Tuesday Travels: Do You Know These Email Marketing Secrets?

Whispering at Walton HallGetting visitors to your site is great, but if you want them to come back, and if  you want them to buy something from you, you’ll need a way to reach them directly.

One great way to do that is with email.  Done right, it’s building an asset; done wrong it’s a disaster.  Here’s how to do it right.

Email Writing Tips From Spammers

Start Your Email Newsletter Without an Opt-in List

Five Simple Tips for Better Email Marketing

How to Put Your Email Marketing on Automatic Pilot


Email Writing Tips from Spammers

email spam

Image by Sean MacEntee via Flickr

We all hate spam.  It fills up our inboxes, it takes time to delete, and it’s irritating to plow through it all to get rid of it.

Surprisingly, you can learn quite a few email writing tips from a spammer.

They may be slimy, but they are good at marketing.  And you can adapt their strategies for much less nefarious purposes.

What are spammers good at?

Heart-pounding subject lines

They write subject lines that immediately grab your attention and elevate your pulse rate.   I recently got one purportedly from Paypal.  It said, “Receipt for your payment to Avira.”  I’d made no such payment.

It was a trick to get me to open the email.  They wanted me to login to Paypal, through their fake link. This would give the spammer my password information and likely enable them to clean out my account.

I didn’t do it, but it certainly got my attention! And getting attention is the first rule of marketing.

Relevant and immediate messages

The message was relevant and important, since I do have a Paypal account and certainly want to keep track of any payments.

It had a cleverly disguised call for action. The idea was to look at it, think payment?! What payment?! And then click the link in a panic to run and check. Because who wants unauthorized payments? Nobody.


The email looked trustworthy at first glance.  The “from” field said “Paypal.” The subject line was in the same format as legitimate emails from Paypal.  People know and trust Paypal. The spammers were borrowing Paypal’s familiarity and trustworthiness in order to steal.

I certainly don’t recommend that you steal or lie, but you can adapt these tactics for more respectable uses.

  • Use your subject line to get attention.
  • Send relevant messages.
  • Build up your authority
  • Develop your readers’ trust
  • Create a recognizable brand so readers will recognize your name and open your messages

Email Marketing The Smart Way (Free Course)



Have you run into these email marketing problems?

You spend lots of time writing your messages, setting them up – and they’re ignored. Few people open them, and even fewer click.

You wonder what response rate you’re “supposed” to get – and whether you’re measuring up to the standard.

Or, you can’t seem to get people to sign up for your list at all.

You may be new at this. Or, used to offline marketing, but not online. You’re well-trained and skilled at your profession, but not in email marketing.

It can be pretty frustrating. You wish there was an email marketing course you could take.  Something that points out what’s going wrong.  But without having to take hours out of your day, or travel to the other side of town.

Free Email Marketing Course

There’s an answer. It’s called “Smart Email Marketing.”  It’s an absolutely free 10-part email marketing course. Delivered each week right to your inbox.

Each lesson in the course takes you through a different part of the email marketing process, from getting signups, to crafting your message, and creating your sales offer.

Practical, Easy-to-Follow Email Marketing Tips

Learn how to:

  • avoid mistakes that can kill your conversion rates
  • write emails that get opened
  • build your email list without spamming
  • five simple formatting tips that boost clicks

You’ll be an email marketing genius in no time.  And, it’s all free.

Just sign up here to get started.


Why People Unsubscribe From Your Email List

unsubscribe button

image via Pixabay

A few weeks ago, a famous internet marketer had a problem.  The subscribers to his newsletter were complaining.  He didn’t say so explicitly, but I’m guessing from the tone of his email that his open rates, clicks, and sales were going down.

His readers were also likely unsubscribing from his email list.  Since he makes quite a bit of money from email marketing, this must have caused a significant reduction in his cash flow.

But why do people unsubscribe from email lists?

Too many pitches

When I signed up for this newsletter, I expected a monthly newsletter,  with an occasional pitch or an ad for something.   I got the newsletter, with some excellent content.  I also got six or seven sales pitches (at random intervals on random days, it seemed).  And, I couldn’t tell which was which.  It got to the point where I saw his name and immediately hit the delete button.

A megaphone, not a conversation

He got  caught up in all his new products, and didn’t realize that he was overdoing the sales pitches. As Dave Navarro says, “Free, free, free, sell.”  Not everything can or should be free, but too much selling will send people to the exits.

Not relevant or personal

He was talking at people (caught up in his new products) rather than to them.  The email promising news for people over 50 went straight to the trash folder.

I’m also signed up for newsletters from Sonia Simone and Copyblogger.  Their emails are personal, unique, and sometimes make me laugh.  I feel I know them, and like them, even though we’ve never met.  Most importantly, I look forward to reading them.  I bet other people do too.

To his credit, our guru has changed his approach.  His newsletters now spell out exactly what to expect, how often he will email, and take a softer tone.  He’s also offering more free material.

How often do you send your newsletter?  What’s your mix of free and sales content?

Fewer Emails Lead to 225% More Leads

Email Icon

Image via Wikipedia

It sounds counter-intuitive, but it turns out it works: you can make money with a small email list.  You can even earn more with a small list than you can with a large one.

We all tend to think that more is, well, more. But sometimes, less is really more.  It also helps to think through what you’re doing and try to make your emails as helpful and relevant to your readers as possible.

Here’s how one IT company reconfigured and streamlined their list and their marketing strategy.  They ended up earning more, without increasing the size of their list.

Build on personal relationships

The first change they made was a simple one.  They switched the name on the  “from” line from the marketing department to the name of an account manager. This made the messages seem more personal and helpful and less “salesy.”

Consider the customer experience

Then, they streamlined the emails.  They used less HTML and graphics, and more plain text.  This change made the emails easier to read on different devices.  It also reduced page load times.

The next change was to the content.  Instead of a barrage of emails all at once, the messages were staggered in a series. The early messages offered more help, with free guides and webinars.

More sales-oriented messages were pushed back later in the series (product demos and free trials).

The result?

  • 225% increase in sales-ready leads
  • 376% more downloads, forms filled in and interaction
  • 27% more of the leads from the emails became customers

Read the full article here (open access until Sept. 16)

Now, all emails and lists and marketing is different.  However, it does suggest that simplifying, adding more useful content, and carefully showing leads along a path to a sale, can make a big difference.

Start with signing them up, add valuable content, helpful videos, ebooks, etc.  Then add in materials that are more directly related to a sale (a demo, a free consultation).  Finally, ask for the sale.