As a marketer – online, offline, digital, or brick and mortar – you know how important and powerful email marketing is.
It is the workhorse of the marketing world. And it doesn’t really matter what you sell, product or service. Email, when done right, makes your job a whole lot easier, and whole lot more profitable.
But here’s the thing…
If your customers and prospects don’t open your email, you can’t make the sale and you can’t move your prospect to the next step in your sales funnel. That’s a lot of wasted power.
Below are 6 tried and true methods to get your emails opened. You don’t have to use them all, all the time. But you better know they exist and find ways to make each piece better and stronger.
The 6 Power Steps to Get Y’er Email Opened!
Step #1) From name: Get your ‘from name’ right, test it, and make it recognizable. Are you’re asking what’s the “From” name? Simple. Who’s the email from? In this case, it’s you.
Take a look at the screenshot below:
When checking emails most people scan the ‘from name’ first.
If you’re part of their inner circle you have a better chance of getting your email opened. If you’re not a welcomed guest, or if you’re unknown, your email has a higher chance of getting ignored and deleted.
If you get an email from your mom or the electric company you’d probably open those emails quick. As a business wanting to sell something you have to get on your customer’s short list and make them look forward to opening your email. I’ll tell you how in a moment.
Step #2) Subject Line: People read the subject line next. When you invite your friends and family to your birthday party, you’ll usually write something like this, “Come to my party this Saturday.”
As a business, you need to do say something that will make your reader excited or curious to open your email.
You should test your subject lines, too. I recently ran a subject line AB test. The winning subject line got about 57% more opens than the losing subject line. That’s huge!
Step #3) Pre-Header: In a number of email inboxes (i.e. Google webmail, mobile mail, etc.) the program will show a small piece of the body copy.
So, if you got an email from your mom and her subject line mentioned her birthday this Saturday, perhaps the email itself would start out like this “Jonny, meet us for dinner. I’m buying and …”
You may want to open that email sooner than if it read, “Jonny, dad wants you to come over and help set up…”
Make the first readable text (by the software) say something meaningful to encourage readers to open your email.
Step #4) Send time: The time of day, or the day of the week, you send an email sometimes makes a difference in your open rates.
If you sell business to business, send during business hours. If you sell to consumers, send during normal waking hours.
Some Email Service Providers (ESP) let you AB test send times.
Simply load up your email and select send time test and choose different times to send the email to a portion of your list.
For example, choose to send Wednesday at 8 am, 12pm, and 4pm. Or set the test to send Monday at 4pm, Thursday at 8am, and Saturday at 10am.
Run this test a few times and see if you can pick out any strong patterns for best mailing time.
Step #5) Get Whitelisted: Everyone hates spam and everyone is busy, so companies like Google, MSN, AOL, Yahoo, etc. built filters to automatically remove unwanted emails.
Make sure your emails aren’t automatically filtered out from your customer’s inboxes.
There are two things you can do to prevent this. They’re not 100% guaranteed to work each and every time because computers and software are dumb.
One thing you can do is ask your customers to “Whitelist” you.
In other words, ask them to put you in their ‘Keeper’ pile. Here’s an example:
The second thing you can do is described below in step #6…
Step #6) Deliver Killer Content! I never believed in the “Content is King” mantra. That’s complete nonsense. The truth is – “QUALITY Content is King.”
Don’t get me wrong. You can get far by emailing offer after offer after coupon after discount after promotion. But you run the risk of running into ad fatigue. Your customers learn real fast to tune out your emails. Don’t you do that?
There’s nothing worse than spending a lot of time and money building a mailing list, only to have it become unresponsive; i.e. no one opens, clicks, engages, or buys.
The strongest way around this is to offer useful, helpful, or entertaining information. You want your customers to look forward to your emails, or keep them around longer with the intent to read them later; not just quickly delete them.
Each business is different so you’ll have to figure out what kind of information would be useful, helpful, or entertaining to your main customer.
This is what’s important here. When people look forward to, and get value from, opening your emails, they open them more often. When they open more often, you make more sales. Said another way, if your email doesn’t get opened, you won’t make the sale.
Get y’er email opened, or die!