Do your clients and prospects open your emails? If not, why not?

Email marketing has been with us now for almost twenty years and about 75% of email accounts belong to individual consumers, like your clients and prospects. As of 2012, there were 3.3 billion registered email accounts, with nearly 145 billion emails being sent worldwide each day. That is a staggering number of emails. This means any email communication you send out has to compete with dozens of other emails that end up in your client’s inbox.

This competition for the consumer’s attention means that an email that is sent to your clients or prospects for marketing purposes should be carefully crafted. All great emails contain three crucial components, and as you get better at incorporating these three elements your email response rate will grow.

1. Write a subject line that grabs attention.

When it comes to emails, most readers make snap decisions based on a quick scan of the top of the page. More often than not, they’ll simply move on to something else unless you craft an excellent headline.The subject line is often the last thing we do after working so hard at crafting the right email. But the subject line should not be just an afterthought; it’s the first thing to get right because it’s the first thing potential clients see.

A good subject line not only grabs the recipient’s attention, but it also lets him or her know what to expect from the email. Let’s say you are sending an email newsletter with an interesting video about estate planning. When creating your subject line, try to think what would make you open an email. Here are a couple of tips from the pro’s.

Consider adding a couple of emotional words and put the action item in brackets:

Mistakes to Avoid for Retirees: New Video on Estate Planning [Watch Now]

Studies show that the use of a question boosts open and click-through rates, so try framing your subject line as a question:

When Was the Last Time You Updated Your Estate Plan? Watch This Video.

Those two simple techniques – adding emotive words and framing a question – will boost the impact of your subject lines.

2. Sound a clear call to action.

A call to action is the point of your message. Since it’s what you want your recipient to do as a result of reading the email, you should lead with it. It’s a great idea to incorporate a call to action in your subject line. If not, make sure it’s in your first paragraph and again at the end of the message.

Here is an example of an email with a call to action in the first paragraph. The subject line is about an upcoming change in the tax laws that may affect your clients. Try using a question and some brackets in the subject line to give it some punch:

Will New Tax Laws Impact Your Payment this Year? [Watch This Video]

Now the call to action comes in the first paragraph:

Recent changes in the tax laws may affect your tax payment this year. Your investments that are taxed as capital gains could be affected. Call for a free review to evaluate your investment tax status.

A common misconception is that calls to action should only be featured at the end of a message. However, in case the reader only reads the headline and first paragraph (a common occurrence), he or she will still know what the email is about.

3. Include a golden nugget of information.

A good email offers information that is timely and compelling and that does not necessarily benefit you directly. This “golden nugget” should be so valuable that it feels gift-like, and motivates contacts to forward the email.

If you make it a practice to always include interesting and valuable information in your email communications, your clients and prospects will regularly open and share them. That email on tax law changes might go on to give some interesting facts about taxes, and finally restate the call to action, encouraging folks to schedule a tax review.

Putting it All Together

With these three points in mind, here is the entire email:

Subject: Will New Tax Laws Impact Your Payment this Year? [Watch This Video]

Recent changes in the tax law may affect your tax payment this year. Your investments that are taxed as capital gains could be affected. Call for a free review to evaluate your investment tax status.

Taxes can be taxing! Did you know that:

* Americans spend over six billion hours calculating their taxes each year, which is more hours than it takes to produce every van, car, and truck in the U.S.

* 73% of tax revenue is paid by the top 10% of earners.

* Each taxpayer has a 20% chance of overpaying – with an average error amount of $460!

When it comes to taxes, don’t pay a penny more than you owe! We’re here to help you sort through your financial concerns. Give us a call today.

You can see that even without images, this email is still clear and interesting, and moves toward the goal of converting prospects into active clients.

Here’s the Recap

Take the time to craft an engaging, active subject line. Put your call to action near the front of the email and again at the end, and always include a nugget or two of interesting information that will engage your readers and make them likely to open the next email you send. As you follow these three steps, you will learn how to write emails like a pro and see greater response rates as a result.