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How to Increase Your Email Open Rate In 3 Easy Steps

How to Increase Your Email Open Rate In 3 Easy Steps

For brands looking for an inbound marketing tool that generates significant results at an affordable cost, email is the way to go. As our friends at BluLeadz recently pointed out, email marketing generates more sales per dollar spent than many other digital marketing avenues, including display advertising or pay-per-click search engine marketing.

The secret to successful inbound marketing is there in the name- it’s all about getting your potential customers to come to you. It makes sense that one of the best ways to reach this audience is in their inboxes, which are always active and available on desktops or mobile devices, day or night.

With that said, an email newsletter or offer that isn’t generating engagement or clicks through to your website could actually be doing more harm for your brand than good. The first step in getting your email marketing to generate real value – in the form of fresh leads and even closed sales – is to get people to open your emails in the first place.

Here are a few things to keep in mind if you’re trying to boost your email open rates:

1.) Actively Maintain Your Recipient List

Proactively maintaining and servicing your email marketing lists is one of the most important steps you can take toward ensuring that your open rates remain high and steady. Here are a few proven ways to optimize your lists:

Segment and Target Your Lists
A “one-size-fits-all” email marketing campaign may have flown a few years ago, but today’s audiences expect personalization. Creatively segmenting and targeting your audience based around their buying habits or interests can lead to a massive increase in opens, as you’re more likely to be providing each segment of your audience with the content or deals that matter most to them.

Keep Your Lists Current
Churn is completely natural when it comes to email marketing, and it’s important that you keep up with the individuals opting in and out of your emails. It could help to regularly cull your list of those subscribers who haven’t opened or engaged with an email in months or years; if you don’t remove them entirely, it may at least help to mark these users as inactive. You’ll also want to regularly experiment with your campaign as your audience changes; sending emails at different times or switching up your frequency could deliver a big change to your open rates.

2.) Create Content with Real Value

The more an audience trusts that your content will be relevant, informative, interesting, or financially beneficial to them, the more likely they will be to open your emails. The best way to build up this trust is to provide high quality content with every single email.

This can take many forms – in addition to compelling, well-written blog posts, you may want to experiment with adding photos, videos, GIFs, or infographics directly into the body of your email. And take care to really provide value and entertain your audience; don’t focus on clinching the sale in the body of your email, but, instead, developing affection, interest, and trust with your readers.

Encourage them to keep coming back for more, and you will see an increase in open rates – and, subsequently, conversions – down the line.

3.) Write Subject Lines People Will Care About

While we’re all taught in kindergarten to never judge a book by its cover, the reality is that most email users are judging your emails by their outer appearance – their subject lines.

Revamping your approach to your subject lines is one of the most effective ways to immediately create a difference in your open rates. Here are a few ideas to craft subject lines that your audience will actually want to click:

Engage Your Audience’s Emotions
“Who,” “What,” “When,” “Where,” and “Why” are the keystones to a successful headline; these words create wonder and intrigue in the minds of your audience members, encouraging them to click on for more.

Keep It Clear
One study found that a clear subject line gets 541% more clicks than one that’s overly clever.

Avoid “Spam” Words
There are a number of words that should never appear in your subject lines, as they not only turn off readers, but also tend to trigger email service providers to relegate your submission to the spam folder. Some common words to avoid include: “reminder,” “urgent,” “percent off,” “collect,” and “help.”

Have any more questions about email marketing? Looking to begin a content marketing campaign for your business and not sure where to start? You’ve come to the right place! Drop Geek a line with any of your questions or concerns; our team of dedicated email junkies is here and always ready to help.

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Jason Finn

Founder & Chief Geek

Jason has nearly 20 years of consulting experience, predominantly in the technology space. Most recently he was the COO and Director of Technology for Rich Casto & Company, a national training and consulting organization in the real estate industry.
As a consultant for IBM, PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP, and Envision Consulting Group (now IMS Health), Jason has served clients of all sizes, including Big Pharma, Fortune 500, and Global 1000 companies:

  • Allstate Insurance Company
  • AOL (America Online)
  • Astellas Pharmaceuticals
  • Eli Lilly and Company
  • Ford Motor Credit
  • Wockhardt USA (formerly Morton Grove Pharmaceuticals)
  • Norwich Union
  • PNC Bank
  • Reynolds and Reynolds

Sarunas Budrikas

Creative Director

Sarunas is a web design and development expert with hundreds of successful projects in his portfolio. He is passionate about delivering extraordinary user experiences for every client and consistently goes above and beyond everyone’s expectations. As an SEO expert and strategist, he can optimize your website, or app, to get the most out of it, day in and day out. Sarunas holds a degree in Electrical Engineering from Kaunas Technology University, in Lithuania. Sarunas now lives in Chicago, and calls it home.

Alexandra Olsavsky

Client Experience Specialist

Alex specializes in content generation and social media promotion for Geek | Chicago clients, helping to solidify their presence in the online community. This includes blog writing, graphic design, co-ordination and design of weekly newsletters, and active engagement on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, and LinkedIn. Outside of Geek, Alex is a classically-trained soprano who professionally performs around the city of Chicago (most recently with the Chicago Baroque Band, and with the Rolling Stones for their "50 and Counting" tour).