Case study: switching from long to short emails to my subscribers

by Michele on April 18, 2014

Solopreneurs need to test their email marketingI believe that building an email list is one of the most important things a business owner can do.  This applies to almost any business and email marketing can be used for almost any type of product or service.  Just to be clear, the type of listbuilding I practice and teach is strictly opt-in – that means that each and every person has indicated they want to hear from me either by filling out a web form or by buying something.  Adding people to your list without their consent is spam and it makes you look bad so please don’t ever do it.

I started my listbuilding in 2010, about a year after I started my business.  My mentor at the time taught a really effective system that had gotten her great results and still does.  It also has served many of her clients well.  She teaches what I would call a “formal” email newsletter.  It has a specific format with some graphic design to it and comes on a regular schedule.  In between, you can do short focused emails as needed for specific events.  I used this model until January of this year, and while I had some success with it by this year I was just bored with it and had begun to dread that bi-weekly process of cranking out a newsletter.

I decided to switch over to shorter, more focused emails that went out when I had something to say rather than on a set schedule.  I would keep my emails short and usually with just one item.  I also used a plain text format to make it easy to load and read on any device.  I announced to my list that I was making the change and that I would try it for 3 months and decide at that point if it would be permanent.  You can read what I sent to my list here.

Well, the three months are up and I’ve made my decision.  Let me tell you some of the things that happened.

As far as I can tell, I lost no subscribers due to this change.  I saw no mass exodus and not even a spike in unsubscribes.

My open rates went way up.  If you are unfamiliar with what that term it means that a much greater percentage of people who receive my emails are opening them.

I’ve had a record-breaking quarter in list growth both in percentage growth and straight number of people.

It seems clear my community likes this format, but what about me?

I have come to LOVE doing my email marketing again!  I love just being able to jump on the keyboard and tell this amazing group of people about something I hand-picked for them whether it’s mine or someone else’s.  It feels much simpler, more linear, and more authentic.  I love being able to send a message if and only if I have something of value and not because it’s on the schedule for today.

So, the conclusion?  I’m sticking with my current format of short, focused, text emails.

Have you tried different formats for your email marketing?  What’s worked and why?  Tell me about it in the comments.

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Finally, if you aren’t using email marketing or you are but don’t see any sales or results, mark the date May 7th on your calendar.  I’ll be doing a free training webinar with a special partner on that day.  Be sure to check back here, connect with me on social media or sign up for my email list using the box on the right to get your invitation to the webinar.

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