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Email marketing: Top tips for improving open rates

When sending an email campaign to your customers or a targeted marketing audience, the level of engagement can often depend on the basics. As part of our series of articles on email marketing, focusing on three main areas, we can help you maximise the time spent on beautiful design elements and engaging content.

Subject lines – Taking just a fraction of a second to decide if they should give it their time, if the subject line doesn’t immediately capture your audience’s attention, they are more likely to move onto the next message or even just delete it unread. Even though it could be packed with relevant and useful information.

Pre-headers – Email pre-headers are the short summary text between 100-150 characters that follows the subject line in your inbox. It’s a way to get across the purpose of your email in a few words. Usually, if you haven’t selected one, it will pull through the first line of text in your email, which may not get the point across. We would always suggest you create one when setting it up.

A/B testing – A/B testing is a great way of measuring which version of the email messaging is receiving the best engagement. In basic terms, 10% of the campaign receive option A and 10% receive option B, whichever version gets the best engagement wins and the remaining 80% of the audience get that one. It also lets you understand patterns and trends for future email design.

Our top tips

1. Keep it brief

Short, punchy subject lines under 50 characters are more effective than longer ones. The most effective email campaigns combine the subject line and pre-header to convince the reader to spend time on it. Don’t try and explain your whole product or brand in a subject line, it should excite and entice them to learn more within the email.

2. Be compelling

Create a sense of urgency or sensation, such as a promotional deadline or limited time/stock. However, your audience will be looking for that content when they open the email – so don’t overcomplicate the email’s internal layout or wording causing them to loose interest.

3. Avoid spam triggers

Such as misleading subject lines to get opens, overly sales focused text, using all caps to get emphasis, FW: or RE: in the subject line. They all make it look untrustworthy. Just be honest and appeal to why they subscribed in the first place.   

4. Keep it relevant

Emails that contain an announcement, date of an event, or reference to a recent happening will look fresh and original. Out-of-date or vague subject line information about events will undoubtably end up deleted!

5. Testing is important

Understanding what works before you’ve sent the whole campaign is a great way to boost overall performance. And, from experience, it’s often surprising which one wins in the end.

Interested in getting a higher open rate on your email communications, get it touch to see how we can help.