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Email is an increasing part of the marketer’s armoury

Cambridge Marketing College

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February 5, 2016 | 4 min read

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So, first things first, how do we get our recipients to open our emails? Some experts argue that using a person’s name as the sender, rather than the company name, is preferable. For people that already know us, maybe, but for those who don’t, seeing a name they don’t recognise will immediately make them think ‘spam’ and ‘how has Joe Bloggs got my email address?’

The importance of a short subject line is key, ideally so it doesn’t run off the side of the phone screen, unless you’re one of these lucky companies whose recipients still read their emails from their desktop. If you’re reaching out to those who have shown an interest or have already signed up, personalising your subject is vital, be it with their name, which product or service they were interested in or why they should stay loyal to you: ‘John, your membership benefits are coming to an end!’ For those who perhaps haven’t heard of you yet, you need to persuade them to consider you, and at a time where there is so much competition and full inboxes, standing out is a challenge.

When it comes to the email itself, there is a list of words that experts advise we avoid in order for the email to pass through the spam filter, ensuring it actually reaches the audience. Surprising ones include ‘Dear’, as it implies you don’t know your recipient, and ‘unsubscribe’, when it is essential every recipient is given the opportunity to ‘opt out’. Changing the wording of the unsubscribe link to something which makes the reader question leaving will resolve this: ‘you are now leaving the most awesome list ever’ (yes this has been used by a real company in the past).

‘Less is more’, as they say, so if people are bombarded with a page of text alone, they are less likely to read it. Give the recipients enough information and clear calls to action: links to your website or a contact at the company to get in touch with.

Pictures have a big part to play within an email but large files can again prevent your campaign from getting through to your recipients, so be selective and keep file sizes down to ensure this doesn’t happen. Even the positioning of images can affect how much engagement is made with your email content. For example, if the recipient hasn’t downloaded the images or saved you as a safe sender, the first thing they will see is a blank area where the image should be, which asks them to download the images. The whole idea is to catch their eye as they’re quickly clearing their inbox at the beginning or the end of the day, and if all they see is a blank box in the preview, they’re more than likely to delete it.

Depending on whether you are sending your campaigns to a personal or business email address, the time of day and the day of the week you choose to send can have an impact on open rates, which is something that all companies analysing their data are interested in. Sending to personal addresses on a Sunday afternoon or during the holidays is better than during the working weekday, and vice versa for company addresses.

Say your recipient hasn’t unsubscribed or seen your content, but instead just hasn’t opened your email, then it is always worth considering re-mailing your campaign with a new subject line to try to prompt them further to view your content.

The bottom line is to consider whom the campaign is for, and what you are trying to achieve. There is a difference between a well thought out and a ‘let’s just get it out’ campaign.

Lauren Pettitt, Marketing Executive, Cambridge Marketing College

Tel: +44 (0) 1954 234940

Email: lauren@marketingcollege.com

Web: www.marketingcollege.com

Twitter: @cmcpointsofview

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