[FUEL] How to Get People to Open Your Emails

By Dawn Shuler

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The Internet is a wonderful thing. It allows us to connect with people all over the world, get great information and resources, and do business. And in so many venues: social media, email, online communities…

But our inboxes fill up with email after email after email.

Typically, we open non-family emails (okay, maybe we automatically delete some family emails, too. I mean, how often can we really hear about Aunt Martha’s trials and tribulations with the neighborhood dog?) for two reasons: 1. We love the person and are avid followers or 2. The subject line is so compelling that we have to open.

Here’s a little test: which ones do you automatically delete? Why? Which ones do you automatically open? Why?

We’re talking about big picture/long term strategy vs. short-term tactics to employ right here right now.

First, big picture. To get people to love you and be avid followers requires work and commitment on your part. And it doesn’t happen in a day, unfortunately.

  • Give good content, over and over and over.
  • If you sell a service or product, make sure it’s something your tribe wants, not just because you can provide it.
  • Be authentic. Be who you really are, and the right people will respond to it. You don’t want the “wrong” people anyway, so don’t worry about repelling them. They’re not a good fit.

Along with your consistent work in strengthening your connection to your tribe, work on specific tactics. Create subject lines that will compel people to open your emails.

  • What subject lines appeal to YOU? Which emails from others do you open?
  • Track your results. Pay attention to your open rates.
  • Split test. Send the same email basically, but use two different subject lines. Which one gets more open rates?
  • Keep a file of subject lines that appeal to you, and use this list when you’re crafting your own emails.

A few subject lines that caught my eye recently – and why:

“Use this subtle tweak for 10 times better results.” The “better results” catches my eye. Who doesn’t want to see 10 times better results in her business? And she’s giving me an “easy” solution, a “subtle tweak.” I don’t have to work for hours and hours (according to this subject line) to get better results. Very similar to “Lose 10 pounds in a week!”

“Add skills like ‘Small Business’ to make your profile easier to find.” Again, easy and quick change with immediate results.

“49 promo ideas. simple, grand + the tried n’ true.” 49 ideas! Wow!! Lots of information, and, of course, gotta love simple as well as tried and true.

“50 Most Expensive Homes (And Who Lives In Them)” – From Washingtonian magazine. I was waiting in line at the grocery store, and I picked up this magazine three times. I wanted to see pictures, and I was mildly curious about who lived in these houses. (I didn’t end up buying the magazine because there weren’t enough pictures.)

What have we learned here? Simple and quick results are lovely words to my ears, at least. What appeals to you? What makes you stand up and take notice? More than likely, it’s very similar to what YOUR tribe will take notice of.

(Note: I really wanted to pull in the idea of “simple” and “quick results” in my own article title and subject line, but I couldn’t do it. Some of these ideas aren’t quick and take consistent use to see results. I’ve given you some ideas, and they may or may not be simple for you to implement.)

It’s a cross between being an authentic, purpose-driven business owner