Joel Packer on June 19th, 2013
Our mission at Gumroad is to empower sellers to make a living doing what they love. Besides giving you the tools to sell your work, we want to help give you the knowledge to use them effectively so that you can maximize your sales.
Despite the growing use of social networks, email is still the best way to market your product. Research shows that email converts 3-5X better than Facebook and Twitter and leads to more revenue. That’s why we’ve put together some helpful email tips for you.
Test subject lines
Attention grabbing headlines are crucial. Just like your middle school teacher taught you, you need an intro to capture your reader. Readers respond to emotional hooks. In fact, 35% of people open emails based just on the subject line. As perhaps the biggest contributor to your email campaign’s success, be sure to test and optimize your subject lines: many email services allow you to see open rates.
Send multiple emails
Sending multiple emails is a great way to increase sales and ensure that your message is getting in front of as many of your fans and subscribers as possible. Even if it’s “just a reminder”, sending a second (or third) email can drive a huge bump in sales. Gumroad seller Nathan Barry utlized this tactic on the release of his latest product, Authority. Nathan writes:
I sent two emails on launch day. The first email was at 9:20 a.m. Eastern (supposed to be 20 minutes earlier) announcing the launch, and the second was later that day as a reminder that the launch sale would end soon. In this chart of revenue per hour, can you figure out when the second email was sent?
Yep, about 8:00 p.m.
Looking at the stats for that second email, you may think it was a failure. The open rate was only 40.2% and the click rate was only 9.3%. Both are quite low compared to the list average. Even worse, 89 people unsubscribed, which is 1.3% of the entire list. Compared to my normal list stats, those are terrible.
But then you look at the hourly sales graph and see that email drove at least $5,000 in revenue. Does it still seem like a failure?
Mix content with commerce
While sending multiple emails can be a winning strategy, nobody likes to be bombarded with emails that just say “Buy, Buy, Buy”. By adding useful content to your emails, your readers will want to open them. Adding free content to your emails is a great way to get your fans hooked, and give them a tease of what your product is all about. As Gary Vaynerchuk said in his interview with Gumroad:
Content and commerce are becoming brother and sister in this war of business opportunities.
Providing your email list with a special offer is a great way to boost conversion. Buyers are always looking for value. An “exclusive” or “limited time” $5 off can make a huge difference in whether people buy or not.
Reach your audience at the right time
Open and click rates vary based on the time of day. While morning emails are opened most, as that’s the first thing most people do when they get to their desk, clicks of links in emails peak in the late afternoon. As you’re aiming to get users to click through to your product, be aware of where your subscriber base is located. You can even segment emails based on time zone.
Keep it short
While you can’t technically make a sale from your email, you can certainly lose one by having too long of an email. The last thing you want is for your readers to delete your email before they even get to the call to action. Your goal is to provide value to the reader and get them intrigued enough to click through to your product.
Have some of these ideas worked for you? Have other tips we should include? We love hearing your feedback, so feel free to get in touch here.