How to Get People to Open Your Email Newsletters

A good open rate for email newsletters is between 18% and 23%. If your email real estate newsletter (or any other business newsletter) rates are below that, or if you’d like to do even better than average, here are four ways to improve your open rates:

1. Use a compelling subject line.

Subject lines must pass the test of three: 1) Not be the same each month (unless it’s transnational content). 2) Give people a reason to want to open. 3) Identify what’s inside. Look at these examples. The ones with a red X violate one or more of the three rules. At first glance, ____ Hot Real Estate News seems to meet all three rules, but a quick read of the newsletter shows that the news is not “hot” and the subject line is the same every month, so readers will start to dismiss this newsletter as bland marketing content.

Don’t get dismissed in the first few newsletters, or you’ll lose them forever! You’re not actually expecting people to read your whole newsletter…you just want enough interest so that they’ll open and glance through it. Give them things that catch their eye. And give them reasons to contact or refer you.

2. When you put people on your mailing list, tell them what your newsletters are about.

There is ample proof that people are more likely to read something if they know what it’s about. In fact, there is a concept called “scaffolding” in reading research, that says people make sense of content when they have a mental framework (scaffold) to put it into. Give them a framework that makes them look forward to reading your newsletter by describing some of the fun features inside and the benefits they’ll get from reading (such as interesting things to share with loved ones, useful household tips, a contest).

3. Show your character. If you don’t interest people in your newsletter the first two times they open it, they’ll stop opening it.

To keep them interested, don’t be afraid to show your personality. Remember they have already met you (in most cases), so they are now getting to know you better through your newsletter. The purpose of this newsletter is to build your credibility and likeability. Most real estate newsletters focus on credibility, but fail utterly to build likeability. You can show more character by adding personal touches. We have already added a few places in Fast Newsletters to do that, but you can do even more. Add a real estate testimonial with a photo of the people you helped. Add a funny photo of you with your family. Be personal in your personal note. Add your name randomly in different spots in the newsletter, such as adding a personal note at the end of some articles.

4. Change the title for internet leads.

If you send your email newsletters to home buyer leads who come from your website, change the title to reflect their needs. For instance, instead of the title Front Porch News, try something like Bob’s Home Buyer Helper. Perhaps near the top of your newsletter, you can add an interesting local real estate statistic and then interpret it: “Home prices have risen in Kensington by 17% since this time last year. If you buy now, what will your home be worth this time next year?” You might be able to use some aspect of that statistic in your subject line, too. If you’re not in real estate, you can do something similar…make sure your newsletter appeals to that type of lead.

People buy from people. The more personality you have in your marketing, the better people will relate to you. A good marketing newsletter is a personal promotion piece that builds likeability and credibility at the same time.

About The Author

Linda Schneider

Linda Schneider, a real estate marketer, author, and former agent for 30 years. She thrives on helping agents make money using creative and affordable prospecting tools and real estate newsletters. Get her latest book, Door to Door Real Estate Prospecting on