Chances are your attention span is that of a dead goldfish (cat in a shark costume riding a Roomba & chasing a duck), so let me help you out with an executive summary;
- emails are just one of many marketing channels
- there’s nothing wrong in not using email lists for marketing
- if emails were ever a golden bullet, they no longer are
- be careful when reading stats; get them from neutral sources
- and no, nobody every died earlier from not collecting emails
If you open any website for the first time, it’ll greet you with a minimum of two chores. One is to close the cookie / GDPR consent box (thanks EU!), and the other is to enter your email. By the end of your session with that site, you’ll probably be asked for the email another 3-4-5 times. Some boxes in the content, a few widgets in the sidebar and the glorious must-have-it exit-intent popup. On an average day, you’ll be prompted for your email at least a hundred, if not a thousand times.
Why? Is there a place where you can exchange email addresses for money? Well, you n00b, you need to build your email list! Why? Because the money is in the list! How do I get it out, with a shovel? You need to build a gigantic list as the pros do. A familiar discussion? Where is it going? Nowhere!
The mythical professionals, influencers, internet marketers & little Jimmy
Little Jimmy, your neighbor, who does internet marketing says he gets a 98% open rate on his emails. Conveniently enough he can sell you his 100%-proven-best-ever-in-the-universe system for building mailing lists for one low payment of $999 so that you too can get a 98% open rate and get rich (in a few days). First, tell Jimmy to get lost. Second, hold on to your $999. Third, find a real data-source like this benchmark done by analyzing 2 billion emails. Yes, GetResponse is in the email business and has an agenda here, but it’s still a far better data sample and a more reliable source of info than you’ll get from your average internet marketer / bad PLR software reseller.
Looking at the numbers, you’ll see that the overall, across all industries and countries open-rate, is 25% and CTR 4%. Not that spectacular. Averages are always deceiving. The same applies here because that 25% consists of both 17% for the internet marketing industry (the lowest rate might I add) and 40% for restaurants. CTR spans from barely 3% for real estate to above 6% for arts & entertainment. Please, do your wallet a favor and go through some of these email reports. They are a real eye-opener.
Touching customers, right in the heart
Emails are great because they go straight into customers inboxes, and they see them right away, and it’s very personal, and I get their attention like nobody else does. Seriously, are you high!? You and another hundred to two hundred people that email that person every day. Just think about the amount of crap you receive every day. Think about the sheer luck an email has to have to reach your eyes. There’s SPAM; there’s the promotions tab, there a tone of other emails, there are just so many attention seekers in the inbox that it’s a pure miracle if your email gets opened let alone clicked.
Some emails get through and do get opened and clicked. They certainly do! However, to think that emails are somehow a few orders of magnitude more personal than any other way of marketing is ridiculous. Times have changed. The noise is deafening everywhere; inbox included.
Collecting for the sake of collecting
You annoyed your site’s visitors for months; you paid hundreds of dollars for software, and you finally have a big list! When’s the last time you sent out an email? Do you have a plan, a strategy, anything? You don’t! That means that you’re collecting emails for the sake of collecting them. You’re a hoarder. It’s your expensive hobby. Some people like napkins and you like emails.
You have a list of about 5,000 emails but you never sent an email out. But, you’re going to do it soon. Right? You’re just about to. Stop doing that! It’s not doing you any good.
Fine by me but don’t call it a business. In fact, it’s anti-business! You’re spending time, money and annoying customers for nothing. You’ll do far less damage if you drop the entire email game. No, you won’t die early because of it. You’ll have more time and money. Maybe you’re focused on Facebook ads. Why not if it works for you? An email list is just one of many forms of marketing. Great for some, not so great for others. A list of emails by itself is nothing. Or a GDPR lawsuit waiting to happen.
Why not, it’s nearly free!?
Have you looked at the prices of email SaaSes lately? For a list of 5,000 emails, GetResponse charges $480 a year and Mailchimp $600. How is that free? Even if you use things like Amazon SES and do your best to cut costs, there’s still the time needed to facilitate collecting emails, writing them and getting everything ready around that process to achieve a goal. As shocking as it is collecting emails is not the end-game. Neither is sending emails nor is getting people to open and click. That’s often the easier part of the job. After that you need users to give you money; directly or indirectly. It’s as free as maintaining a free WordPress plugin. Far from free and far from cheap.
Collecting emails is not the goal. Neither is sending them our getting opened or clicked. That’s just prep-work! The goal is to earn money! And that takes planning way beyond “click send”.
The Golden Bullet & missing out
Everybody is doing it (including little Jimmy)! If I don’t I’ll lose money; I’ll be missing out! I understand that feeling all too well! It can eat you alive from the inside, and we all succumb to it sometimes. If you’re reaching your customers via some other channels – phone, SMS, Facebook, Twitter, snail-mail – that’s perfect! Why would you force newsletters and other forms of email communication? Yes, it would probably add something to your bottom line but at what cost? Think about how much effort is required to optimize another marketing channel for it to be profitable. Think about how much effort was put in by those who are doing a great job with emails. You could be doing that too but is it the best path to take? Emails are, without a doubt, not the only path to take!
I scrolled to the bottom to see what’s up
Do you have a great profile on every single social media site? Are you running ads on every single platform? No and no – that would be insane. It’s the same with emails! It’s just a channel like any other. One of better ones, many will argue, but still just a channel. If you’re not collecting emails because you’re utilizing other channels and getting great (sales) results – perfect! That’s the way to do it. If you’re collecting emails only because you like to look at the size of your list, then you can at least send a “Happy Holidays!” email sometime soon.
Don’t feel left out just because “everybody” is doing it. Don’t feel threatened by fake numbers people put out merely to sell you something. If you’re not collecting emails, your site will be one of a lucky few that doesn’t annoy people with their “give me your email” nonsense. And people will love you for it!
While you’re here – we’ve built this great new SaaS that doubles your email open rate & triples the CTR. Interested? It’s FREE!