Email marketing can help make a living. It can sell your own products, or those you are an affiliate for. It can also help get more traffic to your blog and thus improve your advertising income. In other words, email marketing is a cornerstone of any online business.
Remember that the first and most important goal anytime you send an email to your list is to get subscribers to open that email. And there’s a lot you can do to make that happen, from ensuring deliverability to writing killer subject lines. But today, I want to talk about something else you can do to improve email open rates – foreshadowing.
You may be more familiar with the term when used in books or movies. Game of Thrones, for example, is famous for frequent use of foreshadowing. The basic idea is that there are hints about what’s to come in future chapters, episodes, etc. Now we’re using that same idea for email marketing.
To foreshadow in email, you want to tease and create interest for the next email in the one your subscribers are reading now. For example, let’s say we’re writing a series of emails about improving email marketing. In today’s email we worked on mapping out the topics of emails we’re going to write. So, towards the end of that email, we mention that the next step is to start writing those emails, beginning with the subject lines. We then also tell our readers that we’ll cover writing high-converting subject lines in the next email, and that they should look for it in 2 days.
There are a couple of things going on here that help with the open rate of that coming email:
(1) By using foreshadowing, we’re creating interest and getting the reader curious about what’s next. If I’m new to email marketing, or trying to get better at it, learning how to write better subject lines is something I’m very interested in.
(2) By sharing with readers when to expect the email, we’re setting expectations. That makes it easy for them to keep an eye out for the email. If they know when it should be coming, they’ll be less likely to miss it.
That one little paragraph in one email helps make sure the next email will get opened. Of course you can then continue to use the idea of foreshadowing with each subsequent email. Keep hinting at what’s coming next. Not only will it help with open rates, but your subscribers are also less likely to unsubscribe. They may not have been super interested in the topic of today’s email, but what’s to come may grab their attention and keep them on your list.