Pavlov’s emails: how to train your subscribers

Yesterday, I told you about email marketing mistakes people make. One of them was offering pdf ebooks as a bonus in exchange for their email. The reason is because unless the content is so valuable it is consumed instantly, people will download and forget about them.

Last I checked, I have 300+ ebooks, checklists, cheat sheets, presentations, infographics, etc. I’ve skimmed a handful. I’ve completed reading even fewer.

All well and good if you only care about getting your reader’s email address. If you also care about them consuming and implementing the information in your content offer, you need a better delivery mechanism. You SHOULD care; you put a lot of work into creating the content.

These days, video is all the rage so you may be tempted to create a mini video course. That’s pretty good, but it’s still a lot of work preparing the content, recording several takes, editing, and uploading videos… Even if all you do is use the camera app on your smartphone. Audio-only is a little less work but still more than what I’m about to teach you.

Today, I’m going to show you my secret weapon for turning readers into subscribers and subscribers into friends, using…

The Email Course

Here’s a screenshot of the analytics on my flagship content offer on one of my websites, a 5-day email mini-course.

As you can see, the open rates are stellar. The click through rates are awful because I didn’t think to put any links in the emails (except for 2 of them.) Here’s a screenshot of the analytics on the same course after I updated it and added “read this next” links.

^^By the way, if you’re wondering why the reports look different, it’s because the first one is from when I had my list on ConvertKit (the same account I’m sending you this email from today) and the second one is from after I moved my list to Drip.

If you want a benchmark of how well these emails perform:

  • Open rates of 20-25% are about average; 26-30% are good (update for new readers: this is no longer the case after Apple’s email privacy update; now 40-60% is table stakes.)
  • Click-through rates of 1-3% are average; 3-5% are good

The current average for the email course pictured above is 56% open-rate, 7% click-through rate. (Update for new readers: after Apple mail privacy updates you want a new subscriber welcome campaign to hit 60-80% open rates.)

What’s going on here?

Immediately after a reader subscribes to your list they are in a highly-primed state that can last for several days, even weeks, after the initial “buy” decision, IF you play your cards right. The crucial interactions with your readers at this stage will determine whether you own a cold list or one that is warm indefinitely.

Every email they open is an additional micro-commitment they make, increasing the chances the future emails will also be opened. Ditto for every link in an email they click on. You are training them to open and click on your emails. PAVLOV’S EMAILS.

This is why having a double opt-in and a welcome sequence are so important. And if you’re going to send them a bunch of emails anyway…

Why not make the content offer a bunch of emails?

Besides the blatantly obvious sales and marketing benefits, an email course is the best content offer because:

  • You don’t need to design sheeyit; you just need to write a few emails
  • It’s very easy to create and edit the content (words on a page, as opposed to images, video, or text)
  • You can make revisions to the emails conveniently
  • They’re a handy way to collect ongoing feedback from your readers in the form of email replies
  • Subscribers who open and read your emails, then click through, are of a much higher quality than those who only follow you on social media, watch your video content, or listen to your audio content (people will disagree with me on podcasting but I stand by my statement; podcast listening is a purely passive activity)

How do I create an email course?

You need an email service provider like Bento, BerserkerMail or beehiiv to deliver an automated sequence of emails to subscribers. All ESPs have this feature in some form or another.

You create a course of 3-5 emails long, delivered sequentially 1 day apart. Then, you link the course to your opt-in forms and set the sequence to start whenever someone subscribes. At the end of every email you want to include a link to click on. That’s all there is to it.

I’ve implemented autoresponders on every popular email automation tool there is. My currect favourites are Bento, BerserkerMail and beehiiv. I pay for all 3 and use them in my different businesses.

Have you created an email course for your business? On which email marketing tool? Let me know in the comments.

Daily Email Newsletter

Nabeel writes a daily email to an audience of business owners, marketers and copywriters. Subscription to this newsletter is by invitation only. The only way to get on the list is by becoming a client, joining his community or buying one of his products.

0 comments… add one

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *