With people’s inboxes getting constantly bombarded with marketing emails, companies know that there’s a good chance most of their messages may end up in the trash folder without ever being opened. However, as email still generates the highest ROI of any marketing channel, it is vital to try and increase the number of those which get read. In this post, we are going to look at some tried and tested strategies to achieve this.
- Craft an engaging subject line
If someone’s got a long list of emails to look through, they are only going to open those that are either important or interesting. As marketing emails are seldom important, they have to pique the reader’s interest. As the subject line is the first thing they see, it’s crucial that the wording grabs attention. So, avoid generic lines like ‘Weekly Update’ or ‘Monthly Newsletter’ and opt, instead, for compelling phrases or click teasers. Personalising the subject line can also work wonders as it makes the recipient feel acknowledged.
- Make the content relevant
Not everything you want to email about will be of interest to every subscriber. If recipients keep getting emails that they aren’t interested in, they may eventually unsubscribe. Today, the best practice is to segment your email list into different audience groups and provide different content to each of them. This allows you to market relevant products or services to the right readers or adapt marketing strategies to suit different audience groups.
- Get the timing right
Sending emails at the right time has been proven to significantly influence opening rates. According to numerous studies, midweek days, specifically Tuesday and Wednesday, tend to be the best days for sending marketing emails as people have more time to browse them. Of course, the timing will also depend on the nature of your business and the demographics of your audience. If you market internationally, you should also keep in mind your recipients’ time zones.
- Optimise emails for mobile
With phone apps like Outlook and Gmail, gone are the days when everyone read emails on the computer. Just as it’s vital that your website is responsive, today, your emails need to be mobile-friendly too. If the format of your email looks odd or it’s too difficult to navigate or read, there’s a high chance it’ll be instantly deleted. To avoid this, keep your designs responsive, use larger fonts and test the email across different devices.
- Keep messages concise
While it can be tempting to share every little detail about a new product or offer, remember that in the digital age, our attention spans are limited. For this reason, use clear and concise language, make sure every word and image serves a purpose and if there’s more detail to discuss, add a link to your website and put it on a web page.
- Personalise content
Personalisation in the 2020s means much more than sticking the recipient’s name at the top of the email. It requires companies to make use of their customer data, analysing shopping histories, browsing habits, personal preferences and past interactions to create content and craft messages that resonate more deeply with individual recipients. Doing this transforms the email from a generic marketing message into something that feels tailor-made for the reader.
- Use engaging images
An email which contains nothing but written text can be dreary to look at, putting many recipients off reading it altogether. Instead, aim to make your marketing emails visually appealing by adding high-quality, interesting and relevant images. In fact, you don’t need to stop there, you can also add GIFs, short videos and infographics to make your message even more engaging.
Don’t forget other design elements too. Use headings, background colours, different coloured fonts and white space to break up the page and make important elements stand out. Just make sure these are coordinated and have a polished finish.
- Data and A/B testing
Lastly, but importantly, keep an eye on your data. Many email marketing platforms and plugins track your opening rates, letting you know how many of your emails have been read by your recipients. By conducting A/B testing, you’ll be able to send out two versions of your emails and thus find out which one is most successful when it comes to being opened. Continually carrying out these tests will eventually help you find the right format, layout, colour schemes and wording that inspire your audience to open and read your emails.
Success in email marketing requires patience, creativity and a lot of trial and error. Hopefully, by implementing the strategies above, you’ll be able to increase opening rates, improve engagement and achieve better results.
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