- Tool #1 – improve your open rate: hit them quickly
The first tool is all the stuff your prospect sees before opening your email. That’s your From field, the subject line and the first dozen or so lines of your message body.If you have a well known brand name, either use that in the From field, or stick it after a comma and your name. Like this:
Andy Maslen, Sunfish
I’ve written about subject lines before and although it’s an evolving area, here’s something most experts know: you need your keywords at the beginning. To catch the eye as your prospect scans down the left-hand edge of their inbox. Using your prospect’s first name can dramatically improve open rates, so if you’ve collected it, use it.
If your prospect has their reading pane switched on, they’ll see the top of your message without opening the email. So use a headline, make your offer prominent, have a call to action or all three.
- Tool #2 – keep them reading: cut your copy to the bone
Long strings of adjectives might work in print (I’m not sure they do) but they tend to deaden any power your copy has in digital media. It slows comprehension down and flattens your tone. Sounds very boastful and unengaging too.So instead of writing, ‘Our research is insightful, comprehensive, detailed and up-to-date and will help you make better IT purchasing decisions, faster,” you could just say, ‘Our research helps you buy the right IT for your business. Faster’.
- Tool #3 – boost click-through rates: test “click here”In the past I have railed against click here, arguing that the presence of hypertext itself signals click here.
But the digital world never stands still and I have some evidence now that asking your reader to click on the link improves click-through rates. It’s worth testing.
And I’m telling you this because?
Back in the day, we were told we had five seconds to grab our prospect’s attention in a sales letter. Now, with emails, it’s probably a tenth of that. Waffling was always a high-risk strategy; it’s unsustainable now.
You can get into detail, but you have to work the detail harder. Chop it up and use short, tight language. If there’s so much to say you feel uncomfortable including it all in an email, go to a landing page to finish the pitch.