Best Practices to Increase Email Open Rates

Email Open Rate Best PracticesNurturing your leads is a huge part of the sales process. Email campaigns are a key element of any lead nurturing effort. But all email efforts are held hostage to your open rate. The sales process does not move forward if a lead or prospect never opens the sent email.  That’s why you need to pay attention to email marketing best practices.

According to the Senior Marketing Specialist at XANT, “People open some emails and delete others for reasons that we can only hope to understand,” he said. “Optimal response is just too unpredictable to decide from intuition alone. You cannot identify the best subject line until you test it against several other viable options.”

Expanding my survey to the broader market, I posed a question to the LinkedIn B2B Marketing group regarding email subject lines. The following is a summary of the insights gained from that professional group.

Subject Line Practices to Improve Open Rates:

  • Know your audience’s pain points and what problems they are trying to solve. Doing some research on your customers can dramatically increase the performance of your email campaigns.
  • Test three subject lines on a small percentage of your email database and roll with the one that performs best.
  • Be wary of words that are likely to set off the spam filters. Word such as offer, sale, and call now should be avoided.
  • Email subject lines that cause deception are for chumps. Your subscribers will likely become former subscribers.
  • Ask yourself, what would make you open an email? The people you are marketing to are busy professionals. Include a “powerful truth” that includes some “KAPOW!”
  • If it’s a product you’re pitching in your email campaign, make sure you showcase the product’s best feature. If the email is more promotional, include why people should buy from your company.
  • Track with what the pros are saying. Subscribe to industry leaders in your space and see what they’re doing. Often their ideas can be altered and the principles applied to your own products.

While these best practices will certainly start you off in the right direction, the most important practice is test, test, test for what works best among your customer base in terms of moving them forward through your sales process. Remember there are no absolutes to email marketing. As our Senior Marketing Specialist says, “Don’t be surprised if you disprove yesterday’s email research with the email you send tomorrow.”

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