Email newsletters and other kinds of content sent to your customers and prospects is very important in today’s buying environment. Customers have access to unprecedented amounts of information and they’re looking for a provider they can trust. How do you build that trust? You provide great information that’s helpful and frequent. Sending your customers and prospects email newsletters is still a great way to build that trust. But how do you get them to open those emails when they’re getting 100+ other emails every single day?
Here are 5 ways (plus 3 more) to improve your open rates:
- Keep the Subject Line Descriptive and at 50 Characters or LessThe 50 characters ensures that the entire subject line shows up as people scan through their emails. Making it descriptive may sound like an oxymoron with the 50 characters but you’ve got limited time and space to capture their attention. Make it count more by telling them what’s in the newsletter to entice them to open it. Something simple like, “This month’s newsletter” is as boring as it sounds and won’t stand out above the noise.
- Don’t be afraid to use all capital letters for part of the subject lineStudies show that our ability to scan is slowed by 10% or more when we encounter words with all capital letters. Some people look at this as a negative but they shouldn’t. Yes, it’s a disruptive technique but when done appropriately, it will work wonders for you and bring value to the person scanning his email. One technique I like to use is putting a word or phrase within brackets and capitalizing it. For example, a subject line I might use for Tag Team is:[TTD NEWSLETTER]How to Get People to Read This.
Imagine if this subject line was in your inbox. Would it catch your attention enough to make you read it while not being as annoying as an all capital letter subject line? Stats show that this can improve open rates by as much as 30% (according to Constant Contact, anyway).
- Include personal information in the subject line like the recipient’s name or locationPersonalization is a good way to create a connection with your customers. As you build the level of trust, you increase the likelihood that someone will buy. You can use this technique if you’re running several statewide or regional events because you can include locations based on the recipient’s geo-location.
- Use multiple “from” email addressesSet up different “from” email addresses based upon the nature of the email. For example, if you’re inviting those on your email list to an open house or an after-hours happy hour, the “from” address should be from something like, “[email protected]”. Your newsletter should come from a unique email address like “[email protected]”.
- Put something in the “from” name fieldThis is one error that I see most often. Companies send out their newsletters and don’t put anything in the “from name” field. When you don’t, the email shows up in inboxes with the “from email” address as the sender. Which looks better to you as a “from” name, “[email protected]” or “Hunter at Tag Team”? Hunter at Tag Team is more personable and at least gives the illusion that there is a real person behind those emails.
There are certainly plenty of other things you can do besides these 5 things. Experiment with the day and time you send your emails to see how many people open them, segment your list do A/B testing on the subject lines and test the frequency of communication. You may find that your overall opt-out rate doesn’t change if you send twice per week vs. once per week. Don’t assume everyone is like you. Just because you’d opt-out if you got a newsletter every day doesn’t mean the bulk of those on your list will do the same. How about you? How do YOU improve your email marketing?
Good luck and happy emailing!