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Email marketing is a valuable tool for businesses to reach their audience and connect with them in a personalized way.
However, it can be challenging to get people to open and engage with your emails, so brands can spend a lot of time and resources trying to improve their email open rates.
In this post, we’ll look at the fastest and easiest way to increase your email open rate.
First Impressions Matter
Email open rates are a major challenge for many businesses for several reasons:
- People are inundated with emails from multiple sources.
- Inboxes are becoming more crowded and cluttered.
- Emails have a lousy subject line, sender name or sending frequency.
As a result, many emails are simply ignored. So one of the keys to increasing your email open rate is to make a good first impression.
When someone receives an email from you, the first thing they see is the subject line and sender name:
These two elements are critical in determining whether or not the recipient will open your email:
- A well-written subject line can capture the recipient’s attention and entice them to open your email. It should be short, relevant and personalized to the recipient’s interests. Personalization can include using their name, referencing past purchases or interactions, or highlighting a common interest.
- The sender name is also crucial in making a good first impression. It should be recognizable and relevant to your brand. Using an individual’s name may work in some cases, but using the name of your organization in addition can often be more effective.
For example, the marketing team of a family hotel called SEMI Kinderhotel wanted to improve their email marketing campaigns, so they tested this strategy. They changed the email sender name from just the hotel (impersonal) to adding the head of the hotel, Michaela Sattler’s name (personal).
With just that one tiny change, they saw a huge boost: a 57% increase in their open rates.
A final note on first impressions: When someone subscribes to your email list, do they receive a simple “thank you for subscribing” message, or do you go further and provide them with valuable information and next steps?
Your welcome email is crucial in setting the tone for your future emails. Take advantage of this opportunity to introduce yourself and your brand, provide details on what your subscribers can expect from these emails, and share relevant content or case studies. By doing so, you create a positive first impression that makes your subscribers look forward to your next email.
If you can impress subscribers with your first email, they are more likely to open and engage with future emails.
Clean Your List
Another easy and quick way to get better open rates is to make sure your subscriber list is clean. An unclean email list can include invalid or inactive email addresses, spam traps and unengaged subscribers.
Having an unclean email list can negatively impact the effectiveness of your email marketing campaigns in several ways:
- Invalid or inactive email addresses can lead to a high bounce rate. When you send emails to email addresses that have not been used in a while or have been closed, the email bounces back. Email service providers (ESPs) like Gmail, Yahoo and Outlook view high bounce rates as a sign of poor email list management and may penalize you by decreasing your sender reputation or marking your emails as spam.
- Spam traps are email addresses that are specifically designed to catch spammers. When marketers send emails to these email addresses, it indicates that the sender is either not following good email marketing practices or has obtained email addresses through non-permissible means. Internet service providers (ISPs) and ESPs may then view the sender as a spammer, which results in decreased deliverability rates.
- Unengaged subscribers are those who have not interacted with your emails in a long time. When email providers receive emails from a sender, they analyze various factors to determine whether to deliver the email to the recipient’s inbox or not. One of the important factors is engagement or the recipient’s response to the emails. If a recipient consistently ignores or deletes emails from a particular sender, it signals to the email provider that the recipient is not interested in the sender’s content, and the email provider may start treating the sender as spam.
By regularly cleaning and segmenting your list, you can ensure that you are sending emails to engaged and active subscribers who are interested in your brand, which can help to improve the effectiveness of your email marketing efforts.
New and Novel Content
Now that you’ve updated your list to keep only the subscribers who are engaged and you’ve perfected your welcome email, here is the number one way to increase your email open rate:
Create new and novel content.
People are more likely to open and engage with your emails if they contain info that they haven’t seen a hundred times before over the last year or so.
If you’re just regurgitating a topic that has already been covered extensively and recently, it’s unlikely that people will be interested in reading it again. ChatGPT, anyone? 😉
However, if you provide something that people haven’t seen before, like Google rolling out a new algorithm that you analyze or simplify for your readers, or a new study related to your industry or niche, you are more likely to get higher open rates.
Creating new and novel content can be a challenging task, but you can:
- Write about a new angle on an old topic (aka the skyscraper technique)
- Discuss and analyze new trends in your industry or provide insights that are not commonly known
- Conduct research or surveys to provide unique data or content
Sharing original research findings or results from your own case studies can significantly boost your email open rates. This approach shows that you are an expert in your field, and your subscribers can trust you to provide valuable information.
Tracking Your Success
And, of course, don’t forget the importance of tracking your success.
Tracking your email campaign performance can lead to better open rates by providing you with valuable insights into the effectiveness of your email marketing efforts.
By analyzing your open rates, click-through rates, conversion rates, and other key performance indicators (KPIs), you can identify areas for improvement and make data-driven decisions to optimize your email campaigns.
Use email marketing tools to track your open rates and then experiment with different strategies to see what works best for your audience.
For example, if you notice that your open rates are low, you can A/B test different subject lines, sender names or send times to see if you can improve your open rates. You can also segment your email list based on past behaviors, interests or demographics, and send targeted emails to specific groups to increase relevance and engagement.
Additionally, tracking your email campaign performance can help you identify which types of content or offers are resonating with your subscribers and which ones are not. By analyzing your CTRs and conversion rates, you can determine which calls-to-action (CTAs) are most effective and adjust your email content and design accordingly:
Furthermore, tracking your email campaign performance can help you identify deliverability issues or other technical problems that may be impacting your open rates. For example, if you notice that your open rates have suddenly dropped, it may be a sign that your emails are being marked as spam or that your sender reputation has been impacted.
Overall, tracking your email campaign performance is crucial for optimizing your email marketing efforts and improving your open rates. By using data and analytics to make informed decisions, you can increase the relevance, engagement, and effectiveness of your email campaigns and drive better results for your business.
Increasing your email open rate can be a challenge, but it’s not impossible. By focusing on making a good first impression, cleaning your email list, creating new and novel content, and measuring performance, you can improve your email open rates and connect with your audience in a meaningful way.
Whether you are new to email marketing or have been doing it for a while, it is never too late to implement these tips and start seeing results.