Doesn’t it kill you? You spend hours…days…crafting a brilliant piece of email marketing, and as soon as it’s sent, a huge proportion of your recipients delete it…UNREAD.
Don’t you wish you could just get rid of all their delete buttons? We wish we could too…but the best we can do is offer you seven ideas that will encourage them to open your message and read it all the way through.
1. Craft a subject line that offers to solve a real problem.
Both of these subject lines could be used to introduce the same message. Which would you open?
- Marketing agency wins major award for innovative retention tactic.
- Reduce your customer turnover by 3% or more.
The first subject line appears to offer “nice to know” information about someone else; the second offers to help you solve an urgent business problem, giving you a reason to open the message. Make sure your subject lines always answers a reader’s top concern: “What’s in it for me?”
2. Write conversationally.
It doesn’t matter whether your reader is a college intern or a CEO…people are people. They like to read material that is clearly written and understandable, especially if it has a friendly tone. If your message is thick with buzzwords, technical terms and industry jargon, reading it will feel like work…and many people will avoid it just for that reason.
3. Grab the reader’s attention immediately.
Don’t wait for the second, third, or nineteenth paragraph to make your most exciting statement…nobody will read that far! Use your first line to exhilarate the reader about your message, and the first paragraph to convince him or her that your subject is relevant to his/her current needs.
4. Make them want more.
Like most marketing pieces, the best emails are appetizers, not all-you-can-eat buffets. They should tell readers how you can help them tackle a specific problem. Period. Edit ruthlessly! At the end of the piece, give the reader a way to contact you for further information…when you’re in touch, that’s when you’ll serve the main course, which might include procedural details, complete schedules, rates, etc.
5. Use impactful visuals.
Images, graphs, video links…they may not save you a thousand words, but they sure will make your point quickly and effectively, as long as they’re relevant to your message, and support your proposed solution to the reader’s problem. Make sure they’re stored on a web server, so they can be opened from a variety of email services; and see that they’re not too detailed or busy…a number of people will be looking at your message on smartphones with pretty small screens, where detail will be hard to see.
6. Be bold!
Go ahead…try something daring. Throw away the rule books and write a message that sounds like you. Do you start sentences with “And”? Go ahead. Do you use words like “ain’t” for effect? Try one out, and see if it works! You can always edit before you hit send, but while you’re composing your emails, infuse them with your own personality, your own phrases, and your own enthusiasm. Emails aren’t meant to be corrected by English teachers. Their purpose is to inspire another person to take action! Your readers will respond to your message as they respond to YOU.
7. Include a prominent call to action.
We utilize email marketing because we want the recipient to DO something: click, call, try a product, sign a petition, make a contribution. This take-action message should stand out and specify exactly what you want the reader to do! Include deadlines, phone numbers, URLs, mailing addresses, and any other information the reader will need to comply with your wishes. Be as clear as you can be… but make sure you invite the reader to contact you in case he or she needs answers before taking action.