Bulk email campaigns can have mixed results, and customers sometimes ask us how they can improve their bulk email blasts in order to get higher open and response rates. We're going to review some of the most common issues that can affect the open rates of your email campaigns. We are starting out with the assumption that you have gotten opt-in permission from each of your email contacts, as that is absolutely crucial to engagement (and complying with spam requirements).
1. Review the Subject Lines For Your Bulk Email Campaigns
A big reason that many subscribers do not even open emails is that they don't find the subject lines engaging or may even think they are spam. A good subject line should be brief and to the point. You can use a question, a list, or a simple statement. Subscribers want to have a good idea about what the email contains before they open it. Read more about creating great subject lines here.
If you think your subject line might be the culprit, you can do an A/B split test. With an A/B split test, you send the same email to your bulk subscribers, but some receive the email with one subject line and some receive the email with a different subject line. This allows you to test which subject line is more effective without changing your actual bulk email content.
2. Test the Sent Time For Your Bulk Email Campaigns
If you are doing your bulk sending at a particular time or day, your subscribers may be missing or overlooking your messages. People receive multiple emails per day, and if your message gets lost in the mix you will not get many email opens.
In order to find the optimal time to send your bulk email campaigns, you need to test. Try sending out your email messages at different times of day and on different days. You can even send on weekends, depending on your industry. Many business-focused companies have the most email open success during the week, often in the morning, when people are focused on work and productivity. Some retail companies find that their most successful bulk email marketing campaigns are sent out on weekends or evenings when subscribers are more relaxed and have a bit of free time.
3. Weed Out Old or Inactive Bulk Email Campaign Subscribers
One of the biggest things that can hurt your open rates, and one that many email marketers don't think of right away, is that many of your bulk blast subscribers may not be active any longer. Just because a subscriber opted in to receive your emails two years ago, that doesn't necessarily mean that they are still opening your emails now. They may have changed their email address, they may have moved your emails into their spam folder so they don't have to see them, or they may just not be interested in receiving them anymore.
It is an industry best practice to ask your subscribers to re-opt in regularly. Many marketers choose to do this about once a year. If a subscriber does not respond to your request, you can try again if you want, then if there is still no response remove them from your bulk email send list. This process may take away a large number of your bulk subscribers, but remember that these are subscribers who are not opening your emails anyway! The subscribers you are left with will be high quality, and more likely to open and respond to your emails.
4. Encourage Subscribers to Download Your Email Images and Click Links
Some of your subscribers do not allow images to be downloaded in their emails and choose to read the text only version of email marketing messages. If your subscribers are not downloading the tiny embedded image that tells you they opened your email and they're not clicking on any links within that email you will never know they opened the email.
In order to minimize this issue, provide detailed alt text for any images you include in your bulk email campaigns and don't put in too many images. This way, subscribers know what the images are and they know it won't take too much time to download them. And make sure you have awesome, relevant images so subscribers will continue to download them after that first time.
Also, include great links in your emails so you can improve your click-through rate and get accurate email data in your email reports. Links are a simple way of providing more information, pictures, contest details or coupons that bulk subscribers will actually want to click on.
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