The fallacy of email open rates

By April 24, 2020Marketing

A couple of days ago, I read some articles about why email open rates are incredibly unreliable.

My point is not to go into a technical debate on whether that’s 100% true.

But, if you’re using emails to sell your products or services, there’s a valuable lesson to learn. (By the way, if you’re not using emails in your business, you’re missing out on easy profit. Of course, it’s your business, your decision, I’m not here to judge.)

The lesson is simple:

I know and have met plenty of business owners (small, medium, and even multi-million dollar corporations) who obsess over vanity metrics.

Perfect example:

Email open rates.

It’s a hot topic, too.

Just step into the depths of social media. You’ll quickly find plenty of so-called experts beating their chests about their email marketing savviness.

Spoiler alert: Most of them don’t know jack about what they’re talking about.

However, this idiotic behavior is not only reserved for our highly beloved, so-called experts (whom I hold in very low esteem).

For example:

When I worked in the corporate world, plenty of people obsessed over similar useless nonsense, too.

They would frantically go over every email broadcast… call in for extra meetings… frazzled looks on their faces… obsessing over why our last email broadcast wouldn’t get the open rate they’d hoped for.

In hindsight, it was pretty hilarious.

But, honestly, it was a total waste of time.

With stuff like email open rates being so unreliable because of limitations and constant technological changes, it’s utter foolishness to focus on metrics you can’t rely on to save your life.

A different example:

You could write a subject line so compelling that people simply can’t help but open your latest email masterpiece.

A classic example is Barack Obama’s most successful subject line in his presidential campaign.

What was the subject line?

From: Barack Obama
Sent: Monday, October 22, 2012
Subject: Hey

Just three letters.

And that email was responsible for millions of dollars worth of donations.

But, high email open rates does not a successful business make.

Whatever the type of business you’re in, the #1 thing that matters is the number of sales generated.

Whatever the case, you shouldn’t rely on email open rates, let alone make critical business decisions based on them.

There are, of course, other metrics and variables you shouldn’t base your decisionmaking process on either.

But that’s a bedtime story for another time.

The point to all this:

In the case against email open rates… you should focus more on creating content that does two things: (1) Give your audience *actual* value (i.e., stories, tips, resources, humor, etc.). (2) Make sure that your content connects with your audience on an emotional level (i.e., don’t just serve people a hot plate of boring facts. Create content that addresses their unspoken hopes, fears, and dreams. Show them, don’t tell, that you are, in fact, a genuine expert who wants to help them.)

Which is exactly what my Instant Infotainment method helps you do.

If you want to learn more about how to write emails to 2x (even 5x) your sales, check out the free online training I’ve put together.

You’ll get free instant access to the training via the link here: