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8 Proven Strategies to Get People to Open and Read Your Emails

Email marketing is one of the quickest and most effective ways to grow your brand and make more sales.

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The average person receives 126 emails per day. Most of these get sent straight to the trash. And while we'd all like to think our emails are different, the truth is, a big portion of our subscribers will be deleting emails “sight unseen” as well.

The challenge of crafting effective marketing emails that your audience reads and buys from may seem impossible. However, with the help of these eight simple strategies, you’ll see writing engaging emails is not that difficult. 

1. Craft attention-grabbing subject lines

The subject line is the most important part of your email. It’s usually the difference between opening it and sending it straight to trash.

So, how do you write attention-grabbing subject lines? The best way is to use curiosity to grab the reader’s attention.

Now, imagine you got these two emails in your inbox:

1) “Your August newsletter has arrived.”

2) “How Harry changed his life in 28 days with AS Plus.”

Are you more prone to open #1 or #2? Chances are you’d click on the second one. Why? Because it demands more attention.

The best way to grab your audience’s interest is to know the reader well. For example, if you’re a fitness coach to ladies over 50, then you must learn how they act and speak. If you’re a real estate consultant in Miami, you must learn the ins and outs of properties in the Greater Miami Area. If you’re a copywriting coach to beginner copywriters, you must know what they struggle with the most and address it in your content.

Using your audience’s lingo will be a sure-fire way to craft attention-grabbing subject lines, so your ideal client opens your emails and looks forward to them.

Related: How to Write Better Email Subject Lines

2. Tell a story

Don’t be afraid of sharing personal stories. In fact, the more personal -- the better. People buy from people. And the best way to relate to your audience is to tell them an emotional story.

How did you become an entrepreneur? What did you have to overcome on your way to success? What mistakes and failures did you make? What lessons can your audience learn from them?

All these can be different stories in different emails. But the more open, honest and vulnerable you are in these stories, the better.

People will relate to your story and identify with it, and your brand will grow as a result.

Related: How to Use Storytelling to Sell Your Brand and Vision

3. Be consistent

“Consistency is the key to success.” I’m sure you’ve heard this a million times. But it’s a cliché because it’s true.

In the case of email marketing, consistency applies not only to how often you write but also to what design or language you use in your emails:

  • Once a week, twice a month, every day? Choose how often you’re going to email your list, and stick to it. No one likes getting random emails at random times.

  • If you send basic HTML emails, stick with them. Don’t change their design every time you hit the “send” button. This will confuse your audience. And a confused reader doesn’t buy.

  • Be consistent with your tone/voice. If you don’t swear when you talk, it would be weird if you did it in your emails.

Related: Consistency Is King, Queen and All the Aces in the Game of Branding

4. Thank your audience regularly

Every person wants to feel that a brand treasures its customers. And one of the best ways to express gratitude is via emails that go directly to your most loyal customers or clients.

Think of it like you’re hiring a room in their virtual space. Every week, you’re visiting it to share your knowledge. To keep your readers engaged and wanting to hear more, show them you’re grateful for having the opportunity to “hire” that space. You can do that with a simple email thanking them for taking time out of their day to read your content.

It also helps to use a friendly and conversational tone in your content. As a result, your audience will feel more confident when buying from you.

Related: Why Gratitude Is Your Key To Customer Growth and Retention

5. Don’t try to sound smart

The easiest way to lose email subscribers (and ultimately, sales) is to sound too smart in your emails. So unless your audience is university professors, forget the fancy words and the long-winded sentences your high-school teacher taught you in the 9th grade. If you really want to connect with your audience so they become clients or customers, you have to talk to them as if you’re speaking to a friend.

When you’re describing something to a friend, you use conversational language, right? Well, the same applies to your audience. Share your stories and your knowledge in a friendly tone and be more approachable. This will help you build trust for your brand.

6. Share social proof

Social proof is one of the most powerful ways to convince a reader to buy from you. You can demonstrate it in a variety of ways. The strongest one is via telling a story.

How did a client of yours overcome their struggles thanks to your help? Did your services make John lose 20 pounds? Did your coaching aid Mary in landing a higher-paying job? How did your consulting help a given company make more sales online?

Don’t be afraid to share your wins with your audience. After all, they could be your next success story.

Related: 4 Reasons Why Social Proof Is Essential to Building Your Brand

7. Engage your audience

People always want their opinions to be heard. So, give your audience a chance to do just that. Send them a quick email with a question. Ask them to take part in a short survey. See what topics they’d like to read from you in the future.

Subscribers love to feel that they and their opinions matter for a brand. Let them express those feelings and have a voice in the type of content your brand creates. This will not only increase your email open rates but also provide you with countless ideas for future content that will excite and inspire your audience.

Related: 5 Ways to Create Engaging Content Your Audience Will Share

8. Be an innovator

In a world full of mediocrity, you have to stand out. To stand out, you have to be an innovator.

If all your competitors are sending daily emails, send emails twice a week. If your competitors only aim to sell, make sure you’re building trust first by providing value in your emails. If your peers don’t ask for feedback from their readers, be the first to ask your audience what they think of your content.

Obviously, all these approaches should make sense to your specific brand, industry and audience. Don’t be different just for the sake of being different.

Show that you’re an innovator in your emails by standing out from the rest, and you’ll win friends, followers and buyers for life.

Related: 3 Ways to Stand Out from Competitors

These strategies will help you grow your brand

As an entrepreneur, your goal is to grow your brand and scale your business. Writing effective emails that grab your audience’s attention is one of the best (and cheapest) ways to do so. Use a few of these tips or combine them all, and you’ll see a substantial bump in your revenue.

Svetoslav Dimitrov

Written By

Entrepreneur Leadership Network Writer

Svetoslav Dimitrov is a copywriter, consultant, TEDx speaker, and author of one book. He's the founder of Copywriting Titan. He teaches entrepreneurs effective copy and content marketing strategies to add additional revenue to their businesses and bottom lines. Join him at Copywriting Titan.