From what we see from clients email still remains one of the most misunderstood and under utilized marketing techniques out there.  We have clients that want to spend $1000 on pay per click but haven’t ever tried emailing their 500 person email list.  I will even admit that I have my spells of thinking that no one ever reads emails any more, but the truth is many do read them and considering the costs associated with SEO and Pay-Per-Click for most professional practices like doctors and dentists getting an extra 100 – 200 visitors to your site with an email costs considerably less than buying those clicks via Adwords, Facebook or the like . . . .

I have been sending out various emails and newsletter style emails to a number of very different businesses for the last three years.  I have worked with Dentists – Doctors – Vets – Physical Therapists – Salons and even Hotels.  The first surprising (to me) finding was how similar the email results were for what is seemingly very different group of businesses.

All the various emails were to what I’d call at least a “warm” list:  current patients, clients or prospects that had in some way reached out to the businesses for more information on something – basically some how the business had the persons email.

The simplified numbers work out to amazingly similar statistics.  The open rates ranged from 25% – 35% – with a few more successful – particularly creative efforts occasionally reaching beyond these averages.  And then the similarities continued.  The click through rates were also very similar with roughly 10-25% of those that opened the email clicking on through links within the emails.  So in short roughly out of 100 emails sent out we would drive 5-10 visitors directly to the site.

Now as with so many things the devil is in the details – right?  And the difference between the low end of the statistics and the higher end can mean a good deal of visitors making their way to your site.  So what made the differences?  The short answers are “creativity” and “personality”.  The old adage of “don’t be boring” has been around for a reason.  The more creative and personal the stories, posts, articles and images can be the more people click through them.

Other things that seemed to almost universally bump up the click through rates:  videos, offers, discounts, and things that created some suspense.

I have read a ton recently about email readership, delivery issues and strategy and I am sure things like headlines – time of delivery and other factors all combine to create a reasonably complicated mix of conditions to test through, but in this case the similarities between different businesses and industries was what actually stood out the most to us.

So – if you have an email list – use it – and if you are going to bother emailing your list make it fun – make it interesting and make it compelling.