Here’s a quick quiz…

Which would you rather have?

  • 5000 people on your list with an open rate of 10%, or
  • 1000 people with an open rate of 50%?

Spoiler alert… it’s choice #2.

Why? Because in today’s market it’s not just about “eyeballs on your offer” it’s about the quality of connection between you and the person at the other end of the email. Open rates depict engagement and engagement predicts responsiveness to your offer.

But what if your open rate sucks and engagement is down? Fear not. I have 5 proven steps for increasing engagement and strengthening your connection with those “true fans” who are on the edge of their seat, waiting to hear what you have to say next.

Step 1: Clean up the energy by scrubbing the list.

Let’s face it, one of the quickest ways to increase your open rates is to stop emailing those people who are ignoring you or… never really engaged. To do this, you will need a CRM tool (Infusionsoft, Active Campaign, etc.) that tracks engagement. Start by tagging those who haven’t opened your emails in 6 months and send them a quick email. Keep it short, sweet, use a catchy subject line to grab their attention and then simply ask them if they want to receive your emails? Briefly share what they will gain in return and ask them to take one simple action. One easy next step is to have them click on a link that says “Keep me in the tribe.” Send the same email 3 times, trying 3 different subject lines. Those who don’t respond at all, are blessed and then scrubbed from the list.

Step 2: Get curious about who your true fans are.

Once you have narrowed your list to a smaller, more engaged tribe, it’s time to get curious about the person at the other end of the email. Are they new on their journey or a seasoned pro? Are they in touch with what’s not working or frustrated and clueless? Are they needing something in particular to help them on their way? These questions and more can be asked through a simple, elegant survey that takes less than 3 minutes to complete. (By the way, my company Smart Biz Quiz, has an easy-to-use survey builder and templates to make profiling your list fast, fun and efficient.)

Step 3: Demonstrate both empathy and authority.

Now that you have a deeper understanding of where each person is on their path, it’s time to personalize their experience by customizing the information you share. By denouncing the “one size fits all” approach to marketing, you let them know you understand how they feel, no matter what stage they are in. By speaking to the unique challenge they are facing and offering words of wisdom to help them navigate their path, you ensure they feel seen, understood and valued – three core needs we all share.

Step 4: Consistently deliver uncommon value.

OK, here is where I need to begin with a confession.  For years, I cranked out two weekly emails, a Tuesday Tip and a Friday Freebie. Our list consistently grew and engagement was high, then I got lazy. With the new business flowing in, I took my foot off the gas peddle and coasted for a while. The emails stopped, the blogging slowed to a halt and I disappeared for a time into the background. What was the cost that temporary disappearing act? Decreased engagement and extremely low open rates. Thankfully, my resurfacing at the end of the summer has awakened the dead and our open rates and email responses continue to rise. Take heart. If, during this Pandemic, you’ve not been engaging as you much as you would have liked… there is no time like the present. Re-commit and hit the reset button. You’ll feel good and your list will remember why they joined your tribe.

Step 5: Extend offers that meet them where they are.

As you deliver consistent value, speak to them based on where they are, and allow them to feel seen, you will also see an opening of hearts and minds. Their curiosity is piqued as you slowly, but surely spotlight the benefits your product or service can provide. When this happens, it’s time to extend an invitation. Whether it’s to “Click and Buy,” “Book a Discovery Session,” or Request a Demo,” be sure to cater your offer to what you know they need next. Whether you have multiple offers based on where they are, or all roads in your business lead to one primary offer, use language that suggests the invitation is exclusively for them to strengthen the value they perceive.

There you have it. 5 proven steps for increasing engagement and strengthening your connection with your “true fans.”

But if you are like most, 650 words about how to increase engagement is not enough.

  • What do I say in the scrub emails?
  • What questions do I ask in my survey?
  • Which survey software is the best one to use?
  • How do I segment my list to customize communication?

Fear not… I’ve prepared a short training on How To Engage Your List and will launch soon! If you are not already on my list, join our community below so you don’t miss it.

Ready to put the power of a personalized assessment to work in your business? Activate your 14 Day free trial of our amazing assessment software and we’ll show you how to grow your list, personalize your communication and increase conversion into your products and programs. Click here to activate your free subscription.


Jane Deuber is a business strategist with 33 years and 7 successful start-ups to her credit and helped over 15,000 entrepreneurs experience greater fulfillment and improved profits through her programs and products. To learn how Jane and her team can help you expand your reach and increase profits, check out her two companies, Global Experts Accelerator and Smart Biz Quiz.