How to shock your subscribers (and win lifelong fans)

There’s a little trick I like to use in every “welcome” email (the first email that goes out immediately when someone joins the list).

And that is:

Ask a question.

What type of question?

That’s what my coaching client Felix wanted to know:


Would an open-ended question have a better response rate than a yes/no question?


To answer that, I have to go back and ask, “Why would you want to ask the reader a question?”

There are several good reasons.

For example, when your subscribers reply to your emails, Gmail, Yahoo and other big email providers see it, and it helps keep your emails out of the SPAM folder.

That’s not why I do it, though.

The #1 reason I ask a question is just to get a conversation going.

People are pretty surprised when I invite them to email me directly—and downright shocked when I actually reply.

They’re not used to getting treated like a HUMAN BEING after signing up for an email list.

The personal interaction really cements the bond and can win you a “fan for life.”

Plus hearing from YOU helps me know what your needs are—and gives me tons of ideas for future emails.

Now to Felix’s question…

A simple “yes/no” question MIGHT get a higher response rate.

But it’s just as likely that the reader would glibly say “nope” and just move on.

Whereas an intriguing open-ended question is more likely to stop them in their tracks and FORCE them to consider it.


Even if the straight yes/no question gets a slightly higher response rate, the answers are FAR less productive.

What do you say next when someone shoots back:


It’s amazing what happens when you ask an open-ended question…

The people who are really feeling the pain of the issue will write you a whole novel explaining what they’re dealing with and everything they’ve tried to fix it.

Those responses are pure gold.

For a simple approach to using these kinds of questions to get to know your market intimately…

See chapter 21 in 80/20 Sales & Marketing.

It’s called “80/20 Market Research in a Single Afternoon.”

I use this approach for my welcome emails and thank-you pages.

And It’s given me an endless supply of email topics and several new product ideas.

Check it out here: