Hugh has a post about the success of his daily cartoon, in terms of email open rates.
“With email newsletters, the average open rate is around 6% to 8%. Our newsletter is 40% plus. That’s amazing”. The secret? “I think it’s because we keep it simple - a nice cartoon to brighten your day, delivered to your inbox every morning”.
This got me thinking.
As I look at AWeber – my email provider – the open rate for the email that announced the latest issue of In Treehouses was 95.8%. The emails for the previous two issues were 88.9% and 87.3%. For a list of a couple of thousand subscribers, that’s pretty decent.
I say this not to brag, but to offer an explanation.
Every reader of Hugh’s newsletter knows what they’re going to get when they open his email. There’s something inside, something valuable that they get to enjoy for free.
With In Treehouses, the same applies. I only ever send an email if there’s something inside of value. I don’t mean ‘useful tips and tactics’ value, I mean an actual thing. A magazine.
When The Micropublisher launched, I sent a couple of emails announcing the publication. When Magazines for the Rest of Us lands later this month, I’ll probably do the same. Otherwise, the only time you’ll ever hear from me is when I’ve got the latest issue of In Treehouses to give you.
The secret to high open rates, then, isn’t really a secret: every time you send an email, make sure it contains something of huge value.
Now, not everyone has the time or inclination to do that. Not everyone can give away a magazine, or a daily cartoon. I understand that. But if you’re going to offer less, then you have to expect less. Lower value, lower open rates.
You might do just great with a ‘weekly tips newsletter’ and an open rate of 10%. That might fit your business model perfectly. It’s not for me to judge.
But if you’re obsessed with getting huge open rates, you need to start giving huge value.
P.S. Those who are subscribed to The Micropublisher will find something of value in their inboxes today: the latest edition of the magazine. If you’re interested in how to be your own publishing house and make a living with words, you can discover more here.