Posted on May 15, 2017 at 17:39 PM
Email marketing is a tried and true marketing strategy with proven results. Almost everyone has at least one email address, with an equally large number of people checking their emails daily or even more frequently. We’ve all done it; we’ve scanned our inbox only to see it clogged with junk mail, and immediately delete them all. We simply don’t have time to read a bunch of advertisements. In today’s economy, we need information that is specifically of interest to us, and we need it delivered with efficiency. So how do businesses convince their email subscribers that the information they are sending is valuable and specifically relevant to that individual?
Welcome to the School of Email Etiquette. Here are seven ways you can make your emails irresistible.
- Make your subject line easy to understand and hard to pass up. Thirty three percent of email recipients open an email based on its subject line alone. Here’s an example of how powerful an email subject line can be:
Subject: We’ve got the perfect solution to your closet organization!
While this subject line can tempt an inquisitive reader, it’s fairly vague and many will pass it over because it lacks a tangible, immediate benefit to the reader. It also has the same feel and tone as a door-to-door salesman, and we all know how inconvenient and ill-timed those can be. A better approach? Give the recipient a real and immediate sense of fulfillment by ensuring them a quick read in the subject line.
Subject: 5 ways to clean out your closet in under an hour
This subject line offers something of use to the reader. It gives them an actual list of ways to accomplish the dreaded closet clean-out. Even if you’re selling closet organization as a service, or offering a product, you’re still giving the recipient value in your content.
- Send email from a person, not a company. Recipients check first to see if they know the person sending an email to them prior to opening. If they see an email from Sally Chesterfield from Target, they are much more likely to open it than if it was from a sender such as ‘Target Rewards Center’, even if they don’t necessarily recognize the sender’s name. This personalization puts a face to a brand’s name, in a sense, and seems less like advertising and more like communication.
- Send your email at the right time. Believe it or not, there is a right time to send out an email in order to get optimal open results. A study by Experian indicated that the highest open rates in general are now on Saturdays and Sundays, compared to the lowest open rates on Tuesdays and Thursdays.
Naturally, sending out an email in the middle of the night is going to get buried in morning emails, and will also seem unprofessional and ill-timed…unless you are a comic book dealer reaching consumers; in that case, it’s the perfect time, as that audience tends to be online in the wee hours. Do your research on your specific industry for email service providers like Constant Contact, Mailchimp or Aweber. These providers offer industry standard open rates so that you can compare your email opens with the norm.
Keep your list fresh. It may seem obvious, but an outdated email list isn’t going to garner a high open rate. Old and invalid email addresses might clog up an otherwise decent list, so be sure you are paying attention to any bounces, auto-replies or requests for change of address.
- Don’t forget to segment your list carefully. A key factor in keeping your content relevant to your recipients is to separate your email list into specified, smaller lists. For example, you can segment your general list into prospects and current customers, or start drip campaigns for those looking for particular services or products. Sending highly focused content to a clean list will almost guarantee a higher, or at least dramatically improved, open rate.
- Avoid the spam filter! Using words like ‘sale’, ‘free’, ‘rich’, or ‘deal’ in your subject line automatically get targeted by some spam filters. Using all caps is another no-no. Your email subject should read as a conversation starter, not a corny brochure. Lastly, putting too many links in your email can be a red flag for some spam filters who might mistake your email as malicious content. Include one or two and save the rest for a warm lead directly on your website.
- Don’t forget to format your email for mobile devices. Messages that read poorly on mobile devices could have your recipients unsubscribing or flagging your email as spam simply because it’s too difficult to read. Remember, three fourths of all smart phone owners use their phones to check their email, and over half of all email opens are on a smart device. If it doesn’t look good on mobile, you can bet your subscribers will stop opening your emails or worse, toss them into the junk heap.
Best practices for any email campaign is to simply be authentic, transparent and most importantly, specific to your audience. Think email is dead? Not even close. Click here to read more.