I am the proud owner of a Blackberry (an older Blackberry) but nonetheless I am constantly connected to my email, social networks and even my family members who still prefer to talk over text.
When I open my mailbox and browse through the partial ‘From:’ addresses and bits of subject lines, if I recognize the sender from the first 8 letters of their company name, and they have managed to intrigue me with the first 8 or 9 letters of their subject line, voilà… I open the email within seconds of receiving it. I find out about huge clearance sales, the release of concert tickets and maybe even block space on my calendar for an appealing Webinar.
However, more often than not when I open my “Don’t Miss…” email I end up staring at a white box with a grey border that simply states “Blank”.
Make new friends, but keep the old.
One is Silver, the Other is Gold.
This was one of the very first things I learned as a little girl in Girl Scouts. Every so often I find myself humming the tune and singing a few of the verses that I now just barely remember. I stood around a circle and sang this song with 20 other girls so long ago and yet I still remember the lesson learned in the lyrics.
Silver shines bright. And Gold does too.
Keep them both. And they will shine for you.
Even though as young girls we were taught this lesson in friendship, as adults we can apply this message in many aspects of the business world. As I quietly mumble the words, I am thinking of how so many companies are starting out in their social media endeavors. Social media marketing initiatives are valuable, but the email marketing can still shine for you.
You have one hand, I have the other.
Put them together, We have each other.
I just finished reading a whitepaper that highlighted the top words used in subject lines. The paper even broke down the report based on industry. The tone of the paper suggested email marketers incorporate these words into their subject lines. This left me quite perplexed.
When I open Gmail the last thing I want to see is the same word 50 times as I scroll down my inbox. I want to be captivated by a screen full of compelling words, each subject line a little different then the next. Those that have a boring string of words I want to leave unopened until I check them off and hit “Delete”.
If you’ve sent any email campaigns in the past few months, you’ve already noticed that your traditional metrics no longer seem to matter. Opens and clicks are down, while unsubscribes seem to rise. It’s time to admit it: Open rates and clicks are becoming old hat. Engagement is a powerful metric but it means nothing if you can’t reach your audience. Deliverability is the metric you need to optimize.
Open and click rates are very different for every industry, and even vary by company and brand. The rise in social media even has an impact on open rates. For all the same reasons your company is not exactly like its competitors, your open rates won’t be either. What you really need to focus on are the trends in your own reports, and how they may reflect a more disturbing shift in your deliverability.
What is the best email address to use for your email marketing messages?
If you’re struggling with this question for your own campaigns, congrats! You’re thinking pretty deeply about optimizing engagement and interactivity with your readers. There are basically two schools of thought: 1) Your readers want a ‘personal’ approach and will respond to an email from their friendly sales executive named Joe instead of an impersonal, faceless corporation, or; 2) Your readers understand your brand and will welcome news and updates from your company, but will feel ‘tricked’ by your attempt to use a personal name.
Notice, in both cases, I assume you have an existing relationship with your readers.
Subject lines -do you start every email campaign with a subject line that encapsulates the message in one easy-to-read headline? Do you make it short, easy to understand, and most importantly, shareable? Or do you wait until the last second before you send your campaign and throw a subject in as an afterthought?
Either way (and you know which way you should be doing it), here are some tips that will help you reach the inbox and will help you get your emails read.