Giggles Loudly (Whenever They Say Email Marketing Is Dead)


I subscribe to a LOT of people’s lists.

Many of them online marketers.

And I always have a good giggle when one of them brings out that old “Email is Dead” chestnut.

Tee hee.

Here’s some interesting info…

  • 183 billion (with a B!) emails sent daily
  • 95% of online consumers use email
  • 57% of internet users worldwide said they are more likely to buy a product in a store after getting a marketing email
  • 44% of email recipients made at least one purchase last year based on a promotional email

Yeah, how about that last one… almost half of all people who received a promotional email last year made a PURCHASE as a result.

Ummmm… that’s kind of effective, right?

Email marketing is still, in my view, one of THE most effective ways you can:

  • Grow your community / tribe
  • Establish your authority
  • Make sales

And it’s one of the most cost effective as well!

You can have all the Facebook likes you want. A ton of Twitter followers. A stack of connections on LinkedIn.

But if you aren’t building your email list, you are neglecting one of your most fundamental business assets.

Why Rent When You Can Own?

Why rent somebody else’s platform (eg Facebook, LinkedIn) when you can own your own?

I’m regularly advising people against spending money on campaigns aimed purely at getting Facebook likes. If the likes come as a byproduct, great. But what you want to be doing is getting that optin to your email list.

My Top 7 Tips For Keeping Your Email List ALIVE...

As an early adopter of email marketing (back in 1999), I’ve literally sent hundreds of millions of emails, transacted millions of dollars online and nurtured dozens of communities.

And, whilst email marketing is definitely NOT dead… you can certainly KILL your email marketing efforts by making some pretty fundamental mistakes.

Here are my Top 7 Tips to ensure your email list doesn’t become a zombie-land of the walking dead:

  1. Segment
    Let’s just say your list includes people of varying skill levels. And say you offer a solution for each of those skill levels. If you go ahead and offer beginner advice to an advanced user, you’re going to bore them. If you give advanced advice to a beginner, you’re going to intimidate them. People need to feel that you understand them and that you’re speaking to their specific needs. You can do a much better job of this when you focus on segmenting your list. Some variables to consider as the basis for your segmentation:
    – Purchase history
    – Demographics
    – Source
    – Time on List
    – Click history
    – Survey/Quiz results
  2. Make TRUST your Touchstone
    The only real currency you have with your email list is TRUST. That’s what’s causing people to stay on your list, open your emails, click on your links, watch your videos and take up your offers.Sure, you can get a short-term boost from click-baiting or sensationalising. But every time you go for that quick and hollow win, you pay for it out of your Trust account. I need to believe you’re going to honour me and my needs with EVERY email you send me. No exceptions. Ever.The short story? Your need to maintain trust to maintain conversions.
  3. Say Something
    Try saying everything to everyone and you’re guaranteed to end up saying nothing to no-one.Be specific, compelling relevant. Find your voice. YOUR voice. And use it. Avoid waffle. Respect your audience. They know when you are faffing. Less faff. More substance.Not everyone will like it. That’s ok. Those who do will love it. And they are the ones who will buy from you; who will support you; who will interact with you; who will become your advocates.Avoid catering to the lowest common denominator. Unless you’re really saying something – and something with a real empathy for your audience, why are you bothering? Blah, blah, blah… that’s all your email recipients will hear. And that’s a one way ticket to oblivion.
  4. Add Value
    If your emails aren’t adding value, why would anyone bother to open them? Even your sales emails need to offer value. If all you ever send your list is one “advertisement” after another your open rates and click through rates are on a one-way ticket to downsville. Great value-adding email content can include videos, lists, links to tools, curated content posts, links to blog articles, how-to’s and case studies.
  5. Ask
    Yes. Ask. For the click, for the sale, for the survey response. Get specific and get action-oriented. Give your audience something they can do next and ask them for their action and involvement.
  6. Test
    See what works. You need to know intimately what your audience responds to – test subject lines, topics, styles, links, long copy vs short copy, html vs plain text. Just don’t presume. So many times testing results have surprised the heck out of me… and made my email marketing so much better as a result.
  7. Measure
    What you count, counts. I recommend you track on a daily basis all your email statistics. Understand your benchmarks. You will be amazed how this daily knowledge “tunes your antenna” to what your tribe responds to. I can often tell if there’s a problem with one glance at my daily stats. I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve found a technical issue or a database issue based on a “blip” in my numbers. And the times when my numbers have taken a dip or had a boost have given me useful information on which content/approach works and which one doesn’t.

    I keep a daily spreadsheet measuring the following metrics (many CRMs and MAS tools will give you a dashboard but I’ve often found the good old spreadsheet works best, particularly if you are integrating data from a number of systems):
    – Open Rate (Subject Line)
    – Click Through Rate (Call To Action)
    – Deliverability/Bounce Rate
    – Unsubscribes
    – SPAM Complaints
    – Conversions

Watch these numbers like a hawk. Know them intimately. Make it a daily practice.

Well, that’s it.

Email ain’t dead. But you CAN kill it 🙂

Hope these tips help to keep the zombies out of your email marketing.



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