How to stand out from the crowd(ed) inbox

Over 294 billion emails are sent every day; that’s a global average of 41 emails per person, per day. And most of these are marketing.

This makes standing out in the email inbox a fierce battleground. Despite consumers checking their mailboxes up to 20 times a day, marketers are competing with both competitor brands and the volume of numerous other emails, in the same space, for the subscriber’s attention. 

No matter how good your email is, if it’s not seen, it has no value. This month we give you three ways to help you ensure that your email receives the magic open.

  1. Send when your competitors are not
  2. Check your subject line
  3. Mix up your approach

1. Send when your competitors are not

Based on industry trends, most emails are sent during the week and at the top of the hour. Here’s a few tips on how to avoid getting lost in a sea of new emails.

  • Look to schedule your emails at the weekend and at odd times e.g. 8.10
  • Track your competitor emails and go ‘against the grain’ of their sending pattern
  • Create a series of tests for day of week and time of day, to find the sweet spots of open and engagement for your audience

2. Check how your subject line and pre-header look in your primary inboxes

Your subject line and pre-header should work together in unison. Getting them both right is essential to driving that all important open. 

Each email client inbox operates slightly differently in terms of character length and display. 

Check where your subject line and pre-header truncate (get cut off) and how easy they are to read with inbox render testing. There are online tools available to help make this task easier, check out the following:-

Litmus

Email on Acid

Subjectline.com

3. Mix up your subject line approach

47% of email recipients decide to open your email based on the subject line. Your subject line can be the difference between an open and a delete. Using the same approach each week can cause fatigue, so we’ve come up with some suggestions to inspire you. 

Use different styles

Test and rotate different styles of subject lines including:

  • Descriptive
  • Funny
  • Personal
  • Promotional
  • Answering Pain Points
  • Social Proof
  • Question Based
  • Intriguing 

Here’s a few examples that we love.

“Uh-oh, your prescription is expiring” – Warby Parker

“Licking your phone never tasted so good” – OpenTable

“They did WHAT with a pair of Crocs” – Crocs

“Fans are getting REAL about new Studio Fix Stick” – Mac Cosmetics

“Your next adventure is closer than you think!” – Avoya Travel

Personalise 

Think about using personalisation beyond first name. Using demographic data such as location can peak interest in a crowded inbox, for example a hotel brand could highlight a local hotel that has a timely offer or event happening soon. 

Using behavioural data such as products viewed or abandoned in a cart could add an extra layer of relevancy to the recipient to encourage them to click through.

Dates are also a great way to drive relevancy and urgency in a subject line. For example, when a sale is about to end or a membership is about to expire try adding the relevant date into the subject line or pre-header.

Test, Test and Test again

Split testing types and elements will also confirm what your specific audience likes. Do emojis, block capitals, use of first name or job title increase open rates? Test what works for your brand and don’t be afraid of experimenting. 

Here’s a few tips on ensuring your testing strategy is successful:-

  • Set SMART objectives and goals
  • Create a hypothesis – think about what you are going to change and what might be the outcome
  • Pick your variable for example – Statement vs Question or Positive vs Negative
  • Assign your sample size and the segments
  • Analyse the data and draw your insights for future campaigns
  • Continue to ensure testing is part of your ongoing plans

Final Thoughts

With a little competitor and peer insight and research, a sprinkle of email strategy and planning, and a good portion of structured testing, you’ll soon find out what works and what doesn’t. And most importantly why. Then you can replicate this month on month, driving your email performance up and delivering the business success this brings.

Need help from the experts?

If your email marketing isn’t giving you the results you want, is taking up too much of your valuable time or is simply causing you unnecessary stress, then it’s time to call in the experts.

And there’s no better than Jarrang.