But it’s a full-moon …

moon-182145_640…. you didn’t really expect our product to work when it’s a full moon, right?

(I guess I should’ve read the fine-print: no useful functionality to be expected anytime after or before a full-moon. Absolutely no functionality guaranteed during a full-moon +/- a fortnight either side of said full-moon)

If you’ve been following this blog for a while, you know that I’ve been having a less than stellar experience with an online product that allows you to create lead,-or squeeze-pages.

Only just yesterday, an hour of my life-time, time I can never get back again, went down the “oops, I guess just pressing ‘save’ isn’t the intuitively right thing to do”-tube (ah, hang on, it was a full-moon, what did I expect)

But, enough of the griping, it’s my *choice* to use said tool (well, it’s on its way out anyway), so I shouldn’t complain.

However, there is another reason for my disillusionment with said product:

My own stats, as well as findings by the good folk over at mindvalley.com show that the pages created by said tool are overly optimized for CONVERSION.


a little-known fact most people overlook:

The real measure of success of a business is of course not how many people sign up for free beer, but instead how much money they leave with you.

And exactly that, the “spending money with you” part is something that suffers at the expense of ‘beautiful design and high conversion rates’.

To give you a very real example:

Here’s an email I sent to 191 subscribers.

It resulted in 17 opens (8.9% open rate), 10 clicks (5.2% CTR) and one complaint.


well, er, what’s wrong with 8.9% open rate?

Well, technically speaking that’s actually ok, however, that is the follow-up ONE DAY after signup.

“Ouch” doesn’t even begin to describe it.

More importantly:

a signup that resulted in an average 43% signup rate.

In other words:

people were sooooo excited about the signup (and boy, the freebie is lovely, and the winning landing page did look oh, ever so delicious) that towards the end of our split-testing, almost one in 2 people signed up (a little over 48%).

And yet, the very day after, only 8.9% of those who were so excited the day before opened the email.

How’s that for a rather rubbish ‘real’ conversion rate (after all, if they don’t read our emails, they definitely won’t buy anything we recommend).

As nobody bought anything, we can’t even compute the cost-per-real-acquisition (where the ‘real’ stands for ‘customer’, as opposed to ‘rather cold prospect’).

Moral of the story:

Click-through rates mean nothing.

They’re just good for bragging.


as we all know, having high CTRs gives you lower ad costs.

Awesome, I’m now getting more rubbish traffic for less money, sweet!

(there’s another, even more sinister reason why more is actually not just less, but really, really bad. That however is the topic of an article where we need at least a total lunar eclipse)

Email Open Rates mean nothing.

They’re just good for bragging (see above;-)

Especially with Gmail’s latest update that loads ALL images through proxy-servers, open rates are becoming even more irrelevant.

What we want is: open-click-buy.

If you don’t get all 3 steps, forget it.

However, as usual, the common marketing wisdom is:

you should focus all your effort on getting as many people as possible to open that dang email.


You should focus all your energy on getting the RIGHT kind of prospects into the right email sequences, as we do and teach in Graceful Email Marketing.

Then they’ll open your email, no matter what your subject line says!

Sign-up rates mean nothing.

They’re just good for bragging.


as all the shiny, glossy ads tell us: “just imagine what it would mean for your business if you could double your signup rates”… and boom, we’re out to sign up for yet another squeeze-pages thing that leads us down the wrong path.

Turns out, rather than focusing on getting as many people into your funnel, you should be doing exactly the opposite!

You’ve struck gold when you have a system that REJECTS as many unqualified prospects as possible, so you can focus all your energy on those who matter!

Your thoughts?


PS: unfortunately, the main stumbling block to implementing ‘rejection marketing’ is once again, not technology, but ….???? (more next time;-)



  1. You’ve got me confused Veit. You don’t like said tool, but then you send me to a link that touts said tool as a clear clear winner.

    Decipher please.

    • Art, read the Mindvalley article again!

      The curiosity-oriented pages made with “Said tool” are a clear LOSER!

      Slight advantage on the signup rate, but down massively on the EPC!

  2. Rejection Marketing…exactly what I need now. I have a customer who will pay me very well with sales commission..but I must get a 1 in 3 sales conversion rate or they won’t take my leads.

  3. Yep, I agree with you Veit.

    Tools are just tools – some are better than others. They can help productivity and get more done in less time.. i.e. They can improve your cost-base and therefore, improve your profits. But they are “just” tools.

    They won’t help you with what matters for your own business which is marketing & sales.

    Of course, other things matter too and there are a zillion views on what’s on that list.

    But…no sales = no revenues = you don’t have a business!

    Personally, I pay almost no attention to open rates, they’re all hopelessly inaccurate no matter who you use. I pay some attention to CTR (after all, 0% means something’s really wrong). But what really gets my attention is Sales (or not).

    By the way, in the Mind Valley article, the comments are quite interesting too…

  4. How about just forgetting freebie seekers and only doing Buyer Lists, even for $1 (or one Euro)? Reject those that have not pulled out a Credit card.

    Of course maybe even better would be to just do High Roller lists and reject small spenders….

    What is the game here, errr which business are we in??? The winner is not the person with the biggest list. Responsive list? Retention? Loyal admirers to satisfy your ego?

    Hear the one about how it took a guy 3 years to finally make a first purchase? Maybe we write emails to HIM each week??
    Do we be nice and wait then take his money, or reject him years ago?

    • Ha, if only there were a simple answer.

      reality is: some people take forever to make up their minds. They have to see the same message over and over again. Sometimes spread out over years. Until they’re finally ‘ready’.

      Others may just not be that interested in what you’ve got at a particular time, so they’re not ‘ready’, but in a different sense.

      Therefore my answer (if I had to condense it down to a sentence): make sure you KNOW where you pick people up (which of the 4 quadrants), and then move them to Q1 as quickly as possible.

      that way you’re constantly delivering relevant information and you see from the response (how/if they’re consuming your content) if you have them on the right list.

      If not, use surveys (or simply observe click/consumption behaviour) to figure out what else they’re interested in right now.

      Then, from time to time, sprinkle in a little of the thing they might be ready for now, if they bite, cool, otherwise, back to relevant stuff they are interested in NOW.

      Ah, so, on the paid vs free.

      good arguments for both approaches.

      if you have a solid enough market, all in Q1, then no point investing all that energy in identifying the Q2-Q3 prospects and moving them over to Q1.

      If not big enough, or massive competition in Q1, then focus on the free content of Q2/Q3 and build a fence around those prospects.


  5. Veit

    Agree with these sentiments and am fool enough to ask you “Graceful Email Marketing” What’s that?



    • hehe, Graceful Email Marketing is a course that’s currently closed.

      It’s out top-end email marketing course, we’re right now updating it to include more ‘social’ stuff (listbuilding & emailing lists created from social).

      once that’s done, we’ll re-open



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