In an overcrowded inbox, jostling for attention, how to get your emails opened? Follow best practices, stand out, and get noticed! But that is easier said than done. Even if you are already following all the best practices applicable to email marketing, chances are that your open rate is not as high as you would want it to be.
The email open rate is a great metric to check when you are measuring the success of your campaign. Finally, it is the clickthrough rate (CTR) that matters, but the CTR depends on your open rate. The more people that open your email the better the chance of them clicking on links. So that brings us back to the question, how to get your emails opened by your subscribers? Before we get to that part, let’s find out what is an email open rate and what the industry standards are.
What Is an Email Open Rate?
An email open rate might sound simple. Most people would immediately conclude that it is the number of people who opened your email. But that’s not how the email open rate is calculated. An email is considered opened only when:
- The subscriber clicks on a link in the email.
- The subscriber enables images in the email to be displayed either in preview or in full view.
Now that you know the number of people who opened your emails, you can calculate the open rate.
Email open rate = Number of people who opened the email / Number of emails that reached the recipient ( don’t include the number of bounces) x 100.
Let’s say you sent 100 emails, out of which 20 bounced. This means 80 emails were delivered. Out of this 80, 12 opened their emails.
Hence, the open rate = 12/80 x 100 = 15%
But how do you know if your open rate is good or bad? That brings us to the next section.
What is the average email open rate?
The average email open rate can range from 18% to 25%. But it varies depending on the industry you belong to. Email Benchmark Compilation from Acoustic gives a clear picture of the email open rate breakdown by industry.
The average open rate often sees a decline, however, that is not an indication that the popularity of email is declining. The decline is followed by a steep growth which proves again and again that email marketing is here to stay. Once you have compared your own open rate with the industry standards, it will help you realize where you stand. If you need to increase your open rate, here is a guide with some creative ways to get your emails opened.
10 Creative Ways To Get Your Emails Opened
Follow the rules, abide by the law, and listen to your audience – only when you do can you craft emails that your subscribers will love. But how to get your emails opened the moment they reach the inbox?
Read on to find out.
1. Write like a friend
When you create an email campaign, your aim is to reach a large part of your target audience. But, when you craft your email, you must write like you are having a one-to-one conversation with your subscribers. They must not get the feeling that you are talking to mass. Stop thinking about emails for a minute and think about how you would approach someone in real life and get them talking?
You go to them, speak out their name, greet them, and say something that they would be really interested in. That’s exactly how emails work too. People love to feel special. So make it worth their while by hyper-personalizing your emails. Go beyond “Hi First Name”. Segment your email list to make the email copy relevant to your audiences.
Here are some stats from Linkedin to make our claim stronger:
- 91% of consumers said they are eager to do business with brands that give relevant offers to them.
- 72% would reply to messages written directly to them.
- 70% of millennials won’t engage with brands that do not personalize messages.
- Using someone’s name in the subject line can increase the open rate by 26%.
Here is what a personalized email from YouTube looks like:
2. Know the “when” and “where”
Where do most of your audience read your emails? On what kind of device? Mobile or desktop? Optimizing your emails for mobile and tablets is essential. If they can’t read your emails on their phone, they might delete them after receiving them. According to Statista out of every 10 emails opened, 4 were through mobile applications. So, if your campaigns are not ready for mobile devices yet, do it now.
Though several stats mention that Tuesday at 10 AM and post 8 PM are the best times for sending emails, it might be different for you. Entrepreneur says Saturday at 10 AM is the best time for both open and clicks. Based on your industry, your target audience might have a different favorite time. Hence, it is best to test various timings throughout the week to find the one that works for your business.
3. Share videos in email
Did you know that adding videos to your email can increase your CTR by 300%?. In fact, just adding the word “video” to your subject line can help you increase your open rate by 6%. Videos are easy to understand, take less time, and are more attractive than regular email copies.
No wonder millennials as well as Gen-Z prefer videos. If you want your next campaign to make a deep impact on your audience, a video can be a great idea. Make sure you craft a subject line around the word video to get your emails opened.
4. Add a meaningful preheader
Email preheaders are known to boost open rates. After the subject line, it is the preheader that is visible in the recipient’s inbox. Hence, it plays a critical role in deciding whether the email will be opened or not. It is best to write the preheader keeping in mind your subject line. It can also be a short summary of your email.
Here are some best practices that should be followed when crafting preheader text:
- Build up the curiosity, and ask a question.
- Add a CTA
- Make sure your preheader complements your subject line.
- Use it to create a sense of urgency.
- Add the user’s name or relevant emoticons.
If you are still struggling with your preheader text, here is an article on how to use email preheaders to increase opens.
5. Craft outstanding subject lines
Compelling subject lines are probably the most important criteria when you answer the question, of how to get your emails opened. It is the first thing that your audience notices about your email. If it grabs their attention, you did it! If not, your email might never get opened and soon get lost in a myriad of messages in the inbox.
So, what do you need to do to make them take notice? Here are a few tips:
- Keep it short sweet and straightforward (within 6 to 10 words)
- Begin with an action word – “Hurry – Last few pieces remaining”
- Ask questions to make them curious
- Create FOMO
- Tell a story
- Create a veil of mystery
- Remove exclamation marks, spam-trigger words
- Include your brand name
- Finally, don’t forget your own voice and personality as well as your brand voice
6. You are not alone
Believe it or not, those 4 words have earned the reputation of being a subject line with a 90% open rate. Nobody wants to be the only person to have done something wrong, having company makes us feel better. This is one subject line that can instantly make anyone feel better. Try to craft killer subject lines that touch a human chord. This particular subject line can be used for various kinds of products. But make sure, you are delivering what you promised. Give them the perfect solution for their problem. If you can’t, making false promises will sour the relationship with your audience.
A secret tip: The most clicked on emails had in their subject lines these words -“secret”, “e-sales”, “awesome”
7. Use branded from name and email address
The ‘from-name” and sender email address are the first thing that subscribers see. Personal branding is all about being memorable. Which is why having the right “from-name” and a branded email address will help you increase your open rates.
You can use Gmail, Yahoo, or Hotmail for your business. But that might be the reason your messages land up in the spam folder. If you have your domain email address, not only will your messages be more likely to land in your inbox, your subscribers will know that you mean business and have something of value to share. A branded email address will not just make your business look legitimate but also add to your brand identity.
A branded “from-name” is also highly recommended. When your audience always finds the same “from-name” while receiving your messages, it becomes familiar to them. When they see that name in their inbox they feel more inclined to open the email. If your personal name or brand acronym is not popular, it is best to use your brand name. It is important for your subscribers to see that the email is coming from you. Using a real name like Anne@companyname.com will make your email much friendlier. If using a real name is not possible, at least do not use email@example.com.
8. Provide value, not just information
This has been said many times but is so critical, that it needed to be mentioned again. Providing value for your subscribers will make them more loyal to your brand. It is an amazing way to build long relationships with your customers. When your customers realize that you don’t just send them information about your company but try to solve their problems and help you grow they will start trusting you and are likely to be associated with you for a long time. When that happens, they would be eager to spread the word about your business and be your unofficial brand ambassador.
Hence, always ask before sending an email “what’s in it for the subscriber?” If there is value, they will be excited to open your emails. Make sure to mention it right on the subject line. So, that brings us to the important question, what is of value to the subscribers? Is it your company updates, features, and news about products? No!
Here are a few ways to provide value to your audience:
- Find out your audience’s pain point and tell them how to resolve it. It can be through a how-to article or even a short video.
- Give them something they love – a surprise discount coupon, special offers on birthdays or anniversaries – they will be delighted.
- Let them know when their favorite products are back in stock or on sale.
9. Make the most of viral trends, local news, or festival
A great way to increase your open rates is by using viral trends. These are trends that most of your audience is already familiar with. When they see something similar in your emails, they might be more willing to open them. Apart from viral trends, local news or festivals can also make your email more relevant to your target audience. For example, emails with subject lines related to St. Patrick’s Day can appeal to those who are celebrating.
10. Increase delivery rate
Finally, it goes without saying that the more emails get delivered to the inbox, the better the chance of them getting opened. According to statistics from 2020, 20% of emails either go to the spam folder or remains undelivered. This means to increase the open rate, you have to ensure that your emails reach the inboxes of your audience.
How do you do that? Here are some golden rules to follow:
- Double Opt-in: When the subscriber verifies twice that she is eager to hear from your business, it shows they are serious and would open your emails when they receive them. It is better than sending emails to those who are not interested in your business at all.
- Ask subscribers to add you to their contact list: When they add you to their address book or contact list, more of your emails are delivered to the inbox.
- Maintain list hygiene: Cleaning your email list from time to time will help you identify subscribers who are no longer interested in your brand and do not open your emails at all. Once you know that it is best to remove them from your list and start a separate re-engage/win-back campaign just for them.
The success of your email campaign will depend on how many people opened your email and clicked on links.
However, in these modern times where over 300 billion emails are sent and received every day, it is hard to cut through the noise and clutter and stand out in the inbox. So, how to get your emails opened?
Use these ten smart ideas for your next campaign and see how it gives you amazing results.
Lastly, here are some relevant blog posts that you can read –