When I started sending out emails back in 2010, I remember what the opening rates were like. An acceptable rate was between 30 and 50%. Although I found it odd that half of my list did not even open their emails, they were still extremely profitable. Whenever I sent out an email, sales were almost immediate.
Nowadays, I am over the moon if I reach a 15 to 20% opening rate. I know it depends on many things, such as content, relationship, etc.
Before anyone criticizes me about this part, I shall say it again: I know it.
But I also know that we cannot deny that the opening of emails is increasingly difficult. Just look at yourself. Yes, you. Every day we receive more and more emails. And, consequently, we have less and less time to open them.
And if out of 20% open rate – which I stress, is a good opening rate - 10% clicked on links sent by you, we are talking about 1% of your email base that actually clicked on your link. It is not difficult to understand the numbers.
The email is not dead … but it is no longer what it used to be
I’m not part of that bunch of apocalyptic prophets who say emails are dead. The email is there for you to make more professional contacts, more formal invitations for those you don’t know, etc. The list goes on and on. The point is: it is not dead, but rather on a near-death experience. For more professional communications between teams, tools like Slack or Hipchat have already been replacing a lot of emails.
For personal chats, WhatsApp and Messenger play that role.
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The moment for Bots has arrived
But now you must be asking yourself:
If the email is dead, how can I communicate with my clients?
I very much believe that this replacement can be done through the bots. When people are on their cell phones, most of them are on social networks. Same goes for when they are on desktops. For instance, on Facebook Messenger´s bot, the opening rate is not 100%, but it is close to it. The click rate is equally high.
Your content needs to be where most people are.
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But in order for you to start having success with the bots, you need to get to work as of now. Fortunately, there are tools that are already helping people in this process. Tools like ChatFuel or ManyChat already allow you to create bots quite easily and without great technical knowledge.
Although the opening rates are higher, content remains the differential factor of success or failure of your content: if the theme is interesting, you will have more clicks and openings; if not, not even the bots can save you.
For now, getting people to subscribe to bots and receive your content is somewhat easier. Since it is still something new, people are more prompt to accepting bot contents. But in the future, it will be harder to engage and get people to sign newsletters on our bots. So, focus on quality content to start creating an audience that is interested in receiving what you have to share.
Just remember what it was like to subscribe to newsletters 10 or 15 years ago. Everyone wanted to subscribe to the newsletter to receive the content. Today, everyone is running away from newsletters.
But now, you have a second chance. The bots are the new newsletters.