You’ve spent hours writing and re-writing the content of your newsletter until it is exactly what you want, and now you’re ready to hit the send button and send it out to all of your loyal subscribers. Before you click that button, take another look at your subject line. Is it a great subject line, or is it just okay? You see, you could have the best content, but your subscribers never know it unless you give them a good reason to open the email in the first place. Here are five field-tested methods to help you increase newsletter open rates:
1. The subject line is crucial.
Your subject line is, hands down, the most important component of your newsletter email. Consider your own email inbox. Don’t you decide what to open, and what to delete or ignore, based on what you read in the subject line? Despite the old saying, we are all guilty of judging books by their covers on a pretty regular basis. Keep in mind that you must still sell your product, even if it doesn’t actually cost any money. People value their time, and they are not likely to open an email if it looks like a waste of their time. Even a two or three percent increase on a 10,000 person list serve is still 200 to 300 more people who are opening your emails.
2. If it looks like spam, it’s going in the bin.
Of course you want your subject line to stand out and grab your reader’s attention, but don’t overdo it with the bells and whistles. Going too heavy on the CAPS LOCK, for instance, or adding far more exclamation points than necessary for mock emphasis, will not earn the kind of attention you want. In fact, you may end up with readers unsubscribing from your mailing list. Additionally, you may also want to make sure that the address subscribers see in their “from” line is personalized. For example, would you be more likely to pay attention to an email from “email@example.com” or “firstname.lastname@example.org”? Seeing “noreply” doesn’t exactly invite your readers to interact with your business, does it?
3. Be on time.
Being on time, in this context, refers to much more than simply sending out your newsletter on the same day and time every week, or every month. There has been a great deal of research on this particular topic, and the results are quite interesting. While your audience and business model are both unique, studies have shown that your emails are more likely to be opened during the week than on weekends. This makes a lot of sense, considering the fact that the majority of people work during the week and reserve the weekend for relaxation or family time. The best window for sending your newsletter, based on statistical research, tends to be between Tuesday and Thursday. Let’s face it, most of us are trying to get back into the groove of things at work on Mondays and are too busy to worry about reading anyone’s newsletter. Always be sure to test your timing with your own audience to pinpoint which day and time work best for your business.
4. Why won’t this load?
Few things can be more frustrating than trying to view an email, newsletter, blog post, or other website on your cell phone when it has not been optimized for use on mobile devices. Unfortunately, according to at least one recent study, roughly 96 percent of people who check their email on a mobile device will not re-open your email from their desktop or laptop later. So make sure that your emails and newsletters can be properly viewed, all links are functional, and the multimedia is kept to a bare minimum, to increase your open rate with mobile users. If they know they can’t read them from their mobile device, people will eventually begin to ignore your emails, even if they do not unsubscribe.
5. Communicate benefits clearly.
Human beings are, by nature, selfish. This isn’t always a bad thing. If you are aware of this nuance of human nature, you can often use it to your own benefit- particularly in the world of marketing. Both your subject line and the body of your newsletter should make the benefits of opening that email clear to your subscribers. If your product is new, cheap, free, or will save readers valuable time, let them know before they even open the email, using the power of the subject line. If the benefits are obvious, your subscribers will have every reason to open those emails, increasing your open rate in turn. And remember, getting someone to open your email and actually read it gets you one step closer to a subscriber becoming a conversion.
Let us know how well these tips on how to increase newsletter open rates work for you!