How to get your customers to open, click and buy, no matter how weak your subject line is

By: Darcy Juarez on: November 26th, 2013 8 Comments

It was a big task…

And one I wasn’t entirely sure I could accomplish.

The task?

Improve our email open rates, click-through rates and revenues.

I’d just started at GKIC and, although confident in my abilities, I was still slightly skeptical.

Because while I could find good copywriters that could write better subject lines, calls to action and so on, our list was somewhat “damaged.”

Meaning that some of the emails we’d been sending had damaged our reputation.  And reputation in this business, as I’m sure you’re intensely aware, is everything.

Allow me to elaborate…

If all you do day after day, week after week is send a short email trying to sell something with no usable content, eventually your subscribers stop opening your emails and unsubscribe.

Even if once in a while you send a great email with amazingly good information, it won’t matter. Because all the poor content and flood of promotional offers has killed your reputation.

It works the other way too.

If you send emails with good content, valuable offers and relevant information, your list will continue opening your emails, even if you miss the mark once in a while.

In fact, you can build such a good reputation that it won’t even matter what your subject line is—just the fact that it’s from you will be enough to compel people to open your message.

Here are some things to help build (and keep) a positive reputation with your email list:

Mix things up. Don’t pound your list with stuff to buy.

Yes, it’s okay to sell through email, but if every email is a straight sales pitch—especially a sales pitch which has absolutely no message other than to say “buy now,” you’ll lose your list.

Use a combination of promotional emails, acknowledgement and follow-up emails, customer service emails, and informational emails.

Also, instead of always making offers that ask people to buy from you, give your readers free items that are valuable and relevant.

Review your email schedule to make sure you aren’t too heavy in one area and constantly evaluate to see where you might need to change the mix because of something going on.

For instance, when we launch a product, we may cut back on our regular email schedule because we know we’ll be sending a lot of other emails that are relevant to the launch.

Don’t assume your content is compelling. You must consistently deliver good content. The unfortunate part of this is that what you find interesting might not always be the same as your audience.

For instance, you may think that the story about what chemicals go in your product is fascinating, but does your audience really care? Always ask yourself:

  • What is this message about?
  • Do my subscribers care about the topic?
  • Is it clear what action I want my subscribers to take?
  • Is it relevant?

Remember the power of one. When you are deciding what to write, pick one idea to cover per email…and then stick to it.

Keeping the focus on one idea makes it easier for people to remember your lesson or take away what you want them to do which in turn makes your emails better.

For example, if your subject line is “10 Reasons Why You Should Eat Healthier,” then you want to stick to why your audience should eat healthier and not stray into what they should eat to be healthier.  If you find yourself introducing a new topic, cut that part out and save it for another email.

Always keep in mind your “big message.” Your “big message” is the one you want to resonate with your readers. (Tweet this!) In the case of GKIC, our big overall message is that this is the place for prosperity for small business owners and entrepreneurs. Everything we do is to help you be more successful and prosperous.

Keeping your big message in mind gives your emails a consistent feel which keeps your readers coming back for more. If you wander too far from this “ big message” then you may find you are losing subscribers due to the fact you are no longer delivering what they signed up to receive.

Make it easy to read.  There are several things you can incorporate into your writing style that will make your emails easier to read. For example, use clear, concise language. Use a mix of short and long sentences. Write to express, not impress by using more common words and writing at a 5th-7th grade literacy level. (Find out more about using your “readability” feature in Word to check this in my article: Six Pro Copywriter Tips to Make Your Copy As Strong As Possible

I’m happy to report we’ve greatly improved our email open rates, click-through rates and revenues thanks to the efforts of our marketing team and super copywriters.  (Obviously it would be better to avoid this problem to begin with as, if your list is too severely damaged, the only solution might be to build an entirely new list from scratch.)

Follow these guidelines and you’ll not only develop a great reputation for delivering quality content, you’ll gain more loyal and dedicated prospects and customers.

P.S. – Get “The 10 Rules to Transforming Your Small Business into an Infinitely More Powerful Direct Response Marketing Business” for FREE. Click here to claim your customer-getting, sales-boosting tactics.

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    Darcy Juarez has created marketing systems in the direct response and information marketing world that have gained national attention. As the Director of Marketing for GKIC , Darcy has taught thousands of business owners her step-by-step strategies for creating their own success and obtaining more time and more profits. For more money-making marketing tips, tactics and strategies, go to

    8 Responses

    1. Mary Gunther says:

      I like your post but everything I get from dan kennedy is selling me something. So part of your post is contradictive to what you guys do.

    2. Tony Policci says:


      Excellent post. I’ve seen sooooo many marketers make the mistake of sending “buy, buy, buy” emails so often, by the time they actually send something of value, no one is paying attention anymore. Over the last six years with one of my clients, I have endeared him with his audience by sending value packed emails that encourage, educate and even let the readers in on his personal life. This has worked so well that not only do people defend him online, when we do send out a promotion people jump!

    3. so good, I even printed off a copy to pin on the wall ! Thank you

    4. James says:

      I am pretty new to GKIC. I can’t wait for the next email. It is like I’m getting a digital version of the newsletter! There is so much value in each action packed message. The great thing about good copy is that it makes me feel good about myself, and what I am reading. I will be putting these lessons to use in my own business and I’ll write back to let you guys know the results. Thanks again GKIC Team. And, yes. I’m a real person. I’m just crazy about GKIC!

    5. Michel says:

      Just lately, I have stopped reading your emails in depth for just this reason. Too much “buy this” and not enough useful information. The same is also true of the membership material being received.

      There is too much “This program will fix your problem” BS coming through instead of useful tips and techniques that can be implemented immediately.

      It isn’t about the copywriting – but about useful information.

    6. Dave says:

      You don’t ‘peel back a curtain’, you ‘pull it back’.

    7. Gary Flakes says:

      Thanks for the information!

    8. Rosy says:

      Desearía saber si su material es Español
      Y como se hace inicia un Negocio de Asesoria para Empresas

      Soy Psicóloga

      Un saludo

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