We all now receive so many emails that separating the interesting, relevant ones from everything else is a challenge in itself. When using email marketing, here are some techniques that really entice subscribers to open your mails:
Update your mailing list
This is an obvious place to start, but make sure that you are regularly updating your mailing list, both in terms of adding to it, and allowing subscribers the option to opt out. If activity has stalled at a particular account for a predetermined amount of time, it’s worth sending one last-ditch attempt, using a funny heading. Subscribers might change their active email addresses too, so it’s a good idea to periodically check in and ask subscribers to update their personal details. Keep it fresh.
Segment your mailing list
Segmentation is the highly effective tactic of breaking your mailing list down into smaller segments by particular shared characteristics. Marketing emails are then tweaked per group, based on the shared characteristics of each segment. Incredibly there is still a very high percentage of companies that do not actually segment their mailing list, and the statistics suggest this is a big mistake. According to research by Aurea, 39% of companies surveyed reported more open rates, while 28% of respondents reported lower rates of unsubscribing.
There are countless ways in which your mailing list can be segmented. The most successful means by doing this include segmenting by new users, preferences or interests of users/clients etc, past open rates, and the obvious choice of demographics.
“Tailoring the content and titles of marketing emails by the process of segmenting is just common sense. With so many analytical tools available these days, it really is a waste of resources not to track the common traits of subscribers and exploit the opportunity presented,” states Will Gunter, a marketer at Nextcoursework.
Don’t become spam
Spam filters are getting increasingly difficult to circumvent, so there are some practical tips to follow. Firstly make sure that all of your subscribers have actually opted in to receiving your emails, and ensure opting out is an option too. Use a clean IP address and clean code, avoid using classic sales language that is likely to get caught in any filter, and never be deceptive in your subject lines.
There are reams and reams of interesting research results proving insights into what successful timing of emails look like. Let’s take a look:
- Weekdays work better than weekends, so avoid those two precious days of the week
- 10am appears to be the optimal time to receive an email. It’s early enough that a person is stimulated and energetic, but not so early that they feel harangued or have yet to fully wake up.
- Days of the week (unless they are Saturdays or Sundays) are less important than the time of day
- Different demographics respond differently to timings of emails, so identifying your audience and relating to their optimum response times and days is much more effective than following the insights of generic research
Use the subject line wisely
Getting the subject line right can be one of the most important singular factors for increasing the opening rate of your emails. Considerations here include:
- Being specific
- Being interesting
- Being funny
- Making a specific offer
- Using questions
- Using emojis
“With subject lines, there are two key considerations. The first is that the magic formula changes depending on your product. The second is keeping a close eye on what works and what doesn’t for your business,” suggests Teresa Mannion, a project manager at Brit student and Australia 2 write.
Use email automation to personalize
Automation allows for the very beneficial activity of personalizing emails by means such as including a subscriber’s first name, including a reference to their local outlet, or referencing a recent action. Be careful not to sound like you are stalking them, but the fact is personalization increases opening rates by as much as up to 10%. That really makes any investment in automation software worth it.
Write Quality content
The trick is to get your emails opened, so why should the content even be relevant? The answer to that is simple: if a subscriber opens your email just once, what they find therein will be the most important factor in future open rates. Quality content will catch the attention of the reader, and if it is insightful, informative, funny, or all of the above, then the possibility of that subscriber opening your email the next time is increased dramatically. So content does matter: the battle is far from won by getting your email opened – that could just be the moment when you lose them forever.
Don’t forget mobile users
Long subject headings don’t work on smaller screens, and if they have opened your email before on a mobile device and your email was not formatted with mobile users in mind, then they are unlikely to open your email again. These days a very high percentage of people (67% according to BlueHornet) check their emails via a smartphone, so neglecting this significant audience could be a fatal mistake for your email marketing approach.
Don’t send too many
According to research conducted by HubSpot, as many as up to 78% of those polled had unsubscribed to emails due to receiving too many, so be careful not to overdo it. What it overdoing it? Well, if the shoe was on the other foot, and as a consumer yourself with personal email accounts you are receiving many more emails than you are sending, what does email harassment look like to you? Your intuition works best here.
About the Author
Michael Dehoyos is a content specialist at Phd Kingdom. He works with brands and small businesses on creating the best email marketing strategy for their business.