How to Write Emails People Actually Open


It's no secret that “the money is in the list,” right?

Well, ya, but that's only true to the extent that you can get “the list” to open and take action on your emails. In fact for the purposes of this post, let's throw the idea of “the list” out the window.

Those email addresses you're collecting? They're people.  

Actual flesh and blood people who have wants, needs, hopes and dreams just like you do. And the only reason they're on your list in the first place is because they believe you have something that can either solve their problem (move them away from pain), or help them get a result they want (move them toward pleasure).

Many times it's your headline that will be the difference between an email that gets read and one that gets passed over or trashed.

email open rates

Here are a few different types of headlines that will help get your readers opening your emails more often:

1. Leave Out the Hype

Hype can be good once in a while when it's warranted, but when it comes to getting email opened on a daily basis chances are you don't have anything “revolutionary,” “astonishing,” or “unique” to share.

Keep it conversational… like what an email from a friend might look like. After all, these are people who love communicating with friends, but aren't as excited about the marketing messages they are bombarded with every day.

A few you can try…

“Dan, quick question for you…”

“Ideas for [something your audience is interested in]”

“Question about [something relevant]”

2. “Call In” Your Audience

Chances are you have a pretty good idea of who is on your list. Talk directly to them using headlines like these:

“5 tools every real estate agent should have”

“Stay home moms! You will love this…”

3. Promise a Benefit

Give your readers a tangible benefit to opening your email…

“Inside: Lose 5lbs for free… email exclusive”

“Learn French in 48 Hours? Now you can…”

“Want a raise? Cool trick works almost every time…”

4. Ask a Question

People love answering questions and have a hard time not answering when faced with a question mark. The more specific you can be to your audience the better. OH, and asking “are you making this mistake?” is almost irresistible.

“What makes some people so successful?”

“Do you make these mistakes in your marketing?”

“Which blogging software do you use?

5. Use a “How To” Headline

How to headlines are especially powerful when you can back them up with a time frame.

“How to Lose 7lbs in 9 Days”

“How to Change Your Own Brake Pads in 20 Minutes”

“How to Hire a Virtual Assistant”


These are just a few of the many effective headlines you can use to get your emails opened. Experiment and find out which headlines get the best open rates with your audience.


PS…If you found this information helpful, be sure to like and share! xo


  1. Dawn,

    Email marketing is still a very powerful and effective way to grow your audience. I’ve been using it for many years myself. I think the subject line is the most important thing. You want to include the prospect’s name in the subject line and ask a question or use a statement that appeals to their motives and desires.

    You can have the best copy in the world, but if the subject line doesn’t ring a bell with them they probably won’t open it. Think of your subject line as your headline. The purpose of the headline is to get them to read the body (your email).

    Hope that helps.

    Nice blog, Dawn.
    Chuck Holmes
    Chuck Holmes recently posted..20 Things You Should Know Before You Start a Business: And Why Network Marketing is Your Best OptionMy Profile

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