How to Get People to Open Your Emails - Christine Kane

Pic 1 for article on WPIf you’re like me, you’re on many mailing lists.  Which means 20 new emails hit your inbox for each 1 that you actually manage to read.

Reality is—we’re just not opening emails and when we do, we’ve got so much going on that we’re onto something else midway and never even click a link.

Now put yourself on the receiving end of you.

The people on your list are equally overwhelmed.

However – people DO still open email! And businesses DO still get sales because of email. So email marketing still works. But you should take some time to do it RIGHT.

But how to get people to open (and read) your emails?

FIRST:  Be someone who gives value consistently in your emails

If you’re reading this, I trust you’re a heart-centered, purpose-driven entrepreneur changing the world.

But WAY too many heart-centered purpose-driven entrepreneurs seem to think that their heart-centeredness is enough.  People should just GET my mission, right?

Well, no.

The question here is: Do your emails provide value?

No matter what business you’re in… You have to be clear in your message. You must understand on a deep level:

  • What are you sharing?
  • Who are you?
  • And why does it matter?

Often dismissed as the “soft stuff,” this is what builds trust.

As you write your email: what, of value, are you sharing with your people? How are you serving them?

SECOND:  Write great emails and subject lines

Too often I see this happen:

The entrepreneur writes a long, weighty missive.

Too much content, too many options and ZERO editing.

And then?

He slaps on a subject line, hoping it’ll work…

If you want people to open your emails, you have to write emails that are worth opening.

And it starts with a compelling subject line.

Think about an email from a friend with a subject line that makes you smile. It makes you WANT to open her email.  THAT is what you’re going for.

Everyone wants a subject line formula…some tactic that’ll make people magically open the email. But there isn’t one.

This is CREATIVE work. And it’s not always easy. It requires stepping back from what you want to say, and thinking instead about what your people want to hear.

And at the same time: play and TRACK.

Start experimenting with different things to see what does work…

Then, review open rates to see which subject lines got opens and which ones didn’t. You’ll start to see some patterns.

Pic 2 for article on WP

LAST:  Respect your reader

Respect the time and attention of your reader. Of all the emails in all the inboxes in all the world-wide-web, you opened mine… It’s a gift.

  • Keep paragraphs short.
  • Make sure the font is big enough.
  • Is your email viewable on all browsers?
  • Does a weird string of icons replace each apostrophe?

When an email doesn’t follow these guidelines, they’re like snags in your reader’s attention. The amount of trust that gets diminished with each snag is unfathomable…

We’ve simply gotten to a point where, with all the noise, everything else is a click away and it’s like: Meh, I don’t have time… I like her, but I’m done with this

Your list must trust you not to bombard them with tons of stuff in each emailno 50 shades of content options.

I’ve written elsewhere about the power of one…There is something compelling about having one topic emails, which directly relates to getting people to convert – to follow your single call to action.

Tell me this:

What was the last subject line that made you actually open an email?  Do you remember? 

  • Natalie Boyett

    I always open your ezine emails, regardless of what the subject line is. Your emails always have high value and are always easy to read and digest. I do think having a specifically-titled subject line is preferable to a generic one. I may stay on people’s list, but I rarely open if it doesn’t seem to have a specific message.

  • jim

    Hi Christine! I like the power of one you mention. And the importance of saying what readers want to hear and then discovering their need. I subscribe to too many I think. There’ll be a hook that piques my interest. It will lead to a link to a website to a video then to a sales page. So I scroll slowly then very fast. I want to know what is being sold and how much. And the hook never gets to the answer that I was seeking. Sometimes way too much fluff and repetition. Makes me reluctant to open another email fromthe same person. My time is important, too. Brevity, please. I look forward to your emails.

    • Christine Kane

      Yeah Jim. You nailed it. It’s the part about TRUST that goes away if the business owner continues to break it. Sometimes – as you pointed out here – it only takes one time!

  • Erica

    I’ve switched to a weekly eZine and have done it consistently all year. It’s definitely helped me and saved my readers from the “fire hose” approach that I had when I was sending something out sporadically. The power of one is a great reminder for me. Thanks so much! I usually give readers something to do, and think to get more of an engagement and comments, I need to keep it even more simple. The emails I open have subject lines that pull me in. Thanks for your weekly gift Christine! I always open your emails and learn something valuable!

    • Christine Kane

      Thank you Erica! And good on you for giving your readers an activity or action step. That is high value!

  • Alexandre L’Eveille

    Good advice. I totally agree with starting with the compelling subject line. I keep a list of topics I want to write about and then play around with subject lines that I hope intrigue my ideal peeps. For me that sets the tone. Not all of them are winners but I strive to put myself in the other person’s shoes.

    The last email topic that make me open? This one: the topic was something of interest to me.

    • Christine Kane

      Alexandre – Exactly! It’s always something that makes you go “hmmm.” Nothing worse than opening a scammy subject line and finding out it was all a fake.