How To Get People To Read Your Emails


Oct 21, 2016

Every day you face the same dilemma of trying to figure out which emails to read and which ones to delete without a second thought. This is no small task since the average person receives over 120 emails per day. You have to draw the line somewhere to manage the sheer volume, and usually that line is drawn at the email’s subject line.

Studies done by Yesware, an email platform, found that people usually make snap decisions about subject lines. Email open rates correlate with these choices. On average, emails with good subject lines have an open rate of 51.9 percent, and the average response rate is 29.8 percent.

This means you should take into account some key strategies for creating highly readable email subject lines.


Count on Numbers

Use numbers in your subject lines to make them stand out.

Numbers are often used in connection with hard data and statistics, which give readers fact-based information. The Yesware study discovered that adding numbers increased open rates significantly – up to 53.2 percent.

Numbers make subject lines appear more credible and useful. Therefore, they seem worth spending the time to open.


Title Case Stands Tall

Another sure-fire way to inspire higher open rates is to use title case in email subject lines. This involves capitalizing every word in the title. For instance, instead of writing “open me now,” go with “Open Me Now.”

The latter looks a lot more authoritative than the former, which helps your email win credibility.

Testing showed that title case emails were opened by 54.3 percent of recipients, over the lower case rate of 47.6 percent. Replies to title case subject lines were an impressive 32.3 percent.


Don’t Use Personal Greetings

Saying “hello” to someone in an email subject line may seem like a great idea, but it’s actually a terrible one for open rates.

This kind of friendly familiarity was once a good tactic for making recipients think emails are coming from someone they know and trust. However, overuse of this strategy has caused it to lose effectiveness.

Personal greetings significantly lower open and reply rates.


Ditch the Questions

Another popular subject line tactic is using a question to draw attention.

Questions and question marks rated poorly in the study.

This method makes recipients feel like they need to answer, do, or think about something – which most won’t bother with.


Keep It Short

Keep your subject line short and sweet. A few words is all you need. In fact the study found that just around 3 words worked best.

  About The Author  

Nigel has vast experience in Training & Development, Facilitation, Lecturing, General Management and Operations. In addition to an educational background in philosophy, psychology, theology and communications, he has advanced qualifications in business, adult education and coaching.

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