How to Improve Your Email Open Rate

Syed Balkhi

Are you interested in improving your email open rate? If so, you’re far from alone! Email marketing is still one of the best ways to connect with your target audience and improve sales.

The problem is everyone has an email list nowadays. Convincing users to join your email list via social media or your website is difficult. However, converting visitors into subscribers is only half of the challenge.

The next part of the process is convincing new subscribers to open your emails. You will have a hard time selling your products and building rapport with prospects if no one bothers to read your messages.

Today, I will share several actionable ways to improve your email open rate and skyrocket engagement. We’ve used these strategies for years, and I’m confident they will help you on your journey.

Let’s dive in!

Set the Stage with a Welcome Email

One of the best ways to instantly boost your open rate is to send new subscribers a welcome email.

Simply put, welcome emails can help set expectations and convince users that engaging with your brand is worth their time, even if they don’t intend to place an order immediately. These messages are usually automated and delivered to users after they hit the subscribe button.

We’ve found that welcome emails are opened more than every other marketing email, with an impressive 82% open rate. In other words, these messages allow you to connect with new users while your brand is still fresh in their minds, which will likely result in them opening future emails.

I recommend using this opportunity to introduce yourself to new subscribers. Let them know who you are, why you started the business, and how you hope to add value to their lives.

You should also encourage users to share their preferences through a quick survey. This information will help you segment your audience and personalize future messages (more on that later!).

Optimize with Smartphone Users in Mind

Globally, over 68% of people own a smartphone, so it shouldn’t be surprising that optimizing mobile emails is a must.

If a subscriber tries to open an email only to be greeted by a disorganized wall of text, broken images, and a misplaced call-to-action, many will leave without taking action.

Instead of losing over half of your subscribers, you can keep them engaged and interested in your messages by optimizing your emails with smartphone users in mind.

Here are a few tips for creating mobile-friendly emails:

  • Keep your subject line short and sweet
  • Use pre-header text to add extra details
  • Invest in a program that offers responsive email templates
  • Let images supplement your text, not replace it
  • Ensure the body text is concise and offers value

If you want to know how mobile-friendly emails can impact your click-through rate, consider this; emails that look great and function correctly on desktop and mobile see an average of 65% more clicks.

Craft Compelling Subject Lines

Did you know that 47% of people say they decide to read or delete an email based on the subject line alone? Put another way; you could miss out on nearly 50% of clicks by failing to create compelling, value-packed subject lines.

People are more likely to open emails when the subject line addresses one of their goals, pain points, or interests.

Here’s a quick example so you can see what I mean.

Let’s say you love motorcycles. You subscribe to a car dealership that promises to send you updates when they get new motorcycles in stock. For the next 3 months, you receive over 30 emails about cars, but not a single subject line that addresses your main reason for subscribing.

What would you do? If you’re like most people, you would unsubscribe and look for a company that delivers on its promises.

This example highlights why personalization is such an important factor in email marketing. We found that 4 out of 5 people prefer engaging with personalized content and offers and typically ignore generic marketing messages. Further research shows that personalizing your subject lines can improve your open rate by a whopping 50%.

If you want to craft better headlines, use surveys and on-site analytics to segment your audience into groups based on their interests. Next, create emails and subject lines for each group. The goal is to send emails with corresponding subject lines that matter to each subscriber.

You’ll find that spending time creating personalized subject lines can tremendously impact sales, engagement, and your click-through rate.

Send Your Emails at the Right Time

Now, let’s discuss the importance of sending your emails at the right time. Many marketers don’t see nearly as much engagement as they should because their messages get delivered during off-hours and may get buried under other emails by the time the recipient checks their inbox.

Our research has helped us narrow down the best times and days to send emails, and here’s what we found:

The best days to send your messages, in order, are Tuesday, Thursday, and Wednesday. As for times, people are more likely to open your email at 10 am, 8 pm, and 2 pm.

Remember that these times and days are relative to your audience, not your business. For instance, a company in the US with a dominant UK audience would automate its messages for the United Kingdom’s GMT zone.

These times and days are not set in stone. Feel free to experiment until you find a time frame that leads to the most clicks and engagement.

Don’t Get Trapped in Spam Folders

Spam folders are perhaps the biggest hurdle you’ll face as an email marketer. It’s impossible to get people to open your messages and engage with your brand if the email service provider (or user) decides to make your message as spam.

Many factors can result in your emails going to spam. Common causes include:

  • An outdated/purchased email list
  • Adding too many images and videos
  • Not using a consistent IP to send messages
  • Sending emails that don’t offer value to readers

All of these factors can whittle away at your spam score and sender reputation, which can lead to new subscribers never seeing your messages because they ended up in spam.

You can avoid the dreaded spam folder by doing the following:

  • Use an SMTP tool to ensure you have a consistent IP
  • Segment and personalize emails, so they are relevant to each user
  • Limiting videos and images
  • Organically generating leads and scrubbing your list

It may take time to build your sender reputation and prevent users from marking your messages as spam, but this is one step you don’t want to skip.

Back to You

As you can see, there are plenty of ways to improve your email open rate and skyrocket engagement. The tips offered today all work together to form cohesive, engaging email campaigns. As your list grows, experiment with different types of emails, subject lines, timing, and types of emails until you find the perfect fit for your small business.

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Syed Balkhi is on a mission to level the playing field for small businesses. 19+ million websites use his software to grow and compete with the big guys. 100+ million people read his blogs every year to grow their website traffic, sales, & conversion

West Palm Beach, FL

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