As a marketing copywriter myself, it hasn’t escaped my attention that email marketing has become more and more difficult these days. The fact is, with so many companies vying for everyone’s attention through their inbox, getting YOURS to stand out from the crowd requires more thought than ever before.
But never fear my friend, because if you know what you’re doing, you can achieve a very high open rate for every email campaign you launch.
And the key to doing this lies in your SUBJECT LINE…
This is the most important part of any email, and it’s the place where big profits are made and lost.
Take little ol’ me, for example…
Every morning, I open up my hotmail account and delete all the emails that look like spam, or simply don’t grab my attention.
However, if there’s one that I like the look of, I open it up and read it.
And that’s what everyone else does, too.
So for your email to survive the dreaded early morning cull, you need to make sure that your subject line is engaging, shocking, controversial, intriguing, amusing… heck, anything that prevents your recipient from deleting it, and instead open it up!
So, how should you approach this task to make sure that YOUR email is the one that gets read?
1. Make It Personal
A great way to encourage people to open an email from a stranger is to personalise it, by using their name at the beginning of the subject line. You can collect names by building an opt-in list, and any auto-responder service will allow you to automatically add each name to the front of your subject lines. Personalising the subject line is a proven method for increasing open rates.
2. Use Numbers
For some reason, people love numbers! So including them in subject lines always seems to increase open rates. If you have a weight loss product, for example, subject lines like “9 simple ways to burn off fat”, or “7 high-fat foods to avoid at all costs” would almost guarantee a higher than average response rate.
3. Keep It Concise
In order to grab people’s attention and encourage them to click on your email, it’s important to keep the subject line crisp and concise; ideally, no more than 40 characters. Firstly, you only have a second or two to pique their interest, and secondly, most emails are truncated beyond this point, so by having one that’s too long, you risk losing some of your message, therefore reducing its effectiveness.
4. Include Your Major Benefit
The best way to encourage someone to open your email is to offer them a big, fat benefit in return! So whatever product or service you’re marketing, including the main benefit in your subject line is an absolute necessity. So, include the main benefit, personalise it, include a number and keep it concise, and I can pretty much guarantee that your open rates will sky-rocket!
But before we go, there’s one other thing that you need to bear in mind: the spam filters.
Email providers are quick to flag up any spam these days, so marketing emails that contain words such as “make money”, “opportunity” or “free”, for example, are instantly consigned to the junk folder, where many of your potential customers might not see them.
To guard against this and give your email the best possible chance of getting through, consider using a service such as e-filtrate.com.
Simply submit your email content, and this handy tool will immediately flag up any problematic words, which you can them remove and replace.
So then, there you go!
Keep those points in mind when you come to send out your next promotional email, and I promise you that your open rate – and hopefully, your profits – will increase!
Nick Cobb – Sales Letter Copywriter