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Increasing Your Email Open Rates

We’re all familiar with the saying “You Can’t Judge a Book By It’s Cover”.

The concept behind this popular phrase definitely has us in a agreement. It’s never fair to form an opinion about someone or something based purely on what is seen on the surface.

However, when it comes to emails…restaurant owners may want to reconsider. Just like a book, if someone is looking for a great read, the first thing that usually grabs their attention is the cover – obviously. Based solely on the cover, a person may decide whether they think that book is worth their time. Unfortunately for those lacking-in-the-extra-something-something covered books, people can easily overlook a book just because a cover or even the title seems uninteresting.

So why not send emails to your restaurant customers with that philosophy in mind?

The importance of crafting great emails is important – but it all begins with the subject line. Like probably many of your own email subscribers, you more than likely archive your emails in batches, or even choose to quickly delete emails that are uninteresting to you. While it may seem like a very small portion of your message, subject lines are the FIRST impression you have for your email recipients. Even more importantly, they’re your ticket for standing out in a crowded inbox.

If you’re spending time on creating unique graphics, tantalizing offers, and great content – but missing out on a well crafted subject line, that’s likely not the only thing you’ll be missing out on. About 47% of email recipients decide whether or not to even open an email based on the subject line, so that lack of a well-thought out subject line could be a costly to enticing your customers.

So, what’s the secret? How do you craft a subject line that is compelling enough to get those high open rates? Here’s a few helpful ideas to help you jazz up those subject lines to increase those click throughs to rates you’ve only been dreaming of.

  • FOMO. That’s right, the Fear of Missing Out. Sharing a sense of urgency with your customers in the subject line will encourage click throughs because your customers will not want to be left behind if they hear about something fun going on.  By phrasing a subject line creatively and strategically, you can very easily pique your recipient’s interest, encouraging them to open the email to find out more!
  • Simplicity. If a subject line is too long it will be cut off, especially nowadays when so many people are using email on their smartphones. Keep in mind that people scan their inboxes very quickly — so the more clear and concise your subject line is, the better. You’ll also want to think about avoiding complex and flowery text because chances are the inbox scanners out there aren’t looking for beautiful crafted poetry in their subject lines. 
  • Timing. This can mean a couple of things. The first is perfectly timed calls to action. This could accomplish a variety of things, but if you think about someone who might be sitting at their desk right around noon, do you think they will be influenced by dinner promotions? Well, potentially yes.. But what they’re really thinking about is what they want to eat to get their stomach to stop growling right then. An email subject line talking about lunch plans might be a more productive route. Great ‘timing’ also incorporates trending topics or timely headlines as those will help to relate your brand to the customers you serve. 
  • Honesty. People love a great deal, and if you’ve got something you’re offering them don’t be shy about it. However, nobody wants to be known as “the restaurant that cried wolf”, and although saying things like “Great Deal Inside!” or “Special Offer Today Only!” can be effective, you’ll want to use those types of subject lines sparingly so your email subscribers will know to trust your subject lines.

This list certainly isn’t an all-inclusive list of tips to increase your open rates, but it’s definitely a great place to start. Don’t be discouraged when you feel like you’re making creative emails, but have low open rates. Instead think about ways to avoid your emails from being overlooked. so eventually your customers will see that being a part of your email club is pretty interesting after all.

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