Email has become so routine that we often don’t think twice–or even look over the e-mail twice-before we hit the “send” key.
But if we aren’t careful about how we phrase the subject line, how our return address looks to the user, or even the way we address the recipient, we may be compromising our professionalism. And the e-mail may end up deleted or dumped — unread — into a spam folder.
Here are eight tips to creating emails that get opened and read:
- Address recipients by their name. We’ve all gotten those anonymous e-mails with “Dear Sir/Madam” in the salutation. Looks suspicious? You bet. You can guess what happens to these messages. Use those personalization tools in your e-mail marketing
program. A first name in the subject line or email itself often prevents an automatic delete reaction.
- Don’t spam. Know the CAN-SPAM laws. http://www.ftc.gov/spam. Make sure that your list is opt-in, and recipients whitelist your server or e-mail address. Make sure there’s an easy “unsubscribe” link in each e-mail.
- Don’t make your e-mail look like spam. Spam filters are tricky to get around — but there are certain practices that trigger them every time — such as excessive caps or punctuation. There are also spam-triggering words within the body of an e-mail that you should avoid, for example: Free, Increased Traffic, Order Now, even the word “Dear.” Learn more about spam triggers. http://www.mailchimp.com/blog/most-comm onspam-filter-triggers
- Spell out your name, your company. Make sure your “from” line is transparent and doesn’t keep the recipient guessing. If you are the Acme Widget Company, Inc., spell this out rather than putting “AWCI” in the return address line. Recipients will often ditch an e-mail if they don’t recognize the company name.
- Create suspicion-free subject lines. Again, keep things transparent rather than opting for the cutesy or obscure. The CAN-SPAM act, in fact, prohibits deceptive or misleading subject lines. There is certainly an art to making a subject line relevant, yet inviting to open. Study some of the e-mails that you open and evaluate why you opened them right away. These e-mails are good clues to what to put in your own subject lines for your business e-mails.
- Keep it simple. Forget the jarring neon colors, dense copy and pointless images — it takes too long to download and some e-mail providers won’t allow them to show up. Stick to one or two fonts, one or two points in your content (and keep the language simple), and one or two graphics (your logo and maybe a picture of a product).
- Write for a purpose. Don’t send an e-mail just to send one out. Make sure there is a specific reason for the email and a call to action. This can be more information, a free consultation, a free or paid e-book. The information you provide in your email or e-newsletter needs to be necessary and relevant to get loyal readers.
- Create a follow-up plan.
Source: NFIB (8 Tips for Sending Successful Email that Gets Read)