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Using email marketing is one of the top ways to expand a business with online advertising, but getting the emails opened and read is often the hard part. Even if you have people sign up for your newsletter through an opt-in form or other means, that doesn’t guarantee they will open any of the emails you send out. Here are some honest and effective ways to encourage more people to open up the emails.

1. Provide Something Useful

The way you word the headline and content of your marketing emails makes a big difference. If you start providing emails that don’t really give your readers anything other than a promotional link, they probably won’t open the emails in the future. On the other hand, if your emails really provide excellent resources, free products (like reports or eBooks), or simply free tips you are happy to give to them, they are more inclined to open more emails in the future.

2. Be Careful About Word Choice

Certain words and phrases will get your marketing emails tossed to the spam filter, where it is very hard to get noticed. The occasional person will check their spam folder, see your email, and remove it. However, the majority of people don’t even bother. There are certain words and phrases included in the headline of the email that is going to get triggered by the spam bots. Here is a list of words to avoid using:

  • Earn money, money, free money, or easy money
  • eCommerce words and phrases like purchase or buy
  • Giving away, no purchase necessary, guaranteed
  • Medical terms like no prescription, pills, diet, weight loss

As you can see, many of them are related to spam marketing products like promising weight loss or getting people to sign up for services to earn more money. If you have a legitimate offer or business, it should be easy to word the emails in a way that shows you are providing a good resource and not a scam.

3. Offer a Free Product

Everyone loves free stuff, and marketing emails are the perfect opportunity to offer something completely free. Don’t have conditions for your readers to get the free products aside from signing up for your emails. After that, give the product to them for free and deliver what you promised. Don’t ask them take long surveys or go through complicated steps for the product. In the future, if you decide to offer another eBook or report through a marketing email, they are more encouraged to open that email since they know you have a reputation of following through with your promises.

4. Try Different Methods

Based on your readers, you will eventually find the method that works best for you. Just because another person in the same field says that you should never use long and descriptive email subject lines, doesn’t mean it won’t work for you. Try different offers, wording, lengths, and various other ways to change up the headings for your emails and see what clicks you get. If after a certain phrase, you notice an increase in spam notifications, then obviously that isn’t the way to go. A little trial and error can really help you draft the best emails that actually get read.

5. Ask a Question in the Subject Line

This is a trick that works like a call-to-action and can make a large impact. If you do nothing but ask a question in the subject line of your emails, you are bound to get some clicks. Now don’t make a habit of doing this for every single email; people will tire of it. However, if you have some important information on a certain email that is essential for your readers, asking the occasional question makes a big difference. Instead of simply stating that you have resources to help them solve a problem, ask them if they have this particular problem. Compare “Read How You Can Turn Your Leads Into Sales” to “Are you struggling to convert your clicks into sales?!”