November 20

AS3 – Bond Halbert: Get Your Emails Opened, Read, and Acted Upon


AS3-Bond_HalbertIn the third Action Seminar, Bond Halbert shows how to keep your email out of the junk file, using the principles of his father Gary Halbert’s A-pile/B-pile direct mail method. He tells how to write good email that gets opened.

Bond’s comments:

Now…avoiding the online version of the “Oh, yuck” factor, it’s not enough that they open their email, they have to start reading it. If they had opened my dad’s letter and all the coupons fell out, they’d go “oh, yuck” and throw it away. In this case, you want to have the same virtual feeling online, and what bothers you in an email bothers other people.

This is me, personally. I say “no animated junk”. If I open it up and there’s a bunch of animated bunny rabbits and everything jumping around it looks like my 13-year-old daughter has forwarded me a piece of junk. So, I’m not interested, I’ll go “oh, yuck” and I’ll close it.

Lots of eye relief. This means that if you open an email and it is a long, huge letter and it looks like a big legal disclaimer, you are going to say “I don’t have time for this, maybe I’ll read it later, and in sales delay is death. OK, it’s just absolutely true. People will say “oh, I’ll come back to you” and they never do. So, the thing is, it can still be a long one, but if people see a bunch of short, little paragraphs and simple sentences, they can say “oh, let me see what is in there” and they may get sucked into your copy. So, you need to provide eye relief.

One way to make it look easy to read is to use frames. This is really important. Frames is what, you know, if you put your text in a frame it stops it from a 22 inch computer giving you eye fatigue. So, it controls it. Also, if you are looking at it on an ipad it sizes it properly. And when they look at it on an ipad mini and when they look at it on an iphone. It’s all looking readable to them. So, use frames for sure.

The other thing is pics. Use pictures, but only if they help alleviate how much copy. If they say a whole lot about what you’re doing. What you do is put a little title underneath the pic and make the title and the pic an active link that they can click on. OK? I actually was told (this was a while ago, the experts don’t do this any more) “oh, never use pictures”, but I experiment. So I experimented with a picture that I thought might do that. It increased my click-through rate 400%.

So, pics are good to use if it is the right pic. OK? And they say it all. But, use a 1 point border. And what that does, if they don’t have their images turned on when they receive the email and you don’t have a 1 point border, they will see a little “x”. If you have a 1 point border they will see that they are missing something. That they are missing a picture. And when you fill in that good alt description, and I say “Screen shot from Bond’s 76% open rate”, they know what’s beyond that picture. And they will click and open that picture, and that is an engagement. That is going to have the effect of helping to improve your click-through rate, turning on your emails, but it will actually help you, again, you are engaging the email, it is not span, we are not going to throw this email into the spam box.

Finally, you send HTML and text. Everybody argues back and forth about this. We do it. Just send them both. They get the best of both worlds. They choose what is best for them. The only change we have to make is that we can’t use a small little hot link. You have to spell out the link so they can copy and paste it from the text version. It is not just an automatic play.

OK. Hide the buy button. This is really easy. You don’t have to say “Buy Now”, “Buy Now”, “Buy Now”, you can say “Click here for more information”. You can still use buttons, you just don’t have to say the word “buy button”. So, if I open up the email, the buy button can be hidden down below the fold, meaning they have to scroll down to see it. Or, it is just a little link, saying “for more information”, or “to check out the Boron Letters” and it is just a link, it is not a big, spammy, oh, yuck factor thing.

So, avoid the oh, yuck factor

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