Email Marketing

Back when I was a 9-year old kid enjoying summer vacation, I’d wake up, pour myself a bowl of Rice Krispies, get the sports section, and spend 20 minutes going through the box scores of every baseball game from the night before.

I’d start by looking to see how my favorite player, Gary Carter (RIP, “The Kid”), performed. Then I’d go through the stats from each game, the standings, and batting leaders.

Then I’d go outside to play pick-up baseball and keep stats on my own performance.

Heck, even 6 years later when I was playing Nintendo’s “Baseball Stars” I was obsessed with the stats of my team.

I was hooked on statistics. (This is much more acceptable than being Hooked on Phonics. Believe me, I’ve seen what people will do to get a hit of Phonics, and it ain’t pretty.)

Fast forward to 2012 and I’ve traded in baseball stats for email stats.

I like getting updates from my friends, Mike Geary, Joel Marion, Jesse Cannone, Beydros Keuilian, and Joe Barton about what email headlines are working best for them.

Sometimes I even have a good idea of my own when it comes to writing snazzy email subject lines.

Yesterday morning, while preparing some email promotional campaigns, I spent a few minutes going through the open rates from my 2012 emails.

Here are some cool findings for you to test in your business.

1) “The Truth About ___” subject lines are among the most successful in my fitness business this year.

Specifically, “The Truth About Alcohol and Fat Loss”, and “The Truth About Yoga for Fat Loss” were both near a 20% open rate, which is pretty darn good for my mature list.

2) Tough Metabolic Circuit Workout

This worked for me because that is what people signed up for. That’s a big, and obvious lesson. Give people what they signed up for.

People in my world want tough workouts. Each time I include ‘tough workout’ or ‘hard challenge’ in the headline, open rates go up.

So the lesson here is to simply know your audience and pay attention to what they like.

3) Four Foods NEVER to Eat

This is the most successful headline of all time, I think, for the fitness industry. Not sure who wrote it first, but I first heard the idea from a Dan Kennedy CD where he reported that one of the most popular speakers on the 1990’s ‘Success Tour’ was a guy who did an hour on:

“The 10 Foods Never to Eat”.

People LOVE to be told what NOT to do. You can use this in any industry. For example, if you’re an auto dealer, just sub out “foods” and “to eat” for, “cars” and “to buy”.

Presto. Instant open rate boost.

You can probably run the same headline three times per year. I know I do, and the open rate is sky-high every time.

Here at InternetIndependence, some of my top subject lines have been:

1) video for you from Thailand

2) 3 Reasons You Can’t Ignore Facebook Ads

3) Top 5 Things I Did to Make a Million Dollars

The last being the best.


Because that’s what people signed up for…and there’s some good curiosity in there too. Plus, people like short lists of tips and secrets.

One other simple tip for writing subject lines is to use something similar to what you would send to a friend.

That’s one reason that might explain the success of the, “video for you from Thailand” email. (Not too mention that evokes curiosity, and it is unique, too.)

You can play around with using capitals (as in, “The Truth About Fat Loss” emails I write), or no capitals (as in the “video for you” email).

All this stuff is good times to me.

It’s like opening the paper to see that Gary Carter went 2 for 4 with a double, a home run, and 5 runs batted in.

Combine that with a bowl of Rice Krispies (with a couple of spoonfuls of added sugar, of course) and that’s a great way to start your morning.

That’ll show you Mom, for not buying me Sugar Crisp more often…I’ll just dump the added sugar into my cereal myself.

But anyways…

One last thing…I’m always looking to boost that open rate, but WITHOUT tricking the reader.

I’m not a big fan of newsletters that write:

Subject Line: Super Secret Tip Inside

And then start the email with:

“Okay, maybe this isn’t a super secret tip, but it’s Blah, Blah, Blah.”

That type of approach breaks the wise “Make a promise, keep a promise” formula that smart marketer, Paul Reddick, once taught our Mastermind group in Vegas.

So bottom line:

1) Be cool.

2) Create curiosity.

3) Make a promise, keep a promise.

4) Test.

5) Test some more.

That’s how you get better at increasing your email open rates, so that more people can read the valuable message inside…eventually leading to more clicks and sales.

Ah yes, clicks and sales.

Another message for another day,

Craig Ballantyne

People want to be involved with other confident people who are doing big things and being positive and powerful. Be out there doing something great today.