Ten Proven Ways to Increase Your Email Open Rates

ways to increase email open rates

By Austin Miller, Content Marketing Manager

Most marketers know the importance of building an email list, but many still struggle to boost response rates. Fortunately, with email marketing, you're in control. By using a few simple strategies, you can dramatically increase your email open rates.

Email marketing still has one of the highest engagement rates. For ecommerce and marketing emails, open rates tend to be around 20 percent. If your open rates are below this average, here are some smart ways to get more people opening and reading your emails.

1. Be Upfront from the Outset

Let people know from the outset what they can expect from your emails. Tell people they'll be receiving valuable information as well as promotional emails. This means that your readers won't be scared off if you start promoting a product or service. You've been honest from the beginning, and that counts for something when it comes to consumer trust.

2. Refine the Sign-Up Process

Part of being upfront is to attract the right people in the first place. When you're getting people to sign up to your list, offer incentives that are only relevant to your ideal customer. Being more selective in the initial stages will help to boost future open rates. This can be strengthened by using a double opt-in to ensure you get higher quality subscribers.

3. Spend More Time Crafting Subject Lines

You've probably heard this before, but you can't underestimate the power of enticing subject lines. Too many companies use weak subject lines, which can ruin engagement rates. Subject lines are the first thing people see in their crowded inboxes, so you need to stand out. Avoid boring and spammy-sounding headlines. Instead, use words that tap into people's emotions. A few tips:

.   Be honest. Don't promise what you can't deliver.

.   Using numbers in subject lines has been shown to boost open rates.

.   Keep the important words at the beginning, or they might get cut off.

.   Increase curiosity by hinting at the benefits of reading the content.

4. Write Strong First Sentences

Some email programs show the first sentence in the inbox, so make sure it's engaging. Readers will not only look at the subject line but will also judge the first few words of your email to decide whether it's worth opening or not. Getting people to read and engage with your content will increase your open rate going forward.

5. Send from a Person, Not a Company

The "from' section of your email can make a big difference to open rates. Many people automatically ignore company emails, thinking it's just advertising. Using the name of an individual at your firm instantly humanizes your email, making it more likely to be opened.

6. Address the Individual Person

Subject lines containing the subscriber's first name perform better than those without. A study by the Aberdeen Group showed that personalized emails improve click-through rates by 14 percent, and conversion rates by 10 percent. Also, write the email message as if you were addressing one person, not an anonymous group. It instantly becomes more engaging and strengthens the bond between you and your reader.

7. Focus on Quality, Not Quantity

It sounds obvious, but many companies send out too many emails, focusing on quantity rather than quality. It's better to deliver one great email every two weeks, rather than four average ones. In every email, try to offer something of value. Make people look forward to each email by offering practical, actionable tips, or exclusive deals for subscribers.

8. Be Consistent

Email campaigns with a consistent design and feel help put people at ease. Use the same colors and fonts, and write with a consistent voice. The time of delivery is also important. People will begin to look forward to your emails if you deliver them at the same time of the week or month. However...

9. Test Delivery Times

Emailing at the wrong time of day or week can harm open rates. Research industry-appropriate statistics and check your email analytics to discover when your audience responds more positively to emails. Then test different delivery times. Which emails have higher open rates: those sent on Tuesday afternoon, or those sent on Saturday morning?

10. Keep It Mobile-Friendly

Today, most people check emails on their mobile phone. According to HubSpot, around 80 percent of mobile users read emails on their mobile, so make sure your messages are easy to read and scan on mobile devices. One badly formatted message could turn a potential client off from opening your emails down the line. Want to increase email open rates? Be mobile friendly.

Email Marketing Takeaways

Email marketing can be difficult to get right, but it's still one of the most effective ways to engage potential customers and build your brand. Use some of these techniques in your future email campaigns, and you can stand out from the competition, increase your email open rates, and build a more loyal list of subscribers. Just remember to always keep testing and monitoring the results.