Have you had more success with blind or transparent emails?

10 replies
I was recently retained to write emails for a fairly well-known self-help guru to write email copy and had a fun experience.

I've done work for him before with pretty good success. But I've matured as a writer quite a bit since my last stint a few years ago. So I was/am excited about the opportunity to turn up the heat a bit.

He asked me:

"Do you find companies have more success with emails that talk about the product/offer or blind copy that serves to tickle curiosity?"

I told him about an experience I just had in the last couple weeks.

I did some solo ads for a supplement company. We sent out two emails to their list. We split the list in half. One half received a "long" (3 page) email diving into symptoms and revealing the product as the solution with a strong call-to-action. It had a 12% clickthru rate.

The other email was about half a page long and described the worse case scenario for someone who is deficient in the nutrient. It had a pretty ridiculous 67% clickthru rate.

He was intrigued and wanted to do the same kind of test for one of his lists.

Funny enough...

We pretty much had the exact opposite results... with a great overall conversion of about 17%.

So I'm curious...

When a company hires you to write email copy, do you lean more towards blind persuasion or being transparent about the offer? And why?

Mark
#blind #emails #success #transparent
  • Profile picture of the author wordwizard
    Personally, I hate blind emails.

    Also, you provide click-through figures. But what about actual conversions?

    I'd be very curious about that...

    When I do click on these kinds of ads (rarely), I generally refuse to buy and instead unsubscribe from those kinds of lists.

    Call me a grouch!
    Signature

    FREE Report: 5 Ways To Grow Your Affiliate Income

    Let Me Help You Sell: Sales Letters, Email Series, Pre-Sell Reports... PM me & we'll talk!
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[8019730].message }}
    • Profile picture of the author MadHattie123
      Originally Posted by wordwizard View Post

      ... Also, you provide click-through figures. But what about actual conversions?
      Aye ... the proof of the pudding is not just open rates and CTR but conversions. For each type of email, what will be the prospect's frame of mind when they reach the landing page?

      Hence the latest split test on Anne Holland's Which Test Won – A/B Test & Multivariate Testing Education for Marketing Professionals

      They were testing longer subject line vs shorter subject line BUT the outcome measurement centered on conversions:

      Version A, the longer subject line, with 56 characters, increased total orders by 21% and revenue by 35%… even though its open rate was 10.5% lower than the shorter 25-character subject line!

      The discussion in the comments was rather good also.
      {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[8020034].message }}
      • Profile picture of the author Mark Pescetti
        Originally Posted by MadHattie123 View Post

        Aye ... the proof of the pudding is not just open rates and CTR but conversions. For each type of email, what will be the prospect's frame of mind when they reach the landing page?
        When I construct a sales funnel, I like to be specific/transparent in my solo email and video script, while using the sales letter to tell a more complete story - without jumping into the product prematurely.

        I feel that if a prospect is clicking onto the sales letter - knowing what they're looking at, it increases actual sales. It also gives me more time, freedom and creative control to build the bigger picture appeal. Transparent copy acts as more of a prequalifying tool, while blind emails can very easily increase CTR, but fail to convert hardly any of the traffic.

        That being said...

        Blind copy seems to work better on cold traffic or less-than-ideal lists... in my experience.

        Mark
        {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[8022244].message }}
        • Profile picture of the author MadHattie123
          Originally Posted by Mark Pescetti View Post

          I feel that if a prospect is clicking onto the sales letter - knowing what they're looking at, it increases actual sales. [...snip...]

          Transparent copy acts as more of a prequalifying tool, while blind emails can very easily increase CTR, but fail to convert hardly any of the traffic.

          That being said...

          Blind copy seems to work better on cold traffic or less-than-ideal lists... in my experience.

          Mark
          I agree wholeheartedly.

          Knowing what kind of list is being used is a crucial piece of the puzzle in deciding which approach to use.

          I was rethinking the "prospect awareness" and "direct vs indirect" factors in relation to email marketing and ... (no surprise) it still applies. Blind (indirect) copy would work better with cold (unaware) traffic.

          I'm thinking in terms of a sliding scale between direct (transparent) .. and .. indirect (blind). I'm not entirely comfortable using the "blind" descriptor.

          The other piece of the puzzle to consider then would be what kind of copy is being used on the landing page/sales letter.

          How much does that influence you in deciding which type of email copy to use?
          {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[8023015].message }}
          • Profile picture of the author Mark Pescetti
            Originally Posted by MadHattie123 View Post

            I agree wholeheartedly.

            Knowing what kind of list is being used is a crucial piece of the puzzle in deciding which approach to use.

            I was rethinking the "prospect awareness" and "direct vs indirect" factors in relation to email marketing and ... (no surprise) it still applies. Blind (indirect) copy would work better with cold (unaware) traffic.

            I'm thinking in terms of a sliding scale between direct (transparent) .. and .. indirect (blind). I'm not entirely comfortable using the "blind" descriptor.

            The other piece of the puzzle to consider then would be what kind of copy is being used on the landing page/sales letter.

            How much does that influence you in deciding which type of email copy to use?
            The landing page copy is huge in determining the solo ad.

            When I get a clear idea of how I want to drive prospects, I'll often start with a solo email draft - so I know what tone and approach to use in the beginning of my landing page copy. It's a process that works really, really well for me.

            Again...

            I like "direct" solo ads, because it gives me the freedom to build my landing page copy, without diving right into the product straight away.

            Mark
            {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[8024985].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author MadHattie123
    Originally Posted by Mark Pescetti View Post

    When a company hires you to write email copy, do you lean more towards blind persuasion or being transparent about the offer? And why?
    I lean more towards having the client clearly spell out what metrics they will be using to determine the success of the email campaign. If they are to measure the success of my emails based solely on CTR and not landing page conversions then the answer is easily that I lean toward curiosity based emails. They can pull response from a broader demographic set. (i.e. the trigger is more universal in nature)

    I think it also depends on the nature of the list being mailed to. Is it a cold list or have they purchased from the client before? If it is a list of previous buyers and they are already familiar with (know, like & trust) the client then more direct "transparent" emails could be just the thing.
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[8020107].message }}
    • Profile picture of the author wordwizard
      Originally Posted by MadHattie123 View Post

      I lean more towards having the client clearly spell out what metrics they will be using to determine the success of the email campaign. If they are to measure the success of my emails based solely on CTR and not landing page conversions then the answer is easily that I lean toward curiosity based emails. They can pull response from a broader demographic set. (i.e. the trigger is more universal in nature)
      Great point, MadHattie! I didn't even think of that - if the client values clickthroughs and doesn't check or value actual conversions, than I suppose we better accommodate that... And vice versa.

      The key is to check to find out what they REALLY want, and deliver that.
      Signature

      FREE Report: 5 Ways To Grow Your Affiliate Income

      Let Me Help You Sell: Sales Letters, Email Series, Pre-Sell Reports... PM me & we'll talk!
      {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[8020129].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author Daniel Scott
    It depends on the market and the list.

    More conservative markets (investing, health) usually need more substantial copy.

    Other markets (seduction, weight loss, biz opp) can usually get away with more "blind" copy.

    Of course, that's not to say the substantial copy gives too much away. You just usually have to entice the click a little differently - you need to give a little more info to get people excited.

    -Daniel

    P.S. My experiences only.
    Signature

    Always looking for badass direct-response copywriters. PM me if we don't know each other and you're looking for work.

    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[8020322].message }}
  • Like Mr Scott said it depends on the market.

    If you do go blind and pique the good peoples curiosity into a frenzy.

    There must be a credible, solid gold payoff when they do click onto the fabulous inter web site.

    It really does have to have a "wow" or an "aha" factor (of course every inter web site should have this).

    But it's even more vital if you compel people there on from a blind email. You must not disappoint them (with a transparent email they kind of know whats coming but that too has to be so worth it).

    in either case if this doesn't happen the clicker says "Oh for f*** sake what a waste of time"

    And clicks again (that's the "click of death" meaning you aren't getting any money).

    Never to return.

    You only get the one chance to make a good first impression - best not to piss them off.


    Steve
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[8023731].message }}

Trending Topics