This is Part 1 on a new series: Revealing the Top 3 Secrets of Email Marketing

Have you noticed how so many people bitch and moan that their emails never seem to get opened? They spout the percentages the media likes to throw around, like: “The national average open rate for email is less than 6%. And the click-through rate is even lower.”

If you are one of those folks, please keep reading. We want to change the way you view email marketing, especially if you operate a small, privately-held business.

Those who know the secrets and apply them have a completely different philosophy when it comes to using email as a marketing tool. They have developed a unique perspective on getting their email distributions “opened” or read. How do they do this? Well, by that question, I’d guess you were one of the vast majority that believes email is dead. You are quite wrong.

If you stop to consider that out of all the people who are trying to drive revenue with email, there are only a small minority who know how to use it properly. When executed well, email can be one of the most profitable means by which you can grow revenues, while building a fan base that will rally around you. These insiders know full-well the “secrets” and have been using them for what seems to be more than twenty years.

According to Statista, 4.3 billion people will use email by 2023. People check their inbox approximately 20 times per day. On average, a business generates $44 for every $1 spent on email marketing.

I’m referencing direct response marketers, of course. Pioneered by marketers with advanced studies in psychology, human behavior, motivation, neurolinguistics, they created direct response copywriting, which it has become a strategy for industries seeking fast, highly-transactional advertising.

Direct response advertising is meant to compel people to take immediate action from an ad while offering a measurable response from that action. These campaigns use direct response ads, like the Google Ads examples below, to capture prospects’ attention and lead them to the next page where they can complete the desired action. For example:


Now, this article is making some assumptions, one of which is you are not an email marketing novice, and that you know the basics. By this, I include active involvement with email as part of your existing marketing plan. With that as a base of knowledge, these “secrets” will fill in gaps and dramatically improve your email success statistics.

Here are the Top 3 Secrets of Email Marketing. Don’t just read this article and resume the way you’ve always executed your email marketing, but put into action the recommendations provided.

  1. The Money is in the List
  2. Design and construct the proper email campaign
  3. Once you feel confident you have a winning email, do some serious A/B Testing

That’s them. Enough said! You could probably take it from here.

Where’s the Beef?

Secret 1 – The Money is in the List

Of all the elements that comprise email, the list is el Primo, Numero Uno, Prima Facie. There’s the subject line, greeting, body copy, the signature block, and the footer. Of all of these, the list is the cornerstone to achieiving great email marketing results.

You can hire the best Master Copywriter to write the copy, but if that content gets distributed to the wrong audience, how will your product or service sell? Even if you have the most amazing offer within it, delivering your content to the wrong list will not end with positive results. The list is the most important.

“Great copy is about 20%, the offer is 25%, and the list is 55%.” – Dan Kennedy

What can you do to build a terrific list? There’s a lot more to it than I can explain in this article, but we’ll get to it in a future post. Let’s assume that you have a very well documented and belief in your ideal avatar. And that you know your audience so well you can tell the world what their avatar eats for breakfast.

With that mindset, you must build an email list of followers that are excited about you, your products or services, and you communicate with them consistently. You keep them informed and educated about the concerns and issues within the niche in which you all participate. Perhaps most importantly, you have established a level of trust and respect. Doing this well involves creating a process, and that takes time. There are a whole lot of ways to accomplish this, but for brevity’s sake again, let’s consider it currently exists within your relationships.

There Is No Shortcut To Building a Relationship

Have you ever been tempted to obtain a list by purchasing one or renting one? Please fight that temptation right now. The likelihood is very high that you’ll waste the capital investment, as many such providers are merely a scam and recycling odd and out of date information. People change email providers, and email accounts change (remember AOL or NetZero?). And think about how you feel every time your inbox highlights something received from an unknown entity or product or service that isn’t relevant to you? In football, that’s called a Hail Mary, as someone out there thinks so highly of their offer and believes there is no way you will pass it up. They are spraying and praying.

Nearly everyone hates receiving cold calls, so why expect a different result from a cold email?

There is another damaging scenario found when purchasing an email list; you and your company risk being labeled as a spammer by every major ISP and watchdog group (MXToolbox, Spamhaus, CBL and others). They track SPAM and report the data to ISP’s and corporate servers to allow spammers to be blacklisted. Unfortunately, spammers have discovered ways around this, but does your small business have one?

In part II or part III, we’ll get involved with the best tactics to building your email subscriber list naturally and organically. As mentioned before, it’s a process and takes time, but doing it right will ensure your message reaches the inbox of your intended reader. And no call-to-action works if this connection doesn’t occur.

So there you have it, secret number 1. The list must be well-developed and comprised of organically harvested, respect, and trust-filled people that love you and love your stuff.

As the title mentioned, there is a lot of information to share on this topic, and the amount of it can fill an encyclopedia, but I’m not that long-winded. So, for today, here is the most important of the three secrets. We’ll be sharing with you secret number 2 next week, so look out for it. If you have not subscribed to our email community, please feel free to do so here.

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Everyone one of our clients who successfully utilize email marketing as a part of their overall marketing plan started out the same way – with an initial conversation with us, either in-person, Skype Video call, or a phone call. Why not schedule a complimentary marketing consultation and get answers to your email marketing questions?

You speak with a marketing person, and not some sales guy. You’ll get practical information, not a sales pitch.

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