How to boost and improve your email open rates

Debunc Team

Posted by Debunc Team on 18 Jul 2016 reading time

  • Why email open rates matter

    If you’re taking email marketing seriously in your business, you’ll know that the open rate of campaigns is amongst the most important metrics of success. Without an open, you cannot expect a click or any other conversion for that matter.

    When your open rate is less than desirable, do you know what factors may be affecting it? Read on and unlock a treasure trove of open rate optimisation techniques!

  • A quality email list
    A quality email list

    If your email campaign open rates are low but your list size is large, your issue may be down to the quality of your list.

    Many marketers miss a trick here, focussing on quantity over quality and add any and everyone to their subscriber lists. Not only is this bad practice but the benefits are short-lived with high unsubscribes and diluted open rates.

    Make sure you have an opt-in policy for new subscribers (maybe consider double opt-ins) so that your readership will certainly be made up of those engaged and interested.

  • A bad email reputation is like a hangover–hard to get rid of and it makes everything else hurt.
    Chris Marriott
  • Target your campaigns
    Target your campaigns

    So, you have an awesome list of prospects and clients to contact – remember the power that email marketing brings to the table. Segmenting lists for each campaign will help ensure that the content you share is relevant with a pinpoint accuracy that only digital can afford.

    Ultimately, the quality of your list data will determine how specific you can be with campaigns. Take the time to organise your subscribers by geography, purchase history – in fact any business critical metric you can get your hands on.

  • Subject lines
    Subject lines

    We’ve driven this subject home for the last few months, and will continue to do so! A powerful subject line is the key that opens the door to engaged users. A good subject may include (but not limited to) some of the following:

    • the name of the reader or reader’s company where applicable
    • a sense of urgency i.e. read today
    • a title relevant to the content (duh)
    • avoid spam-like buzzwords, capitalised words

    Integrating user data within your subject line should be a breeze with an effective email marketing tool. There are a number of great candidates on the market like MailChimp, DotMailer and Campaign Monitor.

    Struggling to test the effectiveness of your subject line? Try CoSchedule’s Headline Analyzer for size.

  • Timing of campaigns
    Timing of campaigns

    One of the biggest factors affecting email open rates is timing.

    Is your email being sent when people have already left the office, or at a time when they are too busy to give it the attention it deserves?

    The optimal time to broadcast your campaign will depend on your industry and your specific list (including their geography). Don’t be afraid to test and adjust as necessary.

  • Frequency of broadcast
    Frequency of broadcast

    How often are you contacting your email list? Finding that sweet spot between memorable and annoying is essential.

    Whilst there is no hard and fast rule as to how frequently to hit your list (plus variance by offering and industry), think to yourself, would I find the degree of contact too much? Remember, segmenting your list means you’ll be able to send out more specific campaigns to groups which may allow a higher frequency.

  • Email Acquisition is like cutting hair, must happen regularly, can be done well, but one bad experience can scar forever
    David Baker
  • Is tracking set up correctly?
    Is tracking set up correctly?

    It may seem silly to mention, but depending on your setup, you might have to manually enable tracking of emails.

    Typically email opens are tracked by a small, hidden image placed in the body of the message. Some email clients have images disabled by default, so the open metric can be skewed. Other clients may load the email in the background, causing a false positive open rate.

  • Effective snippets
    Effective snippets

    You’re probably aware that many email viewers support a small preview of text alongside the subject line (usually made up of the first few words of readable text in your email).

    Based on your email design, you may have a small area in the header to include a teaser of the campaign content. Use this valuable piece of real estate wisely and come up with effective copy that will engage and encourage opens.

  • What next?

    So, you should now be on the path to open rate success – let us know how you’ve applied the tips and tricks above in your own email marketing campaigns.

    If you’d like further support with your email marketing from strategy and design to content creation and broadcasting why not reach out to the Debunc team – we’d love to talk!

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Posted by Debunc Team
Debunc Team

Since we formed, our goal has been the same - connecting companies with their customers through an effective blend of digital. If you'd like help in delivering an out-of-this-world project, or if you're looking for a home to showcase your talent, we'd love to talk! Call today on 0203 773 6772

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16 power stats to get email marketing buy-in

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