3 Secrets to High-Converting Emails

3 Secrets to High-Converting Emails

In the world of email marketing, if you get an open rate at or above 20 percent, you do a little at-the-desk fist bump.

Clearly, your hunches about your target audience were right and you succeeded in convincing them to look behind the inbox curtain.

Recently, I wrote an email launch series that didn't get a 20 percent open rate. It boasted a near 60 percent open rate.

Understandably, I forgot the fist bump and went straight for the celebratory piece of chocolate cake.

Celebration complete, I got back to work because any email marketer knows that the open rate is only a small part of the battle.

It’s great that your subscribers are opening your emails, but that open rate is sort of like a first date. And anyone knows that if you don’t get past a first date, the relationship is going to go nowhere. . . fast.

As I looked at the other email metrics in our launch campaign, here’s what I found:

  • Overall, the campaign garnered a 5.04 percent click through rate—way above the average 2.43 percent for most industries.

  • And when those subscribers found themselves on the landing page, they converted at a whopping near 50 percent. (Where do most of the top-of-the-top industries land? 11-ish percent.)

True confession: I’m still giddy about these numbers.

Any time you succeed like this, it’s natural to celebrate, and it’s also incredibly dumb to not self reflect. How did those conversion numbers happen?

Intelligent design, my friends. Intelligent. Design.

1. We tested strategies. . . and then respected the results.

I’ve studied Jeff Walker’s product launch formula like it’s a new religion.

I’ve gotten certified by Copyblogger and learned under the great Joanna Wiebe and Ryan Schwartz.

They’ve given me their badges of approval, sent me their well-wishes, and assured me that I am now equipped to become the best bad-a** writer in my space.

But when it came to converting this specific subscriber list, not all of their philosophies worked.

We tried the formulas.

We carefully crafted the layouts and the structures.

We told great stories and reinforced the benefits.

But at the end of the day, this particular list didn’t want much of that. They wanted short, quick, to the point. Why? Because they’re busy, professional women who don’t want to get stressed out by superfluous emails.

And how did we know they wanted shorter emails? We segmented the list and tried multiple versions of emails. When we found the winner-winner chicken dinner, we locked it in a vault for safe keeping.

The strangest thing about this result was that we’ve emailed to this list before. At times, they’ve definitely preferred all the award-winning strategies touted by the email marketing gurus. . . but for some reason, with this particular launch, they wanted shorter emails.

So we delivered.

2. We used their own words.

I talk about the pure sensibility of this here, but this is one of the smartest strategies that every copywriter ought to be using.

Through surveys and testimonials, we had gathered some very specific pain points of our target audience. And instead of thinking, “I know how to say this better,” I trusted my audience and used their own words.

Here’s the deal: I once heard a marketer that I HIGHLY respect say that “people don’t know what they want.”

And while that’s usually VERY true, here’s the part he left off: People DO KNOW what THEY DON’T WANT.

If you want to get to the heart of your audience’s struggles, then ask them what they don’t like. Find out what trips them up, what causes them sleep-disrupting heartburn in the wee hours of the morning, what makes their gut churn when they’re in the middle of a corporate meeting.

Everyone who has any sense of self-reflection knows the answers to these problems. And once you’ve got those answers, they become a goldmine of content for you to use in your own collateral.

It’s like you’re harnessing the power of an echo—revealing familiarity, understanding, and connectedness. This is how people see themselves in your content, and when they can see themselves in your words, they become convinced that your offer really is something that might just be their long-awaited knight on the white horse.

3. We kept showing up.

Here’s where the wisdom of the marketing greats really did pan out. Using the Fibonacci sequence, we scheduled out our campaign.

Technically speaking, the Fibonacci sequence is a “series of numbers in which each number ( Fibonacci number ) is the sum of the two preceding numbers. The simplest is the series 1, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, etc.” (Thank you, Google.)

Translated to email marketing, using the Fibonacci sequence looks something like this:

  • Email #1 = Day 1

  • Email #2 = Day 2

  • Email #3 = Day 3

  • Email #4 = Day 5

  • Email #5 = Day 8

  • Email #6 = Day 13

  • Email #7 = Day 21

Because it doesn’t involve anything beyond simple math, I can leverage this tool like nobody’s business.

Worried about oversending? Don’t be.

Your subscriber is likely to get 120 emails a day—or 1 email every 12 minutes (I talk more about that here), so. . . if you want to get noticed, you’ve got to keep showing up. Sequencing emails like this proves to be a bit of a holy grail in email timing, and it keeps you front and center of your subscriber’s inbox (ensuring that at some point, they’ll actually click on your email and respond to your offer).

Great writing + smart strategy are two necessary ingredients of any email marketing campaign. Leave one at the door and you’ll spend a lot of time and resources creating a product that won’t fire on all cylinders.

Want to learn how to create an email campaign that works for you? Let’s talk.

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