It’s no secret that email marketing is a great way to connect with your customers, prospects, and everyone else important to your brand or business. But have you ever taught your emails could do a better job of engaging your audiences more that it does?
Email marketing works because it allows you to reach a huge customer base (potential customers) in the place they go every day — in their email inbox. But once you get to the inbox, how do you make sure your emails actually get opened and get the needed primary action completed?
Improving your email open rates is not rocket science but required just some simple techniques to implement to achieve the required results.
Here are eight simple email marketing strategies to consider to improve your open rates:
- You Need To Give People A Reason To Act
- Make It Easy For Your Customers To Take Action
- Invest In Your Subject Line and Preheaders
- Get To Know Your Customers
- Fix Your ‘From Name’
- Revisit Your Sign-Up Process and Keep Your List Fresh
- Find The Best Time To Send (And Be Consistent)
- Avoid Spam Filters
1. You Need To Give People A Reason To Act
The best way to inspire your readers or subscribers to take action is to provide something of great value. If you’re sending an email to drive sales, including a small discount or voucher code – with a limited time offer can go a long way. I personally wouldn’t make a purchase on an ecommerce email sent to me, if there is not sales discount on offer. From a B2B perspective, offering a free case study or brochure download about what you are selling can also improve your long term relationship with your audiences.
2. Make It Easy For Your Customers To Take Action
It’s very essential to test your email on multiple devices – to make sure it renders well when customers receive them. Most email service providers have this feature on their system – so make use of it.
Many of your readers or subscribers will be opening your emails on a mobile device (smart phone), so be sure that the text is large enough to be readable on a small screen and the links are easy to click. If you’re adding images with information, also make sure the image size compressed to a lower size and be aware that images might not load for everyone; so include relevant information in plain text below your images so no one is missing out.
This is a relevant feature, i see missing out in most email I get from brands. It is also good practise to make sure, images you use for emails are really creative and engaging – no boring boring imagery and dull colours.
3. Invest In Your Email Subject Line and Preheaders
Your email subject line is one of the most important lines of your entire email. Once you lose your audience on a poor subject line, your open rate and click through rate is going to be awful. Similar to a news article or ad tagline – your subject line is suppose to drive users attention and get them interested in what you are offering, so it’s essential to be creative and engaging.
- Email Subject Line – An email subject line is the first text recipients see after your sender name when an email reaches their inbox. It is important to keep an email subject line informative, catchy, and brief. Keep it short and sweet.
Email subject lines will get cut off if they’re too long, particularly on mobile devices. And with up to 77% of email opens taking place on mobile, we recommend using subject lines with fewer than 50 characters to make sure the people scanning your emails read the entire subject line.
- Email Preheaders – Are text that appears after the subject line, when users view emails from their Inbox. When used effectively, these preheaders’ acts as a pre-screening tool for recipients, and help increase open rates of your campaigns.
Ensure that you adhere to about 40 characters, which is the maximum length on Android Gmail app users. Alternatively, you can make sure the important information appears in the first 40 characters.
There are a lot of useful free subject line tools i would recommend.
Generic subject lines like “April 2020 Newsletter” or “News from Us” probably are going to have an awful open rate for sure….
Invest some extra time in your subject line before hitting send – using some of the free online tools I have recommended. Here are 4 ideas to help you get started:
- Using a question in your subject line is a great way to make a more personal connection with the people viewing your emails.
- Lists make it easier for people to consume the information you’re sending out. They also give you the chance to demonstrate your points in a more compelling way.
- Subject lines don’t have to be complicated, especially if the goal of your email is to announce something new. Be straightforward about what your email is about.
- The command and limited time period: Sometimes it pays off to be more direct with your audience as a way to get them to take action. Say the limited time offer etc…
Did you know that 47% of email recipients open an email based on the subject line alone? At the same time, 69% of email recipients report email as spam based solely on the subject line.
4. Get To Know Your Customers or Audience
Knowing your audiences on your email database in terms of their needs, interests, topics they engage with and their pain points and how your brand addresses it with content – is quiet crucial to your open rates.
Effective email campaigns shouldn’t be all about half-price, 50% off, limited offer, buy now etc. It’s great when you know each segment of your email database, where your customer are on the buying cycle and how you can engage them with credible content at the right time to push them to the sales funnel.
Most email systems allow you to have statistically report on heat maps that are useful on the email content – customers receive. So be data-driven and use your click reports to see which links are getting the most clicks. You can also get a breakdown of who is clicking to read each piece of content on your email list.
Understanding your email audience is critical to getting the results you want from your email campaigns. When you learn more about your list, you can start to target your contacts with more relevant information.
5. Fix Your ‘From Name’
Keeping a professional branded from email name, from email address and reply path email address – helps your readers to understand who the email is coming from. You should make the effort and complete all these fields in every email you send to your customers and readers. It’s not hard to do this but it’s easy for subscribers to report as spam or junk if they don’t recollect your brand.
- From Name: Mens Club Association Basildon
- From Address: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Reply-to Address: email@example.com
Customers are suspicious of emails when they don’t know the sender; they could be less likely to open and more likely mark your email as spam.
6. Revisit Your Sign-Up Process and Keep Your List Fresh
Successful email open rates start the moment someone joins your email list. It’s your responsibility to make sure they understand what they’re signing up for, and then follow through with the expectations you have set for your brand. There is no point having a sign-up process for your email list and therefore not engaging with your audiences thereafter with relevant informative content.
Always make sure you’re answering the following questions with your email sign up standard process:
- What is the value of signing up for your emails?
- What can they expect to receive going forward?
- How often will they hear from you?
- Preference of what interest or topics they are interested in?
Also do your subscribers still want to hear from you? It’s important to email your subscribers on a consistent basis so your list doesn’t go stale as a business. But even so, over time, email subscribers can still go stale. Some people may have changed email accounts, or maybe they just aren’t interested in your brand anymore – with GDPR in place now you should take the appropriate step to keep your email list healthy.
So to keep your list fresh and filled with engaged readers or subscribers, it’s a good idea to periodically remove inactive subscribers. An inactive subscriber could be anyone who has not engaged with any email in the past 6 months or more.
You’ll get a much better response rate when people opt-in to join your list. You’ll also avoid possible spam complaints that could keep you from reaching the people on your email list.
7. Find the best time to send and be consistent
There are certain times of days when your readers are more likely to open and read your emails. Timing can have a huge effect on whether or not your readers or customers open your emails, so think carefully about what time and day you send your emails out.
You won’t be able to figure out the perfect time immediately, but perform some A/B tests to identify which timeframes seem to perform best, and explore those in future campaigns. Also, looking back on your email reports and analysing your data send trends on – open rate should be able to give you an idea of best timing to perfect your email send.
8. Avoid spam filters
Spam filters detect unsolicited, unwanted, and virus-infested email (called spam) and stop it from getting into email inboxes. Internet Service Providers (ISPs) use spam filters to make sure they aren’t distributing spam.
Spam filters have gotten more sophisticated in recent times, but they’re still not perfect. Your emails – even your best emails–can still get caught in the dreaded spam folder, never to see the light of day. There are lots of factors to explain this but its best to make sure the mail system you using to send allow you to test for spam filters on each of your emails.
If you want to maximize the reach of your email marketing campaigns, you’ll need to do everything possible in order to avoid being flagged as spam. Make sure all recipients have actually opted-in to receiving your emails and have engaged with your brand before.
Here are some best practices to keep your emails from falling prey to spam folders:
- Send your campaign from a good IP address; that is, an IP address that hasn’t been black listed
- Send through verified domains
- Test and Keep any coding clean
- Engage and show subscribers how to white list your emails, and ask them to add you to their safe senders list of address book.
- Avoid the excessive use of “salesy” language (these are spam trigger words like buy, clearance, discount, free or cash).
- Don’t “click bait-and-switch” by using deceptive subject lines
- Include your brand name and address location
- Include an easy way for subscribers to opt-out of your emails
In conclusion, improving your email open rate involves a lot to test and learn processes and that these are not the only exhaustible techniques that can be followed.