About list building

by Jay
(Vancouver, Canada)

Hi George, Thanks for the info on your website. I have a list of 450, and I send out an ezine once a month, but the open rate is only around 19-24%. Every time after my ezine's out, I get a sales spike. I was wondering if you have any ideas how to build my list faster and how do I improve my open rate? Thanks. Jay


Hi Jay, thanks for your question.

First thing to say is that your open rate is very acceptable. The general rule of thumb is a 20% open rate for an opted-in list.

It's certainly possible to improve that, though, and some of our clients enjoy an open rate of up to 50%.

First thing to consider is your in-box info. When your email reaches someone's in-box, (a)is it clear that it's from you (ie a trusted source), and (b)does the email title create enough interest? Try experimenting with some quirky/humourous/challenging/urgent titles.

Try some split-testing with your in-box titles too.

The bigger thing to consider then is your email content. Be as truthful and objective as you can be - is it valuable, interesting or engaging enough? Ultimately, you should be thinking in terms of bribing your customers.

Think about your own email habits. Which are the emails you yourself open, and why? One of our clients (a gourmet hotel and restaurant) has great success by having free recipes to download with each email. Do you have anything similar you could offer?

I had an interesting conversation recently who realised the only email campaigns he opens EVERY time come from IKEA. And it is because they always have a money-off promotion. The offer may not always suit him, but it does often enough to compel him to open every email.

As for increasing your list, apply the same principle of bribing your customers to join. Maybe try a free draw. Would it be worth the cost of, say, an iPad once a year to add 500 or 1000 subscribers to your list?

Hope this helps.


Click here to post comments

Join in and write your own page! It's easy to do. How? Simply click here to return to Q&A.