Live From the Direct Media Co-op: Getting People to Open and Read Your Marketing E-mails

White Plains, NY—Paying keen attention to every word in your marketing e-mail from the “from” line on through the bottom of the letter will get more customers and prospects to open it. Before even delving into the importance of subject lines in her session during list firm Direct Media’s 30th Annual Mailers Conference & Co-op here on March 25, Reggie Brady, president of her Norwalk, CT-based consulting firm Reggie Brady Marketing Solutions, noted the importance of the “from” line as an initial attention-getter.

“Pick one and stick with it,” she said about from lines, “whether it be just ‘Barnes and Noble’ or ‘Barnes and Noble Special Deals’. The from line is an extremely important element to get your e-mail opened. She showed an e-mail from horticulture cataloger Breck’s, which had the from line, “Offers@Brecks.com.”

Before getting into subject lines, Brady moved on to the importance of including “add me to your address approach” lines, to assure marketers that their e-mails get through spam filters.

As for subject lines, Brady stressed the importance of including brand or company names in them. Of less obvious note, however, she pointed out how some studies have shown that using punctuation marks helps open rates, as well as some longer subject lines. “Test different subject lines,” she said. “Also test personalization on subject lines for retention and customer relationship management purposes.”

Among other tips Brady offered, she advises marketers to mirror their home pages in their marketing e-mails “so your e-mail becomes a mini-portal to your Website,” she said. As for what to offer, free shipping and handling may not help “since everybody’s offering free shipping and handling in consumer marketing, so you’re not going to stand out there.” Instead, e-mails that announce the impending arrival of catalogs to customers’ homes, dollars-off offers, and percentage-off offers will probably work best.

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