Question Five: How do I make sure my emails get opened?
Making sure your emails get opened is easier than you think. Most people focus on the subject line of the email, testing various themes to see which one will generate the highest open rates. In brainstorming with various email marketers, e-commerce directors, and CEOs of large and small companies, I’ve seen far too much focus on the subject line and not nearly enough focus on the “from” address. Because it is, in fact, the “from” address that determines whether your email is likely to be opened in the first place. Let me explain.
Studies have shown that when a recipient is looking through an email inbox, the first thing they glance at is the “from” address. If they recognize the name of the person or company, they will very likely read the subject line of the email. If the subject line, then, says something that seems relevant to the reader, they will open the email and read it. But if the “from” address does not contain a familiar name, the recipient will assume the email is from someone they don’t know, or that it is possibly spam, and they will simply not open the email at all.
Thus the answer to this question is easier than you think: always use a recognizable, consistent name in the “from” address of the emails that you send your customers. If your company’s name is, for example, Amazon.com, and you send all your emails with the “from” address saying Amazon.com, the chances are very high that people will open your emails, regardless of the subject line. However, if you abuse this privilege and begin placing irrelevant, spam-like advertising in the content area of the email messages, you will lose credibility and, even worse, people will begin to associate spam with your name and your email message, leading not only to a dismal open rate but a corroding unsubscribe frequency as well.
I’ve also heard some people attempting to use a variety of gimmicks to push the open rate of their emails. They might use slightly misleading subject lines, or they might try to place flashy graphics or animations in the top section of the email content area, hoping that something catches the reader’s eye in the preview pane of the email application. I strongly recommend you avoid these kinds of gimmicks. This isn’t billboard advertising. This isn’t television or radio or magazine ads, where the loudest first is heard first. This is email marketing, and email content is keen. That means you need to stick to quality content rather than gimmicks, and earn the trust of your recipients, so they are happy to receive your emails and begin to associate you’re “from” address with meaningful, high quality content. When you do this, you will of mastered the correct method of getting recipients to open your email messages.
So remember: you’re riding on your reputation here. Every time you use your company name in the “from” address, you need to make sure that you’re delivering a highly relevant, professionally constructed email message that is of interest to each recipient who receives it.
Intro | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | Summary