According to a survey published by MarketingSherpa in September 2010, 90% of businesses use email open rates to track their success in email marketing. Typically, you should expect between a 15–35% open rate depending on the content, list engagement and the relevance to the subscribers. If you are experiencing lower open rates, one of the following factors may be responsible:
1. You send junk.
Would you send your prospect emails to your friends and family? If not, you may be sending junk and need to find a way to provide something of value. Still not sure if you send junk? If your email message is “useful,” it’s resourceful and people want to save and archive it. If your message is “interesting,” it’s funny, relevant and usually good for forwarding to their contacts. If your message is neither interesting nor useful … it’s junk.
2. Your subject line is boring.
If your subject line isn’t interesting, your email will not get opened. Be imaginative and creative. Consider using the recipient’s name or a personal detail, such as their city of residence. This simple technique can increase your open rates because people are always curious about something that involves them. Don’t forget to keep them short and to the point; aim for 50 characters or fewer.
3. You’re emailing dead accounts.
People switch email addresses every few years, usually to avoid spam. If your open rates are low, you could be emailing to abandoned or secondary accounts. To fix this, consider using an alternative follow-up campaign (phone/direct mail) to get people to update their contact information and re–opt in to your marketing. Disciplined email marketing pays off when you have a truly engaged, interested and hungry list—and you can cater to the people who really matter.
4. You email at the wrong time of day.
When faced with a full inbox, people tend to make liberal use of the delete key. If you send emails at busy times of the day (early morning, lunch and late afternoon), your open rates may take a hit. To fix this, send messages at different times. It’s okay to shift your email marketing patterns once in awhile.