4 Rock-Solid Techniques for Boosting Email Open Rates

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Are your email open rates as miserable as the temperature in winter?

Article 4 Minutes
4 Rock-Solid Techniques for Boosting Email Open Ra

Marketing is a diverse landscape, with new techniques and methods coming out of the woodwork every day. However, in a world of new ideas, email marketing is still one of the most useful elements in a marketer’s toolbox. But getting your email marketing right in a tech-savvy world can be a challenge.

Boosting your email open rates doesn’t have to be hard, nor does it have to cost you a bomb.

Learn why:

  • Content must be engaging and pass through quality control before hitting an inbox.
  • Avoiding spammy techniques is email marketing best practice
  • Timing can make or break an email campaign.
  • Cultivating a healthy email list is vital to keep open rates at a high percentage.

1. Engaging Content

Emails are a world of misspelt words, broken pictures/links and other travesties that make subscribers delete the second it hits their inbox. The amount of bad email marketing far outweighs the good. So, your first step is a simple case of quality control. You don’t need to be Shakespeare to throw together a readable email, just ensure it is edited and proofread by multiple people! Quality control is a sure way to get your open rates looking more positive.

The subject line is extremely important when it comes to engagement. The fact is that many of your subscribers will open, delete or simply ignore based upon your subject line.

Optimizing for eye-catching subject lines and easy scanning is vital, not to mention the fact that the subject should make it painfully clear what your email is about. If it’s about dogs, don’t have kittens in your subject line.

Using email segments, you could even make your subject line more customized depending on what you are aiming for. It could be about the same thing in regards to content - a discount, for example - but the subject line could appeal to two very different members of your target audience. Meaning you optimize your open rate and gain a higher percentage across two segments.

A test segment could also be useful, particularly if you want to deduce the open rate of a particular subject line. It can remove some of the guesswork from email marketing!

Furthermore, brevity is the email marketing king. If you can say it in fewer words, then do so.

2. Don’t be Spambot 2000

For most email marketers this seems to be easier said than done. Words such as ‘free’, ‘deal’ and ‘sale’ are some of the best for catching your audience's attention. They are also a great way to get their spam filter to hate you. Use fewer spammy words to get the same message across.

Limiting the number of links in your email is also another way you can avoid the dreaded Spam folder, as it can come across as overly promotional and unsafe.

Having a genuine and worthwhile offer available through your email is also important to limit your spamabilities. Early access to your brand’s new app, a juicy discount and subscriber exclusive products are the dreams your email campaigns are made of.

3. Timing is Key

Midnight. The witching hour. The perfect time to send out your email marketing... if your target audience has a penchant for cackling and riding their broomstick across the night sky. Not so much for John Smith, office worker extraordinaire.

It’s old advice when it comes to email marketing, but that’s what makes it so rock solid.

Timing really is everything. Studies show that early in the week, preferably Tuesday at 11 am, is the best time to get a positive response rate. Overnight or later in the day can just put your email to the back of a very long list of others, making it likely to remain unopened or swiped straight to the trash.

If this doesn’t work, send out a number of emails to test segments and find the optimum time for your subscribers.

4. Keep Your List Genuine

The health of your email list can go a long way to having a positive or negative open rate. Don’t be afraid to cut and remove those that are not engaging with your content, as such practices can help you not only boost open rates but also conversions. Why? The more specific the list becomes, the more you are able to tailor it to the right audience and produce better results.

Size isn’t everything when it comes to your email list, so don’t get hung up on it. After all, an open rate of 60% on a list of 500 is better than one of 15% in a list of 2000.

Overall, the most rock-solid technique to boost your open rates is trial and error. Keep to the core best practices of email marketing, but don’t be afraid to test unique content or sending times to see what works best for your audience. And don’t be disheartened by a low figure, some email campaigns are winners and some are just not! Just prepare an even better email for next time.

Zack Halliwell


Zack Halliwell is an enthusiastic freelance writer; offering tips on anything from writing, marketing to professional indemnity insurance.


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