Clearly, there isn't another metric that is more important to those doing email marketing than open rates. Open rates signal the first step of action taken by your email subscribers, and then, of course, responding to your call-to-action.
For email marketers, open rates can also be very deceptive data points. First, most standard email programs provide a viewing window so that subscribers may take a quick peak at the message before opening. This type of view doesn't count towards open rates.
But, this quick view, along with how interesting your subject line is, spurs opens. If your subject line and quick view aren't interesting, then your email will not be opened.
So, here are 10 of the very best tips to skyrocket your open rate.
1. Write intriguing and compelling subject lines
Simply, this is your very first introduction to your email and it needs to be great.
2. Send at a time dictated by your customers' habits
Do some research and compare when your customers open your emails against the time and day you send them.
3. Avoid spammy words in your subject line like "deal," "sale," and "once in a lifetime opportunity"
Spam filters are extremely touchy when it comes to words they don't like. Not only do they scan your subject line, the look at the sender and the body of the email for any "bad" words.
4. Change your sender's name from an automated email to a real person
Again, this is both for the spam filter and for your customers. Spam filters know that unsolicited emails are sent by automated emails and usually don't have a human attached. Also, your customers feel more connected, respected and valued if they receive an email from a customer service representative, CEO or another person from your company.
5. Keep your subject line short so that subscribers don't have to open a separate window to view
Even in the quick view, sometimes subject lines are so long that either customers have to readjust their email screen to make more room or have to open the email in a separate window. Sure, this counts as an open, but a deceptive open.
6. Include your main promotion in your subject line like "Take an Additional 50% off"
Don't skirt around the issue: whatever it is you want your customers to do, start off with that.
7. Do include exclamation points (!) but keep them to just one – more signals spam
Some very excitable marketers love to include multiple exclamation points in their subject lines because they think that it show how AMAZING!!! the following opportunity is. Spam filters see this as a bad thing and will reject your email outright.
8. Design your email so that it's easy to scan and digest – get to your point fast
Essentially, design for the quick view. Most people take less than 30 seconds to make a decision, and you need to capture their attention quickly.
9. Keep in mind that more graphics and images you have in your email, the longer it downloads
Though this isn't necessarily an open rate issue directly, it is important to keep in mind. In the quick view, if your email isn't loading properly, then you've missed your window to have them open your email and act.
10. Start your subject line with verbs to inspire action
No verbose prose here. If you start with an action word, then the rest of the subject line writes itself. Plus, by doing this, you'll keep your subject line short.