That’s great, you might think, but do they act on the call-to-action once they’ve been opened? The one thing to keep in mind when measuring success is not just the number of opened emails, but the number of opened emails that then result in some kind of action: a sale or a lead.
In this post, we’ll share a few tips that’ll help you open your mind to new and exciting ways to get your customers to open, and act on, your emails.
Start as you mean to go on
When you meet someone new for the first time, it’s natural to introduce yourself. And the concept should be exactly the same when it comes to sending a first-time email.
Tell your customer or lead why you’re contacting them in a welcome email – for instance, they could’ve signed up to your newsletter on your website or joined your list as part of a social media competition. Set the expectations of your relationship, like letting them know how often they can expect to hear from you or telling them the kind of content they’ll receive from you. The more you put them in the picture, and the more information you give them about yourself, the more likely they are to open any future correspondence from you.
Keep it fresh
People’s tastes and preferences change over time. That’s why it’s essential you keep your mailing list as fresh as possible. You can do this by simply asking your subscribers if they still want to hear from you, or by checking in and seeing what they’d be interested in receiving via a survey.
If not, try a re-engagement program based on what you know about your contacts. You could either use the insight you have on your customers to create super-relevant content, or attempt something a little more explicit like a ‘We miss you’ email with accompanying offer. You can also use more creative and imaginative subject lines to pique interest – sometimes wacky and unexpected will alter people’s perceptions of your brand.
But if all this fails, simply (and politely) go your separate ways.
Make your subject line STAND OUT
A creative, funny, interesting, relevant, timely or personalized subject line can really help to boost your open rates.
Bland, generic ones are likely to block your chances – so make sure you put as much effort into crafting your subject line as you do your email body copy.
Use A/B testing to your advantage – record the results; keep sending the ones that work and stop sending the ones that don’t!
Segment your list
Every one of your customers has different needs, tastes and desires. Communicate with them accordingly by creating meaningful segments and tailoring your content so that it has resonance with each set of contacts.
Age, gender, location, past orders, behavioral data: these kinds of insight are invaluable in helping to guide you as to who should receive what content. Remember, the days of ‘batch and blast’ mailing are long gone – the more personal you are with people in your emails, the more likely they are to open and act on your messages.
Another way to improve your open rates is to avoid your emails being labelled as spam. Every time an email is marked as spam, you’re at risk of harming your sender reputation.
Firstly, you’ll want to make sure your email makes it to the inbox by using a spam checker. dotdigital’s Engagement Cloud spam test gives your email a spam filter score and alerts you when it’s in danger of triggering inbox spam filters. This ensures that your IP reputation remains as clean as possible by providing you with a detailed breakdown of how your content and code scores against all the key spam filters in use.
Secondly, make it clear that the email is from a recognized sender. If it’s not obvious that it’s from you – i.e. you don’t have a friendly ‘from’ name or the email isn’t branded – then the recipient could mistake your email as spam.
Timing is everything
Open rates very much depend on timing. Day or night? Weekday or weekend? Season? It can be difficult to gauge, particularly when one person might consume your content during their morning commute and another might check emails intermittently throughout the day. One way is to test sending your emails at different times and see which garners the best overall response.
Another is to use dotdigital’s Engagement Cloud Send Time Optimization tool, which will optimize the time of individual sends to maximize open rates based on your contacts’ historical behavior.
Don’t be content with just standard content
If your recipient thinks they’re going to benefit in some way shape or form from opening your email, they will. You have to reward them for doing so. There has to be some value, financial or otherwise, in every email you send.
Discounts, loyalty points, exclusive previews, limited-time offers, video, tips, blogs….so whatever kind of content you provide, make sure it benefits the recipient.
Subscribe to a clear unsubscribe button
As painful as it might seem, some customers will want to separate from you.
To show that you’ve nothing to hide, don’t hide your unsubscribe button. Make it clear and accessible. If people see you’re being honest and fair, the more likely they are to trust you in the first place.
By using all the tools at your disposal – such as a spam filter – and making sure you’ve upped the relevancy of your emails, you’re much more likely to reach people’s inboxes and achieve the desired responses.
See many more marketing tips in our regularly updated resources library.