Are you finding that your marketing emails are being ignored more than they are being read? Are you wondering how to increase an email open rate quickly and effectively so that you can boost traffic and sales?
These tips will help you find better levels of success so that your response rates can stay high and your open rates will stay strong!
#1. Provide Genuine Value
The primary reason why emails aren’t opened by subscribers is because you haven’t been able to back up the perceived value you initially presented with real, actualized value. It’s kind of like breaking a promise, which in the minds of your subscribers translates to this: you lied.
Your emails need to be better than your initial sales pitch, so provide genuine value to your list and your email open rates will start climbing again.
Be clear about what it is you offer in your emails as well so there isn’t any misconception about what the value you provide happens to be. Combine those two and you’ll create a better recipe for success.
#2. Don’t Write a Novel
How good of a story can you write with just six words? If you can fit your subject line into six words or less and still be able to tell the complete story of the email you just sent, then you’ll be able to get your entire message across in just a glance.
If people see this and then are tempted by the value that it provides, then you’ll get better open rates. Nothing will drop an open rate faster than having a small novel placed on a subject line. No one will read it. They’ll just delete it.
#3. Eliminate the Sales
For a long time, the general standard of value content vs. sales was a ratio of about 4 to 1. In other words, you should only send 1 promotional, sales-related email for every four value emails that you send to your list.
There is some thought, however, that the ratio should actually be more than double that: a ratio of 9 to 1. It’s exciting to tell your list about new products or services, but your list didn’t sign up to get a cheap online copy of a department store sales catalog.
Work value into your content, even your sales content, and you’ll find that your open rates will start climbing up once again.
#4. Send Messages at a Different Time
When you send your message matters more than you might think. If you can time your messages to be received when someone is at their computer, accessing their emails, then you’ve got a better chance of having that email opened.
That means you need to know the habits of your target audience, know where they live in the world, and be able to schedule emails to be delivered around specific times.
Weekdays are always better than weekends, mid-day is always better than early morning or later evening, and Wednesdays are often the best days. Why? Because Wednesdays are often the days when people have the most meetings.
#5. Honesty Is Always the Best Policy
To reinforce the actualized value that your list intends to provide, just be honest about what the structure of your content happens to be. That’s a little more difficult if you haven’t planned out your email marketing campaign in advance, so you should probably plot out what you intend to achieve before you setup your subscriptions.
Make sure your subject lines reflect this honesty as well. If you’re promoting the latest company news, but the news you send out is more than 30 days old, you’ll likely find that those who did open the email have chosen to unsubscribed from your list.
There’s perhaps no important tip in knowing how to increase an email open rate than this one.
#6. No Spam – Just Don’t Do It
The sensitivity levels that people have for spam today are extremely high. Anything that looks like spam will not only be funneled into the deleted folder, but you’ll often find that the email user will block your address – even though they signed up for your marketing list!
You don’t need dozens of exclamation marks or WORDS that are all in caps in order to make your point. What would you put in a subject line when sending a message to a loved one? That’s the kind of format you should consider using to come across as authentic.
#7. Use Adjectives That Describe Instead of Sell
Are you ready for an exciting opportunity? Are you looking for the ultimate level of success? Are you tired of reading these leading types of adjectives in almost every email that gets sent out, trying to bring forth a sale or two?
You’ll reach into people’s hearts and pocketbooks by being descriptive and exciting with your adjectives instead of trying to push people into the start of your sales funnel. Use adjectives that people normally don’t use to get their attention.
Here’s a couple ways you can replace one word for another and get a better result.
- Change “exciting” to “stunning” or “magnificent” or “incredible.”
- Change “ultimate” to “outstanding” or “fantastic” or “unbelievable.”
#8. Change the Dynamic
One of the easiest ways to get someone’s attention is to just change the way you say something. In the English language, every sentence has a positive and a negative way to get the point across.
It’s also ingrained into the human subconscious to protect what is already owned, which means a negative subject line will communicate to this almost primal protective need and you’ll get an email opened. Why wouldn’t you try this method at least once?
[See what we did there?]
#9. Make Sure Your Emails Are Mobile Optimized
Nearly half of all internet traffic today originates from a mobile device. Tablets, smartphones, and laptops are used much more often than the stationary PC, which means you need emails that are optimized for these mobile devices.
The laptop is often adaptable to anything, but the smartphone and the tablet have special requirements that must be met. Make sure you send out a test email to yourself and view it on your mobile device to see how it looks.
While doing that, check for problems in the way the text or HTML might display, see if you’ve included links that don’t work or reach 404 errors, and read through it to proof it at that time.
In doing so, you’ll have a better idea of how to increase an email open rate as well.
#10. Make Sure You Get the Name Right
What we’re talking about here is called “sender familiarity.” When people see that you get their name right, then you’re reaching into that small, blossoming relationship that you’ve been working on building with your list.
On Apple devices especially, the subject line is much more prominent with the sender name included, which makes it an important consideration to use. Put in the wrong name or using the wrong coding in your marketing software and you’ll get deleted fast.
#11. Be Transparent
Even if you have managed to get an email opened, if you’re not transparent with every detail in the email, you’ll likely get an unsubscribe notice. Have legitimate contact information included so that people can contact you if need be.
Having them contact you is a good thing because it’s another chance to build that relationship up, but this time in person! For some people, a handshake and a verbal commitment are still more important than some fancy words in an email.
#12. Make Your Email Easy To Digest
You might create excellent prose and beautiful, flowery paragraphs, but how big are your blocks of content? People who do open emails only have a minute or two to read them, which means you’ve got to make your content easy to read.
Keep the email down to 250 words or less, highlight the main points in segments like a numbered list or bullet points, and use straightforward language that contains very little slang.
#13. Don’t Send Tons of Emails
How many emails do you send your list? Many marketers send out emails once per day and that’s an easy way to create list fatigue.
On the other hand, sending out an email once or twice per week can lead to low open rates. Your list is unique, so a trial and error method for maximized results will be necessary. My recommendation, however is to limit your emails to 3 or 4 per week.
#14. Tell Your Story – it will definitely increase your email open rate!
People love to relate to others and nothing works better than a personal story. Stories help people recognize similar circumstances in their own lives and this creates a brotherhood/sisterhood type of feeling deep in the soul of the targeted list members.
Don’t write a piece of fiction because people are smart and can recognize inconsistency quickly… besides see #5! A good story also increases curiosity in more of your products, can generate emotions that trigger sales responses, and will ultimately provide success over the long haul.
Email marketing can often play a dual role of being our best friend and our worst enemy. Some days, both roles are on display!
When you use these methods consistently, however, you’ll know how to increase an email open rate in whatever campaign you happen to be working on.