Tips for Getting a Higher Open Rate
with Email Marketing
We have compiled these articles to cover the topic of email marketing and how to get a higher opening rate.
What is an email open rate?
Before I dive into the data, you and I need to understand this metric. You see, most people consider the open rate as the number of people who open your email.
Sounds logical, right?
Unfortunately, that’s not the case. An email is only counted as opened when one of the following occurs:
- The reader enables images in your email to be displayed in the preview pane or a full view of the email.
- The recipient clicks a link in the email.
OK, easy enough. But, how are email open rates calculated?
Email service providers (ESPs) calculate the open rate by taking the number of people who open the email and dividing it by the number of emails sent that did not bounce, i.e. failed to reach the recipient.
For example, sending 100 emails and ten bounces leaves you with 90 delivered emails. Of those 90 emails, let’s say that ten are opened. This means that your email campaign open rate is 11% (10 emails opened from 90 delivered).
Emails that are not delivered cannot be opened, so this number is not included in the open rate percentage.
Given that B2B email marketing has been the most popular marketing channel for several years and that the average number of promotional emails sent to readers continues to increase, you would think that the open email rate is on the decline.
For the most part, that wasn’t the case.
Until 2019, that is.
Between 2015 to 2018, the average open rate for email was steady – hovering at 24% globally.
However, in 2020, the average open rate dropped to 21.3% (a slight decrease compared to 2019).
Does a decrease in open email rates signal the death of email marketing?
Of course not.
It’s not the first time open rates will fall, and it’s not the last time.
The good news is that based on historical data, we can see that each time there is a decrease, it’s always followed by a substantial period of growth. So, we can expect to see an increase again in 2021.
Before you get more people to read your emails, you first need to understand where you stand.
How many people are currently ready for your emails? What is your current email open rate?
This is where industry benchmark open rate reports come in.
Here are ways you can provide value to your email subscribers:
- Share an easy-to-read how-to article that directly resonates with a common pain point of your target audience.
- Notify subscribers when their favourite item is back in stock or now on sale.
- Delight and surprise subscribers with birthday offer, anniversary offers—let them know you’re thinking about them.
- Subject line length: Do you think a short subject line will work better than a long subject line? Test it.
- Personalization: Do you think a personalized subject line will result in more opens? Test that, too.
- Offers: Do you think your subscribers respond better to coupons than free shipping? There’s another A/B test for you.
- Emojis: How about emojis in subject lines? Yup, test it.
Come up with two subject lines, and send the A/B test to a sample size within your email list. For example, you can select 30% of your email list and send subject line A to 15% of your list and subject line B to the other 15%.
Once your test reaches statistical significance, roll out the champion subject line to the rest of your list. Again, try to reduce the number of variables in play by sending your subject line tests and the champion on the same day or at the same time of day.
2. Launch a subject line test to a specific segment or your entire list, apply insights to future sends.
Instead of testing a subject line on sample size, you can try two subject lines to your entire list or a segment of your list and then apply what you learn from this A/B test to future sends.
From short and sweet to personalized and specific, the subject line possibilities are endless—you have to find out what your subscribers like best.
11 essential tips to increase your email marketing open rate:
The importance of segmentation in email marketing cannot be overemphasized. You have to know what they want from you. When you relate your marketing email to an existing client’s purchase/request/inquiry record, your email’s content is more relevant and less spam-like. Rest assured: your average open rate will go up!
The first step to email marketing is ensuring your emails reach your audience and land in their inbox (not their spam folder or junk mail). Your efforts go to waste if your audience is not exposed to your content. One of the biggest challenges faced by businesses that utilize email marketing is the ‘bounce factor’; The tendency of emails not to go through. Email ‘bounce’ or ‘bounce backs’ result from issues with receiving account(may be temporary or permanent) or a block on the email from a recipient server. Over time, a high bounce rate could ruin your sender’s reputation and put your IP on a blocklist.
When a bounce happens, the receiving server sends the message back to its sender. This is essentially the digital version of “Return to Sender.” So how do you improve deliverability or avoid bounce backs?
A popular shortcut that people use to get an extensive list of receivers to advertise to prospective clients. Very bad. What happens is, either the recipient server blocks you completely, or your mail goes straight to the spam folder.
You have to get subscribers genuinely and sign up directly on your page or social media. Having people sign up directly also helps you gather the information that can be useful in the segmentation of your emails.
Email authentication can also be called domain authentication. Email authentication is a batch of procedures set to procure valid information on the root of emails by substantiating the domain ownership.
The time of day you send your email marketing campaign matters. So does the day in the week and how many times a month you dispatch bulk emails. It does, however, also depend on your customers and the product/service you provide. On average, most Emails are opened at 8 a.m. And a higher click-through rate occurs at 5 p.m.
While it is best to send one email a week, it would be better if you and your campaign team check the statistics of your industry and what other companies are doing.
Your customer is your priority. But, then, it would help if you made them feel like it.
Don’t write to a thousand people; write to one valued customer. Writing about one customer is more likely to capture their attention (and reduce the unsubscribe rate). That is the secret to good copywriting.
The services are being rendered to them, searching for what’s in it for them, not for everyone. When you speak directly to each customer individually, you garner more loyalty because each customer believes that you pay attention to their individual needs. So once they receive an email from you, they are more likely to open it.
Most people hate anonymous emails because these tend to be scammers or people phishing for the gullible. So if your business name is ‘Evans Haircare,’ then that should be your sender name. It is also vital because a client could be waiting to hear from you, but it could be deleted right away because your email is not identifiable.
Your subject line should be concise and intriguing. Brief because then it can be read at a glance, intriguing because that will convince the client/prospect to open the email. A subject line of 20 words is preferable because it can be scanned through quickly.
It would help if you also made an effort to personalize your subject line—one step from basic advertisement to successful marketing. You can also create a subject line that triggers curiosity in whoever reads the subject line and encourages them to read the email.
A new subscriber is more likely to open your emails, so you need to make an effort to gain loyalty and devotion. Once they know that you deliver quality and your emails are engaging, you’re sure to have won devoted email openers. So don’t barrage them with loads of emails and offers that will make them unsubscribe entirely. Instead, strategically send emails that require their engagement. The more they engage, the more items and offers you advertise in your responses and voila, more patronage and a robust open rate.
So, you have a well-planned dissemination schedule, a captivating subject line, a recognizable sender name, and so on, but what about the content of the email?
It would be horrible to deliver an email at the best time and then capture a prospect’s attention enough to open the email, and then they meet blah! Content is king. What you deliver should be witty, concise, humorous, and engaging yet still get you sales. That is the underlying goal of every other thing.
Personalizing the emails you send out tends to increase your open rate because it is less like a bulk announcement, and you’ll receive more like an “oh, Evans Haircare knows what I want.” Personalizing the emails is not just about adding their name to the email. It could be sending offers exclusive to the prospect’s age range or informing them when a product/service is available in their area.
Email Marketing is the best fastest way of connecting and communicating with existing and new customers. Use it often and use it wisely, and your return will be significant.
Article compiled by hughesagency.ca
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