5 Actionable Tips to Improve Your Email Open Rate
Are you looking for a way to get more out of your email marketing strategy? Have you come to find that your open rate is not up to par?There is no denying the power of email marketing, with HubSpot noting “Three-quarters of companies agree that email offers "excellent" to "good" ROI.”While email is a great way to connect with your audience, there’s something to remember: it means nothing if your open rate is extremely low.MailChimp, a leading email marketing platform, reports an average open rate across all industries of 20.81 percent.So, if your rate is higher than this, you’re doing a good job. Conversely, if you’re hovering somewhere below this number, there’s room for improvement.There’s no way of knowing what adjustment will lead to the greatest improvement in your email open rate, but there are several tips you can follow to put yourself on the road to success. Let’s take a closer look!
1. It All Starts with the Subject Line
If you want someone to open your email, you don’t have much time to attract their attention. That’s why your success starts (and sometimes ends) with your subject line.It should be concise, easy to understand, and enticing. The “quicker it hits” the better chance you have of boosting your open rate.There are several things you can experiment with to tip the scales in your favor, such as:
- Including the first name of the recipient
- Clearly stating your intention for sending the email
- Adding a special offer (so the reader doesn’t have to click to find out)
All of these things are worth experimenting with. Just the same as anything email marketing related, trial and error will give you a clear idea of what works and what doesn’t.
2. Send from a Real Person, Not a Generic Email Address
This doesn’t sound like that big of a deal, but it can have a huge impact on your open rate.If you were to receive an email, which address would you trust firstname.lastname@example.orgOrcontact@test.comThere’s something about sending email from a real person’s email address that personalizes the experience. It gives the recipient reason to believe it’s important, as opposed to “just another” message.Furthermore, this is one of the better ways to keep your email out of the spam folder and in the inbox. If you’re not successful at doing this, you can assume that your open rate will take a huge hit. After all, most people aren’t in the habit of checking their spam folder. And even if they are, they don’t put much stock in the messages that end up there.It doesn’t matter if you use your own email address or create one specifically for email marketing, be sure that it includes a real name.
3. Test Different Days and Times
It’s easy to fall into the trap that you can send an email at any time and generate the same open, read, and response rate. However, nothing could be further from the truth.There are better days and times to send your emails, with CoSchedule—a leading marketing project management platform—backing this up with a review of 14 data- driven studies.Here are the best days to send an email:
So, if you’re only going to send one email a week, you’ll want to start on Tuesdays. It may not be the only day that works - in fact, it may not work at all for your company and industry - but it’s a good jumping off point.In regards to the best time to send an email, here’s what you need to know:
Experiment with all four of these times to start, making note of which one generates the best open rate. From there, send messages at a few other times throughout the day to see if you’re missing something.Yes, it takes some effort and analysis to compare different days and times, but doing so will definitely improve your email open rate.4. Remove Inactive SubscribersIn a perfect world, everyone on your email list would remain engaged with your brand. However, in the real world, you should never expect this to be the case.While you do your best to protect against inactive subscribers, such as by regularly sharing engaging content, there are sure to be people who simply ignore your messages.One of the best ways to keep your list fresh, all while improving your open rate, is to remove inactive subscribers. You don’t have to do this every week or month, but it’s good practice to periodically take action.It’s your job to define what an inactive subscriber looks like. For example, this could be anyone who hasn’t engaged with an email over the past three, six, or nine months. Tip: before you remove an inactive subscriber from your list, try one last time to bring your relationship back to life.Here’s an example from HubSpot of what to say in your final email:
5. Segment Your List
If you’re new to email marketing or have a very small list, segmenting probably doesn’t make much sense.But, as your list grows, this is something to strongly consider. By segmenting your email list, it’s easier to ensure that every message is relevant to the recipient. This goes a long way in boosting your open rate.Constant Contact—a top email marketing service—shares the following statistics:“Did you know that 39% of marketers who segmented their email lists experienced higher open rates; 28% experienced lower unsubscribe rates; and 24% experienced better deliverability and greater revenue?”Even if segmenting your email list doesn’t result in a higher open rate, it could still help by reducing your unsubscribe rate and boosting your deliverability.
To achieve success with email marketing, you must get into the habit of tracking everything. Remember, small improvements can have a big impact on your return on investment. For instance, boosting your open rate from 20 percent to 23 percent may not sound like a big deal, but when you look at the bigger picture you’ll see just how much of an impact it can have.What’s your average email open rate? Are you satisfied with this, or are you taking steps to reach the next level?
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