The Secret Formula for Email Marketing

If you are sending emails as part of your Email Marketing plan, they won’t be very effective if they are not opened, right?  If you want to get your emails OPENED, here is the Secret Email Formula that will blast through the clutter and noise of the marketplace and get your emails read.


Break The Ice - Email Marketing Secret 1Email Marketing Secret # 1:
Start by Breaking Through …

The first part of your email that someone sees is the Title or Subject Line.  This needs to be considered like a newspaper headline.  It needs to pull in the reader so that they want to read the rest of the email.  Without a strong headline, the odds are that your email is “dead in the water” and will quickly get buried under the avalanche of other emails.

What makes a strong headline?

Shorter is Better.  If you can say it in 3 words instead of 5 or 7, go with the shorter headline.

Use Strong Words.  If you are going to keep your headline short, each word needs to pull its weight.  Use action words or words that pull in your reader.  You should have a good idea about the interests of your audience, so use that information to grab their attention.  In general, it is good to know that some words are particularly strong.  FREE will catch the eye, but it can also get your email filtered into a spam folder.  That is why you see variation on it, like “F*R-E=E”, in an attempt to get around spam filters.  A better strategy would be to entice with words like “Secret”, “Formula” or “Simple”.  Numbered steps are also eyecatching since they can take a generic topic like “motivation” and turn it into something that at least feels more specific, like “The 3 M’s of Motivation” or “The 5 Simple Steps to Success.”   “How to” is another good title booster.

Unexpected or Unknown.  If you are going to reveal a “secret”, then it is more likely that someone would read a little further.  Your headline should hint at what you are going to tell the reader without giving them the full answer.  Ideally, your headline creates a question in the reader’s mind such that they HAVE TO read your email.


tease the value email marketing secret 2Email Marketing Secret # 2:
Tease First.

Providing Real Value is very important but it is even more important that you motivate your reader so that they REALLY want the information.  The Tease can be as simple as a question like, “What would you do if you had a key that opened any door?” or “How much more money could you make if you increased the percentage of people who open the emails you send?”  It doesn’t take much.  Maybe a sentence or two at the most but it can make a world of difference in the reception that you get with the information you are providing.

Tip of the Hat to “Top Teaser” and World Champion of Public Speaking, Craig Valentine who talks more about this idea as part of his story telling and keynote development programs.  For more information, check out Craig’s website at and be sure to sign up for his 52 Speaking Tips email list !


give real value email marketing 3Email Marketing Secret # 3:
Give Real Value.

This is where you give your reader the valuable content that you promised them in your title and your teaser.  The value can be in the form of data about your industry, a better way to market your product or service or whatever your reader needs.  You know your reader better than anyone so be sure you give them something of real value.

3 Examples of Value.  One of the best types of value is a story.  There are at least two types of value that can come out of a story, a lesson or entertainment, or possibly a combination of both.  Pure information or data can be valuable if it relates to a problem your reader has, or could encounter.  If you solve a problem for your reader and give them a tool or idea that they can use, then that provides value as well.

Don’t skimp on the value.  It is better to give away some or even all of your best stuff since that is what your potential customer will use to determine if they want to do business with you.  Plus, your best stuff today will be superceded by the even better stuff you are coming up with in the future.  Plus, the same great stuff, when presented in person, takes on additional value so don’t worry about giving great value as part of your email marketing efforts.

Want more ideas for creating great content?  Check out our List Building articles, starting with this one on “Creating Great Content”, or join our List Building email List (see below) and get loads of ideas that will help you with your email marketing.

Tease What Comes NextEmail Marketing Secret # 4:
Tease What’s Next.

You have teased the value, given the value so now is the time to tease one more time… for what will come next.  You have your reader excited about what you have provided, they are satisfied that you have fulfilled the promise you made with the first tease and they are ready to be engaged to follow you to the next place you are going.

But don’t leave them hangin’.  Always have an idea of where you are going with your few emails.  If you happen to divert from the plan and no one sends you an email asking about the tease from your last email, then maybe your tease wasn’t all that much of a draw for your reader.  Plus, you can keep a “story arc” going across multiple emails that will get your reader to open each one to find out what happens next.  It could be the exploits of a dog that you are fostering or just adopted or your child’s first steps or a project that you are working on in your business.  It could be nearly anything where there is “action”, “challenges arise” that “you then solve”, which “leads to new challenges”.  (That’s storytelling in a very small nutshell.)  As a speaker, this idea should be right up your alley !


Call to Action - email marketing secret 5Email Marketing Secret # 5:
Call To Action.

You have drawn in your reader with a great headline / title, you have teased them to get them motivated to read your email, you have provided real value in your email (or a link to the full article) and you have teased them about “Coming Attractions”, so what is left?

The Call To Action.  Every email or marketing piece needs one, even if it is as simple as “look for my next email”.  Email marketing is the process of moving your reader along the spectrum from interested visitor to your website to fan of your ideas to purchaser of your products / services and each step requires some sort of action by the reader.

Do It.  Do It NOW !

Your reader is as motivated as they will ever be to take action and NOW is the time that you ask them to do something.  It can be as simple as signing up for your email list (if they are reading your article on your blog or website) or asking them to post a comment or give you feedback.

Ask Nicely.  The fact that your reader is motivated to act doesn’t give you the license to ask them for too much or something unrelated.  You should also phrase your request in the form of “doing you a favor” or a suggestion.  Something like, “If you liked this article, please leave a comment below.” or “I’ve got a List Building program I’m developing so if you might be interested, please sign up for my List Building email list and I will let you know when it will be launched.”


Email Marketing: Bottom Line

This is only the beginning. Email marketing is a huge topic and this article, while we hope you found it useful, is only scratching the surface of what is possible.  I am in the process of creating a full Email Marketing / List Building program and from time to time will be publishing parts of it, such as this article on “Creating Great Content”.  So if you found this article helpful, you probably will want to  join our List Building email List (see below) and I will be sure to send you even more ideas that will help you grow your speaking business with through email marketing.



Leave a Comment