How To Get Your Emails to Stand Out When Everybody Else is Sending Spam

“Hello. We would like to inform you that we’ve updated our privacy policy that will go into effect June 8…”

How many emails have you gotten in the last month that start like that? Inboxes across the world are getting flooded with emails all about updated privacy policy. It’s important for businesses to do that to stay compliant with GDPR, but it also means people are sick of emails from companies. It’s become so bad that people are making memes poking fun at it.

So, because of the flood of spam “updated privacy policy” emails, many people are just ignoring all emails from companies. For marketing, that’s terrible news! And this isn’t the first time this has happened. Some companies are constantly sending out spam, while others only join in during the busiest of times, making it that much harder to stand out. It is possible, though — you just need to get creative.

Good Subject Lines and Preview Text

Of course, if you want people to look at your email, you need a strong subject line. It’s the main method people use to determine if an email will be worth their time. Even if they will open every email just to get it out of the inbox, the subject line plays a huge part if they will actually read it.

There is tons of advice online on writing the perfect subject line. Some encourage you to shock, others suggest bending the truth or mislead, and others use click-bait tactics.

In truth, there is no perfect tactic for every email subject line. Depending on your target market, they’ll respond to different tactics. What might scare off one type of customer might really work with another.

Overall, the best approach to subject lines is give people a good idea what to expect when opening up the email. What offer does your email have that will interest them? Give them a taste of that in the subject line and preview text. Combine that with other tactics that work especially well with your audience to get more attention.

When trying to decide how long to have your subject line, either keep it really short (49 characters or less) to get really good open rates, or pretty long (70 characters or more) for good conversions. The appropriate length of the subject line will heavily depend on the goal you have for the email..

Real Personalization, Not Just Adding a Name

Every business that sends out emails includes the recipient’s name if possible. Maybe over a decade ago that was really powerful, but in today’s world it’s the norm. When told to craft personalized emails, including their name isn’t enough anymore.

Especially when emails are just sending out mass messages, a very personalized email will really catch the eye. Now, you won’t have the time to research or craft individual emails, but if you have a fair amount of data customers/users/leads, you could use that to help — especially if you’ve collected data from people using your service or product, like for a SaaS company.

This could mean segmenting your lists so you can personalize your emails better, or utilize algorithms to identify patterns in the data that can then be included in automated emails. That way, your emails are personalized, but you don’t have to spend the time personalizing each individual one. Either way, delving into your data to learn more about your email recipients can really help.

Switching Up When You Send The Emails

With a simple Google search, you can find out that many marketers state that Tuesdays at 10 AM or Thursdays at 8 PM or some similar combination is the best time to send out emails. While this is true in general, every other email marketer can see that same information. That means when 10 am on a Tuesday hits, everybody’s inbox gets flooded from businesses.

If you really want to stand out, don’t be afraid to step away from the “best times to send an email” theory and experiment. Many businesses fear sending on weekends, so try sending on on a Sunday morning. That way, you aren’t directly competing with a mountain of other emails to get noticed. Maybe send out your emails right before or after a huge rush.

The key is experimenting and finding the patterns in your market, not just the world as a whole. Even if you have found a trend, experiment, and shake things up. Keep doing the same thing over and over and you might get diminishing returns.

Don’t Join the Spam, Stand Out

Companies are constantly going to be sending out emails, including yours. While not every email out there is “spam,” it does make it harder to stand out consistently. Being a shining beacon of good email marketing requires constantly revisiting what you are currently doing and evolving it. An automated email chain you developed two years ago most likely isn’t as effective as it could be. Do what you need to keep up to date and refresh your email campaigns regularly.

Michael Brenner

Michael Brenner  is a Top CMO, Content Marketing and Digital Marketing Influencer, an international keynote speaker, author of "Mean People Suck" and "The Content Formula" and he is the CEO and Founder of Marketing Insider Group, a leading Content Marketing Agency . He has worked in leadership positions in sales and marketing for global brands like SAP and Nielsen, as well as for thriving startups. Today, Michael helps build successful content marketing programs for leading brands and startups alike. Subscribe here for regular updates.

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