The “little email that could”

This Thanksgiving weekend was pretty much a blur.

Not so much because of the travel and turkey (although those was a factor).

No, I’d come down with a “fun” little cold that started in my head and then sank its phlegmy tendrils into my chest as well.

About the same time, my business partner and I decided to turn our planned Cyber Monday sale into a Black Friday/Cyber Monday sale as an experiment.

That meant I needed to add a couple of “filler” emails to the middle of the sales sequence I’d already set up.

Normally that wouldn’t be a big deal, but at this point I was pretty lightheaded from the cold and all the meds I was taking just to keep me out of bed…

I decided to just get the emails written as quickly as I could. So I popped open the PDF of the book we were selling and started skimming thru it.

I stopped when I hit the chapter on programming fonts. Fonts are a hot button topic with programmers—everyone has their favorite, and they’ll argue and argue about which font is “best.”

Good enough! I jumped on that, and banged out a quick email about the “best” programming font. I hinted at a “secret” setting that could be even more important to making your code easy to read, and gave ’em a link to buy the book to find out what that secret was.

The email was pretty short—around 200 words. I didn’t time how long I spent on it, but it was probably around 15-20 minutes. (Keep in mind that my head was spinning the whole time…)

What happened?

Well, remember how I said yesterday that open rates don’t matter?

This is a perfect example.

On Friday I sent an email to announce our Black Friday sale. I’d put a lot of care into crafting this first email, which explained the package in detail and offered a 60% discount. The email earned a solid 31.8% open rate.

My hastily written “filler” email went out on Sunday morning—typically NOT a great time for my list.

And the open rate sank like a rock as a result—almost 3,000 fewer people read the second email.

Seems like the first email was the clear winner, right?


Because in this case I’m able to track which email made the most sales.

And second email DESTROYED the first email—outselling it by a margin of 33%.

(What makes that even more remarkable is that you typically get the most sales on day 1 of a promotion.)

The moral here is simple:

Tracking and measuring is great.

But make sure you’re measuring what really matters, or your numbers will lead you astray.

Now if you want to be able to bang out emails in 20 minutes (even when your brain is in a drug-induced cloud)…

Contact me and I’ll let you know when my email coaching program is ready to launch.