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Email Content, Email Marketing

Getting Your Marketing Emails Opened

I get a lot of emails. I mean A LOT! The reason is simple, I subscribe to everything, knowing that as an email marketing professional I need to see it all to share the best with you. But as soon as things get a little busy for me all of those good intentions fall away and I become very selective about what gets opened and what goes straight to trash.

I can’t imagine you’ll be surprised when I tell you the deciding factor is… what’s in it for me!

If these emails aren’t even getting the low hanging fruit that is me, how can we make sure our emails are getting opened by the people we want reading them? Here are four ideas to start you thinking.

#1. Humorous emails get opened

There are just some emails that I have to open because I know it will make me LOL and brighten my day. 

The emails from KFC are a great example. Not only are they hilarious (“Trigonometry banana somersault” :D), they have a personalised subject line (the bucket is all for me!) and wonderful pre-header text that draws me in, the CTA buttons are customised and it is a genuine offer.

Subject: Kym’s $10 Popcorn Chicken Bucket is here

How we can do it

  • Know your audience and the tone that they will respond to. If it’s humour, commit to it.
  • Make sure your offers provide value to your readers.
  • Personalise your subject lines.
  • Use emojis in subject lines to grab attention.
  • Use pre-header texts to give them a reason to open your email.

#2. Get Personal – Really Personal

Another email that I never miss opening is the Fitbit emails. I always open them to see what my latest accomplishment is and you couldn’t have found a prouder person on the day I got my March of Penguins badge! 

Emails from Grammarly are also a great example. They have reward badges and personal stats.

It’s incredibly personal information, much more than popping my name in the top of an email and it gets me to open.

SUBJECT: Way to streak! (Not like that ?)

Another funny headline with an emoji… are we seeing a pattern here?

How we can do it

  • Find that personal information that is unique to each user and a unique way to share it. For example “By purchasing 2 [individual details] bottles of our Luscious Skin, Compassionate Planet Moisturiser, you’ve saved 5 [individual details] rabbits from a life of confinement and torturous tests.” (If this information is in your database you can automate the email with Conditional Content and if your online shop integrates with your EPS, even easier!)
  • Fill it with colour and images to illustrate your point quickly.
  • Include a teaser in your subject line to get them to open.

#3. Be Timely

Do you ever get that panicked feeling as an event draws ever closer but your shopping list isn’t getting any shorter? (It can’t just be me…) Well, this is the perfect time to solve your readers’ problem with an email.

Maybe you’re a florist and can see that a customer orders a bunch of flowers on the same day every year. Why not send them a reminder email with some suggested arrangements a week out? 

Or pick an event, like See’s Candies, who started sending me these emails at the end of January.

Subject: ❤️ Gifts under $10, plus FREE or flat-rate shipping!

How we can do it

  • Identify peak times and the problems associated with them and offer a solution.
  • Or identify customer patterns and preempt them with helpful suggestions.
  • Make sure you identify the solution in the subject line and make it clear in the email copy.

#4. Segment and Target your emails to get opened

Different from sharing their stats, share info that you know will appeal to them. If they always buy sunflowers from your florist, send them an email with your sunflower arrangements, instead of the general email without a sunflower in sight.

Or if they always buy experiences from your online store, don’t send them emails filled with products. Seems pretty simple when you say it like that, right?

Woolworths does this well by letting me know when my previously purchased items are on sale. (Don’t judge, this isn’t all I eat!.)

Subject: Kym, you’re special ❤️ so enjoy your weekly specials.

Ok, you don’t have the massive rewards system and the software required to maintain it, that Woolworths obviously has in place. Still, this doesn’t need to be a herculean task, start small and work your way up.

How we can do it

  • Start by identifying customer behaviour and recording it in your database. You could even pick one category to focus on this week (those that always buy sunflowers) and move to a different one next week (those that always buy natives).
  • Include the category in the subject line or header text so they know the email will be of interest to them.
  • Make sure you deliver on the promise of your subject line and keep working towards customisation for all of your readers.

So there you go, four different approaches for you to help get your emails opened. 

If you don’t think your ESP is up to the task, check out Vision6. The Spreadsheet View makes editing your database easy and Conditional Content means you can send different versions with the one email. Give it a go for free today with a free trial account.

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