Pushing The Envelope Toward Better Marketing
This weekend, I sent out an email to our Social Traffic Lab members announcing my 30 Day Blog Challenge. That challenge is actually one of the main reasons I am sitting here typing up this post, 20 minutes late since we are now into Tuesday.
I guess it goes to show you, better late than never.
The 30 Day Blog Challenge is meant to help our members and us develop a better habit to create content on a daily basis. Sometimes we simply get too distracted by all of the noise in the market place and forget about the whole idea of providing value.
One of the feedback loops we have at Social Traffic Lab is to actually personally contact each person that unsubscribes from our database, to find out why they actually unsubscribed, and what we could do better in the future.
Today, we got an ear full from one of our members.
Reading through the email, a number of emotions came over me.
However at the end of the email, he brought up one point that made me realize that we are actually doing something right.
Here is what he had to say:
“Just FYI…I have cancelled my subscriptions to the lists of about 100 marketers over the last 4-6 months.
But there are others [only a few] that I look forward to every email I get from them [hint, hint].
Out of all the unsubscribe links I’ve clicked over that time [in fact…in ALL time], you’re the first and only marketer that ever sent me a personal note asking why?”
Tonight, it dawned on me why he felt so strongly in the beginning of the message. In the last email we sent to him. we tested 3 subject lines.
NOTE: If you are not split testing email subject lines you definitely should start
The subject lines were:
Version #1: 30 day blogging challenge begins Monday
Version #2: How Mind Valley made $930K using a blog…
Version #3: [The Bloodhound Method] How Mind Valley made $930K blogging…
Out of these three subject lines, Version #3 actually had the highest unsubscribe rate and it also had the highest open rate.
The Social Traffic Lab member that unsubscribed received Version #2.
In retrospect, it is a case of matching the message to our audience. Up to this point, most of our list has been built selling $10 – $100 products on the Warrior Forum. Seeing a subject line like Version #2 or #3 sets off a number of red flags that people would think we are trying to sell them something. It also uses a dollar amount that by some is simply not imaginable.
In our case, we are very familiar with Mind Valley, and their business model and reputation. Others are not.
This email had nothing to sell, it simply led to a blog post about the 30 Day Blog Challenge, and included the video training from Vishen of Mind Valley about how a blog is an integral part of their marketing promotions.
The member that unsubscribed, didn’t make it to the blog post. He simply opened the email and unsubscribed straight away.
Now, timeout a minute…
I am not saying this sole event was a complete misunderstanding. We do recognize our mix of content and promotion has not been as good as it could be the last couple moths. We recognize that and are taking care of it. (part of the reason for the challenge)
The great takeaway from all of this is without the feedback loop of manually reach out to people who unsub from our list, we would never know the reason why. It is easy to make assumptions, but the best way to find out what is going on in your customer’s mind is to simply ask.
The second thing to consider…
If you have an email list and no one is ever unsubscribing from it, you are being too conservative. Push the envelope even a little bit. Without taking risks, you will never be able to grow and discover your true potential.