When it comes to business communication, most of us use email more than any other forum. I don’t know about your mother, but mine never sent me to email finishing school, so I had to learn to write effective emails the hard way. As with any trial and error process, I lost time and business opportunities along the way. So, to save you from making some of my mistakes, here are three email marketing best practices to ensure that your emails get opened (and responded to):
- Use a provocative subject line. For instance, “3 Reasons Why You’ll Read This Email” gives a sense of the value this email promises. It also piques the recipient’s curiosity.
- Consider descriptive subject lines. According to email marketing research, subject lines should contain about 65 characters, which is approximately 15 characters more than the average subject line. Apparently, we open emails more often when the subjects are substantive. This makes sense given that the more casual cliché’s such as “Following up” or “Checking in” or “Touching base” tend to imply that your message isn’t particularly important.
- Pose your message as a question. Instead of entitling your subject line as “lunch,” try “Are you available to meet for lunch at Mastro’s in October?” (That’s 59 characters, in case you’re wondering.) The recipient will instinctively start to think of an answer to the question when they see it, which will increase the likelihood that they shoot back a quick response (assuming that the idea of lunch with you appeals to them).
Of course, the more you improve your response rates, the more likely you’ll find yourself in email overwhelm, but that’s a subject for another blog.