Stefan Drew - The Marketing Magician

FE, Education & Business Marketing: Quick, Effective, Low Cost Marketing

Stefan Drew - The Marketing Magician

Email Delivery Problems: Is Email Marketing Dying?

I recently ditched my Email Lists in favour of more effective marketing tools (for me). I’m not suggesting you follow my lead on this but you do need to check what is working for you.


What was clearly working very well was my regular column in FE News.  The topic and headline were key, but overall the response rate was very good. I’m getting anything from a dozen to 170 shares from a single article; but better still the phone rings and I get messages via LinkedIn asking me to help solve business problems.

Speaking of LinkedIn. We are told it isn’t a sales tool .. and I agree. But I’m currently working on a piece of consultancy where the fee is a high five figure sum and that came in through LinkedIn. Fortunately this isn’t a one off. LinkedIn brings me in a lot of work and yet I never give out sales messages. 

The art of using columns, LinkedIn and PR is to evidence your authority and to “give in advance”. Giving in advance is easy to do. All that is needed is that you give away, to individuals or en masse, valuable advice, tips or tricks. Valuable to the recipient that is. The actual value to you might be nil or pennies. A bit of advice on a FAQ in your area is probably available on Google if someone looked,  It is the fact you give it away and demonstrate a context or similar that ads the value. 

And don’t worry about giving away your secrets. The FAQs are all answered somewhere online. What people will buy from you is probably far more than the answer to a FAQ. It is the service or product that supports it in many cases. 


Email Opening Rates Are Also Bad

Email delivery failure and high bounce rates are the only problem. Even where emails get delivered there are problems. One large organisation recently reported the following to me  “We recently target emailed 400 people and over 90% were unopened within two weeks”.  So a 10% open rate .. a result not so dissimilar to what Tom reports.

The answer Tom was given by my fellow mastermind group members mainly focused on using white listed servers, ensuring the emails didn’t get sent to promo tabs in google and consulting deliverability consultants.  That’s all valuable advice and I could write more about the detail. BUT the fact is that even where you survive the deliverability gauntlet people aren’t clicking as much as before .. and that applies to the lists of virtually everyone I know .. and some have lists of 100,000 + people.

Her’s my answer to the mastermind group. 

 This isn’t going to be a popular answer here as most of you have big lists. But as some of you know I’ve dumped my lists and am   getting better results with less heartache. Relying on lists means relying on email … and when it goes wrong you have no business. 

I hate having all my eggs in one basket .. so now I have a mix of ways to attract prospects and communicate with customers. In my  case I can hear you saying I’m not typical of this group as I’m a consultant and don’t focus on selling products. But others here are     using social media groups with significant impact. Others use podcasting, blogging etc .. so alternatives do exist. 

What other media could YOU use to help you become less reliant on email?  (I’m not suggesting cutting out email totally)

Focusing On SEO, Snippets and Googe Star Rating 

Other areas I’m focusing more on are SEO, Google Snippets and Google Star Ratings. These areas are significantly effective and I’m planning on devoting more time to them. 

I’ve written a lot about SEO in the past and you can find more by using the search bar at the top of the page. 

Ricjh snippets are working for me.
Click to Enlarge

Snippets are something else but, in many senses, interface between SEO and Star Ratings of various types. I’ve gone for Google Ratings but I could have just as easily focused on the ratings my books have on Amazon. Other star rating schemes include those for tradesmen and women.

In the adjacent example you’ll see where, on,  my site appears as the number one place under the top ads. But it is no ordinary search engine result. This one has my photo and a significant amount of content. It sin’t my meta descriptor tag info but something google has taken from the page that is even more significant.  


Better still Google also uses the page with meta descriptor tag info as well. 

A word of caution here. Google shows everyone slightly different results. In my case I’ve clicked on these pages so it favours them in my search. For me to base my SERPS results on that would give me false data. 

For this to work properly it has to work when someone that hasn’t done this particular search has a look.  They will get unbiased results and, if I show up in their results, that is what I need to achieve. 

So to see the real value of this try to search for How to Market a Restaurant in Google. 

I’d expect a percentage of you to find me .. but not everyone. And I’d expect more people to find me on than on other Google platforms .. simply because I’m UK based. 

Nothing in life is 100%. But if you can tip the balance in your favour you’ll find success much easier to achieve. 

I’ll explain more about how to get your search engine results showing in snippets in a future post.


In the meantime think carefully about how you communicate with prospects and customers .. email might not be the best option. 

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