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The majority of your subscribers won’t open your emails.
That’s the harsh truth about email marketing. You have to actually run a real email marketing campaign to realize this.
If you have 1,000 email subscribers, only around 20% of those subscribers will open your emails. For most marketers and industries, the numbers are even lower than 20%. Because the email open rate can differ from one industry to another.
However, there are clever businesses that run email campaigns with over 30% and sometimes 50% open rates.
How do they do it? And why is your email open rate so low? Let’s find out.

What Is Email Open Rate?

Before going further, it’s important that you understand what this “email open rate” really is and why it matters.
The email open rate is what helps you measure the effectiveness of your email campaigns by showing you how many people viewed your email.

You can find out the open rate for your email lists and each of your email campaigns using reports or analytics on your email marketing service. It will also show you the industry average open rate to let you compare the stats.
Improving the email open rate is the only way for you to increase the value and make the most of your email list.
If you’re seeing a low open rate for your email campaigns, check to see if you’re making any of these mistakes.

#1 Using Unoptimized Subject Lines

The subject line is the most important part of your email that 47% of your email recipients will use to decide whether to open the email or move it to the trash bin.
A boring and long subject line with complicating words will never arouse the curiosity of your recipient to make them view your email. It’s better if you spend more time optimizing your subject line than writing the email.
Keep your subject line short. Limit the subject line to 6-10 words. Make it catchy and use it to build curiosity in the user to get them to read the content in your email.
Also, don’t be afraid to use emojis in your subject line to make it stand out from rest of the emails in a busy inbox.

#2 Not Using A Subheader

Most marketers don’t realize that email services like Gmail allow its users to preview the first sentence of an email before opening it. This is the second most important part of an email that helps influence recipients to view an email.

Instead of starting your emails with “hello reader”, you should use the first sentence of your email to summarize your email and build up hype.
Some email templates feature built-in subheaders. Use this wisely to your advantage.

#3 Skipping List Segmentation

The email marketing services available today come with so many advanced technologies and features to make things easier for even complete beginners to make the most of their email marketing campaigns.
Email list segmentation is one of those features that allow you to target specific audiences through your campaigns.
For example, if you were to create a segment for the job titles of your subscribers, you can write specific email campaigns to target that segment of your list more effectively. Like “Tips To Land Your Next Promotion” or “Gift Ideas For Your Boss”.

#4 Landing On Spam Or Promotions Folder

If you keep seeing zero opens for your email campaigns, then your emails might be getting removed from the inbox by the Spam filter.
The words you use to write your email subject line can actually make your emails land in the Spam folder. Suspicious words like “Free Money”, “Order Now”, “Special Promotion”, and “Buy Direct” must be removed from your subject lines at all costs.
The new Promotions tab in Gmail is another folder that Google uses to filter promotional emails. Most Gmail users always avoid this tab.
In your welcome email to your new subscribers, encourage them to whitelist your email or mark your emails as priority to make sure they receive your emails in the Primary tab.

#5 Sending Campaigns At The Wrong Time

The timing of your email campaigns also has to be perfect to reach the highest number of recipients. Because sending your email on a wrong day or at the wrong time can lower your open rates.
Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday are the best days for sending an email. And timing it at around 6 AM, 10 AM, or 2 PM will make your campaigns even more successful.
While these times and days have been proven to be effective, they may change depending on your geo-location and your audience.
Luckily, most email marketing services today comes with tools for determining the best times for sending an email campaign. You can use those tools and test different times and days to find the perfect timing for your email list.

#6 Forgetting About Mobile Users

The smartphone is now everyone’s go-to device for accessing the web and email. According to Litmus, mobile devices are responsible for 51% of email opens.
If you don’t design your emails for mobile-first, your email will not be viewed by the majority of subscribers.
Keep mobile devices in mind when crafting your email. This means compressing the images, using short subject lines, and formatting the content to properly fit various types of device screens.

#7 Not Using A/B Split Tests

A/B split testing is one of the most useful tools that you get from an email marketing service. However, most don’t pay much attention to this feature.
Running a split test on your email campaigns can help you determine what type of subject lines works better for your emails and which times or days are most effective for sending emails.
Don’t let this useful tool go to waste. Use it to test your emails and improve open rates.

Wrapping Up

The main goal of the email open rate is to help you develop a high-performing email list. So, you should always look for ways to optimize your next email campaign to outperform the open rate of your last.
Try different subject lines, segments, and always experiment with new ideas to keep boosting your email open rate.

Syed Balkhi is the founder of WPBeginner, the largest free WordPress resource site. With over 10 years of experience, he’s the leading WordPress expert in the industry. You can learn more about Syed and his portfolio of companies by following him on Twitter @syedbalkhi.

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