Whether you’re sending a single email or crafting one that will be distributed to thousands, there are a number of things you can’t overlook if you want to get the most opens and clicks possible. Sure, you could get lucky and achieve the metrics you’re looking for, but why leave it up to chance? Counting on luck is a bad digital marketing decision.
The email subject line is so important that, if it isn’t carefully crafted, the following suggestions may prove moot. Without it, there’s a pretty good chance they won’t open the email and get to the body copy and the holy grail of digital marketing–the CTA (Call to Action).
The key to creating a great Subject Line is to not give away too much information, but just enough to make the viewer want to open it. Great examples are “What they never tell you about when you file for bankruptcy” or “Don’t do this when applying for a job” or “Are you positive you’re safe from ransomware?”. You don’t want to mislead recipients, but give them just enough info to make them want to peer inside.
Personalizing the Subject Line with the recipient’s first name can vastly improve your open rate. Several studies indicate that doing so enhances opens by anywhere from 35-50%. Also, use your, or another person’s, actual email address so that it shows up as being Sent From. If they receive an email from [email protected] or [email protected], your open rates will suffer.
Clear, concise; yes, less is more
Sure, you want to display your writing prowess, but don’t get sucked in to writing for yourself. It’s a common mistake, but, remember, you’re writing to get recipients to act on your CTA. Be concise and remember that less is more. Try and keep the email copy to under 200 words and break up the text into a few paragraphs. You don’t want a single, solid one; that will make your 200 words look like a lot more. If you open an email and are hit with several hundred words, your mind immediately calculates the time you’ll have to invest to get through those words. Get to the point, and fast. Your goal is to get them to take action as soon as possible.
Don’t forget the white space. Without it, even the most concisely written copy can appear too long. White space combats clutter, the enemy of good content.
Using images? Include alt-text
Breaking up copy with an image is fine, just make sure it isn’t overpowering. Also, make sure it includes alt-text so it can be displayed on whichever browser the recipient may be using. No alt-text, no image, no good.
It’s all about the CTA
Don’t make CTAs hard to find. They should be prominently displayed, whether it’s clicking on a button, hitting a link, or filling out a form. Remember, that’s the ultimate goal—getting recipients to act on the CTA. You can include additional touchpoints, like social media icons linking to your page, but make sure they don’t interfere with your CTA.
Know your personas
Think about who will be receiving the emails and create personas for them. What will they act on, what will turn them off? If your campaign is targeting C-level professionals, your copy needs to address the types of responsibilities maintained by that level of employee. For them, you may not include as much granular information about a product or service, but more about how it can enhance ROI and affect things like CAPEX or OPEX. In other words, know your audience and write to them.
Words to avoid, lists to exclude
Steer clear of words that can trigger spam filters, like guarantee, winner, order now, free, risk-free, congratulations, etc. They can send your carefully crafted email straight into recipients’ spam folders. And while we’re on the subject, sending out to purchased email lists is another good way to get your emails flagged. If you’re using an Email Service Provider (ESP) and you send to a purchased list, you’re playing with fire. They often contain spam traps, which are emails included in the lists that signal the ESP that it’s a purchased list (they don’t like purchased lists). In other words, the ESP will know that this isn’t a list of recipients who have opted-in to receive the email. And if recipients flag your email as spam, the ESP will soon reach out to you wanting more information on the list, how you got it, etc. Also, purchased lists will often have a lot of hard bounces (bad email addresses), which is another red flag for the ESP.
Don’t forget to Test
Take the time to conduct A/B testing, which tests 2 versions of the email. For instance, you may want to test 2 Subject Lines, so a small percentage of the list receives email A, the other email B. The winning email (the one with the most opens) is then sent to the rest of the list. You can test subject lines, email copy, images, promotions, CTAs, etc. It’s a great way to hone your messaging and efficiently get the most effective version in front of the most amount of people.
Also, test your email in different browsers and on mobile devices. There’s a good chance that at least 50% of your emails will be viewed on a smartphone, and if it doesn’t look right, you’ve essentially scrapped half of the messages sent, maybe more.
Contact the experts
If you need the help of an online marketing agency with more than a decade of experience, Globe Runner is your partner. We are here to help inject your digital marketing initiatives with rocket fuel and launching it to success. If you’re ready to blast off, call us at (972) 472-8528 for a free digital marketing consultation.