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The email was invented by Shiva Ayyadurai in 1978* He obtained the copyright for EMAIL in 1982. Today it is the second widest form of communication (after texting) with an average of 205 billion emails sent and received every single day. More than half of those emails are business-related (122 billion)*. It has surpassed by far traditional mailing, with only 141 billion letters mailed in 2014. If you sell a product online, you should always send emails to your customers in order to keep them interested in your products and aware of your promotions. But in a world where the average email user gets 147 emails per day*, what can you do to ensure that your emails will be read, let alone opened?

Focus on your email subject line.
The first and most important part of your email is the subject line. Nobody will read the content if the subject line is not promising something interesting or useful. It is the first opportunity to catch the recipient’s eye. Kind of like the elevator speech if it applied to real, non-virtual life. According to Salesforce.com’s data gathering of “25 Mind blowing Email Marketing Stats”, 64% of recipients opened an email because of the subject title, and subject lines with less than 10 characters had an open rate of 58%*. So keep it short, clear and interesting.

Focus on your email subject line, again.
Keeping your subject line short and interesting is a good start, but you should also consider certain words and avoid other ones. Being provocative or controversial is always a good way to stand out and intrigue the reader. Absolutely avoid capital letters because no one likes to feel as if they are being screamed at. Don’t make spelling mistakes, use excessive exclamation points or make statements that are too good to be true because you will automatically appear less credible. Always keep an honest tone. Do try and include the recipient’s name in the subject line, as personalized subject lines are 22.2% more likely to be opened*.

Avoid being marked as spam.
Spam or junk emails are those annoying, irrelevant, inappropriate emails that are sent to a large number or recipients. Just this year, 84% of all email will be spam*. Those emails are unsolicited and unwanted. First, you should always verify if your IP address is flagged or not. Then, there are many rules that you must follow if you don’t want your emails to be marked as spam. One of them is to always provide an unsubscribe link, and make sure that link works up to 30 days after the email was sent. *MailChimp, the email marketing service provider, has an entire section of its website dedicated to spam laws and rules. The laws can be very severe when it comes to spam, so you need to do some research before hitting the send button. In addition, spam filters always look for titles that talk about free money, breakthrough discoveries, mortgage pitches or urgent matters.

Use dynamic content.
Dynamic content is about personalizing your emails so that they are useful and relevant to the recipient. You can start by addressing each recipient by their name, but you shouldn’t stop there. Use your database to obtain as much information on your customers as you possibly can, and then divide your email lists into categories based on similarities, and make sub-divisions. For example, if you are selling different products to men and women, there goes your first category. Then, you can sub divide according to the location. Maybe free international shipping is something you want to offer only within the Americas. However, a shipping discount could be interesting for your customers in Europe.

Don’t send too many emails.
Assuming you are a merchant, keep in mind that your clients don’t need to hear about you every other hour. Your products and promotions aren’t likely to change that often. People don’t like to receive too many emails from the same companies and having to delete those emails often. The best way to judge the frequency of your emails is simply to plan ahead. Keep a calendar in order to deliver consistent, dynamic and relevant content to engage your audience and keep them wanting more.

Finally, trust your gut. Send something that you would like to receive in your own inbox.