Inject Some Bling Into Your Email Open Rate

Cara Peppers Blog, Content and Creative

In the world of 7-second elevator pitches, e-mail marketing has some stiff competition. It’s not enough to grab customer attention, you have to keep it. You have to persuade customers to take action, and the only way you can do that is by getting them to open and read your messages. Unfortunately, the average open rate for marketing e-mail hovers around 27%. Try these proven methods for putting some bling into your e-mail open rate.

Strategy 1: Create a Sense of Urgency and Potential Loss.
It’s called loss aversion, an economic theory that suggests people prefer to avoid loss over achieving gains, even if the outcome is the same. Creative copy, specifically in the subject line, is a primary component of loss aversion. So is creating a sense of urgency. For example, tweak “Save 20% Now!” to “Don’t Miss Out! Last Chance to Save 20% Before the Sale Ends at Midnight!” Suggesting that supply is limited is another way to encourage customers to open your e-mail. Your approach should be professional and respectful, not threatening. Subject lines that read, “You’re A Loser If …” won’t earn you any conversions. Your goal is to get people to open, read and act upon your e-mail. Do this by providing fresh and relevant content.

Strategy 2: Offer a Choice.
Most consumers find unsolicited e-mails annoying. Marketing research shows that open rates go through the roof, nearly tripling, when customers are given the chance to opt into a distribution list. Using the double opt-in option ensures that it is 100% ok with customers to send them marketing e-mails. The bonus is that your e-mails are reaching people who want them (aka quality leads).

Strategy 3: Lose the Dead Weight.
Get inactive subscribers off of your distribution list ASAP. They crush your open rate. If someone hasn’t opened one of your messages for awhile, he either just isn’t interested or he has abandoned that account. Also, update your list of unsubscribes daily. When a customer submits an unsubscribe request, remove his name immediately. Likewise, if your e-mails get reported as spam, remove those addresses now rather than later. You will be amazed at how some light housekeeping can impact your open rate.

Strategy 4: Timing Matters.
E-mail scheduling make it easy to “set and forget” your e-mail messages. But being completely hands-off can negatively affect your open rate if you’re sending them during times when no one reads them. Early morning or late night e-mails have the tendency to get lost in the morning rush or put off until later. Both scenarios lead to your e-mail getting dog piled by other e-mails and eventually deleted without ever being opened. Dig into your data to determine when the majority of your recipients are checking their e-mail. Your timing will never be perfect, but a little testing and some trial-and-error will get you pretty close.

E-mail marketing continues to have incredible value because it’s a form of communication used by consumers every day. So, if your open rate is languishing at the 27% mark – or declining – it’s not your marketing method. It’s how you are managing that marketing method. Try these tips and enjoy watching your open rate jump.

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Cara Peppers

Cara Peppers