80% of marketers use open rates as one of their key metrics for success.
We’ve derived this figure from the 2017 Email Marketing Census Report by Econsultancy in collaboration with Adestra, and it may well ring true with your own email marketing strategy. In my experience, however, a considerable number of marketers don’t know exactly what can be done to improve their email open rates. To ensure you improve these metrics, here is a list of the main elements that influence your open rates:
1. List segmentation
Segmenting your lists and sending more targeted content can significantly enhance not just your open rates, but your click-through rates too. According to the Lyris Annual Email Optimizer Report, 39% of email marketers who segmented their lists saw an increase in open rates. So, what are you waiting for?
2. ‘From’ name
As mentioned, people get hundreds of emails a day. That’s a lot of competition for you to face, so it’s crucial that you capture your subscribers’ attention promptly. According to Chadwick Martin Bailey, 64% of people stated that they are likely to open an email because of who the email is from. Choose a name that will be recognisable to your subscribers: your brand/company name or an individual’s name (not a random employee, but someone that your subscribers will know and trust).
3. Day and time of send
Do some research regarding what time and day your subscribers are opening your emails (if you are a MessageFocus user, you can use our Timeline report feature to analyse when your subscribers are engaging). This can ensure your email is with the right person at the right time.
Finding out the perfect send frequency for your emails is complex, but it is crucial to your performance. For example, if you send too many exclusive promotional emails, they will lose their exclusivity, right? On the other hand, if you send emails too infrequently, your audience may lose interest in your brand or even forget about it. Analyse your data and try to find the best cadence for each segment.
5. Test, test, test!
We keep saying it, but that’s just because testing provides such valuable understanding about your audience as well as your email performance. The results will lead you to improve those elements that are not performing well, delivering more relevant and effective emails.
Wrapping up …
Strategy optimization is key if you want to enhance customer engagement rates, not just in email but in any marketing channel. Use these tips to analyse your current strategy and decide what could be modified or applied to improve your open rates. A final point to remember, however: if your subscriber blocks image downloads then the open doesn’t get recorded. Open rates are a good indicator, but don’t rely on them entirely – focus on clicks-to-opens and conversions, too.