You may think that an ‘open rate’ is simply the number of emails that are opened after you send them out…
You calculate the open rate by the ratio of the people who opened the emails to the emails that were actually delivered.
Here’s a helpful equation from Aritic:
Emails Open Rate = Unique Open Emails / (Total Number of Emails Sent – Total Number of Bounced Emails)
So, if 100 were sent and 20 bounced, 80 were delivered. Out of this 80, 20 were opened, which gives you an open rate of 25%.
Even when you input tracking pixels in an email to see if it’s opened these aren’t always accurate. Many ISPs will not open graphics on an email and even though it has been opened, the ISP will mark it as unopened. This gives you a false impression of open rates.
So, how do you make sure your emails are being opened?
By avoiding these 5 reasons that damage your open rates:
1 ) Your Subject Lines Suck
See the subject lines as the gatekeepers to your emails being opened.
So, what makes a good subject line?
A good subject line tells the recipient what the email is about and encourages them to open it. Any exclamation points, strange words or capital letters aren’t a good idea. These will either come across as unfriendly or they will be recognised by the mailbox as spam. Sometimes even both. Buzzwords like ‘free’ can also trigger spam filters. Times have changed when you could put ‘Re:’ or ‘Fwd:’ in your subject line. This practice comes across as deceptive and it will put people off opening the email.
2 ) It Looks Automated
No one likes to be blasted with automated marketing emails. Think about all the emails that clearly don’t look to engage with you on a personal level and that you have just deleted.
All you have to do is use the person’s name and do a little research on them before you send them an email. This is a much better way of starting to build a profile and relationship with your potential customers because they feel valued.
In a similar vein, make sure the ‘from’ name remains the same between you and your recipient. This will create a credibility factor and make the recipient see a human connection behind the email. (It will also lend you a hand by keeping your messages out of the spam filters.)
3 ) Too Many Emails
The more emails you send to someone (unless it is of high-value content), the less likely they are to open them. Think about how many emails you are planning to send to someone in your content marketing or how many times is appropriate to send follow up emails to someone about your services/products. If you are trying to get an answer from a decision-maker or someone important, think about leaving it a few days before your next email. If you pester them, they are sure to damage your open rates by ignoring your emails.
4 ) Respect the Right to Unsubscribe
Make sure the unsubscribe button is clear and easy to use. Many companies lose potential clients in the future as a result of bombarding them with email streams. If you want hostility from people, continue to make it hard for them to opt-out. You need to comply with a person’s ability to not want to be a part of your emails. If someone unsubscribed, simply respect that. Many others will want to receive your emails if you are giving them something of value.
5 ) It’s Not Mobile Friendly
You see it on the tube, bus and in the street… people are checking their phones for everything. According to Aritic, 48% of emails are being checked on mobile devices (tablets, phones etc…) It is also useful to know that 69% of people using their phone to check emails will delete any emails that do not load properly. We live in a high-pressure society where, if something doesn’t do what we expect it too, we will move on to the next task in our working day. Make sure your emails appear well on mobile devices to increase your open rates.
So, there are many reasons why your email open rates are plummeting. You need to be creating emails that provide value to the reader and encourage them to open it, read on and hopefully complete the call to action you need. This can be anything from replying with a date for a meeting to booking onto your next event.