It seems like the entire world lives online these days. And consumers of all stripes are becoming more and more reliant on digital channels to fulfill their communication, entertainment, education, and shopping needs.
Needless to say, for marketers, digital literacy has become a key part of everyday existence.
But with so much noise out there, how can you be sure that your marketing efforts will stand out from the rest? One way is by upgrading your email marketing strategy.
What You’ll Learn:
- What is an email open rate and how is it calculated
- What determines a good open rate percentage?
- Email open rates by industry standards
- Tips to improve your email open rates
The mass adoption of email makes email marketing a critical component of your overall marketing strategy. Here are a few statistics to put this into perspective:
- There are roughly 04 billion email users in 2020, up from 3.9 billion users in 2019.
- The average working professional receives 120 emails per day.
- Business communication is mainly email-based, resulting in 5 billion business emails being sent and received every day.
- Email is shown to be 40 times more effective at capturing new leads than social platforms like Facebook or Twitter.
- When compared to social media and direct mail marketing, email marketing has the highest conversion rate at 66 percent.
Looking at these numbers can be pretty intimidating, but don’t worry—we’re here to show you how to do email marketing the right way so your emails can stand out in even the most crowded inboxes.
What is the Average Email Open Rate?
Before we delve into some more data, we need to first define what an email open rate is and why it’s an important metric for your business. Email service providers typically calculate the open rate by taking the number of recipients who open your email and dividing it by the number of emails that were sent (and didn’t bounce).
For example, let’s say you send out 100 emails within a given time frame and 20 of them bounce. This leaves you with 80 delivered emails. If 10 people open these delivered emails, that means your open rate is 12.5 percent.
Put simply, your email open rate is one of the most vital performance metrics you can track.
With email campaigns being the most popular delivery method for B2B organizations worldwide, the average open rate for email remained at 24 percent globally between 2015 and 2018.
However, in 2019, the average open rate fell to 22.1 percent.
The good news is that based on previous historical patterns, this kind of drop is usually followed up with a strong surge of growth.
What is a Good Email Open Rate?
The success of your email campaign hinges on your open rates. But, how can you determine what is a good open rate for email?
A good email open rate is typically consistent with the average open rate, which according to a sampling of 25 million emails, is currently 37 percent across 28 industries. However, depending on your target audience, a good open rate might fluctuate and fall below or climb above this average.
Industry Standard Open Rates
As a standard benchmark to measure against, we advise that you narrow your scope to the average open rates for your particular industry.
Tips to Improve Your Business’ Email Open Rates
When it comes to how to improve email open rates, you need to identify how your email delivers value to your subscribers. What would prompt them to open the email, and what would make them consider taking action?
Here are a few suggestions:
Treat email subject lines like headlines
Crafting subject lines of your email follows a similar format as creating great headlines.
Much like a blog post headline, your email subject line is your first line of defense against being pushed into a spam folder and helps get your email open rates up where they should be. The best subject lines have a few characteristics:
- Keep it short and sweet: The fewer words you use, the easier it is to understand for your readers.
- Refrain from using all caps: It should go without saying that using all caps and exclamation points will only tarnish your credibility and make you appear desperate.
- Don’t be misleading: People do not want to be tricked or manipulated into opening your email. Therefore, your subject line should clearly communicate to your reader what to expect. If they know what to expect, they’ll be more likely to open the email and stay loyal to your brand.
Customize your message to the specific person you’re emailing
This involves plenty of research on your part. Whether you personalize your subject line with the recipient’s name or another pertinent piece of information, you want the subscriber to know that your email is relevant to them and can help address their pain points.
Adhere to length limits
A good rule of thumb to be aware of for subject line length is to limit it to 50 characters or less. While it’s technically possible to use more than 50, it’s encouraged to keep it to nearly half of that amount. This is because emails are read on a variety of different devices spanning desktop, mobile, and tablets. And many mobile email tools, in particular, tend to cut off subject lines at the 25-character mark.
Send emails from a person, not a business
Every message in your inbox is made up of three components—sender name, subject line, and message preview. Since there’s not a ton of real estate to work with, you need to make the most out of the limited space you do have.
To help foster a stronger connection with your subscribers, the “from” portion of your email should come from you, and not your company. HubSpot even conducted an A/B test experiment to see if “Hubspot” or “Maggie Georgieva, HubSpot” would receive a higher open rate. They discovered that emails coming from a person yield both a higher open rate and click-through rate.
Make the first sentence count
With most email software programs nowadays, you can see the first few words of the first sentence in your inbox. That means you have to be just as strategic in writing the first sentence as you are with writing the subject line of your email. Why? It turns out that many of your readers are going to skim through dozens of emails in their inboxes and use both the subject line and the first line to determine whether they should open it or not.
Cater your copy to the customer’s interests
Providing what’s best for your customers doesn’t just involve being a brand advocate for your company. A powerful way to promote your brand without coming off as too self-aggrandizing is by assuming a more objective tone. Speak less to the “what” products or services your audience needs and more to the “why” your audience needs those products or services.
Utilize email authentication
Unfortunately, scamming and hacking has made it easy for someone to claim they are you through email. To combat this trend, email providers like Gmail and Yahoo! have an authentication system in place to verify if the sender is who they say they are. Take advantage of these features to protect your subscribers from scam emails.
Segment your email list wisely
There are numerous ways to segment your list depending on the type of business you’re running. It may be laborious in the beginning but doing so will allow you to deliver content that’s much more tailored to your subscribers’ interests and of course, lead to better open rates. You can segment based on the industry of your subscribers, purchase history, previous interactions, and much more.
Routinely clean out your email list
When discussing improving email open rates, it’s based on the percentage of the number of emails that are opened divided by the number of emails sent. If you don’t regularly purge your email list of addresses that are no longer valid, are bouncing, or are fake, your list will likely have plenty of dead weight. Make sure to clean your email list often so that you can get more accurate open rates.
Review before sending out
There’s nothing more terrifying than sending out an email to hundreds of prospects only to realize later that it was full of embarrassing typos and grammatical errors. Making mistakes that are completely avoidable can reflect poorly on your business. So, to ensure you don’t have to run into this problem in the future, check and triple-check EVERY email you plan to send out.
Determining where and how to invest your marketing dollars is never an easy decision. As a marketer, you’re aware of the fact that you need to attract new prospects and keep your existing customers engaged, but you can’t afford to allocate time and resources into something that you’re not sure is going to deliver the results you want.
But luckily for you, a successful email marketing campaign offers a cost-effective solution, one in which you have the power to reach customers instantaneously via their inbox.