12 Tips That’ll Get Your Emails Opened & Read

Contrary to popular belief, a subscriber list isn't simply a collection of people who are inherently interested in receiving marketing emails. Though they may be interested in the product or service, tailoring messages according to individual interests and consumer behaviour is the best possible way to engage an audience for longer periods of time.

Optimising the content of messages is a huge part of executing an email strategy that'll get your emails opened & read. Before finalising any huge changes in tone, presentation, or format, make sure you have an A/B testing system in place along with a detailed email marketing plan. None of your strategies are useful, however, if you’ve engaged in bad business practices like list harvesting. So, above all else, make sure everyone on your list has opted in to receive your messages.

Getting started with your email marketing tactics:
  1. Personalise it
    Having a customer’s name in the greeting of the message is common best practice and serves as a small gesture between company and client. Other personalisation tactics include birthday messages and discounts, using “you”, and colloquial greetings. Mentioning their city, profession or interests can also have an impact on future open rates.
  2. Tailoring
    A one-size-fits-all approach to your email content is not a recommended marketing tactic. Customer data such as age, profession, and gender all serve as indicators of the types of messaging that will be most effective. It doesn't make much sense to send your male, 18 year old, unmarried customers the same messages as your female, 65 year old, married ones; so make sure your subscribers are receiving emails that apply to them.
  3. Ditch the @noreply
    Getting rid of the unfriendly @noreply email address never hurt any email marketing campaign. Think of the @noreply as a brick wall. It not only increases the odds of being marked as spam but also deprives you of crucial customer feedback that could be used to optimise a campaign.  Here are a few other reasons to avoid @noreply addresses.
  4. Avoid spammy language
    By now ISPs are pretty clever at filtering spam messages. Make sure yours don’t get caught in the crossfire by avoiding certain spam triggers in the subject and body of your messages. The words free, click here, congratulations and others like them alert ISPs to potential spam activities and can prevent emails from reaching the intended inboxes. Try more conversational language and, of course, remain relevant to keep users positively engaged with your marketing messages, as well as to prevent your messages from being reported as spam.
  5. Don’t make interpreting emails a chore
    Make sure your subscribers don’t have to work too hard to read your messages. Keep your images, text, font colours, and links in readable working order. Ensure that your message is clearly displaying the desired call-to-action, and that there’s clearly displayed unsubscribe links, contact numbers and addresses to make things more accessible for your audience.
  6. Keep it simple and short
    Edit and then edit some more. Make sure your messages don’t bog down your clients with useless facts and information with zero payoff. If someone spends five minutes reading your email and are no better off at the end then it’s time to revisit how the messages are written. Cut down the length, ditch the formalities, and get to the point.
  7. Sign off each email by name
    Increasingly, the facade of a cold corporate face has become unappealing to both marketers and subscribers. Try using a contact name, whether it’s the CEO or the person in charge of sending email marketing correspondence. An email From Mark Etting is much more accessible than from YourCompanyLtd.
  8. Think useful
    Along with trying to sell a product or service, offer useful information or assistance that falls outside of simple marketing. Becoming an asset to your clients is a great way to maintain engagement and write emails that subscribers actually look forward to reading.
  9. Ensure mobile compatibility
    Don’t account solely for desktop email readability. As most of us can attest, emails are read frequently on the train, waiting in the queue for coffee, during work meetings and on the go.  Simply making sure that the mobile interface of an email is in working order can increase email click through rates. There is a lot more to consider when drawing up an email campaign that is both mobile and desktop friendly. There are two main methods that can be used in order to implement this, namely Scalable vs Responsive email design.
  10. Carefully craft each call-to-action
    Increase your email click through rate by having a very visible and specific call-to-action. You cannot assume all readers know exactly what to do. So, leading down a path that directs them easily and quickly to where you want them to be is key. The colour and wording of the call to action can also be A/B tested to determine the most effective option that yields the best results.
  11. Watch the clock
    The jury is still out on the definitive best time to send emails for the best result. However, monitoring your audience’s behaviour is the best resource. Knowing when your audience is likely to open your messages is integral to an effective email marketing strategy.
  12. Offer something
    While sales and conversions are the ideal outcome of email marketing campaigns, sometimes it can be effective to offer something to subscribers. Early access, discounts, exclusivity and smart deals are all effective incentives to get your emails opened and read.
  A/B split testing is a sure fire way to enhance the success of your email marketing campaigns. Test which campaign strategies are working with A/B split testing by examining open rates, unsubscribe numbers and click rates to see how your audience engages with your messages. If there is an increase in engagement from your audience, there’s a clear sign to optimise accordingly and often to ensure you’re keeping up with your subscribers’ ever changing needs.

The most important variable is an engaged audience and trial and error is par for the course when it comes to making sure your email marketing campaign goes the distance. Testing out these email marketing tactics should get your emails opened and read. Monitoring the results and optimising accordingly – over and above an email marketing plan - can really help ensure this.