Running an email newsletter is a stellar way to engage with customers. Unfortunately, getting subscribers to actually open your emails is tricky. According to Email Marketing Benchmarks report from MailChimp, the open rate for most commercial emails is about 20%.
Remember, these are raw averages. Some newsletters have awesome open rates, which can be over 40%. Others may be much lower.
A lot of factors come into play. Here are some ways to boost the open rate of your next email newsletter.
Don’t Assume Certain Words Work Better in Your Subject Line – Test Them
You have probably read a lot of articles about “power words” that can help grab your readers’ attention and influence conversions. Research from Hubspot shows that a simple word change can boost conversion rates on landing pages by 139%. The impact word choice has on email open rates can be even higher.
Unfortunately, you can’t assume a certain word will lead to more opened emails. You have to test, because every demographic and subscriber list is different. The same is also true for website and blog titles.
Know When to Send Your Emails
Sending your emails at the right time is very important. A study from Experian found that email open rates were highest for emails sent on the weekends, although that would obviously be different for commercial subscribers. Emails sent between 10:30 a.m. and 5 p.m tend to have higher open rates than those sent in the late evening or early morning.
Again, this is just a rule of thumb. It’s important to test. Different subscribers have different schedules and expectations. Schedule emails according to your own data, rather than listening to case studies from other brands.
Get Used to Delivering Quality Content
People took a leap of faith by joining your newsletter. They expected you to send them quality content. Make sure you deliver on that promise.
People will be more likely to open your emails if your content is original, useful and interesting. Don’t just rehash content from your blog.
Segment Your List
You may have dozens of opt-in forms from various parts of your site (or even draw subscribers from multiple sites). There is nothing wrong with getting subscribers from different landing pages and traffic sources. In fact, it’s highly recommended.
You only run into trouble when you send the same emails to all of them. Let’s say you have a customer that subscribed through a webpage on Twitter marketing, while another joined your list through a landing page about small business management. They obviously have different interests, so shouldn’t be merged to the same list.
Segment your list and send more specific emails to your respective subscribers.
Avoid List Exchanges (Unless They’re Highly Relevant)
A lot of people push list exchanges. This basically means that you send a promotional message from another brand in exchange for letting you rent their list.
This may sound tempting, but don’t do it unless your exchanging lists with highly related and credible list-owners. You usually end up burning your list’s trust by promoting something they have no interest in.
How to Improve Your Newsletter Right Now
Now that you’ve read through our list of some great ways to start getting more out of your mailing list, it’s important for you to actually start implementing them. The quickly accomplish this, take each of the methods above and implement each of them one at a time. This will allow you to see which is working best, while also not overwhelming your time and focus in the process.
5 Ways to Increase Email Open Rates Infographic
In addition to everything mentioned above, we also created an excellent infographic to pull of our stats and data together for you. Enjoy!