What was the open rate of your last email? Was it what you were hoping for? If you’re like most email marketers or business owners who rely on email, you check your open rates regularly. For some, panic may set in if every time you send an email, your open rates fall.
You wonder if you’ve lost your touch or maybe it’s the crazy times we’re living in.
But what if subscribers keep ignoring your emails— should you stop emailing? Does it mean email marketing is dead?
Trust us when we say, email is still working. Think about it—your email address is your ticket to just about anywhere online. Which means you need to figure out why your open rates are tanking— and that’s what we’re going to help you with today.
Your email is an assembly line
Think of your emails in three main parts: From Name/Subject Line, Body Copy and CTA. Your email is like an assembly line where each “person” has to do their job for it to continue to the next. If your From Name/Subject Line’s job is to get the open, your Body Copy has to keep them reading down the page and, finally, your CTA has to get them to click.
Here are our five recommendations to help save falling email open rates:
1. Make sure the From Name and Subject Line get your subscriber to think— “I’m interested”
Consider whether the sender should be your company name, a person/company name, or just a person’s name. This is important because 68% of people say they base their decision to open an email on the sender name (Source).
If your sender name passes the subscriber’s test, then they’ll move on to the subject line. It should be either intriguing or provide a promise of value that will be delivered. A few subject line formulas to consider:
The open loop formula uses curiosity to get the reader to open. This can be overdone as with click-bait type headlines. So, as with any formula, you don’t want to use it every time.
This one’s pretty straightforward. Tell them what they’re going to learn to do when they open your email. If they want to do that, they should open.
People like to hear about the latest and greatest so use that to your advantage with this subject line.
Remember to avoid using spammy words. Otherwise, you’ll get sent straight to the Junk folder. They can’t open it if they never see it. To check out a full list of spam trigger words to avoid, go here.
Additionally, to make your subject lines stand out in an inbox, you want to either make it shorter or longer than the standard character count of 35-45 characters. But be careful where the subject line cuts off—front load the subject line so all the good stuff is read.
2. Improve your email content
The hard truth is your content might not be as good as it could be. Even if you’re writing stellar subject lines, if the audience knows the email content doesn’t live up to the subject line, they’ll eventually stop opening.
Ask yourself, is my email content:
- All about me
- A sales pitch every time
- A mismatch from your subject line (bait & switch)
- Unexpected (in a bad way)
3. Adapt your emails for mobile readers
If your emails are not optimized for mobile, then readers will likely delete in mere seconds. While that might have been only a few subscribers a few years ago, today mobile clients account for 41.9% of email opens (Source).
Litmus lets you try their email marketing solution and see screenshots of your emails across 90+ apps and devices to ensure a great subscriber experience.
You’ll want to go beyond keeping subject lines short. Try adding preview text and the correct size CTA buttons. Also, think about using responsive email templates to make your emails mobile-friendly.
4. Clean that email list
Email list hygiene is important to maintaining good open rates. You’ll want to remove any inactive subscribers. Most of the time, you can set how long you want a subscriber to be inactive before your email service provider stops sending emails.
If the number of subscribers you’re sending emails to is quickly declining, you may want to do a re-engagement campaign. If they still don’t respond, remove them from your list.
Don’t feel bad about making your list size smaller – it’s actually a good thing because those people who aren’t interested in you are bringing your open rate down. It’s better to have a small, engaged list of people who are eager to hear from you than those who continually open your email stats to find that your open rates keep plummeting.
5. Get your timing right
The best time and day to send your emails will vary based on a number of factors. However, there are plenty of reports out there that can give you an idea of where to start to get the best results—such as the Email Marketing Benchmarks Report from GetResponse or Ultimate Email Marketing Benchmarks from Campaign Monitor or The Best Time to Send an Email (Research-Backed) from HubSpot.
You’ll want to experiment with date, time and frequency to see what works best for your audience. Keep in mind that consistency is key. Whether you’re sending once a day or once a week, make sure your subscribers know when to expect an email from you. Otherwise, if it gets too sporadic, they will forget about you and why they should care — and will just stop opening.
Start with these five tips for improving open rates and we’re confident your email open rates will increase.
If you want more help improving your email open rates, reach out. We’ll work with you to diagnose the problem and provide solutions for you to get more out of your email marketing efforts. We have years of experience with optimizing emails and will be with you every step of the way.