Email marketing is a powerful branding and sales tool for your company. However, your emails are competing for the attention of readers who receive thousands of emails per day. Therefore, your marketing team must constantly create engaging content and value-added messaging to gain and retain your customer base.

Your email open rate is a critical metric to see how well your emails resonate with your prospects and customers. This article examines what a good email open rate is and how your company can increase the metric.

What Is an Email Open Rate, and What Is an Acceptable Open Rate?

You might think that an email open rate is the number of users who open the email. However, the email is only “opened” when one of the following happens:

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  • The reader clicks a link within the email
  • The recipient allows images to show in the full view or preview window

The email rate itself is the number of opens divided by the total number of emails sent out. For example, if you distribute 500 emails and 20 of those emails bounced, it means 480 emails delivered. If 24 readers open your email, that is a 5% open rate.

According to a 2019 Mailchimp study, 21.33% is the average email open rate among all industries. If your current rate is below this, it may be time to implement some of the strategies listed in this article.

Strategies to Increase Your Email Open Rate

There is a lot that goes into crafting an email with a high open rate. We dive into our best tactics below, and each point has the same thing in common: it captures and retains the reader’s attention.

Use a Captivating Subject Line

Your subject line may have the biggest influence on the email open rate. The subject line is usually the first thing your potential customer will read, so you must capture attention quickly. You should always test new subject lines to see which are most successful.

Here are a few best practices to maximize your subject line:

  • Personalization – catch the person’s eye by inserting their first name into the subject line
  • Be witty – insert a joke or utilize a conversational approach
  • Induce curiosity – leave the reader with a motivation to learn more
  • Quantify – numbers are more likely to capture someone’s attention

Time It Right

Your potential customers might receive hundreds of emails per day while attending meetings and other projects throughout the busy work schedule. Therefore, it is critical to send your email when the customer is most likely to open it.

There are ongoing studies on the best time to send an email. Marketers and researchers agree that the best time of the day to send an email is at 10 am or around 1 pm. The 10 am slot leaves an hour cushion after someone arrives to work and settles in. The 1 pm time frame is when people return from lunch and are in a more relaxed mood.

Optimize the Message for Mobile Readers

You rule out a lot of potential readers by not making your emails mobile-friendly. According to a 2016 study, anywhere between 68%–79% of customers will get rid of an email that is not optimized for their phone. So, how do you make your emails optimized for mobile?

  • Use a clear, large font that all age groups and eyesight levels can read
  • Keep the formatting and layout straightforward by using one column
  • Minimize load time by using small photos
  • Make the call-to-action section clear, or use a big button
  • Keep your links spaced out so people can click on each one easily

Provide Value-Added Content

Getting the reader to open your email is half the battle. You now need to incentivize them to take action after they read the email body. When the users love your content, they are more likely to click through to your website and open future emails you sent them. If they are not satisfied with your content, they might unsubscribe.

Here are a few ways to make your content more value-added:

  • Add links to credible sources or webinars
  • Insert graphs and other helpful statistics
  • Add in entertaining videos and photos
  • Supply a free eBook, cheat sheet, or informational resource

Final Wrap Up

Increasing your open rate is all about grabbing attention and providing value once you have that attention. Your team should constantly test out subject lines and content to see which people respond to the best. By implementing the practices in this article, you are well on your way to building a loyal customer base.

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