Email Marketing is Here to Stay

LL Cool J said it best, but my guess is that he probably wasn’t talking about email marketing. However, email marketing may be the best comeback since Tiger Woods. 

Then again, it never really went away. While many believe social media is the top marketing channel for internet retailers, it isn’t. It’s email. 

There are 4.3 billion internet users in the world and around 80 percent of them have social media accounts. 

But nearly all of them have email accounts.

Consider why people receive your emails in the first place: because they signed up for it! People on your email list want to hear from you. Social media is great for expanding brand awareness and engagement with customers, but email campaigns drive more sales. 

You can segment your subscribers, too, and create highly personalized emails that meet their needs. 

Let’s look at five ways to get your open rate high, so you can knock out your competition. 

1. Create a Sense of Urgency

Time is Running Out!
Limited Time
Today Only
For the Next 24 Hours

Using urgency in your subject lines is a great way to get recipients to click on your emails. That’s right. Creating FOMO (Fear of Missing Out) in your emails is the best way to get your emails opened. Humans are psychologically wired in this day and age to want to be in the know. Emails with offers that expire have a 62 percent higher open rate for business-to-consumer and a 55% higher open rate for business-to-business. 

There is a caveat to this: If you have offers like this coming in all the time, it can have the opposite effect on your open rate. 

2. Stand Out in the Inbox

You can’t use standard formatting in subject lines, but there are other things you can do to make your email stand out in a sea of endless emails. 

Title Case
Levering title case can make your email stand out from those who aren’t using it. Title casing improves open rates by 14% versus standard capitalization.

Parentheses and Brackets
(Using parentheses) or [brackets] can help you get a few more eyeballs and hopefully clicks on your email. Brackets or parentheses in the subject line boosts open rates by 31%.

Example: [Free Webinar] Join Us and our Special Guest LL Cool J.

Last, but certainly not least, are emojis. Emojis have become increasingly popular in email campaigns. Using them correctly — and sparingly — is key to maximizing this subject line enhancer. Using them to bookend your subject line is the best rule of thumb. This is done just in case your recipient’s email client doesn’t support emojis. That way, if you say, “Do you prefer ❄️ or 🔥?” it doesn’t look like, “Do you prefer or ?”

3. Count your Characters

You have to watch your character count, especially if you have a high mobile user percentage for your emails. The mobile character limit for email subject lines is just 35 characters. This doesn’t mean you necessarily have to keep your email subject lines super short — just know that it might get cut off. 

Front-load your subject lines with the good stuff. That way, if it’s being viewed on mobile, you don’t have to worry about the reader missing the central theme of your email. Don’t go over 90 characters in total. At that point, it will get cut off on desktops, too.

Pre-header in email campaigns

4. Pre-Header is your BFF

Subject lines have, in a way, become the new “from” line. Recipients pay much closer attention to the pre-header, or the “preview” text, in emails to see if they would be interested in opening them. This is another time to front-load your text with the good stuff to get maximum engagement from your audience. 

Example: Enter to win a $50 Gift Card for leaving a review on your recent purchase. 

In the image to the left, you can see where pre-header works and where it doesn’t.

Look at the example from Fiverr. The pre-header says “Want to make 2020 a breakout year?” It’s a full sentence — no words trail off. But does it say anything that makes you want to open that email?

Not really. 

The one from VoteRunLead is supposed to be personalized but doesn’t actually include a name. It’s also worth noting that these ended up in the promotion folder of my email. 

So, put thought into what your customers will see!

5. Experiment and See What Works

Each audience is different, and all these tips are not worth anything if your audience doesn’t respond to them. That brings me to my last tip: Always test. What works for my audience may not work for yours. Learning what your audience wants is the key to any successful email marketing campaign. Segmenting your list and crafting different styles for different audience types will increase your open rates and increase your sales. 

Things you can test:

  • What time of day your customers are more likely to open your email
  • Tone and voice in your emails — do your customers respond better to humor or “just the facts”?
  • What day of the week to send emails that result in increased open rates
  • What type of content leads to an increase in sales
  • Dig in to what actions your customers take after opening your emails
  • Response rate to promotional emails versus educational content

Final Words

I don’t recommend implementing all these at once. Slowly test these tips with your audience and see how your current database responds. Track your changes and monitor any changes to your open rates, click rates, and conversion rates to see what will work best for you. Just remember what LL’s mama told him and go knock out the competition. 

About the Author

Amanda MartinAmanda Martin came to FUNYL with 10+ years of marketing automation and engagement experience. She previously worked with brands such as Tequila Patrón, Honda Performance Development, and has had her photography work published in Sports Illustrated. 

At FUNYL Amanda leverages her extensive HubSpot knowledge to help our customers supercharge their campaigns with her inbound marketing powers.  In her spare time, Amanda can be found watching her daughter play soccer, at any number of race tracks, or watching Atlanta Braves baseball.