January 27, 2012

In a recent post entitled Improve Your Email Marketing Etiquette For A More Successful Campaign”, I covered some of the basic email etiquette principles which will help increase the success of your marketing campaigns.

In this post I am going to look at four further ways you can improve your open and read rate by personalising the way you approach your email marketing campaigns.

Personalise Your Emails

When an email lands in your inbox the first thing you notice is the subject line, so many marketers will try and optimise this the its fullest in order to entice the recipient to open it. The first hurdle of email marketing is getting people to open the email rather than just deleting it, so I recommend you use the prospect’s name in the subject line as this immediately stands out.

Something like “Sean, download your six free cheat sheets today” will work much better than just “Six Free Cheat Sheets”, as the second example screams Spam email. Continue to use the prospect’s name throughout the email as this personal feel should encourage them to read on.

Give Them A Name To Reply To

The personalisation approach works in two parts; not only should you refer to the prospect by name, but you should also refer to yourself by name. Make sure the email comes from a real person, with a real name and a proper email address that the prospect can respond to. After all, email marketing is all about engaging and requesting a response, so if they can’t reply to you directly then they’re not likely to respond at all.

Also, sending an email from an info@ or no-reply@ address makes it very clear that this a mass send out, and that puts people off opening your email from the minute it hits their inbox.   

Plain Text Wins Over HTML

As aesthetically pleasing as HTML enabled emails are, they don’t get opened and read as often as plain text emails. Not only are they obviously a form of promotional email, but often recipients’ emails aren’t HTML enabled, so all the pictures and links are missing from them anyway.

If your prospects can’t read your email properly then they will simply bin it, so sticking to a plain text email ensures that your email gets through in full. It also looks less spam like and by combining this with the personalisation features I’ve discussed above, you should find that more of your emails get opened and read, because they look and feel like a direct correspondence rather than a mass email blast.

Avoid “Spam” Words And Phrases

Spam words and phrases are a pet hate of mine! Not only will you put the recipient off opening your email but it’s not even likely to reach their inbox, as spam filters will pick it up and “junk” it before your prospects even see it. Words and phrases such as “Earn extra cash”, “Bargain” and “You’re a Winner!” will be sniffed out and binned in no time so there is no point even sending the email.

You may think that everyone wants something for nothing, but the word “free” sets alarm bells ringing, so exchange this for “complimentary” instead and you should see a big difference in the response you get.

The key to getting the best out of your email marketing campaigns is to make the emails as “regular” as possible. By personalising the content to the recipient, sending them from a real person with a real email address and avoid spam-related HTML layouts and buzz words you will see an improved response rate to your campaigns.  


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