5 Tips to Increase E-mail Opening Rates

18.05.2017, 4m


E-mail marketing continues to be one of the most effective marketing methods out there today. Informing your customers via mailings about new products or special offers can really help increase turnover. However, many of these e-mails are never opened. In this article, we’ll show you how you can improve the opening rates of your e-mails.

Tip #1: Improve the subject line

The subject line is the first thing that recipients read. Therefore, the subject line should be enticing, inviting, and of course “clickable” to the reader.

On desktop PCs, the average number of characters displayed in the subject line is 60, but on smartphones the average is only 30. With the ever-increasing number of mobile users out there, it’s becoming more and more important to keep your subject lines short and concise so that all the recipients can know what your e-mail is about before opening it.

That means you need to cut back on filler words and tell your customers what the e-mail is about directly so that it will be opened.

Likewise, you should avoid words that sound immediately like spam so that your e-mails are not directly filtered. Similarly, you don’t want the recipient to label your e-mail as cheap advertising.

Words and phrases that should be avoided in subject lines:

  • Free

  • Buy

  • Affordable

  • Earn

  • Only $___

  • Click

  • Subscribe

  • Cheap

  • Discount

Also, the excessive use of punctuation marks (!!!), as well as the USE OF ALL CAPITAL LETTERS can trigger the spam filters to ensure that your e-mails are never opened.

SPAM_gif.gifSpam = yucky!

Pro Tip: Avoid spammy words in the entire text of the e-mail rather than just the subject line.

It doesn’t matter how good and interesting the content of your e-mail is. If the subject line isn’t inviting to the reader, your e-mail will not perform well.

If your e-mail marketing software has the option, you should definitely use A / B tests. This way you can test out the best way to reach your customers’ needs. Should go with a funny or a serious subject line? Vague or direct? Emojis or no emojis? Find out with those A / B tests.

Tip #2: Personalised e-mails will work

E-mails are opened much more if they look like they were intended for the recipient personally. But writing an e-mail to every individual customer sounds like a ton of work, doesn’t it?

Fortunately for us, it’s not only smartphones, kitchen appliances, and cars that are getting smarter, but also the software we use for e-mail marketing. Just about any e-mail software offers the possibility to personalise mailings.

Instead of writing an impersonal e-mail, you address the e-mail recipient personally (assuming that you’ve collected this data and inserted it into your e-mail software).

It might look something like this:

Hello {first name},

Have you checked out our summer collection yet?

We think it’s great, but that’s just our opinion. Check out the newest trends and let us know what you think!

Using the recipient’s name at the beginning of an e-mail and designing the text as if you were writing directly to one specific person instead of thousands of people can significantly increase the opening rate for that e-mail. The more tailored the e-mails are, the more likely they are to be opened. We’ll get a little more into this topic in tip #4!

Trusted Tips: Watch our free webinar on creating texts that convert customers!

Tip #3: Timing, timing, timing

Every shop operator should be aware that it’s hard to get the full potential out of an e-mail marketing campaign if the timing isn’t right.

An e-mail that ends up in a customer’s mailbox in the middle of the night isn’t not going to increase turnover as much as an e-mail sent out at the best time.

So what is the best time to send e-mails? As is often the case: it totally depends.

According to a study by Hubspot which analysed over 20 million e-mails over a period of 10 months, the following results emerged:

Mailings that were sent on Tuesdays had a 20% higher open-rate compared to the average. Also, e-mails were usually opened between 10am and noon on weekdays.

Regardless of these results, you should personally test the times at which your customers are most likely to open your e-mails. Think about what a typical day in the life of your customer is like. Doing this will help you avoid sending e-mails out right as dinner is being served or right when the customer is stuck in rush-hour traffic.

Tip #4: Segment your e-mail list

Are your female customers interested in new leisure suits? Are your male customers interested in new summer dresses? The under-30 crowd loves canes and old-timers love skateboards, right? You probably see where this is going.

skateboarder_email_segmenting.jpgIt's probably safe to assume he's under 50 and not interested in summer dresses. Photo via Unsplash

Sending the same e-mail to all recipients will definitely save you time, but it will cost you sales.

Segmenting the e-mail addresses of your customers (i.e. organising them into different buyer groups) means that you can send them appropriate mailings.

Keep in mind that your customers have allowed you to contact them for promotional purposes. They can unsubscribe very quickly and easily though if you constantly send them e-mails that don’t match their purchasing behavior or interests.

Tip #5: Don’t forget mobile users!

If your e-mails don’t look good or aren’t readable on mobile, then you’re just flushing money down the toilet.

Consider this: 74% of smartphone users retrieve e-mails on their mobile. Moreover, 51% of all e-mails are opened on mobile devices.

Make sure your e-mails work on a smaller screen. Then, sit back, relax, and watch as your e-mail opening rates increase, clicks to your online shop go up, and hopefully, mobile purchases shoot up as well.

Got any other tips on e-mail marketing campaigns? We’d love to hear from you in the comments section!Trusted Tips: Create successful email campaigns - download our free whitepaper