This Valentine’s Day, thousands of people around the world will be meeting up with another person for a first date. Many of these people will know nothing about one another until they sit down together at dinner, at a bar or whatever location they choose. First impressions will be made, and futures will be set. Some of these dates will end in nothing, others will form short term relationships, and a select few will end up as lasting relationships.
Why are we talking about dating first impressions? Because, just as with marketing emails, they set the tone for the entire relationship. But instead of courting a person to be your significant other, you are trying to get consumers to fall in love with your company and its products or services.
And just like going on a first date, the first impression your emails leave on their recipients matters.
How can you leave a great first impression with your emails?
Start with a Catchy Subject Line
There is only one purpose to a subject line: get people to open the email. But don’t misunderstand this statement. This doesn’t mean that you should say anything to get people to open the email.
Your subject line should always match the content and message of your email. Do not try to trick users into opening an email. This will have you sent to the spam folder immediately.
A good email subject line is short and to the point (generally less than 50 characters). This allows people who scan their inboxes quickly to read and comprehend what your email is about.
A couple of other useful rules are:
- Offer something: if you are running a sale or offering a free download of an eBook, tell them in the subject line
- Create urgency: if it’s a limited time offer, let readers know
- Ask a question: ask a compelling question to get readers curious as to what’s inside
Take Advantage of the Preview Text
Most email platforms now have preview texts that allow users to see more of what is in an email before opening it. This is similar to a meta-description on a web page (i.e. the short description underneath links on search results pages). Use this preview text as a chance to include more useful and compelling information about the content of your email.
Don’t Forget to Deliver
Most importantly, don’t forget to follow through with stellar email content and images. It’s not enough to get people to open your email, you have to keep them moving forward and get them to your website.
Next time you are creating a marketing email for customers or prospect, ask yourself, “is this email leaving a good first impression?”