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!”


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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