No one would deny that it’s more challenging than ever to get your recipients to even notice your emails – far less open, read, and click on the links you so carefully embedded in them.
Competition for your prospect’s attention has never been as keen as today. You’re up against a dazzling display of digital distractions. The days of ‘spray and pray’ email marketing, throwing some content together, hitting ‘send’ and hoping for the best are over.
The good news is, if you follow the three simple steps that I have set out for you below, your email will stand a far better chance of getting you the results you so badly need. These steps require no special talent. Anyone (yes, anyone – including you) can follow them. What are you waiting for?
ONE: USE A NAMED SENDER
The sender name is the first thing that your recipients will scan. Which would you be more likely to notice; an email from ‘Honeywide Stores’ or an email from ‘James Honeywide’? Yep, it’s the latter – especially if you remember meeting James in his health food store a few weeks back.
Or to look at it another way – which would you open first, an email from Tesla – or an email from Elon Musk?
OK, maybe that’s an extreme comparison, but you get my point.
I usually recommend that you send your company emails with the company founder or CEO as the named sender, if possible. That will get the highest amount of readership. If you do take this approach, you will need to ensure that he or she is happy with every email that is sent out in their name, and also to match the tone of the email as closely as possible to their own tone of voice – whether that is friendly, professional, zany, serious, or snappy!
Just don’t use your company name. Please!
TWO: USE AN ATTENTION-GRABBING SUBJECT LINE
What’s the next thing your reader will look at, after the sender name? The subject line, of course!
There are countless resources, and even online tools, that already exist to help you create the perfect subject line. Despite this, many marketers still send out emails with subject lines so devoid of interest that they could probably be used as a form of digital camouflage. Apply this subject line, and watch your email vanish before your eyes!
My advice would be to take a look through your inbox. If yours is like a lot of people’s, it will most likely contain hundreds of unread emails. (If you practice inbox zero like I do, you will need to leave your email alone for a day before completing this little exercise.)
Between the unread emails, you will see other emails. For whatever reason, you clicked on these and read their contents. Why?
Was it because of the sender? The subject line? What was it that caught your attention?
The best subject lines provoke curiosity, while also giving a taste of what the reader will find by clicking and opening your email. Please don’t destroy your chances of anyone seeing your email by giving it a subject line like “Acme Stores September Newsletter”.
Bland, overused phrases such as “Great September Offers Enclosed!” won’t light anyone’s fire – unless they really, really are in love with whatever it is you sell. You have about 2 seconds, max, to get your audience to notice and decide to find out more from your subject line. Otherwise, it will get ignored or deleted.
Don’t copy everyone else. Be original!
Great subject line examples:
Selling secret is hidden in Disney Pixar’s Inside Out
This made me spit coffee all over my keyboard
Nutty people who are wrong (but who believe they are right)
THREE: USE THE ‘PREVIEW TEXT’ FUNCTION
So, you have your sender name and your subject line-locked and loaded. Think you’re ready to move onto the content at last? Think again! There is one more opportunity for you to make sure that your email will get noticed and opened. It’s called the Preview Text window.
An ‘email client’ is the program or tool your recipients use to read and manage their email. It could be a webmail program, like Gmail, or an app like Microsoft Outlook. Most email clients have a preview function, that allows you to get a sneak preview of the contents of the emails in your inbox before you open them.
Your email marketing platform should allow you to define this preview text. (If it doesn’t – time to get a new email marketing platform!) You can, and should, take full advantage of this. There are so many ways you can creatively tease your audience with a taster of what they will find in the email.
What you put into the preview text should ideally be an incomplete sentence, a provocative question, or an outright statement designed to raise the eyebrows. For example:
For the first time since 1695, Royal Mint to recall all money?
Picture this: one day, you wake up to find an enormous…
I have a superpower. I can sit down with anyone, and in less than one hour, I can…
We are naturally curious creatures, and our minds are always looking to complete any loose ends. How do we do that? By opening the email to find out more, of course!
There you go – three straightforward, zero-fluff techniques to ramp up the results from your email marketing. Need a helping hand? You know where to turn!
About the author: Rick Siderfin
Rick Siderfin is a husband, dad of 3, and copywriter who lives and works in Bourton on the Water in the Cotswolds. He is the founder of Vortex Content Marketing, a company founded with one simple objective: to help you get noticed online.
This article was originally published by Rick Siderfin
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