To get in front of potential renters and to stay in touch with current renters, emails are a powerful tool. Everyone checks their inboxes several times a day, yet the success of your email campaigns depends on open rates. Crafting great emails takes a lot of time and thoughtfulness, but all that hard work can go to waste without an open.
So how could your email subject line catch the eye of the recipients? First of all, brevity is extremely important. Emails with subject lines of six to 10 words have the highest open rates, according to research from marketing tech company Retention Science. Additionally, you need to consider the fact that most people check their emails using their mobile phones and that small screen will unavoidably truncate part of your email subject line.
Being concise, however, means that you need to constantly explore your creativity and come up with catchy phrases. Here are three key ingredients of great email subject lines for more opens by prospects, according to Geneva Ives, marketing content manager at Yardi:
- Prompt people’s curiosity: “Make them want to click to see what’s inside the email. Is it an offer? A new resident service or amenity?”
- Make sure the email is formatted well: “That means less than 60 characters with the important words near the front of the subject line. If someone’s inbox is collapsed or minimized, you want to make sure the critical information is still visible.”
- Avoid clickbait-y phrases: “It’s important to be compelling, but also transparent. Don’t say they’ve won something if they haven’t or that an urgent response is needed if it isn’t.”
EXPLORE WHAT YOU ALREADY KNOW
In order to make sure you deliver personal and relevant messages, you always need to keep in mind who the recipients are. Are they prospects? Are they tenants with pets? When did they move in? Or what kind of unit are they renting? The more you know about the people you’re emailing, the more you’re likely to be successful with your email marketing campaign.
Use your customer relationship management software to streamline this process, and further personalize your message and email subject line. For example, if you’re emailing a prospect that has a family, use that information to your advantage. The email subject line could read “Jessica, we have the perfect apartment for you and your family” or “Have you found the right apartment for your family, Jessica?”
Including names in email subject lines is an old tactic that usually produces increases in open rates, so if you have a clean email list, don’t be afraid to use it. “It’s a personalization feature that’s available in many email marketing platforms. Just remember that it’s not always a good idea if you’re emailing to a large list and you haven’t checked all the emails. You don’t want to accidentally send something with a misspelling or worse, like ‘Prospect with red hat, an offer just for you!’,” Ives told Multi-Housing News.
EMOJIS OR NO EMOJIS? THAT IS THE QUESTION
There’s a general preconception that emojis grab attention, so are they a means of making people click on your email subject line? Do they look professional? Research experts at Nielsen Norman Group found that emojis do not increase the likelihood of an email being opened and emails without emojis are perceived as more valuable.
Ives believes that, in the end, it all comes down to the brand and the audience you’re targeting. “Used well, emojis can create a heartwarming connection that humanizes the brand sending the email. But they can also come across as really gimmicky. I would say, when in doubt, probably don’t.”
The best way to see if emojis—or other strategies—work is by split testing. You can simply split your emailing list into two separate lists, and send one version of your email campaign to one list and the other to the second list. By looking at the analytics you will be able to see what worked and what didn’t.