Today, I am starting off an email series, email content, email measurement, what to do, what to not do an email, and how to create a backup plan for the times when you’re not capable of emailing. All of that is going to be covered in the next few weeks here.
So let’s talk today about the real reason you are not regularly emailing your clients. And I want to speak plainly for a second, almost as if I can, you know, hop into your brain and speak as you so hopefully that’s okay. Yes, we’re good, cool. I’ve yet to meet a client that is regularly consistently emailing their list. Now I know many people are but they aren’t my clients. And for the longest time, I couldn’t understand why. What I’ve realized is it really comes down to confidence. Now, I am not saying that my clients are not confident people, they’re experts, they are really, really good at what they do.
But they’re not confident in sending emails that people will open, they’re not confident that they’re choosing the right subject lines, that the content of the email is valuable enough to warrant interrupting somebody’s inbox, or that their list really wants to hear from them in the first place. And that right there is a mindset issue.
The Mindset Behind Email Content
And I am not the kind of person that labels everything as a mindset issue. But there is an email content mindset issue that we need to talk about here. There are three, actually.
Your email list opted in, they want to hear from you.
Unless of course, you bought a list or something in which case, I’d recommend some serious list hygiene measures to maybe get rid of the people who aren’t super engaged. Engagement campaigns are a real thing, whether you bought a list or not more on that later.
You feel email is an interruption
Issue number two is that I’m guessing you have no trouble posting on social media, but that you’re not being consistent with email. And if that is the case, I want you to ask yourself, why? I’m going to guess it’s because you don’t feel like your social media post is interrupting your audience. But you do feel like your email is. And again, at that point,
I’m just gonna remind you that your list opted in, just like your LinkedIn connections connected to you or your YouTube followers followed you. With all of that said, people are on your list, because they want to be and they have all the power in the world to unsubscribe, and they will. Many of them will, that is a good thing.
Viewership for email vs. social media
So the second thing I want to cover here. Actually, I already covered two issues for mindset. So we’ll call this the third thing. Let’s just talk about the general stats for viewership of social media posts versus emails. My email list right now is averaging about a 30% open rate. That means approximately one in three people who receive an email from me open it. Now you might be saying, oh my gosh, Britney, that means two out of three people are not reading your emails. Yeah. Yeah, that’s true. Either they got caught in a spam filter, they’re going to their Gmail promotions folder, or you know, someone’s overwhelmed and they’re just mass deleting their emails. And that is a real thing people do all the time. You might think that’s awful. But you know what, my last Instagram post only had 137 people view it. And I have 2300 and some odd change viewers. That is a 5%, almost 6%. So we’re talking 30% versus 6%.
Which one do you think is more effective? I’m going to go with email. So with all of that said, we now know we need to be sending regular emails, right?
How to Create an Email Content Strategy
But before you start sending regular emails, you need to know the reason you’re sending them.
Don’t be one of those people who emails because “oops, I haven’t emailed my list in a while.” If you don’t have anything real to say, don’t email them.
That said, I think you should have something real to say. Having a content strategy means that you have a built-in email content strategy, you’re basically ready to go. This is one of the reasons I’m a huge fan of regular weekly content pieces, whether that’s a video podcast episode or blog post. It gives the recipient something new each week to ingest and it gives you, the creator, a real reason every week to maintain contact with your list. Now once you’ve got that way down, let’s build on some backup to your email strategy.
I am a big fan of extended nurture sequences and for that reason, I have Brittany Long as a guest on the podcast, she’s going to tell you all about her year-long evergreen email strategy.
But for now, what I recommend for most clients is at least starting with 12 emails or about three months of weekly emails, this is going to give you as the creator, some built-in regularity for when life goes a little sideways, and you don’t end up making your weekly video this week, your list is still going to be getting that touchpoint with you with that extended nurture sequence.
What to say in your nurture sequence
So what are we saying in this nurture sequence? If we’re not emailing about last week’s blog post, we’re going to bring your audience on the client journey path.
Here we’re going to answer the questions:
- who you are
- what your business offers
- why that matters to the person getting this email
- what is the next step on their path
(And I have a whole podcast episode on why that part’s really important. It’s back on Episode 181. So hop over there if you need a little primer there.)
You don’t need to answer all of those questions in each and every email, some emails are going to have a simple goal of connection, and you can pull some of those best client research points out here and you can use them to insert some personality into your emails. This is why knowing your best client very intimately is so helpful, you can use that information in your email nurture sequences. And then other emails are going to answer the big hurdles to purchasing your main program, service, or product. This can take time to develop. It’s okay if you don’t have it right now, it’s not something you need to sit down and implement all at one time, you can start small.
How to Measure Your Email Strategy
After you have an email content strategy ready to go, then we need to know how to measure your email strategy. The big vanity metrics of email marketing are open rates and click rates.
So open rates are at best not the most stable statistic given how many internet service providers are and how they filter and algorithms differently. But it is still a metric you can track as well as click rate. So essentially, your open rate is the percentage of your list that opens each email. For years, the industry-standard has been around 20%.
Now, after Apple’s recent iOS 15 Drop, it’s not necessarily a reliable benchmark, for whatever reason, and some will say Apple is the reason my average open rate has risen at least 10 percentage points over the last few months. It’s a lot might be my new benchmark I’m waiting to see I’m tracking the data so I can tell or not. But it’s important here to track your average. So you can compare email subjects and content to your norma. The only way you know your normal is if you’re tracking it.
But for ease if you don’t yet know your own benchmark, let’s just say 20%, the average is where you’re starting.
If your rate is significantly below 20%, you probably:
- need to work on your email subject lines
- you’re definitely gonna want to trim the fat on your list as well and
- remove users who are not opening your emails, especially if it’s been quite some time since they have opened one
There are whole engagement campaigns that you can do, which I can’t cover here due to time. But the simple version is if they haven’t opened an email in a while, they should be dropped into a sequence that basically says, hey, if I don’t hear from you in the next couple of days by clicking on this link or reply, we’re going to be removing you from the list.
It sounds harsh, but sometimes people need a little kick in the pants. And if they aren’t ready for that kick in the pants, you’re saying goodbye to them in a good way. You’re gonna raise your open rate and you’re going to have better deliverable emails for the rest of the people who do want to be receiving them because your email service provider sees that they’re being opened.
So the next one is click rates or more importantly, click to open rates. So your rates are going to differ wildly depending on your industry, you know, B2C – business to consumer or versus, you know, B2E – business to entrepreneur. They all have very different rates for different reasons, but like opens, you want to be aware of your normal, so you can gauge if a particular email is performing well or below expectations.
Measuring Emails Against Each Other
The next level of email content measurement is knowing which emails and which content subjects are bestselling your programs or services. The content measurement dashboards that I set up for my clients use a UTM policy to so to show which emails lead to the most sales.
Another tactic I routinely employ is measuring how certain marketing and diversity relate to my client growth. My favorite example of this is an example of a giveaway or summit:
So I did this for my own business. This past autumn, I got curious and wondered, do the new subscribers that I receive from a giveaway stick around and go on to buy products or consume other content?
- Is it a profitable endeavor for me to do these giveaways, should I continue doing them?
- Are they worth my time and money?
- Are these new subscribers specifically from giveaways as engaged as the rest of my list?
I wanted to know if they’re registering for my webinar for the content lab. This is the kind of question that’s incredibly difficult to measure without having certain tech in place to follow each step of the journey.
So I created a custom dashboard to measure it. Since it’s my own business, and I’m not afraid of sharing my numbers. I have a whole video detailing the process. I wanted to see of the, you know, 150 people who came onto my list from a giveaway, how many were unsubscribing. Within the first six weeks or so the answer was about 20 or 25%. And I also wanted to see how many people were going on to consume that webinar. And the number was actually very close to the unsubscribe number. It was 20 to 25%. So that told me that approximately a quarter, or fifth whatever, of the people who came for the giveaway, were just there for the free content. And for that, I say good riddance, sayonara, bless and release, right, they got what they came for. They weren’t interested in the rest, and that is okay.
But there was also another quarter, or fifth, whatever you want to go with who was like, oh, I do want to know what this girl is about. And they registered for the webinar for content Lab, which is my content strategy done with your program. And that was really valuable information for me to know, if at least as many people who unsubscribed were going on to consume where my content, I decided that the giveaway was a good marketing choice. And I will do them again in the future as a result of that. But I wouldn’t have known that without creating a custom dashboard to measure it. So that is one way you can measure the effectiveness of your email campaigns and your email list building choices.
The key is being able to find the data and knowing how to measure it.
And it’s why I offer content measurement dashboards to my clients, of which email content can be a part of it if you so desire.
That way they are confident in making marketing decisions in the future. And that confidence, by the way, guys, that is everything. That is the biggest result of having any kind of measurement system in your business is being able to confidently make more decisions as a business owner in the future.
I just read an email from Justin Goff in the last couple of days and basically, he was talking about doubt. He was talking about how every business owner has doubts. He’s talking about he has doubts, how $10 million revenue businesses that he knows have doubts, how everybody’s going to experience this and feel this, and if there’s something that I can do to alleviate that doubt in my own world and my own business, just by measuring and tracking numbers, even if the numbers seem like they might be scary, that is something that makes sense for me and my business, only you can decide if that makes sense for your business.
But if you are ready to claim more confidence with a glance at marketing dashboards, you can apply at britneygardner.com/visibility. If that’s something in your future, I’d love to have a chat with you, so we can see if it’s a good fit. And if you are not quite ready, we are covering measurement and all different platforms on the podcast this year. That is what I am focusing on.
Are you ready to create a measurable content plan?