Yesterday I had a great strategy meeting with my friend Doug Doebler. Our discussion was about email marketing. A few years ago Doug accomplished some pretty amazing things with real estate and email marketing. If you’re interested in the World’s best beach towns, be sure to check out Doug’s web site. Having said that . . . Some people swear by the usefulness of email marketing and others consider it a complete waste of time. During our discussion Doug and I talked about the small nuances that can make a big difference in any email marketing campaign. One of the topics we discussed was getting people to open email. The truth is that most marketing emails don’t get opened - ever. My average email open rate over hundreds of emails is between 40-50%. Those open rates are from double opt-in home grown email lists, not list brokers. There are a lot of marketers that espouse that the email subject line is the most important factor in open rates. I disagree.
There is one element more important than any subject line for getting your email opened . . .
The Most Important Email Element
I’ll admit that there are rare times when a clever subject line will get someone to open an unsolicited email. But more often than not, people look at who the email is from before looking at the subject line. Think about the last time you received an email from a friend . . . In most cases, regardless of the subject line, you opened the email. Getting people to open your email is about trust and credibility. Your name carries more weight than a fancy subject line. Therefore your first priority should be to establish trust and credibility with the people on your email list.
It’s About Trust
One way to establish trust and credibility is by delivering valuable information up front. If someone signs up to your email list, don’t try to sales pitch them right away. Start by giving them information that is valuable to them.(Not what YOU think might be valuable.) By delivering value up front you become a trusted adviser. You become like a friend to the recipient. It’s by far the best way to get more people to open your email.
Can you think of ways to build trust and credibility with your email list? Find out what interests your target market and give it to them. Intently focus on what’s important to the people you’re emailing. It’s up to you to find information that your target market finds valuable. Save the sales pitch for after you’ve established some trust and credibility. If you follow the above advice, you’ll do far better with your email marketing campaigns.
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