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Have you ever noticed there are some emails in your inbox you instantly gravitate to and others you quickly scroll past? The emails you’re opening do what they’re supposed to do: get your attention.

As a content marketer, I’ve found five simple ways to create emails consumers want to open. Use these tactics to make your emails look great, get opened, and stay out of the (GASP!) dreaded junk folder!

1. Craft a Successful Subject

Strong email engagement starts with your subject line. You can spend weeks coming up with stellar content, only to have it all left unread or lost in a junk folder if you don’t use the right approach with your subject line. In a matter of seconds, viewers decide if they’re going to open your email or skip it, all based on one line.

Make sure your subject line grabs attention using these handy subject line tactics:

  • Keep it short. We live in a world where everyone craves fast, instant content. Email is no different. Keep your subject line short and to the point. You can elaborate more in the body of the email.
  • Think about it. Subject lines shouldn’t be an afterthought. Typically the best subject line is written after the email content is complete. Be sure you set aside some time for a great subject line that is worth opening. Even though subject lines are short, they can be the most challenging to write.
  • Solve problems. When sending emails, play “problem vs. solution.” If you’re selling a service, emphasize what you are selling is the solution to the viewer’s problem. This even goes beyond sales. If you’re emailing someone, be sure you let them know that YOU are THEIR solution to the problem.
  • Have fun … but not too much fun. Using a well-placed emoji could set your subject line apart from the many others in an inbox. Use emojis sparingly and only if they fit the mood and content of the email.
  • Ask a question. Tap in to the FOMO with your email content. A simple “Did you hear the news?” or “Did you miss our webinar?” will go a long way in getting your emails opened.
  • Educate. Give your viewers information they need to know. It may even be information they didn’t know they needed to know. Pique their interest and educate!

2. Test Ideas

What works for one company may not work for another. Don’t be afraid to test out what works for you and what doesn’t. A simple A/B test can let you know internally and externally what emails get opened and, most importantly, what emails don’t get opened. Keep track of your results and develop a strategy that supports what works best.

3. Be Normal

Sound like a real person. Seriously. If you write emails in a conversational voice like you would speak to a friend, that’s way more relatable than any kind of stiff, “salesy” speak. It’s also more likely to get opened and get a response. This tip goes beyond email writing; our eBook, How to Be Human in a Digital World, shares ways to share the human side of your story across all of your digital consumer communications.

4. Keep It Basic

Use words that people understand. Keep words short. Using marketing lingo or buzzwords could confuse viewers and turn them off to what you’re saying. If this is habitual, it could even cause a consumer to unsubscribe or block your content.

5. Show Your Worth

It goes without saying that if your email ends up in a viewer’s junk folder, it won’t be opened. However, there are some rules to follow that can help avoid this fate.

  •  Ask viewers to whitelist your email address if possible.
  • Obtain permission to send emails.
  • Don’t write deceptive subject lines.
  • Always include a mailing address and clear sender name.
  • Give viewers the choice to opt out of emails if you’re sending e-newsletters.
  • Proofread your emails, and avoid spammy words like join, earn, credit.
  • Remove inactive email addresses from contacts.
  • Test emails before sending to subscribers with special tools that mimic spam filters.

story connect logoApply these email writing tactics and you’ll be on your way to sending emails that grab attention, engage consumers, and get opened.

Looking for more consumer engagement tips? You’ll enjoy StoryConnect: The Podcast and our six-part podcast series “Journey – Exploring the Customer Experience.

Want help writing your next marketing campaign? Let us know at Email PUR!