Hopefully by now you know that building an email marketing list is one the smartest things you can do for your business. Being invited into people’s inboxes is a big deal.
Still, inboxes are crowded. Just because your email lands in someone’s inbox, that doesn’t mean it’s going to be opened, much less read. And if your emails aren’t being opened, then all those marketing efforts are going to waste.
So, what can you do to ensure your emails are the ones being opened every time? Any of these five things are a good place to start.
1. Check the time and day you’re sending your email
GetResponse analyzed more than three million messages to determine the best day to send email for the highest open rates. It discovered:
- Tuesdays had the best open rates
- The highest number of emails were sent on Tuesdays
- Weekends had the lowest open rates.
Recent research by OptinMonster also showed similar findings.
That said, my friend Bernadette sends her monthly emails on a Sunday, because her audience is made up of entrepreneurial types who tend to work on the weekend and appreciate the distraction her email provides to them. Paul Jarvis has a similar audience and sends his on Sundays too. Further, a study by Experian Marketing Services found that more individuals responded to email on the weekends when their overall volume of email was lower.
If your prime audience is parents, sending on Tuesday/Wednesday/Thursday around 10am is good because you’ll catch them once they’ve caught their breath after school drop-off. If you send it at 3pm in the afternoon, chances are they won’t see it till the next day, at which time it will be buried in a bunch of other emails.
Friday is usually considered one of the worst days to send emails, but if your audience are salaried full-time workers, that cohort would probably appreciate having something to read on Friday afternoon as they count down the hours till the weekend.
Bottom line: You can make all the assumptions you like about the best time to send your particular audience an email, but, like all assumptions, those should be tested. Try sending out your email on a particular day and time for a month. Then switch it up for a month. See which gets the better open rates.
2. Subject line is everything
47% of people say they open an email because of the subject line alone which makes the subject line of your email absolutely crucial when it comes to capturing the attention of your prospective clients and customers.
Digital Marketer saw their open rates increase three-fold after doing some hard work on their subject lines. They found success by ensuring every subject line they wrote ticked at least one of the below:
- Showed a benefit to the customer
- Communicated a sense of urgency
- Included credible information
- Made the recipient curious
So, the next time you open a marketing email from someone, take note. Which of the above points did that subject line tick? What made you decide to read it?
Then, when it comes time for you to write your own subject lines, ask yourself ‘Would I open this email if it landed in my inbox?’ If there is no strong promise to the reader in the subject line, no curiosity factor or hint of great information, chances are they’ll delete the email without even opening it.
So don’t title your emails ‘Joe’s Plumbing: September Newsletter’, title it ‘The 3 things you didn’t realise were hiding under your kitchen sink’ … and then ensure something in your marketing newsletter delivers on that promise.
3. Only send emails to people who’ve asked for them
Ever had that thing where you emailed someone once, or met someone at a conference, and all of the sudden you’ve been added to their email list? There’s no surer way to kill your open rates (and any chance of a good relationship) than to send emails to people who didn’t specifically request them.
You should have an optin form on your website for people to subscribe to your list – one that offers a strong lead magnet. People who subscribe to your email communications via this form are keen to hear from you. Don’t waste your team sending emails to those who aren’t.
4. Check your ‘From’ field
Who are you more likely to open an email from: ACME Industries PTY Ltd, or Jack Blyth?
If you’re like most people, the latter is true. Even if you’ve forgotten you even signed up to Jack Blyth’s email newsletter, you’re much more likely to open an email that’s sent by a person than an email sent by a company.
So, if your business name is Joe’s Plumbing, don’t set up the email with ‘Joe’s Plumbing’ as the sender. Set it up to come from Joe Lastname and watch the open rates soar.
5. Optimise for mobile
Campaign Monitor has analysed the data from more than 22 billion email recipients and found that mobile devices dominated opens by environment. Other research shows roughly 74 percent of smartphone owners use their phone to check email, and mobile now represents 51 percent of all email opens.
What does this mean for you? It means you need to ensure any emails you’re sending out are optimised for viewing on mobile devices. Most email marketing software, (MailChimp is the one we recommend) do this automatically if you use one of their standard templates. If you’re using outdated or proprietary systems to send out your marketing emails, those emails might be displaying in a hard-to-read fashion on mobile devices. Which means that even if they are getting opened, they’re not being read. Which is a huge waste.
Checklist for increasing your email open rates
- Only have people on your email list who want to hear from you. The people who don’t are hurting your open rate.
- Spend a good amount of time crafting a good subject line as this is often the difference between an email being opened, and not.
- Ensure you’re sending out your email at a time your target audience is most able to read it.
- Ensure your email is coming from a person, not a business.
- Ensure your email is optimised for reading on mobile devices – especially phones.