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5 Simple ways to double your email newsletter open rates

80% of all email newsletters are never opened!  

The average open rate for your email newsletter is likely to be in the 15-20% range.  Here are 5 simple ways to improve your open rates and reach more of your valuable audience.  

1. Subject Line

We could dedicate a whole topic around the art of crafting the perfect subject line that gets the highest open rate.  (Another time)

Quality subject lines offer the most leverage when it comes to improving email open rates.  

An enticing headline can lure people into reading anything.  What it can’t do is keep them engaged with low value content.  

Be careful though.  If your subject line deliberately misleads the reader then you will pay a heavy price.  A spike in your open rate will quickly be followed by a spike in your unsubscribe rate and complaints.

Be creative, pose questions, tease and pique interest.  But always tie the subject line to the value within your email.  

2. Do they know you?

Make sure the email you send is from someone your reader expects to hear from.  

If the reader signed up for dominos pizza offers they might not expect to hear from Mike the pizza delivery guy. (there’s a pizza theme developing here, which is worrying considering its 10am as I’m writing this) 

There’s no right or wrong method here.  Just make sure you match the email to the reader’s expectations.  (I’m totally fine not getting personal emails from Jeff Bezos)

Oh, and remember to let them reply to you. One of my pet hates is companies that send from no-reply email addresses.  

Would you call a customer on the phone and not let them speak?   

3. Frequency & Consistency

Reader learn to expect to hear from you on specific dates.  If your emails erratic, then they can start to feel interruptive. (That said there is something very personal about emails that arrive on what can appear random days) Just remember that if you’re audience is international, take their time zone into account (most email software offers this setting)

The number of emails you send is really personal to your business and audience, but as a rule those sending twice a month see the highest open rates.  

The key takeaway here is don’t overcommit and underdeliver. Your audience may have the appetite for daily emails from you, but do you have the commitment to produce content at that scale?  (Start small and develop the habit and build from there.)

4. Timing

Make sure your emails aren’t interrupting your readers day.  Even the most compelling content will fall to the bottom of an inbox if it arrives at the wrong time.

Industry advice would suggest sending an email on Tuesday or Thursday at 10am offers the highest chance to get your email opened.  

I think this type of advice is great, in the absence of any better ideas.  But quite honestly you should have better ideas.  You should know your own audience well enough to understand the best time to reach them.  

6am morning email makes total sense to someone offering investment advice, but not so much if you’re selling pizza.

5. Quality

I’ve saved the most important to last.  Frequency and consistency are important, but quality trumps them both. 

Does your email offer value to the reader?  Or are you just telling them your own story over and over?   How does your product or service fit into their own story? 

A lazy email blast with a list of prices and product pictures isn’t adding real value.  Which is why you see lazy marketing departments sending discounts instead of real value. 

Remember your very first (welcome) email to your new subscribers is when you need to make a great first impression.  

Open rates for welcome emails are often north of 50%

If the quality of that first email is poor, then you’re damaging the likelihood of future emails being opened, or worse still increasing your unsubscribe rates.

Make sure that first contact is packed full of value, so the reader is already primed for your next message.

I’m not suggesting you can offer lower quality in subsequent emails.  Engagement costs the reader time.  Make sure you offer amazing value in return.

Just remember to pack that first email with so much value your audience can’t wait to hear from you again!  Then repeat repeat repeat. (It’s simple, not easy, like most things that get great results)