3 Ways To Double Your Email Open Rates

by Jeremy Reeves

Last updated on November 9th, 2013

Over the past 4 posts, we’ve covered a lot, including…

  1. Topic #1: Email Marketing:  What’s Working Today
  2. Topic #2: A Review Of The Best Email Tools And Who Should Use Them
  3. Topic #3: The Importance Of Email Frequency
  4. Topic #4: The 5-Step System For A Perfect Autoresponder

I hope you’ve been enjoying the articles. And if you’re a new reader, please take some time to read those articles as they will dramatically increase the results you get from email marketing.

In today’s article, I’d like to show you 3 DIFFERENT strategies you can use to double your email open rates. Use all 3 of these strategies and you’ll be light years ahead of your competitors. Best of all, they’re fairly easy to do.

Let’s get to it.

Strategy #1: Open Loops

Computer-CrashThe definition of an open loop (as defined by Wikipedia) goes as follows…

An open loop is a rhetorical device to instill curiosity by creating anticipation for what will come next. The device is sometimes also called a tension loop for the tension and anticipation it creates.

In other words, it’s a mental loop your brain creates to anticipate what happens next.

Let me give you an example.

Ever watch a movie trailer, and nearly jump out of your seat when they tease you with some type of dramatic event that’s “just” about to happen when the trailer ends and the launch date appears?

The reason movie trailers get you salivating at the mouth has to do with open loops. They open the loop by giving you the beginning of the story. Your brain begins to develop curiosity/tension and starts creating different scenarios of what it thinks the final outcome might be.

When it sees the final outcome, the loop is closed and the tension is released.

However, if you keep that loop open — like a movie trailer — that curiosity grabs hold of your mind for a longer period of time and keeps it focused on that loop. Although you may consciously forget about, your subconscious doesn’t.

And living in the subconscious mind of your prospects is never a bad thing.

In the case of emails, a 1-2 day open loop works perfectly because your mind will obsess over it until it finds the answer. More than two days, though, and it begins to dissipate and lose its effectiveness.

To drive this home, let me give you an example.

Subject Line: Rich makes $27,322 in 3 days (find out how)

Body: I just got off the phone with a coaching client of mine who was looking to increase a certain area of his business. This part of his business is one of his higher margin areas and he wanted to focus on it more.

After talking with him for about 30 minutes, we came up with a strategy that would allow him to implement the new idea I gave him in just a couple days. It’s a technique I’ve tried in the past with other clients, and it always worked great. In essence, you create a 3-day promotion tying it into something happening in the media that your audience would be aware of.

But this time I was trying something NEW. I came up with a new twist to make the entire process up to 2x as effective.

And although I’d never tested it before, I had a gut feeling it would work even BETTER for Rich than it did my other clients.

And to make a long story short — it did.

About a week later, Rich came back to me and said he’d implemented the strategy. He wanted to share his results with me.

Turns out, he did it EXACTLY as I told him (most people like to put their own little spin on it, which almost always decreases the effectiveness).

His results?

He made $27,322… in 3 days.

TOMORROW, I’ll be back to show you exactly how he did it. It’s something you’ve never seen before (at least I never have) and actually makes the process easier to do, not harder. Plus, as you can tell, the results are just incredible.

The subject line for tomorrow will be “Rich makes $27,322 (Part two).”

Be on the lookout for it. I’ll be sending it around 8 a.m.

See how that email both intrigues you and makes you want to check your email at that specific time tomorrow?

That’s because your mind created an open loop, but the loop won’t be closed until you find out what the new “twist” is.

Here’s a couple places you can use open loops.

  • In your regular autoresponders/broadcasts
  • For product launches (very powerful to keep people engaged over a 7- to 14-day span)
  • In video sales letters (open the loop at the beginning, close at the end)
  • Webinars
  • Teleseminars
  • Pretty much any communication!

Strategy #2: Re-Sending Unopens

resend emails

This is one of the single most under-utilized ways to increase the results you get from your emails I’ve ever come across.

And it’s so simple, it’s almost pathetic.

Here it is:

Step #1: Send an email

Step #2: Create a list of people who didn’t open that email (Most email service providers like Aweber have this feature. Look it up.)

Step #3: Send another email with a different hot button to those people

That. Is. It.

If you send out your first email and get a 15% open rate, and then re-send another email with a wildly different subject line and get another 15% open rate, you’ve just doubled your open rates.

Now, it won’t happen like this every time.

But what if you got just a 5% open rate on the second email? That’s still 30% better results than you were getting before.

Better yet…

It takes less than 10 minutes to do.

Too many people “rush” the process of sending an email, instead of actively thinking about how they can reach more people without doing twice the work.

If you do that, don’t fret. Just make the change and start re-sending to people who don’t open your first email. And if you want to get really crazy, you can also test re-sending to those who haven’t clicked or even to those who didn’t buy. These last two strategies are perfect if you’re launching a product or have a special promotion.

Given the dozens of different email service providers, it would be too hard to explain how to do it with each one. So if you’re interested in this idea (who wouldn’t be?), just type in something like “How do I re-send to unopens with <insert email service provider>”?

Strategy #3: Uncovering Core Desires And Fears

fingers crossed

When a person joins your list, they’re doing so because at that point in time they believe you can either…

  1. Alleviate some type of deep seated fear they have, or…
  2. Improve their life by helping them achieve some type of core desire.

For example, if a person joins a financial newsletter, it’s either because they want to gain more wealth to feel more financially independent and free (core desire)… or to dig themselves out of a “debt hole” that has them on the edge of bankruptcy or some other severe consequence (deep seated fear).

Every single product on Earth does one of these two things.

Your job is to find those fears and desires, and communicate directly to the heart of them through emails.

This, in essence, is copywriting 101. If you understand the emotional desires and fears of your prospect, you’ll have a much higher chance of connecting with them and establishing a deep bond with them. If you establish a deep bond, you get more clicks. It’s really as simple as that.

So how do you do that?

If you’re the owner of your own business and are writing the emails yourself, you probably already have a good understanding of these desires and fears. All you have to do now is speak to them. Stories are a fantastic way to do so.

If you don’t feel you know your market well enough, there are several other ways to do the research you need to truly understand them. Some of those research techniques that I use when working with clients include:

  1. Reading Amazon reviews of related books
  2. Reading industry trade magazines
  3. Talking to real customers about why they bought
  4. Creating exit surveys to find out why people left
  5. Relaxing, closing your eyes and putting yourself in the shoes of that person (very under-rated)
  6. Split-testing subject lines — 6ne with a core desire vs. one with a core fear — to see which is more powerful
  7. Forums
  8. Yahoo answers

If you spend a full day going through all of those sources and simply keep reading until your head is about to explode, you’ll have an understanding of your market better than 99% of your competitors.

(In fact, spying on competitors should be part of your research)

You then write down a big, giant list of ALL the desires you came across… and ALL the fears you came across… and begin weaving them throughout your emails.

Eventually you’ll come upon a few of the desires and fears that resonate the most with your market.

At this point — because you continually talk about them in the emails — your open rates will get higher and higher.

Which Of These Will You Try First?

I hope you’ve taken notes on this article. Probably 95% of people will gloss it over, think “wow, great ideas!” and then never do anything about it.

Please make sure you’re not one of those people.

Figure out which of these makes the most sense in your business. Then apply it. Strategy #2 is probably the easiest for people to try first as it literally takes 5 minutes.

In the meantime, head below and let me know your comments.



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Jeremy Reeves

Jeremy Reeves is a sales funnel specialist. He builds advanced marketing funnels for his own side businesses AND his private clients. He has added over over $40 million in revenue for his in the past few years alone.


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  1. Aditya says:
    April 15, 2013 at 10:16 am

    I like the idea #1 which creates curiosity in peoples mind and then they open to see what is next. Cool stuff

    • Jeremy Reeves says:
      April 16, 2013 at 6:36 pm

      Glad you enjoyed it!

  2. Ashley F says:
    April 15, 2013 at 4:20 am

    Love the idea of open loops. Have seen this referenced in other places, and really think it has a huge influence on people. Afterall cliff hangers are all over the place – end of TV episodes leave you hanging (what about LOST, it was always leaving you wanting more). Thanks for the great post

    • April 16, 2013 at 6:35 pm

      Oh no, don’t get me started on Lost! One of the best series ever, followed by the worst ending in the history of TV!

  3. April 14, 2013 at 9:48 am

    Good ideas! I like the idea of #2 but kinda worried about people unsubscribing..I don’t like receiving an email twice.

    • April 16, 2013 at 6:34 pm

      Sylvain – Just keep an open mind and test before coming before any conclusions 🙂

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