What's the secret to email marketing success?

29 replies
Hi Warriors,

Can you help me figure out what I'm doing wrong with my email marketing?

I publish a dog newsletter via email to a list that is hanging around 300. It took me about a year to reach that number. My understanding of email marketing is to send something people want as opposed to always promoting to them. I haven't done much promoting to my list yet, but focused on getting the newsletter out.

After a year, it appears that only a handful of people are bothering to read the newsletter. It's set up so they get a few hints in the email and go online to get the full version, which includes photos. Since most free email services do not forward emails with attachments, this seemed the best approach. However, I did start out sending the entire newsletter in the email, less the photos.

Regardless, the readership doesn't seem to have changed.

List members receive my one email a week. Out of 300, only 10 get opened, and about 1 per month actually clicks a link, either to my full newsletter or to one of my promotions. Out of those promo clicks, I sold 2 books. Whoopie!

I stopped doing the newsletter about 8 months ago and am planning to restart it. Before then, I hope to get advice on why my email campaigns are so ineffective.

I'm at a loss. I don't overwhelm them with emails, I don't do a ton of promos, and I give them good information and advice for nothing. What else could they possibly need or expect?

Any ideas?

Thanks.

Sylvia
#email #marketing #secret #success
  • Profile picture of the author Alexa Smith
    Banned
    Originally Posted by sylviad View Post

    Since most free email services do not forward emails with attachments, this seemed the best approach.
    Using a free email service is probably part of the problem, here, Sylvia.

    Originally Posted by sylviad View Post

    Out of 300, only 10 get opened, and about 1 per month actually clicks a link
    Ouch! (That was a very sympathetic and supportive "ouch", by the way ).

    Originally Posted by sylviad View Post

    I hope to get advice on why my email campaigns are so ineffective.
    Others will be along, and will say loads more (some of it perhaps conflicting, but that's just the way with forums) ... but meanwhile, does this help? http://www.warriorforum.com/main-int...ml#post6123982

    And a couple of other suggestions ...

    http://www.warriorforum.com/main-int...ml#post5300985

    http://www.warriorforum.com/main-int...ml#post7647187 (ignore the thread title - that isn't what the post linked to is about!)

    On the grounds that it's very much easier to give birth than it is to raise the dead, I think that to all practical intents and purposes, what happens with the next 300 subscribers may be the real issue, here, especially if 97% of the current crop are apparently not opening emails ... ? ...
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    • Profile picture of the author Shaun OReilly
      From what you've outlined so far, you need to be a lot
      more strategic on how you use and structure your e-mails
      to market and sell.

      Work back from the target products you want your
      subscribers to BUY, and then identify the content
      that you can give away that helps you to SELL the
      actual products.

      Yes - the subscribers want content for free (who
      wouldn't?!) - but I guess that you want to earn
      money for your efforts too.

      My guess would be that you're giving away too much
      valuable information for free. (So much, that they
      don't feel that they need the paid stuff yet).

      If you're holding back on the promotions, then it's no
      wonder that you're not making many sales.

      It's OK to give away SOME content provided that it
      helps to move your subscribers closer to making a
      buying decision on the paid products.

      Take a look at what your top competitors are doing in
      the dog niche to get ideas from them too. For example,
      look at how frequently they send e-mails, what type of
      offers they promote and how they structure their e-mails.

      Take a look at the free gift and first e-mail you send out
      to make sure that they kick-ass and make a great first
      impression.

      Are you injecting your personality and stories into your
      e-mails as well as just the content on dog training?

      Dedicated to mutual success,

      Shaun
      Signature

      .

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    • Profile picture of the author sylviad
      Great post Alexa ... "Essentials of list building..."

      Well, I've hit all the points. They sign up because they want the newsletter and the free advice it contains. They're told right off that it's a weekly, delivered by email, etc. etc. etc. So they know what to expect.

      Article marketing is my main promotion method, so I figure, if they like what I put in the article, they'll want more... they click, sign up... and get more. I've been told by a handful of members that it's good information, they enjoy reading it and look forward to getting it every week. And then there's my related blog where they can get even more tips and find links to buy products.

      The articles are distributed through a service that covers newsgroups, web site owners as well as article directories. After three months of using their service, I saw an improvement in sign-ups and sales, which was quite promising... but then I ran out of money... again

      I can only assume that I need to just put more effort into my article marketing through this service.

      Sylvia
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      :: Writing, Audio Transcription Services? - Award-winning Journalist is taking new projects. Warrior Discounts!
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      • Profile picture of the author morninjoi
        Originally Posted by sylviad View Post

        Great post Alexa ... "Essentials of list building..."

        Well, I've hit all the points. They sign up because they want the newsletter and the free advice it contains. They're told right off that it's a weekly, delivered by email, etc. etc. etc. So they know what to expect.

        Article marketing is my main promotion method, so I figure, if they like what I put in the article, they'll want more... they click, sign up... and get more. I've been told by a handful of members that it's good information, they enjoy reading it and look forward to getting it every week. And then there's my related blog where they can get even more tips and find links to buy products.

        The articles are distributed through a service that covers newsgroups, web site owners as well as article directories. After three months of using their service, I saw an improvement in sign-ups and sales, which was quite promising... but then I ran out of money... again

        I can only assume that I need to just put more effort into my article marketing through this service.

        Sylvia
        Maybe you should use a subject line that stirs so much curiosity. There is always that urge to discover something hidden.
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      • Profile picture of the author sylviad
        Originally Posted by Shaun OReilly View Post

        ....
        Work back from the target products you want your
        subscribers to BUY, and then identify the content
        that you can give away that helps you to SELL the
        actual products.
        Yes, I did that... generally speaking. The product is a dog nutrition book - the newsletter covers various dog topics from training to fun stuff.

        My guess would be that you're giving away too much
        valuable information for free. (So much, that they
        don't feel that they need the paid stuff yet).

        If you're holding back on the promotions, then it's no
        wonder that you're not making many sales.

        It's OK to give away SOME content provided that it
        helps to move your subscribers closer to making a
        buying decision on the paid products.
        Actually, I began the newsletter before my main product was ready (I decided to rewrite the entire thing). So I did article marketing, built the list, sent the newsletter. Then I stopped and only just finalized the main product which I will now be marketing to my list.

        Take a look at the free gift and first e-mail you send out
        to make sure that they kick-ass and make a great first
        impression.

        Are you injecting your personality and stories into your
        e-mails as well as just the content on dog training?
        Admittedly, my emails don't "kick ass" as you say, but then they aren't getting a free gift. Just a basic welcome to the newsletter email to get them started. I guess I could try to "kick ass" there, assuming it's even necessary in this situation.

        Oh, yes. I do have the personality approach covered - most people enjoy my writing because it is so engaging and easy to read.

        Thank you, Shaun. You've given me something to think about.

        Originally Posted by Willie Crawford View Post

        The key to getting your emails opened is making it easy to know who
        it's from, by using the same "From" field all the time, AND promising
        them some benefit for opening the email, in our subject line.

        People like me glance at the from field first, then the subject in
        deciding which emails to open and read.After you get them to open the email, then your next battle is to
        engage them and make them want to click through to your site. I
        often just "talk to" my subscribers... even imagining one of them
        sitting across the table from me, as I write an issue. That makes
        the message feel more personal.
        You make a good point, Willie. I suppose for Dog Talk Weekly, just writing the subject:
        [DTW] : dog nutrition, training your dog to sit
        could benefit from a lot of imagination.

        Give them content, but don't be afraid to make offers to them,
        and when you do, TELL THEM what to do... for example "Click
        here now to read the rest of this issue" or "Go get this special now
        before the price goes back up in 2 days!"

        Finally, look at what expectation you set when you first enticed
        them to join your list. What did you promise them? Are you
        fulfilling those promises?...
        Yes, I have the "do this" down and they did get exactly what was promised. That's what makes this whole issue so confusing. It must be in the subject line. I'll try to be more creative and enticing. That seems to be about the only thing I'm not doing right.

        Sylvia
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        :: Got a dog? Visit my blog. Dog Talk Weekly
        :: Writing, Audio Transcription Services? - Award-winning Journalist is taking new projects. Warrior Discounts!
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      • Profile picture of the author sowens
        I don't think I would assume that you need the newsgroup service. If I read that correctly you're not really getting more you're losing money faster.
        Originally Posted by sylviad View Post


        The articles are distributed through a service that covers newsgroups, web site owners as well as article directories. After three months of using their service, I saw an improvement in sign-ups and sales, which was quite promising... but then I ran out of money... again

        I can only assume that I need to just put more effort into my article marketing through this service.

        Sylvia
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        • Profile picture of the author sylviad
          Originally Posted by sowens View Post

          I don't think I would assume that you need the newsgroup service. If I read that correctly you're not really getting more you're losing money faster.
          Actually, (Willie Crawford - if I'm not mistaken - ) uses this service and has had great success with it, whereas I had only just started but had to cancel after 3 months. In that short time, I was seeing results that I wasn't getting from other promotions. It's not a newsgroup service, it's an article distribution service.

          Sylvia
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          • Profile picture of the author Alexa Smith
            Banned
            It's very time-consuming (of course!), Sylvia, but I'm wondering if you might do better by syndicating the articles yourself, along these lines, rather than paying for a service to do it. You'd get more say in where they're published, that way, and can check that they're all being published directly in front of highly targeted traffic, and save a bit of money, and (most important of all) be building relationships with publishers yourself. :confused:

            http://www.warriorforum.com/main-int...ml#post3188316
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            • Profile picture of the author sowens
              I was looking for this list the other day and could not remember where I had seen it. I really need this-we all do. Thanks for being so organized. AND so full of great information. Shelley

              Originally Posted by Alexa Smith View Post

              It's very time-consuming (of course!), Sylvia, but I'm wondering if you might do better by syndicating the articles yourself, along these lines, rather than paying for a service to do it. You'd get more say in where they're published, that way, and can check that they're all being published directly in front of highly targeted traffic, and save a bit of money, and (most important of all) be building relationships with publishers yourself. :confused:

              http://www.warriorforum.com/main-int...ml#post3188316
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          • Profile picture of the author Willie Crawford
            Originally Posted by sylviad View Post

            Actually, (Willie Crawford - if I'm not mistaken - ) uses this service and has had great success with it, whereas I had only just started but had to cancel after 3 months. In that short time, I was seeing results that I wasn't getting from other promotions. It's not a newsgroup service, it's an article distribution service.

            Sylvia
            Yes, I use several article distribution services... with great
            results.

            Willie
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            • Profile picture of the author sylviad
              Thanks, everyone. You have given me some great advice.

              Over the years, I've read many great products on effective email marketing but even with that knowledge, I still find it difficult to hit that audience expectation. It's like being out of tune with the rest of the world.

              Have you ever experienced people who seem out of sync with your way of thinking? I have and this is similar. Some successful marketers seem to have a natural connection with how people think. It's an oddity of humans, I think.

              Sylvia
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        • Profile picture of the author sowens
          Just a question - you are obviously great at building landing pages.

          Have you tried a landing page for your email newsletter that includes a hilarious pet video from youtube? I'm envisioning a subject line such as This weeks hilarious pet video from Sylvia;
          In the email is your email newsletter and an image of the video that, when clicked, takes them to your landing page with the video and your offer. That also gives you a page that they can "like" or send an email link to share the vid with Facebook friends, etc.

          For what it's worth - good luck -- Shelley
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  • Profile picture of the author himanuzo
    300 subscribers? This number is little.

    Add more.... hundreds... thousands...

    You must think about how to get traffic that converted to leads.
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    • Profile picture of the author CyberAlien
      Originally Posted by himanuzo View Post

      300 subscribers? This number is little.

      Add more.... hundreds... thousands...

      You must think about how to get traffic that converted to leads.
      Even with 300 there should still be more than 10 people opening and 1 person clicking on average though
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  • Profile picture of the author sowens
    I am awful at list management so this is just speculation: people are suffering from email fatigue. As someone with 4 active email addresses I am just emailed-out. With the un-recovered economy, people are still doing their own job plus the job of a laid-off coworker. Then there is "Reply-all syndrome." I think people don't have 2 hours to manage email traffic. I only open email with a compelling subject line on a topic that interests me in the moment. I write about mobile commerce. A lot of people are talking about the 98 percent mobile text response rate and I tell them to watch that plummet as people get more push messaging. I know that didn't answer your question but I hope it starts a discussion.
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  • Profile picture of the author Willie Crawford
    The key to getting your emails opened is making it easy to know who
    it's from, by using the same "From" field all the time, AND promising
    them some benefit for opening the email, in our subject line.

    People like me glance at the from field first, then the subject in
    deciding which emails to open and read.

    After you get them to open the email, then your next battle is to
    engage them and make them want to click through to your site. I
    often just "talk to" my subscribers... even imagining one of them
    sitting across the table from me, as I write an issue. That makes
    the message feel more personal.

    Give them content, but don't be afraid to make offers to them,
    and when you do, TELL THEM what to do... for example "Click
    here now to read the rest of this issue" or "Go get this special now
    before the price goes back up in 2 days!"

    Finally, look at what expectation you set when you first enticed
    them to join your list. What did you promise them? Are you
    fulfilling those promises?

    I hope that helps.

    Willie
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    • Profile picture of the author morninjoi
      I am waiting for more contributions on this.E-mail marketing will work if mails are opened in the first place but most times people just delete a whole lot of barraging mails. Its one thing to get them to subscribe and another to read the mails you send.
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  • Profile picture of the author David Maschke
    Willie Crawford, who is a major or lieutenant colonel retired (I forget), can probably tell you better than I can.

    On your first engagement, you may have not conquered enough mental real estate for a strong foothold to leverage future campaigns.

    The battle is won or lost in the mind before it's ever fought on the battlefield.

    The emails I open is directly proportional to the mental real estate the sender owns in my mind.
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    • Profile picture of the author Willie Crawford
      Originally Posted by David Maschke View Post


      The emails I open is directly proportional to the mental real estate the sender owns in my mind.
      That's true for me too. There are certain people whose email I always
      open, even when I know that it's a blatant sales pitch... and at times
      even when I know that it's for the same product that I've already received
      emails from a dozen others on.

      Willie
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  • Profile picture of the author Borrisa
    I only open emails that have non hyped Subjects. I guess most non IM market opens hyped subject lines. E.g. How to make $$$$$ in XX Days won't intrigue me but will attract non IM or new IM crowd.
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  • Profile picture of the author Raydal
    Originally Posted by sylviad View Post


    I'm at a loss. I don't overwhelm them with emails, I don't do a ton of promos, and I give them good information and advice for nothing. What else could they possibly need or expect?
    I was in my mid-teens when I once overheard my big sister talking
    to her girlfriend. She was complaining about a guy she was going
    out with to my sister. I was shocked to hear her say, "He wouldn't even
    ask me for a kiss!"

    I was shocked out of my teen mind. You mean that girls really
    want boys to ask them for a kiss?

    -Ray Edwards
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  • Profile picture of the author Randall Magwood
    Sylvia i would continue to keep building up your list. Instead of emailing once a week, email every 3 days. Test your price point also. Make sure your email subject lines are enticing enough to make people want to click on them and open up your emails.

    Since you stopped doing the email newsletter about 8 months ago, i imagine that your list of 300 people would be totally unresponsive to you. I know some people say dont promote your product in every email... but i beg to differ. Doing "soft sells" in every email that i send out are pretty good for me.
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  • Profile picture of the author iSoftware
    Have you taken a proper course in Email Marketing?

    I don't mean a $7 WSO. I mean one taught by a professional with some actual credentials.

    It sounds like you just need proper training in the fundamentals. Then you'll be able to answer questions like:
    Who is my ideal newsletter subscriber?
    What are their fears, frustrations, angers, desires, needs, wants?
    Where are they online, how can I reach my IDEAL prospects?

    Okay now that you know where they are (the websites).....what traffic method will you use to get them to your squeeze page?

    Other questions you'll need to answer...
    How do I craft a squeeze page message to repel the wrong subscribers (hint those who don't want to spend money) and attract the right ones (hint, those that are non price sensitive and shop based on value)?

    How do I build trust and relationship with them - what are the X number of things that each email should have?

    Ninja subject lines won't get your emails opened time and time again - a relationship will. After all, if your closest friend or relative sent you an email with no subject line, or say a 1 word subject (ex. "hey...") - you'd open it right?

    If a trusted friend said in a one sentence "click on this link and read the article" - you'd do it right?

    There are 7 psychological "triggers" you can employ to build trust and engagement with your audience.

    Once you build trust and create content that is of interest to your subscribers:
    -emails get opened
    -links get clicked
    -sales get made

    The biggest mistake people make is not building trust and relationship with their audience (most don't know how).

    The second biggest is not emailing often enough. Instead of "being afraid to email too often" a better question is "how can I build the kind of trust, relationship and content that have people dying to get my emails and open them everyday?"

    The 3rd biggest mistakes is not knowing simple "email marketing" metrics like revenue per subscriber, roi, cost per subscriber, average open rates, average conversion rates, etc

    Yes this does work. Ignore what most people say about email marketing because they are clueless.

    My advice would be to invest in some proper training and stick to it until you get results.

    Don't get overwhelmed. Start at the beginning, learn the fundamentals and take it from there.

    I hope that helps!

    PS
    I'm not sure there is an "Email Marketing for Dummies" but their books are usually a great way to learn the basics. You may be able to get a hard copy or ebook copy from Amazon.com
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  • Profile picture of the author nicholasb
    if you don't promote anything how are you suppose to make any money?

    I email my list every single day, the email both provides value but also sells...

    I'd also focus more on traffic, 300 subs in a year is really bad.

    They reason nobody opens and clicks, is because your content isn't compelling enough...
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  • Profile picture of the author clever7
    Here are the best email marketing tips I found here at the Warrior Forum:


    1. Write with enthusiasm to cause excitement.

    2. People like to be entertained.

    3. Write catchy titles.

    4. Tell a story.

    5. Create expectation.

    6. Write your messages as if you were talking to a friend. Talk about your family and your life.

    7. Promote your offers in every message along with content if you want to sell every time, without waiting.


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    • Profile picture of the author pa1968
      The secret I have found is being able to build that relationship with your list. People dont buy from strangers; they buy from people they like. The more value your list feels like they get from you, the more they will be available to you.

      Do you ever get emails and just delete them without reading any subject line? You just see who its from and you decide if you want to take the time to open the email and read it or not. I do that all the time. In fact the only emails I open are ones from people that I value what they have to say. Where I feel like I can learn something. So, I know if I do that, then there must be a whole lot of people out there doing the same thing.

      Get to know your list. Tell them your struggles you had in your niche. Tell them your successes you had that came after. Give your list something for free. Give them a special report, a free video, or send them to your blog or give them a link that you think your list would like. Treat your list as if they are personal friends. If you do that, then they will listen to what you have to say.
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  • Profile picture of the author MKCookins
    A lot of people have mentioned several great tips to help.. I will expand on one more thing and that is building a relationship with your subscribers.

    People normally only buy from people they trust. The only way they will trust you is if they like you. They will only like you, if they get to know you.

    So in essence you need to add "your own voice" and personalize each email to let your subscribers get to know you better.

    The sooner they get to know you, and you are helping them by providing massive value in your email -- they will begin to like and trust you, which is when the sales start to come.
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  • Profile picture of the author movemaker
    Here is one simple thing that you can tweak that will transform everything you do...

    Make sure your content solves a problem. Give them content that they can go use and apply and get a result.

    If a person knows that every time you create content you give them something that can change whatever they may dealing with then they will open and even ask you for more information.

    Don't use the voice of the "push marketer" and try to trick them into clicking or any of that stuff. Just be yourself!

    In closing I want reinforce this...Make sure your content solves a problem.
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    • Profile picture of the author sylviad
      Originally Posted by movemaker View Post

      Here is one simple thing that you can tweak that will transform everything you do...

      Make sure your content solves a problem. Give them content that they can go use and apply and get a result.

      If a person knows that every time you create content you give them something that can change whatever they may dealing with then they will open and even ask you for more information.

      Don't use the voice of the "push marketer" and try to trick them into clicking or any of that stuff. Just be yourself!

      In closing I want reinforce this...Make sure your content solves a problem.
      Thanks Moviemaker. Since the newsletter is just that - advice and tips for dog owners - I have to assume that it solves a problem - at least for some readers. It depends on what their particular problem is when they read the newsletter, which I cannot possibly know. It's like tossing up 10 pieces of advice and hoping someone pops up and grabs one.

      Sylvia
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      :: Got a dog? Visit my blog. Dog Talk Weekly
      :: Writing, Audio Transcription Services? - Award-winning Journalist is taking new projects. Warrior Discounts!
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