Beautiful looking emails, filled with engaging messages and fantastic offers, can only be appreciated by their reader if they are opened in the first place. As far as success metrics go, open rates shouldn’t be used as a stand-alone statistic. However, widening the funnel at the top is certainly beneficial towards boosting arguably more meaningful engagement & click through rates.
There are several ways you can approach raising those open rates, from top level targeting to fine-tuning your wording. This blog aims to help you structure your tests to get the most meaningful results.
The first way you can make sure your emails are being opened is to ensure your customers know who you are – make your ‘friendly from’ name clear to avoid being missed in the inbox.
If your open rates benchmark low against the industry average, or are steadily declining, it could indicate that your customers are no longer engaging with your brand. If you see this trend, you should look to remove disengaged customers from your list, or give them preference options to regulate how often they hear from you for further segmentation. Not only is this best practice for managing customer lifecycles, but repeatedly emailing disengaged users will risk you hitting SPAM traps – damaging your brand and deliverability reputation.
If your contact strategy is geared towards marketing to the right people, next you should be thinking of tactics to grab your customers’ attention in their crowded inbox.
A solid test & learn strategy should determine the optimum time to reach customers, as this will be different by industry sector & individual brand.
Your data should tell you when your customers are opening, and you should use this information to target them accordingly. If your readers prefer enjoying your newsletter at home on a Sunday evening, that’s the time to target. It can also make all the difference to hit the inbox while they’re on their morning commute, rather than getting forgotten over lunch time.
Once you’ve figured out your optimum time to get mailing, be consistent. It will build brand trust over time as your customers look forward to hearing from you.
You’ve figured out the strategy and top level tactics; now it’s time to get noticed.
You haven’t got much text to play with in a subject line so it’s important to make every letter count.
The careful use of numbers & punctuation can be eye catching to the reader, but be careful not to overdo it and stray into SPAM territory. If it works with your brand you can make the most of the growth in mobile and experiment with some emojis.
Humour, wordplay and personalisation helps you stand out from the crowd (if you don’t already, check out Paperchase emails for great examples of this). However, if your copy writing isn’t that creative, make sure you front load your strongest offer/message so it doesn’t get overlooked
Whatever ideas you may take from this blog, remember to keep testing and keep learning. What works for your customers now may not in 6 months, so pay attention to how they’re engaging with you and hone your strategy, tactics and delivery accordingly.