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Do you make these mistakes in your marketing emails?

The first mistake is simple:

Underestimating email.

I’ve seen short email campaigns double, treble, even quadruple the sales of business’s like yours. And here’s what’s most exciting:

Most business’s, especially large ones, are not using email to their full advantage. This gives you an easy way to collect the customers they’ve missed.

Below are 7 ‘quick fixes’ to the most common email mistakes I’ve seen.

Most of them are near effortless to apply.

You don’t need any expensive professional help.

Yet if you do them all, your email open-rates – and sales – could potentially double. That is not an exaggeration.

So let’s get right down to it. Starting with…

Quick fix #1: Lose the fancy template

Email is not a billboard.

You send your messages in bulk, but you’re always writing to people as individuals. Fancy designs and templates only scream, “Mass Message!” You lose the personal touch.

Use plain text, or a blank template.

If you want to add an image, just drag and drop. And don’t worry if it looks a bit rubbish. All the emails from their friends look a bit rubbish. You want to look like one of their friends.

One more thing:

Sometimes I see emails (from larger businesses who should know better) addressing me as ‘Nation’ or ‘You guys.’

Please: Never do this. Not ever. It’s a cardinal sin of direct marketing.

ALWAYS write messages as if you’re talking to one person.

Quick Fix #2 Put a real person’s name in your ‘From’ line

Lots of newbies assume a good subject line gets emails opened.

Although it plays a part, it’s not nearly as important as your ‘From’ line.

  • Who are you?
  • How do they know you?
  • What did you send them last?

These are the questions in your reader’s mind before they even consider your subject.

People like dealing with people. If your emails are written from ‘Info’ or ‘The team’ you are leaving serious money on the table. Always have a real person represent the sender of your emails.

Quick Fix #3: Appoint yourself Dictator-in-Chief

Your email list is not a lovey-dovey social community.

It’s an iron-fist wielding dictatorship. Who’s in charge? You, or your list? You, or a bunch of complainers and trolls who’d never buy from you anyway?

This is a mental fix, yes, but it’s the most important idea on this list. I often see people paralyzed with fear, unable to push the ‘send’ button on anything. They’re terrified.

  • What if I bother people?
  • What if I offend someone?
  • What if this seems a little unprofessional?

The result? They maybe send out one sterile, castrated email a month – guaranteed to attract nobody.

Look: I’m not suggesting you become a douchebag. Listen to your readers, by all means. Take constructive criticism if it’s relevant. But never, ever, give your readers the power. Never let them dictate when and what you send.

This is your house. They are your guests.

Quick fix #4: Always ask for something

You don’t have to sell in every email.

However, you should get your readers in the habit of taking some action.

When I get a new subscriber I often like to ask for a reply. This helps me understand more about who they are and what they’re struggling with.

(I also suspect it helps with email deliverability – as it shows service providers you’re important. But I’m a copywriter mostly, not a tech-hipster, and this is just a hunch.)

Your newest subscribers are most likely to be experiencing the problem you can solve. So their comments give you heaps of new ideas to use in your emails.

And this helps with your next quick-fix…

Quick fix #5: Mail your readers often

Ideally every day.

Failing that, 3-4 times a week.

This saves you having to tell people you’re a leader. You’re already acting like one. And by using your email to sell more, you can pay to get more leads signing up.

Lots of people are afraid of unsubscribes, and it’s true:

Mailing often does increase unsubscribes.

But these people were probably never going to buy from you anyway. Your list size is not nearly as important as its quality.

Picture Michelangelo chiseling his ‘David’ statue out of marble. When a piece of raw material fell, did he think, “Oh what a shame to lose this chunk of marble”?

No, of course not.

It’s the same with your list. Your dud leads are just lumps of marble that need to be chipped away.

Quick Fix #6: Inject some of yourself into your emails

This should be the easiest quick-fix, but it’s not.

It is, by far, the hardest.

The first mistake when writing is to be boring.

I’ve heard people say an email is exactly the same as a sales letter, but it’s really not. You’re coming at this from a totally different angle. It’s usually an introductory message with a link to some sort of pitch.

So if you treat every email like a sales letter- playing it safe – you’re going to sound pretty dull before the week is out.

As David Ogilvy, one of advertising’s greats, once said:

“You cannot bore anyone into buying your product.”

On the other hand, it’s easy to go too far the other way – writing messages that are too wacky, boorish or abrasive. This usually happens when people want to ‘be themselves.’ You’re trying to be authentic, but it’s really just a caricature of your personality.

It takes practice to inject personality into your emails – and stay authentic. However, here are 3 guidelines to help you cut down your learning curve.

  1. Draft your daily email on paper. And do it first thing every morning. This helps you keep up the habit of writing to your list. But you’re also writing with a clear head – before all the news, demands and daily crap changes your mood.
  2. Start your first sentence, ‘Yesterday, I…’ Then write about something which happened to you recently – tying it in with your offer. You can delete the ‘yesterday’ line afterwards if you like. It’s just there to get you rolling.
  3. Aim for infotainment. Talk show hosts like Tucker Carlson have this down to a fine art. If Tucker’s a little conservative for your tastes, then I suggest Joe Rogan’s podcast. This is hands-down the most authentic sounding talk show I’ve heard. Just listening to this regularly will help with your emails.

Quick Fix #7: Sell them something fast

Buyers are worth more to you than subscribers…

…A LOT more.

In his excellent book Just Sell the Damn Thing, Doberman Dan shows some email stats from his own list. Open rates and clicks amongst subscribers who bought nothing (roughly) halved within 2 weeks. However, when he looked at those who bought something, opens and clicks more-than doubled!

And your previous buyers are also 3-8 times more likely to buy again. Sell something quick and you increase the value of every customer you deal with.

You often see gurus talk about delaying the sale.

“Don’t be pushy,” they say. “Offer lots of free, helpful content first.”

Maybe it works, but this approach has one serious weakness.

Your newest subscribers are usually your hottest.

So if you want to keep them opening – and reading – your messages you need to convert them to customers fast. Strike the iron while it’s hot. Otherwise you’re stuck trying to sell people who’ve cooled down.

The good news?

Well, from the tests I’ve seen, price has little impact on the value of this first sale.

So long as you get them to buy something – anything – you dramatically increase a subscriber’s lifetime value.

Need help doing this? If so, here’s a good place to start.

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