Last updated on May 14th, 2023 at 09:40 pm
Myth #1 – The content of your subject line will trigger a spam filter
According to the Membership Management Report 2022, it’s just not true. It is all about how your audience is engaging with your email content that is more likely to trigger the spam filter.
Which is great news when it comes to feeling more aligned with what you are sending your audience. It means that you can be more creative with your subject lines without worrying too much about the filters.
long and short subject lines, so I stand out in my tribe’s inbox.
Want help creating your high-converting lead magnet?
Other factors that could prevent your email from being seen
Images and Design
However, I think there are other factors at play with spam filters. They can be triggered also by loading up unnecessary images and designs.
POV – keep your email design and images to the minimum so that your emails are more likely to get through a spam filter.
Choosing the wrong email service provider
It’s really important to research how the email service provider you are planning to use for your business performs with spam filters. If it has a high instance of being blocked by spam filters, move on and choose one with a good track record. It may be useful to look into having a separate email service provider to your course platform, as sometimes these built-in ESPs don’t perform as well as dedicated ESPs.
Sending from an email address that is not linked to your website.
The sender’s email address is also super-important. You are far more likely to be consigned to the spam folder if you send with an email address like these:
[email protected] – so any @gmail.com is not a great email address to use.
Or [email protected] – the numbers look unprofessional anyway, but the email isn’t associated with your website.
It helps to purchase a google workspace account and name it with your website included. So mine is helennuttall.com, and my email address is [email protected] (No hint of the Gmail string)
Myth #2 – Unsubscribes are bad for business
It’s uncomfortable when people unsubscribe, but it isn’t really a bad thing for many reasons.
They may not be ready to buy yet
They may not be ready to buy from you yet, or they may be at a different stage in their journey. If they are a new business owner and you help experienced business owners scale their businesses, your email content is likely to be too advanced for them, hence the unsubscribe.
One study, carried out by Danny Clarke, Easy Peasy Funnels, who surveyed 10,317 online businesses in 2020, found that people, on average, need nurturing for longer before they purchase. The businesses reported that, on average, they made a purchase after 43 days.
In my own business, I have seen subscribers unsubscribe and then carry on consuming my content, resubscribe and then purchase.
One story I heard in one of my groups today echoed this.
No doesn’t mean never – Debbie Levine Spiegel.
Debbie’s story is a reminder that unsubscribes don’t necessarily mean your content is off the mark, and she encourages you to consistently put content out there, including being consistent in your email marketing. Her lead originally unsubscribed right after a free event Debbie had held. A few months later, she showed up and purchased. (Red the whole Facebook post above)
People consume content differently, so one of the key takeaways she shares is to think about how you can present it in different ways without overwhelming yourself.
She also makes the point that even though you think they have vanished from your world, those unsubscribers could be out there, consuming your content in ways more suited to them.
Want to learn more about Debbie’s success?
Not aligned with you and your values
Another scenario happens when your audience realizes they are not as aligned with your values as they thought, so they unsubscribe. This unsubscribe is a good thing because they are not truly your tribe and probably won’t ever buy from you.
Try not to analyze or dwell on why they may have unsubscribed – you may never know, and they have freed you up to focus on the people who follow you because they share your values and value your content. These people are the tribe that will purchase from you time and time again.
POV – Remember also to refine what you offer over time. It’s great not to worry about unsubscribes, but the other side is that you want to provide excellent content.
Reach out to your audience regularly to ask what they are struggling with, what you can help them with next, and what particularly resonates with them.
Myth #3 – FOMO always works to get people to buy
I’ve followed, with great interest, an entrepreneur in the UK called Lisa Johnson, who is turning this practice on its head and doing things her way. FOMO has been a well-used practice in email marketing for many years, but Lisa aims to go another way.
But first, let’s dig into what FOMO is.
Anita Sanz, clinical psychologist, summarizes what FOMO actually is:
Our survival as an individual within a tribe, and thus our survival as a species, once hinged on our being aware of threats both to ourselves and to the larger group. To be “in the know” when we roamed around in small groups was critical to survival. To not be aware of a new food source, for example, meant you literally missed out on something that could mean the difference between life and death.
When humans began to create more stable farming communities, being in the know involved paying attention, being in the right places at the right times to get resources and information, and engaging in the gossip of the day as it filtered through the community.
We’d be more likely to experience FOMO about the latest phone or trainers, but the concept remains rooted deep in our past.
Seker found that common triggers emerged from people who were determined to have experienced FOMO.
These triggers include:
🗸 the need to belong,
🗸 wanting to be seen with the purchase (conspicuous consumption)
🗸 the idea of scarcity (if they don’t buy now, there will be no products left)
This is why in many of the email marketing emails you receive, a timer will show how long you have before the cart closes.
Or an alarm clock emoji in the subject line with something like…” You don’t want to miss this!” as a subject line.
Yes, we have all tried these tactics, and to be honest, it doesn’t sit well with me (even though I’m a copywriter and FOMO is one of the concepts many of the copywriting programs teach)
Going back to Lisa for a minute. She is an example of how you can go a different way with FOMO.
Flipping FOMO on its head – Lisa Johnson
Lisa Johnson interested me initially because she was so straight-talking. In the UK, this means a person doesn’t bother with tactics to get you on board; they explain clearly what they are going to offer you, and then guess what?
They offer it to you.
No surprises, pressure, or panic feelings.
She’s made millions with this approach, and the only reason she gives for not using FOMO tactics (even though her husband is her copywriter) is that it felt wrong.
It didn’t feel like she was selling with integrity.
That shattered my world in a good way.
She had verbalized what I had felt for many months as I was communicating my offers. The truth is, I didn’t understand what I was feeling. Using FOMO as a technique in my email marketing was making me feel “ick.”
This is the best word I can find to explain the feeling in my stomach.
Email marketing without FOMO
Once I ditched FOMO and looked at ways I could present my offers naturally and aligned with my own way of talking in a conversation, I felt a sense of joy. My sales were up, and my copy improved because it was coming from my heart rather than what some marketing book or course was telling me to do.
How do you feel about FOMO?
Feel free to comment below.
I hope this article was useful in helping you see what myths can circulate about email marketing. Email marketing, essentially, is another way to communicate with your audience. The most important thing to remember is that you need to be true to yourself. Copywriting practices are guidelines, and while they can be successful, be attuned to how they make you feel and adapt your approach, so it feels good for you and your audience.
What are your thoughts on these myths? I’d love to know.
“Latest and Greatest Subject Line Tactics.” The Membership Management Report 18.12 (2022): 2-2.
ŞEKER, Arzu, and . “FACTORS TRIGGERING FEAR OF MISSING OUT IN CONSUMERS AND THEIR EFFECTS ON PURCHASING BEHAVIOR.” Adıyaman Üniversitesi Sosyal Bilimler Enstitüsü Dergisi (2022).
“Do More With Your Subject Line.” Nonprofit Communications Report 18.11 (2020): 1-1.