On average, nearly 54 percent of the email we receive every day is promotional.
In fact, according to Invesp, emails are 40 times more effective in acquiring new customers as compared to Facebook or Twitter. With people constantly being inundated with marketing messages, marketers are forced to get creative to ensure their customers are opening messages.
Fortunately, getting more opens isn’t just luck, or some unattainable magic. With a little work, you too, can see an increase in your open and click-through rates.
Related Article: Data Shows Email Open Rates on Holidays Are Comparable to Average Work Day
Create Targeted and Segmented Lists
The more targeted your list, the more likely subscribers are to open. You’re better served by sending a targeted message to a smaller group of people and getting more opens, than simply blasting everyone on the list with a blanket email. Though you’ll have to craft messages for each segment of your list, this approach ensures each subscriber is getting information relevant to them.
Research shows opens are 13.46 percent and clicks are 53.05 percent higher on segmented campaigns. If that’s not enough to convince you, segmented campaigns also have 8.67 percent fewer abuse reports, and 8.13 percent fewer people unsubscribe.
Segment lists by any number of demographics, such as: gender, age, location, purchase behavior, etc. Use any data you have available on hand about your subscribers, like responses to your welcome email, customer relationship management (CRM) software or market research. Continue refining your targeting and segmenting as you gather more data.
Carefully Craft the Subject Line
The subject line is the first thing a reader sees, so you have to make it count. A Mailchimp study revealed that using words like “urgent” and “breaking” performed better than words like “alert” and “important” to convey a sense of urgency. That sense of urgency tends to lead to higher open rates, but be careful—abuse it, and you may see a decline in open rates.
The study also tells us that first and last name personalization has a better impact on open rates as compared to either first name only or last name only. Capitalizing every word in the email subject also appears to make a slight difference in open rates.
Related Article: Email Writing For Startups: How To Get Heard
Provide Value in Your Email Content
If you manage to get the first email opened, you’re lucky enough, but if you’re not providing value to your readers with what you’re sending in the messages, you’re not going to get to the second, third, and any subsequent opens. To maximize the value of each subscriber, keep them coming back for more.
Focus on exclusivity—give them content they can’t find on your blog, or in other places online. Focus on uniqueness—don’t give them the same old thing they’re finding on similar niche lists. Provide reports, videos, etc. that can give the customer what they want. While you can use email marketing for as a promotional platform, value is the most important factor. If your messaging is a constant promotion, customers will stop opening.
Pay Attention to When You Send
Perhaps not the most important metric, because the best time for your audience isn’t like the best time for another audience in another niche, the time of day, and even the day of the week you send your email messages can make a difference in your open rates.
For instance, Tuesday and Thursday are the busiest email days, so delivering on those days may make your messaging fade in with the rest of the crowd. Open rates tend to decline on the weekends, so important messages are best saved for another day. Surprisingly, holidays compare to work days in terms of number of opens.
Image via Econsultancy
To maximize open rates, choose morning and early afternoon hours, when people are likely to be looking at their email boxes. Avoid evening hours when people are busy with commuting, dinner and family.
To determine the right timing for your audience, split test your emails. Pay attention to which one receives higher engagement. Continue to test until you find the perfect time. Once you’ve figured out what it is, stick with it.
Talk to Your Readers
One of the best ways to find out more about what to include in your email marketing is to speak directly to your readers to find out what they want. When you give them what they’re looking for, they will generally be more likely to open your emails.
Conduct an online survey, and to increase participation, offer a small incentive for completing the survey. Think about what you want to know, come up with a list of short questions that are easy for the respondent to answer, and analyze the data.
Reach out to your social media following. Ask questions often, and pay attention to the answers.
Don’t Forget Your Mobile Audience
Mobile accounts for 22 percent of all email-generated revenue and 45 percent of all email clicks. With the mobile audience representing such a large segment, it’s important to design your messaging with them in mind.
Image via Marketing Land
Make sure the sender is clearly recognizable, as 43 percent of people will report an email as spam based on the sender name or email. Use the first 100 characters of your email content to really make a statement, as this is usually a snippet that shows up in the email box with the subject.
Don’t focus on too many images, because these can be automatically blocked, giving the reader a poor impression. When you do use images, use alt text, or creatively code and slice to create the illusion of an image.
Create a clear call-to-action. Tell your readers what you want them to do. Once the subscriber clicks through, make sure the landing page has an optimized design as well.
Email marketing success is more than waving a magic wand, but working to get it right is worth the investment. Take time with each email marketing message you create. Build your list carefully. Make use of any data you have available to improve customer experience and nurture relationships. Then you’ll truly be able to harness the power of your list.