The year was 1971. Etch A Sketch and Hot Wheels were all the rage. Fashionable men wore belted turtlenecks and flared jeans.
And Ray Tomlinson sent himself a message from one computer to another computer sitting next to him… a.k.a. known as The Very First Email in History. Before spam, even.
Flash forward 49 years.
(And yes, flared pants are back in style, only now they’re called “bootcut.”)
Which was why I found it interesting that someone left this on my Facebook page:
“Who reads emails anymore?”
Answer: A lot of people, turns out.
When you think about it, email sounds like a form of black magic…
Because regardless of how small your business is, email gives you the ability to reach everyone in any part of the world at any time.
It’s like a scene in a James Bond film where the villain rappels down from a hovering helicopter and straight into their victim’s master bedroom at 2 a.m.
Except the recipient can ignore it until they’re open to such an invasion. Can’t do that with a Bond villain.
PLUS… the return on investment from email marketing can’t be beat:
For every $1 spent on email marketing, you can expect an average return of $42.
I’m no math whiz, but I’d say that’s well worth the effort.
So don’t listen to the naysayers who say email is dead.
They’re the same people who believe the earth is flat and Elvis is alive hiding out somewhere in Vegas, where he comes down once a year to mingle unrecognized among all his impersonators.
There are also the myths about email.
If you fall prey to some of the email marketing myths floating around the Internet you could be leaving a lot of moolah on the table… Here are the top ones to ditch.
(Side note: I learned some of these the hard way… Don’t be like me.)
#1 MYTH: Emailing your list too often annoys your subscribers
Before I dig into this, think about a product or company you love. For me, it’s Nordstrom and Sephora. Maybe for you it’s the Dollar Shave Club or Urban Outfitters. I literally get emails every day from both these fave stores.
The only thing annoying is my wanting everything they’re offering.
Ditto for your ideal clients.
They may not open every one of your emails, but if they’re the right audience for you they will not mind hearing from you once a week or more (especially during a launch, where email is part of the marketing plan).
If your emails don’t resonate with them, they’re not the right people for you.
In fact, research shows nearly 50% of consumers would like to receive promotional emails from their favorite brands on a weekly basis.
Which brings me to…
#2. MYTH: Unsubscribes are bad and should be avoided at all costs
Fact: Unsubscribes save you money.
Here’s why: If you use an email marketing service like ConvertKit or Mailchimp, you pay for each subscriber. So if they don’t want to hear from you they’re helping you save money by taking themselves out.
Not only that, but you should reach out to your cold subscribers (those who don’t open your emails) a couple times a year to ensure only those who want to hear from you get your emails.
Called “scrubbing” your list, asking people if they no longer want to hear from you ensures a higher open rate by including only those who value what you have to offer.
And it wakes up those who’ve been putting off reading your emails.
#3. MYTH: Long subject lines work best
In total transparency, I believed this one until recently. I don’t remember where I heard it, but everything recent research says the opposite.
In fact, there’s a very definite number of words in a subject line that works better than one word plus or minus. Can you guess how many?
According to data from Marketo, the sweet spot for clicks to open rate was seven words. The key determining factor: phones. If your reader can’t see the whole subject line their chances of opening your email drop.
Note that a higher open rate doesn’t equal a higher click to open rate. The latter refers to the number of people who click on a link within your email.
Those who click a link took action. They didn’t simply pop open your email. They engaged with your content. Better engagement equals better chances your customers will trust you and buy from you at some point.
But don’t take my word or this research at face value. Try it yourself.
For past subject line performance, conduct your own survey and see if a pattern emerges.
Do you see any trends that seem to connect open rates with a certain subject line length?
And… Let me know if you notice an uptick in click-to-open rates by using these tips. I’d love to know.
In the meantime, if you know of anyone who’d like these tips, please send ’em my way.
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Get it Write,
P.S. Got a burning email or copywriting question? Drop me a line at Linda@LindaMeloneWrites.com.