Why aren’t people opening your emails?

Getting people to open your emails can be daunting.

With overloaded inboxes and so many subject lines vying for attention, yours really needs to pop to get opened..

As marketers, we are constantly working to improve open rates. After hovering around 31% for several years and being ok with that number (since the average open rate for marketing newsletters is 20.5% according to Campaign Monitor), we’ve noticed a consistent increase in our open rates in the past year. The last newsletter we sent out got a 51% which is pretty great.

What are we doing differently? 

A number of things. And we want to share some tips about what we’ve done that might help you boost your open rates too.

  1. Research.
    We pay close attention to what makes us stop while scrolling through our inboxes and also those we zip right by. That helps us write better subject lines of our own.
  2. Do your own due diligence.
    I remember reading articles not that long ago that suggested writing subject lines like:
    • Don’t open this email.
    • Limited time offer.
    • You don’t want to miss this.
    • This is your last chance.

Yawn. Yawn. Yawn.

I regularly zipped right past those in my inbox. So obviously I wasn’t going to write anything like that.

If you’re not sure that your subject lines are screaming “open me, open me”, do some A/B testing.

3.  Appeal to people’s natural curiosity.
Spend enough time writing your subject lines until you find what works.

SInce our goal is to craft subject line copy that’s compelling, intriguing and fun, rather than a subject line with one topic, we mention two or three. Like these recent examples::

    • Business trends, gallery openings and more.
    • Some fun things to do and new biz tips to try.
    • Perfect clients, bunnies, and more…..
    • Messaging, Live Networking and some (Free) Stuff You Need

That tactic seems to be a little more interesting to readers who like variety and choices. More like a buffet of goodies than one topic that may or may not be of interest to your entire list.

4. Make the content worthwhile.
Remember getting magazines in the mail and being so excited to dive right in and see what goodies they held?

That’s how you want people to feel about your newsletters.

So think about mixing it up a little. We still focus on marketing topics. But we also share interesting places we find and fun things to do in Chicago….with a focus on local and women-owned businesses. We call them Small Business Shoutouts. And every month we get more feedback from subscribers who say “Love your newsletter!”

That certainly helps the open rate if your readers look forward to reading each issue.

5. Make it visually appealing.

The design of your newsletter has a major impact on how readers respond.

A well-designed document enhances your brand and presents your business  professionally. Smart use of white space, a clean, easy-to-read typeface, a scannable layout, compelling images — all of these affect how well your newsletter is received. And opened.

Adobe shares some smart design advice in this article about newsletter design titled:  Captivate your audience with simple, stunning newsletter designs.

That’s a wrap for this month.

Hope this post gives you some good ideas on getting more clicks on your emails and newsletters. If you still need help, we’re always happy to chat.

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