Email marketing is a staple in our lives as both professionals and consumers, which is only logical, since we’re talking about the medium with the highest ROI at the moment:
(Image Source: Lyfemarketing)
An enticing number, isn’t it? And since it’s so low, all types of brands and businesses want to engage in email marketing, resulting in the development of various platforms for email marketing and marketing automation for agencies, SaaS companies, eCommerce, you name it!
However, not all email campaigns are successful and not all success can be counted in conversion. What do I mean by that?
Let’s take it from the top.
An email’s open rate is one of the most important email marketing metrics and if you’re dealing with email marketing, you’re bound to use it, no matter what you need to measure.
And of course, you’ll use other metrics like click-through rate, but the email opens are what determines success, as everything depends on that.
The key factor that determines an open rate’s success or failure is, of course, the email subject line. The knock on the door that will set your brand apart and get all the attention needed, even in a full inbox.
Here’s how to do it:
It’s an email subject line after all, you don’t need to say a lot of things to get it opened or noticed.
According to studies, your email subject line needs to be between 1 and 50 characters, but not reading long texts is not the only benefit here. A subject line that’s too long, may not show properly on a cell phone or a tablet.
Here’s why you should care about that:
(Image Source: Monster Insights)
Not to mention that people who don’t read their emails but scan them, could benefit from a short and comprehensive email subject line.
You need to take full advantage of all the space you’re given-if it’s 50 characters, make it a meaningful 50. Check out which words need to go and just send them home if you have to.
For example, you could write “Here’s a fantastic exclusive offer just for members” or you could write “Members’ only exclusive offer”. It’s the same meaning but the second one carries the essence of the subject line.
Hint: For those that will open your email, keep it short and sweet. And make things way more interesting and playful, using a QR code generator! This will allow the recipients to just scan the code and get redirected to your product.
Or a dedicated landing page. You decide.
Be a Storyteller
You can get more sales by mastering the art of storytelling. But you can also increase your email open rates with the same tactic.
The art of storytelling is what drives a lot of revenue for a lot of brands, and with fairly good reason. Products and services are so many nowadays, people don’t want to hear about what makes your product good.
They want to hear about the ways your product changed your customers’ lives and the ways it can change their own lives as well.
A good story can keep the reader’s attention and can help them remember all of the details they need to remember. But what does the subject line have to do with all of that?
It can be the teaser trailer to your epic storytelling email.
Kind of like that:
It’s a little longer than I would’ve liked but the email meant to promote a blog post, and promote it did, by using the post’s title in the subject line.
And of course, it sparks interest. It’s content straight out of a romantic comedy-who doesn’t like that? Who wouldn’t go like “What?”
And who wouldn’t click on the “Read More” CTA button?
Going “What” is something you need for your subject lines, even though they need to describe what’s going to be in an email. You’ll need, in other words, to be cryptic but not too much.
You can hint at what the email is going to contain without giving the content away on the first try:
And surely, you can include a wee bit more info on your preview text. Not bad, eh? Instead of saying “Hey, you got a 50% discount”, you can just go like the guys above.
And it can be applied to any and all businesses. The above example is a sales email, but what happens when you need to send an email for, say, a new feature? Check this example out:
Not a word on what the “something good” is.
AIDA and FOMO? OMG!
Let me define those two acronyms first.
AIDA stands for Attention Interest Desire Action and FOMO stands for Fear Of Missing Out. Those two techniques may sound a little bit outdated, but they’re nothing but, provided you use them correctly of course.
What’s going to spark a recipient’s interest is not your brand or your sender’s name. It’s your email’s subject line.
And here’s where AIDA’s first A comes into play.
The subject line is asking me a question. Subconsciously, I’m already answering it. And by using imperative, it’s making me think that I at least need to consider taking some action.
However, this attention-drawing subject line doesn’t utilize the other component I mentioned: FOMO. Which is just as important.
But the following one does:
A great specimen, if I say so myself. My attention was drawn, both because of the emojis and also because of the “Last Chance” I was given!
This choice of words, coupled with the discount at the end made me think that I really need to access that website and see the offers-which I did, even though I wasn’t interested in buying something at that particular time.
Essentially, when utilizing FOMO (aka, one of the oldest tricks in the book), you’re sparking that nagging feeling that someone, somewhere is ready to offer the recipient something that will make their everyday life better and bring them one step closer to what their ideal self is like.
If you want, you can make your email shareable, for a little freebie. Who doesn’t want their loved ones to reach their ideal state as well?
Use the trifecta FOMO, shareable content and a little gift in the body copy to send your lead generation efforts flying!
Of course, AIDA’s Attention needs to be used for the email subject line, but the rest of the IDA shall be reserved for the body copy of your email.
But back to our point: In order to use FOMO in a way that won’t be too rushed and will feel natural, you’ll want to delve deep into your audience’s preferences and show them what they can get.
And this brings us to what you need to have done before writing your fantastic email subject line.
Personalization and Segmentation=Life
I should’ve started with that one, right? Well, perhaps. However, I’m a sucker for leaving all the important stuff for the end.
In order to nail the perfect email subject line that will grant you the open rate of your dreams, you need to study your audience. Study hard and delve deep into your data.
Your database will give you some valuable insight when it comes to coming up with key parameters you’ll need, in order to create your buyer persona and even determine your message, goals and everything your campaign needs.
If, for example, you’re selling a SaaS product, your SaaS pricing needs to be made according to your customers’ shopping habits-is your ideal customer a company? Or an actual person that works from home? Or both?
Maybe your SaaS product is something that can help your prospects make money through affiliate marketing. Their budget will shape your KPIs.
And your KPIs will shape your targeted email campaigns.
Of course, gathering data can happen many ways and crafting a customer feedback strategy is one of them. You can use surveys, encourage people to share them even.
The data you’re going to gather is going to be crucial when it comes to creating data driven content that will be timely, relevant and will be received as such. Literally.
Not to mention that, by encouraging people to share your message around and gather more feedback for you, turns them into brand ambassadors. Something all consumers love, as well as brands.
And off to segmentation, seeing as, in order to send highly personalized, timely and relevant emails, you’ll need to know where and why you’re sending them.
“Dirty” lists won’t do anything for you.
Keep your list clean, delete old and inactive email subscribers and determine which segments of your list will consider your current content to be trash and which ones will consider it to be a treasure.
Also, you need your offers to be relevant to your audience. By segmenting your list, you’ll know which people and how many of them can and will love your offer.
A luxury item going on sale can benefit those people in your list, whose budget is a little bit lower than what your average crowd makes. You need to target those, no questions asked.
Email subject lines that are carefully curated, short, personalized and showcase the value right up front, are what makes the email open rates go round (or in our case, up!) today.
Use the Fear Of Missing Out, some spectacular storytelling and incorporate those two elements into a small and easily digestible subject line, after segmenting your list and personalizing your efforts.
Those actions will give your email open rate the boost you need and will turn you into an email marketing hero in no time!
Téa Liarokapi is a content writer working for email marketing software company Moosend and an obsessive writer in general. In her free time, she tries to find new ways to stuff more books in her bookcase and content ideas-and cats-to play with.
Pratik Dholakiya is the Founder of Preceptist, a content marketing agency for SaaS businesses.