If you're like me, you check your inbox first thing in the morning and you quickly scan that list of messages. Your brain quickly prioritizes which emails need your attention first, and they all get classified as: read now, read later, or read never — delete.
Throughout the day, we repeat those actions whenever we check our inboxes. Our inboxes are flooded with messages from clients, colleagues, loved ones, and spammers every day. So, how can a business stand out from the pack?
As a marketer, you can take advantage of the "Two-Second Rule" by paying attention to just a few key areas so that people will take action on the email you've sent. The "Two-Second Rule" revolves around the idea that we only have two seconds to grab a reader's attention.
Here are five tips to make the most out of your email marketing efforts:
Make the "from" line easily recognizable
Is the "from" line easily recognizable? If people associate your name with your business's name, then you should use both. However, if it's a large company, then only the company name should be in that line.
Keep your subject lines short and compelling
Try to cap your subject lines at under 40 characters and fewer than eight words. Make sure that the first two words matter most.
Also, avoid using words like "Free" or "Buy Now" since this language might get picked up by a spam filter and route your email to their junk box instead of their inbox.
Remember, too, that well over 50 percent of emails are now read on mobile devices, and long subject lines will be cut off, so don't leave the juicy information until the end.
Create a sense of urgency
Can you create a sense of urgency in your subject line? If there is a deadline for taking advantage of a discount, or if you are running out of seats for an upcoming event, make sure to include that information in your email as concisely as possible.
Use numbers and personal pronouns to engage your reader
Email marketing is engagement marketing.
Use personal pronouns like "you" or "your" to appeal directly to your consumers. You can also use numbers to break your articles into digestible pieces. For example: "5 Ways to Maximize Your Marketing Budget"
Take advantage of pre-header text
Many email service providers will allow you to write customized pre-header text (or teaser text).
Pre-header text is the text that appears just underneath the subject line while the email is in the inbox.
If you don't write your own pre-header text, then the first line of copy in your email will be used as pre-header text.
BONUS TIP: Consider the pre-header text extra real estate in someone's inbox. People love to see their own names in their inboxes and are more likely to open personalized emails. So, use "Dear [First Name]" in the body of your email. It'll make your customers much more likely to take notice of your message.
Test your email before sending it out
Don't forget to test your email campaign before sending it out.
Preview what it looks like on both your desktop device and your mobile device. It should go without saying that every single email campaign you send out must be mobile-responsive.
Any key actions you want the reader to take should appear above the scroll line. Ensure that the link or action button is not buried at the bottom of your email.
Lastly, pay attention to layout, font size, and colors in your emails to keep readers engaged and subscribed to your email list.
Maria Semple is the founder and CEO of The Prospect Finder LLC. Maria consults to small businesses and nonprofit organizations on email marketing, social media and prospecting strategies. She is a professional speaker and has presented at conferences throughout the United States. Her book, "Magnify Your Business: Tips, Tools and Strategies to Grow Your Business or Nonprofit" was published in October 2015.