7 Ways to Get People to Open Your Emails

There’s nothing quite so disheartening as to write a great email and have people not even read it. It’s no wonder many email marketers spend a lot of time and effort on increasing open rates. Here are some of the methods that have been successful for others:

  1. Keep the Subject Short.

    It’s annoying to get an email with a cryptic subject line. Keep it to 50 characters or less, and get to the point.

  2. Avoid Symbols and Special Characters.

    They look unprofessional and spammy, so people are likely to assume that your message is yet another unwanted ad. Such headlines are also strongly associated with amateur auction enthusiasts. Not only that, some email programs can’t render special characters. In this case, all viewers will see is a few words destroyed by the presence of unintelligible gibberish.

  3. Avoid other Traits Associated with Spam.

    Using “RE:” or “FWD:” is one of the chief tactics of spammers. Asking for any kind of help or mentioning unbelievably huge sale percentages like “75% off” are other big turn-offs.

  4. Don’t insist on Putting the Recipient’s Name in the Subject Line.

    That may have worked when it first became possible to do it, but now it’s trite and overused. Not only that, some people find it very annoying to be addressed by their first name by a bunch of companies they may have only dealt with once. Finally, remember that they aren’t just seeing your email, but a whole inbox full of them. Seeing all of the subject lines starting with their name does nothing to differentiate one from another.

  5. Spice up Your Subject Lines with these Surprisingly Effective Tricks:

    A word or two in all caps, explanation points at the end, and — if applicable — the word “free.” These things catch attention, and they don’t trigger most spam filters. Today’s spam filtering technology rarely blocks emails because of a word or two.

  6. Tell, don’t Sell.

    If the subject line simply and succinctly tells what’s inside, people are much more likely to open the email than they would be if the first thing they see is a quick sales pitch.

  7. Identify yourself with a Unique attribute.

    An easy way to do this is to start the subject line with your company name. This will let people easily spot your newsletters in their email inboxes.

It may seem hard to come up with a compelling subject line in just 50 characters, especially when you’re using some of those characters for your company name. With practice, however, it will become much easier. Aim to produce headlines like “[MyCompany] 7 ways to write great subject lines” every time you send an email. Soon, you’ll be able to pop them right out without too much work.

Sometimes there’s a tendency for business email writers to save the writing task for the end of the day. If you’re having trouble making your subject lines pop, try moving the job up a few hours. It’s only natural to give short shrift to whatever’s standing between you and the exit door, so put something boring in that final slot. A filing task or tidying the desk is a much better day-ending activity than anything creative. You want your business’s email marketing efforts to be successful, right?

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