Marketing e-mails are fairly easy to fall to the wayside. You and I, despite our best spam filters, get them all the time from people we don’t care to hear from or have any business dealing with. The concept gets turned onto its head when those emails are necessary and sincere, whether this means marketing or not, but they’re disregarded due to association with spam. Even when someone is put on a mailing list, for instance, you messages may seemingly get the “delete” or “read” button just because they blend in so well with the others.
So how do we as marketers, thought leaders, social media experts, and other business professionals differentiate our emails from the other millions that hit inboxes every day? It comes down to first impressions and substance. There are a few ways to control this to the best of your ability, so focusing on those primarily is what will get your emails opened and hopefully responded to. These little tweaks can be the difference between a successful campaign or business venture and an unsuccessful one, so listen up!
Intriguing Subject Lines
Again, when it comes to email outreach, first impressions are everything. You need to find a way to get your subject line to stand out in a full inbox. The way I see it and have experienced it, there are two ways to do this: The first is by writing something ridiculous, and the second is by writing a straight-to-the-point, no-BS subject line. In my personal experience, these seem to work more often than hyper-descriptive subject lines, maybe because people get hyper-descriptive subject lines all the time from a variety of sources and don’t have the time to open all of them.
The oddest subject lines I’ve seen are laden with jokes, puns, and silly personal calls to action. Optinmonster, a blog focused on conversion and optimization, updated a piece recently, now entitled “164 Best Email Subject Lines to Boost Open Rates in 2018.” The silly subject lines included “Licking your phone never tasted so good” (from OpenTable), and “Boom shakalak! Let’s get started” (from TicTail).
Within these silly subject lines I’d like to make note of hilariously vain ones too. “How Have You Progressed Since the Third Grade?” from Jeremy Gitomer was listed on the site, and I’ve seen subject lines from guest posters that unashamedly brag about their work — and these get responses from friends of mine that run blogs. But I’ve had luck just writing simple “writing for you” messages as a guest poster — no explanation until the email. Sweet and simple can take the stress off people.
The Way You Write
There is nothing worse than getting an overly wordy call-to-action email. The first rule of writing a business email is to stay straight to the point. Be professional, be friendly, but be short and sweet. Furthermore, think about your recipient. One of the biggest disconnects in public relations is found between the content and the recipient. So don’t assume that the reader knows the specifics of who you are or what you do if you’ve never talked to them — treat each email message as its own entity, even if the goal with each is relatively the same.
Now, if you’re like me, sometimes you’re sending out press releases or emails with a lot of information in them, and that’s not something you can help. If that’s the case, try to make the beginning of the email an introduction. This introduction should more or less explain or show what the meat of the email is going to say. If they continue reading, it will be due to your introduction.
I should also add that these are simple rules to writing good emails, and you’re not the only one who knows them. Finding ways to stick out is important, and sometimes they’re subtle. For me, I like to think what I’m writing in a different voice or accent. My response rates is higher when I do it. It goes to show that subtleties can make all the difference!
Not Getting Overwhelmed
One of the rules for maintaining a good company reputation and image is consistency. You don’t want one person to say “this person was so nice the last time they reached out to us, and now they’re seemingly rude and malicious.” It’s really hard to maintain email consistency when you get overwhelmed, so I recommend spreading your outreach out. Right now, I only send 10 emails a day, because otherwise I’ll get burned out. The emails will start looking the same and coming off seemingly disingenuous.
You may not be at liberty to keep yourself fresh and relaxed by only sending 10 emails a day. In this case, set a marker for yourself and take walks, focus on another task, or take some time to find another way to distract yourself. If you allow yourself a little room to breathe, your outreach will come out much smoother and — wouldn’t you know it — you’ll probably get a higher response rate. This has been an important factor in my outreach life, and every time I skip over it, I seem to receive diminishing returns (literally).
Try these out, and let me know how it goes on Twitter @Robolitious.