For the next few weeks, I’m going to focus on elements that will help you create better emails and increase your click-through rates.
Nowadays, it’s all about cutting through the noise. According a report from Marketo, consumers have almost 3,000 messages coming at them from various media sources. On the average, 52 of those get any measure of attention, and only 4 of those are remembered.
How will yours be one of those lucky four?
I think that’s been the million-dollar question for some time now. Finding the answer has proven to be one of those needle-in-the-haystack quests that leads marketers to go from one resource to another, thinking they’ve found the solution with these just these few simple steps. Then that “foolproof” strategy fails to bring in the desired results, and it’s on to the next miracle cure for email marketing.
But the truth is, emails have so many different moving parts, it’s hard to figure out exactly where yours might be turning off your potential customers.
So let’s start at the beginning, with the very first thing they see – the subject line in their inbox.
How do you make your message stand out from all those thousands of others bombarding your prospect today? Here’s a checklist of what’s essential (adapted from Hubspot’s excellent report, Anatomy of a Five-Star Email:
- Talk about their biggest pain.
What does the average travel prospect want? Here are some tried-and-true desires: an escape from the daily grind of their lives…less stress, more relaxation…quality time with family…just some time off.
Write about those things to get their attention and aim straight for the heart.
- Personalize your message
One of the biggest online marketing trends this year is to put a name to it. So work that in, naturally. So here’s an example:
Joe, you need to get lost…to Maui
Here’s an unnatural example:
Thought you’d like to see this, Joe, about trips to Maui.
- Tell them to take action
Whenever possible, use a command (an imperative sentence, like you learned in grade school) to tell your prospect what to do.
Dive off the coast of Maui this February
Not: Here’s our diving trips to Maui
- Be crystal-clear and deliver
Tell exactly what your reader is going to get, whether it’s seven tips for a great diving vacation or 67% discount on your premier vacation package. Use language that makes it absolutely certain what you are offering. Also live up to the promise of your subject line in your letter, and don’t bait and switch.
- Get to the point
Write a powerful subject line, but use as much word economy as possible. That’s because you don’t want to risk having your message be cut off. This is especially true for emails viewed on mobile devices. Keep your message to 50 characters or less.
- Watch your words
Avoid using spam trigger terms that can kick your email into that dreaded folder, and not your prospect’s inbox. Here’s a great list of those words on this post.
Next week: More email basics about senders, recipients and your company branding.
What kind of issues have you had with email subject lines?