5 Simple Ways to Get More People to Read Your Emails

Imagine this: you’ve just spent hours and hours laboring over the perfect newsletter.  You know THIS is going to be the one everyone reads and shares.

But then disaster strikes. NOBODY READ YOUR EMAIL.

That all too familiar and unpleasant sinking feeling is happening in the pit of your stomach.

You can feel yourself about to die – how could this happen…again!?  You spent so much time working to make it perfect.

Except you forgot one thing… You didn’t focus on the subject line.

So, what’s the secret sauce that has people hungry read your content?  It’s simple:


Your subject line is your gateway to your emails.  It’s the first thing that people see and decide whether or not to continue to engage with you.

8 out of 10 people will read your headlines, while only 2 out of 10 will click

Some experts such as Copyblogger suggests spending as much time on the headline as the content itself!

(By the way, I’m using subject line and headline fairly interchangeably in this article.)

Powerful headlines are also the gateway to attracting people other things you do – teleseminars, books, speaking engagements, etc

Today I’ve outlined 5 strategies to increase your email open rate and get more eyeballs on your content.

5 Subject Line Strategies to Get Your Email Opened and Read

1. Go Personal

A great way to magnetize your audience is to share yourself deeply.  Having a subject line that suggests the content will reveal a bit about you and your story is a surefire way to get your audience that resonates with you hungry for more.

This holds especially true in the transformational space where your story is a big part of how you inspire your clients to step into their greatness.

“My magical wedding pictures inside” was one of the most opened emails in the history of my company.  It had nothing to do with my company, but it did share a bit of my own personal story. And it allowed me to form a deeper connection with my audience.

Other great subject lines have included:
A message from my higher self to yours
Want to learn how I overcame my fear of rejection?

Remember to make it personal and relevant to your readers.

2.  “Fill in the Blank” Formulas You Can Use

(Hat tip: Copyblogger)

These examples below are some time tested formulas that work.  Take a fill in the blank strategy from some of the best subject lines ever written, and tailor it to your audience.

IMPORTANT: Make sure these fill in the blank strategies are relevant and match what will be inside of the email. Failing to deliver on the promise of the subject line is an instant credibility killer.

A. How to _____________

How to coach like Tony Robbins

How to attract clients with your website

Why it works: It’s direct.  And if your tribe is struggling with a particular problem, this headline promises to offer the solution.

B. Who else wants _______

Who else wants to lose 10 pounds.

Who else wants an extra 1,000 in the bank every month?

Fill the blank with something you know your clients really want.

Why it works:  It is benefit rich, and you’re offering a solution to a pain point your client is having. It also suggests knowledge that only someone on the inside would know about.

C. The Secret of _________

The secret to healing emotional trauma from past lives

The secret to how I lost 10 pounds in 30 days

Fill the blank with something you know your clients really want.

Why it works:  It creates curiosity about the method or the approach you use to help clients get to their results.

D. Here’s a method that’s helping _______________ to ______________

Here’s a method that’s helping coaches get paid higher rates

Here’s a method that’s helping business owners get paid their worth

Why it works:  It’s offering a solution to your target audience’s problems.  And, it’s social proof, so its showing others have also done this in the past and its worked.  (Social proof is a powerful method for inspiring action).

E. Now you can have/do ___________ like ______________

Now You Can Speak Spanish like a Diplomat

Play the Piano Like Beethoven

Why it works:  It speaks to the part of the reader that wants to be the very best at what s/he does.

 F. Have a _____  or build a ______________ you can be proud of

Build an online business you can be proud of

Create a body you can be proud of

Why it works: Because it appeals to the part of the reader that wants to be proud of what s/he is creating. 

G. What everybody ought to know about _______________

What everybody ought to know about building a business

What everybody ought to know about choosing an acupuncturist

Why it works:  It taps into the part of our brain that is curious, and wants to make sure we have the answer.  And it is a headline that speaks to the value inside of the email itself.

These are time tested formulas that attract your reader’s attention.  Like any formula, its important to know your audience and tailor the messages to make sense for you.

3.  Use the One Word Everyone Responds To

“Remember that a person’s name is to that person the sweetest and most important sound in any language.”  ~Dale Carnegie

I once heard of an experiment (though I have yet to try it!) where famous copywriter Dean Jackson took a piece of paper and pen, and handed it to multiple people and said, “here, write something and try out my new pen.”

The first thing they wrote?  You may have guessed – their own name.

Use this information to your advantage when writing a headline, and consider customizing your headline to include someone’s first name.

It might look something like this:
Hi Lisa, I have 5 tips you’re going to love today
Lisa, do you know how to attract your soulmate?

Most email service providers have an option where you can automate this option, and it will automatically merge into your email headline.

Like any strategy or tactic, don’t over do it or it will stop working.  You can use it once in a while to create interest.

4.  Sweeten the Pot

Ever heard of the phrase, “You catch more flies with honey than vinegar”?

You can apply that principle by using words that are time tested to be sweet on the eyes and ears.

Here are some words and phrases proven to increase responses:


  • Do you think ____
  • What do you think _____
  • Would you like ____

Do you think you’re special? You’re not (see why that’s good news!)

What do you think Oprah would do about this situation?

Would you like a chance to win my Time Mastery Program?

Words that command

  • Subscribe
  • Do This
  • Open this

Subscribe today if you’re struggling with getting more clients

Do this today if you want to have amazing intimacy in your relationship

Open this if you’re feeling hungry


  • Ends Today
  • Last Chance
  • Today only

Ends Today: Your chance to attend the Rock Your Socks Off Business Conference

Last chance to get your ticket to the Blog World Summit

Today Only: Invite a friend to the Transform Your Health Summit (for no extra cost)

Other popular headline words:

  • Discover / Uncover
  • Must have / Must know
  • Tip / top tip / tips and tricks
  • Best
  • Solution / Secret
  • Tell me
  • Increase
  • Create

Discover the #1 way you can get all the clients you want

A must have resource to attract all the dates you want

The best way I know to attract 10,000 Facebook fans

Tell me what you think

Increase your charisma and confidence with these 5 tips

Create the business you always dreamed of

5.  Use This Powerful Formula To Get Them Interested Every Time.

I like to save the best for last.

This is one of the most elegant formulas I’ve found when it comes to thinking about headlines. Prepare to be wow-ed!   (Hat tip: Jeff Goins).

Number or Trigger word + Adjective + Keyword + Promise

Example: Take the subject “getting clients.” You could write an article entitled, “How to Get More Clients” or “My Top Tips for Getting Clients.”

Or you could apply this formula and make it: “5 Unbelievably Simple Ways You Can Get More Clients Today”


With everyone’s inbox overflowing with email, you have only a few seconds to grab someone’s attention and sense of curiosity.

If you want to change only one thing about your writing, focus on creating great subject lines.

It would be the highest impact thing you could do to get a lot more people reading your valuable content. Print this post out and keep it next to your computer for easy reference.

This article was written by Bill Barren and originally posted on BillBaren.com.

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