co What Headline Will Get Your Reader to Open Your E-Mail? |

Return Path just recently released their “Third Annual E-mail Consumer Survey,” which they conducted in December of 2006. The survey comprises responses from 2,413 people ages 18 to 54 and living in the United States and Canada. Here’s what they found regarding the current state of E-mail marketing:

Why Consumers Choose to Open and Read E-Mails:

55.9% – Know and Trust the Sender
51.2% – Previously Opened from Sender and Thought Valuable
41.4% – Subject Line
32.2% – I Only Open the E-Mails I Normally Read
21.8% – Preview Window Caught my Attention
20.0% – Discount
17.5% – Free Shipping Offer
9.4% – Company Doesn’t Send me Much E-Mail
8.8% – Looked Like the Catalog I Received at Home

One of the questions they asked was new for 2006:

Given all the e-mail you received this holiday season, how do you feel about signing up for new email offers in the future?

50.9% – No Different
28.5% – Slightly different, I am a bit more wary of signing up
21.5% – A lot different, I am very wary of signing up
1.9% – A lot better, I love e-mail and sign up for everything

What this tells me is that while e-mail is a tremendously powerful tool for small business owners to use in their marketing strategy, it’s imperative that you do each stage of the process exactly right – customers have been bombarded by spammers trying to make a quick buck at the expense of their reputation … you don’t want to be linked to those types of con artists! By strategically planning your e-mail marketing campaigns, you can successfully avoid scaring off customers who are wary of being spammed, and use e-mail to stay in touch with current customers, find new customers and grow your sales too.

Another question that was new for 2006:

What Kinds of Subject Lines Most Attract Your Attention:

55.2% – Clearly State the Offer
49.6% – Discount or Free Shipping
48.8% – Brand Name of the Sender
33.8% – Curious
30.3% – Promise Immediate Answers (download or survey)
18.7% – Short
15.2% – Promise to Solve a Specific Problem
14.1% – Funny
11.0% – Has My Name In It

Now, this was a surprise! I can’t tell you how many “internet gurus” out there will tell you that having your customer’s name in the subject line is a “sure fire” way to get your customer to open it. It makes a lot of sense if you think about it from your customer’s point of view, though. The winning headlines are those that state the benefit to the customer – which is, after all, just pure Marketing 101. Keep your customer in mind when marketing – whether via e-mail or anywhere else – and you’ll come out on top every time.

To find out how YOU can use E-Mail marketing to find new local customers and increase your sales, visit our website at today!