Do you use webinars to generate leads? Do you invest heavily in creating incredible content? Do you want to supercharge your content marketing results this year?
If so, I’ve got some great news. There’s one simple way to get more attendees to your webinars, eyeballs on your content, and wallets ready to buy because of your content: Killer email marketing.
My team has seen a 3X return on our investment in email marketing. It’s so mission-critical that it’s part of our content marketing formula. In fact, for a recent webinar, we were able to get 1,355 registrants via our email list.
However, as we’ve learned, your email list is only worth the engagement you get. No matter how big your list is — 1K or 100K — no one sees your content if no one opens your emails.
Writing great subject lines is the first step to enticing email opens and getting the legendary ROI of email marketing. Here are five simple tricks that you can put into practice immediately to increase open rates:
Numbers are your email subject line’s best friends.
Extensive A/B tests by email platform Campaign Monitor found subject lines with numbers achieved a 57 percent better open rate than those without.
Here’s what the folks at Campaign Monitor suggest:
“The key to success with this formula is the number you use. If you are suggesting effort a reader needs to expend (like steps in a process for instance), then using a low number works better as it suggest the process is quicker and easier. However, if you are providing value to the reader (like a number of ways to increase email subscribers) then a higher number will work better as it increases the reader’s perception of the value your email will provide them.”
Next, remember real estate for your subject lines is very limited. Desktops usually display about 60 characters and mobile devices about 25 to 30.
So, where will your subscribers first see your emails? Will it be scrolling their inbox on their smartphones after waking up? Or will it be on their laptop?
Unsure? Then optimize for both scenarios.
In a study called “The Art and Science of Effective Subject Lines,” Return Path learned emails with subject lines between 61 and 70 characters long were read most, at about 17 percent. Try to hit that sweet spot — and especially focus on the first three words to capture as much attention as possible on a mobile device.
No matter where you’re trying to woo people with the magic of copywriting, your words matter. Here are 10 power words to test in your next campaign that an email analysis report by Adestra has found to increase open rates:
7. thank you
10. top stories
Remember learning about Newton’s Third Law of Motion — “For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction” — in junior high science class?
The same is true in email marketing. For every word that increases open rates, there’s one that tanks them. Here are 10 words that decrease open rates (and may even trigger spam filters), as reported in the Return Path study previously mentioned:
1. get rid of
2. secret of
4. what you need to know
5. won’t believe
10. 2 for 1
Because you’re a smart marketer, you probably take advice from “experts” with a dash of skepticism. That’s good. So do I!
That’s why I urge you to do your own A/B testing. It’s no secret that my audience isn’t your audience, and copy-and-paste marketing can do more harm than good. You need to contextualize best practices to your own list.
Any email service provider worth its salt will include the ability to split test your subject lines. At CoSchedule, we conduct A/B tests in nearly every campaign, and we’ve found verbatim customer quotes can result in open rates of nearly 90 percent to segmented lists. That’s crazy talk … but it’s true. So, run your own tests to find your subject line silver bullets.
Email marketing holds tremendous opportunity. But to capitalize on any list, you must get people to open your emails! Test the tricks I’ve shared in this post to find out what works for you. And you can even use free tools like the email subject line tester we created to help get more opens on every email.
Garrett Moon is the CEO and Co-Founder at CoSchedule, the web's most popular marketing calendar and the fastest growing startup in North Dakota. Garrett is the author of the 10x Marketing Formula and has been featured on sites like Entrepreneur, Forbes, Adweek, Social Media Examiner, and Content Marketing Institute.