7 Ways to Make People Really Read Your Emails

Despite the trends and updates proliferating in the world of advertising, email marketing is still thriving. It remains to be a steadfast tool of entrepreneurs whether they are just starting an online business or have been a veteran in the industry. But how much of a difference can you really make with your promotional emails? How can you make sure that the funds, effort, and time you invest in this branch of marketing don’t just end up in your recipient’s Trash folder?


A recent study revealed that 205 billion emails are being sent daily. Even with the rise of social media and instant messaging platforms, email remains to be a popular form of communication. The same source also indicated that despite the popularity of sites like Facebook, consumers are still more likely to interact with brands through email. These findings should only prompt you to double your efforts when it comes to promotional emails.

Don’t grow complacent with just drafting the same emails all the time lest your audience lose interest in what you have to say. Whether you are working with a content writer VA (virtual assistant) or drafting your emails personally, make sure to practice the 7 ways to make people read your emails:

  1. Start with a powerful subject line.

    Did you know that majority of email recipients only read subject lines? For many, the subject line already contains the body of the email. People will either forward or ignore your email based on this singular line.

    That’s why you need to start with a powerful, descriptive subject line. Being vivid, arousing curiosity, and using summarizing words like how-to’sand numbers help the audience decide that your email is something they can spare time for.

  2. Send it out to a single recipient.

    Can you imagine receiving a message that promises to help solve your personal problems, only to look up and see it was sent to dozens of people?

    Not only will you lose interest, you’d also feel cheated and doubt the sender’s credibility. Make sure that the recipient only sees their name when you send out promotional emails. Otherwise, you’ll quickly earn a reputation as a spammer.

  3. Get right on to business.

    When customers open your email, don’t dilly-dally with frivolous or ambiguous statements. Let them know right away the purpose of your communication. If you’re inviting them to an event, announce what event it is right away. Are you giving them discounts? Let them know how much they can save. Don’t beat around the bush if you want fast, positive results.

  4. Keep it short but informative.

    While it is important to be straightforward, make sure that you’re not withholding information from the recipients. Give pertinent details but keep it as short as possible. Learn the balance between being straightforward but not brisk. When people finish reading your message, they must know what to do and what your correspondence was for.

  5. Create a sense of urgency.

    The reason many people fail to respond or take action isn’t that they’re disinterested but that they put it off until they completely forget about the email.

    For this, you must create urgency. Let them know the deal you are offering won’t be around forever. Using words like today, now, or 24 hours prompt people to spring into action. This is how you turn idle readers into active participants.

  6. Make it beneficial.

    What’s in it for me? Put yourself in the shoes of your target customer and ask this driving question each time you craft an email. How will it make their lives or day better? What specific problem will it solve? Are you giving them a life-hack or a laugh for the day? Leave your readers feeling a little better after reading your email.

  7. Spice up your format.

    With hundreds of emails, your audience receives every day, make sure that yours stand out. A clean format using bullet points, subheadings, appropriate fonts, and relevant images will make your message easy on the eyes.

Sometimes, it’s not just what you say but how you say it that will have people stay and read until the end.

These 7 ways to make people really read your emails will make sure that your marketing efforts get their much-deserved return on investment. How will these techniques change your succeeding emails?

Catherine vanVonnoCatherine vanVonno, the author, is the President and Executive Director of 20Four7VA, a global Virtual Assistant (VA) Service Provider. She holds a doctorate degree in Applied Statistics, Research Design and Program Evaluation from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University and has over 10 years experience in facilitating evidence-based strategic planning, product development, brand management, legislative communications, and medical policy. She is married and has four children. You can reach her at|

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