According to Gallup’s survey, engaged customers represent a 23% share of profitability, revenue, and relationship growth compared to the average customer. Focusing on the real needs of your customers will allow you to build successful relationships based on trust and eventually grow your business.

It’s unquestionable that social media has captured the fancy of most people and brands and many online relationships begin there. These platforms are great when it comes to brand awareness, however to nurture your fans and followers further into becoming loyalcustomers, you need a channel which gives you better control and better insights into the individual contact.

You do not own your fans or followers. To not to lose them, you should aim to move them into your email marketing list. You will be better able to control their experience and your digital efforts.

Customers overwhelmingly prefer email, and email gives you the power to deliver content they really want to receive. Just take a look at the survey conducted by Marketing Sherpa:

The survey conducted by Marketing Sherpa
Email comes first when it comes to customers preferences, but the battlefield for customers attention in their mailbox is strong. Let’s put it simply: sending emails which are not being read represents a significant opportunity cost. Email promises an outstanding revenue and your primary goal is to deliver your message and get it opened. In order to use email to foster relationships, you have to make it all about the recipient. So let’s find out how putting your customers in control will improve your Open Rates.

Always send to a double opted-in list

Don’t scrap list from the internet, do not buy it, or don’t move people signing up for a free product to your newsletter. All these force your Open Rates to collapse.
The best method to build a valuable and engaged email audience is to explicitly ask your future subscribers for permission to email them. Now that GDPR imposed a new standard for EU’s, requesting consent is an absolute must of course. Have a look at a GDPR case study we built on how it affected US businesses.

People who willingly joined your email list will be more eager to open your messages and hear from you. How does this work and why does it matter so much?

Good email marketing is permission-based. All your subscribers should give their explicit consent to receive commercial email messages from you. It must be clear that the addresses you collect will be stored in a responsible and professional manner and that the purpose of retaining the addresses is commercial in nature. Only this way you know you’re gathering valuable subscribers who can become loyal to your brand. Find out here the differences and pros and cons of the double opt-in and single opt-in
method of building an email list.

Take time to create a good subject line

35% of people open email based solely on the subject line and 69% of people report email as SPAM based on the subject line alone. Experimenting with the subject line can really boost your open rates. You should test different approaches. It’s a relatively quick method to learn what works and what doesn’t. The best way to check how your subject line will perform is to A/B test different subject lines to see what suits your audience best.

Consider that there are some words that have a negative effect on Open Rates. You should never use them if you want to come off as a genuine and trusted sender. For example
phrases like “10% off” or “discount” may appear as pushy, when “make money” or “free offer” simply implement spam in your subscriber’s mind. In the case of subject lines, less it more. If you’re concerned that you can’t get all the information you need to communicate in just a couple of words, put it in your preheader.

Consider preheader and how your email is appearing on mobile

Many people read email exclusively on mobile these days. According to Litmus “State of Email 2017” 54% of email is now opened on mobile devices. Preheader is one of the most prominent email envelope elements on mobile. Smart use of the preheader can determine your email campaign’s success. Every case is different and it depends on the context. Here are some suggestions that you should do when writing a preheader:
● Make it personal, people buy from people not from brands.
● Make it relevant and within context; your preheader should be an extension of your
subject line.
● Be creative, add some humor!
● Promise something useful.
● Write in an actionable manner, sometimes telling people directly what to do is the best method to make them act.

Figure out the best timing

Every email audience is different, so there’s no magical answer when it comes to what time of sending is best. What it really comes down to is the willingness to experiment with different approaches. At FreshMail we analyzed how recipients are interacting with the campaigns that our users send. Despite the peak time for campaigns sent being a time window between 9:00 and 11:00 am, the distribution of opens and clicks is rather continuous during the 24 hours. As presented in the graph below:

Figure out the best timing
You can clearly see that consumers are checking their email multiple times each day. But it doesn’t mean every single email campaign sent will be opened. Your job is to prevent email marketing messages from being ignored. In order to push through the inbox noise conduct personalized and automated email programs derived from the relevant data. You will get your email in the right time for the individual subscriber.

Put your data into use

Consumers data provides you with powerful insight to develop the personalized nurture strategy that’s required for a successful email campaign. Looking at data should help you find better ways to create and deliver more relevant content in your emails. Emails revolving around your individual customer needs will definitely be more wanted and opened than random ones sent as an email blast. In order to target the relevant groups of your customers, you need to take advantage of segmentation tactics. Lyris found out that 39% of marketers who use email list segmentation get better Open Rate results.

Email List Segmentation Results
If you wonder what is a good Open Rate in your niche I recommend that you take a look at these elaborated statistics SmartInsights put together. You will be able to find a benchmark relevant to you and optimise your email efforts.

Let your subscribers manage their preferences

I’ll repeat it again, effective email marketing is all about your individual customers’ preferences. Keep this in mind from the beginning of your email relationship. Whenever a new subscriber joins your list follow up and ask them how do they want to stay in touch. Use the email preference center and determine what frequency of emails they prefer, and what are the topics they would like to receive. You can also ask additional questions on who they are as this will help you create groups and segment your list for better-targeted emails.

Relevancy will drive individuals to engage in your email campaigns. Since you probably do not have the skill of mind reading, ask your subscribers directly what they like and prefer. It will ensure that you are delivering relevant information and your emails are not being ignored.

Always keep a promise you made

Don’t blast too frequently and stay relevant, you won’t get a lot of opt-outs and your email metrics will improve. So will your Open Rate. Do you have your own tips on how to boost email opens? Please share it with us in a comment section!

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About the Author

International Marketing Manager at, an email service provider that delivers a solution for crafting highly personalised multi-channel communications between brand and subscriber, backed up by the highest level customer service. Maria is passionate about digital marketing and new technologies. She feels strongly that Email is King and that it has definitely not left the building yet.