Best PracticesDealership Marketing

7 Easy Ways To Get More of Your Emails Opened

7 Ways to Get Your Emails Opened

If you could improve the performance of each of your email campaigns by 10% – what would that mean to your sales and service revenue in a year’s time?

When your customer receives your email or newsletter, their decision to open it is based on two things: who it is from and what the subject line says.

For this post, let’s look at seven easy things you can do to improve your subject lines so more of your emails get opened.


1. Use Personalization

I have to admit that I thought this trick was outdated by now, but a recent Sherpa case study showed that not only did adding personalization to the subject line increase open rates by 5.13% more than regular emails but the personalization in the subject line also contributed to a 17.36% increase in the click through rate. Why would subject line personalization increase the click through rate? Their explanation is that the subject line got subscribers more interested in the email and more willing to click. Read the full case study here.


2. Watch the News

Cable news shows are great at ending each news segment with a teaser to keep you sticking around through the commercials for the next segment. The teasers are usually short, intriguing and interesting – exactly the format you want for a good subject line.


3. Avoid the spam filter

Did you know that when an email is flagged by a spam filter, 35% of the time it is caused by the subject line? While it is probably safe to say that none of your automotive marketing subject lines begin with “FREE VIAGRA” did you know that starting a subject line with a $ can get you flagged?

Check your subject line in one of the many online spam checkers to make sure you aren’t inadvertently triggering a spam filter.

Additionally, here are three sources of lists with the trigger words you’ll want to avoid:


4. Deadlines are Good

If there is a legitimate urgency to your offer, include it. For instance, “Only 3 Days Left” will outperform “Sale Going On Now.”


5. Less is More

Put your most important info at the beginning of the subject line and try to keep the content to less than 38 to 47 characters. Eliminate unnecessary words and be as concise as possible.


6. What’s in it for me?

How does your subject line benefit your customer? Read your subject line from the viewpoint of your customer – just because you care about the subject doesn’t mean your customers will.


7. Test, test, test.

Think you have the perfect subject line? You might be surprised. Try doing an A/B split test where you send an email with one subject line to a portion of your database, and a different subject line to another portion. See which one performs the best and then use that subject line with the balance of your database.

It’s not just your email campaigns you can improve, but the daily emails your sales team is sending out as well.

What are some of the best or worst subject lines that you’ve seen?

Take one part geek, add a healthy dose of creativity, top it off with an obsession for marketing and you have… Malinda Terreri. Her marketing talent...
  • A
    Alex Snyder
  • May 3, 2012
These are fantastic tips Malinda!
  • V
  • May 4, 2012
Great post, Malinda! Thanks for sharing. Google Analytics can be a great resource for determining "timing" of sending emails. Here's the link, if interested. 
  • D
  • May 7, 2012
As always - great information and tips Malinda.
I find myself reading the drama magazine headlines for great subject lines. We dealers are often to quick to send our emails out before placing little thought into the content and subject lines. No fault to the dealer - it's not our expertise. BUT wanting better performance from their email marketing, hiring someone that does have the expertise can make the difference.
That raises another issue. Too many email marketing services in our industry LACK at providing this expertise. The dealer is provided a "performance rep" that lacks skills and real talent in content and email marketing.
I have to give a shout here to Malinda. With her talent and insight, the Mercedes dealer I work with achieved a 40+% open rate last month with their monthly newsletter. Awesome numbers.
SO much goes into email and content marketing. Be sure to have someone or a service that can provide you real talent to make the difference in your open, engagement and conversion rates with your email / content marketing.
Thank everyone for your nice comments. And Vicki, thanks too for adding the Google Analytics info.