We all want responses to our emails. But the reality is people worldwide send nearly 269 billion emails a day; the average office worker receives a whopping 121 emails a day and nearly 50 percent of email is spam according to research by Radicati Group. So, how do you make sure that your email not only stands out above the crowd but also receives a positive response from the recipient?
Luckily, it’s not as hard as you think. There are several simple best practices that are proven to improve email response rates. Our Email Marketing experts bring you the top seven things your email needs to earn a coveted reply.
1. Craft your subject line
Your email subject line is your first impression and must be used wisely. Keep in mind that nearly two-thirds of emails are opened on mobile devices. That means your subject line needs to be mobile-friendly with 50 characters maximum. Keep the subject informative and personalized. Strike a balance between the most important information you want to share and what is most interesting to the recipient.
2. Make it personal
Dear [NAME], would you respond to a generic copy-and-paste email that doesn’t address you on a personal level? While email templates and automation tools are useful for sending campaigns and blasts about product updates and special offers, they’re not designed to engage the recipients in conversation. When writing to an individual, my dear reader, make sure to treat your recipient like a person, not a number.
3. Keep it short and sweet
Again, most people view email on mobile devices, which is expected to grow. No one wants to read a long email especially on a small screen. Keep your message as concise and to the point without exceeding two paragraphs or about 300 words.
4. Make it easy to scan
Length matters but so does formatting. Regardless of length, unformatted text be a pain to read especially on a mobile screen. Make your copy easy to read and scan with:
- Bulleted lists
- Sub headers
- Highlighted or bold text
This will quickly draw your reader’s attention to the most important information necessary to their response.
5. Invite a response (ask a question)
Want a response to your email? Then make it clear! It might sound obvious but end your email with a politely phrased question. For example, end with statements like, “I am available for a meeting this Tuesday.” This allows your reader to be passive. Instead, ask a question that prompts a response, “Are you available for a meeting this Tuesday?”
6. Make your email signature stand out
According to research, only 52% of people use email signatures and only 7% include any social media contact information. This is a gigantic missed opportunity to market yourself! Having an email signature is like handing out a digital business card with each email you send. At minimum, your email signature should contain all of the contact info for you and your business. But if you want to capture the spotlight, make a lasting impression and grow your business, then you need a “wise” email signature that showcases much more.
WiseStamp is a cost-free email signature tool that—in addition to stylizing your contact info—allows you to seamlessly pull dynamic content from your social media channels, online portfolios and dozens of other online platforms into your signature.
Let’s say you’re an Etsy or eBay seller, for example: With WiseStamp, you can add your latest item listing to your signature and transform every email into sale opportunity. Graphic designers can integrate their Dribble or Behance portfolios into WiseStamp. Meanwhile, there are many general call-to-action buttons you can add to your WiseStamp signature such as:
- Attend my event
- Read my latest blog
- Download my App
- Join my Newsletter
- Schedule a meeting with me
With WiseStamp, your email recipients can also easily connect to your social media channels, like LinkedIn or Twitter, and see the latest Tweet or status you posted within the signature itself. You can also add social buttons to your signature like, “Follow me” on Twitter and “Let’s Connect” on LinkedIn.
Best of all, you can create your WiseStamp in a few simple clicks by choosing from dozens of professionally designed signature examples. There’s one tailor-made for every industry from photographers and graphic designers to realtors and digital marketers and more. You can use WiseStamp cost-free or choose a “pro” account that:
- Has no WiseStamp branding
- Offers a larger selection of templates, and
- Allows you to create signatures for multiple email addresses
7. Send at the right time
Once you’ve crafted your perfect email, you might feel eager to send it right away. But take your finger off the trigger and ask yourself: When is the best time to send? Market research finds that Tuesday has the highest weekday open-rates of 18% while Saturday has the highest overall open-rate, 18.3% of the week. Meanwhile, the highest email engagement rates occur between 8:00 PM and 12:00 AM, which can mean getting a reply .
But, statistics aside, it’s important to consider your audience’s schedule. What timezone are they in? What type of hours do they keep? What time are they usually posting on social media? Make sure to research this information best you can and time your email accordingly.
Given the sheer number of emails exchanged on a daily basis, it’s easy to understand why most go unopened and ignored. But, with a little extra effort and strategy, you can create emails that merit a response from your sender. The key is to personalize the content, keep it brief make it easy to read. As a final exercise, look at examples from your own Inbox to see what kind of emails got you to response versus made you hit “delete.”