While there are several email metrics you should track, a vital way to gauge the health of your email program is to monitor your email open rates. If your emails are being met with radio silence, it’s safe to say recipients aren’t taking any next steps.
With recipients’ inboxes becoming increasingly inundated with marketing emails, this should come as no surprise. As the volume of email continues to increase, marketers will need to distinguish their promotional emails in order to stand out from competitors.
Fortunately, there are best practices you can follow, regardless of where you are in your marketing campaign, to increase the effectiveness of your email programs.
Encourage double opt-in during signup
During the sign-up process, implement double opt-in, which requires a secondary action from the subscriber to confirm their participation. Since recipients must voluntarily perform an extra action to confirm their subscription, many consider this the best form of consent, as it captures users who expressly want to be included in your distribution list.
Pestering your recipients leads to decreased open and delivery rates. To avoid this, it’s best not to present users with a pre-selected opt-in, which requires them to change the default option of receiving promotional emails. Furthermore, do not have third parties send emails on your behalf.
Introduce yourself sooner rather than later
Once a recipient has double-opted to be included in your distribution list, make sure they receive a welcome or triggered email that sets the tone for the relationship shortly after they sign up.
Unfortunately, consumers can be fickle with their decisions or have a short memory. Thus, the longer the delay in sending your first email, the more likely that consumers will forget or lose interest in your brand.
Have your subscribers determine their email cadence
Make sure to provide users with an email preference center that allows them to adjust how often they’d like to receive marketing emails.
By empowering your subscribers with customizable preferences, brands can avoid being perceived as spam — positively impacting engagement and open rates.
Carve out time to develop quality subject lines
Given the limited number of characters allotted in subject lines, it can be difficult to write headlines that are focused on quality without quantity. Striking a creative and persuasive balance within these parameters requires time and thought.
With this in mind, it’s imperative that you dedicate time to writing copy and headlines that will pique the interest of your subscribers in what comes next. It’s also important to remember that being excessively mysterious or vague can turn readers off.
Clear and concise subject lines encourage higher engagement and open rates. Subject lines consisting of three words often hit viewers’ sweet spot — but to be sure, run A/B testing to see which headlines are resonating with your subscribers.
Personalize your emails with segmentation
Sending customized emails to different segments of your distribution list versus sending an email blast to your entire list can increase engagement and open rates drastically.
While this can seem like an overwhelming task, email service providers provide tools that make it easy to customize emails to different subsets of recipients based on their engagement levels, browsing habits, demographics and more.
Monitor for and remove subscribers who don’t engage
While it might seem beneficial to have a larger list of recipients, it’s actually more effective to have a lean list of users who actively engage with your emails. Subscribers who don’t open your emails are harming your email program by skewing your sender reputation — i.e., a smaller list of highly engaged recipients will perform better than a heavily populated list of unaware and unengaged users.
Use the above best practices as a starting point and keep testing, and you’ll soon be on your way to standing out in the inbox and increasing your open rates.
Some opinions expressed in this article may be those of a guest author and not necessarily Marketing Land. Staff authors are listed here.
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