Episode 6: Audience Growth for Entrepreneurs: Katie Brinkley’s Social Media Strategy in Just an Hour a WeekSeptember 25, 2023
Episode 8: Amplifying Your Message: Tracy Phillips’ Expertise in Crafting Conversational Video TestimonialsOctober 9, 2023
Boosting Email Engagement: Understanding Open Rates and Increasing Click Throughs
Hey there, welcome to Acquire! I’m your host, Jennie Wright, and in this episode, we’re diving deep into the world of list building and online events. In this episode, we’ll be talking about something essential: participation. It’s all about getting people to take action in your business, and it’s not always easy.
We’ll kick things off by looking at email open rates. I’ll share industry standards and some tips to help you improve them. We’ll also tackle the big question of how Apple’s privacy features are affecting email tracking and how email marketing platforms are adapting to this change.
But that’s not all. We’ll also delve into click-through rates and what makes people click on those links in your emails. From crafting attention-grabbing subject lines to smart segmentation and personalized content, I’ll spill the beans on what really works.
So, if you’re ready to supercharge your participation strategies and drive business growth, join me in this exciting episode of Acquire, Season 1, Episode 7:
On This Week’s Episode:
Welcome to the Acquire podcast, brought to you by the Audphonic Podcast Network. I’m your host, Jennie Wright. In this episode, we dive deep into the world of list building and online events, providing entrepreneurs and marketers with valuable knowledge and strategies for business growth.
Today, we focus on the importance of participation, exploring how to get people to take action and engage with your content. We’ll be discussing open rates for emails, click through rates, and tips for increasing participation in your marketing efforts.
On This Week’s Episode, We Discuss:
1. The significance of open rates:
– Open rates indicate the percentage of subscribers who open your emails.
– Industry average open rates range from 20% to 25%.
– Some industries, like pet-related, parenting, and podcasting, tend to have higher open rates.
– Engaging subject lines and mobile-friendly formatting are crucial for improving open rates.
– Address the impact of Apple’s privacy features on open rate measurement.
2. Adjusted open rates:
– Email marketing providers have developed adjusted open rates to overcome privacy restrictions.
– HubSpot, Constant Contact, Mailchimp, and ActiveCampaign offer reporting metrics to provide more accurate open rate data.
3. The focus on click through rates (CTR):
– Click through rates represent the number of subscribers who click on links within your emails.
– Industry standard click through rates range from 2% to 5%.4. Factors influencing open rates and click through rates:
– Subject lines play a crucial role in email open rates.– Proper segmentation of your email list ensures targeted content delivery.
– Personalization, including using recipients’ names, increases engagement.
– High-quality and engaging content is essential for encouraging clicks and actions.– Importance of regularly reviewing and refining your email strategy.
Increasing participation is a key aspect of successful marketing. By improving open rates and click through rates, entrepreneurs and marketers can effectively engage with their audience.
Remember to focus on crafting compelling subject lines, segmenting your email list, personalizing content, and delivering high-quality materials to encourage actions from your subscribers.
Tune in to future episodes for more valuable insights and strategies.
Jennie Wright [00:00:01]:
Hi. This is the Acquire podcast from the Odd Phonic Podcast Network, and I’m Jenny Wright. This is the podcast that delves deep into the world of list building, online events, and it’s designed to empower entrepreneurs and marketers with the knowledge and strategies to master these essential business growth tactics. This week, I wanna talk about participation, getting people to take some action, to do something instead of nothing, and frankly, that’s really hard. Participation can look like anything from opening your emails, which is where I’m gonna start today to click throughs and hopefully taking action. Actual participation. What you want people to that paid in will be different depending on what you need. Booking a call, showing up to your summit live sessions, or perhaps consuming some prerecorded content for your summits, joining a Facebook group, and potentially buying a course.
Jennie Wright [00:00:57]:
There are a myriad of different things that people could be doing in terms of participation within your business. I’m going to cover a couple in this particular episode. So I’m gonna start with open rates for your emails, then I’m gonna cover click throughs. I’m gonna share a story on how I screwed up both of these really, really badly. And then I’m gonna end with how to get more participation generally in your content. So let’s start with open rates. If you’re sending an email to your list, the first thing that we want you to look at or I want you to see is the open rate, the participation in your emails. The average open rate across all industries is typically about 20 to 25%.
Jennie Wright [00:01:41]:
And that means that on average, about 1 fourth of your subscribers is actually opening your emails. In some industries, in some niches, They have higher open rates often surpassing 40%. Those tend to be the trendy industries at the time. These change a lot. Lately, we’re seeing those open rates in pet related industries, parenting, various forms of neurodivergency, podcasting spaces and you’ll also see this pretty much always in relationships, health, and wealth spaces. You’ll see lower open rates with a lot of things that have to do with marketing. I’m not sure why. Maybe it’s not as sexy, but we do see that.
Jennie Wright [00:02:27]:
A significant portion of email opens occur on mobile devices. And so it’s essential when you’re formatting your emails, they have to be mobile friendly. And we can’t have an episode like this and talk about open rates and click through rates with not addressing Apple’s privacy features and if it’s having an impact. So this was rolled out in Ios 15, pre 2021 and this caused a huge uproar in the, in the email space because now we couldn’t tell if people were opening emails. People could opt out of having that information actually gathered up. So what we’re now seeing is that many of the email marketing providers have found ways to counteract this lack of information and they’re creating what’s called adjusted open rates. And they’re trying to overcome the incorrect reporting. They’ve got some really cool workarounds.
Jennie Wright [00:03:23]:
So as an example, HubSpot created a metric called adjusted open rate. This is calculating by dividing the unique reliable opens, the ones they can track for sure, and by the result of a unique unreliable opens subtracted from unique delivered. It’s a mathematical equation. Basically, They’re gaming the Apple system of preloading emails into their servers, which usually triggers most of the pixels in our email marketing providers to tell us if an email has been open. So it’s an estimation that on HubSpot HubSpot’s part that it’s a lot more accurate than before they were actually doing this. So they’re saying that by using this adjusted open rate system, you’re gonna be able to see just how many people have opened your email to a much better degree. Other platforms like Constant Contact, Mailchimp, ActiveCampaign, and others Have all created some sort of reporting metric that helps pull back the veil on this really squidgy open rate issue we’ve had, and it allows you to pretty much judge pretty well where those open rates are. Open rates are Super important.
Jennie Wright [00:04:35]:
We absolutely need to have open rates. And open rates can depend on a lot of things. The they can depend on your subject line. They can depend on all sorts of different things. We’re gonna get into that. I’m going to transition a little bit into click through rates at this point because CTRs is where the money ends. You can get open rates. A good subject line usually does the trick to get your emails open or if your name is being seen at the top of that email, when they’re looking in their email marketing, you You know, with whatever system they’re using to check their emails for me, I use it on my cellphone all the time.
Jennie Wright [00:05:09]:
I’m on an Apple. I’m on an iPhone and I’m always seeing like big names of like, oh, So and so email just came in. I gotta open it. So people will either open it based on the subject line or they’ll open it based on the name. Now to click within that email, now that is the big deal. This is what we what we really really want. And again, I’m gonna quote industry standards here. They can be between 2 5% for a click through rate.
Jennie Wright [00:05:34]:
Some industries have much higher rates, and some people personally see higher rates. There’s a lot of swing in this space. And before you come at me and say, Jenny, my open rates are 40%, my clicks or rates are 30%. I get it. It really does depend on your industry and who you are and the content that you’re giving. There’s a lot of factors. But if we look at industry standard and we have some standardization, we can then start to guess as to what people are generally getting and how to improve. There is so much to consider with open rates and click through rates.
Jennie Wright [00:06:08]:
And I’m gonna share a little list, but this is in no way complete list. But it’s just to give you an idea of things to consider. So my top 5 for getting opens and click throughs are subject lines. And the subject line of your email plays such a significant role in your open rates. We all know that a compelling and relevant subject line can increase the likelihood of your email being opened and a really bad email open you know, email subject line can be the reason why it’s not. I am really good at seeing subject lines that I think are spammy, are bait clicky, and I don’t open them. Lately, I’m getting an email from a certain person that basically says, you know, is this the end of your business? Open up to see. Like, oh, that’s really click baity.
Jennie Wright [00:06:54]:
I don’t open those emails. I have no interest because the content is probably not gonna be something I want. So just be really aware of the types of subject lines that you’re using. The next big five in my list here is segmentation. Segmentation is simply making sure that as people are coming into your list from different areas that you’re putting them into segments. You can either use different lists. You can use different tags. There’s all different ways of doing it, combination of both.
Jennie Wright [00:07:22]:
Basically, sending relevant content to a targeted subgroup within your email list can lead to exponentially higher CTRs, and that’s what we want. So we don’t wanna be emailing the wrong people with the wrong information. The next thing is number 3 is personalization. Everybody wants to see their name in print. Everybody wants to address personally. Nobody wants to be like, hey, guys. Hey, folks. They really wanna be like, hey, Jenny or, you know, whoever it is.
Jennie Wright [00:07:48]:
Right? And addressing your emails to the recipient directly and using their name and creating tailored recommendations definitely impacts your CTR in a massive way. The next big thing on my list is number 4. This is content quality. And I need to stress this one a lot because high quality engaging content is way more likely to encourage clicks and actions to be taken as a result from your emails than if you just kind of Throw something up there. I know we’re all busy. I know that writing emails can take time. I always say that if it’s taking you too long to write, you should have somebody else helping you with the writing of it and then you review it. I absolutely do not believe in having no impact on your email However, I know some people who don’t even write the emails to their list or even review them.
Jennie Wright [00:08:35]:
I think reviewing them and making sure they’re in your tone and in your voice is important. This is especially important if you’re doing promotions. If you’re getting swipe copy from somebody that you’re promoting for such as You’re appearing on a bundle or you’re appearing on somebody else’s summit and you take their content that they’re giving you for promo and you’re copying and pasting and you’re just sending out, that is actually poor content quality. Not that the email that they wrote for you is poor content. It’s the fact that you haven’t customized it to your list. It doesn’t sound like you. It sounds like the person or the host or the copywriter that wrote it and your list is gonna see that. They’re gonna notice that the Tone is different.
Jennie Wright [00:09:13]:
The the word choice is different that the pace of it is different. They’re going to notice. They can’t help it. Our brains are wired to notice these differences and they’re gonna be Even if they don’t say it out loud, in their brain, they’re gonna have a moment of something doesn’t feel right here, something feels different. Different doesn’t feel good. I don’t feel like I can trust this. That’s what our brains do automatically so you really need to play into that. And the 5th thing on my list, again, this is not a comprehensive list.
Jennie Wright [00:09:38]:
This is just the list that I use Top level is timing. Timing matters so much. The timing of when you send your emails greatly impacts your open rates and your CTRs more than you might think. Testing different send times and different days of the week is essential in identifying the best times for your audience, and that’s gonna be different for everybody. I’ve gotta share a story. And this story really exposes me for just not knowing any better at the time, and it’s still very embarrassing. I don’t think I’ve actually told this story in its entirety before so I hope it helps. Okay.
Jennie Wright [00:10:14]:
So back in 2014, I’m still pretty new to this online space. I’m an online virtual VA and at the time, but I was still growing my own list as a way to get clients. So I had a few people A few different ways that people were coming into my list. I had a summit that I had done in, 2012, 2013 called the Build Your Dream Business Summit. It is a laughable title. I’m so sorry for having done that, but I did. And, which I can’t stop shaking my head about even now because it was the complete opposite of a niche in event and it grew my list but not with intentionality. And, more on that another time, I promise.
Jennie Wright [00:10:52]:
So I had this summit. I added about 400 people to my list with that summit and it’s incredibly disappointing to me even to this day how bad I did. But I incredibly disappointing to me even to this day how bad I did, but I learned from it. I think that’s the best part. So I also had a lead magnet. It was a 3 part video series with a downloadable checklist all about what you needed to know to build your awesome dream business. Shocker. And it was it was focused mainly on list building.
Jennie Wright [00:11:16]:
That would get me anywhere between 10 to 20, maybe 30 new emails per month. Not bad but not great and I’ll tell you why in a bit. I also had a book a call link in various places online using was a scheduling software I started off with back in 2012. I’ve since migrated to Calendly, which I find to be a much Better product by the way, much more integratable, much more useful. At the time, I was using vCIDA. Okay. So I have a summit. I have Two active lead gen strategies.
Jennie Wright [00:11:49]:
Problem was they were all the same list. The people from the summit were in a list. The people from the lead magnet were in a list, and the people from the 3 part well, 3 part video series was in the list, and the people for the call were in a list. And everybody was getting the same thing. I had 0 segmentation. At the time, I was using Aweber and my thought was if I send the same email to So everybody, I’m gonna hope for the best and maybe I’m gonna get some calls and I’m gonna get some clients. But wait. It gets worse.
Jennie Wright [00:12:20]:
It gets so much worse. Not only did I send the same email to everybody with the same call to action, which was book a call with me or hear how I can help you grow your business, which by the way now in retrospect, it sounds really gross the way I said it but I also wasn’t consistent. I would send an email maybe once every 2 weeks, sometimes less than that. Gotta be honest, Sometimes it would be several months before I would send an email. Oh, and the final nail in the coffin of my lead gen strategy, Again, this is really, really gross. It makes me feel so foolish. Is I would send my email 9 AM without fail, 9 AM ET. Can you guess why this sucked so very much.
Jennie Wright [00:12:59]:
I was making a lot of glaring mistakes and I’m gonna share them with you. So I was making Four super bad mistakes. Number 1 is I didn’t segment my list. Everybody on my list got the exact same email and my lead sources were way, way bad because I didn’t niche in from my summit, so that was really bad. And from the 3 part various video series, super vague. Then the emails from the calls that I booked should not have been getting the same emails asking to book a call with me. I I’m still mad about this because I literally promoted to book a call with me with people who had already booked a call with me. I literally would get emails from people saying, hey, I thought we already had a call.
Jennie Wright [00:13:37]:
Why are you asking me to book another call with you? I actually lost a client that way, by the way. I lost a client. I had closed a client. We were just waiting for them to sign the paperwork and we were gonna get going with building their summit and they got an email from me saying, hey. Why don’t you book a call with me? And they emailed and said, look. I just had a call with you. I was ready to sign with you but Now you’re sending another email asking me to book a call. It doesn’t make me feel good, and I think I’m gonna take my business elsewhere.
Jennie Wright [00:14:02]:
Retrospect, most likely not the right fit of a client for me anyways, but that one thing that they told me was just enough to make me realize that it was bad. Oh, and it still gets worse than you think. Some people had found me for the summit, then they got the 3 part video series and then they booked a call. And in Aweber, I was putting them into these lists with no tagging like, no tagging and segmentation, meaning that when I would send an email to everyone, which I did every single time because, again, foolish me, it meant that you could get 3 emails from me back to back to back, like, bang, bang, bang, all in one day, each email for one thing that you signed up for. And my unsubscribe rate was ridiculous. Just ridiculous. So how how did I even fix this? How did I address this? I mean, the problems are glaring. Number 1, I wasn’t consistent.
Jennie Wright [00:14:53]:
What the Hell was I thinking with that? And I tell you that what I was thinking was I was acting on the premise that I’d email them when I was good and ready. I made it about me. I I had so much ego. It’s so gross to think of it. I didn’t also look at all the data available to me in Aweber at the time that would have told me that the actual time Anybody who’s reading my emails was not 9 AM EST. It was not the ideal time because my audience is on the West Coast. I didn’t have people on the East Coast. I’m on the East Coast.
Jennie Wright [00:15:23]:
Here I am just thinking, everybody’s on the East Coast. I’m gonna send an email at 9 AM EST because by then, they would have, You know, gotten their kids to school and it would have been a great time. No. The best time to send emails to my list was about 10:45 EST, which is 7:45 PST. Apparently, my audience likes to read their emails from me first thing in the morning before they do all this other stuff or after they’ve done something but before they get into everything. My 4th mistake was taking too damn long to figure all this out. And I really don’t like to give myself a lot of grace on these things. I I understand that I can forgive myself.
Jennie Wright [00:15:58]:
I have but I could have and should have known better. And had I taken the time to learn this and thought this through more clearly, I absolutely would have seen these problems. It took me way too long to figure this out and I’m still, as you can tell, not over it. So what did I do? How did I figure this out and anticipate and make this a better solution for myself? Now step 1 is I first moved my entire email database out of Aweber and then into ActiveCampaign. It just made segmentation so much easier for me. Aweber at the time still didn’t have all of the features and functionalities that they do now. And at the time, I found it very, very difficult to not send, you know, multiple duplicate emails to the same person. So I moved to Aweber.
Jennie Wright [00:16:46]:
I set up things that, you know, I set up segmentations. I started using tagging prolifically. By the way, pet peeve, if your tag is, is an abbreviation with a combo of letters because I don’t understand abbreviations. So all of my tags in my, active campaign are hilarious because they will be a full, It’s like a full sentence. Webinar, June 3, 2022 list building or something. Like, it’ll tell you exactly what it is because I I just can’t remember. And, abbreviations drive me crazy. So same with using other types of of tagging that just to me doesn’t make any sense, but that’s my pet peeve.
Jennie Wright [00:17:24]:
Okay. Number 2, I moved away from and I moved to Calendly as I mentioned before because it was easier for me to not only create appointments and track things, create tagging and segmentation in terms of the contacts there. No. Now, again, no shade to be, but I found it clunky, and you grow. And as you grow, you need to change out your tech stack. So I was changing my tech stack bit by bit by bit. Number 3, and this is where there was a lot of checking my own ego, was I got consistent. As consistent as I can be because occasionally I still have foibles where I don’t, email every single week.
Jennie Wright [00:18:01]:
It’s a work in progress. I’m always trying to do better, but I still lapse occasionally. But consistency was a massive change in my business. It was the thing that helped me Get more clients. It was the thing that kept me moving forward in terms of content creation. It was how I promoted things. It was how I connected with people. And the more consistent I have been with my list, the more participation I have seen with my emails.
Jennie Wright [00:18:26]:
Think about this way. If you don’t connect with your list on a regular basis and you’re sending them an email every month or 2 or every 3 weeks, Then in the meantime, they’re getting information, I guarantee it, from another source. And when your email comes in, they’re like, oh, oh, that’s that person. Yeah. Don’t have time for that right now. I’ll probably look at it later. I’m more invested in the content than I’m getting on a regular basis because in our brains, consistency builds trust. Lack of consistency is something that wanes trust.
Jennie Wright [00:18:58]:
Something pretty simple to figure out. Step number 4, I stay on top of trends all the damn time. I am constantly learning, and I am constantly doing more to uplevel my knowledge on a variety of topics, including how people consume information, how they participate, and the different types of folks and there are different ways of doing it. I really up level my knowledge on what’s going on with email trends, list building, everything. Everything in the marketing world, if you if I’m not watching you know, if I’m if I’m not working, if I’m not outside doing something and and having a walk, If I’ve got downtime, I’m learning. That’s just how I am because I need to stay on top of these trends. If not, I feel like I’m falling behind and I just I can’t have it. There’s lots of other types of participation and I can’t fit this all into 1 episode which drives me crazy and it doesn’t feel right to pop up everything in here.
Jennie Wright [00:19:51]:
Episode 9, which is in 2 episodes from now, I’m gonna share how you can increase engagement with your leads inside of your online events like summits and challenges and webinars. There’s a checklist I personally use to ensure that this happens and it has to deal with the 5 main ways that people learn. So there’s the visual, the auditory, the reading and the writing, the kinesthetic, and the multimodal. So, and I I mean, I don’t claim to know everything about these particular ways, but I do use them in the way that I create content and the ways that I try and get participation. I’m also taking into consideration all the time how people pay attention to content. There’s a whole different way from what neurotypical people do to neurodivergent and folks on various levels of the autistic spectrum and how they consume content and retain information. It is so different. Over the past couple years, I’ve personally spent a lot of time educating myself on these different areas so I could be more supportive to my neurodivergent friends, also my audience, and to that of my clients.
Jennie Wright [00:20:55]:
I have a lot of neurodivergent clients. I have a lot of people in, my space that are also neurodivergent. I feel it’s a It’s an aspect of respect to understand how these folks learn and retain information and how they participate so that you can anticipate that in what you’re doing. Participation in your email list and online events is the lifeblood of your business. And understanding these different nuances can make a massive difference in how people participate within what you’re trying to do. And we’ve covered a lot today from open rates and click through rates, Even my own personal story that highlighted some of the pitfalls that I think we can all encounter, and I’m going to share more, like I said, on episode 9. I’m gonna talk about more of these engagement files. Please do remember that open rates are about getting your foot in the door.
Jennie Wright [00:21:44]:
It’s the click through rates that truly matter because they lead to some sort of action. Crafting compelling subject lines and segmenting your list, personalizing your content, delivering high quality engaging materials, and timing your emails Right time, right day can significantly impact those results. Oh, and the lessons I learned from my early days in list building, my gosh. Okay. The lack of segmentation, sending the same email to everybody, and not paying attention to email timings was super cringe worthy. I hope you learned something from it or enjoyed my story at least. But what I’ve learned, you can too. Consistency and staying informed about industry trends is absolutely vital.
Jennie Wright [00:22:24]:
So whether you’re just starting out and you’re figuring all these different pieces out or you’ve been in the game for a while, Keep honing these list building and skills with your online events and your participation levels not only with your emails but everything else. The more you learn and adapt, the more participation you’ll see, and that is the key to long term growth. Equally, the more you learn and adapt in the realm of lead generation and list building, the greater your success. So I just wanna say thanks for listening to this episode of the Acquire podcast. I’ve loved sharing some of these techniques with you and a little bit of what I went through myself. And I’m Jenny Wright. And until next time, just keep mastering the art of acquiring leads in building your lists. Take care.
Jennie Wright [00:23:06]:
We’ll talk to you soon.