"Linda, are there any tricks that will improve my 'open rates' when I email articles to my newsletter subscribers (most of whom are women)?"
That was another great article marketing question in response to my birthday request, and in fact there are three ways you can generate interest in an article and improve your open rates:
1. The subject line: This, of course, is what your subscribers will see when you notify your list that you've written a new article. Instead of simply repeating the title of your article, try personalizing your subject line by adding the subscriber's first name (most email service providers have a tool for inserting any of the information you collected in your sign-up form). Also, try asking a question that will really engage your reader about the topic. For example, I might have introduced this article in an email subject line with the question, "Name, do your articles go unopened?"
2. The title of your article: The title of your article is a great place to think about the exact search terms, otherwise known as keywords, that your ideal client may use to find information about his or her biggest problem. Sometimes you may want to do what I've done with this article, where I chose a very descriptive, but somewhat plain title. Other times, you'll want to get more creative and attract attention with a little bit of mystery, like I did in this article about the creative process.
3. The article introduction: At most article directory websites, you will create an introductory or "teaser" paragraph that visitors will see on a search results page when they've looked for articles about a specific topic. Instead of simply copying the first paragraph of your article, you can use this opportunity to let people know exactly what they will learn or gain from clicking through to read your article, and give them a call-to-action to do that. For this article, I might end my introductory paragraph by saying, "Read this article to learn three different ways to improve your open rates."
And for my reader who asked specifically about engaging her female subscribers, please visit the LipSticking blog, where Yvonne DiVita and her crew write about marketing to women online.