If your email open rate is low or decreasing, perhaps your emails are being deleted unread – consigned to the trash can on sight?
When you send follow up emails to people who have opted in for your lead magnet, of course, you want the majority of your subscribers to read what you have to say.
Unless they read your emails, you won’t have the opportunity to build and nurture a relationship with your community; to guide them towards deciding to get your help to achieve the result or transformation you offer.
Until a couple of years ago, increasing your open rates used to mean getting creative with your email subject lines.
However, in 2017, the average person receives close to two hundred emails each day, and the increased use of smartphones means that more and more of your subscribers are checking their inbox on their phone.
So, it would be naïve of us to assume that everyone is still opening and reading every email they receive.
Most people will be selective over which emails they open based on their personal criteria. The relationship they have with you and how much they value you will factor in this decision, but the email preview will play a big part in their selection process.
If their criteria is to ignore any emails that are obviously marketing, then your first goal is to remove anything from the preview area that wouldn’t appear in a personal email.
Making any of these four email preview mistakes will mean it’s blatantly obvious that your email is NOT personal – resigning it to the trash can on first sight.
Reason your emails are being deleted unread #1: Images
When you add images to your email, they are converted into HTML and either displayed as an image in HTML emails or as raw HTML code in plain text emails.
While you might create a gloriously designed HTML email at your end, you have no control over whether it appears in the recipient’s inbox as the designed version or plain text.
The email preview area in mobile inboxes is plain text, which means any images you have in your email header area will display as HTML code:
OR show only the ALT tag in the preview – a clear giveaway of a marketing email.
If you have a header image in your emails, move the image down to the footer area so its HTML code doesn’t appear in the preview.
Reason your emails are being deleted unread #2: Capitalising subject lines
If you were writing to your friend to invite them over for dinner next weekend, would you write your email subject line like:
“Do You Want to Come Over Next Weekend?”
Capitalising the first letter of every word in your email subject lines is another clear giveaway of a marketing email.
On this note, the same point applies to merging first names into the subject line. If I received a personal email from you, would my name be in the subject line? No?
Reason your emails are being deleted unread #3: “Click here to read the email online”
When you receive emails sent via an email service, you will often see a link that says words to the effect of:
“Having trouble viewing this email? Click here to read it online”.
The link redirects to an online version of your email that is hosted on your email service’s servers. One reason they do this is to enable online sharing.
However, pretty much every email template I’ve seen places this link at the very top of the email, above the header image.
Yep, you’ve guessed it… in the area that is displayed in the email preview.
As only marketing emails contain this hosted link, (you don’t get a hosted link when you write an email in Outlook to your friend, for example) the presence of this link in the preview is another giveaway of a marketing email.
Some marketers delete the link from their email template but simply moving the link down to the end of the email works too.
Reason your emails are being deleted unread #4: Not personalising the intro
I’m not referring to the use of merge tags to personalise the greeting here. If you were writing a personal email to me, you’d more than likely greet me by my first name anyway.
(Do make sure it merges properly though. “Hi [FirstName]” is a giveaway!)
This mistake refers to going in for the pitch too early in the email, instead of using the first paragraph to build rapport with your reader.
If in the preview, a ‘buy my stuff’ message is visible, even if it was a personal email they’d be more likely to scroll past.
Use the first paragraph to tell them something about you, or a story that captures their attention, so they’ll want to open your email to keep reading.
Create and publish a compelling lead magnet (the free incentive you offer in exchange for their email address so you build your list) that the MAJORITY of your audience will be eager to download.
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