7-step Guide to Make Your Emails Impossible to Ignore & Increase Your Open Rates

by | Jan 19, 2024 | Email Marketing | 0 comments

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You’re probably tired of slaving away on emails that get ignored.

I feel you. I’ve been there too.

But here’s the good news:

Today I’ll show you how to write emails that grab attention and get opened, read, and acted on.

This is a simple, 7-step guide based on what actually works in the real world – not gimmicky tactics.

My goal is to:

  • Keep this wicked simple with actionable takeaways
  • Use examples so you can see concepts in action
  • Structure advice so it’s super easy to implement

This will help you:

  • Stand out in a crowded inbox
  • Create irresistible email content
  • Continually improve results

Ready? Let’s go…

Step 1: Set Up Your Sender Profile to Command Trust

Your sender profile is key.

This includes:

  • Name
  • Email address
  • Profile image

Most people glance at these things before deciding to open an email.

So we need to configure a profile that grabs attention and builds trust.

Here’s how:

Display a Real Photo

  • Use a clear headshot so you’re recognizable.
  • Having a face behind an email makes you more familiar and approachable.
  • It builds a personal connection, increasing comfort.

Show Your Real Name

  • Use your first and last name (or company name if relevant).
  • Fake names or initials look suspicious, triggering spam filters.
  • A real name displays credibility and transparency.

Send From a Custom Email Address

Most people miss this first step. They jump straight to writing subject lines.

But this is what sets the stage for everything else.

A strong sender profile earns attention and trust upfront—increasing the chances of having your emails opened and read.

Step 2: Understand Your Audience Pain Points Through Research

Most experts say “know your audience.”

But they don’t explain how to do this effectively.

We use 2 types of research:

Initial Research

This happens early on.

The goal is gaining clarity about:

  • Who you’re writing for
  • What are their current beliefs
  • What content they want

This prevents wasting time on irrelevant information.

Here are 5 effective initial research methods:

  1. Interviews
  2. Surveys
  3. Review mining + social listening
  4. Competitor Research
  5. AI Tools

I explain these specific tactics more in my Free Customer Clarity Kit.

You can get it from here:

Ongoing Research

This means continually gathering data from your subscribers.

Use quick surveys, polls, email replies, etc. to learn:

  • How they use your advice
  • What problems they still face
  • What additional help they need

This helps you create better content that delivers results… and that people would actually want to read.

Step 3: Seduce Subscribers With Irresistible Subject Lines

Most people obsess over fancy email templates and graphics.

But those things don’t matter if no one opens your email.

That comes down to the subject line.

I’ve written thousands, so here are three that work exceptionally well.

Use the Open Loop

  • Ask an intriguing question that creates curiosity.
  • Don’t answer it in the subject line – save it for the email body.
  • This compels opening to satisfy the curiosity you sparked.
  • For example: “Just in case you don’t know” “What? a purple cow?”

Try the How-To

  • Offer to teach something useful related to your topic.
  • “How to do X in Y minutes” works well.
  • How to do [x] (Without Y) or How to do X to get M
  • It grabs attention with the promise of quick knowledge.

Go With One Word

  • Use a single word that makes readers wonder “what’s this about?”
  • Nearly all other subject lines are long sentences.
  • This stands out because it’s unusual.

Now here are some things to avoid:

  • Industry jargon – keeps things confusing.
  • Gimmicky tactics like “urgent” or “once in a lifetime” – those actually deter serious readers.
  • ALL CAPS and odd punctuation ??? these look amateurish.
  • Overpromising something unbelievable – destroys credibility.

Use these tips to create irresistible subject lines.

Step 4: Use Powerful Preview Text to Compel Opening

You know the short description under the subject line when you get an email notification?

That’s called the preview text.

Most people ignore it.

But that’s a mistake…

Because it’s valuable real estate to further convince people to open.

Here’s how to use it:

Keep Threading the Story

  • Continue the intrigue or curiosity you sparked in your subject line.
  • Ask another compelling question or make them wonder.

Expand on Why They Must Open

  • Build on your subject line hook by revealing more benefits of opening.
  • For example “See how to fix X pain point in 5 minutes”.

This turns the preview text into a 1-2 punch with your subject.

It gives two reasons to open instead of just one.

Give it a try – powerful preview text works.

Step 5: Identify Optimal Email Send Times

Irrelevant of how great your subject line or content is…

If you send at the wrong time?

Crickets.

Your email gets buried and ignored while people are disengaged.

Most experts vaguely say “test different times.” But how do you actually DO that?

Here’s what works for me and my clients:

Send Small Test Batches

  • Split your list and send emails at different times.
  • For example, send Group A emails at 8am. Send Group B emails at 10am.

Compare Open & Click Rates

  • Check analytics to see which group engaged more.
  • Higher open and click rates signal the best send time.

Morning Wins for Most Audiences

  • Through extensive testing, we’ve found morning sends convert best.
  • People check emails first thing and have time to read them.

Base It on Subscriber Timezones

  • Don’t just go by your timezone.
  • Identify where most subscribers are located and cater sends to their morning.

Keep Testing As You Grow

  • As your list expands to new timezones, continually test to identify optimal timing.

Doing this will help you find that sweet spot.

Step 6: Overdeliver Value

Most gurus tell you to “provide valuable content.”

Thanks Captain Obvious.

But here’s the key they miss…

You must OVERDELIVER value.

Why?

Everyone gets a ton of emails competing for attention.

To stand out, you need to go above and beyond.

Here’s how:

Research Until It Hurts

  • Put in relentless work understanding your audience.
  • Figure out how to serve them in ways no one else does.

Implement a Value Ladder

  • Create an ascending series of content that solves bigger problems.
  • Take them up levels, delivering exponentially more value at each step.

Roll Out Red Carpets

  • Surprise readers by overdelivering on promises.
  • If you tease solving 1 problem, provide solutions for 3 extra related problems too.

This builds serious goodwill and loyalty.

Readers almost feel indebted to you for radically overserving them.

They’ll hunger for your next email to see what you deliver.

Step 7: Continually Measure and Refine Your Approach

But it’s not the end.

You also need to test and track your emails.

Let me get specific so you know exactly what to do.

Here are key metrics and tools to leverage:

Open & Click Tracking

  • Your email service and analytics provide this data.
  • Identify reader behavior patterns – what makes them open and click?

Surveys & Qualitative Feedback

  • Ask readers directly what parts resonate most through occasional surveys.
  • This reveals information beyond just numbers.

A/B Testing

  • Send one version of an email to Group A, another version to Group B.
  • See which nets higher engagement to determine what works better.

Sit With Your Analytics

  • Schedule uninterrupted time to pore over your data monthly.
  • Identify prime opportunities for optimisation.

Plot Progress Over Time

  • Graph engagement rates week-over-week and month-over-month.
  • Spot positive and negative trends. Diagnose issues before they compound.

This precise approach will get you far more effective results.

It ensures continual refinement and excellence.

Wrapping it up

At this point, you have a complete 7-step system for creating irresistible emails that get opened, read, and drive action.

Just to recap:

Step 1 – Configure your sender profile for trust
Step 2 – Research your audience pain points
Step 3 – Seduce with captivating subject lines
Step 4 – Compel opens with strong preview text
Step 5 – Identify optimal send times
Step 6 – Overdeliver monstrous value
Step 7 – Continually measure and optimise

You now have a framework for continual refinement through rigorous tracking, testing, analytics, and audience research.

Apply what you’ve learned here and you’ll quickly rise above 99% of email marketers.

Readers will ravenously consume your emails while competing messages get deleted.

Now let’s hear from you…

What challenges do you face when creating your emails?

Or what questions do you still have about any part of this process?


Found this article helpful?

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Rahul Choudhary

Rahul Choudhary

Founder, Beef Up Media

With almost 6 whole years of experience in the online marketing world & specialising in email marketing + funnels, I’ve seen most – the good, the bad, and the downright ugly.

My goal?

Try to share as much of my knowledge & experience as possible.

Don’t forget to connect with me on social media. ↓

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