It’s one thing to send email campaigns and another for the recipients to open the emails. That’s why email marketers always pay attention to their open rates, which is the percentage of subscribers that read their emails over a specified period or within a particular campaign. Open rate is a critical metric to measure the success of your email campaigns, and it’s important to know how to make it as high as possible.
Why are Email Open Rates Important?
Email open rates are important because they’re the primary metric to measure the success of your email campaigns. The first step to a successful email marketing campaign is to make sure the recipients of your emails actually open them. No matter how good your content may be, it’s as good as useless if your target audience refuses to read them for various reasons.
The open rate of your email campaign will give you important information such as whether the email you sent reached the recipient’s inbox, if you’ve targeted the right audience, whether your email subject line was captivating, or if your email content was engaging.
What is a Good Open Rate For Email?
The average email open rate for businesses is 21%. A stellar open rate is above 50%, and that’s what you should be targeting.
Determining your open rate isn’t difficult. It's the percentage of people that open the email compared to the number of people that received the email. For instance, if you send an email to 120 subscribers and only 54 subscribers open it, your open rate is 54 divided by 120 expressed as a percentage, 45%. The email service provider that you use to send your email campaigns should provide ways to monitor your email open rates. UniOne does this, so you’re in good hands with us.
What Affects my Email Open Rate?
1. Content Relevancy
How valuable is the content you send to your target audience? People have limited time to read emails, so they only open what’s important to them. Ensure that the content you send is always relevant to your target audience. Imagine you’re them and ask yourself what you’d like to hear.
For example, if you’re targeting people working in the finance sector, your email content may include news and summaries of the latest events concerning the global financial markets.
2. Brand Recognition
People give more attention to brands that they recognize than those they don’t. If many people know about your brand, you’ll get higher open rates than lesser-known brands because recipients are already familiar with your business. You can advertise via social media, websites, search engines, or word of mouth to increase your brand recognition and get higher open rates.
The time of the day when you send your email affects how many people will read it. It's better to send emails during business hours when people are on alert for emails and will likely open them.
4. Subject Line
The subject line is the first thing your email recipient sees in their inbox. People are more likely to open emails with catchy and creative subject lines than those with bland subject lines. Though it’s good to be creative, don’t use clickbait subject lines in order to avoid looking like a spammer.
How Can I Increase My Open Rate?
The average email open rate hovers at about 20% but as we’ve said you should strive for a good email open rate of above 50%. That means you’ll need to adopt some creative strategies to help you increase your open rate. For one, you should use compelling subject lines or personalization to draw the user’s attention. You can also let your subscribers choose when to receive emails, as people are more likely to read emails that they anticipate.
You may use the following effective strategies to increase your email open rate:
1. Use First Names
Using first names is a form of personalization that’ll draw the email recipient’s attention and help you get a good email open rate. People are more likely to respond to personalized emails because they make the recipient feel esteemed and the email reads like something coming from a close friend or family even though it’s from a brand.
You can ask your intending subscribers to provide their first and last names in your email subscription form. When you get this information, you can use it to send personalized emails with a subject line like “Hi, Natasha!”, “Hi Michael!”, etc. Including the recipient’s first name is a proven way to draw their attention either from their push notifications or within their inbox.
2. Use Quizzes to Boost Engagement
Quizzes are a creative way to engage with email recipients and get a good email open rate. People like to prove their knowledge for the sake of it, so give them a chance. You can insert a short quiz in the body of your email. You may include rewards like discounts and vouchers and make it clear in the subject line that there are prizes to be claimed.
Recipients will likely open your email when they anticipate a quiz with prizes to be won. This adds some fun to the email marketing workflow and is a creative way to increase your email open rates. The sample quiz below from online learning platform Skillshare will likely draw your attention, right?
3. Let Subscribers Choose When To Receive Emails
You should let your subscribers select when exactly they want to receive emails from you in order to get a good email open rate. People will likely respond to emails that they expect to arrive than those that come out of the blue.
On your subscription form, you can let your customers choose the exact days, times of the day, or intervals they want to receive emails from you. If you send multiple types of emails, you may also let them choose the exact ones they want to receive.
People like being in control, so give them just that. Your recipients are more likely to open and interact with your emails when you let them choose when to get the emails.
4. Resend Unopened Emails
No matter how good your emails are, some subscribers may not notice them in their inbox because they were busy sorting through many emails or for whatever reason. Sometimes, it’s because of a weak subject line that didn’t draw the recipient’s attention.
You can resend emails that have lower open rates but with a new and catchy subject line, and you may get a good email open rate on the second attempt. You can also adjust the timing of the emails – send them during business hours when people will likely open them.
Yet, don’t do this too frequently because it may be marked as spam. Only resend the most important emails that you want your customers to really engage with,e.g., an abandoned cart email. And, of course, do segment your lists so that those who’ve read the email on first try don’t get it for the second time.
5. Ask For Help
It's necessary to review your emails before hitting the send button if you want a good email open rate. You might spot noteworthy mistakes during the review process and correct them. However, don’t always walk alone. It’s advisable to seek external help to review your emails. The human brain works such that you might be biased toward your own mistakes and skip them. But, another person brings another perspective and helps you spot mistakes you may have missed.
You can ask a friend, family, colleague, etc. If possible, seek help from multiple persons. When different people review your emails and tell you it’s good to go, they’re likely telling the truth. If you don’t have anyone to ask personally, you can consult online forums where marketers hang out, such as Webmaster Sun.
6. Ask Why a User Unsubscribes
Have you ever clicked that button to unsubscribe from an email list? You were likely redirected to a webpage that asked you to fill out a survey on why you were unsubscribing. People unsubscribe for different reasons, such as when they’re no longer happy with the brand or when the emails become too frequent and annoying.
You should ask every person unsubscribing from your email list to let you know their reasons for unsubscribing. If many customers point to not being pleased with something, then it’s a signal to correct that mistake. You can also let customers rethink unsubscribing from your email list with a message like "We're sorry to see you go" as shown below.
7. Use Emojis
Emojis are digital icons that express emotions, and you should be familiar with them from instant messaging apps like WhatsApp and Telegram. Many people contend that emojis make emails look unprofessional, but we beg to differ. Emojis display emotion and assure your subscribers that they aren't talking to robots but humans with whom they can interact and play.
You can use emojis in the subject line or body of your email, or both. This tends to foster a personal relationship between you and your email subscribers and is a creative way to get a good email open rate.
8. Trigger Curiosity
You can create an air of curiosity for your customers by asking questions. Ideally, ask the question at the end of the email and promise the recipient an answer in the next email. This way, they’ll look forward to receiving the next email and will likely read it, giving you a good email open rate.
You can also trigger curiosity in the subject lines of your emails. A fitting subject line should leave out just the amount of information that'll intrigue the customer, e.g., “Can’t decide what to buy? This can help.” This type of subject line plays with the recipient's innate desire for knowledge, meaning they’ll likely open the email.
Open rate is perhaps the most critical metric to measure the success of your marketing campaign. It’s how you know if subscribers are responding well to the marketing tactics you’re using and change your tactics if they aren’t. The average email open rate is about 21% but you can do better. You can target a good email open rate of up to 50% or more, so follow our tips to improve your open rates.