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Inbound Marketing Insights

10 Tips to Increase Your Email Open Rates

Posted by Elyse Flynn Meyer

Email marketing is essential to your digital marketing strategy. Many companies forget about email as a way to engage with prospects and only focus on generating net new prospects. It's critical to engage the individuals who have already expressed interest in your brand, and email is a cost-effective way to do just that. But how do you ensure your emails are most impactful? Your subject line and the "from name" in your email are key. No matter how great your email content is, your prospects will not read the content if your emails don't get opened. Here are some tips to help you increase your open rate to maximize your email engagement.

  • Use a "Friendly From" address as the From Name in your email
    A "From Name" is the name people see in their inbox before they open your email. When possible, use an actual name instead of a brand as the "From Name" in your emails. People want to open emails from other people, not just another "marketing email." By doing this, B2B companies have seen a 37% increase in open rates, and B2C companies have seen a 27% increase in open rates. For example, have your emails come from your sales rep's name instead of from your company name. I realize it may not make sense for all your content to have it come from a "person." For example, for your blog notification emails, you may still want to have this come from your company name, but you can still customize it to align with the content offer. An example of this is:
    - Blog Subscription Email Current From Name: Prism Global Marketing Solutions
    - Blog Subscription Optimized From Name: Prism Global Marketing Solutions Blog
    This is a simple change but has a big impact on open rates.
  • Do NOT use a fake "RE" or "FW" in your subject line
    While you may get an initial open, it is unlikely you will get a click, except for your opt-out button. This is clickbait material and will not contribute to your long-term email health.
  • Use special characters in your subject line
    This helps your content stand out from the many emails people are already receiving in their inboxes.
    - Parentheses increase open rates by 27%
    - Brackets increase open rates by 18%
    - Asterisks increase open rates by 25%
  • Use "Oops," or "Uh Oh" or something similar in your subject line
    This may just be a fad, but people don't want to miss out on the potential "mistake" that you're highlighting. However, you could use this tactic to show that the prospect may be missing something important if they don't open your email. B2B companies see open rates increase by 29%, and B2C companies see an open rate increase of 37%. Some examples include:
    - Oops, you almost missed this webinar
    - Uh oh, the product you love is almost gone...
  • Use comparison content to do the research for your prospects
    Comparison content shows that you are giving them content that is helpful by doing that comparative research for them. This is also useful when writing a blog or downloadable content to focus on comparisons and "vs." content. B2B and B2C companies see a 21% increase in open rates with this type of subject line.
  • Use ellipses when you can
    Don't give away all of your information in your subject line. Let the reader know there is more when they open the email. You will likely see an increase in open rates and engagement with your email because your email subscribers want to learn more. B2B companies see a 31% increase in open rates, and B2C companies see a 28% increase in email open rates. Some examples include:
    - The winner is...
    - The keynote speaker is...
    - The sale starts in...
  • Use emojis when possible, and elevate your emoji game by leveraging bookend emojis
    Both B2B and B2C companies experience a 31% increase in open rates. This may also be a fad, but it's something to consider now to see how it will impact your open rates. Some examples include:
    - 🍁The Fall Sale is Here 🍁
    - ✨Your 2022 Marketing Outlook is Live ✨
    - 🚨Don't Miss This New Release...🚨

    The following shows the top 5 emojis for subject lines from Worldata.com
    1214348 PGM_1_102221-01
  • Use lists whenever you can
    This is not a new "trend" but has been proven over at least the last ten years that people want lists. They want to know precisely what they will get by opening the email, reading your blog, etc. The use of numbers in emails that showcase lists has shown a 34% increase in email opens for B2B companies and a 39% increase in email opens for B2C companies. Some examples include:
    - 6 Ways to Maximize Your Inbound Marketing Budget
    - 10 Ways to Improve Your Customer Retention
    - 5 Strategies to Help Drive Sales Engagement
  • Leverage perceived scarcity when it makes sense
    People don't want to miss out on the next sale, the next product launch, the next informative webinar, etc. Scarcity subject lines have shown a 38% increase in email opens for B2C companies and a 31% increase for B2B companies. Some examples include:
    - Up to 30% Off While Supplies Last
    - Limited Quantities Available - Don't Miss Out
    - Almost Sold Out...
  • Use exclusivity in your subject line
    People like to feel special and like to know they are getting something that others aren't, so your subject line should reflect what you are offering is exclusively for them. Some examples include:
    - Just for CFOs
    - Special Offer for Customers Only
    - Exclusively for Executives

To optimize your email open rates, you should consider testing a few, if not all, of the above tips. Your metrics will be specific to your organization, so it's essential to test, test, and test again. And be sure not to overuse any one of these recommendations so your subject lines don't become stale to your audience. Email subject lines and the from address are the first things that a prospect sees in their inbox, so it will make or break your email engagement whether they decide to open and ultimately click in your email. Consider these tips as a way to start testing and maximizing your email engagement. And remember how your email open rates also impact your overall email health. The more people that open your email, and click your emails, the higher your overall email health score will be, and the higher likelihood you'll continue to get into the inboxes of your prospects and customers.

If you're interested in seeing how you can optimize your email engagement,  we invite you to learn more about our email optimization program.

Learn More About Email Optimization

The above data was gathered from Worldata.com and SubjectLine.com.

Elyse Flynn Meyer

Posted by Elyse Flynn Meyer

Elyse Flynn Meyer is the Owner and Founder of Prism Global Marketing Solutions, an inbound marketing agency and HubSpot Diamond Partner based in Phoenix, Arizona. Elyse is the author of the book, Mastering Inbound Marketing Your Complete Guide to Building a Results-Driven Inbound Strategy. She is also a frequent contributor to Forbes on digital marketing.