You've Got Mail: 5.5 Tips for Improving Your Email Open Rate

You've Got Mail: 5.5 Tips for Improving Your Email Open Rate
Christina Carson

Believe it or not, email marketing can be one of your most effective channels. But the hard part can be getting people to actually open your fantastic emails.  

You’ve spent time crafting the perfect email blast, now it’s time to wait for the conversions to roll in. Except… hardly any of your subscribers have opened the message. What should you do?!

Don’t worry, that’s what Charisma is here for! Let’s work on improving your email open rate!

Is Improving Your Open Rate Even Worth It?

Your potential customers signed up for your emails because they are interested in what you have to offer. Since they’re already qualified leads, you have the perfect opportunity to nurture them and reel them in.  

Low open rates don’t have to be negative. Instead, take it as an indicator that it’s time to take action. Ask yourself:

Is the subject compelling enough?

Does the email provide real value?

Has your email address been flagged as spam?  

There is a lot that you can learn from your email metrics, but first, you have to get rid of the dead weight that is bringing your stats down.  

A crucial aspect of maintaining a healthy email list is to clear out any inactive subscribers, also known as non-openers, and hard bounces. They aren’t doing you any favors, and you aren’t getting an accurate picture of how your emails are performing.  

How to Re-Engage Subscribers

Here are some tips to re-engage your audience to boost your open rate:

#1. Keep Your List Fresh

Let’s get straight to the point. Do your email subscribers still want to hear from you?  

It is important to email your subscribers on a consistent basis so your list doesn’t go stale.

Even if you are emailing consistently, subscribers can still go stale. Some people may have changed email accounts, or maybe they aren’t interested in your brand anymore.  

To keep your list fresh and filled with engaged subscribers, we recommend periodically removing inactive subscribers. But before you get rid of them, try sending them one last “win-back” campaign to try to re-engage them.  

Remember, an inactive subscriber could be anyone who has not engaged with any of your emails in the past 6 months or more.

#2. Segment Your List

When people decide whether or not to open an email, one of the most important factors is whether they think the email is relevant to them.  

The best way to increase the relevancy of your emails is to segment your email list.  

You can start by adding tags to your subscribers based on their behavior, such as purchase behavior. When someone becomes a paying customer, you send them different types of emails than you would send to someone who hasn’t purchased yet. You could even send different emails based on the products that they purchased.  

You can also segment your list based on demographics such as location or interests. Consider who they got on your email list in the first place. If they downloaded one of your opt-in freebies on a particular topic, create a segment of those people so you can send them more emails on that topic.  

Once you have created these segments, it is easier to create subject lines and messages that will entice them to open and engage with your email marketing campaigns.  

#3. Avoid Spam Filters

Though spam filters have gotten more sophisticated in the past several years, they aren’t perfect. Your emails can still get caught in the dreaded abyss of the spam folder.  

To maximize the reach of your email marketing campaigns, you will need to do everything possible to not be flagged as spam.  

Here are some of the best practices:  

  • Ensure that all recipients have opted-in to receive your emails
  • Send your campaigns from a good IP address  
  • Keep any code clean  
  • Use merge tags to personalize the “To:” field - personalization is KEY to great emails
  • Show subscribers how to whitelist your emails and ask them to add your email to their address book
  • Avoid “salesy” language
  • Don’t use deceptive subject lines
  • Include your location  
  • Include an easy way for subscribers to opt out of your newsletter - a channel like text messaging may be a better fit for your clientele

#4. Perfect Your Timing

MailChimp says that in general, the best time of the week to send emails is on weekdays rather than weekends, but honestly no single day is the best. This is why it is important to identify which timeframes seem to perform best for you and explore those in future campaigns. Remember, this can take some time.

The bottom line on email send time is this: imagine a day in the life of your specific audience. What are they doing in the morning, afternoon, and evening? What does their workday look like? When do they get up in the morning and when do they go to bed?  

All these questions will help you decide on the best send time for your emails. Then, if you really want to make sure it's a good time – check your Google Analytics to see when your website typically gets traffic. These insights are often a good way to build on what’s already working.

#5. Make Your Subject Line Stand Out

When it comes to email open rates, the subject line is everything. Your job is to make the subject stand out.  

Follow these tips to craft a creative subject line:  

  • Entice curiosity, but don’t be so cryptic that the subscriber has no clue what you are talking about.  
  • Insert numbers. There is just something about numbers that draws the eye.  
  • Use a joking or conversational tone.  
  • Speak in the language or style your audience uses themselves.

#5.5 Don’t Forget About Mobile Users

Many people use their phones to check their email, so you can’t afford to ignore mobile users. Make sure your email is mobile-friendly with responsive formatting and loadable media. And remember, long subject lines won’t be as viewable on mobile.  

Learn More > Build Your Email Subscriber List from Scratch

Maximize Your ROI with Email, Communicate with Charisma

Don’t get discouraged if you implement these tips and don’t see a turnaround right away. Email marketing is both an art and a science, so give yourself some time to experiment and find what works best for you and your subscribers.  

Lean on our team at Charisma Communications to help you along the way! We love designing compelling email newsletters for our clients. Schedule an email marketing consultation with us today!