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, President and CEO of New York-based 5W Public Relations. He has overseen the company's rapid growth and expansion to the Inc. 500 list, as well as provided counsel to hundreds of companies, including members of the Fortune 500, Inc. 500 and Forbes 400. His work spans global interests, corporate entities, high-profile individuals, regional business entities, government agencies and academic institutions - both on routine public relations matters and extremely sensitive issues. One of the foremost public relations experts in the U.S., Torossian is known for his aggressive, results-focused orientation, as well as his close working relationships with members of the media, influencers, decision makers, politicians and celebrities. At 5W Public Relations, Torossian's client experience has included programs for Coca-Cola, Microsoft, Anheuser-Busch, Barnes & Noble, Cantor Fitzgerald, IHOP, McDonald's, Evian, EDS, VeriSign, XM Radio, Seagram's, The Loews Regency, Bad Boy Worldwide Entertainment, Marriott Hotels, Vail Resorts, Pamela Anderson, Snoop Dogg, the Government of Israel, and others. Referred to by The New York Post as a "publicity guru," by Fox News as a "high-powered PR CEO," by Tyra Banks as a "crisis management guru," and by CNN as "a leading PR expert," Torossian is regularly featured in and quoted by the media, including by CNN, Fox News Channel, MSNBC, NBC, The New York Times, and others. CBS National News said "Ronn Torossian knows spin," and a New York Times feature story on Torossian referred to him as "The consummate hard-driving, scrappy NY publicist." Earlier in his career, Torossian was a Vice President/Group Director for one of The InterPublic Group's (IPG) largest PR agencies, where he was responsible for significant client growth and successful client programs, including work for Clinique, Fox News Channel, DHL, Hard Rock Café and others. A resident of Manhattan’s Upper West Side, Torossian was named to the Advertising Age "40 Under 40" list, PR Week's "40 Under 40" List, is a regular lecturer at universities and conferences, a member of Young Presidents Organization (YPO) and a board member of numerous non-profit organizations.