There is no question that email is an effective way to reach prospects, particularly given that more than 147 million people in the U.S. use email almost every day.
The trick is to make sure that your email stands apart from the more than 300 other business emails and the nearly 275 personal emails that Jupiter Research says are hitting your prospect’s inbox every week – and to make sure it doesn’t wind up automatically relegated to the spam folder.
The most important elements of a successful marketing email are the “from” and “subject” lines. The reason is simple: 73 percent of recipients decide how to treat an email based solely on the “from” line, while 63 percent do so based on the subject line.
Mess those two elements up and you’re just wasting your time and probably annoying your prospects.
Make sure your organization is clearly identified in the “from” line, such as “kathleen@companyXYZ.com.” Not only does this boost open rates, but it also helps brand your company.
Brevity is the key to subject lines. A good rule of thumb is no more than six words or 50 characters. Reinforce your identity by repeating the organization name and make the purpose of the email very clear, such as “Company XYZ: Product Upgrades Available.”
And don’t try to trick the recipient by masquerading as a response to an existing email by adding “RE” to the subject line, or as a forwarded email by inserting “FW.” Not only does that start the relationship on a lie, but it is also illegal.
A few other strategies to maximize your email’s chances for success include:
- Use graphics sparingly and only when they relate directly to your message. The company logo is good; an animated smiley is not.
- Send emails on Wednesday, which research shows is the most popular day for opening emails, followed by Tuesday.
- Keep in mind that 18 percent of email users with mobile devices such as Blackberries use them to sort email. If it doesn’t pass the mobile test, don’t send it.
Pay attention to these basic elements and you’ll be surprised at how effective it can be to reach out to customers and prospects via email.