5 Effective Ways to Increase Email Open Rates

When someone mentions the term “email marketing campaign” many people would often think about having email opt-in forms on their blog or even customized landing pages hoping to increase the amount of subscribers on their list. When people start analyzing a strategy that is NOT producing any results, they often look at the wrong metrics. For example, 9/10 people would often think it’s the landing page, content or actual message which wasn’t clear enough, but they couldn’t be more wrong. Many top players in the industry will tell you that once you have a handful of subscribers and are ready to start an email marketing campaign, the most important thing is having your email messages opened. You’d be surprised how many email marketing campaigns fail as soon as you press the “send” button. Think about it this way…

If your average open rate is 20%, that means 70% of your email subscribers are not viewing your email messages. This also means that you’re losing 70% potential profits you could have been generated through your subscriber. The good news we have enormous resources in the form of data that shed light on the “optimal” email message actually get opened and produce conversions. Let’s look at the “5” most important factors which will increase your open rate.

Optimal Sending Time

If you schedule your email to be sent at the right time, you’ll be surprised how it can dramatically increase your open rates. For example, several email service providers (ESP) have done studies in the past calculating the optimal time to send out emails. It’s been proven that 8PM-12AM is the best time to fire out any campaigns you have planned for your subscribers. If you think about it, this is the time that people have arrived home from work, had dinner, spent time with their family and have some spare time to hop on the computer. 8PM-12AM is when people don’t need to rush through emails and engage with the content within each message. During work hours 8AM-5PM, people are more likely going to open work related emails and skim through the rest opening only the ones which they feel are important enough.

kevin_1

Image by mailermailer.com

A few important things to keep in mind before sending your next email campaign: First, obviously implement the time shift discussed above so that your email lands in the inbox between 8PM-12AM. Next, keep the time difference in mind when sending emails to people in located in other countries.

Right Days of the Week

When choosing the right days to send emails there are a few things to consider. First, sending emails is not about what’s convenient for you but when the customer is most likely going to check their inbox. Statistically, it’s been proven that sending on weekdays is the optimal time to reach the recipients with most of it having to do with how accessible email accounts are to people. For example, on weekdays people are at work and/or in work mode so continuously checking their emails. Weekends, on the other hand, people tend to be more recreational enjoying family time, shopping and trying to make the most out of days off.

Let’s get to the statistics…

email open rate - day

Image by GetResponse

The time to send emails is from Monday – Thursday since it’s the beginning of the week. It’s also the days that people are back at work logged into their email accounts skimming through the weeks work. However, for optimal performance, it’s recommended that you send between Tuesday-Thursday for the following two reasons:

First, people are done going through most of their emails and have organized their inbox that typically happens on a Monday as it’s the beginning of the week. Monday people tend to skim through quickly and only read those which standout (work related, personal and other business interests). Tuesday to Thursday people most likely pay more attention to every email that comes through increasing the open percentage of your emails.

Secondly, you fall into the days that have shown the highest CTR. GetResponse analyzed 21 million messages sent, and CTR was the highest from Tuesday to Thursday. Much of the increase in CTR has to do with the recipients having cleared their inbox of junk, spam or anything that looks unresourceful earlier in the week.

Email Regularly

It’s a great way to increase brand awareness and not scare people away. The last thing you want to create is email inconsistently because that will scare people away. For example, once someone opts into your newsletter they expect to get updates and not implementing a regular emailing frequency will make people forget about your newsletter. When someone forgets their on your list, it increases the chance that they’ll mark your email as spam when you send a follow-up. Keep brand awareness and open rate high by sending frequent updates to your list. Make sure to send them high-quality content in each email, so they gain substance out of your newsletter.

Implementing this strategy has never been easier since many email service providers streamline the entire process. You can easily setup an auto-responder sequence that sends periodic emails once or twice a week. Once this sequence has been setup, it’s automated, and you don’t need to worry about it unless you’re adding more emails to the sequence.

Personalize Your Emails

Emails that have been personalized with the first & last name of the recipient in the subject lines have performed 6X better than others. There was an Experian study which analyze the data of 24 billion emails, and the results were amazing:

  1. Even though the most common approach in sending mails is using the first name, mails with the last name had a slightly better open rate.
  2. Mail subject lines with the first and last names had the highest open rates.

How do personalized emails make a difference?

There are many reasons however being able to cater directly to the person helps. Next, there is a psychological aspect which involves “special” or “personalized” treatment that has triumphed the way we interact in society. It’s the same factors which would determine the amount of the tip you’re going to leave for the waiter or waitress at a restaurant.  When emails are personalized, it’s a way of showing respect and builds comfort that translates into an email being opened by the recipient.

kevin_3

Image by CrazyEgg

Personalizing your email messages is very easy since it’s an option provided by ESP’s however make sure you add the right code into the message. Next, you need to ensure you collect the first & last name during opt-in. Without having this information, the “code” will not be able to pull out the right data.

Another good trick is to personalize the sender name changing it from the company name to your personal (sender) name. It’s creating a one-on-one platform for communicating which again builds a level of comfort between you and the recipient.

Another strategy is to use first & last name followed by a personal question. Since time, we have been programmed to respond to questions so would automatically want to respond to an email that throws out a question. Make them short and right to the point, for example,*full name*, How are you doing?

  • *full name*, Your ready to get started?
  • *full name*, Want to increase blog traffic?
  • *full name*, Ready to make some money?
  • *full name*, Looking for a new credit card?
  • *full name*, Paying too much for insurance?

Provide ONLY The Best

One of the best ways to increase email open rates is by establishing a reputation of providing “high” quality content. Many times people will open emails and find low-quality content that will deter them from opening emails in the future. It’s not important to send your subscribers a follow-up each time content is published so take your time finding content which is useful and provides substance to your readers. This builds your reputation as someone whose emails are worth reading and can provide problem-solving information.

I’ve been part of several email lists which bombard me with useless information and after 2-3 follow-ups I’ll unsubscribe from the list. I’ve also been on email lists which send 2-3 follow-ups per month, and their content blew me away and I’m still on their list today. It’s important you understand why people joined your newsletter in the first place which is because they read useful information on your blog and are hoping you keep providing top-notch content. It’s important not to disappoint them so provide only the best to your subscribers, so they stay loyal subscribers and returning visitors.

Wrapping Things Up…

Start implementing these strategies right away and analyze how they improve your open rates. Without a strategy to increase your low open rates, your going to lose out on the opportunity to convert your subscribers into loyal readers or sales. Over the next month, start analyzing data until you achieve an optimal open rate. The good news is, once you find something that works you simple need to scale to achieve the highest possible results.

  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  

Disclosure: In full disclosure, it is safe to assume that the site owner is benefiting financially or otherwise from everything you click on, read, or look at while on my website. This is not to say that is the case with all content, as all publications on the site are original and written to provide value and references to our audience.

2 Comments

  1. Akshay October 31, 2014
  2. James November 2, 2014