“A chain is only as strong as its weakest link.” This age old proverb can be applied to nearly any marketing initiative, but is particularly appropriate for e-mail marketing campaigns. The most well thought out, carefully written and beautifully designed efforts can go unseen by your recipients if any one of the smallest delivery details isn’t just right.

A strategic e-mail communication that drives readers to action must first drive readers to open. To get the most out of your next campaign, remember these time-tested proverbs and tips to improving your e-mail open rate:

  • Measure twice, cut once. Or when it comes to subject lines, measure two, send one. It can’t be stressed enough how important a compelling subject line is to overall e-blast performance. These 50-70 characters are going to determine whether or not your recipients open the e-mail and read. Always A/B test at least two versions to choose the best option for your list, and compare performance of various subject lines from blast to blast.
  • The early bird gets the worm. Or the late bird. Or the middle of the day, just after lunch bird. Experiment with different send times to find the point in the day when YOUR audience is most likely to not just open your e-mail, but read and engage with it. There are general guidelines available about when e-blasts perform best for the general public, but your audience will have its own patterns and preferences. Learn them!
  • There’s more than one way to skin a cat. Don’t feel limited by any constraints of what an e-blast “should” be. Instead, think of and test different approaches to see what type of communication appeals to your target audience. When Celtic wanted to try a fresh approach with a fly-control client in reaching horse owners by e-mail, we passed on the rebates and giveaways in favor of a gamification concept. By simply challenging them to test their fly-control knowledge with our quiz, we were able to achieve nearly five times the engagement of a typical e-blast.
  • If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again. You may only want to consider one follow up “try,” but persistence can pay off with e-blast sends. While the majority of your list will likely not open your initial distribution, don’t be afraid to send a second attempt to the “Unopens” after altering some of the above mentioned variables – particularly the subject line. You’ll likely experience a nice bump in opens and engagement with minimal additional effort.

While an attention to details is important with any marketing initiative, it’s the details that can make or break an e-blast campaign. Give careful thought to each element of your distribution, and you’ll ensure higher open rates for your next e-blast.

See more examples of Celtic’s client work here.

Author

Jeremy Hogan

Senior Manager, PR & Digital Content

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