Whether it’s in the mailbox or the inbox, marketers everywhere know the importance of standing out amongst the competition to boost open rates and drive response. Getting a letter or email opened is the first barrier brands need to overcome in order to gain new customers or deepen their loyalty.
Strong Subject Lines are Crucial in Email Marketing
Reports show that individuals receive between 88–120 emails per day on average. With so many emails received each day, it’s no surprise that many consumers mass delete marketing emails if the subject line isn’t compelling enough—there simply isn’t enough time to go through and read each one. Getting noticed in a recipient’s inbox has very little to do with design and a lot to do with subject lines and the sender.
Here are some of my favorite tips for crafting strong subject lines from Business Insider’s 15 Tips for Writing an Excellent Email Subject Line:
- Write the subject line first—it’s that important to the success of the email.
- Keep it short (between six and eight words) so the whole message can be read.
- Put the most important words at the beginning so mobile readers can see them. 50% of emails are read on mobile devices!
- Don’t use all caps—many email providers will mark your email as spam. Plus, using all caps makes the recipient feel like you’re yelling at them.
- Indicate if a response is needed or if there’s a deadline—both add urgency to your email
- Use logical keywords for search and filtering.
- Personalize, if possible.
The Battle in the Mailbox Isn’t What You Think It Is
I think there’s a bit of a misconception with the mailbox, and it begins with how consumers view mail. According to the results of a 2016 USPS survey:
- Most consumers get their mail at the first opportunity;
- 47% like to discover what the mail brings;
- 86% take their time looking through their mail;
- 79% sort their mail at the first opportunity;
- 8.4 minutes are spent sorting mail on average.
It’s clear that consumers don’t mind mail—in fact, they seem to enjoy it. The battle has changed from just increasing open rates—getting someone to retrieve and review their mail—to making the mailpiece memorable enough when opened that the recipient acts on the offer enclosed.
Envelope Size, Color, and Texture Matter for Open Rates
One way to gain the attention of a consumer is to make your mail look different. Textured papers, heavier weights, and use of color are all ways to make you stand out from the rest at first glance. For formats, the 2017 DMA Response Rate Report states that oversized formats produce the best overall response at 6.6%, with letter-sized envelopes (4.3%) also performing well.
Testing the many ways you can alter the appearance of your envelope is an easy tweak that can produce big results. However, not all mailings do well with bold colors or unique sizes; it all depends on the tone of your communication and the message you’re trying to send.
Envelope Messaging is Also Key for Mail
Since consumers are no longer quickly sorting through their mail and tossing pieces without a second glace, there’s more of an opportunity to intrigue a recipient with a message on the envelope. Relevancy and timing are key here—any message that is data-driven and timely will have a huge impact on the open rates of your mailpieces. After all, if you’re in the market for new car insurance on Monday and you receive a mailpiece advertising low deductibles on Wednesday, wouldn’t you open it?
Personalization Spurs Open Rates
Just as personalization helps get emails opened, it also helps drive response to physical mail. A recent InfoTrends study showed that more than 84% of respondents said they were more likely to open a mailpiece if it was personalized. Including a name, location, or another relevant reference demonstrates that your product is applicable to the recipient and gives the piece a personal touch.
Remember, opening a marketing piece is just the first step for the consumer, but if your design and message aren’t carefully crafted, it’s going to be a painful, expensive stumble for you. If you’re curious about how IWCO Direct can boost open rates and make your marketing efforts stand out in both physical and digital mailboxes, feel free to contact me.
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