Computer button showing email marketing

Email Marketing 2017: How to Fix that Awful Open Rate.

The New Year has arrived, and with that comes the consistent barrage of email marketing messages consumers have come to dislike. With the average American receiving upwards of 50 email messages per day, businesses often wonder how they can break through the clutter? Below are several tips for getting your message across and turning your email campaigns into a money maker.

Manage your lists

Before you start creating content for your email marketing campaign, you need to take a good look at your email lists. Are they segmented out based on the customers’ needs/wants/demographics? Are the contacts out of date or no longer relevant? And most importantly, are you using your current website to capture new email database members? Occasionally, purchasing a list is ok, but only if you are getting it from a reliable source, like a trade industry group, and you can be guaranteed that the list is up-to-date and all of the contacts have opted in to receive messages from your business.

Think about the delivery

One of the biggest mistakes businesses make is not having a clear understanding of how their email messages are received once they land in a receipts in-box. You can count on a huge abandonment rate if you have not requested to be added to the end-users safe send list, or if your email messages are 100% graphics, which usually require users to “right click” on the content before they can read anything. Pay attention to what your email may look like on a variety of email platforms and devices (Outlook, Google, Yahoo, mobile phones and tablets, etc.) and you’ll have a much better chance of getting a favorable response.

Fall in love with A/B Testing

When it comes to marketing success, research can be a beautiful thing! Before hitting the “send” button, use your email marketing platform to do an A/B test on your call to action, subject line and even the graphics you plan on using. Once you’ve run your email campaign with the two different email versions, pay close attention to your open rate, click-through rate and your conversion rate once they’re on your website. After you’ve determined what works best, modify your email accordingly and send to the remainder of your database.

Mind the subject lines

Believe it or not, a bad subject line can land your email in the circular file faster than you can say spam. Word like “free”, “reminder”, “percent off”, “sale” and “help” can be trigger points for some spam filters. Best practices dictate that email subject lines should be no longer than 50 total characters and free of odd characters like happy faces for @ signs. If you are sending the same campaign over and over again (like a reminder for an event) don’t use the same subject line for each email as you will see a considerable drop off in open rates with each consecutive email.

Give customers the warm fuzzy

Customers who have given you their email contact information want to feel like they are getting something of value in return for sharing their information. Chances are, 10% off of a dinner or a free dessert is not going to get people off the couch to take action. Create consistent offers and content that are specialized and only for your email database members. Discounts of 20% or more, invitations to free events or demonstrations, webinars, free business tool kits (whitepaper, downloadable forms, etc.), case studies and free trial offers tend to have the biggest response rates.