Why would I start out this post basically asking you to get off my email list?
Because the simple truth is, if you are not a business owner or entrepreneur looking to grow your online sales, the material I provide each week is of no value to you and you don’t belong here.
You see, email marketing is a funny thing.
It can be your single greatest form of generating new sales. Or it can be a major time suck that causes nothing but frustration. Hopefully this article will give you some insight into how to run your own email marketing as well as explaining what I do.
Let’s start with the basics – how did you get on my email list in the first place?
You asked to be here! In other words, you opted-in through one of the following ways:
- You downloaded a “freebie” from my website.
- You clicked on the “subscribe to newsletter” form.
- You attended a trade show, conference, webinar or other event where I was an exhibitor or speaker.
- You purchased something from me (a book, online course, t-shirt, etc.).
- Someone referred you to me (this may have been direct or through an affiliate partner link).
- You clicked on an ad or sponsored social media post I was running.
While less likely, it could be that someone else “spoofed” your email and filled out one of my forms using your email address in an attempt to get access to one of my give-aways.
Here is how you did NOT end up on my list:
- By purchasing or renting a list from someone else.
- By scraping webpages for email addresses.
- By purchasing something from a 3rd party site like Amazon (most marketplaces do not provide vendors with emails of customers, which is why I always include a link in my books giving people the opportunity to opt-in to my list).
Okay, so you being here is not an accident. Why would I want you to get off my list now?
Here’s the thing:
If you don’t open my emails and click on the links, it lowers my email sending reputation. I have worked very hard to build a legitimate email list and my sending reputation is much more important than the size of the list. If you do not get value from these posts, it doesn’t just annoy you, it hurts me.
Let me explain.
Email service providers consider deliverability rate as the single most important factor for sending out emails. If no one on my list ever opens an email or clicks on the links, it lowers my reputation score. And the lower the reputation score, the fewer of my emails that get delivered to the people who actually are interested.
If you never open an email from me in a 12 month period, then you are automatically purged from the system. So you could do nothing for a year and you simply won’t here from me again. This is done to ensure that old emails that are no longer valid don’t affect my ability to send out emails to those who are still active.
Providing an unsubscribe link at the bottom of every email is actually the law!
It’s really pretty easy to unsubscribe from any legitimate email blast – just scroll to the bottom of the email and click on the unsubscribe link. If the link isn’t provided, reply to the email with the word “unsubscribe” and any decent company will honor that and unsubscribe you from their list. You don’t have to be rude with “take my off your f’n email and stop sending me this sh*t!” A simple, “unsubscribe” usually works much better.
But, do me (and all other legitimate marketers) a favor! Do not report an email as spam unless and until you have unsubscribed from a list. This only hurts their reputation and it doesn’t solve any problems on your end. If you have repeatedly asked to be unsubscribed from a list (perhaps because you got added without permission such as from a list purchase) and they have not removed you from that list, then by all means report that company for spamming you. But try unsubscribing first. That is why I created my own spam link because not everyone understands this.
Controlling the frequency of emails
I actually have multiple email lists. You are likely on one of two: weekly or monthly. There are other specialty lists that I have which are segmented by customer type, lead source etc., but those don’t affect the frequency from which you hear from me. If you are on my weekly newsletter list, you get these posts every Wednesday morning. If you are on the Monthly list, you get all the previous posts from the past 4 weeks rolled into a single email on the first Wednesday of each month.
Regardless of which list you are on, I also send out occasional specialty emails, especially when I am introducing a new course or promo that I am excited about. For example, I am currently offering a 90 minute masterclass on how to use AI to create real products you can sell online. If you opt-out of these emails, you are also unsubscribed from the weekly or monthly newsletter articles. Sorry, but if all you do is consume my free information and aren’t interested in learning (and earning) more, you don’t belong on my list.
Clicking on Links is Important!
When you click on a link, it tells the email service provider (and me) that you are actually interested in what the email has to say. So I encourage you to click on the link above, even if you don’t sign up for the masterclass and just want to see what it involves.
This is also why on every article you get from me, you never see the entire article in the email. Instead, I pick a point in the post that leaves you hanging with a link to continue reading. For example, I recently had a colleague tell me that the way to get better click through rates was to
break your unopened email subscribers into 10% segments and email just those 10 percent at a time. If they opened your email and clicked on it, then you add them back into your main email list. Then you repeat this for each of the remaining ten percent groups, purging out anyone who doesn’t respond. That way you can keep your deliverability rates up.
Why do some emails end up in Cyberspace?
Sometimes, you actually want to get emails from someone and they never get delivered to your inbox. This can be equally as frustrating as getting emails that you don’t want. If you really want to get emails from someone, you need to make sure that you have added them to your “safe-sender” list. this will typically bypass any spam filters and deliver the emails directly to your inbox.
However, even this is not fool-proof. If you have any of the following types of emails, you still may not get legitimate messages:
- Apple, gmail, hotmail addresses – all of these softwares are unreliable for making sure messages actually come through as they filter them.
- email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com etc – these “catchall” email addresses are often considered junk addresses and various email service providers ignore them.
Your best bet is to always use your firstname.lastname@example.org. It not only makes you look more professional, it is better for email deliverability. If you are unable to do this, select an email company like ProtonMail for better security.
Growing Your List
At the beginning of this article I talked about how you should not rent a list. This is not actually illegal. You can rent a list and mail to it one time, asking people to join your list. In other words, you tell them in the email that your got their name from such and such and you have a special offer for them. You promise to only email them this one time unless they choose to opt-in to your own list.
A much better way however is to get the owner of that list to send out an email on your behalf. This is often referred to as JV or Joint Venture or affiliate marketing. For example, let’s say you are a big fan of Elon Musk. You are on his list and consume everything he has to say. You trust him. So when he sends out an email to his subscribers telling you to check out what WebStores Ltd. has to offer, you pay attention and sign up to my list as well. (That of course is a fictitious example, but I can dream!). Such referrals are typically paid on a commission basis – if someone from Elon’s list purchases something from me, then I owe him a commission (why I will gladly pay).
As I’ve talked about in other articles, having a lead magnet (or an irresistible offer / free giveaway) that you include on your website, email signature block, social posts, ads, etc is the method that consistently works the best to get people to join your list.
How often should you send out emails?
My wife purchased something from Wayfair once and they started sending her emails about 6 times per day! Obviously that is too much. I get emails from Amazon about once a day. While that can also be annoying, I get it. If your business is anything like mine, getting an email out once a week is a lot of work. But if someone doesn’t hear from you at least once a month, they are likely to forget about you.
Creating posts like this is a significant amount of effort. Even though I am an advocate of AI and ChatGPT, I write most of my articles from scratch. Each article can take me 4 hours or more to write. This is done by
- Decades of experience helping hundred and hundreds of organizations and companies like yours
- Hours of research
- Personal observations and opinions
I put my heart and soul into every article I write because I truly believe it can be of benefit to you.
I actually do want you on my list!
But I want you to open my emails, read them, and click on the links.
And if you read to the end of this article and haven’t unsubscribed, I have a bonus for you! Click on the link to the AI Masterclass. When you checkout, use the coupon code “Newsletter” and get $20 off with my THANKS for being a loyal reader!
You can also reply to this article and let me know if this was of any value to you.