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It’s All About Open Rates

Is email part of your marketing repertoire?

If it isn’t, it certainly should be.

With email you can communicate with 000’s of people as often as you like for no cost or virtually no cost.

The issue I hear you say is how effective is email?

Let’s face it, we all get bombarded by thousands of messages every day – whether that be ads on TV, radio or the press, social media, direct mail, things through the door and of course email. Most of us get loads of junk email every day.

So what do we do? We delete it without reading it.

And why do we do that?

Because it’s come from someone we don’t know or the subject line doesn’t interest us at all.

This brings us to two key points about email marketing.

Your list

To get decent open rates you need to be emailing to an opted in list. By that I mean a list of people you know or who have opted in and asked to receive emails from you. The most common source for that will be an opt in form on your website, where people give you their contact information in exchange for an ebook or something similar and the promise of regular contact from you.

Your subject line

The other variable which dictates open rates is your subject line. I am always amazed when I receive emails with a subject line of“X Company’s Newsletter”. Surely the person sending it can work out that I will only open an email if I’m going to find the subject matter interesting. With the best will in the world, a subject line about your newsletter is hardly going to fill me with enthusiasm and excitement.

Your subject line has got to sell the email. It must tell me that the information inside will be of great value to me or it has got to intrigue me.

I more commonly use the intriguing route as I find I get better open rates with this approach.

The last few I’ve used have included:

  • Is it all it’s cracked up to be?
  • Only if you’re bonkers
  • How was it for you?

When you see these subject lines, you don’t immediately know what the content is going to be but you may well be intrigued enough to open the email.

Split testing

If you’ve got a couple of subject lines and you’re not sure which to go with, email services like Mail Chimp will allow you to split test them.

The system will automatically send emails with the two different subject lines to a small number of recipients and monitor the open rates. It will then send out all the remaining emails using the subject line that had the better open rate.

How neat is that!

It’s worth giving your subject lines serious thought because they will determine the success or otherwise of your email marketing.