email practices that guarantee deliverability & conversions

Yesterday, I talked about why first impressions matter. (read Part 1 here)

Today, I want to share a secret experiment that proves the point.

I’ve been conducting an undercover study of my inbox behavior. The goal is to understand what motivates me to read… what keeps me subscribed… and what compels me to buy.

Here’s how it works:

  • I’ll wander around on social media, looking for interesting ads. 
  • Then, I’ll visit their website to see if they have an optin form.
  • Once I’m in, I’ll spy on their emails like a fly on the wall.

Throughout the research, I joined 25 marketing newsletters plus 375 ecommerces. A total of 400 email lists.

Here are the results:

  • I unsubscribed to 95% of the newsletter within a few weeks

I joined the newsletters because either I’m interested in the products or the ads caught my attention. But…


(flash sales after flash sales, discounts after discounts)


So, I unsubscribed.

Takeaway: People might join out of interest or value (“15% off discount code”) but will only stay if your emails are entertaining.

  • I saved 4% of the emails

I stayed on 17 newsletters with my “subscription email” – the email address I used for newsletter subscriptions only.

I don’t read these newsletters every day.


I don’t read these emails most days, but I’ll save them in case “I have time”… because they’re interesting enough.

Takeaway: If your email provides – a laugh, an insight, an encouragement, or a tip – people will stay even if they’re not ready to buy.

  • There are 1% (total of 4 newsletters) I read EVERY EMAIL

I joined 4 newsletters using my “main email address” because I WANTED to read their emails ASAP.


Because I fell in love with the newsletter on first impression.

They have a Welcome Flow (aka welcome sequence) that’s fun and insightful. So, I was hooked early on… therefore, the engagement lasted forever.

This is a behavior that I see in all businesses, especially e-commerce.

Takeaway: If your subscribers don’t open many emails at the beginning of the subscription, they tend to drop out fairly quickly… and never become a customer.

This is why first impressions are so powerful.

Hence, the importance of a great Welcome Flow.

(Don’t have one? What?! It’s time to reach out 😉)  

Cheering for you,

P.S. Among the 1% of “engaging newsletters,”… there is ONE true winner.

One newsletter that I read every email, reply to occasionally, and buy almost all the offers. Want to know the secrets?

You can read about it in Part 3 – the final part of this series.