3 Tips to Getting Readers to Open and Read Your E-zine

Dedicating yourself to sending an e-zine every single week, following the “Meredith Approved” template is quite a task. It takes time, effort and discipline. But it DOES pay off. This simple marketing act gets the phone ringing and inbox dinging on a consistent basis. It also changes the way you see yourself – as a true business owner.

BUT – if people are not opening and reading your e-zine, it’s all a waste of time. An average open rate for a weekly e-zine is about 10-12%. But to have a decent impact on your marketing, you should aim to have a higher open rate than average. So how do you get more of your readers to open your weekly e-zine? There is a very simple answer to this question: great subject lines.

The subject line is what appears in your inbox, next to the “From” column, (if you have a standard view in Outlook- you can customize your inbox view so it may look different.) If you have been dedicating yourself to your e-zine on a weekly basis, but have been putting “Jane’s E-zine” in your subject line, people are NOT going to open it. Another common mistake is to put the title of your feature article in the subject line. Again, most of the time, that is not going to get people to open your e-zine.

Can you imagine magazines and newspapers trying to sell at newstands with super generic, boring headlines? Sales would plummet. People would not buy them. Be honest with yourself, how many times have you purchased a magazine while standing in line at the grocery store because the headline was just too tempting?

The moral of the story is you MUST be deliberate and creative with your e-zine subject lines to increase readership. Below are 3 tips to generating great subject lines.

Tip #1: Ask a powerful question
This one works like a charm. Ask a question that really digs into emotional triggers. For example, “When will you finally put your feet up?”

Tip #2: Use “You” and “Me” in conversational statements/questions
The best copywriting reads like a conversation. So use your subject line to create a dialog with your readers. For example, let’s say you are holding a wine tasting with a River Cruise line rep and you want to get more people to show up. Your subject line of an e-zine (or a separate email inviting them) could be “Are you coming on Saturday?”

Tip #3: Tell a snippet of an emotional story
This is also known as the eavesdropper technique because we are all natural eavesdroppers at heart. Use the subject line to tease people with an emotional part of a story. For example, if your target market is brides, your subject line could say “Tears streaming down her face…” or “They lost her luggage in Montego Bay…”


Spend time creating your subject lines and track your open rate results (before and after using these tips). Go look at magazines and see what they do in their headlines if you are having some creative blocks. Create a folder in your inbox and every time you see a great subject line that really gets your attention, keep the email and put it in that folder. Try to keep your subject lines to 7 words or less. Be sure to share your results with us. We love to hear from you!

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