8 Clever Ways to Increase Your Open Rate

A popular question asked by Infusionsoft users is how to increase the open rates of their emails they send to customers and prospects. The answer is not very difficult but it will depend on the industry and the expectations when they opt in. Try the following tips to increase open rates in your email marketing campaigns.

Philosophically, we must think about what an “open” really means to us as marketers. You could surely increase open rates by sending a highly offensive message, but you’ll also raise your opt-out and spam complaints, too. You want to strike a balance between open rates, clicks and unsubscribes. If you have a 30% open rate, but a 1% click-through percentage, you probably want to improve the links people click on to become more relevant and attractive.

Nonetheless, say you have a 10% or higher click through percentage, but an open rate that’s 5%, you could benefit from these eight tips to improve your open rates. The best part is – all of these are easy and you're in full control to improve it.

Use a unique and personalized subject line. Consider using the recipient’s name or city when sending out an offer. This simple technique can increase your open rates because people are always curious about something that involves them. Don’t forget to keep them short and to the point; aim for 50 characters or less. Examples: “Special event in Phoenix” or “Joseph’s 20% discount”

Use a consistent ‘From’ address. The From Address is very powerful – don’t neglect to personalize it. If the message is from a person, say so. Be clear with who the email is from and make sure the email address is active and monitored by them. Often people reply to emails and you want to engage with this feedback. Examples: “Clate Mask, Infusionsoft” or “Infusionsoft Events”

Use an attractive email template. I’ve seen some emails people send out and trust me when I say they aren’t pretty. Consider using a clean and professional looking email template that matches your brand. Infusionsoft has their dead-simple Drag ‘n Drop Email Builder, so anyone can create slick email templates that match their brand. Examples: Infusionsoft’s Pitch the Switch and Conquer & Grow

Use a pre-header to support your message. A well-written, short message at the top of the email goes a long way. For some email readers, it will show the text right after the subject line. For everyone else, it’s the first thing they see when they read your email – especially if images are turned off. Examples: “As an Infusionsoft user, you’re receiving The Vault, our monthly newsletter” or “Exclusive discount for long-time customers.”

Ask your subscribers a question. Another way to solicit engagement is to simply ask them a question. This could be a random, off-the-cuff question about their needs or strategic based on a free report or guide they checked out previously. The more relevant and specific the question, the better response you’ll receive. Examples: “What do you think of the Email Marketing 2.0 report?” (… And direct them to a page to comment.)

Leverage multimedia that’s worth opening your message. A great way to increase open rates is to quit sending stale emails. What’s a stale email? Well, the same style and the same one they’ve been receiving for the past year. Mix it up and include a video in one, or a useful diagram in it. Perhaps, you might want to send a plain-text message occasionally. Examples: Videos, pictures or plain-text emails.

Segment and send tailored subject lines to recipients. Sending the message to the people who want your message is the number one way to boost open rates. Perhaps people opted in for a free report, so send a specific message connecting the concept of the free report to what you’re telling them today. Sending the same message to different groups with a slightly different subject line is a powerful way to keep the message personalized and worth opening. As much as this will help your open rates, it’ll educate you about your contacts even more. Example: Send a separate monthly customer and prospect newsletter with different types of information in each.

Send less, get more. Consider reducing the number of email messages you send. Don’t do it for the sake of a lower number, but do it because you know they get a ton of email everyday. Every email message you send should be meaningful and filled with value. The fewer number of emails you send your recipients, the more often they’ll open them. Respect your recipients’ time and they’ll honor yours. Example: Consider changing up a weekly email tip to a bi-weekly or monthly email message or let people confirm their interest for the next series of emails you’re making.

At the end of the day, it’s not open rates that are the cause of concern. Rather, it’s relevance and interest of your subscribers. This is called list fatigue, and it happens the more you email undesirable content to unsuspecting recipients. Many successful marketers send about 80% quality content and 20% sales. I’m willing to say that it’s a good idea to shift that to 95/5 because a long-term relationship via email is a profitable one.

It’s worthy to mention that all this is possible when you tap into the full power of your CRM and marketing automation suite. Use the data to help support decisions and leverage the data to send the right person the right information at the right time.

Implement these tips to see a worthwhile lift in open and click-through rates. I’m curious to hear of the before and after results. Let me know your results in the comments on your next email campaign.

Image credit: Steven Damron]

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Marc P Summers

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