Wouldn’t be nice if you could build a system or machine to generate profit for your ecommerce business? Does that sound too good to be true? It’s not! On this episode of The Amazing Seller, you’ll hear from Scott as he walks through how to build an email list, what it takes to keep your audience engaged, how to cross-promote your brand, common mistakes to avoid, and much more! If you are ready to take your ecommerce business to the next level of growth – this is the episode for you!
What are you waiting for?
If you have been part of the TAS community for any period – you know that Scott is passionate about getting ecommerce sellers to go “All in” on email lists. Time and time again, Scott hears people ask – “Isn’t email dead?” His reply is a resounding – “No!” Sure, social media ebbs and flows, but email is constant. So what are you waiting for? Why haven’t you built up your email list? To hear why this tool is so vital for a thriving ecommerce business, make sure to catch this episode of The Amazing Seller!
Don’t let your list grow cold!
Too often ecommerce leaders get excited about launching their brand and building an email list that they make a HUGE error – they fail to keep their email list hot! If you were to measure the temperature of your email list, what would the result be? Is your audience red hot and ready for whatever you send their way OR has it been a few weeks sent you sent them anything? If you are going to pour time and energy into building your email list – don’t lose momentum by failing to keep them connected to your brand! Learn how Scott keeps his email lists engaged by listening to this helpful episode of The Amazing Seller.
Automate whenever and wherever you can
Did you know that there are tools and processes you can use to take a lot of the leg work out of getting people connected to your ecommerce brand? It’s true! You don’t have to manually create emails and send them out to each new person who checks out your brand – you can have a system that takes care of that! From hello bars to auto-responders, Scott encourages sellers like you to work SMARTER, not HARDER. Find out how Scott automated a large number of his processes by listening to this episode of The Amazing Seller – you don’t want to miss it!
Common mistakes to avoid
As an ecommerce business leader, you know the value of learning from those who have come before you. That’s why you are here learning from Scott so you and avoid the mistakes he made early on in his career and mistakes he still sees many ecommerce sellers make today. One of the significant mistakes that Scott sees time and time again are sellers who are too worried that they’ll mess up or present an unpolished email or video. Scott says – “Don’t stress about that!” You will get better at sending emails and recording videos over time – but you’ll never get there if you don’t START! So what are you waiting for? Get out there and TAKE ACTION!
OUTLINE OF THIS EPISODE OF THE AMAZING SELLER
- [0:03] Scott’s introduction to this episode of the podcast!
- [3:30] Make sure to catch Scott’s FREE Live TAS Class.
- [5:20] What are you waiting for – build your email list!
- [7:15] Scott explains how to use an auto-responder & how to connect w/ your audience.
- [11:00] Scott’s favorite auto-responder.
- [12:30] Don’t let your email list get cold!
- [16:00] How to use questions to your advantage.
- [19:00] Common mistakes that many sellers make with their email list.
- [22:00] Open and clickthrough rates you should expect.
- [25:20] Scott recaps how to create a profit machine.
- [27:00] Closing thoughts from Scott.
TRANSCRIPT TAS 675
TAS 675: How to Create a Profit Machine on Auto-Pilot using Email (Example and Steps)[INTRODUCTION]
00:02 Hey, what's up? Action takers. Welcome back to another episode of the amazing seller podcast. This is episode number 675 and today I think you're going to be pretty fired up when I tell you what we're going to be talking about and that is how to create your very own…Click Here to Download Transcript <<
…profit machine that runs on autopilot using
00:22 email. Now, you may or may not have heard of an autoresponder. I am going to share with you exactly what that is using email. I'm going to give you some examples and steps on how you can create and build one of these yourself. Now this does go hand in hand with what I talked about in the last episode, which is six 74 so you might want to go back and listen to that one. Now, before I jump into that, I want to welcome all of our new listeners. If that's you, I want to introduce myself. My name is Scott Voelker. Thanks for showing up and I basically help everyday people build online businesses that make money and provide freedom to live life on their terms. That's what I do. That's what I am passionate about. So welcome. All right, so would that be INSEAD? And I kind of gave you guys what we're going to be talking about and I think you guys are pretty excited because who wouldn't want to create some type of automation or machine in a sense that can uh, well bring in new leads, new customers and get people bought into your brand.
01:22 Really that's what we're talking about. And like I said, if you didn't listen to episode six 74, that was a challenge that I put out there and it really gave you the roadmap to build your own traffic in your market and then turn that into profits with this is going to do, this is going to kind of pick up where we left off in the email your list part of that process. All right. We talked about in that episode how to go out there and build your email list. And if you're listening to this and you're like, Scott, isn't email dead? The answer is no, it is not dead still works. But to give you guys some statistics here in a minute. Um, on one of our auto responders, one of our machines that is running around the clock, and I'll talk about how that all works, but really you need to understand that we want to stay in front of our market at all times.
02:15 And I don't mean you're going to email that person six times a day. I'm not saying that. I'm saying if someone comes in today, they can start getting messages from you as you want them to. So we can go ahead and say we want to send something out immediately and then we want to send something every three days or maybe every Friday. We can set that up to do that. Now what you say inside of that email, that's important. All right, and that's what we're going to talk about. All right? Now before I jump into that, this does lend itself very well with traffic. Email is part of our traffic. It's part of our assets that we, that we're building out in our brand. And then we are also able to generate profits from doing this. All right. And I talked about that in the last episode, but basically in a nutshell, just to kind of give you a little bit of a recap is once we get people to go over to our blog content, our youtube channel, wherever our products on Amazon, we can then potentially make money in our business, right?
03:18 Traffic and profits get it. All right, so what I'd like to do before we do jump into the content here is I want to remind you if you didn't catch the last episode or here, uh, maybe the one before that, I am doing a live two day virtual training for free. Yes, you heard that right? For free, but here is the catch. You have to show up there live to attend for free. All right? Because if you are here locally and I was going to have you come in for the class and I offered it for one day, that's how it would be. But the reason why I'm doing this as well is we are going to be turning this into a paid program. It's one of our micro trainings. It's going to be all about this one topic as far as traffic and profits and we're going to dig really deep into that.
04:04 All right, so it is going to be a paid program but if you attend live you can sit in as we are recording it as we are teaching it and you can have access to it for free after the fact. It will probably retail between two 97 and four 97 somewhere in that range. But if you attend live you can attend it for free for like I said, two days and we'll be giving handouts and stuff like that as well. So it's a real live class, virtual class, but you know we're going to be meeting, people are going to be coming from all over the globe, but you can sit in your own house. All right. Your own home. All right, so if you're interested, head over to t a s class.com that's t a s class.com and the dates on that, our May 29th and 30th all right.
04:50 And all the details will be on that page. So definitely go check it out. All right, let's dig in. Again, six 74 episode six 74 that is, you're going to want to listen to that one if you haven't done so already, you can listen to this one, but then to really have it all kind of tied together, you're going to want to go and a and listen to six 74 and that's a challenge that I gave you. It's a 90 day challenge that will get you on your way to getting traffic and turning that into profits. All right, so number one, we need to get attention. We need to build our list. All right, so if you are not building your list, you need to build your list. This is going to help us really amplify our content, amplify our brand, and get the attention in our market, which is technically traffic.
05:39 All right, I have another resource for you. It's a free workshop. It's already up. It's already live. Uh, you don't have to give us your email address or anything like that to attend. It's the amazing seller.com forward slash build lists that we show you in that workshop exactly how we've built multiple lists in multiple markets. All right, so definitely check that out. All right, now that's step number one. Get the attention. You got to know what they want, what they are looking for, but then also what is something that would get them excited to raise their hand. We also call this a lead magnet, something that attracts the right people. We don't want to just attract anyone, we want it to be the right people. So in this case, let's just say it's the ultimate bass fishing kit or set, right? $200 value. That would be something that would be valuable to that market and the people that are interested in bass fishing, would it be raising their hand?
06:28 That's who we want. So that's step number one. All right. Step number two is we need to map out the journey. All right? And a lot of times if you look at what we talked about in six 74 is we're looking at the content that someone needs to basically fulfill what they're doing. So let's say for example, someone is brand new, there are, there are beginner at fishing or at bass fishing. There's going to be certain things that they need to learn along the way. So what you want to do is you want to map that out, right? So you can go to youtube, you can go to Google and search for how to start bass fishing. And then from there you're probably going to get some ideas on what you're going to map out. So if someone joins your email list, this is where the automation comes in and the autoresponder.
07:12 And again, if you don't know what an autoresponder is really briefly, it is, uh, imagine having someone join your list, your email list, and then immediately they can get a message that says, hey, thanks so much for registering for the contest. Uh, really glad that you did. I'm going to be in touch in a couple of days with some more updates while you wait, go here and check out this blog posts like that could be an automated message that gets triggered once someone enters their name and email address. So there's like a trigger in there that's the automation and they automatically get that message. All right, now after that, we can also say, now what's, what's something else that they're going, going to need or want? So if they signed up for the ultimate bass fishing kit, right, then they're probably interested in catching more best.
07:56 So maybe the next one could be like, you know, five ways to catch more bass in the pond. And then maybe the next email could be three more ways to catch more bass in the pond. Right? Maybe the next one is, uh, just something that talks about, uh, you know, the, uh, the ultimate fishing or bass fishing experience revealed. And then so you're, you're just constantly wrapping it into what they're into a and then that way they're, they're always going to be showing up or at least interested in what you have to say. Another way that you can map this out is if you are teaching someone how to do something. So let's just say you're teaching someone how to play guitar. When you've got to learn how to tune it, that's maybe lesson number one. So that would be email number one, and then maybe three days later it's like now that you know how to tune your guitar, how to play, um, some basic scales or the, you know, a simple, basic scale.
08:47 And then maybe the next email is like how to play simple chords, right? So you're just taking them through the journey of what they're going to need to know or learn along the way. All right? Now you might be saying, well, I don't really know what that is. Go to other people's content and see how they've mapped it out, right? Don't, don't reinvent the wheel. Go to youtube and see what someone's created as a playlist. If you look at play lists, a lot of times those are things in sequential order that you can map out and you can create your own. All right? So that's the journey we need to map out the journey of what people would want. Better interested in that topic or in that market. All right, so map that out. Once you map it out. Now an easy thing to do, like I said in the last episode, six 74 is as you're mapping out your content, that also becomes your email sequence.
09:37 So every time you post a new video on youtube and embedded on your blog, you have a reason to contact the email list. Well, you can put that in your autoresponder and start building this thing out. So this way here, you're able to say, all right, day one, give him this. Day three, give him this Dave. You know, uh, or three days after that, give them this a week later, give them this a week later, give them this. So you can, you can build this thing out for a month, five months, a year, and then now what's happening is every time someone comes in new, they're going to start at the beginning and then they have maybe six months to get through the entire machine, right? That the sequence. All right, so again, number one, get attention. Build that list. So important. Number two, map out the journey or map out the content.
10:25 All right, three is you need to create those posts and that was illustrated and demonstrated in a episode six 74 so the amazing seller.com forward slash six 74 I'll link everything up in the show notes here as well. And then number four is really creating that autoresponder sequence inside of your autoresponder. Now a common question I get asked a lot is, well, what autoresponder? What is that as far as like, what do I use? What tool? The tool that I love? I've used a bunch. I've used a Webber, I've used infusionsoft active campaign and the one that I like for this at the, at the most basic level, but the does a lot and it's not that hard to use, is convert kit. All right? Now I do have an affiliate link to that and uh, if you want to go through that, you won't pay anything more.
11:11 Uh, and if you do go through my link, just email firstname.lastname@example.org and from there we will send you over some email templates. All right. And all you gotta do is just, just messaged support and say, you know, hey, I just grabbed a convert kit through, through your link, something like that. And we'll go ahead and get you hooked up. Either way, you don't have to, we'll get paid a cup of coffee. And you know, we love our coffee, but I do, Chris doesn't as much, but um, it's a great tool. All right, so the amazing seller.com forward slash convert kit, the amazing seller.com forward slash convert kit. All right. And then that way there you can go through there and um, and grab a grab that because I'm telling you right now that rate there is building your automation and it's not that hard to do.
11:57 It'll also help you build forms on your website. So this way here, you don't have to know any coding or anything like that. It'll create this little snippet of code and you can put it on there. Really super easy to use. All right? So that is creating your autoresponder sequence. All right? Now number five is you want to create 12 minimum, all right? 12 minimum. And I would space them out one week apart. All right? So this way here, you at least have 12 weeks. You don't want it. Some people would say, well, I'll just do one a month. No, do one per week. All right, one per week. If you don't send something out once per week, what happens is the list starts to get cold, meaning they don't remember you. You might send something a month from now or two months ago. Who is this?
12:42 I I, why did I sign up for this? Like, I don't even know what this means, right? So you want them to get to know you. So it's Kinda like you're meeting for coffee once a week, right? If you think about it like that, like you're meeting with a friend once a week to discuss the top bass fishing tips for this week or something that you did when you went out fishing that week, right? Think about it that way. All right? If you follow up every seven days, you're going to build that bond. All right? And it's something that we call a, that we learned from Gary Vaynerchuk. Jab, Jab, Jab, right hook. So That's Jab, Jab, Jab. That's the content that's give, give, give and the right hook just means an ask. Okay? So you can kind of do both though. You can, you can say, hey, you know what, I'm going to go ahead and give content in the, in the body of the email.
13:27 And then maybe in the PS I might put a little bit of a, Hey, go check out my product. Or you know, not that you would say, hey, go, go check out our fishing lures. And catch more fish this weekend, like something as simple as that in the PS. Just put an offer there. All right? And uh, and then that way there you have a chance every time you send one of these emails that someone could go over to your, uh, you know, over to your products. Now we've done this and we've got an email sequence built out of 20 in a row, okay? So basically over the course, I believe it's, it's, it's spaced out over. I believe we have one a week, so 20 weeks. Okay. And so the minute someone joins, so right now, I think it was yesterday, we had a 75 new people join, okay.
14:09 Those 75 people start at message number one. Okay. But people that joined two months ago, there may be, uh, maybe they're down at the, at the, you know, towards the end of the autoresponder. All right? And so here's the cool thing, right? Remember, remember how I said, you know, the links are going over to your blog posts or to your content over on Youtube, whatever. Every day there's new email going out to those people that they haven't received that someone else got maybe the week before. Right? So you're constantly being able to get in front of these people without you having to send email. All you need to do is focus on how to get more people in what we call the funnel is into the email sequence and that's it. And then the rest of it is already built and we can always keep adding more on the back end, right?
14:55 So once someone gets in the email sequence, we can then continue to nurture them along the way. Right? And we can also send broadcast to, so now let's say for example, you have that auto responder and we do this, we have that autoresponder set up. Okay. And they're getting an email every single week. Okay. But now let's say I want to post something because something is relevant like rate now and I want to do a broadcast. Well you just write an email and you send it to the entire list and then everyone gets that one too. Okay. So yes, you're good. Someone's going to get maybe two emails in one day, that's fine. And again, the other thing I hear from people is, well, what if they unsubscribe? Well then they've cleaned your list for you. They've helped you. They weren't going to buy anyway and they weren't going to participate anyway, right?
15:39 So don't worry about that. All right, so definitely, definitely one huge piece of advice is don't set it up for anything less than seven days. I would say even in the beginning, maybe every three to four days because that way there you're staying front of mind. Okay. The other thing is, like I said, little reminder, the PS is a great place to put an offer. Okay? Now here's another little tip to put in there and you might even want to do this in the very first or second email, okay? And that is ask a question and ask them to reply to the email. So don't put any links in the email at all. It could be something as simple as this. Hey, quick question, that's the subject line. Or you got a minute question mark and then inside says, hey, it's Scott. Real quick question, I'm curious, what's your number one way of catching bass in a pond?
16:31 Reply to this email. Let me know. I'd love to compile a bunch here and share it with our community. Like that's it. And then what happens is you start getting a whole bunch of these emails back and then from there you're able to then take your fingers and type an email and then send it back to them. That's not automated, okay? All you did was you encouraged the conversation through automation. And then once you do get a reply back, you reply back to them with, you know, yourself replying and then you're having that communication and that dialogue that is again, something that a lot of businesses don't do because why? Because it's work, right? But you also learn a lot about your market. And then the cool thing is, is they're going to help you build content because then we can do is compile five different, uh, you know, top ways to catch more bass.
17:18 And you can compile that, create a video about it and say, hey guys, I just messaged our community about the best ways to catch, uh, you know, to catch more bass in a pond. These are the top five ways that came in the inbox or whatever. Uh, John said this, you know, Dan said this, right? And then you just kind of repeat what they said. That's content, right? Or you can shoot a video showing an example of how your, how that technique is, is done, right? So there's all these things you can do from the community, feeding you with what you can then use and, uh, and, and really build some more content for that market. Now there's another tool that I'm going to throw out there and you don't have to use this, but this is really, really kind of slick. And it's called hello bar.
18:02 All right. And you can put a little, a bar across the top. You can put a little float in slider, you can do a little box on the bottom. These are really, really effective. We're getting really good results with this. Uh, and, uh, you know, it's doesn't take much to set it up. Again, if you want to go through my link, you can head over to the amazing seller.com forward slash hello bar again, that's the amazing seller.com, forward slash hello bar, uh, real easy to use, super affordable, and it can connect into convert kit. All right, so what you would do is you'd still have your autoresponder. This is just a way to use some, you know, some movement on the page. It can, um, it can, you know, draw the attention you can, you can change the color with just a few clicks. It's pretty slick.
18:47 Um, but again, I don't want to, I don't want you to think you have to do that because you don't, it's just a nice thing to add to get more people into the funnel or into the email sequence. All right, let me, let me go over a few common mistakes right now before we wrap this up. All right. And, uh, and then I'll do a quick little recap. All right, so some mistakes that I see and I've already mentioned about, I mentioned again, is never following up. They build a list, they do a contest, and then they let it sit and they usually say, well, I'm going to wait until I launched my product and that's in three months from now. And then when by the time you launch your product, the list doesn't even know you exist. So this is why this is super important to be doing this before you launch.
19:26 So the list is warmed up. Okay? The other cool thing is with an email list, as you can let people know about a product that you're working on, that's going to be coming out, all right? So that's pretty cool. All right, so that's a big mistake. Okay? Never following up. The list gets cold. We don't want that. We want it to stay warm. All right? The other mistake is people say, I don't want to email too much because they're going to unsubscribe. Okay, that's, that's false. Don't worry about that. Yes, you're going to get some unsubscribes. That's okay. Don't stress about it. Just figure they're helping you clean your lists. They're keeping the list tighter for you to only communicate with people that are interested in what you have to say. All right. Um, they also, here's another one is worrying that the email that they write is bad, right?
20:06 You're going to get better. Do not overcomplicate this. Don't think you have to be writing these, these massive emails. They don't. If you created a piece of content on how to catch a bass in a pond, your email can be like, hey, want to catch a, you know, more bass in a pond, question mark, and then inside it says, Hey, I just shot a video showing how I catch more bass in the pond. You got to see this new Lewer that I'm using. It's pretty awesome. Go check it out. Click here to watch the video. Talk to you later, Scott. Ps, if you want us, if you want to buy one of the lures that I have on Amazon, go check it out here. That's it. That's the email. Send like that's it. Like so many people get so stressed out about the email that the writing do not overcomplicate that.
20:45 Okay, so the last thing is they say, wow, I don't really have enough. I don't really have anything to say. There's nothing that I can say. I really, I don't think I'm an expert. I don't think that I ha I add any value. Think about yourself as a reporter. All right, if you don't have the content, go find someone else's content and start sending that as filler content, right? Start finding other people that you would like to connect with in the future as an influencer and use their content. And then you can reach out to that influencer and go, Hey, I really love your content. I just sent it out to my email list. They love it too. And now you can start building that relationship with that influencer. Your email list is also an asset that once you get a pretty good size, engaged email list, you can, you can use that as leverage with other influencers.
21:30 It's Kinda like, you know, as long as it as it's aligned, you're like, hey, if you'll, if you'll send stuff to your list, I'll send stuff to my list. Like you can work back and forth as long as it's aligned. If it's not aligned, no. Do not do that. All right. Now before I go any further here, I'm going to cut in a and. A, I didn't realize this until after I got done with this, with this episode and then I realized that I said in the beginning I was going to give you guys some statistics in a sense to where we are sending out messages on a regular basis in the sequence and I wanted to give you those numbers as far as how many people are opening, how many people are clicking. All right now in the beginning when you first start sending these, you can expect a higher open rate.
22:17 Now the standard generally rate, now the industry standard is rate around eight to 12% okay? That's like average. Okay. And we've been seeing, even on our broadcast that we're getting upwards of 18 to 22% but in this 20 email sequence, we are averaging 30 to 40% still on the opens and I'm the clicks. We're getting anywhere from 20% to 12% and sometimes 7% now, once again, to put this into perspective, the standard in the online industry for email marketing is typically under 1% so even that our lowest at 7% we're still doing way better and a lot of times you're getting 20% I'm the clicks. These are clicks not opens. All right? That means people are clicking over to where we want them to go. All right, so I just wanted to jump in. Here are automated machine, if you will, that's being broadcasted every single day.
23:24 Depending on where someone is in this sequence is getting anywhere from a 30 to a 40% open rate and any words from 7% all the way up to 20% on clicks, which is just insane. Now it does come down to making sure that you have good subject lines so you get the open. You'll also have things inside email to get people to want to click over to see more about what you're describing inside of that email. Now, I'm not going to go deep here into subject lines and getting attention and all of that stuff, but just understand, you do want to lead with curiosity. You know the five tips to catch more bass in the pond, like you want to know those tips, right? Or this one thing helped me catch the largest best ever, right? You want to know what that thing is? So a lot of times curiosity does sell the open.
24:14 All right? So anyway, back to the episode. All right, let's recap really quickly. All right, so there's five things that I'm going to cover here and I'm going to recap on number one attention. You'd need to know who your market is, what they want, what they are willing to raise their hand for. Again, if you have not went through my book, the Ebf Book that goes through this in detail, pick it up email@example.com all right, a little shameless plug there, but it's well worth it. Trust me. All right? Number two, the journey. Map it out. What are you going to be delivering over the next four to six weeks and then from there, build out the rest of the year, but start with four to six weeks. That's basically four to six pieces of content. Go do that. Map that out because that's also going to be your email sequence.
25:00 If you did not go through the challenge of getting traffic in your market and turning it into profits within 90 days, that was the the last episode. Make sure that you listen to that one as well. Okay, that's six 74 all right. Number three is create those posts on your blog, on youtube, on Facebook. All right, and again, episodes six 74 goes through that in detail. Number four, set up and create the auto responders sequence. All right, and you can do that inside of convert kit if you're not already using that. I strongly recommend using that. It's super easy to use and it can grow with you as far as your business. There's a lot of cool things that it does that you're not going to use it first. There's a lot of cool things that you can use inside of it, different tagging and separating your lists and segmentation.
25:47 It's really cool. All right, and again, the amazing seller.com forward slash convert kit and I'll link everything up in the show notes too, and then number five is create 12 weeks, okay? You want that done again, it doesn't have to be done at first. Four to six is fine to start, but then build that out so it's at least 12 weeks. That way, once you get that setup, you can kind of let off that a little bit and go, all right, now I'm just going to worry about getting more people to raise their hand and get into the sequence. All right, into the automated machine. All right, and then start to message these people. Ask questions. All right? Give them value. You're going to learn from it in. You're going to eventually start to see you're going to be selling your product, you're going to be getting affiliate sales.
26:33 You're going to be getting more traffic to your blog, which then you'll be able to turn on ad networks. A lot of cool things can happen, all right, but you got to go through and do it and you've to commit to it. You got to do it. Show up. The plan is there guys? It's there. All right. Now if you want a deeper dive, I'm going to remind you again, we're going to be doing a two day live virtual class. We're going to teach this all right. In, in deeper detail, okay? We're calling this our micro training. Okay? You can go over to tas class.com to register. It's going to be May 29th and 30th again, it's free to anyone that attends alive. Once we start live, we're going and then after the fact we are going to offer it as a paid program and it will probably retail between two 97 and four 97 okay.
27:22 Which is going to be well worth it. Okay. Because if you think about it, if we can go out there and create this traffic and turn it into revenue and profits to diversify our business while worth it, right? So that's what we're looking to do. So t a s class.com. All right, so guys, the show notes can be firstname.lastname@example.org forward slash six 75 and you can grab all the show notes there. You might want to listen to this one again and six 74 and uh, just do it. Like make a commitment to yourself to do it. All right? And if you do it, you're going to learn through that process as well. All right guys, so that's it. That's going to wrap it up. As always, remember, I'm here for you. I believe in you and I am rooting for you, but you have to, you have to come on, say it with me. Say it loud. Say it proud. Take action. Have an awesome, amazing day. And I'll see you right back here on the next episode.
LINKS MENTIONED IN THIS EPISODE
- TAS Episode #674
- TAS Class
- Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook: How to Tell Your Story in a Noisy Social World