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Inbound Marketing Blog

    4 Strategies to Boost Your Email Open Rates

    Posted by Jessica Bowers Hopson

    Looking for ways to improve your company's email open rates?

    How many times have you prepared an email, meticulously composed and edited it, scheduled it to send and waited for the results to roll in? And waited…and waited…

    When click-thrus and conversions are low, it could be because your email open rates are low to begin with.

    How can you expect to get results from an email that isn’t being opened in the first place?

    Sure, brilliant content and calls-to-action can boost conversion rates, but if your customers aren’t opening your emails, your brilliant content can’t be appreciated. Improving the success of your email marketing campaigns doesn’t just hinge on content—first you have to get people to open your emails.

    How to Improve Your Email Open Rates

    If you’ve experienced less-than-ideal open rates, you may need to take another approach to continue to nurture your list toward engagement.

    We’ve compiled 4 strategies that will help you boost open rates in your next email marketing campaign:

    1. Cut your losses

    If you are struggling to get your contact list to open your emails, it could be because your contact list is too large. You could have dead weight taking up space on your contact list. If your contacts are not engaged with your content, or haven’t been responding to your emails in awhile, perhaps it’s time to reevaluate those contacts.

    If your existing contacts are not providing value, why are they on your contact list to begin with? Consider cleaning up your existing contact list and removing those contacts that have been unengaged with your content for the past 12 months or longer. (Before you delete these contacts from your database entirely, you will want to create a backup of this list.)

    Think of this: A 25% open rate on a list of 10,000 contacts results in about 2,500 contacts opening your mail on a consistent basis. While you may think that those other 7,500 contacts hold potential for business, if these contacts are not opening your emails, how do you plan to reach them with your product or service?

    Now think: if you cut out those 7,500 contacts who have not engaged with your business and reduce your list to your active contacts, you’ll still have about 2,500 contacts who are excited about your product and services.

    And while a 25% open rate on 2,500 contacts is only 625 people, those 625 engaged and active people are much more likely to purchase from you than the 7,500 contacts on your list who are not engaged. And, at the end of the day, it’s better to have more valuable contacts than inflated numbers, right?

    2. Resend original email to unopens

    Sometimes, a lackluster subject line can be the reason your open rates are lower than desired. If you haven’t A/B tested your subject lines with your original send, consider segmenting your original list and resending a few days later to those who didn’t open your first email.

    Revamping the subject line to something relevant or zingy can increase your chances of your email getting opened the second time around.

    Be careful not to abuse this; you want to be careful not to over-send and risk being seen as spammy. Start by just sending the same email one additional time to avoid becoming obnoxious.

    3. Segment your list and prioritize by engagement levels

    If you do have a large contact lists and you aren’t comfortable with deleting unengaged contacts, you need to nurture those on your list to your desired levels of engagement.

    Start by segmenting your existing database by engagement levels. Continue to send to your engaged contacts on a consistent basis; don’t change what is already working!

    Prioritize the remaining segments contacts by levels of engagement. Those who stand the best chance of responding should be put onto a more advanced nurturing track. By providing information that is most relevant to these groups at their phase of the buying cycle, your chances of inciting action become greater.

    If these contacts still do not engage, move them to a lost contact track or consider removing them from your database, as outlined in point 1.

    4. Set expectations of communications

    When you are re-engaging lost contacts, you will need to set clear expectations of the types and frequency of communications you plan to send. Sometimes, especially if your contacts have not engaged in awhile, a sudden influx of emails from you can cause your list to disengage.

    When you put your lost contacts into a nurturing funnel, you may need to send an initial communication to reset the expectation of the how often you will be sending emails and what types of communication you will sending.

    This can give your contacts a better understanding of why you are contacting them. With this information, they can then make a more informed choice about whether or not to engage in your emails.

    When you are experiencing low email open rates, it may be a result of the quality of your list, not the quality of your content. Try one of these strategies to reengage your existing contacts to boost the success of your email communication.

    Read More: 9 CTAs That Can Boost Lead Generation


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    Topics: Inbound