How to Get More People to Open Your Email


Perhaps you send out an email newsletter or you use email to upsell your existing customers. Either way, you want to make sure that your recipients open those messages.In this video Eric Spellmann shares his secrets of creating gotta-read messages. He has been sending out his for over 15 years and has learned the strategies that get his opened.

From formulating an attention-grabbing subject line to determining delivery frequency, these surefire tips will supercharge your email marketing!

How to Get More People to Open Your Email

  1. Know Your Audience. Design to their “surfing” behavior.
  2. Conquer Their Inbox – Choose Your Subject Line Carefully
  3. Give Them Content. People want to consume what you produce. Give them more content than advertising.
  4. Never Stop Sending It. People need to hear from you regularly.


Note from Eric: Below, you will find a word-for-word transcript of this video. I provide this as an aid for the hearing-impaired and for those who might just want to read it rather than watch the video. This conversational style is not reflective of how I write. Be nice!
Hi I’m Eric Spellmann and today’s topic is all about getting people to read your email, whether you send an email newsletter or whether you use email to reach out to your customers to up-sell them or to send perspective new customers who’ve given you their address to reach out to them from a sale.How do you make someone open an email? How do you convince them to actually look at the subject and go “Wow. I need to read that!” Click. That’s what this video is all about.

So let’s start. The key is to know your audience. You’ve got to know who you’re speaking to. You’ve got to climb inside their head and think about what turns them on, what turns them off!

First step, realize that everyone on the internet has ADD. Now I’m not making fun of the medical condition, what I am saying is we that all have Attention Deficit Dis-order. We all have when we’re on the internet, we get distracted very easily like in the movie “Up”. We all can be distracted by an ad, a link, another page etc.

How many times have you been searching on the internet and then 2 hours later realize “Oh my Gosh that was not what you were looking for. Why am I here?” So, realize that everyone has that condition. And that they’re gonna be scanning things, not reading them.

They’re gonna be looking at it and if it doesn’t looks interesting, they’re gonna skip right over it. So you’ve got to grab their attention. You’ve got to keep it and you’ve got to convince em to click. Also realize people are busy. They don’t have time.

Whenever they go on the internet they always feel like they have a deadline. C’mon you know this. You think this way too! When you have to go Google something like cheap air flights, something on Amazon etc you always kind of put this little time limit on yourself. So keep that in mind. People are busy.

And so you’ve got to show them that whatever you’re going to be offering them has got to have some sort of value that’s gonna be worth their time! So, what have we got so far? You’ve got to get their attention, and you’ve got to convince em that you have something of value.

Also realize people are lazy! Okay, they don’t want to have to work for their information. They want you to tell them. So you’ve got to offer it in a way that makes it easy for them to digest. People are curious. That’s the 1 thing that gets us distracted.

We will see some link, some offer something to click on because we’re simply curios. E.g. wonder what’s that about? That’s a weird picture Click! People are curious. And so when coming up with your topics, when coming up with what you’re gonna be emailing out, make sure it’s something that evokes a little curiosity.

Conquer their inbox. Step 1 is to realize that every day when people come in, their inbox is full. They have a lot of stuff in their inbox and they’re having to decide whether to open this one or not. A lot of times people will just delete, delete, delete, delete.

And they’re not even opening it. Now how are they doing that? They’re looking at the subject line and who it’s from. You’ve got to take control of that!

The key is a subject tease, that’s what I like to call it. The subject tease must tell them a little bit about what they’re about to see. The 1 thing you don’t want is to have your subject always be the same e.g. Spellmann Newsletter, because that’s totally boring.

It’s got to say the subject. And so if you look at all my and if you look at the subject every single one of my newsletter is the title that I come up with. And the title is usually something of a teaser to get you to open it! It doesn’t simply say Spellmann Newsletter over and over and over again.

Make sure that it’s from YOU! When people see who the newsletter’s from, it usually says Eric Spellmann in their inbox. And so they know it’s from me. I really don’t want it to say it’s from sales, or from info, or even from newsletter.

I want it to be from me! Because people decide based on those 2 factors. Who it’s from and the subject whether they’re gonna open it or not!

Never ever ever send attachments if you’re gonna be sending it as a newsletter to a whole bunch of people. 2 reasons. Number 1, a lot of times people’s inboxes are so full, a lot of times they don’t have time for an attachment.

And so the email may bounce back to you because you tried to send a big attachment. Number 2, a lot of big systems if they see a huge amount of email come with attachments, like AOL, Gmail and YAHOO! And they detect a whole bunch of incoming email from the same person that has attachments, they worry that it’s virus. And so they will simply block you!

And a lot of systems if they see more than say 10 emails that say the same thing and have the same attachment coming to people on their network, they’ll simply block them outright. So I’m not a fan of sending attachments to a whole bunch of people.

Now, if you’re trying to email 1 person and trying to get them to open it so that you can sell them something, then attachment is ok. But if they don’t know who you are, I’m not a fan of sending attachments at all. Because people worry that you may be sending them a virus.

Give them content! Know your ratio, and what I mean by that is the ratio between advertising and content. Actual things people want to use. You can’t just send out an email that is a 100% advertising. Because over time people will go “You know what that’s just an advertisement. I get no value out of that.”

And so they will make you as Spam or they’ll unsubscribe if you’re sending a newsletter. You’ve got to send them something useful, not just a sales pitch. Now, if someone has asked you for a proposal, of course send that! But if we’re talking about a newsletter, the only reason people read is if they feel they’re gonna get some sort of value out of the newsletter without ever having to contact the person who sent it!

Okay. I have tens of thousands of people who watch my videos and they get my newsletter, and I’ve never heard from em once. And most of em I never will, and that’s fine. The point, the reason they keep receiving my newsletter is because they typically find something of value, either in every single one of them or every once in a while. And so they never unsubscribe.

So know your ratio, what is the percentage of advertising the content. Now, on my , I’ve discovered with my audience that I try to keep it in that standard 80-20 round. I try to make it look like there is 80% content and 20% advertising.

So when you look at my , you may see a banner ad or 2. But the biggest piece of it, the vast majority of it is some sort of content.

Make it actionable. You want them to take action based on the newsletter if that’s what you’re sending. Or if you’re sending a sales proposal you want them to take some sort of action. Typically it’s a click to get them back to a website of some sort.

When you look at my newsletter, what my goal is as you’ve probably figured out by now is to get people to click and go back to the actual video on my website. The goal is to get people to go to my website! And I can tell you looking at my statistics, every time I send out an email newsletter, it goes crazy.

My traffic goes off the charts! You can look back over time at my traffic and you will always see that spike and you can pinpoint easily whenever I send out a video. And so it works. You’re gonna get a huge traffic spike. So the goal of my newsletter is to get them to click, even if they’re not ever gonna buy anything from me. To watch the video, they click on the email and it takes them to my website where the video actually is.

And so I get more traffic. And hopefully they’ll start looking around, maybe see something that I offer that they want and they give me a call! And that’s why I like to use video, I’ll just be honest. Remember I told you that everyone on the internet is lazy. Well, they would rather watch something than read something. They would rather be able to sit back and have you tell them something than have to sit there and read through all this stuff.

And that’s why I’m not a huge fan of long . There will be a bunch of text and it will look like an old newspaper. That’s why I don’t send out those kind of things, mine are very bite size. Even the text on my is very bite size; very scan-able. They can find exactly what they want, and I’ll be honest with you. 97% of the people don’t read my newsletter. They simply click on the video, which is what I want them to do.

Never stop. Let me say that again, never stop! Never stop sending your . Your will drive a ton of traffic to you. They will drive a ton of traffic to your website.

And in many cases a well done newsletter will drive more traffic to your website on a regular basis than being found well on Google! Oh my God I just said that. But it’s true. And that’s why for 12, 13 years now I’ve been sending out email because they work.

So, one of the things I have had to do is figure out the frequency. In other words, how often am I sending it out? Because you send out an email newsletter too often, people say “Hes got good content, but I just can’t. I don’t have time.” And so they unsubscribe. Not because you’re not interesting, but simply because you’re sending em too much. You know it’s a lot like people trying to drink from a fire hose. They’re thirsty, but not that thirsty.

So you’ve got to figure out what is the appropriate frequency. When you first start out, I usually say make it once every couple of weeks or so. Now, my goal, it doesn’t always happen that way. But my goal for my newsletter is once a week. I’ve determined that my customers are willing to receive something from me once a week.

I tried twice a week once, but I started to see my unsubscribe rate go up, and so I backed off. I’ve tried going once every 2 weeks, but I didn’t see any benefit. And so I saw an increase in the benefit if I went one a week. Now, I will tell you this. You better be at last sending something once a month. Minimum, I don’t care.

If you go longer than that, then you lose your brand. People forget who you are. That’s 30 days where they haven’t heard from you at all. So I would make it at least a month. My goal, because I offer a lot of content is once a week. But at least, I tell people usually every couple of weeks or so.

Ask for referrals. One of the big goals in there is to ask people to forward your newsletter on. Ask people to have their friends call you. Always have some sort of “call to action” in your newsletter. Whether it’s to get people to watch my video, whether it’s to get people to tell others about my video, always have some call to action to get it moving.

Collect addresses. Your email list has to grow. So one of the things I do on my website is when people go there is at some point they’re gonna be asked “Hey do you want to get Eric’s newest videos when they come out?” Notice I really don’t say newsletter in most cases where I don’t focus on that, I focus on the content that they want.

The videos, get notified when a new video comes out, that kind of thing. Remember, most people don’t want to sign up for a newsletter, but they do want valuable content. So think about that and the wording on when you solicit their email address.

Which brings up another point. Never ever ever buy email addresses. It’s illegal! Everyone who signs up for your email list must have opted in, must have chosen to, knowing what they’re going to get. Okay. You know

I told you I have tens of thousands of people who get my . Well that didn’t happen overnight. That was added 1% at a time. And a lot of times it’s by people simply calling and saying “Hey Eric add me to your list.” Or it’s by people who were forwarded my newsletter from someone else who said “I want to sign up!”

And that took time! You can go out and buy email addresses. Mainly because it’s illegal. You can get in huge trouble for spamming people who didn’t request information from you. You always have to have permission to email someone, especially if you’re gonna email a whole bunch of someones.

And yes, the CAN-SPAM Act that Congress passed can create some serious legal issues for you if someone did not request your emails and you continue to send them. Always give them the ability to unsubscribe.

And yeah, it’s the toughest thing in world for me, but at the bottom of every newsletter I send out is the ability for people to unsubscribe if they want. You have to give em that ability.

What do you think the most important part of the email is? What is the most important part of that entire email? It’s the subject! And so that’s where when you’re coming up with what your newsletter is gonna be about, is deciding simply what the title is.

You know when I’m figuring out what my next video is going to be, I spend about 60% of my total time in the project thinking of the wording of the title that will show up in the subject. And the remaining 40% goes into actually creating the video. That’s because if I have an amazing video, but the subject line is boring, no one is gonna even open it! Keep in mind no one can see the value of what you do unless you convince em to open that email. So, if you have an amazing email with some amazing tips in there, you better work extra hard on the title.

Because people are going to decide on that title in their inbox whether they are going to click on it, look on it and scan it or whether they’re just going to hit delete, delete, delete. Okay. The title should be your most important aspect when coming up with a new newsletter.

The subject line is key. Some extra advice on the subject. Typically if you do a “how to”, people see value in that. If you put a number on it, people quantify value. So, a lot of times it’s better to put “5 tips” instead of simply “tips”. Because the human mind looks at that and says I will receive a value of 5.

Whereas if you just put tips there is no associated value so they don’t know what they’re gonna receive. I know that sounds a lot like David Letterman’s Top 10, but just realize quantifiable value is what I call it, usually when I want to impress people at parties. But, give your top 10, give your 5 this, 7 that whatever.

A lot of times you put numbers on it. Now I don’t put numbers on all of my titles because that would look weird. But if you go back and look at my video archive, you will see a whole bunch of em have numbers associated with them because people are more likely to open a video where they see they’re going to get some sort of value in numbers. So, my 2 favorite tricks once again for the subject, “How to” and “Numbers.”

Well I hope this was helpful. As always I am Eric Spellmann. You can visit my website ericspellmann.com. If you need me to speak for an event, let me know. I do that all the time, I do that all over the country and I’d be happy to help. I will see you in cyberspace.