These days, people see advertisements everywhere that they go. Particularly when surfing the web, every single webpage is covered in flashing banners and blinking ads. This has caused people to create a natural defense in their minds that allows them to passively scan over most of the valueless content that they see on a daily basis.
This same phenomenon happens when people open their in-box to check their email. The average person receives multiple emails every day, but this does not mean that they read them all. People quickly scan subject lines and select only the emails that they believe to be important to them. This means that if a marketer’s email headline does not stand out, it is likely that a subscriber won’t even notice it in among their long list of other emails.
The only way to beat ‘inbox blindness’ is to use a strategy known as pattern interruption. The mind can skip over content that blends in with expectation, but when a subject line stands out, it is much more likely to be opened and read by the recipient.
Here are three strategies that can help you avoid ‘inbox blindness’ with your email marketing.
The “Personal” Subject Line
One easy way to grab a subscriber’s attention is by emulating the types of emails that they may receive from a friend or family member.
“If you take a look at the subject lines people naturally use when they communicate with those they know and love, you’ll notice that they don’t look anything like the long headline-style subject lines most marketers write,” notes Josh Earl, contributor to Entrepreneur. “Instead, friends use subject lines that are short, playful, informal.”
These types of subject lines might look like:
• What’s Up?
• Weekend Plans!
Add A Little ‘Emoji’ to your Subject Line
Most subject lines that people receive are entirely text-based, which means that a good way to stand out is by using some visual flare.
“Give it a little extra visual “pop,” with unusual symbols and emoji characters. Those special characters come installed on all popular mobile and desktop devices, so you can use them with confidence that they’ll show up when your subscribers view your emails,” recommends Earl. “I myself recently sent an email newsletter with the “?” character in the subject line. That particular email snagged me an open rate that was 80 percent higher than normal for that particular email list.”
The “I Want You” Subject Line
One of the most iconic symbols in American history is the Uncle Sam “I want YOU for the U.S. Army” poster. There is a reason that this image and statement has stood the test of time and it is because it makes a direct address to the reader that compels their attention.
This strategy can be used for headlines in email marketing as well. It simply takes a “You” combined with a strong and concise statement. This might look like:
• You made a BIG mistake!
• You will never believe it.
• Your account has been charged!
“A word of warning: This technique can come across as aggressive or even shocking to some subscribers. There may be repercussions,” says Earl. “But if you do use it, the copy of your email should quickly hook the reader and “pay off” the subject line – helping the viewer see the connection between the subject line and the content of your company’s email.”