But in order to get that kind of return on not just the money you invest into email but also the time and effort, you’ve got to actually get people to open and read your emails.
I guarantee it - the first thing you do when you open up your email in the morning is go on an inbox killing spree, deleting 90% of the emails that came in since you last checked. And while there’s something to be said for the brand recognition that comes with your customers seeing your company’s name every morning, you’re way better off if you can actually get them to read what you have to say.
But for a lot of businesses, that’s easier said than done. You’re lucky if 1 out of 10 people open up your email and ecstatic if 1 out of 20 actually buy what you’re offering that day.
And frankly, it all comes down to the subject line.
Most businesses write subject lines that are confusing, vague, and ultimately, not that exciting to your customers.
If you’re trying to appeal to their curiosity with email subject lines like “It’s that time of year again…” or “Candy corn and cold calling” or something else that sounds like it could be an alt-rock band’s next album, just stop.
People don’t have time for it. They’re busy, and they need to see how your offer benefits them. They need to see it quickly and it needs to point them toward a solution for a pain point that they’re already experiencing and aware of. Now is not the time to convince them that there’s a massive problem in their life that they’re overlooking. Offer them medicine for the headache they’re feeling.
So here are 2 simple rules you can use to maximize the open rates of your emails:
Show them what’s in it for them.
If you’re running a 25% off sale, say that. If you just opened up 10 new seats to your coaching program, say that. If you help them lose 10 pounds of body fat in 30 days, say that. They shouldn’t have to do complex algebra to figure out how your offer makes their life better. Always remember - your customer has no obligation to read what you have to say. You’re disrupting them. Be respectful of that, and communicate the benefit you offer clearly and quickly.
Open a story loop in their brain.
Put another way, pose a question that will bug them until they get the answer. Ever wonder why those clickbait headlines you see all over the internet work so well? They leverage this concept. Writing this article, I went to Yahoo! and looked at the headlines of all the sponsored links on the homepage - see if you can identify the pattern:
- “Man who bought Netflix at $7.78 says buy this now”
- “Here’s what full mouth dental implants should cost”
- “42 cool gadgets we bet you haven’t seen yet”
All of these headlines force you to ask a question - “What stock does this expert recommend I buy?” “How much should full mouth dental implants cost?” “What cool gadgets am I missing out on?”
What gets people frustrated with headlines like these, though, is that the answer they crave is rarely on the other side. If you clicked the link and it said, “Tesla.” Or “$10,000.” Or “Here’s those gadgets you might not have seen,” we’d be happy to click. But we’re wary, because we sniff that stuff out a mile away these days.
So your obligation in your email is to pose the question and then answer it within your email. Become a trusted source of valuable information.
By the way, if you need a little help writing subject lines that actually get your emails opened, we've put a tool together for you that can help. Our Email Subject Line Formula Template will get you started and I guarantee it will make you money and get you more opens on your email. Download it below.