Recent studies from the Radicati Group suggest there are nearly 3.7 billion email users worldwide. The same report also estimates that around 269 billion emails are sent every day. If we do the math, then nearly 2.5 million emails are delivered every second with nearly 74 trillion emails sent every year.
But the email is a double-edged sword. On the one end, it’s a convenient and impactful way of reaching out to your subscriber base. But on the other, everyone’s doing it. It’s become an inbox arms race with marketers constantly devising new (but not necessarily effective) ways to connect with audiences and vie for their attention. And we’re all too familiar with the results– those days that see our inboxes flooded with useless emails.
Don’t annoy your readers. Remind them why they subscribed to you in the first place instead. Here are two little-known secrets for sending better emails.
Secret 1. Get personal without getting too personal
You may have heard that personalizing an email with the recipient’s name is great for bolstering engagement, but that’s not quite the case anymore. According to the Temple University Fox School of Business, personalized email greetings may do more harm than good as concerns over cyber security continue to snowball.
It makes sense, too, when you consider that anyone using a decent email automation system can do it. Just kick things off with the obligatory “Hi (subscriber’s name),” include a quick spiel, and thrown in a call to action to wrap it all up. But it’s an outdated, formulaic strategy that completely obviates the point of a marketing email: to build trust, provide value, and fortify the relationship between sender and recipient. Personalizing an email greeting and then sending it to a recipient for the first time can come across as fake. And faking familiarity with email readers is a one-way ticket to losing them forever.
That’s not to say personalization is entirely out of bounds. Your emails can and should include it, but in a meaningful way. A great way to do so is by acknowledging the recipient’s purchasing or viewing history. Customers tend to react positively to emails that direct them to products based on their purchasing patterns. And shaping an email around your subscribers’ user history shows that you’re actually paying attention to them and their specific needs.
Secret 2. Preview with a preheader
A preheader, or “Johnson Box,” is the short text you see next to an email’s subject line in your inbox. They’re quite common on mobile and desktop devices, and a lot of email services (such as Gmail in the example below) show them so you can get an idea of what the email is about before opening it.
Preheaders generally extract and display the wording from the email’s first text. Needless to say, they can either make or break your email open rates. A ton of marketers neglect this valuable real estate to build on their subject lines and add value to their messages. Don’t be one of them.
All preheaders must:
Tersely describe what the email is about
Be meaningful and include content that entices readers to open the email
Explain why the email is relevant to the recipient
Correspond to and support the subject line
Sway readers to not delete or mark the email as “spam” at first glance.
If you’re curious about preheader length, here are the average number of characters shown on different devices and popular email clients today (courtesy of Litmus):
On the whole, your preheader text should be between 40-50 characters long. That’s enough leeway to deliver a compelling message while ensuring it’s properly displayed on most devices.
JThere are some secrets worth sharing. And the two here, though often overlooked, are essential for keeping your subscribers clicking on every email you send. It’s an attainable goal for any publisher to work towards, so get started today and let us know how it goes!