Let me guess, you spent hours crafting a beautiful email to send to your subscriber list, you sent it out and then waited anxiously to see the number of opens and clicks rise but they never did? Well, you’re not alone.
Here’s the thing: people are flooded with hundreds of emails every day and most of them end up in the trash without ever being opened. And let’s say that your email is one of the lucky few that does get opened, chances are the reader won’t actually read the entire email or click through to your website.
So, what exactly is it that's causing your audience to ignore your emails?
1. Your subject line is a snooze
There are only two components of an email that influence whether or not it will be opened: the sender and the subject line and studies have shown that 33% of recipients open emails based on the subject line alone. If you don’t make a good impression with your subject line, you might as well not even waste your time creating the rest of the email. When writing subject lines, ask yourself if what you've written is either:
ATTENTION GRABBING - Make your subject line something that sticks out from a sea of emails and forces the reader to take notice. For example, I received an email a few days ago from Marie Forleo with a subject line that read "Stop stealing". I glanced at it and thought, what does she think I'm stealing? So of course, I had to open it to find out. The email turned out to be about how if you have great ideas and don't share them with the world, you're stealing them from the people you would have impacted. It was a great email that I probably would have overlooked if it weren't for the blunt subject line.
PERSONALIZED - The more that you can make your reader believe that the information inside of the email is relevant to them, the more likely they are to read it. Something as simple as using a personalization tag to put the recipient's name inside of the subject line has proven to work wonders for open rates.
TIME SENSITIVE - Creating a sense of urgency is a great way to boost open rates. If a subject line doesn't seem urgent, the recipient might think that they can push your email aside while they focus on more urgent emails and come back to yours later. Phrases like "Today only", "Ends soon", "Last chance", and "Final hours" all let the reader know that if they don't open the email soon, they'll probably miss out on what's inside.
2. Your emails are impersonal
People know when you’re sending them a bulk email, and it’s fine. Every business sends out bulk emails, it’s just part of the game. You have a product or service that you want to sell to a large audience and a bulk email is the fastest way to spread the word. But if you’re sending out a bulk email, please take 5 seconds to at least try and make it a little bit personal.
If you use a bulk email system, it is really easy to add a tag to the beginning of your email that will insert the recipient's first name when the email is sent. This is a 5-second step that makes a world of difference to the reader! And please, by all means, do not EVER send out an email in Outlook and BCC your entire list. If you don’t care about the people that you’re sending your email to, then they will never care about you or your business. So, take a few minutes to show that you care by putting their name in and trying to make the reader feel like you're talking specifically to them.
3. Your emails are irrelevant
Blasting one email to your entire database is a thing of the past. Consumers don’t have time to read through every email they receive to determine which ones actually have content that is relevant to them. Rather than sending one email to everyone, divide your list up based on interest groups and send out multiple emails to the various groups so that each individual receives an email that is relevant to their interests.
Here’s an example: I am a woman in my late twenties. I’ve searched and purchased from Nordstrom’s website in the past and now they send me emails each week. They don’t send me content about sales on menswear or baby clothes because I’ve never once searched for menswear or baby clothes on their website. The only emails that they send to me contain content that is relevant to me personally based on what I’ve purchased and searched their site for in the past.
If you’re not sure how to begin segmenting your audience, start by adding a “What are you interested in learning about?” field to your forms or send an email out to your entire list and ask them to take a few moments to fill out a short survey that will help you better understand their needs and interests.
4. Your emails are too long
If you can say it in one paragraph, don’t write five. Ain’t nobody got time for that!
Also, if you do need to write a lot to get your point across, at least make it easy for your reader to digest. Use bullet points or divide your text into multiple short paragraphs so that they don’t open your email and find one huge, overwhelming block of text.
Remember that at the end of the day, if your emails aren't being read, the valuable content that you have to offer isn't going to be seen. So before blasting out your next email, read through it once more to see if it falls into any of the categories above and make changes to it before hitting send. Send a test version to yourself and take a look at it in your inbox. If it doesn't stand out to you, it won't stand out to your audience either.