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You might have the most interesting and useful newsletter ever written, but if nobody opens and reads it, it won’t do you any good. Let’s face it, your newsletter—and every other email you send—must compete with the hundreds of messages that land in your subscribers’ inboxes every day.
To ensure that your newsletter is one that people look forward to and read, you must find ways to make it stand out. That means you need a subject line that stands out, and inside your newsletter, you need headlines that grab readers’ attention. Here are five techniques that can make them click and read.
#1: Address Your Audience Directly
When people feel that your content is directly relevant to them and their problems, they’re more likely to open your newsletter. One way to do that is to address them in your headline—not by name, but by some signifier that has to do with the reason they subscribed to your newsletter in the first place.
For example, if your subject line is “5 Key Concerns of IT Professionals Like You,” any person who works in IT is likely to be intrigued by it. You can also use a skill that they have (or don’t have) as an enticement. “How to Become an Email Marketing Ace (Even if You Just Built Your List) is an example.
#2: Arouse Readers’ Curiosity
Human beings are naturally curious. They want to learn, and you can use that inquisitiveness to your benefit when you’re crafting your newsletter. That doesn’t mean pulling a bait-and-switch with your subject line, but rather, using certain words that are likely to make readers want to know more.
Words like bizarre, strange, surprising, and unusual are all designed to make people wonder what they can learn if they open your newsletter and read your articles. You can also try asking a question, since the implication is that they’ll find the answer if they open your email. (Make sure to provide it!)
#3: Use Reader-Friendly Formatting
When you ask someone to open and read your newsletter, you’re asking for something valuable—their time. It’s important to be respectful of that, and to make it clear that you value it. Formatting your newsletter in a reader-friendly way can help entice readers to dive in and see what you have to offer.
One thing that helps is using bullet points. Bullet points condense information into short, easily-digestible nuggets that even people who skim your content can understand. It’s also helpful to use images and subheadings to break up the text, and keep your paragraphs to two or three sentences.
#4: Promise Quick Results
The people who subscribe to your email do so because they want information. They want actionable content that will help them in some area, whether it’s living a healthier life or getting a better ROI on their email marketing campaigns. Your job is to deliver it.
One way to do that is to let them know in your subject line that you’re offering tips that will deliver speedy results. A headline that does this might say, “Improve Your Marketing ROI in One Week.” Subscribers will want to read that because it offers an immediate solution to a problem.
#5: Keep Your Subject Line Short and Sweet
Long headlines and subject lines can be effective, but short ones are easier to read and—if you craft them well—irresistible to readers. Sometimes, a brief, snappy headline is just what the doctor ordered when it comes to getting subscribers to open your newsletter as soon as it hits their inbox.
Using numbers in a short headline is particularly effective. If your newsletter promises “23 Ways to Improve Your ROI,” it tells readers two things at once. First, there’s valuable information inside. After all, who doesn’t want a better ROI? It also tells them there’s a lot of it. 23 ways is a lot of ways.
There’s no point writing and sending a newsletter if nobody reads it. Your goal should be creating the kind of subject line that makes people click on your email. Then, once they open it, your formatting, content, and the other elements of your newsletter should make them want to keep reading.
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