Email open rates can become a point of obsession. If you’re one of those people who agonizes over percentage points, don’t worry; we understand you. You spend time carefully crafting newsletters and email marketing ideas, and you want to know that the creativity you’ve spent is being received.
Unfortunately, we can’t tell you there’s a way to make every recipient read your email. There are, however, methods for catching more attention and netting a few more opens. Today, we’re going to take a look at email open rates by message type. Use these numbers to see how yours stack up and, if they’re a little low, we’ll give you some tips on getting your message in front of more eyes.
Emails ReMarketing Open Rates
Remarketing messages are emails sent as a reaction to a user’s action. If a consumer logs onto a retailer’s site, inputs their email, and then leaves before converting, a remarketing message can be sent as a way to recapture the interest of a potential buyer. To get a look at average open rates for remarketing messages, we leveraged around 100,000 emails sent from various fashion and apparel email remarketing campaigns in the 30 days.
Why Are ReMarketing Email Open Rates Highest?
- Prompt and Response. A remarketing email, by definition, is prompted by the action of the user. Whether this act is simply abandoning checkout or entering an email address with the explicit intent of receiving marketing messages, the act of visiting your store is still fresh in the consumer mind. Seeing your company’s name in the inbox isn’t surprising or foreign, but expected. As a result, the readers tend to open up the messages more often.
- High Relevance. The products or services highlighted in these messages are (or are related closely to) those being considered by the store’s visitor. The messages and subject lines can be populated dynamically with products left behind in a shopping cart. In remarketing emails, what you’re showcasing is precisely what the visitor was looking to buy–it doesn’t get more relevant than that.
Increasing Open Rates for ReMarketing Emails
Although remarketing messages already top the chart as far as email open rates are concerned, there’s always room to improve.
- Personalize. Don’t be afraid to address recipients by name if they’ve provided one along with an email address. Personalization engages users and draws attention. However, don’t go overboard; personalizing with sensitive information can be seen as invasive.
- Serialize. Although a consumer may visit and abandon your site just once, this doesn’t mean that you should only make contact one time. By sending abandoning customers a series of emails (with ample time between messages), you stay top-of-mind as a consumer considers a purchase. Although this may not raise individual open rates, a series is more likely to be seen and deliver an otherwise lost conversion.
Newsletter Open Rates
Email open rates for newsletters are, on average, fairly low compared to other types of emails. In the last few years, surveys have reported newsletter open rates average around 9%.
Why Are Newsletter Email Open Rates Low?
Although every email is unique, there are a few potential reasons why newsletters, in general, may simply not perform as well as other emails.
- Stale Content Reduces Open Rates. By design, newsletters typically land in inboxes in scheduled intervals. Unfortunately, after a while, people can simply lose interest unless every much brings new and exciting information. Successful newsletters need content that overcomes monotony.
- Accidental Sign-Ups Reduce Open Rates. Even the most careful shopper can miss a checkbox or two when buying things online. On many retail websites, the seller offers a newsletter subscription during checkout. On some of those sites, signing up is the default option. If a user accidentally signs up for your newsletter, chances are they won’t be a very active recipient.
Increasing Newsletter Email Open Rates
- Contents in Subject. For newsletters, subjects are often best left simple. How simple? Just tell readers what’s in your newsletter. Remember, readers signed up for a reason; they’re interested in your content. Using flashy headlines may work for a time, but the gimmick may wear off after repeated use. Focus primarily on keeping content exciting and relevant.
- Keep Subjects Brief. Although we encourage everybody to continually test subject lines and find trends that work for you, we can share this fact: Long is bad. In fact, subject lines over 51 characters had the lowest of all open rates in a study from MarketingProfs.
Opening Up the Marketing Message
Next on our list of email types is the marketing message. Any email that’s sent with commercial intent that isn’t a response to direct user action falls under this category. In general, these emails sport open rates of anywhere between 15 and 25%, depending on the industry.
What Brings Marketing Email Open Rates Down?
- Oversaturation. The idea of marketing messages is to stay on the forefront of potential customers’ minds, but sending too making emails is a dangerous strategy. If your emails show up in customer inboxes every single day, they’ll eventually become white noise, ignored by recipients. Be tasteful with your email volume and only say something when you have something to say.
- Unrelated Content. If a consumer ventures out and buys a new television online, they might not be too thrilled by messages advertising a special offer on printer paper from the same retailer. If you plan on sending out regular marketing content to consumers, be sure to segment your sends. Even if it’s rudimentary segmentation, it’s always best to cater the content towards your intended audience.
Email Marketing Ideas to Increase Open Rates
- Avoid Deadly Buzzwords. Drafting the perfect subject line is a delicate exercise in testing. However, there are some words that are better avoided in nearly all tests. There are dozens of lists online that outline the words to avoid. While some of these lists seem a little too strict, we all know by now what spam emails look like. Don’t be afraid to test against the advice of these lists, but never venture into “spammy” subject lines.
- Time Wisely. According to some reports, 98% of email marketing creative isn’t opened when sent between midnight and 7am. If possible, segment your audience into rough locations and time your sends to arrive in inboxes when people are actually reading. Some studies suggest 5pm as the best time to email, while others say it depends on the industry. Do some split tests to determine the perfect time of arrival.
Email marketing is a powerful channel that’s extremely cost effective, but the first hurdle is to get your messages read. With some careful split testing and some serious critical thinking, you can raise open rates and get your content to the consumer. For more information on email marketing, remarketing, or getting your open rates higher, contact UpSellit.
Written by Bryan Gudmundson