How many times a day do you check your emails? Now, how many of those emails do you even bother to open? What about the ones you do open. How many do you read, and how many do you just glance at or skim through? I’m guessing it’s not a high percentage, right? And what about when someone sends something handwritten in the post? You almost certainly open that, don’t you? So is it time to send something all of your potential customers will read?
We are all probably guilty of having an email inbox that is full up with unread messages. We have seen some crazy numbers talking about average email open rates – as low as around 20% in some cases. In fact, looking at our own data we see that the average read rate on email marketing campaigns is only around 22%. To put this into perspective – this means that if we send out a campaign to 100 people we expect 78 of them will just ignore it completely!
So what does this mean for marketers and salespeople who want to stay top of mind with their potential customers and use their inbox to build relationships with prospects? This is where sending (aka old-fashioned snail mail) comes in!
A lot of your potential customers won’t open, let alone read your emails
A lot of your potential customers won’t open, let alone read your emails.
- Email open rates are low. With all the spam and other irrelevant content clogging up our inboxes, why should anyone actually care about yours?
- Spam filters block your content. If you’re sending something that’s too similar to an existing campaign or email newsletter, you’ll get blocked by these filters. You can also get flagged as spam if you don’t use a real name and address (such as an @gmail address) on the “from:” line at the top of an email message.
- Emails categorized as “other” rarely get read—so make sure yours is sent directly to their inboxes!
Email average open rates
With average open rates trailing off, there’s a lot of advice out there on how to write an email that will actually get read. The most important thing to remember is that you have to be different from everyone else and have something worth reading! If your emails are just like all the others, why would anyone bother opening them?
One way to stand out from the crowd is by making sure your emails don’t look like spam. Your potential customers won’t want their inboxes filled up by unsolicited messages—so make sure yours are personalized and relevant. And if you’re going to send something out electronically, make sure it’s formatted correctly for mobile devices as well as desktop computers. A good rule of thumb: Make sure that whatever format you choose for sending your electronic message (HTML vs plain text), they will be able use it without any problems whatsoever.
Email read vs glance and skim
Most emails are opened and just glanced at. Yes, you read that correctly. It’s not that people don’t want to read your email; they just don’t have the time or patience to do so. That’s why most of your potential customers will be more likely to skim and skim some more than actually read all of the content in an email before deleting it.
This is especially true for those who subscribe to your blog or newsletter (or any other type of subscription). They’re already subscribed because they want updates from you–not because they’re interested in receiving an influx of sales pitches every week or so when you send something out!
If you’ve ever had someone try and sell something too hard on social media, then you know how annoying this can be–and what happens when people feel like their time is being wasted by a sales pitch (even if it’s coming from someone they know). So keep this in mind when writing copy: less is often more!
People like to read handwritten stuff.
If you’re creating a new product, or even just looking to update an existing one, you probably have some ideas for how to market it. You might be thinking about putting together an email marketing campaign or setting up a social media strategy. And while these are great options, they aren’t the only way you can communicate with your audience.
There are actually many ways of sending out information that don’t involve typing words into a laptop or smartphone: handwritten letters!
Handwritten letters are more personal than emails and social media posts because they take time and effort to create—and this is exactly what makes them so effective at turning someone into a customer. When someone receives something hand written in their mailbox instead of an automated email from their company asking them to buy something, they feel like they’re being talked directly by someone who cares about them as customers—someone who cares so much that he/she took time out of his/her day (or week) just for YOU!
Almost 100% of handwritten mail is read
You can almost guarantee that your message will be read.
That’s right, almost 100% of handwritten mail is read — and not just opened and then tossed aside, but actually read.
We are bombarded by email and social media posts, physical mail is a distraction, a break from the monotony of email and digital interaction. When was the last time you received a handwritten envelope through your door or placed on your desk, I bet you read it!
Always qualify who you send your mail to.
When you send mail, you’re spending time and money on an audience that may or may not be interested in what you have to say. Don’t waste those resources by sending mail to people who don’t care about your content. It’s much better to target the right people with a well-designed piece than it is to send something generic out to everyone and hope for the best.
You also want to make sure that your mail looks trustworthy and professional enough for a prospected customer–and if they don’t trust your company or business, then they won’t read anything you write anyway!
Send mail that is interesting, engaging and designed to get a reaction.
In order to get your message across, it’s important to make sure all of the following are in place:
- Personalization. Your customers need to feel that you understand them and their interests. This is one of the best ways to break through the clutter and establish a connection with them.
- Relevance. Your recipients should feel like they are getting something that is relevant to them personally from you—not just random information about your company or industry. Sending something relevant makes them more likely to take action on whatever it is that you want them do (e.g., buy something).
- Interest factor/interesting content: This last point can be tricky because every customer will have different interests, but there are still some universal topics that tend to work well for most people (e-mail marketing): new products/services updates industry trends news updates sales events product launches
Handwritten can be easy
If you are like me, the idea of writing a personal note to every single one of your customers is daunting. But it doesn’t have to be. As with all things in life, if you want something done right, do it yourself (or hire an expert). If you want an effective handwritten mailer that gets attention and makes people take action, follow these steps:
- Find a resource online that has sample letters for different types of businesses
- Choose a template and customize it based on who is receiving your mailer (i.e., pick your audience)
- Hire someone on Upwork or People per Hour to write these templates for you
Alternately find a partner who can handle the whole process for you.
If you’re looking for a creative way to get people thinking about your business, send something all of your potential customers will read, send them handwritten post.