Jon Benson

5 Internet Trends That Turned Email Marketing Into The #1 Money-Maker This Year (And Next)

Reality check:

You need more customers.

You want to spend less time behind your computer and more time in front of your life.

You see these other marketers driving fancy cars and working 4 hour work weeks, and you wonder how the hell they’re pulling it off.

And maybe you’re still looking to make your first dollar online…or your first thousand dollars. Maybe your first $100,000.

Whatever your goals are, and wherever you may be in the spectrum of success, you can bank on one absolute fact:

Email marketing is the fastest, cheapest, and most reliable way of you getting you there…if you do it right.

To make email marketing pay off, you need to understand some consumer and marketer trends over the past few years. These trends have catapulted email into the #1 slot, and will keep it there for many years to come.

Take advantage of each of these trends, and watch your business grow, your free time expand, and your stress levels drop.

#1: Facebook And Google Algorithms Now Favor The Famous

Let’s say you have a hot new webinar, or a killer sales page. Or let’s just say you have a simple opt-in page and you’re wanting to collect some new leads.

You take a course on Facebook or Google ads and off you go. You test. You spend. You test some more. You spend…a lot more. And you end up getting a few leads here and there that cost you far more than you can ever make back in return.

That’s been the way marketing has been trending over the past several years, and specifically over the last few months. Why? Because these marketing giants are playing the safer bets. They are going to put guys who are spending more money and have spent more money over time in a heavier rotation.

In short, your ads are getting buried, and the audience you’re after is seeing the ads of your more well-known and wealthier competitors. This has always been the case, but never to the extent it is now…and it’s going to get far worse in the coming year.
What that means is that you have to get very smart when it comes to any ads you purchase. You have to understand what these social media giants have based their entire existence off of, and play to their game.

That game is content marketing. Your competition has more money, but they also have far more historical content.

You’re far better off using the same content you send out as emails and posting them on free article sites like medium.com. Using the methods I will talk about on our upcoming webinar (at the bottom of this article) I’ll share how my clients are building huge lists without spending a dime on Facebook or Google.

#2: More Demand For Email = Less Cost

In 2017, email marketing almost lapped every other form of marketing when it comes to return on investment, pulling in a whopping $38 for every $1 spent according to MarketingSherpa.com and sarv.com.

There’s not a chance in hell any other form of marketing can touch that stat. Banner ads, direct mail, Facebook, television…nothing comes close.

Just to be clear: that doesn’t mean you spend a buck and make $38. That would be lovely, right? What that means is you have the potential to spend a dollar and make almost forty. You still have to do it right, which is what I teach marketers to do.

What that also means is that the cost to send email has nosedived in the past few years. You now have dozens of inexpensive email clients like MailChimp, Drip, Aweber, and others that offer inexpensive monthly fees to broadcast to thousands of prospects.

When you combine free traffic strategies like I covered in Trend #1 with consistent, 3-5x per week emails to your list, your ROI can soar to these levels.

One reason we’ve seen such a radical increase in email ROI over the past 18 months is due to a downright freaky trend:

#3: Email Took Over Text Messaging

If you are a teenager, or happen to know one (perhaps a few live under your roof!) you know that texting is essentially their part-time job…if not full-time. Even we adults spend more and more time every year texting our lives away.

But did you know that checking email is now the number one activity on mobile devices? According to MarketingCharts.com, 91% of us check email at least once a day on a mobile device. This edged out text messaging and searching!

Think about how much you text. Now, picture your potential customers reading their emails even more than that.

You might suspect that email would decrease and text increase, and you would be right if you were only looking at teens. But for your target market, as much as they do text and surf, they check email even more.

The trends that led to this is a decrease in data prices, our near-addiction to our smart phones, and a near-three-fold increase in data towers.

What this means for email marketing is staggering – if your messages are compelling, clear, and avoid long paragraphs.

Remember: the scroll on a smart phone is much longer, so keep your paragraphs short. I like to keep them to two-three sentences max, and often use only one sentence per paragraph.

#4: Trust In Email Has Risen Dramatically

Echoing back to Trend #3 for a moment, there are a slew of studies on why we are addicted to our smart phones. Many point to the fact that we hold them close to our person. This creates a different tactile connection than, say, a laptop.

Other studies look at the things we hold in our hands compared to things we hold with our hands. Being held (and holding others) is a human need, and the things we can hold within our hand connect with that primal emotion. Pretty wild, eh?

Since 91% of your potential buyers are holding their smart phones and checking email, it only makes sense that MarketingSherpa.com reports an increase in email buying trust in 2017…one that is rising steadily.

Email now comes in at number one when it comes to buying anything, and by a wide margin. 70% of all transactions are now handled from or buy email, with the nearest competitor, direct mail, coming in 20% lower.

If you’re not selling with email, you’re literally burning money.

#5: The Bizarre Request For More

What if I told you that 38% of your email list requests more promos from you? Would that surprise you? I have to admit, I shocked even me.

Sarv reported that 38% of participants surveyed said they wanted to receive more frequent email promotions, and a massive 61% said they enjoyed WEEKLY promotions. This explains why guys like me who email my list every day make far more money than others that email only once or twice a week.

Again, we need to turn to psychology for some answers to this. First, there’s “top of mind” – becoming a mental fixture in your prospect’s mind. Your prospect is busy. The more they see from you, the more top-of-mind you become.

The second reason is a desire to improve. Self-improvement consumption has skyrocketed over the past ten years, and especially over the past three.

Well-written promotions that focus on delivering benefits and value are seen as helpful, while poorly written emails are seen as a distraction. As long as your promos focus on benefits rather than on how awesome you are or your product or service happens to be, the better.

Finally, there’s the interesting connection between frequency and trust. Studies show that the average consumer must see an ad nine times before they act on it. Some of this is due to top-of-mind, but some is due to how we form trust in the brain.

“Trust neurons” is what I refer to these dendrite connections our brains make that build trust. Repetition is absolutely VITAL to building these mental bridges, and the more your prospect has, the quicker they become a customer.

The trend for customers wanting MORE promotions is not because they want more spam or junk promos in their inbox. It’s driven by the fact that we do enjoy more free time than ever before in history, with more people working from home than ever. It’s driven by our increased desires for self-improvement.

And to be brutally honest? It’s also driven by the fact that well-written emails create escapism. Just like you enjoy escaping into a great movie, video, food, or a piece of music, your customers enjoy picturing their lives improving.

Getting stronger. Feeling better. Reaching their goals. Experiencing their quality of life improve.

IF you know how to write emails that evoke these feelings and deliver an ethically sound solution for your prospect to solve a problem they are having, you become a hero rather than a nuisance.

Don’t Buy Into The Fear Of “Inbox Overload”

Legend has it that a great commander once burned the ships of his fleet to ensure they had no choice but to fight an insurmountable foe. While they no-doubt felt plenty of fear, they had no choice but to face it.

One of the things holding you back from mastering online marketing may just be a fear of emailing too frequently.

Game Of Thrones creator George R.R. Martin once said, “Fear cuts deeper than swords.” Well, for email marketers like you, this “sword” can slice right through your marketing goals. It can drag you back to the old, ineffective ways of thinking, like falling for “Shy Send Button Syndrome”, the belief that sending only a few emails a week to your subscribers is the way to go. This can flat-out derail your success.

Currently, 95% of all marketers fail due to poorly written emails. Combine this with the fact that over 65% of your list want to hear from you more frequently, according to Marketing Sherpa. I think buying into this fear is partially to blame, along with the various ‘gurus' out there and our obsession with list size being the end-all, be-all — sources that often support this myth and fan the flames of misinformation.

This has a hefty price tag: it can harm you by shutting down your rapport and top-of-mind effect you want to have with your readers.

You can also buy into this ‘Inbox Overload' fear and watch your sales decrease to the point of where you lose all motivation.

I remember when I first paid that price. I first noticed it when I first started growing my list. I was scared of unsubscribes and pissing people off. I had no idea they actually wanted to hear from me.

Then I noticed that some of the top marketers were emailing me once, even twice a day! I figured out pretty quick that I was doing it wrong.

It hurt my progress considerably by limiting the number of sales I was making, and I experienced a decrease in rapport.

Also, my list started to forget about me. My competition got a leg up, and it took me years to get that advantage back. Fortunately, I overcame it by overcoming “Send Button Syndrome” — an irrational fear of hitting that send button.

I made it a practice to email every day for a month. My sales doubled, and soon I took on Dean Jackson's mantra:

“Only email on the days you want to make money.”

So true.

I spent the past two years working on a fearless approach to email marketing and helping friends and colleagues do the same. They were struggling to auto-pilot their business income using email marketing, and more often than not, this fear is one of the reasons they struggle.

Now, it’s true: what’s right for me and other successful email marketers may not be right for you. However, if you’ve bought into the fear of emailing too frequently, you may want to consider rethinking things.

Hope this helps!

Jon Benson
Creator, Email CopyPro

This blog post created with Email Copy Pro.

 

Most People Suck At Selling. Here’s 5 Ways To Ensure Promotional Emails Cash In.

Every single time you press the “Send” button, you risk losing money. You risk rejection. You risk unsubscribes. You risk your reputation.

Your bottom line is on the line, and unless you nail your inbox brand – the impact your potential customer experiences when they see your emails in their inbox – your emails will blend into the scenery and find their way into the trash bin.

What can you do to help ensure this doesn’t happen? To all but guarantee more of your emails are read and acted on? That your next promotional series, webinar invitation, or flash sale announcement makes its way to the eyeballs of your hungriest buyers?

After sending over a billion emails and earning well over $50,000,000 in email revenue, I’ve discovered 5 email absolutes – the 5 things you must do before you send any email to a potential customer.

1. Before You Write A Word, Validate Their Pain

“Empathy is about finding echoes of another person in yourself.” – Mohsin Hamid

Poor marketers try to convince. Excellent marketers try to empathize, relate, and compel. They reflect the pain and frustration of their followers by revealing similar struggles within themselves.

Before you send your next promotional email, ask yourself how you can best related to the problems and challenges your reader is experiencing. Sit down, breathe into that feeling, and write from a space of remembrance and compassion.

One of the best ways to pull this off is to remember this rule of email marketing: you are not writing to list. You are writing to one person, and one person only.

One trick I picked up from my friend Tim Ferriss, author of The 4 Hour Work Week, is to put a picture of my avatar (a representation of one person I am writing to) on my computer monitor, and read my email back as if I was reading to him or her. If there is anything I wouldn’t say to a solitary person, I delete it.

I took this strategy a step further and put a picture of my former self on my desk. I write in the fitness, Internet marketing, and relationship spaces, so I have a picture of me when I was seventy pounds overweight, barely making ends meet, and missing the intimacy I wanted.

I write my emails as if I’m writing to the me that was, rather than from the me that is. I only transition to the me that is once I fully remember the challenges and pain I once experienced.

Validation is a principle you should heed when authoring your emails. Even if your reader has fears you now deem irrational, their feelings are always real to them. They must be validated. A mere mention of one of their fears (let’s say “I’ll never lose weight” as an example) and giving that fear permission to exist (“I get it if you feel as if you can never lose weight”) will go a long way to building the rapport you need to earn your reader’s trust.

Now, it’s one thing to simply state that you understand their frustrations. It’s another to say, “My solution was designed to specifically address your frustration.”

One of the most powerful positioning tips you can use is to use your own history as the epiphany moment. Let them know that your own pain and frustration is what led to the creation of your solution.

An example from an email I sent out for my email software system read: “After watching my emails drop from a passable 15% open rate to a miserable 4%, and having my revenue decrease in equal measure, I knew that drastic action was required, otherwise my business was doomed.

“I set out to study every top email marketer out there, and discover how they were getting into my inbox and commanding my attention. I wasn’t going to stop until I had the answer. I swore that if I found it, I would share it with as many marketers as I could. That’s why you’re reading this email – I found it.

Notice how my story connect to the creation of my solution. Origin stories are insanely popular, and for good reason – your readers are hungry for realism. They are bored of vanilla, and desperate for messages flavored with hope, and ideas they can feel into.

You do not need to write much, but you do need to write from a position of honesty.

2. Use A Crystal Clear Call To Action

You see them all the time. Emails with hyperlinks that tell you virtually nothing about the page that is waiting on the other side of that click. You might as well send smoke signals, as they’ll be equally effective.

Savvy marketers respect their prospect’s time and limited focus. We don’t make our readers think. We tell them what to do.

“Clarity is the foundation of action and the death of chaos.” Remember that quote, and always attribute it to me. (Yes, I wrote that. You’re welcome. 🙂

There are three simple steps I take to ensure my calls to action (or “CTA”, the text that directs your reader to your sales page) are clear and absolute:

  1. Always use an NLP Command. NLP stands for Neuro-Linguistic Programming. Essentially it is the science of speaking to the conscious and subconscious mind simultaneously. Command terms are pretty much what they sound like: “Go Now”, “Read More Here”, “Click Here To Discover More,” or my current favorite, “Look And Click Here Now.”
  2.  Always put at least two calls to action in the body of the email. Remember that people skim emails. Change your call to action text if you wish, or you can leverage one of my most popular tips: use the subject line as your call to action text. They’ve opened the email, proving they are interested. Leverage that interest. Put a CTA every 2-3 paragraphs.
  3. Always include a “P.S. Promo”. Marketing Sherpa did a study on heat mapping and found that the majority of people skim sales pages and longer emails (we’ll cover email length in a moment, as it’s vital.) Take advantage of that fact and include a short summary of your offer in the P.S. Address a fear (“I know you are concerned that you can’t make a living online, and I get it. That’s scary.”) Address a benefit (“The good news is (Product) removes that fear and gives you (benefits.) Then include the CTA.

3. Longer Is Better, But Variety Is Best

The Direct Marketing Association (DMA) revealed that emails over 800 words received fewer clicks than shorter emails, but far higher conversions from those clicks.

This is a mistake I see many email marketers make – they buy into the “shorter emails = greater clicks” myth. Shorter emails do, in fact, generate more clicks. And, if you are hitting your hot leads first (a good strategy) then a shorter email right out of the gate makes sense.

However, longer emails presell your customers and prepare them to buy. The clicks are less, but the money is greater. What’s more, these customers tend to stay on longer, refund less, and become repeat buyers in my experience.

While longer is better, variety is still best, so here’s how you pull it off:

Create a sequence of at least three promotional emails. The first email can be short and to the point, focusing on the primary cause of their pain, and presenting a blind solution pitch. A blind solution means you do not reveal your product or service right away, but focus on the mechanism behind your solution.

An example of this can be seen in my latest Email CopyPro campaign (the name of my email software) where the software is never mentioned. I only talk about the pain of unopened emails and the amount of money that’s left on the table using traditional promotional emails.

I then mention the new system of Inbox Branding, and how it’s helping marketers increase conversions, sales, and customer retention. I invite them to learn more about Inbox Branding, and a new “A.I.-like technology” that allows marketers to Inbox Brand their messages in minutes.

That is a blind pitch; one that is rich in curiosity, and lets the sales page do the heavy lifting.

I will follow that email up with a longer inspirational content piece that’s about 1,200 words. Here I will mention the mechanism (Inbox Branding) and the delivery method, Email CopyPro.

I will follow that email up with a last-call offer that’s relatively short.

That’s the shortest promotional cycle I recommend – three emails over 3-5 days. I prefer a 7-12 day cycle that includes multiple emails, case studies, inspiring content, and many ways to purchase (sales page, webinar, etc.)

4. Subject Lines Are Either Gold Or Garbage

The greatest emails in the world end up in the garbage bins of millions of computers every day, simply because their subject lines sucked.

While there are dozens of powerful subject line formulas, for the sake of this article, I will cover one that I find simple to use while producing reliably high open rates.

Here’s the formula:

[ Odd Number ] [ Secrets/Tips/Tactics ] [ Your Plural Avatar ] Use To [ Primary Goal ]

This article uses this formula with a few tweaks, but I can easily put it right into the formula above:

7 Secrets Emails Marketers Use To Cash In On Promotional Emails

The power of this formula is only matched by how easy it is to use and tweak to your own liking. Let’s look at the psychological reasons why it works so well.

First, you always want to be highly specific. Saying “Secrets” is nowhere near as specific as “7 Secrets”. Also, odd numbers increase opens and clicks (why that is, no one really knows.) The number should be something that appears obtainable and quick to implement. “7” is superior to “75”, for example.

Your avatar is how your reader defines him or herself. Again, be specific. Saying, “People” or even “Marketers” isn’t as specific as “Email Marketers.” And, even if you don’t identify as an email marketer, you want to learn from email marketers. After all, they are the experts.

Finally, the primary goal is the #1 thing your prospect wants to achieve. In this case, “Cash In” (which is a nice use of referencing money while using the phrase as a verb) and “On Promotional Emails” – again, this is very specific. Not just any emails – we’re talking about emails designed to sell your stuff.

Spend some time testing subject lines as well. Most email clients like Aweber, Infusionsoft, Maropost, etc., will allow you to split-test a series of subject lines to a small portion of your list. I like to split test 5 to only 10% of my list. The winner of the test is the email subject line that we use for the other 90%.

5. Always Mail To Unopens And Page Abandons

The vast majority of your readers will either (a) not open your first email, or (b) bail out on your sales page or shopping cart page.

Sarv (a direct marketing firm) did a study that looked at post-sales sequences. These sequences were designed to do three things:

1. Re-engage a prospect who didn’t open any of your promotional emails.
2. Capture a potential buyer who actually clicked the order button but bailed out on the order form page.
3. Attempt to resell the customer on an up-sell he or she didn’t take.

Using email sequences that target each of these three categories of “almost-buyers” bumped profits by almost 300%. You are literally leaving almost THREE TIMES the amount of money you could be making on the table for the rats to eat, simply from not sending a few emails.

First, you should always track the following and create separate email lists for each. This can be done automatically in most email clients. Contact your email client provider to find out how:

1. The prospects who never opened any of your emails (called unopens.)
2. The prospect who clicked the order button but didn’t buy from the order page (called abandons.)
3. Customers who bought your primary product or service but didn’t buy one or more up sells (called front end buyers.)

The strategy is simple. Set up 3 emails for each of these 3 types of prospects and customers. For unopens, send the same exact promotional email (use a longer email with a non-blind pitch), merely with different subject lines. Have 3 identical emails set to go out starting 2-3 days post-promo, and send every other day. You can capture about 20% more buyers on average.

For those who got to the order page and didn’t order, have your programmer use API technology to notify your ESP and send a series of auto responders (contact a programmer using Elance or an equivalent service to have this done for you.)

Your first email should be a reminder that their order is safe, a recap of the bonuses they’ll receive, a mention of any discounts, and a coupon code for an additional bonus. This is a very effective method that can bump sales by 20-35%. Just be sure to send ALL of your customers that bonus, so everyone is treated fairly.

Your second email should offer them another way to buy, if possible. PayPal, phone, or perhaps a short VSL (video sales letter).

Your final email can offer them a 15% discount, good for only 24 hours, if you feel comfortable with discounting your offer. I personally do not offer discounts, but this is a good strategy for bumping conversions significantly.

Finally, you can capture those who didn’t take an up sell offer simply by reminding them of the increase in speed and ease having this second product or service will give them in relationship to the primary offer.

Put these 5 tips to work for you, and your promotional emails will not only sell more effectively – you’ll reach more people with your message and make a greater impact in the world.