If you’re an email marketer, you know that to be an effective email marketer is to be a salesperson, copywriter, and creative director all at once. However, from a consumer’s perspective, email marketing is often seen as one of the more annoying branches on the great tree of marketing.

It doesn’t have to be this way. Email marketing should be a mutually beneficial exchange between a brand and those that are interested in what the brand has to offer. I’m not sure exactly when, but somewhere in the universality of ecommerce, marketers lost their way.

Ideally, great email marketing is when those on your mailing lists anticipate your email instead of marking it as spam or sending it to their trash bin as soon as they see the subject line and your brand’s name adjacent to it.

As marketers, it’s time we transcend what people think about email marketing. Here are three efficient tactics to do just that, which will result in increased open rates, and better yet, more satisfied consumers which equal a favorable brand attitude.

Ship value

As an email marketer, you probably believe that every single time you press send on an email, you’re delivering something of value to the recipient (we’ve all been there). The truth is, that’s hardly ever the case. True value is shipping offers or information that your data can prove is valuable to the recipient. Catchy headlines for clicks only serve the marketer — not the consumer. True value consists of providing something that will serve the consumer first.

By segmenting your mailing lists based on your consumers’ interest data and presenting them with not just offers for a sale, but information on the things that interest them without attaching a link to a landing page for them to make a purchase — you’re providing value to the consumer.

For example, if you’re a marketer for a retailer that sells pet food online, a great subject line could be: “Since you purchased Purina dog food, you’d might want to know…”. In the body of the email, you can provide information on the latest study or article involving puppies. This works in two ways:

  • It causes tension with the reader, making it more likely that they’ll open the email.
  • It provides valuable information about puppies that the reader would probably deem useful if they purchased dog food from you recently.

This email wouldn’t lead to a direct sale, but you’d be providing value to the reader. Which will build trust and eagerness for the consumer to hear from you again.

Be rewarding

There’s nothing that consumers appreciate more than being rewarded. It’s why rewards programs are so popular. It’s also why we appreciate Chinese food restaurants that give us free fortune cookies with our order (they don’t have to). A sure way to get an email opened is by offering a reward in your subject line. Here’s one that is sure to get a click:

“Because you’ve been such a great customer, here’s your…”

The key here is making sure that the reward has value. It must be something that the consumer would truly appreciate or it’ll have the opposite effect once the consumer opens the email and feels like she’s been duped…which could lead to her unsubscribing from your list or even worse — labeling it as spam.

Keep your subject lines concise

In Robert Greene’s book, The 48 Laws Of Power, the 4th law is “Always say less than necessary.” The same rule applies to your email subject lines. Every word in your subject line should be leading to a benefit for the recipient. It should be as short as possible, but just long enough to create intrigue and an incentive for the reader to open it.

Subject lines should be straight to the point, while also describing the purpose for the recipient to invest their time opening it. Look at subject lines as micro elevator pitches. Say only what needs to be said and nothing more. And as a marketer, what needs to be said is something of true value to the recipient.

Originally published here.