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Email Marketing: Less Is More

Yesterday (September 19th) we sent out a newsletter to the people we have either recently worked with, or who we would love to work with in the future – it’s part of our quarterly email marketing strategy.

We wanted to share some really exciting news about our business and help people understand the changes coming up with ebay Active Content.    The events that unfolded were really interesting and have led to me writing this blog post to share with you all.

Firstly, if you haven’t seen the email you can have a look here.  We do two things when we email people like this: we keep it as short as possible; we tell people in the subject line how long it will take to read.   The latter point has vastly increased our open rate over time, and we find that people take the time to tweet us to thank us for such a nice update which is quite refreshing for spam email marketing.

People thank us – for sending them an email – how crazy is that?

Before I continue, I do have to make a confession – we’re really busy and I didn’t have the time yesterday to create nice graphics and write nice introductions to each article and so my email began direct and to the point: “It’s Monday morning – you’re busy, we’re busy – but we absolutely must tell you five things – we’ll keep it really quick!“.

It’s not a lie, and I am really glad that I did it because this is the best email I’ve sent out in almost 10 years of running my own agency and here’s why!

I kept it bullshit free and to the point, people could easily pick out the bit that interested them – and –  they tweeted me to tell me!

And look closer, not only did Charlotte at Atlantis Digital tweet that, Ste at SDX Creative joined in with the praise – how good is that for kudos for the way we communicate with our clients?  It’s fantastic!

Because the points were succinct and to the point, it was easier to spread the word.

Paul at My Accountancy Place took a screengrab and went on to share it with all his followers.

Our email list size isn’t particularly large and Paul has over 1200 followers, so we’re reaching out to a new audience that usually we won’t have reached.   The red text in the email you can see in Paul’s tweet is actually links to our website for people who got the email.

This got us lots of opens, and lots of clicks

According to MailChimp, we should get around an 18% open rate for our emails, which I think is fair enough.  However, we surpassed that with a 27% open rate and a click rate 2% over the industry average.  This could obviously increase as I am writing this less than a day after we’ve sent it out.

We had a great open rate thanks to telling people how long an email is going to take to read, and by keeping the content simple and linking to our website we got good click-through-rates on to our site.

We followed up with Social Media ourselves

You saw how Paul (1200+ followers), Charlotte (1980+ followers) and Paddy (1850+ followers) and helped us reach over a whopping 5000 people with our communications, we also followed it up on our own accounts and my own account @webdarren has over 1900 followers on Twitter.   With this, I’ve just chosen the three people that stood out in my mind from yesterday – there were others that all made this number larger.

Overall the results were phenomenal

Here’s our Google Analytics graph for the last 12 months – we’re just coming to our first birthday so we’ve got a good overview of traffic over the year.  Have a close look over to the right hand side.


Yesterday was by far the busiest day we’ve ever had on our website – the total visitors rocketed.   You can see other spikes around past marketing activities but this stands out by a vast degree.

So what, it doesn’t matter if you make lots of noise, is it generating you business?

Dead right – I completely agree (though that wasn’t the motivation for the email).   I have a meeting booked on Friday about a new Magento eCommerce website and had a contact that we’ve not spoken for a while ask about our Marketplace Management service.  So yes, this has had a direct return on our sales pipeline.

Not bad for an email that took around 20 minutes to put together and send out is it?    That email is still working for us through people opening and clicking and we picked up new Twitter followers… and you’re reading this email now.  It’s the gift that keeps on giving!!!!

That’s it, I just wanted to share the story

We do work like this for our clients every day and we even train people on it too.  It’s nice to see that despite the thought with some that email marketing may be dead and buried, it still can be a really effective tool of communication.

Thanks for reading!