Let’s start with “why email?” According to DMA, email has an average ROI of $38 for each $1 spent. Email has many advantages over other communication channels and, if done correctly, can connect you with your customers in an engaging manner. Email is easily read on mobile devices, works on any operating system, easily customized, allows direct connection with customers, can be interactive, represents a medium whereby a business owner can completely control in-house as they own the email lists. Email marketing campaigns can be executed at a low cost to the business as compared to other communication forms.

Overall, email marketing has re-emerged as a very important component of a digital marketing tool box, due to targeted marketing messages and technology enhancements to email.  …But how do we increase the open rates?

To start at the “top,” knowing what to place in the heading or subject line can be very challenging to determine the most effective strategy.  Do you “tease” or offer “benefits” in the header or subject line? Maybe something else is needed?  Let’s look at this in further detail as you have less than 4 seconds to influence an email being opened by the header/subject line.

TIP 1: Determine your strategy–Typically headlines are categorized into two types—teaser and benefit.

  • A teaser is a headline that arouses curiosity, can be a “play” on words… a tease to get the reader to open the email such as “Private Invite” or “You are invited.”
  • A benefit headline expresses a benefit to opening the email, such as to save money or time or to offer the reader something such as “My gift to you,” “A Silver City exclusive offer for you,” and “For our beloved customers only.”

The headline though has to “fit” the target audience. A benefit headline that states something about “Saving Time…” to a B2B (business) may mean much more than a 10% savings announcement. It depends on your target reader and their needs. “Fit” the headline to your audience.

TIP 2: What to DO and NOT DO–An email header/subject line should “open a door” to the content of the email.

  • Do: Do target your customer with a headline of interest to them; tease or offer value (benefit); keep it short and sweet; localize such as referencing a location; use questions; or include a call to action by starting with an action verb and make it exclusive.  This can increase open rates by 22%, according to Hub Spot. Make sure you use a familiar sender name or the headline will NOT matter.
  • Don’t: Don’t use capital letters, be careful to not over personalization the subject line (save that for the body of the email); don’t ask for help in the subject line; don’t make false promises; and don’t use special characters. Never use “noreply@company.com.”

TIP 3: Take an interactive approach–Now that you have a catchy heading or subject line, the email has to be engaging and personalized. Targeted “interactive” emails are on the rise. An interactive email may have sliders, rotational banners, counters, menus, collapsible carousel, graphs, other visuals, embedded videos, integrated forms, and GIFs. The idea is to create an engaging experience for the reader.

Don’t forget though, the one strategy that is very important when developing an email campaign is that an email must direct the viewer to an engaging website landing page. The website is critical to a successful email campaign. The quality of the website and the engaging nature of the website, such as video on the landing page, are critical.

TIP 4: Target and personalize — What about the “targeted approach?” What is that? A targeted approach is opposite of a “blanket approach” and requires a business to segment their customers, developing special messages for each segment. Develop customer profiles and categorize email addresses based on purchase interests, etc., which can be tracked through loyalty cards, for example. You can also build profiles through checking your site analytics, conducting social media research, and even asking your customers their preferences. Whether you are a big company or a small business, data collection and data mining are very important, especially when developing targeted email campaigns.

For more marketing tips-Contact Sabrina Pack-Marketing Consultant with SkyWest Media. sabrinapack@skywestmedia.com