AskPat 269 Episode Transcript
Pat Flynn: What's up, everybody? I don't know why I did that, but thank you so much for joining me today. This is Episode 269 of AskPat. I appreciate you. As always, I'm here to help you by answering your online business questions five days a week, and we have another great question today from Jeff. That was all one breath.
And before we get to today's question from Jeff, I do want to thank today's sponsor, which is AWeber.com. Today's question is about email lists and open rates, so it's quite fitting that today's sponsor is AWeber, the email service provider that I use to help collect email addresses and send out broadcast emails and auto-responder emails, which is super cool. And they make it easy for you to put web forums on your web page to collect those email addresses, and not just email addresses, but names and any other sort of inputs that you'd like as well. And what's really cool is they are really good at helping you keep track of your stats, which is something we're going to talk about in today's questions as well, which is really important because you want to know how well your emails are performing. So, if you'd like to check out AWeber and try it for 30 days for $1, go to AWeber.com/askpat. Go ahead and check it out.
Awesome. Let's get to today's question from Jeff.
Jeff: Hi, Pat. My name is Jeff, and you inspired me about two and a half years ago to set up a website called Home Repair Tutor. Everything is going awesome. We get about 100,000 unique visitors every single month. The YouTube channel is taking off. My question to you is this: what is a good open rate, and what is a good click-through rate for email newsletters? I'm curious to hear what you have to say on this topic. I hope that you have a great day. Thanks for everything that you do. Keep it up, and I'll talk to you soon! Take care.
Pat Flynn: Jeff, what's up, man? Dude, super cool, and I appreciate the plug in there for how I've been able to help you. Congratulations on that success. Again, HomeRepairTutor.com, if you want to go check out Jeff's site. Man, I'm just so inspired right now, and very happy to know that I've helped another person out. This is a really good question, actually. What is a good open rate, and what is a good click-through rate for an email newsletter? Obviously, we should all be using email lists, but like I said earlier, it's very important to keep track of what's going on. But how do you gauge what's good and what's bad?
Well, a few things. No matter what the percentages are, as you continue to send emails out, you want to at least stay consistent with your open rates, which can be quite difficult to as your list grows, and we'll talk about that in a second. And your click through rates, same thing. But there's another variable, especially if you're selling stuff off your email list and on your site as well. There's another one: there is how much money are you making for every email that you send out? And there's a lot of other companies out there, and I believe AWeber, there's a way to hack this too, but there's a way to easily keep track based off of conversions and how much money you're making off of different products that you sell, how much money you're making with each email? That is super handy, because then imagine you send out one email every week and you see how much money you make off of each of those emails. You can go back and be like, “Hmm, let's look at the year. When in our email marketing campaign did we make the most money? Okay, which emails made the most money? Here are the top 10. Wow, they all have a personal story in those emails.” You know, little things like that, I mean, that can—oh my gosh, my mind's blowing right now, because that stuff is so fun. And ciphering and testing and trying all those things. So, it's good to keep track of not just the open rates and the click-through rates, but what's happening when people click through and are they converting and why? Why are they converting on that email and not the other email? Those are things you should all be thinking about too.
But getting into the data and the percentages, I found a few resources, reliable resources online from multiple email service providers in terms of how good click-through rates are, because obviously they keep track of all this data on their back end and they reveal a lot of interesting data. For example, by industry, they give averages, and I'm looking at the whole list here. It ranges from agriculture to education, legal, all the way down to real estate, sports, vitamin supplements. Pretty much the open rate is anywhere between, and this is what you're hoping at least, is anywhere between 16 and 17 percent and about 25 to 30 percent. That's average, within most of these industries. Some are higher than others. Looking here, the highest average is hobbies, which makes sense, because people who are just doing this for a hobby, knowing that the person who is sending them that email is not really likely to be asking them to buy something. The open rate is quite high on that one. And the lowest one is, interestingly enough, daily deals and e-coupons. Now, that's interesting.
Now, click-through rates. And I'm looking at the same resource here, and this is through all these different industries. I see percentages in the 1.5 to the 6.5 percent range. And that's very low, when you think about it. But a certain amount of people are going to open that email, and within those certain amount of people who are opening the email, only a certain amount of those are going to click through, so that's why the percentage is quite low. So, for example, just to put this in context, if you are getting about the average here, and this is across all industries, obviously, every industry is different. My current open rate is anywhere between 50 and 70 percent, depending on the email, because I've done a—I'll talk about why in a second. But let's say you have a thousand people on your email list. You could imagine 250 of those people to open it, and then the click-through rate can be anywhere between 1 and 6 percent based off of that. So, it's quite low when you think about it, but the emails are still extremely powerful, and like I said, you can have a higher percentage, this is just the average. And I'm hoping you're doing things to increase those open rates and percentage rates.
There's also another thing before we get into some strategies for increasing each of those. The open rates also vary by list size. So the bigger your list becomes, the lower the open rate becomes as well. It's not really quite a straight graph, and this is across all different industries, sort of put into one. But you might expect that if you have an email list of about a thousand—now I had mentioned that thousand earlier, and so I didn't take this into account—but when you have about 1,000 people on your email list, you can expect, based off of, again, just these stats that these websites are sharing, anywhere between 60 and 90 percent open rate. So that sounds a lot better, obviously. But then when you get above 50,000, then you get into the 10 to 15 to 20 percent range, and then there's the in-between. And so, as your list grows, your open rate will go down as well. But again, that's why it's important just to know how much money you're making off of these email lists if you are selling stuff. If it's not that, then you have to be gauging something else. Like, I hope there's a purpose for you having this email list, and it's not just to send emails, but there's some sort of action that people are taking that you can hopefully track.
In order to increase the open rates, there's a number of different things you can do, some quite obvious, some maybe not so. But the first one is, you want to have a good subject line. Obviously, people see the subject line. It's mixed in with all their other emails, so they have to find it and be curious about it, so you're going to have to work on it. That's why testing, which you can do on AWeber, you can split-test, and I believe you can do this on other email service providers too. Split-test headlines. Learn what works for your audience, and do more of that. Learn what doesn't work for your audience, and do less of that. Then also, beyond that, you want to make sure that it's sent at the right times as well. If you send an email at 2 a.m., or it gets into a person's inbox at 2 a.m., they are more likely to miss it, because other emails will come in and it'll be pushed down. If you send it out when—for example, I send out most of my emails at 6 a.m. Pacific, which is 9 a.m. Eastern Time, which means that when people are getting into work. This is hypothetically speaking, but I mean it's essentially true. When people are getting into work, they're checking their email, and mine will hopefully be close to the top there, if they're checking their email at work. And if they're just waking up on the West Coast, they're also checking their email at the same time. So 6:00 Pacific, 9:00 Eastern. Again, you want to test and make sure that you discover what works for you and your audience as well.
Now, another thing that I love to do—this is less obvious, but it's more obvious once you hear it, obviously (I say obvious a lot, apparently)—the very first email they get, after they subscribe, and after they click the confirmation email if it's double opt-in to verify their email. The very first legit email they get from you should be mind-blowing. It should be the best tip you have or just something, a surprise, something that makes them say, “Wow! So glad I subscribed to this list! I am never getting off, and I'm going to open that next email the moment it comes in my inbox.” That's what you want them to say. So share your best tip, and to take that even further, make it a quick win. Make it something that you can share with your audience that when they do that thing that you tell them to do, they get an instant result. This goes into psychology, Charles Duhigg, of The Power of Habit, talks all about the power of these small wins. And so take that, use that power, in a thing in the human brain to just love people or love things that give them these small rewards. And you can be that. And so give them a small reward right in the beginning, a quick win, to prove that that's exactly what they should do and they would be crazy if they don't open any of your further emails. So, that's how you can sort of prime and train your audience to make sure that when you do send an email, that they open it.
Now, another thing you could do to increase click-through rates. There's a couple tips here. One is when you put a link in your emails. You know, email on a mobile phone is completely different—not completely different, but it's a different experience, obviously, than viewing it through a desktop. And you might be surprised to hear that. Maybe not surprised at all, because you probably do it. A lot of people, not saying most people, are checking their email on their mobile phone, on the go. And so if you have a little link in the middle of a paragraph, you know, you hyperlink the word “here” to go somewhere, it's not going to really help you very much because a) it's smaller on a mobile phone and people might not find it; b) it might be mixed with other links or it's just so small that people have fat thumbs or they mis-click with their finger and they're not getting it.
So, what I always do with my links to make sure I get the highest click-through rate possible, is I put a link in its own line and I typically write out the whole URL. I don't hyperlink a word because I would much rather have more real estate be clickable. So I type the whole URL, and I make that whole URL clickable. And before that, I say, with a call to action, which is another tip, “Click here to get this,” or “Click the link right below” to go to whatever it is I'm talking about. And then it's the actual URL, the web address, all spelled out, and that is the thing that they can click on. And I like that because since it's all spelled out. You know, I don't want to shorten it; I actually want to fatten it up so that there's less chance of somebody mis-clicking, and it's just obvious that that's a link and there's a call to action right before that.
So, there's some email tips for you. I hope that helps. Again, Jeff, I appreciate the question, and sort of went beyond your initial question there, but hopefully, like I said, this is helpful. So I thank you again for the question and the kind words you mentioned at the beginning about what I've done for you. I wish you all the best of luck, and I can't wait to hear more about your success, Jeff. For those of you listening, if you have a question you'd like potentially featured here on the show, just like Jeff, who is going to get an AskPat t-shirt sent to him for having his question featured, all you have to do is go to AskPat.com and you can ask right there on that page.
I also want to thank today's sponsor, which is AWeber.com, the email service provider that I've been using for years now. And I love them because their customer service is great, the product is great, and I've just really enjoyed being able to use their—Not just their broadcast tool, but their autoresponder tool as well. And it just makes going into those lists and filtering and cleaning them out really easily too. And you can get it for 30 days for $1. All you have to do is go to AWeber.com/askpat.
Thanks so much. I hope you have an amazing weekend, and I'm going to end with a quote today from William Crawford. He says, “Being a student is easy. Learning requires actual work.” Cheers, take care, and I'll see you in the next episode of AskPat. Peace.
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