People receive a whole lot of emails every single day. Some receive as much as five or ten, while others who also subscribe to alerts and various mailing lists can receive twice as much or even more. They are bombarded with information from newsletters, promotions and advertising, notifications and so much more – all of which can be difficult to take in and digest or just plain annoying – no wonder people sometimes detest opening their inboxes.
With that attitude towards emails, it will be more and more difficult to get people to open your emails. But worry not, because there are some things that you can do in order to encourage your subscribers to open those emails and read them through the end.
Make Your Subject Line Rock
Your email is most likely to be ignored unless you have a solid subject line that creates an impact when seen. Make your subject line short and easy to read (50-60 characters at best), but be sure that it reflects the importance of your email. Remember, all your efforts in making a great email content will be for nothing if your headline doesn’t compel the recipient to open it.
So how do you make a subject line that will make recipients excited to open your emails?
- List Subject Lines (e.g. Be In Style under the Sun: Top 5 Summer Fashion Trends)
- Funny Subject Lines (e.g. Don’t Look Like a Circus: Learn How to Mix and Match Colours)
- Intriguing/Shocking Subject Lines (e.g. What Your Friends Really Mean When They Say “You Look Okay”)
- Urgent Subject Lines (e.g. Great Big Sale Ends Midnight Today!)
Optimize for Mobile Devices
Majority of people are using their mobile devices to check their emails. If they can’t see or read your email properly on their mobile devices, don’t expect them to read your emails when they get home on their desktop.
Before sending out any of your emails, try to send one to your own email first and open it in your mobiles devices. Check if there are problems with the display, if the email is not showing properly or if there are any broken links.
Time It Right
The right time to send emails depends on several factors, so it can be quite difficult to dictate when the best time to send your emails is. For instance, some reports say that early morning, lunch breaks, and dinner may be the best times because people are not busy with work. However, there are also those who say that working hours are better because people are busy preparing for work in the morning, having lunch with friends, and dining with the family – ignoring the emails for the more important things in life.
Thus, the only way to determine when the best time to send your emails is through testing. For example, try sending your emails during working hours this week, and then send another email during off-work hours next week. Gather the data and compare which of those times had the most open rates. Most email servers use an open tracking system which allows them to track if your emails have been clicked and opened. You can also try the same experiment for weekdays and weekends.
Send the Right Emails to the Right People
Sending the right emails to the right people can definitely improve the rates of your emails being opened. For instance, an online clothing store that sells to both males and females will have customers and email subscribers from both genders, and sending them the same emails are not always a good idea. In this case, you may want to (and should) consider segmenting your recipients, where you send one particular email (e.g. best summer wear for him) to the males and another email (e.g. best summer outfits for her) for the females.
When possible, it can also help to add a sort of check box whenever a subscriber signs up for your email list. You can ask them which they’d prefer to receive like “newsletters” or “promotions” or both. The choices of course can vary depending on how many types of emails you are sending. By doing this and segmenting your list, you will be sending relevant emails that spark the recipient’s interest.
The Email Body
If you want to make sure that your subscribers will open your emails well into the future, then you need to give them a good reason to do so – and that may well be with your email body and its content.
Give your readers the kind of content that they will find useful and valuable. You don’t have to write like one of those copywriting pros, just good enough to get your message across and elicit an action from the reader (e.g. visit your site or click a link).
Don’t be overly promotional in your emails as well. Of course, you’ll want to promote your business as much as you possibly can, and there’s nothing wrong with that, as long as you make sure that you’re not all about promotions and sales.
Give your subscribers that kind of emails that you yourself want to receive – concise, clear, error free and informative. When you do this, your subscribers will open your emails simply because they love reading it.
Research Spammy Keywords and Avoid Using Them
Inboxes are mostly protected by spam filters, and if your email contains any of these spammy keywords, it will raise a red flag and be sent directly to the spam folder and never be read by your subscriber. This article from Hubspot compiles a list of the most common spam words which you should avoid using in your emails, even if you use them in good faith and without meaning to spam your subscribers.
Testing and Developing a Strategy
Some online store owners often neglect to test their emailing strategies because they’re too busy with the other metrics of their online store and website – but paying attention to your email system may just give your business the boost that it needs.
Thus, take time to review the data you collected (e.g. best time to send emails, most clicked subject lines, etc.) and plan an email strategy based on those figures. Then implement your strategy and record the results. If you are not satisfied with the result, tweak your strategy, run it again, and record. Wash, rinse and repeat.
Some Final Words
Like in all your endeavours with your online store, planning and implementing a successful email campaign is something that you usually don’t get with the first try. Thus, don’t feel disheartened when things don’t work out the way you expect them to. Just keep working on those emails and follow the above mentioned tips, and soon you’ll start noticing your open rates getting better and better overtime.