Last week we took a look at a couple of good email programs that you can use for the email marketing of your business. Of course, you can have the best email program in the world but it won’t do you any good if your emails are not being opened! A lot of people get tied in knots trying to craft the perfect email, so here we give you 10 tips to get your emails opened and read…
1. Be personal
What emails do you prefer to open? One from a friend or a corporate spiel? Instead of writing like the marketing department at a big bank, consider addressing your audience as you would a friend, albeit in a conversational and respectful manner. You should also consider under what circumstances you would normally email your friends – usually when you actually have something to say right? Do the same for your list: don’t be a time-waster, only email when you have something of value to say. (Note on being personal: make sure you don’t overuse the person’s name throughout your email – that’s just creepy!).
2. Be trustworthy
That means ensuring that people get what they think they’re signing up for. If sales emails are part of your strategy (as they should be!), make sure that people understand when they sign up that they may be part of the deal. You could also try using your own name as the ‘from’ field – it seems a lot more trustworthy to deal with an actual name than a faceless business and it adds an element of integrity when your own name is on the line…
3. Be valuable
People want to be rewarded for opening your email out of the thousands that are probably floating around their inbox. Make sure you always provide something of value so that people may start to actively look for your emails. Being helpful or generous is what a friend would do…
4. Develop an attractive subject line
If you want to initially stand out amongst the inbox clutter, an attention-grabbing subject line is a must. Here are a few ideas that will give your subject lines a boost…
- Use power words. These are words which have the ability to evoke emotions in those who read them. Power words can conjure fear, inspiration, curiosity, greed or a host of other gripping emotions. Check out this article from Jon Morrow for an extensive list!
- Tell people exactly what they’ll learn – along the lines of not wasting anybody’s time, people want to know what’s in it for them immediately (and of course make sure that’s what you deliver!).
- “Listicles” such as ‘The 10 things you must know about…” or “7 Essential Lessons from …” are a good way to grab attention.
- Look at your own inbox – what subject lines grab your attention? Try modeling your own on these…
- Test – try different types of subject lines on your list and monitor which ones get better open rates.
5. Edit ruthlessly
Which emails do you prefer to read? A lengthy essay or something that is relatively short and to the point? People often do not have time to be wading through a protracted email and you will end up losing them. Try cutting down the length of what you’ve written, without essentially losing your ‘voice’…
6. Be personable
This means asking questions, being human and developing a voice that is uniquely yours. No one enjoys reading dry, corporate babble: try incorporating words the way you would use them every day and signing off with something a bit more personal than “regards”. Using words such as ‘you’ or ‘your’ is also much more personable than ‘I’ or ‘my’!
7. Drop the idea of a ‘template’
Email ‘templates’ are obvious and boring. If you don’t want to come off sounding like a scripted robot, write your emails from the heart and ditch the templated or pre-constructed sentences.
8. Don’t over-sell
Again, think about your own reaction to what arrives in your inbox: if someone is constantly bombarding you solely with sales emails, what do you do? This comes back to providing value and delivering content that will be useful to your audience. Doing this will help to develop the relationship so that when you do send a sales email, your audience is already primed to expect something good from you and to trust your products.
9. Be clear
When it does come time to sending a sales email, make sure you are very clear with the “what’s in it for me” for your readers and try describing benefits rather than ‘selling a product’. You should also aim to set specific deadlines so that people understand a need to take action. Make sure it is very clear what the next step is for people to take, including clear calls to action and multiple links throughout.
Test subjects, lengths and construction of your emails to see what speaks the best to your people. Mix it up with images or quick takeaways and monitor open, click through and unsubscribe rates. The best way to get your emails opened and read is to provide more of what your audience likes!
Do you have any tips of what’s worked well for you? Please let us know below!