How not to look stupid in your emails

by mandy on August 1, 2014

Using big words in your email marketing isn’t just dumb. It makes you look stupid.

Research out of Princeton reveals that using big “pretentious” words comes across as a sign of low intelligence and low credibility.

Coulda had a V-8Using small words comes across as far more credible.

It’s also smart email copy writing.

People click on what’s clear.

Experts say that you should write your email copy so a 5th to 8th grader could fully understand what you’re saying.

Wondering how you can shift from impressing your colleagues and boss with high-falutin words to writing to an 8th grader?

I got you covered.

Actually, a guy named Perry Marshall has you covered with his email text grader:

That’s right.

You get to copy and paste the text of your email into his Flesch-Kincaid Grade Level analyzer to judge the readability level of your email.

The Flesch-Kincaid measures the number of years of education generally required to understand your text.

Go on. Try it.

You know you’re curious.

P.S. This blog post reads at a Grade 6 level.


Did social media kill the newsletter?

by mandy on July 25, 2014


But the game changed.

Here’s how.

A dozen years ago, we found that newsletters were a brilliant way to “soft ask.”

Share some great content, ask for a donation or sale in the content of your newsletter, and BAM! the money rolled in.

It *was* brilliant because a newsletter cost very little in production (outside of endless hours of writing, editing, and approvals) and netted conversion rates of 5% – 20% instead of the customary 1% – 2% conversion rates.

Then social media and Google changed everything.

People could get content for free 24/7. They didn’t need your newsletter anymore to “be in the know.”

What’s more, the “one-way-streetedness” of a newsletter seems drab, boring, and as outdated as a rotary phone.


Printed newsletters are hard to share. Social media icons in newsletters perform poorly. You might get some email forwards, but your reader doesn’t have a chance to comment or interact with a community of interest.

I’ve had some nonprofit clients that saw their newsletter open and click through rates tank and want to “can it.”

Their board members flipped out. “This is how we stay in touch with our constituents. How else will they know how amazing we are?” I’m paraphrasing.

Here’s the thing, I’m not a fan of newsletters. Mostly because you get a great click-through rate for the top article and then the click-through rate for lower-level articles drops off.

I’m a huge fan of building a “community” of interest among your customers/donors. Newsletters make it tough for your readers to truly interact in a community.

I’m a bigger fan of blogs over newsletters with one condition.

RSS feeds are really a terrible distribution channel. You usually only get about a 2% engagement rate on your RSS feeds. There’s a good reason Google Reader went away.

You’re getting at least 18% open rates for emails, which is far better, so…

Better than a newsletter…

Blog + Email

Share a high-quality blog post 6, 8, or 12 times per year that you promote via email. You get better open rates, higher quality leads, search engine bump, and you give your readers a chance to feel like part of a community when they can comment and give you feedback.

People hesitate when I say “blog” mostly out of fear that you have to come up with lots of topics and publish frequently.

Not true.

You can publish a blog as infrequently as 6 times a year.

Plan to spend at least 10 hours writing a HIGH QUALITY blog post. Pour your heart into giving your readers a profoundly valuable experience, and watch it get more shares and comments and be better for your business or nonprofit.

Because of the glut of information available to us all, less frequency with higher quality will help you stand out.

The key to blogs isn’t high frequency. The key to successful blogs is consistency combined with promotion.

Be prepared to spend 20 hours promoting your high quality blog to get the exposure it deserves.

You’re probably spending more than that on newsletter filler articles that don’t get read anyway.

Isn’t it smarter to publish right to your subscribers inbox that they check frequently throughout the day on their smart phone?

Photo credit: andrewyang via Compfight cc


27 Hot LeadPagesEver wish you could get the Cliff Notes for growing your email list?

You know, just go straight to what works, and forget everything else?

Well, here’s your chance.

Click here to instantly get: 27 hot ideas to grow your email list with highly qualified leads super-fast.

Also, mind helping me out with something?

This hot-idea tip-sheet is totally free because I believe it will make your life easier. But I also want this tip-sheet to spread and help as many people as possible. For it to do that though, I need good people like you to spread the word and tell your friends and colleagues.

I’m partial, but I think your friends and colleagues will thank you for sharing this.

Please share on Twitter by clicking this link:

Otherwise, I sincerely hope 27 Hot Ideas to Grow Your Email List With High Qualified Leads Super-FAST helps you as much as as these tips have helped me and my clients.



P.S. Please be sure to drop me a note the when your email list has doubled or tripled. I’m fully expecting it to happen. :-)


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Free photos, headline hacks, copy writing tips, and bears, oh my!

June 20, 2014

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5 steps to create an email opt-in offer that really grows your email list

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Using an email opt-in offer to grow your email list is a hot trend right now. Because it really works. If you’re already using an email opt-in offer, or “lead magnet” you already know how well they work. Here’s a great example: If you’re not using an email opt-in, what’s holding you back? You don’t […]

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