According to research, email marketing is the most effective marketing channel to date–beating out other methods such as SEO, affiliate marketing, and even social media marketing. But why is this marketing channel still so popular in spite of its being around for decades? Well, it’s because people tend to access their email more than they do any other platform.
If people spend more time in their inboxes than they do on any other platform, then every email marketing campaign must bring in loads of customers, right? Wrong. The problem with this marketing channel is that most people don’t understand how to use it properly. This is especially the case when it comes to getting people to open their newsletters.
Unfortunately, there are a lot of business owners who put in tons of work crafting what seems to be the perfect letter only to find out that just a few people have opened it. Campaign Monitor reports that the average open rate is around 15%-25%. If your open rate is below average then you should consider changing your strategy. Here are 7 easy ways to super boost your newsletter open rate.
1. Write Your Subject Lines Like Blog Post Titles
Statistics show that 47% of emails are opened based solely on the subject line. Not only that, but the subject line can also cause people to send the email to spam. So this is where you should put most of your focus.
Typically, the best subject lines are honest, they’re short and to the point, they pique the user’s curiosity, many contain numbers so that the reader knows how many points to expect, and only the first letter of every word is capitalized. So, in essence, the best email subject lines are written like the title of a blog post.
The next time you’re creating a subject, ask yourself if you would use it as the title of one of your blog posts. Is it engaging? Does it set the right expectations? Does it make the reader want to know more? Does it convey value? If you’re unsure about whether or not your title will grab people’s attention try Coschedule’s headline analyzer.
2. Split Test
When you compare two versions of a marketing method, it’s referred to as A/B testing. The purpose of A/B testing, also known as split testing, is to find out which phrases and words produce the best results. Even the smallest changes can make a huge difference in your conversion rates.
So, if you want to increase your open rate it’s important that you regularly test your subject lines. Simply create two versions of the same newsletter, using different subject lines. You should then send each version out to half of your email list.
You may be surprised to learn that the email that you thought would be the most successful was opened the least. In fact, it may be one that caused people to unsubscribe. The best thing about A/B testing your subject lines is that you’re letting the audience tell you how they prefer you to communicate with them. Let them decide what language impresses them the most. Luckily, most email providers include A/B testing tools as part of their services.
3. Don’t Miss the Preview
In many instances, your subscribers see more than just the subject of your email. If they’re using services like Outlook, they’ll be able to see the entire first line of your letter. This is referred to as preview text. So in these cases, not only is your subject line important, but the readers will also use the preview text to decide whether or not your newsletter is worth opening.
Most preview text is typically 35-90 characters. However, there are exceptions such as Apple Mail which displays 140 characters. So you only have a few words to catch people’s attention. A smart strategy is to think of your preview text as a second subject line. Make sure that the words you use are to the point, create a sense of urgency, and convey value.
You should also include a call-to-action in your preview text. For instance, “Read how a woman earned $1,000,000 selling bottle caps.” “Open this to get your free ebook.” This may seem simple, but it gives people a reason to find out more about what have to offer.
5. Authenticate Your Email
There’s a chance that you could be doing all of the right things. However, if someone is spoofing your email and pretending to be you then it can cause people to distrust your brand. They may assume that you’re only trying to steal their most important information. If you want to ensure that spammers like these don’t put a damper on your open rates, it’s a good idea to authenticate your email.
Email authentication requires you to validate your domain address with email servers as well as provide a list of email sources so that you’re considered to be legitimate. This way, if a certain email claims to be from your domain, the ISP will refuse to deliver the message. At best, the message will be sent to the recipient’s spam folder.
5. Make It Personal
It’s important to understand that your audience is constantly receiving emails. And many of them, if not most, come from companies just like yours. These types of emails can be pretty off-putting because they’re often very cold and removed. You can tell how impersonal they are just by looking at the “from” portion of the email. The section usually holds the name of the company. So it’s a good idea to find ways to personalize the email and make it more human.
According to Constant Contact, when you take the time to personalize your email, it helps you to better target your audience, create better content, build deeper relationships with your subscribers, give your business a face, offer greater value, and boost your conversion rates. So use your “from” section to establish a connection with your audience. Instead of using your company name, use your own first name.
6. Scrub Your Email
One of the best ways to increase your open rate is to scrub your emails. What is email scrubbing? It’s the process of removing all the subscribers who aren’t engaging with your emails. It may seem counter-intuitive to get rid of some of your subscribers when you’ve spent so long building your list. However, it’s important that you realize that you may be wasting your money and time on people who simply aren’t interested in your company and what it has to offer.
Statistics show that with each passing year, email lists tend to decline around 22%. This means that a third of your audience won’t open your emails. So there’s really no point in communicating with these individuals.
The most obvious sign that your email needs to be scrubbed is if you’ve recently noticed that people are unsubscribing or starting to report your company’s emails as spam. Also, if your click-through and open rates are well below average it may be time to get rid of the dead weight. You’ll find that open and click-through rates increase dramatically.
Luckily, most newsletter services make the email scrubbing process relatively easy. This is especially the case if you’re getting a lot of spam complaints from people who are no longer interested in receiving your emails.
Start with your most active lists because they tend to drive leads, conversions, and sales. Then move on to the older lists because they tend to be the least engaged. Just keep in mind that even if your list is still somewhat new, there’s no point in keeping people who have little to no interest in your business.
7. Experiment With Time
In some cases, your low open rates aren’t as much about the content or lack of interest as it is about timing. Are you sending your emails out at a time that your audience is most likely to open them? Coschedule suggests that the best days to send out emails are Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday. They report that the best times to send out emails are 10 a.m., 8 p.m., 2 p.m., and 6 a.m. EST.
However, it’s also important to consider your demographics. What are their habits? What time zone are they in? Are they sleeping when your emails are sent?
Are you working with a younger crowd that’s tech-obsessed? If so, you may want to send out your emails at night as this is the time in which they’re most likely to be using their phones. Do you own a website that is centered around the entertainment industry? If so, then you may want to send out your email during the weekend as this is the time in which they’re looking for something fun to do.
This is another opportunity to do split testing. Send a few versions of the same email out and at different times. This way you can get a better idea of when you’re likely to get the most engagement.
Your email open rates can be a huge indicator of how well your email marketing campaign is going. This metric can help you to get a better understanding of which of your strategies needs the most improvement. The good news is that it doesn’t take a lot in order to increase your open rates.
The key is to create subject lines and preview text that gets your audience’s attention. And you must be willing to test these headlines to ensure that they’re what your audience wants and needs. It’s important that you make the email has been authenticated and that is personalized. It’s also essential that you get rid of the subscribers who aren’t engaged and that you send your emails at optimal times.