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Do You Know What Makes People Open Your Mail? – It is NOT the Subject

We’ve all learned how important the subject of a mail is, when it comes to getting read. I believed so, too, even though I saw proof of something else, every time I sent out a mail to my list.

A month ago, I discovered what it really is that makes the difference between getting read, being deleted, or even get unsubscribed from.

A month ago, I found myself with some extra hours on my hand, and I decided to get a clean inbox. Zero mails hanging around in there.

You should know that this wasn’t a small project since I had many thousands mails in inboxes on several accounts. So I had to divide this huge task into several smaller.

I started out with the accounts that didn’t get much mail, skimmed over most of the mails, and deleted most of them, too.

I created folders for mails to save, and a folder for mails that I had to take action on. It could be to click a link inside, to get a free product from, or just to reply the mail later.

After all the smaller accounts, I had the huge ones left, and the biggest of them was the Internet Marketing account, I use.

There was no way I was going to read through around 40,000 mails.

So I sorted the list by sender name.

Not for one second did I choose which mails to read or delete immediately based on the subject, but solely on the name of the sender.

This person? Who’s he? Check one mail – Oh, sales pitch! Oh, well → Unsubscribe + Delete all.

This person? He normally only sends sales pitches → Unsubscribe + Delete all.

This person? He sends some value from time to time → Quick skim over each of his mails xx Delete most + Save a few for future read.

This person? Well, he mostly sends sales pitches, but I like him, so → Delete all + Stay subscribed.

You see?

It’s all in the NAME!

I got through thousands of emails in a few hours, because I chose to decide from past experience rather than judging from the subject. And I’m quite sure that I didn’t miss out on any important mails.

It was easy to see just from the introduction whether there was value to get or just the usual IM cliches like “I’m not sure how long he will keep this product for sale, before he takes it down” (like h…, he wont! He will not take it down, because it makes him money), or “this price will only stay that low for a couple of (hours/weeks/months/years)”.

Well, in fact, one or two of these kinds of mails, and I took this action → Unsubscribe.

What Can You Learn From This?

That if you want to get your mails read, be honest. Give value. I’m probably not the only one who had a stuffed inbox, and I’m probably not the only one who decided to make an end to that by taking radical action.

6 comments
Henrik Blunck @Earning Money Online - August 1, 2010

I fully agree, and it’s actually quite interesting because I have taken similar action based upon the name alone. But I have fallen for the argument that it was the subject heading that was important – even though I know I did the same as you with numerous mails many days.
When using Thunderbird it’s quick to review subjects after mails are marked, and only very rarely it has happened that I manually needed to review an e-mail once it was marked for deletion.
So it’s very obvious once you read it, but we often separate what we do ourselves from what we believe would be important.

PS: What really annoys me is people who imitate the “You have made a sale” type e-mail just to grab your attention. It is a real pain in the backside to think you’ve made a sale, and then discover it’s just a sales pitch…. But luckily, all the people who DO buy are so much the more encouraging. 😉

Reply
Britt Malka - August 1, 2010

The “You have made a sale” type e-mails don’t annoy me. I just unsubscribe immediately.

The same goes for “Thank you for your order” or other fake statements. An Internet marketer who’s faking to get my attention is NOT my kind of marketer.

Reply
Mary Nolan - September 4, 2010

I agree with your deleting ideas.
The person is the one I look at too.
And if it is someone NEW and it is not someone I can remember subscribing to I do skim it AND IF there’s value there.. just some.. and not all hype etc I will not unsubscribel.

BTW I read ALL emails from women as I did yours, Britt.
Women speak my language and I certainly can identify with the struggles of most, having “been there and done that” as I am 78 and have had 4 children and have been a working mom .
Wish IM had been there for me.

Alas, it was not.
But now… it is…and I love it even tho I am not making any money… yet… and have been at it for 1 1/2 years… but I will!
I have learned a LOT and am still learning a lot AND taking some action… not enuff.. and MUST and WILL take more action. and fail more etc.
Thanks Britt.
Mary

Reply
    Britt Malka - September 5, 2010

    Hi Mary, and thank you very much for your comment.

    I’m so glad to hear that you don’t use your age as an excuse to not take action. I hear so many people at 30 or 40 years, saying they are too old to change professions, too old to learn, etc. etc. You’re never too old, and you’ve prooved that to us. Thank you! You should be proud of yourself.

    Yes, if only IM had come much earlier. A lot of hard working women would have had an easier time. I wonder if my grand mother would have been working online. She probably would 🙂

    With the course from Sara Young, you’ll soon be on your way to make money. And you’ll see that it feels sooooooo good 🙂 Not because of the money itself, but because of the success, it means. It’s a victory! It’s fun 🙂

    Are you on Twitter? I would love to follow you. Keep in touch, Mary, and good luck.

    Reply
Mary Nolan - September 4, 2010

Britt, I replied to an email and it came back.
I dont know how to reach you.
I had already bought Sara’s product from Jennifer as I follow her too.
Just love you women making good!!
I will be one of you!!
Mary

Reply
    Britt Malka - September 5, 2010

    Hi Mary, thank you for your comments. You can always reach me from my contact form http://www.contactify.com/a6936. It’s more safe, since I receive so much spam. But don’t we all?

    Reply
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