How to Get Your Email Read by Your List

by Michelle Salater on May 16, 2011


Whether you’re sending out a weekly ezine or promotional email to your list, your main goal is to have receivers take action after reading your email. However, there are a few steps your recipients need to take before performing your desired action, and facilitating them through these action steps can be quite a challenge.

First, your recipient has to open the email. Then, he or she must read the email. Thirdly, your receiver must feel connected to your message and compelled to take your desired action. And lastly, he or she must take your desired action. It’s not easy to get your readers through these initial steps, but with a few tricks of the trade, you’ll be able to increase open rates and boost conversions.

In order to get your recipients to open and read your email, you must . . .

Have a supercatchy subject line: This is what is going to get recipients to open your email. Your subject line should focus on your audience’s pain. This illustrates to them that you know their pain and could have the solution.

For example, you might have a subject line like the following:

  • Are you overworked and overstressed?
  • Do you fear ____?
  • Do you lie awake at night ____?
  • Don’t give up now.
  • Do you need ____?

Write brief copy: Emails should be short, sweet, and to the point. If you start writing a novel, you can pretty much pack your readers’ bags for them since they won’t be sticking around much longer. Unfortunately overwriting is a huge and very common issue among small business owners who aren’t skillfully trained in copywriting. They’re not sure about how to get their message across in as few words as possible, while encouraging readers to take their desired action. If you can’t get your reader to take action, then what’s the point of your email campaign?

If you want to create an email that not only gets read, but also facilitates action among your recipients, then you need to keep your email as short as possible and to the point. Use bulleted lists where possible, bold important phrases, and keep paragraphs to a maximum of three sentences.

Create result-driven content: The key to great marketing content is authenticity and human connection. Be real, open, and honest. Focus on the audience’s problem / sweet spot and provide a solution.

What is on your audience’s minds as they lie awake in bed at night tossing and turning? What is it that upsets, pleases, and instills fear in them?

Compelling content ties to your audience’s state of mind, situation, and desires, and illustrates that you have what they need to fulfill their need. Once you’ve created a connection between your target market and their pain, it’s time to offer a solution that solves their complication.

What is it that you offer customers, and what would happen to your audience if they didn’t take your desired action?

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If you like this post, you might also like:

  1. Do Your Email Campaigns Need Some Serious Work?
  2. List Building Tips and Advice
  3. Make it Simple for Customers and Prospects to Read Your Web Copy
  4. 5 Ways to Run Successful Email Campaigns without Losing Your Mind

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Online Marketing: Why You Need an Electronic Newsletter
October 7, 2011 at 8:32 am

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1 Blase Ciabaton May 17, 2011 at 4:47 pm

Michelle, thanks for sharing this great advice!  It really is all about identifying prospect’s pain points and offering advice on how to solve their problems. 

As an additional tip, since the beginning of the year, I’ve also started personalizing the subject line of my e-mails and I’ve seen a substantial jump in my open-rates.

2 webcopywriter May 17, 2011 at 5:14 pm

Thanks for sharing your results, Blase! Personalized email subject lines have always proven to be more successfully for me, as well.

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