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008: How to Revive a Cold List in 3 Easy Steps [Podcast]

008: How to Revive a Cold List in 3 Easy Steps [Podcast]

Imagine being handed 712 fully opted-in and verified contacts complete with name, email, and phone number.  How would you determine if there were any gold nuggets in the list?

Click the triangle to hear how I tackled just such an example for a client in the last 2 weeks.

Show Notes

We used a twist on a classic “Gain-Logic-Fear” email sequence popularized by Ryan Deiss, but first we needed a way to re-engage the list.

We sent a Wake Up email to people just before the holidays ended.

[callout]Want a complete download of all the emails I used to make this campaign happen? Just click here to get started.[/callout]

A/B Split Test

We did an A/B Split test for the first email because we wanted to maximize open rates on this cold list.

Email 1A – Sent to 100 people.  Had a 37% open rate (bounce rate of 18%)

Email 1B – Sent to 100 people.  Had a 45% open rate (bounce rate of 11%)

We sent version A to the remaining 512 people on the list.

Our open rate was over 43%, which is very stout.

Notice the bounce rate.  At 18% this is consistent with what we saw in the initial A/B split test.

Good news is that this email marketing service automatically removes bounces from your list, so you don’t have to be concerned with needing to do this manually.

Now we can get started with the remainder of the campaign.

Gain-Logic-Fear Sequence

Gain Email

Logic Email


[callout]Want a complete download of all the emails I used to make this campaign happen? Just click here to get started.[/callout]

Fear Email

Summary of Email Performance

Results reported as Open Rate (%), Bounce Rate (%), and Complaints (#), respectively.

  • Email 1A – 37%, 18%, 0
  • Email 1B – 45%, 11%, 0
  • Email 1 all others – 43.2%, 17%, 1
  • Gain Email – 26.3%, 2.7%, 0
  • Logic Email* – 75.3%, 1.3%, 1
  • Fear Email* – 55.7%, 0%, 0

*Logic and Fear emails were sent only to people who opened Gain email.
[callout]Want a complete download of all the emails I used to make this campaign happen? Just click here to get started.[/callout]

Overall Campaign Performance

Did the campaign work?

In short, yes!

  • We had one response to the Logic email!
  • We had one response to the Fear email!

People hit their reply button just like we asked them to and left responses like this one:

My job is to either…

  1. Make the phone ring
  2. Get the prospect to raise his/her hand.

Transcript

Get the complete transcript here.

Listen to the Audio

[callout]I would LOVE it if you would leave me a review on iTunes![/callout]

Click the triangle on green bar to listen now.

006: Case Study on Selling a High Ticket Item via Email [Podcast]

006: Case Study on Selling a High Ticket Item via Email [Podcast]

Recently I was handed a campaign that was already underway.  A church is taking a large group to Israel for a trip.  Ticket prices start at $3698.

[callout]This is an active case study as I am reporting on a project that is only 1/3 to completion. I will dedicate future podcast episodes to additional findings as they become available.[/callout]

Click the triangle to start listening.

Transcript

For the complete transcript, just click here.

Background

Check out the image below which illustrates what typically happens as you send multiple emails as part of a campaign.

Open rates drop a little each time, and click through rates drop as well (hypothetical numbers shown to illustrate the point).

I picked up this campaign on the 3rd email.  Here is how the campaign was performing (real numbers).

Previous Campaign Performance

  • Email 1 open rate – 13%
  • Email 2 open rate – 11%.

Given this trend, and knowing that the 3rd email usually has a lower open rate than the second email, I knew I had to take a different approach.

Changes Made to Campaign

  • “From:” field now reads “Pastor John” rather than “Church Office”.
  • Used curiosity in the subject line — “Is this on your bucket list?”

As I mention in the podcast, I noticed the earlier versions of the email were addressed as having come from the church office.  Nothing wrong with this, but I took the liberty to change it to the pastor’s name.

I also took a different approach with the subject line.  I used “Is this on your bucket list?” in hopes of encouraging people to see what, exactly, was on the pastor’s bucket list.

Results

Using these 2 tactics worked!  See results in the next image.

The new approach yielded a 22% open rate — reversing the usual downward staircase — and added another 31 people to the list of interested parties.

These individuals essentially opted into a new list and will receive additional information about the trip.

Click the green bar below to start listening.

Link(s)

GoToWebinar.com

[callout]As stated earlier, this is an active case study and more results are forthcoming between now and Jan 20. I will dedicate future podcast episodes to additional findings as they become available.[/callout]

Listen to the Audio

[callout]I would LOVE it if you would leave me a review on iTunes![/callout]

Click the triangle on green bar to listen now.

002: Fantastic Case Study on my Recent Successful Flash Sale [Podcast]

002: Fantastic Case Study on my Recent Successful Flash Sale [Podcast]

Will selling your products and services at a deep discount work for you?

In today’s podcast episode I tell you all the numbers behind my most recent flash sale where I sold done-for-you email marketing services for an insanely low price.

[featured-image single_newwindow=”false” id=”7596″]

Click the green bar to start listening.

Show Notes

In this episode you will hear:

  • How many people purchased my services through my flash sale.
  • How much money I made.
  • If I felt the effort was worth it.

Transcript

Get the complete transcript here.

Listen to the Audio

[callout]I would LOVE it if you would leave me a review on iTunes![/callout]

Click to Listen Now

001: How to Build Your List While On Stage [Podcast]

001: How to Build Your List While On Stage [Podcast]

Welcome to my brand new podcast specifically devoted to helping authors and public speakers harness the power of content marketing.

I have packed this inaugural episode full of content that you can use to build your business right away.

Click the green bar to start listening.

Show Notes

In this inaugural episode you will hear:

  • What you can expect from this podcast as a listener.
  • A case study on list building using SMS/Text which is working right now.

Transcript

Get the complete transcript here.

Links From the Show

Listen to the Audio

[callout]I would LOVE it if you would leave me a review on iTunes![/callout]

Click to Listen Now

6 Lessons Learned During my First 30 Days of Regular Publishing

6 Lessons Learned During my First 30 Days of Regular Publishing

Several months ago I wrote why I quit blogging, and how that decision was a money-maker for me.  However, I kept feeling the pull to give blogging one more try.

I started an experiment in early March to find out once and for all if the hype is true —  would blogging on a consistent basis really drive more traffic to my site and grow my email list?

Sure, consistent publishing works for others, but will it really work for me?

What follows are three hypotheses I formed before starting this experiment, the results from a month’s-worth of data gathering, and 3 surprises.

Scope

I intentionally limited the scope of this experiment to my blog. I did not intend to increase my post frequency on Twitter, Facebook, or any other social media outlet.

This is simply limited to my blog and its current subscribers.

[shareable cite=”Jason R Owens”]Can I find the right workflow and/or discipline to publish on my blog for 30 days?[/shareable]

Something else that is important to note here is that I am focusing on the act of publishing alone.  I’m not paying any particular attention to SEO or any type of optimization techniques whatsoever.

I simply want to see if I can get in the habit of generating 12 blog articles a month.

If I find the experiment is successful over the first 30 days, I’ll work in additional things such as SEO in the future.

Hypothesis 1 – I will lose the majority of my subscribers

I have to admit, I entered this experiment as more of a pessimist than an optimist.

I felt that emailing my existing list multiple times during the week would only alienate people, causing them to complain or unsubscribe.

Reality – I lost only 7 subscribers.

Hypothesis 2 – My open rates will drop to practically nothing

Again, I figured I would be annoying the daylights out of my existing list, so I figured that they would get tired of looking at my emails and not open them.

  • The top line (blue-green) shows my open rates.  At the very beginning of the month my open rate was just a little above 30% and holds at 25% at the end of the month.
  • Red dashed line is what MailChimp reports as being the industry standard (16%) open rate for emails in the education industry.
  • The solid blue line on the bottom is my click-through rate, aka CTR.

Reality – Over the course of the month my email open rates only dropped by about 5 percentage points.  This was a big surprise to me, and it was very encouraging.

Certainly I have a lot of work to do to increase my click-through rates, but the good news is that it looks like people will stick around for the journey.

Hypothesis 3 – Traffic to my blog will not increase

When I published articles in the past, I might get excited about it for a week or two, but my enthusiasm would then fall away because I wasn’t seeing any real results on my blog.

This is what caused me to form this educated guess about my traffic not increasing. I figured I was just going to see more of the same results I’ve seen in the past.

Before I show you the overall results, let me add the caveat about my paid search traffic in the month before my March experiment.

I really enjoy running Facebook ads, and I ran a few in February.

In the graphic below you can see that in February I had 237 people visit my site from Facebook.  You can also see that I ran no ads in March, therefore 0 Paid Search traffic.

First 30 Days of Posting Regularly - Google - Paid Search Traffic - Jason R Owens

The question now becomes: did my frequent publication on my blog make up for the lost traffic from Facebook?

In the image below you can see the big metrics — both Sessions and Users — were down, 26% and 40%, respectively.

First 30 Days of Posting Regularly - Google

Interpretation: Rather than buying traffic through ads, I was able to replace 74% of my traffic (100% – 26%) with non-paid means such as:

  • Email (additional 23 sessions vs. prior month)
  • Organic reach (additional 71 sessions vs. prior month)
  • RSS visitors (additional 29 visits vs. prior month)
  • People discovering my site through the Disqus commenting system (additional 38 visits vs. prior month)

As one would expect, I saw significant increases (over 650%) in people clicking through to my site from the emails I had sent.

First 30 Days of Posting Regularly - Google - Email Traffic 2 - Jason R Owens

My RSS readers more than doubled!  (170% increase)

First 30 Days of Posting Regularly - Google - RSS traffic - Jason R Owens

People clicking to my site from the Disqus commenting system accounted for gains as well.

First 30 Days of Posting Regularly - Google - Disqus - Jason R Owens

Reality — While I lost paid traffic by my own choosing, I added gains in organic reach, email traffic, RSS traffic, and traffic from my Disqus commenting system.

[shareable text=”Regularly publishing to your blog really does improve your results! Click to find out more.”]Regularly publishing to your blog really does improve your results! [/shareable]

Unexpected Bonus #1 – I gained new email subscribers

Several weeks ago I subscribed to a product called OptinMonster.

The idea here is that you can create great opt-in forms for use on your website.

The type of opt-in form that attracted me is what is called an “after-post opt-in”. If you scroll down to the bottom of this email you will see an example of an after-post opt-in form.

When I was taking the stats for this blog post I was blown away to find out that my very first after-post form had already collected three conversions!

First 30 Days of Posting Regularly - Optin Monster

I know, I know.  The purists out there will tell me that a conversion rate of 2.2% is dismal, and that they are able to get a 98% opt-in rate from people who have been dead for 2 years.

Congratulations to them.  I’m just happy to be on the board here.

This is my very first step and my very first success in using an after-post opt-in. I can’t wait to do even more of these in the future.

Unexpected Bonus #2 – Organic traffic to my site more than doubled.

This one caught me by complete surprise.

As I said before, in my earlier attempts at blogging I would get very discouraged because I wasn’t seeing any improvement to my blog’s traffic numbers.

What blew me away is that this month my organic traffic more than doubled.

I’ll reiterate what I mentioned earlier.  I made little attempt to optimize these articles to be noticed by a search engine.

In the image below you can see my site traffic has increased by 129%!

First 30 Days of Posting Regularly - Google - Organic Traffic - Jason R Owens

With the success here, I’m now even more emboldened to try some SEO tactics in the next 30 to 60 days as I continue this experiment.

Unexpected Bonus #3 – I gained new YouTube subscribers

I mentioned before that my schedule called for creating one video each week.

I post these videos out to my YouTube channel so that YouTube can host the videos, and I also publish links to these videos on my blog.

What surprised me here is that my increased activity on YouTube also drew three more subscribers to my YouTube channel.

My YouTube base is minuscule, and I haven’t been focusing on it for years.

I had five subscribers at the beginning of March, and now I have an additional three that I just added in the past 30 days with zero effort whatsoever on my part to grow my YouTube subscribers.

This is just an extra bonus that happened, and I wasn’t even looking for it.

First 30 Days of Posting Regularly - YouTube

Conclusion

I had a blast publishing the articles and then collecting the data.  My key takeaways are:

  1. Publishing is a lot of work.  It pays to have someone help you.
  2. Your audience will not abandon you.  Just be certain to continue providing content they want.
  3. I now believe that publishing more frequently actually does grow the organic traffic to my site!
  4. After-post opt-in forms work.  Again, just make certain to provide great content.
  5. I should add Facebook traffic for specific product-based campaigns.
  6. I realized unintended gains in my YouTube subscribers.

[reminder]What is your experience with publishing regularly to your blog and/or your email list? Does it work for you? If so, please share![/reminder]