Ten Sneaky Email Tricks that can Double your Clickthrough Rate

Email marketing, huh? Isn’t that so 2010? Aren’t there better ways now to make money online?

Nope. In my opinon email is STILL king.  Why? The power of email marketing lies in its ability to create direct, personalized communication with potential customers. It’s a channel that businesses own and control, unlike social media, where algorithms and policy changes can shift the landscape overnight.

Now, let’s talk about the click-through rate (CTR), an essential metric in email marketing. The click-through rate is the percentage of email recipients who clicked on one or more links contained in a given email. It’s a direct indicator of how many people on your email list are engaging with your content and, ultimately, moving further down the sales funnel.

Here’s the kicker. What if I told you there are tried-and-true email copywriting techniques that can potentially double your click-through rate? Doubling your CTR means double the engagement, double the potential leads, and potentially double the conversions. That’s a significant boost for any business, regardless of size or industry.

In the following sections, we’ll dive into ten sneaky – but completely ethical – email copywriting techniques that can revolutionize your email marketing strategy and possibly double your click-through rate. So, buckle up and get ready for a deep dive into the world of high-performing email copywriting!

Technique #1 - Craft Compelling Subject Lines

Picture this: you’re going through your email inbox, and amidst the sea of unread messages, one email grabs your attention. What made you stop and click on that particular email? The answer lies in the power of a compelling subject line.

A subject line is like the headline of your email. It’s the first thing that your recipients see and it largely determines whether your email gets opened or lost in the clutter. A well-crafted subject line is a doorway to the content of your email. Its purpose? To pique your reader’s curiosity, create a sense of urgency, or offer value, compelling them to open the email and, ultimately, click on your call-to-action.

Here are a few tips to help you craft those attention-grabbing subject lines:

Create a Sense of Urgency: Using time-sensitive language can encourage readers to open and click through your email sooner rather than later. Phrases like “limited time offer” or “24-hour giveaway” prompt immediate action.

Spark Curiosity: Humans are naturally curious creatures. Tease the content of your email in your subject line to incite curiosity. However, avoid clickbait – ensure your email content delivers on what your subject line promises.

Keep it Short and Sweet: With more people checking their emails on mobile devices, a concise subject line ensures that your entire message gets displayed. Aim for 50 characters or less.

Personalize It: Personalized subject lines can increase open rates by up to 50%. Try incorporating the recipient’s name or relevant details about their behaviors or preferences.

Offer Value: Let your readers know what’s in it for them right from the start. If your email provides value, make sure it’s clear in the subject line.

Test, Test, Test: What works for one audience may not work for another. Always A/B test your subject lines to understand what resonates with your audience.

Remember, your subject line is the first impression you make on your email recipients. Make it count!

TECHNIQUE 2 - Personalization is Key

In today’s world, your email recipients are not just looking for relevant content; they’re looking for personalized experiences. If a user sees an email that’s specifically catered to them, they’re more likely to engage with it.

Now, you might think, “Is simply using the recipient’s name in the email personalization?” The answer is yes, but it’s just scratching the surface. Personalization has evolved significantly and extends far beyond just addressing the recipient by their first name. Here’s how you can leverage personalization to boost your click-through rates:

Use Behavioral Data: Tailor your emails based on the recipient’s past behaviors. For example, if a user recently bought a pair of shoes from your online store, you might send them an email showcasing matching accessories.

Segment Your Email List: Not everyone on your email list has the same needs and interests. Segment your list based on different criteria like age, location, buying behavior, etc., and tailor your content to each segment.

Celebrate Special Occasions: Send personalized emails on birthdays, anniversaries, or milestones. It shows that you value your relationship with the recipient and are attentive to details.

Leverage AI and Automation: AI technology can analyze data and provide insights about user preferences, which can be used to craft hyper-personalized emails. Automation tools can help you send these emails at the right time.

Ask for Preferences: Sometimes, the simplest way to understand what your audience wants is to ask them. You can use preference centers where subscribers can select what kind of emails they want to receive.

In conclusion, personalization is all about making your subscribers feel special and understood. It involves a deeper understanding of your audience’s needs, preferences, and behaviors. The more personalized your emails are, the more likely recipients are to engage with them.

TECHNIQUE #3 - Leverage the Power of Storytelling

Human beings are naturally drawn to stories. Stories evoke emotions, inspire action, and make information more digestible and memorable. In the context of email marketing, storytelling can captivate readers’ attention, make your emails more engaging, and drive higher click-through rates.

But how do we weave compelling stories into our emails? Here are a few tips:

Begin With a Hook: Just as in any great story, you need a hook at the beginning of your email. This could be a question, an interesting fact, or a bold statement that grabs the reader’s attention and encourages them to read on.

Incorporate Conflict and Resolution: Good stories involve a problem (conflict) and a solution (resolution). In your emails, this could translate to presenting a common problem your readers face and then offering your product or service as the solution.

Use Customer Stories or Case Studies: There’s nothing more convincing than a story of someone who faced a similar problem and how your product or service helped them overcome it. This not only adds credibility to your email but also helps the reader envision the benefits they could gain.

Keep it Relevant and Relatable: The best stories are the ones your readers can see themselves in. Keep your stories relevant to your audience and your product or service. The more your readers can relate to the story, the more engaged they’ll be.

Make it Visual: Use imagery and descriptive language to make your story more engaging. This helps the reader visualize the story and creates a more immersive reading experience.

End with a Clear Call-to-Action (CTA): Your story should lead to a clear CTA. You’ve engaged the reader with your story, now guide them towards the next step you want them to take.

By tapping into the power of storytelling, you can transform your emails from mere information disseminators to engaging narratives that captivate your readers and compel them to click.

TECHNIQUE #4 - Clear and Actionable Call to Actions

After compelling subject lines, personalization, and engaging stories, it’s time for the climax of your email – the call-to-action (CTA). This is where you direct your readers towards the next step you want them to take, be it purchasing a product, signing up for a webinar, downloading an eBook, or any other action that aligns with your business goals.

A well-crafted CTA is a game-changer. It can significantly boost your click-through rates, drive conversions, and contribute to your overall email marketing success. Here are some insights on creating compelling CTAs:

Make it Action-Oriented: Your CTA should compel your readers to take an action. Using verbs at the beginning can inspire this action. Phrases like ‘Download Now’, ‘Sign Up Today’, or ‘Get Started’ can be effective.

Create a Sense of Urgency: Just like in your subject lines, creating a sense of urgency can provoke immediate action. ‘Limited time offer’, ‘Act now’, or ‘Don’t miss out’ can make your readers feel that they’ll lose something valuable if they don’t act quickly.

Keep it Short and Direct: Your CTA should be concise and to the point. Ideally, it should not exceed five to seven words.

Make it Stand Out: Your CTA should grab attention. Use a button, a different color, or bold text to make it stand out from the rest of your email content.

Offer Value: Your readers should know exactly what they’ll gain by clicking on the CTA. If they’re going to get a free eBook, exclusive access to a webinar, or a significant discount, make it clear in your CTA.

Test Your CTAs: As with all aspects of email marketing, it’s crucial to test your CTAs to see what works best. You can try different colors, text, placement, etc., and track the results.

In conclusion, a clear, actionable CTA is the bridge between your email content and the action you want your readers to take. A compelling CTA can dramatically increase your click-through rates, drive conversions, and ultimately lead to more sales or engagement.

TECHNIQUE #5 - Create Scarcity

Scarcity is a powerful psychological trigger. It’s human nature to value things that are limited and fear missing out on opportunities. In marketing, creating a sense of scarcity can provoke immediate action, turning window shoppers into paying customers.

In the realm of email marketing, this can translate into higher click-through rates as readers are urged to act quickly before they miss out. Here are some ways you can harness the power of scarcity in your emails:

Limited Time Offers: Make your promotions time-sensitive. Phrases like “Offer ends at midnight” or “Last chance to save 30%” can create a sense of urgency that encourages immediate action.

Limited Quantity Available: This could be a product with a limited supply or seats to a webinar that are filling up quickly. Statements like “Only 10 items left in stock” or “Seats are filling up fast!” can drive quick action.

Exclusive Access: Give your subscribers access to something exclusive, like a members-only sale, or the first chance to buy a new product. Make sure to emphasize that this opportunity is not widely available.

Waiting Lists: If a product or service is particularly popular, create a waiting list. Let your subscribers know that spots are limited, adding an air of exclusivity and urgency.

Countdown Clocks: Include a countdown clock in your emails for promotions or special events. As your subscribers see the time ticking away, they’re more likely to act.

Remember, while creating a sense of scarcity can be a powerful motivator, it’s important to use this technique authentically. If you constantly have “last chance” sales or “limited” products that aren’t truly limited, your subscribers may start to ignore these claims.

TECHNIQUE 6 - Segment Your Email List

No two subscribers on your email list are exactly the same. They may have different interests, behaviors, needs, and preferences. Treating all your subscribers as one homogeneous group can lead to lower engagement and even higher unsubscribe rates. This is where email segmentation comes into play.

Email segmentation is the practice of dividing your email list into smaller, more targeted groups based on certain criteria, such as demographics, past purchases, browsing behavior, email engagement, etc. By segmenting your email list, you can send more relevant and personalized content to each group, leading to higher engagement and click-through rates.

Here’s how you can segment your email list effectively:

Demographic Data: Segmenting by age, gender, location, occupation, etc., can help you tailor your content to the specific needs and preferences of each group.

Behavioral Data: Segment your list based on past behaviors like purchase history, website browsing patterns, previous email engagement, etc. This allows you to send highly relevant recommendations and offers.

Email Engagement: Group your subscribers based on their engagement with your emails. You could have a group for active subscribers who regularly open your emails and another for inactive subscribers who rarely engage.

Customer Journey Stage: A new subscriber might be interested in learning more about your brand, while a long-term customer might be ready for a loyalty reward program. Segmenting your list based on where subscribers are in their customer journey can help you send the right message at the right time.

Preferences: Allow your subscribers to choose what kind of content they want to receive and how often. This not only ensures you send relevant emails but also builds trust with your subscribers.

Remember, the goal of email segmentation is to deliver more relevant and personalized content to your subscribers. By addressing their specific needs and interests, you’re more likely to boost engagement and click-through rates.TECHNIQUE 7 - A/B Test Your Emails

Even with all the right techniques and strategies in place, there’s one thing that can make or break your email marketing success – understanding what resonates with your audience. This is where A/B testing, also known as split testing, comes into play.

A/B testing involves creating two versions of the same email but changing one variable. It could be the subject line, the CTA, the email content, the images, or the layout. You send version A to one segment of your list and version B to another, then track which version performs better based on metrics like open rates, click-through rates, conversion rates, etc.

This testing allows you to understand what truly works with your audience and helps improve your overall email performance. Here are a few tips to get started with A/B testing:

Test One Variable at a Time: If you change multiple elements between version A and version B, you won’t be able to accurately determine which change led to a difference in performance.

Choose a Significant Sample Size: To get reliable results, you need to test your emails on a substantial portion of your email list.

Decide on a Key Metric: Before starting the test, decide what you’re trying to improve – is it the open rate, click-through rate, or conversions? This will be your key performance indicator (KPI) for the test.

Give it Time: Don’t rush to conclusions. Give your test enough time to gather significant data.

Consistently Test and Optimize: A/B testing is not a one-time task but an ongoing process. Regular testing and optimization can lead to continuous improvements in your email performance.

Remember, assumptions about what works best can often lead us astray. A/B testing provides real, data-driven insights into your audience’s preferences, enabling you to make informed decisions and ultimately boost your click-through rates.

TECHNIQUE #8 - Use Power Words

Words are the lifeblood of your email copy. The right words can spark interest, evoke emotions, and motivate your readers to take action. Among these, ‘power words’ hold a special place.

Power words are persuasive, descriptive words that trigger emotional responses. They can make your readers feel a certain way, influencing them to engage with your content, click on your CTAs, and ultimately convert. Power words can add a punch to your subject lines, make your email content more engaging, and make your CTAs irresistible.

Here’s how you can leverage power words in your emails:

Spark Curiosity: Words like ‘Unveiled’, ‘Secret’, ‘Exclusive’ can ignite curiosity, encouraging readers to click and read more.

Evoke Urgency and Scarcity: Words like ‘Limited’, ‘Hurry’, ‘Last chance’ can create a sense of urgency or scarcity, prompting immediate action.

Trigger Emotion: Words like ‘Amazing’, ‘Sensational’, ‘Heartwarming’ can evoke emotional responses, making your content more compelling.

Offer Value: Words like ‘Free’, ‘Bonus’, ‘Discount’ can highlight the value you’re offering, making your offers more enticing.

Demonstrate Impact: Words like ‘Transform’, ‘Boost’, ‘Skyrocket’ can show potential impact, motivating readers to take advantage of your offer.

Create Trust: Words like ‘Proven’, ‘Guaranteed’, ‘Certified’ can build trust, assuring your readers of the reliability of your product or service.

Remember, while power words can enhance your email copy, they should be used strategically and authentically. Misleading or overusing power words can lead to loss of credibility and trust.

TECHNIQUE 9 - Keep It Short and Simple

In an era where attention spans are dwindling and inboxes are inundated with emails, one of the best ways to get your emails noticed, read, and clicked on is to keep them short and simple.

Maintaining simplicity and brevity in your emails is about respecting your readers’ time and delivering value in the most efficient way possible. Here are some tips on how to apply this principle:

Clear and Concise Content: Every word in your email should serve a purpose. Avoid fluff and get straight to the point. Make sure your content is easy to understand and communicates your message effectively.

Simple Layout and Design: A cluttered, complicated email design can be off-putting. Opt for a clean and straightforward layout that enhances readability. Use white space effectively to give your content room to breathe.

Break Up Text: Large blocks of text can be overwhelming. Break up your content into smaller paragraphs or use bullet points to make it more digestible.

Clear CTAs: Your call-to-action should be succinct and direct. It should tell your readers exactly what action you want them to take.

Subject Line Brevity: A shorter subject line is more likely to be read in its entirety, especially on mobile devices. Try to keep your subject lines under 50 characters.

By keeping your emails short and simple, you not only make it easy for your readers to consume your content, but you also demonstrate respect for their time. This can significantly boost your engagement and click-through rates.

TECHNIQUE #10 - Use Visuals Wisely and Sparingly

Visuals can be a potent tool in email marketing, often helping to increase engagement and click-through rates. Images, GIFs, infographics, or videos can add interest to your emails, break up text, and help convey your message more effectively.

However, there’s a fine line between enhancing your email with visuals and overwhelming your reader with too many distractions. Here are some tips for incorporating visuals wisely:

Align with Your Message: Use visuals that complement and reinforce your message, rather than distract from it. An irrelevant image can confuse your reader and dilute your message.

Quality Matters: Make sure your visuals are high-quality and professional-looking. A blurry or poorly designed image can harm your brand image.

Optimize for Mobile: Many of your readers will be opening your emails on their mobile devices. Ensure your visuals are optimized for mobile viewing, with appropriate sizing and resolution.

Alt Text: Some email clients block images by default, and some subscribers may disable images. Using alt text ensures that even if your image doesn’t display, your readers will get a description of what it’s about.

Balance with Text: While visuals can enhance your message, the text is still paramount. Make sure your visuals don’t dominate your content. Your message should still be clear even without the visuals.

Less is More: Don’t clutter your email with too many visuals. Use them sparingly to highlight key points or illustrate important concepts.

Interestingly, some email marketing experts, like Ben Settle doesn’t use visuals at all.  And neither do I.

Personally I feel focusing on the power of the written word can lead to better engagement and results. And this goes to show, there is no ‘one-size-fits-all’ approach to email marketing.

So, consider your audience, your brand, and your message.

Test different approaches to see what works best for you. Perhaps your emails perform better with a compelling image, or maybe you find that no visuals at all yield better results.


Email marketing remains one of the most effective tools in your digital marketing arsenal, with the potential to deliver an impressive return on investment.

However, to truly unlock its potential, it’s crucial to continually refine and optimize your approach.

We’ve journeyed together through ten techniques to enhance your email copywriting skills and double your click-through rates. From crafting compelling subject lines, personalizing your content, telling engaging stories, leveraging power words, to wise use of visuals – each of these techniques can dramatically improve your email marketing effectiveness.

But remember, the essence of successful email marketing isn’t just about increasing click-through rates; it’s about building relationships and delivering value consistently.

Need Some Help With Your Copywriting?

If you’re looking to transform your email marketing game, I’m here to help. As a Freelance Direct Response Copywriter, I can help you craft powerful and effective email campaigns that not only engage your audience but also drive them to take action.

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Freelance Direct Response Copywriter Robert Sean Pascoe

Robert Sean Pascoe is a freelance direct response copywriter, copywriting coach and marketing strategist. He works with entrepreneurs and small businesses worldwide to help them craft powerful marketing messages designed to dramatically increase their sales and profits.

He specializes in writing HIGH IMPACT and HARD-HITTING direct response sales letters, landing pages and emails and has written successful marketing and advertising campaigns for markets as diverse as Christian Education to Erectile Dysfunction.

On the personal side, Robert lives in Tampa, Florida with his wife Jessica and two spoiled kittys Hitch and Ace. They love to travel, go to rock concerts and explore historical (especially haunted) sites.

If you could use some help in writing ads that sell, want to master copywriting yourself or just need someone to brainstorm with, then Robert is available to help you.

Go ahead and contact him at RSP@worldclasscopywriting.com or click here to go to his official contact page.

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