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Getting your emails opened

Written on the 29 May 2007 by Tracey Voyce

If you are in Business and use the Internet you must read this article.

Getting through the electronic gatekeepers as well as getting your recipient to open your email message, is fast becoming an 'art form'.

It is interesting to note that you can do a direct mailer to letterboxes with no legal challenges. Yet as you are generally getting right to peoples' desks, to do the same online is illegal unless you have prior permission.

There are three gatekeepers who automatically check out emails before they are received and delete those which they believe to be potential SPAM (unsolicited emails).

These gatekeepers are your recipient's ISP, their email program and your recipient themselves (consumer) who will take a quick glance to decide whether to read or delete your message.

In this guide we are going to teach you the key points you need to know to ensure you get your emails through. We will also show you how to achieve a higher than average 'opening' of your emails.

1) The ISP and email programs

These have filters and actively work to eliminate SPAM. Unfortunately they often delete legitimate emails. To reduce the chance of having your emails deleted, follow these recommendations:

Subject Lines:


  • Punctuation!
  • Symbols #
  • RE:
  • Common words like Free, guarantee, spam, credit card, advertisement, sex etc



  • Excessive punctuations, for example  !!! or ???
  • Multiple Symbols like $$$
  • 'Click here' multiple times
  • Selling words to strangers like Dear Friend, order today, money back guarantee etc

Find the latest words that one email program (Microsoft Outlook) is looking for

Message From:


  • Info@
  • admin@
  • mail@

2) The Consumer

  • 63.3% of consumers say the 'from' line most often determines whether to open or delete an email
  • 38% of consumers cited the subject line as the determining factor of 'opens'
  • Source doubleclick

Message From:

Subject line:

  • Keep it short and simple
  • Incorporate a benefit (not just features)
  • Be honest (dishonesty will alienate your audience and it is illegal to use misleading material including false headlines)
  • Best advice is to utilise the internets strengths and test out several headlines (subject lines), and look at your reports to establish which works the best

Utilise personalisation by mentioning the person's name in the first couple of lines of text. This will triple the incidence of opened emails. Don't just stop at their name - look at how else you can personalise your messages (within the IntoResults programme this is limited only by your imagination).

You have three seconds to engage someone to read your email so preview your beginning text to ensure it has the power to capture the reader.

This story was bought to you by IntoResults - whose suite of tools makes marketing simple and effective for small to medium sized businesses.

For more information on this and other topics, visit IntoResults.


Author: Tracey Voyce
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