A good email marketing strategy is an effective way to reach your customers – but only if they actually open your emails. Thus, in addition to having a clean, verified email list, it's important for marketers to make strides towards boosting their open rates. Fortunately, there are a lot of elements to be tested and it's a lot easier than many assume.
Make Sure Your Subject Line Stands Out
More and more people are checking their email accounts via mobile devices. Often, these devices limit the amount of subject line text a reader can see. You should front-load the most engaging or interesting words to ensure they show up when readers check their emails on their phones.
You also need to make sure your subject line is appealing in general. You can ask a question to generate a sense of personal connection, give a command to make a reader take action, or, if you're confident enough, craft a “teaser” that piques a customer's interest without revealing too much information about the content.
Remember, readers also want to know your content will be easy to consume. Thus, the listicle format for a subject line is a smart approach, as it lets readers know what kind of information they'll find in your email, and how it will be organized.
Adjust Your From Name
Does your “from” name clearly correspond to your brand when a customer receives your email? If not, make sure you've changed it to either your brand name, or another relevant name your customers will respond to. Very often, people choose not to open emails simply because they don't recognize the sender's name.
Send Your Emails at the Right Times
There is an ideal time to send an email. To find out what this is, try an experiment: segment your email list into three different time slots. Perhaps you'll send an email to one group in the morning, one in the early afternoon, and one in the evening.
After you've sent all the messages, use your analytics tools to find out which time slot got the highest open rate. Keep in mind, this may not be the perfect time to send an email, even if it's the best out of the three. Repeat this experiment periodically until you know exactly when to send messages for the highest possible open rate.
Find Out What Your Audience Wants
You don't always needs to email your readers blindly, using analytics and other indirect tactics to try and find out what type of content interests them most. Sometimes, your best option is to simply go directly to the source. Ask your readers to participate in surveys or questionnaires designed to help you better understand their preferences. Conduct polls, and even consider asking people you meet in-person what type of content they would want if they subscribed to your newsletter.
Modify Your Sign-Up Process
It's a familiar experience: signing up for an email list, only to find that the content you actually receive isn't particularly useful or interesting to you.
Make sure your sign-up process clearly explains what readers should expect from your emails, and how signing up can benefit them. This makes it much easier to attract readers who'll actually open your emails.
Again, none of these tactics are difficult to implement. They will, however, yield substantial rewards.
The author is the content manager at Morningside Translations.