September 2014 Coaches Corner

Getting More People to Open Your Emails

open emailEmail marketing is a great way to communicate with your prospects and continue the conversation that started when they signed up for your list.

By seeing regular emails from you, they remember who you are, are informed about new content you offer, and discover your valuable products and services. Hopefully leading to them becoming full-fledged clients.

Unfortunately, every hopeful company has turned to email marketing and, as such, inboxes are bombarded with emails. Making your competition for attention incredibly stiff.

The fact is, if you want to stand out, you have to approach your emails in a certain way. You have to know tried-and-true strategies for getting people to open them, and understand how email providers filter commercial email, or risk losing your emailing privileges altogether.

All of this starts with the subject line. If it's well-constructed, prospects will be dying to find out what's inside. If it's not, they'll pass it by with one swift delete.

That's why this month I'm showing you the best strategies for creating irresistible email headlines. So you can reach your target market effectively and earn bigger profits.

I'll show you what subject lines don't work and why you should avoid them…

Just how long they should be (hint: it's not what you think)…

And a few formulas so powerful your prospect will have to read further…

What NOT to Do

not-to-doHaving your emails being labeled as spam is a serious issue for any marketer. It can mean life or death for your business, forcing you to transfer your entire email list from one service provider to another, or possibly start from scratch. It's a huge job that should be avoided at all costs.

Spam filters work by assigning points to emails. If your email exceeds a certain number of points, it gets sent to the spam folder. Unfortunately, there's no way of knowing what that threshold is.

So, the best way to approach your emails is to understand what words and styles trigger alarms, and avoid them entirely. Or at least, work smartly around them.

For example, if you send an email with a subject line entirely in caps, it will gain points.

Now, this isn't to say you can't use caps at all. Accenting your subject line with a word or two in caps is acceptable, and I'll show you how you can use that to your advantage a little later.

Another strategy to avoid is excessive use of symbols, particularly exclamation points. I'm sure your spam folder has caught countless emails of a “suggestive” nature with many of those. They are an immediate trigger.

I got an email recently with a subject line of “[==NEED A RESPONSE NOW==].” Now, I don't know about you, but that looks awful to me. I can see why a marketer would be tempted to do it, though – as it certainly gets your attention.

However, it went straight to my spam folder, and I didn't see it until I browsed through to show examples for this newsletter. That means their strategy didn't work.

Other “triggers” for spam points are less obvious. “CLICK HERE” and “BUY NOW”, for example. Also, any obvious talk about lots of money, a breakthrough, or an “urgent matter.”

Even a blatant money-back guarantee will get you points.

Again, this isn't to say you can't use these things at all. You can get away with one or two of them in a subject line. You just have to be clever in how you approach them.

Techniques For Subject Lines

The-Subject-LineBefore you get scared and never write an email again, I want to show you a few headlines and emails with these elements that made it to my inbox.

“[Urgent!] Get More Clients (and save $200)!”, “[SECOND NOTICE] Cheap Flights to San Diego”, and “REVEALED: How Sales PROFESSIONALS Close More Deals.”

As you can see, all of these break spam rules. There are capital letters, symbols, exclamation points, and even blatant urgency!

However, you'll notice there isn't an excess of any one thing in each headline. They each judiciously use the “spammier” techniques to attract your eye, but don't risk taking it too far.

They also hit on a very key point all email subject lines should strive for – curiosity and self-interest.

Aren't you curious how sales professionals close more deals? Don't you want more clients? How cheap are those flights?

These marketers know their target audiences and hit on their deepest fears, frustrations, and problems… and their hopes, dreams, and goals. Targeting those specific emotions inspires the prospect to read further. Which is the only way to get anyone to open an email anymore.

So, first and foremost, you need to understand your target audience well enough to construct subject lines tailored to what keeps them up at night. That means good prospect research.

Chances are, there is more than one trigger that will get to them. Perhaps you reach out to a few different audiences. Keep notes on all of them so you can cycle through them and ultimately appeal to everyone.

Beyond curiosity and self-interest, there are strategies to getting your prospect's attention. For one, using caps on a key word in your subject line will make it jump out. “FREE” is a very popular option.

You can also use square brackets, “[ ]” at the start of your subject line to highlight a point. Typically they are put around a word implying urgency, but they can also indicate what to expect inside. For example, “[Video] An important message from Sheryl.”

General words work well to stir up curiosity: “I almost threw up when I saw this.”

Not only is it interesting that something made you “almost throw up”… The word, “this” doesn't give much away – they have to open up the email to see what you are talking about!

Finally, length is very important to the success of your email. MailerMailer, an email marketing company, did a little research on the subject. And they found that shorter subject lines get more opens.

They concluded that email subject lines with 28-39 characters performed best. However, if you can get your point across in 50 characters or less, you are golden.

Effective Email Formulas

Now that you understand what works and what doesn't with subject lines, here are a few formulas you can implement in your campaigns for optimal conversions.

1) The Pain/Dream Question – Have you ever received an email asking a question that just cuts right to the heart of your problem? Chances are if you have, you opened it and read it all the way through.

Having a question as a subject might seem like a “cheap shot,” but it works. However, it must be immediately relevant to your prospect.

For example, here's a headline I've used in an email: “Are You Attracting the Wrong Clients?”

There's a lot going on here. It's targeted and specific – the email is going to be about what a “wrong client” would be and how you might be attracting them. It also builds intrigue because most people don't even know there is such a thing as a “wrong client.”

Finally, there's a personal interest in YOU getting good clients and making more money. All of these elements drive the prospect to reading further.

2) A Relevant List of Points – The list truly is a universally applicable formula. They are everywhere and there's good reason – people click on them.

To make them truly effective, though, they have to be relevant to your audience. You can't just introduce any old list to your prospects and assume they'll read them.

If you are a relationship coach working with divorcees, you might send an email saying, “[Video] Four Simple Ways to Move On Forever.”

I'm sure an actual relationship coach could come up with better, but the point is there. Divorcees want to move on from their day-to-day pain and never look back. However, that's easier said than done.

A compact list of strategies for doing so would probably be welcome to them. Especially in a warm, video format with your friendly face giving advice and comforting them.

3) “How to…” – Your prospect has a goal. It could be achieving a dream or getting rid of a pain, but no matter what, there's a reason they signed up for your email list.

A fairly straightforward email targeting those emotions is a perfect way to get their attention. For example, “How to Enjoy an ‘Unfair Advantage' In Your Market”.

With this, the reader knows they stand to gain information by reading the email. Having a reward for reading is vital to getting them to commit.

It also builds curiosity by talking about that “unfair advantage.” Many people believe others have such an advantage, so they want one for themselves. It's intriguing and immediately appeals to their self-interest.

Create Irresistible Emails

The fact of the matter is, if you incorporate even a fraction of what I've talked about in this newsletter into your marketing, you will be much better off than your competition.

If you plan on using emails regularly in your business (and I suggest you do), I would recommend you download a copy of “Made You Look: 527 Email Subject Lines That Dare You to Look Away”. You can get it for free here.

If you follow this newsletter and review that ebook, you will write more compelling headlines, slip by spam filters with ease, and provide your target market with valuable, actionable content they will appreciate. Improving your profits and bringing you one step closer to your dream Expertpreneur® life.