One of the most important rules of email marketing is this:
Make your emails appear valuable.
I’ll admit, this “rule” of mine draws inspiration from Gary Bencivenga’s philosophy for all types of advertising.
But in email, it’s even more important.
When you look at your email inbox, there are two types of emails. You probably think these two types are “commercial” and “personal.”
I think of it a little differently.
I think you can divvy up your inbox into “valuable” and “junk.”
An email from a friend or loved one is usually personal and valuable. But not all personal emails are valuable. An email from your boss might be personal, but it might ruin your day when you read it.
See what I mean?
We sort our inbox by emails we LIKE to read and emails we HAVE to deal with.
As an ecommerce email marketer or business owner, it’s super important that your emails fall into that valuable category.
When most people here this, they think they have to teach a lot of cool stuff or include thousands of words of content.
That’s not necessarily required, in my opinion.
Today, I wanted to demonstrate this “make your emails appear valuable” principle in action. And I thought the best way to do that was to show you an email example that tips so far into the “valuable” category… that the email itself IS the product.
I think you’re going to like it.
So strap yourself in.
You’ll definitely want to grab yourself a cup of coffee for this one.
And get ready to take a look at a really fucking good email.
This is the 11th installment of my Email of the Week series. (Catch up on previous episodes here.)
And in case you’re new around here, here’s how this all works…
The Rules For Email Of The Week
Each week, I go out into the wild to find a super-effective e-commerce marketing email… and I break down what made it work. My goal is for you to tune in each week, so I can teach you strategies and best practices YOU can use to make your own emails better.
I find these emails in my inbox, but I also accept suggestions from readers who have a remarkable email they’d like to share.
If you recently received an email that was so awesome it made your jaw drop, I wanna see it.
Forward it to me (chris at theemailcopywriter dot com) with a brief message about what you liked about it. If I choose to do a breakdown of the email you sent, I’ll give you a shout out and link to your site.
The only rule is… you can’t pick yourself.
Now then, without further ado, let’s check out the Email of the Week!
The Most Valuable Email List in the World?
This company… let me tell ya.
These guys are smart as shit.
Here’s what they did:
They start a daily email newsletter that sells… wait for it… absolutely nothing!
They don’t use a “traditional” lead magnet.
And their entire website is literally a squeeze page:
The coolest thing is, back in February, it was reported that they had a million subscribers and generated $3,000,000+ in annual revenue in 2018.
The craziest part… they had 11 full-time employees.
I was mind blown when I learned this.
Their entire business model is a daily email that sells nothing and they are growing like a weed, making money hand over fist.
It’s absolutely incredible.
And when you understand how this business works, it’s going to change your perspective on what email COULD mean for your business.
(All those “email is dead” internet marketing douchebags are pretty quiet now, aren’t they?)
From my outside perspective, it looks like their #1 objective is to grow their list.
Their homepage is a squeeze page with NO clickable buttons. Once you subscribe, you’re encouraged to share the list with your friends so you can get “points” which can earn you things like a ‘secret’ newsletter… a coffee mug… a t-shirt… and other cool prizes.
The reason WHY they want to grow their list is because the way they monetize is with ads. The coolest thing with their ads though, is that they aren’t traditional ads.
They’re more advertorial than ads.
Most of the time, you don’t even realize you’re reading an ad until you get to the end.
They have incredible writers who do a great job with their ad copy.
Let’s take a look at one of these bad boys so you can see what I mean:
If there’s one reason to subscribe to Morning Brew, it’s to take a look at their subject line game.
Take a look for yourself:
Not going to break down each one, but they’re all fun, playful and they make your curious what’s inside.
Back up there in the beginning of the email you see they start off with a tease about what’s in today’s issue.
In essence, this email newsletter is taking over the newspaper industry. Boomers read the paper at the kitchen table with a cup of joe. Millennials read Morning Brew on the train to the city with a cup of Starbucks in their hand.
The beginning of the email draws you in. And you also see the first “ad placement” right below the Morning Brew Logo.
After that, they get right into the content…
What’s really cool about this concept is that each day, there’s always a reason to come back. This isn’t “evergreen” at all. It’s more here’s what’s happening today… here’s what we think will happen tomorrow.
You need to keep reading to stay informed.
It’s baked right in.
So I’d imagine they get great readership and have awesome open rates.
That first section is usually about the markets. Everyone cares about money.
If nothing else, YOU probably care about your money, so you’re going to want to see that info right up front.
What’s really great about these content blocks is the fact that they’re so tight and pithy.
Not a word is wasted.
Because, after all…
Morning Brew gives it to you quick and fast.
What’s cool is that they kind of supply you with talking points you can use in a conversation with friends or coworkers.
You FEEL smart when you read it. And you know just enough to speak intelligently on world events and business news.
This is what will keep you coming back for more. It’s awesome.
Here’s another content section.
Short, sweet, to the point.
(I figured out how to format this image. Much better this time… right?)
I’m not going to post EVERY single content section. If you want to see full examples, then sign up for Morning Brew for yourself.
Let’s take a look at some other really cool parts of their emails…
What you see before your very eyes is an ad.
It doesn’t really LOOK like an ad when you first look at it. In fact, it looks like more content. Which is why it’s so awesome.
It’s written in the exact same font and style and language as the other pieces of the email. It blends right in.
You see, people tune out ads that look like ads… especially in their inboxes. People don’t want ads in their inboxes.
They DO want to learn.
They DO want to be more educated.
They DO want to read interesting things.
This “ad” here does all that. It’s not some big stupid fucking picture with a discount code and a buy button.
That is kind of a lazy strategy.
Instead, they use COPY to sell.
This Fundrise ad blends right in and it has the look and feel of a piece of content. So you read it. And if that product solves a problem you’d like solved… you might click thru and take them up on their offer.
That’s how it’s done, ladies and gents.
Member how I said Morning Brew’s #1 objective seems to be to grow their email list?
Check this out…
In every single one of their emails, they bribe you to share the newsletter.
They know people usually don’t do things unless there’s something in it for them.
So they reward you for taking action.
Here’s what’s really cool about this…
If YOU enjoy reading Morning Brew, you probably know a few people who are just like you who will like it too.
This list growth compounds over time.
Super smart strategy right here.
One last thing…
They sneak in a few smaller ad placements in those bullets up top.
They’ve very smart for allowing multiple opportunities to advertise within each newsletter.
This space is SUPER valuable and they have an engaged group of smart people who read this daily email.
One more last thing…
Right above those other, smaller ad placements I just told you about… did you see what they did there?
That “what else is brewing” section is SO GOOD.
Do you see what they’re doing there?
All of those stories are “open loops.”
They are stories that are continuing to develop.
Do you know why they include that part?
So you tune in tomorrow.
Big Takeaways from Morning Brew
- MAKE YOUR EMAILS VALUABLE
- Get attention first, then sell.
- Copy sells, graphics don’t.
- Keep people coming back for more.
- Open loops to keep attention.
- Be fun and playful with your copy.
- Pictures and gifs are fun.
- Be tight and pithy.
- Give people talking points that make them feel smarter.
- Email every day – it works.
Subscribe to Morning Brew
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What To Do Now
- Subscribe to my email list so you can get ALL of the Emails of the Week delivered straight to your inbox, automatically.
- Leave a comment for me below and let me know what you liked about this email.
- Send this breakdown to someone you know who has a physical product business. This might inspire them to make their emails more valuable.
- Subscribe to Morning Brew and get awesome emails like this every day. They will ake you smarter.