Email marketing can seem a bit daunting when you first start out. You probably have lots of questions about how well you’re doing, where to get lists (especially if you don’t already have one), and what exactly a split test is.
Q: Where can I find an accurate report on email open rates?
A: Mailermailer publishes an email marketing metrics report each year. You can get the latest email open rate report here.
Q: Where can I find a reliable email list broker or seller?
A: There are plenty of list brokers – and places to buy email lists. I would recommend sticking with newsletters or (either a co-op arrangement or an ad), rather than trying to buy a list. You know how I feel about buying email lists.
Q: How big should my list be?
A: As big as it needs to be to support you. People get hung up on size. The size of your list isn’t as important as whether you’re offering relevant information, to people who asked for it, and who know, like, and trust you enough to buy from you.
Q: What response rate will I get to my emails?
A: This is one of the most frequently asked questions! The answer is: it will depend. I know, but there are a gazillion factors involved (the quality of the list, the subject line, the product, the offer, the price, even the time of day). The best way to tell is to a) keep track of what you did before (which should give you a general idea what to expect) and b) run split-tests
Q: What’s a split test?
A: A split test (sometimes called an A/B split) is a way to see which of two versions of something works better. You can do this with email, a web page, or mail. The answers can help you write better copy without writing a word
Q: How often should I email?
A: Another depends question. Spell out in advance (before people sign up). If you change the frequency, announce it. Daily Candy mails daily; HARO mails three times a day. The important thing is to pick a schedule and stick with it. If you change it, let your readers know in advance.