While many people may think that email marketing is dead, it still has one of the highest engagement rates of any marketing strategy. Plus, with an average return of $44.25 for every $1 spent, email marketing also has one of the highest returns on investment. The key to taking advantage of this is to find a way to stand out from the crowd. One easy way to figure out if your efforts are paying off is to pay attention to the open rates of your email campaigns.
Here are some of the best ways that you can improve the open rates for your email marketing campaigns.
Create an Engaging Subject Line
The first thing that consumers see on any emails is the subject line. If you haven’t tested and optimized yours, then you are leaving money on the table. A/B testing isn’t just for your landing pages and websites; it is also an essential part of your email marketing. You want to aim for creating a casual and personal opening line.
Write Quality Content
If your customers come to expect your business to send engaging, entertaining, and informative emails, you’ll see a substantial increase in your open rates. However, if you are sending information that they can find elsewhere, or you send them nothing but promotional emails, your messages will end up in the trash bin. One of the best ways to keep your open rates high is by sending high-quality emails less frequently.
Send at the Right Time
In marketing, timing is everything. This is especially true when it comes to email marketing. You want to make sure that you are sending emails at the best times based on the audience, message, and intent. You can do some testing to find this out, or you can do your research on the industry to determine the typical results.
Avoid Spam Filters
The filters on email servers are becoming more and more sophisticated, and if your emails end up in subscribers “spam folders”, you’ll see your open rate plummet. If you want to stay out of spam folders, then you need to make sure you avoid sending emails that look like spam. Limit the number of links in your message and make sure it doesn’t read like a brochure.
These are some of the best ways to ensure your emails get opened. If you want to run an email marketing campaign that is successful, then you need to work on increasing your open rates.
Download Your Free Email Marketing Success Checklist
5 Tips To Improve Email List Engagement
Sometimes, when dealing with larger lists, or wide ranges of segmented recipients, entire groups of your email subscribers can be neglected, which defeats the whole purpose of having a list in the first place.
If you don’t pay close attention to what you’re sending out in a campaign, the negative effects can go well beyond a lack of opens, and could seriously put a dent in your subscriber totals.
Here’s a list of ideas that can help improve your list engagement right from the outset, including one final tip we believe is the best and most effective move you can make to get the most out of every email sent.
- Welcome Sends
This should already be a shining star in your email efforts, because a welcome email sets the stage for what’s to come. There’s no sense in wrangling an email address, only to ignore the opportunity to directly respond to potential customers, in the precise moment their interest has peaked.
A 1980s shampoo ad campaign told us that you never get a second chance to make a first impression, and though the campaign is long gone, the sentiment remains. Using your email to make a good first impression, then nurturing this relationship over time, goes a long way toward turning an email recipient into an active, loyal customer.
Create the conversation when they’re listening, and the benefit will be huge.
- Always Test, and Then Test Some More
Throwing marketing ideas against a wall and hoping for results may have worked when people weren’t receiving hundreds of daily emails, from separate personal and business accounts. Today, not only should your email lists be highly segmented more on that in a bit but so should your email testing.
Conducting tests on smaller portions (perhaps 5-10%) of your list will provide crucial data on what elements are effective, and which are hindering your efforts. And, the data you glean from these tests can possibly transfer over to your other off- and online campaigns.
Remember, everything can be tested. So, don’t limit yourself test EVERYTHING.
Subject lines, graphics, copy, link placement, tone, style, and design can all be adjusted and tested. Who knows? Maybe a dark background directs eye path, while a lighter one creates a difficult viewing experience for readers. You’ll only determine this if you’re testing and more importantly, listening to your audiences’ feedback.
- Prune and Weed
If you notice email recipients that don’t engage, don’t read, and don’t even open your emails, it’s worth considering an adjustment in email frequency. There’s something to be said about ‘email overload,’ and if people see less of you, they may view the content they do receive as more exclusive.
All in all, there may be no reason to keep sending mails to someone who neglects them, and thus they could be candidates for complete removal. While you ideally never want to close the door on a potential customer relationship, a quick look at a customer’s engagement metrics (and purchase history) could help you weed out the chaff, allowing you to focus on the recipients that are benefiting your bottom line.
If nothing else, a little ‘list-scaping’ will help your open rates and give you more accurate data to build upon.
- Capture an Attitude
With so many emails arriving in people’s inboxes each day, you need to work harder to stand out from the crowd. Nothing comes for free, and potential subscribers want something in exchange for their email address. It’s up to you to give it to them in a reliable and trustworthy fashion.
Maybe you pride yourself on your motivational approach to writing copy, or maybe you have some excellent designers who can give your mails an image-heavy feel. If you can pull off humor, use it to your advantage. Make someone laugh or smile and you’ve captured his or her attention.
And perhaps the most important tip we can share:
- Segment Your Lists
Breaking lists into groups of similar recipients is one of the best ways to improve engagement.
Specialized communication based on people’s prior purchases, engagement levels, interests, geographic location, or virtually any other category can be an ingenious method of proactive marketing.
Knowing they are acknowledged for a specific reason increases people’s tendency to open, click through, and take action on the emails they receive.