How to Increase Traffic to Your Blog (or Video or Podcast), Part 2

Follow These 5 Research-Based Ways to Increase Your Email Open Rates

The two primary ways we let the world know about our latest blog or video or podcast (collectively, our “primary content”) are through our email list and social media channels.

“Every day 4.4 million new blogs are posted. So you’d better have an intriguing headline and subject line!”  – Marie Forleo

Which is why, in my previous blog post, I shared the following:

  • The sad stats on how few of our email subscribers and social media followers, on average, will actually see our latest piece of primary content.
  • The 6 General Factors that Increase Traffic to Our Primary Content, and...
  • Of those Factors, the most easily and immediately improved: our Content Titles, Headlines and Email Subject Lines -- and how to improve them with some simple copywriting tweaks.

But more specifically to getting more eyeballs on the blog/podcast/video we're promoting via email, there are some research-based best practices to…

Increase Traffic to Your Blog by Boosting Your Email Open Rate

In addition to better copywriting, there are many ways to boost the likelihood someone will open the email that links to your new content (e.g., better targeting, list segmentation, etc.), but your subject line is the easiest and quickest path. Here are 5 Research-Backed Subject Line Practices to get more of your emails opened...

  • ONE: Keep ‘Em Short. For most people, and especially those seeing your emails on a mobile device, less is best. MailChimp recommends no more than nine words, or 60 characters.
  • TWO: Personalize Subject Lines. Using a merge tag with the subscriber’s first name is shown to increase open rates. If there are other ways you can personalize based on the data you have – location, profession, etc. – by all means do so (appropriately and in moderation).
  • THREE: Limit Punctuation. MailChimp’s research suggests we use no more than three punctuation marks per subject line. Too many (including special characters) and our email will look spammy.
  • FOUR: Use Emojis – Carefully. Emojis seem to help. BUT, research suggests we…

- Use no more than one emoji per subject line.

- Use them to supplement words rather than replace them.

- Use only those that support the main message.

- Use only the simplest, most commonly used ones, as complex or obscure emojis may not render properly.

  • FIVE: Always A/B Test Subject Lines. If you have a list of more than 2,000, you should be able to get reliable A/B test results that will optimize your open rate. But for those with smaller lists, you can “A/B test” using social media, e.g., a quick post to ask, “Which of these two subject lines is more enticing to you?”

The importance of maximizing our email open rates can't be overstated, as it affects more than just the number of people who see your email content...

"Your subject line is critical on all emails, because it drives the metric without which all others would be zero – Open Rate. Without open, there is no click and no convert.”  – Alan P. Brown

Now, remembering that besides email, we also typically use social media posts to promote our latest primary content masterpiece, we must also boost what I call the "other open rates"...

Increase Traffic to Your Blog by Boosting Your “Other Open Rates”

 Just as the quality of your email subject line directly impacts your email open rate by eliciting from the reader, “I can’t NOT open and read this email!” – your social media posts have the same job: to get the social media scroller to stop the scroll and engage with (“open” and read) them!

These “other open rates” – mainly in social media posts, but also in calls-to-action on your website and elsewhere – are boosted with one or more of the following:

  • An opening line (‘headline’) with a provocative pain or gain point related to the primary content (e.g., “Is ________ making your life miserable?”)
  • An opening line that’s perplexing, nonsensical, or otherwise “stops the scroll” by eliciting a, “Wait…What?” response (e.g., “I should have listened to my 4th grade teacher!” – that then segues into the topic of your primary content).
  • An intriguing image that catches attention and draws the scroller in.
  • A killer title of your blog/video/podcast – which can also be your post’s headline!

If you’re doing some or all of the above on a regular basis, you’re going to see increased open rates on your emails and more engagement on your social media posts that promote your primary content.

But we’re NOT DONE yet.

Because while these measures will indeed result in more eyeballs getting to our primary content, once we’ve gotten our subscriber/follower to open, there’s the job of optimizing the number who read through that email or post so they get to the link to our blog/podcast/video – and then get them to click on that link!

And in my next post, I’ll share the proven practices for structuring your emails to get more of those desired CLICKS!

I'd love to know your thoughts on this topic, so please shoot me an email at [email protected] or DM me on Instagram @alanpbrown.



P.S.: In the meantime, if you're like me and don't like burning precious time and energy on things that are NOT moving you forward (we all experience this -- even us productivity coaches!) -- I invite you to use my Stop Your Time Leaks Worksheet to better identify where some of your time may be leaking to!


OVERWHELMED? NEVER ENOUGH TIME? Get my Time Leakages Worksheet to quickly identify your time leaks and ways to stop them:

Take just a few minutes to complete this worksheet, and you’ll immediately see where you can steal back some time to focus on your toughest (i.e. most important) business-building work!

And remember: Whatever’s in your way is yours to CRUSH!



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