Strategies to increase your email open rates
Email marketing can be one of the best and relatively low-cost ways to market your business. If you think email marketing is a thing of the past, think again! Here's what Entrepreneur had to say about the effectiveness of email marketing. “Seventy-two percent of U.S. adults say they prefer companies to communicate with them via email, and 91 percent say they’d like to receive promotional emails from companies they do business with. Meanwhile, 73 percent of companies agree email marketing is a core part of their business efforts, and 25 percent rate email as their top channel in terms of return on investment.”
One reason that businesses like email marketing is that, compared to social media marketing, it's measurable. Click To Tweet One measure is your email open rates. The true measure of effectiveness, though, is the click through rate. Click through measures the number of times one of your subscribers clicks on one of your calls to action that is inside each of your emails. But to get someone to click through they first have to open your email, right? So let's talk about email marketing strategies to increase open rates.
What is foreshadowing?
Have you noticed when you are watching television that right before a commercial break a news host will announce what's coming up next? The idea is that you will stick around through the commercial because you want to see the topic the announcer has teased you with. This is called foreshadowing. You can use foreshadowing in your emails to pique your reader's interest in what you will be emailing to her next.
- Mention the topic of your next newsletter
- Mention an upcoming offer you plan to make
- Mention an interview or blog post you will talk about in the next email you send.
As an example, if you are talking about why email marketing is important and plan to discuss crafting subject lines in your next email, you might say, “Be sure to watch for my next email, which you'll receive tomorrow. I'll be giving you 5 tips for crafting interesting and magnetic email subject lines.”
TIP: Try your foreshadowing as a PS to your email. This is one way to catch your reader's eye – almost everyone reads the postscript of an email even if they just scan the rest of it!
If your email autoresponder system (the system you use to send out your emails) automatically creates a URL that is an archive of each email you send (Aweber does this) you can also remind your readers about yesterday's email in the email you send out today. You might say something like, “Today's email is a primer on how to use essential oils. If you missed yesterday's email about where to buy high quality essential oils you can find it here.” Then link back to yesterday's email. (That Aweber link is an affiliate link.)
TIP: If you are using foreshadowing you can pick up on the subject line of your next email by using the term “As promised” in your next email's title. Your subscribers will be curious about what you promised, even if they failed to open your previous email.
Give your subscribers what they want
Your ability to provide email content that your subscribers want depends on how well you know them. This is one reason that big email giveaways don't often work so well. Yes, that strategy will probably add subscribers to your list. But since these subscribers have come from 20 other email subscriber lists you really don't know the quality of that subscriber and how valuable she will be to you. All you know is that she had a passing interest in picking up one of your freebies from a long list of email giveaway freebies. There's a good chance that she has 20 different giveaways sitting on her hard drive and will open few of them.
How can you find out what your subscribers want?
- Qualify prospects before you add them to your subscriber list. Do this by making sure you are adding subscribers who are intensely interested in your topics. Stay true to your topic list, so that you don't confuse your readers.
- Provide content that helps you build a relationship with your readers. Make sure it's interesting, easily digestible, and positions you as a credible authority in your field.
- Don't make the mistake of trying to sell a high end offer through email alone. I see business owners do this who are hesitant to market in person, but the truth is that few subscribers will pay for a $5k or larger program if they only know you through email alone. If your offers are high end, use your emails to build your credibility and trust, then add other ways to market your offers.
- Ask for replies to your emails with a quick question or a short poll. Pay attention to what is in those replies and short polls. Find other ways to get information and feedback from your subscribers, perhaps inviting them to a virtual meetup around a specific topic. The more you get to know your subscribers the better off you'll be in terms of building loyalty and making sales to your email subscribers.
TIP: If you decide to use a poll promise to share the poll results with your subscribers. Use that information in one of your future emails, and highlight that in your email subject line.
Your open rates will be an indicator for you about which topics resonate with your readers. While you may think that they need to know more about a particular topic, your open rates might tell you that they are not interested in that topic. You can try sending the same email with a different subject line that is clearer or more interesting. If the open rate is still poor, you'll know your readers aren't interested in that topic very much.
These email strategies can help you increase your open rates. Effective email marketing means adding subscribers who are your target market, providing them useful and credible information, and building your credibility and trust factor. Email is one of the best ways to help you do that. Just like with any other type of sales, relationship comes before offers.
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