Thursday, August 23, 2012

Improve Your Email Open Rate with these Dos and Don’ts

In any web-based communication, you have seconds to capture the interest of your audience. Hundreds of messages stream through your audience’s inbox in any given week, making it critical to set yourself apart with relevant, concise writing.  

Debating the must-haves of successful email copy, we came up with some helpful reminders during our most recent copywriter’s best practices meeting:

First up - The Subject Line

It better be intriguing, clear and brief. People have too much to read as it is, so make it easy for them to choose your email.

Do: strive to keep it between 30-50 characters, and never exceed 72.
Don’t: use words like free, help, buy, open, join, or similar gimmicky sales terms
Do: stress urgency – people are more likely to want to read if they have limited time to act
Don’t: use symbols like $$, or % – spam filters are sure to stop emails with these ploys
Do: use actual numbers – especially if there’s a numerical benefit

The Main Attraction - The Body Copy

This is where you ensure audiences see an immediate benefit to opening your email.  What does your topic mean to the customer and why?  Some things to remember here are:

Do: choose one key benefit – too many and your readers lose interest; none at all and you’re forgotten
Don’t: divert to other topics – gear all your relating material to support the one chosen benefit
Do: use bullets and numbers to increase scanability
Don’t: leave all the calls to action at the bottom
Do: write in 2nd person – you, you, you! Help your audience relate to your message and its benefit.

So there you have it, how to make the most of email communications. Brief and to the point – just like your subject line and copy should be.

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