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3 Business Email Practices That Get More Responses

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August 12, 2014
| Articles

“The money’s in the list.”

 
You’ve heard the advice before – an email newsletters is your ticket to online marketing success.

 
But I’m going to tell you something you’re not going to like. The advice is no longer applicable. The money is no longer in the list. It’s in the responsive list.

 

But what’s a responsive list?


Simply put, a responsive list is one where subscribers are interacting with you. They’re opening your emails, clicking on your links and most importantly – replying to your emails.

 
It’s no longer enough to have a list. Now, you need a list with subscribers who are excited to hear from you and are eager to interact with you.

 

How to Get Your Subscribers to Respond to Your Emails

 

I’ll be honest with you. Getting subscribers to reply to your email newsletters isn’t easy. I mean, have you ever responded to one yourself?

 
Subscribers are inundated with newsletters. Each one vying for their attention and asking them for one thing or the other. So how are you going to get them to pay your newsletter extra attention and time and actually respond to it?

 
Thankfully, there are a few things you can do to encourage them to do so.

 

1. Ask a Question!

 

Answering questions is human nature. Ask a question in your next email newsletter and encourage to email you with their replies.

 
Make sure the question is open ended. Don’t ask questions that can be answered with a cut and dried “yes” or “no”. Because people don’t email back with a yes or no. They email back for elaborate answers that take more than a few words.

 

You won’t get many replies for “Do you read business blogs?”

 

But you will get replies for “What’s your favorite business blog?” or “Which blogger would you like to see interviewed for this newsletter?”

 

Find an angle that’s close to your reader’s heart and ask them a question related to that.

 

2. Let Them Know They Can Always Email You

 

Do your newsletter subscribers know they can always email you back? Do you respond to emails from subscribers?

 
If they don’t – or you don’t, it’s time to start doing so. Not only will it encourage subscribers to start interacting with you but you’ll also get a deeper understanding of things that are important to your readers.

 
Add a little a reminder at the end of your emails telling your subscribers that they’re always welcome to reply back to these emails.

 
Henneke Duistermaat of Enchanting Marketing always ends her newsletter with a message in a slightly smaller print that encourages her subscribers to interact with her.

 
Below are a couple of examples from her most recent newsletters:

 
“Would you like to get in touch? Just hit reply. I’d love to hear from you.”

 
“Have a special request for me to write about? Just hit reply or leave a comment. I’d love to hear from you.”

 

Henneke’s writing always resonates with her readers because she writes about what her subscribers talk to her about. She knows their problems, issues, and insecurities inside out.

 
Imagine having that kind of insight in your own subscribers.

 

3. Create a Survey

 

If you’re looking for answers to a specific question from your subscribes but don’t know how to go about it, consider surveying them.

 

Send your subscribers an email, tell them why you’re doing a survey and what it’s about. Promise to share the results with them and include a link at the end. If the survey will take more than 5 minutes, throw in a prize or a discount at the end.

 
Not only will this give you the answers you’ll looking for but your subscribers will respond to your request and you’ll gain greater insight into your subscribers.

 
Ameena Gorton – a marketing consultant, recently emailed her entire email list telling them that she’s rebranding and launching her new website. She included a link to a short survey to give her a clearer picture of her audience’s need. In the survey she asked her survey takers to ask her one question they wanted help with and she’ll personally email them within 48 hours with a response.
I took that survey and did exactly that. I got my most pressing marketing question answered – only because I spent 5 minutes taking her survey.

 

Would I have responded to her announcement of a re-launch if she hadn’t included a link to a survey? Definitely not.

 

Bonus Tip: Encourage Folks to Unsubscribe From Your Newsletter

 

What would you rather have? Subscribers who don’t open or click your newsletters or subscribers who do both?

 
Asking folks to unsubscribe rids you of subscribers who are no longer interested in hearing from you. They’re the subscribers who would never buy anything from you either.

 
Sure, having a big list looks and feels good. But if it’s not converting, that big list isn’t doing much for you.

 
So every few months, send out a newsletter along the lines of “Are my emails helpful? Or would you rather unsubscribe?” Include the unsubscribe link at the end and let the email do it’s magic.

 
I’ve set my “Would you like to unsubscribe?” email as an autoresponder. Four weeks after someone subscribes to my newsletter, they get an email from me asking them to unsubscribe if they don’t find my emails helpful.

 

 

The response? Some people unsubscribe, others email back saying they love getting emails from me, and some tell me what I can do to make the newsletter more to their liking.

 
It’s a win-win for me!

 
Have you tried any of these tactics to get subscribers to respond to your emails? What was the result?

By Samar Owais
Categories: Articles
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