Email Open Rates – 5 Things That Affect It
Certain factors do influence email open rates. If you ignore these 5 elements of email marketing your email open rates will stink!
1. No Triggered Emails
Emails triggered automatically based upon the action of your recipient have the highest email open rates. If you don’t use autoresponders to send triggered emails your open rates will be lower.
The latest report released from Epsilon continues to note that – triggered emails open rates are 50.4% higher than BAU (business as usual) emails in the final quarter of 2016.
Using triggered emails (i.e. autoresponders) to respond immediately to the requests of your prospects and customers is paramount to email success.
Have in place automated emails that instantly send –
* Purchase Receipts
* Welcome Emails
* Abandoned Cart Notices
* Thank You Notes
* Information Fulfillment Messages
These emails simply based on the recency of the request will get opened. When you put an enticing offer into these triggered, transactional messages your opened email gets acted upon.
The latest Epsilon report further noted that click-through rates on triggered emails also are better. They reported a 106.3% higher click-throughs on triggered emails vs BAU (business as usual) emails.
Again and again, studies show a major factor in why email open rates are poor is due to the recipient not recognising the sender.
If you’re constantly changing up your “From” email name and address people won’t recognise who you are and they’ll delete your email.
To increase your email open rates your recipients have to recognise you – the sender. To further improve your open rates, your subscribers need to trust you and know you’ll provide them good information or great deals or worthy entertainment.
To increase your open rates, improve your reputation. If you have a bad reputation because of the quality of the emails you send – CHANGE. Examine your emails to see if they’re –
* Overly sales-y
* Often misleading
* Inconsistent in quality
* Or produce any negative thoughts for any reason
A poor reputation equals deleted unopened emails.
On the other hand, if the sight of your consistent, recognisable “From” name and email address generates excitement and enthusiasm, your email will get opened.
Put effort into your email marketing message, take pride in the messages you send and your subscribers will embrace you!
3. Lousy Subject Lines
Subject lines play a major role in open rates. Dull and ho-hum subject lines that create no interest or suspense cause your email message to be left unread.
An outstanding subject line can intrigue individuals to open your message even if they don’t initially recognise who sent it. Be slightly controversial, use a question or make a really bold statement.
Take extra time when writing your subject lines and run tests to determine the most effective subject lines.
Use these subject line tactics to improve your email open rates:
The Experian Marketing Services’ 2016 Digital Marketer Report finds that emails with a personalised subject line had a 22% increase in email open rate vs a generic version. And a whopping 158% increase in click rate.
What data do you have stored about your subscribers?
* first name
* past purchases
* browsing interests
Include one or more pieces of personalised data information in your subject and you’ll really grab the attention of your recipients.
A personalised subject line might be – “Robert, Get Healthy Eating Tips for Dads in New York!”
Don’t let it stop at the header either. Carry on using personalization in the email body too. Make it personal, get it read.
– Clear Language
Let subscribers know exactly what they will get if they read your message. Create a clear statement of your message’s value as your subject line. Using gimmicky or click-bait headlines will have people unsubscribing if they do get past your subject line.
Shorter subject lines consistently perform better than longer subject lines. Place the most important verbiage at the start of your subject to ensure it is seen. You can almost think of your subject line as a tweet – you might have 140 characters, but try to get your message across in 80 to 100 letters to get it all in a mail client’s subject line.
4. Looks Like Spam
As your recipients glance through their inbox making decisions to open, delete or read later – they evaluate the “look” of each email.
These 5 elements help a recipient decide if your message “looks” like spam or if it’s worthy of being read:
– Good Subject Line
A good subject line will get your email opened. A spammy subject will get your email trashed. Avoid ALL CAPS, bad spelling/grammar/punctuation and/or tricks like including “Re:”. Weird charcters might get attention, but only if people happen to look through their spam box.
– Small Size
Keep your message small. A small size means a short email that a recipient can review quickly so it is more likely to be opened. Bigger messages, in turn, are less likely to be opened.
– No Attachments
Don’t include attachments in your emails as it makes your email much less likely to be opened. People are very concerned about viruses. Attachments carry viruses. Attachments also take extra time and bandwidth to download.
If you have to share a file, don’t email it as an attachment. Instead, use a link to your file in the email. Then use a file sharing service to host the file for others to access it.
– Use a Pre-header
The pre-header is the content that is in the very top line of your email message. This pre-header message frequently is displayed after a subject line when an email is viewed in the inbox. Your pre-header snippet offers you another opportunity to sell your subscriber on opening your message.
– Effective Preview pane
Many of your recipients will also see your email in a preview pane. The preview pane allows them to view a small section of the top of your email to help them to decide whether to open it. Use the preview pane to include more teaser copy that entices the recipient to open the email and read further.
– Responsive display
Emails are often read on mobile devices, which is another reason to be careful about the content. Too many graphics or a font that doesn’t re-size to the screen could mean your email being left until the user is on a laptop or desktop, or deleted and not read at all.
– Too Many Links
Two or three links going to the same place is OK, but if you have several links, all going to different destinations, again the email could end up in the spam box and never even be seen by your subscribers. Too many spam reports will also kill the deliverability reports as well as email open rates.
5. Poor Timing
While timing is less of a factor in influencing a recipient to open your message, it still plays a part. If you send your email at busy times, it’s less likely to be noticed.
Hartland Clark Digital recently reported that more emails are sent on Wednesday than any other day of the week and Saturday has the fewest emails sent. As a result, Wednesday has the lowest open rate while Saturday had the highest. You may have to investigate which days and at what time of day works best for your subscribers and customers to get the best email open rates.
Avoid making these 5 mistakes and you will improve your email open rates this year!