If you’ve ever written a marketing email, you know how important it is to track the open rate and conversion rate after you’ve sent it out.
Because if nobody’s opening those emails you spent hours crafting, you’ve just wasted all that time with no purchases to show for it!
Let me let you in on a little secret: just once simple line of text can be the difference between people reading (and acting on!) your emails and them spending the rest of their lives in the “Trash” folder.
Your email subject lines are the first place you should start when you’re looking to increase your conversions on your email broadcasts, because conversions won’t happen if people aren’t actually reading your emails.
Today we're going to talk about how breaking the “rules” of email marketing strategy might actually improve your open rates and your conversions from your email campaigns.
The Commonly Taught “Rules” For Email Marketing (Hint: They Can Be Broken!)
So you've probably already heard all of the so-called “rules of thumb” to follow when it comes to your email marketing.
For example, people typically check their email more between Tuesdays and Thursdays early in the morning, so sending yours out about 8:00 on a Tuesday means you're going to get a higher open rate.
You might have heard that a good open rate on your emails to shoot for is somewhere around 20 to 25 percent. If you're getting that many people to open your emails, you should be pretty happy about it, right? (Hint: we can do better than that!)
Or you might have heard that you need to keep your emails professional, making sure that you come across as a legitimate business to help you create more engagement with your emails.
Now, these three email guidelines might work for a large corporation, but most of you guys that read the blog run small businesses.
In your small business, you get the chance to develop this really great intimate connection with your clients, and you don't want to sound like a marketing robot when you're communicating with them. I’ll show you what I mean in a minute, but keep in mind that the more personal of a connection you can make starting from your subject line, the more likely that people will actually read and engage with your emails.
The reality is that your readers are checking their email several times a day, so you have many chances to make that connection with your tribe each day, but you need to do it right.
I want to show you how breaking these email marketing “rules” might actually work in your favor.
How I’ve Broken The Email Marketing “Rules” And Increased My Open Rates
The first thing that I've done to break those rules of email marketing is to not always send my emails on the typical email marketing times (I’m looking at you, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday mornings!).
In fact, the times that I've sent out an automated email to my list on a Friday evening or Saturday morning for example, I actually got better engagement with those emails! (Caveat: I definitely didn't stay on my computer until Friday evening or wake up early on Saturday to send out that email, I scheduled it ahead of time! Thank goodness for pre-scheduled email content!)
When I did this, I got people responding left and right, and asking me questions that I never get from my more standard-timing weekday morning emails.
And the click rates! In those emails, people were actually clicking the links that I included in the email more often than they were when I sent them out on my typical Tuesday morning email blast. (apparently a lot of my readers are bored on a Friday night with nothing better to do than click all the links in my emails - fine by me!)
I hope this opens your eyes a bit and helps you realize that it's almost a novelty to your readers when they get your emails on a different day of the week than what they’ve come to expect.
Emails tend to feel more personal to the reader when they don’t receive it during business hours. People are used to getting marketing emails on Tuesdays and Thursday mornings. Sending your emails on the weekend might mean your readers have a little bit more time to look at it. They're also not used to getting things from a business on a weekend, so they might be more inclined to think, “Oh, this is personal. They're emailing it to me. Let me check this out.”
The other thing that I've done to break the rules of email marketing that has actually skyrocketed my open rates (pushing them up into the 60 to 70 percent range in some cases) has been to stop sounding so professional with my email subject lines.
Stop sounding professional? Don't we want people to take us seriously?
I know, I know, bear with me for a minute here.
Of course this method is a little more natural for me than, say, Whole Foods. I'm a solopreneur so people are familiar with the fact that it's just me running my business, but you can do the same thing with your business, and I’ll show you how.
Studies are actually showing that making subject lines more personalized helps to increase open rates.
Here are a few examples of how to do that.
- Using “I” and “you” pronouns in the subject line instead of “we,” “they” and “us” makes it feel more personal. The reality is humans are looking for connection with another human in their inbox, not with a marketing robot or with some kind of automated campaign. So anything that can make it feel more personal, more like an email that was sent from you to them individually, or even from your iPhone to their phone is going to make them more likely to open it.
- Emojis are another personalization tool have actually increased my open rates. When I include emojis in an email subject line and A/B test it against the same subject line without emojis, I get a better open rate on the one with emojis.
- Another way to personalize your email subject lines is not capitalizing. If you capitalize too many of the words in your email subject line, it's going to feel more like a headline from a newspaper than it is going to feel like an email from one human to another. If you get my emails, you’ve probably noticed recently that I hardly ever capitalize anything and this is why!
How Can You Create More Personal Subject Lines And Improve Your Open Rates?
So those are a few of the things that I've tried - based on lots of research and testing - to break the “rules” and they've really worked for me in terms of higher open rates! Now I want to hear from you! How are you going to make your subject lines more personal and increase your open rates this week?
If you've read this far, you must really care about improving your email marketing to grow your business!
I’ve created a special 6-page workbook, the Email Subject Line Workbook, to help walk you through the exact templates and formulas I use to write my own email subject lines while saving TONS of time.
You just learned about how skillfully written subject lines can help you get more engagement and conversions from your emails, now it’s time to execute + succeed by downloading the Email Subject Line Workbook and joining us in the free copywriting course for wellness pros, Wellness Websites 101.
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