Email Is Dead They Say…..with 5% Open Rates. Bullshit I Say!!

I have read many posts and promo’s that email marketing is dead and mobile or some other new fantastical trend is where you should focus. Email is not dead, Period.

Why? You say. Well, I am sure everyone who reads this checks their email everyday, many check it several times a day. What they open to read and what they trash all comes down to the trust they have with the sender.

Anyone experiencing low open rates have one person to blame for their crappy open rates. THEMSELVES!!! Not some new trend or Facebook or mobile or anything else. They have pissed off their subscribers one way or another.

Keep in mind as you read this post that it is less of a rant than it is a “What NOT to do” when engaging your list. The money IS in the list but if nobody opens your mail then you really don’t have a list. No matter how large your collection of email addresses is. 

And if you have already lost touch with your list you can keep doing what you are doing or change strategies now so to build a more responsive list for the future.

In no particular order…I’ll explain each point further on in this post.

  1. They mail all sorts of offers to their lists instead of targeting their individual lists with specific products that they know that list is interested in.
  2. If they have their auto-responder set up to deliver a set number of emails and this is a big if….again you are cycled into the “Now You Must Be Interested in Everything” broadcast. Not good.
  3. They send out many, many emails everyday on a number of totally different offers. Even one per day is too much in my opinion.
  4. They promote horrid products. You know the ones. Super awesome, push button, no work, pie in the sky products that are crap.
  5. They only promote high commission products.
  6. They stop providing real value. And if they have something in the mail of value it also includes a “BTW, check out this link to my buddy’s site so I can make a fat commission” in the P.S.

There are several other factors for the decline in open rates but lets dig into these a bit.

#1. Not Targeting Your List: I truly do not understand why many marketers do this, too many. Everyone talks about targeting your prospects but for some reason that philosophy goes out the window once they have captured your name and email. All of a sudden its a free for all. They throw you into their main list and broadcast all sorts of offers to that entire list. Then they wonder why nobody is opening their mail. Hmm… Apparently, since I am interested in product creation then I am also interested in PPC or Facebook cash or easy Amazon commissions.

Information overload is a major problem and many times those who acknowledge it are propagating it. Possibly by design? To keep you in the funnel? Maybe for some. But, for the most part even the good guys overwhelm their lists so easily with shiny things that they inadvertently frustrate their readers to the point that they just quit reading their email because they know it’s just going to be another pitch for some other shiny new technique that probably is in no relation to the product or service they originally purchased.

If you have produced many of your own products in different sub-niches within a broader niche I suggest throwing out some bait to see if you catch anyones interest then return to the primary focus of the list. Set-up different auto-responder lists on your site for each sub-niche and let your readers know you do this to help them stay focused. So if they are interested in another technique or business model they can then sign up for only those lists that they are interested in AND they will be less likely to become frustrated with the email they receive from you.

#2. Not Giving Subscriber Time to Breathe: Why would you want to start pounding your new subscribers immediately after they purchase your product? You probably have seeded your ebook with affiliate links or have a resource page if it is an audio or video product where you will get some nice commissions if you allow your customers to take action. Let your new customer absorb the material and take action before you hit ’em with something else. Even if it is related you are still running the risk of pissing off your new people right off the bat.

#3. Too Many Email Pitches: This is the surest way to aggravate your list and yet so many do it without a second thought. Most of your subscribers are on several lists not to mention all the other mail they get on a daily basis. If you are hitting them 2 and 3 times a day with product after product after product. Think about this a minute. Would you buy from you? Or take your advice? Even if you ARE targeting your list and send only related products. It won’t be long before your subscribers start thinking….”Why aren’t you giving me the BEST solution for my problem instead of a dozen options over a few days?”

#4. Pushing Crap: Your email list is your Golden Goose. How long do you think it will continue to pop out gold eggs in your bank account before it falls over dead from feeding it poison. This should be common sense for most. Promote good stuff or if there isn’t any available, create it yourself.

#5. High Commission Products: Everybody loves the high commish products except those who keep on buying them. If all you push is high commission products or that’s all you produce yourself then you should be sure that your ENTIRE list is in the market. If not, split your sub-niche list into one high enders and one low enders. The low enders may become high enders at some point but you will never know if all you send them is high-end products. Some marketer’s will say, “Who cares, I only need a certain % to buy for me to still make a killing.” No problem. If 5% open rates are cool with you and constantly recycling your list fits in your program, keep doing business as usual. But, if you feed your puppies puppy food instead of what you feed your full-grown Great Danes then you are more likely to grow those little puppies into adults. Not the best analogy but you get my meaning.

#6. No Real Value: I can almost guarantee if I checked all my email that only a few are still giving me good value in their mail WITHOUT a “BTW, check this link so I can make some money” at the bottom or all over the mail. I know we are all in this business to make money but, if you are just going to shovel affiliated offers into your subscribers inbox without giving them any true value. Then common sense should tell you that it won’t be long before your subscribers will be gone either by un-subscribing or filing you into a folder on the sidebar possibly never to be read again.

Here are a couple more not in the list up top but still big red flags when I see them.

#7. Don’t Be Vague: So many try to get you to click thru on whatever they are pitching by not telling you what it involves. It may work somewhat but for the majority of your subscribers they want to know what you have for them and why they need to click thru. Get to the point and be crystal clear on what the email is about.

#8. Not Using What They Promote: All too often do I get mail that says something like, “I just ran across this from a friend of mine and it LOOKS really good. I haven’t had a chance to go through it yet, but I thought it would be of interest to you. I’ll be testing it out later today and let you know what I find out.” Or something like that. Then what? Nothing. No more mail on the product or how “it worked out” or anything. It is just a ploy to get the subscriber to click thru. Not a good practice and one which will burn you.


There are more issues with treatment of your subscribers we could address here but, I think you get the feel of what you need to do to keep your list happy or try to re-engage your list if they have fallen by the way side.

Just be genuine with your subscribers. If you genuinely want your subscribers to become successful then try not to shoot them or yourself in the foot before you get them there. If you shoot them in the foot they will find a different teacher. Which in turn means you shot yourself in the foot because you lost another subscriber due to negligence.



2 thoughts on “Email Is Dead They Say…..with 5% Open Rates. Bullshit I Say!!”

  1. Hey Darren

    Great post on emails. Long may they live 🙂

    I personally send out 1 email a week to my lists. This keeps them interested in what I have to say and in no way gives the impression that I am spamming them.

    I may on the odd occasion send out a supplement newsletter if I feel that whats inside gives my list value.

    As to pitching offers for me, I try to keep it to one offer every 3/4 emails sent.

    Paul Conway recently posted..Perfectionism aka FearMy Profile

    1. Yeah, that sounds good the way you do it, Paul. I really don’t understand why they pound their new subscribers so early or even their old subscribers. Those emails are worthless when people wise up. I’ve heard so many say that you gotta hit ’em early and often to extract the most dollars out of each prospect.

      That’s just wrong way to treat your subscribers, I think. If these guys with the giant mailing lists would care more about their subscribers can you imagine what their $/subscriber per month would be like?

      But, they don’t care or know any better because is likely the way they have always done it.

      SIDE NOTE: I corrected the no follow problem, I think. Let me know if I need to dig around in here again. There were a few things I needed to change within the theme options and the plug-in options.

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