It’s one thing to get your subscribers to open your email.
No… That's a HUGE thing! *lol*
It’s another thing entirely to get them to keep reading every single word of your email, right down the part where they see your call to action.
Simply put: if you can increase the number of people who see your call to action, then you’ll increase your conversion rate.
So with that in mind, here are 20 proven ways to keep your subscribers reading…
1. Make It About Them
Your readers aren’t cracking open your email to read about you. Truth is, they’re a little self-centered. As we all are. They want to read about their problems, they want to read about solutions that could help them and they want to read stories, tips and articles that are relevant to their lives.
Here’s a quick and easy way to check if your emails are about your reader: check how many times you use words like “you” and “your,” versus using words like “I,” “me” and “mine.” If you use self-referential words (like “me”) more than reader-oriented words, it’s time to rewrite your email to make it about your reader.
2. Tell Stories
A good story engages readers, pulls them into the email, and keeps them reading until the end. Especially if you interrupt the story before its climax to share other information, and then return to finish up the story at the conclusion of your email.
And as an added bonus, a good story makes your content more memorable, too. That means your readers will be thinking about your content long after they’ve closed your email.
3. Build Anticipation
Get this: as soon as readers open your email, they’re going to be looking for signs that reading it is worth their time. One way you can persuade them to keep reading is by building anticipation right up front for what’s coming. In other words, let them know the benefits they’ll get if they keep reading.
For example: “You’re about to discover a simple three-step process for house-training your new puppy in 10 days or less…”
4. Make Them Curious
Another good way to keep people glued to your email is by making them curious. In other words, don’t just build anticipation – make them curious about what’s coming up.
For example: “In just a few moments you’ll discover a surprising tweak that can double your conversion rates!”
5. Format for Easy Readability
Have you ever taken one look at a hiking trail, realized it looks way too hard for the hike you had in mind, and turned around to head back?
That’s kind of like what your readers are doing when they open your email. If your content merely LOOKS like it’s going to be difficult to read, your subscribers are going to bail out early. Here are three quick tips to avoid this problem:
Break up long paragraphs of lists into a bulleted list.
Use short words, short sentences and short paragraphs. This is particularly true at the beginning of the email. Hint: Try to open with a one-sentence paragraph, which makes the content look really easy to read.
Break up the content. For example, insert sub-headlines into the middle of your content, which breaks up long blocks of text. Added bonus: it draws a skimmers’ eyes back into the content.
6. Use a Friendly Tone
When you craft an email, imagine that you’re writing to a friend. That way your email will take on a warm, conversational and friendly tone.
Bonus Tip: Add variety to the way you open and close your emails. For example, instead of always opening with, “Dear [name],” try something like “warm greetings” or “Hello!”
End result? You seem more like a human rather than a robot, which helps you build a relationship with your subscribers.
7. Break Big Topics Into Multiple Emails
When people open an email, they don’t expect to find an article the length of “War and Peace” inside. That’s why you should break up big topics into multiple emails. This makes your content easy to read, which keeps your readers’ eyes glued to the page.
And as an added bonus, sending a series of related emails makes it more likely your readers are going to open and read the next email you send, too. That means they’ll see your links and calls to action repeatedly, which gives your conversion rates a nice boost.
The more contacts you have with your readers about a particular offer, the more clicks you will receive.
8. Build Credibility and Believability
Sometimes people simply stop reading your emails because they don’t believe what you’re saying. That’s why you need to build credibility and readability.
Here’s how: Deliver on your promises. Avoid hype. Avoid false promises. Instead, under-promise and over-deliver.
Be honest. For example, if you’re reviewing someone else’s product, be honest about the product flaws. People will trust you more if you’re known for telling the truth (even if that truth means you won’t make as many sales that day).
9. Insert Plenty of Tips and Examples
Slogging through a “how to” article isn’t any fun if the reader isn’t quite understanding what you’re trying to teach them. And if the reader is confused, they’ll bail.
The solution? Provide plenty of tips and examples to make the concepts more clear. If you need an example of how this works, just look at the additional tips and examples provided right in this very post!
10. Offer Something Unique
Did you know that peoples’ brains actually light up when they encounter something unique? That’s right, the brain rewards learning new information. And that’s why you should always seek to offer new information, or even just new twists on old methods. If you can get your readers’ brains to light up, you can bet those readers will read every last word of your email.
11. Make Use of Graphics
One good way to break up the text, make the content more aesthetically pleasing, and illustrate complex concepts is through the use of graphics.
Charts and tables
And any other relevant graphic that will engage your readers’ interest.
12. Provide Actionable Info
The idea here is simple: teach your readers how to do something, and then provide an action step they can take. Try to give them an action step that will produce fast results.
For example, you might show readers simple ways to boost their conversion rates. The action step might be to change one of their email subject lines using a specific (proven) template that you provide. It only takes a few minutes to take this step, and yet readers will get fast results This makes it more likely they’ll open up the next email you send to them!
13. Create a Regular Column
The idea here is to give your readers something to look forward to every week.
My #1 Tip Tuesdays, where you offer a high-value tip.
Freemium Friday, where you give your readers a valuable and highly desirable product.
You get the idea – I’m sure you can come up with your own regular features and columns that your readers are sure to love and anticipate.
14. Get Personal
Basically, use a couple lines in every email to tell your readers a little bit about you.
“I just got in from my 10-mile training run…”
“I hope you don’t mind, but I just had to share this pic of my newborn son…”
Obviously, you don’t want to drone on and on about yourself, because readers will lose interest fast. But dropping in a few tidbits here and there will make you seem more human. And if these tidbits are relevant to the niche, that’s even better. People will start caring about you, which means they’ll be more interested in reading every email you send.
15. Surprise Your Readers
The idea here is to say something others in your niche aren’t saying, offer a controversial viewpoint, or even pleasantly surprise them with a freemium.
Bonus Tip: Don’t use the same formula for every email. For example, don’t always send “How To” emails. Instead, drop a video with a few tips.
Bottom line: mix things up, as the variety will keep people reading (and coming back for more).
16. Let Their Voices Count
Asking your readers for their opinions does two things. First, it makes your readers feel special when they know their opinions are valued. Secondly, it gives you insight into what your readers want, which is always a good thing.
So what should you ask readers about?
Ask them what kind of content they would like to see next.
Ask them for their most pressing questions (which you can answer within the newsletter).
Let them choose between content idea options.
Ask for their feedback.
Let them beta test.
Basically, ask your readers how you can better serve them.
17. Tie Your Email Into Current Events
Tying your emails into current events helps you enter the conversation that’s already going on in your reader’s head. That means they’ll stop what they’re doing and read your email. That’s exactly what you want them to do!
For example, if the Olympics are going on, you might tell a story about the Olympics that ties into your niche.
18. Keep Focused On the Benefits
Earlier I mentioned that your readers should understand the benefits of reading your content as soon as they open your email. But don’t stop there. Keep your readers focused on the benefits.
Keep letting readers know what’s coming up. For example, halfway through your newsletter you can drop another set of curiosity-arousing benefits.
Let readers know the benefits of taking action on what they just learned. (Hint: provide the actionable information we talked about earlier, where people will get good and fast results)
Let readers know the benefits of following your call to action, such as clicking on a link. This increases your conversion rate.
19. Spice Up Your Content
Don’t just educate your readers—edutain them. This means you entertain them while you educate them. Be careful with this though.
You can entertain them with:
Expressive language that includes analogies, metaphors and similes.
In other words, don’t write like you’re creating a stuffy textbook. Make the content both entertaining and useful, and people will keep reading.
20. Ask Questions
Here’s a really good way to engage readers: ask questions. You can ask a single question, or you can even provide a short quiz. Either way, it not only engages readers, but it’s also a good way to get them to self-identify.
For example, “Do you ever have trouble falling back asleep when you wake up in the middle of the night?”
Whew… That's a lot of info, and I hop it helps!
Your conversion rates and profits rest entirely on you holding your readers’ interest and keeping them reading right to the end of each email. The good news is that you just discovered 20 proven ways to keep readers hooked and reading. Just be sure not to cherry-pick through these ideas. Instead, implement as many as possible, and I’m betting you’ll see some great results!