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Top Strategies to Increase Your Email Open Rates

Although email is one of the first arrivals in the digital marketing landscape, it has a staggering return on investment of 4200%. That’s if you have good email open rates. Used by nine out of ten marketers to distribute content as of 2021, this is a channel of a huge potential if used effectively. 

How can you know if your business benefits from email marketing to the fullest? The vast majority of marketers (86%) regularly consult email engagement metrics such as open rates, click rates, and downloads to evaluate the success of their marketing campaigns. Of these, email open rates are the most telling metric.

The higher your email open rates, the more effective your email marketing efforts are. According to the 2022 Email Marketing Benchmarks Report, the average email open rate was 21.5% across all industries in 2021. 

email open rates in email marketing

A good email open rate is between 17 and 28%, and you’ll definitely want to stay at the upper end of this range. We’ve identified and highlighted the best strategies to help you boost your email opens and ensure that your business implements email marketing efficiently.

Let’s dive right in by taking a closer look at the meaning and importance of email open rates.

What is an Email Open Rate?

An email open rate is a figure indicating the portion of your emails that are opened by their recipients. This is an essential metric informing you of the performance of your campaigns.

business man checking email marketing

Why is Your Email Open Rate Important?

It helps you understand how well you managed to draw the attention of your subscribers and identify aspects of your campaign that need improvements. 

Also, open rates of below 15% show that your emails may land in the spam folder.

If your email open rates fall below these recommended rates, you won’t get any business from your email marketing campaign. This represents a substantial potential revenue loss when you consider that the average return on investment is $42 per dollar spent. 

A low open rate may indicate any of the following:

  • Your subscribers are not moving through your sales funnel according to plan.
  • Your subject lines are not getting any traction.
  • You are sending too many or too few emails.

The net result is that you are not getting your message across and you’re leaving money on the table. So, let’s discuss the best strategies to increase your email open rates so you can earn more revenue from your email marketing efforts.

1. Keep a Clean Email List

If you notice your open rate declining, check your email list for inactive subscribers. 

Subscribers who have been inactive for a while are unlikely to suddenly show an interest in your email marketing messages. You could first attempt to reengage them, but if that doesn’t deliver any positive results, just remove them from your list. This will immediately improve your open rates due to the reduced number of recipients.

In addition to finding inactive recipients, also look for duplicates and email addresses that were flagged as spam, something you want to avoid at all costs. Create a cleaning-up schedule. Don’t be soothed by a massive list – if your subscribers aren’t interacting with your emails, their number will be irrelevant. Better to have a reduced list of active subscribers than a huge one showing limited interactions.

2. Provide Relevant and Timely Content

Let’s face it – people are busy. Avoid sending them messages that don’t pertain to them when they’re not likely to be reached. Consult research results to determine the best time to send off your emails. Another tried and tested way to increase your open rate is to let your customers choose when they want to receive your marketing emails.

A way to ensure that your subscribers receive relevant messages is to create different options and categories that they can sign up for. Tailor your email campaign to the needs of your audience. Respect the permission you were granted to send them emails by providing relevant content only.

Segment Your Subscribers to Improve Open Rates

Segmentation ensures that your subscribers receive content that is relevant to them and their position along the customer journey. To understand its importance, think about a marketing campaign for a school. Surely, you can’t send the same email to teachers, parents, pupils, and caterers. 

You can segment your audience based on a range of factors, including their interests, location, level of engagement with your products or services, and more.

Segmentation helps you create targeted campaigns that build trust with your recipients and increase conversion rates and sales, which is the ultimate goal of your email marketing efforts.

Leverage Automation

As a marketer, you need to stay in contact with your customers. Doing it manually and writing thousands of emails to different people on a regular basis is impossible. You can use an email marketing automation tool to send the right message to the right prospect at the right time without your attendance. 

By linking your website analytics with your email marketing platform, you can send personalized emails based on your customers’ preferences and interactions with your brand.

3. Personalization Helps Open Rates

Tell Stories

To really connect with your audience and not come across as automation yourself, spice up your content by writing about real experiences you had. People are touched by real-life events more than anything else.

The best way to get personal is to write stories from your own life, anecdotes that would resonate with your audience, which builds trust and reduces the distance. So, why not include a story in your next newsletter?

Be Real

Don’t relate all your content to what you are trying to sell – sometimes simply be a person with common issues like everyone else.

Incorporate your personality in some of your emails. What are your passions? How are they connected to your business? What are the things you love discussing? Sharing with your recipient will add a human touch to your communication and help you establish a stronger relationship with them.

4. Test What Works

Campaign testing is a great strategy to detect weak points and improve the efficiency of your marketing efforts.

Neither Too Many Nor Too Few

Sending an ineffective number of emails can negatively impact your email marketing campaign and email opens. It’s established that sixteen to thirty campaigns per month result in the highest open rates.

However, there are no hard and fast rules about email frequency. If this doesn’t work for you, try sending less or more and see how your audience responds.

Neither Too Long Nor Too Short

In today’s fast-paced world, nobody would want to read lengthy emails. According to Campaign Monitor, the ideal length for a marketing email is between 50 and 125 words. That’s not a lot, so you’ll have to hone your copywriting skills to tell your story and get your message across in a few words.

Subject Lines Matter

Nearly half of the recipients decide whether to open an email depending on the subject line only. Also, a personalized subject line can increase your email opens by 50%. Write a number of alternatives and A/B test them to find out which will garner a higher response rate.

Top Priority - Avoid the SPAM Folder

email marketing service

The last thing you want is your marketing emails to be flagged as spam. When this happens, your open rate will be zero.

To avoid your emails being marked as spam, follow these simple strategies:

  • Authenticate your email account so no one else can send emails on your behalf.
  • Ask your recipients to add you to their email contact lists.
  • Make sure to exclude from your subject line any words that could be identified as spam, such as “Order now”, “opt in”, “free offer”, etc.
  • Avoid capitalization of entire words in your subject line or sentences in your email.
  • Include an “Unsubscribe” option.
  • Strictly use your subscribers’ email addresses for your email marketing campaign and nothing else.

If you want to know how to create email marketing campaigns that succeed, find out now!