Do you ever feel like your subscribers are ignoring your emails? You’re sending out emails regularly, but you’re not getting replies from your list. The emails you’re sending just aren’t sparking conversations. Sometimes it can feel like you’re talking to no one — which is super frustrating, especially when you’re putting so much time and effort into email.

Let’s go over a few things you can do to get subscribers replying to your emails, so you can engage your list, get to know your audience, and make genuine connections with your subscribers.

Tip #1: Regularly ask people to reply.  

This may seem way too easy, but if you never ask most people won’t reply. Make asking for a reply a regular call to action that you go to.

You won’t always send emails that are geared towards getting a sale or driving traffic to your website. You can send emails that are just about engagement.

One way to do this is to make one email per month purely focused on getting a reply.

Tip #2: Make it easy for people to reply with questions and prompts

Asking people to reply is a great start, but if you’ve tried that before and people still aren’t responding try this tip instead. You want to make it really easy for people to respond by giving them a specific question to answer or prompt that helps them start their reply back to you.

For example, maybe in your engagement focused email, you’re sending out a helpful tip and you want to get people responding back to you. You might think — Okay. I’ll end the email by saying “Hit reply and let me know what you think.” That’s asking them to reply, right?

It’s also super vague and it puts a lot on them to try and think up a response. They have to read your email, digest the information, form a thought back, and write out an email to you. For people just casually browsing through their inbox, that might feel like too much work. They’re going to scroll on to the next email.

Instead, you could ask a specific question based on what you shared or what you want to know from them. For this example, it could be: “Hit reply and tell me if you’ve ever done XYZ.”

That’s actually really easy to respond to and could be just a simple yes or no answer from them, but it’s getting them engaging with you. It opens that door where you can continue these conversations and get to know people on a one-on-one level.

You can also give them a prompt that’s almost like a fill-in-the-blank template that they can just hit reply, fill out, and send it back to you.

A popular question to ask in your emails is: “What is your biggest struggle when it comes to [YOUR TOPIC]?”

In your email, you can ask that question and then ask people to reply with their answer. Then below your question, in bold or italics so it stands out, start their reply. Like this:

“When it comes to [YOUR TOPIC] my biggest struggle is…”

They just have to fill out what is top of their mind and send it right back. It’s super easy for them and you’ll get way more people replying when they don’t have to do all the work.

Tip #3: Ask fun questions

When you’re asking your list to respond, it doesn’t always have to be something so heavy about their pain points, their frustrations, what they’re struggling with right now.

It could also be really fun, light, or totally unrelated to your business. You can ask silly questions just for fun — to share your personality, get to know the people on your list, and see if they vibe with your personality too. You can have a lot of fun with this!

For example, in my welcome email, I ask 3 questions. I ask:

  • How did you find me?
  • What’s your number one frustration when it comes to email marketing?
  • What side do you take in the pineapple on pizza debate?

I get so many fun responses to that last question! When people respond, they usually answer all three, so I’m also getting a lot of great info from subscribers on my list. I’m learning where they’re finding me and where they’re at with email marketing when they join my list.

But having a fun question really lightens it and makes it feel more fun to answer. So if you’re not getting very many people responding to you, try a fun question. Try a silly question, try something totally wacky that would just be fun for you to answer and see if you get more people responding back to you that way.

Tip #4: Give people something to react to

If your emails are boring and bland, they’re probably not going to elicit a huge response. You need to make a statement worthy of reaction to get reactions.

Experiment with being a little controversial in your emails. Share an unpopular opinion or take a stand against something in your industry.

Awhile back, I made a video about testing the “Do you hate me?” subject line. I found it wasn’t all it’s hyped up to be and I shared that I didn’t recommend people use it. When I shared it, I got several replies back from people that said that they had totally different experiences with this subject line.

The point of that email wasn’t to get replies, but when people saw something that they had done that was different from their experience, they wanted to respond back to me.

Another example is the “Do you hate me?” subject line. It’s a very controversial and very polarizing subject line that is sure to get some replies. Maybe not such nice ones though.

But if you want to get replies, say something worthy of replying to. Say something that gets people a little riled up. That’s when you’ll get people actually showing up in your inbox.

Another way you can do this if you don’t want to go the controversial route is to show some vulnerability and actually open up about something to your list.

You might share a mistake you made in your business, a misstep, something that’s gone wrong, or something big that’s happened in your life — maybe even something that’s more personal than you usually share.

People connect with people, so if you’re relatable and you’re showing your human side instead of just the business side, people really connect to that and respond.

So another example of this for my business: a couple years ago I disappeared from email for a while. I was going through some stuff personally and I just did not email my list for a little bit. So when I finally did come back to my list, I felt the need to share what had been going on because it was such a big deal. I opened up I shared that I had a family member that was diagnosed with cancer and going through chemo.

The outpouring of love and support I got from my list just made my heart melt. When I shared that, people were just so supportive and so kind. It really reminded me that all of these numbers on this list are real people. They’re not just data — they’re real humans.

It was an amazing way to connect with those people on my list — people that I had heard from before in the past and people that I’ve never heard from but had been reading my emails for months or years.

People really do connect with human stories, and it’s a way to bring us all together and to get closer with your list too. If you feel like sharing a little bit of vulnerability or feel like being a little open, people will respond in kind to you.

So are you getting replies when you send out emails?

If not, try out these tips and let me know how it goes! I hope you see a lot more activity in your inbox very soon.

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