But how do you keep them opening your emails on a regular basis? There are four primary ways: solve a problem, save them money, make them smarter or entertain them.
Here are some tips and tricks for crafting these types of successful marketing emails and improve the open rate:
Improve Open Rate
1. Solve the problem.
If you knew that an email marketing newsletter would help solve a problem you were having, would you subscribe to it? If the sender set expectations upfront and promised that every email would lead you closer to solving that problem, you’d open those emails, wouldn’t you?
One example of a company that does this right is Quibb, a professional news site that allows people to share what they’re reading for work. It helps its subscribers solve their problems by digesting the news and allowing readers to quickly catch up on what’s relevant in their industry. Quibb’s problem-solving approach translates into an average open rate on its daily digest email that ranges between 50 percent and 70 percent. That’s significantly higher than the average marketing email open rate (in North America) of 25.6 percent, according to the Direct Marketing Association.
2. Save them money.
Some emails have proliferated by offering subscribers the opportunity to save money. Sure, you have to spend money to save, but it can be enticing to get 50 percent off a dinner at a restaurant you’ve always wanted to try or 40 percent off the oil change you’ve been putting off for months.
Similarly, business-to-consumer marketers often put words such as “free,” “save,” “sale” or “free shipping” in their subject lines. Many people — save such emails in their inbox for the next time they’re shopping in a store or online. Then, they search their inbox for the promotional offer.
For your own marketing emails, test different types of offers. Sometimes free shipping can be more effective than a percentage discount (A/B testing in Email Marketing Automation Platforms by Sales-Push.com, which can make it easier for you). Other times, a dollar amount of savings may work best. Try a subject line split test to see what resonates most with your audience.
3. Make them smarter.
Some of us embrace the “always be learning” motto. To hone our skills, we read business or trade publications, or we take courses. Many marketers exploit this desire to become smarter by sending emails that promise just that.
If your emails tend to be focused on selling, try mixing it up next time. Don’t sell, just inform.
4. Entertain them.
Some emails include an entertainment component to try to increase readership and sales. For example, MarketingProfs included a fun video in a blog post and email last fall to promote its annual B2B Forum. While it’s uncertain exactly how effective the video was in terms of open rates, MarketingProfs did sell more forum passes after the email went out.
I’ve been doing this with my clients’ email campaigns for very long. The video is consistently the most clicked — and shared — link in the entire email, often resulting in more email sign-ups.
It’s possible to craft an email that both entertains and saves subscribers money or one that can both make people smarter and save them time. But most emails focus on only one of the four themes.
Take a look at your recent email marketing campaigns. Can you identify which of the four reasons your subscribers are reading your emails? If your answer is “none of the above,” you might want to reconsider your approach.