How to Increase Email Open Rates With Different Hooks
[toc]Whether your e-mail newsletter has 100 subscribers or 1 million subscribers, it doesn’t really matter if no one is actually opening or reading your e-mails. Odds are that most of your subscribers are just sending your messages straight to the trash. We live in a fast-paced world that’s getting faster. Even though they get their e-mails on their smartphones and tablets, your subscribers simply don’t have time to peruse or even open all of the 100s of messages that they get each day. If you really want to make an impact on your audience, you need to ensure your audience perceives value in the e-mail that you’re sending. In other words, if you want to learn how to increase email open rates, you need to learn how to write a great hook.
How to Increase Email Open Rates through Audience Targeting
If you want to sell something, you need to think about who will buy, what their needs are, and how you can show them how your product or service meets their needs. This is Business 101, so it should be no surprise that this is also true of e-mail copywriting. If you want to know how to increase email open rates, you need to know your audience and their needs, thoughts, and situations. According to email marketing company MailChimp, different industries have very different open rates, with industries like photography and architecture’s rates soaring in the 40th percentile and industries like marketing and deal of the day websites were closer to 20. If you’re working in an industry with low open rates, you should pay special attention to what’s flooding the market, what the audience is tired of, and how you can break up the monotony with something that’s appreciated and needed. Finally, you need to create a hook that demonstrates that you’ve set yourself apart from the competition, so look at what the other guys are dong, and do the opposite.
How to Increase Email Open Rates through Specific, Interesting Hooks
When you were in high school or college, you might have spent days or hours trying to determine the perfect, clever wording for your term paper’s title. Unfortunately, while your email might be of just as much importance as that paper, the e-mail hook is not the right place for a clever or intriguing title. Instead, you should offer a clear, specific hook that explains what exactly the reader is going to get if he or she opens the message. For example, “Ten ways to reduce body fat” or “How to reduce your marketing budget” are both good hooks because they are specific and promise to deliver something of value. In short, if you’re going to learn how to increase email open rates, you’re going to have to learn how to ensure you offer specific information and that you get that across in your hook.
How to Increase Email Open Rates through Urgency
The urgency trick has been used by spammers to the point where it is almost not worth using anymore. They key word is almost. Urgency can still lead to fast results, but you have to do it well. They key is to combine the interesting, specific subjects from the step above with wording that conveys urgency without seeming to salesy. For example, “How Keep Employees Achieving Throughout the Christmas Holidays” is a good title because it not only promises to deliver specific value, but it’s timely. Readers know that they won’t get anything out of reading this e-mail message after the holidays have passed. This helps you to overcome one of your major obstacles, one you probably didn’t even know you had: the “I’ll open it later” subscriber. While some of your subscribers are making a conscious decision to hit delete, most probably take a look at your subject line and make a mental note to read later, a note that gets quickly deleted as other messages pour in and the day goes from busy to hectic. By creating urgency in a subtle way, you reduce passive deleters and increase your e-mail open rates.
How to Increase Email Open Rates through Negatives
Not that you suddenly have to take the glass-is-half-empty attitude when writing your messages
“Losses loom larger than gains.” – Derek Halpern
This means that people are more likely to be motivated by trying not to lose something than by trying to gain something. If you pique their motivation not to lose, they’ll be more likely to read your e-mail. For example, if you change your e-mail’s subject line to “Worst Conference Venue Choices” instead of “Best Conference Venue Choices,” you’ll likely have a higher open rate because people want to avoid choosing the wrong venue more than they want to ensure they’ve chosen the best venue. However, Halpern says to be careful with this strategy. If your news is always bad, you’re apt to get a lot of unsubscribers who don’t need to be bothered by another downer.
How to Increase Email Open Rates By Providing Great Hooks and Staggering E-Mails
About 100 years ago, serials were a great way for newspapers and magazines to ensure regular readership. An author would publish the first chapter or episode of a story in the paper, but you wouldn’t get to find out what happens next unless you bought the publication again the next day, week, or month. Today, television networks still use this strategy, ending season finales on a cliffhanger so audiences tune in next time. As an e-mail copywriter, you can do the same. The trick is to come up with a really great hook that will provide a lot of value to your readership but then to delay the actual content or part of the actual content until a later e-mail. According to Maxmail Blog, this technique leaves readers wanting to come back for more. However, again, you want to avoid doing this too much. If you do, it becomes frustrating for readers who are used to having instant gratification, and they might leave your list.
Learning how to increase email open rates requires a bit of a learning curve. During that curve, you not only learn how to increase email open rates, but you also learn how to analyze your audience and provide hooks that will get just the right people clicking.
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