by | Jan 29, 2021 | Business Building Musts, Copywriting, Email Marketing, Small Business Help

This blog post continues on from last weeks Email List Building for Small Business.

I’m going to go onto the next step in this email marketing process:

How to get your emails opened, read and clicked on!

I know this will be familiar to anyone in business who has an email list, you will have run into this scenario:

  • You’ve carefully crafted an email.
  • You’ve laboured over each paragraph.
  • You’ve spent hours on the subject line (because we know just HOW important that is).
  • You hit send with an exhilarated sigh of relief. TICK!

But when you look at your email stats, some disappointment sets in.

  • You notice that the opens aren’t as good as you’d hoped
  • The click-through numbers are low

I get it – this can be very disheartening when you put so much time and effort into crafting an email for your audience.

You will then ask the questions:

  • What went wrong?
  • And (more importantly), what can you do to fix it?

Most small business owners are working hard to build their LIST and provide regular value filled content to their clients and prospects.

And – as an aside – if you’re not already working hard to build your list, you should be. Definitely go back to my previous blog post Email List Building for Small Business and get going on that list building!

Anyway, back to this post.

When you’ve gone to all the effort to construct information rich emails, you want to know that your list is eagerly awaiting them to arrive.

You may ask:

How do I create emails that people look forward to?

Well, there are a couple of essential steps you need to follow to start with.

The first critical step is to look at the tone of your emails. If you want to get your emails read it starts with writing them like you are writing to a friend.

Everyone loves to hear from a friend. Why? Because we’re interested in what our friends are up to, we trust them, and are far more likely to consume what they send us.

When drafting an email to go out to your list, it’s crucial that you write like you are talking to ONE person. One person who you know intimately.

If you have a reasonable size list (or once your list grows) it’s unlikely that you will personally know everyone on it.

But, in fact, you really do know them:

  • You know what keeps them up at night
  • You know their struggles
  • You know how they tick
  • You know how to help them reach their goal

That’s why when you write to them, you do it like you’re writing to just one person – not a whole list.

Remember, the person you are writing to is someone who connected to you for a reason; they are your friend and they want you to speak to them that way.

Now – here is my list of 14 awesome tips that will help you to produce emails people love to receive!

  1. Only email when you can add value. Be helpful. Be generous. If you continuously send emails with no value, you will burn your list out. Remember, the line between welcome guest and annoying pest can be a fine one.
  1. Have your actual name as your “from address”. Not admin@ or info@. Make it personal – put your name to it. Your list is building a relationship with you, so it’s important that the emails you send come from you, a source they can trust and recognise.
  1. Personalisation of emails is a great idea because a person’s name is one of the most powerful rapport builders you will ever have – but don’t repeat a person’s names too often – that just gets creepy!
  1. Reward people for taking the time to read your email. Maybe with an offer or something with awesome value or simply inspire them.. If you want to test how much of your emails are being read, try slipping a special bonus in the copy towards the bottom – this can be a great indicator of just how closely your content is being read.
  1. TIP 5 IS MY FAVOURITE and I think the most critical to email success – Make your headline AWESOME! If people know specifically what they’ll learn or how exactly you’ll make them happier, more informed, or better at business, they’ll be itching to read what you’ve sent them. Take your time to generate a great headline.
  1. Break it up! If you want to maintain someone’s attention, don’t just use words – use a NUMBER! Because digits, like 4 or 37, will help stop wandering eyes and maintain attention.
  1. Don’t try and be TOO CUTE in your subject line. Quit cleverness. Simple, specific subject lines beat clever alternatives every time.
  1. Marketing is a test and measure activity and your emails are no different. Experiment with using emojis in your headline – like numbers, they are a fantastic way to capture scrolling eyes!
  1. Learn from the masters. Subscribe to excellent email lists and watch carefully what their subject lines are. You’re guaranteed to learn something. PRO TIP: Keep track of emails you receive where the headline really grabs you – this way you can have an inspiration bank for when you send your emails out.
  1. When it comes to email marketing, less is more. Keep it short. Long and unwieldy emails kill interest. Challenge yourself to keep it as concise and impactful as possible.
  1. Don’t be afraid to mix up your greetings. Try Hi, Hey, Happy Monday, Hey (name), Dear Awesome (target market), or Greetings from Sunny Melbourne! Mixing up your greetings makes you less robotic and more personal.
  1. Develop a brand and a brand voice. Consider your emails to be a way of talking to your customers or readers as your new FRIENDS. Be consistent in the tone and topics you cover so you avoid wandering off brand.
  1. Add personality. Use (proprietary language) words or expressions only you can use – this makes up a big part of your brand voice. BUT at the same time, be human and don’t drown people in confusing acronyms.
  1. Write short, strong sentences. Be to the point. And remember the rules you were taught in English at school!


Everyone’s inbox is overflowing. Nobody is desperate to receive more emails.

You should be honoured that people have opted into your list and are happy to receive your messages. Each subscriber has given you a hard-earned vote of confidence.

But be careful. Never take anyone’s attention for granted. Because everyone’s time is precious.

Week in week out, you have to prove your value to your email subscribers. Know your readers so well that you can empathise with their struggles. Ask questions – and offer help.

Write as if you’re emailing one good friend because that’s how people will get to know you, like you, and trust you.

When you’ve earned those three things, you’ve earned the ability to push send and grow your business.

You might be saying to yourself, thanks Jenn, but I still need more help!

And I’ve got you!

I’m excited to be able to bring you my expertise on Email Marketing – in February I will be running a 6 WEEK EMAIL MARKETING MASTERMIND FOR SMALL BUSINESS – it’s a limited group format with only 12 spaces available! Simply head to my website here to register your interest!

I’d love to chat to you more about email marketing – and a great place to do that is over on my Like Minded Business Owners facebook group! I love engaging with the LMBO community – and if you aren’t already a member, please join in!


Jenn Donovan is a marketing strategist and social media extraordinaire, coach and mentor to savvy business owners.  Owner and Founder of Social Media & Marketing Australia.

With a passion for making business simple, because it’s isn’t easy but it should be simple or at least simpler, she’s built a reputation for helping other small business owners simplify their marketing and businesses so they can reach their goals, be more profitable and live the dream (finding the freedom they set out to achieve when they started … the illusive small business owner freedom dream …!)

Jenn believes in giving before asking and that’s why she’s the host of the popular Small Business Made Simple Podcast


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Brilliant – it’s on its way – thanks!


Brilliant – it’s on its way – thanks!


Brilliant – it’s on its way – thanks!


Brilliant – it’s on its way – thanks!

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