IOU Principles are the Keys to Get Your Emails Opened

To businesses, IOU means more than a promissory note. It also stands for Interest, Offer and Urgency – three key elements of a pitch that will entice your customers to open their email and act. Utilization of the IOU principles is most critical in the from line, the subject line, and the pre-header of your email message.

To capture your audience’s attention you must generate interest. Until you capture their interest, the rest of your message doesn’t matter. Intriguing your prospects with Interest reinforces their decision to read further and discover how they’ll benefit from responding to your offer.

Building interest begins with your from line. Test up to three possibilities as your from line – your company’s name, your product’s name and your individual name – to gauge highest responses.

Further build interest through your subject line with powerful, actionable sentences and direct language. This isn’t the place for a list of features or passive words; it’s an arrow aimed straight at your customers’ needs. Hit the mark directly with action verbs and ambitious sentence structure.

The subject line is also an excellent place to introduce your offer and create urgency. Bold, direct language creates interest, an offer suggests a course of action and urgency spurs that action. Use that prime real estate to your best advantage with lines that incorporate every element of the IOU principle. A subject line like “Labor Day Discounts on New Arrivals– Thursday Only” hits all three IOU aspects.

Pre-headers build on the IOU principle above the body of the email. It’s the most important real estate before the actual html body, so make it count. You’ve seen pre-headers directing customers to a website via a link, but that is an ideal space to serve the IOU principles, especially in browsers that display a pre-header as a teaser. Also remember to include a link in the pre-header.

An example of an exceptionally well-written pre-header is:

“Space is Limited. Complimentary Webinar TOMORROW. ETF Insights: Low Volatility Approaches to Investing. Register today.

If you deliver the IOU principles, your audience will respond with considerably higher open rates and click-throughs.

© Reach Marketing LLC 2012 All Rights Reserved.

Understanding the IOU Principle

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