The main problem with emails is getting the darn things read in the first place.
As an email copywriter, there is nothing more disheartening than taking hours over constructing the perfect email only to find out that no one has opened it.
That's why smart marketers have created a range of techniques to give their open rates a boost.
Because once you can get your email opened, you stand a chance of it being read. And that means the link might get clicked. And then a conversion becomes a distinct possibility.
So how do you get emails opened?
One of the techniques I like to use is often referred to as the open-loop method.
Here's how it works.
What is the open loop?
The open-loop method is all about creating curiosity.
Curiosity gets emails opened. Even if the recipient knows full well they're not going to read the full thing, they still want to find out what's going on, what the answer is, etc.
In emails, the open loop involves using the subject line to start a story … but not finish it.
The recipient wonders what the end of the story is, and they open to find out.
(Kind of like the headline of this blog. Clever, eh?)
A good example
- Subject Line: This will help you to get out of bed on time every morning
Now, if you're like me (i.e. getting out of bed is a recurring torment in your life), that will get your attention.
Mainly because of one little detail: the ‘this’ at the start is not clarified.
That's the power of the open loop. You don't give anything away. The ‘this’ could literally be anything.
You could possibly say 'This one trick' or 'This new device', and they would still keep you guessing.
But give too much away and the open loop loses its power.
A bad example
- Subject Line: Eating 3 carrots a day will add five years onto your life
Now, even if that were true, you already know the answer to what adds five years onto your live: eating three carrots.
Reading that, the recipient will think: that’s interesting. And then they'll move swiftly on.
Take the open loop further
When you open a loop in the subject line, you need to close it in the email. That's the only requirement.
But that doesn't stop you opening a new loop. By ending on a cliff-hanger, you can encourage recipients to look out for the next email from you.
e.g. ‘But there’s an even better way to haggle at least 5% off your new property … and that's the subject of tomorrow's email.'
Open a loop at the start of the email
You can also use the open loop in the body copy.
Open by talking about something interesting that happened but that seems unrelated. Then say: 'How is that related to being more productive? I'll get to that, but first I want to tell you …'
In the same way, it keeps them reading to the end. You've opened the loop.
Yep, open loops are easy. And they work.
So there's no excuse not to try one in your next email :)