So, you’ve been sending email newsletters and updates to hundreds or even thousands of subscribers in your email list. But when you look at your email open rates, you’re not hitting the numbers you aimed for. It seems, to your dismay, that your emails are not getting opened or read.
We’ve talked about the secret to getting better email open rates, but there are other aspects you should look at other than the need to “humanize” your emails.
Here are several tips and tricks you can follow to improve your email open rates and reap the 3800% ROI that email marketers have been bragging about.
1. Look at your data.
Data analytics tools enable marketers to gain insights into the strategies that work and fail, how many emails are successfully delivered, which emails have higher open rates, which ones are immediately being deleted, and who’s unsubscribing to your email list, among many others.
If you’re using a marketing automation platform, then this information should be available for your utilization. Look at them, study them, and analyze them!
If your email open rate is low compared to industry standards, then you may want to look at other metrics such as deliverability. Are they even getting sent, at all?
2. Freshen up your email list.
This brings us to another trick that some email marketers fail to do. You’ve grown your email list phenomenally over the years, but are you sure the email addresses you’ve gathered are still working?
People change email addresses from time to time, and employees may have resigned from their positions, or they simply might not be interested anymore.
Verify and clean up your email list. Remove email addresses that bounced, as well as subscribers that have stopped engaging with your emails for the last six months. But, before you delete them from your list, send a re-engagement email as a last-ditch effort to re-engage them.
3. Segment your email list.
After purging your list of inactive subscribers and invalid email addresses, it’s a good idea to properly segment your list. Segregate your subscribers according to each buyer personal or profiles you created. Some categories you can use are demographics, content consumption behavior, or the products they purchased from you.
A study by Lyris revealed that 39% of marketers who segmented their list achieved higher email open rates. Segmenting your email list will allow you to send more relevant content and personalize your emails better.
4. Personalize your emails.
When multichannel retailers personalized their email subject lines, they experienced a 37% increase in their email open rates. However, personalization goes beyond using the first name of your subscriber in the subject line or body of your email.
Create content that a specific segment of your list will surely appreciate. If you have a bookstore, for instance, customers who previously purchased young adult fiction books may appreciate content related to that genre, while those who purchased self-help books may appreciate newsletters with inspirational or helpful tips.
5. Optimize for every screen size.
Nowadays, users open their emails on multiple devices. Studies show that users who open their emails on a mobile device can be anywhere from 15% to 70%, so you need to ensure that your emails are responsive to any device and screen size—from the smallest smartphone to the largest desktop monitor. Use responsive formatting and loadable media when optimizing your emails.
You should also consider that email subject lines are usually cut off when they’re opened or viewed on smaller screens. Count the characters in your email subject line. You don’t want ellipses to replace the copy you carefully crafted just because it’s too long.
6. Trim down your email subject lines.
The character limit for email subject lines varies per email client and device. To stay within the limit of a wider range of devices and email clients, do your best to write a subject line that’s 50 characters or less.
If a huge percentage of your subscribers are mobile users, then make sure to stay within 25 to 30 characters, as an average mobile device can only fit 4 to 7 words.
Every business’ audience is different. Look up the top email clients that your subscribers are using and A/B test your email subject lines to determine the optimum length.
7. Use catchy email subject lines.
Your email subject line not only needs to be short but also catchy and descriptive! With just a few words, let your email recipients know what they can expect to find when they open your email.
You can also pique their interest and curiosity or add a bit of humor to encourage them to open your email. You should also be using actionable words to help drive the message home.
8. Adhere to anti-spam standards.
One of the worst things that can happen is for your email to end up in the spam filter. Nobody opens their spam folder!
More importantly, you don’t want your subscribers to think that your business is unreliable and “spammy.” Most email marketing automation platforms provide anti-spam guidelines.
Avoid sending cold emails and make sure that your subscribers have opted into your email list and include a link or button where they can opt out. Ask your subscribers to whitelist you by adding you to their contacts list.
Avoid words that trigger the spam filter such as "big bucks," "earn per week," "free money," “free cash,” "MLM," "no credit check," and "winning."
9. Perfect your timing.
Some surveys show that Thursday is the best day to send an email, and some say it’s Friday. Another study even claimed that 3:00 PM is the best time to send marketing emails, while some suggest Tuesdays, after 12:00 PM.
Studies may show different results and have different recommendations, but one thing’s for certain—timing is key.
Think of it this way. At the other end of your email is a human being who may be too busy with their daily tasks to even bother opening an email that is presumably unimportant.
Test your emails to determine the best time and day for specific audience segments in your list.
10. Create awesome content – consistently!
So, you’ve implemented the tricks above and managed to improve your email open rates. It doesn’t end there. In fact, the battle has just begun.
Sending even a single low-value email may cause your recipient to unsubscribe from your email list or immediately delete emails from you henceforth. Highly valuable and entertaining content will help you increase brand awareness, engage your customers, and grow your business.
You’ve put a lot of effort into growing your email list. Don’t let the time and resources you invested in your email marketing campaign go to waste. As a general rule, avoid sending emails you wouldn’t want to receive yourself. Study the profiles of your audience and segment them accordingly.
When you understand your audience, you can write better emails that they will definitely appreciate and look forward to receiving in their inbox.