10 Ways To Be Sure Your Emails Are Read

The statistics about our use of email are quite startling. There are 269 billion messages sent every day from an estimated 3.7 billion active accounts, with traffic volumes growing at an average annual rate of 4.4%. And while roughly half of those emails are spam, the genuine ones achieve great results for their senders. Email marketing’s return on investment is four times higher than direct mail or social media, despite being considerably cheaper than pay-per-click campaigns. However, email’s potential is an open secret nowadays, and people’s inboxes are full to bursting.

If you want your messages to stand out from the crowd, these ten email marketing tips can make all the difference to read and response rates:

  1. Only distribute to opted-in audiences. This is the most important advice regarding email marketing. Unsolicited emails will be marked as spam and deleted unread, damaging your sender reputation and making future campaigns more challenging.
  2. Test messages on friends and colleagues first. Ask for their opinions, and act on constructive feedback. Are messages going into Promotional or Spam folders? If so, can you delete troublesome elements like attachments or embedded logos?
  3. Use an authentic sender name. Ensure messages come from a person, not a faceless company or a no-reply address. Along with the subject line, the sender name is one of two main ways to infer sincerity – persuading recipients that your message is safe to open.
  4. Send mailings out on Tuesdays. Mondays tend to see the most inbox competition, while Fridays achieve relatively poor open rates. Send multiple weekly emails on Tuesdays and Thursdays, but avoid audience fatigue by restricting your output.
  5. Overnight distribution catches the early bird. It’s common practice to tackle your inbox first thing before the working day begins. This is the optimal time to get eyeballs on emails, when the recipients’ concentration levels are highest.
  6. Choose a compelling subject line. Almost half of emails are opened because they have a concise or intriguing subject. Personalized emails (using someone’s name or referencing past behavior) improve open rates by almost a third.
  7. Start the message with a strong statement. Some email packages and webmail software display a message’s opening line. Making a compelling claim or a powerful call to action might encourage people to read on.
  8. Avoid terms associated with spam. Spam filters are often triggered by words like “free” and “clearance”. Front-load email marketing messages with compelling copy that infers quality, a time-limited offer or something unique to each recipient.
  9. Design for mobile. Most emails are read on phones and tablets, although work-related messages are still more likely to be seen on a bigger screen. Around 80% of non-mobile optimized messages will be deleted by people on phones or tablets.
  10. Keep it brief. If people open your email, don’t overwhelm them. Use bullet points and lists, conversational language and short paragraphs with one comma per sentence. Ensure someone skimming through the email can’t miss its key points.

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