Making sure your company churns out enough emails to look active is no longer ideal; you need results to prove that your emails are being received and read, as well as to create engaging content so your audience doesn’t reach for the dreaded unsubscribe button.

But how do you get your emails noticed? How do you incentivize readers to open your emails? Think of it as a ‘three-second rule’ – this is roughly the time is takes for someone to decide whether they’ll be interested in your email. These initial 3 seconds are crucial to make a good impression on your audience and to get the first level of engagement – an open.

First thing’s first

Keep the sender name and email short and simple. Use your company’s name and perhaps an account manager’s name to show it is from a trustworthy and recognizable source.

Avoiding generic email addresses such as marketing@, sales@, info@ also decreases the risk of ending up in a spam filter. Think as your customer, who would you prefer to receive an email from?

The Bank Company                                                 Or                         The Bank Company                                                john.smith@thebankcompany.comDigital Marketing Survey stats

Looking at our Digital Marketing Survey (figure 1) we can see when fund providers communicate with existing customers, 46% prefer to receive emails from a personal sales representative rather than a generic firm name. This shows that building a relationship between the sender and contact is important to maintain that business. Whereas professional investors receiving emails from firms they do not currently work with are more open to receiving an email from a generic name – but only just! As always, it is worth testing which sender name and sender email get better results with your own contacts.

Subject line is second

We can spend years debating over what is the perfect subject line; truth is, there isn’t one. Many factors affect what subject lines work well including audience type, industry, personal preference, the list can go on. What we, at StoneShot, have discovered is that our research shows on average, campaigns to professional investors have slightly higher open rates with shorter subject lines, usually between 3 and 20 characters.

The best option is to try split testing. You can see what engages the reader and use the information from on future campaigns.

If you have segmented your marketing list, use this data to craft your subject line. Information such as location and professions can be used to angle your email towards the audience; The latest from London / Edinburgh / New York.

Last but not least – Preview text

Often overlooked, preview text can be useful when trying to grab the audience’s attention. It appears next to or near the subject line and is pulled from the first line of text that appears in the email content, usually the first 100 characters. The images below compare what happens in your inbox with an email without optimized preview text against one that has used the preview text to their advantage.

Preview text not optimized vs. preview text optimized:

optimized and not optimized preview text



According to our Digital Marketing Survey (figure 2), 60% of professional investors would rather read emails on preferred topics, regardless of the provider; all the more reason to convey your overall message and to back up your subject line by using the preview text, you can tell the audience what topics to expect encouraging them to open your email.
Digital Marketing Survey stats

Discover more about how snippet text can improve email open rates and how to adapt your emails with StoneShot.

Ultimately, open rates aren’t everything when it comes to analyzing your results but it is a good place to start. Aim to increase your open rate and overall engagement by optimizing your three-second opportunity and hopefully convert those opens into all-important clicks and conversions.

For further help on making your three seconds count, contact the StoneShot team, email