If there’s one question that plagues almost every company in email marketing, it’s this: How do you boost your open rates? Whether you send blasts weekly, monthly or on some other schedule, you know the challenge of trying to catch readers’ eyes. It’s no easy task.
In today’s on-the-go society, your emails could be reaching recipients in all kinds of places beyond their desks — on their morning commutes, distracted in meetings or killing time before picking up kids from school, for example. Bearing this in mind, how can you grab and keep their attention long enough to get them to open and read what you have to say? What will pull them from their distractions? How do you make people want to open your emails and engage in your email campaigns?
If these questions sound familiar and you’re looking to see more readers clicking through to your emails and engaging with your content, here’s a look at tips and tricks that can help.
Make your email marketing more effective by using the following helpful strategies!
Table of Contents
1. Write compelling subject lines—and try emojis.
When it comes to subject lines, the guiding principle is simple: You want to write the kind of headline that catches readers mid-scroll. To do this, start by considering your audience and what will appeal to it. Why should people want to read your campaigns? What’s in it for them? What benefits are inside? Once you figure this out, use a clear value proposition in your subject line. Likewise, if possible, take advantage of the age-old truth that a picture is worth a thousand words, and use emojis.
If you think emojis are unprofessional, it’s time to reconsider. Why? According to research from SendPulse, brands have consistently seen higher open rates when they’ve used an emoji in their email subject lines. In fact, cited studies show up to a 56 percent higher open rate compared to text-based subject lines. Fun and colorful, emojis communicate quickly and concisely in the short space of an inbox headline.
So, when you’re drafting a new campaign, ask yourself: Is there an emoji for this? Draw attention to your emails and catch readers in their inboxes by using emojis in your subject lines!
2. Get personal—send from a human and write to a human.
Take a look at the “from” name on your emails. Is it your business or brand, or is it an individual? Even if you’re sending notes on behalf of your business, make a real person the face of the notes. According to research from HubSpot, emails coming from actual people have higher open and click-through rates than emails from business names.
Likewise, try incorporating the recipient’s first name in your subject line. Research from MarketingSherpa showed that customizing the subject line to address the recipient boosted open rates an average of 17.36 percent!
3. Write compelling email content— over and over.
If someone opens one of your emails only to click “unsubscribe,” you may have won the battle but lost the war. This is why you must write compelling email content. You’re not after one-time readers; you’re trying to establish an engaged audience of individuals who trust you enough to want to open your emails time and time again. This is the surest way to improve your open rates.
To do this, you must consistently offer value. Deliver what you promise in your subject line. Educate, delight or otherwise engage the reader in such a way that he or she is glad to have opened your note. Don’t short-change your recipient with ho-hum content. Quality counts.
When it comes to email marketing open rates, one of the best and most effective ways to improve is to send content with clear and meaningful value.
4. Don’t be spammy.
The last thing you want is to end up in the junk box of your readers’ email. Think about it: It’s pretty hard for readers to open newsletters that never hit their inboxes. If your notes are going straight to users’ spam boxes, they may not even know they’re ignoring you. To avoid looking spammy, always double-check your subject line and email content for red flags:
- Using certain words, especially in all caps, tends to seem like spam. Avoid SALE, FREE, RICH or DEAL in your subject lines, for example.
- For a more comprehensive list of words that filters look for (buy, earn $, affordable, etc.), check out this article from HubSpot.
- While linking to valuable resources is good, try not to turn your emails into sheer link lists. This, too, may seem spammy to email filters.
Likewise, you might want to ask readers to add your “from” email address to their contact lists, to reduce the chances of your emails being missed.
5. Optimize for mobile devices.
According to MediaPost, 55 percent of emails are opened and read on mobile devices today. This means you can expect more than half of the people getting your emails to be looking at them on their smartphones or tablet screens. In addition, you better be optimizing your content for those smaller screens—or you risk losing your audience’s interest.
6. Send emails on Tuesdays.
There’s no law that says you have to send emails on Tuesdays as opposed to any other day of the week. If, however, you’re looking to capture users at the time when they’re most likely to open your notes, Tuesdays are the day to pick. According to research from GetResponse, Tuesday mailings have the highest open rates and the highest click-through rates. The average, according to the study, was almost 20 percent for Tuesdays—slightly higher than theapproximate 19 percent on Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays, or the 18 percent on Mondays. Saturdays and Sundays see the lowest averages at about 17 percent each.
Whether your business is graphic design, travel services, personal training or food delivery, you have to think about open rates if you use email marketing. Take the six steps above to improve the way you reach out to your audience—and watch what happens! Through a few simple tweaks, you may be able to get your message across to more recipients and connect with more potential clients, helping you drive your business goals.
Author bio: Shanna Mallon is a senior copywriter for Straight North, a leading professional SEO agency in Chicago that also provides web design and other online marketing services. Shanna has been creating online content professionally since 2007.