A huge number of emails get sent every day, and perhaps you're responsible for a few of them. If you already have an email newsletter, then you know how much work goes into setting it up. Coming up with content ideas, figuring out how to monetize it, writing it, checking it twice and sending it out – it all adds up to hours of time and effort. The problem is that all that hard work can be undone if your subscribers aren’t reading your emails. So what are the secrets to getting your emails read?
#1 Have a purpose – Standard email newsletters have become a little overdone and most readers are bored with the usual ‘monthly newsletter’ that a lot of businesses churn out. Instead of calling it a newsletter, refer to it as a 7-part mini-course or ‘six steps to a better behaved puppy’. Not only does this give your newsletter purpose it also helps to create expectation, so your subscribers will be actually be anticipating the next installment!
#2 A great subject line – A subject line is more often than not how the recipient decides whether to bother opening and reading an email, or just ignore or even delete it. It’s critically important then that your subject line grabs your readers’ attention and teases them with something they just have to get the answer to! For example, a subject line like “5 ways to find a man who isn’t a freak” could be great linkbait if you're in the dating niche.
#3 Personalize – If you have their name, use it! Another great way to personalize an email newsletter is to use actual questions you’ve received and convert them into the subject lines of your email (make sure you get the permission of the person who submitted the query first though!). Including the subscribers’ name and a question from a reader in the subject line will add am extra level of genuineness to your newsletters that will separate them from run-of-the-mill email series
#4 Vary the content – When emails are all the same style, they easily become predictable and - the worst crime of all - boring. Mix things up by alternating the following three newsletter styles: Instructional, Q&A and Hard-sell. An Instructional newsletter gives your readers some useful how-to information on a topic that’s relevant to them, Q&A uses a question that you’ve received from a subscriber and Hard-sell promotes your affiliate products. This balanced approach means you will be able to keep the interest of your subscribers for much longer.
#5 Layout – Great content laid out poorly is a real waste because often it just doesn’t get read. Pages of text as one big paragraph or ugly HTML emails can be disastrous. If you choose to send HTML emails, make sure you check them in a variety of email programs, such as Outlook and Thunderbird, to make sure they look good, even with images switched off. If sending plain text emails, consider wrapping long lines of text to a narrower margin, such as 60 characters, to make them easier to read. Separate main points into paragraphs and keep each paragraph short. If you have a lot of content think about creating a web page that your email will link to after a short blurb.
If you can tick all five of these boxes, then congratulations! You’ve just massively increased the chances your emails will get read, and at the same time, your subscribers will be eagerly looking forward to the next one.
Do you have a subscription list that you email regularly? How do you keep them interested? And do you know if your subscribers are actually reading them?