I know. The whole email marketing thing isn’t sexy. But, it’s essential.
Besides being a fast and easy way to communicate with people in today’s hustle and bustle of a world, it’s also pretty effective. For example, did you know that 91% of consumers check their email everyday? Furthermore, 55% of businesses have reported that that they have achieved 10% of sales through email marketing. Those are both too-good-to-true stats to ignore.
Here’s the problem though. How are you going to get people to open your emails? Here are 7 tips that you should use when writing emails if you want them to get opened.
1. Clarity of Purpose
Before sending out your first email, take a step back and think why you’re composing this email. In other words, what’s the reason behind the email and what you want the recipients to do. For example, if you’re announcing a product launch and you want the recipients to get a first look, than those would be the reasons for the email.
When you you’ve identified the purpose and action of the email then you’ll be able to compose an effective that is both concise and coherent.
2. Be Personal, Informal and Respectful
Have you ever been walking down the street and heard someone shout your name? Even if it wasn’t for you, I bet you stopped and looked around. Why? Because it grabbed your attention. Think of a personalized email as the same thing. If you receive an email with your name it’s at least going to make you notice it in your inbox.
Of course, you’re used to seeing that by now. Almost every email has an email that has a name of the recipient in the subject line. However, what if you could a little something more? Maybe you could add the city or occupation that the recipient lives in. That would definitely grab their attention.
Also, keep your emails more on the informal side. That means skipping the “Dear Mr./Mrs.” line and starting off with “Hi.” However, that doesn’t mean that being respectful is tossed aside. Keep it conversational and polite.
3. Keep Everything Short, Simple and to the Point
Remember, emails were meant to be a way to communicate simply and quickly (who has time to read a novel via email?). This means getting right to the point. And that starts with the subject heading.
Research has proven that subject lines containing 30 fewer characters resulted in higher opens, clicks and click-to-opens. More specifically, subjects with 10 or less characters had an open rate of 58%, while subject lines of 50-59 characters in length were at 42%. Basically, the subject line should have just information to get the recipient hooked.
However, the subject heading isn’t the only part of the email that should be short. The body of the email also needs to be short and sweet. For example, use shorter words and shorter paragraphs to concisely explain the purpose of the email and what the reader to do next. Forget lengthy backstories and rambling paragraphs. Just get right into it.
Finally, use the proper formatting. It might be tempting to use all caps and exclamation marks in order to grab the attention of the recipient, but it’s a major flag. Those types of formatting will only make your message come across as spam.
4. Make a Promise and Deliver
Speaking of subject headings and content, make sure that you promise what’s delivered. That means if you offer 3 ways to erase credit card debt or a 25% off coupon in the header, then make sure that that’s exactly what’s in the message.
Keep in mind that no likes getting tricked – I’m sure you wouldn’t – so don’t do that to your subscribers. Not only does that earn you a bad reputation – along with a permanent position in the spam folder – it’s also illegal according to the CAN-SPAM Act.
5. Optimize Preheader Text
It doesn’t matter if it’s Gmail or an iPhone mail app, the very first line of your message can be read in the preview pane. This 50 word description may not seem very important, but when you consider that 84% of people 18-34 use an email preview pane, you now understand just how big of a deal it is.
To get recipients hooked, make sure the first line of your message appealing enough to make them open that email to read the entire message.
6. Make Sure It Looks Good on Mobile
Whether you know it or, 90% of American adults have a cell phone, with another 58% owning a smartphone. Why’s that important? Because it’s been that 48% of emails are opened on a mobile device. This isn’t a recent trend either. It’s been heading that for years and the rise of mobile will continue.
That means that if your email didn’t display well on a mobile device in the past, then why would a recipient open it up on their iPad or iPhone if you didn’t fix the problem? Be 100% certain that your email looks good on mobile or you’ll be missing out on a big opportunity.
Finally, conduct tests, Lots of tests.
For the most part this can be done with a simple A/B test – send out two emails with different subject lines and see which one was opened more. Other tests you could conduct would be when your recipients open their email? Is it first thing in the morning or during the commute home? What call-to-action resulted in more opens? A sense of urgency? A discount?
For future reference, take the time to run a A/B test so that you will know which subject lines, times or day, calls-to-action, etc. are making our recipients open-up their emails.