How to Send Better Emails
(that actually get opened)
What’s one of the things (if not the first) you do to you start your day? If you said check email, you’re not alone. In fact, according to HubSpot, 58% of mobile users say they check their email first thing. And many people check their emails up to 20 times a day. If they’re awake for 10 hours, that’s twice an hour. In short, email isn’t dead.
Know what is going to kill email? Emails sent without good planning or the right intent. This is how SPAM is created.
Think about it - what emails do you either immediately trash or once opened delete? Ones that are constantly trying to sell you something or promote a sale or the like. The emails you open, maybe even keep, are ones that give you information without a catch. Sure, sales emails will still get opened, but they get better results when they aren’t the only emails sent.
I believe there are 3 main types of emails: Sales, Continous, and Welcome. Knowing how and when to use these are important to help you stay out of the SPAM folder and ultimately email purgatory (aka Blocked List).
Just as the name implies, these simply welcome new customers and remind them what they signed up for. These are usually part of a bigger campaign but I feel they need more recognition because they’re either not used well or, worse, not at all. When someone gives you their email, tell them they’ll receive a welcome email so they know to look for it in case it ends up in the Promotions tab (for Gmail users) or SPAM. When they open this email, they’re telling their ESP (that’s Email Service Provider aka Google, Yahoo, etc) you’re good to be in their inbox. Feel free to throw in a freebie or extra something to encourage them to open it as well.
You may be more familiar with the term “newsletters” but my research (that is, a social media poll) says that term is outdated. And truly these emails shouldn’t look like a mini-newspaper. They should focus on 1-2 topics at most. And these are to give information that may or may not directly correlate to your business. No selling or promotions, just useful items that the receiver is glad to know or can reference. For example, if you have a lawn care business, tell them how to care for it between mows. Service and repair HVAC systems? Send a reminder to check their filter, maybe recommending the best type for different households. It doesn’t have to be complicated, just helpful and informational. And because you sent a Welcome email that they’ve opened, you should end up in their inbox. Have a set schedule of how often you send these whether weekly, every other, or monthly (no less than that). Your schedule should be set by how much relevant information you have to offer. NEVER send an email just to send an email - it's better to skip than fill a void with garbage. ESPs and your email list are much more forgiving if you miss than social media.
These truly don’t need a lot of explanation but more advice. Put yourself in your customer’s shoes - will this sale, promotion, or whatever you decide to call it be relevant to them? If you use % off, don’t make them do the math, tell them what that equals. Keep these to no more than 1-3 times a month, but again, only if it's relevant AND they're expecting it. My biggest piece of advice - GET PERMISSION. This means you give them the chance to say “no I don’t want that to clutter my inbox” helping your open rate and deliverability rate by staying out of the trash and SPAM folders. I ask it right up front when it comes to my email sign-up list:
Emails don’t need to be complicated, but they DO need to be considerate. Don’t let your emails give customers a reason to sigh and eye roll. Give them good information right from the start and you’ll see happier customers from it.
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Thoughts from Me
Tips, advice, and more from my experience as a copywriter, marketer, and small business owner.