Foreshadowing is a literary device in which a writer gives an advance hint of what is to come later in the story. You can use foreshadowing in emails to improve open rates.
You may have seen this used on news programs and talk shows. Right before the commercial break, the hosts announces what’s coming up next. The idea is that you’re intrigued enough to sit through the commercial to see the next segment.
Another good example of foreshadowing is when magazines show images and headlines or short bullets of what’s coming in next month’s issue. Again, the point is to pique your interest and get you to either buy the next issue, or even better, get a subscription.
We can can use foreshadowing in emails and it works like a charm. Toward the end of your email, transition from what you’re talking about today to what’s coming in the next email. Be vague on purpose, but grab their attention.
Examples of foreshadowing in emails
- If you’re talking about why email marketing is important and the next email will be about crafting subject lines to get a higher open rate, you may write something like this: “Keep an eye out for Friday’s email. We’ll talk about THE most important thing when it comes to email marketing. If you don’t get this right, nothing else matters.”
- To mix it up, mention an upcoming event and/or what they can find in the next email in the P.S. of your message:
- If you publish a weekly newsletter, try adding a section on what’s coming in the next issue similar to what you see in a magazine. Keep it simple and use images for best results.
- You can even take it a step further and get your subscribers to open a previously sent email. This works particularly well if you’re writing a series of emails on a related topic. Toward the beginning of your email you mention something you covered in the last email, then move into today’s topic and then wrap it up with a little hint about what’s coming next.
You don’t have to use foreshadowing in every single email. Sprinkle it in here and there where it makes sense. It also gives you a chance to pick up on in the subject line of your next email. Try using something like “As promised…” Even readers who missed your last email might be curious enough to open this one.
Give it a try and see if you start to see higher open rates and more importantly get your subscribers more engaged.
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