Email marketing remains the marketing strategy with the highest ROI for both B2B and B2C businesses. Of course, the first step to gaining this ROI is to get your audience to open your emails. Hence, marketers focus on the open rate metric because, without an email open, you won’t get a CTA click and conversion. 

I will share seven tips to improve your email open rates and hence your overall conversion rate. But let’s start with a quick review of the relevance of email marketing in e-commerce. 

1. Segment Your List

Segmenting your email list lets you split your audience into smaller homogenous groups with similar needs and wants. Some common ways to segment your mailing list include:

  • Subscriber demographic (age, gender, location)
  • Product interest
  • Email engagement (opens, clicks)
  • Purchase frequency

Segmenting and targeting enables you to deliver engaging and relevant messages to your leads, subscribers, and customers. 

Creating relevant email content for your audience is an essential part of a good business development plan. You can see some of the positive impacts that this can have in the graph below.

Email List Segmentation

Remember that you don’t have to use one form of segmentation for all of your email marketing campaigns. You can send general email updates to all of your subscribers. However, for certain types of campaigns and promotions, it pays to segment your list.

For example, if you are running a promotion, it makes sense to send a different set of emails to people who made a purchase and people who didn’t open your email. Segmenting your email list by actions, in this case, can help to boost sales.

Make sure to test how segmentation impacts your email marketing return on investment.

2. Choose a Subject Line that Stands Out

Your subject line is the first impression you make on the recipient. If your subscribers find the email subject line boring, they may never open your email. 

Make your first impression count.

An engaging subject line that promises to deliver rich and relevant content is the biggest driver of open rates. Let me walk you through some best practices when crafting your subject line.

  • Create multiple subject lines: Create multiple subject lines for every email, and then choose the most powerful and engaging option. 
  • Keep it under 50 characters: Keep your subject line under 50 characters. Subject lines with fewer than 50 characters have better open and click-through rates than longer titles. 
  • Alliteration: Literary devices like alliteration help in making the message more memorable. “5 fast fixes for customer service frustration,” or “7 solutions that simplify IT security.” 
  • Pay attention to the preview: The email preview appears after the subject line is a valuable property, but many companies neglect it or let it get clogged with junk text.
  • Your tone: Use a conversational tone to attract your readers. 

Catchy email subject lines will help you to increase your email open rates.

There are plenty of places to get inspiration for a good subject line. For example, have a look at your inbox and see what subject lines catch your attention. Another trick you can try is to create an email address specifically for marketing content.

Sign up to several email addresses through this email account. Then, when you’re looking for inspiration for your next email marketing campaign, log into the account. That email account will be a goldmine of great subject lines.

3. Focus on Delivering Quality

The first objective of an email campaign is to get the recipient to open your mail. However, the primary objective is to gain conversions with your CTA button or link. If the title triggers the opening, then the quality of your content triggers the conversion. 

Consistently delivering engaging and relevant content affects the open rates. When subscribers expect relevant content and are more likely to open your emails, they might even start looking forward to your emails.

Conversely, if a subscriber is unhappy with the content or was click-baited by the title, they are unlikely to open your mails. Unhappy subscribers may even unsubscribe from your mailing list.

So, how do you ensure your email content is engaging and relevant to your subscribers? 

For a start, ensure that you’re not making any silly grammatical mistakes. You can use a free grammar checker to catch those.

Secondly, use your email to offer free high-value content and tools like free eBooks, a brilliant blog post, or even an invitation to a relevant webinar. Most importantly, though, send content people will appreciate.

Every time you engage with your subscribers, you must offer something of genuine value. The more valuable the content of an email, the higher the chances of your gaining a conversion. Over time this becomes a virtuous cycle with higher open rates, high-quality content, and higher conversions. 

4. Use Humor

Humor is a great way to connect with your audience. Often, humor has cultural associations. The second thing to keep in mind is you need to have a funny copywriter to create funny content. That’s a skill.

Unfortunately, not everyone is funny. However, when you use humor effectively, you’ll get a great reaction from your audience. AppSumo is a great example of a company that uses humor in their email marketing.

Email HumorA word of caution while using humor, keep it the boundaries of decency. The humor should be appropriate to your subscriber persona, their likes, and dislikes. 

5. Avoid Spam Filters

Don’t alienate your subscribers by spamming their inboxes. You need to find that sweet spot where you contact them enough so they remember your company, but every email has value. 

Finding your “sweet spot” is crucial. Your sweet spot will depend on your business, industry, and clients. You might start by sending a weekly email. According to Marketing Sherpa, 86% of customers want to receive promotional emails monthly, and about 60% want them weekly.

Content MarketingAnother way to find your sweet spot is to ask your subscribers how often they would like to hear from you. You can then segment your mailing list based on their specified frequency preferences.

Asking subscribers at sign-up for their desired frequency preference is a great way to implement this strategy.

6. Optimize for Mobile

Have you ever tried to open an email on your phone or tablet, and it wouldn’t load? You don’t want to put your subscribers through this experience. 

Test your email layouts for mobile-friendliness so that all of your subscribers can load and view your email on their mobile devices. According to Litmus, mobile devices account for 56% of all email opens. 

Email OpensYour subscribers will notice if it’s a pain to click on your email links because the design is not responsive. Simple problems like this will make them less likely to open your emails going forward. 

7. Send Your Email at the Right Time

Once you have your email optimized for opening and conversions, the next question is, when do you launch your campaign? Is there an ideal day of the week and time? The basic guidelines are that weekdays work much better than weekends, and emails sent around 10 am local time do well on open rates. 

Email Opens by DayExperiment with various times for each of your segments to see which time yields the highest open rates. Through a process of elimination, you’ll find the best time that fits your audience. You can use email tracking tools to get insights into your campaign’s performance. 

In Closing

Email marketing is a low-cost and high-yield marketing channel. It has the highest ROI among all online marketing channels. This guide looked at seven strategies you can apply to improve your email open rates.

In this guide, I discussed strategies like segmenting your audience, creating engaging subject lines, ensuring your content has value and sending your emails at the right time. It might take you some time to implement all seven tips, however, persevere. The rewards are worth the effort.