We’ve sent well over a MILLION emails this year at the Entrepreneurs Circle.
We send so many because email remains the single most effective way to not only sell to your prospects, but engage, segment and support them.
Now with that volume of emails comes a whole lot of learning.
In fact, over the past six-months we’ve effectively TRIPLED the effectiveness of our emails. We’re getting more opens, more clicks and more sales at a time when for most, email is on the decline.
(I’m not sharing this to brag, it’s one of those ‘this stuff really does work so you should keep reading on’ type situations!).
So without further adieu, let’s share the NINE “sneaky” (but ethical) tricks you can implement in your next email to:
- DOUBLE your open-rates
- TRIPLE your click through rates
- BOOST your engagement
The first step to increasing your emails effectiveness is to increase your open rates.
Think about this a second…
If you’re running email marketing campaigns and you do nothing else but double your open rates…
You’ve just doubled your business.
So let’s start with some “sneaky” tricks to increase your email open-rates.
Email Marketing Trick #1.
Use PROVEN Subject Lines
Here’s what your email looks like in your prospects/customers inbox:
It’s sat amongst dozens of other emails all ready to be deleted at the click of a button or a swipe of a finger.
The first step to TRIPLE the effectiveness of your emails is to get them opened!
So how do you attract people’s attention and get them to open/read your email?
The key is the SUBJECT LINE.
Every successful subject line falls under one of four categories:
Let’s look at each one in detail:
These subject lines get the email opened by making the reader curious (duh!). They are based on mystery and leave the reader wanting more.
Here are some examples of ‘Curiosity’ subject lines that we’ve used in the past:
- Why we paid Google £5,312,789…
- This just got weird…
- Was this you [FIRSTNAME]?
- More _______ , Less work
- 52% more clicks from THIS?!
These subject lines get straight to the point. They outline the benefits of what you’re offering right in the subject line.
These are also excellent for segmenting your list, because if someone clicks on the email and opens it – you know they’re interested in achieving/receiving that benefit themselves.
Here are some examples of ‘Benefit’ subject lines that have worked well for us in the past:
- Get Traffic on Demand
- How to Write Facebook Ads that Convert
- Generate £5,000 from ONE email
- How to build your Facebook following
See how the subject lines are very different to the ‘Curiosity’ based ones. They are clear, to the point and tell you exactly what you’re going to find within the email.
These subject lines are mainly used for sales messages and launches. They convey urgency and the fact that the reader might miss out on something soon.
Here are some examples of ‘Scarcity’ subject lines that you could swipe directly if you wanted!
- FINAL NOTICE
- Last chance to become a VIP
- Deadline: 5:00pm
- You’re about to miss out [FIRSTNAME]…
These subject lines use proof, quotes and case studies to build credibility and get your email opened.
Here are some examples of ‘Results’ subject lines that work for us:
- [CASE STUDY] £52,492 from one Facebook Ad
- 1,219 Leads from Twitter
- Swipe this £19,833 template
Note how all of these subject lines use very specific numbers. That’s the key to their success – the numbers are real – do NOT round up!
If you want your emails to get opened then build your subject line around one of these four categories.
BONUS: if you can merge your recipient’s name into the subject line you’ll see a huge boost in open rates.
- Hey [FIRSTNAME]!
- Have I upset you [FIRSTNAME]?
- This is for you [FIRSTNAME]…
Our eyes are naturally drawn to our name when we see it, so by including it in your subject line you’ll draw more attention.
Speaking of attention, let’s look at “sneaky” trick number two…
Email Marketing Trick #2.
Emojis are a great way to get your emails to stand out.
Take a look at this inbox, which email stands out?
If you’re like most people, it would have been this one:
By adding an emoji to your subject line you add a bit of colour, personality and make sure you stand out from the crowd.
Here are some of the subject lines we’ve used that make use of emojis:
Our favourite emojis for marketing messages include:
1. The Green Tick: ✅
This one’s great for affirming a point and it stands out in the inbox like a sore thumb!
2. The Alarm Clock: ⏰
This emoji is now a staple in any deadline driven campaign we run. It stands out and perfectly sums up the feelings this email should, ‘get a move on!’.
3. The Heart: ❤️
This emoji is perfect because, like green tick, it stands out massively in the inbox. It is also an instantly recognisable, universally accepted icon that makes your reader feel all warm and fuzzy on the inside (at least, on a subconscious level!).
Here’s the deal:
On the tests we’ve run we ALWAYS see an increase in open-rates when we include an emoji in the subject line. Always.
Most notably was on this email where this one change increased our open rates by 62%!
Can you spot the difference?
Just by adding the ‘☎️’ we increased our open rates by 62%!
We get our emojis from GetEmoji.com and depending on your email service provider you may be able to copy and paste them in.
However some email providers need a bit more work to ‘play-ball’ with emoji subject lines.
If you send a test email and can’t see the emoji you’ve pasted in, never fear!
Simply use this free tool to turn your emoji subject line into an encoded string of digits. This might look odd, but your email system will translate it into emoji for you (just be sure to send yourself a test email first!).
Email Marketing Trick #3.
The ‘second’ Subject Line
Wait. Didn’t we already cover the subject line?
Yes! We did. But what we’re talking about here is the often forgotten ‘second’ subject line.
When you look at your inbox you’ll see just three things in each email.
- From Name
- Subject Line
- Second Subject Line ← or ‘preview’
The Second Subject Line is the preview of the first few sentences of your email.
You can see them here when we look at the inbox:
The second subject line is critical to getting your email opened, and yet, so many people just ignore what they use in their emails.
The most common ‘second subject line’ in a marketing email is:
What an absolutely, totally ridiculous waste of space!
- It does NOT compel you to open the email in any way
- It screams “I’m a mass mailed promotional email, please ignore me!” (when was the last time you emailed a friend with that sentence?).
The truth is, unless you’re sending hard-coded emails to a list where most of your recipients are using an incredibly outdated email service (think PRE-Outlook 2003!), this sentence is not needed.
And yet, not only do most people include it in their emails, but they give it pride of place right at the top so that it’s pulled in to the second subject line.
So let’s look at some GOOD examples of second subject lines:
This ‘second subject line’ compliments the main subject line. It reinforces the message and further compels you to click and read the email.
Here’s another example:
This second subject line works because it overcomes two of the main objections people would have when reading the main subject line.
“Swipe our £12,849 Facebook Ad Template” – the reason someone wouldn’t open this email is because they think “that’s going to take too much work” OR “that won’t work for my business/industry”.
This second subject line overcomes both of those objections and is therefore going to give us more opens!
Email Marketing Trick #4.
So we’ve covered the subject line, and the ‘second subject line’…
…there’s just ONE more thing that will affect whether someone opens or ignores your email.
The ‘From’ name.
The ‘from’ name is WHO the email comes from.
You can see from the image above that people take very different approaches to their ‘from’ names. (Most people put no thought into them whatsoever!).
The key here is that people RECOGNISE who you are. We don’t like to open emails from strangers!
So once you choose your ‘from’ name it’s best to be consistent with it.
We find the ‘From’ name that gets the most opens is:
Who’d have thought!
Using a personal name as the ‘from’ name makes the email look and feel like a personal one. Using a company name screams ‘I AM AN AUTOMATED PROMOTIONAL EMAIL’ and will often decrease your open rates.
If we’re using a new name and want to avoid confusion then we combine the two:
Jess at the EC
This can be a best of both worlds situation because it remains personal, but also reminds people where we’re emailing from.
Email Marketing Trick #5.
Timing (avoid the PURGE!)
What’s the first thing you do in the morning?
If you’re like 49% of people, you’ll roll over in bed, grab your phone and begin the daily ritual of PURGING THE INBOX.
It’s true, almost half of your audience is reading their emails first thing in the morning, in bed.
But guess what…
…they’re not reading them to take action, to click through to your sales page, or even to read your lengthy email.
They’re doing one thing.
Their fingers are swiping to delete email after email, BUT there’s a simple way to avoid your messages being purged, deleted and unread.
Send them later in the day!
It really is that simple. Send your emails later in the morning when people are out of bed and in the office, or better yet – send them in the afternoon.
REMEMBER: all markets and audiences are different, so the best thing to do is to test what time of day your email list responds to best.
Email Marketing Trick #6.
Links – the magic number!
If you’re sending an email and you want people to click through (whether it’s to a piece of content or a sales page) you need to add a link. And from what our research tells us, you should add at least four of them.
You can definitely add more but I wouldn’t recommend any less.
So why four?
The truth is that people are unique, they won’t all click for the same reasons.
By including more links (at different points in the email) you increase your chances of ‘catching’ as many people as you can.
Let’s look at this example:
Each link is appealing to a different type of person and a different reason why they might click.
Link 1: Image
Some people like to have a big image to click on, we give them the chance early on in the email.
Link 2: Go here and get it now
We’re being direct, telling them exactly what to do.
Link 3: 83% discount…
This appeals to the people who are interested in the great discount and savings available to them.
Link 4: 24 hours…
This link is appealing to those who are more deadline driven.
Links 5, 6, 7 & 8:
These are all bullet points of what the recipient will discover if they invest in this product. We don’t know which point they’ll find most appealing and so we make sure we link them all.
Link 9: Get it here now
Again, we’re being direct – this time at the end of the email to pick up anybody who read through the content and needs to be told what to do next (people like to be told what to do).
Link 10: Click Here to grab your Business & Lifestyle Transformation Kit
This link is in the P.S of the email to pick up the people who just skip straight to the end of the email (there’s LOTS of people who do this!).
Obviously you don’t need 10 clicks in every email you send…
…but as a rule of thumb:
More Links = More Clicks
Speaking of links, let’s move on to “sneaky” tactic number 7.
Email Marketing Trick #7.
Images & Videos
It is human nature to click a play button.
It’s a fact of life. When you put a play button in front of someone every morsel of their being is telling them to click it!
This is a great way to get more clicks from your emails.
You can take a screenshot of the video and the inbuilt play button:
Or you can add one of your own:
You can swipe our favourite play buttons to use in our email images here:
(you might recognise them, they’re from YouTube, Netflix and Facebook – three of the most popular video sites out there – so people are accustomed to clicking those buttons).
Make sure you LINK the screenshot/image in the email. There’s nothing worse that a non-functioning play button!
Images are another great click-getting tool.
People click on pictures. So include them in your emails.
…if you want to get really smart with images in your emails, and really boost your click through rates there’s a great tool we highly recommend.
It’s called NiftyImages (https://niftyimages.com) and amongst other things, it lets you add your recipients name into an image.
It involves a little technical wizardry but it takes just a few minutes and works a treat!
You build your image and generate a string of code which you then insert in your email.
You can be creative with it, put people’s names on an invitation, on a sign, on a piece of card that you’re holding, or like we did below – in a speech bubble.
This image received our highest EVER click through rate when we sent it:
And you can see why!
Obviously where it says Cameron, it would say YOUR NAME – crazy eh!
In the video we talk about our members, which is who this email went out to (so we weren’t lying!) – but we got huuuuge click throughs for us.
BONUS: Members of the Entrepreneurs Circle can benefit from an exclusive 25% off NiftyImages subscriptions with our EC Deals (woohoo!).
Learn more about EC Membership here: www.entrepreneurscircle.org/join
Email Marketing Trick #8.
GIFs – make ’em move!
Staying on the topic of images and clicks – GIFs (used correctly) can be devastatingly effective for your CTR.
By adding a bit of motion to your emails you can grab attention, generate interest and most importantly increase your clicks.
Use them to animate buttons, show more of a product or just catch people’s eyes.
Here are some examples we’re using right now:
We used this GIF when we were selling tickets to our EC National Event a few months ago. This flashing button increased our CTR by 22%.
This GIF was responsible for over 150 reviews for the Entrepreneurs Circle on Facebook.
This GIF shows the vastness of our Implementation Plan library. Our prospects can see how many step-by-step guides we have and are more compelled to find out more.
REMEMBER: make sure you link the GIFs to your landing page etc.
Email Marketing Trick #9.
Surveys! (or are they…)
This is quite possibly the ‘sneakiest’ of all our email tricks.
It’s not something you want to overuse. But if you need a high click through rate it’s great to whip out and deploy.
We call them ‘Imitation Surveys’ and they look like this:
But all is not as it seems…
You see, this Survey is in fact just a single image, and when you click anywhere on the image you’re taken to the same page (I told you it was sneaky!).
People like to have an opinion, and are therefore likely to click on a survey in an email.
Now you CAN get very fancy with this and build the email with different images and links that actually segment your list using these ‘surveys’.
But the key is to make sure the message in the email transitions into the landing page.
You can’t just have a survey and then ignore the fact you’ve sent them a survey!
In this example we were asking people which Facebook Ad image they thought performed better before taking them to a video where we explain the answer and why.
(in case you were wandering, it was the one on the right!).
We’re trusting you with this ‘sneaky’ trick…
…use it for good. Not evil!
And deploy it whenever you need a surge of clicks.
That’s all folks…
It’s up to you now to implement these ‘sneaky’ tricks in your own emails (and watch your conversions shoot through the roof!).
So whether you put an emoji in your subject line, send your email later in the day or even create an imitation survey, make sure you take action and swipe our ‘sneaky’ tricks for yourself.