Email Marketing

What is a Good Email Open Rate for Marketing Campaigns?

Email Open Rates

Lesson Transcript:

Today I want to talk about another common question I’m often asked about email marketing.

“What is a good email open rate?”

Open rate is the percentage of people who open your email.

For example, if I send an email to 100 people and 10 of them open it, my open rate is 10%

There are all sort of answers to this question and all sorts of “industry standards” available.

The average that I tend to see across numerous different businesses is:

A Good Email Open Rate Should Average 15 – 20%

But, there’s a problem with that number. It’s not a true representation of what your real open rate is.

Open rate is a bit of a flawed metric because of the way it’s measured.

When I send out an email using an email marketing service such as Aweber, MailChimp or iContact, they all measure open rate the same way.

Keep in mind that you can only measure open rate in html emails, not in text emails.

Open rate is measured by embedding an invisible, single-pixel image in the email. Then, when someone checks their email and opens the message, that image is downloaded from your email service provider.

The provider counts how many times that image was called after you sent your email.

If you send the email to 1,000 and that pixel was download 200 times, they will say you have a 20% open rate.

The reason this is a flawed metric is because most email clients, such as Outlook and Gmail, will block images by default. Just think about how often you read an email with actually clicking on that little button that says “download images.”

So imagine how many people will read YOUR email without clicking that button!

What this means is I can send an email to 1,000 people and 100 may open the email and click the “download images” button and those 100 will be counted as opened. But there may be another 50 people who open the message and read the text but never click the button.

My email service provider will tell me that I have an open rate of 10% when in fact it’s 15%

So when I say that the average open rate is 15 – 20%, that rate is probably actually substantially higher than that due do the large percentage of people who will read the message without downloading the images.

I want you to understand this so that when you’re looking at your open rates you will know that it’s not really an accurate representation of how many people actually opened your email.

How To Use Open Rate

So if it’s such a flawed statistic, how do you actually use it?

It’s pretty simple.

You establish a “control” with your list. What I mean by that is instead of looking at industry averages, you watch your open rate on your own emails. You figure out, on average, what your open rate is from your list.

If average for the last 10 emails you sent is a 15% open rate, that is your control. The point of having a control is that you are trying to beat it. If you send an email out and get a 20% open rate, then take a look at exactly what you did with that email that made the rate better.

Open rate isn’t a good metric to use to compare yourself to other businesses and other lists because different markets use email differently and their open rates will vary a lot.

Open rate IS a good metric to use to compare your current promotion to your past promotions.

You should be working to increase your own open rate and not worrying too much what’s going on in other markets.

That said, if you have a good size list and your open right is substantially lower than that 15 – 20% average, you may have a problem that is worth investigating,.

So measure against yourself and constantly work to improve email open rate, but always keep in mind that the number isn’t perfectly accurate.

Hope you learned something!

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Email Marketing

Should Your Email Come From a Business or a Person?

Lesson Transcription:

This is a short discussion of another common question:

“Should my email come from my business name or from my name?”

People want to know if the “from” field and the signature line should be their company name or their own name.

Aside from a couple of exceptions, I believe that emails should come from a person.

The only time I would deviate from this is if you have a big, well-known brand such as…

  • Apple
  • Walmart
  • Sony

…where there is no particular face to the company.

But, in 98% of the businesses out there, communication should come from a person because at the end of the day,

People Do Business With People!

The Internet itself is a very impersonal communication medium. Social media is changing that, but it’s still impersonal.

So to make it more personal, you need to have a “voice.” That voice needs to be associated with a person.

If you want to get the highest response from your email communication, make sure that you’re establishing yourself as an authority and a voice that people within your niche want to listen to.

Not as a company or as a brand, but as a real human being who people can relate to.

When they can relate to you as a person, you’ll get much higher results with your email marketing campaigns.

So the short answer is:

Your Emails Should Come From YOU!

People want to do business with people, so be “that person” within your market.

Hope you learned something!


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Driving Traffic, Email Marketing

A Simple Trick To Figure Out The Best Time To Send An Email To YOUR List

Lesson Transcription:

Today I want to answer a question I seem to get asked all the time…

“What is the best time to send an email to my list?”

best time to send an email

This is one of those questions that is frustrating for me because of all of the misleading (and flat out wrong!) answers I hear.

I’ve spent a lot of time at various Internet marketing seminars and conferences and I continually see all of these so-called “experts” get up on stage and say things like:

  • “The best time to send an email is Wednesday between noon and 3pm”
  • “The best time to send an email is Mondays between noon and 2pm”
  • “The only good time to send an email promotion is Thursday between 10am and noon”

…and it goes on and on.

I’ve heard many variations of this answer, and where these guys are getting their information from is their own testing. And for their business, that is probably the right answer.

But the fact is that every market is a little bit different!

So what I want to do is share a strategy with you to help you figure out what the best day and time is for your business.

To figure out the best time to send out an email campaign or an email piece or really anything to your list, you need to figure out the day of the week and time of day that your audience is most active on the internet.

And of course it has to be a day and time that they are in the right mindset to listen to what you have to offer!

So how do you figure that out?

It’s simple…

In your analytics!

Using Your Analytics to Determine the
Best Time to Send an Email Campaign

If you’re using an analytics program, chances are it’s Google Analytics.  You can go into it and see on average over the last few months what day is the highest traffic day of the week.

Your analytics program can tell you what day of the week and what time of that day you tend to get the most traffic to your site.

That is the day of week and time of day that you want your email campaign to land in their inbox!

If you have an email marketing campaign directed at business people and you send it at midnight on a Friday so it’s in their inbox for Saturday morning, your campaign will be in trouble.

This audience likely only sporadically checks email on the weekend and only to check for emergencies.

So on Monday morning when they pour themselves a coffee and open their email, yours will be buried in a massive list of messages and chances are they’ll go through and just delete all of the stuff that isn’t urgent and they don’t want to read.

And there goes your campaign…straight into the trash!

On the other hand, if you send the same campaign on a Wednesday at 2pm, you will have avoided the morning glut of emails and you’re more likely to get their attention.

So, you don’t need to listen to anyone tell you what day of the week or time of day to send your emails. Instead, you just need to log into your analytics department and do a bit of sleuthing to figure out when your market is most active online.

And that is exactly when you want your email marketing campaign to land in their inbox.

That will get you the absolute highest response.

Hope you learned something!

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Driving Traffic, Email Marketing

Email Marketing Tips – Part 2

How To Write A Marketing Email In 12 Steps

(If you missed “How To Write A Marketing Email In 12 Steps – Part 1” click here!)

Lesson Transcription:

Let’s continue on with the 12-Step Formula for Writing a Killer Email Promotion…

Step #7:  Avoid Mention of Price/Cost

How to write a marketing email

Of course, before you ever introduce price on a website, you take your reader through a detailed sales process in which you build credibility, build value and then introduce the price.  You can’t do all of that in ¾ of a page, so if you introduce price in your email, your reader will make a premature buying decision based on the price.  (Hint: It WON’T be the decision you want!)

If they don’t have all of the facts, they can’t make a proper buying decision.

Step #8:  Focus on “You” – the Reader

This is similar to transferring ownership in sales copy.  You write as if they already have the product.

“You’ll see these results…”

“You’ll discover…”

Step #9:  “Merge” Personal Details Where Possible

Use details beyond first name such as city, state or recent purchases made.

Step #10:  Keep Paragraphs Short (4 lines max.)

This is part of making your email scannable.  A paragraph longer than 4 lines looks tougher to read and your email will get closed.

Step #11:  Mix Up Line and Sentence Length

The more your email looks personal and “off the cuff” as if someone sat down and typed a quick message just to you, the more effective it will be.

Perfect, formal and consistent formatting will make your email look like an ad.  After all, when email your friends, you don’t usually pay much attention to formatting!

Of course, you want the spelling and grammar to be correct.

The less it looks like an advertisement, the better!

Step #12:  Restate Benefits & Call to Action in P.S.

Studies have shown that when someone reads an email, it goes like this…

  • They read the headline.
  • They read the first paragraph.
  • They scan the rest of the email.
  • They read the last couple of lines.
  • If they like what they see, they go back and read the whole thing through.

So make sure your call to action is before your signature line, but also make sure there is another call to action in the P.S. just to make sure it isn’t missed.

So end every email with a compelling P.S. that restates the key benefits and motivates your reader to go back and read the entire email word for word!

Other Tips & Tricks…

Copy Good Marketers!

Something I always do is subscribe to the lists of people I know are good email marketers.

When I see a promotion I like, I save it to a special folder.  Then, when I’m writing an email promotion, I browse through that folder for ideas.  If an email grabbed my attention, then I copy the style and use it.

Do the same thing yourself.  If something grabs your attention, then save if for the future and model an email promotion after it.

If it worked on you, it may very well work on your customers!

HTML vs. Text

I’m often asked if email promotions should use HTML or text.  What works better?

With HTML, you can use RTF (rich text formatting), bolding, highlighting, pictures, graphics, etc.

That said, the only RTF I use in email promotions is bolding and italics.  Anything else looks too much like spam.

Text is very limited as far as formatting.  All you can really do is use upper case letters to make a point stand out.  You have to be careful with that, as you can really only use 3 words in a row in upper case before it gets to be “too much.”

I’ve seen people write entire paragraphs in upper case.  The problem with this is that we are not used to reading in upper case, so it slows down reading speed and when that happens, it slows down comprehension and the reader gets bored and stops reading.

So limit the upper case words if you are using text.

Here are the pros and cons of HTML vs. Text:


  • Gets past the spam filters more often
  • Looks more informal and personal


  • Looks more professional
  • Often more “readable” and “scannable”

You need to TEST!  Results can vary from promotion to promotion.

I test every single time I do a promotion and you will need to do the same.

Hope you learned something!

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Driving Traffic, Email Marketing

Email Marketing Tips – Part 1

 How To Write A Marketing Email In 12 Steps

How To Write A Marketing Email – Lesson Transcription:

Email promotions remains one of the most profitable ways to make money online, but ONLY if you know how to write a marketing email that actually works!

Subject Lines – Make or Break Time!

How to write a marketing email

So let’s talk about subject lines.

When you are learning how to write a marketing email the subject line probably the most important part of your email.  It is very much like a headline on a sales letter.  If the headline isn’t compelling enough, no one will read your sales letter.  So it won’t matter if you have the best product, the best price and the best guarantee if the reader never even sees it.

The subject line is the same thing.  If you don’t have a compelling enough subject line to get people to actually open your email, then once again, you can have…

  • The best sales copy
  • The best offer
  • The best price
  • The best guarantee

…but it’s useless because no one saw it!

You need to be able to write killer subject lines that get as many people to open your email as humanly possible, BUT…

you have to do it without making it look like spam!

So here is my formula for writing a killer subject line.

Step #1 – Include their First Name

When you’re walking through the mall and someone calls your name, you stop and look around – even if they’re not talking to you!  Since we were babies, our name is the first thing we respond to.  When you see your name in print, it has an impact and it grabs your attention.

I’ve actually tested having first name in the subject line but not at the beginning and response always goes down.

Starting your subject line with the first name will get you the highest response.

Step #2 – Make it Short! (35 – 50 characters)

Any longer than 35 – 50 characters, then chances are it will scroll off the side of the screen and the message will be lost.

Step #3 – Include a compelling benefit

Make is something intriguing enough to make them want to open the email.  It might be something general and mysterious that compels them to open it.  Or it might be a specific benefit that appeals to the reader.

Step #4 – Make it Related to the First Paragraph

This is actually a bit backwards.  In fact, you should make sure your first paragraph is related to your subject line.  The reason for this is, your subject line is what got your reader to open the email in the first place.

In the first paragraph, you want to restate that subject line but now you have more room to expand on that benefit and compel people to read the rest of the email.

Step #5 – Make it Scannable

How do you make a subject line scannable?  There is a very exact science to doing that and it involves a trick:

Use a balance of ascenders (t, l, k, h, etc.)

…and descenders (g, p, y) – letters above and below the baseline!

Avoid repetition of the SAME letters close together!


BAD:  Bob, seminar schedule here

GOOD:  Bob, your schedule for today

More Tips:

Using “FREE” in your subject lines can increase your response by 400 – 500%!

There is a myth out there that using the word free in your subject line will get your email filtered as spam.

That is just not true!

But when you are learning how to write a marketing email don’t abuse this! Overuse of the word and different combinations of the word (which I’ll discuss shortly) can get you filtered as spam, but just using the word “free” will not.

Of course, if you use “free” in the subject line, you have to have something in there that is free!  It can be something as simple as a free report, even if there is also a sales process built in to that report.  But there has to be something that is free.  This is because the CANSPAM laws state that subject lines can not be misleading and must relate to the content of the email.  Failing to adhere to this law can get you into a whole lot of trouble!

So, use “free” because it is VERY effective, but make sure there is something free there.

How To Write Marketing Emails That
Attract a Flood of Qualified Buyers

My personal 12-step formula:

Step #1:  Keep the email short (3/4 page works best!).

Anything longer than this and people will close it without reading it.  They may intend to come back and read it later, but very few will.

Step #2:  Relate the first paragraph to the subject line.

As I discussed earlier, the subject line is the reason your reader opened the email.  If the first paragraph doesn’t relate to the subject line, you’ll lose your reader quickly!

Step #3:  Use the copy on your website to SELL!

This is an important one.  The content of your email is not the content you are going to use to sell.  The copy in your email has one goal, and one goal only.  That is to get people to click on a link and go to your website.

Your website should be the tool that does all of the selling.  Your email is limited to about ¾ of a page, but your sales letter on your website could easily be as long as 10 pages.

With the limited amount of space in your email, you can’t put in all of the information your buyer needs to make a decision, so if you try to use it to sell you are not allowing your buyer to make a good decision and you won’t get the results you want.

Let your website do the work!

Step #4:  Present your offer as a SOLUTION!

You want your reader to go to your website, and offering a solution is the best way to do that.  You don’t want to emphasize that they are going to a sales process as that can be off-putting.

You want your reader to believe that if they go to your website, their problems will be solved.

Step #5:  Create urgency.

If they don’t click on the link to go to your website right away, they’re not going to come back and do it in the future.

You need to come up with a way to create urgency that is viable.  You can tell the reader that the link will only be available for a specific amount of time (like 24 hours) or that there is a limited quantity of supply in stock.

Step #6:  Focus on ONE call to action.

That action is a simple one – it is to click on a link to be directed to your website.

You NEVER want to try to get your reader to take more than one action in your email.  If you need them to take more than one action, it must be from the website.

So that’s the first half of  “How To Write A Marketing Email In 12-Steps… Part 2 will follow soon!

Hope you learned something!


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