Email Fails: Why Your Marketing Emails Don't Work on Me

103 replies
As I was going through my email this morning it struck me how lame some of the marketing emails were. Don't read this as a rant about what I don't like, I just wanted to point out what I think are the fatal flaws in them so others can avoid these mistakes.

The "fatal flaws" are the things that stop me from taking the action the marketer wants me to take. Of course, this is just my opinion, but I think these fatal flaws prevent a lot of people from doing whatever the email is trying to get us to do.

1. Assuming I'll take the time to read your entire email.
I often won't, and a lot of others won't either. In fact, I keep busy with my own projects, so a lot of times I'm looking for an excuse to delete your email. Don't waste my time with inane blather intended to build a relationship with me.

Oh my gosh! Did I just say that?

Yep. A lot of folks have the wrong idea about what building a relationship with a mailing list is all about. Here's a clue: be useful, be honest, keep my best interests in mind and let that guide your actions.

The idea is to earn trust, not recruit your next best friend.

2. Asking the wrong kind of question.
This is also a copywriting lesson ... if you want me to keep reading, don't start your email with a question I can easily say "no" to. An email I got today opened with a question similar to this, "Are you unhappy with your marketing efforts?"

Nope, delete. That's all I read of it. I win!

When you ask questions, the idea is to ask questions that get your reader to agree with you, not to disagree. Instead of asking if someone is unhappy with a certain result, ask if they'd like to improve a certain result.

The difference may seem like niggling, but the impact is notable.

3. If you're going to tell a story, make sure it isn't boring.
Yes, telling a story can be good, but most of the story-form emails I get suck. They seem to be telling a story for the sake of telling a story because they are not a good segue into the offer.

If you use a story, make it relevant, and make it interesting. Use descriptive words that create the mental pictures and feelings you want to evoke.

4. Don't be yet another copy-and-paste expert.
If all you're doing is copying and pasting a pre-written sales message and sending it you disqualify yourself as an authoritative referrer. You will not be rewarded with an affiliate commission from me because you took one minute to copy, paste, and send an email.

If you want to earn a commission from me, then you really do have to earn it. By that I mean try the product so you can actually tell me what you really like about it.

You want to know a secret? There aren't many perfect products, so tell me about the drawbacks too. Chances are if I want the benefits of the product I'll overlook the drawbacks if they aren't major deal breakers, and your honest assessment makes you more real and your words more believeable.

Do you know what that does? It builds trust.

You may think your readers don't know when you copy and paste what you send, but a good many of us do. We get the same email, often word for word, from a half dozen or more other marketers. We know when you're playing us, which leads to my last point...

5. Don't insult my intelligence.
As Carl Sagan used to say, extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence. Even the dumbest guy in the room can often tell when someone is trying to play him for a sucker.

Those were my thoughts as I went through the marketing emails I received today. I'm not telling you how to run your business, but if you practice marketing like that, you might want to rethink your approach.

Lastly, feel free to add your own reasons to this list as to why you're unresponsive to certain emails, but don't just turn this thread into a rant. Explain why it (whatever IT is) doesn't work for you so others can learn.

We are here to learn from each other, right?
#email #emails #fails #marketing #work
  • Profile picture of the author jasonl70
    ahh - the first time I've seen a thread title like this, and actually agreed with it!
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    -Jason

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  • Profile picture of the author E. Brian Rose
    Great post, Dennis! So many miss the point of relationship building. They think it means you need to send candy and flowers. Want to build a relationship? Be honest. You don't have to shower the reader with gifts.
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  • Profile picture of the author NicoleBeckett
    Fantastic tips! There are alot of people who could really benefit from them!

    I especially like the one about story-telling. Sure, there is a time and a place for a really great story that drives home your point. However, those times and places are rare. The last thing you want to do is make your email all about you, when it should be all about your readers and how you're working to help/benefit them.
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    • Profile picture of the author Dennis Gaskill
      Originally Posted by jasonl70 View Post

      ahh - the first time I've seen a thread title like this, and actually agreed with it!
      Glad you agreed. I don't see much point in ranting unless there is a lesson with it that might help someone down the road.

      Originally Posted by E. Brian Rose View Post

      Great post, Dennis! So many miss the point of relationship building. They think it means you need to send candy and flowers. Want to build a relationship? Be honest. You don't have to shower the reader with gifts.
      Thanks. Of course, that's not to say you should never give your reader a freebie, but how we go about it and what we give can make a huge difference in how we're perceived.

      A good example is what I'm doing later today. It was my anniversary this past weekend, so I'm giving my readers an anniversary gift. It's the first 18 pages of a 50+ page ebook. Then I'll offer them a discount off the regular price. With the quality demonstrated in a tangible way, many who are interested in the topic (and have trust in the quality because they've seen it) will buy the full product.

      Originally Posted by NicoleBeckett View Post

      Fantastic tips! There are alot of people who could really benefit from them!

      I especially like the one about story-telling. Sure, there is a time and a place for a really great story that drives home your point. However, those times and places are rare. The last thing you want to do is make your email all about you, when it should be all about your readers and how you're working to help/benefit them.
      It was a really lame story that inspired this thread. I happen to like the marketer who sent it, but after reading three paragraphs I couldn't read another word. Story-form emails may be the most risky unless you really know how to grab and hold your readers interest. Most don't, IMO.
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  • Profile picture of the author JonMills
    Problem is and time and time again I have to explain this to customers:

    People don't have time to read long emails
    People are not interested in YOU until you created trust,credibility and value

    Recently I worked with a real estate company, they wanted long 700 word emails, they wanted to educate them

    This is what I told them

    When it comes to emailing. When I say that people don't have the time to read a long 700 word email, its true to think that they will... no offense, is fooling yourself.

    You see the BIGGEST CHALLENGE that email marketing today faces is JUST GETTING PEOPLE TO OPEN an email. Never mind read it!

    In fact, before even opening, it’s getting it delivered! Many isps filter and have certain words marked to set of their spam filters.

    As you probably already know…People are slaughtered every day with emails from countless places and so the next challenge is getting it read

    Now when they are dealing with one realtor before they sign anything I guarantee you they are dealing with up to 10 other realtors

    That is why the emails have to be short and sweet and straight to the point. Beyond 300 words and you will lose them as it’s no longer an email it’s a long article.

    People don’t have time for articles at the best of times ( that’s why video, audio are good ), let alone long winded emails.


    Third, because of the topic “ Real Estate “, there is only a limited amount that can be said before you end up rehashing the same stuff, so keeping emails short and straight to the point is vital for getting them to take action.

    If you are looking to educate them, email is not the place to do it. Educating on what you do and who you are should be done in person ( selling yourself ) or via a BLOG or area of articles on a website and then email is ONLY used as means of contact, delivery of FREE stuff, news/change, urgent message and reminding and urging them to take action

    Educating should be done in a blog or your main site and then the email being short, gives them a STRONG reason why they should ( walk away from facebook, twitter, tv, movies, emails from friends all the umpteen things that you are competing for their attention with etc ) to read an article on buying or selling

    It comes back to the dilemma that all people face ( people are slaughtered with email daily and they don't have the time and if they do it has to either give them something, entertain them or people just dont bother opening it.

    Real estate simply is not entertainment it’s just part of the process of what people need to do to get what they need ) so it’s vital that emails be short, focused ONLY on what you want them to do.. i.e phone me, email or click through to site.

    And it’s after that point of clicking… you educate through articles, blogs, videos, audios, webinars in person or on the phone

    Try to do it in an email and especially on the topic of Real Estate and you will lose them, I guarantee you that!

    So if you must educate them. My suggestion is you have someone create X amount of Articles add them to your site, then use the NEXT batch of 12 emails to get people over to the site to read them as I can assure you having done this now for 11 + years and tested all manner of long, short and style based emails. Long emails lose people.

    Add to that long, boring emails and it’s like death to a business’s bottom line.

    The problem is not “ Educating” its ….“ How “ and “ Where” and “ When” you should be educating them.

    And as mentioned above educating is for articles, blogs, videos, audios, webinars in person or on the phone NOT email.

    And definitely NOT email if you want to get read and get them to take action.

    If educating is the goal, email should ONLY be used to drive them to the blog ( article ), article, video, webinar or audio ( nothing more )

    Remember people are saying to them “what does this have to do with me?, let me get back to facebook, an email from a friend, tv show, newspaper, book etc )

    Remember and this is the hardest thing for clients to get. People are not interested in you. I know it sounds harsh but it’s key.

    It's like someone going to buy nails. People are not interested in nails, they are interested in what they can do with the nails, what it will give them, how fast and easy it will be and cost effective.

    They are interested in getting... where they want to go... and getting what they want. if you need to expand on your 20 years of experience ( even though the email does say you have established trust and a network through the years ), allow your bio on your website to do that.

    This gives people the OPTION if they need to see that by using one of the next batch of emails to drive them over to it for reading it and it doesn’t lose those who don’t care about how long you have been in business. ( and there is lots of people who don’t )
    Email is not the place for a long winded bio as you will lose them, its dry, its dull and its irrelevant to what they want. All they are thinking is " Is he available?, how does he market houses " and " how much is he going to charge us vs a realtor down the road " that’s it!

    Remember as well people are very sceptical and ANYONE in ANY business can say they have been at something for years and years, people take that with a grain of salt. And in your business, having dealt with realtors myself when I have needed to sell my last 4 houses.

    The only thing that was on my mind when I got an email was those 3 things above

    In fact…

    If I got an email from a realtor and it was 700 words ( rare that I did ) I would be scanning it to find out where the person gets to the point

    i.e As all MOST people are thinking is…

    Why are you contacting me?

    And what do you want from me?

    And if you can’t answer that FAST, they will click away. It’s a simple as that.

    Think of it this way …. Every time an email arrives in someone’s inbox, its infringing on their life.

    The goal with effective email is simple:

    1. Get it open (create curiosity through subject line and first line)
    2. Get it Read (straight to the point, here is what this is about and keep it short and sweet)
    3. Get them to take action (tell them what to do next i.e. phone, go to video, article, email-)

    AND DO IT FAST!

    I assure you at least 80% of businesses don't get past 1 and 2 because they are not aware of what it takes to get it open, get it read and get them to take action. They get trapped in spam filters, they don’t create curiosity in their headings, they don’t get to the point and think it’s important to give people long winded emails thinking that they will read it and they need to know it ( most won’t read long emails and if they need to know, they probably already do or can search it out on google or your site )

    So to sum it, as I said at the start

    People don't have time to read long emails

    People are not interested in YOU until you created trust,credibility and value

    When they are interested in YOU, get to the point fast as you are competing with lots of distracting things they have going on in their life
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    • Profile picture of the author Cali16
      Originally Posted by JonMills View Post

      Problem is and time and time again I have to explain this to customers:

      People don't have time to read long emails
      Jon, I'm sure there were many great points in your 1300+ word post, but I don't have time to read it...
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  • Profile picture of the author Dennis Gaskill
    Originally Posted by Cali16 View Post

    Jon, I'm sure there were many great points in your 1300+ word post, but I don't have time to read it...
    The irony was born from his passion about the topic, I'm guessing. Jon did make some good points. His summary of his own post makes his main points more succinctly:
    People don't have time to read long emails

    People are not interested in YOU until you created trust,credibility and value

    When they are interested in YOU, get to the point fast as you are competing with lots of distracting things they have going on in their life
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  • Profile picture of the author Shaun OReilly
    Originally Posted by Dennis Gaskill View Post

    A lot of folks have the wrong idea about what building a relationship with a mailing list is all about. Here's a clue: be useful, be honest, keep my best interests in mind and let that guide your actions.

    The idea is to earn trust, not recruit your next best friend.
    On a related point, one of the things that gets me to
    begin to tune-out of a list owners messages is when
    they...

    Mis-represent the Sender-Subscriber Relationship

    Some list owners come over all gushing like they're
    your best friend.

    Guess what?

    They're not!

    So quit the 'Hey buddy' BS and other crap that tries to
    portray a depth of relationship that simply isn't there.

    To me, the 'Hey buddy' line and other similar tags come
    across as insincere.

    Instead, when you write your e-mails, imagine that the
    person you're writing to is right in front of you. How
    would you talk to them? What degree of formality or
    informality would you use?

    Go with that and quit the buddy sh!t.

    Dedicated to mutual success,

    Shaun
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  • Profile picture of the author laurencewins
    I hate it when the email starts... dear friend. or even using my name when they obviously don't know me.

    I hate it even more when the email says it knows what I'm thinking.

    Spam is spam, even if you have subscribed and it's the quickest way to get me to unsubscribe after I just subscribed.

    I think the acid test is to read the email as though someone sent it to you. If you don't believe it or like it, DON'T SEND IT!
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    Cheers, Laurence. Writer/Editor/Proofreader.
    Website / Blog for more info.

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    • Profile picture of the author Dennis Gaskill
      Originally Posted by Shaun OReilly View Post

      On a related point, one of the things that gets me to
      begin to tune-out of a list owners messages is when
      they...

      Mis-represent the Sender-Subscriber Relationship

      Some list owners come over all gushing like they're
      your best friend.
      Yes, that often comes across as insincere, to put it nicely. A very few people can get away with writing like that, and then only to part of their audience. Those who do it risk alientating their readers.

      Originally Posted by laurencewins View Post


      I think the acid test is to read the email as though someone sent it to you. If you don't believe it or like it, DON'T SEND IT!
      Excellent test. I don't do it quite like that, but I do have my own way of evaluating how my words might be construed.
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    • Profile picture of the author Rod Cortez
      Originally Posted by laurencewins View Post

      Spam is spam, even if you have subscribed and it's the quickest way to get me to unsubscribe after I just subscribed.
      This is the silliest thing I've read today. Spam, by definition, is unsolicited, meaning that you did not give the sender permission to contact you.

      Though I generally don't use the "Dear friend" introduction, I have used it before. Though I may not personally know all my subscribers, I genuinely care about them. Their wants, their hopes, their dreams, etc. Is it really that wrong to write "Dear friend" if I'm coming from a place of affection?

      After all, that person opted into my list because they wanted to learn something from me. In trying to build a relationship with my readers, I give them good information, free reports, videos, and pod casts. Now, if the content sucks, you should definitely unsubscribe, but I'm seeing a big disconnect with someone unsubscribing just because they used the "Dear friend" introduction.

      RoD

      @ Dennis, per usual, solid post my man.
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    • Profile picture of the author davezan
      Originally Posted by laurencewins View Post

      I hate it when the email starts... dear friend. or even using my name when they obviously don't know me.
      I'm curious. I thought the point of doing especially the latter was to personalize
      it to your reader, something like "Hey, this person addressed me by my name! I
      find that so cool!".

      I guess you're the exception rather than the "rule"?

      Originally Posted by SamirRastogi View Post

      Lots of great points here. I am wondering if anyone can post a sample email that they consider to be well written?
      Two words: Paul Myers.
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      David

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      • Profile picture of the author shane_k
        Originally Posted by davezan View Post

        I'm curious. I thought the point of doing especially the latter was to personalize
        it to your reader, something like "Hey, this person addressed me by my name! I
        find that so cool!".

        I guess you're the exception rather than the "rule"?



        Two words: Paul Myers.
        He is probably the exception to the rule because he has been bombarded by so many emails doing this.

        However, for someone who recieves an email like that, who is NOT in internet marketing, and has NOT received tones of emails like that before, you can get a great response.

        I never used to do that in my emails until my brother (who is not in IM) signed up for a cooking newsletter where he would get these recipes from a famous chef (who has a great cooking show) sent him an email and my brother's name was in the headline of the email and the introduction was something like "hey Jeff, this is (famous chef) I just wanted to touch base with you to see how you are enjoying the recipes I sent you yesterday."

        Well my brother was FLOORED. He felt so great! And he ended up showing everyone that this chef mentioned his name.

        Now we as internet marketers often forget that as internet marketers we see this so much it is no longer new, and unique for us. But NORMAL people (people who don't know internet marketing) haven't seen or heard about this, so it can be very personal for them.

        Here is a good example.

        Lets say you are someone who has never, ever seen a tv. and today I pull out my fathers old, old 1961 black and white television set, with knobs, and only 1 or 2 channels.

        if you have never seen a tv you would be so amazed with that black and white tv.
        However, if you are an everyday person you would be like, what? a grubby black and white tv? where's my 60" Plasma screen?

        shane_K
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  • Profile picture of the author Coby
    Originally Posted by Dennis Gaskill View Post

    1. Assuming I'll take the time to read your entire email.

    3. If you're going to tell a story, make sure it isn't boring.
    Great post Dennis!

    I wanted to add a little tip that involves these two points...

    I KNOW some people can't be bothered with long emails because I'm one of them. So to help this - I try to put a "skip my story and see the goods here" link towards the top of the email...

    This also helps with your third point - because sometimes I may think the story is awesome but it could bore the socks off of someone else. So this has been my compromise...

    Hope this will help someone
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    • Profile picture of the author shawoon98
      Originally Posted by Coby View Post

      Great post Dennis!

      I wanted to add a little tip that involves these two points...

      I KNOW some people can't be bothered with long emails because I'm one of them. So to help this - I try to put a "skip my story and see the goods here" link towards the top of the email...

      This also helps with your third point - because sometimes I may think the story is awesome but it could bore the socks off of someone else. So this has been my compromise...

      Hope this will help someone
      Coby, you are right. But I have a point. Everyone will never love your story. Some will be bored. But still I found most successful marketers writing at least 100 words and summarize the subject of their link.

      I've never got bored with them. And I believe that's one of their success secrets.
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      • Profile picture of the author CDarklock
        Originally Posted by shawoon98 View Post

        Everyone will never love your story.
        Those people don't belong on your list. They are why God made unsubscribe links.
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  • Profile picture of the author David Ogden
    This is a great thread about emails and I get thousands every day of which I may open one or two. I just look at the subject lines, and the majority are the same old boring sales line. Yesterday I cleared out one of my mail boxes deleting all but one which said
    North Borneo Railway : Full Steam Ahead on 4th July 2011
    Now that is of interest because I have been waiting 3 years to ride on the old steam train, unfortunately I no longer live in Malaysia. The 12,000 mails deleted were selling snake oil, Rolex watches, fishing for my personal details etc

    I think people need to think much more about titles, I also send out emails to my subscribers using titles such as marketing your business tips from David Ogden, so they can see who its from and what it is about
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    David Ogden an Entrepreneur at Markethive which uses a suite of free marketing tools to promote his opportunity. Contact:- Telegram @davidogden

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    • Profile picture of the author Dennis Gaskill
      Originally Posted by Coby View Post

      Great post Dennis!

      I wanted to add a little tip that involves these two points...

      I KNOW some people can't be bothered with long emails because I'm one of them. So to help this - I try to put a "skip my story and see the goods here" link towards the top of the email...

      This also helps with your third point - because sometimes I may think the story is awesome but it could bore the socks off of someone else. So this has been my compromise...

      Hope this will help someone
      I know someone else that does this. Right at the top of the message will be an "in a hurry" link, then the go into the story. I've never clicked it without reading some of the email, but that darn link sometimes makes me want to read the email, depending on the subject line.

      Originally Posted by David Ogden View Post

      This is a great thread about emails and I get thousands every day of which I may open one or two. I just look at the subject lines, and the majority are the same old boring sales line. Yesterday I cleared out one of my mail boxes deleting all but one which said
      North Borneo Railway : Full Steam Ahead on 4th July 2011
      Now that is of interest because I have been waiting 3 years to ride on the old steam train, unfortunately I no longer live in Malaysia. The 12,000 mails deleted were selling snake oil, Rolex watches, fishing for my personal details etc

      I think people need to think much more about titles, I also send out emails to my subscribers using titles such as marketing your business tips from David Ogden, so they can see who its from and what it is about
      The subject line certainly makes a difference. The "copy and paste" experts I mentioned in item four often just copy and paste the subject line too. When you have 5 or 10 emails from different people, all with the same subject line, it pretty much ensures all will be deleted without being opened.
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  • Profile picture of the author Jessica Lynn
    I love it. So many people advise building a relationship with your list, which is fine, but lots of marketers (even ones that have really good, interesting products that captivate me for the entire length of time it takes to read their product) send long, boring stories via email that I don't give a crap about.

    I still buy whatever they're promoting based on my past experiences with their products, but NOT from their lame (IMHO) email marketing technique.
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  • Profile picture of the author drmani
    Originally Posted by Dennis Gaskill View Post

    3. If you're going to tell a story, make sure it isn't boring.
    Yes, telling a story can be good, but most of the story-form emails I get suck. They seem to be telling a story for the sake of telling a story because they are not a good segue into the offer.
    True.

    Thought I'd share a recent 'story email' I enjoyed putting together
    AND many on my list enjoyed reading!

    SUBJECT: Don't be a Fink-Nottle

    If you're a fan of P.G.Wodehouse's novels, you'll
    know Bertie Wooster, the amiable if foolish playboy,
    and his genius of a valet, Jeeves.

    You'll also probably have heard of Bertie's weird
    friend, Gussie Fink-Nottle - a man who grows up in
    in rural England, isolated from normal society, his
    only diversion being newts!

    Newts are tiny tadpole-like creatures that grow in
    ponds.

    Fink-Nottle is passionate about these funny insects.
    Knows all about them. Even grows them in a fish-
    bowl!

    His obsession with newts runs deep. So deep that,
    when he loses his nerve while proposing marriage
    to Madeline Basset, he starts blabbering about the
    mating habits of newts at the time of the full-moon!

    :-)

    Now, if Fink-Nottle were to take up as an infopreneur
    he could write volumes about newts.

    But who'd buy his work?!

    The market for newt lovers is very small. And very
    scattered.

    His book would be a failure - even if he's an expert
    and is passionate about his work!

    Many infopreneurs are like Fink-Nottle.

    They get carried away by their expertise and passion.
    Set out to write the very best book or course on the
    subject of their interest.

    And forget that the key to success as an information
    marketer is HAVING A HUNGRY MARKET!

    Don't be a Fink-Nottle infopreneur.

    Be smart.

    "Think, Write & Retire!" will show you exactly how
    to find out whether people want what you plan to
    sell them.

    And how to find out what they're already buying.

    That way, you can offer them something that fits
    their need.

    Read the book here: LINK TO BOOK
    All success
    Dr.Mani
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    • Profile picture of the author Dennis Gaskill
      Originally Posted by Jessica Lynn View Post

      I love it. So many people advise building a relationship with your list, which is fine, but lots of marketers (even ones that have really good, interesting products that captivate me for the entire length of time it takes to read their product) send long, boring stories via email that I don't give a crap about.

      I still buy whatever they're promoting based on my past experiences with their products, but NOT from their lame (IMHO) email marketing technique.
      Are there also a few whose story emails you don't read all the way through because they're just too boring?

      Originally Posted by drmani View Post

      True.

      Thought I'd share a recent 'story email' I enjoyed putting together
      AND many on my list enjoyed reading!
      I cut the story from the quote to keep this post short, but that story is in a class above most of them. You've been around as long as I have Dr. Mani, I know you've seen your share of boring stories. Thanks for providing a good example for reference.
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    • Originally Posted by drmani View Post

      Thought I'd share a recent 'story email' I enjoyed putting together
      AND many on my list enjoyed reading!
      Sadly, I find Wodehouse tedious. And so I tuned out right there. Might be best not to assume everyone enjoys fussy English authors, even if you do.

      As much as I enjoy Jane Austen novels, I doubt this crowd wants to have "It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune must be in want of a wife" inflicted upon them...

      fLufF
      --
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      • Profile picture of the author drmani
        Originally Posted by fluffythewondercat View Post

        Sadly, I find Wodehouse tedious. And so I tuned out right there. Might be best not to assume everyone enjoys fussy English authors, even if you do.

        fLufF
        --
        Au contraire, madam!

        My writing and marketing style mimics many of my 'favorites'
        - so if you don't like PG, chances are you won't like MY marketing
        style... and so, I'm actually EFFECTIVELY segmenting my audience
        by doing precisely that.

        Learning that MY style/product/service is NOT targeted at EVERYONE
        was the most important (and difficult) lesson I learned in marketing.

        But after that seeped through my thick skull, all that I do has been
        immensely enjoyable

        All success
        Dr.Mani
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  • Profile picture of the author philm67
    Excellent post Dennis.

    My pet peeve is those pre-canned affiliate emails that start off: "I was just chatting with my buddy John on Facebook, and he's agreed to let me offer you this great deal." Then you get the same email the next day from someone else.

    Unsub ... unsub ...
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    • Profile picture of the author Itachi
      Great post.

      One thing I noticed everybody uses the same kind of "template" for their email with the same link multiple times on the page and I must tell you if you're trying to sell something don't do that because it often look very CB-ish affiliate pre-made emails to me and I simply dismiss it. (of course unless I know it's from someone I "know" is'nt gonna send me CB launches offers or things like that and aside the fact that my vision works properly so I don't need multiple links, I won't miss it , even if it's a bitly shortened link..)


      And regarding the usefulness of the emails, I like when people send me case studys, exciting underground tactics, interesting webinars and things that actually HELP me because it's what I was looking for in the first place .

      Anyway I must run an "audit" soon to clean out a bit of my lists subscribes because I hate having alot of emails to read and Having 3 emails one is mostly for the "lists" and sometimes I get 20+ emails in a night.
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  • Profile picture of the author Paul Barrs
    Dennis,

    Great post bring with it some excellent points (from all) - Haven't got the time to read it all now, but am definitely going to bookmark this one for my next coffee break.

    (I think much the same of long emails as I do many "long posts" or "long sales letters" or "long WSOs" - )

    If they don't grab me right away they don't get read.

    Paul
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  • Profile picture of the author SamirRastogi
    Lots of great points here. I am wondering if anyone can post a sample email that they consider to be well written?
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  • Profile picture of the author CDarklock
    Here's a little tidbit from the other side of the fence as well.

    If your list isn't reading your emails, maybe you have the wrong people on your list.

    Just a thought, but you know, if your list members:

    - Don't have time to read your email,
    - Don't give the right answers to your questions,
    - Find your stories boring, and
    - Think you insult their intelligence...

    Maybe it's not so much that you're writing the wrong emails, but that you have the wrong list.

    Just getting any people you can get on your list has never been the goal in listbuilding. The goal is to find the right people, and then get them on your list.
    Signature
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    • Profile picture of the author Dennis Gaskill
      Originally Posted by philm67 View Post

      Excellent post Dennis.

      My pet peeve is those pre-canned affiliate emails that start off: "I was just chatting with my buddy John on Facebook, and he's agreed to let me offer you this great deal." Then you get the same email the next day from someone else.

      Unsub ... unsub ...
      lol - I get lots of those. It's funny how one person can have so many friends who they have the exact same conversation with --- it's deja vu all over again.
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  • Profile picture of the author sbucciarel
    Banned
    Brilliant post. I'm on so few email lists because I do unsubscribe. Got another one.

    Bait and Switch: Don't tell me the list is just for product updates and then blast the hell out of my inbox with affiliate offers every day. A lot of product owners do this, and I end up unsubscribing and probably end up not getting an update if one is actually ever offered.
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    • Profile picture of the author Sandor Verebi
      Valid points, Dennis.

      The phenomenon isn't unknown to me, because I was also a victim of such kind of 'email marketing' before. Now, I only smile on the various lame attempts.

      Authors of described emails forget, which was effective in six years ago, that is difficult to press people's throat today. People have become much more sophisticated now. So, the defense mechanisms developed as well.

      I class incoming emails into 3 categories:

      I.) I know the sender, so open it.

      II.) Subject grabs my interest, maybe open it.

      III.) Delete them, without opening.

      If someone want I open read his email, then his subject line must be short, concise, frank and hype free. Otherwise he has no chance.

      Thank you for bringing the topic up.

      Take care,

      Sandor
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    • Profile picture of the author Michael D Forbes
      Originally Posted by sbucciarel View Post

      Don't tell me the list is just for product updates
      I think somebody did actually do an update once, can't remember who though.
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    • Profile picture of the author johndetlefs
      Originally Posted by sbucciarel View Post

      Bait and Switch: Don't tell me the list is just for product updates and then blast the hell out of my inbox with affiliate offers every day. A lot of product owners do this, and I end up unsubscribing and probably end up not getting an update if one is actually ever offered.
      This, more than anything else is my pet peeve here on the forum. I can't tell you how many WSOs i've bought that force me into an autoresponder for "updates" and then I get that marketers version of "WSO of the day".

      It's a real pain because even though I don't want to get the spam, i also don't want to miss out on an update.

      Most times I opt out, which is a shame, because many of the WSO's that i've bought are pretty good value and the marketer could have established a long term relationship if they'd taken better care.
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    • Profile picture of the author sal64
      Originally Posted by sbucciarel View Post

      Brilliant post. I'm on so few email lists because I do unsubscribe. Got another one.

      Bait and Switch: Don't tell me the list is just for product updates and then blast the hell out of my inbox with affiliate offers every day. A lot of product owners do this, and I end up unsubscribing and probably end up not getting an update if one is actually ever offered.
      This is an excellent point as always.

      Ironically I just unsubscribed from a poster on this thread today. 2 emails on any given day? Are you serious? Practice what you preach.

      The key to relationships as I see it, is based on what expectations you set from the start.

      If you bombard with promotions then you reap what you sow.

      I like and use the idea of simply updating them every time I post on my blog. Short and sweet and if they get value, then there is a good chance that they actually look out for your emails. Duh.

      So if you promise one thing and then deliver something else, then you're set to fall.

      On the other hand, keep wowing them and you'll be surprised.

      Sal
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  • Profile picture of the author Ryan David
    Maybe I'm on all the wrong lists, I think it's about impossible to get my attention through email anymore. Matter of fact, I think it's pretty much impossible to get my attention for any product anymore.

    Even though I've never been "burned" by the industry or really even ripped off, I consider myself to be extremely jaded when it comes to IM products.
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    • Profile picture of the author Dennis Gaskill
      Originally Posted by CDarklock View Post

      Here's a little tidbit from the other side of the fence as well.

      If your list isn't reading your emails, maybe you have the wrong people on your list.

      Just a thought, but you know, if your list members:

      - Don't have time to read your email,
      - Don't give the right answers to your questions,
      - Find your stories boring, and
      - Think you insult their intelligence...

      Maybe it's not so much that you're writing the wrong emails, but that you have the wrong list.

      Just getting any people you can get on your list has never been the goal in listbuilding. The goal is to find the right people, and then get them on your list.
      For what it's worth, the topic was why those emails I cited don't work on ME, and the reason I'm getting them is because I've bought a product from the sender, so these are buyers lists. While there may be cases where your examples apply, this isn't one of them unless you consider a buyers list the wrong kind of list.

      Originally Posted by sbucciarel View Post

      Brilliant post. I'm on so few email lists because I do unsubscribe. Got another one.

      Bait and Switch: Don't tell me the list is just for product updates and then blast the hell out of my inbox with affiliate offers every day. A lot of product owners do this, and I end up unsubscribing and probably end up not getting an update if one is actually ever offered.
      Good example. I've actually taught this method of email sending, only I explain not to send stand alone offers to this kind of list. Instead, include an offer when you send out free updates (and make sure the updates are worthwhile and not just an excuse to send an offer out). If someone gets a free update or upgrade to a product they've bought from you, that generally puts them in a very receptive mood. By including a new offer, especially one that's related and also comes with free upgrades, in my experience, you'll have a high conversion rate and virtually NO complaints.

      Originally Posted by Ryan David View Post

      Maybe I'm on all the wrong lists, I think it's about impossible to get my attention through email anymore. Matter of fact, I think it's pretty much impossible to get my attention for any product anymore.

      Even though I've never been "burned" by the industry or really even ripped off, I consider myself to be extremely jaded when it comes to IM products.
      I understand that. It doesn't necessarily have to be IM products we're talking about though. These "fatal flaws" as I called them could apply to marketers in any niche.
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      • Profile picture of the author CDarklock
        Originally Posted by Dennis Gaskill View Post

        While there may be cases where your examples apply, this isn't one of them unless you consider a buyers list the wrong kind of list.
        I consider most marketers complete morons who don't really understand what kind of list they have.

        They sell someone an engagement ring from Amazon for $3,000 and say "this person has $3,000 to spend" - so they start sending all kinds of high-dollar affiliate offers to that person.

        But hardly any of them stop and thinks "Hmm - this person is getting married. What do they need to buy?"

        I'll bet you could sell them furniture. Household goods. Appliances. They are probably planning a honeymoon, do you maybe have a source for vacation discounts on Hawaii or the Caribbean?

        But no, dumbass mister marketing dweeb is mailing them offers for DJ sound systems and HDTVs. And it doesn't matter how good the sales pitch is, this is the wrong prospect.

        Even if it is a buyers list.

        Sometimes you have to stop and think about how you got someone on your list. If they got there buying an engagement ring and you're trying to sell them electronics, this isn't going to work out well, because you've dangled the wrong carrot. Maybe you should get them onto your buyers list by, I don't know, selling them some electronics.
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  • Profile picture of the author virtualprincipal
    As pertaining to the constant bombardment of emails (many of them exactly the same from different marketers), I quickly grew weary of the "grab my attention" headlines and amazing offers. I simply dropped off every list I was on and life has been much better since. I highly recommend going cold turkey and beating the addicition of opting-in....
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    • Profile picture of the author Dennis Gaskill
      Originally Posted by virtualprincipal View Post

      As pertaining to the constant bombardment of emails (many of them exactly the same from different marketers), I quickly grew weary of the "grab my attention" headlines and amazing offers. I simply dropped off every list I was on and life has been much better since. I highly recommend going cold turkey and beating the addicition of opting-in....
      Interesting take on it. I wonder how many people consider themselves addicted to opting in to mailing lists, versus say, being on the lists because they bought a product from someone, or are studying marketing tactics, or other reasons?
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  • Profile picture of the author Jason Kanigan
    Very useful thread! I have a lot to learn about email marketing and all this definitely helps. Even though I'm a competent Web and print copywriter, emails are a different animal probably because they must be opened to be viewed.

    From my experience, the most important thing to start the relationship off is to build a brand of trust and sharing of useful information *first*. Sell later.
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    • Profile picture of the author Dennis Gaskill
      Originally Posted by kaniganj View Post

      Very useful thread! I have a lot to learn about email marketing and all this definitely helps. Even though I'm a competent Web and print copywriter, emails are a different animal probably because they must be opened to be viewed.

      From my experience, the most important thing to start the relationship off is to build a brand of trust and sharing of useful information *first*. Sell later.
      Jason, email is different, but many of the principles are the same or similar to copywriting. Get the reader's attention right away. Use short, easy to read sentences and paragraphs. Holding their interest during transitions, and so forth. Since you understand copywriting, I'm guessing it will be a relatively easy transition for you.
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  • Profile picture of the author Ed Micah
    This is such a awesome thread - learnt so many mistakes I have previously done. And yes, if thinking it from another angle, I wouldn't open that either.

    It's not about building relationship but it's all about building trusts in between.
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  • Profile picture of the author brightgravity
    Useful info ty dennis. Im new to email marketing.
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  • Profile picture of the author sgtsavvy
    A-friiiiiiiiiiiiiickkkkiiiiin-Men. crap comes in everyday, and some think they get away with it... but really, even if i know you're the shady affilliate all you ever do is pitch me with "Earth SHATTERING" emails, i'll even give you a chance... Not to LISTEN to you. You've already lost that privaledge... No, im now to trying to vouch for you, before i write your name off... forever.

    I've learned alot about different personas and styles and most of them i learn what NOT to do.
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  • Profile picture of the author Dennis Gaskill
    @Shane and Dave, some people don't like the personalization, but in my experience the majority do. I write a newsletter and offer it in a personalized format and a non-personalized format. Most people opt for the personalized format. One lady told me it was "creepy" once, but most people like to see their name. Be careful not to overdo it though. Do it too many times and it looks like you're trying too hard. I only use a person's name once or twice in my newsletter or any mailing.

    @Sarge, learning what not to do is important too. Keeps us from finding out the hard way by making all the mistakes ourselves.
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    • Profile picture of the author Don Luis
      Banned
      Great stuff but what doesn't work for you may work for others. I just think that Internet marketers are wiser to the tricks of email marketing and have their defensive mechanisms already in place.
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      • Profile picture of the author Dennis Gaskill
        Originally Posted by Don Luis View Post

        Great stuff but what doesn't work for you may work for others. I just think that Internet marketers are wiser to the tricks of email marketing and have their defensive mechanisms already in place.
        Absolutely true! I did say it was my opinion, but judging from the responses in this thread I think it's safe to say I'm not alone in my thinking. Of course, careful testing is the more definitive way to determine the efficacy of any tactic, but in some things testing could cost you a lot of subscribers -- particularly the last two items on my list.
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  • Interesting post here! I'm learning how to right my emails short and sweet!
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  • Profile picture of the author NathanBai
    This is the key aspect to e-mail marketing. As I read so many e-mail whereby I just bin them straight away as I know they were just thrown up real quick. Building an relationship can only be established by appearing to be on the same page or being in a mutual agreement.
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  • Profile picture of the author trainer1234
    Great, Very Useful Tips about E-mail Marketing. It really gives me something to think about!
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  • Profile picture of the author ephame
    I believe that yes, building a relationship with a list is important. But not in the e-mails to the list, do it back on your blog/site or in your e-books etc that's when they are going to give you more time. When someone opens their e-mail folder to see what they've got they are giving themselves a few minutes to do just that. They aren't looking for their new best friend etc..

    Great post Dennis, pain felt by all i'm sure.
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    • Profile picture of the author Dennis Gaskill
      Originally Posted by ephame View Post

      I believe that yes, building a relationship with a list is important. But not in the e-mails to the list, do it back on your blog/site or in your e-books etc that's when they are going to give you more time. When someone opens their e-mail folder to see what they've got they are giving themselves a few minutes to do just that. They aren't looking for their new best friend etc..

      Great post Dennis, pain felt by all i'm sure.
      You know what they say . . . no pain, no gain.
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  • Profile picture of the author Ken Leatherman
    It seems to me there is recent trend from the affiliates of WSO-Pro that have all gone to the same school of "tell a long, heart string pulling, personal story" each and every day. This includes the subject line. It works the first couple of times but then...

    Guess what happens when I see this - I call on Zesus to ZAP the e-Mail.

    Come on guys, buy the product your recommending, point out the pros and cons and a specific reason you think it might help me. You then earn the right to call me friend and keep me on your list.

    Ken

    The Old Geezer
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    • Profile picture of the author Sandor Verebi
      Originally Posted by Ken Leatherman View Post

      It seems to me there is recent trend from the affiliates of WSO-Pro that have all gone to the same school of "tell a long, heart string pulling, personal story" each and every day. This includes the subject line. It works the first couple of times but then...

      Guess what happens when I see this - I call on Zesus to ZAP the e-Mail.

      Come on guys, buy the product your recommending, point out the pros and cons and a specific reason you think it might help me. You then earn the right to call me friend and keep me on your list.

      Ken

      The Old Geezer
      Hi Ken,

      I understand what you say. Yes, it may be a trend nowadays, you got such kind of affiliate emails. You have an impression, like these unimaginative emails would be poured to your inbox from an assembly line.

      Copy - paste; copy - paste;.......

      Ken, your last two sentences explain why these emails fail. If you buy a product, study it, use it in your business, then you know the advantages and disadvantages of that.

      So, you'll be able to compile a good subject line, and I may consider opening your email. Furthermore, you'll be able to demonstrate me in the body, why I need to consider to buy that product.

      Of course, it doesn't hurt if you know my exact needs.

      Without these, we won't be friends, and you cannot convince me to buy.

      All the best,

      Sandor
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    • Profile picture of the author Dennis Gaskill
      Originally Posted by Ken Leatherman View Post


      Come on guys, buy the product your recommending, point out the pros and cons and a specific reason you think it might help me. You then earn the right to call me friend and keep me on your list.

      Ken
      So true, but I don't mind if someone doesn't try a product as long as they don't pretend they have. I had somewhat refreshing email the other day where the marketer said he just bought the product, read it, but hadn't tried it. He said it was well written and he learned some useful things even if he without trying out the methods the product taught. I went and looked at the product and decided it wasn't for me, but at least he had a shot by being honest.
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      • Profile picture of the author FredJones
        Great topic Dennis.

        I must say I would love to chip in a bit of a different thingy here for every reader around. Some of the emails that I get from well-known marketers are complete trash. I am surprised to "hear" that they are well known.

        While I have opted out of many such lists, I still belong to a few of them. Any goood guess why?

        Just in case you got it wrong, it is because I don't feel equally energized every day, and I do love the soft corners of life such as humor. Some of the emails are bad to the level of humorous - so I do open a couple of random ones when I know I need to work and cannot go away from the computer and yet I need a small break/rest. I read the next email that says "Fred I have delivered your product", and the next one that says "Your Clickbank cheque was dispatched today" and so on - coming from some decent names - and when I feel that the break has been long enough I just go back to work. And when I am not in the mood of reading I simply delete the emails without opening them.

        Since some of these emails are absurd to the point of hilarous, reading them once or twice a month in the random manner that I mentioned above does not hurt. Naturally, I do become bored with some of them while reading and do suddenly feel that I need to go back to work, so there are some unfortunate moments when I randomly do unsubscribe from such lists. But when the list becomes a little too small for the sarrcastic entertainment, I do end up signing up for a couple more, or cautiously not unsubscribing from a few more, and so on...

        Wait a minute, I know you are reading this post of mine, but did you think I was serious? Surely I had fallen asleep while typing my story?

        What I am serious about is, Dennis, great topic. I wish some more people had brains inside their heads rather than high-quality wool.
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  • Profile picture of the author TianaBanana
    I usually feel it's basically impossible for marketing to work on me, even if it's something I want. I just want raw information, and prices.

    I often wonder what kind of people are actually susceptible to marketing, especially on the internet where the first thing I tell old people I'm helping with computers is "never click on ads!".
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    • Profile picture of the author Michael Shook
      Blind emails with lots of CLICK HERE NOW links in them are difficult for me to read and if I get a bunch of them from a particular marketer, I sometimes unsubscribe but usually don't. I just don't read them anymore.

      I have written some like that and it turns out that the CTR is better and I make better sales when I tell what the product actually is.

      I have also kind of stopped paying attention to subject lines or product names that are in the annihilator vein. I have enough of my own testosterone, thank you, I don't need to "make Google come crawling to me like a whimpering pup" to feel OK about myself.
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    • Profile picture of the author Azarna
      Originally Posted by TianaBanana View Post

      I usually feel it's basically impossible for marketing to work on me, even if it's something I want. I just want raw information, and prices.

      I often wonder what kind of people are actually susceptible to marketing, especially on the internet where the first thing I tell old people I'm helping with computers is "never click on ads!".

      I have only very recently got inolved in IM. But yes, I have always been very anti 'hard sell' etc.

      I may respond to a business like email that clearly says what it is selling, the price etc. But will just delete anything that starts off with a 'how this changed my life' story, or 'I have a secret to share with you' or any sensational stuff.

      I trust calm, professional things. Not hyped up stuff. Always have, always will.
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  • Profile picture of the author Michael Oksa
    Excellent post, Dennis!

    A lot of good points have been made, and it's hard for me to add much to the original post. Ken Leatherman's post made me realize that a lot of these techniques are being used by those with the "slash and burn" mentality.

    What I mean is that they latch onto something that supposedly "works" and they will use it mercilessly...until they realize it's not working well enough. Then they will move on to the next "technique" and slash and burn their way through that one.

    The funny thing is that if they would take the 1st post in this thread to heart they wouldn't have to slash and burn, instead they would make more sales and be able to get nice and comfy right where they are.

    It's just so much easier to stop hustling and to start properly follow proven principles.

    All the best,
    Michael
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    • Profile picture of the author Dennis Gaskill
      Originally Posted by Michael Oksa View Post

      Excellent post, Dennis!

      A lot of good points have been made, and it's hard for me to add much to the original post. Ken Leatherman's post made me realize that a lot of these techniques are being used by those with the "slash and burn" mentality.

      What I mean is that they latch onto something that supposedly "works" and they will use it mercilessly...until they realize it's not working well enough. Then they will move on to the next "technique" and slash and burn their way through that one.

      The funny thing is that if they would take the 1st post in this thread to heart they wouldn't have to slash and burn, instead they would make more sales and be able to get nice and comfy right where they are.

      It's just so much easier to stop hustling and to start properly follow proven principles.

      All the best,
      Michael
      Slash and burn is a good description for some of the "techniques" that are used. Something to consider when using slash and burn is that you will lose list members faster so you have to keep finding ways to not only grow your list, but to fill the gap because of the unsubscribers.
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  • Profile picture of the author Dennis Gaskill
    Fred, even the thought of using some of these emails for comic relief says a lot about quality of the emails, IMO. Good post.
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  • Profile picture of the author manjit129
    Very informative post, thanks Dennis.
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    • Profile picture of the author The 13th Warrior
      Good stuff Dennis.

      Its funny, when I go to the news stand or book store, ( I think they still have those though they may go the route of the Barber shop ), I open the magazine with anticipation to see if there is something worth to buy or something to further my interest and question what I need to buy or attain to get to my interest faster.

      But when I check emails, I consciously and/or subconsciously have my double barreled out like its hunting season, I LOOK, FIRST, to see who gets nuked and fast.

      The only guys that can have flaws in their email like long and boring and such are people who bat close to a thousand on recommended products that I bought...., so in truth, the TRUST factor, which has elements of competence and honesty, can usually supercede some apparent flaws in email marketing.

      But here is the thing.., I can't recall just now, but there may be 3 or 4 marketers that fit my email marketing experience of what I stated above, and that number may be just a bit too generous, still, at that.


      The 13th Warrior
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  • Profile picture of the author Raydal
    Another long thread of marketers complaining about marketing.

    These advice means nothing if your target audience is NOT
    experience marketers. Most people here are sensitive to
    these issues because you already know the "tricks" that
    are used. But they work for fresh eyes who don't spend
    all day in the IM world.

    You are NOT your customer. So if your customers
    are NOT experienced Warrior marketers then these
    advice means nothing.

    -Ray Edwards
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    • Profile picture of the author The 13th Warrior
      Just saw another lame trick I forgot I have seen every now and then....,

      .....person sends you their email pitch, then has a 2 to 4 page long "blank" space before you get to the bottom to the "unsubscribe" link...., it was clicked anyway.


      Another lame trick is in order to unsubscribe, you have to physically type in your browser some address to go to some website or page to unsubscribe, or write out an email to unsubscribe or something lame like that thinking that people do not want to take the time to do that and would simply delete it, and that "before" they get enough gumption to actually go thru the process of unsubscribing, that the emailer is going to "catch" them with just the right offer..., I usually just "block sender" and be done with it.


      The 13th Warrior
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    • Profile picture of the author CDarklock
      Originally Posted by Raydal View Post

      Most people here are sensitive to
      these issues because you already know the "tricks" that
      are used. But they work for fresh eyes who don't spend
      all day in the IM world.
      Yeah. Only marketers would fail to respond to an overly-long and boring story that asks the wrong question and insults your intelligence. The rest of the world eats that crap up.
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      "The Golden Town is the Golden Town no longer. They have sold their pillars for brass and their temples for money, they have made coins out of their golden doors. It is become a dark town full of trouble, there is no ease in its streets, beauty has left it and the old songs are gone." - Lord Dunsany, The Messengers
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      • Profile picture of the author Pmac721
        My least favorite tactics are the "I'm letting you in on a SECRET DEAL" email and the "I'm letting you know about a great product but I can't tell you what it is so you have to click the link to watch this over-hyped video that also won't tell you what the product is unless you buy it.."

        If you can't tell me straight up what the product is and how I may use it and benefit from it other than making gobs of money so I can travel around the world and be financially secure while working 30 minutes per day...I'll pass and immediately unsubscribe.

        I can't believe how many emails I get that use these tactics. Experienced marketer or not...I'm constantly wondering whose falling for this nonsense.

        But sadly I guess it must work because I keep getting emails that use the same approach.
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      • Profile picture of the author Heidi White
        Originally Posted by CDarklock View Post

        Yeah. Only marketers would fail to respond to an overly-long and boring story that asks the wrong question and insults your intelligence. The rest of the world eats that crap up.
        Agreed Caliban - we're so cynical, jaded, aware, and easily annoyed.

        Our list of Can Goods Sculpture fanatics may enjoy the long email with the heart felt reasons why...
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      • Profile picture of the author sal64
        Originally Posted by CDarklock View Post

        Yeah. Only marketers would fail to respond to an overly-long and boring story that asks the wrong question and insults your intelligence. The rest of the world eats that crap up.
        Surely this is a bit like hyped up sales copy?

        If it doesn't work, why do so many people still do it? Granted there are a disproportionately large number of IM sheeple... but that's another story.

        Ray's point is valid to a large extent. I must admit that I tend to read between the lines these days.

        People are flooded with info via email these days. It's not like the old days. Time is a scarce commodity and I suspect people are more selective about which ones they open.

        Therefore, I maintain the need to create a great first impression whilst the reader has you fresh in your mind. Make them look forward to your next email, rather than giving them the old this-is-more-crap feeling.
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    • Profile picture of the author Dennis Gaskill
      Originally Posted by The 13th Warrior View Post

      The only guys that can have flaws in their email like long and boring and such are people who bat close to a thousand on recommended products that I bought...., so in truth, the TRUST factor, which has elements of competence and honesty, can usually supercede some apparent flaws in email marketing.
      Excellent point!

      Originally Posted by Raydal View Post

      Another long thread of marketers complaining about marketing.

      These advice means nothing if your target audience is NOT
      experience marketers. Most people here are sensitive to
      these issues because you already know the "tricks" that
      are used. But they work for fresh eyes who don't spend
      all day in the IM world.

      You are NOT your customer. So if your customers
      are NOT experienced Warrior marketers then these
      advice means nothing.

      -Ray Edwards
      Ray, did you even read my post, or did you just read the bold parts and assume it was another rant? The commentary had lessons about the points in bold, and I specifically asked people not to turn the thread into a rant. Of course, in order to set up the lesson I had to point out the flaw first.

      The lessons apply to any niche, not just IM, so you're wrong about that, too. Do you think people outside of IM like to be played for a fool? See Caliban's reply to you in post #67 for more on that. And besides, plenty of people here do market to others in the IM niche, or try to, and there's nothing wrong with giving them some tips either.

      Maybe you should let others judge what has meaning for them. Your pronouncement that the advice means nothing is actually what means nothing.

      Originally Posted by Pmac721 View Post

      My least favorite tactics are the "I'm letting you in on a SECRET DEAL" email and the "I'm letting you know about a great product but I can't tell you what it is so you have to click the link to watch this over-hyped video that also won't tell you what the product is unless you buy it.."

      -snip-

      But sadly I guess it must work because I keep getting emails that use the same approach.
      There's a lot of copycatting in this industry. What worked for one person gets used by others, often not near as successfully because they are missing part of the ingredients. Besides the copycatting, people also teach tactics that sometimes don't work, don't work as explained, used to work but don't anymore, or work for some but not others due to the varying level of skills we all have.

      As Michael Oksa said, some practice slash and burn marketing. Theire tactics work on someone early, but they grow weary of them and unsubscribe. These folks have a high turnover rate, so maybe you're at that point where it's time to leave a few behind.
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      • Profile picture of the author Raydal
        Originally Posted by Dennis Gaskill View Post

        Excellent point!



        Ray, did you even read my post, or did you just read the bold parts and assume it was another rant? The commentary had lessons about the points in bold, and I specifically asked people not to turn the thread into a rant. Of course, in order to set up the lesson I had to point out the flaw first.

        The lessons apply to any niche, not just IM, so you're wrong about that, too. Do you think people outside of IM like to be played for a fool? See Caliban's reply to you in post #67 for more on that. And besides, plenty of people here do market to others in the IM niche, or try to, and there's nothing wrong with giving them some tips either.

        Maybe you should let others judge what has meaning for them. Your pronouncement that the advice means nothing is actually what means nothing.

        All I'm saying is that people outside of IM are not as sensitive
        as those of us who breathe marketing night and day.

        Most people don't sign up to 20 lists.

        There are many things that are transparent to the untrained
        eye that an internet marketer would be sensitive to.

        If someone is trying to sell me in a sales letter or in person
        I'm a bit impatient because I know "all" the tricks of the
        trade.

        "Normal" people don't analyze their emails and determine
        whether they are going to read them or not.

        -Ray Edwards
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        • Profile picture of the author Dennis Gaskill
          Originally Posted by Raydal View Post


          "Normal" people don't analyze their emails and determine
          whether they are going to read them or not.
          Really? Did you just make that up? Show me the evidence if you have it, because I think everyone mentally filters their emails. It was me that analyzed why the emails I referred to failed, but they failed before I plucked out the reasons.

          Spam has given everyone some degree of expertise at mentally filtering their email. For normal people, whatever that is, it's more intuition and reaction. If they see something they don't like, they delete it. Not much thought needs to go into that.
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          • Profile picture of the author Raydal
            Originally Posted by Dennis Gaskill View Post

            Really? Did you just make that up? Show me the evidence if you have it, because I think everyone mentally filters their emails. It was me that analyzed why the emails I referred to failed, but they failed before I plucked out the reasons.

            Spam has given everyone some degree of expertise at mentally filtering their email. For normal people, whatever that is, it's more intuition and reaction. If they see something they don't like, they delete it. Not much thought needs to go into that.
            Take my point in context. This is what you wrote in the OP:

            Originally Posted by Dennis Gaskill View Post

            As I was going through my email this morning it struck me how lame some of the marketing emails were. Don't read this as a rant about what I don't like, I just wanted to point out what I think are the fatal flaws in them so others can avoid these mistakes.

            The "fatal flaws" are the things that stop me from taking the action the marketer wants me to take. Of course, this is just my opinion, but I think these fatal flaws prevent a lot of people from doing whatever the email is trying to get us to do.
            My point was that "normal" (non-marketers) don't analyze their emails
            to see what tricks this business is using to get them to buy.

            Of course "normal" people look at the subject lines and the sender
            to determine if they'll read the email.

            ditto @CDarklock

            -Ray Edwards
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            • Profile picture of the author CDarklock
              Originally Posted by Raydal View Post

              My point was that "normal" (non-marketers) don't analyze their emails to see what tricks this business is using to get them to buy.
              Which is precisely why other marketers are the only people who can tell you why what you're doing doesn't work. Let alone how to fix it.
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              "The Golden Town is the Golden Town no longer. They have sold their pillars for brass and their temples for money, they have made coins out of their golden doors. It is become a dark town full of trouble, there is no ease in its streets, beauty has left it and the old songs are gone." - Lord Dunsany, The Messengers
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              • Profile picture of the author JohnMcCabe
                Originally Posted by Raydal View Post

                Another long thread of marketers complaining about marketing.
                It really didn't start out that way, but I guess some habits are harder to break than others.

                Originally Posted by Raydal View Post

                These advice means nothing if your target audience is NOT
                experience marketers. Most people here are sensitive to
                these issues because you already know the "tricks" that
                are used. But they work for fresh eyes who don't spend
                all day in the IM world.
                Then the reverse should also be true. The advice (and following comments) do have meaning if the target audience IS experienced marketers.

                I would write emails for experienced anglers (and marketers are more like anglers than one might think) much differently than I would for rank beginners or people with a temporary or passing interest.

                People may not analyze their emails, but they do react to them. If you present your case in such a way that they reject you, the result is the same.

                Originally Posted by Raydal View Post

                You are NOT your customer. So if your customers
                are NOT experienced Warrior marketers then these
                advice means nothing.

                -Ray Edwards
                In many of the niches I'm in, I am my customer...
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            • Profile picture of the author Dennis Gaskill
              Originally Posted by Raydal View Post

              My point was that "normal" (non-marketers) don't analyze their emails
              to see what tricks this business is using to get them to buy.

              Of course "normal" people look at the subject lines and the sender
              to determine if they'll read the email.
              1. Your "point" is based on the presumption that you know what normal people do. I offered reasons why some emails don't work on me, and yet, if you read the rest of the thread you'll see my post resonated with a lot of people. A person doesn't have to understand or even be aware of the "tricks" in order to reject an email. All they have to do is have a negative reaction to it. This has been pointed out already.

              I reacted to these emails and deleted them without a lot of thought, in much the same way as your so-called "normal" people likely do. It was only after I had deleted several emails that I got the idea to make an educational post about them, at which point I had to go to my trash bin to analyze some of them -- or more accurately stated, to analyze why I reacted negatively to them.

              Ray, the point you seem to be missing is this: It just doesn't matter that people outside of IM don't analyze their email, what does matter is that they sometimes react to it negatively, and that happens all the time whether they are aware of the reasons for their reactions or not.

              I simply examined some of those reasons. Why do you have a problem with that?

              2. While it's not the case, even if my post only spoke to marketers marketing to other marketers as you first said, what have you got against offering them advice? Don't you want them to be able to improve their business by learning to communicate more effectively?

              Your "point" doesn't work because you set yourself up to be the judge of what is useful to everyone here. If you go back and read all the comments you'll find quite a few people found the post useful. Saying the advice "means nothing" is kind of insulting to the folks who had already found it useful.

              3. You admit normal people look at the sender and subject line to see if they want to read the email. Apparently you think they stop using their brain at that point. Or, is it more likely that they also reject messages based on content?

              If you think about it you'll realize emails are also rejected based on content, if that were not the case people wouldn't complain about deceptive subject lines. My post pointed out some of the reasons messages are rejected based on the content of the messages. Are you still saying that it means nothing?

              Because "normal" people do not analyze their emails, that doesn't mean it isn't useful for us, as marketers, to do so. It can help us to understand and avoid the fatal flaws, which was the intent of my post. How you can have a problem with that is beyond me.

              If you don't want to know these things that's your business, and I'm fine with that, but it's obvious others were happy to learn what I offered in spite of your negative opinion. Sometimes, Ray, when you find yourself in a hole the best thing you can do is to stop digging. I've agreed with you many times in other threads, but you're doing yourself no favors here with your presumptions, IMO.
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              • Profile picture of the author Raydal
                Originally Posted by Dennis Gaskill View Post

                If you don't want to know these things that's your business, and I'm fine with that, but it's obvious others were happy to learn what I offered in spite of your negative opinion. Sometimes, Ray, when you find yourself in a hole the best thing you can do is to stop digging. I've agreed with you many times in other threads, but you're doing yourself no favors here with your presumptions, IMO.
                I really don't know why you are making this discussion personal. I'm
                discussing an issue not you or any other poster.

                All I'm saying is that most of what was said in the thread applies
                to marketers and not to the general public. I don't think that you
                wrote the whole thread.

                I'm not asking you to agree with me--that's not the point. But
                it's an open discussion forum meaning that posters will not
                always agree. So it's fine to disagree with me and I hope
                you'll grant me the same courtesy.

                Often people ask opinions in the WF about some aspect of
                marketing and most people will say that they hate sales
                videos without controls. But they don't realize that MOST
                people who come to a website do not buy--hence a less
                than 100% conversion rate.

                A 5% conversion rate, which is great, means that 95%
                of the people didn't agree to buy. So should we change
                the website for the 95%?

                The most popular hates on the WF is often what works.
                (Not necessarily in your email case in OP.)

                So feel free to disagree with my position, I won't take
                it as a personal shot.

                -Ray Edwards
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        • Profile picture of the author CDarklock
          Originally Posted by Raydal View Post

          "Normal" people glance at their emails and determine whether they are going to read them or not.
          Fixed that for you.

          Remember how Gary Halbert said most people sort their mail over a wastebasket?

          Most people look through their inbox with one finger on the "delete" key.

          For the exact same reason.

          Every time you buy something online, the vendor puts you on a list. That's not unique to infoproducts. Safeway has me on their list for ordering groceries. Kohl's has me on their list for ordering trousers. Leather Up has me on their list for ordering boots. Brooks Brothers has me on their list for ordering shirts. Barnes and Noble has me on their list for buying books. Amazon has me on their list for ordering... well, all kinds of stuff.

          So while normal people do not sign up on twenty lists, they still generally end up on them.
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          "The Golden Town is the Golden Town no longer. They have sold their pillars for brass and their temples for money, they have made coins out of their golden doors. It is become a dark town full of trouble, there is no ease in its streets, beauty has left it and the old songs are gone." - Lord Dunsany, The Messengers
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          • Profile picture of the author The 13th Warrior
            Originally Posted by CDarklock View Post


            Fixed that for you.

            Remember how Gary Halbert said most people sort their mail over a wastebasket?

            Most people look through their inbox with one finger on the "delete" key.

            For the exact same reason.

            Every time you buy something online, the vendor puts you on a list. That's not unique to infoproducts. Safeway has me on their list for ordering groceries. Kohl's has me on their list for ordering trousers. Leather Up has me on their list for ordering boots. Brooks Brothers has me on their list for ordering shirts. Barnes and Noble has me on their list for buying books. Amazon has me on their list for ordering... well, all kinds of stuff.

            So while normal people do not sign up on twenty lists, they still generally end up on them.


            Damn CD, you beat me to the point.

            Got to learn to type faster.


            The 13th Warrior
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        • Profile picture of the author The 13th Warrior
          Originally Posted by Raydal View Post


          "Normal" people don't analyze their emails and determine
          whether they are going to read them or not.


          BEFORE the internet , there was Mail Order.

          One of the Kings of Mail Order, trying to make a point along the lines of "1st contact" stated that most people, when they have their mail in their hand, stand over a waste basket to sort their mail, this habit is before the internet.

          This is true, because when I go to my post office box, "I" do that EXACT same thing and when I observe others, guess what?

          They stand near the table that the waste basket is, almost quietly and quickly getting to that trash saying " I got dibbs on this bucket", and when others look for a spot to sort their mail, they are "also" looking to be nearest the trash can so they can start dumping and keeping what they deem important to look at for a "2nd" look when they get home.

          That habit has NOT changed from the migration of mail order to email, the habit is still the same.


          The 13th Warrior
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  • Profile picture of the author Ash R
    I think people new to list marketing will keep making these mistakes because they're so easy to make.

    A lot of people are stuck on "how to build a relationship" with a list. And I kind of agree with Ray - what works in IM might not work in other niches and vice versa. But, a general principle of "do unto others,etc" works well.

    I make a lot of mistakes with everything. But the one thing I try to do these days is provide value to my list.

    Yes, I've read the definition of value for an IM list being targetted offers, good prices, the chance to get in first, etc. From an IM "guru". I don't think that's right - I don't want to get offers every day and nothing else.

    And yes, I do write long-ish emails. But my CTR rates are pretty good, so I guess I must be doing something right. I don't have much stories (I think they're boring!) but most of my emails are tips on productivity or earning more, so I hope they're useful.

    An earlier poster said it's about trust. I think that's what it boils down to. I may not be best friends with my list, but I see them as people I respect and I'm not trying to just strong-arm them into buying stuff!
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    • Profile picture of the author Dennis Gaskill
      Originally Posted by Ash R View Post

      And yes, I do write long-ish emails. But my CTR rates are pretty good, so I guess I must be doing something right.
      Long emails are fine if they are interesting, and it sounds like yours are if your CTR is good. The "fail" for long emails is when they are not interesting. One way an email is boring is because of the writing style, of course, but another way that writers often don't realize is if there is too much repetition. That's how many emails become long, because the writer says the same thing in slightly different ways over and over. They take a sharp point and hammer it dull.

      Think about it, if I'm going to be impressed by something, will I become more impressed through repetition or less impressed each time. Unless they are making new points each time, each repetition is going to be less impressive. Hit me over the head 4-5 times with the same thing and it's not likely to impress me any longer. In many cases, the thing they are pushing becomes weaker at that point.

      @ 13th - Kind of funny you and CD had such similar thoughts, but it emphasizes the point better. I do the same thing at the post office, the junk mail never makes it out the door with the legitimate mail.
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  • Profile picture of the author areaK
    TOTALLY agree with every single point! It really annoys me to see several emails from different people with the same copy (the ol' copy and paste trick)...and unfortunately for them, THEY ALL GET DELETED without me even bothering to see what they are talking about just based on that mistake alone!

    My inbox is precious and I, like you, am often looking for an excuse to delete...or even unsubscribe so be careful about giving me one!!
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  • Profile picture of the author johndetlefs
    These days, every morning i put a tick in the "all emails" box and then i specifically untick the emails that I want to read and then just delete all the rest.

    My point being, these days unless you've got a good previous history of sending useful emails and/or have an incredibly good headline, the default is delete.
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  • Profile picture of the author 4Frankie
    Great Post. Reading different comments definitely a good learning post and we can all learn more. Thanks
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  • Profile picture of the author mypctechs
    What about subject line. 99% of emails never get as far as opened with me.
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  • Profile picture of the author Ash R
    Dennis - I agree with you so much about repetition! This is one of my pet peeves too

    I read each email I write over and over again, trying to delete as much of it as I can without losing the meaning or the vibe Learning to delete is definitely one of the most important copywriting skills!

    @mypctechs - Writing good headlines is a different skill all in itself, definitely critical but also easily separable from the actual email copy.
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    • Profile picture of the author Dennis Gaskill
      Originally Posted by Ash R View Post

      Dennis - I agree with you so much about repetition! This is one of my pet peeves too

      I read each email I write over and over again, trying to delete as much of it as I can without losing the meaning or the vibe Learning to delete is definitely one of the most important copywriting skills!
      Thanks for reminding me, Ash, I had one other thing I wanted to add to my reply to you but forgot. You just mentioned it . . . reading your email over a time or two only takes a few minutes and goes a long way toward weeding out the repetition. It's easy to add a little flavor to it at the same time to liven up the boring parts.

      The difference between an average email and a great email is often just a matter of editing it once or twice. Great writers are usually re-writers. They don't settle for the first draft.

      @ mypctechs - like Ash said, the subject line is a whole 'nother thing, probably betters served in a thread of it's own. Actually, there have been several threads about subject lines. If you use the search function you can probably find a few of them.
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  • Profile picture of the author scsheldon33
    Awesome post. Really made me reflect on what I have been doing wrong.
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  • Profile picture of the author Lyanna
    The reason why they fail is that people can smell the stench of their desperation!

    Some guy just emailed me a weird subject line like "I know what's wrong with you" (or something similar) which I deleted and then unsubscribed from the list.

    Creepy stalker language makes me feel icky.
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    • Profile picture of the author CDarklock
      Originally Posted by Lyanna View Post

      Creepy stalker language makes me feel icky.
      I now feel compelled to write the creepiest stalkery subject line I can, and see what my list does when I send it.

      So far, I am leaning toward "I can see your underpants."

      Not sure what the body of the email would say, though. I'll keep working on this.
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      "The Golden Town is the Golden Town no longer. They have sold their pillars for brass and their temples for money, they have made coins out of their golden doors. It is become a dark town full of trouble, there is no ease in its streets, beauty has left it and the old songs are gone." - Lord Dunsany, The Messengers
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  • Profile picture of the author dagaul101
    Nice tip, if many Internet Marketers realised there is someone at the other end of that email message just like them who joined the mailing list because they were looking for useful tips, alot of email newsletters wouldn't end up in the junk mail or trash
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  • Profile picture of the author Janice Sperry
    Great post Dennis! I especially liked this...

    The idea is to earn trust, not recruit your next best friend.
    In just that one sentence you give us a very important email marketing goal.
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  • Profile picture of the author Ash R
    @ Caliban, creepiest stalker lines I can think of:

    Every move you make, I'm watching you....

    I'm watching what you're doing

    I'm watching you and I'm not really happy with what you're doing, so I'll .... (?)


    Let us know how your stalker email is going
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    Don't sweat the small stuff :)
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    • Profile picture of the author Bekah Howard
      Originally Posted by sbucciarel View Post

      Bait and Switch: Don't tell me the list is just for product updates and then blast the hell out of my inbox with affiliate offers every day. A lot of product owners do this, and I end up unsubscribing and probably end up not getting an update if one is actually ever offered.
      It's not even affiliate offers with this that bother me. I recently purchased several products that would subscribe me to two lists (a normal list and an "updates only" list). One list-owner even went on to say that he would make the updates easy to spot by marking product update emails in a special way. Guess what! I've received a "product update" almost every day! Actually, every single message has been attempts at various upsells, but they all have the "special update-only" markings. That just proved to me that the marketer was dishonest and i unsubscribed. If they had not had the special "update" markings on upsell emails, I would have actually stayed on the list.


      Originally Posted by CDarklock View Post

      Every time you buy something online, the vendor puts you on a list. That's not unique to infoproducts. Safeway has me on their list for ordering groceries. Kohl's has me on their list for ordering trousers. Leather Up has me on their list for ordering boots. Brooks Brothers has me on their list for ordering shirts. Barnes and Noble has me on their list for buying books. Amazon has me on their list for ordering... well, all kinds of stuff.

      So while normal people do not sign up on twenty lists, they still generally end up on them.
      So true! I'm still on a mailing list that doesn't interest me at all simply because I ordered a gift for my Mother 2-3 years ago from the company. I haven't unsubscribed because I may decide to order something else for her someday, but I don't open any of the emails. Thankfully, they only send out monthly updates, rather than daily/weekly sales pitches. Honestly, if you're in a more "common" niche (that site has mostly household goods), bombarding people will push them away. However, I am keeping track of that company because what I bought from them was exactly what i wanted and they don't annoy me with an over abundance of messages.
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  • Profile picture of the author Dennis Gaskill
    Originally Posted by Raydal View Post

    I really don't know why you are making this discussion personal. I'm
    discussing an issue not you or any other poster.
    Ray, it didn't seem to me like I got personal, but you twice declared my advice meant nothing. That seemed kind of personal to me, but maybe you didn't mean it that way. That set the tone for my responses, though.

    I'm not asking you to agree with me--that's not the point. But
    it's an open discussion forum meaning that posters will not
    always agree. So it's fine to disagree with me and I hope
    you'll grant me the same courtesy.
    Sure Ray, no hard feelings. I was responding all throughout this thread according to the tone I felt you set in your first post. You want to discuss the issues politely, that's cool. What issues are left though? I thought I addressed the issues you had.

    As far as I know, it came down to you saying people outside of IM don't analyze their email, and I responded with this:

    It just doesn't matter that people outside of IM don't analyze their email, what does matter is that they sometimes react to it negatively, and that happens all the time whether they are aware of the reasons for their reactions or not.
    Did you want to discuss that further, or are we just going to call it a stalemate? Maybe that's not the issue you're talking about? Where do you want to go from here, Ray?
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    • Profile picture of the author Azarna
      A lot of these emails seem to miss the basic logic of a customer, imho.

      If I have just bought an expensive piece of software, for example, it is no good the company sending me details of their other expensive software, I am not going to buy it this month. Period. They would be far better sending me hints and tips on how to use the one I have for now and saving the 'and here is something else you might like to try' for a later date. Or just referring subtly to their other products 'Your X software can also integrate perfectly with our Y software too, of course'.

      I have just had the same thing from a well-known camera company. I bought a camera. Logically I am not going to want to buy another camera for a while, am I? So why did they then start sending me emails about their other models? This is totally pointless, and of course I unsubscribed. They COULD have sent ones about accessories for the one I had, that would have made more sense. But even then, I have a budget (like most people), why on earth can't marketers consider this?

      Being offered things I can not afford right now is just annoying, so I will unsubscribe. A bit less greed and a more subtle approach would keep me interested in their products, and make me more likely to buy A BIT LATER ON.

      I realise that upsell is considered lucrative, but it can also just annoy someone totally. If you have just got some of my money, at least do me the courtesy of letting me use the product etc before you start thrusting other things at me

      Its like having the dessert stuffed under your nose when you have only just started to eat the main course.
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  • Profile picture of the author stevet563
    Love it! Great advice. Especially about the drawbacks of the "not so perfect product". Very rarely see that.
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