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There are great strategies available from paid digital, social media, search, and other digital marketing tools. But owning your email lists and having an audience you can continuously communicate with, provide with offerings, and educate — especially if they like and trust you — is powerful!

Any of your social media accounts can disappear in a flash, but owning your own list of prospects outside of other platforms and cookie data is a safer and more sustainable bet.

When I speak about email marketing, I’m not talking about going out and spending 40 cents per email and blogging them onto a single email list or just blasting out a bunch of spam or firing out a ton of emails to a list of people who have never heard of you before — and didn’t opt in to hear from you.

You hate receiving those emails yourself. So, why would you send them to others?

Over the years, we’ve eliminated a lot of that from our marketing practices and focused on building a strong community — and a strong contact list.

I’d rather have fewer people consuming our materials, and focus on those who genuinely enjoy receiving it and get value from it. People who are willing to take action, rather than big numbers of the unengaged.

And the proof is in the pudding. For the past couple of years, we’ve averaged at or above 50% open rates on our emails and a surprisingly high open rate. Often, we see a consistent 70%+ clickthrough on our email sends.

For example, we might send an email to a segment of 8,251 contacts. From that, 5,996 will open it and 5,779 will click through the included link or offer we provide. These are real numbers from a recent send.

Constant Contacts recently published numbers showing an industry average open rate of about 28.8% and a 1.34% click rate.

Where do your rates currently fall? And what can bringing those numbers up do for your sales pipeline? Here’s how we’ve been beating the average by a long shot.

Cleaning house

It’s hard to let go, but cleaning out your list regularly is vital for its overall health. Some contacts fizzle out after a while or decide they aren’t interested in your materials anymore. And that’s okay! That’s a good thing!

Now, you can focus more on those focused on you. We make it a regular habit each quarter to clean out any contacts who haven’t opened an email in that period, and I recommend you consider doing the same to keep your list tight.

Who’s Your face?

People buy from people they know, like, and trust. We don’t typically send emails to our lists without a specific voice.

If we get invited to do a speaking engagement or podcast interviews, I’m the personality who provides the face for our organization. Most of our email sends are iterated to follow my voice and sent “direct” from me versus “the company.” As a CMO myself, other CMOs prefer to hear from me versus a salesperson. Peer to peer.

Are you using a voice and peer influence in your emails?

Whether you’re a SaaS company, IT, Telecom, medical devices, you name it, you’re selling to, marketing to, and communicating with people. Use your company personality to reach the person on the other side of your email.

Give more than you take

“Value,” means different things to different people. You may think your content is super valuable, but does your audience agree? Have you asked them what they want lately?

Most email campaigns I’ve reviewed with struggling numbers are all take and ask — but seldom give. Stop shooting for a sales call, purchase, or webinar appearance with your email sends.

When’s the last time you provided a resource or roadmap to solve a problem for your audience just to give it away? To add value without asking for anything in return?

Secrets of the subject line

Subject lines are underrated. Here’s a neat trick I stumbled upon: About 80%+ of the emails I send to our list include the recipient’s name in the subject line. For example, Subject: “Connor — Why Your Falling Lead Conversion Rate Is a Good Thing, And What to Do About It” (A real email, btw). People promote short and sweet, but I have not found shorter subject lines to matter as much as the content.

I also often use “You” terminology, and Why, What, How, and/or When in subject lines. Bonus tip: Emoji also work well in subject lines. Do with that what you will.

Does size matter?

Short emails are best, right? Not necessarily. Some of our most engaging emails are long form. Some even reach blog post length, all in text, within the body of the email. It’s more about what you say and how you say it versus how much you say.

Don’t underestimate a person’s will to consume long-form content they enjoy.

Which leads me to my next point, the difference between content versus text.

The Content Trifecta is jet fuel for your email list

You have a lot more going for you than you think. Think of all the content you’ve been creating for your marketing efforts. How much are you repurposing for your email list in unique ways? Ideally, your content follows the philosophy of giving over taking. This is powerful fuel for your email list.

But are you leveraging the Content Trifecta effect to nurture your list?

Everyone consumes information differently, so I don’t leave my audience hanging with the bare minimum. Podcast episodes, LinkedIn live streams, videos, articles, graphics, memes, free trainings, and more — all find their way to our email list for a more effective mix of content.The Content Trifecta encompasses all aspects of consumable content: video, the written word, and visual graphics to engage our audience.

Are you using pieces and parts of these efforts but not all in combo? Is there room for improvement with your email marketing?

Could a few small percentile points make a big difference in your company’s bottom line?

Hopefully, this article helps to solve some of these challenges for you. If you found it useful, I encourage you to share it with other marketers in your network, and feel free to let me know your thoughts. What did I miss? What’s working for you? I’d love to hear from you.

And if you’d like to learn more B2B Marketing tactics from email to SEO, PR, and more from high-level executives, experts, and business celebrities, I’d like to personally invite you to attend one of our FREE B2B Mentors Masterminds, every other Thursday, for a chance to Mentor, Network, and Mastermind on your marketing efforts.

And if you’re short on time for creating high-quality content on a regular basis, the A-team at Active Blogs is here to help. Learn more about the Content Trifecta effect at