This is how you formulate a successful subject and increase the opening rate of your advertising emails and newsletters.
The subject line is what the recipient first perceives when he receives an email. At this point it is decided whether the message ends up in the trash or is opened by the recipient. You can improve the opening rate if you follow a few rules when writing the subject:
Stay with What’s Important
Summarize the most important information for the reader in a short and meaningful way. Make it easier for the reader to quickly see what is relevant for him in this email. What does he miss if this mail deletes unread?
The length of the subject line should not exceed 50 characters. For one thing, the subject line works best if the reader can quickly grasp it. On the other hand, many email services and smartphones cut off the subject line at around 50 characters.
Never arouse expectations in a subject line that you do not honor in the email. This harms your reputation as an interesting sender. The result is falling opening rates. Misleading statements in the subject line are punishable under the Telemedia Act.
Bring key words forward
The most important keywords should be as far up front as possible. Change the words in your subject line until you reach this goal. The subject line doesn’t have to be perfect grammatically.
A phrase like “sensational offers” or “the best newsletter” are far too general. The recipient might also think it was spam. Always write in concrete terms which offers are why and why not use lurid formulations.
Test subject line
Each subject line should be tested against an alternative before shipping. To do this, first send the planned subject line to ten percent of the recipients. You send an alternative text to another ten percent. If this is better than the original one, send the alternative text to the remaining eighty percent. You should use the unique opening rate as a parameter: This is the proportion of addressees who open an e-mail.
In terms of database technology, it is easy to display the name of the addressee in the subject line. However, only use the name if it fits. “Your current mileage, Mr. Black” is personal. With “Great offers just for you, Mr. Black”, you do not believe that you are really the only one to get these offers.
Measure the Speech Well
Do not fade in the proper name too often, otherwise the effect will fade. It doesn’t always have to be the proper name. The place name, your own street or your own email address can also be included in the subject line. The reader also notices the company name or the department positively.
Admissibility of Advertising in Service Emails
Order confirmations or email shipping notifications may include advertising. This is not always permissible.
Transaction or service emails are used primarily in e-commerce. These are automated e-mails, the sending of which is triggered by the customer as part of a transaction. Usually it concerns order confirmations, order confirmations, shipping notifications or invoices. Such service emails are interesting for online marketing because the customer has to deal with them. This becomes clear with the example of an invoice. Service emails are therefore also characterized by a high opening rate. Experts speak of up to 80 percent.
Service emails for cross-selling and up-selling
Marketers use transactional emails to provide customers with additional information about products and offers (cross-selling). Background: After a purchase, customers are particularly positive and open to further products. The same applies to higher quality and more expensive products (up-selling). These can also be advertised in a transaction email and customers can be specifically stimulated. Legally, however, the question arises whether such emails may contain advertising at all, because customers have to consent to receiving advertising emails.
Consent is intended to ensure that email addresses are not unreasonably bothered by mass and unwanted advertising (risk of escalation). After all, they have to deal with every email – even if it’s just about deleting. However, this does not apply to transaction or service emails. The reason: there can be no unreasonable harassment of the recipients, since – as mentioned – they have to deal with these emails. It doesn’t matter whether they contain advertising or not.
Advertising in the service email must not be in the foreground
If advertising content is used in a service email to merely accompany the actual content of the email – for example, the notification of the dispatch of an ordered product – it will generally not be an unacceptable nuisance. The advertising takes a back seat and the business reason for the e-mail is plain to see. The potential for harassment of such e-mails is not there as in a classic spam mail, since the recipient reads such e-mails anyway.
But there are also cases in which service emails become promotional emails and impose an unacceptable burden on the recipient:
- The actual transaction-related content (such as order confirmation) is completely in the background.
- The transaction-related content is only faked.
Recipients of such advertising emails can make claims for injunctive relief and damages.
Email advertising in ongoing business relationships
If there is already a business relationship, advertising emails are allowed without the prior consent of the recipient. In this case, however, the legislator has created strict requirements in the Unfair Competition Act:
- The customer has left his email address in connection with the sale of a product or service.
- The e-mail address is used for direct advertising for your own similar goods or services.
- The customer did not object to the use of the email address.
- When collecting the e-mail address and each time the customer is used, the customer is clearly and clearly informed of the possible contradiction of use at any time.
If companies pay attention to this, they can send promotional emails without the prior express consent of the recipient. Then you will not commit a competition violation.
How colors influence your target group
Colors in mailings can determine the number of clicks and the associated conversion. How to exploit the potential of color symbols in your newsletter.
Whether sender, subject or picture selection: A newsletter should be perceived as positive by your target group. Don’t forget your own brand image! Your brand should always be reflected in the design and color scheme. The individual corporate identity or the corporate design manual apply here as a basic guideline.
As the person responsible for email marketing, you should avoid colors when designing your newsletter that are not associated with your company. Ideally, the recipients assign the email directly to your company via the color perception. Studies show that a large majority of purchase decisions are influenced by colors. Colored ads are also read more often than the same ad in black and white. Each color is associated with different meanings by the users.
The meaning of Different Colors
Red is very meaningful and attracts a lot of attention in mailings. Red expresses strong emotions. Use this color sparingly and wisely. If it is used too frequently and incorrectly, it can be intrusive. Red also leads to impulse purchases.
Newsletters that contain orange tones are perceived as warm and positive. Subscribers associate it with summer days or a good mood. Orange especially emphasizes call-to-actions.
Honesty, loyalty and trust are associated with blue. Services that want to convey a high level of trust and security, such as banks or insurance companies, can work well with this color.
Gray embodies seriousness and objectivity. This color is therefore suitable, for example, for the background of the newsletter to give it emphasis. In the B2B area or for news content, gray is increasingly being chosen as the coloring.
Green is a natural, calming color. Topics like “growth” or “environment” can be underlined with green.
The bold color is often used for wellness and beauty products because it embodies luxury and success.
Email marketers should note that there are social, cultural, and personal relationships with colors. Not every recipient will react to the color of the newsletter in the same way. It is therefore advisable to carry out A/B testing beforehand to check the effectiveness of the mailing. Based on the number of clicks, preferences can be defined for the target group so that this knowledge can be transferred to future mailings.
Best Practice: Newsletter from Nivea
The “Nivea News” illustrates what corporate design can look like in e-mail marketing. The newsletter works with various shades of blue that embody the Nivea brand. The choice of colors also builds trust and loyalty, which are immediately associated with the brand name. An attention-grabbing product image for the advertised content as well as a personalized title round off the mailing.
Tips for Attractive Newsletters
There is a lot to consider in the newsletter: sender, subject, introduction and of course the newsletter text.
For many companies, sending a regular newsletter is part of the online marketing strategy. But how can the newsletter be opened and read as an interesting information package?
Whoever receives an email first wants to know: who is sending the email and for what purpose? The sender is the most important information for the recipient. This also applies to a newsletter. The recipient must be able to easily identify the sender of the mailing.
The name of the company in combination with a specific person in the company ensures a high level of trustworthiness.
The recipient also sees the subject before opening the email. In addition to the sender, the subject line is significantly involved in the recipient’s decision whether to open the email or not. Important information for the recipient of the newsletter should be impressively announced in the subject line. It should not be kept too general, but it should also not be formulated too long and should in no way have an advertising effect. The recipients get a foretaste of exciting, interesting and relevant content.
If the central topic appears in a short, concise form in the subject line, the recipients will be informed immediately and are curious about further content.
Personal salutation is always part of a newsletter. Depending on the target group, this can be the first name (“Dear Alice”), the last name (“Dear Mr. Adams”) or the combination of both (“Hello, Ms. Jessica Foster”). A general form of address such as “Dear reader” should be avoided. Anyone who reads his name in black and white feels personally addressed.
A personal salutation increases the recipient’s trust in the newsletter sender.
Every reader of a newsletter is pleased with a few short introductory sentences that prepare them for the following content. However, these should not take longer than five to six lines, since the reader’s attention quickly wanes.
An introduction that builds excitement encourages the recipient to continue reading.
Recurring topics that readers can adjust to ensure the regular and reliable content of the newsletter. Many subscribers quickly choose their favorite topics, which they read and click in any case. The balanced topics guarantee a heterogeneous approach to the reader. However, for reasons of clarity, not too many categories should be offered. With an extensive content offering, filters help to deliver only the content relevant to the subscriber.
Relevant topics for the target group can be filtered out with the help of test and split mailings.
A newsletter can report on current topics from the company or inform about upcoming events. How personal the texts are is always dependent on the recipient. Short and animating teasers keep the entire newsletter alive and make you want more. Each teaser receives a link at the end of the text, which hides further information. The length of the teaser texts is crucial for the reader’s attention. The more teasers in the newsletter, the shorter the texts should be. The eye of the reader scans a lot of information very quickly and relies on clarity and concise keywords.
Very few subscribers read a newsletter from start to finish. In combination with keywords, unusual and strikingly phrased sentences attract the necessary attention.
An image that picks up on the content of the teaser draws the reader’s attention. The picture must be selected appropriately if the company wants to use it to draw the recipient into the text.
The use of images as an eye catcher encourages even lazy readers to approach a topic.
Design elements, such as colored buttons, which stand out from the general design of the newsletter as “troublemakers” and draw attention to special actions by the company, attract attention. However, they should not be placed or formulated too aggressively. Reluctance is required here. Wordings like “Everything has to be out!” Or “Great competitions with mega profits” are more reminiscent of the conventional advertising brochure. Get to know us from a completely different side. At the industrial fair in Hall 4, Stand 34, for example, arouses curiosity without being intrusive.
“Disturbers” should be discreetly designed, but provided with a striking text.
Readers who are interested in certain contents of the newsletter need a contact person to be able to ask questions. Subscribers who want to complain as well. Newsletters should therefore offer a contact option, also for things such as changes of address, repeat orders or requests for information. It is not important to provide differentiated contact addresses for different inquiries. An address or telephone number is sufficient for the recipient.
The reply function is the easiest way for the newsletter subscriber to contact the sender directly.