I understand. We’ve all been there before…
You’ve spent hours hunched over a desk writing the perfect email. Each sentence carefully crafted and every word considered. The subject line was rewritten a dozen times. You feel drained. You press publish. It’s done. You wait. In 24 hours you have the answer, but it’s not what you wanted. Your open rate is in the single digits. Your click through rate even lower. It’s depressing. You question yourself. Do you really understand your audience? You try to think where you went wrong. Do you find it a challenge to get people to read your emails? And then click your links? It doesn’t need to be difficult. I’ve got important advice to increase your open rates and triple your clicks.
23 Techniques to Improve Your Open Rates
Think for a second. Whose emails do you eagerly await? Whose emails do you always open? Friends and family. Sure, that’s an obvious one. How about Internet Marketers? I’ve got a dedicated email address for them. I get dozens of emails every day, but I’m busy. I know I don’t have enough hours in the day to read them all. I can only read the ones that catch my eye. It forces me to focus on what works. It’s a simple but effective system. If you’re serious about copywriting I’d advise you to do the same. Let’s go back to that list. Which emails caught your eye? I clicked on these:
- “Want to Write for the Huffington Post? They’re looking for writers and if you’re interested…”
- “This thing is a lead machine – Hello, Yesterday I sent you an email about…”
- “Nico, about that FREE STARBUCKS COFFEE I promised you… Ahhh! Nico, I have a problem.”
Did you pick the same as me? Snap (or maybe not). Anyways, here’s why I picked them.
- Value: Of course I’d like to get more exposure.
- Value: You’ll get me more conversions. That’s worth a second of my time.
- Interest: I want to know about your problem. Well, enough to click (I almost didn’t though).
By the way, the average open rate on this email address is just 10%. How do you compare? Do you want to improve? Let’s start by overloading your inbox (please create a new email address). So what have I learnt after months of sifting through these emails? Well, the obvious; boring subject lines (and first sentences) just don’t cut the grade. You need to stand out. Here’s how to change things up.
9 Juicy Tips to Spice Up Your Subject Lines
- Promise your audience something that will interest them. Provide information that will make them happier, richer or better informed.
- Don’t add fluff to your subject line if you’re offering quality content. Be specific and direct. If you can reduce bounce rate, state it.
- Make people inquisitive in what you have to offer by creating an information gap (yeah. Contradiction right? But people are complicated and the same method won’t work every time).
- Act like a friend. Be informal, personal. Show some character and create a relationship with each of your readers.
- Use emotive and unusual words that will catch a person’s attention.
- Forget what you learnt at school. Ignore grammar. Use CAPITAL LETTERS, ignore punctuation, but don’t ever confuse your reader (effect and affect, its and it’s. Don’t ever mix them up).
- Use numbers, they catch the eye. That means writing 8, not eight.
- Always, because everyone else is!
- Make sure your email offers real value. In fact, offer more than they expected. That way even if your subject line sucks, they will still open the email.
7 Secrets of Engaging Copy
In many ways, the subject line is the easy bit. We’re talking a maximum of 10 words. Well maybe more, but not much more. Your email is longer. Waaay longer. And it’s tough to keep that interest over so many paragraphs. Here are some tips to keep you on track.
- Keep your copy short, it’s easier to keep it interesting. Remember though long copy works better when you’re selling.
- Imagine a friend is on your email list. Now write to them. Keep it personal, add humor and make it interesting.
- Write quickly. The words should flow out of your pen and end up on the computer screen. Don’t delete until you’re finished. Then revise heavily.
- Use you. A lot. It’s personal, it’s powerful and it makes a connection.
- Don’t follow the same formula every time. It gets stale, old and dry. Instead adapt your technique.
- Don’t automate your greetings or sign off in the same way every time. It feels like it’s automated. Call a person by their name one week and say Hello from Sunny California, the next.
- Don’t be afraid to write long copy when you feel inspired (remember what I said about variation).
7 Ideas to Convert and Sell Effortlessly
Let’s get down to business. We write emails because we want people to take action. That could be something as simple as clicking a link to your post. On the other hand you might be asking people to get out their credit card. Here’s how to get your readers to convert.
- Don’t abuse your readers trust. Ever! People have long memories and they don’t go back to people who take advantage of them (let’s be honest, neither would you). So always deliver on your promises and never sell crap!
- People want solutions. If you’re selling a product talk about the benefits a person receives before covering the physical product.
- Include a deadline in your letter to get people to take action.
- Don’t try to make a person take an action before they are ready to do so. Include just the right amount of copy to get them to that stage before inserting a link.
- If you ask people to take an action they are much more likely to do it.
- Include multiple links to your target page within your copy. It seems obvious, it is obvious and it works.
- Include a P.S. in your sales letters. Use this to remind people to take action or highlight what they’re missing if they don’t (learn how I used postscripts and four other copywriting hacks to lower the bounce rate of a website by 60%).
Just Don’t Expect Miracles
Let’s roll back to the beginning for a second. Remember that list of copywriters I created? That’s most people’s inboxes. They are literally overflowing with emails and letters. Even with the best-crafted email in the world, you have to realize that sometimes you’re going to be ignored. These tips and tricks are just a way to improve your chances of getting your email opened.
P.S. This post took a lot of time to write, but I finally finished it. Now it’s time for me to kick back, relax and for you to take action. If you’ve got a bit more time to kill though, here’s another great post for you to read. You can thank me later.