How you can make your marketing emails work harder

If you send out marketing emails and monitor the open rate, I bet it’s disappointing. Everyone expects higher. The reason it’s so low? You’re not standing out enough from the competition in your recipient’s inbox. We all know that email is still the preferred method of communication in business, so everyone is deluged with the stuff.

I have one of those email clients (GMail Inbox) which brilliantly classifies emails under different tabs (‘Primary’, ‘Promotions’, Updates’, etc). Many of your email recipients will have something similar. The advantage of this is that while I open every email in the ‘Primary’ box, I can easily skim through the subject lines in the other boxes, and archive the rest with a single click. So more than ever, if the sender of a marketing email hasn’t put serious thought into the subject line, their email doesn’t get read. In my case, probably 80% of them don’t.

That means we need to put our subject lines to work, and the best way to create a good subject line is to use one of the tried and tested formulas. If you look through your own email inbox, you’ll notice the subject lines which jump out often fall into one of these categories:

  • Asking an intriguing question
  • Including urgency or an offer
  • Getting personal beyond just the recipient’s name
  • Suggesting the recipient may be missing out
  • Promising really valuable information

My suggestion to you is this: when you’ve written your email, see if you can write three to five relevant subject lines, each corresponding to one of the above. From those, you should be able to pick out at least one attractive subject line to use.