Today I’m going to get up on my soapbox, and I am going to rant about the one thing you need to change to convert more sales with your emails. So if you don’t want to hear me rant, stop now. If you want to hear me go on like an insane fool, then keep playing.
Let’s start out today with a little story. Let’s all gather around the campfire. I’m gonna lay out a story for you.
Has this ever happened to you? You send an email to someone, just a one-on-one personal email where you have some questions. So you say question one, and you write out a question, “What’s your favorite color?” Question two, “Are we going to dinner tomorrow night?” Question three, and you just lay out some questions. You make it really, you know, pretty clear. You lay out three or four questions, and you hit send. Then an hour later in your inbox is a return from that person. You’re all excited, you open the email, and you have one word, “Yes.” Yes to what? Yes to which question? What happened to what’s your favorite color? Why didn’t you answer all my questions?
This happens to me all the time, and it’s so frustrating. But why does it happen? Why do people do that? I mean, we lay out simple step-by-step instructions for them, and they go off on some crazy tangent, and they just say, “Yes,” which is of absolutely no help to us.
Well, the same thing is happening with your emails, with your bulk emails, with your emails from your automated system. When you’re sending out offers, the same thing is happening, because in our ever, more complicated, distracting society, people just can’t focus. When you give people too many things to look at in an email, even if you lay it out so simply, one, two, three, you’re still gonna get back, “Yes.”
So that kind of moves into my mantra of email. If you go back to episode one, you remember Chris Davis told us clear concise communication. That was his mantra, which goes kinda hand-in-hand with mine, which is one email, one action.
If I’m sending out an email, I only have one thing in that email I want people to do. If I want anybody to take action, if I want them to go buy, if I want them to fill out a form, if I want them to watch a video, whatever it is I want. Whatever my call to action is, I only have one in an email, because if I give them three things to do, what are they gonna do? Who knows. They’re gonna squirrel out on me. They’re gonna get overwhelmed, they’re gonna close it, delete it. They’re gonna do the one thing I really didn’t care about that I was just kinda throwing in there, whatever it was. If I give them four things to do, they’re not gonna do what I really wanted.
If I want them to do one thing, I’m going to send one thing. If I want them to do four things, I’m going to send one thing four times. If I’ve got four calls to action in an email, I’ve really got four emails. I got four different things I want you to do. Let them focus on one at a time. You know when we open up that inbox, and we’ve got 20 emails in there, and we’re trying to fly through them, if I ask you to do four things, you’re already looking at that next email. So I’m gonna ask you to do one.
This brings me to some things you can do to fix this problem. Right? So obviously one email and one action, but what does that really mean? Let’s get a little deeper. First of all, newsletters, absolutely hate newsletters for this very reason. Newsletters, I guess newsletters have their place. Right? If you’re just trying to keep somebody warm, and just trying to keep in front of somebody, hey, it’s okay. But if you really want them to take action, you are breaking the cardinal rule of email. You are breaking the one email, one action rule. You’re giving them … God, I’ve seen some newsletters that come out with 15 different calls to action, and you’re putting the onus on me as the reader now. You’re putting the weight on me to go through there and try to find the one thing that pertains to me. Not all 15 things probably pertain to me. You really need to be segmenting that list.
That gets back to episode two where Tyler talked about segmenting, but you really need to be breaking that list down to make it a more targeted message to me. So that’s my first beef with newsletters, is they really don’t pertain. You’re trying to make a one size fits all email, and there’s no way to do that, because one size doesn’t fit all.
Number two with the newsletter is there’s just way too many calls to action even if they do all pertain to me. Again, I’m gonna get distracted, I’m gonna lose focus, and before you know it, I’m off watching videos on YouTube, and I’ve totally forgot about what I was doing with your newsletter. So newsletters, break those up. Break those up into multiple emails.
The other one is confusing offers. Sometimes I see somebody trying to do one email, one action, but they just make it so confusing I’m not sure what I’m supposed to do. So take people by the hand, pat their little heads, “Okay, here we go, here’s exactly what I want you to do in this email.” Remember back at the beginning I said my story, I laid it out, step one, two, three? People still can’t even follow that, so if I really want somebody to take action, I need to really break it down and really say, “Watch this video. No really, watch this video. Hey, did I mention I want you to watch this video?” I really need to emphasize what I want them to do, not, “Hey, I’ve got this great video that maybe you want to watch, and if you did, it’s over here, because it’s a video about this.” No, I’m gonna say, “Watch the video. Watch the video.” Gonna make it very simple for people.
When somebody opens an email, they should know exactly what you want them to do, what is the goal of that email. With the one email, one action, we should have one goal, and that goal could be anything you want, like watch the video, but there’s only one goal. Not watch the video, and then go to Facebook, and then buy the product, and then do this. No, just watch the video. And then hopefully the video, maybe there’s a step after the video. So if I can get the email, if I can get them from the email to the video, and then it’s the video’s job to get them to the sales page. Maybe that’s the goal, I don’t know. But the email’s job is to get them to the video, not to get them to the sales page and the video. No, we just want to get them to the video. Make it very, very simple for them to understand. When you read that email, you should know exactly what you want them to do.
Then the third thing that I see sometimes, you know, we have newsletters, not so hot, confusing offers, again, not so great, but then the other thing I see a lot is leaky links. It’s what I call leaky links. Again, in my example, when I say, “Watch the video. Hey, did I mention I want you to watch the video,” I’ve got that same link in there maybe phrased three different ways, but I’ve got it in there three times, that same link three times. But many times I see people with the link in there once, and then they’ve got all these leaky links, things like, “Hey, here’s my Facebook link. Hey, did you know you can follow me on Twitter? Hey, subscribe to my YouTube channel. And oh, here’s a link back to the home page on my website.” And all these other links that sound great, but they are not the purpose of that email.
The purpose of that email is watch the video, not like my Facebook page, hey join me on Twitter, dah, dah, dah. If I want them to like my Facebook page, then the call to action, the one and only call to action of that email, should be like my Facebook page. That shouldn’t be thrown in down at the bottom along with five other links, because those are just leaky links. It’s excuses for people to fall down the rabbit hole and forget what they were doing, not to mention-
Here’s the other thing with all those social media links down in your footer, here’s a secret: nobody clicks on them. Nobody clicks on them. Of all my clients, out of all the stats I’ve ever looked at, they have the most pathetic click-through rate you have ever seen. Go back and look at your stats on all those links down in your footer. I will bet you lots of money nobody clicks on them, and all they are is a distraction. They’re a visual distraction. They’re a click distraction. They are not the focus of the email.
The click-through rates I have seen on those things are less than one in a thousand. Why? Why have them there? The only thing they’re really doing is dragging down your deliverability, because now you’ve got all these scattered links in one email, and the email service providers are going, “Hey, why are all these links in here? Real people don’t do that.” So, one call to action.
My favorite one, if you’re in our Facebook group, beyondtheoptin.com … No, Beyond the Opt-In on Facebook, I messed that up, so go to Facebook, search “Beyond the Opt-In.” If you’re in our Facebook group, one I like to share in there a lot is my favorite email to hate from one of my favorite musicians I won’t name here, but if you join the Facebook group you will find every once in a while I will post the new world record holder of calls to action. And that email consistently has 100 plus calls to action in it. Yes, do not adjust the volume, you heard me correctly, 100 plus calls to action.
If you go in there, I’ve got a couple videos showing you all the different calls to action, or a couple screen shots of the emails, and it’s just insane. It’s just crazy, and nobody could follow it. It makes my chest just tight just thinking about that email, because there’s so many things in there that I can do or follow, and I just get overwhelmed, and I delete it, and I never do anything with it. I’ve never done anything with it, because it’s just overwhelming. Too many choices. You could go back to the old …
Maybe some of you have heard of the old Jam Study where they went to grocery stores and gave people choices of jam. Sometimes we offered them six choices, and sometimes we offered them like 20 choices. We rotated back and forth every hour as to how many options we had of jam, with the theory being, the more options of jam we had, the more people would buy. But what they found out was the direct opposite. The fewer choices, the more people bought, because people were overwhelmed with all the choices of jam.
Have you been to one of those Greek style family restaurants where they give you the menu that’s like a book? I hate those places, because I sit there for 20 minutes trying to figure out what I want, because I need to read every single one of them. Whereas when I go to the place where they’ve got that one single sheet with like five things on it, I go, “Oh, well I don’t like that, don’t like that, I like that. Okay, I guess I’m having that one.” I don’t have any choices. It just makes it so much easier. Whereas you go to those other restaurants, and you’ve got 150 plus choices, you just sit there staring at it trying to decide. Just too many options.
So, wrapping it all up. Here I go babbling, breaking my own call to action rule. Too much information in one podcast. So, one email, one action. Break it down. Make it simple. Don’t give them a lot of choices. Tell them exactly what to do. Take them by the hand, “Here is what I want you to do. Click this link. That’s all I want you to do in this email. Click this link.” And you’re gonna see better results with your emails. You’re gonna see more conversions, you’re gonna see more people clicking through.
So, that is it for today. Go to http://beyondtheoptin.com/triple where you will find an outline of my triple loop auto responder sequence, the welcome sequence I use, where each email has, guess what, one call to action in each email, because we’re trying to get people to achieve our overall goal, which is to buy something. So head on over to http://beyondtheoptin.com/triple, and download that triple loop video and chart, and show you how you can make a really effective auto responder system.
Until next week, I’m Neil Christensen. Talk to you later.