How many company promotion emails and newsletters do you get daily? If your inbox looks like mine– probably A LOT. So what differentiates one from another? And what gets the recipient to open your newsletter? Or better- click through to look at products or back to your site?

Here are four keys to optimize opening behavior:

1. Subject Line

Your subject line needs to do two things– draw attention and explain the email content. People sometimes try to get super creative with email subject lines, which can have an adverse affect.

If the reader sees a cheesy subject line, they may assume it’s promotional. Also, the subject line should tell me what I’m about to read. Assuming that your newsletter is full of content that I want to read, then the subject line should let me know that so I will open the email and get to all of that exciting content.

2. Personalize

At a minimum, if you have all of your list’s first names and are using an email marketing system, use merge fields to make it seem a more personally written. Make your newsletter look less newsletter-y. Limit your images and links. If your recipients think that this letter was personally written, they are more likely to take action.

3. Get to the point!

Some people love reading- just not your newsletter. Keep  all sections short and link back to your site. If the reader is interested, they will click-through. This drives more traffic to your site and it gives you a track-able activity to judge how engaged your readers are by looking at the click-through rates.

4. Be Mobile- Ready!

A HUGE percentage of your list will probably be reading your email on a mobile device. If it’s unreadable or hard to view, it will just be deleted.

Here’s a great infographic from explaining how to optimize for mobile: