There are over 205 billion emails sent every day. Naturally, email marketing has become a pillar in most brands’ marketing strategies. But what does it take to make your brand’s email stand out amongst the rest in a congested inbox? Your email open rate (EOR) is a key indicator of how well a campaign is performing. To help make your email marketing campaigns more successful, we’ve come up with four ways for you to improve email open rates.
Four Ways to Improve Email Open Rates
1. Drop a (Subject) Line
Your content doesn’t get seen or shared if the email doesn’t get opened. Your email subject line is the most important part of your content push and ultimately affects your email open rate. Here at SocialToaster, we work with a variety of clients who are very skilled in the craft of writing the perfect email subject line. We have seen several different subject lines work, (and some that didn’t work). We’ve compiled some best practices below for that eye-catching email subject line:
- Brand recognition. Brand awareness is (usually) a top marketing goal so why not include your brand’s name in the subject line?
- Keep it short. It’s a subject LINE, not a novel.
- Call-To-Action. Add an active call to action such as win or share. Let users know what they have to do besides ‘open’ the email.
- Teaser text. Frame the content/email as exclusive. For example, “First Look Just For You!” Users feel like VIPs and it also shows that your content is new and fresh.
- Phrase as a question. Questions provoke answers. A user’s curiosity will always get the best of them.
If you want to improve email open rates, you have to work to capture your reader’s attention as they scroll through potentially hundreds of other messages.
2. Perfect Timing
We all know that timing is everything, especially when it comes to emails. Sending an email at the wrong time, on the wrong day or even during the wrong time of year can result in low open rates. Are you overwhelmed yet? Fear not, just like there is a craft of the subject line, there is a science to the timing.
As with anything in marketing, timing should be based upon your audience. For example, if you are targeting the 9-5ers, early morning (during their coffee) or late night (during their beer), AKA not the middle of the work day, works best. Timing will be different for stay-at-home moms, yuppies, and other audiences. Bottom-line is that your brand must know your audience’s habits.
3. Frequently Frequent
It’s Dating 101. Never come on too strong (i.e. picking out the name(s) of your future children on the first date). The same can be said for an email. The more often you send emails, the more likely it is that users will get tired of your brand and less likely they are to open your emails. Definitely not the way to improve email open rates.
Less is always more. At SocialToaster, we advise clients to email through our platform 1-2 times per week; anything less keeps your brand out of users’ minds and anything more is overwhelming. Your Unsubscribe Rate is often times just as important as your email open rate. You want to find a happy medium between users getting tired of you and users forgetting you.
4. Be Content With Your Content
No one likes boring! Users aren’t going to open emails that contain content that does nothing for them. Content must be a resource that offers users something of value in return in order to improve email open rates. In this case, we’re talking about the time the recipient invests in reading your message. Whether it is knowledge, tips, or tricks, the content is what users care about on the other side of the subject line.
Content is the bread and butter of your email so make sure it is relevant to your brand and marketing strategy, and compelling to your users. If you consistently deliver valuable content, users will trust you and you will eventually see dollar signs.
- Marketing provides a myriad of opportunities to split test. Split test everything from content to subject lines to different times of day. It can be time consuming but the results will save you lots of time and money in the long run.
- Review your mailing list. There’s nothing worse than the “undeliverable message” popping up in your inbox after sending out an email. So ask yourself before you hit send, how old is this list and can it be updated?