6 Ways to Light a Fire Under Your ‘Tired’ Email List

Don’t settle for low response rates & disappointing sales. Try these techniques


1) Focus on the Most Important Word to Your Readers – “You!”

Look, it’s easy to get into the habit of writing about how wonderful your product or company is, and fall into the “me, me, me” trap.

  • “I’ve been working on this product for six whole months!”
  • “I’ve assembled the best team of designers ever!”
  • “I’ve got an advanced degree from Prestige University, and I’m a personal friend of Sir Elton John himself!”

And all the while, your readers are thinking, “So what?” Or, more accurately, “What’s in it for me?”

They didn’t open your email because they think you’re interesting, or because they want to find out more about your accomplishments. They don’t even care about your product…unless they know how it can benefit them.

Focus on the word “you.” Focus on helping your reader improve some aspect of their lives. In your prospect’s mind, he or she is the most interesting, important person in the world. That’s how you should view your reader, too.


2) Remember, You’re Writing to a Human, Not a Prospect.

This is the single most important thing that you can keep in mind when composing emails to boost your sales. In fact, you should repeat it to yourself 10 times before you ever sit down to write even a single word.

Now, it sounds counterintuitive, doesn’t it? I mean, if you’re trying to sell something, isn’t your email recipient a prospect?

In a technical sense, yes. But think about this – when was the last time you hoped a marketer would email you wanting to sell you something?

Your audience members feel the same way.

But when you stop treating them just as a potential sale and start providing them with value, then they start paying attention. They learn to like and trust you. And they’re much more likely to click your email links and make a purchase.

Speak their language. Find out their unmet needs and provide them with content that helps them fill those needs. Connecting with them in a real, authentic way is a nearly painless way to dramatically increase your sales without so much as a penny of extra marketing expense.

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3) Hook Your Readers with a Story

Ever since humans invented language, storytelling has been a part of our collective identity. Ugg and Ogg traded stories of their hunting adventures around the fire at the end of the day. Stories have started wars, fostered peace, sparked inventions, and brought together people from all walks of life. And you can use them to build interest, trust, and affinity in your audience.

Which do you think would be more effective?

  • A)I tell you that the Ninja Chopper cuts vegetables with ease.
  • B)I relay a story about how Sue, mom of 3 and corporate executive, managed to get dinner together for her family in a record 12 minutes thanks to the super-sharp but incredibly safe blades of the Ninja Chopper… leaving not only enough time for a stress-free dinner, but after-dinner cartoons with the kiddos.

Yep. The story wins hands down. And even though you’re not crafting your email message as a hard-sell, you’re going to see a massive bump in sales.


4) Use Open Loops to Get Those Emails Opened

Most marketers (even those who should know better) treat each email they send as an “island” – in other words, it’s self-contained. But most of your customers aren’t going to decide to buy after reading a single email. Instead, they need to see your message and offer repeatedly – in fact, marketing research has shown that a prospect may need to see an offer seven times or more before making a buying decision.

That means that you need your readers to open all of your emails, not just one.

Rather than just hoping for the best with each email, use open loops. In other words, leave some part of your story unfinished at the end of each email… and promise to fill them in on the story in the next email. And then do the same thing at the end of that email.

Does it work? Think about it – it’s a staple of Hollywood. How many times have you gotten to the end of a television episode, thinking that you were about to get the “reveal” on a major story line… only to be left hanging until the next episode?

Use open loops in your email sequences, and you’ll not only get stellar open rates – you’ll get better sales too!


5) Use Your Subject Line to Promise a Big Payoff

Veteran copywriters in virtually every niche know that the subject line (much like the headline of a sales letter) is the most critical part of the copy. So much so, in fact, that copywriters like the late Eugene Schwartz recommend spending at least 80% of your time perfecting the subject line.


Simply put, it’s because if your headline doesn’t grab your readers and pull them in, they’re never going to read your email. And you’re going to see exactly zero sales.

There are lots of newbie marketers who try to use the “pattern interrupt” method of writing subject lines. In other words, they try to craft something that makes people stop and think, “Wait, what?!”

But in most cases, it falls flat. Subject lines like “Stop and Read This or I’ll Jump” lose their power very quickly, simply because there’s no promise of what the recipient will get by opening the email.

Instead of going for “shock” just for the pattern interrupt, integrate your big promise into your subject line. Make it big enough (and intriguing enough) that your audience members can’t help but open your message.

Of course, that means that the promise has to be relevant to your audience. If they don’t want, need, or care about what you’re going to tell them inside the email, you’re just wasting everyone’s time.

It’s also critical that you make good on your promise. If you write an incredible headline offering a big benefit inside, and then the body of your email just turns out to be nothing more than a sales pitch, you’re going to lose credibility fast… and you can forget about ever getting those sales.


6) Find New Ways to Captivate Your Audience

So you’ve dazzled your list with your subject line and convinced them to open your email. Now you’ve got another big job to do – make good on your promise in a way that they will remember (and more importantly, use in their daily lives).

The problem is, almost every email looks the same – blocks of text that just turn into “blah, blah, blah” by the end of the message. They’re boring… and the result is that most people (even the ones who are really hoping you can fix their problems) end up skimming the content. And guess what – they don’t get the big benefit you promised, even though it’s right under their noses!

One great way to combat this is to integrate punchy sub-headlines into your email text. Insert an extra space below and above each sub-headline so that it stands out. And make sure the sub-headlines tell the story – in other words, even if a reader only reads the sub-heads, she should have a good idea of what you want her to know.
Then, she’ll go back and read the entire email message.



Another way to captivate your audience is to use video inside of your emails. Videos are excellent tools for grabbing your list members’ attention and getting them to absorb your message… which turns you into the “go to” authority in their minds. And that means they want to buy from you… instead of from your competitors.

Video emails are highly effective – more people will “get” your message and integrate the “takeaway” of your emails in their lives… making you look like a hero to them!

This doesn’t mean that just any old video will do, though. High quality, professionally produced live-action (real people) or animated (great for selling software, technology or hard to communicate concepts) are recommended.

You need to make sure that your video message appeals to your target market. That means that it needs to deliver a message that is relevant to their needs, and is presented in a professional, targeted manner. In fact, research shows that professionally produced videos (not just something with your cell phone) convert the best…and that means money in your pocket.

And not only that, but integrating videos into your emails can be tricky, particularly if you’re taking a “do it yourself” approach. All too often, you think you’ve got everything set up perfectly…and then when your list members open your emails, the video link is broken, the quality of the video is poor, the content is unconvincing or any of a hundred other problems.

What that means for you is that, if you decide you’re going to do it yourself, you need to spend considerable hours planning, writing, and executing your video. Multiple takes, script writing, and editing can all be cumbersome tasks that take away from what you really should be doing – running your business.


If you’d like to enjoy the conversions, sales, and profits that video emails can provide – without all of the stress and tedious hours…just click the Contact button and drop us a note to learn more.

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