To open or not to open? That is the question going on in everyone’s mind when they receive a promotional email. There are so many such promotions waiting for us in the inbox every morning and, over time, people have become extremely selective in what they read and what they send directly to the Trash folder.
What makes people open a sales email? It is quite rare and purely coincidental that your mail reaches their inbox at the precise moment when they want to purchase products or services similar to yours. There will never be a “hey, I really need this!’ reaction. What you want to achieve is at least a “this sounds interesting, let me check it out”.
How can you achieve it? Here are five helpful tips to get you to a higher email opening rate and conversion:
- You’ve Got 20 Words to Convince Them
In any email software, the preview panel displays the subject line and the first few words of the email – in total around 20-25 words. These are the words which make or break the deal; that is, the person’s decision to either read or trash your message.
The subject must be enticing and raise the user’s curiosity. Avoid sounding like a salesman at all costs – in fact, do not include any word which hints at sales at all. Instead, focus on the pain point you wish to solve. Just look at the difference between “the tax preparation solution you need” and “it is the tax season again”. In the first case, people just know you want to sell them something. In the second, they feel that you commiserate with them and share their burden.
- It Is Not about You, It Is about Them
So you got the click on your subject line – but you haven’t got your man, not by a long shot. If your first lines are not just as compelling and enticing as the subject, your email will still end up in the Trash folder.
Many sales writers make the mistake of starting to talk about the business or the product right from the start. Here’s a news flash: people do not care about your business and your products. They care about themselves, about solving their problems. This is what you are supposed to do – show them that you know all about their problem and that you can fix it.
- Use the “So What” Factor for Each Sentence
Sales letters should be short, to the point, and compelling. Every word of every sentence must have closing value, otherwise it does not belong in there. To weed out whatever is superfluous, test each sentence with the “so what” factor. Imagine that you are the recipient and you ask yourself: “they claim this – so what?”; “they have this product – so what?”; “they know about my problem – so what?” You must find a powerful justification to keep reading in every single sentence, otherwise you have failed the “so what” test.
- Avoid These Words Like the Plague
Maybe you’ve won your reader’s full attention and interest. They really feel that you get them, their issues, and could be a potential solution for their problems. But then they see one of these words: world-class, sale, final, state-of-the-art, reminder… If deleting an email ever became an Olympic event, they would win the gold medal.
People have had enough of sales jargon. They see it everywhere and they’ve developed an aversion to it. They just feel tricked, lulled into believing you actually care about them, when in fact all you want is to shove a product down their throats.
- The Signature Line
If they have reached the end of your email it means that they are ready to contact you. They are actually interested and you have half-got their business. You might still lose it, however, if you do one of the following in the signature line:
- Are redundant by including your email address
- Include a corny and predictable quote
- Style your signature with WordArt or anything similar
- Copy/paste photos in your signature
All of the above scream unprofessional and will get your carefully crafted email in the Trash folder despite the initial good impression.
Last but not least – we are never objective judges of our own work. Always ask someone you trust to read your sales email texts and give you honest feedback.