3 Commandments Of Email Marketing

3 Commandments Of Email Marketing

Because there's nothing more self-aggrandising than calling them Commandments…

Over the years, we’ve found LOTS of things that you should (or shouldn’t) do that can make a significant difference to how your email marketing performs.  Today we thought we'd share three of them with you.

Want to know what they are? 

Lucky for you, it’s what this episode is all about. 

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3 Commandments Of Email Marketing

Episode Content

  • (02:20) The First Commandment is so unbelievably simple, yet many people don’t do this, causing Kennedy to regularly fly into a fit of white-haired rage.
  • (06:14) We’ve only recently started to use The Second Commandment across all of our emails ourselves but we love it so much, we want everyone to start using this (if you aren’t already).
  • (06:52) Are you holding your audience hostage? We'll explain.
  • (09:29) Why you should stop asking yourself this question and start asking yourself these instead, with The Third Commandment.
  • (12:14) Let’s get more specific with the last Commandment.
  • (14:39) How fast can NASA get people to the moon and how on earth (see what we did there?) does this relate to email marketing?
  • (15:53) Can your email marketing performance ever be “mind over matter”?   
  • (18:10) Which of the Three Commandments are you going to implement first? 
  • (18:56) Remember when your mam and dad would tell you off? This is what this week’s subject line of the week reminds us of! 

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Read the full podcast transcript of this episode:

Hey, it's Rob and Kennedy, hello. The email marketing heroes and today on the email marketing show, we thought we'd share some of our big rules and frustrations when it comes to email marketing.

So we give them the grandiose name of the commandments of email marketing.

Now, before we get into that, I want you to know at the end of this podcast, you don't need to feel all alone like you've got questions. So instead, come and share what you're working on and get stuck into the training and the resources in our free Facebook group. Just open a Web browser, type in Rob and Kennedy Dot group, Rob and Kennedy Group, and you'll go straight over to the Facebook group.

Now, he's never seen the movie Beetlejuice.

Yes, it's hypnotist Robert Temple, and he needs his roots of his hair doing so badly because he currently looks like a badger.

It's mind reader Kennedy get. Can get inside your head. I think it just looks like I've had my head, you know, like hell, the 90s. Yes. Of stars.

You ready to join a boy band? That's what's going on.

You got to I like in fact, now I wanted it this way. Oh, man. That was a boy boy band, could be a golden. Once again, you can join the gender neutral by Mark. Spice People. Yeah, we are here every single week helping cause create as coaches and membership site owners, just like you make email marketing less of a numbers game and put the odds back in your favor with harder hitting, higher convert and psychology driven email marketing.

I've changed my mind.

This episode is now going to be about changing the name of Barden's to be more politically inclusive. Have back street people, the back street people.

That was the next ad and other devices that you can put water in. So and sink and bath. We're going to make it easy.

I was going to go for as in like when you sing your phone to your computer or sink your iCloud to you. What's that fascinating bunna this week, isn't it?

Anyway, let's move on. So as we said, we have these commandments for every grand name, and it's basically just a bunch of stuff that we've come up with over a period of time. And we thought, oh, we should definitely do that. We found that when we didn't do this or if we didn't do this, the results were significantly not as good. OK, so I'll start off by getting on my high horse about this thing that really pisses off when people just really misner pieces of it because there's so much opportunity.

If you change this one thing, it makes a massive difference. And that is when you send an email, you get to choose the name that it's sent from, not your email address, but that from name.

And most a lot of people are choosing to use their brand name in that. So for us, that will be email marketing heroes or response tweet or the league or whatever like that.

But you'll have a much more significant impact, get more open and connect with people much. But if you just put your damn bloody name in there, it works really, really well. So put your name in there.

We know there is a person who sent this email, would know it because it wasn't a machine. The company didn't write the brand, didn't write this email. We try to create want that the the feeling of a one-to-one relationship with people. So put your name in there. Now, if you want to take it up a notch.

I think what this does is, you know, when you get mail through the front door and the mail comes and it's in like an envelope with a clear window on the front, it's got your address printed. You know, it's from the bank or the council or somebody. You've got that. That's not as interesting as when you receive a letter and it's all handwritten. I think what we're trying to do is we're trying to replicate that same thing.

I mean, back in the day of direct response, in fact, even still, we've got a friend, Luke, who has that company that does the handwritten mail thing for that very same reason.

So you can it's an all out response thing of send a letter with a handwritten address and stuff on it. And also the old licked and sticked or now peeled off and for hygiene reasons and sticked and stuck.

Sticked all. Where does it come on. Liechtenstein's licked and sticked. I just sounds better than licked and stuck anyway. Licked and sticked stamps. They're going to get opened aren't they.

Compared to the mail merge like King and all that stuff. Exactly. So it's the same sort of thing.

You want to feel like it's going from a person, but also when they open up that email, they want to be able to realise that's the voice of a human being and they want to know whose voice is right.


And so I think it's really, really important to do that. Now, what we do is we have like a hybrid, don't we, where we'll use a name and the brand name. And I've seen quite a lot of SAS company software companies do this. So you'll have such and such from such and such a company. That's one way of doing it the way that we do it. Our emails will come from Rob Ford's email marketing heroes or Kennedy or slash forward slash response.

We yeah.

And the reason for that is just actually just yesterday I received an email from somebody whose name the from name was just Rob.

I was like, oh, I thought it was you actually Rob.

So I opened it up and this guy is talking about stuff. I'm like, what the hell are you talking about? Why, what?

What's going on? But I realised it wasn't you. I was like, OK, now I need to read it again with some new context about this. Is somebody trying to sell me something or whatever it was sent me to a bit of content.

The easiest way to do that is to allow them to know which voice they need to read it in their head. So just put both in.

So put Rob. And then in this case, our case forced us forward, slash email marketing heroes or Kennedy forcer. So that means they know from the just the from people obsess over the subject line, they obsess over it. But there's other elements and we talked about this elsewhere. But look at the from them.

Put your name and put your brand so they know it's that Rob you Rob could get away with Rob slash slash with the red hair because that's such a unique thing.

You could get away with that. So I take a look at making a more human setting from a brand. That's the first of the email marketing commitments.

The second one is something that actually we've only started doing widespread across all of our stuff. Fairly recently. We've been experimenting it with some sub areas of our brand and some of our lists. But actually across our men, there's something we've only started doing recently, and that is to have what we're going to call granular unsubscribe links. And basically what that means is obviously by law, whenever you send out any. It will naturally have the unsubscribe link at the bottom that's put in by MailChimp or Infusionsoft or whatever, and you can't get rid of that, that's fine.

However, the problem with that is it means that if you email regularly, like we do three hundred and sixty five days a year or just regularly generally like three or four times a week, people can unsubscribe from hearing those emails and still receive updates about that product they've bought or something the event they're attending. And that can be irritating for people. I totally, totally generally buy into the fact that people are either subscribe to or they're not. But if somebody buys something from you and then need further communication, it is a bit unfair to hold them hostage and say, well, in that case, you have to hear about everything else I've got going on as well.

And so one of the things we started to do is have these Granita unsubscribe things. I'll show you this level. We've done it. We've done it so that if somebody doesn't want to hear from us every day, they can just unsubscribe from the daily emails. But it means that every once in a while, if we're doing something else, we could put them through a campaign of something and at the end of it, they would go back into not hearing from us as much.

So there's that. So we've literally just created a tag, an email marketing system. It's called Daily Opt Out. If somebody clicks on the little we've put little sends in the bottom. Somebody clicks on the link in that sentence. They'll just stop hearing from us every day. We've done another one because once a week we send an email with our podcast episode. And if somebody is happy to receive the daily emails, but for some reason, I don't know why they didn't want to get a notification every time we release a new podcast, maybe because they're very clever and they've subscribed to it on their podcast app and they hear about it that way.

Then again, people can just choose to not hear about that weekly emails on the podcast. So I think this is a really, really cool thing to do, a quick shout out to our friend and client. She said she describes it as the nuclear unsubscribe is that is the only option that most people have. You just click the button and your unsubscribe from everything, and that's not really the best way to do it. So it's working really well for us.

It's working really well.

And it's the kind of thing you've experienced yourself, possibly if you've been doing this a little while, I'll be thinking about this for a while. And that is somebody bought something from here and they've also unsubscribe from you. So when you send them updates, they'll say, oh, well, I didn't get any update. You go and have a look at your system. You're like, well, because you're bloody undersubscribed and you blame them, mate.

We blame them for ages, too. But actually, let's take some responsibility ourselves. No, we need to not unsubscribe them from the entire world, not do K's infamous nucular unsubscribe.

And actually unsubscribing from that quick bit of information for you. Obviously, one of the things that does mean is that those clicks on those unsubscribe links are now factored into your click through rates. So when you open up an email and you see who clicked on it, when you click on that, some of those clicks will not be to the call to action you want people to go to. There'll be people clicking on an unsubscribing from your emails, and that's totally fine.

But it's interesting when you look, we've had almost no real unsubscribes since we implemented that measure. Right. Almost everybody says, OK, well, I'll just do that then. Yeah, yeah, yeah. It really, really does help.

OK, let's talk about some of them. We're going to have a bit of a discussion. I think Roc's I think we've got some differing opinions on this, which is nice. And that is what we're going to call the importance of averages. Right. So you've got an opinion about averages. I'll share mine to begin with.

In general, my feeling is that the averages are just what what it would mean about averages is comparing yourself to industry averages.

So I might get this a lot in the Facebook group, for example, I've got this open right on this clickthrough rate. Is that good? And it's like.

Well, compared to what? Compared to the industry, that's one average you can take a look at. So compared to all emails sent through KEEPON Infusionsoft or through all email sent through active campaign, how do you compare? That's one thing to think up. That's one industry type of where you can look at it average, if you wanna call it that.

The other one is compared to all people who do what you do. So all cultures, or you can get even more mindshare if you wanna call it that, which is all coaches who teach the thing that you teach so or could not be coaches, but it could be just people who teach what you teach. But regardless of the format, the teacher, so you can test the averages and you can slice them up whichever way you like. One thing we definitely know is that numbers can be made to say pretty much anything you want them to say.

You can find numbers to support pretty much any argument. I mean, that's how politics works pretty much. Right. So that's that's one element of it. The other one is the averages that you think about for yourself. And that's what I think is really important averages.

We should always be trying to erm improve on our averages. So if at the moment you've got a case in point we've got, I'll talk about John, he's one, he's a person who went through, he's a member of the league. He went through ah allo. Well re-engagement email challenge re-engage his email list and he started off with an average open rate of a low amount.

I'm going to make up some numbers now on behalf of John. You are welcome. But let's say he was get an average open rate of fifteen percent. Then he did the. That we torture and the challenge, and then he ended up with an open rate of 35 percent, he just improved his average. And because I really believe that all marketing or business and in fact life is only a competition against yourself and improving yourself and not against the world, then that's that's that's a really good thing.

If your average is going up, if your average is going down, something we look at with a podcast, for example, some episodes performed better than others. Some people, some episodes get more downloads and others we're competing against ourselves. But obviously it's not always a fair test.

So that's where I think I would just fit in. Where are you up with it, Rob?

So I think what you mentioned that I want to pick up on about there being there's lots of different types of average when it comes to email marketing and everything, actually. But let's look at marketing. Obviously, I think it is worth knowing. I use Infusionsoft and the average urban and Infusionsoft is X. It's worth knowing and analyzing that because otherwise, if you're having a conversation with somebody like a coach or a consultant and they say you're only getting X percent open rate, but they've used active campaign their entire life and one of them has better delivery than the other.

There is nothing you can do about making your averages go OK. If they're getting 100 percent of their emails delivered and you're only getting one percent of your emails because you're using Abad's delivery platform that is worth doing, you can change platform like your platform.

There is a lot of talk and I think in the group the other day, which has significantly poor delivery and we said, oh, it's got great.

The functionality is amazing. And I used to use it years ago, but the deliverability was absolute shit and it doesn't matter that it's got great segmentation if no book is actually receiving it.

So I think I think the first thing to know is it is worth knowing where you rank in amongst everyone else who's using your platform, because if you're doing distinctly, badly compared to everyone else, but again, it's platform specific. So I think it is worth knowing that equally. I think it's worth knowing for your niche. I think it's worth knowing that of pizza, for example, in the online marketing, Internet marketing make money online space, the average opening click through rates across the industry, across that niche, that industry are lower than in the personal development industry.

And the reason those people are on more lists, the market is more saturated. People are more aware of what email marketing is and the strategies that we use, the dastardly tactics that we use to sell things through email. People are more jaded, they're more aware of it. They're on more or less. The rates are just lower. So it is worth knowing where that sits. However, I do think that it's worth knowing where you sit in the general averages of delivery within your market.

And the reason why I think it's worth comparing yourself against to the people is that if you've got a 28 percent open rate and you think, well, that's initially lots of people who come into this world, they get twenty eight percent open rate and they go, oh, that's really bad. That's whatever percentage of people I should have picked an easier number, whatever percentage of people aren't opening my emails. And actually what they don't realize is that actually they do pretty well.

28 percent open rate is pretty good in most industries. Getting that is pretty solid in this day and age. Now, they could and you should try and work and say, well, how can I get that the twenty nine percent and then how can I get that. The 30 percent. How can I get that. Thirty one percent. However there are and this is just a fact, there are limits on what's possible. For example, NASA can get somebody from Earth to the moon in whatever length of time it takes to get somebody from Earth to the moon.

They are constantly trying to presumably make that faster, easier, better. And one day, hopefully, they'll just teleport people to the moon and you'll be there within seconds. However, that's the most difficult thing, one of the most difficult things that anybody could try and do right now with an email. If you try and if you're if you're on the top of your industry and you're trying to make it higher, that's really hard. If you if you take a different metric that's easier to tweak and has a bigger lever lever, you're going to do faster.

For example, if I can change the headline on the page I'm sending people to, that's going to increase me convergence quicker than me trying to get a higher rate of my emails, if that makes sense. If I just pick something else that's easier to tweak that's not at the top of my game, then you're going to you're going to find easier places to deliver up so you can waste time trying to fix something that's already as good as anybody else on Earth has got it.

Well, there's loads of other things that are underperforming, and if you make those better, your results will go up higher.

So do you think to the account, that counter of that, which is about the I think I'm going to butcher his name. I think I think it's Roger Bannister. The the oil.

Yeah, yeah, yeah. People before him had never run a mile in such a short amount of time, but but once they knew they could, more, lots more people did because the glass ceiling that was placed in people's minds was was lifted to a higher level.

So the glass ceiling that appears in let's just take the online marketing and digital marketing space that we occupy. The glass ceiling, which is in there, is if you get like we interviewed Amy Perkins.

Months ago, very early in the show, and she was getting a 60 percent open rate and we were like, bloody hell, but really that still means 40 percent of people are not opening her emails.


So, by the way, if anyone wants to go listen to that episode about Amy's 60 percent open rate is ridiculous. And the way she is doing it is super simple. Just go to the email marketing show, dotcom slash, unlearn the email marketing. Sure. Dot com slash unlearn to hear about that.

But but her glass ceiling, she didn't know what she didn't know.

She didn't know she should be aiming for 25 percent or 35 percent. She was like, why? I'm not getting 100 percent. And she was furious, wasn't she? So what do you think about that mentality with that?

So I do buy into it. And I do think you should put effort into getting your urban rate higher. For example, just in the last week, I looked at some of our well, we looked at some of our email stats and said our Ordinariate there has taken a dip for some reason. And you figure out why that's happened. So we knew we'd moved email platform and there could be some other stuff involved. So let's just figure out some stuff.

And we've actually now got a higher average open rate than we did before. So we went from being what it was to being a bit lower and now it's higher than it was in the first place. And so I think there is some work to be done. However, there is a point at which if you if you get to the point where you just feel like I'm bashing my head against a brick wall here and I cannot get this higher, and it's the same with anything.

If you're struggling to get your podcast, listen up. If you're struggling to get your sales pitch to conversions up, there is a point at which I think it's worth it's worth pivoting to say, OK, great. Well, if I if I'm really trying hard to get that to improve and I can't let's see if I can get something else up that's going to give me the same lift. Yeah, I totally get it.

I'd be really interested to find out which of the things we've talked about in these commandments of this episode you're going to implement first. So just to summarize what we've talked about, we talked about sin from a human, not a brand, include your brand.

And that's the only know which Rob or which whoever you are, that is the selling from having granular unsubscribe links and the importance of Arvidsson and what it is you think and what your opinion is on averages. We'd love to hear what you say about it and what you think about it. We're going to have a discussion. We are having a discussion in the Facebook group about it. It's free to join with just up a really easy to use. You are, rather than reading out Facebook's massive one, which if you just got a Rob and Kennedy dot group that will forward you over to the Facebook group.

But now let's talk about this week's subject line of the week, subject line of the week. So we had a great result with the subject line. Don't do this with a full stop between each word or a period for our friends over the pond. Don't dot do dot this dot. And then the little emoji of the apple. This face is palm and his face, the little face palm emoji, as it's officially known. And it worked really, really well, didn't it?

What was it? What was the context of it. Just talk about the thread, the thread of it. The point of it was talking about don't send misleading subject line, so don't send I mean, we've talked about them on recent episodes, but, you know, like, my dog died and when you opened, my dog didn't really die. And you see on things like payment reference to nine six, two, three. And when you urbanists, how would you like to have your inbox flooded with Bement references from Bable every two minutes.

And it's just really dodgy. And you open it and it gets that feeling of, oh, you know, when you open something and you're quite excited when you open and it's just not what you expect it to be. Yeah, it's a bit like you swiped right on somebody. I mean, you meet them in real life and they don't look anything like they did on the app. Exactly. I don't think Kylie Minogue is even on Tinder, that's all I'm saying.

I mean I mean, is that your Tinder profile name?

There should be. So, yeah, I think that's I think that's a bit that's a biggie. Is is that was the point of it. Are we going to a new commandment there? Don't be misleading with your subject lines. But that was the point of the email. So why do I think it worked? I think obviously we know emojis are working really well right now in subject lines, as long as you don't use them all the time. And I think that it just it has has an amount of curiosity to it.

People like the idea of being. They like the idea of reading about stuff that sort of condemned like to do this. So I think the curiosity of what is I'm not supposed to do. Am I doing the thing that he's going to tell me I shouldn't be doing?

You know what I really like about it? It's not the emoji. It's not the intent behind it. I like the fact it's a word, period a word, period of word, period. Breaking things up like that.

It makes it very staccato. It's like bam, bam, bam.

And it has a very different cadence, a different a different feel, a different flu to the usual sentence type or single word or two. What it's like it's three thoughts and it's like very like don't do also it sort of harks back a little bit to when your mom or your dad would tell you off is don't do that. You know, I don't always remember, you know, that that's kind of sort of harks back to that. I think that's a really powerful one.

The full stop broken up words thing is really quite trendy anyways, as I think I think if you just do it every once in a while. But I've never done it before. But I think if if in six months time I was I had a subject line where the breaking up with full stops again would make sense, then I think I think if you every once in a while, I think it is quite powerful.

I think it's a really good subject line of the week, subject line of the week or so at another episode.

Isn't it great? Cool. Well, we're going to head over to the group. So remember, come and join us over at Rob and Kennedy dot Group if you haven't already. Make sure you smash the subscribe button and make sure you don't miss out on a single episode of this wonderful podcast.

We'll see you next week, Cheers. That was a severe danger of becoming a whole new episode that wasn't about averages. Hey.

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