Writing an e-mail to your e-mail list means more than just coming up with something to say which is interesting. After all, you can have the best sales pitch on the planet, but if no one sees it, you won’t be able to get anywhere with making a sale. That’s why the title that you put into your e-mail matters so much. Here’s what you need to know:
Check Your Open Rate
When sending out e-mails to your e-mail list, it’s possible to find out with a reasonable degree of certainty who opened the e-mails. That’s because, if you include any kind of graphics call inside of your e-mail, you can have it pegged to the specific person. In fact, many auto responder services will actually let you track the open rate of your e-mails so that you can see whether or not they’ve actually been looked at.
If your e-mail open rate is really bad, then the odds are good that there is something wrong with your titles. That means that people who get your e-mails are looking at the title and immediately clicking delete or, worse “spam” on their control panel.
Do a Split Test to Be Sure
If you want to make sure that the problem is with your e-mail titles, try this simple trick to find out: do a split test. This is where you divide your e-mail list into several sub e-mail lists (i.e. if you have 10,000 people on your e-mail list, you divide it into 4 sub-lists of 2,500 people each). Then, try four different versions of your title. The odds are good that you’ll find that different versions of the title are getting a better open rate.
How to Pick a Good E-mail Title
Picking a good e-mail title is very much an art form. In essence, you want to pick a title which will get people to be interested enough to spend a few minutes of their time to see what you have to say without sounding like a spammer. For example, which of the following e-mails would you be more likely to open:
5 Ways to Make $50 Right Now
A Few Ideas about Money
Obviously the first title is much more compelling because it grabs your attention. That’s because it speaks to your sense of urgency that there is something to be learned right now. Notice as well that that the tile isn’t offering something pie in the sky crazy.
I personally hate the titles that say “make $5,508.97 in the next 24 hours.” They somehow think that by offering a specific number that it’s going to sound more exciting. Personally, I find that a huge turn off because it’s obviously not realistic.
Some Ideas for Improving Titles
However, even when you have a compelling title, there are subtle things that you can do which will improve the odds of getting your e-mail opened:
Free, Bonus, Etc.
Words like “free” and “bonus” in the e-mail title are useful, as long as you don’t overdo it and make it sound like some pie in the sky thing. Be realistic about it and people are more likely to believe that you have something to offer. I also prefer to mention something specific. So for example, “free MP3 music download” is more likely to get opened than “this is free for you.”
Avoid Sounding Spammy
Finally, whatever you do, avoid sounding like a spammer. That’s likely to get your e-mail dumped into the spam filter really quickly. Ironically, I’ve found that some people think that by trying to get around a spam filter they’re more likely to get opens (I’ve seen e-mails that F’REE for example or F*REE – obvious attempts to bypass spam filters). Just offer something real and useful and you’re more likely to get opens.