Recently, someone in my Facebook group (thanks for the question, Gerald!) asked if there was an “easy way to collect emails.” First, we need to define “easy” email tactics.

Easy as in “how can I get a huge list of qualified subscribers without doing any work”?

Or as in, “Can’t I just buy a list or database of people and blast out emails willy nilly?”

In either case: not really.

Here’s the thing: Back in the day (e.g. before 2003), it was easy to collect names and email addresses and send out unsolicited promos without any repercussions, fines, or people protesting outside your window with pitchforks and torches.

Photo by Adam Solomon for Unsplash

Now we have laws. And rules. And they all revolve around not doing that exact thing. (For more information on the specifics of spam laws see THIS article and THIS ONE.)

Because people barely want to hear about the thing they originally signed up for, let alone something they have no interest in.

Trust me on this.

In my days as a personal trainer it never ceased to amaze me how many people would pay handsomely for my advice — and then get angry at my suggestions — the very reason they paid me!

But I digress.

As long as you’re not sending bulk emails out to people who did not sign up with you, and you give your readers a way to easily opt out of your mailings, you’re golden. For the most part.

These following tactics are ways to entice people to open your emails and listen to your awesome words of wisdom… without breaking any rules or laws.

And they’re a fun way to get creative in how you approach the content of your email.

1. The Open Loop

I refer to this as a “cliffhanger.” It’s the email equivalent of watching an episode of [your favorite series], where you’re dying to know what happens in the next episode. But you’re left hanging.

So you stay up all night because each episode hinges on the next.

This same idea applies to a subject line that leaves people wanting more.

But keep in mind this important caveat: Your email MUST deliver on the headline promise. Or you’ll lose your reader’s trust.

Examples of open loops may be versions of:

“I was told not to do this, but I had to see for myself…”

“I messed up…”

“In case you haven’t heard…”

“Don’t waste another minute doing [this thing]…”

You then must close the loop fairly soon once people click on your email. Or promise a follow-up email.

2. The Shorty

Photo by William Warby on Unsplash

In a world of long subject lines, keeping yours to a word or two makes it stand out in inboxes.

Nathan Barry, founder of ConvertKit, uses this format.

Examples include:

  • Unsolicited advice
  • 60 minutes
  • Authority
  • Tomorrow?
  • I lost it

In each case curiosity compels you to open the damn email.

The subject lines are so short your brain struggles to figure out what could this possibly mean?

Did I forget a meeting tomorrow?

Is something going to blow up in the next 60 minutes?

How did this person ‘lose it’?

What could it hurt to click and find out, just to get rid of this angst, right?

And, like the Open Loop, be sure to deliver once they open the email or that’s the last time they’ll trust you.

3. The Myth Buster

One of my personal faves (see my post on email marketing myths) because everyone loves to know when they’re being misled. It produces that “ah ha!” moment when you know YOU are now better informed than most mere mortals.

And, thanks to the internet and social media, myths / lies and conspiracy theories abound. No legitimate claim is immune.

So start by explaining the myth.

For example, in the fitness world, there’s a myth that weight gain is inevitable as we age.

[sound of buzzer] Sorry, but that’s totally FALSE! We believe it’s true because of X and Y, but research shows… [and then back up your myth-busting argument with facts and studies to support your statement].

Try one of these tactics with your next email and let me know how it works for you.

I write high-converting copy for businesses and entrepreneurs

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