16 Best Tips To Improve Email Open Rates

When you have more people opening your email marketing campaign, then your open rates are higher and the return on your investment will be higher. 

You need to understand that the success rate of your email campaign will always depend on open rates. If no one opens your emails, then you cannot generate a new lead magnet. 

Since the average open rates for email campaigns have continued to improve marginally, reaching an all-time high of 24.8% in 2018, you need to target a minimum of 50% open rate in order to achieve success and a higher return on investment.

In this article, we will explore the best ways to increase your email marketing open rates. After that, if you would like more information on how to improve your email open rates, I suggest registering for a free account at Wealthy Affiliate. It provides its members with free email marketing training.

How To Increase Email Open Rates

1. Avoid spam filters

The best possible way to avoid spam filters is to ensure that you make use of a recognizable sender name and make sure you choose a reliable email service provider (ESP). In addition to this, you must check that you have not been blacklisted by Gmail, Yahoo, and the likes. Make sure you test your email before sending them, to ensure they don’t end up in spam filters.

2. Remove inactive subscribers

Make sure you use a double opt-in feature to ensure that a subscriber verifies that he or she wants to receive emails. You don’t want to send emails to people who deliberately ignore them, such people contribute to lower open rates. 

Any subscriber that is inactive (does not open your email) for more than 3 months should be removed. Those who occasionally open the emails should be retained.

Make sure you cleanse your regular email lists. Gmail and yahoo in particular recognize when certain readers don’t open your emails hence such mails will automatically go to “Spam”.

3. Timing

Timing is very important, you don’t want to send your email campaigns at the wrong time. The best time to send email campaigns is during the workday as well as during lunchtime – these are the periods where most people have time to check their emails. 

Fewer people actually check such emails after working hours as they are in a rush to go home. Tuesdays and Fridays have been found to be days when most people read emails mostly, followed by Thursdays, Mondays, Sundays, and the least readers open emails on Saturdays. Most people are more likely to open their emails between 12 and 6 pm.

4. Keep your subject line short

One of the best ways to make your subject stand out is to be pricey and use fewer words. Experts believe that using between 6 to 10 words brings about the best open rate results. Short subject lines are easy to read and view on a smartphone while still piquing customer interest.

5. Use a second subject line

Most email providers have a second area of displayed content on every email. In many email systems, this area is referred to as the description, but if it’s left blank, it defaults to the first line of copy. Instead of accepting the default, write a second, strong subject line and place it in the description section to tell your customers more about your email’s content.

6. Include symbols in the subject line

Using a symbol in the subject line can increase opens by as much as 15 percent. This symbol can be professional, such as a copywriting symbol, or playful, like a snowman for a winter holiday promotion email.

We find loads of great symbols to use in subject lines at http://emailstuff.org/glyph. The site offers cool things like a clock to symbolize a sale that’s about to end. Tick-tock.

7. Press Play

Instead of including a link, embed a still image of a video with a Play button superimposed on top. This technique can dramatically increase click-through rates in email campaigns.

8. Ask customers for their thoughts

This strategy results in the highest click-through rate of all campaign types we run, so we replicate it and get high click-through rates on emails again and again. This strategy involves asking a question and listing four to five answers, each with a link. All the links go to the same place, where customers can find answers to the questions.

9. Combine video and questions

Video consistently yields high click-through rates and high customer engagement. Include a video and a “your thoughts” question in an email, and have subscribers watch the video to get the answer.

Many marketers worry that they don’t have the charisma or budget to make highly professional video. Don’t be afraid! Because email is about relationships, a simple conversational video can show your personality and voice to your subscribers, and allow you to connect with them in a new way.

10. Call people by name

Make sure the subject line is personalized with the reader’s name. This shows that you respect them, and they probably think you are writing to them only. Don’t address any part of the message to a wider audience, write like you want the best for the person.

Our research shows that emails with a first name in the subject line garner a 23 percent higher open rate. That’s an amazing boost, but don’t use this trick too often. It loses its effectiveness if overused.

11. Be positive in the morning and negative at night

We all wake up bright-eyed and excited to face the new day (okay, after we’ve had our coffee). Take advantage of that fact by sending positive email messages during the morning hours. In the evenings, negative messages are better accepted.

If you’re going to send a negative message — perhaps about a declining market or an urgent need — make sure that you offer a solution to the problem as part of your email. No one likes to be made to feel hopeless.

12. Add a countdown

Phrases like “Four days until this sale is over forever!” and “You’ll never get this deal again!” increase the urgency of the promotion. You can increase the urgency even more by adding a countdown clock or timer to show customers exactly how much time they have.

13. Use animated GIFs

Pretty or funny moving images in an inbox catch people’s attention. If you have access to a designer who can make custom animated GIFs, have that person create some for you. If not, sites like Giphy (http://giphy.com) offer free GIFs that you can use to give your emails an extra edge.

14. Use odd or specific numbers

Everyone has ten tips for doing just about everything. Try using different numbers: “6 ways to change your business tonight,” “14 simple ideas to teach your child math,” or “The $234,423 idea that changed everything,” for example.

Never round up your numbers up. Doing that makes you sound like a liar. If you have only nine amazing ideas for holiday décor, say you have nine amazing ideas. Saying that you have ten and then delivering only nine makes you look dishonest.

15. Inject Some Humor

Make them laugh a little, whether through your image or some of the contents provided. Don’t be too humorous so that they won’t take you seriously.

16. Optimize for Mobile

In 2011, only 27% of email readers use mobile devices like smartphones, in 2018, 61% of mail readers use their mobile devices to read their emails. It is believed that roughly 70% of email campaign recipients delete emails that are not optimized for mobile devices. 

Make sure you use a mobile email template when designing your email campaign, doing this will make your email content optimized for both mobile and non-mobile devices.

Final Words

Everything we’ve talked about so far is moot if your emails aren’t reaching your subscribers’ inboxes. Did you know that 21 percent of emails worldwide never reach the desired recipients? A whole lot of work, effort, and brilliance is being wasted on emails that end up floating around in cyberspace.

How do you make sure that all your work isn’t wasted? It comes down to one simple thing: You have to prove that you aren’t a spammer and that you have no intention of being one.

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