Increasing Open Rates: Magic or Method?
Excitement over email marketing tends to increase as your list grows. You can’t help but feel proud of your work as you add 5,10, 50, 100+ subscribers each week. These milestones build confidence in your abilities as a content marketer. It’s time to take the next step on your journey and attend an event to network with fellow content marketers, bloggers and online entrepreneurs.
At the event, everyone’s buzzing around, comparing best practices for all aspects of email marketing. Engaged in an intriguing roundtable discussion, about delivery metrics and list growth, a fellow networker congratulates you on your success and asks “What’s your open rate?“
Suddenly, your excitement dips. Open rate? “I’m not even sure I know what an open rate is, let alone what mine is,” you think to yourself. You toss out a number that would seem appropriate (half? 30%? anything that sounds strong) then switch subjects so the focus isn’t on you anymore.
During the next break, you sneak off with your laptop to do some digging. After a bit of clicking, you find it – 8%. “8%?! That’s much lower than the numbers everyone else was mentioning!” Your excitement over the success of your email marketing starts to plummet as you realize you’ve grown a large list of people who don’t seem to be interested in opening your emails!
This can be extremely frustrating, however, do not despair–there are simple things you can do to help increase your open rate, and you can start with your very next email.
What is an open rate?
An open rate is the percentage of subscribers, of the total number of subscribers, who opened your email. Open rates vary, but a good number to aim for is about 20%, the industry average. Deal sites and coupon bloggers see a lower average open rate, closer to 13-14%, while highly targeted mailing lists with a specific niche can see significantly higher rates.
Your open rate is a marker of your overall email engagement success. If a subscriber isn’t opening the email, they certainly are not going to click your call to action (CTA), forward the email to a friend, or share the content on social media. You may not hit the highest open rate with each email, but by adjusting your approach with just a few tweaks, you can gradually increase your open rate and maintain a steady average.
How to Increase Your Open Rate
- Focus on your subject line. You can send the best content in the world and watch your email fall flat due to a poorly chosen subject line. When it comes to your subject line, keep it short, simple, and intriguing. Skip the emojis, the extra punctuation, spammy sounding phrases, and unnecessary words. 56% of emails are opened on mobile devices–that means you have 35 characters to make your subject line count! When your subject line looks appealing, subscribers are much more inclined to open and see what’s inside. Do a little research before hitting send, ask coworkers, friends, even family if they would open your email.
Bonus Tip: Work with your FeedBlitz Insights to see which of your previous subject lines resulted in the most opens. This can be a key indicator to what’s most effective with your subscribers.
- Find the right time to hit send. If you’re hitting send when an industry blog post told you to, stop that right now. What may work for one content marketer or blogger may not work well with your subscribers. Think about your audience, your target personas — when would they most likely check their email? Try changing the time, day, or even the frequency of your email for at least three mailings to see if it has any impact on your open rate. If that doesn’t help, try another day/time combination. Cycle through a few experiments and then send on the combination that offered the highest average open rate. Don’t forget to pay attention to the calendar and note any holidays or current events that can affect your testing.
Send something worth reading. When you send quality, engaging, value-filled content in your emails, and do so consistently, subscribers are more likely to be interested in what you have to say. Your first line alone can determine whether a subscriber will open your email or not as FeedBlitz uses this line as the content preview on mobile devices.
Along with automated blog content, consider offering exclusive updates to your email list. More than discounts or deals, send insider tips or personalized letters to show there is a benefit to being on the email list. This mixes up the content they’re receiving, while increasing interest and engagement.
Bonus Tip: P.S. – Embrace the power of the postscript! Let your email readers know what to expect in the next email so, they’ll be on the lookout for your next tidbit of content.
- Target the emails you send. Not every piece of content will relate to all of your subscribers. Work with custom fields to tag your subscribers with their level of interest, skill, even where they live and you’ll then be able to segment your mailings, sending relevant content to those who are most interested. Brainstorm 3-5 ways you can segment your subscribers and experiment sending specific content to each group. Interested subscribers are more likely to open your emails, every time.
It’s not magic, it’s a method!
As you can see, increasing your open rate isn’t magic. It’s a process. You choose and test strategies to find what works best for your audience. At your next conference, you’ll feel confident knowing your list is growing, your content is a success and your open rate is in check, being steady and healthy or gradually increasing!
Which tip will you use to increase your open rate on your next email? Let us know via email, we always enjoy hearing from our readers!
If you have any questions when it comes to email marketing, send our team an email at email@example.com. You can also chat, check out our Help Forum, or give us a call at 1.877.692.5489. Our Support and Sales Desk is available Monday – Friday from 9 am to 5 pm EST.