The time has come where mail list software is essential for sending mass, permission-based, marketing email. In this chapter we talk about regular, dayto-day email.
Effective Email Messages
Most people who use this medium get tons of email, including their share of junk email. Many use organization tools, filters, and blockers to screen incoming emails. The following tips will increase the effectiveness of your email communication to ensure that you have the best opportunity for your email to be opened, read, and responded to.
The Importance of Your Email Subject Line
The first thing most people do when they open their email program is start hitting the delete key. They have an abundance of mail in their inbox and they want to get rid of the clutter, so they delete anything that looks like spam or an ad. How do they determine what is junk? The subject line is usually the deciding factor. It is essential that your email subject line not
look like ad copy.
Never send an email message without a subject line. Subject lines should be brief, with the keywords appearing first. The longer the subject line is, the more likely it will not be viewed in its entirety because different people set the viewable subject line space at various widths.
The subject line is equivalent to a headline in a newspaper in terms of attracting reader attention. When you read a newspaper, you don’t really read it; generally you skim the headlines and read the articles whose headlines grabbed your attention. The same is true with email. Many recipients, especially those who receive a significant number of emails daily, skim the subject lines and read only the emails whose subject line grabs their attention. The subject line is the most important part of your email message because this phrase alone determines whether or not the reader will decide to open your email or delete it.
Effective subject lines:
- Are brief, yet capture the reader’s interest
- Don’t look like ad copy
- Build business credibility
- Attract attention with action words
- Highlight the most important benefits
- Are always positive
- Put the most important words first.
Effective subject lines should grab the reader’s attention, isolate and qualify your best prospects, and draw your reader into the subheads and the text itself. Avoid SHOUTING! Using CAPITALS in your subject line is the same as SHOUTING AT THE READER! DON’T DO IT! Stay away from ad copy in your subject lines—it is the kiss of death for an email. When opening their email, most people delete all the ads as the first step.
Email “To” and “From” Headings Allow You to Personalize
create a more personal feeling. People open email from people they know and trust. If your message is coming from firstname.lastname@example.org rather than Jane Doe, will your friends know it is coming from you? Most email programs allow you
to attach your own name to your email address.
If you are using Microsoft Outlook, following are the steps to set up your name in the “From” heading:
- On the menu bar, click “Tools.”
- On the drop-down menu, click “Account Settings.”
- Highlight the email account you want to edit and click “Change.”
- In the “User Information” section, put your name as you want it to appear in your recipient’s “From” field in the “Your Name” area. Then click “Next.”
- Click “Finish” and you’re done.
For all other email programs, consult the Help file included in the program.