16 More Sure-Fire Ways to Make Sure Your Emails Are Opened and Read
This is part II in the Email Marketing Mastery series. Missed Part I? Read it here.
In the last post, we saw 15 different ways you can instantly boost your email open and read rates today.
We looked at how you can be play ethical, use hypnotic words, create a stellar autoresponder list and a personalized welcome message, among other things.
Here are 16 more ways to make sure your emails are opened and to boost your click-through rates.
1. Stick to the same time
Sending emails when your readers are getting ready for work or going to bed? Chances are your emails won’t get opened.
Given that 24% of emails are opened in the first hour, reach out to your audience when they are not too busy.
2. Woo your audience in footer
Never underestimate the footer. Always give your readers one large-sized, clear and concise call-to-action in the footer.
It could be a new product promo, a discount or an invite to register to an upcoming webinar.
3. Be regular
The GetResponse blog created an infographic based upon research which analyzed 300 million messages. It showed that auto-responder emails that were sent on a regular basis had a 24% higher open rate and 47% higher “click through rate”.
4. Send more emails for a lower unsubscribe rate
Sounds ironic, doesn’t it?
After all, we’re so cautious with our lists and fear we’ll “piss off” the reader and end up sending way fewer emails a month.
But pro data analyst Dan Zarella says that if you want to reduce the number of unsubscribes, send emails more often.
We’re creatures of habit. For most of us out of sight is out of mind. If you’re sending an email only once per month, it’s time to up your frequency because people will simply forget who you are, unsubscribe and flag you as spam.
5. Go visual
Beautiful visual emails work better.
83% of learning happens visually. In short, a majority of us are visual learners. Contrast this with people remembering only 20% of what they read every time.
88% of senior marketing execs say integrating video with email has a positive impact on email campaign performance and 76% say that videos in emails generate higher click-through rates.
According to website builder IM Creator, visuals make your text more easy-to-digest, because let’s face it, they aren’t going to read but scan it. Make sure you also do A/B tests and include visuals in your emails.
6. Juxtapose content with promo
For every three massive-value content emails, send a promo email nudging them to buy a related product. According to Convinceandconvert.com, in 2012, 44% of email recipients made at least one purchase last year based on a promotional email.
Pat Flynn does this well. This is how his auto-responder series look:
Source: Pat Flynn.
7. Subscribe to your competitor’s list
A sneaky yet great technique to stay on the top of what others are doing. Evaluating just their blog or website won’t cut it.
You want to become an insider and keep a tab on their content, frequency, style, design, subject lines to name a few.
8. Use a power phrase
Power phrases are “evergreen” subject lines that you can use over and over again irrespective of the subject. Create a swipe file of power phrases that you’ve tested for yourself and that generate higher open/click-through rates for your emails.
For my meetup groups, I’ve tested the phrase “Did you get this?” as a follow up subject line to an invitation. It piques people’s curiosity and they want to know whether they missed something.
9. Take time to respond
Do you respond to every email that you get? Do you claim to do so?
If you’re not answering your subscriber emails, you’re missing out on a huge opportunity to build stronger relationships with your audience. Contrary to conventional thinking, this applies especially if you have a bigger list. (If you have thousands of people and replying to emails takes too much time, consider investing in a VA).
Granted, not everyone is in the “build relationships” stage yet. You may not have enough subscribers and don’t have to worry about in-depth connections with readers (yet) because there are too few of them. If that’s the case, don’t claim you read and reply to every email, because it will cost you your reader’s trust. Say what you do and do what you say.
10. Make use of the pre-header
I use MailChimp for me and my clients. Each campaign provides a snippet of content or a pre-header which is the first thing your mobile readers will see.
See arrowed text area below:
With 47% of email being opened on a mobile device, it becomes even more important. What’s more, 30% of consumers now read their email exclusively on mobile devices.
11. Tell a story
I once attended an info-sharing evening where the host wanted to share her experience with a business model. In the email copy, they told a great story and I was intrigued to sign up. On the evening, everyone turned up expecting the host to share her real, raw story with us.
Sadly, it turned out to be a sales pitch even though it wasn’t promoted as one. She had a great copywriter, but there was no alignment between the picture that was painted and what we really got at the event. There was no story, no connection built. It was all sales figures and hard-to-understand data on Powerpoint slides.
The result? Several pissed off attendees who didn’t care to buy.
Almost all of my emails start with a story and lure the reader in, before I’ve even made a “point” or mentioned a product.
Why? Simply because everyone loves a good story. Stories are how we grew up. We relate with them.
12. Employ the WINFM principle
Before your subscribers even consider opening an email, they have to answer “What’s in it for me?”
Make it easier for them to answer the question by learning what your customers truly want. People are buying a desired resulting feeling. For example, someone who buys an Armani suit is really buying the feeling of luxury.
13. Hook them
Once you execute #11 and #12 well, you’ve had them hooked!
Don’t be afraid to talk about feelings. Feelings are energetic and magnetic.
Talk to one person at a time, not the masses. Make them matter. Get a conversation started. Forget the grammar “rules” once in a while. It’s OK.
Oh and remember, it’s never about you but them.
14. Have a clear call-to-action
Especially for promo emails, have a call-to-action between clear two to five words. Better yet, try visual CTAs and cues that work.
Here is another style that CopyBlogger uses at the end of their blog post: (http://www.copyblogger.com/smart-people-personas/)
15. Condition them
In his course Serious Bloggers Only, Jon Morrow teaches how to condition your reader using a simple tactic: Write short emails, no longer than 100 words with a link pointing to full content. Publish the rest of the content goodness on your website.
This will condition your readers to click on a link every time in order to receive something good. In their minds, click = good stuff.
Simple but pure genius!
16. Don’t be generic
And segment your list instead. Avoid “batch and blast” approach. Segmented emails are well-targeted and generate 30% more open rate and 50% more click-through rate than blast-emails.
As an example, someone who abandoned a product in their cart can be sent a discount coupon email to bring them back.
Now that you’re armed with tons of new ways to engage and re-engage your readers, which one are you going to try out first?
Here’s a recap of 30+ ways to make sure your emails are opened and read.
- Push ‘Send’ to add value
- Use your real name
- Use your real email address
- Be ethical
- Use hypnotic words
- Use clear subject lines
- Write benefit-driven subject lines
- Use a simple design
- Replace “I” with “You”
- Be familiar and personal
- Have a personalized welcome message
- Use the power of P.S
- Give them some (white) space
- Give them everything or a teaser
- Churn out insanely useful autoresponders
- Stick to the same time
- Woo your audience in footer
- Be regular
- Send more emails for a lower unsubscribe rate
- Go visual
- Juxtapose content with promo
- Subscribe to your competitor’s list
- Use a power phrase
- Take time to respond
- Make use of the pre-header
- Tell a story
- Employ the WINFM principle
- Hook them
- Have a clear call-to-action
- Condition them
- Don’t be generic
What about you?
Got a tip #32 to add? We’d love to hear it in the comments!
Guest Author: Pooja is an Online Business Coach + Writer & Editor. She helps entrepreneurs shine their blog and copy, and simplifies online marketing so they can make more sales and live the Un-9-5 life. Check out her step-by-step course on breaking into freelance writing.
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