Email marketing hasn’t really changed a whole lot in the past 20 years. The idea was simple. You attract a bunch of subscribers, share cool, interesting content with them, and send out the occasional promotion. They were happy that they got cool content and you were happy that you got sales. It was win-win.
But over the past few years, it’s gotten increasingly more difficult to get real eyes on our offers. Between having to verify your domain names, set up authentication records, ensuring that your content passes the spam filters, and that the IP you’re sending from hasn’t been blacklisted it’s become quite a challenge.
And to add insult to injury, just over a year ago Apple released a new update to their iOS operating system that automatically opens and scans all of your emails. Which means, that open rates are no longer a reliable way to track how well your emails are doing.
So for the past little while, I’ve been looking at ways to combat these issues and make my email marketing more effective.
So here’s what I plan to do going forward.
#1 – No More Long Emails
Long emails, especially promotional emails, almost always, end in the promotions tab. Why? Because the vast majority of the time when we communicate with each other, we’re not sending long, perfectly formatted emails with lots of links in them. It’s just not a common way of communicating. So when you send broadcast emails out that are long, well formatted, with lots of links google views it as non-personal communication and dumps it in a folder somewhere. Google is essentially pre-filtering our mail for us.
Google is standing over the proverbial garbage can sorting our personal mail from the flyers and other junk mail we receive.
So how do we combat that? We start making our promotional emails look more like the personal communication we send on a daily basis. Which means short, direct, and with minimal links.
So I’m going to be doing just that. Rather than writing content directly in the email, I’m going to post it on my blog here and just share the link in an email. So hopefully you’ll see a lot more of my messages getting to your inbox now!
#2 – Creating A Database Of Content.
The other great thing this does is that by continually posting on my blog, it creates a never ending flow of content and saves me time having to write special articles or other material to post here. I love email marketing, but one of the downsides is that after I send that email it exists for about three days before people forget about it and never read it again. Not exactly the most efficient use of my time.
There are very few online content platforms where content exists beyond the initial posting time. YouTube, Podcasts, Facebook Pages, and blogs are some of the best. And that’s one of the main reasons you don’t see me posting on newsfeeds or other temporary publishing mediums. If I create something I want it to be valuable for more than 15 minutes.
It’s also great in case anyone stumbles upon my blog and wants to read more. What’s the first thing you do when you discover a new content creator? You watch or read some of the latest content and then go back to the beginning and binge watch everything from the first bit of content forward. There are also added SEO benefits as well but that’s really not my area of expertise. I’m just a simple direct response marketer . 🙂
#3 – Encourages Public Discussion.
By pushing material directly to my blog, I’m able to encourage community discussion a whole lot more. If there’s one thing I’ve learned after doing this for the better part of 15 years it's that some of the best ideas I’ve ever discovered have come from community discussion. The more I encourage you guys to share your feedback, the better stuff I’m gonna be able to post. 🙂
So that’s the plan going forward. I’m going to limit my email communication with you to short, punchy messages that encourage you to click through and read on my blog. This also has the added benefit of being much easier to track clicks than open rates! And finally, some sneaky, psychological stuff… the more I convince you to open and click, the more likely you are to open and click. It creates feedback loop. 🙂
That’s pretty much it. Three simple things. And the end result is much higher email engagement, far more people reading my content, and hopefully a few more sales too. 😉
Let me know your thoughts in the comments below. Do you have any tips on increasing engagement? What are you doing to ensure that your readers enjoy your content? I’m looking forward to your thoughts below.
Good stuff, and perfect timing. I’m just getting ready to send out a sneaky promotion, and I’ll use your thoughts to help. I particularly like the “Click to Keep Reading”. Keep it up, always good and valuable content. Tim
Thanks Tim! You’ll have to let me know how the promotion goes! 🙂 From the first bit of traffic that’s gone out I’m definitely noticing a significant increase in the number of clicks I’m getting.
I like this idea! It makes perfect sense and has the potential to build more interaction with your list. Going to have to try this method out!
Thanks Kevin! It’s actually a tip I picked up from reading Russel Brunsons “Traffic Secrets” book. I’m slowly planning on doing the same thing with YouTube as well. 🙂
Downsides might be:
1.creates more friction having to make more clicks. Your blog content will have to be absolutely spot on information to make subscribers click through to read it.
2. You have to spend more time monitoring for and deleting spammers.
Yeah I’ve been thinking about that too. I’m trying to address it by framing the emails as personal communication and making them as short and to the point as possible. So far what I’ve seen from this very limited test is that click through rates are a good bit higher than usual. I think it’s because they’re more likely to land in the inbox rather than promotions.
Of course this is just a content post. It’d be interesting to see the numbers if I was promoting something. I’d have to deal with that second clickthrough. But then again “landing pages” are how a *lot* of CPA offers are run too.
Regarding the spammer stuff, at the moment it’s left as open as possible to encourage engagement. I’ll probably add filter words and some other restrictions. I suppose this is one I’ll just have to play by ear. 🙂
A really interesting post, thanks for sharing.
I have several online assets and I’m always thinking of how best to cobble them together. I’ve included links to several of them in my email signature, so that’ll have to go!
It makes sense to drive clicks to assets such as blogs and newsletters (I have both). I’d be interested to know if anyone has any good ideas on how to work an email list in conjunction with a blog and a YouTube channel.
BTW, I’m finding that if I send out a simple “thank you for being on my list” email with a free gift it gets a good open rate and is effective in warming up your list, especially if you’ve been neglecting it a little (guilty).