How to Improve Your Email Open Rating

E-mail marketing has for any business with an online store. According to Custora’s report , about 18% of e-commerce store purchases come from e-mail. Organic search and paid search ads perform slightly better than email when it comes to sales, but email still works better than other sales channels like social media and affiliate programs.

Chart of e-Commerce orders by marketing channel
Email marketing drives more orders than affiliate marketing and social media.

Plus, you can increase your return on investment with an appropriate email strategy. According to Campaign Monitor’s report , email marketing can provide a return on investment of $44 per dollar spent. This ROI number has been steadily increasing over the past three years.

Chart for email marketing ROI
The ROI of email marketing is on the rise.

For the above reasons, online businesses need to maximize their sales potential through e-mail. The first step in doing this is for people to actually have their email open. This is measured by your email open rate.

In this article, we look at a quick strategy on how to increase the open rate of your email marketing campaign. First, let’s look at how to set an email open rate target based on industry benchmarks.

The open rate tells you the percentage of subscribers who have opened an email. This means that if your new e-commerce store has 50 email subscribers if you open an email that only sends 5 people, that email has an open rate of 10%.

For small businesses that run online stores and send out email promotions on a regular basis, this is a good indicator of how many leads are actually engaging in marketing campaigns.

Also Read: Email Error

What is a good email newsletter open rate for your business
What percentage of email newsletters should you aim for? ( Graphic source )

What’s a good email newsletter open rate for your business? It’s easy to see how good your email open rates are compared to other businesses in your industry.

Most email marketing software companies disclose data that they can use to verify what they have done against industry benchmarks. Here is the link to the report.

  • Mailchimp provides a benchmark report that tells you the average open rate by industry and company size . For companies with 1 to 10 employees, the average open rate is 21.53%.
  • Campaign Monitor reports email open rates dropping to 20-40% in most industries .
  • Constant Contact lists average industry percentages and categorizes them by device. This can be a useful benchmark if your customers use different devices to read their emails .

Note open rates are not set in stone. As they send different emails, and mailing lists grow larger, the number of changes varies across the board.

If you’re already running an email campaign, understand what your average open rate is before applying the tips below. Looking at the open interest rates across different campaigns, you can see what the average interest rate is. Then, after applying some of the tips below, you can see if it’s affected. If you haven’t run an email campaign yet, apply the tips below to get you started with an optimized strategy.

Let’s look at how to increase the open rate of email marketing. Using and testing the following techniques will help you optimize your open rates, even if you are new to email marketing.

The email’s “From” name is the name your subscribers see when they receive emails from you. It is best to use a name that the user has already identified by the brand (business name or person’s name). According to Litmus and Fluent research, the main reason people open emails is because of the recognizable sender name. This is a great way to speed up opening emails.

Statistics on what makes people decide to open an email
The sender’s name or name helps the user decide whether to open the e-mail.

Most businesses use the business name by default, this option works if you remember that subscribers have signed up for the business mailing list. To look more familiar, use the caller’s name and business name. The following example does this.

Examples of sender names
In addition to following the example above, you can only use your business name as the sender name.

However, if your brand is a personal brand closely known to you, it’s best to stick to your name, not your business. Ultimately, you need to test your subscriber’s approach to see what names the subscriber can trust.

E-mail marketing can often require a lot of creativity, but headings aren’t suitable, especially for copies and designs.

MailChimp’s research shows that simple, straightforward subject lines are among the people with the highest open rates. Marketing Seller Sherpa ‘s series of title line experiments showed similar results, with clear and clear title lines consistently outpacing creative writing.

Subject line experiment results
Immediate subject lines tend to outperform creative writing.

Review the following guide for additional tips on how to write tempting titles.

    How To Write A Great Title Line For Your Marketing Email
    David Masters

Another thing you can test is to use uppercase letters in the title. According to Yesware , most emails are sent in the case of plain text. However, using a title case instead can increase your open rates as well as increase your responsiveness.

Chart showing open rates for subject lines in title case sentence case and lower case
The subject line of the title can increase the disclosure rate by roughly 4%.

For titles, just like the titles of movies or books, capitalize the first letter of each word in the phrase. In general, the only words that shouldn’t be capitalized are articles, conjunctions, or short prepositions. The following example shows the subject line highlighted in yellow when the subject is in uppercase.

Examples of title case in email subject lines

If you’re used to capitalizing your sentences, next time you take a split test to see if changing cases affect your disclosure rate. This will give you the standard criteria to use the next time you send your marketing email.

When writing the subject line, especially if you are sending an offer or invitation, emphasize the timeliness of the email content. Emphasizing the time-sensitive urgency will speed up opening emails quickly. The following subject line examples all have a timeliness element highlighted in yellow.

Examples of timely subject lines
Adding deadlines and words like “breaking” or “urgent” can give your email an immediate flair.

Why is it important to add titles in a timely manner? According to data from HubSpot, emails with’tomorrow’ in the subject have a 10% higher disclosure rate. You can use words such as “daily” or “weekly” to quote open rates. You can also use the word “warning” to immediately emphasize your last name, which can result in an increase of 61.8%. MailChimp’s study made a similar finding that revealed that time-sensitive words tend to increase open rates.

Using time sensitive words helps increase email open rates
Using time-sensitive words will speed up opening emails.

Don’t forget to optimize the preview text except for the “From” name and title. Also known as pre-header text, this text preview is displayed as a preview when users view their inbox.

Examples of pre-header text
The preview text for each email is highlighted in yellow. They often continue the subject line, show off special offers, or include personalization.

Deliberately select the preview text. This is because subscribers can use e-mail to determine relevance. Testing different types of preview text will tell you what works best to entice your subscribers to open your email. A case study from Marketing Experiments found that the newsletter was able to increase email openings by up to 30% by testing the preview text.

There are no strict rules on what should be included in the preview text, but you can test the following types of copies and see which ones increase your open rates.

  • Brief summary of the email body
  • Personalization by adding subscriber’s name or location (see Sally Beauty example above)
  • Additional Sales Copy
  • Coupon code and regular coupon
  • Subject line continuation (see example in Express)

The amount of text a subscriber sees in the preview depends on the email client being used. Litmus, an email testing service, provides a simple guide on how much preview text you can see depending on your email client . You can check your email marketing statistics to see which software and devices your subscribers use and use them as a guide. The general rule of thumb should not exceed 40 characters.

Make your subscribers feel they’re sending content to suit their needs, not bulk mail. This is because a bit of personalization can go towards improving the speed of opening emails.

Research by Experian Marketing Services suggests that simply adding the recipient’s name to the email subject line can lead to higher open rates than industry benchmarks. On average, the open rate increase can reach 29%, but the results are largely dependent on the industry. Revenue per email also increased by 73%.

Email open rate lifts as a result of personalization
Most industries benefit from customizing email subject lines.

However, there is no need to limit personalization to the subject line. You can also add the subscriber’s name to the copy of the email body. In the example of a workshop, a newsletter for freelancers, not only emailing the subscriber’s name by email, but also making the content look more personal and specific to the reader, as the body copy begins in the second person.

Example of personalized body copy

Don’t personalize the pre-header text. In the example below, in the cosmetic company Sally Beauty, subscribers can see their name in an email preview. This seems like the offer is specially presented to the reader.

Example of personalized pre-header text
Without a personalized pre-header, the email above looks like another generic offer.

In addition to testing and optimizing elements of the email itself, you can work on how often you send it. After all, I don’t want to turn off subscribers by sending emails too often. You can cancel your subscription or even worse, report it as spam. You don’t want to send it infrequently because subscribers forget your business.

The key is to find the “sweet spot”. This may vary by business, industry and customer. However, you can have a good starting point by spending every week. According to a survey by Marketing Sherpa, 86% of consumers want to receive promotional emails every month and 60% want to receive it every week. However, less than 10% want to receive emails twice a week, and only about 15% want to receive them every day. That said, if you start by sending them weekly, you don’t have a high risk of delaying your subscribers.

Bar chart of email frequency preference

You can also use email marketing software to segment users based on their email frequency preferences. When a subscriber fills out the sign-up form, we ask the subscriber how often to receive emails. Use the response as a guideline for how often each segment is emailed.

The welcome email is usually the first email sent to a subscriber, and after verifying the email address, it is added to the list. Often the titles contain the words “Welcome” or “Thanks for joining”.

The main purpose of welcome emails is to add personal contacts, so we often don’t think of them as transactional. In fact, a welcome email is one of the most valuable emails your business can send.

According to a study by Experian Marketing Services, welcome emails represent four times higher open rates compared to promotional emails. The open rate is better than the industry benchmark. More importantly, these openings lead to real deals: the average revenue of welcome emails is more than 8 times higher than regular promotional emails.

Chart of open rates of welcome emails vs promotional emails
Welcome emails have four times the opening rate of regular promotional emails.
By encouraging purchases, you can make the most of the high open rate of welcome messages. The example below from the online organic food store Thrive Market offers a 15% welcome discount with free shipping.
Example of a welcome email
This welcome email example invites readers to “Shop Now” as a discount

Have you tried opening the email on your phone or tablet and it did not load properly? You don’t want the same to happen to you.

If you want all subscribers to see the preview text and email body, the template must be optimized for mobile devices. According to Litmus, mobile opens accounts with 56% email open. This means that customers are more likely to see their email on their mobile device rather than their desktop.

Litmus mobile open rates, compared to desktop and webmail. If you don’t devise your email with your phone in mind, it can always seem “broken” when your subscribers open an email. Then you can open your e-mail regularly. Please make sure you currently support mobile properly. This greatly improves the visibility of emails that are not currently targeted.

For off-the-shelf solutions, try mobile-friendly email templates like Carma or Ecom. Both templates are compatible with most major email marketing software such as, MailChimp and Campaign Monitor. Or use an all-in-one Email Marketing Platform like PosterMyWall which has free mobile-friendly customizable email templates that you can edit and send directly from the platform.

Litmus mobile open rates chart compared to desktop and webmail
Litmus mobile open rates, compared to desktop and webmail.

If you don’t devise your email with your phone in mind, it can always seem “broken” when your subscribers open an email. Then you can open your e-mail regularly. Please make sure you currently support mobile properly. This greatly improves the visibility of emails that are not currently targeted.

For off-the-shelf solutions, try mobile-friendly email templates like Carma or Ecom . Both templates are compatible with most major email marketing software such as MailChimp and Campaign Monitor.

Mobile-friendly email template Ecom
Mobile friendly email template Ecom.

Search ThemeForest’s professional email marketing templates to find the right one for your business. Or start with the best curation choices.

    20 Email Response Templates-For Your Next Marketing Campaign
    Marc Schenker

Finally, your open rates can also be affected by how you categorize your list during an email campaign. In general, do you send the same email to all subscribers, or do you make small changes based on criteria like location or purchase history?

If you’ve never broken down your email campaign before, it’s best to start testing now. MailChimp’s data shows that segmented email campaigns have a 14% higher open rate than non-segmented campaigns.

There are different types of list segmentation strategies that you can try in your next campaign.

  • By location, region or city
  • Until the subscription date
  • Depending on whether you are a paying customer
  • According to the frequency of purchase
  • Subscriber engagement (how often you open, click or forward an email)
  • According to other buyer persona

Remember, you don’t need to do one type of segmentation for your entire email marketing effort. For example, after sending an email campaign categorized by location, you can break down by purchase frequency in the next campaign. This test can help you understand how a subgroup of customers reacts to your email.

If you’re new to trying to optimize your email marketing efforts, the options can seem overwhelming. Improve your open rates first. That way, customers can try opening the email in the first place.

There are 10 tips in this guide, but you don’t have to use them all at the same time. All you have to do is test one of the above techniques. If it works, keep using it. If not, test the next applicable technique. Over time, you will most likely reach an open rate indicating that your subscribers will want to hear about your business.

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