10 Ways to Boost your Email Open Rate

Portrait of beautiful girl using her mobile phone in cafe.

Earlier this month we covered how to increase our email subscriber list. This week we’re going to tackle increase our open rate with just 10 easy tips.

  1. What emails encourage you to open them? Keep a running list of subject lines that you feel are compelling and see if you can incorporate some of those same subject lines in your emails.
  2. A/B test different subject lines. If you don’t know what this means, it’s testing one subject line (A) with another subject line with the same content (B). What you’re trying to see if what kind of email subject lines work better. Options might be using action verbs vs. non-action verbs or adding an emoji in one and not the other.
  3. Similar to A/B testing, ask a handful of friends and customers if they’d be willing to serve as your focus group for email subject lines. Send them two to three different email subject lines and ask them to vote for their favorite.
  4. Think and write your subject lines like tweets: short, sweet and something to compel someone to want to learn more or share it. Each word matters.
  5. Figure out which days work better for you but studying your open rates. For some, Sundays are the kiss of death while others find Mondays are dead-ends. Keep testing until you find your sweet spot.
  6. Don’t forget to add your social media content blocks / logos on emails to remind customers to find you in other places. How does this affect your open rate? By seeing you active on other social media, they’re constantly reminded of your business which makes them more likely to open your email to see what’s new.
  7. Add subject line emojis, if appropriate. With so many people reading their emails on their phones, those little emojis are a fun distraction from all of the other boring text-based emails. They help you stand out from the email clutter.
  8. Don’t rely on just shop-specific email notices. Mix it up and share tips and holiday inspiration. For example, Earth Day is coming up. Can you offer tips from a local personality on how to make your own dishwashing soap, for example? Or unique ways to recycle items? Or maybe one of them would be willing to provide a guest blog post with video and/or great how-to images. The idea here is to make your emails more than just about you. Keep in mind your audience: what do they want to see and read that would be of benefit to them?
  9. Remind your customers of the benefits of being a subscriber. Offer them access to special offers, private events, first dibs on new products coming into the store, updates on what you saw at a recent trade show, etc.
  10. Finally, thank your customers for being a part of your success and include a clear call to action. Rather than just spitting out emails and hoping something resonates with your customers, ask them to do something. Whether it’s literally saying something like “come in and share a cup of coffee with us” or “share this with your best friend” or “find and follow us on Pinterest,” finishing your email with an action step makes your customers feel engaged with and invested in your business and its success.

Do you have any outstanding success stories to share regarding your emails? Please share them with us!

Megy Karydes is a Chicago-based freelance writer and marketing consultant. Learn more about her and her work at www.MegyKarydes.com.

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