5 Ways to Make Sure Your Email Gets Read
Email marketing: for an enterprise so complex, it’s stunning how simple the blueprint for success in this field can be. In the most basic terms, every single last email marketing pro has one particularly strong desire: maximizing the chances of the recipient opening and reading the email.
It’s the simplicity of this objective that makes defining fundamentals a lot easier. But what are these fundamentals? We thought we’d remind you.
1. Have a Clear and Concise Subject Line
Don’t confuse your recipients. Be clear. Be concise.
When it comes to email marketing, first impressions are paramount. Think of your email subject line as a virtual handshake. Which one would you rather have: firm, confident, and brief – or feeble, awkward, and about 10 seconds too long?
You want to send the right message right from the get-go, so make sure your subject line is both clear and concise so that it conveys a strong sense of purpose.
You should also limit the word count to no more than three words. Think about it: the easier your emails are to read, the more people will be willing to open them and reply. Are you going to read a subject line that stretches across your whole monitor or wraps into a second line on your phone? Didn’t think so.
2. A Call to Action
At this point, it’s enshrined in email marketing law: your message must convey a clear, actionable response from the recipient. In other words, the recipient should know exactly what you want them to do when they complete the email. Don’t start off with a long-winded spiel about your company and services without prompting any kind of response from the recipient. A marketing email is an elevator pitch, not a life story.
Tell the recipient exactly what you are looking for in the first paragraph of your email, but also make sure you’re not asking for too much if it’s the first time you’re contacting that person.
You also want to give the person a reason to reply and continue the conversation, so feel free to ask specific questions relating to the person’s work or company. This will demonstrate to the person that you have done your research, which will make him or her feel more compelled to reply. Speaking of which…
3. Do Your Homework
You should always do some preliminary research before emailing anyone you are unfamiliar with so you have a firm grasp on the recipient and their work.
At the very least, find out the actual name of the person instead of just addressing the email “To whom it may concern” or “Dear Sales Manager”. Email marketing is a numbers game,. One way to maximizing that number is to use email personalization tools that let you send large blasts that maintain the feel of a one-on-one message: after all, personalized emails have been shown to offer much higher transaction rates.
As one writer observed, the most beautiful word to a person of any language is the sound of their own name. Everyone wants to feel unique and not just one of the thousands of potential customers, so make sure your email conveys a personal feel, not the robotic lurch of “GREETINGS CUSTOMER 4835”.
4. Be Complimentary
Flattery might not get you everywhere, but it’s always a good start. Whether they’ll admit it or not, people like being complimented – as long as those compliments appear to be genuine.
An email message that evokes authentic flattery will increase your chances of a reply, so if you happen to admire someone’s work or company, make sure you mention it.
Google the company, see what kind of work they’ve done, take a look at a campaign or project, read over it, find – if you can – something you legitimately enjoy or are impressed by, and bring it up.
“Dear ___, I love the work you did for. I’d certainly be interested to hear more about it.” Boom.
5. Timing is Key
In email marketing, timing is the key to all effective communication. If you send an email too early in the morning it will probably get buried under the hundreds of other emails that were sent to your recipient from the previous night or earlier that morning. Fortunately, there are tools for that problem.
On the other side of the spectrum, if you send an email in the late afternoon, the customer may not get to it until the next morning. This is where an email tracking services help you by telling you when, where and how people are reading your emails.