5 Ways to Close the Gap on Email Open Rates

5 Ways to Close the Gap on Email Open Rates

We’ve all heard of stats like this one proving how effective email marketing is:

Email is 40 times more effective at acquiring new customers than Facebook or Twitter (stat via Campaign Monitor).

But what if your open rates are low? What if you aren’t getting any clicks or engagement? What do you do when you seem to be losing subscribers every single week? It is the dark side of email not too many people are talking about.

But don’t worry – you’re not alone. Closing the gap on your email marketing open rates is something most, (if not all) marketers have to do at one point or another.

Here are five ways to get those open rates back up.

1. Test Your Subject Lines

The subject line isn’t everything – but it is the best barometer for determining whether or not an email is going to be opened.

Some marketers write 20 or even 30 headlines for blog posts before settling on the perfect one. You don’t necessarily need to consider that many alternatives for one subject line, but you should be A/B split testing them to identify what your subscribers resonate with most.

Also, try a tool like SubjectLine.com to evaluate your copy for its overall effectiveness.

2. Segment Your Lists

Are you still blasting your entire list with a barrage of messages on a weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly basis? People online have come to expect more personalized experiences, and if you aren’t giving them that, it’s no wonder your open rates are suffering.

Determine what individual subscribers and customers are interested in. What are their preferences? What information are they looking for?

Whether it’s segmenting by region or interest, you need to use what you know about your customers to appeal to them.

3. Authenticate Your Emails

For better or for worse, authentication standards have gotten stricter. And if your emails don’t authenticate, they’re probably winding up in junk or spam folders.

Use SPF (Sender Policy Framework) and DKIM (Domain Keys Identified Mail) protocols to authenticate your emails. It’s safe to say that your emails have a better chance of being opened when they aren’t landing in your recipient’s junk folders.

4. Use a Single Call-To-Action

There are a lot of things that can go wrong with your call-to-action. But first, you should eliminate confusion and increase clarity by using a single call-to-action in all of your emails. If you’re using more than one, then your subscribers are probably feeling lost.

Your call-to-action should also be targeted. Let’s say you’re running an electronics store. If one segment of your audience is interested in TVs, and the other in video game consoles, then you need to match up your offers accordingly. It isn’t to say that those looking to buy a game console wouldn’t also be interested in a TV, but the general principle holds true – you want to match up targeted offers to different segments of your audience.

5. Make Your Emails Mobile Friendly

Mobile now makes up the majority of email opens at 51% (stat via HubSpot).

Are your emails responsive? Even if you think you chose a mobile-friendly template when you were first getting your campaigns set up, it’s worth double-checking. If your open rates have been dropping, this may very well be why.

Your emails need to be readable on all devices – not just on traditional desktop and laptop computers. Using a responsive design should help you reclaim more opens.

Final Thoughts

It’s gotten a lot harder to ensure email deliverability. If you’ve seen your open rates plummet recently, don’t panic. Yes, you may need to jump through a few extra hoops to regain traction. But in the constantly shifting world of online marketing, there’s just no way around it. The key is to stay informed of the latest developments and best practices.

Did you find this helpful? What will you be doing to increase your email marketing open rates?

Let us know in the comments below.

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