According to Entrepreneur, we receive 193.3 billion emails every day. On average, that means each person's inbox is hit by about 120 emails a day – with some people receiving less and some receiving many more. Breaking through to your target audience when you're up against such odds can be tough. Even with all the inbox competition, email marketing can be quite lucrative when handled correctly. The foundation of strong performance with email marketing is content – from the subject line to the body of your email, you have to be concise and persuasive.
Less is More in Email
Almost no one is short on email, but time isn't plentiful for anyone. Encourage a prospect to open and read your message by making everything about the process easy. A reader shouldn't have to try to figure out what you mean, and no one wants to read more than one or two short paragraphs when they open an email. In fact, some experts recommend limiting your message to one or two powerful sentences.
Spend Time on Your Subject Line
Subject lines must be enticing but honest. They should provide an idea of what's inside, but not give the whole package away. The point of a subject line is to encourage the recipient to self-identify as a relevant reader. "Yes, that seems like something I want to know more about," the reader should say. Avoid gimmicks such as all caps or a row of punctuation, and use a subject line that identifies the content as simply and powerfully as possible. Our cold email marketing webinar includes a discussion on working with subject lines.
Create a Straightforward, Simple Call to Action
No matter how creative your subject line or compelling your content, if you don't provide instructions for the reader, they can't become a conversion. Include a call to action in every email, whether you want the reader to click a link, make a phone call, or respond to the message. Make sure the call to action is short and easy to follow – someone might be reading the message on their break or working from a mobile device. If they have to jump through numerous steps, they're more likely to abandon the call to action midway through. Avoid more than one call to action options in the same email, as that can be confusing or cause prospects not to take action because they don't want to make a decision about which action to take.
Email is a person-to-person communication, so craft messages with that in mind. Put some personality into emails, and whenever possible, put a name and contact information at the bottom. Customize emails with the names of your recipients when possible, but do so appropriately. Most individuals today can tell the difference between a personalized email and a fill-in-the-blank mailer.