Email Marketing Best Practices for Increased Open Rates

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Email marketing is all about delivering valuable content that customers want and will enjoy. When done right, the content keeps customers engaged with a brand and looking forward to the next email in their inbox.

However, the first step in delivering quality content is getting customers to open the email. At first glance, it may seem like the subject line is the only thing that influences open rates, but there is much more to it than that.

5 Tips to Increase Your Email Open Rates

Personalized Subject Lines

Hubspot reported that according to analysis across multiple industries, email subject lines that are personalized by including a name boost open rates by 10-14%. In addition to using personalized tools like merge tags to include the subscriber’s name, you can use casual language, share something personal, or use copy that implies a friendly relationship.

Some examples of personalized subject lines include:

  • “Are you free this Thursday?”
  • “Bob, have you seen this?”
  • “We think you’re going to love this”
  • “Happy Birthday Bob! Open for a gift from us”

Keep it Short

No one will take the time to read what you have to say if it’s in the format of an essay. If you make it a habit to send lengthy emails, your audience will come to expect this and either unsubscribe or ignore your emails.

Everyone’s inboxes are overflowing, which is why it’s important to deliver your message in a succinct format and with a clear call to action. Cut the fluff, cut out extra words, and be concise but not confusing.

300 words or less is the ideal word count to successfully deliver your message without taking up too much of your subscribers’ time.

Make it Mobile Friendly

If we had to take a guess, you’re one of the many people who check their email before even getting out of bed. According to Adestra, 62% of people check their email primarily on their smart phones. With this in mind, you should always design your emails to be mobile friendly.

To do so, follow these tips:

  • Keep the subject lines short – 3 -5 words is a good length
  • Use a minimum font size of 12 pt for body copy and a maximum headline size around 20 pt
  • Always include a call to action button or icon
  • Use a single-column ladder design that can easily be scaled down on phones

Check Your Frequency

  • How often are you sending?
  • Has this been consistent, or has it changed over time?
  • Have your open rates been impacted?
  • Have the number of unsubscribes changed over time?

After you answer these questions you will be able to determine if you should send more emails, less emails, or stay with your current schedule. If you’re still unsure or are just getting started with email marketing, try to send one email per week. Any less than that and your email list may become disengaged.

Time it Right

As the saying goes, timing is everything. Just like figuring out how often to send emails, you need to analyze your personal data to know when the best time to send an email is. It could be 2 PM on a Monday for one business but 11:30 AM on a Wednesday for another. The perfect time to send emails is the time that works for your audience.

If you need a place to start, Campaign Monitor analyzed over 30 billion emails sent globally between January and December 2019 and found that Tuesdays see the highest open rates. That being said, Saturday’s have the lowest open rate with 17.50% and Tuesdays have the highest with 18.30%, so the difference is less than 1.0%.

To start truly figuring out when the best time is, segment your list into 2 or 3 sections and send the same email on the same day but at different times. See which time had the highest open rate and go from there. Send your next email at that same time but on a different day and analyze those results. Keep going until you found a time that generates the results you want.

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