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8 Ways To Increase Your Email Open Rates



How relevant is an old dinosaur like “email marketing” in today’s landscape? Consider the following statistics:

* 73% of marketers say email marketing is “core” to their business.

* 69.7% of internet users say email is their preferred method of contact.

* 20% of marketers say their company’s primary source of revenue stems from email marketing.

* Email conversion rates are three times higher than social media conversion rates.

* Companies using email marketing receive 50% more sales-ready leads.

* On average, email marketing yields a 4,300% return-on-investment for U.S. businesses!

Here at Mod Girl Marketing, we are current with all the latest trends in digital marketing, but we still employ old tested, tried and true tactics like email marketing. Our goal is not only to help you create up-to-date subscriber lists that don’t bounce, but also to increase the number of click-throughs and maximize the effectiveness of your campaigns.

A “good” open / click-through rate for your email marketing campaign is all relative, of course. Below you’ll see some of the industry averages, according to Smart Insights, so you can compare.

email open rates by industry

email open rates


Now that you have some idea of how you’re doing, here are eight ways to increase your open rate and engage more prospects with your next email marketing campaign.

1. Consider what type of emails you’re sending.

According to Pardot, the three most common types of email sent by marketers are newsletters (66%), promotional content (54%), and welcome series emails (74%). However, the three most effective types of email include: mobile opt-ins (76%), birthday emails (75%), and transactional emails (74%).

Shopify indicates four types of transactional emails that all marketers should be sending:

* The shopping cart abandonment email — which reminds users they still have items in their shopping cart 12-24 hours later and attempts to re-ignite interest in completing the checkout process and lists a few incentives (like free shipping or current availability) to inspire a call-to-action.

* The order confirmation email — which reassures customers that they are taken care of, thanks users for their purchases, and delivers an added incentive to shop again, such as a promotional code for a future order or customized suggestions on other products that may interest the buyer.

* The shipping confirmation email — which lets buyers know their goods are on the way, supplies additional information for tracking purposes, and includes product suggestions or an easy way of forwarding a link of the item purchased to friends.

* The customer feedback email — which asks buyers to take a survey or leave a review and offers some type of incentive to do so, such as entry into a sweepstakes or a coupon code for future orders. Again, this is another method of customer retention, as it makes customers feel as though their opinions are valued.

2. Personalize it.

Experian says that personalized promotional emails have 29% higher open rates and 41% higher click-through rates than non-personalized emails. Similarly stated, email lists that are segmented see 39% higher open rates and 28% lower unsubscribe rates than mass emails sent to all subscribers. To segment your list, ask consumers their reason for visiting your website or subscribing, says Kissmetrics. For instance, Paper Style asked web users “What are you planning for — your wedding or a friend/relative’s wedding?” — and received a 244% increased open rate when the emails were targeted to a particular group. You can also segment based on customer personas, geographic location, past shopping patterns, or customer action. There are a ton of platforms out there that automate the task of personalizing emails, such as Marketo and HubSpot.

Tip: Get more personalization examples from The Daily Egg. Also, remember: Mod Girl Marketing consultants can help if you’re unsure how to proceed with this step. Contact us here!

3. Invest in quality content.

According to Entrepreneur Magazine, “Bad content is one of the top reasons people unsubscribe from 25 percent of emails.” The people opening your emails are looking for answers to problems, tips or tricks, intriguing information, money-saving deals, relevant promotions and stories they can share with family or friends. For more specific ideas, check out HubSpot’s list of best email marketing examples.

Tip: If you worry about lack of time or expertise in writing, Mod Girl Marketing can step in with an experienced team of full-time writers who know how to create desire and craft a solid call-to-action.

4. Nail the subject line.

email marketing subject lines

Image Source: Marketing Sherpa 

Everyone will see your subject line, but not everyone will be compelled to open your email. INC Magazine recommends making your subject line “short, catchy, and informative.” Keep in mind, you’ve only got 50 characters on PC and 25 characters on mobile devices to make your first impression. You can dangle intriguing information, ask a question, or personalize the subject line to make it sound as if it’s from a friend. Many companies make the mistake of blowing all their important information in the subject, so users don’t feel they even need to open the email to understand what’s new. Instead of leading with a piece of company news that may or may not be relevant to readers, include key topics and the “what’s-in-it-for-me” in your headlines, says entrepreneur Carol Roth.

Tip: Check out Mequoda’s awesome rundown of best email subject lines for more specific ideas.

5. Go back to roots of journalism.

Sensationalism has sold many a newspaper. Be provocative in your email subject lines and opening paragraphs as well. For instance, small business speaker Barry Moltz wrote a piece titled “Marissa Mayer was Right: Why Employees Need to Be Back at the Office” that saw a high email open rate. Another popular title was “My Wife Thinks I’m Having An Affair,” which turned out to be a piece about spending too much time at the office, working on his small business. Much like tabloid journalism, negative titles tend to get a lot of hits too, such as: “5 Reasons Why Stupid People Make More Money than You.”

Tip: Review the best and worst words to use in your email subject lines from Clickz.

6. Make it easy to share.

As Social Media Examiner points out, integrating your email and social media marketing extends the reach of your emails beyond one user to their entire network of associates, helps you identify key influencers, provides another platform for communication, and offers more opportunities for engagement. In addition to including a social share button in all your email messages, you can also share some of your email content on your social media sites, offer incentives for joining your social networking communities, and promote email sign-up on your social sites.

7. Don’t screw it up.

Over 70% of readers will delete an email that doesn’t display correctly. The reasons for email display errors are many, such as: failing to add text to your images, failing to provide alt text for mobile viewers, making the subject line too long, embedding flash or javascript items directly into the body, inserting fancy external style sheets, or using super large and high-quality images that take too long to load.

Tip: Check out Email Chimp’s image troubleshooting guide for starters. If your open rates are good, but your bounce rates are high, you may have a display error preventing engagement. Working with an experienced digital marketing firm can help you fix these mistakes and get on the right track.

8. Optimize for mobile.

More than half of all emails are opened on mobile devices. HubSpot recommends using mobile-optimized templates to build emails optimized for user experience.  Email Monday lists ways that marketers have better optimized their email marketing campaigns for mobile:

mobile emails


Tip: Here Econsultancy lists seven tools to optimize your emails for mobile devices.

Mod Girl Marketing Boosts Email Open & CT Rates For Clients

Mod Girl Marketing is a boutique digital marketing firm that offers full-service or a-la-carte plans that include email marketing if you need it. We have email marketing specialists, SEO professionals, marketers, copywriters, social networkers and industry consultants on staff who work cohesively to support your brand and make your campaigns more effective. One-on-one consulting and business coaching is also available for entrepreneurs that feel overwhelmed by the vast sea of marketing tools, choices, and strategies available to them. Contact us to learn more about email marketing with Mod Girl Marketing.

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