Email Icebreakers: How to Get People to Read Your Email




  • by Ivana Kitanovic April 20, 2016
    April 20, 2016

    With billions of emails sent every day, the real battle is to make your own stand out and get read by the recipients. Blogs and websites fight for a place in people’s inboxes hoping to persuade as many users as possible into opening the emails and cooperating in the idea written in them.


    However, that can often be an impossible mission as people open only what’s necessary in their busy everyday lives. They tend to check out emails from familiar senders and with subject lines that are connected to their work or school or friends and family. In fact, 55% admit that they don’t open and read messages regularly, which is truly an alarming wake-up call for you.


    But, what if I tell you that that may no longer be a problem as there are ways to break the ice and present yourself in the best light to your recipients? To show them that your emails are worthy to be clicked and read. I know I got you on the edge of your seat so follow me!


    My name is…

    Close Up Of Businessman Attaching Name Tag


    The thing that separates us from one another and makes us unique is our name. That’s the first thing people find out about us when they meet us. The same happens with emails. If you want to attract someone to read your email you have to take care of your display name.


    In the inboxes flooded with messages, your display name is your winning ticket in the race to get noticed. Having that in mind, bloggers and website owners usually don’t pay much attention to that and leave their emails as a display name. Wrong. No one can connect to a robotic and alien name like that. Alas if you put your own or your blog/site’s name to stand next to the subject line, you’ll see how the recipients will buy it and open it.


    For example, if you are a tech blog and you strive to get the recipients to read your emails, you surely won’t write ‘techblog@info.com’. That would be the same as sinking your ship by yourself. Instead use something like ‘John Smith’ or ‘Kerry Douglas’ or even ‘Tech Industries’ and you’ll definitely have a success.


    I’m writing, because…

    arows in the target


    Okay, let’s say you have your perfect display name, but other than that, the next thing that catches the eye of the readers is, of course, the well-known subject line. It states the purpose of writing the email and should contain enough information so that the recipient knows who you are and what your intentions are.


    It is widely known that the most read emails are the ones that have short and concise subject lines that in the same time are interesting and captivating enough for the recipient to continue reading the email. That’s what we aim at here, right? So, don’t be shy or scared and let your imagination flow. The more creative you are the better.


    To illustrate, take a look at these subject lines:



    • Welcome to our blog, buddy! You’re one of us now
    • Meeting at 5! Don’t forget!
    • Wanna grab some coffee tonight?
    • Your keyboard has never been sexier
    • The most delicious pizza is closer to you than you think

    You see how each and every one of them has a special approach to the recipient and contains the element of curiosity that would make them read your whole email. And plus according to Steve Young of Unbounce, “If the subject line shows flattery, that’s a great way to get your recipient’s attention.”


    The Big Bang Theory

    planetary nebula glowing into deep space


    You know the theory that says the universe was made as a result of the Big Bang? Break the ice in the first sentence of your email by starting off with a big bang phrase that would catch the recipient’s eyes. It can be a greeting that would make the reader feel connected to you from the beginning, a shout out, a simple hello or a shower of compliments. You name it! Just make sure that you pour your personality in it. And write it in a way that it suggests that important information is following so that you capture your reader to keep on reading.


    For example, here are some first liners that may actually work:



    • I have good news and better news!
    • What do you get if you subscribe to my blog?
    • I saw that you responded on my post on Medium about writing, so I decided to send you an email.
    • A huge fan of your work here.
    • Hey! How is your day?

    All of them encourage further reading, so it’s an absolute win to write something similar to this.


    The blockbuster movie

    fighting deer


    Turn your email into a star-studded blockbuster movie with huge visual effects and most importantly – lots and lots and lots of action. Luckily, in your case you don’t have to spend millions on cameras, green screens and staff. You can simply determine what you want to achieve with the email and ask the recipients to cooperate. Everybody’s job is in fact nobody’s job, so if they don’t know the readers won’t do what you expect of them.


    Whether you decide to use the subject line, the first liner or the last to do that, when you need something from your readers, don’t hesitate to openly state it. Make it as actionable as it can go and users would definitely read it.


    Also, to back this up, I’ll mention the inevitable role of the call-to-actions (CTAs). Those phrases such as ‘Don’t waste another minute and subscribe now!’, ‘Shoot me a reply ASAP’, ‘Don’t close the faucet entirely and give me your suggestions’ are a great way to keep your readers engaged in your words.



    I think that we broke the ice here, making the impossible mission of getting noticed quite possible. You see how everything lies in you and the effort you put in writing the email, so that it provokes the recipients to read it by itself. That’s why don’t be too serious and introverted and present the world the best version of yourself through the display name, subject line, first liner and, of course, everything that comes afterward. That and only that will help you get people read your email and actually consider it. Good luck!

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