Increase open rates and click-through rates by following the cardinal rule of email marketing: serve, don’t sell. Learn how to avoid falling into the ‘crappy emails’ trap.
Let me start by saying, the level of ‘snark’ is strong in this one. I’m sick of getting crappy emails. Aren’t you? It seems everyone is following a formula, and the formula is awful.
[clickToTweet tweet=”Do you follow a formula in email marketing? Here’s why you should stop.” quote=”Do you follow a formula in email marketing? Here’s why you should stop.”]
There are most likely affiliate links in this article, which could mean I may receive a commission if you purchase something mentioned in this post. To read more about my affiliate partners, see my full disclosure here.
Why Is It So Hard to Increase Open Rates?
Because that ever-growing inbox is inundated with pitching. It’s overflowing with “Buy This!” or “Free Webinar!” This is what I’m getting. Maybe you’re seeing them, too:
- The overly-monetized funnels: email after email of BUY + BUY + BUY
- Desperate: “I know I never email you but… Puh-leeeeeeeeease click through on this sponsored post or I won’t get paid!”
- Breakin’ the Law: Affiliate links without disclosure ALLLLLL up in there or tucked into the footer.
- Boring: “A new post appears on XYZ blog.”
Initially, this was going to be titled, “When eMail Marketing Goes Horribly Wrong and Your Inbox Becomes One Big Dumping Ground!” but I felt that was overly dramatic and not helpful. 😉
And because my motto is ‘Elevate Everyone,’ I took a breath and thought how I could help. That’s how this article was born.
[clickToTweet tweet=”Want to increase open rates for #blogging newsletters? Yes, you do. Here’s how.” quote=”Want to increase open rates for #blogging newsletters? Yes, you do. Here’s how.”]
Let me prove I know what I’m doing – sign up for my email newsletters and get helpful, actionable tips that will help you to grow traffic, increase income, and find balance. P.S. You can see I practice what I’m telling you to do.
Get Free Access to Our Resource Library!
Create a Pattern of Service
SERVICE. Meaning, serve them. Help them. Make it about them. Them = Your Subscribers.
Do you want to increase open rates? Create a pattern of service.
Let’s say your article is about how you lost your mind at Target because your 4-year-old had a hard time leaving the LEGO aisle. Instead of just linking to your article, link your article AND this awesome Pin on how to calm down kids ANYWHERE from Views from a Step Stool.
This pin has been shared more than 160,000 times, so it’s likely your readers will find it invaluable. Tell them to #putitonthefridge
You will increase open rates and click through rates when your subscribers KNOW there is value.
Don’t send a 700-word email every time or just an intro to your articles each week. People are busy! Give your subscribers the down and dirty without them having to click. You could:
- put a recipe in the email and link to your article for alternative ingredients,
- write the tip at the beginning, a couple of bulleted points in the middle for a quick ‘how-to,’ and then give the article link for examples, or
- give them something for free that others would have to pay for (perks for allowing you to grace their inbox).
The Rule of eMail: Don’t Be an A-hole.
Okay, the real rule of email marketing is 90% helpful with 10% selling. Here’s a litmus test. Do you see emails that:
- only ever try to get you to click through to their site?
- sell in every email? Or worse: USED to be helpful but NOW sell in every email?
- discuss an affiliate product in every email and tell you it’s better than ANYTHING ELSE EVER?!
- only send an email for sponsored posts?
- only send emails when they are trying to do a combination of the above?
Some people will say, “I only have an email list so I can get them to click through to my site!” And that is a great action to have them take, but what is in it for them? How are you serving them?
Brainstorm a couple of ways to help make it easy for them before you send your email. That may very well be a link to an affiliate product or a product round up on your website. It might be a helpful article on someone else’s site.
Implement these tips and you will increase open rates. A strategy of help – of serving your subscribers – will also help to create an engaged group of fans. Up Next: Increasing Your Click-Through Rates.
Jennifer Bly says
Great tips Sarah. I struggle with my emails. I hit a sweet spot and then things dip – I change it up and it peeks and then dips again. I just don’t know what to do. It takes time too! I send for two sites – so whenever I think I need to change things up, I don’t because I feel I “need” to get an email out rather than let my list go cold.
You’ve given me much to think about.
Sarah Nenni Daher says
Those ups and downs are pretty common with email marketing.
One thing most of us don’t do often enough is test (A/B or split testing). I have been playing around with it and it’s given me some really keen insights. Consider testing different titles, layouts, and calls-to-actions (including / excluding buttons) and see what your list responds to best.
Happy holidays to you, Jennifer!