Email marketing: How to get your needle found in a haystack

Currently, I have 4,737 unread emails in my personal inbox. I wish I could say I was lying, but what good would that do? Obviously, I am a junk collector and I suspect I am not completely alone in this…. or maybe I am, but I think we can all relate. We get bombarded with message after message and we are left to sort through the junk in order to find the gems. As a marketer, it can be hard to stand out, but it can be harder on your business not to.

So how do you get noticed? Some people will tell you that good email marketing is all about the subject line, or the time of day, or the day of the week. Yes, these are things to consider, but are they really the most important aspects of your email strategy? No.

Let’s turn this around. Instead of looking at all of my ignored emails, let’s focus on the opened ones. What do they all have in common? A relationship:

Trust – did you ask nicely?

The quickest away to the spam folder is showing up unwanted. It is so easy to include an opt-in form on your website, put out a fishbowl out at your next tradeshow or a signup sheet by your cash register. However you do it, ask for permission to add me to your email list or you are out.

A good first impression – is this going to work out?

Send out a welcome email to introduce yourself, your brand and your email content. Lay it all out on the table. How often do you send out emails? Are they newsletters? Offers? Events? Reinforce what I can expect from you & reassure me that my trust was not misplaced when I handed over my information.

Recognition – Do I really know you?

It doesn’t matter how catchy the subject line is, if I don’t know who sent it I’m not going to open it. It may seem more personal to use your name in the “From” line instead of your company name, but that won’t do you any good if I don’t know who you are yet.

Make it personal – what am I going to get out of it?

I know you, I trust you, but do I want to see what you have to offer right now? Make sure I do, put my needs first. Keep it short, but remind me why I chose to open your email. Point me to the next step – want me to visit your website, like your Facebook page, follow you on Twitter? Invite engagement and make it easy.

Yes, it can be hard to stand out. But what are the consequences of blending in? It’s really not that hard if you put the relationship first.

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