Welcome to podcast #22! In this episode we continue our “Cool Stats for Cool People” series by focusing on how you can increase email open rates. We want to make these stats really easy for you to understand so you won’t be put off by ‘techy’ talk!
Just before we go into increasing your email open rates, Heather wanted to bring you an update on last week’s discussion around pop-ups. While working with a client this week she has found another WordPress plug-in tool you may find useful ‘Ninja Popups’. Heather likes how it is designed and the settings that are available. Check this and other great tools out on our resources page!
So on with email open rates; how do you get people to open your email amongst the sea of emails they get every day? We have a few steps;
1) Make sure you use a good email system so that your email is less likely to end up in a spam folder. What do we mean by this? Well, it is not a good idea to use systems such as Gmail or Hotmail for your marketing messages; these should be reserved for one-on-one conversations between colleagues and friends. For marketing you want a good system such as MailChimp or AWeber as they are specifically designed and regularly improved to ensure that client emails are delivered. They also comply with the ‘CAN Spam Act’ (2003) which means that your emails shouldn’t end up in spam folders and should comply by allowing an ‘unsubscribe’ link at the bottom of all of your emails. The other thing about these programs is that they allow you to monitor your email opening stats as well as any unsubscribes you get.
2) Have a good subject line. What does this mean? Well firstly you should use subject lines that people expect from you and you personality style. How would you talk to your market usually? For example, if you are a professional organisation you need subjects that are congruent with the language of your business (you wouldn’t say ‘hey guys’ if you’re a law firm!).
Create some kind of promise in your subject line; something that summarises what the email content will be about. Remember the subject must relate to your actual email content! People will get upset and unsubscribe if you do not deliver as promised. If it fits with your business style, it’s great to use leading subjects such as ‘You won’t believe what just happened to me…’ or ‘I cannot believe I’m telling you this…’. Then discuss a personal story that will resonate with your subscribers.
Urgency is another thing that people respond to but use this sparingly and only as long as it is true. For example ‘We only have two spots left!’ Controversial or newsworthy headlines can also be good to use, as long as they fit with your business.
A great idea you can use is to create a folder in your inbox where you can save any emails that grab your attention. This way you can look at them and see what they did well and whether you could model that in your emails.
3) Use the same ‘to’ and ‘from’ name as the site where people signed up with you. For example, if it was a business site then use the business name, if it was a blog then use your name or the blog name.
4) Think about frequency – as we discussed in Episode #20 you want to build a relationship and communicate more frequently with new subscribers right after they have subscribed. We recommend about 8 emails over a 2 week period. After this time, they know you a bit better and you can drop back the frequency to something like every 3 or 4 days, then to around once per week. This way they don’t get ‘over’ blasted with your emails, possibly putting them off from opening them. As we said in #20, no selling until later on to new people on your list!
Keep an eye-out for our next topic in the “Cool Stats for Cool People series”, all about increasing website conversion rates!
Got comments? Do you have a great subject line that has worked for you? Share your thoughts below!