I’ve been doing a lot of experimenting with email campaigns lately.

I’ve been able to consistently increase the open rates and the click-through rates almost immediately for new clients, just by employing a few simple strategies.

The strategies are basic – and you can use them too.

If you use them effectively, you can notice:
Improved open rates and click-through rates for your email campaigns
More replies and engagement from your subscribers
An overall better relationship and more trust with your subscribers
Here are the five strategies:

  1. Focus on One Main Idea
    I recently read The One Thing – The Surprisingly Simple Truth Behind Extraordinary Results. In it, Gary Keller discusses the immense power of focusing on ONE thing. He backs up this claim with proven results and multiple studies.

He also talks about how blogs and emails are more effective when they focus on one main idea.

For example, let’s say you want to write an affiliate email campaign for a meditation app like Headspace. How could you focus each email in the campaign on one main idea? The outline could look something like this:

Email 1: How to Stop Feeling Anxious
How anxiety and the craziness of your day are constantly stressing you out
One key to help you overcome anxiety: meditation
Open loop: In the next email, we’ll talk about all the benefits of meditation
Email 2: The Vast Benefits of Consistent Meditation
Discuss benefits of meditation
Open loop: in the next email, we’ll talk about how to meditate the right way
Email 3: How to Meditate Effectively
The keys to effective meditation
Open loop: Next time, we’ll talk about how to make meditation a daily habit because that’s when it can have the biggest impact on your health and happiness
Email 4: How to Make Meditation a Daily Habit
Tips for making it into a daily habit
The best resource for making meditation a daily habit: headspace
Notice how each email focuses on one main idea about meditation – and leads right into the next email.

  1. Write Like You Talk
    Your emails should sound like a conversation with a friend. To do this, you need to write like you talk. When the email feels like it’s coming for a friend, it will build a better relationship and more trust with your subscribers.

There are a few good ways to develop this skill.

Start journaling every day. When you write in a journal, it’s like you’re having a conversation with yourself. You won’t be tripped up by trying to write too formally or salesy. The more your journal, the better you will develop this skill.
Before you write about a topic, record yourself talking about it. Listen to the recording, and then transcribe it into an email. After you do this a few times, you’ll have a better feel for being able to write like you talk.

  1. Always Have a Call to Action
    This is classic advice, but you should always have a strong call to action at the end of the email. If it’s a basic content email where you aren’t trying to sell something, the call to action can be to reply with your thoughts. Other good calls to action are links and asking for the sale.

But you should only have one call to action – this falls under the scope of the one main idea.

  1. Test, Test, Test
    You should always be testing emails. Otherwise, you’re just relying on guesswork, and you’re probably losing money and missing out on potential.

So, what should you be testing?

Subject lines. Most email software providers make it easy to A/B test subject lines. Try out at least 2 subject lines with different themes, and test them each on 10% of your list. Send the winning line to the other 80%.
Body copy. This is best for affiliate and sales emails. The aim here is to figure out which subject line and body copy pairing gets the most clicks, opens, and revenue.
Send times. Should you send emails in the morning, the weekends, or at night? When is your list most likely to open them? This is why you want to experiment with different send times. You can test this by simply sending emails out at different times and seeing which times get the highest open rates and click rates.

  1. Tell Better Stories
    When you can hook your reader from the beginning of your emails, they’re more likely to read through to the end. One of the best ways to hook them is by telling better stories.

Ask yourself: is there an analogy or story I can use to introduce the main idea of the email?

I have a secret hack for developing better storytelling skills: Read Tim Ferriss’ books.

In all of his books, Tim usually starts each chapter with an enticing story that relates to the message of each chapter. You’re drawn in right from the start and you want to keep reading.

Whenever I’m feeling all “storied out”, I crack open one of his books and read some intros from the chapters. It opens up my creativity and I think it can do the same for you.

Use these strategies to make the most of your email campaigns. They’re simple, but when you implement them, you’ll see how powerful they can be.

What have been your biggest struggles with creating successful email campaigns? Let us know in the comments below!