One of the most essential metrics of any email marketing campaign is the open rate.
One of the most essential metrics of any email marketing campaign is the open rate. Kon Karampelas

As the business community continues to try functioning within the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, the online space has become even more essential. And one of the most powerful online marketing channels is email.

When successfully executed, email marketing is a strategy that can yield a very high ROI, largely because it's relatively inexpensive to produce. However, for an email marketing campaign to be successful, the recipients must actually read the messages--which is why one of the most essential metrics of any email marketing campaign is the open rate.

Research suggests that on average, if your company is getting a 23% or higher email marketing open rate, then it's doing very well. Unfortunately that 23% can seem elusive to many companies. Here are a few tips to ensure your email is not quickly discarded to a user's trash bin and actually gets read.

Ways to Get Your Emails Read

  • Perfect Your Subject Line and From Field - You know what they say: "First impressions are lasting impressions." The first thing someone sees of your company email is the subject line and the address of whom it's from. Ensure that your subject line is one that immediately catches the user's eye and grabs their attention. Don't make bold and misleading promises; do be creative and think outside the box. Research suggests that asking a question, using numbers, sharing fun facts and having personable and friendly banter in the subject line helps to greatly improve the open rate. Also, remember to keep things simple. You want to seem personable but not like you're trying too hard. With regard to the email address you use, ensure that it specifies the company or brand. If not, an individual is likely to assume your email is spam, trolling or even a scam.
  • Keep Email Subscriber List Updated - As a general rule, it's wise to periodically review your company's subscriber list. At a minimum, you should do so yearly. Because the reality is email addresses can change for a myriad of reasons: people switch jobs, change companies, etc. Keeping your subscriber list fresh and updated will not only help reduce the number of unopened emails but how many bounce back. Because if email addresses are no longer working, your emails will essentially go nowhere. Periodically updating your subscriber list will also help identify those subscribers who have lost interest and may no longer be worth reaching out to, at least not via email.
  • Segment Subscribers - Just as you would with your target audience, it's incredibly beneficial to segment your email subscriber list, to better craft the right email to send to the right individual. Consider demographics such as age, location, gender, job title, income, etc. Naturally, you must also consider buying history and segment subscribers by casual, one-time buyers versus loyal customers.
  • Write Like a Friend - As previously stated, don't overdo it to the point that the language comes across forced and fake, but treat your email communications as if you're having a casual one-on-one conversation with your customer. Address them by their name, avoid unnecessary industry jargon, send birthday and anniversary messages where appropriate. Fostering a casual and comfortable email relationship will help to vastly improve an individual's willingness to open your emails.
  • Avoid Spam Filters - An individual cannot open an email they never see. A few tips to ensure your messages get to an individual's inbox and not their spam or junk folder: Include ensuring recipients have all willingly opted in to receive your emails, do not use deceptive subject lines like "Make $1 Million in Two Weeks", and use a verified domain and reliable IP address.

And there you have it. A few quick and simple tips to get your email open rate soaring.

Digna Joseph is a Content Specialist/Writer whose Island PR analyzes public relations, marketing, and social media.