Sending an email to your list is an opportunity to create a positive outcome.
With a simple email, you can generate sales…educate readers…change lives…and more.
However, there are some very easy ways to screw this up.
As someone who’s subscribed to many, many email lists I see a common and annoying mistake:
It happens when a business sends out an email that directs readers to click on a website link…without providing any actual value or insight in the email.
The content goes something like this:
“Hey, check this great post we’ve got for you [LINK TO WEBSITE]”
The website links to a blog post, article, sales page, video sales page, optin form, affiliate link page, or some other content.
Meanwhile, the body of the email doesn’t contain much value or insight.
These kinds of emails waste readers’ time.
Follow the golden rule of email marketing: every email you send should provide insight within the email itself. It should contain one key nugget of wisdom or one big idea…without requiring that a reader click over to some other page in order to get the idea.
If they DO end up clicking over to the page and consuming the content, they’ll get additional value…but they won’t feel pressured into clicking on the page just to get the minimum value.
Assume that everyone on your list is busy and checking email on their smart phones. They don’t have time to waste to get the minimum value from an email.
The last thing someone wants to do when they’re checking email on their phone is to click away to a website that may or may not be mobile-friendly, and may or may not be easy to read on their phone’s display.
I like to go for a certain “ratio” where at least 9 out of 10 of your emails should provide insight DIRECTLY IN THE EMAIL, regardless of whether or not the reader clicks over to a website link. An even better ratio would be 10 out of 10.
Now in some cases, you might want put a link in your email to a lengthy blog post or an in-depth article. Because it wouldn’t make sense to paste the entire article in the email — it’s too long.
That’s fine, as long as you’re still providing some nugget of insight in the email itself.
Take the time to extract a big idea or a valuable insight AND PUT IT IN THE ACTUAL EMAIL, so that even if people don’t click on your link, they’ll still feel like they got value from reading the email.
This takes work (trust me, I know how challenging it can be), but it’s work worth doing.
Here are two real-life examples of how NOT to do emails:
There’s a very successful dating and relationship expert whose list I’m subscribed to. (Won’t name any names.) He often breaks the golden rule of email.
Just a few days ago he sent an email with a compelling subject line, with the promise of sharing his personal story of why he committed to a marriage with his wife.
In the body of the email, he basically said “Click on this link to find out why.”
I got literally nothing out of the email. No insight. No aha. However, I was curious to find out what made him want to marry his wife, so I begrudgingly clicked the link.
It led me to a video sales letter…which I didn’t have time to watch.
So I closed the window.
“Oh well, guess I’ll never know,” I thought. To sooth my own disappointment, I added, “Maybe I’ll check it tomorrow or a different day.”
But that never happened.
The guy kept sending more emails exactly like this, and now I’m tempted to unsubscribe from his list. Sucks, because he truly does have great content. But it’s being obscured by him breaking the golden rule of email marketing.
Here’s another example:
I’m subscribed to a very successful business coach’s list. In each email, he answers reader questions. It’s often a short question, followed by a short answer.
The entire content could easily be put into an email, in full. But instead, he requires readers to manually “click on the blog post” to read his answer.
Annoying! There’s no real point in doing this. There’s no good reason to force readers to waste their time clicking on the link and reading the content on a blog site instead of in the email itself (where they already are).
This has to do with meeting readers where they are. When they’re checking email, that means they’re in email.
If you want someone to click a website link in your email, you’d better have a damn good reason for requiring them to do so. (Like leading them to a sales page where they can buy a product.)
Otherwise you’re just wasting people’s time.
These “email faux pas” are totally unnecessary and can end up driving away the very people who would otherwise get value from your offerings.
A good litmus test is to ask yourself: “Even if the reader DOESN’T check out the website URL I’m sending them, will they still gain insight from reading this email?”
If the answer is no, then re-work your email so that it contains more value.
In other words, add more insight to the email.
Your readers will be more appreciative, you’ll be more influential, and everyone will win. Plus, you’ll probably get more sales down the road, because you won’t be driving away the people who aren’t quite ready to buy yet.