Would you take a knife to your own stomach?

In 1961, during an expedition to the Antarctic, 27-year-old Russian surgeon Leonid Rogozov fell ill with appendicitis.

He needed an operation.

And – as the only doctor on the team – he soon realised he’d have to use the scalpel on himself.

As you can imagine, it was no easy choice.

But Rogozov knew his appendix could burst at any moment.

And, if it did …

… he would probably die.

So, faced with life or death he did something most sane human beings would NEVER do …

He cut open his abdomen and took out his intestines.

Then, while bleeding heavily, and growing weaker by the second, he looked at his infected appendix.

 He later commented: “With horror I notice the dark stain at its base. That means just a day longer and it would have burst...”

So, left with no choice, he chopped it out.

Then neatly tucked his intestines back in.

After nearly two hours of self-surgery he completed the operation, down to the final stitch.

And continued his mission in the Antarctic.

Now, you might be wondering “What’s all this got to do with writing emails to my list?

Actually, a LOT.

You see, I consult with a number of clients who write some of their own emails.

And, almost every one of them says the same thing.

They say writing emails is like pulling teeth.

They spend hours hunched over the keyboard … struggling to find the right words … and … when they’re done … they’ve got almost nothing to show for it.

So I ask them: “If you needed an operation, would you perform surgery on yourself, or go to a qualified professional – someone who’s spent years learning, practicing and honing their craft?

The answer’s always the same:

I’d go to a professional!

You see, you CAN struggle to write your own emails …

You CAN battle it out with the keyboard to come up with the right words …

You CAN spend hours writing instead of focusing on your core money-making skills …

But why?

If Leonid Rogozov wasn’t stranded in the Antarctic he certainly wouldn’t have performed his own surgery.

So unless you’re dead broke … and have no other option … don’t write your own emails.

And speaking of NOT writing your own emails …

I’m accepting 2 new clients over the next 3 weeks. If you want to be one of them … I’ll write your first email FREE.

But only subscribers to my twice-weekly email marketing newsletter qualify.

Subscribe here:

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Why email open rates don’t matter

Campaign Monitor released a (shall I say) “startling” – report titled: “Email Benchmarks (2020): By Day and Industry”.

And it’s absolutely … umm … riveting? I mean, you should be on the edge of your seat right now reading this.

In it they declare:

Australian open rates remain strong at 18.7%

Click-through rates rise to an average of 2.8%.

Click-to-open rates also rise, climbing to an average of 14.9%.

Unsubscribe rates remain steady at an average of 0.2%.

Australia leads open rates with an average of 18.7%; slightly higher than the global average of 17.8%, the UK at 17.5% and the US at 17%.

Sounds like a politician rattling off the latest unemployment figures.

Aren’t you glad you know these statistics?

Don’t they just rock your world?

Aren’t you glad you’re reading this important announcement?

Let me ask you this:

Who cares?

I mean, what are you going to do with this information? What is ANYBODY going to do with this information?

I can just imagine a bunch of suits sitting around the boardroom table discussing this report and asking “What are our open rates? How do we compare?

To which the poor sod from the marketing department responds by pulling up a spreadsheet on his tablet computer thingy to reveal this fascinating sound bite:

Let’s see now… we’re a little below average on open rates … but our unsubscribe rates are about where they should be!

Quick, send a tweet” replies the CEO.

Come on.

The problem with this type of report … and the problem with marketing consultants who constantly blabber on about email open rates is …

Open rates might be good for the ego … but you’ll get the shock of your life if you ever try to deposit an open rate down at your bank.

That’s why the only email marketing statistic that matters is …

Sales.

Now, I hear you saying: “But the more emails people open the more sales I can make, right?”

Not necessarily.

I mean, it sounds good in theory.

But that’s where it stops.

You see, the only thing an email open rate can tell you is how many people clicked on your email.

Open rate stats don’t tell you whether the person who clicked on your email did so to open and delete it … open and read it … or if they accidentally clicked on it while trying to click an email above or below yours from their dear ol’ mother.

But sales … now that’s a statistic that tells us everything we need to know.

That’s a statistic we can get excited about.

Nobody accidentally buys your product.

There’s more to this, of course. And I’m deliberately only presenting one side of the story here.

But that’s all I’ve got time for today …

However, I will leave you with one final “insight” from the Campaign Monitor report.

This statement sums up their findings:

Australia is leading the way with open rates, which could be an indicator of an especially interested audience. Additionally, emails sent in this region may generally follow email subject line best practices, which encourage opens.

Let THAT sink in.

And then, when you realise you’ve learned absolutely nothing … subscribe to my twice-weekly email newsletter for ideas you can actually use to increase your sales from email marketing.

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Are you committing this ghastly crime against your wallet?

Someone from the “I need a copywriter squad” contacted me recently via my google profile to ask if I write copy for websites, like product descriptions and landing pages to generate leads? And if so, why don’t I mention this on my website or on my google profile?

The answer is simple:

Yes, I do write all types of copy. From social media posts, to website pages to whitepapers and special reports. But I specialise in email marketing, because that’s where I see the highest profit potential for business owners right now, and the biggest overlooked opportunity.

Problem is, most businesses owners JUST. DON’T. Get. It.

So they spend a bucket load of cash on ads to get new leads, but do almost nothing to nurture the leads they’ve already got. They spend hundreds — and sometimes thousands — a month on SEO, but do nothing to collect the email addresses of the people who arrive at their website.

I get it. I really do.

I spent a lot of years in direct sales so I understand the thrill of the kill on the first contact.

And I understand your insatiable desire for hot new leads.

After all, you just want people to hit you expensive website, see the value you bring, and buy on the spot ….

… which is probably the dream sold to you by your fancy webs designer.

But …

THIS IS THE NUMBER ONE CRIME YOU COMMIT AGAINST YOUR OWN WALLET!

Because — study after study shows only a tiny fraction of all the traffic that arrives at your website will buy on the first visit. Even fewer will visit a second time. And …

That’s why the best, smartest and most profitable business owners make “email capture” the focus of their website.

Without doubt, email is the best way to nurture captured leads right now, and the best way to automatically sell more products to existing customers and expand your referral base.

And that, my curious reader, is why I promote myself as an email copywriter.

But yes, as a copywriter I can write any type of copy. Preferably in the alternative health niche because I feel the alternative health market does a great service to the community.

I also publish a twice-weekly email newsletter full of ideas to help you get better results from your email marketing. It’s free, although some reader’s have said they’d happily pay a C-note to get some of the info I share. If you know what’s good for you … you’ll subscribe here:

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How to get your subscribers to open (and read) your emails

(Lessons from the magazine stand.)

It’s frustrating.

You spend hours thinking about and writing a brilliant email newsletter to your subscribers and only 10% open your emails. Even less read them. And only a small handful buy the products or services you’re promoting.

What gives?

And how can you get more people reading on a regular basis?

These are the questions Donna asked me recently. She said:

“My list is growing but I feel like I’m writing to myself. I don’t think people are reading what I write. How can I get more people to read my emails?”

Here’s what I told her:

Take a leaf out of the magazine industries book.

You’ll find a lot of similarities to email newsletters.

For example, magazines are fighting for attention on a crowded news stand or magazine rack at the shopping centre. So too are your emails fighting for attention in a crowded inbox. As a result, the magazine editors spend a lot of time planning the cover. The cover’s job is to get people’s attention and get them to open the magazine. Your email subject line has the same job: get attention and get opened. So that’s the first thing:

Write intriguing subject lines that pull readers in.

Listen: Nobody will read your email unless it stands out like a zebra on the subway. So your subject line better pull readers in and practically force them to open your email.

I’m sure you’ve had the experience many times standing at the store checkout or passing a newsstand and a headline on the cover of a magazine grabbed your attention. News websites are good at this too. They give you a picture, a headline and a few lines of teaser copy – all designed to arrest your attention for a few seconds like lights on a police car in your rear-view mirror. The goal is to get you to click and read what’s inside.

Your subject lines need to do the same thing (only without the benefit of using an image).

Or at least that’s your goal.

This means your subject lines can’t be an afterthought. Can’t be something you do at the last minute.

Writing subject lines is a project on your to-do list and needs as much time as writing the actual content.

If you spend an hour writing the newsletter, spend at least half an hour writing the subject line, it’s THAT important.

Next …

Create memorable content that’s worth reading and sharing.

Don’t know about you but when I read a magazine or a news website I usually find one or two articles that really hit me in the feelers and stand out in my mind. I then find myself quoting those articles in conversations with family or friends.

This is called social currency.

Ideas worth spreading.

Ideas that make you feel intelligent, better informed, more knowledgeable, more up to date with the latest whatever.

When you find a source of information like this you continue returning to read what they have to say.

You want your email newsletter to have a similar effect.

Aim to become the voice of your audience.

Aim to be the voice people look forward to because they wonder what you’re going to say next.

And finally …

Tease about the future.

Magazines do this too.

Or at least the magazines I read as a kid did this.

You get to the end of the magazine and there’s a section tilted: NEXT ISSUE. Followed by a quick preview of the top stories or interviews coming up in the next issue. Cartoons and comics do this really well too. So do TV series. They leave you hanging, wondering where the story is going next.

You can do the same in your email newsletter, either in the PS or midway through a good story. Tell the reader you’ll talk more about this next time. For product announcements don’t just say “Here’s the product”. Say “Next Tuesday’s email will announce a brand-new product that will totally change the game.” And so on.

In summary:

– Give subject line creation the time it deserves. If your subject line doesn’t grab the reader’s attention they probably won’t read your email newsletter.

– Create content that gets people talking. The more readers love your content the more they’ll look forward to your next email and read it the second it arrives.

– Leave readers wanting more. More about this when you subscribe to my email newsletter.

Use these three ideas to get more subscribers opening and reading your email newsletters.

Want more ideas like these to help you build and profit from a successful email newsletter?

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The case against email swipe-files and newsletter templates

Swipe files or email templates are a great way to go from blank page to a decent email that’s ready to send.

(They can save you a lot of heartache.)

But remember, if you send an email you copied from someone else you run the risk of having your subscribers get the same email from other email newsletters they subscribe to.

A bit like turning up to a party in the same outfit as someone else.

This happened to me this week (not the party thing).

I received almost identical emails from two different consultants. The emails are reproduced below (with names redacted).

Example #1: received 2 days ago:

Example #2; Received today:

Notice the subject lines are almost identical?

It’s a great subject line because at first glance it makes the email appear to be a personal email sent only to me. And …

It’s timely.

Because as I write this we’re right at the start of the corona virus spread in Australia.

Everybody’s worried.

So asking if I’m OK sounds like you’re checking in with me because you care.

However, the spell is soon broken when the same email with only slight variation turns up from someone else a few days later.

One of two things has happened here:

Either both parties got the email from a book they read or coaching program they’re a part of or… someone’s copying someone else.

Now, I’m not saying this is a bad thing.

It’s not.

But a little more customisation would avoid the embarrassment.

End of lesson.

For more …

Subscribe to my email newsletter and I’ll send you short lessons and ideas (1 or 2 times a week) to help you succeed with email marketing:

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