The Secret to Getting Your Customers to Open Your Emails? It’s Not What You Think!

These days email is a critical part of most business opportunity and other small business owners’ overall communications strategy, especially where marketing and keeping up with customers is concerned. But in a world where we’re all already overwhelmed with the sheer number of emails we’re getting each and every day, how do you stand out among the crowd? What’s the real secret to ensuring your emails actually get opened so that they even have the slightest chance of getting your message across?

4-reasons-people-subscribe-open-emailAccording to leading email marketing communications leader MailChimp, the answer may sound counter-intuitive, but it’s actually backed up by careful analysis and evaluation. So here it is: Keep your subject lines straightforward, yet descriptive. In other words, describe the subject of your email and keep it simple.

But adhering to the KISS method—Keep It Simple, Stupid—to obtain high open rates doesn’t necessarily mean your subject lines have to be boring, stale or lack creativity, especially if you take the time to set recipients’ expectations ahead of time. The difference may lie in being able to decipher a “soft-sell” customer from one that is expecting or has signed on for and may welcome the more “hard-sell” approach, all of which points up the benefits of segmenting and targeting your customers early on using such strategies as opt in/opt out and soliciting feedback, among others.

As for why the open rate is so much greater for emails that adhere to this one simple rule, MailChimp has a theory that all that email overload we’re all experiencing has led many of us to assume that even hints of spam or anything that sounds too blatantly “markety” doesn’t even deserve a second glance. Too pushy or over the top, and that email is headed right for the trash.

So while every fiber of your being as a small business owner wants to grab your readers’ attention, conveying too much excitement or using seemingly in-their-face or flowery language may not be the way to go. Why not try things another way and see how you do? After all, when it comes to email, experimentation is cheap.

For more great insight on what works when it comes to email marketing and the best and worst email open rates, go to now! And for another good overview of the most effective email subject line formulas, here’s a good resource from local business online marketing leader ReachLocal: 15 Subject Line Formulas That Work.

What success or failure have you had in using email to reach your customers? Any tips to share? We and our readers would love to hear from you!