This is a transcript of episode 41
I’m Lanie Lamarre and I believe chocolate dipped cones are under-rated. It is also my belief that email marketing is about to require us all to get a heckload more ethical… and not only am I here for it, but I’m also here to direct you like air traffic control to being part of that ethical cool kids club.
“CLICKS” ARE THE NEW CURRENCY
Benjamin Franklin said the only certainties in life are death and taxes but Benny Boy wasn’t a digital marketer; otherwise, he would have added “change” that list.
I’m not going to get into the details as to why all these changes are happening – I happen to think I’ve already done a pretty great job of that in episodes 31, 32, and 33, so I recommend you listen to those if you’re looking for some background – but if you’re still looking at your “open rates” as a metric, I recommend you stop doing that before those results drive you to start crying in the shower because they’re about to plummet harder than Enron stocks in 2001.
Instead, we as an industry need to be focused on CLICK-THROUGH RATES and in more than one sense as well.
First of all, this is now the primary metric by which the success of your email broadcasts and campaigns are being measured.
Now, you can take all the conversion copy courses in world and you can invest all kinds of time researching the Dos and Don’ts that can and will be recommended for your email marketing campaigns, but I like when things are simple and here’s my simple recommendation for you when you’re crafting your emails and their links:
Ask yourself, WOULD I CLICK ON THAT?
Yes, you want people to click on your link to buy your thing… but the people reading your emails are getting all Tracy Chapman on you and singing “gimme one reason to stay here”.
Give your readers an incentive – one that coincides with what you want to see happen – but framed in a way that the person reading your email isn’t always getting pummeled with “call the number!” type of messaging.
If you have email funnels, sequences or automations in place, I encourage you to revisit them through that lens of “would I click on that?” line of questioning.
- Are you making a good or interesting case in your email that would make me want to know or learn more?
- Is what you’re throwing down related to what I’ve picked up in the past? Would I even be interested in this sort of thing?
- Have you given me the opportunity to opt-out of your campaign if it wasn’t interesting to me so that I can stick around for your next thing without being hounded for things I have no interest in?
And hey, if you have a sticky note handy, put “WOULD I CLICK ON THIS?” in a prominent spot of your workspace because it’s a solid question for you to answer with ANYTHING you’re hitting publish on that has links – so your email, yes, but also your social media, your ads, your subscribe buttons. all of it!
YOUR EMAIL DELIVERABILITY
It’s a super-important question to ask – not only because you WANT people to engage with your emails – but because there are some very real consequences to your email deliverability if you don’t.
High school isn’t the only place you can get a bad reputation; as an email marketer, you have a sender reputation to worry about.
Your sender reputation has an impact on your email deliverability, which is a term used to describe the ability for your email to get into the inbox to which you are sending it.
Fun fact: not all of the emails you’re sending are even being delivered and there are a lot of reasons for that, including spam complaints, bounce rates and the language you’re using in your subject lines.
You can also follow me on Instagram @omgrowth where I’ll share some posts this week focusing on what you can do to improve your email deliverability, and if you’re on my email list, keep an eye out for resources related to this as well. If you aren’t on my email list, I’ll have a link in the bio where you can sign up.
The point of any of this, though, is to make sure the people you’re sending emails to are receiving them so they DO get the chance to open and click on them. But if you are sending emails that your list is consistently ignoring and not seeing them as valuable, email hosts will follow suit and start seeing your emails as “not so valuable” as well.
I do have some action items for you but before I get into them, I want to be clear that if you have an assistant or you’ve put it at the top of your list this year to onboard an assistant, these are all great tasks to outsource except for maybe the first one (if you write your own emails) but login to your project management system and create one task for each of the following:
1) Create your WOULD I CLICK ON THAT? Post-It Note and live it and love it. I’m not about to re-hash what’s already been said but if every one of the links you generate answers YES to this question, you’re the change everyone – including Gmail! – wants to see in the world.
2) Get CONSENT from people who subscribe to your email list either by getting a double opt-in, selecting a checked box upon subscribing or both. A key element you should easily be able to identify about your email subscribers is where someone provided the consent for you to contact them because depending on their location, your subscribers may have the right to ask you how you got their contact information and you will have to be able to tell them not only how they signed up for your list but when and for what purposes. If you need a refresher on this, we took a deep-dive in episodes 31, 32, and 33 that you can revisit.
3) Get AUDITED AND SCORED using a deliverability audit service like GlockApps, Reputation Authority or Sender Score. Most of these have trials available for you to run a “before” audit, which I recommend, and then implementing some of their recommended changes as well as my next action item, to then run a second audit to see how you’ve improved your deliverability.
4) And finally, that next action item is to get your DOMAIN VERIFIED with the Google Postmaster. I’ll include instructions for how to do this on my Instagram and you can click through to the blog post for this episode for instructions as well. But this process is like registering your business identity with the Google-universe and saying, “hey! I’m operating a totally legit business over here!” and it also has the added perk that once you’re verified, Google will straight-up gossip with you about negative impacts happening to your biz, like spam complaints.
When people tell you to worry less about list size and more about how you’re showing up for the list you have – email deliverability is definitely a factor and one I don’t think we speak enough about – but if 50% of your emails aren’t even being delivered, your list size suddenly isn’t the biggest problem behind your email marketing efforts. I mean, by improving this one thing, you could actually be doubling your click-through and conversion rates because twice as many people are actually receiving what you’re hitting send on.
The answer isn’t always “more”; in fact, the answer is often “better”
And any time you focus on bettering yourself and the results you’re already achieving, you know I’ll encourage all of that.
I’ll also encourage you to leave me a review because over the holidays, I finally figured out how to find and read my reviews and it was the greatest gift ever so if you could do that for me – if I deliver value to you – please-please-please rate and review, of course subscribes and shares are equally appreciated, and I will talk to you soon, baiiiee!
HOW TO GET VERIFIED WITH GOOGLE POSTMASTER
To get verified, you’ll need to login to both the Google Postmaster as well as your web host (i.e. GoDaddy, BlueHost, etc.). You’ll authenticate your domain using the DKIM provided by the Postmaster. This will essentially label your emails for Google and allow your traffic to be analyzed.
STEP 1 :: Go to postmaster.google.com and click the + button. You’ll be prompted to enter your domain.
STEP 2 :: Login to your web hosting and select the DNS Management for the specific domain you’re trying to verify.
STEP 3 :: From within you DNS Management, you’ll select ADD. The data to enter is:
- The “Type” will be TXT;
- You will identify the “Host” as either @ or leave it blank;
- In TXT value, you’ll paste the code provided by the Postmaster; and
- You’ll leave TTL to whatever setting it is on.
STEP 4 :: Once you have all the right things copied and pasted into all the right place :: VERIFY!
Once you get the green light from Google, you can run another SPAM test to see what improvements this has made to your reputation score.