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Three Tips to Improve Email Open-Rate

August 29, 2011

Everyone (in the email marketing industry) is always talking about Open Rate and how to improve it.  As we have already discussed in ‘What Exactly is Email Open Rate and How is it Measured?’ open rate isn’t always as straightforward and easy to measure as we would like.  That being said it is still an important component in your Email Marketing Campaign and we should always strive to improve it.

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Here are three simple-to-implement tips to help you improve your open rate.

  • Subject lines and headers – I’m sure you’ve heard the saying, “You never get a second chance to make a first impression”.  The ‘subject line’ is the first impression the reader has of your email.  If it’s not interesting, compelling, and relevant, chances are they won’t even click on it. Whenever you send an email, remember why you are sending it and to whom you are sending it.  Who is on the list and why did they sign up?  What did you tell them they would receive from you in return for joining the mailing list? You should also pay attention to the “from” name.  People are more likely to open an email from someone they recognize.
  • Timing – You can search online for the best day/time to send out your email all you like, but everyone has their own theories and it’s not often they will agree.  The best thing to do is start with an educated guess based on your client list and email content and go from there. For example, split testing an email by delivery day would be very beneficial.  Send the exact same email to 20% of the list on Monday, 20% on Tuesday, etc. throughout the week and see if there is a significant difference in open rate. Once you have narrowed down which day performs the best, do the same with delivery times throughout that day.
  • Frequency – If you are like me you are somewhat hesitant to sign up for too many newsletters, for fear of being bombarded by more emails than you have the time to read.  Similarly, if you sign up for something but hardly ever hear from them, your interest will soon wane. Unfortunately there isn’t a magic number, but I would say don’t send more than two a week or less than one a month.  When calculating these numbers also consider any auto responders that you might have set up, account updates, and emails sent directly from associates.

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