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Marketing 360® Blog

7 Tips to Increase Your Email Marketing Open Rates

Post By JB Kellogg | Email & SMS Marketing

Need to increase your email marketing open rates? Here are 7 tips that will help you target the right people with a message they won’t be able to resist.

#1.  Segment Your Lists

The days of doing email “blasts” to large, general audience lists are over.  Today, you must do a better job of segmenting lists and sending more relevant content.

For example, if you’re an eCommerce clothing store, you don’t want to send an email advertisement for ladies apparel to men. So, you use email marketing software to segment your list, like this:

email marketing segmentation

The more relevant you can make your email content to each person who is receiving it, the better your engagement is going to be. Leverage automation software to help you personalize customer email journeys.

#2.  Create Attention Grabbing, Engaging Subject Lines

The starting point for your email engagement is the subject line. If it doesn’t catch people’s attention then draw in their interest, then your email is basically white on white.  It will go unnoticed in a jam-packed in-box.

The best email subject lines:

  1. Catch attention
  2. Resonate with the audience’s needs or interests
  3. Are short and to the point

Take care with subject lines. You want something that catches attention and is essentially a teaser (a headline intended to get people to click through), but at the same time, you must avoid coming across as spammy.

Avoid overly salesy language like “buy now” or “free” (these terms will land your email in junk folders).

Sierra Trading Post keeps it to the point:

email subject line simple

It’s also effective to use urgency and numbers (such as a discount %) to engage people:

email subject line urgency

Asking a question that’s pertinent to your audience will increase click rates:

email subject line urgency

Email subject lines are prime content for testing. Run variation to your lists to discover what types of subject lines your audience responds to.  Use the most effective lines on future campaigns.

#3.   Make Sure Recipients Recognize You

When you get an email from someone you’ve never heard of, what do you do with it?

Just like everybody, you trash it.  In fact, you probably never saw it because it went in a spam folder.

The tips we’re laying out here assume you’re working with permission-based, opt-in email lists.  If not, stop emailing and start building your lists.

When you have a list, make sure the email identifies either your brand or someone recipients will know by name.

Sometimes it’s better to use your brand. However, if you have a spokesperson or other primary people that are more well known, have the email come from them by name. This makes it more personal.

#4.   Make Sure Your Domain is Verified

You must send your emails from a verified domain address, otherwise spam filters will zap them.  In other words, you can’t create a fake .com address and use it to send email lists.

We mention this because sometimes businesses try to send emails from a false .com to try to sneak content past people. Don’t do it.

Make sure your lists and your domain are legit, or you’re wasting your time. Spam filters are too effective.

#5.  Use the Recipients Name In the Subject Line

You can always catch people’s attention better when you use their name.  Same goes for email.

Today, email automation will dynamically place people’s names or other personal info into the subject line. For example, LinkedIn always calls me by name:

email subject line name

This is another trick that helps in the big challenge of catching people’s attention as they’re scrolling through their inbox.

#6.  Timing

A major factor in open rates is the timing of your email delivery. If you send your emails just prior to when someone is likely to check their inbox, you improve your chances.

As JB says in the video, we have success sending our emails mid-week, early in the morning because that’s when we can catch our audience.

We’ve also worked with an eCommerce business selling baby sleep aids that did well sending their emails in the middle of the night.

At first, you’ll make assumptions on timing email blasts, but as you gather data on open rates, you’ll find certain times tend to do better. Those are your targets.

#7.  Provide Value

Marketing today is all about providing value first, particularly when you’re doing top-of-funnel lead generation.

Getting people to click through to an email is only the first step. The content of your email must be relevant and useful, otherwise you’ll get more unsubscribes than conversions.

Also, make sure the content in your subject line, email, and landing page all match. If the subject line says a shopper can save 20%, repeat that in the email body and take them to a landing page with that offer.

Email marketing is effective when you catch the attention the right people with content they’ll value. Make sure check all those boxes or your results won’t be what you hoped for.