Many business coaches and gurus will tell you “The money is in the list,” which may lead you to believe that sending an email works like a cash machine, depositing money in your bank account.
But it doesn’t work that way. Success online is a numbers game.
As an example, one of my clients recently launched a new live event that she is planning on hosting regularly.
She did a great job networking and getting the word out about this event even before she put up the webpage to sell it. So when she was ready to open the doors to registration, she had 31 names on her list.
Of the 31 people she sent her initial invitation to:
- 18 opened the email
- 3 clicked a link in the email
- 3 signed up for the event
These numbers correspond to a 58.1% open rate, a 9.7% CTR (Click Through Rate) and an 100% Conversion rate (percentage of people who clicked who actually make a purchase).
My client was a bit disappointed with these results, but should she have been? Let’s put them in perspective.
In most industries, email marketing open rates have been dropping steadily over the last several years as people’s inboxes have gotten more crowded. At this point, most businesses are seeing an open rate of less than 20% (If yours is better than that, pat yourself on the back).
The percentage of emails sent that actually result in a click, the CTR, is generally in the neighborhood of 4%.
And Conversion rates are usually pretty low, often less than 5%, but can be even lower than that.
So, my client who was disappointed actually significantly out performed most other email marketers:
- Her open rate was 190% higher than average
- Her Click Through Rate (CTR) was 143% higher
- And her Conversion Rate was over 1900% higher!
I believe the reason that she was disappointed was because she had believed — either consciously or subconsciously — rationally or not, that each email sent would equal a sale.
But this is simply not true.
Some people will never see your email. Some people simply won’t be interested.
There is money in your list, but the key to success is in the NUMBERS.
Going back to my client, let’s help her fill her room:
- The room holds 30, so she needs 27 more tickets sold
- 100% conversion means she needs 27 clicks to sell 27 tickets
- 9.7% click rate means she’d need to send her email invitation to… 279 people.
And that is assuming that her outstanding numbers hold true for a larger list. The reality is likely to be more in alignment with the average, which would mean she’d need to send her email to 13,500 people!
Here’s the math: With a conversion rate of 5%, 540 people would need to see the page in order to have 27 sign up. The email would need to be sent to 13,500 to earn 540 clicks (with 4% CTR).
Getting people onto your email list is no small feat. In the last Conversation2Sales newsletter, I shared with you how much work I did to enroll the 100 people in my free 31 Day Blogging Challenge. Enrolling over 13k would take either a lot of money and/or a lot of time.
Contrast this to the conversion rate from a live talk: Most presenters can expect a conversion rate from a live talk of between 5-10%. Given this, my client would need to speak in front of only 270-540 people to sell out her event.
With some real numbers to look at, does it seem like more work to stand in front of 500 people for an hour, or to get over 13,000 people to subscribe to your mailing list? Which could you reasonably do, say, in the next 30 days?