It’s one metric we consistently watch and try to improve: email open rates. There’s a good reason for it, too. If your subscribers aren’t opening your email, then they can’t read about:
Your newest coaching program
Your latest must-have tool discovery
That epic blog post you just wrote
The trouble is, you only have about two seconds to entice a reader to open your email. Even worse, you have to do it in ten words or less.
Yikes! That’s a pretty tall order, even for seasoned copywriters. But there are some tricks you can use.
If you’ve been on Facebook lately you’ve no doubt seen those “click bait” headlines that say things like, “She adds this to a box of Wheat Thins and I’m drooling!” The reason headlines like that work are because we can’t help but want to know what “this” is that she’s adding to her Wheat Thins. Is it sugar? Salt? Peanut butter? We imagine the possibilities, but in the end, we have to find out, so we click.
You can employ the same technique in your email subject lines. Just substitute the word “this” for the actual thing you’re writing about, and you’ve got instant enticement.
Here’s another strategy for creating must-read content: numbers.
“7 Hidden Benefits of Waking Up at 5 am”
“3 Unlikely Ways to Close the Sale”
“5 Social Media Platforms You Shouldn’t Be Ignoring”
The reason numbers work so well in subject lines is because we are ego-centric and curious. We simply must know if we already use those three ways to close the sale. We will either walk away feeling good for being a marketing maven, or we will have learned something. Both are compelling reasons to open an email.
Use Power Words
Just as with all writing, choosing power words is far more effective than settling for their weaker counterparts. Imagine these two subject lines appear in your inbox. Which are you more likely to open:
“WordPress Makes Better Looking Websites for Non-Designers”
“Create a Gorgeous Website—Even if You’re Not a Designer”
While both subjects offer the same information, the first is weak, while the second is far more compelling.
When it comes to email subjects, there are a few more tips to keep in mind if you want to up your open rates:
Keep it short – no more than 10 words at the very most, and fewer if you can.
Test everything. Use your autoresponder’s split-testing functionality to see which subject line styles perform best in your market.
Use personalization, but sparingly. Occasional use of your reader’s first name can be a powerful technique.
Here’s the bottom line: If your subscribers aren’t opening your email, they’re not buying. Paying closer attention to your subject lines is the single most important thing you can do for your email marketing campaigns.
Enticing your readers to join your list is just a small part of your overall list-building goal. The larger component is keeping them engaged. Do that right, and they’ll reward you with more sales—not only of your products and services but those of your JV and affiliate partners as well.
That said, here’s the number one thing your readers are looking for: solutions to their problem. It’s ultimately why they’ve joined your list in the first place. Your opt-in incentive solved a problem they were having and now they’re counting on you to continue to provide the solutions they need.
These solutions can take many different forms, including:
This is similar to a blog post or article. It answers a question (much like this blog does) your readers have and gives them the info they need to move to the next step.
Maybe you’ve discovered an easier way to track conversions on Facebook ads, or gathered some interesting stats on content marketing for coaches, or learned a new method for promoting Kindle books.
Share with your readers. Don’t ask for anything in return; just send them the info they need. By offering this information only emails, you’ll show your list members that you’re not just another marketer trying to sell them something. Instead, you’ll be seen as a valuable source of information (and your open rates will improve, too).
Of course, that doesn’t mean you can’t ever sell anything to your list. You’d be shooting yourself in the foot if you did that. Not to mention you’d go broke pretty quickly!
In fact, since your readers have trusted you to provide them with the very best information available in your niche, it’s important that you DO create and send them offers. They need your:
eBooks and guides
Private coaching and mentoring
So be sure to include these offers in your mailings from time to time.
Tools and Training from Others
As we’ve already said, your audience is depending on you to find and share the best information in your niche. Sometimes, that will take the form of an affiliate offer for a new tool, specialized training, free webinar, or other offers.
If you’re new to list building, it might be helpful for you to remember that these offers are meant to help your audience, not sell to them. Even though you might earn a small commission, it’s likely not your primary goal. When you approach your email from the standpoint of being helpful rather than being a salesperson, it’s much easier to get past that “what should I mail” question.
So you’ve created your first list & you’ve connected WordPress & Mailchimp so now we’re going to finish up by connecting your free offer to your sign-up form.
You have created your free offer? Right? It doesn’t have to be a 100-page ebook. It can be a checklist, a “how-to”, or even a “how-not-to”. It can be an ebook, a .pdf, or a checklist. Something that your reader would love to have without giving away the farm so to speak.
Once you have that free offer ready to go upload it to your website and copy the URL. Next, you’re going to sign into your Mailchimp account. Go to your list and then look for “sign-up forms” and click. We’re actually going to tackle two steps today.
First, we’re going to design our sign-up forms and we’re going to connect our freebie. You have three choices when it comes to sign-up forms. You have General forms, embedded forms, & pop-ups. Today, we’re going to be working with General forms.
Once you’ve gone into general forms you’ll see Forms & Response Emails. In the drop-down below forms & response emails is a list of all of the possible emails in this series. As you can see, there are a lot of options and they are pretty self-explanatory. We’ll be working in the General forms area.
As you can see you have three sections, “build it” “design it” & “translate it”. Under “design it” you can add your logo, brand colors and any other design elements that you’d like to include. The great thing is you only have to design the first one and all the rest will take on the same design.
So now, you have your forms designed it’s time to hook up that free offer. In that same drop-down menu choose the “confirmation thank you page”. Now I want to tell you that if you want to send your subscribers to another page instead that is also possible. You may have a page on your website that is designed to give away your offer or a landing page etc. In that case, you would simply copy that page’s URL and place it in the box and hit save.
To use this form (as most of you will) click on edit (it will appear in the right-hand corner of the form’s sections when you hover over it). You can edit to say anything you want. It can be as simple as “here is your freebie” then you would make “freebie” a link and put the URL from your offer that you uploaded to your website media file. Click save and you’re all set.
I suggest that you go to your website and actually sign up for your own mailing list and follow it through all of the steps to make sure that everything is working correctly. Plus, it’s always a good idea to get a copy of all of your newsletters to make sure everything looks the way you’d like it to.
Have questions? Let me know in the comments below and I’ll get that answer right back to you!
There are lots of ways to hook your MailChimp account to your WordPress website. Today, we’re going to discuss a few of them. The first way is simply to integrate the two by going to your MailChimp account and clicking on your profile and integrations. You will copy a snippet of code and put it into your website’s head area. If you’re using Genesis (and I totally recommend that you do) you can find this area by going to GENESIS>> THEME SETTINGS scrolling to the bottom of the page until you see the HEAD section. Paste the code there and you’re good to go.
If you’re not using Genesis you can still make changes, but I recommend using a plugin to do it. First, you’ll want to install the Insert Headers and Footers plugin. From the Add Plugin page, search for “insert headers and footers.” You’ll want the plugin that was created by WPBeginner, which should be the first result. Install and activate it.
Don’t want to mess with code? Then you can use your choice of plugins that you can use specifically for Mailchimp. I like the Easy Forms For Mailchimp or the Mailchimp Forms by MailMunch plugins or again if you’re using Genesis you can also use the Genesis Enews plugin. There are literally hundreds to choose from. TIP: Make sure that any plugin you download is compatible with your theme, has been downloaded a lot and has been updated within the last few months.
The number one issue with WordPress is plugin compatibility. Different plugins can cause other plugins to stop working correctly. TIP: Always keep track of the name and date you install a plugin. This will help if there is ever a new issue. I’ve created a free plugin tracking sheet that you can download here.
There’s another method that is by far my most favorite and I’m going to show you how to do it. If you make your own graphics on Canva or Photoshop then you can make your own static form for your website.
Simply create a graphic, something that goes with your design. Use your brand logo and colors whatever you like. If you want one that goes all of the way across your site then it will be something like 1200×400, but if you want a signup on your sidebar [TIP I recommend that you have three on your site, so that no matter what your readers are using they will see at least one of them] then it will be something like 400×400.
Have you ever made your optin? Is this something that you think you could do? Let’s talk about it! Leave a comment below.
Your list is where all the email addresses reside.
You can have multiple lists in MailChimp,
you can have one that you section into different groups or different segments of people.
To create a list is really simple.
1. Log into MailChimp.
2. Click on Lists.
3. Click on Create List in the top right-hand corner.
List Name: This is just for your list management purposes. You can call it anything you want, but remember if you will have multiple lists this is how you will tell them apart.
Default From Email: It’s important to use a custom email if you don’t want your emails to show up in your readers spam folders. Something like Rena@renalmcdaniel.com for instance.
Default From Name: This can be your first name– first and last — or your blog name. It’s who the email will be from when it arrives in the person’s inbox.
Reminder: An easy explanation is to say something like, “You signed up to receive new posts by email on http://yourblog.com or you signed up for my awesome workshop. Anything to jog their memory, but don’t overthink it.
Address: Unfortunately, the law requires an address, so if you aren’t comfortable using your home address, you’ll need to get a P.O. Box.
Notifications: If you want updates on your subscribers (opting in or out) a daily summary is the way to go. You can also opt not to receive notifications at all.
Importing Your List
If you’re moving from one email service provider to another you will have to export your list and then import it to MailChimp. This depends on which company you’re using but most companies make it pretty simple.
You will download as a .csv file and import the same way. If you’re using Feedburner (for example) you would sign into your Feedburner account and click on “Export Excel .csv” and download your subscribers to your computer.
Go back to your MailChimp account and go to your list. Click the “Add Contacts” tab and then import contacts. Click the first button for .csv file and simply upload your list into your MailChimp account. If it’s a big list it may take a while, but just let it do its thing and when finished your list will be imported. NOTE: Remember to delete the subscribers in Feedburner so that you’re not sending out two different newsletters every time that you post a new blog post.
A side note: If you’re with Feedburner who probably was only collecting emails, but with MailChimp, you can ask more questions. Such as First Name, Last Name, etc. To do that you need to go to SETTINGS and then LIST FIELDS AND *|Merge|* Tags. Scrolling down will be what you are set up for. It’s also where you can add more if needed or take some away if you’ve come from another company who tracked more intel. To delete a certain one you would simply find the one you want and click on the trashcan on the side.
To add one you would click the ADD NEW FIELD button which will bring up a selection of question options. Click on the ones you want to add and then save your changes. Then it will ask you if you’d like to make it visible or if you would like to make it a required answer.
Groups or Segments?
Your list contains a lot of information about your contacts, like when they were added to your list, where they live, and how they interact with your marketing. You can use this information to filter contacts into segments, and then target them with email or ad campaigns.
Segments are used to create target audiences based on shared data. When you create a segment, you’ll set conditions to filter contacts based on the information that’s available on your list. Each segment can include up to five conditions.
Click on SEGMENTS, and then click CREATE NEW SEGMENT in the top right. Here you have to set parameters for your group. You can filter email addresses manually or do it based on date, location, etc.
Types of segments:
If you use conditions to create a segment, it can be saved as static or auto-updating.
Create a static segment if you don’t want Mailchimp to update your segment over time. Static segments can be useful if you have a fixed group of contacts, like a group of recent event attendees, that won’t change.
Auto-update segments target the same type of contact, even as things change. MailChimp will check your list data before each campaign send, and add or remove the right contacts as they meet or stop meeting your segment conditions.
You can use your MailChimp list to sort your subscribers into custom groups based on their interests and preferences. Groups function like categories in a list and are an excellent way to manage diverse subscriber profiles in the same MailChimp list. Groups can be the basis for building list segments for sending to targeted audiences.
Before You Start
To make sure groups are the right choice for what you want to accomplish, first ask yourself these questions.
Do I want to organize my list based on subscriber-provided information, such as their likes and dislikes?
Do I want to import subscribers into categories based on information I already have, such as which list they belonged to in my previous marketing automation platform or other information from my customer relationship management (CRM) database?
Do I need to be able to move subscribers from one category to another, like skill level or lead type?
If your answer is yes to any of these questions, then creating a list group may be the best organizational solution for you.
Make sure you specify if you want people to see the group on their sign up form, or if you want it private. A good reason to have it public would be if you want to give your subscribers a choice (email me every time there is a new post, email me once a week, email me once a month). You can create three separate groups and allow them to choose when they sign up. Otherwise, if it’s private, you’ll have to go through your addresses and add certain ones to the group you just created.
That’s it for today, but we’ll be continuing the Mailchimp discussion on Sunday.