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Email Marketing:Does Anyone Really Open Emails Anyway?

In our last article about email marketing, we discussed the importance of quality content in an email. It is one of the main factors that drives a company’s open rates. Think about what it is that you want to read when you open an email. Most people like to read things that make them laugh, make them smarter, inspire them and benefit them.

The first thing readers look at is the subject line, so be sure catch a reader's attention with it. Do not mislead readers in the subject line, but it still must be catchy. There are a variety of subject lines that can catch the reader’s eye that can also be followed by engaging content.


Tap into people’s curiosity or FOMO (fear of missing out). Listicles are incredibly attractive, even if just a guilty pleasure. How can anyone resist clicking on “The top 10 things happy people do.” Companies can create their own listicles that are relevant to their readers.

These lists do not need to be a hard sell. Avoid something like “10 reasons you need to buy from[ insert business name] or “Top 5 reasons we are better than others.”

Create lists that will inspire and educate. Some of the things on the list may not apply to your company or what you are selling; that is okay. Companies can be informational and fun in order to attract customers.

For example, a DJ company may put out a list “10 things you need at your wedding” and only one or two of them will be about music and dancing. The rest act as a service to their customers.

Offer your customers a challenge

“10 day sit up challenge” or a “5 day DIY challenge.” This can help inspire customers who are looking to make some improvements in their day to day. A challenge will also have them thinking about your company every day since that is where the inspiration came from. A good challenge will in fact entice them to visit your website or purchase your product without directly telling them to.

Give your readers something

Do you know how many free e-books I have downloaded? Too many, and I have read 0 of them. But every time I see an email offering me a free ebook, I open it up and get my free book. I have taken advantage of free templates for various things, I have entered many contests and I have clicked to get free samples. We like free things.

Give your readers something. It does not have to cost you money. Can you create a template, calendar, white page or something that will have them click that email and read through it?

Giving them something also makes readers feel indebted. It is the same philosophy used by nonprofits to get you to donate more money. In the mailer they send you asking for a donation, there are free address labels or sometimes even a nickel. This is because people typically feel obligated to those that give them something.

But this giveaway cannot be the end of their experience. The rest of the content on the page must also engagement. The giveaway got them there. YOU need to keep them there or keep them coming back.

Do not bombard the reader with text

A picture is worth a thousand words. Opening an email and seeing a ton of text is the quickest way to make someone close that email. Many people read emails at work or on their phones while doing something else. People do not have time to read paragraphs of texts. Show readers a picture or video. Be clear and concise with the text you use. If you need to use many words, do not put it in the main body of the email. Give readers a “click to read more” option.

Listen to your analytics

Reputable email services give great analytics. All the data needed is right there-open rates, click rates and unsubscribe rates. Pay attention to which emails get the most of each and make future decisions based on those statistics.

The best thing for companies to remember is to be true and honest. Do not send emails that are intended to trick or subvert the reason for the email. If you are emailing those on your list that have not opened an email in a while, let them know that is why you are reaching out. Companies sincerely want their customers to read their content. And that is ok to admit. Be genuine.

Part of being genuine is having multiple email lists so each recipient is receiving an email that serves their purposes. Curating these emails list will increase your open and click rates. Like most marketing strategies, email marketing takes time and should be carefully planned.


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