How To Get Your Emails Opened

Without question, email can be an effective and cost-effective marketing tool.

 The trick is getting your recipient to open your message. And that’s getting tougher to do as people become very selective as to what they will and won’t allow past their cyber force field.

Research shows that when people receive your emails, the first question most of them ask themselves is, WHO is this from? not WHAT is it about ? So that’s the real sniff test.

But assuming you are able to penetrate the outer shield,  you face the task of getting your email opened.

 That`s the job of your SUBJECT LINE. With all the competition out there vying for your reader`s attention, your subject line must offer something of value.

 Not everyone will be interested in what you have to offer but you want to make sure that those who are will be rewarded for their decision to open your email.

Keep in mind, it can hurt your reputation (and it’s against the law) when you send unsolicited email. If there has been some interaction between you and your recipient, send the email but make sure your reader has the option to Unsubscribe if he/she doesn’t want to receive future communication.

Today`s article deals with the ins and outs of grabbing attention, slipping in under the radar and earning a chance to present your message in front of your intended target

Before we get started, here’s something to think about:

If you were trying to get someone`s attention in a face-to-face communication, it`s unlikely that you would stop in mid- sentence and hope you`d said enough to get the response you want.

And yet, this happens all the time in email marketing where an online marketer`s attention getter – the subject line – exceeds the number of characters that are visible to the email recipient. The result is, the reader only sees part of your message. (note: savvy marketers sometimes use partial subject lines to effectively attract attention.) But, most of the time, it’s unsavvy business owners who don’t know any better.

Fifty characters is all the space you have in a typical subject line to catch your reader’s eye and entice him to open your email and take the action you want. A good subject line can get your email opened in a flash. A weak one and it’s goodbye Charlie.

Here are 9 tips for creating subject lines that get you where you need to be:

1. Offer a benefit. By highlighting the key benefit of your offer, the reader can easily decide if it is a subject of interest.

 2. Write what the field asks for. Be direct. Let the reader know exactly what the subject is. Be clear and succinct. This often works well.

 3. Ask a question. This immediately involves the reader. Make your question straightforward.

 4. Avoid cryptic phrases. Although this approach can sometimes be effective in conventional direct mail, it is often regarded with suspicion (read `deleted quickly`) when used in an email subject line.

 5. Use a teaser. An attention-getting teaser can work well. Example: Are you making this sales letter mistake?

 6. Use a deadline. If your offer has a time limit, indicating that in the subject line can boost response.

 7. Stay away from hype. We all have seen the emails that promise to, Triple your sales in two weeks! Riiiiiight. Click!

 8. Remind readers they requested the information. People forget they asked you to send them something. Don’t be shy about writing, “Here’s the info you asked for”.

 9. Avoid using the word FREE. Most Spam filters will pick off your email long before it gets close to your intended target. That’s why you see things like fr*ee from time to time. If you feel you absolutely must use this approach, try using no charge, no cost or complimentary.

Try using some of these tips and see if your “open” rate increases. 

Gerry Black is a marketing writer based in Toronto, Canada who works with clients in the U.S. and Canada.

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