When it comes to your email list/auto-responder, there are three areas where people are constantly looking to improve.
- EMAIL DELIVERABILITY: How do I get more of my messages into my subscriber’s inbox, as opposed to their spam folder.
- OPEN RATES: For every 100 people I email, how many of them open my message.
- CLICK-THROUGH RATES: For every 100 people I email, how many of them click on a link inside my email
See below the open and clicked rates as they are displayed in Aweber:
The purpose of this article is to discuss each of these areas and give you practical solutions for improving them.
But before you start reading, keep something in mind…
When you’re first starting out, it’s 100% normal for these numbers to be lower than you’d like. If, for example, the industry looks for a 10% open rate and a 1% click-through rate (which are fair numbers), don’t be surprised if your numbers are significantly lower than this. It’s not uncommon for new marketers to see open rates in the 5% range when first starting out.
The thing to remember, as with most things in business, is that the more CONSISTENT you are, the better your results will be. There are many factors that affect whether your email will show up in someone’s inbox, and then get opened, and clicked.
There is no “here’s the one fix”. There are only best practices and you being CONSISTENT with your mailing. The more you mail, the more familiar your list gets with you and the more you give them a chance to open and click. If “Guru X” has had a 50,000 person email list for 5 years, then it’s not fair to compare your results with theirs.
All that being said, let’s go over a few things you can do if you’d like to improve your email deliverability, open rates, and click-through rates.
PART 1: EMAIL DELIVERABILITY
Getting your email to show up into someone’s email inbox (also known as “inboxing”), is something that many email marketers struggle with. Email service providers like Gmail and Yahoo are constantly making it harder for customers to receive messages. Especially when those messages come from an auto-responder like Aweber or GetResponse.
Here are a few things you can do to increase the likelihood of your email showing up in someone’s inbox.
EMAIL DELIVERABILITY TIP #1: Tell Your Subscribers To Add Your Email Address To Their Safe Sender List, White List, and Contacts .
Perhaps the most successful way of reaching your subscriber’s inbox is to have them actually add your sending email address to their list of contacts and to identify your email address as a “Safe” sender (i.e. put you on their ‘white list’). This action tells the subscriber’s email service provider to give priority to your messages and to ensure they are delivered to the subscriber’s inbox.
Basically, you just want to make sure that you tell your subscribers to “add your email to your contact list/address book”.
The best time to tell them to do this in the very first follow-up message you send them. So, when someone opts-into your list, your welcome email might touch on these points:
- Keep an eye for emails from me
- Be sure to white list this email address (i.e. add me to your contacts)
- Here’s the information you opted-in for (link to your affiliate offer or bridge page)
EMAIL DELIVERABILITY TIP #2: Send Emails From Your Own Domain.
Let’s say your name is Susan Smith and your email address is SusanSmith@gmail.com. The fact that you’re mailing from a “gmail.com address” is likely going to decrease your chances of getting inboxed. This is because “professionals” have their own domain (like: www.SusanSmith.com or www.WorkWithSusan.com) If Susan changes the “from” address in her Aweber from SusanSmith@gmail.com to SusanSmith@WorkWithSusan.com then she’s much more likely to get inboxed.
The good news is that getting this setup is pretty easy to do.
- Go to GoDaddy.com
- Get a domain
Make sure it’s not too long (less than 20 characters)
Make sure it ends in a “.com” if possible
Make sure it doesn’t sound too spammy or too “hyped up”
Example: SuccessWithTim.com is better than TimsMakeMoneyOpportunity.com
The second one is a total “NO”
- Once you get your domain (about $10/year) you can call GoDaddy and have them help you set up an email. Keep it simple like Tim@SuccessWithTim.com
- Once you’ve got your email, then add it to your Aweber account as your new “from” address.
EMAIL DELIVERABILITY TIP #3: Keep the “Spam Words” To A Minimum
The more words like “money”, “opportunity”, “weight loss”, “free”, etc… are in your emails, the more spammy they seem because normally when people are emailing each other, we don’t use those types of words.
So, let’s pretend you’re going to broadcast to your list and you’ve gotten some email swipes from someone else, and the subject line is…
“Check out this new business opportunity”
You may want to change that subject line to …
“Hey, check this out”
This is going to hold true for your email subject lines, as well as the body of your emails. Remove “spam words” and hopefully you’ll see a slight up-tick in deliverability
EMAIL DELIVERABILITY TIP #4: Keep Emailing
The more CONSISTENT you are, the more likely the number of people who open your message will go up. This will end up having a POSITIVE effect on your stats. So if you have 100 people on your list, and you email once a day for 30 days…
And someone else with a 100 person list mails once a week for 30 days…
Then at the end of the month, you’ll be MUCH better off than the person who emailed once a week.
Here’s another thing…
Sometimes, auto-responder services like Aweber and Get Response, go through times when they’re working on stuff on their end to get better deliverability. So, you could mail on a Monday and go into spam, but had you mailed that exact message 48 hours later, it might have inboxed because Aweber fixed something on their end.
That’s why you have to stay consistent. Because you never know when things that are completely out of your control will align.
EMAIL DELIVERABILITY TIP #5: Don’t Email Direct Affiliate Links
If you’re mailing an affiliate product (which you likely are), then often it’s smarter to NOT mail the link that Clickbank, JVZoo, or WarriorPlus gives you.
The reason for this is because so many people are using their affiliate links in malicious ways, it often affects your ability to inbox. Gmail, Yahoo, and the other email service providers can recognize a link from JVZoo, WarriorPlus, or Clickbank, and sometimes, when the email service provider detects one of these links in your email, it will automatically stick you in spam.
The solution for this is simple
- Log into your 12MA account
- Click on “My Domains” on the left hand side
- Follow the instructions and get your own domain
- Once you’ve integrated your new domain on 12MA, you can create a custom bridge page that links to your affiliate offer.
- Now you can email your bridge page link on your custom domain. And when someone lands on that bridge page and clicks-through, they’ll see your affiliate offer.
An alternative solution for this is to use a link forwarding service like “ClickMagick.com”. You can create a link inside of Clickmagick, and have it forward to your affiliate link.
EMAIL DELIVERABILITY TIP #6: Get Subscribers To Reply Back To You
Here’s a neat tip…
If you email someone on your list, and they reply back to you, that sends a signal to their email service provider that they want to hear from you.
So, even if they reply back with something that seems mean, don’t sweat it. The fact that they replied to you is a GOOD thing.
So, if your email says something like “let me know you got this” or “let me know if you need help” then people will be more likely to reply back to you. If they do that, your email deliverability will hopefully go up.
Getting subscribers to reply to you is the cornerstone of what’s known as a “”re-engagement series”. Let’s say that you’ve got 1,000 people on your list that you’ve been mailing at least 4 times a week for 60 days...
Furthermore, let’s assume that of those 1,000, you have 500 who have never opened an email from you. A good idea is to create a “Segment” in Aweber that only consists of the 500 who have not opened anything from you over the past X Days (usually X is about 60ish).
Once you have your segment of people who are not opening, you can email them a 3-5 part re-engagement series designed to get them to open, and reply back to you
Furthermore, if you create a segment of those who have OPENED, then, while you’re mailing your “un-opens” a re-engagement series, you can email your “opens” something else. Emailing ONLY your opens should yield abnormally high open rates (which will help with your overall sender score). Your sender score is how the internet views you as an email marketer. There’s nowhere to look this up, it’s just kind of an “internal score” that places like Gmail and Yahoo use to rate emails that come from the email address you’re sending from.
PART 2: OPEN RATES
Once your email has been delivered to the inbox, the next step is to get someone to OPEN IT. If they don’t open it, they can’t read it and they can’t click on the link inside.
Here are some tips to getting people to open more of your emails.
INCREASING OPEN RATES - TIP #1: It’s All About RELATIONSHIP
You want to know the #1 predictor as to whether or not someone will open your email?
The answer is WHO it’s coming from.
People first look at WHO the email is from and decide whether or not to open. Just think about it. If your mom sent you an email, would it matter what the subject line was? Of course not, you’d just open it.
So, if you have a good RELATIONSHIP with your list and they know who you are, then they’re more likely to open your emails.
My favorite way to build relationships is to post super-short videos on my Facebook or YouTube that contain a short tip or idea.
I don’t ask them to buy anything. I just give willingly.
Once a week, I’ll send 2-3 emails back to back directly to a post like the example above so that my list gets to know, like, and trust me more.
INCREASING OPEN RATES - TIP #2: Curiosity & Scarcity In Subject Lines
You can do a quick Google search on “Best Subject Lines” to use in emails to increase open rates, but two tried and true suggestions are to make sure the subject line either piques curiosity, or invites scarcity.
A Subject line that says: “How To _______” works because it’ll pique their curiosity about how to do ______ (assuming they want to do whatever your email is about).
A subject line like: “The #1 Secret To ___________” also piques curiosity.
On the other hand, if, for example, I’m sending out 4 back to back broadcast messages promoting an affiliate product, then on my last email about it, I almost ALWAYS tell them it’s my last email about it.
Some subject lines might be: “Final Chance….” Or “Sorry if this is already gone”
One of the best ways to get people to act is to threaten to take something away. That’s what these subject lines do.
INCREASING OPEN RATES - TIP #3: Mail At Different Times Of The Day
Everyone’s list is different. If your list is full of stay-at-home moms, then you might see great luck emailing at 2 in the afternoon.
If your list has a bunch of 9-5’ers on it, then you may do better getting responses in the evening hours.
The point is that the more you try mailing at different times of the day, the more you’ll see patterns in how your list reacts.
For example, I have an email list of people who want to make money online. My email list is mostly U.S.A, Canada, & U.K.… but I do have some other countries on my list too.
I’ve found that the BEST time for me to mail is 11PM Eastern Time.
Will this be the best time for you?
Heck if I know…
What I do know is that if you email your list at different times of the day, then you’ll not only give different people opportunities to see your message (based on their schedule), but you’ll also notice patterns as to when they open the most.
INCREASING OPEN RATES - TIP #4: Story Sell…
Smart marketers know that people like to be entertained. Therefore, often it’s a good idea for your email to contain more “story” than “sell”.
People like reading stories. That’s why, for 12MA Members, we give you pre-done email swipes that are powerful stories that can be used to sell any product.
Here’s an example of the type of email I’m talking about in the “Personal Development” niche. As you’re reading, think about how the email makes you FEEL.
======= EXAMPLE EMAIL =============================
SUBJECT: If you must have any successful habit, it’s THIS
Mr. Wonderful from Shark Tank.
He once said:
“The difference between those who are successful, and those who aren’t is habits.”
Habits truly can make or break you.
They can carry you effortlessly to your goal, or they can put you in a position to where you’re fighting upstream.
If habits are so important, then what are the key habits that you should adopt to become successful?
I’ll tell you one that I have and works like a charm.
Whenever I am on my way to achieve a goal, and I get a little down.
Or doubt starts to creep in…
What I do is tell that part of my mind to shut the heck up, and I immediately turn the channel.
In other words, I change my thoughts and one tool that helps me do that is motivational videos on YouTube.
Les Brown and Tony Robbins are my favorites!
But it works like a charm to pick me up out of a slump, and to get me back on my positive wave.
That is just one, effective tool that you can use…
But here are more that are much more effective:
======== END EXAMPLE EMAIL =========================
How did that email make you feel?
Did you feel like you were being sold?
If you were on someone’s list, and they sent you emails like this regularly, would you be more likely, or less likely to open?
Once your email list gets used to these types of emails from you, they’ll be more excited about opening your messages.
PART 3: CLICK-THROUGH RATES
Once your email has been delivered to the inbox, and opened, the next step is to get someone to CLICK on the link inside.
It’s important to note that only a FRACTION of people who open will click on whatever link you have inside the message. So don’t be surprised if these numbers seem a little low.
That being said, here’s how to increase the likelihood that the person who opens your email will click on the link inside.
INCREASING CLICK-THROUGH RATES - TIP #1: Put Your Link Close To The Top
Here’s the thing…
If you write a good story-selling email, and you only have one link in the email, and that link is at the bottom of the email, then you’re likely to have a HIGHER QUALITY CLICK…
But you’ll likely also have a LOWER QUANTITY OF CLICKS.
Putting a link ONLY at the bottom makes sense when you’re sending a story-selling email, but if you’re sending a “regular” email - one that overtly promotes a product - it may be a good idea to try putting a link close to the top of the email, so it’s right there in their face.
INCREASING CLICK-THROUGH RATES - TIP #2: Length of the email
Another way to increase click-through rates is to have REALLY short emails. I’m talking 3 or 4 quick sentences with a link. When reading the entire email takes 4 seconds, then it’s likely they’ll click after reading.
INCREASING CLICK-THROUGH RATES - TIP #3: Tell Them What To Do & Make It Clickable
The easiest (and most powerful) way to get people to click is simple...
TELL THEM TO CLICK
Instead of having a really ugly link inside your email, you should instead turn words into a link.
This is called “hyper-linking”
Have you ever seen those emails that say “Click Here”?
That’s what I‘m talking about.
You’re telling the person EXACTLY what to do and where to do it. And it works like gangbusters!
As a matter of fact, hyperlinking the words “click here” is so powerful that it’s often considered to be a “spam trigger”
But no worries, you can do the same idea but just change the words.
If, for example, you’re selling a new weight loss program...
You can say something like “Access It Here”
Or, if you’re taking them to a page with a video on it you could hyperlink “Watch The Video”
Or instead of saying “Click Here” you could say something like “check it out” (this is much less “spammy”)
INCREASING CLICK-THROUGH RATES - TIP #4: Match Hypertext Link With Subject Line
Ok, let’s pretend you’re promoting an affiliate product that is about how to make money from Instagram.
In that case, the subject line of your email might be something like
“The #1 Secret For Profiting From Instagram…”
So, if that’s your subject line, then you may want to have those EXACT WORDS (or as close to them as possible) in the body of your email.
And when those words show up in your email, make them the link the recipient clicks. It might look like this:
======== EXAMPLE =======================
SUBJECT: The #1 Secret For Profiting From Instagram
Have you heard about this new software yet?
It’s taking the internet by storm.
It exploits the #1 secret for profiting from Instagram.
There’s never been anything like this
It’s so easy to use that even newbies are seeing great results with it.
It’s time you get your piece of the billion-dollar Instagram pie too!
Check it out here >>>
Do you see how the subject line and the first hyperlinked words match?
This is called congruency.
And it’s been shown to increase click-through rates.
Hopefully, that gives you a few ideas on how to increase deliverability, open rates, and click-through rates.
But like I said earlier. Nothing beats consistency!
The more you email, the more you’ll see what your list responds to…
The more you see what they respond to, the more of that you’ll be able to do…
When I’m stuck on what to send my list to get good open rates, I literally just go back a few weeks, see what’s worked, and then do something similar to that.
It’s like copying off my own test.
But you can only do that if you’ve been consistent with your mailing for months.
I hope this has helped.