Email Open Rates: My #1 Trick for Increasing an Average Open Rate

#1 Trick for increasing email opensEmail marketing is the lifeblood of my Internet business.

Without it; I would make very little money. To that end, I’m always looking for ways to improve the results I get from this medium.

In the last few months, I’ve been experimenting with a technique that’s discussed in a special report about 45 email marketing tips.  This is a technique I’ve used in other areas of my life.  But I never thought how to apply it to my Internet business.

In today’s post; we’ll talk about this technique and how you can use it to improve the results you get from your email campaign.

How a TV Show Helps You Make More Money

In April, the TV show “Game of Thrones” premiered on HBO.  Like many shows on this network, each episode is part of a large story.  So you have to watch each to understand what’s going on.  In a way, it’s similar to the popular shows like The Sopranos, Lost or 24.

What draws people to shows like these is how they’re set up.  An important part of the plot is to create tension.  The writers introduce a number of storylines that are not resolved for many years.  People watch them because they feel compelled to get answers.

I used Game of Thrones as an example because it happens to be my favorite novel series.  George R.R. Martin (the author) writes it in a unique way.  While most books have a single protagonist, each chapter is from the viewpoint of a different character.  At the end of each, he uses a cliffhanger that leaves you wondering what will happen to that particular person.

What makes Martin’s series even more unique is he’s not afraid to kill major characters.  So when there’s a cliffhanger; you actually don’t know if this person is going to get killed.  Talk about a way to keep you in suspense.

Case in point.  I just finished the fifth book in this series: A Dance with Dragons.  Near the end, one of the characters gets stabbed in a scene that’s reminiscent of Julius Caesar.  This is a major cliffhanger because I won’t know for a LONG time if this person will live or not.  (It takes years for George R.R. Martin to write each book.)

Okay, what’s my point?

All people love stories.  And part of any good tale is a bit of tension.  It’s easy to get hooked when you wonder what happens next to a character.

Here’s how to use this information…

How to Use the Cliffhangers with Email Marketing

One challenge with email marketing is to get people to open your messages.  This is especially true if you do a lot of marketing in your autoresponder sequence.

You can use a technique called Open Loops to improve your email open rates.  An open loop is where you mention an important concept; but you DON’T reveal it right away.  Instead you mention it as a passing comment; then promise to discuss it in a future email. 

How do you put this into action?  Your autoresponder sequence should be a series of emails that directly relate to one another.  Each message should include an individual lesson, but it should also hint at solutions you’ll discuss in another email.

This one technique will have a dramatic impact on your email open rates.  You won’t be sending a single email to subscribers.  Instead they’ll receive one part of a major storyline.  Done correctly, you’ll make people anticipate the next message that lands in their inbox.

How to Immediately Apply Open Loops

First off, it’s important to have an email list.  Like I said, this is one of the best ways to make money online. 

If you do have an email list?  Then I recommend you introduce open loops into the majority of your messages.  At the bare minimum, you should use the P.S. section to tell subscribers what to expect in the next email.

Also, here’s an advanced technique.  You can build multiple open loops throughout your autoresponder sequence.  In some messages, you’ll answer a question.  In others, you’ll raise new ones.  Do this over a series of 20+ emails and I guarantee people will open; then read what you send them.

Open loops are very powerful when properly applied.  So take a look at your existing sequence.   Try to add messages to it that can draw people in and make them want to read what you have to say.

Finally, there are a number of additional ways to increase open rates.   That’s why I recommend you take a look at the report I’ve written on this subject –> Email Mastery: 45 Ways To Take Your Email Marketing To The Next Level.

Take Action. Get Results.

26 thoughts on “Email Open Rates: My #1 Trick for Increasing an Average Open Rate”

    • Awesome Rob!

      I must say, those are my favorite fiction books. (Probably why I mention them so often). The television show was pretty decent too.

      The great thing about going over autoreponders is that no matter “how” good they are chances are you can always improve them “somewhat”

      It is never a bad thing to tune them up every so often.

  1. People are always waiting for you to release a previous talked about subject, so if you have them on the edge of their sits then you got the attention you need for open rates.

    “Black Seo Guy “Signing Off”

  2. Hi Steve:

    I agree with you 100%, first you have to have a list then you can write the emails and make them open by the list subscriber. The strategy to make them open the email is also a cool trick

    As always usable information

  3. Hi Steve,

    This does look like a great concept, although it requires quite a bit of planning ahead. I’d love to see some open rate stats after implementing this method.

    Since I’m on your list, I’ll be watching your upcoming emails for those open loops. 😉


    • Peggy,

      It does take some planning. But it does not have to be too intense.

      For instance I talk about “open loops” in general in this article. If it were an email, I could end it with something simple like,

      “The next email will show 10 specific examples of open loops and how to use them to skyrocket your business”

      That would be a pretty simple open loop, but if the first email was something you liked, you would be waiting for the second!

  4. This is just brilliant!
    I’ve been wondering some things for the last three or four days and this post just replied those questions.
    It’s the second time it happens. The second time your blog gives me the fresh point of view I was looking for.

    Thanks and hope you are enjoying your holidays in Germany.


  5. I’m actually in the process of planning out an autoresponder and have a few of these in there. I didn’t really think of it as a way to increase open rates though. I”ll have to stick a few more in there 🙂

  6. I’ve noticed recently that creative writers look down on us a little, though I don’t see why, personally I think living in the real world is more difficult. I’ve always felt that all types of writing, including the promotional writing we do, are creative writing, and this has convinced me even more. I’ve got a great example I want to share with you next time I comment 🙂

  7. Great stuff, Steve!

    Open Loops would certainly work wonders. I can see that you are already doing this in the “[IIM]” sequence you have offered as part of your product. Way to go! I can’t wait to put this into practice myself.

    By the way, isn’t this the answer to the question you posed at the end of IIM #3? 🙂


  8. Hi Steven,

    I’m back from my vacation, and I have been going through your affiliate course. I’m so happy that I bought it.

    Now, I have an autoresponder series, but I haven’t written each message to be related to each other, and I haven’t applied an open loop. I understand why this is important, as you did a great job explaining it by using a TV series. I am especially thinking about 24, as I was always waiting for the next episode.. I just couldn’t wait, because I wanted to know what happened.

    Thanks a lot for sharing.


    • Jens,

      Glad to have you back, and glad you are enjoying the course! :).

      Yeah, I would think 24 would be a great example. With all the cliffhangers and the storyline that makes you HAVE to see each episode.

  9. Thanks Steve,I notice this in some of the emails i get from some people i all the time.i also noticed that having very informative emails like blog posts gets emails open too. I think you should have added real examples in the posts.thanks.Steve,i had sent you an email some time ago.have’nt seen your reply yet.

  10. Hi Steve,

    Just came over from Jens blog. Open loops makes sense. Both you and Jens got my head thinking now about a great new technique.

    We must remember to provide valuable information or the concept will not work.

    Keep on keeping on Steve,

    Terry Conti

    • Thanks Terry,

      It is certainly a great thing to build a little bit of anticipation and get people wanting to opening up your emails rather than simply wondering if they are another spam!

  11. I love the way you explained this, Steve.

    Another way to improve the open rate, is to create an expectancy with your very first “welcome” newsletter and then to apply these great tips.

    Excellent post as always.

    • Ana,

      Absolutely. I also try to give something good as a “freebie” and unannounced. It is particularly important to gain peoples trust early on to get those opens

    • Thanks Vitaly,

      I appreciate your comment! There are so many little “tricks” to email. But it all boils down to giving people good free info and creating at least a little “buzz” around your messages to the point where people WANT to hear what you have to say.

  12. Another well written post with an easy to understand metaphor about some weird arse TV show thrown in.
    I expect nothing less Mr Scott 🙂

    I sent out an email last night with the funnies subject line ever and as a result not only got the highest open rate I have ever had (over 40%) I also received over 20 personal replies.

    Goes to show the power of personality.

    Great post mate – lovin’ it

    (the email was letting my list know that I had actually won the Kick Ass SEO contest from SERPd to rank ramadama dingdong. The Title:
    ‘Check out my Ramadama Dingdong (firstname). It’s a Weiner!’

    • Alex,

      Haha! That is great man! What an awesome title! That Ramalama ding dong contest sounded really fun. I am glad you did so well in it! (and even did a post trying to get more competition as I remember). YOu are the personality king, I know you invest a ton of it into your posts and emails. The great thing is it works.

      On a side note. I know have to cross off an idea from my to do list. I had planned to do a post on market samurai training.

      >.< Guess I can pass on that for a while now! Not only 1 you do...but a multi-parter

Comments are closed.