colorful emails

 Before you start blasting out emails to brides…how are you going to get them opened?

You can send as many emails as you want, but if she doesn’t open them, if she deletes them, or if they end up in her spam folder they are simply a waste of time.

To figure out what might get a bride to open your email, log in to your email inbox for a moment.  How do you decide what to open and what to delete?

Chances are you look one of these three things:

  1. The Email Subject
  2. The From Address
  3. The Content Preview

The Email Subject

If the email subject line is “Buy my stuff!” “New Viagra works even better,” or “Sir: You have inherited money from Nigeria,” DELETE.On the other hand, if that subject line is interesting to you, you’ll open it.  Or at least save it for later.  And the more interesting it is the more likely you are to open it.

The most interesting email subjects have one or more of these things in common:

  • Attracts Attention – You notice them right away because it stands out in your inbox.
  • Self-interest – It’s a topic you’re interested in or that promises a solution or benefit you want.  Or it’s literally about you or your business.
  • Curiosity – It’s mysterious or intriguing in some way.
  • Benefit Driven – The email subject promises a result you want.

The best email subjects are like headlines of an ad or magazine.  If you want some great ideas, check out the article titles on the cover of Cosmo or Reader’s Digest.

Bride Booking Email Subjects

So what’s interesting to brides?  A little imagination and you can start coming up with ideas.  But here are two proven things you can put into your email subject line that are guaranteed to get her attention.

  1. Her Name.  They say our name is our favorite word.  If you put her name in your subject line, she’ll almost always open it.
  2. Her Wedding Date.  Just about the only phrase a bride loves right now more than her name…even more than her fiance’s name…is her wedding date.  She won’t be able to resist clicking your email open if your subject line includes her special date.

Our friend Neal Howard from Atlanta’s Best DJ likes to use this gem of a subject line that includes both her name and wedding date: “Jennifer, What will October 18th, 2011 be like?”

Here’s the subject of an email I got a few weeks ago that made me laugh, aroused my curiosity and made me open the email.  “Steph, I think we were separated at birth!”

WARNING:  Be cautious if you use discount offers or coupons in your subject line.  They often work well, but you may be attracting low budget clients and setting up an expectation of low value.  Proceed with caution.

The From Address

When you scan your email inbox, you probably check out the name or email address of the person who sent each email to you.  If you recognize them, you’ll probably open it.

But what’s if the email is from ACME, Inc?  DELETE.

Email addresses that use a real person’s name instead of a business are much more likely to be opened.

Send an email from jane@yourweddingbusiness.com rather than info@yourweddingbusiness.com.  It’s much more personal and inviting, and much more likely to get opened.

Whatever email client you use to send your emails, whether it’s Gmail, Outlook or Yahoo, configure your email so that it uses your first name.  Most of these email clients let you choose whatever you like, so make sure the email from name they see is your personal name rather than just your business.

The Email Preview

Many email clients allow you to read the first sentence of an email before you open it.  Gmail shows much of the first sentence, so make sure your opening is as enticing as your email subject.

To do this, use the bride’s name again and write to her like you are a friend.  DON’T congratulate her on the wedding and mention that you met her at a bridal show.  It only makes her anticipate a sales pitch…especially a week after she attended a show when her inbox is crammed with identical emails.

You might write something so that her email preview looks like this:

“Sarah, When I planned my wedding, my mother gave me one piece of advice I’ll never forget…”

Get her attention and arouse her curiosity with that first sentence so that she wants to read further.

These are some great strategies for getting those emails opened.  Use your imagination and test out different ideas to see what gets the best response.  You’ll come up with some of your best strategies this way.

How do you get a bride to open your email?

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Stephanie Padovani

Stephanie is a Hudson Valley wedding insider, blogger, writer, and wedding business coach. Want to book more weddings at higher prices? Quit dealing with price shoppers? Transform your wedding business so that it supports the life you really want? Look her up! They don't call her the Wedding Business Cheerleader for nothing. :)

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23 thoughts on “How Do I Get Brides to Open My Email?”

  1. Julie Baker says:

    I agree that cold emailing may not get responses, but what it may do, for those opened, is give you name recognition. If anyone opens your email and reads through it, they will see your name and business name. Getting your name ‘out there’ is part of the battle. But personal contact is definitely the way to go … personal relationships are often those that will consider you for the job. So follow up the cold email with a letter, card or follow-up email. And if you have their number, then follow up with a personal telephone call to schedule a consultation. Your name, face, personality, branding has to resonate with them before you will ever be considered. It is hard to get all of that across in a single email! Networking … it’s time consuming and tedious at times, but well worth the effort! Be blessed and prosper! :roll:

    1. [quote name=”Julie Baker”]I agree that cold emailing may not get responses, but what it may do, for those opened, is give you name recognition. If anyone opens your email and reads through it, they will see your name and business name. [/quote]
      That’s a pretty big IF considering the ineffective emails most wedding vendors are sending.

      Only 11% of emails even get opened. If you can get that far, you’re almost 90% there. :-)

      You’re right, Julie. It typically takes 6-13 exposures to your business before the couple will book.

      I’ll still encourage people to find the most effective and efficient ways of reaching out to follow up. Email works, but only if you’re working it right. Otherwise, you’re wasting time that could be used much more effectively elsewhere.

      1. Julie Baker says:

        [quote name=”Stephanie Padovani”][quote name=”Julie Baker”]I agree that cold emailing may not get responses, but what it may do, for those opened, is give you name recognition. If anyone opens your email and reads through it, they will see your name and business name. [/quote]
        That’s a pretty big IF considering the ineffective emails most wedding vendors are sending.

        Only 11% of emails even get opened. If you can get that far, you’re almost 90% there. :-)

        You’re right, Julie. It typically takes 6-13 exposures to your business before the couple will book.

        I’ll still encourage people to find the most effective and efficient ways of reaching out to follow up. Email works, but only if you’re working it right. Otherwise, you’re wasting time that could be used much more effectively elsewhere.[/quote]
        True Stephanie! I too would encourage alternative ways to follow-up, but was just saying “IF”. :O)

      2. Jose Tan says:

        I got interested in your 6-13 exposures to you business reply. I read before that 9 exposure you will get 1 notice. And to get an inquiry or interest, you need to get noticed 3 times. So that is 27 exposure. But that was in a marketing book I saw before. It was a generic info.

        But my question Stephanie is, what would be the best strategy to get that 6-13 business exposures so you get booked? 😉

  2. Anonymous says:

    Where is a good place to get good leads

    struggling

    1. [quote name=”earlene”]Where is a good place to get good leads
      [/quote]

      Earlene,

      It’s hard to answer such a broad question without knowing details about your business and local market. However…

      Check out this article for some strategies to get you started – http://www.bookmorebrides.com/how-do-i-get-more-leads-for-my-wedding-business

      If you even do ONE of these things it will help!

  3. Anonymous says:

    This was a useful read, it wasn’t too long and it gave me some practical advice.
    Thanks : )

  4. Anonymous says:

    I’ve always included the bride’s name and her wedding date in my subject line. I also use my [i]personal email [/i]address which includes my first and last names. But I’ve got to tell you, I rarely if ever hear back from any off them. I think they see the onslaught from me and other vendors as invading their space and we all get the delete destiny. Maybe cold emails just don’t work?

    1. [quote name=”Marilyn Lockwood”] Maybe cold emails just don’t work?[/quote]

      You’ve hit the nail on the head, Marilyn.

      Sending emails to cold leads is very ineffective. If you find a really compelling email subject and offer, you will get some response, but generally not a very good return on the time invested.

      [b]All leads are not created equal.[/b] The source of the lead has everything to do with the return you get.

      Is that market a good match for you? Is the timing right?

      I don’t recommend cold emailing as a rule, and only when you can create a semi-automated system or have someone do it for you. These tips are for those who wish to do it.

      You’re usually better off spending that time and energy creating a few powerful networking partnerships, or designing a really effective piece of direct mail.

      1. Anonymous says:

        [quote name=”Stephanie Padovani”]designing a really effective piece of direct mail.[/quote]

        Are you suggesting that direct mail is sometimes a better method of making cold contacts? If so, do you have any resources on this? Thanks for all of your help Stephanie.

      2. Anonymous says:

        [quote name=”Stephanie Padovani”]designing a really effective piece of direct mail.[/quote]

        Are you suggesting that direct mail may be a better method of cold-contacting? If so, do you have any resources to support this?

        Thanks for everything Stephanie.

  5. Anonymous says:

    i have tried everything. The leads im getting are coming from a bridal boutique, i recently joined and nothing is working. I have also been told my site is not an attractor so now gotta figure out which way to design it. I am so stuck i dont know which way to turn.

    1. [quote name=”Kim Hendrix”]i have tried everything. The leads im getting are coming from a bridal boutique, i recently joined and nothing is working.[/quote]

      If you’ve really tried everything, [i]literally everything[/i], it might be time to give up because nothing works for anyone anymore.

      Have you really taken every action you could possibly take to get the results you want? When you look at the actions you have taken, can you say there is no way you could improve on them?

      I don’t get the impression you’re ready to throw in the towel just yet. In that case, it’s a simple recipe:

      1) Track your current results.
      2) Make a change.
      3) Track your new results.
      4) If results show an improvement, keep the change. If not, make a new change and measure against past results.

      Perhaps those leads from the bridal boutique aren’t very warm or aren’t a good match for your services. If you recently joined, it may be too soon to make a judgment about them.

      [quote name=”Kim Hendrix”]I am so stuck i dont know which way to turn.[/quote]

      If you’re stuck, it’s time to get some professional help! That’s the kind that costs some money, but brings measurable results.

      For example, about 6 years ago we spent $3,500 to get our website redesigned on a WordPress platform. This change was one of the best things we ever did for our business; the free traffic it created and the weddings we booked as a result paid for it easily in 6 months.

      Sometimes DIY marketing just doesn’t get the results you need and it’s time to invest in quality. It the advice we tell brides when we urge them to hire a professional. :-)

  6. Anonymous says:

    I never considered using the “preview” part to grab attention, but I decide what emails to open all the time in my personal account by that preview line. Doh! Thanks for pointing this out. Most list emails I get start out with “having trouble viewing this email?”. That alone signals to me that it is unimportant and can wait for later.

  7. Anonymous says:

    thought provoking article! I’ll have to try the DJs tip.
    Thanks

  8. Anonymous says:

    This is some truly amazing strategies, and I know Mr. Neal Howard – he is a good friend and a very successful person. These email ideas seem to be working for me I am getting more responses that ever – thanks so much!
    Rob

  9. Anonymous says:

    Sensible advice that is right on target. Thank you!

  10. Anonymous says:

    My emails get opened but I have never had a single call or reply from any email. How do I get action?
    I may a telemarketer to make outbound phone calls but it would be better if I could get the prospective bride to call in and then I could make an appointment.

  11. Anonymous says:

    Wait…but doesn’t your price to profit e-mail start with “name, congratulations on your engagement!”?

    1. [quote name=”Allie L”]Wait…but doesn’t your price to profit e-mail start with “name, congratulations on your engagement!”?[/quote]

      Oooh, good call!

      Yes, it does. The Price Shopper Email is designed as a response to inquiries about your service. Since the bride has already contacted you for more information, you’re [i]replying[/i] to her email and the likelihood she will open it to read your response is already above 90%.

      Still, it might be very effective replace that first sentence with something more compelling. I have been meaning to update that report. Thanks for giving me something new to add! :-)

      Sending “cold” emails to a bridal show lead list requires a different strategy. You have to get them to open it first, which is very difficult if they haven’t requested info from you, so you need to use all the tools at your disposal to make your email stand out…including the email preview.

      Thanks for bringing this up!

  12. Anonymous says:

    Excellent advice Stephanie! I love “Jennifer, What will October 18th, 2011 be like?” – that’s awesome!

    Keep the info rollin’!

  13. Anonymous says:

    I have tried everything, and it seems 80% of my emails go un opened and very few are opened and replied back with. I now use Constant Contact which tells me when the bride opens the email, but i never hear back and I am using your Email to Profit system too and i am not sure its getting there attention to wanna call me, any ideas on this????

    1. [quote name=”Kim Hendrix”]I have tried everything, and it seems 80% of my emails go un opened and very few are opened and replied back with. [/quote]

      Hi, Kim!

      There are a lot of variables that contribute. Are you sending emails to brides who have requested information from you? Or leads you got from a bridal show?

      “Cold” leads off a bridal show lead list for couples who have never met will have a very low open rate because they get blasted with dozens or even hundreds of emails after the show. Most of them create a separate gmail address to keep out the spam.

      The Price Shopper Email is really designed to use in the response to someone who has already inquired about your services. Getting that “cold” lead to open your email requires a different strategy.

      I can tell you this for sure: if what you’re doing is not working, [i]anything[/i] you do differently has a better chance of getting the result you want. Keep testing out different things until you find what works.

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