AskPat 668 Episode Transcript
Pat Flynn: What's up, everybody? Pat Flynn here, and welcome to Episode 668 of AskPat. Thank you so much for joining me today. As always I'm here to help you by answering your all night business questions, five days a week.
We've got a great question today from Megan, but before we get to that I do want to thank today's sponsor, which is freshbooks.com, an awesome, awesome company serving over three million small business owners with helping all of us manage our business finances, keeping our books in order from our income to our expenses. They … You can connect your expenses or your credit cards directly to FreshBooks, so it's all done for you. As soon as you buy something, it's all there in the books already, and with invoicing, they make it super easy. Within 30 seconds, you can just have an invoice done and sent over to whoever it is your billing and you can get paid much better, faster, and just look super professional. You've got to check it out, help them manage your books. Freshbooks.com/askpat is where you want to go, and make sure you enter “AskPat” in the “How did you hear about it?” section.
Alright, now here's today's question from Megan.
Megan: Hi, Pat. My name is Megan, and I work for a nonprofit. We have a mailing list of about 35,000 people or so, and we send a weekly e-newsletter, like a broadcast email once per week. We've been doing this for about the past four months, but we've reached a point where I say, we consistently get 25% to about 32% of people off that list to actually open those emails, and I'm trying to figure out if at this point I should research some re-engagement tactics … I don't really know what those would sound like, or what those would be, or if I should just clean my list and take a look at say, everybody who hasn't opened in the past six weeks and just remove those people from my list entirely. I'm not sure what you would do in this situation, so I'd appreciate your thoughts. Thank you.
Pat Flynn: Hey Megan, thank you so much for the question. First of all congrats on building such a big list. I think that's fantastic and here's the good news. Twenty-five to 32% open rate is actually quite high. It might surprise you, but that's really, really good, especially considering how large the list is. I would say average is about 10 to 15 … 20 is decent. 25 to 32 is fantastic.
Now, I will say that there are ways that you could get a higher open rate … but the first thing I would say is or ask you if I had a chance to talk to you directly, would be are you resending emails out to those who don't open? It's a quick and easy way to get people to make sure that they see the emails that are important that get sent out. Because sometimes people, they see those emails first time, they forget about them or they don't even see them because they're getting so many other emails. Resending to those who don't open is totally okay.
There are best practices here. I would only do it one time only. If you're worried about that, maybe doing once every month out of the four emails you send out every week … or, excuse me, you send out four emails a month … doing it once a month if you just want to test it out at first just to see if it increases you're open rate, which I guarantee it will. It always has for me.
Also, I always end up changing the subject line just so it's different and I end up adding one or two paragraphs in the beginning for those who open it and see that it's resent. Some people might know that it's resent but I always mention that. I'm always honest about it … “Hey guys, I'm resending this to you, noticed that you hadn't opened it, but it's really important, wanted to make sure you caught it just in case.” That's usually pretty good copy that you can put at the top of that resend. I don't know what email service provider you're using. I use ConvertKit. Most of them, you can really easily send out those who unopened … But I know with ConvertKit, for example, it's literally just one button to click to resend to unopens, where it then opens up a new broadcast and then you can resend … you can change the subject line or anything and then resend it out. So that's one thing I would do. So that will increase your open rate even more and get it to stellar numbers, I'm sure.
Secondly, you can start segmenting your list. I don't know if you're doing this already, but I talked about this very much … a lot of in the past couple of years. This is the idea of starting to understand more who your audience is and putting them into different buckets. I have three buckets in my particular email list. When people segment themselves or I help segment them into different buckets based on their level or where they're at in their business the open rates … when they get onto those sequences, even in autoresponder emails that are already written that get sent out, those open rates jump from … similar to what you had in the general email list 25 to 32% all the way up to 60 to 70. The reason is because the emails that get sent out are tailored specifically for them and exactly what their big problems are and their pains are and exactly what they're looking for. With each email, it gets more and more specific, and it continues to increase that open rate because people see that first email, they open it, and they're like, “Wow, this is just for me.” And then they open up the next one and they're like, “Wow this person, Pat knows exactly what I'm going through, what I'm talking about.” Why wouldn't they open the next email? They're wanting the next email, and so when you start to segment your list, when you start to hone in on exactly who they are and what they're looking for, what you can initiate through a survey or you can start and ask questions and get people to click through … again I don't know what email service provider you use, but ConvertKit makes it really easy to allow your audience, who are on your list already or even not on your list to, when they get on your list, start to segment themselves into those different sequences and different buckets and whatnot. But that will help increase your open rates too.
Finally, I want to talk about cleaning your list. Cleaning your list is really important, but I wouldn't do it in the first six weeks. If people haven't opened an email for six weeks, that's a little too early, I feel. I feel like six months is enough, and you haven't even had your list for six months, and again, you're doing very well. Your list is performing very well, so I wouldn't get discouraged. I would, actually, I would be very encouraged.
Also, I like the drive to increase the open rate tonight. I think those couple of tips will help improve it. Cleaning your list up is a great idea. Those who don't open your email up for six months, those are people who are obviously not ready to get those emails. I would send that particular list … If you can segment those people out, who haven't opened in that much time, I would send them two or three emails: “Hey this is your last chance, if you don't use … open this email” … you can mention that in the subject line or even the first paragraph, people start to read the paragraph before they open the email sometimes, because some email service providers or email clients will show you preview. I would mention, “Hey, last email I'm going to send unless you open.” Or something like that. That way you give them one more chance. You don't ever just want to delete anybody for no reason.
Now, if emails are bouncing back, yeah, definitely delete those emails, or sometimes people will say, “Hey, I'm no longer at this email address.” Just every couple of weeks, have somebody on your team go in there and update those emails too. So I think that would help out, then at some point after six months you can delete those emails … it will clean up your list, it will have you not paying as much for that list because most email service providers, you pay for the number of people on the email list and you'd have higher open rates.
Megan, hopefully that helps, and I wish you all the best and keep up the great work. Thank you so much, and I want to send you an AskPat T-shirt for having your question featured here on the show. Thanks so much, and for everybody else out there listening, if you have a question that you'd like potentially featured here on the show, all you have to do is head on over to askpat.com and you can ask right there on that page.
Thank you so much. I appreciate you. I also want to give a big shout out to FreshBooks and how awesome they are. Helped me out quite a bit and they can help you out too. Go to freshbooks.com/askpat and make sure you enter “AskPat” in the “How did you hear about us?” section for a 30-day free trial of that software.
Finally, as always, I like to end with a quote. Today's quote comes from Don Zimmer. He says, “What you lack in talent can be made up with desire, hustle and giving 110% all the time.” Totally agree. Thank you so much and I'll see you in the next episode of AskPat. Bye.
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