Marketers who rely on using emails to connect with customers will be pleased to know that a recent study reported that email usage in the U.S. is expected to continue growing. One of the main reasons cited are commercial accounts that require contact with customers via valid and secure email accounts.

Globally, the number of email users in 2015 was nearly 2.6 billion. That number is expected to top 2.9 billion by the end of this year. Another study estimates that by the end of 2019, more than 246 billion emails will have been sent and received compared to 205 billion in 2015.

How To Leverage This

Email is evolving like all other forms of technology. Emails will become more interactive which is a plus for marketers.

But as the volume of emails continue escalating and inboxes take in more mail, so, too, will a customer’s ability to take command over what they see or open first. This is where a strategy to induce a recipient to open your email are even more critical than before.

The Hook

Remember those sayings about how we form an impression about someone we’ve just met in so many seconds? The sayings only varied in the number of seconds it took for us to make a judgment – 7, 15, or 30 seconds. The point was that it only takes seconds to form an impression.

The same is true of emails which is why the subject line is so critical. An enticing or appealing one will cause a reader to continue. A bad one will stop the recipient who will delete the email and maybe even mark it as spam.

The best subject lines are ones that appeal to the reader’s own interest. That’s why collecting as much information about customers, their interests, likes, preferences, etc. are important.

If the customer purchases pet food from you regularly and it’s among the products on special, frame your subject line around that. Writing “Just for You” on the subject line wouldn’t have as much appeal to that pet owner as “More Bones for Fido” or something that’s customized.

If you’re aware that your customer uses coupons, mentioning that offer on the subject line would likely get your customer to open up the email, continue reading and searching for coupons. But as mentioned above, if you know what your customer’s interests are, your subject line can be even more targeted.

Whenever you can tie subject line to a sense of urgency with one that’s also tailored, you have a winner. So, something like “More Bones for Fido Until This Friday” will likely generate an even quicker response.

Guarantees or promises also have a good track record of generating open emails. If you employ something like that, however, be sure you can fulfill what you’ve promised or your next one will end up in the trash or spam folder.

Categorize your customers by interest, product or whatever fits best in your industry. Toss subject lines around with your team and challenge them to come up with lines that lead to high open rates. Monitor your open rates based on these subject lines so you know what’s most effective and those that require tweaking.

-5WPR CEO Ronn Torossian

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Ronn Torossian is the founder and CEO of 5W Public Relations, one of the largest independently-owned PR firms in the United States. With over 20 years of experience crafting and executing powerful narratives, Torossian is one of America's most prolific and well-respected Public Relations professionals. Since founding 5WPR in 2003, he has led the company's growth, overseeing more than 175 professionals in the company's headquarters in midtown Manhattan. With clients spanning corporate, technology, consumer and crisis, in addition to digital marketing and public affairs capabilities, 5WPR is regularly recognized as an industry leader and has been named "PR Agency of the Year" by the American Business Awards on multiple occasions. Throughout his career, Torossian has worked with some of the world's most visible companies, brands and organizations. His strategic, resourceful approach has been recognized with numerous awards including being named the Stevie American Business Awards 2020 Entrepreneur of the Year, the American Business Awards PR Executive of the Year, twice over, an Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year semi-finalist, Metropolitan Magazine's Most Influential New Yorker, and a 2020 Top Crisis Communications Professional by Business Insider. Torossian is known as one of the country's foremost experts on crisis communications, and is called on to counsel blue chip companies, top business executives and entrepreneurs both in the United States and worldwide. Torossian has lectured on crisis PR at Harvard Business School, appears regularly on CNN & CNBC, was named to PR Week's "40 under Forty" list, is a contributing columnist for Forbes and the New York Observer, and his book, "For Immediate Release: Shape Minds, Build Brands, and Deliver Results With Game-Changing Public Relations" is an industry best-seller. A NYC native, Torossian lives in Manhattan with his children. He is a member of Young Presidents Organization (YPO), and active in numerous charities.