How to get your e-mail opened

How to get your e-mail opened

The biggest challenge for e-mail newsletters isn’t getting people to sign up. It’s getting them to open the darn thing when you send it. What can you put in the “Subject” line to get subscribers’ attention and motivate them to open and read it?

Dilemma: If it’s too “salesy” it’s a turn-off. If it’s boring, who’s going to open it?

Better to bore than to hype, at least according to a new study by e-mail service provider MailChimp, which recently listed the subject lines of the best and worst open rates for clients using their service.

But Rich Brooks of Web design firm flyte new media has some important caveats. He correctly points out there are a bunch of variables NOT mentioned that might make all the difference in the world, among them:

  • Size of the mailing list (Big list = lower open rate)
  • How recipients got on the list in the first place
  • Sp@mminess of the content
  • What’s in the “From” line (If it’s from your boss, chances are you’ll open it.)
  • The companies sending the emails.

And don’t forget other variables like the time and even day the emails are delivered, how often they’re sent, and most of all, whether they deliver on their promise when people first subscribed to them? As Rich points out, they may not be getting opened because the senders “have already proven that their email newsletters provide no value to their readers.”

Interested? Review Mailchimp’s subject lines of the best and worst open rates here and read Rich’s reaction here.

So… what makes YOU open — or delete — an e-mail newsletter? Have you got a secret formula for getting your e-mail newsletters opened? Please pass along your thoughts in the comments.

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