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Get The Best Email Marketing Results

Email Marketing For BloggersEmail Marketing gets tougher every day.  Like most internet marketers, I work hard to get the best email marketing results.

It’s not easy, though.
 
I mean, it’s not easy to get people to open your auto-responder emails, and that’s only the beginning.  

Then you have to give them interesting, relevant and valuable content.  That’s not easy, either.  And it’s not even the end of the process.  

You then need to have them start trusting you, and engaging with you at some level.  

And finally, the best email marketing results are achieved when you get your readers to complete a targeted action.  That usually involves a “click through” of some sort.

The Best Email Marketing Starts With Optimizing Your Open Rate

Create compelling headlines that entice people to open your email messages.  Make sure your email subject lines scream “value” and not “promotion”.  Don’t use spammy words like “free”, “must have”, “best deal ever” and so forth.

Study your open rates in your auto-responder statistics.  

Which subject lines get the best open rates?  

Test it with split tests.  

If you’re getting a decent open rate with “learn the basics of wordpress”, try it again with a different group of subscribers like this…  “learn the basics of WORDPRESS”. 

Then, maybe “find out how WordPress works”, or “you must get the basics of WordPress down pat” and so forth.  Run more emails with the most popular headlines, ditch the others and move forward.

If your email doesn’t get opened, it doesn’t matter what your message is.  Nobody will see it.

You Must Build Engagement

Once your email is opened, people will scan it quickly to see if you care about them.

That means, if your “learn the basics of WordPress” is focused on getting your readers to buy a WordPress course, you’re telling him/her that you mostly care about making a sale.  Not about them learning to use WordPress.

If the same email gives one or two tips, and then a link to a survey saying something like “what’s your biggest challenge with your WordPress site”… your subscriber will probably feel much more like you care about giving them good, valuable information.  

You may ask for a sale in your email, or maybe in a follow up one.  But don’t let the promotion be the biggest point to your message.  Let VALUE be the biggest point.

When you lead with value, your readers will engage with you more.  That’s because you are telling them that you want to build a relationship with them, not just sell them a product.

The Best Email Marketing Results Ends With Click-Throughs

When you follow the “engagement” path, readers will start completing the actions you call on them to take.

They’ll start answering your surveys, liking your Facebook links, joining your webinars, clicking links to your blog posts, commenting on them, etc.  

This shows you that your subscribers now value YOU.  As a result, they will follow you much more closely than if you treated them like a statistic in your sales spreadsheet.

That results in better click-through rates (CTR).

It begins with them opening your email messages more often, but ends with them clicking through on the links you provide them.  Those links may go to surveys, blog posts or sales pages… but they’ll click them because they’ve begun to trust you.

Don’t violate the trust.

Make a small portion of your links go to sales pages, and the larger portion to value based content like blog posts and surveys.  Make some of them even go to bonus offers, like a free webinar or ebook.

Again, watch your statistics carefully to study the CTR metric.  Split test one link against another to see which ones are getting clicked on most.  This will guide you as to what works best with your list.

Your final goal is to build the CTR into a robust interaction with your subscribers.

My Latest Strategy For Getting The Best Email Marketing Results

One of the biggest problems my clients encounter with their email marketing is just WHAT to send to their list.

I’ve certainly struggled with this issue, as all email marketers have.

I’m going to start rolling out a strategy I like based on an article I read by my friend, Rachel Lavern.

Rachel mentioned that she likes to develop content based on “themes”.

Now, that’s a simple enough idea, but the more I thought about it, I realized how powerful it is.

Instead of sitting down a couple times a week and thinking, “what should I write about to my subscribers today?”, you go straight to your theme outline and just start pumping it out.

A “theme” for a fitness blogger might be something like this: “nutrition for optimal cardiac function”, or “weight loss” or “aerobic exercise routines”.  Now, you can choose a 6-week period, or a calendar month or any other unit of time you choose and superimpose your theme on it. 

So, for the month of January, for instance… you can develop 4 weeks of content to deliver to your “fitness” list.  For the first week of January, you’ll take up the subject of aerobic exercise.  You might want to write a 3-day series on some beneficial aerobic routines. 

Monday, you can email about running, Tuesday you can email about step exercises, and Wednesday you can send an email about a webinar presentation on the aerobic exercise, or maybe send a link to an aerobic exercise video series that you are selling or affiliating.

Week two in January, you can send emails about reducing cholesterol.

You get the idea.

By the end of January, you’ve delivered 4 weeks of fitness emails.

In February, you’ll do the same thing, but this time your theme will be anti-inflammatory herbs and juices.

Over the year, you’ll have written email sequences within 12 themes highly relevant to your niche.

I love this idea because instead of aimlessly thinking of what kind of emails to send your fitness group, you have targeted themes within which to develop and deliver content.

You decide which of these emails or email sequences will actually point toward products or services.  Then you build up your sequences to support your marketing goals.

Now, this may not be exactly what Rachel had in mind, but I’ll give her the credit for inspiring the development of this strategy that I will be putting into place in order to get the best email marketing results in my business.

If you’d like to get your own best email marketing results, you might like to check out the online business training group that I’ve started with my wife, Donna. 

Click to see how the Whirlwind Successs VIP Club can help you get the best email marketing results, or build any other aspect of your online business and blog. 

Whirlwind Success VIP Club

Now it’s your turn.  I’d love to hear about your email marketing strategies.

David Merrill 101
I'm an Internet Marketer and Online Marketing Coach. My students learn no-nonsense, power strategies and techniques to build solid blogging and internet businesses. David Merrill+

22 Responses to Get The Best Email Marketing Results

  1. donna merrill May 19, 2014 at 11:13 am #

    Hey David,

    Another great tip on Email Marketing. This is exactly what I’m doing right now on my list. A small portion of it is promoting our product, and the rest is engagement.

    Furthermore, doing a fine job on Facebook these days. The opt-ins are coming in. Then we have to ask ourselves “what do we do with them?” Thanks for explaining it all in this post and the post you have linked to that you wrote in the past.

    -Donna
    donna merrill´s last blog post ..Marketing Your Blog

    • David Merrill 101 May 26, 2014 at 10:12 pm #

      You’re certainly keeping busy these days… I know that for sure.

      Like you said, while some of your email marketing focus has to be promotional, the vast majority of it must revolve around building engagement with your list. That’s something you’re a bit of a master at. Thanks for sharing your experiences here.
      David Merrill 101´s last blog post ..Email Marketing Strategies for Bloggers

  2. Monna Ellithorpe May 20, 2014 at 10:08 am #

    Hi David,
    Great post. I see something I am doing wrong almost from the first paragraph you wrote, so I will be changing that.

    Thanks for reminding me of Rachel’s post too.

    Have a wonderful day. Monna
    Monna Ellithorpe´s last blog post ..How To Change Light Colored Text On Blogs You Read

  3. Sue Bride May 24, 2014 at 3:12 pm #

    Thanks for the excellent tips David. It has taken me a while to work out what I think will be the type of content of most value to my readers and only a small proportion will be promotion. I had a clear out of my inboxes recently and unsubscribed from all but a few newsletters because I had not opened them after seeing the pure advertising in them.

    I really like the theme idea but need to work out how best to suit the majority of subscribers.
    Sue Bride´s last blog post ..An Introduction to Hashtags

    • David Merrill 101 May 26, 2014 at 10:24 pm #

      One of the best ways I’ve found to “suit the majority” of your subscribers, Sue, is to ask them what they are most interested in.

      Try sending some surveys to your list from time to time, asking them to prioritize their biggest goals, and their most difficult challenges. Their response will help guide you in developing targeted and relevant email sequences.
      David Merrill 101´s last blog post ..Email Marketing Strategies for Bloggers

  4. Leanne Chesser May 25, 2014 at 3:20 pm #

    I like the theme idea. I’ve done that in the past – – I had monthly themes on my blog and my newsletters matched the theme. For the last while, I’ve been focusing on sending out my post and a bit of other info plus a regular section of my newsletter that’s a promotion. I’ve had more of a promotion going over the past week (a free session), which is a help for my readers. It is challenging to know what to send and where the balance is between content and promotion. It’s a process.
    Leanne Chesser´s last blog post ..Is Gandhi Narcissistic?

    • David Merrill 101 May 26, 2014 at 10:30 pm #

      I can tell you’ve struggled, Leanne, as all email marketers do, to balance value with promotion in your messages.

      I like to segment my lists into one special interest on top of another. That way, you continually refine what various segments of your list want to hear about, and are open to promotions about.
      David Merrill 101´s last blog post ..Email Marketing Strategies for Bloggers

  5. Shelley Alexander May 26, 2014 at 3:31 am #

    Hi David,
    You have provided some excellent suggestions on providing value to your email subscribers. I try to do a mix of a small amount of promotion and mainly content posts with healthy recipes and holistic health tips which will help my subscribers reach their health goals. I am thinking about starting to do themes moving forward because I want to see how I can offer even more help for my readers and build an even stronger bond with them. Thanks for all the great tips!
    Shelley Alexander´s last blog post ..40+ Mouth-Watering Salads for Spring and Summer

    • David Merrill 101 May 26, 2014 at 10:36 pm #

      Themes would fit in nicely with healthy recipes, Shelley.

      Various themes can even dovetail with product creation, so that a series on juicing for instance, could lead to a book or video series about juicing.

      I’d love to hear how it works out for you.
      David Merrill 101´s last blog post ..Email Marketing Strategies for Bloggers

  6. Dawn Golden May 26, 2014 at 8:55 am #

    My emails need a lot of work and this article is giving me some great ideas and reminders on how to put together a better sequence. Thanks David.
    Dawn Golden´s last blog post ..Forrest Gump Would Be A Great Blogger!

    • David Merrill 101 May 26, 2014 at 10:39 pm #

      Grouping your emails into sequences is the simplest, most direct technique for giving your emails meaning. Your readers will understand better what you are trying to tell them if you do it with short sequences (3 to 7 emails) build around a clear theme. This also gives you the best access to promoting your products and services.
      David Merrill 101´s last blog post ..Email Marketing Strategies for Bloggers

  7. donna merrill June 2, 2014 at 9:51 am #

    Hey David,

    As you well know, I’m following this advice you have given…We may work together, but I do have my own emails I have to sort out.

    Thanks so much for teaching me, and others how to put this into motion, as I have and make life a little easier.

    Lets have some coffee lol

    -Donna
    donna merrill´s last blog post ..Entrepreneurs Have Holidays Too

    • David Merrill 101 June 10, 2014 at 12:32 am #

      It’s not a “set and forget” operation, for sure.

      The best email marketing results come on the heels of careful and consistent attention to your list and the various segments of your list… on a daily basis.

      Now, I’m ready for coffee 🙂
      David Merrill 101´s last blog post ..Everything Big Is Small Again

  8. Dexter Roona June 3, 2014 at 1:58 am #

    Hi David, very nice article, email marketing is something that i have really sadly overlooked, but i do intend to put that right
    regards Dexter
    Dexter Roona´s last blog post ..My Simple Google Blogging Strategy

    • David Merrill 101 June 10, 2014 at 12:34 am #

      It’s one of the best ways to build your online business, Dexter.

      You don’t want to neglect list building and email marketing to that list. There may be better ways to do business online, but I can’t think of any.

      Good luck with your move into email marketing, Dexter.
      David Merrill 101´s last blog post ..Everything Big Is Small Again

  9. Nathaniel Kidd June 3, 2014 at 2:49 am #

    David,

    This is my first time visiting our blog and this post really struck me. It was very informative. I have always struggled with what to send to my list and how often to send it. I like the idea of themes. It places me in a mindset that I can add even more value to my readers instead of selling to them.

    Many readers skim through the email so quickly that we only have a small window of opportunity to capture their attention. Your tips here offers me the opportunity to implement more ways to capture that readers attention. Thank you for sharing.
    Nathaniel Kidd´s last blog post ..Frugal Living Tips to Save on Pet Supplies

    • David Merrill 101 June 10, 2014 at 12:37 am #

      Glad you got some good strategies here, Nathaniel.

      Now it’s time to put it into action… that’s when things really start happening 🙂

      Welcome to my blog. Don’t be a stranger.
      David Merrill 101´s last blog post ..Everything Big Is Small Again

  10. I.B. Nosey June 4, 2014 at 5:29 pm #

    David, thanks so much for this excellent tip. But, one question… how do you get a survey out to folks? Is there a site which allows you to sign up and then create a survey? Right now, my number one goal is to get folks to know who I.B. Nosey IS, before I try any sales on them. LOL

    A survey sounds like a good idea… if I can get them to even open the email!
    I.B. Nosey´s last blog post ..Weave a Woven Tale with I.B. Nosey

    • David Merrill 101 June 10, 2014 at 12:42 am #

      Surveys are great to use to build some rapport with folks.

      SurveyGizmo, SurveyMonkey and many other things are available to do surveys with. But you can also just ask people a single question like “tell me what you’d like to hear about on my next blog post, A, B or C… simply reply to this email with your response. Thanks for your help”

      Try it out and let me know how it works for you.
      David Merrill 101´s last blog post ..Everything Big Is Small Again

  11. Marquita Herald July 26, 2014 at 9:31 pm #

    Excellent tips David. An interesting thing happened to me maybe 3 months ago – there was a problem with my email broadcast setting and while I fussed with getting it fixed I manually prepared each message – including the notice about a new post at my blog. The funny thing was all of a sudden my click through rate jumped dramatically! Ever since then I’ve stopped sending my subscribers form email messages and I’ve worked to create a conversational tone. It’s made a big difference and while I’ll no doubt go back to automating at least the post notice at some point, I’m enjoying the engagement with my community – and obviously they are as well.
    Marquita Herald´s last blog post ..Stepping Stones

    • David Merrill 101 July 27, 2014 at 5:01 pm #

      That’s a really good point, Marquita, and thanks for sharing your story here.

      Broadcasts which are written and sent out on a day by day basis seem so much more alive than auto-responder messages you set up 3 months ago, because… they are!

      I think FAR too much has been hyped about putting your business on “cruise control”. How about just showing up at the office each day? I think your readers really do appreciate your presence.
      David Merrill 101´s last blog post ..The Shortest Path To Online Success

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