Chris Linn at Minicabster considers a few ways to increase email open rates for digital marketers.
You might be awesome at creating cracking content for your emails. Got a hot deal? Great. An interesting story? Fab. But getting people to actually click and open your email is a whole different ball game.
A lot depends on the subject line, of course. This is the first point of call for your readership. If they aren’t suitably titillated by your subject line, they aren’t likely to open the email.
Does this mean you should opt for the most salacious subject line you can think of? Not necessarily…
Here are some top tips on how to increase that ever-important open rate:
1) Think about the length of your subject line. Brevity is the word of the day here. The general rule of thumb in email marketing is to keep to 50 words or less for your subject line to ensure people can read it on all devices.
2) Don’t use vague subject lines. There’s no point trying to con your readership into opening – most will spend no more than 10 seconds reading your email, so get to the point. Just mention one topic in your subject line – there’s just no room for two different points!
3) Avoid capitals, promotional phrases or exclamation marks in your subject lines. Subject lines framed as questions can often perform better.
4) Localisation can help: while ‘personalising’ an email using a recipient’s first name doesn’t significantly improve open rates, providing localisation, e.g. a city name, does help.
5) Obviously it’s worth avoid typical spam words such as ‘free’ or ‘act now’. But email client Mailchimp recommends bypassing certain other buzzwords too. Three words in particular, in fact. They might not be the words you initially had in mind. ‘Help’, ‘Percent Off’ and ‘Reminder’ may not activate your spam filter, but will still provoke a negative response. Indeed, ‘the negative impact of [these] three innocent words’ cannot be overstated’, according to the guys at Mailchimp.
6) Don’t forget the importance of the From line. It should work in tandem with the subject line. Let it communicate who you are as the sender. As much as possible, you shouldn’t change this entry. Save any humourous phrases for the subject line.
7) Don’t forget to check your list quality. Email marketers that build high-quality lists, where readers know what they’re going to receive, enjoy the best open rates. If you start with a good list but send too frequently, open rates drop precipitously.
8) Consider potential sending times for your email because, with smartphones, more and more people can access their email on the go. Try some unusual send times to see whether this impacts open rates.
9) You can’t bombard your audience – but you don’t want to ignore them either. Separate your recipients into different groupings that might necessitate varying sending frequencies. You don’t want the recipient to moan at the mere sight of your email – before clicking the delete button!
By following some of these tips, you might just find your email open rates increase dramatically!