10 Steps to Increase the Open Rate of Your Email Campaign
An email campaign can help you build a relationship with your current and prospective customers. For your campaign to be effective, the information you are sending out needs to be relevant to the recipient, and worth the read.
Spam filters and blacklists can prevent important messages from reaching potential customers, so it’s important to know how to create an email that will avoid these roadblocks, while also enticing readers to open and read what you’ve sent.
Here are 10 steps to creating an open-worthy email marketing campaign:
1. Send selectively. Before you create or send an email, you should have a list of people who people who have done business with you or given you authorization to contact them. To grow this list, be where your current and prospective customers are. Including a call-to-action that leads to a form on your website is an easy way to collect this information. Your social media profiles can also be valuable sources of this information through features like Facebook’s Call-to-Action Button on business pages. If your customers have made a purchase from you, give them the option to sign up for your emails during checkout. To learn more about the role of calls-to-action in building relationships with your customers, download our Inbound Marketing eBook.
2. Be human. People like getting email from other people. Sending messages from the email address of one of your staff members rather than a corporate email like email@example.com will make it more likely that your message will be opened. Also, use both the sender and the recipient’s names to add a personalized touch. In your content, try to personalize offers and other messaging to better appeal to the recipient. Knowing who you’re writing to by creating a buyer persona can help you better tailor this content. Our Customer Persona Checklist can help you get started.
3. Respect your contacts’ privacy. When surveyed, 86% of consumers said they prefer to receive promotional emails monthly. Considering the amount of email that the average person receives, following a regular schedule can keep your messages from being ignored and deleted, and will lead to a more successful campaign. If and when your messages are read is entirely up to your contact. Make sure they can easily unsubscribe from your list at any time they wish.
At Pulse, we value our newsletter subscribers’ privacy by confirming their subscription and allowing them to end it whenever they would like to. We include this information in the confirmation email sent to all new subscribers to our newsletter, which is shown below.
4. Write engaging subject lines. Your subject line is the first part of your message that your contacts see and should reflect the content it’s introducing. To catch your reader’s attention, use personable language that directs readers to a specific action without sounding too much like a sales pitch. When it comes to length, the shorter the better – especially if your message will be read on a mobile device. Ideally, you should keep your subject lines under 50 characters.
5. Be picture perfect. Including images in your email campaign provides an opportunity to showcase your products. Your contacts’ eyes will be drawn to the image more than the written copy of your email. Along with being relevant to the content of the message, these images should link to the product they contain on your website. To make your images mobile-friendly, reduce their sizes and include alt-tags so they can be identified if they don’t load properly.
6. Write to them. The content of your email should speak to the reader. Writing in second person (using words like “you” and “your”) can add a personal touch that helps explain what your product or service can do for your reader. This message should be followed by a clear call-to-action linking to a landing page on your website with the next steps for your prospects. To craft better email messages, check out our Content Writing Checklist.
7. Link up. Your email can serve as the door through which your prospects enter your website or social media profile. Make sure you include links to your website within your content in the form of calls-to-action, product images, or featured blog posts. For your social media profiles, include icons that link to their respective platforms.
Pulse’s newsletters are full of links to our blog, social media, and other marketing resources, as you can see in the screenshot below.
8. Go mobile. Over half of all emails are opened on mobile devices. Considering the variety of screen sizes that your message and website may be viewed on, you should use a responsive design that adjusts to these devices. If you don’t, your readers will not be able to view your content as intended. By optimizing your email and website for mobile, both your prospects and the search engines ranking your website will thank you.
9. Test it. Many email marketing services allow you to send test emails and make adjustments as needed. Before you send out your email, test it by sending it to a colleague to be reviewed for quality. To make sure it renders correctly, open the email on multiple devices. If your message does not load well or contains errors in spelling or grammar, your campaign will not be effective.
It’s also helpful to test emails using an A/B split. This is a simple exercise that helps determine what works in an email, and what doesn’t. To start, create two separate emails. For example, one could have a subject line that says “10% off your next project!” and another could say “Pulse is turning 7!” Use different elements in each and send the first email to half of your clients, and the second email to the other half. You can also do more than two emails, if you’d like. Make sure you monitor the open rate on each. This will help you decide what to incorporate in your emails next time.
10. Analyze it. Like any of your other marketing activities, your emails are a source of valuable data. This data can tell you who has opened your email, if they’ve followed any of the links in the message, and who has unsubscribed. Free online analytics programs can help you track this data and use it to inform your messaging and other strategies.
Creating an email campaign provides you with the opportunity to personalize your marketing in ways that no other method does. Taking advantage of the opportunity that email marketing presents allows you to build and maintain long-lasting relationships with your customers.