Despite rumors to the contrary, email marketing is still very much alive. Even though it comes with fears of spam and the short attention spans of busy consumers, emails remain one of the best ways to attract leads and convert them into paying customers.
In fact, according to Marketing Land (2014), email is the number one method used by small businesses to connect with their prospects.
Increasing open rates for your email marketing campaign means that more eyeballs see your content, go to your site, and make purchases. Here are a few tips for ensuring that your emails get read:
Fix your subject lines
Your subject line will either intrigue, or lead fingers straight to the “delete” button. There are several ways to make your subject line more compelling—
Pique their curiosity. Spammers have been using this tactic for years—the irresistible hook that gets you to explore further. You can do th same thing, only your hook will lead to valuable information that is relevant to the reader. Think “Top Ten Marketing Mistakes that are Killing your Business” versus "How to Market Your Business Online".
Make it urgent. Nothing inspires action quite like a sense of urgency. You don’t want to create panic, but you do want to create a sense that you’re offering time-sensitive information. A couple of examples would be “Time is Running Out…” or “Before you waste another hard-earned dollar…”.
Use controversy. Controversy is irresistible. Use it to compel action. A good example might be “Social Media is Going Down—Are you Prepared To Jump Ship?”
Target your audience
If your open rates aren’t as high as you’d like, check your sign up process. Are you targeting the right people? Achieving high open rate starts with qualified opt-ins. To attract your most interested buyers, research their needs and offer downloads that address them. Ebooks, white papers and free webinars are a good exchange for their contact information.
Get your timing right
Think about when your audience is most likely to be receptive to your emails. This refers to time of day, time of week and time of month. It takes some experimentation to see which times are most successful; try A/B testing to get the information you need.
Weed out the weak
Your email marketing service should allow you to analyze bounce rates, and separate “inactive” email addresses from “active” ones. This increases open rates and makes it easier for you to concentrate resources efficiently.
Gain a reputation for quality, authoritative content with your subscribers and your open rates will soar. It’s the best way to get your target market interested and keep them coming back for more.
So what is a good open rate? If you try these tips, you should see an improvement that that gets you closer to your specific business goals. But, if you’re wondering how you’re doing compared to other niche industries, check out this chart from MailChimp.
Whatever your goals, taking steps to improve your email marketing efforts will not only increase open rates, but make your email communications ones that people actually look forward to every day, week or month.