Emails are very powerful.
In fact, most marketers believe they are still the best marketing channel businesses should invest in.
Here’s a crazy fact – email marketing delivers the highest ROI of all marketing channels. You can get a whopping $42 back for every dollar you spend.
But how do you take advantage of email marketing?
First, you need to make sure people are actually reading your emails. To do so, they have to open the emails you send.
This article covers our best tips for improving your email open rates and getting your emails read.
What Is An Email Open Rate
An email open rate is a number that shows how many people “open” or “view” the electronic emails sent to them.
We usually express email open rates in percentages. We calculate it by dividing the number of emails opened by the total number of emails sent.
Keep in mind that different industries have different open rates. In fact, even different countries have different open rates. We have niches and places where people love opening the emails they receive.
On the other hand, we also have people that don’t mind leaving unopened messages in the inbox.
Make sure you don’t compare your percentages with businesses in other industries. The best you can do is try different things and monitor how your email open rate changes over time.
Tips for Subject Lines
A subject line is a line of text people see when they receive an email. It has a huge impact on the open rate.
This is the first thing you should optimize if you want to improve your email campaign. Let’s look at some of the things you can do to make your subject lines amazing.
Write Subject Lines that Spark Curiosity
You want to capture the attention of the people on your email list with a subject line that’s so interesting that they have to click the email.
You can use the latest news from your niche, or you can use one of the copywriting formulas that have been tested for efficiency.
Personalize Your Subject Lines
Readers are 26% more likely to open emails with personalized subject lines. That’s a huge improvement over generic lines like “Hi, dear reader”.
Thanks to modern digital marketing tools, personalizing your email subject lines is simple. We suggest you personalize every email you send out.
Use Emojis In Subject Lines
The jury is still out on the effectiveness of emojis in subject lines. It’s important to consider your target audience before using them. For example, we would probably avoid them if we did marketing for a law firm.
Emojis can help if you know your audience is playful and laid back. In that case, they can help improve open rates.
Try Humor In Subject Lines
Humor makes us relax. It helps your readers connect with you, and it can brighten their day. Your subscribers are more likely to open your email if the subject line makes them laugh.
This trick works best for brands that work in industries where readers expect humor.
Write Strong Preview Texts
We already shared a few tricks for writing strong subject lines. You should also optimize your preview text that appears in the inbox after the subject line.
Try to summarize your message or create sentences that complement the subject line. The important thing is to always consider your subject line and preview text as one.
Insert Power Words
Power words are simple words that have been proven to increase the open rates in email campaigns. Some words have a way of impacting people and convincing them to do something.
The most effective power words include: “invitation”, “introducing”, “we”, “you”, “new”, “update”, “special”…
We suggest you include the words “you” and “yours” in as many email subject lines as possible. They can improve your open rates by more than 6%.
The Right Length
One study showed that the perfect length for email subject lines is 7 words or 41 characters. That’s on average 10 characters less than what we see in most subject lines.
It’s usually better to keep the subject lines as short as possible. This way, you make your email easily skimmable and understandable. You can always shorten your message no matter how much you have to say.
Use Movie Titles and Songs In the Subject Line
We understand this tip sounds a bit cheesy, but it works. Emails with songs and movie titles in the subject line have an average open rate of 26%.
For example, you can use “I’m gonna make you an offer you can’t refuse” when you have a huge clearing.
Or something like “Imagine all the people… wearing our best clothes”. Isn’t that catchy?
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Your subject lines aren’t the only thing you can optimize to improve your open rates.
We also collected other tips to help you create the best email campaigns that actually get you results.
Never Stop A/B Testing
There’s no way of knowing if the new thing you’re trying in your emails works without doing A/B testing.
A/B testing can give you clear results and show you what you should focus on for future campaigns. It’s easy to do the tests with most email marketing tools.
Keep The List Fresh
No matter what you do, part of your subscribers will go stale. That means they won’t open up your emails anymore.
Removing inactive subscribers can quickly improve your open rate. We understand that deleting subscribers doesn’t seem smart, but stale subscribers don’t do anything for your business, and there’s no harm in deleting them.
You need to provide something valuable to convince your subscribers to open your emails. They need to know they are getting something in return.
We suggest you mention the value they get in your subject line. A subject line like this will spark their interest and convince them that your email is worth opening.
Plus, you won’t have to bother with unsubscribers if you always provide value.
Hit The Timing
The time you send your campaign is very important. Think about when your audience is most likely to open your email. You should also consider their timezones if you have subscribers from around the world.
You can optimize the timing with email marketing tools that give you clear recommendations on time to send your campaigns.
Segment Your Audience
Studies have shown that segmented email campaigns can produce a 90.7% higher click-through rate than non-segmented campaigns. That’s a huge improvement.
The easiest way to segment the list is based on their past behavior. For example, you can segment your subscribers on the ones that purchased from you in the past.
You can also send bonus emails for the segment that opens all your emails.
Try Re-Engagement Campaigns
Re-engagement campaigns are when you send your inactive or stale subscribers an offer that’s almost too good to miss out. The goal is to turn some of the inactive subscribers into active subscribers.
We recommend removing subscribers who do not act on the re-engagement campaign to keep your list clean.
Get Away from Spam
The last thing you want is to end up in your subscribers’ spam folders. This almost guarantees they won’t open your emails.
Make sure you follow all the best practices for email campaigns. You can also teach your subscribers to white list your emails to ensure they always land in their main inbox.
This tip is super generic and can easily be applied to marketing as a whole. No one likes sleazy marketers that push us into buying things.
Instead, people love to connect with interesting people. Make sure you treat your subscribers in a friendly manner. Don’t be pushy. Try to inform instead of sell.
Amazing Content Always Wins
People are more likely to open your emails if they know what you have to share with them is amazing. Make sure you always deliver the best content possible to encourage people to read your emails.
Remember, we’re bombarded with sales emails every day. Make your emails informative and valuable if you want to stand out.
Mobile Users Matter
Over 70% of people read their emails on their phones. It’s safe to assume that mobile users represent the majority of your subscribers. Make sure you optimize your campaigns for mobile users to improve your email open rates.
Stick to simple formatting. Use large fonts and smaller images to ensure your campaigns are easy to read on mobile devices.
It’s easy to lose subscribers if you’re not consistent with your emails. Make them expect your emails by sticking to a regular schedule. The more you show up in peoples’ inboxes, the more likely they are to open your emails.
Pick a schedule that works for you and stick with it for best open rates.
Don’t Overdo Your Campaigns
We said that consistency matters, but you also have to make sure you’re not sending too many emails. You don’t want to appear pushy and spammy.
You have to find the right balance for your audience. This depends on your niche and the people you have on your list. You can test different campaigns to see how they respond to different numbers of emails.
Re-Send Your Emails
Sometimes people don’t open your emails because they forget. It has nothing to do with the quality of your content, it’s due to the fact they are busy.
You can re-send the emails to the people that didn’t open the first email. This tactic is similar to re-engagement campaigns. You again have to find the right balance to not make yourself appear too pushy.
Use An Email Verification Tool
Sometimes you’ll have invalid email addresses in your list. You can almost entirely avoid them if you use double verification on your signups. But they can still happen.
When you use an email verification tool, you get rid of all the emails that might have gotten on your list accidentally. We recommend you delete all invalid emails to improve your open rates.
Use A Personal Name
Most companies send email campaigns from company emails. But, research shows that using personal names instead of company names can increase open rates by between 15-35%. That’s a massive improvement.
You can also combine the two and go with “Name from Brand”. In my case, the email would come from “Matija from BusinessNameGenerator”. This way, you can do some branding and appear more human.
You can use our Digital Marketing Business Name Generator if you need help coming up with the perfect name for your business. This is the easiest way to get an amazing name without losing your mind. The generator makes the whole process fun and easy.
Everyone Loves Quizzes
People love taking quizzes. Why not include them in your email campaigns? The important thing is you mention quizzes in the subject line to get people excited.
There are different tools you can use to create simple quizzes. Make them interesting and relevant to your audience to keep the subscribers engaged.
Email marketing should represent an important marketing channel in your business. It can have a huge impact on your bottom line when done right.
We went over some of the best tricks we have to help improve your email open rates. Make sure you’re sending emails people actually open.
You have everything you need to create strong email campaigns.