7 Things You Should Be Doing To Improve Your Email Open Rates

marketing automation

Email marketing continues to be one of the best ways for businesses to connect with customers and potential clients online. However, while billions of emails make it into inboxes every day, email open rates remain low for many businesses as a surprising amount of recipients often ignore the emails they receive. Press release distributor PR Newswire reported in 2018 that 55% of consumers who prefer emails as their primary channel for receiving marketing communication still end up ignoring them. So what can you do as an email marketer to be on the positive side of this statistic with better email open rates? 

Understanding Email Open Rates

Every business that uses email marketing has an accumulated list of subscribers or people who choose to retain contact with the brand for regular emails about new products, services, or general communication. Email open rates measure the percentage of these subscribers who open the emails that you send them as a marketer. These rates vary depending on the business, but research from marketing software developer HubSpot finds a 20% average rate across all industries. Here are a few ways to improve this percentage for your brand.

  1. Craft a winning subject line to increase your email open rates.

The subject line is the first thing your subscribers will see in their inbox even before they open the email. Think of it as a title that piques a reader’s interest, encouraging them to look closer at the rest of the content. It’s all about providing as much value to your subscribers as possible in this line by convincing them to open your email. Here are a few ways to do it. 

  • Describe what readers could benefit from reading the email in as few words as possible.
  • Keep the line short but sweet, and avoid filler words.
  • Personalize your subject line with words like “you” or “we”, or the recipient’s name.
  • Add phrases that create a sense of urgency, like “one day left”, “last chance”, or specific deadline dates.
  1. Don’t spam emails but don’t be too silent either

The number of emails you send to your subscribers depends on the nature of your brand of products or services. HubSpot found email open rates to be at an average high of 32.4% across various industries for between 16 and 30 emails sent every month in a recent study. Too few emails lead to lower open rates, and so did too many. Don’t message your subscribers so rarely that they forget about you, but don’t send them too many messages that they think of it as spam. Find the optimal number of emails that work for your business, and this will keep your email open rates as high as possible.

  1. Keep your subscriber list well-segmented.

People may have joined your email list for many different reasons, so to send them all the exact same email promoting the same thing is counterproductive. Users with nothing to gain from your email will often ignore it, keeping your open rates low. Segment your subscriber list depending on each user’s preference and only send emails to the groups that are most likely to be interested in them.

  1. Always provide value

If your emails consistently provide value to your subscribers, then it is likely that your email open rates will be high. From the beginning of your communication, make sure that there is a clear benefit that your subscribers can get from your emails. Good examples of value in emails include:

  • Information about promotions or sales
  • Festivity gifts for occasions such as birthdays or anniversaries
  • Sharing content relatable to the subscriber’s needs like an article, a video, or an audio clip.
  1. Consider the importance of your name and email address

Have you ever stopped to think about the contact details that your subscribers see in the ‘from’ section of your emails when you send them? People are likely to ignore messages from email addresses with the words “no-reply” in them because they ultimately discourage answers or feedback of any sort. It is better if your email address contains your business name in it. If you plan to run multiple campaigns, keep your ‘from’ name similar throughout so that subscribers remember you and always open your emails.

  1. Think of the timing of your emails

There are specific times in the day when people are more likely to open your emails than others, but it may take some testing on your part to find them. Try segmenting your list into different groups and send them all the same email at different times. Do this over a few weeks, and note the highest email open rates out of all the time slots. From here, you can keep the rates high by remaining consistent in how often you send the emails at the best times.

  1. Always track your progress

Of course, you can never tell if your email open rates are better if you have no way to track them. Various resources exist to assist you with this, like email automation platforms and certain 3rd party SAAS tools. Keep tabs on the progress of your campaigns and note what you could be doing to improve the engagement of your subscribers.

Getting your email open rates to increase ultimately comes down to how effectively you can communicate with your audience. It involves delivering value to your subscribers, sometimes even before they click on your email! Finally, it remains successful when each click pays off with a benefit to them from you. Use these tips to keep your open rates high and your subscribers eagerly awaiting your next email.


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