Here at BigBangThemes, we aim to provide the best email templates available on the market, and one of the most important elements of our work is making sure that we improve the conversion rates for our clients as much as we can. The other very important factor we work with our clients on is different techniques for improving email open rates.

Our design work is among the very best available online, however, the main metrics of a marketing campaign rely on several things that go outside the scope of designing great templates and creating really good content for them.

In this article, we’re gonna cover the best practices you can use to increase email open rates and drive more conversions from your subscribers.

1. Create an engaging subject line

This is simple, and you’ve probably heard about this over and over again. The subject line is the main thing that makes a customer open your email. If you haven’t tested and optimized yours, you’re about to lose money. A/B testing is essential when trying to reach someone. Just try to use a casual/personal approach and keep testing. A personal approach can usually have a lot more impact than you could imagine, and a smooth joke can also engage better with your readers.

Using Emojis can be extremely tempting, especially in our age, but you need to be extremely careful when doing so, and it’s very important to know your target audience and choose your timing. Including a bunch of funny Emojis to a list of business contacts or next to a subject line saying “Your invoice is past due” might not be very tasteful.

2. Write quality content

You must keep your content engaging, informative and original. You might think that email open rates can’t be affected by this, but this is only valid if you’re doing a one-off campaign. Looking at the effect content can have on your subscriber base across a full year would probably be the target here. Quality content is the best way to achieve open rates constantly, over a long period of time. Email marketing is not just about sending across promotions or gift cards. “Quality over quantity”!

3. Write to one person

An email is more likely to be opened if the letter is addressed to the receiver. Try and use their first names in the openings so they’d feel the email was written separately for each of them. This is also true if your client hasn’t received news from you in a while and might have forgotten if / why he subscribed to your list.

4. Choose your timing

Timing is everything in marketing – especially email marketing. There are literally millions of emails being sent every day so you need to make sure yours is among those being read. Make sure you know your audience, their habits, and interests.
For example, most office workers tend to open their emails once they get to work. That means there is a better chance to get the emails opened if you send them in the morning. But that totally depends on your audience and testing results. That’s why testing is extremely important, as is making sure that you have very good tracking in place for each campaign.

5. Send from a person, not a company

When deciding to open email, recipients first check to see if they know the person sending the message. An email from a company gets marked as advertising immediately, which can get your email deleted. An email that appears to be coming from an actual individual at your firm is more personal and much more likely to get opened.

6. Build your list by yourself

A lot of companies have the habit of buying email contacts from different sources (some more legit than others) in order to get a head-start in their email marketing campaigns. Don’t! You don’t know anything about the data you’re receiving, you won’t know their interests or occupation so you’ll find a really hard time being able to get them engaged. Needless to say that sending an email to a contact that didn’t subscribe can get you in a lot of trouble QUICK.

Sion Responsive Email Template

Sion – Responsive Email Template – $22

7. Format your messages for mobile devices

Roughly 74 percent of smartphone owners use their phone to check email, and mobile now represents 51 percent of all email opens. When your emails display well on mobile, you’ll improve your email open rates for future campaigns, in addition to enjoying higher engagement and more clicks on included links.

8. Review your list periodically

It is very important to have a fresh and clean mailing list.Review it periodically and remove the bouncing emails and the inactive subscribers. Plenty of people just mark your email as trash or spam and it future campaigns never get a chance to get open. I know that it might be hard to delete contacts thinking that they might come good at some point, but the chances of that happening are statistically extremely low. Cleaning up will offer you more accurate metrics about your user engagement. Moreover, it will save you some costs long term.

9. Segment your list carefully

Segmenting the list is necessary to build better communication. If your gathered stats show that this campaign will prove of no interest for the recipient it will most definitely affect your open rates, and on the long run, this behavior can even lose valuable clients for your business. A few ideas are grouping your lists by geographic areas, by interests or by occupation.

10. Avoid spam filters

Email open rates are directly dependent on spam filters.If your messages reach the spam folder, your open rates will obviously be very low because nobody will actually get to see the email in their inboxes. There are loads of elements that can set off the spam filters, which we’ve covered better in an article dedicated to email spam filters, so it’s extremely useful to read more info on this and make sure that your content complies. Some basic tips include avoiding using caps in your subjects or over using words that are marked as spam like “free”, “sale”, “buy”, “purchase”, etc.

Following these steps will definitely get you going in the right direction with your email marketing campaigns. It’s important to always plan a couple of steps ahead and try to correlate your email campaigns. Not every client will get engaged with a first-off, so including the same call to action in other emails that offer a different value proposition is usually a very good idea.

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About the Author

Stefan, an enthusiastic SEO and marketing expert, is a problem solver with the ability to prioritize and develop relevant and engaging content. He is also eager to acquire Wordpress skills as he has a great hunger for coding languages.