Sick of Emails Not Being Opened?

46 replies
Often we get frustrated when we spent so much time on free products, salesfunnel, squeezepage, and email swipes, AND our emails just don't get opened. Especially when we have just started in listbuilding.

So today, I'm going to teach you (this may not be new, but it's been a very useful strategyfor myself) today, is how to find out some "proven to convert" subject lines.

A converting subject is important because no matter how good your email swipe converts, if they don't get seen, it's useless.

So what you are going to do is:
  • Create a brand new email (Gmail is pretty convenient these days)
  • Forum search or Google some of the gurus (the big boys) names
  • These should get you started..
  • Using your newly created email, and subscribe to every single one of their optin forms
  • Look for at least 20 of them, and optin to as many of their lists as possible
  • Now you'll have them sending you emails every now and then
  • So whenever you need some ideas for subject lines, you simply logs in to your Gmail, and search for relevant keywords for niches
  • You will be surprised on how many awesome subject lines you'll find by doing that, because the big boys obviously know what they're doing, and by simply spinning some words of the subject, you could do the same, too!

I hope you liked the little report.

Again, this may not be new, but just my little experience share!

Edward
#emails #opened #sick
  • Profile picture of the author Alexa Smith
    Banned
    Originally Posted by Ed Micah View Post

    the big boys obviously know what they're doing
    Many of the truly successful "big boys" are split-testing all the time ... so one shouldn't assume that what one sees is "what's working": there's often a 50% chance that it will be the worse-performing end of the test, and might be abandoned at the end of the week/month.

    To be honest, I'm not actually convinced those "big boys" always know what they're doing at all, anyway.

    You know those squeeze-pages with a pictorial background which are so popular and fashionable at the moment? I've seen at least a couple of those "big boys" using them (for extended periods of time) but everyone I know who has actually split-tested them has proved for themselves that the same thing against a plain white background (i.e. without the picture/photo) converts significantly better. So to a skepchick like me, it looks like those big boys may sometimes just be copying each other without split-testing for themselves. That's how many IM decisions are made.

    You know all those "prices ending with a figure 7"? Everyone just copies those, assuming that "they must work because otherwise everyone wouldn't be doing it, and besides, it must have been tested". The reality is that people who split-test them methodically usually learn some "surprising things".

    Copying what other people are doing, in an industry with a low overall success-rate, is a very high-risk strategy. What "most people" are doing is typically what doesn't work.

    In general, copying what you see "big boys" doing isn't typically a recipe for success, for quite a few reasons: your perception of which big boys are successful can easily be mistaken; you might be looking at the losing end of a split-test; there might not even have been a split-test at all; it might be something that works well for someone else because of unknown specific reasons that apply to his business but not to yours (that's really common!); testing for yourself is invariably wiser than copying what other people - even "perceived experts" - are doing.

    Originally Posted by Matt Lee View Post

    No sense in re-inventing the wheel when it works.
    But every sense in finding out for yourself (rather than guessing/assuming) whether it actually works for you.

    Originally Posted by Ed Micah View Post

    I hope you liked the little report.
    I promise I don't mean it rudely, Edward, but I think it's pretty much misguided; sorry. This kind of mistaken approach is actually a big part of the underlying reason for all those assumption-based teachings of the Urban Myth School of Internet Marketing being perpetuated and propagated, and that's why so many people go wrong: they imagine that they're copying what "must" work, only to find, a year later, that unfortunately they're still not making a living at all.

    Originally Posted by Ed Micah View Post

    Sick of Emails Not Being Opened?
    No - I have (and maintain) very high open-rates because I've avoided doing what you suggest above, and have tested things for myself. For anyone interested, these few posts/threads explain some of what I've learned, by doing so ...

    What are the essential things to know about list building?
    Lists: How Long to Presell - Averages
    Website or squeeze page
    Where to get reports to give away on opt in page?
    Autoresponders vs. Broadcasts
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    • Profile picture of the author Frank Donovan
      I can't see the point of copying the subject lines of marketers who regularly boast of getting opening rates of 20%. Yes, they actually seem proud of the fact that only one in five of the people who've opted in to their list can actually be bothered to read what they have to say. :rolleyes:

      Such blind copying of what you see other marketers do only results in a raft of "me too" tactics - how many "Bad News" subject lines did it take until you became inured to that particular fad? - all too often you'd just end up following someone who's as clueless as whoever it is they're following.

      The point is, if you have to rely on the subject line to get your email opened, the relationship with your subscribers needs some work. Do you obsess about what your subject line should be when writing to friends? Or do you rely on the fact that they'll open the email because they can see it's from you? It shouldn't be any different with your subscribers.

      Concentrate on establishing that relationship and forget about trying to trick people into opening your emails.

      Frank
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      • Profile picture of the author Alexa Smith
        Banned
        Originally Posted by Frank Donovan View Post

        I can't see the point in copying the subject lines of marketers who regularly boast of getting opening rates of 20%. Yes, they actually seem proud of the fact that only one in five of the people who've opted in to their list can actually be bothered to read what they have to say. :rolleyes:
        It's staggering.

        And depressing.

        They put enormous effort, energy and sometimes expense into attracting targeted traffic to their squeeze pages (they're almost invariably people who use squeeze pages, because they mistakenly imagine that "the biggest list" and "the biggest income" are going to be the same thing ), and then they send out various kinds of emails (typically referring to them as "blasts", which is in itself a fairly sure sign of what kind of "marketer" you're dealing with ) promoting all kinds of things, and swiftly and pretty reliably get themselves into a position in which at least 80% of their own subscribers won't even open an email from them, and these people are "the big boys", and "obviously they know what they're doing", and these are the people we're supposed to copy?!?!?!

        If 80% of my own subscribers wouldn't open an email from me, I'd call it a day and go into the antiques business, or just be a shoe-designer, or something, instead. If it weren't so stupid, it would be laughable.

        It disappoints and frustrates me a lot to see such dreadful advice being given, and taken! It reminds me of what I found here when I first arrived in 2008, and how I was gullible enough to believe it, and try it, and why it took me so long to earn anything online.

        Anyway, it's good on this occasion to see a few people correcting it.

        I'll say no more, because to be honest I do sometimes struggle to be polite about nonsense like this being posted in the forum, and that's my problem and my responsibility, and I know I sometimes come across as very critical.

        Originally Posted by Frank Donovan View Post

        Concentrate on establishing that relationship and forget about trying to trick people into opening your emails.
        This, for Heaven's sake. It's sad that people need to post "correctively" and say things like this, but it's good that they do, anyway. As ever, thank you, Frank.
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        • Profile picture of the author Chris Silvey
          I use another strategy. With email I follow can spam exactly, this makes your email stand out above all others that come into an Inbox.

          For the subject line I use: ADV (this tells the recipient that it is an advertisement. Next the product name, a hyphen and either a feature or short description.

          The body - I don't ever use swipes. While the vendor may have a good product, but I find most lacking in marketing skills.

          I use a custom html template. This consists of the product Image, a short review, key features, and full contact information.

          I find transparency the best tool for conversions.
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      • Profile picture of the author Bob Reynolds
        Great thread. I have tried it and had no good results, I tried making my own and had worse results..lol

        Now I am back to just writing to them, and finding my way of being myself and kind of funny, insightful, and real.

        and testing, always testing...
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    • Profile picture of the author Ed Micah
      Originally Posted by Alexa Smith View Post

      Copying what other people are doing, in an industry with a low overall success-rate, is a very high-risk strategy. What "most people" are doing is typically what doesn't work.

      In general, copying what you see "big boys" doing isn't typically a recipe for success, for quite a few reasons: your perception of which big boys are successful can easily be mistaken; you might be looking at the losing end of a split-test; there might not even have been a split-test at all; it might be something that works well for someone else because of unknown specific reasons that apply to his business but not to yours (that's really common!); testing for yourself is invariably wiser than copying what other people - even "perceived experts" - are doing.
      Alexa thanks for your comments, I appreciate the critiques. I apology if I have mistakenly misled the point of this thread..

      I never mentioned about "copying" was the recipe to be successful. I didn't even mention about the word copy. I said it's a good idea to search for ideas with keywords to find relevant subject lines by those who at least have some basic ideas, and spin it.

      Obviously, copying word by word is not going to work out anything, because what works for them doesn't mean it'd work for you.

      Only spinning the line won't even make you success yet. Split-testing (large amount) is the only recipe to success, in my opininon.

      Other than that, the most critical aspect (as mentioned by others), is your credibility & authority. If you can give quality contents, you'll hopefully be remembered. By that time, no matter what your subject line is, when they see your name, they'll open it for sure!

      I think this is the main point of this thread!
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    • Profile picture of the author Kevin Walker
      Great idea Ed and thanks for sharing I'll be trying this one out for sure!!

      I suppose I already do this kind of subconsciously as I always look at the subject lines of the emails in my spam folder and I take note of the emails I open because of the unusual or compelling subject lines! For example:

      Hey!
      Re: XYZ
      You've just won a XYZ
      About the money I own you......
      Here are your account details
      This is your last chance
      Time sensitive content
      Inside are your username and password

      See what I mean, or am I just a gullible sucker??
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      • Profile picture of the author Alexa Smith
        Banned
        Originally Posted by Kevin Walker View Post

        I always look at the subject lines of the emails in my spam folder and I take note of the emails I open because of the unusual or compelling subject lines! For example:

        You've just won a XYZ
        About the money I own you......
        I was hoping, at first, that your post was sarcastic/ironic, and not meant to be taken seriously.

        On re-reading it, I have a nasty feeling that you really are silly enough to use titles like that. Do it yourself, if you want, but please don't advise fellow-members to use ludicrous, deceptive nonsense like this. Not only will they lose any credibility they ever had, with their subscribers, but if they ever get any complaints about it (and people do complain, sometimes) their autoresponder service providers will rightly close down their accounts very quickly for contravening the terms of service!

        Originally Posted by Kevin Walker View Post

        See what I mean, or am I just a gullible sucker??
        It doesn't matter whether you're gullible yourself. Regardless of whether people's subscribers are gullible, this is a dreadful, unwise, counter-productive thing to try. It would really help you to read this, Kevin (especially the last bit of it), rather than repeating such extraordinarily ill-conceived suggestions here: http://www.warriorforum.com/main-int...ml#post6123982

        Does it really need to be said that you should be getting people to open your emails because of who they're from, and what that means to your subscibers, not because you've tricked them with a deceptive title-line?! Email marketing is all about trust.

        .
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  • Profile picture of the author RFTG974
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  • Profile picture of the author Will Edwards
    Alternatively, if you want to get your emails opened, you could simply send out good quality stuff on a regular basis.

    Will
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  • Profile picture of the author Stacy Fleetwood
    Interesting thread for sure. I agree with both sides of this. I don't want to blindly copy someone, even if they are a 'big boy', however I have used this exact technique to look at what else is out there.

    I didn't want to get into list building and blindly go off on my own thinking that I know better than people who are actually having success in this business, even if it is 20% opens. That's better than nothing, which is where you are when you start. 20% opens isn't my goal, but studying what is out there is learning, blindly copying what it out there, not so much.

    So, as a starting point, and to learn the trends and techniques being used out there I studied what everyone else was doing. The ones that peeked my interest and maybe even motivated me to buy were the ones that ended up in my notes. From there I know what techniques I want to implement with my list and what I don't.

    There ARE folks whose lists I am on who are not in your "20% open rate" category. I get to learn from them too!

    I am aware that the senders name should be what drives the open rate, not the subject line. I am also aware that when folks are bombarded by emails, a great subject line can add a little extra encouragement to open that email.
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  • Profile picture of the author Bruce NewMedia
    Have to agree with Alexa about all the 'big boys" testing. I think much of it is copying and assumptions about what works, not facts.

    However, I think there's a big factor she didn't mention:
    WHO is sending the email. That will affect open rates a lot. If the sender has branded themselves already, you really can't assume you'll get good results just copying what they do.

    I've seen it in my own mailings. The more 'known' I've become, the more my open rates have gone up. If you are Frank Kern, you can get good results from subject headers that may flop with lesser known or anonymous marketers.
    _____
    Bruce
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    • Profile picture of the author Stacy Fleetwood
      Originally Posted by Bruce NewMedia View Post

      I've seen it in my own mailings. The more 'known' I've become, the more my open rates have gone up. If you are Frank Kern, you can get good results from subject headers that may flop with lesser known or anonymous marketers.
      _____
      Bruce
      Excellent point, Bruce.
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    • Profile picture of the author Alexa Smith
      Banned
      Originally Posted by Bruce NewMedia View Post

      WHO is sending the email. That will affect open rates a lot.
      Absolutely - for sure.

      This is a huge factor in whether or not people open your emails.

      If I get an email from my father, I'm opening it, regardless of the subject-line. If I get an email from Paul Myers, I'm opening it, regardless of the subject-line. If I get an email from someone I'm awaiting and expecting an email from, because his last email 5 days ago said exactly what he'd be writing about in 5 days' time and that's something I want to know about and I respect and trust the sender, I'm opening it, regardless of the subject-line.

      I want my subscribers to open my emails because they come from me, not because I'm using a subject-line which (allegedly) worked well for (or "was being tested by") someone who claims to be a "big boy" in this industry.

      Originally Posted by Bruce NewMedia View Post

      If the sender has branded themselves already, you really can't assume you'll get good results just copying what they do.
      Exactly so. Which may be why/how Frank Kern can use a squeeze-page with a picture of the beach as the background, but everyone else who actually split-tests it finds that it converts worse than a plain one.

      Seriously, you copy these things "the big boys do" at your peril. Including their email subject-lines.
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  • Profile picture of the author Not So New
    Nice Tip Ed ...

    The other thing you can do to get more emails opened is to connect better with their subscribers.

    If they like you , then the subject line doesn't really matter that much

    -Shawn
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    • Profile picture of the author jay5x
      Originally Posted by Not So New View Post

      Nice Tip Ed ...

      The other thing you can do to get more emails opened is to connect better with their subscribers.

      If they like you , then the subject line doesn't really matter that much

      -Shawn
      Great tip Shawn, some tips on how we can get our subscribers to like us?
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  • Profile picture of the author Stuart Walker
    I wonder about some of the 'big boys' and 'gurus' because I read a report recently that
    Ryan Diess get's just a 7% open rate on emails.

    I am sure he has a list of 500,000 or something so it's worth while but if I had a 7% open rate I'd just not bother.
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    • Profile picture of the author clairelynn23
      Yep, when I'm checking my emails, I'm looking at who sent it, and the subject is always a big secondary. If I like who, the subject isn't really so important.
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      • Profile picture of the author Alex Blades
        I am a big fan of "if it ain't broke, don't fix it" but alot of these "gurus" are full of B.S...

        Most of the phony headlines they send out, have you opening the email just to unsubscribe. When you send out emails, you want to build rapport with your subscriber, not come off as some phoney.

        People are too smart nowadays, to fall for some B.S headline. If they open your email, it's because they want to hear what you want to say, not some copy n paste crap.

        I don't want to mention any names, but most of the top "gurus" are nothing more than con artist, so the last thing I want to do is steal their con lines
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      • Profile picture of the author Steve B
        Ed,

        Subject lines are important, but they're not the only variable that affects open rates. Of course you should test your subject lines prior to sending large amounts of email so that you can optimize your message.

        And as others have said, open rates are affected by the type of quality the prospect is used to seeing from you. That's always something you can work on.

        Yes, who is sending the email is also critical. If you have treated your prospects right, you will see better open rates.

        There is another critical factor in the open rate equation ... specifically ... how laser targeted the prospect is to what you are offering. This, maybe as much as any other single thing, will make or break your open rate.

        Assuming that the subject line is truthful (one of the important tests of Can-Spam), I can usually tell immediately if I want to open or trash the email. If it has nothing to do with my interests, it goes right in the dumper.

        Good luck to you.

        Steve
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    • Profile picture of the author Content Commando
      Originally Posted by Stuart Walker View Post

      I wonder about some of the 'big boys' and 'gurus' because I read a report recently that
      Ryan Diess get's just a 7% open rate on emails.

      I am sure he has a list of 500,000 or something so it's worth while but if I had a 7% open rate I'd just not bother.
      Wouldn't be surprised. He sends 2-3 emails every day that are 90% promotion.
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      • Profile picture of the author Egyfitness
        I have like 40% open rate and 20% click rate. But thats because all my subscribers signed at the end of posts form, They are actually waiting for my mails. Maybe that will change when people subscribe to get a free ebook.
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        • Profile picture of the author discrat
          Originally Posted by Egyfitness View Post

          I have like 40% open rate and 20% click rate. But thats because all my subscribers signed at the end of posts form, They are actually waiting for my mails. Maybe that will change when people subscribe to get a free ebook.
          Yeah this seems to be a more and more popular way to build a List.

          Could be quite effective.

          Have a blog with incredible Posts but after awhile they cannot get or see any of your new Posts without giving out email address and info.

          I like it


          - Robert Andrew
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  • Profile picture of the author jaytheanalyst
    Great report! I do utilize this method. It works!
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  • Profile picture of the author JohnMcCabe
    Originally Posted by Ed Micah View Post

    [*]Using your newly created email, and subscribe to every single one of their optin forms[*]Look for at least 20 of them, and optin to as many of their lists as possible [*]Now you'll have them sending you emails every now and then

    Edward
    Ed, this is going to be dangerous advice for many, simply because so many of the people running those (at least 20) lists you want people to sign up for are already doing the same thing.

    Everybody copies each other because they see so many other people doing it, and they all assume that if so many people do something, it must work.

    And that "every now and then" is often several times a day, using a copy/paste of whatever the vendor gave them.
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  • Profile picture of the author Javisito
    Originally Posted by Ed Micah View Post

    Often we get frustrated when we spent so much time on free products, salesfunnel, squeezepage, and email swipes, AND our emails just don't get opened. Especially when we have just started in listbuilding.

    So today, I'm going to teach you (this may not be new, but it's been a very useful strategyfor myself) today, is how to find out some "proven to convert" subject lines.

    A converting subject is important because no matter how good your email swipe converts, if they don't get seen, it's useless.

    So what you are going to do is:
    • Create a brand new email (Gmail is pretty convenient these days)
    • Forum search or Google some of the gurus (the big boys) names
    • These should get you started..
    • Using your newly created email, and subscribe to every single one of their optin forms
    • Look for at least 20 of them, and optin to as many of their lists as possible
    • Now you'll have them sending you emails every now and then
    • So whenever you need some ideas for subject lines, you simply logs in to your Gmail, and search for relevant keywords for niches
    • You will be surprised on how many awesome subject lines you'll find by doing that, because the big boys obviously know what they're doing, and by simply spinning some words of the subject, you could do the same, too!

    I hope you liked the little report.

    Again, this may not be new, but just my little experience share!

    Edward
    I've been doing this myself for some time and I can confirm that it really does help!

    Thanks for sharing anyway I know a lot of people will have use of this
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  • Profile picture of the author skyro
    I would also look for vendors known for doing good adswaps and solo ads( especially the ones that don't ask for ad swipes). If their solo ads and ad swaps are being open frequently they obviously doing something right.
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  • Profile picture of the author npoint
    I have tested it in the past and the truth is sometimes you will see some positive results of that sometimes not, it is as Alexa said, the big boys also doing the tests so we have a pretty good chance to get their best open rate subjects as well as the worst ones.

    Only our own tests can show us this what really works I think.
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  • Profile picture of the author juliantan
    This is an awesome idea and It will certainly work.
    Kudos to you.
    Thanks.
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  • Profile picture of the author lukeguy
    This is great place to start. We have to start somewhere but eventually you will begin A/B testing your own stuff. Not bad for starters but the ultimate goal is getting high click rate, not just high open rate.
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  • Profile picture of the author alexchen23
    Originally Posted by Ed Micah View Post

    Often we get frustrated when we spent so much time on free products, salesfunnel, squeezepage, and email swipes, AND our emails just don't get opened. Especially when we have just started in listbuilding.

    So today, I'm going to teach you (this may not be new, but it's been a very useful strategyfor myself) today, is how to find out some "proven to convert" subject lines.

    A converting subject is important because no matter how good your email swipe converts, if they don't get seen, it's useless.

    So what you are going to do is:
    • Create a brand new email (Gmail is pretty convenient these days)
    • Forum search or Google some of the gurus (the big boys) names
    • These should get you started..
    • Using your newly created email, and subscribe to every single one of their optin forms
    • Look for at least 20 of them, and optin to as many of their lists as possible
    • Now you'll have them sending you emails every now and then
    • So whenever you need some ideas for subject lines, you simply logs in to your Gmail, and search for relevant keywords for niches
    • You will be surprised on how many awesome subject lines you'll find by doing that, because the big boys obviously know what they're doing, and by simply spinning some words of the subject, you could do the same, too!

    I hope you liked the little report.

    Again, this may not be new, but just my little experience share!

    Edward
    What a simple and transparent guide. bookmark it .
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  • Profile picture of the author BrandonLee
    Who it's from means a lot more than the subject line. People are going to be inclined to open your stuff or they won't. Your primary focus should be on developing a good rapport and reputation amongst the people on your list. Once you do that a good subject line will boost opens, but if they can't stand you, don't trust you etc - it won't get open.

    Be different. Give them a reason to look forward to opening your emails - and don't teach so damn much, it gets boring - people want to be infotained!
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    • Profile picture of the author discrat
      Originally Posted by BrandonLee View Post


      Be different. Give them a reason to look forward to opening your emails - and don't teach so damn much, it gets boring - people want to be infotained!
      I think this is a good point. You need to teach but be entertaining at the same time.

      Start off with a funny story about something that happened to you that day.

      Poke fun of yourself, poke fun at other people, say bizarre stuff ( but within certain boundaries and make it relevant) that will keep your Subs engaged.

      Be Sam Kinnison or Robin Williams or Mister Rodgers or Captain Kangaroo.

      Make it fun



      - Robert Andrew
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  • Profile picture of the author chaksmiths
    "losses loom larger than gains". I try to trigger fear emotion in most of my mails and i found this approach works best for me.
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  • Profile picture of the author Shaolinsteve
    In fact... creating a new email address is not even necessary. You can filter those emails and segment them to avoid the inbox and just go into the folder.
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  • Profile picture of the author Matthew Trujillo
    I've never been a fan of deceptive subject lines. As Alexa and others have already mentioned if somebody opens your emails it's because they want to hear from you. I shouldn't have to "trick" people into opening my emails, if they want to hear what I gotta say they'll open my emails. I don't even open emails based off of what the subject line is, sometimes, but I mostly open emails entirely because of the sender. It's the trust that counts in the end.
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  • Profile picture of the author Markets
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    • Profile picture of the author totalyrecycled12
      I think getting some sort of repore with your list will get you more opens like most on here are saying. I personaly am subscribed to quite a few lists just to see what is being offered and learning from them.
      I always look for the persons name as I get a lot of emails from marketers who seem to like shareing ther lists etc and quite often get emails from the ones i have never subscribed directly to. If I open them out of curiosity or a tempting headline then just get taken to a video sales page that doesnt even relate to the subject they are taken straight off my list as well as the ones who gave them my email when i eventualy work out who it was.
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  • Profile picture of the author jessicawang
    If you are not one of the big boys, this can be very tough! I think the quality of your first product that you offer for your subscribers to optin is very important. If you offer garbage, you will receive rubbish!

    Even the gurus spam their subscribers to dead! What do you expect?
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  • Profile picture of the author annewilliams123
    I have got 3000 emails on my ID. Now I have change my email ID and finding relief as there was so many mails which is not important. So I deleted.
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    • Profile picture of the author Dladue
      I would suggest to resend your email message to all your unopened BUT change the subject line and make it more appealing. Don't sound like a Sales letter, sound like your message is giving some kind of value. You will get some of those people to open up your email. This is what I do and it works for me.
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  • Profile picture of the author kyraline
    If I look at myself and why I might open an email it's mostly because who it is from. When I come to think about it I don't scan the subject matter so much as I scan the senders first, and there are simply names I will most always open because I know from experience they give value. Subject matter is only second, so I may open an email from someone lesser known to me but with an intriguing headline. On the other hand when they start off with "Hey", that's a sure delete on my part!!
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  • Profile picture of the author Affiliatebuddy
    bottomline

    If you have some worthy content to send them, they will be waiting for your emails.
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  • Profile picture of the author FXdarling
    I am using these tactics, but the thing is that the gurus use different approaches and in the end it may seem confusing. Though you can still find lots of great tips when spying on your top competitors.
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