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The future of email marketing

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Email Marketing is Dead, Long Live Email Marketing

Tom Morkes

I heard recently that Apple (and soon to follow: Google, Microsoft, and all the tech oligarchs) will be phasing out your ability to track whether someone has opened your emails or not.

Some people are freaking out:

New changes coming to the email marketing world

Companies like Apple claim it’s for privacy.

Obviously, it’s for money (“”He who controls the spice data controls the universe” – Dune” – Tom).

As someone who relies on email marketing to make a living, this might be the kind of thing you’d think would worry me.


#1. I don’t get worried (I missed that lesson at mouse school)

#2. I don’t think it matters

Here’s why:

If you’re measuring your “success” by number of people who open your emails, you’re already losing.

That’s because “open rates” have historically been innacurate for a number of reasons I won’t get into here…

But more importantly, it’s essentially a “vanity metric” — aka, it doesn’t pay the bills.

Things like “likes”, “hearts”, “opens”, and “pats on the back” are all vanity metrics. You can’t trade them for bread or even crypto.

What you should be looking for is engagement.

To help you out, here are a few tips to help you measure engagement so you can get the most out of your email marketing.

I hope they serve you in your creative and professional endeavors.

#1. Start measuring and tracking ACTIONS.

This is something that will be harder for the tech oligarchs to squash because there are a few ways to track actions.

For example, you can track clicks inside your EMS (email marketing system) for the time being (e.g. inside ConvertKit, I can apply a TAG to anyone who clicks a specific link in my emails):

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But if I want added redundancy, I can create a REDIRECT link on my site using something like Pretty Link or RankMath, use THAT url inside my emails, and measure engagement that way:

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Another benefit to this solution – while not directly integrated into your EMS, you can track this in Google Analytics (or equivalent analytics software), and it will be much harder for companies like Apple to restrict this form of tracking…for now.

#2. Start sending emails with purpose.

I believe we live in a time where people are drowning in information (not to mention: noise + distraction).

A way to make your email marketing the most effective it can be is to send emails with intention.

And that “intention” shouldn’t be to ‘inform.’

Instead, your “intention” should be concrete, e.g.:

  • Book a call
  • Get a discount on relevant offer
  • Solicit feedback (survey, reply to email, etc.)

There’s simply no reason to send emails that stricly “inform” these days.

And yes, this is the basic premise or ethos behind direct response marketing, and yes, I think it’s as true today as it’s every been (and only going to be more useful in the weeks, months, and years to come).

#3. Start an email list TODAY.

If there’s one thing that’s clear, the tech oligarchs want more control:

They want control of your data (they can charge platforms and companies more to rent or use it that way), and of the means of communication and distribution (this is the real spice / gold).

While these are significant changes coming to email marketing…the only real danger is missing the email / newsletter marketing game altogether.

Bottom line:

If you don’t have an email list, start one TODAY…and do what you can to build relationships with your first 100 subscribers.

My first 100 subscribers helped support my online business and early publishing endeavors.

I spent a LOT of time replying to their emails, sending personal follow ups, and engaging with them.

If you break it down to profit vs. time investment, I was basically working for free.

(In fact, I document my sweat shop wages here)

From a strictly profit-making perspective, it was NOT wortthwhile.

However, it was CRITICAL to get me to where I wanted to go, because these first few subscribers supported my work financially in the early days, and they ended up being some of my biggest champions as I grew.

(and many of these first 100 subscribers are STILL subscribed to my newsletter 7+ years later…thanks ladies and gents, you’re the best)


So what I’m saying is:

  • Get on the email marketing game NOW if you haven’t yet…
  • If you’re already running a newsletter, now is the time to re-engage, and see what you can do to grow it…
  • Double down on engagement and getting to know the ‘person behind the email address’ — especially early on, when you have fewer subscribers and limited reach. This is critical for your foundation for growth

That’s it for today.

Keep on, keep trucking.

Tom “Mas Emails” Morkes

p.s. Need help on turning your emails into sales, revenue, and profit? Here's a free ticket to the "Virtual Selling Summit" hosted by my friend Henri Schauffler:

Click here to claim your free ticket.

Learn from todays sharpest sales minds, including yours truly, for the best price of all -- free!

Started, finished, and shipped from 7,000 feet elevation | Writing time: 1.5 hrs | Soundtrack: silence

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