How To Build a List That Actually Opens Your Emails

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open emailsIf you’ve been marketing for long and hard enough, you are probably aware of the fact that money is in the list.

But what I learned from a devastating experience is that money is in a responsive list. A list that actually opens and reads your emails. A list that responds to your calls to action.

Real money is made of a list that is receptive of your marketing. If you mail 2000 people and only 100 of them respond, that’s only 5%. 95% of your potential revenue is wasted.

To prevent such a horrible thing from happening, you need to be building a responsive list from the ground up. Earning the trust of a non-receptive list is much harder than building a new one from scratch.

1. Confirmed Double Opt Ins

Confirmed double opt in is when the prospect needs to confirm his subscription by clicking on a confirmation link which is delivered by email.

Although it lowers opt in rates, confirmed opt ins do more good then damage, because they ensure that the subscriber is a real person and that he actually wants to be on your mailing list.

From a SPAM policy standpoint confirmed opt ins are the best way to prevent SPAM complaints. If someone’s accusing you of being a SPAMer, all you have to say is:

“You have double confirmed when you opted in to my list, so just unsubscribe and have a nice day.”

2. Quality Content

During the first week, you have a chance to impress your subscriber by giving him lots and lots of quality content he can immediately apply and get results.

By doing that you will create a sense of trust, establish rapport and gain respect of your subscriber and he will be much more likely to open your next email with an offer attached to it.

3. Ask For Their Opinion

Use online poll systems and blogs to ask your subscribers questions and opinions on different matters.

It will make them feel important and they will be much more likely to stick with your list simply because you want to know their opinion about subjects that interest them.

4. Split Test Subject Lines

Email subject line is like outside car design-if you like it, you’ll be more likely to check out the interior of the vehicle if you like the outside. On the other hand, if you hate it-you’re going to move on without thinking twice about it.

Make your subject lines irresistible by using proven copywriting formulas and by split testing different ideas.

Each and every subscriber you get is a real, live, talking, walking and thinking being. You need to remember that each time you make contact with your list.

Don’t approach them as a leader, be a friend and they will connect with you more than you would have ever thought possible.

Author Byline: Igor Kheifets is a 21 year old genius who’s hooked on personal growth and peach vanilla tea. Check out Igor’s blog at Internet Marketing Tips For Online Entrepreneurs and follow him on Twitter.

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8 Responses to How To Build a List That Actually Opens Your Emails

  1. Igor Kheifets-IgorHelpsYouSucceed January 3, 2010 at 4:39 pm #

    Thanks Andrew for the awesome opportunity to Guest post!


  2. Jens P. Berget January 4, 2010 at 5:46 am #

    I have also learned another important lesson, and that’s about focus. If people subscribe for your newsletter, and they think that your newsletter is only about Twitter, don’t send them a lot of stuff that’s not about Twitter. You’ll lose your subscribers.

    Your newsletter/emails is about quality content, but I also think that it’s important that your readers know what to expect. You might want to do this in the information when they sign up for it, or in the first email they receive.

    They can read the subject and understand what the emails are about, but if the join thinking that the newsletter is something completely different, you’ll have a problem 🙂

    By the way, great tips.

    • Andrew Rondeau
      January 4, 2010 at 9:22 am #


      That is great advice. I have separate lists for each of my free giveaways. That way I know what individuals have signed up for and can focus any communication with them.


    • Igor Kheifets-IgorHelpsYouSucceed January 4, 2010 at 11:37 am #


      you’re right. It’s a term that Frank Kern calls positive expectations and it’s very important.


  3. Dennis Edell January 4, 2010 at 2:02 pm #

    Excellent article Igor, and I promise not to hold that peach-vanilla yack against you. 😉

    Quality content is why I’ve held off for so long before attempting the newsletter route a second time…the first was a bit hurried due to a “mentor” I had and, well…crap.

    Also, you are so right about percentages. A marketer I respected quite highly at one time, who has since turned to the dark side after making some money, was essentially bragging one day about her 100,000+ list.

    Bragging about how her latest campaign sent her a WHOPPING 8K. Now although I certainly would be please at 8K off a couple emails, I did the math and had a nice quiet chuckle…

  4. Chris Peterson January 4, 2010 at 12:22 pm #

    First of all say to you happy new year and thanks for great tips. Every steps in important to make a strong email list. According to me Split test play major role in e mail marketing. Through split test we can increase conversion rate.

  5. Igor Kheifets-IgorHelpsYouSucceed January 4, 2010 at 12:29 pm #

    Yeah, split testing is important, and Aweber actually let’s
    you split test your messages. So, that’s another reason to use it.


  6. Igor Kheifets-IgorHelpsYouSucceed January 4, 2010 at 4:29 pm #

    Dennis, although 100/8 is a quiet low response,
    the size of the list saved your (used to be) idol.

    Still, you’re totally right, percentages are ultra
    important and it’s dangerous to ignore them.

    And btw, I would be pleased if you’d guest blog
    on my blog about your experience with the crappy mentor
    and the failed newsletter attempt-we all can learn something
    from it.


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