Email marketing platforms make some things super easy to do. But just because some features exist or are set up in a certain way, it doesn't mean they're right! There are things that email marketing platforms put in front of you that damage your mindset and perspective on email marketing. Things that are bad for your business! So today we're talking about the things you can do, but you shouldn't do. These are the 'lies' your email marketing platform is telling you.
Ready to find out what they are?
SOME EPISODE HIGHLIGHTS:
(0:13) Want to get more sales from your email marketing? Grab our Click Tricks.
(3:35) Fancy a 14-day FREE trial with Keap?
(6:04) Re-sending to unopened.
(10:16) Paying attention to your open rates.
(13:07) Using fancy email templates.
(15:50) Using your company name as the email sender.
(17:32) Writing your subject line first.
(20:24) Emailing ALL your subscribers ALL of the time.
(22:56) Subject line of the week.
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The first thing we want to talk about is the big button that gives you the ability to re-send an email to the people who didn’t open it the first time you sent it. It’s called re-send to unopened, and it’s a horrendous idea.
First of all, thanks to Apple and Android, email marketing platforms can't track opens accurately. We cannot rely on opens because Android will say everything is not opened and Apple says everything is! So if you re-send your emails to the people your system thinks haven’t opened them, there’s a good chance you’re getting it all wrong.
The second reason why you don't want to re-send emails to people who haven't opened them is that it impacts your deliverability. If the email didn't get opened last time, banging people over the head with it isn't going to help you!
And finally, there's a psychological reason why this isn't good. Each of us opens and engages with emails for different reasons. You might get an email from us and want to open it because you’re interested in the subject line. But the next day you might not care about the new subject line. So if an email didn’t work for you yesterday, it’s still not going to work for you today. You're better off crafting a brand new email with a new subject line.
Re-sending to unopened is lazy, it affects deliverability, it’s hurting your reputation, and it’s not going to get you results.
The next 'lie' email platforms are telling you is drawing your attention to open rates. These are the biggest numbers in your email platform and one of the first things you see when you look at your dashboard. And metrics are important – we should all be paying attention to the metrics in our business. But open rates aren’t one of them.
Yes, the fact that email marketing platforms still track them is useful. Because even though they're wrong, today’s open rates are still relative to yesterday’s and tomorrow’s. If today’s open rate is higher than yesterday's, that’s probably true - even if the exact number is incorrect. So by all means, take a look at the growth or decline of your open rates over time, but don't pay attention to the actual number because that's irrelevant.
Instead, we suggest you focus on the click-through rate (that's the people who click on the links in your emails) and on how many people join your list every day. Because those are accurate numbers.
Our absolute favourite metric to consider is the Earning Per Subscriber Per Month (or EPSPM). And that tells you how much money you made this month from each subscriber on your list. To calculate that, you look at how much money you made this month and divide it by the number of subscribers you have on your list. This is an awesome metric to track because it's a true reflection of how well your email marketing is working.
Another feature that email marketing platforms love presenting users with is the list of templates you can choose from when creating your emails. You have coloured backgrounds, space for images and logos, and a range of different sections. But you don’t need to use any of these fancy templates that make your emails look like the school newsletter. That’s not what great emails look like!
In fact, you want your emails to look as close as possible to what you would send if you opened Gmail right now and sent an email to somebody. The less images the email has, the less chances of it getting clogged up in sensitive spam traps and filters. Also, having pictures and different sections in the email template is an indication you're changing topics. And that means you could write separate emails instead. So if you wish you had more content to share, there's your answer right there - break those longer emails into separate ones.
Also, every time you start a new section, that’s a subconscious signal you’re sending to your reader that they can stop reading now. You’re showing them the exit door when they’re still browsing around the shop. And you'd never do that in real life, right?
So don't use the fancy templates your email marketing platform presents you with. Those emails take longer to put together, and when they don't load properly, they also look terrible on people’s devices. Instead, just use a blank template with your signature in your footer. That's perfect for those situations when you accidentally send an email ahead of time. Plus, it makes your emails faster to write and gets you better readership for them too.
Another thing that email marketing platforms do in an attempt to be helpful is to pre-populate the 'from' name with your company name. Because that's often what you provide when you sign up for the email marketing platform. Using your business name as the sender of your emails is the easiest and fastest thing to do. But it’s not the best thing to do from your subscribers’ perspective.
Instead, you want to email from yourself or a person within your business and in your team. Most of our emails come from Rob // Email Marketing Heroes. And that’s better than it just being 'Rob' because people wouldn’t know which Rob is sending an email. And it’s also better than it being 'Email Marketing Heroes' because people don't connect with that. People don't want to receive your company literature. They want to receive the stories, the personality, the humour, and the style of the person in the business.
So find someone in your team to be the 'from' name and make that followed by // Your Company Name. That way your subscribers know who you are and what you do.
Another thing that frustrates us is that email marketing platforms ask you to fill in the subject line of an email first. Whereas we think the easiest way to write subject lines is to do it once you’ve written the email. That way, you can pick out the interesting elements from it, like a phrase you used in the email. So we advise that when you write your emails you use a sample subject line and then go back and edit that after you've written your email.
Trying to write your subject line first without having written the email is hard. Even if you had a clever idea for a subject line, when you’re writing the email you might end up moving away from that. And making the email fit the subject line is hard! Quite often you'll find that as you're writing the email, it takes longer. And that's because your natural writing is steering away from that subject line you picked.
Or you might realise you’ve written a different email to that subject line, so you either have to drag the email back to the subject line (and sacrifice the flow) or change the subject line. So just write the subject line at the end.
Plus, as we always say, getting started with writing a subject line from scratch is hard! You’re adding weight and resistance to the process of writing your emails. You’re putting the handbrake on in your mind. And that’s delaying you or stopping you from writing. Instead, if you're using our Story, Lesson, Offer framework, focus on the story and not on the technicalities around the email. This reduces the number of mental calories required to get the email done.
6. Emailing ALL your subscribers ALL of the time
The last behaviour we think email marketing platforms are encouraging because of the way they’re set up is to email all of your subscribers all of the time. That means selecting your whole list, writing an email, and sending it to everyone. You shouldn’t do that.
Instead, you should pay attention to who’s super engaged and email them more often. And equally, you should email the people who are less engaged less often, if at all. You want to divide your subscribers into different segments based on their interests, on how recently they purchased, and on what they purchase from you, for example.
We are constantly excluding people from certain emails we're sending because they might have already seen a particular email or don't need to see a specific piece of content we're sending out. That’s why we use dynamic campaign ideas that we share inside The League for our members to help route subscribers down different paths. You want to take people around different corners and ensure you're constantly referring them to what's most relevant to them. If somebody clicks to look at a particular piece of content, you might to want to move them into a specific campaign. But you won’t get the same results if you just email your whole list with the same content – it doesn’t work like that anymore.
Also, another reason to exclude people is if they’re already in the middle of something else. They might be in your re-engagement sequence, for example. So if they’re already going through a specific campaign, you might choose not to send them another one. If you think about your email marketing from the subscriber’s experience, you can then decide what they see next.
This week’s subject line is “That’s a wrap”. And we sent this one out at the end of a promotion. We were doing our five-day challenge, and this was the email that went out the day after the challenge finished.
Whenever you run any email campaign or promotion, there’s always a sticky situation the next day where maybe someone didn’t buy. So how do you send them more emails about other things?
What we do now is follow the technique we learnt from Molly Jaxx in a previous podcast episode. We send them an email with the subject line “That’s a wrap” where we talk about the fact we’ve done an amazing promotion or challenge that is now over. And with this email, we extend an opportunity for people to still work with us, even though they didn’t buy at the time of that promotion. Quite clever, right?
FREE list of the top 10 books to improve your email marketing
If you want to write better emails, come up with better content, and move your readers to click and buy, here's how. We put together this list of our Top 10 most highly recommended books that will improve all areas of your email marketing (including some underground treasures that we happened upon, which have been game-changing for us). Grab your FREE list here.
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If you want to chat about how you can maximise the value of your email list and make more money from every subscriber, we can help! We know your business is different, so come and hang out in our FREE Facebook group, the Email Marketing Show Community for Course Creators and Coaches. We share a lot of training and resources, and you can talk about what you're up to.
Try ResponseSuite for $1
This week's episode is sponsored by ResponseSuite.com, the survey quiz and application form tool that we created specifically for small businesses like you to integrate with your marketing systems to segment your subscribers and make more sales. Try it out for 14 days for just $1.
Join The League Membership
Not sick of us yet? Every day we hang out in our amazing community of Email Marketing Heroes. We share all of our training and campaigns and a whole bunch of other stuff. If you're looking to learn how to use psychology-driven marketing to level up your email campaigns, come and check out The League Membership. It's the number one place to hang out and grow your email marketing. Best news yet? You can apply everything we talk about in this show.
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