Did you know that 99% of consumers check their email every day? In fact, some of them refresh their inboxes up to 10 times a day, according to the most recent HubSpot stats. It’s no surprise that email marketing is a digital marketing strategy that’s on the rise, and so is the competition for people’s time and attention. In this crowded landscape, how do you stand out? If you want to boost your email open rates, but feel overwhelmed by the number of things you have to do, this article is for you.
How to boost your email open rates and conversions
Email marketing works for many organizations. When done right, its ROI is $42 for every $1 spent. That’s motivating, but before you send out your next email, be ready to play the long game.
It takes time and consistent effort to build an engaged community that looks forward to your emails. So try to avoid simple and dishonest tricks – such as misleading subject lines – if you want to boost your email open rates. Instead, follow email marketing best practices and use these tactics below. The benefits are immediate and incorporating them in your strategy will yield results for years.
Double-check your email list for accuracy
When open rates start to sink, there are two things you should investigate first: your content and your email list. While content may take some time to adjust, the quality of your list is something you can determine – and improve – right away.
First, look at your reports: are your emails reaching your subscribers? Is your bounce rate higher than 2%? That’s a clear indicator your database needs a scrub. Use an email checker to remove invalid and outdated addresses from your list.
Keeping an accurate list of subscribers has multiple benefits:
- it tells Internet and email service providers (ESPs) that you take your email marketing seriously.
- you maintain a good sender reputation, and that’s vital to your inbox placement, open rates, and conversions.
- it saves you money as you won’t be emailing any dead leads, but only customers who love to take advantage of your offers.
“One of our email marketing priorities is having a clean email list. We make sure all of our contacts are verified and active,” says Usman Raza, Content Marketing Manager at Seedx Inc.
“You’ll spend more money because of inactive contacts. Firstly, they don’t open your emails, so they lower your overall open rate. Consistently low open rates send a signal to mailbox providers like Google or Yahoo! that you’re spamming people. Also, they cost a lot to keep: you need to pay more to your ESP only to send your emails to no one at all,” Raza added.
Remove subscribers who label you as spam
Even the best email marketers get a spam complaint every once in a while. The reasons vary, but here are the most common:
- at one point, you may have added someone to your list without permission. If that subscriber doesn’t know who you are, there’s a high chance they’ll click the “Mark as spam” button.
- you haven’t emailed your list for a while, and you just send an email out of the blue. The problem is some people may have forgotten they ever subscribed to your emails. Marking you as spam is the easiest way for them to let their email provider know they don’t want to hear from you.
- lastly, some people are more sensitive than others when it comes to the content they see in their inbox. If they feel even slightly bothered by what you send, they won’t hesitate to penalize you.
A high spam complaint rate can wreak havoc on your open rates. In time, your emails are going to start landing in people’s spam folders, and who reads spam messages?
Thankfully, removing known email complainers is easy. Perhaps your email service provider offers this feature for free – it’s worth checking. If not, an email verifier will isolate these users from your database so you can remove them.
“Moreover, a real-time email verification API will prevent complainers from getting on your list in the first place,” says Liviu Tanase, founder and CEO of ZeroBounce.
“Installing the API takes minutes and it maintains your email hygiene without much effort on your part. It checks every new email address in real time and rejects the bad ones. Spam traps, misspelled or catch-all emails are all risky, and having a way to filter them out protects your list and supports better deliverability,” added Tanase.
Work more on your subject lines
There are thousands of articles out there teaching you how to write a great subject line. That’s because nailing this part of your email is essential: 47% of people say they open emails based on the subject line alone.
Numerous studies have shown that subject lines ranging between 40 and 60 characters get the highest open rates. However, many marketers ignore this rule if they feel like their message can be summarized in more or fewer characters.
“What works best for you? There’s only one way to find out: test, test, and test again,” says Josh Brown, Digital Marketing Consultant at Helpjuice. “Start with your next email: split your list and choose different subject lines for each segment. Then repeat that test two or three times until you can reach an accurate conclusion”, he added.
One thing is for sure: subject lines have a dramatic impact on your email open rates, so it’s worth taking the time to fine-tune them. If you want more insight before you hit “send,” try this headline analyzer. I use it for all the articles I write, but also for email subject lines.
Let’s wrap up: how to boost your email open rates fast
Increasing your email engagement can take time, but following the best practices above will bring your closer to your goal. Removing obsolete data from your email list, parting with spam complainers, and improving your subject lines are things you can do today. Within a few weeks, you’ll start noticing higher open rates, more people clicking through your content, and ultimately, more conversions.