Originally published on LeadUpMarketers.com on March 11, 2016 By Vladimir Nagin
Email marketing, if done well, can consistently win you new leads while making it easy to build business relationships. For this reason alone, email marketing is something you must never ignore. But a problem arises when someone has already subscribed to your email lists and now you have to make them open your emails. It gets even more challenging when this person is a busy executive who probably receives more than a hundred other emails daily.
It’s obvious that they might not open all those emails. How do you stand out in their inbox to ensure that yours is one of the first emails they open?
- Send emails during off-peak hours
There is often a misconception that emails sent during the weekends may not perform well. In fact, most email marketers send their emails on Tuesday and Wednesday convinced that those two days deliver the highest open rates.
While this notion isn’t entirely misplaced, you need to stop and ask a few questions. Tuesday and Wednesday are also two of the busiest days of the week, aren’t they? For most executives, those two days are when they try to accomplish as much work as possible knowing that Monday is usually a slow day and by Thursday, employees are usually already thinking about the weekend. The only emails busy people open on Tuesday and Wednesday are emails that they were expecting. If they were not expecting your email, then they may not be under any pressure to open it.
According to one email marketing study, whereas most emails are sent on Wednesday, Saturdays hold the record for the highest open rates. The other way to put it is that since most people send emails on Wednesday, the busy executive might receive 200 emails on that day and only open 100. Then they would receive 50 emails on Saturday and open 45!
The main take away here is that for prospecting emails, there is a higher chance of your email being opened on Saturday than on Wednesday.
- Show that you’ve done your homework
The last thing a busy person wants is wasting time on activities that may have little to no effect in their present or future engagements. If you want to grab the attention of these individuals, then you must show them from the very off that you fully understand their needs and have a feasible solution on offer.
This makes your choice of words critical. Starting right from the subject line, you need to demonstrate your understanding of the subject matter. This is even more important in the mobile age where people read emails on their smartphones rather than on the desktop. The phone’s display is smaller meaning that only the subject line and the first few words of the message will be displayed. You need to be creative enough to convince the recipient to open the message.
A great starting point would be to get personal with the recipient. Addressing them with their real names has worked magic for many marketers.
- Exude authority
While often ignored by some marketers, exuding authority in your emails is critical if you want to improve your open rates. This is especially true if you are dealing with busy people.
The main difference between executives who work 12-hours a day and other people is that these individuals practically have no time to waste. For this reason, they prefer to deal exclusively with peers who have something important to say and who can say it well – people who ooze authority. It doesn’t help that, as humans, we naturally respect and gravitate towards authority.
So as you create your email message, think about whether you’re being authoritative enough. Your recipients need to see you as the go-to person/brand in that industry. Are your emails making them feel that way?
- Send out a short, clear, and concise message
We are talking about the body of the message here. How long is the email? How easy to understand is it? Does the message come through clearly?
While there is no set standard on the length of a business email, the rule of thumb is to say what you have to say in as few words as you can. Those few words could be contained in two three-line paragraphs or you could have as many as 7 paragraphs. Just remember than when dealing with busy people, the less time required to decipher the message, the better.
You’ve probably come across those emails that you need to read two or three times before you vaguely understand what the sender is trying to say. Try that with busy people and your emails will never be opened again.
- Engage the prospect with an easy question
They don’t have to answer the question but by asking something like: What’s your biggest marketing priority?; you would be grabbing the reader’s attention and forcing them to concentrate a little bit more on your message.
It all comes back to the function of emails. You should stop seeing emails as a tool to close sales but rather as a means to drive engagement. Emails help you to maintain communication with your customers and prospects alike. By asking a question, you’re prompting the recipient to rethink their current situation and seriously evaluate your offer.
For example, you can ask a question such as: Is inbound marketing currently one of your biggest challenges?
Immediately, the recipient would be forced to think about how well their inbound strategy is doing. And, if indeed they are having a problem in that area, then they are likely to take interest in your solution.
Finally, learn to respond to emails that you receive. When you send an email and the recipient responds, then you need to get back too. This is the only way to build a conversation. If you don’t reply to other people’s emails, then you shouldn’t expect them to respond to yours.
Busy people know that creating new relationships is a major challenge. So, they do everything they can to keep the relationships that they already have. By getting into their minds, actively responding to their emails, and showing that you are in the relationship for the long haul, you will eventually win over their approval and thereafter they will have no problem at all opening your emails.
Remember that there are no perfect email marketing campaigns. Even for the most successful companies, they still test various ideas, adjust their email marketing strategies from time to time, and most importantly, try to better understand their recipients
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