6 Secrets to Creating Email Marketing that Actually Gets Opened 

by Aleks Vizulis on January 03, 2017

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What's the most important part of your email marketing? We bet, after a little thought, you answered, "The email subject line." It's one of the first things people look at, and it makes a powerful first impression no matter what the email contains. For many people, it's the difference between deleting an email and actually opening it! So it's worthwhile to spend time crafting your email subject line. But what does that look like for B2B companies who want to establish healthy client relationships via email marketing? We've several tips you should keep in mind:

1: Don't Follow the Crowd

We know, there's a lot of marketing advice out there about how to craft an email subject line that grabs attention and hooks people so they just have to open up that digital envelope. But the truth is, everyone knows about those basic tricks. If you look at the marketing emails in your folders, you'll quickly note that they all tend to look the same – and are easily ignored. So see what kind of subject lines are common in your industry...and then do something very different. It's an easy way to stand out.

2: Take a Look at Buzzwords

You don't have to use buzzwords, but you should at least know what they are. Certain words do make it more likely that emails will be opened. These words include "steps" and "renewal," as well as "info" and "thank you." As you can see, information and engagement are important to email readers. Keep track of the top buzzwords to see what is most effective (and what people are getting tired of seeing).  

3. Adjust Length for Mobile

Now that mobile has risen to become a dominant form of online use, you can bet that a lot of people out there are checking emails on their phones. That means space is far more limited than it used to be regarding your subject line. When in doubt, make your subject line short and to the point. Put important words up front so they can be easily seen but those swiping through on their phones.

4. Avoid Spam Filters at All Costs

Sure, you probably love spam filters at your job...as long as you're not on the receiving end, so to speak. The last thing anyone wants is for their email to get sucked into the spam filter, especially after all that work. So avoid putting anything in the subject line that could get picked up by spam filters. This includes many "cheap" tactics that yell for attention. Using all caps is a big no-no, because it's one of the most common things spam filters look for. So are words like "cash" or other spammy language (hint – never use "viagra" in an email header). You should also make sure that your HTML is consistent throughout your email, and that you focus a bit more on text than images, because spam filters look closely at this as well.

5. Describe Your Content

People love descriptive subject lines. They want to know what's inside the email – they don't have patience for emails that promise something really, really good is waiting. If the email is all that great, why not just tell people what it's about? So describe the deal or news that's waiting inside. Be concise and direct. Avoid vague generalities whenever possible.

6. When Possible, Personalize

Personalization isn't always possible. Sometimes, you just don't have access to enough information or time to personalize every marketing email. But when possible, personalize the subject line with information that recognizes the reader. Mention them by name, even if it's a more casual email. Focus on a topic you know they care about. Mention one of the last purchases they made. Personalized emails tend to do much better than generic emails when it comes to conversions.

  email marketing tips

Aleks Vizulis

As operations manager at 21 Handshake, I bring an analytical perspective to the discussion table. My vision is to take projects from 'just strong' to superb. Often you will find me capturing behind the scenes photos in the 21 Handshake office or at a clients location. I play a fierce round of 18 during warm weather and catch me on the slopes during the other months of the year!

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