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IAM1807 – CEO Runs an Email Marketing Agency That Drives Results

Podcast Interview with Danavir Sarria

Why it was selected for “CBNation Architects”:

In this episode, Gresham Harkless Jr. interviews Danavir Sarria, a 12-year digital marketing veteran, and entrepreneur who runs an e-commerce email marketing agency that consistently drives results for 6, 7, and 8-figure e-commerce brands.

Danavir shares his journey in entrepreneurship, including how he started writing emails for internet marketers at the age of 16 and eventually started his own e-commerce email marketing agency. He also discusses the importance of providing value to clients and having a process in place to consistently deliver results.

Additionally, Danavir shares his CEO hacks, including making a habit of doing the most important task of the day first thing in the morning, and his CEO nugget, which emphasizes the importance of focusing on your strengths and building on them.

Overall, the episode provides valuable insights and inspiration for entrepreneurs looking to start or grow an email marketing agency or any other type of business.

Check out one of our favorite CEO Hack’s CEO Web Shop. Get your free audiobook and check out more of our favorite CEO Hacks HERE.

I AM CEO Handbook Volume 3 is HERE and it's FREE. Get your copy here: Get the 100+ things that you can learn from 1600 business podcasts we recorded. Hear Gresh's story, learn the 16 business pillars from the podcast, find out about CBNation Architects and why you might be one and so much more. Did we mention it was FREE? Download it today!


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Danavir Sarria  Teaser 00:00

You know, agency work is basically also called client services. And so you've got to service the client. A lot of that is based on relationship building, it's customer service basically, but at a higher level.

Intro 00:14

Do you want to learn effective ways to build relationships, generate sales, and grow your business from successful entrepreneurs, startups, and CEOs without listening to a long, long, long interview?

If so, you've come to the right place, Gresham Harkless values your time and is ready to share with you precisely the information you're in search of.

This is the I AM CEO podcast.

Gresham Harkless 00:40

Hello, this is Gresham from the I AM CEO podcast, and I appreciate you listening to this episode. If you've been listening this year, you know that we hit over 1600 episodes at the beginning of this year. We're doing something a little bit different where we're repurposing our favorite episodes around certain categories, topics, or as I like to call them, the business pillars that we think are going to be extremely impactful for CEOs, entrepreneurs, business owners, and what I like to call CB nation architects who are looking to level up their organizations.

This month we are focused on the visibility game, a.k.a. Marketing, Advertising, PR, and Sales. I'll often say the name of the game is being found and these tools will help you to do that. We have heard the philosophical question, if the tree falls in the forest and no one is around, does it make a sound. Well, if there's a really, really great product or service and no one knows about it, how great is it, really? What impact does it ultimately make? This is where we will go into this month. Looking at visibility, branding, marketing, public relations, sales being the lifeblood of businesses, building many companies, and so much more.

This is probably one of the most exciting and probably the most excruciating topics, but we hope this month to demystify, maybe even vanquish the fear, and help and arm you with the tools to be able to increase your visibility. So buckle up and sit back and enjoy this special episode of the I AM CEO podcast.

Hello. Hello. Hello. This is Gresh from the I AM CEO podcast. I have a very special guest on the show today. I have Danavir Sarria of Supply Drop Media. Danavir, it's great to have you on the show.

Danavir Sarria 02:13

Hey man. it's great to be on the show.

Gresham Harkless 02:15

Yes. Excited to have you on. And before we jumped into the interview, I want to read a little bit more about you so everybody can learn about all the awesome things that you're doing.

Danavir is a 12-year digital marketing veteran and entrepreneur. He started out as a 16-year-old writing emails for internet marketers. Today he runs an e-commerce email marketing agency that consistently drives revenue for six, seven, and eight-figure e-commerce brands.

Danavir, super excited again to have you on the show, are you ready to speak to the I AM CEO community?

Danavir Sarria 02:44

Yeah, let's get started.

[restrict paid=”true”]

Gresham Harkless 02:45

Let's make it happen then. So to kick everything off, I wanted to rewind the clock a little bit, and hear a little bit more on how you got started, what I call your CEO story.

Danavir Sarria 02:52

Sure. So the way I started as you said, I started when I was 16 years old. Basically at the time I was really into fitness, and when you go into fitness, you're a 16-year-old kid, you start Googling stuff. Eventually, you start getting into like the fitness gurus and it just so happened that one of those fitness gurus was a guy named Craig Valentine, who these days coaches other people to do like productivity and stuff. But back then, he was just a fitness guy making six figures online selling workout programs, which is what I wanted to do. But he said, if you want to get started into this kind of stuff you should go out and help someone for free. This is where it took a little bit of a turn here.

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I happened to have that time because of Craig and other people, I followed other internet marketers. One of them was a guy named Gideon Shalwick and Gideon had a case study. He taught me about how to grow on YouTube. A case study on a dude, a street magician, who grew his YouTube channel following Gideon's advice. So I literally cold-emailed the street magician, cause at the time I also liked street magic. And I just told him, Hey, can I help you for free? Whatever it is you need. After a couple of months of going back and forth between him and I, eventually he told me, Hey, I'll pay you 200 bucks a month to write emails for me. They're really easy.

Then I was like, yeah, I was 16 years old, I know the way to make money. So let's do it. That's literally how I got started into internet marketing and digital marketing in general.

Gresham Harkless 04:19

Nice. I love hearing that story and I think so much is said for going after your passions and things that you're interested in. I think, especially with the way the internet and everything has been, people are making a sizable amount of revenue from being able to just follow their passions.

So I love kind of hearing how you lean into that and going to help people out took you to everything you're doing now.

Danavir Sarria 04:40

Exactly. Yeah. It's the lowest hanging fruit and it just so happens that the people I was following at the time were into like also teaching business and stuff. So I guess I got lucky too.

Gresham Harkless 04:51

Yeah, absolutely. A little luck is definitely needed in success. So definitely of course, love to hear that.

So I wanted to drill down a little bit more, hear how you're working with your clients now. Could you take us through a little bit more on how that works and how you're serving the clients you work with?

Danavir Sarria 05:03

So, I do email marketing for e-commerce brands anywhere from startups, all the way to eight figures. And the way it works basically is a lot of e-commerce brands. E-commerce is very, very driven by paid advertising. But a lot of the profit, like the actual money you get to keep is made for the email marketing side of things because there are no customer acquisition costs and stuff like that.

And so, a lot of e-commerce brands will hire e-commerce marketing agencies to make that profit. So basically clients who are not doing so well with email marketing or they might be doing okay, but they want to do better, they'll hire me and my team and basically just send emails for them so they can make a bigger profit with the ideal goal of making, depending on the type of business up to 30% of their online revenue from email marketing and SMS.

Gresham Harkless 05:53

Nice. That makes so much sense because it almost seems, I should say the advertising, the things that they do is what kind of draws people in. But in order to keep it, I imagine engaged, probably even upsell or do cross-sale and things like that, that happens a lot of times if you're able to really execute well from an email marketing standpoint.

Am I right by saying that?

Danavir Sarria 06:11

Yeah, that's exactly it. Yeah.

Gresham Harkless 06:13

That makes sense. And I think so many times and I don't know if you have found this, but it's such an integral piece to be able to keep engaged and have your clients stay around. I think people get more obsessed with getting their name out there.

But once you get the people in the door, even as virtual as we're talking about now, how do you keep them? And I think a lot of people sometimes miss that piece.

Danavir Sarria 06:33

Okay. So that's always a very interesting question. So one most important thing is results, right? They pay you, 3000, 4000 to 5,000 a month. You got to make them, 50, 60,100 dollars a month or whatever it is that you're making for them. So one is always results. That's probably one of the biggest differences between B2B and B2C. B2B, like people, are very like, not stingy, but they look at the numbers. And so that you cannot get past that. You got to get results.

Then two I would say is the process of how you get results and not so much like the literal send us email at this time or whatever. I'm talking about process as in going from the way you talk to your clients and how you turn conversations from clients and what's ever on their business and brand, whatever, and turning that into results. So for example, you don't want to bother your clients too much with what you're trying to do. They're paying you so that they don't have to do the work themselves. They want to feel like they're heard, like their concerns are all being answered and stuff like that.

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So it's really agency work basically, it's also called client services. And so you got to service the client. A lot of that is based on relationship building and it's customer service basically, but at a higher level, I suppose.

Gresham Harkless 07:53

Yeah, and I think so many times I imagine part of the secret sauce and you being able to do that is so many times people forget about that aspect of servicing clients.

So many times we fall in love with our product and service and the things that we do that we forget about the part of like why we're actually doing it. I imagine.

Danavir Sarria 08:10

Yeah. Yeah. And it's one of those things that no one really thinks about too much because people think it's just about results. But I found that client services and agency work is actually  a very emotional business both for the clients and for yourself. Like that's why I guess a lot of agency owners and people looking from the outside or from the inside, they're like, the agency is very hard work not necessarily because the actual marketing or whatever is hard.

Because that is what's hardest servicing the client having being calm, even when things are going bad, which things will go bad and as well as just like communication and, like things that go beyond just the marketing aspect that you're doing.

Gresham Harkless 08:54

Yeah. And it just reminds me of I don't know if you've heard of the book, the E Myth where a lot of times people really great as something, like we mentioned, we've been talking about, obviously about marketing.

But we sometimes forget about those other, I don't know if I want to call them soft skills, but they're probably just as important and not as important as you being able to execute is being able to connect and speak with the clients that you're working with.

Danavir Sarria 09:15

Yeah, exactly. As I said earlier, it's client services. Yeah, you got the service part, but there's the client part to it. So it makes it so emotional. And if you can do both things then the agency business is actually pretty sweet. It's pretty, and stable like economically, the cash flow is great there. It's very hard to market fit, is easy to find and stuff like that. So, but you do have to learn soft skills.

Gresham Harkless 09:42

Absolutely. And usually, a lot of people have, one or the other, you're either really great at speaking with people, engaging, maybe even closing sales, but you may not be able to execute on some, and there are people that are able to execute well.

But a lot of times the stressors, the things that pop up, and all those things, they're not able to navigate that as well. So you want to be able to marry the two of those. So it's awesome that you've been able to do that.

Danavir Sarria 10:03

Yeah, I've been fortunate enough that the clients I've gotten have been good clients. So I don't have much to complain about.

Gresham Harkless 10:10

That makes sense. So, I wanted to switch gears a little bit and I wanted to ask you for what I call a CEO hack. So this could be like an app, a book or a habit that you have, but what's something that makes you more effective and efficient?

Danavir Sarria 10:21

I wouldn't say there's that like an app or a book or something like that.  I have it and actually I don't know what book this is from, but basically the idea is whatever is most important to you for the business or whatever, do it in the very first thing of the day. Ideally that it's so important that if you only did that one thing, it would be like, even if you did nothing else, that'd be really worth it for you, in terms of like activity wise. So, that's basically been by far the biggest thing just doing the most important thing.

First thing in the day, whether that's something like lead generation, or just like myself, it could just be like working out maybe you need to work out so you could feel good so you could do whatever work you need to do for the rest of the day. So whether it's personal or business and whatever it is, do it first thing in the day. And then you go from basically most important to least important as you go on throughout the day.

Gresham Harkless 11:14

Awesome. Awesome. Awesome. So, I wanted to ask you for what I call now a CEO nugget. So it's a little bit more of a word of wisdom or piece of advice. I like to say it might be something you would tell your favorite client, or if you hopped into a time machine, you might tell your younger business self.

Danavir Sarria 11:28

The most obvious one is what I'll tell myself and the problem that I had when I was younger was because I got started in the internet marketing space, a lot of that space, especially like I was really into the info products, specifically info products and the whole info product space, is about get paid to teach people what you know about your passion and stuff like that. You're passionate about things someone else will teach for, will pay you for your advice, or whatever. And with that, it basically brainwashed me. It's all about passion, right? But as I've gotten more experience into business, I've always come to realize that it's a lot more about skill and just what are you good at?

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Once you do that, if something's working, you want to stay at it regardless of whatever happens, it's because success is actually really hard in business, even if it's just like making full-time money, it is hard. Not impossible, but it is hard. But a lot of that, it comes down to, can you do the thing that provides value? If I was a horrible email marketer, I would not have been able to get an agent for an email marketing agency, right? There's a reason why I have an email marketing agency rather than the paid media agency. I have no idea how to do Facebook ads. So, I do know, marketing.

So if I were to like go back and tell my younger self what to do differently, it would just come down to looking at what your strengths are and then build off of that. And it turns out that my strength in particular, because I started out as an email marketer copywriter, was writing. So I always found that my best results came from whether it was writing an email, writing a blog post, or writing a Facebook post, whatever it is, it was related to writing. I do well.

That's what I would tell myself because I was very against that. I wanted to try all these different things. But yeah, I would go back and tell myself, Hey, yeah. Focus on what you're good at.

Gresham Harkless 13:21

Absolutely love that. So I wanted to ask you now my absolute favorite question, which is the definition of what it means to be a CEO. We're hoping to have different quote and quote CEOs on the show.

So Danavir, what does being a CEO mean to you?

Danavir Sarria 13:33

So ultimately being a CEO is just kind of like, putting groups of people heading in the same direction, whatever direction that is for you, whatever goal that is for you. But ultimately when you're doing that, what you're mostly doing is handling or talking or trying to direct people.

Ultimately I think what being a CEO means is less about being like the guy who architects a business or whatever, like a business plan. But more like someone who, I don't know, would be the right word, not like a motivator or anything, but more like someone who focuses on people rather than the high specifics of a business.

Gresham Harkless 14:14

Awesome. Danavir, I truly appreciate that definition. Of course. I appreciate your time tremendously even more. What I wanted to do now was pass you the mic, so to speak, just to see if there's anything additional that you can let our readers and listeners know. And of course, how best people can get out of you find out about all the awesome things that you're working on.

Danavir Sarria 14:30

A lot of people, again, especially if you're a marketer, have your instincts to go into marketing, but a lot of what you really need to do is find some type of unfair advantage or something. Usually, that's going to come from the culmination of all your experiences and all your failures and successes and people you've met and stuff.

So if you can basically go back and look at everything you've ever done and see what's always worked for you, and then doing more of that I guess it's a short, but yeah other than that in terms of where to find me you can always find me on Twitter @danavirsarria. And if you want to hire my email marketing agency go to

Gresham Harkless 15:13

Awesome. Awesome. And to make that even easier, we'll have the links and information in the show notes so that everybody can follow up with you. I love that last point. I think so many times when we're looking for solutions to problems, trying to figure out what to do or where to pivot or, what to change so many times we look outward for those answers.

I love that last nugget, and even a hack at that is like the answer is often within, and to look at the things that you do sometimes come naturally, come easily that we don't give ourselves credit for. Those are usually the strengths from an agency standpoint. Really from any business owner on our standpoint or CEO standpoint, you want to lean into that because that's your competitive advantage and your secret sauce, as I like to say.

So, truly appreciate that. Of course, appreciate your time again, my friend, and I hope you have a phenomenal rest of the day.

Danavir Sarria 15:57

Thank you.

Outro 15:57

Thank you for listening to the I AM CEO Podcast, powered by CB Nation and Blue 16 Media. Tune in next time and visit us at I AM CEO is not just a phrase, it's a community.

Want to level up your business even more? Read blogs, listen to podcasts, and watch Also, check out our I AM CEO Facebook group. This has been the I AM CEO Podcast with Gresham Harkless Jr. Thank you for listening.


Dave Bonachita - CBNation Writer

This is a post from a CBNation team member. CBNation is a Business to Business (B2B) Brand. We are focused on increasing the success rate. We create content and information focusing on increasing the visibility of and providing resources for CEOs, entrepreneurs and business owners. CBNation consists of blogs(, podcasts, ( and videos ( CBNation is proudly powered by Blue16 Media.

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