Help needed re emailing a big list!

by JB
9 replies
Hi Everyone,

I've just done a big update of my website and am about to email the subscriber base in an attempt to rekindle traffic from previous users and get them back using the site again.

A little history, a friend built the site and managed it until he became ill. Then it started to decline from lack of development, unresolved issues and zero direction. Since I've taken it over the traffic has started to creep back up again but I've been very careful not to promote the site at all until the new revamp was ready because the old site was so out of date.

Now I'm ready to go but I have a problem. I've blown my budget on developing the site and have to rely on what I've got to get me through this next stage. The email system (so called 'newsletter manager') is basic text only - no html etc. I've got around 30,000 users to email and I need to make the most out of what I've got.

The goal is to get users back to see new the site and connect into their accounts and start uploading music again (it's a musicians network with band pages for users to share their own music - kind of like Myspace music). Does anyone know of any tricks on how to make the best use of text only email shots? Is a one or two liner more effective than a paragraph, or two? I know the headline is very important too... any tips on that front?

I'm confident that once they come back to the site they will be impressed and that traffic will return to where it was before and beyond. I just don't want to blow it on the first communication...

Any help would be appreciated,

#big #emailing #list #needed
  • Profile picture of the author MichaelBenz
    We've found that short emails and even shorter subject lines get the best response rates.

    All you want the email to do is get them to click.

    By sending long emails, you give them an opportunity to "decide" whether or not to click - with super-short they really don't have a choice.

    So many people try to sell in their emails, but really they are losing conversions because less people go to the sales page.

    Yes - the people who do will be "warmer" but i'd rather get the most clicks possible to the offer and let the vendor do their job once I get them there
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    • Profile picture of the author JB
      That's what I was thinking too - also, I;m not selling anything. The site offers a free service, I just want to get traffic back up again so I can get things monetised.
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  • Profile picture of the author Stuart Turnbull
    A short email with only one call to action (link to click) repeated several times, once near the top.

    Make the call to action very specific--tell them what to do--"CLICK HERE TO..........."

    I find the word "Free" in the subject line boosts open rates.
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  • Profile picture of the author MichaelBenz
    Be careful using free in the subj line. it's a good way NOT to get inboxed. We still do it, but very sparingly
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  • Profile picture of the author johnhayesfc
    You really are going to have to come up with a catchy subject line to get your subscribers attention again. It is possible to revive a list, but as you probably know sometimes difficult and definately time-consuming unless you have something great to give them. The best strategy I have ever used is to make a statement subject line and add a question mark at the end where it doesn't make since (i.e. Apples?) for computers. It makes them think what in the world and if it is catchy enough to spark interest they will click. The idea is mystery - What is behind door #1. Then in your email make sure you keep it short, simple, and to the point with only 1 call to action. I do this most often with my blog where I will normally write something like:

    Hey ----,

    My nephew was playing on my netbook the other day
    and somehow found this website that kept him busy
    for hours. What was really interesting is that the reason
    he wouldn't let me have my computer back for almost
    3 hours was because of...

    This - Click here to find out what it was! <-- make this a link

    That's just a simple example off the top of my head, but with a little thought and relevancy you can come up with something for your slowly reviving site.

    Make sure it is relevant and use this type of email. I believe you will find it works quiet well. For me these types of broadcast normally convert between 50-80%. A list of 30,000 emailed with a open rate of 50%, well you figure out the traffic.

    Hope this helps! Remember short subject line, short email, and call to action.

    Johnathan Hayes
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  • Profile picture of the author MichaelBenz
    I disagree. That's too long. If you make it blind you'll get way more clicks.

    subj: Re: Your Band


    You'll definitely want to see this:

    It's about your band.

    Talk Soon,

    Day 2

    subj: make it big.


    You won't ever make it
    big with your band if the
    right people don't hear
    your music.

    Don't miss your shot:

    Talk soon,

    And mail them OFTEN.
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  • Profile picture of the author Toots
    You need a short punchy subject line. I have found words like "shocking" work for getting people to open the email.
    Then you need them to click through to the website. Offer something for free that is related to your niche. Or a catchy video can work.
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  • Profile picture of the author johnhayesfc

    Those emails work well also. I tend to sometimes keep them extremely short as you have suggested and to the point. In reality, it will come down to testing the emails. Every demographic is different and every niche as well. People respond differently to every email they receive. I remember at one time I had a list that I hadn't broadcast to in around 8 months, then sent an email telling them what had happened and where things had changed. Guess the honesty was better than the blindness. And I absolutely agree that at times, short is sometimes better, but it is all about what got them on the list in the first place.

    Johnathan Hayes
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  • Profile picture of the author MichaelBenz
    I agree every market is different, so it's best if you know what they're likely to respond to.
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