Despite the popularity of social media and other communication platforms, email is still the primary method for business communications in the digital world. As such, email marketing is a vital tool for reaching the broader public with your marketing messages. But with email used so heavily by marketers from around the world, our potential customers are bombarded by boat-loads of marketing mail and unwanted spam messages. In an environment where the majority of emails are handled with spam filters and the delete button, it is truly important for you to break through the noise. Your messages will do you no good if the customer doesn’t open them.
The number one factor that affects whether or not an email is opened is its subject line. The title of your message will either win over your audience, or it will doom your email to the proverbial Microsoft Recycle Bin in the sky.
As marketers and business owners can sometimes be their own worst enemy when it comes to email marketing. There are so many bad habits that get in the way of successful email communication – especially when it comes to writing titles. Are you committing any of these email marketing sins?
1) Feeding the Spam Filter.
There is a whole list of practices in writing subject lines that can doom your message to the automated filters in most email systems. Certain words or phrases, such as “You Are a Winner!” and “Make Money Now!” are great ways to make sure your recipient never sees your mail. Other triggers for the spam filter can be over-use of punctuation like exclamations and dollar signs.
On a related note, using a sender’s address that your recipient’s account isn’t familiar with can trigger the filter. It’s much better for your clients to see emails from your regular email account. If there are established email communications between you and your recipient, or if they have your email saved in their contents, you reduce the chances of your messages being filtered out. It also increases the chance of them opening those emails because you’re a personality that they recognize.
2) Writing Excessively Long and Wordy Titles.
77% of marketing emails are now opened on mobile devices. That means that the screen space for your message title is short. If your subject line is too long, it’s going to be cut off, and your recipient won’t have a clue what the email is about. That’s probably going to result in a deletion, not a reading. So, keep your titles short and concise.
Additionally, your readers are most likely scanning down a long list with hundreds of emails. If your title is too long, they’re not going to open your message. There are many other emails that are easier to read and classify, and those are the messages that will capture your clients’ attention.
3) Using the Same Title to Bomb your Entire Contacts List.
If your business has a long list of contacts that you want to reach, it is advisable to segment them and write your marketing messages, along with their titles, a little differently. It is unreasonable to expect that the same words will appeal to everybody on a list of thousands of recipients in the same way. Ask yourself this question: If you get an email that doesn’t feel relevant to you, are you even going to open it? Of course not. You’re going to delete it.
4) Using False Promises to Get your Email Opened.
So, here’s the scenario. You have a fantastic marketing message you just have to get out to everybody. You want to maximize your reads, so you promise them a bunch of free stuff they’ll never get. The customer opens and reads the email message, but it backfires. They’re angry with you and they don’t trust any of your future mailings. That’s a great way not just to get your messages deleted, but to lose contacts to ‘unsubscribes.’ and ‘blocks.’
5) Not Letting the Reader Know What to Expect
One of the subconscious conditions people place on the decision of whether or not to open an email is knowing what it is all about. Interestingly, while a little mystery can pique curiosity, too much ambiguity can be a turn-off to your target market. So, give them enough to guess what’s coming, or they’ll ignore your message. That being said, it is a good strategy to describe the subject in the title, while forcing them to open and read the message to get the details.