Open This Email

Just because your prospects and customers are getting your emails doesn’t mean they’re opening them.

We’re not even talking about people clicking through your emails at this point. We’re simply talking about whether they open the email to read what you’ve written or not.

They see your from line. They see your subject line. And they possibly could see a little of the first sentence of your text.

I went through one of my the email list I have hosted on Aweber. The one I used to go through the subject lines is single opt-in (not double opt-in like many of my lists).

The open rates as reported by Aweber on the “good” campaigns below varied from 30.4% up to 46%. The “losing” emails went as low as 24.7%. On my double opt-in lists, the open rates are higher. So keep that in mind if you’re comparing to your own rates.

Since the from line stayed consistent throughout all these emails, it does make a good comparison.

BUT do keep in mind these were sent on different days so other factors could be involved such as trouble in email deliverability that day or even the time of the day.

For example, I’ve now proven to myself with multiple tests that Monday morning has been the WORST time for me to send an email. Not only do I get lower open rates on Monday mornings, I also get people who claim the message is spam.

Yet, take the EXACT same message and send it at 2 PM EST on Monday and those problems disappear. The difference in time on a Monday can has resulted in a 5% difference in open rates with no other changes.

Here are some of the best subject lines:

{!firstname_fix}, Goal Setting Worksheets
{!firstname_fix}, 21 Free Software Resources
{!firstname_fix}, Internet Scams
{!firstname_fix}, Cutting Through the Internet Noise
{!firstname_fix}, 35 Ways to Increase Web Profits
{!firstname_fix}, subscriber only gift…
{!firstname_fix}, 7 Steps to Overcome Procrastination
{!firstname_fix}, Your First JV

Here are a few which did poorly:

{!firstname_fix}, Does Customer Service Matter?
{!firstname_fix}, Research With and Without Cash
{!firstname_fix}, Do You Practice Specifics?
{!firstname_fix}, What If Its Not Working?
{!firstname_fix}, Contest For a Free Copy

Here are a few observations.

In other markets and in the past in the internet business field I’ve seen very good results from “question based” subject lines. Yet, look at the ones that did poorly. Three out of the five were question based ones. None of the top producers were questions.

Notice that 3 of the best producers were number based: 21 Free, 35 Ways, and 7 Steps. I’ve seen very high traffic on a majority of the blog posts that take that approach so it doesn’t just apply to the open rates. It applies to the posts as well. People like lists.

Both “Internet Scams” and “Cutting Through the Noise” are being confrontational and a little controversial. Often controversial approaches do very well.

“Goal Setting Worksheets” really shouldn’t work well since it is using the term “Work” right in the subject line, yet it did very well (with one of the highest open rates of the ones I checked). This subject line does give you an idea that I’m going to give you a “tool” instead of just information which may be part of the reason it did so well.

Another Note

Notice how I’m taking time out to track even a “small stat” in the open rates. Once you have your business up and profitable, you’re looking for many small increases.

We slightly increase our open rates. Then we boost our clickthroughs. Then we work on the on-page conversion. Then we improve our upsales. Then we work on the email follow-up on customers. Eventually you’re producing a much more profitable business than when you started even if each little element only adds 5% to 10% to your results.

Remember this truth.

The business which has the best conversion system eventually wins. If Business A is only pulling out a lifetime value of $1.50 per visitor while Business B is pulling $7 per visitor, Business B eventually will start pulling the majority of the traffic.

Which one would you rather promote for as an affiliate? Obviously the one who earns more money for you. What about in PPC? The one who earns more can bid more. What about “free” traffic? The one who earns more can afford to hire more people to bring in the “free” traffic.

This is often referred to as kaizen…a Japanese word for improvement. It is focused on continuous small improvements affecting the overall business.

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