More than ever, businesses rely on digital interactions through social media and emails as the primary driver of connecting with customers so you can build relationships and grow their business. But creating that social blast or email is only half the battle. When it comes to email, one of the biggest challenges facing small and large businesses is getting customers to open them. In this post, we're revealing the top practices that will help increase your email open rate and delight your customers along the way.
Timing is Everything
When you send your emails is critically important. If you send them during the busiest part of a workday or on the weekend, the odds are good they will never open it. There are also days of the week that are extremely busy for businesses of any kind—such as Mondays and Fridays.
So, what is the best time to send out an email? Experts say it is the middle of a workweek, right around mid-morning or at the end of the lunch hour. Another good time of day for this is between 3 and 4 PM. The worst times to send out emails? First thing in the morning and at the end of a workday.
Write an Excellent Subject Line
The subject line is a crucial part of the email. It should be not too long or too short. Studies show that the ideal word length is between 6 to 10 words (read, no characters). What you say in the subject line is also extremely vital to having the recipient open it. Therefore a lot of thought must go into this. It's perfectly normal to go through five to ten iterations before landing on the right subject line.
In some ways, what your subject says is more important than the message itself. Think of it another way—it doesn't matter how spectacular your email is with a 'can't be missed promotion' if your customer doesn't open your email. If your company or organization is mainly focused on B2B, it's also worth considering the specific business industries your email is targeted at. Therefore, it is a good idea that your subject line is pertinent to that industry. If they see one that cannot grab their attention or is not relevant, they will delete it.
There is Such a Thing as Too Many Emails
The old adage of "less is more" also applies to emails. If you want to keep in touch with your clients, email is a perfect way but overdo it, and they'll hit that unsubscribe faster than you can craft up your next witty subject line. So before you schedule multiple emails per week, consider the value and information being offered in each and ask yourself if they're not better served in one weekly blast. Every single content produced by your business or organization should be in pursuit of offering an elevated Customer Experience (CX). Win their trust by valuing their time, and you'll have them eager for your next email.
So, what is the best frequency to send emails? There's no easy number to fall on. While most experts agree that a weekly email is a good way to connect with your customers, the reality is a bit more complicated. If your business models or particular newsletter is about offering the deals, you'll likely want to provide more frequency with your emails. But if your brand commands a handful of products and you're reaching out to your customers nearly daily, you soon become the digital version of the booths in the middle of malls that are willing to do anything to vie for attention.
Keep Your Messages Short
Time is the greatest commodity and every second spent on reading your email is a second that your customer could have been reading a book, watching a YouTube, or concentrating on their work. Even with a spectacular subject line, customers will only click through a handful of times before deciding to delete your email every time they see if you're unable to get to the point. Respect their time, and they'll be hooked—you can achieve that by keeping your email short and informative.
This will take some planning on your part as well as trial and error. Try re-reading it yourself several times—on mobile and desktop. You'll be surprised how deceptive length can be depending on your consumption device. Then, do a gut check and ask yourself if this something you would want to receive? If there are instructions in the email, ensure they are easy to follow. Again, read this to yourself, but out loud. If they are too complicated or contain too many steps, the customer might elect to forget them altogether even if they are opened.
Crafting the perfect email is as much art as it's science, and you won't get there with your first, second, or even fifth email blast. The key to increasing your email open rate is iteration—always be on the lookout for new ways to change things up and offer increased value. The more you do, alongside the above tips, you'll soon begin to see increased open rates and engagement.
Rethinking how you craft your emails through the customers' eyes is just the beginning of transforming your entire organization. If email open rates can be dramatically improved by looking at it from the customer's perspective, imagine how else your organization could change and benefit from by putting CX first. Keeping reading in our free eBook to see how by placing the customer at the center of every decision, you’ll be able to transform and grow your business.