Catch email receivers’ attention.
I recently took an online course about email marketing. Why? You ask. Hmm, just to stay on top of the latest trends in all things content. After all, content is the king, in this flourishing market of online businesses.
I was asked by my tutor to check the “promotions” folder in my mailbox and come up with 5 examples each of emails I liked and didn’t like. When I first heard this task, it felt super simple. So I thought I’ll be done with it in 20 minutes or 30 minutes at the max.
So I opened the “promotions” folder of my mailbox and found a never ending list of unread emails. So you know that I’m really not fond of reading emails from companies. That’s the only reason why there are so many unread emails in that folder.
I wondered how these emails sneaked into my mailbox and that too in such numbers. Then the realization dawned that the culprit is that little pop up window that comes on each of the new websites we visit these days that ask for our email id.
So I gathered that this is the way companies are building the business email list of all their customers.
For a company it is brilliant to have a ready “go-to” list of customer email database every time they want to broadcast a message. But, for me as a receiver of these many emails, it’s not really fun.
Since I am learning about email marketing in the online course and the tutor says it’s an efficient channel, there must be a reason to it. Mind you, my tutor has over a decade of experience in email marketing.
So I sat down to think about the reasons why I need emails from companies and the ones that will get my attention. Essentially these are the reasons I open or delete an email.
Catchy Subject Line
Any subject line that is catchy and personal definitely gets my attention. Say, like “Happy Birthday Jimmy – Surprise Inside” is an irresistible email. Who can resist a surprise.
Even the sender matters to me. If an email says, “God wants you to know your good deed balance”, I might have a wee bit of doubt whether to open it or not. But, if Donald Trump writes to me and the subject says just a “Hey” from Donald Trump. I will open it. Hate him or love him, but you can’t ignore him. He is the president of the United States.
If a company is offering discounts or coupons, then for god’s sake, mention it in the subject line.
Personalized or not
One thing that puts me off is being addressed as ‘Dear Reader’. It sounds so ancient. First, it shows an utter lack of interest in me. Second, it means the company hardly knows how to personalize an email. Third, it means the company really doesn’t care if I see the email or not. Lastly, it’s so mechanical.
Any email that addresses me with my first name has definitely got my 2 min attention span.
Now that the email has caught my attention, my next point of elimination is the text. Is it relevant to me? If the content of the email is not relevant to me, then it’s a straight delete.
How do I assess the relevance? The header of the email is the answer. If the header gives me no clue of what lies ahead, then if the email looks like a mini version of Starry Nights of Van Gogh, ill delete it.
If the header retains my attention and body of the email gives me no relevant or useful information, then the email finds its way straight to spam.
I haven’t subscribed to receive irrelevant and coded emails. Don’t have the time to read them.
Is the email timely for me? This is a big question I always have.
If it’s the company’s anniversary sale 3 months down the line, I have no interest of knowing about it NOW! My memory will not stretch to remember something that’s going to happen after 90 days when I don’t remember what I had for breakfast yesterday.
Any sale excites me provided it’s around the corner.
Leads to a good website
All emails from companies eventually lead me to their website. If the website is easy to navigate and find what the email promises, kudos, you have a deal. If the website is a maze that is more complicated than a Jeffery Archer trilogy plot, then it’s a definite no-no.
If a company can’t make a simple website for a customer to find their deal, then it’s a no deal.
Almost all the emails I see from a company have an option to ‘unsubscribe’, usually at the bottom of the email. Many companies keep it simple. You click ‘Unsubscribe’, then comes a confirmation email which again asks if you want to unsubscribe and then does what you deem fit.
There are a few occasions where you unsubscribe and the company sends an email with a long list of things to do and a toll-free number to call. Believe me, I will take out the time from my crazy schedule to do whatever it takes to unsubscribe. Even if it meant changing my credit card just to unsubscribe.
I will also take it up on social media to rake it up and get some limelight to myself.
These are tactics a promotional email must avoid.
If you have read this far, by now you know that I am one of those people who is stretched for time and is generally stressed about being dumped with unwanted things. I am sure there are so many like me. If promotional emails are emotionally straining, who has the time for them.