Let’s consider what constitutes email open rate and its significance before discussing how to increase email open rate. Email marketing requires sending commercial emails to potential customers. The viability of email marketing, as with any marketing, lies with converting it to sales. Email open rate helps to identify the percentage of subscribers who actually opened the email in the first place.
To summarise, an increase in email open rate shows that the marketing email you sent to promote your product or service has been opened and read by your potential client.
There could also be situations where the email has not reached the subscriber’s inbox, due to which it was unread.
Email open rate is the percentage of actual subscribers who have opened and read the email divided by the total emails sent minus the undelivered emails. For example, if we have a marketing campaign involving 1000 emails, and of those, 450 subscribers opened your email, and 30 bounced back, your email open rate would be (450/970) x100 = 46.39%.
The Reason for the Decline in Email Open Rate
Marketers need to aim for an increased email open rate for hedging their chances for conversion to sales. For this, they need to realise that though email offers a better opportunity for personal contact to subscribers, on average, only 20% of marketing emails reach the subscriber’s inbox. The rest are bounced off to spam emails, or anti-spam filters blacklists your email and blocks it all together even before it gets read.
How to Increase Email Open Rate?
Now that we know the significance of the email open rate and the reasons for the decline in rates, it’s imperative to identify measures and answer the pertinent question of how to increase the email open rate:
1. Decide the Correct Day of the Week to Send your Email
You need to time your email campaigns to ensure your potential client reads them. Make sure they do not get overwhelmed to the point of unsubscribing them. This decision also depends on the type of industry you deal with. For example, if you own a travel company, sending vacation plans before school holidays or weekend trek plans on a Thursday or Friday gives more possibility for subscribers to read the email and even purchase the deal for the following or even next weekend.
On the flip side, sending emails for office equipment is always ideal on a weekday, preferably Tuesday, when your subscriber is at work and sees the potential void of that product.
2. Informative Subject Line
Though most marketers prefer keeping subject lines short, up to 50 characters, certain studies suggest that the best subject lines are those that have 241 to 250 characters, as both the click-through rate and email open rate increases when the number of characters goes up. However, it also majorly depends on conveying the content relevant to the audience and email through the right choice of words in the subject line. When in doubt, it’s always good to A/B test for your subject line.
3. Subscribe Button
Email marketing being mostly permission-based, it’s ideal to have a prominent “Subscribe Now” button to increase your chances for an increased email open rate, especially for future emails sent to your recipient. This practice also ensures that you have an email list with people interested in knowing more about your product’s offers and your company’s latest news.
4. Welcome Email
Studies suggest that sending a welcome email to your new subscribers can surely increase the email open rate. Though welcome email to confirm subscription or purchase are less frequent, adding coupon codes and exclusive content boosts your email’s deliverability and ensures a higher click-through rate.
5. Update Email Lists
Experts can’t stress more on the fact that quality weighs more than quantity, even when it comes to the increase of the email open rate. A small list of people who are willing to know more about your product or service is more valuable than an extensive list of uninterested people. Also, ensure to segment your email list based on common factors like location, interest and the like. This way, you can guarantee that your marketing campaign reaches the right target audience.
6. The time it right
The optimal time for sending emails to ensure an increase in email open rate varies with each industry and the region. The best time to send emails to the USA and Canada for optimal open rates is 3 am – 4 am, whereas for the LATAM or Latin American region, it is around 6 am – 4 pm, and Central Europe or CEE region prefers at 7 pm.
7. Automated Emails
Automated emails sent as a response to a specific action have more probability of getting read as it comes straight after an action. Additionally, automated emails get triggered by the inbox to appear on top. You can also personalise your emails and build your market base with your subscriber’s response to marketing automation. For example, based on the products they browse and click on, you can tag your contacts and have more actionable data.
8. Avoid Wordings that Might Bounce your Mail to the Spam Folder
The rule of thumb to avoid being on the spam list is to ensure that your email list consists of subscribers who sign up for the subscription and you never purchase an email list. When you send an email to someone who is not a target audience, the chances for them to mark you as spam and submit a complaint are higher.
The sender could get blacklisted with increased complaints, which automatically lands the email in the spam folder. Another possibility is using trigger words that involve the content talking about a lot of money on the lines of mortgage or ‘guaranteed money back’ or ‘free iPhones, increases your spam score.
9. Use of Emojis
Sending emails with emojis in the subject line, especially if it suits your target audience. The monotony of plain words could be cut by adding colourful and expressive emojis if it goes with your brand. Emojis are attractive and grab attention which could increase the email open rate.
10. Add Images with Texts
Images are always more attractive, and studies suggest that conveying a message visually makes more impact than only texts. If you are wondering how to increase the email open rate without it being moved to the spam folder, adding images could be another quick-fix solution. However, ensure a balance of images and text as spam filters can’t read images.
Adding texts within images or images only could do more bad than good by triggering spam filters to bounce off the email read as blank completely. Hence, it is critical to ensure that your email accompanies a decent amount of text. When in doubt, check with spam-checker tools before sending it out.
11. Optimal Preheader Text
Preheader text gives a short snippet or summary of your email’s entire content. This preheader text is especially crucial for mobile email accounts, which constitutes approximately 70% of email opens. Studies also suggest that preheader text has a more significant impact than personalised subject lines. The elements that constitute a perfect email are obviously what the subscriber sees in the layout: the sender, subject line, and preheader text. It is only ideal and logical to use all three aspects to increase the email open rate.
12. Determine the Ideal Length of Email
The content of your email is vital. It should be neither too long that your subscriber ignores the email by the time it reaches the central aspect nor too short that it doesn’t convey the idea altogether. Finding that sweet spot sufficient to grab the recipient’s focus to respond to the call-to-action (CTA) is what you should aim to increase the email open rate.
13. Legitimate Sender Address
Having the brand name or company’s name in the email address is crucial for surpassing the spam filter. Experts also suggest having an ideal email address length. A very lengthy email ID could harm your campaign, and your subscriber’s chances to ignore the email are high when the email ID is not fully visible, especially when viewed through the mobile app.
14. Follow up with Inactive Subscribers
Strategising plans to engage inactive subscribers is as essential as finding new ones. The fact that they haven’t unsubscribed your emails is motivation enough to know that they haven’t entirely lost interest in your company. So how to increase email open rates in this scenario? Provide personalised offers or coupon codes, feedback forms to identify the reason for not engaging could be a few ways to ensure future email open rates and even CTR.
Also Read: Email Marketing Techniques to follow in 2021.
Digital Marketing has several aspects to ensure that a new clientele base is created and the existing one is maintained throughout. Of the many media for marketing, email is a prominent one.
If you would like to learn more about how to increase email open rate or social media marketing, or anything related to digital marketing, join upGrad’s Advanced Certificate in Digital Marketing and Communication. In this competitive world, learning to build and optimise digital marketing campaigns is as important as the knowledge of digital marketing tools. At upGrad, you have customised tracks, including both for kickstarting your career as a full-fledged digital marketer.