There are dozens of metrics you can track to measure your campaigns’ effectiveness when it comes to email marketing. Still, your Open Rate is probably the number one metric you first look at to determine your campaign’s effectiveness.
The open rate is the number of people who open your marketing emails compared to those who don’t open them at all. Fewer opened emails will result in lower sales, leads, or whatever your email marketing goal is.
Fortunately, improving your open rates is not rocket science; you can take some steps from which you are likely to see relatively quick improvements.
#1 Filter Your Email Campaigns
Filtering your emails allows you to send highly targeted messages to a particular group of people on your subscribers’ list. For example, suppose you have an eCommerce website, and you only target recipients who have purchased a specific product. In that case, you’ll have a much higher chance of having them open your email if you offer them a discount on a very similar purchased item.
And although filtering your emails will no doubt result in improved open rates, it will also result in a lot more work for you, so you have to be prepared to potentially increase the time you spend on email marketing when you take this approach. On the plus side, once you create these custom lists, most email marketing service providers will allow you to continue using them over time.
Another thing to keep in mind when splitting your audience for maximum impact is your subject line, which is our next tip on improving your overall open rate.
#2 Create Uniquely Optimized Subject Lines
Your subject line is the next thing your recipient is likely to see once they look at your brand’s name or the email’s sender. Some people may open their email as soon as they know who it is, but more often than not, you’ll need a little more than that to convince them to open your marketing message, which is where your subject line comes in.
As we discussed above, filtering your emails is only half of the battle – once you create list filters, you have to optimize your subject line to align with your particular audience or email list segment. Optimizing your subject line will allow you to be more specific with your message, resulting in higher open rates for this group of people.
Note that while combining a segmented list with an optimized subject line (and consequently email content) may result in higher open rates – you do not always have to filter your emails. Regardless of the method you choose, it can be an excellent idea to A/B test your subject lines.
To A/B test your subject lines, you need to make sure that your email marketing client gives you this option. Most popular email marketing platforms will allow you to do this, so you can try out multiple subject lines to see which ones work best. However, when choosing your subject line, be sure it is not overly spammy to increase the odds of making it to your recipient’s inbox rather than the spam folder.
#3 Avoid Spam Filters
If a large number of your emails go to your recipients’ spam folder – it will result in lower open rates for your campaigns. To lower the odds that your emails will end up as spam, you’ll want to take some steps which start way before you even begin sending your emails.
- Ensure that your recipients have opted in to receive your emails. This way, they’ll recognize the sender and increase the odds of them opening your emails in the first place. If they never open any one of your emails, they might start going to their spam folder.
- Personalize the “To” field with your contact’s full name. This way, your recipient’s email provider knows you know their name and is more likely not to mark the email as spam.
- Send your emails using a reputable IP address. Most well-known email marketing providers will go pretty far to ensure their subscribers obey spam laws to increase deliverability, so if you use a renowned email provider, chances are you have this step covered. If you use your email server, you have to work extra hard to maintain a good reputation with email service providers.
- Try not to be overly pushy with all your email campaigns.
- Maintain a clean email list by regularly practicing list hygiene.
#4 Clean Your Email List
Keeping your email list clean will help your emails have a higher chance of being delivered to user inboxes. It will also result in better and more consistent open rates allowing you to measure your results more efficiently. But how often should you clean your email list?
How often you should clean your email list may vary depending on your industry but as a rule of thumb, aim to practice list cleaning at the very least every year, or even every six months. Letting inactive subscribers sit on your list will result in lower open rates. It could impact your deliverability, affecting other email subscribers who might have opened your email if it didn’t get sent to spam. Regularly cleaning your list will likely lower your email marketing bill, as you would pay for inactive subscribers.
#5 Keep Things Interesting
If all you do is send the same email to your subscribers – they might eventually get bored and stop opening your emails. Consider creating an email that may help your subscribers accomplish something or learn something new about your product or services.
For example, suppose you sell car parts, and you occasionally send your subscribers helpful things like a “How-to” guide on conducting proper car maintenance for their vehicle. In that case, it might increase your open rates, and you will also be nurturing your audience, which can be part of a nurturing campaign. Using this approach may allow you to increase your open rates and increase the effectiveness of future emails.
Not only that, a large portion of your subscribers will still proceed to go on to your website and become repeat customers or leads, even if that wasn’t the purpose of your email.