In the world of email marketing, trends are always changing and the industry is ever-evolving. As marketers, we’re constantly driven to keep up with the latest developments. Sometimes, though, it’s good to take a moment to remember the basics.
Today, we’re going to talk about the fundamentals of one of your most important objectives: increasing email open rates. Below, we’ve presented a few new strategies on this age-old topic.
A: Always Test the Right Elements
Whether you’re a seasoned pro or email marketing newcomer, you likely have experience using some type of testing to optimize your campaigns. But all too often we get caught up in testing the wrong things.
Consider this chart from Marketing Sherpa. Are you focusing on what is really most effective, or simply what you’ve always tested? According to the data, your campaign’s target audience is the most effective element to test. After all, even the best content in the world won’t bring you a dime of ROI if you’ve sent it to the wrong readers.
That brings us to our next tip.
B: Behavior Drives Segmentation
As email marketers, we need to adapt our messaging to fit the audiences we serve. You’re likely already segmenting your audiences by basic demographic information, such as gender, age, location and so forth. But you may be leaving out one of the most critical factors: audience behavior.
Here are some questions to ask as you review customer behavior to determine how best to develop segments:
- What is the average purchase size for this customer? If a customer has never purchased more than $15 of merchandise, you may send them an offer for $5 off an order of $25 or more, rather than a coupon of 20% off an order of $500.
- What was the most recent purchase this customer made? If a customer recently bought a bicycle from you, this might be a good time to send information on helmets or bike shorts.
- How often does this customer engage with my emails? If you keep sending your best material and all you get are crickets, perhaps it’s time to place that customer in a re-engagement campaign. On the other hand, if you’ve got a customer who is highly engaged, perhaps it’s time to up the ante with a loyalty campaign.
As you look for ways to customize your campaigns based on behavior, keep this next point in mind.
C: Consider Smart Personalization
Can you imagine a classroom where the teachers called students by their student ID numbers? The result would be a cold, impersonal environment that builds no connections between a teacher and his audience. The same could be said for an email campaign that offers no personalization.
The key to connecting with your audiences is to utilize personalization effectively. Start with these three things:
- The subject line. Interestingly, a study by MailChimp found that including both the subscriber’s first and last names in the subject line improved open rates the most.
- The “from” name. A recent HubSpot test showed that sending emails from a real person, rather than a company name, improved open rates.
- Send time. Consider your subscribers’ locations when setting send times. A great time for you might be horrible for subscribers on the opposite coast or overseas.
No matter how successful your current email marketing strategy, it’s always helpful to reflect on the basics and look for opportunities to improve. By taking a few minutes to review the ABCs of email open rates, you can make minor adjustments that will set your program up for huge gains and even greater success.
Looking for even more opportunities to boost open rates? Learn more about email validation and get your free report today!