By @TheMarkDalton

Email marketing is not dead. Anyone who tells you otherwise really doesn’t have a clue. However, email has changed because back in the early days of the Internet we would open and read every single email regardless of the content. That was great if you were an email marketer back then, however you now need to work harder than ever before to get good open rates and make sure you get the ROI you want.

Here are some ways you can improve your open rates so you can make sure that the most people possible can see what you have to say.

The Subject Line.

The subject line is the first impression. When you get a new email the first thing you look at is who sent it and what it is about. If the subject line is boring and looks like spam then people will simply dump it straight into the trash. You need to make sure you give them a reason to look at your email, draw them in.

If you can, personalise the subject line. Subject lines which have the first name of the subscriber will always perform better than those without. Keep it relevant, punchy and something that you would want to read yourself. Read the subject line and think to yourself, “Would I open this email?”

If the answer is no, or you are not sure then you need to go back and think of a better subject line.

Timing.

The time of the day is important, sending an email at the wrong time of the day can have a negative impact on open rates. You need to think about the target market, many email marketers believe that midweek tends to work best.

If you are targeting businesses then you need to aim at sending an email campaign in the afternoon. Sending an email first thing in the morning as people are settling into their desks with their first cup of coffee for the day is going to mean that the chances you will end up in the trash will be higher.

Trial and error, try out different times of the day and see how it effects your open rates. If one time works better than the others then stick with it. If nothing works at any time you try then you need to look at the content and the subject line.

Don’t Spam!

If you get carried away with your email campaigns then it is going to end up going one way. You will be known as the business which sends spam. If you send too many emails you are going to wear the subscriber down and they will be heading to hit the ‘unsubscribe’ button.

Sending newsletters on a regular basis will support a good open rate, I would recommend no more than one email newsletter per week. Find a time which works best and send it at that same time each week so people will know when to expect it.

Again it comes down to balance, abandon your email campaign and people forget who you are or why they signed up. Send too often and you are a spam artist.

Avoid Spam Filters

Speaking of spam, check the content of your email before you send it. You want to make sure that the content does not scream spam because if it does then it will never make it to the inbox at all.

Avoid using words such as free, cheap, order bow, buy now, weight loss, $…anything you can think of that you would associate with spam when you get an email newsletter. Also, make sure you don’t use exclamation marks and capitals in the subject line. All of these could potentially trigger the spam filter and send your email newsletter straight to the spam folder.

The only time we go there is when a company tells us to (which they shouldn’t have to do) or if we just want to empty all the junk so it looks clean.

Content.

Always provide content that has value to potential or current customers. Content is king, you want your website and your social media to have the best content so why not have the best quality content in your emails. Offer value in every email you send and they will click through to read more.

Pick a template design and stick with it, keep things consistent. With platforms such as Mailchimp there is no reason as to why you can’t easily design a great looking newsletter every week. You don’t need to be a computer whiz to do it anymore!

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