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Some digital marketers may consider email marketing a bit old-school, but it is still highly practiced and just as important as other strategies for digital marketing efforts. While anyone can write up a quick email, what matters is your email open rate. No matter how great your content is, how many people on your list are actually taking the time to open your email?

To start off, what exactly is an email open rate? An email open rate is the percentage out of those who received your email, how many actually opened it.

What makes a good email open rate?

Increasing your email open rate is easier said than done, as there are many factors that come into play. Email open rates can be dependent on a variety of things, such as timing, subject lines and who the sender is. Here are some tips on how you can increase your email open rates:

Clean your lists

Growing your lists to larger numbers is a great thing. Though the truth is, you should be regularly cleaning your lists as many subscribers are bound to go stale. Refreshing your list of inactive people or people that haven’t opened your emails in a significant period of time also increases your email open rate. But before you start to filter out your lists, try to win back some of those individuals.

To do this, first, let them know you’re still thinking about them. Ask if they’re still interested in receiving your content. Also, try offering an incentive, like a promo code or something of value. If you’re still not receiving a response, provide the users the opportunity to update their preferences with how often they want to receive your content. Sure, maybe they don’t want to receive multiple pieces of content a week, but maybe they would be interested in receiving it at a lower rate, perhaps bi-monthly.

Timing

The truth is, there is no one-size-fits-all for the perfect timing when it comes to sending out your email marketing campaigns. Depending on who is on your sender list, the timing could be across the board. Factors to consider are the type of content, location, industry and the type of email. There are many stats behind the best send times, so it’s okay if you want to go off of those suggestions. But, if the suggested times aren’t showing you the results you want to see, play around with those send times and see if you receive better email open rates.

Subject Line

The subject line is the first thing people will see in their inbox. When creating your subject lines, you want to stand out amongst the rest of the pack. While crafting up an amazing subject line, it’s extremely important you pull away from using an overly sales voice. Your email open rate will significantly decrease because of this. Be casual and even personalize the subject line (ex. add a tag to your subject line so that it pulls the receiver’s name and enters it into the subject line: “Hey Bryan! How are you?”). Also, creating a sense of curiosity is another simple way to implement that will make people want to open your email. Create a subject line that will make users want to learn more by reading the content within your email. 

Be wary of the length of your subject line. If it is longer, it may cut off in the receiver’s inbox. Getting your point across in 50 characters or less in your subject is a common rule of thumb.

Copy

Just because you got the receiver to open your email, does not mean you have them hooked on your content quite yet. To get them to continue opening your email campaigns in the future, you want to show your audience that you can provide quality content to them at their convenience. When you’re writing content for email marketing, there are a few things to keep in mind:

  • Maintain a casual tone. Don’t write your content as if you’re talking to a wide audience (even though you really are). Your emails should be written as if you were sending it to one person.
  • Be friendly. Your receivers will be turned off if you only use a sales tone. 
  • When formatting your content, don’t be afraid to use sub-headers, as well as bullet points or numbered lists to break up your content. It makes the content easier on the eye and it will also be effortless for the readers to scroll through your email and find the content they may particularly enjoy. 

Compatibility

Just like copy, compatability may not affect your initial email open rate, but it will affect if your lists will continue to open your emails in the future. But, if your email campaign isn’t compatible with whichever device your receiver may be opening your email on, they aren’t going to want to continue receiving content from you.

If your list is viewing your campaigns from their mobile device, everything is going to be, of course, much smaller compared to a desktop. Your layouts should be visually pleasing but keeping it simple is never a bad thing. Be cautious when using smaller fonts. You want viewers to be able to read your content without having to squint or zoom in. Link any piece of marketing and make sure your CTA is clear and concise. Since this is an email marketing campaign, your CTA button should be large enough to tap on the screen with..

Learn More On Email Open Rates

If you really want to increase email open rates, try out any of the tips we’ve listed above and you’ll definitely see results. Don’t try all at once, as you want to test each change in your email marketing and see what’s performing the best. A strategy that may work for one marketer, might not work for you. Fortunately, most email marketing platforms do offer A/B testing.

Just like any marketing strategy,  best practices are always evolving. Staying up to date with new email marketing tricks and hacks will continue to increase your email open rates.

If you’re interested in learning how we can implement email marketing strategies for your brand, contact us here.