Why do you open an email newsletter – and how can that help you to write yours?

You know all those emails from companies that you never read? I’ve got a tonne of those in my inbox, and I don’t open them because there’s no reason for me to spend time doing it. It will not be a good use of my limited time, and I’ll be no better off for doing it. But that’s really not what they wanted when they spent time creating it and sending it to me – and it’s the same for me, when I write and send out my monthly Content Cracked email (sign up for that at the foot of this post, and get yourself a blogging freebie too!).

So what does make me open an email newsletter, read through it, click something in it and go on to book or buy? That’s why they’re sent, after all…and it’s probably why you send yours, too. Here are three reasons that I will open an email, and look forward to them coming as well.

Reason One – I’m going to get something I want

If someone is on your list, it’s safe to assume they wanted to be there (if you’re doing your GDPR due diligence of course!). The best way to get that person to open your email is to give them something in exchange that is of value to them. Don’t forget you’re competing with many other emails and messages from many other sources, in a limited amount of time – so you need give something away that your reader wouldn’t get otherwise.

It doesn’t have to be discounts or freebies (although it can be, of course) – but it can be anything that makes them feel BETTER OFF for opening the email, and that they will miss out if they don’t. It coulde be some of your expertise – some of the experience that makes you a leader in what you do. Open the door to your knowledge a little, and hand them a gift.

For example: I’ve got a client who’s an estate agent, and they commissioned a year’s worth of emails and blog posts to be drafted up, ready to go when they need them. Every one contains something useful, interesting or entertaining: tips for preparing your home for sale, a potted explanation of the legal process, or how to decide on an asking price. Anyone who is looking for a home, or selling a home, is going to find a use for that information. They’ll get a high mail opening rate, build on their reputation as a knowledgeable and approachable agent, and increase the likelihood of those recipients coming to them as clients.

Expertise, discounts, freebies, early access to your events – they don’t have to cost you and your business much, but they could make a huge difference to your open and click rate.

Reason Two – it’s what I expected

And I mean this in a few ways. The quickest way to put people off is to deliver something that’s different to what you promised, so make sure you’re sending what they signed up for. If it was to get updates about events you’ve got coming up, tips, a link to your blog – whatever it was that you advertised on sign-up, make sure that’s in there, and your emails don’t just become adverts for what you do. If it’s just adverts, I generally don’t open it until I need to.

Reason Three – it’s consistent 

If you’ve already convinced me that your emails are always worth my time, make sure that’s always the case. I’ll be expecting that little piece of giveaway gold (be that expertise, early access or discounts) and I’ll be looking out for it in each email. If you give a little something the first few times, then stop and change the content, that’s going to turn people off – because they’ve no longer got that golden reason to give you their time.

Keep the regularity consistent, too – it’s more important than frequency. If you say you’re going to email weekly, then stick to that, and don’t start doing it daily. You’ve already bought one piece of someone’s time by getting them to sign up, and trying to sneak more of it is going to get on their nerves – so you risk them not bothering at all.

People’s interests and needs change, and there’s not much you can do about that. They may even come and go from your mailing list as they shift their buying focus. But doing what you can to keep them engaged while they’re with you, and to build their trust in you, is what will bring them back. 


Unmissable Emails Masterclass

I’m holding a Masterclass on this very topic next Tuesday at 10am, live and recorded. I’ll talk you through how to structure a regular email for your mailing list, what to include and what to leave out, how to keep them reading to the end, and enticing them to click through for more. It’s free for my RLC Words Members (more about RLC Words Membership here), or it’s £20 for non-members – here’s where you can book your place.

Make your emails useful, interesting and of value – Refreshing Lively Content that hooks them in, keeps them reading, and compels them to click. Because isn’t that why you put in the time to write it?

Content Cracked RLC words Write it Yourself Milton Keynes Copywriter

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