What you will learn
- Does emailing regular promotions burn your email list?
- How to structure your offers to reduce unsubscribe rates?
- The maths behind daily email promotions
- The revenue we generated after 30 days
All the info discussed in this podcast episode can be found on this blog post : https://www.authorityhacker.com/affiliate-broadcast/
Welcome to the Authority Hacker podcast, the place to learn field tested, no BS tactics to grow hack your online business, and finally, live life on your own terms. Now, your hosts, Gael and Mark.
Gael: Hey guys, welcome to the Authority Hacker podcast. In today’s episode we are going to talk about something we did on Health Ambition and this episode is also going to be a blog post. And, to talk with me today I have Mark. Hey, how’s it going Mark?
Mark: Hi, going good.
Gael: So, what we’re going to talk about is something we did actually back in January, so let me just give a little bit of context to everything. On Health Ambition, we have people coming in and opting in for specific lead magnets, we talked about the juicing one in the previous podcast where people opt in for juicing recipe ebook on a juicing blog post, then they get their free pdf obviously, and then they get kind of a follow up for two weeks selling the ebook that we are selling in this niche. And people at the end end up buying the ebook or not buying the ebook. But what was happening is that for a while we did not post blog posts on Health Ambition because we were doing other things, and after people were done with this autoresponder that was roughly two weeks, people were literally falling off into oblivious and literally getting zero email from us for months. And so, lead started to accumulate to the point where the list was roughly 46 hours and people in 1st of January in 2016 and since people are making New Year resolutions, we were like well, let’s actually use all these leads we are not emailing and do something that we probably wouldn’t normally do, which is email them and affiliate promotion almost every day. I think we sent twenty promotions throughout the month of January, and only wrote one blog post, so that was roughly all promotions. But, the promotions were a little bit different, the promotions were actually not promoting the offer directly most of the time, they were promoting presales articles, so they were looking like blog post but at the end, you would have a call to action that sends people to a sales page. Is that correct, Mark?
Mark: No, I mean, I don’t think it is that shape; that was the case in maybe like 20 per cent of them but the majority was like directly to the sales pages.
Gael: Okay. And so, obviously it’s something that sounds very weird, because it’s going to sound like we’re going to burn the list a lot, and I want to talk about that with you Mark, because you have been running this thing. So, looking at the revenue, I got like roughly 4,500 dollars for the month, that was mixed Click Bank and other things that we don’t want to reveal in this podcast, but roughly 4,500 dollars from 20 emails. So that’s all right, but my main question actually first is did you feel like you burned out the list by emailing it daily?
Mark: I did initially, sort of towards the end of January, I was like, why are we not making as much and in these past few emails or whatever, but when it came February time, and we stated again, all the metrics were just the same as they were, almost the same as they were in January, like for individual emails. And so, I don’t actually think it was, I don’t feel that it’s the frequency that causes the sort of burn out, I felt that it was the similarity in the offer we were providing, because there were sort of like four or five companies and it was just all their offers which we were promoting. So yeah, that was kind of my, I’d say that’s my gut feeling about it.
Gael: Yeah, ok, I mean, I personally felt looking at the stats and I am going to give all the stats in a blog post, just saying numbers in the podcast is not the funniest part, but like basically the January 1st email got, the list was roughly the same size, the January 1st email got 17.45% open rate and 3.5% clicks through rate which was 1,455 clicks. Whereas the February 1st email got 15.73% open rate so that’s like 1.8% less or something, but the 4.8% clicks through rate so almost 2000 clicks. So it feels like actually the results were roughly the same, we actually gain subscribers throughout the month, so actually throughout January we gained 5,400 subscribers roughly. So we actually burned 10% of the list in terms of unsubscribe, actually. So that is what it looks like, when we actually look at the revenue, it really seems like there is winners and losers, like do you want to talk about that?
Mark: Yes, so it was, it’s really down to, it was a few emails that made us half of our money. What we were sending out most of the time was pre written sort of swipe emails which a lot of products which have affiliate programs will provide and you literally just copy and paste them.
Gael: So you didn’t write them yourself?
Mark: Some of them yeah, but almost consistently the ones which I wrote had way lower open and click through rate, even when it wasn’t an affiliate offer, even when it was just promoting blog content. Those click through rates were way lower, and I think that’s down to sort of obviously language I’m not the best copyrighter but like obviously down to the languages being used in subject lines and you know, like the copy around the link, a lot of these affiliate promotions are like very scary things about dangers of obesity and this kind of stuff which, you know, does make people click a link but if we are sending a blog post which is really useful blog post about the health benefits of avocados or something, it’s there’s less of a compelling reason to do it unless you are specifically interested in avocados at that particular time. so that was my sense of-
Gael: So do you feel like doing broadcast promos need to be more sensational and more mainstream essentially?
Mark: Definitely. I think that it’s almost like you’ll say anything to get people to open the email, you’ll say anything to get people to click on it.
Gael: So you talk you were Donald Trump.
Mark: I mean, I would never go that far, but like yeah, and I think there is a lot to be learned from certain media and BuzzFeed and all that, the way they craft their headlines. Honestly, just look through your Facebook feed, and see all the things like people are sharing and liking, like these kind of what do you call them, viral posts, viral articles and see how those are constructed, those are the things people are clicking on. And they do so much better than a simple “these are the health benefits of avocado”. Like warning, dangers that avocados pose or something like that, you know.
Gael: Yeah, I think it’s just like when people opt in, they kind of like invested in topic, so now I am still going to take the example of juicing, we have other ones but they care about it, but you know, by the time they receive this broadcast emails, sometimes it’s been several months since then, they moved on, they forgot about juicing etc. So, they still care about the topic of your site, but they don’t necessarily care anymore about the subtopic like juicing or whatever other topic you are talking about. And so, I think because of that you need to be a little bit more generic with your broadcast emails especially when you communicate with like older leads essentially that maybe have moved on from the subniche we are talking about.
Mark: Yeah, and you know, that’s like a half true, I think. Again good example is juicing, so I’d say we’re like half or something of our subscribers came through the initial juicing funnel, and then they got put into this bucket, but one of the promos, one of email promos that did particularly well was one about smoothies, which is very similar to juicing, it’s a different subniche completely, but it is of course very similar so I think there’s a corelation there, they still are interested but you know, that wasn’t the most successful one, the most successful ones were just general health ones, weight loss things, so…
Gael: Yeah, we have a lot of people that come from weight loss too, so that makes sense. So, if we look at everything, and people will be able to see the stats on the blog post, there are successful campaigns like with like EPCs at like 0.4 dollars, stuff like that. And there are like really not successful campaigns at like 3 cents, so like we are talking about 12 times more money from some campaigns, right?
Gael: So what do we do with the winning ones and what do we do with the losing ones, like are we just going to be broadcasting the whole time and keep doing that randomly, or…?
Mark: Ok, so there’s two things here, two learnings. So, when we were emailing every single day in a promo offer in January, by the end of the month I was like I’m really struggling to find good promo things here, you know, there was a few I sent out which made I think one didn’t even make any sales. And there was a few that made like 10 bucks here and there and I’m like what’s going on, you know, and what I found is there is a handful of offer and a handful of email templates and all that which generate like the majority of the income, so we did two things, firstly, we started sending those same promos out the next month, and the month after, so in February and in March, and you know, they didn’t make the same amount of sales, but something like 75% of what they made in January. Bear in mind that January is a big health month when everyone is on their New Year resolution diets and stuff. So I really think that a lot of people will maybe see the email but they are on their way to work so they didn’t read it, or you are probably one of ten health people sending them emails, so they probably just didn’t catch it at the time but they see it again, and they open it for the first time. And so, I think it’s ok to send the same offers, you can even play around with different headlines and whatnot, but I think it’s ok to send the offers, about a month apart. And you know, if anyone is not happy with it, like fine, but honestly, I get people emailing us a lot of things they are not happy about, and being sent the same offer has never once been one of them. So that’s one thing, and the other thing is actually, I took the best of these offers, and put them into their own authors [00:12:11] sequence, so people are opting, let’s say you come to Health Ambition, you opt in for juicing, you go through that funnel, before you get put into this general bucket, there’s another short funnel you go through which is just the best of these offers, so people are being exposed to the best ones before they even get put in it now.
Gael: Do you send them all in a row in one day?
Gael: And how has that worked so far?
Mark: Not so, it’s been alright, but to be perfectly honest with you, I did it once and haven’t optimized it again since January so I think that’s probably more to do with it than anything else.
Gael: I was actually looking at the stats on this, and it’s not so bad, it’s not super far from the broadcast version. It’s a bit less because it’s less timely, but it works pretty well, so like a lot of people, you know, they are afraid to email promotions to their email list because people are going to judge, and-
Mark: I think people are going to judge them and the other thing people are concerned about is that they will unsubscribe, as if like having the tool to a numbers of subscribers you have is some kind of you know, it’s a vanity metric at the end of the day, you know.
Gael: So what was your position before and after doing that?
Mark: Before and after doing what?
Gael: These promos thing.
Mark: I’ve always been a lot more of, I’ve never really cared about people unsubscribing you know, unless it’s like way back in the day, but more recently it’s really never bothered me before and I don’t think email, I think emailing so many people has only confirmed to me that yes, I was right not having to worry about it, if people don’t want your emails, they will unsubscribe, if people don’t unsubscribe, then keep sending them emails, until they do or until they buy something. So, I’ve had a chat with a friend of mine a couple of months ago actually, he was launching a product and he had this email list he’s been building up for four years, and his product was kind of related to the niche but not exactly-
Gael: Can we say who this is?
Mark: I’m not going to say. It was to do with like working online and travel and this kind of stuff, and I was having chat with him like, okay, so you have this email sequence and he’s like yeah, but I’m going to send a few emails to the list and just get them to opt into it first. I’m like why, why don’t you just send them the promo, and he is like the first thing was well, they might unsubscribe and I might want to sell them stuff in the future. I’m like, dude, you are trying to sell them stuff now, like this is that point in the future where you need to be sort of getting the value-
Gael: I think there is this one thing, it’s like we all expect that one day there’s going to be a magical offer that converts super well, and we want these people to be around for that, you know.
Mark: Yeah, but the truth is that’s not really the case, you know, you’ll get new people the month before that, like even though we’re hammering our email lists, like this, it’s still growing, the total number of subscribers-
Gael: Actually it was almost stable in January, like I did the numbers and like on January first, let me just get the stats, January first we had 45,792 and February first we had 46,085, so if you count the subscribers we had during that month, that is 10% unsubscribe rate for the whole list, but I also looked at the month before where we did not do that to look at the natural unsubscribe rate, which is 3.4% so essentially, and if you count that roughly 90% of the list was old list that we did not email anymore.
Mark: Yeah, that’s the thing you know.
Gael: Essentially, the reach increase by a 1,000 and the unsubscribe rate only increased by 300.
Mark: Yeah, and the profit increased by infinity.
Gael: Yeah, exactly, if you look back at the money for sure, because these people were not getting any email from us at all.
Mark: Beside from the funnels versus- but I think a lot of that you’re right, it’s true, there’s people on that list you know, who had been there a year more that hadn’t received any emails from us and like who these guys now are, you know.
Gael: I actually put some examples of replies we got for these, so this ranges from, “This is great information, I’m a holistic health coach and I am going to use this”, to “Bitch, I never subscribe, do not email me at all”. So that is the range of reactions so yeah, but like I think some people were on this for a long time and just forgot and that’s it.
Gael: So, I guess that’s about it; oh yeah, in the future, are we, like how we are going ot be mixing content and promos, what’s the plan?
Mark: Okay, so initially, sort of my plan in January was actually to mix content and promos. But, for whatever reason I ended up just doing pure affiliate, we didn’t have that much new content coming out in January in a way, but I think that was something to do with it, but now that that’s good, I’m not actually going to be sending out to this list, you know, “here are the health benefits of avocados”, type articles; what I want to do is to round up emails. So them be maybe like four or five of the posts from the past few days, on there but it will have a sensational subject line, and one or one or two of the posts in there are not going to be Health Ambition posts, they are going to be affiliate links, I’m just going to sort of disguise them as posts.
Gael: So like pre sales content?
Mark: Well, not necessarily, even sales pages, you know, and just like the title of the mini section within email is going to be something sensational, I am not going to mention where it is or anything like that but I think that’s my next plan with it, and from I’ve seen other people do a sort of variation of this, actually when they are selling products and their thank you pages, that’s where I got the idea from, so yeah.
Gael: There is a big competitor viral called [00:19:12] that does that as well. Really big site. Ok, so my last question is going to be like one- was it worth it, and two- how would you compare that to other monetization methods and when should people start doing that?
Mark: Was it worth it, yes, we made like 4,000 or 5,000 dollars-
Gael: Like 4,500.
Mark: And the previous month doing the same thing we made zero, so yes, I’d say that’s worth it. Our list was largely stable as well which is good.
Gael: One thing I want to say is like we talked about 10% of subscriber rate throughout the month, but with 5,000 dollars we can buy these subscribers back, like three times more, with Facebook ads, so it’s also something to understand, it’s like you can cache out your list, lose 10% but then with 5,000 I can leads for like 40 cents on Facebook.
Mark: I think maybe some people might be scared off by this 10% thing like, honestly, like we had an email with that lot of those people on the list in a year and that’s what drove a lot of the unsubscribes, like I am sure if you compare February, March, it’s a lot lower.
Gael: Yeah, the unsubscribe rate drops off all the time for sure, but there is a corelation actually like the more often you email, the more the unsubscriber rate drops. And as soon as you start not emailing every day, it goes back up.
Mark: Well, that makes sense, because people can’t unsubscribe if they are not getting emails. [laugh]
Gael: But it goes down when people get more emails.
Mark: It goes down when people get more emails?
Gael: Yes, when people get an email every day, over time the unsubscribe rate goes down, and as soon as you start emailing less, then it goes back up.
Gael: So okay, how would you compare it to other monetization methods and when should someone start considering doing this?
Mark: Compared to other monetizations- it’s probably some of the easiest $4,500 we’ve ever made, I think in terms of, okay, I mean, so like figuring out what to do and stuff took a long time and in January it was a lot more time intensive, but now that we have the basic [00:21:31] to repeat a similar process, month in month out, isn’t so difficult, and like I think there is a lot more we can do to automate much of that as well, compared to building your own product, it’s much faster to get out of the door with, obviously, there is a cap on how much money you make with the affiliate offers, depending on your list size and the offers, whereas you know, if you are creating your own product, you know, you have other people promoting your product and so you really, you still want to have that as the angle, but I think that there are very complimentary things that you can be working on, I mean, when you’re emailing a blasting affiliate offers to your list, it’s the people who have gone through all your other filters and segments and funnels and whatnot.
Gael: They’ve seen it all.
Mark: And what else are these people going to do for you? Okay, maybe they will buy if you have a product that is coming up in the future, but you know, unless you are releasing sort of products every day or every week, that’s not really relevant, you know, you can make a ton of money off of these people by emailing these offers. So I don’t see any downside to it, there is going to be people who are like oh you know, it’s going to hurt my brand, I don’t want to be a spammer, we’re not spamming people with like diet pills or anything like that, these are like legitimate offers, they are not sort of like automatic credit card rebills or anything sort of shady like that, these are just regular stuff, a lot of them are on Click Bank or other places like that, so yeah, there’s really very little downside and I think it’s something which so many people overlook and I think it’s something which yes, you should start it, it’s probably sooner than you think, and you don’t, again, you have your site, you have sort of start collecting emails, and then you can immediately start sending these out. You don’t really need to wait a massive amount of time and as I said, it doesn’t take too much time, once you sort of figure out all the products, because you know, either you write a promo email and you use a similar version of that each time, or you know, in many cases, these product owners will provide affiliates with swipe files that you just copy paste and email, and you’re good, it takes five minutes to do that.
Gael: And they actually convert surprisingly well.
Mark: Yeah. very well. It is all about choosing the product though, there is I’d say 90% of the products out there have terrible sales pages and even the products themselves aren’t like at the right angle, but the ones that do well, do really well, so…
Gael: Yeah, it’s all about using your broadcast as a testing lab to find out what works, kick out everything that doesn’t work the first time and then reuse the ones that work and essentially build that library of things that you can put in front of your subscribers to increase the value over time. And then if you mix that with like opt in popups and stuff it’s pretty cool, passive income especially if you build all of this as an autoresponder. Alright, so I think we’re going to wrap it up, there is going to be a massive blog post for that, so go on the-
Mark: Can I just, sorry, before we finish, can I just finish with something and say I know like after listening to this whole podcast there is going to be people out there that are like I’m not going to do that, what are people going to think of me and stuff, like, seriously, do it for two weeks, try it, send 14 emails to your list and see what happens, you will get vocal minority of people that are like oh what happened, you are sell out, but the vast majority like 99% they won’t care, if they don’t want to hear it, they will unsubscribe. And then at the end of those two weeks, look at how much money you made and look at how much effort it was to make that much money and think is this worth doing in the future, so you know, just don’t knock them before you try it.
Gael: Yeah, so if you want to read the whole case study, if you want to see the graphs, you want to see all that stuff that I have spent a lot of time doing, go on the Authority Hacker blog, I don’t have the url yet but you will find it in a blog feed, so go and check it out and we’ll see you guys in the next podcast, have a good day, bye.
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