Every morning when I check my emails, the first thing I do before I open any new messages is delete those with a subject line I’m not interested in.
I’m not going to spend my precious five email-dedicated minutes reading about something that has nothing to offer me when I could be using my time with something that does offer me something, like my fridge.
Am I judgemental? Yes, because everyone is! We judge book covers, movie posters, magazine covers, article headlines, coffee prices, book reviews and a whole lot more because we want to establish whether something will be worth the time we invest into it.
If you want to reach out to your potential customers through email marketing, you have to do it right, or you’ll lose them to the unsubscribe button – here’s how:
Have a subject line that BEGS to be opened
Like a news headline, and in my email deletion time of the day, the difference between opening an email and sending it to the trash is what the headline promises. Don’t conform to the standard general title that you probably save your documents as, like “New software press release” or “Welcome to the company – Letter 1.” It’s much more likely that something completely out of the ordinary will capture your reader’s attention and urge them to open and read on.
Make it about THEM
Everyone is, ultimately, self-centred. This impacts our decisions and choices throughout the day, whether we keep our bodies, minds and relationships healthy, whether we watch helplessly or plunge for the last piece of office party cake…
The last thing we want is a company email telling us about themselves. If you’re worried you’ll get nothing out of it by not talking about yourself, don’t worry – you’ll be getting something out of it when you first gain their trust and interest.
Include a video which is ENGAGING and won’t be turned off
As in other blog posts, I’ve stressed the importance of clarity, simplicity, brevity and a direct call to action when making a video. You can’t go wrong with these points, in conjunction with knowing your customer inside out (see the next point).
Make your video interesting from the very first second – you need to grab their attention, so think of what they would want to see: a question that may solve their problem or asks if the viewer is in a particular situation if a good idea. Make your video convince the viewer as you would want to be convinced.
Remember to be concise – if your video is more than three minutes long, and it takes five minutes to read your content, that’s already going overtime for the average person whose morning email time doesn’t allow that much flexibility.
Offer them something they WANT
During my morning email ritual, I’ll be more likely to delete an email titled “Our new corporate upgrade” (remind me why I care?) and open one which answers my superficial prayers, like “Joanna, here’s a $10 voucher on us!”.
Know your target audience well – who is the average customer you provide for? What do they need and how can you get that to them?
DON’T overload them with the quintessential plethora of perplexity
Understand that? Maybe not. Exactly my point. Especially if you’re a corporate firm, don’t assume you need to stick to the fancy-pants language because you need to uphold a professional manner at all times. There’s nothing wrong with being engaging and professional, so throw in something that shows your email recipient you’re a human being.
Make it visually appealing
If your email is an unbroken block of text, you’ll find that even your colleagues won’t be super-duper excited to proofread for you. Keep the paragraphs short and to-the-point.
As for aesthetics, don’t be afraid to add colour, bold or italic formatting (use sparingly), a border, images or a video in order to engage your email recipients and hold their attention for the duration it takes them to understand your point.
What emails have you received that were engaging? What made them different from others you’ve been sent? Let us know!
By Joanna Michalowski