Did you know that email marketing drives more conversions than any other marketing channel? That’s including social media and search!
Even in 2017, when online trends seem to have a temporary lifespan, email marketing is still a major player in the game. Marketing through email can bring you a higher ROI, allows you to connect to users personally, and is more cost-effective than other marketing tools.
But it all depends on how many people actually open your email. If you send an email and no one opens it, you won’t get to reap the benefits.
Here’s how you can reap all of the benefits of your email marketing campaign.
21 Essential Tips to Improve Your Email Open Rates
Now that you’ve seen how essential an email marketing campaign can be for your digital marketing strategy, it’s time to perfect your technique.
Back in 2013, we provided some essential tips to improve email open rates. But digital marketing changes faster than you can blink. So it’s time for an update.
Here are the most effective tips for email marketing in 2017 that will improve your open rates right now!
Segment Your Email List
Make sure you’re sending your emails to a segmented list of targeted users who previously opted in to your newsletter or campaign. The more you create specific target groups, the more you can personalize the message and cater to specific buyer personas.
Personalization means higher conversions. Users respond better to content that relates directly to them, so they’ll be more likely to open your email if you include this.
Nail The Subject Line
This should be an obvious one. If the subject line is boring, no one’s going to care enough to open the email.
Great copy leads to great conversions. You already do this in your ad copy, blogs, and headlines, so make sure you’re also doing it for your emails.
Subject Line Length Doesn’t Matter
Many experts will tell you that the most effective subject line is between 41 and 50 characters. In fact, our original article mentioned this too.
But more recent studies have shown there isn’t actually a link between subject line length and email open rates. The content itself is more important.
Inform Readers What They’re Getting Into
When a user initially signs up for your email, give them a “thank you for signing up” email that gives them an idea of what’s in store. Tell them what kind of content you’ll be sending them, how often they’ll see it, and what they’ll get from it.
The more they’re prepared for your content, the more they’ll click to see it.
Don’t Neglect Your Preheader
Your preheader is the text that shows up under the subject line. It gives users a tiny peek at what’s inside the email.
Use your preheader to convince people to click. Avoid letting generic, standard content fall here. Instead, make it a “sneak peek” at what you’re offering inside.
Put Your CTA Near The Top
Ideally, you want to have your CTA in a location that’s easy to see before the user begins to scroll. Today’s users don’t have the attention span to read through an entire email.
So you need to make sure they will at least see your CTA before they leave. Place it near the top and keep it straight to the point.
Optimize For Mobile
You simply can’t forget about mobile in any email marketing campaign. Always make sure you’re optimized and everything looks like it should from mobile screens. Otherwise, you’re losing a big portion of your potential market.
Send it From a Real Person
Emails that come from generic company addresses, like firstname.lastname@example.org, are more likely to get tossed right away than ones that are addressed from a person. People need to connect with other people, not an object or a brand.
Send it from a real person’s email so it seems more personalized. So instead of email@example.com, it will be from YourName@yourcompany.com.
Personalize Your Content
Here’s another thing you can do to make your emails feel more personal. Always use your recipient’s name in the subject line greeting or in the email’s body content. This makes them feel more like it’s written to them.
Users are also likely to open it with their name in it because it catches their eye faster than the other emails crammed in their inbox.
Give Them Opt-Out Options
Don’t make it impossibly hard for your users to opt out of your email list if they want to. That deters them from coming back in the future and gives them a bad taste of your brand.
Let your users decide for themselves if they want to opt out, and if you can, give them control over what type of content they see and the frequency they get it at. This will skyrocket your user experience game and keep them interested in more content.
Don’t Overspend Your Welcome
It’s very important not to flood your users’ inboxes with frequent content. 65% of people who opt out of newsletters do so because they get too many.
Customers can get very annoyed if you send too many emails at once. This leads them to feel like you’re hassling them and they’ll be turned off from your brand.
If you’re sending a “daily digest” email, make sure they’re aware that they’re going to be getting daily emails from you so they know what to expect. The less annoyed they are, the more likely they’ll click.
Test, Monitor, Analyze, and Tweak
Always make sure you’re testing and tracking everything you do. How do your recipients behave? Testing is the only way to get the data to find out what worked and what didn’t.
Data drives results. Don’t ignore the data. Use it to your advantage and make adjustments when you can.
Always Include Social Share Buttons
People are more likely to click through when there are social share buttons. According to a study, emails that contain social share buttons get 158% more clicks! It’s super easy to add social share buttons, so always make sure you remember them.
Appeal to Urgency
It’s important to appeal emotionally to your customers. For email marketing campaigns, it’s a good choice to use words that express urgency in both the subject line and the preheader.
Some good urgency words are hurry, alert, fast, soon, limited time, now, today, and quick. Use these to make your customers think that they must act now before they miss out on something.
Don’t Overlook Formatting
How is your email designed? Is the formatting appealing to your users? If your email layout is too complicated or confusing, people won’t bother trying to read it.
Step back and look at your email from the consumer’s eye. Make sure your formatting makes your email easy to read and navigate.
Campaign Monitor did just that, and by re-designing their newsletter to a single-column format, they managed to increase their click through rates by 127%!
— VPDM Digital (@VPDMDigital) January 24, 2017
Use Buttons Wherever Possible
Buttons are the best way to encourage click-throughs without disrupting the content of your email. They are also great for putting multiple CTA’s in the email’s body.
This way, you increase your chances of click throughs and everything will still have a great user flow.
Timing is Everything
Even if you craft a beautiful, visually amazing email with the perfect CTA placement and the most appealing copy, if you send it at the wrong time, it’s worth nothing.
This is another area where you can use the information you collect from testing and analytics.
You also need to know your audience. Are you marketing to stay at home moms? Then send it during the late afternoon, when the children are at school or asleep and before dinner time when everyone’s home. Marketing to college students? Send your emails later at night.
At the same time, change up your sending time once in awhile so you don’t appear so automated.
Keep it Consistent
Brand consistency is important for email marketing because you need to keep your readers and potential customers familiar with your brand. The more familiar they are with you, the more trust they’ll have, which gives them more of an inclination to open your email.
Avoid the Dreaded Spam Filter
Any experienced email marketer will tell you that ending up in the spam filter is a campaign killer.
How do you avoid the spam filter? It’s as easy as this: don’t make your email look like spam.
Avoid the traditional features of spam emails: putting the subject line in all caps, limit the amount of links you use, make your email more personal, and avoid trigger words like “free” or “sale.”
You can also check with your email newsletter program to see if authentication is available. Some companies, like Gmail, provide this to ensure you are who you say you are.
Update Your Email List Frequently
It’s important to periodically go through your email list and double check the emails and names. If you see typos, or inactive subscribers, delete them. You’re just spending money to send your email to them when there’s no way they’ll see it.
This will also improve your open rates because they’re factored out of the list and won’t be included in your total.
Use Emojis Wisely
Marketing using emojis is a fun way to connect with your customers and audience. Using them in your emails will also help to grab your audience’s attention and make your newsletter stand out.
However, it’s important that you avoid overusing them or using them at the wrong time. With the right emoji strategy tips, you can create a fun email for users to read.
The Final Word
Email marketing has lasted since the early days of digital marketing, and it’s not going anywhere anytime soon.
More businesses than ever are using email marketing as a big part of their digital strategy. And you should be too!
These tips should help you get the most out of your time and effort.
At VPDM Digital Marketing, our email marketing campaigns are specially crafted to produce the best results. All of our strategies are data-driven, proven methods that get the click.
If you need some help with your digital marketing strategy, or need some advice about your SEO game, contact us to chat or request a quote.