We have all subscribed to an email list or newsletter at one point or another.  However, we find out really quick whether the emails we are receiving will be worth our time to even click and open them.

Think about the last time you subscribed to someone’s email list… Or better yet, how many you have subscribed to in the past.

Now, how many are you regularly opening?  Are you still engaged with these email autoresponders?

Your subscribers will feel the same way when they subscribe to your list.

Let's review a few simple ways you can increase your reader’s experience as well as improve your open rates!

First Impressions Are EVERYTHING!

Your subject line on every email you write is essentially your "first impression" with your readers.

Think about the last time you wanted to approach someone.

When did your interaction begin?  When you first said "Hello."?

Absolutely not.  Your first impression was when you were awkwardly looking at your target, thinking about how you were going to approach him (or her).  Trust me... they saw you.

Here's the deal: you cannot wait until the introduction of your email to have a first impression.  It must be in the subject line, and the subject of your email must pop.

Put The "Fear" Into Your Subscriber

Scare your reader into opening your email.

No, seriously... It's essential that you do this!

It is human nature to be afraid of missing out on a great opportunity or resource.  Creating subject lines that intrigue and motivate your readers to want more will be the key to higher open rates with your autoresponders.

You should also create a sense of a gap between the information that is known (your subject line) and the information the reader now desires (the copy).

We are very curious beings, us humans.  Therefore we will open most things that intrigue our interests.

Here are some specific examples of fear-driven, gap-creating subject lines that I've either used or seen and adapted:

    •    5 Reasons Why Your Email Subscribers Hit Delete, And How To Fix That!

    •    3 Reasons Why Discounting Is Kill Your Brand (And What You Can Do To Avoid This!)

    •    How I Produced 100 New Clients In 1 Week

Fool Me Once...

There is one thing that you cannot do... and that is trick your readers into continuously opening emails that have no value to them.

Old marketing strategies such as the "Bait & Switch" methodology no longer works with consumers today... so don't waste your time.

Quite frankly, you should consider each time someone opens and reads your email content an honor.

Not only have they trusted you with their email, but they've also donated their most valuable asset to read your copy: their time.

You can always be creative with your content, but also remember to build value in the body of your email.


Where The Rubber Meets The Road

Okay... so you've got a great subject line.  The stakes are now at their highest level possible.

You've created a certain level of expectation, which means that nothing else really matters other than the delivery and execution of your email body.

Take a second to ask yourself this question: "Why do I open my emails?"

Here's typically why I open my emails:

    •    Login information

    •    Pertinent Account Information

    •    Alerts, such as bank accounts

    •    Customer Support Requests

Let's face it, it is much harder for you as a small business entrepreneur to gain the attention of your audience via email.

So how often do your readers actually open the emails that you send?  Overall averages show that open rates are around 20-25%... that's 2 out of every 10 people, depending on the niche you are in.

Discouraging, right?

What if you could increase this percentage to 45-50%?

Now is the time that you must "train" your readers to open your emails... and it all starts at the beginning of your campaign.

Having a great email platform is also key.  I personally love to treat my automated emails as "courses" which impact your reader with intentional content.  I suggest ConvertKit, as I personally use it.  It provides me with ways to tailor each course to the skill-level that is predetermined by the reader, and gains powerful insights into what your fans actually desire.

The only way to give your audience what they want is to create and provide extreme value from the start.

Providing Epic Value

You hear it all the time... Create value.  Create epic content.  Give your consumer the recipe.

It's the most important aspect of overall content creation.  It's also the most talked about.

However, when looking at this, we tend to find non-specific pieces on how to create value and epic content (it's always stated that "we should" rather than the how-to).

So the underlying question is: "How do I do this?"

The success of your overall open rates will greatly depend on one aspect: Create WINS.

Take a quick second to think about this...

Small wins create the feeling of accomplishment.  More importantly, they're perceived by your reader as valuable and helpful, which promotes a higher open rate.

The turnkey solution to this is creating a simple "Call-to-Action" that is easy and stated precisely.

It would be easy to consider a request to "add me on Twitter" or "Shoot me an email with questions" as a call-to-action.

However, how does this truly help your reader?  What is in it for them?

It's humanistic nature to want something in return for something else.  Here, it's an email and time trading for valuable content and actionable items.

Let's look at an example excerpt that I've used before to help provide a small win:



Subject: If I had to start over...

Let's be honest with each other for just a second...

Have you truly started to pinpoint your target audience? 

Or do you see that you're just not attracting the people you want to your business?

I didn't either when I first started my business. And I certainly learned the hard way.

The main question I always get when people ask me about my previous ventures is:

"Justin, if you had to start over from scratch what would you do differently? What steps would you take?"

Continually identifying your "ideal customer" will be one of the most important things you will do throughout this process. Last email, I asked you to ask yourself a few questions:

    •    What values & beliefs does your brand have?

    •    Why did you start your business in the first place?

    •    What is so unique about your brand?

Pull out those answers, and let's apply them to defining your target audience.

Take this time to clearly define your ideal customer profile. Ask as many questions relating to habits, traits, demographic, and behaviors that you possibly can think of.

More importantly, write these answers down on a physical piece of paper, and carry them with you. You will be more impacted by seeing and touching this profile.

However, always revisit this profile and update it accordingly. Trends and markets change like the wind. Do not get caught with your pants down.


Congratulations! You are now leaps and bounds ahead of where I first started in my business. Great job, and I look forward to sharing more with you in the future.


In this copy, I clearly stated the problem that my reader is having, related to them, and provided a clear solution to their problem that they can easily define and eliminate.

It's essential to create a small win, which will give your reader the warm and fuzzy feeling that the emails that will come in the future will provide actionable value.

How will you create value in your emails?  What wins will you give your readers from the start?  Post some examples below in the comments!