When looking at email open rates, the first thing to consider is what would you consider as ‘good’. Obviously, in a perfect world, you would have an ever-growing list email contacts with a 100% open rate. However, this is (basically) impossible.
Instead, you need to look at some different factors specific to your company to work out whether or not you have achieved a ‘good’ open rate.
You also need to consider what the criteria for what counts as an opened email! How many emails have you opened on your iPhone by mistake, then deleted instantly without reading? Sure, it’s an open but it isn’t what you’re aiming for (hopefully!). Instead, we want to generate content that is interesting and useful to the recipient, and use trackable metrics to ensure that our emails are being read!
Here are 5 key elements which can influence open rates
Comparing your results with market leaders in your industry are often the first place people look to see whether they are on the right path.
At a very base level, this makes sense. Someone sending a unique, genuinely informative email in a niche industry to another market leader will probably have a higher open rate than a large scale retailer sending promotions.
However, industry benchmarks can be misleading as there are tons of variables which influence your open rates.
2. Subject Lines
One of, if not the, most important aspect of ALL your email marketing is your subject line. It is such a simple thing to get right, but if done wrong such an easy way to not only reduce your open rate but get marked as spam.
All it takes is a little creativity! Don’t title your emails ‘Monthly Newsletter’, Do create a sense of intrigue and urgency!
If you want to see one of the best first-hand, sign up for ‘Chubbies’ newsletter, it is ever-changing and consistently entertaining.
Who are you sending to? It is important to consider which subscribers are going to be interested in your email. Mass delivery to your entire contact list will almost always get a lower open than specifically targeted emails.
Is this a business-as-usual send, a newsletter for example, or something less common, like a big announcement about your company? The more unique the information, the better your open rate will likely be.
Even though you might have a preferred ‘best’ time to send your emails or link them to social media, many marketers find that their subscribers prefer to open at unexpected, seemingly random hours. For instance, in the B2B world, they often see better open rates on Sunday nights, whereas Monday mornings are almost always a no-go.
Again, these are just some of the infinite combinations of variables that can impact your open rates. Want to know the best way to optimize each of them? Never stop testing! To paraphrase Alex Baldwin, ‘ABT. Always Be Testing!’