5 ways to get more readers to open your e-mails
As you saw last week, where we had the honor of writing a guest blog on PR in your Pajamas. We’re happy to share with you our latest in guest blog posts on SBT, with guest blogger Sreeram Sreenivasan, founder of Ubiq If email marketing is your bag (if it isn’t, why the hell not??), head on over to PR in Your Pajamas for lessons learned from 1000+ mailchimp campaigns. -Nate
You work hard to publish great content, build a list of subscribers and create an awesome template for your newsletter. But what’s the point of it all if nobody reads it?
Here are 5 ways to ensure most people open your E-mails.
Provide short & relevant subject lines
Subject line is the most important factor that determines whether an email is opened or not. About 33% of emails are opened based on subject line alone. With so many emails competing for reader’s attention, it is necessary to craft a concise, relevant and interesting subject line. If your subject line is too long then many email services show only the initial part of your subject and truncate the rest. This is applicable even for mobile phones so test how your subject lines appear on them before mailing your newsletter.
Personalize the subject line to boost email open rates. Among all the emails in your inbox, imagine seeing your name in the subject of an email. It stands out, doesn’t it? Subject lines that contain the first name of your reader perform better than the ones without.
Try A/B Testing to determine which subject lines provide the best open rates. There are many email software like Yesware, Toutapp, Mailchimp, etc. that allow you to measure open rates for emails and pick the most suitable subject line.
Avoid spam keywords
Almost every email service has spam filters that look for specific words and phrases in your email content to ensure you’re not sending spam. There are plenty of online email spam checkers you can use to test if your email content will be flagged as spam. I use Contactology’s Email Spam Checker to check my email content before sending it.
On a similar note, Gmail classifies emails into multiple Inbox tabs (like Primary, Promotions, Updates, Forums, etc.). Gmail users mostly use the Primary tab for their day-to-day emails. Sometimes, newsletters land in Promotions tab and get lost in the clutter of promotional emails. You need to make sure your email is listed in the ‘Primary’ folder of Gmail. Else it may remain unopened.
Use Real Name & Email
Would you rather get an email from ‘Company ABC’s Newsletter’ or a person named ‘Tom Collins’? People use email to communicate with real people. Use your own name in the ‘From’ field instead of using your company name. Similarly, if the ‘From’ email address is [email protected] or [email protected], there is a good chance your email won’t be opened. Instead, use your real email address like [email protected]. Real names and email addresses tell people that you value the relationship with your readers and that they are not just email addresses in your list of subscribers.
Send emails at appropriate time
Sending e-mails on the wrong day or at an inappropriate time can negatively affect open rates. Monday’s are considered the worst day to send emails as everyone is buried in their work emails, after the weekend. Anything that is not urgent is most likely to be deleted. Most e-mail marketing studies support that Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday provide better open rates as compared to other days of the week. Online activity is low on weekends as people try to get away from work and relax a bit. Also, avoid sending emails on holidays, unless your content is actually relevant (e.g., 5 places to visit this holiday season).
E-mail marketers use the thumb rule of sending out email campaigns in the middle of the week and in the middle of the day (1-3pm) as people go through their inbox after lunch. I’ve also found 5-6pm time slot to have good open rates probably because people check their mails before leaving office, or on their phones while travelling from work.
Segment your email list
If you don’t know your readers then you won’t know what they’re interested in reading. If you can’t group them based on interests, location and other factors, you won’t be able to write subject line that is relevant to them. This will affect your open rates.
You can segment your email list by location, language, age, gender and past purchase behavior. If you don’t have this information available, then you can ask your readers what they are interested in, through an online survey or in your welcome email.
If your open rates are suffering, your reader either isn’t interested in your content or doesn’t know you. You can avoid this by effectively segmenting your subscriber lists, based on personal or purchase data. Sending targeted emails in a timely manner will increase their relevance. Coupled with a stellar subject line, it is bound to make more people open your emails.