The email marketing game has changed again when GMail introduced the Inbox tab features last year and with new competitors entering your marketplace, brace yourself for a plunge in email open and click through rates!
If that wasn’t bad enough, just last month Aweber and GetResponse, two of the most used autoresponders by Internet Marketers, had been hit pretty hard with a series of DDoS attacks after another. All the users were affected, myself included – and I happened to pick the ‘auspicious’ time to launch my latest product on the day the DDoS attacks started happening.
While fortunately the autoresponder giants had fended off the DDoS attacks and are able to bring their service back to usual operation, this is a wake up call that email marketing is no longer what it used to be. So over the past month I had discussed with some of my online business friends and started to implement the changes to stay ahead of the game.
So if you have been experiencing the same problems as we did, here are 10 ways to increase your email open rates and click throughs in today’s ever challenging email marketing climate:
1. Use HTML Emails.
End of last year, I noticed a substantial drop in my email open rates. I was ready to blame the holiday season when most people would be away from the computer, then I learned other marketers were making money as usual from promoting the same offers. Why is that?
My business partner, Khai Ng, who is enjoying wild success now from building a massive mailing list in the Self Improvement niche today, advised me to switch my email format from Text Only to HTML and see if the open rates would go back to normal. For the longest time, I have been a proponent of using Text Only emails due to its ease and I was convinced that HTML emails would have a higher chance of being sent to the spam folder.
Against my better judgment, I took his advice anyway and switched my email format to HTML for the first time. My email open rates and sales gradually returned to normal!
For the first time, I had also learned that emails of either format have about the same chance of entering the spam folder, given the right criteria anyway. So I’ve learned to use HTML emails ever since and it’s also a great way to innovate my email content a bit by bolding and hyperlinking parts of my email to draw attention and make it more interesting than if it were just purely text.
2. Change The Tone Of Your Emails.
If you sound rather monotone or dull you will come across as someone without a personality that your subscribers can connect with. Worse, you could pass off as another ‘me too’ marketer who simply rips off swipe emails word-for-word – and today, your subscribers are matured enough to figure that out fast. They will quickly catch on that you’re just another low-level affiliate ‘lazily’ promoting other people’s product!
That may have worked just fine several years ago but not so well today. This is why you need to inject your personal recommendation and words not found in a swipe email page.
When I was endorsing Henry Gold’s Ultimate Facebook Formula package not long ago, instead of copying his swipe email word-for-word (partly because his swipe emails weren’t good enough… no offense Henry!) I added a personal recommendation on why my subscribers should really consider this. I was about on my way to a Facebook workshop in Bandung, Indonesia and I explained that this is the latest ‘gold rush’ for online marketers. Very soon the Internet Marketing arena will be divided into two types of marketers: those who have mastery on FB Ads and make hell lots of money, and those will miss it.
That affiliate promotion scored me a second place on his launch contest, just a few sales shy from the first.
3. Enroll 100%.
When your mailing list grows bigger, profiling your subscribers can become a challenge in itself. How many of them are experts in the field? How many of them are intermediates? How many more of them are newbies?
This is why you need to cover ALL the bases. Your message needs to appeal to everyone if not as many people as possible.
I am in the Private Label Rights business. For the longest time, I assumed that everyone on my mailing list knew why they were on my mailing list. This was my mistake that must have cost me an untold amounts of money over the years – because I assumed everyone on my list know what PLR is, and what it is for.
Sure, in my early years when the PLR concept was still new, I had to write a slightly lengthy email explaining what it is and when the concept grew popular, I let my guard down and just went straight to the point. I forgot about the new people that joined my list and didn’t know what PLR is all about.
With that realization, I don’t pepper my email promotions on PLR offers with too many mentions of the word… ‘PLR’. Instead, I stress more on the benefits such as “here’s how to have your instant potential bestseller without having to write a single word from scratch” and the pain (e.g. “if you hate writing this is for you”)
It also helps to keep everything in simple English, because not everyone on your mailing list is a native English speaker; some might not even speak English as their first language.
4. Don’t Keep All Your Eggs In One Basket!
When I launched the Google Helpouts PLR product, it was also the same day the DDoS attacks happened. This was going to be a disaster because I wasn’t the only one who kept my mailing list on Aweber – so did my affiliates and Joint Venture Partners! I thought I was insured from the catastrophe – and that was when I also found out GetResponse had been hit by the same DDoS attack!
While the DDoS attacks on the mainstream autoresponders affected my launch, fortunately my key affiliates and myself were still able to generate sales for the new product. Because for me, I had always held onto a third backup plan: I keep a substantial portion of my mailing list in-house. This is why I was still able to mail out for my own launch.
And for my key affiliates such as Jonathan Teng, he had also kept his buyers list on other autoresponders besides the mainstream ones such as Aweber and GetResponse.
This was the first time Aweber and GetResponse had been hit by a DDoS attack – and I hope it doesn’t happen again – but this incident proves that you really need to keep your mailing lists on more than one autoresponders for sure!
5. Email Your Subscribers At Different Times And Days.
The commonly accepted best time to email your list is around 8:00 AM – 10:00 AM Eastern Time. This may still hold true today as personally, I get most of my sales and responses when I email at these times, I also learned that this is a rather one-dimensional thinking.
Ask yourself this: what happens to the rest of the people who did not open their emails at this time? What about other people in other time zones? What about people who happen not to be at their computer or phone to open the email today?
To improve my results, this time I broadcast the same email to my subscribers list – however I segment it into different times, and even different days (usually no more than a day apart). For example, I would send an email promo to segments of mailing lists at 8:00 AM, 10:00 AM, 2:00 PM, and 6:00 PM all in Eastern Time.
6. Focus On Cultivation.
When people join your mailing list, they have certain expectations. This is where context is very important. I learn from my friend and also one of my top affiliates, Aaron Danker, and he shared with me how he’s able to generate sales and leads even though he created none of the products he sell!
To paraphrase his words, “You have to become a teacher model. When your subscribers join your list, you must first make it your responsibility to educate them and teach them. And when you sell your offers later, only then they will see the value and not fret at the price!”
7. Check Your Email Promo In A Variety Of Email Accounts.
If you are paranoid about whether your email is entering the spam folder in your subscriber’s Inbox by the masses, you should check this out by signing yourself to your list using a variety of email accounts (GMail, Yahoo! and Hotmail).
SIDENOTE: According to one of my insider loops, I was told that emails sent from GetResponse generally do not go to the Promotions Tab in GMail, whereas emails from Aweber does. Now I am not sure how true this is as I have yet to verify it myself at the moment, but you can give this a go and find out. If it’s true or false, leave your comment in the Comments section below.
8. Avoid Using Spammy Words In Your Email Subject Line And Body.
This rule isn’t new but occasionally needs a reminder. When one of my online marketing friends Bertus Engelbrecht launched “FB Cash Formula”, every affiliate and himself included started to notice their email promos are often in the spam folder. This is because of the word ‘cash’ which is considered a spammy word. So on the second day onwards, everyone changed the word to ‘ca$h’ and that seemed to do the trick.
9. Bonuses Does Not Equal Filler Content.
Offering bonuses to ‘bribe’ people to buy through your affiliate link is not a new practice at all. In fact, people have matured and today your subscribers know that they have choices. Sometimes they don’t buy a newly launched product outright because they are also shopping for bonuses!
This is why ‘me too’ affiliates who offer the same cookie-cuttered bonuses as others are nearly guaranteed to get crushed by affiliates with original, more useful bonuses. Jonathan Teng is again the best example when he topped my last product launch with his ‘product package makeover’ bonus. It’s not a filler bonus deal of 100s of old, tired resale rights products but a unique solution that answers real problems my buyers will have later – which is rebranding PLR products. No arguments that he deserved 300 sales and the top spot in my launch for his ingenuity!
10. Focus On A Few Launches – And Promote Them Hard!
Sure, you should promote offers that are of quality and useful. However here comes the next problem: what message are you delivering to your subscribers?
Last week, you wrote an email promote that makes a stance against using Search Engine Optimization (SEO) as a reliable traffic source. A few days later, you promote an SEO product. Today, you jump onto Facebook marketing.
Don’t laugh – this is REAL. Many marketers have their integrity everywhere like coffee spilled on the table! And I’m going to admit my guilt. I have my opinions and stance on Internet Marketing. However I had to promote products even though I didn’t agree with their message. You know, the famous ‘you scratch my back, I scratch yours’ way of doing business.
Don’t get me wrong here – ‘promoting products that I didn’t agree their message with’ does not mean ‘promoting low quality products’. What I meant was endorsing offers I did not truly believe in. I am fortunate that many of the people I work with are honest people and produce quality offers… but what about INTEGRITY?
Since the realization, I don’t email my list as often as I used to – at least not as many DIFFERENT offers as I used to. On top of the sales and commission payout, the next critical criteria I add on now is that the offer must be aligned to my own message and what I believe in.
And when I DO mail out, I hit it hard as if it were my own launch. Because it shows conviction that I also believe in the offer and that it will help my subscribers.
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So there you have it. I hope you find my tips useful. Email marketing, like anything else, changes and so will technology. Keep up with the changes and you will definitely stay ahead of the game!
What Other Ways Do You Know On How To Increase Your Email Open Rates And Click Throughs? Share Your Comments Below OR Share This Post On Your Facebook Or Twitter!