Knowing what emails to send is great, but it’s in vain if they sit unopened. Use the pointers below to spruce up the most critical part of your email marketing – the email itself.
Starting from the beginning, the “from” name is the first thing your recipient sees. It looks like this in the inbox:
When opened, it looks like this:
This is the first cue that your recipient will use to determine whether or not they want to open your email. Assuming they opted in to receive correspondence from your brand, it’s best to be straightforward and immediately indicate that this is not spam that accidentally found its way to the inbox.
Businesses often make the mistake of using a “noreply” email address, forgetting that emails are a means of communication. By preventing audiences from reaching out directly, you’re no longer communicating.
Make it easy for people to reach you by using an email they can reply to. You’ll look more personable, and customers are open to send you feedback.
According to Convince&Convert, 33% of email recipients open email based on subject line alone. Use best practices to guide your “from” name, “from” email, design, send time, etc. and dedicate a larger portion of your time to crafting a compelling subject line – you’ll have the most impact here. There’s no single magic formula for the perfect subject line, but we do have these tips to offer:
- The 4-Second Rule
According to Litmus, an email marketing tool, you only have 4 seconds to get a reader to open your email. So prior to hitting “send,” run the 4-second test on yourself.
- Avoid Overused Sales Words
In a sea of marketing emails, using typical sales terms almost guarantees that you’ll blend in and receive 0 attention.
- Personalized City Name
Name personalization has lost much of its luster now that it’s easy and overused. Instead, go for something equally attention-grabbing by personalizing your email with the recipient’s city name. Research by MailChimp suggests this may work better.
- Add Variety
As your audience begins to expect your email and predict its cadence, your open rates will decline. Avoid this by adding variety to your subject lines.
- Ask a Question
An interesting question goes a long way to piquing curiosity and therefore email opens in hopes for the answer.
- Avoid Misleading
It’s easy to make audacious claims in your subject line to achieve an email open, but your lie also teaches your audience to never open your emails again or to unsubscribe.
- Use Urgency Sparingly
Knowing their window of opportunity is closing encourages people to take action or else they will miss their chance. However, overdoing this particular tactic will make your audience immune to it.
- Test and Test Again
These general tips will work for most businesses, but finding the perfect subject lines that work for your unique audience will take trial and error. Once you have a subject line, try running it through SubjectLine.comNeed some holiday subject line inspiration? Check out 21 subject lines that will help your holiday emails stand out.
The preview text sits next to your subject line. Because this is the only other indicator as to the contents of your email, it plays a role in helping or hurting open rates. Consider it as an extension of your subject line.
Preview Text is valuable real estate. Take advantage of it.
Layout and Design
HTML or text-based? It’s not quite an age-old question, but it does garner strong sentiments from opposite ends of the email-design spectrum. You can read more about the debate here. Our general advice is to find a balance between the two.
100% text-based emails mean you miss out on valuable branding opportunities, or your email will go unrecognized altogether and get marked as spam. Alternatively, emails containing too many HTML elements are more prone to end up in the Promotions folder.
The battle isn’t simply won once someone opens your email. The contents of your email will influence the open rates of emails you haven’t even sent yet.
If your email is particularly informative or entertaining, they are more likely to read your emails in the future. If your email provided them with little to no value, it’s very likely that they ignore your future emails or unsubscribe altogether.
The key to repeated email success is ensuring you deliver something of value every time.