Keeping Open Rates High Even When It’s Not A Holiday

People may not be jetting off on holiday, but that doesn’t mean they don’t want some holiday cheer in their emails

When it comes to email campaigns, there are a few signs of a healthy list. One of them is your open rates. During any holiday period, you can expect your business’ mailing campaigns to have high open rates. After all, this is the time when your prospective customers have more time and tend to spend more.

However, you don’t want to be limited to just the holidays for successful campaigns. This could waste a lot of time and reduce your revenue potential. So how can you improve your email’s open rates to keep your campaigns alive? Here are our top tips:

1. Promise Something Sensational In Your Emails

Your audience are curious and if you promise something sensational in your emails’ subject line, it doesn’t matter what time of year you’ve sent it, you will peak some interest.

Of course there’s the problem of being too sensational. Some of your audience will think you’re either lying or just trying to seek attention. At the same time, when you create a sensational headline, you need to fulfil the promise you’ve made. Otherwise your audience won’t carry on their purchasing journey.

In addition, if you can’t match audience expectations, then later campaigns will suffer. This can be damaging to your whole brand as some sources state 80% of your sales will happen between the 5th and 12th interaction. If your audience abandon you before those interactions because of unfilled promises, you’ve lost out.

2. Emphasise The Benefits Of Reading

The one question your audience will be asking when they receive your email is why they should read it. Therefore you need to answer this question in the subject line and pre-header text.

The reason you give should be something that benefits the reader. While most e-commerce stores concentrate on discounts or special offers, it doesn’t have to be this. It could be some key information to improve their life, or giving them free information about how to save money.

3. Use Lists And Tips

One of the easiest forms of content to read are lists. By using your email campaigns to distribute and publish lists, you can attract lots of readers whatever the season. You can always use the anticipation of holidays for list creation. For example:

  • Five foods you need at a Thanksgiving dinner.
  • Ten top presents for fathers day.
  • Three holidays you can’t afford to miss.

You can also improve this by moving away the transactional emails (i.e. attempting to sell a product/service) to creating a list of tips for your audience. For example:

  • Five tips for a stress free Thanksgiving dinner.
  • Three ways to save your career today.
  • Ten quotes to inspire your children at school.

4. Keep Your Subject Lines Short

With more emails being opened now on mobiles, it’s important to keep your email subject lines as short as possible. Generally it’s recommended to keep them under 50 characters. That doesn’t seem like a lot of room, but consider that all six subject line examples given in point three don’t have more than 50 characters, you can see that there’s a lot potential for you to write.

5. Play On Positive Emotions About Holidays

Sometimes it can be really good to rely on the emotional pull of a holiday in order to get people to pay attention to your emails. Think about the positive emotions that are associated with Christmas, Thanksgiving and other holidays. Could you play on these emotions in your email campaigns? For instance, “Get that Christmas morning feeling back!”

Conclusion

While holidays are great for email campaigns, you need to generate interest in your products/services all year round. Consider how you can use your subject lines to create exciting and compelling reasons for your audience to open your email at any time of the year.

Do you have open rates that are poorer outside of the holidays? How do you get them better?

Let us know in the comments below.

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Six Rules Of Email Marketing – How To Increase Your Open Rate

How do you get more opens of your emails?

The success of your email marketing campaigns is all about how many people open your emails. There are several ways to encourage this so you get more subscribers open your emails every time you send them a promotion, brand news or simple message.

Our six rules will help you get better results:

1. Long Subject Lines

Get Response studied the results from over three hundred emails. They found that those that contained more than 61 characters in the subject line got more open rates. According to the study, the highest open rates were approximately 12.38%.

Split testing can help you find the perfect length for your audience. Consider testing subject lines at 60 characters, 100 characters and 130 characters to see which gives the best results.

This tactic also increased the number of people who clicked through.

2. Preheader Text

Use your preheader text to give a brief outline of what is contained within the email. Preheaders are like an elevator pitch, so keep them relative, enticing and readable on mail clients. Some like Gmail and Yahoo will only give you preheader lengths of 100 characters, so keep it that short.

Preheaders should be changed for each email; they should never be the same as the title, and you should attempt to include a call to action.

3. Create Intrigue

If you want people to open your emails, they’ve got to want to find out more about your message. That is harder to do if you give away the whole story in the subject line and the preheader.

This technique is called the open loop. People become interested in the content without knowing exactly what it is about, so they open it to find out more. Then in the mail, you close the loop. An example of this would be:

“This is how you get more emails opened…”

See how this doesn’t actually mention what technique you are using. Therefore, it creates curiosity and compels the reader to open the email.

4. Subject Line Capitalisation

Having every word in capitals is not a good idea as it gives the impression that you are shouting at your audience, and nobody likes that. However, most businesses write subject lines with the first letter of every word as if it is part of a document title.

This is not how people write emails to each other. Instead, they may capitalise the first word but leave the rest (except nouns) as lowercase. You can mix it up by using special characters in your subject lines and by also adding the odd word in capitals (when you want to emphasise certain points).

5. Double Opt-In

Research has shown that those using double opt-in subscription methodology can increase subscriber engagement and increase open rates. It also helps to decrease spammers subscribing to your mailing list.

To help you keep audiences engaged, immediately after they sign-up, send them an email immediately and then send them a reasonable amount of further engaging mail in the days that follow. Research has shown that this increases the number of people who convert from strangers to customers within four weeks – making your email campaigns so much more effective.

6. Be Negative

Sometimes negative words can be more compelling for your audience. Using words like ‘the worst’, ‘absolutely wrong’ and ‘no fewer’ can be used to attract subscribers to open your emails.

This works because people like to feel that they can prove they are better than others – but what happens is that they realise they are making those mistakes, and then want to contact you to improve.

Conclusion

Your email marketing campaigns are important, but they are only a success if you have people open your emails. There are several techniques to get more people to open your emails, but the best strategy is to always split test your campaigns to see what works for your audience.

What is your open rate? How much higher could you go?

Let us know in the comments below.

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How To Create The Perfect Subject Line

How do you create the perfect subject line?

How do you create the perfect subject line?

When it comes to increasing the open rate of your emails, there is one area that is often forgotten about: the subject line. The subject line is often the first impression you will make with your audience and can therefore make a huge impact on whether your email campaign is successful or not.

So what makes a great subject line and how can you use this within your own campaigns?

1. Directly Speaking To The Audience

If there is one element that is constantly missed it is the mail merge function in email marketing software. You have the ability to address each audience member by name in every email in the subject line. This is perfect for email marketing because it personalises each message going out and ensures you grab the audience’s attention, by making it seem the message was written just for them.

If you want an even better open rate and are a local business, try including a town name or region. Research has shown that this can increase the open rate of emails even better than a name.

2. Change The Subject Line

If you use the same subject line every week or message, then you aren’t going to grab the attention of your audience. They will think it is the same or similar message and therefore switch off from your brand.

One example of this is with People Per Hour. They used to use one message that was broadcasted every single day. Then they adopted a different message to be broadcasted every day and it helped their business triple in size.

3. Promise Something Valuable

Your audience’s time is valuable. Therefore, don’t assume that they will just want to read what you’ve written; you’ve got to offer them something for their time in reading your piece, for example a free offer, a valuable secret (always a winner) or something else you think people will appreciate.

However, you must live up to your promises. Not keeping your word can damage your reputation and harm the success of future campaigns.

4. Avoid Overused And Spammy Words

Most people know that you should avoid words like ‘free’ and ‘voucher’ in email subject lines. These tend to trigger spam filters and messages won’t even be received let alone opened and read. However, you should also avoid other words that are associated with sales and spam such as:

  • Help
  • Percent off
  • Reminder
  • Offer

While some of these might not trigger a spam filter, readers are likely to ignore emails with these words in the subject line.

5. Shorter The Better

We’ve already stated that people are short of time and you’ve got to respect this. This is why you have to keep email copy short for better returns. The same applies with your subject line; try to keep it below 50 characters for the best results. If this can’t be managed, just ensure that it is as short as possible.

6. Ask A Question

Want to know what really works as an email subject line? A question. Even asking a question such as ‘Do you know the best email subject lines?’ and then discussing them, is likely to get a better response than: ‘Here are the best email subject lines’.

Conclusion

Your email subject lines need to be optimised if you are looking to get the best results from your email marketing campaigns. Many of the best practices are easy to implement and don’t cost money. Just carefully choose your subject line to succeed.

What was your last email marketing subject line? Have you got any more tips for our audience?

Let us know in the comments below.

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How To Get Your Emails Opened

mail-566337_1280Email marketing is one of the best options for communicating with your target audience. Many consumers prefer to accept promotional material via their email inboxes and it is known to be one of the best online sellers.

Yet the problem for many businesses is to ensure that their emails get opened by their audience. Open rates vary from industry to industry. Online coupon and discount services often have very poor open rates, averaging below 5%. Other industries do better with some reaching 20-30% on average, though many only achieve half of this.

To increase the open rates of your business’ emails there are several key elements to your campaigns that you can adjust for better results. Here are some of those elements for you to experiment with and gain better email marketing traction.

Subject Line

The first thing that most people look at is the subject of the email. It has been proven that a good email subject line will increase the open rate of your emails. Some of the best email subject lines are quirky and grab the attention and imagination of the receiver. For instance:

“Are you sitting comfortably?” is a good line for selling chairs.

“We’re sorry” if you haven’t sent an email for a while.

Take Action:

  • Consider what subject lines you could use in your email marketing campaigns.

The Sender

While many people may recognise your brand name, they are less likely to open the mail if it is sent from your company email address. It is better to send it from a named individual; this is more personable and makes it look less spammy.

Consider sending it the name of a senior person in your organisation, instead of just the administrator who creates the content and sends it off. A senior person in the organisation is more recognisable and makes your audience feel more valued.

Take Action:

  • Send emails from a senior member of your management team.

The Right Time And Day

23% of your emails will be opened within 60 minutes of you sending out your email. Therefore, you will want to be sending your content on the right day and time to ensure that you maximise the open rate.

There are some typical statistics that you should know:

1. Monday’s are the worst day because most people are often trying to catch up from the weekend and are too busy to open their emails.

2. Weekends are when people are out doing chores. Emails are not opened regularly on these dates.

3. While emails are regularly opened quickly, you still need to email contacts within plenty of time if you want contacts to participate in an event.

4. Tuesday and Thursday are favourite days for businesses to send their email campaigns. These days often generate the most interest and the best results.

5. Early mornings are also the best time to send emails and they get the best response.

Take Action:

  • Adjust the timing of your email marketing campaigns so they are sent at the most appropriate times.

Send To Those Who Have Opted In

If you have collected addresses from people who have not opted in you are going to get poor results – and it is illegal.

Take Action:

  • Only send emails to those who have opted in to receiving content.
  • Remove the contact details from those who have not signed up from your database.

Conclusion

Email marketing is one of the most effective means for generating sales online. To get better results you need to optimise your emails so that they are more attractive to your audience. Use the above ideas to perfect your email marketing campaigns and have more opened.

How have you improved the open rate of your emails? What do you recommend?

Let us know in the comments below.

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