How many unopened emails did you delete this week?
If your inbox is anything like ours, it’s filled with marketing and sales materials you’ll never read because – (1) who’s got the time? and (2) … it’s boring.
Buy one more product.
Read about this information that is also published on a website and all over social media.
Engage with this super-long article about … well, what is it about?
Stop the insanity! Right?!
And yet here you are reading an article about how to get your subscribers to open your emails and engage with YOU.
Here’s the deal. You need to connect with your subscribers regularly with emails that get opened and also contain quality information that is exclusive and interesting.
Create something your subscribers look forward to receiving. Something worthy of their time. Something they will want to open. It has to be useful and worthwhile; otherwise, what’s the point?
So how do you do this? We’ve got a few ideas.
1. Share helpful information readers can only get from your email or newsletter.
Your subscribers are special. They’ve entrusted you with their email address and indicated they want to engage with you. Give them an email or newsletter that’s special too.
Don’t just regurgitate information they can easily find on your website or have already seen plastered all over your social media. Give them something special, something unique, something to reward them for being a subscriber.
It doesn’t need to be fancy. Maybe it’s news you want to share. Give your subscribers a sneak peek. Perhaps it’s information you’ve come across that will help your audience do something better or more efficiently. Share that with the people who want to engage with you before slapping it up on your Instagram or Facebook feed.
Be on the hunt for articles and information that your audience will appreciate, and then give it to your subscribers first. Establish a reputation for being “in the know” and your readers will eat it up!
2. Send out a survey to see what people want – style, length, content…
Take time to find out what your audience likes. Do they like a fancy newsletter layout or an email-style letter? Do they like lots of information or just one or two main points? Do they appreciate the bells and whistles or do they just want the nitty-gritty?
Use something simple or free like Survey Monkey or Google Forms to ask 8-10 questions about your readers’ preferences. This will help you give them exactly what they want, and you’ll save time and energy creating a customized format that will get the most engagement.
You might also try several formats over a short period of time and then ask which one the majority of readers preferred. Let your audience tell you what they want. Then give it to them.
Bonus: Don’t forget to ask them how often they want to hear from you – weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly. The responses you collect are golden and will help you create emails that stand out above all the other digital noise.
3. Consistency trumps quantity every time.
One of the best ways to grow your subscriber list is to be consistent. It doesn’t matter if you send out a newsletter once a week or once a month. Just do it regularly.
Going in random spurts is the quickest way to kill your momentum. So make it easy on yourself. If writing a weekly email seems too much for you, send out something once a month instead and fill it with quality content. Consistency builds lists.
Once you know what your readers want from you (because you surveyed them), streamline your process. Create a template to save time, plug in your information, and hit send over and over again.
Almost all the major email senders have an option to replicate a campaign. Once you get your format dialed in, just keep replicating it and filling it in with new, exciting, and useful information. Your readers will be clamoring for more.
4. Be vulnerable with your subscribers.
One of the best parts of having an email list is sharing who you are and what you know with others. You can do that most effectively if you are a little bit vulnerable. That means getting personal, sharing about your life and your work and even your family.
Give your subscribers a glimpse into your life with a short section or blurb about what’s happening. Tell them about your broken dishwasher, your daughter’s wedding, or your summer garden. Don’t forget to ask questions so readers will reply to you. This will help you build relationships and make your emails more meaningful.
Readers want to feel connected to you. You don’t have to get overly personal. Just be open and let them see your humanity. It is the fastest way to create real connections that pay off in spades when you get ready to sell them something like a book, course, or product.
5. Mention your subscribers.
As you begin to engage with your subscribers, share the love. If you have readers who have sent you correspondence or you’ve met in person, mention them in your newsletter. It’s the modern equivalent of seeing your name in lights.
Someone believed in you once; return the favor. When you mention your readers by name, you are encouraging them beyond measure. It’s important to give back for all you’ve received over the years.
Sharing a link to a reader’s website or social media also builds up your community. Your readers will see you giving back and they’ll pay it forward. Your example won’t go unnoticed.
Emails and newsletters don’t have to be hard. They just have to be useful and customized for your particular audience. Find out what your subscribers want; then give it to them consistently and with a touch of vulnerability.