email on laptop

When an email lands in your inbox what makes you want to open it?

Let’s be honest – we get loads of rubbish emails that evade the spam filter and are greeted with a quick click of the delete button.  But there are emails that you actively want to open – why?

My guess is that it is for one of these reasons:

  • They’re from a client and contain important information
  • They’re from a supplier who you trust or are currently dealing with
  • They’re from someone you know and you want to find out what they’re emailing about
  • They’re from someone whose emails usually contain really good, useful, interesting information
  • You know that the sender is usually entertaining
  • The subject line was intriguing

Now it’s time to turn this around and look at your own email communications from the recipient’s perspective.  Do your email communications tick one of those boxes?

If you’re putting the time and effort into a regular newsletter are you sure it’s worth it?

If people just delete your email, it’s all a bit of a waste of space.

Newsletter strategies for improving your open rates

Firstly, get really good at creating engaging subject lines.  If you can grab your recipient’s attention right away, there’s a better chance of them actually opening your communication.

Write in an active, punchy style that is easy and interesting to read.  Spelling and punctuation is important (it shows your attention to detail), but it doesn’t have to be formal prose, aim for a more conversational style.

Ensure you are delivering great value – for your audience.  It has to be something that they want or need to qualify as valuable; it doesn’t matter if you think it’s valuable or not – it’s all about the reader.

The secret of creating a newsletter that people open is to do your research first.

Check out your audience

Your list is where the gold dust is to be found.  However, it’s not about quantity, it’s about focus.

You may have a list running into thousands, but, unless they are all contacts who are potential clients, you’ll struggle to keep them engaged.

It’s better to have a small list that is highly focused consisting of people who are actively interested in what you have to offer, than a list of random contacts who don’t have more than a passing interest.  Part of this is down to how you build your list – but that’s another blog.

If you are using one of the online email marketing platforms – Mailerlite, AWeber, Mailchimp, Constant Contact, etc. – you’ll be able to test different headlines, different content, etc. and see what gets the best open rates. 

Seeing how people behave is much more accurate than simply carrying out a survey.  People often say they want something, but, in practice, they don’t actually read what they say they wanted!  Seeing open rates is a live demonstration of what gets engagement.