Blog

Archive for January, 2012

The Truth About Open Rates

by Newsletter and Email Marketing Expert Linda Claire Puig

How many of your subscribers open the emails you send?

Many coaches and service professionals new to email marketing get discouraged when they look at the measurement called “open rate.” Those who’ve been at it for a while do, too.

Why is only a third of my contact list opening my emails? There must be something wrong. Is it worth all this effort if only a few people are reading what I send?

Before you throw in the towel, I want to let you in on a secret that a lot of folks don’t know:

Your open rate isn’t really your open rate.

As a measurement, the open rate is highly unreliable, imprecise and inadequate.

To show you why that is, I have to explain a little about how open rates are calculated and tracked.

The open rate is actually a ratio calculated as the number of people who opened your email divided by the total number of emails that were successfully delivered to your list.

Email marketing software automatically adds a tiny, invisible image to each email delivered. When this invisible image is called to show up (invisibly) from the server where it lives, that tracks the email as being opened.

But this number is skewed — perhaps significantly — by what are known as “image blockers.” More and more people use web mail providers (such as Gmail or Yahoo) or applications (such as Outlook) that allow users to decide whether to view their emails with the images turned on or off.

When you see things showing up in your email with all the images turned off, that’s what’s happening: you have a setting somewhere that is saying “Ask me first if I want to see images.” Your images are “disabled” until you click to “enable” them. So…

If a person elects not to view images when reading an email, it will NOT count as an open.

Likewise, the people that elect to receive text-only emails from you (if you give them the option of text or HTML), also will not register as an “open.” Some mobile devices only allow emails to be viewed in text form.

Your open rate reporting could actually be off anywhere from 11% to 35%, according to generally accepted metrics in the email marketing world. That’s quite a bit!

So while it may look like nobody is opening them, your emails may actually be doing quite well.

So should you just ignore open rates then?

No. Despite their shortcomings, open rates can still provide valuable marketing information. Tracking your open rates can help you:

1. Spot trends. For example, if you notice a significant downward trend in your open rates over time (not just occasional dips, say during summer when folks are out of town more), it may be a signal that you need to do something to re-engage your subscribers.

2. Learn your audience’s preferences. You may be able to notice what days and times of day are better for sending by comparing your open rates.

3. Test subject lines. Split your list into two or three groups, and send the same email with different subject lines to see which one generates more opens (which may indicate more interest).

Is there anything you can do to improve your open rates?

Yes, absolutely! It may not be the most accurate measurement in the world, but there are proven ways to improve your open rates.  And improvement is always good.

Of course, your list should be an opt-in (permission-based) list. If not, that’s the first place to start improving. Otherwise, look to some of these areas to improve your rates:

1. Make sure your content is relevant and valuable. Know what your audience wants, and provide it. Relevant content is read content.

2. Examine your frequency of emailing. Too much emailing can cause “list fatigue” and too little can cause the “who’s that?” syndrome.

3. Write HOT subject lines. These short phrases are often the golden key to unlocking your open rates. Make people hungry to open your emails and see what’s inside!

——————————————–

Linda is offering a free training on how to write HOT subject lines on Tuesday, February 7, and I highly suggest that you join her! She’ll be showing you how to double the profits from your list with powerful subject lines, the 7 biggest subject line mistakes sabotaging your open rates, 4 powerful tips to get a huge response every time you send an email and the #1 secret to avoid getting your emails reported as spam!

Please join her for this FREE call by clicking here.

by Newsletter and Email Marketing Expert Linda Claire Puig

How many of your subscribers open the emails you send?

Many coaches and service professionals new to email marketing get discouraged when they look at the measurement called “open rate.” Those who’ve been at it for a while do, too.

Why is only a third of my contact list opening my emails? There must be something wrong. Is it worth all this effort if only a few people are reading what I send?

Before you throw in the towel, I want to let you in on a secret that a lot of folks don’t know:

Your open rate isn’t really your open rate.

As a measurement, the open rate is highly unreliable, imprecise and inadequate.

To show you why that is, I have to explain a little about how open rates are calculated and tracked.

The open rate is actually a ratio calculated as the number of people who opened your email divided by the total number of emails that were successfully delivered to your list.

Email marketing software automatically adds a tiny, invisible image to each email delivered. When this invisible image is called to show up (invisibly) from the server where it lives, that tracks the email as being opened.

But this number is skewed — perhaps significantly — by what are known as “image blockers.” More and more people use web mail providers (such as Gmail or Yahoo) or applications (such as Outlook) that allow users to decide whether to view their emails with the images turned on or off.

When you see things showing up in your email with all the images turned off, that’s what’s happening: you have a setting somewhere that is saying “Ask me first if I want to see images.” Your images are “disabled” until you click to “enable” them. So…

If a person elects not to view images when reading an email, it will NOT count as an open.

Likewise, the people that elect to receive text-only emails from you (if you give them the option of text or HTML), also will not register as an “open.” Some mobile devices only allow emails to be viewed in text form.

Your open rate reporting could actually be off anywhere from 11% to 35%, according to generally accepted metrics in the email marketing world. That’s quite a bit!

So while it may look like nobody is opening them, your emails may actually be doing quite well.

So should you just ignore open rates then?

No. Despite their shortcomings, open rates can still provide valuable marketing information. Tracking your open rates can help you:

1. Spot trends. For example, if you notice a significant downward trend in your open rates over time (not just occasional dips, say during summer when folks are out of town more), it may be a signal that you need to do something to re-engage your subscribers.

2. Learn your audience’s preferences. You may be able to notice what days and times of day are better for sending by comparing your open rates.

3. Test subject lines. Split your list into two or three groups, and send the same email with different subject lines to see which one generates more opens (which may indicate more interest).

Is there anything you can do to improve your open rates?

Yes, absolutely! It may not be the most accurate measurement in the world, but there are proven ways to improve your open rates. And improvement is always good.

Of course, your list should be an opt-in (permission-based) list. If not, that’s the first place to start improving. Otherwise, look to some of these areas to improve your rates:

1. Make sure your content is

by Newsletter and Email Marketing Expert Linda Claire Puig

How many of your subscribers open the emails you send?

Many coaches and service professionals new to email marketing get discouraged when they look at the measurement called “open rate.” Those who’ve been at it for a while do, too.

Why is only a third of my contact list opening my emails? There must be something wrong. Is it worth all this effort if only a few people are reading what I send?

Before you throw in the towel, I want to let you in on a secret that a lot of folks don’t know:

Your open rate isn’t really your open rate.

As a measurement, the open rate is highly unreliable, imprecise and inadequate.

To show you why that is, I have to explain a little about how open rates are calculated and tracked.

The open rate is actually a ratio calculated as the number of people who opened your email divided by the total number of emails that were successfully delivered to your list.

Email marketing software automatically adds a tiny, invisible image to each email delivered. When this invisible image is called to show up (invisibly) from the server where it lives, that tracks the email as being opened.

But this number is skewed — perhaps significantly — by what are known as “image blockers.” More and more people use web mail providers (such as Gmail or Yahoo) or applications (such as Outlook) that allow users to decide whether to view their emails with the images turned on or off.

When you see things showing up in your email with all the images turned off, that’s what’s happening: you have a setting somewhere that is saying “Ask me first if I want to see images.” Your images are “disabled” until you click to “enable” them. So…

If a person elects not to view images when reading an email, it will NOT count as an open.

Likewise, the people that elect to receive text-only emails from you (if you give them the option of text or HTML), also will not register as an “open.” Some mobile devices only allow emails to be viewed in text form.

Your open rate reporting could actually be off anywhere from 11% to 35%, according to generally accepted metrics in the email marketing world. That’s quite a bit!

So while it may look like nobody is opening them, your emails may actually be doing quite well.

So should you just ignore open rates then?

No. Despite their shortcomings, open rates can still provide valuable marketing information. Tracking your open rates can help you:

1. Spot trends. For example, if you notice a significant downward trend in your open rates over time (not just occasional dips, say during summer when folks are out of town more), it may be a signal that you need to do something to re-engage your subscribers.

2. Learn your audience’s preferences. You may be able to notice what days and times of day are better for sending by comparing your open rates.

3. Test subject lines. Split your list into two or three groups, and send the same email with different subject lines to see which one generates more opens (which may indicate more interest).

Is there anything you can do to improve your open rates?

Yes, absolutely! It may not be the most accurate measurement in the world, but there are proven ways to improve your open rates.  And improvement is always good.

Of course, your list should be an opt-in (permission-based) list. If not, that’s the first place to start improving. Otherwise, look to some of these areas to improve your rates:

1. Make sure your content is relevant and valuable. Know what your audience wants, and provide it. Relevant content is read content.

2. Examine your frequency of emailing. Too much emailing can cause “list fatigue” and too little can cause the “who’s that?” syndrome.

3. Write HOT subject lines. These short phrases are often the golden key to unlocking your open rates. Make people hungry to open your emails and see what’s inside!

relevant and valuable. Know what your audience wants, and provide it. Relevant content is read content.

2. Examine your frequency of emailing. Too much emailing can cause “list fatigue” and too little can cause the “who’s that?” syndrome.

3. Write HOT subject lines. These short phrases are often the golden key to unlocking your open rates. Make people hungry to open your emails and see what’s inside!

Posted in: Marketing & Promotion

Leave a Comment (0) →

New Year's Resolutions… In One Year and Out The Next

That’s about the level of confidence that most people have when it comes to setting resolutions.  At the beginning of each year people get serious and vow to do whatever it takes to loose the weight, to work less hours, to make more money.  They even go so far as setting S.M.A.R.T. goals (Specific, Measureable, Attainable, Realistic and Time-specific) to convenience themselves that this time this resolution will be different. And all they are really doing is setting themselves up for failure.  That is the essence of a resolution – an empty promise disguised with goals and accountability.

Yes it is important to set clear intentions and desires.  Yes it is important to break them down into SMART goals. Yes it is imperative to have accountability.  All of this is true. So what is it that makes resolutions empty?  The inner commitment; the spark.  When you haven’t located that inner commitment, it won’t matter how good your goals are or how solid your plan is, the promise is still empty.

So how do you add in the spark, the deep, inner commitment?

  1. Get clear on what you want. (That is the resolution part)
  2. Get clear on why it is important to you.
  3. Ask yourself, “what will my life be like when I obtain this?”

These first three steps are often the process a person goes through when stating New Year’s resolutions. It’s the rest of this equation that locates the spark.

  1. Ask yourself, “What is it costing me to continue in default mode as my life/business is right now?”
  2. “How is my current default mode working for me so far?”

Your answer to step #4 is where you locate the inner commitment to determine how serious you will be about your resolution.   It is in your answer to step #5 that you will then determine if you are falling into Law of Ambivalence.  It is also where you will gain clarity as to what you are truly committed to.  The Law of Ambivalence is the state in which something is not really good in our lives, but it is not yet bad enough for us to do anything about it.  Typically if we find ourselves in the state of ambivalence it is because we are more committed to something else then our stated resolution.

For example a client of mine was starting her coaching business and having a difficult time getting the results she wanted.  When we looked at her current results they indicated she was more committed to things being easy then things being successful.  When the daily business activities would present themselves to her and she had a choice, she would choose ease over success; this is the danger zone of ambivalence.  You learn how to tolerate the default status quo of your life and don’t tap into your inner commitment to really get the results that you want.  So what are the resolutions you have set for your coaching business?  Are you falling into the trap of ambivalence?  Have you located your Spark?

Either with yourself, a peer-coaching buddy or with your own coach, go through the 5 steps above to locate your spark inside your New Year’s Resolutions and stop them from going in one year and out the next.

Posted in: Professional Development

Leave a Comment (0) →