You’re scrolling through your email inbox.  It’s chock a block with people requesting things from you, sending you special offers, wanting you to read their latest newsletter.  You groan as you go through the messages.  Some you delete without reading – you just don’t have the time to read another “newsletter”.  But there’s one or two that you stop and read straightaway.

We all have those emails that as soon as they land in the inbox, you want to stop what you’re doing and read them.  I’m not talking about those urgent cries for help you get from clients.  I’m talking about emails that you signed up to receive from other people.

But what is it that makes those emails extra special – something that you’d drop everything to read? Because whatever that is, that’s what you want for your own emails.

If you’re an entrepreneur, one of the most difficult things about email marketing is to get people to open and read your emails.  In fact, I talk about this in a previous blog Creating Emails That Get People to Buy What You’re Selling

You don’t want to be that person that people scroll past in their inbox.  You want people to open and read what you’ve written straightaway.  You want them to go “Woohoo, I know this person – their emails are always packed full of valuable juicy content that’s going to help me. I can’t wait to read it.”

Because if people aren’t opening and reading your emails, then you’re wasting your time writing great content for them.

Let’s face it, we’re all mega busy nowadays, running around from meeting to meeting, juggling tasks and projects, wading through our overflowing inbox, whilst trying to keep our personal life together.  We have no time to stop, sit down and really read anything anymore.  We just skim through stuff that comes our way, whether it’s blogs, videos, articles or social media updates.  And that’s the same for the people on your email list.

A lot of people will tell you that email marketing is dead because we all receive so many emails, why would you add to the pain?  But don’t forget, people WANT to get whatever it is you’re offering because they signed up to receive emails from you.  But they will only stick around if what you’re offering is something that’s interesting and valuable to them.  And for them to get to that content, you’ve got to be creating emails that people want to read as soon as they land in their inbox.

So how do you stop people scrolling past your emails and instead be THE ONE that they want to open and read?

It’s actually very simple.  You need to make your emails look like you’re writing a personal letter to each of the people on your email list.  This makes the reader feel special and appreciated by you because you’ve taken the trouble to write to them about something that they’re interested in.  And you’ve done it in a way that feels and looks personal to them.

So here are the 4 reasons why people may be scrolling past your emails in their inbox – and how you can fix it:

Overcomplicated design 

It’s easy to think that you need an all singing, all dancing newsletter if you want to look like a big business.  So you pick a cool design with plenty of images, columns, buttons and social media icons.  But this can make you look like every other business who’s sending out regular email blasts. 

If you want to stand out and make your email look personal, ditch the design and make your email look like an old-fashioned letter to your reader – one single column of text with headings and links.  Have nothing that distracts from the content or the action that you want the reader to take.

Being invisible in the inbox 

When your email lands in the inbox, what does it look like?  Is the subject line eye-catching or does it get lost among all the other stuff?  Does the visible text grab people’s attention or does it say, “View this email in your browser”?  Six words that are hardly going to entice people to open and read your email!

You need to be making your readers curious.  Use the subject line to ask a question or make a bold statement.  For example: “Hey Sarah, Is Your Website Turning People Away?” is good – because firstly it uses the person’s first name (as long as their first name is Sarah!!), and secondly, it asks a question that makes them want to know if their website IS turning people away!  Then make the visible text the beginning of your email, eg: “Hi Sarah, I was just reading an interesting article on….”.  Again, this makes it more personal and sparks the reader’s interest in wanting to find out more.

Treating your readers like a group 

It’s easy to think of the people on your email list as one big homogenous mass.  But that kind of thinking can influence how you write your emails.  You end up saying things like “Hi everyone” or “you guys” or “you all know” etc.  The trouble with this is that it makes it sound as if you’re just sending out a generic email to a large group of people.  Which is what you are doing but you don’t want to sound like that!

Instead use personal language such as addressing the recipient by their first name if you know it (add a first name field to your opt-in form if you haven’t already).  Also use language such as “you” or “you and I know”, rather than “we” or “you all”.  By using personal language, you’ll make people feel as if you’re writing to them personally, rather than sending out an email blast to hundreds of people.

Sending the same content to everyone 

The reason that many people skip past emails is because the content is too bland and generic.  Not every single email that you send is going to hit the mark with the people on your email list.  But you want to make sure that what you’re sending is about a subject that you know they’re interested in reading.  So you must personalise your content for your readers.

If you write on several subjects, find out which ones your readers want to receive – either by getting them to tick a box on the opt-in form, or offering them freebies that they can download in exchange for their email address. Personalising content for your readers shows them that you’re interested in helping them with whatever challenges they’re going through right now.

Finally, it goes without saying that you’ve got to be writing relevant and valuable content for your readers on a regular basis.  It’s that consistency and valuable information that’s going to want to make them read your emails when they do land in their inbox.

So if you’re struggling to get people to open, read and engage with the emails that you’re sending out, download a copy of our free guide – How to Design Emails that People Want to Open and Read – and discover how to create emails that grab your readers’ attention when they land in their inbox.

About Valerie

Valerie helps solo entrepreneurs create a clear online marketing strategy so they can get in front of their ideal clients and attract them to their business.

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