SALES/MARKETING: Tips to increase e-mail marketing open rates

By: Rachel Lundbohm, Prairie Business Magazine

One of the top questions on managers’ minds is “How do I get readers to open my e-mail?” The subject line is the most important part of your message, enticing the reader to open your e-mail. Effective subject lines have the following characteristics.

Are within 40 to 60 characters:

Marketers agree that the subject line should stay within this range.

Describe the benefit to the recipient: Most people read from left to right and will be more likely to open an e-mail that states the main benefit at the beginning of the subject line. For example, “$1 shipping on orders of $50 or more” is more effective than “Spend $50 and get your entire order shipped for $1.”

Do not use buzz words:

The subject line is examined by spam filters. Subject lines that include words such as “free,” “win,” and “buy now” are more likely to end up in a junk e-mail folder.

Personalize the subject line:

Including the readers name in the subject line is more likely to elicit a positive response and lead to a higher conversion rate. “Robert, your special offer is waiting” is a more favorable greeting than “A special offer is waiting for you.”

Test, Test, Test:

The best way to determine if your subject line is effective is to test two to three variations. Also, be sure to stagger the days you send e-mail messages during your test phase to factor in e-mail timing.

According to the 2010 E-mail Marketing Trends Survey, 53.8 percent of small business marketers surveyed planned to increase personalization, and 52.4 percent planned to enhance subject lines and titles to increase the effectiveness of their e-mail marketing campaigns.

These e-mail marketing tactics can help to increase your open and conversion rates, leading to an even more successful campaign. What is your benchmark for a well executed e-mail marketing campaign? An average open rate will range from 20 to 40 percent, depending on the industry. If you are achieving this, your campaign can be considered successful.

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