Using email marketing means you have stepped out of your comfort zone. Here you are putting to good use an entire marketing channel and an additional way of interacting with your customers. You are starting to see the great potential this has for your company. But what about actually having your emails opened?
Here are some quick and smart tips that are essential for increasing your open rates. These will set you apart from the vast majority of email senders and companies that overwhelm inboxes all over the world every day, hour, second.
Do your sender details inspire email opening?
Before you send out your next email campaign, there are a few things you need to double-check, to save face before your subscribers, first one being your sender details.
Some longer corporate names or more detailed contact descriptions , say, “Josh from Moosend Email Marketing Software” might not work equally well across all devices, which is why you should opt for something shorter and more concise. In other words, the sender’s name should be kept short.
Also, and this might sound trivial, but just to be safe, make sure there is a company name there, too, instead of an email address.
Do you have the right sender image?
Depending on the email client, the recipient might see a thumbnail photo next to the sender. Is this image representative of your company? Is it easily distinguishable in its small version (ie. before you open the email)? On all devices? If not, you could go for the first letter of your logo, or maybe a piece of your brand identity. Remember that, to the extent this does not interfere with your brand identity, you need all the eye-catching details you can get!
Bonus tip: If you want to update your photo, google “sender photo in emails” plus your email service name (e.g. Gmail) or check out a service called “Gravatar”.
Is your subject line interesting enough?
Your subject-line score: the king of details. Or queen, if you may.
Long subject lines or subject lines cluttered with symbols might discourage your subscribers from opening your email. The shorter and cleaner you go, the better. It is always important to add a sense of urgency so that your subscribers understand they must take action fast or their FOMO will go off.
Ensure that the subject line is no longer than 35* characters and avoid words that are longer than 8 characters:
*on mobile devices
Here’s a handy tool to save you time: subjectline.com. Check your subject line before you hit “Send” and make tweaks promptly!
Email openers matter
A great email opener will get you a sky-high response rate, you know that.
Let’s take a look at this example, though:
Never ever address a subscriber by their email; essentially, it’s the equivalent of addressing one of your brick-and-mortar clients by their ID card number!
In case this is one of your first emails to the subscriber and you are yet to collect their details, it is best that you address your readers by a smart and friendly greeting:
Let’s be on a first-name basis, shall we? Scribble your name over here!”
And top it all off by providing a link to edit their subscribers’ details.
Asking subscribers for feedback
Your subscribers like you for a reason. They like your style and they like your attitude. However, “old beliefs do not lead you to new cheese”, so, if you are in an experimental phase trying out a number of new “beliefs”, you might as well ask for your readers’ feedback. This will not necessarily bring back a load of feedback (but then again, it might!), but the most engaged of your subscribers will want to chip in and help out.
Here’s one way you could go about it:
“I need your help! I’m expanding the scope of this newsletter to include email marketing tips and best practices. Give me some feedback on the new format. And yes, I’ll reply to all emails!”
…which brings us to…
Avoid “do-not-reply” addresses
Let’s say you are the customer, here. You have signed up for a newsletter. You receive an email. The sender email reads “firstname.lastname@example.org”. Guess what: it being impolite aside (you are engaging with them, but they are not engaging with you), upon reading this email address, you just have to get back to them as soon as possible, with questions and all. Right?
Your subscribers are no different. They want to feel welcomed and accepted and royal.
To that respect, you will need to humanize your newsletter into a lovable and loyal helper, at the services of your subscribers. Only this way will you be able to build a solid and mutual relationship, and shorten the distance between your customer and your company.
Design to open rate
Every newsletter is like a new map that the reader will have to read from scratch. Unless you have a clean and standard format that is easily perceived and intuitive, you can’t expect your audience to spend more than 12 seconds figuring out what your intention is.
The reason? From Gestalt Psychology to Design principles, perception of newsletter layout boils down to this: avoid a noisy design, or people won’t know what they are looking at.
Another thing, that might not be straightforward, is that you need to make sure that you have segmented your audience based on a certain filter that is aligned with the content of the email. Otherwise you are sending out unsolicited emails, i.e. the shortest way to spam folder or the unsubscribe button.
Last but not least, make sure your writers and copywriters are fluent in the target language of the newsletter and that they employ excellent grammar, syntax, and spelling.
Stay in touch
After you have served your audience the campaign, it is best you leave a trace so that they can come back to you, or even find out more about you. One way to achieve this is through social media share buttons or your social media channel buttons.
Another idea would be to provide them with an overview of relevant product categories so that they could immediately be redirected and convert!
Well, it might come to this. Maybe not for long. In the meantime, let’s be grown-ups: One-click unsubscribe. Don’t ask your audience to sign in to unsubscribe, or to text back “STOP”. In fact, don’t ask them to do anything that requires more than 3” of their time.
Moosend offers this as a default feature.