebrecht from Zippity Zip Courier

Episode #110 with Quinn Nikulak from Kustom Kitties Canada

Episode #109 with Tess Boehm from Totally Tess Tradeshows

Episode #108 with Shane Chapman from the Ultimate Deck Shop

Episode #107 with Dan Celis from Tommy's Speakeatery

Episode #106 with Ann Corcoran

Episode #105 with Louise Yates & Jennifer Berg

Episode #104 with Jule Gilchrist from Cuppa'T Teas

Episode #103 with Annika Mang from TrailCollectiv

Episode #102 with Ronley Arnold from OSI-CAN Sask

Episode #101 with Susan Robertson from Susan Robertson Pottery

Episode #100 with Victor Roman from the South Saskatchewan Community Foundation

Episode #99 with Faith Alyssa Peter from Stressed Out Mamas

Episode #98 with Leah Mazur from Carousel Creative

Episode #97 with Carmen Johanson and Kimberley Baldwin from PayTrail

Episode #96 with Meg Casebolt from Love at First Search

Episode #95 with Karen Kobussen from CanBall Games

Episode #94 with Wilson Acton

Episode #93 with Carla Browne from Real Property Management Canada

Episode #92 with Donna Ziegler from South Sask Community Foundation

Episode #91 with Scott Love from Store to Door Canada

Episode #90 with Mark Heise from Rebellion Brewing

Episode #89 with Brendan McGuire from Affinity Credit Union

Episode #88 with Tyler Clark form Prairie Benefits Solutions

Episode #87 with Craig Reed from Virtus Group

Episode #86 with Daria Malin from Boost Strategic Coaching

Episode #85 with Bill Thorn form Regina Humane Society

Episode #84 with John Vuong from Local SEO Search

Episode #83 with Linda Boryski from Saskatoon PhysioYoga

Episode #82 with Tracey Poffenroth Prato from RAD Talk with Tracey

Episode #81 with Janet Kotylak, YWCA Woman of Distinction

Episode #80 Your Ultimate Guide to Get Found with Local SEO

Episode #79 with Jennifer Fox from Auto Electric Service

Episode #78 with Janet Akre and Susan Robertson from River & Rail ArtVenture

Episode #77 with Karen Smith from Better Business Bureau of Saskatchewan

Episode #76 with Julie Naismith from SubThreshold Training

Episode #75 with Josh Haugerud from Regina Folk Festival

Episode #74 with Barb Stefanyshyn-Cote from Black Fox Farm and Distillery

Episode #73 with Cory Furman from Furman IP

Episode #72 with Tracy Archer from Knight Archer Insurance

Episode #71 with Tim Nickel from Fifth Business Consulting

Episode #70 with Taylor Weisgerber from Spartan Mechanical

Episode #69 with Lisa McIntyre from The Optical Shoppe

Episode #68 with Santa Claus

Episode #67 with Kait Waugh from Fat Plant Farm

Episode #66 with Natasha Vandenhurk from Three Farmers Foods

Episode #65 with Dianne Beauchamp from PuroClean Regina

Episode #64 with Adele Buettner from AgriBiz Communications

Episode #63 with Mary Weimer from Conexus Credit Union

Episode #62 with Winter Fedyk from Silo Strategy

Episode #61 with Heather Day from C.S. Day Transport & YWCA Women of Distinction Nominee

Episode #60 with Amber Goodwyn from Regina Folk Festival & YWCA Women of Distinction Nominee

Episode #59 with Cari Bode from South Country Equipment & YWCA Women of Distinction Nominee

Episode #58 with Donna-Rae Crooks from Brain Snacks Co & YWCA Women of Distinction Nominee

Episode #57 with Michelle Grodecki from  Deaf Crows Collective & YWCA Women of Distinction Nominee

Episode #56 with Sarah Tkachuk from KPMG & YWCA Women of Distinction Nominee

Episode #55 with Dr. Sharon Leibel, YWCA Women of Distinction Nominee

Episode #54 with Doug Yaremko from Paddock Wood Brewery

Episode #53 with Madhu Kumar, YWCA Women of Distinction Nominee

Episode #52 with Eric Oelson from Mortise & Tenon Store

Episode #51 with Kim Korven from The Gentle Way Divorce

Episode #50 with Erin Vaughan from Kinetic Auto Service

Episode #49 with Lisa Brice from Brice Photography

Episode #48 with Colleen Strauch from Luther College at U of R

Episode #47 with Doug Pattison from Pattison Health

Episode #46 with Erika Gayle from Erika Gayle Photography

Episode #45 with Carly Patryluk from House of Paws Pet Boutique

Episode #44 with Erin Caleval from Erin & Associates Insurance

Episode #43 Part #2 with Nikki Jacquin from Nikki's Portraits of Childhood

Episode #43 Part #1 with Jess Tiefenbach from Stay n Play Parenting

Episode #42 with Nadene Joy from Nadene Joy

Episode #41 with Richard Arockiasamy and Sanjana Kumta from GreenMache

Episode #40 with Jodi Barrett, CEO of Kettlebell Kickboxing Canada

Episode #39 with Erin Kinder from Kinder Surprises Antiques

Episode #38 with Tanner Goetz from Munz Media

Episode #37 with Jessica McNaughton from memoryKPR

Episode #36 with Wendy Turner-Larsen from Turner Larsen Consulting

Episode #35 with Jill Poulton from Transformational Leadership

Episode #34 with Janci Templeman from Walker Wakefield

Episode #33 with Denise Anderson, Author, Divorce in a Small Town

Episode #32 with Anne Gibbons from Gibbons Travel Consulting

Episode #31 with Charlene SanJenko from PowHERhouse Media

Episode #30 with Dr. Vianne Timmons from the University of Regina

Episode #29 with Margaret Kisikaw-Piyesis, from All Nations Hope Network & YWCA Woman of Distinction

Episode 28 with Dr. Renatta Varma, Vitreo-Retinal Surgeon & YWCA Woman of Distinction

Episode 27 with Jo-Anne Dusel from PATHS & YWCA Woman of Distinction

Episode 26 with Dr. Emily Bamforth from Royal Saskatchewan Museum & YWCA Woman of Distinction

Episode 25 with Nigora Yulyakshieva from City of Regina & YWCA Woman of Distinction

Episode 24 with Pam Klein from Phoenix Group & Miriam Johnson from Saskatchewan Roughriders

Episode 23 with Gr. 5 & 6 Students from Argyle School

Episode 22 with Tiffany Wolf from Helium Communications

Episode 21 with Jeff Kinash from Peregrine Farm

Episode 20 with Charlene Oancia from Springer & Oake

Episode 19 with Dan Benesh from BarterPay Regina

Episode 18 with Prabha Mitchell from WESK

Episode 17 with Terrie Dunand from REMAX Crown Real Estate

Episode 16 with Kim Zacaruk from Stone’s Throw Coffee Collective

Episode 15 with Luke Rossmo from Luke Rossmo Music and Gareth Bawden from

Episode 14 with Kristen Hill from Kristen’s Cultures

Episode 13 with Cyndie Knorr from Cynergy Coaching

Episode 12 with Paul Burch from EchoLotto Inc.

Episode 11 with Rea Faber from Amaranth Designs

Episode 10 with Brandi Good from BLG Business Solutions

Episode 9 with Dr. Gina Grandy from Hill | Levene Schools of Business

Episode 8 with Candyce Fiessel from The Style Academy and Shear Escape Salon and Spa

Episode 7 with Michelle Strawford from Bella Chic Fashion & Decor and What Women Want

Episode 6 with Jordan McFarlen from  Conexus Business Incubator

Episode 5 with Cheryl Giambattista from Health Coach Cheryl

Episode 4 with Joanne Frederick from Prairie Centre for Mindfulness

Episode 3 with John Hopkins and Amanda Baker, Regina Chamber of Commerce

Episode 2 with Christina Carlson from Queen City Collective

Episode 1 with Sherry Knight from Dimension 11

Secret Life of Entrepreneurs on Apple Podcasts Secret Life of Entrepreneurs on Google Podcasts Secret Life of Entrepreneurs on Breaker  Secret Life of Entrepreneurs on Pocket Casts  Secret Life of Entrepreneurs on Radio Public Spotify   Secret Life of Entrepreneurs on Anchor


In Ep. 125 of the Secret Life podcast, I am joined by special guest Kay Peacey from Slick Business.

This episode is packed with incredible insights and valuable takeaways that you won’t want to miss!

Here are 3 key takeaways from this episode:

1️⃣ Importance of Automation: Kay shares their expertise on streamlining processes and finding solutions to frequent annoyances or time-wasting tasks. Learn how automation can liberate time and enhance your business efficiency.

2️⃣ Building Relationships through Email: Discover the significance of nurturing customer relationships through email, even when physical presence may not be possible. Kay offers actionable tips on building a long-term connection with your audience.

3️⃣ Tracking Customer Behavior: Gain valuable insights into the importance of tracking and understanding customer behavior. Kay discusses the need for businesses to be able to adapt and fix any issues that may arise in their automation systems.

Don’t miss this insightful and thought-provoking conversation with Kay Peacey from Slick Business.

Tune in to the Secret Life podcast now!

You will find Kay on major social platforms, including LinkedIn and Facebook. Make sure to check out her free flagship training called “Accelerated ActiveCampaign” on their website


Barb 0:00
Are you ready to make the website ping and the till ding? In this episode, we’re talking about one of the best kept secrets in this online world, small business owners who are doing amazing things from those skinny lessons that will make you wins to the tell all exposes TMZ style. These everyday people are doing extraordinary things in their business. Welcome to The Secret Life podcast. I’m your host, Barb McGrath, Google girl and local business marketer, cheerleader and champion. I’ve been helping local businesses thrive for over 20 years. From online businesses to multilocation stores. You can turn browsers to buyers and thinkers to doer and today we’re talking about one of those ways that you can do just that. We’re going behind the scenes with Kay Peacey, the owner of Slick Business now slick, you’re probably thinking what kind of business is this? We’ll wait until you find out. Welcome Kay, tell us a little bit about yourself and select Business.

Kay 1:13
Hi, Barb. Thank you so much for having me on. As you can hear I am British. Yes, you are. Get that out of your systems now. Um, so I apologize for the way I pronounce all the things is completely different. And I hope that I can make myself understood well enough. So yes, my name is Kay Peacey. I am from the very far southwest corner of England, in a little county called Cornwall that is mostly see around the edges and lots of beaches. And I’ve lived here my whole life. I did get out of the county for a while but I came back because I love it so much.

Barb 1:49
Water around you like Right, exactly. Sam lock deadlock location in this world. Oh, yes.

Kay 2:00
Yeah, like I can see the see out of my window. It’s all good. So and the business I run is called slick business. And I’m just going to tell you briefly how my business was named. When I started doing consulting. I realized I’m skipping ahead here but when I started consulting, one of my very early clients said to me, when you are done with me, my business is going to be as slick as bleep. Yep. At which point we named the business that was it your business? The mission? Slick everything up.

Barb 2:26
You know what I totally get it because isn’t that what we all want in our businesses is we want to be slick, right? We want things to operate, slickly. So yeah, it makes perfect sense when you put it that way. Brilliant on your clients part.

Kay 2:41
I know she did me a real favor there. And in the early days of my business, I was more of a generalist. So I would do things like Facebook ads, I would work on pretty much any tech platform that someone was in and just help them slick things up. So it was very process driven looking at their systems thinking how can we make this better and slicker and easier for that? Right? Anyway, during that period of time, I was working the whole time with Active Campaign, okay, which is an email service provider and marketing automation platform, is one of the global leaders in that area of tech. And what happened for me is I just fell for Active Campaign hook line and sinker. And I do mean is it is a love match. Yeah, it definitely pushes all my good buttons somehow, in my life, I’m just a middle aged normal mum, from Cornwall, you know, I have, I have no business experience. I didn’t know marketing or anything like this. But somehow, this particular piece of tech just hit the spot for me and my brain and my skill set. So what I do now is that I teach people how to use Active Campaign to slick up their business

Barb 3:56
Exactly more efficiently, more effectively. Isn’t it funny, I like what you say about it just clicked in your brain, because that’s how Google is for me. Right? I don’t talk about Bing. I don’t talk about Yahoo. I talk about Google. And sure me here all the same in some way. But there’s just something about it that clicks for my brain.

Kay 4:20
So Oh, I hear you. Yeah, I am resonating really hard right now. Sometimes people will ask me, you know, can you do a comparison between MailChimp and active campaign or MailChimp or ConvertKit? Some of the other contenders are telling me what’s the difference between active campaign and keep? I’m like, You need to probably ask someone else to do that direct comparison. I can tell you the brilliant things about active campaign. But I’m so deeply embedded in that platform. So that’s kind of my superpower, but it’s also got this little Achilles heel weakness that I don’t actually work with any of the other platforms I did to start off with but it was that click was very clear to me. I felt it right from the beginning. You Yes, I found my home.

Barb 5:02
You know when it’s so funny that the language you’re using, so for our audience key, and I have met within her membership, which is called Active Campaign Academy, but we’ve never had a personal conversation before. She’s never been in my programs. So if you hear commonality in our language, I always talk about small businesses having a superpower and being able to identify that and that’s not common language. That’s not something that everybody says. And so there you are seeing in a sentence. Yeah, I promise I did not pay her to say that.

Kay 5:35
No, there was no preamble here was straighten. Exactly.

Barb 5:39
So Kay, I think what what tweaked my interest in having this discussion today is I saw a post that you shared on your Facebook page or or Facebook group, and you actually had some health concerns somewhere before you started your business. And and yeah, tell us a little bit about that. That path? What happened? And where did you fall in love with Active Campaign and get married here?

Kay 6:08
I’m really glad you’ve asked this, actually. Because it’s it’s a story that seems to resonate with a lot of people. And I’ve only just started actually sharing what I call the disAbility part of my story. So I grew up here in rural Cornwall, I was good at mathematics and good at teaching people how to do stuff. Those were my strengths early on. So I trained to be a maths teacher. And I went into schools and it turned out teenagers and me really, really not okay, oh my God, it was awful. I didn’t like them. They hated me. And they tortured me. So we that did not last and I came out of schools, I came home to Cornwall with my tail between my legs, feeling utterly defeated by the world and got into adult education by some real serendipity and serendipity is a theme that runs through all of the things I’ve done. The two themes is teaching and serendipity being in the right place at the right time. So I ended up teaching for the Open University Teaching with the really early days of elearning. We’re still on dial up modems is like

Barb 7:16
Let’s call it what we what it is. Okay. Like you and I both remember the birth of Google, right?

Kay 7:25
Yeah, I remember those first Hotmail email addresses coming out like Oh, boy.

Barb 7:32
And there was no spam then like no spam at all.

Kay 7:36
Right? No, yeah. different worlds.

Kay 7:45
Yeah, my worst one recently was traveling for a holiday, which was it was a long haul, it was the first time I’d ever flown long haul. And I got caught out on the flight because we had no water because it had all been taken away from us. And we couldn’t get any water off the cabin crew and I couldn’t take my pain meds without water. Hmm, oh, that was bad. Anyway, we could have much longer conversation about managing, managing chronic pain and disability and restrictions in one’s life. I think I’m super interested in how it impacts in business. Yeah, as well, because it really does. It’s does it limits what you can do? It limits your stamina. It’s literally like how long can you sit at a desk? Yeah, exactly. And can you go to a conference? Can you travel to go to this amazing thing that’s happening and meet and schmooze and network? These people? Yeah. The answer for me at the moment is no, that’s really tough. Exactly. If I do it for business, it has a huge knock on on my family life and my sense of self and mental well being. So there’s a really interesting balance between managing a long term health condition and periods of disability to the level of wheelchair using and then making it happen and making something really significantly successful happen. And that’s where that post came from that you saw. It was. Yeah, it was such a big moment for me, because it was when I landed onto the customer advisory board for Active Campaign as one of the founding members and their first appointment onto that board. So to be recognized as a world leading authority, yes, in my niche by the company who make that software and given a position of respect and authority. Yeah, that meant the world to me. Oh, absolutely.

Barb 9:34
And it meant the world to all of us in your membership. Because like, tap, tap, tap, we’ve literally got active campaigns shoulder now. And so whatever it is, you know, it’s not like, you know, you can’t necessarily solve all of the problems, but when you hear the same concerns over and over and over again, like the reliability for a while, right like You’ve got an immediate voice on what’s happening.

Kay 10:03
Exactly, and that that response is responsibility. And it is a huge privilege that I am very happy to be trusted Yes, by so many users of Active Campaign to hear and hold their experiences. So part of my set of values, we, you know, we do the growth, cheerleading, I noticed you would use the word cheerleading earlier on as well. That’s one of our founding and one of our core values is we’re growth cheerleaders, but we’re also Auntie K, which, which, which came originally from that same client who named my business, she was like, I’m okay, I’ve got 20k on my side. Yeah, that is a privilege and responsibility to hear someone’s troubles and difficulties. And not only celebrate their successes, but also hold them safe when they’re having a hard time and then carry that message to people who can make a difference for them. At the very top level of Active Campaign,

Barb 11:00
Yeah, exactly. So let’s talk about a little bit about how or why your business is different. So obviously, Active Campaign clicked for you versus, you know, on MailChimp or a keep. But, you know, like, let’s talk about what Active Campaign campaign can do from a, from a growth standpoint, the automation like, like, why why your business to support other businesses in growing? Let’s answer that question first.

Kay 11:32
Okay, so when people hear the name Active Campaign, it doesn’t always mean much to them. And I’ll say, Well, okay, but you know, MailChimp, or, you know, you get emails into your inbox from businesses, there’s some tech that drives that, and that’s what active campaign is doing. That’s like a very surface understanding of it. What’s interesting to me with mail with MailChimp. You really mess me up now. Okay, what’s interesting to me with Active Campaign is that, in my view, emailing people is not its primary function. Its primary function, and it’s absolutely ninja superpower is unlimited automation. And what that means is that you can instruct Active Campaign to effectively be a clone of you, in pretty much any scenario that you can pin down to a process. Yep, if you can define the steps, and lay out a little recipe of what should happen. Active Campaign can do it for you, while you’re asleep, or at the beach, or having hip surgery. It does it for you. And here’s the real genius, but it can also come and tap you on the shoulder when you need to apply the human touch because the human touch will never stop being valuable. It will always be your most highest value component. So it’s the one you want to reserve for when it is most impactful. Yes. Because we have limited resources, especially if we’re managing chronic pain and families and trying to go on holiday.

Barb 13:08
Yes. And just and manage a small business, like I have, right, I have never met a more hard working group of people than small business owners, right? There’s no government, there’s no union unions are really big in Canada, there is your business. And when you walk out the door, you either need to pause your business have a team that can keep things moving, or have processes automated. And so when you’re in the hospital, I might still be getting an email from you. Because you’ve set up those automations you’ve scheduled those emails, you’ve pre written them. And that is hugely powerful. I think we underestimate as business owners how important it is to just keep saying, Hi, I’m here if you need support with x, and it doesn’t matter if you sell deck boards, or help with Active Campaign or help with Google, whatever it is you do to support others. You need to keep reminding people hey, I’m still here. Hey, we’re still here, right?

Kay 14:13
Yeah, yeah, no doubt about it campaign. It gives you so many different ways that you can do that. So yes, it can send a newsletter email, or whatever intervals you want, you can schedule it, you can send it and they look pretty and great and wonderful. And you can also spy on everything anyone does. It’s like a bill at the Netherlands. You are supposed to tell people that bird we can see everything. I’ve lost my thread now. Right? You can use that to email. Yeah, you can send an automated series. So when this happens, send this series of emails at this spacing. You can have different parts within that. So if this happens, then send them this way. If the other thing happens, go that way and do something different. You can do all of that. But you can also do these incredibly hybrid thing. things, these are super powerful, where you give it most of the information and save that as like a template. There’s a particular thing I’m thinking of called a saved response in there. And you can choose as a human exactly when send that and edit it for exactly the person that you’re messaging. So someone messages you on Facebook or something and ask the question, if they’re already in your Active Campaign, you can then contact them directly in there. And you can do like a semi automated process. It’s really structured. Yeah. What that does is it allows you to scale yourself up.

Barb 15:32
Absolutely. Right there. Yep. Yeah, yep. Okay, so what I was what I was going to interject there, when you lost your train of thought we were talking about seeing what people do. Just this morning, of course, you’re emailing me to ask a question. And, and Kay had unsubscribed from my emails. So she didn’t get the email to tell her what we were going to talk about on the podcast. But had I not knowing that you unsubscribed I would have assumed you got the message. Then when you were asking me I would have been like, Well, why is she asking me I sent her the email. But because I could go in, see that you unsubscribe? It looks like maybe you went looking to see if you could find something because you did go back and find an older email where I talked about planning a vacation. But then I see that you were gonna describe that. Yeah, yeah, exactly. So I mean, I can see case history. And key had already taught me that there’s something I need to fix in my Active Campaign related to understanding which customers are opening and clicking. And here I am looking at hers this morning going, Yeah, I really gotta get that fixed, because it’s still not working right.

Kay 16:46
You know, the one thing you can guarantee about humans, if you leave a hole somewhere, they will fall into it, we are so skilled at finding the holes, misinterpreting things, not reading information properly. You know, like you were saying earlier about awareness, and you have to keep getting in front of people. Something happened to me last week, which really reinforced for me the need to put key information in pretty much every single email you sent. So far, you’ll know from your member emails that we send out for the Active Campaign Academy, in every single email, it tells you your login email address, and it gives you all the links of where to go. And it reminds you what you have in the academy who your nominee is, everything is there in every single email, which is really easy to do with Active Campaign. So what happened to me last week was that unfortunately, had to go to a family funeral. And I’d had various messages telling me about the funeral. And we I’d read them multiple times, because we were driving a very long way to get there with my brother and my husband. And when we got there, I realized eventually it 10 minutes before it was due to start that we were at the wrong crematorium. No, oh, no, I know, this was it was awful. So service full full I am, I’m gutted that we were not able to be at the ceremony because I made a mistake. When I was reading information, the information was in one of the messages that I’d received one message. But that really important thing, which is, by the way, this one is not at the usual place, we go for every family cram we’ve ever been. Right, it’s in a different place. And because that wasn’t put front and center in big capital letters to get my attention. My human squeegee brain was busy looking at the date and the time, and I completely missed the location. We were in the wrong town.

Barb 18:39
Yeah, like, oh, this wasn’t a five minute drive across town.

Kay 18:44
This was oh, no, this was we missed that we missed the event, we were able to go to the week afterwards. And I’m grateful for that. But we missed. We missed that. So human, I’m talking about humans, and how we actually engage with emails. Because whether it’s a message that someone sent you or whether it’s an email, the way we read things and scan, read and pick out important pieces of information or not yet is down to the way the message is composed. And that’s something I’m really leaning into now with the way our emails are designed. This is something every business can take away from listening to this. It doesn’t matter what email platform you’re using. The people on the other end of your emails are still humans, they are still fallible squeegee things. They make mistakes. They don’t read stuff properly. Yeah. So make sure your most important information. The one key takeaway from every email is in that very first sentence. Put it at the top. Yes. Okay. And then repeat critical, necessary information that you want them to see and understand if you’re running a webinar. Put the date in every single email where you talk, but ignore it just right, yeah. And you say it’s on Tuesday, the 12th of March. At this time in this city. Yeah. Yeah. You got to speak Keven.

Barb 20:01
So one of the things that I’ve recently come to appreciate with email as well, I’m going to say that more and more people are preferring the shorter emails to the great big long ones. Because we’re all bombarded with so much information, that when we open an email, we pick what we believe are the salient points, and we move on. And so whether you make your salient points, bullets, or bold, or red, whatever it is, but you’ve got to get your message across. So quickly, here’s why this matters to you. Here’s the action you need to take, if any, and here’s how to do it. Right, like, just so simple. When I look at when I look at my own email stats, I’m always very pleased with my open rates, my click through rates could always be higher. But I think every business would say that we always want our click through rates to be higher, because that means people are going to check things out. But the reality is, we all get so much email so much social media, like I think we’re just we’re feeling exhausted from the amount of information that that people can now get to us. Right? Yeah, and I don’t know how old your kids are, my kids are both in their teens, almost 15 and 16. And, you know, I watched them, and they’ll be on their phone, and they’re responding to a snap, and I’ll say something, then I’ll give them hacking, they’ll say, you know, you’re not paying attention, they’ll actually repeat my words back word for word, because their brains have grown and developed, being able to do this multitasking thing. It’s like they have two ears, or, you know, they’re using both sides of their brain at the same time. And it’s like, oh, wow, how did you just do that, but they they carry on a conversation, they typed to someone, there’s no more of this hold on for a second, I’m typing, right? Like they do. So it’s, it’s amazing. But there are there are many days like I just feel exhausted from the amount of information that is being thrown at me. And I’m like, turning on the TV Be quiet, putting my cone of silence on.

Kay 22:19
And and we’re seeing this explode in the inbox as well with AI. Which is fascinating in so many ways. But I think one thing I’m not seeing talked about much is just the sheer volume of cold emails that are landing has massively increased. I don’t have a statistic on it. But I know from my inbox, how many more I’m getting. And you can see their AI generated, and they’ve been you’ve been scraped from LinkedIn somewhere, they’ve got your email address. And there’s just so many more of them. And because of that, I think to be indisputably, obviously, human, in your emails is vital. If you’re not doing that, stop doing it. Now, yeah, stop putting pictures in there and leave a typo and be quirky, be your human self more than ever. And the other really important thing to do is to make sure that your sender information is crystal clear on who you are and why you’re in the inbox. So you’ve got to be you’ve got to be the person who turns up on the doorstep and they know exactly who you are, and that they invited you round.

Barb 23:26
Yes, yes, exactly. I agree wholeheartedly. I don’t know what active campaign is doing with AI? Definitely, I’ve seen an increase like you talked about because my email address for LinkedIn is different than my business email address. So I can tell what’s right. And yeah, like they’re just some there’s, there’s so little fit. But you know, one of the things that I have been diligent with myself about is, and I, I just happened to catch this really quick tutorial video one time on organizing your inbox. And tastic never bought anything, watched his quick training video, stole all of the ideas. So I won’t say the person’s name, because they won’t appreciate that and reorganize my inbox. So now there’s that here’s the important stuff. Here’s the stuff I want to read when I get there. So it’s all labeled, read it, skip the inbox. And then here’s anything that’s personal that I need to deal with. So I have these categories. Things like my receipt from your membership, they never show up in my inbox, they automatically get piled into receipts so I can deal with them. When I do my bookkeeping, I never have to look at it or touch it until that moment in time. That honest to goodness that has saved me. Oh my goodness, maybe 10 hours a week where I don’t have to play with email because now it’s all just organizing itself. And I can go back to the business of running a business. Yeah, yeah. And that’s what AI is supposed to do for us. AI is supposed to make our lives easier, not more overwhelming, right?

Kay 25:15
Yeah, I think I think AI has a lot of potential to help with clearing up inboxes. So on the recipient end of things on the writer end of things where we’re creating emails, and it is an act of creation, you can get creative you can own that doesn’t just because it’s business doesn’t mean that it’s not human and creative and an act of artistry, exactly, you can lean into that you can have fun. Anyway, I digress. But in the creation of emails, most of the stuff I’m seeing at the moment in email creation is around generative text where you feed it a prompt, much as you would with chat bit GPT. And it’s going to check out some things that you I’m not yet seeing a great application of it in, in the land of bulk emailing, but I’m sure it will come, I’m sure it will come where I would love to see it, featuring more highly is an enabling people who are not so experienced with automation, to narrate what they want to happen, yes, to tell the story. When someone does this, I want this to happen. And if they do this, instead, I want this thing to happen. Oh, but if they click that link, send them to that page. Wouldn’t it be amazing if we could dictate that and have an AI build it? Of course, that would put me out of work to a degree. But that would be great, right? Because some of that some of the a lot of the time in the Active Campaign Academy right now is about that mechanic. I asked people say, tell me the story of what you want to happen. I will help you with how to make Active Campaign do that. And I will show you exactly how to build that. Exactly what that Yeah. And we’re really good at that. I can totally do that. If AI were able to do that, instead of having me do it. Great. Because then we have more time to talk about strategy. Yes. And more time to talk about being creative with emails, and really digging into human behavior and what drives action at the inbox. What do they read? Which bits of information are they seeing and valuing? Right? Yes. So I don’t see it as a restriction on what we do I see it as a growth opportunity in time.

Barb 27:21
Yes. You know, one of the challenges and I think this probably applies to any automation doesn’t matter if it’s email or what it is. When you look at the language that we need to use to automate a process, so how I might narrate my want for automation, versus how somebody from the UK might do it can be different. Or even if you look at Active Campaign, and they’ve got an or will you think and does this, but in fact, you need or, and now, every time you are so right.

Kay 27:59
And that’s one of my favorite things that I’m doing as part of my role on the customer advisory board, is having an opportunity to work much more closely with the team’s Active Campaign, who are making the decisions on what words are used in what places, because I have been with so many active campaign users over the past six, seven years, literally 1000s of Active Campaign users have crossed my path one way or another. And there are consistent patterns to where they get stuck, whether they’re a native English speaker in, in the UK, or Canada or Australia, New Zealand, all the places that are speaking, or whether they’re speaking English as a second language, and then working with Active Campaign in their native language. The language problems are incredibly consistent. And it’s a real treat to be able to go and have those conversations and impact that. And we’ve actually done that recently, with some new lists, status options came out. Yes. And yeah, you know, my little fingers were in that pie. And that feels really good, because it means that the language that’s being used is going to get better. Yes, for users. Exactly. Happy days.

Barb 29:07
Okay, so we’re, we’re nearing the end of our time. So if you could encapsulate for our listeners, from a small business standpoint, what advice might you provide to them? If they were looking at an email service provider, and wanted to start to introduce automation into their business that like for a lot of small business owners, that’s a big, right, an online business owner is a different beast than then a small business owner sometimes. So what advice would you share with them?

Kay 29:45
Okay, so there’s kind of two sides that one of them is sending emails and one of them is automating stuff, and I think of them separately. Yep. So can you both if we got time? Yes. Okay. So for sending a emails I would say at a minimum, send an email once per week to the people who have given you permission to email them and just include two paragraphs of chit chat. Sure, street corner chit chat, something you would say to a neighbor or a friend about what’s going on in your world. That’s how you start. And once you start sending, it gets easier, yes, but you have to start sending you have to get over yourself. The people at the other end of the inbox are not monsters. They’re just humans like you and they’d like a bit of chit chat. So just start sending.

Barb 30:29
Okay, yes, I’m gonna. I’m gonna chime in with one thing there. Okay. And I agree with Kay wholeheartedly. When I first started started sending my weekly email, I was like, I don’t know what to say, I don’t know what to say, hey, I have 27 conceptual ideas drafted out and it’s the middle of July. So the rest of my year is done, except 25 of those will never get used, because I’ll come up with other stuff. So once you start just writing down ideas, it’s like, oh, and I can say that. Oh, yeah, it goes on and on. So it gets easier.

Kay 31:03
So it’s also kind of addictive. And it’s really, really good fun. You don’t you don’t realize how many ridiculous things happen in your life until you start. exactly tell the world. And then you find that people like you and find you funny like, whoa, wait a minute, this is great. And then I get to tell my teenager that people find me funny.

Barb 31:25
My teenager just thinks I’m so cool, because I have more followers on Instagram than his friends.

Kay 31:31
Yeah, we managed to convince some of my kids school friends that I actually make a living from making custom gifts of myself pulling stupid faces. That was, that was a peak moment. Anyway, so right sending emails can be a really a lot enlightening and enlarging life experience as well as enriching is the word I was looking for there. Okay. And then when we come to automation, automation is about process, but don’t let that put you off. Find something that is a pain point that happens frequently and annoys you. And a pain point can be either I hate doing it. It makes me grimace and pull it off. Or it could be it just sucks. And it’s a time suck. Yeah, those are the ones you want to look for time sucks and pain points. When you find one of those, make sure it’s a nice simple one to start with. Like, for example, someone fills out a form on your website. And you just or maybe you’re not even at that point, maybe someone just messaging you and saying can I have that lovely PDF that you do about such and such. And you have to do it manually. That is a repeatable definable process, to have someone be able to request something, deliver it, and then maybe even follow up with them and tell them what you sell. Right? So give them an so if you automate that it looks like give them a way to ask for it. then deliver it, then tell them about what you sell. Yep, three, three main things to hit. And immediately if you’ve removed a repeating pain and time drain from your daily life, that is the starting point. Because that then liberates you to then think, Okay, what should I automate next?

Barb 33:16
Exactly. And if we think about that, in terms of a small business, and I, let’s take a second deck shop, just because that’s top of mind for one reason this morning, let’s take a deck shop. So I somebody hits a website, and one of the most common questions they get is do you guys do estimates for free? Yes, we do. Okay, what information do you need, we need this, this and this. Alright, let’s automate that process. We need your name, your email, your phone, we need some specs, blah, blah, blah, fill out this form, attach your pictures, we’ll get back to in two days with the information. Great information gets sent off, I get a confirmation email to say we’ve got it. Here’s what to expect next. Now a phone call happens. Now we’re building the relationship. Just because I’m not face to face with Kay across the world, I can still build that relationship. And we’re starting a process through email. So now I start to build now here to me is what the key is, for a lot of small businesses, we do that first end of the process. And if we’re doing anything at the back end, we’re forgetting about dating. And we’re asking people to get married by that second, third and fourth email. Oh, yeah. Right. It’s like we’ve just met but let’s let’s go all in here.

Kay 34:37
Like we can either.

Barb 34:38
Relationship, nothing. Yes, exactly. And I think that’s where so many small business owners, just forget that, hey, there’s a ton of value in building that relationship. Talk about what you do, but not every email is about selling, selling, selling, selling. Yes, right.

Kay 35:00
I will say though, from my point of view, I’m the other way round, okay? Cuz I am give give, give, give, give, give, give, give, give, give, give, give, give gives more for a really long time. Yeah. I’m actually having to learn to sell.

Barb 35:17
Ah, right scale back a little bit that

Kay 35:20
I Yeah, because I’ve given away a lot got to the point where people didn’t need to buy from me. I literally had a wake up call. This wasn’t recent, this wake up call came two years ago. I’m just a slow learner. I’m a slow learner. And something’s not an active campaign that I’m all. Yep. Oh, I’m going to carry on. Yeah. So my wake up call was that I’d had an inquiry, which was automated naturally, they filled out a form and they got some questions. They got a nice confirmation email. And they were they made an appointment we got as far as they’d made a Calendly appointment using my lovely automated system. And then they cancelled the appointment. And I was like, wait, what, why? And it turned out, she said they’d cancel the appointment, because they’d got everything they needed from my free training.

Barb 36:22
Oh, oh. Yeah. Oh, yeah. Yep. Yeah. Oh, I haven’t had that one yet.

Kay 36:24
Oh, yeah. That free training still up there. By the way. It’s my best lead magnet. Now. I’ve just learned to articulate better what it is that we do. That goes way beyond that. That free training, which is called accelerated Active Campaign. Should anyone wish to learn how to use Active Campaign for free? That’s the starting point.

Barb 36:45
Exactly. Well, you know what, let’s, let’s do that. So how do folks find you online? And how would they sign up for your free course?

Kay 36:53
Marvelous. So you can find me on the major social platforms. I’m not on threads yet. But you know, that only just started. LinkedIn is one of my major Hangouts. So you can find me by name on LinkedIn. I also have a really big Facebook group called automate your business with Active Campaign. And that’s our free open community. We welcome all Active Campaign users or just people who are emailing or automating. And that’s a really nice place to hang out. And then our website is at slick So that’s dot co, on the Slick And there you can find a link on the top menu to accelerated Active Campaign, and that is our flagship free training, which tells you the stuff you really have to know like, you have to know this stuff. Don’t not do that course and use Active Campaign. Yeah. Because Active Campaign people, the people who work there do that training, because it is the fastest way to get up to speed on what Active Campaign does and how it does it. Yeah, okay. Yeah. And then there also is the Active Campaign Academy, which is my subscription based membership, which gets you access to me personally, very humanly, to nurture you and cheerlead you and show you exactly how to get the Wizzy, wonderful automation stuff done, including the strategy, all about strategy, not just the technical.

Barb 38:18
Exactly. And as I have shared with Kay before, working with Kay is a little bit like an insurance policy. I don’t always need her, but when I do, she is always there. There’s an online community, there’s live sessions I can hop into. And depending on, you know how big the problem is, sometimes it’s like, ask a question, get an answer. Oh, didn’t know Active Campaign could do that. Go do it. So what I have found through the membership, and I said this to you before, is it just made my brain that much bigger? There was the little things I knew Active Campaign could do. But working with you has just like, opened my eyes to Oh, my God, I can do all of this. Oh, now I get it.

Kay 39:06
Yeah. It’s so exciting. And it’s such a privilege to do that. And Bob, thank you for all your lovely things you say because you will be featuring in our emails. A cat heroes of the Active Campaign Academy who get a lot out of it. It’s a real treat for me to work with small business owners small to medium business, people from all over the world in all of their wild and crazy niches. It doesn’t matter what you’re doing. We’re all communicating. We’re all interested in human behavior, because that’s how we connect with people and persuade them that what we have is a solution to their problem. Here’s how to buy it. And you know, I’m fun and I make fun gifts so

Barb 39:47
Exactly. Nothing else buy from Kay for gifts.

Kay 39:51
If nothing else, you’ll get some funny stories about how I bet holding the decking.

Barb 39:57
Speaking of decks are in your decade. Thanks Actually, all right, we had better wrap up here today. So, Kay, thank you for joining me, it was an absolute pleasure to finally have a chance to have this conversation. Certainly, we talked about it in email and things for a little while. So I’m glad that we were finally able to make it happen. And ironically, we’re both heading into holidays. Then the next week after recording this session, so yeah, I hope you have a wonderful holiday and I know I’m certainly looking forward to mine. On that note, if you would like to sell your story, then you need to tell your story and there’s no better place to start than being a guest on The Secret Life podcast. If you would like to be a guest. You can email me at barb at above the fold dot live, or reach out on our Facebook and Instagram pages at above the fold. Ca and you can even find us on threads now. I’m your host, Barb McGrath, Google girl and founder of the Get found for local program. Remember, you worked hard for your success. Don’t keep it a secret. Bye for now.

Connect with Kay @ Slick Business


Barb McGrath’s been cracking the online code for nearly 20 years. She helps local businesses get to the top of Google with digital marketing training, web design, SEO, online reputation and advertising. Most importantly, she’s earned the trust of Google.Barb runs the only Google-approved agency designed to show you how to turn the online “stuff” into in-store buyers.If you depend on in-person customers, you need Barb’s step-by-step, online marketing plan to generate a steady stream of onsite buyers and make it rain money. She is the host of the Secret Life of Entrepreneurs, a local radio show and iTunes and Google Podcast.