Our 5 tips that are guaranteed to get more people opening your eNewsletters

How to get people to open your emailsYou’ve slaved away on the stories for your eNewsletter. But then your tech guys send out the email with a subject line like “November Newsletter”. So no one even opens it, let alone bothers to read the perfect stories you’ve crafted. What a wasted opportunity.

These days we all need to be part-time marketers, because we all send emails, no matter what our job. But what’s the point of sending an email if no one opens and reads it?

Whether it’s an invoice you’re sending to a customer, or an eNewsletter you’re sending to a huge mailing list, the same general rules apply when you’re trying to get people to open your emails. Here are our top tips:

1. Give your email a killer subject line

It might just be a few words, but the subject line should be an integral part of any planning and writing you do – not an afterthought. In fact, it’s really the single most important piece of copy in your entire email.

To get the highest open rate possible, subject lines should be attention grabbing. They’re your bait. But remember: there’s a big difference between tempting a reader to open an email to find out more and misleading them. They still need to be relevant to your email content and your market.

Subject lines also need to be short enough for users to see in their entirety, even on a mobile device. Test your subject lines on several mobile devices, including iPhone and iPad, as well as in Gmail and Outlook Express.

2. Don’t forget the email intro preview

The first few words of your email’s introduction will generally show in the preview pane of someone’s inbox. So don’t waste this gift by making it “Dear xxx” or a repeat of your subject line – make it work with your subject line in the most compelling way possible to attract the reader.

It’s a bit like a novel: a good blurb on the back of a book makes you want to open it and start reading and when you do you’re hooked and have to buy the book. Your subject line and intro text should work together to build a story and develop intrigue.

3. Use emotion

When writing your subject line and intro text it’s important to remember that your audience will be human, so appeal to their emotional side.

In a recent pitch, we were asked ‘How would you speak to a B2B audience?’ Our answer was ‘Like we do to any human audience’. No matter who it is that’s reading your email, you can be sure they’re human. (Unless, of course you hit the spam filter and get stuck talking to it alone – more on that below).

We do a lot of work with and for lawyers, and believe it or not, even they are human. And humans are emotional. We feel happy, intrigued, sad, guilty and jealous. Oh, and we have a really strong fear of missing out.

If you try to connect only on a rational level, you simply won’t cut through as often.

4. Avoid the SPAM filter

Spam filters all work on different algorithms so you shouldn’t get overly paranoid about avoiding them but it’s prudent to keep them in mind when you’re writing subject lines and creating emails.

For instance, avoid spammy or overly salesy text in subject lines and the content of the email (eg: free, click now, open immediately), make sure you have a good balance of text and graphics, not too many links, and that the subject line is relevant. More techy aspects like IP addresses, domain names, to and sent from addresses also play a role.

5. Get the timing right 

There’s a lot of research in marketing about the ideal time to send your email. But ultimately it comes down to relevance to your market, and the best timing for them. For instance, there’s no point holding off until Wednesday morning’s famously good email open rates to tell them about a sale you’re having that lunchtime. If you’re communicating to a loyal group of specialists who expect your weekly email every Monday morning then not sending it at that time could annoy them.

One thing you don’t want to do is over communicate. If you harass your readers with too many emails they’re less likely to open the ones you really want them to, a bit like the boy who cried wolf.

After all, the number one reason people give for unsubscribing from an email list is almost always “too many emails”.

Contact us today to find out how we can help your business send better emails.

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