5 writing secrets to bolster your email campaigns

There’s one simple way to get more attendees to your webinars, eyeballs on
your content, and wallets ready to buy: killer email marketing.

Your email list is only worth the engagement you get. No matter how big
your list is no one sees your content if no one
opens your emails.

Writing great subject lines is the first step to eliciting clicks and

Here are five simple tricks that you can put into practice immediately to
increase open rates:

1. Use numbers.

Numbers are your email subject line’s best friends.

Extensive A/B tests by email platform Campaign Monitor found subject lines
with numbers achieved a
57 percent better open rate
than those without.

It suggests:

The key to success with this formula is the number you use. If you are
suggesting effort a reader needs to expend (like steps in a process for
instance), then using a low number works better as it suggest the process
is quicker and easier. However, if you are providing value to the reader
(like a number of ways to increase email subscribers) then a higher number
will work better as it increases the reader’s perception of the value your
email will provide them.

2. Remember, characters count.

Next, remember real estate for your subject lines is very limited.
Desktops usually display about 60 characters and mobile devices about 25 to

So, where will your subscribers first see your emails? Will it be scrolling
their inbox on their smartphones after waking up? Or will it be on their

Unsure? Then optimize for both scenarios.

In a study called “The Art and Science of Effective Subject Lines,” Return Path learned emails with subject lines between 61 and 70
characters long were read most, at about 17 percent. Try to hit that sweet
spot—and especially focus on the first three words to capture as much
attention as possible on a mobile device.


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3. Use words that increase open rates.

No matter where you’re trying to
woo people with the magic of copywriting, your words matter. Here are 10 power words to test in your next campaign
that an
email analysis report by Adestra
has found to increase open rates:

  • “thanks”
  • “golden”
  • “iPhone”
  • “breaking”
  • “advice”
  • “course”
  • “thank you”
  • “exclusive”
  • “review”
  • “top stories”

4. Avoid words that decrease open rates.

Remember learning about Newton’s Third Law of Motion—“For every action,
there is an equal and opposite reaction”—in junior high science class? The
same is true in email marketing.

For every word that increases open rates, there’s one that tanks them. Here
are 10 words or phrases that decrease open rates (and may even
trigger spam filters), as reported in the Return Path study:

  • “get rid of”
  • “secret of”
  • “shocking”
  • “what you need to know”
  • “won’t believe”
  • “quickest”
  • “aim”
  • “call”
  • “put”
  • “2-for-1”

5. Do your own A/B testing.

Savvy marketers take advice from “experts” with a dash of skepticism.
That’s a good thing.

That’s why doing your own A/B testing is imperative. No two audiences are
alike and copy-and-paste marketing can do more harm than good. You need to
tailor best practices to your own list.

Any email service provider worth its salt will include the ability to split
test your subject lines. So, run your own tests to find your subject line
silver bullets.

What would add to the list, PR Daily readers?

Garrett Moon is the CEO and Co-Founder at

the web’s most popular marketing calendar and the fastest growing
startup in North Dakota. A version of this article originally appeared
the Influence & Co. blog.

(Image via)


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