How To Create an Email People Will Actually Open

Man on computer creating an email

Email marketing is not dead, but it is certainly different than it used to be.

The days of everyone opening every single email are over. People expect to see spam and immediately delete emails without a second thought if they sense even a drop of spammy messages.

Over time, email evolved from the newest and greatest communication platform on the planet to an extension of the direct mailers and letters we get in the mail every day. And because of the low cost to send an email, companies got lazy with their messaging and the value they were trying to bring with each message.

I look at my own behavior when it comes to email as well. I am quick to delete and slow to read just like the average person, however, I do still read my emails in the right circumstances. Something really needs to catch my eye in order for me to open it up and see what is inside, and it really needs to be compelling for me to click through, but I do it from time to time.

Not just being a marketer, but a general consumer helped me write this post.

Creating an email people will actually open:

1. They all have interesting subject lines: A subject line has a much bigger effect on your email than you think. Your subject line needs to find a balance of catchy and fun, but not spammy. For example, you should avoid words like FREE or BUY NOW because those emails easily get caught in spam filters. Instead, make your email fun while alluding to your offer or situation. People appreciate creativity.

2. They have good subheaders: What the heck is a subheader? It is the line of text that appears right underneath the subject line of your email. Here is a screenshot of a recent email I received. You can see that the line of text after the subject line says “MileIQ – Alert Nice work you just caught”. That line of text is super important so make sure whatever the first line of your email is, or whatever you make the subheader to be, is compelling.

3. They aren’t image-heavy: It is super tempting to put all sorts of fun and exciting graphics into your emails and show off your brand, however, Image heavy emails can hurt deliverability and overall experience of someone who clicks. A simple header at the top with plain text underneath prevents your message from getting lost in a sea of unloaded images and poorly formatted text.

4. They have a clear and distinct Call To Action: This is incredibly important. If you send an email without some kind of Call to action (CTA) then you might as well not send it at all. A clear and distinct CTA will get people to click on the place you want them to go to. Don’t make the CTA long and confusing, make it simply “Learn More”, “Buy Now”, or even get creative with something like “Do It”.

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