Are People Eager to Open Your Email Campaigns?

Do people look forward to getting your mail?

If people open your email campaigns automatically, congratulations. You’re doing very well!

I get regular email from some of my favorite resources. One of them is Griot’s Garage. Last week I got their latest mail and I laughed out loud when I realized I’d opened it without thinking. As a marketing guy, I found it intriguing.

Then I began to ponder some of the things I know about email marketing. Human behavior is complex. There’s never just one thing that makes people do what they do.

There are at least three things that influence the way people respond to your email. 

Subject lines are important, but not the sole factor.

Pay close attention. Don’t let the subject line be an afterthought.

Subject lines play a key role in open rates. On the technical side, some words need to be avoided. Spam filters are regularly updated and configured to target certain words. They see them as clues the mail is probably undesirable.

Make your subject lines relevant and compelling. You’re competing for people’s attention. When they open your mail they expect to find what they want. However, if you’ve tricked them and they find something they don’t want, their disappointment is your loss. Don’t misrepresent your email in an effort to get people to open it. Make sure there’s a legitimate connection between the subject line and the subject matter.

The “from” line is vital – your reputation is key.

The know, like and trust factors can’t be underestimated. Think about caller ID on your phone. There are people I love to hear from. Whenever possible, I answer without hesitation. I have a good friend with whom I often Skype. Unless I’m terribly busy, I’ll answer his call every time.

It’s not the way the “from” line reads that’s important. It’s the entire experience people have with you and your products. What do you do for your customers? How do you make them feel? Is there a strong know/like/trust factor?

Griot’s Garage gets my attention every time. Their tagline is, “Have fun in your garage.” My own garage is my playpen. Because they contribute to the enjoyment of my hobby, I’m eager to hear from them.

Even if you don’t cater to a niche enthusiast market, your reputation has a lot to do with the way people respond to your mail.

Your content history is also a big key – your reputation is fluid.

Loyalty isn’t won forever. It’s earned over and over again. Every touch point influences how people think and feel about you. Your email campaigns are continually adding weight to the satisfaction / dissatisfaction scale. Today’s email content effects the open rate of the next one.

Keep the quality high. If people are continually satisfied with your content you’re winning their loyalty. An occasional flop will be forgiven, so perfection isn’t required. If, on the other hand, you slack off on quality and relevance, the dissatisfaction will show up in click rates.

Segment and keep it relevant. You probably have multiple product or service lines. If so, it’s not safe to assume everyone wants to hear about everything you offer. Email service providers have analytical tools that give you the power to discover what interests people. You can then build segmented lists to send people what they want.

When you offer a high percentage of what people are looking for, you become a meaningful resource. Your reputation goes up. If your content provides minimal satisfaction, your reputation diminishes.

Opens will decrease, awareness drops and you become irrelevant. Don’t let that happen to you. Following the above guidelines makes you a welcome visitor to the inbox of the people you want to reach.

Do you want to use email marketing but lack the time or ability? Contact Steve Smart at


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