5 Seconds You Can't Afford To Waste

Date posted: Mon, Apr 13, 09 | Author: Robert Hicks | Category: best practices, sending email, tips

In five seconds or less, your company's email subject and content will determine whether a customer decides to keep your newsletter or update;  Or flag-it as SPAM.

Try to be deceptive or coy and all of your future email will be trashed. Customers want the facts and it is your responsibility to give it to them. Make the Open-or-Delete decision easy. A well thought out email strategy is a vital part of any traffic-driving effort, and we see a close connection between email frequency and the use of multiple email marketing channels and traffic.  But I am getting ahead of myself; The topic of this post, 5 Seconds You Can’t Afford To Waste!

Can your email answer these questions in two seconds or less?

Who is the e-mail from?

  • Keep it familiar.

What's in it for me?

  • Keep your Subject focused.

What do you want me to do?

  • A clear course of action.

Write clear, not cutesy, subject lines. State the value proposition there, and build on it in the snippet/pre-header text (the first line of text in your message).

State the Details with a clear course action in your email:
Moms (and other shoppers) want to know prices and final costs up front, both the discount and the amount of money saved, not just the percentage off. Some said they were frustrated to find out how expensive shipping was after clicking on the offer and going all the way through the checkout process. That builds distrust in your future messages.

Keep your subject focused, we all know that one of the most important parts of an email campaign is the subject line and everyone is trying to come up with the perfect one.

Here are four subject lines that you should never use in your campaigns or transactional emails. Not only do they violate best practices, but in some cases they break the law. The CAN SPAM ruling states that for any commercial email, you must have your subject line relate to the content of the email.

Subject Line #1 - Hi, My name is Paul
Subject Line #2 - I need your help, please?
Subject Line #3 - Bob, I haven’t received your shipping address yet.
Subject Line #4 - Bob, Please accept my sincerest apology.

These gimmicks to trick the recipient into opening an email are a bad idea. It may raise curiosity, however, when the recipient opens the email they're going to feel tricked and unsubscribe or worse report your email as SPAM, because these subject lines most likely will not relate at all to the  body copy. You may trigger complaints and attract  the FTC attention for violating CAN SPAM rulings. Subject line #3 is particularly onerous; it seems like the sender is trying to get more information from the recipient. Because it's personalized, the recipient may actually give it!

Be clear and concise make sure your subject leads the reader to the body of your email. Keep the first portion of the email's body easily identifiable with your company identity, brand and purpose. It is critical to provide a link to your website in the first paragraph--this lends credibility to your offer and ease of use for your customer. Remember, consumers and business professionals today are bombarded with useless misinformation. They will appreciate (and become more loyal) if you're accurate and to the point, even if they aren't placing an order today.