5 Tips for Better Email Open Rates

Increasing the email open rates for an email marketing campaign is a crucial task for marketers if their subscribers are inactive. There is no value in email marketing if the emails are being left unopened. To improve open rates, marketers should follow the tips below:

1. Use Fresh Lists

Emails should only be sent to subscribers who still want them. Even if subscribers are emailed regularly to keep a mailing list from going stale, it is still possible to wind up with a list riddled with uninterested, disengaged recipients. In some cases, subscribers may have changed email addresses or might no longer be interested in receiving the emails. Regularly removing inactive subscribers is the best way to keep a list fresh. 

Any subscriber who has not engaged with an email within the last 6 months should be considered inactive. However, it is a good idea to try winning them back with a campaign designed to re-engage inactive subscribers. 

Another option is for marketers to periodically check in with subscribers asking them to update their contact information, which gives them the power to decide how they want to engage with the brand. 

Other ideas include surveys with rewards for answering the questions. This can not only win them back, but it also provides the marketer with the intelligence they need to deliver compelling content. 

2. Segment Email Lists

Subscribers are more likely to open emails that they find relevant. The best way for marketers to ensure that they are sending out relevant emails is to segment their email lists. Research has shown that marketers who use segmented lists for their email marketing campaigns have far higher open rates and lower unsubscribe rates. 

One easy way to segment email lists is to tag subscribers according to behavior. Subscribers who have made purchases should receive different emails from those who have not yet bought anything. 

Lists can also be segmented based on location and interests. Email list segmentation makes it easier to write email marketing subject lines that will convince recipients to open and engage with the content. 

3. Evade Spam Filters

Spam filters are imperfect despite being greatly improved over the spam-detection of the past. Legitimate emails can still be deemed as spam, which means that they will never be seen by subscribers. 

To ensure the success of an email marketing campaign, marketers will have to take steps to keep their emails from being flagged. Best practices include:

Making sure that their emails come from IP addresses that have not been blacklisted for sending spam in the past.

•  Ensuring that all email recipients have opted in.

•  Sending emails through verified domains.

•  Instruct subscribers on how to whitelist emails. 

•  Avoid spam-filter trigger words. 

4. Send at the Right Time

When a subscriber receives an email can greatly impact whether they open it or not. Marketers should conduct tests to determine the best-performing timeframes. They can then build future email marketing campaigns around them. 

Research has shown that weekdays generally perform better than weekends and that the best time of day is 10 AM in the subscriber’s time zone. However, both the ideal days of the week and time of day are greatly affected by the type of content and the subscriber’s location. 

5. Create Attention-Grabbing Subject Lines

A subject line does all the heavy lifting when it comes to email open rates. Arguably, the success or failure of an email marketing campaign hinges on the quality of subject lines.

Marketers who continually reuse the same formulas run the risk of having their subject lines dismissed. To distinguish their emails from everything else in the recipient’s inbox, marketers should learn to craft original subject lines. The objectives of these subject lines are to:

•  Provide enough information to inspire curiosity. It should make them intrigued enough to want to but not be so informative that they can disregard the content.

•  Avoid being cryptic. Sometimes the effort to inspire curiosity results in baffling subject lines that confuse rather than entice.  

•  Engage by using a casual, conversational tone. 

The tips above can improve email open rates, but may not work instantly. Marketers should move slowly and experiment with different options to see which approaches work best.